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annum for every successive period of seven years; or seven and a half per cent. annually for every period of ten years. He estimated the tolls from 1840 to 1846, both inclusive, at $15,602,745-they actually amounted to $15,490,076; showing a variation of only $112,669 in this immense sum. He then expressed the opinion of the Fund Commissioners, that it would be safe to add to the debt of the State three millions annually, for the next five years. This sum would have fulfilled all existing contracts, and have brought into use all the locks and aqueducts on the enlargement. Under the law of 1838, the State had already borrowed $4,000,000 for that purpose; but they proceeded to authorize loans for the additional amounts of $2,000,000 in 1840, and $2,150,000 in 1841, making the sum total for the enlargement of $8,150,000.
In the year 1841, a general depression of public stocks was experienced throughout the United States. The Ohio Six per cents were secured both by a pledge of the canal tolls of that State and a permanent authority of their state officers to levy a direct tax, should there be any deficiency. Such a provision could safely have been adopted in this State, and it would have silenced demagogues, who were loud in denying its pecuniary solvency. Protected by this provision, the Ohio Sixes sold in 1839 for 105 per cent. In April, 1841, they had fallen to 91 per cent. Within the same period, New York Six per cents fell from 97 to 85 per cent.
In the autumn of 1841, the anti-improvement party, headed by Mr. MICHAEL HOFFMAN, were in the ascendancy in both branches of the Legislature. They had the power to control the public works, by either suspending them, proceeding with them slowly, or stopping them wholly.
In January, 1842, two months after the election, the Ohio Six per cents fell to 67 per cent., and in March were sold at 52 per cent. The Five per cent. stocks of the city of New York, being the Croton Water Loan, which had been sold in April, 1841, at 85, fell to 75 in February, 1842, while the stock of the Bank of Commerce, a proverbially conservative institution, was depreciated in a still greater degree. The city of New York, instead of laying a tax to pay the interest of the Croton Stock, compounded and added it to the principal,-the policy being to expedite the work as rapidly as possible and render it productive, when a tax, if necessary, could be adjusted to make up the difference between the revenue and the interest. The city had expended about $11,000,000-a little more than the state had expended on the Erie enlargement. The city was receiving nothing from the aqueduct the state was receiving large and increasing annual revenues from the canal. The Croton Aqueduct had never been attacked
by party-and none of the inhabitants had any political object in destroying its public credit. Although feeling the effect of the general depression, the city issued seven per cent. stocks to the amount of $1,900,000, and finished the work. Had the state policy been pursued, not a drop of water would have flowed through the aqueduct to this day.
By the last Report of the Commissioners of the Canal Fund, it appears that the whole amount of loans made for the enlargement of the Canal, up to the 30th of September, 1848, was $10,122,000 of this amount, $8, 150,000 had been authorized previous to 1842. The balance, $1,972,000, represents the whole amount due to contractors on the 29th of March, 1842, including the damages paid for rescinding their contracts.
MR. COLLIER, the Whig Comptroller, proposed to issue seven per cent. stocks for a moderate amount; but he was displaced, and Mr. FLAGG again succeeded to the office. No money was raised or sought for on any terms. The improvements of the public works were doomed, by the party now having the power, to be stopped, and they were stopped. The Canal from Albany to Buffalo was strewed with the wreck. The Legislature paid $10,000 for removing materials which encumbered the ground most required for immediate use in Lockport; and the contractor, for that very work, obtained $74,000 as damages for the rescinding of his contract.
Although the law contemplated stopping all the public works, yet there was provision made for a limited class of cases, in which the State officers should deem the work necessary to preserve or secure the navigation of the navigable canal, of which it was a part-or to preserve work already done, from destruction by ice or floods or where the completion would cost less than the expense of preserving the part done. But even this clause was disregarded. The new Jordan level was an independent line of new canal 11 1-2 miles long, which dispensed with two locks, and united three levels in one. It had cost $530,429, and required but $42,178 to bring it into use. The old navigation was actually hazardous; but the State officers peremptorily refused to allow it to be completed.
