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and righteousness." Indeed, teachers of a different mold do not covet this peculiar work performed by those who have exhibited a "remarkable purity of motive and singleness of purpose, together with deep enthusiasm."
To people who are not only philanthropic but practical, a brief statement of results achieved is the most significant feature of the review. The following statistics of the occupations of the educated blind were collected in 1878; it is fair to presumo that at the present time the numbers must be largely augmented:
There is still another phase of this subject which merits attention and interest. I quote from the fifty-second annual report of the managers of the Pennsylvania Institution:
During the experience of many years, it was found that, after the allotted period of instruction in literature and handicraft, some of the graduated pupils were homeless, and without a prospect of self-support. This led to the establishment of "Homes" of industry. The Pennsylvania Industrial Home for Blind Women was first organized. It has been in successful operation for sixteen years, and has at present fortyseven inmates, most of them employed, and all kindly cared for.
The Pennsylvania Working Home for Blind Men, chartered in 1874, gives employment at present to about eighty-five adult workmen, over fifty of whom are boarders. The Pennsylvania Retreat for Blind Mutes and Aged and Infirm Blind Persons, is to care for those blind persons for whom there is no other refuge.
TABLE XIX.-Summary of statistics of schools for the blind.
b Reported with statistics of the deaf and dumb (see Table XVIII and summary).
e Officers and teachers only.
d Instructors only.
TABLE XIX.-Summary of statistics of schools for the blind-Continued.
b In State warrants.
For both departments.
a Reported with statistics of the deaf and dumb (see Table XVIII and summary).
EDUCATION OF THE FEEBLE-MINDED.
There are now thirteen States that have made substantial provision for the education and training of the feeble-minded. Five other States have arranged by special legislation for the care of this class of unfortunates in the institutions of neighboring States.
The popular conviction is deepening and broadening that these persons are not only entitled to protection and the fostering care of the State, but that public policy requires that they be restrained from contributing their quota to the ranks of the vicious and criminal classes; that they be prevented from casting a blight upon other members of the afflicted family; that they be hindered from generating their kind; and that they be trained to usefulness and self-support. These views are based largely upon the actual results that have been attained, even in cases seemingly beyond any reasonable hope of help or improvement. And so popular indifference, unbelief, and false notions of economy are giving way to an awakened interest, and to a growing faith, and to enlightened convictions of duty and policy toward this unfortunate class.
There has also been a marked improvement in the methods of educating and training, which reflect alike the highest wisdom and the tenderest philanthropy. It is not enough, now, that these unfortunates have their barest wants supplied at almshouses, in the midst of an environment at once cheerless, depressing, and corrupt; but larger sympathies and a clearer understanding have provided trained teachers and assistants, comfortable apartments and wholesome food, interesting games, suitable studies, and the tonic of manual occupations. Industrial training, indeed, has been grafted on to the system of educating the feeble-minded, with something of the same success that has attended its application in other departments of instruction. In the better class of institutions it has become the main reliance for arousing the dormant senses and sluggish faculties of these defective organizations. The simple operations of farming and gardening, or the easily penetrated mysteries of some plain handicraft, are incalculable stimulants to these children, and never failing sources of happy, gleeful enjoyment, and steady, healthful, encouraging mental development. The philosophy of this method lies in the fact that imbecility is always associated with more or less of physical defect, which may be arrested development, or the result of disorganization that has not been overcome. The sense of touch is dull in the feeble-minded and altogether wanting in most idiots; and the first thing, therefore, is to teach them the use of their hands. This accomplished, they may pass, by easy stages, to domestic employments or to manual occupations of the farm and shops, their final success depending, as with those normally endowed, upon the skill of their teachers as well as upon their own native abilities. Some, though improved, never emerge from the prison house of mental deficiency; others astonish and delight their friends with the quality of their attainments. Yet it is not claimed that even the brightest can ever be fitted for usefulness in any of the responsible avocations of life; but they can be made to fill the humbler places which Providence has assigned to them with happiness and industry.
A PECULIAR PHASE.
There is a phase of this subject in which the necessity of the method employed is at once painful and striking. The Custodial Branch of the New York State Asylum for Idiots commenced operations in the summer of 1878. The chief and special object intended was the care, custody, and protection of a class of adult female idiots and imbeciles of the child-bearing age. The one hundred and fifty-two girls provided for during the past year (1884) have at all times been kept in a cleanly and presentable condition, properly fed, comfortably clothed, and protected from the community
and the dangers of the county poor-house system. It is but proper to say, that of the girls already received under its protection, about 20 per cont. of the number had, prior to their admission, borne illegitimate children, several of them more than one, and one as many as four. These conditions came about in nearly every instance while residents of the county poor-houses, and as the result of a loose and inefficient system of supervision. As a matter of record, when they were brought from their homes and from the county poor-houses to this place, with two or three exceptions, none of them knew how to sew even as much as to hem properly an ordinary garment. Now there are from fifteen to twenty who can operate the sewing machine, many of them skillfully. About thirty are kept at sewing daily, either by hand or with the machine, and in all over ninety are regularly employed at some kind of work required in or about the house.
As already intimated, the general results of these organized efforts, both public and private, are of the most gratifying character. In the State institution of Kentucky, "the industrial departments are self-sustaining," while several State institutions have furnished highly creditable exhibits at some of the great "expositions." They have displayed specimens of carpentry, shoes, brooms, mattresses, clothing, laundry work, etc. But better than these material results are the happiness and intelligence that have come to minds and hearts hitherto enshrouded with gloom; the ambition and self-esteem, the perception of duty, and the power of self-help, that have been awakened and cultivated; and the State, for thus conserving these wasting forces, is the nobler, and the wiser, and the safer.