Tuesday, November 21st, 1826.

The Senate met pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. Miller, a Senator from the county of Madison, and Mr. Clay, from the county of Lawrence, appeared and took their seats.

Mr. Jackson presented the petition of the Florence Light Infantry Company praying to be allowed the use of fifty stand of the public arms; which was read, and referred to the military committee.

A message from the House of Representatives, by Messrs. McVay, Benson and Terry, members thereof. Mr. President, the House of Representatives have adopted the following resolution: Resolved, That a committee of three members be appointed to wait on the Senate, and inform them that the representative branch of the legislature is organized: that they have elected the Hon. Samuel W. Oliver their Speaker, Thomas B. Tunstall principal clerk, James Brown door-keeper, Jefferson C. Vandyke assistant clerk, William B. McClellan engrossing clerk, and are ready to proceed to business.

Mr. Miller presented the petition of the owner of a slave named John Robinson, and of sundry persons in behalf of the said John, praying his emancipation; which was read.

Ordered, That the petition and documents relating thereto, be referred to the committee on propositions and grievances.


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A message from the House of Representatives by Mr. Tunstall, their clerk. Mr. President: the House of Representatives have adopted the following resolution: Resolved, That a committee of two persons be appointed on the part of this House, to act with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the Senate, to wait on his Excellency the Governor, and inform him that the two Houses of the General Assembly are now organized, and ready to receive any communication he may please to make. They have appointed, on their part, Messrs. Williams and Weissinger. They concur in the resolution of your honorable body, appointing a committee to contract for stationary and fuel, for the use of the General Assembly, during the present session, and have appointed on their part, Messrs. Perkins and Ellis.

They have adopted the following resolution, in which they desire your concurrence: Resolved, that this House, with the concurrence of the Senate, will, on Thursday the 23d instant, at the hour of 3 o'clock P. M. proceed to elect a Senator to the Congress of the United States, to fill the vacancy of the Hon. Henry Chambers, and at which time the Senate are invited to attend in the Representative Hall.

Ordered, that the resolution, relating to the election of a Senator to the Congress of the United States, lie on the table.

Mr. Casey, from the joint committee appointed to wait on the Governor, and inform him of the organization of the two Houses, and of their readiness to receive any communication he might think proper to make, Reported, That the committee had performed the duty assigned them, and received for answer from the Governor, that he would make a communication in writing to the two Houses this day, at the hour of 12 o'clock.

A communication in writing was received from the Governor, by James I. Thornton, Esq. Secretary of State; which was read, and is as follows:-

To the Hon. the Senate and the House of Representatives:-

FELLOW CITIZENS- The revolution of another year has again assembled the public authorities of the State, to whom is confided the legislative superintendance of our common affairs.

We owe to the munificent kindness of Divine Providence, that the circumstances under which we meet, both public and private, admit the exchange of our sincere and happy congratulations.

The blessings of Heaven first claim our grateful and most devout acknowledgments.

During the past season, although we have not been exempt from disease, in particular places, we have no where suffered its most violent and fatal influences. Neither famine, pestilence, or the sword, are permitted to ravage our land. We enjoy the bounty of the seasons, the rich fruits of the earth, domestic comfort, and public harmony. The drought which prevailed in many places in this state, in common with our sister states adjacent, has indeed lessened our agricultural prospects, but has not deprived us of the essential resource of bread. If we have not abundance, we are blessed with plenty, and should the benignant Dispenser of all good gifts see proper only to give us food and raiment, we ought to lean with pious submission to be therewith content. There is also cause of gratitude and felicitation, in the progressive influence, among us, of good principles, both civil and moral.

