« AnteriorContinuar »
So there are other statistics showing a like state of things. Accord. ing to the reports made on the subject, there were received into the houses of Correction, in Massachusetts, 29,076 persons, during the years 1850, 51, '52, '53 and 54, of which number 11,149 were of foreign birth, being considerably over one-third of the number. Of 1,056 inmates of the House of Correction, in Boston, in 1852, there were 738 foreigners, being two-thirds of the number.
A respectable local newspaper, a few months since, published the following statistics of crime and pauperism in Hudson county, New Jersey, viz. : 21,000 inhabitants, of whom 12,000 are patives, 5,000 Irish, and 4,000 other foreigners ; 4,168 persons confined to city prison and county jail, of whom 77 were natives, leaving 4,099 foreigners, of whom 3,608 were Irish; 188 inmates of the alms-house, none of whom are natives; all being Irish ; 723 received aid from the poor-master, of whom 3 were natives, and 720 Irish.
Of 107 committed to the Jersey City prison during the month of June, 1855, but 13 were natives, 3 of whom were colored, while the others were foreigners, 71 of whom were Irish, 14 English, and 9 German. According to a report of the Marshal of the same city, there were, during the month of September last, 113 arrests for the following offences : Drunkenness, 61; breach of the peace, 26; assault and battery, 14; vagrancy, 1; violation of the Sabbath, 2; disorderly house, 1 ; assaulting females in the street, 1; larceny, 7-total, 113. Of this number 82 were born in Ireland, 20 in the United States, 6 in Germany, 3 in England, 1 in Scotland, and 1 was colored. The Captain of the Watch reported, that during the same month there were 218 lodged in the watch-house, of whom 29 were females, whose nativity is not given, 67 Irish, 60 German, 22 English, 30 Americans, and 10 colored.
The Buffalo Advertiser publishes the following statement of persons committed to the jail of Erie county, New York:
604 1854 ...............................,192...........................279...............................471
...1,075 In the four cities of Buffalo, Albany, Brooklyn, and New York, the number of convictions was 3,733 in the year 1852, of which 2,802 were foreigners, being over two-thirds of the number.
Of 301 arrested in New York city for drunkenness, during the first week of August, 1855, there were 252 foreigners, 211 of whom were from Ireland, 16 from Scotland, 12 from England, 7 from Germany, 3 from France, and 3 from Wales ; and of 314 arrested for the same offence the week following, 268 were foreigners, 218 of whom were Irish, 17 German, 14 English, and 14 Scotch.
The inspectors of the Moyamensing prison, at Philadelphia, report that of 273 sentenced in the year 1853 to hard labor, 114 were foreigners, 68 of whom were Irish.
The following imperfect statistics of arrests made in Philadelphia, show the same state of things. In the third ward of that city, there were, during a period of three months, over 700 arrests by the police, of which number but 189 were Americans, 22 blacks, and 502 foreigners, of whom 491 were Irish, 61 German, 23 English, 4 Scotch ; in the seventh ward, the arrests from the 14th of September, 1854, to the end of the year, numbered 492, and during the month of February, 1855, they numbered 89, making an aggregate of 581, of whom but 69 were Americans, 143 blacks, and 369 foreigners, of whom 327 were Irish, 10 English, 6 German, and the remainder from other countries; in the tenth ward, during the same periods, there were 433 arrests, of whom 123 were natives, including blacks, and 310 foreigners, of which number there were 219 Irish, 38 English, 22 German, 14 Spaniards, 8 Poles, and 1 Frenchman ; in the 12th ward, the number of arrests, from October, 1854, to January, 1855, were 245, and during February, 1855, there were 70, making an aggregate of 315, of which number 63 were natives, including blacks, and 252 foreigners, of whom 120 were Irish, 110 German, 11 English, and 3 Frenchmen; in the 14th ward, the arrests from September 27, 1854, to January 1, 1855, were 221, 97 of whom were foreigners, of which number 77 were Irish, 14 German, and 6 English ; of 281 arrests made in the 19th ward, but 27 were Americans and 1 colored person, the remaining 253 were foreigners, 207 being Irish, 26 German, 14 English, and 6 Dutch ; of 344 arrests in the 20th ward, 109 were Americans, and 7 colored persons, the remaining 328 being foreigners, of whom 159 were from Ireland, 58 from Germany, 10 Englishmen, and 1 Frenchman. The following is the number of arrests made by the police of the twenty-third ward, with their places of nativity, from October 1st, 1854, to October 1st, 1855: American 44, French 1, German 17, Irish 111, black 8, Scotch 2, English 60, unknown 5-total 248.
