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April 5, 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday,
191 Broadway, N. Y.
OW. \FAVi, iu advance, SIX DOLLiVKS.
Communications should be addressed to
€. W. SWEET, 191 Bruadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager,
APRIL 5, 1884.
Our editors lose their heads when a riot takes place. The smell
of guupowder maddens them as it always does a mob. The
English authorities of late years never employ fire-arms in fight¬
ing mobs, at least not since the Bristol riots, when the Duke of
Wellington was Prime Minister. On that occasion tho use of cav¬
alry and fire-arms provoked so wrathful a feeling that the govern¬
ment wisely decided to trust hereafter to policemen and their clubs,
but of course always to hold the military in readiness in case of a
vital emergency. The efficiency of tbe policemen was shown sub¬
sequently at the great Chartist demonstration, which really threat¬
ened revolution. Special constables of citizens were sworn in to
help the police, but they were only armed with clubs. It will be
remembered tbat Louis Napoleon, then an exile in London, acted as
a special policeman on that occasion. Since then there have been
many riots in England, of wbich the most notable were those at
Hyde Park, but the police were always sufficient to quell the most
■violent and unreasonable mobs. London can probably supply more
daogerous characters to a mob than any city in the world. It is pop¬
ulous and the work people are poor and often depraved. Even in Ire¬
land, where the whole popuiatioi' is at enmity with the government,
it is tho constabulary who are employed, rarely if ever the soldiers,
in dispersing the disaffected meetings. The rough fellows who com-
-pose those excited gatherings understand the club, and do not like
to have fcheir shins barked or their skulls cracked, but the use of
gunpowder always creates a frenzy. The French resort to it and
hence the frequent scenes of madness in the streets of Paris, We
Americans also promptly resort to shooting, and always with
disastrous effects. The Astor place riot was signalized by shooting
at a mob, which could have been far easier suppressed by a quiet
charge of bayonets. Our raw militia, however, are naturally excita¬
ble, and some fool in tbe ranks fires before the order is given. This
always lets the devil loose in a mob. The draft riots in this city
during the Civil War, the Pittsburg labor riot, and now this late
Cincinnati business, might all have been put down without a shot
being fired. Ifc w^as the regulars who put an end to the Pittsburg
riots by marching through the streets with fixed bayonets, and
thus dispersing the mob without resorting to gunpowder. The
Cincinnati rioters were not Communists, dynamite Irishmen, or
ignorant emigrants, but American citizens, whose moral sense had
been outraged by the leniency shown to notorious criminals by the
corrupt courts of that city. There was no need of a single person
being shot or wounded iu Cincinnati. Outside of France on the
continent of Europe the soldiery are never used in case of riot.
Within a few months a mob of dangerous disaffected workmen in
Vienna were put down hy the police. We will probably keep on
shooting at mobs in the United States until we get older and wiser.
Our rulers are generally recruited from a class which is afc once
timid and rash, and the members of which hold office for sboit
terms. Our militiamen are very inexperienced, and then our
editors, in case of an outbreak, are sure to cry " Shoot them
down," as witness nearly all the papers during the past few days.
It seems to be settled that all or nearly all the reform bills intro¬
duced by Mr.Theodore Roosevelt in the Legislature will be adopted.
We have no doubt they will accomplish much good but they are
far from perfect. Tbe Comptroller should not be elected but
appointed by the Mayor. The Board of Estimates should not be
confined to four officers whose ordinary duties should take up all
their time. That board should be enlarged by the addition of
several tax-paying experts who would do all the executive work.
Single-beaded departments are all right provided the Mayor has the
power of prompt removal, which the Roosevelt bills do not give
him. The case of Hubert O. Thompson and that of the Surrogate
show that rank abuses flourish in single-headed departments when
the tenure of office is for a fixed term. Then the Park Commission,
like the Charities and Correction, should be composed of three or
ftye members appointed by tbe Alayo?:, Still if fjip yeform
measures pass, imperfect as they are, a good work will have been
The Facts About Real Estate.
The daily prcPS of New York has made such ado about the so-
called ■'boom" in real estate tbat a wrong impression bas been
created as to the actual facts in the case. It is quite true that
there has beeu eager bidding at the auction sales for certain kinds
of investment property; it is also true that brokers and dealers feel
very much more encouraged at the present outlook than they were
when the year commenced. But there is no " boom" in real estate
as the tables io this article, compiled from tbe records in our own
ofBce, very clearly show.
The tests in any business are the number of sales and tbe amounts
involved. From the tables it will be seen that there were about
150 more conveyances in the first three months in this year com¬
pared with the first three months of laat year. But while $42,514,-
564 was expended in purchases in realty in 1883, tlie first three
months of tbis year show an aggregate of $39,038,444, some
$3,500,000 less, Tbe March showing this year does not compare
favorably with the same month last year.
Then turning to the new buildings projected we find that there
were only 614 projected during the first three months this year
against 687 new buildings projected during the sarae period
last year. The cost of the projected improvements this year are
$8,348,386, against $13,775,400 last year, a faUing off of nearly four
million and one half. Still it maj be remarked in passing that the
first three months of 1883 were the best in the year, and among the
plans were some very large and costly dwellings. Here are the
1883 No, CoiiTeya,
February ___ 844
March ....... 1,031
February..... 892 -
Nom, 33d & 34th W. Amount,
259 85 $147,895
318 106 344,358
257 102 201,572
5 p. C,
924 $10,708,674 488 831,704,183
Total........ 2.515 83\394,6iil
912 $10,089,642 503 $0,639,918
Total No. buildings projected.......
No, south of 14th street...............
Bet. 14th Sl 59th streets...............
Bet. .Wth& 135tl) sts, eastoC&th av...
Bet. 59lt & I35tli k!s, westof Sth av.
Bet. nOth& 125th sta, SthJZ Sth ftvs..
Nonh of 13.5th street,................
2.3d & 34th Wards..................
687 $12,775,400 614 $8,348,286
A careful study of tbe above figures will serve to dispel some
illusions. Transactions in realty are increasing; this is due to the
growth of our population and the greater number of holders, now
that so many large estates such as the Jumel, Morgan and others
bave been divided up. The outlook is, however, very fair; inveat-
Mient property is in growing demand. Vacant lots, however, ex¬
cept in the line of immediate improvement, are still slow of sale,
though undoubtedly their turn will come in time, Real estate never
advances along the whole line; first one kind of property is in de¬
mand, and then another; when there is a speculation on the east
side the west and otber portions of the city are apt to be neglected.
In this respect real property is not unlike Wall street securities,
which advance or recede in groups, as shown by the history of
prices in the Grangers, the coal stocks, the Vanderbilts, etc.
There is real harm done to the best interest of realty when ex¬
travagant statements are made respecting prices. It has been the
aim of The Record and Guide to stick closely to tbe facts so as
not to deceive its readers. The prospects of real property are so
good tbat there }s HO peed of putting forth illusive and deceptive