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lights, to make it perfectly water proof: this will be done as soon as the weather will permit.
It will be recollected that an appropriation of three hundred dollars, to replenish the library, was made by the legislature at its last session, but by an oversight, there was no person named whose du ty it should be to draw and disburse the money. In the absence of any person specially charged with that duty, I supposed it properly devolved upon the superintendent. I called upon the secretary of the territory for the appropriation, who informed me that as the law stood, he did not feel authorized to pay it to me. Consequently, the library has received no benefit from the appropriation.
The following documents have been received through the governor's office, from the several States and the United States, to wit:
No. of Vols. Laws of Illinois, passed in 1842–43,
1 Acts of the 67th General Assembly of N. Jersey,
1 Reports made to the Legislature of Illinois,
1 Acts of Congress of 1842,
11 do. do. 1843,
36 Laws of Ohio, 1841–42,
2 General and local laws of Ohio, 1843
1 House journal 27th Congress, 2d session, 1841–42, 1 do.
do. 3d session, 1842-43, 1 Laws of the commonwealth of Penn. from 1700,
1 Laws of Pennsylvania, 1842,
2 Acts and resolves of the state of Maine, 1843,
3 Journal of legislative council of N. Jersey, 1843,
3 Minutes of general assembly, N. Jersey, 1843,
2 Harrison's N. Jersey reports, 1843, Laws of Arkansas, 1843,
2 General laws of Indiana, 1813,
3 Local do. do. 1843,
3 Acts of general assembly of Virginia, 1842,
1 Journal of the senate of Maryland, 1842,
1 Journal of the house, of Maryland, 1842, Sixth census of the United States, 1840,
9 Statistics of the United States, 1840,
Census of Pensioners, 1810,
34 Acts of the state of N. Jersey, 1813,
2 Acts and resolves of the state of Massachusetts, 1843, 1 Harrison's N. Jersey reports, 1842,
2 Laws of N. Hampshire, 1843,
1 Laws of Delaware, 1843,
1 The territorial suits are not yet disposed of. The suit against the building commissioners, J. D. Doty, John F. O'Neil, Agustus A. Bird, and their sureties, came on for trial at the April term of the court, 1843, for Walworth county. The trial occupied four days, and resulted in a verdict against the territory for costs. The substance of the evidence on the part of the territory was, that the defendants had received from the treasury of the United States, by authority from the territory, forty thousand dullars, which they were bound to expend according to the provisions of law, in the erection of the capitol at Madison. It was also shown in evidence by two of the most competent builders in the territory, that up to the time that the work was taken out of the hands of these commissioners, there could not have been expended upon the building to exceed eighteen or nineteen thousand dollars. The witnesses stated that they made their estimates at Madison, inmediately after the old board of commissioners were discharged, and that they took into consideration, and made, as they believed, sufficient allowances for the circumstances under which the work was commenced and prosecuted. It was further shown, that the money had been expended for other purposes than building the capitol—that one of the commissioners stated to Mr. Doney, who, was employed to put up the engine in the steam saw-mill, that their object in building the mill was not to facilitate the building of the capitol,“but,” (said the commissioner) “we want it to build up the town of Madison.”
The evidence chiefly relied on by the defence, and indeed the only evidence having any bearing upon the case so far as related to the first 20,000 dollars, was a memorial to congress, adopted by the legislature of the territory, asking for an additional appropriation of 20,000 to complete the building. [See journal of the council, Burlington session, 1837, page 89.]
This memorial, reported by John B. Terry, (one of the sureties of the defendants) John P. Arndt, and Alanso Sweet, contains
what is claimed to be a tacit admission,insidiously interwoven in the budy of the memorial, that the money had been properly expended according to law; and I would respectfully ask your indulgence in quoting that part of the memorial which was relied on as a justification of the manner in which the first 20,000 dollars were expended. “These commissioners, in the exercise of the authority vested in them, immediately proceeding to the performance of the duties assigned to them-having, however, at the outset, difficulties of no ordinary natuie to contend with; arising from the scarcity of the proper materials, and the scarcity also of mechanics and laborers--the former of which could not be purchased, and the latter not employed but at very high prices. At a great, but not unreasonable expense, (taking the situation and resources of the territory into consideration, the public buildings were commenced, and have progressed as far as, under the pressure of adverse circumstances, could reasonably have been anticipated."
