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mental, and would have been made sooner or later, and it would have cost at least three times as much at any future time after the embankment was completed.
I purpose the coming year to extend the slope wall, before mentioned, to the high lands above or to the natural embankment, which is about twenty rods above the upper tower on the upper lock, and cover the same with surface earth; and by and with the advice and consent of the Board of Control, put down plank between the coping stones of the locks and the snubbingposts opposite the same, and extend the fence in front of the lower lock to the upper tower of the upper lock.
In regard to certain other improvements that have been strongly urged upon the attention of the Board of Control, and through them upon the Legislature, (I refer to the obstruction to the lower entrance of the Canal,) I must say most emphatically that this matter should not be overlooked and neglected by the Legislature at its next session. It is said that the Board of Control, and by some that the Superintendent has the power to remove this obstruction, but neither will take the responsibility as long as the Legislature refuse to act. If the members of the Legislature could stand upon the locks, as I have, and see two or three vessels at a time come into the lower lock under strong east wind, without subbing posts or even a pier to run along side of, and in a channel so shallow that to drop an anchor is equivalent to sinking, and liable to a fine, too, according to the old rules of the Canal for so doing; if those who should take the responsibility could see and realize the risk that is run in every such case of not only sinking and destroying the vessels but the lives of their crews, and crushing the gates to the lower locks, which to replace would cost more than to remove the obstruction, I believe they would act in the matter at once and direct the Board of Control to remove the obstruction.
There has been, and is now pending, a suit in regard to it, but as you will see by the map herewith sent, if the State should be successful it would not help the matter at all. What
is wanted, and what will eventually be done, is to have the south pier of the Canal extended in a south-east direction five or six hundred feet, and dredge out the old dock belonging to Mr. Warner altogether. This Mr. Warner has consented to have done, and the other parties interested have also agreed to release their claims to the lands adjoining and permit the State to so extend their pier. Mr. Warner not only offers to release the land in dispute, but ten times as much, providing the State will extend their canal dock five or six hundred feet from its present terminus, and at its own expense remove the obstruction.
The suit, if prosecuted, will cost the State two or three thousand dollars, and if successful, the State will not be a whit better off; for if the judgment of the court should be that Mr. Warner should remove the obstruction, I presume that he would say to the officers that they must pay him the money before they compelled him to obey the decree of the court. But to drop the suit and expend the money in removing the old dock and nuisance entirely, and extend the pier as atoresaid, will be doing what will eventually be done, and if it could be done before the loss of a vessel, and perhaps her crew-before the lower lock gates are crushed and the State made ten or twelve thousand dollars expense, and the commercial interests of the upper lakes suffer the loss of millions, all will agree it would be far better.
I have already referred to one change in the law that I would recommend, because I believe it to be just and right, and for the best interests of the commerce of the upper lakes, to wit: to give steam vessels the preference as to passage through the Canal.
I would also recommend the passage of an act authorizing the Board of Control to remove the obstruction or nuisance in the lower entrance of the Canal.
I would also recommend a change of time for the expiration of the term of office of Superintendent. The change of Su
perintendent is now made biennially, on the 1st day of April, which is at least one month prior to the opening of navigation. There is but one way to get here at that season of the year, and that is the way in which I came, by a dog train, all the way on foot, part of the way drawing my own train, a distance of nearly four hundred miles. The dangers and hardships of this journey I will not undertake to describe. The expense is not far from one hundred dollars; and on account of the dangers, hardships and expense of this journey, it has been the custom to deputize some one to take charge of the Canal until the Superintendent could come here by water, sometime in the month of May. This should not be allowed. If there is one part of the season more than another that requires the presence of the responsible party, it is from the 1st of April until about the 1st of June; and for the following reasons: All the repairs for the season have to be made during the months of April and May. There is great danger of the embankments giving away during the months of April and May, as the frost goes out of the ground here during these months. Again, the old, far better than the new Superintendent, knows what repairs are neoessary for the coming season. I think the importance of this work demands that the man of the largest experience and knowledge of the Canal, should be in charge at this season of the year. If the time was changed to the month of June, for the old Superintendent to go out of office, and the law was such as it should be, that the Superintendent could not draw his pay, nor hold the office unless present in person, and not by proxy, from the 1st of April until the close of navigation, unless absent on business of the Canal, or by permission of the Board of Control, the practice of leaving in the fall of the seo ond year would no longer exist, and the vast interests, amounting to millions of dollars every year, connected with the eff ciency and permanency of this very important work, would not be left in the hands of boys and irresponsible parties. This would also give the new Superintendent an opportunity to see
his predecessor, and counsel with him in regard to the management of the Canal.
I would also recommend the passage of a joint resolution calling upon the General Government to repair the Fort at this place, and take such other means as may be thought best, to guard the Canal.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
GEO. W. BROWN,