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SIXTEENTH DAY.

THURSDAY, September 23, 1875.

The convention met pursuant to adjournment.

Prayer by Rev. Dr. Andrews of this city.

On motion of Mr. Little, the reading of the journal was dispensed with.

Mr. Richards, a proposition that all maimed Confederate soldiers shall be exempt from the payment of poll tax. Referred to committee on finance and taxation.

Mr. Nowlin, a resolution, that the head of each family shall be allowed two thousand dollars worth of real and personal property, and that the same shall be exempt from sale on execution. Referred to committee on exemptions.

THE GENERAL ORDER.

Which was the report of the committee on the legislative department, then came up, the question being on the adoption of section 57, which was read as follows:

The General Assembly shall not tag the property, real and personal, of the State, counties or other municipal corporations, or cemeteries; nor lots in incorporated cities or towns, or within one mile of any city or town, to the extent of one acre; and lots one mile or more distant from such cities


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or towns, to the extent of five acres, with the buildings thereon, when the same are used exclusively for religious worship, for schools, or for purposes purely charitable; nor such property, real or personal, to an extent not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars in value, as may be used exclusively for agricultural or horticultural societies.

Mr. Woolf moved to strike out “and,” between “acre” and “lots,” and insert “nor”; which was carried.

Mr. Powell of Tuscaloosa moved to strike out the section; which was lost.

Mr. Aiken moved to strike out “or other municipal corporations,” and insert “or” between “State” and “counties”; which was lost.

Mr. Samford moved to strike out “for schools”; which was lost.

Mr. Booth moved to amend by inserting between “cemeteries” and “nor lots” the following: The property, real and personal, of State, counties, or other municipal corporations, and cemeteries, shall be exempt from taxation; which was lost.

Mr. Powell of Tuscaloosa moved to strike out the last sentence, beginning with the words “nor such property.”

Mr. Langdon moved to lay the amendment on the table; which was carried.

The section was then adopted.

Section 58 was read as follows:

The General Assembly shall by law prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to ascertain the value of personal property exempted from sale under legal process, by this constitution, and to secure the same to the claimant thereof as selected.

Mr. Parks moved to amend by inserting “and real” between the words “personal” and “property”; which was adopted, and the section, thus amended, was adopted.

Section 59 was adopted as follows:

The General Assembly shall have no power to authorize any county, city, town, or other subdivision of this State to lend its credit, or to grant public money or thing of value, in aid of, or to, any individual, association or corporation whatsoever, or to become a stockholder in any such corporation, association or company, by issuing bonds or otherwise; Provided, This provision shall not apply to any bonds already issued.

Section 60 was read as follows:

The Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney-General, Superintendent of Public instruction, and


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Judges of the Supreme Court, may be removed from office for willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, habitual drunkenness, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude while in office, or committed under cover thereof, or connected therewith, by the Senate, sitting as a court for that purpose, under oath or affirmation, on articles or charges preferred by the House of Representatives.

Mr. Rice moved to amend by inserting after “Supreme Court” the words “chancellors, judges of the circuit court and probate judges.”

Mr. Richards offered the following amendment to the amendment:

Amend by adding “and solicitors of circuits.”

Mr. Inzer moved to lay the amendment and the amendment to the amendment on the table; which motion was carried.

Mr. Aiken offered the following amendment:

Amend by adding at end of section the following: And no person shall be convicted under an impeachment without the concurrence of a majority of all the Senators elected.

Mr. McClellan moved to lay the amendment on the table; which was carried.

Mr. Powell of Tuscaloosa moved to lay the section on the table; which motion was lost.

The section was adopted.

Section 61 was read as follows:

The chancellors, judges of the circuit courts, judges of the probate courts, and solicitors of the circuits, may be removed from office for any of the causes specified in the preceding section, by the Supreme Court, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Mr. Martin offered the following amendment:

Amend by inserting after the word “circuits” the words “and judges of inferior courts, from which an appeal may be taken directly to the Supreme Court.”

Mr. Oates moved to amend the amendment, by striking out the words “from which an appeal may be taken directly to the supreme court”, in lieu thereof; which was adopted.

The amendment, as amended, was adopted, and the section thus amended was adopted.

Section 62 was read as follows:

The sheriffs, clerks of the circuit courts, tax collectors, tax assessors, county treasurers. coroners, justices of the peace, notaries public, constables, and all other county officers, mayors and intendants of incorporated cities and towns in this State, may be removed from office for any of the causes specified in section 59 of this article, by the circuit court of the


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county in which such officers hold their office, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; Provided, That the right of trial by jury and appeal in such cases be secured.

Mr. Martin moved to amend by inserting after the word “intendents” the words “and all other officers.”

On motion of Mr. Cobb, the amendment was laid on the table.

Mr. Knox moved to amend by inserting after the word “courts” the words “clerks of courts of record.”

On motion of Mr. Oates, the amendment was laid on the table.

