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it would seem that a small county tax for county purposes, would have been all that was required. The system was no doubt adopted by our predecessors, with a view to promote the general welfare, and although the ends for which it was established, have not been attained, and the most iniquitous practices have been pursued under it, yet as the public faith has been plighted by this and previous councils for the payment of money, it would be impolitic and unjust to a bolish it at the present time, notwithstanding it has been earnestly called for from different parts of the territory. The committee have endeavoured to remedy the defects in the mode of assessment and collection, and also to reduce the taxes for the present year, by the bill reported herewith.
In regard to the Tallahassee Fund, the committee cannot agree with the executive, that the labours which have been bestowed by the auditor on the books of the commissioner of Tallahassee have "brought out of great confusion a valuable fund to the territory, and which, until now, has been considered scarcely worthy to be looked after.” Every thing that appears in the report of the audi. tor accompanying the executive message of the 4th instant, bas long since been known. The committee is satisfied that the balance reported by the auditor in favour of the fund is merely nominal, that it is out of the question that any such sum as $11,729 59 will ever be realized--and hat ihe position assumed by the executive in relation to the lien existing upon the lots that were sold for less than the amount agreed to be paid by the first purchasers, is not tenable in law or equity.--The facts in relation io the sale of those lots, as collected by the committee, are, that the lots were sold by the commissioner of the city of Tallahassee, payable in three instalments, that to secure the payment of the purchase money, the purchasers were required to execute deeds in trust upon the lots. ''he instalments became due and were not paid--under an act of the council all the bonds were placed in the hands of a former district attorney of the Uniied States for Middle Florida, with directions to collect them without delay. The district attorney, as the notes were within the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace, placed them in the hands of a magistrate who issued the necessary process either by summon or atiachment, entered judgment in favour of the commissioner, issued executions, had the lots levied upon and sold for the purpose of satisfying ihe claim. for the original purchase money. The commissioner was present at the time of sale, representing the territory, and distinctly s'aled that the lots were sold for the purpose of satisfying the original purchase money and that the territory would not claim any further fien. The present holders came torward and bid what was con. sidered the value of the lots at the time, which was not sufficient in most cases to dtscharge the amount due, but the highest price the property would bring at that period 'Now, when these lots having advanced in consequence of the appreciation of all kinds of property, produced by the general prosperity of the country, it is suddenly discovered the present owners of the lots, sold as atoresaid, are liable for the balance due and unpaid by the first perchasers !! notwithstanding too, they paid at the time of their purchase, the highest price that could be obtained for that species of property !! T'he committee are of opinion that the purchasers obtained a legal title to the lots at the time of sale-kut if by any teachnicality they should not have acquired a legal title, the committee submit whether it would be consonant with those principles of equity & justice, which a government should manifest towards its citizens, to hold them liable for liens upon their property which were declared by the representative of the territory, at the time of sale did not exist ?
The committ deem it unnecessary to enter into any furthef examination of the fund, it is too apparent that the munificence or:
the general government in making the donation of land for the purpose of erecting publie buildings, in the city of Tallahassee has been defeated, and it only remains for the council to endea. vour to preserve the small portion of land now unsold, so that, at some future period, it may contribute to erect suitable public buildings at the seat of government. The committee have examined the books and accounts of the present commissioner, and found them to be correct, and all the charges sustained by a proper voucher; by reference to the account current of the commissioner, there appears to have been a balance in his hands on the 4th instant, of $1370 33. The commiltee recommend that the duties of the commissioner of the city of Tallahassee he performed by the treasure , er, as the fund is inadequate to allow a salary.
The paper marked A together with the accompanying documents No. 1. 2, 3, and 4, comprises the annual report and exhibits of the auditor for the year 1835, that marked B, with the exhibit No. 5, is the annual report and the account current of the treasure er for the same year; ihat marked C with the paper No. 6, is the annual report and account current of the eommissioner of the city of Tallahassee; that marked D with the exhibit No. 7, is the executive message of the 41h instant, together with the report of the auditor respecting the Tallahassee fund.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
From the same committee, to whom was referred the report of the auditor concerning a reference to arbitrators of the matter and controversy between Benjamin G. Thornton and the commissioner of the city of Tallahassee, touching the contract for building the capito? in said city;. report, that the decision of Thomas P. Randolph, the umpire of said arbitrators, ought to be complied with: which was read and laid on the table.
mr. Berthelot from the committee on Enrolments reported as correctly Enroled :
an act to repeal an act to establish a ferry over the Waucallà river, at St. Marks," and
"An act amendatory and explanatory of the militia laws now in force in this territory.”
