Page images

Legislature in various ways. It assumed, however, definite shape in At that session, eighteen hundred and seventy (1870), a bill was the session of eighteen hundred and sixty (1860) in the bill to grant passed by both Houses for the issuance of such bonds, but it failed to the right to construct the bulkhead to a corporation known as the receive the Governor's approval on grounds quite distinct from the San Francisco Dock and Wharf Company,

necessity of the work. The measure was advocated and resisted with unusual ability and From all this it appears that from eighteen hundred and sixty persistence on both sides, and, as will be remembered, after passing (1860) to the present time the construction of the sea-wall has been was entombed by an executive veto. The whole bill proceeded on the the settled policy of the State. fact of the necessity of a bulkhead. This the opposition would have It is needless to discuss the grounds of this policy. It is sanctioned been but too ready to deny. Knowing, however, that in the face of by time and the total absence of all dissent. the testimony taken by the committee in charge of the bill, such If more were wanting it would be easy to show the great expense denial could not be maintained, they resisted the bill on other imposed on the State and the property holders in keeping in repair grounds.

streets constructed entirely of piles and planks, and traversed by the That contest settled two points, viz., the necessity of the sea-wall whole commerce of the city, and that such condition of things entirely and that it should be constructed by the State and not by private forbids improvements being made, and to that extent decreases the parties; and soon after, on the twenty-fourth (24th) of April, eighteen taxable wealth of the State and city. hundred and sixty-three (1863), an Act was passed creating the In all commercial cities the water-front lots have a high value, but Board of Harbor Commissioners, and enjoining on them its construc- in San Francisco, owing to the reason stated, it is almost unsaleable. tion. On the fifth (5th) of March, eigh'een hundred and sixty-four Next, as to its plan. The sections which have already been con(1864), the said Act was amended, and again the Board was directed structed have so fully answered all the requirements for which it to proceed with it.

was designed that no valid reasons exist for a change of plan. The Board reported the plan of construction to the Legislature in It is simply a rip-rap embankment of stone which is thrown loosely November, eighteen hundred and sixty-five (1865), and in November, into a channel dredged about sixty (60) feet wide and twenty (20) feet eighteen hundred and sixty-seven (1867), the letting of contracts for deep, and carried up with a proper slope to the official grade. It is the construction of two sections, and in November, eighteen hundred a retaining wall, against which the water-front streets and lots may and sixty-nine (1869), the completion of the two sections, the letting be solidly filled in. of a third section and its completion also, making a total of thirty- The original plan of a cut stone facing has been entirely abantwo hundred and fifty-two (3,252) feet in length, at a cost of about six doned as of no practical use, and involving great expense. hundred and eighty thousand ($680,000) dollars.

Tho portions of the sca-wall alrcady constructed, except that At the session of the Legislature in eighteen hundred and sixty- between the northerly line of Vallejo Street and the northerly line of seven and eight (1867-8), a committee was appointed to investigate Union Street, will be available, requiring only to be widened out to the affairs of the Board, and they gave special attention to the subject the new water-front line. of the sea-wall. In their report they reiterate the necessity of it and As the work progresses and has become sufficiently settled and entirely approve the plan on which part of it had then been con- compact to stand the outward pressure, the thoroughfare on the structed. Again, by the Act of the twenty-eighth (28th) of February, inner side should be commenced, so as to obtain, as soon as possible, eighteen hundred and seventy-six (1876), the Legislature emphatically a solid foundation for paying it with stone. Until that occurs it must directed the prosecution of the work.

be planked. In eighteen hundred and seventy (1870) the Chamber of Commerce We concur entirely in what was said by Mr. Arnold, the Chief of San Francisco presented a memorial to the Legislature, in which Engineer of the Board, in his report of eighteen hundred and seventhey say: “During the contest referred to-the bulkhead bill of ty-three (1873) on this subject: No plan for the improvement of our eighteen hundred and sixty-eight (1868)—the peculiar character of harbor facilities can be considered complete which does not provide this harbor, and its requirements for protection and improvement, for the paving of the street along the city front in a permanent and received the most thorough attention and examination from the durable manner. The vast amount of traffic concentrated on this Legislature, from Committees of this Chamber, and of the citizens at street destroys the pavement (planking) now in use with great large, and from civil and military engineers; and it is safe to assert rapidity, and its renewal becomes an onerous expense both to the that at the close of the struggle, the whole question was better under- property owners and the State.” stood than at any former period, and with the facts and conclusions No time could be more auspicious than the present for the re-comfreshly before them, both the Legislature and the public definitely mencement of this work, as labor is abundant and cheap, and the decided that a solid, permanent sea-wall was an absolute necessity expenditure would furnish employment to many industrious men for the protection of the harbor. The Act of eighteen hundred and who are now in need of work. sixty-three (1863) was the result of this conviction, and it is submitted that nothing has since occurred to obviate the need of this important work.

