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The Legislature of 1868 met on the first the law; and, 3. To give the Mayors of New Tuesday in January, and continued in session York and Brooklyn authority to grant licenses. 121 days, and finally adjourned on the 6th of The attention of the Legislature was directed May. A majority of the members of the As- to the railroads by the claims which several sembly were Democrats, while in the Senate of them put in for pecuniary aid from the the Republicans had a majority. The question State, in the completion of their respective of controlling certain departments of the ad- lines. There were at one time, before one or ministration of cities by commissions appointed the other branch of the Legislature, bills for at Albany was introduced by the following the following railroads : resolution, offered by Mr. Kiernan, of New Whitehall & Plattsburg Railroad, granting $250,000 York:
Albany & Susquehanna
250,000 Whereas, The city of New York has, through the Buffalo & Washington
250,000 operation of special commissions created and ap- Dunkirk & Warren
200,000 pointed at Albany, been deprived of many of its cor- Lake Ontario Shore
800,000 porate rights and privileges and made subservient to Southern Central
150,000 government foreign to the provisions of its charter New York Northern
600,000 and not identified with its interests ;
Rondout & Oswego
250,000 Resolved, That the Committee on the Affairs of Utica & Black River, say for forty miles, 200,000 Cities be requested to report, at as early a date as Midland, 85,000, say thirty-five miles, 175,000 possible, what constitutional means may be adopted Buffalo, Corry, & Pittsburg road
200,000 by the State Legislature to restore to the metropolis ts ancient power and independence.
The grounds on which their claims for help Nothing, however, was accomplished in this value of the railroads of the State in develop
from the public treasury were based, were the natter.
The following resolution received a unani- ing the resources and promoting the material nous vote in the Senate :
prosperity of the sections of country through
which they passed. This generous legislation, That our Government, recognizing no distinction however, received a check by the veto of the zand of other nations the immediate and uncondi- first of these bills which came before the Govional release of all citizens of the United States ille- ernor for his signature. This was the Whiteally held in military service, or in custody for pre- hall and Plattsburg Railroad Aid Bill, which ended political offences, not committed on their soil; was returned to the Senate with the Govnd that it is the duty of the Government to enforce ernor's objections, on the 6th of April
. The hat demand, if necessary, with all the power of the lation.
company engaged in constructing this road On the last day of the session the Commit- was organized in the early part of the year ee on the Condition of the Country reported 1866, for the purpose of completing direct he following, which were adopted in the As- communications between New York City and mbly:
Montreal, and of opening a way through one Resolved, That the aggressions of Congress upon the
of the richest mineral districts in the State. ghts of the States and the functions of coördinate Application for. State aid was made
at once, anches of the Government indicate a settled purpose and a bill appropriating $450,000 to aid in the set aside the Constitution and to destroy the lib- construction of ninety miles of the road at ties of the people.
$5,000 & mile, passed both branches of the Resolved, that the independence of the judiciary is sential to the integrity of the Constitution and the Legislature, but was vetoed by the Governor. yhts of citizens, and that we protest against any act In 1867 an appropriation of $250,000 was Congress infringing on it.
made with the sanction of the Executive, and Resolved, That the evidence elicited on the trial of in 1868 another application came for a quarter esident 'Johnson before the court of impeachment of a million dollars to aid in carrying on the 7, and that his conviction would be regarded by work already begun. The Governor's reason
people as the false judgment of a partisan court, for vetoing the bill which proposed to grant 1 as a crime against the form and being of a repub- the aid desired was, the necessity for retrenchin government.
