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Observations on Pauperism.

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the poor, would be sufficient to build greater number of shops, in which spithree houses for public worship. rituous liquors are sold by license.

Further, if wretchedness proceed We trust that four-fifths, if not the from vice, and vice, among the poor, whole, of the intelligent portion of our be generally the offspring of moral and fellow-citizens, will unite in opinion, intellectual darkness, is it not a most that the present extension of licensed reasonable, social duty, which the en- retailers is equivalent, or very nearly lightened portions of society owe to so, as it respects the morals of the the ignorant, to instruct before they city, to the entire abrogation the condemn? to teach before they punish? law which requires a dealer in liquors Can there be a more painful reflection to take out a license. While the in the mind of a humane juror, than number of places in the city remains the thought of consigning to death, or so excessively great, which afford to to perpetual exclusion from the enjoy- the poor and ignorant not only so ments of virtuous society, a fellow- many facilities, but so many invitacreature, for crimes that have evidently tions and temptations, to spend their resulted from that condition of vicious money “over the maddening bowl,” ignorance, to which he has ever been reformation will be greatly impeded; exposed, without any attempts on the poverty and ruin must increase and part of the community to rescue him abound. from it?

If each of the 1600 retailers in the The committee would, therefore, sub-city, sell, upon an average, to the mit to the society, the proposition of amount of 250 cents. per day, an endeavouring to effect, as the means estimate which, we presume, all will may accrue, the gradual erection of consider within the truth, the aggrebuildings for public worship, in those gate amount for the year is 1,460,000 parts of the city where they are most dollars. This enormous sum, exneeded, until every citizen may have torted from the sweat of labour, and an opportunity of attending divine the tears and groans of suffering worship

wives and children, would be sufficient 7th. To promote the advancement to build annually 50 houses of worship, of First-day or Sunday School Instruc- at 20,000 dollars each; and leave a tion, both of children and adults. We surplus that would be more than sufcannot but regard this kind of instruc- ficient to erect school-houses, and tion as one of the most powerful en- amply provide for the education of gines of social reform, that the wisdom every child in the city. When, with and benevolence of men have ever a single glance of the mind, we conbrought into operation.

trast the difference in moral effect, 8th. To contrive a plan, if possible, between the appropriation of this sum by which all the spontaneous charities to the support of the buyers and sellers of the town may flow into one channel, of strong drink, and its appropriation and be distributed in conformity to to the support of honest and industria well-regulated system, by which de- ous mechanics, employed in the erecception may be prevented, and other tion of buildings, which would improve indirect evils, arising from numerous and ornament the city, and to the difindependent associations, be fairly ob- fusion of religion and useful learning; viated.

who will not rise and exert his strength It appears highly probable, that if against the encroachment of so mighty the administration of the charities of an evil? the city were so conducted, as to ob- Various other subjects and modes of viate all danger of misapplication and relief, tending to the same great object, deception; those charities would flow might be enumerated; but we forbear with greater freedom, and that funds any further to enlarge our report by might occasionally be obtained, which the recital of them. would afford the means of erecting In the Constitution which we herehouses for worship, opening schools, with submit for the organization and and employing teachers, and thus di- government of the society, a door is rect, with greater efficacy, those mate- opened for the adoption of any mearials, which alone can ensure, to the sure which the society may deem it great fabric of society, its fairest pro- expedient to pursue, in conformity to portions, and its longest duration. the principal design of its institution.

9th, To obtain the abolition of the To conclude: The committee has by

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HISTORICAL SKETCH OF

no means intended, in the freedom Article 4.-The business shall be with which it has thus examined the conducted by a Board of Managers, causes of pauperism, and suggested consisting of thirty members, to be remedies, to encourage the expecta- chosen at the annual meeting of the tion that the whole of these remedies society, to be held on the last Tuesday can be speedily brought within the in October, in each year, and nine of power and control of the society. A whom shall constitute a quorum. work of so much importance to the Article 5.-Its officers shall be a prepublic welfare, cannot be the business sident, two ce-presidents, a treaof a day; but we nevertheless enter- surer, and secretary, to be appointed tain the hope, that if the principles by the board of managers. and design of this society shall, upon Article 6.— The corporation of this mature examination and reflection, city shall be entitled to appoint any receive the approbation of the great five members of their body, who, when body of our intelligent fellow-citizens, appointed, shall, ex-officio, be memand the number of its members be bers of this board of managers. augmented accordingly, it will be able Article 7.- This constitution shall gradually to bring within its operation not be altered, except at an annual all the important measures suggested meeting of the society, and by twoin this Report. By what particular thirds of the members present. mode these measures shall be encountered, whether through the agency of large and efficient committees, of this society, or by auxiliary societies, each

