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nish the items of the canal company's account, but that they are open to the inspection of any committee of the Legislature, whenever it shall desire to examine them. The amount in gross is stated in the annual report of the company, which is in the hands of the Legislature. Should the Legislature, however, think favorable to the proposals herein made, for extinguishing or purchasing the rights of the company in the further construction of the canal, it will be seen at once that it is a question entirely inmaterial to the Territory, what the amount of these several items might be, as in that case the Territory is released from all liabilities of every description and amount, and the canal company will have to look to the railroad company alone for any compensation which they may receive.
Should it be thought (as possibly it may be, by some who are not acquainted with all the circumstances, that the equivalent which the canal company asks to be paid by the railroad company, in consideration of an entire relinquishment of the canal, is too great for such a purpose, I will remark that, as a question of interest alone, it would hold out no inducement whatever to the company, to make the exchange.
It is true, the canal company have their own interest to take care of, and so has every individual in community. The lawful rights of the canal company are, no doubt, as sacred in the eye of the law, as are the rights of individuals; and had the company no other motive to operate upon it, but its own money, it would by no means accept nor agree to the terms of relinquishment which they have here voluntarily proposed. But the canal company and its members have other and higher motives prompting them to compromise this matter on the most moderate terms. They are desirous that some improvement should be made which shall be a source of State wealth and State pride, and they will not knowingly throw any obstacles in the way of such a work: but at the same time, having labored long and faithfully to secure a work of that description, and having freely invested their means for that purpose, they are unwilling to surrender all without some small share of an equivalent. As a mere company, they have no desire for any change; but as citizens, the members of the company wish to see public interest preserved, which we doubt not would be in the most effectual manner by the construction of a railroad.
The interests of the company are not the subjects of discussion either for the Legislature or others; they are sufficiently guarded by the irrevocable law of the land; and if it should not be considered politic by the Legislature to adopt any measure for the improvement of the country, through means of the funds now at their disposal, they certainly will not do it out of favor to the canal company. If the public interest does not demand it, certainly the canal company have not and will not ask for it.
It is a fact worthy to be borne in mind, that the company have never solicited the Territory to purchase out their interest in the canal, nor have they ever asked for any rights or privileges not granted by their charter; but in a spirit of amity have ever been ready and willing to meet the Territorial authorities in any arrange. ment which might be agreeable to them, provided it were not such as to sacrifice the company entirely. There are those in the community, (though I would not intimate that there are any such in the Legislature,) whose malignity would be satisfied with nothing short of the total sacrifice of the company—but I hazard the prediction what that wish will never be gratified. The company know their rights, and it is their intention to maintain them. But they are nevertheless ready at all times to enter into any arrangement whereby the great and paramount interest of the country can be subserved, even though it cost them a great sacrifice; but they do not feel called upon to surrender, unconditionally, such means as they may possess, unless they should thereby secure through other means, the great result demanded by the true and permanent interest of the country. Should nothing be done by the Legislature at its present session, the company will continue to work on the canal with such means as they can command, and perhaps within the coming year, construct that portion of it embracing the last level of the western termination. An *excellent water power can be constructed, and it may perhaps be thought best for the interest of that part of the country to let the work proceed to that extent, and the whole to be transferred to the *Territory or State whenever it may be deemed good policy to make the purchase.
I have thus presented to the committee the terms on which, and the reasons why, the canal company are willing to relinquish the rights secured to them by their charter, so far as regards the construction of the canal; and I would respectfully request the committee to spread the same before the Council, and also before the House of Representatives, if there is any parliamentary mode by which it can be done..
The resolution requesting in general terms such information as may be of service to the Legislature, in considering any proposal which may be made, opens a wide field of inquiry, which did time permit, I would take pleasure in surveying to some extent. But restricted by circumstances, I will forego that pleasure, and barely revert to one or two items of popular doctrine, busily promulgated for special purposes, and then discharge the subject, committing it to the able and enlightened care of the Legislature.
If the purpose of purchasing out the canal company be to retrocede the lands to the government, as is loudly demanded by some who set themselves up as lights and guides to the people only to betray them, I would suggest two or three difficulties which would prevent the Legislature from adopting that course, and the injustice of it, if adopted, to the people themselves who have the deepest interest at stake.
