Huntingdon journal. (Huntingdon, Pa.) 1843-1859, January 13, 1847, Image 1

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VOL. XI, NO. 52.
To the Senate and House of Represen
tatives :—GENTLEMEN—T he Legislature
has assembled at a time which is distin
guished for the general health and pros
perity of the people.
While we deplore the wants and
wretchedness of numbers of our race,
resulting principally from the influence
of unjust governments, we are enabled,
by comparing our condition with theirs,
to appreciate the inestimable value of
our own free institutions, and are moved
to unite our grateful hearts in adoration
and praise for the wonderful goodness
of our Heavenly Father, who has mul
tiplied our civil and religious blessings,
and has not only preserved us from the
horrors of want, but has enabled us,
out of our abundance, to feed the hun
gry, and has made us a great and a hap
py people.
Since the last adjournment of the Gen
eral Assembly, the peace which had so
long subsisted between this nation and
the other nations of the world, has been
disturbed by the war between the Uni
ted States and Mexico. The grave cau
ses which have produced this rupture
are ably and satisfactorily set forth in
the late annual message of the President
to Congress. They show a dignified for
bearance on the part of this government,
under multiplied wrongs & aggressions,
and a laudable desire to preserve peace
while its blessings could be secured con
sistently with the national honor. A free
people, conscious that they ask nothing
but what is right, cannot submit to wrong
--and however much they may depre
cate the evils of war, their just rights
must be maintained. Hence Congress,
on the 18th of May, 1846, announced,
that by the act of Mexico a state of war
existed between that government and
the United States, and for the purpose
of prosecuting it to a speedy and sue- 1
eessful termination, the President was
authorized to employ the militia, naval
sad military force of the United States,
and to call for and accept the services
of fifty thousand volunteers.
In pursuance of the authority derived
from this act, the President, on the 19th
of May, 1846, requested the Executive
of this State, to cause to be enrolled and
held in readiness, for muster into the
service of the United States, six regi
ments of volunteer infantry, each to
consist of ten companies, to serve for
twelve months, or to the end of the war,
unless sooner discharged.
In accordance with this request, gen
eral orders were issued on the 23d of
May, 1846, announcing to the citizen
soldiers that the offer of six regiments
of volunteer infantry would be accepted,
to be held in readiness for muster into
the service of the United States. In pur
suance of this announcement, the offers
of ninety companies of volunteer infan
try, sufficient to fill nine regiments, were
received and transmitted on the 15th
day of July, 1846, to the War Depart
ment. The patriotism and zeal which'
were so promptly and cheerfully mini-
rested on this occasion, by the volunteers
of Pennsylvania, give proof of their
devotion to the service of the country,
highly creditable to themselves and hon
orable to the State.
The six regiments thus called for,
were not mustered into the service.
On the 16th of November, 1846, a re
quest was made by the President for one
regiment of volunteers from this State,
to consist of ten companies, to be con
tinued in service during the war with
Mexico, unless sooner discharged. This
request was announced on the 18th of
November, 1846, to the volunteers who
had previously tendered their services,
and the regiment was promptly filled,
and mustered into the service of the
United States at Pittsburg, on the 15th
day of December. Six of the compa
nies composing the regiment, were or
ganized in Philadelphia : one in Potts
ville one in Wilkesbarre, and two in
On the 14th December, 1846, a request
was made by the President, for another
regiment of Volunteer infantry from this
State, to serve during the war with Mex
ico, unless sooner discharged. This
regiment was filled, even with more
promptitude than the former, and order
ed to rendezvous at Pittsburg, on the
sth inst. One of the companies compo
sing this regiment, was organized in
Philadelphia : one in Reading ; one in
Mauch Chunk : one in Harrisburg : one
in Danville : two in Cambria county :
one in Westmoreland county : one in
Fayette county, and one in Pittsburg.
The energy and exalted patriotism
which have thus been evinced by the
citizen soldiers of Pennsylvania, are an
admirable illustration of the workings
of our free system, and of the strength
of our government.
