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November 8, 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad-way, N. Y.
ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARSo
Commuiucations should be addressed to
C, W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
Jjl^. U^O^^Y, Buainese Manager.
NOVEMBER 8, 1884.
The issue of the presidential canvass ia in doubt as we go to
press, and it will probably require the official action of the State
Board of Canvassers, of which Governor Cleveland is the head, to
finally determine the result. There is a report that the Republican
National Committee propose to contest the matter in the courts,
but this would be unnecessary If Blaine should have the plurality
in this State, and in no case would the courts go behind the official
returns of the canvaasers. In the meantime it behooved all good
citizens to keep cool and in every way to discountenance action
likely to lead to disturbances of the public peace.
The New York press has gained no laurels in its manipulation of
election returns. After the closing of the polls the sole business of a
newspaper should have been to give the news. Who was elected was
simply a matter of fact to be determined by the figures. But with
one exception the different newspapers kept up their partisanship,
and did all they could to deceive their readers. The Herald, World,
Times and Telegram made most preposterous claims regarding
States, which they declared were carried by Cleveland. On the
other hand the Tribune as late as Friday morning was saying that
States like Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Florida were in
doubt. People who kept their heads after the first returns pub¬
lished on Wednesday, saw that everything depended upon New
York, with the chances slightly in favor of Mr. Cleveland. There
was really a dangerous state of feeling in the city on Thursday
evening, and it would have been an easy matter to have gotten up
a first-class riot. The Herald and Telegram, did what they could to
provoke one. The Bun alone of the city papers seems to have kept
its head and tried to deal fairly with its readers.
real estate by reducing its burdens. It will not embarrass the
prosecution of the construction of ,'the new aqueduct, but it may
postpone for a few years the acquisition of the proposed parks in
the annexed district. Our bonded debt is now nomiuaUy above the
limit prescribed by the constitutional amendment, and Mayor
Edson, who is opposed to the creation of the new parks, is taking
measures to delay the court proceedings condemning the lands in
the annexed district designed for these pleasure resorts. Our
actual debt, however, is not as large as our_nominal debt, due to
the existence of the sinking fund. Nominally we owe $135,000,000,
but our actual debt is about $96,000,000, while the constitutional
amendmeot permits us to assume obligations as high as $119,000,000,
which is 10 per cent, of the present assessed valuation of our real
estate. The friends of the netv parks will not be pleased at the
turn things have taken, but perhaps the Legislature next winter
may make matters all right.
Wm. E. Grace, our newly elected Mayor, has now a chance to
secure a reputation equal to thrt of Seth Low of Brooklyn. He ia
supreme in the municipal government of New York. There are
no honors to which he may not aspire if he gives the city good and
responsible heads of departments. There is a suspicion that he
owes his election to Johnny O'Brien, the Republican boss. It is
certain that the Republican votes which should have been cast for
Mr. Gibbs went to Mr. Grace. The latter, however, felt no obliga¬
tion to John Kelly for his first election, and if he is untrammeled by
private pledges he can afford to disregard Mr, O'Brien's claims if
indeed he has any. New York is already indebted to Mayor Grace
lor the street cleaning commission. His article in Harper''$ shows
that he thoroughly understands the needs of our city government.
If he follows up the suggestions contained in that admirable pres¬
entation of the city's needs, he could easily be re-elected two years
hence; that is if a grateful people will not insist in the meantime
upon elevating him to a still higher office than that of Mayor of
New York city.
There is no reason to believe that any election fraud was com¬
mitted. The Associated Press ia not, as is generally supposed, in
any way controlled hy Jay Gould. Indeed, the former has lost its
monopoly of news since Gould has been master of the Western
"Union Telegraph Company. There was a time when the franchise
of an Associated Press New York paper was worth from $300,000 to
$500,000. To-day it ia scarcely worth anything, as news can be freely
purchased from other agencies by any outside journal, which is
quite as good as that collected by the old press monopoly.
