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gas set on fire-deliberately extinguished the flame and escaped unharmed.
Buildings protected by metalic conductors, have been struck by lightning, and sometimes injured, but no case has yet been found in which a vessel protected by a metalic rod, has been in the least injured by lightning, if the rod terminated in the water and extended above the highest spar of the vessel.
A comparison in this, affords the illustration which demonstrates conclusively that a metalic rod extending above the surface desired to be protected, and terminates in the water, is sure and certain protection.
As to the extent of the surface which can be deemed to be protected, we must have recourse to the records of the lightning, and these are ample.
Buildings in blocks, of various heights, are often seen, and among such blocks are numerous cases in which a building of a less height has been struck by lightning, while the next, and immediately adjoining building of greater altitude, has escaped altogether. This was the case in Pine Apple street, in Brooklyn, and in Pearl street, in New-York. We examined both of those buildings with great care. Adjoining to each, and within 25 feet of where the lightning struck, was a building of more than ten feet greater elevation.
Fences are sometimes struck in barn-yards, while the buildings close alongside escape. We examined a case of this kind several years ago. An instance is recorded in this volume, of a vessel being struck upon the bowsprit, while the masts escaped altogether.
We have heard of no case in which the lightning has ever struck the vessel between the masts, or the ground between two trees which were not more than 50 feet apart.
In the protection of vessels by rods, the conductors diverge and reach the water several feet outside the vessel these rods have never failed, and therefore offer such conclusive testimony in favor of that position, that leave us no room to say a word in favor of rods that descend perpendicular, in preference to those diverging.
Steamboats require no protection-are rarely struck by lightning, although filled with iron, and when struck are never injured-nor is there an instance on record of the loss of human life on board of a steamer, by lightning. We record one instance, in this volume, of a person being stunned by lightning on board of a steamer on the Ohio, by the breaking of a thunder bolt.
Iron ships and iron boats, and iron buildings, are the best of protection from lightning.
Buildings with metalic roofs, afford protection, but metalic eave troughs and spouts, for conducting the rain to the earth, should be straight. Spouts with short turns in them, obstruct the water, and also obstructs the lightning, and causes it either to explode or force its way through the metal, and in such case it may take a horizontal direction and pass into the building and do injury. We have in our Cabinet, tin spouts that have been broken through by lightning, and we have examined numerous tin spouts to buildiugs struck by lightning, and the result is the same in all these cases. The lightning in all the numerous cases we have examined, descended the inside of the spout, and in no case passed through the water or entered that fluid.
Carbonated hydrogen gas ignites when in contact with lightning, and the lightning at the same instant disappears. This was the case in Pearl street, and a person setting within three feet of the gas pipe, when it was struck by lightning-the pipe melted and the
Water thrown freely upon persons struck by lightning, has in numerous cases restored them to activity, and this fact indicates the importance of its use in all cases.
We have before frequently said, that iron wire, of No. 1 size, weighing one pound for every six feet, is a good lightning conductor, and our desire, in so frequently repeating this opinion, is not with a wish to establish a theory, but to show that protection against damage by lightning, may be had at a small cost, and thereby most persons, from the cheapness of the rod, can avail themselves of this mode of protection. We repeat-these wires have never failed, and the cost is less than a dollar for a single rod of 70 feet in length.
We have expressed the opinion that bright surfaces are preferable for lightning conductors to dark surfaces; we still entertain that opinion. In the particular examination we made of the hardware store, in Pearl street, struck by lightning in 1845, we found metals with bright surfaces fused, but we could not ascertain if the surface thus fused was in contact with other metal, for the metalic implements struck had been removed from the places in which they were when the lightning passed over them. We have a tinned iron fork in our collection, which has several spots upon it where the lightning fused the metal. An oil holder, made of bright tin, was fused in three places by the lightning in the same store.
If the lightning rod terminates in water,-which we would suggest as preferable in all cases, when a well or cess-pool is accessible, it matters not whether the lower end is blunt or pointed.
We have seen iron nails that had led the lightning into the inside of buildings, and others where the lightning has followed the same conductor out of the building, and hence we argue that iron staples designed for fastening rods to the sides of dwellings, are improper appendages to lightning conductors.
We examined a highly varnished mahogany table, the surface of which the lightning had passed over, and found the varnish had been removed to the extent of the length of the track, and to the width of from one eighth to one quarter of an inch.
The diagram is designed to represent a building 50 feet long-N, the north chimney; S, the south chimney, and A, the ridge of the house. The two rods extend each seven feet above the highest point of the ridge, and at a distance of 25 feet therefrom. This is the diagram used on page 522 of this volume, to represent the Lancastrian School House, while struck by lightning, as described by Professor OLMSTEAD, to which page the reader will please refer.
We suggest this alteration in the position of the rods, viz:
1st. That a rod should project six feet or more above the centre of the ridge, making a gradual bend a few inches above the roof, and following the slant of the roof to the eave trough,-after passing over that let it diverge in its father descent, so as to reach within four feet of the ground at a distance of twenty feet from the building, at which point it may be bent so as to terminate in the water of a well or cess-pool, and if neither are close by, it may be extended to such a termination by running it along a fence.
2d. Instead of leading the rods to the ends of the building, along side of a chimney, let them diverge from the chimney, the upper point terminating in the atmosphere four feet higher than the chimney, and six feet distant from it, over a portion of the roof of the house, and when reaching the side of the roof, let the rod diverge from the roof so as to reach within four feet of the ground, twenty feet or more from the house, and terminate as in the first case of the centre rod.
3d, To a building fifty feet square, five rods should be used, all cost not to exceed five dollars, except putting up. If fifty feet long and thirty feet wide, three rods are sufficient.
