On motion of Mr. Morton, resolved, that a committee be appointed to wait on the Senate, informing them that the Representative branch of the Legislature is now organized; that they have elected the Hon. Wm. Kelly, Speaker; Thomas B. Tunstall, principal clerk; Rufus K. Anderson, assistant clerk; Wm. B. McClellan, engrossing clerk; and James Brown, door-keeper - and that they are ready to proceed to business: Whereupon, Messrs. Benson and Morton were appointed said committee.
Message from the Senate by Mr. Crabb: Mr. Speaker, I am instructed by the Senate to inform your honorable body, that they have assembled, and elected Nicholas Davis, of Limestone, their President; Francis S. Lyon, their Secretary; George W. Crabb, assistant clerk, and James A. Bates, door-keeper; and are now ready to proceed to business.
A message from the Senate by Mr. Lyon, their Secretary: Mr. Speaker, I am instructed by the Senate to inform your honorable body, that they have adopted the following resolution, in which they desire your concurrence: Resolved, That a committee be appointed on the part of the Senate, to act with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the House of Representatives, to wait on the Governor, and inform him that the two Houses of the General Assembly are now organized, and ready to receive any communication he may please to make. They have appointed on their part, Messrs. Casey, and Jackson of Lauderdale. In which resolution the House concurred; whereupon Messrs. Vining, and Martin of Limestone, were appointed said committee.
The Speaker laid before the House the memorial of James G. Lyon, praying to be admitted a seat in this House, as the Representative of Washington County; which said memorial, with the accompanying documents, was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections, consisting of Messrs. Williams, Greening, Mardis, Walthall and Brandon.
On the motion of Mr. Vining, Resolved, That a committee of two persons be appointed, on the part of this House, to act with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the Senate, to wait on His Excellency the Governor, informing him that the two Houses of the
General Assembly are now organized, and ready to receive any communication he may please to make; whereupon Messrs. Vining, and Martin of Limestone, were appointed said committee.
On the motion of Mr. Morton, Resolved, That the following standing committees be appointed, to wit:
A Committee on Privileges and Elections:
on Propositions and Grievances;
on Enrolled Bills;
on Inland Navigation;
on Roads, Bridges and Ferries;
on Ways and Means;
on the Military;
on the Judiciary;
on County Boundaries;
on Schools, Colleges and Universities, and School and University Lands;
on Divorce and Alimony;
on the State Bank.
Mr. Greening presented the petition of Thomas C. Lovett and Polly Bell, administrators of John Bell, deceased, praying the passage of a law, authorizing them to convey certain real estate therein named, which was read and referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. Greening, Davis and Tate, with leave to report by bill or otherwise.
Mr. Morton presented the petition of Jacob Johnson, of the county of Madison, praying the passage of a law to emancipate a certain slave therein named, which was read and referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. Morton, Baylor, and Fitzpatrick.
Mr. Tate presented the petition of sundry citizens residing in the town of Mooresville, in the county of Limestone, praying the passage of a law to incorporate them as a militia company, to be styled the Independent Blues, which was read and referred to the military committee.
Mr. Baylor presented the petition of sundry inhabitants of Walker county, praying the passage of a law for the removal of the seat of justice of said county, which was read and referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. Baylor, Martin of Lauderdale, and Inge.
On the motion of Mr. Creagh, Resolved, That the rules of order and decorum of the last session, be the rules of the present session; and that eighty copies of the rules be printed for the use of this House.
Mr. Vining, and Mr. Martin of Limestone, the committee appointed on the part of this House, to act with the committee appointed on the part of the Senate, to wait on His Excellency the Governor, and inform him that the two Houses of the General Assembly are now organized and ready to receive any communication which His Excellency may please to make, have performed that duty, and received for answer, that he will make a communication in writing, this day, at twelve o'clock. The House adjourned till twelve o'clock.
