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Full text of "Message of the Governor of Maryland, to the General Assembly. January Session, 1860."

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[Document B.] 



BY THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES, 

January 6th, 1860. 
Eead and 5,000 copies ordered to he printed. 



MESSAGE 



OP THE 



GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND, 



TO THE 



GENERAL ASSEMBLY 



JANUARY SESSION, 1860. 



ANNAPOLIS : 

ELIHU S. RILEY. 
1860. 



MESS^Q-E. 



i"i mmm»4>fjf:t!tLSiim'mty* 



Gentlemeit op thb Senate 

ANp 01 THE House op Delegjates: 

I cordially welcome you to the discharge of the high and 
important duties which devolve upon the General Assemhly, 
after the long interval which the Constitution has placed he- 
tween its sessions. The fast increasing population of our 
State, the rapid extension and variety of her interests, the 
development of her resources, and the protection and encour- 
agement to enterprises, needed for progress in her commerce 
and manufactures, in her mining and agricultural interests, 
seem to require the more frequent assistance of the Legislature^ 
whose attention is, from the |peculiarities of our system and 
position, constantly taxed hy the needs of local legislation and 
private laws, to the postponement, and even exclusion of great 
public measures, affecting the interests of the whole State. 

Since the adjournment of the last General Assembly, the 
question of calling a Convention to amend or alter the 'Con- 
stitution of the State was, in pursuance of the law passed to 
that effect, submitted to the people, who, on the 26th day of 
May, 1858, by a majority of 8,924 votes, decided against the 
propriety of that measure. 

The votes in favor of calling such Convention were 15,352, 
against it 24,276, in the aggregate making 39,628 ballots, and 
showing, from the whole number, that there were many citi- 
zens who did not think it worth while to express an opinion 
upon so important a question. 

This resolution has, therefore, made more than ever impor- 
tant the short period prescribed by our fundamental law, at 
long intervals, for the grave duties of the law making power. 
The experience of the past renders economy in the use of that 
short term indispensable ; and all dispatch that is consistent 
with proper deliberation in passing laws, is made more than 
ever imperative by the acknowledged necessities of the pub- 
lic f fif mo^i 



To you, gentlemen, recently elected by tbe people, fresh 
from among tliem, aware of their needs, and representing 
their wishes, the particular wants of your respective constitu- 
encies are doubtless sufficiently well known. But there are 
other requirements of the State, and remedies needed, to which 
it is my duty to call your attention, in pursuance of the obli- 
gation imposed on me by the Constitution, to "inform you of 
the condition of the State, and recommend to your considera- 
tion such measures as I may judge necessary and expedient." 

Foremost in importance, because of its relation to the pub- 
lic faith, is the condition of the State finance* ; and it is 
satisfactory^to be able to declare that the State is, in this re- 
spect, in a position that abundantly testifies to the wisdom of 
the legislation which has secured such result, and the faith- 
fulness of the officers who control her Treasury. 

The report of the Comptroller, addressed to me during the 
recess, exhibited the condition of the State on the 30th of 
September, 1858; by which it appeared that the whole Funded 
Debt of the State, as of that day, was nearly fifteen millions 
of dollars, ($14,862,510.26,) against which is to be reckoned 
the four millions of the Sinking Fund, showing the amount 
on which the State now pays interest to be about eleven mil- 
lions of dollars. 

This amount, under the operation of the Sinking Fund, is 
constantly diminishing, and every citizen may refer with 
pride, as well as satisfaction, to the certainty thus shown, of 
the ability of the State, not only to regularly meet her accru- 
ing obligations of interest, and her responsibilities to the pub- 
lic creditor, but of rendering her securities yearly more valu- 
able, by the gradual absorption of them, and their final ex- 
tinguishment, if we will only persist in the prudent financial 
policy which has led to these results. 

The Sinking Fund was still further increased during the 
year ending on the 30th of September, 1859, to the aggregate 
of more than four and a half millions, ($4,582,975.22;) and a 
comparison of these with the previous figures, showing an in- 
crease of $359,701.45, demonstrates that a few years' continu- 
ance will entirely discharge the indebtedness of the State. 
That indebtedness for years, hung like a heavy burden on the 
people, whose representatives were induced to lay so heavy a 
charge upon them, in the hope of developing the resources of 
those regions through which the great works of public im- 
provements were to pass, as well as in the intention of making 
investments which should be profitable to the State, or at least 
return to her Treasury the sums drawn thence for interest to 
her bondholders. In this hope, so far as the great Railway 
which unites her chief seaport to the West^ is concerned, the 
confidence of her legislators was and is completely justified ; 
and her investm^ts in Bank stock haye boeA pro^tabl^irhili^ 



