« AnteriorContinuar »
caught from them the spirit which they caught history and its actual condition, that we have defrom the times; and it was not to be expected lained our readers with a generality of remark under these circumstances that the ma'ch of so- which may seem to have but little connexion ciety would be much obstructed by attachments with the subject under investigation-but it was to institutions because they were old. But this for the purpose of showing that there never circumstance was not the chief security for the was any people whose institutions and character continuance of reformation and prosperity. In presented so few impediments to patriotism and our judgment that security depended (leaving philanthropy. Let ihis subject be considered in out of view the general diffusion of knowledge, all its bearings; and in particular let it be rewithout which nothing could be done) upon the membered how few persons there are among us substantial independence of every member of the in so humble a condition as not 10 feel a strong community. We have no monopolies but those interest in the discussion of every topic which which are the incentives and the rewards of ge- concerns the general welfare; and we are pera nius-premogeniture presents do obstacles to suaded, there will not be many who will be in. change of property, and provides no establish- clined to interpose the cowardly objection that it ments for indoleni or surfeited wealth-we have is not now the time, or that it is now too late to no artificial systems by which hosts of officers, reform, as a plea, either for procrastination, or incumbents, and labourers, acquire a claim to the despondency. Nie, is almost always the ace, profits of unmeaning fiction, and useless labour- cepied time; it is at this moment emphatically so. we suffer no embarrassment from prescriptive The attention of the Legislature has been lately rights which in their origin are little else than invited to this subject by the Chief Magistrale barren forms, but in the progress of society, and of our state;—that of the community, and parti. with the increase of population, become engines ticularly of our own city, has been recently inof dreadful oppression. The tendency of all treated by some of our most respectable citizens. these things is to accumulate unnecessary power Now is the time to decide what substitute, if any, and artificial servility. Throughout nearly all shall be provided for our present cumbrous sys. Europe they have become incorporated almost tem of public charity. And most assuredly there with the very being of society. "Nothing could are very few questions in which the community have delivered and preserved us from their ser- has so great an interest. If the expense of sup vitude but a revolution, and the simple condition porting paupers, taking one with another, be not of society in which it found us.
much less than the wages of common labour, and Notwithstanding all these advantages, and the if every tenth person bo a pauper—as was the case valuable use we have made of them, there re- in our city the last winter-how formidable is that mains much room for reformation. The magni- deduction from the annual product of the labour of tude of the work we have had to accomplish has the community, which is occasioned by pauperism? necessarily been the cause that many parts of it In estimating this amount we must consider the remain unfinished. After forming the structure indolence, and consequent unproductiveness of of our general and state governments, it became the poor; and their charge upon the labour of necessary to provide a system of laws. A great others--and we must not forget how great a promany of those existing, required immediate portion of the whole population is to be rejected amendment-many needed the test of experi- from the class of productive labourers, in the ment-and there were many which, though ob- sense in which we are now considering that de viously susceptible of inprovement, it scription of persons, on account of infancy, age, thought necessary to adopt and retain as they disease, indolence, the nature of their occupa. were until there should be leisure for their modi- tion, and their wealth. fication.
