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State Affairs

State Affairs image
Parent Issue
Day
12
Month
January
Year
1877
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Senators and Rkpuebentatives : On the 26ti ay of the present montli Michigan wiU have reached er fortieth birthday. Noither pen nor peucü can tly describe the transforming miraoles that each ucceeding year ha3 witneSBed ; f orest to field- marsh to meadow- opeoings to orchards- hnt to ome, have followed one another in quick euccesïon. Standing to-day in the mldst of this abundant iroBperity, with pardonable pride we repeat the )rophetic motto which onr fatbers gave ue, " 8i ureris per insnlam anxenam, circumspice." An mpire in extent, with natural resources that seeni [most inexhaustible, with means of transportation y land and water unequaled on the globe ; a BOil that, " tickled with a hoe, laughs with a harvest ;" otted all over with happy hoiiies ; schools and in;itutions of learning, with open doore for all; the Us that afflict humanily liberally and kindly cared or ; with a history that tells of do gallows eve laving been erected in our borders ; no plave over laving trodden our soil ; no treaaon attainted any Itizen ; all this is our inheritauce, ourB to preterve nd to increase. The charitable, educational and penal intitutioui f the State are valued at $3,910,5C0, divided as folows: Univewity $ 483,600 Agricullural College 252.300 Normal School 62,700 tate Pnblic School 153,380 nstitution for Deaf , Dumb and Blind 438,000 lichigan Insano Asylum 1,405,281) astern Insano AbvIuui 220,(00 Beform School 245,340 House of Correction, at Ionia 11', 000 tate Prison 539,000 There are 105 chartered banfcs In the State with a apital of $16,573,300, and individual deposita of 18,357,875. The State Salt Inspector reports 2,544,594 barrels f salt lnspected for the years '75 and '76, an in rease of 664,269 barrels over the two preceding ears. The productk n of iron ore f or 18?8 was 967,000 ons, of ingot copper, 18,000 tons, representing an ggregate valuo of $ll,0u0,000. FtNANCES. he balance ín the treasury Sept, 30, 1874, was $1,070,274.32 Receipts for the year ending Sept. 30, 1875 2,203,829.65 Total $3,876.908.87 Disbursements for saino time . . . 2,060,097.37 Balance in treasury Sept. 30, 1875 $1,229,106.50 ieceipts for year ending Sept. 30, 1876. 1,74, 406.29 Total $2,973,51?.T9 Disbureementa for tho same time 1,919,807.49 Balance in treasnry Sept. 33, 18??,. . $1,064,005.30 Of this balance there rkngB to the Sinking fund $ 415,407.47 lilitary fund , 27,1 Ij. 75 'rimary scbool interest fund 80,457.31 Canal fnud ...,m.. 54,61154 Total , $ C57.S88.10 The bonded debt of the State has been reduoed dnring the vcar ending Sept. 30, 1876, $53,000, and luring the four years ending Sept. 30, 1876, $8 1,13.81. The trust debt of the State íb composed of the following fur.dfc and amounts : Primary school fund $2,269,482,01 Five per cent. primary school fund 209,77i.59 University fund 344,865.78 Agricultural college fund...,. 118,K7.68 Normal school fuud 63,301.32 Kailroad and other deposita .... 3,403.33 Total $3,079,315.71 Au increaae in two years of $13,584 34. STATE LANDS AHD BOAB. Tot the two years ending bept. 3tV, 1B76, the salee of State lands have been I?i,3o4.89 acres for the gum of $283,928.(50, being a decreafp, as compared vith tht twoprevious yoara, of 359,433.66 acres, and :4i?,232.54 in recoipts, showing a Iarge reduction ín be revenuea of the State irom thia Bource. The lands beioüging to the State at the close of he fiscal year are ,073,239.91 acres, cïassified as ellows : Primary Bchool 369,919.13 Priniary school indemuity 49.178.29 Primary school forf eited 25,699.11 Agricultural College 16'J,4U0.8 agricultural College f orfeited 2,398.40 Saït spring land 1,315.63 Salt spring forf eited 280,00 Asylum 680.00 Asyluni f orfeited 1,080. f0 University ÜOO.OO University forf eited , 98.26 STormal School forfeited 160.00 nternal improvements 380.31 Aseet v 3,8500 Swamp land ttmutii .2,405,017.93 Swarap indemnity .. 46,713.12 Swamp f orfeited .... 3,868.00 KDUCATION. The school census of 1876 reporta 457,785 children of school ae, of whom 343,947 were enrolled- miucrease iu two years of 21,680 in the whole number, and of 17,805 in the enrolled numer. There are 5,917 school house in the State, with 19,662 BittingB, being 75,715 more than the; enrollment. The value of school buildings and grounds s $9,382,270; total cxpeaditure for the year, 14,28,707. Indebtedness of school districts, $1,674,.75 - an increBse in two ycars of $499,043. Number of teacher?, 12,900. Primary echoo fnnd held in rust by the Stato Sept. 30, 1876, $3,147,917.73, producing an annual income of $214,60.83. The statistios given hsrewith denote an annual mblic expenditure of $, 000,900 for education by he people of this Stat. NORMAL. SCHOOI.. Thïsdepartment of our system of education íb steadily improving, The attendance for 1874 waB 486; for 1875, 63t) ; for 3876. 