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General fund debt in 1872.
Floating debt loan in 1872.
Enlargement debt in 1877.

more appropriate use could be made of the money when paid into the treasury than to apply it to the payment of the debts of the State, and thus relieve our overburdened people from taxation to that extent.

The whole annual requirements to meet the obligations imposed upon the revenues of the canals are $3,366,000. After the payment in The only objectors to this course will probably 1868 of the canal debt of 1846, the requirements be those who advocate an additional enlargement will then be reduced to $2,816,242.66. Under of the Erie and Oswego canal locks. An appropria. the provision of section five of the article herewith tion of the money to such a purpose, would, in the reported, the appropriation of $187,500 per annum view of the undersigned, be injudicious; and it to the sinking fund of the floating debt loan, is believed, after que consideration, by the Conwhich has heretofore been paid by taxation, will vention and the people, that the advocates of that be added to the requirements, making the total policy, whether in or out of this Convention, will amount for the next fiscal year $3,003,742.64, and be very few. so continue until 1872, when the general fund The engineer's estimates of the cost of the debt and the floating debt loan will have been enlargement of the Erie and Oswego canal locks paid. From that period, after paying the appro-will be found on page forty-six of the last financial priation of $1,116,242.66 per annum to the report of the Auditor of the Canal Department, enlargement debt sinking fund and $200,000 per as follows: annum to the general fund, the remaining portion of the revenues would be applicable to the pay. ment of the interest of the bounty debt.

CANALS. Stone locks. Wood locks.

Wood and stone locks.

$10,718,040 15
1,901,000 00

$10,985,946 65

2,064,000 0

After the payment of the enlargement debt in 1877, the entire net revenues of the canals with the exception of $200,000 per annum, appropri- Erie,...... $11,902,888 15 ated to the general fund, would be applicable to Oswego,.. 2,503,000 00 the payment of the principal and interest of the $14,405, 888 15 $12,619,040 15 $13,049,946 65 bounty debt. The law authorizing the bounty loan provides for the payment of the principal and interest of the debt by taxation within twelve The Auditor remarks in reference to the estiyears from the time of the passage of the act. mates: "It may be doubtful whether either of The amount to be annually raised to meet the these sums will now be sufficient to pay the cost requisition is about $4,000,000. By the provision of the work, whichever plan may be adopted. authorizing the extension of the loan, nothing The estimates were made in 1863, and while I have more would have to be raised by taxation for the payment of the principal of the debt.

If the revenues of the canals do not exceed $3,000,000 per annum it will be nesessary to raise by taxation a sum sufficient to pay the whole of the interest on that debt, up to the year 1892, when the general fund debt, and floating debt loan will have been paid. After that period the whole of the interest will be paid and provision for the payment of the principal of the debt, through the operations of its sinking fund, from the revenues of the oanals. The people, therefore, from 1872 will be relieved from taxation on account of that or any other of the present debts of the State.

no doubt great care was had in making the measurements and estimates of quantities, it may be questionablo whether the prices used were not below what the work and materials would now cost when let to competing bidders." The cost would probably exceed $20,000,000.

The Erie canal was completed in 1825. At that time the western part of the State was but sparsely settled, and was in fact comparatively a wilder ness, producing hardly sufficient for its few inhabitants. Only three of the Western States were then organized. Until the year 1830, the small surplus of flour, meal, pork, etc., produced in the western part of this State, was sent to the then territory of Michigan, and to other portions of the West, for the subsistence of new settlers.

It will be observed that under the provisions of the article that the people would be at once The astonishing effect of the construction of relieved from the tax of $187,500 per annum, to the Erie canal, in increasing the population pay the appropriation to the sinking fund of the and in developing the resources of our own floating debt loan, and also from the tax of about State and the great West, was such, that in $2,600,000 per annum now raised to apply in pay- a few years it became apparent that the carrying ment of the principal of the bounty debts. The business would soon exceed the then capacity of State taxes, therefore, would be about $2,800,000 the canal, and provision was made for its enlargeless the next year and thereafter until 1872, than ment. The work of the enlargement was comthey were the last year, and from 1872 until the menced in 1835, and so far completed as to admit bounty debt would have been paid, under the pro- the larger class of boats in 1853. visions of the act authorizing the debt, the tax would be about $4,000,000 per annum less than they were the last year.

