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You will soon be called upon to vote upon the subject of 
granting power to the city of Boston, to divert the water of 
Long Pond, (and perhaps of other ponds and rivers in its 
neighborhood) for the supply of its citizens. This is an act 
of sovereign power, never, I believe, granted in this state to 
any municipal corporation. Its consequences are important, 
and its results incalculable ; and I desire to address a few 
remarks upon it, for your most careful and indulgent consid- 

And that I may have a fair and patient hearing, I desire to 
state that in this question of supply, and of the source of sup- 
ply, I have no interest whatever, direct or indirect, which is 
not shared by every tax-payer in the city. I feel it necessary 
to state this in advance, because the question has become 
so obscured by suggestions and considerations, flowing from 
interested motives, that I have found (and I believe you will 
find) it extremely difficult to look at the matter in a calm, un- 
biased manner. 

To put myself still further right before those whom I ad- 
dress, and whose sympathies I seek to enlist, I will state that 
I am in favor of obtaining for the city, a supply of good, 
wholesome, foreign water. I voted for such a supply at the 
late election. I believe the safety of the city from fire, and 
the health of the citizens, would be greatly enhanced by such 
a supply ; and these are purely municipal objects. 

Still I am a remonstrant against the petition of the city of 
Boston, which asks for power to bring this supply /row Long 
Pond ; and I again bespeak your candid attention to the fol- 
lowing remarks and suggestions. 

The remonstrants are divided into three classes. 
1st. The minority of the city of Boston, who did not vote 
for the Long Pond project ; this embraces those who voted 
for water, leaving the selection of source to the city gov- 
ernment (of which class I was one,) and those who voted 
against water from any source. But for the purposes of 
ray present argument these make but one class. 
2d. Those corporations and individuals who are certain to be 
essentially injured by the execution of the project, but 
have no legal remedy whatever. 
3d. Those corporations and individuals who are certain to be 
injured, but who have a legal (and probably adequate) 

I propose to say something in behalf of each of these classes 
of remonstrants. 

And in the first place, I would invoke your protection and 
guardianship for the minority of the city. They must look to 
you, and to you alone, for protection ; and this circumstance 
seems to justify them in being urgent, and to demand of you a 
patient hearing. 

From my own declaration of opinions, it is not for my in- 
dividual interest to say anything that could tend to diminish 
the force of the vote, given on this subject by the citizens, 
so far as the mere introduction of water is concerned. About 

three were for the petition, to one against it ; but still the 
whole vote for it was a little less than one third of the le- 
gal votes of the city. I will not predict how the vote would 
have been, had every voter cast a vote on the subject ; but 
the fact that two-thirds of the voters either voted against the 
measure, or omitted to vote at all upon it, must certainly 
leave the point in doubt with every candid person, whether 
really a majority of the whole number of voters were in favor 
of the measure. 

But granting the vote to be a decisive one, as claimed by 
the friends of the petition, for what object can, and to what 
extent ought, a vote of the majority in town-meeting assem- 
bled, bind the minority ? By the decision of our courts, and 
by the uniform (I believe) course of our legislation, the will 
of the majority can bind the minority only for the attainment 
of such objects as are clearly municipal objects ; such objects 
as towns are authorized, by the Revised Statutes, to tax them- 
selves to accomplish either directly or indirectly. To illustrate 
this point, I would refer to the case of the town of Fairhaven, 
which in the last war was much exposed to invasions from a 
foreign foe. To obviate the danger, the inhabitants in town- 
meeting assembled voted unanimously, to provide extra meas- 
ures of defence. One inhabitant resisted the payment of his 
tax, and resisted successfully ; the court deeming the object 
of the tax one that towns were not authorized to raise money 
to attain. Yet scarcely a stronger case of necessity can well 
be imagined. 

And the course of our legislation is equally repugnant to 
the extension of powers to towns, to tax for other than purely 
municipal objects. To illustrate this, I would refer to the 
course of proceeding on the petition of the city of Boston, 
which, by vote of its inhabitants in town-meeting assembled, 
petitioned to be allowed to take ^1,000,000 stock in the 
Western Railroad. The vote in favor of this step was (I 
believe) near four to one ; much more decisive than that in 

regard to the object of the present petition. But the Legisla- 
ture, not deeming the object one of a municipal character, re- 
fused the petition ; — and thus restrained the majority from 
imposing burdens or risks on the minority, which, by existing 
laws, they could not impose. 

I am aware that the legislation of other states has in some 
instances been of a less conservative character. But to show 
the great evils that may result from it, I would simply refer 
to the situation of the city of Bridgeport, in Connecticut, 
which was authorized to take stock in a Railroad. The 
bonds issued by the city have not been provided for by the 
Railroad, and the private property of the citizens is taken 
for their payment. Unless the affairs of the Road become more 
prosperous, great injury to the city appears to be inevitable. 