ment and economy. He said : The general legislation of the session relat
It must have come to the attention of all, that durin a large measure to railroads, canals, and ing the past year the people have been more restive ier matters connected with the commer- under the burdens of taxation than at any previous 1 interests of the people. An attempt was period since the close of the war. Business has been de to abolish the offices of Auditor and Bank unsettled, trade has been depressed, industry partially perintendent, but these propositions failed and less reliable. Profits have diminished, and unthe Senate after having passed the Lower til the great financial questions are firmly decided, use. The Assembly also passed a bill re- and a permanent policy established, the horoscope of ling the Metropolitan Excise Law, but the the future cannot be surely and confidently cast. This late refused to sanction the proceeding, and condition,
which the repeated lessons of history and
our past experience as a people might have taught us ee other bills intended to modify that statute to expect would mark the period immediately followre voted down in the same body. The ing a great war, duty and prudence alike demand shall lifications proposed were: 1. To give ma- not be disregarded. The state can no more be prosrates the power to remit the ten days' pen- perous without economy in the conduct of its affairs
for intoxication; 2. To exclude the rural ous to our social and republican institutions. Our 'ns of Queens County from the operation of first care, therefore, should be to ascertain how the
VOL. VIII.—35 A
volume of debt can be diminished, and guard against 1. I charge that the report on the Erie Railroad Bill its extension; how the measure of taxation can be re was bought. duced, and retrenchment made more rigid and sys 2. I charge that a portion of the vote on this floor, tematic.
in adopting the said report, was bought. In view of these considerations, he thought gaged in buying their fellow-members.
3. I charge that members of this House were € the great public works of the State should wait
4. I charge that a portion of the vote on the Harlem untis better times. A strenuous effort was Milk Bill was bought. made in the Senate to pass the bill notwith 5. I charge that some of the committees of this standing the objections of the Governor, but House charge for reports. without success, and the other claims for State on a portion of this House.
6. I charge corruption, deep, dark, and damning, aid in behalf of railroads were allowed to rest.' I ask the adoption of the following:
A committee was appointed in the Senate to Resolved, That the Speaker appoint a committee of investigate certain charges of mismanagement five to investigate the foregoing charges, that three brought against the Erie Railroad. The prin- House that voted no on the Erie Railroad report, ae. cipal ground of complaint was a resolution two be taken from that part that voted age, and the adopted by the directors on the 19th of Febru- the committee have power to employ counsel 2. ary, for the issue of bonds to the amount of send for persons and papers; the committee to sit in ten million dollars, convertible into stock of this chamber during the recess of the Legislature. the company, and the conversion of the bonds The committee may employ a clerk. into stock for purposes of private speculation. Two reports on this matter were submitted. having been called in question, he declred
Mr. Glenn's motives in making these charge The majority of the committee arrived at the that he made them in behalf of no company conclusion that the issue of bonds had been ob- corporation. He had been offered five Eutained by Mr. Daniel Drew, to be used for his dred dollars for his vote, and knew a man who personal gain, " utterly regardless of the inter- had been offered twelve hundred dollars. Ea ests” of other stockholders in the company, claimed in the name of justice that this matte and that Mr. Eldridge, the president, and Messrs. be “probed to the bottom." A committee a Fisk and Gould, directors, were concerned and appointed to investigate these grave charges probably interested with Mr. Drew in these but Mr. Glenn declined to serve on that conit corrupt proceedings.” The report closed mittee on account of the feeble state of la with the following resolution :
health, but asked that he might be represented Resolved, That the fraudulent abuses developed by by counsel in supporting the accusations olid the investigation of the management of the present he had made. This privilege was not allowes road Company demand that increased penalties for but a committee was appointed to carry on such offences shall be imposed for the protection of the investigation. Mr. Glenn being summone stockholders and the community, and the special com- before that committee, was unwilling to g. mittee conducting such investigation be, and they are his testimony, because it would implicate > hereby, instructed to report a bill making it a feloni- of the men before whom he was required to ous offence for any director or officer to fraudulently issue stock of the company in which he holds such testify; and on the following day he acensei trust, or to convert to his own purposes the proceeds that member of the committee by nametes of any stock or bonds; or to fraudulently take or the Assembly of offering him five hundred calcarry away to another State, or with like intent keep lars for his vote, and asked that he be relierea and retain them to evade legal process in this Statē, from taking part in the investigation. I the moneys or effects of such company.
