Saturday, November 05, 2011

Haunting Land Grants

The following article published a fortnight or so after the spectacular blaze at the State Capitol in Albany destroyed New York's authentic political, cultural and financial history, neatly reveals several of the many unscrupulous motivations behind an organized elite's act of incendiarism in service to their pathological agenda.

April 14, 1911, The Albany Evening Journal, page 2, TROOPS PAID FOR DUTY IN CAPITOL
Protecting of State Property After the Fire Last Month Cost About $8,500

It is Believed $1,000,000 Will Be Available for the Purchase of New Library In Next Two Years—Talk of New Buildings.

It cost the state about $8,500 to maintain a military guard at the capitol in the days immediately following the fire last month. Several companies were ordered out for service to protect the state's property and to keep the public away from dangerous portions of the building. This service continued from eight to 11 days.

The soldiers received in pay $5,432.92, and $1,416.76 was paid out for subsistence. The amount expended for transportation and supplies is estimated at from $330 to $400.

"While on duty the state pays its officers at the following rate, the difference in each rank depending on the length of service: Majors, $8.33 to $11.11 a day; captains, $7.67 to $9.33; first lieutenants, $5.56 to $7.67; second lieutenants, $4.72 to $5.61. The enlisted men are paid as follows while on duty: Staff sergeants, $2 a day; sergeants, $1.50; corporals, $1.40; privates, $1.25. To the daily pay of those who have served more than five years 15 cents is added.

Pay Night at the Armory.

Last night was a lively one at the armory, the men of the four companies being paid for the tour of duty performed at the capitol. The checks were turned over to the four company commanders yesterday by the adjutant general's office, and as soon as it became known that they were ready all hands arranged to be on deck last night.

Through the courtesy of the Albany Trust company, the members of Company C were paid in cash. Treasurer Alonzo P. Adams, jr., and William P. Davis were on hand in the company rooms, and as each man received his check they cashed it for him. The men from the other companies received their checks and were not long in exchanging them into cash in the various stores on the hill.

Church Library Not For Sale.

Dr. A. S. Draper. state commissioner of education, announced to-day that the valuable Church library which was recently sold is not in the market and no effort is being made to secure any portion of it for the state. Only a part of the collection of rare books would be available for the new state library and this part cannot be purchased.

Liberal Appropriation Urged.

Dr. Draper received to-day from Edward Hagaman Hall, secretary of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation society, a communication stating that at a meeting of the trustees of the society Monday it was voted as the sense of the trustees that the State should make liberal appropriations not only for rehabilitating the library and museum, but also for making facsimiles of rare unpublished documents translating such as are in foreign languages and printing them, so that such manuscript treasures of the state as have escaped destruction in the capital fire, may be at least protected from utter annihilation of their contents by being printed, and their contents themselves being made public and available for the use of historians and scientists.

It is believed that about $1,000,000 will be available for the purchase of books and records during the next two years.

Talk of New Buildings.

There has been talk of a bill being introduced in the Assembly on Monday night providing for a fund of $1,000,000 for necessary repairs to the capital and the creation of buildings for the accommodation of departmental offices, thus practically giving over the capital to the use of the Legislature, the governor and such departments as are in close touch with the Legislature. This is State Architect Ware's plan, but Majority Leader Smith of the Assembly says that just now nothing definite is decided upon excepting the raising of less than a million for the restoration of the capitol. He believes that the entire third floor should be entirely devoted to the uses of the Legislature, and agreed with Architect Ware that most of the departments should be in separate buildings within easy distance of the capitol. In fact, the plan talked of is to acquire all the property on the Streets abutting on the capitol and Capitol park, and form a horseshoe of department buildings about them.

Assembly Chamber's Occupancy.

It will not be definitely settled until the Legislature reconvenes next week whether the assemblymen will decide that it should be necessary to go on with daily business in the Assembly chamber. The Axminister carpet and the padding underneath it are dry, but the ... Ohio sandstone are still damaged. Some of the assemblymen who have been about their chamber fell that business can be resumed with safety; others that it would be detrimental to health to sit in there for a week or two to come.

Some of the rooms of the attorney general in the southwestern corner, on the second floor, have been dried out and fitted up in shape for reoccupancy, and Attorney General Carmody and his official family will move back from their temporary quarters in the city hall next week. Mr. Carmody will also occcupy the rooms formerly used by Adjutant General Verbeck and his office forces, which adjoin the attorney general's suite on the east. The adjutant general will take up quarters at 174 State street.

Secretary Grace Says Facts Distorted.

Charles Grace, secretary of Plumbers union No. 7, states that some of the article published about the retirement of John H. Moran and the men he employed from the capital work are misleading. He says that there is only one plumbers' union in the United States and Canada, and that the members do nothing but plumbing work. The sub-contract which Mr. Moran was performing at the capital, Mr. Grace said, was purely plumbing, and that no steamfitting whatever was required. Mr. Grace said further that some of the master plumbers would like to have it appear that it was one union bucking another. Such is not the case, he says, for the plumbers have no fight with Local No. 45. The men whom Plumbers' union No. 7 objected to, he says, are not members of No. 45, but nonunion plumbers brought here from New York city when the strike was inaugurated last August.
First off, let's address State Architect Franklin B. Ware's plan, "to acquire all the property on the Streets abutting on the capitol and Capitol park, and form a horseshoe of department buildings about them," a plan which was coming little more than two weeks after an unforeseen and unforeseeable disaster had temporarily incommoded state office workers. A new $4,000,000 New York State Department of Education Building across the street from the capital was less than a year away from completion. As per plan, the education department, including the state Regents, library and museum were soon to vacate their sizable offices in the old capital. So why a sudden impulse for such visionary growth?

