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October 9, 1939. Hon. Thos. Love, Speaker of the Senate:
Sir: In obedience to an act of Assembly, passed February 19th, 1836, entitled “An Act to provide for the publication of the Laws and Journals, and for other purposes," I have the honor to transmit herewith, one set of the several duplicate proposals received by me agreeably to the provisions of said act.
Which was read and ordered to the table.
A message from the blouse of Representatives by Mr. Crockett their Cerk:
Mr. Speaker: The Ilouse of Representatives frave adopted a resolution appointing a joint select committee to wait upon his Excellency Newton Cannoil, and inforin him that the two branches of the General Assembly have convened in obedience to the Constitution of the State, and are now ready to receive any comunication he may wish to make them; and have appointed on their part Jessrs. Brown, Watson, Parker and Fonville to be of said committee, in which they ask the concurrence of the Senate.
And then he withdrew. Whereupon the said message was read and concurred with.
The Speaker then appointed Messrs. Aiken and Hardwicke to be of said Committee on the part of the Senate.
Mr. Ilardwicke submitted the following:
Kesolvcıl, Thaí a committee of threc be appointed to draft rules for the government of the present Senaie.
And the rule being suspended, the resolution was adopted.
The peaker appointed Messrs. IIardwicke, Brown and Coe as the committee.
Mír. Terry submitted the following:
Resolved, That a joint select committee be appointed to draft and report rules for the government of the intercourse between the two bianches of the General Assembly.
And the rule being suspended, the resolution was adopted.
The Speaker appeinted Mossrs. Terry and Gillespy to be of said conmittee on the part of the Senate.
Mir, Hardwicke, from the committee appointed to wait on his Excellency Newton Canren, Governor of the State of Tennessee, reported, that the committee had performed the duty assigned them, and that his excellency would, in a few moments, make his communication in writing.
Whereupon, the folosing message from his excollency was presented hy Lake Lea, 1.q. Secretary of State, and read at the Clerk's tabe, to vi: Hello-Cins of the rate
ur:) of the low presentatices: It may ielike question whether the Ropresentatives of the people çf Tennessee lure contenu at any time when their constituents generally fult a deeper interest in the result or their deliberations, or when
the public good demanded a more calm and dispassionate excrcise of enlightened patriotism in the discharge of their Legislative duties.Many of the subjects to which your attention may be called are intimately connected with the honor and vital interest of the country; and, as much of good or evil may flow from your action touching those subjects, you will, no doubt, proceed to their consideration under a full sense of the responsibilities you have assumed, hunbly invoking, at the same time, the supervising governance of the Supreme Ruler, without whose protecting providence all human Legislation would be vain.
At a time when we are favored in an eininent degree with a rich variety of the choicest blessings of divine munificence, it is much to be regretted that any thing should be found in the administration of our governmental affairs calculated to mar our prosperity and happiness as a people. But when we contemplate our own condition or look alread among our sister States where we must seek a market for our surplus products, we find that heavy embarrassment still pervades the monetary concerns of the country. We continue to be destitute of a general ! circulating medium of uniform vulue; the want of which efiects injuriously, not only every class of society at home, but also our credit abroad, thereby depreciating the value of our State bonds, and greatly, retarding the progress, if it does not finally prevent the completion of many of our works of Internal Improvement. These and other oppressive evils, the fruits of a disordered curroncy, we must patiently endure so long as the government shall persist in a course of wild financial experiments, which only tend to aggravate the ills they were mainly instrumental in producing. It is not to be supposed, however, that this state of things is to be perpetual. The people hold a corrective in their own hands, and their well known intelligence, virtue and patriotism forbid the humiliating idea that they will fail to apply it. A sanguine hope may therefore be indulged that by the regular operation of our republican system, the country will ere long be delivered from the maladministration of its present rulers, with its pernicious train of experiments, abuses and spoilations.
About to retire from the office of Chief Magistrate of the State, and give place to a successor who will probably actress you at length, I deem it most respectful to decline communicating in detail my views in relation to many subjects of public interest upon which it may become your duty to deliberate during your present session, and I shall contine myself to a brief notice of those only to which a sense of official duty requires me to direct your attention.