A minority report was submitted, which com- committee decided that there was no me mended the general management of the Erie for the charges either against the gentler Railroad, and declared that there was uncontra- named or any other member of the House, and dicted evidence that the right of the Board of Mr. Glenn thereupon sent in his resignatica in Directors to pass the resolution of February a letter of some length, in which he reiteratch 19th was not doubted or questioned either in the charges already made. It was decided I ; the Executive Board, or Board of Directors, to receive this document, as the House hai and was therefore not a wilful violation of the nothing to do with the resignation of members law. It then recommended that an act be if they saw fit to vacate their places. In the passed legalizing the $10,000,000 of stock as members appeared to be that the member the
discussion on this subject, the general opinion of well as various other acts of the directors which had been complained of as illegal. The action was so indignant at the offer of five hundra? recommended by a minority of the committee dollars for his vote must be insane. was favored in the Senate.
The canal system of New York contribute In the Assembly, on occasion of the adoption ity of the State. The total length of these pa
in no small degree to the commercial pruste of a committee report adverse to a bill which had been framed in the interest of the Erie lic works, with their feeders, is 894 mijes; is Railroad, the following communication was
total length of navigable rivers and lakes, at submitted to the House :
nected by canals, is 381 miles, thus giving the
State about 1,275 miles of inland navigation ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, April 1, 1868. To the Hon. Speaker of the Assembly:
The number of bridges on these canals is 1.595 I, E. M. K. Glenn, a member of this House, from and the number of locks is 565. The value my seat in this House, do charge as follows: the work done during the fiscal year 1868 T
$688,505.77. The management of the canals leading topic of conversation at the meetings has been for several years the subject of some of several Boards of Trade. animadversions from all classes of the citizens. The subject came before the Legislature in The most violent complaints have been made of two forms : 1. In the shape of a bill to abolish the inefficiency and corruption of the Contract- the Contracting Board, and make some other ing Board, whose province it has been to keep changes in the mode of administration; and, the canals in a proper state of repair. It was 2. In the impeachment of Robert O. Dorn, Casaid that contracts were frequently concluded nal Commissioner, for high crimes and misdeat excessive rates, while moderate offers were meanors. Soon after the opening of the sesmade and rejected, and that a constant course sion, numerous petitions were received in both of corrupt dealing prevailed between the Con- branches of the Legislature, praying for reform tracting Board and parties to whom they gave in the management of the canals. Bills were the "job" of prosecuting repairs. The result introduced, both in the Senate and the Assemwas an enormous outlay, while the canals were bly, to meet this demand of the people, but every day becoming dilapidated and filled with different plans were proposed in the two obstructions. The Legislature of 1867 ap- Houses. The Assembly bill proposed to do pointed a select committee to examine into away with the offices of Auditor of the Canal the management of the State canals, and con- Board and of the Canal Commissioner, as well tinued its existence through the recess. A as to abolish the Contract Board, while the large amount of testimony was taken, and a re- Senate favored less radical changes. Finally, port made to the Constitutional Convention, in a committee of conference was appointed, and pursuance of a resolution of that body calling unanimously agreed on a measure, abolishing for information on the subject of these investi- the Contracting Board, and retaining the ofgations. These reports were published, and fice of Auditor. Commissioners of repairs were public attention still more intently drawn to to be appointed by the Canal Board, whose the subject. The feeling became quite preva- bills were to be andited and paid by three paylent that the Contracting Board wholly failed masters appointed by the Commissioners of the to accomplish the object for which it was con- Canal Fund. This bill was adopted in the stituted, and should be abolished. A Canal Con- Assembly without a dissenting vote, but for Fention assembled at Albany on the 25th of some unexplained reason the Republican SenFebruary, and discussed the importance to the ators met in caucus and determined that it State of her system of canals and the interest should not become a law. The bill was acof the community in their proper management. cordingly defeated in the Senate, and the subThe following is the first of a series of nine res- ject was left by the Legislature in the same Dlations adopted by the convention, suggest- position in which they had found it. When ng radical changes in the administration of the Republican State Convention met at Syrahese valuable public works:
cuse, a communication was received from a 1. Resoloed, That we regard the present contract committee appointed by the Canal Convention ystem of keeping the canals of the State in repair
to take charge and watch over the interests is entirely subversive of the interests of the State of the State canals, and to protect and preserve nd of those engaged in canal commerce, and sub- their revenues and the commerce of this State ervient alone to the advantage and profit of the by all laudable agencies," urging upon the atnerce, and ruinous alike to the canals and their
in- tention of the delegates the importance of a erests, and to those
who have invested their enter- “wise, economical, and honest management of rise and capital in the transportation of property our commercial lines of water intercommunihrough these channels of communication; and we cation.” The closing paragraphs of the docuherefore call upon the Legislature of the State to reeal the laws under which the State canals are kept
ment were in these words: a repair by contract, and to enact others which shall It is patent to us, and from the experience of the rovide for their repair by superintendents, or some
recent past cool reflection will also convince you, that ther responsible agents, so that they may be kept the first duty in selecting our executive and legislative a navigable condition during the season of naviga- agents is to provide beyond a future contingency: lon, and rendered available to the demands and in 1. For the early improvement of the canals--that rests of commerce.