Thanks to the recent commemorative 128-page volume (that is, if you count the front cover as being page one. Everything Arcadia Publishing puts out is in the same standardized format,) The New York State Capitol and the Great Fire of 1911, by Paul Mercer and Vicki Weiss, on page 18, we can find Ware's unrealized schemata.

CAPTION: This proposed plan for the development of Capital Hill, drawn up by Franklin B. Ware, shows the State Education Building, the capitol, city hall, and All Saints Cathedral. The Court of Appeals building was not built on the plot between Capitol Place and Swan Street, and the five smaller buildings to its left never were built. Ware was New York State architect from October 15, 1907, through May 1912.

On page 62 of the 1910 The NEW YORK RED BOOK, is found Mr. Ware's then-current professional CV

Franklin B. Ware, the State Architect, was appointed to his present position on October 15, 1907, by Governor Hughes, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. George L. Heins.
Mr. Ware was born in New York city in 1873 and was graduated from the Architectural Department, School of Mines, Columbia University, in 1894. He then entered the office of his father, becoming a member of the firm of James E. Ware & Sons in 1896. Mr. Ware is a member of the New York Chapter of the American I Institute of Architects. He has been concerned with the construction or many important buildings, among them the Twelfth Regiment Armory, New York city, the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, Model Tenements for the City and Suburban Homes Company, and several libraries and public school buildings.
He was elected to the Board of Aldermen in New York city in 1901, and served two terms. While a member of the Board he was especially interested in the work of the Committee on Buildings, of which he was chairman during one term.
He is a member of the Republican Club of New York city, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Horseshoe Harbor Yacht Club, Columbia University Club, and the Fort Orange Club of Albany.
While an October 16, 1907, New York Times article, NEW STATE ARCHITECT, Franklin B, Ware of This City is Appointed by Gov. Hughes, delves further into the young man's multiple careers:
ALBANY, Oct. 15,--Gov. Hughes this afternoon appointed Franklin B. Ware of New York City to be State Architect, in place of George L. Heins, recently deceased.
The salary is $7,500 and the State Architect holds office at the pleasure of the Governor.
Mr. Ware is a graduate of Columbia University, a member of the firm of James E. Ware & Son, architects, and the director of a realty company. He was a member of the Board of Alderman for four years prior to 1905 and is a corporal of the Seventy-first New York Regiment and a member of the Republican Club. He is 34 years old.
His Wikipedia entry has him beginning his internship in his daddy's office in 1900, while simultaneously serving as a (boodle?) alderman, real estate speculator, and reserve military, so it isn't hard to picture on which side his career toast was buttered.

Which leads us to Secretary Charles Grace of the Plumbers union---although for a perfect match a Masonic stone cutter would have better served, given that granite literally melted in the extreme high heat of the capital fire. The co-opting of labor by capital was already an old story in post-muckraking 1911. Having fed at the construction trough for 30 years in building the state capital, politicians were ready for a rebuilding.

Likewise, it isn't hard to figure out Edward Hagaman Hall's entreaty for "liberal appropriations" to rebuild both library and museum, especially when calling for "making facsimiles of rare unpublished documents." In just such a way could an inconvenient history be sanitized to one's liking, with troublesome originals likely secreted away rather than actually being burned.

Which brings us to "Pay Night at the Armory." As soon as I read that it reminded me of notations found in the General Index of the Documents and Laws of the State of New-York, Prepared and Published Under a Joint Resolution of the Senate and Assembly of the 26th March, 1841, such as:
1840 Sheriff of: Report relative to paying the militia called out to assist, Doc. S. Vol. 2 No. 83
Manor Of Rensselaerwyck:
1835 Report on a resolution to inquire whether ground rents, quarter sales, &c. are subject to taxation Doc. S Vol. 2 No. 83
1840 Report of Comptroller relative to paying the militia called out to assist sheriff, Doc. S Vol. 3 No. 67
1840 *Governor's message relative to the difficulties in the, Doc. S Vol. 3 No. 70
1840 *Report on bill for the payment of the militia, Doc. A Vol. 5 No.175
1840 Report in relation to the difficulties in the Doc. A Vol. 6 No. 271
1841 Report of the commissioners appointed to effect a settlement of the disputes between the landlord and tenants of the.. Doc. A Vol. 7 No. 261
That is why we find comfort information instead, like found in Chris Carola's Associated Press article, NY marks 100th anniversary of 1911 Capitol fire:
Another item saved from the blaze is a page, circa 1675, from a wealthy Dutch woman's account with an Albany baker. The entry shows a purchase of "Sinterklaas" goodies. Mercer and Weiss believe it could be the earliest record of the celebration of the feast of Saint Nicholas - aka Santa Claus - in the New World.
This, rather than an account of a Patroon who, well into the 19th century, could administer capital punishment to his tenant, with no recourse to an appeal for the tenant. Interestingly, the Rensselaerwyck papers were only placed in the state library a few months before the fire which destroyed the majority of them. And we're left with the ersatz reality of Santa Claus cookies, and a dead man supposedly haunting the dry and serviceable Axminister carpets in the Assembly chamber on Halloween night.

An Illustrated Legislative Manual: The NEW YORK RED BOOK, ALBANY NY: J. B. LYON COMPANY, PUBLISHERS, 1910.

April 20, 1911,Page 1, New York Times, DIX TO ASK PUBLIC TO REBUILD CAPITOL, About $1 a Head All Round, He Figures, Would Help Out This Empire State.

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