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A TABLE showing the number of convicts, received in the Penitentiary
of Virginia, from the time it was opened in 1800, with the pardons, deaths, escapes, and discharges in each year, until the 30th of November, 1833, and the number remaining on that day.
No. received for 2d, 3d and 4th of
fences and included in the whole No, received.
16|| - No. escaped each
1 1 1 2 1 1 5 3
1. 3 5
1800 1801 1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 1832 1833
23 44 55 41 50 40 54 37 40 25 33 50 52 33 45 74 77 60 80 93 81 103 83 62 34 52 43 50 55 57 49 43 37
5 18 11
8 11 10 34 17 23 9 9 16
9 12 20 13 20 12 15 1 6 4 6 4 4 5 13 11
5 3 6 3 3 7 11
9 15 12 14 16 23 18 17 17 21 15 25 51 9
11 33 15 14 26 39 47 34 44 55 60 66
19 41 68 87 90 118 113 124 121 121 112 112 117 114 106 122 158 171 168 191 211 209 220 211 191 154 149 143 149 155 168 165 124
3 6 6 4 6 5 5 4 5 9 4 3 2 2 1
These convicts were employed in the following occupations, viz. Boot and Shoe making, 14 Splicers,
3 Harness making, 2 Fuller and Washer,
1 Tailoring, 10 Wheelwrights,
7 Blacksmiths, 8| Carpenters,
6 Strickers, 8 Coopers,
7 Nailors, 3 Yard hand, pumps, &c.
2 Mill Stone makers, 2 Runners,
2 Firemen, 1 Nurses,
2 Weavers, 17 Cooks,
3 Quillers and spoolers, 5 Clerk,
1 Wool carders, 2 Invalids,
5 Wool spinners,
21 Total number of men,
113 Women (all colored persons) employed sewing,
9 Total of all colors of both sexes,
122 Number of slaves for transportation,
7 The act making solitude not more than half or less than one-eigth of the term of conviction, and requiring each person to be confined in his dark and solitary cell for six months immediately after being received, was in force from the 1st of March, 1824, to the 9th of March, 1826. It was then provided, that three months of solitary confinement should be suffered at the commencement of each person's term, and three months more at the close. This law continued in force until the 27th February, 1829; when it was provided that the first three months should be omitted; but the three months at the close of the term was continued until the 9th of March, 1833, when solitude was reduced to one-twelfth part of the whole term and not to exceed one month at any one time. The wall round the prison was not erected till 1824.
Of the number of prisoners received into the Penitentiary from 1st Oce tober, 1832 to 30th Sept. 1833, there were forMurder, 4 | Horse stealing,
6 Voluntary manslaughter, 5 Grand larceny,
10 Unlawful stabbing, 2 Forgery,
2 Stealing free negroes,
1 Passing counterfeit bank notes, 3 Arson,
2 Bigamy, Robbery, 1 Felony,
6 Stealing slaves,
Virginia is considerably behind her sisters New York and Pennsylvania in the extent of her improvements. For this several reasons may be assigned; first, her habitual caution and prudence in legislation, requiring demonstration of its utility before she will embark her capital in any new enterprize ; second, the sectional jealousies of different portions of the state, the interest of several often conflicting, with regard to any specific improvement proposed; third, the mismanagement of her first enterprizes in this field, have contributed to dampen her ardour ever since. Of late she seems to be more inclined to arouse from her lethargy. There is a per
manent fund devoted to the purpose of internal improvement; by a report in Sept. 30, 1833 this fund amounted to $1,423,661 11, to which
be added a disposable fund of $966,847 80, (of which however $61,111 il is at present improductive) making in all $2,415,586 50; from which the annual income is $144,934 00. This fund is managed by 13 directors styled the Board of Public Works; of which board the Governor, Treasurer, and First Auditor are ex officio members. The board meets annually on the first Monday in January. The members receive $4 per diem, and 20 cents a mile for travelling.