Now there is one circumstance which assimilates the ob- 
ject petitioned for by the city of Boston, very much to ob- 
jects of speculation — and which renders it dissimilar to any 
purely municipal object. The circumstance alluded to, is 
this ; the petition asks for power to bring water into Boston 
from Long Pond, on condition that those who take the water, 
shall pay for it such water rent as a board of commissioners 
shall direct. This condition forms part and parcel of the 
very ballots, put into the boxes by the citizens ; and I do not 
see how it can be separated from the petition. 

Now I would ask if the fair inference from this fact, taken 
by itself, would not be that the object is an object of specula- 
tion ; — a method of making money ? Wherein does it dif- 
fer from a petition for a Railroad, in its declared object ? It 
asks in terms to bring in water, and that those who use it, 
shall pay what a board of commissioners shall think proper. 
A Railroad petition asks to be allowed to construct a Rail- 
road, to carry passengers and freight ; and that those who 
use it shall pay what a board of directors think proper. 
Wherein is there a difference ? not in the declared object. 
One just as much contemplates revenue as the other; and 

theVe is nothing in the vote that shows that as much revenue is 
not contemplated in one case as in the other, and for as long 
a time. Unless then the Legislature look beyond the object 
declared in the ballot of the citizens, it can find in it no mu- 
nicipal object whatever. 

But supposing the object sought, be conceded to be a mu- 
nicipal object ; that the safety from fire, and the health of the 
city require that a supply of water shall be introduced from 
abroad — this safety and health being objects of strictly mu- 
nicipal concern, — is there then no limit to the power of the 
majority to tax the minority ? Now if the municipal object 
to be attained, and the whole means of attaining it, lie within 
the jurisdiction of a town or city, I do not know but that the 
power of a majority to bind the minority, is practically with- 
out limit ; not because there is not a proper limit, but because 
it becomes difficult or impossible to ascertain it. But when 
the means of attaining the object be out of the town or city 
seeking to attain it, and new powers are sought to enable the 
majority to attain it, then the authority of the Legislature in- 
tervenes, and must pass both upon the object, and upon the 
means of attaining it ; and I conceive it to be the duty of the 
Legislature, a duty which they strictly owe to the minority, 
especially if remonstrants, to be fully satisfied that the object 
is strictly a municipal object, and also that the means of at- 
taining it are reasonable and proper. In other words, it is 
the duty of the Legislature to see that, by granting new pow- 
ers, no greater burdens and risks are imposed upon the mi- 
nority, than is reasonable and necessary for the full attainment 
of the object. In still other words, it is the duty of the Le- 
gislature to see that the majority have no power to raise money 
to be toasted in the attainment of even a proper municipal 
object ; to see that the plan proposed is a reasonable and 
proper plan, involving no unnecessary and unreasonable ex- 

And here I am willing to admit, that the burden of proof 


(so far as the minority, in whose behalf I am now speaking, 
is concerned) is upon the remonstrants. Admitting that the 
object in view be a municipal object, it is incumbent on the 
minority to show that the means by which its attainment is 
sought involves an amount of expenditure, unnecessary and 
UNREASONABLE ; and that the object can be attained as fully 
and as certainly, at least, by other means involving expenditures 
to a much less amount. Now if this proposition can be made 
plain and clear, I humbly submit, that the minority is entitled, 
strictly entitled, to the protection of the Legislature against 
the power of taxation, to an extent thus plainly and clearly 
unnecessary and unreasonable ; and of course, that neither the 
right of the minority, nor the policy of our legislation, will 
justify the granting of the petition. 

The proposition then which I shall endeavor to sustain, 
which I think can be fully and clearly sustained, and which 
I acknowledge it is incumbent on the minority of citizens to 
sustain, in order to entitle them to the protection of the Legis- 
lature in the premises, I will restate as follows, viz. The means 
or plan, by which a supply of water is sought to be obtained 
according to the petition, involves an amount of expenditure 
UNNECESSARV and unreasonable; and this, because the same 
object can be as certainly and as fidly attained by other means, 
or by another plan, which involves expenditure to a much less 

In sustaining this position, I do not intend to go further 
into details, or to cover more ground, than is necessary. I 
shall confine myself to great and leading facts and estimates. 

The plan proposed by the petitioners is to obtain the wa- 
ters of Long Pond, in Framingham, and bring them to a Res- 
ervoir on Corey's Hill, in Brookline, and deliver them there to 
an amount equal to 7,000,000 gallons daily ; which is deem- 
ed to be the extent which that source can supply. 

Now in the first place, I think it can be made clear that a 
sufficient supply of water from Charles River can be delivered 

into the same Reservoir at the same place, and that the 
quantity can be regularly increased till it equals in amount 
that from Long Pond, at an expense but little more than half 
the estimates for bringing 7,000,000 gallons from Long Pond. 

