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Full text of "The Inaugural Address of Thomas H. Hicks, Governor of Maryland, Delivered in the Senate Chamber, at Annapolis, Wednesday, January 13th, 1858."

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Jan. 14, 1858. 
Head and ordered to be printed. 
By order, 






fielivercd in the Senate Chamber, at Annapolis, Wednesday, Jannary 13th, 185S. 


Gentlemen of the Senate 

and House of Delegates 

The will of the people of Maryland, whose voice you have to 
day declared, has elevated me to the highest office in their gift. 
For this great honor, freely bestowed, by a majority almost un- 
precedented in our State, I desire to express ray most grateful 
acknowledgments: and deeply sensible of the disproportion be- 
tween my abilities, and the responsible duties they have devolved 
upon me, I must ask beforehand that they judge me with some- 
what of the partiality they have already shown; and accept as 
the best acknowledgment I can make of their confidence, an en- 
tire devotion to their interest and the public service. 

In that service it shall be my highest ambition to reflect in my 
official conduct, the will of the people whose servant I am. And 
now, at my entrance into that office, with whose duties I am 
charged, it is due to myself, no less than to those who have 
chosen me, that I should frankly and plainly declare the purposes 
they desired to accomplish by their choice, and the principles 
which will direct my administration of their affairs. Those 
principles I regard as more vital to our institutions, than any 
that have been called in question since the beginning of our 
government. That they animate the people of this State, is 
proven by their triumph in three successive expressions of the 
popular will, by majorities constantly and regularly increasing; 
until now they have filled every department of political power in 
our commonwealth, with those whose duty it is, each in his 
sphere, to embody those principles in the administration, the 
laws, and it may be hereafter in the Constitution of the State. 

The people of Maryland have seriously considered those words 
of the Father of his Country. "Against the insidious wiles of 
foreign influence, I conjure you to beliere me, fellow citizens, 
the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake. 
Since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one 
of the most baneful toes of republican government." 

The administration of that great man was embarrassed by the 

insidious wiles against which he warns us: and the lesson taught 
by his words was founded on his own experience. To us they 
seem like the words of prophecy which in our day have been 

His apprehensions were aroused by the insidious wiles of a 
few emissaries, who strove to poison the minds of our people 
with principles foreign to our government; and to inspire them 
with hatred arising, not from injuries to American interests, but 
from sympathies for a foreign nation. 

The disseminators of these prejudices in his time, were few: 
unimportant in number or influence, sometimes openly avowing 
their intentions, but not yet daring enough to claim the right, 
as the representatives of a foreign interest, to control the policy 
of the nation. 

But we, in our day, behold the whole country overflowed by a 
constantly rising tide of foreign immigration, until it now threat- 
ens to deluge and efface the ancient landmarks of the republic: 
to change the national character, and to originate methods of 
government inconsistent with the perpetuation of our free in- 

Our native population is industrious, enterprising and pros- 
perous: yet their industry is burthened and their accumulations 
eaten up by the support of foreign paupers, annually cast on our 
shores: and the comforts and conveniences of life, which energy 
and thrift secure, are abridged to our industrious mechanics and 
laboring classes. These are compelled to share their gains, as 
well as their political rights, walh paupers and criminals, whom 
corrupt and selfish rulers have allowed to come amongst us. 

Nor do they only ruinously compete with our native industry, 
and devour its substance. We have seen this swarm of immi- 
grants everywhere elevated, in five short years, to the power and 
dignity of citizenship: without regard to character or fitness, and 
ignorant of the habits, laws and language of their new home. 
We have seen them hunted up on the eve of an election, whose 
result they are to determine, with all their principles of monarchy 
or anarchy about them, as foreign in heart, as if they had never 
reached our soil; and openly offering their votes and influence to 
those who will recognize their claims, as the foreign voting popu- 
lation, to a share in the division of office. 

It would be unjust, nor do I design to include in this descrip- 
tion, all who have sought our shores. 

There are some, and they are not a few, who have from proper 
motives found a home among«!t us; and who have not abused nor 
sold the privileges of their citizenship. There are many of those 
amongst us, of foreign birth, w^ho have by a long life of industry 
and good order, shown their fitness for these privileges: and it is 
worthy of observation, that this very class are among the most 
decided in their opinions, as to the necessity for some check and 
restraint upon this indiscriminate naturalization. 

