Annual reports of the officers of state of the State of Indiana online

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State Treasury is presented in the Report of the Treasurer of State,
^ho is also the Treasurer of this Asylum. The expenditures for the
Buildings, and for the Boarding Department will be seen by referenc#
to the abstract of the accounts of the Building Committee, and the
account current of the Superintendent. We have thought it a mat*
ter of importance to preserve these two classes of expenditures sep-
arate, as thus being of more cdnvenient leference, and more easy
comprehension. In the accurate method which has been adopted,
legal vouchers are obtained and filed for perpetual preservation, for
every item of expenditure incurred. The Books containing these
accounts, are open, at all times, for the inspection of any of your
Honorable Body, desirous of examining them.

The time when the existence of an Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb
was an experiment, in Indiana, has passed. The people have willed
that its continuance, and that of its kindred Asylums, shall be co-
extensive with the duration of the State government. It appears
that a provituon to this effects will be incorporated m the new oiigui-
ic law of the State, which, when it shall have received the sanction
of the popular vote, will remain, as a perpetual memorial of what
the generous citizens of Indiana, in this our day, had it in their hearts
to do for those children of mbfortune, the Deaf and Dumb, the Lu-
natic, and the Blind.

In behalf of the Board of Trustees :

E. R. AMES, Pres.


The following letters are appended, as affording explicit informa-
tion of the manner in which funds are disbursed in the Asylum. It
may be well to observe, that the financial system presented in the
reply of the Trustees, has been the result of the experience of years,
as well as the fruit of much inquiry, and investigation, in other Insti*
totions. We cannot see how a practicable system can be more guar-
ded than ours; still, if one better, and more secure, can bedevMd,wa
shall not hesitate to adopt itknmediately.

E. R. AMES, Pras.

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iNDLiNAPOLISy IlTDIARAy April 4lby 18S0«

James S% Brmon^ Superintendent of the

Deaf and Dumb Asylum :
Dbar Sib: — In looking to the various duties which devolve
upon me, in the discharge of my official acts, I find that a general
supervisatory power is placed in my hands, by the Legislature, over
the benevolent institutions of the State ; and, acknowledging frankly
to you my ignorance of the management of those Institutions,' and,
being anxious to understand the entire machinery, from the assess-
ment of the tax, (that is so cheerfully paid by our fellow citizens,) to
the disbursement of the money, I have taken the liberty of asking at
your hands information on the following subjects:

What is the present niode of receiving money in your Institution
from the State Treasury — what amount is usually received at a time,
and where deposited when received ?

In what manner is the money dbbursed, aftejr it is received from the
State Treasury ?

Are any bonds required of those who receive, or pay out money ;
if so, who, and what is the amount of the penalty of each bond?

Can you suggest any additional guards or checks for the receiving,
disbursement, or keeping money in your institution ?

You. will confer a favor on the undersigned by giving the above
an answer at your le'isure. I would be pleased to receive any addi*
tional suggestions on any of the subjects connected with the man-
agement of your Institution.

I am yours very respectfully :


InanruTloif for f hb Dbaf and Dukb, )
Indianapolis, May 22d, 1850. >

fiit Excellency f Joseph A. Wright :

Dbar Sir: — In reply to your communication of the 4th ult*
Addressed to the Superintendent of the Institution, and by him refer^
red to us, as the official organ of communication with the State got-
•mment, we beg leave to assure you, that thb Board views with

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pleasure the exhibitioD of such kindly interest in the aflairs of the
Asylum, on the part of the Chief Magistrate of the State. Support-
ed as the Institution is, by the united contributions of all, we have
ever regarded it the right, not only of the Executive, and the Legis-
lature, but of the humblest citizen of the State, to be thoroughly as-
sured that every dollar thus raised, is sacredly guarded, and faithfully
appropriated to the objects intended by a generous, and confiding
public. Nor, have we been satisfied that these funds should simply
be used in furtherance of the benevolent purposes of the Asylum ;
but we have also been determined, that they should be carefully,
economically, and judiciously expended. Of the success attending
our efforts, yourself, the Legislature, and the people of the State at
large, are to judge.

