SIXTY‑EIGHTH DAY

___________

MONTGOMERY, ALA.,

Saturday, August 10, 1901.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, and was called to order by the President.

Upon a call of the roll 69 delegates responded to their names.

Mr. deGraffenreid took the Chair.

MR. BULGER‑I rise to a point of parliamentary inquiry.  How many members are present?

The President resumed the Chair.

THE CLERK‑ 69.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BULGER‑I move that the Sergeant at Arms be directed to bring in a quorum.

THE PRESIDENT‑ What is the suggestion of the gentleman?

MR. BULGER‑I move that the Sergeant at Arms be ordered to invite the absent members to come into the hall.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Sergeant at Arms is directed to summon the absent members.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)‑ I suggest that the absent members be brought before the bar of the House to show cause why they are not present.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The duty of the Sergeant at Arms will be to bring them before the House.

The Secretary will call the roll of the absent members.

Rule 33 says: 'Twenty-five delegates shall have the power to send for absent delegates or to move a call of the House; but no call of the House shall be made except upon concurrence of the majority of the delegates present. A majority of the Convention shall be a quorum to transact business.

The gentleman from Lauderdale moves that the absent members be sent for by the Sergeant at Arms, and the Chair suggests that it is necessary to have a call of the House.

MR. OATES–A call of the House is necessary to furnish the Sergeant at Arms a list of the absent members.

Upon a call of the roll, seventy-eight delegates responded to their names.

THE PRESIDENT–The Chair called attention yesterday or the day before to the fact that we are unable to proceed with the business of the Convention on account of failure of the delegates to report and answer to their names when the roll is called.  The Chair sincerely hopes that this will not continue to occur. It seems to the Chair that it is certainly the duty of delegates to report here and discharge the business for which we were delegated.

MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo)–I have a resolution.

MR. PITTS— I rise to a question of personal privilege. I have been informed by a friend who was informed by my colleague, Mr. Craig, yesterday evening that the solicitor of the Fourth Circuit, Col. W. W. Quarles, had taken umbrage at some of my remarks before this body on the 7th inst. while discussing the section of the Judiciary report in regard to the election of solicitors. I desire to say that I certainly did not intend to reflect


3933

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

upon him either as a man or as an officer, and if I said anything that would reflect on him or may have been offensive to him I now retract it. It would have been indelicate to say, the least for me to have said anything that reflected upon him, for private reasons. I will say, that he was elected twice, and at the last election he carried every county in his circuit. He has the confidence of the good people of his circuit, and is an efficient officer, fearless in the prosecution of crime and has always given satisfaction. I am sorry that he has taken exceptions at what I said, and had I known it earlier I would have made an apology to him.

MR. CARMICHAEL‑ In the stenographic report yesterday I and reported on the final passage of the article can Suffrage and Elections as absent or not voting. I desire to be recognized as voting. In the commotion, I do not recall whether I voted at all, as I sit back where I cannot hear very well.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It is impossible for the Chair to correct the roll except before the result of the vote is announced. It is proper for the gentleman to say how he would have voted, if he desires.

MR. CARMICHAEL‑I would have voted aye.

MR. JACKSON‑ I desire to ask if leave of absence was asked for my colleague, Gen. Harrison, on yesterday.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Leave of absence was asked for him.

The next order of business is the call of the roll of delegates for the introduction of ordinances.

MR. WADDELL–I move to dispense with the call of the roll.

MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo)—  Before he does that I ask unanimous consent to introduce an ordinance.

MR. WADDELL‑I withdraw the motion.

Objection was made.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It is moved that the rules be suspended and that the call of the roll of delegates for the introduction of ordinances and the call of the roll of standing committees be dispensed with.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to suspend the rules was carried.

MR. BROOKS‑I tried to get the recognition of the Chair before that motion was put, and I called for the attention of the Chair as loud and as often as I could.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair declines to be interrupted when the Chair is putting a motion.


3934                                          

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BROOKS‑I have the right before the vote is completed after the affirmative is taken and before the negative vote, to offer to debate the question if it is debatable.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑ For what purpose did the gentleman arise, to lecture the Chair, or to state a motion?

MR. BROOKS‑I rose to object, as I have seen it done here for seven or eight days, to a suspension of the roll call, on the ground that it never results in any economy of time.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman is not in order. He is not speaking, to any motion before the House.

MR. BROOKS ‑ The question I wanted to interpose was that I insisted upon a suspension of the rules for making that motion.

THE PRESIDENT–The time for any delegate to submit his remarks is when a motion is made, and not while the Chair is submitting the question to the Convention. Delegates have been frequently in the habit of interrupting the Chair and it has sometimes been difficult for the Chair to put the question.

MR. BROOKS‑I disclaim any purpose to interfere with the Chair when he is putting a motion, but I rose repeatedly and addressed myself to the Chair, for the purpose of making a motion in my own right.

MR. MULKEY‑I have a short petition I desire to have read.

The resolution offered by Mr. Williams of Marengo was read as follows:

Resolved. That this Convention adjourn at 1 o'clock today and convene at 12 o'clock Monday next.

MR. O’NEAL (Lauderdale)‑I move to amend by substituting  2 o'clock for 1 o'clock.

MR. GRAYSON ‑I move to amend by inserting 11 o'clock on Monday instead of 12 o'clock.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑The objection to that is the train does not come in in time for some of the delegates to get here by 11 o'clock.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)–Is the motion to adjourn open to amendment?

THE PRESIDENT–The motion to fix the time to adjourn is.

MR. deGRAFFENREID- ‑I move to lay both amendments on the table.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT‑ It seems to the Chair that a motion to adjourn is not one to be laid on the table.

MR. WILLIAMS‑ y reason for putting it 12 o'clock is because we cannot get a quorum here by 11 o'clock on Monday.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega) ‑There is a motion to table.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It seems to the Chair that the motion to table is not in order. The motion is a privileged motion to fix the tune at which to adjourn. The gentleman from Madison moves to strike out 12 o'clock Monday and insert 11 o'clock.

Upon a vote being taken the amendment was lost.

THE PRESIDENT‑  The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Madison to strike out 12 o'clock and insert 11 o'clock.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)‑I move to table that.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair has ruled that a motion to table will not be in order.

MR. GREER (Perry)‑I move to strike out 1 o'clock and insert 12, to adjourn at 1 o'clock today and reconvene at 12 o'clock Monday.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The motion is that when we adjourn at 1 o'clock, we adjourn to meet at 12 o'clock Monday.

MR. COFER‑I move to strike out 2 o'clock and insert 12 o'clock today.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It is not 2 o'clock in the resolution, as the question now stands, the motion is to insert 2 o'clock instead of 1 o'clock.

MR. COFER‑As a substitute, I move to insert 12 o'clock today.

Upon a motion being taken, the substitute was lost.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is then upon the motion of the gentleman from Lauderdale to strike out 1 o'clock and insert 2 o'clock today.

Upon a vote being taken the motion of the gentleman from Lauderdale was lost.

THE PRESIDENT— The question will be upon the motion of the gentleman from Marengo which is that when this Convention adjourn today at 1 o'clock it adjourn to meet at 12 o'clock Monday.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion was carried.


3936                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)‑ As the roll call has been dispensed with, I ask for unanimous leave to introduce a petition.

Leave was granted, and the clerk read the petition as follows :

To the Constitutional Convention, Montgomery, Ala.:

We the undersigned citizens of the State of Alabama do hereby, offer our protest against the railroad pass evil, and do hereby declare our desire that it be made an unlawful act for either State, county, or municipal officials to accept railroad passes from any railroad company, or for any such company to give such passes.

We further petition the Constitutional Convention now in session in Montgomery to incorporate in the proposed Constitution some effective self-operative provision to that end.

Talladega, July 18, 1901.

G. T. McEldery, manufacturer fertilizers; C. S. Weaver; J. H. Rogers, clerk; W. M. Graham, merchant ; J. M. Woods, farmer; J. S. Peters, farmer; J. D. Davis, farmer; Bud Reeves, farmer; F.B. Bowie, merchant ; William Braden, farmer; J . W . King,clerk; A. E. Bartlett, clerk, P. A. Stamps, merchant ; J. W. Hubbard, merchant; J. B. Woodward, merchant; R. T. B. Anderson, merchant; J. C. Burt, clerk; F. C. McAlpine, merchant; R. L..Stringer, merchant; J. W. Cowan, merchant; A. O. Hammell, contractor; J. D. Lewis, broker; W. H. Sindlinger, stone cutter; T. H. White, farmer; W. J. Handley, tailor; A. W. Orgo, merchant; E.  Hobbs, merchant; J. M. Sparks, merchant ; J. E.. Russell, merchant; Kyser, G. P. ; J. F. Warnick, farmer; T. M. Long, clerk; C. R. Iver, clerk; J. M. Thornton, merchant; D. M. Remson, merchant ; B. A. Boyd, clerk; Goldberg & Lewis, merchants; Thomas Hayden, clerk; G. A. Joiner, M. M. Mogle, harness, J. H. Hicks, cotton mill., Mont Lane, clerk,; W. Bleatenbourg ; J. F.. Klein, J. F. Barnes, merchant; L. W. Clardy, Alabama Hardware Co.; L. L. Brothers, merchants; E.O.. Hobbs, merchants; G.  T.  Smith, merchant ; W. A. Speer, clerk; W.. 'I'. Groger, farmer : G. O.  Smith, clerk; J. H. Samuel, clerk; J. A. Adams, farmer ; J . W.. Dickinson, farmer; T. R. Williams, Rep.; J. B. Terry; C. W. Sharp, merchant; W. B. Glover, clerk;  Z. Katzenstein, clerk; R. S. Sayre, broker; P. Williams, merchant; W. B.  Harison, law; J . H. Foster, law; W. C. McMillan, law.

Referred to Committee on Corporations.

MR. WHITESIDE ‑ On yesterday, I had unanimous consent to offer, a petition-two petitions, one from Oxford and the other from Anniston. Only one of them was read, both of them being identically the same, but the names in the petition were not published in the official proceedings. I ask unanimous consent that they be printed under the petition just read.

Consent was granted.


3937

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

To the Constitutional Convention, Montgomery, Alabama:

We the undersigned citizens of the State of Alabama do hereby offer our protest against the railroad pass evil, and do hereby declare our desire that it be made an unlawful act for either State, county or municipal officials to accept railroad passes from any railroad company, or for any such company to give such passes.

We further petition the Constitutional Convention now in session in Montgomery to incorporate in the proposed Constitution some effective self-operative proviso to that end.

Oxford, Ala., July 23, 1901.

B. Dudley Williams, physician; A. W. Ligon, physician; James M. Gunnels, druggist; W. C. Warnock, merchant; R. N. Wanock, merchant; John N. McAdams, jeweler; W. D. Smith, merchant; Draper & Co., merchant; S. L. Green, Jr., merchant; J. B. Key, farmer; D. C. Cooper, banker; A. M.  Humphries, merchant and many others.

Referred to Committee on Corporation.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑I move that all of the gentlemen who have petitions against the railroad pass evil be allowed to send them up now to have them printed in the stenographic report without further action on the part of this Convention.

