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extinguishment of the principal of the State debt, and is to commence in 1852. The necessary legislation to give effect to these provisions is required at your present session.
To secure the intended operation and effect of the sinking fund, and to prevent any portion of the money collected for this purpose from lying idle in the treasury, it is well worthy of your consideration to inquire whether the law providing for the funding of the public debt held abroad, may not, with propriety and advantage, be so amended that the new bonds shall, at the option of the State, be made payable at any time after their issue. A provision is contained in the law, under which the internal improvement warrants were funded, authorizing the legislature, after the year 1849, to provide for the redemption of the bonds issued at any time sooner than that mentioned for payment, and best suiting the convenience of the State. The necessary enactment is now required.
In regard to the first class of indebtedness, embracing as it does the part paid bonds not yet funded, I see no objection, moral or legal, to the amendment proposed. As early as 1843, evidence deemed authentic, was obtained, that the holders of the bonds in ques. tion held them subject to all the equities attached and existing between the original contracting parties; and this evidence was that year communicated to the Legislature, in the annual message of the Governor. The purchasers having failed to make the stipulated pay. ments, the bonds in their hands, or in the hands of their assigns with notice, constitute no valid claim against the State. The only ques. tion existing is one of equity between the parties, in regard to the sums advanced in part payment; but the time when these sums should be returned, no more depends upon the time fixed for payment of the bonds, than the amount to be refunded depends upon the amount named in the bonds. The purchasers, at most, can only demand a return of their money, at the convenience of the State; and the amendment suggested proposes to do this at the earliest possible period.
In making assessments, the practice still prevails of fixing the valuation of property much below its cash or market value. The property of the State, at a true valuation, would no doubt be found to exceed 8 hundred millions of dollars, and in the aggregate, nearly
quadruple the amount of its assessed value. As the rate of undervaluation is not the same on all property or in all parts of the State, the taxes levied must of necessity be unequal; and the injustice rosulting can only be prevented by the action of the Legislature.
JNO. S. BARRY. EXECUTIVE OFFICE, ? Lansing, June 9, 1851. S On motion of Mr. Harvie,
The hour of meeting for the daily sessions of the Senate was fixed at 10 o'clock A. M., until otherwise ordered.
Mr. LeRoy having announced the death of Gen. Elijah J. Roberts, a member of the Senate, since the adjournment of the last session, offered the following preamble and resolutions:
Whereas, Since the close of the last session of the Legislature, Gen. Elijah J. Roberts, late a member of the Senate from the sixth Senatorial district, has deceased; therefore
Resolved, That in testimony of our respect for the memory of Gen. Elijah J. Roberts, late a member of the Senate from the sixth Senatorial district, who depa. ted this life on the 29th day of April last, the members of the Senate will wear the usual badge of mourning during this session.
Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the family of the late Gen. Elijah J. Roberts, deceased, in their bereavement, and that we tender to them in their severe affliction, our sincere regard and sympathy.
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit to the widow of the said deceased, a copy of these resolutions.
Resolved, That as a further tribute of our respect for the deceased, the Senate do now adjourn.
Mr. Harvie arose and supported the preamble and resolutions, as follows:
MR. PRESIDENT—In rising to second the resolutions which have just been offered by the Senator from the sixth, I cannot refrain from making a very few remarks applicable to the melancholy occur. rence which has just been announced. In doing so, however, I am aware that I may be regarded as presumptuous, inasmuch as the Senator whose death we deplore, was well and intimately known to
nearly every Senator on this floor as well, if not better, than to my. self. Gen. Roberts, from his earliest years, was almost 'unremitting ly connected, in some capacity, with the public affairs of the country Even in his boyhood he was actively employed in the conduct of the public press, and by the clearness, force and patriotism of his productions soon acquired an enviable reputation among the journalists of the day. In no nation under heaven has the sentiment of public spirit and of a pure and generous nationality manifested itself so generally and intensely as in this rising empire of the West, and and you, Senators, will bear me witness that no one ever trod the soil of America whose feelings and actions were more profoundly imbued with this enobling sentiment than our lamented friend. He was in the widest and strictest sense of the term, a democrat. Not that I use that designation in a partisan sense-far from it. I wish to be understood as characterizing thereby the earnest desire and unceasing effort of his life to overpower oppression and secure to mankind that freedom of thought, action and enjoyment which God bestowed on man as his birthright. He was devotedly attached to the institutions, interests and prosperity of his country, religiously believing them eminently promotive of human happiness, and was ever trembingly awake and implacably hostile to whatever might, even remotely, threaten the permanency and progress of our glorious Union. Throughout his life and in every position, whenever the well-being and advancement of his country was concerned, he was prompt, fearless, energetic and self-sacrificing. In his private relations his affability, generosity and kindness were unbounded.
