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ARCHITECT'S OFFICE, UNITED STATES CAPITOL,
. Washington, D. C., November 1, 1867. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following, relative to the public works in your department which are under my supervision, and showing the operations of this office since October 31, 1866 :
CAPITOL EXTENSION. The marble work of the southern and western porticos of the south wing has been set in place, thus completing all the porticos. The cheek blockings of the eastern front of the north wing have also been set. It is expected that all the marble work of the wings will be put in place this season. Much is to be done in cleaning, pointing, and trimming the marble work.
T'he chimneys are yet to be properly topped out, and the iron gutters, which are difficult to keep water-tight, should be covered by copper gutters. Some changes should also be made in the skylights over the halls, as, owing to the large size of the glass, the expansion and contraction, from the change of temperature of the season, causes many of them to crack and leak.' Lights similar to the new one recently placed over the Supreme Court-room would be less liable to be affected by the difference of the seasons. This change will not only remedy the defect in the present light, but will be a large annual saving in the item of repairs.
'The ceiling of the post office room of the Senate has been painted, the principal picture in fresco. Some measures should be taken to finish the decoration of the other rooms and passages already begun, particularly the ceiling and spandrels of the walls of the Senate reception-room. All the exterior wood work should be repainted. The granite steps to the arcades should all be reset. Marble pedestals have been ordered, to support the statues in the niches, and bronze railing to protect the same.
Many rooms, both in the wings and the old portion of the building, needed for committees, are now used for packing and storing documents. As the walls and floors of these rooms, and those of the passages, are being injured by such use, and as the rooms are required for different purposes, other accommodations should, in my opinion, be found outside of the Capitol for these warehouses.
In extending the grounds, triangles at the south and northwest of the public grounds will be cut off by the quadrant leading from Pennsylvania avenue to Capitol Hill, which would be convenient sites for these buildings.
I had the honor to propose, in my last report, a plan for cooling, in summer, the air of the halls, by means of taking the air from the basins of fountains in the eastern grounds, and thence along subterranean ducts to the halls. If this improvement is to be made, it should be done next season, before the terraces are finished.
The Crawford bronze doors, for the principal entrance to the north wing,
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
which have been cast and are now being finished at the factory of James T. Ames, esq., Chicopee, Massachusetts, are nearly done, and will, in all probability, be put in place next season.
A large water main is now being laid for the better supply of water to the Capitol.
I again beg leave to refer to the necessity of extending the central portico; the necessity of this improvement has been set forth in the former report from this office.
· Amount expended from October 31, 1866, to October 31, 1867.
3, 000 00 Amount paid for painting, paint, and glass...
3, 337 62 Amount paid for materials, casting, and fitting, on account of bronze doors .........................................
15, 366 24 Amount paid on rolls of mechanics, laborers, &c. .......
59, 061 12 Amount paid for miscellaneous bills, such as bricks, lime, sand, cement, hardware, lumber, iron work, &c. .......
19, 705 22
Cash account of the Capitol extension.
$80, 410 83
706 15 300, 000 00
Expended from October 31, 1866, to October 31, 1867 .........
381, 116 98 255, 529 82
Leaving, on the 31st of October, 1867, an unexpended balance of 125, 587 16
An appropriation of $125,000 is required for the next fiscal year, for the continuance of this work.
ANNUAL REPAIRS OF THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL. By the act approved March 30, 1867, the .repairs and improvements of the Capitol were placed under the directions of this office, and in conformity to a provision in the item for casual repairs, water-closets have been placed in the reporters' gallery of the House of Representatives, and also in connection with the House committee-rooms of the judiciary, commerce, foreign and military affairs. The old and defective hot-air furnace under the room of the Court of Claims has been taken away, and steam radiators supplied; also six bays of radiators placed in the lower passages of the old portion of the building; all of which are supplied by steam from the boilers of the Senate and House wings.
As the passages and stairways between the rotundo and the Senate wing will be kept comfortably warm by the steam heating apparatus of the Supreme Court, I recommend that the rotundo and the old ball of representatives may also be heated in the like manner. At present the rotundo and the passages of the central portion, are cold in winter, and often damp from the condensation of the moisture of the atmosphere on the cold walls. Persons often cross from one end of the building to the other from the heated halls or committee-rooms without the precaution of their overcoats, or even hats, much to their discomfort and
able the Secretary of the Interior to the great amount of good that has already been accomplished by this institution with exceedingly limited resources, and under circumstances of great disadvantage. That charity, civilization, and the interests of society demand that such an institution, better proportioned to the urgent wants of this community, be established on a permanent basis in this city, does not admit of a question, and the government is directly interested in the undertaking, as not only affording gratuitous relief to the families of our soldiers and sailors, but also for the very great benefits it would confer apon that large class of government employés whose means of support can poorly meet the additional expenses incident upon sickness. A hospital for women should also include a number of rooms for private patients, who could avail themselves of the benefit of skilful attendance, experienced nurses, and greater comfort at much less cost than would otherwise be secured.
Property available for the purpose can be procured at an estimated cost of twenty-five thousand dollars, and a suitable building for the accommodation of one hundred and fifty patients, (fifty of whom would be private or paying patients,) with arrangements for future extension, could be erected for thirty. five thousand dollars. We, therefore, would most earnestly urge upon the honorable Secretary that an appropriation of sixty thousand dollars, to be expended under his direction by the board of directors of the Columbian hospital for women, in the purchase of ground and erection of buildings to take the place of the premises now leased by them, be recommended in his annual report and introduced in his annual estimates.