While, however, the enlargement was in progress, the population, wealth and resources of the country had so vastly increased, of which the It has before been stated that the amount now canal itself had been the occasion and the stimudue the general fund from the revenues of the lus, that the demands of travel and commerce canals is about $18, 000, 000, and will, with the had covered the land with a net-work of railaccumulated interest up to the time of its pay- roads. Two roads had been constructed running ment, amount to more than sufficient to pay the parallel with the Erie canal, from tide waters to principal and interest of the bounty debt. No Lake Erie, competitors with the canal for freight,

and superseding it entirely in the transportation

The following statement from the Auditor's

of passengers. There has been, consequently, no report shows the total number of tons delivered considerable permanent increase of freight on the at tide water from the Erie and Champlain canals, Erie canal since 1853. The increase of freight in each year for the last seven years: to and from tide waters, has, since that period, 1860..... been carried by railroads, and the tendency of 1861,. that increase is still steadily in the same direc- 1863,





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3,805, 257



tion. Hon. D. W. C. Littlejohn, Chairman of the 1865,.............................................................................. Canal Committee of the last Legislature, in a report in reference to enlarging the locks of the The average increase is only about equal to Erie and Oswego canal, says: one boat load in each year.

The following statement, also from the Auditor's report, shows the number of tons carried on all of the canals of the State in each year for the last fourteen years: 1853,.....


"Latterly the people of this State find very little use for their canals. Their surplus products are small and mostly consumed in the vicinity of their growth by adjacent cities and villages. The tonnage going to tide water, the product of this State, has been steadily declining for nearly fifteen years, until the total tolls thereon are scarcely half sufficient to pay the expenses of keeping the 1857, canals in order; and the merchandise for the 1858,. interior, purchased at the sea-board, is shipped by 1860, the railroads almost exclusively."

The Auditor's report shows that the number of tons which arrived at tide-water by the Erie canal from the State of New York, in 1853, was 637,748; in 1866, only 287,948 tons; and in 1837, thirty years ago, the quantity was 321,251 tons, or 33,303 more than in 1866.










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3,665,192. 3,781,784

4,050, 214



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The above shows a small average increase, but not equal to the increased tonnage of coal and The following statements from the report of the products of the forest mostly upon the lateral Auditor of the Canal Department shows the quan- canals. The following statement, also from the tity of wheat and flour which reached the Hudson Auditor's report, shows the number of lockages river by canal, in each year, for the last fourteen to and from the Hudson river, from 1847 to 1866,

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It will be observed that the greater number of lockages in any one year of the series, was 57,368, in 1852, and that the lockages in 1866 were only 30,226.

It further appears, by the Auditor's report, that 2,196,308 the greatest number of lockages at any one lock 2,202,463 on the Erie canal, before the enlargement, was in 2,107,678 1847, at Alexander's lock, west of Schenectady, 1,566, 625 then a single lock. The number of boats passed 1,753, 954 was 43,957. The double locks at that point are 2,253,533 now capable of passing double the number, or 2,500,782 87,914 boats, within the time occupied in passing 3, 204, 277 2,955,302 the boats in 1847, and each boat, if as large as 2,535,692 the locks now admit, capable of carrying three 2,523,490 times the number of tons that the boats carried 2,896,027 in 1847. The number of lockages last year (1866) at Alexander's double locks was only 29.82 or 14,075 less boats than pissed the single boks in

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It is not necessary to add other statistics to their interest to diminish the size of boats, and show that there has not been any permanent consequently increase their speed of movement, increase, worthy of notice, of tonnage on the rather than increase the size of boats, and consecanals, since the completion of the enlargement. quently diminish their speed. There has been a gain in the quantity of coal and in the products of the forest transported on the canals, otherwise the aggregate would show a large falling off.

It is evident that the railroads have carried all the increase of freight for the last fourteen years, and that the canals have reached their maximum without having been taxed to the extent of more than one-quarter of their capacity.

The State Engineer and Surveyor recommends, as a measure to meet the growing demands of our internal commerce, the enlarging of the locks of the Erie and Oswego canals. The chief argument urged in favor of the measure is that by admiting larger boats the cost of transportation would be greatly reduced, and the speed of movement of boats increased.

