The Senate met pursuant to adjournment.
On motion of Mr. Garth, Mr. Watkins, Senator from Monroe, had leave granted him to record his name as voting in the negative on the question admitting William D. Gains a member, returned from Jackson county to his seat in the Senate.
Mr. Casey moved for leave to introduce a bill amendatory of an act , entitled "an act, to provide for the sale of lots in the town of Cahawba, and for other purposes," and of an act, entitled an act providing for the temporary and permanent seats of government," which was read the first time.
Mr. Casey moved, that the rule which requires every bill to be read on three several days be dispensed with and that the said bill be read a second time forthwith, which passed in the affirmative.
On motion of Mr. Casey, ordered that the said bill be committed to a committee of the whole, and made the order of the day on to-morrow.
On motion of Mr. Farmer, resolved, That a committee consisting of three members be appointed on the part of the Senate to act jointly with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the house of representatives, to take into consideration, and report to the Senate, whether any and what amendments are necessary to the military laws
of this State; whereupon Messrs Farmer, Gaines and Conner were appointed a committee.
On motion of Mr. Garth, resolved, That the Senate do now proceed to the election of an engrossing clerk, and the election being conducted viva voce it appeared that George V. Dick, was unanimously elected, who proceeded to the duties thereof.
Mr. Gause from the committee appointed on the part of the Senate together with a joint committee appointed on the part of the House of Representatives to wait on His Honor, the now acting Governor, and inform him that the General Assembly had convened, and were ready to receive any communications he might think proper to make, reported that they had performed that service and received for answer that he would make his communications in writing this day, at twelve o'clock. in the respective chamber.
Received from the house of representatives, a message by Messrs. Chapman and Walker informing the Senate, that the house of representatives had concurred with the Senate in the resolution to appoint a joint committee to wait on His Honor the now acting Governor, and that the committee have reported that they had performed that service and had received for answer, that he would this day at twelve o'clock make his communication in writing by Thomas A. Rogers, Esquire, Secretary of State, at which time the honourable Senate are requested to attend in the representative chamber.
Mr. Farmer from the select committee appointed to prepare rules of order and decorum, for the government of the Senate this session, asked leave to report the following rules of order and decorum, for the government of the Senate, to wit:
Rules of order and decorum for the government of the Senate.
1. The President shall take the chair every day at the hour to which the Senate shall have adjourned the preceding day; and on the appearance of a quorum shall call the Senate to order, and cause the journals of the proceeding day to be read.
2. The Senate shall preserve order and decorum, and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Senate by any two members. He may rise to put a question but may state it sitting.
3. Every member speaking in debate, shall first rise from his seat uncovered, respectfully address himself to the President, confine himself to the question, avoiding personalities, and shall not call any member by his name, but refer to him by the county of his residence, or the gentleman that spoke last, &c.
4. When two or more members shall rise the first time, the President shall name the member who is first to speak, but in all cases, the member first rising shall speak first.
5. No member shall speak more than twice to the same question, without leave of the Senate, nor more than once until every member choosing to speak shall have spoken unless permitted to explain.
6. No motion shall be debated or put, unless the same be seconded; it shall be stated by the President before debated; and every such motion shall be reduced to writing, if the President or any member request it.
7. After a question is stated by the President, it shall be deemed in possession of the Senate; but may be withdrawn at any time, before decision or amendment.
8. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received unless to adjourn, to lie on the table, for the previous question, to postpone indefinitely, to postpone to a day certain, to commit or amend; which several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they stand arranged.
9. Every question shall be determined by a majority of voices, and after the determination the same shall not be resumed, but with the consent of two thirds of the members present, at some subsequent day of the session
10. No motion shall be determined on the day that it is introduced if one third of the members request that it be deferred to the next day.
11. A motion to adjourn shall always be in order, and shall be decided without debate.
12. The previous question until it is decided shall preclude amendments and debates on the main question, and shall be in this form, shall the main question be now put? And no member shall speak more than once on the previous question.
13. A motion for commitment, until it is decided, shall preclude all amendments of the main question.
14. Petitions, memorials and other papers addressed to the Legislature, shall be presented to the President by a member in his place and read by the Secretary.
15. Every Senator who shall be present when a question is put, shall vote for or against the same; unless the Senate for special reasons excuse him: but no Senator shall vote in any question, unless he be within the bar of the house, when the same is put.
16. When the President is putting a question, no member shall walk out or across the house, nor when a member is speaking entertain private discourse, or pass between him and the chair.
17. A Senator when called to order shall immediately take his seat, and the Senate if appealed to, shall decide the case, but without debate; if there be no appeal, the decision of the chair shall be conclusive.
18. Every bill shall be introduced by motion for leave, one day previous notice being given, unless of a local nature, or by an order of the Senate, or on the report of the committee.
19. No bill shall be amended or committed until it shall have been twice read.
20. In forming a committee of the whole, the President shall leave the chair, naming some person as chairman to preside.
21. All questions, whether in the Senate or in committee of the whole, shall be put in the order they were moved, except in case of amendment, and except that in filling up blanks, the largest sum and the longest term shall be first put.
22. A similar mode of proceeding shall be observed with bills,
which have originated in and passed the House of Representatives as with bills originated in the Senate.
23. The rules of the Senate shall be observed in committee of the whole, so far as they may be applicable, except the rule limiting the times of speaking.
24. A motion that the committee rise shall always be in order, and shall be decided without debate.
25. No member shall absent himself from the Senate, without leave of absence on motion.
26. Bills committed to a committee of the whole house shall be first read through by the Secretary and then read and debated by clauses; leaving the preamble and caption to be last considered. All amendments shall be entered on a separate piece of paper, and so reported by the chairman standing in his place: after the report the bill shall be subject to debate and amendment before the question to engross is taken.