Evening Session- A message was received from the Governor, by Mr. Thornton, Secretary of State, which he handed in at the Speaker's table, and then withdrew. The said communication was in writing, and is as follows;
Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives,
WE have assembled at a period of peace and of general prosperity, and have enjoyed with one or two local exceptions a season of prevailing good health. In these blessings we have renewed cause of grateful felicitation. It is also our good fortune to commence a session which has been viewed as one of more than ordinary importance, under circumstances which evince the prevalence of a disinterested good feeling. This temper, it will be the mutual wish of all to cultivate, whose aim is to arrive at correct conclusions in the duties that await us. In entering on these duties it is matter of gratification as well as of advantage to have in full view before us, the laudable examples of other states, progressively improving in their internal communications- in the arts, - in learning,- in their judicial codes,- and retaining withal an unshaken attachment to our common constitution, the base of all our political hopes.
This attachment is well seconded by the just policy of our national government, and especially by its unceasing manifestations of regard for the rights of the states. While in its wise and liberal management of our external relations, it has at once conciliated foreign confidence and domestic union.
Our state constitution in several of its provisions, has added an unusual degree of interest to the measures of the present session, by reserving until now the power of giving a more permanent impression to some of the essential features of the government. In the course of your deliberations, subjects of this character will necessarily claim a conspicuous notice.
Among those, the filling of the bench of the Circuit Courts under a more durable tenure, and the further improvement of our judiciary system, are not the least in point of public concernment. By six years of experience, you have all the advantages designed by the constitutional restriction in regard to those powers, and will doubtless execute the trust with all that circumspection due to its acknowledged importance.
The power of establishing a distinct Supreme Court has hitherto been withheld. Whether it will now be expedient to exercise this power and under what form, are questions of discretion and justly deserving of deliberate consideration.
All must be sensible how essential it is to every interest of society, that the judiciary department should be so constituted as to afford a prompt and adequate administration of justice in all cases that may arise, and according to such form as to obtain full public confidence in its ultimate correctness. In attaining these purposes, the perfection of our Courts of primary general jurisdiction, will be an object first in the order of attention; and to its accomplishment it will be necessary to retain at all times on our Circuit bench, men of proper qualifications; and under such regulations in regard to time, that a full and prompt attention may be devoted to every case that may be pending.
This being secured the number of cases required revision will necessarily be circumscribed, and the necessity of a distinct appellate
Court will be the less indispensible. To secure in this service, and at all times, the necessary qualifications, adequate compensation will be requisite. Acquirements in this branch of science can always obtain, and will expect it. What amount will reach this point, within the bounds of a correct economy, will be a matter for your better judgment. According to my own, we have certainly not yet transcended it. Whether sufficient time is now afforded to the Circuit judges, with due industry and attention to discharge the duties assigned them, is a question which your joint consultations can best enable you to determine.
In this investigation it cannot escape observation, that in some counties the untired causes are accumulating; and that generally, causes in chancery with the exception of injunctions are postponed in the order of business, and much delayed. The existing law by which the Supreme Court is held only once a year, is great inducement to appeal for no other purposes than delay. A portion of these evils, if not all, may be greatly mitigated if not entirely removed by a judicious improvement of our existing judiciary system. This will consist in such increase in the number and compensation of the judges, (if these are found at present insufficient) as will ensure a satisfactory disposal of all the cases both in law and chancery, at each general term or at a special term then to be appointed and made known; requiring also semi-annual terms of the Supreme Court to be held; and continued until all the cases therein are disposed of.
Other modes may also be devised for improving our judiciary; and which, it is admitted, if our situation were sufficiently matured, might render our system radically more perfect. One of these modes would consist in the establishing of separate courts for the original trial of chancery causes, requiring the judges of the courts of law and of those in chancery to preside as judges of the Supreme Court, sitting together in the trial of appeals from both jurisdictions. Another plan might consist in the establishment of a distinct Supreme Court. These two plans being in some sort contemplated in our constitution, will naturally suggest themselves, if not now, at some future period.