ASTRONOMY. established for a specific purpose, un

ASTRONOMY is a science, which, in all der the patronage of the parent insti- ages and countries flourishing in arts tution, and subordinate to its general and politeness, has engaged the attenprinciples, we leave to the wisdom and tion of the speculative and contemplafuture decision of the society.

tive mind. It has not only employed On behalf of the committee, the tongues of the most eloquent ora

John Griscom, Chairman. tors, and embellished the writings of New York, second month, 4th, 1818. men of the most elevated genius; but

has also been cultivated by the great

est princes, the ablest statesmen, and Proposed Constitution.

the wisest philosophers, whose names Article 1.- This society shall be have been recorded in history, and known by the name of “The New whose studies have enriched mankind. York Society for the Prevention of The Astronomer has for the subject Pauperism.

of his speculations, the whole universe Article 2.-Its objects shall be, to of material being. He considers the investigate the circumstances and ha- nature of matter in general ; and inbits of the poor ; to devise means for quires by what laws its several parts improving their situation, both in a act upon one another. But his thoughts physical and moral point of view, to are more particularly employed about suggest plans for calling into exercise those vast bodies, which compose the their own endeavours, and afford the visible phenomena of the heavens, and means for giving them increased effect; which, in common speech, are compreto hold out inducements to economy hended under the appellation of the and saving from the fruits of their own Sun, Moon, and Stars.

He finds the industry, in the seasons of greater magnitude of these to be vastly greater abundance; to discountenance, and than is commonly supposed. He is as far as possible prevent, mendicity able to demonstrate, that very few of and street-begging; and, in fine, to do them are so small in bulk as the earth every thing which may tend to melio- on which we live ; and that the greater rate their condition, by stimulating number far exceed it in dimensions, their industry, and exciting their own He is assured, that, in point of real energies.

magnitude, the Sun is equal to a Article 3. — Any person signing this million of our globe; and that his apconstitution, paying one dollar at the parently diminutive bulk arises solely time of signing, and one dollar annu- from that amazing distance which ally, shall become a member of this separates him from our planetary habisociety.

tation. He discovers that there are

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Astronomy.

130

several other planets, some of them | different magnitudes,- and the appamuch larger than ours, which receive rent diurnal motion of the heavenly light and heat from the Sun; which are bodies,—are all such striking objects, carried round him with prodigious ve- as must have drawn the attention, and locities; and which may probably be excited the admiration, of all reasoninhabited by various creatures, both able beings, long before observation rational and irrational. He knows gave birth to science. that the Stars, which seem to be so near Some single stars, such as Sirius, to each other in the firmament, are at Capella, Aldebaran, and others of the inconceivable distances from one an- first magnitude ; some constellations or other, as well as from us; and that, groups of stars, such as the Great how small soever they appear, they are Bear, Orion, Arcturus, and the Pleiin reality enormous bodies, many of ades; are so remarkable, as to be them not inferior to the Sun in magni- easily distinguished from the rest. tude. His glasses shew him a prodi- Besides the fixed stars, the planets, gious number of stars, which, by reason by their different degrees of brightof their vast distances from us, are ness and colour, but especially by invisible to the unassisted eye; and changing their places, must soon have the better his glasses are, the greater been the objects of general attention. is the number of stars thus discovered. When the lives of men were protractHence he reasonably concludes, that ed to eight or nine hundred years, as there are innumerable multitudes scat- | in the antediluvian ages of the world, tered through the immensity of space, (Gen. chap. v.) one man might observe beyond the reach of any magnifying Saturn, the slowest of the planets, go powers that have hitherto been in- through more than twenty of his perivented.

