2102

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

FORTY ‑ FOURTH DAY

___________

MONTGOMERY, ALA.,

Saturday, July 13, 1901.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, was called to order by the President, and opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Howell as follows:

O Lord, we thank Thee that we have been preserved through another night, and that this morning finds us in the enjoyment of the usual health of body and mind, and now we are here to address ourselves to the work before us.  We pray that Thou wilt accept our gratitude for all blessings of life, for home and friends and country.  We are glad indeed that our lines have fallen to us in pleasant places.  O help us to recognize that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of life, and may we render to Thee the homage of our hearts and the service of our lives.  Forgive all our unforgiven sins, prepare us for every good word and work, and help us to live soberly and righteously in this world, and enable us when we all come to die to feel that we have done our duty.  O Lord, be light and wisdom to us, guide in the way of truth and righteousness and to Thy name shall be all the praise, now and forever.  Amen.

Upon the all of the roll 88 delegates responded to their names.

Leaves of absence were granted as follows: Mr. Carmichael (Colbert) for today : Mr. Jones (Wilcox) for today, Monday and Tuesday ; Mr. Bulger for today and Monday; Mr. Sorrell for Monday; Mr. Cunningham (Jefferson) for Monday and Tuesday : Mr. Tayloe for today : Mr. Cobb for Monday : Mr. Morgan M. Smith for today and tomorrow.

MR. SAMFORD ( Pike) ‑ I move that when this Convention adjourns this morning it adjourn to meet at 11 o'clock Monday morning.

MR. MALONE ‑ I would like to amend by providing that we remain in session until 2 o'clock.

MR. GREER (Calhoun)– I understand a motion to adjourn is not debatable, but I think the particular time to which the adjournment is taken is.

THE PRESIDENT– At any rate we will hear wise suggestions from the gentleman from Calhoun.

MR. GREER (Calhoun) ‑ I would like to suggest that I think it would be wise for us to meet at the usual time on Monday. If


2103

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

some cannot get back there will be at least a quorum here, and we had better proceed with the business, and I hope the Convention will remain in session the usual hours today and reconvene the usual hour on next Monday morning, so that its business may be transacted.

THE PRESIDENT– The motion is that when this Convention adjourns at its morning session today that it adjourn to meet at 11 o’clock on Monday.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and by a vote of 53 ayes and 33 noes the motion was carried.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)– The Convention would not agree to leave with me on yesterday, and I decided not to leave the Convention, and I ask to be permitted to withdraw my leave of absence obtained for today.

The leave was granted.

MR. deGRAFFENREID– As we have only one session today I move that the roll call be dispensed with this morning and that the Convention now proceed with the business that was on hand yesterday afternoon at adjournment.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) – I ask the gentleman to withdraw that for the purpose of introducing a short resolution..

MR. deGRAFFENREID– All right.

Resolution No. 242, by Mr. Rogers of Sumter:

Resolved, That hereafter if a stenographer submits his notes to any delegate to correct his speech made by said delegate, before such speech is printed in the public record, such stenographer shall hereafter be debarred the duties and pay of stenographer of this convention.

Referred to the Committee on Rules.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)– The purpose of this stenographic report–

THE PRESIDENT – The gentleman is not in order.  The resolution is not debatable.  The resolution has been referred.

MR. HOWELL– I move that he be allowed to debate it.

MR. DAVIS (Etowah)– I desire to offer a short resolution.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)– I move a suspension of the rules that I may have this resolution put upon its immediate passage.

THE PRESIDENT– The chair has recognized the gentleman from Etowah.

MR. WADDELL– I rise to a point of order.


2104

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT ‑ There is nothing before the house. The clerk will read the resolution.

Resolution No. 243. by Mr. Davis of Etowah :

Resolved, That after Saturday, the 20th inst., the official stenographic report be discontinued.

Resolved further, that the President of this Convention be authorized and instructed to cancel the existing contract with the official stenographers in accordance with the terms of this resolution, and that he be authorized to draw his warrant in their favor for such amount as may be due said stenographers, including the week ending July 20th, 1901.

Referred to the Committee on Rules.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Hale has moved that the call of the roll be dispensed with.

MR. PROCTOR ‑ I desire to submit a report for the Committee on the Journal.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ I withdraw the motion for that purpose.

The report of the Journal was read, stating that the Journal for the forty ‑ third day of the Convention had been examined and found correct, and the same was adopted.

MR. BROOKS ‑ I rise to a parliamentary inquiry.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state the question of inquiry.

MR. BROOKS ‑ I understood the delegate from Sumter just now to offer a resolution in regard to the stenographic report of the remarks made by delegates upon the floor. I apprehend that the Convention, under the rules; has a right to consider that question without reference to the Committee on Rules, because it has reference to privileges of members on this floor. If the President will refer to rule 28 he will find that all resolutions, before they are voted on, shall be referred to and reported from the Committee on Rules, except resolutions relating to the privileges of the Convention or its members. I apprehend that the resolution offered by the gentleman from Sumter (Mr. Rogers) has relation to the privileges of the members of the Convention.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman rises to a question of personal privilege and discusses the privilege of another delegate. The resolution of the gentleman from Sumter related to the stenographic report, and to the conduct of the stenographers, and it was referred to the Committee on Rules, the gentleman not mov‑


2105

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

ing a suspension of the rules, when the resolution was read; thereupon the Chair recognized the gentleman from Etowah.

MR. BROOKS ‑ Will the Chair indulge me one moment to correct a statement made by the President? I did not rise to a question of personal privilege, but I rose to a question of parliamentary inquiry.

MR. WHITESIDE– I ask unanimous consent to introduce a petition, and have it read.

The consent was given, and the petition read as follows:

To the Honorable Constitutional Convention, Montgomery, Ala.:

Dear Sirs – We respectfully represent that whereas, the Railroad Commission appointed by the Governor and paid by the railroads has proven an entire failure; and whereas the shipper and consumer should have some representation in the naming of rates and making of rules, by what is otherwise alien and arbitrary power. That whereas the Express, Telephone and Railroad franchises are given by the State, the lower of these franchises to tax will be limited by the State. We therefore request that your honorable body will give us a commission. elected and paid by the people and place all franchises, which have power to tax, within their review.

Anniston Hardware Co., J. C. Spence. President: A. W. Bell; Anniston Manufacturing Company by J. B. Goodwin, Treasurer Adelaide Mills, by F. Robinson. President : Anniston Manufacturing Co. by P. A. Howel. Treasurer: Frank Nelson, Jr.; Anniston Supply Co., by Owen Reynolds, President: J. M. Stringfellow ; First National Bank, by J. M. Stringfellow. President; Anniston Iron Mills, J. T. Gardner, Treasurer: Anniston Lime and Stone Co., by R. H. Cobb, President; Connor Cobb Investment and Imp. Co.. by R. H. Cobb ; Talbot Fòoard ; Anniston Banking and Loan Co., by M. B. Welborne, President; Anniston National Bank., W. H. McElroy, President; Anniston Electric and Gas Co., H. W. Sexton, G. M., E. L. Turner & Co.; Anniston Cordage Co.. F. M. Jones, Mgr., Evans Brothers, Heflin, Ala.: Reid & Co., Edwardsville, Ala.; W. D. Snow, Model City Brick Works ; J. L. Wikle ; J. W. McElrath, McElrath Drug Company. Burns & Billingsworth, John H. Frye, Wellman Brothers, Kohn Brothers, Frank McIntyre, Sterne's Grocery, Adler & Company. J. D. O'Bryant & Company, Ingrams, Anniston Trading Company, L. H. Caree, R. O. Watson. Elam Drug Company by W. H. Elam, Secretary Stickneys Pharmacy by R. H. Stickney : W. E. Lloyd, Anniston Bag Mfg. Co., by A. H. Henderson, President.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ I now renew my motion.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ And dispense with the call of the standing committees also?


2106

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ Yes,but if any of them have any report to make, I will not object to its being submitted.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The special matters before the Convention is the consideration of Section 3 of the Article reported by the Committee on State and County Boundaries. When the Convention adjourned the gentleman from Elmore had the floor. The question is on the amendment to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale.

MR. PARKER (Elmore) ‑ Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, I realize that there is a spirit of restlessness pervading this Convention this morning, and I regret sir that I did not have an opportunity to conclude my remarks on yesterday afternoon. As I have not before taken up any of the time of the Convention, I trust that the members of this Convention will bear with me for a little while, until I undertake to argue the correctness of the premises upon which we base our motion to substitute 600 square miles for 500 square miles as reported by the majority of the committee. The first is, that this question was not in issue in the campaign, except to a very limited extent; the second is, that the sentiment of the people is divided, but largely against reduction, and the third is, that in most of the counties the tax rate is already up to the constitutional limit, and hence any reduction in the old counties would decrease their revenues, interfere with the harmony and autonomy of the same, destroy their symmetry, and arouse influences against ratification which under former conditions would be in favor of ratification.

Mr. Howell sought recognition.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman from Elmore yield to the gentleman from Cleburne?

MR. PARKER (Elmore) ‑ I prefer not to be interrupted now. I will take pleasure in answering any questions that the gentleman desires to ask after my time has expired.

Now, sir, I say that these premises, so far as my investigation goes, cannot be disputed. I have sought every avenue of information that has been open to me on this question. I have not sought to cater to the influence of the office holders of Alabama. because I have this stack of letters here from them, but, gentlemen of the Convention, you must recognize the fact that office holders in Alabama are a potent influence that may be for or against ratification, as their interests may be affected, and I tell you, sir, that a perusal of the stack of letters–

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ Will the gentleman permit a question?

MR. PARKER (Elmore) ‑ No sir.


2107

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ For information‑

MR. PARKER (Elmore) ‑ I do not want to be discourteous ton the gentleman, but–

 MR. ROGERS (Sumter)– I would like to ask the gentleman a question.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Sumter will be in order. The gentleman declines to yield.

MR. PARKER (Elmore) ‑ As I undertook to say on yesterday, an abstract made by me of 163 of these letters shows that 80 per cent. answered that this issue had never been discussed in their counties; 20 per cent. of them say that it was discussed more or less; 10 per cent. say that the sentiment of the county is in favor of a change; 80 per cent. say that the sentiment of the county is against any change of county boundaries and county areas; 3 per cent. say that a change will not affect the result as to the ratification of the Constitution ; and 80 per cent. say that it will either defeat it or endanger the ratification of the Constitution. One hundred and thirteen out of 163 say that the tax limit is already up to the Constitutional limit, and that any reduction in area will either cause their counties to go in debt or to increase the tax rate, and thereby incur opposition to the ratification of this Constitution.

