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On motion of Mr. Kingsley,
Resolved, That the committee on Territorial Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of authorising the sheriff of the county of Washtenaw to pay the Territorial taxes of said county for the years 1831, and 1832, into the treasury of said county, to be expended under the direction of the supervisors thereof.
Mr. Bartow submitted the following resolution, which was read and laid on the table;
Resolved, That the committee on Territorial affairs be instructed inquire into the propriety of extinguishing the Territorial Treasury, to take effect on some future day, and that each county retain such moneys in their county treasury, to be expended in the most judicious manner, and that they report thereon.
On motion of Mr. Fletcher,
Resolved, That the committee on the Judiciary be instructed to inquire into the expediency of altering the terms of the Circuit Court, so that the said terms shall succeed each other with as little delay as may be convenient for the holding of said courts.
And that the committee on the Judiciary be instructed to inquire into the expediency of altering the line between the township of Hamtramck and Spring Wells, so far as the said line runs through the Ten Thousand Acres, so called, in such manner as that the Pontiac Road shall be the line between said townships, through the Ten Thousand Acres.
The bill to repeal an act entitled "an act to provide for establishing seats of justice, approved July 31, 1830, was read a second time, and on motion,
Ordered, to lie on the table.
The bill to amend an act entitled "an act to regulate and define the powers of Justices of the Peace and constables in civil cases, was taken up, and considered as in committee of the whole.
Mr. Drake moved to recommit the bill.
The motion was negatived,
On motion of Mr. Fletcher,
The bill was amended by inserting, after the word "security," line 4, the words "and within such time;" and by striking out. line 5, the words, "adjudge sufficient," and adding the words "direct, and such security so given as last aforesaid, shall have the same effect as if regularly entered at the time of taking such appeal." And by adding to stand as second section, the following:
Sec. 2. That this act shall not be so construed as to authorise the Justice from whose judgment an appeal is claimed, to take any other security than authorised and required by the act hereby amended.
On motion of Mr. Stockton,
The bill and amendments were laid on the table.
The Council went into the consideration of Executive business, and having disposed of the same,
Adjourned to to-morrow at 10 o'clock. A. M.
FRIDAY, February 18, 1831.
The Council convened this day at 10 o'clock A. M. when Mr. Lawrence presented the following communication from the President:
"Friday Morning, Feb. 18, 1831.
Sir-I have to request that you will perform the duties of the Chair, as I am under the necessity of being absent from the Council this day.
Mr. Drake moved that the Council proceed to elect a President pro. tem.
Mr. Stockton moved the Council to concur in the nomination.
Mr. Fletcher moved that the Council appoint a President pro. tem.
The motion of Mr. Fletcher prevailing,
Mr. Lawrence was nominated and appointed President pro. tem.
Mr. Lawrence having taken the Chair,
Mr. M'Donell presented a petition from inhabitants of Wayne county to establish a Territorial Road, leading from Detroit to Mount Clemens, by the way of Milk River Point. Referred to the committee on Roads.
Mr. Drake from the committee on Roads, to whom was referred certain bills for consolidation, reported,
A bill to provide for laying out and establishing certain Roads.
The bill was read the first time and laid on the table. The bill for fixing the place for holding township meetings in the township of Erie, in the county of Monroe, was read a second time and considered as in committee of the whole.
On motion of Mr. Drake,
By Mr. Bartow,
A petition from the inhabitants of Plymouth, Ypsilanti, and Panama, for the establishment of a Territorial road from Plymouth to intersect the Chicago road, near Ypsilanti. Referred to the committee on Roads.
Mr. M'Donell from the committee on Territorial Affairs, to whom was referred the message of the Governor, returning without his signature the "act to authorise the supervi sors of the county of St. Clair, to erect certain bridges," reported,
A bill to authorise the board of supervisors of St. Clair county to erect certain bridges, and for other purposes. The bill being read the first time,
On motion of Mr. M'Donell,
The bill was read a second time by its title, and ordered to be engrossed and read a third time to-morrow.
The bill to provide for the relief of Charles Lafontaine, was read a second time and
On motion of Mr. Lawrence,
Ordered, To be engrossed and read a third time on Friday.
On motion of Mr. M'Donell,
Ordered, That the protest of the minority of the Coun cil on the subject of divorces, presented on the 11th inst. be entered on the Journal of the Council.
