TUESDAY, September 14, 1875.

Convention met pursuant to adjournment.

Journal of yesterday peas read and approved.

Prayer by Rev. Mr. Callaway of the Convention.

Mr. Booth, a resolution that the committee on exemptions be requested to enquire into the propriety of providing in the constitution now being framed that the wages of laborers and employees shall be exempt from garnishment except on public dues. Referred to committee on exemptions.

Mr. Gibson, a resolution that no person in the State shall ever be deprived by law from collecting all the principal, with eight per cent interest annually thereon, upon all debts due him, or her, by any plea of usury.

Also, a resolution that the number of circuit judges shall be reduced from twelve to eight, and their salary shall be $2,500.

Also, that the number of chancellors be reduced from five to three, and be paid annually $2,500. Referred to committee on judicial department.

Mr. Lea of Baldwin, a resolution that the committee on finance and taxation be instructed to enquire whether or not any constitutional provisions are necessary for the better securing and collection of State and county taxes from railroad and other corporations. Referred to committee on finance and taxation.

Mr. Bulger, a proposition that the General Assembly shall have no power to require any special license on any business, profession or occupation. Referred to committee on legislative department.

Mr. Burns, a proposition that the rate of annual taxation for State and county shall not exceed one per centum, and no property or assets of any individual or corporation, except for benevolent and charitable associations, shall be exempt from taxes.

The General Assembly shall not delegate to any city, town or other incorporation, power to tax any property at a higher rate than one-half of one per centum. Referred to committee on finance and taxation.

Mr. Curtis, a proposition that the personal property of any resident of this State to the value of one thousand dollars, to be selected by such resident, shall be exempted from sale or execution or other final process of any court, issued for the collection of any debt contracted after the adoption of this constitution. Referred to committee on exemptions.


Mr. Murphree, a proposition that any person who, directly or indirectly, bribes or offers to bribe a member of the Legislature or other public officer, shall be forever disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust or profit, and may be otherwise punished as provided by law; and any person accepting a bribe shall likewise be disqualified, and punishable by law. Referred to committee on legislative department.

Mr. Johnson of Macon, a proposition-

1. Prohibiting the holding of offices of profit under the United States and under the State at the same time.

2. Prohibiting lotteries. Referred to committee on amendments and miscellaneous provisions.

Mr. Akers, a resolution that the committee on finance and taxation enquire into the expediency of limiting the poll-tax to one dollar for State purposes, and that the counties have the power to levy fifty cents for county purposes. Referred to committee on finance and taxation.

Mr. Plowman, a proposition that the right of the people to elect their officers shall remain inviolate. Referred to committee on legislative department.

Mr. Lea of Baldwin, a resolution instructing the judicial committee to enquire into the expediency of increasing salaries and terms of the office of the judiciary of the State. Referred to committee on judiciary.

Mr. Harrison, a resolution instructing the committee on amendments and miscellaneous provisions to enquire into the expediency of providing for the classification and valuation of all the lands in this State, with a view of equalizing taxation and prohibiting the sale of any land for less than two-thirds of such assessed value. Referred to committee on miscellaneous provisions.

Mr. Bolling, a resolution that the exemption of property from legal process and homestead, be stricken from the constitution, and that the Legislature shall pass such an exemption law as they may deem proper. Referred to committee on exemptions.

Mr. Burns, a resolution that the General Assembly shall have no power to enact any law having for its purpose the raising of revenue, which requires a citizen of the State to obtain a license granted by the State, authorizing such person to engage in or to carry on any trade or profession, or useful occupation; Provided, it shall have full power to pass statutes authorizing the issue of licenses and regulations conducive to the comfort, safety, decency and good order of society. Referred to committee on finance and taxation.

Mr. Powell of Bullock, a resolution instructing the commit-


tee on judicial department to enquire into the expediency of incorporating in the constitution a provision that the General Assembly shall fix the salaries of the executive department. Referred to committee on judicial department.

Mr. Booth, a proposition that no person elected or appointed to any office or employment of trust or profit under the laws of this State, or any ordinance of any municipality in this State, shall hold such office without personally devoting his time to the performance of the duties to the same belonging; that no person who is now or may hereafter become a collector or receiver of public money, or assistant collector of such collector or receiver, shall be eligible to any office of trust or profit in this State, under the laws thereof, or of any municipality therein, until he shall have accounted for and paid over all the public money for which he may be accountable. Referred to committee on legislative department.

Mr. Jones, a resolution that the committee on the legislative department be instructed to enquire into the expediency of fixing the poll tax at one dollar and fifty cents, and provide for the efficient collection of the same. Referred to committee on legislative department.

