Tuesday, December 4, 1821.

Mr. Fitzpatrick from the committee of propositions and grievances to whom was referred the petition of sundry inhabitants of Blount, praying a law to fix the set of justice for said county, reported thereon; in which the House concurred.

Mr. Fitzpatrick from the same committee to whom was referred the petition of Matthew D. Thomason, Reported unfavourably to the prayer of the petitioner.

A message was received from the Governor by Mr. Pleasants, secretary of state, informing this House, that he did on the third instant approve and sign the following acts:

An act supplementary to an act entitled an act for the collection of monies due this state, and for other purposes, passed December 16, 1820.

An act appointing commissioners to lay out a certain road therein designated; and,


137

An act to allow compensation to William Dunn, for examining the Blackwarrior river.

Mr. Vining from the select committee to whom was referred the petition of Henry Scales, administrator of John Watt, deceased, reported a bill to be entitled, an act to authorize the administrator of John Watt, deceased, to sell certain real estate therein named; which was read a first time, and Ordered to be read a second time to morrow.

Resolutions to requires our Senators and Representative in Congress to use their exertions to procure an appropriation for treating with the Creek and other nations of Indians, relative to the cession of certain parts of their territory; were read a third time, and ordered to lie on the table.

A bill to be entitled, an act to regulate the mode of taking appeals to the supreme court, was read a second time, and ordered to be committed to a committee of the whole House, and be made the order of the day for to morrow.

A bill to b entitled, an act authorizing Elisha Thomas and Davis Gurley and their associates, to turnpike a certain road therein named, was read a third time.

Mr. Parham moved to fill the blank allowing compensation to the commissioners for viewing the road, with "three dollars and seventy five cents;" which was decided in the negative --- ayes 23, nays 28.

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

Messrs. Allen, Armstrong, Bagby, Clay, Davis, Duckworth, Evans, Elmore, Fleming, Hardwicke, Holderness, Moore, Martin, Pickett, Powell, Philpott, Perry, Parham, Tagert, Vining, Weedon, Williams, Williamson --- 23.

Those who voted in the negative, are

Mr. Speaker, Anderson, Ayers, Barclay, Beene, Brown, Carr, Crenshaw, Craig, Dabney, Edmondson, Graham, Hopkins, Jones, Kennedy, King, Leake, Montgomery, Magoffin, Murrell, Masterson, Miller, Morton, McHenry, Norwood, Smith, Skinner, Thompson --- 28.

Mr. Craig moved to fill the blank in the 6th section giving an exclusive privilege to the sad proprietors to keep the said road as a turnpike, with "twelve;" which was decided in the negative --- ayes 23, nays 27.

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

Mr. Speaker, Anderson, Ayers, Beene, Brown, Crenshaw, Craig, Dabney, Edmondson, Hardwicke, Kennedy, King, Leake, Montgomery, Magoffin, Murrell, Matterson, Morton, Norwood, Parham, Skinner, Smith, Tagert --- 23.

Those who voted in the negative, are,

Messrs. Allen, Armstrong, Bagby, Barclay, Carr, Clay, Davis, Duck-

12*


138

worth, Evans, Elmore, Fleming, Holderness, Hopkins, Jones, Miller, Moore, Martin, McHenry, Pickett, Powell, Philpott, Perry, Thompson, Vining, Weedon, Williams, Williamson, --- 27.

Mr. Craig moved to fill the said blank with "eleven" --- which was decided in the negative. Ayes 23, nays 27.

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

Mr. Speaker, Anderson, Ayers, Beene, Brown, Crenshaw, Craig, Dabney, Edmondson, Hardwick, Kennedy, King, Leake, Montgomery, Magoffin, Murrell, Masterson, Morton, Norwood, Parham, Skinner, Smith, Tagert, --- 23.

Those who voted in the negative are,

Messrs. Allen, Armstrong, Bagby, Barclay, Carr, Clay, Davis, Duckworth, Evans, Elmore, Fleming, Holderness, Hopkins, Jones, Miller, Moore, Martin, McHenry, Pickett, Powell, Philpott, Perry, Thompson, Vining, Weedon, Williams, Williamson, --- 27.

Mr. Craig moved to fill the said blank with "eight and nine months" --- which was decided in the negative, Ayes 21, nays 29.

