Tuesday, January 20th, 1818.

The house met pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. Samuel Dale returned as a representative from Monroe County, appeared, produced his credentials and took his seat.

Mr. Phillips Fitspatrick returned as a representative from Montgomery County, appeared, produced his credentials and took his seat.

On motion of Mr. Clay,

Resolved, that the house do now proceed to elect a speaker, whereupon Messrs. Clay and Smith were appointed tellers to conduct and report said election, the house then proceeded to elect a Speaker, and upon counting the ballots the said tellers reported that Mr. Gabriel Moore, a representative from Madison county was duly elected Speaker ; whereupon he was conducted to the chair, from whence he made his acknowledgments to the house.

On motion of Mr. McVay,

Resolved, that the House proceed to elect a clerk, and that the same members who acted as tellers at the election of a Speaker, be also ap-


pointed to act as tellers on the balloting for a clerk ; the house then proceeded to the election of a clerk, and upon counting the ballots, the said tellers reported that Isaac R. Nicholson, was duly elected clerk, to whom the oath of office was administered by Mr. Speaker : whereupon he took his seat, and entered upon the duties of his office.

On motion of Mr. M'Vay,

Resolved, that the House now proceed to the election of a doorkeeper; and that Messrs. Walker and Lipscomb, be appointed tellers to conduct and report said election, and upon counting the ballots it appeared that Matthew Lafoy was duly elected door-keeper, who accordingly entered on the duties of his office.

On motion of Mr. Lipscomb,

Resolved, that this House, with the concurrence of the Legislative Council, will at the hour of 12 o'clock meridian, in the Representative Chamber, proceed to the election of Sergeant at arms-

Message from the Council by Mr. Hooks, their Secretary:


Mr. Speaker,

I am instructed to inform the house of Representatives, that the Legislative council will meet them in their chamber at the hour of 12 o'clock meridian, for the purpose of proceeding to the election of Sergeant at Arms :" and he then withdrew.

The Legislative Council having arrived and taken the seats assigned them, the two houses proceeded to ballot for said officer ; and upon counting out the votes, it appeared that Samuel Smith, was duly elected, who entered on the duties of his office accordingly.

On motion of Mr. Walker,

Resolved, that a committee of five members be appointed to prepare rules of order and decorum for the government of this house; whereupon Messrs. Walker, Smith, Clay, Lipscomb & Dale, were appointed.

On motion of Mr. M'Vay.

Resolved, that until the aforesaid committee report, the rules which governed the house of Representatives of the Mississippi Territory at their last session, be adopted as the rules of order and decorum in de-


bate, so far as they comport with the change of things, and the actual conditions of the house.

On motion of Mr. McVay,

Resolved, that the clerk of this house do inform the council, that they have formed a Quorum; elected the Honorable Gabriel Moore, from the county of Madison, their Speaker, Isaac R. Nicholson, Esq. their clerk, Matthew Lafoy, their door keeper and Samuel Smith, their Sergeant at Arms, and are now ready to proceed to business.

A message from the Council by Mr. Hooks their Secretary :

"Mr. Speaker,

I am authorised to inform you that the Council is now in Session, have appointed Curtis Hooks Secretary, John Pearson door-keeper, & are now ready to proceed to business."

On motion of Mr. Walker,

Resolved, that a committee of two members be appointed, to wait upon his excellency the Governor of the Territory, and inform him that a Quorum of the Legislative Council and House of Representa-


tives have met, and are ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make, and messrs. Walker and Lipscomb were accordingly appointed.

Mr. Walker, from the committee appointed to wait on his Excellency the Governor, and inform him that a quorum of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives are convened and ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make them; reported, that they had performed that service, and received for answer that he would make his communication to both houses in the Representative Chamber, at one o'clock instant.

A message from the Council by Mr. Hooks, their Secretary:

"Mr Speaker,

I am directed to inform the House of Representatives that the Council will meet the Representatives in their chamber, at one o'clock inst. to receive his Excellency's the Governors Message:" and then he withdrew.

A message from his Excellency the Governor by Joseph Noble,


Esq. his private Secretary, who delivered to Mr. Speaker, a written Communication, addressed to both Houses, and then he withdrew.

The message was then read as follows:

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and of the House of Representatives:

I beg leave to tender to you my congratulations on the first meeting of the General Assembly of the Alabama Territory.

The circumstances of our country under which you have convened, present a most gratifying spectacle, and claim our most devout gratitude. While the habitation of man in many portions of the Earth, is the residence of poverty, oppression and wretchedness, the people of our highly favored nation, are in the tranquil enjoyment of every blessing. The rights of persons and of property are carefully protected; and alike open to all, is the road to wealth and fame, and public honors. At peace (except with a part of our Indian neighbors) and prosperous beyond example, we may review


with pride the scenes of war which are past, and indulge the most pleasing anticipations of the future; The high destiny of the Territory for which you are called to Legislate, we can not fail to contemplate with peculiar satisfaction. Ample in extent, abounding in navigable waters, and rich in the advantages of soil and climate, the period cannot be distant, when the haunts of the savage will become the dwelling place of civilized man, and the forests of the wilderness be converted into fruitful fields.