To sustain this I beg to refer to a pamphlet which has been 
published and distributed to the members of the Legislature, 
entitled " RemarJ{s on supplying the City of Boston with pui-e 
water, by John H. Wilhins ,''\ beginning on page 10th (2d 
Edition) and extending to page 20. 1 refer to this pamphlet 
to save the trouble of quoting it ; and because I could add 
but little to the cogency and clearness of the calculations by 
which the following conclusion is arrived at, viz. " So far 
then, as the city supply is concerned, it seems that the larger 
work of bringing water from Long Pond, possesses abso- 
lutely no advantage whatever over the smaller one, of bring- 
ing it from Charles River ; and of course that the expendi- 
ture of ^436,000, which the larger is estimated to cost more 
than the smaller, is a sheer waste of so much public money, 
for which the public derive no benefit whatever." 

Here then is a plan, di feasible and practicable plan, propos- 
ed, by adopting which the minority of the city would cer- 
tainly be relieved from their share of responsibility for a large 
amount of city debt, and the whole city from an apparently 
useless expenditure of an equally large amount. 

But the future is proverbially, as well as undeniably, uncer- 
tain. Whatever allowance, therefore, may be made in any 
calculation for the future wants of the city for water, how- 
ever liberal it may be, may be objected to on the ground that 
the future wants are unforeseen, and of course no estimate 
made for their supply can be relied upon. Without assent- 
ing to such objections to the extent they are sometimes 
urged, and which may, to some extent at least, be urged to 
the reasoning and calculations in the pamphlet referred to ; 
I propose here to adopt a different mode of calculation, by 
which it will appear that the contingencies of the future can- 


not change the aspect of the case;— and however the 
demand for water may increase in future, still, under no cir- 
cumstances, can it be for the interest of the city to have its 
petition granted. 

I shall now proceed to show that 7,000,000 gallons per 
day can, at once, be delivered into the Reservoir on Corey's 
Hill, from Charles River, much cheaper than an equal quantity 
from Long Pond ; leaving all considerations of profit or sav- 
ing which may result from the fact that the whole supply will 
not be wanted for a great many years, to come in only as ad- 
ditional or cumulative reasons ; though I shall afterwards, 
claim for them great weight. 

At the taking of evidence before your committee, in reply 
to a question of the relative cost of obtaining a supply from 
Charles River and from Long Pond, one of the commission- 
ers put in the subjoined written statement. As this embraces, 
and was designed to embrace, the cost of the worlds only, 
without regard to cost of water and land damages, I have 
added these in brackets to both estimates, taken from the Re- 
ports of 1837 and 1844; — and a few small items which 
were overlooked. 

Estimate of supply of 7,000,000 gallons of water per day by pumping 
from Charles River, on the basis of the calculation of 1837 — corrected for 
the increased amount of supply, and also for reduced cost of materials. 


Reservoir on Corey's Hill, same as Long Pond estimate, $ 30,715 

2 Iron pipes, 30 inches diameter, 3 1-4 miles, 33,820 feet at ) ^^^ ggg 

9,63 (per foot) same as Long Pond estimate, \ ^ ' 

4 Stop Cocks, 1,000 

[4] Engines, double the estimate of 1837 which was for 2 1-2 \ .gg ^„q 

millions [gallons in 20 hours] 5 ' 

Buildings, &c., estimate of 1837 increased 50 per cent. 33,000 


Coal for 2 1-2 millions, 507 chaldrons, for 7 millions 1420 ditto. 
at $ 8 delivered at [Charles River,] instead of $ 10 as esti- 
mated in 1837, 11,360 

Superintendent, Enginemen, Firemen, 
Wear, Tear, Insurance, &c., [estima- 
ted in 1837] at 6,738 

Add to above 50 per cent 3,369, 


[ Expenses] per Annum, $ 2 1 ,467 


Equal at 5 per cent to a capital of 429,340 

[Water Rights and Land damage as per Report 1837] 18,949 


Estimate of same supply from Long Pond 749,191 

[Water and Land damages as per Report 1844] 121,600 

[Sundry small items omitted from page 32] 4,700 

[Making a difference in favor of Long Pond] 89,199 


It maybe well here to state that in the estimate of 1S37, two 
.Engines were provided, each of which would do all the labor ; 
that is, deliver at the point proposed 2 1-2 millions gallons in 
20 hours, or 3 millions in 24 hours, or a day. 

Now the first thing to be noticed in this paper is, that 
though it purports to be an estimate " on the basis of the cal- 
culation of 1837, corrected for the increased supply, and also 
for reduced cost of materials," this basis is very soon aban- 
doned. In this estimate is an item for tivo iron pipes of 30 
inches each ; while in that of 1837 there was but one, and 
that of 21 inches. Now taking that of 1837 as a basis and 
correcting it " for the increased supply," what is the result ? 
Of course one pipe that shall bear the same relation to that of 
1837 (so far as delivery is concerned) as the increased sup- 
ply bears to the supply of 1837. This is obviously the true 
problem — and the whole of it. The increased supply is 
7,000,000 gallons per day ; and the supply of 1837 was 
3,000,000 gallons per day (so far as pipe was concerned.) 
What is wanted then is a pipe whose capacity shall be to that 
of one of 21 inches, as 7 to 3. By calculation, this is found 
to be one of 32 inches diameter — only a little larger than one 
of the two here estimated for. That is, one pipe of 32 inches 
diameter will deliver 7,000,000 gallons in the same time, and 
under the same circumstances, that one of 21 inches will de- 
liver 3 millions ; — and it will deliver it with a less propor- 


tional expenditure of power, because the friction in a large 
pipe is proportionally less than in a small one. 