From the very nature of this charity its operations are little known out of the circle of those benefited thereby, and those seeking to benefit; and for this reason, as well as the importance of the subject, we beg leave to request the careful consideration of the accompanying reports of the surgeon in charge and the advisory committee.
A. D. GILLETTE, President.
Report of the surgeon in charge. GENTLEMEN : The official records of the hospital for the past year are the best evidences with which you could be furnished of its increasing usefulness; the numbers seeking admission during the past year have been more than four times greater than during the year previous.
The utmost care has been exercised to prevent the charities of the hospital being misapplied.
There are in all large communities numbers of professional paupers who spend their lives partly in the poorhouse and the rest in public hospitals, always preferring the latter, occupying room which would be better filled by more deserv. ing members of the community. This class of persons has been rigidly excluded from this institution; the means placed at our disposal have been barely sufficient to provide for those who were known to be suffering, and proved to be deserving
Most of the patients applying for admission to the surgical wards of the hospital were suffering from diseases which were the result of difficult labors, where no competent medical assistance had been provided. Persons outside the medical profession have no conception of the amount of physical suffering endured by a large proportion of the females belonging to the poorer classes, resulting from the malpractice of incompetent attendants.
Lying-in asylums should become more general, and the community should be taught that in all cases where they are unable to provide themselves at their own homes with competent medical assistance and nursing, they should seek the comforts provided iv these beneficent institutions.
Much difficulty has been experienced in procuring good nurses. Women of ordinary capacity are not competent for this duty; they should be intelligent, kind, Christian women, in every respect reliable and trustworthy. Before we can persuade this class of women to assume the duties of nurses, we must elevate the position, make it one of the greatest respectability, and educate them thoroughly for the work, and then pay them a fair salary.
As soon as practicable, I would earnestly recommend the directors to inaugurate in this asylum a system of thorough education for nurses, who, from time to time as their terms of service may expire, should receive, if found competent, certificates to that effect, and thus be placed in a position to command the confidence and respect of the community,
We have, at present, every bed in the hospital occupied, and applications for admission are steadily on the increase. Lying-in patients cannot be crowded ; as much space and ventilation are required for them as for fever patients. No more than a given number can be admitted, and if the benefits of this hospital are to be extended, more room must be provided.
The building itself, although the best to be procured in the District, is ill adapted to the requirements of a hospital. A proper classification of patients cannot be made, there being no spare room. Whenever a bed is vacant, it must be filled by the first patient admitted. This should not be. Lying-in wards should be entirely separate from the surgical or medical wards, and I would urge upon the directors that every effort be made to procure a suitable site for the erection of a building adapted to the wants of the institution.
Permanent arrangements have been made with some of the leading clergymen of the District, and a religious service is now held every Sabbath afternoon. We are indebted to Mr. Metzerott for the loan of a beautiful parlor organ to aid in the devotional exercises.
There is much need of a library of entertaining books—light but wholesome literature. Without something to entertain and occupy the mind cheerfully, convalescents become homesick, and desire to leave the hospital before they have gained sufficient strength to assume the ordinary duties of life.
For the support of the institution during the ensuing fiscal year, over and above the probable amount which will be received from independent or pay patients, fifteen thousand dollars will be required.
For fitting up and furnishing the hospital, ten thousand dollars will be needed. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. THOMPSON,
Surgeon in Charge. President and Directors COLUMBIA HOSPITAL
AND LYING-IX ASYLUM.
Report of the finances for the year ending June 30, 1867.
Report of the consulting and advisory board. The consulting and advisory board of " Columbia Hospital for Women and Lying-in Asylum” beg leave to report to the directors of said institution the result of a thorough inspection of the hospital, an examination into its affairs, and the manner in which it is conducted.
Every part of the building was found in neat and perfect order, clean and well ventilated, and the inmates contented and comfortable; every want supplied, and the most efficient means being used for the relief of such disease as afflicted them. The most economical adaptation of means to the end desired was displayed in every department. The cooking, washing, and laundry arrangements, the heating of the building, the dispensary, the garden, the wellarranged method of nursing, and the sanitary arrangements as to sewers, &c., all testified to the skill and executive ability of the surgeon-in-chief, while the successful medical and surgical management of the most severe and difficult cases, as shown by the history of the hospital, demonstrates capacity and devotion to duties on the part of the surgeon and his assistants, entitling them to the continued confidence of the board of directors.
The records show that since the hospital was opened, in April, 1866, four hundred and fifty cases have been treated; of these about three hundred were out-door patients. Of the obstetric cases quite a number were more or less complicated, and were brought in on the second and third day of labor, the midwife being unable to deliver them; but one of these was lost, wbich was from ruptured uterus. Of surgical cases there have been thirteeen of ruptured perineum of long standing, besides rectocele, varicocele, prolapsus, anteversion and retroversion of the uterus. All of these have been successfully operated upon for radical cure. Two cases of recto-vaginal fistula cured by union by the first intention. Two cases of carcinoma uteri in a very advanced stage have been apparently arrested in their destructive progress, and the patients restored to comparative health and usefulness, for a time at least, by the application of pure bromine locally.
A public dispensary has been established, which is open daily from 10 to 12 m., and 4 to 6 p. m. Great relief has been afforded by this to the suffering poor, and its benefits are being extended more and more every day to increasing numbers.
Although the institution was established for the purely benevolent purpose of relief to those unable to pay their own expenses, yet its facilites and advantages having been so much appreciated and sought by others more able, who suffer equally with the indigent, it has been considered proper to admit them; the means procured in this way will enable the board to extend very much their re