the arrangements which settled the indebtedness of some 
other works of Internal Improvements have, thus far, pre- 
vented their since becoming a burden upon the Treasury. — 
But nearly fifteen millions in amount of the capital and 
credits belonging to the State, equal to her whole indebted- 
ness, consists in unproductive and inactive capital, from which 
there seems to be no hope of realizing anything under the 
present state of affairs. Of this amount, of fifteen millions 
of dead capital, for which the State gets no return, more than 
fourteen millions represent the indebtedness of the Chesapeake 
and Ohio Canal Company for stock subscriptions ($5,000,000) 
and for arrears of interest ($7,497,814.29), paid by the State 
thereon, to which is to be added two millions of dollars in bonds. 
Nor does there seem, from the report of the President and 
Directors, any prospect of reimbursement. On the contrary, 
there appears, from the experience of the past, a certainty 
that the arrears must go on to accumulate, and the original 
subscription of the five millions continue to remain worthless 
to the State. Under such circumstances^ if I thought the 
Constitution permitted a transfer, I should not hesitate to 
recommend a sale of that work, or of the State' s interest therein, 
since such a course has been adopted with the most satisfac- 
tory results in other States. Their experience of such things 
has been, like our own, that after those great and important 
works of public improvement for the development of State 
resources have been secured, by public aid, the most profitable 
results and economical management of them are surest when 
governed by those considerations only which control all 
other investments for profit and return. 

The provision of our Constitution that so soon as the pub- 
lic debt shall be paid ofi", it shall be the duty of the Legisla- 
ture to cause to be transferred to the several counties and the 
city of Baltimore, stock in the internal improvement com- 
panies, equal to the amount respectively paid by each, toward 
the erection and completion of said works; and the inhibition 
upon any further State subscriptions to any other interna] 
improvement companies, while it, in my opinion, forbids, 
meantime, the sale or transfer of any stock then (and now) 
held by the State, in any of the then internal improvement 
companies, would not, so far as I can learn, prevent the Gen- 
eral Assembly from making the Canal more available to the 
Treasury, by a lease for a term of years or, by some other ar- 
rangement with some responsible parties, under proper legal 
safeguards, by which that great work might be rendered at 
least not useless or unprofitable. 

We have had lessons sufficient to teach us the folly of em- 
barking in enterpriseis which hold out no inducement of re- 
turn, even if ve were not restrained by the Constitutional in- 



hibition that " the credit of the State shall not he given or 
loaned, in any manner, to or in aid of any individual^ associa- 
tion or corporation, nor shall the General Assembly have the 
power, t* any mode, to involve the State in the construction 
of works of internal improvement, or in any enterprize which 
ahttU involve the faith or credit of the State ; or make any ap- 
proprjationi therefor." 

The State's active and productive capital and credits 
amount to more than eight millions of dollars. Of this sum 
nearly four hundred and seventy thousand dollars, ($468,- 
406. 6C) consists of stocks of various banks, upon which the 
annual dividends have amounted to nearly thirty-eight thous- 
and dollars, or eight per centum annual return. Three mill- 
ions of dollars are in the shape of preferred stock in the Bal- 
timore and Ohio Kail Eoad Company, upon which six per 
oent. interest is assured, meeting the yearly indebtedness of 
the State therefor ; five hundred and fifty thousand dollars in 
stock of the Washington Branch of that Koad pays from nine 
to ten per centum ; while the six hundred and eighty -five 
thousand Bii hundred dollars invested in the stock of the 
Ohio Bead have, under the judicious economy of the present 
management, yielded a regular, and promise a constant re- 
turn to the Treasury. If to these sums we add the payments 
by that Company for one fifth of the receipts from passengers 
over the Washington Branch, about $76,000 yearly, we shall 
find, that of all the investments the State has made, none 
have been more profitable, even in the return of money, than 
the sums subscribed and advanced for that great enterprise, 
without which we should have no share in the trade or travel 
of the great West. The management of that great corpora- 
tion, its rates of freight, its tolls, indeed, all its policy are 
highly important to the State for civil, as well as financial, 
reasons; and it is gratifying to see the results set forth in the 
late report of the Board, which presents decreased working 
expenses, full maintenance of its rolling power, and dimin- 
ished number of accidents, as the consequences of a more com- 
plete system of reform, although inaugurated at a period of 
low rates of transportation, and lessened commercial move- 
ment. From the promised increase of trade, the new induce- 
ments and advantages offered, and from perseverance in a 
proper economy, with the experience and recognized ability of 
its present management, the most favorable results may be 
confidently anticipated. 