The officers and soldiers who have
entered into the service of the country,
are independent freemen, in the vigor of
youth and manhood, intelligent and en
ergetic, animated with the love of lib
erty, and proud of the dignity of being
citizens of the United States. Such are
the Volunteer soldiers of Pennsylvania,
who have filled two regiments, and are
ready to furnish any additional number
that may be required.
In referring to the manly zeal of the
soldier, allusion to the benevolence of
the citizens who provided for their com
fort on the march, and who became the
guardians of those they left behind, and
were dependent upon them, cannot be
omitted. Those generous feelings, so
admirably expressed, in which woman
mingled the fulness of her patriotism,
and the charms of her influence, cast a
halo around the volunteer, when with
lingering looks at the loved objects of
home, he commenced his wintry march
for the seat of war, and gave him the
assurance that the blessings of the sol
diers friends—of the whole country,
were upon him, and their.protecting care
around his family.
That compensation, in addition to the
small allowance made by the laws of the
United States, should be provided for
these brave men, who have devoted
themselves to the country, is most rea
sonable. I submit, respectfully, to the
General Assembly, the propriety and
justice of invoking Congress to appro
priate, for their use, such portion of the
public land as may be sufficient to fur
nish a competent freehold to each of the
officers and soldiers, who have, in com
pliance with the request of the President,
volunteered to serve in the war with
Mexico, and are mustered into the ser
vice of the United States. A better dis
could not, in my opinion, be
made of a part of the public domain.
It is to be regretted that, as the con
tingency which has arisen was not fore
seen 4 there was no provision made by
the Legislature, for defraying the ex
penses of the marching the volunteers
to the place of rendezvous. The al
lowance made by the general govern
ment, for this purpose, was little more
than sufficient, with the most rigid
economy, to pay the cost of transporta
tion. These men were hurried from
their homes, with little time for prepa
ration, and when they arrived and were
mustered into the service, the small
sum for defraying their travelling ex
penses, which was their only compensa
tion up to that period, was nearly ex
hausted. I submit to the General As
sembly the propriety and justice of re
funding to them the expenses of the
march to Pittsburg. The sacrifices they
have made, and the spirit they have
evinced, merits, in my opinion, this
small acknowledgment from the repre
sentatives of the people.
It is proper to add that, although this
subject has been presented to the gene
ral government, no provision has yet
been made to defray the expenses incur
red by the volunteers, in preparing them
selves for muster into the service, un
der the request of the President, of the
19th May last. This subject, too, is
worthy of the immediate consideration
of the General Assembly.
A detailed report of the proceeedings
in this State, for organizing the troops
to serve in the Mexican war, will be
made as early as practicable by the Ad
jutant General, and submitted as soon
as it is received, to the General Assem
In connection with this subject, it is
my duty to state that, to the industry
and ability of Adjutant General Bow
man, and his assistant, Col. Petriken, I
have been essentially indebted for the
prompt, methodical and satisfactory ar
rangements, by means of which the duty
that devolved upon me, in the organiza
tion of these troops, has been perform
ed; and as existing laws make no pro
vision, I respectfully submit that suita
ble compensation for the services which
have been rendered, should be promptly
made to these officers.
The debt and finances of the Com
monwealth present one of the most in
teresting subjects that can engage the
attention of the Legislature.
The following is an exhibit of the
State debt, on the first of December
last, as appears from the report of the
Auditor General :
Total funded debt, $38.858.970 62
Keller notes iii ei culation, 1,081,664 00
Interest certificates, outstanding, 703.810 69
Interest certificates. uncititnetl, 4,433 11
Interest en certificates. to August
. .
I. 1845, when funded,
Domestic creditors,
Total on lot Dec. 1846, $40,789.577 00
Being $196,816 22 less than it was on
the Ist Dec., 1845.