The benefits expected to be derived from the important provisions contained in the act of the last General Assembly, entitled “An Act to establish a State Bank, to raise a fund for Internal Improvement and to aid in the establishment of a system of Education,” have not been realized. The Bank has failed to effect the amelioration in our pecuniary affairs that its authors anticipated, and the expectations of the public have been sadly disappointed:-nor has the operation of the act referred to been more salutary and suecessful in relation to other interests it. was intended to foster. There is, probably, not another law to be
found among our statutes that has more signally failed to fulfil the wishes of the Legislature, or one that requires more thorough revision and annendment, in order that it may effectuate the purposes for which it was designed.
The location of the branches of the Bank, (as had, doubtless, been anticipated by the Legislature) produced considerable excitement in some sections of the State, where it was believed injustice i ad beer done by the Directory of the Principal Bank, in whose hunds, it is believed, the power of locating the branches was improperly placed.--Such was the discontent occasioned by its exercise amongst a large and respectable portion of our fellow citizens, who conceived that they were deprived of a fair and equal participation in the benciits it was supposed the institution would conter, that they assembled by their Representatives in Convention and adopted a memorial to the Executive, carnestly urging him to convene the Legislature for the purpose of redressinr ireir grievances. After mature deliberation I felt it my duty to decline a compliance with their request for the reasons set forth in a communication addressed to the President of the convention, a copy of which (marked A) is herewith transmitted. Notwithstanding my settled conviction at the time that there were just grounds for complaint, inasmuch as the locations had been made at points so remote from an extensive and populous region of country as to subject its citizens to considerable expense and inconvenience, yet I did not consider that the evils sought to be remedied were of suffictent, magnitude to justify an extraordinary convention of the General Assembly. The subject, therefore, is referred to your honorable body, under a just expectation, trust, that you will adopt such measures as the interests it involves may, in your wisdom seem to require.
In consequence of the continued depression in the stock and bond markets, the Bank has not been able to realize the whole amount of its intended capital. Of the two and a half millions of six per cent. State bonds authorized to be issued for that purpose, only one million has been sold; nor do I believe there exists a well grounded hope that the reinaining million and a half can be disposed of in any short time upon the terms and conditions specified in the charter of the Bank, and none, it is hoper, are prepared to see the bonds of the State, bearing so high an interest, negotiated for a less sum than their nominal value.
The stock in other Banks belonging to the common School fund has not been diposed of as contemplated and required by the above act.No opportunity of selling it at par has been presented, and hence, another source, from which the Bank was expected to derive a portion of its capital, has proved to be wholly unavaning:
It is to be regretted, also, that the appropriation of three hundred thousand dollars of State bonds leaving an interest of fivo per cent. per annum, for the improvement of the rivers in the throp grand divisions of the State, has been equally nugatory and fallacious. There is not the least probability that the Bank will be able to negotiate these bonds in any reasonable time, agreeably to the requirements of the law; and unless some more efficient provisions are made to remove the obstruc
tions in our navigable streams, they must continue to stand as so many impediments to the flow of our commercial prosperity, while, at the same time, they present a gloomy monument of vain and fruitless legislation.
