\n^^ bW " ' PM'J m i> ;' ) ) ^'^ Im liuln IUh Jpi?* .'Vh'^j j^^ 1 '1^ < > h r ^^ A) \j ^ i > i 1 i o )h i Ifelii Kir Jr.^. ' 'r ill k ^ V^ i^ < ( 5 ' 1 ,< ! 1 I ! ) iiiiiwaiiK '•\9)'r 5 i i Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010 with funding from Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation http://www.archive.org/details/inauguralofthom'as1858hick [ Docuinent E. ] BY THE PIOUSE OF DELEGATES, Jan. 14, 1858. Head and ordered to be printed. By order, VAUGHAN SMITH, Clerh. THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS OP THOMAS H. HICKS, GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND, fielivercd in the Senate Chamber, at Annapolis, Wednesday, Jannary 13th, 185S. INAUGURAL ADDRESS. 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 fulfilled. 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- stitutions. 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- ties. 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 6 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- tion. "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 8 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 admission. 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 10 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 u 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, 12 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- ing.^ 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- 13 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 14 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, 15 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 vain.