The motion was adopted.

The following petition was sent up by Mr. Mulkey:

To the Constitutional Convention, Montgomery, Ala.:

We, the undersigned citizens of the State of Alabama do hereby offer our protest against the railroad pass evil, and do hereby declare our desire that it be made and unlawful act for either State, county or municipal officials to accept railroad passes from any railroad company, or for any such company to give such passes.

We further petition the Constitutional Convention now in session in Montgomery to incorporate in the proposed Constitution some effective, self-operative provision to that end.

J. J.  Johnson, merchant; J. M. Jeter, cashier; T. B. Early, salesman; A. S. Hendrick, salesman; W. W. Barnett, merchant; J. Merritt, stock man; S. W. Douglas, minister; A. D. McKinnon, salesman; W. J. Keith, merchant; E. D. Donaldson, trader; C. D. Carmichael, attorney; G. M. Leigh, merchant; G. W. Williams, jeweler; Adair Bros., merchant; H. G. McLaney, bookkeeper; J. H. Ard, M. D.; J. F. Webb & Co., merchant; Chapman & Co., merchants; D. O. Vaughan, J. P.; M. B. Pierce, merchant; J. M. Merritt, merchant; W. R. Jons, merchant; J. D. Holloway, R. Y.


3938                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Daniel, brick layer; L. W. Weston, merchant : D. L. Watson, merchant.

Geneva, Ala., July 23, 1901.

Referred to Committee on Corporations.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The regular order will be the consideration of the report of the Committee on Amending the Constitution.

MR. MERRILL‑ The next matter in order is Ordinance No. 412 with favorable report by the committee. I ask that the clerk read that ordinance.

The report of the Committee on Journal was read, stating that they had examined the journal for the sixty-seventh day, and found the same correct, and the report was adopted.

The Secretary read Ordinance No. 412 with favorable report of the Committee on Amending the Constitution and Miscellaneous provisions.

An ordinance relating to the bonded indebtedness of the State.

Be it ordained by the people of the State of Alabama in Convention assembled:

That an act of the General Assembly of Alabama. entitled “an act to consolidate and adjust the bonded debt of the State of Alabama," approved February 18, 1805, and an act amendatory thereto entitled an act to amend Section 6 of an act to consolidate and adjust the bonded debt of the State of Alabama, approved February 18th. 1895, which said last named act was approved February 16th, 1899, be and the same are hereby made valid, and both of said acts shall have the full force and effect of law. The Governor is authorized and empowered to act under the same, and  carry out all the provisions thereof.

MR. MERRILL– I have an amendment.

The amendment was read as follows:

“Amend ordinance No. 412 by adding at the end thereof the following: Provided that the bonds mentioned in said acts and issued thereunder may be payable at any time not exceeding 50 years from the date thereof, and shall not be redeemable until their maturity.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question will be on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Barbour. Is the Convention ready for the question?

MR. MERRILL‑I desire to be heard on the amendment. I desire to explain to the Convention the purpose and intention for


3939

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

which action is asked. As is well known, the bonded debt of Alabama will mature in the near future, and under the Constitution of 1875, there is no provision for refunding that debt, and no authority in that Constitution to issue new bonds. If there was no other reason why this Convention should have been held that one reason would have been sufficient to cause the people of Alabama to call this Convention. The authority for issuing bonds by the State of Alabama is contained in Section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution of 1875, which reads thus: "After the ratification of this Constitution, no new debt shall be created against or incurred by this State or its authority except to repel invasion or suppress insurrection and then only by concurrence of two-thirds of the members of each House of the General Assembly, and the vote shall be taken by ayes and noes and entered on the. Journal, and any act creating or incurring any new debt against this State, except as therein provided, shall be absolutely void." Mr. President, it was held by some of the lawyers that under that provision of the Constitution the State had the authority to refund the debt that existed. The former Governors undertook, acting on that theory, to go into the refunding of the bonded debt. And in the course of that matter the bond buyers or the bond buyers in prospective had their attorneys to investigate and ascertain whether tinder the law as it stood the State of Alabama had a right to refund or issue bonds to take up these old bonds. In that investigation, Mr. Hornblower of New York, representing the expectant bond buyers, have the opinion that under the Constitution a reissue of bonds, even for the purpose of refunding the old debt, was such an innovation that there was no authority under the Constitution for that action, that it was an innovation, a new contract and not authorized by the Constitution of 1875.  Therefore, Mr. President, two of our Governors before the present incumbent, undertook to have the Legislature pass these laws, but when it ran up against the opinion of Mr. Hornblower, the matter stopped. It may be contended that Mr. Hornblower's opinion was erroneous, but the bond buyers would be guided by it, and it would be impossible to overcome that obstacle.  If Alabama undertook to float her bonds to refund the present-debt-it is an insurmountable obstacle because the opinion given to them by their attorney and in my opinion, Mr. President, the opinion given by Mr. Hornblower is  a correct one. Therefore, the act passed for the purpose of enabling the Governors to refund the debt of Alabama are an unconstitutional and the matter stands thus, Now, at the instance and request of our present Governor, this ordinance was introduced, and I will say, Mr. President, that it was after consultation by the Governor with the Attorney General and some learned lawyers who are delegates upon this floor, that this action on the part of the Governor was initiated.

He is a conservative, wise and economical man, and before taking any action in this matter he consulted those who were in‑


3940                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

terested in the welfare of Alabama. and he himself had that interest greatly at heart. Now, the first act that was passed was 1894‑5.  That was during the administration of our distinguished delegate, Governor Oates, and I ask, Mr. President, if it is the desire or wish of the delegates to have these Acts read.

I pause for a moment, and it scenes that that is not the desire of the Convention.

The first Act was passed during the administration of Governor Oates. The next Act was passed in 1898‑9, during the administration of Go. Johnston. The act of 1898‑9 was merely an amendment of the previous act.  There is also an Act in 1897 which undertakes to extend or permit the limit of 50 years on the bonds, which act was vague, and so uncertain that to cover that question, the amendment was offered. Now, Mr. President, these acts, or the main act, authorizes the issuance of bonds for the purpose of refunding the debt, and it makes those bonds redeemable at the pleasure of the State after the expiration of 15 years. In the discussion of that feature of the act, the Governor ascertained that to make the bonds redeemable at the pleasure of the State in 15 years, was equivalent to issuing a bond known as a 15-year bond, and a bond which runs only fifteen years would not float in the market at so high a price as the line that ran a longer time than fifteen years. Therefore the amendment offered is for the purpose of making these bonds issued for a time longer than fifty years and not redeemable until their maturity according to the face of the contract.

THE PRESIDENT– The time of the gentleman from Barbour has expired.

MR. WATTS–I would like to ask the gentleman a question.

MR. MERRILL‑I would like for the Convention to extend my time just a little.

Upon a vote being taken the time of the delegate from Barbour was extended ten minutes.

MR. WATTS– What is the object of incorporating in your amendment that bonds shall not be redeemed until their maturity.

MR. MERRILL– If you had heard what I have just said, you would understand that under the act of the legislature the bonds are redeemable, that is they can be issued payable in fifteen years, and then can be called in and paid at the expiration of fifteen years under the act; as they now exist. The fact that they were payable in so short time after issue rendered them less valuable and they would float for a less price in the market and would demand a higher rate of interest. Therefore the amendment was offered for the purpose of making them what is known as fifty year bonds


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

which bonds are of the most valuable character of any bonds, and they can be floated at a very low rate of interest. Now, Mr. President, the question may be asked why this matter does not go over to the legislature? It is possible, though a contingency that we dislike to consider, that this Constitution we are now making may not meet the approval of the people of Alabama, and it is the opinion of learned lawyers that even though the Constitution should fail, with this ordinance passed, it would be valid, and the Governor could proceed under it. Now the bonds will not mature for some little time to come but the Governor thinks, and he has good reasons for believing, that even now he can float bonds at 3 1/2 per cent which are now drawing 5, and that the bondholders will take care of that 1 1/2 per cent between now and the time the old bonds fall due, that is, he is under the impression, and based as I say, upon good reason, that he can now take up the 5 per cent bonds, or a large number of them, and issue in lieu thereof bonds only drawing 3 1/2 per cent under this ordinance, thereby saving to the State 1 1/2 per cent on between $8,000,000 and $9,000,000 from now until the bonds mature. Now I think I have explained the matter fully, and I move that the ordinance be adopted.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question will be upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Barbour.

MR. MERRILL‑I think that under the rules of this Convention an aye and no vote will have to be taken upon the passage of the ordinance, because an act of the legislature to be valid which authorizes the payment of money out of the treasury, must be adopted on an aye and no vote, and I want to have this matter in such shape that the astute lawyers that come on afterwards can have no reason to object.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Does the gentleman ask unanimous consent to accept the amendment.

MR. MERRILL‑ Yes, sir.

There was no objection.

MR. ROGERS‑ There is no need for an ayes and no vote upon the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question will be upon the adoption of the ordinance as amended.

MR. MERRILL‑I move the adoption of it, and upon that I call for the aye and noes. I do not think the call has to be sustained, because under our rule that has to be done any way.

THE PRESIDENT ‑It seems to the Chair that the gentleman is correct. The question will be upon the passage of the ordinance.  The Secretary will call the roll.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

During the call of the roll:

MR. OATES– I ask leave to explain my vote.

The leave was granted.

MR. OATES– At any earlier date of the Convention, I offered a well prepared ordinance providing for the refunding of the bonded debt of the State, a matter with which I am familiar, if I am with anything, but like nearly all of the measures I have offered in this Convention, it was voted down. Some action is necessary. This proposition is the next best thing, I have seen presented, and therefore I vote aye.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑I understand that this ordinance provides that the bonds shall not be paid for fifty years. I believe the State ought to leave the right to pay its obligations any time it sees fit to do so, and therefore I vote no.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑The ordinance does not mean that.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair will state to delegates that it is not within the rules to explain their vote without obtaining the consent of the Convention.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑ I have already explained my vote.

THE PRESIDENT‑ But the gentleman did it in violation of rules of the House and the gentleman from Sumter called him to order.

MR. SANFORD‑I did not intend to violate any rule or law.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)‑ I do not want to be put in a wrong attitude with his friend from Montgomery. I asked the Chair to explain the ordinance to him, and said that it did not mean that.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair will call the attention of the gentleman from Montgomery to Rule 40.

MR. SANFORD‑I do not care about the rules. I am more anxious to know the meaning of the ordinance. I admit the rule is correct.

THE PRESIDENT‑I will read Rule 40: "After a vote has been ordered upon any question, no delegate shall be permitted to explain his vote without the unanimous consent of the Convention."

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑Now I understand that the ordinance signifies that it may be paid at any time before fifty years. It only says that it shall not run beyond that time. Am I correct in that?


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair thinks not. The Chair thinks that the bonds issued will run fifty years, and that they cannot be paid until maturity. The Secretary will continue the call of the roll.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑ Then I vote no.

Upon the completion of the call of the roll.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)— The ordinance has been shown to me, and it says that it shall be payable at any time not exceeding fifty years; therefore I will change my vote to aye.

