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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
300,000 porate rights and privileges and made subservient to Southern Central
150,000 a government foreign to the provisions of its charter New York Northern
600,000 and not identified with its interests;
Rondout & Oswego
250,000 Resolred, 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, $5,000, 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 its 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 matter.
The following resolution received a unani- ing the resources and promoting the material mous 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 between native-born and adopted citizens, should demand of other nations the immediate and uncondi- first of these bills which came before the Govtional release of all citizens of the United States ille- ernor for his signature. This was the Whitegally held in military service, or in custody for pre- hall and Plattsburg Railroad Aid Bill, which tended political offences, not committed on their soil; was returned to the Senate with the Govand that it is the duty of the Government to enforce ernor's objections, on the 6th of April. The that demand, if necessary, with all the power of the nation,
company engaged in constructing this road On the last day of the session the Commit
was organized in the early part of the year jee on the Condition of the Country reported communications between New York City and
1866, for the purpose of completing direct he following, which were adopted in the Asjembly :
Montreal, and of opening a way through one
of the richest mineral districts in the State. Rezolved, That the aggressions of Congress upon the ights of the States and the functions of coördinate Application for State aid was made at once, ranches of the Government indicate a settled purpose and a bill appropriating $450,000 to aid in the o set aside the Constitution and to destroy the lib- construction of ninety miles of the road at rties of the people. ssential to the integrity of the Constitution and the Legislature, but was vetoed by the Governor.
Reenlred, That the independence of the judiciary is $5,000 a mile, passed both branches of the ights 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 Rezolved, That the evidence elicited on the trial of in 1868 another application came for a quarter *resident Johnson before the court of impeachment of a million dollars to aid in carrying on the as established the innocence of that higli function work already begun. The Governor's reason ry, and that his conviction would be regarded by 1e people as the false judgment of a partisan court, for vetoing the bill which proposed to grant nd as a crime against the form and being of a repub- the aid desired was, the necessity for retrenchcan government.
ment and economy. He said : The general legislation of the session relat
It must have come to the attention of all, that dur1 in a large measure to railroads, canals, and ing the past year the people have been more restive ther matters connected with the commer- under the burdens of taxation than at any previous ial interests of the people. An attempt was period since the close of the war. Business has been jade to abolish the offices of Auditor and Bank
unsettled, trade has been depressed, industry partially uperintendent, but these propositions failed and less reliable. Profits have diminished, and un
paralyzed, and values have become more irregular the Senate after having passed the Lower til the great financial questions are firmly decided, Conse. The Assembly also passed a bill re- and a permanent policy established, the horoscope of zaling the Metropolitan Excise Law, but the the future cannot be surely and confidently cast. This Enate refused to sanction the proceeding, and condition, which the repeated lessons of history and
our past experience as a people might have taught us ree other bills intended to modify that statute to expect would mark the period immediately followere voted down in the same body. The ing a great war, duty and prudence alike demand shall odifications proposed were: 1. To give ma- not be disregarded. The State can no more be prosstrates the power to remit the ten days' pen- Perous without economy in the conduct of its affairs ty for intoxication; 2. To exclude the rural than individuals. A continued large debt is dangers
ous to our social and republican institutions. Our wns of Queens County from the operation of first care, therefore, should be to ascertain how the
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 foor, tematic.