But itis a public calamity that the great telegraph company is
under the control of one man, and he one of the most objection¬
able personages in the country. To this telegraph company is com¬
mitted all family and business secrets. It is an indispensible agent
for communicating information of all kinds, and in no country on
earth would its private ownership be tolerated save alone the
United States. This is a power which should not be lodged in the
very best of men, and yet we tolerate its ownership by the worst
speculator and peculator of the age. There should be a unanimous
demand from the whole Union that the government should assume
control of the telegraph system.
As the Blaine vote was nearly 90,000 it is very clear that had the
Republican local machine so desired it would have been an easy
matter for that party to have elected its entire county ticket,
including Mayor. But for some reason O'Brien deliberately sacri¬
ficed the control of New York by his party for the next two years.
Had a first-class Republican ticket been nominated and loyally
supported it would have polled more than Blaine, for many of the
Times and Evening Post Republicans who voted for Cleveland
would have preferred one of their own party to any Democrat.
The full Cleveland vote waa something over 133,000, and with a
first-class Republican local ticket in the field the Democratic vote
would be very evenly divided ; but the way in which the Republi¬
can rrachine manipulated matters the rank and file of the Republi¬
can voters aaw that there was no cliance for Mr. Gibbs, and voted
for Grace and the County Democratic ticket. What could have
been O'Brien's motive ?
John Kelly and Tammany Hall have met their Waterloo. The
"boss" would not listen to any suggestion of a trade. He could
have saved his Mayor and one or two other important county ofHces ,
if he had given Cleveland away ; but Tammany would not
make a deal, and the result is its possible destruction, for
the whole force ot the new Democratic administration, if Cleve¬
land is really elected, will be used to crush it. For the first
time the patronage of the general government, the State and the
city -vt^W. be united against Tammany, Had Mr. Kelly been able to
say ttufli-he bad defeated Cleveland he would have been a power
lKrffaft$iH<especiallj if his Mayor had been elected, "^s he could have
b8Mii;> ibiUiBtrange, but the fact remains, nevertheless, that John
Kellif's-honesty and not his treachery has brought bim to grief..
■ J ■ i' ■______________*_____________'
•The constitutional amendment so earnestly advocated by this
ifublication has been adopted by an overwhelming majority, but
the vote waa light-jtlts ultimate effect wiU^be to raise the value of
Benjamin F, Butler did not poll a large vote as a presidential
candidate, but his canvass had the effect of bringing to light the
demagoguery of the rival party organizations. The organs on both
sides made particular appeals to the workingmen, and the Demo¬
cratic candidate especially was attacked for some of his vetoes in
which he waa clearly right. His refusal to indorse the reduction
of the fares to five cents on the *' L " roads was a highly creditable
one, as was also his approval of the reduction of the outrageous
fees charged by the pilot monopoly. It was one of the most cheer¬
ing signs of the times that so many thousands of workingmen
were not influenced by these appeals to their supposed self-inter¬
est. The most dangerous symptom of the political situation was
the willingness of the leading journals to allow their columns to
be used for pandering to this supposed labor interest. A prejudice
of this kind was tried to be created against Mr, Grace, but his large
vote showed that he lost nothing, but probably gained from the
employing and commercial classes ; but it was Butler's candidacy
which frightened the party organs into appealing to a prejudice
wbich fortunately did not exist or was not active enough to be
By the time the Metropolitan Bank's accounts are adjusted it Ig
foared that little if anything will be left for the stockholders. In
winding up its affairs it is said that many worthless assets have
been found. We have always believed that in the depression
which followed the panic of 1873 the banks of the country must
have made aome very bad loans. The shrinkage of the last three
years must have added largely to the worthless notes which the
banks discounted. The true state of affairs will never be discovered
until liquidation is decided upon. When circumstances shall force
many banka to wind up, we fear revelations will be made touching
the unsoundness of many well-thought-of institutions for which
the public are not prepared.