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His Excellency the Governor,
BOTH BRANCHES OF THE GENERAL COURT,
Gentlemen of the Senate
and House of Representatives : Standing before you in the capacity in which you have placed me, I feel a high degree of confidence in the aid of your combined wisdom and co-operation. Under the blessing of Almighty God, we meet as citizens of a free and independent state, and may well rejoice in the general prosperity of our country, and the benign influence of its free institutions.
Ours is a country of benevolent principles, and, Southern slavery excepted, of unequaled liberty. This exception, at variance with the doctrine of popular liberty, at variance with our declaration of liberty and equal rights, and repugnant to our moral sense, was entailed upon us by the framers of our constitution, whose palliation for the admission of so great a blot upon our system, was the weak and embarrassed condition of the country at the close of the Revolutionary war. But what can be said of the present generation in the United States?
Grasping territory for the purpose of increasing human misery!
Texas has been annexed to the United States for no higher object than to perpetuate an institution which degrades the human race, and dishonors the God of heaven. For doing this, there is no excuse that will avail for our country before a righteous Judge. Let New Hampshire wipe out the stain which has been flung upon her, by party machinery, set
in motion at the Baltimore Convention, whereby she has been made to act contrary to the true spirit of her original democracy, and contrary to the true feelings of three-fourths of her citizens. While we, of the North, are not permitted to remain in a Southern state, by our agents, for the purpose of obtaining justice, let us render good for evil, and say to our Southern brethren, of whatever rank or color, that if they come into New Hampshire, they may enjoy equal liberty with us, and if any be claimed as servants, or as slaves, let a right to their services, founded on mutual contract, be shewn to the satisfaction of a New Hampshire jury.
If Congress have not the constitutional right to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, it would look better for them to remove the seat of government to some free state.
I recommend to your candid and serious consideration the Militia. This is an essential pillar in the government. Without it, there would be nothing within reach of the Executive or of the Judiciary to carry any law whatever into effect. Although we look upon war with horror; although it is, in fact, wholesale duelling; yet this scourge is upon us, and,without inquiring who or what has involved us in so awful a calamity, it is our duty, now, to be prepared for any emergency, and to stand ready to obey, promptly, any orders which we may receive from the general government. We have a brave and powerful soldiery, ready at all times to defend their country : we have a harbor and a navy yard for building and refitting ships of war, unsurpassed by those of any state in the Union. When the selfish aspirations of man for place and power, shall be changed to the pure spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the broken command of God, which says, "love thy neighbor as thyself,” shall be obeyed by all mankind; then, and not till then, may the militia be disbanded. Any change which you may make in the system, rendering it acceptable to our citizens, and satisfactory to those performing service, by no means diminishing its present efficiency, I shall surely approve. Whatever may be the system, it is the popular
voice which will sustain or crush it. Indeed, our whole government rests upon the breath of the people. To ridicule an essential part, is the same as ridiculing the whole. If the militia is a farce, then the whole government is a farce.
The present Banking law is aristocratic in its operation, and, if continued, our banks will be the most perfect monopolies that our State has ever reared. The unlimited personal liability of the stockholders forces the whole business into a sort of legalized copartnership of the rich, excluding the middling interests, and others, who are the sole contributors to make up the yearly dividend which passes safely into the pockets of the few. Banks should be sufficiently guarded for the safety of the bill holders, and chartered for the purpose of giving to the people a circulating medium for the transaction of their ordinary business. The revenue arising from the proper management of them, should be distributed, as far as may be, among the many. Banks do not create business, nor give employment to the laborer; yet they should accommodate all who give sound and safe security. I would prejudice no one against the rich. The man of wealth whose heart is open to the wants and woes of his fellow man, and who will put his money at risk to create business for the laboring class, is worthy of respect and deserves success. Our laws in relation to corporations, should be so modified that such men may find the same encouragement here as in other states.
Agricultural interests deserve and require more encouragement than any other in the State, though, in fact, they are so interwoven with the manufacturing and mechanical interests that it is impossible to affect them singly. The union of these interests, gives to New England her peculiar character - a character envied by the world.
New Hampshire is not wanting in any of the natural resources requisite for the support of such an union of interests. Her water power is, vast, capable of immense development and great results. In this she probably surpasses