It may not however be inappropriate for us to observe, that
among othersf the following results have been attained : a school
unprecedentedly large and flourishing has been sustained ; the pupils
all boarded, lights, fuel, and washing included; the furniture, beds,
and bedding necessary for their use, purchased ; school room fixtures
and apparatus, as well as all their books provided ; some twenty-
five or thirty indigent pupils clothed ; house rents paid ; in short, all
the current expenses met,/or a less sum than is actually paid for
board by an equal number of persons at the several boarding-houses in
the city. Again, buildings have been erected* and mostly paid for,
in addition to thus supporting the school. And the expenditares for
t>oth purposes, have been met out of a fund, which, in some States,
would scarcely be regarded as more than adequate to discharge the
current expenses of the school.

As the buildings, with such appropriate enlaigements as may be re-
quired, will, for successive generations, form the Asylum^the educatum*
al home for the mates of this great State, we may also be permitted
to advert to the fact, that there it not a public building woithin i£s
borders which has been constructed at so Kttle expense in proportion to
the sixe, neither has there any been SuHt of better material^ or in a
more woorkmanlike^ and substantial manner. That the forgoing
statements are facts, any person who will take pains to investigate,
will be abundantly satisfied.

Thus much for the practical operations of a system of financial
0[)erations, the details of which, in answer to your interrogatories,
follow :

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1st. The Treasurer of Slate is Treasurer of the Asylum, and
keeps its funds, with those of the State, in his own office, or in de-
posite in the Branch Bank, until they are wanted to meet current ex-
penditores, or the outlays upon the buildings. All moneys are drawn
by order of the Board, duly signed, and recorded by the President
of the same, which orders are by the Treasurer filed, recorded, and
carefully^ preserved, as his vouchers on his annual settlement with
the Board ; at which time, in their lieu, he receives a warrant from
the Auditor of* State for their amount, and these orders, two distinct
records of them still remaining in the hands of the President of the
Board, and in the office of the Treasurer of State, are filed for per-
petual preservation, in the office of the Asylum. The details of ex-
penditures for building, are under the direction of a Building Com*
mittee, consisting of three members of the Board, appointed by the
same, and sanctioned by act of the General Assembly. To this
committee are given, as may from time to time be necessary, orders
on the Treasurer of the Asylum, which are signed, filed, recorded
and preserved as above. On the reception of an order, the Treasu-
rer gives his check for the amount on the Branch Bank. This sum
cannot then be drawn out by the committee, or any member there-
of ; but is left in deposite, until actually required for immediate use,
in the sanne place in which it was put by the Treasurer of State.
The sum thus placed in deposite by the Building Committee, never
exceeds five thousand dollars. In the same manner, are orders giv-
en to, and amounts (or rather checks for amounts) deposited by the
Superintendent for the Boarding Department, etc. The sums thus
deposited, scarcely ever exceed two thousand dollars.

2d. The manner of disbursing is in all cases for building purpos-
es, and in all possible cases for current expenses, by checks. Receipts
are also taken, recorded and filed for perpetual preservation. Care-
ful, and accurate accounts (leferring to and sustained by the proper
vouchers, and also by the above mentioned checks, which are in like
manner recorded and filed for perpetual preservation,) are kept in
appropriate books. So admirably is the system carried out, that
three distinct, and legal vouchers are incidentally obtained, one of
which recites the accounts, item by item, to the value of a single
cent ; and besides, not less than two distinct book entries are made
of every account credited, and three of every sum paid out. The

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Superintendent acts as oar clerk, in keeping oor books, etc^ withoQt

3d. or onrselves, or our BuiUing Committee, as we handle no
money, nor have any compensaUon for our services, the Legislatnre
has never required any Bonds ; and of the Superintendent, as he
performs the duties of Clerk, as above stated, without compensatioD,
and as he scarcely ever has in his possession more than one hundred
dollars, we have thought it unnecessary to require Bond; thot^he
has repeatedly tendered them. Nor b there, so far as we know, in
the United States, an Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, where such s
bond is required of the Superintendent.