The Scoharie creek, in times of floods, was dangerous for boats to cross, and often caused very serious delay to great numbers which, at such times, were obliged to wait for the stream to subside. To obviate this inconvenience a fine aqueduct, on ten or twelve stone arches, was completed, at a cost of $179,000, and it required only the expenditure of $37,617 to adapt it to the levels of the enlarged canal. This was also refused.
In 1844, Mr. FLAGG and his associates, the Canal Commissioners, made a Report, questioning the policy and necessity of enlarging
the canal at all, for the purpose of cheapening transportation. This was intended as a death blow to the canal enlargement. Mr. HORACE SEYMOUR, of Utica, an eminent Hunker, and Chairman of the Canal Committee, strongly opposed it, and succeeded in passing a law compelling the State officers to complete, and bring into use, the Jordan level and the Scoharie aqueduct but under the pretence of a repair of the Erie canal. At the same session, the Canal Committee also showed the importance of enlarging, without further delay, the remaining 15 locks between Syracuse and Rochester. The cost, they showed, would not exceed $1,350,000. Nothing was done. This measure would have been one of great value, for, by allowing boats of the increased size (of 105 tons) instead of 70 tons to pass between the Hudson and Buffalo, two boats would be able to carry as much as three of the present capacity. The number of miles run by the boats in 1844 was 6,740,740, which might have been diminished one third, or 2,246,913 miles, if vessels of the larger measurement had been employed. The economy of saving annually such an immense movement is obvi
Mr. RUGGLES proceeds to show the amount of useless movement that the boats and cargoes of the canal have been and will be obli
Add to this the loss for the useless movement of 18,725,150 miles, and we approach to something like a demonstrable amount of the loss that the public will have sustained by the Stop law at the end of the seven years! But when will the work be completed? The future appears as full of loss as the past. We are full of amazement at the infatuation which could have led the people to submit to a policy so suicidal.
In 1846 the three political parties in this State met in Convention to make a new Constitution. So long as the people are satisfied with the result, the Constitution will continue. Mr. HOFFMAN came into the Convention flushed with his triumph of 1842, and resolved to engraft its whole spirit into our organic law. But time and circumstances had dissipated, in a good degree, the clouds which had enveloped the public mind. After establishing a sinking fund out of the revenues of the canal to re-imburse the debt, he condescended, as an act of sovereign grace, to allow $2,500,000 in the aggregate, to be applied at some future period, not to the enlargement, but to the "improvement" of the Erie Canal. Black River and Gennesee Valley were left to their fate.
Mr. Bouck had become Governor during the darkest hour of the Stop law, and was now a member of the Convention. Although the author of the Enlargement policy, he was elected Governor by the very party who were loudest in denouncing the policy to which his whole life had been devoted. It was a sorry sight to see him, in the Executive chair, sustaining the act of 1842; but such only was the tenure by which the office could be held!
ged to perform in the "seven years" of folly
ducts in 1844, the further interest for two years would not have exceeded
To which add cost of locks
and aqueducts themselves, according to Mr. SEYMOUR'S Report,
Loss by the seven years' delay-interest from 1844 to 1851 on the $14,600,000 at simple interest,
Making a total cost in 1851 of $21,932,000
In the Constitutional Convention of 1846 he had regained so much of his former tone, as to oppose Mr. HOFFMAN, and he was supported by most of the Hunkers. The result was, that the provision was finally adopted which secured the ultimate completion of the Erie Canal Enlargement, and the Genesee Val
The "compromise," as it is termed, of the Constitution of 1846, consists in prohibiting the State from using its credit, except on conditions that virtually render it impracticablefor it assumes that the principal and interest of any debt hereafter to be incurred can only be discharged by means of direct taxes to be imposed on all the property of the State, and that the taxes shall be sufficient to pay the interest and redeem the principal in eighteen years. A tax of this kind would fall equally on those who are and those who are not benefitted by an improvement. And, moreover, the people would scarcely submit to a tax for eighteen years, when the State possesses ample revenues to pay the interest and extinguish the principal of a debt. The Constitutiontherefore, by adopting this provision, practically declares that no further improvement
shall be prosecuted in this State by means of its credit, except when coupled with a tax.
