Tuesday, December 12th, 1826.

The House met pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. Pickens presented the petition of Wm. B. Allen, praying the passage of a law allowing him additional compensation as late public printer of this state; which was read, and referred to a select committee, consisting of  Messrs. Greening, Parham, Weissinger, Harris and Pickens.

Mr. Raney presented the petition of John McMasters, praying the passage of a law remunerating him for timbers furnished for building a causeway; which was read, and referred to the committee on roads, bridges and ferries.

Mr. Williams presented the memorial of sundry citizens of the town of Tuscaloosa, praying the passage of a law to incorporate a Library Company the name and style of the Tuscaloosa Library Company;  which was read and referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. Williams, Perkins, Ellis, Whitfield and Smith of La.

Mr. Moore of Mad. presented the petition of the judge of the county court and commissioners of roads and revenue of Madison county, praying an alteration in the laws relative to paupers;  which was read, and referred to the committee on propositions and grievances.

Mr. Edmondson, from the committee on roads, bridges and ferries, to which was referred sundry resolutions on the subject of roads, bridges and ferries, reported a bill to be entitled an act to reduce into one the several acts concerning roads, bridges, ferries and highways; which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

Mr. Coleman, from the select committee to which was referred the communication of the Secretary of State, transmitting the bonds and obligations executed by the citizens and owners of property in the town of Tuscaloosa, to secure the titles to lots and lands in the corporate limits of said town, to be conveyed as a donation to the State of Alabama, beg leave respectfully to omit the following Report---


102

Your committee are of opinion that the following bonds or writings obligatory, to wit, John Spencer, William Marr, John J. Webster, Charles Lewen, Thomas Emond and Hardin Perkins, are absolutely void, as they were given under express stipulation that the legislature of 1825 should locate the seat of government in particular and specified parts of the town of Tuscaloosa, which conditions have not been carried into effect by said legislature, inasmuch as the location of the seat of government in the said town was not confined to any particular section of the same, but was general and co-extensive with its entire limits. Your committee further represent, that they are of opinion, that the remaining bonds, or writings obligatory, to wit, R Inge and others, H. W. Collier and others, Thomas Mitchell and H. W. Collier, not subject to the above exceptions, are nevertheless of no legal avail, inasmuch as they were offered as an inducement to the General Assembly to perform certain legislative acts therein specified, which said attempt to influence the decisions of the legislature your committee conceive were contrary to public policy. Your committee are also of opinion, that it is important to the General Assembly to know precisely what dependence may be placed upon said donations, and that no movements of the legislature ought to be made either in approaching said property for the building of a Capitol, in disposing of the same in any other way, until full and ample time be made for the same to the State of Alabama; or the makers be placed under legal obligations to effect the same in a certain specified time. Your committee beg leave therefore to recommend the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolved, That a committee of three members be appointed on the part of this House, to act with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the Senate, whose duty it shall be to receive any title deed or deeds, and to lay the same before this General Assembly which the citizens of Tuscaloosa, or any one or more thereof, or any other person, may be disposed to make to any donation or donations to the state of Alabama, to be applied to the building of a State Capitol and other public buildings.

Ordered, that said report lie on the table until tomorrow.

Mr. Williams offered the following resolution: Resolved, that the committee to which was referred the communications of the Secretary of State in relation to the donations made by the citizens of Tuscaloosa to the State, be further instructed to inquire and to ascertain the true value of the amount of said property, and to receive any continuances that may be deemed necessary to complete or secure the title of the same. Ordered, That said resolution lie on the table until tomorrow.

Mr. Davis of Fr. from the military committee, to which was referred a bill to be entitled an act to divide the 26th regiment of Alabama militia, reported the same without amendment.

Mr. Bridges offered the following amendment: "And be it further enacted, that the field officers of the 15th regiment be, and they hereby authorized to organize a militia company in the Choctaw


103

ner settlement in Wilcox county, to consist of a less number of privates than is now required by law to constitute a militia company;" which was carried. The bill was then read a second time as amended, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.

Mr. Acklen presented the account of Robert Caruthers, jailor of Madison county, which was read, and referred to the committee on accounts.