In 1814 was formed the interesting Society Among those whose policy must then have whose first Report furnishes the occasion of these been regarded as most 'doubiful, and of which remarks. Their institution for the promotion of the mischiefs have since been felt to be exten- industry, has perhaps acquired more reputation sive and ruinous, are those concerning the poor. than any other Charity-still we hardly know The most important parts of the mistaken system whether to rejoice or lament that its merits are in relation to this important class of the commu- so little known. Considering the comparatively nity, were established in England during the scanty patronage which it has received, we should reign of Elizabeth. In this State we have regard a just public sense of its excellence as the adopted almost literally the provisions of the Bri- deepest reproach to the Community. The ladies tish statutes; and we believe they have been who first published “ The plan of the Society," are treated with similar respect by the greatest we believe entitled to the exclusive honour of its part of the states in the union. The proper origin, and we doubt not it will prove an impe: place for the reformation of the abuses to which rishable monument of their praise. To them, and they have led, are, we well know, the legislative to their companions, whose untiring benevolence chambers from which they have acquired their has assisted in carrying this plan into successful authority. Nevertheless it must be recollected, practice; is secured a richer reward than any that however powerful may be the influence which human applause can bestow, in the good of the laws upon the state of society': the state of they have already done, and in that which they society in its turn has a paramount control over may be well assured will be the result of their the laws. The extent and duration of the abuses efforts. of which we complain, present perhaps the We shall now give a brief account of the nagreatest obstacle to a merely legislative remedy; ture of this plan for the relief of th. poor, by the and there seems but very little reason to hope promotion of industry—and shall afterward submit that any remedy will be provided until private a few reasons for the opinion that it embraces the benevolence shall present an unquestionable ex- only salutary principles upon which extensive reperiment of some beuer plan for the relief of the lief can ever be furnished to the indigent. poor than that which is established by law. It The first and the most important point is, to as. was not solely to indulge an inclination, which certain
who are to be the objects of the charity we confess amounts almost to a passion, to of this Society. These are, all those persous wlio dwell upon the darling theme of our country's are willing to work, “who currot go to service or
otherwise carn a comfortable living, and who do cessary, inspects the diligence of the seamstresses not lead disorderly lives. It appears by one of the and knitters; has charge of all payments, and able and excellent Reports suhjoined to the Con- keeps an account of them. The purchasing comslitution, that the construction put upon the clause mittee attend, two days in the week, to consult respecting those " who cannot otherwise earn a with the visiting Directress, and receive and exe. comfortable living” furnishes a most salutary cute her directions for purchases. The name of restriction of it; and we should have been pleas- the investigating Committee explains their duties ed to have seen its words incorporated in that it is their business to ascertain the circumarticle of the constitution which we are consid- stances and character of all applicants who are ering. The construction we allude to, is express- unknown to any member of the Board... The dued in terms less vague than those of the ties of the Secretary and Treasurer will also be constitution, and is this, ihat the person applying sufficiently understood by their name. for employment must be one who cannot A house is provided, with apartinents approprocure work elsew here!" That the vicious may priated to the varieties of work-where a great 7104 be discouraged from reformation, for want majority of those who are employed by the Socieof the means of subsistence, and that the So- ty are assembled :-nevertheless, women who can ciety may be enabled to substitute the salutary furnish respectable recommendations, from house. influences of industry, for the temptations and keepers for whom ihey have laboured, are permitted the depravity of idleness, a seasonable opportu. to take work to their homes. nity to return to habits of virtue and industry, is The Constitution, also, provides for the educa. to be allowed to all, except those whose pro- tion in sewing, knitting, reading, and writing, of fligacy would make them offensive to others, or the children of those who are employed in the would furnish too strong an improbability of their House of Industry. This idea probably was first amendment.
suggested for the sake of saving fuel to their It will be taken for granted that all the persons parents during the time they should be from 'employed by the Society, and all intended to be bome. We are entirely convinced that there is the immediate objects of its bounty, except the no ground for regret that this part of the plan children who are allowed under certain circum- has not been carried into effect; because we stances to accompany their parents, are females. think it is not desirable to unite objects, which
The Society having decided what persons shall are so entirely distinct, in themselves consider be entitled to the benefits of their institution, ed, as labour and education. It will, doubtless, goes on to appoint the mode in which these bene
be perceived that the duties of the different officers Pits sball be dispensed, or, in other words, the of the Society, in some particulars, trespass on each rules and regulations for ihe employment, go. other--that they might be considerably simplified-vernment, and support of the poor who are in and rendered less laborious. . Nevertheless, it is their service.
impossible not to see that the plan of the Society These regulations all show an uncommon de- is not the creature of fanciful or romantic benegree of that good sense which adapts itself imme- volence; that it indicates great practical good diately to the business-concerns of life-but we sense ; that it leaves very little room for retrenchhave not time to notice any but the principal. ment, and scarcely any for addition. The officers of the Society, whose services are There are a few persons, who are fond of ingratuitous, are four Directresses, a Treasurer, a dulging the theory that charity should confine its Secretary, and forty Managers. The 2nd. 3rd. aid, if not its compassions to the absolute helplessand 41b. Directresses are 10 attend the House of Dess of age, (denying it to that of infancy on acIndustry, (each of them a week in succession).one count of its encouragement,) to population and 10 hour every morning. Their principal dury'is to the bed of disease. But it should be remem. see what kind of employment is immedrately bered that we have been told that we shall neceed, what kind of work is most profitable ; to always have the poor with us, and that no direct what purchases shall be made, and to keep deafness to their petitions can exterminale memoranda of the conduct of the persons em- them, or confine their number within these ployed. The board of the Society meets once a narrow limits. That charity, which has no ten. month, and elects 12 of the managers for the en- dency to multiply its objects, never can be wrong. suing mouth, eight of whom are to act as such in There never can be any regulations, or any policy the house ; two, to form a purchasing, and two respecting the poor, which will put an end to the an investigating Committee.
