The House met pursuant to adjournment.
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 Richard Rapier, administrators of Claiborne Mays, deceased, to sell a certain lot of land therein named.
An act to fix the temporary seat of justice in the county of Bibb: and,
An act to authorize William G. parish, David Johnston, Otis Dyer, Benjamin Clements and their associates to erect a toll bridge across the Black warrior river at the falls of the town of Tuskaloosa, and find the same truly enrolled.
Mr. Vining from the committee of claims to whom was referred the account of William Dunn, reported unfavourably to said account; Ordered, that the House concur in said report.
Mr. Weedon from the committee on inland navigation to whom was referred that part of His Excellency's message relating to the impediments to the navigation of the Tombeckbe and Alabama rivers, and their tributary streams, and to a communication between the waters of the Tennessee and Holston rivers and those of the Mobile bay, presented a report; which was received an concurred in.
Mr. Weedon from the same committee to whom was referred that part of His Excellency's message relating to the establishment of a Board of Improvement, reported a recommendation to this House of the establishment of said Board, and the appointment of a committee to draft a bill for that purpose. Ordered, that the House concur in said report.
Mr. Greening obtained leave to introduce a bill to be en-
titled, an act declaring Murder creek in the county of Conecuh, a navigable stream and for other purposes, which was read a first time, and Ordered for a second reading on Monday next.
A message from the Senate by Mr. Lyon their secretary, informing this House, that the Senate had read a third time and passed the following bills, which originated in this House, to wit:
An act authorizing the Intendant and Council of the lower part of Tuskaloosa, to erect a toll bridge across the Black warrior river; and,
An act authorizing John Rose to cut out and open a road from the town of Cahawba to Pinebarren creek, and receive toll for keeping it in repair.
Mr. Weedon obtained leave to introduce a bill to be entitled, an act to authorize the sale of the public land adjoining the town of Cahawba, which was read a first time, and, Ordered, for a second reading on Monday.
Mr. Tagert offered a resolution authorizing a poll, at the next general election to vote to amend the constitution so as to make the election for Senators, Representatives, Treasurer and Comptroller, biennial; which was ordered to lie on the table.
Mr. Bagby offered a bill to be entitled, an act to repeal in part and amend an act therein named; which was read a first time, and Ordered for a second reading on Monday.
On motion of Mr. Moore, the House took into consideration the bill to be entitled, an act for the relief of purchasers at the first sale of lots in the town of Cahawba. Ordered, that the House concur in the report of the committee of the whole on said bill. Mr. Moore moved to strike out the first section; which was decided in the negative --- yeas 21. nays --- 32. The yeas and nays being called for, those who voted in the affirmative, are
Messrs. Barclay, Beene, Clay, Davis, Edmondson, Evans, Fleming, Holderness, King, Leake, Murrell, Masterson, Miller, Moore, Morton, Martin, Powell, Philpott, Perry, Vining, Weedon --- 21.
Those who voted in the negative, are
Mr. Speaker, Allen, Anderson, Armstrong, Ayers, Bagby, Brown, Carr, Crenshaw, Craig, Dabney, Dale, Duckworth, Elmore, Fitzpatrick, Greening, Graham, Hardwicke, Hopkins, Jones, Kennedy, Montgomery, Magoflin, McHenry, Norwood, Parham, Skinner, Smith, Tagert, Thompson, Williams, Williamson --- 32.
Mr. Moore moved the following amendment to the first section of said bill:
And provided also, The right of transfer mentioned in this
act shall only extend to the purchasers or legal holders of any lot or lots actually owned in his own right at the time of the passage of this act; which was decided in the negative --- yeas 22, nays --- 31. The yeas and nays being called for, those who voted in the affirmative, are
Messrs. Armstrong, Barclay, Beene, Clay, Davis, Edmondson, Evans, Holderness, King, Leake, Murrell, Masterson, Miller, Moore, Morton, Martin, McHenry, Powell, Philpott, Perry, Vining, Weedon --- 22.
