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Title:[Speech] 1829 Sep. 21, Nashville, Ten[nessee] / W[illiam] Hall : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author: Hall, William

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: September 21, 1829
Extent: 9p
Summary:This is a copy of a speech given by Governor William Hall to the Senate and House of Representatives, dated September 21, 1829. Hall talks about the need for a strong and wise judiciary. He also mentions the penitentiary system. Hall talks about the need for a standardized currency to a sound economy. He explains a dispute with Kentucky over an area of their shared border.
Collection:Governor William Hall Papers
Document: sl604

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Fellow citizens of the Senate,
and of the House of Representatives;

The sudden & unexpected resignation of Execution authority which has occurred since the adjournment of the last General Assembly, has been the source of [unclear: decp ]& serious regret to us all; and the unaffected diffidence in my own abilities which I have [unclear: ever ] felt, when called to the discharge of public duty was sustained alone by the integrity of my own purpose, & a confident reliance on public virtue, & the wisdom & firmness of our free institutions

Blessed as we are, in a climate of the most kindly temperature, and in a soil producing in the greatest abundance, all the necessaries & comforts of life, our destinies advance in the onward course of improvement; and by a consistent adherence to the principles of wise & cautious Legislation upon which we have heretofore actd [acted], we shall go on to multiply the means of rational enjoyment, and to perpetuate that character for patriotism & devotion to the common good; for which the sons of Tennessee have been eminently destinguished [distinguished].

No legislation wisdom can be effectual in attaining the greatest possible good, unless the Judicial Branch of government be as pure & intelligent as the frailty of human nature, & the weakness of human understanding will admit.

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The Laws should not only be shaped according to our soundest views of the genius of the people the resources of the Country, and the wants of society, but its attention of the Legislature should ever be directed to the forms & practice of the coordinate departments__ The channels of Justice should not only run pure & the decisions of the Courts be confirmable to the spirit of our Statutes, & the dictates of Common sense and reason, but it is of the utmost importance to the interests of this, as of every other civilized community that the redress of grievances should be prompt & with out delay. How far the experiments already made in the civil branch of our Jurisprudence have succeeded in establishing its practical fitness to all the purposes of adjudication between man & man, or whether a higher degree of usefulness is still attainable by partial modifications, deserves & will meet your serious consideration; but that some [added: measures]may be devised for the punishment of criminal offenders more effectual, than I believe to be practicable under the present state of things, is greatly to be desired_ The feelings of society as it is now constituted seem to demand a system, embracing in its details a graduation of punishment having reasonable proportion to the nature of the offence. The multiplied acts of violence and outrage, which we have frequently and of late been called to witness, are doubtless encouraged by the facilities with which the heavy sanctions of the Law are wholly evaded___ With the march of intellectual emprovement [improvement] & the chastened spirit of Christianity in other portions of the Country

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Country the sanguinary & degrading penalties of earlier times have been greatly modified. In many of our [unclear: sister ] states where Penitentiary houses or state prisons have been established as the basis of a new system, the wright of testimony, after full experiment, seems so conclusive as to control the decesion [decision] of public openion [opinion] in their favour; offenders have not only been more certainly punished, but in many instances reclaimed, and a manifest saving of expense has accrued to the Treasury in criminal prosecutions__

The permanent good which necessarily results from a general diffusion of knowledge amongst a people who are entrusted with the inestimable privilege of self government; makes it our duty to cherish with parental care, such resources, as may be in our power for the encouragement of schools, colleges and academies___ A fund for the support of Common schools in this state, to a considerable amount has been already set apart, and although I am not aware of any additional source from which further appropriations, could at this time be judiciously made, the economical investment and profitable improvement of our present means will require the most active vigilance. With the amount of Capitol now at our Command for that purpose, it is not hoped for or expected that a successful plan could be immediately put in operation and sustained; but we should take care, not only that there be no waste of the original amount, but, that there

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there be a regular & reasonable increase; and above all that the responsibility of there to whom the charge is committed be so unquestionable, and the operations whereby it is controlled be so plain and unembarrassed, as at any time when required by the Legislature, to present an aspect intelligible by all. It is a sacred deposit for the benefit of posterity; and to prevent the confusion into which the management of such funds has too often been permitted to run, a vigorous accountability should be imposed upon the guardians of the trust, by a plan of computation simple in its details, and requiring periodical investigation by competent authority__

In common with every comercial [commercial] people of the world with whom we have intercourse it has been made an essential part of our[added: our]policy to estimate the use of money or the circulating medium of exchange by some fixed standard of value:- the estemate [estimate] of that value has in different communities and at different periods been differently held; but in no one principle of civil polity have all been more united in opinion, than that some [added: fixed] standard is essential & that usury or the exaction of greater or higher rates is to be depricated [deprecated]._ With us, the standard has remained unchanged from our earliest history but the penalties, & measure of punishment against usurers has been the subject of modification; and altho: the laws have been effectual to some extent, in suppresing [suppressing] the evil in its ordinary channels of operation, still the devices of avarice have [added: been]extensively successful in their evasive expedients__

