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for the purpose of taking away the rights and the me that the whole interests of our State would be liberties of the people.
better served by allowing the Legislature to act Mr. SCHELL-I hope, sir, the amendment will upon this subject, rather than by adopting the not prevail. The remarks which have been made proposition of the geutleman from Albany (Mr. by the gentleman from Onondaga (Mr. Alvord), it A. J. Parker). Fifteen millions, as has been obseems to me, are not convincing in favor of the served, is a small amount of capital to apply to proposition. I shall commence at the point at internal communication; and why should New which he ends. He remarks that in a short time York put its hand upon these efforts which are the iron hand will be laid upon the canals. Does intended to secure communication between the he not know, sir, that the railroads cheapening several parts of this State and with other States transportation, have been the means of bringiog now competing with this State for the great trade the products of the far West to our State--that of the West and prevent their accomplishmeut. the State of New York has derived great advan Mr. BALLARD-I am heartily in favor of this tage from it, and that from year to year that trans- amendment of the gentleman from Albany (Mr. portation has been cheapened? And cannot it be A. J. Parker). Consolidation is a term in the said, sir, that the canals are the competitors of statutory enactments; but, Mr. Chairman, the inthe railroads in transportation ? On the contrary, terests of commerce, the interests of trade, the sir, the canals are the competing power of the desire of gain are contipually tending to commerrailroads, and the railroads competing with each cial arrangement between these different railways; other will continue to restrain
and I think it may be safely intrusted to the enMr. DUGANNE–Will the gentleman allow me terprise, and I might say patriotism, and the bope to ask him a question ? Would not the consoli- of gain on the part of these companies running dation of all the railroads tend to make such a through this State, to protect us against these power as would monopolize the carrying trade of rival routes which have been spoken of, running these canals ?
through Pennsylvania and Maryland. I think, Mr. SCHELL-It is impossible to conceive that sir, that the amendment of the gentleman from the railroads of the State of New York, and those Albany (Mr. A. J. Parker] would be a wise propassing through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, vision for this Convention to adopt ; so that we and Maryland, as was said by the gentleman from may keep from the statute book this consolidation, New York (Mr. J. Brooks] can ever be brought having the power of the legal enactment to keep together so as to destroy the canals of this state. up with the results which would flow from it, The competition that exists between these several leaving it—so far as the interests of the State are railroads requires that there should be certain concerned-so far as our hold on the vast comprivileges and certain protection given to railroads morco of the West is concerned—to the interest in this State, so that they shall not be destroyed of these different routes to combine by contract by the competing lines of other States. And, sir, instead of statutory consolidation. the great objection to the proposition made by the Mr. T. W. DWIGHT-The gentleman from New gentleman from Albany [Mr. A. J. Parker) is, that York [Mr. J. Brooks), with other gentlemen who it puts the railroads of our State in the control of have spoken on this subject in opposition to the railroads in other States. It is by the power of amendment of the gentleman from Albany [Mr. organization that freights may be reduced, and A. J. Parker], has based his opposition on the produce may be transported at the lowest rates. ground of the interests of trade. I think, sir, Why, sir, look at the experience we had last win that the subject, in the words of another, rises to ter in the inconvenience of having the connection a higher dignity and has its roots in a deeper pol. of the railroad from Buffalo to New York severed icy. While I yield to no one in ray desire that for one day. The whole State was put to great the trade of our great emporium should not be inconvenience by reason of its being so severed ; diminished, and while I rejoice when I see it inand the only remedy for that would be consolida- crease, I also desire that nothing should be done tion. If the roads from Buffalo to New York in any manner to interfere with the prosperity of should make arrangements to consolidate, it would the entire State. Why, sir, this question, it seems onable produce to be transported more reasonably to me sometimes, becomes a question of soverand therefore advance the commercial interests eignty. It is a question whether the people shall of the State. But, sir, as has been remarked, succumb to corporations; whether they shall exthere are other
ercise their sovereign power in the way in which Mr. HARDENBURGH—Who severed the con- a great people ought to exercise it, or whether nection of those roads?
