Page images
PDF
EPUB

as may be agreed upon between the donors thereof and said corporation, and to improve the same; admission to which shall be free to the public under such rules for the proper protection thereof ås said corporation may prescribe, and which said property shall be exempt from taxation within the State of New York. (Chapter 166, 1895, amended by chap. 385, 1901.).

$ 3. The affairs and business of said corporation shall be conducted by a board of not less than five or more than thirty-five trustees, a quorum of whom for the transaction of business shall be fixed by the by-laws. The persons now constituting the board of trustees of said corporation shall continue to hold office until others are elected in their stead as provided by the said by-laws. Vacancies in the board of trustees may be filled in the manner prescribed by the said by-laws. (Chapter 166, 1895, amended by chap. 302, 1898, and chap. 385, 1901.)

§ 4. None of the trustees or members of said corporation shall receive any compensation for services, or be pecuniarily interested directly or indirectly, in any contract relating to the affairs of said corporation, nor shall said corporation make any dividend or division of its property among its members, managers or officers. (Chapter 166, 1895.)

§ 5. The board of trustees shall annually, at a time to be fixed by the by-laws, elect or appoint from their number the following officers: A president, four vice-presidents and a treasurer, who shall hold office for one year and until their respective successors are elected or appointed, and shall perform such duties as are provided by the by-laws. The board of trustees may also appoint a secretary and define his duties, and shall have the power to manage, transact, and conduct all business of the corporation, to prescribe the terms of adınission of its members, and to appoint and fix the compensation of and remove its employees at pleasure. The said corporation shall have no capital stock, and shall have no power to sell, mortgage or otherwise incumber any of its property. (Chapter 166, 1895, amended by chap. 385, 1901.)

$ 6. Said corporation shall annually make to the Legislature a statement of its affairs, and from time to time report to the Legislature, by bill or otherwise, such recommendations as are pertinent to the objects for which it was created, and may aet jointly or otherwise with any persons appointed by any other State for similar purposes as those intended to be accomplished by this act, whenever the object to be secured or purpose sought to be accomplished, is within the jurisdiction of this and any other State or can only be attained by such joint action. (Chapter 166, 1895.)

$ 7. This act shall take effect immediately.

DEATH OF CHARLES S. FRANCIS. During the past year we have sustained a severe loss in the death of the Hon. Charles S. Francis, of Troy, N. Y., who died December 1, 1911. In a remarkable way Mr. Francis shared the ideals and followed in the footsteps of his father, the late Hon. John M. Francis. The father founded the Troy Times, and after his death on June 18, 1897, the son succeeded him as editor and proprietor. The father was United States Minister to Greece and Ambassador to Austria-Hungary; the son succeeding him in the former position from 1900 to 1902 and in the latter from 1906 to 1910. The father was one of the Charter Members of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society in 1895; the son followed him as a Trustee and Vice-President for the past thirteen years. Similar parallels existed in many other departments of life, in which the son carried out the high traditions set by his father. Charles S. Francis was born in Troy, June 17, 1853. After a preparatory education in the Troy Academy, he entered Cornell University and graduated in 1877. In college he won many athletic championships. The single scull championship, which he won on Saratoga Lake in 1876, still stands as the world's intercollegiate record. He was honored with many evidences of public esteem, including his appointment as a member of Governor Cornell's staff and a member of the staff of MajorGeneral Carr, N. G. N. Y.; his election twice as alumni Trustee of Cornell University; and his election twice by the Legislature as a Regent of the University of the State of New York. He also held many positions of trust and responsibility in the business world. He was deeply interested in the work of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, and not only advocated its undertakings with voice and pen, but, so far as his other engagements permitted, gave his personal attention to details of its work. He thoroughly believed in the educational value of the preservation of historic landmarks, and also in the right of the people to enjoy unmarred the beauties of nature.

While held in high respect in the State and Nation, he was especially loved in the City of his home, where he was best known. The wide range of the esteem which was entertained for him is indicated by the fact that upon his death the President of the United States sent a message of sympathy to his wife; the Gov

ernor of the State attended the funeral; the Mayor-elect of Troy had charge of the obsequies; and even the newsboys of the town filed by his bier.

Mr. Francis married in 1878, Alice, daughter of the late Prof. Evan Evans, of ('ornell University, who survives him with five children.

THE AIMS OF THE SOCIETY. The American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society aims to protect beautiful features of the natural landscape from disfigurement, either by physical alterations or by the erection of unsightly signs and structures; to conserve forests, streams and waterfalls; and to preserve from destruction remarkable geological formations and organic growthis possessing an artistic or scientitic value.

It endeavors to prevent the mutilation, destruction or dispersion of American antiquities; to save from obliteration places, objects and names identified with local, state and national history; to encourage original research and promote the publication of original documents and contributions relating to American history and scenery; to erect suitable historical memorials where none exist; and to secure the bestowal of significant and appropriate names on new thoroughfares, bridges, parks, reservoirs and other great municipal works.