A bill entitled, “an act for the compensation of the members and and officers of the council, and for other purposes," was again read, and referred to a committee of the whole : after some time spent therein the committee rose, and mr. Burritt therefrom, reported progress and asked leave to sit again, which report was concurred by the House.
mr. M'Cants from the select committee to whom was referred a bill entitled, “an act to granı, a lease of two sections of theschool lands to J. A. S. Norman, for the purposes of education, reported said bill to the House amended: which report was concurred in and said bill was read the second time and ordered for a third reading on to day.
mr. President laid before the council the following message from His Excellency the Governor:
EXECUTLY E2h. FFICE,}
Feb. 12th 1836. To the Legislative Council:
I recommend to the legislative council the following amendment at the end of the first section to the act, amendatory and explana. tory of the militia laws now in force. The law will then, I hope, be considered effectual. The act as it stands, leaves a door open to cavil and dispute. The amendment will 'render it intelligible and plain to all “Apa the commanding officer be required and
and directed forth with to compel said delinquent, drafted per-son into the service."
JOHN H. EATON..
Which was read, and thereupon mr. Wood moved a reconsiders ation of the bill returned with said communication. The yeas & nays being required on said motion by messrs. Brown of Colum. bia and Berthelst, were Yeas mr. Presideni, messrs. Burritt, Den. nis, Downing, Duval, Higginbotham, Hunter, Johnson, Kenan, Morton, Smiik, Walker and Wood—14. Nays messrs. Berthelot, Blount, Brown of Columbia, Brown of Jackson, Macon, M'Çants, M'Neil, Ramsey and Tabor-9. So said motion prevailed, and on motion of mr. Duval the House went inio committee of the whole thereon: after some time spent therein, the committee rose, gand mr. Blount therefrom reported said bill amended in conformi
with the suggestion of His Excellency the Governor; which rePort was concurred in, and said bill was read the second and third times (the rule being waived): the yeas and nays being required On its passage by messrs. Wuod and Macon, were Yeas mr. President, messrs. Brown of Columbia, Burritt, Dennis, Downing, Du. Val, Higginbotham, Holloman, Hunter, Johnson, Kenan, Morton, R
amsey, Smith, Walker and Wood-16. Nays messrs. Berthlot, Blount, Brown of Jackson, Macon, M'Cants, M'Neil and Tabor - So said bill is passed : ordered that the title be as above stated.
The resolutions offered on yesterday by mr. Burritt were again read and adopted.
A bill entitled, " an act to repeal the 27th section of an act entitled an act concerning wills, letters testamentary and letters of administration, aud the duties of executors, administrators and guardians," was read the third time: the yeas and nays being, required on its passage by messrs. Downing and Smith, were Yeas messrs. Berthelot, Blount, Brown of Columbia, Brown of Jack. son, Burritt, Dennis, Hotoman, Hunter, Johnson, Kenan, Macon, M'Cants, M'Neil
, Ramsey, Smith, Tabor and Wood-13. Nays mr. President, messrs. Downing, Duval, Higginbotham, Morton wad Walker-6. So said bill is passed : ordered that the title bę as above stated.
On motion of mr. Blount it is ordered that the vote passing said bill be reconsidered.
A bill entitled, “an act for the relief of Eliza M. Shaw," was read the third time: the yeas and nays being required on its pas sage by messrs. Brown of Columbia and Berthelot, were Yeas mr. President, messrs. Blount, Burritt, Dennis, Downing, Duval, Higginbotham, Hunter; Johnson, Kenan, M'Cants, Morton, Ramsey, Smith, Walker and Wood-16. Nays messrs. Berthelot, Brown of Columbia, Brown of Jackson, Holloman, Macon, MNeil and Tabor—7.So said bill is passed. ordered that the title be as above stated.
The House in committee of the whole, took under considera. tion, a bill entitled, an act to amend the several acts concerning mortgages," after some time spent therein, the committee rose, and mr. Wood therefrom, reported said bill with the epacring clause strickon out; which report was concurred in by the House,
His Excellency the Governor transmitted to the House the following communication:
5th February, 1836. To the Legislative Council
The following bills are returned to you, one entitled, "an act to prevent trespasses and depredations on lands within the jurisdic. tion of Florida."
This act is amendatory of a previous act on the same subject. By the former ac: passed in 1834, a tax is assessed upon cattle straying into Florida across the line from Georgia. The act of Congress, which declares that no higher taxes than is paid by resident on their property, shall be imposed upon non-residents, for. bids this course, and puts aside the legality of the act. The bill before me which authorizes a forfeiture of all such wandering estate, is of the same characier, substantially-it subjects the property of our neighbours to penalties which do not attach 10 our own. Retaliation and reprisal will be resorted to, and strife and angry feelings may be the consequences of such a measure.
2d. An act respecting the hostile negroes and mulattoes in the Seminole war.
The policy of this will is of doubtful import at best, the troops being in the service of the United States, all prizes and captures must belong to, and be under the direction of ihe general government. But the council having enacted it, I shall not call its policy in question.
