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May 16, 18 6
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday,
191 Broadwav, IST. Y.
ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Comruunieations should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Busmess Manager.
MAY 16, 1835.
The sale of cotton goode on T]iursday passed off successfully, the
prices being almost up to the private offerings. The manufacturÂ¬
ers who sold have reason to be satisfied for they have got rid of
their goods, but it is doubtful if tho trade generally will be advanÂ¬
taged. There will be less demand for other goods, and another sale
of the sarae kind would doubtless show a weaker market. The
domestic goods business is not in a flourishing condition, for the
consumptive demand is far below the supply.
The gas consumers have been again defeated at Albany under
circumstances which clearly prove that the Legislature was bribed.
The consumers must keep up their organization and try it again.
They can easily defeat a majority of the city members who are in
the pay of the gas company. The next Legislature carmot be so
bad as the present one.
Mayor Grace deserves credit for his recent appointments. All of
them are not ideal officers, but in practical politics it is not always
possible to confer office only upon the fittest. Party and personal
considerations will have their weight. The choice of Michael
Coleman for Tax Commissioner was the very best that could be
made. Mr. Co'eman has had fifteen years experience, is an officer
of the highest integrity and has long been the brains of the comÂ¬
mission. He is thoroughly equipped for the responsible office to
which he was appointed. There was some disappointment that
Mr. William B. Asten was not reappointed, but while an economical
and valuable Tax Commissioner, it has often appeared as if he made
unnecessary trouble in the Board of Estimates. There was a susÂ¬
picion that he had newspaper applause in view quite as much as
the interest of the city. Mr. Coleman is all that Mr. Asten was
and a good deal more besides.
It would be useful if there was an unpractical non-partisan investiÂ¬
gation into the expenses and government of New York City. It is
quite true that our expenditure is enormous judged by that of
other cities, that our salary lists have too many sinecures, and that
there is unnecessary waste in all the departments of the city govÂ¬
ernment. But a commission composed of Albany politicians repreÂ¬
senting one party is open to the suspicion of being a blackmailing
concern. We have had many legislative commissions, and much
valuable information has been elicited by them, but they have
never carried the weight with the public or led to such important
results as have the labors of the English Parliamentary Commis-
eions, which are always made up of experts, not members of ParliaÂ¬
ment. The State Senate Commission of Inquiry may bring to light
many interesting facts connected with the administration of affairs
in this city ; but who will be able to tell what abuses have been
deliberately ignored ?
We have repeatedly urged that the large taxpayers of New York
should be organized into a permanent body, recognized by law and
charged with the duty of examining every bill, including those for
salaries, presented to the city treasury for payment. By examining
the work performed for the money charged we could soon learn
how much was wasted, but the politicians will probably never perÂ¬
mit such an organization to come into existence. Still, if the large
taxpayers have public spirit enough, they might voluntarily raise
funds and do this work themselves or get the Eeal Estate Exchange
to do it for them.
The proceedings in the Surrogate's Court having for their object
the plunder of the estate of the late Jesse Hoyt by certain so-called
eminent counsel is an outrage on the moral sense of the comÂ¬
munity. What makes the matter the more monstrous is that the
instrument for wrecking the estate is a poor girl who has been in
an insane asylum, and whose conduct since has brought her before
the courts repeatedly as a person of unbalanced, if not of unsound
mind. " The distinguished counsel" who are profiting by this
litigation are among the foremost men in the nation, but in what
respect does their conduct and motive differ from that of the meanest
Tombs shyster ? In each case it is the desire to make money withÂ¬
out any respect to moral considerations. It looks as if this trial wUl
bave tbe same end ae djd tbe litigation in tbe Taylor 'will cftse, wbere a
couple of weak-minded women were played upon by "eminent"
legal practitioners until not only was a large esta'e dissipated, but
brought in debt to the lawyers. The most disheartening feature of
these cases is the stolid indifference of the public and the press.
The robbery goes on before their eyes and there is no one to cry
shame. Every one of the legal sharks engaged in this nefarious
business, if they had their deserts, would be sent to States Prison.
