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LIGHTNING IN WINTER.
The lightning storm noticed below traversed the great electric current in unusual haste, and no doubt was the offspring of a convulsion which shook the terrestrial surface it first set out from on its north-eastern mission. This lightning storm presents an interesting fact:-at Brooklyn, but a single clap of thunder was heard and a single flash of lightning seen-at the Narrows, & miles distant, the same fact is noticed by Mr. Bergen, in his letter, a copy of which we give and we infer from the tenor of Mr. Thompson's letter that such was the fact at Hempstead, still it may be otherwise, for that place being still further along the electric current, another discharge further north east might have taken place from the storm, and Hempstead may have been its extreme southwestern verge of reverberation and of illumination.
The following letter gives an account of a most terrible storm at Union Mills, Carroll co., Md., the residence of Andrew Shriver, Esq. :
Correspondence of the Baltimore Patriot.
UNION MILLS. Feb. 3, 1847. Our neighborhood was visited to-day, about 9 o'clock, by a most terrific hurricane, which has proved most destructive to property. We were warned of its approach by several peals of thunder-darkness and a distant howling of the winds. I was at the time in an upper apartment of the house, and on looking out, I saw the gigantic hickories whirling about like reeds and bending flatly under the weight of the storm. I immediately hastened down stairs to apprize the family of approaching danger, but before I reached, them, a sudden blast struck the house with so much violence, I thought it would have been shivered to atoms.
The draft through the aperture of the doors and windows was so great, that I could with difficulty open an opposite door. Carpets were torn up from the floor, furniture deranged, &c. By this time the storm had somewhat abated. It did not last over two or three minutes, but during this brief period, much damage had been done. Our substantial old brick mill, which has withstood the shock of the elements for fifty years, was about two-thirds unroofed both gable ends blown down, together with the large chimnies on each side. It appears that the front door gave way at the upper story, and the wind rushing in bursted the roof upwards, hurling the shingles and rafters over a hundred yards distant. The bark mill house, and bark sheds, belonging to the tannery were overthrown.
But worst of all, because the most difficult to replace, a large number of our fine fruit and ornamental trees have been prostrated to the ground in every direction. The old Lombardy, which for ages have shaded the premises, the large fine Willows, the beautiful Maples, and several large Apple trees have all either been torn up by the roots or broken off in the stock. In the neighborhood several poor families have had their houses blown down, and are now seeking a home among the charitable around them. One poor man, with wife and six children, is left homeless and entirely bereft of the means of making his family comfortable. Much damage has been done to the growing timber. In numerous places immediately by us the wood is levelled to the ground.
Published in the Brooklyn Evening Star of Febru ary 4, 1847.
"Thursday morning, 6 o'clock, Feb. 4, 1847.
"THE WEATHER. From 8 A.M. yesterday to 5 P. M., the wires were from 540 to 55, and the thermometer from 44 to 50. At 6 P. M. both fell suddenly 30-an earthquake depression!
"The next hour the thermometer fell one degree and a half, and the wires half a degree.
"At 9, two hours after, the thermometer fell to 34 degrees, and the wires to 46.
At half-past 8 a storm of thunder and lightning rapidly passed over.
"A gale of wind blew most of yesterday and last night, and this morning presents the appearance of a snow storm operating at a distance.
"The wires and thermometer were both in equilibrium nearly the whole of Tuesday."
STORM AND LIGHTNING. Letter from the Hon. TUNIS G. BERGEN. NARROWS, L. I., Feb. 11, 1847. Dear Sir-Understanding that you keep a record of electric phenomena, I take the liberty of informing you that on Wednesday the 3d inst., during the violent storm of that day, towards evening, there was one vivid flash of lightning, and one heavy clap of thunder. I am credibly informed that the same struck the house of Coert Barre, in Gravesend, commencing at the chimney and following the same to the cellar so as to crack it: it also damaged some of the furniture in the house, and done some trifling injury to the building.
TUNIS G. BERGEN.
MR. VAN SCHAICKS PETITION.
A memorial was presented in the House of Assembly in January ult., purporting to be signed by Myndert Van Schaick and others asking that the rejected amendments to the City Charter may be again submitted to the people. Mr. Van Schaick informs us that he has not signed such a Petition, and that he voted against the amendments at the November Election-he adds further that he was applied to for his name to the Petition and refused. The House of Assembly should investigate this subject, and the member who has offered this petition should ascertain who has thus imposed upon him.
AMENDED CITY CHARTER.
