Thursday, May 26, 2016


The Court House was located at the corner of Court Street and Church Street (present library location). Photo from Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland, circa 1899.

The Cortland Democrat, Friday, May 13, 1892.

Meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
   The special meeting of the Board of Supervisors called to take action on the recent order of Judge G. A. Forbes in regard to repairing the court house, was held in their rooms in this village on Tuesday morning. O. P. Miner was called to the chair and R. W. Bourne acted as clerk. After an interchange of ides the board adjourned to 2 o'clock and went to the court house to look the ground over.
   The board came together at the appointed hour and examined the plans submitted by the committee appointed by Judge Forbes The committee favored extending the wing on the west both on the north and south sides and carrying the same up two stories.
   Mr. Henry Howes then offered the following resolution:
   Resolved, That the chair appoint a building committee of three to act in conjunction with the committee appointed by the court lo prepare plans, specifications and estimates for repairs to the court house.
   The resolution was discussed and was finally amended by providing that the plans should be first approved by Judge Forbes and then submitted to the board. The chair appointed Messrs. Smith, Crane and Holton as the committee on the part of the board. The proposition to build a new court house was laid to rest by Mr. Crane, who called the attention of the board to chapter 160 of the laws of 1883, which says that before the site of a county building can be changed, the project must be favored by a two-thirds vote of two successive boards of supervisors and then a two-thirds vote of the electors of the county must follow. No one present at the meeting had the least doubt as to the result of the proposition when the voters and tax-payers once got a crack at it. The following is a copy of Judge Forbes order in the premises:
   At a Special Term of the Supreme court of the State of New York, held in and for the county of Cortland, at the Court House in the village of Cortland, commencing on the 4th day of April 1892.
   Present, Hon. Gerrit A. Forbes, Justice presiding.
   WHEREAS, there are no proper or suitable conveniences in and about said court house lo accommodate the court and the members of the bar in said county:
   AND WHEREAS, a direction was heretofore made by the said Justice now presiding at a special Term of the Supreme Court held in and for the County of Cortland, that the Board of Supervisors of the county of Cortland, make and furnish such suitable and proper repairs and conveniences for the use, benefit and convenience of the court and the members of the bar of the county of Cortland, to which reference is hereby made:
   It is further ordered that there shall be made and provided proper and sufficient water closet room, a library and counsel room, the rearrangement of the bar and windows in the court-room, and all other such changes as the committee, in their judgment, may deem necessary, suitable and proper.
   It is further ordered that the committee’s plans and specifications be forthwith submitted to the Hon. Gerrit A. Forbes for his approval at the regular adjourned Special Term of this court, adjourned to and held at his chambers for the purposes of this order.
   It is further ordered that a copy of the plans and specifications of the said committee be forthwith delivered to the committee on county buildings, and that they be asked to make such repairs, provisions and improvements. And in case the said committee and the Board of Supervisors shall fail to make such repairs forthwith, as directed by said committee and this court, then the sheriff of the county of Cortland is hereby ordered and required to make such repairs, provisions and improvements as are suitable, proper and necessary, following the plans and specifications of said committee, and that all the expense of the committee and of making such improvements and necessary conveniences to said Court house shall be a county charge and the same shall be audited and paid by the Board of Supervisors at their next annual session, or take from the court fund provided by said Board of Supervisors for the courts in said county.
   Seven or eight years ago Judge Martin ordered the court house to be repaired and the work was done at a cost to the county of about $8,000. It was a good building before and the wisdom of the change has never been fully appreciated by any one. If every Judge appointed to hold courts in this county can compel the taxpayers to rebuild and repair according to his own notion, there is something radically wrong with the law and the next legislature should be required to limit the powers of the court in this respect. Such unlimited power ought not to be given to any one because it is altogether too arbitrary and unjust. We are not aware that Judges are given any such power by any law upon the statute books, and such lawyers as we have interrogated on the subject seem to be of the same opinion.
   There is a rule of court that provides that in case the county does not provide a suitable place for holding court, the judge may order the sheriff to furnish a suitable place, but the court rules are made by the judges themselves and when they undertake to enact laws, they are trespassing upon the rights of the legislative branch of the government which they have no right to do. As a rule the same judge holds court here for only one term each year and the term never last longer than two weeks and often not more than one.
   The DEMOCRAT believes that the present court room is a fair average of those in other counties in the district and the taxpayers ought not to be called upon to practically rebuild it. All necessary conveniences should and probably will be added, and it would seem that this might be done without going to a very heavy expense. This is undoubtedly what Judge Forbes means in the order filed by him and it is certainly proper that such repairs be made.

[Reminder: We copy articles as they were printed, past rules of grammar included—CC editor.]

