« PreviousContinue »
Q. You say there was no blood ?
A. Well, I didn't know what it was until the doctor came, and he said it might be the scratch of a rat.
Q. You never told Mr. McCaffrey that it was a rat?
V. Now, when a child has a pin-scratch, do you send them to the hospital?
A. The hospital?
Q. Do you send them to the hospital for a scratch, if they have a pin-scratch?
A. To the hospital; yes, sir.
Q. (By Mr. PROCTOR.) It was because the doctor ordered the child to be sent to the hospital that it was sent?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And if he hadn't, the child wouldn't have been taken to the hospital?
A. No, sir; no, indeed.
R. Did you have charge of the child when it went out with its mother?
A. With its mother?
Dr. HEATII. – I thought they could take care of it better in the hospital than over there, and so I ordered it taken to the hospital.
Mir. PILSBURY. - I don't know whether the Chairman or any of the committee would like to see where that Murphy boy is supposed to have jumped from, but if so, I should be glad to show them; and any one who sees it can see how absurd it is.
Ald. LEE. I wint to ask the doctor one question, inasmuch as my name and that of Mrs. Lee have been mentioned by one of the witnesses. Mr. McCaffrey said that while the scarlet fever was at its height here Mrs. Lee called anıl took away two children. Now, do you remember anything about that?
Dr. HEATH. Well, I guess he referred to the McLaughlin children who were here.
Ald. LEE. And there were three of those children ?
Ald. LEE. And one of them you didn't let Mrs. Lee take when she got the other two?
Dr. HEATII. Yes, I believe that is so.
Ald. LEE. — Well, I wanted to ask you thiş, doctor. When those children went out was there any danger that anybody else who came in contact with them would contract the scarlet fever?
Dr. HEATH. No; and if I remember I think I kept your wife waiting five or six weeks before I would let her take them.
Ald. LEE. Now, Mr. Chairman, I only want to say that that statement wils macle for some purpose other than with good intent. Possibly he wanted to show that a member of the City Government could come and take a child out when others could not. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Lee waited six weeks to get those children. Her only interest in it was to grant the request of some people out there, and I can assure you that it was not a pleasant task to look after the mother for six months, and then to look after the children for six weeks. Mrs. Lee also wanted me to say that when she got the children here Mrs. Heath was present in the room with her two children, and she called the children in here with her own children ; and when Mrs. Lee took the children away she shook hands with them and bid them good-by. I only wanted to have that cleared up, to show that what McCaffrey said about that was not true that the disease was not at the height at that time that he claimed it was.
(Adjourned, at 5.11 P.M., to meet on Friday, Dec. 28, at 10 A.M., to hear the arguments of counsel.)
FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 1894. The hearing was resumed at 10 o'clock A.M., Chairman HALLSTRAM presiding
Mr. PROCTOR. Mr. Chairman, do I understand that I am to have it certain length of time in which to address the committee ?
The CHAIRMAN. The committee are to allow each side three houus.
Mr. PROCTOR. — I assume, without knowing, that my legal brethren, Mr. Brandeis and Mr. Riley, each will argue. It has seemed to me, in view of that fact, that it is only fair for me to ask of this committee to give me, say, half an hour at the close in which to reply to anything which seems to me material, after they have finished.
Mr. BRANDEIS. – Mr. Chairman, I think that would be a most extraordinary position to take. It is the well-known practice in court that a petitioner, who has the opening originally, will have the close, and I hardly believe any reason exists why that well-established principle of procedure should be departed from.
Mr. PROCTOR. Mr. Chairman, while what my brother Brandeis has cited is in accordance with the ordinary practice, at the same tinie the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts allows an argument by the defendant first and by the plaintiff afterwards. It then rests with the court, and if there be anything that the defendant's counsel deems material to say by way of reply, as I understand it, the defendants counsel always has that privilege accorded to him.
Ald. HALL. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that we had better proceed in the usual way.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will proceed for the present in the
Mr. PROCTOR. — Very well, sir.
CLOSING ARGUMENT BY THOMAS W. PROCTOR, ESQ.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Committee, I am glad it is my province to be the first to congratulate this committee that these hearings and this investigation, so long prolonged, is now drawing to a close. It is, I think, a c:use without precedent in the annals of Massachusetts. In the first place, no written specifications or charges were filed, and to that I attribute the great length to which the hearings have continued. The floodgates were opened wide to evidence and testimony of all sorts and as would naturally be expected, a vast amount of time has been consumed.
Moreover, I think there never was a case tried in this Commonwealth where outside influence has been so often and so steadily invoked to influence either the tribunal which is trying the case or the public, which has only an interest in the case as its representatives were trying it.
Newspapers have been, if not subsidized, at least enlisted, and editorial columns have been occupied day after day with arguments and statements of evidence during the progress of the trial and before the evidence was completed. If this had happened with reference to al case being tried in any of our courts, the editors and managers of those newspapers would have been liable to commitment for contempt of Court. This must have been for a purpose, and it seems to me that I am doing nothing but my duty in calling it to the attention of this committee, merely as showing the bias under which this case has proceeded.
Charges are made, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, against the Board of Commissioners of Public Institutions of Boston, and the charges may be reduced to two in number, as set forth in the opening statement or testimony of Mrs. Alice N. Lincoln. The first charge was mismanagement in the operation of the institutions that was the first and principal charge and the subsidiary or second one was said to be the necessity of radical changes in the management. That, of course, was an auxiliary claim.