'1 he payment of the interest on the
funded debt had been suspended for two
years and it half preceding the first of
February, 1845, for which certificates
were issued, which constitute a part of
the existing debt. In consequence of
the non-payment of the interest, the ba-
lance in the Treasury had accumulated
. the Ist of December, 1844, to the
sum of $663,851 88; and on the Ist
day of February, 1845, the payment of
the interest on the funded debt was re
sumed, and has been continued up to
the present period, and the credit and
honor of the State maintained. This is
a source of high gratification to our cit
izens, and has tended greatly to restore
our good old Commonwealth to the ele
vated and proud position she formerly
occupied, and which, I trust, she is des
tined to occupy for all time to come.
While, however, we mingle our con
gratulations upon this comparatively
prosperous state of affairs, it is proper
that the true condition of our resources
should be accurately and critically ex
amined, and always kept in view, not
only to guard by ample provisions a
gainst the possibility of another failure
punctually to meet all the demands upon
the public Treasury, but to make provi
sion for the commencement of a system
for reducing the public debt.
It has been my constant endeavor, es
pecially in my annual message in Janu
ary last, and the special message of the
21st of April following, to impress upon
the representatives of the people the ne
cessity and importance of this subject.
In presenting it to the Legislature at
the last session, it became my duty to
show that the taxes assessed on real and
personal estate, together with all the
other revenue that accrued within the
fiscal year, ending on the 30th Novem
ber, 1845, were less than the expendi
tures of the year, by the sum of $414,-
199 32, which deficit was supplied out
of the balance in the Treasury on the
Ist December, 1844, and by a diminu
tion of the outstanding taxes. Thus,
On the Ist December, 1841, the balance in the
Treasu• y was $663.8.31 88
And on the Ist Dec. 1845, it was 384,886 09
Showing a reduction of the balance
in the Treasury of $278,965 79
On the Ist Dee. 1844, the estimated
amount of availa
ble outstanding tax
es was $1,009,778 03
And on the let Dec.
1845. they were es
timated at 874.544 50
Showing • dim'nu•
of the out•
standing taw es of
Anil nrdiltip nTrulrate
tinn of the 1141/111i • in the 'Nese*.
Ty . 114XP, dtirit.g
the vPa ending : nth Neva miter,
1845 of 6414,199 32
This statement demonstrates that the
taxes, and other revenues assessed, and
accruing within the year, were less, by
the above sum, than the demands on the
Treasury for the seine period.
The financial operations of the year,
ending on the 30th November, 1846,
also exhibits a like deficiency, but less
in amount. Thus,
The balance in the Treasury on the lat December
1845, was $984,886 09
And the estimate amount of rails
hie outstanding at the same
period, was 874,544 50
Making an egg came amount of be
lance in the Treasur), and out
standing taxes, on the tat Decem
ber, 1845, of 1,259,430 69
Th. balance in the Tiessury on Ist
Dec. 1546, was $384,678 70
And the estimated a
mount of available
'outstanding taxes,
of the same period
was 548688 64
Making an aggregate
of the balance in
the Treasury, and
outstanding taxes,
on the Ist Decem
ber, 1846,
Showings diminution of the balance
in the Treasury, anti outstanding
taxes, during the fiscal year, end
ing on the 30th Nuxember, 1846,
of $332,063 25
It thus appears that the taxes assess
ed, and the other revenues accruing
within the fiscal year just ended, were
insufficient to meet the demands upon
the Treasury, by the above sum.
It will be perceived that the balance
in the Treasury on the Ist of Decem
ber, 1846, was greater than was estima
ted in the last annual message, and that
the amount of the outstanding taxes has
been reduced below the estimate then
As it was apparent that these recur
ring deficiencies would soon exhaust
the balance in the Treasury, and all the
arrearages of available outstanding tax
es, I was impelled to urge upon the Ge
neral Assembly, at their last session,
with so much earnestness, the indispen
sable necessity of providing some addi
tional revenue, to place the finances of
the State upon a permanent basis. Near
the close of the last session, an
act was passed entitled " An act to pro
vide for the reduction of the public
debt," which embraces some additional
44,423 21
96.275 47
objects of taxation, and contains provi
sions for enforcing more effectually the
intention of the act of 1844. It was,
-however, passed at a period of the ses
sion when there was no time for delibe
ration, and contains some provisions
which, in my estimation, ought to be
modified. It seems to me that an at
tempt to tax book accounts, and money
due on contracts, will only prove vexa
tious to the citizens and officers, with
out adding substantially to the revenue.
