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November 37, 1886
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad^w^av, IST. Y.
Onr Teleplione Call is ... .
ONE ¥EiR, iu advance, Sll DOLLARS.
Commimications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Businesa Manager.
NOVEMBER 27, 1886.
There have been further sales of vacant real eatate during the
past week, and the result on the whole has been very satisfactory
to holders. There seeins to be a real investment demand for
unimproved property in the Tweuty-third and Twenty-fourth
Wards. It is a noticeable fact that the buyers are people of
moderate means, wlio purchase not to speculate but to invest or
improve. This useful middle-class is beginning to realize that the
region just north of the Harlem River affords the best of chances
for those who wish to make prudent investments in real property.
It is hard to tell how far this movement will go. It may eventually
develop into a real estate ** boom;" but, so far, it looks like the
beginning of a wholesome investment buying movement.
ous practical blunder in opposing the coinage of silver, and in
contending for the selfish policy of the national banks in trying to
make gold the sole unit of value. Mr. Cleveland is reputed to be
a very stubborn personage, and there will be much curiosity to see
if lie is willing to admit that he was mistaken In his previous anti-
silver letters and messages.
AU the markets were somewhat irregular this week, due to the
intervention of the first of the holidays. Stocks naturally become
somewhat weak towards the close of the year from a variety of
causes. Money is apt to be iiight because land taxes are paid at
this season of the year. Millionaires sell their securities to invest
in greenbacks or governments which are now taxable, and then
money is withdrawn from the " street" to make January payments.
There may be spurts in the stock market between now and the first
of January, but prudent operators are disposed to take in sail during
the stormy month of December. But the country is prosperous.
Our railroad system was never doing better, and there is every
prospect that during January there will be a much higher market
for all securities.
The daily press is not justified in attacking the 3ury for not con¬
victing McQuade. There would be some cause for complaint if
the majority of the jury favored conviction and only a few were
for acquittal. But when nine out of the twelve were willing to
give the prisoner the benefit of the doubt as to the credibility of
the testimony against him, they probably took the same course as
any other average jury would have done. The law is explicit, that
a jury must not believe a perjured accomplice unless there is cor¬
roborating testimony. This the District Attorney failed to furnish,
aud hence the disagreement of the jury. It will not do to entirely
discredit our jury system, and the newspapers who are raising this
clamor are not doing the public a service. Now that the difficulty
is pointed out, the District Attorney ought to be able to convict
McQuade on the next trial.
The batch of letters we publish addressed to Mr. Geo. W. Van
Siclen respecting his proposed enactments abolishing the right of
dower and curtesy and permitting married partners to deed prop¬
erty to each other directly, will be found of the very greatest inter¬
est, as they are from people generally who can speak with authority
on such subjects. If the members of the Legislature could be
persuaded to read the letters on this subject, published in The
Record and Guide this week and last, the State of New York
would lead the way this year in abolishing these legal survivals of
a barbarous past. No one disputes the right of wife and children
to be cared for out of the husband's or father's estate, but the lien,
if any, should be on all his property. But it leads to endless con¬
fusion aud unnecessary litigation when a wife or husband has the
right to stop the transfer of property not their own. It will be
noticed that all the practical lawyers favor the abolition of dower
rights and legal curtesy in the disposal of. property of husbands or
wives. The letters cover the ground so completely that there is
really nothing left for us to say editorially.
In the draft of President Cleveland's message read to tiie Cabi¬
net last week, it is said, he only makes a brief allusion to the silver
question. He will discuss, so the report goes, the necessity of certain
measures to prevent its depreciation. It would be a wise policy on
the park of the President and his Cabineli if they should agree to
act hereafter with the two-third's majorifcy in both fiouses of
Congress in favoring home as well as international bimetallism.
The recent business history of the country as well as of the world
sho^sthat the preseut I)ei»ooratlo a4miia8tr4tjo& made a griev*
Tunnels, Terminals, and Railway Connections.
