Page images

in this department. The violent patients are very destructive on clothing, destroying blankets and all other bedding by tearing them with their teeth. For such as these the blankets are lined with heavy canvas and thoroughly quilted, and since this rule was adopted there has been a great saving. So violent are some of the patients that the brass buckles on the muffs are gnawed in two, and leather straps eaten off. Great improvements have been made in the contrivances for controlling and restraining the violent insane, mostly made of canvas, so that the hands can be restrained without arbitrary pinions.

The victuals used in the Asylum are good and wholesome. The best of bread is made, and the meat comprises the entire carcass, so that it is good. In this respect the management must be commended. The meat for the Asylum is all purchased by the carcass, at wholesale rates, and these carcasses are weighed when received. The manner of purchasing all supplies is much on the same order, and by means of the various checks adopted there can be no possibility of fraud.

In order that comparisons may be made between the two Asylums, the following table is given, showing the number of patients in the various wards:

floor in the male department, one thousand five hundred and eightythree dollars and seventy-one cents, and new water-works, three thousand four hundred and fifty-two dollars and eighty cents. The current expenses for the past year were one hundred and eighty-one thousand one hundred and ninety-six dollars and twelve cents. The average number of patients during the year has been one thousand two hundred and three, the average daily expenses four hundred and ninetyfive dollars and seventy-five cents, the average cost per capita per month twelve dollars and fifty-five cents, average daily cost per capita forty-one cents. During the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six the average number of patients was greater than last year, being one thousand three hundred and six, while the average cost per capita was greater. The average cost per capita, per month, in eighteen hundred and seventy-six was twelve dollars and eighty-two cents; average per day, forty-two cents.

[blocks in formation]

There is an old wooden structure which is made to accommodate a large number of patients, which is absolutely unsafe. Should it ever get on fire, which such a structure is liable to do under any circumstances, and much more so when inhabited by insane persons, there would undoubtedly be great loss of life. It has answered a good purpose thus far without accident, but the building should be torn down and replaced by a more substantial one. This wooden building, called the Cottage, was erected in eighteen hundred and sixty-nine, and cost about fifteen thousand dollars. In eighteen hundred and seventy the wooden building used as a laundry and engine house was destroyed by fire, and was replaced by a good and substantial brick building in eighteen hundred and seventy-two, which answers for an engine house, laundry, work-shop, etc. The upper story is fitted up as a dormitory for harmless patients and employés. This building cost about thirty-three thousand dollars.

During the past year improvements have been made costing five thousand and thirty-six dollars and fifty-one cents, consisting of a new


Poultry and eggs-
Beans and peas
Rice and cracked wheat
Corn meal and middlings.
Small groceries
Soap and potash
Dry goods.
Clothing and hats
Shoes and leather
Furniture and crockery -
Hardware and tinware-
Hay, grain, and feed
Garden tools and seeds.
Building material and repairs..
Brooms and brushes-
Books and stationery
Oil and gas.-
Paints, oil and glass.
Fuel -
Casting, pipes, and iron
Discharged patients
Returned escapes
Pay-roll and wages.

$12,492 52
14,060 64
5,925 39
1,727 47
1,262 33
3,774 35
5,859 90
2,277 26

643 00 1,174 13 468 29 462 10 794 02 547 37 863 17 172 99 142 27

179 80 1,883 99 1,167 88 2,082 57

854 37 1,977 13 2,109 90 7,127 47 2,374 28 1,682 50 1,735 34 1,198 37 1,488 39

186 87 1,377 62 2,706 16

495 44

416 03 2,150 50

448 41 16,899 47 2,486 34 1,018 27

268 50

412 25 71,402 97 2,418 50


$181,196 15

The demented ward in the male department is a disgrace to the Asylum and to the State. It is damp and cold, with none of the comforts which patients in all other wards enjoy. This building should, by all means, be improved and enlarged.

The walk and carriage-way connecting the two buildings, several hundred yards long, and the carriage-way from the female buildings to the street should be graveled. They are utterly impassable in winter, owing to the mud.