Mr. Moore of Mad. from the select committee to which was referred the petition of Rebecca Layman and others, reported a bill to be entitled an act to authorize Ebenezer Byram to sell a certain tract of land on the terms and conditions therein mentioned; which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

Mr. McVay of Lau. obtained leave to introduce a bill to be entitled an act to amend an act entitled an act to incorporate the town of Florence, in the state of Alabama; which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

A message from the Governor by James I. Thornton, Secretary of State-- and then he withdrew. The said message is as follows:

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Dec. 12, 1826.

The Hon. the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives:

Gentlemen -- The communication which I had the honor to lay before you at the commencement of your present session, only presented in general terms the difficulties to which the Bank of the State of Alabama might be exposed in consequence of the location of a Branch of the Bank of the United States in our principal commercial city.   I now take the liberty, but with great deference, to submit such measures of security as have been suggested by long and most anxious reflection on a subject involving so many important considerations. The State has an opportunity, under the charter of the Mobile Bank to subscribe $100,000 of the authorized capital, and this amount the Bank is required to reserve for the state for a period of ten years.  This subscription should it be made, will be employed in the usual commercial and transaction business of that institution, and will tend greatly to accumulate at that commanding point, the means necessary to sustain the circulation of the local Banks. The remaining part of the capital, with such increase as the present exigency may require, can be employed at the seat of government, and some favorable point in the Valley of the Tennessee. The establishment of an Office of Discount and Deposite in that pat of the state, would only increase the means by which any annoyance of a hostile or conflicting institution might be averted, or rendered perfectly harmless. Much opportunity would be then given to deal in exchange or other business paper.

The Bank at the seat of government might transact partly accommodation and partly commercial business. The office in the Tennessee Valley might be conducted on the same principles, and more or less of the one kind or the other business at both places might be done, as the perfect preservation of the good credit of the Bank would seem to direct.  We should thus place ourselves in a situation to occupy the whole ground of commercial transaction from which our Bank must continue to derive most of its security, at least during the crisis which may be now approaching; and still we shall prosecute our original purpose, which consulted the convenience of the people wherever it could be done without sacrifice of our principal objects. The main care at present ought not to be to realize large profits,  but content with


104

such gains as will give us good interest on the public funds, to sustain by accumulated and precautionary munitions, the security of our general operations. It is not deemed necessary to give these views in minute detail. We cannot be endangered by subdivision of our capital when we enlarge the theatre from which we must derive our defensive resources.

I beg leave also to recommend that a memorial be addressed to the Congress of the United States, that the Secretary of the Treasury should be directed, whenever land is offered for sale in this state, to advise the government of the different kinds of funds which would suit the convenience of the United States, and which might enable this State to redeem its paper before it would be transmitted from the land offices established among us to the Branch of the Bank of the United States.   If the State should be able to redeem, with as little intervention of delay as is usual in the transmission of such funds, it is difficult to conceive that any objection would be made tot he application.

The Bank of the State is founded upon solid capital, entrusted to the management of those who must principally suffer by its misdirection; and inviting the confidence of others by the most express and inviolable pledges of public faith. Under these circumstances, it cannot be doubted that the State has the power, as it is bound in duty, to sustain its operations.

In difficult conjunctures, bold, or at least decisive, measures are usually found to be most conductive to safety. I would also beg leave to suggest,  that an increase of the capital of the Bank, to any extent which our means, and due attention to other objects will permit, would afford facilities at the present moment to preserve the interest and credit of the State Bank, and, by necessary connexion of advantage and security, the other monied institutions would be equally benefited; All which is most respectfully submitted.

I have the honor to be, your ob't serv't,

JOHN MURPHY.

Ordered, that so much of the said message as relates to the State's having an opportunity, under the charter of the Mobile Bank, to subscribe, $100,000 of the authorized capital be referred to a select committee, to which is referred a resolution to inquire into and report to this House, at what point or place a Branch of the Bank of the State of Alabama could be established best calculated to protect and support the mother institution: and that so much thereof as relates to the establishment of an Office of Discount and Deposite in the Tennessee Valley, be referred to the select committee to which was referred a resolution on that subject: and that so much thereof as relates to memorializing the Congress of the United States on the subject of the sales of public lands, &c.  be referred to a select committee- Whereupon Messrs. Greening, Lewis, Terry, McClung and Acklen were appointed said committee.

Mr. Martin obtained leave to introduce a bill to be entitled an act to authorize Edward Sims and his associates to open a turnpike road therein named; which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

A communication from Charles Lewin, proposing to sell Lots No. 241 and 242 in the town of Tuskaloosa, as the site to locate the Capitol of the state, which was read, and laid on the table.

