Monday, December 17, 1821.

Mr. Moore from the select committee to whom was referred the communication of His Excellency on the subject of certain salves libelled in the district court of the United States, made the following report:

The select committee, to whom was referred the communication of His Excellency the Governor in obedience to the resolution of this House calling upon him for "all the information in his possession relative to the situation and interest which this state may have in relation to certain slaves libelled in the district court of the United States for the district of the Alabama, for an alleged violation of the laws of the United States prohibiting the importation of slaves have had the same under consideration, and beg leave to submit the following as the result of their opinions upon the point submitted by this communication. His Excellency agreed with the Attorney general, in believing that the district courts have jurisdiction so far as "to determine the fact officiation of slave laws," but seems to doubt whether "that tribunal can go further with regard to the slaves, than to order their simple delivery to the authorities of the state, to be disposed of afterwards by them, (??????? remainder of sentence illegibly printed in original journal) On this point His Excellency differs with the attorney general, who is of opinion that the district court has jurisdiction, not only so far as to ascertain the fact of violation of the slave laws, but it also bound in case that fact is found, to proceed and order a sale and direct a distribution; of this opinion, also are your committee, both from the reasons assigned by the attorney general and from the fact, that the courts of the United States are bound to execute the laws of the several states, whenever they apply in the exercise of their jurisdiction; and the more particularly when those laws are passed in conformity with, and in pursuance of, authority given by the laws of the United


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States. The present libels are filed by informers who claim a right under the sate law. That law was passed by the authority of a law of the United States. It is admitted that the district court has power "to decide the fact of violation of the slave laws." It is under those laws that the forfeiture accrues, which gives the right secured by the state laws. And your committee are at a loss to discover how any difficulty can arise with the district court, in acting under the state law. The power to order a disposition under the state law, your committee consider as an incident to the power to ascertain the fact of forfeiture. Had the state law directing what disposition shall be made of the negroes, been passed by Congress, there would have been no doubt of he power of the district court to act under it; and your committee consider, that the case is equally clear in the present instance, the state law being passed by the authority of a law of the United States; and from its nature, requires that to be done, which can only be done, after an adjudication, which can only be had in the courts of the United States. Your committee would also observe, that they have never heard that any doubt has been expressed by the district court as to its power, finally to dispose of the case under the state law, should the fact of violation be found; and it is considered by your committee, that that courts is the proper tribunal to determine, its own jurisdiction. Your committee are also constrained to differ with His Excellency, in regard to the power of the legislature to pass any law, in relation to this particular case. It is admitted by His Excellency, that no law can be passed which shall interfere with the "vested rights of the informers and collector." These persons arrived at their rights through the medium of the present law; they being entitled to one half of the proceeds, after a public sale of the slaves by the seizure and institution of the judicial proceedings, they acquire an inchoate right which becomes perfect only on a condemnation, but it is such a right as cannot be taken from them; if so, your committee would ask what law altering the present case can be passed, which will not in some measure affect their rights, or how can any other disposition be made of them without their consent?

Your committee learn by the communication of the Governor, that a memorial has been received by him from a person disputing the right of the libellants, and claiming to be


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an informer under the State law. And the Governor recommends a summary proceeding to decide between conflicting informers, and between them and the collector.

Your committee consider these conflicting claims are proper subjects of judicial investigation; and that the courts which have the power to decide upon the subject matter of the claims, have also ample power to decide who has a right to the proceeds. They therefore, consider it inexpedient to legislate on that subject.

On that part of His Excellency's communication, in which he recommends "a law authorizing proper agents or attorney's to attend to the interest of the State," your committee would remark, that it appear by the facts communicated by the letter of the Attorney General, that the cases are in a regular train of Judicial investigation, under the prosecutions of the informers.

Your committee, therefore, are of opinion, that no legislative act is at this time necessary in relation to the subject matter of the communication referred to their consideration.

David Moore, chairman.

Ordered, That said report lie on the table.

A bill from the Senate to be entitled, An act authorizing Edwin Lewis to open and construct a road in Mobile county, was read a third time, amended, and passed. Ordered, That the Senate be acquainted therewith.

A Message was received from the Senate by Mr. Lyon, their secretary, informing this House, that they agree with the first amendment made by this House to the bill to be entitled an act to authorize the issuing of Treasury notes, and to vest authority in the Executive of this State, to apply a certain sum of money therein mentioned, for the purpose of making such arrangements with the specie paying banks of this State, as may aid the credit and currency of the Treasury notes. Also, that they disagree to the amendment, adding several additional sections to said bill.

