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May 21, 1887
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad-TAray, IST. IfT.
Our Telepbone Call is
ONE TEiR, in adyance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
MA.Y 21, 1887.
The Saturday half holiday goes into operation to-day. Practi¬
cally all the Exchanges will be closed, and trade will be very
generally suspended this afternoon. The banks are forced to keep
open to comply with their charters, but very little business will be
done by them late in the day. There is a good deal of grumbling,
because the law changes the method of doing business, for no one
likes to be coerced into new departures in their personal trans¬
actions. But iu warm weather there is always more or less absti¬
nence from active employment on Saturdays, and by the time cold
weather sets in business men will have become reconciled to the
new order of things.
This half holiday will have far-reaching consequences. Practi¬
cally it will be a whole holiday for tens of thousands of down-town
business men. This will benefit the nearby summer resorts, for
instead of sending his family to some distant watering place, with
a view of joining them a couple of weeks in midsummer, the
wealthy New Yorker will be tempted to keep his folks within a few
hours' journey of tbe metropolis, with the intention of spending
Saturday and Sunday with them. This will give a great deal of
business to the railroads and steamboats on Fridays and Mondays,
while race-courses and bathing places will get the benefit of a rush
out of town Saturdays. This half holiday during summer time is
all right, but there are good reasons for objecting to it for the
rest of the year, upon business grounds. It gives the manufactories
situated in the States adjoining New York, which have not decreed
the half holiday, an advantage over this State.
The block system of indexing has been sanctioned by the State
Legislature, and if Governor Hill does not veto the bill it will go
into operation in this end of the State very shortly. If so, it will
eflEect a vital revolution in our methods of real estate conveyancing.
Mr. Dwight H. Olmsted has been the chief advocate of this par¬
ticular form of indexing, and if it proves beneficial he should get
the credit from all who are interested in real estate. Block index¬
ing certainly seems to be a great improvement over the present
method, which is wasteful of time and money and in every way
inadequate. The battle for land reform is not, however, as yet
won, and dealers and owners of real estate will never be satisfied
until the title to real property can be conveyed as cheaply,
promptly and securely as are, for instance, railway securities.
The law of the last Congress breaking up the tribal organizations
of the Indians is soon to be put into force. Each head of a family
is to receive 160 acres of land and the male adults are to become
citizens. The surplus lands on which the Indians have a lien will
be sold and the interest on the funds raised will go to the support
of the red men. This will put an end forever to the scandals of
our Indian administration. Henry George ought now rise and
explain. Will not the Indians be better off under a private owner¬
ship of land than they have been under a state of things where land
was held in cammon? Conamunities in which private ownership
was the rule have fared better than those in which all had equal
rights in the soil.
The work on the Hudson River tunnel has been resumed, and
undoubtedly it will probably be completed before a couple of years
are over. When finished it may work a revolution, for it will
transfer much of the business now done ou the Jersey shore to this
island. The bridge to Long Island, over Blackwell's Island, is next
iu order, and later on a bridge at the foot of Grand street to
Williamsburgh. All these works will be finished before the begin¬
ning of the twentieth century.
projected, and he has been secretary of the commission which laid
out the parks in the annexed district. A great deal has been said
against the proposed parks on the other side of the Harlem, espec¬
ially Pelham Bay Park. It is only fair that an earnest advocate of
these proposed pleasure resorts for the populace should have a
chance to be heard. It will be understood that our contributor,
and not The Record and Guide, will be responsible for the facts
and figures given as well as for the sentiments expressed in the
series of articles which will appear from week to week.
Mr. John Mullaly begins to-day a series of articles in our columns,
in which he proposes to tell aU about our system of public parks.
By following hia contributions our readers will learn a great deal
respecting the old and new parks of New York. Mr. Mullaly is
thoroughly familiar with this subject, as he wrote nearly all the
t^rtioles m the 3N©w York JBeralU when the CentraJi Park was first
A description of the parks in the annexed district will be timely,
in view of the attention which is now being paid to real estate
beyond the Harlem River. The sale of the Bathgate estate on
Monday at the Exchange shows that speculation has fairly started
in that quarter. The extension of the suburban road and the laying
out of the parks is certain to attract more and more attention to
the desirable locations for living and building houses in the 23d
and 24th Wards. Were the Harlem River improvement underway
there would be millions of money spent in developing the possibil¬
ities of realty in the annexed district.
The journals are very generally denouncing our legislative
bodies, more particularly our New York State Legislature. It ig
openly charged and generally believed that money will carry
almost any measure through our Legislature, ahd that the majority
of our Assemblymen and Senators can be bought with a price.
This is why, as years pass by, the feeling grows in favor of executive
authority and responsibility in place of government by irresponsi¬
ble legislative bodies. It is for this reason that we are giving our
Mayors almost absolute power, while our Governors are also grow¬
ing in importance.
The lobby is complained of. It is looked upon as the cancer
which is eating up the virtue of our Legislatures. But agents to
represent public and private interests before the law enacting
authorities are indispensable in every free government. Why not
give a legal status to the members of the lobby? In other words,
why should it not be regulated and sanctioned ? This course is
pursued in Great Britain, and with excellent results. The parlia¬
mentary lawyers take the place of the lobby agent, and hig voca¬
tion is regarded as a honorable one. The English Parliament,
doubtless, passes a great many objectionable measures, and it has
proved subservient to class interests. But since Walpole's time
no one believes that money could be used to carry a measure
through the English House of Commons. Yet who doubts but
what corrupt means are used, not only in our State Legislatures,
but even in Washington, to secure legislative sanctions for ques¬
tionable projects. The Credit-Mobilier scandals, the letters of
Huntington to Crocker, and the revelations now being made
respecting the past history of the Union Pacific tells the story of
how money has been used from time to time in advancing the
interests of great corporations in Washington.
The small parks bill is now a law, and will doubtlesg effect
some beneficent changes in the course of time. A board consist¬
ing of the Mayor and other leading city officers are empowered to
spend $1,000,000 annually in tearing down objectionable quarterg
of the city, and creating new parks and recreative resorts in their
place. Undoubtedly there are quarters in our tenement dig-
tricts which are a scandal to our civilization, as well as a constant
menace to the health of the city. Mr. Charles F. Wingate, in the
Epoch, tells of a table he has prepared, which he summarizes as
This table Is divided into seven pEu*ts and shows that there are about
5,000 good tenements, 9,000 fair, 5,000 bad, and about 2,000 very bad. In
4,000 tenements there was not a single death in 1880; in 8,457 there was one
death, and in 8,800 tenements there were 12,000 deaths, an average of
nearly four to a house. That was equal to a mortality rate of 100 per
1,000. This shows that in those houses the evils of unsanitary conditiong
are far beyond what any one has ever imagined. If two-thirds of ths
population are in tenement houses, the fact that 55 per cent, of the deaths
occur in these houses is not surprising, but if you show that tbe deaths
are mainly concentrated into one-eighth of these houses the figures are
The same authority makes the following statement:
I have found a building in Monroe street where fifty-nine deaths occurred
in nine years, though the total number of tenants was only seventy-siz.
Such a building should not be permitted to stand, but ought to be swept
from the face of the earth.
These facts and figures are indeed appalling, and Mayor Hewitt
should see to it that under the new law this Monroe street bouse
and its neighborhood is promptly changed into a public park. Such
a pest house should be attended to at once by our Health Depart¬
ment. But the ultimate effect of this new law, if wisely enforced,
will be to thoroughly renovate the regions where the htwtsr order