The Senate met pursuant to adjournment.
Mr. Garth, agreeably to notice, asked for and obtained leave to introduce a bill to be entitled, an act to prevent sheriffs and other officers from levying executions in certain cases; which was read the first time. Ordered, That said bill be read a second time on to-morrow.
On motion of Mr. Casey, the following resolution was adopted: Resolved, That a committee be appointed on the part of the Senate, to join such committee as may be appointed on the part of the House of Representatives to wait on His Excellency, ISRAEL PICKENS, and inform him that the two Houses have met and are ready to receive him for the purpose of administering the oaths of office to him. Whereupon, Messrs Casey, Rose and Chambers, were appointed a committee on the part of the Senate. Ordered, That the Secretary notify the
House of Representatives thereof, and desire their concurrence.
Mr. Davis gave notice, that he would, on to-morrow, ask for leave to introduce a bill to be entitled, an act to reduce the compensation of the members of the General Assembly.
On motion of Mr. Elliott, the Senate, according to the order of the day resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on His Excellency, the acting Governor's message, Mr. Garth in the chair; and after sometime spent therein, Mr. President resumed the chair, and Mr. Garth reported that the committee had according to order, had the message of His Excellency the acting Governor under consideration, and had made sundry references therein, but not having time to go through with the same, had instructed him to ask leave to sit again which was granted.
Mr. Hanby, agreeably to notice asked for and obtained leave to introduce a bill to be entitled an act to appoint commissioners to ascertain more correctly the boundary line between the counties of Jefferson and Blount which was read the first time. Ordered, That said bill be read a second time on to-morrow.
Mr. Lucas gave notice, that on Monday next he should ask for leave to introduce a bill to be entitled an act to establish a public road leading from Russellville, Franklin county, into a road called Baler's road.
Message form the House of Representatives, by Mr. Hardwicke:
Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Senate: I am directed to inform
your honourable body, that the House of Representatives are now ready to receive you in the Representative hall, in order to administer the oaths of office to His Excellency, ISRAEL PICKENS. Whereupon, the members of the Senate repaired to the hall of the House of Representatives and having taken their seats. His Excellency, ISRAEL PICKENS appeared; and Mr. Speaker administered to him the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the State; and also, by an act entitled, "an act to suppress duelling" after which His Excellency, the Governor arose and addressed both Houses, as follows, to wit:
Gentlemen--- In approaching the station assigned me by my fellow citizens, it becomes my first obligation of feeling and of duty, to acknowledge the grateful sense with which I am impressed of this valued testimony of their confidence. I am compelled, at the same time to own my apprehensions, that owning as well to my own inadequacy as to the difficulties connected with our present situation. I may not be able to discharge the functions of the dignified office to which I am called, agreeably to the public expectation. I find however a source of animation in that confidence which I feel in the virtuous patriotism of our citizens; and which is peculiar to communities whose systems like our own, are founded on the fair basis of equal liberty; where the interest of the state is identified by that of each individual. This noble principle growing out of the intimate connexion here subsisting between the people and their government, and cherished by their interests and affections, furnishes the most effectual remedy for the defects incident to all human institutions, and also for the weakness of those who administer them.
Relying, therefore, on the aid of that public virtue, which I believe to characterize this free and enlightened community, no exertion of my feeble powers shall be wanting to promote the order, prosperity and happiness of the State.
