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PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES
REPORTED BY EDWARD F. UNDERHILL,
Ny Doc 3,12
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IN CONVENTION, Feb. 27, 1868.
Resolved, That there be printed, in addition to the number already printed, a sufficient num. ber of copies of the debates, documents and journals, to furnish each of the members with three copies ; and also one copy each to the Mayor and the members of the Common Council of the city of Albany, and one copy each to the State Law Libraries at Rochester and Syracuse, the law libraries of the several judicial districts, the Law Institute, the Astor Library, and the New York Historical Society in the city of New York, and the Young Men's Associations of the cities of Albany and Troy.
LUTHER CALDWELL, Secretary.
in their ability, in their integrity; and we now' years—ten years only-it was found that the volpoint to them as our brightest ornaments in the, ume of products from the Western Slates had inrise and progress of that system of internal increased so rapidly upon the means of communi. provenents which I believe it is the cherished cation through the canal, that it was necessary for purpose of the people of this State to sustain. I the people of this State to make another effort to shail not go here into the details of the proposi. meet the demand of western commerce. This effort tion ou this subject presented by the commiitee. they made in 1835. And it is remarkable that the They will more properly come up for our cousid. reasons which then prevailed with the men of that eration when we reach that particular part of the day and induced them to adopt this project of enreport. I come now to consider the more impor- larging the Erie canal, attended as it was, with a tant question, the question of finances and the very large expenditure, and as it has turned out question of the status of our public wo:ks during much larger than was then anticipated--are the the period while this Constitution shall remain as identical reasons presented by the Caual Committee the organic law. And, sir, when I look at that to this Convention to induce them to authorize suliject, I am aware it presents so many topics the enlargement of the locks and thereby to enathat I can scarcely know what to select, for the ble the people to enjoy the full benefit of the consideration of this committee. It covers our enlargement of the prism of the canal whole system of internal con merce, it covers our which was resolved upon in 1835 and was finwhole system of finance; and, covering the com- ished but a few years ago. Those reasons were merce and the tinances of this State, I cannot ex. that the volume of trade coming to us and seek, pect to be able, in the short time allotted to me, ing its admission to lide water through the Erio to present all those various topics which, in a caual was about to be not then was, but was more extensive and full discussion, might be soon to be much larger than the capacity of the done. I sball, therefore, contine my remarks canal at that time. They, like wise and prudent (especially under the limitation which has been men, like patriots, had the boldness to come adopted this morning), to some few salient points forward and ask the people of this State to presented in this field of discussion. Sir, it is pledge their resources to a large amount well in this matter to look a little into the past, and to give the weight of their character and and see what was the state of things, and what their iufluence to that great measure. the object, when this canal policy was first I call the attention of the committee to the adopted. Look into the early history of the State actiou of the State, in reference to the canal enOD Ibis subject, and you will perceive that the imme- largement of 1835. They did not wait for the diate object was to open tbe way for the products full capacity of the canals to be actually reached, of the western counties of this State ; to relieve, but anticipated the wants of the canal to accommothe settlers there engaged in bringing the western date the largely increased and increasing volume part of this State into cultivation, and in planting of western trade. In 1833 the canal commis. the germs of those settlements which have since sioners, consisting of Messrs. Van Rensselaer, become large towns and populous cities, filled Bouck, Young, Earll and Hoffman, speaking of with wealth and all the productions of art and the enlargement of the canals in their report of industry. The primary object was to open a way that year, say, "The period has arrived when in for sending their surplus products to market; to this enlightened policy the locks of the Erie canal facilitate their communication with the tide-water cast of Syracuse should be doubled;" and again, of the Hudson, and theace to the great center of "the capacity of the canal to meet the wants of commerce at New York. That was the first idea. the transportation must be attained by extending Bui, sir, soon it began to be seen by the masses the locks and enlarging the canal to admit boats of the people, as it had been from the very first of greater tonnage. Governor Marcy, in his anby some of the most distinguished advocates of nual message, of 1834, speaking of the West and opening an avenue for commerce from Lake Esie its trade, says: to the Hudson, that the trade of the State of New “No human efforts--no conceivable change of York was not the only prize to be gained by this circumstances can check its rapid settlement, or rast enterprise, but that the canal when built put far off the time when it will be the abode of would be the great chaquel of communication a population of many millions, abounding in with a mighty region still west of this State—at wealth and in numbers. If our canals are to be that time in its very infancy-a region where the what a wise management cannot fail to make bettlements bad just begun to develop them- them, the principal channels of this trade, we must Belves. Countries that then were territories of calculate its extent and make them adequate to this our government, principally inhabited by the object. * * * We ought not, however, to aborigines, but which have since grown up into flatter ourselves that we shall enjoy what we now large, wealthy and powerful States. Under these possess and what lies in prospect before us withideas the work was began. The primary design out competition. The western trade is a noble of it was to accommodate the people of this prize for which several of the Atlantic State ; next to secure the commerce growing up States are contending with a laudable emulation, at the West-how large no one could then con- and they are making powerful efforts to remove jecture. It was hoped that whatever it might be the barriers interposed by nature between them it would find its way through this avenue to mar. and their object. * * * It has already be. ket. The resu.t of this project was the Erie capul come quite evident that the capability of the Erio which was completed in 1825. But, sir so rapid canal will not much longer be adequate to the 95 Was ibe development of the resources of the igency of the business upon it. The improve. westeru territories that in the short period of ten'ments which will soon be required are double