Now, gentlemen. I say these are the facts. They are the stubborn facts, and whether we will, or whether we won't, we cannot leave them out in the calculation of the result on this proposition. If I had time I would like to read some of the answers that I have received, but, sir, I recognize that I have neither the time, and neither has the Contention the patience to listen to these replies, but, sir. I give you my word for it, that the abstract that I have made is not from any particular letters, but just as I took them out of this file, with the result that 80 per cent. of the people of Alabama are reported as saying that this question was not agitated, and are opposed to any change and say that it will endanger the ratification of the Constitution, and that it would increase the tax rate, and that they are already up to the full limit of taxation in their counties.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman's time has expired.

MR. COBB ‑ I move that it be extended ten minutes.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ I am willing for the gentleman to have his time extended if he answers my question.

Objection was made to any extension of time.

MR. THOMPSON (Bibb) ‑ I desire, very briefly, to attempt to answer the argument made by the gentleman, and also to show


2108

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

the defect in the amendment, and the advantages of the committee's report over the amendment as offered. In the first place the amendments that have been offered by the various gentlemen place no limitation whatever upon the action of the Legislature in this matter, except to require a two ‑ thirds vote of both Houses. The committee, after careful investigation, has discovered that in many, instances legislation has been passed that was not wanted by the people of the respective counties affected, and has sought to safeguard that interest, and we have provided that before any new county can be created or any county line changed, that the Legislature must pass an enabling act, providing for the calling of an election for that purpose, and that bill must have a vote of a majority of the members elected to each house, and in addition to that must receive a two ‑ thirds vote of the people of the county to be affected, or a two ‑ thirds vote of the people in the separate district, that are to be placed in a new county.

MR. COBB ‑ If the gentleman will pardon me, one of the minority reports recommends that very thing. One of the reports you are now discussing.

MR. THOMPSON ‑ I don't think that the one before the House at present does.

MR. COBB ‑ They are both before the House.

MR. THOMPSON ‑ What is the substitute? Both are minority reports.

THE PRESIDENT' ‑ The gentleman from Macon is not in order.

MR. COBB ‑ A parliamentary inquiry, that is all.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Bible has the floor, and has not been asked, nor has he yielded, and the chair cannot entertain questions of inquiry.

MR. COBB ‑ Will the gentleman yield?

MR. THOMPSON (Bibb) ‑ No, sir; not at present. Under the plan as proposed by the minority and substitute, it merely requires two ‑ thirds of those voting upon that measure, which might be two ‑ thirds of a bare quorum of the House, while "we provide that it must be, under the plan reported by the Committee on Representation, 68 members, when otherwise only 46 might pass it. On the face, it seems that their report would place safeguards, but when you come to consider it, it does not. The gentleman from Elmore, a member of the minority, has come before you with some witnesses. The gentleman did not state, I believe, that each of his witnesses were interested parties. We all know how much interest affects a man. They were the County Commissioners, and I submit while county officials are usually fair and honest men, that their


2109

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

own interests, their own pockets, affect their evidence, as much as the interest of parties may affect their evidence in civil cases, or in any other matters. Do you expect that a county officer would be in favor of cutting off a part of his county, and reduce his salary? It is not human nature for a man to touch his own pocket. Therefore, his witnesses are not the best that might have been brought here, and I submit, furthermore, that the gentleman had other evidence, either in his possession or within his reach, that he might have submitted.  He brings here 163 letters, but, gentlemen of the Convention, he forgets to mention a petition signed by 300 citizens of his own county, presented to your committee, of which he is a member. If he comes to us its an unbiased speaker on this question, why did not he present all of the evidence within his reach? It seems that his own party is divided. He says that the people are divided upon this question. Yes, Mr. President, the people of Alabama were divided  upon the question of calling a Constitutional Convention. The fact that the people are divided is no reason for his argument or for mine. We are here to formulate a fundamental law for the State of Alabama, to exist for years. Then why should we limit the legislature, and place upon it the same limitations that leave existed for twenty ‑ six years?

MR. HOWELL– Thirty ‑ six.

MR. THOMPSON ‑ Thirty ‑ six the gentleman says, it strikes me it is only twenty ‑ six since 1875.

MR. PARKER (Cullman) ‑ Sixty ‑ five is what he refers to.

MR. THOMPSON ‑ Now then, if the history of our State had shown that the Legislature was anxious to legislate upon this subject. there might be some reason for this legislation, but our past history shows that the legislature has been extremely careful in enacting laws for the formation of new counties, only one having been created since our last Constitutional Convention. Now then. as I say, if the history of this State, showed that the Legislature needed limitations upon tells subject, then there would be reason for this, but it has not been true, and I submit to this Convention that it would be absolutely safe to leave the Legislature of Alabama without any limitation upon this subject, because the members of the General Assembly would be placed in exactly the same attitude as the witnesses that are brought forward by my friend from Elmore. They would be interested parties. Self interest would demand that they should not enact any law creating a new county that would affect their own, and no new county would ever be created, except upon good cause, and where it was absolutely needed by the people.

Now then as to the reduction from 600 to 500, I submit, gentlemen of the Convention, that if this report is allowed to stand


2110

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

at 500 square miles, that not over three new counties in the State of Alabama can be created. There may be a large county in one place, which is surrounded by small ones, and there would not be sufficient area to make any great number of new counties with 500 square miles as the limit.  Therefore, there is no reason to tie up the communities, where they now need new counties, by saying that a new county shall not be created of less than 600 square miles.  It strikes me our State has advanced wonderfully in the last quarter of a century.  They can better afford counties of 500 square miles today than they could 600 square miles when that limitation was placed.  Therefore it is not a revolutionary scheme. It is not a matter that will raise any great antagonism, and in many places it will give the Constitution many votes for its ratification, in places where they are now distant thirty-five to fifty miles from a court house.  They talk about the tax rate, and the increase in the taxes, but they do not think of the many instances where people have to go thirty-five, forty or fifty miles to a court house, and stay there four or five days before he can gain admission to the grand jury, paying their own expenses, with the loss of time and worry, and that is a part of their expense, as much so as the taxes that they pay into the treasury.  Then why not take that into consideration.  Even if it should cause the tax rate to be a little more, it is more than over-balanced on the other side.

MR. PARKER (Elmore)– I want to ask the gentleman a question.

MR. THOMPSON– I think I will have to give him the same answer he gave the gentleman a while ago, I will answer when my time expires.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will proceed.

MR. THOMPSON ‑ Now then, I hope the Convention will cheerfully, consider the Conlrnittee's report, and when vote consider it you will find that they have been very careful to guard the interests of the people at home, that they have not left the Legislature as free as it has been heretofore, that while we strike down from 600 to 500 miles we place other limitations around it that make it much harder to get a new county under our provision than it has been heretofore.

MR. HOWELL ‑ The gentleman from Elmore said that he would reply to my  question when he got through with his remarks. The gentleman from Bibb was then recognized and I had no opportunity to ask a question. I will ask him if he will now permit me to ask him a question?

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Cullman was recognized.


2111

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. PARKER (Cullman)– Whatever may be the pleasure of this House as to the number of square miles that there should be in a county, I think that we ought to lay upon the table the substitute offered by the gentleman from Hale, and let the question of square miles come up directly upon the minority report of Mr. Parker of Elmore and Judge Cobb. We have endeavored in our report to throw more safe guards around the change of county lines and the establishment of new counties than heretofore. We have endeavored to incorporate in Section 3 and 4 of this Article the Democratic doctrine of self-government, of home rule, and to allow the people of the territory to say they should have a change or anew county and , therefore, without making an elaborate argument upon this question, I move to lay the substitute of the gentleman from Hale upon the table.

MR. deGRAFFENREID– Upon that I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. BOONE– I would like to have the substitute read.

THE PRESIDENT– The Secretary will read the original section, and the minority report signed by Messrs. Cobb, Parker and Jackson.

The clerk read the original section as follows:

Sec. 3   The General Assembly shall have the power, provided that each house, by a majority of the members elected thereto shall vote in favor thereof, to submit to a vote of the people residing within the territory proposed to be taken from one county and given to another, a change or alteration in county lines, but no such change or alteration shall be made unless such proposed change or alteration shall receive two-thirds of the votes of the qualified electors voting at such election, and, provided, that no county line shall be changed or altered so as to reduce any old county below 500 square miles, or which shall reduce the inhabitants in any such county below the number of inhabitants to entitle the county to one representative.

The clerk then read the minority report as follows:

“We therefore, move to amend the report of the committee by striking out ‘500' where it occurs in Section 3, and adding in lieu thereof the word ‘600.’

“Respectfully submitted, 

“J. E. Cobb, 

“John H. Parker, 

“E. C. Jackson,”


2112

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

The secretary then read the substitute offered by Mr. deGraffenreid as follows: "The General Assembly may by a vote of two ‑ thirds of both houses thereof, arrange and designate boundaries for the several counties of this State, which boundaries shall not be altered except by a like vote; but no new county shall be hereafter formed of less extent than 600 square miles, and no existing county shall be reduced to less than 600 square miles, and no new county shall be formed which does not contain a sufficient number of inhabitants to entitle it to one representative under the ratio of representation existing at the time of its formation, and leave the county or counties from which it is taken with the required number of inhabitants entitling such county or counties to separate representation."

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ Will the gentleman from Cullman permit me to make a statement, as he has made the motion to lay my resolution on the table?

MR. PARKER ‑ Yes.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ The substitute simply leaves it as it now exists in the Constitution of 1875. The gentleman has made a motion to table my substitute, and on that I call for the ayes and noes.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question is on the substitute of the gentleman from Hale to the minority report of the committee to Section 3 of the report of the Conimittee on State and County Boundaries, and the motion is to lay the substitute of the gentleman from Hale on the table. Is the call for the ayes and noes sustained?

'I`he call for the ayes and noes was sustained.

The result of the roll call was as follows:

AYES

Messrs. President,

Grayson,

Parker (Cullman),

Bartlett,

Henderson,

Pearce,

Beavers,

Hinson,

Pettus,

Blackwell,

Hodges,

Pillans,

Boone,

Howell,

Porter,

Brooks,

Jenkins,

Rogers (Sumter),

Byars,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Samford,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

McMillan, of Baldwin,

Sanford,

Cofer.

Malone,

Smith, Mac. A.,

Davis, of Etowah,

Martin.