Mr. Rhodes presented the account of Josiah Evans, which was read and referred to the committee on accounts.


105

Mr. Moore of Jack. moved to amend the rule No. 19 in the following manner: “And provided further, that any question which requires two thirds of the votes given to carry it in the affirmative, any number under two thirds in the affirmative shall be considered the minority; and any number exceeding one third in the negative shall be considered a majority on all motions for reconsideration; which was lost. Mr. Exum obtained leave to bring in a bill to be entitled an act prescribing the punishment of vagrants; which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

Mr. Walthall, who voted in the majority, moved to reconsider a vote given on the passage of an engrossed bill to be entitled an act amendatory of an act prescribing the mode of executing original process; which was carried. The bill was then referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. Crenshaw, Walthall, Acklen & McClung.

Engrossed joint resolution instructing our Senators and Representatives in Congress of the subject of authorizing the sale of the sections numbered 16, reserved for the use of schools in this state, was laid on the table.

Engrossed joint resolution from the Senate, requiring the Banks of Mobile and Tombeckbe to report their situation to the General Assembly, was read a second time, and ordered to be read a third time on Monday next.

Engrossed joint resolution from the Senate, instructing our Senators and Representatives in Congress on the subject of exchanging certain lands reserved for schools in this state.

Mr. Craig offered the following amendment: “Provided, the right of location shall not be extended to a different county; which was lost. The bill was then referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. Smith of Laud. Craig, Ross, Walthall and Duke.

Bills of the following titles, to wit: an act to repeal in part and amend an act, entitled an act for the relief of the inhabitants of the first township, range seven, east of the basis meridian of Huntsville approved Jan. 9th, 1826; an act to authorize the judge of the county court and commissioners of roads and revenue of Shelby county to levy an extra tax for the purpose of building a jail in said county; an act authorizing the citizens of Sommerville to elect a constable; and, an act to divorce Morgan Buck from Lavinia Buck, were severally read a second time, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.

Mr. Coopwood, who voted in the majority, moved to reconsider a vote given yesterday on the passage of an engrossed bill to be entitled an act to divorce John Hamblin from Hannah Hamblin; which was carried. The bill was then ordered to lie on the table.

A message from the Senate by Mr. Crabb their assistant secretary: Mr. Speaker-- The Senate have read three times and passed a bill which originated in their House, entitled an act to amend the laws now in force for the punishment of malicious mischief. They have also read three times and passed bills which originated in your House, entitled an act to divorce Wm. Bryant from Rhodicy Bryant; and, an act to compensate witnesses attending magistrate courts, and have

M


106

amended the same by adding thereto an additional section: in which amendment they desire your concurrence.   And then he withdrew.

Ordered, that the House concur with the amendment made by the Senate to the bill to be entitled an act to compensate witnesses attending magistrates courts, by adding thereto an additional section.

Engrossed bill from the Senate, to be entitled an act to amend the laws now in force for the punishment of malicious mischief, was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

Engrossed bill from the Senate, to be entitled an act to change the times of holding the county courts in Jefferson and Madison counties, was read a second time, and the rule requiring bills to be read on three several days being dispensed with, it was read a third time forthwith and passed.   Ordered, that the clerk acquaint the Senate therewith.

Engrossed bills of the following titles, to wit: an act to authorize the state of Alabama to make peremptory challenges in certain cases; an act prescribing the punishment of slaves and free persons of color for the commission of the crime of manslaughter on other slaves or free persons of colour; and, an act to repeal in part, and amend an act entitled an act concerning wills, and the duty of executors, administrators and guardians, first passed March 12, 1803, 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.

Engrossed bill to be entitled an act to incorporate the town of Russellville, in the state of Alabama, was read a third time. Mr. Craig moved to amend the bill by way of the following engrossed rider—“Provided that nothing in this act shall be construed so as to authorize said corporation to exercise banking powers;” which was carried. The bill was then passed as amended. Ordered, that the title be as aforesaid. Ordered, that the same be sent to the Senate for their concurrence.

A bill to be entitled an act altering the punishment of forgery and counterfeiting,  was referred to the judiciary committee.

And then the House adjourned till tomorrow morning 10 o'clock.