As a fiscal measure on the part of the Territory, it would be unwise for the reason that liabilities have been incurred by the Territory to the amount of some $40,000 to 50,000, predicated on those lands as a specified security, and which would have to be utimately raised by the Territory or State by taxation, is that security be in any manner impaired.
As a measure of Territorial policy, such a proceeding would tarnish the fair escutcheon of the Territory, by implicating her faith in the performance of a fair deliberate act of contract.
As a proceeding involving the rights of purchasers of the canal lands, it would be an act of rash injustice. There are those, I am aware, who swell the cry of the dear people,” “the poor settlers,” &c., whose motives I will not pause to examine, but who will find in the end that they are on a false scent, and that these same “dear people,” and “poor settlers,” are not half so stupid as these same disinterested philanthropists imagine. What would be the condition of many a citizen on the canal lands, if they were now to revert to the Government and be reduced to $1,25 per acre,and brought immediately into market, as they certainly would be if that course were pursued? How many of those settlers could within the present year raise the cash to enter their lands, without borrowing it? I venture to say that a large majority would have to borrow, but suppose only one-fourth of their number were under that neeessity-nay, suppose that only one-tenth of their number were under that necessity —what would be the right policy on the score of true philanthropy? Those who are thus compelled to borrow would be subjected to the hard terms which others have been subjected to in other parts of the country, and pay double the amount borrowed, in four years time, with annual interest on the whole sum at seven per cent; thus the “ poor," for whom so much sympathy is attempted to be excited, would fall the victims of the Shylocks of the land, to gratify the vain ambition, the heartless policy, and the malignant hatred of a few mischievous demagogues who unhappily infest our community.
Let it be borne in mind, that these same “poor settlers” are not the persons who have sent up the numerous petitions to the Legislature on this subject—let it be borne in mind that out of five regular meetings, calling upon the settlers on canal lands to attend, not one of them was upon the canal grant. One meeting only has been held on the grant, not however notified as a general meeting, and held by persons chiefly who from the beginning have been opposed to the canal. At those several meetings it may safely be admitted that a few persons living on the outskirts of the grant, or being prompted by hostile feelings to the canal company, or being so constituted by nature that they could not withhold themselves from 'mischief, have been present; and no doubt some few who being alarmed by the hue and cry raised abroad and sent in upon them, have, from the best of motives, attended those meetings to ascertain if possible, what was the cause of all the hubbub.—But when all these motives have operated in concert, it has produced but a small result in bringing out the real bone and muscle, the real settlers, and the real parties interested. They had rather pay to the Territory $2,50 per acre for their lands, and have the amount expended in building a canal or rail-road in their own vicinity, than to pay the same price to speculators who would carry the money out of the country to be expended for the benefit of another people; and especially would this be the case if the interest can be remitted, not only what is past, but that which is hereafter to become due, until twenty miles of the rail-road shall be completed, agreeably to the project of the bill contained in this paper. Our people are not dolts and blockheads enough to be gulled by the clamor which has been raised against the canal company for the benefit of politicians; and though some of them are poor, they are not so ignorant as to advocate such measures as would inevitably ruin themselves, for the benefit of any set of politicians, however fair might be their professions.
It might not be amiss by way of demonstrating the motives which in part impels and sustains these movements so hostile to the people, to mention that a certain prominent leader and boisterous declaimer for the “poor settlers,” the “poor against the rich,” &c., was himself, an agent to lend money to the “poor settlers” of the canal grant, at 100 per cent. advance in four years, with interest annually on the compound sum; and it may be possible that he would like to please the “poor settlers” on the canal grant to the same tune, and therefore has great anxiety to get it reduced to $1 25 per acre.
But suppose there were no poor " settlers” at all, but that every man had the means in hand to enter his land when brought into market-would it be just to those who have purchased and paid for their land in full at $2 50 per acre, without the expectation of the canal being made, to abandon the work entirely, and thus deprive them of the advantages which they expected to secure by paying the high, price? Certainly not.
Many there are who have thus paid for their lands to the canal fund, and the Territory has paid it to their officers, not to the canal company, and for work done on the canal.
If the whole enterprise were abandoned by the Territory, have not these persons a fair claim on the territory for $1 25 per acre for all lands by them thus purchased and paid for? There is also another