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Report of the N.G. Secretary of State



of tl|f




OIoUfrti0n of Nortlj CdaroUmana







Document No. 2.] [Session 1879.



Ordered to be Printed.



The Obseyek, State Printer and Binder.



REPORT OF SECRETARY OF STATE:



STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Office Secretary of State,

Raleigh, January 1st, 1879.

To his Excellency Z. B. Vance,

Governor of North Carolina :

Sir : — I have the honor, in compliance with the Consti-
tution, to submit the following report of the condition and
operations of the Department of the State Government
under my charge :

GENERAL CONDITION OF THE OFFICE.

In taking charge of the office on the 1st of January,. 1877^
I found the Records in fair condition, and as well arranged
as the limited space permitted. Indeed the room allowed
to the Secretary of State will permit only of the land papers
being arranged in order, and they are so crowded and in-
sufficiently protected, that the wear and tear will, at no re-
mote period, render them of little value. I would be glad
if a Committee of the General Assembly would investi-
gate this matter, which I regard of serious and increasing,
importance.



v> >.^4-')t7



\



2 Document No. 2. [Session

VALUABLE DOCUMENTS.

I find in this office, and in those of the Secretary of the
Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives, stuck
about in neglected pigeon holes and drawers, without labels,
and without order, the most valuable papers connected with
the early histor}'- of the State, the loss of which would prove
a public calamity. Some of these I have located, and would
have collected and had bound and arranged on shelves, but
the over-crowded condition of this office has left me no place
to deposit them, even if I have the authority to take from
the offices of tlie two Houses of the General Assembly papers
which have been filed therein. The matter is of sufficient
importance to claim the attention of the General Assembly.

BOUND COPIES OF THE LAWS.

In accordance with chapter ninety-seven, sections fifteen
and sixteen of Battle's Revisal, one thousand full-bound,
and seventeen hundred half-bound copies of the Acts of the
General Assembly, 1876-'77, were printed and distributed.
Owing to the large increase in the number of justices of the
peace the seventeen hundred half-bound copies supplied
but little over half of them with the laws. The demand
for the copy which the law required me to supply each
magistrate was universal and urgent. The mails were la-
den with letters of inquiries, complaints, and demands.
After consulting with the Governor and Attorney General,
I made a contract with the Public Printer to furnish one
thousand half-bound copies of the Acts, which were at once
distributed to the justices of the peace in the several coun-
ties. I find that the extra number printed were barely
enough. A few officials are yet unsupplied, and I re-
tained such a small number for sale that these were soon
exhausted, and there does not remain on band a single
•copy, while many orders cannot be filled. I respectfully



9y^



1879.] Document No. 2. 3

call this matter to your attention, as it will be necessary to
print one thousand or twelve hundred more half-bound
copies than the law now provides, or repeal so much of the
statute as requires me to furnish a copy to each justice of
the peace. And if it is desired to print the additional
copies, very early action should be taken by the General As-
sembly, as the Public Printer will print off the first "forms"
as soon as legislation has progressed so far as to enable me
to furnish him with sufficient copy. Subsequent action on
the part of the General Assembly will entail a large addi-
tional expense on the State.

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAWS.

It is required of the Secretary of Stete, by chapter ninety-
seven, section thirteen of Battle's Revisal, to determine
which are public and which are private laws and resolu-
tions, and to separate them in the printed volume. If there
be good reason for this division, its utility is not only de-
stroyed, but much harm done by the difficulty which often
exists to determine whether a particular act is "public" or
"private." A ver}^ cursory examination of former volumes
W'ill show how much the officials have differed in their
judgments in this regard. And frequently the Secretary of
State, and his regular Assistant, are so busy with the cur-
rent demands upon the office at the time this work must
necessarily be done, that it is not unfrequently left to the
discretion of temporary employees. Recently I had occa-
sion to search for the original copy of "an act authorizing
the issuing of six millions of State Bonds in aid of the
Western North Carolina Railroad Company." After months
of vain research, it was accidentally found bound among
the "Private" acts of the session. Many more similar mis-
takes exist, and in the same volume acts of the same im-
port are found indiscriminately under either and both di-
visions, making much confusion and trouble in finding



4 Document No. 2. [Session

them. I have endeavored to remedy this evil as far as I
could, by making a joint and full index. I believe the
change will commend itself to every one who has occasion
to look for particular acts. I would, therefore, recommend
that the division between "public" and "private'' acts in
the printed volume be abolished.

PROOF READING.