Turning our attention, howerer, to the progress that has been made in the improvement of the country, by means of incorporated companies, we are animated by a more cheering prospect. Notwithstanding the various defects and inconsistencies of the law under which they have been acting, and the paralyzing embarrassinent of the times, many of the companies have persevered in the construction of their works with such determined energy and rapid progress, as fully to realize, if not surpass the public expectation. But serious injury mut inevitably be sustained by those companies and contractors, who hare engaged to receive the bonds of the State, in payment of Stock, or for kbor, wless something shall be done by the Legislature to enhance their value, and make good their losses already occasioned by their ruingus depreciation. This suliject will, doubts, engage your prompt attentio, as it is one in which not only the interests of our citizens, but the character of the State is deeply involved. Indeed, our whole Internal Improvement System, as at present organized, is so very efective as to demu d your anxious and unremitting consideration until eflectual provision shall bo made to correct its imperfections, secureits benefits and guard against the dangers with which it is manifestly fraucht. The existing Inw embraces such a variety of subjects, and is so contradictory, obscure and ambiguous in its phrascology and irport, that a great diversity of opinion has prevailed as to the real ioteations of those who liought it into exigence. It has subjected tho Exccutive to 10 ordinary labor, difficulty and responsibilis, originating chiefly in its on n incongruity and confusion, which are well curated to coca ion perplexing irregiilarities in the course of its practical administration. Veeling a decp selicitude that it should be made operative, to the fullest extent, in eflecting so desirable an objeci as the improvement of the country, and foreseeing the abuses and evils that wight result from its incautious execution, i was constrained to spority with more precision tran the jaw itself had done, the torns and conditions upon which the Internal Improvement Companies could avail thenschtes ole provisions-With that view I addressed a Circulur Lotter (a conyohich accompanies this m.Iessage,) to the Directors oa behail of testate, in the several Companies which the State had become a Stockhoker. It contains the principles and regulations by which the Esecutivo hr been gorerced in making subscriptions for stock in saic comparier, and in is uing the bonds of the State for their use and benefit. Its operation bas, at least, been safe, uniform and equal, and most ofte companies, arcuiescing in the justuozs of its own view, ero os rapidly preglezing with their works as, moder existing circunstamor, couhl rezonably le expected.Although objectio ismayerist in the minds of souness to the construction which has been giren to tie lavi, anch the manier in which it has been ariel, yet i have the sensaction of kaowing that they are al prosed
by those whose legal learning and impartiality entitle their opinions to superior weight and confidence.
The bonds issued under the act of 1838, exclusive of those intended for the capital of the Bank, amount to the sum of $899,500. Of this amount $300,000 were issued for the improvement of rivers, and the balance, $599,500, for the benefit of Internal Improvement Companies; all bearing interest at the rate of five per cent. per annum. Under the act of 1836, entitled “An act to encourage Internal Improvement in this State," bonds have been issued, bearing interest at the rate of five and a quarter per cent. to the amount of $265,6663; making an aggregate amount of State bonds issued for Internal Improvement purposes, equal to the sum of $1,163,1663.
In pursuance of an act of Assembly entitled, "An act to provide for the survey of a canal from the Tennessee to the Big Hatchie river,” I have the honor to state, Clement W. Nance, Esq. formerly assistant Engineer of the State, has been employed to perform that service. He was assisted, for a short time, in the discharge of his duties, by Colonel Charles Potts, Engineer of the La Grange and Memphis Railroad, a gentleman of skill and experience in relation to works of the kind. The examination and survey of the route for the Canal has been carefully made, and there exists no doubt on the part of the gentlemen named, as to the practicability of its construction at a moderate expense. The whole length of the route is but little more than thirty miles, a portion of which, at each end, is in the bottom or low grounds of the respective rivers. It intersects the Tennessee a short distance north of the southern boundary of the State, and running west, strikes the Cypress Fork of Big Hatchie a few miles north of Bolivar.
It will appear from the report of the Engineer (to which for more full information in relation to the subject generally, you are respectfully referred) that the estimated cost of this canal, sufficiently spacious to admit the passage of all kinds of boats ascending or descending the rivers, is considerably less than one million of dollars. Contemplating the quantity and value of the various commodities transported along the Tennessee river, and the immense region of country that would be benefitted by the proposed improvement in the navigation of this great commercial thoroughfare, I cannot doubt the propriety of an appropriation of the national treasure, amply sufficient to effect its speedy ac. complishment. It is confidently believed that no work of Internal Improvement of more general utility than the one in view, can be made at any point in the Union, without a heavier expenditure of public money. I trust, therefore, you will not fail to take the necessary measures for bringing this important enterprize to the favorable consideration of Congress.
Popular education in a government like ours, must ever be regarded as a matter of paramount importance. Upon the intelligence and virtue of the people depends the perpetuity of our free institutions.Knowledge and liberty are so closely allied that they can only flourish in safety and perfection, when naturally protected and cherished by cach other. It is deeply to be regretted, therefore, that the action of