There is good evidence that the administration of the laws, by an enlightened and faithful judiciary, will realize, in general, the beneficial objects for which


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they were designed. It is not perceived that our system contains many prominent of glaring defects; and the amelioration of which the laws may still be susceptible, both in their precision and their force, will be the object of your constant solitude. In the discharge of this duty, it will not escape notice, that it is expedient to test, the operation of particular institutes, by experience of sufficent duration. In the multiform concerns of society, and the legal provisions proposed to regulate and direct them, the most careful reasonings frequently need the confirmation of fair and decisive experiment. hence the confusion and evil of too frequent legislation on the same subject, in which little more can be done than to substitute one theory for another; and, by continual change, to render uncertain the results of experience, or to make dubious the comparative usefulness of variant laws. It is of the utmost consequence, that the laws for the preservation of peace and good should be faithfully executed. The prosecuting officers engaged in this service, should possess ability, and zeal, and high character, to adorn a station connected with so much usefulness responsibility.

I beg leave to submit to your wisdom, whether the present compensation affords a full reward for the duties they are required to perform, or whether it be commensurate with the dignity and public importance of their office. The period may now also have arrived, when the justice of the country might be better administered, by the establishment of a separate Court of Chancery.

The subject of Education commends itself to our most devoted attention, enjoined as it is by the commanding precepts of the Constitution, involved in the preservation of our happy form of government, and indispensable in every system for the promotion of social or moral happiness. No people can rise to the highest standard of moral and civil refinement, without the enlarging and correcting effects of suitable education. Every consideration urges the propriety of enlightening the minds, and improving the morals, of the whole body of the people. In the judicious prosecution of this work, no pains can be misapplied, no measure mis-spent, and no solitude pass unrewarded. It is as necessary to our moral and civil condition, as the vital circulation to the animal system. The liberal policy of the General Government has provided for us a munificent resource, for the establishment of an Institution to perfect the education commenced at the primary seminaries. The most judicious application should be made of the fund thus committed to us for the establishment of a State University, providing, by a safe and just economy, for the greatest effect which such an amount can be made to produce. So far the fund has not passed without improvement; a part of it has been converted into available capital, and still more is in progress to be received. It will be for your wisdom to determine whether the moment may not have arrived, when efficient operation ought to be commenced, the institution to be located, and preparations made for the erection of the edifices.- Great profit and convenience may result from a well matured plan of operations. We ought to contemplate a grand consummation, which would require several years for it safe and convenient accomplishment. But this subject is too extensive for the present communication. The sooner we commence, the sooner, I trust, will our labors eventuate in the establishment of a full and perfect University. It will be for your wisdom also to devise means of encouragement for primary seminaries. There must be nurseries to supply the literary vineyard; and, indeed, much of the instruction of the country will terminate, at all periods, in these nurseries of science. In this view, they become every way important. I feel assured that not of these subjects will escape your careful deliberation.

The means necessary for the defence of the state will always engage the attention of the representatives of a people who have confided their safety for the mass of the population armed and disciplined. It is obviously essential, under such a system, that arms should be provided, and the attainment of discipline secured. Such in the present situation and habits of our people, that we are in less damage


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of not having arms, in any emergency, than of failing to have the discipline which alone can give efficiency to arms. It may be well worth of your reflection, whether the care of the state ought not to extend farther than merely to require an imperfect organization. Whether the means of virtuous excitement should not be employed, facilities afforded, and the countenance and patronage of the state made to the distinctly perceived in this important branch of our polocy. The distribution of colors, or standards, to each militia company or regiment, would not doubt have a beneficial tendency. This measure, indeed, would coincide with the most natural expectation. If the state requires its citizens to assume the character, and discharge the duties, of soldiers, shall they not be furnished with the standards under which to assemble? The distribution, among the officers, of the militia laws, which you have already directed, the rules and articles of war, and connected with the whole, a plain and simple directory to perform the most necessary elementary evolutions, would be attended with great advantage. Perhaps the small progress which the militia make in military knowledge every where, is principally owing to the circumstance, that the officers commanding them are not expert in their duty, and are therefore averse, before their friends and neighbors, to make blunders in teaching to others what they do not themselves perfectly understand. Hence very little is attempted to be taught, and still less acquired. It will be worthy of your consideration, whether it be not expedient to provide for instruction the officers, whose duty it is to impart instruction to others. A school of instruction, itinerant from one division or brigade to another, throughout the state, might be connected with the office of Adjutant General, and the active service and dignity thou attached to the office, might prove highly beneficial in other respects. If it be necessary to discipline the militia at all, before the crisis demanding their services shall have arrived, some radical improvement of the present system will probably be found expedient. There is danger that a long season of peace and freedom from alarm may produce supineness and security, which ourselves or our posterity may have cause to lament. There are circumstances peculiar in our situation, and those of the state around us, which may require more than ordinary caution. The approaches of danger, however future, should inspire early and corresponding preparation. The opinion seems to be too readily received, that the militia are incapable of efficient discipline, unless in actual service. It is to be hoped that this opinion is not correct, otherwise our system must end in standing armies, ever dangerous to liberty. When we see so many of our citizens, animated by a laudable spirit of perseverance, under many discouragements, engage in the useful pursuit of preparing their country for defence, what may not be expected under the facilities afforded by public instruction, and the approving eye of public patronage? We ought not only to preserve, but to incite, among our citizens the moral sentiment, that they all are, and ought to be, soldiers in their country's defence. Your resolution of the last session, which authorized a Digest of the Militia and patrol Laws, I regret to state, has not been carried, into complete effect.