Since the remonstrance against certain very objectionable provisions of the New York City Charter were transmitted to His EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR YOUNG, and by him transmitted to the HoN. THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, together with the official printed copy of these amendments, several of the Gentlemen who had signed a Petition to the Legislature asking to have the rejected amendments resubmitted to the people have held two meetings at the house of Thomas Suffern, Esq., and one meeting at the house of H. W. Field, Esq., and agreed to ask the Legislature to amend the amendments and have stricken out several of the provisions noticed in the remonstrance transmitted to His ExCELLENCY GOVERNOR YOUNG, thus sustaining the remonstrants, and with a frankness and candor highly commendable, thus admitting that the application to the Legislature for the loose resubmission of the Charter, was not well considered. We like to see good men reconsider a hasty act, and make amendments. We learn that these amendments thus made, have been transmitted by these Gentlemen to the Hon. the CHAIRMAN of the COMMITTEE on Cities and Villages, and that the Bill before reported with amendments, as set forth on page 690 has been recommitted. Thus the Anti-Assessment Committee have been nobly sustained in their movement in this matter, both by the Legislature and the Petitioners. Letter from the HON. JAMES TALLMADGE. NEW-YORK, Jan. 28, 1847.
Dear Sir-Your note, copy of Constitution, of City Charter, &c., are received. Confinement from an attack of inflamatory rheumatism, has disabled me. to give the matter proper attention. I intended to have seen you yesterday-but could not go out. I signed the petitition to submit the amendments to the people without much information, or considerationand not feeling committed to the amendments.
Since your remarks I have read the amendments. The question is now whether to keep the old or take the new. Both have defects. It is a choice only of evils. I am not now ready to choose. The State new Constitution, has many good parts. Yet the Court of Appeals, &c. &c., so defective, my vote was in the negative. I am not yet certain how to conclude between the old and the new charter. The powers in both are extensive, and unguarded-all depends (and neither is good) as it may be administered by honest men or tools and creatures of party-aiming only at office and plunder-and taxation on those accused of being rich men.
In haste, Respectfully yours, E. MERIAM, Esq., JAMES TALLMADGE. FEBRUARY 2d, 1847. DEAR SIR:-Your note of yesterday came to hand, and the subject duly considered. Last evening a meeting was held near us-I attended and presidedsome 20 were present. Suffern, Griswold, Astor, Benedict, Davies, Williams, Phoenix, Schermerhorn, &c. We meet again this evening to complete amendments, objections, &c. After to-morrow you can be informed of the doings &c., and the result of the consideration.
Signing the petition to the Legislature to submit it to the People, is not considered-a committal to the contents of the new Charter.
The result of our present meetings will show this. My Rheumatism and the wet weather embarrass my efforts and action very much.
E. MERIAM, Esq.
the superintendent of the poor of any county, or the overseers of the poor of any town, which city, town or county shall have incurred any expense or charge as aforesaid, shall be authorized in the name of the people of this State, to bring an action upon any such bond, and recover thereupon a sum sufficient to indemnify such city, town or county, for all such expenses or charges, incurred as aforesaid; but no such suit or recovery, shall be a bar to any other action, brought upon such bond for other expenses or charges, incurred in the support or maintenance of any such person, as aforesaid. And if any such master or commander shall neglect or refuse, to pay over to the said mayor, or in case of his absence, sickness, or inability to act, to the said commissioner, such sum of money as hereinbefore required, as commutation money, for each and every such person, within three days after the arrival of such vessel at the said port of NewYork; or in case a bond shall be required as aforesaid, shall neglect or refuse to give such bond within the said three days, every such master or commander, and the owner or owners, consignee or consignees, of such ship or vessel, severally and respectively, shall be subject to a penalty of five hundred dollars for each and every person, on whose account such commutation money, or such bond, may be demanded by such mayor or commissioner as aforesaid; to be sued for and recovered, in the same manner as is provided in the fifth section of the act hereby amended. And provided always, that in case any such person or persons, for whom bonds may have been given as aforesaid, shall become chargeable on any such city, county or town as aforesaid, it shall not be lawful for the said master or commander, owner or owners, consignee or consignees of such vessels, or the said sureties to take and remove such person or persons from the alms house of any such city or from such other places as may be designated by the proper authorities of any such city, county or town, for the reception and subsistence of such person or persons without the written consent of the mayor or commissioner of the almshouse of any such city or the keeper of the poor-house of any county in which such person or persons shall become a county charge, under a like penalty as last aforesaid, to be sued for and recovered in like manner, and provided also that the refusal or neglect of any such mayor, commissioner or keeper, to give such written consent, shall in no manner forfeit, impair or otherwise affect the validity of any such bond or bonds.
EMIGRANT TAX BILL,
And Bill delegating Legislative power, and to amend another Act. IN ASSEMBLY. No. 73. February, 9, 1847. [Reported by Mr. Develin, from the standing committee on the judiciary-read twice, and committed to the committee of the whole.] AN ACT
To amend an act entitled "An act concerning passengers in vessels coming to the port of New-York," passed February 11, 1824.