But the influence of the first class, as insidious as ever, is no 
longer a hidden influence. It is openly recognized and wor- 
shipped as a power in the State. 

It has determined the result of Presidential elections; and fixed 
on more than one occasion, the public policy of the government. 
Designing and ambitious men humble themselves before it: and 
some even in their adulation, profess to prefer and elevate the 
foreign over their native fellow citizen. 

The people of Maryland have declared, in a way not to be 
misunderstood, their appreciation of these evils, and their deter- 
mination to remedy them. 

The right to vote is conferred by our Constitution alone. Its 
limitations are prescribed in that organic law; and it is evident, 
from the result of our late elections, that the people of (his State, 
think it requires further guards. 

In providing those guards hereafter, they will doubtless find 
example and authority for them in the Constitution of the United 
States, which allows no foreigner to be a Representative till he 
have been seven years a citizen: nor a Senator, till he have been 
nine years a citizen, and which excludes all foreign-born citi- 
zens from the Executive chair. 

These provisions, the wisdom of Washington approved to 
guard the nation from foreign influence; and we, warned by his 
fears, may well find instruction in his example. 

The people of Maryland, were the first to decree by law the 
separation of religion and the State. This principle, promul- 
gated while she was yet a colony, after more than two hundred 
years of practical interpretation, was embodied in the present 
Constitution, in the 33rd and 35th articles of the Bill of Rights. 

Those principles declare, that men shall worship free from the 
control of the State, and that the State shall govern free from the 
intrusion of religious sects; ?nd these fundamental principles, 
acquiesced in from the beginning, have been unassailed in Mary- 
land until our own day. 

The people of this State have been called on to rebuke, and 
have rebuked, an insidious attempt to elude and evade these 
principles, in the endeavor of certain persons to destroy the pub- 
lic schools of the State; and on their ruins, to erect with the 
money of the State, sectarian schools of opposing religious par- 

To divide the public school fund, among the sectarian schools, 
in proportion to their scholars, is to foster and promote, by 
means of the public money, religious differences among the people 
of the State. It is to make religious sects, pensioners on the 
public treasury. It is at once a bribe in money to religious sects 
to obtain control of the State, so that their sectarian missionaries 
may be paid from the public purse. Yet it cannot be denied that 
such an attempt has been made by designing men among us 


against which the result of the late election, has entered the pro- 
test of our State. It has equally condemned the policy of those, 
chiefly foreigners, who shared in, and who have not yet forgotten 
the practices and abuses permitted abroad; who acknowledge an 
allegiance superior to the laws and Constitution of the State, and 
who openly violate, or silently evade in their system, that prin- 
ciple proclaimed in the 35th article of the Bill of Rights. All his- 
tory has shown the evils which flow from the accumulation of 
property and money, in ministerial and sectarian hands. That 
it then becomes a power for the promotion of religious discord, 
is dangerous to religious purity, and hurtful to religious freedom. 

The people of Maryland early set forth what should be the 
policy of their government; and in the latest expression of their 
opinion, they have warned those who have been concerned in, 
or who hoped to profit by these attempts, that they are trespassing 
on afundamental principle of her constitution. 

To you, gentlemen, has been confided the duty of protecting 
and extending the great right to free instruction of every child 
in the State, without regard to sectarian differences, in her public 
schools. The people have shown that they will confer political 
power on those alone, who admit that right free from religious 
interference; and who refuse to acknowledge any higher authority, 
in such matters than the Constitution and the laws of the land. 
They ask of no man his religious creed. They will trust their 
liberties and laws to no man who does not acknowledge that law 
as his only rule of political conduct. To those who clamor, for 
political ends, about "civil and religious liberty," the people of 
this State answer that their laws first proclaimed, and still define 
what they mean by those words: that they are content to abide 
by those ancient laws, unaltered in either word or meaning; and 
they intend that they shall be obeyed. 

