« AnteriorContinuar »
existing state of the militia of the Territory; and in answer to a letter addressed to your Excellency by the honorable the Secretary of War, of the date of September 8, 1841, on the subject of the arms which have been furnished the militia, either by Congress or the Territory, a statement has been by me officially made, that no arms whatsoever have either been furnished or distributed to the militia by Congress, or by the Territory, nor does the Territory now possess any arms whatsoever.
BLANK FORMS. Pursuant to law, I have procured and distributed to the Commanders of the several Regiments and separate battalions, the several blank forms necessary to obtain the proper returns of the existing force of the militia of the Territory.
APPROPRIATIONS. I am happy to state that the appropriation of $150, made at the last session of the Legislature, to meet the necessary expenditures of this office, is amply sufficient for the expenses of the last, as well as of the current year. No further appropriation is necessary, unless the arrival and distribution of public arms from the General Government should demand it. My accounts shall be legally settled with he Auditor General as early as possible.
I have the honor to be,
Adjutant General of the
REPORT OF THOMAS L. OGDEN, JR., Esq., CHIEF EN
GINEER, NOV. 24, 1842.
MILWAUKEE, Nov. 21th, 1841. Dear Sir :-Enclosed is the report you requested; in it I have endeavored clearly to state the objections to the present management of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, and have added thereto the only remedy by which I can conceive that they can be obviated. I hope it will meet with your approbation. The work has naturally become very generally unpopular, and but little confidence is entertained of its ultimate success. All parties seem to agree that the entire system should be remodelled. If this could be done, and means could be obtained to prosecute the work vigorously, the advantage resulting to this place and the back country, are so obvious that little doubt can be entertained but that a change in the public opinion would be the consequence.
I am, Sir, respectfully yours,
THIOMAS L, OGDEN, JR. GOVERNOR Doty.
To His Excellency James D. Doty:
Sır: In accordance with the act of the Legislature requiring the Chief Engineer of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, to report to the Governor the progress of the Canal, with such views as may be pertinent thereto, I proceed to the discharge of that part of my duty.
Since my arrival in this place on the 13th October, I have not been called on by the Commissioners to act in the capacity of Engineer. I am consequently not conversant with the details of the operations, and can only report to you in general terms.
All the work that has yet been done I have examined. It extends from the upper part of the town, along the bank of the Milwaukee river to the first dam, in length about a mile.
This portion of the work, which is said to be more expensive than any other of similar length on the whole contemplated route, is rapidly advancing, and in all probability will be ready early in the ensuing season to supply such mills as may be erected.
The Dam will be completed at an early day, a portion of graveling is now all that is wanting, it is a structure well adapted in its place to the location in which it is placed, and is built in a durable manner and at a small expense. The timbers for the guard locks are framed, but a short time will be required to place them and to complete the lock. The section work, part of which is completed, and nearly all of which is under way, appears to be faithfully executed.' It would be superfluous in me to speak of the advantages and feasibility of the whole project; to you and to all parties its particular merits are familiar. I would merely remark, that I have revised the estimates for the whole work; that I consider them liberal, and believe that the description of work can be done for the specified prices.
In accordance with that part of the act which requires the Chief Engineer to report such views and opinions in regard to the Canal as are to its interest and to those of the Territory, I would beg leave respectifully to submit to your consideration the following views in regard to the management of the work. They have been suggested in part, by comparing this with other works of a similar kind with which I have been familiar, and by knowing from experience that nothing is more necessary to the successful prosecution of such an undertaking, than, not only to unite the efforts of all its friends, but, especially to secure a firm and united action on the part of those intrusted with its direction. According to the present system, the management of the work is entrused to theCanalCompany, and to the Board of Commissioners. One Engineer is appointed by the Company, and another by the Governor to act on the part of the Territory.
The location and construction of the canal are exclusively in the hands of the Company; they form the plans, let the contracts, and
employ their own Engineer to superintend the construction. The Commissioners on the part of the Territory disburse the money arising from the lands donated by Congress, they pay for work done on contracts which they have approved, the estimates for which have been certified to by the Chief Engineer.
The duties of the chief engineer principally consist in examining the estimates presented to the commissioners; he may at all times be called on for his opinion in regard to the work, but unless especially called on he does not superintend the construction. The company retain in its hands the right of location, of forming water powers, &c.; rights which may be always exercised to the public advantage, but which are capable of being abused; they may be exercised to advance general interests, or to carry out private ends.
The Territory, by the donation of Congress, subscribing nearly one half of the whole expense of the undertaking, have given all the above privileges to the company, and merely collects and disburses the money arising from the lands.
Such, sir, is briefly the present arrangement in regard to the conduct of the Milwaukee and Rock river canal. I will now briefly state the most obvious objections to it.
There are other disadvantages in this arrangement that are greatiy detrimental to a successful prosecution of the work besides those of a public nature already alluded to. It is true, that the Canal Company, , may, without consultation with the Commissioners, make contracts and proceed independently with the work, but in order to do so, they must have funds of their own. This to any great extent is not the case, a co-operation with the commissioners therefore becomes necessary. In case then of a disagreement between the two Boards, it is easy to see that the project becomes hampered with difficulties which may be of such extent as to defeat the undertaking. I do not say that difficulties of this nature have already been experienced, probably they have not, as the work already done is of small extent; but, as the work progresses more rapidly, as the operations become more extensive, and as different and conflicting interests arise, such obstacles are to be apprehended.
By the present arrangement there are two Engineers, one acting
on the part of the Company, the other on the part of the Territory; on the former devolve the ordinary duties of an Engineer, and on the latter merely the duty of revising estimates.
The object of this anrangement cannot be secured unless the Territorial Engineer is constantly employed. It is impossible for a person who has not witnessed the progress of the work from its commencement to form a correct opinion either of its stability or its value. I say a correct opinion: we may from a cursory observation be able to make an approximate estimate, or to detect a glaring fault; but in appointing such an officer, more than this is required.
If the Territorial Engineer is constantly employed, and becomes responsible as a professional man, for the stability of the work, the estimates for which he certifies to be correct, he necessarily oversees the construction and gives his directions to the contractors. In this case, there are two officers with similar duties.
No work can prosper under the direction of two distinct persons; differences in opinion and management must arise from the natural course of things.
There is another objection to the present system besides those mentioned. It is the expense of an additional board and engineer. This expense for a single year may amount to but little, but if continued year after year, it will form an important item of expenditure. Such, sir, are the objections which exist to the present management of the canal. My duties as an officer of the territory are here properly ended. I would, however, beg leave respectfully to suggest for your consideration, the most effectual method that presents itself to me of obviating the above difficulties, and of enlisting, in favor of the undertaking, public confidence and support.
I would propose that the Territory should be represented in the Board of directors, in proportion to the moneys subscribed by her to the execution of the work; that upon the Board thus constituted, should devolve the duty of choosing the President of the Company, the Chief Engineer of the Canal and other officers; and that all the privileges and duties at the present held by the two Boards should devolve on this. By such an arrangement the difficulties to the present management would be obviated and the interests of the community, as well as those of undivided stockholders, would be represented.