I am pursuaded, gentlemen, that in the discharge of your duties, you will find the strongest incentives to cultivate harmony among yourselves and to afford to the country thus distinguished by the bounty of Providence, all the benefits of which it is susceptible. You will not be unmindful that the diffusion of knowledge and correct habits among the people, and wholesome laws impartially and rigidly executed, are essential to our happiness and prosperity. To promote these objects it is important- 1st: That


schools and the means of education should be provided and encouraged to the extent of your powers; and 2d, That regarding a proper economy with due reference to the obvious depreciation on the exchangeable value of money, sufficient compensation should be allowed to those who may devote their time and talents to the public, to ensure the services of competent men. Parsimony in that respect, is not economy: nor is it calculated to place your offices equally within the reach of the rich and the poor. Worth and capacity are not exclusively confined to those who can submit to pecuniary sacrifices for public honors. They are to be found in every class of society, and it is the course of wisdom that such provision should be made, as will render the public service acceptable to the meritorious in every situation of life.

Permit me to recommend to the attention of the Legislature the subject of roads, ferries and bridges. The strength of a county consists in its population; & it is peculiar-


ly the interest of this Territory to invite emigration hither, by furnishing every possible facility of communication. I am aware however that under existing circumstances, the object cannot be wholly attained without the interposition of the government of the United States.

Your attention will doubtless be directed at an early period of your session, to the act of Congress establishing the Alabama Territory. It is with you to make the necessary provisions respecting the seat and accommodation of the Government. To you also belongs the power of electing a Delegate to Congress, and of nominating six persons to the President of the United States, three of whom are to be selected by him for members of the Legislative Council. I have moreover, to apprise you that Robert Beatty, Esq. has resigned his seat in that body.

It will not escape your observation , that some provision in regard to representation in the House of Representatives, together with a suitable modification of the laws, and re-organization of the offices


within your control, are rendered indispensable. And I apprehend you may also deem it advisable, to change the boundaries of some of the existing counties by creating new counties or otherwise. Under that impression, I have abstained from filling appointments within the scope of my authority, for the purpose of awaiting the result of your deliberations. Unacquainted indeed, with the present civil and military arrangements, and without the means of ascertaining who are in office, except by application to the former executive, delay in that respect has been unavoidable.

On the 21st of December last I received a communication from Maj. General Gaines, requesting that two companies of militia might be attached for the defence of a part of our southern frontier. A detachment has been ordered accordingly to Fort Crawford, for two months service, and now constitute a part of the General's command.

It has been represented to me that the Convention of Mississippi have forwarded a petition to Congress,


soliciting an enlargement of that State, by limiting the boundary of this Territory to the Tombeckbe river. I consider the decision of that question highly important to the people whose interests are committed to our care. The present line of partition has been deliberately fixed by the competent authorities and voluntarily accepted by the inhabitants of the State. They have exercised the exclusive privilege of framing a Government for themselves; a privilege, which I trust will not be denied to our fellow citizens. Nor do I perceive any just grounds for the proposed change, or any advantages that can result from it. The improvement of the navigation of our Rivers is a subject of the highest interest; and when equally the business of separate states, it is always difficult, if not impracticable, to obtain the necessary concert for effecting the object.

I would further submit to your consideration the propriety of adopting measures during your present session, for ascertaining previously to the next meeting of the General As-


sembly, the number of inhabitants within our limits.

My acquaintance with the affairs of the Territory, necessarily imperfect as it is, does not enable me to detail particular defects in the law; or to specify the appropriate remedies. Such as occur to me will constitute the subject of a future message. I have however, the satisfaction to know, that the Legislative concerns are in the hands of those whose intelligence and patriotism furnish a sure guarantee for a judicious and faithful performance of their duties. And I beg you to be assured that every aid which it may be in my power to contribute, will be cheerfully rendered.


St. Stephens, 20th Jan. 1818

On motion of Mr. Lipscomb,

Resolved, that a committee of five members be appointed for the purpose of contracting for a house and furniture for the use of the General Assembly, during their present session: Whereupon, messrs. Lipscomb, Fitspatrick, Clay, Smith and Slade, were appointed.


On motion of Mr. Walker,

Resolved, that the House will on to-morrow resolve itself into a committee of the whole, on the message of the Governor.

On motion of Mr. Clay,

Resolved, that this House do now adjourn until to-morrow, 10 o'clock A. M.