The house met pursuant to adjournment.
On motion of Mr. Everitt, resolved, that the clerk of this house inform the senate, that the house of representatives have formed a quorum, chosen the Hon. James Dellett, of Monroe county, their speaker, Jonas J. Bell, clerk, and Daniel Rather, door-keeper, and are now ready to proceed to business.
On motion of Mr. Owen, resolved, that a committee of two members be appointed to wait on his excellency the governor, with such committee as may be appointed for that purpose, by the senate, and inform him that a quorum of both houses have met, and are now ready to receive any communication he may please to make; whereupon, messrs. Owen and Townes, were appointed.
Ordered, that the clerk inform the senate thereof.
A message from the senate, by their secretary Mr. Rogers.
I am instructed to inform the house of representatives, that the senate has met and elected the Hon. Thomas Bibb, their president, Thomas A. Rodgers, secretary, and John R. Dunn, door-keeper, and are now ready to proceed to business.
On motion of Mr. Lamkin, resolved, that the house of representatives, in conjunction with the senate, (the senate concurring therein) will on Wednesday, the 27th of the present month, proceed to the election of two senators, for the state of Alabama, in the congress of the United States.
Ordered, that the clerk inform the senate thereof. Samuel Dale, of the county of Monroe, and Thomas Carson of the county of Baldwin, appeared, produced the necessary credentials, and took their seats.
A message from the senate, by their secretary, Mr. Rogers.
I am instructed to inform the house of representatives, that the senate have appointed messrs. Farmer and Casey, a committee to act with such gentlemen as your hon. body may think proper to appoint, to wait on his excellency the governor, and inform him the general assembly have convened, and are ready to receive any communication he may think proper to make them.
On motion of Mr. Weedon resolved, that the following standing committee be appointed, viz.
A committee of accounts.
A committee of elections.
A committee of ways and means.
A committee of claims.
A committee of propositions and grievances, and
A committee of enrolled bills.
Whereupon, messrs. Berney, Everitt and Perkins, were appointed a committee of ways and means- messrs. Cleveland, King, Phillips Fitzpatrick, were appointed a committee of elections- messrs. Davis, Edmundson, Gerrard, Hill and Hardwick, were appointed a committee of claims- messrs. Lee, Watts and Wellbourn, were appointed a committee of accounts- messrs. Walker, Whitaker and McCarley, were appointed a committee of propositions and grievances- messrs. Vaughan, Sims and Jones, were appointed a committee of enrolled bills.
On motion of Mr. Davis.
Resolved, that a committee of three members, be appointed from this house, with such committee as may be appointed by the senate, to examine and report the most eligible and convenient rooms, that can be obtained, for the accommodation of both houses of the general assembly, as well as the terms on which rooms can be had. Whereupon, messrs. Davis, Vaughn and Winston; were appointed a committee on the part of this house.
Ordered, that the clerk inform the senate thereof.
On motion of Mr. Vaughn, the house adjourned until 3 o'clock.
The house met pursuant to adjournment.
On motion of Mr. Dillahunty, resolved, that the committee of privileges and elections, be instructed to examine the evidence of elections of the members of the general assembly, and report previous to the time appointed for the election of senators from this state to the congress of the United States.
Mr. Birney presented the petition of sundry inhabitants of the town of Trianna, praying an act of incorporation.
Whereupon, on motion it was referred to a select committee, consisting of messrs. Birney, Fitzpatrick, of Montgomery, and Dillahunty.
On motion of Mr. Everitt, resolved, that a committee of three on the part of this house, do join such committee as may be appointed by the senate, in making a contract for printing the laws and journals of each house of the general assembly, together with such other printing as may be required,
Whereupon, messrs. Everitt, Harrison and Saffold, were appointed.
Ordered, that the clerk of this house, inform the senate thereof.
A message from the senate, by Mr. Rogers their secretary.
I am instructed to inform the house of representatives that the senate have adopted the following resolution, in which they ask your concurrence.
Resolved, that the senate disagree to the resolution of the house of representatives, relating to the day appointed for the election of senators to the congress of the United States, and that they will proceed to said election on Thursday next, at 12 o'clock, in the hall of the house of representatives, to which they ask your concurrence.
On motion of Mr. Everitt, resolved, that this house concur with the senate, respecting the time of holding the election, for senators to the congress of the United States.
Ordered, that the clerk of this house inform the senate thereof.
A message from his excellency the governor, by Mr. Walker, which being read by the speaker as follows.