Various causes have combined to maintain the confessedly
defective terminal system of this port. In the first place there are
large investments in the flotilla for river aud harbor transporta¬
tion to be seen about the waters of New York, and these interests
oppose improvement. It is notorious that large operators in this
field of enterprise all get rich, or secure a very handsome compe¬
tency; and while this proves that there is a good opening for
investment in enterprises designed to facilitate the local handling
of merchandise it suggests a possibility of obstructions wherever
vested interests can be made influential. The large profits only
serve to increase the number of tubs, more or less nautical in
shape, that float around the harbor to the obstruction of naviga¬
tion ; and so long as the average man sees a chance to double his
money by investing in an old tug, barge or lighter, he will not be
likely to give much thought to works of scientific construction,
nor to encourage any movement that looks to an invasion of his
Another and more potent cause for our defective terminal
machinery, however, will be found in the apparent apathy with
which the subject has been treated by the railroads. There is a
popular impression that it is a subject which chiefly concerns the
roads, aud that if their managers do not see the advantages of
improved terminals it is not worth while for independent investors
to look into the subject with a view either to profit or to public
utility. But the situation of the railroads is peculiar. Their ground
of competition with each other lies chiefly at a distance, in the
West or South ; and when they have succeeded in reaching the
harbor •f New York with their merchandise they seem to regard
themselves as no longer competitors, and to believe that any
considerable amount of money expended here would be a waste of
resources. They struggle to extend their Western connections by
large expenditures of money, and neglect terminal improvements
here of great local importance. We think their policy largely
mistaken. They are transporting freight and passengers away
from New York as well as towards this point; and the railroad
that could connect most conveniently with the warehouses, and
reach most directly the converging points of travel, would get the
lion's share of even the long distance traffic. But the railroad
managers do not seem to view the subject in this light. They
struggle only for the possession of distant territory, and if asked to
consider a plan for terminal improvements of local interest they
plead their necessities elsewhere as an excuse for delay.
If the people of New York ever expect to find themselves con¬
veniently served, they must not wait for the railroads. The
roads that have their permanent terminals on the right bank of the
Hudson River consider themselves on a fair footing of equality
with each other, and tlie newly-arrived Baltimore & Ohio road
will have too many millions to expend in perfecting its Staten
Island terminus to give much attention to anything else for ten
years to come. If we wait the motion of the railroads our out¬
landish flotilla of river and harbor craft will go on multiplying
from year to year until the harbor is made almost impassable for
ships bound on serious voyages, fortunes will continue to be wasted
on a worse than useless service, and the commerce of the port will
soon reach that acute point of suffering which in patients with a
not sturdy constitution usually precedes a collapse. In this case a
general catastrophe may not follow, since the port of New York
is certain to maintain its supremacy. But what is called the port of
New York is a name with a very broad significance. Want of the
right terminal works may lead to a dispersal of traffic which the
city of New York cannot afford and which it ought not to permit.
There is an urgent demand for at leasfc three tunnels under the
Hudson River, one with a terminus near the Brooklyn Bridge,
another at the point selected for the unfinished tunnel opposite
Morton street, and still another at some point further uptown, say at
Forty-second street, where it could be made to connect readily
with the New England railways at the Grand Central depot. A
tunnel rt the latter point, even exfcended all the way under Forty-
second street, from the river to the depot, would cost less money
than either of the expensive bridges projepted and under construc¬
tion at Poughkeepsie and Cornwall, and it would serve the pur-
pioses of general railway communication even better than thosa
bridges. It would place the upper part of New York, too, a section
that will abound in factories when the Harlem River improvenDen^
is completed, in direct communication with the coal and iron fields
of Pennsylvania, and overcome all the disadvantages of our
insular and peninsular position.
But the suggfestion of a tunnel at Forty-second street is for the
p resent only a iight among the possibilities. Thef case for w$enoy