Here then instead of providing two pipes of 30 inches, we 
have only to provide one of 32 inches ; and the estimate must 
be corrected by the difference in cost. We see that 1 pipe 
of 30 inches costs $ 162,843 

To which if we add for 2 inches extra 10,000 

we shall have near the cost of the necessary pipe ^172,843 
which is a saving from the estimate of 152,843 

Again, although the estimate of 1837 embraces two en- 
gines, while one was capable of doing all the work, yet the 
principle of the plan was not that half the engines should 
be idle, though this was in that case the effect. The princi- 
ple was that one engine should be at hand to be put at work 
in case of failure of the other ; and if the engines should be 
even largely multiplied, still it would be necessary to have 
only one supernumerary, because there could scarcely arise a 
case when more than one would be wanted. Now in this 
estimate 4 engines are proposed to do the work of 2 1-3 
engines ; so that one engine lies idle all the time, and another 
two-thirds of the time, or 16 hours every day. I submit it 
then to the judgment of practical men if one of these engines 
may not be dispensed with ? if the provision of one engine to 
lie idle 16 hours a day, does not afford sufficient provision 
against failure in the others ? It seems to me then that one 
engine may be dispensed with, and that the estimate may be 
corrected, and properly corrected, by the deduction of its 
cost, say $31,500. 

Here then we correct the estimate by saving in pipe 152,843 
By ditto in Engine 31,500 

making a total deduction of $184,383 


If from this we take the difference as above against 

Charles River, .'(^ 89, 199, 

we have a balance in favor of Charles River of ^95,184 

That is almost exactly 11 per cent, of the estimated cost 
from Long Pond. 

Here then we come fully and clearly to the result that 7 
millions gallons per day can at once be delivered on Corey's 
Hill from Charles River at less cost than from Long Pond ; 
and this whether the deduction for engine be allowed or not. 
But if that be allowed, the saving is equal to near 1 1 per cent, 
of the estimated cost of delivering the same quantity from 
Long Pond. And if to this be added the undeniable advan- 
tage of there being vastly less liability of failure in a pipe 
3 1-4 miles long than in a conduit 16 miles long, I can en- 
tertain no doubt but that every candid reader will admit that 
the expense and risk of going to Long Pond is both unneces- 
sary and unreasonable. 

But of course I have not done with this case, though I 
deem it a clear one. I now propose to estimate the contin- 
gent advantages of the Charles River plan. And in doing 
this I intend to take the words and estimates of the commis- 
sioners of 1844 when I can find them ; for it is out of their 
own statement that I wish their scheme to be judged. 

On page 6 of their report they set forth that by the time 
the work will be done the city will have about 125,000 in- 
habitants, and that it is expedient to obtain supply for double 
that number, or 250,000. And the commissioner, who gave in 
the above estimate, then stated that only half the proposed 7 
millions gallons would be wanted now and the whole when 
the population should be doubled. Thus far we have the 
authority of the commissioners ; but they have not told us 
how soon this population will arrive at the number 250,000. 
1 am driven then to make an estimate ; but in doing so I will 
endeavor to imbibe some of the sanguine spirit under the 


influence of which I think they estimate that half the 
amount will be wanted as soon as the works are completed. 

I will suppose that the population come up to 250,000 in 33 
years ; and that the whole 7,000,000 gallons will then be 
wanted. If I am allowed the undisturbed enjoyment of this 
supposition, we have the elements of a calculation. The 
commissioners say 3 1-2 millions will be wanted at once, and 
the rest when we have doubled in number, which I assume 
to be 33 years. 

But as in the above estimate provision is made for deliver- 
ing 7 miUions daily, if only half of it or 3 1-2 is wanted, then 
the expense of pumping the other 3 1-2 is, for the present at 
least, saved. Let us see then what the saving is in the first 

I I years, or the first third part of the time before the whole 
7 millions shall be wanted. 

If we begin now with 3 1-2 millions and go on increasing 
as proposed, we shall in 11 years require one-third more, or 
near 4,700,000 gallons ; so that the average of the daily de- 
livery throughout this period will be 4,100,000 gallons. Now 
this is the work of one engine working all the time, and of 
another about 8 hours ; so that two engines will be as many 
as will be required in the first 11 years. We then deduct 
from the estimate the cost of another engine say 31,500. 
And it is to be borne in mind that what is saved for 1 1 
years, may be considered as saved forever ; because at com- 
pound lawful interest any amount doubles itself in thut time.* 

* In order to show more clearly that these deductions made in engines is 
perfectly safe, I beg to remind you of what most persons are aware of, viz, 
that in constructing engines the makers always calculate them to sustain 
several times the pressure under which they are ordinarily to work ; so 
that in case of the proposed engines, should one give way, the eifect of the 
other might be greatly increased temporarily, without the slightest reason to 
"apprehend injury. Mr. Otis Tiifts, an eminent Engine builder of this city, 
told the writer of these remarks that he considered it entirely safe to work 
the engines he built under a pressure double the ordinary one ; and of course 
put them to do double the work. 