While it must be admitted that cases by appeal would be most satisfactorily determined by a distinct Supreme Court held by well selected judges; yet it is greatly to be apprehended that in our present condition, without extreme caution, this measure would in a greater degree weaken the character and efficiency of the primary courts. The advantages of mutual improvement now afforded to the judges of these latter courts by their joint consultations in their capacity of a court of revision, would be withdraw, with possibly a part of their ambition for excellency. The Circuit Courts being retained in the highest judiciary grade, and attended with corresponding inducements to them the first qualifications would always be willing to look. By reducing these to a secondary grade, it is to be feared that the highest class of legal abilities would look above them. This objection would indeed have less force at a more advanced period, when a greater redundance of legal acquirement shall abound. Our present system has one eminent example in its favor, in our supreme federal judiciary; where the utmost confidence prevails both in the original and ultimate decisions.
One of the prominent matters reserved by the constitution for the present session and which will be expected to receive a share of your deliberations, is the permanent location of the Seat of Government- The law that shall determine this question being specially excepted from acts of legislation requiring the executive sanction, I have regarded the subject as one of peculiar delicacy, and shall leave it where the constitution has intended, to your own uncontrolled judgment.- There is, however, a collateral consideration which I feel it a duty to notice, and which will urge itself upon your attention, by the strongest reasons of public interest. Should it be the will of the legislature to remove the government from its present site, it is not presumed that a definitive act for this purpose shall precipitately be contemplated by any, without adopting the preliminary measures which prudence will suggest for the selection of an eligible position, and for the acquisition of title thereto on behalf of the state. In this it will be considered by every one as desirable, and if reasonably practicable it may also be regarded as a duty, to procure a tract conditionally or otherwise of sufficient extent, whereon to lay out and found an entire metropolis. The plan in that case may be made to conform to the public taste and convenience; with suitable reservations for the numerous objects connected with the seat of government. The surplus territory may be made a most productive resource, applicable to the erection of a suitable capitol and other incidental edifices, and to other public uses: and may to some extent, if not entirely, remunerate the state for the deterioration of public property and of losses incident to removal. It is not designed by this suggestion, nor is it deemed at all necessary to its accomplishment, that any essential advantage of situation should be sacrificed, nor that any other mode should be adopted for the acquisition of title, than that which is perfectly fair and unobjectionable even in the opinion of those who are the most fastidiously delicate of the public dignity. It may indeed be attended with difficulty, to obtain title to sufficient territory within any existing village, without throwing an unjustifiable speculation into the hands of the proprietors; yet it is not known that we are reduced to any such necessity. It will, at least, deserve a reasonable examination before we yield to the conclusion that any one of our infant towns is so extremely eligible that no other position can be found even in the same vicinage embracing the same or equal advantages, and attainable for a fair price. In regard to a measure dictated by the plainest prudence, and in which the whole community have a common interest, it is presumed to be unnecessary to present to you examples in the case of other states. If precedent were necessary you have a sufficiently respectable one in the selection of the site for the metropolis of this nation. The entire ground whereon the federal city is situated was procured from individuals through the medium of commissioners, contemporaneously with, or immediately prior to the definitive location. The situation consisted of private farms in a densely settle country and in the near vicinity of two respectable towns. This has proved to be a resource of considerable and increasing value. It is not discerned wherefore we may not in this comparatively new stage of settlement possess a similar advantage, and lay the foundation of a new city on the ground of the state. The time will be
sufficient for any necessary negotiation, without protracting the session beyond its usual limits.
It is now considered unnecessary to suggest any thing in relation to ulterior measures consequent on the possible removal of the government. These will present themselves to the wisdom, the prudence, and the justice of those on whom this duty shall devolve.
To render the indispensable duties of the session as simple and as much disentangled as possible with other questions that may improperly be brought into connexion with them, I would respectfully recommend a postponement of the location of the University to a future session.
Connected with this location are many considerations sufficient of themselves to engross much of the time of an ordinary session, some of which must be determined previously, if ever. Although it is my earnest belief that nothing should be done in relation to the further organization or location of this favorite institution at the present; I hope to be indulged in this last occasion I shall have, to offer some views, which may not be unimportant.