In all cases terminate the rod in the water, or deep in the ground, and let the rod diverge from the building in its descent to the ground.
Iron wire of No. 1 size, measuring six feet to the pound, costs in New-York six cents per pound, or one cent per foot. This size wire has never been known to fail-the cost is so trifling, that it leaves no excuse in neglecting protection.
A wire of this size will not support itself, and should therefore have a wooden support over the roof. Where it is necessary to pass a wire through a staple, we should suggest a tin tube, of six or or more inches in length. When the tube is of tin, let it be in the shape of a hollow tube, and narrowest at the lowest point, so as to aid the lightning on the way past the points of the staple pointing inward.
Where tin spouts terminate above the floors of basement rooms which are occupied, it would be well to connect a wire with such termination, leading to the well or cess-pool, or deep into the ground, and to avoid short turns in such spouts that should cause the water in heavy rains to fill up the inside.
EARTHQUAKES STORMS, AND CALMS. The Journal of Commerce of January 13th, 1846, contains the following:
"EARTHQUAKE AT MEMPHIS.
The Journal of Commerce of Saturday contains an account of an earthquake at Memphis, Tennessee, on Tuesday the 23d of December, at half past nine o'clk. in the evening. I was engaged the same evening and at the same hour in making meteorlogical observations upon Brooklyn Heights, and was surprised at the sudden depression of the mercury in my thermometer of three degrees. The temperature until this change was 28°-it fell to 25°, and continued at that for 11 hours afterwards, when snow commenced falling. I discovered nothing in the appearance of the atmosphere at the time to account for the sudden change. I noticed this change in the Brooklyn Star, of the next day (Wednesday the 24th). On the 7th of April last, three severe shocks of an earthquake were felt at the City of Mexico, two of which occurred between the hours of six and eight o'clock in the evening, at the same time a snow storm commenced upon the Hudson River during the continuance of which, the Steamer Swallow was stranded upon the rocks at Athens. At the same time a snow storm was raging at Chicago, Illinois, and next day snow fell plen tifully at Quebec. E. M.
"[It is very unsafe to rely upon a mere coincidence of time, as throwing any connection between events occurring at far distant places, and having, so far as we know, no natural connection with each other.]-Editors Jour. Com.
We wrote Mr. HALLECK, the Editor, a private note on the morning of January 13th, after seeing the editorial remark appended to our communication, expressing in substance the opinion that we hoped we should be able to convince him of the correctness of our views in this, and of the incorrectness of those contained inthe Editorial comment.
The paragragh referred to as published in the Journal of Commerce of Saturday, was that of January 10, 1846, and was in the words following:
"Earthquake.-The Memphis Eagle of Thursday Dec. 25th says: A very sensible quaking of the earth occurred at about half-past nine, on Tuesday evening, starting many of our people to their feet who were not on them, and frightening many others; the agitation was accompanied with a roar, or rumbling noise, and apparently proceeded from a north westerly direction, it lasted about half a minute."
The Journal of Commerce of March 7, 1846, con
succeeded by a fixedness of temperature in the atmosphere.
After the December earthquake, the mercury in my thermometer remained stationery 11 hours after; that of January, 11 hours; February, 11 hours, March, 23, 11 hours, March 24, nearly the whole day, and April 28th and 29th, 11 hours.
The meteorlogical observations for the 28th and 29th of April were published in the Brooklyn Evening Star, on the 29th of April and 5th of May. The last published were first written.
tains the following notice of an earthquake at Cincinnatti, on the 28th of Feb., 1846:
"Earthquake.-Several of the gentleman at our boarding house-the Howard House, on Main Street, mentioned to us on Saturday, that they felt the shock of an earthquake about 10 minutes to 8 o'clock in the morning. One gentleman. sitting in the parlor, felt the undulating motion with such force that it was with difficulty he could maintain his sitting posture. Two others, in their private rooms were affected in the same manner. The shock continued during the space of half a minute.-Cin. Gaz. March 2d.
The Journal of Commerce of March 14, 1846, contains the following notice of an earthquake at Santo Tomas, on the 30th of January, 1846:
"Earth quake.-A very violent shock of earthquake was felt at the Belgian Settlement of Santo Tomas, on Friday Evening, Jan. 30th. It is described as being like the discharge of a heavy piece of ordnance.
The Journal of Commerce of April 1, 1846, contains the following account of an earthquake at Maysville, Ky., on the 23d of March, 1846:
Earthquake.-The Maysville (Ky.) Eagle of the 24th inst,, says; At 45 minutes past 12 o'clock, on Sunday night, an earthquake, preceded by a rumbling sound as of distant thunder, was sensibly felt by all the inhabitants of this city who were awake at that hour. We learn from one gentleman, who was up, that there were two concussions, scarce five seconds intervening, and that his house shook perceptibly. At the time of the shocks, there was a cloudy sky, but no wind. A gentleman from the country, who resides at an elevation of nearly 400 feet above the Maysville bottom says that the shocks at his house were severer than any that have occurred since the memorable earthquake of 1811, '12."
The Journal of Commerce of April 23, 1846, contains the following;
"Earthquake in the West Indies.-By way of Havanna we have received advices from the town of Cuba. On the 23d ultimo, at half past 7 in the morning, after a calm, sultry night, low, rumbling sounds were heard Suddenly the ground shook violently, causing the greatest consternation, the people running into the street for safety. The first shock lasted one or two minutes and after a lapse of five minutes, the ground was again violently shaken. It was a solemn moment: in every direction the affrighted inhabitants might be seen on their knees, calling on God to save them, expecting each moment to be swallowed up. Several slighter shocks were felt during the forenoon, but it is believed no lives were lost. Several buildings were thrown down, and very many cracked. In the evening mass was said in all the churches for their deliverance from death"
The Journal of Commerce of May 15, 1846, contains the following:
"There was a slight shock of an earthquake at Santa Cruz (south side of Cuba) on the 28th of April."
