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Resolved by the Senate, the House concurring, That a Committee of two, on the part of the Senate, and on the part of the House of Representatives, be appointed by the Speaker, to notify His Excellency, William G. Brownlow, of his election as Governor of the State of Tennessee, and request him to designate what time would suit him to be Inaugurated, and report.
On motion, the rules were suspended, and the Resolution was adopted.
Senate met pursuant to adjournment. Mr. Speaker Senter in the Chair.
On motion of Mr. Cate, the Speaker was authorized to appoint an additional Clerk, when, in his judgment, the business required it.
House Joint Resolution No. 7, on House Message No. 3, to-wit:
Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That a Committee of three be appointed on the part of the House of Representatives, and such Committee as the Senate may appoint, to notify His Excellency, Governor William G. Brownlow, of his election as Governor of the State of Tennessee, and request him to designate what time will suit him to be Inaugurated.
The Committee on the part of the Senate, were Messrs. Cate and Lyle.
Mr. Elliott introduced Senate Bill No. 3, to wit: entitled “ An Act to repeal all laws disqualifying persons of color from holding office or sitting on juries.'
Passed first reading, and referred to the Joint Committee.
Report No. 1, from the Joint Select Committee on House Joint Resolution No. 7, to wit:
Mr. Speaker:-Your Committee appointed to wait upon His Excellency, the Governor, and inform him of his election, and ascertain at what hour it would be convenient for him to be Inaugurated, beg leave to report that they have performed the duty, and were informed by His Excellency, that 10 o'clock, A. M., October 10th, 1867, would suit his convenience.
A. M. CATE, Chairman.
Executive Message No. 2, was received by the hands of the Governor's Private Secretary, and
On motion of Mr. Elliott, was taken up and read, to wit:
Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
Having assembled in this Capitol to perform the grave and responsible duties of legislating for the public welfare, it is proper that we should, with united voice and heart, invoke the blessng of the Great Source of all good and knowledge, and ask His direction in all our deliberations. In communication with you, by Message, as required by the Constitution, the condition of the State, and in recommending such measures as may be deemed expedient, I acknowledge, with feelings of profound gratitude, the blessings vouchsafed to us by the Great Ruler of the Universe, in the auspicious condition of our State and country, and the measure of health and prosperity which has marked the year now rapidly closing out.
No people have greater reason to be thankful to an over-ruling Providence for the blessings of the year drawing to a close, than the people of our own State. While pestilence has been abroad in the land, we have enjoyed health in an unusual degree; the earth has yielded a plentiful harvest; the signs of the devastations of war are fast disappearing before the renewed energy and enterprise of our people; business is prospering, of every kind; indications of improvement and progress are to be seen in every section of the State; our Bonds are advancing in value; our credit is steadily improving; and men of enterprise, skill and means, are preparing to come to our State, and cast their lots with usencouraged to do so by our having settled our political strife. I repeat, the condition of the State, as a whole, is very gratifying to the friends of law and order; and it is hoped that the disturbances in a few localities will cease at an early day.
You have met under circumstances far more favorable than those that surrounded the meeting of your predecessors. The war that then raged, gave way before the arms of the nation. The August Power that has made Himself known to man as the arbiter of battles, interfered between the Government and its attempted overthrow. The desolation that followed in the track of hostile armies has been, in a good degree, repaired. An unusual display of industry among all classes of people, attended by commendable thrift and economy, and rewarded by two bountiful harvests, has restored many of the comforts of life enjoyed before
the rebellion. And above all, the general health that has prevailed throughout the State, especially during the past season, has crowned our blessings and given us cause for gratitude to God for what we enjoy, and has done much to obliterate the memory of what we have suffered.
Our State Government, then in the first stage of its restoration, has become firmly established by the three-fold influences of time, Congressional recognition and popular ratification. Time has been its constant ally iu demonstrating the falsehood and the dishonesty, as well as the wicked designs of its enemies. Unrecognized by Congress, it would have lacked the sanction of law, and been at the most, a Government in fact. The recognition, by Joint Resolution of Congress, approved the 24th of July, 1866, operated, by relation, to give it and its acts, legal validity from the beginning. But far the most effective action in its behalf, was the decision by the people at the election in August last. During the canvass which preceeded, it was subject to the severest possible strain. In addition to the most searching criticism upon all its measures, and the harshest animadversions upon all connected with either the Legislative, Executive or the Judiciary Departments, there was the same element of hostility which, in 1861, broke out into flagrant rebellion-less open and pronounced, indeed, but none the less bitter and determined. The same menstung to madness by the utter defeat of their cause, reinforced by others who had more recently, from time time, joined them under the stimulus of a disappointed or an awakened ambition, moved by sympathy with rebel kindred and friends, or angry by reason of slaves emancipated and enfranchised as citizens—have never, for a moment, relaxed their efforts to effect a revolutionary subversion of the Government. In this work of mischief they were supported by the rebel press, the same for the most part, and conducted by the same counsels, that, in 1861, precipitated the State into civil war, and which the benignity of the nation has not only shielded from punishment, but has permitted to resume its machinations of treason. And I am compelled to add, that this support was not limited to the press of this State. The rebel and so-called Conservative papers, and the entire Democratic press of the country, waged relentless war upon the State Government. A large corps of newspaper correspondents traversed the land and studiously misrepresented every occurrence of the canvass, as well as the general questions involved in the struggle. We lacked neither unscrupulous enemies to concoct falsehoods, nor candid friends to lend them credence and to deplore our lack of discretion. Yet, against these adverse influences, after a most thorough and exhaustive discussion before the people, they have sustained the Government by majorities approaching to unanimity. I recall your attention to these facts, not for partisan purposes, nor in a spirit of exultation, but as a basis for our future action in executing the popular will.