Sorrell,

Eley,

Miller (Wilcox),

Spragins,

Eyster,

Murphree,

Studdard,

Gilmore,

Norman,

Thompson,

Glover,

Norwood,

Whiteside,

Grant,

Palmer,

Wilson (Washington),

 TOTAL ‑ 45


2113

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

NOES

Ashcraft,

Foster,

O'Neill (Jefferson),

Banks,

Graham, of Talladega,

Opp,

Barefield,

Greer, of Perry,

Parker (Elmore),

Beddow,

Handley,

Phillips,

Browne,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Proctor,

Burns,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Robinson,

Cardon,

Hood,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Carnathon,

Howze,

Sanders,

Case,

Inge,

Smith (Mobile),

Cobb,

Kirk,

Stewart,

Coleman, of Walker,

Knight,

Waddell,

Cunningham,

Leigh,

Walker,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Macdonald,

Weakley,

Dent,

Maxwell,

Weatherly,

deGraffenreid,

Merrill,

Williams (Barbour),

Espy,

Miller (Marengo),

Williams (Marengo),

Ferguson,

Moody,

Winn,

Fletcher,

O'Neal (Lauderdale),

TOTAL ‑ 53

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon,

Jones, of Bibb,

Pitts,

Altman,

Jones, of Hale,

Reese,

Bethune,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Renfro,

Bulger,

King,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Burnett,

Kirkland,

Reynolds (Henry),

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Kyle,

Searcy,

Chapman,

Ledbetter,

Selheimer,

Coleman, of Greene,

Locklin,

Sentell.

Cornwall,

Lomax,

Sloan,

Craig,

Long (Butler),

Smith, Morgan M.,

Duke,

Long (Walker),

Sollie,

Fitts,

Lowe (Jefferson),

Spears,

Foshee,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Tayloe,

Freeman,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Vaughan,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Morrisette,

Watts,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Mulkey,

White,

Haley,

NeSmith,

Willet,

Harrison,

Oates,

Williams (Elmore),

Jackson,

O'Rear,

Wilson (Clarke),

During the roll call:

MR. ASHCRAFT ‑ I am paired with Mr. Selheimer of Jefferson.  If he were present he would vote no and I would vote aye.

MR. GREER (Calhoun) ‑ I am paired with Mr. Almon ; if he were here he would vote no and I would vote aye.


2114

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. HALEY ‑ I am paired with Mr. Carmichael (Colbert); if he were here he would vote no, and I would vote aye.

MR. JONES (Bibb) ‑ I am paired with the gentleman from Walker, Mr. Long: if he were present he would vote no and I would vote aye.

MR. MCMILLAN (Wilcox) ‑ I am paired with the gentleman from Dallas, Mr. Craig; if he were present he would vote no and I would vote aye.

MR. NESMITH ‑ I am paired with the gentleman from Dallas, Mr. Vaughn; if he were present he would vote no and I would vote aye.

MR. WHITE (Jefferson) ‑ I am paired with the gentleman from Jefferson, Mr. Cornwell; if he were present he would vote aye and I would vote no.

MR. HOWELL ‑ I call for a verification of the vote.

The Secretary proceeded to verify the vote and had completed the call of those who voted aye.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ In the call the Secretary omitted the name of Mr. Pillans of Mobile.

THE SECRETARY ‑ He did not vote, he is not in the house now.

MR. WADDELL ‑ He voted aye.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ He did not vote.

MR. HOWELL ‑ He voted aye.

MR. CUNNINGHAM ‑ I rise to a point of order.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state his point of order.

MR. CUNNINGHAM ‑ That upon the certification of a vote those who are absent cannot vote, only those who voted.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I make the point of order in reply to that that before a vote has been announced that and gentleman has a right to register his vote or to change his vote.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ That is undoubtedly true.

MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo) ‑ I call attention to the fact that Mr. Pillans stood right there and he did not vote.

THE SECRETARY ‑ I called his name twice.

MR. WADDELL ‑ I rise to a question of personal privilege. I was paired with Mr. Pillans. I was standing in the lobby at the


2115

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

time the vote commenced to be called. Mr. Pillans and myself walked into the hall together, and he said the pair is off, we will go in and vote. I took my seat and voted no and Mr. Pillans stood by the post and voted aye.

MR. HOWELL ‑ When his name was called it was a very distinct aye, and I looked around to see who it was voting, and it was Mr. Pillans.

MR. WADDELL ‑ If lie did not vote, I am paired with him.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers) ‑ I rise to a point of order.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state his point of order.

MR. HEFLIN ‑ The point of order is that when the verification of a vote is demanded no gentleman can change his vote, and gentlemen coming into the hall, who were not in the hall when the vote was being taken, cannot then vote.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question which troubled the Chair was this: Mr. Pillans was in the hall when the vote was being taken. If he was present and actually voted. lout is absent when the verification is called for, the question of difficulty with the Chair is how to ascertain when the vote, as recorded by the Secretary is challenged by members.

SIR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ I make the point of order, that the point of order of the gentleman from Chambers is not germane. It is not upon the question of voting absent men. but a man who was present and voted and is now absent, and here is a witness who came into the hall with Mr. Pillans, besides his fellow members from Mobile, who say that he voted ave. and several other members on the floor.

MR. WINN ‑ I would state that Mr. Pillans carne to my desk and expressed a doubt as to whether he had voted right, as he had voted aye.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Secretary is directed to record ‑ Mr. Pillans as voting aye.

MR. PROCTOR (Jackson) ‑ I rise to a point of order. The rule requires every member to vote from his seat. According to the testimony the gentleman did not vote from his seat.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The point of order comes too late.

At this point Mr. Pillans came into the hall.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Will the gentleman from Mobile please state whether he voted on the roll call?

MR. PILLANS ‑ I did.


2116

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT ‑ How did the gentleman vote?

MR. PILLANS ‑ I voted aye.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman did vote when the roll was called.

MR. PILLANS ‑ Yes, sir.

MR. ASHCRAFT ‑ I rise to a point of order.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state his point of order.

MR. ASHCRAFT ‑ I had the honor of obtaining the recognition of the Chair, but I did not get to conclude my remarks. On the call of the roll I announced that I was paired with Mr. Selheimer of Jefferson, who, if present, would vote no, and I would vote aye. I  now desire to change my vote from aye to no.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Do you desire to disregard the pair?

MR. ASHCRAFT ‑ I do not disregard the pair when I decide to vote with the gentleman with whom I am paired, and vote the same way.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ How?

MR. ASHCRAFT ‑ From Aye to no.

MR. GRAYSON ‑ I rise to a point of order. Had the gentleman who is absent known that the gentleman would vote this way he would have paired with some one that would keep the pair, hence the gentleman has no right to vote.

MR. PETTUS ‑ I make the point of order after a verification of the vote is demanded, it is not in order for gentlemen to change their votes or revoke a pair. The gentleman could not change his vote upon a verification.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ No demand  was made from any member of this Convention for a verification-the verification was being done by the Clerk.

THE PRESIDENT- The gentleman from Cleburne demanded a verification.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ I did not know that.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair is in doubt as to whether a delegate who is entitled to vote can change his vote after a verification is called for. The Chair desires to examine the rule with reference to gentlemen coming in and desiring to have their names recorded.


2117

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. OATES ‑ The rule which prevails in Congress, and I suppose it is the highest parliamentary authority, no gentleman has a right to change his vote while the roll is being called, but after the roll call is completed, and before the result is announced. any one in the hall has a right to get up and change his vote or to be recorded if he has not voted.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Rule 35 is as follows: "When any question is taken lay ayes and noes, and a delegate who has been absent returns before the question is decided. he shall be privileged to make inquiry of the subject before the Convention, and record his vote without discussion."

SIR. OATES ‑ That is substantially the same, if he comes in before the result is announced.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ But the question here is the result has not been announced.

MR. OATES-I do not think any gentleman has a right to change during the verification, but after the vote is verified, and before the result announced. anyone voting has a right to change.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Any tine before the result is announced any gentleman may change his vote front aye to no, and the point of order will be overruled. The gentleman votes no. Where a member has paired with another, they are on opposite sides, if he decides to vote on the same side with the gentleman with whom he is paired, the Chair sees no reason why he should not do so, since he is not violating the principle but in line with the way the absent member would have voted.

MR. SANDERS ‑ May a delegate now change his vote.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Not while the noes are hero ‑ called for verification, as soon as the noes are verified a member may change his vote.

After the verification.

Mr.. SANDERS ‑ I desire to change my vote from aye to no.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Limestone desires to change his vote front aye to no. The Secretary will so enter.

MR. PETTUS ‑ I rise to a point of order. The delegate can not change his vote on a verification. The object is not to give the delegate all opportunity to change his vote, but to see if they are recorded right in the first instance. I make the point of order that the gentleman from Limestone call not change his vote at this juncture.


2118

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT-The gentleman is correct ; that the delegate can not change his vote while the vote is being verified, but after a verification of the vote and before the vote is announced, in the opinion of the Chair, any delegate may change his vote.

The result of the roll call was then announced, 45 ayes and 53 noes.

So the motion to table was lost.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-I move the adoption of the substitute and upon that I call for the previous question.

MR. GREER (Calhoun)-Does the gentleman move the previous question on the adoption of the article or just the substitute.

MR. deGRAFFENREID- On the adoption of the substitute that I offered.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair will state to delegates that after a question is stated the Chair will pause a moment to give delegates an opportunity to rise and address the Chair. Right in the midst of a sentence, it is a little awkward to be interrupted, which makes it necessary to state the question several things. The gentleman from Hale moves the adoption of the substitute offered by him and upon that demands the previous question. The question is, shall the main question be put?

And upon a vote being taken the main question was ordered.

MR. BLACKWELL ‑ And upon the adoption of the substitute I demand the ayes and noes.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question is upon the adoption of the substitute, and upon that the ayes and noes are called. Is the demand sustained?

The call was sustained. The result of the roll call was as follows:

AYES

Ashcraft,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Hood,

Banks,

Dent,

Howell,

Barefield,

deGraffenreid,

Howze,

Beddow,

Espy,

Inge,

Brooks,

Ferguson,

Kirk,

Burns,

Fletcher,

Knight,

Cardon,

Foster.

Ledbetter,

Carnathon,

Graham, of Talladega.

Leigh,

Case,

Greer of Perry,

Long of Butler,

Cobb,

Handley,

Macdonald,

Coleman, of Walker,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Maxwell,

Cunningham,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Merrill,


2119

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901 

Miller (Marengo),

Phillips,

Walker,

Moody,

Proctor,

Watts,

Oates,

Robinson,

Weakley,

O'Neal (Lauderdale),

Rogers (Lowndes),

Weatherly,

O'Neill, of Jefferson,

Sanders,

Williams (Barbour),

Opp,

Stewart,

Williams (Marengo),

Parker (Elmore),

Waddell,

Winn,

TOTAL ‑ 57

NOES

Messrs. President,

Grayson,

Parker (Cullman),

Bartlett,

Henderson,

Pearce,

Beavers,

Hinson,

Pettus

Blackwell,

Hodges

Porter,

Boone,

Jenkins,

Rogers (Sumter),

Byars,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Samford,

Carmichael, of Coffee.

