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Capital [sic] removal : public aspects of the question / by a committee of citizens of Frankfort. History of location / by Judge W.H. Sneed. Legal aspects of the case / by Judge William Lindsay 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-148-29450553 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Capital [sic] removal : public aspects of the question / by a committee of citizens of Frankfort. History of location / by Judge W.H. Sneed. Legal aspects of the case / by Judge William Lindsay Lewis, Frankfort, Ky. : 1891. 50 p. : plate (fold.) ; 23 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1993. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN03852.11 KUK) Printing Master B92-148. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Kentucky Capital and capitol.Sneed, W. H. History of location. Lindsay, William, 1835-1909. Legal aspects of the case. Eapi a 1 Rlrnovaa. publie fi5pqet of the Questiop. BY A COMMITTEE OF CITIZENS OF FRANKFORT. Ji-story ot pound;oeatioq. BY JUDGE W. H. SNEED. fetal Aspects of tle Kase. BY JUDGE WILLIAM LINDSAY. FRANKFORT, KY.: GEO. A. LEWIS, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER. 1891. This page in the original text is blank. This page in the original text is blank. ,tI I i HI R IID ';l S;i , k 0 0 0 0 : g 0 w gJ z L" 0 z 0 , 0 U) w a tI Lo 0C z w: 0, IBritoil 11 ; , I, I ,II 1 III i, 11! f), 1, I i (HE vignette of this pampphlet shows the drawing for the proposed new State House at Frankfort. The east wing of the building is already completed, as to the exterior, excepting the approaches, and, although the in- terior is in an unfinished state, it is now occupied by sev- eral of the departments of government. The entire cost of the structure, completed, is estimated at about three- quarters of a million dollars. The other plate gives a bird's-eye view of the main por- tions of the city of Frankfort. The portions within the red lines constitute the grounds donated originally to the State, for the purpose of securing the seat of government. The condition in the face of the deed is "for and in consid- eration of fixing the seat of government at Frankfort, and the sum of five pound current money to him paid." As will be seen they include the public square, Governor's mansion, the whole of the penitentiary grounds, and also entire squares of the city, which the State sold off and deeded to private individuals. Not only, therefore, would the public property be in- volved in a question of reversion, but also all these squares of private property, which the State has warranted to the owners in its title deeds, and which it would be bound to. make good. The deeds for these grounds are recorded in Woodford county, and that of the peniten-- tlary Is recorded at Frankfort. cj+1af j rovxf. Q3Y the persistent agitation of one or two localities, the X question of the removal of the seat of government from the city of Frankfort has been kept before the public mind for more than half a century. At the present time there are two rival cities presenting their claims for the possession of the Capitaf, the cities of Louisville and Lexington. Manifestly, the subject should be considered from the standpoint of the public interests of the State. Because some locality may want the Capital, that, surely, 'is no reason why the seat of government should be re- moved. Are there any public reasons which render Capital removal either necessary or desirable HAS FRANKFORT FAILED IN ANY WAY TO MEET' THE DEMANDS OF THE ADMINISTRA- TION OF STATE AFFAIRS AS TO THE PUBLIC WELF4RE. Have the general interests of the Commonwealth suf- fored in any way by reason of the present location of the seat of Government No one pretends to say they have. CAPITAL REMOVAL. The men who have served the State at Frankfort have been Ketntucky's most gifted and illustrious sons., They have been left free from all undue local influences in the discharge of their public duties. There have been no powerful political rings or cliques to serve or resist. FACILITIES FOR PUBLIC BUSINESS. Everything needed for prompt and efficient public service is supplied at Frankfort-railroads, telegraphs, telephones, frequent mails, postal deliveries as numerous and prompt as in any city in the State, strong banking in- stitutions, through which the public treasury has never lost a penny, and enough of them to furnish wholesome competition for the public. business- There -has never been a government deniand of a-nY kind on thie coniumunity which it has not been able to meet. COST OF ADMINISTRATION. The expense of the governiment service here has al- ways been at the minimum. In rents, salaries, style of living, no extravagance has ever been encouraged or coun- tenanced by the community. The State's servants have been able to live well and at the lowest reasonable cost AOCIAL FEATURES. TThe society of Frankfort is as intelligent, refined and hospitable as any. to be found within the borders --6f the State. Public officials, while here, have found pleasant homes among an appreciative and companionable people. It is a gratifying compliment to our citizens, and a most significant answer to all depreciation of the social features of the place, that the State officials, almost without excep- tion, have been, and are now, in favor of the present seat of Government. Many of them, on retiring from public place, have taken up their permanent abode here and con- stitute a conspicuous element of the society of the Capital. 5 CAPITAL REMOVAL. PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT. With the exception of two or three high-rate houses in Louisville, the hotel accommodations of Frankfort are as good as can be found in the State, and the rates are more reasonable than at hotels of a similar grade in any city. Private board can be had of every quality and at almost any price. As good living mav be had at private houses as can be found anywhere in the world, and at reasonable rates. A better class of private families open their houses to visitors than those who usually do so in larger cities, so that strangers sojourning in our midst may, if they choose, enjoy all the comforts and amenities of refined and elegant homes, and at the same rates that our own citizens pay at the same places for permanent accommodations. ACCESSIBILITY TO THE PEOPLE. Frankfort is situated on1 the lines of the- two- most ex- tensive railroad systems in the State, the Louisville Nashville and the Chesapeake Ohio. their trains running the entire length of the State east and west, passing through the city several times daily, whilst the Midland road connects conveniently with the Cineinnati Southern and Kentucky Central, with their extensive ramifications. Were the Capital removed to a point either east or west, a - very large proportion of those visiting it would pas's di- rectly through the present seat of Government. WEALTH OF LOCALITY. There is no mfIe healthy place in -the land than the city of Frankfort. Here officials can reside the year round without discomfort or danger to the health of themselves or their families. It is an almost phenomenal fact that during the one hundred years that Frankfort has been the Capital of the B CAPITAL REMOVAL. State, there has never been the death of any State official while in office. The average death rate in this city is ex- 'ceptionally low, as appears from the following state- inent Statistics gathered from cities all over the United States show that the death rate for the Whole Country, per 1,000 population, is .......................... 174 per cent. City of Louisville " " " .........................." 144 per cent. Kentucky, whole State .......................... 144 per cent. City of Frankfort, per 1,000, "..................... 10 1-10 per cent. These statistics for Frankfort cover a period of fifteen years. Whilst some of the surrounding towns and cities have been repeatedly visited by epidemics of various kinds, during the last few years, Frankfort has enjoyed perfect immunity against such visitations. There has not been an epidemic of any kind in this city in fifty years. In the year 1832, wheni the cholera prevailed in the land, the country around Frankfort suffered more than the town1 and the loss of life in Lexington and Louisville was many times over what it was in this place. The water supply and system of drainage for the city are not surpassed by any other place, in or out of the State. The ailments from which visitors may suffer, while at Frankfort, are such as would overtake them any where, and can not, by any facts or evidence, be justly set down to the account of Frank- fort. SITUATION. It would be well nigh impossible to find a more beautiful spot than the site of Frankfort, viewed from almost any of the eminences by which it is surrounded. Men, who have traveled in all parts of the world, have not hesitated to pro- nounce it one of the most picturesque little cities they have ever beheld. With suitable and creditable public buildings, and the general improvement which will come 7 8 CAPITAL REMOVAL. with the permanent settlement of the removal question, Frankfort will make a capital City every citizen of Ken- tuckv can view with pride. POPULATION. It is true that Frankfort is not so large a place as some of' the other cities of the Commonwealth. But this is rather in its favor as the Capital of the State, according to the history of Capital location. Juclgmmt of the Country against Large Capitals.-The uni- versAl iiidgfment of the country is against the policy of locat- nJ the seat of government in a large city. There is not all instance iii the history of the country where a place was made a Capital l)ecause it was a commercial metropolis. The only large cities in the'United States to-day which are Gapitals were in their infancy when theybeqame seats of' government, and have since grown up to be lthe. .importa:it 6ities-thev are. Notably, this is trub of Bostun, Richmond Eand lhdianapolis.- In more than a 'dozen S tates tl1 Oapitdl City has a smaller population than Frankfort- amoiig them the State''of Maine,' Maryland, -Louisiaui, Mississippi,'"MissouEi and South Carolina. Some of them have less than one-third the population of Frankfort. Yet 'all these States have large cormi'ercial cities to which they eould remove their seats of government were it thought wise to do so-. Que8tion Agitated Elsewhre.