The Chamber was so impressed with its necessity that they recom- The new piers will be constructed from time to time as they may mended the issuance of bonds, not exceeding one million of dollars be needed, and will be numbered, beginning at some point north and ($1,000,000) for the continuance of this work.

continuing thus to the south. They will project generally at right


[ocr errors]


From Chestnut to Harrison Street, distance 7,000 feet.


844,800 1,159,400



the Harbor Improvement Fund, not required for the erection of the angles from the new water-front line to an established pier-head line so as to secure the full sweep of the tidal currents.

necessary wharves, their repair, dredging, etc. In no case will this projection exceed six hundred (600) feet; in

If by this is meant (as is supposed) that no contract can be let some cases it will be less. The width of the piers will be about

until all the money to be paid on it is actually in the Harbor Fund eighty (80) feet and of the docks about two hundred (200) feet,

at the date of its letting, then it is apparent that the work will be This width of dock is essential to obviate the great inconvenience

interrupted for longer or shorter periods, awaiting sufficient accumuand expense of vessels lying at outer berths hauling out to allow

lation for the letting of the next contract. As a monthly revenue of entrance and exit for vessels lying at inner berths of the same dock.

at least twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) can certainly be counted on, and payment on such contracts are invariably made from time to time as the work proceeds, it is not easy to see the reason for such

provision of the Code. Interruptions in the work, when once The Engineer of the Board has furnished the following estimates

resumed, will leave the water front in a very disordered state, cause of cost, which include the dredging of a channel sixty (60) feet wide

much hindrance to business, and prove in the end the most expenand twenty (20) feet deep, the filling it with large stone nearly to the

sive mode of doing the work. We recommend, therefore, the amendofficial grade, the filling the thoroughfare with smaller stone and

ment of that section of the Code, so that a contract may be made earth, the planking of the roadway, and the construction of a wharf

whenever the amount in the Harbor Fund, together with the estiabout thirty (30) feet wide to serve as a facing to the sea-wall. They

mated net revenue, will be sufficient to meet the cost of the work do not include the paying of the thoroughfare nor the cost of new

contracted for, with a proviso that the State shall in no event be piers:

liable for any deficiency in the Harbor Fund.

In eighteen hundred and sixty-eight (1868) and eighteen hundred

and sixty-nine (1569), the sea-wall was constructed along the followFrom Chestnut to Powell Street, distance 3,170 feet..

ing parts , , From Harrison to foot of Second Street, distance 3,080 feet


Along Front Street, from the northerly line of Vallejo Street to the Total distance of 13,250 feet-

the northerly line of Union street-length six hundred and fifty

(650) lineal feet. As the work is to be let by contract to the lowest bidder, it is

Total cost, seventy-two thousand cight hundred dollars ($72,800); deemed best to withhold the details of these estimates, with the

or per lineal foot, one hundred and twelve dollars ($112). expression of our opinion that they will fully cover the actual cost. Along East Street, from the southerly line of Pacific Street to the

southerly line of Washington Street-length seven hundred and fortythree (743) lineal feet.

Total cost, two hundred and six thousand five hundred and fiftyOur remarks will be confined to that part of the water front

four dollars ($206,554); or per lineal foot, two hundred and seventybetween Chestnut and Harrison Streets, as the sea-wall is most needed eight dollars ($278). there at present.

Along East Street, from the South side of Washington Street to the The policy of the State hitherto has been to construct the sea-wall south side of Market Street-length seven hundred and twenty-nine and piers out of the surplus revenue of the water front, and, in

and forty-three one-hundredths (72910) lineal feet. eighteen hundred and sixty-eight and eighteen hundred and sixty- Total cost, one hundred and fifty-nine thousand seven hundred nine, three thousand two hundred and fifty-two lineal feet were con

and forty-five dollars ($159,745); or per lineal foot, two hundred and structed and so paid for.

nineteen dollars ($219). The prosecution of the work then ceased in consequence of the

Along East Street, from the south side of Market Street to a point exhaustion of the fund applicable thereto, and there has been no

fifty-two and one-half (523) feet northerly from Howard Streetaccumulation since then sufficient to permit its resumption.

length one thousand one hundred and thirty (1,130) lineal feet. The establishment of the new water-front line, and an accumula

Total cost, two hundred and seventy-one thousand two hundred tion of about three hundred and eighty thousand dollars in the dollars ($271,200); or per lineal foot, two hundred and forty dollars Harbor Improvement Fund, will now enable the work to be resumed ($240). at an early day.

