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April 18, 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Published every Saturday.
191 Broadway, N. Y.
ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway*
J, T. UNDSEY, Business Manager.
APRIL 13, 1884,
The newspapers shout "job" so often when there is no occasion
for it that their cries of alarm are not heeded when a case of real job¬
bery comes along. Five hundred thousand dollars is too much for
paving Fifth avenue properly, for experts say $350,000 is more
than euough. The Fifth avenue roadway is m a very bad condi¬
tion, and ought to be repaved from Washington square to tbe upper
end of the Central Park. Tbe way things are going ou some time
or other Broadway must ba repaved. The various companies that
have torn up the street have not relaid the pavement in the best
manner. The greatest sinner in thia respect has been the Western
Union Company. The stones have been taken up to lay the pneu¬
matic tubes, and the subsequent repaving has been slovenly in the
extreme. All this will be an excuse for a costly job for repaving
the Broadway pavement some time.
The determination of the cable company people to build new
lines for city travel is not a matter for real estate owners to cry
over. We need more surface cars and, if possible, a swifter means
of conveyance than liorse-power. Anything that economizes time
in traveling without adding to the expense is a public benefit. The
opposition to the new street roads in the preas is, of course, in the
interest of the existing horae-car monopolies. Then the promises
of the cable company to charge only one fare of five cents to any
part of the city, even though two or more lines of travel are used,
is very attractive and will make the enterprise popular in spite of the
newspapers. We cannot, however, but think that ibe city ought
to have some return for the use of its streets. The cable company
should pay a percentage on its gross receipts for the great privi¬
lege. Had this been done in the past by omnibus lines, horse-cars,
gas and ferry companies and the elevated roads, we would
have yearly a handsome addition to the receipts of the city treas¬
ury. Then a monopoly of the streets should not be given for
steam power alone. Some motor other than steam may be found
desirable in the future. The electric railway may be so perfected
as to be used on our surface roads with safety and economy.
The great cotton crop of 1883-83 reduced the price so low
that growers became despondent and operators predicted that in a
few years we might expect to see standard cotton selling at eight
cents. But the pendulum swung in 'quite a different direction.
Cotton is BOW worth twelve centa instead of eight and may go
higher, and that in face of the cheapening of all standard products
due to the endeavor of the commercial nationa to make gold alone
do the work of gold and silver combined as the unit of value. Now
the cry ia that we must stop growing wheat in this country,
because the Hindoo is raising it, and can furnish a better quality
at a cheaper price than we can. While it ia true that the great
markets of the world are glutted with grain, that is no reason
why w« should stop growing wheat in the future. Thecotton crop
of India was a short one last year, because of the very heavy crop
of the previoua year in the United StatPS, Wheat-growing nations
this year will naturally refrain from planting so large an area, and
it ia just possible that our fine growing crop of winter wh«at may
command excellent prices next fall and winter. The wise farmer
will continue to grow the product whicli the unwise farmer
refrains from planting. If Mr. Jaj Gould even did say that
America would be forced in future to conaume its own wheat ho
talked nonsense. We are nearer Europe than is India, and can
produce and transport wheat in the long run as cheaply as any
nation on earth.
The number of standard silver dollars coined up to April 1, 1884,
waa $168,425,639, about $3 per head for every man, woman and
child in the United States, but t'rance has $14,40 per capita, the
Netherlands $13.30 and Belgium $9.46 per capita. That this excess
of silver does not drive out gold i) shown by the additional fact
that France has a gold circulation ot $33,35 per head, Belgium
<17.85 per head and Holland $8,00 per head, in other words France
baa a gold circtilation of $13.00 per head greater than our own people,
and Belgium $7.60 per head. Then the Bank of France, while it has
$200,159,000'in silver five-franc pieces in ita vaults, it also has $197,-
461,000 in gold, which is a greater amount of the yellow metal than
is in the vaults of the Banks of England and Germany combined.
