Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 039
Click on the image to view a larger, bitmap (.bmp) image suitable for printing.

HOME PAGE ... REFERENCE PAGE ... THIS GAZETTEER’S PAGE



Click on the image above for a larger, bitmap image suitable for printing.


STATE GOVERNMENT.    39

arnished by the State, and is required to have them compared with the State Standard once in 3
years. ThQ Town Sealer is required to examine all weights and measures in use once a year
.1

Tlie Mayors of cities are administrative officers of State laws and executive officers of city
ordinances. They are elected annually, except in Albany and New York, where they hold their
offices for two years.

Tlie Supervisors of towns are administrators of the general laws relating to towns.

Tlie President and Trustees of villages have charge of every thing pertaining to the
welfare of their respective localities within the limits of the charter of incorporation.

Trustees ©f School ^Districts are the officers recognized by law to whom is intrusted
the administration of the school laws within their districts.

Turnpike Inspectors are appointed in every county in which there are turnpikes, tho
acts of incorporation of which do not require the appointment of special inspectors. They are 3
to 5 in number, and must have no interest in any turnpike in the State.

Plank Road Inspectors are appointed in every county having plank roads. Their duties
are analogous to those of the inspectors of turnpikes; and they are chiefly intended to protect
the public against the collection of tolls when plank roads are unsafe or difficult to travel from
neglect or other cause.

Commissioners of Highways have the power of directing repairs, laying out and
altering roads, discontinuing old roads, and of ordering new bridges to be built and kept in renair
.1
They must annually divide the towns into road districts, and assign such inhabitants to work
upon them as they may deem proper; and they must deposit an accurate description of all new
roads in the Town Clerk’s office for record.

Overseers of Highways, or “ Pathmasters,” have charge of road districts.2

1 The statute defines the State Standard of Weights and Mea¬
sures to be the same as that approved by Congress June 14,1836,
and furnished by the XJ. S. to the States in 1842. The set fur¬
nished consisted of a yard, sets of Troy and avoirdupois weights,
the wine gallon and the half bushel and their subdivisions.
The unit of length and surface, from which all other measures
of extension are derived, whether linear, superficial, or solid, is
the yard, which is divided into 3 feet of 12 inches each, except
for cloths or other articles sold by the yard, when it may be
divided into halves, eighths, and sixteenths. The rod contains
5| yards, and the mile 1,760 yards; the acre is 160 square rods;
the chain for land surveying is 22 yards long and subdivided
into 100 links; the Troy pound is to the avoirdupois as 5,760 to
7,000, the one containing 12 and the other 16 ounces; lOOlbs.
avoirdupois form a hundredweight, and 2,0001bs. a ton. All
measures of capacity not liquid are derived from the half bushel,
the subdivisions of which are obtained by dividing repeatedly
by 2. Coal, ashes, marl, manure, corn in the ear, fruit, and
roots, are sold by heap measure.

The Standards now in use do not vary essentially from those
established by the State Government before standards were fur¬
nished by the U.’ S. As formerly defined, the unit of linear mea¬
sure was the yard, which bore the ratio of 1,000,000 to 1,086,140,
to a pendulum beating seconds in a vacuum at the tempera¬
ture of melting ice at Columbia College. A cubic foot of water
at its maximum density in vacuo was declared equal to 1000
ounces avoirdupois.. The liquid gallon to contain 81bs., and the
dry gallon lOlbs., of distilled water at its greatest density and
mean pressure at sea level.

Weights of articles per bushel as fixed by Standard.

ARTICLES.

LBS.

ARTICLES.

LBS.

ARTICLES.

LBS.

Beans............

62

60

58

48

48

Plaxseed........

55

32

60

60

Rye............

Salt.............

56

56

44

60

Buckwheat.....

Barley...........

Potatoes........

