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another question? Does the gentleman know that the Cayuga and Seneca canal is only made a paying and profitable canal by the tonnage received from the Chemung canal?
pared by the auditor of the canal department, (to be found on page 131, etc., of the 2d vol of the Manual), the deficiency account with some of these unproductive investments stands as follows:
Cost of superintendence, collection and repairs over
Making a total of,...
Or an annual average of,..
Taking the last year as a guide the deficiency account stands as follows:
the State to the public credit, and paying, as one gentleman opposed to the canal report, he said desired to see doue, our present indebtednes in the present depreciated currency. The committee estimate the cost of this work at $8,000,000; Mr. BERGEN-It does not so appear in the in my judgment, if honestly managed, as pro- auditor's report which is my authority. posed, it can be done for about this sum. If To proceed. According to the tables prepublic robbery and stealing are to continue to be the order of the day, as they appear to have been under the late management, then no doubt it will cost more. For one, I hope that this Convention will inaugurate a new era, and that hereafter honesty will be the rule and dishonesty the exception in the management of our public affairs. Suppose that in consequence of errors, of unforseen difficulties, of stealings (which God forbid), it should cost more, had we not botter expend the excess than run the risk of losing our present advantages and the future benefit to be derived from our present investment? A prudent individual or corporation, in my judgment, under the circumstances would not hesitate a moment. The completion of the Erie canal, instead of a failure, proving to be a success and beneficial to the interests of the community not only in its immediate vicinity, but directly or indirectly to the whole State, induced the adjoining portions of the country to desire lateral canals to further their interests. They adroitly managed from time to time, to procure the passage of laws for their construction under the pretense that, they, like the Erie canal, would not only develop the resources of portions of the State then wild and uncultivated, In addition the auditor says that the locks of but would prove to be paying investments. the Chenango in a short time will require rePerhaps more of these promises would have placing at an expense of not less than $1,000,000; been realized, if it had not been for railroads since that those of the Genesee Valley, of which there built, which havo diverted the trade in other are 110, must soon be requilt at a heavy channels. The friends of these laterals, whenever cost, and that the Oneida Lake canal is not now in an expenditure of money was necessary for the navigable order and is awaiting repairs or reconimprovement of the Erie, would unite their forces struction. Judging from the past, as time advanand manage to defeat it, unless appropriations forces, we must expect these deficiencies to increase their local schemes were included. By this log-instead of diminishing. These canals, however, rolling process, and against the better judgment are entitled to some credit for the business they of some of the ablest men of this State, the con- afford to the Erie, but after giving them all the struction of such laterals as the Genesee Valley, credit to which in any way they are entitled, it the Crooked Lake, the Chenango, the Black River, yet leaves them unproductive and a clog and an the Oneida Lake, the Baldwinsville, and the Che incubus on the resources of the State. By the mung have been constructed, one of them not as auditor's supplementary account (on the 450th yet completed, whose tolls never have, and prob-page of the 2d vol. of the Manual) there has been ably to the end of time never will pay the cost of expended in the construction, enlargement, maintenance and collection. The Champlain, the extension and improvement of these canals as Oswego, and the Seneca and Cayuga have proved to be, and are likely to continue, paying investments and are therefore worthy of preservation and the fostering care of the State.
Making a total of,
Black River canal,
Genesce Valley canal,
$1,273,261 86 333,287 27 2,782, 124 19 3,224,779 55 5,827,813 72
Making a total of,
Mr. SPENCER-Does the gentleman know that the Chemung canal by its contributions to the Erie canal, to the Cayuga and Seneca canal and the tolls upon the tonnage from it, and the tolls which have been received upon it, upon the Erie and the Cayuga and Seneca canals for ton-done with these non-paying and unproductive nage delivered upon the Chemung canal, has not only paid the cost of its maintenance, but the actual interest upon its entire cost of construction, leaving to-day over $600,000 besides?
Mr. BERGEN-I do not so understand it by the report of the auditor.