Another improvement which is urgently needed is the extension of the sewage pipes to the tule border, in order to provide more perfect sewerage, and do away with the engine, which now has to be kept in constant use."

Your committee are fully satisfied that under the management of Dr. Shurtleff the interests of the State are being carefully guarded, and that the minimum of economy has been reached. We take pleasure in commending the management throughout.

tidy. It is to be regretted that the flooring is so soon showing signs of splintering. They now present a much worse appearance, during the three years' service, than do those at Stockton after long years of use. They should have been painted in the beginning.

It is recommended that the Directors strive to furnish employment to as many of the patients as can be trusted. A great deal of the farm and garden work, as well as the laundry and sewing work, might be performed by the patients.

Considering that everything is new, and the machinery not yet running as smoothly as it will be, and also the small number of patients, the per capita cost of maintaining the Asylum has been reduced to a very satisfactory figure. January, eighteen hundred and seventy-six, the per capita daily cost was two dollars and thirty-six cents; February, one dollar and seventy-two cents; March, one dollar and thirty-five cents; April, one dollar and nineteen cents; May, one dollar and eight cents; June, ninety-seven cents; July, eighty-five cents; August, ninety-two cents; September, eighty-eight cents; October, seventy-seven cents; November, eighty cents; December, seventy-nine cents; January, eighteen hundred and seventy-seven, seventy-five cents; February, seventy-five cents; March, sixty-six cents; April, sixty-four cents; May, sixty-one cents; June, sixty cents. The cost has now been reduced to fifty-six cents, against fortyone cents at the Stockton Asylum. It will be remembered, however, that the farm at Napa is not yet as productive as that at Stockton, and also that two hundred more patients could be cared for without increasing all the expenses in proportion. The pay-roll of wages during the month of January was three thousand five hundred dollars.



At the commencement of the fiscal year eighteen hundred and seventy-six, the Napa Asylum had two hundred and eight patients; and during that year four hundred and five were admitted, making a total of six hundred and fifty-nine treated. Of these, one hundred and forty were discharged as recovered, thirty as improved. At the beginning of the last fiscal year there were three hundred and ninetyfive patients. The nominal capacity of the Napa Asylum is five hundred, but after carefully examining the wards, your committee are of the opinion that it can be made to accommodate a much greater number without bringing it up to as crowded a condition as the Stockton Asylum. Many of the sleeping rooms which now have but one bed are large enough for two, in cases where the patient's insanity is not of a violent character. It will be remembered that the patients do not live in their rooms, but spend their time in the corridors, which are commodious and constructed so as to insure good ventilation. As the Asylum at Stockton is full to overflowing, the insane will have to be sent to Napa, and arrangements made to put seven or eight hundred, at least, in that institution. Here, again, we find a number of cases of mild insanity which ought not to be consigned to any State Asylum. There are many patients who have no right in the Asylum, but there is no other place to put them, and in the interests of humanity they are kept.

The Asylum is suffering greatỉy because of the inadequate supply of water, which not only endangers the health of the institution, but retards the improvement and cultivation of the commodious grounds. Last summer the Directors were compelled to pay one hundred dollars a month in order to prevent the scanty supply of water from being turned off.

The management of the Asylum is vested in Dr. E. T. Wilkins, who, by reason of a life-time study, and his travel abroad among the various asylums of the world, is eminently qualified for the position. We believe him to be the right man at the wheel. The attendants are chosen with regard to their fitness, and no harsh treatment is permitted, except in extreme cases, when muffs have to be used to prevent the violent patient from harming himself and others.

The Asylum, inside, is kept in an excellent condition, clean and

The public are led to suppose, by the name of this institution, that it is an Asylum where deaf, dumb, and blind persons may be sent for medical treatment. On the contrary, it is purely an educational institution, where reading, writing, music, and other branches of learning are taught by the various means and appliances by which deaf mutes and blind children learn to receive and transmit ideas. Of course, they receive medical attendance when it becomes necessary, but it is in no manner to be considered as a hospital.