Here then is a clear saving of ^31,500, and probably some- 
thing more ; because in 11 years there is every probability 
that engines of like power, may be constructed considerably 
cheaper than now ; and if such should be the case, the differ- 
ence should go to increase this saving. 

Again. If during the first eleven years, only two engines 
will be wanted, there need be no addition in that time to the 
estimate of 1837 for buildings, &c ; as buildings are therein 
provided for two engines. The amount thus to be saved, is 
the interest on ^11,000 for 11 years, which again is con- 
sidered equal to the principal or ,f 11,000. 

So again as we reduce the number of engines for 11 
years, we reduce expenses for superintendent, engineers, in- 
surance, &c. But as the two engines here estimated will 
work more hours than those calculated in 1837, the expense 
of labor and of tending them will be some greater. Instead 
of deducting one-third then, of present estimates, (which 
would reduce the amount to that of 1837) I propose to de- 
duct only one-fourth. This amounts to ^2,527 per annum, 
which represents a capital of ^50,540 at five per cent. The 
saving then is the interest of $50,540 for eleven years, at five 
per cent., which amounts to very nearly $36,000. 

We come now to the last and most important item, namely, 
coal, for which the annual estimate is $11,360. Now if it 
cost $11,360 for fuel to raise 7,000,000 gallons, it will cost 
but $5,680, or half that sum, to raise 3,500,000 gallons, 
which is the quantity estimated to be now wanted. The 
saving in the first year will then be $5,680, and will be less 
and less every successive year, till the thirty-third year, when 
it will cease. Of course then this saving will be $5,680 for 
half that period, or 161 years. But the saving here is from an 
annual expense, and $5,680 represents a capital of $1 13,600 
at 5 per cent. The real saving then is the interest on 
$113,600 for 16| years at 5 per cent.; which is $140,578. 

Let us now sum up these several items. We have shown 


(p. 13) that the Charles River plan has advantage over Long 
Pond, provided 7,000,000 gallons be delivered 

tioiv daily, of 95,184 

That on the ground, that only 3i will be required 

at present, and the rest gradually in 33 years, a 

saving is made in one engine for 11 years 31,500 

" " in buildings « « 11 ,000 

" " in superintendent, &-c. " 36,000 

" " and in coal in 33 years 140,578 

making a total ad vantage in favor of Charles River of ^314,262, 
or something more than 36 per cent. ; and that too without 
claiming anything for putting in, at the outset, a larger pipe 
than will be wanted for 33 years, or claiming any deduction 
on the score of saving in labor, insurance, &c., and buildings, 
after the first 11 years. 

Taking the data of the commissioners, without any qualifi- 
cation but the assumption that it will require 33 years for the 
population of Boston to become 250,000, and making those 
allowances only which clearly should be made on the ground 
that 3i millions gallons are wanted now, and the rest gradually 
through 33 years, and we show that the plan contemplated 
in the petition will certainly cost ^314,262 more than the 
Charles River plan. Now allow me to invite the closest scru- 
tiny to these calculations — to the allowances claimed, and 
the reasons for them. Possibly some slight error in cyphering 
may be detected ; but I apprehend nothing can be found ma- 
terially to qualify the result. 

If then this result be correct, by what term, short of total 
waste, is it proper to characterize this expenditure ? The 
city obviously derives no advantage from it whatever. 

It is to be borne in mind, that this saving of ^'314,262, is 
made on the supposition that 3i millions gallons will be want- 
ed now, and 7,000,000 in 33 years. But most persons qual- 
ified to judge, think this supply very much too large. In 


the pamphlet of Mr. Wilkins, above referred to, it is estimated 
that the demand now would not exceed If millions, and that it 
will not reach 31 millions in 15 years. The reasons are there 
fully given for the estimates ; and they also invite the most 
rigid scrutiny. Now if these estimates of demand should 
be found to be adequate, then a vast increase of this amount 
of saving is effected ; and without dwelling upon or going 
through a minute estimate of the amount, it will be safe to 
add something near ^100,000 ; bringing the gross saving to 
over ^400,000. 

Allow me to add that the estimates of the Charles River 
plan, are estimates for things certain. There is no room for 
errors or mistakes of any moment. No water rights are in- 
vaded ; one dam only is to be bought. No consequential 
damages can occur. The land damage is small and can be 
estimated. Not a rod need be bought for laying the pipe ; 
for when the pipe is laid, and the soil restored, the land is 
worth just as much after as before. Or if need be, the pipe 
might be laid in the public highway. Nothing can occur in 
the excavating to create serious disappointment ; for if ob- 
structions occur at any point, the pipe can be carried round 
them. In the estimates for this plan then, I submit, there 
are no elements of serious doubt. Everything is plain and 
clear; and there can be no elements for litigation, or disap- 
pointment, to a serious extent. Of the Long Pond scheme 
in these respects, I shall speak hereafter. 