Having in my first communication on this subject, suggested the expediency of establishing a department for female instruction, I still retain the hope, that the public countenance may be continued in favor of this object. A small share of the general endowment will be sufficient to patronize a seminary for the education of our daughters in the higher branches of literature and science. And it well comports with the character which we wish our institutions to bear, for liberality and refinement. Since the passage of the act for establishing a female branch, the law of a subsequent session as proposed a subdivision of it, into three seminaries. I have ever doubted the expediency of this subdivision. Too large a portion of the funds must be devoted to these, or neither of them will answer the public wish. Other objections, can readily be conceived to the detailing out of the institution into multiplied members, located in different sections of the state.
I have entertained the opinion, and it is confirmed by recent indications of respectable sentiment elsewhere, that the introduction of rural economy, embracing agriculture in its most comprehensive understanding, as an academic study, would be an important object, and the more especially so, if attended with the advantage of practical illustration. It must be expected that the maturity of such a system as may be usefully connected with our literary institutions would be a work requiring time, and would be opposed by some difficulties in the commencement; but when we view this branch either in reference to its practical utility, as the nursing mother of every human pursuit, or in its connexion in theory with philosophy and chemistry, it cannot be considered unworthy of an effort to assign it a place among the departments of science.
This view is suggested without an exception of any immediate result from it; but with a firm hope, that at some future day it will be successfully realized; and that the improved skill and taste which shall thence be imparted, will contribute, in some degree, to enrich and adorn the face of our country.
The bank of the state commenced its operations on the ninth of March last. You will in due time be furnished with a report of its concerns, which it is unnecessary now to anticipate, further than its connexion with our different public funds may require. To this extent at least the prospects of the institution must be interesting to all. The present capital stock consists of $253,646 46, of which sum $56,612 94 1-4 was derived from the university fund and for which a stock has issued to that institution, agreeably to the second section of the chartering law, bearing six per cent. interest, payable semi-annually. The remaining capital consists of $31,597 01, of the three per cent. fund applicable to internal improvement the sum of $37,860 49 cts. derived from sales and rents of property in Cahawba. The sum of $100,000 derived by loan in New York, and the sum of $27,576 of the ordinary state revenues, being monies left in the treasury beyond the current public demands. The profits of the institution during the few months of its operations, have paid all the expenses current and permanent since its establishment, and also the two semi-annual instalments of the loan, together with the interest on the university stock, and leaving a balance of profit amounting to $2,244 46, applicable to the increase of the several public funds of the state. This may be either convertible into capital, or otherwise applied. In future periods the results will necessarily be expected to be more productive. The specie on hand exceeds half the notes in circulation, and the condition of the institution appears otherwise favorable. The monies of the university in the treasury, and in the hands of agents now about to be paid in, will increase the capital from that source to more than $80,000 and very early in the ensuing year it will exceed $100,000, No disposition being made by law for further application of the monies of the university; that subject will require attention. From all the other sources, the capital of the state bank may be progressively enlarging during future years. And I retain the fullest confidence that under a faithful guardianship, it may answer all the purposes of its institution.
The establishment of a branch to the Bank of the State will be a question of expediency which the representatives of the people can most correctly determine.
Since the last session the dissolution of the Bank at Huntsville, took place according to proclamation. It is now presumed to be acting in observance of the law in closing its concerns. But it is worthy of remark, that there is no existing law by which that institution or any other individual bank is required to make exhibits, whereby it can be ascertained whether it may be acting within the provisions of its charter. This point deserves consideration.
In compliance with the legislative resolution, General Lafayette was invited and received in a manner which was deemed to be due as well to the wishes and character of the state, as to our illustrious benefactor, who has been hailed by the whole American people as their common guest. In his extraordinary journey of visit to the several states, his route through this state was of unusual length; commencing at our eastern boundary on Chatahooche, one hundred miles within the Indian country, where he was received by a delegation of citizens and
conducted by a respectable civil and military escort to Montgomery by land, and thence by steam transportation by Cahawba, Claiborne and Mobile to Mobile Point, a distance by land and water estimated at 500 miles. Receiving at all the prominent places, the gratifying salutations of our citizens.
