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and which are liable to be presented at any time for payment. The amount the State owes the different Trust Funds is not pressing upon us like our other indebtedness. All these funds require is the payment of their interest annually, it being, in my opinion, better for these trusts to have their funds in the hands of our own State than in the hands of individuals or other States.
We all have a direct interest in sacredly guarding these funds, and having them properly appropriated to their legitimate purposes. This fund principally arises from the sale of lands granted by the General Government to the State for educational purposes, being the University, Normal and Primary School Lands.
The Constitution of the State provides that the proceeds from the sale of all lands that have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States to the State for educational purposes, and the proceeds of all lands or other property given by individuals or appropriated by the State for like purposes, shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest and income of which, together with the rents of all such lands as may remain unsold, shall be inviolably appropriated and annually applied to the specific objects of the original gift, grant or appropriation. As these lands are sold the money arising therefrom is paid into the treasury, and the State becomes a trustee for the faithful keeping of the same, and the appropriation of the interest and income arising therefrom, according to that clause of the Constitution hereby referred to. This trust is a sacred one, and should be kept inviolate.
The interest and income arising therefrom should annually be appropriated towards the great object for which the grant was conferred. Should the money arising from the sale of these lands be allowed to accumulate in our treasury, no interest or income would arise therefrom.
The true policy, in my opinion, is to appropriate the money arising from the sale of these lands towards the ex
tinguishment of our State indebtedness, and the State paying annually a rate of interest for the use of such money. This has been the policy heretofore pursued, and I recommend a continuance of the same. The other indebtedness of the State stands upon a far different basis.
This indebtedness must be provided for, both principal and interest, as the same falls due.
True policy required the Legislature, when it contracted this debt, in the early settlement of our State, to have made provision for its payment; but they neglected to do so, and it does not now become us to look back and scan their acts, except to take warning from their missteps, and guard our own conduct by the experience of those who have gone before us.
We find this debt upon our hands, and it is our duty to make provision for it.
The Constitution of the State provides as follows:
The Legislature shall provide by law a sinking fund, of at least twenty thousand dollars a year, to commence in eighteen hundred and fifty-two, with compound interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum, and an annual increase of at least five per cent., to be applied solely to the payment and extinguishment of the principal of the State debt, other than the amounts due to educotional funds, and shall be continued until the extinguishment thereof."
This Constitutional provision has never been complied with, and it is now too late, in my judgment, to create such a "sinking fund" as will enable us to pay off the entire indebtedness of the State as it falls due. The payment of that portion of the State indebtedness falling due during the present month, was provided for by the legislative enactment of January, 1858.
The forty thousand dollars falling due in January, 1860, together with the interest upon our entire indebtedness, ought to be by you provided for. This debt is not of our contracting. It has been handed down to us by former
Legislatures. We are, however, both morally and legally bound to pay it, as much as if we had contracted it. It soon falls due, and unless we make provision for its payment at maturity, our proud State will be in the humiliating and dishonorable position of not being prepared to meet the just demands of her creditors.
The State Prison, at Jackson, will demand a portion of your consideration. There is no subject that will come up before you that will require deeper thought or more patient deliberation than that of the criminal jurisprudence. of our State. The punishment of crime has a threefold object to subserve-the reformation of the criminal, the example of punishment, with a view of deterring others from the commission of crime, and the safety of community. Vengeance, in an enlightened age, is not one of the objects to be accomplished by the punishment of crime. That system of jurisprudence that more nearly subserves the three great objects already mentioned, has ever been found the best. In my opinion, ecrtainty of punishment will do more to prevent the commission of crime than severity. Crime, in this State, is more severely punished than in the State of New York, with the exception of the death penalty, and yet with all this severity, we are fast outstripping New York in crime;
No man of reflection can look at the great increase of crime in our State during the past two years without g shudder. There were confined in the State Prison at Jackson
December 1, 1857,...
This is an increase far beyond the proportionate increase of our population. The utmost capacity of the State Prison, when fully completed according to its present plan, will be as follows:
Thirty-four of the convicts are now confined in the State Prison for life, and twenty-four of these are confined in solitary cells for wilfu! and deliberate murder.
Let crime continue to increase in our State for the next three years, in the same ratio as in the past, and our prison at the end of that period will be full to its utmost capacity.
In January, 1847, the Legislature appropriated thirtytwo thousand dollars for the purpose of completing the east wing of the prison and constructing one hundred and sixty-four cells therein, and for making other improvements.
In pursuance of this appropriation the building commissioner, having charge of it, has nearly completed one hundred and sixty cells and has made the improvements contemplated by the appropriation, for the particulars of which you are respectfully referred to the annual report of the officers of the prison for the years 1857 and 1858. Further appropriations are necessary to be made in order to complete the prison. Although one hundred and sixty cells have been built since January, 1857, yet the increase of convicts has kept pace with the building of cells.
I recommend to your consideration such an appropriation as will enable the building commissioner to complete
such portions of the prison as are needed for the safe keeping of the convicts as they may be brought there. For a detailed statement of the finances of the prison and the manner that institution has been conducted for the past year, you are respectfully referred to the Inspector's report and the accompanying documents, now on file in the proper department.
Much complaint is being made among the mechanics of our State, (and particularly among the carriage and wagon makers,) as to the kind of labor in which the convicts are employed. Our mechanics claim that their labor is brought in competition with convict labor, the result of which is that they are compelled to sell the products of their industry far below remunerative prices. This is a subject worthy of your attention.
There is no class of men more entitled to the fostering care of legislation than the mechanics of our State. Banish mechanical labor from our soil, and you strike a death blow at our prosperity.
The constitution provides that "No mechanical trade shall hereafter be taught in the State Prison of this State, except the manufacture of those articles of which the chief supply for home consumption is imported from other States or countries."
The spirit of this clause of our constitution would seem to prohibit the employment of convict labor upon such mechanical works, the chief supply of which is derived from our own State.
The manifest object of this clause was to prevent convict labor coming in competition with free mechanical labor.
It may be said that no convict in the State Prison is taught the carriage or wagon maker's trade, because no one convict is taught all the different branches of the business so as to be able to complete a carriage or wagon. This kind of reasoning would do away with the spirit and effect of the constitution. Carriage and wagon making