And in this connection I desire to call attention to the
correct printing of the Acts of the General Assembly.
Owing to the occasionally careless enrolment of acts, the
confusion which accumulated business and limited time
necessarily entail upon the Public Printer, and too, the
indistinct and perhaps incorrect copy sometimes sent from
this office, frequently occasion ver}' annoying and serious
errors in the printed copy. Under the present system these
mistakes can hardly be provided against. The proof should
be read in connection with the originals on file in this office,
and as long as the Secretary of State is compelled to certify
that the printed volume contains true copies of the acts
and resolutions on file in his office, and he is thought to be
responsible for their correct printing, it would be better if
he was made thus responsible. If he was allowed to select,
at an insignificant cost to the State, a skilled proof-reader for
two months — during the last month of the session, and one
month thereafter — the proofs could be read by the Secretary
of State and his proof-reader in connection with the originals.
This would, at least, render inexcusable the more serious of
the errors which now occur. It would not be practicable or
safe to permit the Public Printer to take the original enrolled
acts to his office, as all would be more or less damaged, and
some might be lost.



1879.] Document No. 2. 5

lands sold for taxes.

One of the most important matters connected with this
office, and which requires the attention of tlie General As-
sembly, is the large number of tracts of land and town lots
purchased by the State for the non payment of taxes. It
w'ill be seen by the annexed table " A " that 1,973 pieces of
property, upon which taxes to the amount of $17,404.98
are unpaid, have been bid in by the State, and the time
for their redemption has expired. These deeds are on file
in this office, and I have been compelled to refuse quite a
number of applications for cancellation.

INDEXING GRANTS.

By an act of the General Assembly, ratified December
20th, 1873, the Secretary of State w^as directed to have muti-
lated records copied and indexed, and afterwards to have all
books in his office indexed, the appropriation extending for
one year. This was subsequently extended for two 3^ears,
or until the work was completed, by an act ratified Decem-
ber 14th, 1874. Upon my taking charge of this office in
January, 1877, 1 found the records in good order and as well
arranged as the room allowed to the Secretary of State would
permit. All the mutilated Records had been copied and
indexed, except the volumes of original acts for the two last
sessions of the General Assembly. But I found very little
progress had been made in the indexing of the Grants,
which are recorded in one hundred and sixty-nine large
volumes, extending from 1693 to the present year, and which
are continually increasing. The Attorney General being
of the opinion that the act of December 14th, 1874, expired
by limitation at the end of two years from its ratification,
the Governor and Council regarding this work of indexing
the Grants of such vast 'importance, it was resumed after a
short interruption, and has continued since. I trust that



6 Document No. 2. [Session

this matter may claim the attention of the General Assem-
bly, and if in their judgment its importance demands, this
appropriation shall be continued. Indeed the necessity for
this index is so great and the work so vast, I believe it would
be better to increase the appropriation as more economical
in the end.

INSURANX'E COMPANIES AND BANKS.

It has been my endeavor, by rigid examinations and b}^
frequent correspondence with officials in other States, to in-
form myself of the condition of the several Insurance Com-
panies doing business in this State. The license of several
companies has been revoked and agents directed not to issue
further policies therefor. A few weeks after entering upon
my official duties, I was compelled to disapprove of the
Annual Statement submitted by the Southern Underwriters'
Association of this City, and upon the refusal of the Com-
pany to permit me to examine its books and securities, I
revoked its license and directed its officers to cease doing
business. This was all I could do under the law.

Upon taking charge of this office I so altered the blanks up-
on which Insurance Companies file their Annual Statements
as to show every year the business done by each Company in
North Carolina, — the amount of risks taken, the money re-
ceived for premiums and paid for losses, the losses unpaid,
and other items of interest, showing the true condition of
the insurance business in this State. The statements for
1877 are on file, but at the date of this report it is impossi-
ble to submit the details of the business for 1878. I have
arranged to get them at an early date, and will then pre-
pare a tabulated statement of the insurance business for the
two years, and ask that it be transmitted to the General
Assembly.

It had been the custom of my predecessor to require state-
ments of such of the banks as had been incorporated by



1S79.] Document No. 2. 7

State authority, and I was urged in certain quarters to make
these examinations. Being of the opinion that under the
"Act Concerning Insurance," ratified March 12th, 1877,
such power had been taken from me, I submitted the ques-
tion to the consideration of the Attorney General, who
endorsed my non action in the premises. I refer to tins
here in order to bring the matter to the attention of the
General Assembly, should any legislation be deemed neces-
sary in regard to the proper examination of Banks.

SUPREME COURT REPORTS.

