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ant Street with Beale, a distance of 7,670 feet, or nearly one and a
half miles, thoroughly and absolutely unfit for use as a thoroughfare;
in fact, a large part of this portion of these streets has been utterly
impassable for teams during this period.

The consequence has been that the outer seventy-five feet of these
streets, which the law manifestly never intended should constitute a
thoroughfare, but should be used, in its own language, "as a landing
place or pier on which dockage, wharfage, and tolls should be col-
lected," has been the only thoroughfare which the public has had dur-
ing the past year, on the water-front streets, between the points above
named. And the result of leaving the inner half of these streets,
which the law intended should constitute the thoroughfare, in an
impassable condition, has been to cast upon the funds of the Harbor
Commission a much heavier burden for keeping in repair their outer
half than they would otherwise have had to bear.

And the Board has actually been compelled at two points — one on
Spear Street, and the other on Davis — where the outer seventy-five (75)
feet of the streets are occupied by sheds, to put extensive repairs on
the inner seventy-five (75) feet, in order to keep a thoroughfare open
to the public; in the first instance to Spear Street Wharf, and in the
latter to Broadway Wharf.




In building the seawall and thoroughfare, on the harbor front line,
as located by the Board of State Harbor Commissioners, the Governor
of the State, and the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco,
on the twelfth day of September, 1877, and ratified and confirmed by
Act of the Legislature, approved March 15, 1878, it became necessary
to use, for the purpose, a part of block number thirteen, belonging to
Nicholas Luning and others.

An action to condemn the land required was commenced Novem-
ber 30, 1880. Final decree of condemnation was not made till March
3, 1884. In the meantime, however, the State had, in fact, taken the
land, and built the seawall and thoroughfare over it.

The damages were assessed at $58,500, which was paid, by order on
the Harbor Improvement Fund, on February 12, 1884.


From the last biennial report of this Board it appears a contract
was let on the thirteenth of April, 1882, for the construction of an
earth embankment, extending from Section 2 to Section 4 of the sea-
wall, one thousand feet in length by one hundred and nine in width,
with the exception of certain designated portions thereof previously
completed, for the gross sum of $33,750. It appears, also, from the
report, that the contract was completed before the thirtieth day of
June, 1882, but that, at that date, no part of the contract price had
been paid. There was paid, subsequently, on the contract, as follows:

August 4, 1882 $25,.312. 50

November 16,1882 8,437 50

Total $33,750 00

As will appear from an inspection of the last biennial report of this
Board, there was in the San Francisco Harbor Improvement Fund,
on the first day of July, 1882, but $104,413 06. This amount was, of
course, liable to be reduced at any moment, to the extent of $33,750
by payments for work already done. And as the Board is forbidden
to make any contract involving the payment of money unless the
amount to the credit of the Harbor Improvement Fund, together
with the revenue estimated to accrue up to the time of the maturity
of such contract, over and above the current expenses of the Com-
mission, be suflficient to meet the payments as they become due
thereon, it was manifestly impracticable to proceed farther in the
construction of the seawall till the Harbor Improvement Fund should
be replenished by remittances from the receipts of the water-front.
Accordingly all work in that direction was suspended till January 16,
1884, when the Board of Harbor Commissioners, with the Governor
of the State and the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco
present as additional members of the Board, met to consider the
question of the construction of another section of the seawall. It
appearing that there was then in the Harbor Improvement Fund
$219,116, and that the amount of revenue — estimated upon the basis
prescribed by Section 2527 of the Political Code — which would accrue
to such fund up to the time of the maturity of a contract for the con-
struction of an additional section of the seawall, would be $250,000;


and it appearing further that the cost of another section of one thou-
sand feet of the seawall, as estimated by the Chief Engineer of the
Board, would be $226,000, the Board as thus constituted, determined,
in pursuance of Section 2536 of the Political Code, to construct another
section of the seawall and thoroughfare; said section to commence at
the southerly end of Section 4, and to extend southerly along the water-
front line, a distance of one thousand feet.

The Board then, as required by law, advertised for sealed pro-
posals to furnish the material and perform the labor for the construc-
tion of such section, in accordance with the plans and specitications
adopted by the Board and on tile in the office of the Secretary.

