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Mr. WHITTEMORE introduced the following Resolution :
Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, now met and sitting in General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That all records, books and papers now in the office of the Commissioner of Agricultural Statistics, belonging to the same, be transferred to the office of the Secretary of State.
On motion of Mr. WHITTEMORE, the Rule was suspended, and the Resolution considered immediately.
The question was taken on agreeing to the Resolution, and decided in the affirmative.
Mr. SWAILS introduced the following Resolution:
Whereas Hon. Frank Arnim, W. B. Nash, Robert Smalls and Lucius Wimbush, did refuse to vote under the decision of the President pro tem., when the yeas and nays were called; therefore, be it
Resolved, That Hon. Frank Arnim, W. B. Nash, Robert Smalls, and Lucius Wimbush, be ordered before the bar of the Senate, and show cause why they should not be punished for contempt.
Mr. ARNIM moved that the Rule be suspended, and the Resolution considered immediately.
Objection being made, the Resolution was ordered for consideration to
NOTICES OF BILLS.
Mr. WHITTEMORE gave notice that he will on to-morrow, or some subsequent day, introduce
A Joint Resolution to make an appropriation for the maintenance of the Common Schools of South Carolina, for the fiscal year of 1870.
MESSAGES FROM THE GOVERNOR.
The Sergeant-at-Arms announced Message from the Governor.
Messages Nos. 17 and 18 were presented to the Senate by Mr. W.F. Hague, Assistant Private Secretary. Message No. 17 was read, as follows:
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
COLUMBIA, January 16, 1871. To the Senate ond House of Representatives :
I have received the Concurrent Resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives, requesting me to inform the General Assembly " Why a sufficient militia force for the protection of life, liberty and property have not been stationed in such Counties in this State as have been hitherto riotous and refractory; and, further, why have not the out-laws in them been brought to condign punishment; and why the provisions of Section 2 of Article 13 of the Constitution have not been enforced ; and also, to inform the General Assembly what further legislation is necessary to effect the purpose herein stated.
In furnishing you such information as it is in my power to supply, and while I deeply deplore the disturbances to which your Resolution refers, I can scarcely venture, as Executive of the State, to pronounce any of its Counties“ riotous and refractory” upon the reported cases of individual outrage; and while no information has been received in this office indicating anything like a County organization to defy or to defeat the law, I am the more cautious in this respect, because it will be recollected that very many cases of individual violence have hitherto been reported, both from the Counties of Abbeville and Edgefield. But the prompt and impartial administration of justice in these Counties has proved that the civil power was sufficient for the protection of the life, liberty and property of our citizens; and these Counties are now as quiet, peaceable and orderly as any portion of the State. But if there was any part of the State in which violence and disorder were so general as to disarm the power of the civil Courts, I must say, frankly, that I have no such militia force as would be competent to suppress them; and if I had, I have no means to place and maintian such a force in the field.
If, by the "out-laws who have not been brought to condign punishment,” you mean those individuals who have lately perpetrated the outrages in the Counties of Spartanburg and Union, I can only say that every effort has been made that could lawfully be made by the Executive to discover these criminals, and bring them to speedy trial. In some instances those suspected of guilt have been committed for trial, and in their cases, the Executive is without power, as he ought to be without disposition, to interfere with the due administration of the law. In other instances the perpetrators of these crimes are not known, and have not yet been discovered. I can only promise that every effort shall be made to arrest and bring them to justice.
I am not aware that the second Section of the 13th Article of the Con. stitution has not been enforced.
That Section provides :
“ The Governor shall have power to call out the Militia to execute the laws, repel invasion, repress insurrection and preserve the public peace.”
I cannot say, with truth, upon any information in my possession, that in any section of the State the laws are not executed, for not a single case has been reported in which the officers of the law have been resisted in
the discharge of their duties. There is no invasion which I am called on to repel; no insurrection which I am called on to suppress.
While I cannot say that “the public pecce" of the State is threatened to such a degree as to warrant the exercise of the power of calling out the Militia, given me in the Section of the Constitution just quoted, I deeply regret that it is my duty to inform you that the condition of several of the Counties in the State is disturbed and dangerous. In Laurens, Union and Spartanburg, persons and property are not secure.
Repeated instances of violence, disregard of the law, and murder, have been reported, and there is a well founded apprehension, on the part of law-abiding citizens, that unless these outrages are promptly checked, the evil will have become too great for ordinary remedies. I do not propose, at present, to refer to these crimes in detail, nor to attempt the discussion of their causes. It is enougb to say that they are so grave and so numerous, as to call for the unflinching application of all the power of repression which the Executive can lawfully exercise.
It is proper for me to state, and I am glad to be able to do it, that the public sentiment of these Counties seems to be aroused to the character and consequences of this state of affairs, and public meetings have been held, in which the responsible and influential citizens of Laurens and Spartanburg, have declared, in language sufficiently strong, their abhorrence of these crimes, and their willingness to aid the Executive in the suppression of them. If these opinions are carried out in action, we may anticipate the speedy restoration of peace and order, but something more is needed than these resolutions, however just and generous in sentiment.