The People of the State of New-York, represented in Senate and Assembly do enact as follows:
SECTION 1. The first section of the act entitled "An act concerning passengers in vessels coming to the port of New-York," passed February 11, 1824, is hereby amended so as to read as follows:
Every master or commander of any ship or vessel arriving at the port of New-York from any country out of the United States, or from any of the United States other than this State, shall within twenty-four hours after the arrival of such ship or vessel in said port, make a report in writing on oath or affirmation, to the mayor of the city of New-York, or in case of his sickness, absence or inability to serve, to the commissioner of the alms-house department of said city, of the name, place of birth, and last legal residence, age and occupation, of every person not being a citizen of the United States, and who shall have arrived at any place in the United States, from any foreign country within the last preceding twelve months, and who shall not have previously paid any sum of money under or by virtue of any of the provisions of this act, or been bonded under the act hereby amended, and also of all such passengers as aforesaid, as shall have landed or been suffered or permitted to land, from any such ship or vessel, at any place during such voyage, or have been put on board or suffered or permitted to go on board of any other ship, vessel or boat, with the intention of proceeding to said city, under the penalty on such master or commander, and the owner or owners, consignee or consiguees, of such ship or vessel, severally and respectively, of seventy-five dollars for every person neglected to be reported as aforesaid, and for every person whose name, place of birth, and last legal residence, age and occupation, or either or any of such particulars, shall be falsely reported as aforesaid, to be sued for and recovered as hereinafter provided.
§ 2. The second section of the said act, is hereby amended so as to read as follows:
It shall be the duty of the said mayor, or in case of his absence, sickness or inability to serve, for the said commissioners to require by a short endorsement on the report of every such master or commander of any such ship or vessel, to pay to the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the said city of New-York, the sum of one dollar, as commutation money for each and every such passenger so as aforesaid, arriving at said city, and in case any of said passengers are decrepid or infirm or likely to become a permanent charge on said city, then, and in all such cases, further to require by such endorsement as aforesaid, every such master or commander to become and be bound by a bond with two sufficient sureties, (who shall justify before, and to the satisfaction of the said mayor or said commissioner, that they are each residents of the city and county of New-York, and are each worth in real estate, double the penalty of said bond, over and above all liabilities, and all other amounts, for which they may at the time, be bound ;) to the people of the state of New-York, in such sum as the said mayor, or in case of his absence, or sickness, or inability to act, as the said commissioner may think proper; not exceeding three hundred dollars for each passenger, so decrepid, infirm, or likely to become a permanent charge on said city; and to indemnify and save harmless, each and every city, town and county in this state, from all and every expense and charge, which shall or may be incurred by any such city, town, or county, for the maintenance and support of every such person, and for the maintenance and support of the child or children of any and every such person, which may be born after such importation, in case any such person, or any such child or children shall at any time within five years from the date of such bond, become chargeable to any such city, town or county, or either or any or them.
And the mayor, or common council of any city, or
3. It shall not be lawful for any magistrate or other officer in the said city of New-York, having authority to make commitments of vagrants, to commit any person not a citizen of the United States as a vagrant, until the said magistrate or officer shall have ascertained whether a bond, as aforesaid, has been given for such person; and it shall appear, that a bond has been given as aforesaid, within five years for such person, such magistrate, or other officer, shall not commit the said person as a vagrant; but shall and is hereby authorized to give a permit to such person, to enter and remain in the alms-house of said city, or such other place as may be designated for the subsistence and support of paupers as aforesaid; and every permit so given as last aforesaid, upon which such person or persons shall enter the said alms-house, or other place as aforesaid, shall be deemed a breach of such bond.
4. The said mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the city of New-York, are hereby authorized and empowered to pass all such laws and ordinances, as in their judgment may be necessary or proper, to carry into full effect the act hereby amended; and to prescribe penalties for the non-observance or violation of any such ordinance; not to exceed one hundred dollars for each passenger or person, to whom such non-observance or violation may relate.
5. All and every of the provisions of the said act, not inconsistent herewith, are hereby declared to be and to continue and remain in full power and effect. 6. This act shall take effect immediately.
In the midst of a grievous famine in Ireland-the Corporation of the City of New-York are urging the State Legislature to levy a tax upon the unfortunate emigrant who has the means of reaching our shores to obtain bread for himself and children. What inconsistency!!!
The Emigrant Passenger Bill on this page is a violation of the Constitution of the United States, See 12 Wheaton 419,; also Sec. 13, of Art. 7, of the Constitution of this State, and also of Sec. 16 and 17 of Art. 3.
PUBLIC STOCKS OF THE UNITED STATES EXEMPT FROM TAXATION.
On pages 353 and 354 of this volume, we published the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in which it was decided that the Stock issued by the Government of the United States is not liable to taxation by States or Corporations.
In the present number of this Gazette page 681 we have reprinted the opinion of the Court delivered by Chief Justice Marshall, but omitted to state the case in which the question was adjudicated.
The decision was made in 1829, in the suit of Weston and others, vs. The City Council of Charleston, S. C.
There were two questions involved in this suitthe first was that of Jurisdiction, the second, the liability of the Stock to taxation.
It was an application for an injunction to restrain the City Council of Charleston and their officers from collecting the tax by proceedings commenced in a local Court, and subsequently carried up to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The cause was twice argued by order of the Court on account of its importance. The Court sustained the jurisdiction, and decided that United States Public Stocks are not liable to taxation by States or Corporations.
The cause is fully reported in 2 Peters, 449.
