« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
are, in fact, threatened with unavoidable de- if through any cause the cost of transportation struction. That is to say, an area inclosing is raised two dollars a ton, the products of the from twelve to fourteen hundred square miles region so affected must by this change be put of fertile territory is indirectly damaged, and at an increased disadvantage equa to the reis menaced with ultimate destruction.
moval of their lands from a market a distance Nor is this the whole of the situation, for represented by the enhanced ratio of transthe injury done to the Sacramento Valley ex- portation. Their lands are in fact thereby put tends, by a reflex action, to the low lands of the as much farther from the market as two dolSan Joaquin, and to the lands about the upper lars will carry a ton of wheat, and the consebays by a direct movement. It may, therefore, quence must be to lower the value of land exbe said without exaggeration that the indirect posed to such an impost. damage actually embraces an area extending An approximate estimate of the loss of values from Oroville and Chico to Benicia on the to be apprehended in this direction from the Strait of Carquinez.
destruction of the principal water-ways can not It is necessary to bear in mind that the de- be fairly stated at less than $100,000,000. struction of the navigability of the Sacramento This leads to a statement of the value and River is involved. This would deprive the importance of hydraulic mining, which is the whole of Northern California of competition cause of the present and prospective damage in transportation. The wheat-crop alone of to the State. This mining has been carried on that region may be estimated at five hundred for twenty-five years, and the present annual thousand tons. "It may also be fairly calculated output of the hydraulic mines is estimated at that the removal of competition would result from $12,000,000 to $14,000,000. It is therein a rise of freight-rates to the extent of $2 per fore apparent that an estimate of $150,000,000 ton. Thus, then, an additional tax of $1,000,- for the whole period of their working is not 000 a year on the movement of the harvest extravagant. It is equally clear that while no alone is involved in this question, as concerns accurate estimate of their future output can be Northern California. An illustrative instance made, it is safe to assume that it will be larger of the influence of river improvements on than it has been in the past, since the extent of freight-rates is to be found in the effect pro- gravel-bearing claims remaining unworked is duced by deepening the channel at the mouth practically unlimited, and since many very exof the Mississippi. The competition offered by tensive workings have either just been opened that river after the opening of its mouth reduced or are not yet opened so as to be largely prothe aggregate freight charges on the first year's ductive. Enough is known to make it plain that products of the Mississippi Valley $50,000,000. the hydraulic mines have contributed greatly
Taking the counties of Colusa, Placer, Sac- to the prosperity of the State, and will contribramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba, Butte, and ute still more largely in the future, if suffered Tehama, and estimating the assessed value of to proceed. A very considerable population is the real estate other than town lots, and the supported by these mines, estimated at 30,000, improvements, and of the town lots and their and the indirect support is very much more improvements, and making what seems a suffi- extensive. The counties in which the principal cient deduction from the aggregate, it is esti- hydraulic mines are situated may be said to demated that the property in these counties threat- pend almost entirely upon the mining industry. ened with partial or complete destruction can All values in those counties are therefore denot properly be put at a lower amount than pendent upon the prosperity of this interest. $60,000,000
What this involves may be perceived by refThe evidence furnished by the State and con erence to the comprehensive decline of valsulting engineers shows that the water-ways are ues in Virginia City consequent upon the in danger of destruction, and that, unless sus- depreciation of the mines on the Comstock tained and systematic treatment is applied to lode. In that case the mining population was the rivers, they will shortly cease to be naviga- thinned out, the value of real property fell to ble, and that both the Feather and Sacramento panic prices, and the general effect upon the Rivers are in a condition in which an unusual prosperity of the community was as disastrous flood might cause them to abandon their present as thongh every man in the city had been channels, and spread themselves abroad through directly interested in the mines. Similar rethe low lands between Knight's Landing or sults must always follow where the intimacy Grey's Bend and Suisun Bay, ruining the coun- of the relations between the various interests try everywhere, and changing the very face of is as great as in the mining counties of Califorthe State.
