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Indianapolis Indiana Journal (Newspaper) - December 18, 1830, Indianapolis, Indiana I it Etoi Uirt into the expediency of Fel towing the state Revenue of Switzerland county for one year to the inhabit edits thereof for the purpose of dicing a Salt Well of Indian Creek in said Colin in. Messes. Conrig Arnstrong and Wallace of a. Were appointed said select committee. On motion of or. Bissell resolved hit a select committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of so amending the stray Laws As to compel the clerks of the several circuit courts in this St futo furnish the Secretary of state with a transcript of their stray dockets on or before the first mondays of january and july in each year and that the Secretary of state be requited to have the same published Ife h paper to be prepared for that purpose and transmit a copy of the same to each clerk in the state and that the expense of the same be paid out of tie state Treasury. Messes. Bissell Hoover Smiley and Casey were appointed said committee. On motion of or. Logan resolved that the committee on the at lairs of the state prison be directed to report to this souse 1st, what number of convicts there is at this time confined in the Penitentiary and what number of males and females White or coloured 2d, tie nature of the crimes for which they were severally Ltd omitted and 3d, what is the nature of their treatment and whether any just cause of complaint exists on their part. A on motion of or. Kinney resolved that the committee of ways and Means be instructed to inquire into the expediency of taxing All Brooden clocks hereafter brought into this state for Sale and of providing by Law that no person shall 11 wooden clocks within this state until he shall ave obtained a a Cerise for that purpose and that they have leave to report by Bill or otherwise. On motion of or. Pollock resolved that the committee on military affairs be instructed to inquire into thee Ped ency of so amending the militia Law As to exempt members of fire companies from military duty and report by Bill or otherwise. On motion of or. Wallace of j., a a sorted that the judiciary committee be instructed to examine the divird provision of the sixth Section of an act of Congress entitled Quot an act to enable the peole of the Indiana territory to Forni a Constitution and state government and for the admission of such state into the Union on an equal roofing with the original states Quot approved april 19, 1816, and report to this House whether under the provisions of said act the legislature of this state have a right to appropriate any part of the three per cent fund for the improvement of tie navigation of streams and whether such appropriations when made Are not in violation of the express letter of the act above referred to. Copy of in e Tevi cd code of 1824, fat to newly elected Flag Istrate in the county of Franklin but received for answer that none could be had Bat there was in the office but one volume More than waa required for the immediate Ufeo the members of the legislature. I confess sir the intelligence is ups. De me. I was for a monent at a loss How to account for the deficiency Bui the up aral would there be a no thing is ice a result no in it is not every profound lawyer that Isaa Able legislator. Their labours Are Ili Lerent. The one is occupied to creating the other it ascertaining the form the divisions and the properties of the thing created. Tie lawyer Luay astonish Yon with the subtlety of his Powers with the facility with which he can penetrate the design or unfold the intention of the Legi Sluitor but Call upon him to create a Law and you instantly Transfer him from his native element. He ceases to be great. To test the truth of these remarks suppose the gentleman s revises Are appointed. They Are men of coarse who Are Learned in the Law. Give them the Road and Revenue acts if you please for revision let them retire to their closets in motion of or. Lynd resolved that the committee on roads be instructed to inquire into the expediency of adopting a unit ont system of working on roads with leave to report by Bill or otherwise. A Quot on motion of or. A lev resolved Liat his excellency the governor be requested to inform this House whether any i report of the Engineer appointed in pursuance of an act of Congress to examine the obstructions in the Wabash River Jas teen furnished to him by the Secretary of War or if any correspondence has taken place Between him and the governor of Illinois within the last year upon this subject and if so to transmit to this House All information he May have touching this subject. Or. Ferris offered the flowing resold Quot Tion which was Laid on the table Viz resolved that a select committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of proportioning taxation and representation so Liat each county or representative District shall pay to the state Treasury an equitable proportion of the state Revenue taking representation As the basis of such apportionment. On motion of or. Re Jussell