It is admitted that nearly all of the up or western bound freight is now carried by railroads; boats, therefore, have but little up freight, and that of a class such as coal, etc., which is carried at very low rates. It requires thirty days' time for a large boat to make a round trip from Buffalo to Albany and back, including time of loading and discharging cargo. Under such circumstances it is hardly within the range of probabilities that there can be any reduction of cost of transportation on the canals.

In reference to the use of steam on the canals as a propelling power, the State Engineer and Surveyor says in his report:

"The experiments thus far made in the use of steam as a motor have been unsuccessful. This result is attributable to the want of capacity in It should be borne in mind that the officer the locks. The room occupied by the power referred to recommends the enlarging of the locks necessary for rapid transit is too great, as comwithout enlarging the canals. Conjectures, there-pared with the space remaining for stowage of fore, of increased speed under such conditions can cargo to make its use economical. The difficulty have no authority whatever, and as conjectures they are rendered of little value, as the results of experience have shown. A loaded boat of the size recommended will be equal to a tonnage displacement of 684 tons. Now it has been found practically by forwarders that boats of the size now in use, which are generally far smaller than the capacity of the locks, cannot be propelled with the speed attained by smaller boats before the canals were enlarged. We have a right, therefore, to believe that, with another enlargement of boats, there would be another diminution of speed.

will be greatly lessened, if not entirely removed, by the use of the large boats." Now if the diffi culty assigned is the only obstacle in the way of using steam, it would seem that it could be more easily overcome by using steam tugs, that would run two boats 100 feet long each, than to expend say $20,000,000 to try the experiment of propelling a boat 200 feet long with the propelling power in the boat. The fact is the use of steam has been thoroughly tested and proved a failure, by reason of the boats being already too large for the size of the canal, tho resistance of the water is too great to admit of a propulsion of more than The Auditor in his report shows that the aver-two miles per hour with safety to the canal banks. age time for the passage of boats from Buffalo to Albany, has increased since the completion of the enlargement, from eight and a half to ten days. The larger class of boats require twelve days.

The tonnage capacity of boats now admitted through the locks, can certainly be rated as high as 250 tons, some are registered as high as 300 tons, and they pass the locks as readily as smaller boats. And yet the Auditor's report further shows, that the average tonnage of the 485 new boats built last year was only 154 tons. After making due allowance for a few smaller class of boats built for some of the lateral canals, the new boats are not within forty per cent. as large as the locks will admit. With this greater capacity inviting use, and certain to be used if required and profitable, we find this small average of tonnage of new boats built fourteen years after the completion of locks which admit boats of at least onethird more tonnage. Our enterprising forwarders are either failing to appreciate their privileges, or too shrewd not to see that their privileges are greater than it is profitable for them to accept.

The average tonnage of boats built in 1862 was 168 tons; those built in 1863, 177 tons, and those built in 1864 and 1865 were of considerable less tonnage than those built in the two previous years, and as previously shown, those built in 1866, averaged 154 tons.

The above shows that forwarders find it for

When the State debts are paid from the revenues of the canals, the tolls could be reduced to a point sufficient only to keep the canals in repair. In that way they would be more formidable competitors of railroads than it is otherwise possible for them to be. The canals would continue for all time to carry coal, lumber, and other freight that cannot be easily handled on cars, and have a tendency to keep down the prices of other classes of freight on the railroads. In this way the canals will continue to be of great service to the State, even after they have ceased to yield a revenue beyond keeping them in repair.

The enlargement of the locks would have no influence whatever in retaining our ascendency in transportation. If we rely upon our canal to do the carrying trade of the West, a large portion of it will be diverted into other channels, and lost to the State.

Great and important as was the conception of our canal system, it is evident that it has in a great measure fulfilled its mission. The progress of the country is in advance of the canals; we have outgrown their first and more important use. With the exception of a part of the canals of this State, it is believed that there is not one in the whole country, owned and operated upon by a State, that is productive. Several canals have been entirely abandoned, and not one of the least importance has been constructed within the last twen

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quantity, would require the arrival each way of only fourteen trains per day.

ty years. Railroads, on the other hand, have vastly increased and will continue to increase. The records in the office of the Secretary of State If the trains were but half as large, say fifty show that 248 companies have been organized in cars of ten tons each, the general result would be this State since the passage of the General Rail-varied but little. It would be the additional exroad Act, in 1848, with an aggregate capital of pense of the motive power only. $236, 903, 000, and length of roads 6, 9674 miles. In the United States there are now about 38,000 miles of railroad.