--In the State of New York; Capital removal was agitated for many years, the City of New York demanding the Capital on precisely the same grounds That are now urged in favor' of removal in Ken- tuckv. In 1868 the Legislature decided, against removal, and forever settled the question by entering oln the erec- tion of a new State House, which has cost over 20,000,000. In Maryland, Missouri and Illinois the same question has been agitated, but in neither of these States. have the peo- CAPITAL REMOVAL. ple been prevailed upon to trust their government to the dominant influences of a great city. Experiment Tried.-Louisiana actually tried the experi- ment of removal. At one rime, under the promptings of arguments, such as are being urged in Kentucky to-day, she actually removed her (Capital to New Orleans. But she soon found that New Orleans governed the State, and she was compelled to carry the seat of government back again to Baton Rouge. Frankfort Has Maet Every Requirement.-From all of these considerations it is seen that there is absolutely no cause to be found in thepJlace itselffor the remo'al of the Capitalfrom Frankfort. In every respect it has alwavs.served the State w-ell as her Capital. Why then agitate removal Are there reasons outside of Frankfort herself why the seat of govern- ment should go elsewhere "Would the affairs of the State be better administered in ia lailger city NOT ONLY ARE THERE NO PUBLIC REASONS TO JUSTIFY REMOVAL TO A LARGE CITY, BUT THERE ARE MANY POTENT ONES AGAINST IT. THE PUBLIIC SERVICE. This would be injured, rather than benefited by such a change. There could be no better class of officials se- cured, because as good as the State can produce offer them- selves for its service now. But even thebest and strongest men are liable to be influenced by local surroundings, and especially by the powerful associations and combinia- 9 tions of a great commercial metropolis. Then there would be greater temptations in the way of the public em- ployes, and a consequent greater liability to neglect their duties and betray their trusts. PERMANENT EXPENSES OF GOVERNMENT. It requires constant watchfulness now to keep the ex- pensesi of government within reasonable bounds. Remove the Capital to the large city and every class of expense is necessarily and largely increased. The general style of living is more expensive. Rents are dearer. Rates of board are higher. The demands of society on public offl- cials are heavier. Gov. Hoffman, of New York State, gave it as his experienve, that in Albany, a city of about one- hundred thousand population, the entertainments alone, -which he -was-expecii4-to give,-cost him more than the amount of his entire salary. The salaries of all classes of men are higher in the large cities. There are banks and corporations in the city of Louisville paying salaries of 10,000 a year, and railroad officials who receive 25,000 a year. The State has recognized the necessity for higher salaries in the city already in her legislation, by permitting Louis- ville to add 1,000 per annum to the salary of each one of her four circuit judges, and this too, in the face of the con- stitutienal provision that the salaries of circuit judges shall be "equal and uniform throughout the State.' The neces- sity for the additional salary was so great that the Consti- tution does not stand in the way. All this goes to show that were the Capital removed to a large city the salaries of all government officials and employes would have to be largely increamed, or else no poor man could afford to hold any office under the State. CAPITAL BEMOVAL. 10 CAPITAL REMOVAL. CORRUPT RINGS. All large cities are infested by a corrupt class of contractors who fasten themselves upon the public treasury, and the administration becomes powerless to shake them off. The city of Louisville to-day is struggling with such a class and appealing to the courts in vain for relief. In the hall of the Constitutional Convention it has been openly pro- claimed that the city treasury is in the hands of "bummer" politicians. These same corrupt classes in the large city can reach the State Treasury as readily as that of the city when it is brought into their midst. CHARACTER OF LEGISLATION AFFECTED. Lobby.-Powerful local imifluewces, in a large city, can easily control legislation in their interests as against the interests of the State at large. The Legislattire be- comes the prey of a permanent professional lobby, which is always at hand; large amounts of money can be raised on short notice, and every facility for using it is at hand in the hidden resorts of a city, and in the very nature of city life, where no one knows what another does. Corporations.-Great corporations and monopolies have their homes in the great commercial metropolis. The struggle of the State now is to protect itself against their powerful 'influence. This conflict will be intensified more and more in the future, as the aggregations of wealth con- tinue to multiply and increase. To remove State capitals to large cities, at this day, is to wantonly expose the people to an evil whose malign shadow is now over all the land. The signs of the times demand the removal of govern- ments further away from such influences rather than into closer contact with them. Practical illustration.-Even in the matter under consid- eration it is proposed to control so important a question as 11 CAPITAL REMOVAL. the location of the seat of government by a purely money power. The proposition is to offer 1,000,000 to affect the action of the Constitutional Convention, not corruptly, but still, to affect it. It furnishes an illustration to hand of what a great. rich city is able to do to control public policy in its own interests. DISPATCH OF LEGISLATIO N'. But not oulv is the character of legislation affected by its surroulndingsi in the city, but also the dispatch of it. Varietv of diversio us prevent regularity of attendance on the meetings of committees and the sessions of the fegisla- tive bodies; the Rlo.gings of the. members are in homes scatters l over miles of streets and squares Oui call of the hIouse, they can not be reached in; ay reasonable timDe, and may easily avoid the seryic' of the' suiminons alto- gether. It is universally true .thatt it' is' more difficult to bold the quorum in q' large. cityvthan i i a smaller place.. THE RAILROAD ClINTPE, Wt- hear' dhuch of this as a reason for- locating the capi- tal in the State's metropolis Instead of -being ta benefit, it is a positive hindi'aice to the dispatch, of .legislation it operates to- largely increase absenteeism. The members who are so convenient to home that they uildertake' to attend to their own business and that of the Staie at the same time, tare the ones who break the quorum. Those who can lot conveniently come Mand go are, by the very fact, stimulated to press the completion of their work, in order that they may return to their homes and business at the earliest possible day. The Legislature of the State of New 'York, which meets at Albany, a railroad centre, by standing rule adjourns over every week, from Friday morh- ing to Monday night, thus regularly wasting one-third of the time. 12 CAPITAL REMOVAL. THE COURTS AND REMOVAL. Let it suffice, under this head, to quote the opinion of a distinguished jurist, wvho is a non-resident of Frankfort. He gave it as his opinion that, should the capital be removed to Louisville, it would soon become well nigh impossible for a lawyer from the interior of the State to get a hearing before the Court of Appeals at all, and it would be necessary for him to engage counsel in the city to look after his business, or allow it to be manipulated by opposing counsel. This is an 3vil already recognized in. the profession, and especially by the country members of the bar who have experience in the practice of city courts. The local bar occupies so largely the time of the court by oral argument,. that the country lawyer finds it impossible to obtain a hearing, except by going to the city and -waiting for days, and sometimes weeks, at heavy expense. THE QUESTION OF ECONOMY. Cost of Bit'ildingi-It is claimed that the cost of public buildings in a large city would be less than at Frankfort. The facts ate just to the contrary. The wages of mechan-. ics' are higher in the city. The profits of contractors are greater. Corrupt rings manipulate bids to their own ag- grandizement, the city of Louisville is now helpless in the hands of such rings. Abundance of the, very best building material can be had at Frankfort, without any. cost of transportation. Stone, tested by the United States Government and pronounced of the very best quality for.. building purposes, can be had in the immediate vicinity; brick is shipped from here to Louisville. Machinery.-We aire told about the machinery that is already on hand in the city. All the world knows this is a mere bagatelle, and we should not refer to it here, only its serious nmention by the Cormereial Club illustrates the is CAPITAL REMOVAL. fait that it is taken for granted, by that wide-awake organ- ization, that the same rings which now own the Louisville machinery would be the successful parties in bidding for the contracts for the erection of a State House in Louis- ville, and they doubtless know whereof they speak. State Appropriation.-Again, capital removal contem- plates the expenditure of 2,500,000 for public buildings; 1,000,000, at the outside, is sufficient to complete the build- ings at Frankfort, according to the present plan, thus saving to the people 1,500,000. The simple interest of this difference alone, for a dozen years, would be more than sufficient to finish the State House at Frankfort; and it would give to Kentucky a better capitol (see vignette) than thiree-fourths of the States of the Union have to-day, and one as complete in its appointments for public business as many of the much more costly and ornamental structures of the richer States. Neither the resources nor sentiment of the State, warrant any extravagance in this direction. THE HONOR AND GOOD FAITH OF KENTUCKY. History of Location.-It is a matter of history that the State in its infancy and poverty located the Capital at its present site by receiving propositions from different com- petitors. (See pamphlet of Judge W. H. Sneed.) To ask and accept propositions of a similar character, and locate the' Capital elsewhere now, is to repudiate one compact to ac- cept another of the same kind because the terms are con- sidered better. Does Kentucky propose to put such a blot on a page of her history Terms of Location.