Thursday, Dec. 7th, 1826.

The house met pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. Walthall presented the account of J. C. King, sheriff of Perry county, which was read and referred to the committee on accounts.

Mr. Pickens presented the petition of Robert C. Morrison, administrator of Allen Orr, dec'd. praying the passage of a law to authorize him to sell and transfer certain real estate therein named; which was read and referred to the judiciary committee.

Mr. Heard from the committee on divorce and alimony, to which was referred the record and proceedings of the circuit court of Madison county, exercising chancery jurisdiction in the case of John Hamblin against Hannah Hamblin for divorce, reported a bill to be entitled- an act to divorce John


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Hamblin from Hannah Hamblin; which was read a first time and ordered to be read a second time.

Mr. Heard, from the committee on divorce and alimony, to which was referred the record and proceedings of the circuit court of Limestone county, exercising chancery jurisdiction in the case of Kelly Steagall against Nancy Steagall for divorce, reported a bill to be entitled -- an act to divorce Kelly Steagall from Nancy Steagall, which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

Mr. Moore of Jackson, from the committee on enrolled bills, reported that they have examined and found correctly enrolled, bills of the following titles, to wit: an act to alter the state road from Selma to Cahawba, by way of the new bridge on Valley Creek: an act to change the names and render legitimate certain persons therein named: and an act to provide for taking the census of this state.

Mr. Mead from the select committee, to which was referred resolutions proposing alterations in the constitution, so as to have biennial instead of annual sessions of the legislature, reported the same without amendment; it was then read a second time, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.

Mr. McVay of Laud. from the select committee to which was referred an engrossed bill from the senate, to be entitled ---  an act to repeal an act passed on the 17th day of December 1819, entitled an act to regulate the rate of interest, and for other purposes, reported the same without amendment.

Mr. Weissinger moved that the further consideration thereof be indefinitely postponed, which was carried- Yeas 31, Nays 28.

The yeas and nays being desired- those who voted in the affirmative are,

Mr. Speaker

Crenshaw

Johnson

Martin

Powell

Bridges

Coopwood

Jones

Lewis Massey

Smith of Hen.

Bailey

Coleman

Lawler

Perkins

Sims

Brown

Davis of Fr.

McClung

Pickens

Terry

Broadnax

Fluker

Moore of Mad

Parham

Weissinger

Brasher

Greening

Moore of Jack

Perry

Walthall  31

Those who voted in the negative are

Mr. Armbrister

Davis of Ja.

Edmondson

Montgomery

Rhodes

Bell

Dale

Ellis

McVay of Laud

Smith of Lau.

Bradford

Dennis

Edwards

McVay of Law.

Williams

Barclay

Dupuy

Exum

Mead

Whitfield- 28

Craig

Dubose

Heard

Neill

 

Coe

Duke

Harris

Ross

 

Mr. Lewis from the select committee, to which was referred a resolution of the state of Mississippi, transmitted in a special communication to this House, by his Excellency the Governor, disapproving of resolutions passed by the states of Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Indiana, and Illinois, on the subject of the abolition and general emancipation of persons of colour held in servitude in the United States, reported joint resolutions of the senate and house of representatives of the state of Alabama, in general assembly convened, disapproving of the resolutions of the states of Delaware, Connecticut, Illinois and Indiana, concurring with the resolution of Ohio,


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proposing the emancipation of slaves, passed on the 7th day of January, 1824; together with the resolution of the state of New Jersey, recommending a system of foreign colonization to be adopted to effect the entire emancipation of slaves; which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

Mr. Crenshaw gave notice, that on tomorrow he would move to amend a rule of this house, numbered nineteen, in the following manner – “and no clerk or bearer to the senate of any joint resolution or bill of this house, shall convey or carry the same to the senate (unless otherwise ordered by the house) until the succeeding day after the passage thereof; and then not until the speaker has announced that the house is engaged on the orders of the day.

On motion of Mr. Ellis, Resolved, That the judiciary committee be instructed to inquire into the expediency of allowing plaintiffs to discontinue their suits against one or more defendants upon joint actions of assumpsit’s against two or more defendants in all cases.

Mr. Moore of Jackson, from the select committee, to which was referred a bill to be entitled ---  an act, explanatory of an act entitled an act, to provide for the election of Justices of the Peace and Constables, passed December 31, 1822, reported the same with sundry amendments.

