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Of Elias Disbrow, an Inspector of Lumber for the city of Troy, county of Rensselaer.
To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of New-York.
The undersigned, an inspector of lumber for the county of Rensselaer, respectfully submits an account of the lumber inspected and measured by him during the year eighteen hundred and thirty, as fol
lows, to wit: Feet.
19,893 first quality.
34,370 second quality.
52,922 third 44 , 288,500 fourth 44
Total 395,685 feet. 74,213 pine face measure. 20,423 hemlock timber, 140,910 whitewood boards. 5,380 44 chair plank, 6,358 ash plank, 4,374 cherry lumber. 4, 124 plane maple. 858 curl &Q 2,446 oak lumber. 512 elm “ - 966 basswood.
Total amt. 656, 199
REMONSTRANCE Of Lot Clark, against the petition of L.A. Spalding.
TO THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW-YORK.
The undersigned has seen the memorial of Lyman A. Spalding, presented to your honorable body on the 24th ult, praying, among other things, that a law may be passed ordering the Canal Board to cancel a lease of the surplus water at Lockport, made by the state authorities to Richard Kennedy and Junius H. Hatch, under which it is not alleged any,breach on the part of the lessees has been committed or suffered. He has also seen another memorial, signed by divers inhabitants of the county of Niagara, in aid of the memorialist, Lyman A. Spalding, praying that the Legislature will “stop the present diversion” of the surplus waters at that place. The names of the petitioners to this latter memorial, except in very few instances, are entirely unknown to the undersigned; and by what means they have been induced to lend themselves in a controversy so exclusively of a private character, he is unable to divine. But he earnestly hopes the period has not yet arrived, when questions of abstract right and vested interest are to depend on the activity and dexterity of the parties, in procuring the names of persons who know nothing of the merits of the case, and must of necessity depend entirely on ex parte representations for the judgments they form. .
It is with regret that the undersigned is compelled to trouble your honorable body with a long history of private transactions, in which the impartial public can feel no interest, except so far as the irksome duty of examination is forced upon them; and he would gladly abstain, but for the extraordinary course pursued on the other hand.
[A. No. 91.] 1
The memorialist, after having made this controversy the means of keeping alive the flame of contention in an excited community—after having travelled a round of judicial proceedings, has seen fit to throw before your honorable body his memorial, full of misrepresentations and prevarications, and from which no just idea of the con
troversy can be drawn.
The undersigned therefore hopes to be pardoned, if in giving a true statement of the case, he should be compelled to refer to documents connected with the transaction, more prolix than a knowledge of it would seem at first view to require.
In April 1825, the Legislature of this state passed a law authorising the Canal Commissioners to lease any water which might be spared from the Erie or Champlain canals, “to such person or persons as would be willing to give the highest annual rent therefor.” By the deep cut from Lake Erie to the Genesee level, through the mountain ridge, the water brought from the lake produced a valuable power at Lockport: which, in July 1825, was advertised by the commissioners, pursuant to the statute, and proposals received, until some time in August following, when it was ascertained that Darius Comstock, the owner of lands at that place, had offered fifty dollars, and Richard Kennedy, a merchant, living near the locks, had offered two hundred dollars, annual rent. No discretion was left the eommissioners. The statute was peremptory, that it should go to the highest bidder; and about the last of August, the time for receiving proposals having expired, it was made known that they would make the lease to Kennedy, and that they were ready to execute the same; but Kennedy had in the mean time associated with him Junius H. Hatch, who was to become a party to the lease, and the execution was for that reason postponed until the meeting of the commissioners at Albany, in January following, when the parties met; and on the 25th of Jannary, 1826, the lease was executed. All of which was well known at Lockport, from the time the propositions were made public, and caused much speculation as to the probable advantage or disadvantage of Kennedy’s purchase.
Sometime near the last of September, and after it was well known to every body concerned, that the lease would be made to Kennedy and Hatch, the memorialist, under an avowed determination to oust them of all benefit under the lease, purchased of Comstock the land named in his memorial; but Comstock had the prudence to insert in
the deed a clause exempting himself from all liability in consequence of the claims of the state and their lessees.
This purchase by the memorialist was made with a knowledge of all the facts, and in view of the rights of the lessees to their full extent. At that time the memorialist might have possessed himself of the lease for a trifling sum, and probably less than the expense of the litigation that ensued between him and Kennedy. As soon as the memorialist attempted to change the course of the water, Kennedy commenced several suits against him, which were removed into the higher courts by pleas of title, none of which were ever tried, as Kennedy soon after died, leaving a widow and children, who were unable to litigate the question. Early in the spring of 1826, the memorialist, contrary to the admonition of two of the commissioners, (as the undersigned has been informed,) and the advice of many of his friends, commenced the mill which was completed late in the fall following. Although the memorialist may have made some preparation the fall previous, yet the undersigned has always understood from the inhabitants at that place, that the works were constructed in 1826.
This flouring-mill was placed over the race where it entered the natural basin of the canal below, and the water carried to a different
The undersigned was not at Lockport until the year 1828; but the foregoing are the facts, as he has received them from the inhabitants who were then present and familiar with the whole, and of their general correctness he has no doubt.
The rent reserved to the state has ever since been regularly paid by the lessees, and those claiming under them.
Some time after the death of Kennedy, his interest in the lease fell into the hands of Seymour Scovill, a citizen of that place. On the 12th day of July, 1827, the memorialist executed to Sylvester R. Hathaway and John Gooding, a warrantee deed, with covenants of seisin, and further assurance of the race constructed by the state, and extending along the brow of the hill across his land, to lands owned by them below, for the purpose of making a ditch which would convey the surplus waters, to what is now called Lower Lockport, reserving to himself a right to convey water therein, sufficient to propel 20 run of stones from the upper ditch, and in consideration