resolved that the committee of ways and Means be instructed to inquire into the expediency of so amending tie Law now i Force relative to assessing a tax for county purposes that the Board doing county business shall not be authorised to Lay a lax on brass clocks to exceed fifty cents. Bills presented by or. Coffin amendatory of the seven al acts regulating taverns by or. Paddocks authorising an Asylum for the poor in the county of Harrison bar. the appropriation of Money to Aid in building a Bridge Over falling run in a county of Fijoj Hje which Bills were severally read once and passed to a second Reading. Or. Soper presented a joint Resolution relative to an appropriation of land to Aid in Quot the improvement of the state Road from Madison to Indianapolis which passed to a second Reading. The House now took up the Resolution of a feed by or. Hillis this morning and Laid on the table relative to reciprocating the re for ution of the Senate on the subject of a a revision of the Laws. On the question of the adoption of this Resolution an animated and al in discussion took place in which or a Wallace of tra Inklin or. Read of d. And -m., or. We in lace of j., or. Ferris or. Damant or. Hiilis or. Boon and or. Man by participated. Or. Wallah a of Franklin in sup port of this reflow Lution observed a i am in favour of the resolutions from tin ise irate. And although Well apprised of the difficulty to be encountered As Well As the magnitude of the work to be performed yet sri a Tion in which find the statutes of in state compel me to Lay All err up a Ide and to advocate a revision of them. A few Daya since he called with a ii colleague Oti the Secretary o St dec for the purpose of proct Fiig it was Bat momentary Elled growth of the country since the revision of 1824,instantly solved the Dif whole of their be faculty. 1 he Lor Malion of every let them strike out sections county is face that period has Newessa and propose new ones until they have in their Rily called into being a Host of Ruffi Opi Mons perfected the whole and cers who have drawn upon the Secretary for copies of the acts. In Chi it Way they have gradually Dis appeared until none Are now left in his hands for distribution. And should addition al counties be. Laid off this session As i contemplated it would not be in the of the state to furnish their officers with the necessary Laws to enable them to administer the common Justice of the country nay sir it is not even in her Power to Supply the demands of those from the old counties who Are entitled to them. Something there fore it strikes me must be done and that too without Dela. We must either Issue a second edition of this revised code of 1824, or revise and consolidate the Evet ral arts in Force at Thi time. For my part i am for the Latt it r alternative. It will be attended wit less expense and be calculated to give greater sati station to the people. The task i know is herculean but fill i must be accomplished if not by this leg Slature at least by a sub sequent one. Add although we May not possess the Wisdom or the Legal attainments of Hale to Light up and the Intro varies of the Way still i Flat Ter myself that with the assistance of gentlemen who Are in attendance on a he supreme and District courts and which May be readily procured we it a attain the object desired if not completely and perfectly at least Respi a ably. The Mode i propose is briefly the one posted i us in the Resolute is under consideration. Let a joint committee of both houses be appoint id whose duty it shall be to superintend 5he revision of the Laws. Authorise this committee to appoint As Many clerks As May be necessary and such As May be qualified by their Legal at Taii Mients Loaid them in this revision. Permit this committee to sit during the Day and to apportion the labour a Mong Tbs Mas the most rapid and effectual Mode of completing their task. In this Way sir the Laws May be revised while the Ordinary business of gis lation is in Prog is. In this Way we May enable ourselves to Render a Good account of our stewardship on our return Home. But sir i can furnish an additional reason Why we should Aow determine on the prosecution of the proposed design. The interest of the people Calls for it. Whenever the Laws of any country become scattered through Many volumes buried i might almost say in the midst of obsolete matter and to be found Only by frequent and painful exam ration the knowledge of them is measurably placed beyond the reach of Ordinary comprehension the people Are not Able to find them and consequently they become a curse instead of a Bles Sinji. This sir is too much the situation in which we Are placed. From frequent be Wisla tied Many acts have been passed Many repealed. Part of some Are in Force part not and matters have progressed in this until six volumes have accumulated on our hands in tilt has become a subject of some difficulty even with lawyers to ascertain where a Law May be found or to determine what particular part of a statute is in existence. When such is the Case with those whose business it is to