General Farrar was employed to make the compilation, and discharge the duty with alacrity and promptitude; but difficulties were found in having the printing executed, which occasioned delays to so late a period of the year that it was deemed more expedient to defer the work until after your present session. A fair copy of the Digest, with the report of the Digester, will be submitted to your inspection; and such amendments as you may please to make can be readily incorporated.

The improvement of the navigation of the State involves interests of great magnitude, and should be attended to, according to the importance of the several objects, and our ability for their accomplishment. You are constituted the guardians of the resources of the State, and can best judge what direction shall be given them for the common advantage. It would appear that two grand projects


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of improvement present themselves to our notice; the opening of the Muscle Shoals, so as to admit the more convenient transportation of a large portion of our produce to New Orleans, and the cutting a canal, so as to convey, as our interest may direct, the same produce to the waters of Mobile Bay. To judge perfectly of these projects, an accurate and scientific examination should be made, so that the benefits to be secured, and the difficulties to be encountered, might be compared and justly estimated.

It is understood the Tennessee admits of good steam navigation, from the upper end of the Shoals to the mouth of the Hiwassee, with only two or three obstructions, easily overcome. The Hiwassee may be connected with the waters of the Coosa, by a short canal, or perhaps a canal might be opened from the Hiwassee to Fort Jackson, at the head of steam navigation on the Alabama. This canal, if practicable at an expense which the probable benefits would justify would have the merit of drawing nearly all our produce to our own emporium, or at least to give a choice of the market. The produce of a considerable portion of the neighboring states might also flow in the same channel, and give the opportunity of very favorable exchanges to a large portion of our citizens. An access will also be given to a market less liable to be overstocked than the great eporium of the Valley of the Mississippi.

The political effect which would be produced, by the frequent and intimate association of our citizens at one common mart, thus rendering sensible the identity of interest, will not escape the notice of your honorable body. We may prove as fortunate as any of the state, in having almost all our produce sold in our own markets. This subject, in all its various and important bearings, I fell assured will receive your attentive consideration; and I beg leave to recommend that an appropriation be made, to defray the expenses of a suitable examination of these, or such other improvements, as you, in your wisdom, may direct. The main energies of the state should be employed in opening new sources of communication, or in removing great and difficult obstructions in the natural, channels. The minor streams, and indeed the larger river, where nothing more than ordinary obstructions intervene, might be operated upon as roads and highways are. At low stages of the water, much might be done, and in a way perhaps less severely felt, than by making appropriations which ultimately devolve on ourselves to pay. It is only the exchange of labor for money. Inventions, to operate with the greatest effect, should be provided by the care, and from the resources, of the state. The more difficult obstructions, in the minor streams might also be removed by the employment of skill, which the state only could command with suitable facility. The superintendents of these minor works might be appointed by the General Assembly, or by the people themselves at the annual elections. I would also recommend the policy of sparing the three per cent fund, appropriated to the improvement of roads and navigation, until it may accumulate to the production of an annual interest of ten thousand dollars. This annual sum, devoted to these special objects, and not liable to the difficulties which usually embarrass ordinary appropriations, however obvious in their beneficial tendency, would eventuate in results which even sanguine expectation might fail to calculate.