By an Act of the General Assembly, ratified March 3rd,
1877, the Attorney General and Secretary of State were
directed to have published not less than six hundred volumes
of the Supreme Court Reports, and the sale thereof was
placed in my charge. We published of the 76th and 77tli
volumes eight hundred copies each, thinking that the
greatly reduced price at which they were to be sold would
increase the demand. Being disappointed in this expecta-
tion, but seven hundred of tlie 78th volume, and six
hundred of the 79th volume were printed. There were sold
and distributed as follows : 76th volume 440 copies; 77th
volume 388 copies; 78th volume 347 copies; 79th volume
319 copies, showing a gradual decrease in the circulation of
each succeeding publication. There are, however, a few
additional sales even of the older volumes, and I suppose
there will be yet quite an increase in the sale of the 79tli
volume. Up to this date I have paid into tlie Treasury
$2,017.15 on this account, and will owe $222.30 in the set-
tlement to be made in January, 1879, to cover sales to the
close of the year, making a total of $2,244.45 for the two
years. The sales, thus far, have averaged just one hundred
and ninety-six of each volume, a number that hardly
amounts to one-half of the practicing lawyers of the State,
while quite a number have been sent to other States. In



8 Document No. 2. [Session

view of the small number sold it is worthy of consideration
whether the State ought to continue to sell the Supreme
Court Reports at ^3 per volume. Under existing laws the
State is compelled to provide nearly two hundred copies for
distribution. The cost of each additional copy to the State,
at the present prices paid for printing and binding, is about
$1.50, which, of course, varies somewhat according to the
number of copies published. In this estimate the cost of
type setting is omitted, as that expense. must be incurred
necessarily in publishing the copies for the use of the State.
I have been enabled to lessen the entire cost of the work
by the greatly reduced price paid for the very superior
paper upon which the Reports have been printed.

STATIONERY AND BLANK BOOKS.

In this connection I desire to call attention to the Sta-
tionery and Blank Books purchased for the State and the
several counties. I have filled all requisitions with goods
of a superior quality and at prices very much less than have
heretofore been paid, while the total amount of pur-
chases is many thousand dollars less than for any similar
period since the war. This expense was very considerably
increased during the year just past, by the requirements of
the election law, under the operations of which I prepar-
ed and published two hundred

ELECTION BOOKS,

beino- two for each county in the State, and a few to provide
for new counties, and the destruction or loss in counties al-
ready supplied. While the immediate expense has been
considerable, the books will last for fifty years, and will fur-
nish a valuable record, which too frequently, under the old
system, has not been preserved.



1879.] Document No. 2. 9

reports of county officers.

The Clerks of the Superior Court are required to furnish
this office, every two years, with a list of the Justices of
the Peace of their several couuties, to be recorded in a book
kept for that purpose. This has fallen into disuse, if the
statute has ever been complied with. I find that it is very
important that an official record should be kept in this office,
not only of the Justices of the Peace, but of all county
officials. I am called upon, not unfrequently, to certify
officially to the fact that certain persons are the officers they
claim to be, which I am not able at all times to do. It would
be desirable to have such legislation as will provide for this
want.

COPIES OF JOURNALS.

The Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House, who
are required to file in this office a copy of their respective
Journals, have long been accustomed to paste printed and
written slips therein. Feeling certain that this is not a
compliance with the statute, and knowing that in a few
years, from the ravages of mice and insects, and from the
rough handling incident to their usage, the value of these
Journals, as records, must be greatly impaired, I shall, unless
otherwise instructed, refuse to receive such copies.

GRANTS.

The annexed Table " B " will show the number of grants
issued from this office, as well as the number of acres taken
up, arranged by counties, for the years 1877 and 1878.

ELECTION RETURNS.

I append also tabular statements, " C" and " D," of the elec-
2



10 Document No. 2. [Session

tion held on the first day of August, 1878, for Chief Justice,
two Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, three Superior
Court Judges, and nine Solicitors. Also a tabular state-
ment, " E, " of an election held on the fifth day of November,
1878, for eight members of Congress. These tables are
taken from the records of the Board of State Cavassers, filed
in this office. I have prepared, as required by statute, an
"Election Book," in which is to be recorded the result, by
counties, of all general elections held in the State, giving in
a compact form a concise history of these important events.

I prepared blanks for the two elections held in 1878, not
only for returns to be made to this office, but also suitable
blanks for the poll-holders in each township to make their
report to the Board of County Canvassers. In this way, at
•a trifling cost to each county, there was great uniformity
and accuracy in the township as well as the county returns.
The returns sent to this office will be bound in volumes,
preserving the election returns from every township in the
State, properly arranged so that reference can be made to
them at any moment.

Asking your indulgence not only for the imperfect man-
ner in which this report has been prepared, but for any
shortcomings which may have intervened in an honest
endeavor to discharge faithfully the official duties and re-
rsponsibilities which the people have confided to me,
I have the honor to be.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH A. ENGELHARD,
Secretary oj State.



1879.]



Document No. 2.
A.



11



List of Property Purchased by the State for the Non-payment of
Taxes from 1867 to 1878.



c3

P



8 77.