The chairmen of several committees reported back to the Convention various propositions heretofore referred to their committees, respectively, with recommendations that they be referred to other committees; which suggestions were concurred in.

Mr. Sykes, from the committee on finance and taxation, submitted the following report and article, both of which were, on motion of Mr. Oates, ordered to lie upon the table and two hundred copies ordered to be printed.

The committee on finance and taxation, to which a large number of resolutions looking to the financial condition of the State, and suggesting such ordinances as should be contained in the constitution, have had the same under consideration, and have given due deliberation to each resolution; have examined into the condition of the treasury, which they find almost exhausted, and have looked into the financial condition of the State, which is absolutely appalling. They find the total indebtedness of the State to be about $29,000,000, and the total value of taxable property about $159,000,000. That it would require nearly 20 per cent of the entire taxable property of the State to liquidate the debt. This would indeed be appalling were it not for the hope of an adjustment, held out to us by the commissioners appointed to adjust the public debt, by which Alabama may be relieved from this


heavy burden which is crushing the energies of her people.

The direct debt we find to be:

Five per cent bonds, embraced in Auditor’s report

of 1874.................................................................$3,295,600

Six per cent bonds, embraced in Auditor’s .report

of 1874................................................................      770,500

Eight per cent bonds, embraced in Auditor’s report

of 1874.................................................................  2,212,700

Unpaid interest about................................................850,000

Seven per cent bonds issued, and to be issued, to the South and North, Savannah and Memphis, and Grand Trunk Railroad Companies, under the act authorizing the substitution of straight for endorsed bonds...............................................       1,192,000

State obligations....................................................1,000,000

Short bonds sold by Governor Lindsay, including

unpaid interest, about............................................   170,000


The annual interest upon the indebtedness enumerated above is $633,000.

We are informed by General L. W. Lawler and Col. T. B. Bethea, the commissioners appointed to adjust the public debt, to whom the committee is largely indebted for information, and who at all times have shown a willingness to aid us in our investigation, that the bonds of the State, to which Governor Lewis refers in his message of November, 1874, as having been hypothecated with sundry parties, amounting to $1,700,000, are still outstanding and unpaid.

All of them, except $650,000, in the hands of Josiah Morris & Co., were deposited with the creditors of the State as collateral security, and we are informed that if they were to be sold, at their market value, in no instance would the proceeds extinguish the claims for which they are held as collateral security.

Deducting the $650,000 held by Josiah Morris & Co., which properly belongs to the State, there remains outstanding $1,050,000 of the $1,700,000, being part of the issue of 1872 and 1873.

There is a large floating debt, so called, the extent and validity of which is undergoing investigation. One item is $524,000, alleged to be due the school fund for unpaid balances, prior to the present year. Another item is about $600,000, claimed by the South and North Alabama Railroad Company, under an act appropriating the three per cent fund


prior to the war. And we are informed by the commissioners that there are many other claims which have been presented against the State, making the total floating debt, if allowed, fully $1,500,000, and swelling the direct debt of the State, including the trust fund, to nearly $15,000,000.

The contingent liability of the State, on account of bonds loaned to and endorsed for railroad companies, yet amounts to more than $14,000,000, making the grand total of indebtedness, direct and contingent, fully $29,000,000, the annual interest upon which, including interest upon the trust fund as now provided by law, is not less than $1,900,000.

It is only necessary to present this statement of formidable indebtedness to convince the creditors of the State that full payment is impossible, and that the State can never resume the payment of interest until the debt is adjusted and reduced, so as to correspond with our diminished resources. But in the face of this dark feature it affords us pleasure to state that the commissioners are sanguine of their ability to reduce the entire indebtedness of the State, exclusive of the educational and trust funds, to a sum not exceeding $10,000,000, the interest on which will not exceed $420,000 per annum.

In view of these facts, your committee has been stimulated to extraordinary exertions in trying to so shape the financial article in the constitution, as to meet the ends which we have been induced to believe can be accomplished.

We recommend economy in each branch of the Government.

We recommend property to be taxed in proportion to its value.

We recommend a prohibition of the State from engaging in works of internal improvement, or the loaning of its credit for that purpose.

We recommend that no debt shall be incurred by the State, except to suppress insurrection, rebellion or invasion.

We recommend a reduction of 25 per cent on all salaries, and a reduction of pay and mileage of members of Legislature, from six to four dollars per day, and from forty to ten cents per mile.

We recommend that the legislature shall not, in any one year, levy more than three-fourths of one per cent tax upon the property of the people for State purposes.