Connected with navigation, is the great agricultural interest, which navigation is primarily designed to subserve. It may admit of doubt, whether in any of the States, this subject has received that regular and systematic attention, by the public authorities, which its great importance demands. This is the source, the principal fountain of all our prosperity. Individual intelligence and enterprise, where so may are engaged in the same pursuit; the ardor inspired by interest, the sagacity acquired by continual, experience, are surely good sources of reliance, but they may not be exclusively sufficient, for the perfection of this essential and primary branch of industry. Something even here may be done by the forecast and care, and fostering patronage of the public authorities; and certain-


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ly none of their functions can have a higher or more beneficial him. Such are the changes wrought by human industry, and such the constant tendency to occupy too much some branch of agricultural labor, for the present more profitable than others, that not sure reliance can be placed, for a great length of time, on any single staple commodity. New sources of contingent and profitable labor ought to be constantly devised, and held in reserve, that the community may be protected against the consequences of any fluctuation in the principal productions. Those climates admitting of a great variety of productions, have advantages over others, which ought not to pass unimproved. The soil and climate of this state, in this respect, furnish very great resources. It is only necessary to be fully acquainted with them, and prepared to bring them into operation, in order to be but little affected by the changes, which may be produced by the industry of other countries in our particular pursuits. It might be useful to have this subject regularly given in charge to a standing committee, to recommend the formation of Agricultural Societies, in the several counties or larger subdivisions of this State; to invite those societies to communicate with the standing committees for public information, and to obtain at the public expense, such seeds and plants as may be less open to the enterprise and research of individual agriculturalist. The impulse thus publicly given, will not be lost on a population, active, enterprising, and studious of their interest. The multiplication of our productions cannot prove otherwise than a source of necessary and beneficial caution.

In bringing to your view the state of public affairs, it becomes my duty to mention, that a Corporation, styled the St. Stephens' Steam Boat Company, have assumed the exercise of Banking privileges in the city of Mobile. Early in the present year, I was about to direct to the Solicitor of the First Judicial Circuit to file an information in the nature of a quo-warranto against the Corporation, that the question of their privileges might be judicially determined. Having understood, however, from the President and Directors, gentlemen of high standing and intelligence, that operations would be suspended, until your present session, I was unwilling to involve them or the state, in any unnecessary expense It was intimated, at the same time, that it was their intention to apply for certain amendments of their charger. Should this application be made, the subject will thus be brought fully before you, and I shall be glad to receive any instruction which the General Assembly may think necessary to give.

The Bank of the United States proposes to establish an Office or Branch in this State, to be located in the city of Mobile. When it was understood that such a purpose was cherished by the Bank of the United States, our delegation in Congress, with that vigilance and devotion which have marked their public service, submitted a remonstrance against the measure. At a later period, a correspondence on the same subject was opened by the Executive Department, copies of which are herewith laid before you. The framers of our constitution admonished by the events which has passed, before them deemed int necessary to provide for the circulation of a sound currency, by giving the management of it to those who were principally interested in its soundness. They authorized the establishment of a "General State Bank," which must be, and has always been, considered exclusive in its nature, and prescribed rules essential to its organization. The establishment of a State Bank was thus made a part of our municipal policy, under the injunctions of the constitution; and it becomes the duty of the public authorities to provide for the security of its operations. It will be for your wisdom to devise, how the State Institution, placed by the constitution under your protection, will be able to engage in a successful struggle with the Bank of the United States, should interest, or hostility, arising from views of interest, induce the attempt to embarrass its proceedings. Our situation is deemed every way unfavorable for such a contest. A transient and factitious state of, things, arising our of our land purchasing relations with the United States and