It is my opinion that the civil law of the State ought to be sufficient, and it is my determination that it shall be sufficient, to protect the person and property of every and any citizen of the State, however humble, friendless, or obnoxious. I cannot bring myself to contemplate the use of an armed force to punish individual violations of the law in a time of profound peace. Such a remedy would be as bad as the disease, and would be a public declaration that there was no civil government in South Carolina, and that we are living in a condition of social anarchy. I am bound, by my oath of office, as the Executive of this State, and in reverence for those principles of Constitutional liberty, which are the vital force of true Republicanism, to see that the law is duly enforced before I resort to other and dangerous powers. I dare not, and will not, assume that justice cannot be administered until the effort has been made, and the failure evident.
It is, therefore, my intention to see that the law is enforced, and when I fail in the effort I will, unhesitatingly, call upon you for the extraordinary authority to which society must resort for self-protection. But, at present, I would call your attention to the fact that all the cases of reported violence are individual violations of the law; that none of them have assumed the character of public combinations against the law; and that they are all within the regular jurisdiction of the criminal Courts of the County. But I do not think that the administration of the criminal law is sufficiently vigorous. As the Executive of the State, it is impossible for me to superintend or control the trial of criminals. This duty must be left to the Attorney-General and the Solicitors, wbo are the prosecuting officers of the State, and to whom the administration of the criminal law, in their respective spheres of duty, is committed by the same law which defines my own duties and powers. That these officers have done, and will do, their duty, I have no doubt, but I do not think that their powers are sufficiently strong, or their means of action sufficiently large. To illustrate my meaning more fully, each Solicitor has several Counties under his official charge. A murder is committed in one of the remoter districts, where he does not reside. A warrant is issued; a Coroner's inquest makes a very unsatisfactory report of the circumstances, unless the friends or family of the victim are especially; a active few witnesses are bound over, and the papers are put in the hands of the Solicitor the day that the Court opens; and if a true bill is found, he goes on with the trial, with a slight and imperfect preparation thus made ; nor can the Solicitor be blamed. He has many Courts to attend, very many cases to prepare; has not had opportunity to learn the circumstances of his case, or the character of his testimony. Now, in ordinary times, when cases of violence are rare, shock the humanity of public opinion, and excite the indignant activity of those who are interested in the suffering parties this labor of preparation was spared the Solicitor, because he always had an individual prosecutor behind him. But when the crime is one in which the sympathy of public opinion is not warmly interested, or where a disturbed condition of popular sentiment is not disposed actively to assist public justice, or where the parties suffering are too friendless to make themselves heard, then the duty of the Solicitor, while it becomes more imperative, also becomes more difficult. To do justice, he needs larger powers and more assistance.
I would, therefore, recommend a more complete and efficient organization of the machinery necessary for the administration of criminal justice. The Attorney-General is the proper repsesentative of the Criminal Justice of the State, and he should have the authority, not only as at present to consult and advise with the Solicitors, but to review and direct their action. They should be required to report to him regularly the condition of the prosecutions in their respective circuits, and to be governed by his instructions whenever he may deem it judicious to issue them. He should also have the power, whenever, in his opinion, the importance of the case requires it, to retain Assistant Counsel, and see that the State is fully and efficiently represented.
I think, also, that a corps of Detective Police Officers should be placed under his control, to be used by him and the Solicitors, as occasion may require. I do not propose that these officers should have any power of arrest.
This responsibility must be assumed by the law officers of the State. But the crimes from which society is suffering can never be suppressed without some efficient organization by which the preliminary investigations can be conducted, the traces of guilt promptly followed up, and such testimony procured as will justify a prosecuting officer in asking from conscientious juries a verdict of conviction. Neither the AttorneyGeneral or the Solicitors can give more than a general superintendence and skillful direction to such investigations; and they need the aid of a body of discreet, practiced and temperate-minded men to prform this important duty. As the Attorney-General and the Solicitors are elected by the people, they have it in their power to select men in whose characters they will find sufficient guarantee that this power will not be abused.
To carry out this plan would require that a contingent fund, sufficient to meet its expense, be placed at the control of the Attorney-General, which I therefore recommend.
I think it proper, also, to call to your attention the fact that the Judicial District in which these disturbances are most flagrant is practically without a Judge. The presiding Judge of that Circuit is now under impeachment before the Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors, and, while it would not become me to anticipate this solemn trial, yet I cannot forbear saying that nothing would contribute more effectively or more speedily to the restoration of order than the presence in the Courts of this Circuit of a Magistrate who shall possess the ability to know his duty, the resolution to do his duty, and that high character which is in itself a pillar of strength to the good, and a living admonition to evildoers.
Nor can I leave this subject without expressing my regret that the Trial Justices have so signally failed to meet the requirements of their office. In a condition of things such as we now deplore, the preliminary investigation in nearly all the prosecutions of the crimes we wish to sup press is within the province of the Trial Justices, and the prompt and efficient administration of the criminal law is in a large degree dependent upon their ability, discretion and courage-qualities which, I am sorry to say, the system has not developed.
Believing firmly that a vigorous administration of the law will be sufficient to repress crime, I make these recommendations, pledging my