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THE FARMERS' LOAN & TRUST COMPANY,
THE STATISTICAL DEPT,
We respectfully submit to the members of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York its Twenty-ninth Annual Report. The usual order of arrangement is maintained. The first part presents the records of the Proceedings of the Chamber for the official year, May, 1886, to May, 1887. Next in order appear the Roll of Members, the Royal Charter of 1770, the Act of Re-Incorporation by the Legislature of the State of 1784, and the By-Laws now in force. The second part contains the usual reports of the leading trades and a series of statistical statements selected from official documents, National, State and City. In this selection will be found an analysis of the trade for the last government fiscal year, which ended June 30, 1886, and a further exhibit of the trade for the calendar year.
We are able to refer with satisfaction to the hopeful anticipation expressed in our last annual review. Our prevision has been amply justified. The trade of the country is again firmly established on a healthy basis. The year has opened satisfactorily, and the outlook is again encouraging.
The year 1886 will be long remembered as a turning point in the political economy of the United States. After years of debate, of alternate hope and discouragement, the National Congress, resting on the provision of the Constitution, has asserted its right to regulate commerce between the States. Under the control of a wise Commission, there will bean end to ruinous wars among railroad companies, and we hope such national regulations as shall secure greater safety to the traveler ; when defective bridges and combustible cars shall become as rare as boiler explosions, since
the government assumed control over water navigation. It will be marked, also, as the year of the last effort to disturb the finances of the country by shipments of coin in the face of favorable exchanges. With our great floating capital and a system of credit firmly based on a large and annually increasing metallic basis, our monetary affairs are beyond the reach of financial combinations, however powerful they may be, or of surprises, however adroitly arranged and sprung.
THE PORTRAIT GALLERY OF THE CHAMBER.
We warmly congratulate the Chamber on the acquisition of treasures which have already made its portrait gallery one of the art attractions of the City. Eighteen portraits of men distinguished in the history of its commerce have been added within the year; as follows: EDWIN D. MORGAN, RUFUS PRIME, LORING ANDREWS, GEORGE OPDYKE, WILLIAM H. FOGG, CORNELIUS VANDERBILT, WILLIAM H. VANDERBILT, GIDEON LEE, BENJAMIN B. SHERMAN, GEORGE T. TRIMBLE, ROBERT L. STUART, Kinloch STUART, ROBERT MCCREA, ELLIOT C. COWDIN, DAVID LEAVITT, ISAAC SHERMAN, TIIOMAS B. CODDINGTON and AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND. We hope to honor all who have promoted the prosperity of our City by their commercial enterprise. These portraits are by our best artists ; although art proper has not been the controlling thought in the collection. At an early day we shall issue a descriptive catalogue.
We keep in view also the Library of the Chamber. Our privileges as a reading room and our advantages as a centre of daily information already draw a constant attendance, and a fine reference collection in this part of the City will prove a great addition to the usefulness of the Chamber.
COUNT DE LESSEPS-THE PANAMA CANAL.
Orr last review made mention of the invitation by M. DE LESSEPS to the Chamber to name a delegate to acc mpany him to the Isthmus on a visit of inspection to the
works on the Canal. The Hon. JOHN BIGELOW accepted the trust confided to him by the Chamber, and his written report, submitted at the May meeting, appears in full in our pages. It is exhaustive as to the present condition and prospects of this great enterprise. In recognition of this signal service to commerce by Mr. BIGELOW, the Chamber elected him an honorary member—a distinction reserved by it for such occasions.
In October the members of the Chamber had an opportunity to express to Count DE LESSEPS their admiration for his colossal enterprises, and their regard for his person. Taking advantage of the presence in the City of a large number of his countrymen, they tendered to him a public reception in the rooms of the Chamber. About eight hundred gentlemen gathered on the afternoon of the 29th to welcome the illustrious guest.
All classes and professions were represented by their most distinguished members. Thus a new and enduring link was added to that strong chain of commercial comity which each day binds more strongly together the nations of the world.
INAUGURATION OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY-BANQUET.