-Frankfort secured the Capital origi- nally over all competitors by the then great liberality of her grants to the State. In addition to large money sub- scriptions she deeded to'the State not only the grounds on which the present public buildings stand, but also grounds the State sold off and on which large portions of the city now 14 : z K I . L i 8 Itu 0 40 c CAPITAL REMOVAL. stand (see plat at the beginning of this pamphlet), the terms as stipulated in the face of the deeds being, "for and in consideration of fixing the seat of government at Frank fort and the sum of five pounds current money to him paid." For the legal aspects of this transaction, see argu- ments of Judge Wim. Lindsay and Judge W. H. Sneed. Amoral Obliqation.-In addition to the legal obligations of this "contract," as it is called in the negotiations of the original commissioners of the State, it can not be disputed, by fair-minded people, that the honor and good faith of Kentucky are bound, until there are some imperative pub- lic reasons making Capital removal necessary. No one will pretend to argue that Kentucky might now accept the considerations proposed to be given for locating the Capi- tal elsewhere, and when the conditions have been fulfilled turn around and repudiate them for some other more favor- able terms. The obligations of honor and good faith are the same, whether for one year, or ten years, or for fifty years. Their breach can be justified only on the grounds of imperative reasons, and then the way is clearly pointed out in this case, and that is by a vote of two-thirds of the Legislature. LITIGATION. Capital removal, in the way contemplated at the present time, in the judgment of some of the most eminent jurists of the State, who are non-residents of Frankfort, does in- volve the questions of the reversion of all the State's present property at Frankfort and whole squares of the city besides, to heirs. Questions of law at all events are raised, which must necessarilv be settled in the courts, and some of them higher than the Constitution itself, and which may have to be settled by the courts of the General Govern- ment. Is there any public necessity for involving the State in this interminable litigation, which will prolong 15 CAPITAL REMOVAL. the settlement in any way of the Capital question, perhaps beyond the life time of the present generation KENTUCKY'S DEAD. What will you do with them They have been gathered from all parts of our own and other States, and foreign lands, and given honorable sepulture in the . .ablic burying grounds at Frankfort, solely because the seat of govern- ment is here, as a public testimony to their honorable lives, and that. the memory of their public services might furnish inspiration to the generations of young statesmen who should come to the Capital. Will Kentucky now remove the Capital, the sole cause of her honored dead being buried here, practically'repudiate her past homage to their heroic deeds, and silence their speech to future generation s Or will you at this late day ghoul-like, dig into their .graves, shovel up their bones, and carry them to some other place Aid where will you lay them Neither Kentucky, nor any other State or land, has a fairer site for the repose of her distinguished'-dead than the cemetery at Frankfort. In this respect the other places competing for the capital have nothing in comparison to offer. What will you do with'your'State' monument Designed and erected by the genius of the famed Launitz, its artistic merits have been the subject of articles in the greatest magazines of the country, and it is to-day the only cele- brated and genuine work of monumental art the State of Kentucky possesses. What will you do with the ashes of Boone The world does not offer to the eye of man a more picturesque scene than that looked upon from the spot where he sleeps. The, thought seems almost like sacrilege, to transport his re- mains to the vicinity of some great centre of civilization, which was his especial antipathy when living. 16 CAPITAL REMOVAL. In a word, the cemetery, where Kentucky's dead now lie, is something the State can point to with pride-something to be visited by the traveler from foreign lands, and which will not suffer by comparison wish any thing his eye has ever rested upon in any part of the world, and it always will be so, for it is nature's own handiwork and can't be changed by the revolutions of time. SPECIFICALLY AS TO THE PROPOSED SITES FOR THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. LOUISVILLE. Frankfort has always been loyal to the interests of Ken- tucky-loyal to her commercial metropolis. It gives to Louisville a business trade amotnting to over half a mil- lion dollars a year, to say nothing of the rery large retail patronage, which can not be estimated, a td which is almost wholly with that city. Nevertheless, there are rea- sons why we do not believe it would be good public policy to carry the capital to Louisville. Political Inflitence.-No man canf foresee what a great Commercial metropolis may become in the development of the future. The influence of Louisville over the welfare of the State will become more and more dominant as its wealth and population increase. The government, once in its possession, can never be reclaimed, and the more malign its influence the more helpless the State would be in its power. It is already asserting its dominancy. An edito- rial comment in ohe of its papers tersely expresses the situation: "A good reason why we should have the capital 2 17 CAPITAL REMOVAL. is, we are the biggest." The same reason would take every thing else. If this he the logic of the situation now, what may not be expected in the future Commercial Importance.-Louisville now, by reason of its overmastering commercial importance, is dwarfing the other portions of the Commonwealth. It attracts to itself the talent of the State ; it absorbs its material wealth ; it. takes away business from smaller communities, until the merchants and tradesmen of interior towns find scarcely a living left them. To remove the Capital to Louisville is to aggravate this evil and make it more widespread. 'Avowed Expectations.-Among the reasons given by the Commercial Club " why Louisville wants tie Capital," 'are these: "The retail dealer would gain customers from every part of the State," and "' our business relations with East- ern Kentucky would be greatly enlarged." The meaning of this language is that Louisville, by means of the Capital, expects to vastly increase and widen its influence over the business interests of the State of Kentucky. Do the peo- ple of the interior portions of the State wish to feed andi fatten this power, which is now devouring their own prosperity, by throwing into its hands the power and influ- ence of the State government Location.-It is claimed that Louisville is central. If a. point on the circumference of a circle is the centre, then Louisville is central. Should the Ohio river, in some of her wild freshets, sweep through the low lands in the rear of the city, then this central point would become a part of the territory of Indiana. Louisville. is now constructing communications of rapid transit, to the knobs of New Albany to accommodate the increasing number of her citi- zens who find it necessary, for the health of their families, to spend their summers in that resort of growing popular- ity. It is the coming fashionable suburb of Louisville. is CAPITAL REMOVAL. Were that city to become the Capital, then, in the near future, we would be treated to the spectacle of State offi- cials, for a large portion of each year, living amongst the nabobs of the knobs of Indiana, and administering the laws of the State of Kentucky. Louisville, it is true, is a railroad centre; so is Coving. ton, and Cincinnati would probably be willing to put up more money than any Kentucky city for the purpose of locating the capital at a point where it would largely reap. the benefits. And if public diversions and entertainments. are to be considerations for locating the Capital, then Cin- cinnati has far more to offer in that line than any city of- Kentucky. LEXINGTON. Wants It.-This "queen of the Blue Grass region," with becoming maidenly modesty, has not seen fit to give to the public the reason why she should have the State Capital. But one thing is certain, with feminine consistency "she wants it because she wants it," and there is no mistake about it. She has wanted it long, is wanting it still, and probably, according to the nature of the sex, she always will. There is no use in reasoning with her; a hundred years of argument and admonition have failed to convince her. In common with all Kentuckians we are proud of the manv attractions of our neighboring city, but still we are unable to see how Kentuckv would be benefited by making her a present of the State Capital. Her Claims.-It is true Lexington has more people than Frankfort; but if population is to control the location of the capital, " the biggest " will get it. Lexington is also somewhat of a railroad centre. We have already seen that too much of this may prove a positive disadvantage to the State. Besides, were Lexington the Capital, with all her railroads, a great majority of those visiting it from all the 19 CAPITAL REMOVAL. western portion of the State would be compelled to pass through Frankfort. Her Trade.-Were Lexington to become the Capital, the large part of the State's money would be spent in Ohio, as her trade is almost entirely with Cincinnati. Public Accommodations.-Has Lexington a single public inducement to offer, as a consideration for the possession of the Capital, which Frankfort has not Her hotels and public accommodations are not materially different from those at Frankfort, excepting that their rates are higher. Oftentimes, during the racing season, were it necessary for our citizens to go to the Capital on business, it would be utterly impossible for them to get any accommodations either in her hotels or in her private houses. The writer of this has been compelled to pass the entire night sitting in the office of her leading hotel, in company with many others, and has been- charged the same rate as though he had enjoyed the comforts of a luxurious bed. Water Siqpply.-The water supply of Lexington is inade- quate and of a most objectionable character, and the evil seems to be beyond remedy. On the authority of some of Lexington's own citizens, in a position to know the facts, it is stated that the entire drainage of a large stock farm runs into the sources of supply to the reservoir, which fur- nislhes water to the whole city. Drainage.