« PreviousContinue »
ment itself. It is earnestly urged that the act be renewed as soon as possible upon the reassembling of Congress, to the end that all pending claims may be adjudicated, and improvements completed, as contemplated by the act of March 3, 1877.
The commissioners report the following work remaining unfinished :
First. Straightening and widening old streets; laying out new streets, avenues, and alleys in the town of Hot Springs.
Second. Hearing of arguments in contested claims, and the final adju dication in 897 cases.
Third. The appraisal of each lot awarded.
Fourth. Resurvey of each lot after adjudication of the claims, in order to define the lines and ascertain the exact amount of ground to be certified to each claimant as required by the law.
Fifth. The appraisal of improvements upon each lot awarded.
Sixth. The division of the land not claimed or awarded into lots, squares, or blocks, and appraisal of the same.
Seventh. Preparing and issuing certificates to each claimant who is adjudged the right to purchase, being evidence of claimants on which to base patent. :
Eighth. Condemnation and appraisal of all buildings on permanent reservation and issuing certificates therefor.
Ninth. Preparation of a map embodying the results of the whole work to be filed with the Secretary of the Interior, accompanied by the schedule provided for by law.
The superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation reports that during the year he has had removed from the permanent reservation some three or four hundred people encamped thereon. The erection of comfortable barracks and suitable pools for their use, and the expenses of the removal, were provided for by private contributions. The reservation is now practically free from all nuisances. Reference is made in the report to the destructive fire which destroyed a large portion of the town of Hot Springs, and to the means employed to prevent the introduction of yellow fever. For the year ending June 30, 1878, the total amount collected for water-rent was $5,260.
Recommendation is made that the present rental of $5 a month for each tub in use be maintained in the future.
The superintendent of the Yellowstone Park reports the construction of about sixty miles of wagon-road within the park during the present season. Although the work was somewhat retarded by the presence of hostile Indians, it was accomplished without loss of life or property. He refers to complications likely to arise with parties who claim to have made improvements within the park, and suggests the early consideration of the questions involved.
For the protection of the park and for the continuation of improvements during the next fiscal year, he recommends the appropriation of $25,000.
CAPITOL BUILDING AND GROUNDS.
The Architect of the Capitol reports the completion of the improvements in the heating and ventilating apparatus of the House. The commission, appointed by the House of Representatives having been continued, will give further consideration to this important subject with a view of remedying existing defects. Attention is called to the insecure condition of the wall, ceiling, and roof of the old Hall of Representatives, and the combustible material of which they are composed. The Architect says, “The construction of this portion of the building is such that, should a fire take place in any of the rooms adjoining the wall, it would in all probability ascend to the roof." He recommends that all the wooden construction be taken out and fire-proof material substituted. The mere mention of a liability of destruction by fire should be sufficient to secure a thorough investigation of this and other portions of the building, with a view to guarding against even the possibility of such an occurrence.
The attention of Congress is called to the necessity of providing suitable quarters for the store-yards and workshops connected with the Capitol. As the ones now in use are rented, and notice to vacate may at any time be received, it would appear to be both a precautionary and economical measure for the government to provide quarters of its own. Suitable lots can be secured adjoining the government property, on Delaware avenue, near C street north, on which are situated the Senate stables and fire-engine house.
The improvement of the Capitol grounds has steadily progressed during the year, in accordance with the plans proposed. The roadways, footwalks, and walls appear to be constructed in a substantial manner and of durable material. The stone work around the Naval monument has been completed, the only work remaining to be done being the introduction of water and the erection of the bronze figures and lamps.
The purchase by the government of the property on Pennsylvania and Maryland avenues at their junction with First street west, enables the architect to complete the proposed circle according to the original design. It is recommended that a more suitable dwelling-house be erected for the superintendent of the Botanical Garden, the house now occupied being on damp ground and unfit for a healthy residence. The architect reports considerable damage to the bases of the columns of the east portico by reason of the meetings held there from time to time. The material of which the columns are made is a soft sandstone, easily defaced by the feet. He recommends that the practice of holding meetings at this place be forbidden.
The expenditures on account of the Capitol extension for the year ending June 30, 1878, were $64,000. Improvement of grounds, $138,762.24. For ventilation of House of Representatives, $22,970.70. For lighting Capitol and grounds, and other expenses connected therewith, $31,048.95.
. CONGRESSIONAL LIBRARY. In compliance with instructions from Congress authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to ascertain as near as may be what would be the probable cost, either through direct purchase from the owner or condemnation for public use, of land adjoining the Capitol grounds on the north, east, and south sides, to the extent required for a proper site for the Congressional Library, and to report to Congress the desired information, I have had prepared plats of the several squares located on the north, east, and south sides of the Capitol, and a full report, as near as could be ascertained, of the area of each lot, its present owner, the assessed valuation of last year, also that of the present year, and the price at which the same can be purchased. The report, together with accompanying papers, will be laid before Congress on the first day of the session as required by law.
PURCHASE OF PROPERTY AT THE INTERSECTION OF MARYLAND AND
PENNSYLVANIA AVENUES AND FIRST STREET WEST.