"The undersigned, being a minority of the members of the Council, on the general question of granting bills of di vorce, ask leave to record their objections to the measure, and to state in brief, the grounds which have induced them heretofore, and which will induce them hereafter; to withhold their assent from the passage of bills declaring a dissolution of the marriage contract.
"Many authorities might be cited to shew, that legislative interposition, on this subject, should be confined to general, and not to specific acts. That the subject itself is too deeply interwoven with the texture of society, and too indissolu bly fixed by the laws of nature; governing the relations between parent and child, to render frequent alterations in the statutory provisions of a country on the subject, either bene. ficial or expedient.
"Especially, would it demand but little research to shew, that any attempts to relax the obligations of the matrimonial bond, to weaken its solemnity, or to facilitate its dissolution,
are in effect, attempts to relax the moral tone of society. That where there are frequent divorces, there will be frequent applications. That the knowledge of such a dispensing power will spread rapidly through neighboring and through distant communities, and will draw together, as to a common centre, all who need, or who fancy, they need its exercise. Happy should we be, if in this congregation of dissatisfied individuals, we could add to the virtue of general intelligence, as well as the mere numbers of our settlements. These settlements are rapidly springing up around us: and we are measurably, intrusted with the power of laying this foundation. It is important that they should be laid upon broad and general principles. That the descent of property should be unimbarrassed; the education of children uninterrupted, and the reciprocal obligations of individuals unimpaired.
"Granting all that has been advanced in favor of legislative divorces, it may be summed up in this, that private happiness should be promoted at the expense of the public welfare-a doctrine which upheld all that was odious in ancient monarchies. It is not necessary to dwell upon this proposition; its converse will remain immutable, so long as societies are divided into those who govern, and those who are governed.
"The evils resulting from the civil polity of a country, are not, however, the only ones growing out of the granting of divorces, by legislative enactment. The practice carries with it, several evils, which are, in their nature, consequent. The interruption of the ordinary forms of the administration of justice, is one of these consequences. Lawyers bring their cases here, instead of bringing them into the courts. And human virtue is not so fixed, as to render the supposition extravagant, the feelings of duty and zeal of their clients, may enable themselves to exert some degree of influence upon those who are called upon, as legislators, to record their assent, or dissent, on particular applications.
"Marriage, in America, is a religious, as well as a civil contract; and separated as the population is into different sects, it would require more time_than we can devote to collect the opinions all entertain By some, it is regarded as an ordinance, and as such, indissoluble. By all it is viewed as one of the highest human obligations, and its abrogation has only been contemplated and provided for, under circumstances which rarely exist.
The bill was amended by inserting before the word "amended," the word "next."
The bill being reported as amended, the amendments were concurred in, and
On motion of Mr. Drake,
Ordered, That the bill be engrossed and read a third time on Monday.
The bill to authorise the auditor of the Territory to effect an insurance on the public building called the "capitol" against fire, was read a second time and laid on the table.
The bill to amend an act entitled "an act to amend an act entitled 'an act to regulate taverns,' was read a second time, and considered as in committee of the whole.
Mr. Schoolcraft moved to amend, by striking out in the seventh line, the word "ten," and substituting the word "twenty."
The motion was negatived.
Mr. Le Roy moved to strike out the enacting clause.
The bill was laid on the table.
The Governor notified the Council, by Mr. Rowland, that he had this day approved and signed
An act to alter the name of the township of Jacksonopolis in the countyof Jackson.
An act to authorise the board of Supervisors of the county of Lenawe, to raise a sum of money to build a jail.
Mr. Rowland also delivered the following message at the table:
To the Legislative Council:
I return without my signature the bill to authorise the supervisors of St. Clair county to erect certain bridges. I have no objection to urge against the principles or details of the bill, but the phraseology of the first section seems to require some alteration, before it becomes a law.
February 18, 1831.
On motion of Mr. Schoolcraft,
The message with the bill was referred to the committee on Territorial Affairs.
Mr. Kingsley gave notice that he should at a future day ask leave to bring in a bill to establish a Territorial Road, leading from the Chicago Road through the village of Ann Arbor to the St. Joseph river.
The resolution submitted on the 15th instant, by Mr.