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SECOND ANNUAL REPORT
MADE TO THE
JANUARY SESSION, 1878.
E. L. FREEMAN & CO., PRINTERS TO THE STATE.
HARBOR COMMISSIONERS' REPORT.
To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island,
etc.: The Board of Harbor Commissioners respectfully submit their Second Annual Report.
APPOINTMENT TO THE BOARD.
At the May Session of this General Assembly, His Excellency the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, reappointed Jedediah Williams, whose term of service as Harbor Commissioner had nearly expired, for a further term of three years.
The Commissioners have, in conformity with Chapter 611, of the Public Laws, secured an office in the city of Providence, at an annual rent of three hundred dollars, where they keep all charts, plans, and other papers and documents, which have come into their possession, and it also affords a convenient place for such hearings of parties as may from time to time be required.
APPLICATION TO CONGRESS.
In accordance with the authority granted to the Commissioners, they have forwarded petitions to Congress, praying that an appropriation be made for the widening and deepening of the channels leading to the port of Providence, of which a copy may be found in the Appendix to this report. The petitions were presented in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, and referred respectively to the Committee on Commerce of each body. Subsequently, resolutions were offered by Senator Anthony, in the Senate, and Representative Eames, in the House, calling upon the Secretary of War to furnish information as to the needs of commerce in this district, and an estimate of the cost of improving the channels leading to the port of Providence. Said resolutions have been sent by the Secretary of War to the Engineers' Department, and thence forwarded to Gen. G. K. Warren, U. S. Engineer, in charge of this district. Upon receipt of the resolutions, Gen. Warren communicated with this Board, asking for a statement of what was desired. “Whereupon the Commissioners prepared and forwarded a statement, of which a copy will be found in the Appendix. The Commissioners have been notified by Gen. Warren that he has forwarded his report to Major-Gen. Humphreys, Chief of Engineers of the United States, and they have held themselves in readiness to proceed to Washington, with such surveys, plans, statistics, etc., as have been collected and prepared for this purpose.
The Commissioners, having given notice of a time and place for hearing, as required by law, all parties interested in the establishment of a harbor line on the westerly side of Seekonk river, from India street to Bower street, and such a hearing having been had, marked out a suitable harbor line and caused the same to be platted, which they reported to the Governor and Senate, at the May Session of this Assembly, and it was approved by them.
Upon the application of parties at Pawtucket, for authority to extend their wharves where there are now no harbor lines established, the Commissioners, finding that there are wharves already constructed which extend so near to the channel as to make the passage-way for vessels narrower than is desired, deemed it advisable and necessary that suitable harbor lines should be fixed on both sides of the river; they, therefore, marked out a line on the east side from the lower dam to Bass rock, and on the west side of the river from the lower dam to Bensley's Point