The House met pursuant to adjournment.
Mr. Fitzpatrick, of Autauga, from the Committee of Privileges ad Elections, made a report that the committee have examined the credentials and other evidence of election, of the following members, and find them duly elected: to wit.
From the county of Madison- Frederick Weedon, Samuel Chapman, John McKinley, John M. Leake, John Vining, David Moore, Samuel Walker.
From the county of Monroe- John Murphy, George W. Owen, James H. Draughan, Samuel Dale, Thomas Evans.
From the county of Limestone- John S. Doxey, William Edmundson, Quin Morton.
From the county of Shelby- Benjamin Davis, Jack Shackleford.
From the county of Montgomery- James Abercrombie, Larkin Cleveland, Joseph Fitzpatrick.
From the county of Washington- James Tagert, Benjamin S. Smoot.
From the county of Tuskaloosa- Hardin Perkins, Jeptha V. Isbell, James Hill.
From the county of Lawrence- Samuel Bigham, Matthew Clay.
From the county of Franklin- John Duke, Temple Sargent.
From the county of Cotaco - McKenney Holderness, John T. Rather.
From the county of Clarke- William Murrell, George W. Creagh.
From the county of Cahawba- Gabriel Benson.
From the county of Conecuh- Samuel Cook, Thomas Armstrong.
From the county of Dallas- Isaac S. McMeans, Horatio G. Perry.
From the county of Marion- James Moore.
From the county of Lauderdale- Hugh McVay, Jonathan Bailey.
From the county of Autauga- James Jackson, Philips Fitzpatrick
From the county of Baldwin- Joseph Mims.
From the county of Mobile- Francis W. Armstrong.
From the county of Blount- Isaac Brown, John Browne, Col. John Brown.
From the county of Marengo- John Coats.
From the county of St. Clair- Phillip Coleman.
And the House concurred in said Report.
Mr. Fitzpatrick, from the committee aforesaid, also submitted the following report, to wit: Report of the committee on the propriety of admitting the members from Jackson county to a seat in the House of Representatives. The committee to whom this subject has been referred has taken into consideration the various circumstances attending the situation of the people of Jackson county. The last session of the Legislature of the State of Alabama, established that county and defined its limits and boundaries. By a law of this State the Sheriffs of the several counties are required to hold elections under severe penalties of neglect, but no provision was made by law, allowing any representatives for the county of Jackson. The sheriff of that county has caused elections to be held at the different precincts on the first Monday and Tuesday in August last, and has certified that William Barkley, G. W. Hopkins, James Fletcher, and William Usry were duly elected to serve in the House of Representatives.
The committee are of opinion that Jackson county does not come within the purview and meaning of the Constitution, which prohibits any new county from electing representatives, which may be formed before the rates of representation is fixed agreeable to the population of each county; because Jackson county is acquired territory and not taken from any other county. What number of members Jackson county should have, the committee are at a loss to say. It appears from the return of the census of that county, the white population is 5246. That the people of that county have been taxed and compelled to pay money for the support of the government of the State. The committee are therefore of opinion, that under all these considerations, and as they cannot see any express prohibition in the Constitution that Jackson county is entitled to a representation. What number of members that county should have, they submit to the consideration of the House, and submit the following report:
Resolved, That Jackson county is entitled to be represented in this House by ____ members.
Mr. Walker moved to fill the blank with "four" the whole number elected, which was decided in the negative.
Mr. Weedon moved to fill the blank with "three," and the House having spent some time in the consideration thereof, Mr. Weedon obtained leave to withdraw his motion. Mr. Coats then moved to fill the blank with "one," which was decided in the negative.
When on motion, Mr. McKinley obtained leave to bring in a bill to authorise Jackson county to be represented in this House.
Mr. Chapman, from the committee appointed on the part of the House to wait on his Honour the acting Governor, reported that the committee had jointly with the committee from the Senate, performed that duty and that his Honour the acting Governor would, through the Honourable the Secretary of State, make a communication in writing to the General Assembly this day at 12 o'clock.
A message from the Senate by Mr. Williams, their secretary -- Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, I am directed by the Senate to inform your honorable body that they have resolved, That a committee be appointed to act with such committee as may be appointed by the House of Representatives to draft resolutions expressive of the regret which is felt by the General Assembly at the death of His Excellency Wm. W. Bibb, late Governor of this State and that they have appointed Messrs Davis, Chambers, and Terrel on their part; and the question being submitted, "will the House concur with the Senate in the foregoing resolution?" it was unanimously adopted. Whereupon, Messrs. Chapman, Moore of Madison, and Evans were appointed on the part of the House. On motion of Mr. Weedon, Ordered, that the following committees be appointed, to wit: a committee on schools and colleges and school and college lands, whereupon Messrs Weedon, Murphy, McKinley, Jackson and Perry were appointed.