The call of the roll resulted as follows, and the ordinance was adopted:

AYES.

Messrs. President,

Handley,

O'Rear,

Almon,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Palmer,

Altman,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Parker (Cullman),

Banks,

Henderson,

Parker (Elmore),

Barefield,

Hinson,

Pettus,

Beavers,

Hood,

Pillans,

Beddow,

Howze,

Pitts,

Bethune,

Inge,

Porter,

Blackwell,

Jackson,

Proctor,

Browne,

Jenkins,

Reynolds (Henry),

Bulger,

Jones, of Bibb,

Rogers (Lowndes).

Burns,

Jones, of Bibb,

Rogers (Sumter),

Cardon,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Samford,

Chapman,

Kirkland,

Sanders,

Coleman, of Greene,

Knight,

Sanford,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Long (Walker),

Smith (Mobile),

Davis, of Etowah,

Macdonald,

Spears,

Dent,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Spragins,

de Graffenreid,

Malone,

Studdard,

Duke,

Martin,

Waddell,

Eley,

Merrill,

Walker,

Eyster,

Miller (Marengo),

Watts,

Fletcher,

Mulkey,

White.

Gilmore,

Murphree,

Whiteside,

Glover,

NeSmith.

Williams (Barbour),

Graham, of Talladega,

Norman,

Williams (Marengo),

Greer, of Calhoun,

Oates,

Williams (Elmore),

Greer. of Perry,

O'Neal (Lauderdale).

Haley,

Opp,

Total‑84.

NOES.

Brooks,

Cofer,

Phillips,

Bears,

Freeman,

Sloan.

Total‑6.


3944                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.

Ashcraft,

Hodges,

Reese,

Bartlett,

Howell,

Renfro,

Boone,

Jones, of Hale,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Burnett,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Robinson,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

King,

Searcy,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Kirk,

Selheimer,

Carnathon,

Kyle,

Sentell,

Case,

Ledbetter,

Smith, Mac. A.,

Cobb,

Leigh,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Coleman, of Walker,

Locklin,

Sollie,

Cornwall,

Lomax,

Sorrell,

Craig,

Long (Butler),

Stewart,

Cunningham,

Lowe (Jefferson),

Tayloe,

Eley,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Thompson,

Ferguson,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Vaughan,

Fitts,

Maxwell,

Weakley,

Foshee,

Miller (Wilcox),

Weatherly,

Foster,

Moody,

Willet,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Morrisette,

Wilson (Clarke),

Grant,

Norwood,

Wilson (Wash'gton),

Grayson,

O'Neill (Jefferson),

Winn.

Harrison,

Pearce,

Mr. Brooks here took the Chair.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑‑‑I ask unanimous consent to introduce an ordinance and have it referred to the Committee on Rules.

MR. O’NEAL (Lauderdale)–I rise to a question of privilege:  On yesterday in my remarks in reference to the amendment offered by the delegate from Greene, as to representation—

MR. LONG (Walker)‑I have the floor.

Ordinance No. 447, by Mr. Long (Walker) was read as follows:

"Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That the Secretary of this Convention is instructed to obtain a sufficient number of the stenographic reports with the indexes thereto and to have the same properly bound so that he may forward each member of this; Convention one of the said copies, and he is hereby instructed to forward to each member of this Convention one of said copies as he has obtained the same, and for his services he shall be paid the sum of twenty-five dollars ($ 25) for which amount the Auditor authorized to draw his warrant on the State Treasurer, and said sum is hereby appropriated out of the moneys of the State not heretofore otherwise appropriated for paying for such services."

Referred to Committee on Rules.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. MERRILL‑I move that the ordinance just adopted be engrossed and ordered to a third reading. But on reflection I desire to have it referred to the Committee on Order and Harmony.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to refer the ordinance to the Committee on Order and Harmony was carried.

MR. O'NEAL‑ On yesterday in my remarks in reference to the amendment offered by the delegate from Greene as to representation, I made the following statement: "I insist say that I take exceptions to the remarks made by the gentleman from Barbour when he intimated that unless this amendment was adopted the Constitution would be defeated. While I heartily favor this amendment, yet I do not like to have threats made that unless I do a certain thing, the Constitution will be defeated. I do not think that style of argument should be used in the Constitutional Convention."

Since reading the stenographic report of the remarks of the gentleman from Barbour, for whom I entertain the highest regard, I recognize that I did him an injustice in stating that he made threats that the people of the Black Belt would oppose the ratification of the Constitution unless the proposed amendment was adopted.  As I understood him at the time, but it is evident from the stenographic report, that I was mistaken, and it gives me pleasure to withdraw any remarks I made imputing any intention on the part of the delegate from Barbour to threaten those who opposed the amendment.

I also desire to make a correction in the stenographic report.  I am reported as saying in reply to the question from Mr. Dent:  "I am of opinion that a provision confining the right to vote to white women, would be no violation of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments." I said just the opposite. I said was of "opinion that a provision confining the privilege to vote to white women would be a violation of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments.”

Also in another sentence, I am reported as saying, "Whenever you depart front that principle, however, you say to the fair women of the State, you must go out and mingle in politics, you must lobby with men on the streets for votes. You lower the high standard which now prevails." The word "however," should be "whenever." which changes the sense.

Also in my remarks on yesterday I and reported as saying this:  "They have always been true and loyal, and we of the white counties propose to you that you cut down your voting population by eliminating the great mass of negro votes. We do not say to you that we intend to reduce your representation to your voting strength." What I did say was this: "You have always been true and loyal, and we of the white counties recognizing that under


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the suffrage article adopted your voting population will be reduced by the elimination of the vicious and incompetent, we concede it would be manifestly unfair and unjust to reduce your representation to your voting strength.” The report as made is entirely misleading as to my meaning.

MR. BROWNE (Talladega) – I rise for the purpose of making a statement in regard to the stenographic report: In my explanation on yesterday of Section 5 of Article XI, on County Taxation, the stenographic report is so full of errors that it is impossible to correct it, and I simply want to say that no one reading it can have any conception for what I was undertaking to say, or the explanation that I made of the contents of the Section. I cannot undertake to correct it, because there is an error in every line.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ Does the gentleman desire to have the report changed

MR. BROWNE— No sir, but I desire my statement to go in the stenographic report that the report is so full of errors that it is impossible to correct it without re‑writing the whole matter.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM–The next order of business will be the report of the Committee on Amending the Constitution and Miscellaneous Provisions.

The report was read as follows:

Report of Committee on Amending Constitution and Miscellaneous Provisions.

Mr. President.

Your Committee on Amending the Constitution and Miscellaneous Provisions, to which was referred Ordinance No. 390 by Mr. Spears of St. Clair, has instructed me to report favorably the accompanying substitute for said ordinance. The committee was not unanimous as to the policy of adopting the ordinance, some of its members reserving the right to oppose its adoption.

Under the instruction, from the Committee, the chairman reports, for the information of the Convention, the facts showing the necessity of a court house in the district affected without recommendation as to the policy of adoption ordinances which are local in their operation and within the province of the Legislature.

St. Clair county is divided into two parts by Back Bone Mountain which runs entirely across the county from east to west. The two portions into which it is thus divided are nearly equal in area and population while the larger portion of the wealth of the county is in that portion which lies south of the mountain. A greater portion of the litigation in the county originates in the territory south of the mountain, and a greater number of the parties and


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witnesses who attend the courts in St. Clair county are from that territory.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ I rise to a point of inquiry. Hasn't that report of the committee been once read?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑ The Clerk informs the Chair that it has been read.

MR. deGRAFFENREID–Then all we need is to have the ordinance read.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ That is all.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ Then the reading of the report is out of order isn't it

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ It is unless the reading was called for at the time.

The ordinance was then read as follows:

AN ORDINANCE.

To provide for the establishment of a court house and jail at some point, to be determined by an election by the people, in that portion of St. Clair which lies south and southeast of Back Bone Mountain, and which is embraced in precincts numbered 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,. 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21, in said county.

Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled:

First‑ That it shall be the duty of the Probate Judge of St. Clair county to order an election to be held in precincts numbered 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21, in St. Clair county, not later than sixty days after the ratification of the Constitution to be submitted by this Convention, for a vote of the qualified electors in said precincts, at which a court house and jail shall be erected and maintained. Officers for such election shall be appointed, and the election, in all things in accordance with the law governing general elections. Upon the ballot to be used at such election the names of all places to be voted on shall be printed, and the choice of the elector shall be indicated by a cross mark before the place of his choice. The votes cast at such election shall be canvassed, tabulated, returns thereof made, and counted, in the same manner as is done in elections for Sheriff and other county officers. At the place receiving the highest number of votes at such election there shall be erected and maintained a court house and jail for the trial of all cases and the transaction of all legal business originating in said precincts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21.

The venue of all actions and suits (other than such as are to be tried before Justices of the Peace), in which only residents of


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that portion of said St. Clair which lies south and southeast of Back Bone Mountain, are defendants, shall, except as otherwise provided by law, be at the Court House herein provided for provided, however, that Ashville, in St. Clair County, shall continue to be the county seat until changed by vote of the qualified electors residing in that part of St. Clair County, which lies north and northwest of said Back Bone Mountain.

Second‑ The Court of County Commissioners of St. Clair County shall at its first regular meeting after the election provided for in Section 1 of this ordinance, take all the necessary steps and make all necessary orders to issue and sell bonds of St. Clair County to the amount of $10,000, the proceeds to be used only for the erection and equipment of such Court House and jail, or to provide by other means a sufficient amount of money to erect a suitable Court House and jail in the place which shall have been selected in accordance with said Section 1, and to properly equip and furnish the same with record books and other necessary equipments, provided, however, that if said Court of County Commissioners shall levy a tax for such purpose, such tax shall be levied on all taxable property in said county, but all of such tax shall be levied on all taxable property in said county, but all of such tax shall not be levied and collected in one year. And provided further, that such Court House and jail shall be completed in every way and shall be ready for the holding of court and the transaction of legal business on or before the first day of the spring term, 1903, of the Circuit Court of St. Clair County.

Third– The Sheriff, Probate Judge, Circuit Clerk, Register in Chancery, Tax Assessor, Tax Collector, and Superintendent of Education of St. Clair County, shall keep officers in the Court House, which shall be built in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.

Fourth– The General Assembly at its first meeting after the ratification of the Constitution to be submitted to the people by this Convention, shall enact laws regulating the holding of courts at the Court House provided for in this ordinance.

Fifth– This ordinance shall be valid and effective if the Constitution which shall be framed by this Convention be ratified by the people. Otherwise it shall be void.

MR. BEAVERS‑I have a substitute I desire to offer‑ The Clerk proceeded to read the substitute as follows:  "Amend the caption by adding thereto the following, and also to establish a Court House and jail in Shelby County, at some point on the Georgia Railroad in Shelby County, to be determined by election by the qualified electors of that portion of Shelby County lying in precincts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18 in said county,—


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ I rise to a point of order. The amendment is not germane to the subject of this ordinance.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ Does the gentleman desire to be heard?