study them. Who Are called upon daily for information concerning them How in the name of common sense can it be expected that the great mass of the people busied As they Are and must be with other pursuits can spend time and labour and Money to make themselves their own lawyers. Sir it is impossible. It is requiring too much at their hands. I am therefore for condensing the statute i am for extracting the living from the dead mass i am for presenting the whole to the people in a body that they May the better see and comprehend them at a glance. And Here permit me to observe that i speak As a Man and a legislator and not As a lawyer. In the character of the latter i would hold a very different language. If the interest of the profession were to dictate my course on this occasion i would say let the statutes alone a t volume be piled on volume let Clouds and darkness r St upon them let the task of finding them out become so difficult that none but a lawyer will attempt it and then to shall have the people completely Inonu Power. Instead of applying to the statute Hooks themselves for information they will shrink from the undertaking they will then crowd our of flies and contribute to the increase of our fortunes. As if conscious of this fact the gentleman from Gibson or. Hall manifests a willingness to meet us half Way. He admits the necessity of revision but objects to the Mode. According to his proposition three a visors should be appointed by this legislature to prepare a now code and to report the same to the next general Assembly. He argues that the work in this Way would be better done and that it would Cost the state less. I differ with him in opinion and this one circumstance it strikes me sufficiently proves the fallacy of his reasoning. Think you sir that the la would consent to receive the new code from the hands of these re visors without a close and critical examination think you that they could be prevailed upon to receive it on credit and without further ceremony give it the Sanction of the legislative will sir it would be Folly in the extreme to suppose Stich an event possible. My word for it they would examine it. Nothing would be permit two to pass without the severest scrutiny and what would be the result it can easily Beima signed. The effect code of these Learned and talented re visors by the time it passed the ordeal of this House would be terribly maimed and disfigured so much so that but few traces of the origin ii would be discovered. And then let them return the same to the House for adoption. Think you that they would pass without Anien drabent sir there would scarcely be a Man on this floor who could not Point out some defect in their labours who could not offer some Wise and beneficial alteration ill to their work. And what would this Lead to.? to this conclusion evidently that the to Chis Liture would occupy from ten to eleven weeks the next session in scrutinizing the joint labour of these re visors. And after All would we have any Guarn Nten that the new code thus revised thus criticised and amended would be a Grain More perfect than the one we could produce at he end of this session in the Way we propose i humbly conceive not. The people i find Are calling upon us for Sonje change or amendments in the Road in the Revenue and in the militia Laws. Let me Tell this House that it will occupy precisely the a ame time in passing an amendment the Rouen it to any one of these Laws As it would to pass he whole of them together properly revised Ami collected then what is to prevent our doing it the session at All events will be a Long one while we Are i Loiuis he Ordinary business of the House the joint committee Atid their clerks can be collecting and compiling the several statutes and in a few Day vow May be ready to act up on them and Tefius be Able to accomplish the we Olin work in the time we will of campy even without a revision. On the ground of expense then has not the proposition we advocate the preference. The state would be out of pocket Only for clerks hire and four Hundred dollars will be amply a offi it Rentto pay them. The gentleman from Gibson would pay his three re visors fifteen Hundred at least but this sum is ton Small. It will not be enough to enlist the necessary Talent. One other Eugi jesting and have Lone. The probability it that the new apportionment will bring into both branches an increase of members. This Indira cd representation must be paid two dollars per Day luring the ten weeks they would a it in revising the labour of Tho gentleman i re visors. Will not our Goode Thi n be the cheapest i have scarcely a doubt of it. I Hope therefore the House will adopt the Resolution under consideration. Or. Du3io t said with reluctance great reluctance i Rise to express an opinion probably Conti Ary to the Jjo Pular sentiment of this House but on a subject of such importance a Sui Jet in which not Only the people whom i represent but the whole state is deeply interested. I would deem silence to be not Only a neglect of duty but a crime. Such is my Confidence in the integrity of the