722. The graduating claBS in 1876 numbered 79. Over 6,000 studente jave attendei this institution since its opening in 833. The condición of its ínnds, at the clobe oi he llscal year, was asollows: Due from purchsaers of lands at 7 per cent $16,229.72 Trust fundB in treasury drawing itaret at 6 per cent L3,301.32 Total $69,531.04 AGRICULTUBAL COLLEGE. The management of thefiuaucesoi the college for he past two years haa beencareful and prudent. T_t s out of debt, and I hope will keep out. The board submít a very careful, detailod estímate of receipts and expenditures for the coming two years. They estímate the current expenses at $30.077 per aunum, and the receipts from interest and othor sources at $21,840, leaving a deflcieney of $16,474 'or the two years. They alao subcait a statement of wants for repairB, new buildings, improvementa, library, etc, ainounting to $2'J,06, making a total of $33,f 06, for whioh aum tliey ask tin appropriaion. The college fimd, Sfpt. 30, 1876, was as followp: TrUBt fund iu State treasury, $118,827.68; due from purcüasers of land, $111,334.65; all drawing interest at 7 per cent. Unsold lands belongin to college at same date, 164 799 acres. Tho numbvr of sludents in 187.", 156; in 1876, 166- an increaee over the preceding two years of 58. Graduates in 1875-6, 33 ; in 1873-74, 36. Inventory of property, f252,263, an Increase iu two years of $20,860. I am satisfied tcat the college ia in better condition, aud doíng better work than ever bf foro. It is not only educating the etudentsunder its roof, but thePrcBident and faculty, through a syetem of farmers' inatitutes hold throughout the State, are onlisüïjg the good will and Bympathy of the people. If it t?achea labor, if it impresees upon our youth the dignity and honor of labor, its establishment wili prove a suocees; if not, it will be faihire. THE UNIVEKHITT. Each Bucceeding year opens to the university new fieldB of labor- increasing demanda upon ite resources - and Btronger claims upon our consideration. The number of students in 1875 was 1,193 ; in 1876, 1,121. Dejjreea conferred in 1875, 370; in 1876, 410. lts resources are : Trust funde ín the hands of the State. . . $344,855. 7s Dne from purehasera of land 102,698.81 Drawing interest at 7 p?r cent $147,549.50 The Legislature of 1875, establishing a school of mines, a chair of architecture and design, and of dental surgery, bas already acoompliBhed more than its mofet earnest advocates anticipated. The dental school has so many students that anadditional professor is needed. The clase in mining, architecture, aud design numbors 25. An ímpetus has been given to technical education that muat in time be of great practical value to the State. The arpropriations for these new braecbes made in 1875 were for two years only. Their Buccesa domanda their rene wal, with an addition of $2,000 for aaother professor for the dental school. EAHTEHS ASVI-UM ï"OIl THE INHANK, TTork was beguu upon this building iu 1875, by Messrs. Coots & Toxping, who were the lowesl bidders, for the sum of $306,384, and has progressed very favorably up to thia time The brick and stone work ia completed and the roof nearly finislied. It ia expectf d that it will be redy for occupancy by Feb. 1, 1878. As this aeylum will be ready for the recoption of patientsb?fore anothar meoting of the Legialature, ït wil also be your tfuty to provide for ite maintenance, management, and government. The present law only appliea to the asylum at Ka!autazoo, MICHIGAN ASTLUM TOR THE INSANE. The coiupletion of the nftw departmeut bas enabled this iustfitution to extend its kiudly caro to every new applicact. The mimber of inmates Hept. 30. 1874, was 481; Sept. 30.1876, 618. The total number in the past two yearB was 1,016, an iucreaso af 45 per cent. over the precediug biennial períod. Tbe weekly expense for each patiënt for the two yoare endiDg Bept, 30, 1876, was $4 87, a deert of 45 ntafrom the two previoua y ar. The Board of Trusteos ask for a special approprlatiun to be exppnded in 1877-8 of $40,000. The report of the Superintendeuts of the Poor gives 1,006 as the total nnmber of ingane in the State in 1875. The number in 1876 is 1,193, As this estímate lncludes those in a private asylum in a ayiie county ,nd a few that are more properly imbéciles, it is the opinión of Dr. Van Deusen that the real number is between 1,000 and 1,100, The completion of the Imane Asyluin at Pontiac will enable us to provlde snitable oare in 8tato asylurus for every one of theBe ; and I trust its opening may be celebrated by the immediate transfel from our couuty-housea and jails of all their insane occupants to tUeir eheltering care.: ■ I earnestly urge legislation to Ihis end, nd to provide further, thal so long as tlie two asylums havo room, no insane person - not a criminal- shall hereaf ter be placed in any poor-house or county asylum, Jail, or priaon, Every consiöeration of humanity and of real eoonomy demand this, and I feel asBUred that no argument need bc made or statlstica f hown to insure tbe passage of such a law. The liberal provisión made for the care of the insane shows that the state has indeed adopted them as its warde. The expense of the counties for the care of the indigent insane is a very heavy burden, tbough borno as a rule checrfully and willingly. Would it not be well to provide that after an indiftent insane patiënt has been caredlorat the expense of the county for three years, ho ehall thereafter become a State charge? I ani of the opinión that such a provisión of law would be wise and proper, and productivo of great good to people and patiënt. p . ,L STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL. This, wisest of our State oharities, presente its budget of work and wants in the biennial report of its managers. Since itB opening 412 children have been received, mostly from the poor-houses of the Stato. The average age of its inmates íb nine years. llomns have been found for 117 oï these children, and 255 were remaininc Sept. 50, 1876, being all that can be cared foi The ourrent expenses for the year were $27. 