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Annual reports of the officers of state of the State of Indiana online

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honor, an additionaPreason for maintaining with scrupulous fidefity
the arrangements with them, and throwing around them every pos-
4bie security, — as their only reliance for pro'eciion and indemnity
rest upon it.

The i-e venues of the finished portion of the canal show a gratify-
iocincrease in its trnflic and usefulness.

The tolls received tor the year ending November 1, 1850, are re-
ported at 9157,158 38; being an increase of $22,499 35 over the
tolls of the previoQS year.



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Th<( Tnum^ Htffy^ ^ nh erf 8!MM 0-l(MI teres, of 1m4 n
the Vincennes district; and 33,986 32-lQd acres in the Lofanspcirl
office, durinff the year; exhibiting an increasing demand of cani^t
lands for settienient

it cannot be ei^pected that a work of the magoitode pf this, in-
volving so many interests, can be prosecuted anid completted without
causes of complaint on the part of some of our oitiaeiUL These
complaints are made to the Executive department, frequently acr
epmpanied with the request that suits he broi^U

It is suggested that you adopt some, rules to be. observed in all a^
|dications7or relief by si^ts. The. views of ooiy piedecessQr on fhii
fubject, are worthy of your careful consideration^

On the twenty-eighth day of September, 1850, Congress, paased s
Ii^w ffrantins to each State, for a specified purpose, the swamp or
overflowed lands within their several borders, then belonging to the
General Government. On receipt of the law* a correspowienc^ wip
opened with the General Land Office at Waihington* A reply was
communicated to me on the 2Sth day of October ; and on the 3Qt(i
day of the same month, a circular was issu^ to each of ths( Cou&tjir
Surveyors throughout the State. Additional instructiona hnviog
been received on the S9th day of November ; they were embodied
in another circular, and on the succeeding day were also issued as
above. Under these instructions, and circulars, the surveyors are at
this time engaged in making the necessary examination of the tracts
of land that we shall be entitled to under this law. A portion of
them have discharged their duties, and made their reports; but it is
probable that the entire work will not be completed before March oc
April* 1851. From the best information I have received, the State
will obtain, under this act, about One Million acres of landf f^M* the
purposes named therein. It will be your province, at the present
session, to provide bv law for the compensation of the surveyors and
others engaged in selecting these lands, and to take such steps as will
preserve them from waste, until such time as the patents shall be
made to the State, and the L^islature shall have determined the
manner in which they shall be disposed of. I have not sufficiently
matured any system for bringing these lands into market, or other*
wise disposing of them. This, with other matters relating tbereto^
may be made the subject of a special commiuiication. It would ac^
cord with my views, after the objects for which these ]aiu(s were
granted are accomplishedt if the proceeds and residue were set apart
to aid the Sinking Fund for the redemption of the State debt.
. By the determination of the Commissioner of the General Land
Office, the sales, by the several Land Offices, of the swamp and
overflowed lands thus granted to us, will not be stopped or interfer-
ed with, until they are ascertained and marked ofi'as *' State Lands'*
upon their office plats. But that if anv such lands shall have been,
or shall hereafter be, sold by such Land officers, the money received
therefor shall be held for, and be paid to the State. I have alrei^dy



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^ more» i su^wst tbat you provide by Ww, tha iMtbpd. o£ applyii^
br and receiving ibe Aionay arUing tberefrom.

The State U under many oblifpitians to Hons, R,. W. Thempipil
tnd John H. Bradley, for serticfs rendered a( Washington City ^
tba adoption of the rules for ibe s^^tion of tbeee iand««

Wa werei visited in the State PriBOO, the past seaAon* wilti
the cholera. Tweoty-six of the^ convicts died. The Warden, Coif
Lepuel Ford, and hu wife, £sll victims to the disease* He was. at
his post of dnty^ aptivefy emagedv day and night, in administering
^> the coinlbrts and wants oi the sick and dying. He was % useful
man, eminently qti^ilified to discbaige th# duties of h^ offi^ His
place will be difficult to fill

I am gratified in being able to say that the prison was in an e:|*f
cdlent condition; entirely cleansed ; and the physician and all others
connected with the priso^i, nobjy did their duty during the prevaWncst
of this disease.