facinations of pleasure, or the seductions of pas. Four managers attend at a time. One mana- sion ;-the prospect of future distress cannoi al. ger superintends the knitting and sewing; keeps ways be successfully interposed between the mind an account with each of the labourers, in which and the present attraction-good fortune and ease, the articles they receive are charged when put particularly, when acting upon the excitableness out, and credited, when returned. It is her busi- of youth, will sometimes produce improvidenceness also to see that the work is properly done, and the delusions of hope will continue to be, with and to admonish the careless and unfaithful, or minds not sufficiently balanced, an overmatch even punish them by reasonable deductions. for the warnings of experience. But there are
That it may be in her power to detect defi- other inevitable causes of pauperism, which are ciencies that escape first examination, she is to not attributable to the fault of the poor. The furnish slips of paper, with numbers, of which she principle of natural proportion between supply is to keep a register, and which are to be attached, and demand, when applied to labour, is by no by the persons who receive them, to their work means so even in its operations as has been supwhen it is returned. The 2nd.' manager bas posed. The transfers o' property and capital, and charge of the sales, fixes the prices of the articles ; consequently of employment, are often more easy receives orders, attends to their exccution; keeps than that of labour-uie shiftings of fortune break an account of all moneys received, and collects up the connexions of business, and put an end to all debts. The 3d. manager reads a chapter in the the influence of patronage-the failure of crops, Bible every morning-superintends the spinners, the pressure of public calamity, the changes in carders, and winders as much as the first does; foreign politics, and the opening and closing of those who sew and knit attends to all applicauls. foreign markets, diminish, and for a time, destroy ell this, there is an endless variety of individual duty to furnish the applicant with incentives to misfortunes, and of domestic atřictions, which industry, or to direct him to the means of emnecessarily leave a large interval for charity to ployment. Another evil of these laws, and which occupy, between a recovery from their visitation, is paruly the result of the one just mentioned is, and a return of the usual means of subsistence. to produce an overgrown, glutted population, and
'The fourth manager reads the rules, wheu ne- the means of individual subsistence and besides nance. That which is afforded, is to depend upon We are rejoiced that such men as Mr. Griscom, the character and ability, as well as the circumthe chairman of the cominittee, who drafted that stances of the individual. It will not do to object respectable report, have pledged their exertions for that the minutest investigations cannot elude depuiting those preventives to the test of the fullest ception, for if this objection be admitted at all, it experiment. It is of the highest importance, how- must abolish all obligations of charity until we ever, that it should be understood that the preven- can look upon the heart" bare, as it is before tion of pauperism is distinct from its relief; and that its Maker. the relief of the poor naturally forms a separate There is no great danger that societies, like and suficiently extensive department of social cha- that for the promotion of industry, will ultimately rity. We do not perceive that they have any tend to produce an excessive population, because connexion whatever, in practice, except so far as they promise no certain support to the poor-bethe use or abuse of the means for the prevention cause their charity depends upon character and of pauperism, may affect the inquiry as to the because the amount of it can always be graduated proper objects of relief.
The question then recurs,“ how shall we pro- to cause a most unequal distribution of the burvide for the poor?” There are a great many pre- dens of pauperism. Any person may go where he ventives of pauperism ably enumerated in the re- pleases to gain a legal seulement, and if he afterport accompanying the constitution of the New- ward becomes a pauper he must be supported by York Society for its prevention. The most im- the town where he has that settlement. portant of those proposed in that report are, Sav- The constitution of the Society for the Promoings Banks, Sunday Schools, the establishment of tion of Industry avoids, as far as is consistent with places of worship in the outer parts of the city, the desirable extent of its charity, both these evils. and the diminution of licensed shops for retailing It holds out no certain expectation of maintespirituous liquors.