611.61, an average of $126.86 fur cach cbild. When it is rcmembered that this institntion íb not a permanent home, but only a doorway to home for the houselesa, honieless, poor-houso children oí the 8tate, and that while under its care they muEt ne olothed, fed, and educated, it will be seon that the expenditure per caplt il Yery slight. From its ñrst opening up to the present time it has been most econoraically condueted. The board estünate the current expenses at $33,000 per annum, and tlley ask for this and other purprses the sum of $5)0,000 for the ensuiDg two years. Of tbis sum $5,800 is for deficit account, on the erection of the now cottages and the constxuction of a new pewer. The necessity of these expendí tnreB was submitted to me, and they seemed of such absolute importance to the health o' the school, that I cordially approved of the., though creating an indebtedness. in the estüuates of the board $1,000 is asked for the purpoae of payiDg the expenses of an agent in flnding homes for the children. Ab a Bimilar appropriation is asked for elsewhere, I recommend that this item be strieken out, and ihat the balance asked for viz.. $89,000, be granted. It must bo borne in mind that these children, for whom this api.ropriatiou ís asked, if lot under the eheltering care of this iit!tution, would be in the poorhouses of th? fltate, so that the money expended from the eUtB treasury is so much saved to the counties. The State Public School is iu no sehse a penal mstitution or a hospital. It is only designed for neglected and dependent children of sound miud and body, and tree (rom criminal taint- yet Borne others wil! unavoidably fmil tlieïr way into it. Thougl' fully deserving ite care and benefit, they shoMd iiot be kept in the school, owlng to ttleir fluence upon tho rest. Tbc board should be glven power, under caref ui restrictionB,ló return to the countieB idiotie and periHi.ently-diseased children. THE ItEFOBM SCHOOL. I desire to cali your especial attentlon to the reporls of this institution for 1875 and 1876. " After many oays, ' it is now a Reform School ; the bars and iron doora have disuvpeared, the high fence that walled it in is kindling wood. And the resulta are : no corporal puniBhuient, no escapes since its opening, less dcBtruction of State property, a general tone of comfort and cheerf ulness in all its surroundiugs, and a brighter, bctter look in the faces of the boys. The general olrtflt o? the scnool is greatly improved. The tabre and furnishing, the clothing, etc, are beteer tnan herotofore, and all tend towsrd lif tlug Hüb instilution out of tle prison mire and On the higher plane of a school. The expense for the two years endiug Sept. 30, 187C, have been $61,773.46 besides the amount received for tho labor of the bo s and other sóurce ?.. Of this amount $17 688 46 has been expended under special approprialions, ttde to 1873 and 1876, and $4i,084 for currnt eipenBes. JB VV The board ask appropriations of $23,000 per annum for ihe years 1877 and 1878 for current expenses, $2,500 for each year for repairs and improvements, and $500 each year for the library. I am of the opinión that, with the increasing l ductive capacity of the farm, aDd in view of the fact that tho buildings and grouuds are now in complete rfcpair, the amount asked for repairs ia not needed, and tbat $26,000 per annum is amply Bufücient for current expenses, including repaiia and improvements of every nature. The amount j asked for the library is none too large. The average number in the school for 18f5waa ! 241; ior 1876, 230; average age of boya when received. 13x years-. The receiptsirom the Ibbor of the boys have j creRsed very largely, and the outlook for ative empioylnentin the future is very j iS)g. the only mechanical labor now bting done is chair-bottoniing, and this at vory l'ów pricer. It is of no advantage to the boys wheh they go out, as it is a bUBiness not 'rf ried on outside of penal instltutions. frnd wbuld not support them if it werd. Tho board, Superintendent and myself have glven earneat thought and niuch time to the subject of employment that would teach the boys some usef ui trade, and at the same time add to our revenues, but without succeBB. In tlie present depressed condition of our manufaoturing industries thete eeems to be nothing better than the work the boye are now doing. The farm work is euccessful in a pecuuiary point of view, and highly bonefleial in every other way, and, with the additions that have been made to the fruit trees and vines, the board hope soon to realiza an ncreiwi eveni'.ï from this sonree. Tho Board of Control agaiu aek that Ihe law suthoriüing eotahütraents tb the school may be anmndtíd so Ihat toysof 8 years, inetead of 10, may be received trom their parents without commitment. They ask that the limit of detention may be changed from 21 years to 18, and I earncetly hope this may be done. If a school doeB not flt a boy to go out at 18, itnever will. If he isnot üttogo then, he is not ñt to stay and demoralize 200 or 300 youuger boys. If at 18 a boy, after years of i struction and care, of restraint and discipline, still ha his face turned the wron(? way, it would seem -B if the State charity must cease and let j ustice take its place. The history of tho Reform School shows that there are a few such boys, and it Bhows further that they have been of great damage to their comrades of more tender years. I bespeak for this í subject your earnest consideration. Although tho State Public School has taken from tlio poor-housen a large number of children, the reports of the Superibtendents of the Poor, shows a cons'ant increase of children in these institutions. In 1872 the number was 583 ; in 1873, 577 ; in 1874, 502 ; in 1875, 734. In this computation are inKluded babes, idiotie, feeble-minued, blind, and mutes, but even then the htimber shocks us. We cannot, munt ndt germit it. That a child rearod in a poorhouse is to be a pauper or a prisoner in the future is