CURRENCY AND EXCHANGES. The author of a very valuable treatise upon currency, who signs "PUBLIUS," states that in 1839, during the short crops in England, the Bank of England became a borrower of the Bank of France.
The present year, during a scarcity of food on the Continent, the Bank of France has become borrower of the Bank of England.
England is now sending gold to the United States to buy bread-a few years ago efforts were made to induce Congress to prohibit the exportation of specie. In the Old World when famine prevailed, Pharoah having all the grain, obtained all the money, all the cattle, all the land, and then the people as slaves.
RAIL ROAD STOCKS.
Public policy requires that Rail Road Stocks should be exempt from taxation. Rail Roads are a public benefit, and the making of them cannot consistently be undertaken by Government, the Government should therefore encourage individuals who have capital to benefit the public by its outlay in Rail Roads of such is the Albany and Hudson; and NewYork and Erie Rail Roads. Rail Roads increase the value of real estate to a far greater amount than the cost of the road-it is therefore the exemption of the Stock from taxation would not lessen the public revenue, but increase it by producing more value in real estate to swell the tax list.
The public spirited citizens who are making great efforts to get a Rail Road made on the bank of the Hudson; and these now engaged in completing the Erie Rail Road; and those also who are moving with the St. Lawrence Rail Road, should be liberally dealt with by the State Legislature, while they are thus striving so nobly for the best interests of the great commonwealth."
PUBLISHED BY THE ANTI-ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE AND DISTRIBUTED GRATUITOUSLY.
EDITED BY E. MERIAM.]
NEW-YORK CITY CHARTER
The Bill for authorising a re-submission of the Amendments of the City Charter framed by the City Convention and subsequently rejected by the people, again to the same people, has been passed by the Senate and sent to the house of Assembly for concurrence, there it was referred to the standing committee on cities and villages to which also was referred the remonstrances set forth on page 687 of this series. The Committee reported the bill with numerous amendments, and it was subsequently recommitted to the same Committee on the application of several of the original petitioners who became satisfied by a re-examination of the new charter that it is highly objectionable. The Committee made the amendments as below and again reported the bill. These are the amendments referred to in Gen. Tallmadge's letters. See ante. pg. 695.
STATE OF NEW-YORK.
February 19, 1837. (G. O. No. 148.)
[Engrossed bill from the Senate-read twice, and referred to the committee on the incorporation of cities and villages; reported on favorably by Mr. BLODGETT, from said committee, with amendments; which, with the bill, were ordered printed, and the bill committed to the committee on the whole: recommitted to the committee on the incorporation of cities and villages; reported on by MR. BLODGETT, from said committee, with amendments, and again committed to the committee of the whole.
NEW-YORK, MARCH 15, 1847.
"The common council may provide by law for the division of the city into common council election districts; each district containing as near as may be, an equal number of inhabitants, which said law after being so passed shall be submitted to the electors, and if approved by a majority of the voters, the same shall become a law; each district shall thenceforth be entitled to elect one alderman and one assistant alderman, and such other charter officers as may hereafter be provided for by law.
Sec. 6th, Art. 1. Strike out the word "one," on the ninth line, and insert the word "two." Fourth Amendment.
Sec. 7th, Art. 1. Strike out on the fourth line, the words" tax or."
Fifth Amendment. Sec. 9th, Art. 1. The section shall read as follows: * Annual appropriations shall be made by the common council by law, for every branch and object of city expenditure; but no additional appropriations shall be made, except in the event of pestilence or invasion; when, for such purpose, occasional appropriations may be made: and no money shall be drawn from the treasury, except the same shall have been previously appropriated to the purpose for which it was drawn, nor unless the appropriation shall be based upon specific and detailed statements, furnished in writing. by the several heads of departments: Every warrant drawn upon the city treasury, shall specify the appropriation under which it is drawn, and the date of the ordinance making the same."
Sec. 10th, Art. 1. The section shall read as follows: "No money shall be borrowed on the credit of the corporation, unless the common council shall by law, direct the same, in anticipation of the revenues of the year, in which the same shall be borrowed; and shall provide in the same law, for repaying the same out of such revenue; such loan shall not exceed in amount, twenty-five per cent. of such revenue; but money may be raised by loan, whenever a law providing for the same, shall be passed in each board, by a majority of all the members elected, and shall be approved by the electors, at any charter election.
Sec. 11th, Art. 1. This section shall read as follows: "The common council shall have power, and it shall be their duty to pass all proper and necessary laws for regulating the arriving, landing, bonding and commutation of passengers, for regulating emigrant boarding houses, passengers, agents, runners, and all other persons engaged in the business of bringing or keeping, or forwarding emigrants; for regulating common schools, and providing for their support; and all such other laws for the management, good government, and general welfare of the city, as are not, or may not be prohibited by, or inconsistent with, the Constitution of the United States, or the Constitution of this State, or any law thereof; and to affix penalties to the violation of any city law; but such penalties shall in no instance exceed imprisonment in the city prison for sixty days, and a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars."