4th. It is our unanimous opinion that in no department of the
State expenditures b a system in operation more guarded, ^f indeed,
equally so,) than ours. All reasonable checks which we could devise,
have already been imposed ; for the suggestion of many of these we
have been indebted to the Superintendent. We should be mucb
pleased, however, to receive from your Excellency, any suggestions
which might tend to the improvement of our present system. Nor
would we .wait, until the IiCgblature should require their adoption, if
it should be in our power sooner to put them in force. Again tend-
ering you an expression of thanks for the kindly interest manifested
in the welfare, and success of this Asylum, a sentiment which you
have not failed to evince, since the commencement of your adminis-
tration, we subscribe ourselves,

With much respect,

By order of the Board :

L. H. JAimoN, Sect.

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To the Trustees:

GEHTUEMiEif : — In compliance with your direction, I
have the pleasure of presenting my Annual Report:

The kind dealings of a merciful Providence have been manifested
in a signal manner to this Asylum, to its officers, and inmates, during
the year just numbered with the past. Considering the crowded state
of the buildings occupied for most of the year, their ill adaptation
to a household so large, with wants so diversified as ours ; when, in
addition, we reflect that those tenements were situated in a densely
populated part of the city, with but little opportunity for healthful
etercise and breathing the pure air, it is truly wonderful that our pu-
pils have suffered so little from sickness. When, during the past
summer, the pestilence that walketh in darkness and slayeth at noon-
day, vbited so many portions of our State, bearing death and mourn-
ing into so many households, that God who tempereth the wind to
the shorn lamb,'bade it spare the already misfortune smitten Deaf and
Dumb. To Him, it seemed enough of sorrowful chastening, that,
farfrom home^ and the soothing care of the family circle, our mutes
pursued their silent way ; and to their friends, He added not the
crushing affliction of mourning an ever vacant seat at the paternal

The commencement of the present session formed a jubilee in the
progress of the Asylum. On the 2d of October, 1850, the mutes of
Indiana took possession of the comfortable and commodious build*
iogs, erected for them, through the abounding generosity of the peo-
plo of the State. True, some slight inconveniences had to be met
here at first, and the improvements about the Institution are yet not
completed. But with glad hearts our pupils surveyed, again and
^gain, all parts of the structures, and in their own impressive lan-
guage said they were ^good.** It were satisfaction enough for any
citizen of the State, to see them in their happy home. They now
l^ave ample room to exercise, to labor foi their own support, and to
breathe the free, pure, and invigorating air of heaven. Their op-
portunities for mental improvement are now very much increased ;

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it is really possible to advance them now in six months, as far as
previously in ten. Although we now have in" the Asylum pupib
upon the criticism of whose scholarship we have repeatedly, and
successfully staked the reputation of the school; though minds have
here been developed in such a manner that we should scarcely shrink
from a comparison with any school in the country, still we are con-
cious that the past should not in this respect, content us; but, sur-
rounded, as we now are, with these additional facilities, we should
place the average index of scholarship at a much higher point, than
has hitherto been attained. The prospect for the future never has
assumed so fair an aspect, as is now presented. Every succeeding
year must add to the comforts of our pupils. With the labor of their
own hands, they can now raise a great portion of their provisions;
while the exereise thus aflTorded will invigorate their physical sys-
tems, and fit their refreshed minds the belter to combat with the dif-
ficulties of literary progress. The saving of expenditure incidental
to this course will be very great; and, while I would not have (he
insincerity to for one moment intimate, that ours may be made a
self-supporting esiablishnient, still, it may in all confidence be asser-
ted, that with the agricultural facilities aflTorded, this may be man-
aged with less expense to the State than any similar Institution in
the Union. To secure this end, no effort of mine shall be ibund
wanting; and a similar feeling is common with my associates, in the
literary and domestic departments of the Institution.

While the importance of teaching our pupils the best mode of
tilling the soil cannot be over estimated ; we should still reflect that
this will not form their sole occupation in future life. Many of
them will wish to turn their attention to trades, even while in the
Asylum ; that they may be the better prepared to procure self-sup-
port, when they leave our walls. We have repeatedly announced to
a consenting public, that our scholars should here be taught trades.
Many of our present pupils desire, before leaving us, to learn somt
handicraft employment. Their education would seem but half com-
plete without. We have but half accomplished the beneficienl in-
tentions of the Legislature and people of the State, when we hare
educated the minds of our pupils. They should be returned to their
homes useful citizens; capable, by their own exertions, of adding to
the wealth of the State. These and many other considerations point
to the propriety of erecting our work shops as soon as practicable.