nia. The suppression of hydraulic mining, thereApart from the burden that would fall upon fore, would in all probability be productive of the northern region of the State by the re a general collapse throughout this region. Not moval of the means of competition by the riv- only would there ensue a positive and direct loss ers, this injury would affect a population of at to the State in the cessation of auriferous proleast one hundred and fifty thousand, of whom duction, but the entire industries, commercial one third would be directly and two thirds in- activities, and general civilization of the mindirectly concerned. The effect upon the value ing counties would be virtually destroyed, and of land can not be ignored. It is evident that the tax-paying as well as the wealth-producing
capacities of those counties would be paralyzed. districts to be aided ; the hydraulic miners It is, however, evident that the hydraulic min- were called upon for extra contributions, and ing interest is an important one. It may be a tax of five cents on the hundred dollars was said, as regards its annual output, to repre- made general throughout the State. sent a fixed capital of $100,000,000, and directly A large portion of the session of the Legislaand indirectly it affords support to a consider. ture was occupied in the discussion of the bill to able population. Even the farmers in the val- repeal the act, which, however, was defeated ley, who occupy lands on the verge of the min- on the first reading in the Assembly. eral area, owe a portion of their prosperity to The plans of the engineers embrace a systhese mines, which create a brisk" demand for tem of levees and cut-offs for the lower course their produce, and a demand the loss of which of the Sacramento, and a system of dams for would be severely felt.
the upper course.
It has never been preThe engineers were required to ascertain the tended that the dams without the levees, or extent of the injury, present and prospective, the levees without the dams, would bring about and whether remedial measures were availa- the results aimed at. But the works have only ble. Their reports have shown that the ex- been commenced a short time, and the dams tent and gravity of the damage and menace are alone bave been constructed. No engineer far greater than had been commonly supposed; bas claimed that the dams were capable by that it was possible to counteract the ill effects themselves of effecting a cure for the evil atof hydraulic mining by a systematic treatment tacked. On the contrary, all the engineers of the rivers; that such a systematic treatment have agreed that before any real relief can be of the rivers was necessary in any case, since had, the levees must be made strong enough to it would be impossible to meet the exigencies carry the food-waters of the river without of the situation by merely stopping hydraulic giving way. During the past winter no real mining.
test of the engineering plans was possible, inThe most formidable danger to the low lands asmuch as they were incomplete. Such a test is due to the deposit in the mountain-streams can not be applied until the lower river has and tributaries of enormous quantities of heavy been leveed scientifically—and this is not the sand, which is being washed down lower every work of a few months. The brush dams, howyear. The deposit of this sand must continue ever, have been so successful in holding back until the entire Sacramento Valley is covered the heavier débris, that the efficiency of that and destroyed, even though hydraulic mining kind of work can not be questioned seriously. should be stopped at once, until remedial meas- The inundation of the Sacramento Valley does ures are adopted. In fact, it may be asserted not show that the engineers made any mistake, that the stoppage of hydraulic mining in the for no steps had been taken to prevent such an present stage of the débris evil would produce inundation. The floods found no obstacles no alleviation whatever. There is a mass of but the old and thin and insufficient levees mining débris now collected in the cañons of which had been built piecemeal here and there, the mountains sufficient to cover the Sacra- and as a matter of course they soon overcame mento Valley completely a couple of feet deep, those frail barriers. and this matter will continue to be washed The report of the Board of Equalization down every winter until the beds of the river presented the first trustworthy data for ascerare entirely choked, and until the destruction taining the results of the revenue system put inflicted upon the valley agricultural lands has in operation by the new Constitution. Its become past relief or reparation.