Sec. 18th; Art. 1. Strike out the whole section.
Sec. 23, Art. 1. Add to the last line of the section, as follows:
"Provided, The Legislature shall concur in the same, by an act to be passed for that purpose, at the next session thereafter."
[VOL. I.....No. 48.
Sec. 8th, Art. 3. Add to this section the following words:
"And that such reports be published." Eleventh Amendment.
Sec. 9th, Art. 2. This section shall read as follows, commencing at the tenth line, after the word “assessments."
"There shall be a bureau in this department, the chief officer of which shall be the city surveyor, and in which there shall be an assistant city surveyor: It shall be the duty of the said officers to make for the use of the city, all maps and surveys necessary for assessments of every description, and to file away and preserve for the use of the city, all maps and other property belonging to said department; and the city surveyor and assistant city surveyor, together with the street commissioner, or assistant street commissioner, shall be the commissioners for making all estimates and assessments for opening, widening, grading and altering all avenues and streets; and if such avenue or street shall be north of Thirteenth street, the assessment shall be confined to the street or avenue to be opened, widened, graded or altered; but no such assessment shall exceed fifty per cent. of the value of the property assessed for such improvement; and they shall perform such other duties as shall devolve upon them by virtue of said office, or be required by the common council: There shall be a bureau in this department, the chief officer of which shall be called the superintendent of cleaning streets and sewers."
Sec. 19th, Art. 2d. This section shall read as follows: "All valuation of real and personal estate, by the assessors of a ward, or by the board of assessors, and all assessments and awards shall be open to public inspection, at least twenty days, by public notice thereof, before being certified to the proper department: And the assessments made by the assessors, for the city taxes. shall be made between the first day of January and the first day of May, in each year."
Sec. 20th, Art. 2. Strike out the word "seven," on the last line, and insert the word “ten.”
Sec. 26th, Art. 2. Strike out the word "taken," on the first line, and insert the word "required."
cut off, for I could see part of the first line of another section. It was presented simply as a memorial and the appendage of a bill was not mentioned.]
The above Bill is wrong in principle and defective in all its details.
Sec. 4th, Art. 3. Strike out the whole section. Strike out section five, of article three, and insert, "No justice of the marine court, or assistant justice or clerk of said court, nor the clerk or partner of any such justice, assistant justice or clerk, shall be permitted to practice in the court of which he shall be such justice, assistant justice or clerk; and the violation of this provision shall incur a forfeiture of such office." Twentieth Amendment.
Sec. 8th, Art. 3. This section shall read as follows: "The several special justices for the peace, and the justices of the marine court, and their clerks now in office, shall continue in office until the expiration of their present term of office, and until their successors in office shall be elected and qualified.
Sec. 10th, Art. 3. Strike out on the tenth and eleventh lines, the following words:
"In addition to the salary herein provided."
Sec. 11th, Art. 3. Strike out the whole section; and in the second section of the act hereby amended, strike out the following: "a special election to be held therein, on the second Tuesday of February next," and insert the following:
"The charter election in said city, on the second Tuesday of April next."
Also, strike out the word" special," where it occurs the second time in said section, and insert the word "charter."
ANOTHER TAX BILL. ASSEMBLY,
Saturday Feb. 20, 1847.
Copy of a Bill introduced as a memorial from the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New-York, by WILSON SMALL, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New, York for a law taxing personal property in this State and copy of bill submitted by them. DAVID S. JACKSON, Acting Mayor. An Act relative to the Assessment and Taxation of of personal property. Be it enacted, &c. &c.
SECTION 1. Every person or firm having a known abode or place of business within any of the counties of this State, and who shall reside, or the members of which firm or any of them shall reside in any other county of this State, or elsewhere, shall be assessed and taxed in the town or ward within which such place of abode or place of business is situated for his or her personal property contained in such town or ward or for the capital invested in their business in the same manner as residents of such county are taxed and assessed for the personal estate belonging to them.
2. Every person who shall be assessed and taxed either individually or as one of a firm under the first section of this act, shall nevertheless if a resident within this State be liable to taxation in the county in which he or she may actually reside: and the assessors of the town or ward in which such persons shall actually reside shall assess such person for his or her personal property contained in such town or ward in the same manner as other actual residents therein are taxed or assessed.
§ 3. All persons and firms having a known place of business within any county of this State and acting as agent or agents for any person or persons residing out of this State or for any corporation created by any law of any foreign state or country and who shall possess any personal property belonging to such non-resident persons or foreign corporations shall be taxed and assessed in the town or ward within which their place of business is situated for the personal property so possessed by them within such town or ward in the same manner as if such personal property actually belonged to such agent or agents.
REMARK. [There was more added, as I conclude, and then
The application of the corporation of the city of New-York to the Legislature of the State to pass an act in relation to Buffalo, Rochester and other cities is without precedent.
The tax laws of the State are very defective, but the commission provided for in the State Constitution to codify the laws will have the subject before them for deliberate consideration-the corporation of the city of New-York were not a commission to codify,
The Bill will be injurious to the city of N. York if it be. comes a law and besides it is so loose and inadequate that it will be a complete entanglement of the tax laws.
