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Report of the Chaplain of the State Farm.
To the Board of State Charities and Corrections:
GENTLEMEN:-The sphere of work that you have committed to me, embracing the duties of Chaplain to the Workhouse and House of Correction, and to the Almshouse, furnishes abundant opportunity for the exercise of faith and patient endurance, in the endeavor to benefit the inmates.
The confirmed inebriates, the vicious and vagrant classes, in the former institution, and the infirm and diseased occupants of the latter, cannot be regarded as the most hopeful subjects for Christian effort. The direct moral or religious culture of the dangerous or unfortunate classes, must always be attended with serious difficulties. Men that have been gravitating downward from their earliest history, becoming tainted by evil associations, indulging in habits of idleness, intoxication and vice, breaking away from the wholesome restraints of home and friends, and, in many cases, leading the lives of outlaws and criminals, need all the combined influences of legal restraint, of healthful daily toil, of medical supervision, and of moral and religious instruction, to purify the springs of life and change the character.
The chapel services have been maintained with regularity, on Sundays, in the Workhouse. The quiet behavior and good attention manifested on these occasions, would indicate some desire to be benefited. If but a few are saved from the power of habits that have so strongly fortified themselves in their hearts and lives, we should not despair of reaching cases that may now seem hopeless.
Miss Grace Blaisdell has contributed valuable help in performing on the organ, thus aiding in a part of the services in which many of the inmates are well pleased to participate.
Measures, kindred to those used last year, for securing secular instruction in the common branches, have resulted in similar good. A number, who had grown up in ignorance, have acquired the first rudiments of education. The chapel has furnished sufficient accommodation for the various classes, and the officers, together with some of the inmates, have entered into the details of instruction with much interest. About one quarter of those committed here can neither read nor write. It is worthy of consideration, whether it is not due to the wel