Abbildungen der Seite

the Comptroller's book, of the various items of money received by the agent, does not particularize the items of expenditure, but expresses generally the object of their receipt by the agent. It is probably from this general expression that the idea is obtained by the petitioners that the whole sum was charged as the expense of their transportation merely, when in fact the greater part of it was expended for other purposes.

The petitioners notice in their petition a discrepancy between the receipts and expenditures in the transportation of Daniel Bread's party to Green Bay, as appears from the entries in the Comptroller's book. One item received by the agent amounts to $7,500, and the statement of expenditure to $6,500 only, leaving apparently $1,000 unaccounted for. On examination of the vouchers, however, the latter entry is found to be erroneous; it should be $7,500; the vouchers showing that sum to have been actually expended. Another item of expenditure in the same statement is put down, as appears by the vouchers, at $1,000 too much. The aggregate of the two items therefore is correct; the one being just as much too large as the other is too small. The effect of this is to make two apparent discrepancies, of $1,000 each, between the receipts and expenditures; and which, if true, would give to the tribe collectively $1,000 less than their due, and to some individual Indians the same amount more than their due. But this, as your committee have before remarked, is not true in point of fact; the vouchers showing the money to have been properly expended, but an error made in the entry.

Your committee, without going further into detail upon the subject of the receipts and disbursements of the money of the said. Indians by the said agent, have only to remark, that they have given the subject referred to them an elaborate investigation, and have been unable, from the facts which have come to their knowledge, to discover any mismanagement or misapplication of the moneys belonging to said Indians. The committee are therefore of opinion that no legislation is necessary in the premises, and recommend that the petitioners have leave to withdraw their petition.

All which is respectfully submitted.



April 18, 1833.


Of the Commissioners of the Land-Office, on the

bill entitled, “ An act to vest in the city of Hudson, the title to certain lands therein mentioned.”

The Commissioners of the Land Office, to whom was referred by the Assembly, the bill entitled, “An act to vest in the city of Hudson the title to certain lands under water," have the honor to submit the following


It has long been the established policy of the State to grant to the proprietors of the adjacent soil, lands under the waters of navigable rivers, &c. for the purposes of commerce. These grants have been uniformly made without pecuniary consideration, and with no other benefit on the part of the State than the improvement of its commerce and industry.

The Revised Statutes, vol. 1, page 208, sec. 67, provide that the " Commissioners of the Land Office shall have power to grant so much of the lands under the waters of navigable rivers or lakes as they shall deem necessary to promote the commerce of this State; but no such grant shall be made to any person other than the proprietor of the adjacent lands, and every such grant that shall be made to any other person, shall be void.”

The Commissioners of the Land-Office, before making grants of such land to individuals, have required the applicants to make affidavit that they intended to appropriate the lands applied for, to the purposes of commerce, by erecting thereon a dock or docks; and to produce an affidavit of the first judge of the county, or the su[Assem. No. 318.]


pervisor and town clerk, or two of the assessors of the town in which the lands were situate, stating that the lands applied for were not more than what was necessary for the purpose aforesaid, and that they believed it to be the bona fide intention of the applicant to appropriate the said lands to the


of commerce. These precautions were deemed sufficient to guard against a misapplication of the lands granted to objects not in contemplation of the statute, under which the grants were made. But in the year 1832 a case occurred, in which a patentee, without doing any thing for the promotion of commerce, is said to have set up a claim to the right of fishing, to the exclusion of other citizens, who had, previous to the grant, enjoyed it in common with him. Although it was the opinion of the Attorney-General, that the patent, upon proof of the facts, might be repealed by scire facias, on the ground that it was obtained by false and fraudulent suggestions; and that a neglect to appropriate the land, within a reasonable time, to the purposes contemplated by the statute, would work a forfeiture of the estate; yet it was deemed proper by the Commissioners of the Land-Office, in the early part of the year 1832, to adopt a new form of letters patent, for the purpose of guarding against imposition. The patents now issued, reserve to the people of the State the full and free right, liberty and privilege of entering upon and using all and every part of the premises granted, in as ample a manner as they might have done, had the grant not been made, “ until the same shall have been actually appropriated and applied to the purposes of commerce, by erecting docks and wharves thereon, and filling in the same.” They also provide that if the grantee should not within two years actually appropriate and apply all and every part of the lands granted, to the purposes of commerce, by erecting docks and wharves thereon, and filling in the same, the grant should cease and determine, so far as related to any part of the premises, and not so appropriated and applied.

By force of these reservations, the Commissioners of the LandOffice believe that all abuse or evasion of the intention of the statute may be effectually guarded against.

The 1st section of the bill referred, vests in the corporation of the city of Hudson, in fee simple, all that parcel or tract of land under water, situate in the South bay of the Hudson river of the city of Hudson, and contained within certain limits therein described.

The second, third and fourth sections provide that the corporation shall convey in fee to the owners of the land adjacent to said bay, the lands under water in rear of their respective lots, to a certain distance therefrom.

The 5th section provides that the corporation shall lay out the said lands under water, into lots and streets, and cause an accurate map and survey thereof to be made.

The 6th and 7th sections provide that the corporation shall, upon the application of individuals or companies, convey so many of said lots to such individuals or companies as may be applied for, upon certain terms and conditions, one of which is, that the conveyance shall be void, if the improvements prescribed by the corporation to be made on the granted premises, shall not, within the time limited by the conveyance, be completed.

The premises proposed to be vested by the bill, in the corporation of the city of Hudson, consists of all the lands under the waters of the South bay, which are represented to be shallow and unfit for the navigation of vessels. Much of the land is said to be bare at low water, but, at high water, the shores of the bay may be approached with scows and boats.

The object of the corporation is understood to be to provide more effectually for the extension of docks along the eastern line of the channel of the Hudson river, and for such other improvements within that line as are required by the growing commerce of the city. Although the Commissioners of the Land Office have full power to make, on the application of the proprietors of the adjacent lands, all grants which may be necessary for the required improvements, it is supposed that the same powers conferred on the corporation, with the authority to prescribe the nature of the improvements to be made, and to convey to others than the owners of adjacent lands, with certain reservations in favor of the latter, may be more advantageously exercised for the interests of the city. Indeed, it is apprehended that without such powers in the corporation many essential improvements may be deferred, to the serious prejudices of those interests.

The Commissioners of the Land-Office are aware that the people of the State should be cautious in conveying to the local authori

« ZurückWeiter »