Also, that they had read a third time and passed, a bill originating in this House, to be entitled an act concerning jurors, and for other purposes; which they have amended and in which amendment, they desire the concurrence of this House;

Also, that they insist on their amendments to the following bills, to wit:


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An act to fix the permanent seat of Justice for the county of Montgomery; and,

An act for the punishment of malicious mischief.

Ordered, That the House recede from their disagreement to the amendments made by the Senate to the two last mentioned bills.

On motion, That the House recede from their amendment to the bill to be entitled an act to authorise the issuing of Treasury notes, and to vest authority in the Executive of this state, to apply a sum of money therein mentioned, for the purpose of making such arrangements with the specie paying banks of this State, as may aid the credit and currency of the Treasury notes, --- it was decided in the negative.

A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Lyon, their secretary, informing this house that they had passed a resolution appointing a committee of three, to act with such committee as may be appointed on the part of this House, to wait on Samuel Dale, Esq. for the purpose of informing him, that the General Assembly have appointed him a Brevet Brigadier General, with half pay for life, of a Colonel of the United States army; and that they had appointed on their part, Messrs. Chambers, Conner and Elliott. Ordered, That the House concur in said resolution; Whereupon, Messrs. Weedon, Armstrong and Bagby were appointed a committee on the part of this House.

Mr. Armstrong introduced a resolution returning the thanks of this Legislature to Jeremiah Austill, for his heroic conduct during the late Creek war; which was read the first time; and, the rule being successively dispensed with, it was read a second and third times and passed. Ordered, That the same be sent to the Senate for their concurrence.

Mr. Perry from the committee on enrolled bills, reported that the committee had examined bills of the following titles, to wit;

An act to alter and amend the several acts now in force organizing the militia of this State;

An act to extend the time for collecting the tax and making returns, to the persons therein named;

An act to amend an act to establish the temporary seats of Justice in certain counties therein named;


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An act to amend the several acts in relation to the establishment of the Bank of the State of Alabama, and to repeal such parts of said act as are repugnant to the provisions of this act;

An act to divorce Sarah M. Bracken from her husband, James A. Bracken, in pursuant of the decree of the Circuit Court of Franklin county, exercising chancery jurisdiction;

An act to provide for assessing and collecting the taxes of this State;

An act to repeal in part and amend an act entitled, an act to regulate the proceedings in the courts of law and equity in this State, passed the 14th day of June last;

An act to appoint commissioners to lay out certain roads therein specified, and for other purpose;

An act concerning jurors, and for other purposes;

An act to fix the permanent seat of justice for Montgomery county; and,

An act for the punishment of malicious mischief; and find them all correctly enrolled.

Mr. Greening from the joint committee appointed by the two Houses, to confer on the propriety of memorializing Congress on the subject of annexing West Florida to this State, made a report recommending that object.

Mr. Greening moved, that the House concur in said report; which was decided in the affirmative. Ayes 28, nays 18.

The yeas and nays being called for, those who voted in the affirmative, are

Mr. Speaker, Allen, Armstrong, Bagby, Beene, Carr, Crenshaw, Craig, Dabney, Dale, Davis, Duckworth, Evans, Elmore, Greening, Graham, Hardwicke, Jones, Kennedy, Montgomery, Masterson, McHenry, Pickett, Parham, Skinner, Tagert, Thompson, Williamson.

Those who voted in the negative, are

Messrs. Anderson, Ayers, Barclay, Clay, Edmondson, Holderness, Hopkins, Leake, Murrell, Miller, Moore, Morton, Martin, Philpott, Perry, Vining, Weedon, Williams.

A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Lyon, informing this House that they had read a third time and passed; Resolutions in relation to the annexation of that part of West Florida, which lies west of Apalachicola river; in which they desire the concurrence of this House.

The said resolution was then read a first time, and that rule being dispensed with, it was read a second and third time and passed.


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Ordered, That the Senate be acquainted therewith.

Ordered, that the House concur in the amendment, made by the Senate to the bill to be entitled, an act concerning jurors, and for other purposes.

A bill to be entitled, an act making appropriations for the year 1822, was then taken up, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading this evening.

A bill to be entitled, an act to make appropriations for the payment of certain claims against the State, was further amended, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading this evening. The House then adjourned till 3 o'clock, this evening.

Evening Session.

Engrossed bills of the following titles, to wit: An act to make appropriations for the year 1822; and,

An act to make appropriations for the payment of certain claims against the State; were severally read a third time and passed. Ordered, that the titles be as aforesaid.