It seeks to tax country produce in the hands of the Commission Merchant, and funds sent here from abroad to buy grain.
UNDER THE NEW CONSTITUTION.
Mr. Hadley, Chairman of the Committee on Banks and Insurance Companies has reported a very important Bill for Safety Fund Banks. This Bill is much approved-it is a very well drawn bill and does much credit to the Hon. Chairman.
February 10, 1847. (G. O. No. 98.)
[Reported by Mr. Hadley, from the committee on banks and insurance companies-read twice, and committed to the committee of the whole.]
In relation to the Banks under the Safety Fund. The People of the State of New-York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
SECTION 1. Any number of persons, not less than thirteen in number, may associate and form an incorporated safety fund bank, in the manner herein prescribed.
2. Such persons shall file in the office of the Secretary of State, a declaration signed by all the corporators,expressing their intention to form a safety fund bank; which declaration shall also comprise a copy of the charter proposed to be adopted by them; and shall publish a notice of such their intention, for at least three months, in a public newspaper, in the county in which such bank is proposed to be located.
3. Every charter so adopted, shall be a copy "verbatim," of the charter heretofore granted by the Legislature, to some one of the existing safety fund banks, with only such alteration of names, dates, and amounts, as circumstances shall render necessary.
§ 4, The charter thus filed by the corporators, shall be examined by the Secretary of State; and be certified by him to be a true copy of the charter heretofore granted by the Legislature, to some one of the safety fund banks, (specifying the name of the bank whose charter is thus copied,) excepting the alteration of names, dates and amounts, as specified in section three.
shall certify under oath, that the whole capital of the bank has been paid in, and is possessed by it in money. Copies of such certificates shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State, and in the office of the clerk of the county in which the bank is to be located.
8. The circulating notes of all safety fund banks, shall be registered and countersigned in the office of the Comptroller, and the bank-note plates of each bank, shall remain in his custody.
9. The proportion of issues to capital, which shall be allowed to safety fund banks, shall be that which is prescribed in the act of May 16th, 1837, for the safety fund banks then existing.
10. All existing, or newly formed safety fund banks, shall contribute annually to the safety fund, and pay into the treasury for that purpose, on the first day of January in each year, one half of one per cent. upon their capitals respectively, until the aggregate of the safety fund shall amount to the sum of one million of dollars. The aggregate contributions of each bank to be equal in proportion to capital.
11. When the aggregate of the safety fund shall be one million of dollars, the contributions of such of the banks as shall have contributed to that sum in proportion to their respective capitals shall cease, unless and until the fund shall become impaired by losses. Whenever this shall occur, the contributions shall be resumed, and shall continue until the capital of the fund shall be restored to one million of dollars. And such banks as shall not have contributed to the said fund, in the aggregate, in proportion to their capitals, shall continue to contribute to the fund, although it may amount to one million of dollars or more, until the aggregate of their contributions shall bear proportion to their capitals.
12. The safety fund shall be invested by the Comptroller in the stock or public debt of the state of New-York, bearing interest at the rate of five per cent. or over, and whenever any loan shall be made by the State, the Comptroller shall have a right to subscribe at par, for so much thereof as shall be necessary to take up that part of the safety fund on hand in the treasury uninvested; and such subscriptions shall have the preference over all others offered for such loan.
13. So long as the safety fund shall remain unimpaired by losses, the interest or income received upon it, shall be paid over, semi-annually by the Comptroller to the several banks which have contributed to it, in proportion to their respective contri
14. No safety fund bank, hereafter to be formed, shall adopt the name of any other existing bank in this State, or one so nearly similar thereto, as to lead to misconception or confusion on the part of the public, of which the Secretary of State shall be the judge. 15. The capital of any safety fund bank shall not be reduced by its stockholders during the time for which it shall have been incorporated.
§ 16. Any existing safety fund bank, or any incorporated bank in this State, may at any time, extend its original charter for the space of twenty years from the time when it shall expire, by filing in the office of the Secretary of State a declaration under its corporate seal, signed by its president and directors, of its desire to do so, together with a copy of its charter; and by obtaining from the Comptroller his certificate that its capital is unimpaired; which fact shall be ascertained by the Comptroller upon application to him made, by such bank, either by a personal examination to be made by him, or by an examination by three persons not interested in such bank, to be specially appointed by the Comptroller, for that purpose, and to be certified by them under oath, and by obtaining from the Comptroller, his certificate that all dues from the bank to the safety fund, have been fully paid; copies of which certificates, together with a copy of the charter shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county in which the bank is situated. Any existing safety fund bank or incorporated bank whose capital stock has been reduced pursuant to the provisions of the 34th section of the act, entitled "An act to create a fund for the benefit of the creditors of certain monied corporations and for other purposes," passed 2nd April, 1829, may, upon renewing its charter under this act, increase its capital stock to such amount as the directors shall determine. not exceeding the amount which it was authorized to have before such reduction was made; and such increase may be made by applying the surplus funds
buted it to the absence of objects of comparison. It appears to me that it is fully as much owing to the transparency of the air confounding objects at different distances, and likewise partly to the novelty of an unusual degree of fatigue arising from a little exertion, habit being thus opposed to the evidence of I am sure that this extreme clearness of the air gives a peculiar character to the landscape, all objects appearing to be brought nearly into one plane, as in a drawing or panorama. The transparency is, I presume, owing to the equable and high state of atmospheric dryness. This dryness was shown by the manner in which wood work shrank (as I soon found by the trouble my Geological hammer gave me); by articles of food, such as bread and sugar, becoming extremely hard; and by the preservation of the skin and parts of the flesh of the beasts which had perished on the road. To the same cause we must attribute the singular facility with which electricity is excited. My flannel waistcoat, when rubbed in the dark, appeared as if it had been washed with phosphorus; every hair on a dogs back crackled; even the linen sheets, and leathern straps of the saddle, when handled, emitted sparks.