MR. BEAVERS‑ Yes sir.

MR. MERRILL‑ Will the gentleman yield the floor to me a moment?

MR. BEAVERS‑ Yes sir, I will do so.

MR. MERRILL‑ Mr. Spears introduced this ordinance and the Committee proposes to turn over the rights and privileges of the Committee to Mr. Spears to manage and conduct this matter as he sees fit, and I hope that the Chair will recognize him as if he were the Committee.

MR. BEAVERS‑ Now on the proposition as to whether this is germane, I want to say that the exact language is used here inevery particular except in regard to the territory and location of Court House and jail.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The subject matter is the location of a Court House in St. Clair County.

MR. BEAVERS ‑It is certainly germane to the ordinance, it is identical except as to place and territory, and the provisions are identical with the ordinance.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair thinks the point of order of the gentleman from Hale is not well taken, and that it is germane.

The Secretary read the ordinance as follows:

Amend substitute for Ordinance No. 320, as reported by the Committee on Amending the Constitution and Miscellaneous Provisions, as follows:

Amend the caption by adding thereto: "And also to establish a court house and jail for Shelby County at some point on the Central of Georgia Railway, in Shelbv county, to be determined by an election by the qualified voters of that portion of Shelby county, lying the precincts numbered 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18 in said county." Amend Section 1 by adding thereto the following "That it shall be the duty of the judge of Probate of Shelby county to order an election to be held in precincts number 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18 in Shelby county not later than sixty days after the ratification of the Constitution to be submitted by this Convention, for a vote of the qualified electors in said precincts for the selection of a place at which a court house and jail shall be erected and maintained. Officers of said election shall be appointed,


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and the election shall be conducted and the result ascertained in all things as provided by the laws governing general elections so far as the same are applicable. Upon the ballots to be used at said election the names of all places to be voted on shall be printed, and the choice of the elector shall be indicated by a cross mark before the place of his choice.  At the place receiving the highest number of voters at such election. there shall be erected and maintained a court house and jail for the trial of all causes and the transaction of all legal business originating in said precincts 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, and the venue in all actions and suits (other than such as are tried before justices of the Peace) in which only residents of that portion of Shelby county lying within said precincts 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, l6 and 18 are defendants, shall except as otherwise provided by law, be at the court house herein provided for.  Provided that Columbiana, in Shelby county, shall continue to be the county seat until changed by a vote of the qualified electors residing in that part of Shelby county now embraced in precincts 8, 9, 10, 11, 13. 14, 15, 16 and 18 in said county. Amend Section 2 by adding after the word "county" in the first line the words "and the Court of County Commissioners of Shelby County respectively" and by inserting after the word "county" in the third line "and Shelby county" respectively "court house and jail" in line 11 the words "for St. Clair County," and by adding at the end of said section the following: "and such court house and jail for Shelby county shall be completed in every way and ready  for the holding of courts and the transaction of legal business on or before the first day of September, 1903."

Amend Section 3 by adding thereto the following, "and said officers for Shelby county, shall likewise keep offices in the additional court house which shall be erected in accordance with the provision of this ordinance in the county of Shelby."

Amend Section 4 by inserting after the words "court house" in line 3, the words "or court houses."

Strike out all after the words "Shelby county" in first provision  second page and strike out the words "that-part of" in said provision.

MR. BEAVERS ‑ I want to say in regard to the amendment I have offered here to this ordinance : That the people of the northern part of Shelby county and in the southern part of St. Clair county want a new county up there. That is the question nearest to their hearts, they want a new county.  They came down here before the Committee on State and County Boundaries and made strong representations to that committee that they wanted a general reduction of the area of counties in the State so that they could secure a county up there. They lose out on that proposition because the Convention refused to reduce the minimum area of the counties of this State. Then they came back here and


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asked that the Committee on State and County Boundaries report favorably an ordinance similar to the Malone amendment to Section 3 or Article 2 of the proposed Constitution. That committee has reported that ordinance favorably‑ I did not mean to say reported, but they have passed on it unanimously and authorized the chairman to report that ordinance back to this Convention with a favorable report. Now, I want to make this statement to the Convention that on the representation and showing made before this Committee on State and County Boundaries, on that territory, they made the strongest showing, the most meritorious of any district in the State of Alabama, why they should have a new county, and I refer to each member of that committee to substantiate what I state. I say the people want a new county but if you will not give them a new county, then they want this, it is better than nothing because they are in a bad shape up there. They do not ask this Convention to carve and give them a county, but simply ask to come in as in the Malone ordinance that the State and County Boundaries Committee is instructed to report favorably, in other words, ask you to do what you have already done in regard to the counties of Henry, Dale and Geneva.

MR. PARKER (Cullman) ‑I desire to say that the gentleman is correct in that the committee was unanimous in that report the other night, upon the statements made that there was no opposition to it, that on yesterday it came to the knowledge of the chairman and other members of the committee that there was a serious opposition, and that those parties desired to be heard before the committee.

MR. BEAVERS ‑I am glad the chairman made that statement, because I see some people here from my county, I don't know whether to fight this proposition or not. I want of state that those gentlemen from Columbiana, when we were in the midst of the court house fight, agreed with me that they would not fight me on the new county proposition. Whether they are here to do that or not I don't know except upon the representation of the chairman of the committee. He says that there is opposition, and I see the gentlemen here, and I suppose the opposition is coming from them. So far as opposition from St. Clair county is concerned, I want to say this, that Judge Inzer, a prominent citizen, came down before this committee and asked them to give this section of the county a new county, that they were entitled to it and ought to have it. I understand that my friend. Mr. Spears, from St. Clair has a letter from. Judge Inzer in which he states that upon the representation of Mr. Spears that 95 per cent of the people of that territory would be satisfied with a court house and  jail, why that would be all right to get the court house and jail.

MR. SPEARS‑ Will you permit me to interrupt?


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BEAVERS– I will if the gentleman desires to ask a question.

MR. SPEARS‑I gave the gentleman the letter to read and Judge Inzer states in the letter—  

MR. BEAVERS‑I yielded to a question, otherwise I did not. The gentleman can make a statement after I get through.

MR. SPEARS‑ Judge Inzer states in his letter that he has information of his own that the majority of these people—

MR. BEAVERS— That information comes, I doubt not, through Mr. Spears. I want to state another thing, that Mr. Spears went before that Committee and made a very enthusiastic speech in favor of the original request of this Committee to give these people up there a new county. So far as Shelby County is concerned, three-fourths or four-fifths of Shelby County want this new county. There can be no opposition from Shelby County to this pleasure unless it comes from Columbiana, and as I stated, these gentlemen agreed with me through their representative, Mr. W. B.Browne not to fight this matter. I want to say that I agitated this matter on every stump in Shelby County in the campaign, and I want to say that but for this proposition, I could never have been here representing Shelby County as a Democrat. Now, I want to State as to the topography of the country up there, that these people need some relief. They tell me that they want a new county. They have come down here, and asked the Convention twice and urged them to take some action whereby they could secure a new county up there. They tell me that you won’t put them in a position so as to get the legislature to give them a county– if you won't give their a piece of bread, they will take the crumbs, they will take this, it is a great deal better than nothing at all, because those people in the upper part of the country, in order to get to their court house., have to go a distance of anywhere from twenty-five to forty miles through the country. The roads are not very good  in Shelby County, and to go by train they must go to Talladega and come around, or to  Jefferson by Birmingham and come around, there is no way of getting to the court house without going out of the county by train, I mean otherwise than by private conveyance. I want to lay these facts before the Convention so they can do what is right in the premises. There is no doubt but these people want a new county up there. There may be some little opposition from the county sites ‑that opposition has not been coming before in the argument before the Committee on State and County Boundaries. The gentlemen could have come there, discussed the question and opposed it. They never did do it. On the other hand, the people from St. Clair came before the Committee and urged for the new county.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The time of the gentleman has expired.


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MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)‑I move that the time of the gentleman be extended ten minutes.

The motion to extend the time was adopted.

MR. DENT‑ Will the gentleman yield for a question?

MR. BEAVERS‑ Yes, sir.

MR. DENT‑ What would be the size of the county you propose?

MR. BEAVERS‑ Under the ordinance which I introduced here two or three weeks ago and which this Committee passed upon and gave a unanimous report, is to allow them to form a county with not less than 400 square miles so as to leave the other county with not less than 500 square miles. I will state to the gentleman that there are 1,497 square miles in the two counties which would enable these people to have a county with 479 miles and leave each of the old counties with 500 miles‑70 miles is left in there for the lines to be satisfactory to the people. I laid down the proposition that this Convention has decided that it would be just not to reduce the minimum area, to leave it at 600 for old and new counties, that as a matter of expediency and for the best interests of the people of Alabama, it is best not to reduce this area.  I say that in special cases like St. Clair and Shelby, where there is no question, there cannot be a single argument made upon the floor of this Convention to show that this section of country does not need a new county. No man can rise here and state one thing as a valid reason why this section should not have a new county.  The taxable values arc here, they are able to support it. I will state that the population is not quite sufficient to do it slow. I would say that there are anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 persons in there now, but in a few years they will have double the necessary population. I say, gentlemen, when we finish this proposed Constitution, and it is ratified by the people of Alabama, as I believe it will be, that it ties the people in this section of the country for perhaps fifty years, because when we complete this Constitution, I think it will be such a wise instrument that it will not be disturbed within fifty years to come.  That being true, these people will be bound hand and foot.

They want to go him for themselves and form a new county so as to give them a county site and,work on the road, macadamize their roads, and all the other advantages that come with a county seat. I say that they would be absolutely cut off from it.  And why?  Simply because they lack a few square miles of coming within the requirements of the Constitution, and when they are able to comply with every requirement. This Convention has already granted just what these people want in the matter of the counties of Geneva, Dale and Henry. We want to come in under that, but if this Convention sees fit not to give the people what they


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want, then as I say they will take whatever you give them, because they are in a bad shape up there. Now Mr. President, I think it would be wise for this Convention to take that course, and I am going to make a motion and test the sense of the Convention, that this ordinance and amendment be laid upon the table to be taken therefrom and be reported when the report of the Committee on State and County Boundaries in regard to this territory is made, or when it comes up.

MR. SPEARS‑I hope the gentleman won't make that motion, until I can be head from, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, the first thing I am to do is to have the letter read from Judge Inzer of St. Clair County, and I will ask the Clerk to read it.

The Clerk read the letter as follows:

Ashville, Ala., Aug. 1, 1901.

Hon. N. B. Spears, Montgomery, Ala.

Dear Sir— Our appreciated favor of the 30th ult., has been received and contents noted I supposed after the proposition to build a Court House in Coosa Valley was made, the people over there, or a large majority of them, were content and that nothing further would be done looking to the making of a new county.  You say that 95 per cent. of the people over there will be satisfied with the erection of a Court House, and if this is done they prefer  remaining in the old county. I feel sure from the information I have, that a large majority of our people over there prefer remaining in the old county provided they can have a Court House in the valley, and this I am sure they will obtain if they desire it. So I think it would be well for you to press through the Convention the pending ordinance, authorizing and empowering the Commissioners’ Court of St. Clair County to build Court House and jail at some point in Coosa Valley, to be selected by a vote of the people, etc.