By the kindness of Miss Dix, that devoted friend of prisoj^*
^r^ prison disciplii^ and suffering humanity, I had 9elfeted and
purchased at the East, ior the use, of the prisoners, two hundred voU
wnes of Religions, Historical, Agricultural and Bio|0[raphical works,
which cost the sum ot one hundred and thirty-eight dollars i^od
^igbty-ei^t ceots, which are kept neatly in a book case ; let out to
the convicts regularly, who are barged with them ; and when re«
turned, another is taken in its place. It is with pleasure I leaf^
that a large portion of the couyiots read with interest this excellent
selection.

Wisdom and humanity demand thai an appropriation of Fifty
Dollars be oMide ^nually for the purpose of keeping up the Library*
It is right and proper that men thus confined should be furnished
with books, that tbey may employ their time in reading when nojt
engaged in labor; I doubt not that the above expenditiKQ, altbo«|gh
unauthorized by lawi will be approved by this enlightened body.

The greater par; ^ the work on the new buildings has been oo^^
pleted, and we can now dispense with the duties of the Conniission^
er to superintend the Public BuiMiogs, so fiir« at toaBt« as to give the
same in cbartfe to the Warden, who resides inside of the walls, ai^
who should be able to superintend all the ioiprovement/i we have
to make. By pursuing this course, we shall save four bundred 4pl-
Ian a year, and be able to pay your Warden one thousand dollars i^
yeai- for his services in disohargii^ the duties that have heretofore
been in the hands of the two.

There is some doubt under the present htw, how the Physician to
the prison should be selected* My own opinion is, that be should 1^
appointed by the State, and be independent of the lessee. 1 th^e^
fore recommend that you provide for hi^ appointment ia \h^
(ature.

Your aitentuM^ is caHed to the very able report Jm4^. by ^P. ^i^r
Iter te the prison.



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l^he highest number In the prison during the jmst year was ono
hundred and fifly-foof. Of this namber, sixteen have been par-
doned; — three o( them on account of insanity; five for good
conduct, (the nardons being granted within a few weeks oT the
expu'ation of their sentences,) and the remaining eight were par-
doned upon the application of the Courts, Juries, and citizens, who
were presumed to be well acquainted with each case recommended to
the Executive.

There is no duty devolving upon your Executive that is more era-
barrassiag, and surrounded with greater difficulties than the pardon-
ing power. With whatever care he may watch and guard its exer-
cise, be is liable to great impositions. In view of my brief experi-
ence on this subject, I have adopted the following ruie^ to be observ-
ed as far as practicable in all applications.

They are presented in this cx)mmunication with the view of sub-
mitting them to you, and through you to our fellow citizens, believ-
ing, that they may be worthy of being made the subject or Legisla-
tion, at least of an advisory character.

Ist. That in all applications for a pardon, notice should be given
of the time when the same Would be made.

2d. That those who represent the State upon the trial, should
furnish at least the substance of the evidence.

By adopting this course, the Executive will be relieved from deci-
ding applications on ex parte petitions, letters, &c., and will have be-
fore him the evidence on the trial. This course has been pursued in
the State of New York, and the Executive, after one }'ear*s experi-
ence, speaks in the highest terms of the wisdom of the law.

It is respectfully suggested that power be given in the trial of ca-
ses of larceny, to imprison in the County Jails or State Prison at
the discretion ol the Jury, without regard to the value of property ;
or, at least, increase the limit prescribed by law for the division be-
tween grand and petit larceny. Intimately connected with this
change in our criminal law, is the improvement in ihe regulations of
our county prisons. By a very slight change in many counties, wo
may have the piisoners engagea in useful occupation. Each county
should be prepared with building Tor the reception of juvenile of-
fenders, so constructed and furnished as to provide for the regular
occupation of all the inmates. It is idle to talk of reforming the
young man, who, for his first offence, has been convicted for
stealing property of the value - of five dollars, and sentenced to two
years* imprisonment in the State Prison, thus placing him by the side
of the murderer. We must place the young and juvenile offender
where his associations and intercourse are with those who will exer-
cise an influence for good, and not with the old and hardened in
erime. Our county prisons should be converted into workshops —
into houses of industry — wearins the appearance of decency and
order. Active employment should be required of all its occupants;
for idleness itself often proves to be the school of vice. In this way