The work to be done consisted of a stone embankment, an earth
embankment along the land side of the stone embankment, and a
wharf along the front or water side of the stone embankment. The
Chief Engineer of the Board estimated that it would take 216,000 tons
of rock, of 2,240 pounds each, to build the stone embankment, and
285,000 cubic yards of material, measured in the vehicle of transporta-
tion, to build the earth embankment. These quantities were taken
as the basis for estimating the bids.

Ten bids were received. The lowest was that of W. D. English,
and was as follows:

216,000 tons of rock (estimated) at 62 cents per ton . ._. $112,320

285,000 cubic yards of material (estimated) at 29 cents per yard 82,650

Wharf (according to plans and sjjecifications) 29,000


The bid next to that of Mr. English was David Finley's, and was as

216,000 tons of rock (estimated) at 53 cents per ton $114,480

285,000 cubic yards of material (estimated) at 35 cents per yard 99,750

Wharf (according to plans and specifications) 25,000


The other bids were as follows:

Alexander McBean and George F. Jennings' $239,850

William Center's 243,550

Thomas Thompson's 244,550

San Francisco Bridge Company's 249,649

Pacific Bridge Company's 269,940

John P. Sheldon's 307,500

Warren, McDonald & Company's 331,150

James McCudden's 1 . 388,500

The engineer's estimates of quantities, which were taken as the
basis for a comparison of the bids, are only approximations of the
actual quantities which the contractor will be required to deliver
under his contract. He will be paid at the rates specified in his bid,
for the actual quantities he shall deliver, whether such quantities be
greater or less than the estimates. And, hence, if the quantities of
rock and of material for the earth embankment shall be less than
the engineer's estimates, the cost of the section of seawall will be
less than $223,970; if they shall be more, its cost will be more.

A contract for the construction of the section, on the terms of his
bid as above set forth, was awarded to W. D. English, on the twentieth
day of February, 1884. The terms of the contract require that both
the stone and earth embankments be brought to grade within a year
from the date of the contract, and that they shall be maintained at


grade by the contractor for a period of three months from the time
at which they shall have been brought to grade; and that the wharf
facing the seawall shall be constructed in sections at such times
within the period limited for the completion of the whole work, as
the Chief Engineer of the Board shall direct.

Payments have been made on the contract as follows:

May 16, 1884 $1,236 30

June 3,1884 - - 4,538 34


The cost of constructing the several sections of the seawall and
thoroughfare, already completed, has been as follows:

Section A— 561 feet long, $152 61 per linear foot $85,614 53

Section 1—1.000 feet long, $165 63 per linear foot 165,631 40

Section 2— 1,000 feet long, $167 50 per linear foot 167,504 09

Section 3—1,000 feet long, $235 50 per linear foot 235,049 61

Section 4—1,000 feet long, $240 87 per linear foot 240,872 01

Total cost of 4,561 feet (average cost per linear foot, $196 15) $894,671 56


The law conferring the powers and prescribing the duties of the
Board of State Harbor Commissioners contemplates the collection of
dues or revenue from both vessels and the goods which the vessels
carry. And as we read the law, it confers no authority on tbe Board
to abolish either of these sources of revenue.

Section 2524 of the Political Code provides, it is true, "that the
Commissioners and Mayor of San Francisco may so modify and estab-
lish such rates of dockage and wharfage as will produce a revenue
not to exceed in amount the moneys collected in the year 1875; col-
lecting as near as possible equal amounts from dockage and wharfage.
When such modification has been made, tlie collection of tolls must be
abolished, and toll collectors discharged."

What is termed "wharfage," in the above extract, we understand
to be a charge on goods for being landed on or loaded from a wharf,
while "dockage" is a charge against a vessel for lying at a wharf, or
for other accommodations in the harbor.