they shall be put and kept in perfect repair and con
dition, so as to give an unobstructed channel-way for The action recommended by the convention, boats drawing six feet of water upon the leading ca
of ras-1. A repeal of the act of 1857, relating the Contracting Board; 2. The passage of preserved from fraud and corruption which prey upon
2. That the canal revenues shall be protected and bill then pending in the Senate, providing for the treasury without bringing compensating benefits new system of management; 3. The abroga- to commerce or the State. ion of existing contracts for repairs; and, 4. the
canals, there cannot be such a reform in their
Without a radical change in the management of 'he institution of legal proceedings against condition as will insure to commerce such facilities ny person who had fraudulently obtained as are needful, and without which it will be imposaoney on canal contracts with the State.sible to preserve to the State its commercial su'here were also several other recommenda- premacy. ons relating to the details of what the con- Convention
by arguments equally impressive and un
These positions were enforced in the State Canal ention regarded as a proper system of man- answerable, and with an earnestness which indicated gement. The State canals also formed the the settled purpose of the delegates and of those they
represent to render every other subject subordinate the evidence and arguments in the case. The to the attainment of these vital ends. The last Legislature failed us in accomplishing
trial continued about two weeks, but attracted these ends. They can be reached successfully by very little attention, and the commissioner was wise selections of candidates from among the able acquitted, the largest vote against him on ay men of the State who are known to be true and un- article being eight to twenty. compromising friends of the canals and their commerce. And we again appeal to you that in your ac- was one called for the purpose of “protestira
Among the various conventions of the year, tion in your party capacity you may be governed by against the action of the British Government these important considerations..
with reference to the imprisonment of adopted The convention, accordingly, introduced the citizens,” which met in Albany on the sth following resolution into its platform of prin- of February. A letter was received from ciples :
Horatio Seymour, expressing his sympatty Resolved, That the commercial prominence of our with the objects of the meeting, and a seria State is largely due to its canals ; that they should be of resolutions was adopted, among which were abuses should be reformed; and that the best inter- the following: ests of the Commonwealth demand their judicious en Resolved, That the American people have regardes largement and improvement, so that their full ca- with deep solicitude the course of the British Gorpacity will be utilized, and that it is the duty of the ernment toward naturalized American citizens-its General Government to interest itself in this great arbitrary seizure and retention of them without tria. work.
and the assumption of the British courts to disrega! The Democratic Convention expressed their and to assert the doctrine of perpetual allegiaze!