odical revolutions round the Sun. It It is an observation of a philoso- is therefore but reasonable to suppose, pher, that mathematical sciences have that some of the antediluvians might a tendency to purify the soul. The have been tolerably good astronomers. active principle within us must have But it is to be lamented, that if they some employment. If it be delighted had any written accounts of astronowith abstruse speculations, it will be mical observations, or any other acless attached to sensual pleasures; but quaintance with useful arts or sciences, if we go no farther, we fall very short the far greatest part of them must of acting up to the dignity of a ra- have perished in the general deluge, tional nature. In order to attain this, since few fragments only of their we must carry our contemplations of acquirements have been transmitted to the frame and constitution of the uni- | posterity. verse to their proper mark'; that, from Josephus says, that God indulged beholding the wonders of the creation, the antediluvians with a long life, that we may be brought to adore the wis- they might bring astronomy and geodom, power, and goodness, of the metry to perfection; that the first of Creator. There is, indeed, no part of these could not be learned in less than the creation which does not display 600 years ; for that period” says he, these attributes to an attentive mind;

" is the grand year.

By this it is but the heavens, in a more eminent supposed, that he meant the period in manner, declare the glory of God, and which the Sun and Moon come again the firmament sheweth his handy-work. into the same situation in which they

were at the creation, with regard to the HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY.

nodes and apogee of the Moon. “This Astronomy is a science of such great period,” says Cassini,

“ whereof we antiquity, that some of its first prin- find no intimation in any monument of ciples must have been known from the any other nation, is the finest period beginning of the world. The rising that ever was invented; for it brings and setting of the Sun; the variations out the solar year more exactly than in bis altitude, in the same country, that of Hipparchus and Ptolemy; and in different seasons of the year; and fixes the lunar month within about one the distinct degrees of heat he commu- second of what it is determined by nicates,—the changes in the face of the modern astronomers.” If the antediMoon, and their periodical returns,- luvians had in reality such a period of the vast expanse of heaven diversified 600 years, it is certain that they must with a prodigious number of stars of have known the motions of the Sun No. 2.-Vol. I.

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no means intended, in the freedom Article 4.–The business shall be with which it has thus examined the conducted by a Board of Managers, causes of pauperism, and suggested consisting of thirty members, to be remedies, to encourage the expecta- chosen at the annual meeting of the tion that the whole of these remedies society, to be held on the last Tuesday can be speedily brought within the in October, in each year, and nine of power and control of the society. A whom shall constitute a quorum. work of so much importance to the Article 5.-Its officers shall be a prepublic welfare, cannot be business sident, two vice-presidents, a treaof a day; but we nevertheless enter- surer, and secretary, to be appointed tain the hope, that if the principles by the board of managers. and design of this society shall, upon Article 6.—The corporation of this mature examination and reflection, city shall be entitled to appoint any receive the approbation of the great five members of their body, who, when body of our intelligent fellow-citizens, appointed, shall, ex-officio, be memand the number of its members be bers of this board of managers. augmented accordingly, it will be able Article 7.- This constitution shall gradually to bring within its operation not be altered, except at an annual all the important measures suggested meeting of the society, and by twoin this Report. By what particular thirds of the members present. mode these measures shall be encountered, whether through the agency of

HISTORICAL SKETCH OF large and efficient committees, of this society, or by auxiliary societies, each

ASTRONOMY. established for a specific purpose, un

ASTRONOMY is a science, which, in all der the patronage of the parent insti- ages and countries flourishing in arts tution, and subordinate to its general and politeness, has engaged the attenprinciples, we leave to the wisdom and tion of the speculative and contemplafuture decision of the society.

tive mind. It has not only employed On behalf of the committee, the tongues of the most eloquent ora

John GRISCOM, Chairman. tors, and embellished the writings of New York, second month, 4th, 1818. men of the most elevated genius; but

has also been cultivated by the great

est princes, the ablest statesmen, and Proposed Constitution.

the wisest philosophers, whose names Article 1. – This society shall be have been recorded in history, and known by the name of « The New whose studies have enriched mankind. York Society for the Prevention of The Astronomer has for the subject Pauperism."

of his speculations, the whole universe Article 2.--Its objects shall be, to of material being. He considers the investigate the circumstances and ha- nature of matter in general ; and inbits of the poor ; to devise means for quires by what laws its several parts improving their situation, both in a act upon one another. But his thoughts physical and moral point of view; to are more particularly employed about suggest plans for calling into exercise those vast bodies, which compose the their own endeavours, and afford the visible phenomena of the heavens, and means for giving them increased effect; which, in common speech, are compreto hold out inducements to economy hended under the appellation of the and saving from the fruits of their own Sun, Moon, and Stars. He finds the industry, in the seasons of greater magnitude of these to be vastly greater abundance; to discountenance, and than is commonly supposed. He is as far as possible prevent, mendicity able to demonstrate, that very few of and street-begging; and, in fine, to do them are so small in bulk as the earth every thing which may tend to melio- on which we live ; and that the greater rate their condition, by stimulating number far exceed it in dimensions. their industry, and exciting their own He is assured, that, in point of real energies.