He never turned a deaf ear to the appeals of sorrow or suffering; but to the extent of his ability, and, as might even sometimes appeal to the dictates of a rigid prudence, beyond that ability, he was ever ready to stretch out his hand to aid, comfort and console. To those who shared his friendship, his heart and his hand were ever open. That he had his faults and failings is not to be denied, and who among us is more free from them. It is the lot of humanity that the most amiable and admirable virtues are often bound up with their kindred failings. I envy not the feelings of the Cynic, who with malignant eye would pass over the virtues and merits of human character, and only pry into and gloat over the blemishes. In the eye
of an All-Wise and Benignant Creator, we all fall short, very far short, of perfection; and the difference in degree may, and no doubt does, appear much less than in our partial eyes.
Who made the heart'tis he alone
Decidedly can try us;
Each thought, its various bias.
We never can adjust it,
But know not what's resisted. But our friend and fellow laborer is gone. After life's fitful dream, be sleeps.well. And may the memory of his many virtues and excellencies be ever present to us for our respect and emulation.
The question was then taken and the preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted,
And the Senate adjourned.
Lansing, Tuesday, June 10, 1851. The President called the Senate to order. Prayer by the Rev. J. H. Sanford. Roll called, present,
Senators Axford, Barber, Beach, Case, Copeland, Danforth, Dort, Harvie, Isbell, Le Roy, Mead, Riley and Shoemaker.
Mr. Shoemaker asked and obtained leave of absence for an indefinite period for Senator Christiancy, on account of sickness.
On motion of Mr. Isbell,
Like leave, for like reasons, was granted to Senators Dickey and Bowne.
The journal of the preceding day was read and approved.
The President then announced the appointment of Henry Higgins, Jacob Price and Albert Clapsaddle as messengers of the Senate under resolution adopted yesterday.
REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES.
Mr. Riley, from the committee on finance, reported
A bill to provide for the payment of the members and officers of the extra session of the Legislature.
The same was read twice, laid on the table and ordered printed.
MOTIONS, RESOLUTIONS AND NOTICES. Mr. Copeland offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the Governor's message be referred as follows:
1st. That those portions of the Governor's message which relate lo finance and taxation, including appropriations for all purposes of the State government for the years 1851 and 1852, the sinking fund, and the interest on the sums due the primary school fund, and taxes received from chartered mining companies, be referred to the committee on finance.
2d. Those portions which relate to the apportionment of representatives among the several counties, to the formation of senatorial and congressional districts, the election of Commissioner of the State land office, of district attorney, State senator, representatives, and county officers in the upper peninsula, of a Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the first Tuesday of November next, for the ensuing year, to reports required to be made by State officers, and the sale of intoxicating drinks, to the committee on State affairs.
3d. Those portions which relate to the furnishing of fuel and stationery for the use of the State, the execution of the public printing, and binding of the laws and journals, to the committee on printing.
4th. Those portions which relate to the publication of notices required to be published in the State paper, the modification of existing laws in regard to elections, the oath to be administered to electors, the cases in which public offices shall be deemed vacant and the manner of filling thereof, to the committee on the judiciary.
5th. That portion which relates to swamp and overflowed lands, to the committee on public lands.
6th. That portion which relates to commissioners of highways, to the committee on roads and bridges.
7th. That portion which relates to the State prison, to the committee on State prison.
On motion of Mr. Mead,
The same was referred to committee of the whole, and the Sen. ate, on motion, went into committee of the whole thereon,
Senator Mead in the chair.