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preciation of their duties; and also for the purpose of setting before your honorable body one of the many troubles that are encountered by those who undertake the care of the dependent classes.

The statistics are as follows:


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Men. Women. Boys. Girls. Total. Number remaining January 1, 1877.... 68.... 60...... 6......8...... 14. received during the year.

78. .30. 2)

2:32 born during the year....

8.. 7...... 15 Total...

.170 138 44 37 389 Number discharged during the year.... 85...... 60..... .33.


207 died during the year.


12... 2. 4... 42 Total.....



249 Number remaining January 1, 1878.... 61 66


4 110


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Your attention is again called to the children of the Almshouse. During the year, fifty-two have been admitted to the institution, and fifteen have been born there; making a total, since its organization, of 225 admitted, and forty-nine born; or 274 in all. These children are all paupers,-many of them offspring of paupers, or of worse than parpers.

Once more we say that some effort should be made to lift them out of their present position, educate them, and give them a chance to become respectable members of society. The importance of making some distinct provision for this class was fully shown in the report of last year; and it is needless to repeat the facts and arguments therein set forth. The Board will gladly do all in their power to further any plan that the State may adopt. It sincerely hopes that something in this direction will be done.


By referring to the statement of what the farm produced in 1877, (which can be found in another place,) it will be seen that some of the more important crops were raised in largely increased quantities.

Barn-yard manure.


Darling's animal fertilizer..

Ground bone
Muriate of potash (

Stockbridge fertilizer.

No manure......

The increase in the yield of hay and fodder was over one hundred per cent.; of potatoes, twenty per cent.; of corn, about three hundred per cent.; and, in the production of milk, sixty-six per cent. In order to test the value of different kinds of fertilizers upon the land of the State Farm, the following experiment was made.

A field, of uniform character and well fitted for such an experiment, was carefully measured and divided into six plots;-five having an area of one acre each, and one, an area of forty-eight onehundredths of an acre. The soil is heavy and cold,-with a hard, clayey subsoil, and is wanting in vegetable matter. Previous to 1876, it had been in meadow for a number of years, and needed breaking up and manuring. In June, 1876, the field was plowed, manured,— one-half with Stockbridge fertilizer for millet, two formulas to the acre, and one-half with Darling's animal fertilizer, 800 pounds to the acre, and sowed with millet. The crop-about the same in quantity from each half of the field-was very light, on account of the excessive drought of that season.

In May, 1877, the field was again plowed, manured with five different kinds of fertilizers,—including barn-yard manure, and planted with Early Rose potatoes. The plot containing a fraction of an acre was left without manure, for the purpose of ascertaining what the land would yield unaided. The kinds of manure, the quantity of each used, the value of each, and the results, are shown in the following table:

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Cost of manure

per bush. gained.

The guano used was of the kind known as “Lobos Island,” which is said to contain a comparatively large percentage of potash, an element of great value to the potato crop.

In the cost of the fertilizers is included cartage in the city and freight to Oaklawn; but nothing is added for cartage from Oaklawn, distant about one mile, to the field. The barn-yard manure is estimated at $6.00 per cord in the city, with $4.00 added for cartage, seven miles, to the State Farm.

The sewage from the Workhouse and House of Correction, including the laundry, and from the Almshouse, is carried in an underground pipe to the brow of the declivity in the rear of the latter institution. From the terminus of the pipe it is conducted in open channels along the crest of the hill, on either side, and allowed to trickle down the hillside, at several points, upon the grass. Wherever it has touched the growing crop, it has produced very marked results; but it has been found impracticable, in the present condition of the surface of the land, and with present means, to effect a uniform distribution. Not satisfied with the results obtained, and believing that a large amount of fertilizing matter was being wasted, the Board requested the Committee on the Farm to ascertain whether some more economical method of distribution could not be devised. The Committee consulted a number of persons; among them Mr. J. Herbert Shedd and another civil engineer. Both of these gentlemen advised the preparation of a plot of ground, with carriers, gates, &c., upon different portions of which the sewage could be turned at pleasure. From Mr. Shedd was received a proposition, to furnish a plan for utilizing the sewage, which was so generous, coming from a gentleman of his high attainments, that, upon the recommendation of the Committee, the Board at once voted unanimously to accept it. Mr. Shedd, in his communication to the Board, says: “I am willing to give to the State my own services for the work, as I should like to see executed an economical irrigation-field for sewage.” This offer does not include, of course, the cost of making the necessary surveys and working plans. A small outlay for these, and for pipe, is all that will be required, as it is proposed to do the work with the labor of the inmates.