The illustrious Founder of the nation, when he took leave of 
the public service, warned us of the danger of sectional agita- 

"In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union;" 
he said, "it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground 
should have been furnished for characterising parties by geogra- 
phical discriminations^ northern and southern, Atlantic and Wes- 
tern: whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that 
there is a real difference of local interest and views. One of the 
expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts 
is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You 
cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and 
heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations. They 
tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound 
together by fraternal affection." These words have ever been 
the true expression of the opinions, and the policy of the people 
of Maryland on that great subject of sectional agitation. A slave- 

holding State by inheritance, by her traditions, usages and laws, 
a border State between those now forbidding slavery and those 
retaining it; allied to all the States wit! equal sympathies, and 
by her various interests nothing can be indifferent to her people 
which tends to disturb their Union. To that Union she is in- 
dissolubly bound by every tie; by every interest in the present, 
by every association and memory of the past. Her people there- 
fore have always refused to take part in the struggles for sec- 
tional power. Her voice has always been raised for peace and 
compromise, from the day of the first great settlement of this dis. 
turbance down to its unpardonable renewal, and the violation 0/ 
the sacred compact, by which it was settled and silenced. 

The people of Maryland have never listened to suggestions oi 
disunion from southern States, and have denied all appeals to 
her sympathies from them, as steadily as they have refused all 
sectional association with States in the north, whose misguided 
councils have forgotten their allegiance to the Union, or attempted 
to deny the constitutional rights ot their equals. The people of 
this State yet know of no grievance, for which disunion is a 
remedy, and they have always, in the words of Washington, dis- 
countenanced whatever might suggest even the slightest suspicion 
that Union can, in any event, be abandoned. 

Her people will hearken to no suggestion inimical 10 the slave- 
holding States, for she herself is one of them. They will listen 
to no suggestion inimical to union with the non-slaveholding 
States, for she also has interests identical with theirs; and more 
than any other State, by reason of her position and the variety 
of her interests, i? deeply concerned in the preservation of the 
Federal Union. Ever ready to detend by arms her own rights 
and liberties, from any aggression from within or without, she 
has not yet begun to consider the chances of disunion. Her 
people are content with the conviction, that however "designing 
men" may have taught the contrary, no right of any State, north 
or south, atlantic or western, has yet been infringed by the com- 
mon Government of all. And the attempts of certain partizans 
to make them think otherwise, are by them looked upon as only 
"one of the expedients of party, to acquire influence within par- 
ticular districts, by misrepresenting the opinions and views of other 
districts." They regard such alarmists as political adventurers, 
who live by subsidizing the fears, and enlisting the prejudices of 
a sectional party whose hopes they are the first to betray when 
they have gained place and power by the cheat. 

Holding these views, the people of Maryland have always 
looked with pride on their share in the great compromises 
of 1820 and of 1850; and with very different feelings on 
the flagrant violation of those compromises, and their de- 
struction by " designing men," in 1854. The name of one 
of Maryland's ablest sons is forever associated with the Missouri 


Compromise, which made a just partition of the common 
territory between those States which maintained, and those 
which had abolished the institution of domestic slavery ; and 
further established the great principle, that each new State added 
to the Union, must be admitted equal and sovereign as all the 
rest, without condition, or restriction, or limitation upon the right 
to self-government. The act of 1820 drew a line through the 
territories, to the south of which slavery was established, and to 
the north of w^hich it was prohibited by Congress, during the ter- 
ritorial condition ; but it equally provided for the right of the 
people of every territory, north or south of the line, to establish 
or forbid slavery in their State Constitution. And this it did by 
asserting the absolute right of the people to form their own Con- 
stitution, and exclusively control their own domestic policy ; and 
by denying any power in Congress to impose any condition of 