Your predecessors took the Government as an experiment, you find it an establishment. They adopted measures to set in motion, your measures will look to a wise and beneficient administration. It was theirs to build the machinery, it is yours to keep it in good running order.
Our external relations are mainly and for present inquiry, entirely with the Federal Government, and I am happy to inform you that they continue most amicable and harmonious. From the beginning, we have been sustained by the military authorities of the nation in keeping the peace and executing the laws in localities where the war, after subsiding, had left elements of disturbance. Your predecessors thought proper to provide a small militia force, to be used in aid of the civil law and as a part of it, when the civil law, unaided, might prove incapable of dealing with its violators. Application was made to Congress for arms and equipments, which were cheerfully granted by that body; and I take pleasure in bearing testimony to the promptitude with which their action was carried into effect by the then Secretary of War. Much anxiety was felt in anticipation of disorders on the day of election. Major General George H. Thomas, in command of the Department, co-operated with General Joseph A. Cooper, in command of the militia, so effectually, that, with a few marked exceptions, the peace was preserved and the best of order maintained all over the State. With these exceptions, there has never been so quiet an election in the State, or one that evinced more forbearance and self-control on the part of our citizens,
ELECTION OF UNITED STATES SENATOR.
By the Act of Congress of the 25th of July, 1866, it was made your duty, on the second Tuesday of your meeting and organization, to elect a Senator of the United States to succeed Mr. Patterson, whose term will expire on the 3d of March, 1869.
ELECTION OF REPRESENTATIVES TO CONGRESS.
Recent legislation by Congress seems to make desirable a change in the time of electing Representatives. The official term of a member of Congress begins on the 4th of March, and continues two years, and no longer. If a successor has not been elected, the seat is then vacant. Our practice in this State has been, to elect on the first Thursday of August succeeding the close of the preceding term. The consequence has been, that, between the 4th of March and the first Thursday of August, we had no Representative. The Constitution of the United States requires Congress to “assemble at least once every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday of December, unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day.” So long as this provision remained unaltered, we experienced no inconvenience, for, except in the rare instance of an extraordinary session, Congress never assembled until the first Monday of December succeeding our August election. By a recent Act, the 22d of January, 1867, each Congress is required to meet on the 4th of March, the first day of its official existence. Under this law, the 40th Congress assembled and organized on the 4th of March last, and held two sessions prior to our election in August, at which this State was unrepresented. The importance of having members present, to assist in the organization of a legislative body, and to take their appropriate places upon the different committees, is one that you are not likely to over-estimate.
In view, therefore, of this state of facts, I recommend that you change the time of holding the Congressional elections, so as to bring them on before the close of the preceding term. Perhaps, either the month of October or November, previous, would be found the most convenient, and would correspond with the usuage of most of the other States.
Possibly no feature of the Government was more harshly criticised, during the late canvass, than the tenure of the Judiciary. The Schedule to the Amended Constitution, provides that “all civil * * officers who * * may hereafter be appointed by the acting Governor of the State, * * * * * shall continue to exercise the functions of their respective offices until their successors shall be elected or appointed and qualified.” The section, taken as a whole, embraces military as well as civil officers, and previous as well as subsequent appointments. The object evidently was, in the condition of the State at that time, to confer upon the Executive large discretionary powers, in providing the people with judicial and ministerial officers. This was the view of your predecessors, who, by joint resolution of the 20th of May, 1865, after reciting that, during the greater part of the war, all civil tribunals had been closed, and most of the officers holding office, had willfully abandoned the same, requested the Governor, as soon as in his opinion he deemed it advisable, to issue his proclamation, ordering elections to be held in the respective counties of the State, where such vacancies have occurred, advising the people of the State to fill such vacancies in pursuance of the laws of the State; and, in the meantime, until such elections are held,