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Of the select committee, on the petition of Natha
niel Cogswell Smith.
Mr. McKeon, from the select committee, to whom was referred the petition of Nathaniel Cogswell Smith,
The petitioner represents that by the bequest of a relative, whose name he desires to assume, he has become entitled to a considerable amount of property. The petitioner is also desirous of continuing the mercantile business in which his relative was extensively engaged, and favorably known under the same name.
The committee being of opinion that the request ought to be granted, have directed their chairman to ask leave to bring in & a bill.
January 31, 1834.
of the committee on claims, upon the petition of
John M’Intyre and others. Mr. Ingalls, from the committee on claims, to whom was referred the petition of John M’Intyre, Lewis Johnson, Charles Baker, Alexander Gilchrist, Archibald Gilchrist, John Shaw, Porter Smally and John T. Miller, praying for the assessment of the damages occasioned to their lands by means of the surplus waters of the canal, which are discharged from the waste-weir at Dunham's basin, in the town of Kingsbury, in the county of Washington,
That the petitioners represent that they are owners of land lying on the east side of the Champlain canal, in the towns of Kingsbury and Fort-Edward, in the county of Washington, near Dunham's basin: that in consequence of the increase of the waters in the canal, by reason of the feeders and streams which enter into the summit level of the canal, and the enlargement of the wasteweir near what is called Dunham's basin, the low lands of the petitioners' are overflown with water, so as to render them almost useless.
This waste-weir is built, in part, upon the bed of Fort-Edward creek. It is one hundred feet long, and has four gates; one thirtyseven, one forty, and forty-four inches wide, and each thirty-seven inches in depth.
It appears to the committee, that the nearest waste-weir to this on the north, is four miles; and on the south, is three miles. That the Glen’s-Falls feeder enters the canal about one mile, and the Fort-Edward feeder about three miles, south of this waste-weir : [Assem. No. 101.)
besides these, the Fort-Edward creek, and numerous other small streams, enter the canal at and near the waste-weir.
That previous to the excavation of the canal, the Fort-Edward creek carried off the waters from their low lands, except in the time of a freshet; so that the lands were sufficiently dry for the cultivation of crops. That when the waters of the creek overflowed their lands in times of high-water, which rarely occurred except in spring and fall, they retired to their natural channel so soon, that they tended to fertilize, rather than impoverish them.That these lands, adjacent to the creek, are composed of a rich alluvial soil, and were very productive both for grain and grass.That since the erection of this waste-weir, the channel of the creek is wholly insufficient to carry off the large body of water admitted into the canal by the said feeders and streams; and in a time of high-water, the land is inundated, and the water stands in stag. nant pools upon it, rendering it cold and unproductive. That during any part of the season, when the gates of the waste-weir are opened, and the waters let out of the canal, their lands are over. flown. That whenever it is necessary to repair any part of the canal upon this summit level, the gates of the waste-weir are opened, and the waters from the canal spread over their lands; hence it is always uncertain, whether they can realize the benefit of even a poor crop from the land.
They further represent, that the channel of the Fort-Edward creek, in consequence of being dry for a part of the season, and at other times full of water, has grown up to willows, alders, and other brush, so as to impede the current of the water, and render the stream slow and sluggish. In consequence of this resistance, the usual body of water is not carried off by the creek. That to obviate this difficulty, the petitioners state that they cleared out the creek this season; but still found it inadequate for this purpose.
The petitioners applied to the last Legislature for relief, and at that time received a favorable report of the committee on claims; to which report your committee beg leave to refer, (See Assembly Documents, No. 130.)
Your committee can see no reason why the prayer of the petitioners should not be granted. Their case is supported by the testimony of witnesses of undoubted veracity, and appears to be foundod in justice. Your committee can see no distinction in principle,
between a claim for damages of this description, and one where. the State has taken sole possession of the property; it is certainly the same loss to the individual if his property is ruined by the erection of public works, as if the government had deprived him of
Your committee have, therefore, determined that the prayer of the petitioners ought to be granted, and they ask leave to add a section to a bill, entitled “An act for the relief of Isaac Allen and others,” providing for the assessment of the damages of the petitioners.