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enlarge the capacity of the Erie canal to 500 tons. I from ignorance, narrow and mistaken views of the Governor Fenton, in his message transmitted to currents of trade, managers and owners of railthe Legislature January 2, 1867, on the sub- ways regarded our canals as rivals in the carrying ject of the cost of the enlargement of trade. À larger experience satisfied them that the locks on the Erie and Oswego canals, says: the superior and cheaper mode of transportation "I am informed, however, by the present able by the Erie canal for a certain portion of comState Engineer, and feel satisfied from this and merce, instead of injuring, benefited the railways other sources of information, that a suitable en by drawing through the State passengers and largement, with single locks of capacity for boats freight, of which they would have a fair share for of five hundred tons burden, plain but substan- half the year, and a monoply during the other tial work, can be effected at a cost not exceeding half, thus enabling them to retain the advantages $6,000,000.". Those who would doubt the re- which grew out of the commercial supremacy, straining and economical influence of the uniform which the Erie canal exercised during the season price of transportation upon our canals, upon over all rivals in or out of the State, in bringing railway transportation during the season of navi- through the lakes vast deposits of freight to their gation, have only to recollect that immediately and other mammoth storehouses, where the porafter the close of navigation upon our canals, tion which remained after the close of navigation railway conventions are found in session, revising could be retained and shipped by the canal in the their tariffs and raising them twenty-five or thirty spring, or moved by railway in the winter, as the per cent. In a recent report from managers of price of freights or the demands of the eastern railways in Pennsylvania, the Erie canal is regard. market might indicate the interest of the owners. ed as the regulator of freights in the North. It is difficult for us to appreciate-fully the ben
The excess of the cost of transportation by efits conferred upon the State and nation, in all railway over the cost of transportation by their parts, by the facilities of exchange afforded canal has already been stated. We need not by cheap transit. It may be well claimed as the go beyond the limits of our own State to find an source of the material prosperity of this country. illustration of the cost of transportation by the In other countries it adds value to property latter, when, deprived of the State character already existing; in ours, it may be said to create which such' works should possess, the private property. The West had scarcely a nominal valinterest of individuals or the greed of gain upon ue before the Erie canal was opened and afforded the part of monopolists, becomes the controlling the means of carrying western productions to marprinciple of their management. The Chemung ket. It is by transit
, and that at a low price, canal junction is owned by private parties and enabling our people to supply their wants as well managed for the purposes of private interest. It as to sell their productions, that we are to comis fourteen miles long, and connects the Chemungpeto successfully with the people of other councanal in this State, with the coal mines in Penn-tries. When we speak in this connection, of the sylvania. The exorbitant charge of $2.58 per East, we should not limit our view within ton is made for the transportation of coal, the the confines of our own State, but include those carriage of which affords by far the larger share States northerly and easterly from our own. Freeof its business. This is confirmed by reference to dom of transit, without monopoly or taxation, is a Document No. 160 of the Assembly of 1867, in the necessary portion of the free trade between the report of the Investigating Committee of the Legis- States, which is the strongest material bond of lature, made April 6th, " into the matter of tolls peaceful union, and any efforts to interfere with charged on coal by the Junction Canal Company it, create an animus injurious to the community in of New York ;" which states that this combina- which they find favor, stimulating those who are tion "enhanced the price of coal consumed by injured to divert business to less advantageous citizens of western New York full two dollars and routes, and leading in the end to a diminution of fifty-eight cents per ton." The toll charged on coal revenue and loss of trade. per ton from Elmira to Buffalo, by State canals, is The importance of continuing to maintain the forty cents; from Troy to Buffalo, 345 miles, thirty Erie canal, as the regulator of freight and as the cents, on bituminous coal.
highway of our inland commerce, open, as at With the decrease of our forests, coal has be- present, for free competition to all the people of "come substantially a necessary of life, and its the United States, subject only to payment of an importance as a necessity must rapidly increase ; equitable share in the actual cost of the advanits cost, therefore, is 'a matter of great interest tages they thus enjoy, has not escaped the sagacity to the people of this state as well as the whole of discerning men from other States. A distincountry.