The expenditure in carrying the resolution into effect will appear by the accompanying statement of the Comptroller and Treasurer. The several vouchers on their files will also be exhibited for your examination. Although the amount was not limited by the terms of the resolution, it was considered most conformable to the constitution, to be payable from the contingent fund, and according to the usual forms. The sum expended amounts to $15,715 18, of which sum $12,713 10 have been paid. The balance may now be paid at the Treasury; the fund being found to be nearly or entirely sufficient for the purpose beyond all other contingencies chargeable upon it. Exclusive of this a charge has been made for a portion of the expense of transportation between the limits of this state and Louisiana, amounting to $1350 the correctness of which is yet to be ascertained.
The line of march was so extended, and the points of reception so remote from each other, and the time of approach so uncertain until it eventuated, the preparation and of course the expenditure was entrusted in some degree to discreet committees of arrangement, at several of the most prominent points; and in part to the commander of the escorts. To the prompt and spirited manner in which all those committees and escorts seconded my wishes after the short notice allowed them, I am much indebted, to the satisfactory accomplishment of the public wishes. It is not proper that I should omit to notice the prompt and gallant manner in which two finely equipped troops of cavalry repaired to Chatahooche; one at the distance of one hundred, the other of two hundred miles, together with several general and other officers; and that these and others concerned in the escort generally, declined any indemnity of their personal expenses.
In our militia laws some defects exist which deserves attention. Such amendments are particularly to be desired as will ensure punctuality in making the annual returns of the military strength and condition: and such also as will encourage the appointment and continuance in office of well qualified commanders. These requisites with such an organization as will ensure promptness in answering requisitions for actual service, will embrace the principal points in which we can expect this great branch of the national force to be perfected by any measures the state can adopt, during a period of peace; when the avocations of business and pleasure interpose so many interruptions, and necessarily produce relaxation in discipline.
A bill had passed both houses at the last session, as appears by their journals, for consolidating the counties of Decatur and Jackson; but which by some oversight was never enrolled by the proper clerks, nor signed by the presiding officers of the two houses, nor presented for the Executive sanction, and of course did not become a law. This was attended with some inconvenience to the counties concerned, in as much as other acts were passed, and certain vacancies left in offices appertaining to Decatur county; all predicated upon the certainty of the
consolidating bill becoming a law. One of these acts was that apportioning the representation, in which Decatur was omitted. The inconvenience so far as the Executive powers extended, by causing the vacant offices to be filled, which were necessary to the re-organization of Decatur county; and by recommending to the people of the two counties that construction, by which they should vote for representatives and a senator, in the manner prescribed by the former apportionment law, but according to the present ratio: I am happy in finding that the course advised has accorded with subsequent reflection, and also with the most respected legal opinions.
The provision contained in the revenue law of the last session imposing a tax of four hundred dollars on gaming tables, and requiring them to be licensed, has had the effect of greatly multiplying these nurseries of idleness and dissipation. It is admitted that our prohibitory laws previously in force were but too often evaded among the private haunts of vice, and sometimes by the guilty connivance of those from whom better things should be expected: yet never were the public morals so much insulted as now by the open exhibition of these nuisances among the number of our legal institutions.
A resolution of the legislature of the state of Georgia passed at its last session, in relation to the running of the divisional line between that state and this, is herewith laid before you; together with the Executive correspondence in relation thereto. The accession to both states by the late treaty places this question on a new ground, and will render it mutually an object worthy of attention, whenever the situation of the ceded country and the right of all parties shall appear to permit.
The United States being a party in interest with us, being also invested with constitutional powers in relation to some of the questions connected with the proposed operation, I deemed it proper to bring the subject to the view of the President. The accompanying correspondence with the War department will in addition to the document, before noticed, furnish all the information of which I am now possessed: and it is presumed will leave no difficulty in regard to the course we should pursue.
It is not unexpected that this interest may be the subject of revision by the national inquest, and it cannot be otherwise than a matter of general regret than any cause had been found in relation to it, for public adminadversion or for local excitement. The interests appertaining to this state, although altogether territorial is highly appreciated, and much desired, if consistent with the good faith and honor of the nation; these are the only terms on which our citizens wish to accept it.