INTEMPERANCE is undoubtedly one of the great causes of crime. Thus of 613 commitments to the State Prisons of New York in 1852, twothirds confessed intemperate habits, and how many were of that class called moderate drinkers does not appear; and the New York Prison Association's Report, for the same year, states that ninety per cent of the whole number committed to prison in that city, during that year, were intemperate. So of 126 received the same year in the Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsylvania, only 32 were registered as temperate, leaving 94 on the list of drinkers, moderate or immoderate; and of 96 received during the same year in the Western Penitentiary, 89 are regarded as having been brought to the felon's home by such indulgence. So in Philadelphia. Of 452 arrests made by the police in the sixth ward, from October 1, 1854, to January 1, 1855, there were 319 for drunkenness ; of 282 in the ninth ward, 140 for the same offence; of 245 in the twelfth ward, 142 for the same; and of 308 in the seventeenth ward, 133 for the like offence.
The Inspectors of the Moyamensing Prison, in their Report for 1854, bear the following emphatic testimony on this point: “Fall three-fourths of all the crimes that are committed may be traced to intemperance. The rum shops that infest our city furnish a large proportion of our prisoners. It is not of unfrequent occurrence that prisoners of the class alluded to, are but a few hours released from confinement when they are brought back upon a similar charge.”
similar charge." The turnkey's Report for 1853, furnished by the Mayor's clerk to the Grand Jury of the March term of the Philadelphia Quarter Sessions, shows that of 9,112 prisoners, 7,852 were for intoxication or for crimes induced by the use of strong drink.
Many more statistics like the foregoing might be adduced, but it cannot be necessary, for it is an admitted fact, requiring really no proof. Who, then, are those generally engaged in selling liquor, and who thus contribute to the increase of crime? A large majority are foreigners, and, though accurate statistical information cannot be had on the subject, there is sufficient to be had to justify the assertion. According to a Report of the Marshal of the city of Boston, in 1853, there were then 1500 places in that city where liquor was sold, of which but 490 were kept by Americans, and the remainder by foreigners, of whom 900 were Irish and 110 German and Swedes. We have no similar statistical information in relation to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other cities and large towns, but, if obtained, there remains not a reasonable doubt, it would present a like state of facts. But, it will be inquired, “What of it, if it be so ? Do you mean, by these general declarations, to ascribe all the evils of vice and crime to the liquor sellers, and to condemn all as being engaged in a business which should be prohibited by law ?" It is not necessary here to make a categorical answer to such an interrogatory. Suffice it to say, that the groggeries, which are mainly the cause of the prevailing vice of intemperance, should be prohibited, and that these are chiefly kept by foreigners, while the Americans engaged in the business are keepers of respectable hotels and houses of
entertainment, which are so conducted as to be in a great degree exempt from the charge of contributing to the increase of pauperism and crime. It is the groggeries, many of which sell liquor without license, that are responsible for the pauperism and crime in our country, that make widows and orphans, and contribute to increase juvenile vagrancy and delinquency; and these, it is safe to aver, are chiefly kept by foreigners.
