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To the President of the Senate, and
Speaker of the House of Representatives : Gentlemen.-In compliance with the requirements of the 3d section of an Act providing for the government of the State Prison and for the prinishment of Convicts, the undersigned has the honor to submit the following statement and account of the concerns of the Institution.
The whole number of Convicts, Dec. 31st, 1839, is 68, and their employments is as follows, viz :In the Lime Quarry, 16|| Attending Sick
• Blacksmith Shop, 4) Waiters
4| Invalids " Cooks
2 Sick in Hospital, “ Washers
68 It will be recollected that the undersigned took charge of this Institution on the 26th of April last, and therefore you have a report of about two-thirds of a year, and of course the gross amount of both debt and credit will fall short of previous years. This institution, in common with all others, has felt the pressure of the country. Many persons who
usually trade with this institution in the articles of Lime and Lime rock, Casks, &c., owing to the low price of Lime, both at home and abroad, have purchased very little.
The demand for Lime the past season has been quite limited. When the undersigned took charge of the Prison, there was a perpetual Lime kiln in operation in the Prison yard, which produced about twenty-two casks of Lime per day. On examination, it was found to be a losing business to the State. It was therefore discontinued. The principal business carried on now is, the quarrying of Lime rock, in the quarry which employs from 15 to 20 of the convicts, of those who come into the Prison on short sentences, or who are not competent to learn any trade. Although there is now on hand a considerable quantity of quarried rock, yet it is believed that branch of business will pay a small dividend to the State.
Another, and an important branch of business carried on in this institution, is the manufacturing of Boots and Shoes, which find a ready sale in this vicinity. From twelve to fifteen of the convicts are employed in this department; and it is believed that the number might be considerably increased whenever a sufficient number of convicts, having two or more years to serve, shall have arrived, that can learn the trade, or who can work at that trade when they may arrive at the Prison.
The demand for Boots and Shoes is good, and still continues to increase, owing to the character of the work, which I believe is good. I am of the opinion, that there could be sold to good advantage, all the work thirty or forty convicts could manufacture per annum.
All the stock in this department, amounts to quite a large sum yearly. Yet it will pay for itself, and the labor added to it, as Boots and Shoes command more ready pay than almost any other kind of manufactured articles. In this department, the very best of order is observed, owing: partly to the situation of the convicts, they being all situated in front of their overseer, who
prepares the work for them, and gives his undivided attention to the business.
The Wheelwright department is carried on somewhat extensively. The principal business is the manufacturing of Stage carriages, gigs, Horse and Ox wagons, some sleighs, and much repairing to carriages is done for persons in the vicinity. A considerable amount of the manufactured articles on hand in this department, is large and well finished Ox wagons—as yet we find no sale for them. The stock now on hand, having been selected with care, is of first rate materials ; and there appears to be an increasing demand for articles, to be manufactured to order.
In the Smiths-shop, there are from four to five of the convicts employed in that department. Their business is mainly to iron off the carriages and sleighs made by the wheelwrights; also, to repair the tools for the quarrymen, and such other repairs as is needed about the Prison.
The Coopering department is yet continued, but it is the opinion of the undersigned, that, inasmuch as the burning of Lime in the Prison yard is discontinued, that of manufacturing of Lime casks should also be discontinued-perhaps as soon as the stock on hand is used up; as Lime casks are frequently hauled to this market and sold for one half of what they will cost the State to manufacture them.
Although the convicts in this department are generally invalids, and unable to do such business as is carried on in the Prison, yet the materials for making the casks are worth more before it is made into casks, than they are sold for, many times, after delivered in market.
When the undersigned took charge of the Irstitution in April last, the whole amount of stock then on hand, as per Commissioners' Report, was $9,554 28, including tools and stock, although appraised lower than it was last fall, or December 1838. Yet it was appraised for as much as it was probably worth. The Inspectors have appraised the stock on hand, much lower than it was appraised last Spring, and I think they have called it about what it is worth to the State. Yet this difference in
, will show the expenditures during the eight months last past, more than they really are, by the difference of the two appraisals, of $400; and I believe the Inspectors will mention the fact in their Report.
The Inspectors have so arranged their Report, as that it will show what part of the stock on hand is tools, and what part is manufactured and unmanufactured articles. It has been usual heretofore, for the Inspectors to call the property on hand, stock and tools, not designating what part to each; but by the present arrangement, the Legislature will understand what portion of the whole amount is available.
I feel it my daty to state to the Legislature, that the Prison yard fence is getting much out of repair, and must of necessity be rebuilt in the course of two or three vears. If it should be rebuilt with stone, I would suggest the propriety of making a beginning immediately, so far as to let the Prison team and such of the convicts work upon it as could with safety be trusted outside of the yard; by so doing, the business could be very much forwarded, as the foundation could be laid with the refuse rock which we are obliged to take out of the quarry almost daily. I think a small portion of the fence could be built yearly, and much of it with the labor of the convicts, much cheaper to the State than to build it all at one time. If the finances of the State were in a