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

Messrs. Anderson, Ayers, Beene, Brown, Carr, Crenshaw, Craig, Dabney, Edmondson, Hardwicke, Kennedy, King, Montgomery, Magoffin, Murrell, Masterson, Norwood, Parham, Skinner, Smith, Tagert, --- 21.

Those who voted in the negative, are

Mr. Speaker, Allen, Armstrong, Bagby, Barclay, Clay, Davis, Duckworth, Evans, Elmore, Fleming, Holderness, Hopkins, Jones, Leake, Miller, Moore Morton, Martin, McHenry, Pickett, Powell, Philpott, Perry, Thompson, Vining, Weedon, Williams, Williamson, --- 29.

The blank was then filled with "eight." The question was then put, shall this bill pass? and decided in the affirmative. Yeas 28, nays 22.

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

Mr. Speaker, Allen, Anderson, Ayers, Beene, Carr, Crenshaw, Craig, Dabney, Davis, Duckworth, Edmondson, Elmore, Fitzpatrick, Jones, Kennedy, Leake, Montgomery, Magoffin, Murrell, Masterson, Morton, Martin, McHenry, Norwood, Skinner, Smith, Tagert, --- 28.

Those who voted in the negative, are

Messrs. Armstrong, Bagby, Barclay, Evans, Fleming, Greening, Graham, Hardwicke, Holderness, Hopkins, Miller, Moore, Pickett, Powell, Philpott, Perry, Parham, Thompson, Vining, Weedon, Williams, Williamson --- 22.

Ordered, That the words "A bill to be entitled," be stricken out. Ordered, That the same be sent to the Senate for their concurrence.

A message was received from the Senate by Mr. Lyon, their secretary informing this House, that they had read the third time, and passed the following bills; which originated in this House, to wit:


139

An act to amend an act entitled an act to incorporate the Indian Creek Navigation Company;

An act to regulate the mode of issuing grants and patents in this State; and

An act legalizing the sales of certain lands and lots therein named, and for other purposes.

Also that they had read a third time and passed.

An act authorizing a lottery for the benefit of building an academy in the town of Montgomery;

An act more effectually to enforce the acts of the General Assembly of the 21st December, and of June the 14th, 1821, in relation to roads within this State; and

An act supplementary to the several acts in relation to wills, intestates and guardians. In all of which they desire the concurrence of this House.

Also, that they had read a third time and passed, a bill to be entitled an act to alter and amend the militia laws of this State, which originated in this House, and to which they had made sundry amendments; in which amendments they desire the concurrence of this House.

The House then amended the amendment of the Senate by striking out the word "be," in the 8th section of said amendment. Ordered, That the Senate be requested to concur in said amendment. Ordered, That this House concur in the balance of said amendments.

Mr. Bagby from the committee of the whole House, to whom was referred the bill to be entitled an act to provide for assessing and collecting the revenue of this State, reported the said bill with sundry amendments.

Mr. Masterson moved, that the House disagree to the amendment made by the committee to the first section of said bill, which was decided in the negative. Ayes 21 --- Nays 30.

The Ayes and Nays being called for, those who voted in the affirmative, are

Messrs. Allen, Armstrong, Ayers, Bagby, Clay, Craig, Duckworth, Edmondson, Hardwicke, Hopkins, King, Murell, Masterson, Miller, Martin, Powell, Philpott, Perry, Vining, Weedon, Williamson.

Those who voted in the negative, are

Mr. Speaker, Anderson, Barclay, Beene, Carr, Crenshaw, Davis, Evans, Elmore, Fitzpatrick, Fleming, Greening, Graham, Holderness, Jones, Kennedy, Leake, Montgomery, Magoffin, Moore, Morton, McHenry, Norwood, Pickett, Parham, Skinner, Smith, Tagert, Thompson, Williams.

The House then concurred in the balance of the amendments. The bill was then further, amended, and Ordered to be engrossed for a third reading tomorrow.


140

The House then resolved itself into a committee of the whole House, Mr. Williams in the chair, on the bill to be entitled an act to raise a revenue for the support of government, for the year 1822; and after sometime spent therein, the committee rose, reported progress, and obtained leave to sit again.

The House then adjourned till four o'clock this evening.

Evening Session.

