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it be when the vote of its adoption is declared! I think not; for in itself it is imperfect. It does not provide for the election of the officers named, but commands the legislature so to do; and it could not be designed to change the mode of appointing until its substitute was perfected, for in that case the government, for the want of necessary officers, might be dissolved. Will it take effect when the legislature shall have performed its duty and provided by law for the required election ? I am myself inclined to answer in the affirmative; I think it will. A new mode of choosing public officers will then be perfected, and the old one by appointment of course saperceded and abrogated. After the passage of the law enjoined, the old method of appointment cannot be continued in force until the required election be held; for the one authority might thus come in collision with the other, and, by virtue of executive appointments, incumbents might be installed in all the offi. ces designed to be filled by the election.
As the amendment interferes with no provision of the present constitution except the appointing power, those now holding office, and others appointed before the passage of the law which shall give vitality and force to the amendment, must, I think, hold their respective offices for full constitutional terms, which cannot be cut short by the change to be effected.
Vacancies occurring after the passage of the act required, and before the election is held, as also such vacancies as may occur between one election and another, may be filled by temporary ap. pointments to be provided for by law.
Such are my opinions upon the operation and effect of the amendment, and, as duty requires, I communicate the same to the legislature for their consideration and action. Under the rule I have prescribed for myself, any other view of this subject, and one leading to a different conclusion, would have differed little in its practical results. Considering the object and spirit of the amend. ment, I shall abstain from the exercise of the appointing power, except in cases where public good would be likely to suffer detriment by withholding its use. I shall thus, so far as is consistent with the present effective administration of the goverument, leave to the people the seleetion of their own agents, which by their late vote, they have with so much unanimity and propriety, evinced a disposition no longer to delegate to others.
The terms of a majority of the judges of the Supreme Court will expire during the month of July next; but, I doubt not, before that time their successors will be elected. Should, however, the election be postponed to a still future period, the vacancies, when they occur, may be filled by temporary appointments, as in other cases suggested.
Another duty, made imperative on you to perform at your present session, is that of providing by law for holding a convention for the purpose of revising the constitution. The people, at the last general election, with great unanimity, as already intimated, having voted in favor of calling such convention, it only remains for you to make the necessary provisions for its meeting. By constitutional requirement it must be holden within six months after the passage of the law by which it is called, and shall consist of a number of members not less than that of both branches of the legislature. With these restrictions it will be competent for you to make such provisions upon the subject as may seem just and appropriate. Elligibility to a seat in the convention should, I think, with few restrictions, be extended to the great body of the people being electors and citizens of the United States. With the exception of a few, such as state officers, and others whose officia duties do not admit of postponement or delay, it may well be doubted whether any, having the qualifications named, can with propriety be excluded. The reasons that may properly render an individual ineligible to a seat in the legislature, are, in no degree applicable to him as a member of the approaching convention.
While under the restriction mentioned, it is appropriately your province to designate the time both for the choice and the meeting of the members, I would respectfully suggest that the election be held early in April, and that the session commence early in May following. The result of their labors will then be made public and ample time given, before the next general election, for the consideration and discussion of the definitive propositions presented.
The Secretary of State, in due time, will present you his report prepared in accordance with the provisions of "An act to provide for statistical information,” approved April 3rd, 1849. From this report much valuable statistical information may be obtained. The land under cultivation in the state in 1818, was 1,437,460 acres, of which 465,500 acres were sowed with wheat. The quantity of wheat raised was 4,739,300 bushels, and of all other grains 8,179,767 bushels; wool produced, 1,645,756 pounds; sugar made, 1,774,369 pounds; in the state, 52,305 horses; 210,268 neat cattle; 152,541 swine; 610,534 sheep; 229 flouring mills; 568 runs of stone; 719,478 barrels of flour made, 598 hands employed, $1,496,400 capital invested; 730 saw mills, 157,179,257 feet of lumber sawed, 1,9:9 hands employed, $93.,470 capital invested and $4,660,974 in merchandize imported exclusive of Detroit. The Se. cretary of State supposes the reported amount invested in flouring and saw mills to be too small, but the report otherwise to be essentially correct. The returns also show in the state 18
persons deaf, 10 dumb, 71 deaf and dumb, 71 blind, and 120 insane.
