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granting the charter of the Warren Bridge, the Legislature cannot justly be regarded as wanting in liberality and indulgence toward the proprietors of Charles River Bridge. Whatever may have heretofore been said, experience has amply shown, that the erection of the Warren Bridge is a great public improvement, called for by the public convenience and necessity.
In granting a charter for that bridge, the Legislature were actuated only by a desire wisely and faithfully to discharge the high trust confided to them of providing for the public convenience and accommodation ; and the committee doubt not the same just motives, and enlightened views, will regulate all their acts on this subject, and that they will never sacrifice a great public convenience and accommodation, to the object, which the opposers of the bridge have sometimes supposed, of putting money into the public chest.
The protracted and expensive suit, which the proprietors of the Warren Bridge have been unavoidably engaged in, not having been yet finally determined, your committee do not perceive that the Legislature can tako any definite measures in regard to the bridge at this time.
The duty of defending the Bridge having devolved on the proprietors, your committee are of opinion that it should remain in their hands till the suit is finally ended ; as until that time the rights and claims of the proprietors cannot be known and settled.
Your committee are satisfied that under existing circumstances the proprietors who have thus far successfully conducted the suit, so important to the public, as well as interesting to themselves, should direct it to the end. They are also of opinion that the future receipts
from the Bridge, might be greatly affected by any hasty acts of legislation.
The Proprietors will remain accountable to the Legislature, and held to a just and equitable settlement of accounts at the proper time ; and from their known character and standing, your committee have the fullest assurance, that they will ever be ready to meet their just responsibilities.
The committee cannot but regard the erection of the Warren Bridge, as holding a high rank among the valuable and important improvements of the time. The proprietors in erecting the bridge, have rendered to the public a great and important service, and it deserves to be remembered to their credit, that from the first they have had no other object than the public convenience and accommodation.
While others engaged in similar enterprises have been actuated by motives of private gain, the Proprietors of this Bridge have devotedly served the public without the hope or prospect of any private emolument.
They generously offered in the first instance, to erect the Bridge wholly at their private expense, without any remuneration, and the charter under which they have acted, provides only for the reimbursement of money actually expended.
For their time, trouble and toil, they look only to the satisfaction in promoting the public good for their reward.
It is certainly worthy of observation that an enterprise, the most useful and disinterested of the present time, among us, has encountered the most violent and obstinate opposition.
From the time the Proprietors of the Warren Bridge
struck the first blow, and drove the first pile, they have been pursued and embarrassed by an unrelenting hostility, which is not yet at an end. But they have strugled on through their difficulties and trials, with firm and steady perseverance, till the great work in which they have been engaged is nearly ready to be delivered into the hands of the legislature ; and your committee cannot but hope that they will receive in the kind and favorable regard of the Legislature and the public, some alleviation of the sufferings to which they have been subjected by the hostility of private interest.
In the present posture of affairs, the committee can only recommend that some prospective act be passed, similar to the one passed at the last session, providing for management of the Bridge, when it shall be ready to be delivered up by the Proprietors.
All which is respectfully submitted,
NATHANIEL AUSTIN, Chairman.
Ordered, That the Committee on the Judiciary be instructed to enquire what further provision may be made in the laws for the redemption of Mortgages. ATTEST,
CHAS. CALHOUN, Clerk.