Wheat.........

proper; and the defacing of these is punishable as a misde¬
meanor. Every owner or occupant of lands in any town, and
every male inhabitant above the age of 21, must be assessed for
highway labor. The whole number of days’ labor annually ex¬
pended in the town must be at least three times the number of
taxable inhabitants; and every male inhabitant over 21, except
ministers, paupers, idiots, and lunatics, must be assessed at
least one day. The residue is assessed upon the property of in¬
dividuals and corporations. Labor may be commuted at the
rate of 62! cts. per day; and the moneys so paid must be ex¬
pended in the district.

3 Overseers of Highways are required by law to warn out to
work all persons assessed for highway labor in their respectivn
districts; keep their roads in order; superintend work; receive
and apply commutation moneys; cause the noxious weeds upon
the wayside to be cut down or destroyed once before July and
once before Sept. of each year ; remove obstructions; and collect
all fines, whether for neglect of work, idleness, or putting up
of gates contrary to law. They may require additional labor,.to
the amount of one-third of the first tax. All roads must be
fenced by the owners of adjacent lands, unless liable to be over¬
flowed by streams, when the overseers of highways must erect,
and keep in repair, good swinging gates at the expense of tt®
lands benefitted; and persons leaving such gates open are liable
to triple damages. All rivers where the tide ebbs and flows are
public highways, without spetial law. Many other streams have
been so declared by acts, and obstructions in Such streams and
in highways are punished by fine, notwithstanding a plea of
title. Such obstructions may be abated as nuisances; and the
persons causing them are liable to actions for damage. Persons
owning lands upon roads 3 rods vide, or more, may plant trees
on the roadside adjacent to their line, and may prosecute far
damages to sucn trees. They may also construct a sidewalk,
with a railing. Trees falling into the road from inclosed lands
must be removed by the occupant within 2 (jays, after notice by
any person, under a fine of 50 cts. a day. Assessors and com¬
missioners of highways are
ex officio fence viewers in their sev¬
eral towns. In case of fires in the woods of a-ny town, it is the
duty of the supervisor, justices, and commissioners of highways
to order such and so many inhabitants, liable to work upon the
roads, as may be deemed necessary, and reside near, to assist in
checking the fires, under penalty of $50, and liability to prose¬
cution for misdemeanor, and further fine not over $100 or im¬
prisonment not more than 60 days.

Persons aggrieved at the decision of commissioners may ap
peal to referees appointed by the county judge or justices of
sessions. Kings, Queens, and Suffolk cos. have from an early
colonial period had a road law peculiar to themselves. It differs
by fixing the number of days at
twice the number of persons
assessed, in granting private roads for
limited periods, in allow
ing roads through gardens and orchards of less than
ten years’
use or growth, by allowing appeals to the
county judge, and in
a few other minor details. Richmond co. has also a special law,
which requires assessments in
money only, to be collected with
the general tax, and the repairs of roads to be let out at public
auction by districts from year to year and to the lowest bidder.
There are many other special laws, chiefly applicable to cities
and villages, but too numerous to mention here.




1

Roads extending through several towns may be laid out by
commisaoners appointed by the Supervisors; and those extend¬
ing through several counties are usually laid out by special com¬
missioners appointed by law. The commissioners of highways
are required to report annually, at town meeting, their receipts
and expenditures, and a statement of what improvements are
necessary, and the cost of obtaining them. These estimates are
referred to the B.oard of Supervisors, and assessed as other town
charges. They may summon jurors and witnesses in opening
and closing roads. Roads through improved lands must be cer¬
tified as necessary by the oath of twelve respectable freeholders ;
and a like certificate to the contrary is required in closing roads.
Every owner may obtain a road to his land.

2

Now roads cannot be laid through orchards or gardens of
more than four years’ growth or use, or through buildings or
yards, and inclosures of mills and factories, without the owner’s
consent. The law requires the commissioners of highways to
erect mileboards along the line, and guideboards at the crossing
of post and .such other important roads as they may deem


PREVIOUS PAGE ... NEXT PAGE

This page was written in HTML using a program written in Python 3.2