We believe, with these economical views fully carried out, and the contemplated compromise consummated, with this rate of taxation fixed at three-fourth of one per centum as a maximum, that our State will once more gain her deserved prosperity; that capital, seeing that our debt is reduced and


our taxing power limited, will seek investment in our cheap lands, and population, always following capital, will fill up our waste places; that our property will enhance in value and a rapid reduction of the rate of taxation may be had, with yet sufficient revenue to meet an economical administration and pay interest on the public debt.

Your committee, therefore, submits the following article, and recommends its passage.

F. W. SYKES, Chairman.
















SEC. 1. All taxes levied on property in this State shall be assessed in exact proportion to the value of such property, Provided, The General Assembly may levy a poll tax, not to exceed one dollar and fifty cents on each poll, which shall be applied exclusively in aid of the public school fund in the county so paying the same.

SEC. 2. No power to levy taxes shall be delegated to individuals or private corporations.

SEC. 3. The State shall never engage in works of internal improvement, nor lend its credit in aid of such; nor shall the State be interested in, or lend money or its credit in aid of, any individual, association or corporation, for any purpose whatsoever.

SEC. 4. No county, or other municipal corporation of this State, shall ever have the power, by any act of the General Assembly or any other authority, to engage in or become a stockholder in, or lend money or credit to any individual or private corporation enterprise of any character whatsoever.

SEC. 5. After the adoption of this constitution, no debt shall be created against or incurred by this State or its authority,


except to repel invasion or suppress insurrection, and then only by a concurrence of two-thirds of the members of each house of the General Assembly, and the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays and entered on the journals; and any act creating or incurring any debt against this State, except as herein provided for, shall be absolutely void; Provided, The Governor may be authorized to negotiate temporary loans, never to exceed one hundred thousand dollars, to meet deficiencies in the treasury, and until the same is paid no new loan shall be negotiated.

SEC. 6. The General Assembly shall not have the power to levy, in any one year, a greater rate of taxation than three-fourths of one per cent on the value of the property of this State.

SEC. 7. No county in this State shall be authorized to levy a larger rate of taxation, in any one year, on the value of the property thereof, than one-half of one per centum; Provided, that to pay debts existing at the adoption of this constitution, an additional rate of one-fourth of one per centum may be levied and collected, which shall be exclusively appropriated to the payment of such debts or the interest thereon.

SEC. 8. No city, town, or other municipal corporation other than provided for in this article, shall levy or collect a larger rate of taxation, in any one year, on the property thereof, than one-half of one per cent of the value of such property, as assessed for State taxation during the preceding year; Provided, for the payment of debts existing at the time of adoption of this constitution and the interest thereon, an additional rate of one and one-half per cent may be collected to be applied exclusively to such indebtedness. And, Provided, this section shall not apply to the city of Mobile, which city may levy____to pay the expense of the city government and____to pay the present indebtedness and interest thereon.

SEC. 9. The per diem of members of the General Assembly of this State shall not exceed $4, and the mileage shall not exceed 10 cents per mile going to and returning from the State capitol.

SEC. 10. At the first session of the General Assembly after the adoption of this constitution, the salaries of State Officers as now existing shall be reduced at least 25 per cent. And after said reduction the General Assembly shall not have the power to increase the same, except by a vote of two-thirds of the members of each house, taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journals. Provided, The pay of no officer of this State shall be changed during the time for which he was elected or appointed.


On motion of Mr. Harrison, the report of the committee on the bill of rights was taken from the table.

On motion of Mr. Knox, the convention proceeded to the consideration of the bill of rights, as reported by the committee, section by section.

The preamble was read as follows:

We, the People of the State of Alabama, by our Representatives in Convention assembled, in order to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and to secure to ourselves and to our posterity the rights of life, liberty and property, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama.

Mr. Stone offered the following as a substitute for the preamble, which was adopted, and the preamble, thus amended, was adopted.


We, the People of the State of Alabama, by our Delegates in Convention assembled, profoundly grateful to Almighty God for the right of choosing our form of government, in order to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure to ourselves and to our posterity the rights of life, liberty and property, invoking the aid of Divine Providence, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of Government for the State of Alabama.

The following sections were then adopted.



That the general and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and establish, WE DECLARE-

SEC. 1. That all men are equally free and independent; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

SEC. 2. That all persons resident in this State, born in the United States, or naturalized, or who shall have legally declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, are hereby declared to be citizens of the State of Alabama, possessing equal civil and political rights.

