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contemplated a State Government with biennial sessions of the Legislature, at a cost of about fifteen thousand dollars per annum. It appears, however, to be very generally admitted that Iowa fixed the salaries of many of her public officers 100 low, and that she contemplated too cheap a government; nevertheless the constitution of Iowa may help to form something of an estimate of the expense of a State Government in Wisconsin. The compensation allowed to the Judiciary of Iowa appears to be the objectionable feature of the constitution framed by the convention ; the salaries allowed to the other officers of the government are probably nearly what they should be. Adding then $5,000 more for the better payment and organization of the Jucliciary, than was allowed by Iowa, and it will make the cost of a State Government with biennial sessions of the Legislature about $20,000 per annum; annual sessions of the Legislature would increase the expense of government from fifty to seventy-five per cent. The assessed valuation of taxable property in this Territory : for the year 1845, is $9,324,405. A tax therefore of less than four mills on the dollar would defray the expenses of the government with annual legislative sessions, provided the State during the first year of its existence was obliged to raise every dollar of its expenses by direct taxation. An increase of direct taxation for the support of government must necessarily follow during the first years of our State independence; but as has already been shown, the people will have become the possessers of a capital, the increase value per annum of which will be much greater than the amounts which they will be obliged to raise by ta'xation. No new State ever came into the Union possessed of available revenues sufficient to defray the expenses of its government; and however long Wisconsin might think proper to potract the period of her admission into the Union, she could not expect to be prepared to meet the expenses of new government without taxation. The General Government provides the new States, upon their setting up a government for themselves, with an outfit in lands, which are not so liable to be improvidently squandered as money, but which may be made available and rendered a sure and permanent resource for the benni roho moorlo
Your committee thus far have discussed only the pecuniary considerations which bear upon the question of State Government. There are other benefits of an important character, which commend themselves to the attention of the people. Our political weight and importance as a State would give us decided advantages over our present Territorial condition. We are now a dependency our political condition is one of mere sufferance; every law passed by our Territorial Legislature is subject to the supervisory power of Congress. Our Governors and our Secretaries are appointed by the President; nor have the people of the Territory any voice whatever in the appointment of their Judges. The Judiciary is the most important branch of the government; yet it must always be defective until placed within the reach of the sovereign people. Whatever abuse may exist in the administration of law by our highest tribunals, the people are obliged to submit, there being no means within their power of procuring a reform. Our relation to the government of the United States is one of entire dependence, and we are obliged to take the attitude of suppliants to procure annual supplies from Congress to maintain our Territortal government. We have no voice in the governmental affairs of the Union; no matter how momentous the question at issue, we have not a single vote to cast.
By becoming a State, we at once become invested with rights and privileges which are held invaluable by a free people. In the Senate of the United States our numerical strength would be as great as that of any State, however populous, in the Union. In the House of Representatives, we should not only have a voice, but a vote, on every question pertaining to the welfare of the Union or the interests of Wisconsin, In matters of commerce, agriculture, mining, and whatever else concerns this portion of the great West, the wishes of our population would be fully represented ; the necessity of harbors on our lake coast, the improvement of our river navigation, and other works of national importance, could then be more successfully urged upon the attention of Congress. Whenever the political influence of the people of Wisconsin can be brought to bear upon our Prese.
.idential elections, and upon the decisions of our national Legislature, then she will no longer be treated as an inferior, but as an equal, and then will her political power be courted, instead of being treated, as it now, is, with indifference.
The influence which a State Government would have in correcting many of the evils and abuses which have hitherto been attendant upon our Territorial form of government, must be apparent to all. It is a republican maxim that all good governments must derive their jusť powers from the consent of the governed; whenever a government, in any of its departments, is entirely beyond the reach of the ballot box-when the people are deprived of the proper exercise of their legitimate sovereignty, abuses of power will inevi, tably be the consequence, An immediate responsibility of the government to the people, is the true safeguard of the people's rights.
We have abundant proof of the profligate tendency of a Territorial Government. No rigid system of economy can be enforced until the tax payer's of Wisconsin are interested' in every dollar of public expenditure. That the tendency of our Territorial government is calculated to foster habits of dissoluleness and extravagance, no one can deny. Our territorial officers seem to regard it as a part of their duty to use up the funds which are annually appropriated by Congress; and hence the length of our legislative sessions has been governed more by the amount of our annual appropriations than by the amount of business to be done. Unless all the acknowledged maxims of morals are false, the ten. dency of these things must be pernicious,
Under a State Government, the people will exercise a more strict observance over the acts of all their public servants; no wasteful expenditures will be treated with complacency; every department of the government will be held accountable to the people; and dishonesty will be more likely to meet its just rebuke at the ballot box. If the people wish to enjoy all the rights and privileges that appergain to freemen, and give to Wisconsin the true attributes of sovereignty; if they wish to exercise their proper fran
chise in the election of their rulers, they must assume the rank to which they are entitled among the independent States of the Union.
The confused and uncertain condition of our laws, is another argument which should influence the people to the formation of a State Government. Our Territorial legislation is now regarded as only temporary; the necessity of a revision of our laws is felt and generally acknowledged, yet no one pretends that this desirable object will be accomplished until we become a State. Aside from other laws, those alone which relate to our common schools imperiously demand attention, The condition of our common schools is far from being creditable, and there is but little prospect of any permanent improvement while we remain a Territory. We have no plan for common schools deserving the name of system, and the prevailing sentiment is, that no effective system of education can be devised until we become a State. Wisconsin is hazarding much by neglecting the instruction of the rising generation ; it may take years of arduous and persevering effort to repair the wrong. Without early and vigorous action to raise higher the standard of education, the prospective destiny of the State is dark and unpromising.
Whatever force there may have been in the objection heretofore urged, that our population was too small to form a State Government, it certainly now has but little plausibility. The present number of inhabitants in this Territory probably does not fall short of 115,000, and should we come into the Union in the early part of the year 1847, we shall have a greater population at the time of our admission, with a single exception, than any of the new States which have preceded us since the confederation of the original thirteen.
There probably will never be a more favorable period for Wisconsin to come into the Union than the present. The political balance of power between the North and the South is now placed in an attitude which excites very general attention and solicitude throughout the Union. Florida and Texas have come into the great family of States, and the interests of the Republic seem imperiously to demand a speedy admission of Wisconsin. As great and momentous as are the questions growing out of Northern and Southern interests, it is not strange that the entire North is now inviting us to throw off our Territorial Government, and to assume the rights that pertain to a free and independent State. By order of the committee,