Why should Fish and Ward be punished, and these prcifessionals
allowed tl-make away with their plunder? The former availed
themselves of the defects in our commercial machinery to spend
money which did not belong to them; the latter are taking advanÂ¬
tage of the shortcomings of our legal machinery to plunder the
estate of a dead mau. To their credit, be it said, neither Fish nor
Ward took any advantage of an imbecile girl. The persons they
robbed were shrewd business men who ought to have been able to
take care of themselves.
A vigorous protest from an exchange will be found in "Our
World of Business " against the wrecking of our raUway companies
through the machinery of the courts. Bad and irresponsible as has
been corporate management, it has been integrity itself compared
with the plundering methods made use of by receivers under the
sanction of the judiciary. Receivers have been the bane of bankÂ¬
rupt roads. The law favors the bondholders by giving them the
first lien on the property of the corporation. Without this guarantee
our magnificent railroad system could never have been constructed;
but the courts have struck at the very life of the railroads by perÂ¬
mitting receivers to issue certificates for other purposes than the
mere running of the road. They have done all they could to proÂ¬
tect junior securities in defiance of the clear intention of the law.
The article on the subject we republish from the Commercial
Bulletin calls attention to a great and growing evil.
A stop should be put to the practice of charging our judges with
business cases. Because in the past the bench was noted for its
integrity and freedom from interested motives, it has of late years
been assigned the duty of taking charge of corporations which were
in trouble and manipulating business interests in various ways.
Now lawyers and judges are proverbially bad business men and the
history of our bankruptcy courts and of the legal receiverships is
simply appalling. Jobbery and robbery is the rule. Some day the
whole story will be told and it will be found that the worst thing
you can do with an embarrassed estate is to put it under the manÂ¬
agement of judges and lawyers. It is time a public sentiment was
created divorcing the judiciary from any responsibility in the manÂ¬
agement of property. Their business is to decide disputes involving
questions of law and equity, but in every possible way should they
be guarded against the temptations of the commercial world.
A correspondent is apprehensive that the recent test of the
Brooklyn Bridge as to its capacity for carrying Pullman car sand
freight trains, was the forerunner of an attempt to convey freight
trains at night from the Grand Central Depot, via the bridge, to the
Brooklyn warehouses in South Brooklyn. We doubt whether the
Central Railroad people are insane enough to urge any such scheme,
but our correspondent is probably justified in thinking that a sysÂ¬
tem of tunnels under the North and East Rivers and the Narrows
may be the solution of the warehousing problem in the neighborÂ¬
hood of New York. In other words, the great Western Railway
lines wUl not be satisfied permanently with the barrier of the North
River between them and the commerce of this port. Their objecÂ¬
tive point is New York City, and incidentally the warehouse region of
Brooklyn. The work on the Hudson River tunnel has been resumed,
and it is said that a tunnel under the Narrows will soon be in order.
Bridges over the North River are out of the question, but one wUl
doubtless in time be built over the East River at Blackwell's Island
connecting the railway system of Long Island with the New York
Central at the depot in Forty-second street.
Brooklyn has an elevated road at last. It will undoubtedly be a
good thing for our sister city, and will be of great advantage to the
real estate owners along the route. Whether it wUl pay the stockÂ¬
holders is, however, still an open question. One company went
into bankruiitcy in trying to build the road. This benefited the
succeeding company, for it purchased some experience cheap and
becamo heir to what plant there was at a very low rate. But this
new enterprise can expect no such traffic as the Manhattan ComÂ¬
pany of this city. Population is dense on this island, and is pracÂ¬
ticaUy confined in its growth to the region reached by the "L"
roads. Brooklyn, on the other hand, is a city covering a large
surface, and while population along the route of the road wiU
thicken, the number of passengers will relatively be always far
less than on the New York roads; but, profitable or not, other
elevated roads will be built, for they will he a great public convenÂ¬
ience, and the people whose interest it is lo construct such strucÂ¬
tures never find any insuperable difficulties in tbe way of raising