Mr. SPENCER-Will the gentleman allow me
canals? Shall we continue to run them forever as recommended by the majority of the Committee on Canals at a present annual loss of over $270,000, with a certainty of a regular increase, for the benefit of their respective localities, and that too with a necessity staring us in the face of almost immediately expending several
on all property passing from or through such lateral canal, except so far as any of said laterals or parts thereof may be necessary as feeders of water to the canals named in the seventh section of this article."
millions upon them to repair their dilapidated locks and structures? Is it just to attempt to fasten upon my constituents, upon the people of this State, for all time, what amounts, when stripped of special pleadings, to an annual tax for the benefit of the persons who live upon the line of Adopt this section, and you make it the interthese laterals? Is it just to compel us to pay a est of the people of those localities to foster their portion of the cost of transportation to market of canals, to watch over them and choke off the every bushel of grain, or stick of lumber produced vampires who for years appear to have been suck. in their vicinity-to pay, in fact, a bounty on their ing out their life-blood, and robbing the public of production? Who pays for the transportation to their just dues. If then they cannot sustain them market of the productions of the counties on the selves, we had better, in my humble judgment, banks of the Hudson or of the farmers of Long even go beyond what is proposed in this section, Island? Does, or has, the State ever paid a cent and authorize the Legislature to dispose of them for this purpose? No, sir, the State does not nor in any manner they may deem expedient, to give never has paid; the producers pay it out of their them, if proper in their judgment, to the counties own pockets; they have never had the presump-in which they are located, and let them have the tion, that I am aware of, even to ask the State to benefit of the $13,528,000 they have cost, and pay. There may have been some ground for make the most out of them they can. This affording temporary relief, of doling out charity to proposition I have no doubt will be met with the those portions of the State in their infancy, but cry, of which I think I have seen symptoms, that twenty-one years and upward have elapsed since unless you carry along these laterals, unless you the system has been in operation, time has been continue this bounty and temporary relief forever, given them to pass their minority, they have be your Constitution will be defeated, for every man come strong and of age, and, in my judgment, it is on the lines of these laterals will vote against it. about time that they sustain themselves without Now, sir, this is the same spirit, the same evil a continuance of this temporary relief. I believe genii which all along has succeeded, by assuming they have the ability and can do it without a threatening attitude, in bleeding the other porgreatly distressing themselves, but, like all other tions of the State, and making them tributaries to pensioners, they will hold on to their pittance as its power. I think the time has arrived to exorlong as possible. What prudent individual (the cise this spirit, to destroy his power, to defy him, State may be likened to an individual) owning a and to trust that the good sense of the mass of farm, a portion of which required irrigation to the people of this State will induce them make it productive, after expending a large sum to rise in their majesty and mote out equal justice in the digging of ditches to introduce water, to all, regardless of consequences. While occupyfinding that the expenses of keeping the ditches ing this floor, I will take the liberty of saying a in repair and of cultivation, without taking into few words upon another matter contained in the consideration the cost of the ditches, amounted to majority report of the Committee on Canals, to more than he could realize from the sale of the which, as one of the minority, I dissented, and that crops, and after trying the experiment for more is whether the Superintendent of Public Works, than twenty years with the same result, would an officer who is to hold for eight years, and continue the unprofitable practice? Few men who is to be vested with full power over the would continue it five years, much less twenty; canals, and to be held responsible, should be it would prove ruinous to any man, unless he had appointed or elected. The majority recommend other means to sustain himself. This leak in the his appointment by the Governor and Senate, a public treasury should be stopped, and a large an- minority, that he should be elected by the people. nual sum, in addition to the millions required for Now sir, I have not as yet lost all faith in the repairs, will be secured to improve the navigation virtue and intelligence of the people, or in the on the paying canals and improve our finances. theory that the people are capable of self governHaving so long enjoyed these bounties, so long ernment, and have sufficient discernment to elect received temporary relief, I suppose the people their own officers. From what has been advanced of those localities imagine they have a prescrip- by honorable gentlemen on this floor, I contive right to them, and loud wailings and lamen- clude that the faith of many of them has been tations will be heard if they are suddenly depriv-shaken, that they are convinced that the people ed of them. Now, sir, to wean them gradually, of this country have become so corrupt, ignorant to give them a fair opportunity to prepare them- and demoralized, that they can no longer be selves to rely upon their own resources, a minor- trusted. If they are honest in their opinions and ity of the Committee on Canals propose that the present system be allowed to continue in force until the first day of May, 1874, as provided in the following section reported by them, and entered on our files as No. 56, which section is as follows:
