Monday, December 31st, 1827.

The House met pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. McVay of Laud presented the petition of sundry inhabitants of Lauderdale county, praying the relief therein mentioned, which was read and referred to the committee on propositions and grievances, to which was referred a bill on the same subject.

Mr. Bridges presented the petition of John P. Davis, administrator of Abel Davis and Daniel Davis deceased, praying the passage of a law to authorize the sale of real estate, which was read and referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. Bridges Vining and Clark.

Mr. Lawler presented the petition of George Morrow, relinquishing his right to open a turnpike road, from Elyton to Montevallo, which was read and laid on the table.

Mr. Stone from the military committee to whom was referred the petition of sundry persons of Monroe county, praying to be incorporated into a volunteer rifle company, reported a bill to be entitled, an act to incorporate the Monroe rifle company, which was read a first time and ordered to be read a second time on tomorrow.

Mr. Acklen from the select committee to whom was referred a bill to entitle, an act to amend in part and repeal in part, an act to estab-


180

lish the town of Whitesburgh, and incorporate its trustees: Reported, the same with the following amendment, by striking out the whole of the fifth section, and substituting another in lieu thereof, in which amendment the House concurred: it was then read a second time as amended, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading on tomorrow.

Mr. Collier from the select committee to whom was referred a bill to be entitled, an act for providing for the more speedy collection of debts due to the Bank of the State of Alabama, and for other purposes, reported the same without amendment, the bill was then read a second time.

Mr. Bell moved that it lie on the table until the first day of June next, which was lost.  Mr. Weisinger moved to amend the bill by striking out of the 4th section, the word twenty, with a view to insert on hundred; a division of the question being called for, the vote was first taken on striking out, which was carried.  The vote was then taken on filling the blank with on hundred, which was lost. - Yeas 26, Nays 36.

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

Messrs. Broadnax Craig Durrett Davis Edmondson Harris Lawler Lewis McVay of Laud. McVay of Law. Massey McRae of mon. McRae of Frank. Moore of mad. Price Rather Robertson Sharp Smith of mad. Terry Vaughan Walthal Ward Weisinger and Wiggins 26.

Those who voted in the negative are,

Mr. Speaker, Acklen, Anderson, Bradford, Brown, Bridges, Bonnell, Clark Colgin Collier Conner Cook Coopwood Daniel Dennis Duke Ellis Greening Higgins Jack Kelly Martin Moore of Jack. Paulding Perkins Rainey Richardson Ross Russell Sargent Sibley Smith of Clark Stone Tarver Vining and Walker 36.

Mr. Weisinger moved to fill the blank with seventy five thousand, which was lost.  Mr. Weisinger then moved to fill the blank with sixty thousand, which was carried.  Mr. Jack moved to amend the 6th section with the following, “and for every mile which he may travel for the purpose of executing any process, ______ cents,” which was lost.  Mr. Bridges moved to amend the 4th section and 1st line with the words, “with security,” which was adopted.  Mr. Perkins moved to amend the 1st section and 1st line after the word “indebted,” with the words “or otherwise liable,” which was carried.  Mr. Kelly moved to amend the bill in the 9th section, after the word “his,” with the word “delinquent.”  Mr. Cook moved to amend the bill by adding thereto an additional section, No. 11, which was carried.  Mr. Ross moved to amend the bill by adding thereto an additional section, which was carried.  Mr. Greening moved to amend the 5th section, by adding at the end thereof the words “except as hereinafter provided,” which was carried.  Mr. Walthal moved to amend the 7th section after the word construed, with the following, "as to authorize the collection by the marshal in the counties in which the Sheriff will give a bond in _______ dollars to the president and directors, for the faithful discharge of their duty, with good and sufficient security, to be approved of by said president and directors,” and to strike out the remainder of the section, which was lost. Mr. Russell moved to amend the 10th section after the word “act,” insert the words, “and take the necessary oaths and oath of office,” which was carried. Mr. Collier moved to amend the 2nd section with the following, “and be it further enacted that said bank is hereby authorized to issue original and judicial attachments against its debtors, pursuant to the laws of this state, and the cashier president or agent or attorney of said bank, may make an affidavit, and the bank shall be liable as indi-


181

viduals for wrongfully suing out said process,” which was carried.  Mr. Ross moved to strike out “30” in the 4th line of the 1st section, which was lost.  Mr. Ellis moved to amend the 2d section in the 1st line, by inserting the words “or against,” which was carried.  Mr. Collier moved to amend the bill by adding thereto an additional section, which was carried.  Mr. Collier moved to amend the 6th section by striking out 10th, with a view to insert fifty, which was carried.  The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading on tomorrow.