The total receipts into the Treasury for the year ending 
on the 30th September last, were one million two hundred 
thousand five hundred and fifty-two dollars and seventy-seven 
cents, while the whole amount of disbursements for the same 
period was one million one hundred and twenty-nine thousand 
ihree hnndiad and sixty-nine dollars and sisty-t-^x) c»n1a. 



The near coincidenoe of these amounts, while they should 
prevent anj other than necessary appropriations, indispens- 
able for the public service, warns also against any immature 
reduction of the direct tax. After years of heavy impost, 
cheerfully borne, to respond to engagements, and uphold the 
the plighted faith of the State, a wise economy in the Legis- 
ture, the gradual increase of wealth in the State, the develop- 
ment of her resources and the activity of her citizens, enabled 
the General Assembly of 1856 to reduce the direct tax one 
third. It is now but one tenth of one per cent ; an impost 
that is hardly felt, and upon a basis of taxation which, (ex- 
cept in the city of Baltimore, where a new assessment has just 
been completed) confessedly does not represent the increased 
or new values of land, and of all other property. 

In view, therefore, of the needs of various public institutions, 
the necessities of some of which, as of the Penitentiary for 
the suppression of crime, and of the Hospital for the proteo- 
tion of the Insane, are of the most pressing character; and 
which can no longer be postponed without discredit and dis- 
honor^ I do not feel at liberty to recommend a reduction of 
80 light a State tax as that which now weighs upon no inter- 
est unduly. 

When I had the honor of addressing the General Assem- 
bly, on assuming the duties of my place, I called their atten- 
tion to the provisions of our penal code, the insufficiency of 
the punishment awarded to some offences, the absolute impu- 
nity secured to many; its unjust, indiscriminating severity 
against others, its inadequacy, and the urgent necessity for 
reform in this matter. I respectfully renew those suggestions 
to you, and earnestly call upon you to make such changes and 
reforms, as shall to you, the rightful judges, upon inquiry, 
seem expedient to be made in the Act of 1809, and its various 
supplements. 

The report of the Commissioners to codify the Statutes of 
Maryland, now about to be laid before you, offers a suitable 
opportunity for, and invites the introduction of those changes, 
which are indispensible to make our laws comport with the 
requirements of this present day; with the progress society has 
made since its enactment; with the demands of humanity and 
mercy, looking to the cure and prevention of crime, as well as 
of justice, in the punishment of the criminal. 

I see no reason why there should not be shorter terms of 
service in the Penitentiary than two years or eighteen months, 
the minimum now allowed by law; at least as long as we have 
no House of Correction for the offences of lighter grade. And 
I fail to perceive the necessity or the propriety of that enact- 
ment which prevents, in all cases, the discharge of convicts 
between the months of October and April. 

The design and intention of this was of oointse humane* It 



was that the necessities of the inclement season mighf not tempt 
a discharged convict to a renewal of his offence. But if the 
fresh memory of his imprisonment, the fear of its renewal, 
and the lessons then learned (if any) for good during his in- 
carceration, cannot prevent an immediate repetition of his 
oflence, the only result of that provision, upon principle and 
hy experience, is to overcrowd the prison, at a season when 
the cost of maintenance and clothing bears hardest upon its 
finances. 

Better far would it be to require, in all cases, such extra la- 
bor as is now willingly rendered by many, during their term, 
to be paid for at the discharge, and sufficient to secure the 
transit of the party to some region where labor Would be more 
renumerative and temptation less frequent. 

In other States it has been found advantageous to allow 
terms of service, for the smaller offences, so short as six 
months; and no ill results have come of this, even in New 
York, where, after so short a term and a return to that great 
and overcrowded city, with its multiplied temptations, evil 
influences and chances of escape, recommitments, it seems^ 
are not more numerous, in proportion, than they are with us. 
Indeed I am satisfied that in those cases where a reform is 
possible, a short term for the lesser offences is more advanta- 
geous; since, by it, a sufficient opportunity is given the crim- 
inal to know the horrors of seclusion, while his term is not 
so long as to induce despair; to blot out all good by evil as- 
sociations, or to indurate him, and destroy pride or lingering 
self respect and the chance of reform. To punish small thefts, 
in all cases, with a term of eighteen months or two years is, 
in my opinion, imjust; and I felt compelled to interfere in 
some cases of this kind, where the law worked gross injustice; 
in one, especially, where though it was known at the trial 
that the petty theft was committed by one unable to procure 
work, surrounded by children crying for bread, to save whom 
from starvation a brass coupling was purloined, the term of 
eighteen months was given as the shortest allowed by law. 