A committee on roads bridges, &c. and Messrs. Draughan, Edmundson, Shackleford, Smoot, Cook, McKinley and Murphy were appointed said committee. On motion ordered, That Mr. Leake be added to the committee on the subject of printing the Journals and Laws of the General Assembly. On motion, ordered, that Messrs. Rather, Isbell and Abercrombie, be added to the military committee. On motion, ordered, that Mr. Leake, be added to the judiciary committee. On motion of Mr. Isaac Brown, ordered that a committee be appointed on county boundaries; whereupon, Messrs Isaac Brown, Perry, Creagh, Clay, Dale, Vining and Armstrong of Mobile, were appointed said committee. On motion, ordered, that Mr. McKinley, be added to the committee on Inland Navigation. On motion ordered, that Mr. Chapman, be added to the committee on accounts. On motion, ordered that Mr. Walker be added to the committee on claims. The Senate having been informed that this House is now ready for their reception assembled in the Hall of the House of Representatives, when a communication in writing was received from His Honor the acting Governor, by Mr. Rogers, the Secretary of State; which communication was read and is as follows:
Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives, The distressing and lamented event which has occurred since the last adjournment of the General Assembly, the death of our late Chief Magistrate, has, by a provision of the constitution rendered it necessary for me to assume the discharge of the executive duties of the government, and I cannot in the outset of this communication refrain from expressing to you, that it is with the most peculiar sensations of pain that I have entered upon the discharge of those duties: a pain arising not only from the reflection of the loss of a more experienced officer than myself, but also from a recollection which is continually renewed, that of the loss of a friend and brother.
In taking upon myself the exercise of the power of the Chief Magistrate, I have been actuated alone by a conviction that the constitution imperiously demanded it of me from the station with which I had been honored in the Senate; and if in the execution of the trust which has revolved upon me. I shall satisfy the wishes of my fellow citizens, I shall ever reflect upon it with a pleasure inferior to that only which
arises from a consciousness of having exerted my abilities for the best interests of the community. Sensible as I am of the high and important duties I have to discharge, and of my incapacity to discharge them with an ability equal to my wishes. I shall rely much and with confidence on your friendly co-operation, and assistance, being fully convinced of your anxiety for the promotion of the general welfare.
In entering upon the deliberations incident to your stations, you cannot but derive much satisfaction and encouragement in the reflection, that amidst the severe pecuniary embarrassments under which we, in common with our sister states, have for the last two years been labouring it has pleased a gracious Providence to bestow upon us the blessing of health, that the labours of the husbandman have been rewarded with abundant productions of the earth, both of sustenance and profit, and that generally throughout our State a degree of literary and moral improvement manifests itself, almost without example in the same period, and which cannot fail greatly to promote the interests of domestic happiness and social order.
In calling your attention to the various subjects which it has been made by law the duty of the executive to carry into effect, I have to inform you that the contract made by the late Governor for the erection of a State House at the town of Cahawba, has not been complied with on the part of the contractor, within the time specified by the contract, owing to difficulties unforeseen at the time the contract was made, but the building is so nearly completed, and the necessity for its occupation by the Legislature so great, that I have thought it would best promote the public interest to receive it, subject to be completed hereafter and you will permit me to congratulate you on your being enabled to carry on your deliberations with so much ease to yourselves as the State House affords. Of the sum of nine thousand dollars for which the house was to be built, seven thousand five hundred dollars has been paid to the contractor, and the remaining sum of one thousand five hundred dollars will be paid as soon as the building is completed. Of the sum of one thousand dollars the residue of the sum appropriated, six hundred and sixteen dollars have been expended in providing the necessary furniture for your accommodation, and the balance being eighty-four dollars has been deposited in the Treasury together with the receipts for the expenditures.
I submit the propriety of your making a further appropriation for the purpose of providing window shutters and for enclosing the lot for the preservation of the building.
The provisions of an "act to provide for the organization and disciplining the militia of the State of Alabama" so far as it required duties of the executive, have been carried into effect, with the exception of the appointment of a time for the election of Major Generals; the act authorises the designation of but one place in each division at which the elections shall be held, I have delayed the execution of this part of the law, with a view of recommending to your consideration the propriety of so modifying as to enable the elections to be held at the place of holding courts in each county respectively; this modification will conform to the intention of the law, by enabling the officers to bestow their suffrages with the least inconvenience to themselves.
