WATER FRONT MATTERS
Oakland in Early Days (No. 14) by Chas. G. Reed
(Contributed by Oakland Pioneers - No. 39)
In the affidavit of Dr. Edw. Gibbons, heretofore set out in part (No. 38-13), it was further stated that the ordinance granting the waterfront to Carpentier appeared to be in his handwriting, and that he, himself, in the presence of the Board, inserted the 37 years' clause, that the amendment was adopted and the ordinance passed, but that the ordinance "now on file in the Clerk's office is not the same paper which was then before the Board; that other amendments were made, as the journal will show, but that the amendment proposed by Carpentier does not appear in the journal, that the ordinance now on file appears to be in the handwriting of Carpentier and that there are no erasures or interlineations, and that therefore it cannot be the same ordinance that was passed at the meeting named; that only three members of the Board were present and that the journal of that and other meetings of the Board appear in the handwriting of Carpentier.
"Deponent further states that in the summer and fall of 1852 Carpentier stated to him that he had promised to give Gen. Jas M. Estill a portion of the waterfront in order to get his support, as a state Senator, in passing the bill incorporating the town; that he was under bonds to convey to Estill one-fourth of the waterfront; that Estill also stated to deponent that he held Carpentier so bound, and added that it was in consideration of his influence in getting the Governor to sign the bill. Deponent further states that, from the circumstances attending the passage of the Act of Incorporation of the town, the secrecy practiced, the agency through which it was affected, the manner in which the board of trustees was elected, two of its members being partners of Carpentier, the failure of Carpentier to qualify, though elected, the action of the board in passing an ordinance giving to Carpentier the exclusive privilege of erecting wharves and collecting wharfage, and also granting him the waterfront, and the circumstances attending the amendment of the ordinance and other facts herein stated, deponent become convinced and verily believes that the incorporation of the town and all that was done by the board of trustees was a contrivance to get a valuable property and valuable rights and convert to personal use what had been intended and should have been used for the public benefit."