The Senate met pursuant to adjournment.
Mr. Moore presented the petition of sundry citizens of the county of Marion praying the incorporation of a company of Cavalry in said county; which was read and referred to the military committee to consider and report thereon.
Mr. Casey introduced a bill to be entitled an act concerning the owners and keepers of Mills and other water works; which was read and ordered to a second reading to-morrow.
Mr. Sullivan offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the Judiciary committee enquire into the expediency of so amending the laws on the subject of bastardy as to compel any single woman pregnant to make affidavit thereof of the reputed father, or that any Justice of the peace having knowledge of the same may issue his warrant, and that the overseers of the poor having knowledge of such fact, shall make complaint to a Justice of the peace thereof with leave to report by bill or otherwise, which was adopted.
Mr. Crabb from the committee appointed on the part of the Senate to act jointly with a committee appointed on the part of the House of Representatives to examine whether John Davis has safely kept and retuned to the proper persons, the state property, which was entrusted to him by a resolution of the last General Assembly reported "that they have made enquired in relation to the property alluded to in the resolution and can find no data by which they can comply with the requisition of the same than the inventory furnished by John Davis himself, which appears to have been taken on the 20th Jan. 1827, and your committee believe correctly; and the property delivered to the door-keepers of the General Assembly as by him received.
On motion of Mr. Sullivan ordered that the inventory of the property is returned by John Davis be entered upon the journals.
The Inventory is as follows- Inventory of furniture belonging to the State of Alabama taken at Tuskaloosa on the 20th day of January 1827, 84 Desks (24 of which are without keys) 5 Tables, 100 Chairs, 4 pair Fire dogs, 2 Shovels, 1 pair Tongs, 14 Candlesticks, 3 pair Candlesnuffers, 6 Pitchers, 4 Tumblers, 2 Buckets, 1 Jug, 33 Inkstands set in cork, 17 Comps do. 1 Red stone do. 2 do. in Brittania, 1 Large Black stove, 2 Sand Boxes.
Mr. Barton offered the following resolution: Resolved, that the Judiciary committee be instructed to enquire into the expediency of amending the laws now in force authorizing Executors and Administrators to sell real estate in certain cases with leave to report by bill or otherwise, which was adopted.
Mr. Ashe introduced a bill to be entitled, an act relative to the duty of grand jurors; which was read and ordered to a second reading to-morrow. Messrs. Hubbard, Merriwether, Moore, Sullivan, Casey and Irwin, who voted in the minority on the passage of the bill entitled, an act for the relief Bushrod W. Bell, availed themselves of their constitutional privilege, to spread their reasons upon the journal, for voting against the passage of said bills; which are as follows: The undersigned members of the Senate who voted in the minority on the passage of the following bill "An act for the relief of Bushrod W. Bell."
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama in General Assembly convened, That hereafter in all cases where it may be necessary for Bushrod W. Bell, to take the dueling oath prescribed by the act of the Legislature of this State passed January the seventh one thousand eight hundred and twenty six entitled. An act to alter and amend the several acts now in force in this State to suppress the evil practice of dueling the oath shall be so administered as to permit him to swear that he has not violated any of the provisions of law now in force on the subject of dueling since the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said Bushrod W. Bell be, and he is hereby relieved from all and every disqualification imposed by the existing laws now in force in this State on the subject of dueling which bill has been passed to relieve Bushrod W. Bell from the operation of existing laws intended to suppress the evil practice of dueling shewn here to the public and their constituents the reasons which governed them in their course; in which we will say nothing against the practice of fighting in single combat with deadly weapons- whether it is better for men thus to sport with live and wholly disregard the dearest interests of families and friends, or whether they should consult those interests and disregard the opinions of self created Judges upon points of honor, are questions which we will not here debate. But we question the policy of this Legislature in passing such laws, can it be good policy in that department of the government which has established rules for the government of the whole: and required such strict obedience thereto on the part of others, to be the first of the public authorities to encourage a violation. We think it cannot- The Legislature of this State has from time to time by its most solemn acts pointed out the crime of deliberate dueling as an offence against the peace and happiness of society of the most dangerous character; and yet when this individual has deliberately committed the crime, we immediately restore him to all the privileges of an unoffending citizens, and, as if we intended now to express our approbation of his conduct, we by the bill give him full license to violate the law which impunity from this time until the first day of January next before he will be again
reduced to that state of obedience to law required from peaceable citizens.
Can such a course of Legislation excite fear in the bosom of the ingovernable, inspire a hope of protection in the weak and helpless, or gain the respect of any class of our citizens?