The charges relate principally to three institutions - the Home for Paupers at Long Island, the House of Industry and allied institutions at Deer Island, and the House of Correction at South Buston, with now and then an occasional side-shot at the Charlestown Almshouse and the Marcella-street Home. But I take it that the charges against the Marcellit-street Home have vanished into thin air, and although I may refer to them hereafter, it will only be by way of argument concerning certain testimony which has been put in here and which you gentlemen are asked to believe.
As to the Charlestown Almshouse, it is in evidence by people who claim to be experts, that while it is an old building it should be retained and should be carried on, although the building should be repaired. That we do not dissent from.
So I say, hereafter I shall address myself to the consideration of the frets concerning the three institutions —the almshouse at Long Island, the institutions on Deer Island, and the House of Correction.
There are nine charges made in the opening statement of Mrs. Lincolu. The first one is, That the protection against fire at both Long and Rainsford islands is utterly inadequate, not even an alarm gong being furnished in any of the institutions." That is on page 10. To that we say that the claim was made and forced upon the attention of this committee at the start that there were no fire appliances absolutely at Long and Rainsford islands; that nothing was done whatever to prolect the inmates there against the dangers of fire. But in cross-examination it appeared that the institution building had iron stairways in the middle and at both ends; that those in the middle were enclosed in brick walls and those at the ends as well; that the building wils a 24 or three story building; that therefore these fire-escapes — for they might well be so considered - were as good and complete as they need be, and Chief Egan, who was called here to testify that there were no fire appliances, stated that those stairways were suitable for exit in case of fire. Those were not noticed by Mrs. Lincoln apparently and were not noticed by the witnesses McCaffrey and Parker, at least until their attention had been specifically called to them in cross-exizmination.
Cochituate water was delivered on the island within sixty or ninety days after this present Commission went into operation. The standpipes are now in the institution building. They would have been before had the city of Boston provided the necessary sum with which to put them in. The Board of Commissioners for Public Institutions have no authority, under the charter of 1885, to make contract for any sum exceeding $2,000; but the stand-pipes, as I understand it, cost a considerable sum more, and as soon as the money was provided those stand-pipes were put in.
It was stated with much vigor that there was no gong, no fire gong. True, there was no gong which was called a fire yong”; but there was a gong, and I ani unable to see why one gong would not do as well as another, even if the word fire” was not prefixed, for it certainly rang, and people heard it. If it was good enough to call people to
dinner I don't see why it would not be good enough to raise them at night in case of fire — because they don't, I am told, have dinner at Long Island more than once a day.
It was stated that there should be red lights provided to indicate the stairways. Red lights, as Dr. Cogswell, it seems to me, conclusively states, are exceedingly useful in a hotel, where men come and go, where a man gets a room for to-night and goes away to-morrow, and has no information as to the exit unless a plain sign is put before his eyes, while in a place like Long Island, where the inmates remain for a greater or less time, it seems to me they would be a useless and futile contrivance. Moreover, as there are only three stairways in the main building, no inmate could go very far wrong:
Then it was said that there were no fire ladders and here the use of the word “ fire" comes in to befog the public mind, and an attempt is made to befog you with that same word. A ladder is a ladder, and, as I understand it, wooden ladders are used by the Boston Fire Department. I am unable to see why, if there wils a wooden ladder it was not just as useful to put up to the windows of the building in case of fire as it was to get a parrot down from a tree, as Dr Parker told us about. There were nine ladders on the island according to everybody's statement, excepting Dr. Parker's, ordered on the 3d day of October after the fire of the second of October. That was before this investigation began, and Chief Egan does not say that there was any necessity for more than two ladders. When Chief Egan said they needed two ladders they got them. It was claimed, and Chief Egan's report states, that there were not sufficient extinguishers. There were two extinguishers. Chief Egan said they needed more and they were furnished. Now, the Snow Cottage was burned. It is possible something may be said to you to the effect that that was the reason that the fire appliances at the time were not sufficient. But the Snow Cottage, if you will refer to Chief Egan's testimony in cross-examination, could not have been saved by our Boston Fire Department, which you know fought so gallantly at the baseball grounds that the men, as the newspapers said, stuck to their engines until the spokes were on fire. The Snow Cottage, as Chief Egin said, with the brisk wind that was blowing and the ell and a portion of the left side of the building on fire, could not have been saved by anybody. It caught fire and burned, and that is no indication that there were not anıl are not sufficient appliances on Long Island at the present time.
There was a fire in the hospital. McCaffrey said there were no appliances with which to put it out, and lie has given you i graphic and exaggerated account of how much fire there was. He said the whole roof was on fire. But they did put it out with what appliances they had, and the cost of repairing the building after the fire wils put out, was, I think, but ten, fifteen, or twenty-five dollars, which conclusively shows that the amount of fire McCaffrey referred to existed simply in his distorted and vivid imagination.
Next we come to the water-supply. Now, the Commissioners of Public Institutions as I believe erroneously, but as the law provides, obliged to buy water from the Water Board, and to pay for it just the same as other consumers. We may not believe in the method, but the Conmissioners of Public Institutions are obliged to proceed according to law as far as they can. The pipe was laid by the Water Board and not by the Commissioners. It is true that a contract was made or plans were drawn before the advent of the present Board of Commissioners, but it was not laid and completed until after these Commissioners were in office. It was a 6-inch pipe. It was then sufficient to force the water to Long Island; but the Water Board, and not the Commissieners of Public Institutlons, have tapped that pipe for use all over Boston Harhor, and it is not at all certain that a 6-inch pipe is large eno&gh