their plea of citizenship founded upon naturalizati view of the subject in the following:
That we protest against such assumptions as stun Resolved, That in the State, as in the national Gov- with the vital principles of free government, and su ernment, they demand economy in expenditure, call upon the Administration at Washington to resis. strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the consti- and repel them. tution, and the protection of the rights of the people
Resolved, That we demand of foreign gorerne against the encroachments of monopolies created by no rights that we do not acknowledge on the part of special legislation. That the canals of the State, our own. That, commensurate with the
right of natewhich have contributed largely to the wealth and the ralization, we recognize the obligation of citizenshi:commercial supremacy of New York, should remain the duty of the Government to restrain its citza the property of its citizens ; that they should be kept from unlawful acts and the right to protect tent in perfect repair and so improved as to meet the de- their lawful pursuits. mands of a constantly-increasing commerce; that the Resolved, That the claim of military service assut tolls should be reduced so as to command the carry- by some of the Continental nations of Europe, agai: ing-trade; and that the system of management pro- naturalized citizens, their former subjects, is so un vided for in a bill passed by the last Democratic As- in itself, and so incompatible with the assuns sembly and rejected by the Radical Senate should ties of such citizens to the Government of their en be adopted, so that corruption and peculation shall that it becomes the duty of the Federal Government cease and the canal revenues be honestly applied to demand the relinquishment of any such pretensi the maintenance of the canals and the payment of and to enforce the position by all the authority of te the debts incurred in their construction,
Resolved, That the doctrine of the perpetual sås During the political canvass, however, the alienable allegiance of a subject is incompatible with greater prominence of other issues caused that the growth of modern society, and the freedom of of the management of the canals to be in a great populations—and
that the whole history of the perioden measure overlooked; but the public attention of these United States is a protest against it. has been again directed to the subject, and it The Republicans held a convention at Sys is confidently expected that the Legislature of cuse, on the 5th of February, to appoint dele1869 will bring about a reform in this impor- gates to the National Convention at Cheeze tant branch of the State administration. À proposition was made in this convention :
The impeachment of Commissioner Dorn reorganize the Republican party in the city was the result of the investigations of a select New York, under the joint supervision ! committee appointed by the last Legislature to direction of Freeman J. Fithian and Thos examine into the propriety of bringing in arti- as Murphy, the object being to exclude fr.c cles of impeachment against any state officer. the deliberations of the convention the radic:! A report of considerable length was submitted, delegation from that city. These delegates which closed with the following resolution: were, however, admitted by a vote of 256 : 1
Resolved, That Robert Ç. Dorn, Canal Commis- 54. Resolutions were adopted, reaffirming tha sioner, be and he is hereby impeached for high crimes devotion of the party to the principles of jes and misdemeanors.
tice, legality, and nationality, declaring its a This was adopted, and managers of the im- proval of the reconstruction measures of Cocpeachment were appointed by the Assembly. gress, and its "unalterable purpose to msisEight articles of impeachment were framed, tain úntarnished and inviolate the public faits charging Mr. Dorn with corruption and fraud in and
national credit," and pronouncing in isma several contracts which had been made for re- of U. S. Grant and R. E. Fenton, for Prezi pairing the canals, and with appropriating pub- dent and Vice-President of the United States. lic money to his own use and that of his favor On the evening of the 3d of July & m.** ites. The Senators and judges of the Court of meeting of working-men was held at t Appeals sat as a High Court of Impeachment Cooper Institute, in the City of New Yor on the fourth Tuesday of May, and listened to under the auspices of the National Labe:
Union, which adopted the following resolu Resolved, That the honor of the American people, tions among others:
as dear to us now as when we welcomed death and Resolvel, That the national honor must be preserved ment of our National obligations according to their
sorrow in defence of the Union, demands the payby paying its debts in good faith, and
that every debt letter and spirit; and that we regard any attempt at of the Government, not otherwise specifically con- repudiating these contracts, or evading their payment, tracted, shall be paid in the lawful currency of the as dishonoring, us in the eyes of mankind, and a United States; that the bonds, when redeemable, crime against the national honor, only surpassed by should be paid in legal-tender notes or exchanged for the crime of treason
itself. other bonds, at three per cent., convertible into law
Resolved, That we welcome to our country the peoful money, at the pleasure of the holders.
ple of other lands, that we believe in generous faws Resolved, That the public interest demands the of naturalization and immigration, and that no matter withdrawal of the circulation of the national banks, what country claims the birth-place of an American and the substitution of legal-tender Treasury certifi- citizen, the Hag should
cover him with the majesty of cates in their stead. Resolted, That no more of the public domain shall pursuits in any quarter of the world.
our national power, and protect him in peaceable be granted to any corporation under any, pretext whatever, and all the lands not disposed of should be cratic party as the greatest calamity that could be
Resolved, That regarding the triumph of the Demowithdrawn from the market and granted only in fall the American people, we proudly accept, as our small quantities to actual settlers.
candidates, Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax. The Convention of Republicans, for the nomi- We accept them as the representatives of all that has nation of State officers and Presidential elec- been glorious and heroic in our war, and of the wistors, met at Syracuse, on the 8th of July. John dom, and the courage of Republican statesmanship.