Gentlemen of the senate and of the house of representatives, your present meeting will form a memorable epoch in our history; chosen to perform the first acts of legislation, for the state of Alabama, you cannot estimate too highly the great interests committed to your charge, or the important consequences which may flow from your deliberations. The people have framed a constitution which recognizes and establishes the essential principles of liberty: prescribes the manner in which the government shall be organized; and designates the powers which shall be exercised by the respective departments. To the legislature, is confided the arduous task of completing the edifice, and of enacting laws for the protection of the rights of persons, and of property, and for the advancement of the general welfare. Never has any state commenced its operations under more auspicious circumstances, or furnished stronger evidence in the outset of its capacity for self government; and I cherish the hope that the character of our institutions will receive in impulse from your labours which may entitle you to the lasting gratitude of future ages.
Our country is remarkable for its natural advantages; and we possess the means of rendering it distinguished for the intelligence and moral habits of its citizens and for the enlightened policy of its councils, the diffusion of knowledge among the people; a code of laws, adapted to the prevention of crimes, and the enforcement of the civil duties, expounded and executed by men selected for their wisdom and integrity; and a due regard to the improvement of those blessings which we owe to the bounty of providence, and which are presented in our soil, rivers, and climate, cannot fail to make us respectable abroad -- prosperous and happy at home. Ignorance and civil liberty, are un-
natural associates, where the people are the fountain of authority- the source whence all power is derived, for the direction of the public concerns, and the tribunal whose sentence is final and conclusive, it is indispensable to a just appreciation of their rights, and a correct exercise of their controul, that they be capable of discriminating between liberty and licentiousness -- between invasions of their privileges and those salutary burthens and restraints, which are necessary to the general security. -- It is such a state of society only, that honest statesmen can prosecute their plans for the promotion of the public good, with full confidence in the judgment of their constituents; or that the selfish views of designing demagogues will be detected and defeated. It is in such a state of society, that detraction and falsehood, weapons of faction, will be successfully opposed by the voice of truth, that merit will find a certain reward in the general approbation; that the sin of ingratitude so often ascribed to republics will be carefully avoided; that freemen will perceive and pursue their true interests; and that the best evidence will be afforded of the decisive advantages of our representative system over every other form of government. The real patriot who is ambitious to acquire that fame only which belongs to great and good actions, will always appeal to the virtue and intelligence of the community, while the artful seeker of popular favor addresses their passions and their prejudices; and as the one or the other prevail, so will the measures of the state be the offspring of enlarged and disinterested views, or of a narrow contracted polity, unworthy the character, and ruinous to the interests of a free people
So important to the advancement of republican principles has the distribution of knowledge been considered, that it is declared in the article of permanent compact between the original states and the people of the territories that "Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall for-
ever be encouraged." And the congress have fully redeemed the pledge on the part of the United States. Seventy two sections or two entire townships of land to be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, are reserved by law "for the use of a seminary of learning, and vested in the Legislature of this state," "to be appropriated solely to the use of such seminary." And the secretary is moreover authorized to select the two townships in small tracts consisting in not less than two sections each. I have been in the expectation of receiving intelligence from the seat of the general government respecting the selection, but owing to accidental cause, it has not yet reached me. As all the information necessary to enable you to Legislate on the subject, will probably arrive in a few days, I shall at a future period of your session, submit to your consideration the mode of appropriating the lands, which I consider the best calculated to advance the highly interesting object designed in the grant. In addition to the foregoing funds for the purpose of learning, the sixteenth section in every township (or if that has been disposed of) other lands equivalent thereto are "granted to the inhabitants of such townships for the use of schools." An act of Congress authorized the county courts to provide for leasing the same, and limits the duration of the lease to the first of January, next succeeding the establishment of a state government. It is proper therefore that some legislative provision on the subject should be adopted to take effect from and after that period; and I perceive no objection to a continuance with the county courts the authority to lease, under the restrictions that the leases shall not extend beyond the term of two years, and that the proceeds shall be applied to the objects for which the grant has been made. In the mean time the country will be generally settled, and it may be advisable thereafter, to place the disposition of the fund, under the immediate control of the inhabitants of the respective townships.
The improvement of our rivers and roads, claim
your particular attention. Five per cent. of the net proceeds of the lands within this state, which shall have been or may be sold by Congress, after the first day of September last (deducting all expenses incident to the same) is reserved for making public roads and canals, and for improving the navigation of rivers; of which three fifths are to be applied to those objects within this state under the direction of the legislature, and two fifths to the making of a public road or roads leading to the state, under the direction of Congress; and our constitution has enjoined that the "General Assembly shall make provision by law for obtaining correct knowledge of the several objects proper for improvement in relation to the navigable waters and to the roads of this state, and for making a systematic and economical application of the means appropriated to those objects." I recommend to your consideration the policy of providing by law for the appointment of a skillful engineer, whose duty it shall be to examine the rivers within our limits, and to report as soon as practicable, to what extent, in what manner, and what expense, the navigation of each may be improved, and also the nearest and most eligible approaches which can be made between the waters of the Tennessee and Mobile rivers.