If any people have inducements to value these, the citizens of Alabama should feel their fullest force. Although the period is far distant when we shall aspire to a pre-eminence among our sisters, on the political scale of the union, few of them are more enviable for those natural advantages that may render a people prosperous and happy--- few indeed, afford a more pleasing exhibition of progressive improvement from their primitive state of wilderness. The fairest portion of our territory and even the spot where we are assembled, was but yesterday unknown as the residence of civilized man. The prospects which mature alone presented, have successfully invited a respectable order of emigration and filled our forest with the improvements of good society. Already do we felicitate ourselves on our political advancement to a full membership in the great family of American States--- enriched by the Federal Union, which presents to other nations, the exterior aspect of a solid and powerful empire respected abroad for its resources and for its moral and physical capacity, while it reflects on the local governments composing it, the blessings of liberty, security, and independence, yielding to us the right as a distinct sovereignty, of securing our happiness by law suited to our condition; for maintaining social order administering justice and cultivating the natural advantages lying within
our reach. In these we have not been treated with an illiberal hand. They are every where exhibited in the varieties of soil, of surface and climate, which diversify the several regions, from the sea board to the mountains, and qualify them for various and valuable productions; and in the numerous navigable channels which checker over the whole face of the county.
These like most natural gifts will derive much of their value from a proper cultivation, and none of them are more deserving public attention and improvement, than the streams and land communications especially in such directions as to facilitate the intercourse between the extremes, and draw them closer by a more intimate community of interests. Those points presenting themselves first in order, where the greatest practical benefits can be effected with the smallest means a liberal and impartial distribution of the funds applicable to these purposes, being required by a just regard to the interests of our citizens, in the different sections of the state. This will have a most happy moral effect in maintaining a harmonious and disinterested feeling among us: than which, nothing can contribute more substantially to the prosperity of any community. Here it is worthy of remark that the geography of no state presents a country more happily united in interest, so far as this is attested by mutuality of situation and similarity of pursuits. We may indeed be divided by imaginary land marks, formed by evil and designing counsels; but it is hoped, the good sense and liberal sentiments of our citizens are sufficient to resist an influence, so destructive of the public good.
A liberal and disinterested policy will best serve to avoid political schism, and call in requisition the united talents of the country: in which condition only, can the moral power of the state present a solid and imposing forms otherwise all the talents necessary to compose an enlightened and consistent government may be neutralized by division. Measures and men will alike be weighed in the false scales of prejudice and passion. And notwithstanding all that intelligence for which our population has been complimented at home and abroad, our measures may be characterized by weakness and folly. At no period will this subject impress itself upon our attention more properly than at present. Our political association is now forming. The materials which compose it, are promiscuously thrown together from various directions bringing into contact their respective prepossessions for the doctrines made clear by early education, and hence we must expect same diversity of sentiments and want of mutual confidence; which can only be connected by a more mature acquaintance, and mutual conciliation.
It is a subject of just concern, that any serious difficulties should have been presented thus early in our political progress and before our government had assumed its permanent organization, and that our constitution should have been susceptible in one of its important provisions, of a difference of construction so irreconcilable as to result in an entire omission to apportion the representative of either member of the legislative branch; one, or both which were unquestionably required by the constitution, involving us in a situation to afford grounds of cavil
with some, and possibly of honest doubt with others, as to the legitimate existence of the legislative department and virtually of the whole government.
In the slight notice of which this part of the subject is worthy, it is deemed worse than idle to enter on the field of controversy, so often and fruitlessly beaten. The old questions canvassed upon it, are deemed to be now settled and for ever to be at rest. It is but common charity to allow to all parties to the dispute, the credit of sincerity; and to attribute the unfortunate result, to that necessity arising from the varying operations of the human judgment, which may sometimes be as unavoidable as the act of God, or of a public enemy. Is it to be seriously supposed that our constitution, formed as a permanent rule for regulating the several departments of power in the state, as well in periods of commotion, as of tranquillity, is of such brittle texture, as to be broken down, or even interrupted by such casualties; whether produced by imperious necessity or even by the voluntary default of one, or of all the departments combined?
Permanency is one of the professed objects of the state as well as federal constitutions. The preambles of both instruments point expressly to posterity as an object of their concern. The power of self preservation, as it is the first care of every government, is an inherent principle in ours; it must be called into action whenever among the vicisaitudes of human affairs--- the emergency shall require it, and must be regarded in every construction of the constitution, where it shall become necessary. This compact, like all others, can only be dissolved by the assent of all the parties to it; the people of the state on the one part & the national government on the other. Forming a member of the confederacy, our co-operation is required as a constituent part of the nation. We have not the power of disqualifying ourselves even temporarily for that function.