1878,

1875,

1870,
1871,
1872,
1873,
1874,
1875,
1876,
1877,

1871,
1872,
1873,
1874,
1875,
1876,
1877,
1878,

1870,

1867,

1877,



COUNTIES.



Anson,

Brunswick,..

Caldwell,

Carteret,

Carteret,

Carteret,

Carteret,

Carteret,... .

Carteret,

Carteret,

Carteret,

Craven,

Craven,

Craven,

Craven,

Craven,

Craven,

Craven,

Craven,

Cumberland,

Duplin,

Jackson,



0^ .


.E >^


Amount


O tH


•M .^




.2 «


. a


EACH


^^


3 ^


Year.


<-)->


o






'«'S




m




o g


o 25


O


zn


^25

8


H ^


Q


o
30


8

17
2


$ 57


17


120


95


2
3


11


62


37


18


4




38


69


43




452


45


17




64


93


33




144


03


38




257


66


12




40


06


16


166


52


85


31


174


96


29




165


69


43




222


84


20




109


14


64




297


44


66




145


01


98




631


33


228




1,224


14




579










6


6
3


48


38


3


11


99


4




22


57





4








T'l Am't

EACH

County.



o

Q



57

120

11



1,087



2,970
48
11
22



o



30
95
62



85



55
38
99
57



12



Document No. 2.
A — Continued.



[Session



-4-3

P



1877:
1877,

1870,

1871,
1872,
1873,
1874,
1875,
1876,
1877,

1877,

1867,

1876,

1871,

1872,
1873,
1874,
1875,
1877,

1876,
1877,



COUNTIES.



Jones,



Montgomery,.



New Hanover,.
New Hanover,.
New Hanover,.
New Hanover,.
New Hanover,
New Hanover,.
New Hanover,.
New Hanover,.



Transylvania, ,

Transylvania, .

Transylvania,

Transylvania,

Transylvania,

Transylvania,

Wake,

Wake,



Aggregate.



Pamlico,

Pasquotank,

Pender,



o



90

97

79

24

67

237

202

211

15

3

8

10

5

11

7
5
8

75
31



.5 >^
•1-1 .^o



1,007

15

3



46



106
1,973



Amount

EACH

Year.



o



$ 24



1,780

2,342

2,031

213

958
1,759
1,287
1,730

66

31



40

53
28
56
34
20
18

421
169



o



06



09

15

88
75
69
07
53
89
49

91

30



82

90
49
21
61
32
27

04
30



T'l Am't

EACH

County.



o
ft



$ 24
4



12,104
66
31
40



211

590



17,404 98



Q



06
09



45
91
30

82



80
34



1879.]



Document No. 2.



13



B.



Land Grants Issued from the \st day of January, 1877, to Slst
day of December, 1878.



Counties.



Alamance,...
Alexander,. ..
Alleghany,..

Ashe,

Beaufort,

Bladen,

Brunswick,..
Buncombe,...

Burke,

Cabarrus,

Caldwell,

Camden,

Carteret,

Catawba,

Chatham, —

Cherokee,

Clay,

Cleaveland,..
Columbus,...

Craven,

Cumberland,
Currituck,....

Dare,

Davidson,....

Davie,

Duplin,

Gaston,

Graham,

Harnett,

Haywood,...
Henderson,..

Hyde,

Iredell,

Jackson,.,,...



No. of


No. of


Grants.


Acres.


1


3f


13


1,790


13


366|


18


8011


1


222


8


421i


19


1,509


4


574


13


467i


3


551


19


1,2311


2


561


11


9351


4


163


1


101


27


7,000


6


2,012


2


15


6


264


5


180


15


6051


9


257


2


16|


3


359


3


151


2


204


1


3f


4


386


11


708


9


1,075


16


7951


1


91


2


11


23


2,278i



14



Document No. 2.



[Session



B. — (Continued.)



Counties.



No. of
Acres.



Johnston,

Lincola,

Macon,

Madison,

McDowell,

Mecklenburg,.,
Montgomery,..

Mitchell

Moore,

Onslow,

Pamlico,

Pitt,

Polk,

Randolph,

Richmond,

Robeson,

Rockingham,.,
Rutherford,....

Sampson,

Stanley,

Stokes,

Surry,

Swain,

Transylvania,.

Union,..

Wake,

Washington,..

Wautauga,

Wilkes,

Yancey,




5

5

26

16

105

■ 2

15

10

22

9

2

2

6

9

1

3

10

19

8

3

5

83

20

25

14

1

1

37

77

5

773



5561
180



224

808

55

551

53



1811
1,462|
1,589
1,984

157f
24

275
2,891
S,941i

331



81,021^



1879.]



Document No. 2.



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Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Secretary of StateReport of Secretary of State [serial] (Volume 1877/78) → online text (page 1 of 2)