almOBt certain. We Bhall never cease building prisons, bo long as poor-houses are permitted to feed thcni witb inmates. We ought to prohibit by laws, the placing of a child, mentally and physicall; healthy, under 3 years of age, in any poorhouse. Other States have already done so, and we should lose no lime in following their example. THE DEAF, DUMB AND BLIN. The bieniiial report of the Trustees of this school glve very full details of its opcrations. The number of children ia attendance for 1876 was 212; In 1875, U04; in 1874, 191 ; 1873, 164. The current expenses for 1876 and 1876, including repairs and the eoBt of mechanical industries, were about $60,000 per annnm. The oxpeuditures iu the industrial departments have been borne by separate appropriationn. The boarfl asi appropriations for tho ocsuing two years amounting in tho nggregate ts $110,750. The Board of Trustees havo reduced the number of employés and (heir salaries, and inaugurated other economical ret'orms, and I am of the opinión that the sum of $92,000 will cover all expende accounts and current expenses for the next two years. The estimates for other items are all necesnary, and should be granted. Tho logislation of 1873 and the active efforts of the offlcerB of the inBtitute have Becured the attendance of nearly all the children of the tate who need its care, yet there are 6tül some remaining in families and poor-houses. 1 he deaf , dumb aod blind who grow up in ignorance become either imbecilo or a permanent burdeu upon the community, and no parent has a right to permit it, especially when the Stato provides education, physical, mental a-ad moral, free of charge, for them. I boliove it to be the duty of the State to compol, by law, the education of uil children, but especially the deaf. dninb and blind. Tho systeui of instruction at our Inotitntion is constantly improving. the new method of ' articulation " havingjuet been introduced with marked Buccess. The boys are tanght a trade, and tho girls are instructed in housework and sewing. I commend this work to your kindly and thoughtful consideration. THE BTATE PBIÖON. Except in the fact that the prison is largely overcrowded, itB conditon is unaxeeptionable. The report of the Warden and board furniBhes fuil details of tho operations of the past year. The oonvict earnings in money for the two years ending Sept, 80, 1876, were $203,043.fi4. Ihisin addition to the labor on State property, roads, sewers, land, etc, is a very creditable Hhowing. 'Ihe net irnings for the two years ending Sept. 30, 1876, were over $2O,C00. In view of the depression in l)usiness that bas bo generally affected all munnfacturing industries and none more seriounly than priBon werk, tho result ba most agreeably surprlaed tbe prison officials. There is íiardly u prison in the country that has paid expenses, and in many of them no labor at all can bc proenred for the i-onvicts. The establishment of the State shop, in whioh the manufacture of brooms is condueted, has been of the greatest possible good. lts earnings havo not been large, but it bas furnwhed emploment to the halt, lame and blind, to slckly and siiort-term convicta, and relieved the prisonyard of its idlers that were f ormerly ao numerous and troublesome. Ite effect upon the value of prison labor has been most marked. The number of cinvicts Sept. 30, 1876, was 835; n 1875, 788 : in 1874, 108. Of the pnsoners received in 1676, thirly had served a term in the Houso of Correction, eightsen in the Reform School, and eleven in other prisonfi. Eighty-nve per cent. of the convicts were cominitted for the first time. Beventyjseven per oent. were intemperate. Eighty-pix per cent. were unapprenlieed. Is not the cause of the increise of crime xhown by theife statistios to be found in this large per cent. of intemperate idlera ? hTATE HOTTME OF COB.RFCTIOH. Id aioordance with the proviöious of Act No. 96, Laws of 1875, 1 appointed Hamptou Rioh, of Ionia, Charles Kipp, of Ülinton, ancl Wetitbrook Divine, of Montcalm, as a Board of Commiasioners for the new House of Corrcction at Ionia. A contract for two of the fonr et-11 blocks, officers' quartere, cbapel, hospital kitchen, boiler-house, and one shop was entered into September, 1876, with Knapp & Co., of Detroit, wbo were the lowest bidders The work, haa progressed favorably, though not as rapidly as it should, or as was agreed upon. It wijl be ready for occupancy by the let of May next. The entire coBt of the building, including extras, Hiiporintendence, expenses of the board, etc., will not exoeed the amount cteeignated in the act, viz.: $270,000. The overcrowded condition of the State Prison, and the House of Correction at Detroit, reqiiire that the new prison be fltted and f urnished im mediato I y The increase of crime, the nuniber of prïsoners in exceBS of cells in our other prisene, the statistiCB of which are given eleewhere, would seein to demand that the whole number of celia and shops be built at once, There w re in confinement in the State Prinon Bec. 1, 1875, 869 convicta- 221 more than there are cells. At saine date there were 533 inniates in the Detroit House of Corrcction, being 51 more than tnere were celia. At this date the number is stil! greater. The establishment of the House of Correction at ïoaia will require legislation regarding its management ; direction must be givan as to the clase of prisoners that shall be sent and confined there, aud provisión should be made f or providing for the transfer of convicts from other prisonsi A certain clasn of priBouer, convicted of what are known aa prison offenses, are uow sent to the House of Correction at Detroit. The number of thi class now in confinement