It is plain to be seen that railroads are superseding canals in every section of the country. Speed is now the great desideratum of the times. This is demonstated by the transportation through our State. The freight, including tolls, on all of our canals the last year, as appears by the Auditor's report, was $10,160,051. During the same year, the receipts for carrying freight on the Erie and New York Central roads alone were $21,282,943.

More business could probably be forced upon the canals by imposing tolls on railroad freight, but it would be unwise to do so. There are competing thoroughfares to the sea-board, our natural advantages are very great, but in order to retain our supremacy we should refrain from imposing restrictions tending to depress individual or corporate enterprise.

Great advances have already been made in the construction and management of railroads, but so far as the business of freight is concerned, they are comparatively in their infancy. The time is not far distant when railroads will as effectually supersede other methods of carrying freight, as they have already other modes of carrying passengers. The freight business through this State will soon demand (and individual enterprise will meet the demand) a double track railroad, exclusively for freight, from New York to Buffalo, and ere long to connect with the Pacific road.

Such are the probabilities and prospects of railroad transportation. Nothing can be clearer than that such transportation, at rates favorable to the companies and to the public, can be made to outstrip any conceivable demand. Nor is it to be doubted but that our people will find or make a way for the realization of these advantages, whatever the impediments which a mistaken policy may for the time interpose. FREEMAN CLARKE.

The PRESIDENT-The minority report just read, will be referred to the Committee of the Whole and bo printed.

Mr. LAPHAM - The Committee on Canals closed their labors last evening, and this morning took up and perfected the article which they have concluded to recommend for the consideration of the Convention; but as the evidence which has been taken before the committee has not yet been written up by the stenographer, the report that we design to accompany the article is not yet fully completed. We ask, therefore, in view of the fact that the elaborate reports which have just been read deal somewhat extensively with the subject of the canals, to place our report on file; and in connecton with that we ask leave to add to the report the reasons which we assign for the article we report at a subsequent day. As the article has not been engrossed, I ask that a member of the committee read it from the draft to the Convention.

There being no objection, Mr. ALVORD read the article reported by the Committee on Canals as follows:


The capacity of such a road will meet all the requirements of our internal commerce for the bext fifty years. The canals and railroads, running both passenger and freight trains, could not successfully compete with it. On a road substan- SECTION 1. The Comptroller, Treasurer, and tially built, with grades not exceeding ten feet to Attorney-General shall be the Commissioners of the mile, trains of one hundred cars, carrying ten the Canal Fund; said Commissioners shall have tous on each car, could be drawn by a single power to appoint and romove all officers who shall engine. Trains could be multiplied to any extent be intrusted with the ascertainment, collection that business should require. Two hundred trains and safe keeping of the revenues derived from going up and two hundred trains going down the tolls on the canals of this State, and with the could be upon the road at the same time, carrying Auditor of the Canal Department and the Superone thousand tons each, and not occupy more intendent of Public Works, shall determine and than forty-eight hours from Buffalo to New fix the rates of tolls on the canals, which shall York, one hundred trains arriving at each not be reduced below the rates fixed for the year terminus in every twenty-four hours. This eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, until all liabiliwould give an aggregate for the year of 73,000,- ties and debts recognized by this article shall have 000 tons, which at $2 per ton (or about $1 per ton over tolls now paid on the canal), the gross yearly receipts of the road would amount to $146,000,000.

been paid or provided for; the Commissioners of the Canal Fund shall also have such further powers and duties as now are, or may hereafter be prescribed by law, not inconsistent with this Constitution.

There is not, of course, any probability of there being any such quantity of freight to be carried, § 2. The Governor shall nominate and with the for a generation to come. The estimate is made consent of the Senate, appoint an Auditor of the in order to show the capacity of a road of that Canal Department, who shall hold his office during character. If, however, such a road should be the term of five years, at a salary to be fixed by law; constructed, it would be safe to say that it would and he shall have such powers and perform such carry 10,000,000 tons the first year after its com- duties as now are or may hereafter be prescribed pletion, or what would be equivalent to that by law and not inconsistent with this article. He amount of through freight. To transport that may be suspended from office by the Commission

hold their respective offices until, and including the thirty-first day of December, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and no longer.

