« AnteriorContinuar »
volunteer companies of dragoons, with the addition of four light brass field pieces, not to exceed three hundred pounds in weight (three pounders) on carriages, with fixed ammunition for a campaign of four months. The Indians on the frontier of this territory are now in a state of peace, but such is the restless disposition of all Indians, that it is difficult to determine when they will commence their attacks on our frontier inhabitants. This is the proper time to make the necessary preparations to preserve the peace that now exists with them. From the great extent of the frontiers of this territory, and the numerous Indians located on our borders, it is important to the safety of the inhabitants, that protection should be afforded them by the Government, which can only be done by having a mounted force stationed at some suitable point on the Upper Mississippi, in advance of our most exposed settlements. Two hundred mounted troops, under the command of a field officer, would be sufficient to range the country from the Mississippi to the Red Cedar, Iowa, and Des Moines rivers. This movement of troops would be a direct check on the Indians who might be engaged in war with each other. Mounted troops ranging the country east of the Mississippi and south of the Wisconsin river to Fort Winnebago, would prevent the frequent incursions of the Indians upon the weak and unprotected settlements bordering on that frontier. I recommend, therefore, that a memorial be addressed to the War Department, requesting to have a mounted force posted in advance of the frontier settlements as early in the next spring season as the grass will sustain the horses. The Indians on the borders of the frontier settlements must see and feel, if necessary, the power of the government to enforce a strict observance of treaties between them; and the presence of mounted troops will produce that dread in the minds of the Indians, which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the territory, as well as the safety and security of its inhabitants.
The adjustment of the boundary line between the state of Missouri and this territory, has recently become a subject of much interest to the citizens residing in the southern part of Wisconsin. By the act of Congress of 1820, the limits of the state of Missouri were defined; and it was well understood by the members of the convention who formed the constitution of that state, “that the rapids of the river Des Moines,” were the rapids on the Mississippi, near the mouth of that river, known in 1820 as the Des Moines river rapids, or the rapids of the river Des Moines ; and the upper rapids on the Mississippi were known by the name of the Rock river rapids. It cannot be possible that the act of Congress above alluded to, defining the northern boundary of the state of Missouri, intended to make the starting point for that boundary at any rapids in the river Des Moines; because it is a fact well known, that there are rapids and swift running waters on the Des Moines river, for more than one hundred miles above its mouth; because in 1820 there was, it is believed, no place on the Des Moines river, known or designated as the rapids of the river Des Moines ; and, because it was the general understanding in Congress, among the members of the convention framing the constitution of the state of Missouri, and among all who were acquainted at that period with the names and localities of this country, that the rapids of the river Des Moines meant the rapids in the Mississippi, terminating near the mouth of the river Des Moines. That this was the understanding even in 1824, is shown by the treaty made on the fourth of August of that year, with the Sac and Fox tribes of Indians. In that treaty the north-western corner of the state of Missouri was fixed at one hundred miles due north of the mouth of the Kansas river; and a purchase of all the lands which the “ Sac and Fox tribes have or claim within the limits of the state of Missouri,” between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, was limited on the north by a line drawn due east from that north-western corner to the Mississippi river, reserving, however, the “small tract of land” between the river Des Moines and Mississippi, and the section of that line between those rivers for the use of the half-breeds belonging to those nations. If it could have been imagined at the time of the ratification of that treaty by the Senate of the United States, that the northern boundary of Missouri was not fixed and known as then designated and laid
down, but was to be hereafter determined by explorers and surveyors sent to search for rapids on the river Des Moines as far north on that river as they might be found, it is hardly probable that the Senators in Congress, from Missouri, at that time, known to have been vigilant in the discharge of their duties to their constituents, could have silently acquiesced in the ratification of this treaty in its present shape. From the express wording of the act of Congress designating the boundaries of the state of Missouri, that state can have no pretensions to claim any part of the tract of country lying east or north-east of the Des Moines river. It is altogether a subject of great interest to the citizens of our territory residing near the boundary line in question, and it would seem to me necessary, that commissioners on the part of the general government should be appointed to act with commissioners on the part of Missouri to define as early as possible the true boundary line between this territory and the state of Missouri. It would certainly be an unpleasant state of things for the constituted authorities of this territory to come into collision with those of the state of Missouri: so far, however, as it rests with me, no encroachments on the rights of our citizens will be permitted, without resistance. I recommend the early action of the Legislative Assembly on this important subject; they will have the hearty co-operation of our able and faithful delegate in Congress, who, I am confident, will use every exertion in his power to maintain the rights of our citizens.
By the fourth section of the organic law of the Territory, it is made the duty of the Legislative Assembly to apportion the representation of the several counties to the Council and House of Representatives, according to population. As the term for which the members of the House of Representatives have been elected, will expire before the next annual meeting, the action of the Legislative Assembly will be necessary on that subject during their present session.
I would respectfully call the attention of the Legislative Assembly to the propriety of passing a law for the levying and collecting a county tax for the purpose of erecting jails in each of the organized counties in this territory, (where jails may be required,) for the safe-keeping of prisoners, who may be committed to the sheriffs of the several counties. The due administration of the laws requires that courts of justice should have it in their power to restrain the vicious part of the community who set laws at defiance.
HENRY DODGE. On motion of Mr. Childs, Ordered, That fifteen hundred copies of the Governor's Message be printed for the use of the House.
On motion of Mr. Teas,
On motion of Mr. Childs,
Wednesday, November 8, 1837.
The House met pursuant to adjournment.
On motion of Mr. Childs, Ordered, That the House proceed to the election of Speaker.
On motion of Mr. Teas, The Chair appointed two tellers to canvass the votes, viz: Messrs. Teas and McWilliams.
On motion of Mr. Durkee, Ordered, That the House vote by ballot. The votes were then taken and counted, and it appeared that • Mr. Engle had received eleven votes; and that
Mr. Leffler had received eleven votes. There being no election.
On motion of Mr. Smith,
Mr. Engle had received eleven votes ;
. Mr. Cox had received one vote.
Neither of the candidates voted for, having received a majority of the whole number of votes,
On motion of Mr. Cox, The election of Speaker was postponed till ten o'clock tomorrow.
The Secretary of the Council, being introduced, presented to the Chair the following resolution of the Council, which, .
On motion of Mr. Engle, was concurred in, and the chair appointed upon the part of the House, Messrs. Durkee and McGregor:
“ Resolved, That, if the House of Representatives concur, a joint committee, to consist of two members of the Council, and two members of the House of Representatives, be appointed, with instructions to revise the joint rules of both Houses, and report on to-morrow.
“ Messrs. Dickinson and Sweet were appointed the committee on the part of the Council.”
Ordered that the Council be informed.
On motion of Mr. Parkinson, the House adjourned until 10 o'clock, A. M. to-morrow.
Thursday, November 9, 1837.
The House met pursuant to adjournment.
The Speaker stated that he had received a communication from Mr. James Clarke, Librarian of the Territory, which,
On motion of Mr. Teas, was laid on the table.
Mr. Teas, from the committee to whom was referred the resolution to revise the rules for the government of this House reported the following, which were read, and,
On motion of Mr. Engle, were adopted, and fifty copies or dered to be printed.