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The undersigned, in behalf of the minority of the Second Joint Committee on Railroads and Canals, to whom was referred the Petition of John Boynton and others, for a Railroad from some point on the Cheshire Railroad, in Winchendon, to Worcester, respectfully ask leave briefly to offer their reasons for the opinion which they entertain, adverse to the prayer of Petitioners:—
At January session, 1847, the legislature chartered the Barre and Worcester Railroad Corporation, extending from Worcester, through Holden, Princeton, part of Rutland and Hubbardston, to Barre, and also, through the east portion of Hubbardston, to South Gardner, where it intersects with the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. The Barre and Worcester railroad was chartered in preference to one or two other routes, one of which substantially covered, in part at least, the same ground over which the Boynton petitioners now propose to construct their road. The committee, during the present session, have unanimously recommended that the Barre and Worcester Railroad Corporation be allowed till the first day of January next to file their location. The portion of the Barre and Worcester railroad, from South Gardner to Princeton, a distance of a little more than ten miles, is very nearly parallel to, and about six miles distant from, the line proposed by the Boynton petition. All the testimony concurred in showing, that there was not sufficient business, at present, or within a reasonable time prospectively, to support a railroad from South Gardner to Princeton,
and also a railroad from the Vermont and Massachusetts railroad at Baldwinville, in Templeton, by the Burn Shirt Valley, to Barre Falls. The undersigned believe, that the effect of chartering the road prayed for by John Boynton and others, would be to take away, for the present at least, all prospect of railroad accommodation to this section of the county of Worcester. There is not business enough for two roads, and, if both were chartered, no prudent man would take stock in either. The opinion of the undersigned was, that, as a former legislature, after various surveys of rival routes, upon mature consideration, had chartered the Barre and Worcester railroad, and as the committee were unanimous in recommending that this company shall have the further time, between now and January next, to file their location, the legislature would be disposed to give them a fair field, and not to charter another route, which would render the charter of the Boston and Worcester railroad of no value to them. The undersigned concur with their associates of the committee, that the grade on the route prayed for by John Boynton and others, from Barre Falls to the Vermont and Massachusetts railroad, at Templeton, is a favorable one—more so than on the chartered route to South Gardner. But they do not concur in opinion, that the public, or the business, of the county of Worcester, would be so well accommodated by the proposed route. By the chartered route of the Barre and Worcester railroad, Winchendon, Templeton, and Hubbardston are fairly accommodated, vastly better accommodated than are a large majority of towns in this Commonwealth; and it is a matter of no little difficulty with the undersigned, to determine whether the proposed route of John Boynton and others, or the route of the Barre and Worcester railroad, would best accommodate the people and business of these towns. On the other hand, Ashburnham, Gardner, Princeton, Barre, Holden, and adjoining towns, having together a large amount of business and population, desire that an opportunity shall be given to locate and construct the chartered route of the Barre and Worcester Railroad Corporation.
For the above, and other reasons which might be given, the undersigned recommend, that John Boynton and others have leave to withdraw their petition.
WILLIAM STEVENS, for himself and Messrs. Nelson and PHELPs, a minority of the Second Joint Committee on Railroads and Canals.
The Committee of Finance were instructed, by an order of the House of Representatives passed the 29th of January last, “to report to the house, the present amount and value of the school fund, and of the several sinking and other funds, belonging to, or in the care of, this Commonwealth; how each fund is invested; in what stocks or scrip, and the price paid therefor; in what bonds and mortgages, with the names of the mortgagors, the amount of each note secured by mortgage, and the value of such mortgage security: and, also, to report by whom, or under whose direction, the investments of these funds. are made.”
In pursuance of these instructions, the committee of finance have proceeded to consider the subject referred, and to obtain the requisite information; and they respectfully ask leave to submit the following report in relation to the funds specified in the order of the house.
Massachusetts School Fund.
The first and most important of the funds referred to, in the above-recited order of the house, is the Massachusetts school fund. This fund was established by an act, passed in the year 1834. All moneys and stocks in the treasury, derived
from the sales of the Commonwealth’s lands in the state of Maine, and from the claim of the Commonwealth on the government of the United States for military services, not otherwise appropriated—and one half of all moneys thereafter to be received from sales of the public lands in Maine—were set apart to constitute this fund, which was devoted to the aid and encouragement of the public schools of the Commonwealth. In this original act, it was provided that this fund should not exceed one million of dollars. By an act, passed February 5th, 1844, $75,000 of the money received into the treasury of the Commonwealth, under the provisions of the treaty of Washington, was added to this fund. By an act, passed April 15th, 1846, it was provided that all moneys appropriated for educational purposes should be taken from this fund. The school fund is now invested as follows: namely, One half of ten shares in the South Boston Association, fully worth par—$300 per share—$3000: one half belonging to this fund, is so o $1,500 00 Various notes given for lands sold in Maine, upon which some payments have been made, and which are considered as worth their par value, as the Commonwealth holds the lands as security— whole amount of these notes $292,826 66: one half belonging to this fund, . e * se 146,413 33 Notes of certain banks in Boston, for moneys loaned to them in the year 1831, for twenty years, at five per cent. interest—being moneys received from the government of the United States, for military services, due in 1851—worth par, . & to 281,000 00 Scrip of the Commonwealth, issued to raise funds to pay for the stock taken by the Commonwealth in the Western Railroad, bearing five per cent. interest, worth its par value, o so o 190,000 00 Scrip of the Commonwealth, issued in aid of the Boston and Portland Railroad Corporation, and to be paid and cancelled by that corporation, in the
year 1859—bearing five per cent, interest, worth par, . • o: wo o g e © 50,000 00