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provements which the association have made in the last few years : A substantial furnace has been placed in the cellar of the building, which is essential to the preservation of the mansion—to prevent the decay of the foundation by dampness. Three tanks have been built for a supply of water, and an hydraulic ram set up. Water-works supply the green-house, kitchen, stable and vegetable garden, and with the fire-engine, which has been obtained, protect the premises from all injury by fire. The drainage of the premises, which was very imperfect, and the condition of which, added to the natural unhealthiness of the spot, has been improved and extended.
Access to the tomb has been facilitated by the road from it to the wharf being put in order. Two houses for laborers have been built. About one thousand fruit trees have been planted. The grounds around the tomb, and between it and the river, have been cleared of undergrowth, and over eight hundred rare foreign evergreens have been set out. The green-house is in good order, and is a source of revenue to the association. The room in the mansion occupied by Lafayette, when the guest of Washington, has been furnished and put in complete order, the other rooms are neatly kept, and the great aim of the association to preserve in the entire building, while undergoing necessary repairs, the same antique appearance as in the days of its honored occupant, has been most happily effected. The employees are polite, attentive and courteous to the visitors. One of the most attractive features presented by this time honored mansion is the equestrian portrait of Washington and his Generals before Yorktown, executed by that great and distinguished artist, the late Rembrandt Peale, and presented to the association at Mt. Vernon on the day of the meeting of this Board at that place, by Mrs. Rosalba Underwood, executrix and daughter of the artist. This splendid portrait of the Father of his Country now adorns the mansion of Mt. Vernon, and the heartfelt thanks of a grateful people are due the distinguished daughter of so gifted a father for this expression of her generous patriotism.
The association derives its chief income from the profits of a daily boat owned and run to Mt. Vernon by Messrs. Sykes & Hollingshead, and from sales on the place. An entrance fee of twenty-five cents is charged each person visiting Mt. Vernon. To those coming on the boat this fee is embraced in the fare charged, which is reasonable; in addition to which the boat company pays to the association as wharfage twenty-five per cent. of the actual passage money. This arrangement with said company was entered into for the purpose of preventing excursion parties and other unauthorized visitants from landing at the wharf, thereby protecting the buildings and surrounding grounds from depredations, which would likely result from the free access of unlicensed parties to this hallowed spot.
The board would recommend that Col. IIollingsworth, the resident secretary and superintendent of Mt. Vernon Association, be constituted a conservator of the peace, in and for Mt. Vernon, for its further protection.
In view of the depressed condition of the finances of the State, the board, at this time, refrains from making any recommendation for an appropriation for the benefit of the association ; but should the finances of the State, at any time, admit of such an appropriation, we would commend this as a most worthy object of the State's liberality.
It has been suggested by the association that each of the original thirteen States take upon itself the work of furnishing one of the rooms of the mansion with furniture of antique style, and, if possible, with relics of Washington himself. Some of the States have already acted upon this suggestion, and should this noble design be carried into effect by the association, the board would recommend that Virginia, his birth place and home, should be among the first to collect her relics with which to adorn the apartments assigned to her in the sacred mansion of her great and immortal Washington.
In conclusion, the Board of Visitors hereby tender, through your excellency, to the members of the council of the Ladies' Mt. Vernon Association, their thanks for the polite manner in which they were received and entertrined by them, and the kind attention shown them at their meeting on the 14th of May, 1873. Respectfully submitted,
H. W. THOMAS, President Board of Visitors.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE EXECUTIVE
IN RELATION TO
DURING THE YEAR 1873.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA,
EXECUTIVE CHAMBER, Dec. 31st, 1873.
To the General Assembly:
the constitution, which declares that the governor shall communicate to the general assembly, at each session, the particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting or commuting the same, I have the honor to transmit herewith a list of all the pardons, reprieves and commutations of punishment granted during the year 1873.
There have been seventy-seven applications made, of which fifty-five were refused, and I have granted seven conditional and fifteen absolute pardons.
G. C. WALKER.
PARDONS, REPRIEVES, COMMUTATIONS, ETC.
1. James P. Stroup, of Wythe county, convicted of house-breaking and larceny at the March term (1870) of the county court for the county of Wythe, and sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for the term of five years.
Pardoned January 20th, 1873, for the following reasons: This party has served out nearly three-fifths of the time for which he was sentenced to the penitentiary, and has become incurably diseased with consumption—the surgeon of the penitentiary certifying that, in his opinion, “he will die within the next six or eight months,” and the petition was signed by a large number of citizens.
2. John Brown, of Frederick county, convicted of grand larceny at the January term (1869) of the county court for the county of Frederick, and sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for the term of five years.
Pardoned March 8th, 1873, for the following reasons : The jury in their verdict say, that “in consideration of the youth of the prisoner, and the circumstances of the case, we recommend the said John Brown to the clemency and mercy of his excellency, the governor of Virginia ;” in which recommendation the commonwealth's attorney, the presiding justice, and many other good and worthy citizens of Frederick county unite; and further, the prisoner has already been sufficiently punished.
3. Thomas R. Bird, of Alexandria city, convicted of bigamy at the July term (1871) of the corporation court of the city of Alexandria, and sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for the term of three years.
Pardoned March 13th, 1873, for the following reasons : First, because threefourths of the jury before whom said Bird was tried, in petitioning for his immediate pardon, state that " while his offence came within the letter of the law, yet the circumstances justified the infliction of its mildest penalty only, and with that view we fixed the term of imprisonment at the shortest time allowed; and that had the law fixed the minimum term for the offence at a less number of years, we should still have brought our verdict down to that term, giving the said Thomas R. Bird the benefit of the shortest time.” Second, because of the many extenuating circumstances urged in behalf of the petitioner, and the fact that he has already been imprisoned in all over twenty months, and because his pardon has been asked by nearly 300 good and worthy citizens of the Commonwealth, including one hundred members of the present general assembly.
4. Lawrence Murphy, of Richmond city, convicted of unlawful shooting at the April term (1872) of the hustings court of the city of Richmond, and sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for the term of three years.