-Lexington has no drainage, such as is neces- sary for the health of the city, and proper drainage in the future seems a practical impossibility on account of the topographical character of the country. We have every wish for the welfare of our sister city, and entertain for her people the most kindly feelings, but we are unable to see why the State's interests would be subserved by reniov- ing the Capital to that city. 20 CAPITAL REMO VAL. The Opportunity Lost.-Both Louisville and Lexington competed with Frankfort originally for the possession of the Capital, when they were much stronger and larger than Frankfort was. But they failed to secure the Capital because of their unwillingness to come to the rescue of the State in its poverty, to the extent that Frankfort did. They then lost their opportunity. It is too late in the day now for them to ask the State to compromise its honor and good faith in order to help them repair the mistake they then made. Men would be at no loss to know how to character- ize a refusal to abide by the arbitration of such an open and honorable competition in a private business transaction, and we can not see how the principle of the thing is changed in the matter of Capital location, simply because the case involves an aggregation of individuals. These cities did not care for the capital when the State was poor and weak, but now, when it has become rich and populous, they want, by means of its possession, to turn the tide of the State's prosperity to their own aggrandizement. HOW SHALL THIS QUESTION BE DECIDED SHALL IT BE REFERRED BACK TO THE LEGISLATURE, WITH AUTHORITY TO MUNICIPALITIES TO TAX THEMSELVES TO OFFER BIDS FOR THE POSSESSION OF THE CAPITAL Incongruity of the Propo8al.-Such a proposition seems well nigh grotesque in the section of the Constitution where it is proposed to insert it. That section prohibits forever all subscriptions by tax to public enterprises of every kind, and yet, by a clause in this very section, the Constitution tramples under foot its own sweeping inhibi- 21 APITAL REMOVAL. tion, by allowing localities to tax themselves for getting the capital. It is bad policy and wicked generally for a community to tax itself to help get a railroad, or water- works, but it is all right to tax itself more than other people to build a State House. You may not bargain with any one else for-the purpose of building up your commun- ity, says the State in her Constitution, but you may do it with me, no matter how great a burden it may bring on your tax-payers, even though one of your representatives has declared openly in conv ntion, " Our taxation amounts now, practically, to confiscation." Bad Example.-Such a disposition of the question shows to all future Legislatures the way to defeat the proposed constitutional provision prohibiting special and local legis- lation. There are now two localities wishing special legis- lation in the Constitution for their own benefit. They ask the privilege of taxing themselves for the purpose of secur- ing. the Capital. Now, in order to grant this special privi- lege to two towns, it is proposed t introduce into the Constitution a clause giving to all the other municipalities a power which thev neither ask nor wish, and which has no pertinency as to them. Thus the special constitutional legislation for these two towns is accomplish ed under the guise of a general provision. So, in the future, when any person wants some special enactment, all that the Legisla- ture has to do is to follow the example of the Constitutional Convention, and make a general law covering the special case. In this way ylour statute books will be filled, as heretofore, with special laws, but under the guise of gen- eral statutes. A Reproach to Kentu ky.-The proposition at this day to put the Capital up to the highest bidder is unworthy the dignity and wealth of the State of Kentucky. It would be to advertise the State as a pauper to all the world; it CAPITAL REMOVAL. 23 would be a perpetual reproach to have such a dicker incor- porated in the organic law. Injustice of It. -Such a provision would inflict unjust burdens on the tax-payers of one particular community for State purposes, which they would be powerless to pre- vent. It is sate to say 'hat the great body of the tax- payers of both the cities flow competing for the Capital, are opposed to a large additional tax upon themselves to secure it. But the non-tax-paying element of every city largely -outnumber the tax-paying. and, under the lead of the poli- tician, the former can far out-vote the latter, and so the burden would be imposed by those who would not help to carry it. The proposition is essentially unjust and inequi- table. SHALL THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL BE LEFT TO A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE Not Desired.-The people do not care about the question ; thev have never discussed it; the agitation has always been local. Outside of two cities wanting the capital, there is now no demand for its removal i even in those cities there is no general sentiment in favor of removal. In both of them the public press is divided on the subject, and the agitation of the question is largely confined to certain interested classes, such as the professional politicians, rep- resentatives of corporations, and real estate speculators. Not Wise.-The people have no special information on lthe subject to enable them to decide the question intelli- gently. Majority Vote.-It is not practical to submit it to. the people for a fair decision. If a majority vote should be required for one place, it might, and probably would, have to be submitted many times over. Plurality Vote.-If it should be left to a plurality vote, CAPITAL REMOVAL. that would be to settle this important question by the rule of the minority. Two-Third8 J'ote.-The Convention has already wisely adopted a provision which requires a two-thirds majority- of all the people of the county in order to remove its seat. of government. Surely it will not be pretended that less interests are involve.] in the removal of the seat of gov- ernment for the State. Every principle of justice and rea- son, and right and good policy, which requires a two- thirds vote to change the seat of government for the county, demands more imperatively that it should require a two-thirds majority of the people to change the seat. of gov-. ernmient for the State. Unfair.-It would be practically to remand the question- to the decision of one large, populous, and interested com- munity. By means of a large, purchasable vote, and the money that could be -aised to control it, the question would be practically settled in favor of one city as soon as the Convention should decide to submit it to the people. The Moral8 of It.-It would invite a campaign of corrup- tion in connection with the adoption of the Constitution, which would be a public scandal and a lasting disgrace tot the State, and of which the State House, located by sueh methods. would be the perpetual moinumelnt. The People Have Acted.-Twice over they have ratified: the original stipulations, in adopting in the Constitution the section which prov;des that-', the seat of government. shall continue in the city of Frankf.ort, until it shall be removed by law. Provided, however, that two-thirds of' the members elected to each housq of the General Assem- bly shall concur in the passage of such law." The people themselves have Lao right to remove the seat of govern- ment, excepting in the way they originally agreed to, when they entered into covenants with those whose benefactions 24 CAPITAL REMOVAL. they availed themselves of in the original location of the Capital. The people, in the original stipulations, put the question of Capital removal out of their own hands. They delegated it to their representatives in the Legislature; they have neither the legal nor moral right, at this late day, to change that provision. The method of removal is clearly provided for, and is as easy as it ought to be. Whenever the necessities for removal are sufficiently press- ing, it will be easy for them to accomplish it, according to their original agreement, by a two-thirds vote of the Legis- lature, and thus violate no stipulated conditions, keep their own good faith, and rais3 no troublesome questions. ONLY ONE WAY TO SETTLE IT. Let the Convention adhere to the original terms of the comp'act, so as to raise no vexing questions. Theii let it be made mandatory on the Legislature to provide at onice for the completion of the public buildings already begun at Frankfort; or, if it seems wiser to the Convention to appropriate a larger sum of money for an entirely new structure at Frankfort, then, on some of the eminences around the city there can be found sites as commanding and beautiful as anything to be seen amongst the capitals of the world. Such a change of situation would raise no questions of reversion or good fatith. THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS QUESTION. So gNeat ar'- the public interests involved in this ques- tion of Capital removal, that it evidently should not be decided by mere personal preference, or local convenience or advantage. We are at a point il, the development of civilization when the coming questions of government are seen to be the questions of law and order; of capital and labor; of corporations, as against the rights of individu- 26 CAPITAL REMOVAL. als; of monopolies and their consciencelees rapacity; in a word, the questions of large cities, with their powerful and corrupt influences against the country at large.' How to govern the great cities is confessedly the most difficult question statecraft has to meet in the near future. It would be a rash act, perilous to the future interests of the people, to transport the government i::to the environment of its most deadlv foes at a time like the present. Gentlemen of the Convention: In view of all the interests at stake, the serious nature of the questions involved, the contention of rival aspirants for the Capital, and the general sentiment of the people of the State at large, we do not believe there is any reason- able probability that the seat of government will ever be removed from Frankfort. To keep the question open longer is only to prolong useless agitation and impede the pro- gress of the capital city. It shows a commendable public spirit on the part of the citizens of Frankfort, as well as their confidence in the good faith of Kentucky, that they have gone forward and expended nearly a million dollars in public improvements, such as hotels, water-works, drain- age, c., with the public discussions of Capital removal perpetually unsettling the community. Fifty years ago the eminent historian, Humphrey Marshall, wrote that the effect of such agitation theo had been- "To discourage improvements of the place; to keep such as had ventured and laid out their monev and labor, ever in jeopardy and generally to impair or destrov all confidence in arrangements dependent on acts of the Leg- islature, and thus to avert and prevent useful enterprise and liberal exertion." 