Those who voted in the negative, are
Mr. Speaker, Allen, Anderson, Ayers, Bagby, Brown, Carr, Crenshaw, Craig, Dabney, Dale, Duckworth, Elmore, Fitzpatrick, Fleming, Greening, Graham, Hardwicke, Hopkins, Jones, Kennedy, Montgomery, Magoflin, Norwood, Parham, Skinner, Smith, Tagert, Thompson, Williams, Williamson --- 31.
After the said bill was further amended, it was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading on Monday.
Bills from the Senate of the following titles, to wit:
An act to authorize administrators to sell real estate in certain cases.
An act to amend and repeal a part of the second section of an act to authorize the governor to dispose of the public arms of this state, passed on the 7th day of December, 1820;
And, an act supplementary to the several acts in relation to highways, bridges and ferries; were severally read a first time, and Ordered, to be read a second time on Monday next.
The following bills, to wit: An act to fix the time of convening the General Assembly of the state of Alabama; and, An act to alter the boundary line between the counties of Clark and Monroe; were severally read a third time, and passed; Ordered, that the titles be as aforesaid; Ordered, that the same be sent to the Senate.
A message from the Senate by Mr. Lyon their secretary informing this House, that the Senate had read a third time and passed, An act authorizing the administrator and administratrix of Thomas Talbert, deceased, to sell certain real estate; An act to amend an act giving jurisdiction to certain counties therein named; An act to establish a road therein named; An act to alter and extend the boundaries of Limestone county; and An act divorcing certain persons therein named; all of which originated in this House. And also, that they had passed a resolution to instruct our Senators and request our Representative in Congress, to use their exertions to procure the appropriation of the two per cent fund for the purpose of making roads in this state in conformity with the acts of admission; in which they desire the concurrence of this House; and also, that they recede from their
disagreement to the amendment made by the House of Representatives to the bill to be entitled, an act to appoint commissioners to lay out a certain road therein named.
A bill from the Senate to be entitled an act to amend an act entitled an act to reduce into one the several acts concerning strays, passed 21st December 1820 --- read a first time, and Ordered for a second reading on Monday next.
The Resolutions from the senate, to instruct the Senators and the Representatives of this State to use their exertions to cause the attention of Congress to be directed towards the practicability of connecting the waters of the Holston and Tennessee rivers with the waters of the Mobile river; were read a second time and Ordered to lie on the table.
A bill to be entitled an act to provide a speedy remedy against Banks failing to pay specie, and for other purposes, was read a second time, and Ordered to be committed to a committee of the whole House, and made the order of the day for Tuesday next.
A bill to be entitled an act to authorize William Crawford and company, of Franklin county, to build a mill and other water-works, on the Tennessee river, and for other purposes --- was read a third time and passed. Ordered, that the words "a bill to be entitled" be stricken out, and that said bill be sent to the Senate.
A bill to be entitled an act to establish certain counties therein named, and for other purposes, was read a second time; and committed to a committee of the whole House and made the order of the day for Monday next.
A bill to be entitled an act to amend the laws now in force in this State for the punishment of the crime of horse stealing --- was read a second time, and Ordered to be engrossed for a third reading on Monday next.
A bill to be entitled an act for the relief of John McShan of Jefferson county --- was read a second time and Ordered, to be engrossed for a third reading on Monday next.
Bills of the following titles, to wit:
An act to authorize the sale of certain lands therein named; and,
An act to establish the permanent seat of justice for the county of Shelby --- were severally read a second time, and Ordered to be engrossed for a third reading on Monday next.
A bill to be entitled an act to establish a public road from the Uchee bridge, in the creek nation to the United States
boundary line on Line creek, was read a second time, and Ordered, to lie on the table.
A bill to be entitled an act to define the power of the Judges of the Circuit Courts in this State, to fine and imprison persons on State prosecutions --- was read a first time and referred to a committee of the whole House, and made the order of the day for Monday next.
