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91h District, H. H. Walker, 10th do. Daniel Bird, 12th do. Allen G. Johnson,
Jesse Carter, 3.);! 14th . John Broward, 15th do. Gabriel Priest, 171h do. G. R. Fairbanks, 18th : do.
R. D. Bradley, A quorum being present, on motion, Mr. Carter was called to the Chair,
On motion of Mr. Broward the Senators were severally sworn according to the Constitution of the State, by E. : M. West, Esq., a Justice of the Peace.
After which, on motion of Col. Broward, the session was o. pened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Foster.
The Senate proceeded to the election of President.
On the First balloting the vote was as follows:
There being no election the sepate preceeded to a second balloting; the vote was
.. Fairbanks, 7; Kelly, 6; Bird, 1; Mays, '1. There being no election the Senate proceeded to a third bal. loting; the vote was as follows:
Fairbanks, 7; Kelly, 6; Bird, 1; Mays, 1. There being no election the senáte proceeded to a fourth balloting; the votes were as follows:
Fairbanks, 7; Kelly 6; Bird, 1; Mays, 1. There being no election the Senate proceeded to the fifth bal. loting. On counting the ballots. the votes were for,
Fairbanks, 7; Kelly, 6; Bird, 1; Mays, 1. " 9 There beiog no election, the senate, op motion of Mr. Bird, took a recess until 3 o'clock.
! ! 3 o'clock, P. M. The Senate proceeded to ballot the sixth time. : On counting the ballots the result was as follows:
Fairbanks, 8; Kelly, 6; Bird, 1; Mays, 1.
D. H. Mays, 15.
President elect to the chair ; which duty was performed, and the President, in a short and appropriate address, returned his acknowledgments,
The Sepale proceeded to the election of Secretary, and on counting the ballots, Hugh Archer received fifteen voles, and was declared duly elected Secretary of the Senate.
Oa motion, the Senate proceeded to the election of a Messenger
The names of A. G. McLean and Charles F. Fitchett, were placed in nomination.
Messrs. Kelly, Carter, and Broward, were appointed Tellers.
8 votes. On the 2d balloting, the votes were For A. G. McLean
8 votes. For Charles F. Fitchett
8 Mr. Broward moved to reconsider the motion to go into an election for Messenger and Doorkeeper, which motion was negatived.
Ms. Kelly moved that the election for the present be postponed; which motion prevailed.
On motion of Mr. Kelly, a Committee of three were appointed to inform the House that the Senate had organized, by the election of a President and Secretary, and was ready to proceed to business.
Messrs. Kelly, Broward, and Fairbanks, were appointed that Committee.
Oa motion of Mr. Kelly, the Rules of the last session were adopted for the government of the Senate, until such time as other rules were adopted.
A message was received from the House, informing the Senate that that body had organized, and was prepared for business.
The Committee appointed to wait on the House, and inform them of the organization of :he Senate, reported that they had performed that duty. The House transmitted to the Senate the following Message:
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, November 24, 1846. Hon. President of the Senate--Sir:
The following resolution has been adopted by the House, viz: "Resolved, That a Committee be appointed on the part of this
House, to join such Committee as may be appointed on the part of
M. D, PAPY,
Clerk of the House of Representatives. Which was read, and Messrs. Kelly, Broward, and Fairbanks, were appointed a Committee on the part of the Senate, to inform the Governor of the organization of the Senate and House of Representatives.
His Excellency the Governor transmitted to the Senate, by his private Secretary, 0. H. Myers, his second Annual Message. Gentlemen of the Senate,
and House of Representatives : In the discharge of the bigh and imperative duty imposed upon the Execu. tive at the commencement of the annual sessions of the General Assembly, your attention is invited to a brief statement of the condition of the Govern. ment for the current year; and to the consideration of such matters recom. mended, as will in the judgment of the Executive, if adopted, promote the interest, prosperity and happiness of our beloved commonwealth.
