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NIVERSITY OF CHICADO

LIBRARIES

266992 MARCH 1930

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A message was received from the Serfloge informing the House
that that body was duly organized, and prepared for business.

Mr. Forman moved to reconsider the resolution, adopted on yesterday, declaring the House of Representatives to be organized. He assigned as grounds,

1st. That the election of Speaker, before any of the members had taken the oath of office, was illegal.

2d. That a majority of the whole House is necessary to the choice of Speaker.

3d. The swearing of members at the organization of the House can only be legally done by the administration of the oath of office by some judicial officer.

The Speaker appointed Mr. Betton to the Chair, during the consideration of the motion aforesaid.

On the question of the passage of the motion for a reconsideration of the resolution, adopted on yesterday, declaring the House of Representatives to be organized, the yeas and nays were called by Messrs. Knowles and Pent, and were as follows:

Yeas-Messrs. Betton, Cromartie, Dummett, Forman, Lancaster, Knowles, M'Raeny, Patterson, Pent, Stewart, Summerlin, Turner, and Zeigler-13.

Nays-Messrs. Arnou, Floyd, Haddock, Irwin, Palmer, Scott, Selph, and Taylor-8.

So the motion prevailed.

Mr. Lancaster moved that some judicial officer be sent for to administer the oath of office to the members of the House present. Which motion prevailed, and the members were severally sworn by Cosam Emir Bartlett, Esq., a Justice of the Peace for Leon county.

Mr. Forman moved that a committee of three be appointed by the Chairman, to investigate the proceedings of yesterday, and report on to-morrow how far the House erred in going into an election for officers, besere the members were legally qualified—which mo: tion prevailed.

Messrs. Forman, Floyd, and Knowles, were appointed that committee.

The House, on motion of Mr. Zeigler, adjourned until to-morrow, 12 o'clock.

Friday, January 6, 1843. The House met pursuant to adjournment, and there being no quorum present, adjourned until to-morrow.

SATURDAY, January 7, 1843. The House met pursuant to adjournment, and there being no quo. ruin present, adjourned until Monday.

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Monday, January 9, 1843.
The House met pursuant to aujournment. The following mem-
bers answered to their names :
From Alachua-James Childs.

Calhoun-Francis Arnou.
ColumbiaJacob Summerlyn.
Duval-J. B. Lancaster, J. Broward.
Dade-Temple Pent.
Escambia-F. De la Rua.
Franklin-R. J. Floyd.
Gadsden-N. D. Zeigler, A.J. Forman.
Hamilton-John L. Siewart.
Hillsborough-John W. Palmer.
Jackson - Joseph Irwin.
Jefferson-W. R. Taylor, James Scott.
Leon-T. R. Betton, A. Cromartie, J. Knowles, D. M'Raeny.
Madison-Charnick Selph.
Monroe-W. Patierson.
Nassau-John H. Haddock.
Santa Rosa-E. D. Amos.
St. Johns-Douglas Duinmett, Buckingham Smith.

Wallon-A. Turner.
There being a quorum present, the Journals of Thursday, Friday,
and Saturday last, were read and approved.

Messrs. Amos, of Santa Rosa, De la Rua, of Escambia, and Mr. Broward, of Duval, were severally sworn by Cosam Emir Bartlett, Esquire, a Justice of the Peace for the county of Leon, and took their seats as members of the House..

On motion of Mr. Lancaster, the committee appointed under Mr. Forman's motion on Thursday last, were called upon for a report thereon ; and Mr. Forman, from said committee, presented the following

REPORT: “ The committee to whom was referred the investigation of the proceedings of the House on Wednesday, the 4th instant, and to report how far the House erred in going into an election for officers before the members were legally qualified, beg leave to Report.--That upon an investigation of precedents, they find none to sustain the House in its action on the 4th inst., in the election of Speaker before the members were sworn in ; nor do they conceive how any act done by this body can be legal, when that body have not taken the oath which constitutes them members. The officer to be elected is an officer of the House. The organic law expressly stipulates that the members, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States. It is clear that one of the first duties of the members elect is to organize the House; and the mere fact of a certain number of individuals assembling in the Capitol, does not constitute them a branch of the Legislative Council until they

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have complied with all the conditions of the law which authorizes the holding of such a Council. This principle being established, and the House having no legal existence until members are legally sworn, it is plain that no officer of this House could be elected before the organization of the same. Your committee, therefore, recominend the adoption of the following resolution :

Resolved, That all the proceedings of this House on Wednesday Jast, after the calling of the roll, are null and void; and that consequently the House should proceed to elect its officers, and proceed according to the organic law. ARTHUR J. FORMAN,

JOSHUA KNOWLES." Which was read.

Mr. Floyd, from the said committee, presented the following minority

REPORT: “The undersigned, one of the cominittee, as it is designated, appointed on yesterday to inquire and make report respecting the proceedings heretofore had, preliminary to the organization of the House, dissenting from the views of the other two members of the committee, Messrs. Forman and Knowles, reports for himselfThat, after an examination of ihe law, he is satisfied it was not necessary for the members to have been sworn previous to the choice of a Speaker, and organization of the House. The choice of a Speaker, and election of Clerks, is a mere incipient preliminary act, proper to be done before the performance of ihe duties of Legislation. The act of Congress relied on as directing the members elect to be sworn, was passed in 1823; and if it is not virtually abrogated and repealed by subsequent acts, yet it is considered it does not require the oath to be tahen before the choice of a Speaker.The terms of the act are, that the members of the Legislature and other officers shall, before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, take an oath," &c. The “ duties” referred to in the act are their Legislative duties. It is necessary for a member elect to journey from his residence to the Capitok, so as to be here at the meeting of the Legislature. It is as important and necessary, and as vital to the fulfilment of his trust, as the election of Speaker. Will it be pretended that before he proceeded to fulfil this dutybefore he entered upon it—before he mounted his horse, or otherwise made his preparations to be here, he must take this oath ?Yet the argument contended for will lead to this conclusion. It is. as legitimate as that it was necessary before the choice of Speaker.