Accordingly at the commencement of the 5ti line of the 1st section, I recommend an amendment, and the adding of the words
by the iroops of this territory." I am unable to perceive the force of the council claiming for this territory (exclusively) captures which may be made by or her troops than their own, disagreement and jarrs might arise from such a course.
3d. An act to authorize the guardian or tutor of the minor heirs of Jayene Fontenals and Ylla to sell and dispose of the real estate of the said heirs within this territory, and
4th. An act to authorize the guardian and tutor of the minor heir of Daniel E. Burch, (deceased) to sell the real estate of said heir within this territory, and for other purposes, are also returned.
I object to these bills and all others like them, because it is a legislation upon the rights and property o minors who are not represented before you; and who not being so represented, may be injured by that legislation which professes to benefit them. It is true the bill provides that security shall be given; but in ten or fifa teen years, and so many years may elapse before they attain to full age, the principal and surities may not be found; or if found the lapse of years, may have exbausted all their funds.
Wherever the law gives reliel, legislation should be avoided. In cases of the character before me, it is presumed the courts of equity in this territory have full and ample jurisdiction; and when ever the guardian shall show that the interest of the heir will be advanced by a sale of any real estate belonging to him, it is in the power of the courts so to order it, and greater security to his rights in this course will be found than by adopting a system of special legislation.
5th. An act to incorporate the Florida Insurance and Banking company
On several occasions I have returned bills objected to containing like this a provision which authorizes corporations deal limitedly in real estate. The council have several times placed before me, for approval bills, containing similar provisions, and which they have been informed, ! could not sanction. I cannot conceive it to be in accordance with the principles of our institutions to permit coaporate bodies, unlimitedly and unrestrainedly: to buy and sell, and trade in real estate ; governments, less republican than our own, have conceived it to be of a dangerous tendancy, and have restrained the power; I cannot eonsent to adopt any different course, and therefore return the bill to you rejected entirely.
6th. An act to authorize the Governor of the Territory of Florida to raise Volunteers for the defence of the South Eastern Frontier, is objected to.
1. Because it contravenes an act of Congress of 1829, which se.cures to the qnalified voters of the territory a right to elect their military officers, after the mode to be pointed out by the legislature; and 2dly, because the territory is not in a situation to bear
$0 heavy an expense as this bill contemplates, and which cannot be less than forty-five or fifiy thousand dollars a month.
Doubtless it is intended and expected that Congress will provide the means of compensating this force, but they might refuse to do so, and then every incurred expenditure would properly be yours, moreover they mighit and probably would insist upon their priviledge to decide and determine for themselves what description of force should be employed, and at what rate of compensation and for what period of time. To me it seems to be a species of legislation which Congress, not this territory, rightfully may enter upon In cases of sudden and pressing necessity, a stale or lerritory may call troops to the field. The constitution—the laws, and principles of safety and of self-defence authorize it: but it must be done, and the forces be organized after the mode and manner directed by the act of Congress of 1792, for organizing the militia; or else what is done, will he a nulity as it regards the governmeni of the United States. The laws being adhered to, the United States of course, will become liable and chargeable with all the incurred expenditures of the war, but it is otherwise where any course is pursued which their laws do not authorize and sanction.
7th. An act to establish two superior courts in Columbia coun. ty, is objected to. Because the number of persons residing there is small, and the labour and time required, in the part of the judge will be more than he can well bestow.
8th. In the act to incorporate the city of Key West, in the 9th section and 9th line, from the bottom, strike out the word ninth, and insert “ sixth”; and in the 10th line, strike out the words “ tax and regulate the introduction of foreigners," with such mattors Congress only has a right to interfere.
JOHN H. EATON. And thereupon, on motion of mr. Blount, it is ordered that the bills therein mentioned and returned rejected, or for amendment, be rec sidered.
The House then took a recess untill five o'clock P. M.
At 5 o'clock P. M. a quorum being present the House proceeded to business.
Mr. President laid before the House the following message, from the Governor,
Tallahassee, Feb. 12, 1836. To the Legilative Council :
I have signed and filed with the archives of the executive department the following acts:
An act to change the county seat and place of holding the superior and county courts of the county of Franklin, and for other purposes, approved 17th January, 1886.
An act to organize a Regiment in Franklin county, to be called the Eleventh Regiment, ap. 19th January, 1836.
An act declaring the Econfeeno tiver, in Washington county, a navigable stream, ap. 19th January, 1836.
An act to authorize the sale of the real estate of Thomas Goff deceased, ap. 19th January, 1836.
An act concerning the executive staff.
An act to legitimate and change the name of Esther, George W. and Riley Crews.
An act to amend an act entitled " an act to organize and regulate the militia of the Territory of Florida, and to repeul an act passed 1st day of February, 1832," and for other purposes.