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CRIME has also been enormously increased by immigration. According to De Bow's Census Compendium, the whole number of criminals convicted within the year preceding that the Census of 1850 was taken in all the States but California, was 26,679, of which number 12,988 were natives, and 13,691 were foreigners, being one conviction out of every fifteen hundred and eighty of the native, and one out of about every one hundred and sixty-five of the foreign population in the Uaited States at that time. In the free States there were 10,822 natives, and 12,789 foreign convictions, and in the slave States there were 2,166 natives, and 1,902 foreigners.
Of those in the free States, there were 10,279 in New York, being near one-half of the whole number, of whom 6,317 were foreigners, being two-thirds of the convicts in the State, and nearly one-half of the foreign convicts in the United States.
In Massachusetts, there were 7,250, of which there were 259 more than one-half foreigners, and more than one-fourth the whole number of foreign convicts in all the States. Taking the convictions in all the New England States, more than one-half were foreigners.
In Missouri, there were 908, of whom there were 666 foreigners, being more than two-thirds of the number in the State, and one-third of the whole number in the slave States.
In Connecticut the whole number of convictions was 850 ; and of these 545 were natives, and 305 foreigners.
In Illinois the whole number of convictions was 316; and of these 127 were natives, and 189 foreigners.
In Maine the whole number convicted was 744; and of these 284 were natives, and 460 foreigners.
In Pennsylvania the number of convictions was 1277; and of these 984 were natives, and 293 foreigners.
In Vermont the number convicted was 79, of whom 34 were natives, and 45 foreigners.
The statistics of State Prisons and Penitentiaries of 1850, as given in Professor De Bow's book, show that there were then 4,758 white inmates, of whom 1,499 were of foreign birth, being near one-third of the whole numa ber. Of these there were in the free States 2,271 natives, and 1,129 foreigners, and in the slave States, 988 natives, and 370 foreigners.
Of the 809 inmates in the State Prisons of the New England States, 580 were natives, and 229 foreigners. In the three State Prisons of New York, there were 1380, of whom 835 were natives, and 545 foreigners ; in the two in Pennsylvania, there were 328, of whom 205 were natives, and 123 foreigners. Of the 370 foreign inmates in the slave States, 106 were in Louisiana, 96 in Alabama, 58 in Missouri, and 34 in Maryland.
By the same table, from which these facts are gleaned, it appears that in Maine, out of every ten thousand, there are five foreigners to one Dative. In Kentucky, six to one. In Mississippi, ten to two. In New .
· York, three to one. In Tennessee, fifteen to two. In Vermont, eight to one.
In South Carolina, twenty-eight to one. In Alabama, fifty to one. In Georgia, six to one. In Indiana, four to one; and the average in all the States is a fraction less than six to one.
And by another table in the same book it appears that of 431 inmates in Massachusetts, including blacks, 300 were natives, one whose birth was unknown, and 130 foreigners, of whom 74 were Irish, 3 German, and 53 from other countries; of 40 foreign inmates in Maryland, 5 were Irish, 25 German, and 5 from other countries; of 11 foreign inmates in Virginia, 5 were Irish, 3 German, and 3 from other countries; of 59 foreign inmates in Missouri, 29 were Irish, 12 German, 17 from other countries.
In addition to these statistics, the following are derived from the reports of Prison Discipline Societies, Prison Inspectors and other sources :
Of 483 convicts received in the Massachusetts State Prison, in 1852, there were 170 foreigners, being more than one-third of the whole number; and of 27,383 persons admitted into the various jails of that State, during the years 1850, 1851, and 1854, 9,367 were foreigners, being also over one-third of the whole number.
Of 634 inmates in the Penitentiaries of New York, during the years 1852 and 1853, there were 332 foreigners, being over one-half of the whole number.
In Pennsylvania, there were admitted into the Eastern Penitentiary from October, 1829, to the close of the year 1849, 2421 persons, of whom 460 were foreigners, near one-sixth of the whole number, 199 being Irish; and of the 124 received in 1854, there were 41 foreigners, being one-third of the number.
In New Jersey, during 1852 and 1853, there were received in the State Prison at Trenton, 351 convicts, 113 of whom were foreigners, being nearly one-third of the number.
In Ohio, there were at the end of the year 1854, 587 inmates in the Penitentiary at Columbus, 144 of whom were foreigners, being near one-fourth of the number.
In the Wisconsin Penitentiary there were 105 received in 1854, of whom 72 were foreigners, being over two-thirds.
Louisiana is the only Southern State with a large city, and has, of course, its State Prison filled. At the date of the annual report for 1854, there were 295 prisoners, 114 of whom were foreigners, being over threeeights of the number, 55 being Irishmen, 15 German, 12 French, 6 English, 3 Mexican, 3 Prussian, 3 Italian, and the remainder from other countries.
In California, a statement recently published gave the whole number admitted since the opening of the Penitentiary, to be 501 convicts, three fifths of whom were foreigners.
The Philadelphia Sketch Book for April, 1855, states that the number of persons in prison last year, according to the penitentiary reports, was 5,646. In other words, that of the offences committed during the year, one-fifth, or 5,646 of the aggregate cases, were sufficiently grave to incur a penitentiary punishment; while the remaining 20,899 cases were punished with ordinary jail and house of refuge incarceration. The following was the proportion to the whole number of cases in the four principal northern States :
Being 'over two-thirds of the entire number of cases in the four States named, of which 10,751 were foreigners, being more than one-half of the whole number.
