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stances, with an endemic of typhus fever, that only three persons have died during the year. The visitation of typhus fever was fortunately of the mild. not the malignant form. This was not only shown by the symptoms, but also by the mortality, as there were only three deaths among an average of some two hundred inmates, and the convalescence was rapid, differing from the more malignant type which visited one of our city asylums last winter, where, as I have been informed, there were some sixty deaths out of an average of some three hundred inmates.
In several of these cases I am satisfied that typhoid and typhus occurred together, endemically running into each other. Some of the medical writers of the present day mention the same peculiarity, in several interesting cases, where the symptoms of the diseases were so mixed that it was impossible to say under which disease the patient was laboring, and a post mortem alone determined the fact.
The cause of this disease at the jail is a subject of curious interest to the pathologist.
In taking every precaution to cleanse the place and to keep away pestilence during the summer, the officers resolved to scrape off all the whitewash, which, from repeated coatings, was in some places over half an inch thick. Soou after the process commenced, the fever made its appearance and increased while it continued; when it was stopped, and the walls thoroughly whitewashed, the disease abated in its violence, showing conclusively to my mind that the exhalations from the crowding of human beings there, secreted away for years in the crevices and seams of the walls a poisonous acriform matter, which, being liberated by the scraping of the walls, was absorbed in the system, and gave rise to this endemic fever.
In conclusion I return my thanks for the facilities you have always afforded me in ameliorating the condition of the unfortunate sick at the jail, and also to the present officers of the institution, who have shown a proper disposition in aiding me to relieve the sick. By medicine alone the sick are not always healed, and the physician's duties do not cease with ascertaining and prescribing for the disease of the patient, but he has to act on the advice of Hippocrates, and see that those who are in attendance do their duty, for much depends, in an institution like this, on sanitary measures and proper nursing. The art of nursing &c., more than ever, at present occupies the attention of the physician, and of the laity at large. Of late years we have had noble efforts made in the camp and at home to relieve the wounded and diseased.
The health of the prison at present is excellent, there being but few cases of sickness, and those of a slight character. The temporary hospital, erected by permission of the Secretary of Interior, has been of much benefit in the treatment of the sick during the past summer.
T. S. BROWN, Esq.,
Warden United States Jail.
W. J. C. DUHAMEL, Physician United States Jail.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE HOUSE OF CORRECTION.
WASHINGTON, November 14, 1866.
SIR: The board of trustees of the house of correction of the District of Columbia organized on the 27th of October, ultimo, by the election of a president, secretary, and treasurer. At the time of this report they have not taken any formal possession of the property the transfer of which to them is contemplated by the act of Congress, but they have examined the same and are ready to make a report of its condition, and of what is needed to make it useful. This report is now most respectfully submitted.
The trustees find that there has been erected upon the government farm, under the auspices of the Guardian Society, a body organized under a law of Congress, a temporary building, intended for the purposes of that society. Upon investigation, it appears that there has been expended upon this building about $4,859 30, of which sum $3,359 30 were obtained by voluntary subscriptions, and $1,500 are due for labor and materials. It is recommended that this last sum shall be paid by your department to the former treasurer of the Guardian Society, to be disbursed by that officer. The act of Congress provides for the payment of exactly this sum.
The temporary structure spoken of, and which is to be transferred to the trustees, consists of a large unfinished frame building, and the other property of a quantity of lumber and materials collected for the purpose of completing this building. This is the only property which the trustees find upon the ernment farm at all appertaining to their purposes. The trustees have no means of ascertaining what the value of this property is, and therefore are unwilling to give any opinion on that point. They think that the building may, without any very considerable expense, be made to afford a temporary shelter for juvenile convicts, but is utterly unfit for any permanent purposes in connection with the design of the act of Congress. Unfortunately, the site chosen is very low, and owing to improper drainage, or rather to the want of all drainage, is subject to be overflowed during heavy rains, and is at all times damp and unhealthy. For these reasons, and because the amount appropriated is too small to admit of any extensive outlay, the trustees deem it best simply to so finish and furnish the temporary building as to make it fit for the reception and detention, for the time being, of the class of delinquents designated in the organic act. The materials used about this building were, it is understood, obtained from the War Department, being, in fact, one of the hospital buildings formerly a part of Mount Pleasant hospital. It will readily be understood that such a building must be, in many particulars, entirely unfitted for the contingencies intended to be met by the act of Congress. Such, indeed, is the fact, and the trustees recommend that an appropriation sufficient to enable them to erect new and permanent buildings shall be made at the earliest date practicable, in order that they may carry at once into effect the laudable designs of Congress in the law under which they are working. The fund placed at the
disposal of the trustees at present is so small that with the strictest economy the trustees will not, it is believed, be able to make the temporary provisions they contemplate and supply proper fuel and other necessaries for the institution
The trustees deem it not amiss in this report to suggest that the act of Congress needs amending in several particulars, and they would ask your attention to the following: Under the provisions of the present act none but boys who have been convicted in some of the courts of the District can be received into the institution. As it frequently happens that boys need the care of such an institution as the house of correction is intended to be who have never been convicted of crime, but who are, nevertheless, in great need of proper correction, it is sug gested that the law shall be so amended as to include within its provisions this class of offenders. In many of the States in which these institutions exist, the laws provide that parents may, in certain cases, have their children, who, by reason of vicious associations, have become ungovernable at home, taken charge of by the trustees or governors of the houses of correction, with a view to their reformation. And this feature in the law is found to work well.
The trustees think there is no sensible reason why the advantages of this institution should be confined to boys, and they would suggest that the act be so amended as to include girls within its benefits.
In most of the States the trustees or governors of the houses of correction or reform schools are invested with power to apprentice the boys or girls placed in their charge to such persons as they are satisfied will make good masters or mistresses for them. This is believed to be a good feature, and is commended to your attention.
With great respect, your most obedient servant,
Hon. O. H. BROWNING,
D. K. CARTTER, President of Trustees of House of Correction.
Secretary of the Interior.