guished United States Senator, from the NorthThis example, limited though it be in conse- west
, explained the methods by which, in quence, cannot fail to arrest attention, and be- Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, certain railroad yond all question foreshadows something of the companies had become so far consolidated as to consequences should similar interests control the constitute almost a complete monopoly for transgreat works of the State. Surrender the control portion in those States, with the natural result of of the canals, more especially of the Erie canal, exorbitant freights, unjustly putting money into into private hands, and into those very hands is the pockets of the few at the expense of the prosurrendered the power almost to nominate the ducers of national wealth. The Senator, on behalf price of coal; certainly arbitrarily to fix the price of the people of his State, protested against reof this and many other of the leading necessaries garding the Erie canal “in any other light than of life.
as a national work," stating in strong terms his In the early history of our railways, arising reluctance “ to let a company occupy the only un
occupied ground for a transit route that there is In this brief reference to the various benefits between the Mississippi river and the Atlantic which the construction of the Erie canal has conOcean, and then set all people that are west of it ferred upon the people of this State, it ought not at defiance, and charge just such tolls as they to be omitted, as it cannot be forgotten by this choose."
generation, the great changes whicli were at once Governor Morgan, whose former official rela- produced upon its material prosperity. tions to the canal system of the State of New It should be remembered by the Convention York gave him an intimate and practical know- that the assessed valuation of all the real and ledge of his subject, during a debate in the personal property in the State of New York, as Senate of the United States, after predicting the reported to the Comptroller in 1866, was $1,531,effects upon the people of his own and other 229,636; that the value of the property transStates upon the sale of the Erie canal to railway ported on the Erie canal, in the thirty years from corporations, who he claimed must become the 1837, inclusive, was nearly three times the value purchasers, and are ever ready and willing to run of all the real and personal property of the State; into debt to extend their monopoly, said: “The that the canals for the last seven years have proSenator from Ohio said this morning they burnt duced net revenues of $20,636,868; that the their corn for fuel. Let this monopoly be created Western States had, in 1860, a population of and the Erie canal will be made to pay $100,000,- about 9,000,000, which is being decennially 000; and they will not only be compelled to burn augmented at a ratio of 65 per cent; that the their corn in the West, but they will also burn population of New York, Brooklyn, Albany, their wheat when they get the entire control of Troy, Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse, Oswego, the carrying trade. I think it will be the darkest Rochester, Lockport and Buffalo, in 1820, before day for the agricultural products of the West they the complotion of the Erie canal, was only ever saw."
162,921; that the population of those cities in He might have well included his own people as 1865 was 1,398,526; that of the assessed valua. equal sufferers with the West, in that event, fortion of all the real and personal property in the whatever calamity has befallen one has been sixty counties of the State ($1,531,229,636), equally disastrous to the other, so closely are they seventeen, embracing New York city, Kings, bound together in sympathy and interest. Queens, Suffolk, Westchester, Albany, Saratoga,
It would truly be the “darkest day” the people Washington, Schenectady, Oneida, Rensselaer, of this State ever saw, when the control of this Oswego, Onondaga, Monroe, Niagara and Erie channel of commerce should pass from their hands (less than one-fourth the area of the State), have to complete the combination of collossal railway $1,227,526,000; and that these counties are all corporations, consolidating and extending through- upon the line of the Erie canal. out the country, and wielding as they would then $400, 000, 000 of capital, with no check upon the
Valuation of property in this State in
1825, when Erie canal was opened for price of delivery of the necessaries of life, except business,....
$299, 197,721 00 their forbearance, and the easy virtue of modern Valuation of property, 1866, 1,531, 229, 636 00
A tax of one mill on valuation of 1825, Legislatures. The imbecility of a people that
299, 197 72 would permit it, would deserve any fate.