McMillan, of Baldwin,

Stanford,

Cofer,

Malone,

Smith, Mac A.

Davis, of Etowah,

Martin,

Sorrell,

Eley,

Miller(Wilcox ),

Spraggins,

Eyster,

Murphree,

Stoddard,

Gilmore,

Norman,

Thompson,

Glover,

Norwood,

Whiteside,

Grant

Palmer,

Wilson (Washington).

 TOTAL ‑ 42

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon,

Jackson,

Reese,

Altman,

Jones, of Bibb,

Renfro,

Bethune,

Jones, of Hale,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Browne,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Reynolds of Henry

Bulger,

King,

Searcy,

Burnett,

Kirkland

Selheimer,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Kyle,

Sentell,

Chapman,

Locklin,

Sloan,

Coleman, of Green,

Lomax,

Smith (Mobile),

Cornwall,

Long, of Walker,

Smith, Morgan M..

Craig,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Sollie,

Duke,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Spears

Fitts,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Tayloe

Foshee,

Morrisette,

Vaughn,

Freeman,

Mulkey,

White

Graham, of Montgomery,

NeSmith,

Willet,

Greer, of Calhoun,

O'Rear,

Williams (Elmore),

Haley,

Pillans,

Wilson (Clarke).

Harrison,

Pitts,

During roll call:


2120

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. GREER (Calhoun)-I am paired with the gentleman  from Lawrence, Mr. Altman. If he were present he would vote  no. Mr. JONES ( Bibb)- I am paired with the gentleman from  Walker ( Mr. Long) and if he were present he would vote aye and I vote no.

MR. McMILLAN- I am paired with the gentleman from Dallas (Mr. Craig) and if he were present he would vote aye and  I vote no.

MR. WATTS-I do not understand the proposition. I just came in, what is the question?

THE PRESIDENT-The question is upon the adoption of the substitute proposed by the gentleman from Hale (Mr. deGraffenreid).

MR. WATTS-I ask to be excused from voting because I do not know what the question is.

MR. WHITE ‑ I am paired with gentleman from Jefferson ( Mr. Cornwell) and if he were present he would vote no and  I vote aye.

MR. O’NEAL-I object to the gentleman from Montgomery (Mr. Watts) being excused from voting. Under the rules, that  cannot be done without unanimous consent.

THE PRESIDENT- Objection is made to the gentleman  from Montgomery being excused from voting.

MR. WATTS ‑ The gentleman from Montgomery is in no disposition to dodge any vote if he can understand the question  before the Constitution.

THE PRESIDENT-The question is on the majority report  as to Section 3 of the ordinance reported by the Committee on  state and County Boundaries. The minority has offered a substitute to that and the gentleman from Hale (Mr. deGraffenreid )  has offered a substitute for the substitute.

MR WATTS-If I can be informed of what the substitute is offered by the gentleman from Hale, I will vote.

THE PRESIDENT-The gentleman from Hale says that his substitute is to simply embody the provisions of the present Constitution of 1875.

MR. WATTS-If vote in favor of that substitute which ever  way that may be.

MR. HOWELL ‑ I desire to change my vote from no to aye. Having voted in the affirmative, I know give notice that I will move a reconsideration on Monday.


2121

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

The result was then announced, 57 ayes, and 42 noes, and the substitute offered by Mr. deGraffenreid was adopted.

MR. O'NEAL, ‑ I move that the rules be suspended and that we reconsider the vote by which this substitute was adopted for the purpose of laying that motion on the table.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ 1 make the point of order that a motion to reconsider the morning hour of the day preceding takes precedence over a motion to reconsider at once.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair recognized the gentleman from Henry to offer an amendment.

MR. MALONE- I want to amend this Section 3 as adopted.

The Clerk then read the amendment as follows:

To amend Section 3 by adding thereto the words “provided that out of the counties of Henry, Dale and Geneva a new county may be formed under the provisions of this article for forming new counties so as to leave said counties of henry, Dale and Geneva with not less than 500 square miles each.”

MR. MALONE ‑ I want to say a few words in behalf of the amendment and I will try not to take up too much  of the time. If you will notice, the amendment is drawn so that while it is local and applies to no other section in Alabama, it is also drawn a fair straight proposition without any job or anything of that kind put upon the people at home. It is simply to permit those people down there in those three counties without affecting anybody else, if they desire under whatever provisions of law that may be made for forming new counties, without mapping out the county here, which I have every reason to believe our circumstances are strong we could have carried it through without attempting to draw the lines and leave this man out and that man in, and create no friction in the ratification of this Constitution, for I assure you that the only trouble that we have down there is that they all want to get in. Nobody want to be left out. The way this is drawn, it leaves it to those people alone to draw their lines without assuming any authority upon my part or this Convention or putting anybody in or out. Every place will feel that they have a chance to go in where they want to and will therefore favor the proposition.

MR. ROBINSON- Are the delegates from all those counties in favor of that proposition.

MR. MALONE ‑ Practically so. I want to be thoroughly understood on that question. I don't want to mislead anybody. Mr. Kirkland of Dale and myself drew that resolution. Mr. Espy is here and Mr. Mulkey of Geneva, who has not been here for a week or two, has not seen that proposition.


2122

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. FOSTER-What are his politics?

MR. MALONE-While I do not like to refer to his politics,  I like to go above that, but he has not seen it and his individual  views I cannot answer for; but I can swear for the views of Geneva county as a whole, that the people of Geneva county are almost solid for this- I won’t say absolutely solid. We had that issue at home, and that is this: everybody recognized that my part of the community almost had to have a new county, but we all agreed not to block but one. All we did was to let it be so situated that we might get one ourselves .Mr. Sollie was not here and I have not submitted that individual proposition to him. It has been my understanding, but of course he can speak for himself, that he would not at least antagonize the general proposition of five hundred square miles all over the State. That is my understanding. Now, as the Convention has seen fit not to adopt that, this comes in and lets it apply to our county so far as our county is concerned.  Mr. Reynolds is not here, he is at least with us. It is fair to state that a great many in the upper end of his county which is nine miles from the extreme upper end, and sixty from the lower end, are not all in favor of it. I made a canvass up there against the strongest man in Henry county and in that beat I got something like maybe 40 per cent. of the vote in his own beat but not a majority. There were four candidates from the district. I carried every one of those counties against the four, and in my county where there was a primary, I got as many as all of them, notwithstanding the fact that I was from a profession that is not popular amongst the voters and was opposed to be a very strong man. Mr. Espy announced the same position that he would not favor the Convention making an arbitrary county up there, but he would favor a reduction of the area in order that those people might settle that for themselves, and he got 90 per cent. of the votes of the entire county and carried every beat in the county. It was practically unanimous.

I hope you all will excuse me for referring to our local conditions just a little bit. We are from a section of country which developed very rapidly of late from the fact that it was not settled before.  We have settled the country up there since the law taking the public lands from sale and putting them under homestead act went into effect. As a result every 160 acres and in a great many instances eighty and forty acres have been settled by some white man who in a great many instances had nothing else.

Now in the matter of courts, we already have three court  houses in our county so that the matter of expenses in this regard would not be increased if there were three counties.

The gentleman from Elmore happened casually to show me  one of his letters to which he has referred and it came from the Tax Collector of our country. The gentleman from Elmore did


2123

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

not know that but I recognized the name and the Tax Collector, and the writer practically admits the proposition that it would not affect us in the rate of taxation although he resides twenty miles from any locality.

MR. PARKER (Elmore) ‑ Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?

MR. MALONE-Yes.

MR. PARKER (Elmore) ‑ I have in my hand what purports to be the proceeding, of the Democratic Convention of your county.

MR. MALONE ‑ I will get to that in a moment and shall be glad if he will call my attention to it so that I can explain it. I have no desire to avoid your questions, which I anticipate, I just want to get through on the other matters and then will come to that matter.

Now take into consideration the situation of our county. There are two counties that are shoe strings and right down in this section some of these people are twenty miles from their county sites and some over here are fifty or sixty and there are 35,000 in those counties, none of whom are closer than twenty miles from their county site. To be exact there are 32,125. Here one of the counties is fifty ‑ five miles long and twelve miles wide and while from the west end of the county the people have to go thirty ‑ five miles to the Court House, from the northeast corner they, have to go thirty ‑ five miles long right through the country. There is no branch court or anything of the kind. In another county the length is sixtyfive miles and the width sixteen or eighteen, and the county site now is nine miles from the upper end of the county and the lower end of the county have to go over fifty miles. People who can afford it and who live on the railroads can get on the train and by going out of the way can get to the county site but the common people have to go through the country to get to the Court House and if it is a little matter they just put up with it.

I have mentioned the Court House question and the expense and while I do not intend to say that everybody favors this, I do say that a great majority of the people favor it.

The time of the gentleman here expired, and on motion of Mr. White the rules were suspended and on the further motion of Mr. Sanford the time of the gentleman was extended ten minuets.

MR.. MALONE ‑ Now, as to the question brought up by the gentlemen from Elmore as to the as to the action of the Country Convention.

MR. SAMFORD-That relates only to Henry County?

MR. MALONE ‑ Yes, sir. In our county everything is nominated by the white primary.  The Convention is supposed to have


2124

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

little to do. This question is not supposed to come up in the County Convention, notwithstanding it was at issue so far as the delegates were concerned and the people expected when the delegates were elected that carried it with the population. Now, when we got to the County Convention at Headland, which is forty miles from the lower end of the county the real question was the selection of delegates to the State Convention. Now I shall have to go into district affairs just the least little bit. My friend Mr. Sollie was recognized as the wire grass candidate from that district. He carried the four counties and carried Barbour County. He was inclined to believe that there would be some danger of the Barbour delegation not carrying out in spirit as well as letter his instructions and while our county was also for the Hon. Jerry Williams of Barbour, we did not deem it best in view of all the facts to instruct for Mr. Williams when Mr. Sollie might need the wire grass counties to hold the other counties down. In accordance with that agreement the Chairman of the Convention, who was a partner of  Mr. Espy and a friend of mine, agreed with us that a certain committee headed by Mr. Lee of Columbia should be appointed to select delegates to the State Convention. That agreement was made so that the friends of Mr. Williams when could have proper representation although not to be instructed. For some unknown reason Mr. Lee was not put on that committee and that gave serious offense to Mr. Lee and his friends and they arose in the convention and stated they would not accept the positions to the convention. Now with that drawback operating against me I got 207 votes and the other man fifteen in the primary. Immediately upon that when more than half the delegates had gone home, notwithstanding I had a vote of 207 to 15, Mr. Lee moved to instruct the county delegates, of which I was one, against the reduction of the area, which was no doubt a hit at me, as he thought I had gone back o him. He afterwards expressed regret for doing that. The next beat below where the question of another new county was agitated where I got 71 to 5, one man representing the beat cast that beat against me. The lower beat where I got every vote but one or two was the some way. And so it was right along although the race had been made on that issue and the people were overwhelmingly for it. We have a population of 80,000 in the  three counties. They are abundantly able to take care of themselves. One of the counties when it was organized only a few years ago had 2,900 inhabitants. Now it has 19,000. We have doubled in the last decade. If we were to attempt to move the records from Abbeville to Dothan there would be another section fifty miles from us, and you would not give any relief to the southeast corner of Dale or the east side of Geneva, which would be from thirty to thirty-five miles away.