When I said to you in Montgomery in June last that I was willing that the people of Coosa Valley should have a Court House and jail for their convenience, I meant all I said. And I desire that they have nice buildings erected for such purpose at the cost of the county, and I hope this will be done, and as speedily as it can well be done.  So I again say press your measure, authorizing the Commissioners’ Court to commence the good work as soon as possible. You can show this letter to any one you wish.

Yours truly,

John W. Inzer.

MR. SPEARS‑ Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, I hope you will give me your kind attention while I undertake to explain the situation in St. Clair County.  As the report of the


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Committee shows you, St. Clair County is divided into two parts by what is known as the Backbone Mountain, which reaches from the east boundary line of the county to the west boundary line.  This Backbone Mountain is very rough, rugged, barren and difficult to cross, it is hard to get up and hard to get down for man or beast.  The county site, the town of Ashville, is on the north side of Backbone Mountain. Between the foot of the Backbone Mountain on the north side and the county seat we have a strip of land that we call the flatwood. It is a boggy place and you can hardly get through it in wet weather. This county averages in width from three to five miles, so the people of the Coosa Valley on the south side of Backbone Mountain where it is proposed to build a Court House, have to go through that flat woods and over the mountain.  These people in going to the present county seat have to cross the mountain, and when they get across have to go through the flat woods. A great many of the people of St. Clair County on the south side, where we want the Court House, live forty-five miles from the Court House. They never have any business on that side of the mountain except the business of going to court and discharging their duties as citizens when summoned as jurors, litigants, etc., they have no other business in that part of the country at all, no more than in Montgomery County. They never go over there to trade, never go over there for a doctor, have no business whatever, and it is to go to court and to go to court alone that takes the people of the Coosa Valley to Ashville.  Now, let me call your attention to another fact. In 1888, we had an act passed by the Legislature at Montgomery authorizing an election to move the county seat from Ashville to a more convenient place. We did hold the election, and the question was removal or no removal, and the people decided to move the Court House by about 600 majority. Then the next election provided under the act was for the location of the county seat. We had a second election and there were so many towns running that no town got a majority, and that left the Court House at Ashville, where it is now. We had so much bitterness and so much prejudice and bad feeling engendered in the minds and hearts of our people growing out of that campaign in 1888, that we have never wanted another election, and we have looked forward to this Convention with a great deal of anxiety and hope, expecting when this Convention would assemble we would get relief from the troubles our people have endured ever since the State was admitted into the Union. I say that the people of the Coosa Valley have looked forward to the holding of this Convention with the greatest anxiety, expectation and hope, believing that this Constitutional Convention would give them relief from the difficulties that they have labored under so long. I hope you will bear with me a little further. When this Convention was called we all expected that the Convention would reduce the area of the counties from 600 to 400 square miles. I hope you will bear that in mind, that we expected that. Judge Inzer expected that and     


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came down here and went before the Committee on State and County Boundaries in advocacy of that policy. I went before the Committee and I made a talk and I was earnest. Before Judge Inzer left the city he and I consulted together, and we concluded that we had discovered that a majority of the Convention were averse to cutting down the size of the counties; we thought we discovered a disposition on the part of the majority of this Convention not to reduce the minimum size of counties to 400 square miles. We had a talk and Judge Inzer said, we can build a Court House and jail in the Coosa Valley somewhere convenient, to be selected by a vote of the people at an election to be held for that purpose, we can do that and tax the whole county to build a Court House and jail, and give you people on your side of the mountain all the relief they want. I will go home and talk to the people on the north side of the mountain on that subject, and he did go home, and he did do what he promised. He went there and talked to the biggest men, the richest men, the Democrats at the Court House and all along the north side of the mountain, and I have letters here written me that Judge Inzer went to see these people, that he had been there talking to them on the subject. After getting all these letters, I introduced that ordinance. Now, let me say something else.

MR. JENKINS‑ Can you not build a court house and jail in your county by the act of the legislature?

MR. SPEARS–  We could do it. We believe we could do it, because the people are united upon this point. But whatever the legislature can do in a matter of this kind, another legislature can undo, and it would make it the political foot ball to be kicked here and there, for the politicians that might want to run for office in the county or for the legislature. We talked that matter over and we do not want to build a court house and jail and set out shade trees and induce people to buy land and then have some politician to raise the question and stir up prejudice and tear it down as they have been doing in Blount County. Therefore, we conclude it better to have relief given by this Convention so it would give it a kind of constitutional character and when we leave it to the people to select the place by a vote they will build a court house and let it stand.

MR. O'NEAL‑ If we give you the additional court house that you desire in your county, would it be popular among your people and would the people of your county ratify the Constitution, in your judgment?

MR. SPEARS‑I will say this in reply to that question.

MR. O'NEAL‑I just asked for information.

MR. SPEARS‑I will just state the facts in the case. I have been approached by some of the gentlemen on the floor of this.


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Convention this morning who wanted to know if I would agree to vote for the ratification of the new Constitution if they passed this ordinance. I said to the people that this is not a fair question to ask. I said give us justice and see what we will do. But in reply to your question, as a matter of information, I will say that people of Coosa Valley and St. Clair County came before the Committee, of which Mr. Foster was Chairman, and they told the Committee that the people of Coosa Valley and the country to be affected by this ordinance would almost to a man support the Constitution; that they would shut their eyes to anything you put in it, because they want this relief. And if you want me to tell you further, they believe this Constitution is going to be ratified anyhow.

MR. ROGERS‑ They know it, don't they?

MR. SPEARS‑ They pretty nearly know it, yes. sir. I do not want to be misunderstood about this. I would not surrender my convictions as a man upon question of constitutional government and constitutional liberty for a hundred court houses. And I do not believe the Convention will undertake to put me in that attitude, but treat me right and treat my people right and you take the chances of my treating you right.

MR. O'NEAL‑ I desire to say that the gentleman misunderstands me, if he thinks I intended to put him in that attitude. I simply ask his judgment as to how this matter would be received by his people.

MR. SPEARS‑ No, I do not think you did. I will say on that line, that the people of Coosa Valley have been led to believe it is the purpose of this Convention to give them a new Constitution that will be better for them and the State of Alabama than the one we now have. They have been led to believe and they expect that this Convention will give them a new Constitution that will forever fix and make it certain and everlasting; that the white people of Alabama will rule every nook and corner of it without any question. (Applause.) That is not all we have been led to believe.  They have been led to believe by a hundred promises made on this floor and by the platform of the Democratic party of Alabama written and adopted by three State Conventions that no white man in Alabama, worthy to be a white man and a citizen, would be disfranchised. Now, then you have Coosa Valley and the people of Coosa Valley that I represent. I want to say this. I have a petition signed by all the living Probate Judges of St. Clair County, the best Democrats and best men in it, and they ask the Convention to adopt this ordinance.

MR. BROWNE‑I move that the time of the gentleman be extended ten minutes.

Upon a vote being taken the time was extended ten minutes.


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MR. BURNS‑As a member of the Committee, I was going to make a motion to extend the time.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The time of the gentleman has been extended.

MR. MERRILL‑I want to make a statement to the presiding officer that I made to the former occupant of the Chair. The Committee desires that the gentleman from St. Clair shall have a fair opportunity to present this matter and so far as the Committee are concerned, they have turned the matter over to him.

The Secretary read the following petition:

Ashville, Ala., July 31, 1901.

To the Constitutional Convention now in session at Montgomery. Ala. :

Gentlemen– We, the undersigned citizens, residing in the northern part of St. Chair County hereby petition your honorable body to adopt  the ordinance authorizing the Commissioners' Court of this county to build a court house and jail on the south side of Backbone Mountain, the place for the same to be selected by ballot by the qualified voter living on that side of the mountain. We believe that this would meet with the approval of a large majority of the people living in this county.

(Signed) W. S. Forman, Judge of Probate; M. E. Forsyth, County Treasurer; Jas.  L. Henry, E. J. Robinson, M. M. Smith, R. R. Hodges, W. R. Hood, Geo. N. Hodges, Jr., J. P. Phillips, John B. Bass, W. T. Smith, C. C. Montgomery, Thos. Lumis, John Yarbrough, A . Crow, W. B. McBrayer, Jas. T . Greene, J. Manly Inzer, John W. Inzer, T. J. Hodges, R. M. Hodges, Jas L. North, Sheriff; T. H. Hyatt, J. A. Roberts, W. T. Hodges.

MR.  SPEARS‑ Now, gentlemen, if you will give me your attention, I want to explain that that petition is signed by Judge Freeman, Probate Judge. It is signed by Judge James T. Greene, former Probate Judge who lives there, it is signed by E. J. Robinson, another Probate Judge;  it is signed by John W. Inzer also, and now, gentlemen, I want to say to you it is signed by all of the Democratic lawyers in the town of Ashville, and signed by the merchants and signed by the best men in St. Clair County, and they are all anxious for the adoption of this ordinance. The men who signed that petition represent in my judgment, $400,000 on which they pay taxes in St. Chair County and they are Democrats if that will do you any good. I do not know if that has anything to do with it, but I want to call your attention to some remarks made by Mr. Beavers in regard to the people of Coosa Valley wanting a new county. I have letters here, gentlemen, from H. B Guy, one of the most prominent merchants in Coosa Valley perhaps he does more business than any one merchant, and I am informed that


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

he is down as the biggest tax‑payer in the county. He is a Democrat and a Hardshell and he writes in his letter, "Give us this new court house." I have letters from other members of the Democratic Committee, of the Democratic party, in Coosa Valley, asking for this court house. I have a letter from John G. Mabry, Secretary and bookkeeper of the Lathrop-Hatton Lumber Company. He was until a short time ago, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Democratic party in St. Clair County, and he writes to give us this court house. I have a letter from Dr. Crump, a leading physician, and from Dr. Brown, another leading physician.  I have letters from the best men in Coosa Valley, and I cannot help what Mr. Beavers may think about it. I want to say to you that ninety-five per cent of the entire population of St. Clair County will be happy‑ not only satisfied, but happy when they hear the news that you have given them an opportunity to have a court house and jail on their side of the mountain.  Now, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, unless some one else wants to speak on this question, I move the previous question on the adoption of the ordinance and the amendment offered by the gentleman from Shelby.

MR. JENKINS– I move to lay the motion for the previous question on the table.

MR. O’NEAL‑I make the point that the motion is out of order.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman moves the previous question on the adoption of the ordinance and the amendment. In the opinion of the Chair, it is not in order to lay a motion for the previous question on the table. The gentleman can move to lay the ordinance on the table or the amendment.

MR. JENKINS‑I move to lay the amendment and the ordinance on the table.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑I call for a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT The question will be first upon the motion to lay upon the table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Shelby.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table was lost.

THE PRESIDENT ‑The motion is to table the ordinance reported by the Committee.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table was lost. The main question was ordered.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Shelby.

MR. BROWNE‑I call for a reading of the amendment.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

The amendment was again read.