To Wilham Pinckney, of Maryland, is due^ in great part, 
the glory of the vindication and settlement of this princi- 
ple ; and to his fame we may look with feelings quite different 
from those with which we contemplate the action of those Ma- 
rylanders who took part in bringing on the country all the strife, 
and bitter animosity, and ill will which has been the direct result 
of that ill-timed, useless, and inexcusable measure known as the 
Kansas and Nebraska bill. The policy of Maryland was utterly 
opposed to that measure, and her policy has been the policy of 
all the great men of the Union, from the time of its establishment 
till 1854. It was adopted when Texas was admitted. It was 
repeated at the organization of Oregon. It was reaffirmed in the 
compromise of 1850. It was complained of by no State, nor by 
any respectable body of the people. It restored and secured the 
peace of the nation for thirty years, and until it was ruthlessly 
pulled to pieces by a petty conspiracy of political aspirants. It 
was abrogated with the intention of once more alarming the fears 
of the South, and exciting the prejudices of the North ; and was 
so speciously contrived thai it could be used, as it was used, for a 
bribe to the sectional feelings of both the North and the South. 
The people of Maryland saw, with alarm, the most powerful sec- 
tional and fanatical combination against the interests of the slave- 
holding States ever known in our history, arise, and grow strong, 
and attempt to control the Government of the Union. That rise 
and that strength, and that attempt, which nearly succeeded, was 
entirely due to the passage of that &ill. It secured the success 
of another sectional faction, which, under pretence of peculiar 
friendship to the South, and southern institutions, has now, when 
they had an opportunity of showing their devotion, not only 
completely failed in their promises, but actually betrayed the very 
interest they professed to befriend. 

It is a matter of congratulation, gentlemen, that in the excit- 

ing contest winch ensued, after the violation of that great com- 
promise, and notwithstanding her feelings and prejudices, Mary- 
land remained firm in her conviction and policy, and refused to 
lend herself to either faction. She preferred to entrust the desti- 
nies of the nation to one who had been tried and found not want- 
ing, rather than confide to either of those whose success was 
only the temporary triumph of a section, and a signal for the re- 
newal and continuance of a fruitless and embittered agitation. 
She is ready again, and again, to cast her influenct^ and her vote 
in favor of the party and of the man who shall represent the na- 
tion against the • factions, and the Union against those who at- 
tempt to pick it to pieces. 

As her patriotic men in her revolutionary ' Line' sacrificed all 
private interests and sectional feelings to the common cause, 
their sons now recognise the union of these States as the first po- 
litical necessity; the only reliance and hope for each and aU, and 
the thing which they are resolved to maintain at every hazard, 
and to the last extremity. 

Such have been, and are, the opinions of the people of Mary- 
land upon these great questions of national concern. Such has 
ever been her attitude to the Federal Government of these States, 
and such her unalterable devotion to their Union. 

But her people have quite lately been called upon to express 
their opinions upon matters which have transpired within her own 
borders, and which peculiarly affect her domestic tranquility, and 
the rights and liberties of her citizens. 

The people of this State have always regarded the military 
power as dangerous to the public liberty, and yet indispensable, 
when properly guarded, to the public safety. A proper means to 
suppress rebellion or repel invasion ; utterly unfitted as the in- 
strument of a government of law and order Regarding it a 
thing dangerous in the hand of even constituted authority, they 
have always been careful to subordinate it to the civil arm. It is 
when this, and the power of the country, is used and exhausted 
in vain, that the law permits a resort to a means of compulsion so 
utterly repugnant to the spirit and feelings of our people. 

The people of Maryland have beheld, with a just alarm, these 
fundamental principles of republican liberty infringed, for the 
first time, amongst us, in the year that has passed, and in the 
most populous portion of the State. 

It has heretofore become necessary to call out the military to 
repel invasion, and to protect the lives and ])roperty of our citi- 
zens against the outrage of a mob ; but never before, in our his- 
tory, has the humiliating spectacle been shown of an enrollment 
and calling out of the military force of the State with a determi- 
nation to use it on the day, and at the places where her peaceful 
citizens w^ere exercising the highest functions of citizenship. 

The result of our last election has emphatically expressed the 


sentiment of our people upon this occurrence ; and I think it my 
duty, Gentlemen, to state to you the rules by which I shall be 
governed, if, unfortunately, against our experience, and my own 
trust in the sense of justice of the good people of this State, ii, 
should become indispensable to resort to military aid to enforce 
the law or maintain the public peace. 

