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October 3, 1885
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
IQl Broadv7a,v, IST. "!£".
Our TelepUone Call is
OIVE YEAR, iu advance, SIX DOLLARS.
ComniunicatioQs should be addressed to
€. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LIND8EY, Business Manager.
OCTOBER 3, 1885.
The business outlook is all that could be desired. There really
seems to be a general aud genuine revival of trade. The railroad
situation improves, rates are being restored, and the rival syHtenis
are harmonizing their differences. As a consequence, stocks are
strong, and better price-} are confidently predicted. Real estate
shows signs of improvement so far as this cit}'^ and neighborhood is
concerned. It really seems as if the time has come for wisely-
planned new enterprises. The bear failures will have only a trans¬
President Cleveland Is in trouble. His New York Mugwump
friends have gone over to the enemy and the Democratic State
machine is in the hands of bitter opponents to Civil Service Reform.
Had he allowed ex-boss Manning to have his way, he might
have had a candidate for Governor chosen after his own sort whom
the Independent Republicans would have endorsed. But now that
fat is all in the fire. Then Secretary Garland's case is an awkward
one. His using the legal machinery of his office to help a company
in which he had a personal interest is wholly indefensible. But
the President himself is honest and all give him the credit of good
Mayor Grace is also in trouble. His dealing with Ward and the
Marine Bank need explaining very badly. He gives one the
impression of being a very shrewd, enterprising man of business,
determined to make money and achieve official distinction witliout
much regard to the means used ; yet he got the votes, at the last
election, of all the best men in the city. He talks and writes well
enough, but all his acts shows that all he cares for is to advance
the personal fortunes of William R. Grace.
The failure to punish Ferdinand Ward or to find in whose posses¬
sion the money is he robbed people of is a scandal to the machinery
of our courts. The discovery of his villainy occurred in June, 1884,
and were our courts organized to administer justice his trial would
have been over in three months from that date. But he has been
protected and sufficient time given to in all probability dispose of
most of the quick assets of the :lishonest firm. Fish has been sent
to prison it is true, but he was presumably less guilty than a score
of others who were interested in that dl'^honest tirm.
The spectacle of Mr. Charles A. Buddensiek walking about this
town is nctt calculated to deepen the popular respect for the law.
The man is under a sentence of imprisonment for manslaughter.
If we inquire why it is that he is not serving out his sentence and
acquiring a more honest trade than that he practiced before his
trial, the answer is that t)ne judge thought it probable that another
judge, who tried the case, had made a mistake on a law point, and
that Buddensiek, instead of being held under nis sentence, was
released on the chance that some other judges might agree with
the judge who disagreed with the other judge. This is a nice
state of things, and a pretty commentary on the "law reform"
about which the lawyers have been talking. The fact is, that
lawyers cannot and will not reform the law, by the absurdities of
which they live, and it is ridiculous to expect such a thing.
The suggestion of Mr, Austin Abbott that our real estate brokers
should do business after the manner of the Clearing House rather
than that of the Stock and Produce Exchange merits the serious
attention of all who are interested in building up the Exchange.
Indeed, during the past week, the brokers who attend these meet¬
ings have taken a new departure, which in a measure corresponds
with Mr. Abbott's suggestion. On every Wednesday and Saturday
a printed slip is issued giving tlie wants and offerings of the various
brokers, which slip, of course, is confined to such members of the
Exchange as care to transact business in that way. The brokers
can take these slips to their respective offices, and a glance at their
books will tell them whether a transaction can be effected. The
brokers have further agreed to offer no property over which they
have not absolute control for the time being. *We are in a position
to state that the officers of the Exchange are very well satisfied
with the progress hitherto made in these daily meetings. The
interest is increasing and new brokers are making their appearance
daily. People who have money to loan on real estate find it to
their advantage to visit the floor of the Exchange.