by the demand for labour. The grand point in all schemes for the relief Again, it cannot be charged upon the institirof the poor, or at least, that which it has been tion we are considering, thai it tends to diminish most difficult to attain, is so to regulate charity as the appropriate moral influences of charity. that it shall not multiply its objects. To make it There is not the espionage of a police, or the crusufficiently extensive, and yet to prevent this com- elly of task-masters on one side, nor is there, mon result, would leave scarcely any thing to be on the other, the impudence of legal claims, or accomplished, except to devise the mode in which the jealousy of incroachment. There is a friend. the relief administered would have the best moral ly and personal intercourse between those wbo eflect. The most prolific source of our pauper- give and those who receive; and there is nothing ism, next to intemperance, is in our judgment, to
to obstruct the kindest affections that can exist be be found in our poor-laws. The prominent fea
tween the indigent and their benefactors. tures of these laws are two. First they offer a It is an important and necessary result of the certain relief, a sure asylum, a comfortable sup- principles of this society, and one which it is very port, to all persons who belong to the state, or who imporiant to notice, that the wages which it pass entercl it through the city of New-York, that is to are not so high as their current rate. Were it po! say, did not come from some other state, and who for this, it would be impossible to keep within the are in indigent and necessitous circumstances. rule, that none are to be employed who can find Second, the effect of setting apart a fund for work elsewhere. This regulation is also very im. public alms, and of establishing fixed and legal portant in another point of view which we shall claims on it, is, to abolish the natural relation be- notice in considering the main objection against tween those who give and those who receive, to the society. give the character of jealous inquisitors to those This objection, and it is the most popular and who distribute, and of hungry insolent claimants the most philosophical that can be urged, is in to those who eat the bread of charity. We shall now substance this, that the only tendency of the socie endeavour to show that in neither of these respects, ty is, to create artificial cliannels for labour which does there exist any resemblance between the plan would otherwise be more profitably einployed, of the Society for the Promotion of Industry, and the and nearly as well paid. We have not line to provisions of the poor-laws. It will be seen at enter at farge upon this extensive topic; hut once that the effeci of those laws is to throw away we would suggest in reply the following consideall the salutary restraints upon improvidence, rations. In the first place, this society tends to idleness, and vice, which are comprised in the increase the demand for labour, and thus circulates apprehensions, and in all the uncertain images of wealth ;, because many purchases are made want, of disgrace, and of starvation--and to at the house of industry which would not be throw wide open the doors of the alms-house, made elsewhere,-101 because the articles are as an ultimate refuge to those who are too useless, for they are mostly of a substantial abandoned to find elsewhere either shelter or em- nature, but because the purchasers could do with. ployment.
out them. Second, there are many persons who This monstrous result is the necessary effect of have left one service, and expect soon to be ena certain provision for every individual who is, gaged in another, who would employ the interval in the language of the statute, " in such indigent in a house of industry, if there were one, and in circumstances as to require relief,” and to whom idleness if there were not. Third, public and prisuch allowance is to be made " as his necessities vate calamities in all their varieties, of which we shall require." It is not practicable for the Jus. have before spoken, are constantly driving many rice or Justices who are to decide upon these cir- from the service or employment to which they cumstances and necessities, to inquire much far- have been wonted, and compelling thein to seek ther than is necessary to ascertain the place of other, for the whole or perhaps only a part of their settlement of the pauper, and his actual indigence. ineans of subsistence. Suppose there does exist It will never be considered a part of his official a demand for the labour of these persons : many
will be discouraged from inquiring where it is, orphan children, and one for the aged who are. and all will find a more convenient and certain without the means of support. The whole system reliet'in a public institution. Fourth, a great ma- of our poor-laws should as soon as possible be by employers depending on immediate sales, are blotted from the statute book. Societies“ for the obliged in times of general depression to dismiss promotion of industry” should be incorporated their lahourers; then it is that the house of indus- and munificently endowed; their officers should try comes in, and divides the pressure between all be chosen by their members; and all services such gloomy periods and those which are more immediately affecting the character of the poor, prosperous. Fifth, this diversion of labour from or concerning their personal treatment, should be its natural channels, which is so much complained performed gratuitously. of, is more than compensated by the new charac- We regret the want of time to show the success ter which it assumes, and the new school which it of the Society for the Promotion of Industry. is placed in. Lastly, there cannot be much dan- Compared with their means, it has exceeded the ger of such a forced diversion of labour so long most sanguine expectation. A statement of their as the wages paid by the society are less than accounts would show that their system finds one those paid elsewhere.