27. When the Senate adjourns, no member shall move from his seat until the President has left the chair.
28. The President may appoint any other member to perform the duty of the chair, Provided said appointment shall not continue beyond an adjournment.
29. On the meeting of the house, after reading of the journals, the presentation of petitions shall be first in order; after petitions are disposed of, reports first from a standing committee, and then select committees shall be called for, and the above business shall be done at no other time of the day, except by permission of the Senate.
30. All ordinary committees shall consist of three members, and be appointed by the President : unless otherwise directed by the Senate: and on motion one or more members may be added to any committee.
31. All memorials and addresses shall be signed by the President, and all warrants and subpoenas, issued by order of the Senate, shall be under his hand and seal, attested by the Secretary. In case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct in the lobby, the President or Chairman shall have power to order the same to be cleared.
32. A bill once rejected, another of the same substance shall not be introduced during the session.
33. The ayes and nays shall be taken when called for by any two members. The president shall vote in all cases, except in the cases heretofore excepted.
34. When a motion has been once made and carried in the affirmative or negative, it shall be in order for any member in the majority to move for a reconsideration thereof, so long as the paper remains in possession of the Senate.
Mr. Chambers, chairman of the committee on privileges and elections, to whom were referred the certificates of the election of Nicholas Davis, Senator from the county of Limestone to fill the vacancy of Thomas Bibb, late Senator from that county, and President of the Senate, and now exercising the powers and duties of Governor of this State, and of William D. Gaines, Senator from the county of Jackson,
reported that they are duly elected and entitled to their seats in the Senate.
On motion of Mr. Garth, the Senate resolved itself into a committee of the whole on the report of the select committee appointed to prepare and draft rules for the government of the Senate. Mr. Garth in the chair, and after some time spent therein, Mr. President resumed the chair, and Mr. Garth reported, that according to order the committee had the report of the select committee appointed to prepare and draft rules of order and decorum for the government of the Senate and that the committee report the same without any amendment.
On motion of Mr. Rose the Senate concurred with the report of the committee and the rules were adopted.
On motion of Mr. Rose it was resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate, under the direction of the President, be authorised to furnish stationary for the use of the Senate.
On motion of Mr. Davis the following resolution was adopted. Resolved, That a committee be appointed to act jointly with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the house of representatives to draft resolutions, expressive of the regret which is felt by the General Assembly at the death of his Excellency William W. Bibb, late Governor of this State; whereupon Messrs. Davis, Chambers, and Terrell, were appointed a committee on the part of the Senate.
On motion of Mr. Gause, resolved, That the following be standing committees of the Senate, and that they consist of three members each, to wit:
First, A committee on the judiciary.
Second, A committee of propositions and grievances.
Third, A committee on roads, ferries, and bridges.
Fourth, A committee on the university lands.
Fifth, A committee on enrolled bills. Whereupon Messrs. Garth, Hogg, and Watkins, were appointed the committee on the Judiciary.
Messrs. Trotter, Harwell and Seabury, were appointed the committee on propositions and grievances.
Messrs. Terrell, Rose and Gause, were appointed the committee on the university lands.
Messrs. Herbert, Hodges and Ware, were appointed the committee on roads, ferries, and bridges and
Messrs Gause, Casey and Garth, were appointed the committee on enrolled bills.
On motion of Mr. Farmer, ordered that fifty copies of the rules of order and decorum for the government of the Senate be printed.
On motion of Mr. Chambers, Mr. Gause was added to the committee to contract for the public printing.
On motion of Mr. Rose, it was Resolved, That a committee be appointed on the part of the Senate, together with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the house of representatives to take into consideration the boundaries of counties; ordered that the committee consist of five members; Messrs. Rose, Ringold , Metcalf, Casey and Terrell, were appointed on the part of the Senate.
Mr. Garth gave notice that on to-morrow he would ask for leave to introduce a bill to amend the act, entitled an act, to organize and discipline the militia of the State of Alabama.
Mr. Farmer moved the following resolution, which was adopted: Resolved, That a committee of three members be appointed on the part of the Senate, together with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the house of representatives, to take into consideration the propriety of memorializing the Congress of the United States on the subject of public lands; whereupon Messrs. Farmer, Gause, and Hogg, were appointed the committee.
Mr. Chambers gave notice, that on to-morrow he would ask for leave to introduce a bill to alter and amend the fourth section of the militia law of this State.
Mr. Garth gave notice, that on to-morrow he would ask for leave to introduce a bill to establish a turnpike road from the eighth township in the fourth or fifth range, west of the basis meridian, from Huntsville to the Falls of Tuskaloosa.
Received a message from the house of representatives by Messrs. Chapman and Smoot, informing the Senate they were ready to receive them in the representative chamber to hear any communications that his honour, now the acting governor may think proper to make; whereupon the Senate repaired to the representative chamber and the following message was communicated to both branches of the Legislature, by Thomas A. Rogers, Esq. Secretary of State.
Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, The distressing and lamentable 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 powers 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 honoured in the Senate; and if in the execution of the trust which as devolved on 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 unforseen at the time the contract was made: but the building is 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 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 three hundred and 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 authorized 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 it, 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 both of 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, had not been completed, owing to some of the most valuable lands not having until lately been surveyed: most of the reservation 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 Governor; I have 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 it is in progress; the arms have been received and delivered to the quarter master general.
Canformably with an act to provide for the sale of lots in the town of Cahawba, and other purposes, I have cause 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 those 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 Wills 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 crossed 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 appointing a board or committee of public works.
Owing to unavoidable delays the resolution of the last session of the 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 these 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 should be passed designating the mode of the appointment of 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 the 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.
Whereupon the message being concluded the Senate repaired to their chamber.
And on motion, adjourned until ten o'clock to-morrow morning.