26 CAPITAL REMOVAL. For over fifty years this incubus has been resting upon every enterprise of Frankfort; it oppresses its prosperity to-day. During the sessions of the Legislature, three win- ters ago, a foreign company was ready to buy a desirable sito and erect and equip a first-class hotel, and only awaited the action of the Legislature on the subject of the comple- tion of State House. We have every reason to believe that similar enterprises, for the public accommodation and benefit of the place, will now be inaugurated at once, when this question is definitely, settled. There are a number of parties now awaiting the action of this convention before purchasing property and making their permanent homes here. As citizens of the place, we appeal to you to remove this obstacle from the way of our progress We appeal to you, as citizens of the Commonwealth, to take such action as may be within your jurisdiction, looking to the permanent settlement of this question, and the sDeedv erection of such public buildings as shall be a credit to the State of Ken- tucky. COMMITTEE OF CITIZENS. I27 2zstorS of the 2a-ion of the ( ital BY JU7DGE: W. H. ONSERD. FRANKFORT, Ky., Sept. 27, 1890. To the Honorable Delegate8 to the Constitutional Convention: It was the privilege of the writer, at the session of the General Assembly in 1872-3, in conjunction -with his col- league, Hon; H. I. Todd, the Representative from Franklin county, to prepare and present to that body a report bear- ing upon the question of the State's Seat of Government. Prior to this session no report of like character had been made, so far as the House and Senate Journals show. Believ- ing that the delegates to the present Constitutional Conven- tion will consider the question of a permanent location of the Seat of Government, with that fairness, intelligence and justness that its importance demands, and in the light of its bearing upon the interest of the people of the whole State and not from any local standpoint, the writer begs to submit to the Convention excerpts from said report as to how the Seat of Government was located at Frankfort nearly a century ago, and upon what terms and conditions the location was made, and why the public faith is pledged to its remaining permanently here. When the State of Kentucky was organized in 1792, her resources were limited. She then paid her Governor, HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. together with all others of her public officers, a sum ill the aggregate not exceeding 3,000.00. In her embarrassed condition, she directed in the 10th Article of her first Con- stitution that the Legislature of 1792 should appoint Commissioners, who -should have power to fix on the place for the Seat of Governmente, and to receive grants from individuals therefor, and make such conditions with the grantors of lands onl which they should conclude as the most proper place for locating the Capitol, as should by them seem right and proper, and which should be agree- able and acceptable to the grantors. In pursuance of this direction, the Legislature, after the reading of the message of Governor Shelby, in which he recommended the performance of the duty enjoined upon them by the 10th Article of the Constitution, viz: "to select a permanent Seat of Government " (his exact lan- guage), proceeded to select the five Commissioners in the manuner directed in said article, resulting in the selection of Robert Todd, John Edwards, John Allen, Henry Lee and Thomas Kennedy, and hy resolution instructed them to accept the best proposals that were made in a moneyed point of vi.ew, as a bonus for this coveted honor, and to enter into contracts pledging the public faith with those parties whose propositions and donations should be accepted by them. (See Journal of House of Representatives, Fall Session, 1792.) The following extracts from said Journal show that the Commissioners gave to this matter fair and just consider- ation, and finally accepted the proposals of Holmes, Innes, Wilkerson and others upon. a condition precedent. Extracts: " The House then proceeded to take into consider- ation the proceedings of the Conmmissioners appointed to fix on the place for the permanent seat of GovernnmeWt." iWhere upon the same1 were read and then ordered to be 29 30 HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. entered at large on the Journal of this House, said proceed- ings are as follows, viz: "LEXINGTOIN, August 6th, 1792. "Robert Todd, Thomas Kennedy, John Allen and Henry Lee, Esquires, four of the Commissioners appointed at the last session of Assembly, pursuant to the 10th Article of the Con- stitution of this State, to fix on the place for the seat of Govern- ment, convened at the house of Love Brent, pursuant to notice given in the Kentucky Gazette, and being qualified as the Con- stitution directs, appointed Levi Todd Clerk of the Board, who took an oath for the duhe discharge of his dutty. " On motion, Thomas Kennedy, Esquire, is appointed Chair- man, to this Board. "A proposition from James Ledgerwood and others, offering land in Ledgeriuood's Bend, with a subscription accompanying the same, was presented and read. "A tract of land adjoining Delaney's Ferry was proposed as a proper place to fix the Seat of Government. " The Board then adjourned until to-morrow, ten o'clock, to meet at this place." "Tuesday, August 7th, 1792. "The Commissioners met according to adjournment. "John Edwards, Esquire, the other member of the Board, attended, and being qualified, agreeable to the Constitution, took his seat. "Proposals from the town of Louisville were presented by Abraham Owens and read. " Harry Innes, Esquire, as attorney in fact for Andrew Holmes, proposed the town of Frankfort, and forwarded a list of contributions, in case the Commissioners shall fix the Seat of Government in that place. "The town of Leestown was also proposed by Harry Innes, Esquire, as attorney in fact for Hancock Lee. HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. "The town of Lexington was proposed by a committee of the town and offers made. "Resolved, That this Board will proceed to view the dif- ferent places proposed, and Petersburg. cc The Board then adjourned; meet at the house of An- drew Holmes, in Frankfort, to-morrow at two o'clock." "Wednesday, August 8th, 1792. "The Commissioners met according to adjournment, and proceeded to view the place called Leestown, Frankfort, and the land adjacent, and again met and. after hearing several proposals, adjourned until seven o'clock to-miorrow, to meet at this place." "FRANKFORT, Thursday, August 9th, 1792. "The Commissioners met according to adjournment. Proposals in writing were forwarded by Harry !limes, Es- quire, attorney in fact for Andrew Holmes, for Frankfort. "And also for Leestown, by Harry Innes, Esquire, attor- nev in fact for Hancock Lee and Andrew Holmes. "The Board then adjourned to James Ledgerwood's house in Ledgerwood Bend. The Board met according to adjournment about three o'clock, and proceeded to view the ground proposed, and then adjourned to Petersburg." "PETERSBURG, August 10th, 1792. "The Board proceeded to view the lands laid off for a town, the river and the lands adjacent, and then adjourned until eight o'clock to-morrow to meet in Lexington." "LEXINGTON, August 11th, 1792. "The Board met according to adjournment. "Resolved, That on Monday, the 3d of September, the Board will meet in Louisville to view that place and the 31 32 HISTORY OP THE LOCATION OP THE CAPITAL. Falls; and on Friday, the 7th of September, will again meet at this place. "At which time it is expected that the persons who have made proposals, or others who have any yet to make, will attend, prepared to conclude a contract, and that the pur- port of this resolution be published in the Kentucky Ga- zette. "The Board then adjourned." LEXINGTON, September 7th, 1792. "A majority of the Con mmissioner8, to-wit: Thomnas Ken- nedy, Robert Todd, John Allen and John Edwards, met agreeable to their resolution. A letter from the Commis- sioners of Louisville was presented and read. "Also proposals from John Rogers in favor of Petersburg. Proposals from Petersburg were presented and read. "Additional proposals from Lexinjgton were presented and read. "The Board then adjourned until the third Monday in April, to meet at this place." "LEXINGToN, November 3d, 1792. "A majority of the Commissioners met agreeable to their resolution, to-wit: Thomas Kennedy, Robert Todd, John Allen and Henry Lee, convened and resolved that an ad- vertisement be inserted in the Kentucky Gazette notifying that the Commissioners will ineet at the tavern of Love Brent, in the town of Lexington, on the 5th day of De- cember, in order to proceed to a final decision on this busi- ness. Those gentlemen who have proposals to make for Lexington, Petersburg, Frankfort and Leestown, will (it is hoped) come forward prepared to enter into contracts for the above purpose. "The Board then adjourned." HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. "LEXINGTON, December 5, 1792. "A majority of the Commissioners met agreeable to their resolution, to-wit: Thomas Kennedy, Robert Todd, John Allen and Henry Lee. "Resolved, As the opinion of this Board, that Frankfort is the most proper place for the Seat of Govornment; that the proposals of Andrew Holmes, Harry Innes, Esquire, and other subscribers, be accepted and agreed to; that a copy of the Journals, together with the report now agreed to and the Proposals for Frankfort be transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. "The Board then adjourned. "A copy attest "LENVI TODD, "Clerk of the Board of Commissioners." "HOLMIES AND OTHERS' PROPOSALS. "Proposition to the Commissioners to fix on the place for the 'permanent seat of goiernnment for the State of Kentucky.' "If the Commissioners approve of Fran kfort as a proper place, I will give to the Governmnent for the term of seven years the house and tenement lately occupied by General Wilkerson, described in the plan of said town No. 1. "The lots 58, 59, 68, 79, 74, 73, 83 and 84, marked Public Ground, shall be conveyed and warranted to the Govern- ment absolutely. "The half of the unsold lots, which amount to 37, shall also be conveyed, or 30 the choice of those unsold. "The rents of the warehouse for seven years. "In addition to the above, I will deliver, on reasonable notice, on the square marked Public Ground, ten boxes of glass, 10 by 12, 1,500 pounds of nails, 50 pounds' worth of locks and hinges, an equivalent of stone and scantling for building. 