It seems to me it would be better to punish a first offence 
more lightly, and more justly; so as to prevent a second, 
which, thus committed against full warning, should be visi- 
ted in all cases more for the safety of society, than out of con- 
sideration for the criminal who had thus shown himself inca- 
pable of, or unwilling to reform. 

But I still think the increase of crime amongst ns, which is 
undeniable, and which goes on to increase notwithstanding 
these severe enactments, is to be attributed not more to these 
defects, to which your attention has been invited, than to the 
unwillingness of those whose duty it is to apply them. Some- 
times this may arise from too much severity in the law; for an 
unwillingness to visit a dreadftil penalty, on a light offence, 



under extenuating circumstances, or for the first time com- 
mitted, is not unnatural. 

But, ordinarily, there is too much leniency shown to crime, 
too little regard for the welfare and safety of society; and it 
would not be difficult to name instances where the trivial 
sentence unwillingly pronounced, against a flagrant outrage., 
seems to offer inducement to crime, rather than terror for its 
commission. 

An effective law against the carrying of concealed weapons 
is loudly called for. It is an offence that ought to he pun- 
ished with a severity that will abolish this pernicious custom, 
which offers constant temptation to, and the ready means of, 
murder or deadly brawl; upon every occasion where men are 
excited by drink, or passion, or the heat of political opposi- 
tion. 

The frauds upon the elective franchise form a common sub- 
ject of complaint in different parts of the State. The provi- 
iions of the Constitution and the Statute Book are found 
insufficient to prevent, what ought undoubtedly to be regarded 
as, one of gravest offences against the sovereignty of the State 
and the highest rights of the citizen. 

It is unquestionable that in those counties bordering upon 
neighboring States, and in our large and populous city, as in 
every other in the country, which is without proper safeguards, 
fraudulent votes have been cast, at all our elections, by 
some dishonest persons who are residents; and by non- 
residents who, of course, are not by law competent to vote; 
and who take their chances for security or impunity in the 
great crowd, or in the fact of their residence beyond our jur- 
isdiction. 

It has always been thus, and so it will continue to be, a 
growing evil of great enormity, until some thorough, efficient 
remedy shall cut up the root of it — shall prevent the use of 
money or intimidation at our elections; shall precisely define 
those who alone are competent to exercise the elective 
franchise, and shall deter, by adequate punishment^ any at- 
tempt by those not so ascertained, to defeat and defraud the 
just expression of the popular will. To these should be 
added, if the remedy is to be co-extensive with the evil, pro- 
visions for the ascertainment of residents within each election 
district, ward or precinct; for closing, on days of election, under 
penalty of a fine and the annulment of its license, each place 
for the sale of spirituous and intoxicating liquors; and which 
should provide for the instantaneous arrest and detention of 
all who should be shown to exhibit arms or deadly weapons 
near any place of voting, or who should attempt to hinder or 
obstruct free access thereto. 

The condition of the arms and weapons of war belonging 
to the State, whieh have been from time to time received in 
2 



10 

the distributions by the Federal Government, demands your 
attention. 

The reports from the armorers at the State armories at 
Frederick and Easton, shown in connection with that of the 
Adjutant-General, are herewith submitted. 

By the law, as it at present exists, the Adjutant-General is 
required to furnish arms, when applied for, and when availa- 
ble for that purpose, to all volunteer uniformed companies. 
At various times, resolutions have been passed by the General 
Assembly, directing the furnishing of stands of arms from the 
State armories to different academies, for the purpose of mil- 
itary drill, or to companies in various parts of th© State, 
without requiring any bond for safekeeping or return. The 
result of this has been, the waste and squandering of the 
public arms, without any corresponding benefit to the public 
service; and the useless stripping of the armories left thus 
unprovided for cases of emergency. 

We have seen in events lately transpiring upon our own 
borders, cause and "warning for prompt legislation in this 
matter. 

Notwithstanding the requirements ©rthe first Section of the 
ninth Article of the Constitution, by which it is made the duty 
of the Legislature to pass laws for the enrolment of the mil- 
itia; to provide for the districting the State into divisions, 
&c. , and to pass laws for the eff'ectual encouragement of vol- 
unteer corps, by some mode, which may induce the formation 
and continuance of at least one volunteer company in every 
county, and Division in the city of Baltimore; yet, with the 
exception of the act of 1853, chapter 343, relating exclusively 
to that city, no law has been passed by the General Assembly 
to this end. At the session of 1856, an effort was made to 
re-organize the military; a bill was introduced, but was not per- 
fected, and failed to become a law by reason of the press of 
other, though certainly not more important, business. 