ers of the Canal Fund for incompetency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, and removed by the Governor on their recommendation; but no such suspension or removal shall be made § 5. No moneys shall be appropriated or paid unless he shall have been previously served by the State, or out of the canal revenues, for with a copy of the charges preferred against him, the construction or maintenance of any bridge and shall have had an opportunity to be heard over any of the State canals or feeders connected in his defense. In case of the suspension or therewith, at any point where a bridge was not removal of the Auditor of the Canal Department located and maintained at the expense of the under this section, or his vacation of the office State prior to the first day of January, 1867. for any cause during a recess of the Senate, the Nor for any damages or injury sustained in the Governor, upon the recommendation of the Com- navigation or use of any of the canals of this missioners of the Canal Fund, may appoint a State, or feeders or structures connected thereproper person to act as such officer during such with. Nor for any damage or injury caused by suspension, or to fill the vacancy occasioned by any breakage or defect in any of the State such removal or vacation of office, and the person canals, feeders or structures connected thereso appointed shall hold such office no longer than with. Nor for any damage or injury arising the duration of the session of the Senate suc- from, or on account of the construction or mainceeding such appointment. tenance of any of the State canals, feeders or §3. The Governor shall nominate to the Sen- structures connected therewith. Nor for any ate, and with its consent, shall appoint a Superin- extra allowance or compensation to any person tendent of Public Works, who shall hold office for for, or upon, any contract after the services shall eight years, and whose salary shall be determined have been rendered, or contract entered into. by the Legislature. He shall be vested with the The immunity of the State shall not at any time control of all matters relating to the repairs and be waived by the Legislature, or any public keeping in navigable order of the canals, and of officer or body. But nothing in this section conany improvement that may be authorized by law, tained shall be construed to prohibit the payment and of the rules and government of their naviga- of just compensation for property or water approtion. He may be suspended from office and priated, provided the demand for such compensaremoved by the Governor, on the recommendation tion be made within three years after the approof the Commissioners of the Canal Fund, for incom-priation. petency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office; but no such removal shall be made tracted prior to the first of June, § 6. The canal stock debt conunless he shall have been previously served 1846, amounting on the first day with a copy of the charges preferred against of May, 1867, to,....... him, and shall have had an opportunity of being The heard in his defense. In case of the suspension, removal from office, vacation, or inability to serve, from any cause, the Superintendent of Public Works, during the recess of the Senate, the Senior Assistant Superintendent of Public Works shall act in his place and stead; but not for a period beyond the session of the Senate next after such suspension, removal, vacation, or inability to serve. The Governor, upon the recom mendation of the Superintendent of Public Works, may nominate, and with the consent of the Senate, shall hereafter be known and designated as the appoint four Assistant Superintendents of Public canal debt; and the several sinking funds appliWorks, who shall hold their office eight years, at cable to the payment of the said debts, amountan annual salary to be fixed by law; the said ing at the time aforesaid to the sum of $2,010,assistant superintendents shall be subject to the 734.35, together with the contributions to be anthority and control of the Superintendent of Pub-made thereto, and the income thereof, shall be lic Works, and may be removed by him for cause; known and designated as the canal debt sinking all other officers and employees necessary for the fund.


canal enlargement
amounting at the time afore-
said to,....

The floating debt loan, contracted
under the provisions of chapter
271 of the laws of 1859,
amounting at the time afore-
said to,..

$3,265,900 00

10,807,000 00

1,700,000 00 $15,772,900 00

care and management of the canals, other than § 7. After paying the expenses of collection, financial officers, may be appointed by the Super-superintendence and repairs of the canals of the intendent of Public Works, subject to removal by State, the surplus revenue thereof shall in each him, and he may have such other powers and year, commencing with the year eighteen hunduties, not inconsistent with this article, as may dred and sixty-seven, be set apart and paid into be prescribed by law. the canal debt sinking fund; and the principal §4. The Canal Board, the Contracting Board and income of said fund shall be annually approand the powers and duties of the office of State priated and applied to the payment of the canal Engineer and Surveyor, as applicable to the and general fund debts, and to the improvement canals, are abrogated; the office of Canal Commis- of the canals, in the following manner and order, sioner and Canal Appraiser are hereby abolished, until the said debts have been paid and such imto take effect on the first day of January, provements as herein stated shall have been comcighteen hundred and sixty-eight. The Canal pleted: Commissioners and Canal Appraisers in office at

First, To pay the principal and interest of the le time of the adoption of this Constitution, may canal debt falling due within the year.

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