A tax of one mill on valuation of 1866, The commercial conventions in Chicago, in
1,531,229 63 1862, and in Detroit, in 1865, to which the Boards of Trade in every city and village in the Northern The increase in the assessed value of property States sent large delegations, including many dis- in 1866 over 1855, was 4114 per cent, which pertinguished members of this Convention, adopted centage also represents the increase in the prosimilar views, which were expressed in their re- duct of a one mill tax in 1866 over a one mill tax port, as follows:
in 1825. “Public sentiment requires, and has a right to It is no exaggeration to say that this vast in. demand, that the State of New York shall hold crease of wealth through the center of the State this great thoroughfare — this connecting link has been created within 42 years by the commerbetween the East and the West—not for local cial operations of that canal. All parts of the aggrandizement, or State revenue, but as the State have felt its benefits in some degree. There trustee of the nation; and impose only such tolls is not a piece of tillable land upon the Adirondack on commerce as shall be required to preserve the mountains, in the northern part of our State, or integrity of the work, and ultimately pay the cost on the Green mountains, in the south, that has of construction."
not been advanced in value by it. The causes These views are sound in political economy, which have produced these stupendous results and such substantial adoption of them in the will prove as powerful in the future as in the future policy of the State toward her sister States past, if unwise measures do not check progress as would, by constitutional provisions, make the and the full development of our original canal Erie canal hereafter a free, national canal, would policy. be a measure of most enlightened policy and as It is claimed by some that there is no danger promotive of the interests of our own people as of our losing the western trade. We have forhonorable to the commonwealth. The public midable rivals in railways and canals made or sentiment of mankind, as well as the dictates of partly in operation or projected, in Maryland, political oconomy, require that products of vital Virginia, Pennsylvania and the British Provinces. and common necessity to the race should only be Five great trunk lines, extending from the sea80 taxed as to insure adequate and complete board to and beyond Chicago, at present the means for their transit.
greatest center of our great inland commerce,
including two trunk lines through Canada, one shortest possible time, and the last Congress ha terminating at Suspension Bridge in Canada, the taken the initiative by ordering the survey for other the Grand Trunk, running over a subsidized ship canal around the Niagara Falls. The mean American road to Portland, Maine, thence con- by which such channel shall be accomplished, ar necting with a British line of steamers to Liver. regarded as of but little moment compared to pool. The latter line the new Dominion proposes what is deemed the immediate/ necessity of now to own and operate. Canada has expended the channel itself Substantial, however, in the last quarter of a century over $150,000,000 the general demand of the West is, of British capital in constructing canals and rail
. specious as is the scheme of the Niagara ways to divert and control the great prize of this ship canal, it is certainly to be greatly continent, our Western commerce. She bas vainly apprehended that unless the people of this' State striven to overcome the commercial and climatic shall comprehend the necessities of the hour and difficulties of her geographical position, ambi- move on abreast with the times, even constitutiously constructing vast public works, and mak- tional restraint, or rather the lack of constitutioning large unremunerative investments, accom. al power on the part of Congress, will not be plishing results which at best can only be partial found sufficient to prevent the consummation of and transitory, deflecting a portion of our trade this outrage upon State soil, and State dominion, for a rime, by discriminating legislation in aid of and the work itself will stand upon our own soil, the gigantic struggles for existence of her unprof. a monument of national aggression and State imitable carrying systems, from the lines of commerce becility. The limited space allotted to this report leading to our seaport cities, but only to return will not permit the further consideration of this again, reacting to the loss and injury of those who branch of the subject. have reaped a temporary benefit from the experi It is claimed by some that we possess natura! ments.
geographical advantages which will always givo It is only as late as 1865, Canadian commis- us commercial supremacy. This is no doubt true sioners in Washington, in their memorandum of if we improve them as we have in the past. It terms for a renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, is true that of all the States, New York alone submitted to the Committee of Ways and Means reaches from the Atlantic to the great chain of of the House of Representatives, a proposition to western lakes without encountering at one or more enlarge their canals for the passage of American places the formidable obstacles presented by the vessels of over 1,000 tons, provided they could Allegany mountains. While her eastern front is receive proper equivalents in reciprocal trade with on the ocean and includes harbors of unsurpassed the United States. Will any one say there is no excellence, her western territory is a portion of danger to our trade from that quarter, now that the great valleys of the interior. Rivers issuing the commercial and tinancial energies of all the from her highlands flow through her own bonn. British Provinces are concentrated under one head daries into the Atlantic, or find their way by the in their new Dominion? The struggle is not given Allegany and Ohio into the Mississippi river and up; it will be renewed at any cost, and true and the Gulf of Mexico. Another of her boundaries wise foresight warus us to be prepared.