It is of great importance to our security and the safety of 
our institutions, that the military arm should be in constant 
readiness for effective service; and though they are the most 
fortunate governments, which never need its assistance, we 
are admonished that the best preventive of disaster is the 
being forearmed against its coming. I respectfully invite 
your attention to this subject; and to the necessity for a thor- 
ough re-organization of the State militia; provision for the 
retaining always in the State arsenals a given number of 
arms of each kind, and a recall of all arms heretofore distrib- 
uted to academies or companies, in which they are not now 
in actual use. I have already taken such measures as I 
thought the Executive empowered to adopt, and have collec- 
ted and had returned to the care of the Adjutant-General 
here, a considerable number of arms belonging to the State. 



11 

I have observed witli satisfaction, tliat in some of the coun- 
ties, the permissions granted to free negroes to bear, or 
keep arms, has been revoked by the Judge of the Circuit 
Court; and I again call the attention of the G-eneral Assem- 
bly to the necessity, now greater than ever, for further legis- 
lation in regard to the free negro population in many of the 
counties. In the large city and towns, and in the counties 
in the Northern portion of the State, this evil is not felt as it 
is in the lower counties, on both shores, where the community 
is taxed to support their idleness and vagrancy, and is sub- 
ject to their pilfering, and the ill effects of their evil example 
on the servile population. A law which should require every 
free negro to be engaged in some employment or business; or 
be bound out, under proper safeguards, protection and wages, 
just treatment, and the liberty of change and choice that is 
theirs, is among the wants of the people of this State. 

The people of the counties upon the Bay have had great rea- 
son to complain of the infringement of their rights, and inva- 
sions of their property, by adventurers from other States, who 
openly violate the statutes, which protect the privileges of our 
citizens, in the waters and tributaries of the Chesapeake. The 
fisheries have always been important; and as a great portion 
of the labor of securing and curing fish had to be done on the 
shore, rights there were early settled, and are rarely now dis- 
turbed. But the trade in oysters is one which is compara- 
tively recent; and which has, since the means of rapid con- 
veyance to the West are perfected, grown to an extent and im- 
Eortance, hardly credible to those who have not seen the proofs, 
large numbers of families now depend upon it, and the suc- 
cessful prosecution of this traffic has opened a new source of 
wealth and employment to whole communities. 

The G-eneral Assembly has, at various times, passed laws 
prohibiting the use of improper instruments and modes of 
taking them, by which as many more are destroyed in the 
beds; and has inhibited, under severe penalties, of confiscation 
of the offending boats, the taking of oysters within the waters 
under Maryland jurisdiction, by non-residents and persons not 
thereto licensed or authorized. The validity of these enact- 
ments has been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United 
States, (18 Howard Rep.,) which has declared the competency 
of the State authority in this matter. But these enactments 
fail to render the protection needed for this interest, by 
reason of the easy escape of oflending vessels, and the difficul- 
ty of detection. The few captures that have been made, have 
been secured by the sudden appearance of an officer, on board 
a steam-vessel, which cut off the hopes of escape; and this has 
suggested to me, that a most efficient and complete protection 
to our citizens and their rights, could be given by the purchase 
or building of a small steamboat, fitted for this service; which, 



12 

manned by proper officers, could "be always on the alert, and 
would soon clear our waters of these marauding intruders. 
The expense of this would be far more than trebly reimbursed 
to the (State, immediately and directly, by the imposition of 
a trival tax, or duty, upon the State license to take oysters 
within named limits, which would be issued only to residents; 
and, without which, any person or boat found so engaged would 
be liable to the penalties now imposed. Some small tax, as 
for instance of a few mills per bushel, would be gladly paid 
in return for such exclusive privilege and protection; and 
there can be no just reason why a fund thus raised, should not 
be devoted, as in the case of the Tobacco Fund, to the uphold- 
ing so important an interest. 

By the provisions of the Constitution, no lottery was to be 
drawn in this State after April, 1859. 

It was thought that this provision, with the penal enact- 
ments made against the sale of tickets, in lotteries not author- 
ized by this State, (which then received a large sum annually 
for the continuance of this traffic,) would suffice for its sup- 
pression. But it has been decided by one of our Courts, that 
these enactments do not apply; and that there is no penalty or 
punishment provided for the infraction of this Constitutional 
prohibition. It is for this General Assembly, with whom the 
responsibility rests, to determine whether this prohibition 
shall be vain, and the traffic in lottery tickets continue 
among us. 