of its highest recommendations in its economy. We hope none will be disinclined to establish We cannot conclude without recommending this societies similar to this, on the ground of their society, and the plan of its institution to the most heavy demand on the time of their officers. A liberal patronage of individuals and of the public very great portion of the business of the society authorities, and we will not believe that it needs might be transacted without loss to the poor by any other security for the support of either, than persons paid for that purpose.
au acquaintance with its merits. It must depend It will naturally be asked what is to become of upon the good sense and the liberality of the comthose objects of charity not provided for by this munity to decide whether the society shall remain institution. They would diminish as rapidly as in its present reduced aud embarrassed circumstanprudence would admit, and ultimately abolish all ces, or whether a fair and full experiment shall other institutions whatever, for the relief of pover- be made of the simplest and best institution that ty or distress, except the hospital, the asylum for ever was contrived for the relief of the poor. R.
ART. 9. ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.
Economical History of the Fishes sold in the as fast as the demand required. They were
Markets of the city of New-York. By Dr. also sold prepared as stated in the preceding Samuel Akerly.
months, slit upen partially, dried and tied up For MARCH, 1818.
in bundles of two or three pounds. They 1. APODAL FISHES
would probably average six or seven cents Anguilla vulgaris, Mitcbill. Common Eel. per pound by retail from the stalls. The me. 2. JUGULAR Fishes,
ihod of making a baked eel pye like chicken Gadus morhua. Common Cod.
or bird pye, was mentioned in January. Gadus æglefinus. The Haddock.
During the present month I purchased soine Gadus tomcodis. The Tomcod or Frost fish. eels for the purpose of making such a pye, Blennius ciliatus. Mitch. Fringed Blenny. but the cook by mistake made a pot-rye of THORACIC FISHES.
them, and to the disappointment of all who Labrus auritus. Mitch. Pond Fish.
ate them, they were found to afford, in this Labrus appendix. Mitch. Do.
way, a savoury and substantial meal. Percu Milchilli. Striped Bass or Rock fish.
2. JUGULAR FISHES. Bodianus flavescens. Mitch. Yellow Perch. The common Cod and Haddock.- These Budianus rufus. Mitch. Red Perch.
fish continued to be exposed in great plenty, Pleuronectes planus. New York Flat fish. and found a ready sale at four cents per pound Scomber vernalis. Spring Mackerel.
from the stalls just out of the pickle : 4. ABDOMINAL FISHES.
Also sounds and tongues at eight' cents. Salmo salar. Common Salmon.
Pickled Codfish were offered by isbermen Salmo fontinalis. Mitch. Trout.
from Block Island at three cents the pound, Salmo eperlanus. Mitch. Smelt.
or three dollars per hundred by the barrel. Esox lucius. Mitch. Pickerel.
There was an additional supply of fish in Clupea alosa. New-York Shad.
March beyond the inonths of January and CARTILAGINOUS.
February. In the early part of the month Raja. Ray or Skale.
Long-Island sound was cleared of ice, and APODAL Fishes.
the fishing.smacks from the eastward had Common Eel. The markets in March were free access to New York, and the numbers abundantly supplied with the common Eel. arriving with fresh Cod, reduced the price to They were brought in great quantities in four cents per pound. They are yet poor, baskets, barrels, or other vehicles, and if the though somewhat improved since last month. weather was favourable, their torpidity was Dried Cod continued at five cents. followed by a return of suspended animation. Tom Cous, or Frost fish, declined this They were taken as in the preceding months month, though they were several times seen by spears thrust in the mud, where they in market, in small buncles and in small were known to retire. The stalls were
quantities. kept supplied by skinning and cleaning them The Fringed Blenny-My figure of this VOL II.- No.vi.
fish is contained in the first plate of Dr. to the Committee. It is illustrative of the Mitchill's Memoir on the fishes of New- history of these fishes, and is as follows: York, as published with the transactions of The Committee on the subject of probi. the Literary and Philosophical Society of biting the sale of certain fish at improper New-York.' "This fish appeared in market in times reported. March, taken off Sandy Hook with the Cod That shad and fresh water trout are two of fish. It boils like the fresh cod, and tastes the most delicious fish that our markets af. pretty much like it.