is on the St. Lawrence. Rendering her advan. These gigantic rivalries around us are matters tages available by means of railways and cauals, of the gravest moment, they should excite us she is enabled to penetrate into all parts of our to the most jealous vigilance with respect to the country by following routes which nature has present. The recent movement proceeding from already formed and indicated by her streams. the North-west, looking to the building of a ship While her valleys and rivers, with their natural canal around the Falls of Niagara by our National extensions, reach to the Mississippi, the Mohawk Government, per in equal degree should and the Hudson gather together in one common awaken our attention. The project includes the channel the chief commerce of the great West and idea of now constructing the work "without the North, increased like their rivers by continual ad. consent of the Legislature of the State." Never ditions from their source until they reach the before las Congress attempted even the location ocean. of a “fort, arsenal or dockyard,” within the Toward the great lakes and to the natural eastboundaries of a State, without obtaining title to ern termination of their navigation (Buffalo, aiso the necessary land, and the cousent of the the termination of the Erie canal) the trade of State Legislature; the people of the West are an the West has heretofore substantialis concentrated. energetic people ; rastiveness, impatience under By the route through the State of New York only real or imaginary embarrassment, are the necesaary 500 miles in length (and a third of that distance characteristics of such a race. In their view the through the Hudson river), the tradlo of the West, vast volume of their productions upon still retaining substantially its direct eastward
its outward progress to the eastern States course, reaches a safe and natural seaport upon and the Atlantic sea-board, meets with obstruc- the Atlantic. tions which such a nation
This report has already extended beyond its inshould not hesitate to remove at once. Disap tended limit. The subjects are so important compointed in the delayed enlargement of the Eric mercially, financially and politically affecting the canal; disappointed until doubt has almost arisen destiny of this State and the happiness of its peoas to the ability of the canal when enlarged to meet|ple, that it seems scarcely possible to limit their the neeessities of.the present and future commerce. consideration. The West now demands through her Sepators in It will only now be added, great as are all the Congress, that some channel for the eastward course natural and geographical advantages of this State, of its commerce should be found or forced in the l we cannot retain our commercial supremacy,
without we coutinue our early canal policy of then the deficiency shall be supplied by taxation progressive improvement. In the view of the the next year. undersigned our whole capal system is now in the $ 4. After the debts specified in sections two crisis of its fute. Inaction now 18 an abandon. and three of this article are fully paid or provided ment of our public works—it involves decay, logs for, according to the provisions of section three, of trade, and consequent taxation of the people. the remaining revenues of the canals, after paying
The lessons of the times teach us that this is the said expenses of collection, superintendence, an age of progress and those who do not heed the and ordinary repairs, shall in each fiscal year be teaching, whether they be States, parties or politi- paid into the treasury of the State to pay the cians, and keep step to the forward movement of amount advanced for canal purposes by taxation the day will be forced behind by their more pro- specified in the first section, and the interest gressive rivals, who will bear off the palm of suc. thereon, until the whole amount so advanced, ISRAEL T. HATCH. with interest at five per cent per annum, shall be
fully paid, and until any amount hereafter PROPOSED FINANCIAL SECTIONS.
advanced for canal debt or other canal purposes,
with interest thereon at five per cent per annum, SECTION 1. The outstanding debts of the State shall be fully paid. and other liabilities for the payment of which the $ 5. After complying with the provisions of the cadal revenues are pledged by the terms of the third and fourth sections of this article, no tolls Constitutiou of 1846, are the following on the let shall be levied on the canals except what may be day of July, 1867 :
necessary to pay the expenses of collection, superThe old canal debt of 1846 (so called), $3,258,060 00 intendence and ordinary repairs, and other neceg. The general fund debt,...