Here then we sum up a certain waste of ^314,262, and a 
very highly probable one of near half a million. Now shall 
the minority of the citizens of Boston in the late vote, (and 
which may be the majority for anything that any body 
knows) claim your protection in vain against this unreasonable 
and unnecessary extent of taxation ? Shall they, or shall they 
not, receive the benefit of your interposition to shield them 
and their fellow-citizens from such a clear waste of pub- 
lic money ? 



I limit my remarks to Charles River as a source, because 
the estimates make that rather the most available. But esti- 
mates in regard to Spot Pond combined with Mystic Pond, 
and of Neponset River, would exhibit results very similar to 
these. Each of the three is preferable to the one designa- 
ted in the petition. 

I come now to speak in behalf of the second class of Re- 
monstrants, viz. those corporations and individuals which will 
certainly be injured by the execution of the proposed work, 
and which have no legal remedy. 

And the first in this class are the Town and the citizens of 
Framingham. The Factories of Mr. Knight (four large build- 
ings) are entirely dependent for power upon the waters of 
Long Pond. The diversion of the waters must be deemed to 
be the ruin of these factories. Now for this ruin Mr. Knight 
has his legal remedy. But the operatives and those who have 
been induced to erect buildings and establish themselves in 
business on the inducements held out by so large manufactur- 
ing establishments, have no remedy ; — and if these large 
manufactories are broken up or even seriously interfered with, 
their vocation is gone, — they must disperse ; and in addition 
to their individual suffering and injury, the Toivn suffers loss 
in the value of its real and personal estate, and in its popula- 
tion. Nor is this diminution of value limited to the loss sus- 
tained by those connected directly with the manufactories. 
It extends to all the farms and farmers in the vicinity, who 
now find a ready and profitable market for their surplus 
produce in that village. And if the waters of Sudbury river 
be interfered with (as proposed in the petition) the whole vil- 
lage of Saxonville is liable to be affected in the same manner 
as those inhabitants will certainly be, who are in connection 
with Mr. Knight's factories. The market dependent upon all 
the establishments is quite extensive, as set forth in the very 
pertinent and appropriate remonstrance of the Town. Wood 
is there consumed to the amount of ^5,500 annually. Milk 


$4,000. Potatoes $2,400. Hay $3,000. Now nothing 
can be plainer than that such a market must give much ad- 
ditional value to all the real estate in the neighborhood ; which 
additional value is put in jeopardy at least, by granting the 
present petition. 

Nor is it any satisfactory answer to this reasoning that Mr. 
Knight will probably use steam instead of water power, and 
continue his works. This he may do or not do, just as ho 
shall find to his interest. He will first insist upon pay for all 
his water power. A great injury to Framingham and to many 
of its inhabitants is suspended upon his option ; and is it wise 
in the Legislature to grant him that option ? Besides if steam , 
power is to be used anywhere, and at the expense of Boston, 
(as it will be of course, if employed by Mr. Knight,) is it not 
much better that it should be resorted to by the city to pump 
water, where suitable fuel is cheap, than by Mr. Knight to 
drive his factories, where suitable fuel will be more expensive ? 

In precisely the same way, the town and many of the in- 
habitants of Billerica, and the city and many of the inhab- 
itants of Lowell, will be injured. These also have no rem- 
edy. To some extent also the towns through which the con- 
duit is to pass, will suffer injury. I should suppose that the 
destruction of property in the rich lands of Brighton would 
amount to a large sum. I suppose the ruin of one acre of 
land to every 50 or 60 rods of aqueduct would be certain. 
And it is not a full satisfaction to the Town to say that the 
individual owners will be fully indemnified. For the plan 
will at least turn real estate into personal ; and while the for- 
mer is permanent and never separable from the town, the lat- 
ter may be there to-day, in the next town to-morrow, and in 
Texas in a month ; and thus elude all taxation, in the town 
where the land is situated. 

Another class of sufferers ought not to be omitted. I refer 
to the boatmen and laborers on the Middlesex Canal. I 
shall hereafter show that the business of this Canal is worthy 


the protection of the Legislature ; and I shall here confine 
myself to those who earn their daily bread out of the business 
it affords. It is only during about seven months of the year 
that the Canal is open. The whole business of the year must 
be done in that period ; and it is during these months that the 
waters of Long Pond are most essential to the prosperity of 
the Canal. Short or long interruptions in the navigation are 
no more detrimental to the interest of the Corporation, than 
to its agents and servants ; and I submit the point whether 
the interests and welfare of a large number of these agents 
and servants, all citizens of Massachusetts, are not worthy of 
the sober and serious regard of the Legislature ? Make the 
case one of personal knowledge and sympathy, and you can- 
not mistake your duty. 