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altogether distinct from the usual and regular transactions of commerce, will make it difficult for the Bank to sustain its operations, should it extend accommodation to the people when they most need it, to purchase a domiciliary refuge for their families. It will remain with your honorable body to provide a remedy in every contingency. It could not be otherwise than humiliating, that a policy enjoined by the constitution, cherished and consummated by the public authorities, entering into the vital stamina of our municipal organization, should be reduced to the condition of a precarious and permissive existence. In the State Bank we have contemplated a resource against depreciated and deficient currency, as well as a depository for the improvement of all our public funds; and, in short, when this subject is viewed in all the lights which distinguish it, it cannot appear less, in effect, than an invasion of our sovereignty, an interference with arrangements made for the common benefit and security, for the Bank of the United States to establish an office here, should it be contrary to the wished of the State. I beg leave to submit this subject to your early and better consideration.

In pursuance of your resolution of the last session, the Honorable Arthur P. Bagby and Major Charles Lewis were appointed commissioners on the part of this state, to co operate with commissioners of the state of Georgia, to run the line dividing the two states. The joint commissioners could not agree in their construction of the "articles of agreement and cession," and no line has been run by the co operation of both parties. The report of the commissioners, which will be submitted without delay, will place this subject fully before you. The indisposition of one of the commissioners, at the commencement of operations, rendered it necessary to make a provisional appointment, to fill the vacancy, should the indisposition still continue. Judge Kelly permitted me to avail myself of his contingent services, which eventually proved unnecessary. It was thought expedient to procure an accurate survey of the Chatahoochee, from the Great Bend to Miller's Bend, or the Flat Shoals, that the matter in controversy between the commissioners might be distinctly perceived. Major Lewis was employed to attend to this service, and his report and survey are herewith transmitted. As this subject has engaged the attention of both the states, and as the adjustment of the boundary is desirable, you will in your wisdom direct what course will now be given to it.

Major John D. Terrell and Col. Marmaduke Williams were appointed commissioners to settle the accounts between this State and the State of Mississippi. It was insisted on the part of the state of Mississippi, that the amount of default which has taken place within the limits of the Territory of Alabama, during the continuance of the common government of the Mississippi Territory, should be deducted exclusively from the account of the state of Alabama. The commissioners on the part of this state regarded all such losses as common to both parties; and this remained as a cause of disagreement. The report of the commissioners, which will be transmitted, will give every view of this question.

It gives me great pleasure to announce the improvement of the Salt Springs, which it is hoped will prove a great convenience to the people, ever during a season of peace, and prove an essential resource in time of war. The skill, intelligence and perseverance of Mr. Seth Hunt, are highly honorable to himself, and useful to the country. May difficulties have been surmounted, requiring patience, steadiness of purpose, and happy expedients, which few men could command. I beg leave to submit a statement of the salt houses, store houses, well, cisterns, aqueduct. &c, which have been effected at very considerable expense. I beg leave also to recommend that those engaged in the works be exempted from militia duty. The stopping of the works for a single day proves a considerable loss to the lessees, and an injury to the works.

A communication has been received from the citizens of West Florida, which I beg leave to lay before you. They express a desire that West Florida should


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be annexed to the State of Alabama. The early attention of the framers of the constitution, to the contingencies which might lead to this connection, shews the light of policy in which it was then regarded. It would seem to be alike favorable to West Florida, this State, and the Union. It is desirable to this state that so large a portion of the sea coast, covering more than half her frontier, should be well defended; and to the United States, that so much of the maritime frontier should be committed into the hands of those who will be able, and interested, in giving the most active cooperation of defence. Our frontier must continue exposed, while it is covered by a weak and detached portion of a neighbouring state, or territory. If the country of Florida is likely to continue a Territory, there is no reason why the annexation should not take place; ad should it become a State, this portion, important to us only, must always be weak, and wanting in intimate connection with the rest.