These palpable untruths, so far at least as respects the commissioners having "proceeded to the performance of the duties assigned them," and " in the exercise of the authority vested in them," appear to have been smuggled into the memorial, ostensibly as arguments to induce congress to make another appropriation, but really, as now appears, for another and a very different purpose, to wit: the exculpation of the commissioners from a known violation of law, and a notorious misapplication of the public money; and if this memorial is to be understood as it was by the jury by whom the cause was tried, as absolving the commissioners from all further responsibility in relation to the first appropriation, the country may thank not only the commissioners, but the weak, or unprincipled legislature of 1837, for the fraud committed upon it. A careful examination of the memorial will, however, convince any man of discernment that it contains no such admission as that sought to be established by the defendants. The memorial, it will be observed, sets forth that the commissioners proceeded to the performance of the duties assigned them, but does not say what else they did, nor by how much they exceeded their authority. It speaks of the scarcity of materials and workmen, and of the high prices at which they could be obtained; but it does not say how many materials were procured, or how many workmen employed, or what prices were paid. It states that great but not unreasonable expense" had been incurred, but does
not state what the expense was. It says that the buildings “have progressed as far as, under the pressure of adverse circumstances, could reasonably have been anticipated;" but it does not say that they have progressed as far as they ought to have done with the money appropriated, nor that one of the 6 adverse circumstances? was not the unfaithfulness of their commissioners; and it may be a question whether any man acquainted with the commissioners, might not with propriety have said the same thing. “The greater part of the appropriation," says the memorial," has been expended;" but it does not say it what manner, or for what purpose; and for aught that appears in the memorial, it may have been expended in the erection of a steam mill, or a cotton factory, or any thing but a capitol.
That the legislature never intended to justify the commissioners, or to release them from responsibility for the manner in which they had disposed of the 20,000 dollars, is plainly evident from various reports and resolutions made and adopted at ihe same session.
The minority report of the committee from whom the memorial emanated, submitted by Messrs. M'Knight and Foley, censures in the strongest terms the conduct of the commissioners, and after showing an unexpended balance in their hands of $12,074 09, the minority protest against the adoption of the memorial," until the board of commissioners and treasurer shall render satisfactury evidence that they have made judicious application of said unexpended balance.” [See document No. 8, page 241, council journal, 1837–38.]
The memorial above referred to, in its progress through the house was referred to a select committee, which reported thereon by their chairman, Mr. Quigley. This report was based upon data furnished by the report of the acting commissioner, and the following extracts will show in what light the house viewed the subject on the very day they adopted the memorial. The com
“ It further appears that the said commissioners have expended the sum of
$17,900 12 Which would leave a balance of
$20,000 00 Of this $17,900 expended, your committee finds paid out for the following items, viz:
For provisions, horses, cows, oxen, wagons, hosehold and kitchen furniture,
$7,212 91 For steam mill, other houses, and capitol,
9,014 59 For expenses in going to Green Bay, after money, and other travelling expenses,
738 18 For hire of teams, &c.,
Deduct from this sum the value of steam mill,
$5,161 72 Deduct for out houses,&c., valued at 2,500 00 Deduct for cost of bridge,
200 00 Deducı cost of two wharves,
150 00 Deduct amount of sundries on hand, 2,777 31
Amount supposed to be expended on capitol would be
$7,111 09 Which deduct from amount of appropriation by congress,
$20,000 00 Would leave a balance in the hands of the com
missioners unexpended on the public buildings, of
$12,888 91 Your committee would further remark, that the amount of stone work done on the capitol is seven hundred and seventy-five perches; at the estimate price of the acting commissioner, which is two dollars and fifty cents per perch, would amount to the sum of $1,937 50; leaving a balance of five thousand two hundred and seventy-four dollars and fifty nine cents for other work done, not enumerated; but supposing the work to cost double the estimate, it would still leave a balar.ce not satisfactorily accounted for, of $3,337 09; which, added to the aforesaid balance in the commissioners hands, would be $16,224 00."
The committee then go on to express their decided “disapprobation of the course pursued by the commissioners, as respects their disregard of the law by which they hold their authority.”
This committee also reported a resolution, “thai a select committee be appointed to report to this house without delay a bill with a view of repealing" that part of the law under which the commissioners were elected, and to provide for the future super