5,642,622 22 sary improvements of the canals. The catial debt under amendment of 1854, 10, 807,000 00 $ 6. The claims of the State against any incorThe floating canal debt, .
porated company to pay the interest and reduce 2. The several debts specified in the preceding the principal of the stock of the State loaned or section, designated as the old canal debt of 1846, advanced to such compauy, shall be fairly enforced the general fund debt, the canal debt under the and not released or compromised, and the moneys amendment of 1854, and the floating canal debt, arising from such claims shall be set apart and amounting in the aggregate to $21,407,682.22 on applied to the payment of said stock so loaned, the first day of July, 1867, shall, with the new or to repay the money which may be advanced to debt herein authorized, bo paid as provided in pay the same. the next section.
8 7. Every contribution or advance to the $ 3. After paying the expenses of collection, canals or their debt, heretofore or hereafter, from superistendence and the ordinary repairs of the any source other than their direct revenues, shall completed canals, there shall be appropriated and be repaid into the treasury with interest, at five per set apart in each fiscal year, 'comniencing on the cent per annum, for the use of the State out of first day of October, in the year one thousand the canal revenues, as soon as it can be done coneight hundred and sixty-seven, the whole of the sistently with the just riglıts of the creditors holdremaining revenues of the State canals as a ing the debts specified in section number two. sioking fuod to pay the interest as it falls due, and 8. The Legislature shall not sell, lease or reduce the principal of the several stock debts otherwise dispose of any of the canals of the State, specified in section two of this article, until the but they shall remain the property of the State several debts shall be fully paid or provided for; and under their management forever. and including the sum of seven millions of $ 9. No moneys shall ever be paid ont of the dollars hereafter to be borrowed by the treasury of this State, or any of its funds, or any Legislature, at rate of interest not ex. of the funds under its management, except in ceeding six per cent per annum, re-imburs. pursuance of an appropriation by law, por unless able in eighteen years, to be applied and such payment be made within two years next appropriated to the improvement of the Erie, the after the passage of such appropriation act; and Oswego, and the Cayuga and Seneca canals to every such law making a new appropriation, or admit the passage of boats or vessels to pass continuing or reviving an appropriation, shall thereon, of at least five hundred tons burden; distinctly specify the sum appropriated and the and the moneys so borrowed shall be applied as objects to which it is to be applied, and it shall above provided, together with the enlargement not be sufficient for such law to refer to any other of the remaining small locks on the Champlain law to fix such sum. canal to the size of those now on the Erie § 10. The credit of the State shall not in any canal, and to no other purpose whatever. manner be giv or loaned to or in aid of any But if it shall be ascertained that the im- individual, association or corporation, nor shall the provements herein contemplated cannot be fully money or property of the State be given or loaned made and completed for the said sum of seven to or in aid of any individual, association or cormillions of dollars, then no moneys shall be bor- poration while there are any outstanding debts rowed for that purpose. The said several stock against the State. debts named in the first section of this article Resolved, There should be a constitutional proshall be fully paid by the first day of October, vision to the following effect: The credit of the 1878; and if in any fiscal year there shall not be State shall not in any manner be given or loaned contributed from said revenues a sum sufficient to to or ir aid of any individual, association or cor. pay the pro rata contribution of principal in ten poration; nor shall ang money belonging to the years with the balance then in the sinking fund, State, raised or to be raised by taxation, bo
loaned or given to any individual, association or, shall not be sufficient to refer to any other law to corporation, except that State contributions to fix such tax or object. public charities, asylums, schools, academies and $ 15. No deficiency loan shall be made by or colleges, may be continued, not exceeding annu- on behalf of the State, for a longer period than is ally the amounts appropriated for such purposes necessary to enable the sinking fund provided for in any year prior to 1866.
its payment to accumulate an amount sufficient to g 11. The State may, to meet casual deficits or discharge it; and in no case shall such loan be failures in revenues or for unexpected expenses made for more than six years. not provided for, temporarily contract debts; but The PRESIDENT— The minority report will such debts, direct and contingent, singly or in be referred to the Committee of the whole and the aggregate, shall not at any time exceed one be printed. million of dollars, and the moneys arising from Mr. CLARKE-Mr. President, I desire to submit the loans creating such debts shall be applied to a minority report: the purposes for which they were obtained, or to The SECRETARY proceeded to read the minorrepay the debt so contracted, and to no other pur- ity report of Mr. Clarke, as follows: pose whatever.