Their election will be an assurance that freedom will 1. Griswold, of Troy, was nominated for Gov- be maintained, justice enforced, and the national ernor; Alonzo B. Cornell, of Ithaca, for Lieu- honor protected. tenant-Governor; Alexander Barclay, for Canal Commissioner; Henry A. Barnum, Inspec
The Democratic Convention met at Albany tor of Prisons; Campbell A. Young, Clerk of on the 2d of September. By far the larger Court of Appeals. The following is the plat- of John T. Hoffman for Governor, at that
part of the delegates favored the nomination form of the party as adopted at this conven- time Mayor of the City of New York, but a tion:
Resolred, That we tender to Congress our warmest disposition having been shown by some of the thanks for the intrepidity, sagacity, and foresight party to bring forward the name of Henry O. with
which it has accomplished the great work of Murphy as a rival candidate, that gentleman reconstruction; betrayed by a recreant President, wrote a letter to the convention requesting assailed by the remnants of the
rebel armies in the that such a course might be avoided. Mr. In States, it has persistently and firmly completed Hoffman was nominated by acclamation, and ts work, step by step, until nearly every State in re- Allen C. Beach was put on the ticket for Lieubellion once again sits in the council of the nation. tenant-Governor. Oliver Bascom was the The Congress which reconstructed the Union will nominee for Canal Commissioner; David B. lownfall of slavery, and be forever entitled to the McNeil, for Inspector of Prisons; E. O.Perrin, Isteem of the American people.
Clerk of Court of Appeals. The platform ratiR solced, That, in welcoming back to the Union fies the nominations and reaffirms the princiur brothers of the South, we commend and sympa- ples of the National Democratio Convention, hize with the spirit of magnanimity which has been and calls the special attention of citizens to the xhibited to those who, whatever may have been heir errors, show a loyal sympathy with the princi- following propositions : les of impartial suffrage, and that we trust the spirit 1. Immediate restoration of all the States to their ill be continued so long as it is invited by corre- rights in the Union under the Constitution, of which pozading acts of loyalty, until every restriction and some of them are deprived by the unconstitutional isqualification is removed from those who have been and revolutionary measures of a Congress which is bels, as well as those who have been in bondage. perpetuating disunion, and, by its usurpations of Resolved, That the Republican party can never fail power, threatens the establishment of a centralized give, to the brave men who defended the Union in government in place of a Federal Union of equal ne army and navy, the assurance of profound and States. rateful esteem. To have been a soldier of the Union 2. Amnesty for all past political offences, and the as proud an honor as to have been a soldier of the regulation of the elective franchise in all the States Lvolution. The country owes to its soldiers and by their citizens, without any interference whatever ilors its liberty, its glory, its very life; and we by the Federal Government. edige ourselves to sustain every just demand they 3. Payment of the public obligations in strict acay make upon the people, prompt payment of their cordance with their terms-in gold, only when gold unties, generous laws, and the assignment of the is nominated in the bond, and in the lawful currency iblie lands under the homestead law, which are the of the country when coin is not specified. ist compensations that can be made for their de 4. Equal taxation of every species of property, inited and self-sacrificing patriotism.
cluding Government bonds and other public securiPesoleed, That we demand from the General Gov- ties; the simplification of the system and the disconarnent a pure and economical administration of the tinuance of inquisitorial modes of assessing and ublic affairs; the lessening of taxation; the prompt collecting internal revenue. llection of the revenue; the reduction of the army 5. One currency for the Government and the
navy; a less prodigal management of the public people, the laborer and the office-holder, the penul; and, as rapidly as consistent with the burdens sioner and the soldier, the producer and the bond* resting upon it, a return to specie payments; holder. zt we especially desire such a development of 6. Reform of abuses in administration; reduction of mercial, manufacturing, agricultural, and mining the standing army and navy; abolition of the Freedterests, as will enable us to increase our public men's Bureau, and all political instrumentalities dealth, and thus more easily pay our national debt. signed to secure negro supremacy; restoration of