   The Standard has taken time by the forelock and proposes that Hon. John Raines, of Ontario county, shall be renominated for Congress in the new district. Mr. Raines is said to be quite wealthy.

   Mr. Charles Emory Smith has resigned the mission to Russia, and is at his home in Philadelphia. The [Harrison] administration evidently expects to need all its strength for the coming campaign and the editors who were sent to represent this country abroad are being called home to take an active part in the fight.

   It will surprise some persons to be told that one-fourth of the year in this state is now legal holiday; but that is so. There are fifty-two Sundays, fifty-two half-holidays,(Saturdays) and nine full holidays, making eighty-seven full days of rest, and yet people are asking for more. Many are urging that the birthdays of Lincoln and Grant be made holidays, and this year business will be suspended on October 12.—Kingston Argus.

   The Republicans are estopped from all criticism of reapportionment. For five years they had it in their power to order an enumeration and frame an apportionment of Senate and Assembly districts. They refused to do so, believing that they could hold forever their grip on the Senate and prevent the rectification of a wrong by which they profited as a party. The wrong has been righted at last.—Kingston Argus.

Frederick Douglass.
   Sentiment in favor of the colored man cannot be manufactured. The public is too conversant with the actual status and merit of the negro question to permit an individual or individuals to continually harp on the subject of outrages. Nor does it become an advocate or a member of the colored race to threaten revenge for alleged outrages. Hence, Mr. Fredrick Douglas disgraces himself when he says, in speaking of the matter, that "the colored man will turn chemist and study how the great destructive agencies of modern times are made, and then there will be trouble. The Anarchists are not the only people who can make and throw bombs. It may come to this, but I hope not." This is a surprising utterance. Coming from one who poses as a representative of his race, it is a question whether Mr. Douglas aids the cause he advocates or uses the most effective means to extinguish the favorable sentiment which prevails in favor of the colored man. It is a useless threat and can accomplish no good purpose. If violence or bomb throwing were attempted, the negro would soon become a proscribed race in this country.—Albany Argus.

   When the Cortland Standard fails to claim for itself and its party friends anything and everything that the brain of the senior editor [William H. Clark] can think of, it will be when he has no more use for this world's goods. A year ago, our readers will remember, he claimed that the Hon. Rufus T. Peck had practically taken entire charge of the Assembly the previous winter, and there were those who strongly suspected, after reading these claims, that Peck had even brought the Assembly home with him. There were others, however, who believed that the Standard man was simply making a great bluff and they were right about it. He has commenced the same game this season and the man who has done stupendous work in the legislature is the Hon. James H. Tripp. Of the four bills introduced by Mr. Tripp [ resident of Marathon, N. Y.—CC editor], three of them needed no one to push them whatever. They are the kind of bills that go of themselves when they are once introduced, and the fourth was a bill that met with no opposition. The only bill of any special importance to this county was the Normal school appropriation bill which was introduced by Senator Nichols and which went through both houses in spite of him. In fact, we doubt if Mr. Tripp knew where this bill was at any stage of the proceedings. Mr. Tripp is a good man but he didn't weigh 250 pounds in the last legislature, and except that he drew his pay regularly, and voted against the bill making the rate of interest 5 instead of 6 per cent, his presence in Albany would not have been generally known.

Fruitless Wriggling.
(From the New York World, May 9, 1892)
   The Tribune wriggles and wriggles, but it cannot deny the proposition of THE WORLD that "a duty collected is a tax paid."
   The money from customs constantly flowing into the National Treasury establishes this fact. The $220,000,000 collected through the tariff last year was simply so much paid in taxes on imports.  It was paid by our own people at our own custom houses.
   These taxes enhanced the selling price of the dutiable articles. They are as much a charge to the cost account as is the freight or the insurance on the goods. That goods are sometimes sold at the old price after an increase in duty proves only that the seller is willing to accept smaller profits. If here were no duty the price would be still lower. If in general the price were not increased by the duty or tax, there would be no incentive— from a protectionist point of view—for imposing the tax.
   The object of a protective duty is to compel the importer to charge higher prices and to enable the manufacturer of the competing domestic article to get more for it than he would if the foreign article were not taxed. If a tariff fails in either of these things it fails to protect.
   Every "shopping woman" knows that a protective tariff raises prices. Mr. Reed let slip the admission that this knowledge—obtained in the shops, not in the newspapers—helped to defeat the authors of the McKinley bill in 1890.
   Does the Tribune seriously think it can persuade the voters that the rich manufacturers subsidize newspapers, maintain peripatetic orators, and pay heavy tribute to Republican committees, for the sake of securing a tariff which shall lower their prices and compel them to pay higher wages? The voters are not "mostly fools.''

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