"SEC. 11. The total annual expenditure upon any lateral canal for collection, superintendence, repairs and management, shall not, from and after the first day of May, 1874, exceed the tolls upon, and other sources of income of such canal, including in such income the tolls upon the Erie canal
correct in their conclusions, then, sir, we had better at once abandon our present system, subscribe to the old Federal doctrine, reorganize our government on the strong central principle, elect a Governor and Senate for life, and give them the appointment, not only of the Superintendent of Public Works, but also of all of our principal officers. Give the nomination of this officer to the Governor, and in addition to the great patronage already bestowed upon him, you add indirectly the control and immense patronage of the canals. In 1846 the Constitutional Convention was satisfied, from
the experience of the past, that it was wise to re- and that he has presented to this Convention the duce the patronage of the Governor; now a new results of his examination so fully and so ably as generation propose to fly back to the ills their he has. The Committee on Canals had before predecessors suffered from. We have had some them much of the same testimony. They con experience of the judgment of the Governor in sidered it; and it was in reference to the system the appointment of canal officers. A few years of fraud and of corruption, which is developed ago a canal commissioner was appointed by the in that testimony, that they have prepared and Governor to fill a vacancy. As near as I can presented to this Convention for its adoption the judge from the report of the investigating Com- section relating to the care and management of mittee of the Senate, this appointee turned out the canals; and, before I proceed to consider a to be one of the most dishonest of the gang of more important subject which has occupied this pilferers, and not very creditable to the Gover-committee almost altogether hitherto-the nor's judgment. Of such specimens we want no finances derived from the canal-I wish to say a more. If we trust the people to elect their Gov- few words in reference to this proposition. It ernor why not trust them to elect this officer? If has been our endeavor, sir, to change the policy you have faith in their good judgment in the one which has hitherto prevailed for the purpose of case have faith in the other. It may be asked, placing the canals, their care and management, in why not continue the present system of three or all and every department, in the hands of one more heads to the canal department, so as to di- man, who shall be selected, who shall be a man vide the great responsibility? My answer is, this who will best discharge this high duty. We dehas been tried and failed to give satisfaction; sire by doing that to place the responsibility of under it plunder has been the order of the day, these great works, so important to the State, in and, judging from the investigations of the Sen- the hands of some one man known to the people, ate Committee, it has been customary for the and whom the people will look to for the faithful several persons in charge each to retire at the discharge of the high duty of his office. We beend of his term with a competency, or at least lieve that this power will be exercised better, with a full purse. In consequence of the short-with more efficiency, with more care, with ness of the present term of these officers, three less expenditure, and with perfect honesty, in years, in the course of eight years (the term pro- the hands of such a man, than it will be posed for the new superintendent) quite a number if it shall continue to be intrusted as for of the present class of officers would, under a corrupt system, take the liberty of helping themselves with sufficient for life. If corruption is to continue to be the rule, then I would prefer the one-man power, for it costs less to support and enrich one than it does to enrich many. There is one thing which is clear, and that is that no system will give satisfaction unless honestly managed, and that almost any system honestly managed will work well. Everything depends on the honesty and capacity of those in charge, and I think the people are as likely to select an honest and capable man, as the Governor. For one, I yet have faith in the people of this country; I depend upon their good judgment. They may at times be mistaken and led into error, but eventually they will return to the right path and will hurl from their places those who have robbed them. We all desire the prosperity of our country. For one, I hope that the day will never arrive that the people of this country will become so demoralized as to show themselves unworthy of self-government and, like Mexico and the Central and South American States, inhabited by a mixed race, become a prey to continual revolutions, with no security for life or property.