Now I cannot, nor can any body else, estimate with 
any accuracy the amount of damages of this kind. They 
may be great, they may be small ; but it is as certain as 
anything can be, that they will be something. It is pre- 
cisely on the ground that the amount is incalculable, that 
the risk ought not to be hazarded. The only safe rule, 
in cases where damages cannot be accurately estimated, is to 
take them at the greatest amount. And is it worth your 
while to add to a case already shown to involve an unneces- 
sary and unreasonable amount of expenditure, that amount of 
irreparable injury to towns, and irreparable hardship to in- 
dividuals, which certainly may be involved in the granting of 
this petition ? 

The third class of remonstrants embraces those whose pro- 
perty or rights will be invaded by the proposed works, but 
who have a legal (and probably adequate) remedy therefor. 
As these remonstrants, and all others situated like them, 
whether remonstrants or not, are supposed to be fully pro- 
tected, the main purpose for which I refer to them is to ascer- 
tain, as far as possible, the bearing and effect, which the in- 
vasion of their rights will have upon the interests of the city ; 
and to see what additional force will be given to the reasons 


already stated against the granting of the petition, arising 
from this cause. 

The interests embraced in this class are those of Mr. 
Knight, of the Middlesex Canal, of the proprieters of the Bil- 
lerica Mills, and of three establishments below them. Mr. 
Knight's right to use all the water of Long Pond, is supposed 
to be perfect. The canal has a right to use all the waters of 
the Concord River, including those from Long Pond, (with a 
slight qualification,) that may be necessary to accomplish the 
objects of its charter. The mills below have an undoubted 
right to all not so used by the canal. And here it is proper 
to notice a fallacy in the statement of the commissioners of 
1844, who say (page 26) that " if they (ihe Canal Company) 
are entitled to compensation for a diversion of the water (of 
Long Pond) the other claimants (or mill owners below) are 
not;" and the same idea was asserted by one of the com- 
missioners, when giving evidence before your committee. 

Now is not this an entire mistake ? and are not hoth the 
canal and the mills below entitled to compensation for the di- 
version of the waters of Long Pond? What are the rights of 
the mills below ? Most assuredly to the surplus, after the 
canal is supplied, the whole surplus, and nothing but the sur- 
plus. Does not the water of Long Pond constitute a portion 
of this surplus always, and the whole of it sometimes 1 As the 
water becomes low, is there not always a period, longer or 
shorter, when the whole of their privilege may be considered 
as made up of the water of Long Pond ? and if that water be 
diverted, will they not, for that period at least, lose their 
whole privilege ? and this too while the water has not become 
so low, as to aflfect the Canal at all. And as our periodical 
droughts vary in every imaginable degree of severity, is it not 
an undoubted fact, must it not be, that the mills below often 
suffer when the canal does not ? and if the waters of Long 
Pond be diverted, will they not still more frequently suffer ? 
It must be then that the mills below have a right, a just and 


equitable right, to compensation, independent of the Canal ; 
and it must be an idle assumption, to pretend that they have 

The privileges of Mr. Knight, the Canal, and the pro- 
prietors of the establishments on the four dams below, are all 
to be affected by the granting of this petition. The full value 
of all these establishments, will, of course, be differently esti- 
mated by different individuals ; but I think the evidence be- 
fore your committee would justify putting it from a million to 
a million and a half of dollars. The amount of damages to 
accrue to all this property by the diversion of the waters of 
Long Pond, is put down by the commissioners at ^100,000 ; 
and all that shall be claimed and obtained over that sum, must 
be added to the cost, and of course make its comparison with 
the Charles River plan so much the more unfavorable. 

Now I do not know that any body pretends that Mr. 
Knight should not be, and ivill not be, paid the full value of 
his works. It is clear that they will be ruined, unless resort 
be had to other methods of obtaining power ; — an alternative 
Avhich he is not obliged, or even called upon, to provide. 
Besides the value of his works, it appears he has recently 
made purchase of extensive meadows to increase the flowage, 
all which must be paid for by the city. Now in relation to 
the amount which Mr. Knight may claim, one person of sound 
judgment may guess as well as another ; and I appeal to your 
sense of the value of his property and privilege, to say if the 
city may not deem itself well off, if, under the circum- 
stances, they can settle with him for the diversion of these 
waters by the payment of ^100,000 ; — the whole amount 
estimated to cover all the water damages to the mouth of the 
river. I know of no reason to doubt that experience will 
show this sum too small, rather than too large. 