SEC. 3. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and


instituted for their benefit; and that, therefore, they have, at all times, an inalienable and indefeasible right to change their form of government, in such manner as they may deem expedient.

SEC. 4. That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship, nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate, for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State ; and that the civil rights, privileges and capacities of any citizen, shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.

SEC. 5. That any citizen may speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

SEC. 6. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable seizures or searches, and that no warrant shall issue to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

SEC. 7. That in all criminal prosecutions the accused has a right to be heard by himself and counsel, or either; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to have a copy thereof; to be confronted by witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense was committed; and that he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, or be deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by due process of law.

SEC. 8. That no person shall be accused or arrested, or detained, except in cases ascertained by law, and according to the forms which the same has prescribed; and no person shall be punished but by virtue of a law established and promulgated prior to the offense and legally applied. Section nine was read, as follows:

SEC. 9. That no person shall, for any indictable offense, be proceeded against criminally, by information, except in cases arising in the land and naval service, or in the militia when in actual service, or by leave of the court, for oppressions or misdemeanors in office; Provided, That in cases of petit larceny, assault, assault and battery, affray, unlawful assemblies, vagrancy, and other misdemeanors, the General Assembly may, by law, dispense with a grand jury, and authorize such


prosecutions and proceedings before justices of the peace or such other inferior courts as may be by law established.

Mr. Martin moved to amend by inserting after the word “provided” the words “otherwise than as provided in this constitution.”

Mr. Herndon moved as an amendment to the amendment the following: Strike out the words “for oppression and misdemeanors in office,” and insert “for misfeasance, misdemeanor, extortion and oppression in office,” which last amendment was accepted, and the amendment thus amended was adopted.

The section thus amended was then adopted.

The tenth section was then read, as follows:

SEC. 10. That no person shall, for the same offense, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.

Mr. Samford moved to strike out “limb,” and insert “liberty;” which motion was lost.

Mr. Oates moved to strike out “of life and limb.” The motion to strike out was lost.

Mr. McClellan moved to add the word “liberty;” which motion was lost.

The section was then adopted.

The following sections were adopted:

SEC. 11. That no person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending, before any tribunal in the State, by himself or counsel, any civil cause to which he is a party.

SEC. 12. That the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

SEC. 13. That in prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers, or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and that in all indictments for libel, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts under the direction of the court.

SEC. 14. That all courts shall be open, and that every person, for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have a remedy by due process of law; and right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay.

The following section was then read:

SEC. 15. The State of Alabama shall never be made defendant in any court of law or equity.

Mr. Oates moved to strike out the section.

On motion of Mr. Harrison, the motion was laid on the table.


Mr. Oates then offered the following amendment: Amend by adding the following words, “except by its permission upon a vote of two-thirds of the members of each house of the General Assembly.”

On motion of Mr. Flournoy, the amendment was laid on the table. Ayes 53, noes 38.

Those who voted yea are-

Messrs. President, Aiken, Bliss, Brewer, Brown, Burgess, Calloway, Coleman, Flournoy, Forwood, Foster of Barbour, Gilbreath, Gullett, Hames, Harrison, Heflin, Herndon, Hudson, Kelly, Langdon, Laird, Lea of Dallas, Lewis, Lyon, Manasco, Martin, McClellan, Moron, NeSmith, Nisbett, Norwood, Nowlen, O’Bannon, O’Neal, Parks, Pickett, Powell of Tuscaloosa, Prince, Pugh, Ralls, Richards, Robinson, Samford, Scott, Smith, Sterrett, Stone, Swan, Sykes, Taylor, Weathers, White, Willett and Woolf-53.

Those who voted nay, are-

Messrs. Akers, Allgood, Bolling, Booth, Bulger, Burton, Carson, Cobb, Curtis, Davis, Delbridge, Foster of Hale, Garrett, Gibson, Gordon, Green of Choctaw, Hargrove, Ingle, Johnson of Macon, Jones, Knox, Lea of Baldwin, Little, Livingston, Long, Lowe, Meadows, Mudd, Murphree, Musgrove, Oates, Parks, Plowman, Powell of Bullock, Rather, Rice and Torrey-38.

Mr. Rice moved to amend by adding the following words:

“Except as a trustee and in respect to trust funds originally derived or received from or under an act of the Congress of the United States; but any suit of that kind instituted in any court of equity in this State, by any citizen or domestic corporation of this State, shall be maintained and determined under the general rules governing such courts in ascertaining the liability of trustees who have voluntarily received trust funds.”

Pending consideration of the amendment, on motion of Mr. Moren, the convention adjourned until 12 o’clock to-morrow.