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t w^uid add s6 much to (he usefulness of the Institution, tliat I can
carcely* refrain from respectfully suggesting the propriety of asking
ispeeifieapprtvprfatiofi for the purpose. From the data before me,
feel sure these buildings might be erected for some six or seven
hoasand dollars; It nlay not be inappropriate to suggest, that while
pecifio appropriations hate been repeatedly made to various other
>bjects, but a single one, and that years ago, has been made to the
nstitatfon for (he Deaf and Dumb. The number of our pupils is
low so great, so many of them have nearly completed their educa*
ional ootttse, that what is done idiould be done quickly $ or, sdme
f our pupils will bo thrown upon the world, without any means
>f supporting themselves. TbU is not a matter of co^jectiiref a ournr
)er of our older pupils are orphans, or have* parents who 90*9 onabl^
support them ; and turning them upon the world withoot a trade*
m\l in many instances^ be consigniiig them to aUle of penury and

For soeh of bar pQpila as desire it, Aei importance of learning trades
xmnot be overrated. It is geaerltHy ftitile to ei[f>ebt they will su>
|uire them, after leaving school, unless they have made some pro- -
;ress in thorn previously to graduating. UnaUe to converse except
)y8^ns, or the slow process of writingi it is found somewhat diifi* *
!uU to teaob them a trader unless the mastar-vrorkman knows ^ome*
hug of the bn^iage- of signs. TMs is of course rarely found to be
he case; and the conseqoeace b, that mates who leave an Asylum*
nrithout a trade, usoally learn none during their lives. Ail of oiir '
Hiplls cannot be advantageously employed upon the farm. While a
Kirtion, tnch of the boys as may intend to pursue farming for a Hv*
Dg, are emptoyed ia agriculture, another pdftlon must remain tdlfe,
inless they have some meohanical employment to which they may ^
urn tbetr attention. Should such be the case, an evil, of whoser *
Dagnitude few can judge, is imposed upon the mute. During hispu-
ulage he will form habits of indolence, which will forever cramp hie*
nergies; and render him, if no worse, ,to say the least, a useless
aember of society. There is no sentiment in which Instructors of ^
he Deaf and Dumb are more nnanimoos, than in this, that all pu« >.
its, male and female should learn some useful trade or occupation^
ipon which they, may rely for sopport in future li(ji. A feeling of
ndependence, all agree, should be infused into them which would •
nake them scorn to obtain subsistance^ after leaving school, from

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the mitappliad chariix •T tfi» braar oioat And, allow oii, oa tkt
occasiont to reiterate my strong convbtioii» that tbere m no naore
propriety of organiziog an lostitutioa like thist with a new to a per-
manent exclusion of trades, than there woald be to endeavor to eeny
forward the educational departoMnt without teacben, or book&
Our pupils, to their praise be it said, are fully impressed with a desire
to render themselres useful members of the commonity. No one
more excites their disgoslt than an indolent vagabond having nothing
to do. They are habitaaUy active, and if afforded an <q>portanity
will make as good mechanics and artificers, as the State can pro-

it is a. matter of sincere rejoicing, that the Legislature, in the ex-
ercise of a wise forecast, have authorised the purchase of lands for
tlie use of the Asylum ; so that agricuhwre^ in its most appropriate
sigaiication, may be taught our pupils. A farmer has been procured
whose knowledge of all the departments of his duties is most thor-
ough and accurate; and, uador his direction, we have no donbt the
male pupila will cause oar groonds to assuese a comely mod cheeilid
aspect, rendering them at once a source of profit to the Asylua, and
a pleasure to themselves, as well as the thousands of our Mlow citi-
zens who annually visit the Asylum. The knowledge winch oar
pupils will incidentatty acquire, wiH be of moeh benefit to theas la
future life. They will be fiMiad to understand many things in rsganl
to the management of fiurme, which are not generally knowut and
which will render tlieir servioes^tn great requisition after leaving us.
Horticulture will also be introduced, in all its departments, and,
should we not be disappointed, a garden will be ultimately made,
seoond to none in the State. It affords me the more pleasure to al-
lude to this subject, as it will be conducted so as idtimately to coal
the State nothing, but, on the contrary, it will be a source of profit
to. the Asylum*

