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of fitness and unfitness. The natural mobility of such a society is at once a strength and danger. Its strength is that it places no artificial bonds upon advance; its weakness, that pure selfishness and ambition have no check. From the latter, it follows that the accumulation of wealth and consequent power may remain in the hands of the minority; and the freest government may present relatively almost as much poverty as the most absolute. Poverty tends to be especially dangerous to social order under democratic institutions. With more freedom come greater wants and a greater sensitiveness to social disadvantages. We have in this country to face the ever difficult problem of how the necessities and comforts of subsistence may be so diffused that the largest number may profit by and enjoy them. It is at least a vantage-ground to be able to approach this question freed from many of the artificial conventionalities established by law and custom in older countries. It is the glory of democracy that questions are presented to it for final settlement that have vexed all forms of society. If it fails in their solution, the last reasonable experiment has been tried. One by one, important problems, that are often suppressed or shifted by European governments, are passed over to us for free discussion and solution. There is no country to the west for us in turn to relegate our unsolved questions. Here is the field of final settlement.

Just now we are met by a dangerous, complicating influence in the vast hordes of ignorant and degraded immigrants who are constantly being landed on our shores. This disturbs the natural equilibrium of many of the forces at work in our institutions, and notably the question of poverty and the means of subsistence.

Dr. Chapin went on to say that the character of present immigration, as shown by the recent investigations of the Congressional Committee in New York, is much worse than formerly; and he called attention particularly to the multitude of Italians, Poles, Hungarians, and Russian Jews who have lately arrived in the country. These settle chiefly in the large cities, where the struggle for subsistence is already fierce; and thus they increase the very evils they have left home to avoid. As they are also allowed to become voters, they complicate the question of self-government, as well as of labor and pauperism. Physicians have special occasion to observe the conditions of poverty, for the hospitals and dispensaries deal directly with the poorest classes ; and this had impressed on Dr. Chapin the importance of physiology in dealing with social questions, such as pauperism and private charity. He dwelt on the unfortunate fecundity of the very poor, and on their ignorance concerning the best and cheapest food, especially for young children. The filth and discomfort of the poor in cities, which can often be easily removed, and the difficult subject of housing the poor were also considered by him. The importance of keeping up a home, even in extreme poverty, was insisted on; and charitable and religious bodies were urged to give their attention to this. Manual education was recommended, and the defects of the public school system in New York were censured, involving a great outlay of public money, with no sufficient return in educational results for the mass of the people. Dr. Chapin concluded as follows:

It will be noticed that nothing has been said in regard to the accusations of tyranny and injustice on the part of capital in rendering difficult the struggle for subsistence among the poor. Doubtless much that is said by labor agitators on this subject is true. A large capital, selfishly used to control the sources of wealth, and force the price of necessary articles too high and the compensation for labor too low, will greatly enhance the difficulty of gaining subsistence for many people. The question of a right form of restraint to exercise upon the wealth and power enjoyed by individuals and corporations, without at the same time restraining enterprise and great undertakings, which mean employment to many people, is a subject for the most thoughtful philosophy and the truest statesmanship. Great wealth, in itself, cannot be considered a cause of poverty.

The question is here discussed from the angle which I have observed and thought upon it. Of course, it represents only a fragment of a great question ; but it seems to me, nevertheless, a fundamental and rudimentary part of it. The poor must primarily be helped to a greater health and efficiency. The changing of laws upon the statute book will not give them the ability to profit by alterations that may be made in their favor. The trouble is, they have not the strength of will, forethought, and intellectual development to know exactly what they want or to profit by what they do get. If many of their crude and contradictory demands were granted, their condition would be worse off than before. The first line of improvement must be to educate, strengthen, and elevate, with the confident hope that the sociology of the future will devise means, while this preliminary question is being worked out, for a more equable distribution of wealth. No uncertain philosophy is needed in this work. Any one and every one can engage in it, whatever their station or fortune, so long as there is any one worse off than themselves needing help and strength.