Mr. Martin made the following report.  The committee on propositions and grievances to whom was referred the report of the commissioners appointed by a resolutions of the last session of the Legislature, to view and report to this session of the Legislature, the damages which the lot holders, who bought at the first sale of lots in the town of Cahawba have sustained in the diminished value of their property by the removal of the seat of Government from said town, and also to enquire on what terms the holders of said lots, purchased the lots by them relinquished and applied to complete the payment of lots retained by them on the original purchase previous to the meeting of the Convention, and whether the lots purchased at the first sale and relinquished, were applied in payment of the lots retained by the original purchasers, have according to order, had the same under consideration, and beg leave to report that the lot holders who bought at the first sale of lots, in the town of Cahawba, and all those who as sub purchasers owned lots in said town, previous to the meeting of the Convention, have sustained loss by the removal of the seat of Government from said town, and your committee are clear in the opinion that the sufferers above described are entitled to remuneration for their losses from the state, but they have not been able to ascertain who the sufferers are, or the amount of their losses: Ordered, that the report lie on the table until Wednesday next.

Mr. Ellis from the committee on enrolled bills, reported tat they had examined and found correctly enrolled bills of the following titles to wit: An act to aid in the endowment of a humane charity hospital in the city of Mobile, an act to emancipate certain persons therein named, an act to amend and explanatory of an act to authorize William H. Ragsdale and his associates to turnpike a road therein specified, passed 14th  day of Jan. 1826, all of which originated in the house.  And then the house adjourned until half past 2 o'clock.

Evening Session, Half past 2 o'clock.

The House met pursuant to adjournment.

The report of the select committee to whom was referred, charges against the Hon. Abner S. Lipscomb, one of the Judges of the supreme court, by George F. Salle, was then taken from the table, and after some time spent in the consideration of the same, Mr. Ellis moved that it lie on the table until tomorrow, which was carried.

Mr. Harris obtained leave to introduce a bill to be entitled, an act to regulate the payment of petit jurors in the county of Washington, which was read a first time, and the rule requiring bills to be read on three several days was dispensed, it was then read a second time forthwith.

Mr. Sibley moved to amend the bill by adding thereto an additional section, which was carried, it was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading on tomorrow.

Mr. Walker from the select committee to whom was referred a bill from the Senate entitled, an act to repeal an act entitled an act to provide for the payment of petit jurors in certain counties therein named, approved December 22d, 1826, so far as said act relates to the counties of


182

Dallas Madison and Montgomery: Reported the same with the following amendments, strike out the words Madison and Montgomery, wherever they occur in said bill, and insert the word Marengo after the word Dallas, wherever it occurs, and by adding thereto two additional sections, which amendments were concurred in by the House.

Mr. McRae of mon. obtained leave to introduce a bill to be entitled, an act to incorporate Barkers encampment of Knights Templars No. 1, which was read a first time and ordered to be read a second time on tomorrow.

Mr. Lewis from the select committee to whom was referred a preamble and resolution, recommending General Andrew Jackson for the Presidency, presented the following report and resolution as a substitute.

The bare expression of preference by a State Legislature, for a particular individual to fill the office of President of the United States, is in itself of no great consequence, farther than the evidence it furnishes of the extent of his popularity and of the probability of his election.  The subject however assumes a higher and a graver import when a sovereign state bottoms its preference on principles deeply involving the fundamental laws of the Union, and defining the limits of power which the constitution has established for the government of the highest public functionaries.  It is believed no doubt can exist as to the choice which Alabama will make in the ensuing Presidential election.  Her demonstration of regard and devotion to the cause of General Jackson have been too frequent and unequivocal to be mistaken.  In addition to the resolutions passed at two different sessions of the General Assembly, the people of the state have once at the Polls given practical proof of their desire to see him elevated to the highest office known to the government- While therefore the committee think it unnecessary merely as an evidence of regard and veneration for General Jackson to say any thing on the subject, they believe it due to public opinion to the state at large, and to the honest convictions of those opposed to them in opinion, frankly and dispassionately to declare the reasons of their preference.  In doing this they must necessarily pass in review the prominent acts of the present administration, and while they assert in unqualified terms the right of the legislature, or any individual, freely to canvass any official act of a public servant, yet they believe a respect is due to the President of the United States, which should forbid the assertion of any fact of dubious authenticity, or the utterance of any sentiment calculated to give just cause to offence.  A great objection to the election of Mr. Adams is to be found in a departure from those rules of construction which have given definite limits to federal authority.  It is believed by the committee that these departures have not been unfrequent and that some of them have been of a most alarming character.  The great question of internal improvements which has excited the fear and apprehensions of the purest patriots, ever since it has been agitated, appears under the present administration to have settled down into a permanent acknowledgement of their expediency and constitutionality.  Independent of a want of economy in disbursements of this character and the great sectional feelings which are always aroused by any exercise of this power, your committee can see in its practical operations nothing but the total destruction of every vestage of state sovereignty, and a condition of servile dependence and submission to federal power.  It cannot be contended that the power belongs both to the General and State Governments. Such a supposition would involve the absurdity of a grant of the same power to two distinct and independent sovereignties, and would bring