Mr. Burns moved to amend by striking out the words “the circuit court of the county in which such officers hold their office,” and insert in lieu the words “any chancellor or circuit judge.”

Mr. Cobb called the previous question, and the call being sustained, the section was adopted.

Sections 63, 64 and 65 were adopted, as follows:

SEC. 63. The penalties in cases arising under the three preceding sections shall not extend beyond removal from office, and disqualification from holding office under the authority of this State, for the term for which he was elected or appointed; but the accused shall be liable to indictment, trial and punishment as prescribed by law.

SEC. 64. The General Assembly shall not pass any retrospective law which destroys, impairs, or affects any vested or existing rights or privileges, or the remedy for the enforcement or defense thereof.

SEC. 65. It is made the duty of the General Assembly to enact all laws necessary to give effect to the provisions of this constitution.

Mr. Harrison offered the following additional section; which was lost:

The General Assembly shall not have the power to authorize any officer or tribunal to collect State or county taxes, either general or special, except the duly qualified tax collectors.

Mr. Cobb offered the following substitute for section 53, the consideration of which had been postponed:

It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to require the court of county commissioners of the several counties in this State to make adequate provision for the maintenance of the poor.

The substitute was adopted, and the section adopted.

Mr. Oates moved to reconsider the vote by which section 64 was adopted; which motion was carried.


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Mr. Oates moved to strike out the following words: “or the remedy for the enforcement or defense thereof,” and insert in lieu thereof “nor reviving the right of action when the same is barred by the statute of limitations.”

Mr. Green of Choctaw called for the previous question, and the call was not sustained.

Mr. Cobb moved, as a substitute for the amendment, to strike out the words “or affects” and insert the word “or” between “destroys” and “impairs”; which was lost.

Mr. Inzer moved to lay the amendment on the table; which was carried.

Mr. Little moved to strike out "or affects" and insert "or" between "destroys" and "impairs;" which was adopted.

Mr. Hargrove moved to strike out the section.

Mr. McClellan moved to lay the motion on the table; which was carried.

The section was then adopted.

Mr. Oates offered the following as an additional section:

The General Assembly shall not pass any law: 1. Locating or changing county seats. 2. Remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures, or refunding money legally paid into the treasury. 3. Relieving any assessor or collector of taxes, or other holder of public moneys, from the performance of their official duties, or them and their sureties from official liability.

4. Legalizing the unauthorized or invalid acts of any person, court or officer, or giving effect to informal or invalid wills, deeds or judgments.

On motion of Mr. Inzer, the amendment was laid upon the table.

Mr. Woolf offered the following additional section:

In the event of a vacancy in the office of Senator of the United States, during the recess of the General Assembly, the Governor shall have power to fill such vacancy by appointment, to continue until the next session of the General Assembly.

On motion of Mr. Heflin, the amendment was laid upon the table.

The Convention took a recess until 4 o’clock, p. m.

CCCC

AFTERNOON SESSION.

The Convention assembled at the designated hour.

The Convention proceeded to the consideration of the seventh section of the article reported by the committee on the legislative department, the question being on the adoption


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of the substitute of Mr. Lowe, as amended by the acceptance of the amendment of Mr. Pugh.

Mr. Harrison moved to amend the substitute by striking out the words “as prescribed in the constitution,” and inserting the words “according to the number of inhabitants in them respectively.”

On motion of Mr. Pugh, the further consideration of the section and pending amendments was postponed until 11 o’clock to-morrow, and made the special order for that hour.

On motion of Mr. O’Neal, the report of the committee on the judicial department was taken from the table.

Sections l, 2 and 3 were adopted as follows:

SEC. 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in the Senate, sitting as a court of impeachment, a supreme court, circuit courts, chancery courts, courts of probate, such inferior courts of law and equity, to consist of not more than five members, as the General Assembly may from time to time establish, and such persons as may be by law invested with powers of a judicial nature.

SEC. 2. Except in cases otherwise directed in the constitution, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be co-extensive with the State, under such restrictions and regulations not repugnant to this constitution, as may from time to time be prescribed by law; Provided, That said court shall have power to issue writs of injunction, habeas corpus, quo warranto, and such other remedial and original writs as may be necessary to give it a general superintendence and control of inferior jurisdictions.

SEC. 3. The supreme court shall be held at the seat of government; but if that shall have become dangerous from any cause, it may adjourn to a different place.

Section 4 was read as follows:

The State shall be divided by the General Assembly into convenient circuits, not exceeding ten in number, unless an increase shall be made by a vote of two-thirds of each house of the General Assembly; and no circuit shall contain less than three, nor more than twelve counties; and for each circuit there shall be chosen a judge, who shall, at the time of his election and during the time he continues in office, reside in the circuit for which he is elected.