After the toll collectors should be discharged, and the collection of
tolls cease, wharfage, as well as dockage, was to continue to be col-
lected. It is manifest that the provisions of this section do not con-
template, and do not provide for, the abolition of charges_ on goods
for the use of the wharves. The real purpose of the provisions is a
change in the mode of collecting the charge on goods. The section
provides for the abolition of tolls and toll collectors, but not of revenue
from goods discharged on, or landed from, the wharves. It contem-
plated that, instead of collecting this revenue in the form of tolls, by
means of toll collectors, from the truckmen, as they should haul the
goods on or off the wharves, it should be collected directly from the
owner or consignee of the goods. Section 2522 of the Political Code,
as amended by the Act of February 28, 1876, and as it remained till
it was amended again by Act of March 7, 1883, conferred upon wharf-
ingers authority to require captains, consignees, etc., of vessels to
furnish manifests of their cargoes. There is no question that it was
the intention that Sections 2522 and 2524 of the Political Code should


confer on the Board all the power necessary to enable it to change the
mode of collecting revenue from goods, from that of tolls to that by
the manifest of the vessel. Whether the power conferred was suffi-
cient for the purpose we shall not undertake to determine. Mr. Soule,
who, it is understood, Avas the real author of the bill containing these
provisions, has frequently maintained, in articles in the public press,
that all the power necessary to make a change in the mode of collect-
ing charges on goods, and to make the system of collecting by ship's
manifest effective, was conferred on the Board. Our predecessors in
office, however, in their biennial report, made Julj' 1, 1882, make use
of the following language:

The Board has, heretofore, in its reports, expressed decided disapproval of the mode of col-
lecting the charges on merchandise by the load, estimated by the Toll Collector, by weight or
measurement, as it passes on or off the wharves. The main objection to the system is that it
is too expensive. * * * The Board has no power to remedy this evil icithout some appro-
priate legislation. They think that a far simpler, surer, and more economical system is the
collection directly from the master, owner, or consignee of the vessel of the charge on the mer-
chandise by measurement or weight, as stated in the manifest.

It will be observed the Board asserts unequivocally and emphati-
cally that it had no power to remedy the evil of the existing system,
without some appropriate legislation. Mr. Soule has been equally
emphatic and unequivocal in his declarations that it had all the
power necessary for the purpose. Without undertaking to deter-
mine whether former Boards have possessed the necessary power to
enable them to collect the charges on goods by means of the ship's
manifest, as Mr. Soule has asserted, or have lacked such power, as
they have uniformly maintained, it is clear that the Board has not
had such power since the amendment of Section 2522 of the Political
Code, at the last regular session of the Legislature. Before such
amendment it did confer on the whartingers power to compel cap-
tains, consignees, and owners of vessels to furnish copies of their
manifests. As amended it confers no such power; nor is there any
other section of the Code which requires, or which authorizes the
Board of State Harbor Commissioners, or any person holding office
under them, to require the captains, consignees, or owners of vessels
to furnish to wharfingers, or other officers of the Board, manifests of
cargoes, either discharged on or loaded from the wharves.

The present Board, with the law as it found it on coming into office,
has been compelled to collect the revenue from merchandise by the
system of tolls and Toll Collectors, or leave it uncollected. But it does
not hesitate to characterize the system as a mcst objectionable one.
That it should be condemned on account of the expense that is insep-
arable from it, does not admit of question. But the expense of this
mode of collecting revenue is not the onh' objection to which it is
obnoxious. If collectors should be disposed to act dishonestly^, no
effective checks can be employed to prevent their embezzling the
public funds; nor, if they should be guilty of peculations, would it
be easy to detect them. And even if we could secure satisfactory
guarantees that all collectors would be scrupulously honest in the
discharge of their official duties, still they would be liable to make
grave mistakes, through want of judgment in estimating quantities,
whether by weight or measure, which would cause the law for the
collection of revenue to operate unequally and consequently unjustly.

That the pres.ent mode of collecting charges on merchandise is a
most expensive one, will sufficiently appear from the following state-


The total revenue collected for the two fiscal years, ended June 30, 1884, was S937,273 79

Salaries of Wharfingers was $60,fi89 73

Salaries of Collecturs was 66,410 14

$127,099 87

A part of a Wharfinger's duty relates to the collection of dockage
from vessels, and a part is wholly disconnected with any system for
the collection of revenue. If no revenue were collected from vessels,
still quite a number of Wharfingers would be required to transact
properly the business of the water-front. Collectors, however, have
no duties, except those connected with the revenue. If, however, we
assume, for the time, that the whole of the salaries of the Wharfingers
are paid for the services they render in connection with the revenue,
and consequently become a part of the cost of collecting the revenue
from vessels and merchandise, we have for the last two fiscal years:

Total revenue collected 8937,273 79

Total cost of collecting it 127,099 87

On the assumption made above, with respect to salaries of Wharf-
ingers, the cost of collecting the revenue was 13.5 per cent of the
amount collected.