3 33 34 HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. "If more space is requisite to be laid off in half-acre lots, I will lay off 50 acres more, which shall be added to the number unsold, and divided with and conveyed to the Government, and if the Commissioners choose to divide the lots in preference to making the choice of 30 of the unsold, I will give the first choice, i. e., the Commissioners to take one lot and I will take the second, and so proceed to the division. "Signed: ANDREW HOLMES, "By HARRY INNES, "His Attorney in Fact. "In addition to the above, we, the underwriters, oblige ourselves, our heirs, c., to pay to the said Commissioners, for the State of Kentucky, three thousand dollars in specie. "Witness our hand and seals the 9th day of August, 1 792. "Signed: HARRY INNES, "NATHANIEL SANDERS, "BENNET PEMBERTON, "BENJAMI.S CRAIG, "JEREMIAH CRAIG, "WILLIAU HAYDEN, "DANIEL JAMES, "GILES SAMUEL. "In lieu of the stone and scantling offered above, I agree to give stone that will build 1,590 perches of wall in any part of Frankfort, and my said mill, carriage, wagon and two good horses, until a sufficiency of scantling for a State House i:; procured, and privilege of taking timber from any part of my tract. "Signed: ANDREW HOLMES." From the action of the Commissioners, as herein pre- sented, they gave a fair opportunity to those localities de- HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. siring the location of the Seat of Government at their respective towns to enter the field as competitors for the honor and supposed profit to be derived therefrom. Lex- ington was especially favored. That the Commissioners were empowered to make a contract with the citizens of the State is evident from the language of the tenth article of the first Constitution, viz: " That the House of Represen tatives of the first General As- sembly, c., c., should choose by ballot 21 persons; from. these the Representatives from Fayette and Jiercer counties should, alternately, strike out one name until the number should be reduced to five, and who, or any three of whom, concurring in opinion, should have power to fix the Seat of Govern- ment, receire grants therefore and mak-e such conditions with the proprietors of the land so pitched uapon s to them should seem right, and be agreed to by said proprietors." By the resolutions of the Assembly (fall session 1792), instructing these Commissioners, they were directed to accept the best proposLs that were made in a moneyed point of view as a bonus, and to enter into contract, pledging the pub- lic faith with those parties whose propositions, as to land and donations of money, c., should be accepted by them (the Commissioners). That these Commissioners understood their duties, and the powers conferred upon them, is evident from their pro- ceedings had at their meeting in Lexington, November 30, 1792, viz: That the Commissioners will meet at the tavern of Love Brent, in the town of Lexington, on the 5th day of De- cember, in order to proceed to a final decision on this busi- ness. Those gentlemen having proposals to make for Lexington, Petersburg, Frankfort and Leestown (the four contending competitors) will (it is hoped) come forward pre- pared to enter into contracts for the above purpose. That they did contract with Holmes and others, and pledge the 36 36 HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. public faith to the maintainance thereof is beyond ques- tion. That Holmes and others dealt with these agents of the State upon the pledge of the public faith as to a permanent location of the Seat of Government at Frankfort, is appar- ent from the heading of their proposals, which must be recognized as the basis thereof, viz: "HOLMES AND OTHERS' PROPOSAL.S. "Propositions of the Commissionfer8 appointed toufx on the place for the permanent Seat of Government for the State of Kentucky;" then follows the proposals (heretofore given in detail). These proposals and donations of land, material, money, c., were accepted and agreed to upon the condition prece- dent of a permanent location of the Capital as appears from the resolution adopted at the final meeting of these Commissioners, on Dec. 5th, 1792. "Resolved, as the opinion of the Board that Frankfort is the most proper place for the Seat of Government; that the proposals of Andrew Hohhes. Harry Innes, Esquire, and other subscribers, be accepted and agreed to," c., c. It is contended, however, that the framers of the first Constitution did not intend to confer upon these Com- missioners the power to contract for a permanent Seat of Government, as the second section of Article 10 provides a mode of removal, viz : "And the Seat of Government so fixed shall continue until it shall be changed by two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature." Article 8, of the second, and article 9 of the present Constitution, reads as follows: "The Seat of Government shall continue in the city of. Frank- fomt until it shall be removed by law-Provided, however, that two-thiuds of all of the members elected to each House of the Gen- eral Assembly shall concur in the passage of such law. " HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. For the sake of the argument, we grant that a mode of removal was pointed out, but we contend, in the face of the proceedings touching this matter, that the public faith was pledged to Holmes and others, at least as to the manner of a removal of the Seat cf Government, by the framers pf the first Constitution prior to their contracting with the State's agent, and was an inducement for that contract, and that this pledge of the public faith has been sanctioned and confirmed by the framers of the two succeeding Constitu- tions, and that good faith demand that the framers of the Constitution now under consideration at least leave the matter of the Seat of Governnient where their predecessors lodged it, and the people, if they desire a change of the Seat of Government, will elect a Legisiature pledged to the change in the manner pointed out. Do the people desire a change of the present Seat of Government Where is the evidence thereof Has this question ever entered into the arena of State or local politics, where it must be made an issue, if at all Has a single reason been presented showing that public policy demands, or that the interests of the State require, a removal of the Seat of Government to any other point It is not pretended that Frankfort is unhealthy, or is not possessed of hotel and other accommodations, railroad facil- ities, c., c., for the convenience and comfort of those having private, or those called here, from time to time, to transact public business. Since the location of the Seat of Government here more than one hundred State Conventions have been held by each of the political parties of the State, in this city, and vet we have never heard a word from the people about a removal of the Seat of Government. In the contests between aspirants of the same party 37 a8 HSTORY OF THE LOCATION OP THE CAPITAL. for party nominations, and in the campaign of the can- didates of the two political parties for seats in either House of the Assembly, the question as to the Seat of Government has never been discussed or made an issue by the people of the several counties in the State. Those who, for selfish purposes, have, through their representatives, from time to time, agitated this question in the Legisliture, have nevrer made it an issue, or dared to require the representatives of the community desiring the Scat of Government in their midst to pledge themselves to using their endeavors to affect a change of the Seat. In the contests for seats in Ihe Convention now in ses- sion, tOis question was not made an issue. If the people desired a change of their Seat of Government the time most opportune above all others and the best opportunity occurring within the past fifty years for an expression of their views was presented at the last August election, when the issue could have been made in the canvass for seats in this Constitutional Convention, who reflect the sovereign will of the people. 'rhe failure of the people to take any action iouching this subject is significant of the fact that they are satisfied with the present location. The writer contends that the pledge of the public faith reaches out so as to include all of those persons who, rely- ing thereupon, have invested their money in lots and houses, manufacturing enterprises, besides subjecting themselves to heavy taxation for years to raise nearly one million of dollars expended for gas and water-works, streets and sewers, and railroad facilities for the conven- ience and accommodation of those called here upon private or public business. A change in the Seat of Government involves an expen- diture of not less than four. millions of dollars in the pur. HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. so chase of grounds and the erection of suitable and creditable buildings thereon. The State now has public buildings in Frankfort, and by an expenditure of two hundred thousand dollars annually for five years, can reconstruct, remodel and enlarge her present capitol buildings so as to accom- modate the public business of the State, at a saving to the tax-payers of three millions of dollars. For the sake of the good name and financial credit of old Kentucky, it is a matter of regret that a proposition to auction off her Seat of Goveriiment to the highest bidder should have beei entertained nearly one hundred years after her first Seat of Government was secured Jy private donations. Look at our sister States upon our border- Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee, with capitol buildings cost- ing from three to six millions of dollars. Tennessee, bankrupted by the late war; tax-ridden by vicious legisla- tion since its close, has expended two millions of dollars -upon her public buildings within the last fifteen years. It the Seat of Government is to be determined by the ,amount of money to be donated as a bonus by the several localities desiring it, how is this nowney to be raised Cer- tainly not by