Guide to Canal Records
Department of Audit and Control
B0602. Canal damage awards by Canal Appraisers, Board of Claims, and Court of Claims, 1835-1953. 46 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Numerical by claim number, corresponding to chronological arrangement.
This series consists of certified copies of awards by the Canal Appraisers (through 1883) and the Board of Claims (1883-1897), and of judgments of the Court of Claims (1897-1953). These awards were made for damages to lands adjacent to State canals. Many of these damages were sustained by private persons when their lands were appropriated temporarily or permanently for repairs or enlargement of the Erie Canal, for the so-called Nine Million Dollar Improvement at the turn of the century, and for construction of the Barge Canal system, including terminals. There are also awards for flood damages to private property and some for back wages owed to canal employees, the latter dating from the late nineteenth century.
Files before 1849 generally consist of only the claimant's receipt to the Canal Commissioners acknowledging payment for damages. The receipt states the town where the damaged property was situated but does not describe the property in detail. When the claimant was deceased, there are copies of his will, the proof of will, and other documents identifying his heirs. A few files include abstracts of title and maps. After 1849, the filed documents include a certified copy of the award of the Canal Appraisers.
After the Board of Claims took over the judicial functions of the Canal Appraisers in 1883, the typical file contains a certified copy of the award (including a finding of facts), the claimant's receipt for money paid to him by the Superintendent of Public Works, the Attorney General's certificate that no court appeal will be taken, and the county treasurer's certificate that the damaged parcel has no tax lien against it. Some of the awards were made for back wages owed to canal employees.
The files after 1897 contain certified copies of the judgment of the new Court of Claims, releases of further claims against the State, and assignments of judgments to banks for collection, as well as the same documents as those filed with the predecessor Board of Claims.
Finding aids: Container list.
A1055. Accounts relating to construction and operation of Barge Canal, 1920-1938. 1 cu. ft.
A1403. General and Canal Fund bond register, ca. 1931-1935. 0.5 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by city or town in which bank holding the bond was located.
This series consists of a register of State bonds. Each entry lists name and location of bank; date of maturity, name, and amount of security; penalty if not secured; date of bond and rate of interest; dates of approval of bond and delivery to Department of Taxation and Finance. This volume contains entries for letters M-Z only. Bonds were issued for many purposes, including highways, bridges, parks, railroad crossing elimination, unemployment relief, etc. Bonds issued by the Port Authority of New York and other authorities are included. Custody of State securities was vested in the Comptroller's Office, which was responsible for examining and reporting on same.
B0605. Requisitions for Barge Canal materials and equipment,
1934-1938. 4.5 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Numerical by requisition number and by a department-assigned sequential number.
These requisitions were submitted by the Department of Public Works, Division of Canals and Waterways, to the Department of Audit and Control. Requisitions were made for steel, lumber, gravel, pipe, machinery, and other heavy equipment and material.
Each file contains proposals submitted by bidders, including detailed specifications of the equipment or materials and proposed price; certification by chief auditor of the Department of Public Works identifying the low bidder; a sheet giving information and instructions to bidders; and a copy of a letter from the chief auditor of D.P.W. to the Superintendent of Standards and Purchase listing the price quotations received. Some files contain manufacturers' catalogs, photographs or blueprint drawings of machinery, and correspondence.
Indexes: Card index to successful bidders.
B0921. Abstracts and vouchers for Barge Canal and canal terminal expenses, 1936. 1 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Chronological and by abstract number.
This series contains bills, vouchers, and abstracts of expenditures submitted by resident engineers to the Department of Audit and Control. Each abstract lists amounts owed by the State for salaries, wages, expenses, material, equipment, and supplies, and provides the geographic district number or the terminal location. The abstract is accompanied by the original bills and vouchers documenting claims against the State. The abstract provides the geographical district number or the terminal location.