Eevenue from merchandise was $346,163 44

Deduct amount paid by Central Pacific Railroad Company 72,514 07

Amount collected by Collectors $273,649 37

Thus, the Collectors collected $273,649 37, at a cost of $66,410 14.
That is, the cost of collecting that portion of the revenue collected
by collectors was 24.2 per cent of the amount collected.
Again :

Total revenue $937,273 79

Deduct amount collected by Collectors 273,649 37

$663,624 42

Now, assume that the entire salaries of the Wharfingers are paid
for services rendered in the collection of the revenue, and we have
$60,689 73 as the cost of collecting $663,624 42.

That is, the cost of collecting that part of the revenue, which was
not collected by the Collectors, was 9.1 per cent of the amount col-

It is our opinion that under such a system for the collection of
revenue as may be devised, the cost of its collection,* the total revenue
remaining the same as for the last two fiscal years, would not exceed
62 per cent. Of course, if the amount of revenue collected should
decrease, the percentage cost of its collection would proportionately
increase, and vice versa.

In this estimate of the cost of collecting the revenue is included
the entire salaries of Wharfingers, for whatever services paid.

At the proper time we will prepare such bills, amendatory of and
supplemental to existing legislation, as will, if enacted into laws,
confer the necessary power on the Board to set aside the present loose
and expensive system of collecting dues from merchandise, and sub-
stitute one in its place, which will be much less expensive, more
equal and just in its operation, and which will not furnish the oppor-
tunities the present one does for peculation.



Substantially the same rates of dockage on vessels and tolls on
goods have been continued under the present Board which were in
force under their predecessors. In a few instances rates of toll have
been modified, but the modifications have been comparatively un-

Though the rates — that is the charge per registered ton — have been
the same during the last two fiscal years, as before, there has been, in
fact, quite a material reduction in the amount of dockage collected
from vessels. This reduction in the amount has resulted from the
Act of Congress, approved August 5, 1882, which provided for the
deduction, in the case of sailing vessels, of the spaces occupied by
their crew from their gross tonnage, and in the case of ocean steamers
of the space occupied by their boilers and machinery, also.

We estimate that this Act has, by lowering their registered ton-
nage, reduced the dockage on sailing vessels five per cent, and on
ocean steamers over twenty per cent.

It has not, however, had the same efiect on the registered ton-
nage of river steamers; in fact, it has, in most instances, increased,
their registered tonnage.

The general rule, with respect to sea-going vessels, is that their
carrying capacity is largely in excess of their registered tonnage;
but under the Act of Congress to Avhich we have referred, the reverse
of this rule holds with respect to river steamers. Their registered
tonnage, in most instances at least, is in excess of their carrying
capacity. To remedy the hardship which the law inflicted on' this
class of vessels, the Board adopted the rule that in any case in which
the registered tonnage of a vessel is greater than her carrying
capacity, she shall be charged dockage only for the number of tons
she will actually carry.

Recently the owners of river steamers appeared before the Board,
claiming that their boats are still discriminated against, as compared
with ocean vessels, and asked that they be exempted from paying any
more dockage in proportion to their carrying capacity than the former.
The Board have taken their application under consideration, and will,
probably, at an early day, adopt a rule, which will place them on as
favorable a footing, with respect to the payment of dockage, as is
occupied by ocean vessels.

Although dockage rates, during the last two fiscal years, have been,
in effect, on sailing vessels, five per cent, and on sea-going steamers,
over twenty per cent, less than in former years, yet tiie total collec-
tions from all sources for the last year were nearly $35,000 more than
for any former year, and 146,000 more than for the year 1881-82, when
there was the largest fleet here that has ever visited the port, and
over $65,000 more than for the fiscal year immediately preceding, dur-
ing nine months of which the predecessors of the present Board were
in office, and the present Board but three months.




Showing the Receipts and Disbursements for the Two Fiscal Years ending June 30, 1884.