The number of convicts, remaining in the state prison at the end of the last fiscal year, was 110, and the average number during the year 117. Of the number now in the prison, 84 are working at various mechanical trades for persons who hire them of the state, 10 are at work on the state prison buildings, 12 in sundry occupations about the prison, 2 in solitary confinement, and 2 aged ard infirm are unemployed. During the year the earnings of those employed by contractors, was $7,787 04, at a rate of wages averaging a fraction less than 32 cents a day. The amount of convict labor on the prison building was $978 95, estimating the same ac 35 cents a day.
The whole amount drawn from the state treasury since 1838, and expended for the erection of prison buildings and support of convicts, is $227,766 74, of which $12,000 was so drawn and expended the past year. In addition to this sum the proceeds of the labor of convicts have mostly been expended for the like purpose. * This outlay has been so large and the return so small, that we need not look further for the cause of general dissatisfaction that exists in relation to this subject. The prisons of other states have not only
been sustained by the proceeds of convict labor, but, in many instances, have afforded a vet revenue in addition.
The present Agent, after stating in his report that he is fully aware of the deep interest felt by the people in this institution, and of their desire to know for what the large amounts of money used have been expended, says it has been one of his studies to devise some means by which the treasury may be relieved from such bur. densome drafts, and adds that the mass of all that is thus drawn, even this year, is consumed in supporting the prison and not in building. After a full examination of the subject and estimates made of retrenchments proposed, he comes to the conclusion that our prison, in its arrangements, being on a scale too large for the present condition of the state, must be, to some extent, burdensome, until, from an increased population, the number of prisoners shall more nearly correspond to the preparations made for their safe keeping
Regretting, as I do, the unfavorable result of the investigation made by the Agen:, and the little prospect presented of relieving the state immediately from the burdensome support of the prison, I am still of opinion that further examination of the subject should be instituted, and by an entire re-organization of existing arrangements, or by some other appropriate measures, a prospective if not immediate diminution of expenditures made certain, and a greater income if possible secured.
The existing rights of contractors should be respected, hut, after. the expiration of present contracts, if a method more beneficial can be devised for the employment of the labor of convicts, the interests of the state make its adoption a duty imperative.
A reform in this department, if reform be possible, can be no longer postponed. Without a diminution of expenses annually incurred, the people may well demand the entire abandonment of the whole state prison system, and a resort to imprisonment in county jails, or to some other mode of punishment, hereafter to be devised and adopted. However effective or however well adapted to secure the object intended, few schemes would be likely to prove more expensive than that which, for the last twelve years, we have been endeavoring to carry into effect. The average expenditure
during that time for support and safe keeping of prisoners, exclusive of building, is about $10,000 a year besides the proceeds of convict labor, and to this outlay a limit must be set.
In these remarks I would not be understood as inculpating the present or former agents. So far as I am at present advised, they have all faithfully discharged the duties of their office. The system, prepared to their hands, they have administered in the manner prescribed by law, and are in a small degree responsible for results. The present incumbent, fully aware of the evils complained of, evinces a laudable desire to aid in reforms required for their correction.
The University is represented to be in a prosperous condition. Its catalogue presents a list of 7 professors and 72 students. In addition to the department of science and arts, the board of regents have organized a department of medicine, in which a course of instruction will commence in the Autumn of the present year. A laboratory has been built on the eastern side of the University grounds, and is designed to accommodate the medical department, for which purpose it is amply sufficient. The receipts for the present year are estimated at $12,000 00, of which $1,000 are from room rents and admission fees, and $11,000 00 from the University interest fund. The board of visitors recommend the re-establishment of branches as soon as the condition of the funds will permit.
The whole necessary anrual expense of a student in this institu. tion does not exceed $100, and by practice of strict economy, may be reduced to $70. Tuition is gratuitous, and a small sum only required for room rent and admission fees. While the expenses are so moderate, it is believed the advantages offered to students in the University of Michigan are scarcely excelled in similar institutions, longer established and more favorably known.
The system of common school education, adopted in the State, continues to produce favorable results. No essential change in its provisions are at this time deemed necessary or advisable.
The number of children reported, between the ages of four and eighteen years, is 125,218, and the whole number that have attended primary schools the past year is 102,871. The amount of money apportioned from the primary school in