I have explained to you that our people favor this movement almost solidly though I do not say all of them. Mr. Sollie is pres


2125

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

ent, and I have announced in his presence what I understand to be his position, and he will be able to speak for himself. Why Dale should object, I cannot see. The upper end of the county is willing to give away two or three beats and a few could be taken from Geneva and with our section of Henry there could be carved out a most prosperous and promising new county.

Now this substitute don’t make the new county. All that  my substitute does is to make possible the formation of that new county but it takes two-thirds vote of the legislature. Henry County will only have one Senator. Geneva and Dale will have two and the other counties will have three representatives to Henry’s one so that you will see that the matter is practically left to our own people. We are asking a fair proposition. No job at all.

The average of the counties under my substitute would be 571 and the population would br 45,5000 in round figures.

Some of our commissioners go fifty miles to court. We haven’t a tax collector in twenty miles nor a clerk. The result is that nobody knows anything about the wealth of our county. To give you an idea on that when I was on the City Council we sent a committee to Abbeville to raise the amount of assessed values in order that we might get more city taxes.  Our assessed values were so very low, so entirely disproportionate to real values, that we thought that was proper, but when we got there we found that we were paying so much more than anybody, that we came home without saying anything.

As a further illustration of this idea there are five banks in the county doing a fair business and they are paying tax only on $5,000 on an average. One bank with $50,000 capital is paying taxes on $9,000 of property. The reason of this is that the sections are so far from the county seat that no one looks after it.

MR. ESPY- I did not intend to take any part in this debate  until the matter of the resolution offered in the county convention of Henry County was adverted to before this Convention . When I announced as a candidate for a delegate to this Convention the people of Abbeville, where the county seat is located, desired to know my position with reference to the establishment of a new county. The impression seemed to be that the delegates from that county would make an effort to have this Convention itself establish of a new county. In answer to that query I wrote a letter, in which I stated that I would take no step, or make no effort to have this convention established a new county, but that I did desire that I favored the people of Henry County should know my position, and that I favored a reduction of the constitutional area so that future legislatures might establish new counties. I went before the people of m county, they fully understanding my position and after a very spirited and heated contest where there were four


2126

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

candidates, I received 90 per cent of the entire vote cast in my county. I received more than as many again votes as the two defeated candidates. I received nearly as many again votes as my colleague who was elected to this Convention. That being true. I myself am willing, after I have voted according to the resolution not to reduce the area of counties, to take the responsibility to support this amendment as offered by my colleague. Mr. Malone, and go back to my people. In addition to what he has already said with reference to the necessity of the establishment of a new county, we desire to say this, that we are living in a flourishing and progressive section of the country. The town we are in is but an index to the country surrounding it. In 1890 the census gave us a population of 200, in 1900, 3,275. As a matter of fact we now have in that town about 4,500 inhabitants by actual count. I mention this to show the progress of the country.  This Convention has gone on and said they will not reduce the constitutional areas of the counties. If this amendment is not granted we stand with a constitutional barrier confronting us until another Convention is called, which is not likely to be called at least in twenty-five years. If the spirit of progress goes on for the next ten years the delegates to this Convention can readily see the deplorable condition that we will be in. Now in reference to the wishes of the people of Geneva County. I know not what the entire people think, but I do know that the people residing in the territory that will be sought to be incorporated in any new county hereafter to be established are almost unanimous that the new county be created. I do know that the same condition prevails to a certain extent as to the people of the eastern portion of Dale County also. Now we do not ask the Convention to establish a new county. Here is all we want: If you notice the reading of the amendment it says the legislatures, under the regulations of this provisions may in the future, establish that country. Now I submit to the Convention that if the people of those three counties do not want this count ‑ established in the future. they certainly will not have it. Why?  Because  when they go to elect their representatives, if they want to make it an issue and a majority is against it, the men who advocate it will go down in defeat, but if the people want it, the advocates of the new county, will triumph. And when such a question comes up before the legislature, every fairminded man knows a legislature won't carve a county out of ‑ three other counties where the representatives of those counties are opposed to the proposition. So when you resolve this amendment to its last analysis, it means simply this: Remove the constitutional barriers so that out of these three counties a new county can be formed. We do not ask distinct regulation. We ask that it be fixed in such a manner that we can establish a new county and not be put in a position where that establishment can never be realized. The only thing we ask is to reduce the area of the three counties,


2127

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

so that we may form the fourth county. As it now stands we cannot form a new county out of these three counties and all four counties have 600 miles.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention. Individually I would gladly see the town of Dothan relieved from an embarrassing situation. But I do not think the gentleman from, Henry (Mr. Malone), who first addressed the Convention on the matter, is exactly correct in his understanding of the territorial location of the counties. For instance, I think Geneva county is more than twelve miles wide and I think Henry county is more than sixteen or seventeen miles wide. Whether I am correct in that I do not know except from my general acquaintance with the country.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ Geneva is not over twelve miles wide.

MR. SOLLIE; ‑ I feel sure it is.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ Here is the map with a scale and it is not over eleven miles.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ I have gone across that county so much that I undertake to say Geneva county is more than twelve miles wide. It is fourteen miles from Dothan down to the postoffice where I live and ten or twelve miles down to the Florida line. My mother lived in the county twelve or fourteen years. My only effort at homesteading was in that county and I am so familiar with the county that the gentleman must be mistaken.

But getting away from the question of territory and the shape of the counties. I admit so far as Dothan is concerned, that that city needs relief, and individually I would be glad to see the relief granted. But I feel that I am not a proper person to take a direct and personal interest in the matter, because I represent eight counties and some of those and perhaps the majority are against the proposition to reduce the constitutional areas of counties. I feel if I am to vote for my constituency I would perhaps have to vote against the reduction as a general proposition and yet I thought Dothan should have the relief if the Convention wanted to reduce the areas and I was content to say nothing.

Our condition in Dale is this: If there were no trouble between Ozark and Newton, my county, except a small strip, would be unalterably opposed to any reduction of area. There is a little strip at the east end three or four miles wide that would like to be joined with Dothan in a new county, and for the reason that it would make them nearer the court house and it would be more convenient for them. But the other portions of Dale, apart from the court house proposition, are, I think, opposed to any reduction of the territory in Dale county.


2128

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

But I do not profess to know positively as to the present condition of Dale, as to whether it is willing to see some of its territory taken or not. My law partner, Mr. Kirkland of Dale county, is not here. I have not conferred with hint but .I have supposed he would look after these matters and ascertain the wishes of Dale as to the reduction of the county area. But, as to making an exception in the Constitution of Dale, Henry and Geneva and carving out a new county, that proposition is new, it has never been mooted in my county. I am quite sure that Mr. Mulkey is opposed to the proposition. Some reference was made to his politics; but the people of Geneva ‑ and a good many of them Democratssent him here so that I think he is properly the mouthpiece of that county.

When it comes to the county of Dale, Mr. Kirkland is the proper representative and I do not know his wishes. I understand that it is stated that this is satisfactory to him, but when he comes to thoroughly understand what the people of the county want, I do not know whether he will take that position or not. This is a new proposition. It is the proposition to make an exception of my county and two others.

Now, in regard to Henry county, I have been approached by a large number of citizens, some insisting that I stand by the action of the County Convention and saying that was the only authoritative body that has spoken and others taking the contrary position. Then in the light of the fact that Mr. Kirkland is not here and that Mr. Mulkey is absent a, are also two of the representatives of the other counties that are to be affected by this and in view of the further fact that the representative, of Henry county stand, by the highest authority in the party, instructed against the reduction, notwithstanding I am in favor of giving relief to Dothan if it can be done consistently, I think it would be unwise for this Convention to act precipitately and hurriedly in carving a county out of these three counties without even consulting the wishes of those counties, that it would be unwise to make an exception in this case with the representatives of two of the counties absent and as far as I represent Henry county I must bow in humble obedience to the expressed will of the county convention of Henry county and vote against this proposition notwithstanding my desire to favor Dothan. I therefore move that the section to which this is an amendment, together with all amendments, be postponed for say six days. The reason for that is that the Circuit Court at Geneva is in session and there are six or seven capital cases and Mr. Mulkey is attending that court and I would like to have the matter postponed until he can return.

MR. PARKER (Cullman) ‑ I move to lay that motion on the table.


2129

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Mr. OATES- I will ask the gentleman to withdraw that motion. MR. PARKER (Cullman) ‑ I will if you will renew it.

MR. OATES ‑ I will yield the floor to you so that you can make the motion.

Without any arrogance on my part, I say it, because it is a fact. I know more about this territory involved  than any of these delegates, because I was acquainted with it before some of them were born and I have been all over it. I have been where the city of Dothan now stands when there was nothing there but the poplar spring aid a little log grocery house. I never cast a vote anywhere in my life except in the good old county of Henry until the last two elections when I had become a citizen of Montgomery county and had changed my voting place to this city. I,  too,. have represented that county in the Legislature and I represented the Senatorial district which my brilliant young friend now represents in the Constitutional Convention of 1875, and I represented all of that territory in the Congress of the United States for fourteen years. I have attended court in each one of those counties. I was acquainted with that section before Geneva county had an existence. I know the people of that country very well and hence my desire to be heard upon this matter.

It is a mistake to suppose that Henry county is only twelve or fifteen or seventeen miles wide. It is upon an average more than twenty miles wide.

MR. MALONE ‑ As a matter of fact I have here the township and range lines and there are three whole sections at the widest part and maybe at the bend of the river it might be eighteen miles.

MR. OATES ‑ I understand it perfectly well. I have the good luck to own lands in all parts of the county. I know where the lines go and while it is true you may find some points that are as narrow as eighteen miles across owing to the crooks of the Chattahoochee River, the general average is more than twenty miles and the length about 69 miles.

MR. MALONE-The county is nearly rectangular and if it is twenty miles wide and sixty ‑ nine long, that would give it 1,400 square miles and the county has not that many square miles in it.

MR. OATS ‑ I am talking of the old county of Henry. You start in at the Florida line and to the upper part it is between sixtyfive and seventy miles, and the average width is twenty miles.

MR. MALONE ‑ It cannot be twenty miles with that length. That would make 1,400 square miles.