According to ray understanding of that provision of the Con- 
stitution, which directs me to take care that the laws be faithfully 
executed, the Governor is invested with no new or unlimited 
power, but charged with a duty, to be accomplished by those 
means which the Constitution and laws strictly define. And that 
clause whereby the Governor is empowered to call out the military, 
to rep^el invasion, suppress insurrection, and enforce the execution 
of the law, does not, m my opinion, enable him to select a volunteer 
force unknown to the law; to charge military officers directly with 
the execution of the laws; or to assume the duties or discharge 
the office of a mayor or sheriff, with a military force under his com- 
mand. And if he call out the military, and by his orders convert 
citizens into soldiers, when there is .neither invasion, insurrection, 
nor forcible resistance to the execution of the law, he, in my 
opinion, violates the Constitution. I will, therefore, do none of 
these things. Above all 1 will carefully abstain from calling out 
or enrolling a military force on the eve of an election^ when p jli- 
tical animosities are agitating the minds of my fellow citizens, 
and when a display of such kind near the places of voting, for- 
bidden by the laws, could only provoke violence and bloodshed. 

We have seen, in the metropolis of the nation, on what was 
once part of Maryland soil, the dreadful results of a military inter- 
ference at the polls ; and the indignation which that act of blood 
inspired throughout the country, is sufficient to convince me that 
the hearts of men rise up against such tyranny, even when the 
letter of the law may be strained to shelter the act. 

It will be for you to consider whether there is such omissiun in 
our statute book ; and whether our laws can be so twisted as to 
connive at such proceedings. When our people shall contemplate 
with indifference a reckless exercise of military power ; or a per- 
version of what was meant for defence against foreign aggression, 
into a weapon against our internal peace, they will have dege- 
nerated into the tools of military despotism, and deserve the fate 
of the miscalled republics of Mexico and South America. 

The reverence for law and order, and for the ascertained popu- 
lar will, which has always been the distinguishing honor of the 
American people, seems to be in danger of utter extinguishment 
by that violent spirit of party, which can invoke such means to 
overawe the free right of suffrage, and which may finally attempt 
to secure to itself the possession or continuance of power at the 
expense of civil war. When a violent faction shall have learned 
that such means may be used to secure success, their leaders will 


not hesitate to seek or receive assistance from other leaders, in 
other States, to control electious in their own. Civil war, and not 
a popular election, will then determitie the fate of our community; 
and the language ot the great address I have so often quoted, best 
describes the end. *'The alternate domination of one faction 
over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party 
dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated 
the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But 
this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. 
The disorders and miseries which result, gradually incline the 
minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power 
of an individual ; and sooner or later, the chief of some prevail- 
ing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, 
turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the 
ruins of the public liberty." 

From these things which have discredited us abroad and morti- 
fied us at home, it is pleasanter to turn to other topics, in which, 
as Marylanders, we have no less interest; and in which we may 
find some cause for congratulation. 

The great agricultural interest, by ^vhich we all have bread, 
has been prosperous during the past year; and although we may 
have to regret the paralyzation of commercial and industrial pur- 
suits, it is some consolation to remember that our State has not 
suffered so much as others by the prostration of credit and des- 
truction of mercantile confidence. If this show a less extent of 
those interests with us, it is also a proof that those limited opera- 
tions are not carried on upon so artificial a basis as in more active 
quarters. If we cannot boastof so extended a commerce as others, 
we at least, are more free from the reverses of wild speculation 
and mercantile gambling. It becomes us however, to take a 
lesson from our misfortunes, and while we extend the relief which 
may fairly be asked, it will be proper to enquire into the expedi- 
ency of some checks upon improper expansion of our currency, 
and its inevitable consequence, undue rise in prices, and too ex- 
tended credit. 

The great mass of the community, who live by their daily toil, 
have a right to some such protection. It is upon them and the 
hard earned gains of our mechanics and small traders, that the 
deplorable consequences of such revulsions fall with heavier hand, 
than can visit the accumulations of the more fortunate. The re- 
currence of these convulsions show the mutual reliance of capital 
and labor ; and the legislation which guards the one must benefit 
the other also. It is matter of concern to find an occasion of 
this kind which should only call forth acts of forbearance and 
charity, taken advantage of, in some parts of our country, to ac- 
complish apolitical success at the expense of a war of classes. 

