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standingly, wisely, and for the comfort and convenience of members, during the first month of the session, than during its last hours. It is also highly necessary as exhibiting the aggregate sum to be embraced in the bill for taxation, and as affording the Executive that time for examination and deliberation intended to be allowed him. I commend the subject to your earnest consideration, in the belief that the course recommended will lighten your labors, and terminate your duties here at an earlier period than could otherwise be done.
Under the act to establish regulations for the port of New York, passed April 16, 1857, the Legislature devolved upon the Board of Commissioners of Pilots, specific duties in relation to the harbor of New York, its docks and its piers, which had become so much obstructed with various nuisances as to cause apprehension in that city of serious injury to its commerce. The commissioners have performed their duty promptly and efficiently, while the improved condition of the territory over which they have authority, is so decided as to leave no doubt of either the necessity or the wisdom of the enactment.
Not quite so much can be said of the act passed at the same session, to reorganize the warden's office of the port of New York; some provisions of which are deemed oppressive to the shipping interest, and require amendment. But I think it would be improper to destroy that portion of it which affords protection to the owners of cargo.
Professor A. D. Bache, Superintendent United States Coast Survey, made to my predecessor, near the close of the year, a report of his observations in continuation of the physical survey of the bay and harbor of New York, which will be laid before
you. The duties of Legislators, always arduous and perplexing, have been rendered more distasteful and irksome of late years, by the growth and prevalence of the practice of employing agents to surround them in their halls and to waylay them in their walks, with representations and importunities in behalf of bills, in which a personal or corporate interest is involved. These agents gain access to the Legislative halls, and follow members even to their seats. So general and so annoying is this practice, that lobbying has become a trade, often gainful but never creditable. Its existence and its excesses tend to create a general repugnance to all bills involving a private interest.
A claim or other bill, affecting a private interest, may properly be explained and commended by the person or party interested, or by some one authorized to speak in his behalf, who should confine his efforts, mainly, to the committee or committees having in charge the measure in question. Beyond this, lobbying is objectionable; and when it follows members to their private apartments, and intrudes upon hours reserved for studying documents and preparing reports, is insufferable. It is my deliberate purpose to discourage these practices, and to disapprove all bills which I shall have good reasons to believe have been passed by such means.
The State of New York has consistently maintained a conservative attitude with regard to those of her sister States which cherish systems of labor differing from her own. Disclaiming all right or wish to interfere with the domestic concerns of any community outside of her own limits, she insists on her right to maintain, wherever the issue shall be legitimately presented, the
superiority of Liberty over Slavery, whether as a condition of personal enjoyment, of intellectual and moral development, or of social and general well being.
While herself slave-holding, she voted to prohibit by act of Congress the extension of slavery into Federal Territory, as thirty years later, she voted to exclude it from Missouri and from the Federal Territory stretching northward and westward from that State.
Nearly twenty years later, the question recurred with reference to Territories then about to be acquired from Mexico, and again her voice was raised, distinctly and emphatically, on the side of civilization and humanity. Throughout the struggle which preceded and attended the organization and settlement of Kansas, her devotion to the cause of Free labor was never doubtful, nor lukewarm. No sophistry has sufficed to blind her to the fact, that the establishment of slavery upon Territory hitherto Free, would be a calamity and a wrong, for which, not only the handful of settlers who had already drifted upon the soil of such Territory, but the whole American People who had permitted such establishment, would be justly held responsible.
To contravene the settled policy of our revolutionary statesmen, and remit the question of slavery or no slavery in a territory, to the unchecked volition of a majority of the first hundred or thousand persons who might happen to halt upon its soil, is to concede the fundamental assumption of those who entertain different opinions upon the subject, that no national, no moral considerations, are involved in the issue between free and slave labor, but that the preference of one, as the other, is to be determined by climate, adaptation to tropical or non-tropical products, or by some other purely physical condition. It is to refer a grave question, vitally affecting the reputation and welfare of twentyfive millions of people, joint owners of a vast national domain, any of whom may be, and some of whom, with the descendants of nearly all, in the nature of things must be, among the future inhabitants of that domain, to the decisions of less than a thousandth part of their number.
This is not genuine Popular Sovereignty, but the Sovereignty of chance, of accident, of fleetness in reaching and dexterity in appropriating the territory in question—the sovereignty of a few persons over the destinies and happiness of millions. New York has never assented and cannot now assent to a theory which thus divests her of all control over the common heritage of her sons with those of her sister States, which declares her an alien, and an intruder on the patrimony acquired by the common blood and [SENATE JONRNAL.]
treasure of the whole American People; and which virtually pro-. claims to the world that she cares not whether her children who migrate westward, shall thenceforth live where manual labor is respected and honored, or where it is regarded as the fit employment only of the enslaved and degraded. Such indifference is not felt, and ought not to be feigned.
Every American must in his heart, desire either that slavery should, or that it should not be extended into our federal territories, and each has a right to proclaim and act upon his choice. If the deliberate sentiment of the people, constitutionally expressed, shall favor slavery extension, New York will submit, as she has always submitted, to decisions fairly made, which contravene her convictions or her interests, however disappointed, by any lawful action of the constituted authorities of the United States. She has never faltered nor sought redress in acts of nullification nor in threats of disunion. She wages no war upon the institutions nor the interests of her sister States, frankly avowing however that should the legal exclusion of slavery from the federal territories conduce to the diminution of its influence, and the limitation of its existence throughout our country and the world, that fact, so far from constituting an objection, would afford an additional reason for her emphatic adherence to the policy of restriction. ALBANY, January 4, 1859.