As the act of 1846 has not yet had
time to produce any practical results,
no certain estimate can be made of the
amount of additional revenue it will
produce ; but it is believed that this law
together with the increase of the value
of propertt , since the last triennial as
sessment, will, if the present triennial
assessment is fairly made, enlarge the
revenue derivable from real and person
al estate to an amount equal to the defi
eteno, that occurred in the accruing re
venue of the last year. The loss of
tolls, and the additional expenditures
upon the public works, occasioned by
the extraordinary flood of last spring,
is a subject which may be properly no
ted here. By reference to the report of
the Canal Commissioners, it appears
that they have estimated the loss of tolls
occasioned by the delay in opening the
navigation, at the sum of $150,000,
and that the cost of extraordinary re
pairs required in consequence of inju
ries by the flood, was $111,515, making
the aggregate loss to the State, by this
unusual casualty, $261,515. If this dis
aster had not occurred, the accruing re
venue, exclusive of the balance in the
Treasury on the Ist December, 1845,
and the taxes then outstanding, would
have been nearly equal to the demands
upon the Treasury during the last fiscal
year. _
- From the Canal Commissioner's Re
port, it appears that the receipts from
Canal and Railroad tolls, and charges
for motive power, were—
For the year 1843, 431,017,841 12
1844, 1,167,603 42
1845, 1,196,979 43
. ,
•1846, 4295,494 76
Showing a gradual and steady increase
during the above period. Even last year,
notwithstanding the delay in opening
the navigation, they exceeded those of
1845, by the sum of $98,515 33. There
is good reason, therefore, to believe,
that if the public works shall continue
to be conducted with the same• degree
of skill, industry, and integrity, with
which they have been managed for some
years past, the receipts from them will
continue to increase, until the business
upon them reaches their full capacity.
Some apprehensions • have been ex
pressed, that the construction of the
great Central Railroad, between Phila
delphia and Pittsburg, may be the means
of diminishing the income from the im
provements of the State. In this Ido
not concur; on the contrary, I entertain
the opinion that the increased commerce
which it will invite between our great
Eastern and Western emporiums, and
the regions which connect them, will
not only add to the revenues of the Co
lumbia railway, but will greatly increase
the productiveness of all our public
works. Such, I believe, has been the
experience of New York ; and such, I
doubt not, will, in a very few years, be
that of our own Commonwealth.
135.233 51
I transmit, herewith,a statement show
ing the actual receipts and expenditures
for the last fiscal year ; and also an es
timate of the same for the present year,
made with much care, upon full consul
tation with other officers of the govern
ment. From this estimate, it appears
that the receipts of the year will ex
ceed the expenditures by the sum of
$194,441 11.
927,367 34
. .
The balance in the Treasury on the
Ist instant was only $438,986 68. It
is, therefore, alto ether probable that it
may become necessary to make some ar
rangement to anticipate a small portion ,
of the revenue of the year, to meet the
interest which will fall due on the Ist of
February next. I recommend that some
legal provision be promptly made for
this purpose. This will not affect the
financial calculations and estimated re
sults of the year. I feel entire coati
deuce that, taking into view the opera
tions of the whole year, the results will
sustain substantially the estimates that
have been presented.
