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No. 4.

Certificate of Professor Hadley.


Dear sir I have carefully examined the samples of potash which you put into my hands, and from the average results of a number of experiments, find that No. 1 yields 73.75 per cent real alkali, No. 2 yields 64.5 per cent real alkali. The neutralizing power of No. 1 is to that of No. 2 as 73.75 to 64.5, and their fitness for any of the purposes to which potash is applied, and of course the value of each respectively, is in the same proportion.

Yours, &c.

JAMES HADLEY. Fairfield, Oct. 19, 1832.


April 10, 1833.


From the Comptroller, in relation to giving deeds

for lands sold for taxes when the Coinptroller's certificate is lost.

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Speaker of the Assembly. SIR

I beg leave herewith to present to the Assembly, a communication on the subject of giving deeds, and refunding money from the treasury, in cases where the certificate given by the Comptroller on the sale of lands for taxes, has been lost.

I have the honor to be,

With great respect,
Your ob’t scrvant,


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Albany, April 10, 1833.


To the Assembly of the State of New-York. The Comptroller considers it his duty to make the following communication to the Assembly, in relation to the application of Lucas Elmendorf; which has already been reported upon by the Comptroller, and also by the committee on claims.

The point to be decided in this case is, whether the Comptroller shall give a deed to Mr. Elmendorf for lands purchased by him at a tax sale, without the production of the original certificate given by the Comptroller to the purchaser.

At the close of a tax sale, and after the payment of the purchase money, the 65th section declares that “the Comptroller shall give to the purchaser of any such lands, a certificate in writing, describing the lands purchased, the sum paid, and the time when the purchaser will be entitled to a deed.” These certificates are transferred by an endorsement of the name of the purchaser upon the back of the certificate; and the uniform practice of this office has been, to give the Comptroller's deed to the person who produces the certificate endorsed as before stated, or to such other person as the holder of the certificate may designate: and the origiginal certificate, with the endorsement of the purchaser, is filed in this office as a voucher for giving the deed to a different person than the one who appears by the sales book, to have been the purchaser.

In this way the custom of the office has made the Comptroller's certificates for tax sales, to all practicable purposes, negotiable: and this usage is so well understood by the whole community, that these certificates are transferred by a simple endorsement, in the same manner as negotiable notes are passed from one person to

another. In many cases, the person who bids at the tax sale is the agent of another; and the person really interested pays the purchase money and receives no other security for his advances than the delivery into his possession of the original certificates of the Comptroller, with the name of the bidder endorsed upon the back of each. If the Comptroller should establish the precedent of giving deeds according to the entry in the sales book, and without the production of the certificate, it would destroy at once the character for security which every person now attaches to the possession of the Comptroller's certificate.

Some estimate of the importance of this subject and of the extent of the interests which may be affected by any change in the established rules of the Comptroller's office in relation to the character of certificates for tax sales, may be formed from the fact, that about fifteen thousand certificates are issued by the Comptroller at each tax sale. There have been four general tax sales, to wit: in 1815, 1821, 1826, and 1830: and it is presumed that between fifty and sixty thousand certificates have been issued for lands sold at the four periods above named.

In the transaction of all this business, for a period of seventeen years, it is not known to any person in the office that a Comptroller's deed has ever been given without the production of the original certificate, or a special act of the Legislature obtained.

The committee on claims say in their report, that the entry on the Comptroller's books is more controlling, as evidence of the purchaser's claim to a deed, than the certificate given by the Comptroller. And the report adds—"The certificate required to be given is for the security of the purchaser, and furnishes him with the evidence of his right to the land. This certificate is not negotiable, but it may be transferred for good consideration, and the holder or assignee thereby becomes entitled in equity to a conveyance from the State; when no redemption has been made, the lands are to be conveyed to the purchaser by the Comptroller, unless he has evidence that the right of the purchaser has been transferred; in the absence of evidence no such transfer will be presumed, but the business of the office will be conducted upon the hypothesis that no transfer has beer made. If in fact the certificate has been transferred, it is throwing upon the holder or assignee no greater burthen than is cast upon other individuals who become

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