Next comes the Canal. At one period the business on this 
Canal was small, and the property conceded to be of no great 
value. But it afterwards revived, and last year its earnings 


were stated by the agent before your committee to be 
^9,000; and the prospects were fair for an increase hereafter. 
Now 1 do not propose to make any estimate for the damage 
that this corporation may sustain. It is one of the peculiarities 
of all the establishments below Mr. Knight's, that nobody can 
tell what the damages will be. The corporation unquestion- 
ably avow that the diversion of Lond Pond water goes to the 
full value of their franchise ; and they manifest no disposition 
whatever to compound for its diversion for any less sum. 
What the whole value of their franchise may be, again, nobody 
can tell ; but I would remark that twelve men in a jury box, 
bound to decide between man and man according to law and 
evidence, often find themselves obliged to sacrifice precon- 
ceived opinions of value of such property, and to approximate 
somewhat nearer to its cost than they are wont to do in form- 
ing irresponsible estimates. 

But I will not pursue this matter of damage where nothing 
definite can result. It is sufficient for my purpose to say that 
here is a mass of property lying in the hands of nobody knows 
how many proprietors, its true value being, probably, at least 
^1,000,000, while the proprietors estimate it much higher, 
some of which will be ruined, and all of which will be injured, 
by the diversion of the waters of Long Pond. Though the 
commissioners have estimated the whole amount of damages 
at ^100,000, one of them on the stand before your commit- 
tee said, that he would not engage to liquidate them for half 
A MILLION ; and I have heard admission from as intelligent 
a gentleman as there is in the community, well acquainted 
with the situation and value of this property, and who voted 
in favor of this city project, that "four times the estimate of 
the commissioners would not quiet all claims for damages^' 

Here then I have as good evidence as the nature of the 
case admits, that ^500,000 may fairly and properly be added 
to the saving that would result by substituting the Charles 
River plan for the Long Pond one ; — an amount one would 


think sufficient to settle the question, where any doubt was 
before entertained. 

But it is not merely to the amount of damages which will 
be claimed and obtained, that I would ask your attention. 
Other considerations of a weighty character obtrude them- 
selves. There is no doubt that every dollar's worth of the 
property in question will be injured by the proposed diversion, 
and that some compensation should be made therefor. There 
is also no question whatever, that it is an absolute impossibil- 
ity to estimate accurately the degree and value of this injury ; 
excepting, perAops, the injury to Mr. Knight. It here fol- 
lows that with the best disposition in the world to be reason- 
able, on the one hand to claim, and on the other to pay, suit- 
able damages, it will be one of the most difficult and com- 
plicated questions, that could be presented for investigation, 
to ascertain the amount of such damages. But what claim 
will the city have upon the proprietors to be particularly 
reasonable in their demand ? The city will be, above and 
beyond all dispute, a voluntary and needless aggressor ; and 
why should she not pay well, for her voluntary and needless 
aggression ? What endless lawsuits are here in prospect for 
the city ? The damages being periodical damages, compen- 
sation may be claimed also periodically. Each proprietor 
may bring his yearly suit against the city, and I do not see 
any way in which the city can quiet these claims forever, but 
by acceding at the outset to any proposition that the propri- 
etors will condescend to make. I say condescend, because 
they obviously are not obliged to make any. 

Here then is not only a liability of long and serious litiga- 
tion on the part of the city, but almost a dead certainty of 
having it. Now whoever has watched a water case through 
our courts, — encountered the inherent difficulties attendant 
upon them, aggravated by the excited state of feeling sure to 
be engendered between the parties, will, lam certain, ardent- 
ly desire to be delivered therefrom. 


And now let me seriously ask you to consider what is 
all this property to be disturbed for ? What is the object 
that is to be attained by the certain injury of ^1,500,000 
worth of property, and the amount of that injury to be ascer- 
tained by the almost equally certain expenditure of as great a 
sum in litigation ? — to say nothing of all the minor vex- 
ations and perplexities which attend the settlement of matters 
so complicated. Allow me to answer, as the question must 
be answered, viz. for the privilege of obtaining ivater from 
Long Pond, at double (at least) the cost at which better 
water, and more of it, can be obtained from other sources. 

I here close what I have to say in behalf of these several 
classes of Remonstrants. And shall what I have said be said 
in vain ? Does not the case I have presented constitute one 
worthy of a Legislative Veto ? Is the situation of the minor- 
ity of Boston worthy of no sympathy and protection ? Shall 
the towns of Framingham and Billerica and the city of Low- 
ell, in behalf of these corporations, and of great numbers of 
their citizens, appeal to you in vain to interpose your author- 
ity to sustain long established, and well established, rights 
and privileges, the loss of which is sure to entail irreparable 
damages ? Shall an indefinite number of proprietors be dis- 
turbed in the full and peaceful enjoyment of their property, 
compensation for which disturbance can be only obtained, if 
at all, through a long series of complicated negotiations, or 
protracted law-suits ? 

The question is one of great importance, as affecting the 
welfare of the city, and of the citizens of the State. To the 
Legislature we look for conservative action ; no grants of a 
questionable character, and no grants of a clear character to a 
questionable extent. Evils, great and manifold, are clearly in 
the path you are invited to go ; and is it not the part of wis- 
dom, to see that a strong case of necessity, which cannot be 
otherwise reasonably provided for, does exist, before you allow 
them to be encountered ? 


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