The views of Governor Tazewell upon this subject are interesting:
“Another great Corporation connected with the fiscal concerns of the Commonwealth, is “the Board of Public Works.'' This institution was established in 1816, and endowed with all the stocks then held by the state in different Turnpike and Canal Companies, in the Bank of Virginia and the Farmers' Bank of Virginia, and with all the interest the state might acquire thereafter as a bonus or premium for the incorporation of other Banks, or for the increase of their capital, or the renewal of their charters. These funds and their proceeds, although nominally much greater, cannot be justly estimated, in money, at more than about two millions of dollars, which may now, therefore, be considered as constituting the capital stock of the Corporation. The receipts from this capital are equal to about $115,000 annually.
“The object of this institution, was to invest its annual profits, and the proceeds of such part of its capital as it might be thought judicious so to invest, in any work of Internal Improvement, promising when completed, to be of advantage to the Commonwealth, and profitable to the other proprietors of it. But aware of the difficulties that would attend the judicious selection of such works, the authors of the Corporation established a rule, by which it should be governed in every case.
When any work of Internal Improvement was proposed, if after the requisite surveys of it had been made, and its cost estimated, by officers and at the expense of the Corporation, threefifths of the capital deemed necessary for the completion of such a work was subscribed by individuals, the residue was to be taken by the Corporation, and paid for by it rateably with the sums advanced by the private stock-holders.
“If this scheme had been carried into full effect according to the original plan, it seems quite obvious, that all the funds of the Corporation would have been ultimately invested in the stocks of comparatively small under
kings, to the completion of which the enterprize and unaided capital of dividuals would have been perfectly adequate: while great works, the very magnitude of which would prevent the combination of a sufficient number of individuals to subscribe the proportion necessary to secure the co-operation of the state, would never have been carried into effect. Thus, while some partial improvements might have been made, no work of general and permanent utility would have been accomplished, and the great object of the Corporation must have been defeated. The discovery of this was at last made; but not until more than $900,000 of the capital of the institution had been invested in undertakings since abandoned, or in those the profits of which are quite inconsiderable, or much less than the average rate of profit in the country generally
"To remedy this defect, a modification of the original plan was adopted. The Commonwealth assumed upon itself, exclusively, the completion of certain great Internal Improvements, in which, from their very nature, the co
operation of a sufficient number of individuals could not be expected, leaving all others, deemed of less general utility, to the support of the Board of Public Works. Thus the subject of Internal Improvement has become divided into parts—in one of which the state is concerned exclusively, while in the other, the Board of Public Works is but a co-partner with individuals.
“The effect of this division of the public interests, has been attended with some hazard already, and unless much discretion is used hereafter, will be ruinous to the Board of Public Works, and seriously oppressive to the state itself. The funds of the Corporation not being equal to the immediate accomplishment of all the great objects in which the Commonwealth was concerned exclusively, and to the advancement, at the same time, of the others in which the Board of Public Works was interested as a co-partner with individuals, to supply the deficiency, resort was had to loans.
The payment of the interest and the reimbursement of the principal of these loans were charged, in the first instance, upon the stock for the benefit of which the loans had been effected: but should this prove insufficient, the funds of the Board of Public Works were made subject to these payments; and should a deficiency still exist, the Treasury itself was made accountable for it.
"The example of relying upon loans for the accomplishment of such public works being once set, was soon followed in the case of works to be constructed at the joint charge of the state and of individuals. Large sums have been borrowed to enable the payment of the subscription of the Corporation to these works also. The payment of the interest and the reimbursement of the principal of these loans, were charged, in like manner, upon the corporate funds, in the first instance: but should these prove insufficient, the Treasury itself, as before, is made chargeable with any deficiency.
“Thus it has happened, that while a considerable portion of the capital of this Corporation has been invested in stocks absolutely unproductive, or very nearly so, the whole of this capital is now charged with the payment of the interest and reimbursement of the principal of large debts, for which the Treasury itself is ultimately liable. As yet, the income of the Corporation is equal to the satisfaction of all its expenses, and to the payment of the interest charged upon it. It is believed also, that the capital is sufficient to discharge the principal of all these debts. But should any additional burthen be imposed upon this Corporation, at this time, it is probable that its means would not suffice to meet all its engagements, without impairing this capital. In that event, it is obvious that ere long, the whole weight of all these engagements must fall upon the Treasury, when to preserve the credit of the state, new and burthensome taxes must be imposed upon the people.
