AN ACT ESTABLISHING ALABAMA TERRITORY


An Act To Establish A Separate Territorial Government For The Eastern Part Of The Mississippi Territory

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That all that part of the Mississippi Territory which lies within the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at the point where the line of the thirty first degree of north Latitude intersects the Perdido river, thence east to the Western boundary line of the State of Georgia, thence along said line to the Southern boundary line to the State of Tennessee, thence West along said boundary line to the Tennessee river, thence up the same to the mouth of Bear creek, thence by a direct line to the north-west corner of Washington County, thence due South to the Gulph of Mexico, thence eastwardly including all the islands within six leagues of the shore to the Perdido River, and thence up the same to the beginning, shall, for the purpose of a temporary government, constitute a separate Territory, and be called "Alabama".

Section 2. And be it further enacted, That all offices which may exist, and all laws which may be in force in said Territory, within the boundaries above described at the time this act shall go into effect, shall continue to exist and be in force until otherwise provided by law. And the President of the United States shall have power to appoint a governor and Secretary for the said Alabama Territory, who shall respectively exercise the same power, perform the same duties, and receive for their services the same compensation as are provided for the Governor and Secretary of the Mississippi Territory: Provided that the appointment of said Governor and Secretary shall be submitted to the Senate for their advice and consent, at the next session of Congress.

Section 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed an additional Judge for the Mississippi Territory who shall reside in the Eastern part thereof, and receive the same compensation as the other Judges; and that the Judge appointed by virtue of an act passed the twenty-seventh day of March, one thousand eight hundred and four, for the appointment of an additional Judge for the Mississippi Territory together with the Judge appointed for Madison county and the Judge to be appointed by virtue of this act, shall possess and exercise exclusive original Jurisdiction in the Superior courts of Washington, Baldwin, Clarke, Monroe, Montgomery, Wayne, Green, Jackson, Mobile, Madison, and of such new counties, as may be formed out of them, and shall arrange the same among themselves from time to time; Provided, that no Judge shall sit more than twice in succession in the same Court, and that the other Judges of the Mississippi Territory shall exercise, as heretofore authorized by an act of Congress or of the Territorial legislature, exclusive jurisdiction in the Superior courts of the other counties. That a general court to be composed of the Judge appointed by virtue of the act of twenty-seventh of March, one thousand eight hundred and four, The Judge appointed for Madison County, and the Judge to be appointed by virtue of this act, or any two of them, shall be holden at St. Stephens, commencing on the first Mondays of January and July annually, who shall have the same power of issuing writs of error to the superior courts of the the counties mentioned in this section, or which shall hereafter be formed in the Eastern division of the Territory, which was given by the act for the appointment of an additional Judge, passed the year one thousand eight hundred and four, to the Superior court of Adams' district, and which shall possess exclusively of the Courts of the several counties the federal jurisdiction given to the superior courts of the Territories by an act passed the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and five, entitled "An act to extend jurisdiction in certain cases to the Territorial Courts."

Section 4. And be it further enacted, That the governor to be appointed under the authority of this act shall immediately after entering into office convene at the town of St. Stephens such of the members of the legislative counsel and house of Representatives of the Mississippi Territory, as may then be the representatives from the several counties within the limits of the Territory to be established by this act, and the said members shall constitute the legislative counsel and house of representatives for the aforesaid Alabama Territory, whose powers in relation to the said Territory shall be until the expiration of the term for which they have been chosen, or until Congress shall otherwise provide, the same, in all respects, as are now possessed by the Legislative counsel, and house of representatives of the Mississippi Territory, and the said legislative counsel and house of representatives, of the Alabama Territory, so formed, shall have power to nominate six persons to the President of the United States, three of whom shall be selected by him for members of the Legislative counsel, in addition to the number which the said Territory may possess agreeably to the foregoing provisions of this section. The said legislative council and house of representatives shall also have power to elect a delegate to Congress, who shall in all respects possess the same rights and immunities as other delegates from Territories of the United States.

Section 5. And be it further enacted, That this act shall commence and be in force so soon as the convention, the appointment whereof has been authorized by Congress at their present session, shall have formed a constitution and State Government for that part of the Mississippi Territory lying West of the Territory herein described, of which act of convention the Governor of the Mississippi, for the time being, shall give immediate notice to the President of the United States who shall thereupon forthwith proceed to the execution of the powers vested in him by the second section of this act. But in case said convention shall fail to form a constitution and State government as aforesaid, then this act shall become null and void; except so far as relates to the third section thereof, which shall take effect and be in force from and after the passage of this act.

Section 6. And be it further enacted, That all persons who shall be in office within the Territory hereby established when the said convention shall have formed a constitution and State Government as aforesaid, shall continue to hold and exercise their offices in all respects as if this act had never been made; and the Governor and Secretary of the Mississippi Territory, for the time being, shall continue to exercise the duties of their respective offices in relation to the Territory hereby established, until a governor and Secretary shall be appointed therefor in pursuance to this act.

Section 7. And be it further enacted, That all Judicial process in the said Territory of Alabama shall be issued and bear tests as heretofore, nor shall any suit be discontinued, or the proceedings of any cause staid or in any wise affected by any thing contained in this act, or in the act entitled, "an act to enable the people of the western part of the Mississippi Territory to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States."

Section 8. And be it further enacted, That the town of St. Stephens shall be the seat of Government for the said Alabama Territory until it shall be otherwise ordered by the legislature thereof.

Section 9. And be it further enacted, That whatever balance may remain in the Treasury of the Mississippi Territory at the time when the convention authorized to form a constitution and State Government for the western part of said territory may have formed a constitution and State government for the same, shall be divided between the new state and territory according to the amount which may have been paid into said treasury from the counties lying within the limits of such state and territory respectively.

 

H. CLAY
Speaker of the House of Representatives

JOHN GAILLARD
President of the Senate Pro Tempore

 

March 3, 1817

Approved

JAMES MADISON

 

I certify that this act did originate in the Senate.

Attest:

Charles Cutts
Secretary