2015년 6월 24일 수요일

[발췌] Sanitary Improvement in New York during the last quarter of a century

출처: Popular Science Monthly, Vol. 39, No. 21 (1891년 7월)
자료: 구글도서


※ 발췌 (excerpt): pp. 319~

SANITARY IMPROVEMENT IN NEW YORK DURING THE LAST QUARTER OF A CENTURY

BY GENERAL EMMONS CLARK

During the quarter of a century (1836-1860) preceding the war for the Union, a great change occurred in the character and social condition of the population of the large cities upon the Atlantic seaboard, and especially in the city of New York. The famine in Ireland, and the extreme poverty of the people of that unfortunate country; the unsuccessful revolutions in various parts of the Continent; and the popular belief that Fortune beckoned the poor and oppressed of foreign lands to comfortable homes and to personal, political, and religious freedom beyond the Atlantic were chief among the causes of the immense emigration at that period to the US. ( ... ... )

Native-born citizens viewed with considerable apprehension and dissatisfaction this great influx of foreigners, with their diverse languages, customs, and religions; to avoid unpleasant associations they reluctantly surrendered their dwellings and found new homes in the more northerly part of the island, or beyond the East River, in Brooklyn; and this migration continued until large sections of the city were almost entirely occupied by tenement-houses. In all such districts the sanitary condition, which had been fairly good, rapidly deteriorated; the municipal government made no effort to enforce regulations necessary to insure cleanliness and to promote the health and comfort of the poor and helpless; and thus between the years 1830 and 1860 a considerable part of the city year by year drifted into a condition deplorable to the philanthropist and disgraceful to the corporation. ( ... ... ) Although the necessity of sanitary reform and improvement was evident, it was not until 1864 that an organized and intelligent movement was made to remove the evils which had gradually accumulated and which seriously threatened the health and permanent prosperity of the metropolis. The great draft riot of 1863, when the city was for several days controlled by the ignorant and dangerous classes, a large amount of property destroyed, many lives lost, business suspended, and the streets unsafe for traffic or passage, was largely instrumental in awakening the New York public to the absolute necessity of reform and improvement in the social condition of a considerable portion of its population.

On the 29th day of February, 1864, at a meeting of the Citizens' Association, at that time an organization of great activity and influence, and composed of the most prominent intelligent and public-spirited citizens of New York, a committee of inquiry was appointed to obtain full and reliable information relative to the sanitary condition of all parts of the city. Upon the report of this committee a Council of Hygiene and Public Health was organized, and under its direction a thorough sanitary survey of the city was made during the year. The city was divided into 29 sanitary districts, and to each district was assigned a competent physician as sanitary inspector, to make a house-to-house visitation, and to report upon every possible source of preventable disease and every nuisance dangerous to life or detrimental to health. ( ... ... ) The work was faithfully and intelligently accomplished, and in 1865 the reports of the Council of Hygiene and Public Health and of the sanitary inspectors of districts were published in a large volume. These reports were so startling in their disclosures, and the advent of Asiatic cholera was at that time so imminent, that public attention was directed to the subject, and it was not difficult to secure the enactment by the New York Legislature of 1866 of "an act to create a Metropolitan Sanitary District and Board of Health therein, for the preservation of health and life, and to prevent the spread of disease."

  • This act clearly defined the duties of the Board of Health, 
  • and conferred upon it discretionary powers, judicial and legislative, never before intrusted to any executive body in this country. 
  • Under this law the Board of Health was organized in New York March 5, 1866, and on the 20th day of April it enacted the necessary sanitary rules and regulations for the government of the city, since known as the Sanitary Code.

To demonstrate this sanitary improvement in New York during the quarter of a century that has elapsed since the organization of the Board of Health in 1866, it is necessary to briefly describe the sanitary condition of the city as it appeared to the Council of Hygiene and its sanitary inspectors in 1864. ( ... 당시 위생 상태에 대한 생생한 언급 ... )

Sanitary reform is of slow growth; for every improvement is an attack more or less important upon the prejudices or the property of a considerable number of citizens and tax-payers, and is, therefore, vigorously resisted. ( ... ... )

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