By referring to our last Gazette, it will be seen that an earthquake took place at Memphis, Tennesee, on the 23d of December, at half-past 9 o'clock in the evening; another at Santo Tomas near the equator, on the 30th of January, hour not stated; another at Cicninnati, Ohio, on the 28th of February, at about 8 in the morning, and now we add another at Maysville, Ky., on the morning of the 23d March, at 15 minutes before 1 o'clock A.M.; and still another at Cuba, on the 23d of March, at half-past 7 in the morning; and yet another in Cuba on the 28th of April ult.
Here then, we present from the columns of our good friend Mr. Halleck, the account of six earthquakes which have occurred since he penned the editorial comment upon our notice of the Memphis earthquake.
The regularity as to time, shows that these have been periodical, one each month, and near the close of the month. Each followed by a storm, and each
The following is a copy:
'Monday morning 27th, 9 o'clock, 610; half-past 9,64; 12, 65; 1, 66; 2, 68; 3, 69; 4, 67; 5, 65; 6, 62; 9,57; 10,55.
Tuesday morning 28th, 4 o'clock 47°; 5; 48; 6, 52; 7; 58; 8, 64; 2, 72; 3, 714; 4, 67; 5, 65; 6, 60; 7, 58; 9, 53; 10, 50.
"Wednesday morning 29th, 4 o'clock, 50°, 5, 50; 6, 50; 7,50; 8, 50; 9, 50. Thus we have another night in which the atmosphere has been stationary in temperature. This morning rain fell in a gentle shower between 7 and 8 o'clock.
"Thursday morning 4 o'olock, April 30. The temperature yesterday reached 57°, and vibrated considerably, lowest point at 50, at which it now is. During the night it fell 20. In my communication sent you yesterday I stated the fixedness of temperature the previous night, and have now to notice the profuse rain-storm which followed. It will be seen by referring back to my published memorandas that a storm followed the same state of the atmosphere Dec. 23d, Jan. 31, February 28, March 23, and April 23d, (at the south,*) and now, yesterday the 28th, here."
The meteorlogical observations to which we refer were made by the editor of this Gazette, and published in the Brooklyn Star long before the accounts of the earthquakes reached here.
The account of the earthquake at Maysville, was published in the Maysville Eagle on the 24th of March, and the meteorlogical observations made on Brooklyn Heights, on the 22d, 23d and 24th of March, was published on the 25th of March in the Brooklyn Star, as follows:
"Sunday morning 5 o'clock, 32°; 7, 32°; 8, 36°; 9, 410; 12, 47°; 3, 53°; 5. 490.
Monday morning, 6 o'clock, 34°; 12, 50°; 2, 50; 6, 420; 8, 40°; at which it continued through the night, and varied from that but little during Tuesday. On Monday afternoon clouds bordered the horizon at every point of the compass. indicative of what followed," which we now add, was a storm, in which the Packet Ship Henry Clay went on shore.
The Brooklyn Star of March 2, 1846, contains our memorandum as follows:
"At half-past 9, Saturday morning, the 28th, the temperature rose to 20°, being 30 from 7 o'clock, and with this rise of temperature snow commenced falling; at one o'clock 210; 2 P. M., 200; four, 180; nine o'clock, 16; and continued at that without change during the night. Sonday morning, at 7 o'clock, 160;
* The 23d of April referred to above. Our record of that and the preceding two days, published in the Brooklyn Star of April 24, is as follows:
one P. M., 24°; 7, 20°. This morning at 7 o'clock, 200, with a clouded atmosphere, indicating another fall of snow."
“Tuesday 21st April, 5 o'clock, 49 deg.; 7, 53; 8, 62; 9, 67; 10,70; 11, 72; 12, 78; 1, 79; 2, 80; 3, 81, 3, 82; 4, 81; 5, 78; 7, 73; during Tuesday night the temperature decreased 14 deg. being at 59 at 4 o'clock on Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning 4 o'clock temperature 59 deg. 6, 57; 7, 59; 9, 57; 10, 57; 11, 55, 12, 56; 1, 56; 3, 55; 4, 54; 5, 54; b, 53; 7, 49. It continued a that throughout the night, and was the same at 4, 5, and 6 o'clock on Thursday morning, and at 7 rose to 51."
On Thursday a heavy storm set in and rain fell plentifully. We have no account of earthquakes on the 22d of April but the peculiar state of the temperature gives abundant reason to suppose an earthquake took place on that day near the equator. It may be that we may never hear of it, for had that at Memphis, or Maysville, or Cincinnati, taken place in the wilderness, where no newspapers were printed, we probably should never have heard of the
The Brooklyn Star of February 2d, 1846, contains onr meteorlogical memorandums, as follows:
"Saturday was the warmest day for the month of January-the temperature rose to 52° at 2 o'clock P. M.; at the same time a black cloud appeared in the northwest; which in half an hour reduced the temperature to 410-at midnight it had reached 220, at which point it continued for 11 hours, at 12 o'clock, Sunday noon, was at 230, at 5 o'clock P. M. 25°, and rose one degree during the night, and was at 7 o'clock this morning, 26°. Saturday, to near 1 o'clock P.M., the East River was covered with so dense a fog that it was with difficulty the ferry boats crossed over, and not without the aid of the shore bells. Thursday evening, about 5 o'clock, snow fell in a few sprinklings and was followed by rain during the night, in moderate quantity. Rain fell on Friday night also."
A comparison of the respective accounts of the earthquakes as stated above with the memorandums of the observations made here and published at the respective dates will be most convincing.