It promotes the beautification of cities and villages by the landscape adornment of their open spaces and thoroughfares, the protection of their parks and trees from deterioration or destruction, and the creation of public parks by private gift or the appropriation of public funds, for the health, comfort and pleasure of the people.

It cultivates by public meetings, free lectures, literature, prize competitions, correspondence and other educational means popular appreciation of the scenic beauties of America and public sentiment in favor of their preservation; and it promotes interest in and respect for the history of the country, its honored names and its visible mentorials.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ANNUAL REPORTS. When this Society was incorporated in 1895, it was the pioneer organization formed especially to encourage the preservation of

American landmarks and scenery; and the founders, believing that the Society could make useful recommendations to the Legislature upon these subjects, requested power to make these recommendations in official form to that body. They also believed that in the course of time public parks and monuments would be entrusted to the Society's care, and, looking forward to that end, considered that the Society should be required to give an official accounting of its stewardship from year to year. The Legislature of the State, reflecting these views, in granting the Society a special Charter, required that it should annually make to the Legislature a statement of its affairs, and from time to time report to the Legislature, by bill or otherwise, recommendations pertinent to the objects for which the Society was formed. In accordance with these requirements the Society has presented to the Legislature sixteen Annual Reports, the present document being the seventeenth. In accordance with the general Printing Law, the State supplies the Society with only 500 copies of this document. This edition is inadequate to supply copies to public libraries and educational institutions in the United States and foreign countries, and to the supporters of the Society's work; to say nothing of meeting the increasing number of inquiries from official and private sources for information found only in these reports. Consequently, the Society is obliged to have extra copies printed at its own expense. But even these extra copies have proven insufficient, and many of the Reports are now out of print. Something of the wide range of the inquiries received by the Society for information is indicated by the fact that within a single month, during the past year, we received a communication from His Excellency, the French Ambassador to the United States, Hon. J. J. Jusserand,* asking for information to aid in the preservation of

[ocr errors]

His Excellency, acknowledging the receipt of the information furnished, wrote under date of Washington, June 20, 1911: “I am very much obliged to you for your kind letter of the 17th and for the very useful information which you were so good as to gather for me. The question of the preservation of natural scenery excites in France as here the liveliest interest. Laws have been passed in that view and private societies do also much good work in preventing natural beauty from being spoiled by advertisers and otherwise. His Honor Robert E. Lewis has rendered great service in publicly proclaiming the fact that a beautiful landscape is not a useless freak of nature but a thing of use and a truly beneficial one which can rest and recreate men and in a way improve them. JUSSERAND.” His Excellency refers to the decision of Judge Lewis of the United States Circuit Court of Colorado, recorded in our last Annual Report, a copy of which we sent to him.

natural scenery in France; a letter from the Société Nationale Pour la Protection des Sites et des Monuments en Belgique, expressing great interest in our work; three letters from the Japanese Professor Shigeo Yamanouchi of the University of Chicago, who had been referred to us by ex-President Roosevelt, for information about the creation and conservation of National Parks; a communication from the Netherlands Consulate-General in New York, introducing Dr. J. C. Overvoorde, Director of the Municipal Museum of Leyden and member of the Royal Commission for Historical and Artistic Monuments in the Netherlands, who was seeking for traces of Dutch settlers in America; and a letter from Mayor Gaynor, of New York, referring to us an inquiry received from Connecticut for certain information about New York. These are only types of the inquiries which come to us from all sources for information, and which, we believe, would justify the State in enlarging the edition of our Annual Reports.

Following is a list of our Annual Reports to date. Those marked with an * are now out of print: First, 1896. Pages 10. No illustrations. No appendices.

Second, 1897. Pages 6. No illustrations. No appendices. Third, 1898. Pages 4. No illustrations. No appendices. Fourth, 1899. Pages 13. No appendices.

Fifth, 1900. Pages 84. Maps and illustrations 26. Appendices: “ Report of Commission Representing the State of New York for the Preservation of the Palisades;" "Report of the Society to the Comptroller of the State on the Lake George Battlefield;" “ Report on the Battlefield of Stony Point."

* Sixth, 1901. Pages 97. Maps and illustrations 9. Appendices: "The Duty of Preserving Places and Objects of Historic Interest and Natural Beauty,” by Hon. Andrew H. Green; “ The Landmark of Fraunces' Tavern,” by Mrs. Melusina Fay Peirce; * The Historical Significance of the Hudson and Champlain Valleys,” by Francis Whiting Halsey.

* Seventh, 1902. Pages 125. Maps and illustrations 9. Appendices: “ The Preservation and Restoration of Historic Sites and Buildings in Europe,” by Prof. A. D. F. Hamlin of Columbia University; “The Scenic Beauties of Fort Washington Battlefield; and the American Revolution and the Free Press," by Hon. Andrew H. Green; “ The Battle of Fort Washington," by Hon. Azariah H. Sawyer; " Jamestown: The First Permanent English Settlement in America,” by the Secretary.

« PreviousContinue »