members of this House that i believe every member will vote his True sentiments Vith reference to the interests of the people of the state. I beg the indulgence of the House while i Lay before them a statement of the probable expense of a revision of the Laws the legislature. Estimating the daily expend of the legislature to be $233 30, and admitting that no More than thirty Days will be required for the legislature to do this wonk in addition to the time necessary to Neri Brin the other business of the session which is As i verily believe the lowest Esti Nate of extra time that will be required it Vil. Cost seven thousand dollars to attain his Objet by this Mode to employ one Man to perform this labour would Cost about one thousand dollars but if three Well qualified men were employed to perform this labour it would Cost about $500 each which at most would be $1,500. This would leave a balance of $5,500 in favor of revising by three re visors and a balance of $6,000. Favour of employing one reviser. Now it for argument we admit the revision will lie equally As Weil done in one Mode As the other Here is an argument that the people will understand an argument that is assail my their purses and calling for their Money. And although the gentleman from Putnam supposes the people whom he represents sent him Here for the s Ecial purpose of per Fornix g this herculean task i assure you that i do not think the people of Switzerland county expect any such labour from my hands. And the people of Putnam and Clay counties the Twenty five Hundred voters whom the gentleman from Putnam represents will Well understand the collectors Cal is fur Money. And the people of Switzerland c county will perfectly comprehend that five Housand five Hundred dollars thrown away or worse than thrown away is a matter of consequence to them and a matter of interest to the whole state. But i do not mean to admit the possibility that the legislature can revise the Laws As Well alone or three suitable persons appointed for that purpose. Were every Man in the legislature equal in Legal attainments to John Marshall or Chancellor Kent it would be impossible for us to revise the Laws As Well As one or three of us could do it in the recess of the legislature. No matter How i eat our knowledge May be we Are still the representatives of the Jie Ople we Are engr Chesed with their concerns they Are petitioning us on a great variety of subjects and shall we can we neglect their Calls and turn a deaf ear to those fir Ayers which it is their right to present and our duty to regard ? we Are distracted with various and multifarious concerns. One member is engrossed for a season with a travelling Penitentiary another with the digging of Salt Wells another with the improvement of eel River Many with state roads and All with the Calls the wishes and the prayers of the people whom they represent. Can then the mind of any member be so composed As to enable him to enter upon a Labom Quot so Complex and give it that dispassionate Cool and scrutinizing investigation which the interests of the people and tie magnitude of the subject demand confuse on must succeed to order so much diversity of business connected wit i the revision of Tho Laws and All to be acted i Pon will and must product scenes of ridiculous confusion. In answer to the gentleman from Franklin who says this it St necessarily be a Long session and wrought to revise Iho Laws in order that we May thew Tom people an a mount of statutes and Jonass of matter commensurate with the length of the session i would say and solemnly Call heaven to witness that As a legislator it has Ever been my aim to make As few changes As possible. It has never been my ambition to attain the Honor of being instrumental in making Many new Laws and i Trust it never will. It should be the aim of All legislative bodies to leave things As they Are to leave All Laws with which the people Are satisfied just Asah und Cost iii mass san the pc Pef m most cases understand the Law and its True meaning from the Book which we will so make a it will be matter of doubt. Is it Noc a matter of great importance that we at least should have the decisions of our us i preme Couit incorporated in Tjie re ised Laws according to the amendment of Tolj amp gentleman Frenn Gibson and who will pretend that this House could give such decisions and apply them to die statutes to which they Lear relevancy but sir tiie Resolution from the Senate which by this Resolution we Are called on to reciprocate contemplates no such thing As giving the people the decisions of the supreme court on the statutes As a part of our revised code. Nowy if the gentleman from Franklin wishes the they found them. Frequent changes keep the people continually ignorant of what is people to understand the Laws without the to be the Rule of their conduct and there should never be a change i a less necessity requires such change or the people imperiously Call for the same. In the year 1827, the legislature passed but one act of a general nature an amendment to the act regulating the duties and