2130

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. OATS ‑ I don't say it is over twenty miles all the way through. I say it would average that much, and I believe it will. That was before Geneva was made and before any of the county was taken off. At one time in the early history the counties of Dale, Geneva, Coffee and a good part of Barbour were all in Henry County, named for the grand old patriot and orator of Virginia. All of those counties have been carved off of it. The Court House was once located at a point either in Dale or near Coffee. It did not remain there long and was removed to Columbia on the river and remained there until it was changed to Abbeville, where it is now. I remember in 1859 the terrible contest the people of the county had upon the proposition to change the Court House from Abbeville to another point which was thirteen miles south of Abbeville in the piney woods. It went even to the extent of bloodshed before it was settled. It was a hardship for then to come from the lower end of the county fifty miles up to Abbeville and a branch court was established at Columbia and subsequently since the wonderful growth of Dothan and the development of that section another was established at Dothan.

Now a word about the instructions of the County Convention. I have heard the explanation of my friend the delegate from Henry as to how that occurred and 1 have not as much respect for instructions or platforms of conventions as I had when I was a young man. I know how such things are frequently procured, and unless it is a matter thoroughly discussed, well understood and fairly ‑ settled by the convention, it never has a great deal of weight with me, but I believe the motion made by the delegate from Dale (Mr. Sollie) to postpone this matter for five or six days, or until the other portions of this report are disposed of, should be carried. As lie has stated that one of the delegates from Dale and the delegate from Geneva are not present, and I think that is a first class reason why a postponement should be had. The delegate from Geneva is doubtless trying to represent his people according to their wishes and is aware no doubt of one state of affairs in that county which has not been alluded to. And while that gentleman is of a different political faith from the most of us. I think he wants to do right so far as he understands it and he is not acting in a partisan sense. I know the eastern part of Geneva County some portions of which was taken from Henry, holds the balance of power and controls nominations and elections in the county and the people in the western end are more or less appresensive of the growing strength of the eastern part and I know the western part would gladly give up that eastern slice to another county so that part could be nearer a county seat in a new county. That would remove all apprehensions of change in the county seat.

I have no objection to the proposition to carve out a new county from the three counties so that neither of their would be re‑


2131

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

duced below the 500 square miles and that the new county would contain 500 square miles, but before I can vote for the proposition I must see and know that no injustice will be done to any of those people and if a fair vote can be taken or otherwise their wishes can be ascertained before the new county is formed. I don't know what will be adopted by the Convention with reference to locating or forming new counties for that part we have not passed on and for that reason I favor the motion to postpone the farther consideration until the conclusion of the article.

MR. MALONE ‑ I now renew the motion of the Chairman of the Committee to lay the motion toy postpone upon the table. This matter can come tip on reconsideration Monday if it is desired, and there is no earthly use of delaying the matter, as Mr. Kirkland drew up the resolution with me.

A vote being taken oil the motion to table, the motion to postpone was tabled by a vote of 75 ayes anti 16  noes on division.

A viva voce vote being taken on the adoption of the gentleman from Henry (Mr. Malone), the same was carried.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ I voted aye for the purpose of moving a reconsideration next Monday, and I now move a reconsideration of the vote by which it was adopted.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Under the rules that motion will lie over until Monday.

MR. MALONE ‑ If it is in order I will move to suspend the rules and reconsider that now.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ Before that motion is put I desire to say to this Convention ‑

MR. WADDELL ‑ I  rise to a point of order.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state his point of order.

MR. WADDELL ‑ A motion to suspend the rules is not debatable.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The point of order is well taken.

A vote being taken the motion to suspend the rules was carried, the ayes being 63 and the noes 22 on division.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ I now move a reconsideration of the vote by which this Section was adopted, and I move to lay that motion on the table.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ I do not think the gentleman can make that motion. He has not had the floor. The Chair recognized me.



2132

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair had recognized the gentleman from Dale.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ I had started to say-

MR. WADDELL ‑ I rise to a parliamentary inquiry.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state the inquiry.

MR. WADDELL ‑ The gentleman who made the motion to suspend the rules was under the rules entitled to the floor.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair knows of no rule to that effect.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ I wish to say that I do not object or oppose, Dothan being relieved by the formation of a new county if these three wire grass counties are willing for that to he done.

MR. ESPY ‑ Mr. President, I would like to ask the gentleman a question.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman yield ?

MR. SOLLIE ‑ No, sir; I prefer to get through my remarks if possible, but the gentleman may interrupt me at the end of eight minutes.

I realize that Henry County is badly situated and if practicable that it would be well to have a new county in the wire grass. But we have before us an article which will consume some days and here is a proposition not known to the people of the section, something in the nature of local legislation that is sprung upon the Convention by two delegates living in Dothan who get up and take advantage of a technicality in order to get the proposition to a vote and they would have this Convention of 155 members vote against a reduction in the area of counties of the State of Alabama for your sections and yet allow them in their section to have this resolution. And they do this in the absence of three out of four of the local representatives of the territory to which this substitute applies. And against the protest of one of the delegates they are undertaking to lay (town the most extraordinary rule for this wire grass section, a rule that will not apply to any other part of the State.

MR. SAMFORD ‑ Will the gentleman permit a question?

MR. SOLLIE ‑ After eight minutes. I say it is not fair to the people of the wire grass, notwithstanding my friendliness to Dothan. The people of that town are my friends personally and politically, but notwithstanding that fact I conceive it to be fair that the representatives of this section should at least he given an opportunity to be here when a local measure bearing upon that territory alone is attempted to be put through, I think they should



2133

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

be at least made aware that their interest, are tee be legislated against and should have their day ‑ in court here and that this Convention cannot in this. case go ahead and consider this article in the absence of those delegates and wheel they have not been put upon notice of the fact. The gentlemen from Dothan have made a showing for their side of the contention and they have procured affirmative action by this Convention. 1 do not say that Dothan is not entitled to this relief, but 1 say if this Convention, against the protests persons  now present, with only a shall house, sets this precedent of taking up a local situation and dealing with it in the absence of the representatives of that section. what assurance have any of you that some day in your absence the Convention will not take up some matter affecting your territory and settle it against your wishes?  This is  not doing, what a Constitution should do. this is not making, a Constitution for Alabama at large. but it is taking up a question affecting a certain section and in the absence of the representatives, or the most of the representatives of that section. disposing of the matter.  I Insist that the fair thing to do would be to reconsider this matter and pass it over until the delegates have an opportunity to be heard front. I say it is an extraordinary thing that all amendment should be sprung upon the floor of this Convention when perchance delegates happen to be absent and that amendment is railroaded through, the regular rules of procedure are suspended and  the matter, which is all exception to the general rule is rushed through and settled beyond recall.

MR. SANFORD  (MONTGOMERY) ‑ How long do you wish the section postponed?

MR. SOLLIE— To the end of the article so that the persons representing the territory play know that the amendment is before the Convention and may, if they wish, show cause why it should not be passed. If they don't we will then go ahead and act on it and then I shall be ready to act with these gentlemen, slut until that is done I think it is unfair that the convention should take up a local situation and without hearing from the members representing that interest dispose of so important a matter. I trust you will not push this precipitate action upon the Convention, I trust that no exception to the ordinary procedure will be made as to this matter. Let the matter go over. let these gentlemen have notice and if they cannot show reasons why this action should not be taken, I will vote with these gentlemen. but I insist it is not right now to cut this matter off. I trust, gentlemen, will vote to reconsider the vote by which this amendment was passed, and postpone the matter and give opportunity for a hearing.  To lay this motion to reconsider oil the table is against the spirit of fairness, it is against precedent: it is extraordinary in its character that an amendment like this local in its character should be taken


2134

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

up and passed in the absence of those who represent the interests affected.

MR. COLEMAN (Walker) ‑ 'This   does not propose to make a new county, does it?

MR. SOLLIE ‑ No, sir; but you reduce the area so that the county can be made.

MR. COLEMAN (Walker) ‑ If the people don't want it, it won't be made.

MR. SOLLIE', ‑ We don't want to have our case prejudged and a wrangle precipitated upon us. We want the right to pass in the ‑ first instance on the question of whether we shall have a local contest precipitated.

MR. ESPY ‑ Is it not a fact that the people of these various counties will vote on the question and will also Note four representatives in the General Assembly and that their wishes can be made manifest then.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ It is but we should not put a spur in the sides of the people goading on to them a local controversy.

MR. CARMICHAEL (Coffee) ‑ I make no pretensions to oratorical or forensic ability and have thus far not inflicted upon the Convention any punishment in the way of a maiden effort. I am not a delegate from Dale, Geneva or Henry, but I do come from a county which touches upon Dale and Geneva, and I have taken considerable interest in the question of a new county with Dothan for a county seat, for the reason that I was born and reared in Dale county, that the closest ties bind me to Dale and for the further reason that, having frequently had business in the southern part of Dale, which would be in a new county if established, I know the feelings of the people of that section.

Last winter it happened that I was in Montgomery when there was a hard fight being made before the Committee on County Boundaries, as to the formation of a new county.

MR. SOLLIE ‑ The question was not the formation of a new county but providing for a new court house.

MR. CARMICHAEL ‑ I stand corrected. It was not as to the establishment of a new county, but it was practically taking the county seat from Ozark and putting it at Newton. I remember the gentleman himself argued that that would be practically the result. I do not think the gentleman will dispute that proposition. As I say, last winter I was at Montgomery during that contest and I examined at that tine a large number of petitions sent from Dale against putting that new court house at Newton.


2135

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

I am intimately associated with the people of Dale. and I come in close contact with them as I make frequent visits in a business and social way, and I can state ‑ that this is a live matter there within my knowledge.  I am not so busy a man as the delegate from Dale and I say it, not in sarcasm but deliberately.  I am said by friends to be of a talkative nature and I think I have seen more of the people in Dale county in the last six months than has the delegate from Dale Himself, for in pursuance of business, I have traveled over nearly every beat soliciting subscriptions for my newspaper.  I was there just before the fight in relation to the establishment of a coordinate court at Newton and just afterward, and the people were alive to the question. Why, men were traveling all over that section securing petitions and it was frequently said by the men who were caring for Ozark interest that as soon as the Constitutional Convention met that Dothan would have a new county and that they were going to have a new court house, and that would end the trouble. That was the principal argument used.  The people of South Dale, with the exception of Newton, signed a petition against establishing a court house at Newton with the idea that there would soon be a new county and they wanted to be in it.  The people of Ozark do not oppose this provision. Mr. Kirkland aided in drawing up this amendment. The delegate from Geneva (Mr. Mulkey) has not fought it.   I state to this Convention that I traveled all over Geneva county last winter and I state the fact that this question was being discussed, and the people of Geneva are posted on it and they favor this amendment.  The people of the west end favor it because it simplifies the whole situation by lessening to a great extent, if not removing entirely, any possibility of a row about the court house matter. The people of East Geneva favor it because it enables them more cheaply and easily to get to their court house to transact their business. That part of the county fias a railroad running to Dothan which sloes not go on to Geneva, lout stops eleven mile` short and the people are thus not able to reach Geneva with anvthinl like the ease they can Dothan.