In relation to the fractional nations of these wretched and deluded people resident within the states on this side of the Mississippi, it is a question well deserving reflection, whether the philanthropy and justice of the nation might not be better reconciled by assuming a parental guardianship over them, and transplanting them in more suitable situations, with more than even-handed justice to them in the exchange, than to exercise the forms of negociation, which even fair on our part, generally result in fraud and injustice among themselves.
Several communications from other states have been received, and are herewith submitted for your consideration. One of these relates
to our unsettled accounts with the state of Mississippi, in which case a proposition is made for their adjustment by commissioners to be appointed by each.
Another, respects the improvement of the military road, from the state of Louisiana, between Madisonville and Nashville.
A letter is also submitted from the Governor of Tennessee in compliance with resolutions of the legislature of that state, respecting the improvement of the navigation of Tennessee at the Muscle Shoals, and also concerning the opening of a communication between the Tennessee and Alabama waters. The subject is familiar to you, and cannot fail, I am assured to receive that attention which is due to the general interest it embraces.
Among the documents submitted you will find the resolutions of the legislatures of several other states, in relation to a proposition heretofore submitted by the Assembly of Ohio, proposing (with the consent of the states concerned,) a plan for emancipation and colonization, with the assistance of the national patronage and resources.
In submitting the original proposition at a former session, it was offered without remark, but with that respect which was required by usual courtesy toward the official act of a fellow member of the same political family. While my feelings strongly impel me now to observe the same course, reluctant to disturb, without urgent necessity, this very difficult and delicate question; I am, at the same time, unwilling to avoid any necessary expression of sentiment that may be called for by prudence or duty.
That this topic has been made a ground of excitement between the opposite ends of the Union, is much to be regretted, not only as unnecessary, but tending to the most dangerous consequences. The further progress of irritation should be checked. Our interests require no such resort. A dispassionate yet firm and dignified consideration of all questions relating to them, will tend the most effectually to gain respect both to ourselves and the causes we espouse. The interests affected by the propositions under consideration are older than the government and are confirmed by all its sanctions, We claim the uncontrolled right of disposing of them ourselves, and would repel any attempt whether insidious or open to dictate in regard to them; yet before we view in this censurable light the official acts of other states who must be presumed to feel all the force of moral and constitutional obligation, we should have the most irresistable evidence to justify us. No such evidence appearing on a fair interpretation of any of these resolutions; having also the fullest confidence in our national government, that it never will, as it never can touch this subject, without the most delicate and scrupulous regard to our wishes and our rights; these documents are therefore submitted, like all others, for your respectful consideration.
In admitting this respect to those who profess a disinterested concern for the removal of what they consider an evil. We claim from them the common charity of believing that both in its origin and in its continuance we are innocent. They must also admit, that the necessity which tolerates it, and the difficulties which environ the way to its extinction, can best be estimated by the states particularly affected by
it; and that these too can best determine the time and the process. Till that happy era arrives the evil must be endured, but at the same time soothed by mildness and humanity. By examination of our state constitution and our statutes it will be seen how tenderly our laws regard the rights and feelings of this unhappy raae. And these laws are so far respected in practice, that in addition to the legal sanctions, public odium always attaches upon their violation.
Those that have entirely or partially succeeded in disengaging themselves from this interest; have done so, not by its extinction, but chiefly by transferring it into the states farther to the south. When these shall feel the same inducements to be divested of it, their situation will deny them the same falicities. When they engage in the beneficent work it must be more radically accomplished: - by an entire abandonment of what constitutes much of their present estates, and by a diminution of the value of the remainder. This will require a degree of disinterestedness which we have not yet seen exemplified. Then indeed will the aid of extensive resources be necessary. Then would the boon now proffered be acceptable. If this be the light in which we are to view it, as presented in the resolutions; subject to our own uncontrolled right of disposing of the matter, then would the motive and the measure be not only without offence, but entitled to all the respect of disinterested beneficence.