A recent writer states thatı" alcoholic beverage,” which is the euphonious phraseology of the day, has, during the last ten years, “burned $5,000,000 worth of property; destroyed 300,000 lives; sent 150,000 persous to our State prisons, and 100,000 children to the poor houses; caused 1500 murders, 2000 suicides, and has bequeathed to our country 1,000,000 orphan children." Be this as it may, liquor is undoubtedly a great source of evil, making orphans, and these, without moral training, growing up in ignorance, poverty and filth, become criminals, as is forci- . bly described in a recent very able essay on juvenile delinquency, published under the direction of the Board of Managers of the Philadelphia House of Refuge: "Young years are tender and easier wrought upon," said Tillotson, “apt to be moulded into any fashion; they are like moist and soft clay, which is pliable to any form; but soon grows hard, and then nothing is to be made of it.” What will be gained by driving the boys from the engine-houses and corners to their “sweet homes ?”
“ Sated with exhalations rank and fell."
Nature, demanding relaxation and fresh air, impels the boy to seek pleasure where he can find it. A dozen collect together. They must have amusement. They cannot read; or if they can, they have nothing to read; or if they had, they have no place. Let the reader imagine him. self, instead of being seated in a large parlor, in a soft and luxurious arm-chair, reading the latest magazine or popular tale, transported, even with his interesting book in hand, to a small, close apartment, in which are four or five adults and as many children, a pile of reeking clothes on the only table in the room, a red hot stove, in which the bread for a large family is baking, and a "penny dip” shining to illuminate the room. How long will he sit still to enjoy his book? Will he not, in utter despair, rush off to the nearest dram-shop-to the neighboring rendezvous at the corner-or to the engine-house? The boys who "swarm in the streets to pilfer and plague the broad highway,” are to a certain extent excusable, and to the utmost to be pitied. They have no place of amusement, no books, no sisters to play on the piano, or sing for them, no games to engage their attention, in a well-lighted and comfortable apartment. The boy cannot mope_his nature resists that. His young
heart beats gaily in spite of its manifold oppressions. His young mus. cles ask for relaxation. He desires to have some fun,” as well as the son of his more favored neighbor, who has had a ride in a carriage, or a romp in a large hall, or who has been taken, by Pa or Ma, to hear some celebrated singer. He has no money with which to purchase innocent amusements. He cannot relax his system, after his hard day's toil, at the opera or concert; these sorts of fun are beyond his reach. He must do something; so he gets up a fight, or teazes the passers-by. One thing leads to another--he applies a torch to some building, and then—"runs with the engine."
“ Are our readers still unable to perceive the causes of juvenile delinquency? If so, here is a picture of life among the lowly,' equally true whether painted for London, Boston, New York, or Philadelphia.
“ Stand before the entrance of that court. "Look! There's not a soul down that court-yard but is either a drunkard, or beggar, or thief, or something worse. Write about that! Say how you saw the mouth o'hell, and the twa pillars thereof at the entry--the pawnbroker's shop o' one side, and the gin palace at the other--twa monstrous deevils, eating up men, women and bairns, body and soul. Are na they a mair damnable man-devouring idol than any red-hot statue of Moloch or wicker Gog. magog, wherein auld Britons burnt their prisoners ? Look at the barefooted, bare-backed bizzies, with their arms roun' the men's necks, and their mouths full of vitriol and beastly wards ! Look at that Irishwoman pouring the gin down the babbie's throat! Look at that raff o' a boy gae 'n out o' the pawnshop, where he's been pledging the handkerchief he stole this morning, into the gin shop, to buy beer poisoned wi' grains o' paradise, and cocculus indicus, and sant, and a damnable, maddening, thirst-breeding, lust-breeding drugs! Look at the girl that went wi' a shawl to her back and cam out wi' out ane ! Drunkards frae the breast ! Harlots frae the cradle! Damned before they're born.'
“Who will meddle with these social evils ? Who will step in between cupidity and its victim ? The writer fears there are too many who will answer to the description of such characters as Ralph Nickleby:• There are some men, who, living with the one object of enriching themselves, no matter by what means, and being perfectly conscious of the baseness and rascality of the means which they will use every day towards this end, affect nevertheless-even to themselves a high tone of moral rectitude, and shake their heads and sigh over the deep depravity of the world. But, we must interfere with such men; we must remove these social evils; we must prevent men from erecting death-breeding kennels. We must prevent your hard-hearted Nicklebys, who creep " through life by its dirtiest and narrowest ways, and who keep a regular