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The Record and guide: v. 38, no. 976: November 27, 1886

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November 37, 1886 The Record and Guide. 1451 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. 191 Broad^w^av, IST. Y. Onr Teleplione Call is ... . JOHN 370. TERMS: ONE ¥EiR, iu advance, Sll DOLLARS. Commimications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Businesa Manager. Vol. XXXVIII. NOVEMBER 27, 1886. No. 976. 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 Millionaires sell their securities to invest in greenbacks or governments which are now taxable, and then money is withdrawn from the " street" to make January payments.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 privileges. 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