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W6 may not only reform the prisoners^ but we should compel thete
to contribute to their own support, and to pay» by the sweat of the
browt the penalty of the violated law, and cost of convictiony thus
directly relieving the counties from a heary burden which they now
pay to sustain those imprisoned. The convict can as well be made
to perform labor for hb own support in your counties as in your
State Prison. The individual convicted for the first offence; the
youth; the juvMiile offender; or where the circumstances of ^e
case seem to require at the hands of the jury of the county, that the
imprisonment should be in the county jail;— your prisoner thus situ-
ated will find, daily or weekly, kind parental advice, and the watch*
fol care of those who take an interest in his welfiire; and our pris*
ens will become what they should be, — places not only for punish-
ment bat for refornaation.

The State has an interest is what in called the Georgia LandSf sit-
nated in the counties of Laurens, Montgomery, Telfair and Pulaski,
ia the State of Georgia ; about three hundred thousand acres ; which
cost the State in an arrangement with one of the Banks east, in set-
tling an outstanding debt due us, the sum of Two Hundred and For-
ty Thousand Dollars. They lie principally upon the waters of the
Ocmul^ee and Altamaha.

By virtue of a joint resolution passed on the 16th day of Febru-
ary, 1849, a contract was made with my immediate predecessor, bv
which a sale of these lands, without notice, was made to Martin R.
Green, and a conveyance executed, for the sum of one thousand dollars.
It is to be regretted that any sale was made of such a lai|^ body of
lands by the Agent of the State, without reserving the right to the
Legislature to confirm or reject the same. It is difikolt to deter-
mine what is the value of these lands; but from information receiv-
ed the past season, I have reason to believe that a large portion are
worth firom fifty cents to one dollar per acre.

Your officers of State, in view of the quantity of land and their
eost, firom the evidence before us, not necessary to be here mention-
ed, desiring to preserve them firom passing into the hands of innocent
purchasers, from Mr. Green, without notice, after mature examina*
tion, were induced to oflEer the interest of the State in these lands,
for sab. Due notice has been given, and several pioj^tions have
been made, some in the way of inquiring as to the title ; others as
to the valne. No sale can be effected so Ions as the outstanding
contract and deed remaui as they are. It wouU require more space
than m alloiled for this communication, to sive the full history of
this tnnsaction, and the evidence upon whim vour Executive acted
m oflbring these lands again for sale ; all of which, will, with pleas-
Bie, be communicated to your body, or to any committee to whom
the nlqeet may be refiNred.

It is alike doe to Mr. Green^to all concerned— that yon ahould
therongUy inv«stiflate this subject You should, upon that investi-
gitbn, either confirm said safo, and direct the surrendering of all
2D2



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112

the title papers, or you should authorize a suit to be brought to Mt
aside the conveyance. 1 have no hesitation in recommending the
bringing of the suit, believing that the State had better receive
nothmg than to take the one thousand dollars.
The widow and Executrix of the late Edward J. Black, of Geor-

fia, has presented a claim for a thousand dollars against the State,
y virtue of a contract made by your Agent of State and her de-
ceased husband, relative to these lands, which requires your investi-
gation.

On the 13th day of October, 1849, arbitrators appointed by my
predecessor by virtue of a special act of the Legislature, entitled
*'An act for the relief of Patrick McGinley," passed February 11,
1848, made an award in favor of said McGinley, against the State
of Indiana, for the sum of $21,143 00 ; which said award, together
with the papers in the cause, as well as the proceedings, were filed
in the Clerk*s office of the Floyd Circuit Court. On the 13th day of
November, 1849, two warrants were drawn by the Auditor of State
upon the Treasurer, — one for the sum of $11,000 dollars; the other
for $5,000, — both payable on the 1st day of March, 1850; which
warrants were drawn upon the duly authenticated copy of said
award, from the Clerk of said court ; the papers on file in said office
showing that said McGinley agreed to release the sum of $5,143 00,
that portion of said award over the sum of $16,000,00, upon the
condition that no appeal was taken in the cause, and which sum of
$5,143 00 so released, was to be appropriated to the payment of
costs, expenses, &c.