It is true, that with this special exception, the people of the state have in every difficulty a redeeming control over their government. This may be exercised by acquiescence in the existing state of operation as the most convenient course, until the more regular organization can be effected: or, if the magnitude of the occasion require it, they may rise in the majesty of their power and resolve it into its original elements, at the same instant re-organizing it under any modification not inconsistent with their federal obligation.
No resort to this last extremity has been deemed advisable by any portion of our citizens. They have as by unanimous impulse chosen the present representative body to co-operate with the existing Senate, informing this General Assembly.
Here it may be remarked, that however exactly our republican systems may be balance, public sentiment will be found at last to direct them; and, that sentiment imbued with public virtue, the direction will be glorious and happy.
While our situation and prospects are passing under review, we are compelled to notice the pecuniary difficulties that have visited with us their enervating influence, and cramped every branch of active indus-
try. To unite in obtaining relief from these evils, we are invited by every consideration of private interest and public duty. Through there have to some extent, the same origin every where in that bad economy which creates an excess of foreign consumption, beyond the amount realized from exported productions. Yet additional causes are found in other circumstances peculiarly affecting us. The most obvious consents in that drain of sound currency which is formed by the extensive sales of public lands; or more correctly speaking, by the prevailing spirit of speculation which had appreciated them so far above their value. This has checked the current of emigration which the encouraging prospects of our country had for a season so successfully invited: and has withheld a large portion of our soil from culture. The same infatuating spirit had diverted most of our solid capital from other useful channels, and left the community incumbered with debts, without a wholesome currency sufficient to discharge them.
In a most interesting portion of the state, a depreciated medium has filled the general circulation; clogging private engagements with distrust, and infecting with unsoundness the revenue of the state; that necessary support of public faith. While some other states experiencing similar embarrassments have not the means of relief within their reach, we are without any excuse for this wretched state of insolvency, in a want of productive resources. Our chief staple production will always command its current value, in specie or its equivalent. The crop of a single year thus realized, which cannot be estimated at less value tan two millions, would fill our circulation with a wholesome medium, ample for all our purposes. A reform is demanded by a regard to our individual interest, as well as to the character of the state and this reform to be beneficial, must be radical, extending to the sources of the evil; any thing short of this will only nurse its growth. The community can very soon prepare itself for the exclusion from circulation of a depreciated paper currency, by refusing it in payment for their commodities. If in addition to this, a prudent retrenchment of expenditure on foreign articles, be observed, the desires end, will at once, be accomplished.
I am sensible that in effecting this desirable change, depending so materially on individual economy, some efforts will be required to produce the necessary concert of action. It is however believed that a prudent course of public measures, furnishing the means and pointing directly to the expediency of such a change as well as the danger of avoiding it seconded also by the precept and example of the true and viruous, will communication such a tone to public sentiment, as will go for towards the purpose in view. And so long as the drain of sound currency occasioned by the sale of the National lands shall be kept open, a corresponding exertion of public and private economy will especially be required.
In anticipation of more favourable prospects to our county, we have such ground of felicitation in that relief which has been extended by the General Government to a class of its debtors, embracing the greatest portion of our state. This will no doubt add an impulse to the spirit
of industry; and by the observance of economy improved by the salutary lessons of experience, we may renew our advances in the road to prosperity.
In this act of national benificence, (in effecting which our fellow citizens in the opposite extreme of the nation united their liberal and disinterested influence;) we have renewed cause for feeling stronger the affectionate relation in which we stand to the Federal Union, not identified by Geographical boundaries.