Mr. Greening offered the following resolution:
Resolved, that the judiciary committee be instructed to inquire into the expediency of altering the existing laws concerning bail; so that hereafter the leaving copy of the writ at the house of the defendant, in all suits in this State shall be deemed a legal service: Provided, no bail is endorsed on said write --- which was adopted.
A bill to be entitled an act reducing the fees of Sheriffs and Constables --- was read a second time, and referred to a select committee: Whereupon, Messrs. Craig and Vining were appointed said committee.
A bill to be entitled an act appointing commissioners to lay out a certain road therein designated.
Mr. McHenry offered the following amendment --- which was adopted to wit:
Section 3. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners aforesaid on making their report, shall return with the same their account for performing all the duties required of them by this act, which shall be regulated and fixed by the Legislature. Ordered, that the same be engrossed for a third reading on Monday next.
A bill to be entitled an act for the relief of Eugenio Campbell, tax collector of Lawrence county --- was read a second time, and Ordered to be referred to the committee on propositions and grievances.
A message from His Excellency the Governor, by Mr. Pleasants, the Secretary of State: ---
Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives,
The irregularity discovered in the returns of the elections of Justices of the Peace appears to require some legislative provision. These elections are generally to fill vacancies occasioned by the resignation, death or removal from the county of others who had filled the same office,
and sometimes by the formation of new military beats. --- The returns of these elections often omit to notice the nature of the vacancy, or the name of the preceding magis-
trate who has resigned, died or removed. Hence the Executive records will not exhibit with any degree of certainty the Justices acting in commission at any one time.
This defect will appear very essential, when it is considered how often it becomes the Executive duty to grant certificates of Magistracy.
Nor has any mode been provided for deciding contested elections for these offices.
In calling the attention of the Legislature to this subject, it may not be an improper occasion to suggest the inquiry. whether some change may not be expedient in the mode of appointing this important class of officers.
I am very sensible of the difficulty of devising any plan that may not be objectionable. That now existing in this State is liable to some serious objections. Judicial appointments of every grade should if possible, be so made as not to require the Candidate to enter into a popular canvass; and in elections on the scale, men of the greatest merit will not always press themselves into successful notice. It may also be remarked, that neither the jurisdiction nor the usefulness of this Magistrate is confined to the military beat which selects him. The whole county in interested in a judicious selection and ought to have some share in the appointment.
The mode which appears to me most advisable is the following:
Let a poll be kept annually at the general election in each county for five or more discreet persons --- these when elected to be a council or committee of appointment for the county. This council may be entrusted with the appointment not only of Justices, but also of Constables, Coroners, Notaries Public, Assessors, and Collectors of taxes County Treasurers and Clerks, (when officers of the last description may be constitutionally so chosen.) In case of a vacancy in any of these offices, the members of the council may be assembled at the office of the county clerk, for the purpose of filling it. Whose duty it may be made to keep a book for entry of appointments, and for noting resignations or other causes of vacancy. It may also be the duty of the clerk to administer and file the oaths of office, and enter a minute of the same on his book. For which service a small fee from the officer qualifying would answer as a compensation. It being the duty of the clerk to forward a certificate of all appointments requiring a commission
from the Governor, and also the resignations and other causes of vacancy.
This body may also perform the duties of commissioners of Revenue and Road.
In the appointment of the members of this council it is presumable the people would every where feel an interest that men of respectability and steadiness should be selected: and the office being altogether honorary it would not be deemed worth running after by those who would be unworthy of it.
I would also take this occasion to mention that very few of the offices of clerks of county or circuit courts are furnished with seals. It may be advisable to make some provision that these should be furnished out of the county funds, and to injoin this duty on the county Judge or some other officer.
I have the honor to be Your most obedient,
Ordered, that the same be referred to a select committee:
Whereupon, Messrs. Craig, Evans and Bagby are appointed said committee. Ordered, that seventy five copies be printed.
Ordered, That the House adjourn till Monday morning ten o'clock.