3

JOURNAL

Of the Legislative Council of the Alabama Territory, Began and held in the Town of St. Stephens, in said Territory, on the nineteenth day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, in the forty third year of American Independence, pursuant to the proclamation of his Excellency William W. Bibb, Governor of the aforesaid Territory of Alabama; in conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, passed the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and seventeen, entitled "an act to establish a separate Territorial Government for the eastern part of the Mississippi Territory, being the day appointed by the aforesaid proclamation, for the meeting of the Legislature of the Alabama Territory.

James Titus being the only member, appointed Curtis Hooks Secretary, and John Pearson door keeper.

Ordered that the Secretary inform the House of Representatives thereof.


4

And that the Council is now in session and ready to proceed to business.

The council then adjourned until tomorrow 10 o'clock.

Tuesday, Jan. 20.

The Council met pursuant to adjournment.

A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Nicholson, their Clerk.

Mr. President,

I am authorised by the House of Representatives, to inform the Legislative Council, that they have formed a quorum; elected the Hon. Gabriel Moore, of Madison County, their speaker, Isaac R. Nicholson Esq. their Clerk, Samuel Smith, their sergeant at Arms, and Matthew Lafoy their door keeper, And are now ready to proceed to business, and he then withdrew.

A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Nicholson their Clerk.

Mr. President,

I am instructed to inform the Legislative Council, that a commit-


5

tee consisting of Messrs. Walker & Lipscomb, have been appointed to wait upon his Excellency the Governor and inform him that a quorum of the Legislative council, & House of Representatives are convened, and ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make, which said committee have reported that his Excellency will deliver his message in the Representative chamber at the hour of one o'clock, Instant, and he then withdrew.

The Legislative council at the appointed hour accordingly repaired to the representative chamber, and took the seats allotted to them.

When his Exc'ly, the Governor gave the following communication in writing:

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,


6

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 person 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 cannot 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.


7

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 those 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 in the exchangeably 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


8

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 accessible 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 country consists in its population; and it is specially the interest of this Territory to invite the emigration hither, by further noting every possible facility of communication, I am aware however that under existing circumstances, the object cannot be wholly attained without the interposition 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.


9

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 provisions 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


10

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 interest 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 citi-


11

zens. 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 equality 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 Assembly, 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 further 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


12

their duties. And I beg you to be assured that ever said which it may be in my power to contribute, will be cheerfully rendered.

WM. W. BIBB.

St. Stephens, 20th Jan. 1818.

The Message having been read, the Council withdrew to their chamber. The council then adjourned until to-morrow 10 o'clock.

Wednesday, January 21.

The Council met pursuant to adjournment,

And adjourned until to-morrow 10 o'clock.

Thursday, January 22.

The Council met pursuant to adjournment,

And adjourned until to-morrow 10 o'clock.

Friday, January 23.

The Council met pursuant to adjournment.

A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Coleman, their Clerk.

"Mr. President,

I am instructed to inform the Legislative Council, that Mr. Nichol-


13

son, having resigned the appointment of Clerk of the House of Representatives, and that Daniel Coleman is elected to fill that vacancy,

and he then withdrew.

The Council then adjourned until to-morrow 10 o'clock.

Saturday, January 24.

The Council met pursuant to adjournment.

A message form the House of Representatives by Mr. Coleman, their Clerk.

"Mr. President,

I am instructed to inform the Legislative Council, that the House of Representatives have given leave to introduce the following bills, viz:

A bill to be entitled an act, concerning public printing.

A bill to be entitled an act, to amend the act entitled an act, to establish a Bank at Huntsville; and

A bill to be entitled an act, to divorce Elizabeth Bennett from Jas. Bennett, her husband.

and he then withdrew.

The Council then adjourned until 10 o'clock on Monday next.