By a provision of the act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the government for the year ending June 30, 1879, and for other purposes, the Secretary of the Interior was directed to purchase portions of lo's numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, in square 575, and a portion of lot 9, in square 576, in order to enlarge the circle, and to give proper width to the madway and sidewalk at the intersection of Maryland and Pennsylvania avenues and First street west. :
To carry ou; the provisions of this law abstracts of the titles of the several lots, portions of which were to be purchased, were prepared by the direction of this department, and were, on the 15th of August, transmitted to the Attorney-General with the request that he would cause to be prepared and presented to the supreme court of the District of Columbia the necessary petition for the appraisement of the several interests of the owners of the real estate, and the improvements thereon, to be taken for the public use. Messrs. William B. Webb, William H. Clagett, B. H. Warner, S. T. G. Morsell, and Elias E. White, were appointed by the court to make the appraisements.
The notification required by the law having been given, the commissioners proceeded under oath to perform their duty. They reported to the court that, taking into view all the benefits and advantages arising from the improvement,
Lot 1, in square 575, was damaged to the amount of $12,000.
Lot 5, in square 575, was damaged to the amount of $3,000.
The report of the commissioners was ratified by the court, no exception thereto having been taken.
No demand having been made upon the Secretary of the Interior for the assessed value of any portion of the property, within fifteen days after the appraisement, the full amount of the assessed values was, in accordance with the law, deposited in the court to the credit of the owners of the lots and improvements. The title to the property is, therefore, now vested in the United States.
The following allowances were made by the court for costs and fees : To the United States district attorney, $300; to the marshal of the court, $99; to the clerk, $22.05; to the National Republican and the Law Reporter, for advertising, $57.50. The court allowed the commissioners $200 each for their services. From the order making this allowance an appeal has been taken on the ground that it is excessive.
The department paid to M. Ashford, esq., for making the abstracts of titles, $220.
GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE.
The twenty-third annual report of the Board of Visitors is one of unusual interest. It is accompanied by tables showing the number of patients treated during the year, also the number treated from the beginning; their sex, nativity, duration of the mental disease of those admitted, also those who died, forms of disease, age of patients when admitted.
The whole number under treatment during the year enling June 30, 1878, was 947; admitted during the year, 182. The number of males was 721; females, 226. Discharged, recovered, 60; improved, 41; unimproved, 7; died, 46.
The average number of patients treated daily during the year was 781, a larger average than ever before recorded. The accommodations are intended for 563 patients, so that the present necessity for more room is both evident and urgent. It is gratifying to note that, in the face of this overcrowded condition of the hospital, the general health of the inmates is excellent, the percentage of death being but 4.85, the lowest, with the exception of a single year, in the history of the institution.
The products of the farm and garden are estimated at $23844.83. The total expenditures for the year were $174,276.52. This inclules all the expenses of the hospital and care of grounds and buildings.
The estimates for the year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: 1st. For the support, clothing, and treatment of the insane, $1'9,250. 2d. For general repairs and improvements, $10,000.
3d. For airing courts for the recreation of the inmates, for the completion of rooms in the upper story of the bakery, for changing oof of
portion of the building, and providing accommodations for employés and for erection of hay barracks, $10,500.
4th. For a fire-pump and additional pipe and hose, $3,500.
5th. For reservoirs and filter-beds to provide pure water for the hospital, including pipes and a tank, $9,500.
6th. For the extension of the accommodations of the hospital by the erection of a building for female patients, $300,000, one-third of which is asked for expenditure during the next fiscal year.
7th. For the erection of a suitable structure for the immediate relief of 250 patients of the chronic class, $30,000.
ASYLUM FOR THE DEAF AND DUMB. The number of pupils remaining in the institution July 1, 1877, was 81; admitted during the year, 15; from July 1, 1878, to November 1, 21; total, 117. Of this number, 103 were males and 14 females.
The sanitary condition of the institution has been excellent, the report showing exemption from disease of any serious nature, with but a single exception.
All the buildings are now completed; the total expense of completing the college edifice, together with connections with the main building, and the remodeling of the roof of the old edifice, including fixtures of a permanent character, having been $125,060.64.
The receipts of the institution for the year were $51,578.06, $48,000 of which was by appropriation from Congress. The expenditures were $50,277.03, and of this amount $28,253.69 were for salaries and wages.
The receipts on account of extension and refitting of buildings were $72,036.86; expenditures, $71,996.50.
The estimates for the next fiscal year are, for the support of the institution, including salaries and incidental expenses, $51,000, and for the erection of a gymnasium, bath-house, and for improvement and inclosure of the grounds, $15,500.
FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL. The whole number of patients in hospital from June 30, 1877, to June 30, 1878, was 807 ; of this number, 530 were admitted during the year. The number remaining in hospital June 30, 1878, was 231.
The Colored Orphans' Home and Asylum, containing 115 children and attendants, has been supplied with medicines and furnished with medical treatment during the year. In the dispensary department 1,083 patients have been treated and about 4,000 prescriptions prepared for their use.
The number of deaths during the year was 118. The average daily cost of supporting a patient, as given in the surgeon's report, is 46 cents.
As the Freedmen's Hospital is the only one in the District, under gov. ernment control, where all classes of patients can be treated, its usefulness should not be crippled by inadequate appropriations.