As a member of the Committee on the Finances $ 12. In addition to the above limited power to of the State, the Public Debt, Revenues, Expen. contract debts, the State may contract debts to ditures and Taxation, and Restrictions on the repel invasion, suppress insurrection or defend Powers of the Legislature in respect thereto, the the State in war; but the money arising from the undersigned dissents from the report of the contracting of such debts shall be applied to the majority of the committee, in reference to a porpurpose for which it was raised, or to repay such tion of the article submitted, and offers as debts, and to no other purpose whatever. substitute the following, and in a very brief man
$ 13. Except the debts specified in the twelfth ner further reports thereafter: and thirteenth sections of this article, no debts shall be hereafter contracted by or on behalf of
ARTICLE this State, unless such debt shall be authorized by Sec. 1. After paying the expenses of collection, a law for some single work or object to be dis- superintendence, and ordinary repairs, there shali tinctly specified therein; and such laws shall be set apart, in each fiscal year, out of the revenue impose and provide for a collection of a direct of the State canal, from tho first day of June, annual tax to pay, and sufficient to pay, the inter-1867, the sum of one million seven hundred thouest on such debt as it falls due; and also to pay sand dollars, to be added to the sinking fund, now and discharge the principle of such debt within existing, to pay the interest and to redeem the eighteen years from the time of the contracting principal of that part of the State debt known as thereof. No such law shall take effect until it the canal debt of 1846, until the same shall be shall at a general election have been submitted wholly paid ; and the principal and income of said to the people, and have received a majority of all sinking fund shall be sacredly applied to that the votes cast for or against it at such election. purpose. On the
final passage of such bill in either House 8 2. After complying with the provisions of of the Legislature, the question shall be taken by the first section of this article, there shall be ayes and noes, to be duly entered on the Journals appropriated and set apart out of the surplus rev. thereof, and shall be : "Shall this bill pass, and enues of the State canals, in each fiscal year, from ought the same to receive the sanction of the the first day of June, 1867, the sum of three hunpeople ?" The Legislature may at any time after dred and fifty thousand dollars, until the time when the approval of such law by the people, if no a sufficient sum shall have been appropriated and debt shall have been contracted in pursuance set apart, under the said first section, to pay the thereof, repeal the same, and may at any time by interest and extinguish the entire principal of the law forbid the contracting of any further debts canal debt therein mentioned ; and from under such law; but the tax imposed by such and after that period, then the sum of act, in proportion to the debt and liability which one million five hundred thousand dollars, in may have been contracted in pursuance of such law, each fiscal year, shall be added and appropriated shall remain in force and be irrepealable and be to the sinking fund, now existing, to pay the interannually collected, until the proceeds thereof est and redeem the principal of that part of the shall have made the provision hereinbefore speci. State debt called the general fund debt, including fied to pay and discharge the interest and princi- the debt for loans of the State credit to incorpopal of such debt and liability. The money arising rated companies, made prior to the first day of from any loan or stock creating such debt or lia- June, 1846, so far as they shall, or may hereafter, bility, shall be applied to the work or object spe- become a charge on the State treasury or general cified in the act authorizing such debt or liability, fund, until the same shall be wholly paid; and the or for the repayment of such debt or liability, and principal and income of said sinking fund shall be for no other purpose whatever. No such law shall sacredly applied to the purpose aforesaid. be submitted to be voted on within three months 83. After a full compliance with the provisions after its passage, or at any general election when of the first and second sections of this article, any other law or any bill or amendment to the there shall be paid out of the surplus revenues of Constitution shall be submitted to be voted for or the canals, to the treasury of the State, on or against.
before the first day of September, in each year, $ 14. Every law which imposes, continues or for the use and benefit of the general fund, the revives a tax, shall distinctly state the tax and sum of two hundred thousand dollars, for the supthe object to which it is to be applied, and it port of the State government.