jurisdiction of justices of the peace a and tie time May not be far Distant when the legislature of 1827, will be quoted As the Wisest legislature that Ever convened in Indiana. We ought to inquire what has been done by order states than our own and if possible profit by their experience. Have we Ever heard of Congress attempting a revision of the statute Laws of the United states when in session so far from that Ever having been the Case such a proposition would be received with astonishment if not with disgust. New York has either employed some part of her supreme Bench or other men distinguished for learning and integrity to revise her Laws. Several other states have pursued the same plan from which has resulted the most beneficial effects. Since the commencement of the debate a Friend has Laid on my table two Vohies which he has brought me from the Secretary s of lace of Littell s Laws of Kentucky from trip first of which i beg permission to read. Here or. D. Read an act of the Kentucky legislature of 1821, authorizing the Secretary of state of Kentucky so soon As Littell and Swigert should file in his office a certificate signed by the judges of the court of appeals certifying that theirs was a con act revision of the general Laws of Kentucky and worthy to be quoted As authority that then the Cretai of state should be authorized in behalf of the state of Kentucky to subscribe for six Hundred copies of the same at three dollars per copy. He also Road the certificate of the three judges Here we see that Kentucky did neither by her legislature nor by re visors directly a it Oinie revise her Laws in 1821 but that Littell and Swigert did make a revision which indeed received a patronage by the legislature by a that was better than any which the legislature could by any possible Means have made in session which Cost the state comparatively almost nothing Lite More than it would have Cost to print and bind the 600 copies. That was the effect did the legislature of lion Tucky have to to enact or Ameid Littell s Laws before they were held As authority no such thing. They had received the approving Sanction of the judges of the court of appeals and though they were never As they came from their hands enacted As Law yet the judges the lawyers the people the courts All received them As of the land a necessary consequence of their having been prepared by two men in whom the people had Confidence and of their being approved by three other men in whom the highest Confidence was reposed. Since 1821, the state of Kentucky has passed annual statutes and another revision became necessary. About two years since or. Swigert made a digest of the Laws of Kentucky with notes containing the decisions of the court of appeals upon All their then existing Laws which digest is authority in All even the highest courts of that state. It is a code More perfect by far than All the Ablest lawyers of Kentucky could Ever have made at the same time that they were engaged in legislative business. Now i am in favour of adopting the that has been read to us by the gentleman from Gibson by it he proposes to elect three re visors by joint ballot of the legislature to empower them to revise the Laws that Are now in Force and to suggest by Way of recommendation what Amend ments May seem necessary to any of our existing statutes a and also to report with such revision the decisions of the supreme court on any of the statutes now in Force to tic succeeding general Assembly. A by Liis method we would in the first place save More than $5,000. We would have the revision made with such deliberation As to warrant the belief that it will be Well done. The people will have Confidence in die men of our selection. Three men of great learning and High character for honesty chosen by the representatives of the people to perform this labour must necessarily be such men As would inspire the people with Confidence. True they Are to report their revision to the next legislature who doubtless will examine it. But Little time will be requisite for this examination. Their work will come Back with the High reputation of its authors and though die next legislature May examine it unless the people shall in the interim Call for some change in some particular statute it is not lilt Ely that any material change will be made by the legislature to whom it is reported. The gentleman from Franklin says he urges the propriety of a revision of the Laws in the legislature at this time because he wants diem to be Plain so that the people can understand Vliem without the Aid of lawyer. This is indeed a desirable it is one that can never be fully attained but it is our duty As the honest servants of the people to make our Laws so pain simile and Clear that most people who can read will be Able to comprehend them. Is this Likely to be done in the legislature where too much will hts be to both own together in Aid of lawyers he must consent to give then the Laws made simple and Clear by men who f have Leisure to make them so and he must also give them the decisions which the supreme court has made