From which it appears that thirty-two hundred and fifty-two (3,252) The average net revenue for the past two years has been twenty- lineal feet of sea-wall was constructed at a total cost of seven hundred three thousand three hundred and thirty-three ($23,333) dollars per and ten thousand two hundred and ninety-nine dollars ($710,299). month; and, after allowing for all probable contingencies, it may By the change of the water-front line, the section from Vallejo to safely be estimated that twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) per month Union Street is of no avail except as so much filling of Front Street. can be applied to sea-wall construction.

The other sections are available only as so much filling of the thorA steady prosecution of the work will, however, require an amendoughfare, and will reduce its cost to that extent. In the foregoing ment of section two thousand five hundred and thirty-six of the estimate of two million three hundred and fifty-seven thousand Political Code. It provides that the

sum total agreed to be paid on eight hundred and eighty-six dollars ($2,357,886) for the seven any contracts shall not exceed the amount of money to the credit of



thousand (7,000) feet of sea-wall from Chesnut to Harrison street, It serves at present all the purposes of a retaining wall for that part such filling of the thoroughfare has been taken into account.

of the water front. But it is to be observed that until the new seaAs will be seen by the annexed map it is proposed to construct wall is constructed along that two thousand six hundred and two twenty-two new piers along the seven thousand (7,000) feet of water (2,602) feet, the proposed thoroughfare cannot at all be opened, and front. Four of them were constructed during the past two years. the new piers which are needed can be constrcted only at an addiThe remaining eighteen, with the removal of the old wharves, will tional cost. cost about six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000). As any section Additional expense will be incurred, too, in making the connecof the sea-wall is constructed it will be necessary to construct some, tions between the new sea-wall and such old portion. In our judgif not all the piers along that section, so that the present number of ment true policy dictates that a proper system having been adopted, berths for shipping may not be decreased.

it should be steadily adhered to, utilizing, as far as possible, any old The number is now too small, and in a few years will be far below work, but not deviating from the system merely because such work the need. It is well known that the prompt dockage of vessels

has been done and may answer present purposes. arriving in port, and the facilities for quick discharge and reloading To go further into this subject would only require a repetition of are material elements in a ship's bill of expenses.

the reasons for any sea-wall at all which, as was before observed, has In considering the ways and means for the construction of the sea- been the settled policy of the State for the last eighteen years. wall and piers it is not possible to take into account the proceeds of It has been suggested that the proposed work should be done in a the sale of the lots along the water front. They should be sold from much shorter time by an issue of bonds, secured by a pledge of all the time to time, as the sea-wall and thoroughfare is constructed opposite harbor revenues. to them, so that the Harbor Fund may have the benefit of the As this view has been pressed on our consideration, and may be enhanced value. But if compensation is allowed for damages caused presented to the Legislature, we deem it advisable to submit the by the change of the water-front line, it is apparent that no reliable details involved in the proposition. It certainly is practicable to do estimate can be made of the increase of the Harbor Fund from such the work in five years, but it will require an issue of one million five salos.

hundred thousand ($1,500,000) dollars of bonds. If made payable in It will be observed that to a considerable amount-probably one twenty years after date of issue, and issued only as the deficit in the hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) will be needed for the net revenue may require, the creation of a fund for the payment of improvement of China Basin for the accommodation of the lumber, interest and their semi-annual redemption and ultimate payment wood, brick, and hay business, if the Harbor Commissioners are per- might be commenced at the end of five years—that is, first of January, mitted to improve it.

eighteen hundred and cighty-threo (1883). The foregoing remarks will enable us to form some idea of the Starting on the first of January, eighteen hundred and seventytime which will be required for the completion of the work from eight (1878), with about three hundred and eighty thousand ($380,000) Chesnut to Harrison Street, relying alone on the accumulation in the dollars in the Harbor Fund, with an accumulation of twenty thouHarbor Fund from the net revenue.

sand ($20,000) dollars per month, and letting the contracts so as to

complete seven thousand (7,000) feet of sea-wall and thoroughfare, Estimated cost of 7,000 feet of sea-wall and thoroughfare (not including the

and fifteen of the twenty-two new piers (four being already built) at paving of the same).


the end of five years, the following issue of bonds and payment of Estimated cost of eighteen piers and removal of old wharves

interest would be required:

$2,957,886 Estimated amount in Harbor Fund 1st of January, 1878.

On 1st of January, 1879, bonds issued.