The only resource, then, which remains for the exigencies of the State, so far as its present or future public works are concerned, are the tolls of the Erie Canal, and it is therefore more than ever important that they shall be carefully watched and vigilantly cherished.
It is not a little edifying that those who most violently ridiculed the idea that the Canal revenues would suffice as a basis of a debt, are now comforting their friends on the lines of the Canals by the assurance that the tolls will not only pay off a debt of $25,000,000 in about twenty years, but in addition, will afford ample means for proceeding with all suitable despatch, to complete the public works.
The sum annually set apart by the Constitution for extinguishing the principal and interest of the public debt, is $1,650,000, to which is added $200,000 on account of the ordinary expenses of the government. The remainder is to be divided between the Enlargement, the Genesee Valley, and Black River Canals, and it now is about $1,000,000. This is the result of the "compromise." There is, however, one feature in the Constitution which the friends of improvement regard as important-it is that the State officers who manage the Canals and their revenues, shall hereafter be elective by the people.
At the opening of the Session of the Legislature in 1847, Mr. FLAGG announced the surplus tolls then applicable to the public works to be $117,000.
In November, 1847, MILLARD FILLMORE was elected Comptroller, under the new Constitution. On examination of the public accounts, he discovered a sum of $500,000 which he decided to be justly applicable to the completion of the public works. Mr. WASHINGTON HUNT Succeeded Mr. FILLMORE, and he has discovered sums amounting to $800,000, which, in his judgment, were also applicable to the public works. This makes a total of $1,300,000.
With the moderate means the Constitution has left to our present faithful and patriotic officers, the locks of the Erie Canal may be finished and opened for the large boats by the spring of 1851. But the progress of deepening the channel and realizing its largest benefits, must necessarily be slow and painfully protracted.
During the last season, the products floating on the Canals amounted to 2,736,230 tons, exceeding by 1,100,000 tons the amount transported in 1843. The amount paid upon the Canal in 1848 for tolls and freight was $5,800,000 dollars, and in the active season of 1847, $8,400,000.
As an avenue of trade, it now outstrips every channel of commerce, natural or artificial, in the New or the Old World; it far exceeds the Rhine, which flows through the heart of Europe for 500 miles, and has its navigation carefully improved by the seven Sovereign Powers adjacent to its banks. Nor is its activity impaired by the long line of Rail Roads lying on its margin. The whole descending cargoes passing over the Rail Roads during the year 1848, were but 29,999 tons. In seven months of navigation of the same season, the Canal brought 1,180,000 tons to tide water.
The pecuniary amount of the Canal commerce, which in 1843 had reached 76,000,000 of dollars, ascended in 1848 to 140,000,000; and yet it was alleged in the Convention for making a Constitution, that the Canal revenues had about reached their culminating point. Mr. RUGGLES concludes his letter as follows:
"For once the writer of this hasty sketch has ventured to believe, and yet continues to believe, that an immense interior region of unequalled fertility, and of truly imperial extent,
the destined centre of American population, commerce and power,-as yet but in the early morning of its days,--lies just beyond our western border, and plainly within our reach,
and that it does not fall within the narrow ken of the men of the present day, fully to encompass the vast extent of its future wealth and greatness.
"To connect the ocean with a region thus wide spread and magnificent, by commodious, constant and ample means of intercourse,- to bind in bonds of mutual and ever-enduring interest and affection, the far distant portions of our favored land, he has always believed, and yet believes to be the bounden duty of the government of this State, and the aim of the intelligent, generous, and patriotic Whig party, of which he claims to be one among the humblest members.