In June last, Emanuel Myers, a citizen of this State_, residing 
in Carroll county, duly appointed agent and attorney for the 
owners of certain runaway negroes, who had fled into Cum- 
berland county, in Penntylvania_, and were residing there, 
not far from Carlisle proceeded to that place; and finding 
there that the United States Commissioner had shortly 
before resigned his place, and that there was no one then to 
issue the proper warrant, under the Fugitive Slave Act of 
1850, took the negroes peaceably, as he had a right to do, 
brought them into this State, and delivered them to their 
owners in Frederick county. Thereupon the sheriff of Cum- 
berland county, in Pennsylvania, with a warrant issued by a 
justice of the peace in Pennsylvania, upon the oath of a free 
negro, changing Myers with kidnapping, came into this State, 
and, at Westminster, concerted a plan with the driver of the 
mail stage from that place to Littlestown, (Pa.,) by which 
Myers, who resides immediately on the State boundary line, 
was decoyed, by the false pretence of a letter held up for him, 
over into Pennsylvania; and there, but a few rods from his 
house, whence his family witnessed the outrage^ was sudden- 
ly seized by the Sheriff of Cumberland county, who roughly 
treated, bound him and hurried him to jail at Carlisle. An 
indictment was found against Myers and others, for kidnap- 



13 

pinpr, UM Ut a ccrfain Act of Assembly of Pennsylvania, 
pansei'i in 1847, and the trial continued to the Novenaber term 
of their Court. I made application, detailing all the circum- 
stances of the case, to the Governor of Pennsylvania, for a 
nolle 'prosequi, which I thought would be the proper answer 
to a proceeding begun for such cause, and continued through 
such incidents. This was not granted; and, considering the 
importance of the rights involved to our citizens holding 
slaves, which are frequently induced to run off to Pennsyl- 
vania, where they are constantly aided, harbored, and pro- 
tected against the lawful claims of their owners, I thought 
it due to these interests to appoint some eminent counsel to 
represent the State at the trial. I therefore requested Jona- 
than Meredith, Esq., of Baltimore_, to proceed to Carlisle, as 
Counsel for this State, to defend there her interests, and to af- 
ford also the aid of his advice and counsel in the defence of 
Myers. The result of the trial was the conviction of Mjers 
alone, under the act referred to, which, I am informed, ap- 
pears to have been framed specially with the intent to evade 
the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, in 
Prigg's case, carried up by consent of the two States, upon a 
case agreed_, in order to settle the rights of those whose slaves 
fled into Pennsylvania to recapture them without the hindrance 
of the State authorities or penal laws. An arrangement has 
also been made, I understand^ since the conviction, by the 
counsel of Myers, under which he ha« been discharged, upon 
his own recognizance, to appear for sentence; which will not 
be moved for, since he has purchased, and restored to their 
residence in Pennsylvania, the slaves whom he had taken 
under the guarantees of the Constitution of the United States. 
The counsel for this State has sued out, by my direction, a 
writ of error from the Supreme Court; so that the validity of 
the Pennsylvania Act, which presumes to punish as a crime 
the lawful recapture in that State, under the Constitution of 
the United States, of fugitives from service, may be tested in 
that Court; and so that rights, which are of the highest im- 
portance to our citizens, may be rindicated by the highest 
tribunal in the land. I respectfully ask that you will make 
an appropriation, consonant with the importance of the case, 
to compensate the Counsel for the State, and discharge the ex- 
penses incident to this proceeding. 

The attacks of fanatical and misguided persons against 
property in slaves, and the warfare carried on by certain par- 
ties in the States north of us, against the rights of citizens in 
those States which still retain the institution of slavery, were 
formerly confined to a few; who were forced to content them- 
selves with refusing assistance to, or placing obstacles in the 
way of, our citizens, who proceeded to those States, under the 
guarantees of the Constitution, to recover their property. 



14 

These attacks have now assumed the more dangerous shape, 
not only of organized political conspiracies, to prevent the ex- 
ercise of that right, and of refusing, under penalties and 
political degradation, the assistance of their civil authorities; 
but the supreme power in some of those States, bv their Legis- 
lature, has passed laws, under which they have attempted to con- 
vict: and have succeeded in convicting; and have threatened 
with infamous punishment, and confinement in their peniten- 
tiaries, those of our citizens who, upon a lawful errand, using 
the means and appliances secured hy the Supreme Law of the 
land, hare recaptured and taken back to the jurisdiction, 
whence they had been decoyed or stolen, the fugitives whose 
safe restoration is guaranteed by that law as their property. 
Xo grosser outrage, no more complete and disgraceful viola- 
tion, not only of good faith, but of solemn compact, and sworn 
duty under it, can be imagined. 

Xor have the wilder of that sort stopped here. "We have 
seen a neighboring State invaded by a band of miscreants, who 
attempted insurrection, and threatened the horrors of a ser- 
vile war; and who have justly paid the penalty of their crime 
in the forfeiture of their lives. 