MR. BROWNE‑I move to reconsider the vote by which the previous question was ordered upon that amendment, for the reason that I have been misinformed, and so have members of this Convention, as to the contents of that amendment. It was stated that it was identically the same as the one from St. Clair, when it was not.

MR. BEAVERS‑I want to say it is identical. I reiterate my statement.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is not debatable. The question will be upon the suspension of the rules.  The Chair will state to the gentleman from Talladega that under the rules of the House, it is not in order to reconsider a motion whereby the previous question has been ordered. Rule No. 27, "When a vote was passed, except on a previous question, or on motion to lay on the table, etc.," it may be reconsidered.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I rise to a point of parliamentary inquiry. Could I make a motion now to recommit the whole thing to the Committee?

THE PRESIDENT‑ Not after the previous question has been ordered.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑‑A thing of that sort is powerfully dangerous.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is not debatable.

MR. ROGERS‑ Would it be in order to move to lay the amendment offered by the gentleman from Shelby on the table?

MR. MULKEY ‑ A point of order. That has been voted down.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ That motion has been voted upon.

MR. ROGERS‑ We do not want to knock anybody out. We want to consider the amendment.

MR.  BROWNE‑I have the permission of the author of this ordinance to ask unanimous consent to strike out of this amendment the first proviso on the second page, which reads as follows:  "Provided, that Columbiana, in Shelby County shall continue to be the county seat until changed by vote of the qualified electors residing in that part of Shelby County not embraced in precincts Numbers 9, 10, 11 and 12. I ask to be allowed to draw it so that there can be no question about it. Now, strike out the words in this proviso after the words "Shelby County." Strike out the words of that part of the proviso, "Provided that Columbiana in Shelby County, shall continue to be the county seat until chang‑


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

ed by the vote of the qualified electors residing in Shelby County.’ I ask unanimous consent of the Convention, by agreement with Mr. Beavers.

Unanimous consent was given and the amendment adopted.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the adoption of the ordinance as amended.

Upon a call of the roll, the vote resulted as follows:

AYES

Messrs. President,

Handley,

O' Rear,

Altman,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Palmer,

Almon,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Parker (Cullman),

Banks,

Henderson,

Parker (Elmore),

Barefield,

Hinson,

Phillips,

Beddow,

Hood,

Pillans,

Bethune,

Howze,

Pitts,

Blackwell,

Inge,

Porter,

Brooks,

Jackson,

Reynolds, of Henry,

Browne,

Jones, of Bibb,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Bulger,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Rogers (Sumter),

Burns,

Kirkland,

Sanders,

Byars,

Knight,

Sloan,

Cardon,

Ledbetter,

Smith (Mobile),

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Lomax,

Spears,

Cofer,

Long, of Walker,

Stoddard,

Davis, of Etowah,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Waddell,

deGraffenreid,

Macdonald,

Walker,

Duke,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Watts,

Fletcher,

Malone,

Weatherly,

Freeman,

Miller (Marengo),

White,

Gilmore,

Mulkey,

Whiteside,

Glover,

Murphree,

Williams (Barbour),

Graham, of Talladega,

NeSmith,

Williams (Marengo),

Grayson,

Norman,

Williams (Elmore),

Greer, of Calhoun,

O'Neal (Lauderdale),

Winn,

Haley,

Opp,

TOTAL‑80

NOES

Dent,

Jenkins,

Pettus,

Eley,

Merrill,

Samford,

Eyster,

Oates,

Spragins,

TOTAL‑9


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Ashcraft,

Greer, of Perry,

Proctor,

Bartlett,

Harrison,

Reese,

Beavers,

Hodges,

Renfro,

Bootie,

Howell,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Burnett,

Jones, of Hale,

Robinson,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Sanford,

Carnathon,

King,

Searcy,

Case,

Kirk,

Selheimer,

Chapman,

Kyle,

Sentell,

Cobb,

Leigh,

Smith, Mac A.,

Coleman, of Greene,

Locklin,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Coleman, of Walker,

Long, of Butler,

Sollie,

Cornwall,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Sorrell,

Craig,

McMillan, of Baldwin,

Stewart,

Cunningham,

Martin,

Tayloe,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Maxwell,

Thompson,

Espy,

Miller (Wilcox),

Vaughan,

Ferguson,

Moody,

Weakley,

Fitts,

Morrisette,

Willet,

Foshee,

Norwood,

Wilson (Clarke),

Graham, of Montgomery,

O'Neill, of Jefferson,

Wilson (Washington).

Grant,

Pearce,

And by a vote of eighty ayes and eight noes, the ordinance as amended was adopted.

MR. MERRILL ‑ I desire to know what is the proper course, whether this ordinance needs any further action on the part of the Convention, whether it ought to be engrossed and ordered to a third reading, or whether it is now passed without further action of the Convention?

THE PRESIDENT‑ The usual practice has been after it is adopted that it be ordered engrossed and referred to the Committee on Harmony.

MR. MERRILL‑ Then I ask that this ordinance take that course.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The ordinance will be engrossed, printed, and referred to the Committee on Order, Consistency and Harmony.

MR. BROWNE– It should be engrossed and ordered to a third reading.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It has been read three times. Under the rule, the ordinance would he referred to the Committee on Order, Consistency and Harmony and he printed. The Chair will so direct and make the same reference in regard to the ordinance introduced by the gentleman from Barbour.


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CONSTITUTIONAL  CONVENTION, 1901

MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)‑ I ask unanimous consent to make a report for the Committee for Schedule, Printing and Incidental Expenses.

MR. PITTS‑I object.

MR. HEFLIN‑I move that the rules be suspended and that I be permitted to make this report for the Committee.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and upon a further vote of 41 ayes and 14 noes, the rules were suspended and the report ordered read.

The Secretary read the report as follows:

Report of the Committee on Schedule, Printing and Incidental Expenses:

Mr. President:

The Committee on Schedule, Printing and Incidental Expenses has instructed me to make the following partial report, viz:

The Committee has audited the accounts hereto attached and finds that the State of Alabama is charged by parties named in this report the amounts set opposite their names for articles furnished said State for us of Constitutional Convention, alt of said accounts are itemized as shown by bills hereto attached.

We find said State of Alabama charged by D. P. Gorrie of Montgomery, Ala . _________$22.50

We find said State of Alabama charged by Jos. S. Wing of Montgomery, Ala . _________ 44.70

We find said State of Alabama charged by Tennille Furniture Co., of Montgomery, Ala .___12.00

We find said State of Alabama charged by B. Wolff of Montgomery, Ala . _________12.75

We find said State of Alabama charged by Jno. L. Cobbs and Co., of Montgomery, Ala.___ 29.15

We find said State of Alabama charged by Wolff and Loeb of Montgomery, Ala . ________ 28.50

We find said State of Alabama charged by Ellis and Gay of Montgomery, Ala ._________  18.00

Your Committee has carefully examined each account and after a careful examination of each item named in said accounts, have come, to the conclusion that many of the charges are excessive, and we recommend that the following named parties or firms be paid the following amounts:


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

D. F. Gorrie ______________________________________ $17.50

Jos. S. Wing ______________________________________  28.50

Tennille Furniture Company ___________________________  12.00

B. Wolff _________________________________________  11.00

Jno. L. Cobbs and Co .______________________________  20.00

Wolff and Loeb ___________________________________   25.00

Ellis and Gay_____________________________________   10.00

Miss Mamie Offutt_________________________________   8.00

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Jno. T. Heflin,

Chairman Committee on Schedule, Printing and Incidental Expenses.

MR. HEFLIN‑I ask that the report take its usual course.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The report of the Committee will be printed under the rules.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The next order of business will be the consideration of the report of the Committee on Representation.

MR. PITTS‑I move that the Article be taken up Section by Section.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion was carried.

The Secretary read Section 1 as follows:

Sec. 1. The whole number of Senators shall be not less than one-fourth, or more than one-third of the whole number of Representatives.

MR. PITTS‑‑I will state, Mr. President, that that is an exact copy of the old Constitution. and I move its adoption.

Upon a vote being taken, the Section was adopted.

The Secretary read Section 2 as follows, (with the minority report):

Sec. 2. The House of Representatives shall consist of not more than 105 members, unless new counties are created, in which event each county shall be entitled to one Representative. The members of the House of Representatives shall be apportioned by the General Assembly among the several counties of the State, according to the number of inhabitants in them respectively, as ascertained by the decennial census of the United States; which apportionment when made shall not be subject to alteration until


3965

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

the next session of the General Assembly, after the next decennial census of the United States shall have been taken.

MINORITY REPORT.

We recommend that Section 2 be amended by striking out the words "one hundred members." Also striking out the words "next session" and insert "first session."

MR. PITTS‑I submit, Mr. President, that that question has already been settled by the Convention in the Legislative Department. They fixed there the number of representatives in the House at 105, and the number of Senators at 35, and I therefore move to lay the minority report on the table.

MR. GRAYSON ‑ That being the report of the minority of the Committee. I think I have a right to make some statement with reference to it.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman from Dallas with draw his motion to table?

MR. PITTS ‑Yes sir.

MR. JENKINS‑I rise to a point of order. This matter has already been passed upon by the Convention.

THE PRESIDENT ‑It seems to the Chair that the point is well taken without a motion to reconsider.

MR. GRAYSON‑I merely wanted to state that we desire to withdraw the report of the committee, the minority report.

Unanimous consent was given to withdraw the minority report of the committee and the same was withdrawn.

MR. PITTS‑ I move the adoption of Section 2.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.

Section 3 was read as follows:

Scc. 3. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly at its first session after the taking of the decennial census of the United States in the year 1910 and after each subsequent decennial census, to fix by law the number of representatives. and apportion  them among the several counties of the State, according to the number of inhabitants in them respectively, provided that each county shall be entitled to at least one representative.

MR. PITTS‑I move the adoption of Section 3.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.

The Secretary read Section 4 as follows:


3966                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly at its first session after the taking of the decennial census of the United States in the year 1910, and after each subsequent decennial census, to fix by law, the number of Senators, and to divide the State into as many Senatorial districts as there are Senator, which districts shall be as nearly equal to each other in the number of inhabitants as may be, and each shall be entitled to one Senator and no more; and which districts when formed shall not be changed until the next apportioning of the General Assembly after the next decennial census of the United States shall have been taken ; provided that counties created after the next preceding apportioning session of the General Assembly, may be attached to Senatorial districts. No county shall be divided between two districts, and no district shall be made of two or more counties not continguous to each other.

MR. OATES‑I rise for the purpose of suggesting to the Chairman of the committee that the word "Legislature" has been adopted instead of "General Assembly", and should be changed where that occurs in this ordinance.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ That will be done by the Committee on Harmony.

MR. PITTS‑I move the adoption of Section 4.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.

Section 5 was read as follows:

Sec. 5. Should the decennial census of the United State, from any cause, not be taken or if when taken, the same, as to this State, is not fully satisfactory, the General Assembly shall have power, at its first session after the time shall have elapsed for the taking of said census to provide for an enumeration of all the inhabitants of this State, and once in each ten years thereafter, upon which it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to make the apportionment of representatives and Senators as provided for in this article

MR. PITTS‑ That is an exact copy of Section 5 in the old Constitution and I move its adoption.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.