These institutions continue under the very able direction of General Nelson Viall, who for more than ten years has been at their head. At the meeting of the Board for organization, June 15, 1877, it was voted to authorize the warden to conduct the general management of the prison and jail, in the same manner as when they were under the charge of the board of Inspectors. No important change has occurred in any department since June 5, the date at which the new law went into effect.

Owing to the thorough organization of the business of the prison by the Board of Inspectors, and the efficient administration of its affairs by the Warden, the results of its operations for the past seven months, as well as for the entire year, are exceedingly gratifying.

The contracts for labor remain nearly the same, as when the Inspectors made their last report; from which we quote as follows, noting the changes:

“ Contract with Messrs. F. D. Bigelow and J. T. White, for fifty men, employed in shoe m'king, at the rate of forty cents per day, expires May 21, 1878, with privilege of renewal.”

“Contract with Providence Cotton Tie Co., for at least fifteen men, employed in the manufacture and preparation of cotton ties, at the rate of forty cents per day, expires May 1, 1878.”

The company discontinued work under this contract Oct. 16, on account of litigation about an alleged infringement of a patent right. They are looking for a decision in their favor at an early date, when they will at once continue the work.

“Contract with Robert E. Budlong, for at least twelve men, employed in the preparation of shoddy, at the rate of forty cents per day, expires May 1, 1878.”

“Contract with George Campbell, for at least six men, employed in the manufacture of wire goods, at the rate of eighty cents per day.”

This contract was renewed, for four men, at the rate of fifty cents per day, and four, at forty cents, as Mr. Campbell declined, on account of the depression in trade, to continue at the old rate.

The chairs and tables for the cells, and the chairs for the chapel at the new prison, also six hundred chairs for the new court house, have been made at the prison. These chairs are so strong, of such excellent workmanship, and so tasteful in appearance,-being of the Eastlake pattern, that the Warden has received quite a number of orders for them, among others, orders for the new college dormitory and for the new chapel of the First Congregational Church, from persons who had seen them at the court house, and elsewhere.

A number of convicts are now engaged making the cell bedsteads, and dining-room stools, for the new prison.

Cane seating and picking over hair have also given occupation to a portion of the convicts, particularly to the inmates of the jail.

In the summer typhoid fever threatened to become epidemic in the prison, several cases occurring simultaneously. Upon searching for the cause, it was discovered that a large quantity of sand, washed down from the neighboring hill, had, on account of the raising of the level of the water in the Cove, accumulated in the sewer in Gaspee street, into which the prison drain empties; and that the sewage from the prison, having no means of discharging itself, was retained in the drain. By request of the Board, the Water Commissioners of the City of Providence courteously caused the obstruction to be removed, and the sewer and drain flushed with water. The fever at once abated. In order, however, to remove every possible source of danger, the drains in the prison yard were tapped,—a measure which had not been necessary when the tide ebbed and flowed in the drain, and a communication made between them and the workshop chimney, to take off any possible accumulation of sewer gases.

In order to preserve the continuity of the yearly reports, which have succeeded one another for so long a period, the Warden has made his report, both as regards statistics and finances, for the entire year. It was thought wiser to do this, than to have two fragmentary reports of the year's work.

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