• We have a further illustration, as follows: On the 28th of February at 11 o'clock A. M., a sudden and heavy blow was experienced at New-Orleans, and several vessels were injured by the wind.
On the first of March, next day, the ship Oneida, bound from Canton to New-York, encountered a terrible hurrieane off the south end of the Island of Mad. agascar, which hove the ship down on her beam ends. The same day, and the day following, the sea was so much swollen and disturbed at St. Helena that several vessels were shipwrecked in the harbor, and much damage done to buildings on the shore. The same day Nott's Island on the coast of North Carolina was nearly inundated by the sea, and great damage done. The wild fowl were killed in great numbers by the storm. The same day a tremendous snow storm was experienced at Norfolk and also at Richmond, Va The same day snow fell three inches deep at Saltville Va. Here are the results of the earthquake at Cincin natti, traversing almost half across the globe.
It will be seen by the memorandums published in the star, that on the night of Dec. 23d, the temperature was stationary, that that peculiar state was preceded by a sudden fall of 3°. The same occurred on the 28th of April, and on the 28th of February the rise was 3°.
Two of the earthquakes occurred on the 28th day of the month-two on the 23d day of the month, and one on the 30th day of the month.
Extract from a Meteorlogical Record kept by the Editor on Brooklyn Heights.
Friday May 15, 1846.-4 o'clock A..M., 58; 5, 58; 6, 60; 7. 62; 8, 65; 10, 70; 11, 71; 12, 72; 1, 73; 2, 72; 3, 70; 4, 68; 5, 66; 6, 62, black clouds in the south west-7, 62; 8, 61; 84, 60; 9, 60; 10, 60.
Saturday May 16, 4 o'clock A. M., 59; 5, 59; 6, 59; 7,62; 8, 66; 9, 66; 10, 66; 11, 65; 12, 64; 1, 62; 1, 61, heavy rain; 2, 61; 2, 10, 614; 2, 45, 604; 3, 61, 34, 63, wind and rain; 3, 45, 62; 4, 62; 5, 60; 6, 60; 8, 58; 9,59; 10, 60. The rain continued with trifling intermission from 30 minutes past 1 to 5 o'clock.
Sunday May 17, 5 o'clock A. M. 58; 6, 58; 7, 59; 8, 59; 9,62; 10, 63; 11, 68: 12, 70; 1, 72; 2, 74; 3, 74; 5, 71; 6, 67; 7, 63; 9, 62: 10, 61; 11, 60.
Monday, May 18, 5 o'clock 60; 6, 62, 7, 68; 8, 75; 9, 72; 10, 77 ; 11, 78; 12, 80; 1, 81: 282; 230, 83; 2 45, 82; 3, 80, distant thunder; 3, 15, 76; heavy rain; 3 20, 75); 3 30, 74; 3 45, 72; rain ceased; 4, 72; clear over head; 476; clouds approaching; 4 30, 65; 4 50, 73, very black clouds causing great comparative darkness; 4, 57, heavy rain; 5,694, heavy rain and vivid lightning; 5, 5, very heavy rain; 5 10, 67, heavy thunderbolt broke near by; 51, 67; rain, thunder, lightning; 5, 66, 5 35, 66; 6, 66; 6 30, 66; 6 45, 66, heavy wind and great rain; 7, 64; 75, 60; 7 15, 59, lightning; 8, 57; 9, 57; 10, 55.
Tuesday May 19, 4 o'clock 45; 6, 45; 7, 52; 8, 54; 9, 57; 10, 56; 11, 56; 12, 58; 1, 59; 2, 60; 3, 60; 4, 61; 5, 60; 6, 58; 7, 56; 3, 54; 9, 53; 10, 52; 11, 51.
Wednesday 20, 4 o'clock, 46; 5, 46; 6, 48; 7, 54.
A careful examination of the above record will be found very instructive.
your lordships with some of the inconveniences arising from it. By this charter are granted all the Islands near and round his majesties garrison here, the soil of the East River, as far as low water mark and extending in length to the utmost limit of the Island whereby His Majesties prerogative and interest may be in danger of suffering, and his ships stationed here under the necessity of becoming petitioners to the Corporation for a convenient place to carreen, or refit, for this charter having granted the Corporation, all the Islands as well near and round as before the fort which lay commodious for the security and defence of it, in case of any eruptions, was as I conceive lodging too great a power in them, in case of any necessity, and by so much lessening of the King's prerogative. "I must own, my Lords, that I was merely surprised into an assent to this act, it having been exhibited so very early after my arrival (as your Lordships will perceive by the act itself) that I had not an opportunity of being acquainted with the nature and design of it, and from the general words of the title of it very little apprehended the nature of its extent.
"The act in general terms confirms the city all the grants to them at any time heretofore made without either referring to any one grant in particular, or mentioning what the grants were that were designed to be confirmed by this act, so that your Lordships on view of the act could not determine what rights, grants or particular privileges were to be confirmed by the act and for ought appears some (if not many) of these grants or charters may be (and as I believe are) prejudicial to His Majesties' interests.
"It were but lately my Lords that I came to any knowledge of the charter designed to be confirmed by this act, and that charter consisting of a vast number of skins of parchment, and the vessel by whom I now write being to sail in a day or two has rendered it improbable for me by this opportunity to have sent to your Lordships a copy of it, and without which your Lordships could not judge of the act, the act being worded in general terms, but shall send it by the next ship, and now hope that what I have offered will justify your Lordships to stop any proceedings at your board upon that act until I have this honor a second time to write further to your Lordship's concerning it."
CORPORATION OF NEW-YORK.
Papers Dd. No. 73.
Gov. Montgomerie to the Board of Trade. New-York, May 6th, 1728.
