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4 reams blue letter paper, 3,95, 3 lbs. of India rubber, 1,50, 4 reams ruled cap paper, 4,00, 10 reams ruled cap paper, 4,50, 4 reams of enrolling paper, 15,00 1 packing box,
15,80 · 3,00
16,00 45,60 15,00
$500,42 The above lot of stationery has been delivered to the Legislature at different times, during the present session, with the exception of the following, which yet remains in my hands, to wit:
7 reams cap paper,
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,
WM. T. STERLING.
REPORT OF BYRON KILBOURN, LOAN AGENT, TO NE
GOTIATE A LOAN, TO AID IN THE CONSTRUCTION • OF THE MILWAUKEE AND ROCK RIVER CANAL. To the Hon. Legislative Assembly of the territory of Wisconsin:
The undersigned, as loan agent of the territory, for the purpose of negotiating a loan to aid in the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, begs leave to submit the following
REPORT: On the 26th day of February, 1839, the Governor approved the act passed by your honorable body, entitled "an act to provide for aiding in the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal," which act provides, (Sec. 1,) “that to aid in the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, the Governor of the Territory be and he is hereby authorized, to borrow on the pledges hereinafter provided, any sum or sums of money not exceeding fifty thousand dollars,” and said act further provides, (Sec. 20,) “ that the Governor is hereby authorized and empowered for the purposes aforesaid, to appoint such agents as may be necessary and proper for obtaining any loan by this act authorized,” &c.—In pursuance of which power, the undersigned was duly appointed an agent to negotiate said loan, by letters patent, under the hand of Governor Dodge and the Great Seal of the Territory, dated March 14th, 1840. The undersigned in pursuance of the authority so vested in him, immediately opened a correspondence with a large number of capitalists at the east, and in various parts of the United States, and also forwarded to each a newspaper article, setting forth the advantages of investments here, and desiring their aid and co-operation in the negotiation of the loan. From all the persons with whom I held this correspondence, I learned the discouraging state of the money market, and from none could I obtain such encouragement as to induce the belief that a loan could be obtained on any terms, restricted as this loan was, by various provisions of the act authorizing it.
This conviction I communicated to Governor Dodge, by letter from Ohio, in November, 1840, and stated to him some modifications which I thought necessary in the law, before we could succeed in obtaining the loan. Among these recommendations, was an increase of the rate of interest on the bonds, from six to seven per cent., and to receive funds on the loan, deposited in • any specie paying bank wherever it would best suit the convenience of the parties taking up the loan,' instead of requiring said deposits to be made exclusively in the city of New York.
These suggestions were duly presented and acted upon by your honorably body; and an act was passed embodying the proposed modifications, which received the approval and signature of the Executive on the 12th day of February last, (1841,) entitled • an act supplementary to the several acts relating to the Milwaukee and Rock river canal.' By this act it is provided (Sec. 2.) that the Governor of the Territory is hereby authorized to execute and issue bonds in the name of the Territory, for any sum not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars, bearing an interest of seven per cent. per annum, payable semi-annually, provided that all or any part of any moneys which may be borrowed in pursuance of this act, may be deposited in any sound specie paying bank, which shall be selected by the canal commissioners and the Governor of the Territory, subject to the draft of the Receiver of the canal fund, whenever the same may be required for expenditures on the canal, but in all other respects conformable to the provisions of the first section of the act to provide for aiding in the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock river canal,' approved February 26, 1839.
By these provisions, it is seen that the act, of February, 1839 is specially recognized and declared to be in force; and conseqently the authority of the Governor to appoint agents, remained as under the previous act, of February, 1839. In pursuance of this authority, and of other requirements of the act, Governor Dodge recalled the old bonds then in my hands, together with his authority to negotiate them, and issued new bonds for 100,000, of seven per cent. stocks ; and on the 13th of May last, (1841), renewed the authority to me, for the negotiation of the new bonds, in accordance with the act of February last.
In pursuance of the authority so vested in me, I proceeded in the discharge of the duties, in the hope of being able to accomplish the object, though under circumstances discouraging in the extreme. During the winter season of last year, as the time approached when the Philadelphia banks were required to resume specie payments—when the public mind had become satisfied, as it did, that that resumption would be made, and successfully—when the period of resumption arrived, and the banks actually went into the measure, and did sustain themselves a month, with every appearance of having overcome the great point of difficulty-during all this time, if the provisions of the then existing law, had been such as those of the act of February last, there would have been no difficulty in obtaining the whole loan-but when the third suspension, the grand explosion of the Pennsylvania banks took place, in February last, it produced a new revulsion, and still greater uncertainty on the subject of investments, than had been felt for some time before, and made men hug their money with a closer grip, lest if it passed in any shape from their fingers, it might perchance be gone forever.
Amidst this discouraging state of things, I had to open new negotiations, almost without hope of success; and which I could not have been induced to undertake by any consideration except the extreme urgency of the case. For more than three years, since the canal grant was obtained, the work had been retarded, the policy baffled, and every conceivable obstruction thrown in the way of its progress which could be devised by a local, inexplicable, but vindictive hostility, from certain citizens of Milwaukee; which superadded to the peculiar state of financial matters during a few years past, satisfied me that if something could not be effected this season to ensure the steady progress of the work, it would fall into discredit, perhaps even be. come odious from delay and uncertainty, and render it vastly more difficult, if not totally impracticable, to accomplish in future.
Being deeply impressed with these feelings, I assumed what I conceived to be almost a hopeless task. I endeavored in the first instance to obtain the loan in Ohio, from sources where some prospect had been opened in the course of my negotiations during the winter, in anticipation of the changes in the law which were afterward made: but before these changes were made and placed officially in my hands, the condition of things had undergone such a change as to preclude any thing being done under these former arrangements. Abandoning, therefore, any farther expectation from these sources, I determined to go east, in the hope that by a bare possibility, something might be accomplished; when I was arrested by a proposition from Mr. George Reed, to take a considerable part of the loan, provided the amount could be received in current funds of the best banks in Ohio. This proposition I gladly accepted, believing it to be, as I still do, strictly within the intent and meaning of the law, and conducive to the true interests of the Territory, as the patron of the first public improvement of any magnitude, commenced within her limits, and highly beneficial to the interest of that portion of her citizens who have purchased the canal lands at high prices, under the implied pledge that the work would progress without unnecessary delay.
I accordingly entered into an arrangement with Mr. Reed, at Cincinnati, for $30,000 of the bonds, to be paid through the bank of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company, in funds bankable in that institution. This bank was selected among others by the commissioners, agreeably to law, as a suitable place of deposit, and is not only a specie paying bank, but one of the safest and soundest insitutions in the United States, and especially so, as compared with the banks in the Western States. In its dealings, it receives and pays out no funds except those of banks of the most undoubted standing; throwing out the paper of all distant or doubtful institutions, and deal. ing only in the most choice and select funds which the currency of the country will afford. A large proportion of the current Ohio banks, all the banks of Michigan and Illinois, and all doubtful banks of the adjoining States, are discarded entirely, at their counter; so that whatever demands are payable or receivable at that institution, are certain to be in the very best funds in circulation in the western country. In such funds, and such only, this loan of $30,000, was to be paid.
Owing to some difficulties which have occurred in the disbursement of this loan, difficulties which in my opinion, no friend of the canal nor of the country would have thrown in the way,I have thought it necessary thus to present to the mind of your honorable body more ful