Ordered, that the same be sent to the Senate for their concurrence.

Mr. Weedon from the joint committee, appointed to wait on Samuel Dale, Esq. and inform him that the general assembly have made him brevet brigadier general, with the half pay for life of a colonel of the United States army, reported, that the committee had proceeded to discharge said duty and received the following answer:

GENTLEMEN --- Permit me through you to return to the legislature any unfeigned acknowledgements, for the honour they have been pleased to confer upon me, in bestowing the appointment of a brevet brigadier general of the militia of the state of Alabama. It will be a source of unfailing pleasure to me, to reflect, that although I have expended the vigour of a strong constitution in discharging the arduous duties to which I have been subjected, it has been my peculiar good fortune to meet the approbation of my fellow citizens; and permit me to assure you, that while it shall please divine providence to enable me, gratitude for the expression of public confidence which you have this day made shall stimulate me, to the exercise of my best exertions for the good of my country; and, will you, gentlemen, accept my sincere thanks for the marked and polite manner in

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which you have conveyed to me the sense of the legislature, upon the present occasion.

SAMUEL DALE.

To Messrs. Weedon, Armstrong and Bagby,

the committee, &c.

A message was received from the Senate, by Mr. Lyon, their secretary, informing this House, that they had read a third time and passed, an act altering and amending an act to form a sixth judicial circuit, and for other purposes; also, an act to amend an act entitled, an act to incorporate the town of Selma, in the county of Dallas; in which they desire your concurrence.

Also, that they concur in the amendments made by this House to the act to appoint commissioners for certain counties therein named, and for other purposes; and to the act authorizing Edwin Lewis to open and construct a road in Mobile county.

Also, that they have read a third time and passed, an act prescribing the manner of changing the venue in criminal cases, and for other purposes.

Also, an act to repeal in part the 43rd section of an act to organize the militia of this state, and to substitute an amendment thereto.

Also, an act for the relief of Th: H. Kirby, tax collector of Jackson county, for the year 1820.

Also, a resolution concerning the printing of the laws and journals of the present general assembly, and for other purposes; all of which originated in this House.

Also, that they had read a third time and passed, a resolution authorizing the tax collectors of Madison, Limestone and Lawrence counties, to pay into the Huntsville bank, the amount of taxes due from their respective counties; which originated in this House; and have amended the same, in which amendment, they desire the concurrence of this House.

Also, that they had read the third time and passed, an act to authorize the judge of the county court, and the commissioners of roads and revenue of Butler county, to levy an extra tax for building a court House and Jail for said county; which they have amended, and in which amendment they desire the concurrence of this House.

Also, that they insist on their disagreement to the amendment made by this House to the act to authorize the issuing of treasury notes, and to vest authority in the executive


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of this state, to apply a certain sum of money therein mentioned for the purpose of making such arrangements with the specie paying banks of this state, as may aid the credit and currency of the treasury notes; and, that they have appointed a committee on their part, to consist of Messrs. Casey, Lucas, Hogg and Elliott, to confer with such committee as may be appointed on the part of this House.

Ordered, that the House concur in the amendments made by the Senate to the following:

Resolution authorizing the tax collectors of Madison, Limestone and Lawrence to pay into the Huntsville bank, the amount of taxes due from their respective counties; and an act to authorize the judge of the county court and commissioners of roads and revenue of the county of Butler to levy an extra tax, for the purpose of building a court house and jail for said county.

A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Lyon, their secretary, informing this House, that they have read a third time and passed, a bill originating in this House, to be entitled an act supplementary to an act to establish a state University; to which they have made sundry amendments, in which they desire the concurrence of this House.

Ordered, that the House disagree to the amendment made by the Senate to the 14th section of said bill.

The amendments of the Senate were then further amended.

Mr. Moore moved, still, further to amend the said amendments of the Senate, by adding an additional section prescribing the oath to be taken by the trustees; which was adopted --- ayes 23, nays 20.

The yeas and nays being called for, those who voted in the affirmative, are

Messrs. Anderson, Ayers, Beene, Davis, Duckworth, Edmondson, Hardwicke, Holderness, Hopkins, Kennedy, Magoffin, Moore, Morton, McHenry, Pickett, Philpott, Perry, Skinner, Thompson, Vining, Weedon, Williams, Williamson.

Those who voted in the negative, are

Mr. Speaker, Allen, Armstrong, Bagby, Carr, Clay, Craig, Dabney, Dale, Evans, Elmore, Greening, Montgomery, Masterson, Miller, Martin, Norwood, Parham, Smith, Tagert.