The G-overnor of Virginia informed me that he had reason 
to believe an effort would be made, by parties in Pennsyl- 
vania, to pass across our State into Yiro^inia, to reicue those 
men from the custody of their authorities: and notwithstand- 
ing my own repeated inquiries gave me no reason to suppose 
or suspect such an attempt, I thought proper to take such 
precautions as should secure the capture and detention of any 
such bands, or of suspicious persons; but deemed it prudent 
to take them in such mode, as should not add to the alarm 
and apprehension, which some designing persons, for ends of 
their own, endeavored to increase in the public mind. 

"While I approved, therefore, of the steps taken by Major 
General Steuart, of the Light Division in Baltimore, in de- 
spatching troops to the scene of the outbreak upon receipt by 
him of the intelligence; and of t'he aid rendered by the mili- 
tary in Frederick county, I also directed the Sheriffs of Wash- 
ington, Allegany, and Frederick counties to guard the State 
boundary, on the Pennsylvania line, and along the Potomac 
River, summoning to their aid a sufficient number of depu- 
ties, to preserve the public order, to arrest and detain all bus- 
picious persons, strangers, and others, who could not give 
a proper account of themselves, or who should be travelling 
armed, or in such numbers and in such manner as to excite 
reasonable suspicion of the lawfulness of their purpose. 
Those officers promptly acted in the matter: and the result 
was a continued quiet and a perfect peace among ourselves, 
which was not elsewhere secured by military parade and the 
rigor of martial law. 



15 

Some provision sliould be made for the discharge of these 

expenses, necessary for the protection of the State. 

In pursuance of the provision heretofore made for retracing 
and marking the Western and Southern boundary line be- 
tween this State and Virginia, I appointed Thomas J. Lee, 
Esq., of Baltimore county, late of the U. S. Topographical 
Engineers, Commissioner on the part of Maryland, in the 
place of Col. G-eo. W. Hughes, who had resigned. It was 
satisfactory to be able to find one so eminently qualified as 
Mr. Lee, by education and experience, for this important ser- 
vice, requiring the greatest attainable exactness and scientific 
precision ; and the result of the labors thus far of the two Com- 
missioners, who had the assistance of Lieut. Michler, of the 
U. S. Topographical Bureau, is laid before you in the report 
herewith submitted. It will be necessary to make an appro- 
priation to carry on and complete this work, which has been 
too long left uncared for, and which can now be consummated 
with a precision and certainty that will forever close all quet- 
tion of title and jurisdiction. 

The report of the directors of the Maryland Penitentiary ig 
also herewith submitted, from which you will learn the im- 
proved condition of that Institution, and the indispensable ne- 
cessity, if it is to be retained, of providing at once for its free- 
dom from financial embarrassment, and of making such further 
provision for security and safekeeping, as the increased num- 
ber of convicts require. This want has long been felt ; has 
been repeatedly pressed upon each succeeding G-eneral As- 
sembly, who have, in their appropriations, contented them- 
selves with patching up past deficiencies, instead of meeting 
the pressing demand for such relief and provision as should 
make it free of such necessity. Your inspection is needed 
and invited there, to satisfy you of the necessity of such mea- 
sure as your wisdom may judge expedient. 

The Hospital for the Insane, the Asylum for the Blind, 
also have claims upon the State, which cannot be disregarded. 
These noble charities have a right to support from the State. 
They should be cherished and furnished with the means of 
extending their usefulness, and absolute relief to the State, 
which should not dole out to them some small stipend, by way 
of getting rid of an import anity. Their rightful claims to 
public support should be acknowledged and met, in return 
for the great good and lervice they do the public. 

The same remark applies to the necessity of further provi- 
sion for the education of the Deaf and Dumb. Maryland is 
sadly behind other States in this respect ; and a pressing de- 
mand is for a law requiring a levy upon the counties and citv 
for the support of this class of unfortunates. 

The House of Eefuge, for juvenile delinquents, has received 
aid from the State, for which it has rendered the best possible 



16 

return, in diverting from the paths of crime to usefulness and 
industry, many who would hereafter add to the expense of 
lier Penitentiary. So prudent an expenditure, and such true 
economy, is that which pays for the prevention of crime; that 
no appropriation ever made hj the General Assembly has 
been put to better use. 

Liberality in such things is the surest economy in the end; 
and I respectfully recommend all these institutions, and their 
claims, for such aid as the gound condition of the State finan- 
ces permit, and the exigencies of the public service require. 