in adopting the said report, was bought. In view of these considerations, he thought
3. I charge that members of this House were en
gaged buying their fellow-members. the great public works of the State should wait 4. I charge that a portion of the vote on the Harlem until 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
6. I charge corruption, deep, dark, and damning,
on a portion of this House. aid in behalf of railroads were allowed to rest.' I ask the adoption of the following:
A committee was appointed in the Senate to Resolred, That the Speaker appoint a committec doo investigate certain charges of mismanagement of the committee be taken from that portion of the
five to investigate the foregoing charges, that three brought against the Erie Railroad. The prin- House that voted no on the Erie Railroad report, ac 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 ni: t 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 declared
Mr. Glenn's motives in making these change The majority of the committee arrived at the that he made them in behalf of no company a conclusion that the issue of bonds had been obtained by Mr. Daniel Drew, to be used for his dred dollars for his vote, and knew a man wt
. He had been offered five Lu
corporation. personal gain, “utterly regardless of the inter- had been offered twelve hundred dollars. Ee 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 Für Fisk and Gould, directors, were concerned and appointed to investigate these grave cbarzas probably interested with Mr. Drew in these but Mr. Glenn declined to serve on that con* corrupt proceedings.” The report closed mittee on account of the feeble state of Lş with the following resolution :
health, but asked that he might be represened the investigation of the management of the present he had made. This privilege was not allowed
Resolved, That the fraudulent abuses developed by by counsel in supporting the accusations sie directors and officers of the New York & Erie Railroad Company demand that increased penalties for
but a committee was appointed to carry one such offences shall be imposed for the protection of the investigation. Mr. Glenn being summostockholders and the community, and the special com- before that committee, was unwilling to be mittee conducting such investigation be, and they are hereby, instructed to report a bill making
it a fej nie his testimony, because it would implicate cu ous offence for any director or officer to fraudulently of the men before whom he was required to issue stock of the company in which he holds such testify; and on the following day he acidsen trust, or to convert to his own purposes the proceeds that member of the committee by name tek of any stock or bonds; or to fraudulently take or the Assembly of offering him
five hundred caicarry away to another State, or with like intent
keep lars for his vote, and asked
that he be reliere
. and retain them to evade legal process in this State, from taking part in the investigation. Ithe moneys or effects of such company. A minority report was submitted, which com
committee decided that there was no grue mended the general management of the Erie for the charges either against the gentlers Railroad, and declared that there was uncontra- Mr. Glenn thereupon sent in his resimation
named or any other member of the House, az dicted evidence that the right of the Board of Directors to pass the resolution of February
a letter of some length, in which he reiterin 19th was not doubted or questioned either in the charges already made. It was decided : the Executive Board, or Board of Directors, to receive this document, as the House be 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. It passed legalizing the $10,000,000 of stock as
discussion on this subject, the general opinios u well as various other acts of the directors which members appeared to be that the member iba had been complained of as illegal. The action
was so indignant at the offer of five hundred 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
in no small degree to the commercial prospe? of a coinmittee report adverse to a bill which ity of the State. The total length of these had been framed in the interest of the Erie lic works, with their feeders, is 894 mies: 1 Railroad, the following communication was
total length of navigable rivers and lakes elke submitted to the House:
nected by canals, is 381 miles, thus giving the ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, April 1, 1868.
State about 1,275 miles of inland navigatie To the Hon. Speaker of the Assembly :
The number of bridges on these canals is i,sh I, E. M. K. Glenn, a member of this House, from and the number of locks is 565. The raliter imy seat in this House, do charge as follows:
the work done during the fiscal year 1808 125
$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 audited 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 vention assembled at Albany on the 25th of somo 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 olutions adopted by the convention, suggest- position in which they had found it. When ing radical changes in the administration of the Republican State Convention met at Syrathese valuable public works:
cuse, a communication was received from a 1. Resoloed, That we regard the present contract
committee appointed by the Canal Convention system 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 and of those engaged in canal commerce, and sub- their revenues and the commerce of this State servient alone to the advantage and profit of the by all laudable agencies,” urging upon the atContractors, as detrimental to the welfare of commerce, and ruinous alike to the canals and their in- tention of the delegates the importance of a terests, and to those who have invested their enter- wise, economical, and honest management of prise 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 docucherefore call upon the Legislature of the State to re
ment were in these words: peal the laws under which the State canals are kept
repair by contract, and to enact others which shall It is patent to us, and from the experience of the provide 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 n navigable condition during the season of naviga- agents is to provide beyond a future contingency: ion, and rendered available to the demands and in- 1. For the early improvement of the canals-that erests 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 cavas-1. A repeal of the act of 1857, relating nals of the State.
2. That the canal revenues shall be protected and o the Contracting Board; 2. The passage of preserved from fraud and corruption which prey upon 1 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.
Without a radical change in the management of The institution of legal proceedings against condition as will insure to commerce such facilities
the canals, there cannot be such a reform in their iny person who had fraudulently obtained
as are needful, and without which it will be imposnoney on canal contracts with the State. siblo to preserve to the State its commercial suThere were also several other recommenda- premacy.
These positions were enforced in the State Canal cions relating to the details of what the conention regarded as a proper system of man- answerable, and with an earnestness which indicated
Convention by arguments equally impressive and ungement. 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 bý very little attention, and the commissioner was wise selections of candidates from among the able acquitted, the largest vote against him on any men of the State who are known to be true and un- article being eight to twenty. compromising friends of the canals and their comAnd we again appeal to you that in your ac
Among the various conventions of the year, tion in your party capacity you may be governed by against the action of the British Government
was one called for the purpose of "protesting 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 receired from ciples:
Horatio Seymour, expressing bis sympathy Resolved, That the commercial prominence of our State is largely due to its canals ; that they should be of resolutions was adopted, among which were
with the objects of the meeting, and a series managed with rigid economy and probity; that all 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 recret largement and improvement, so that their full ca- with deep solicitude the course of the British Gai pacity will be utilized, and that it is the duty of the ernment toward naturalized American citizensGeneral Government to interest itself in this great arbitrary seizure and retention of them without tria, work.
