NEW ORLEANS’ FILTHY STREETS.
New Orleans from its climate is as liable to febrile diseases engendered by neglect of sanitary precautions as any city in the United Slates, yet strange to say no city is less careless as to sanitary regulations and the condition of its streets. The following letter, addressed some time ago to The Times Democrat, by Stanford E. Chaille, we trust was not written and printed in vain:
Nothing is as costly as disease, and nothing promotes disease as much as filth; there is, therefore, no duty whxh the public owes to itself moie imperative than the removal of the common filth, and since protracted heat greatly augments the destructive influence of filth, there is no time when its removal is so important as at the approach of summer.
The public, which imposes on its municipal officers the duty of removing the common filth and yet fails to provide them with adequa e means, proves conclusively that it is unfit for self-government. Since April 17 I have entertained a respect for the voting majority of my fellow-citizens never before enjoyed, and have indulged the hope that the good intention, then manifested, would soon prove, by deeds, that this public was capable of wise self-government, appreciative of its sanitary and other needs, and competent to provide all means indispensable to the common welfare.
If the public treasury cannot provide the means, then the sole resource is voluntary contributions, which, either of money or labor, every citizen can give. Is it possible that this city, with 40,000 voters, is to continue with streets and gutters reeking with accumulating and disgusting filth, and nauseating us with sickening stenches, when our own officers, chosen because of our confidence in their integrity and capacity, assure us that our Augean stable can be cleaned and kept clean if we will aid the public treasury to the extent only of some $ 10,000 to $40,000?
Even the larger sum is only a dollar for every voter, but this dollar cannot be collected. Are we then willing to admit that New Orleans has not even 4000 citizens who will give us $10 each, or 1000 who will give $40 each, or 400 who will give $100 each? Surely too citizens, selected from our various associations and exchanges, could readily secure subscriptions for even (>400 each, or for whatever less amount may be requisite to contribute to the health of some 250.000 of Our fellow-citizens. The cost of cleanliness is great, and is vividly realized by everyone who taxes his own purse ; but the cost to the whole community of disease due to filth is far, far greater, although unfortunately not realized, except perhaps by the few who happen to be sick.
Leaving roon for the summer, the filthy condition of New Oileans will all’ect me personally much less than most of my fellow-citizens, yet 1 would cheerfully contribute my full share of money or labor, even go in person with spade, bucket and broom into the street, rather than submit silently and inertly to the evils this city now endures and has long endured with a listless stupidity which deserves condemnation as a public crime, when we consider that our helpless young children are the chief victims.
Those worthy citizens, Clark ft Meader, have given an example of public spirit which many, no doubt, will follow. And if all the worth of New Orleans could be persuaded to realize the value of health and to unite upon the most obvious means to secure it, the good results would soon be apparent and most gratifying. No investment of money ever yields such enormous returns of happiness as money wisely spent for health.