The sum of $200,000 which is now
annually appropriated to the cancella
tion of the relief issues, and which is
included in the estimates, is discharg
ing that amount of the public debt year
ly, and is, in fact, an existing sinking
If, therefore, the conclusion at which
I have arrived, shall prove correct, that
the taxes assessed under existing laws,
on real and personal property, with the
ordinary revenues, and an amount from
the public improvements equal to that
received during the past year, will prove
sufficient to pay the interest on the pub
lie debt and other &mends upon the
Treasury. the annual increase of tolls
upon the public works, may be added to
the present sinking fund of $200,000 a
year. From the experience of the three
last preceding years, this increase may
be fairly estimated, for some years to
come, at $lOO,OOO per annum; and, if
it he added annually to the existing fund
for the cancellation of the relief issues,
they will all be taken out of circulation
in about three years, at which time the
State will have a sinking fund of half a
million of dollars to commence the li
quidation of her funded debt. The ap
plication of this fund annually, with its
accruing interest, to the purchaseof five
per cent. State stock at par, will, at the
end of ten years, discharge $6,288,920
of the public debt, and at the end of 20
years, $16,532,881, which will reduce
the debt, including the cancellation of '
relief issues, at the end of twenty-threel
years from this time, to the sum of $23,-
175,032. The nett income from the
public works will then, it may be fairly
presumed, be more than ample to pay
the interest on the State debt, and the
people may be entirely relieved from all
taxation for the payment of interest. In
tact, there is reason to believe, that the I
increased wealth .of the State, and the
accumulation of business on the public',,
works, will, at a much earlier period,
admit of important reductions in the
taxes, without retarding the consumma
tion of the foregoing plan for reducing
the debt. Notwithstanding some may
be disposed to view these suggestions
as visionary, I have the most entire con
fidence in their practicability, provided
the public works shall continue to be
managed with integrity and skill, the
tax laws fairly executed, and the gov
ernment in all its departments honestly
land faithfully administered.
In connection with this subject, I re-,
spectfully recommend to the General
I Assembly, the propriety and policy of
proposing to the people an amendment
to the constitution of the State, under
the form, of the tenth article of that in-
strument, by which the income from the I
public improvements, after deducting
the necessary expenses for repairs and
superintendence—the revenue arising
from the State tax, on real and personal
property, for a certain period, and such
other items of income as may be deem
ed expedient to include, shall be set
apart and be sacredly pledged for the
payment of the interest upon the public
debt, and the gradual liquidation of the
Such an amendment, judiciously ar
ranged, would, I apprehend, meet with
the decided approbation of the people
of the Commonwealth. It would con
centrate public sentiment upon a fixed
object—remove all doubt of the fulness
of the public credit, and lay the foun
dation for the final extinguishment of
the public debt. It would give no addi
tional security and assurance to the peo
ple, and to the public creditors, that, in
no event could the public revenue be di
verted from its legitimate object, and
would furnish conclusive reasons for
the prompt and cheerful payment of the
1 would respectfully recommend a
careful examination of the operations of
the existing tax laws. Taxes, however
correctly they may be arranged by law,
fall to a certain extent, unequally upon
the people, in consequence of their va
rious circumstances and liabilities • but
if to this unavoidable result be added
careless and irregular assessments, by
which large amounts of property escape
taxation, great injusticels done to those
who make an honest and full return of
their taxable property.
The adjustment by Congress of the
rates of duty on imports, is a topic that
continues to divide public sentiment.—
In my message of the 7th of January,
last, 1 took occasion to express the views
which I then entertained regarding it,
and to these views I continue to adhere.
I can entertain no doubt of the constitu
tional power of the federal government,
to make such discriminations in the rates
of duties on imports, as may afford rea
sonable encouragement to domestic man
ufactures and productions which may
be injuriously allected by foreign com
petition. This is a power incident to
every sovreign State, and as the sepa
rate States of this Union are by the ex
press terms of the constitution prohib
ited from its exercise, it follows, that,
unless it resides in the federal govern
ment, the United States are without this
essential attribute of National sovreign-
The extent of these discriminations,
bearing, as they do, upon conflicting in
terests, and in some degree arraying
those Of one portion of the Union against
another, can only be adjusted under the
influence of that spirit of concession,
and compromise, which prevailed in the
adoption of the Constitution itself. The
WHOLE NO. 572.
