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Resolution about the Penitentiary.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, That it shall be the duty of the Principal Keeper of the Penitentiary to have executed by the convicts, the excavation and embankments which may be necessary to extend the Milledgeville and Gordon Railroad to a depot to be placed on the vacant ground in the Penitentiary square north of the Courthouse and east of the Penitentiary; and also to grade the ground which may be laid out for a depot, the whole to be done with as little delay as practicable; Provided, that the Principal Keeper shall be allowed to construct a turn-out near and for the use of the Penitentiary; And provided jurther, that said road shall be run through or near the Penitentiary grounds in such manner and direction as the Governor may approve.
Assented to, February 23, 1850.
Resolution relative to Delegates to Nashville Convention.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia in General Assembly met, That his Excellency the Governor be and he is hereby requested to inform the Honorable M. Hall McAllister, Charles J. McDonald, Charles Dougherty, and William Law of their election as Delegates to the Southern Convention to be held at Nashville in June next, and request their acceptance; and that in case they or either of thein shall refuse to accept the appointment by the first of May next, it shall then be the duty of the Governor to appoint some suitable person in the place of such Delegate so refusing to accept, from the party in which the vacancy occurs; and in case of a vacancy from any other cause, the Governor is hereby authorized to fill such vacancy.
Assented to, February 23, 1850.
Resolution relative to claims of the State of Georgia against the General Government.
WHEREAS a resolution has been passed by this General Assembly authorizing his Excellency the Governor to appoint an agent, if in his judgment he should deem it expedient, to press the claims of the State of Georgia against the General Government for advances made in the Creek and Seminole wars; and whereas the Central Bank holds certain claims against the General Government, also: now in order to save to the State the expenses which
would be incurred by the appointment of an additional agent to attend to these latter claims, be it therefore
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia, That the Director of the Central Bank be and he is hereby required to forward all the claims which the Central Bank holds against the General Government, together with all the evidence upon which said claims are based, to the said agent of the State now in Washington City, and direct him to urge the settlement of the claims due the Central Bank, and the said agent is hereby required to act in accordance with these instructions.
Assented to, February 23,*1850.
WHICH ORIGINATED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Report of the Committee on the State of the Republic.
The Joint Committee on the State of the Republic, to which was referred those portions of the Governor's Message and the several bills and resolutions relating to the subject of slavery, introduced into either branch of the Legislature, beg leave to report; That they have given the most deliberate and solemn attention to the various suggestions embraced in propositions submitted to them, referring to the subject of slavery, and have, with minds fully impressed with the great significance that must be given to any action whatever on this matter at the present hour, arrived at the conclusion that we should, as far as the State of Georgia is concerned, recommend such action as shall compose the public inind, suppress any further agitation of a controversy in which for more than twenty years the South has been constantly worsted, or propose some efficient and practical measures that shall prove the sincerity of our complaints, and at the same time redress our wrongs. It is vain to deny that we, the injured party, have, for a series of years, by a vacillating and temporising policy, only assured the courage of our assailants, and invited, by an excessive sensibility, on the subject of the ultimate consequences of decisive action, further and still more iniquitous experiments upon our forbearance and patience.
The best defence of liberty is the first blow stricken in its defence, and for the first right violated. With all the accumulated injury of fifteen years that we have had to endure from the anti-slavery States, and that we so sensibly feel to-day, we yet do not feel more keenly, nor do we express more forcibly our sense of this outrage, than did the Legislature of Georgia twenty-two years ago upon the bare proposition of the friends of colonization to vote an appropriation for the removal of free negroes to Liberia. Yet the Joint Committee on the State of the Republic in the year 1827 declared, in reference to this subject, so harmless in the comparison with the audacity of recent legislation, "that they could not help reprobating the cold-blooded selfishness or unthinking zeal which actuates many of our fellow-citizens in other States to an interference with our local concerns and domestic relations totally unwarranted either by hu'manity or constitutional right.
