North Carolina. Secretary of State.

Report of Secretary of State [serial] (Volume 1868) online

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Doc. No. 9.]



[Sess. 1868-'69.



Ordered to he Printed.



REPORT OF SECRETARY OF STATE.



STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Office Secretary of State,
Raleigh, November 7th, 1868.

To His Excellency, W. W. Holder,

Governor of North Carolina :

Sir :— In compliance with. Section seven, Article three, of
the Constitution, I have the honor to submit the following-
report of the condition and operations of the Department of
the State Government under nry charge :

general condition of the archives.



On' assuming charge of my office in July last, I found books,
records, deeds, parchments, surveys and other papers of the
State, preserved and filed in a manner lacking system and
regularity. This is more particularly the case with the ear-
lier records and documents, filed and dated anterior to the
term of office of my immediate predecessor. As you are
aware, many of the State papers were packed and sent from
this City, during the latter part of the late war, while others

» were removed from their regular places in the State Capitol.

in order to prevent their falling into the hands of the United
Co



2 Dbofflfioaw l>fo'. 0. [Session

States Army. While neMy- all these papers have been leath-
ered and placed in this Department, bmi little has been accom-
plished in so arranging them as to ensure, either their safety
jand preservation, or utility to the- public for ready reference
.or consultation. Thus it not un frequently occurs that a search
for a grant or survey will occupy the time of a Clerk for sev-
eral days, whereas, under a systematic arrangement of the
■archives, it should occupy but as many minutes; I would
earnestly direct your attention to the entire inadequacy of the
clerical force in this Department; with bint one Olerk to aid
the $£eretary in his many duties of daily routine,, neither my
.. ■ ::-«,r nor myself have been enabled to bestow that at-
tention upon the voluminous records and papers of the State.
which- their gr.ea*, intrinsic and historical value deserves,-

ESYJSBe AND GRANTS.

The issuing of grants' and patents, which in former years,
formed a larger part of the duty as well as emoluments of
the Secretary, lias materially diminished, there having been
but twenty-eight grants issued during the last five months,
principally for small tracts of land, whereas the number issued
during corresponding months of the year 1S5S, was one hun-
dred and ninety-eight. "This diminution is in a large measure
attributable to the impoverished condition of our people, and
the want of confidence on the part of capitalists, at a time
when a strong political party was threatening the existing
o-overnment with physical opposition. It is also very proba-
ble that the amount of unappropriated lands belonging to the
. State is now very small.

NECESSITY FOR GEOGRAPHICAL SURVEY.

In this connection, I would call attention "to the very
vague and uncertain description of boundary lines. common in
.many sections of the State, owing to a want of correct geo-



1SGS- 09.] Document No. 9. 3

graphical information. These uncertain descriptions of titles
can not fail to lead to many litigations and suits at law in the
future, when our State shall have regained her former pros-
perity, and a tide of immigration will increase the density of
population. There is not, at present, a correct geographical
map of North Carolina extant. .In the course of recent inves-
tigation upon the subject, in which I received valuable aid
and information from Professor W. C. Kerr, State Geologist, I
learned that not a single map, now published in the United
States, gives the correct boundary lines of the State or of its
Counties, and in many instances rivers and mountains art-
located upon these maps at from one to fifty miles of their
actual course and situation. I am firmly convinced, that it
needs but a thorough dissemination of knowledge relative to
the agricultural and mineral resource:-: of North Carolina, and
of her healthful and genial climate to i a tide of immi-

gration to her soil. To further this object, and in view of the
facts above mentioned, I would suggest the importance of ob-
taining through proper surveys, at as early a period as possi-
ble, more correct geographical and geological information. A
very feasible and economical plan for this survey has already
been submitted to a Committee of the General Assembly 'bv
the learned State Geologist.

THE PURCHASE AND CONSUMPTION OF STATIONERY.

Under existing laws there is little or no limit to the amount
or variety of stationery, which the several officers entitled to
the same may draw or consume. The excessive latitude left
here for the misapplication and waste of public property should
be restricted by appropriate legislation. The recommenda-
tions made by the Commissioners of the Code, in their report to
the General Assembly under date of August 10th, 1868, upon
this subject, seem fully to meet the demands of economy in this
respect. A partial trial of the plan recommended, so far as it
has been incorporated a law in the Code of Civil Procedure,



4 Document No. 9. [Session

has already demonstrated the feasibility of the plan. In pro-
viding the dockets and records for the several Superior Courts
of the State, the books are furnished at a reduced wholesale
rate, and uniformity of action is insured in all the Courts of
record.

TRANSFER OF RECORDS BY MILITARY AUTHORITIES.

Shortly after the organization of the permanent Civil Gov-
ernment of the State, I received from the officer in charge of
the " Bureau of Civil Affairs,'" of the late second Military Dis-
trict, a large number of books, records, ballots and other
papers pertaining to the State of North Carolina. Many of
these of permanent value and historical interest, have been
placed among the archives of the State, while a large bulk of
ballots, poll lists and registration books (several tons in weight)
are still kept in boxes awaiting disposition by act of the General
Assembly. From the several returns thus transmitted by the
Military Authorities, I have prepared abstract returns, show-
ing the vote of the State at the several elections held under
authority of the acts of Congress. These are appended to this
report.