The committee arrived at the building without having given them notice. We found the buildings, which have been serving temporarily until the new buildings shall have been completed, in a very crowded condition, but well kept, orderly, and neat. The dormitories, also unduly crowded, are well ventilated, and arranged in such a manner as to cause the least possible discomfort under the circumstances. The accommodations as to sleeping, eating, and exercise, are good-in fact, the bill of fare is superior to that of a majority of private boarding schools.

The educational departments are ably conducted by Professor Warring Wilkinson, assisted by his wife, who reside in the building, and exercise personal supervision over the scholars. There has been no case of sickness among the inmates since December. Last year there were about thirty cases of diphtheria, which was traced to a broken sewer pipe, and as soon as discovered and remedied the disease disappeared.

[ocr errors]

The books and records of the institution are kept in a very systematic yet unique manner. At a glance it can be ascertained exactly how much of any article of consunption has been purchased for a month, a year, or during the whole period of Mr. Wilkinson's superintendency, and the price per pound. A system of purchases has been adopted, under which there could be no peculation without the collusion of the Board of Trustees. The number of children at present is about one hundred-sixty boys and forty girls.

The new twin buildings, now approaching completion, are models in every respect. Without any useless adornments, the money has been devoted to making substantial structures, and your committee will say that there is not a public or private institution in the country that will excel these in the matter of superior ventilation, drainage, and the admission of sunlight into all the rooms. The sanitary appliances are almost perfect.

J. C. MONTAGUE, Chairman,
R. W. MURPHY, M. D.,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Synopsis of a lecture delivered on this subject in the Assembly Chamber,

By WM. H. HALL, C. E.

The lecturer first drew attention to the very sad condition of affairs existing in the interior valleys in the southern half of the State, portraying the loss and suffering which had been wrought by the failure of rains during the past seasons. He spoke of the present abundant rains, but warned his hearers that so far from being an inopportune time to agitate the irrigation question, this was just the time for such discussion, for, by the time any practical good could come of it, irrigation itself would again be much needed else the climate of our State would change, which was not at all likely. We must beware of the policy of that rustic philosopher who, not wanting a roof on his house when there was no rain, did not put it on when he could, but though sorely in need of a roof when it did rain, could not put it on when he would.

The levee and reclamation questions should have been considered two years ago in order to have been prepared for the floods which are now visiting us, and now is the time to consider the irrigation question.

Of the very many efforts which have been made by farmers and land owners to inaugurate irrigation enterprises, few have passed the point where preliminary discussion ends. To most of the small number of these movements which have taken on definite form were given but short and fitful lives, and few have consummated in the construction of works to which' their projectors may turn with any degree of satisfaction. In each instance of failure two causes may be assigned-the absence of method, and the lack of means.

Irrigation property is regarded with great disfavor by our capitalists for two reasons—the indefinite nature of the water privilege acquired under past and present laws respecting water rights; and the absence, under existing circumstances, of that security for adequate returns upon the investment which the law of industrial enterprise demands.

There being no definition of rights, and no overruling power to direct generally, and establish system amongst the different works and districts, we find

discord wherever irrigation has dared to raise its head, and disheartening apathy everywhere else throughout the dry valleys.

He next reviewed the existing water appropriation law and its workings. Anyone can take as much water as he wants at any point

he choses. Under this law there is an entire absence of systematic apportionment; there is no knowledge of the capacity of the streams to supply water; no complete and intelligent records kept of the amount of water claimed; no official evidence of the amount of water actually appropriated; no check upon injurious interference with natural water courses; no definition or real protection of the rights of riparian owners.

Rival appropriators waste the precious hours of the irrigation seasons in wrangling over the division of the waters, generally more than enough for all, while riparian proprietors have to resort to violence or the Courts if their interests are injured in the melee. It is this state of affairs which it is necessary to put an end to by wise legislation.

The local water commission laws, of which quite a number have been passed, as applicable to various counties of the State, were next reviewed, and their workings shown to be scarcely better than that of the general water appropriation law.

In brief, these measures have failed of their purposes through the absence of general system, scientific treatment, and overruling competent authority to direct, which, from the nature of things, could only be vested in the State, and executed by a department of State Government.

