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Florida, is now particularly adapted to the culture of the Sugar-cane, and many of the tropical fruits are produced there as abundantly, and in as great perfection, as in the West-Indies; the plantain, banana, pinc-apple, lime, lemon, and other fruits are there produced, because from latitude 24 degrees to 26 degress frost is not known, and as far as latitude 29 degrees north, the sugar-cane is cultivated with the best success. In these latitudes also, the Spanish tobacco not inferior to that of the Island of Cuba, is produced, and the Vine, Olive, and mulberry trees, have been upon fair trial, found to flourish there, equal to any other country. It is a fact not very generally known to the people of this Territory, that they possess a country of the character herein described, running parallel on its eastern limit for two hundred miles, with the Bahama Islands, and separated from them by a channel of not more than fifty miles, and that the Islands between Cape Florida and the Tortugas, are situate and lie to the south of the largest of the Bahamas, upon all of which the tropical fruits of every description have been cultivated and have been produced in perfection, nor is it known generally, that the towns of Key-West and Indian Key lie to the south of Nassau, in the Island of New Providence, and within twelve hours sail of Havana and Matanzas in the Is- . land of Cuba, from which that part of our Territory is sepa- . rated by the Gulph Stream, not more than ninety miles wide. These facts are within the knowledge of your committece and they respectfully submit them.
Which was read and concurred.in.
Also from the same committee, reported a bill entitled an Act, concerning the Revenue in the Territory of Florida, and for other purposes, which was read and ordered for a second reading to-morrow.
Mr. Wood from the Bank committee, reported a bill entitled an Act, to amend an Act, to incorporate the Bank of Jacksonville, which was read and ordered for a second reading to-morrow.
A bill entitled an Act, in addition to the several Acts, concerning crimes and misdemeanors, was postponed until to morrow.
A bill entitled an Act to incorporate the Southern College at St. Augustine, was read the third time and passed. Ordered that the title be as afore stated.
Mr. Fitzpatrick, asked and obtained leave, (the rule for that purpose being waived,) to introduce a bill entitled an Act, to provide for the compensation of the members of the
Legislaiive Council, which was read and ordered for a second reading to-morrow.
A bill entitled an Act, to incorporate the Washington Lumber company, was read a third time and passed. Ordered. that the title be as afore stated.
A bill entitled an Act, for the relief of Mary Soland, was read a third time, when the yeas and nays being required by Messrs. Macon and Wood, on the question of its final passage, were, Yeas,— Messrs. President, Brown, Downing, Fitzpatrick, Hart, McNeill, Williams and Wood, 8. Nays Messrs. Brvan, Fernandez, Fontane, Gilliland, Johnston, Kenan, Levy, Long, Macon, Marvin, Read, Robinson, Shehee and Tabor, 14. So said bill is lost. .
· A bill entitled an Act, to repeal an Act, therein mentioned was postponed till to-morrow.
A bill entitled an Act, to amend the several Acts, regulating the County Courts, was read the third time, the yeas and nays being required by Messrs. Tabor and Macon, on its passage, were, Yeas,- Messrs. Brown, Fernandez, Fitzpatrick, Fontane, Gilliland, Johnson, Kenan, Long, Macon, McNeill, Robinson, Shehee, Tabor, Williáms and Wood, 15. Nays, Messrs. President, Bryan, Downing, Hart, Levy, Read and Stewart, 7. So said bill passed. Ordered that the title be as afore stated...
A bill entitled an Act, for the relief of Hannah Stuart, was read a third time, the yeas and nays being required on the question of its final passage, by Messrs. Macon and Fitzpatrick, were, Ye::5,- Messrs. President, Brown, Bryan, Downing, Fitzpatrick, Gilliland, Hart, Johnson, Marvin, McNeill, Read, Shehee, Tabor, Williams and Wood, 15. Nays Messrs. Fernandez, Kenan, Levy, Long, Macon, Robinson and Stewart, 7. So said bill passed. Ordered that the title be as afore stated.
The President laid before the House, a communication from the associate Judges of the Courts of Appeals, which was read and ordered to be placed on the Journal.
TALLAHASSEE, 9th Feb. 1837.
Sir, Before the arrival of the undersigned Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals, at this place, their attention was directed to the following paragraphs contained in the annual message of his Excellency the Governor, communicated to the Honorable body over which you preside.. ." It becomes a subject of deep interest to the community, hat every term of the Appellate Court, should be promptly
and punctually held. Such I regret to say, has not been the case, and a session of this high and important tribunal, owing to the absence of some one of its members has not been held for the last three years. The presiding Judge of this Court has been regular in his attendance, and occasionally some one of the Associate Judges have been present, but not a sufficient number to constitute a quorum."