Direct loans of money, or a forbearance to [unclear: press ]collections on

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on the inducement of a higher rate of interest than allowed by Law, is now but seldom resorted to, from the facility with which the objects of the crafty usurer can be attained by fictitious agencies; and whenever the necessities of the credulous and unwary have brought them within the vorracious [voracious] grasp of a professional money dealer, new loans, or further indulgencies [indulgences] upon loans already advanced are affected through a process of [unclear: sharing ] whereby bonds & obligations unquestionably secured, & most frequently fabricated to answer the present transaction, are transferred at a discount wholly ruinous to the affairs of the oppressed debtor, and in defiance not only of the principles of policy & Law but of moral obligation and common honesty._____ the victims of this desolating rapacity are too often to be found amongst the meritorious classes of our citizens, whose spirit of emulation and enterprise is more indiscreet than reprehensible, whilst the authors of their ruin, with a small stock of probity or integrity, are by the inevitable tendency of their entercourse [intercourse] with men, now and more confirmed in a heartless indifference to the ordinary claims of humanity____ If existing prohibitions by insufficient to repress or even to check the progress of an evil, so destructive to the interests and morals of society, it is certainly competent in the Legislature, to devise some constitutional remedy, which [unclear] and to effectual in its application and which shall admit no subterfuge to unworthy offenders

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Some dissatisfaction has been manifested, and no doubt, those who are heard to complain, do so in the utmost sencerity [sincerity], against the influence & tendency of the Branch of the United States Bank located in this state; and in addition to the usual allegations against Banks & banking transactions in general, it is here assured as a particular objection, that the amount of stock held by citizens of Tennessee is very limited, & that the profits, whatever they may be, are realized by capitalists of other states, or of other Countries____ The good or evil resulting from Banking operations, whether of local or National institutions, seems, even at this advanced period of our experiments in the science of government to be still too much the subject of honest difference of opinion to justify position conclusions for or against their general utility, and I submit with great deference, whether in the present posture of affairs it would not comfort with the best views of our own interests, consistency, and good faith, to derict [direct] the public attention to the support or opposition which our best judgements may dictate, on a proposed renewal of corporate powers, rather than to an unprofitable conflict with existing establishments, whose hours are already numbered, and whose dealings are unexceptionable._ _ _ I am not prepared to say, that the influence of the Branch located here, has in any instance been improperly used. It is with all its kindred family, open to objections, but what fabric of human invention is otherwise? It was called into existence by the Representatives

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Representatives of the people, in a peaceful exercise of the known forms of the Constitution, and if it should be found in any degree, in consistent with the spirit of that sacred instrument; or, if its tendencies should be manifestly impolitic, unjust, or oppressive, the pure patriotism of Tennessee knows where to seek & apply the remedy___

The line of boundary between this state and Kentucky is still the subject of discontent and inconvenience to the citizens who reside in the immediate neighborhood, and the Legislature of Kentucky adopted a Resolution at their last session, directing the Executive of that state to take measures for running that part of Walkers line which lies between the South East Corner of [unclear: Brigg ] County & the Tennessee River. This is the only portion of the line which remains to be run, under the provisions of the compact extend into with us on the 20 day of February 1820, and it is but just & proper that it should be plainly marked and established; but as the Executive of this State was not authorized to cooperate with the authorities of Kentucky, on their proposition to appoint agents and surveyors, in February last, a suspension of operations was asked for by us; and I take great pleasure in communicating to the General Assembly, that the spirit of forbearance and accommodation, manifested by our sister state will insure the exercise of a corresponding spirit on our part, and an early attention to the adjustment of a matter which has been long delayed.___

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At no period since the commencement of our Government have the evidences of our growing prosperity been more manifest, not the efforts of honest industry more bountifully rewarded:___ Commerce and the mechanic aids are librally [liberally] encouraged, and domestic industry in its legitimate sense, is more practised and better understood__ The labours [labors] of the husbandman, whose protection should be the first object of every agricultural nation, have not only here but through every portion of our happy Country, been eminently favoured [favored] with abundant harvest:__ at peace with all the nations of the earth, and undisturbed by the petty feuds of faction within our own border, we are left to the enjoyment of as much national happiness as seems to be compatible with human nature, and the institutions of men.___ That we may know how to appreciate these blessings and improve them to the high purposes of a beneficent providence, let us look in humble gratitude to that divine source of every good, in whose hands alone are "the issues of life"

W [William] Hall
Executive Office Nashville , Ten [Tennessee]21 Septem [September] 1829.

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[added: Governor Halls
Messag [Message]
21 Sept [September] 1829
H Repr [House of Representatives]][added: 2000 copies ordered
to be printed]

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