this sovereign power should substantially depart Mr. SCHELL-It was by the operation of the from them and should yield to the action of an railroad companies—by the disagreement in run- irresponsible corporation. Now, sir, we know ning the roads. If they had been consolidated, that the tendency of railroad corporations, above all there would have been no difficulty. But, as I others, is to form combinations. When a great was about to remark, there are other interests. and organizing mind gets control of one of theso The great northern trade may be brought to New institutions there is apt to be a tendency on his York, and arrangements are in progress looking to part to unite the action of all from a desire that that result. It may be necessary for the protec- there should be no interruption in the continuity tion that consolidation of the roads for that pur. of travel. He desires almost from his very pature pose should be had. The same action may also to see that these great associations should form be necessary with the eastern roads terminating one line and be under the management of one in New York, in order to insure freight and pass- miod, one strong will controlling its action. I do engers from the East to New York. It seems to 'not blame such men. They naturally tend in that
direction. But on the other hand it ought to be seeking to prevent. She has not needed them in asked whether it is for the advantage of the State the past to give her the advantage, commercially, to have a powerful interest within it representing over every part of the State, and I do not believe so great an organization, extending perhaps to that she can need them in the future. But is it posother States, like, for example, the Chicago and sible that gentlemen here discussing a question of Northwestern Railroad Company. We all know this kind, a question, I think of principle and a queshow, from a very small institution, it has become tion perhaps of personal liberty; a question, to a one of the most gigantic corporations in the land. certain extent of legislative purity; is it possible Does it stop at State lines? Does it confine itself that they are to decide it, and give all up upon the to the State of Wisconsin, where it was originally mere idea of money? Is money sufficient comconstituted ? No, sir; it has extended, or seeks pensation for the yielding up by the people of so to extend, itself as to engross the trade of sev. their control of their own institutions ? I trust eral States. It has merged powerful corporations not. I trust that we shall not be so dazzled by into itself as a single institution; and the men the jewels that glitter in the crown as to tempt who manage it may have the ambition to make it us willingly to submit to it. I doubt very much the great and controlling line of the country. if the gentlemen of this Convention, placed hem Whenever that takes place, the good of the people by the people to take a firm stand in restricting will necessarily be overlooked. The interests of the the Legislature from innovations upon their rights, corporation will be everything, and the interests will be willing to decide it upon a mere question of the people will be of but little account. When- like that. But I insist that no railroad consolidaever great corporations become thus united under tion can interfere at all with the progress or the one organizing hand, and controlled by one brain, wealth of the city of New York. I ask, are the question will certainly be presented whether there not personal rights and personal interests the local interests of the State shall be protected of every individual citizen of this State involved ? or the great corporation shall be fostered, and Give to the Legislature supreme power over the then, of course, the interests of the State will subject and what shall prevent its consolidating naturally yield to the idea which has taken hold the Central, the Hudson River, and the Harlem, of the organizing mind. The main ground of all and if they have influence to bring about that, they the objections which have been urged in regard will
, of course, have the power to fix the prices to corruption of the Legislature, it seems to me, of freight and the fare of passengers at precisely is to be found in the tendency of these corporate what they desire. The people that travel over interests to grasp at the substance of sovereignty those roads daily, and make up by their contribu-their tendency to look at the interests of their tions the wealth of that great city; these are ‘line, of the trade which comes over their line the men that are interested in this great quesrather than at the interests of the State. tion; these are the men that are to pay double When the advantage of the State and its own tribute to these corporations after they shall have supposed interests come in collision, and resist- been consolidated. It is a question of personal ance is made in behalf of the State, the corporate right and personal liberty--a question in which, organization aims to beat down and overcome in my judgment, every man in this state is deeply the resistance. It is ever watchful and will not interested, and one that I trust they will look to. yield until it is successful. It will not be scrupu- My friend from New York, who spoke first against lous in the means which it employs to accomplish this amendment (Mr. J. Brooks), said he hoped that its designs. The State may still retain the form the subject of railroads would not be introduced of sovereignty but its power is wielded by a body here that there should be no excitement. But extraneous to itself. While there may be danger pray why exclude the subject of railroads, if that of this result in the combination of several cor. be a proper subject for legislative restriction? I porations constituting a continuous line, that dan- admit that we should meet it coolly, as does my ger is largely increased when a single board of friend from New York; but we should meet it directors controls them all, dominated, as it is firmly and boldly. We shall justly be held responalmost sure to be, by a single master mind. The sible in the future if we neglect to say to this occasion, the opportunity will supply the man. Legislature, aye, and to say to these corporations, Thus the strong man of the present moment "Thus far shalt thou go and no farther." will surely have his successor, inspired by the Mr. RATHBUN — It is said that all power corporate spirit
, and inheriting the aims and resides in the people, and a favorite topic among methods of his predecessor. For these and other the politicians is that they are sovereign, and that reasons I am in favor of the amendment of the all power emanates from them; but I have gentleman from Albany [Mr. A. J. Parker). thought at times, Mr. Chairman, that there were Whether the precise limitation of fifteen millions, some powers that were not to be overlooked, in which he has proposed, is best I am not prepared determining questions which are presented from to say, but I favor the principle of the amendment, time to time for examination. It was said in olden and hope that it will be adopted.
