Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

endeavors to serve the people, in the several stations which they have assigned us.

We have cause, Gentlemen, to think highly of our country. Our soil is exuberantly rich; our climate in general is healthy; our government is based

upon the principles of equal rights and equal privileges, and operates lightly upon all, and our people are free, independent and happy. A comparative view of our present resources and prosperity as a nation, with what they have been at any former juncture, will forcibly demonstrate, that we are rapidly advancing in wealth, population and political influence.

The promptness, energy, and patriotism, which have characterized the administration of the federal government, during the official term of the illustrious individual who is now at the head of it, command the highest respect and confidence of the American people. It is, moreover, a consideration, which

may justly inspire the citizen with increased reliance upon the wisdom of the National Executive, that those measures of his administration, which have been most signalized by determined opposition, have in their progress and results been most successful, in securing popular esteem.

The policy and successive measures of the National Administration, relative to the present United States Bank, have received the commendations of

The expe

cach Legislature of this State, during a series of years past; and in the recent popular elections, these commendations have been sanctioned by our constituents, too obviously for misapprehension, and too distinctly to admit of doubt respecting the course, which obedience to their will, imposes upon us respectively.

An institution, which, like the present United States Bank, discloses a disposition to wield its extensive powers in rivalry with those of the government which created it, cannot be regarded otherwise than as dangerous to public liberty. rience of more than a year has confirmed me in the opinion, that as a servant of the National Government, the Bank can be spared without detriment to the fiscal operations of any Department; as a rival of government, in any thing, it surely ought not to be endured. Being fully convinced, that it has become obnoxious to the charge, of assuming to control by counter influences of a dangerous character, the policy and measures of the federal government, and that the monopoly of power which it possesses over the industry and business relations of the people, can, with more safety to the public, be divided among local institutions, I shall cheerfully accord my co-operation, in any proceedings which your deliberations may suggest as expedient, for conveying to the National Executive and to Congress, the clearly indicated wishes of the people of Maine, upon this subject.

The recent political agitation in our country, has been productive of mixed benefit and evil to the community. It has aroused the citizen to reflect seriously upon the worth of political virtue, and to renew his choice in the exercise of his suffrages, between popular freedom on the one hand, and a subjection to the influence of combined wealth on the other. So far, the effect has been indisputably salutary. But there is cause for apprehending, that the same occasion has given rise to inroads upon

the freedom of our popular elections, altogether opposed to the spirit of our free institutions.

The freedom and purity of the elective franchise, lie at the foundation of our republican system of government. Upon the fidelity with which these are watched and protected by the citizen and public officer, the duration of popular liberty mainly depends. Corruption, oppression, and menaces, in whatever manner presented, are alike adverse to them. That the personal independence of the citizen, in all elections, may receive every species of protection that timely legislation can furnish, and that these hostile influences may be prevented from acting upon the choice of public officers, or be properly dealt by when detected, I respectfully suggest, whether it may not be advisable to render them, in this State, penal offences by legislative enactment, and subject to exemplary punishment.

I cannot but regard the late Acts of Congress relative to the Gold and Silver currency of the

[ocr errors]

country, as conducive to great improvement in this essential department of our national concerns. And it is worthy of consideration, whether a gradual curtailment of the privilege of issuing bills under the denomination of five dollars, now extended to the several Banking Institutions in this State, by the twentieth section of the Act of March 31, 1831, will not beneficially serve the policy, thus commended by national legislation. Simultaneous with the operation here suggested, an enactment of similar import with the repealed section of "An Act to restrain unincorporated Banking Associations, and for other purposes,” passed March 13, 1821, would also be found expedient, to prohibit the circulation, within this State, of the bills of foreign Banks, of denominations prohibited to Banks in our State.

Upon the subject of education, the duties of the legislature are made imperious by the language of our State Constitution. Much has heretofore been done by the State Government for the improvement of the rising generation, but it is in the nature of this class of claims to increase with the increasing abilities of our people and government to sustain them. Perhaps an undue proportion of the bounties of the State, has heretofore been applied to the education of the male sex. I need not urge upon intelligent and reflecting minds, the importance as well as the justice, of advancing at an equal pace, the cultivation of intellectual power in the two sexes.

The

progress of our youth in knowledge and virtue, as they approach maturity of years, greatly depends on the mental and moral habits formed in early life, under the influence of females, to whose care our children are ordinarily committed during that important period, when first impressions are imparted to the mind. As a matter of economy, merely, female education is deservedly entitled to the most liberal provisions. But we should be behind the spirit and the lights of the age, if it were not so regarded by us for its own sake alone. In both views, I commend it to your favorable consideration. And in this connexion I will remark, that the opinions expressed in my first communication to the Legislature of the last year, relative to the necessity of making further provision for the qualification of instructors for our common schools, have been confirmed by subsequent reflection and observation, and they are now adverted to, for the purpose of again presenting the subject to the attention of the Legislature.

A Resolve was passed by the last Legislature, granting the sum of twenty thousand dollars for the benevolent purpose of establishing an Insane Hospital in this State, on condition that a like sum should be raised by individual donations. In furtherance of this object, the Secretary of State caused the Resolve to be published for general information; but this appeal to the sympathy and public spirit of our citizens, has not been attended with the success

« FöregåendeFortsätt »