As to the statenient that this matter has not been agitated, the Dothan papers. than which there are no two papers in Alabama more widely circulated in that section or more ably edited, have, for a number of years, advocated the holding of a Constitutional Convention for the purpose, not of enabling them to secure a new county through ordinary channels, but of actually establishing a county by the Convention itself and the people of that section are expecting some such action from this body.  My good friend from Dale is unduly exercised and I think if we reconsider this vote and postpone this matter, when he is properly advised. he himself will favor this proposition to enable a new county to be formed.


2136

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. SOLLIE ‑ I think the gentleman's last statement is most probable, but does that militate against the proposition that this amendment should be known to the delegates who represent that section?

MR. CARMICHAEL   ‑ Mr. Kirkland of Dale and Mr.Mulkey of Geneva knew, as well as I did that this matter was coming up.   They knew what the committee had reported and all about this matter.   I do not arrogate to myself any superior intelligence, and I knew it, and they should be here and would lie here fighting it if they objected toy it. They have not been opposing it, they have not been going around mentioning it as they would if they were antagonistic to it. I have been in crowds where there was talk about it and they said nothing in opposition to it. Mr. President, I move the previous question on the motion tee reconsider.

MR. SAMFORD ‑ And a motion to table.

MR. CARMICHAEL (Coffee) I move to lay the motion to reconsider on the table.

A vote being taken the motion to reconsider was tabled.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question recurs on the substitute offered by the minority as amended.

A vote being taken the substitute as amended was adopted and a further vote being taken the section as amended by the adoption of the substitute was adopted.

MR. PARKER (Cullman) ‑ I move the adoption of section 2.

MR. HOWZE ‑ I would like to ask the Chairman a question as to section 2. whether it affects or conflicts with any litigation lending now

MR. PARKER (Cullman)  ‑ None that I know of.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Secretary will read section 2.

Section 2 was read as follows: Section 2. The boundaries of the several counties as they now exist are hereby ratified and confirmed.

A vote being taken section 2 was adopted.

Section 4 was then read as follows :

Sec. 4. The General Assembly shall have power, provide that each house, by a majority of its members, elected thereto, shall vote in favor thereof to submit to a vote of the people within the boundaries of the proposed new county, the creation and formation of new counties, but no new county shall be created, unless such proposed new county shall receive two ‑ thirds of the votes of the qualified electors, voting at such election: and at the


2137

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

same time the question of a name and a county seat for such county shall be submitted to and determined by said electors; and. provided, that no new county, shall be created or formed of less extent than five hundred square miles, and which does not contain a sufficient number of inhabitants to entitle it to one representative under the ratio of representation existing at the time of its creation and leave the county or counties from which it is taken with the required number of inhabitants entitling such county or counties to separate representation, ()r which :hall reduce any old county below five hundred square miles.

Mr. COBB ‑ I rise to a parliamentary inquiry. The action of the Convention just had utterly destroys this section 4. If you pass section ‑ I there will be all irreconcilable conflict between what you have done and what is proposed to be done— what are you going to do about it?

THE  PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair is not going to do anything except such motions as may be made to the Convention.

MR. COBB ‑ 'Then I move to lay section 4 the table.

THE PRESIDENT– The Secretary is not through reading the section yet.

The minority report was read as follows:

MINORITY REPORT

The undersigned member of the Committee on State and County Boundaries does not concur in the report ref the Committee as to Sections 2, 3 and 4. and he offer:; as substitute therefor tile following

Section 3.  The boundaries of the several counties of this State as heretofore established by law, are hereby ratified and confirmed.  The General Assembly may by a vote of two ‑ thirds of both Houses thereof arrange and designate boundaries or the several counties of this State. which boundaries shall slot be altered, except by a like vote : but no new counties shall be hereafter formed of less extent than six hundred square miles and no existing county shall be reduced to less than six hundred square miles ; and no new county shall be formed which does not contain a sufficient number of inhabitants to entitle it to one representative under the ratio of representation existing at the time of its formation. and leave the county or counties from which it is taken with the required number of inhabitants entitling such county or counties: to separate representation.

Respectfully submitted. 

Milo Moody, 

C. H. Miller.


2138

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. COBB ‑ If you will allow me just a moment I will explain the situation.

THE  PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman withdraw his motion to table?

MR. COBB ‑ For the present.

THE PRESIDENT‑.A motion to table is not debatable.  The gentleman applies the gag himself.

MR. COBB ‑ I will take it all back, and withdraw it.  That is if I make a contract with the Chair to be recognized.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)–I ask a matter of inquiry, for information, can I now offer a substitute to Section 4 of the report of the committee?

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair will state for the information of the gentleman from Montgomery that the gentleman from Macon has the floor, and if the gentleman can get him off the floor, and get in his amendent, before he moves to table, he will have a chance.

MR. SANFORD ‑ What do you say to it?

MR. COBB ‑ Put it in there and I'll see. I will let him put it in.

The substitute was read as follows :

"Substitute to Section 4 of the report of tile Committee on State and County Boundaries‑

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair will state to the gentleman from Montgomery. that there is already pending a substitute for section 4, and to be in order the gentleman will have to shape his substitute so as to be a substitute for the pending substitute and the article.

MR. SANFORD--- I will put it in that manner.

The reading of the substitute was continued

"Substitute to Section 4 of the report of the committee,. and the pending substitute by the minority Committee on State and County Boundaries, Section 4.  The General :Assembly shall have power to create new counties, provided that no county shall contain within its limits less than four hundred square miles, or a less number of inhabitants than would entitle it to one representative, according to the ration of representation existing at the time of its creation; and provided further, that no county from which any territory may be taken shall be reduced to an area of less than four hundred square miles, nor shall the population of such county be so diminished as to take away from it all of its representatives.”


2139

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Mr. Sanford sought recognition.

MR. COBB ‑ I only yielded for the reacting of that.

MR. SANFORD— I have offered that, Mr. President---

MR. COBB--- ‑ There is a "pint" of order.

MR. SANFORD--‑ If I have the floor I would like to give the reasons for offering it.

MR. COBB— I had the floor and yielded for the reading-----

MR. SANFORD----Yes.  I offered it, Mr. President------

MR. COBB---- Go on.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)— Because while the 4th section from a general reading of it intimates that it favors the formation of new counties, it is absolutely impracticable under that sec- tion to form a new county.  There seems to be an impression that the people have a right to vote upon new counties.  It is a thing unheard of in the history of Alabama.  Alabama’s first county was formed in 1800, before Alabama and Mississippi were ceded by Georgia to the United States.  The county of Washington was formed.  Its propriety, its limits, its purposes were never submitted to a vote of the people, nor was there any county submitted to the people for their approbation from that time down to the present in the history of Alabama.  In 1819 there were twenty-seven counties.  Not one of them was ever submitted to a vote  of the people. In 1821 Pickens county was formed. In  1824 Walker county was formed, and thus many, were formed until in 1832 nine counties were formed,  not one of which was ever submitted to the approval of the people.  Since 1865 eight or nine new counties have been formed, including  Cullman county in 1877, and not one of them was ever submitted for the approbation of the people.    So that a vote of two-thirds is against the history of Alabama. for the people to say whether a county shall exist or not.

Let me say to the Convention that counties are political subdivision, formed for the use and benefit of the State.  The advantage to the people is all incident to it.  It forms these counties so that its laws call lie better enforced, and its taxes can be better collected, lynching can be better prevented. and everything considered, it is for the advantage of the State that counties should be formed, for the smaller the county the more effective is the enforcement of its laws.   The more secure are the people in their lives liberty  and property.  Now, Mr. President, I have advocated and do advocate counties of not less than four hundred square miles because it would lead to the establishment of many new towns. It would  lead to the construction of many railroads. It would afford markets for the products of the various plantations which do not now exist. An area of four hundred square miles


2140          

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

will give to every citizen that is farthest from the center, a market town distant only fourteen miles, which will enable him, as the gentleman from Washington said yesterday, to go and return to his home almost between sun and sun. It would add to the enlightenment of the people, as the gentleman from Cleburne says. Schools would spring up, and churches would be built. Jails, would be established, as an object lesson for the lawless. Even a gallows would be erected possibly, that would have more effect iii restraining the vicious element of mankind than the commandment which says thou shalt not kill. These are the influences. You have markets for your green meats, for your vegetable products and your domestic manufactures. Why, in Georgia, and I refer to Georgia because I think most of my friends here are natives of that great State, they have so many small counties that I have seen so trifling a thing as the manufacture of woolen cordage by old ladies taken to the towns where they receive the market price for their products. so that it is even an advantage to the people in that particular. It calls the people closer together. They become more civilized. not merely because of the number of schools, but by intercourse. Why it was said by a very great man that no question of importance to civilization passed in Europe until it passed in France, and France owes it to the fact that her people mingle closely together, and their enlightenment is advanced by their conversational opportunities. These are philosophical principles, and Alabama should have the benefit of them. I have mentioned this fact to show that when you bring the people together in ,mall communities, how factories spring up. In a little town in the North of England, where the weavers lived, they ‑ were bankrupt and poor. suffering for the necessities of life, when twenty ‑ eight men combined to contribute 4 cents a week, and raised in that manner, after a while, $140. It was invested in a department store. In sixteen years that $140 had increased to $600.000 worth of taxable property for the State.  So we bring these people together. They form combinations, they establish department stores and factories, and they become wealthy. Alabama can reduce its rate of taxation, by the general prosperity of the people, and when you consider all of the facts connected with these things, why it seems to isle that the substitute or amendment which I have offered ought to be adopted.

Over in Georgia one county has an area of only ninety square miles, but the largest county has 1,145 square miles. The average in Georgia is 430 square mile to the county. In Tennessee it is 400 square miles to the county, and why should Alabama not have the same for her counties?   It was said yesterday in 1800 they had 900 square miles, and in 1868 they had 600 square mile, and thirtysix years after they want to have 400.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman's time has expired.


2141

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. O’NEAL  (Lauderdale) ‑ Will the gentleman allow a question before he takes his seat.

MR. COBB ‑ I yielded to my learned friend from Montgomery when I really lead the floor, but he has made a speech utterly oblivious of the fact that everything he said is already ‑ res adjudicata in this Convention.

MR. SANFORD ‑ Four hundred square miles shall be the area ?

MR. COBB ‑ Yes we have settled that question.