there, is 74. This law should be repealed, and they Ehould be hereafter eent to the one or the other of the Siate priHons. The Detroit House of Correction is none too large for tho use of Wayne county; and for what are known as county prisoners of other counties, and will gladly be relieved of them. With the openiug of the State House of Correction atlonia, ihe prison, Detroit Houee of Correction, and Refoim Sckool. the State certainly has most excellent facilities for the claseiñcation and separatiou of prisonerB, and it sfaould no longor be dclayed. The Ruggeation bas been made of plat ing our throe penal institutions under the control of one board, with an executive head whose whole time Bhould be gíven i to the duties of the position, and who, of course, ] wonld require a salary. Such a board would cost no more than the three now do, and in soiae regards the plan might be an improvement, and in others perhaps not. STATE ÏOOB. The public expense of carlug for the poor of the State in 1875 was $572,000. Of this amount $207,010 was for maintaining the poor-houses. The amount of investment in poor-houses was $722,000. For this expenditure, and as a return for the investment, the value of paupers' labor in 1875 wae estimated at $8,0.0. Tbis ftnancial exhibit, the iucreaae of tramps and able-bodied paupers, the condition of our poorhouses, as doKcribed by tbe State Boaid of Charities, and mny CtHeï reasoDS, induced the County [ Hupei-inttnden'ts of the Poor, at their laat annnal meeting, to adoptbyunaninious vote a resolutionin favor of district poor werkhouses. Thatthie syetem would decrease pauperism and save money cannot be doubted. Would it not be wíne to provide by enactment that any numbtr of couoties may be empowered to unite for tbe purpose of erectiug and condueting a district poor-house or work house? It would enabl} some of the new counties that have not yet built their poor-houses to make the experiment. NEW CAPÍTOL. The work upon the new Capítol in not so far advanced as the Board of Commiseioners wished and expected. The delay is from various causes, but chiefiy from the change in the cornice, steps, etc., ordered by the Legislature. The brick and stone work on the building itself 's completed, leaving only the pórticos, steps, end wSst boiler House to be finiBÜEti. Tiiere is no prospect of the building being complcted at tbo time contomplated, and the work wili need to be hastened to have it ready at the aesembling of the tiext fcegislature. The quality of the material and work is excellent, and does credit to the contractors, Superintendent, and j board. During the past two ycars coútracts have been entered into for the tin roof, stone cornice, steam heating, ventilatmg, and the oïectnc work. The total payments to Sept. 30, 1876, have been $819.852 78. RAÏLKOADS. We have in the State 85 railroad companios, operating 5,311 miles of road, 3,346 miles of which are j in tho State, costing $151,532,665.72, and ed by $30,945 28 of debt and $27,046.84 of stock per mile of road. Ihe large proportion of the debt fhows that railroadB, like municspalities and individuals, maintain their faebionable character. The gross railroad earnings in this State for 1875 were 17,H52,212, wbïch .mount not Kiiffici'jnt to pay expenses, interests and rente. Four roads paid no interest on their iadebtedm-ss in 1875; ninn pftid a portion only, and report $2,19,810 nntiaid for tbe ypar. t'wo bive tón elüfl uhder foreclosure, and four are in the hands of receivors. One company only paíd a dividend dnriug 1876, in cash, of 2 per cent., and one a stock dividend of 10 per cent. This condition óf so great and important án interest, employing bo large a capital; is very iinsaUSf ftctory, but it cannot bo attributen to unfriendly legislatión so fal as Michigan is concerned. The roads have only themselves to blanip, and the remedy is in their own hands. Our roads and equipnient are in good condition. Of 1O,716.'27 passengorB transported in 1875 not one was killed, and only six were injured from causes beyond their own control. Twenty-ttiree per ctnt. of the accidents were caused by trespassers on the tracks. It would seem that some steps should be taken to prevent thia large loss of üfe aud limb. There are a i ber of bridges over the roads of the State, which are not of suffleient height to allow the safe passage under them of men at work on the traína. Five persons have been killed and three injured by these bridges in the past three years. The Oommipsioner ?höuld,be Üiithorifced to compol the roads to raise all bridges to a height of 18 fcet, and to prevent the erection in the future of any luwer than this, and I reapeclfully recommend the passage of such a law. SPECIFIC TAXATION, The assessment of ppecinc taxes for 1875 was f557, 995 ; for 1876, $573,533, a decreaso for this year of $64,462. Of this decrease $25,000 was iü the tax on iife iusurance companies, reduced by the Legislature in 1875, and $34 000 iu the decreased earnings of raiïroads. Spe'ciflc taxation on real ty for State purposes is a system that combines in it more injustice to the people, more inequalities and irregularities, than any other systein üiat was ever devised. It is unrepublican, because it divides the community into classes for purposes of taxation, because it is alwayd and invaiiauïy lower than general -taxation, because, being in lien of all other taites, it deprives our nixinicipylities of their legitímate revenue. A careful analysis gf the system in this State shows a disparity in the amount of taxes paid by those taxed under it, and other partien, that is simpïy astoniahing. The total vaiue of the taiable propeHy of the State, as fixea by the