"To prevent such a result, I recommend to you most earnestly, that no new charge be imposed upon this Corporation, at present. In a few years, it is expected very confidently, that all the works in which it is concerned and which are now in progress, will be completed. Unless individuals have been greatly deceived in their estimates of the effects of these works, the funds invested in them will then become productive. The profits of this capital, or its proceeds will then enable the easy and speedy reimbursement of the debts with which the Corporation is now charged. The whole funds of the Board will then become applicable to other undertakings; and the work of Internal Improvement may again proceed with increased vigor and advantage.
But if a different course is pursued, the ruin of this Cor. poration may be the too probable consequence--grievous taxation must fol
low as the necessary effect of its ruin; and the work of Internal Improvement will receive a shock from which it will not recover for a long period.
“As a fiscal agent, the Board of Public Works has been, and under judicious management will continue to be, of great advantage to the Commonwealth. So long as its plans meet public approbation, it will call into useful action the unemployed capital of individuals, making this productive to its proprietors, and beneficial to the community. The very debts which it may be compelled to contract occasionally, will effect all the beneficial results, without producing any of the evils attendant upon a public debtprovided they are confined to a limit, within which the income of the Corporation, after satisfying its expenses, will certainly pay the interest, and its capital surely reimburse the principal. But if a different course is adopted, this Institution, instead of being an useful fiscal agent, will be worse than useless. It will then become positively mischievous, acting as a perpetual drain of the Treasury and exhausting its funds, repleted often as its coffers must be, by heavy exactions from the people.”'
Navigation East of the Appalachian System.-- The eastern part of Virginia is peculiarly favored in facilities for water transportation, in the immense and deep bay of Chesapeake and its large tributaries, the James, the York, the Rappa hannock, and the Potomac. The earth affords no other instance of so great a physical change in so short a distance, as that between the shallow sounds of North Carolina, and the deep water of the Chesapeake; in the latter the largest ships of war have adequate depth almost to the very verge of the primitive rock; ships of the line ascend the main bay nearly to its head, -the Potomac to Alexandria, some distance into York river,—and up James river to the mouth of Nansemond; sloops drawing six or seven feet water penetrate into innumerable creeks upon both sides of the bay. Nature seems also to have been especially liberal to this state in the peculiar direction of the channels of her rivers, making her eastern border a common recipient of all flowing east of the Appalachian System. The rivers of Georgia and the Carolinas, from Alatamaha to Cape Fear inclusive (and we might say without much violence to Roanoke) flow S. E. or S. S. E.: but from the southern border of Virginia to the Susquehannah they flow east, and the latter river south. Much has been done to improve the navigation in eastern Virginia, but little when compared with the extent of country and the number of lines of communication inviting attention.
James River is navigable for vessels of 250 tons to Warwick, and 125 tons to Rocket's, the port of Richmond. At that city commences the falls or rapids, to pass which by a navigable canal, the old James River Company was chartered in 1784, and were collecting tolls in the year 1794. (See Richmond, Henrico County.) The Richmond canal entered a basin on the western side of the city, it was 25 feet wide, and 3 deep, and extended originally 24 miles to its junction with the river, in which space there are 12 locks, and a fall of 180 feet. Three miles above the falls there was another short canal, with 3 locks, overcoming a fall of 34 feet. These canals and locks, with other slight improvements opened a tolerable navigation of 12 inches water to Lynchburg. In 1825 the James River Company declared canal navigation complete to the head of Maiden's Adventure talls, in Goochland County, a distance of 304 miles from Richmond. The width of the canal is 40 feet, depth of water 3 feet, and the expense was $623,225; the fall overcome was 1404 feet. This last improvement was probably in pro