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net proceeds from tolls, for the year, $841,888 09. The cost of repairs and collection during the last year exceeds that of the previous year $30,806 59. The net revenue of the last fiscal year exceeds that of the preceding $128,085 25. The income of the Erie and Champlain canal fund from all sources, including the interest on $2,259,834 65 (the sum set apart to pay the remainder of the debt contracted on account of the Erie and Champlain canals), is $1,553,136 84. Of this amount there have been expended as follows: For repairs of the canals $149,058 64; of
: which were expended by superintendents of repairs $365,661 95, and by the canal commissioners, $83,396 69; for interest on the debt $129,374 05, and sundry payments, $26,892 65, leaving the surplus revenue of the canal fund for the last year $947,811 50.
The canal commissioners have expended in the last fiscal year for the enlargement of the Erie canal, $1,161,001 80. They borrowed, under authority of the act of April 18, 1838, including the premium, $1,005,050; leaving an excess of expenditure over the amount loaned of $155,951 80, which was paid from the surplus, and leaves the net surplus of the Erie and Champlain canal fund, after paying all charges, $791,859 70.
The amount of tolls collected on all the lateral canals is $58,264 76. This amount exceeds the aggregate of the preceding fiscal year, $12,979 58, and falls short of that of the year which ended on the 30th September, 1836, before the navigation of the Chenango canal, $2,531 42. The deficiency of the income of all the auxiliary canals to meet the expenses of repairs and of collection of tolls, and the payment of interest on the debt contracted for their construction, is $229,160 59; which amount deducted from the net revenue of the Erie and Champlain canal fund, leaves the net revenue of that fund, after paying all charges upon it, and the deficiencies of all the auxiliary canals, $562,699 11.
The deficiencies of the several lateral canals are as follow: Of the Cayuga and Seneca canal, $15,517 62; of the Crooked Lake, $10,037 55; of the Oswego, $54,460 70; of the Chemung, $29,833 11; and of the Chenango, $119,311 61. The aggregate of tolls collected on all the canals during the last fiscal year exceeds that of the previous year by the sum of $154,821 51, and falls short of that of the fiscal year which ended on the 30th of September, 1836, $120,178. But the tolls collected on all the
canals during the season of navigation in the year 1838, exceed those of the same season in 1837, by the sum of $297,555, or 23 per cent. Of this excess $130,788 97, or 44 per cent., is upon ascending, and $166,766 03, or 56 per cent., upon descending freight. This estimate is made upon data which may be assumed as substantially correct, although it is to be understood as not precisely accurate. This comparison while it demonstrates the severity of the pressure which has recently visited the state, not only furnishes cheering evidence of returning prosperity, but gives assurance of the constantly increasing productiveness of our system of internal improvements.
The aggregate loans made for the construction of canals now in progress, is $2,615,182 84, to wit, for the Black-River canal $613,076 29, and for the Genesee Valley canal $2,002,106 55. There have been paid on account for the construction of these canals $384,353 12, to wit, for that of the former $122,793 52; for that of the latter $261,559 60; and there remains on deposite in the banks, drawing an interest of 5 per cent. (equal to that on
5 the loans), the balance $2,230,829 72.
It is respectfully submitted, that more perfect responsibility would be secured if the term of office of the canal commissioners should be limited so as to bring them periodically before the appointing power, retaining the provision for their removal at earlier periods if the public interests should require. Of the $1,481,602 canal tolls received, $104,645, about one fourteenth part, is expended in payment of inspectors, clerks, collectors, and tenders of locks. And the sum of $639,714, almost one half, is consumed in these payments and repairs. It scarcely admits of doubt, that the system is capable of such revision as would reduce these heavy expenses, and proportionally increase the net revenues of our canals. The compensation of the superintendents and collectors onght to be fixed by law, instead of being left to the pleasure or caprice of the canal commissioners, or the canal board.
With the extension of our internal improvements, there has been an immense and unlooked-for enlargement of the financial operations and of the official power and patronage of the canal commissioners and the canal board. These operations are con- ducted, and this power and patronage exercised and dispensed with few of those securities for accountability and publicity which are
maintained with scrupulous care in every other department of the government. So inconsistent and unequal are the best efforts to establish simplicity, uniformity, and accountability throughout the various departments, that a great, mysterious, and undefined power has thus grown up unobserved, while the public attention has exhausted itself in narrowly watching the action of more unimportant functionaries. It is a proposition worthy of consideration, whether greater economy and efficiency in the management of our present public works, would not be secured; a wiser direction would not be given to efforts for internal improvement throughout the state, and a more equal diffusion of its advantages would not be effected by constituting a Board of Internal Improvements, to consist of one member from each senate district. This board might be divided into two classes, the term of one of which should expire annually. It should discharge all the duties of the present canal board; should audit all accounts, should have the general superintendence of the canals, and of all other public works, with powers of investigation in regard to those in which the state has an interest by loan or otherwise; should report upon all special applications for surveys, or aid, and should annually submit a detailed statement of its proceedings to the legislature. It is the worst economy to devolve upon officers constituted for one department, duties appurtenant to others. Its universal results are diminished responsibility and diminished efficiency in both the principal and incidental departments.