"But the Constitution of 1846, in a great measure, renders future effort needless and hopeless. We may proceed slowly and patiently, and in a reasonable time accomplish a useful portion of the work, but the full measure of its benefits can hardly be enjoyed by the present generation. The next will be more fortunate, and may be wiser-and when they come to perceive and enjoy its multifold, ceaseless, and ever increasing blessings, some curious inquirer into the past, wondering why it was so long delayed, may possibly look back and calculate the losses sustained by their fathers in the fury of party conflicts, by the madness of party leaders. If the history shall chance to furnish a salutary lesson, it will not be studied in vain."
THE engraving of Gov. Briggs, of Massachusetts, in the preceding number, purports in the lettering to have been taken from a daguerreotype by Whipple, of Boston, the the same who took the portrait from which Richie's plate of the Hon. Daniel Webster was engraved.
This we are informed is an error. The daguerreotype of Gov. Briggs was taken by L. M. Ives, of Boston, and is declared by the engraver to be of the very best kind for artistic purposes. Mr. Richie's plate is a very faithful copy of it.
Medicines, their uses and mode of administration, including a complete conspectus of the three British Pharmacopeias, an account of all the new remedies, and an Appendix of Formula. By J. MOORE NELIGAN, M.D., Edinburgh, &c., from the second Dublin edition. With additions, by BENJAMIN W. M'CREADY, M.D., Prof. of Materia Medica and Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy of New York, &c., &c. New York: W. E. Dean, Publisher.
The high authorities, the Drs. Beck of this city and Albany, both of them Professors of Materia Medica, say of this work, "as a compact, yet comprehensive manual of the Materia Medica it is the best we know of in the English language." Dr. McCready is also commended by these gentlemen as a particularly competent editor of the American edition. We, of the laity, must, of course, rely upon such authority in calling attention to such professional works, which we do in this case with the utmost confidence.
On turning to our contemporary the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," we observe that it speaks in disparaging terms of the mechanical execution of this edition. We cannot account for this, as the copy of the book before us does by no means justify these strictures. It is very true that the book is not gotten up in that expensive manner common in other countries in issuing professional works, and which in works of this character is often a greater fault than merit; but the paper of this edition is good, and the type and printing as clear as the condensed form will allow. It has evidently been the intention of the publisher to bring the work within the rank of that extensive class of medical students whose means are too limited to pay much for ornamenting the useful.
Orations and occasional Discourses. By GEO. W. BETHUNE, D.D. New York. G. P. Putnam.
The publication of this book will gratify the minds of many persons who have crowded to listen to the eloquent sermons and discourses of this eminent divine. They will hasten to possess the words that have thrilled them with classic beauty, and those who have not heard with their own ears will be able to verify the fame of the orator. Dr. Bethune is probably most remarkable for the deep appreciation he has of classic literature. He that he has not merely wandered by and adshows by his poetic spirit and severe taste has drunk deeply thereof. mired these Pierian springs of literature, but
The inedited works of Lord Byron, now first published from his letters, journals, and other manuscripts in the possession of his son, Major GEORGE GORDON BYRON. New York: G. G. Byron, 257 Broadway. R. Martin, 46 Ann street. New York.
This work is such as might be supposed a reprint. It is published by and for Major Byron in New York. We have heard a great deal of scandal about Major Byron and this book, but have neither leisure nor inclination to attend to it. All that we know absolutely about the matter is gathered from the work itself, which is its own explanation. There can be no doubt of its authenticity. The edition is exquisitely printed, the part of the editor in the first number, the only one as yet published, is well, not to say elegantly written, and the notices of Lord Byron's life and conduct are extremely interesting, placing him in a light very favorable to humanity, and satisfactory to those who admire his genius. One thing will give his readers a particular pleasure, namely, that his son has secured his memory from the worst of calumnies, from the charge of having abused and neglected his mother. That she and her son loved each other tenderly, and that he regarded his mother as the best friend he had on earth, is fully established by Major Byron in this first number. We wish all success to his truly worthy and honorable endeavors to rescue the memory of his father from the disgraces which have been heaped upon it. Major Byron is a citizen of Virginia.