I am not able, however, to see in the proposition a plan calculated to better the condition of its intended beneficiaries. The sudden enlargement while in a state of almost untutored barbarism cannot have this effect. To those best acquainted it is most evident, that the subjects of this degraded condition are neither fitted for self government nor for self subsistence. Should the national government at any future propitious moment, see proper to offer a plan, it is hoped that while it is characterized by justice to our citizens, it will also be worthy of the national philanthrophy; - That preparatory to the free condition proper nurseries shall be provided for instruction in the necessary branches of industry,- in the arts, and in literature, so far as may be requisite to form useful members of society and government. When such a moment arrives, and such a plan is presented to us, it will then be time to give it a favorable consideration. Such has not yet occurred, and is far beyond my anticipation.
The present appears to be a seasonable occasion for calling your attention to a subject of great national magnitude, and in relation to which you have a constitutional right of participation. The mode of election of the Chief Executive Magistrate has long been a ground of dissatisfaction; and the pervading excitement consequent upon the late contest is confirmatory evidence that the federal constitution requires amendment in this particular.
A uniform mode, and that by a simple submission of the choice of electors to the vote of the people in districts of the smallest extent would correct the evil so far as the first effort is concerned. On a failure by the electoral colleges to make a selection, a more simple appeal in the second resort to the people without the intervention of electors and by submitting to them a limited number of the candidates highest in vote, a plurality in that case being allowed to deter-
mine, would promise, if not the most judicious, at least, the most satisfactory and the best results.
In objecting to the exercise of the power of selection by the House of Representatives, I must be understood distinctly as giving no countenance nor credit to any unworthy allusions to recent events. The exercise of this power alone, however pure, is liable to suspicions and criminations which are reproachful to the nation and to its worthiest public agents.
Appended is a list of Executive appointments to fill vacancies, and which will expire with the present session.
Among the documents is a report of the Agent heretofore appointed to examine and lease the Salt Springs.
Having brought to your view the several subjects which were deemed proper for your consideration, the approaching moment admonishes me that the official relation between us is about to be dissolved. I have now filled the period of public service prescribed by one of the most salutary restrictions of the constitution: and shall withdraw from this honorable station with the most grateful impressions, for the kind and long continued confidence of my fellow citizens. A retrospect of this period will shew that it has been full of duty and not unattended with some difficulties.- The government was taking its early impresions - varying constructions of the new made constitution were to be settled - new institutions to be founded - funds for useful public objects to be realized and improved- the revenue to be organized - public credit to be established - and a wholesome circulation to be maintained. In our newly formed community, mutual confidence, and cordiality of purpose were most of all needed. The only regret I have felt is my fearful incompetency for the duties of such a period. I freely admit that this may have been the source of many errors. I am conscious of no other. Having on all necessary occasions ventured without reserve my full share of responsibility, and that from the impulses of my own judgment, my errors can expect no impunity but in the innocence of my intentions, and in the indulgence of my country. It is however a source of present consolation that from all the imperfections in the Executive administration, a redeeming influence has been found in a virtuous public, and in a judicious course of legislation for a series of years, by which I am enabled to surrender up the trust confided to me, in no worse condition than that in which it was received. If the several objects enumerated have not been realized they are in most promising progress, and with a continuance of the same zeal for the public good, under more approved counsels may be more than consummated in the growth, the improvement and advancing prosperity of our interesting country. That this may be the propitious result of our labors, will be my continued solicitude and my lasting prayers. ISRAEL PICKENS.
Ordered, That the said message and the accompanying documents be referred to a Committee of the whole House, and made the order of the day for Thursday next; and that five hundred copies be printed for the use of the House.
On motion of Mr. Morton, the following resolution was adopted :
Resolved, That the Senate be invited to assemble in the Representative Hall on Wednesday, at the hour of 3 o'clock, for the purpose
of opening and publishing the several returns of election for Governor; and that the west end of the Hall be assigned for their reception.
Mr. Oliver presented the certificate of Charles Wells and William Grimes, Judges of an election held in the county of Washington, which was read, and referred to the committee on privileges and elections. The House adjourned till to-morrow morning 10 o'clock.