belonging to such bank rateably, to increase the shares thereof, so much as will be sufficient to restore the capital stock to the amount which such bank was entitled to hold, before such reduction was made; and if such surplus shall not be sufficient for that purpose, further calls may be made on such shares as were not, at the time such reduction was made, filled to the amount allowed by law.
17. All charters formed or extended under this act, shall be of twenty years duration each.
18. All safety fund banks shall be subject to the existing provision of the "Act to create a fund for the benefit of the creditors of certain monied corporations, and for other purposes," passed April 2d, 1829: and also to the provisions of such other general laws, regulating banking within this State, as have been since enacted, and are now in force; and also to the provisions of article 8th, of the amended constitution of the State of New-York.
19. It shall be the duty of the president or cashier of each incorporated bank, and of each banking association within the State of New-York, to prepare under oath, and deposit in the office of the clerk of the county in which said bank or banking association shall be located, on the first days of January and July in each year, a full and complete list of the stockholders in such bank or banking association; specifying the places of residence of the said stockholders respectively, together with the number of shares owned or held by them, and the aggregate amount of the same respectively.
20. The safety fund of one million of dollars, together with the continued liability of the safety fund banks to keep it good by annual contributions, as prescribed by the "Act to create a fund for the benefit of the creditors of certain monied corporations, and for other purposes," passed April 2d, 1829, and also by this act, and together with the personal liability of the stockholders as prescribed by the 8th article of the amended constitution of this State, are hereby declared to be the " ample security for the redemption of the notes," &c., contemplated by the 6th section of the said 8th article of the amended constitution.
21. No safety fund bank, institution or association, shall be allowed to be established, or continued, or to come in under the provisions of this act, which shall have been established for the mere purpose of eirculation, and which shall not have a regular office and do a legitimate business, by discounting paper, and performing the proper functions of a bank, at the place of its location, for the accommodation and use of the citizens of said place and immediate vicinity, and this section shall also apply to any bank, or association heretofore formed, or hereafter to be formed under the "Act to authorise the business of banking," passed April 18, 1838, or any of the acts amendatory thereof. 22. This act shall take effect immediately.
(Continued from page 674.)
When nearly on the crest of the Portillo, we were enveloped in a falling cloud of minute frozen spicula. This was very unfortunate, as it continued the whole day, and quite intercepted our view. The pass takes its name of Portillo from a narrow cleft or doorway on the highest ridge, through which the road passes. From this point, on a clear day, those vast plains, which uninterruptedly extend to the Atlantic Ocean, can be seen. We descended to the upper limit of vegetation, and found good quarters for the night under the shelter of some large fragments of rock. We met here some passengers, who made anxious inquiries about the state of the road. Shortly after it was dark the clouds suddenly cleared away, and the effect was quite magical. The great mountains, bright with the full moon, seemed impending over us on all sides, as over a deep crevice: one morning, very early, I witnessed the same striking effect. As soon as the clouds were dispersed it froze severely; but as there was no wind we slept very comfortably.
The increased brilliancy of the moon and stars at this elevation, owing to the perfect transparency of the atmosphere, was very remarkable. Travellers having observed the difficulty of judging heights and distances amidst lofty mountains, have generally attri
March 23rd.-The descent on the eastern side of the Cordillera is much shorter or steeper than on the Pacific side; in other words, the mountains rise more abruptly from the plains than from the alpine country of Chile.
A level and brilliantly white sea of clouds was stretched out beneath our feet, shutting out the view of the equally level Pampas. We soon entered the band of clouds, and did not again emerge from it that day About noon, finding pasture for the animals, and bushes for firewood at Los Arenales, we stopped for the night. This was near the uppermost limit of bushes, and the elevation, I suppose, was between seven and eight thousand feet.
