Friday, December 16, 2011

January 9, 1879, The New York Evening Express, Page 1, Column 3, THE GOVERNOR’S MESSAGE.


To the Legislature:

The event which first claims attention is your removal into the new Capitol. The condition of the appropriation of last year has been so far fulfilled that the Assembly chamber is substantially completed. The room intended for the Court of Appeals has been fitted up for temporary use of the Senate, the court in the meantime occupying the old Senate chamber. All the rest of the building, except the Attorney-General's office, remains unfinished. Many millions of dollars and years of time will be required to complete it, although the sum already expended upon it amounts to $9,276,615.36. My views in regard to the extravagant cost of the building, its ostentatious exterior and most inconvenient interior, have been frequently expressed, and they remain wholly unchanged. The subject of further appropriations for the work will be presented in another part of his message.

I sincerely hope that you will find the finance conducive to your health and comfort, and in every way so agreeable and convenient that you will not regret it. If the occupation of their new and gorgeous apartments shall lead the two houses of the Legislature to so emulate the exalted virtues which have, at different times, and on many occasions, adorned the history of the old chambers, that they shall enact only wise and good laws, that they shall honestIy and faithfully execute the great trust committed to them by the people, that they shall strictly obey the Constitution and the laws, that they shall establish and maintain a higher tone of public morality, the enormous cost of the building will be repaid in something better than money. But if, on the other hand, no such effects appear, if the lamentable vices which have too often marked the legislation of the old building shall stain that of the new, if the extravagant expenditure made upon it is to stimulate profuse and wasteful appropriations to other objects, if instead of encouraging a plain and honest republican simplicity, it is to cultivate a weak and vain desire to imitate the manners of European courts or to rival regal magnificence and imperial splendors; nay, more, if bribery and corruption, following naturally in the wake of such influences, shall soil the new chambers, the people will have cause to regret the erection of such a Capitol, and to wish that the earth might open and swallow it up.

I trust that you may be so enlightened and guided of the Divine wisdom, that you may choose and follow the better path.

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