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“5. Have you a plan of such a building that you can furnish to the committee ?"
In reference to these inquiries I have the honor to state: That there are now under rent, for the accommodation of the War Department, six three-story brick buildings, at an aggregate annual rent of $3,000. These buildings are occupied by the following bureaus:
1. Bureau of Pensions ;
None of these buildings are fireproof, or built with any precautions or guards against fire, beyond what is customary in dwelling-houses
. The enumeration of the bureaus which occupy them, will sufficiently indicate the importance of the documentary matter intrusted to them, and the consequent exposure of the same in buildings of such a character. Referring merely to the records of this bureau, I find them to contain no less than 2,155 sheets of topographical maps and plans, the greater part of them original
, and results from the labors of the corps. Also 42 atlases and portfolios, several of them extremely rare and valuable.
In addition to the exposure of so much valuable matter, the buildings are deficient in many conveniences necessary to the execution of public business, and to the proper arrangement of the public property. The fourth question is in reference to the cost of a suitable building
, which would enable the department o dispense with those buildings now rented. The objects desirable to accomplish in such a building, as you did me the honor to explain to me, are :
1. That it should furnish sufficient space for the several bureaus now in the occupation of rented buildings.
2. That it should admit of being completed at an early period, so early that it could be occupied in the course of the next year. 3. That it should be planned so as to connect iselt
conveniently with the existing buildings denominated the War and Navy Departments. 4. That it should not be costly, so that
when, at any future period, Con. gress might think proper to arrange all the public offices on a different plan, the sacrifice would not be great, in dispensing with the one now contemplated.
It has appeared to me that all these objects can be accomplished, better than in any other way, by the erection of a simple fireproof three-story brick building, without ornament or decoration, having solely in view the public objects for which it is to be érected ; and that its position should be between the two central projections of the present War and Navy Departments. Except that the building would be somewhat wider than those projections, it might be considered as a nwre extension of the same from one department to the other ; furnishing, throughout the whole
, an in-door communication.
Such a building would furnish; in the cellar-basement, six good rooms for offices, the opposite six being required ns store rooms for winter fuel;
twelve good rooms on the first, twelve on the second, and twelve on the third floor, thus yielding forty-two good office-rooms, exclusive of the garret. But it is contemplated, on the third floor, to dispense with the partitions at the points a, b, and probably at c, d, so as to have two or four large rooms on this floor, for drawing and engineer purposes. This would reduce the number of rooms to forty or thirty-eight, according as the third floor might be arranged. As in either case, however, the whole space is preserved, it would not lessen the public accommodation of the building; and, from the best estimate which I have been able to make, such an addition as the one represented, connected with the present war and navy buildings, would furnish ample accommodation, at the present time, and, probably, for twenty years to come, for both the War and Navy Departments, and their necessary adjunct accounting offices.
There has not yet been sufficient time to have the contemplated build. ing exhibited on paper, in elevation, and in all its details of plan for every story. But the plan now submitted of the first floor, will, probably, be sufficient; as each succeeding floor will be similar to the first, with the exception of the larger rooms, as before stated, on the third floor.
The probable cost of such a building will depend entirely upon the kind of fireproof plan adopted.
No. 1. If the basement is made, as in the present War Department, with the first a paved floor, resting on groin arches, and the rest of the building erected in the usual way, but of good materials, with a slate-roof, its cost would not exceed $20,000. Yet such a building would not be fireproof.
No. 2. The basement the same as the first, the superstructure similar, but the floors of coarser material, sanded, and paved with brick ; stairways incombustible, of iron or stone, slate-roof. Such a building might well be considered fireproof, as all its combustible parts would be protected from fire by plastering or paving, or by the nature of the material ; and, it could not be burnt without manifest design, and labor in breaking through the covering to get at the combustible parts, hardly a probable event, under the suipposition that the usual guard to the buildings will exercise an ordinary degree of vigilance. The most accessible and exposed parts of the build. ing, the cellar basement, will be perfectly fireproof, and all communications with it, and the stories above, will be intercepted by the archwork.
Such a building, with more than the usual precautions and care in its structure, to guard against the possibility of fire by accident, would not, in my judgment, exceed a cost of $30,000.
No. 3. Cellar-basement as before ; floors paved, sustained on iron joists and small arches, stairways incombustible, of iron or stone, slate-roof upon an iron frame.
We have, as yet, had no experience in buildings of this kind, although they have been much adopted in Europe. They are undoubtedly fireproof. Atter, however, having given to the subject all the consideration which accessible means would enable me, I feel well assured that its cost would not exceed $50,000.
No. 4. Cellar-basement as before, and all the floors of the superstructure paved, and sustained by arches of masonry; stairways of stone, roof of copper. This would be a regular fireproof building, of massive brick-masonry and arches. Its cost would be about $80,000.