times that education was power; and we can very Mr. A. J. PARKER-Öpposition has been readily see, when we compare the power of the made to this amendment upon the ground that it. uneducated with that of the educated, that there might interfere with the city of New York. Now, is a distinction, in regard to the question of power, that such an objection is entirely groundless í between the well educated and those that are un have no doubt whatever. Certain it is that the educated. But, sir, there is another element of city of New York has grown up to be the great power which I have heard of, and which I have emporium of the commerce of this portion of the sometimes been afraid of, and that is money; and if world without the consolidations which I am I there is any power existing in the State of New
York, or among any people in the United States, remedy. I will not say that that power could be against the wfluence of which the people require successfully used, nor what would be the most to be guarded and protected, it is money. Now, efficient way to use it; bùt it is enough to say sir, the source of legislative corruption begins in that the remedy was not applied. The quarrel money, and it ends in money. Without that was arranged and the business resumed. I subnobody would have been telling us about legisla- mit that we should retain the power to coerce and tive corruption; that is the source of temptation, control these corporations, and to compel them and it is the source of the wrongs from which the to act, not in spite and malice toward one anothpeople have suffered, if they have suffered at er, but to act in combination upon the principles all at the hands of the Legislature. The more on which they were incorporated, and that was you combine that power, sir, in the hands of a for the prosperity and benefit of the people, and few, the more dangerous you make it to the great not for the coercion and control of the people. body of the people. If you look back, sir, In that view of it, sir, we preserve some only a few years ago, and endeavor to find show of competition among these corporaout the time when legislative corruption tors; but the moment that we permit them began, so as to be worthy of particular to form unlimited consolidations of their railroads, note, I apprehend that the era which may be we are at their mercy. We are sufficiently under marked out was about the time of the consolida. their influence now; and I do hope and trust that tion of the great route between Albany and Buf- this Convention will do something toward prefalo. That was a most gigantic experiment. That venting the further advancement over the people was a day when a rich shower fell into the hats of that power which may be used to oppress them. and into the hands of members of the Legislature That it will place a limit, not on combinations for evorywhere-when paid-up railroad stock was the purpose of transacting business, but on consolput into members' hats that happened to idation of power to override and oppress the peobe on the right side, and the poor, (ple. I am in favor of that amendment, Mr. Chairinnocent man
it up, with man, and I am in favor of all such restrictions; out knowing that anything of the kind was and I trust that all members of this Convention to fall in his way, found himself the owner of who are free to act, and who are disposed to act paid-up stock in the great consolidated railroad, in behalf of themselves and the people whom from Albany to Buffalo, was ready to ride home a they represent, will give their support to this rich man; and from that day to this-whether proposition. the reports be true or false I know not—but from Mr. J. BROOKS-It was far from my intention that day to this the Legislature have been de to enter upon any discussion upon any subject, scending in public estimation, not very gradually, but a proposition so important as this, not only to but rather more rapidly, in fact
, than is agreeable the State, but to the city which I in part repreto the people. Is it not about time for us to pause sent, I felt it my duty to discuss the moment it in this matter and see whether there is anything presented itself here. But, it seems to me, com. left that the people can hold fast to in order to re-ing to this body from another sphere, that I had gain their rights and restore the purity of the almost come into another country, from the relegislative body who make their laws? Now, gions whence I came. In the last legislative body sir, I am not opposed-pay, sir, I am as much in in which I appeared, I heard of nothing but the favor of the prosperity of the people of the State purity of the people, the intelligence of the peoand of the city of New York as anybody in the ple, the capacity of the people for self-government, world, for it is my native land; I never lived in and the incorruptibility of the people; but here, I any other. I am proud to be a citizen of this hear of nothing but the frauds about to be perpeState; I am proud to be able to say that