Wednesday, December 07, 2011

An Unheeded Warning Two Years Before the Fire in the New York State Capitol in Albany Destroyed the Authentic Legislative and Historical Record, With the Theft of $ Millions.

February 3, 1909, The Evening Telegram, Page 1, CROWDED ALBANY CAPITOL ON FIRE AS COOK IS BEATEN BY 31 TO 17
ALBANY, Wednesday.—Paying no attention what ever to a fierce but brief blaze that filled the corridors with such dense smoke that it drifted through closed doors into the crowded Senate Chamber, the members of the Upper House this afternoon, by a vote of thirty-one to seventeen, refused to confirm the Governor's nomination of Herbert E. Cook as member of the New York State Highway Commission.

The proceedings had been of a most enlivening nature all day, the galleries were crowded and the Assembly members stood several deep at the rear of the chamber when the fire came up as one of the day's doings. As the Capitol is fireproof, there was no alarm in the Senate Chamber, although after a time the smoke filled it to an uncomfortable degree, Senators were even inclined to joke over the affair.

"I guess some one must have carelessly thrown the Wallis correspondence among the waste paper," said Senator Allds.

"No, it looks to me as if the Governor was trying to smoke us out," replied another Senator.

During the roll call on confirmation, Senator Grattan arose and assured the Senate and galleries that there was not the slightest danger from the fire. It was, in fact, under control in a few minutes.

Spread to Lumber Pile.

The flames, starting among some waste under the Lunacy Commission offices, spread rapidly among lumber stored in the basement, and the corridors of the entire building were soon filled with dense smoke. The Fire Department was hindered in its efforts to subdue the blaze by its inaccessible location.

A number of Capitol employes were overcome by the smoke and the stenographers and other female employes of the various departments were driven outdoors. The Department of Lunacy and the offices of the Attorney General and of the Adjutant General were ordered closed, and the occupants turned out. The damage by smoke will be considerable.

On roll call on the motion to confirm Mr. Cook the Senators voted as follows:
For Cook (Aye)-- Senators Agnew, Allen. Brough. Cobb. Conger. Cordes. Davenport. Davis. Heacock. Hill. Hinman. Hubbs. Newcomb. O'Neil. Ross. Travis. Wainwright.

Against Cook (Nay)—Senators Allds. Alt. Bayne. Burlingame. Caffrey. Cronin. Colllen. Emerson. Frawley. Gardner. Gledhill. Grady. Grattan. Hamilton. Harte. Hewitt. Holden. Kissel. Mackenzie. McCarren. McManus. Meade. Platt. Raines. Schlosser. Stitwell. Wagner. White and Witter.

Significance of Line-Up.

There was especial interest in the line-up of the new republican Senators. Allen, Brough, Conger, Davenport, Hubbs, Newcomb and Ross stood by Hughes. Allds, Burlingame, Gledhill, Hamilton, Hewitt, Holden, Kissel, McKenzie, Platt, Schlosser and Witter stood by the "machine," under the leadership of Senator Raines.

It is impossible to tell what effect this fight will have on direct nominations, but those opposed contend that the last chance

(Continued on Page Two,)

No comments:

Post a Comment