From the foregoing remarks, it will appear that there are three plans of constructing the proposed building, which may be considered fireproof, and all of them similar in materials and structure to the first floor. To this exs tent, therefore, there is no difference between either plan; all differences will exist in the character of the superstructure above the basement.
The plan No. 2 could be erected in the least time, and would cost the least. It is, however, exposed to the objection of not being completely fireproof against deliberate design, as its combustible parts may be reached by removing the plastering or paving.
The plan No. 3 fulfils all the ideas of a fireproof building, being equally protected by its materials against design as well as accident. It has, on this account, a preference, in my judgment, over No. 2, and, also, over No. 4, because it will cost less, will be equally efficient, can be completed and occupied in less time, loses less space by massive dead masonry, its walls having to sustain no lateral thrust, and it admits, with greater facility, of modifications, in the connexions and sizes of the rooms of the upper floors, which future convenience may require. There is no doubt with me that a building of this kind may be completed and occupied during the course of the next year, if an appropriation should be granted in time to make a judicious beginning in the present, and to secure a delivery of the requisite materials for its continuation on the opening of the ensuing season.
The plan No. 4 is that of an undoubted fireproof building, of massive brick-masonry. It will be much more costly than either of the others, and will take inuch longer time before it can be completed, and be in a condition to be occupied. To these objections, it may be added, that it wastes valuable space by its massive walls, and admits, with extreme difficulty, of any future modification in the connexions and sizes of the rooms.
The plan No. 3 may be so arranged as to throw, at a future day, the whole of one side of a story into one room, if it should ever be desirable, at a trifling cost, and without injury to the strength of the building or of its fireproof character.
But, as it is extremely doubtful if any greater extent of the building can be put up during the present season than the basement and its groin arches, and as this much is common to all the plans which have been spoken of, might it not be advisable that the law should not contain any other specifications than that the building should be fireproof, and the superstructure, above the basement, be according to some one of the plans submitted, as the War Department should decide, after a full investigation of the details of each. In the meantime, the necessary drawing of the building in plan and elevation, and the details of every story, upon a suitable scale, could be made. Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
J. J. ABERT,
Colonel Topographical Engineers. Hon. J.R. POINSETT,
Secretary of War.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF OHIO,
In relation to the currency, foc.
JUNE 3, 1840.
Preamble and resolutions relative to the currency, instructing Senators
and Representatives in Congress, fc.
Whereas, the original States of the Union having, prior to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, fully experienced the evils of a paper currency, intended to provide against the possible recurrence of those evils; and, to this end, they expressly declared in the Constitution, that Congress should have the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin; to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States ; also, expressly declared that no State should coin money, emit bills of credit, or make any thing, except gold and silver coin, a tender in payment of debts: And whereas, notwithstanding these plain, indisputable, and positive provisions in the Constitution, and the manifest object of, and necessity for them, yet the people and the Government of this Union have ever been exposed to, and at this time are suffering, in the highest degree, the evils against which these wise provisions were intended to protect them: And whereas, the establishment of the first and second Banks of the United States, the receipt of their notes, as also the notes of the State banks, as moneys, in payment of the public dues, and the deposite, by the Government, of its wliole revenue thus received, in the custody of those banks, as an additional fund for their traffic, and, by consequence, as an additional stimulus to the increase of their number, and to the expansion of their circulation, have been among the chief and most manifest causes of the exclusion of the precious metals—of the substitution for them of an unmixed paper currency, and far above all, of that fearful connexion of the banks with both the State and National Governments, which has, within the last ten years, prompted those corporations to claim, as irresumable political rights, the privileges which had thus been improvidently granted to them as temporary favors, and even to aspire to the sovereignty of the country; with this view, employing their immense resources and united energies in a general effort to subject men and States, Govern
ment and people, to their absolute dominion : And whereas, these important subjects have recently engaged the full attention of the American people, by whom the evils of the hanking system are well understood, and the dan. gers therefrom, to be apprehended, have been amply and generally discussed: And whereas, the people of Ohio have, for themselves, once and again decided, in the authentic and solemn form of the ballot, that this connexion ought to be totally and for ever dissolved, and, likewise, that the system itself ought to be fully and radically reformed; Therefore, be it
Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That our Senators be instructed, and Representatives in Congress be requested, to vote for, and support such measures as have for their object the dissolution of the connexion which has hitherto subsisted between the Federal Government and the banks, and the restoration of the financial action of the Gov. ernment, strictly within the limits of the Constitution, and particularly to vote for, and support the measure which is usually called the Independent Treasury Bill.
Resolved, That his excellency the Governor, be requested to forward a copy of the foregoing resolutions to each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress; also, to the President and Vice President of the United States, and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
THOMAS J. BUCHANAN, Speaker of the House of Representatives. WILLIAM MCLAUGHLIN,
Speaker of the Senate. JANUARY 31, 1840.
SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE,
Columbus, Ohio, March 19, 1840. I certify the foregoing resolutions to be a true copy from the original roll, on file in this department.
CARTER B. HARLAN,
Secretary of State.