I was trated upon the people, the incapacity of the peoborn in the State of New York. But, while I desire ple for self-government, the ignorance of the peoits prosperity and would make any sacrifice pole, the susceptibility of the people to the money necessary to promote it, I am at the power, the want of confidence and trust in the same time unwilling to sacrifice the rights Legislature, whom the people create, and the and interests of the people to ad- whole tendency of the legislation here, or of the vance the prosperity of corporations, which discussion here, is a pronunciamento against all need not and in fact have no right to denjand a self-government, against the capacity of the peoconsolidation of an amount of money, under the ple to elect their legislators, or against the corrupcontrol of a single 'head, that can bind the whole tibility of any legislator who is sent here to reprebody of the people hand and foot. Sir, I am in sent the people. I have been educated in a school favor, not of the consolidation of railroads, but far different from that-in a reliance upon the of such a combination of railroads as to iusure people; and though I am often voted down success in the business of railroads running from by the people, in due deference to the majesone point to another necessarily connected in the ty of the people, I am accustomed to think trassportation of passsngers and freight. It has that I am more likely to be mistaken in my opinbeen said, sir, that within the last year the people ion, when I cannot convince the people, than that were interrupted in their travel, and their freight the great body of the people themselves are delayed upon the road, and arrested in its pro- likely to be mistaken or corrupt. But here the grees to market. And what was the reason of honorable gentleman from Onondaga (Mr. Alvord] that interruption? A quarrel between two pow. and the gentleman from Cayuga (Mr. Rathbup erful corporations. And yet, sir, they were all who represent agricultural districts, who are supwithin the power and the reach of the Legislature posed to be incorruptible, tell us over and over of the State, if they had the courage to apply the again in this body, although they or their friends
or associates may hereafter represent those agri- vide for them. The consolidation of the railroads cultural counties, yet they themselves
, when in this State by the Legislature of th:s State was legislators in this state, elected by the farmers of one of the greatest and wisest measures which those counties, are not to be trusted against rail- ever a legislative body had adopted. It was a road corporations and railroad powers, and those matter of necessity as well as of wisdom, for the who have the money and control in some degree control of the trade and the passengers of the all the property of railroad interests in this coun. West could never have been secured but by that try. Sir, I know legislators have been corrupt, act. And next was the erection of the bridge but few Legislatures, in my judgment, have been over the Hudson river and the connection of that so corrupt, as I constantly hear accusations railed line of railroad with the great West. Now, I against them in the discussions which have taken suppose the object of this proposition is to resist place since I have been here. Sir, the people consolidation of the Hudson River and Harlem must be trusted. If the people cannot be trusted roads with the Central Railroad; hence the propoin our Legislacures, or the representatives of the sition meets its support here upon the floor people cannot be trusted, it is time to change the of the Convention, while it is just as wise whole form of our government and resort to that now it was ten twelve years government which is over the St. Lawrence- ago, to consolidate the whole line, over one line. monarchy-to take care of the people and take one capital, one government, one board of, care of the Legislatures of the people. The directors, and one spirit to control the whole line whole theory of our government is that the people Sir, there is no more beautiful spectacle to an and the representatives of the people are to be American-nothing more showing the grandeur trusted, and that confidence and trust may be re- of our country-than to see trains of cars passing posed in the people, and, therefore, I resisted from through here from Omaha, Nebraska, upon the the start this engrafting upon the fundamental law Missouri river, bringing the cattle, produce and of the State an accusation against the people, that luxuries from the West over the rivers, passing by more than fifteen millions of capital vested in them along to the city of New York. It is only a railroad, legislator after legislator could be by a concentration of this capital, by this unity bought up. I resisted it as a principle which of action, and by this wisdomshould not be engrafted upon the Constitution of Mr. RATHBÚN-I would ask the gentleman the State, because it places the Empire State at a whether