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Of the committee on trade and manufactures, on the Bill relative to the inspection of lumber at Gibbonsville and West-Troy.
Mr. Bogert, seom the committee on trade and manufactures, to which was referred the bill entitled “An act relative to the inspection of lumber at Gibbonsville and West-Troy, in the county of Albany,”
By a clause in the Revised Statutes, (vol. 1, p. 556,) it is provided that the inspectors of lumber for the city of Troy, may inspect in West-Troy and Gibbonsville, in the county of Albany, and the inspectors in the city of Albany may perform the same duties in Bath and Greenbush, in the county of Rensselaer.
The bill now under consideration proposes to repeal so much of the Revised Statutes as permits the inspectors of lumber for the city of Troy to inspect in West-Troy and Gibbonsville.
The committee can see no good reason for interfering with the law upon this subject. Although large quantities of lumber are stored on the west side of the river, it is generally owned by merchants and others residing and doing business in the city of Troy. The lumber dealers of Troy unanimously remonstrate against the passage of the bill, and a remonstrance from sundry inhabitants of West-Troy and Gibbonsville, is also before the committee.
The effect of the bill referred to the committee, would be, if passed into a law, to benefit the inspector of lumber at West-Troy, but not, as the committee couceive, the buyers and sellers of lumber.
The committee recommend the rejection of the bill,
Of the committee on claims on the petition of Daniel Boardman.
Mr. J. C. Spencer, from the commitee on claims, to which was referred the petition of Daniel Boardman, of the city of New-York,
The petitioner alleges that in 1816, he became the purchaser of five hundred and fifty acres of land, in lot number ten, in the town of Junius. The land had been granted by this state to Hosea McFarland, and the title of the petitioner depended upon a deed of Anna McFarland, styling herself widow, heir and administratrix of Hosea McFarland. In 1820 proceedings were had to recover the land as having escheated to the state, and a default against the tenant was entered and judgment perfected. The petitioner was apprised of these proceedings at the time, by the Attorney-General, but did not take any measures to assert his rights. In 1828 the land was sold by the Surveyor-General, and the petitioner now asks to have the taxes which he paid on the land refunded to him with interest; and also that he be paid the value of the land.
Your committee can not perceive the least-color for this claim. The petitioner grossly neglected to assert his claim to the premises, when he had abundant opportunity to do so, and chose to remain silent for six years, during which time the state sold the land. Great doubt is entertained whether the petitioner ever had a valid title; upon his own showing, it was invalid, for as a widow is not the heir of her husband, Anna McFarland had no right to convey the premises; and if they were sold by her as administratrix, it must
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have been under the special authority of a court of probates, which is not alleged in the petition. On both grounds, therefore, of a want of title,in the petitioner, and if he had any title, his neglect to assert it at the proper time and before the proper tribunals, where it could be investigated, your committee are of the opinion that the petitioner has no claim whatever to the value of the land, or any part of it.
With respect to the claim for taxes to be refunded to him, which he had paid on land to which his title happened to fail, it would be unprecedented and extremely dangerous to sanction it. The princi. ple would be applicable to every person who had paid taxes on land to which he had no title, and if once admitted, would open the door to claims of incalculable number and extent, and would enable those whose speculations in land had been unfortunate, to find an indemnity for a portion of their losses in the state treasury. The payment of taxes on land is entirely voluntary, and he who makes it can never complain, if his title should not be as good as he supposes.— For the tax being a specific lien on the land itself, the state is secure, and a voluntary payment by an individual, only deprives it of an effectual remedy which it has in its own hands.
Your committee recommend to the House, the adoption of the following resolution:
Resolved, That the prayer of the petition of Daniel Boardman be denied.
Of the committee on privileges and elections on the memorial of the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the city of Albany, relative to inspectors of charter elections.
Mr. Van Buren, from the committee on privileges and elections, to whom was referred the memorial of the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the city of Albany, praying for the passage of a law authorising the appointment of three inspectors of elections, to preside at the charter election of said city,
That the said petitioners represent, that under the existing law, the aldermen of that city are the inspectors of the election of aldermen and assistant aldermen, in their respective wards: That frequently they are under the necessity of presiding at the poll when they themselves are candidates for re-election: That this is sometimes the cause of hard feelings among the electors, and it is a duty which is at all times unpleasant to the person called upon to preside under such circumstances. Your committee are therefore of opinion that the elective franchise should not only be free and unrestrained, and its exercise promoted and encouraged, but that the purity of our elections should be guarded with a jealous eye, and the presiding officers should not only be honest and upright, but should be placed beyond the imputation of interest or even the suspicion of partiality.
The committee think that the petition of the memorialists is reasonable and just ; and your committee have therefore prepared a bill in accordance with its prayer, and instructed their chairman to ask leave to introduce the same.