The general irrigation law of eighteen hundred and seventy-two was then considered, and shown to have worked to some advantage for reclamation purposes, but not to have answered any good end for the would-be 'irrigator. Under it the districts could only become water appropriators; there was no general system, and no defined rights to water.

After all this legislation we find the irrigation interest in a worse condition, really, than it would be if there were no laws on the subject, and no works constructed. For now, rights have grown up which will have to be condemned, customs and ideas have taken hold amongst the people which will have to be eradicated before the irrigation problem is solved. We find little to guide us in the formation of

our policy towards the irrigation interest in the experience of India, Egypt, and Italy in this regard; but in the annals of irrigation in Spain we find much that is instructive in this connection.

In all lands where irrrigation has been practiced as a general agricultural method it has become necessary to supply by government authority that system in the distribution of the waters from the streams and in the construction of works the absence of which has caused such evil effects in our irrigated sections.

Spain, particularly, found, after endeavoring to get along for years, the absolute necessity for it, and was obliged, at great expense, to correct a state of affairs which had grown up, similar to that towards which we are fast drifting: the monopolizing and wasteful use of the waters of her streams by the few, to the detriment of the general interest. The Spanish Government early tried the policy of constructing irrigation works at its own expense, but after its experience with the Royal Canals of Aragon and of Tauste, was dissatisfied with the course, and found it more advantageous to encourage the construction of such works by private and corporate enterprise. In April, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, it was announced that twelve million five hundred thousand dollars of the Royal funds

would be devoted to the encouragement of the construction of irrigation works under proper government regulations. This money was partially disbursed as subsidies to projectors of irrigation enterprises, and partially as loans to irrigators and constructors of canals. Finally, after years of consideration and investigation, the general law governing water rights and construction and maintenance of irrigation works was published in eighteen hundred and sixty-six. A synopsis of this law was given, and applications of its principles and salient features made to our condition in California.

Irrigation has always been a fruitful source of litigation and an unending subject of legislation.

There are three elements which must necessarily be present to insure the commercial success of irrigation : suitable lands; water sufficient to irrigate them; population skillful and industrious to use the water to advantage. Without all of these elements present in the highest degree, irrigation may be gradually extended, but its development cannot be forced without danger of disastrous failure.

Although we have millions of acres of land which are suitable for irrigation in a high degree, there are also many hundreds of thousands of acres, if not millions, which, owing to some peculiarity of soil or configuration of surface, cannot be cultivated with profit by irrigation under any circumstances which are likely to arise for years to come.

Our water supply is abundant throughout the San Joaquin and Tulare Valleys, for instance, ultimately to irrigate all of the lands in those valleys which could well lay claim to a share of it; but, owing to peculiarities of soil and excessive waste caused by lack of skill and indifference on the part of the irrigators, it does not do its duty of irrigating two hundred acres of land to each cubic foot of flow for four months, nor can it be expected to do this duty for many years unless the State regulates its use.

After explaining in detail the peculiar behavior of the different soils of the San Joaquin and Tulare Valleys, under irrigation, the lecturer said:

To resume--we have four classes of lands worthy of special mention as possessing marked peculiarities affecting the water supply necessary for their cultivation:

First-The delta lands of the Tulare Valley which at first take a great deal of water to irrigate them, but gradually become thoroughly saturated, and in the course of five years, perhaps may be irrigated with the minimum amount of water.

SecondThe shallow soil. plain lands which do not take nearly so much water to wet them at first, but-drying out quickly--each year afterwards require nearly as much as they did the first year, and always more than the delta lands do after they become well wetted


Third--The deep sandy soil plain lands which take an immense quantity at first, and always will take more than either of the two classes first mentioned, and the cultivation of which we need hardly hope will be accomplished with the standard allowance of water for many years to come.

FourthThe deep soil alkaline adobes which the first year take, perhaps, as much as either of the others at one irrigation, but which may demand ever afterwards comparatively little at a time, but con

« PreviousContinue »