The increase of crime and lawlessness is, in my opinion, not 
more attributable to the want of proper laws to punish crime, 


than to the unwillingness of those whose duty it is to declare the 
fact and apply the law ; and who thus, by an ilitimed lenity, hold 
out the inducement of easy escape to the criminal. The most 
stringent provisions are of no avail where mistaken feelings of 
sympathy, or a postponement, removal, or delay of the trial, can 
prevent a just and speedy retribution. It is our misfortune, at 
present, that our fundamental law, in some of its provisions, ena- 
bles criminals thus to postpone, if not defeat (he action of justice ; 
and it is out of the power of the Legislature to remedy the defect. 
But it is an evil of great magnitude, and the mention of it may 
serve to awaken an inquiry into the possibility of some measures 
looking to the relief of the community. 

The provisions of our penal code are, in many particulars, be- 
lieved by those whose opinion is entitled to respect, to be unsat- 
isfactory in their results, and unequal in their application. Under 
our system, which dates back for now nearly fifty years, crimes of 
lesser magnitude are visited wdth a punishment far heavier than 
is imposed on others, whose consequences, both in effect and 
example, work infinitely more injury to the community: while 
new offences and abuses of conceded rights, have become com 
raon, for which there is no punishment at all. 

The right of the people to keep and bear arms, which proper- 
ly understood and exercised, is one of the surest guarantees of a 
free government, has been abused and perverted into the pernici- 
ous custom of carrying concealed deadly weapons ; and their ex- 
hibition to the terror of, and their fatal use at the sacrifice, of the 
lives of peaceful citizens. Nor are these occurrences confined to 
occasions of sudden affrays or drunken brawls; but we have seen, 
in the most populous portion of our State, that arms havebeen un- 
lawfully obtained and secreted, and carried about the person, 
and unlawfully used on days of election ; and peaceful citizens 
and the officers of the law, in the discharge of their duty, have 
been ruthlessly shot down. It is no palliation of these crimes to 
say that they were perpetrated by those who are not suflficiently 
used to our habits and laws, and have only repeated here the 
acts of riot and bloodshed to which they were accustomed at 
home. If we are compelled to receive that material, and submit 
to its influence in other shapes, while it is becoming assimilated 
to our own population, we are not prevented from taking mea- 
ures to secure peaceful elections, the safety of our citizens, and 
he personal security of officers in the discharge of their duty, 
'he records of our penitentiary house show that from this ma-ie 
Jal and from the vagrant free colored population of om State 
comes the larger number of those who have filled it overflow- 

Upon this matter of her free colored population, the Stat of 
Maryland is deeply concerned. According to the last census 
that class must now number more than eighty-five thousand with- 


in her limits. Where these can find employment, chiefly as do- 
mestics and laborers, as in her populous city, and in the more 
thickly settled portions of the State ; and are entitled to all the 
consideration and protection with w'hich the law guards even the 
humblest individual, there is but little of the evil of their vagran- 
cy and idleness felt, nor much complaint of its existence. 

But in the lower counties of our State on both sides of (he 
Bay, the continuance and increase of tliis vagrancy and the crime 
it occasions, and its pernicious effects upon the worthier portion 
of their class, and upon the servile population, is notorious to all 
residents there, and has tor a long time occupied my attention 
with a view to some remedy. It is a matter every way worthy 
our attention, gentlemen, and we may possibly find in the favorite 
Maryland policy of colonization, and the Colonization Society, 
the means of assistance. 

The plan of returning to the country, whence their progenitors 
were taken, that class of our population, when their relations to 
our citizens became changed; and when by their habits or want 
of proper control, they could only remain here as an embarrass- 
ment to our industry, and a clog upon our progress, has always 
justly been a favorite with the people of ,Vlaryland. Her statute 
book is filled with the proofs of the care and interest she has al- 
ways felt in its success. I think while you are continuing to that 
just and Christian cause, the assistance you have heretofore so 
properly extended, you might usefully inquire whether the aid of 
the Society might not be had in the correction of a state of things 
which, if further developed, will insist upon some less agreea- 
ble r«nedy. It might be of advantage for the State to hold out 
further inducements to this free colored rural population to emi- 
grate to the colony founded in Liberia, and perhaps a condition 
annexed to future emancipation in our State should be, either a 
removal of those who are freed before they should be contamina- 
ted in their new association, or the payment to the State of a 
sum sufficient to secure the colonization of an equal number. 
If some plan could be devised to secure this end, without infring- 
ing on any rights of even the lowliest, we should have the double 
satisfaction of securing to the State abetter population, of lessen- 
ing the material for crime and vagrancy, while we should be ex. 
tending the usefulness and operations of a society, deserving all 
that it has ever received from the State, and from the charitable 
and Christian men who support and direct its enterprise. It is no 
small consideration in favor of such proposition, that it would in- 
cidentally aid in the diffusion of Christianity and civilization 
over a region forbidden to the white man, and among a 
race, who can look for no aid, it seems, from that sect of political 
philanthropists among us, whose humanity ceases to act at the 
moment the necessity for its exercise begins. If indeed a tithe 
of the money and labor which that sect has wasted in tresspasses 