Those who regard the primary and principal object of the election of members of this House was to select officers, and bestow honors and perquisites, it is submitted, mistake their duties. Our duties are to legislate for the people, our constituents. If the House choose, we could go on without a Speaker. No law imperatively requires any such officer. We could choose one by a different name, with powers different from those ordinarily exercised by a Speaker. We could designate him Moderator, if we choose. The

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undersigned considers the course of the majority of the members on yesterday, in appointing the committee, and in abrogating what was done the day previous, an outrage on the rights of the majority which elected the Speaker. No one complains of unfairness in the election. Mr. Smith was run as a candidate, and it is believed he exchanged his vote with his competitor. Since the election, new light has been shed on the subject, it seems. It is supposed, by the accession of other members since arrived, the then minority are now the majority. To allow such pretences to subvert the former action of the members—to permit the officer fairly elected, legally elected and installed, now to be cashiered and displaced, to satisfy the edicts of party rancour, would be a gross injustice.Such a proceeding, in the outset of the session, would forebode worse and more tyrannical courses in its progress.

How can the House deface and alter its records ? Two days ago it informed the Senate it was organized, and had elected Mr. Smith its Speaker, and Mr. Archer its Chief Clerk. Can it now expunge that entry, and inform the Senate it was false or erroneous? The undersigned is of opinion that Mr. Smith should take his place as Speaker, and that the House should proceed to perform its duties, instead of squabbling about offices and officers; and that, if it does not—if a new majority is to thus alter and change the past acts and decisions, that ii becomes each individual member to act as he deems most consistent, under a gross insult to his constituents in his person, by the exercise of such arbitrary power He adjures all to smother party feeling, and looks only to the good of the country. All of which is respectfully submitted.

R. J. FLOYD. Which was read.

Mr. Lancaster moved that the report of the majority of the committee, presented by Mr. Forman, be adopted. Which motion prerailed.

Mr. Lancaster moved that the resolution appended to the report of the majority of said committee, be adopted; and the ayes and nays being called thereon, were as follows

Yeas-Messrs. Amos, Betton, Broward, Childs, Croniartie, De la Rua, Forman, Knowles, Lancaster, Pent, Steward, Summerlin, Turner, and Zeigler-14.

Nays-Messrs. Arnou, Dummett, Floyd, Haddock, Irwin, McRaney, Patterson, Scott, Smith, Selph, and Taylor, of Jefferson-11.

So the resolution was adopted.

On motion of Mr. Arnou, Mr. Childs, of Alachua, was called to the Chair, and the House proceeded to the election of a Speaker. On counting the ballots it appeared that Mr. Lancaster had received fourteen votes, and he was declared duly elected. Messrs. Floyd and Dummett were appoiated a committee to conduct the Speaker to the chair ; who, before taking his seat, returned his thanks to the House in a short but eloquent address.

The House then proceeded to the election of its officers, which resulted in the election of Hugh Archer, Chief Secretary ; Daniel

B. Fisher, Assistant Secretary ; Wm. C. Bryan, Sergeant-at-Arms, or Door-keeper ; S. G. Perry, Foreman ; Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, Messenger.

The oaths of office were administered to the several officors elected, by C. E. Bartlett, Esq., a Justice of the Peace, for the County of Leon.

On motion of Mr. Betton, the House proceeded to the election of a Printer; and on.counting the votes, neither candidate having received a majority, it was declared by the Speaker to be no election.

On motion of Mr. Knowles, the House postponed the motion to elect a Printer, until to-morrow.

Ms. Betton offered the following resolution, viz. :

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the Speaker of this House, with a similar one from the Senate, to wait upon the Governor, and inform him that the Legislative Council is now organized, and prepared to receive any message he may desire to make. Which was adopted ; and Messrs. Betton, Taylor, and De la Rua, were appointed that Committee.

Mr. Knowles offered the following resolution, viz. :

Resolved, That a committee of two be appointed by the Speaker, to inform the Senate that this House is now organized and ready to proceed to business. Which was adopted ; and Messrs. Knowles ar Irwin were appointed that committee.

Mr. Forman offered the following resolution : Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to draw up rules and regulations, for the Government of the House, and report thereon accordingly; and that those of the last session be adopted until others are substituted. Which was adopled ; and Messrs. Forman, Floyd and McRaeny were appointed said committee.

Mr. Knowles offered the following resolution :

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Territory be requested to furnish each member of this body will a copy of the Journals of both Houses of the Legislative Council at jis last Session, with copies of the Acts of the Legislative Council subsequent to the compilation of Duval's Digest, with a copy of Duval's Digest, and also a copy of the Organic Law.

The House then adjourned until to-morrow, 12 o'clock.

Tuesday, JANUARY 10th, 1843. The House met pursuant to adjournment, and the Journal of yes. terday's proceedings was read.

Mr. Taylor, a member from Leigh Read County, appeared, was sworn by C. E. Bartlett, Esq., a Justice of the Peace for the County of Leon, and took his seat.

The Committee appointed to wait on the Governor made the following report :

The Committee appointed, with a similar one from the Senato, to wait upon the Governor and inform him that the Legislativo

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