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the part of true statesmanship to turn aşide and ignore the existence the
fine mansions, pleasant homes, rich orchards, and fields smiling with golden grain, is now to be seen.only barrenness and desolation.
We find that the lands so destroyed were worth many millions of dollars, that their ability to return à revenue to the State has ceased. This is not all; the destruction, we fear, is but commencing, for hydraulic mining is but in its infancy; science, and appliances now brought to bear, enable the miners to literally move the mountains into the valleys, and so rapidly that only the costly levees built and maintained on the west bank of the Feather River now prevent a large and fertile territory from being destroyed. This deposit from the mines is increasing at so rapid a rate that the levee system is becoming almost unavailing, rendering it impossible to preserve for agriculture a territory whose annual production equals, or exceeds, the gold product of the adjacent hydraulic mines. This, if nothing be done to avert it, will be irrevocably lost to its owners and the State, thus impairing its revenue, lessening its productiveness and deterring immigration. Nor is it merely in destroying our valley lands, that the present system of hydraulic mining is destructive. The beautiful City of Marysville, fifteen years ago the third city of the State in population and wealth, is from this cause reduced to its present grade among the cities of the State. Having the best natural situation of any of our interior cities, at the confluence of two navigáble streams, sitting on a plateau once rising twenty or more feet above the beds of the streams flowing at her feet, and surrounded by extensive and highly fertile territory, she once bid fair to become the chief inland city of our State. But the mountains began moving down upon her, filling the beds of crystal streams, until now the rivers, above which she proudly sat, are menacing the lives as well as the property of her citizens. A year ago she was inundated, and near a million dollars worth of property destroyed. At a cost of many thousands of dollars a new levee has been built, but the turbid streams already threaten its existence.
When first this destroying process began, the lighter material only reached so far down as Marysville. Soon, however, followed the sand and heavier detritus, and now the fertile lands that girded her about are submerged beneath deep deposits of sand and gravel that is wholly unproductive. We find that the present system destroys by a double process, first by covering the alluvial lands of the valley with the debris from the mountains; and, secondly, by stripping the hills and mountains of their trees and all vegetation, and in reinoving the soil, and leaving but the bare rock, prevents all productiveness in the future, leaving an unsightly desert. The effect. this may have upon our climate for evil is yet to be determined, but can scarcely be estimated from any data your committee have at hand.
During this period, while the mining interest has steadily declined -while the annual gold product has fallen from more than sixtý million dollars to about seventeen millions--the agricultural interest has as steadily and rapidly increased, until now, its products exceed in value the gold product of the most productive year. It is on agriculture, and its kindred pursuits, that the wealth and strength of states and nations are founded; it is our great reliance in the future. Shall this great industry.be fostered and protected in its just rights, or shall it be injured and destroyed ? This is the question we are called upon to solve this diversity of interests to harmonize in in annmanne with the otarnal princinles of justice and right. It is not
eradicated, the evil may be mitigated. For every wrong there is a remedy, and it is our duty as legislators to seek for the means, and earnestly endeavor to lessen this our evil, of which so many of jour people justly complain.
Evidence has been adduced, and no attempt has been made to controvert it, that in the valleys of the Yuba, Bear, Sacramento, American, Feather, and other smaller yalleys, many thousands of acres of land of the most valuable kind, and improvements on the same worth millions of dollars, have been totally destroyed. Your committee find, also, that the property yet uninjured adjacent to these ruined and desolate districts has depreciated materially in value, it being evident that in the near future, if this process of destruction continues, the surrounding country must all be overspread and ruined.
