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ty destroyed, as well buildings as merchandize, having been insured by the said companies. With very few exceptions, every Fire Insurance company in this city has sustained a portion of such loss, and of some, the entire capital has been swept away.
The capital stocks of those companies being almost wholly secured by bonds and mortgages on real estate within this city, the unavoidable consequence of the heavy demands to be made by the sufferers, upon the said companies, (in case relief be not otherwise afforded,) must be, that immediate payment of such bonds and mortgages will be required. The effect of this would be to cause forced sales of real estate, to the utter ruin of the owners of such property; and even if the insurance companies should in this way collect in their whole capitals, such collection would be attended with delays, which would prevent the sufferers by the fire from deriving the prompt relief which their peculiar situation requires.
Your memorialists further represent, that the public attention has been seriously engaged in considering how relief can be most effectually and judiciously administered to the community of this city in its present embarrassment, as well as from what quarter such relief should be obtained. In regard to the mode of affording such aid, it is obvious that the commercial energies of this city which have been prostrated by this blow, can only be restored by enabling the immediate sufferers to realize their means and reinstate their business, with as little interruption as possible; to effect which, it is necessary that the insurance companies should be furnished with funds for the prompt payment of their losses. Your memorialists believe that there is no difference of opinion in the public mind as to the expediency of this mode of relief; and although there are undoubtedly many sufferers who may not be directly benefitted thereby, and for whose particular relief other means must be devised, it cannot be questioned that the general prosperity of the city will be best promoted by a measure, the im. mediate object of which is the resuscitation of the vast amount of its commerce which has been paralyzed by this calamity.
With respect to the source from whence this relief should be ob tained, your memorialists beg leave to state that various propositions have been suggested and considered, and that it has been determined, that application should be made to the General Government for a loan. The sympathies of the public in other parts of
the United States, and especially in the city of Philadelphia, have also been most generously elicited in behalf of the sufferers, and measures have been proposed in that city, with a degree of liberality and public spirit almost unexampled, to procure from its own resources, the pecuniary aid required for their immediate relief. Animated, however, by a desire that the city of New York, should rely upon its own efforts and means, so far as they may be available, for its restoration from the effects of the blow thus inflicted on it, and believing that its resources, if properly applied, would aid materially in relieving them in their present difficulties. The citizens of New York have unequivocally manifested their opinion and wishes, that your memorialists, as their municipal representatives, should be the immediate instruments for procuring and affording a portion of the pecuniary aid now required, and that whatever powers might be necessary for this purpose, should be obtained and exercised without delay.
Having had this subject under their deliberation in Common Council, and being fully convinced that in the present crisis it has become their special duty to respond to the feelings thus entertained by their fellow-citizens, your memorialists have passed certain resolutions, which they beg leave to submit herewith, and from which the object and proposed results of their present application will distinctly appear.
Your memorialists confidently believe that the passage of such an act as is contemplated by the said rosolutions, will, in addition to the actual relief to be thereby afforded, have a tendency to restore confidence to the community, and to prevent unnecessary and ruinous sacrifices of property, and they feel entirely justificd in applying for such an act, so far as it respects the ability of the city of New-York, in point of property to secure and repay any loan which it may be deemed expedient to incur under its provisions. The present is in fact an application from the citizens of NewYork, for authority to use their own means for the alleviation of their own sufferings; and as such, your memorialists respectfully request that your honorable body may confer such authority by the speedy passage of the act which is herewith submitted. New-York, Dec. 31, 1835.
By the Common Council.
C. W. LAWRENCE, Mayor. J. MORTON, Clerk.
BOARD OF ALDERMEN,
December 21st, 1835.
The following resolutions received from the Board of Assistants.
J. MORTON, Clerk.
Resolved, (if the Board of Aldermen concur,) That an application to the next Legislature be made at the opening of the session, for the passage of a law, empowering the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the city of New-York, in their discretion, to purchase, at any time within six months after the passage of such law, to an amount not exceeding six millions of dollars, any bonds which belonged, on the 18th day of December, 1835, to any of the companies in the said city, incorporated for the purpose of effecting insurance against fire, the payment of which bonds shall then have been secured by mortgage upon unincumbered real estate in the said city, worth, at the time of such purchase, thirty per cent more than the amount secured by such bonds respectively.
esolved, That such law shall provide for the appointment by the common council of said city, of seven commissioners, to serve without compensation, whose duty it shall be to examine the premises so mortgaged; and that no such mortgage shall be purchased as aforesaid, until à majority of the said commissioners shall have certified to the comptroller of the said city, their opinion in writing, that the premises mortgaged will afford to the said city an adequate security for the amount so loaned thereon.
Resolved, That such law, in order to provide the funds necessary for the above purposes, shall make it lawful, at any time within six months after the passage of the said law, for the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the said city, to issue bonds under their corporate seal, in such amounts, and redeemable at such times
as the common council of said city may direct, bearing interest at a rate not exceeding five per cent per annum, payable half yearly; and for the payment of which bonds, to pledge the faith and property of the said city.
Resolved, That the said law shall make it the duty of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund of the said city, to apply the proceeds of the said mortgages when paid into the treasury of the said city, to the redemption of the bonds issued under the said law, and the whole of the principal and interest of such mortgages shall be appropriated as a sinking fund therefor, and that the same shall not, under any pretence whatever, be diverted from such purpose.
Resolved, That for the purpose of effecting the object of the foregoing resolutions, the counsel of the corporation is hereby directed to prepare forthwith a law and memorial to be submitted to the Legislature, and that such law be so drawn as to take effect from the day of the passage thereof by the Legislature-such draft and memorial when prepared to be presented to the Common Council for their approval.
· Adopted by the Board of Aldermen, December 21, 1835.
Amendment concurred in by Board of Assistants, December 21, 1835.
Approved by the Mayor, December 22, 1835.
J. MORTON, Clerk.
AN ACT To authorize the mayor, aldermen and commonally of the city
of New-York, to raise moneys on loan, and for other purposes.
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
Section 1. The mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the city of New York, are hereby empowered, in their discretion, at any time within six months after the passage of this act, to purchase, to an amount not exceeding six millions of dollars, any bonds which belonged, on the eighteenth day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five, to any of the companies in the said city, incorporated for the purpose of effecting insurance against fire, the payment of which bonds were then secured by mortgage upon unincumbered real estate in the said city, worth, at the time of such purchase, thirty per cent more than the amount secured by such bonds respectively.
$ 2. The common council of the said city shall have power to appoint seven commissioners, who shall serve without compensation, and whose duty it shall be to examine the premises so mort. gaged; and no such mortgage shall be purchased as aforesaid, until a majority of the said commissioners shall have certified to the comptroller of the said city, their opinion in writing, that the premises mortgaged will afford to the said city an adequate security for the amount so loaned thereon.
$ 3. In order to provide the funds necessary for the above purposes, it shall be lawful for the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the said city, at any time within six months after the passage of this act, to issue bonds under their corporate seal, or stock in such amounts, and redeemable at such times as the common council of the said city may direct, bearing interest at a rate not exceeding five per cent per annum, payable half yearly; and to pledge the