Mr. Lewis moved to amend the amendment, by striking out of the sixth section the word “one thousand,” and insert in lieu thereof five hundred, which was adopted. Mr. Lewis moved further to amend the amendment, by striking out of the sixth section the word "circuit," and insert in lieu thereof the word county; which was adopted.

The question was then put on concurring with the report of the committee; which was carried. -- Yeas 35, Nays 25.

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

Mr. Speaker

Coe

Exum

Moore of Jack.

Ross

Acklen

Davis of Fr.

Fluker

Massey

Rhodes

Bailey

Dupuy

Greening

Perkins

Smith of Hen.

Brown

Dubose

Harris

Pickens

Sims

Bell

Duke

Johnson

Parham

Terry

Bradford

Edmondson

Lewis

Perry

Williams

Brasher

Edwards

Montgomery

Powell

Whitfield- 35

Those who voted in the negative are,

Mr. Armbrister

Craig

Dennis

McClung

Martin

Bridges

Coopwood

Ellis

Moore of Mad

Neill

Broadnax

Coleman

Heard

McVay of Laud

Smith of Laud.

Barclay

Davis of Jack

Jones

McVay of Law.

Weissinger

Crenshaw

Dale

Lawler

Mead

Walthall- 25.

Mr. Moore of Jack. moved to amend the title of the bill, by adding the words “and for other purposes,” which was adopted. The bill was then read a second time as amended, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.

Mr. Moore of Mad. from the select committee to which was referred the petition of Benj. S. Pope, reported a bill to be entitled --  an act to authorize Benjamin S. Pope to convey a certain lot therein mentioned which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.


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Mr. Ross from the select committee, to which was referred a resolution of this house, instructing them 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, reported, That they have approached the important subject committed to them, which involves questions of magnitude, and of vital importance to the best interests of the state, with peculiar diffidence.  They are aware that the satisfactory exposition of the merits of this important question can only be successfully reached by the unerring calculation of the able financier, who might be enabled to urge to you lucid theoretical arguments; the salutary and practical operation of which his experience would enable him to speak with certainty.

Limited, therefore, as are their own lights on this subject; unsatisfactory as may seem those reflected from the superior intelligence of others, they nevertheless offer to your honorable body, such views as were presented to their minds in the investigation of the matter submitted.   From the experience of the past, it will readily be conceived, that the location of the branch bank of the United States at Mobile, will be productive of consequences greatly injurious to the monied institutions of the state.   If it depended entirely on its own resources, great as is its capital, and great as are its advantages, the chance for competition would be greater, and the evil of its ways less apprehended. But it is an institution which derives a great portion of its strength from extraneous causes; whatever a branch of the United States bank is located, it becomes the privileged and exclusive depository of the circulating currency of the country,  or at least becomes the channel through which all the money of the country must flow; when, therefore, such an institution chooses to act with hostility against the local banks, as is now apprehended by your committee, it may require (and it is understood to be an undeviating rule in its operations) that all, or a great portion of that paper, which is constantly and necessarily passing through its coffers, should be redeemed at stated periods, and these periods will not exceed from 30 to 60 days. No prudence can guard banking institutions differently situated, against such a pressure; no exertion can enable them to support its continued operations.

The bank of the United States and its branches are the reservoirs and depositories of the national wealth - they receive into their vaults the overflowing tide of public revenue - acquiring in this manner nearly all of the circulating paper of the local banks. Its operations against them therefore, when hostile, are irresistible; they are prostrated by the overpowering resources of the nation - their energies are paralyzed by the strong arm of the general government. But let us examine the strong features which mark the establishment of the branch bank at Mobile, and which would seem to furnish the unerring evidence of its future operations; and see whether the arguments and reasons before advance, would apply to the present subject. 1st as before stated, it is believed to be an undeviating rule of the U. S. bank and its branches to make exchanges of paper with the surrounding banks- at Mobile these periods will not exceed (as before stated) from 30 to 60 days. 2d. They will emit only a small amount of paper, and that paper being a currency sought after with more avidity by the community, and subject to a less discount abroad than any other from this state, it will consequently be next to impossible for the local banks, and particularly those out of the city of Mobile, to obtain the paper of the branch bank, and thereby be prepared for an exchange of bills,