I also submit, for your information, the report made to me 
by John H. Alexander, Esq., who was commissioned to pro- 
cure certain documents relating to the history of the State^ 
in pursuance of an Act of the last Assembly, passed on the re- 
commendation of my predecessor in office. From it you will 
learn the condition of this matter ; and from the report of the 
Eev. Mr. Allen, whose thorough acquaintance with the Stat* 
records and archives, made him the fittest person to express 
an opinion, you will see the state of these, and the necessity 
and propriety of some step for their future preservation and 
the publication of the more important documents. Their re- 
commendations deserve your consideration, and invite your 
speedy action. 

The last General Assembly provided for the building a 
fire-proof place of deposit and Record Office, where important 
documents and papers belonging to the State could be preserv- 
ed, without risk from fire, which, at that session, had threat- 
ened to destroy the State House. They also made provision 
for the repair and improvement of the State House, and for 
heating it without the risk of fires within the buikling. You 
will not fail to perceive that these most desirable improve- 
ments have been made, as far as the appropriation permitted, 
in the most satisfactory manner. The Hall of Delegates has 
been greatly enlarged; the wing in which the Library is kept 
rebuilt; the Court of Appeals provided with suitable accom- 
modation, and the whole building made more comfortable and 
convenient. The Northern portion of the main building, 
containing the Senate and Executive Chambers, needs exten- 
sive repair, for which it is necessary that you should make 
provision. I venture to suggest that an indispensable condi- 
tion in such appropriation should be^ that the Senate Cham- 
ber, with which are connected so many aisociations and Rev- 
olutionary memories ; and which is ju«tly adroired for the 
beauty of its proportions and decorations, shoukl in none of 
these respects, and in no way whatever, be changed or altered; 
that there should be only a renewal of what is useless or de- 
cayed, in an exact repetition of the part taken away, so that 
the room may remain as it was when the Congress of the 
Confederation sat there, and on the day when they received 



11 

again the commission under which Washingtdn secured the 
independence of the Kepublic. 

The care of the State House and the public grounds is now, 
by a varietj of laws, resolutions and orders, left to different 
hands, not responsible to any officer having the whole con- 
trol, care and responsibility. I recommend the passage of a 
law, such as prevails in every State^, having a just pride in 
the preservation of her Public Buildings, repealing existing 
regulations, and providing for the appointment of the neces- 
sary watchmen, keepers of the House, and grounds, by some 
competent authority, to which they should be directly respon- 
sible for the efficient discharge of their duty, and the proper 
care and good order of the public property ; and making a 
regular appropriation, as now, therefor, to be expended under 
the direction of the appointing power. 

The vouchers for the expenditures made out of the regular 
Contingent Fund, at the disposal of the Executive, are ready, 
with the accounts, to be laid before the Committee to be ap- 
pointed for their examination ; as well as those showing the 
use of the sum appropriated, as usual, in 1858, for there-fur- 
nishing and repair of the Government House. It will be seen 
that this was almost entirely absorbed in the repairs, which, 
from lapse of time and decay, had become indispensable for 
the preservation of the outside walls and the building itself. 
I preferred to submit to the inconveniences of insufficient 
furniture, in order that the property itself might have more 
thorough repair before many of them should be too late. 

The various reports and returns which have been made to 
me, and which are necessary for your more complete under- 
standing of the condition, in detail, of various branches of 
State service, are herewith submitted; as well as certain reso- 
lutions passed by other States, requesting that copies should 
be laid before this General Assembly. 

I have thus, gentlemen, laid before you the information I 
have of the condition of the State and of the public wants. 
Many of these are pressing, and will require appropriations 
of considerable sums, which, applied now, will save larger 
sums hereafter. The necessity for these expenditures, which 
have to be met, renders economy indispensable, and strength- 
ens the suggestion I have laid before you, that it would be 
unwise, prematurely, to lessen the State Tax, while such 
necessities exist. That is not relief which takes off a burden 
for a moment, only to impose a heavier one hereafter. When 
the good of the State demands it, a light one is cheerfully 
borne ; especially when it is remembered that so it must be, 
to enable us to keep our faith, respond to the demands of the 
public service, and the claims of public charity and duty. It 
is required, also, to enable the State to comply with her duties 
of protection to her own citizens, and to place her equal with 
3 



1« 

ber sister States, in progress and condition, in that great 
Union, for which she sacrificed so much; which recognizes and 
is bound to protect the rights of all and each ; and which will 
continue, under the blessing of Providence, to work out its, 
glorious destiny, despite the idle threats and vain fears of 
those whose only safety is within its ample protection. 

THOMAS HOLLIDAY HICKS. 
Government House, January ith, 1860. 






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