Section 1, Seawall Wharf J. $7,345 46

Section 2, Seawall Wharf ' 9,953 50

Section 3, Seawall Wharf 10,156 32

Section 4, Seawall Wharf ' 11,464 45

Union Street Wharf i 12,687 06

Green Street Wharf 22,366 56

Vallejo Street Wharf. I 23,775 36

Broadway Wharf i 21,907 77

Pacific Street Wlwrf I 16,401 90

Jackson Street Wharf 19,146 15

Washington Street Wharf 22,735 00

Ferries (Slips 1 to 8, inclusivej i 84,630 75

Mission Street Wharf i 15,027 05

Mission Street Wharf No. 2 1 19,536 03

Howard Street Wharf ' 7,479 77

Howard Street Wharf No. 2 ! 16,824 34

Howard Street Wharf No. 3 :

Folsom Street Wharf 7,544 40

Harrison and Spear Streets Wharves 23,451 86

Main Street Wharf 14,410 19

Second and Berry Streets Wharves 2,577 37

Channel Street Wharf 4,864 02

Channel Street (south) Wharf 6 50

Merchants' Dry Dock (rent) ' 3,300 00

Oregon Improvement Company (lease) 6,600 00

Pacific Mail Steamship Company (lease) i 13,750 00

Central Pacific Railroad (tolls) _"-.. I 32,994 74

United States Barge Otfice(rent) : 360 00

Space for scales 921 00

Space for lumber

Dredger No. 1 (received for dredging)

Dredger No. 1 (sale of old material)

Dredger No. 1 (received for hire of scow)

Dredger No. 1 (received from schooner for damages ;

done) i

Dredger No. 1 (raising scrap iron) | 250 00

Dredger No. 2 (received for dredging) ! 1,100 00

Dredger No. 2 (sale of old material)

Dredger No. 2 (received for hire of scow)

Dredger No. 2 (raising scrap iron)

Urgent repairs (sale of old material)

Urgent repairs (received from vessels — damages to


Tug " Governor Irwin" (received from schooner for

damages done)

Wharf offices and furniture (sale of old wharf office).-
Washington Street Wharf (collected from bondsmen

of N. Boice, delinquent)

Ferries (collected from bondsmen of N. Boice, delin-
quent) 1

Profit and loss (amount of interest and costs collected [

on judgment, People vs. Caulkins) [ 556 54

Profit and loss (amount forfeited by H. N. Tribou for

failure to enter into contract) j

1,100 00

18 95

123 00

123 00
250 00
341 50

50 00

$6,178 46
11,330 01

9,055 57
11,646 70
11,044 70
26,845 69
25,526 33
24,905 19
28,342 46
22,576 30
23,104 75
83,850 68
21,163 60
20,519 42

5,233 64
16,134 20

3,675 23
19,620 91
.35,123 86
17,715 25

1,573 50

4,461 97

4,400 00

7,200 00

15,000 00

39,519 33

240 00

786 00

506 00

1,200 00

46 00

46 00

1,560 00
30 40











232 02

$13,623 92
21,283 51

19.211 89
23,111 15
23,731 76

49.212 25
49,301 69
44,744 36
41,722 45
45,839 75

168,381 43

36,190 65

40,055 45

12,713 41

32,958 54

3,675 23

27,165 31

58,575 72

32,125 44

4,150 87

9,325 99

6 50

7,700 00

13,800 00

28,750 00

72.514 07

600 00

1,707 00

506 00

2,300 00

64 95

123 00





























$436,0.30 54 ,$501,243 25 $937,273 79
San Francisco Harbor Improvement Fund — amount ;

drawn j 165,586 90 186,588 60 i 352,175 50

$1,289,449 29


Eeceipts and Disbursemknts — Continued.


Salaries of Commissioners and Secretaries

Salaries of Wharfingers, Collectors, and Watchmen

Salary of Attorney

Salaries of Chief Engineer, Assistant, and Draughts-

Salaries of Chief Wharfinger and Assistant

Expense account (rent, fuel, stationery, de.sks in Sec-
retary's office, pay of experts, etc.)

Urgent repairs (amount paid)

Urgent repairs (amount paid under contracts)

Construction account

Dredger No. 1 (current expenses)

Dredger No. 2 (current exj)enses)

Tug"Anasha" (current expenses)

Tug "Governor Irwin" (current expenses)

Fire account

Cleaning wharves

Legal expense

Seawall account

Wharf offices and furniture

Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 79 of 83)