framers believed that a great deal of property The surveys of the engineers resulted in as- had escaped taxation in the past, and they certaining the practicability of remedial meas were determined to make everybody pay in ures, but at the same time showed that the sub- the future. They imagined that this could be ject was too extensive to be dealt with locally. done by decreeing it, and so resolute and unIt was particularly insisted on by the engineers flinching were they in the prosecution of their that sustained and systematic treatment of the purpose that they refused to exempt from taxrivers must be undertaken, or that it would be ation even the shadows of property, but inuseless to attempt anything. While, therefore, sisted that everything which represented propthey held out the encouraging consideration erty should be assessed. It happened coincithat by such a systematic treatment the condi- dently that there prevailed a belief that land tion of the rivers might be made even better monopoly could be put an end to by taxation, than it had ever been, they contended that and to this end it was agreed that cultivated nothing less comprehensive than the methods and uncultivated land, of the same character they proposed would be adequate. It was and quality, should be assessed at the same estimated by the engineers that the expendi- rate when in contiguity. The taxation of ture required for the construction of suitable mortgages, the taxation of credits and stocks, works could not exceed $10,000,000, and that it the taxation of uncultivated land at the same might not exceed $5,000,000. What was known rate as cultivated, was to lighten the burden as the drainage bill' was prepared and passed of taxation on the masses by forcing the rich at the previous session of the Legislature. to bear their just share of the general load. This act levied a benefit assessment upon the How the new system succeeded, the State
Board of Equalization tells. For it has been murder had become one of the commonest incidents shown in the report that the ways in which of trade and manufacture. Nothing can be more hortaxation is escaped are more numerous than which manufacturers of all kinds appear to employ
rible than the cold indifference to consequences with ever before ; that while personal property has deadly and noxious materials. We are forced to conalways evaded assessment, real property has clude that there are in this country thousands upon now found it possible to follow the same
thousands of men who are perfectly willing to spread course; that the attempts to impose double death and disease broadcast over the community it in taxation have in a large number of cases been dling, cheating, substituting bad and sham for good and
so doing they can make a little larger profit. Swineluded by resort to shifts which resulted in genuine materials, are methods so usual as to be althe loss of even single taxation ; that the en- inost the rule. Adulterations enter into almost everydeavor to break up land monopoly, by taxing thing that is eaten, that is drunk, that is worn, that is uncultivated lands at the same rate as culti used. And disease and death go hand in hand with
adulteration everywhere. vated, has operated as a raid upon the small
Our children are poisoned by the dye-stuffs used farmers; that owing to the exemption of upon their dresses and their stockings. The candy growing crops from taxation, and the failure they eat is poisoned. The papers which we put on to provide for the assessment of the mature visiting or for social purposes are poisoned. The arti
our walls are poisoned. The cards which we use in crops, this important class of personal prop- ficial flowers our wives and daughters employ are poierty largely escapes taxation; that owing to the soned. The bread we eat is poisoned. The bakingambiguities and confusions of the new Consti- powders, of which some two hundred kinds are on tution, the Board of Equalization has been pre- which we put upon our tables are deadly. Our coffee, vented from equalizing assessments generally; that under the new system the State is at the canned goods are poisoned. Our candles, our oils, the
our tea, our sugar, our butter and cheese, all our mercy, first of the assessors, secondly of the cosmetics our women use so freely, are full of danger. tax-payers; that whether the assessments are The toys, the puzzles, the block maps, which we put made by the first or the second, the interests in the hands of our children, may carry destruction
with them. And as for the medicines with which disof the State appear to be equally subordinated;
ease is to be warded off, there is scarcely a genuine and it is apparent that some three or four hun- drug to be had anywhere. dred millions of property continue to pay no taxes whatever.
The attention of the Legislature was so enThe board wants some provision which will grossed with the drainage act that little time render the assessors intelligent or conscien- remained for the consideration of many other tious. That they are not so at present the important measures; consequently a final adboard thinks itself bound to conclude from the journment took place on March 4th, under the manner in which real estate has been assessed. provisions of the Constitution.