On the 5th day of December, 1849, my duties as Executive com-
menced. The 6th day of February, 1850, being on a visit to the
State Prison at Jeffisrsonville, I called on the Clerk of the Floyd Gir-
txxii Court, and requested him to furnish me the papers in the case of
McGinley. For the first time, I became acquainted with the (act,
that at the time of the rendition of the award, Mr. BuUett, the at-
torney for the State, and the only person that was authorized by the
act aforesaid to appear for the State, had prayed an appeal to the
Supreme Court in the cause, and that the same was granted. A
copy of the record in the cause was obtained, and legal gentlemen
eonsulted, who made an affidavit of the facts of the case, givin|( the
dates, &c. Upon the application to the Supreme Court, they directs
ed the cbrk to docket the cause as an appeal. The cause, is. now
pending in the Supreme Court. The warrants are yet outstanding
and unpaid. They are unknown to our law, and issued contrary to
the uniform practice, being payable at a future time, thus giving no-
tice to all of their character.

< The coarse adopted in this cause, has been with the concurrent
action of your officers of State; and I sincerely hope, that if the
highest judicial tribunal in the State ; the one that decidea the rights
of our citizens, has not jurisdiction of this cause, so as to decide the
same upon its merits; that you will adopt such misasares as will give



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tiittCcwrt amjpfe power. . If the Supreme Court of the Sttte shall
decide ibMX this claim of McGinley is correct and just, we should
pay not only the sixteen thousand dollars, but the last dollar, with
interest, that is adjudged to him. If it should be the pleasure of
your body to pay th^ outstanding warrants, you Ti^ill remember
that no payments can be made, unless the tax is levied and the mo-
ney collected. We have solemnly pledged four-fifths of our State
revenoe to pay our interest; and the remaining one-fifth is set apart
to pay the ordinary expenses of the State. This being an extraor*
dinary demand upon the Treasury, it can be met only by increased
taxes, or by virtue of a loan.

From information received from our Senators at Washington, We
shall not receive any portion .of the thi'ee per .cent, fund due us,
until some action of Congress is had upon the subject.

Yoar attention is called to the report of the Quarter Master
General; particularly, as to the propriety of providing a building
for the me keeping of. the public arms.

The report of the Agent of .State, exhibits the wisdom of the.
act of the Le^ature at its last session, in the great reduction of
expenditures in that department. The su^estions contained in the
report are worthy of your consideration. . ....

A citation has been served upon me in the suit of the Vincennes »
UuivMsity against the State of Indiana, on a writ of error to the
Supreme Court of the United States, from the Supreme . Court of
this State. It devolves upon you to provide in what manner the
rights of the State shall be represented in this cause.

In purauance of the discretionary power given to the Auditor of
Stale and myself, settlements and compromises have been made
with the lessees upon the Central Canal, by which about $4,400 will,
be realized ; the repairs and incidental expenses the past year, have .
been about $1,250. A suit that was brought, is yet pending in the
Supreme Court.

Doe notice was siven and a sale efiected. of that portion of the .
canal lying north of Morgan county. The sale was made to George.
G. Shoap, John S. Newman and James Rarideu, foi the sum of
12^425. That portion of the Canal lying in Morgan county was
sold to Aaron Alldredge for the sum of six hundred dollars. These
sales are subject to iS confirmed or rejected by you. 1 have no
doubt that it is to the interest of the State to confirm the sales, and.
recommend that you take that course. The sooner the State is
entirely disconnected from all public works, the better.

The Convention elected by the people to fprm a new Constitution .'
for the State is still in session, and will probably not close their la-
bors for some weeks.



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114

Tlie approprifttion for the paymmt of the OeoTetttkNi is aliea^y
exhaiiflted. It will devoWenpon you to make farther approfmafions
for this object

As the amount collected by the tax levied the past year will not
be sofficieut to pay the additional expenses of the Convmiion, I
su^^est that you anticipate the revenue of the coming year, (the
same rate of taxation being continued ;) by a loan for this purpose,
as also for the payment of the July interest on our poUic debt. I
have no doubt but that the succeeding January interest will be
promptly met by the people through their collectors.