I thought it my duty to take the first opportunity of acquainting your Lordships, that after a tedious voyage and being five months out of England, I arrived here on the 15th of last month. I that day published His Majesties Commission here and at Perth Amboy in New-Jersey, the week thereafter.
I have been so short a while in this country, that I dare not yet take upon me to give your Lordships a particular account of the state of the province, nor of the circumstances of the frontiers on the side of the Indians. I shall hereafter be very punctual in all my accounts and will always endeavor to put things in so true a light that your Lordships may have reason to depend upon what information I give you.
Governour Burnet tells me that he has sent you a full account what was done in the assembly here which he dissolved in November last, and in some time thereafter issued writs for calling a new one, but they had not met when I arrived. Application was immediately made to me and the people of the best interest of the province advised me to dissolve this new assembly, but I did not determine myself till I consulted with every member of the council singly, and with what gentlemen of the province were then in town. They all unanimously, and even Gov. Burnet himself advised me, to call a new assembly, as the most probable way to compose differences, and reconcile all animosities; In compliance with all their advices, I dissolved the assembly by proclamation, and writs are preparing to summon a new one to meet after harvest.
All I can yet inform your Lordships of, as to affairs in New-Jersey, is that in December last, Governour Burnet met the assembly there which ended in February; several laws were passed, of which he himself will give you a particular account. As soon as I can have them from the secretary, I shall transmit them to your Lordships, ingrossed, under the seal of the province. I hope your Lordships will be so good as to forgive the imperfect and indistinct accounts I have given you; hereafter I hope to convince your Lordships that my whole business here shall be to do what is for His Majesties service, and for the good of the provinces he has been pleased to entrust to my care. I shall alwyas strive to deserve your Lordships approbation, for I am, with great respect, My Lords, Your Lordships' most obedient,
And most humble servant,
Rec'd, June 20th, 1728
Col. Cosby to the Board of Trade.
I have the honor to acquaint your Lordships of my arrival to this place; the assembly is now a sitting, so soon as they are upp, I will not faile by the first ship that goes for England to send all the acts in order to be laid before you. I have just this moment received your Lordships' letter with a copy of Capt. Carrington's inclosed. I will immediately write to the Commissioners for the Indian affairs to consult with the Five Nations in order that they may interpose, and will do every thing that I can in that affair. I am, my Lords, with the greatest respect imaginable.
Your Lordships' most obedient humble servant, W. COSBY. Extract from a letter, written by GOVERNOR COSBY of the Province of New-York to the Government at Home, on the 29th of August 1733, in reference to the NEW-YORK CITY CHARTER, called Montgomerie's charter.
"No. 10 is an act confirming the charter of the city of New-York by Governour Montgomerie, MY LORDS, as to this act I would beg leave to observe that the Charter which was designed to be confirmed by this act having past away grants of a very extraordinary nature that I thought it necessary for me to acquaint
The Constitution of this State contains this provision :
"But nothing contained in this Constitution. shall affect any grants of land within this State, made by authority of the said King or his predecessors, or shall annul any charters to bodies politic or corporate by him or them made, before that day, or shall effect any such grants or charters since made by this State." Sec. 14, Art. 7.
The charters of the City of New-York were never granted by the said King or his predecessors, nor was it granted by this authority or sanctioned by him.
Members of Common Councils of the City in the management of its public concerns are in every respect like the "Selectmen" of towns, or the Supervisors of counties-mere administrative officers, nothing more-they have strictly speaking no legislative power for the Constitution has vested that solely in the Senate and Assembly, and these bodies cannot delegate this power.
An Act to provide for the calling of a Convention in relation to the Charter of the City of New. York. Passed May 9, 1846.
The people of the State of New-York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
§ 1. An election shall be held in the city of NewYork on the first Monday of June ensuing the passage of this act, for the selection of delegates to a county convention for forming a new, or revising and amending the present charter of the said city of NewYork.
2. Each of the wards of the said city of NewYork shall be entitled to the following representation in said convention, viz: First ward, one delegate: Second ward, one delegate; Third ward, one delegate; Fourth ward, two delegates; Fifth ward, two delegates; Sixth ward, two delegates; Seventh ward, two delegates; Eighth ward, three delegates; Ninth ward, three delegates; Tenth ward, two delegates; Eleventh ward, three delegates; Twelfth ward, one delegate; Thirteenth ward, two delegates; Fourteenth ward, two delegates; Fifteenth ward, two de
6. The charter or amendments proposed by the convention organized under this act, shall be submitted to the electors of the city and county of NewYork, at the election to be held in the said city on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, in the year 1846, and if adopted by a majority of the votes cast on the question, shall be submitted to the legislature at the next session thereof for approval, and if so approved shall become the charter, or a part of the charter of the said city of Ne-York; and in case the said convention shall prefer amendments and not a new charter, the said amendments shall be submitted to the eleetors of the city and county of New-York separate or in clauses relating to the same subject- The ballots to be used at the election to be held under this section, shall be prepared in such form as said convention may direct, and a separate box for the deposit of such ballots shall be kept by the inspectors of each election district in the several wards of the said city, and the result of such election shall be ascertained and certified to in the same manner now provided in the act renulating elections for members of assembly.
or ward where the owner resides and not elsewhere. The universal practice has been, it is believed, in accordance with this principle, with the entire acquiesence until this time of the whole people, from the organization of the government. It is now sought to make New-York an exception in the application of this uniform principle of taxation. And the only argument offered in favor of this position is, that while the owners reside out of the city, their business and property is within the city, and they enjoy the protection of the government without sharing in the burdens of its taxation. It might be inferred that the petitioners supposed, that they sought to make New York an exception to the general rule, that the evil of which they complain was confined to that city. Whereas it is believed that it is a common circumstance that individuals possessing wealth, will employ their capital consisting of personal property in one city or town, while they reside in another. The property, does not in any case, if assessors do their duty, escape taxation. It will contribute its due proportion to the discharge of the public burthens, though not always in the locality where it is employed. Still it is not impossible, nor indeed improbable, that equal and exact justice is done in this respect. There may be as great an amount of personal property owned by residents in the city of New-York, and employed in business elsewhere, and which is of course taxable in the city of New York, as there is employed in the city and owned by those who reside out of it.