No appropriWith a unanimity and a perversity seldom ation bill was passed, nor an apportionment equaled and never surpassed, the assessors bill. The latter was required to conform to have reversed the new constitutional role in the returns of the recent census. So much imregard to cultivated and uncultivated land, and portant business remained to be considered, have in practice evidently assessed the former that the Governor, on March 24th, called an by the latter. But the most remarkable re
extra session of the Legislature, and appointed sult of all is the graduation of the assessments April 4th as the day on which it should comin accordance with the increase in size of the mence. The objects of this session were: farms. Everywhere the small farm has been 1. To enact a general appropriation bill, which assessed higher than the large one. In every shall contain no item or items of appropriation other county the value per acre of ten, twenty, and than such as are required to pay the salaries of the fifty-acre farms has been rated higher than that State officers, the expenses of the government, and of
the institutions under the exclusive control and manof the hundred, two-hundred, four-hundred, and agement of the State, for the thirty-third and thirtysix-hundred-and-forty-acre farms. The fact re fourth fiscal years. mains that the new rule has thus far failed, 2. To levy the rates of taxation, or, in the disand it is to be ascertained whether the princi- cretion of the Legislature, to provide that the State ple underlying it, or the method of appointing rate of taxation upon each one hundred dollars of taxassessors, is most at fault. In regard to the able property of the State, which, after allowing the latter, it must be admitted that thus far the per cent required by law to be allowed for delinquenplan of electing these officers has not resulted cies in and cost of collection of taxes, shall be sufficient well for the State. It is notorious that prop- upon and directed to be raised by the Legislature for
to raise the specific amount of revenue determined erty of all kinds escapes assessment.
the thirty-third and thirty-fourth fiscal years. A bill to authorize a commission to act on 3. To appropriate money to pay the deficiencies in the subject of the adulteration of food and appropriations for the support of the civil governmedicines was introduced in the House and ment of this State for the thirty-first and thirty-second
fiscal years. referred to the Committee on Epidemics and 4. To divide the State into senatorial, assembly, Diseases. Their report presented an alarming and congressional districts. state of affairs, of which the following state 5. To enact a general road law. ment contains some details :
6. To send appointments to the Senate for their
confirmation. The extent to which poisonous adulteration appears to be carried on in the United States is such
The extra session commenced on April 4th. that it would hardly be an exaggeration to say that in the Senate, the first business was the adop
VOL. XXI.-6 A
tion of a resolution to proceed to the election This extra session continued until May 14th. of officers for the session, by a vote of 19 to The bill for the apportionment of the State into 14. The House assembled at the same time, election districts failed to pass. Many efforts and the Speaker chosen at the previous session were made to legislate on subjects not embraced took the chair. A point of order was raised, in the proclamation of the Governor calling the that the House was not organized. The Chair session. The time of the Legislature was thus held the House to be regularly organized by its unnecessarily occupied, and some important officers all being in place as elected at the open- measures failed to pass. ing of the regular session. A motion was made The report of the Railroad Commissioners to notify the Senate of the organization of the was a clear statement of the difficulties encounHouse. A substitute was offered to this mo- tered by them, and of the conclusions forced tion, that the House proceed to organize by upon them by the study of the transportation electing certain officers. On a point of order question. They discovered, before they bad raised, the Chair ruled the motion by way of been at work long, that it was impossible to substitute out of order. The House, if not or- regulate freights and fares in an arbitrary and ganized, can not entertain the motion under sweeping way without producing far greater the prevailing organization. If the House had evils than any beretofore alleged to exist. desired to organize over, it could have done so They found also that to regulate transportaat twelve o'clock, and, if it should have done so tion charges on any other principles than those then, the Speaker is a usurper. However, hy which were already in operation, would necesconsent, debate would be heard on the resolu- sitate an entire reorganization of the whole tion. The following proceedings then took business, and would demand a knowledge and place:
a capacity such as that business has never deMr. Kellogg argued that the officers do not hold yeloped yet in any country, notwithstanding over; that an extra session, so far as officers are con its employment of the most acute intelligences. cerned, is a new Legislature, as they are elected not There were but two methods of procedure for a legislative term, but for the session.