Interest thereon at 6 per cent. per annum to 1st of January, 1880. $9,729

On 1st of January, 1880, bonds issued.

458,629 Interest to 1st of January, 1881, on $620,777 of bonds.

37,246 So that, estimating the net revenue at twenty thousand dollars On 1st of January, 1881, bonds issued..

289,646 ($20,000) per month, an accumulation of that balance will require On 1st of January, 1882, bonds issued...

Interest to 1st of January, 1882, on $910,423 of bonds.

323,225 about eleven years, and conseqently that time for the completion of Interest to 1st of January, 1883, on $1,233,648 of bonds.

74,018 the work.

On 1st of January, 1883, bonds issued..

288,218 It is very much to be desired that it should be completed in less

$175,618 $1,521,866 time, for during the process of construction there must necessarily be considerable derangement of the wharves and streets along the

From first of January, eighteen hundred and eighty-three (1883), water front and hindrance to travel, and it is apparent that the in order to meet the semi-annual interest on one inillion five huninconvenience will be the greater as the period is protracted. dred and twenty-one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six ($1,521,

We are not to be understood as saying that the construction of the 866) dollars of outstanding bonds and commence the creation of a whole of this seven thousand (7,000 feet is imperatively demanded sinking fund sufficient to redeem said bonds at maturity, there will at this moment for the accommodation of the commerce of the port. be required a monthly deposit in the Harbor Bond Fund of eleven There is a continuous line of sea-wall of two thousand six hundred thousand six hundred and twenty-seven dollars and twenty-six cents and two (2,602) feet extending from the south side of Pacific Street ($11,627 26). to a point fifty-two and one-half (521) feet north of Howard Street.


[blocks in formation]

In form they must, it is presumed, be bonds of the City and County of San Francisco, as, for obvious reasons, they cannot be State bonds.

It would not be prudent with an issue of bonds to such extent to attempt any reduction of the rates of dockage, wharfage, and tolls until after the year eighteen hundred and eighty-nine (1889).

After full consideration, we are not prepared to recommend the issue of bonds at this moment. If section two thousand five hundred and thirty six (2536) of the Political Code is amended as before suggested, there will be available for the prosecution of the work during eighteen hundred and seventy-eight (1878) and eighteen hundred and seventy-nine (1879) about eight hundred and sixty thousand ($860,000) dollars. This will enable the Board to construct about fifteen hundred (1,500) lineal feet of sea-wall and thoroughfare and five or six new piers, and if the next Legislature deem it advisable to have the work pushed more rapidly to completion the issue of bonds may then be provided for.

In the meantime the Board hope that by judicious management of the affairs of their trust it may prove possible that this work, so important to the commercial interests of the State, may be completed in a reasonable time without resort to the doubtful policy of a bonded debt. Respectfully submitted,


Harbor Commissioners.






MR. PRESIDENT: Your committee, appointed to consider the propriety of paying the members of the “Special Committee on Chinese Immigration," have had the matter under consideration, and make the following report:

The facts, briefly stated, are these:

On the third day of April, eighteen hundred and seventy-six, this Senate created a committee and charged it with these duties :

First-To investigate the question of Chinese immigration in this State.

SecondTo prepare and forward to Congress a memorial setting forth the facts they might ascertain.

ThirdTo prepare and serve out to the people of the United States an address, calling attention to the evils likely to flow from unrestricted Chinese immigration.

The committee promptly commenced their labors, and discharged their duties zealously and well. They held meetings both in Sacramento and in San Francisco, and spent about forty days in the work of taking testimony, besides the time consumed in traveling to and from the place of meeting. Some of the committee resided in parts of the State remote from the place of meeting, and besides the mere loss of time, and sacrifice of private business, their attendance was accompanied with considerable expense.

It is impossible to overestimate the good which will result to the State from the labors of that committee. They displayed great skill in drawing out and arranging the testimony so as to show clearly, and truthfully, the terrible evils of Chinese immigration upon our civilization. The memorial and address are both able and dignified documents, and highly creditable to the committee.

It was eminently proper that the State of California should make this question a State matter, and warn the people of the United States of the evils which would flow from unrestricted Chinese immigration. We were the first to feel its effects, and we are in advance of the citizens of the other States in our knowledge upon this subject, for we have acquired our knowledge by actual experience. Up to the time of the appointment of this committee of the Senate, the State of California, as a State, had never spoken upon this question.

It is true that resolutions have frequently been adopted by societies and mass meetings, and sent abroad throughout the country; but these were quickly followed by other resolutions, adopted by churches and other respectable bodies of our citizens, defending Chinese immigration. Under these circumstances it was not wonderful that

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »