Thursday, June 6, 1901.
The convention was called to order by the President and the proceedings were opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Provence, as follows:
Almighty God, Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, we come into Thy presence again at the beginning of our day's work to ask Thy guidance and Thy blessing. We thank Thee for preserving our lives and our health and our strength and bringing us together
for the day's duties. We could not take up any task of life without asking Thy help. We would not embark in any pursuit of life without asking Thy guidance. So while we thank Thee for all the blessings Thou hast so freely given us in the past, we realize our continued need of Thy presence and Thy blessing. We pray that Thy presence may be felt here today. Grant that everything that is done may be in accordance with Thy will, that these members of this convention who come from all parts of the State to transact business of great importance may come in the right spirit, laying aside every unworthy motive, laying aside all partisan bias and working and planning together for the best interests of our State as a whole. So we pray that they may have Divine wisdom to guide them, that they may do the best thing.
Bless the homes that are represented here. Bless all the loved ones left behind and grant that Thy spirit may keep charge over them protecting them from every evil thing. Guide them in the way of life, and peace, and duty and honor. Bless every member of this convention and every committee to whom is entrusted matters of great importance.
Let Thy blessing abide upon us all in every walk of life. May we do everything for thy glory, for Jesus sake, Amen.
On roll call 129 delegates responded.
Mr. Williams (Marengo)--I ask leave of absence for Mr. Williams of Elmore for today, who is sick.
The leave was granted.
MR. WHITE--I am requested to ask leave for the Committee on Suffrage and Elections to sit during today's session of the convention.
The leave was given.
MR. WATTS--I am requested to ask leave of absence for today for Mr. Bulger of Tallapoosa.
MR. deGRAFFENREID -- As the convention has excused the members of the Suffrage Committee from attending the session today, and as I find upon my desk an ordinance to regulate the organization and classification of cities and towns in Alabama. I want to ask the Chair whether it would be the ruling of the Chair that that matter may come up for consideration and final action today. This ordinance makes a great many important changes. Some of the changes will affect the own of Greensboro, and the Southern University, which is situated in that town, and if it is to be considered and passed upon I will have to be here.
THE PRESIDENT--If that order of business is reached in the regular call, in the opinion of the Chair it would be in order to be considered today.
MR. deGRAFFENREID--Then Mr. President I ask unanimous consent, and move a suspension of the rules and that the consideration of this ordinance be set down for a hearing and discussion at some future day when all of us can be present.
MR. OATES--Does it require a suspension of the rules? A motion is in order to postpone.
MR. deGRAFFENREID--Then I move, if it be in order, that the consideration of this ordinance be deferred until next Tuesday.
THE PRESIDENT--That order of business is not up before the convention now, and without a suspension of the rules the Chair is of the opinion that it cannot be considered.
MR. deGRAFFENREID--Then I move a suspension of the rules in order that I may make that motion.
Upon a vote the rules were suspended.
MR. deGRAFFENREID--Now Mr. President I move that the consideration of this ordinance be set down for hearing and determination by this convention on next Tuesday.
MR. ROGERS (Sumter)--What ordinance does the gentleman refer to.
MR. deGRAFFENREID--It is the ordinance to regulate the organization and classification of cities and towns, which was reported on yesterday by the Committee on Municipal Corporations.
MR. ROGERS (Sumter)--By Mr. Boone of Mobile?
MR. deGRAFFENREID--It was reported by Mr. John B. Weakly, the chairman of the Committee on Municipal Corporations to the Convention.
THE PRESIDENT--I will inquire of the chairman if the report of the committee related only to that ordinance?
THE CLERK--No, there are two or three ordinances.
MR. BOONE--The chairman of that committee is absent and I am second on the committee. The report of the committee covers two propositions.
THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman from Hale apply his motion to the whole report?
MR. deGRAFFENREID--To the entire report.
THE PRESIDENT--To what time?
MR. deGRAFFENREID--Eleven o'clock Tuesday.
THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Hale moves that the consideration of the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations on the ordinance to regulate the organization and classification of cities and towns be postponed and made a special order for 11 o'clock on next Tuesday.
MR. SAMFORD--I move as a substitute for that motion that the consideration of this report be postponed until the committee shall have reported a full article upon the head of the constitution they are considering.
MR. deGRAFFENREID--I accept that amendment.
THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman intend to move to recommit or does he want it to continue before the convention?
MR. SAMFORD--If they want them to stay before the convention all right. I move to postpone the consideration of these ordinances or of these reports before the convention until the committee shall report a full article on the subject in their charge, for the consideration of the convention.
MR. WADDELL--I rise to a point of order. The rules fix the time when ordinances shall be considered and unless the rules are suspended this cannot now be considered.
THE PRESIDENT--The rules have been suspended in this particular case and the gentleman from Hale moves that the further consideration of this report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations be postponed until the committee reports a full article affecting this question.
A vote being taken the motion was carried.
MR. FLETCHER--I ask leave of absence for today for Mr. O'Neal of Lauderdale.
The leave was granted.
MR. GREER (Perry)--On account of sickness in my family I was unable to report until this morning, and I ask that I may be excused for my unavoidable absence.
THE PRESIDENT--Leave of absence was obtained by some friend of the gentleman from Perry.
MR. BYARS--I wish to ask indefinite leave of absence after today on account of sickness.
The leave was granted.
MR. MAC A. SMITH--I ask leave of absence for tomorrow on account of business.
MR. DAVIS (De Kalb)--I ask leave of absence for tomorrow and next day.
MR. PEARCE--I desire to ask leave of absence for Mr. Long (of Walker) on account of the illness of his father.
MR. JENKINS--I desire to ask leave of absence for Mr. Lomax for today.
MR. ROBINSON-- The stenographic report of yesterday does not set out the adverse report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations upon the ordinance introduced by Mr. Carmichael of Coffee, and neither the adverse report of the committee nor the ordinance introduced by the gentleman from Coffee is shown in the report. I desire to ask if it is not necessary that that should be in the stenographic report.
THE PRESIDENT--According to the opinion of the chair the report of the committee should be in the stenographic report. The chair does not recollect that the committee made any report except to state that is was adversely reported. It should so appear in the report, and the stenographer will correct it in the next issue.
The next order of business is the report of the Committee on the Journal. The report was read, and stated that the Journal was correct.
Upon motion of Mr. Greer (Perry) the report of the committee was adopted.
THE PRESIDENT--The Secretary will call the roll for the introduction of ordinances, memorials and resolutions:
Ordinance No. 320, by Mr. Banks:
Section 1. Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in convention assembled, That Article V. of the Constitution be so amended as to provide for the election of ten County Commissioners in each of the several counties of this State who shall be organized into a Commissioners Court that shall be presided over by the Judge of Probate of the county, and in addition to the duties prescribed by Section 958 of the revised Code of Alabama shall be required to assess the taxes, State and county, upon all property in the county in the manner provided in Section 4 of this ordinance.
Sec. 2. Each county shall be divided into ten subdivisions as nearly equal in area as practicable and the map of each of these subdivisions shall be made, giving the sections, half sections, quarter sections and eighths of sections embraced in each and a map of all towns or cities situated in each division.
Sec. 3. One commissioner shall be elected from each of these subdivisions as follows: At the first State and county election held after the ratification of this Constitution five commissioners shall be elected, one from each alternate subdivision to hold the office of commissioner for the term of eight years and five shall
be chosen, one from each of the remaining subdivisions to hold the office of commissioner for four years. In all subsequent elections five commissioners shall be chosen every four years whose term of office shall continue for eight years.
Sec. 4. Each commissioner shall be provided with a map of the subdivision from which he was chosen and it shall be his duty to assess the taxes, State and county, upon all property embraced in his subdivisions according to such regulation and for such commissions as the Legislature of Alabama shall prescribe.
Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the Commissioners Court to review the tax lists from each subdivision of the county, correct all errors and act as a board of equalization of the value of all taxable property in the county under such rule and regulations as the General Assembly of Alabama shall provide.
Referred to Committee on Executive Department.
Ordinance No. 321, by Mr. Espy:
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That Section 1 of Article VI be amended so as to read as follows:
The judicial power of the State shall be vested in the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment, a Supreme Court, to consist of not more than seven judges, Circuit Courts, Chancery Courts, Courts of Probate and Justice of the Peace Courts, and the Legislature shall not have power to establish any other court except those herein named.
Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
Ordinance 322, by Mr. Foshee:
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in convention assembled, That the representation in the General Assembly be based on the white population only.
Referred to Committee on Representation.
Resolution No. 123, by Mr. Foster:
Whereas this convention has now been in session two weeks, and a great many ordinances have been introduced and referred to the several committees, and
Whereas, the ordinances, heretofore introduced relate to the amending of only a few of the provisions of the present Constitution, thus manifesting the desire of the delegates to retain intact most of the provisions of the present Constitution, and
Whereas, longer and more frequent sessions of the several committees are necessary to expedite the work of this convention;
Therefore, be it resolved:
1.--That after the 10th day of June inst., no ordinances proposing amendments to the present Constitution, or additions thereto, shall be introduced before the convention.
2.--That when the convention adjourns on the 10th inst., it recess for one week.
3.--That the several standing committees shall, during such recess, hold daily sessions, and shall on the first day of the meeting of the convention after such recess, report back to the convention for its action, articles or chapters, for the proposed new constitution, which relate to or affect the subjects indicated by the titles of the respective committees.
4.--That such articles or chapters as reported shall be typewritten and in a completed or entire form, and sub-divided into sections, such sections being consecutively numbered, after the manner of the present constitution.
5.--That nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to prevent any delegate from proposing amendments to the reports of the several committees.
Referred to the Committee on Rules.
Ordinance No. 323, by Mr. Grayson:
An ordinance to repeal Section 8 of Article II of the constitution.
Be it ordained that Section 8 of Article II of constitution be, and the same is hereby repealed.
Referred to the Committee on Taxation.
Ordinance No. 324, by Mr. Harrison (Lee):
An ordinance to amend Section 21, Article IV of the Constitution:
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in convention assembled, that Section 21, Article IV, of the present constitution be amended so as to read as follows:
Every bill shall be read on three different days in each house; and no bill shall become a law unless on its final passage it be read at length and a vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members for the same to be entered on the Journal, and a majority of the members elected to each House be recorded thereon as voting in its favor, except as otherwise provided in this constitution.
Referred to the Committee on Legislative Department.
Ordinance No. 325, by Mr. Heflin (of Randolph)
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in convention assembled, that Section 3, 5 and 6 of Article IV of the Constitution of Alabama be amended so as to read as follows:
Senators and Representatives shall be elected by the qualified electors on the first Monday in August, 1902, and all the Senators and Representatives shall be elected every four years thereafter unless the General Assembly shall change the time of holding elections. The terms of office of the Senators and Representatives shall be four years, commencing on the day after the general election.
The General Assembly shall meet biennially at the Capitol in the Senate Chamber and in the Hall of the House of Representatives (except in cases of destruction of the Capitol or epidemics, when the Governor may convene them at such place in the State as he may deem best) on the day specified in this Constitution or on such other day as may be prescribed by law, and shall not remain in session longer than 60 days at the first session held under this Constitution, nor longer than fifty days at anv subsequent session.
The pay of the members of the General Assembly shall be five dollars per day and ten cents per mile in going to and returning from the seat of Government, to be computed by the nearest usual route traveled.
Referred to Committee on Legislative Department.
MR. HENDERSON--I yield by turn to Mr. Sanders of Limestone.
Resolution No.124, by Mr. Sanders:
Resolved, that hereafter all requests for leaves of absence shall be in writing, and laid upon the President's desk each morning before the assembling of the convention. The President shall announce the names of those for whom leave of absence is sought, and if there be no objection, leave shall be granted. Said request may be proffered by any member for other members.
MR. SANDERS--For the purpose of putting that resolution upon its immediate passage I move a suspension of the rules.