183

about a continual clashing of authority in its exercise.  Admit that it properly belongs to the federal government, it is in itself substantive and not incidental, and of course carries with it all the powers necessary to its most enlarged operation.  Hence no portion of the territory of a sovereign state is protected from an occupation by the General Government, for purposes of this kind, and all state improvements, of whatever character, subsists merely at the will and mercy of the President and the Congress of the United States.  Under this authority roads and canals may be made to traverse a state in every possible direction and observatories and universities can be erected to a number limited only by the discretion of the General Government.  If it should be thought that these great national improvements require the enactment of penal laws for their protection, a code might be introduced more odious than the game laws of England, expounded by the veriest vassals of executive authority and enforced by the bayonet of a federal soldiery.  In that event the state government, the great depository for power for all internal improvements, the palladium of civil rights, and the counterpoise of usurpation in the General Government, would want a home an locality for the exercise of its most ordinary powers.  It is no answer to these objections to say the power complained of is entrusted to the sound discretion of Congress and that no such consequences need be apprehended.  The framers of the constitution were too well versed in the history of man not to have defined clearly the limitations of power instead of entrusting such limitations to the uncontrolled discretion of any particular department of government.  It is one of the great objections to the present administration that its latitudinarian principles involve the conclusion that its powers are limited only by its discretion.  The above apprehensions, the committee believe, are justified by the bold and reckless claims of power set up by the President in his first message, and by the equally exceptionable report of Secretary Rush one of Mr. Adams' cabinet during the same session.  These documents, coming as they did from an administration just then in power, may be fairly viewed as an exposition of the course by which it intended to be governed another and an equally dangerous power, with the one just adverted to, is the encouragement by prohibitory duties of one branch of industry at the expense of another. Important as this power really is, and as dangerous as it may be in its exercise, like the one just alluded to, it is no where expressly given by the constitution, but is entirely the creature of implication.  As far however as the public can be informed of the policy of the President and his cabinet, this appears to be a favorite measure.  Mr. Rush in the report above alluded to, has carried the doctrine so far as to claim for the government the right to organize the entire labor of the country.  This assumption is predicated on the principle that the people are a mere machine in the hands of the government, to be worked in such manner as will produce in the opinion of their rulers the greatest portion of national wealth. It involves the right to give any direction to individual enterprise and capital that the government may think proper to take from the agriculturists by increased exactions, the profits of their honest labor ad to drive them for support to the loathsome workshops of the pampered manufacturer.  The committee cannot anticipate this state of popular degradation on the one hand, and of increased governmental power on the other, with any other emotion than such as the most formidable species of oppression would suggest.

The history of the Mission to Panama discloses as the committee believe, many objections to the re-election of Mr. Adams, independent of the danger of an alliance with the nations who at that time could not be said to have pos-


184

sessed any established character, and whose subsequent developments have not been of the most satisfactory character.  Setting aside also the utter fruitlessness of the project; the strong predisposition of Mr. Adams to overleap the barriers of executive authority constitutes a serious ground of opposition to his re-election.  He asserts in broad terms his right to originate any foreign mission with or without the consent of the Senate, hitherto considered by all his constitutional advisers.  A more unqualified power in relation to this subject could not be claimed under the strongest government ever imposed on any people.