NO NEW VICTIMS OF TAXATION. The Finance Committee in the Senate of this State have reported AGAINST the application for a law to tax the merchandize in the hands of commission merchants the funds in the hands of Bankers belonging to persons abroad in the city of New-York and against taxing the citizens of other states and of other counties in this State who happen to transact business in the city of New-York. The Report is an able document, it is from a very able Committee and accords with the views expressed by the meeting held at the merchant's Exchange in 1843.
The Corporation need not seek out new victims of taxation-the remedy is elsewhere, and is in the stopping of the profligate expenditure of the public money---in ceasing to squander the money wrung out of the people by destructive taxation-stop the treasury leaks-these are the remedies, We here give the Senate Report.
STATE OF NEW-YORK.
March 27, 1846.
Of the finance committee on the petition of Lewis Silbrand, and others, for the taxation of the personal property of non-residents of the city of New York. Mr. Porter, from the committee on finance, to whom was referred the petition of Lewis Silbrand and others, praying for the passage of a law that shall make all personal property liable to taxation, whether the same is owned by non-resident citizens or otherwise, REPORTS:
That the committee have had the said petition under consideration; that it alleges that it has been ascertained that there is over ten millions in value of personal property in the city of New York, belonging to merchants and others, who are doing business in that city, but who do not reside therein; and that this property is not taxed in that city, although its owners derive equal benefits in the protection of their property with those who are compelled to pay by tax the expense of the city government; that many persons doing business in the city have become residents of neighboring places, for the purpose of avoiding taxation upon their personal property in the city, all of which the petitioners deem a grievance which they claim should be redressed.
The petition is very numerously signed, and shows that very many of the inhabitants of that city entertain the opinion, that it is consistent with the general policy of our laws, to impose taxes for the purpose of meeting the expenses of the city and state governments, upon personal property found within the city, irrespective of the residence of the owner. It may not, therefore, be inappropriate at this time to refer to the several statute provisions on this subject, to show the scope and policy of the law on the subject of taxation in this respect.
In the first place in regard to real estate, it is provided (1 R. S. 389, sec. . 1,2,3.) that every person shall be assessed in the town or ward where he resides when the assessment is made for all lands then owned by him, within such town or ward, and occupied by him, or wholly unoccupied; and if it shall be occupied by another person than the owner, it may be assessed in the name of the owner or occupant. But if it shall be unoccupied, and the owner does not reside in the town or ward, it shall be assessed in that town or ward as the land of a non-resident. And sections 11 and 12 further provide that such lands shall be pla ced on the assessment roll, as the lands of non-residents, with some proper description to designate them.
Thus it will be seen that in respect to real estate, the law requires that it shall be assessed in the town or ward where it is situated, without regard to the residence of the owner.
But in respect to personal property the 5th section of the same title provides that every person shall be assessed in the town or ward where he resides when the assessment is made, for all personal estate owned by him. And section 9, which gives directions as to the form of the assessment roll, provides that the assessors shall set down in the fourth column the full value of all the taxable personal property owned by such person, after deducting the just debts owing by him.
The statute is therefore equally explicit and clear, that all personal property shall be assessed in the town
The principle of taxing personal property in the city or town in which the owner resides, the committee believe to be sound and just in all respects. To adopt the other system, of taxing personal property where it was employed in business, irrespective of the residence of the owner would be exceedingly perplexing and troublesome in practice, and inquisitorial in character, and cannot be required upon any principle of justice or fairness. Personal property has no fixed locality, except as connected with the habitation of the owner. It may appear reasonable to the petitioners, that since a large amount of personal property is employed in business in the city of New York, while the owners reside in the neighborhood of the city, that the property should be taxable in the city. But if that principle is adopted in this instance, it must be made universal; and then the personal property of those who reside permamently in other States and in foreign countries, if found in the city of New York by the assessors, would be subjected to taxation there. Even property sent there to be sold and awaiting a market, would in that view be properly set down in the assesssment roll; although the proceeds of it may have been transmitted to the owner, before that roll should be completed, and the owner assessed for it at the place of his residence.
The committee discern no reason or argument for departing from the uniform and established rule, that connects the taxation of personal property with the residence of the owner, and they recommend the adoption of the following resolution:
Resolved, That the prayer of the petitioners be denied.
TAX UPON NON-RESIDENTS.
At a public meeting held at the Merchant's Exchange in the city of New-York, on the 6th of March, 1843, in relation to Taxes and Assessments, Preserved Fish, Esq., was called to the Chair, as President of the meeting, and William B. Crosby, Peter Cooper, Peter Schermerhorn, Abraham Van Nest, Abraham G. Thompson, George Griswold, Charles H. Russell, Jonathan Goodhue, Peter Embury, Peter I. Nevius, Peter Lorrilard, Jr. and John Haggerty as Vice Presidents.
