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for the series of Public Documents, – $60,082.41,- a decrease of $6,430.47 over last year. The greatest cost for a single report was for that of the Board of Agriculture, — $5,742.69,
a reduction of over $300 over last year. The Board of Health comes next in cost, - $3,890.70,- a reduction of
— , more than $500 over last year. The smallest item was for the report of the Hospital for Consumptives, $12.69. The Blue Book cost $7,101.98,- an increase of about $900
$ over the previous year, and the Manual $2,835.94, --substantially the same as last year. The official ballot cost $6,961.44. The total cost of House printing in 1898 was $14,429.52, exclusive of the House Journal, which cost $1,353.78. The Senate printing amounted to $5,818.76, exclusive of the Journal, which cost $1,172.85. Both the Senate and House printing cost considerably more than during the previous year.
There has been a very large demand for the Bradford History, and four editions have been printed: the first, 6,200 copies; the second, 4,500; the third, 600; and the fourth, 1,000 copies. The number of copies sold was 1,866, at one dollar each.
Under the provisions of chapter 258 of the Acts of 1896, as amended by chapter 243 of 1897, the Secretary and the Auditor have authorized illustrations amounting to $2,830. The greatest expense was for the report of the Metropolitan Park Commission, $500.
EARLY LAWS. The publication of the Acts and Resolves of the General Court from the adoption of the Constitution to the year 1806, authorized by chapter 104 of the Resolves of 1889, will be completed with the issuing of volume 13, now of the volumes contains the legislation, civil lists, addresses, etc., for two legislative years. In the preparation of this work great care has been taken to make it full and complete, and the volumes have been indexed with especial care.
RECORD INK. There is little to be said regarding the record ink beyond what has already been said in these reports. I have heard, indirectly, of dissatisfaction with the ink now furnished, and I observe that the Controller of County Accounts alludes, in his annual report to the Legislature, to such complaints on the part of county officers. All such complaints should be presented to this office, specifying the particular points on which complaint is made.
A prompt investigation will follow in every case. Less than half a dozen such complaints have been presented to this office, and all have been investigated, with the same result; that is to say, the discovery of the fact that the trouble was attributable, not to the quality of the ink, but to the non-observance of the rules for its proper use.
In this connection I beg to refer to the comments of Record Commissioner Robert T. Swan upon this subject, in his last annual report to the Legislature. As Mr. Swan has given the matter careful attention, his remarks are entitled to special consideration.
The amount of ink sold during 1898 is shown by the following table :
The receipts for these sales amounted to $714.10, as against $1,069.09 in 1897.
There have been issued free to State officers, boards and commissions 9 gallons, 177 quarts, 30 pints and 12 balf-pints.
Reference may be made, in this connection, to the proposed use of typewriters in making public records. Much useful information concerning this matter is presented in the last annual report of the Commissioner of Public Records, to which the attention of the Legislature is called. In view of the advantages in speed and legibility offered by the latest improved typewriting processes, the subject of authorizing the use of such methods on public records is commended to the consideration of the Legislature; but care should be taken to prevent
I suggest also that this matter be placed in the hands of the Commissioner of Public Records, together with that of supplying standard record ink, now in charge of this office. I make this recommendation partly because the subject is directly in the line of the special duty of the Commissioner of Public Records, and partly because it will be an appreciable relief to this office, already overburdened with matters of detail.
In examining the manuscript copies of the Acts and Resolves, I find that a considerable number of acts, notably those of 1851, were written with ink which is even now almost wholly faded out. Curiously enough, one of the worst examples is chapter 161 of the Acts of 1851, entitled “ An Act for the better preservation of municipal and other records.” This act provides that it shall be duty of county commissioners, city governments and selectmen of towns to provide for the particular security and preservation of all the records of their respective counties, cities and towns; and in cases where, from any cause, such records may become worn, mutilated or illegible, they shall have a fair copy seasonably taken by competent and skilful transcribers, to be preserved in like manner as the originals, the same to be certified as true copies by the county, city or town clerk. The substance of this act survives in chapter 439 of 1897. It is apparent that such legislation should apply also to the records of the Commonwealth, and I recommend that such action be taken at the present session.