and conspiracies against the peace and property of their neigh- 
bors, had been expended in this or some kindred cause, perhaps 
they would have had less time for fanaticism, and we less oc- 
casion to complain of insult and violated right. 

It is matter of congratulation, Gentlemen, that the State 
finances are in so satisfactory a condition, and her Treasury so 
well provided, from a taxation which the preceding Legislature 
reduced by one-thsrd, to the great relief of the landed interest, 
and notwithstanding the abolition of an impost which weighed 
unduly upon the commercial community. 

A strict standard of economy in all departments of the public 
service is an essential element in all good government. Happily 
our State has long since passed the crisis of her more threaten- 
ing financial embarrassments; but to afford substantial relief to 
the tax payer at an early day, the reduction of her indebtedness 
must go on without interruption, and the measure of taxation in 
the future should not be interfered with, by an over anxiety to 
anticipate a period of relief, which must soon be realized under a 
well directed and judicious system of finance. 

Whatever we do in aid of this object, by withholding ex- 
penditures and appropriations that may not be demanded by 
the public exigencies, will hasten the enfranchisement of the peo- 
ple from the burthen of taxation, under which they have been so 
long and patiently suffering. 

From the great works of public improvement upon which the 
State has expended so much, our returns have not been so large 
a? in former years. Perhaps a change in the control of some of 
them may lead to more satisfactory results. If not, we^ a» least 
have no responsibility therefor, since all pow^er over them under 
the present state of things is taken away from the Legislature. 
The same enlightened statesmanship which called into being 
those important works, to which we are so largely indebted, by a 
liberal use of the public credit, has also guarded, by a restriction 
in our organic law, the further involvement of the State, now that 
the occasion for her aid has ceased. It was a wise foresight 
which demanded as a measure of protection to our agricultural 
and commercial interests, that the tariff regulations so intimately 
connected with the prosperity of our business classes, should be 
shared in by a representation fully commensurate with the aid 
which has been asked at the hands of the State. In the midst of 
events daily transpiring in the operations of the great works of 
internal improvement throughout the country, it is evident 
that this power can never be safely parted with. The people 
have a vested claim to a fair participation, on the part of the 
State, in the management of all those works for the completion 
and support of which they have been subjected to ^so heavy a 
weight of responsibility. 

The appointing power limited and circumscribed as it has been, 


is nevertheless one of (he most delicate with which the executive 
is charged. I regard it as a sacred trust, to be exercised with 
the sole view of advancing the interest and happiness of the peo- 
ple of the commonu'ealth. It shall be my- effort to elevate the 
standard of official employment, by selecting for place under 
Executive appointment, individiiaJs fitted for the posts to which 
they are assigned, by their known or properly represented in- 
tegrity, efficiency and virtues. That misiakes will occur is to be 
expected; arid unfortunate selections may be made, notwithstand- 
ing the greatest care. In such cases the right to remove will be 
unhesitatingly exercised; and neglect of duty, malfeasance or un- 
fitness in office will not be tolerated. 

Finally, gentlemen, you may count upon whatever assistance, 
or information may lie in my power to aid your labors; and you 
may rely upon my unceasing effort, in compliance with the oath 
I have taken, to see faithfully executed the laws you shall pass 
for the prosperiiy and furtherance of the public interest. To that 
work during the short time allotted to your sessions, let us addres?:, 
ourselves at once and with energy: and with a reliance upon the 
Supreme Governor of all, without whose assistance and blessing, 
and continued care, nations, as well as individuals, labor in