Mr. May held that the officers hold over, and open to them. They might pander to the unthought there could be no doubt of it. This is the reasoning demand for a sweeping reduction of twenty-fourth, not the twenty-fifth Legislature. There charges, with the certainty that in so doing is no precedent that the officers lose place by ad- they must injure the public quite as much as journment sine die, except at the end of the term. The Senate re-elected this year, but it was a new
the railroads; or they might follow out the Senate, although composed of the same men as in the principles already established, and endeavor, twenty-third Senate.
through them, to reach results which would Mr. Freer held to the same views, and said the ad- benefit the public without injuring the corpojournment sine die was adjournment without day, but rations. They have chosen the second of these that did not cut off the terms when a day is given for
courses. reassembling. He read from Cushing's Elements” in support, and additional sections, showing that the
They point out, in vindication of their declerks hold (until removed by resolution) for the en- cision, that no commission appointed for simtire term for which the Legislature is elected. He ilar purposes has ever yet been able to arrive opposed reorganization because it would cause delay at any other general conclusion; that every and be revolutionary in character.
Mr. Griffiths favored reorganization. He cited the attempt to deal violently with the problem, journal of the House of Louisiana, March, 1878, then and to adjust it by sheer force, has failed convened in extra session, where the officials were re- disastrously; that every such failure has intained by resolution regularly passed. Also journal volved serious injury to the public interests; of the Iowa House, January, 1862, in extra session, and that the unavoidable deduction from all where, by resolution, the old officers, so far as deemed necessary, were reappointed. Also journal of the existing experience in this direction is, that Senate of Illinois, 1867, in extra session, when by equitable and reasonable methods are the only resolution certain officers were chosen. Also journal ones which can produce beneficial results. The of the House of Indiana, 1872, extra session, when the commissioners dwell upon the importance of House entered into a new election. He said if any doubt was left as to the matter, it might involve the understanding the principle of tho maximum laws passed, and so a reorganization had better be had. in transportation. They quote the maxim that There might also be officers who can be dispensed with high maximum means low minimum; they
Mr. Young had at first thought adjournment sine show that this is the secret of successful transdie dissolved the organization, but on examining the law he had come to the settled conviction that he had portation; that, in fact, it is only possible to been in error. Adjournment is a term somewhat con- provide for the carriage of low-priced staples fused in some minds ; adjournment is not prorogation, at minimum rates by fixing the rates on highnot dissolution. The members-elect constitute the class merchandise correspondingly high. Legislature, even when not in session, and hence the power given in the Constitution to call the Legislature the Legislature on Prisons is more of a gener
The report of the Assembly Committee of together after adjournment, thus recognizing the existence of the body, though not in session. He cited al survey of the most important conclusions Cushing's " Law and Practice," section 196, in sup- reached by experiment in all parts of the port.
country, than a presentation of the features of The motion by way of a substitute was lost, the system in California. It shows that the yeas 17, nays 47; and the original motion to question of the disposition and treatment of notify the Senate of the organization of the convicts is undergoing more and more radical House was adopted, yeas 36, Days 28.
