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The Record and guide: v. 36, no. 916: October 3, 1885

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October 3, 1885 The Record and Guide. 1067 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. IQl Broadv7a,v, IST. "!£". Our TelepUone Call is JOHN 370. TERMS: OIVE YEAR, iu advance, SIX DOLLARS. ComniunicatioQs should be addressed to €. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LIND8EY, Business Manager. Vol. XXXVI. OCTOBER 3, 1885. No. 916 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¬ ient effect. 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 intention. 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 $4,000. 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 New York." 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 militiaman. 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