It is your duty at this session to apportion the State into Senato-
rial and Representative districts. Public opinion seems to demand
a reduction of the number in both houses. As to the character of
our legtBlation, quite as much may depend upon the capacity of leg-
islators, as upon their number. Able men will devote themselves to
the public service for two reasons chiefly; honor and compensation.
Taking into view the condition of our State, the character of our
people, and the vast interests which they have at stake in the estab-
lishment of a ccNTect system of domestic policy, it would seem that
there is too great a difference between the honors and emoluments of
the State and National ffovemments. The public business may un-
doubtedly be disposed of with more system and order, and every in-
terest of the State may be fairly represented and properly protected,
by a House of Representatives of seventy-five^ and a Senate of
thirty members ; provided their election shall be made undor a sys-
tem liberal enough to secure to the State the services of her best and
ablest citizens.

The subject of the colonization of the free blacks is now begin-
lung to receive that attention which its importance demands. The
circumstances which surround us, are pressing our people to look
into this subject in the right light, and in a proper spirit.

Our southern brethren are making rapid movements towards
abridging the privileges of this class, even to banishment We in
the north are adopting extraordinary means for removing them, \}y
prohibiting them from holding property, excluding them from the
protection of the laws, and dfenyiug them any rights whatever.

While all this is going on, our better nature, the common sympa-
thies of all men, are Beginning to ask these important questions:
What is to be the end of all this ? Is there no remedy? h there no
cure for this evil?

In the midst of all this excitement and confusion, the light breaks
in upon us, which points conclusively to colonization as the only
remedy. The infant colony of Liberia, recognized as one among
the nations of the earth, b^ns now to attract the renewed atten-
tion of all men, who desire to see an entire separation of the two
races. In this ereat struggle for the separation of the black man
from the white, let Indiana take her stand; put her agent into the
field. Her citizens are ready. Yea, they are willing to contribute



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115

«f iMr Mrpltts, aMMtUag for the mmovftl of thb peopfe
among ub and lo locate them in the native land of their forefathen.
Other States in this Union have their own aettlementa in Liberia.
Let Indiaiia have henu Let as fQatahi the movement made by Mr.
Bryant of Alabama, for the employment of government veswls, lo
fband an Empire in Africa. Let the National, as wdl as the State
govenunents, strike at this hour for a permanent and efiectual rem^
dy for the agitations and excitement of the day, on this dtfleuh
qoestion.

lo poieoanoe of a Joint Resolution of the last session of the Leg-
islatore, a block of marble, native of the State, was procured and
forwarded to Washington, to be placed in the mcmument now in
progreas of erection there, to the memory of the father of his
country.

The General Assembly did notaathorize any sentiment to be
irfaoed on the block. I took the liberty of having inscribed the fol-
lowing:

''Indiana knows no North, no South, nothing but the Union.''

I did so, because I believed, as I still believe, that the sentiment
thus engraved on enduring marble, was written also on the hearts
of our peofrfe, that it was the sentiment of the great mass of my
fellow-citizens of Indiana, on the most agitating question of the day.

Complete unanimity is rarely the incident of human councils. In
a Confederacy like ours, differing as its members do, in soil, climate
and productions ; in habits, manners and social relations ; in local
and sectional interests, it could not be expected now, any mora than
at the birth of our Federal Constitution, that any compromise, based
upon mutual concasnons, should be satisfactory to all.

It is not a practical question whether those measures of peace,
recently framed by ^at and good men, in the same spirit which
actuated our fathers m days gone by, are, in every respect, such as
meet our unqualified ap|H-oval. It has been well said, that the lives
of the best of us are spent in choosing between evils ; and it is often
a bonnden duty to endure a temporary and incidental evil for a per-
manent and inherent good. A domestic institution, forced upon our
foreftitbers in cdonial days, rather than voluntarily adopted by them,
ii,for the present, the necessaiy policy of our Southern brethren.
Any sodden abandonment of that policy, is impossible. Even its
ffiadual relinquishment is beset with difficulty, and embarrassment.
The patriots of the revolution, convened to frame a government
that has endured for three quarters of a century, has spread over
half a hemisphere, the blessings of peace, of political and reli^ous
fieedom, and of national prosperity ;— assented to the mat princi-
ple that each State of the Union Is sovereign, as to her internal
govemnnent, and her social relations. Without this iMoflnition,
absolute and unconditional, the thirteen original States would never
have concmred In the federal compact. That was the great eon-



Online LibraryIndianaAnnual reports of the officers of state of the State of Indiana → online text (page 8 of 40)