changes, and that the old views and ways are
being discarded wherever the existing institu- relative to the general management of penal tions render it practicable to introduce reforms institutions. It was subsequently followed by in prison management. It is now recognized a prison-reform convention, at which imporby all who have examined the subject that tant papers were read and questions discussed. every prison ought to be at least as much a The Drainage Act of the Legislature, for the reformatory as a place of confinement; that repeal of which a protracted and unsuccessful the reformation of criminals can only be under- effort was made at the last session, was finally taken hopefully by such methods as give the declared to be unconstitutional by the Supreme convicts definite desirable objects, which they Court of the State. The principal grounds of may attain by their unassisted efforts; that objection to the act were that it provided for rewards and punishments are the necessary other purposes than those which are specified groundwork of any such system; that it must in the title, and that it established double taxbe applied by men specially fitted for the work, ation, and delegated unconstitutional powers and who ought to have undergone a distinct to local boards. This decision was final. training in penology. It is also beginning to be The progress of the State has been of the believed that when the sentence of the prisoner most substantial character. Banks of issue is indeterminate—that is, left to be decided by being probibited by her Constitution from the his own conduct—the prospect of reformation beginning, and even when the national curis much greater than under the old method, rency was adopted and made legal tender by since the prisoner is thus afforded hope with: Federal law, the feeling against paper money out restriction. The Crofton Prison system, of any kind was strong enough to maintain the and those which have grown out of it, all tend gold standard all through the war, and through more and more toward reliance upon the pris- the era of inflation which followed it. Calioner himself, and this is evidently the scientific fornia, consequently, did not feel the seeming mode of procedure. For, if a man who has prosperity attendant upon the great rise in fallen into evil courses is to be reclaimed, it is nominal values which took place in the East as clear that he must determine to help himself, the currency depreciated, and she also escaped and that, no matter what assistance he derives the inevitable reaction which came with the from without, all the really useful action must appreciation of the currency and the fall of come from within.
prices. Yet the State did not escape the efIt has been found that by appealing to men's fects of the failure of some of the most producself-respect, and by treating them as though tive mines and a consequent shrinkage of valthey were by no means irreclaimable, the latent ues. This was strikingly manifested in stock ambition, the slumbering conscience, the par- values, the highest prices of which were reached alyzed manhood, can be stimulated and given in January, 1875, and is shown by the follownew life, and that the reformations wrought by ing table: these means are practically the only ones which Aggregate value of mining stocks on San Franare permanent. It is important to observe that cisco board, January, 1875..
Aggregate value of mining stocks on San Franeconomy goes band-in-hand with humanity. cisco board, July, 1881...
17,902,700 Not only is it right to attempt the reform of the criminal, but it is to the interest of the lighest valuo consolidated Virginia, January,
$264,402,704 public Treasury to do so. Crime is waste, in
75,600,000 all its forms, and our old systems of dealing Value consolidated Virginia, July, 1881.. 945,000 with it have been as wasteful as itself. “In Shrinkage....
$74,655,000 fact, we have only continued to give crime a Highest value California, January, 1875..
84,210,000 fixed abiding-place and a central rallying-point,
Value of California, July, 1881.
851,000 and there can be no doubt that our jails and Shrinkage..
$83,889,000 State prisons have made ten times more scoun
Highest value Sierra Nevada, September, 1878.. 27,000,000
825,000 drels than they ever cured. To alter all this in accordance with the new lights is not only to Shrinkage ....
$26,175,000 rid the community of its most dangerous ele It should be remembered that the famous ments, but to prevent the revival of these ele- Comstock mine did not reach its maximum ments, and at the same time to make crime until 1877, that in twenty years it yielded three largely self-sustaining in the prisons." hundred million dollars, and that it dropped
By the new Constitution of the State the nearly thirty-three millions in three years. management of the State prisons is vested in The tendency of gold-mining to assume a a board of directors. Five persons were ap- stable character is shown by the annual steadipointed by the Governor in 1880. Subsequently ness of the crop. The great improvements charges of a serious character were made by which have taken place in mining machinery the public press reflecting upon the board of and methods now enable the working with directors and the warden of St. Quentin's Pris- profit of low-grade ores, of which there are on; whereupon these officers requested the regular and enormous deposits. How mining Governor to appoint a commission to examine of this kind is developing is shown by the fact into the general management of the prisons. that the foundries of San Francisco during the This conmission made a report in August, year have turned out machinery for over a which contained some important statements thousand stamps. The injunctions which have