Fitate Board of Equahzatiou, U L630,000,000. The total taxation levied in the State for all purposes is about $15,000,000, or %% per cent, on the valuation, though l believe our taxation is really about 2 per cent. A hundred dollars iu bauk stock, farms, housf s, lands or mechauical induelry pays in Michigan $2 taxes; the telepraph property in Michigan pays 23 centb on tbc hundred dollars ; tlio street railroad prooerty pays 2 centB on the hundred dollars ; other raiïroads pay 27 cents on the huudred dollar, taking their own valuaiionaB a basis. The tclegraph Unes in the State are worth $1,000,000, and pay an aguaita of $2,366; the etreet raiïroads coat $785,406 27, and pay au animal tax of $1 ,421; the raiïroads of the" Statu are worth $150,00,000, and pay an annual tax of $400, 0C0. If these corporations paid the Bame tax that other property does, they would pay over $2,000,000 aunually, instead of $00,000. I can eee no reason for this great difference. Arguments may bc made that this or that business does not pay, but this ie no cause for e xemption or dt-crease of taxation. A farm may bo improductivo, a store ora house my be without a tenant, a manufacturar may not make a pf-nny, but the taxatiou on these investments rem.iiiiB the same. There ie no system of taxation that is fair, .jiiBt, and equitable, exoept that which taxes all "property exactïy a'iko. Öpecific taxation should only apply to foreigu corporations who, earning money in the State, have no property in the State, euch, as Insurance oompanies and the like. Occa1 sioual escoptions, temporary in their character, may be made to thls rnle for the purpoae of building up some new enterprise, or developing somö new industrj', but the well-governed community is that Tfhere the barden of taxatiou, bo it heavy or Jight, rests cqually upon all property and its owners. INSUBACE. In the creation of an insurauce bureau, the State recognized the fact that th business of insuranee was of such public nature that it demanded the nupervision of ihe State, that its citlzens might not be wronged. Under the faithful luanagement of our CommiBsiontr, the lire companies doing business in this State have been carefully weeded out, and I believe no losses have fallen upon our people from the failurd Jof a fire insuranoe company, in the past two years. We have not been so fortúnate in tbe matter of Iife inauranco. The recent failnre I of the Continental Life Insurance Compauy of New i York city, in which our citizens hold policios amounting to $,700,000, upon which they have probabïy paid Y-500,000 in premiums, ought to attract the attention of our law-makers to our present lcftinlation upon tlic subject of Iife ineuranco. We havo the power of oxamination and of prohibition from doicg business in the State, and that is about alf, and thoCommissionerinlorms me that the oxainiuation of a Iife insurance company is the work inonths. Thirty-threc companiefl of other States aro authorizeil to clo busmosB in this State. These companii s ispue forfeiting or non-forfeiting policies, whilo companies oranized under our own laws cannot f orfeit a poltcy after one payment bus been made. If this law ia righx as appued to ourelvee, and it certainlv is, we 0113M to apply it to all companies doiug business in the State. I believe it to bo the province and the duty of the State to desígnate a f orm of iusurance poliey, always non-forfeitable, frec from all uaelees verbiage, as Bimj)le üb a. promissory note, protecting citizen and company aükc, aud to permit no other to bo usod in the State. If foreifin companies should not liko it, there is no compulfiory law te keep tht m here. Our citizccB hold Iife insnranco policios amounting to $53,000,000, for which they payover$l,600,000 annually, and we owe them a duty iu this matter that we must rot negket. BANKS. The-re are twenty-six baubs in the State tbat are organized under its laws. Of these, eieven are tnviugs banks, with a capital aud surplus of $902,815, and depoBits of $5,078,759; aud fifteen are banliH of depoBit and discount, with capital aud surplus of $1,479,956, and deposits of $2,150,732. Many tff the couuties and municipalities of ihe State have suffer ed heavy loeeea by the defulcation of their Treasurerfl. There is something wrong in a aystcm that allows these oíficertí; nret to perpétrate, and then to conceal for a long time, such f rauds as eome of them liave been guilty of. There shouid be a general law, appücable to every niunicipaiityin tlie State, niandatory in ita provisions, coinpelling settlenients at least f our times a year, by the mthorities with their Treasurers. Such set'.loinents thould not be on paper aimply,but sliould inolude an actual counling of the public tunda in their hands. Under the present law, if a community feel that their Treasurer is ombezzling or misappropriating the public funds. they have no remedy excrpt to wait for the expiratiou of hlB term. If the words "defaulter" and " defalcation" could be stricken out of our vocabulary, and the old-fashioued plain English substituted, it would tend to make these crimes less coinmon. Thia subiect deserves your thoughtful consideration. The provisions of law in the city charters of the State, relating to the taking of private property for public uses, are as varied in their character as the charters are numeroue. Several of these have boen pronounced unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and it is fair to presumo that others would . share the same fate if tested. Tho cities and individúala suffer alike from the eflects of these decisions. Wotlld it not be well to prepare a careful, geueral enactmout, covering this subject, that ehould