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Full text of "[City documents, 1847-1867]"

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

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http://www.archive.org/details/citydocuments585roxb 



Document. — No. 5. 



REDOUT 



JOINT SPECIAL COMMITTEE 



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AS RELATES TO 




ROXBURY : 

L. B, & O. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW. 

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In Common Council, Feb. 1, 1858. 

Ordered, That a Joint Special Committee be appointed, to consider 
what action is necessary to take on that portion of the Mayor's Address, 
that has reference to the subject of Annexation. 

Committee on the part of the Council — Messrs. Bumstead, Fowle and 
Joel Gay. 

Passed, and sent up for concurrence. 

FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, Clerk. 



In Board of Aldermen, Feb. 8, 1858. 
Concurred. And Messrs. Pearson and Brownell joined. 

JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Cleric. 



In Common Council, March 15, 1858. 

On motion of Mr. Nichols, Report and Order laid on the table, 
and 500 copies ordered to be printed. 

FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, Clerk. 



In Common Council, ) 
Roxbury, March 15, 1858. > 

The Joint Special Committee, to whom was referred an 
order "to consider what action is necessary to take, on 
that portion of the Mayor's Address which has reference 
to the subject of Annexation," have attended to the duty 
assigned them, and beg leave to 

REPORT : 

The Mayor, in his Address to the City Council, says, 
" The subject of Annexation is one touching the dearest 
interests of the people, and one on which the people are 
expected to act ; and the government are bound to carry 
out the wishes of the people, upon any subject of impor- 
tance to the community, whenever those wishes are clearly 
and decidedly indicated." Again, " the small affirmative 
majority of those who voted on the question, can hardly be 
supposed to warrant any further immediate action on the 
part of the City Authorities." 

At the late municipal election, the citizens of Roxbury 
decided, by 808 yeas to 762 nays, on the adoption of the 
following proposition : " Is it expedient for the City Coun- 
cil of Roxbury to petition the Legislature for an act to 
annex the City of Roxbury to the City of Boston?" 

The subject of Annexation was not much agitated ini- 



mediately prior to the late election, although it has ever 
been a question in which the people have manifested a deep 
interest, and whenever any publicity has been given to it, 
it has not failed to enlist a large number of advocates, 
among whom, were many of the most influential of our citi- 
zens ; and it is reasonable to suppose, that had as much 
publicity been given to the subject, as has been usual on 
former occasions, the vote would have been much larger : 
and although the vote was 526 less than that for May- 
or, it was yet a larger one than has ever been cast 
at any municipal election, with the exception of the years 
1855 and '57, and it exceeds, by an average majority 
of 238 votes, the aggregate number of votes cast for 
Mayor for the past six years, as the following statement 
will show: 

The whole number of votes cast for Mayor in 1852 was 582 

1853 1196 

1854 1074 

1855 1592 

1856 1453 

1857 2096 
In 1853 the vote on Annexation was 399 nays, 262 yeas. 

1857 808 yeas, 762 nays. 

In 1853 the citizens voted on the same proposition, and 
as will be seen, the result was a negative majority of 137, 
and falling short of the vote cast for Mayor for that year 
413, being 38| per cent, less than the Mayor's vote, whilst 
during the late election, the number of votes cast on the 
question was more than double that cast in 1853,- and 
whilst the difference between the Mayor's vote and that 
given on Annexation was 526, the loss was only a fraction 
over 25 per cent. : thus showing clearly and conclusively 
that the question received a large vote, and that the feel- 
ings of the citizens were manifested on the subject to a 
great extent. 



The vote for Mayor was unprecedently large, and a 
greater degree of excitement was manifested, by the va- 
rious political parties, than has ever entered into any 
municipal election, which had a strong tendency to draw 
away from the minds of the people, the still greater im- 
portance of voting on the question of Annexation, and 
this may account for one of the reasons why the vote was 
not larger. 

The Committee do not deem it within their province to 
enter into a discussion of the merits of the question of the 
annexation of the City of Roxbury to Boston, as that can 
be done more effectually when the Act, authorizing the an- 
nexation, shall be placed before the City Council, and the 
people, for their acceptance ; — but there is a duty, on the 
part of the City Council, to perform in this matter, which, 
if they are true to their sworn obligations, they will not 
disregard, or remain passive, when the demands of the 
people have been so " clearly and decidedly indicated." 
And whilst your Committee fully agree with the sentiments 
of the Mayor, " that the government are bound to carry 
out the wishes of the people whenever those wishes are 
clearly and decidedly indicated j" they, likewise, as strong- 
ly dissent from the conclusion of his Honor, " that the 
small affirmative majority of those who voted on the 
question, can hardly be supposed to warrant any further 
immediate action on the part of the City Authorities :" for, 
in adopting this view of the question, the City Council 
would disobey the declared and expressed command of the 
people, emphatically made known through the ballot box, 
and it is not for the City Council to decide, how large 
the majority must be, before they will obey the will of 
the people. 

In view of the case thus presented, your Committee are 



unanimously of the opinion, that it is the duty of the City 
Council to carry out the wishes of the people, and they 
would therefore recommend the adoption of the following 
order. 

For the Committee. 

EBEN'R W. BUMSTEAD. 



CITY OF EOXBURY. 



In Common Council, March 15, 1858. 

Ordered, That the Mayor be authorized to take such 
legal measures as are necessary, to obtain from the Legis- 
lature an Act, authorizing the Annexation of the City of 
Roxbury to the City of Boston.