imposing a tax upon the citizens of the local- ity, because the Court of Appeals, in divers decisions, notably in that of Cypress Pond Draining Company v. Hooper, et at. declare that legislation authorizing the im- position of taxes upon citizens of a community for public uses is unconstitutional, and that any tax-payer can enjoin its collection. In that case the court says: "Xmple protection to the citizens against the oppression which might, result from the arbitrary exercise of this power is secured in the clause (article 13, section 14) of the Constitution which prohibits al:y man's p'perlty from being taken without just compensation made." Again: "No matter under what form the power is professedly 40 HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. exercised, whether it he in the form of laying or authorizing a tax, and whether the operation be to appropriate the prop- erty of one or more individuals, without their consent, to the use of the grntrral or local public, the case must be re- garded as one coming within the prohibition contained in this clause." rfhis proposition may be answered by saying that the framers of the Constitution may authorize such taxation; but would they do so The policy of this Convention, as gathered from its proceedings thus far, is to limit, by don- stitutional provision, the power of cities and counties to impose texes upon the community for local purposes. Would it be just to impose burden upon any integral part of the State, by taxing its citizens to supply public buildings for the entire State's business, especially where there is no evidence that any of the communities urging a. change of the Seat of Government, outside of a few local politicians, have expressed any desire to have the Capital in their midst. 9 In the division of lots referred to in the proposals of Holmes and others, besides those that fell to the State, and upon which are erected thb Capitol buildings, penitentiary and warehouse, and Warden's residence connected there- with, Governor's Mansion and grounds appertaining there- to, she took a number of other lots, including those lying east and west of the public square, and sold them to citi- zens of the State, and warranted title thereto, and covered the proceeds thereof into the State's Treasury for general uses. While the title to the State in all of the - prop- erty donated by Holmes and others is warranted, and for the nominal consideration of one pound in hand paid, the real and controlling consideration was the perma- nent location of the Seat of Government and the en- HISTORY OF THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL. hancing of other property of the grantors and donors in this citv. Should the Seat of Government be changed there would be an abandonment of this property for the purposes for which it was originally donated. The Supreme Courts of this State, New York and Massachusetts have held that property donated for public uses, such as the site for a railroad depot., court-houses and churches, when aban- doned for such uses, rev erts to the grantors and their heirs, together with all of the ameliorations thereon. While this doctrine could not be enforced as against the State, because of the lack of authority to sue the State, would not the heirs of these grantors and donors, and those taking title from the State, hav e a just right to appeal to the Legisla- ture for som e indemnitv for the resulting injury sustained by them, by reason of a removal of the Seat of Govern- i ent Slime have mockingl said that, notwithstanding the advantages Frankfort has had by l aving the Seat of Government here for nearly a century, yet she can boast, of but few manufacturing establishments and other evi- dences of enterprise. Had her people been relieved from the apprehension of lesing the incidental advantages of having the Capital here; had the subject of removal not been agitated time and again, thereby depressing her and driving capital from her midst, she would to-day be the flourishing city which her natural advantages point out for her. Remove the Damoclean sword, which has hung over the heads of her people for so long, by permanently locating the Seat of Government here, and directing the next Legisla- ture to appropriate a sum of not less than 2,000,000 to provide suitable buildings for public uses, then capitalists here and elsewhere will invest. in manufactories and other- enterprises, and we will silence -the taunts of our old rivals of 1792. Respectfully submitted, W. H. SNEED. 41 lg al spects of ital emoval BY JUDGE: WILLIvIAM LINDSAY. HISTORY. The first Constitution of Kentucky, adopted April 19, 1-792, provided, by the 10th article, for the appointment of a Commission to fix a place for the Seat of Government, which Commission was empowered to receive grants from individuals therefor, and to make such conditions with the proprietor or proprietors of the land so pitched on by them, as to them shall seem right, and shall be agreed to by the said proprietor or proprietors, and lay off a town thereon in such nManner as they shall judge most proper. And the article further declared: "And the Seat of Government so fixed shall continue until it shall be changed by two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature." The House of Representatives of the-first Genertql As- sembly caused the Commissioners to be selected in the mode prescribed by the Constitution. They fixed upon Frankfort as the permanent Seat of Government. They accepted the following and other propositions of substanti- ally the same tenor and effect: "Propositicns to the Commissioners appointed to fix on the place for the permanent Seat of Government for the State of Kentucky." LEGAL ASPECTS OF CAPITAL REMOVAL. "If the Commissioners approve of Frankfort as the proper place, I will give to the government, for the term of seven years, the house and tenement lately occupied by Gen. Wilkerson, described in the plan of said town as No. 1. The lots, 58, 54, 68, 79, 74, 83 and 84, marked 'public grounds,' shall be conveyed and warranted to the govern- ment absolutely. The half of the unsold lots, which kamount to thirty-seven, shall also be conveyed, or thirty. The choice of the unsold, the rents of warehouse for seven years. "In addition to the above I will deliver, on reasonable notice, on the square marked 'public grounds,' ten boxes of glass, 1,500 pounds of nails, 50 worth of locks and hinges, and equivalent of stone and scantling for buildings. If more space is required to be laid off in half-acre lots, I will lav off fifty acres more, which shall be added to the num- ber unsold, and divided with and conveyed to the govern- ment; and if the Commissioners choose to divide the lots in preferenee to making choice, that is, the Commissioners to take one lot and I will take the second, and so proceed on the division. "AN-DREW HOL.MES, "By Harry Innes, etc." In addition teethe above, other parties subscribed 3,000, to be paid in specie. Out of the proceeds of such grants and contributions the first set of public buildings were, in the main, erected. The State accepted the conveyances; occupied the public grounds, and proceeded to sell and convey to private per- sons the out-lots received in the proposed division of lots, and a very.large number of the most valuable lots in the oitv of Frankfort are now held under titles derived from the State. The validity of these conveyances to and by the State 43 LEGAL ASPECTS OF CAPITAL R1,MOVAL. was considered and upheld 'by the Court of Appeals in the case of Brown v. Anderson, 1 T. B. Monroe, page 198. The question was there raised that the contracts between. the State and the contributors of lands were. against sound public policy. But the court said in response: " The people, in Convention assembled, decided the policy was sound, and then provided for contracts under it, The Legislature, at the succeeding session, accepted this contract in accordance with the then existing Constitution, and provided for carrying it into effect by appointing direc- tors of the new Capitol, ahd authorizing them to sell the land granted, which was done, and this is one of the sales. This decision, on both the consideration of this contract, as well as on its policy, is of so high a nature as to con- clude all the functionaries of the Government from ques- tioning it as a question of meum and tuum." This decision settles that the State secured the titles to these lands by contract, and that the consideration passing to the grantors was valuable in its character. That consid- eration was the agreement by the State that the town of Frankfort should be made the Capital under and pursuant to the constitutional declaration, that "the Seat of Govern- ment so fixed shall continue until-it shall be changed by two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature." The contracts thus consummated between the State on the one side and the contributors of lands, money and materials on the other, bound each side alike. The State took titles which it could and did put upon the markets, and those who gave, and those who purchased from the State, did so upon the faith of the State's undertaking that the Seat of Government should remain at Frankfort until changed by two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature. The struggle to remove the Seat of Government to Lex- ington eommenced at once. But the Convention of 1799, 44 LEGAL ASPECTS OF CAPITAL REMOVAL. which adopted the second Constitution, declined to inter- meddle with the contract of the State to keep the Seat of Government at Frankfort until the Legislature should change it by the required two-thirds vote, and delared by the eighth article of the said second Constitution, that the Seat of Government shall continue at Frankfort until it shall be removed by law: provided, however, "that two- thirds of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly shall concur in the passage of such law." From 1799 to 1849 the struggle to change the Seat of Government by law was renewed from time to time. In 1849 the Convention that framed our present Constitution followed the example of the Convention of 1799; kept the faith of the State; and, by the ninth article of the Consti- tution, embodied the contract entered into with the parties who made grants of land and contributions of money and material, by providing that whilst the Seat of Government may be removed by law, "the two-thirds of all, members elected to each House of the General Assembly shall con- cur in the passage of such law." LEGAL AND MORAL ASPECT. The