In contemplating the recent national transactions peculiarly affecting us, we cannot omit to notice with much interest, the accession of Territory in our neighborhood, which has drawn a strongly defined natural boundary around the Southern frontier of the Union. We view this measure as tending greatly to our security, and calculated to add to our commercial advantage.
Among the means that may contribute to the improvement of the social state, the education of youth has ever held a conspicuous place in the estimation of the wise and virtuous; and with more eminent propriety should this be the case, in a country whose government and laws are founded on the popular will, and are to be viewed as the reflected image of the wisdom and virtue of the people. On this score we have a valuable charge in trust for the present and for future generations. The endowments in our lands for this purpose are ample, and by being prudently husbanded, will prove a permanent resource for furnishing within ourselves the rudiments of useful learning It should ever be the policy of those who may administer our affairs, to regard this fund as sacred to its purposes.
In the best improvement of the many advantages which Heaven has thrown before us, it is devoutly hoped that providence may so inspire those who shall successively conduct the destinies of our infant state, as that the objects of our constitution may be happily realized, in securing the blessings of liberty and free government, to ourselves & our posterity.
On motion of Mr. Chambers, the Senate according to order, resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on the message of his Excellency, the acting Governor, Mr. Garth in the chair; and after some time spent therein, Mr. President resumed the chair, and Mr. Garth reported, that the committee of the whole had according to order, had the message of his Excellency the Governor, and the subjects therein contained, under consideration and beg leave to propose the adoption of the following resolutions:
Resolved, That so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to the University lands, be referred to the committee on school and University lands.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message, as relates to the Huntsville bank, be referred to a select committee. Whereupon, Messrs. Casey, Elliott and McVay, were appointed and committee.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to the establishment of a circulating medium and to the instance of bills of credit be referred to a select committee. Whereupon, Messrs. Elliott, Lucas and Trotter, were appointed said committee.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to the modification of the charter of the state bank, be referred to the committee on the judiciary.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to the establishment of a court of chancery, be referred to the committee on the judiciary.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to the relief of purchasers of public lands, be referred to a select committee, with leave to report by memorial or otherwise
Whereupon, Messrs. Elliott, Hanby and Conner, were appointed and committee.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to the sale of lots in the town of Cahawba, be referred to a select committee: Whereupon, Messrs. Dennis, Garth and Casey, were appointed said committee.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency the Governor's message as relates to the correspondence between the Governor's of this state and the state of Mississippi upon the subject of the accounts existing between said states; be referred to the committee on claims.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to sundry resolutions of the Legislature of the state of Ohio, upon the subject of the proceedings of the bank of the United States, be referred to a select committee. Whereupon, Messrs. Gause, Hogg, and Lanier, were appointed said committee.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to the establishment of a state University, be referred to the committee on school and University lands.
Resolved, that so much of his Excellency, the Governor's message as relates to the memorial of certain Chickasaw Indians, be referred to the committee on the judiciary. All of which were severally read and adopted.
Mr. Casey presented the petition of sundry purchasers of lots in the town of Cahawba, praying an extension of the time of payment for lots purchased in said town; which was read, and on motion, referred to the select committee appointed on that part of his Excellency, the Governor's message which relates to the sale of lots in said town.
Mr. Dennis, called up the bill to be entitled, an at to regulate and establish justices courts within this state; which was read the first time.
Ordered, that said bill be read a second time on to morrow.
Mr. McVay gave notice that on to morrow he would ask for leave to introduce a bill to be entitled, an act to compel plaintiffs to give security for costs, in all suits hereafter to be brought in this state.
Mr. Lucas presented the petition of sundry citizens of Franklin county, praying the establishment of a turnpike road; which was read, and on motion, referred to the committee on roads, bridges and ferries.
Mr. Hanby gave notice that on Monday next, he would ask for leave to introduce a bill, to reduce the fees of justices of the peace and constables.
On motion the Senate adjourned till to morrow morning 9 o'clock.