In commencing, however, the labors devolving upon us, as public functionaries, and feeling, (as we doubtless do,) the sacredness of our obligations for their faithful discharge, we should not be unmindful of a still higher and more solemn obligation to the “Giver of all good and perfect gifts,” in “whose kee. ping is the destiny of nations and of men,” for the rich bounties of His provi. dence, in the multiplied blessings which we have enjoyed; and to invoke, with becoming humility, that aid in the discharge of our high responsibilities, with. out which all our efforts for the common good, however well intended, will be wholly ineffectual.
As regards the product of our soil, it is a source of no ordinary satisfaction that, notwithstanding a partial failure in the annual supply of the great agricul. tural staple of the South, other products have richly rewarded the labors of the husbandman.
Good health has generally prevailed, and the general prosperity of the peo. ple in their varied industrial pursuits, has at no time presented more flattering prospects for the encouragement of skill, enterprize and industry. Our great social interests have been steadily promoted; crimes have gradually diminished, and morality improved.
Such a state of things may well inspire us with devout thankfulness,—with increasing attachment to our civil and religious institutions, and with renewed zeal in our efforts at self-government.
Among the most interesting subjects which will probably engage your deliberations at the existing session, and one therefore to which your attention is earnestly but respectfully invited, is the judicious disposition of the public lands granted by the General Government to this State, in trust, for the pur. pose of promoting common schools and universities," and for the develop ment of the resources of the State by “Internal Improvement."
Primary Schools, as a means of diffusing elementary instruction among the great mass of the people, even in governments where ignorance has heretofore been used as the handmaid of tyranny and oppression are now fostered by libe.
ral endowments; and patronized with a zeal indicating the solicitude which is felt for their successful establishment.
In a government then like ours, based as it is on equality of rights and privile. ges, and whose greatest security for perpetuity depends upon the virtue and intelligence of the people, the liberal support and patronage of such institutions, should be a subject of the deepest concern to all, and especially deserving the attention of the Representatives of the people.
In a matter then of such vičal importance, not only to the youth of the state, but to our respectability as a sovereign and independent government, as well as to the perpetuity of our beloved institutions, it is deeply to be regretted that such ample means for the accomplishment of ends so desirable, should have been thus long, not only wholly useless, but, what is much more humiliating, shamefully neglected, or criminally squandered.
The apathy heretofore manifested by all, (those alone excepted who were in the actual possession of these charitable funds, and that too for nominal consid. erations,) readily accounts for the inefficiency of the legislation already had in regard to them.
It is true that many efforts, by as many Legislatures, for consecutive years, were made to protect this property from the destruction which manifestly await. ed it, yet so feebly have they been enforced, that the trespasser has enjoyed (without even reproach,) his ill-gotten gains. The lands in many instances have been exhausted.
In the year 1843 the Legislature organized a Board of Trustees of the Seminary Lands, under whose superintendence they were placed. It affords me pleasure to assure you, that by the vigilance, zeal and industry of that Board, many of the abuses theretofore successfully practiced by lessees and trespassers, have been promptly corrected. The Board, nevertheless, renders its services to the public without pecuniary compensation, and of course cannot be presu. med to discharge the trust with that active zeal which a compensation would ensure. Few of us are so fortunately situated as to be enabled to render valuable services to the public, without indemnity for the loss which our private in terests would thereby sustain.
It is, therefore, a matter submitted to your patient and deliberate considera. tion to devise a more perfect system, by which a fund, susceptible of such vast importance to the state, and more especially to those who are to succeed us, may be made to answer the purposes for which it was intended.
Experience has fully tested the inefficiency of all former legislation. Leas. es have resulted in the waste of the land, without any valuable addition to the fund. Without intending to dictate to the Legislature the particular course which it ought to adopt, I may be permitted to remark, that, from a careful examination of the whole matter, and after having given it that deliberation and reflection to which it is so eminently entitled, the convictions of my judg. ment are, that, as to all grants where it is necessary to obtain the assent of Congress for power to sell, such application should be made; and that such and all others belonging to the State, should be offered for sale, at such times and on such terms, or with such limitations and restrictions as to the quantity of. fered, and the time and mode of payment, as a proper regard for the safety of the fund may suggest; and that the proceeds of such sales shall be inviolably applied, at some future period, to the purposes for which they were originally intended.