The site of the Lunatic Asylum was well selected. It is an elevated plain of one hundred and twenty-four acres, susceptible of that ornamental cultivation which is a wonderful auxiliary in the treatment of the insane. The vicinity of the flourishing central city of Utica, affords many facilities for its construction, and promises those moral and social aids which such a public charity requires. A plan submitted by the commissioners, received the approbation of my predecessor. The plan contemplates four edifices, consisting of a basement and three stories, except the main building of the principal front, which will have an additional story. The four edifices are to be located at right angles to each other, fronting outward, and to be connected at the angles by verandas of open lattice-work, the whole to enclose an octagonal area of about thirteen acres. The buildings are to be constructed of the blue limestone of Little-Falls, and in the Doric order. It is designed to furnish the necessary accommodation for the care and treatment of one thousand lunatics. The east front will command a view of the city, and the north will have a prospect of the canal, the valley of the Mohawk, and the long range of hills in the distance which divide the waters flowing into Lake Ontario from the tributaries to the Hudson. The principal part of the basement has been constructed, with an expenditure of fortysix thousand dollars, exclusive of the cost of the site. Thus you will perceive has been laid the foundation of a charitable institution commensurate with the exigencies of the state, not unworthy of its growing wealth, and justly designed to endure as a monument of the taste and munificence of this age. It is right to award both the honor and the responsibilities to those who have hitherto been charged with the execution of the trust. The law declared that on the selection of the site the commissioners should be authorized to contract for the erection of the asylum upon such plan and on such terms as they should deem proper, provided that the plan and the terms should be approved by the governor; and that the commissioners should superintend the erection of the building. No contract for the construction of the asylum was made either before or after its commencement. The document furnished by the commissioners, and herewith submitted to you, states the probable cost at $431,636. There is no security that the expenditure will not exceed that sum. Whether these proceedings have conformed to the intention of the legislature is a question which I shall not be expected to discuss. I cheerfully express my approbation of the undertaking. Nations are seldom impoverished by their charities. The number of the insane in this state is not exaggerated; and I am not prepared to say that any erection less extensive would afford the space, light, tranquillity, and cheerfulness, indispensable to this interesting department of the healing art. Among all his blessings none calls so loudly for gratitude to God as the preservation of our
Of all the inequalities in the social condition, there is none so affecting as the privation of that attribute. He sees fit to cast upon our benevolent care those whom he visits with that fearful affliction; and it would be alike unfeeling and ungrateful to withhold from them our sympathy. Let then this noble charity be carried forward; it remains with you, however, to deter
mine with what measure of munificence. The commissioners will apply for an appropriation of one hundred thousand dollars for the present year.
The number of pupils in the New York Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, on the 10th of November last, was 145. The number enjoying its advantages at the public expense, is 120. An additional building has recently been constructed, with an expense of $8,000. The institution is in a prosperous condition, in regard as well to its internal management, as to its course of instruction and its finances. Its success in conveying knowledge, sympathy, affection, and happiness, to the unfortunate beings whom a mysterious Providence has denied two of the faculties most important to their enjoyment, although it has ceased to be a wonder, is not less deserving our gratitude.
The Institution for the Blind, a new and noble charity, has been recently founded in New York, and it is in successful operation. It has sixty-one pupils, gathered from all parts of the state. Privation of sight is seldom a solitary calamity. These unfortunates are not only blind, but their persons often bear the marks of long disease or extreme poverty. Since this institution has become a beneficiary of the state, and depends rightfully upon the public munificence for success in its benevolent enterprise, it seems proper to afford to its patrons the advantages, and to the public, the security of visitation by the secretary of state.
The House of Refuge continues to discharge its duties in reclaiming the juvenile delinquents whom an enlightened policy commits to its care, instead of consigning them to the association and discipline of more hardened convicts. Could not the same policy be extended in some manner, to the preliminary examination and trial of this class of offenders? There is no doubt that the public and unfeeling manner in which these proceedings are conducted, confirm in habits of guilt many whose crimes are the result only of neglect of moral culture, and who, by prudence and kindness, might be reclaimed and rendered useful members of society.
I commend, without hesitation or qualification, all these humane institutions to your guardian care and provident assistance. The philanthropy of our age seems not only to be imbued with unexampled benevolence, but gifted also with powers almost divine. It brings to the deaf and dumb, the joys of conversation; to the