EDWIN D. MORGAN. On motion of Mr. Noxon, Resolved, That 1,000 extra copies of the Governor's message, be printed for the use of the Governor, and 2,000 extra copies for the use of the Senate.
On motion of Mr. Boardman, the Senate adjourned.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 1859.
The Senate met pursuant to adjournment.
The President appointed as the select committee to whom is referred the subject of an alleged vacancy in the 11th district, Messrs. Spinola, Diven and Noxon.
Mr. Paterson presented a petition of James Sperry, for payment of damages caused by defect in canal bridge, which was read and referred to the committee on claims.
Mr. Diven presented a petition of citizens of the village of Corning, for the passage of a bill for the encouragement of education in said village, which was read and referred to the committee on literature.
Also a petition of John N. Hungerford, for authority to transfer certain stock, which was read and referred to the committee on banks.
Also a petition of H. C. Wetmore, in the matter of the alleged vacancy in the 11th Senatorial district, which was read and referred to the select committee on that subject.
Mr. Williams presented a petition for equalizing and systematizing the fees of justices of the peace, and of constables, in the several counties of this State, which was read and referred to the committee on the judiciary.
Mr. Prosser presented a communication from the Canal Commissioners, in relation to the memorial to Congress, for the improvement of the Lake Harbors, which was read, laid on the table and ordered printed.
(See Doc. No. 2. Mr. Sloan presented a petition of Josiah Blackwell, to be refunded money paid by him in defending ejectment suits for land patented to him, acting under the directions of the Commissioners of the Land Office, which was read and referred to the committee on the judiciary.
Mr. Mather gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to repeal an act entitled "An act for the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Law, for the counties of New York, Kings, Richmond and Westchester."
Mr. Diven gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to amend chapter 5, part 2d of the Revised Statutes.
Mr. J. D. Willard gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill for the benefit of poor persons liable to be imprisoned as witnesses.
Mr. Johnson gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill for the registration of voters.
Mr. Darling gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to provide for the equalization of the State tax.
Mr. O. B. Wheeler gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to permit the construction of gas works in Middletown, Orange county.
Mr. Pratt gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to erect a new town from parts of Denning and Shandaken, in the county of Ulster.
Mr. Scott gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill in relation to boards of health in towns and villages.
Also a bill to provide for the appointment of commissioners of deeds in the village of Ballston Spa.
Mr. Loveland gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to regulate removals, suspensions and appointments in the offices of the State Prisons.
Mr. Noxon gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill relative to the city of Syracuse.
Mr. Truman gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill for an appropriation to the Inebriate Asylum, at Binghamton.
Mr. Williams gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to incorporate the Auburn Waterworks company. Mr. Boardman gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to enable Agricultural and Horticultural societies to extend a more perfect protection to their property.
Mr. Spinola gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to incorporate the Mercantile Library association, of the city of Brooklyn.
Also a bill to change the name of the Williamsburgh and Cypress Hills plank road company to the Macadamized road company.
Also a bill to incorporate the Long Island steamboat company.
Also a bill to amend an act entitled "An act relative to the payment of expenses for local improvements in the late village and city of Williamsburgh, and to actions and proceedings in respect thereto, passed March 20, 1857."
Mr. Ely gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to amend "An act in relation to assessments for local improvements in the city of New York, passed April 17, 1858."
Mr. Sloan gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to amend title 3, chapter 4, part 2d of the Revised Statutes, and chapter 430 cf the Laws of 1837.
Mr. Williams gave notice that he would at an early day ask leave to introduce a bill to repeal the law in relation to stationery.
Mr. Brandreth gave notice that he would at an early day ask leaye to introduce a bill to limit the responsibility of news venders and dealers in periodical literature.
By unanimous consent, Mr. Spinola asked and obtained leave to introduce a bill entitled "An act to amend an act entitled "An act relative to the payment of expenses for local improvements in the late village and city of Williamsburgh, and to actions and proceedings in respect thereto, passed March 20, 1857,” which was read the first time, and by unanimous consent was also read the second time, and referred to the committee on the incorporation of cities and villages.
By unanimous consent, Mr. Diven asked and obtained leave to
roduce a bill entitled "An act to amend chapter 5, part 2d of the Revised Statutes," which was read the first time, and by unanimous consent was also read the second time, and referred to the committee on the judiciary.
On motion of Mr. Paterson, Resolved, That the papers relating to the claim of George Guenther, be taken from the files and referred to the committee on claims.
On motion of Mr. Ely, Resolved, That such portions of the Governor's message as relates to the subject of Quarantine, be referred to a select committee, consisting of the committee on commerce and navigation, and two other persons, to be named by the Chair.
On motion of Mr. Hubbell, Resolved, That the papers of J. S. Kellogg, executor, in relation to a claim for canal damages, be taken from the files and referred to the committee on claims.