For more valuable and detailed information upon this entire subject your attention is respectfully invited to the interesting and lucid report of the Trus. tees of the Seminary Lands, which will be laid before you at an early day.
It will be observed, by referring to an act of Congress, passed on the 4th of September, 1841, that this State is entitled to 500,000 acres of land, to be se. lected and located within its limits, for purposes of “ Internal Improvement.” It will also be seen, by referring to a report herewith submitted to you, that a portion of the lands, recently located under the authority of an act of the last
General Assembly, “ Providing for the appointment of a Register of Public Lands," have been reserved from the school fund, with a view of setting them apart for Internel Improvements. Whatever may be the determination of the General Assembly, with regard to the ultimate disposition of these lands, it is recommended that no portion of them, at present, be applied to purposes of Internal Improvement. With the latter as with the school lands, it is recommended that they be sold, and the proceeds invested temporarily in such securities as will yield a certain annual income to the fund.
To those who are familiar with the history and progress of Internal Improve. ments in many of the States possessing advantages in wealth and population vastly superior to Florida, no argument need be advanced in support of the position here assumed, that any attempt, at present, to engage extensively in works of this description, with the funds now under our sole control and management, will result in their expenditure without commensurate advantages to the State.
The subject, however, is submitted with the conviction that it will receive the attention to which it is entitled.
At the last Session of the General Assembly, an Act was passed to establish the Office of Register of Public Lands for this State, with an amendatory act of the same session, vesting in the Executive tho appointment of a Register upon the failure of the Legislature to make such appointment. The Legislature ad. journed without having made such selection. It is very evident, froin the deep interest that was manifested by that body in its frequent and fruitless attempts to fill the office, that no ordinary importance was by it attached to its responsi. bility. When this high responsibility was thus thrown upon another Department of the Government, it is but reasonable to suppose that this new depository of the trust was not insensible to its magnitude. It was from this, and other con. siderations that no appointment has been made. The duties of that office were undertaken by the Executive, and have thus far received that share of attention to which, it is believed, they were so eminently entitled. How far they may have been performed to the satisfaction of the Legislature, can only be determined by a careful examination of what has been done,
To secure as much valuable land as was practicable, it became necessary to enter upon the discharge of the trust immediately after the adjournment of the Legislature. With this
view, two agents, of the highest respectability, and of ac. knowledged worth as practical surveyors, were selected and appointed, with limited contracts, for the Eastern and Southern, two for the Middle, and two for the Western Districts of the State. Thus far these agents have discharged their duty to the satisfaction of the appointing power; and it is believed, within the spirit and letter of their written contracts. For a detailed statement of the contracts entered into, with the quantity and valuation of the lands located, you are respectfully referred to a report which will be submitted for your examination at an early day of the session.
As this matter will be incorporated in the report of the President of the Board of Trustees of the Seminary Lands, I shall dismiss it for the present with the remark, that, upon full and practical experiment of the late law establishing that office, I feel it to be a duty to recommend its repeal, or such a modification or amendment as will provide for the sale of at least a portion of the lands, and fos the investment of the proceeds of such sale in some safe and producrive stock.
Whatever the Legislature may do in this respect, a sale of so much at least, should be made as will meet the expenses of locating. At present, that expense is met by drafts upon the public Treasury, and the five per cent. and school land funds, and by the Treasury exclusively for land for Internal Improvement.
In the reports of the Financial officers of the Government, herewith transmit. ted, you have a clear, distinct and lucid statement of the condition of the Trea. sury, and of its receipts and expenditures of the last fiscal year. All of which, it is earnestly desired, may receive from you the strictest examination, to the end that any impolitic legislation heretofore had, (if any there be,) in regard to