The Senate met pursuant to adjournment.
Mr. Hubbard from the committee on the State Capitol submitted the following report "The committee on the State Capitol, who by two several Resolutions of this House, were instructed to obtain from the Architect for the state an estimate of the probable cost of a building according to the plan of the State House adopted at the last session of the Legislature, also to obtain from said Architect a suitable plan for a State House which should be nearest in amount of cost to the amount of the appropriation of the last session of the Legislature, have performed that duty and herewith respectfully present the plans and estimates of cost of materials, &c. furnished by said Architect. Your committee have examined the plan proposed under the second resolution and find it in their opinion too contracted for the convenience and accommodation of the Legislature They have required the Architect to enlarge the plan of said building better to suit the purposes of the state and to furnish the committee for the information of this House, such enlarged plan, together with the estimated cost of enlargement - All of which are herewith submitted, and the adoption of the plan thus enlarged is hereby unanimously recommended by your committee.
Ordered, that the report together with the plan submitted by the committee lie on the table.
Mr. Powell from the joint committee on enrolled bills, reported as correctly enrolled. An act prescribing the mode of commencing the contest of certain elections, and of procuring evidence therein: An act to repeal in
part and amend the several acts now in force relative to the Port and Harbor of Mobile: An act authorizing Samuel B. Ewing Administrator of Thomas Ewing deceased, to sell and transfer certain real estate: An act to extend the corporate limits of Bellefont: An act for the relief of Bushrod W. Bell: An act to authorize the commissioners of the 16th section of the first township and Eighth Range west of the meridian of Huntsville, situated in the county of Lauderdale, to lease said section for ninety nine years, renewable forever: An act to better to secure the benefit of the laws exempting certain property from execution to poor families of this State: An act to provide for the arranging, filing and preservation of the papers relating to the unfinished business of each session of the Legislature: An act to incorporate the Town of Blountsville in the county of Blount; and An act authorizing a lottery for the benefit of Cyrus Chapter No. 6. of Royal Arch Masons and Florence Lodge No. 14, of Ancient Free Masons in the Town of Florence- All of which were accordingly signed by Mr. President.
A message from the House of Representatives by Mr. Ready.
Mr. President- The House of Representatives concur in the amendment made by the Senate to the bill entitled, an act to compel Solicitors to reside within their respective circuits.
Mr. Hubbard from the committee on the Judiciary to which was referred a bill to be entitled, an act to authorize Isham R. Houze to bring into this state the slaves of Susan B. Houze, reported the same as amended, which was concurred in.
Ordered, that the bill lie on the table till tomorrow.
Mr. Hubbard from the same committee to which was referred the bill entitled an act to authorize Justices of the Peace to take the probate of Deeds and the relinquishment of Dower and for other purposes, reported that it is inexpedient in the opinion of the committee to pass the bill, which was disagreed to. Ordered that the bill be made the order of the day for a third reading to-morrow.
Mr. Hubbard from the same committee to which was referred the bill entitled, an act to organize and establish circuits courts in Dale county and for other purposes reported, the same as amended; which was concurred in. Ordered that the bill be engrossed and made the order of the day for a third reading to-morrow.
Mr. Hubbard from the same committee to which was referred a bill entitled an act relative to the duties of Grand Juries, reported the same without amendment. Ordered that the bill be engrossed and made the order of the day for a third reading to-morrow.
Mr. Casey presented the report of the commissioners appointed by a Resolution of the last Session of the General Assembly to ascertain and report 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: which was read. Ordered that the report lie on the table and that one hundred copies thereof be printed for the use of the Senate.
Mr. Casey also presented the certificate of sundry persons relating to the above mentioned subject of the Cahawba Lots; which was laid on the table. Ordered by the Senate that the Joint Resolution adopting a plan for the State Capitol lie on the table till to-morrow.
Ordered, that the bill entitled, an act to incorporate the Blakeley and Greenville Turnpike Company lie on the table till to morrow.
The bill entitled, an act to appoint commissioners for the county of Dale and for other purposes, was taken up, amended by way of Rider on Mr. Irwin's motion and passed.
A bill entitled, an act to authorize the Sheriff at Walker county to execute precepts issued by Justices of the Peace, was read the third time and passed. Ordered that the title of the bill be An act to authorize the Sheriffs of Walker, Dale & Covington, counties to execute precepts issued Justices of the Peace. Ordered that the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives therewith.
A bill entitled, an act to divide 22d Regiment of the militia of this State was read the second time and ordered to lie on the table till to morrow.
A bill to be entitled, an act to establish a permanent seat of Justice in the county of Henry, was read the third time and passed.
