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Mr. Sheldon proposed a substitute for bill No. 61, which was read, and
On motion, the bill and substitute we referred to the committee on the judiciary.
MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR.
“ Territory of Wisconsin, Executive ?
“ Department, December 20, 1837. ” * To the hon. the speaker of the House of Representatives :
“Sir,- I return herewith• An act to establish the boundaries of the counties of Lee, Van Buren, Des Moines, Henry, Louisa, Wayne, and Slaughter, to locate the seats of justice for said counties, and for other purposes,' presented for my approval on Saturday the 16th inst. and submit the following reasons for withholding my signature from the same.
“ By an act of the legislative assembly, of the last session, the counties of Lee, Van Buren, Des Moines, Henry, Louisa, Muscatine, and Cook were formed out of the territory embraced in the original county of Des Moines; and the county seats thereof (with the exception of Cook) were established in said act, which expires by its own limitation at the close of the present session.
“ The bill herewith returned, intends to supply the deficiency that would exist at the expiration of that law, fixes the boundaries by the course of streams and the United States' surveys; proposes no change in the location of the seats of justice of the counties of Lee, Des Moines, and Henry, but removes the county seat of Van Buren from Farmington to Rochester, and the county seat of Muscatine (called Wayne in the bill) from Bloomington to Geneva. It is to these two changes of county seats that I particularly object. In a territory like ours great care and caution should be exercised in the location of the seats of justice in the first place; and where settlements are formed on the faith of our acts, changes should not, in my opinion, be made without the prospect of some substantial benefit to the people, and upon their wish unequivocally expressed to that effect. In the county of Van Buren, from the fact that Farmington (the present seat of justice) is by no means in the centre of the county,
-or its population, petitions have been presented from a large number of its citizens, in all of which some change is requested; and from the great increase of population in that county during the past season, it is necessary that some provision should be made by law for the establishment of the seat of justice of that county, at some point, to suit the wishes of a majority of its present inhabitants. There is not, however, any thing in our possession which could authorize us in singling out Rochester as that place; and I think in this, as in all cases of the kind, where there is any doubt, it would be better and safer for the legislature not to take upon themselves the decision of so interesting a question, but to submit it to a vote of the people themselves. With regard to locating the county seat of Van Buren county, it would meet with my approbation if provision should be made for a direct vote of the people upon the question, or if the duty of locating the seat of justice should be given to some body to be chosen by a vote of the qualified electors of the county.
“ In the county of Wayne, (formerly called Muscatine) the change from Bloomington to Geneva is unaccountable to me. I say this with all due deference and respect to the legislative assembly. There does not occur to me a single good reason for the proposed removal. The majority of the people of the county have not asked for it; on the contrary, a large majority of them have remonstrated in the strongest terms against it. It is not pretended that Geneva is a more eligible point on the Mississippi than Bloomington. They are about three miles distant from each other, and it cannot even be urged that Geneva is nearer the centre of the county than Bloomington, especially when the three townships lying immediately west of Wayne are included within its boundaries, as I shall hereafter suggest. The change cannot, therefore, meet with my sanction or approbation; and I am as yet informed of nothing which would authorize us in interfering at this time, with the present location of the seat of justice at Bloomington.
• With respect to the boundaries of Wayne county, I would respectfully suggest that the western lines of he county should be extended so as to embrace townships 76, 77, and 78,
north of range 4 west, the former of which by the present bill is placed in the unorganized county of Slaughter, and makes a bad offset; and the other two are not included in the limits of any county.
In entering thus minutely into the details and merits of the present bill, I feel myself fully justified by the powers vested in me by the organic law of this territory, which constitutes the governor a distinct branch of the legislative authority, in addition to the duties imposed on him as the executive branch of the government; and I take the occasion to say that at all times in considering a bill submitted to me by the legislative assembly, I will not feel myself confined to an examination of the constitutionality of its provisions, but shall reserve to myself the right of giving my judgment upon its general expediency, and of giving or withholding my assent, as circumstances may justify.
- In the present instance, I wish it distinctly understood, that a bill similar in its features to that now returned, leaving, however, the seat of justice of Wayne county at Bloomington, and providing for some popular expression of opinion upon the proper point for the seat of justice in Van Buren county, will meet with my approbation and signature. “ With great respect, your obedient servant,
« HENRY DODGE.”' Ordered, that said message do lie on the table.
And then the house adjourned.
Thursday, December 21, 1837.
Mr. Sheldon offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That no new bills be received by this house after the first day of January next.
Laid on the table.
On motion of Mr. Quigley, Resolved, That the memorial from the Council, asking for a further appropriation to complete the public buildings at the seat of government, be referred to the select committee appointed. by the house to inquire into the situation of said buildings, and that the Council be asked to transmit to this house all documents in their possession relating thereto.
On motion of Mr. Childs, three members were added to the said committee, viz: Messrs. Chance, Childs, and Brunson.
Mr. M Williams, from the committee on enrolment, reported “Anact to establish the boundary lines of the counties of Dubuque, Clayton, Jackson, Benton, Linn, Jones, Clinton, Johnson, Scott, Delaware, Buchanan, Cedar, Favette, and Keokuck, and to provide for the location of the seats of justice in said counties, and for other purposes," to be correctly enrolled.
The said act was then signed by the speaker, and Ordered to be sent to the president of the Council for his sig. nature.
Mr. Brunson reported bills Nos. 9, 28, 60, 66, and 67, to be correctly engrossed, viz:
No. 60, entitled “A bill to provide for laying out and opening territorial roads."
No. 9, entitled “A bill for an act to establish a territorial road from Bloomington, in Muscatine county, to the forty mile point on Cedar river, in Dubuque county.”
No. 28, “A bill to establish a ferry across the Mississippi and Grant rivers."
No. 66, “A bill to provide for the collection of demands against vessels."
No. 67, “A bill to organize boards of public works.”
The above bills were severally read the third time, passed, titles agreed to, and ordered to be sent to the Council for concurrence.
The secretary of the Council being introduced, delivered the · following message.
“Mr. Speaker,—The Council have passed bills of the follow, ing titles, viz:
“ No. 34, A bill to amend an act establishing the county boundaries of Portage county;' No. 35, · A bill providing for the number of town officers, and for the 'tenure of county and town officers.'
" No. 36, • A bill to incorporate the Root River Rail Road Company.
“ No. 46, A bill to authorize the county commissioners to levy a tax for county purposes.'
“ The Council have concurred in the amendment made by this house to bill No. 29, Council file, entitled, “A bill to locate the seat of justice of Rock county.'
“ Also, have concurred in part to the amendments made by this house to bill No. 31, Council file, entitled, • A bill to establish the several towns in the counties of Milwaukee, Brown, and Racine, and the counties thereto attached, for judicial purposes;'
“And have disagreed to the following: “ In the 8th line of the second section, strike out the word judicial,' and insert · township,' and the same wherever the word judicial' occurs throughout the bill.
“ In the 4th section, line 9, strike out "Muskeego,' and insert Sheldon.'
“ Add to the 35th section the words, and at the house of John Lawe.'
« The Council have concurred likewise in the amendment to bill No. 2, Council file, viz:
“ In the title between the words mutual' and insurance, insert the word · fire ;'"
And then he withdrew. The house then proceeded to consider the disagreeing vote of the Council, with respect to bill No. 31, Council file. . : The question was first taken on the amendment in the 8th. line of the second section."
The question was then put, “ Shall the house adhere to their amendment?"
And was unanimously decided in the affirmative.
The question was then taken on the amendment to the 4th section.