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James Morrison ; and, from a continued chain of circumstances, from that time to the present, as exhibited by their conduct, and from a variety of facts that have transpired since the date of the above docunent, we are unhesitatingly of the opinion that a co., partnership has existed and does still exist, between the late board of commissioners and the contractor; and that the late board have beeil, during their continuance in office, acting in the double , capacity of commissioners and contractor, showing a fraudulent design to speculate and trade upon the funds of the Territory, wiihout regard to its best interests.
Amnong ihe many cvils growing out of this unlawful combira." tion, we may mention one that a certificate has been given the contractor by the late acting commissioner, of a certain amount" of work done by him, and upon that certificate the treasurer has paid over to the contractor the sum of $13,000; when all parties concerned must have known that the payments would exceed the amount of work done on the Capitol by at least $7,500 or $8,000. In the report of the late board of commissioners, made at the Burlington session of the Legislature, and dated Nov. 19th, 1837; it is there stated that about two-thirds of the large timber required for the building is got out and ready for use; and from the state ment of the late acting commissioner, the amount of timber then prepared was included in the contract with J. Morrison; but we are unable to find in the contract or published proposals, any reference made to the timber, and are, therefore, at a loss to find when or in what manner it was disposed of. We make mention of this, only to show one example involved in mystery among må. ny that might be mentioned.
In laying before your honorable bodies a statement of the balanco of moneys which the Territory is justly entitled to, now in the hands of the former commissioners, and contractor, and which is imperiously required to complete the Capito!, we submit the following statement of expenditures that have been made, and from svhich the Territory only, has derived any benefit, leaving the ex
traneous matters connected therewith, (as reported by the late .acting commissioner, at the last session of the Legislature, for ex.
penditures in the year 1837,) out of our estimate, as the whole mal. ter is to be settled by a judicial tribunal.
In our estimate we have taken into account the time when the work was done, the high price of labor, and the difficulty of obtain. ing maierials in a new.country, remote from setilements, and have allowed what we deem more than ample compensation under the circumstances.
From a careful survey and estimate of the basement of the Capitol, we find it to consist of 745 perches of stone, at $5 per perch,
$3,725 00 Cutting stone for corners of the building, jambs of the doors, windows, sills, caps and water tables,
925 00 Two door frames and four window frames, at $6, 36 00
Add 10 per cent. for contingencies,
Making the cost of basement,
$5,154 60 To which add amourt paid James Morrison, (in April and May, 1838,) in property,
7,960 70 Add, also, money paid J. Morrison,
Showing a disbursement of
$26,115 30 exclusive of pay of commissioners.
After deducting the above amount from the appropria:ions made by Congress of $40,000, it will show a balance in the hands of the former commissioners of
$13,884 70 To the above balance add the amount over-paid James Morrison, contractor,
Showing an amount of
$21,345 40 in the hands of the former commissioners, and contractor, at present entirely unavailable to the Territory.
We would further report that upon a minute examination into the condition of the Capitol, and its arrangement for receiving the inside work, the situation of the inside timbers in the building is such, that they must be materially changed and altered ; a part of them thrown aside, and others furnished, before the building can be finished in a good and substantial manner. The timbers in the roof will require raising to their original places, and staying, to ren. der the roof permanent. The expense of those alterations, to. gether with our estimate for completing the Capitol, will appear in document marked F.
We would here remark, ihat we have never hcard any particu. lar reason assigned why the former board refused to meet and setile their accounts with us, only, that the present board were no: legally constituted. Neither have we ever heard the contractor alledge any prominent reason why he did not go on and finish the Capitol, agreeable to his contract. At one time he said he would not go on because the acting commissioner was not present, or had not been present; and at a subsequent time he said he should not proceed with the work, unless the money was placed in Madison, or some place convenient to the work, so that he could be paid off at the end of each week.
We must here close the unfortunate history of the situation of the public buildings. The prospect of collecting the balance in the hands of the former co nmissioners and the contractor is such, that we believe that the Capitol must remair: for some time to come in its present unfinished condition, and the Territory in the unfor. tunate situation of a party in suits ihat have already been com. inenced and are now pending.
Your commissioners have thus far conducted the affairs rela. tive to the public buildings, as they think, for the best interests of the Terriiory. And in the foregoing report, have given all the information and material facts, that they have been able to arrive at touching the objects within the sphere of their duiy. ...
All which is respectfully submitted.
JAS. L. THAYER,
L. H. COTTON,
Document A. · At a meeting of the board of commissioners on public buildings, appointed March 8th, 1839, by the Territorial Legislature of Wis. consin, to superintend the erection and completion of the publiç buildings at Madison, in said Territory, and such other duties as are required under iheir appointment, held at Milwaukee on the 8th day of May, 1839, Nathaniel C. Prentiss was chosen acting commissioner, and James L. Thayer was elected treasurer.
Ordered, Thạt the board adjourn to meet at Madison forth. with. (Signed) - JAS. L. THAYER,
N. C. PRENTISS,
L. H. COTTON, Commissioners on Public Buildings.
(copy.) Document B.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, July 7th, 1839. Messrs. Thayer, Prentiss and Cotton :
GENTLEMEN I have received your note, requesting me to at. tend your meeting at Madison on the 10th, and am sorry to say that my engagements are such as to prevent me from doing so, until after the 1st Monday in August. I shall then be very glad to meet you and settle my accounts as treasurer. :This can create no delay in your proceedings, as the contractor will not be entitled to a payment until after ihat period. By refe. rence to the estimates of the Governor, you will perceive that three thousand dollars were appropriated last winter by Congress for furnishing the Capitol.
Mr. Bird and Mr. O'Neill can give you all the information you 'may require in relation to the contract with Mr. Morrison for finishing the Capitol.
I am your obedient servant, (Signed)
J. D. DOTY.
(COPY OF LETTER TO EACH OF FORMER COMMISSIONERS.)
MILWAUKEE, June 10, 1839. DEAR SIR-By the 3d section of an act of the Legislature of this Territory, entitled, “ An act in addition to · An act to establish. the seat of goverment of the Territory of Wiscɔnsin, and to provide for the erection of public buildings, and for other purposes,' approved March 8ih, 1839,” it is made the duty of the under. signed, commissioners of public buildings, immediately to settle and adjust the accounts of the former commissioners; and we, therefore, hereby give notice, that a meeting of the board will be held at the American Hotel, in Madison, on the 10th day of July next, at which time and place, we request your allendance for the purpose of entering on the adjustment contemplated in the act referred to.
We are, very respectfully, yours,
NATH’L. C. PRENTISS,
JAS, L. THAYER,
Document D. See report made to his Excellency the Governor, July 16th, 1839, by the commissioners of public buildings.
84 34 12 50 11 25
Document E. Paid J. Butterfield for lumber and labor, " P. B. Bird for labor,
P. W. Matts for labor, 6 S. Kinne for labor, a C. W. Leland for stove and pipe, “ Abel Dunning for teaming, " James Sullivan for drawing lumber, · W. D. Spalding for labor, 4 B. Salter's bill of sundries,