A reading of the resolution was called for by Mr. Reese. On a vote the convention refused to suspend the rules and the resolution was referred to the Committee on Rules.
Resolution No. 125, by Mr. Jackson:
Resolved, That all ordinances or resolutions referred to the Committee on Rules and reported back to this Convention without action thereon by said Committee, shall be placed upon the calendar to be called up in their regular order.
Referred to Committee on Rules.
Resolution 126, by Mr. Kirk:
Relating to the Formation of a new counties:
Resolved, That in the Constitution to be framed by this Convention, it shall be provided that no new county shall be formed of less extent than six hundred square miles as now provided by the Constitution of 1875.
Referred to Committee on State and County Boundaries.
Ordinance No. 326, by Miller (Marengo):
An ordinance to provide for the election of County Superintendent of Education, and the County Board of Education and to define their duties.
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, that there shall be elected in each county by the people a Superintendent of Education and who shall hold office for the term of four years, who shall not be eligible to succeed himself or to hold any other office during his term of office and for twelve months thereafter, whose duties shall be fixed by law, except as herein otherwise provided.
2. At the time of the election of said superintendent there shall be elected in the same manner two school commissioners whose term of office shall expire with the one of the Superintendent.
3. The superintendent together with the two commissioners shall constitute a board, known as the school board of ------- County, whose duty it shall be have general supervision over the schools of the county and who shall hold at least two meetings a year to examine applicants for teachers, and such examination they shall hold in person. They shall provide separate schools for both races, which shall be of equal length of school term in each district or township, and shall perform such other duties as are required by law.
4. The legislature shall fix the pay of the commissioner and his associates.
5. No one shall be eligible to election to any of the three offices, unless he has sufficient education to perform the duties of the office.
Referred to the Committee on Education.
Ordinance No. 327, by Mr. Pearce:
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled
Section 1. That after the adoption of this Constitution no person learned in the law shall be eligible to hold any office under the State except of a judicial nature.
Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
MR. BAREFIELD--I am requested to ask leave of absence for today for Mr. L. W. Locklin of Monroe, on account of sickness.
The leave was granted.
Ordinance No. 328, by Mr. Samford:
Be it ordained that Section 21, Article I. be amended so as to read as follows:
That no person shall be imprisoned for debt, except in cases where a person enters into a contract in writing for the performance of an act or service, and thereby obtains money or other personal property from his employer, and without just cause, and without refunding such money or paying for such, refuses to perform such act or service.
Referred to the Committee on Preamble and Declaration of Rights.
Ordinance No. 329, by Mr. Sanford (Montgomery):
An ordinance to strike out Section 35 from the Declaration of Rights.
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That the Declaration of Rights be amended by striking out Section 35, which is in these words: "The people of this State accept as final the established fact that from the Federal Union there can be no secession of any State.
Referred to Committee on Preamble and Declaration of Rights.
MR. SLOAN--I rise to a question of personal privilege. The official list has my postoffice address wrong. I so notified the secretary on the first day of the session. On reading the list of delegates in the book of rules, I find that the change has not been made. I wish to inform you and the officers of the Convention, and the members, my postoffice address is not Sloan, Ala., but it is Oneonta, Ala., forty-five miles from Sloan postoffice.
THE PRESIDENT--The Secretary will note the correction.
Resolution No. 127, by Mr. Mac A. Smith (Autauga):
Resolved, That whenever a Committee has voted adversely to an ordinance, resolution, petition or memorial which has been referred for its consideration, such adverse action need not be reported by the Committee to the Convention unless the same be called for by a vote of one-fifth of the members present, when such ordinance, resolution, petition or memorial shall then be reported by the Committee with its adverse action thereon, and the same shall be placed on the Calendar and come up in regular order for consideration by the Committee.
Referred to Committee on Rules.
Ordinance No. 330, by Mr. Watts.
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That the General Assembly be and they are hereby authorized and instructed to acquire by purchase or condemnation if the terms of purchase cannot be agreed upon, all of the lands in the city of Montgomery not now owned or occupied by the State Capitol and the grounds thereof, comprised within the block or square bounded by the following streets, viz.: Bainbridge, Washington, Union and Monroe.