MR SANFORD– That  400 square miles shall he the area?

MR. COBB ‑ Shall not be.

MR. SANFORD ‑ Let me suggest toy the gentleman that the Article is not complete yet.

M R. COBB ‑ It has been adopted.

MR. SANFORD ‑ Only protempore, and there is a committee here to reconcile inconsistencies, if there should be any.

MR. COBB ‑ Well, make your speech before the Committee, it is not exactly in order here.

Now I simply want to call tile attention of the delegates for one moment the situation of this matter. The Committee on County Boundaries have three several reports here, the majority report. and two minority reports.   As a substitute for one of the minority reports. this Convention has acted by adopting the old Constitution as it stood and now stands.  That provision thus adopted covers all the questions about new counties as well as the changing of boundary lines of the old counties. So it is a matter fixed' by this Convention that we will not change the boundary lines of the old counties, so as to reduce any county below 600 square miles. That has been adopted. and there is a motion pending to reconsider it. That is tile situation.  Now in view of that fact, Mr. President. I move to lay upon the table----

MR OATES ‑ Will the learned gentleman tell me what is meant by the "ratio of representation existing at the time of the creation ‑ of tile new counties?"  What is the ratio of representation?

MR. COBB----Where do you read that ?

MR.. OATES ‑ In the ninth and tenth line of the Fourth Section.

MR. COBB ‑ That has been the law in Alabama for twentysix years.


2142

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. OATS ‑ But what is it?

MR. COBB ‑ I have never had my attention called to it.

MR. ROBINSON ‑ About 18.000 population.

MR. COBB‑"But no existing county shall be reduced to less      than 600 square miles and no county shall be formed which does not contain a sufficient number of inhabitants to entitle it to one representative under the ratio of representation existing at the time of its formation." Well, now at the time of the formation of the Constitution, Alabama had a ratio of representation of one for so many inhabitants.

MR. OATS ‑ I do not think my learned friend has quite understood the question I asked. As I see it, there is no fixed ratio at all. It is provided that every county shall have one representative in all constitutions. Now as the population changes, I suppose dividing the whole population by the number of representatives, we see how many thousand we have in that way. Is that what is meant by ratio, or how do you get it?

MR. COBB ‑ I will explain, but I did not think that a matter that was in the Constitution for twenty ‑ six years needed any particular explanation.

MR. OATS ‑ Some old things are not well understood.

MR. COBB ‑ But I will explain my view of it.   The Legislature of the State of Alabama from time to time establishes the ratio of representation to the General Assembly. That ratio is generally, one certainly from each county, and then one for every certain number of inhabitants. I believe that is the way that it is.

MR. HOWZE ‑ I make a point of order.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state the point of order.

MR. COBB ‑ I won't yield for that.

MR. HOWZE ‑ We are all interested in this discussion upon the question of ratio, but I make the point of order that the Article the gentleman is speaking to has been disposed of in passing the substitute offered in the report submitted by, the gentleman from Hale. It seems to me when the Convention adopted that substitute it disposed of the subject matter of the Article to which the gentleman is speaking.

MR. COBB ‑ I am not speaking to that Article, but to the other articles, which I propose to lay on the table directly.

MR. HOWZE ‑ That is the very Article that the gentleman is speaking to. The one he proposes to lay on the table, and it is embraced in the Article we have already passed.


2143

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. COBB ‑ The gentleman is entirely mistaken.  I am not off the track very far. I simply wanted the members of this Convention to understand exactly what they were called upon to do.

MR. ROBINSON ‑ If the gentleman will allow a question. Section 2 in the old Constitution was divided by this majority report into three sections.

MR. COBB ‑ Yes sir.

MR. ROBINSON ‑ And we have adopted the old Constitution, which disposed of Section 2, 3 and 4.

MR. COBB ‑ Of course, and I am going to lay them on the table, if the gentleman will allow me to have time to do it.  But, I was simply trying to get the matter as it exists properly understood by the delegates.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Macon moved to lay upon the table Section 4, and the motion was never withdrawn by the consent of the Convention.  The Chair omitted to ask unanimous consent for the gentleman from Macon to withdraw his motion to table.  The question would be whether the gentleman from Macon shall have unanimous consent to withdraw his motion to table.

To which objection was made.

Mr. Cobb sought recognition.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ A motion to table is not debatable.

MR. COBB ‑ But I have not made it yet. I made a contract with the chair right there‑

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman made a motion to table–

MR. COBB– And withdrew it for my learned friend here to make a talk.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman could not withdraw his motion to table, except by unanimous consent.

MR. COBB ‑ Then I will renew it. I won’t talk anymore.

THE PRESIDENT– The Convention refused to give unanimous consent to withdrawal–

MR. COBB ‑ I wont' talk any more. (Laughter.")

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question is on the motion to table section 4.

MR. COBB ‑ There is something more than that. Mr. Speaker you have not covered the whole matter. It is not only section 4, but section 2 and 3 as made by the minority report.


2144

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT ‑ If the gentleman will confine his motion to table to the substitute to section 4, and the section, we will take up the other matter in a moment.

MR. COBB ‑ Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The motion is to table the substitute to section 4, and section 4.

Upon a vote being taken, the section and substitute were laid upon the table.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑ I give notice of reconsideration for Monday.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The chair will state that the journal is not in a very satisfactory condition with reference to section 2 and 3.

MR. COBB ‑ I am coming to that right now–

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Let the chair make a suggestion as to that. As to section three there was a substitute pending, and thereupon the gentleman from Hale moved a substitute for that, which was adopted. That substitute was then adopted as an amendment to section 3, and as to section 3 it seems that the minority report as changed by the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale has been adopted‑

MR. COBB ‑ And that puts out–

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Section 3. Now as to section 2, the Convention has adopted section 2, without consideration of a pending substitute for section 2. That pending substitute, however, was identical with section 2 as adopted. but in order to get the record straight, it seems to the chair that the vote whereby section 2 was adopted should be reconsidered and that the substitute for section 2 should be laid upon the table, or disposed of in some way, and then Section 2 adopted.

MR. COBB ‑ Won't it do to lay Section 2 as it appears in this majority report on the table?

THE PRESIDENT ‑ That will not do because the Convention should not have proceeded to adopt section 2, and ignored the pending substitute for it.

MR. COBB ‑ Then I move to reconsider it for that purpose.

The motion to reconsider the vote whereby section 2 was adopted was carried.

MR. PARKER (Cullman) ‑ I move that the substitute as offerred by the minority of the committee to section 2, be laid upon the table.


2145

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

And the motion to table was carried.

MR. PARKER (Cullman)– I now move the adoption of section 2.

The motion was carried.

MR. COBB– Now, then, the next section.

Section 5 was read as follows:

"No county lines shall be altered or changed or in the creation of new counties shall be established so as to run within seven miles of the county court house of any old county."

MR. COBB ‑ I move to lay the section on the table.

MR. PARKER (Cullman) ‑ That section is a new section, and was put there as a safeguard as to old counties and I hope and trust that the Convention will adopt that section and I move its adoption.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Cullman moves the adoption of the section as read.

MR. O'NEAL ‑ I move the previous question on that.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I move to lay it on the table.

MR. WILSON (Washington)— I call for all aye and no vote on that.

The requisite number failing to rise, the call was not sustained.

Upon a vote being taken, the Convention refused to table the section.

MR. PRESIDENT ‑ The question recurs upon Section 5.

MR. CUNNINGHAM ‑ I move the previous question.

The main question was ordered, and upon a vote being taken, the section was adopted.

MR. COBB ‑ The next section that we reach will create a great deal of controversy, and I move that this Convention do now adjourn.

MR. NORWOOD ‑ Will the gentleman withdraw for a moment in order that I may send up a petition?

MR. COBB ‑ Yes, sir.

MR. NORWOOD ‑ I move that the petition be read.

MR. COBB ‑ I move that it be received without being read, and published in the official report.


2146

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

And referred to the proper committee.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion, as amended, prevailed, and the petition is as follows:

Petition from the Baptist Ministers’ Institute at Anniston, to the Alabama State Constitutional Convention:

Anniston, Ala., June 28th, 1901.

Whereas, The doctrine of soul liberty, not only for themselves, but for all men everywhere has been one of the fundamental principles of the Baptist people throughout their entire history, a doctrine for the establishment and maintenance of which our father, spared neither their property nor their lives : and,

Whereas, The actual membership of the white Baptist Churches in Alabama amounts to more than one hundred and thirty thousand (130,000) souls, representing not less than one ‑ half of the white family life in the State; and,

Whereas, Many other citizens in Alabama of all faiths and of no religious connection, believe in the above mentioned principle of complete separation between the church and State; and,

Whereas, If instead of this vast number, only a few of the people should claim the right of absolute religious freedom, they would still be entitled to its blessings, therefore be it

Resolved, by the Baptist Ministers' Institute, now in session at Anniston, Ala., that in the name of all parties concerned we do now most earnestly and respectfully petition the honorable members of the Alabama State Constitutional Convention, now recasting the organic laws of our State, to make the clause guaranteeing freedom of religion and the absolute separation of church and State, so clear that it will be impossible for any to misunderstand its provisions, and that public funds cannot under any circumstances be appropriated to any kind of ecclesiastical institution, thereby infringing on the rights and violating the conscience of a free people.

Resolved, further, That a committee consisting of L. O. Dawson, Charles A. Stakely and W. B. Crumpton, be appointed by this Institute to forward these resolutions to the Convention now in session at Montgomery, with the assurance that sincere prayer is made to God by the ministers in attendance upon the Institute in behalf of the members of the Convention that they may be divinely guided both individually and collectively, in the great and important task of framing a new Constitution for our beloved State.

Referred to the Committee on Legislative Department.

MR. OATES ‑ I wish to offer a short resolution.


2147

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. COBB ‑ I move to adjourn.

MR. OATES – I desire to offer a resolution in regard to pairs, for reference to the Committee on Rules.

MR. BURNS ‑ I want to offer a short resolution in reference to adjournment.

MR. SANFORD ‑ I gave notice awhile ago that I would move a reconsideration of the vote whereby  Section 4 was laid on the table.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The chair recognized the gentleman from Macon. Does the gentleman yield to the gentleman from Dallas?

MR. COBB ‑ I would have to know what it is before I yield.

The resolution offered by Mr. Oates (Montgomery) was read as follows : "Resolved, That pairs shall be put in writing and filed with the secretary of the Convention, who shall, at the close of the roll call read the same."

Referred to the Committee on Rules.

MR. COBB– I yield to the gentleman from Dallas for a moment.

MR. BURNS ‑ I sent my resolution up there by a page.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale) ‑ I move that we do now adjourn.

Upon a vote being taken, the Convention adjourned.