and the assumption of the British courts to di-ra! The Democratic Convention expressed their and to assert the doctrine of perpetual allegiazee
their plea of citizenship founded upon naturalization view of the subject in the following:
That we protest against such assumptions as at 52 Resolved, That in the State, as in the national Gov. with the vital principles of free government, and Ft ernment, they demand economy in expenditure, call upon the Administration at Washington to remis 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 gorerna against the encroachments of monopolies created by
no rights that we do not acknowledge on the part de special legislation. That the canals of the State, our own. That, commensurate with the right of pati which have contributed largely to the wealth and the ralization, we recognize the obligation of citizenshicommercial supremacy of New York, should remain the duty of the Government to restrain its eta the property of its citizens ; that they should be kept from unlawful acts and the right to protect citas 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 as tolls should be reduced so as to command the carry- by some of the Continental nations of Europe, apo ing-trade; and that the system of management pro
naturalized citizens, their former subjects, is a un vided for in a bill passed by the last Democratic As- in itself, and so incompatible with the assuundo sembly and rejected by the Radical Senate should ties of such citizens to the Government of their chora be adopted, so that corruption and peculation shall that it becomes the duty of the Federal Govername: cease and the canal revenues be honestly applied to
demand the relinquishment of any such preters the maintenance of the canals and the payment of
and to enforce the position by all the authority or iz the debts incurred in their construction.
Resolved, That the doctrine of the perpetual ads During the political canvass, however, the alienable allegiance of a subject is incompatible Fit greater prominence of other issues caused that the growth of modern society, and the freedom of the management of the canals to be in a great populations--and that the whole history of the perple 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 is confidently expected that the Legislature of cuse, on the 5th of February, to appoint del 1869 will bring about a reform in this impor- gates to the National Convention at Che tant branch of the State administration. A proposition was made in this contention
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 The examine into the propriety of bringing in arti- as Murphy, the object being to exclude fren cles of impeachment against any State officer. the deliberations of the convention the rulick A report of considerable length was submitted, delegation from that city. which closed with the following resolution: were, however, admitted by a vote of 2587
Resolved, That Robert C. Dorn, Canal Commis- 54. Resolutions were adopted, reaffirming the sioner, bo and he is hereby impeached for high crimes devotion of the party to the principles of le and misdemeanors.
tice, legality, and nationality, declaring it: S This was adopted, and managers of the im- proval of the reconstruction measures of Core peachment were appointed by the Assembly. gress, and its “ unalterable purpose to mainEight articles of impeachment were framed, tain untarnished and inviolate the publie tai charging Mr. Dorn with corruption and fraud in and national credit," and
pronouncing in tiste 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 : ites. The Senators and judges of the Court of meeting of working-men was held Appeale sat as a High Court of Impeachment Cooper Institute, in the City of New To: on the fourth Tuesday of May, and listened to under the auspices of the National Lain
These deleste tion:
Union, which adopted the following resolu- Resolved, That the honor of the American people,
as dear to us now as when we welcomed death and tions among others:
sorrow in defence of the Union, demands the payResolcel, That the national honor must be preserved ment of our National obligations according to their by 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 United States; that the bonds, when redeemable, crime against the national honor, only surpassed by
as dishonoring, us in the eyes of mankind, and a 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.
Prisolved, That the public interest demands the ple of other lands, that we believe in generous laws withdrawal of the circulation of the national banks, what country claims the birth-place of an American
of naturalization and immigration, and that no matter and the substitution of legal-tender Treasury certifi- citizen, the flag should cover him with the majesty of cates in their stead, Risolted, 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
Resolved, That regarding the triumph of the Demowhatever, and all the lands not disposed of should be cratic party as the greatest calamity that could bewithdrawn from the market and granted only in fall the American people, we oudly 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 Their election will be an assurance that freedom will
dom and the courage of Republican statesmanship, A. 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 Resolved, 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 0. 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. Southern States, and their natural allies in the NorthHoffinan was nominated by acclamation, and ern States, it has persistently and firmly completed Allen O. Beach was put on the ticket for Lieuits work, step by step, until nearly every State in rebellion 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. downfall of slavery, and be forever entitled to the McNeil, for Inspector of Prisons; E. O. Perrin, esteem of the American people.
Clerk of Court of Appeals. The platform rati-
Resoloed, That the Republican party can never fail power, threatens the establishment of a centralized
cluding Government bonds and other public securi-
Bureau, and all political instrumentalities deFealth, and thus more easily pay our national debt. signed to secure negro supremacy ; restoration of