I regret to state, that delays in some instances have taken place in the transmission of both civil and military commissions, owing to the difficulties of communicating with distant parts of the State.
The reservation by a law of Congress of seventy-two sections, or two entire townships of land for the use of a seminary of learning and to be vested in the Legislature of this State, to be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, has not been completed, owing to some of the most valuable lands not having until lately been surveyed: most of the reservations has, however, been made, and it is expected that the whole will be completed in a short time. Commissioners for leasing the lands which have been reserved in conformity with an act of the last session of the Legislature were appointed by the late Governor: I am in possession of partial information only in relation to the proceedings of the Commissioners; the act does not point out what course the commissioners shall pursue after having rented the same. An abstract of the reports received, are herewith submitted, marked A.
The future disposition of these lands is a subject of the highest importance to our State, and one which I conceive imperiously demands your early attention.
In conformity with the provisions of an "act providing for the preservation of the public arms," a contract has been made for the erection of a building to be of brick and twenty feet square, for the sum of six hundred dollars, and a place designated for its erection: the building is not yet completed, but is in progress: the arms have been received and delivered to the Quarter-Master General.
Conformably with an "act to provide for the sale of lots in the town of Cahawba, and other purposes," I have caused to be surveyed two hundred lots, which are to be sold on the second Monday of the present month; the result of the sale will be the subject of a future communication.
In pursuance of the "act, to provide for the examination of certain rivers therein named, and for other purposes," I have employed Mr. Terry, of North Carolina, as principal and sole engineer; and to perform a part of these duties only, finding the sum appropriated inadequate to the performance of the whole of the duties required by the act. In conformity with my instructions, he has already examined the Coosa river, from the mouth of Will's Creek to the lower end of the Falls of Wetumpka.
His report thereon has been received, which, together with the contract made with him, is herewith submitted, marked B. He is now engaged in the examination of the Tennessee river, from the head of the Muscle Shoals to where the State line crosses the same; and I expect to be enabled before your adjournment, to lay before you his report thereon. Should it be the intention of the General Assembly to cause at this time an examination of the other rivers and routs for roads, contemplated in the act to be made, I suggest the expediency of constituting and appoint a board of commissioners of public roads.
Owing to unfavorable delays the resolution of the last General Assembly vesting the Governor with authority to settle the accounts between this State and the State of Mississippi, the accounts have not been adjusted; but the subject is now under consideration.
By virtue of a resolution of the last General Assembly, authorising the Governor to effect a loan for the purposes of the State, the late Governor borrowed of the Planters' and Merchants' Bank of Huntsville, ten thousand dollars, which will become due on the 24th and 27th days of December next. I have lately received a letter from the President of the Bank, a copy of which is herewith submitted, marked C, which will enable you to make such arrangements with the Bank, as will best comport with the public interest. A particular statement of the receipts into the Treasury, and of the public expenditures for the last political year, will be laid before you by the proper officer, and I regret to state that the receipts fall far short of the necessary expenditures of the government.
Returns of the census, which was directed by a law of the last session of the Legislature to be taken, have been received from twenty-four counties, an abstract of which is herewith submitted, marked D. The aggregate amount of population in those counties is one hundred and twenty-nine thousand two hundred and twenty-seven. So soon as the returns are completed, they will be laid before you.
By the second section of the second article of the Constitution of the United States, it is provided that "each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress," to vote for persons to fill the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States; and by an act of Congress it is provided, that the electors shall be appointed within thirty-four days preceding the first Wednesday in December, in every fourth year, succeeding the last election. No act having been passed by the General Assembly of this State on this subject, and the fourth day of March next being the time at which, by the Constitution, the term of service of the present President and Vice-President will expire, it becomes necessary that an act shall be passed designating the mode of the appointment of electors; and it may be proper to observe, that the time at which the electors are by law to give their votes is so near at hand, that it seems there is no other mode left, but for the Legislature to make the appointments.
Assembled as you are from all parts of the State, whatever subjects tending to promote the welfare of our fellow citizens which may require your deliberations, will no doubt suggest themselves to you Should there be any thing brought to the notice of the executive during your session which may be of public interest. I shall not fail to lay it before you. That your deliberations may result in the greatest possible good to the community at large, is my anxious and only wish.
On motion of Mr. Murrell, ordered that the committee on public printing be instructed to have three hundred copies of said communication printed for the use of the members of this House.
On motion, ordered that Mr. Jackson be added to the judiciary committee.
And then the house adjourned till to-morrow 10 o'clock.