These gentlemen were of both political parties. The memorial of the meeting to the Legislature signed by all the persons above named, was presented in the senate of this State on the 11th of March, 1843, by the President of that Honorable Body, and is now on file in the Senate. This memorial contained the following:
"The Remonstrants represent that the Real Estate situate in the city of New-York the principal sea port of this great and growing state is valuable mostly in consequence of the Commercial advantages which said city possesses; and whatever laws are or shall be enacted which impose restrictions or burdens upon trade and Commerce in said city alone and distinct from the rest of the state is an indirect tax upon such real estate, operating in a two-fold degree, depreciating
the value thereof in the same ratio as Commerce and trade are affected,-also hindering improvements and decreasing its population. The provision of one of the said bills of the said Common Council, is, that persons doing business in said city and residing beyond its limits, shall be taxed in the said city and not elsewhere in this State, or if they live without the boundaries of this State, such citizens must pay tax on their personal property in the state where they reside, and also in the State where they do business, making a double tax. This provision involves principles which are of great importance, and if it is to become a law, may lead to the passage of retalitary laws by other States and thus the harmony of the Union be disturbed, very much to the injury of trade and Commerce as well as to the detriment of the public welfare. The provision of the said bills which requires every inhabitant or person doing business in the city of NewYork to make an inventory or schedule of the personproperty belonging to him or held by him as agent for others, and to return the same under oath to the assessors within a limited time, is disapproved of, and considered inquisitorial, arbitrary and oppressive, and will in many cases be difficult and in some almost impossible to comply with."
"It is suggested that the present law of the State is sufficiently ample in this particular, and that it affords the assessors as much opportunity or means of ascertaining what persons are liable to be assessed for personal property as is needed. By the present law, they are authorised to assess any and every inhabitant, for personal property, as great in amount as they believe him to be worth; and if they cannot satisfy themselves as to the amount, they can set down as large an amount as to compel the person thus assessed to reduce the same under oath, or otherwise pay the tax on the said property.
"It is said by public officers, as the remonstrants are informed. that many persons escape taxation on personal property who are liable to taxation; this, it is suggested, is the neglect of the assessors, and not the inadequacy of the present provisions of law.
"The provision which authorises the imposing a tax upon the personal property, merchandize, produce, funds, &c., &c., in the hand of an agent, is a new feature sought to be incorporated into the laws of the State, and made applicable to this city only, involving principles of very great importance. Should this provision become a law, the effect will be to drive business away from this city, as well as money funds, and hereafter the interest on public and other pecuniary obligations will be made payable without the bounds of the tax district."
An extraordinary provision has made its appearance in a bill introduced into the House of Assembly, providing for levying a wharf Tax, secretly, by inserting a clause at the foot of a bill relating to other matters. Such a system of legislation we are confident that the legislature will never give countenance to.
STATE OF NEW-YORK.
April 10, 1846. AN ACT to amend an act concerning passengers in vessels coming to the port of New-York, passed February 11, 1824
6. "and said Corporation shall have full power to regulate the rates of wharfage charged upon all goods of vessels discharging in, at, or upon any wharf, pier, or slip in said city."
If there is need for the passage of a law in relation to wharfage, let a bill with a proper Title be introduced, and not insert this extraordinary provision in a bill of a title calculated to mislead the persons interested. The Corporation have recently leased the wharves, piers, &c., at public auction. A Remonstrance will be sent to the Legislature against this provision, in the mean time the members from the country will take care that their butter, pork, ashes, &c., are not thus indirectly taxed in the city of NewYork.
Can the business stand this change? A majority of the committee thought so, so long as the present tariff is kept on, though he (Mr. H.) had his own views as to the salt coming to tide water. That this state property ought to contribute something to our present burdens no one doubted. The receipts of the canals last year just about paid expenditures and interest on the original cost. The tolls received on salt, however, fell short of its proportion. The amount of tolls received was only about one-thirtieth of the whole tolls whereas the tonnage was about one-seventeenth. It might be useful here to state the various sums imposed as duty at different times. He would put the tariff along side.
To 1817, 3 cents.
Speech of Hon. A. C. HAND, of the fourth senatorial district, in the Senate of this State in relation to the duty on Onondago Salt, reported in the Albany Atlas.
THE SALT DUTIES.
REMARKS of Mr. HAND, in Senate, March 20, in Committee of the Whole, on the bill in relation to Salt Duties.
Mr. Hand said, that as a member of the Committee on Finance, he would try to give a few statistics, showing the reasons for and against the bill reported by the Committee, and other propositions now before the Senate; among which was one from his colleague, (Mr. Clark) to make the tolls equal on foreign and on our own salt; and another by his colleague, (Mr. Mitchell,) to put the duty at three cents per bushel instead of two as proposed by the committee on financeHe said it was well known that there are but three great sources for supplying us with salt; for although Pennsylvania made, perhaps three-fourths of a million of bushels, and Massachusetts nearly half a million, and a little was made in about 20 of the states, yet foreign importation, the Kanawha springs in Virginia, and the Salina Works, were the great fountains of supply. It is supposed the United States use now about 17 or 18 millions of bushels, of which last year we imported over 8 millions; the Salina Works made nearly four millions; and the Virginia Works, it is believed, made as much. The Hon. Abbot Lawrence, in a recent letter, has said our home manufacture is about ten millions of bushels, but he, (Mr. H.) doubted there being quite so much; and not over one-fourth of a million were exported, and this year not probably over 100,000 bushels. It is an article of prime necessity and the localities of its manufacture were limited, though perhaps the amount that can be made at those localities is not.
Of the nearly 7 millions imported in 1841, England (which exports about 12 millions bushels annually) furnished about 3 millions, British West Indies, about 1 millions, and Portugal over half a million, The amount used in the United States, is wonderful, and the demand fast increasing; and yet the price is decreasing; ten years ago it being betwen 40 and 50 cts. per bushel, and much less now as he should show. It has been said, that an adult uses about 16 lbs., annually, but it seems that in the United States, the total consumption is nearly a bushel to an inhabitant, and it is constantly applied to new uses as manure, &c. The importation of 8 millions last year, was valued in imposing the duty, at nearly $900,000, or a little over 10 cents per bushel; and the duty imposed was over 70 per cent on the cost; amounting in all to over $680,000.