upon them. Are not the decisions of the supreme court Pait of the Law of the land now if a Farmer should be presented with a statute Book that does not contain triese , he might easily misconstrue the Law so As to involve himself in great difficulty and expense. But if when he was about to embark in a weighty lawsuit he should examine die statute Orr which he rests his claim or defence and also in the same Book read the decision or the supreme court on a similar Case As being against him such a lok Wou d enable him to do without a lawyer. If a wish Man he would close the Book and say i will abandon my Law suit a i will Settle with my adversary a prickly Quot i will save my Money and thank the legislature that has Cau de this Book to be so prepared As to enable me by its Aid to understand my own and my neighbor s rights. Or. Speaker i have spoken longer than i intended to do but the subject is one of such weighty concern As to require no apology from one w to believes he is urging the interests of those people Olio have honoured him with a seat in this House. Or. Wallace of Asked the indulgence of the House while he endeavoured to give the reasons w hich would influence tie vote he was called upon to give on this question. It is said he a subject of much importance and affects the interest of every portion of the state and every gentleman on this floor is called upon to express his opinion fearlessly and candidly on the subject he was of opinion that a revision of the statutes of this state was loudly called for and were he to make the enquiry of every member in this House ought our statutes to undergo a revision he would hear the response of every one in the affirmative. There is but one or Pinion on Liis subject but the Mode to be pursued to accomplish our object is what divides us. We must then ascertain if possible the Best Model that which will ensure the most correctness with the greatest saving of expense. We have two modes presented. One that the legislature during the present session revise the Laws the Ether contemplates tie appointment of the competent persons to Revicki Tho Laws and report the game to the next session. Before i examine these two propose Rio is suffer my to Call tie attention of the House to the fact conceded that a revision ought to lie made and that it ought to be undertaken with a spirit which would ensure its pc a completion. It has been said and reiterated again and again on this floor that the who e new Purchase is destitute of our Laws. If this be the fact and there can be no doubt it it we ought to set about the work and Supply this great deficiency for it is cruel and unjust to subject our fellow citizens to the obligations of Law and at the same time withhold the Means of information from Vliem. The Laws require Observance inflict penalties and presume every Man acquainted with them. In View of this i would ask How is it possible for a Man to observe that which he has not seen or heard ? is u just to inflict penalty where crime is not consciously committed ? is not the presumption that Ewry Man knows tiie Law when he has not seen it nor cannot obtain it Folly in the extreme it has been correctly stated that our Laws by frequent enactments on the same subject by frequent amendments and repeals have become so complicated and difficult to be understood that it requires the keenest Penci traction and highest Legal attainments of our Ablest judges and lawyers to determine what the Law is. How then can it be expected that die great mass of our citizens who Only examine our statutes As a work of necessity can know or understand them from the facts before me i shall vote for the Reso Lution now before us reciprocating the Resolution of the Senate on Dies subject. It is objected that the Mode proposed by this Resolution will subject the state to an enormous expense. The gentleman from Switzerland estimates it at seven thousand dollars others at eight Uio usand. I Diflo a widely from these calculations and will undertake to say the Mode we contend for will not Cost one half Tho sum and eventually will prove As cheap a one As could be add Ted. The gentlemen in the opposition say let us appoint three re visors men of High Legal attainments who shall revise the Laws and report them to the next session of the legislature. This plan might appear plausible without examination but let us for a moment look at it. Have we any Assurance that should we appoint these re visors they would perfect the work in the time contend plated might not an Hundred casualties prevent flies from prosecuting the work have we any Assurance that the next legislature would receive the code As presented by these Learned gentlemen read the title Page and adopt it As the Law of tie land no sir but on the contrary we know the next legislature Mould feel bound to investigate and critically exam iii every act Section by Section and would alter and Amend it then what do we gain it is answered die experience and Legal knowledge of these Learned Revisore. If this be any advantage

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