the cars do not run now from New York disadvantage, not only with rival States in other to St. Louis without change? parts of the Union, but with that great railroad Mr. J. BROOKS-Only by the co-operation of and canal corporation beyond the St. Lawrence, multitudinous directors, but it is in the power of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which is struggling any one railroad, or one board of directors, to into turn the great trade of the West down the St. terrupt the communication. Lawrence to Montreal and Quebec, going away from Mr. DUGANNE-I would ask the gentleman New York directly over the sea. I say I see whether a law has not been passed in this State nothing disadvantageous in at least the concentra- providing for the connection, and whether it can. tion of one railroad reaching from Buffalo to the not always be done without consolidation? city of New York; I see no such terrors to the Mr. J. BROOKS—Yet, it is in the power of State as gentlemen picture here and no such any small railroad corporation, like the railroad alarm. When I look to the Legislature of Mary- from Schenectady to Albany, when it was a sepa. land I see a far more powerful corporation incor- rate road, it would be in the power of its board porated in that State, reaching from Baltimore to of directors to interrupt the whole communicaWheeling and beyond the limits of that State; tion except by the action of the Legislature of and when I look to the Legislature of Pennsyl. the State, which Legislature this Convention is vania, a Legislature quite as wise as ours in not disposed to trust with the regulation of its the administration of its pecuniary affairs, I own railroads, while I am contending that the see no such terrible results as gentlemen Legislature is to be trusted with the absolute conpredict in the consolidation of one railroad in the trol over these roads, and that the people, in that State of Pennsylvania. Sir, what was the state respect, will have confidence in their legislators. of things hitherto in this State before the rail. Sir, we must not undertake to engraft upon roads were consolidated from the city of Albany the Constitution of the State, legislation of to the city of Buffalo ? Gentlemen entered the this sort. The Constitution of the United States, cars at Buffalo, received a pass which would carry which is one of the most beautiful instruments them to the city of Rochester; they then must go that ever was written, is a small instrument, to be to a railroad office to get another pass through to read in a few minutes, to be comprehended by Auburn or to Syracuse (at that time through tick almost everybody, the wisest Constitution that ets did not exist). At Syracuse another line of ever was written. If we attempt to engraft upon railroad exists, and there they must obtain another this, our State Constitution, provisions like these. ticket, connecting or not connecting, to the city merely legislative provisions, upon the presumpof Utica; and at the city of Utica they must ob lion that the people aro corrupt, and that the tain another ticket to carry them to the city of Legislature is corrupt and not to be trusted, we Schenectady, and from Schenectady another line shall be creating a Constitution which it will be of railroad exists reaching to the summit of this difficult for the people even to have time to read hill in Albany, so that they were not taken to the from October to November, and which will have river, but dumped out here in the streets to pro- within itself so many elements of opposition, it cure their passage to the commercial emporium as will be vory likely to meet with but small success might be agreeable to them, or for othors to pro- / before the people. This is a subject which pro
foundly interests my own city, and that is my perfect darkness the entire of this state. Th's only excuse for the remarks I have made; consolidation does not mean a consolidation of a and I repeat here, before I close, that it is single line of road reaching from the lakes to the impossible to concentrate the trade of this river and to the sea. It means the consolidation country through this State upon the great com- of the New York and Erie with the New York mercial emporium, against British capital which Central and the Harlem and Hudson holding thus .s pouring into Canada, against Pennsylvania, in their own hands the entire keys throughout Baltimore and their capital-It is impossible the length and breadth of this state, and saying to concentrate, keep and monopolize, as we are to the people, " You cannot have any other means keeping, the great growing trade of the West-by which you shall reach from the great and growIt is impossible to do it except by allowing cap. ing West io the East of this country." That is ital free and full fair play, without these constitu- the position which the thing occupies to-day; tional restrictions upon it, irrevocable and irrepar- that is the desire of these men who wish to have able at least for twenty years to come.