Thursday, the 28th October, having been designated by the American Committee for the inauguration of the Statue of Liberty—the gift of the people of France to the people of the United States—the Chamber appointed a Committee to extend the courtesies of the merchants of New-York to the citizens of France, invited to visit us on the occasion. In pursuance of their arrangements a grand banquet was given at DELMONICO's on the evening of the ceremony. There was a large attendance of members of the Chamber and many distinguished guests. Among the representatives of the French Republic were M. LEFAIVRE, Minister Plenipotentiary, &c. ; Count FERDINAND DE LESSEPS, President of the Franco-American Committee; Admiral JUARÈS and General PÉLISSIER; Senators M. SPULLER and M. DESMONS, Deputies; and to the satisfaction of our members, Colonel BUREAUX DE Pusy, of the family
of LAFAYETTE, a guest of the Chamber at its banquet in honor of the Yorktown Centennial in 1881.
Our own people were no less worthily represented—the Army by Major-General SCHOFIELD, the Navy by RearAdmiral LUCE. The thanks of the French delegation were expressed by Count DE LESSEPS.
THE EARTHQUAKE AT CHARLESTON.
Immediately on hearing, early in September, of the earthquake at Charleston, and the terrible sufferings to which its population was exposed by the destruction of their homes, the Chamber took measures for aid in the most prompt and practical form. The Governor of the State of New-York was urged to dispatch the tents of the National Guard for immediate shelter, while a Committee undertook the raising of funds for general relief. A full report of their action appears in the November proceedings, as well as the letter of thanks of the Honorable Mr. COURTENAY, the Mayor of the unfortunate City. A report of the Relief Committee of Charleston, published towards the close of the year, states that the entire contributions of New York City reached $155,000, of which $89,000 were sent by the Committee of the Chamber.
It is not pleasant to dwell upon our own good deeds, but on such occasions it is at least becoming to defend our great City against the charges of selfishness and want of public spirit, which occasionally appear; made more, perhaps, in ignorance than malice.
Passing by an endless number of minor displays of generosity in the gift of testimonials of merit, we need only touch upon the more munificent exhibitions under the auspices of this Chamber-$150,000 to the relief of the Lancashire sufferers in England, $20,000 for the destitute of East Tennessee, $35,000 to the aid of Savannah after its capture, $25,000 to the officers and crew of the Kearsage, $106,000 to Portland after its fire, $15,000 to Richmond on the falling of the capitol, $143,000 to the French people at the close of the Franco-German war, $1,044,751 to the sufferers by the Chicago fire, $20,000 to Savannah at the time of the yellow fever, $172,000 to similar sufferers in the Southwest. In all, a sum of over two millions of dollars within twenty-five years. In addition, the records of our City as well as the history of the Chamber, show a large and generous courtesy worthy of our position as the me. tropolis of art and elegance of the Western hemisphere.
DEATH OF PRESIDENT ARTHUR.
Each passing year now seems to claim its own shining mark upon the fatal roll of death. This year it bears the name of one whom we delighted not only to honor as the Chief Executive of our country, but to cherish as one of our own citizens, one of the honorary members of our own body. CHESTER A. ARTHUR was in every sense a NewYorker. His eminent success in the high station to which he was summoned is a part of our pride. We mourn that hard fate which cut short his life while it yet seemed full of hope of usefulness to his country, whose interests he so clearly understood and so ably served.
Brazil Cable.-In November, at the instance of the Standing Committee on Foreign Commerce, the Chamber unanimously adopted a resolution expressing its gratification at the approaching construction of direct cable communication between Brazil and the United States, connecting at the French Colonies with France, and also its cordial appreciation of the encouragement and aid extended to it by the government of the French Republic.
Australian Wool.-Notice must be made of the receipt of a resolution from the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures at Melbourne, touching the American import duty on Australian wool. In the struggle near at hand for a general reduction of our tariff, all of these documents are of great value.
Bills of Lading.-In our last we stated the many inef. fectual attempts made by the commercial bodies of the