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

An act to authorize the executor of Joseph Phillips, deceased, to sell and transfer certain certificates of land therein named;

An act to establish certain counties therein named, and for other purposes;

An act supplementary to an act entitled an act to suppress duelling, passed 17th December, 1819:

An act for the relief of Eugenio Campbell, tax collector of Lawrence county;

An act to regulate the mode of issuing grants and patents in this State; and,

An act to amend an act entitled an act to incorporate the Indian Creek Navigation company: all of which they find truly enrolled.

An engrossed bill to be entitled "an act to establish an academy in the town of Sparta, and for other purposes," was read a third time and passed. Ordered, That the title be as aforesaid. Ordered, That the same be sent to the Senate for their concurrence.

Mr. Bagby from the select committee to whom was referred a bill to be entitled, an act permitting Merchants, Shopkeepers, Tradesmen, Physicians and Apothecaries, to prove their books of accounts, Reported a substitute therefor; which was read a second time, and Ordered to be engrossed for a third reading to morrow.

An engrossed bill to be entitled, an act to incorporate the town of Vernon in the county of Autauga, was read a third time and passed; Ordered, that the title be as aforesaid.

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

A communication from His Excellency was received by Mr. Pleasants, in the following words:


141

Executive Department, Cahawba, December 4, 1821.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

I herewith return to the House of Representatives the bill originating in that House entitled, "an act to incorporate the Murder creek Navigation Company."

The reason for not having approve the bill is, that an obvious inaccuracy appears on the second section; and which may either afford doubt in its construction, or render the whole inoperative. The following provision in that which appears defective:

"And be it further enacted, That the same of six thousand dollars shall be divided into twelve hundred shares of fifty dollars each," &c.

This defect I doubt not was inadvertently occasioned.

ISRAEL PICKENS.

The following communication was also received from His Excellency;

Executive Department, Cahawba, Dec. 4, 1821.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

I have received a letter from William C. Watson, Esq. who was appointed a judge of the county court of Henry county, declining the acceptant of said office.

ISRAEL PICKENS.

The following communication was also received form His Excellency:

Executive Department, December 4, 1821.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

While a small portion of your time will be necessarily occupied in improving the militia laws, I think it proper to suggest several obvious defects, which appear to require amendment.

1. Courts martial for trying contested elections of general officers are required to be detained from the same divisions or brigades. Those persons must necessarily compose the tribunal who will most likely participate in the prejudices usual on such occasions. Besides, should a decision to be sanctioned, owing to legality of detail, or other proper cause, there may be some difficulty in detailing a new court from the same, brigade or division, especially in procuring officers of high rank to compose it.

2. The law requires the trial and proceedings of such


142

courts to be conducted under a solemn oath of secrecy; although in the decision of a disputed election, not one of those prudential reasons apply, which require secrecy in the usual duties of military courts, where the character or conduct of an officer is generally implicated.

Nothing contributes so much to fair investigation, as open public trials; to say nothing of the demoralizing tendency of unnecessary oaths and the consequent liability to inadvertent violations of them.

3. In the 38th section of our militia law of December, 1820, "The rules and articles for the government of the armies of the United States," are adopted as a part of our military government, when any portion of our militia may be on public service. The 65th article of those rules and articles, as well as universal usage under them, subjects every decision of court martial to the revision of the officer ordering it, or the officer highest in command. Yet the terms uses in the 8th section of our militia act, are not without susceptibility of doubt, whether this right of revision is taken from the Executive as commander in chief in decisions of contested elections. The law should be made clear in this particular for the determination of decisions that may hereafter occur. Any cases however, that may be presented, whether involved in doubt or not, will met that determination which will be the result of mature reflection in the law existing, when it has occurred.

4. It is also worth of consideration, whether an annual review of all the regiments in the state by the adjutant general would not insure a more uniform system of discipline, a better organization of our body of Militia, as well as a greater punctuality in obtaining returns, and at the same time more economy in expense than the present system.

ISRAEL PICKENS.

Ordered, that the said communication be referred to the military committee.

The House resolved itself into a committee of the whole House again, on the bill to be entitled, an act to raise a revenue for the support of government for the year 1822; and after some time spent therein, the committee rose, and Mr. Williams obtained leave to report on tomorrow.

The House then adjourned.