Second--That after the said lands have been so acquired the buildings thereon shall be sold and removed and said land so acquired shall be made a part of the Capitol grounds and be ornamented and arranged in the same manner as the other parts of the Capitol grounds are or shall in the future be ornamented and arranged.
Referred to Committee on Legislative Department.
Resolution No. 128, by Mr. Williams (Elmore):
To base representation in the General Assembly of Alabama upon the voting population of the various counties of the State.
Be it resolved by this Convention, That all representation in the General Assembly of Alabama shall be fixed by this Convention and be based upon the voting population of the several respective counties of the State.
Referred to Committee on Representation.
Ordinance No. 331 by Mr. Williams (Marengo):
An ordinance to regulate the conveying of homesteads by executory contract.
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That whereas, very recently in the case of Lyon vs. Hardin, 29 Southern Reporter, 777, the Supreme Court of Alabama declared a law to be that a homestead cannot be conveyed by executory contract, commonly called options, Therefore, the attention of the Committee on Exemptions is called to this decision
with the suggestion that they carefully investigate the case and if deemed advisable report an ordinance permitting transfers and conveyances of homesteads to be made by option and other executory contracts, as provided for other real estate.
Referred to Committee on Exemptions.
MR. BROOKS--I desire to offer a resolution by request of the gentleman from Montgomery, Mr. Oates, who is at present on the Committee on Suffrage and Elections elsewhere.
Resolution No. 129, by Mr. Oates:
Resolved, That the Committee on Legislative Department be authorized to employ a clerk for so long as said Committee may need his services.
MR. BROOKS--I ask the clerk to read the note by Governor Oates on the inside.
The note was as follows: The above resolution is offered at the unanimous request of the Committee.--William C. Oates.
MR. BROOKS--I move that the rules be suspended so that that Resolution may be put upon its passage.
A reading of the resolution was called for. Upon a vote, a division being called for, it resulted 58 ayes, 6 noes, and the motion to suspend the rules was carried. Upon a further vote the resolution was adopted.
MR. CARMICHAEL (of Colbert)--I wish to introduce a resolution.
THE PRESIDENT--It can be done by unanimous consent.
The consent was given.
Resolution 130 by Mr. Carmichael of Colbert:
Resolved that hereafter the Committee of the Convention shall not report to the Convention ordinances and resolutions which have been adversely acted upon; provided, any member of the Convention may on any day immediately after the report of the Committee to which an ordinance has been referred and adversely acted upon, move to recall said ordinance from said committee and said ordinance may upon a majority vote of the convention be placed upon the calendar for consideration by the Convention; provided this resolution shall not apply to the Committee on Rules.
Referred to Committee on Rules.
MR. COFER--I desire to make the point of order on the passage of the resolution just now, that there was no quorum.
MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I make the point of order that the gentleman's point of order is made too late.
MR. COFER--I did not have the opportunity until after the vote was announced.
MR. BROOKS--I don't think that is a good point of order, where the vote is not taken by the yeas and nays.
THE PRESIDENT--It seems to the chair that other business has intervened and the point is made too late.
Upon the call of the Standing Committees no reports were offered.
MR. WADDELL (Russell)--I move that this convention do now adjourn.
Before putting the motion to adjourn the President announced various committee meetings for the evening, and thereupon the convention adjourned until to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.
In Section 5 of Ordinance No. 289, by Mr. Banks, introduced on twelfth day, the word "officers" in the fourth line from bottom of second page should read "offices." _________
The adverse report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations was read as a part of the twelfth day's proceedings, as folows:
The Committee on Municipal Corporations
to whom was referred Ordinance No. 78, entitled an ordinance to
regulate the granting of franchises by municipal corporations,
introduced by M. S. Carmichael, beg leave to report that they
have considered the same, and recommend to the Convention that
the same do not
Chairman Committee on Municipal Corporations.
June 5th, 1901.