DISCUSSION OF DR. CHAPIN'S PAPER. Dr. Fiske Bryson.— Those of us who practise among the poor know how well Dr. Chapin has stated the facts relating to them ; but it seems to me that the struggle for subsistence can be greatly ameliorated by more instruction, and by giving more instruction to the instructors. It was with pleasure and amazement that I listened to an able woman lecturing last winter before a labor organization in New York. She put in a great many quotations from Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill. At the end of her lecture, a very bright working-woman got up and said, “No doubt you know a great deal, but it would take me two months to tell you what


do not know about us." Most of us think it would take a great deal longer. Few know how to reach these people. The struggle will be lessened when we have rational education. I am going to say a bold thing that I am glad when any one attacks the public schools. I am going to do it myself when I have more courage. But it is a waste of life and material to carry them on as they are managed now. So, when Dr. Chapin raised his voice, I was delighted; and I hope he will go on in the same way, arousing popular opinion on this subject. When science has triumphed a little more, and we can have food thoroughly nourishing and within the reach of these poverty-stricken people, the struggle for subsistence will be less than it is now. I think Dr. Chapin's paper deserves our gratitude.

Professor WAYLAND. — It is rather an inference from what Dr. Chapin has said that there is a pauper class beyond instruction, beyond elevating, beyond improving. This class must be supported by the State. The only logical, humane mode of dealing with them is to give them relief within almshouses, separating the sexes. Out-door relief, permitting them to add with appalling frequency to the number of their own class, is a source of pauperism, crime, and drunkenness, and is the most stupid blunder which any government can make. To shut these people up in the almshouse so long as they live is the only solution of this phase of the question.

Mr. SANBORN closed the discussion by saying that there has been in the immigration of the past twenty-five years a great improvement in the earning capacity of those coming over,from Ireland, for instance. They are better physically and morally. From other countries, this does not always hold good. New countries have been introduced into the stream of immigration, and it is now so mixed that it is really impossible to say whether it is better or worse than in former years. It is better in some respects, worse in others. My opinion is that the present mass is of a higher quality than twenty-five years ago.

On motion, Miss Agnes Lambert, of Clapham, England, was made a corresponding member of the Association.

The resolutions which had been introduced at the morning session were taken up in the evening, and passed, as follows:

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the President of this Association, to draw up a suitable resolution, indicative of the sense of this body, upon the necessity of a rigid demand on the part of our medical institutions for a more thorough general education antecedent to the study of medicine ; suggesting the adoption of entrance examinations for those candidates not possessing a collegiate or university degree, and furthermore urging our Medical Colleges so to extend the course of study and increase their facilities that the standard of scholarship may be on a par with like institutions abroad.

Resolved, That the same committee draw a resolution which may be presented to the legislative bodies of the respective States, urging the necessity of formulating more stringent laws to guard against the further incorporation of bodies unqualified to properly teach the science of medicine, and to take such steps that all the incorporated medical colleges be subject to a State supervision as to their methods and the standard of instruction.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented to the American Medical Association.







Ladies and Gentlemen,- In the absence of the Chairman of the Finance Department, Mr. W. L. Trenholm, Comptroller of the Currency, it falls to me to preside at the joint meeting of the two Departments, of Finance and Social Economy, which will consider the reports presented by a Special Committee, appointed a year ago. This Committee was charged with the laborious duty of collecting information for the Association, and for an international Conference at Paris, concerning the Provident Institutions of the United States. It has attended to some part of this immense task, and to-day will present, by several of its members, reports on Savings Banks in general (by Mr. John P. TOWNSEND), on School Savings Banks (by Mr. J. H. THIRY), on Life Insurance (by the Secretary of the Committee), on Co-operative Building Associations (by the whole Committee and by Messrs. Seymour Dexter, J. W. JENKS, and C. F. SOUTHARD), and on the Provident Institutions of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas (by Mr. R. T. Hill of Texas). Reports on other subjects, which were expected from Mr. Joseph D. Weeks, Prof. E. J. James, and Rev. 0. C. McCulloch, have been prevented from reaching us by the illness of these gentlemen or by other causes. But what we shall present will furnish matter for a full discussion of facts and principles, such as will suffice for this session, and may prepare the way for a more comprehensive report next year.

I shall not need to direct your attention to the facts and principles brought forward by Mr. Townsend, since the importance of his subject is well known, and his own acquaintance with it exceeds that of any member of our Association. In respect to Mr. Thiry and his topic, which is less familiar to us, I may say that France alone has many schools — estimated by Mr. Thiry, himself

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