ELECTION RETURNS.

I append, also, a tabular statement of the votes cast for
Electors for President and Vice-President, and for members
of Congress at the election held on the third day of November,
1868, as the same has been returned to my office.

THE NECESSITY FOR ADDITIONAL CLERICAL FORCE.

I have above alluded to the want of proper clerical *brce in
connection with the filing and safe-keeping of the records and
papers of the office. While the duties of the Secretary of
State have been greatly increased by the new Constitution and



1868-69.] Document No. 9. 5

recent enactments, it would apj)ear impossible to conduct the
affairs of this Department with the present allowance of cleri-
cal force. Shortly after my entry upon office, I found myself
compelled to engage additional Clerks in order to carry out
the provisions ot the law, relative to the additional distribu-
tion of the public laws, and to make the proper provisions tor a
registration ot voters of the State. Much time was also
taken up in making the proper abstracts of election returns,
attached hereto. For these engagements I have in part be-
come personally liable. As they were made in order to protect
the interests ot the State, and as many provisions of recent laws
could not have been carried out without them, I hope the
General Assembly will see the justice of re-imbursing me for
them. The general duties of the office are much increased.
While much of the correspondence of the office does not strictly
pertain to it, yet the many letters addressed to this depart-
ment from all parts of the State require at least a respectful
recognition and answer. During the last four months over
two thousand letters have been received, many of which have
been filed, and nearly all of which were answered. During
this period two Clerks, in addition to one allowed by existing
laws, were employed at from ten to sixteen hours per day.
This statement is here made to show the necessity for early
action in this matter on the part of the General Assembly.

THE BUKEAU OF STATISTICS, AGRICULTURE AND IMIITG RATION.

The Constitution provides that there shall be established in
the office of the Secretary of State a Bureau of Statistics, Ag-
riculture and Immigration, under such regulations as the
General Assembly may provide.

The first of the subjects embraced in this Bureau, that of
Statistics, has already engaged the attention of the Commis-
sioners of the Code, and a provision for obtaining much valua-
ble statistical information, through the taking'of a census, is
contained in a bill prepared by them, entitled " An act con-



6 Document Ko. 9. [Session

cerning the powers and duties of State officers." In view of
the importance of proper statistical information, I would sug-
gest, that through proper legislation on the subject, statistics
of births, deaths, marriages, crime and pauperism might easily
be obtained through County officers and others, with but tri-
fling expense to the State.

The departments of Agriculture and Immigration are so
intimately connected with one another, and with the future
prosperity of the State, that they may be considered together,
With the changed condition ot labor and its relation to cap-
ital, and the consequent complete revolution which must take
place in agricultural pursuits; the necessary division of large
plantations into farms, the necessity ot legislating upon these
subjects, after careful deliberation only, becomes evident.
There is at present a large amount of surplus labor within the
limits of our State, while at the same time there are varied
and abundant fields for employment of that labor in the
development of our agricultural resources. To properly
employ this labor is an important task before us. Until it
is employed the induction of mere laborers or farm hands
from abroad, would in all probability act disastrous to the
best interests of our community. In the encouragement
of Immigration to our State, it should be our aim to ob-
tain at present principally farmers with small capital,
and a limited number of artisans and mechanics. To these,
our State offers inducements second to none in the Union.
The vast amount of fertile lands within our boundaries are
ample to employ profitably, not only all the labor now within
the State, but by a judicious action on the part of our large
land-owners, in bringing lands and farms to market, the ports
of our State may, within a few years, throng with immigrants
of all classes and conditions, seeking homes and prosperity in
our then inexhaustibly wealthy State.

For the promotion of Agriculture, I would suggest such leg-
islation as will tend to its encouragement through Associations
and Corporations, which should be under direction of a State



186S- 69.] fejuMkNT No. §i f

Board of Agriculture. A registration' of lands offered for sale
by private individuals, with inducements offered to actual set-
tlers and immigrants, might, with great' advantage, be kept in
the Bureau of Agriculture and Immigration.

To induce immigration of a proper character, the Secretary
of State should be authorized to designate a limited number of
Immigration Agents, or to enter into agreementsivith established
Immigration Associations; totalise publication to be made in
the English, German and other languages, setting forth the
agricultural, mineral and commercial resources of Norai Caro-
lina, and descriptive of her climate, people, history, ard the
means and ways of getting here. An annual appropriation df
from five to six thousand dollars would, at present, cover all
expenditures for these purposes.

As king your kind indulgence for the haste with which the
foregoing report has been written, though deliberately con-
ceived,

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully,

HENEY J. MEOTINGEE,

/Secretary of /State.



Document No. 9.



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Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Secretary of StateReport of Secretary of State [serial] (Volume 1868) → online text (page 1 of 2)