The Old World: or Scenes and Cities in For- | Poems. By AMELIA, (Mrs. WELBY.) A new eign Lands. By WILLIAM FURNESS. Accompanied with a map and illustrations. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1849.
A very agreeable series of sketches of travel through the principal cities of Europe. The book is written in a light and pleasing style, and carries on the reader easily and agreeably. The author is evidently one of the "good natured travellers," sees whatever is agreeable, and imparts his own feelings to his readers. He wrote because he liked to, and sought to please by the communication of his own pleasures. With one reader at least he has perfectly succeeded.
Outlines of Astronomy. By Sir JOHN F. W. HERSCHELL. With plates and wood cuts. Philadelphia: Lee & Blanchard. 1849. Of all the subjects of human thought and scientific investigation, Astronomy most palpably illustrates the glory of the intellect of man, whilst it at the same time most reveals to it the infinite power and wisdom of his Creator. The most plodding and industrious investigator in this transcendant science must be an eloquent writer or speaker, when he displays his studies to the world. Hence, it is the most popular of the Sciences. We need not commend the work before us, therefore, to the public. The author's name stands the first among a "glorious company," and a new work from him, giving the last results at which the wing of thought has reached in the profounds of space will command universal attention. The book is well printed, and illustrated with the necessary diagrams.
Physician and Patient. By WORTHINGTON HOOKER, M.D. New York: Baker & Scribner: 1849.
We find such a "capital notice" of this work in the Boston Medical Journal, that we cannot do better than quote it. "This gentleman," it says, "has been for a considerable time making a kind of philosophico-ethical analysis of the mutual duties, relations, &c., of the medical profession and the community."
The following are among the subjects of the chapters of the book:-Uncertainty of Medicine; Skill in Medicine; Popular Errors; Quackery; Thomsonianism; Homopathy: Natural Bonesetters; Good and Bad Practice; Theory and Observation; Mental influence of Mind and Body in Disease; Insanity, &c. We trust, for the sake of suffering and deluded humanity, that this delightful work may be extensively read, and serve as some shield against the many harpies who now live upon the decay they themselves in a great measure engender.
enlarged addition. Illustrated by original designs, by Robt. W. West. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1850.
A most beautiful edition of poems, well worthy of the finest dress. This is the seventh edition of these. They are worthy of it. Unquestionable poetry they undoubtedly are. Of how many of the singers of the day can we say as much?
The Mouuments of Egypt. By F. L. HAWKS' D.D. With notes of a Voyage up the Nile by an American. New York: G. P. Put
As it is our intention to review at length this valuable work, we will content ourselves for the present. The enterprising publisher with calling the attention of our readers to it has made it a fit companion, in artistic execution, &c., to the beautiful edition of Layard's Nineveh. The numerous readers of that absorbing work, will be glad of this book of Dr. Hawks, as in a measure filling out a branch of the subject of Eastern antiquities, which the former author has made, we may almost say, a popular study.
Memoirs of the Life of William Wirt. By JOHN P. KENNEDY. 2 vols. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard. 1849.
As it is our bounden duty to display at large the beauties and merits of this excellent work and labor of love of Mr. Kennedy, we can only now say that we trust there is genuine patriotism enough to reward the author by a wide and appreciative reading of it. The readers of this Journal are not unacquainted with Mr. Kennedy's high qualities as a writer on politics as well as literature. Would that more of our statesmen would appreciate as he does, the duty of putting their thoughts in a more durable form than that of mere verbal utterance.
The Puritan and his Daughter. By J. K. PAULDING. New York: Baker and Scribner. 1849.
THE simple announcement of this work of Mr. Paulding, is all we have space for. It is gotten up in the beautiful style of printing, paper, and binding, customary with the publishing house, who issue it, and will, no doubt, be extensively read.