present Constitutional Convention, like the Conven- tions of 1799 and 1849, is bound by the contracts under which the State took benefits in 1793, and upon the faith of which parties purchased the lots of land received by the State under those contracts. The contract which was binding upon the State in 1799 and 1849 is equally binding in 1890. And it is to be pre- sumed that the faith of the State will be as sacredly ob- served and upheld by the present Convention as it was kept by the Conventions of 1799 and 1849. The claim that the assembling of the Convention opens the whole question and frees the people of the State from the obligations of their contract, is as unfounded in law as 65 LEGAL ASPECTS OF CAPITAL REMOVAL. it is indefensible in morals. Constitutional Conventions, as much as State Legislatures, are bound by the contracts of the constituencies for whom they act. A State can no more impair the obligations of its contracts by the change of its Constitution than it can do so by a legisla'ive enact- ment. (115 United States Reports, 650; 16 Wallace, 232; 116 United States Reports, 132; 89 New York, 36; Cooley on Constitutional Limitations, sec. 275.) If it be said there will be no remedy in case the Conven- tion shall assume to remove the Seat of Government, with- out the consent of two-thirds of each branch of the General Assembly, the answer is, that the want of a remedy makes the obligation of the Stat to keep its faith so much the greater. The Convention now in session rep- resents not only the sovereignty of the people of Kentrcky, but also their history, their good name, and their good faith. It is but fair to assume that each member of the Convention will act upon the fact that the obligations of good faith know no relaxation in favor of any body of inen, however exalted or illustrious. An honest man does not refuse to pay an admittedly just debt, because he may interpose the statute of limitations as a bar to the remedy. He does not refuse to perform a contract of which he has received the benefits, because it is not evidenced by such a writing as will take it without the provisions of the statute of fraud. Nor does a sovereign State, proud of its past history and jealous of its good na 'e, refuse to perform an obligation fairly entered into, and sufficiently supported bv a beneficial consideration, long since received, because it can not be coerced into standing by its plighted faith. No self-respecting man, acting on his own behalf, would delib- erately violate a contract like that entered into by the State in relation to the -location of the Seat of Government; and it is difficult to believe that any self-respecting man, acting 46 LEGAL ASPECTS OF CAPITAL REMOVAL. as a- member of a Constitutional Convention, will give aid or countenance to a movement looking to the violation of that contract by the people of Kentucky. As we have seen, the considerations were sufficient to induce the second and third. Conventions each to abide by and reaffirm the contract in question; and they will. no doubt, be sufficient to induce this Convention to ordain that the Seat of Gov- erntment. shall remain at Frankfort until removed by the votes of two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch of the General Assembly. An adherence to the terms of the contract can work no serious inconvenience to the public. Whenever it shall become the deliberate and fixed opinion of the people of the State that the Seat of Government should be removed the necessary votes to enact the law providing for its removal will be found. It is no extraordinary or unusual thing for a bill to receive the votes of two-thirds of the members of each House; and no hardship can result to anly one by leaving estab- lished things alone, until the deliberate opinion of the pee- ple demands their change. After more than ninety-fivre years of discussion, the likelihood of the Seat of Govern- ment being removed by legislation is probably less to-day than it ever has been. SELFISH AGITATION. The people of the State have at no time set on foot the agitation for the removal of the Seat of Government, and they do not to-day encourage its agitation. The discussion has been precipitated upon the present Convention, as it has in the past been precipitated upon the General Assem- bly, by those who wish to subserve their local and selfish interests, and with no view to the promotion of the general good. The history of the Commonwealth during the cen- tury of its existence is indissolubly associated with the city of Frankfort. In this city its Governors have resided, its 4pound; LEGAL ASPECTS OF CAPITAL REMOVAL. Legislatures have held their sessions, and its highest court declared the law to all its people. This association should not be disturbed, unless for all sufficient reasons, and none such have been, or can be given. NOT THE SUBJECT OF POPULAR VOTE. Leaving the question of the location of the Seat of Gov- ernment to the vote of the people is impracticable, unless the Convention be willing to have the sacred contract of the State annulled by a minority of those who may see proper to go to the polls. Suppose the people be called upon to choose between Lexington, Winchester, Danville, Lebanon, Louisville, Bowling Green and Frankfort, or any four or mnore of these cities, the probabilities are that no single city will receive the votes of one-third of those who go to the polls. To base the removal upon such a vote will be to violate the contract of the State to keep the Seat of Government at Frankfort until removed by two-thirds of both branches of the General Assembly, and this without the sanction, and against the will, of a majority of the voters of the State. Surely such a proposition ought not to receive serious consideration by a body of men engaged in framing the organic law of a Commonwealth as sensi- tive concerning its honor as it is proud of its history. ECONOMIC VIEWS. There is another view of this question that should re- ceive serious consideration. The removal of the Seat of Government will necessarily involve the immediate expen- diture of several millions of dollars. Commencing at the foundation, suitable public grounds must be secured, and suitable public buildings erected. These will cost not less than three or four millions of dollars. Economic estimates may be made and small appropriations asked at the outset; but the history of the erection of public buildings during 48 LEGAL ASPECTS OF CAPITAL REMOVAL. the last twenty years, whether Federal or State, shows that the extravagant expenditures of public moneys can not be prevented. Donations bh towns and cities, however large they may appear, will saccomplish little in keeping down the public expense. Those who are willing to give the State expect to be repaid, if not an hundred, at least many fold; and it will be more economical, as well as more dig- nified, for the State to purchase its lands and erect its pub- lic buildings at its own expense, and without the assistance of any person or locality. The public buildings at Frankfort have answered the purposes of the State during the past fifty years. For less than 750,000 the plan for their improvement can be car- tied out, and, this improvement made, thev will he sufficient during the coming fifty years for all the purposes of the State, and will be as comfortable and imposing as the re- publican simplicity of the Kentucky people demands. The proposition, therefore, involves the expenditure of three or four millions of dollars on the one hand, by the removal of the Seat of Government. or of not more than 750,000 on the other, in case the Seat of Government sh'all he left at Frankfort, and the present public buildings improved and completed. In the estimation of the controlling majority of the people of the State, this is not the tirie to make changes for the mere sake of a change, nor to lav the foundation for the unnecessary expenditure of. public moneys, and the consequent increase ot taxation. And the Convention will not profit by the experience of the past if it shall act upon the assumption that the Seat of Government can be re- moved and an increase of taxation avoided. Whether the question be considered from the standpoint of sentiment, or of public morals and good faith, or of judicious econ- omy, the conclusion is inevitable, that the Convention 49 LEGAL ASPECTS OP CAPITAL REMOVAL. should leave the Seat of Government to remain at Frank- fort. ADVANTAGES OF FRANKFORT. But, if it be the will of the Conventi.n that we shall have new and expensive public buildings, let them be erected at the present Seat of Governmoent. In and around the city of Frankfort, and upon her surrounding hills, sites are to be found that none of her ambitious rivals can equal. A magnificent Capitol upon Arsenal Hill, overlooking the city, standing upon the brink of the river that bears the name of the State, and having for its nearest neighbor the final resting place of Kentucky's distinguished dead, would harmonize with the historv and traditions of our people, and satisfy those who demand that we shall have public buildings commensurate with the wealth, dignity and grandeur of the Commonwealth. If we are to depart from the simple habits of the olden times, and be satisfied with nothing short of the splendid and luxurious capitol build- ings of these modern days, it will be well to. so locate them that our future governors and legislators, and judges, and all who come to see and admire, may look out upon the monuments the State has erected to mark the graves, and commemorate the virtues and patriotism of these simple- minded, plain-spoken soldiers, statesmen, jurists and pio- neers, who, by their modest and unpretentious lives, won for Kentucky the crown of honor and glory of which the Kentuckians of to-day are so justly proud. 50 ERRATA. Since this matter has been put in type, it has been called to the attention of the committee, that the stateraut on pages 6 and 7, that there had not been the death of a YeM official while in office is not exact; that there had been, of far as cail be recalled, three deaths during term of dlloe: Govs. Clark and Helm, and Secretary of State Van Winvk. But Clark died at Winchester; ilelm at Elizabetnron, before coming to Frankfort, and although Secretary Van Winkle died at Frankfort, his death was due to cause eith which bis residence at Frankfort had nothing to do. The statement as made, therefore, is still true, that the reomrd is phenomenal. On page 3, in the explanation, the words "deed" and "pound" should be read in the plural number.