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and intelligence of the rising generation we must look for the issue. Although extreme poverty is almost unknown among us, yet there are many families unable, from their local position or other unfavorable circumstances, to procure a competent education for their children. In aid of these particularly, provision should be made by law. No wiser or juster tax can be levied, han one devoted to this object. In the general stock of public information, it ensures the community an abundant return for all the supplies required to produce it. The children of the poor should be the pupils of the country. It is among the proudest of our privileges, that all offices are open to all. And in the practical application of this principle, our Executive magistrates, our Judges and Legislators, are called from every part of society. We have therefore a deep interest in the preservation of morals and religion, and in the cultivation of the heart and intellect. And it becomes still deeper when we reflect, that the foundations of our country rest upon public opinion. That opinion, to be safe, must be enlightened. It is not necessary to revert to the experience of other times to be satisfied, that the forms of freedom may exist, and yet the great body of the people be oppressed. The struggles in the Sou hern part of our own hems, here are living witnesses of this fact. And if our own institutions are to outlive the term, heretofore assigned to epublican governments, the life-preserving principle must, under Providence, be found in the knowledge and virtue of the American people.
The reports of the Auditor and Treasurer will be laid before you. You will learn from them the state of the Treasury and of the demands upon it. The Act passed at your last session has already produced more regularity in the payments, required to be made to the Treasury. But the system would be still tar her improved, by rendering the mode of proceeding against delinquent officers more prompt and simple. Where public money, received as a public trust, is wilfully withheld, neither justice nor policy require, that unnecessary emb rrassments should be interposed by the forms of the law, to its collections. Such however is the case, and the injury has already been feit. The Goverament of the United States, as well as the governments of many, perhaps most of the States, has provided a summary mode for the collection of money thus received and withheld. The introduction of such a provision here, by which judgments could be obained, upon motion, and an interdiction of any offsetts, which had not been previously submitted to the Auditor, would promote the public interest. By giving to it a prospective operation only, no individual rights would be impaired.
I submit to you the report of the Commissioners, appointed by the Acting Governor, to examine and select a proper site for the seat of justice of the county of Jackson. There is no provision in the existing laws, prescribing the mode in which the seats of justice of the unorganised counties shall be fixed. Since the establishment
of the Legislative Council, the duty of selecting these sites has been performed by Commissioners, appointed by them. I understand the persons interested in the settlement of Jackson county, requested the Acting Governor to appoint three Commissioners to make the necessary examination, and select and report the proper place for the seat of justice. What has been done, can however be considered in no other light, than as a medium for the collection of certain facts and their submission for your consideration. No objection is known to exist to the report of the Commissioners, but it will rest with you to determine whether it shall be accepted, and validity given to the proceedings. From the information which has reached me, I have no doubt, but that the immediate location of the seat of justice upon the spot designated, would be important to the interests of that portion of the country. You will be gratified to find, that the Commissioners speak in favorable terms of the soil and other natural advantages of that county, and from their character, as well as from corroborating information, I am satisfied, that the prospects which it offers, are highly encouraging, and that it is destined to become an important section of the Territory.
A change in the law, providing for the appointment of a Terri torial Surveyor and his deputies, has been recommended by that officer, and appears to be necessary. The duties and emoluments of the principal office, are not such as to induce any person to devote his time or attention to it. And the necessary surveys can be more conveniently made in the respective counties, by persons residing there, than by an officer living at a distance. I believe there will be no difficulty experienced in finding competent persons in each county, ready to accept the office of County Surveyor. And whether it should be filled by election or appointment, the additional responsibility would have a tendency to ensure its more faithful execution.
A rigid system of economy, in the administration of our local concerns, is required by the state of the Territory. The legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the government are supported at the expense of the United States. All, therefore, that our citizens are required to provide for, is the ordinary township and county police and expenditures. And yet for these, an amount of taxation is required, certainly greater than the extent or importance of the objects justify. I recommend to you a revision of the various laws, providing for the imposition of taxes. It will be found, that there is too much machinery in their operation, and that many of the powers conferred by them are not sufficiently limited. There are not less than six different boards or authorities, empowered to control and direct public expenditures, and some of then, autherised to levy taxes. Each of these has officers, to collect, to receive, and to expend the money. It is not possible, with the liberal expenditures made by the general government, that these extensive powers and this complicated arrangement can be necessary. By
one of our laws, real property may be sold without redemption, within forty-two days after the assessment of the tax; leaving that brief interval only, for the necessary notice to the parties, for their compliance, refusal or neglect, for the compulsory proceedings by the officer, and for the absolute transfer of the property. Such hasty proceedings must produce great injury, not only to our own citizeus, but still more to non-resident laud-holders, who can scarcely learn the existence of the tax, before its collection has been enforced at a heavy sacrifice. As officers and their duties are multiplied, the public expense is increased. And the risk of loss is also increased, in proportion to the number of persons, required to collect and receive the public funds. There seems also to be no necessity for directing an annual assessment and valuation of all the real property in the Territory. Provision might be made for the periodical assessment of land, acquired from the United States, and of such as has changed its value by the erection of buildings or by other improvements. But where no change in the property has taken place, the expense of these renewed assessments is not only unnecessary, but they occasion fluctuations in the estimate of the property, and in the consequent imposition of the taxes, which create discontent. And every year, a new discretionary authority is brought into action upon a subject which, of all others, should be guarded as far as possible, by plain and precise enactments.