apply every whcre and to every oue alike 1 MUNICIPAL TÁXATIOlí; The gross aniount of taxation levied in the State ior all purposes is about $15.000,000. Of this about one-thirtieth part íh the State tax. the balance is for city, town, village, school, and highway purposes. Bo, if we grumbla at our taxes, the State geta one-thirtieth and the other forms of governmeut twenty-ninc-thlrtieths of our malfdictions. So, too, if care in legislation is demanded for the State, how niuch greater cate Bhould be given to legislation süecting the different municipalities of the State. The f ramers of the oonstitution, recognizing this duty.have clothed the Lcglslature with power to restrict in cities and villages the powers of taxation, borrowing money. contracting debts, and loanicg their credit. The total municipa indebtedness of $6,584,640, is almndant proof of the necessity and propriety of this provisión of the constitution. If our cities and villages wouid f ollow the cxample of the State, and Ihe dictates of prudenoe - romemboring that out of debt is out of dauger - that debt means taxatlon- that debt is a morigage on, not only the property, but the industry of the people they would be lotli to incur indebtedness and would soon flnd a lighter tax-roll and increased prosperity. Would it not be well to provide for the collectien 8f taxea semi-annnally, instead of annually 1 This plan has been adopted in several of the States, and works well. I can see no reason why tho taxpayer should not have the use of a portion of hls taxes for half of the year instead of the municipality or its Treasurer. The experience of the States that have adopted this system proves that taxes are paid much more promptly. willlngly, and easily th&n under our system. The interett on seven or eight millione for six months is an amonut worth Baving to the people. The decroaeed amount of public funds in the hands of treanurers would partially remove the temptation to speculate with them, and there would be less loeses from this source. It may be sometrouble to inaugúrate the syttem, butl am ot the opinión that it would be a decisive reform. riSH CULTURE. Since Dec. 1, 1874, there haa been hatched and placed in the waters of the State 12,4(0,000 whiteflsh, 1,410,000 salmón, and 150,000 lake trout. Tbere are now in tho two hatching houses 10,000,000 eggs to be dislributed during the ceming spring. The total expense siuce July 1, 1873. has been $23,057.20, an amoimt considerably loss than the appropriation. The inventory of property belongin to the Fish Conmiission is $4, (00. Sufnoieut time bas not yet elapsed to decide conclusively as to the success of this enterprise, but I am of the opmion that it will prove a succeas, and ahould be continued. It ia the belief of those engaged in the work that every acre of water in the State can be made as va'uable as an acre of land, As the appropriatioo expires July 1, 1877, if the business is to be continuad a new one will need to be made. The catch of flsh in our great altes, that hanlieretofore bceñ a source of great revenuo to our people, ia decreasing very rapidly, and chitfly from cauaes that are within our own control, viz.: the Wholesale dostruction of vonng flsh by the present melhods of flshing- catching in sèason and out of season - without any regulation on the pirt of government. The attention of our Senators and RepreBentatives in Congress should be called to this subject, as the General Government has exclusive power and control over it. Michigan bas about 39,000 pq'iare miles of fishing-grounds, and our interest in the buBincsa is one of great pecuniary magnitude. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS. Tiic jimondments to the constitutioti, aubmittod to the people at the late election, strikiug out the clause that proliibitetl tho granting of licenBa for the sale of liquora, and permittmg ameudments to be votert upon hereafter at spring elections, were both adopted by a large majontf. The amendmeut increaing the salary of Circuit Judges was defeatod by a small.majority. It is to be rígrettod that wilh the submiaBion of this amndment there hkd not been some accompanying lcgislation equulizing and reducing the nurnber of circuits. The ineqnalities of population, business, and territcry are very great. Gentlemen who have lately filled the poaition of Jndge in some of ovir circuits have aesured me that they conld have transacted all the business with ease had the district been doubled. We now havo twenty-one Circuit Judges and three special JiuUes who perform the duties of Circuit Jud e. isconsin, with a population of 130,000 less than ours, has thirteen circuits. lowa, with a population 100.0U0 greater than ours, has thirteen Circuit and thirteen District Judges, but they have no Probate Courts. the Circuit Judges having jurisdtctioa in probate cases. Indiana, lïith ft. population SOOtOOO grfater than ours, has iorty Circuit and ftve spedial Judges, but no Probate Judges. Visconsin paya salaries of $3,00i) per anuum; lowa, $2,2!)0 ; Indiana, $2,500. Our judicial system as a whole ia more exp?nsive than any of the above-mentioned. Would it not be wise torewodelit; conso'idatesomeof our circuits, reducing the number, pay our Judges retp ctable salaries, and at the same time f ave expense? The expense oí stenographfrá in the State for 1876 waB $22,008. THE LIQUOK TRAFFIÖ. The law of 1875 nroviding for the regulation and taxation of the liqñor traffic has been in operaiion nearly two years. It was Ihe purpose of the friends of this act not only to regúlate, bnt to restrain the trafile lu strong drink that had grown to be, under other laws, the greatest evil of the day. For the purpose