A general revision of the existing statutes being called for by the late change in our political condition, it is needless and would be tedious to detail the various modifications which have become necessary. The organization of the judicial department and the appointment of judges will also require your early attention. If the primary object of laws are the "establishment of rights and the prohibition of wrongs," it is essential that the laws be calculated to attain those objects, and that they be properly expounded - rigidly and impartially executed. Defects in their execution are no less injurious to society than defects in the laws themselves, and I feel confident that so far as depends on the legislative authority, every effort will be made to
guard against both. The rights of the citizens can never be secure in any country or under any form of government, unless the judges in the last resort be men of integrity and intelligence. To obtain the services of such men, adequate provision for their support is indispensible. In times of great national danger and calamity it may be expected that every patriot, regardless of personal considerations, will devote himself to the public; but while the country is in profound peace, and the inhabitants are enjoying its blessings, we should not presume that competent citizens whose pecuniary resources are limited, can relinquish their domestic comforts for public honours, without due compensation. It would be unreasonable to expect it- unjust to desire it. Avoiding extravagance on the one hand, and parsimony on the other, salaries should be proportionate to the importance and labours of the offices, and to the talents which are necessary, and the unavoidable sacrifices which are incident to a correct discharge of its duties. Such a course of policy will render the public service equally accessable to the poor and to the rich, and will enable you to select from the best capacities of the country; while a penurious provision will exclude those classes whose fortunes are moderate, and whose talents furnish the means of providing for their families. So deeply involved in the course which may be pursed on this subject, do I consider the best interests of our infant state, and so fully am I convinced that the respectability and usefulness of our judiciary will depend on the compensation which may be allowed, that I would respectfully suggest the propriety of legislating on the subject before the judges are appointed.
In relation to the revision of the laws, it may be proper to remark, that the Territorial act providing for the punishment of offences committed on the Indian lands within our limits, but without the boundaries of the respective counties, cannot now be executed. That act authorizes the superior courts to proceed to the trial of offenders in any county to which they may be bro't ;
but the constitution of the state declares, that the accused shall be entitled "to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offence shall have been committed." It therefore follows, that to render offences recognizable by the courts, they must have been committed within the specified limits of a county. Full force however may be given to the law by annexing to the adjacent counties, all the country within the state not embraced in any county.
Among the duties expressly devolved on the General Assembly by the constitution, and the performance of which during the present session is absolutely required, are the appointment of a Secretary of State, an Attorney General, Solicitors, a Treasurer, and Comptroller of public Accounts, and the enactment of laws regulating elections. It is also enjoined that provision be made for organizing and disciplining the militia and for the appointment of the officers; for an enumeration of the inhabitants of the state; and for the appointment of a competent number of Justices of the Peace in the respective counties. You will perceive, moreover, the necessity of providing for the appointment of Coroners, Constables, Surveyors, Assessors and Collectors of taxes, and of such other county officers as you may deem expedient.
I am not in possession of the means of ascertaining whether any change in the present system of revenue will be required by the amount of public expenditures. The receipts into the Treasury will be laid before you by the proper office, and you will be enabled to estimate the sum that will be necessary to meet the appropriations, which may be authorised for the future.
The subject of arranging the permanent limits of the respective counties, so far as it may be practicable under existing circumstances, is worthy of your consideration. Accommodations for the courts, and houses for securing offenders will not be provided, while the seats of justice are temporary; and such is the extent of some of the counties that a large portion of the inhabitants are deprived of the benefits of government.
That the state may be represented in the Senate of the United State at an early period of their session, it is desirable that the Senators should be elected as soon as your deliberations will permit.
Herewith I lay before you a statement of the accounts between this state and the state of Mississippi, together with explanatory letters on the subject. The copies of the Digests of the laws which are charged in the account have been recently received and distributed.
