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dollars. The Treasurer will inform the Legislature of the exact amount necessary to make up all deficiencies, up to January 1st, 1867. His report, hereto annexed, shows all expenditures, up to, and including the last day of November, 1866. These re. ports will show how every dollar has been expended, which in the opinion of the Board, has been properly and prudently done.
It was supposed when the appropriations were made, in 1865, that the prices of articles necessary for the support of the Institution, would, in a short time, be much less. The fact has been far different, and we are now paying a much higher price for some articles than ever before. The teachers' salaries have been increased some, and if the Board had had the means to deal liberally, a further increase would have been made; for at the present high prices of all articles, the Principal and teachers should have something more added to their salaries; but from the means at our disposal, we have been compelled to keep down the wages of Principal and teachers, as low as possible.
To have kept the expenses of the Institution, the past two years, within the limits of the appropriation, the Board would have been compelled to send home a part of the pupils, or for a part of each school year, to dismiss the whole of them.
The Board did not think it advisable to adopt either of these courses, and therefore ask, in addition to other appropriations, sufficient to cover all arrearages.
So far as it has come to the knowledge of the Board, every similar institution in the United States has had for the last three or four years, large arrearages to be provided for. The State of New York, in its Institution for the Blind, had of her own pupils the same number for the year 1865 that we have had in our Institution for the past school year, at an expense to that State for said year, of $45,153 31. Deduct from this amount the sum of $10,341 31, for expenses in that institution not occurring in ours, and we have a balance of expenses for that year, of $34,812—their expenses exceeding for one year, by the sum of $812, our whole appropriations for two years for similar purposes. But we trust that the Legislature, upon an examination of the accounts of the Treasurer, without any comparison with the expenses of other similar institutions, and from their knowledge of the high prices of everything necessary to successfully carry on this Institution, will be satisfied that there have been no wasteful expenditures of the public funds committed to our trust.
In the opinion of the Board, it will be necessary, for the purpose of doing within the next two years, what is so essential to be done, that the Legislature should appropriate at least one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. And may the Board not hope, that after a careful and full investigation by the Legislature, into the wants and necessities of this Institution, that your honorable body will feel it a pleasure to make an appropriation that will relieve it from all embarrassment, and thus enable those who have, by the provision of the State, under their immediate charge, these unfortunate classes, to furnish every facility and means for their mental and physical improvement?
Should not the State do all in her power to cultivate and improve every faculty Providence has left to the deaf and dumb and the blind? Do they not demand the sympathy and fostering care and general support of our State Legislature? And should not your appropriations, in their munificence, be large enough so that by economy and good management, every graduate from this Institution should feel confident that in himself he has, by his mental culture and by his knowledge and skill in some trade or handiwork, the means, through the humanity and generosity of the State, of supporting and taking care of himself? All of which is respectfully submitted.
JOHN P. LEROY,
REPORT OF THE ACTING COMMISSIONER.
To the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Asylum for the Deaf
and Dumb and the Blind : GENTLEMEN—After receiving the elaborate aud extremely sensible reports of our excellent Principal, Mr. Bangs, and of the Committees who have kindly consented to examine the different classes and departments of the Institution at the close of each of the two last terms, it seems almost superfluous for me to do anything in the way of a report, except to report the financial condition of the Institution, which shows at the present time a deficiency of over eight thousand dollars, which deficiency will probably be more than doubled at the close of the current quarter, on the 1st of January next. This fact brings us to the irresistible conclusion that the appropriations made by the Legislature of 1865, were not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Institution for the two years. In justice to that Legislature, I will say that the fault of this insufficiency of appropriation, is largely attributable to myself.
In making the estimates upon which those appropriations were based, to a great extent, I made two mistakes. The first was in my estimate of the cost of finishing the work of construction, then in progress, and which, I had been assured by the foreman of the work, would be completed in four weeks, when the result showed that it took four months, with a nearly proportionate additional amount of material. The other mistake was in supposing that the price of all articles of consumption would be materially reduced, instead of being materially advanced, as has been the case with a very large proportion of them, at least that portion of them that make up a large proportion of our expenşes. So it will be seen that the appropria
tion of sixteen thousand dollars, which was expected to finish the work then in progress, and pay all arrears up to Jan. 1st, 1865, proved entirely inadequate. So also the sum of thirtyfour thousand dollars, which was expected would pay all the expenses of the institution for two years, fell far short of its accomplishment, and also the three thousand dollars, which was expected to furnish a piano, and all necessary furniture, beds and bedding. Instead of doing so, a much larger sum has been used in getting the piano and furnishing the most indispensable articles of furniture, beds and bedding, and still comes far short of supplying the actual necessities of the Institution, in that line. These facts, and the fact of the increased and constantly increasing number of pupils, show the absolute necessity of largely increased appropriations, not only for the purposes above named, but also for various other purposes, such as finishing the building, increasing the heating and ventilating capacity, clearing land, making fences, building a barn, procuring a team, wagon, carriage, harness, cows, furnishing work-shops, foremen, and materials for teaching trades to the pupils, &c., as well as to procure additional teachers, and to pay the salaries of those now employed, which salaries the Board of Trustees have been obliged to increase, or close the institution.
It ought not to be necessary to explain or urge the necessity of any of these appropriations, and I am sure it would not be, if every member of the Legislature would spend a day at the Asylum. The anti-appropriation fever, so far as this Institution is concerned, has always been effectually cured by even a short visit to it, and an examination of its condition and necessities.
If an appropriation should be made by the Legislature, soon to meet, sufficiently large to finish and furnish the building properly, fence and ornament the grounds, and grade and finish up in good order the road across the same, clear and fence and put in good farming condition such part of the ninety-four acres of land, belonging to the Institution, as should be deemed advisable, and build the necessary barns, sheds, out-houses and workshops, and furnish them all in an appropriate manner, say with
& span of horses, a lumber wagon and harness, a covered carriage, (as the Asylum is a mile from the churches,) half a dozen cows, two or three foremen, with suitable tools and material for teaching cabinet-making, shoe-making, tailoring, broom and brush-making, &c., I do not think a single tax-payer in the State, after visiting and becoming conversant with the affairs of the Institution, would find one word of fault on account of such appropriations. I think it would be very difficult to find a person in the State that, if he owned the property that belongs to this Institution, as the State does, and had the means at his disposal that the State has, would hesitate one moment about making the improvements here proposed. Economy, our duty to the unfortunate classes here provided for, and the obligations which our Constitution lays upon us, require all that is here proposed. And I hope and trust that the Board of Trustees, in their report to the Legislature, will urge upon its consideration the necessity of an appropriation to provide for all these objects, in such language and manner that it cannot fail to make the necessary provision. All of which is respectfully submitted.
J. B. WALKER, Building Commissioner.