In our opinion it cannot. The Legislature of this State to express the enormity and public disapprobation of this offence have enacted, that all who commit it, or who are concerned in its commission shall be fined in a large sum of money, imprisoned without bail, and disqualified from holding any office of honor, profit or trust; and least somehow commit it might escape punishment and pass with impunity, they have furthermore enjoined it upon all civil officers, to exert the utmost of their power to enquire into the conduct of, and prosecute and punish all offenders and fearing that the injunctions so given might not be a sufficient inducement with those officers to ensure a prompt performance of duty on their part, the Legislature has made any omission to perform that duty an offence for which those officers for bare neglect are to forfeit their office and never hold another; does not such acts of Legislation intimate to society that duelling is a high crime when committed, and that it is almost equally criminal to permit it to go unpunished? And yet shall the members of that very department of government which is given the crime such a hue act so inconsistently with themselves as to restore the perpetrator unpunished, to all the privileges of a citizens which he so recently and voluntarily forfeited and give him full license to repeat the offence as often as he may choose for nearly one month yet to come. We think the policy a bad one. - We think that, that part of government which holds the responsible station of Law makers, should do no act which has so strong a tendency to countenance the law breakers, and that society would have more confidence in us were we to practice the course which we command others to pursue- we who voted in the minority think that it the good of society requires such rigid promptness in punishing this offence on the part of the other officers of government that we are equally bound with them to do no act which will appear to the world to give it our sanction we think it a duty we owe to those who voted in the majority to say we impute no blame to them. The individual for whose benefit the bill has been passed stands fair in society, and his was a case of great provocation; but we oppose such a course of Legislation from a conviction in our own minds of its impropriety, we think it better for the peace, happiness and good government of society that individual cases of hardship should exist, than that the most salutary rules should be prostrated by acts of the above character, and we give these reasons to the public as a justification of our course.
(Signed) DAVID HUBBARD,
Engrossed bills entitled, an act to incorporate the Summerville Philomatheon society; and, an act for the benefit of the Pikesville Library company were severally read the third time and passed.
Ordered that the titles of the bills be as aforesaid and that they be reported to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
A message from the House of Representatives by Mr. Ready.
Mr. President- The House of Representatives have read three several times and passed a bill which originated in the Senate, entitled an act for the relief of William W. Garrard, and have amended the same by striking out the word eighteen and inserting in lieu thereof the word nine. In which amendment they desire your concurrence.
Ordered, that the Senate concur in the foregoing amendment, and that the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives therewith.
A bill to be entitled an act to incorporate the Blakely and Greenville Turnpike company was read the third time.
Mr. Jones offered the following amendment to the bill by way of Rider provided nothing herein shall be so construed as to prevent any person from passing any road in the several counties herein named, now opened or which may hereafter be opened agreeable to law.
On motion of Mr. Barton ordered that the bill together with the amendment lie on the table till tomorrow.
A bill to be entitled an act to amend an act entitled an act to incorporate the town of Elyton in the county of Jefferson passed Dec. 20th 1820, was read the second time and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading tomorrow.
A bill to be entitled, an act to change the time of holding the August Term of the county court of Jefferson County, was read the second time and referred to a special committee consisting of Messrs. Irwin, Casey, and Brown, to consider and report thereon.
A bill to be entitled an act to emancipate certain persons, therein mentioned, was read the second time and ordered to lie on the table.
Bills entitled, an act to change the name of and legitimate a certain person therein named. An act to divorce Joseph Cadole from Nancy Cadole; An act to divorce Peggy Seay from Nicholas Seay; An act to divorce William O. Russell from Nancy G. Russell: An act to divorce Abraham Danner from Anna Danner; and, an act to divorce Elizabeth W. Cowell from Samuel Cowell, were severally read the second time and ordered to a third tomorrow.
A bill to be entitled an act to establish a permanent seat of Justice in the county of Henry was read the second time and referred to a special committee consisting of Messrs. Irwin, Abercrombie, and Jones, to consider and report thereon.
A bill to be entitled an act to divorce William Travis from Elizabeth Travis was read the second time.
Mr. Jackson moved to amend the bill by striking therefrom the words and that the said William be restored to all the rights and privileges of an unmarried man which was carried. Ordered that the bill be made the order of the day for a third reading tomorrow.
Mr. Evans offered the following resolution: Resolved That the judiciary committee be instructed to enquire whether it may not be proper to repeal the 11th section of an act, passed the 10th of February 1827, prescribing the mode of taking evidence by deposition of persons living beyond the limits of this State and that they have leave to report by bill or otherwise; which was adopted.
Mr. Evans also offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the committee on county boundaries be instructed to enquire into the expediency of so altering the limits of the county of Wilcox as to make the Alabama river the western boundary line; which was adopted.
Mr. Jackson offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the com-
mittee on propositions and grievances be instructed to enquire whether the laws now in force regulating and establishing a standard of weights and measures in each county in this State require amendment, with leave to report by bill or otherwise, which was adopted.
And then the Senate adjourned till tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.