it left to the Legislature in the future, that they Mr. CASSIDY-I regret to differ with my dis- may consolidate their interests, not the consolitinguished colleague in regard to a matter so im- dation of a single line moving from one point to portant as this. If he had modified his proposi- another, but the consolidation of the entire rail. tion so as to confine it to parallel and necessarily road interests in this State in one great corporacompeting roads, it would have had great plausi- tion, throwing out its iron hand from the center bility, and I have no doubt would have com- throughout the extent of it all around upon its manded at first view the general assent of this borders, holding in its deadly grasp the interests body; but, even in that shape, I think it still of the people of the State. Sir, the gentleman objectionable. It is impossible for us, even in a from New York (Mr. J. Brooks] who addressed Constitution, to confine the course of capital and to the committee undertook to talk about our want prevent those great combinations which trade de- of confideuce in the people. I have not any want mands, and wbich it is always finally able to of confidence in the people. I come here, sir, to enforce. If the law should attempt to-day to pre- represent my people the people of my locality, vent the consolidation of lines between the lakes the people of my county, who, without any reand our great sea-port, a tacit understanding gard to political distinction, will stand up to-day, would, as now, combine them together. It would every one of them who have not the trammels of as it often has, combine competing lines—the the railroads upon them—and, thank God, they Erie railroad with the Central, and those two with are the small minority-and say, " Well done, the Pennsylvania Central upon a common tarify thou good and faithful servant" when I go in for freight and passengers, and thus baffle these favor of the proposition of the gentlemau from proliibitions which the Constitution would place Albany (Mr. A. J. Parker). This is the way I against them. We would stand here with a Con have contidence in the people. I believe the peostitution utterly and emphatically inoperative, and ple of the State of New York demand it at the whose proliibition would thus have no force. This hands of this Convention that they should place great State must accept its destiny. It is not a in the organic law, for the people who small State, where filteen millions of capital have got to pass upon this matter and approve ci is formidable. It would do for Rhode Island it, that there shall not by any possibility in the or Delaware, to have some limitation of that future any doubt in regard to this great and kiad, but it takes five hundred miles of travel grave subject of great moment and importance to to reach from the lakes to our great emporium of the people. Now, sir, it may not seem right uncommerce. We must have here immense lines der the grave and heavy weight which surrounds with all their extended connections. Our railroads this subject, to speak of any inaccuracies of are developing to an extent never before known. statements made upon this floor on the part of We are but at the beginning of this railroad life. those gentlemen who are opposed to this resoluWe shall have, in years to come, a line from the tion, but, sir, I believe I have also lived within ocean to the lakes, devoted to carrying the freight the State of New York, and within the central of the great West; and therefore we must accept portion of the State all my life; I have seen the our destiny as a great State, great in extent and railroad began and ended; I have seeu these disholding the control of the commerce of the conjointed pieces spoken of by the gentleman from tinent; and we must allow these great capitals New York (Mr. J. Brooks], but I never yet saw, to unite and combine. We must not attempt to and never was compelled in all my transfer over divide up and hold apart these lines. They have the line of that railroad to get out of the car at already the power of combination, by open agree. Rochester and buy a new ticket to go to Auburn, ment, or by tacit understanding, and our man- or to get out at Auburn and buy a new ticket to date would be wholly inoperative. Let us not go to Syracuse, and so on. I got exactly what write words without force in our Constitution. you get to-day, although in greater numbers; I
Mr. ALVORD-I desire to say a very few words got a continuous ticket, and when the Rochester further upon this question. I will ask gentlemen man took my ticket I had a part of it left to go on to look apon the present state of things in the with. It is true, in the first place, there were State of New York to day. I think I speak advis- separate tickets, but all sold at each office; but ably, and I speak with the knowledge of those afterward continuous tickets. How is it now? within the limits of this Convention who are en- I get in at Buffalo and take a ticket to the city of gaged in the enterprise of which I wish to speak. New York; I surrender a portion of it It is true that now it is but a cloud the size of a when I get to Albany, and the balance man's hand but it is soon to operwhelm is of it carries mo through. There is