There is no feature of this Institution which can be compared with
provisions in other similar establishments with more satbfaction,
Ihan that which leaves the limitation of the term for which a pupil
eriey remain in the school to the Board of Trustees. And here, let
mo say, that I do not believe that it is possible for any man or set of
men to fix an invariable rule upon the sulject. There ate popib
whom it would not be expedient to retain in an Asylnm more than

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re years; aiid» there m.iy be a few to whom it is impoisibld to com«
lunicate a thorough education, whom it may not be proper to retain
>t even that period. Again* there are those who beii^ sent to the ,
istitution younger tlian the usual average, ought to remain a much
mger period* The mutual advantage of the school and the pupil
re the considerations which should govern ; and never should a pro*
ibition be inserted in the organic hiw ot an Asylum, forbidding the
^ntinuaace of a pupil beyond a specific period. On the score of
lonomy, even, it is scarcely necessary, for the longer the pupil re-
mins in'the Institotion the mote nearly 'does he support himselC
'here are pupils in oor own establishment, at the present time,^who»
i the a^fregate, after balancing all accounts, are no expense to the
tate, but on the contrary really coQiribute to its pecuniary advent-
ge, by their faithful exertions during the houn appropriated lo labor,
lore than the cost of their board and taition. Were it neeessftry .
le names of such pupib could be given, all of our officers %eing per-
ictly eognizant of the fac^ in the cases, These helpful i^upils am
Imost entirely found among those of an advanced standing. When
re consider that the Asylum is the home of the unfortunate mute, in
)o sense in which no other place is, that his happiest days are here
pent, that here is the bright oasis to which in future life hia thoughts, ^
is fondest recollections will revert, it would seem hard to require
im to leave the school with his education but half complete, merely
ecause some higher power was frightened at the expense likely to be
icurred. And, while penning these lines it aflfords me unspeakable
itisfaction to know, that in Indiana, public sentiment with deep
irilling sympathy sustains the Legislative policy on this important

So far as the public is concerned then, the proper provision baa been £
lade. A,iid, considering the high advantages bestowed on motes a^ '
mding the school, it would be oatmral to Mppose that they would be
Mitinoed here until a good education had been acquired. Nor is it
nially the fairit of tiie children fliemselvis, that they are kept at
ome. The fault ie in most cases ehaifiabie where it ought to be
ast expeoted, to parents. While a laige majority of parents are
Bserving of much praise for' the prompt manner in which they re*
irn their chiUren to the school, there are some who manifest a pre*
isely contrary spirit. After tfie fimt sessiaa or two, they bsgia to

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inqoirdy '^bow tfoon will it do to take ttiy child frdbi school f* And tkife
moment the child can be persuaded to stay at home, he is retiiinod
away ; not* that the parent is dissatisfied with the school nor disap.
pointed in the rapidity with which the child improves, but simply
because he wants that unfortunate one at home, for the same reason
be has his ox there, to labor. Let it be understood, the instances of
which I speak are rare, very rare, but they are not the less annoying
when they do occur, h b perfectly certain some remedy alKHiid be
applied. The evil complained of is one by no means pecoliar t0€nr
ichooK Its effects are experienced in every Inslitntion witli which I
am acquaint^, and perhaps l«s here than to most olber eetabUsh*
meats of the kind. Sock conduct on the part of parents and gnaidiaas
is wholly without excuse} and, considering the provisiMi here made
for mute education, a downrigbt insult to the magnanimous libeFslity
of the State. That parents in such Instances, should be made to re*
fund the eitfpenses ioonrred la tbe partial educatiOQ of tke obild, if
beyond all 4oubt just and proper.

Somewhat akin to the period of continuance in school, and the
various cirumstances which should increase or lessen it, is theconsid*
oration of who are the (it subjects for admission to the advantages of
the Institution. Supported as this Asylum is, at the general expanse
of the people of the State, it is evident that the rules for admissioa

Online LibraryIndianaAnnual reports of the officers of state of the State of Indiana → online text (page 34 of 40)