Section 6 was read as follows:

Sec. 6. Until the General Assembly shall make an apportionment of representatives among the several counties at its first session after the taking of the decennial census of the United States in the year nineteen hundred and ten as herein provided, the counties of Autauga, Baldwin, Bibb, Blount, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa. Covington,


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, DeKalb, Escambia, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Greene, Lamar, Lawrence, Limestone, Macon, Marengo, Marshall, Monroe, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Washington and Winston shall each have one representative; the counties of Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Clarke, EImore, Etowah, Hale, Henry, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Marengo, Morgan, Perry, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Wilcox shall each have two representatives; the counties of Dallas and Mobile shall each have three representatives; and the county of Jefferson shall have seven representatives.

MR. PITTS‑I move the adoption of Section 6.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adoption.

Section 7 was read as follows:

Sec. 7. Until the General Assembly shall divide the State into Senatorial districts, as herein provided, the Senatorial districts shall be as follows : First District, Lauderdale and Limestone, Second District, Lawrence and Morgan: Third District, Blount. Cullman and Winston; Fourth District, Madison; Fifth District, Jackson and Marshall; Sixth District, Etowah and St. Clair: Seventh District, Calhoun: Eighth District, Talladega; Ninth District, Chambers and Randolph; Tenth District, Tallapoosa and Elmore : Eleventh District. Tuscaloosa; Twelfth District. Fayette, Lamar and Walker; Thirteenth District, Jefferson; Fourteenth District, Pickens and Sumter; Fifteenth District, Autauga and Chilton and Shelby; Sixteenth District, Lowndes; Sev enteenth district. Butler, Conecuh and Covington, Eighteenth District, Bibb and Perry ; Nineteenth District, Choctaw, Clarke and Washington : Twentieth District. Marengo ; Twenty-first District. Baldwin, Escambia and Monroe: Twenty-Second District, Wilcox ; Twenty-third District, Henry ; Twenty-fourth District, Barbour : Twenty-fifth District, Coffee, Crenshaw and Pike; Twenty-sixth District. Bullock and Macon ; Twenty-seventh District, Lee and Russell: Twenty-Eighth District, Montgomery; Twenty-ninth District, Cherokee and DeKalb ; Thirtieth District,  Dallas : Thirty-first District, Colbert. Franklin and Marion ; Thirty-second District, Greene and Hale, Thirty-third District, Mobile ; Thirty-fourth district, Cleburne. Clay and Coosa; Thirty-fifth District, Dale and Geneva.

MR. PITTS‑I move the adoption of the section.

MR. JENKINS‑I would call the attention of the Chairman to line twelve. We have the twenty-third district Henry County and in the last line we have the thirty-fifth district Dale and Geneva. The Senator from the twenty-third district lives in Dale County, and he is a hold‑over Senator. He was elected as Senator from the twenty-third district and if it is passed like it is, he will


3968                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

be legislated out of office. I suggest this amendment, that we strike out in line twelve the word "Henry" and insert in lieu thereof, the word "Dale and Geneva." That would keep him in the district, and insert in the last line the word "Henry."

MR. PITTS‑ We will accept that and ask unanimous consent.

MR. JENKINS‑ I desire to amend the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question has not been submitted to the Convention. You may alter it.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑Mr. President, under the former ruling of the Chair, as I understand it, in discussing this matter,

I would have to address myself to the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Incidentally the Chair thinks the gentleman may speak to the section.

MR. SAMFORD‑ I desire to say to the Convention that the report of this Committee does the senatorial district that I have the honor to represent, a gross injustice. The twenty-fifth senatorial district is composed of the counties of Pike, Coffee and Crenshaw and the population of those three counties approximate 70,000. Upon the other hand, the report of the Committee takes the County of Henry with about 35,000 or 36,000 and gives it two representatives and one Senator. The county of Barbour with about 35,000 has two representatives and one Senator.

MR. JENKINS‑ We have nearly 36,000.

MR. SAMFORD‑ Well, nearly 36,000. The County of Hale has thirty odd thousand with two representatives and one Senator.

MR. ROGERS‑ Hale and Greene are together.

MR. SAMFORD ‑ Well, Hale and Greene together. The County of Calhoun, as I understand, has a Senator and two Representatives and some thirty-odd thousand. I and informed as to that by the gentleman from Montgomery. I have not looked into the county of Calhoun, but at any rate, Mr. President, it seems to me that this Committee should not leave the counties in a condition like that. In the first place, I contend that this Constitutional Convention is no place to fix representation; that it is a matter which should be left to the General Assembly, but when I made that suggestion I am confronted with the proposition that that Constitutional Convention of 1875 did embody it in their Article, but the circumstances are entirely different.

At that time we were reforming the State government; we were adjusting ourselves to the circumstances of reconstruction; we were beginning anew to build a house for our people to abide


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

in, and that being the case, it was necessary that we should form as many parts of its as possible. We were evolving from Republican. rule and coming into Democratic rule, and that Constitutional Convention admitted that it was legislative by providing that it should continue no longer than the next legislature or the next session of the legislature. Now, then there is no necessity for this Convention changing its representation at all.  Let the matter go over until the General Assembly meets, and let the General Assembly handle this matter. It is entirely within their province; it is entirely within their jurisdiction.

MR. ALMON ‑Isn't it a fact that this report also provides that it shall remain until the next census is taken?

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑Yes, sir, that is all true, but there is no necessity for this Convention taking hold of this matter. The next General Assembly meets next year—

MR. HINSON‑I rise to a point of order, the gentleman is not speaking to a question before the House. This Convention has already decided to increase the representation, and has already taken hold of the matter by adopting these sections. He is speaking against an increase and a change when the Convention has already made the increase.

THE PRESIDENT –  The Chair has just ruled before the gentleman came in that the Convention leaving passed upon the number of Senators, that question would be considered as decided unless it was reconsidered, or a motion by independent ordinance introduced to vacate and rescind it.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I am not attempting to vacate and rescind it. It makes no difference to me if the representation is made 100 or 150. The point I am addressing myself to is that the apportionment of this representation should be left to the General Assembly of the State, and not create the dissatisfaction that will arise by giving to certain portions of the State such entirely partial representation I have been in favor of standing by certain counties in this State with regard to their representation based upon their population. I have been in favor of adhering to that rule, but they come in here, and not only do they demand representation based on population, but, with regard to the Senators they require our people to have twice as many population, to have a Senator, as do the counties that have been claiming representation by population. That is not fair, and the people of this State will never agree that it is fair. I am willing to go as far as any man towards satisfying that section of our State wherein live some of the noblest characters that the State has ever produced, men who have always stood by good government and honest government, and stood by the white people of the State, but when they make such unequal discriminations, it will not be appreciated by the


3970                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

people of the counties that I represent, and I dare say that any fair minded man can see it in a moment. I ask you why it is that you cannot take the county of Henry and put it on the county of Geneva—

THE PRESIDENT‑ The time of the gentleman has expired.  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Dallas.

MR. PITTS‑ The Committee on Representation labored earnestly and diligently to so arrange these Senatorial districts as to have them as near in population as possible and as satisfactory to all of the different counties as possible. In order to be fair and honest, we submitted to the Chairman of the Committee on Legislative Department our report and asked him to criticize it and see if he could do any better. He found that there had to be at least one or two congested senatorial districts, as we found, but how did he fix it? In this very manner, he puts Washington, Baldwin, Escambia and Covington, four counties together, in one Senatorial District, and he puts Coffee and Pike together. In other words, he takes Covington from Coffee and Pike, and puts it with Washington, Baldwin and Escambia. Well, Covington objected to that. She wanted to remain in the same Senatorial District.  Coffee objected to it. They said, of course, we would like to have a Senatorial District to ourselves, if possible, but rather than put us into another Senatorial District, let us remain together, and we will be satisfied, even if we are a congested district. Of course, I did not consult every particular member, but we talked with them. This is a congested district, but we had to congest one somewhere, and it was agreeable and satisfactory to all of them except to the delegate from Pine, that they should be. Now, I move the previous question on the amendment on the Section.

THE PRESIDENT– The question is, shall the main question be now put?

The main question was ordered.

MR. JENKINS (Wilcox)‑ I offer an amendment.

The amendment was read as follows:

"Amend Section in line 12 by striking out the word ‘Henry’ and inserting in lieu thereof the words ‘Dale and Geneva;’ also amend by striking out the words ‘Dale and Geneva’ in line 18 and inserting in place thereof the word ‘Henry.’”

MR. OATES ‑ Does that make any change except in the number?

A DELEGATE‑ Just changes the number.

Upon a vote being taken the amendment was adopted.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Upon a further being taken the Section as amended was adopted.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I desired to change my vote before the vote was announced, so that I could move a reconsideration.

MR. GREER (Calhoun)‑I rise to a. point of order‑

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I understand I am cut off.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair did not understand that the gentleman from Pike wished to take any such action. The Chair regrets very much—

MR. SAMFORD– I understand that, the Chair did not intend to do that but I suppose I have some friend on this floor that will make the motion for me.

MR. PITTS‑I move that the Article be engrossed and ordered to a third reading.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion was carried.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑ I move that the vote by which this ordinance was ordered engrossed and to a third reading be reconsidered.

MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ I move to lay that motion on the table.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The motion is not before the Convention for consideration.

MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo) ‑ I move that the rules be now suspended in order that we may take up the motion to reconsider.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to suspend the rules was carried.

MR. WILLIAMS‑ Now I move that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table.

MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ I desire to offer as a substitute that it be indefinitely postponed.

THE  PRESIDENT ‑ A motion to table cannot be substituted. Should it fail, it would be in order for the gentleman to make his motion.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table the motion to reconsider was carried.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The next order before the Convention will be the report of the Committee on Exemptions.

MR. HOWZE‑ There is no change whatever in any particular in the Article as we find it in the Constitution as it now exists. It is identically the same in every respect, and unless some


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

member has an amendment which he wants to offer to some particular Section. I think we will save time by submitting it as a whole and have it read and adopted as a whole and I so move unless I see an indication on the part of some member to offer an amendment.

MR. WATTS– I desire to offer an amendment to Section 2.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman will send up, his amendment.

MR. WATTS‑I have no written it because we have not reached the Section.

THE PRESIDENT– There is no rule of the Convention that articles shall be considered by sections.

MR. WATTS– I want to make a proviso in that second section that in the event of the insanity of the wife, the legislature may provide for the disposition of the homestead.

MR. MULKEY‑I have an amendment I desire to offer.

MR. HOWZE– I move that it be taken up section by section, because if any one desires to amend it, I have no objection.

Upon a vote being taken the motion was carried.

Section 1 was react as follows:

Sec. 1. The personal property of any resident of this Sate to the value of one thousand dollars, to be selected by such resident shall be exempted from sale on execution, or other process of any court, issued for the collection of any debt contracted since the thirteenth day of July, 1868, or after the ratification of this Constitution.

MR. HOWZE– I move the adoption of Section 1.

Upon a vote being taken Section 1 was adopted.