The most judicious system, for the disposal of the public lands, has engaged the attention of the Congress of the United States. As frequently happens in new and untried cases, neither the United States, nor the purchasers of lands, nor emigrants with intention to purchase, distinctly understood the remote operations of former systems, injurious to the one, while it was not profitable to the other. The difficulty now would seem to result, not from the want to inclination to amend, bu in devising the methods of amendment. Your investigations might end in suggestions, which would prove equally beneficial to the United States, and our own. We shall always be superior to the meanness of mendicant petitions, or the importunity of sordid and unreasonable self-interest; but it is our duty to advance the claims of sound policy and justice.

A due respect for the resolutions of our fellow citizens, which I have the honor herewith to transmit your, induces me to bring to your view the late Creek Treaty, by which the Treaty of the Indian Springs has been superceded. We had acquired ostensible interests, as a third party, which have not been regularly set aside. A mere substitution of one treaty for another, cannot compromit the rights of third parties, however valid as to the contracting powers. To obviate such claims, a regular examination of the validity of the first treaty was indispensable. Such an examination, ex-parte, even if such examination were alledged to have taken place, would not be sufficient. It would seem, in theory, that the question of the validity of a treaty, involving interests which had passed from the contracting parties to others, ought not to be determined, as to those interests, by the powers who had made it. But this is done in the case before us. It would be far from us to increase the embarrassments unavoidably incident to the vast and various concerns of the general government; but if any thing has been done irregularly; if our rights as a State have been informally passed upon, we owe to ourselves, as well as the Union, to take a temperate notice of it. It is not the intention to speak to the merits of what has been done, for the necessary evidence had never come before use, but merely to the mode of doing it. It will be for your wisdom to determine, if any, and what, representation ought to be made, or silently to acquiesce in it.

The vacancy occasioned by the lamented death of the Hon. Henry Chamber, was filled by the appointment of the Hon. Israel Pickens, whose term of service will expire at the close of your present session. The following officers were appointed Judges of the Courts of their respective counties during the recess of the General Assembly:- P. T. Harris, of Washington county, vice Wm. D. Gaines, deceased. Asa Hammond, of Monroe, vice Wm B. Patton, resigned Thomas F. Moody, of Greene, vice William Murphy, resigned William S. Compton, of Jackson county, vice Samuel B. Moore, resigned. Benjamin Williamson, of Wilcox county, vice Edwin L. Harris removed, John Elliott was appointed Solicitor of the First Judicial Circuit, vice Thomas Murray, deceased.

The occurrence of the death of the Ex-Presidents of the United States, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, names consecrated in the affections of the Ame-


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rican people, and embalmed in the records of liberty and political science, claims the public tribute which is due. This event, marked by the most singular coincidences, has moved the sentiments of regret and reverence, in the hearts of ten millions of their fellow citizens. Our own citizens, in some places, have added public demonstrations, to the private feelings of the heart. The public authorities will determine, what becoming ceremonial will here attend the departure of the venerated and illustrious dead.

This communication, not free from the charge of prolixity, which would have been gladly avoided, and liable to the still more serious objection of manifold imperfections, will be received in the spirit which dictates it, an ardent desire for the promotion of our various and important interests. A most liberal, elevated, and harmonious spirit should animate us in all our public deliberations. We should seek to draw from the pure fountains of political justice and equity. To the minute care of particular and local arrangements, should be added the enlarged wisdom which contemplates the general prosperity. Where the interest of the whole is embraced, facilities must be afforded for the promotion of those special and detached benefits which must exist in any society which admits distance of place and peculiarity of situation. The place you occupy is full of honor, duty, and responsibility. It is no small thing, to guide the various concerns of a free, active, and extended community; to close the avenues of evil, and to open all the channels of political happiness. May the favor of Heaven attend you in this arduous labor.

I am, gentlemen, respectfully, your obedient servant,

Nov. 21, 1826.                                                                          JOHN MURPHY.

Ordered, That the communication lie on the table, and that five hundred copies thereof be printed for the use of the Senate.

And then the Senate adjourned till to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.