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the consequence must necessarily follow, that a large balance at each period of exchange will be fond against the local institutions. Should the Branch on the other hand, deem it better policy, or the surer method to arrive at successful speculation, it may emit its own bills to the whole amount of its capital, and retain, as it receives them, the bills of the local institutions, entertaining no apprehension of the reflux of its own paper, and wage with impunity an hostile and exterminating course of procedure with the country banks through the medium of exchange until they are constrained to succumb and yield to the gigantic and irresistible arm of an institution limited in its views of monopoly by no bounds; in mercantile negotiations, circumscribed by no limit Such then being the acknowledged tendency of what may justly be esteemed, and naturally will be, the course of the operations at the Branch at Mobile, your com., with the view of guarding against the impending danger which so greatly menaces the security and prosperity of the State Bank having directed their views to the most eligible location of a branch of the State Bank at a site which may combine the most advantages, and the best adapted to afford relief and facilities to the mother bank in time of great pecuniary distress and embarrassment.  From the natural course of trade through Mobile, that city being the great emporium of the state, having large amounts due it monthly from the country, it is obvious that the greater part of the agricultural resources of the country must there concentrate, and a large portion of the paper emitted in the interim by the local banks be there paid and deposited, either in the United States Branch, or in the Mobile Bank. If in the latter, it must in self defence pursue a course similar to that of the former; and without which its very security would be jeopardized. In this unhappy posture of affairs, how are the local banks to sustain themselves? how will they be enabled to meet the heavy runs for specie which will be made upon them? They must, as your committee conceive be crushed by the pecuniary weight opposed to them, unless they derive aid and support from respectable banking influence; and according to the views of your committee, there are but two ways by which this influence may be procured, or the mother institution be maintained and protected. First, by the establishment of branch at Mobile, untrammeled by the mother bank, without restrictive clauses in its charter, which menace its prosperity; conducted on banking and commercial principles alone, with a capital which will enable it both to maintain itself against the hostilities of its neighbors,  by using the justifiable weapon of retaliation, and to impart strength and support to the mother institution, a remedy for the evils herein so seriously deprecated may be found.  A branch of the State Bank at Mobile, by dealing largely in bills of exchange, and by discounting business paper alone. The exchange will give to the bank a specie capital and enable it at all times to meet any demands from the Branch; and in case of great pecuniary distress, it will be able to afford important relief to the mother bank. Every good citizen must feel more or less interested in the welfare and prosperity of the State Bank, but the great desideratum is to give it strength and support and to enable it to cope with the Branch Bank. This support, as your committee believe, must come from a commercial community, which will vest its business paper founded upon actual business transactions.

It is believed that the exports this year from the port of Mobile will amount to 90,000 bales of cotton, averaging $40 per bale, producing an aggregate of $3,600,000. It may be safely calculated that two thirds of this cotton will be purchased by the negotiation of bills of exchanged through the banks at Mobile, which, at the customary rate of exchange, say three per cent, will

K


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yield in profit of $72,000.   It is a fair calculation that a state institution placed where it could go fairly into the bill market, and take the advantage of this state of things, would command at least one third of this exchange, which, besides enabling it in all times to procure a specie capital for the protection of the mother bank, would afford a profit of $24,000.  On the other hand, can a bank in the interior, dealing entirely in accommodation paper, with an institution in its neighborhood so powerful as the Branch Bank, which is known to be almost unlimited in its pecuniary resources, in times of great pecuniary distress, and emergency, be prepared to meet any demand for specie which may be made upon it? And from the course universally pursued by the bank of the United States, and its branches, it is reduced to absolute certainty, that heavy and serious runs for specie will be made on the local institutions. But it is believed, that by the establishment of a branch at Mobile, under proper management, the cause would be materially altered, and the evil so seriously apprehended averted.