I was much struck with the marked difference between the vegetation of these eastern valleys and those on the Chilian side; yet the climate, as well as the kind of soil, is nearly the same, and the difference of longitude very trifling. The same remark holds good with the quadrupeds, and, in a lesser instance degree, with the birds and insects. I may the mice, of which I obtained thirteen species on the shores of the Atlantic, and five on the Pacific, and not one of them is identical. We must except all those species which habitually or occasionally frequent elevated mountains, and certain birds which range as far south as the strait of Magellan. This fact is in perfect accordance with the Geological history of the Andes; for these mountains have existed as a great barrier since the present races of animals have appeared, and therefore unless we suppose the same species to have been created in two different places, we ought not to expect any closer similarity between the organic beings on the opposite sides of the Andes than on the opposite shores of the ocean. In both cases, we must leave out of the question those kinds which have been able to cross the barrier, whether of solid rock or salt water.
September 15th.-This archipelago consists of ten principal islands, of which five exceed the others in size. They are situated under the equator, and between five and six hundred miles westward of the coast of America. They are all formed of volcanic rocks; a few fragments of granite, curiously glazed and altered by the heat, can hardly be considered as an exceptiou. Some of the craters surmounting the larger islands are of immense size, and they rise to a height of between three and four thousand feet. Their flanks are studded by innumerable smaller orifices. I scarcely hesitate to affirm that there must be in the whole archipelago at least two thousand craters, These consist either of Lava and Scoriae, or of finely stratified, sandstone-like tuff. Most of the latter are beautifully symmetrical, they owe their origin to eruptions of volcanic mud without any lava: it is a remarkable circumstance that every one of the twenty eight tuff craters which were examined had their southern sides either much lower than the other sides, or quite broken down and removed. As all these craters apparently have been formed when standing in the sea, and as the waves from the trade-wind and the swell from the open Pacific here unite their forces on the southern coasts of all the islands, this singular uniformity in the broken state of the craters,
composed of the soft and yielding tuff, is easily explained.
Considering that these islands are placed directly under the equator, the climate is far from being excessively hot. This seems chiefly caused by the singularly low temperature of the surrounding water, brought here by the great Southern Polar current. Excepting during one short season very little rain falls, and even then, it is irregular; but the clouds generally hang low. Hence, whilst the lower parts of the islands are very sterile, the upper parts, at a height of a thousand feet and upwards, possess a damp climate and a tolerably luxuriant vegetation. This is especially the case on the windward sides of the islands, which first receive and condence the moisture from the atmosphere.
In the morning (17th) we landed on Chatham Island, which, like the others, rises with a tame and rounded out line, broken here and there by scattered hillocks, the remains of former craters. Nothing could be less inviting than the first appearance. A broken field of black basaltic lava, thrown into the most rugged waves, and crossed by great fissures, is everywhere covered by stunted sunburned brushwood, which shows little signs of life. The dry and parched surface, being heated by the noon-day sun, gave to the air a close and sultry feeling, like that from a stove: we fancied even that the bushes smelt unpleasantly. Although I diligently tried to collect as many plants as possible, I succeeded in getting very few; and such wretched looking little weeds would have better become an arctic than an equatorial Flora. The brushwood appears, from a short distance, as leafless as our trees during winter; and it was some time before I discovered that not only almost every plant was now in full leaf, but that the greater number were in flower. The commonest brush is one of the Euphorbiaceae: an acacia, and a great odd looking cactus are the only trees which afford any shade. After the season of heavy rains the islands are said to appear for a short time partially green. The volcanic island of Fernando Noronha, placed in many respects under nearly similar conditions is the only other country where I have seen a vegetation at all like this of the Galapagos islands.
The Beagle sailed round Chatham Island, and anchored in several bays. One night I slept on shore on a part of the island where black truncated cones were extraordinarily numerous: from one small eminence I counted sixty of them, all surrounded by craters more or less perfect. The greater number consisted merely of a ring of red scoriae or slags, cemented together, and their height above the plain of lava was not more than from fifty to a hundred feet: none had been very lately active. The entire surface of this part of the island seems to have been permeated, like a sieve, by the subterranean vapours: here and there the lava, whilst soft, has been blown into great bubbles, and on the other parts, the tops of the caverns similarly formed have fallen in, leaving circular pits with steep sides. From the regular form of the many craters, they gave to the country an artificial appearance, which vividly reminded me of those parts of Staffordshire where the great iron foundries are most
STERILITY AND SALT.
Further inland, during the whole ride of fourteen leagues, I saw only one other vegetable production, and that was a most minute yellow lichen, growing on the bones of the dead mules. This was the first true desert which I had seen the effect, on me was not impressive; but I believe this was owing to my having become gradually accustomed to such scenes, as I rode northward from Valparaiso, through Coquimbo to Copiapo. The appearance of the country was remarkable, from being covered by a thick crust of common salt, and of a stratified saliferous alluvium, which seems to have been deposited as the land slowly rose above the level of the sea. The salt is white, very hard, and compact: it occurs in water-worn nodules projecting from the agglutinated sand, and is associated with much gypsum. The appearance of this superficial mass very closely resembled that of a country after snow, before the last dirty patches are thawed. The existence of this crust of a saluable substance over the whole face of the country shows how extraordinarily dry the climate must have been for a long period.