A bill to be entitled, an act to amend an act entitled an act to establish the Bank of the State of Alabama, was read the second time. Ordered that the bill be referred to the standing committee on the State Bank with instructions to enquire what further, if any, amendments be necessary to the Charter of said Bank.
Mr. Hubbard from the special committee to which was referred so much of the Governors message as relates to the existing state of distress and embarrassment submitted the following report:--
The committee to whom was referred that part of his Excellency the Governor's message which relates to individual distress and embarrassment now too general in the country have had the matter under consideration. Fully impressed with the responsible task assigned them of proposing to this Legislature some plan intended for the relief of the suffering part of our community and thereby incurring the blame of all who may doubt the expediency or disapprove of the plan proposed, or on the other had, of turning a deaf ear to suffering and distress, and witnessing the ruin of so great a number of our most useful citizens. Your committee have preferred to risk the former, in the hope of the attainment of amend so desired as the latter-- In the doing of which, Your committee will only point at the most prominent causes of the evils complained of and propose for consideration a remedy, which if not the best, it is hoped may be improved by the wisdom of this House. To look at human misery and distress, under any circumstance is painful; but how must our sympathies be increased, when distress and suffering become general with a community who are in no wise to blame; whose embarrassment was not created by extravagance or increased by folly; whose best planned schemes and honest exertions have been frustrated by an overruling providence added to other causes over which they could not exercise control? For the two last planting seasons a portion of the citizens of Alabama have been visited with droughts, the most blighting in their effects not half crops have been made, and of the scanty supply thus raised, half the usual price can scarcely be obtained; and add to this (already overwhelming cause) the circumstance of the failure of one of the Banks of the State, which had furnished so large a portion of our circulating medium and your committee think they have pointed at the true causes of embarrassment, with which our citizens now have to contend, not attributable to want of foresight or industry, and over which the energies of an industrious and economical people will, if assisted speedily triumph- but if lead without assistance may suffer losses and privations, which years of hardships and trial will not repay.
Your committee beg leave to recommend the passage of a law which will enable the State to borrow, if it can be done at a low rate of interest a sum from one or two hundred thousand dollars to be added to and form a part of the Capital of the State Bank, upon which the Bank may increase its loans and put into circulation with safety to the State, security to the institution itself, and on accommodating terms to the borrower, a sum of money which will supply in part the present want of a circulating median; and thus prevent the sacrifice of property, and enable a large portion of our worthy and valuable citizens to save their property from ruin and families from distress. It may be objected: that to offer inducements to borrow money many would go into Bank without prudence or ability to meet their engagements and that innocent securities would thereby suffer. - This it is admitted, would sometimes be the case but not often; and when one such case might happen, we believe one hundred would be relieved: Men would not however borrow money for the purchase of the luxuries of life. They would only resort to such a course to enable them to retain their property from sacrifice, property, which cost them years of most anxious labour to acquire and which they are now doomed to sacrifice to enable them to pay perhaps a very small part of the very debt created by its purchase, in times of more prosperity.
In recommending this measure, your committee are not without precedent which experience has proved beneficial; nor have they any thing to apprehend from the test of sober reason. The State of New York borrowed money to loan to its citizens in time of need and divided it out among the different counties; and we now see the people of that state, a flourishing, prosperous and happy people. Doctor Franklin was so sensible of the value of money to the borrower when well used, that he left a considerable portion of his estate to be loaned to poor industrious mechanics to enable them to make a beginning. Had his experience provided it demoralising or dangerous to their prosperity, he never would have made such a disposition of his property. Every day's practice in life shews us that a very large portion of prudent men who borrow money at a low rate of interest prosper by it and shall we not (if in our power) afford to our citizens (now in the greatest need) the means of relief which experience has found both safe and convenient? If it is said, there is danger in the experiment, your committee refer to the success of our State Bank, which has answered the highest expectations of its friends. They believe the necessities of the people of the state require an increase of the circulating medium to the extent set forth above and they further believe that the resources of the state and industry of its citizens will warrant the measure proposed as both safe and beneficial. Your committee in presenting their views, cannot overlook a further cause of distress, which will fail upon a large portion of our citizens, who were indebted to the Tombeckbe Bank, which Bank has as your committee are informed and believe, transferred their notes to a very large amount to the United States, which debts will be speedily sued for in the courts of some adjoining State, the District Judge being President of said Bank, and the citizens who are debtors to the Bank, will be shortly compelled to pay specie without any other resources than the now limited circulating medium of this state will afford- All of which is respectfully submitted.
Mr. Hubbard then reported a bill to be entitled an act to increase the Capitol of the Bank of the State of Alabama which was read.
Ordered, that the report together with the bill lie on the table and fifty copies of each be printed for the use of the Senate.- And then the Senate adjourned till to-morrow at 10 o'clock.