Mr. Inzer offered the following minority report as a substitute for the section:

The State shall be divided by the General Assembly into convenient circuits, not to exceed eight in number, unless increased by a vote of two-thirds of the members of each house of the General Assembly, and no circuit shall contain less than


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three nor more than twelve counties, and for each circuit there shall be chosen a judge, who shall, for one year preceding his election and during his continuance in office, reside in the circuit for which he is elected.

Mr. McClellan moved to amend the substitute by inserting the word “next” between the word “year” and “preceding;” which was adopted.

Mr. Burns moved to strike out “for one year next preceding his election and;” which was lost.

Mr. Garrett moved to amend the substitute by striking out “eight” with a view of inserting “nine.”

Mr. Inzer moved to lay the amendment on the table; which was carried.

The substitute was then adopted.

Mr. Rice moved to reconsider the vote by which the substitute was adopted.

On motion of Mr. O’Neal, the motion was laid upon the table.

Mr. Oates moved to amend the section as amended by the adoption of the substitute.

The President ruled the amendment out of order.

Mr. Lowe appealed from the decision of the chair, and the question being: “Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?” It was sustained-ayes 70, noes 10.

Section 5 was adopted as follows:

The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, within the State, not otherwise excepted in this constitution; but in civil cases only, when the matter or sum in controversy exceeds fifty dollars.

Section 6 was read as follows:

A circuit court shall be held in each county in the State, at least twice in every year; and the judges of the several circuits may hold courts for each other when they deem it expedient, and shall do so when directed by law; Provided, That the judges of the several circuit courts shall have power to issue writs of injunction, returnable into courts of chancery.

Mr. Burns moved to amend by striking out “they” and inserting “two of them.”

On motion of Mr. Knox, the amendment was laid upon the table.

Section 7 was read as follows:

The General Assembly shall have power to establish a court or courts of chancery, with original and appellate jurisdiction. The State shall be divided by the General Assembly into convenient chancery divisions, not exceeding three in number, unless an increase shall be made by a vote of two-


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thirds of each house of the General Assembly; and the divisions shall be divided into districts, and for each division there shall be a chancellor, who shall, after his election or appointment, reside in the division for which he shall have been elected or appointed.

Mr. Oates moved to amend by inserting the words “at the time of, and” between the words “shall” and “after;” which was adopted.

Mr. Oates offered the following substitute:

That at the expiration of the term of office of the five chancellors now in office, there shall no longer be a separate chancery court in this State, and thereupon it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide by law for the judges of the circuits to have and exercise equity jurisdiction in all cases, as fully and completely as the said chancellors are now empowered to do; Provided, That the same general forms of pleading in equity cases, as are now provided for by law, shall be retained.

Mr. Stone moved to lay the substitute on the table; which motion was carried.

Mr. Willett offered the following amendment: Amend by striking out “districts” and inserting “as many districts as there are counties in such division.”

Mr. Lowe moved to lay the amendment upon the table; which was carried.

Mr. Lowe moved to amend by striking out the words “unless an increase shall be made by a vote of two-thirds of each house of the General Assembly.”

On motion of Mr. Little, the amendment was laid upon the table-ayes 57, noes 29.

Mr. Coleman offered the following amendment: After the word “divided” insert “into convenient districts;” so as to provide that no district shall contain more than three counties, and that each county containing seventeen thousand inhabitants shall form a separate district.

Mr. McClellan moved to lay the amendment on the table; which was carried.

Mr. Murphree moved to amend by inserting after “Assembly” the words “which shall never exceed five.”

On motion of Mr. Heflin the amendment was laid on the table.

Mr. Davis offered the following amendment: Amend by adding after the word “Assembly” where it last occurs, “taken by yeas and nays and entered upon the journal.”

The amendment was adopted.

Mr. Stone offered the following substitute: The General


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Assembly shall have power to establish a court or courts of chancery with original and appellate jurisdiction. The State shall be divided by the General Assembly, into convenient chancery divisions and the divisions into districts, and for each division there shall be a chancellor, who shall after his election or appointment, reside in the division for which he shall have been elected or appointed. A chancery court shall be held in each county at a place to be fixed by law, and the chancellors may hold courts for each other, when they deem it expedient.

On motion of Mr. Bliss, the substitute was laid on the table.

Mr. Powell of Bullock, offered an amendment to strike out “two-thirds” and insert “four-fifths.”

Mr. Moren demanded the previous question, and the call being sustained the section was adopted.

Mr. Powell of Tuscaloosa, gave notice of a rule that no member shall speak longer than ten minutes, nor more than once on any one question, unless by leave of the Convention.

Mr. Samford gave notice of a similar rule, limiting debate to five minutes.

Section 8 was read as follows:

A chancery court shall be held in each district; at a place to be fixed by law at least twice in each year; and the chancellors may hold courts for each other, when they deem it expedient.

Mr. White moved to strike out “district” and insert “county.”

Pending which, on motion of Mr. O’Neal, the Convention adjourned until 10 o’clock to-morrow.

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