magnitude, the Sun is equal to a Article 3. — Any person signing this million of our globe; and that his apconstitution, paying one dollar at the parently diminutive bulk arises solely time of signing, and one dollar annu- from that amazing distance wbich ally, shall become a member of this separates him from our planetary habisociety

tation. He discovers that there are

129

Astronomy.

130

several other planets, some of them different magnitudes,-- and the appamuch larger than ours, which receive rent diurnal motion of the heavenly light and heat from the Sun; which are bodies,-are all such striking objects, carried round him with prodigious ve- as must have drawn the attention, and locities; and which may probably be excited the admiration, of all reasoninhabited by various creatures, both able beings, long before observation rational and irrational. He knows gave birth to science. that the Stars, which seem to be so near Some single stars, such as Sirius, to each other in the firmament, are at Capella, Aldebaran, and others of the inconceivable distances from one an- first magnitude ; some constellations or other, as well as from us; and that, groups of stars, such as the Great how small soever they appear, they are Bear, Orion, Arcturus, and the Pleiin reality enormous bodies; many of ades; are so remarkable, as to be them not inferior to the Sun in magni- easily distinguished from the rest. tude. His glasses shew him a prodi- Besides the fixed stars, the planets, gious number of stars, which, by reason by their different degrees of brightof their vast distances from us, are ness and colour, but especially by invisible to the unassisted eye; and changing their places, must soon have the better his glasses are, the greater been the objects of general attention. is the number of stars thus discovered. When the lives of men were protractHence he reasonably concludes, that ed to eight or nine hundred years, as there are innumerable multitudes scat- in the antediluvian ages of the world, tered through the immensity of space, (Gen. chap. v.) one man might observe beyond the reach of any magnifying Saturn, the slowest of the planets, go powers that have hitherto been in- through more than twenty of his perivented.

odical revolutions round the Sun. It It is an observation of a philoso- is therefore but reasonable to suppose, pher, that mathematical sciences have that some of the antediluvians might a tendency to purify the soul. The have been tolerably good astronomers. active principle within us must have But it is to be lamented, that if they some employment. If it be delighted had any written accounts of astronowith abstruse speculations, it will be mical observations, or any other acless attached to sensual pleasures; but quaintance with useful arts or sciences, if we go no farther, we fall very short the far greatest part of them must of acting up to the dignity of a ra- have perished in the general deluge, tional nature. In order to attain this, since few fragments only of their we must carry our contemplations of acquirements have been transmitted to the frame and constitution of the uni- posterity. verse to their proper mark'; that, from Josephus says, that God indulged beholding the wonders of the creation, the antediluvians with a long life, that we may be brought to adore the wis- they might bring astronomy and geodom, power, and goodness, of the metry to perfection; that the first of Creator. There is, indeed, no part of these could not be learned in less than the creation which does not display 600 years ; “ for that period” says he, these attributes to an attentive mind; “ is the grand year.By this it is but the heavens, in a more eminent supposed, that he meant the period in manner, declare the glory of God, and which the Sun and Moon come again the firmament sheweth his handy-work. into the same situation in which they

were at the creation, with regard to the

nodes and apogee of the Moon. “This Astronomy is a science of such great period,” says Cassini, whereof we antiquity, that some of its first prin- find no intimation in any monument of ciples must have been known from the any other nation, is the finest period beginning of the world. The rising that ever was invented; for it brings and setting of the Sun; the variations out the solar year more exactly than in his altitude, in the same country, that of Hipparchus and Ptolemy; and in different seasons of the year; and fixes the lunar month within about one the distinct degrees of heat he commu- second of what it is determined by nicates,--the changes in the face of the modern astronomers.” If the antediMoon, and their periodical returns,- luvians had in reality such a period of the vast expanse of heaven diversified | 600 years, it is certain that they must with a prodigious number of stars of have known the motions of the Sun No. 2.- VOL. I.

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HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY.

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