The above remarks, (especially when taken in connexion with a few of the preceding paragraphs in the same document,) would seem to imply, that there had been on the part of the Associate Judges of this Territory, a gross “ want of punctuality and attention to their duties” arising from an absence of that responsibility which is deemed by his Excellency, so essential to a faithful discharge of official obligation; and as the undersigned feel satisfied, that an inference so disreputable to them as officers of this government, is unwarranted by facts, they are called upon by every consideration of personal and official respect, to shew to the Honorable body, to which his Excellency's message was addressed, that there has been no such palpable disregard of duty, on their part, as is implied in that message.
In making the assertion, that a term of the Court of Appeals has not been held for three years, in consequence of the absence of the associate Judges, his Excellency the Governor, was evidently under a wrong impression. · In 1834, the term was held, and all the causes then upon the docket, was regularly called and disposed of. In 1835, there was no session; two of the Associate Judges being absent from circumstances beyond their control, and which circumstances it is believed, were generally known throughout the Territory, and especially in Tallahassee. In 1836, a majority of the Judges did attend, and the court was kept open about fifteen days, but in consequence of the presiding Judge not having received a commission which he had previously expected, he could not take his seat in the court, and for that reason, no business could be finally transacted. But the term was not lost, (as might be inferred from his Excellency's message,) because only one of the Associate Judges was present. And now in 1887, the court is not only in session, but has nearly disposed of all the business which has been presented to its consideration. ,
Thus it is seen, that instead of their having been a loss of three of the regular terms of the court, because of the absence of a majority of the Associate Judges, only one term has been omitted for that reason, and only two of the terms altogether, one of which failed, as has already been stated
in consequence of the inability of the presiding Judge to take his scat.
In addressing the Legislative Council upon this subject, the undersigned would not be understood as intending to convey the impression, that his Excellency the Governor, was aware of the misapprehension of facts, under which he evidently laboured at the time his message was penned, on the contrary, that his error grew out of a want of that investigation which he probably would have given the subject, had he not been prevented by an overwhelming mass of business, in which he found himself involved, on the eve of meeting the Legislature after so long and so perplexing an absence from the seat of Government. But while the undersigned disclaim the purpose of imputing to his Excellency, a deliberate design of presenting them to the country in an attitude which is undeserved, they would be doing injustice to themselves, were they to permit another remark in his message to pass unnoticed. That remark is in these words, “ the presiding Judge of this court, has been regular in his attendance, and occasionally, some one of the Associate Judges have beeh present, but not in sufficient numbers to constitute a quorum." From the phraseology used in this paragraph, the inference is irresistable, that at some of the time sprescribed by law, for holding the court, not one of the Associate Judges was present, and at others, only one of them; the word “occasionally,” admits of no other construction, and yet the undersigned cannot believe that his Excellency intended to convey that impresaion, as it is already shown, that not one term provided for by, the Act of Congress, organizing the Court, has passed without one of the Associate Judges being present, and only one, at which there was not a majority of them preseni.
The undersigned do not desire to claim for themselves, or their absent associate, any credit for the performance of du- . ties which their acceptance of office enjoined upon them, but when the remoteness of their respective residences from the seat of government, the difficulties which are sometimes presented in getting to it, and the embarrasments under which the country for a year or two has been laboring, are considered, they do believe, that the fact of there having been only one regular term of the court lost in consequence of the absence of a majority of the members composing it, since the present Associate Judges have been upon the bench, (and one of them has been there nearly nine years,) should at least have exempted them from censure and reproach.
The undersigned do not consider this as the proper time
to enter into explanations of the causes which have operated to prevent the attendance of any one of the Associate Judges at Tallahassee, at the times appointed by law, for holding the court, were it so, they are confident, that such reasons cculd be given as would be satisfactory to the whole community." They however, deem it improper to do more on the present occasion, than simply to correct mistakes, into which his Excellency has inadvertently fallen, and which, if permitted to remain uncorrecied, are calculated to do them an injury in the estimation of their fellow citizens. .
The undersigned would therefore most respectfully ask that this letter be placed among the proceedings of the Legislative Council, as their response to so much of his Excellency's message, as relates to the Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals.
In conclusion, the undersigned beg leave to say, that this response would have been sent in at an earlier dạy of the session of the Council, but for the seeming indelicacy which an address to that Honorable body might have involved, had it been made before sufficient time had elapsed for such action upon the subject as should have been deemed necessary, but as the time alletted for the session has now nearly passed by and as the erroneous impressions founded upon his Excellency's message, are every day extending farther and wider, they believe they are no longer required by considerations of that character to withhold their reply. They hope, however that performing this simple act of justice to themselves, at this time, will not be regarded as evincing a desire on their part to forestall the opinion of any member of your Honorable body, or to deprecate any subsequent action in reference to themselves, to which in the judgement of the Council, it. may be proper to resort ,
A bill entitled an Act to incorporate the Protestant Episcopal Church in the city of Apalachicola, was read a third time and passed. Ordered that the title be as afore stated. .
A bill entitled an Act to incorporate the Protestant Episcopal Church in the city of St. Joseph, was read a third time and passed. Cordered that the title be as afore stated.
A bill entitled an Act to divorce Tillithia Brooks, from her husband John R. Brooks, was rcad a third time, the yeas