Another prominent act of Mr. Adams requires particular notice, viz his threat to employ military force against one of the sovereign members of the confederacy.  So great a want of temper such an entire misconception of the character of the American people, and so extraordinary a claim of power is believed to be unparalleled in the history of any preceding administration. More forbearance might have been expected from a prince of unlimited powers to one of the most rebellious provinces of his domination.  Before any negotiation of a friendly character was attempted, or even a measure of compromise proposed the State of Georgia was threatened with the military force of the Union, for the purpose of forcing her into an unconstitutional abandonment of substantial rights of sovereignty, secured to her by the sole stipulation of treaty.- This state cannot but share some portion of the responsibility thrown upon Georgia in this matter, inasmuch as an enactment of the last legislature, and a resolution of the same body recognized the principles for which Georgia was then contending.  As Alabamians, therefore, the committee feel bound to protest against this violent measure of the President of the United States, they look upon this manifestation of feeling as entirely incompatible with the peace of the Union, the sovereignty of the State and the genius of the American government.  It is at once setting aside the majesty of law and reason, and substituting the law of force as the common arbiter in all conflicts for sovereignty between the general government and an independent State. It is an assertion of the principle that the President is the sole judge of all questions of this important and delicate nature, and that he has the right to enforce his decisions at the point of the bayonet.  Concede this power and the committee can see in this government nothing but the features of the most odious and unmitigated despotism.  In conclusion, the committee would observe that they believe it important that the re-election of John Quincy Adams should be defeated lest the principles here complained of may, aided as they are by the already alarming assistance of executive patronage.  His cabinet have not hesitated at different times and places, in set speeches to attempt to quiet the apprehensions of the people by a labored defense of his measures.  To counteract so powerful an influence systematic effort is required of the people and a concentration of their entire strength on some distinguished individual.  The tried integrity and patriotism of General Andrew Jackson, his great public services and the high estimation in which he is held by the people of the United States point him out as the individual best suited to the present crisis - we look to him with the found hope of seeing the primitive simplicity and purity of the government restored the venerated principles of the men of the revolution revived, and the empty grandeur and parade of the present administration exchanged for the plain dealing honesty of former times.  In which report the House concurred - Yeas 54, Nays 8.

The yeas and nays being desired, those who voted in the affirmative are, Mr. Speaker Acklen Anderson Bell Bradford Brown Broadnax Bridges Bonnell Clark Conner Cook Craig Davis Dennis Durrett Duke Edmondson Forrest Greening Harris Higgins Jack Kelly Lewis Martin McVay of Laud. McVay of Law. Massey McRae of mon. McRae of Frank. Moore of Jack.


185

Moore of mad. Paulding Price Rainey Rather Ross Robertson Russell Sargent Sharp Sibley Smith of Clark Smith of mad. Stone Tarver Terry Vaughan Vining Walker Ward Weisinger and Wiggins 54.

Those who voted in the negative are,

Mr. Colgin Collier Coopwood Daniel Ellis Perkins Richardson and Walthal.

The same committee also reported the following resolution: Resolved, therefore that the Representative branch of the General Assembly of the State of Alabama have the greatest confidence in the integrity patriotism and ability of the General Andrew Jackson, and they believe that it would be to the interest of the United States for him to be elected President for the next presidential term. Mr. Collier moved to amend the resolution by striking out all after the word resolved, with a view to insert the following: that in the opinion of the members of this House, a large majority of the people of this state, are decidedly friendly to the election of Gen. Andrew Jackson to the presidency, and that we as their Representatives, will support his election to that office by all constitutional means. A division of the question being called for, the vote was first taken on striking out, which was lost, and the question being put shall this resolution be adopted, it was determined in the affirmative, yeas 58- nays 5.

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

Mr. Speaker Acklen Anderson Bell Bradford Brown Broadnax Bridges Bonnell Clark Colgin Conner Cook Coopwood Craig Daniel Davis Dennis Durrett Duke Edmondson Forrest Greening Harris Higgins Jack Kelly Lawler Lewis Martin McVay of Laud McVay of Law. Massey McRae of mon. McRae of Frank. Moore of Jack. Moore of mad. Paulding Price Rainey Rather Ross Robertson Russell Sargent Sharp Sibley Smith of Clark Smith of  mad. Stone Tarver Terry Vaughan Vining Walker Ward Weisinger and Wiggins 58.

Those who voted in the negative are,

Mr. Collier Ellis Perkins Richardson and Walthal.

Ordered, that Mr. Sibley have leave of absence for the remainder of the session, and then the House adjourned until tomorrow morning half past 9 o'clock.