The House then concurred in the rest of the amendments made by the Senate to said bill.

Ordered, that the amendments made by this House, to the amendments made by the Senate, to said bill be sent for their concurrence.


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A bill from the Senate to be entitled an act to amend an act entitled, an act to incorporate the town of Selma, in the county of Dallas; was read a first time and indefinitely postponed.

Ordered, that a committee be appointed on the part of this House, to meet and confer with the committee on the part of the Senate, on the disagreement of the Senate to the amendments made by this House to the bill to be entitled an act to authorize the issuing of treasury notes, and to vest authority in the Executive of this state, to apply a certain sum of money therein mentioned, for the purpose of making such arrangements with the specie paying banks of this State as may aid the credit and currency of the Treasury notes.

Whereupon, Messrs. Williams, Moore, Greening, and Martin, were appointed said committee.

The House then adjourned till half past 7 o'clock, this evening.

Half past seven.

A bill from the Senate to be entitled, an act altering and amending an act to form a sixth judicial circuit, and for other purposes; was read a first time and indefinitely postponed.

A bill from the Senate to be entitled, an act for the relief of Th. Eastin; was read a third time and passed --- ayes 27, nays 14.

The ayes and nays being called for, those who voted in the affirmative, are

Mr. Speaker, Anderson, Armstrong, Bagby, Carr, Clay, Crenshaw, Craig, Dale, Duckworth, Evans, Elmore, Greening, Graham, Kennedy, Magoffin, Moore, Pickett, Philpott, Parham, Skinner, Smith, Tagert, Thompson, Vining, Williams, Williamson.

Those who voted in the negative, are

Messrs. Allen, Ayers, Beene, Davis, Hardwicke, Holderness, Leake, Murrell, Masterson, Miller, McHenry, Norwood, Powell, Weedon.

Ordered, that the Senate be acquainted therewith.

Ordered, that a committee of two members be appointed to examine the accounts of the door keepers for stationary.

Whereupon, Messrs. Armstrong and Martin were appointed said committee.

A bill from the Senate to be entitled, an act making it the duty of the comptroller to issue printed warrants; was read a third time and indefinitely postponed.

A message was received from the Speaker by Mr. Lyon their secretary, informing this House, that they had read a


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third time and passed, the resolutions returning the thanks of this legislature to Jeremiah Austill, for his heroic exertions, during the late creek war, and particularly for his gallant conduct when in company with brevet brigadier general Dale, in the canoe action on the Alabama; which originated in this House.

Also, that they had read a third time and passed, an act making appropriations for the year 1822; which originated in this House, and which they have amended; in which amendment they desire the concurrence of this House.

Also, that they had read a third time and passed, and act originating in this House, to make appropriations for the payment of certain claims against the state; which they have amended; and in which amendments they desire the concurrence of this House.

Also, that they concur in the amendments made by this House, to their amendments, to the bill to be entitled, an act supplementary to the act to establish a State University.

Also, that they recede for their amendments to said bill; to which this House disagreed.

Ordered, that the House disagree to the amendment made by the Senate to the bill, to be entitled, an act to make appropriations for the payment of certain claims against the state.

A message was received was received from His Excellency, by Mr. Pleasants, secretary of state, informing this House, that he did on this day approve and sign, resolutions instructing our Senators and Representative in Congress, in relation to the census of this state,

An act to raise a revenue for the support of government for the year 1822.

An act for the relief of John Easley.

An act to abolish the fictitious proceedings in ejectment, and for other purposes therein mentioned.

Memorial to Congress on the subject of connecting the waters of the Tennessee river with those of the Alabama. An act to appoint commissioners, to lay out certain roads therein specified.

An act concerning jurors and for other purposes.

An act for the punishment of Malicious mischief.

An act to fix the permanent seat of justice for the county of Montgomery.

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An act to divorce Sarah M. Bracken from her husband James A. Bracken, in pursuant of the decree of the circuit court of Franklin county, exercising chancery jurisdiction.

An act to repeal in part, and amend an act entitled, an act to repeal in part and amend an act entitled, an act to regulate the proceedings in the courts of law and equity in this state, passed the 14th day of June, 1821.

An act to provide for assessing and collecting the taxes of this State.

An act to alter and amend the several acts now in force, organizing the militia of this State.

An act to extend the time for collecting the tax and making returns to the persons therein named.

And, an act to amend an act entitled an act to establish the temporary seat of justice in certain counties therein named; --- all of which originated in this House.

Ordered, that the House adjourn till to morrow morning eight o'clock.