It is not only the lands bordering on the smaller streams that are threatened, another and to many minds a more serious evil is impending--the filling up of our navigable streams, unfitting them for the purposes of transportation, depriving us of the great natural highways for cheap freights; the gradual filling of our magnificent bays, where the navies of the'world may ride in safety; and the inevitable shoaling of the entrance to the Harbor and Bay of San Francisco—the gateway for all our products-our chief means of communicating with the world. We find that some of our rivers, at the point of debouchure from the mountains, have been raised above their natural beds from seventy to one hundred feet. This altitude is gradually decreased the farther down the rivers we go, giving greater fall; the velocity thus acquired gives the water the power to force the heavier material farther down, and shortly we shall see the advancing columns of coarse gravel and heavy detritus carried into the bay. Hitherto the lighter particles only have reached the tidewater, yet the quantity is so great that it is estimated by one of our most accomplished engineers (William Arnold) to be sufficient to cover, in one year, one square mile to the depth of forty-one feet; or to fill Suisun Bay to the line of low-water in the period of fifteen and one-half years, and San Pablo Bay to the same line in thirty-one and a quarter years. But the volume is rapidly increasing, and the work of destruction correspondingly so, in a geometrical ratio; hence we may expect to see the bays mentioned filled within a much shorter period of time. Viewed from this standpoint, this subject certainly deserves the serious attention of the Federal Government. If we bąd the process of Nature alone to contend' with, we could trust to keep the Sacramento River within its banks, and to preserve a commodious channel, and the smaller streams would seldom escape their natural banks, but, against this system of mining, we can have no safeguard, scarcely a stream, natural outlet, or escape-way, but is filled flush with its banks, and no systém of levees or embankments will suffice to protect those surrounding lands from destruction.
The gravity of this question has already attracted the attention of thinking men--the press of our State, echoing the voice of the people, is demanding that it receive careful consideration ; and it behooves us to face it boldly, handle it carefully, and, without injuring any interest, seek a solution
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
NAPA STATE ASYLUM FOR THE INSANE,
FOR THE YEARS 1874 AND 1875.
unfortunates designed to be its inmates. The general arrangement of the whole building is upon the best plan that experience could suggest or science approve. The erection and construction of the building, as well as the furnishing of materials therefor, and the furnishing of the completed portion, have been done under contract, and under the personal supervision of a careful and competent architect; and we feel safe in saying that for beauty of design and finish, for comfort and convenience, for the thoroughness of the work and quality of materials used, for strength and durability of this building is not surpassed by any other in the Union that is used or designed for a similar purpose. All the contracts were taken a
at low rates, and some were so low that the contractors lost money thereby. The most prudent and economical could not desire more favorable contracts. The details of the progress of the building will more fully appear from the report of the supervising architects, which is herewith transmitted
The north wing of the building was completed, furnished, and ready for the reception of inmates on the ninth day of November, eighteen hundred and seventy-five; and notice to that effect was duly given the several County Judges of this State, as well as the Probate Judge of the City and County of San Francisco. This wing will accommodate about one hundred and thirty patients.
On the fifteenth day of October, eighteen hundred and seventyfour, the Board of Directors duly elected Dr. Edward Bentley, of San Francisco, a gentleman of large experience in medical insanity, to the office of Medical Superintendent of the asylum. He has entered upon the discharge of his duties, but his salary only dates from the occupation of the building. His report is, also, herewith transmitted. Respectfully submitted.
To the Honorable Board of Directors of the Napa State Asylum for the
NAPA, November 18th, 1875.
GENTLEMEN : Since my acceptance of the position of Medical Superintendent of the Napa State Asylum for the Insane, an honor conferred upon me by you, I have devoted myself with most earnest zeal.to the best interests of the institution. To this end I have made myself familiar with all the details of the building and its mechanical appliances. This has been more perfectly accomplished by the kindly assistance of the gentlemanly architects (Messrs. Wright & Sanders), who were ever ready and willing to explain, and by close observation of the skeleton walls as they have risen from the basement to the roofs, to the now perfect completion of two sections. It is plain to see that a degree of information has been obtained of the greatest advantage in the future organization and supervision of the institution. The many improvements that have been harmoniously blended in the construction of this extensive charity is a marvel to the most experienced.
Among the many visitors who have favored me with their counsel, I need only mention two or three distinguished in the specialtyDr. A. M. Shew, of Connecticut; Dr. N. F. Cariel, of Illinois, and Dr. W. M. Manning, of New South Wales--who spent considerable time with us, and to whom I owe the highest consideration of respect for their cordiality and confidence. The latter, for a long time in the British service as Inspector of Hospitals and Asylums, was charmed with the system of heating and ventilation which you have adopted, and expressed himself as having seen nothing to compare with it in Europe, where he had been travelling the last nine months on a special tour of inspection.
The culinary arrangements are as perfect and complete as can well be imagined, and although the asylum is embraced by a circumference of nearly a mile, by a simple device in the architectural arrangement the food is received warm at the patient's table. That modern improvement, the elevator, at once a health-preserving and laborsaying invention, from the advantageous arrangement of the edifice, will be remarkably useful in numberless ways.
The bedsteads you have adopted are a model of durability, comfort, safety, and economy.