In reviewing the history of our legislation, it is obvious, that in many instances, sufficient time has not been allowed to test the value of laws, before their repeal or alteration; and that in others, they are wholly inoperative, and are in fact, dead letters upon the statute book Where laws are unnecessarily multiplied in their number and complicated in their provisions, and particularly where they enter too far into the relations of society, they will remain unexecuted. And the evil extends to the whole legal code. The obligation of obedience generally is impaired, and a habit of indifference created, equally injurious to the community and the government. Upon the rigid execution of the laws, far more than upon their number and penalties, depend their salutary effects upon society. And wherever statutes are found unexecuted, and there is a general indisposition to their execution, it would be better to repeal them, than to suffer them to remain, inviting by the example, to the neglect of other and more important requisitions. Among the acts, whose execution is thus neglected, is that respecting black and mulatto persons, and which was presented by the Grand Jury of the county of Wayne, at the last session of the Circuit Court, as unconstitutional. If this act is deemed constitutional and expedient, measures should be taken for its due execution. Otherwise, it should be expunged from the statute book. If there is any thing in the Ordinance or Acts of Congress, which interdicts the legislative authority from prohibiting the immigration, without due precaution, of a class of persons, too many of whom are idle
and dissolute, and may be thrown upon the community, with neither the disposition to support themselves by honest industry, nor the means of doing it without, we have only to submit to a state of things, which probably will eventually bring with it its own remedy.
From the relations subsisting between the government of the United States and their Territories, the latter are exempted from the operation of many of the causes, which have excited the public mind throughout the Union. But although we have no voice in the election of those, who are called to administer the general government, yet our rights have been not the less secure, nor the favors extended to us, less numerous and important. I believe our citizens generally fully appreciate the kinduess, manifested towards us by he government, and the promptitude and liberality with which appropriations for our benefit have been made. A short time mus terminate this connexion, and place us in the same attitude of independence, which so many Territories have already assumed before us. It is desirable, not only for our immediate peace, but still more for our future prosperity, that seeds of discord should not be rashly sown, to ripen here.fier into an abundant harvest of discontent. There are no questions of principle or policy, in the administration of our local concerns, to divide us. And we have no participation in the councils of the general government Must of the prevailing causes of dissension, which, if they mark the ebullition of feeling in the United States, shew the satety with which it may be indulged, are unknown im ng us. And we are all equally interested in the progress and prospects of the Territory; in an accession of numbers and wealth; in the introduction of wise and wholesome laws, and the prompt and impartial administration of them; in the establishment of institutions, supporting and supported by the intelligence and virtue of the community; and in the forma tion of a character, not unworthy of a member of the confederacy, With all these motives to a common feeling and a common effort, I trust our fellow-citizens will discountenance any attempt to divide their affections, or to array one portion of the community against another. LEW. CASS.
Detroit, May 12, 1830.
Mr. Drake submitted the following resolution:
Resolved, That 400 copies of the Governor's Message be printed in the English language, and 200 copies in the French language, under the direction of the President, for the use of the Members of the Council.
Mr M'Donell offered the following resolution:
Resoloed, That a committee of three members be appointed to prepare and report rules for the government of the Council, and the toy report to-morrow.
Mr. APD nell moved that the Council concur in the resolution submitted by Mr. Drake.
Mr. Stockton moved to amend so as to make the resolution read,
800 copies in English, and 400 copies in French”—And by assent of the mover, the resolution was varied accordingly.
On motion of Mr. Stockton, the resolution as amended was concurred in.
On motion of Mr. Lawrence, the resolution offered by Mr. M'Donell was adopted; and M. ssrs. M'Donell, Lawrence and Schoolcraft, were appointed the committee contemplated by that resolution.
On motion of Mr. Drake,
Resolved, That the President of the Council be requested to invite the Clergymen of this City to attend at the opening of the Council, each week alternately, during the present session.
Mr. Drake submitted the following resolution, which was read and laid on the table:
Resolved, That each member he authorised to order any number of newspapers, printed in the Territory, not exceeding twelve, during this session; the expenses whereof, to be defrayed from the contingent fund appropriated by Congress for the expenses of the Council for the year.
The Council adjourned to to-morrow at 11 o'clock, A. M.
THURSDAY, May 13, 1830.
Mr. M'Donell, from the committee appointed to prepare Rules for the government of the Council, reported the following:
RULE 1.-The Legislative Council, when assembled, shall choose, by ballot, one of their own number to occupy the Chair, and who shall be styled, the President of the Legislative Council. He shall hold his office during the time for which the Council are elected.
RULE 2.-The President shall take the chair every day at the hour to which the Council shall have been previously adjourned, and shall immediately call the members to order, and, on the ap pearance of a quorum, shall cause the Minutes of the preceding day to be read; at which time, mistakes, if any, shall be corrected.
RULE 3.-The President, or any two of the members, may have a call of the Council, and have absent members sent for.
RULE 4.-The President shall preserve order and decorum, and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Council. He shall have the right to nominate any member to perform the duties of the chair: but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment.
RULE 5.-All questions shall be put in this form: "you who are of opinion (as the case may be) say aye-Those of the contrary opinion, say no"-and in doubtful cases the President may direct, or any member may call for a division.