of ascertaining what has been aceoinplished under it, l addresso 1 the Treasurrr of tach county, asking for f uil details of tbc operations of the law in their respective counties. The information is somewhat incomplete, but is probably aa near correct as could bo epectod; In 18T5 the nilmbtr assesscd, as reported to me, wás 4,974;, of theee, 4,215 paid the tax, amountlng to $481, Í62 92. It is altogether probable that those who have not paid have retired from the business. In 1876 the nnmber assessed was 4,553; of these, 3,385 are reported as having paid the tax, amountiiig to$384,387. The collectors of internalrevenue report the nnmber of persons assessed in 187C by Ihe General Government, as deaiers in liquors, 5.333, but thia incluJes drnggipts, who, as a rule, aro not assessed uuder the State law ; while in 1874 the number assesaed was 3,444, showing & decreaso of 1,106 in two years. It is evident, therefore, that the act of i87f has de creased the number of places where liquor is sold very largely. As nianv of the persons asseesed have retired frjm the business, ilnd others have beon aosessed for perioae kss than a year, I estimate fiom the reports that there are about 4,000 placeB for the sale of liquors in the State 'I he official reports of the pólice offleers of the citiej of Detroit, Grand Rapids, East Saginaw and Jackson, report 3,974 arreBtB for drnnkenness in 1874, 3,282 in 1875, aud 2.228 in 1876. This decroase of drunkenncss and of placea wiiere humanity is made barter of. and dollars traded for degrartalion, inuat be gratiiying to tyory Citizen. The reporta show very generalij that bchiud thl6 law thero stands a public sentiment that says enforce it. Thore are counties, however, as Bhown by tho ïvports ol" 1870, in which it has not been properly enf orced. Tliis ia notably the case in Bay, Iionghton, Inghani, Jackson, Kent, Lapeer, Marquette, bt. Olair, Saginaw, and ayne counties. Sonie of the oftlcers, wtiose business it la to eiif oroe tho law have lost sight cf the restrictivo and reetraining idea nniierlying it, and rather tban cloee up the business, have fostered it by acceptingniontlily paymcnts on account. I flnd Uu's syBteui in vogue quite extensivcly. There is no time fixed in tb.9 law for tho collecüon by the Sheriff, or for return oí warrant by hlm. I e-uggest, Iktriiore, that the law be aniended, giving the Treamirer a certaiu specifled nnmber of daysin which he may rcceive the tax, giving to the. Sheriff not exceediuR tliirty days in whioh to collcct, and fivedayBsdditional in which to make nis return. When his return is mailo, he shonld be reqnired tofurnishacopyof it to the prosecuting attorney of the county, whose duty it should beto comnaenco pro êdingü at once in all cases where the tax has not been paid. The Treasurer should also furnish monthly llsïs of persons who have failed to file the bonds requiredunder the law, to the prosecuiing attorney for prosecution. Summary procesa for the absolute removal of auy offletr nealccting hts duties under this law should bc provided for. These details of administratioa ought not to be needed, but there seems to be something peculiar rogarding this business, and it requires tying up tight. The polico refïulations, in my opinión, shrmld be so ameudi d as to proiiibit the sale of any kind of intoxicatilig liquors on eloctióu day, and after 11 o'ciock at night. Thero is a vast atnount of liquor sokl in drug aud coufectionery stores, without the payment of tJie tax. Tlie oniy remedy that I can suggest is to place them uuder the provisious of thü law and tax tliein. I believe tht with these anjendmouts tho law uill be fonnd, year by year, more and more restraining in its tendencies, aud more productivo of good to the people. It has already closed over Ü,OOJ places whoro liqnor lias been eold, and bas put into the ooniïnoü Iroasury nearly $1,000,000 i'rom the traffle. The spring is no higher than its source, aud no law that bas not the eympathy and sentiment of the people acting with it wiU ever remody an evil. If a commuuity do not regard temperauce, sobriety and good moráis as a neceesity to their well-beiDg, tbc law wlll do th ui bul little good, wbilo, to the friends of good order, public pcaceand private content, it will prove a bleesing. Intemperance U the danger of the honr. It feeds prison aud poor-house, debtroys moráis and niaiihood, and, caucer-like, eats away the lile of the individual and nation Iiw will not stop its ravages, but it üiay be made an instrument that will stop its tvil work, and thia I belii ve our present law is doiug. It should Le trenglhsued aud improvcd, bearinff in mmd that its provitiions Bhoiüd be kept within the pale of public sentiment, and within the rarge oi the commoa sense of justice that ao uuivernally próvaiis in the minds of the p ■■■ ple. Tüe sudden aud severo illness in my family that calis me away has prevented nio from preparirig tae report of the Cf ntonnlal exhibit made by the State. I sliall bo coinpelled to def r it until my return, and ask my eucoesaor to transmlt it to yon. Senators and Rppresentatives, in closmg my official conncction with the State, I cannot refraiu from espreeaing mg nincore gratitude to my fellowcitizens of all opininus and parties for the kindly consideration they havo always shown me. I Bliall bc ar it with me as a preclous meinory. I have failh tbat, with good laws, equal juBtice, and general education as thfc foundation stone, we shill build here a State that will in material wealth and in the moral and mental worth of her citizeuship stand forever as the handiwork of a free people.

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Old News
Michigan Argus