ford, and are exposed for sale at improper THORACIC FISHES.
seasons, when they are poor and unwhole. The Pond Fish, including both the Labrus some food, whereby the extinction of the auritus, and Labrus appendir, were offered race of these animals is threatened, and the in bunches. These fresh water fish were not health of those endangered who eat them at in great plenty. They only served to in- such times. crease the variety, and afford a choice for an The Council beg to state some of the facts excellent pan fish.
connected with the history of these fishes Striped Bass or Rock Fish. A plentiful which will show the propriety of prohibiting supply of striped Bass was continued through the sale of them, when out of season. The March, and the weather was so fine during shad is known to naturalists by the name of part of the month, that they were exposed the Clupea' alosa, and is sometimes seen on alive on the fish stalls. They were in good the coasts of Europe, but not in such imorder and well flavoured, certainly better mense shoals as on the coast of the United than in the two preceding months, and ra- States. The shad pays an annual visit to tbe ther cheaper.
harbour of New-York, and descends the Yellow and Red Perch. These fresh water Hudson River to deposit its spawn, at which fish are only fit for the pan or a chowder. time it is very fat, and excellent eating. It They came from New-Jersey and Long generally appears in the beginning of April, Island, taken in the fresh water streams, or
and continues to ascend the river till the when they mingle with the salt water. They middle of May, when fat shad gradually dewere offered in bunches, or those of the cline, and by the end of the month totally larger sizes singly, averaging about twelve disappear. After depositing their eggs they and a balt cents per pound. They are the become thin and lean, and so altered in apbodianus flavescens and the bodianus rufus of pearance as to look like a different fish. It the New York fishes,
is then they are known by the name of New-York Flat- Fish. - We have seen this maugre or back-shad, and are taken coming fish, the pleuronectes planus, in January and
back or descending the river in searcb of February, in market in small numbers. But
their accustomed haunts, in the recesses of with the disappearance of ice and the ap.
the ocean, whither they go to feed and re. proach of spring they have increased, and
main till the next spawning season. No in March the stalls were well 6lled with time need be fixed for the prohibitiop of the them, cheap, fresh, and good. They are only sale of shad that have spawned, but by preused as a pan fish,
venting the sale of maugre or back-shad, the Spring Mackerel.-Pickled Mackerel were
evils complained of may be remedied. in less demand in March, on account of the
The fresh-water trout is the salmo fontiquantities of fresh fish which the markets af: of the streams in this state. Like most other
nalis of the naturalists, and is taken in most forded. This fish will not be in season till fisb it is a favourite food in the spawning after the run of shad. It is the scomber vernalis of the New York fish.
season, and is poor and sickly at other times.
The female is with roe in the spring and sum4. ABDOMINAL FISHES.
mer months, and in good condition from Common Salmon.-The salmo salar, or the middle of March to the beginning of Occommon salmon, continued to be offered in
tober, and should not be brought to market a pickled state at 10 and 12 cents per pound, during the rest of the year. by retail from the stalls, as early as the Wherefore the committee offer the folloir. zóth of March. Fresh salmon was also in
ing resolutions : market at $1 per pound.
Resolved, that the market law be so Troul.--This fish the Salmo fontinalis amended that hereafter po maugre or backof Dr. Mitchill. It is one of the most deli- shad be offered for sale in this city under cious of our fishes, and formerly came to penalty of forfeiture. market throughout the year, but such small Resolved, that no fresh water trout shall ones were offered for sale, and so poor at some be offered for sale within the city from the seasons, that complaints were made to the 1st day of October to the 15th day of March, Common Council, and they were prohibited in any year, nor at any time weighing less to be offered for sale from 1st October to than a half a pound, under penalty of for. 15th March. Some of these excellent fish feiture : and that the Deputy Clerks of the appeared in market immediately after the markets be directed to atiend to the execu. 15th, when the law allowed them to be tion of the provisions of the law. brought. The subject of Trout and Shad was All which is respectfully submitted. brought before the Corporation in 1817, and (Signed) SAML. AKERLY, the Committee to whoin that subject was re
JNO. B. COLES, serred, introduced a report which I offered