The committee on finance has reported a bill imposing a duty of 2 cents per bushel, and all drawbacks or bounty were to be abolished. These drawbacks or bounties were granted by the law of 1843 to encourage the manufacture of the article. It amounted to 7 cents and 6 mills at tide water per bushel, and ranged from 5 cents to as low as 4 mills in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Buffalo and Oswego, being different in different places. The effect of this bounty was to increase the annual amount that came to tide water from about 5,000 bushels to 205,000 bushels in 3 years, and made a difference of nearly 170,000 bushels the first year. This year nearly 900,000 bushels have been brought to tide water, and nearly 2,000,000 have left the state the other way. This makes the question of duty very important. As the duty and tolls now are, the income on a barrel of salt brought to tide water is as follows:
Duty on 5 bushels at 6 cents, (per 56 lb) 30 cents. Tolls,
Tariff. 1788, 6 cents. 1790, 12
These are imposed upon the bushel of 56 lbs. The duty, without the drawback, still remains at 6 cents. The tariff too was cut down to about 7 cents by the operation of the " compromise act," but that is not important now.
1817 to 1834, 12 cents.
1834 to 1843, 6 cents.
Since 1843, 6 cents and bounties.
To ascertain whether the business could bear the new plan, he would make an estimate of the cost &c. Take a barrel of boiled salt:
Duty at 2 cents, (as proposed,)
10 cents. 5.13
Cost in New York,
A statement of cargo prices has been kindly furnished by a friend, by which he found them for 12 months past to average 31 cts. 8-10ths, for Turk's Island, and Liverpool 24 1-2 cents. From this statement it could be seen that probably the business could stand the proposed change, so long as the tariff remained as it now is, but if the 8 cents should be taken off by government, and foreign Salt admitted free, in all probability, the Salina Salt would no longer reach tide waAnd besides the tariff, the tolls on foreign salt is 15 times as much as it will be on our own, which would always give ours the advantage west of Albany. One cent duty would hardly do more than keep the works in repair, and many facilities on the canal are now afforded, as wood toll-free, &c. He thought, at any rate, that this duty of 2 cents, should be imposed on salt not brought to tide-water. Perhaps one cent would be enough on that, as the consumer there had a choice of markets. Gentlemen had complained of the discrimination. But the difference is in facilities. If the consumer in the interior gets it at reasonable rates, is not that enough? Suppose the State, by receiving only one cent on a bushel in all, duty and toll, brings to tide water one million of bushels, when if two are imposed, none will come, should the interior complain that the State saves this $10,000, and aids in keeping down the article at tide water, by competition? He should regret to lose the New England market. Something (said Mr. H.) has been said about reduding it as low as possible, as all must use it. That is very true, but we require tolls on all necessariesnearly 9 cents on corn from Buffalo to Albany. And upon all kinds of provisions too. There is a large debt unpaid, the interest on which must be met, and this
is the property of the State, and should it not contribute a share? On the other hand he would not embarrass the works. The amount annually paid by other States to our citizens for salt was large, and many persons are employed. By fostering these works, you keep up a brisk competition on the east and on the west, and it keep down the foreign article.-This induced him to oppose the proposition to place foreign salt upon the same footing. The tolls now may be too high on foreign salt, but if put on par with our own manufacture, he feared it would destroy our works, and consequently destroy competi tion, and very much enhance the price of the article in a few years everywhere. Mr. H. said he had thus thrown together the items of information he had received. They might be, in some respects, incorrect, but if useful to the committee in forming correct opinions, he should be satisfied."
In the last number of our Gazette several typographical errors occurred in overlooking the proof sheet in the statement of analysis of the several specimens of salt. We correct these by recapitulating the statements of analysis as follows:
Salt made by solar evaporation at Geddes.
Pure chloride of sodium,
Carbonate of lime and magnesia,
Salt made by boiling saturated brine. Pure chloride of sodium, Sulphate of lime, Chloride of calcium and magnesium,
Turk's Island Salt.
Pure chloride of sodium,
* And sulphate of magnesia.
Salt made at Saltville. Chloride of sodium, Sulphate of lime, Carbonate of do. Chloride of calcium,
The analysis of the brine at Syracuse compared with that at Saltville affords more accurate information than the analysis of the prepared salt of the two establishments.
Dr. Beck made an analysis of the Onondago brine in 1837, and C. B. Hayden, Esq., made an analysis of the Saltville brine in 1843. We have the brine of both these salines in our cabinet, and also the salt, and a careful examination of all these, lead us to confide in the correctness of the respective analysis.
1000 parts of Onondago brine from four different, wells produced in water 856,49,100 average-the same quantity of the Saltville, Virginia, brine produced but 754,5.100 water.
1000 parts of Saltville, Virginia, brine produced in chloride of sodium 240,52,100 and the brine of four wells at Onondago Salines average produce 136,48,100 chloride of sodium.
1000 parts of Onondago brine produced in chloride of calcium and magnesium 2,04,100 1000, and the Saltville brine but 0,08,100 1000 of chloride of calcium.
Extract of a letter from THOMAS L. PRESTON, Esq. of Virginia, one of the proprietors of the Salt Mines in Washington county in that state, written at Syracuse, while on a visit to the Onondago Salines of our State, to the Editor.
"Syracuse, N. Y., April 20, 1846.
"My Dear Sir.
On my arrival here I found every thing in the salt business in confusion. The water had not been let into the canal, and upon that depends the moving of the machinery for pumping the brine.
"The salt blocks were dismantled, and most of the