Having been informed by a communication from an officer of the United States that the quota of arms for the present year, to which this state is entitled under an act of Congress, is three hundred and four, and that they would be forwarded to any place (the most convenient for water carriage) I might think proper to designate, I give instructions that they should be shipped to the town of Mobile. The act under the authority of which the arms have been procured, makes provisions for arming and equipping the whole body of the militia of the United States, and appropriates for that purpose, the annual sum of two hundred thousand dollars. All the arms obtained in virtue of the Act, are to be transmitted to the several States and Territories in proportion to the number of effective militia in each, and are to be distributed to the militia "under such rules and regulations as shall be by law prescribed by the legislature of each state and territory." It is therefore the province of the General Assembly to adopt the necessary measures for carrying into effect the object of the national Legislature.
Pursuant to the provision of an act of the last General Assembly, appointing the Governor as commissioner to lay off, or cause to be laid off, on such plan as he should deem most suitable, a town at the junction of the rivers Alabama and Cahawba, and offer the lots for sale to the highest bidder, one hundred and eighty-two lots were sold during the fourth week of May last, for the sum of one hundred and twenty-three thousand eight hundred and fifty-six dollars; of which thirty thousand
nine hundred and sixty-four dollars (being one fourth part) was received at the time of the sale, together with fifty-one dollars and twenty-five cents, being the second instalment of lot No. 53; amounting in the whole to thirty-one thousand and fifteen dollars and twenty-five cents. The expences of surveying, of sale, &c. as appears by the receipts of Willis Roberts and Benjamin Clements, were seven hundred and thirty dollars, leaving thirty thousand two hundred and eighty-five dollars twenty-five cents; of which twenty thousand four hundred and five dollars were paid over to the territorial Treasurer. One hundred and twenty dollars have been since drawn to complete the payment of the expenses before stated; leaving in the treasury twenty thousand two hundred and eighty-five dollars twenty-five cents. Ten thousand dollars were deposited in the Planter's and Merchant's Bank of Huntsville, and will be expended in the erection of a temporary State House at the town of Cahawba, for which a contract was made in the month of May last. Of that sum three thousand dollars have been drawn and placed in the hands of an agent in Cahawba, to be advanced to the contractor in conformity to the terms of agreement. The principal parts of the buildings are to be finished on or before the first day of August next, for nine thousand dollars, and the remainder of the sum appropriated, will be required, and is sufficient to complete the whole, and to provide the necessary accommodations for the two branches of the Legislature. I learn that the building has been commenced, and that no doubt is entertained of its completion within the time specified in the contract.
In lieu of the section of land previously reserved for the seat of the territorial or state government, we are indebted to the liberality of congress for the donation of sixteen hundred and twenty acres for the same object, consisting of sundry fractions and a quarter section "lying on both sides of the Alabama and Cahawba rivers, and including the mouth of the river Cahaw-
ba.-- There being two ferries, and a few acres and land prepared for cultivation within the limits of the grant, they have been rented until the first of January next, for one thousand and four dollars. Twenty dollars have been paid, which, with bonds to the amount of nine hundred and eighty four dollars, I have deposited in the treasury. The very liberal and unprecedented donation we have received, will if judiciously managed, produce a fund of at least three hundred thousand dollars- a sum amply sufficient to provide permanent buildings and accommodations for the several departments of the government, and to defray the expences of erecting other works for the public convenience. I consider it advisable that authority be given to lay off and offer for sale an additional number of lots in the town of Cahawba; and that provision be made for the appointment of commissioners to take charge of the public property, and to exercise such powers as are usually granted to corporate towns.
I cannot close this communication without adverting into the signal favors which have been bounteously extended towards us, by the great author of every good. Abundant crops have rewarded the labours of the husbandman; and we are permitted to enjoy the blessings of liberty, peace and plenty. No people ever had stronger incentives to improve their means of happiness, or were under greater obligations to manifest their devout gratitude to the ruler of the universe. In discharging the high trust to which we have been called, let us not be unmindful that the future prosperity of our country is essentially concerned in the council of the present day; and discharging all local jealousies and party animosities, let us unite as members of the same family having common interest in directing our minds and our efforts to the advancement of the general welfare. So far as depends on me you may rely on every cooperation which can be rendered by good intentions, united with a zealous, devotion to the public interest. W. W. BIBB.
On motion of Mr. Townes, resolved, that one hundred copies of the governor's message be printed for the use of this house as soon as practicable.
On motion of Mr. Walker, resolved, that the documents accompanying the governor's message be read.
Whereupon, the Hon. speaker proceeded to read them.
On motion of Mr. Fitzpatrick, of Autauga, resolved, that this house will form itself into a committee of the whole, on Friday next, at 12 o'clock, on the governor's message.
On motion of Mr. Townes, resolved, that the documents accompanying the governor's message, lie on the table.
On motion of Mr. Everitt, resolved, that this house adjourn until to-morrow, 10 o'clock.