A stock board was organized in Chicago some years ago, but
somehow it never was able to do a profitable business. To help it
along the Illinois Legislature in July, 1883, passed a law entitled :
'* An act to require railroad corporations to have and maintain a
public office or place in the State of Illinois where transfers of stock
may be made, and to enforce the provisions of section 9 article 1 of
the constitution of Illinois." The act itself fully sustains the title.
The requirement applies to roads doing business in the State no
less than to those organized under the laws of the State. The
requirement goes farther than merely a transfer-book. The com¬
pany must keep not only ** ab.>ok in which the trau-tfers of shares of
its stock shall be registered." but also " another book containing the
names of its shareholders, which book shall be open to the exami¬
nation of the stockholders." As there were no transactions to
record, the companies failed to comply with the law. and now the
Inter-Ocean calls for the enforcement of the fines of from $1,000 to
Chicago, in fact, demands that the monopoly of the dealing in
bonds and stocks now possessed by Nevv York shall be surrendered.
Says the Inter-Ocean :
" Without discussing the object had iu mind by the framer of the law in
question it is obvious that the practical effect of its observance iu good faith
would be a tendency to weaken the centralization of money in New York.
The time has come when the West should be far more self-centred than it
is. There is no good reason why the prairie States should pay tribute to
Wall street. Until recently all our local, corporate aud public indebted¬
ness was raade pavable in New York. Illinois bonds were all payable
there, interest aud principal. Tjat was all very well at the time the bonds
were issued, bufc as the time has now come when stock should be transfer¬
able here, so the time has gone by wheu our bonds should ba payable at the
East. Iu 1881), if we are not mistaken iu the date, the first local bonds
payable in Chicago were issued, but the city still continues to pay tribute to
All this is very well, but why should not New York do much of
the grain and provision business now monopolized by Chicago ?
The Armorv Jobs.
The undisputed evidence about the purchase of armory sites, as
taken by the Gibbs' Committee, may be summed up as follows :
A man named Wilson, who is not a real estate broker, was the
agent through whom three armory sites were sold to the Armory
Board at the asking price of the sellers. For the sight of the
Eighth Regiment armory $350,000 were paid to a man who had
bought it from the owners, he says, for " over $315,000." He admits
pocketing $11,000 for his own share of the profit and handing over
$11,000 to Wilson for his, and Wilson admits receiving the latter
sum. For the site of the Twent3'-8ecoud Regiment armory the city
paid $265,000, and Wilson confessed to receiving a commission of
$3,650. The owner says he demanded more. For the site of the
Twelfth Regiment armory the city paid $208,000, although it had
been offered to the farmer colonel of the regiment by the owner for
$200,000. Wilson confesses to a commission of $2,080 on this
transaction. He thus admits having received for the three trans¬
fers $10,730, ani declines to produce his bank account. The testi¬
mony of the witnesses who paid him his commissions is that they
paid him for his supposed influence with General Sbaler; that is,
Wilson was supposed to have received from General Shaler a
" put" on armory sites at the seller's price. The other members of
the board disavow any responsibility for the purchases, alleging
that they deferred to General Shaler's opinion. It does not appear
that Wilson ever went before the board at all, though it is in
evidence that he went before General Shaler. Wilson says he went
as a broker; General Sbaler says he went merely as a friend.
We believe this to be an uncolored statement of the testimony.
Comment upon it, as regards the persons affected by it, would be
wildly superfluous, unless it took the form of judicial proceedino-s.
But we may remark that some such scandal was exa^'tly what was
to be expected from so monstrous a project. The average number
of members each of these three regiments can turn out on parade
is under 500. For the accommodation of these 500 men the Legis¬
lature empowered the city, which seems for this purpose to mean
General Shaler, to buy land at an average price of about $275,000
for each regiment, and to build armories. Say the buildings cost
ouly as much as the land, which is doubtless an underesti¬
mate, and we have an expense considerably over $1,000 for each
This is at once ridiculous and monstrous. It seems wonderful
that such a project could ever have got through the Legislature;
still more wonderful that it could have got through without
opposition and exposure. The legislators seem to have gone in fear
of the votes of the National Guard, and the newspapers of their