Mr. SEYMOUR-The Committee on Canals, after much labor in the investigation of our canal system, after much thought and reflection, have presented for the consideration of this Convention two general propositions. One of them relates to the care and management of the canals, and the other relates to their improvement and to the appropriation of their finances. I have been gratified to find that the gentleman from Kings [Mr. Barnard] has with such care and labor examined the testimony taken under the authority of the Legislature in reference to the working of our present system of management of the canals,
many years past to several persons. When such has been the case we have of late years found that none of the officials seemed to feel personally any responsibility to the people for the great work intrusted to their charge. The office of the Superintendent of Public Works of this State should command the highest talent, the highest character that can be selected from our citizens. Here are a thousand miles of canal; it is the great net-work of our internal system of trade; it is a work that affects the interest of every citizen of this State; it should ever be supervised with the greatest care, integrity and ability. We depend upon its results for the support of our government in part, and largely for the discharge of that indebtedness which is now pressing upon the State. We propose that the individual to be intrusted with this high office shall bring to its discharge the highest character for integrity, and that he, by the position given him, by the salary allowed him, and by the power which he will possess, shall be able to attract the attention of the people of this State, to secure their confidence, and to create a character and position for himself that will commend him to the people as worthy of the highest office in their gift. The office of the canal commissioner was once such an office in this State. It then commanded the best character, the best ability, the highest integrity; and it was a proud day for this State, and for our system of internal improvements, when such men as Van Rensselaer, Young, and Bouck and their compeers had the charge of this system. It was prosperous then. There were no charges of corruption; none of our citizens felt that the public interests were intrusted to bad hands; none of them feared that the public moneys would be squandered. The people felt a confidence in these men, in their judgment,
ABOLISHMENT of Court of APPEALS,
Resolution in reference to, 233.
ABOLISHMENT OF OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF
Resolution in reference to, 193.
ABOLISHMENT OF OFFICES,
Resolution in reference to, 217, 351.
Resolution in reference to, 412.
Resolution in reference to pay of, 2779.
Resolution requesting Secretary to notify
Resolution requesting to resign their
Resolution in reference to testimony of,
Resolution of inquiry to committee on
ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT,
On taking the chair, 19.
At close of proceedings of Convention,
ADDRESS TO PEOPLE, SHOWING CHANGES IN CONSTI-
ADJOURNMENTS OF LEGISLATURE,
Amendment of Mr. Hitchcock in reference
Amendment of Mr. Ketcham in reference
Amendment of Mr. Van Campen in refer-
Resolution of instruction to committee on
1919, 1951, 2058, 2098, 2263, 2528, 2529,
Committee on, resolution to obtain infor-
Debate on report of committee on, 3265 to
Debate on report of committee on revision
Report from committee on, 2274.
Appointed messenger, 29.
Resolution tendering thanks of Conven-
Resolution to appoint select committee to ALDERMEN, BOARDS OF,
ALIENISM AFFECTING TITLE TO REAL ESTATE,
Resolution in reference to, 647, 673, 3283, ALIENS, EQUAL RIGHTS OF, TO HOLD REAL ESTATE,
Remarks of Mr. Alvord on, 3258.
A delegate from the thirty-second sena-
torial district, 978, 996, 1903.
Minority report from committee on finance,
Oath of office taken by, 18.
Petition against abrogating board of re-
Petition against extending right of suf-
frage to Indians, presented by, 3239.
Remarks of, on joint report of committee
on finances and canals, 1760, 1888, 1900.
ALLEN, CORNELIUS L.,
A delegate from the twelfth senatorial
Oath of office taken by, 18.
Petition against abolishing office of re-
gents of university, presented by, 2443.
regents of university, presented by,
Petition in reference to prohibiting dona-
tions to sectarian institutions, presented
Petitions in reference to support of com-
mon schools, presented by, 2356.
Remarks by, on report of committee on
Remarks of, on report of committee on
Remarks of, on report of committee on
revision on article on town and county
Remarks of, on resolution to instruct com-
mittee on revision to amend article on
Report from committee on Governor,
Resolution of inquiry in reference to pow-
revision to amend article on judiciary
revision to amend article on town and
Supplementary report from committee on
Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, in ref-
A delegate from the twenty-second sena-
Appointed member of committee on coun-
Remonstrance against abolishing regents
ALVORD, THOMAS G.,
A delegate from the twenty-second sena-