Such interference is becoming every day more determin
ed and more alarming. It commenced with a few unthinking zealots, who formed themselves into abolition societies, was seized upon by more cunning and designing men for political purposes, and is supported by more than one of the States, as is evident from the amendments to the constitution proposed by legislative bodies, and so frequently and indeed insultingly presented for our approbation. The result of such interference, if persevered in, is awful and inevitable. The people of Georgia know and strongly feel the advantages of the Federal Union. As members of that Union, they are proud of its greatness; as children born under that Union, they will ever defend it from foes internal as well as external; but they cannot and will not. even for the preservation of the Union, permit their rights to be assailed, they will not permit their property to be rendered worthless, they will not permit their wives and children to be driven as wanderers into strange lands, they will not permit their country to be made waste and desolate by those who come among us under the cloak of a time-serving and hypocritical benevolence. How then is the evil to be remedied? Only by a firm and determined union of the people and the States of the South, declaring through their legislative bodies, in a voice which must be heard, that they are ready and willing to make any sacrifice rather than submit longer to such ruinous interference, and warning their enemies that they are unwittingly preparing a mine, which once exploded will lay our much beloved country in one common ruin." Such language as this the patriotic guardians of our State thought the crisis of 1827 justified. Who now, with the lights of 1849 before him, and the enormities of Northern aggression since the days of this remonstrance, but feels that either the grievances of twenty years ago were vastly exagerated, or we have suffered that quick resentment and sensibility to wrong to fall into decay, and our minds to become patient and calm under inflictions which would have been intolerable to the high spirits of that day. But it may be urged in defence of the long suffering of the South, that her attachment to this Union has been akin to a sacred devotedness, that from no huxtering spirit of profit or of lucreloving have we clung to it with such tenacity that a quarter of a century of outrage upon our rights and of paltering with our capability of endurance, has barely been enough to induce us to count the value of it. With the whole South this Union has been regarded as dear to us from a higher, a nobler appreciation than because it "promoted the general welfare." It has been dear to us because purchased with the blood of our fathers, because transmitted to us with their benedictions, and because we had hoped under its sway to see human liberty and human progress advanced to that point that should give the name of American freedom as a
guaranty for any future experiments in self-government. Though often charged with a reckless and restless spirit, which was not submissive to constitutional restraints, the South boldly meets this charge by asking when did we ever cause collision between members of this Union by any aggressive legislation, by a distrustful, a self-seeking or a domineering policy? When did the South, by stretching the powers of the government, excite alarm or jealousy? When did she insult the self-respect of any member of this confederacy by contemptuous comparisons or by a pragmatical and patronising interference with the internal policy and interest of any State? Or when did her pulpit lend itself to fan the flame of civil discord, or when in our borders was the temple of the living God made the theatre of display for the rancorous hate of brother against his brother? Let these reproaches fall where they are deserved. The South has no dread of them. From the earliest date of the slavery controversy, the South has evin ed a yielding and conciliatory spirit, for it will be hard indeed for any one to show the slightest mutuality in the concession made on the part of the South of all representation of two-fifths of her slave population. Can any fair reason be urged why the South should not have entered into this Confederacy claiming a full representation for this species of property? If taxation implies a correlative right of representation, then was the Southern slaveholder unjustly treated, when it was demanded of him that before he could enter this Union as a citizen he must first surrender the right of having two-fifths of bis slaves represented, when that two-fifths were as certainly taxed on all articles of their consumption as were their masBut yet the South yielded this point. She consented also to abolish the foreign slave trade, by which she might have cheaply supplied herself with slave labor; and when the northernmost slave States thought fit to abolish the institution in their borders, she interposed no obstacles or vexatious hindrances, though it might have been clearly foreseen that this result would have been fruitful of trouble to those States that would find their necessities or their convenience demanding a continuation of the system. In every interference with the question of domestic slavery by the North, she has failed and failed signally to justify her course by any reason of a purely political character, and much less by such political reasous as are to be found in or tolerated by our Constitution. There could be no other complaint reasonably urged by the North against the existence or the extension of thr slave property of the South, but that the federal representation chimed for it was unequal and therefore unjust towards the North; but as we have seen the only inequality in this thing is against the South, and not in her favor, it then resolves itself into this, that this government so restricted in