ROLLS OF COLONIAL FORCES IN THE LOUISBURG EXPEDITION.
By chapter 49 of the Resolves of 1898 the Secretary of the Commonwealth was authorized and instructed to ascertain and report to the General Court whether or not there are in existence in Halifax, Nova Scotia, rolls of the Massachusetts colonial forces engaged in the Louisburg expedition of the year 1745. To carry out these instructions I visited Halifax personally, and through the courtesy of the Hon. George H. Murray, Provincial Secretary, was enabled to examine the archives in the Provincial Building. I found there several manuscript volumes relating to this expedition, but they were copies of letters and papers the originals of which are in the British Record Office in London, which have already been examined by Mr. B. F. Stevens of the United States Government Despatch Agency, as set forth in my last annual report. I examined five letters from Sir William Pepperell to the Duke of Newcastle, two letters from Sir William Pepperell and Commodore Warren to the Duke of Newcastle, twelve letters from Governor Shirley to the Duke of Newcastle, one from Governor Shirley to Major Aldridge, and one letter from Sir William Pepperell to Governor Shirley. In one of the letters of Sir William Pepperell to the Duke of Newcastle, dated Louisburg, June 28, 1745, occurs the following passage: “I have now the honor to enclose to Your Grace an account of what troops were raised in each of his Majesty's government in New England which were aiding in this expedition, and the present state of them.” The hopes raised by this passage were disappointed by failure to find any copy or trace of the account referred to.
It is greatly to be deplored that full rolls of the men who took part in this expedition cannot be obtained. They rendered heroic service, and encountered hardships and privations which decimated their little band in an appalling manner. In a joint letter to the Duke of Newcastle, dated Jan. 18, 1746, Pepperell and Warren say: “Out of a number of about 2,470 alive at the time of Mr. Shirley's departure (which was Nov. 27, 1745] we have buried near 500 men and have near 1,100 sick.” In a letter to the Duke of Newcastle, dated Louisburg, June 2, 1746, Warren says: “We have buried near 2,000 men since we have been in possession of this place, owing greatly to the want of necessaries.”
THE COAT-OF-ARMS OF THE COMMONWEALTH. Since my last report the official drawing of the coat-of-arms of the Commonwealth has been finished, framed and hung in the office of the Secretary. It was adopted and declared official by chapter 519 of the Acts of 1898, by which all designs of the coat-of-arms for official use are required to conform strictly to the official representation. A new great seal of the Commonwealth has been engraved, and is now
I renew my recommendation of last year for the passage of an act prohibiting the use of the coat-of-arms or seal of the CHANGES OF NAMES. The returns of 375 names changed, as decreed by the several probate courts, were received and filed, in compliance with the requirements of section 14, chapter 148 of the Public Statutes, as amended by chapter 89, Acts of 1897, and published in the Blue Book.
PEDDLERS' LICENSES. There were issued to hawkers and peddlers, under the provisions of chapter 68 of the Public Statutes, 1,885 licenses. Of this number, 316 were for the State, 652 for counties, 642 for cities and towns and 275 for cities and towns in which the applicant resided and paid taxes on a stock in trade.
There were also issued 850 free licenses to soldiers and sailors, - a decrease of 79, as compared with the previous year; and 62 free licenses to persons seventy years of age or upwards, -- an increase of 4.
Two licenses were issued to itinerant vendors, under the act of 1890. The number of transfers of licenses was 175.
RETURNS UNDER THE “ LOBBY ACT.” Under wbat is known as the " lobby act” (chapter 456 of
“ 1890, as amended by chapter 223 of 1891 and chapter 298 of 1894), 327 entries were made upon the docket of legislative counsel and agents, - an increase of 104, as compared with 1897. Returns were received at this office covering 295 of these entries. Of those received, it became the duty of the Secretary to transmit 46 to the Attorney-General for his information, 11 of them appearing to be irregular or defective, and the 35 others being received after the expiration of the time limit.
The 32 cases of delinquency were reported to the Attorney-General, as required by law.
ELECTIONS. All statements and statistics referring to elections appear, as required by law, in Public Document, No. 43 (Assessed Polls, Registered Voters, etc.), together with recommendations in relation thereto.