I:istory of our legislation on this subject
demonstrates most conclusively, that a
tariff, to be permanent, which is so es
sential to the mani factoring, as well as
all the other great interests of the Coun
try, must he reasonable and equitable,
and that all attempts to establish a rate
of ultra protective, or low horizontal
duties, have only tended to keep the
question in a state of constant agitation,
than which nothing can be more preju
dicial to the interests of the business
community. I am, therefore, in favor of
such just discriminating duties as may
be sufficient to sustain all our great Na
tional interests against injurious com
petition from abroad; such as will give
to the home manufacturer, and producer,
reasonable profits on his capital, and
enable him to pay his workmen fair
wages, without unnecessarily taxing the
Pennsylvania, possessing as she does,
such vast agricultural, manufacturing
and mineral resources, and commercial
advantages, has a peculiar interest in
the adjustment of this question, upon a
permanent basis. Sho,hl the changes
made in the rate of duties, by the tariff
act of 1846, affect injuriously any of
the great interests of the country, we
must unite our efforts to induce Congress,
to whose care and discretion the subject
is committed by the Constitution, and
on whose wisdom and justice we may
safely rely, to make all just and reason
able amendments.
From all the reflection I have been
able to give this vexed and complicated
subject, I am thoroughly convinced, that
reasonable discriminating duties, such
as can be permanently maintained, in
connection with the operations of the
Constitutional Treasury, and a sound
currency, will do more to promote the
permanent and general prosperity of all
the great interests of the Country, than
any other system of policy which can
be adopted. High duties, with the em
ployment of banks as the depositories
of the public moneys, and a consequent
inflation of paper currency, by which
the advantage of the duty to the home
manufacturer and producer is destroyed,
are as certain to hasten and aggravate
those commercial revulsions, to which
all nations are exposed, as profligacy
and vice are to produce want and mis
The repeal, or modification of the
British Corn Laws, by which our agri
cultural products are adini:ted into Brit
ish ports, while it was a measure dicta
ted alike by sound policy, and hi manity,
toward the stffering population of the
United Kingdom, has had a most happy
influence upon our farming interests.—
This measure has already augmented
the demand for our bread-stuffs, at en
hanced prices, and there is reason to be
lieve, it will continue to increase per
manently our agricultural export s,wli ich
cannot fail to add to the general wealth
and prosperity of the State and Nation.
In the last annual message I express
ed my views at length, in regard to the
policy of the banking system, to which
I respectfully refer. To the opinions
therein contained, I continue to adhere.
At present there is reason to believe that
our banks are in a comparatively sound
condition. Wit! out ascrit mg this cred
itable and healthy state of things en
tirely to the policy which has been adop
ted, of limiting the nmonnt of the bank
ing capita', and making bankers int'i
vidually liable for the payment of their
debts, I am persuaded that it has a sal
utary influence in preservingthe sound
ness of the c trrercy, and that it should
be adhered to inflexibly.
I refer you with great pleasure to the
able report of the Canal Commissioners
for a detailed statement of the opera
tions upon the public improvements dur
ing the past year.
The economy, ski'l and integrity with
which they have been managed for a
few years past, have greatly tended to
restore public confidence, and re-estab
lish the credit of the State, and justly
entitles every member of the respective
Boards of Canal Commissioners, who has
had an agency in producing this great
reformation, to the gratitude and confi
dence of the whole community. I re
fer to the fact with no ordinary satisfac
tion, that during the last three years
there has not occurred, among all the
officers and agents employed on the
several lines of improvements, a single
case of defalcation.
The improvement of the Ohio river,
from its mouth to the city of Pittsburg,
has heretofore been deemed an object of
sufficient national importance to claim
the attention of the federal government.
Numerous appropriations have been made
for this purpose, but not sufficient to car
ry out any efficient and useful system.
Many of the Western and South West.
ern States of the Union are interested
in this improvement. The connection,
however, of the main line of our canals
and railroads, at the city of Pittsburg,