Your committee beg leave further to report, that in the performance of the duties assigned to them by the House, their attention was consequently directed to the investigation of measures calculated to avert the danger which threatens the security and progress of the mother bank. In this investigation they have invoked the aid of the best lights, and have brought their minds to the following conclusion. To recommend to the House the expediency of subscribing for the stock reserved for the state, in the charter of the Bank of Mobile, say $100,000. This sum, it is believed, can be raised by creating a "State Stock," authorizing the Governor and Commissioners to be elected by the legislature, to borrow the amount in Mobile or elsewhere, on the credit and faith of the state, with a condition also (if necessary) that the stock held by the state in the Bank of Mobile should be pledged for the payment of the principal and interest of the loan. Individuals have subscribed and paid into that Bank $145,000. Suppose the state subscribe $100,000-- the Governor will then be authorized to appoint five directors out of thirteen who would vigilantly attend and superintend the interest of the state, and protect it against pecuniary loss and injury - Whilst at the same time it would acquire an influence in Mobile in strict congeniality with the best interests of the State Bank, thereby forming an important link in the great precautionary chain of its preservation and security, so essential to the strength and reputation of the State Bank. Influenced by the foregoing views, which are respectfully submitted to the consideration of your honorable body, your committee have come to the conclusion that a Branch of the bank of the State of Alabama ought without delay to be located in the city of Mobile.

Mr. Moore of Mad. moved that the report lie on the table. Mr. Greening moved that 65 copies be printed for the use of this House. A division of the question being called for, the vote was first taken on laying upon the table, which was carried.

Mr. Terry then moved that 125 copies thereof be printed for the use of this House, which was agreed to.

Mr. Terry moved to reconsider a vote given on yesterday on the passage of a bill entitled an act authorizing certain claims against the state, as well as certificates of state witnesses, to be received in the discharge of fines and forfeitures, which was carried. The bill was then read a third time. Mr. Mead moved to amend the bill by way of the following engrossed rider: “according to priority of registration by


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the county treasurer,” which was lost. And the question being put, shall this bill pass? it was determined in the negative.

Mr. Bridges offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the judiciary committee be instructed to inquire into the expediency of so amending the laws in relation to the payment of state witnesses as to make their certificates payable out of the state treasury, and also to require all sums arising from fines and forfeitures to be paid into the state treasury; which was lost.

Mr. Montgomery obtained leave to introduce a bill to be entitled an act supplementary to the several laws now in force relating to the collection of the revenue; which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

A bill to be entitled an act to provide further for the probate of wills in this state, was read a second time, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.

A bill to be entitled an act directing in what manner and in what courts suits may be brought against the state of Alabama, was referred to the judiciary committee.

Engrossed bill from the Senate, entitled an act to authorize the Governor to appoint some suitable person to revise the laws in relation to wills, and the duties and legal accountability of executors, administrators and guardians, was read a second time. Mr. McClung moved that the further consideration thereof be indefinitely postponed which was carried- yeas 53, nays 6.

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

Mr. Speaker

Crenshaw

Edmondson

McClung

Powell

Acklen

Craig

Ellis

Moore of Mad

Perry

Ambrister

Coopwood

Edwards

Moore of Jack.

Rhodes

Bridges

Coleman

Exum

McVay of Laud.

Smith of Hen

Bailey

Davis of Fr

Fluker

McVay of Law.

Smith of Laud

Brown

Davis of Jack.

Greening

Mead

Sims

Broadnax

Dale

Heard

Martin

Williams

Bell

Dennis

Harris

Massey

Walthall

Bradford

Dupuy

Johnson

Neill

Whitfield- 53

Brasher

Dubose

Jones

Perkins

 

Barclay

Duke

Lawler

Parham

 

Those who voted in the negative are

Mr. Lewis

Montgomery

Pickens

Ross

Terry Weissinger- 6

Engrossed bill from the Senate, entitled an act to prevent the Creek Indians from hunting and trapping within the limits of this state, was read a second time, and referred to the judiciary committee.

Engrossed bill from the Senate entitled an act to repeal in part an act entitled an act to establish the town of Carthage, in Tuscaloosa county, was read a third time and passed. Ordered, that the clerk acquaint the Senate therewith.

Engrossed bills of the following titles, to wit: an act to authorize solicitors to swear witnesses to sent to the grand jury; an act to authorize the County Court of Wilcox county to levy an extra tax; an act better to provide for leasing the sixteenth section therein named; an act to keep in force an act for the resignation of deeds, grants,


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&c. and, a joint resolution proposing certain amendments to the constitution of the United States, 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.

And then the House adjourned till tomorrow morning 9 o'clock.