A speech delivered in the United States Senate, January 25, 1855, by the Hon. JAMES COOPER, of Pennsylvania, stated that in the conviction for capital offences the proportion of foreign to native born was startling, and that out of two hundred and twenty convictions which took place, in about eighteen months, in seven States, viz. : in New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland, there were 138 of foreigners to 82 of natives.
In still further corroboration of the facts before recited, the following article from a New York journal of 1853, may be cited :
“Fitzgerland will be hung at the Tombs to-day for shooting his wife. Neary, sentenced to the same fate for a similar offence, is respited one week, in order that the sheriff's jury may determine whether he has lost his reason. If the latter execution takes place, it will make seven in this city within the last year! In all England and Wales, the whole number of executions during the year 1852, as appears by a parliamentary report, was only nine. The population of this city is 600,000—the population of England and Wales is 18,000,000. In other words, New
York, with a population of only one-thirteenth as large as England and Wales, hangs seven-ninths as many in the same space of time.
“The little we fail in point of number, however, is more than made up in the atrocity of the offences. Of the nine hung in England, one murdered bis wife, one her husband, one her mother-in-law, one his employer who had dismissed him, one bis ancle, one a stranger on the highway, one his own illegitimate child, one the illegitimate ehild of his wife, one the illegitimate child of his paramour ; but of the seven, three murdered their wives -namely, Grunzig by poison, Fitzgerland by shooting, Neary by beating the brains out with a mallet and chisel ; Stookey murdered a negro, Clark murdered a policeman, and Saul and Howlett a watchman. Three of the English murders were of infants, but all of the New York murders were of full grown persons, three of whom sustained the most sacred of all relations to those who deprived them of life. But, in truth, New York of right has the precedence of all England and Wales on this score, even in regard to number. Doyle, who murdered the woman with whom he boarded in Pearl street, was sentenced to be hung, and ought to have been hung, and would have been hung in England, but was sent to the State prison for life. Sullivan, who killed the man in Cliff street, who endeavored to prevent his beating his wife, was found guilty of murder, and ought to have been hung, and would have been hung in England, but was sent to the State prison for life. Johnson, one of the condemned with Saul and Howlett, was sent to the State prison for life. There are now at the Tombs ten men awaiting trial for murder, one of whom, Carnell, the fiendish Dey street murderer, has already been convicted once, and is now awaiting a second trial. The whole number of arrests in this city for homicide, within the last year, has been, as near as we can ascertain, about thirty-five. The whole number of arrests in this city, during the year 1852, was about 35,000; the whole number of commitments in England and Wales, was 27,510. The whole number of arrests for offences committed upon the person in New York, in 1852, was 5,468 ; in England and Wales, the whole number of commitments for the same class of offences, during the same period, has been about 2,000. In England, last year, there were 13 convictions for burglary ;, in New York, 146 arrests for the same offence. During the last seven years, there were 66 convictions for this offence; in New York, during the same period, over 1,000 arrests. But this does not furnish the worst aspect of the case. The disparity between England and this city is yearly becoming greater-while crime is increasing there slightly, it is here increasing with fearful rapidity. The whole number of convictions for murder in England, in 1846, was 13 ; the whole number of arrests in New York, for murder, for the nine months preceding May 1, 1846, was 10. In England, the convictions of 1847, were 19; in New York,
during the year ending May 1, 1847, the arrests were 18. In 1849, the convictions in England were 19; in New York, the arrests for the year ending November 1, were 13. In 1850, the convictions in England, 11; in New York, during the fifteen months ending with the last of December, 1850, they were 16. In 1851, the English convictions were 16; the New York arrests 36. In 1852, the English convictions were 16; the New York arrests were 30. The total number of commitments for all kinds of offences in England and Wales, during the last seven years, was 194,424 ; the total number of arrests in New York during the same period, was over 200,000. We are not able to make an exact comparison between the absolute number of crimes perpetrated in England, and in New York city, since the Parliamentary tables before us relate only to commitments in the case of offences generally, and to convictions in cases of murder, whereas our Police tables only give the number of arrests. Of course, many are arrested who are not committed or bound over for trial, but their number is by no means so great as to destroy the remark. able significance of the figures we have put in connection. Now, what are the causes of the remarkable difference between this city and England, in extent of crime? England has its immense cities, abounding with ignorant and vicious classes of population—it has its London, its Liverpool, its Birmingham, its Manchester, and its Leeds, and yet this single city of New York, if we may trust official tables, exceeds not only each of them in crime, but all put together. It cannot be ascribed to any peculiar character of our people, distinct from theirs—for it is notorious, that the greater part of our criminality springs from the foreign element of our population. Of the seven murderers above specified, for instance, six of them were foreigners, one being a German, three Irish, one English, and one a Nova Scotian; and the seventh, though born in this city, was of Irish parentage. The same people that chiefly commit the crimes here are found in vast numbers in every English city. Why, then, the difference in the extent of that crime? The causes which produce this result are various and complex, some of which we may consider hereafter. The most important of them are, doubtless, the comparative inefficiency of our police in preventing crime, the comparative uncertainty of our courts in punishing crime, the neglect of our young vagrant population, and the vast number of disorderly groggeries, licensed and unlicensed, that have all the while, without restraint, been stimulating the passions and bad propensities of all the lower classes of our population. It is time that these matters should be seriously and earnestly looked at and cared for. Our streams of crime are increasing in torrents, and they threaten to overwhelm us. The facts we have given, startling as they are, cannot be denied. Official documents prove them. Read and ponder."