Section 2 was read as follows:

Sec. 2. Every homestead, not exceeding eighty acres, and the dwelling and appurtenances thereof, to be selected by the owner thereof and not in any city, town or village, or in lieu thereof at the option of the owner, any lot in a city, town or village, with the dwelling and appurtenances thereon owned and occupied by any resident of this State, and not exceeding the value of two thousand dollars, shall be exempt from sale on execution or any other process from a court, for any debt contracted since the thirteenth day of July eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, or after the ratification of this Constitution. Such exemptions however, shall not extend to any mortgagee lawfully obtained, but such mortgage, or other alienation of said homestead by the owner thereof, if a mar‑


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ried man, shall not be valid without the voluntary signature and assent of the wife to the same.

MR. OATES‑ I desire to ask the Chairman a question. If I understand the language, "eighty acres of land" there it has been held by the Supreme Court that it is not a limitation and that the legislature can add as much more as they please, hasn't it?

MR. HOWZE‑ Yes, sir.

Amendment to Section 2 by Mr. Watts was read as follows:

Add to Section 2 of the report of the Committee on Exemptions the following: "Provided that the legislature shall provide for the disposition of the homestead in the event of the insanity of the wife or husband."

MR. MURPHREE‑I have an amendment.

THE PRESIDENT–The Chair will inquire of the gentleman from Pike if his amendment relates to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery.

MR. MURPHREE‑ No, sir.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene) ‑I desire to read to this Convention one section of the Democratic platform, Section 6: "That the provisions of the present Constitution relating to exemptions of real and personal property shall remain unchanged." That was written that way purposely, in order that the people might be quieted on the subject of exemptions. and it was adopted unanimously. We have stood by the platform thus far and I protest against breaking it this time. I move to lay the amendment on the table.

MR. WATTS‑I request the gentleman from Greene to withdraw that motion for a moment.

MR. COLEMAN‑I will withdraw it if you will allow me a part of your time with which to renew it.

MR. WATTS‑I don't think this amendment is open to the objection made by the gentleman from Greene. The platform, when it spoke about changing the exemptions, referred necessarily to the amount of the exemption and the waiver of exemption, but it did not refer to putting it within the power of the wife or the husband if misfortune should visit the family in the shape of insanity, to enable them to dispose of their property, and the Convention will readily recognize at least those who are lawyers, that a great difficulty has arisen as to the disposition of homesteads where the wife is insane, and that although the legislature has attempted by an act to remedy it, it is the opinion of a large number of lawyers with whom I have talked over that matter, that that act is unconstitutional, and should the wife unfortunately become


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insane, that there could be no disposition of the homestead, no matter what the desire may be and I think this Convention ought to adopt the amendment and that it is not a violation of the Democratic platform. I yield to the gentleman from Greene.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene) – The gentleman's argument of itself refutes his proposition. What is the necessity of legislating if it is not a change in the law?  But, Mr. President, it is impossible to conceive of a case of insanity that the courts of this country are not competent to deal with.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair will call the attention of the gentleman from Greene to the fact that the Chair recognized the gentleman from Jefferson, the Chairman of the Committee.

MR. COLEMAN– I arose simply because he promised to give me a part of his time.

MR. HOWZE– I merely want to add a few words to what the gentleman from Greene has said. Not only was it put in the Democratic platform, but the legislative enactment calling this Constitution has provision of similar character in it. Undoubtedly many people voting for this Convention were influenced by that provision. I read that: “That if such Convention be called, it shall not incorporate in any Constitution it may adopt any clause or matter making any change in the present exemption laws of this State.”  It is even broader than the platform on which most of us were elected, and this committee were of course governed by that as well as by the platform. We regarded it as being a change if we change anything in it.

MR. OATES– Don’t you think that the exemption law as it stands is very incomplete and is unequal to the beneficiaries under it and that it could be greatly improved but for that plank in the platform?

MR. HOWZE– I think there are certainly changes that could be made.

MR. OATES– Beneficial?

MR. HOWZE– Beneficial; but we were governed by those two declarations and the committee thought it right and proper that they should make no change and consequently have reported this article in this shape. I therefore move to lay the amendment on the table.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for and the motion to table prevailed by 49 ayes and 12 noes.

Amendment by Mr. Murphree was read as follows: “Strike out eighty acres and insert ‘shall be one hundred and sixty acres and no more.’”


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MR. MURPHREE ‑ Notwithstanding the fact that the exemption law of 1875 says that eighty acres shall be exempt, yet it has been construed that the Legislature may allow eighty acres additional, which would make one hundred and sixty acres in all.  We ought to use such language in the Constitution as is definite and cannot be changed by the Legislature as to the amount of the exemption. Therefore I think this ought to be incorporated into the Constitution so that it will not leave it to the Legislature to change it at any time they see proper. If they can add eighty acres, they could add one hundred and sixty or five hundred acres and it seems to me some definite figure ought to be placed in the Constitution.

MR. HOWZE‑ There is no doubt merit in the gentleman's amendment, but we are controlled by the same principle and I therefore move that it be laid upon the table.

Upon a vote being taken to table the amendment prevailed.

MR. HOWZE‑I move the adoption of the section now.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.

Section 3 was read as follows:

See. 3. The homestead of a family, after the death of the owner thereof, shall be exempt from the payment of any debts contracted since the thirteenth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, or after the ratification of this Constitution, in all cases, during the minority of the children.

MR. HOWZE‑I move its adoption.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.

Section 4 was read as follows:

Sec. 4. The provisions of Sections 1 and 2 of this article shall not be so construed as to prevent a laborer's lien for work done and performed for the person claiming such exemption, or a mechanic's lien for work done on the premises.

MR. HOWZE‑I move the adoption of that section.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.

Section 5 was read as follows:

Sec. 5. If the owner of a homestead die, leaving a widow, but no children, such homestead shall be exempt, and the rents and profits thereof shall inure to her benefit.

MR. HOWZE‑I move the adoption of that section.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.


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Section 6 was read as follows:

Sec. 6. The real or personal property of any female in this State, acquired before marriage and all property, real or personal, to which she may afterwards be entitled by gift, grant, inheritance or devise, shall be and remain the separate estate and property of such female, and shall not be liable for any debts, obligations and engagements of her husband, and may be devised or bequeathed by her the same as if she was a feme sole.

MR. HOWZE– I move the adoption of that section.

Upon it vote being, taken the section was adopted.

Section 7 was read as follows:

Sec. 7.  The right of exemption hereinbefore secured, may be waived by an instrument in writing, and when such waiver relates to realty, the instrument must be signed by both the husband and the wife, and attested by one witness.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– I offer an amendment to Section 7.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Geneva.

MR. MULKEY– I move to strike out Section 7. I have no remarks to make except to say personally I do not think of any

one has an exemption they should be permitted to waive it.

MR. deGRAFFENREID– I move to  lay the motion on the table.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table the motion prevailed.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery ) – I have an amendment to Section 7.

The amendment was read as follows:

Amend by substituting for Section 7 the following:

“The right of exemption hereinbefore secured shall not be waived or the real estate exempted be mortgaged, but the property so exempted may be sold by the husband and wife by an instrument in writing.”

THE PRESIDENT–The question will be upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑The waiver of exemptions by notes or by mortgage has wrought a great evil to many people. What very provision has taken from them really the benefit intended.  Exemptions are not intended merely to secure shelter


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for the man and his family, but they are also for the benefit of the State. As long as a man can hold any property, it is taxable, and he is a supporter of the Government. His labor contributes to its prosperity, but when his property is taken away from him, either by waiver of personal property or by mortgage of real estate, he becomes instead of a supporter of the Government a charge upon the Government. It does not prevent the sale of the property by him and his investment in other possessions, but the waiver or the mortgage is a sale practically by men who are compelled to waive these things or to mortgage this property for inferior or lower prices, and therefore for the benefit of the State as well as for the benefit of the individual he should hold it.

I have offered that substitute. It will not be well to say that if you take from him the privilege of waiving and of mortgaging that, he will have no credit because a man with property which he cannot mortgage or cannot waive will have more credit than a man who has no property whatever to waive, and, the waiving or mortgaging of property is practically the transferring of it from the family, and it is an impoverishment of the State to that extent, and therefore I have offered this substitute and it is also offered at the request of many of my constituents.

MR. LONG (Walker)‑As a member of the Committee on Exemptions, if it were not well known that my modesty would not permit such a motion I would be tempted to make a motion that this Convention, by a rising vote, under this Committee a vote of thanks for having reported back one Section of the old Constitution verbatim. Now this substitute offered here is absurd on its, face, and it requires but a moments' thought to see the absurdity of such a proposition. In the first place, a poor man with a homestead could never borrow money on it, and he could never fret any advances, and if this amendment were adopted the Constitution would not get a corporal guard from the poor people of this State.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) –  Wouldn't he have more credit if he has property?

MR. LONG‑ He could not get any credit for any property he could not mortgage or waive. This is in violation of the Democratic platform and I say that this committee is entitled to a blue ribbon for reporting the article back without any change, and I move to lay the substitute on the table.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table the substitute prevailed.

MR. HOWZE– I move the adoption of the section.

Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.


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MR. HOWZE‑I move that it be engrossed and ordered to a third reading.

Upon a vote being taken the motion was carried.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The next order of business will be the report of the Committee on Impeachments.

MR. WADDELL‑I understand that this report will precipitate somewhat of a fight and I move that this Convention do now adjourn. (Expressions of dissent.)

MR. HOOD– There is a minority report to each section of this report, and hence I move that the article be taken up and passed section by section.

Upon a vote being taken the motion was carried.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑There is a minority report upon every section, and we have gotten along very fast this morning with our work and I move that we adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Russell made a motion to adjourn, and the Chair failed to recognize him because he had not heard from the chairman of the committee.

MR. HOOD– The committee are perfectly willing to adjourn until Monday and think perhaps it would be better. I will state that the committee have reported an ordinance repealing that portion of the report of the Committee on Executive Department authorizing the Governor to suspend the Sheriff.  We would have to have a full Convention for the consideration of that question.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair did not recognize the gentleman for the purpose of making a motion to adjourn because it has been customary when a report was taken up to recognize the chairman of the committee, but the Chair will now put the motion to adjourn.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for and by a vote of 60 ayes and 14 noes the motion to adjourn was carried.

Leaves of absence were granted to the following delegates: Mr. Pitts for Monday and Tuesday; Mr. Miller of Wilcox for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Mr. Kyle for today, Monday and Tuesday; Mr. Burnett for today and Monday; Mr. Bulger for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Mr. Locklin from the 5th to the 10th inst.; Mr. M. M. Smith for today and Monday.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The house stands adjourned until 12 o'clock Monday.


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CORRECTIONS

The remarks at bottom of first column second page, 66th day's proceedings, commencing on the 21st line from the bottom of the column, should be attributed to "Mr. Merrill" and not "Mr. Smith," as printed.

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In remarks of Mr. Dent on 67th day, fourth page, sixth column, 17th line from bottom of page, read: "Slough of despond" and head of 7th column read: "You strike from the power of the Black Belt."

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