Only 32,397,467 eilver dollars are owned by our treasury, the rest
are in circulation or in the form of certificates. The Bank of
France haa over seven times the amount of ailver held by our
treasury, yet gold is steadily leaving our shores to go to France. It
ieems likely, however, that much of the silver now in the treasury
will be needed in the channels of retail trade, as the one and two-
dollar greenbacks are wearing out, The number of one-dollar bills
originally printed was $58,168,C00, and of two-dollar bills $49,540,-
000. From this it will be seen that were these bills withdrawn
there would be an immediate demand not only for all the silver
dollars in the treasury but for the eagles and half eagles in gold. If
France, with 20,000,000 less population than the United States, can
make use of 540,000,000 five-franc silver pieces, it is very certain that
the United states can keep on coining 2,000,000 silver dollars per
month for the next quarter of a century without doing any harm.
Across the North River.
There are few places in tbe world more thoroughly dismal by
nature than the flata of Jersey City and Hoboken, aa on the other
hand there are not many places pleasanter by nature than the
heights behind them. But the heights and the lowlands have
equally been neglected in the past by art, and it has been a stand¬
ing wonder to the occasional visitor to these suburbs how those of
the inhabitants who resisted the temptation to suicide have kept
from taking to drink.
It is gratifying to observe that the Eesthetic impulse has actually
propagated itself across the river, People who have not had occa¬
sion to cross the ferry to Hoboken within five or sis years will,
of course, scout such a statement as wild, but it is neverthe¬
less true that the surroundings of the ferry are interesting;
nay, they are cheerful. The ferry houae itself was done
early in the frenzy of Queen Anne, and shows memen¬
toes of the period in pot-bellied balusters and rising suns and
other of those fantastical details which were then imagined to
constitute a style, and of which the revivalists are now probably
no more enamored than anybody else. But along with these affec¬
tations there is some clever and appropriate detail, the work ia
soberly painted, and upon the whole is agreeable. Just outside of
the ferry houae is a shingled tavern, which is still better, being
simple and broad in treatment, and having the quaintness which
belongs to a building of thia kind, and waa so conspicuously lacking
to the building of the Jersey shores ten years ago. The quaintness
of the building is enhanced to the dabbler in local history by the
sign of "Duke's Honse," This is probably only a coincidence of
names, aud imports no moi'e than that one Duke is the tavern
keeper. Moreover, the "Duke's Farm," which makes ao conspicu¬
ous a figurein the colonial annals of "Paulua Hook" and "Harsimus,"
was, we believe, a mile or more helow the site of the house which
aeems to commemorate it. But, at all events, the coincidence, if
it ba no more, is a lucky coincidence.
There are some brick buildings just beyond the wooden tavern
which aeem to be parts of the aame "improvement," and are equally
meritorious in their way, being of rather pale brick, relieved by
brick of a more positive red in quoins, copings and jambs, all very
modest, straightforward and inoffensive in the general Tiew. To
say that a building in Hoboken is inoffensive is to give it high
praise. 'I'he old, gaunt and depressing rows of houses are still
there, but they are in a manner hidden by a foreground of better
work. The German steamship company has however built a pre¬
tentious and overloaded edifice, apparently sheathed with tin, on
the water front which ia conspicuoua for vulgarity even in Hoboken.
Jersey City ia by nature more depressing than Hoboken, as being
further from the heights, and topographically even more depressed,
while by art it haa been made to look very much as Hoboken looked
before the ersctiou ofthe buildings we have been talking about.
The only oasis near the water front is a little two-atory house on an
irregular corner which looks as if it might be a hundred years old,
and consists of a rough stone wall with brick quoina, There is noth¬
ing to distinguish it except an absence of vulgarity, and this is really
a great distinction among its neighbors. Further back, in the streets
devoted to dwellings, the effect is as discouraging in its way as
that of the business quarter. An immense stable, belonging to the
Adams Express Company, is noticeable, not for its architecture,
which conaists of a great round pediment in the middle and a gable
towards each end, and is aa commonplace as possible in treatment,
but for ita great size and its material, which is brick from Haver¬
straw, of a very good though light color, with variation enough of
tint and roughness enough of surface to make a very pretty wall.
The effect of it, as a piece of brickwork, is very good indeed, and
is not injured by the rough courses of sandstone which belt it at
intervals, although the rocky keystones of the brick arches look
foolish and unnecessary. It is to he feared, from the character of