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Mr. Woodin gave notice that he would, on Tuesday next, move to amend Rule 48 of the Senate as follows:

"RULE 48. The Senate shall go into consideration of executive business on the first and third Wednesdays of every month that it is in session, at twelve o'clock, at noon, thereof. Any nomination sent by the Governor for the appointment of any officer (except a notary public), shall be referred to that standing committee of the Senate to which the duties of such officer appertain; and no nomination shall be further considered by the Senate, until after the report thereon of a majority of the standing committee to which it was referred; and the consent of the Senate to the appointment of any officer nominated by the Governor, given on any day of the transaction of executive business, shall not be transmitted to the Governor until the next day thereafter for the transaction of such business.

"Nominations of persons for the office of notary public shall be referred to the Senator from the district in which the nominee resides, except that when the nominee resides in the city and county of New York, the reference shall be to the Senators from that city and county; and when the nominee resides in the county of Kings, the reference shall be to the Senators from that county."

Mr. Woodin offered the following:

Resolved, That the standing committees of the Senate, as constituted and appointed for the session of 1874, be and remain the standing committees of the Senate for the session of 1875, except that the vacancies on the various committees occasioned by the death of Hon. John Ganson, which shall be filled as now required by the rules of the Senate.

The President put the question whether the Senate would agree to said resolution, and it was decided in the affirmative.

Mr. Gross offered the following:

Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That 2,500 copies of the Governor's Message in paper covers, and 250 copies thereof, bound in cloth, be printed for the use of the Executive Department.

Ordered, That said resolution be referred to the committee on public printing.

On motion of Mr. Gross, the Senate adjourned.


The Senate met pursuant to adjournment.

Prayer by the Chaplain.

The journal of Wednesday, January 6, was read and approved.

Mr. Ray presented two petitions of the board of town auditors of the town of Gallatin, in the county of Columbia, in favor of retiring $25,000 of town bonds; which were read and referred to the committee on internal affairs.

Mr. Cole presented the Sixth Annual Report of the New York State Institution of the Blind; which was laid upon the table and ordered printed.

(See Doc. No. 12.)

Mr. McGowan gave notice that he would, at an early day, ask leave to introduce a bill to amend the charter of the Farmers' Building Fire Insurance Company.

By unanimous consent, Mr. Ray asked and obtained leave to introduce a bill entitled "An act to confirm and legalize the proceedings of a special town meeting, held in and for the town of Gallatin, in the county of Columbia, and State of New York, on the 5th day of November, 1874, and to authorize and empower the board of town auditors of said town of Gallatin, in pursuance of the vote and decision of said special town meeting, to issue bonds of said town in lieu of bonds issued by commissioners appointed for said town by the county judge of said county, in aid of the Rhinebeck and Connecticut Railroad Company, and accrued interest and expenses to the amount of twenty-seven thousand dollars, and to transfer and deliver to one Thomas Cornell all shares of stock of said railroad company, four hundred and fifty shares, issued and delivered to said town, upon receiving from said Cornell, in consideration of said four hundred and fifty shares of said stock, said bonds of said town to the amount of twenty thousand dollars and accrued interest," which was read the first time, and by unanimous consent was also read the second time, and referred to the committee on internal affairs.

By unanimous consent, Mr. Dow asked and obtained leave to introduce a bill entitled "An act to amend an act entitled 'An act to amend title 16, chapter 8, part 3 of the Revised Statutes, relative to proceedings for the drainage of swamps, marshes, and other low or wet lands, and for draining farm lands,' passed May 12, 1869," which was read the first time, and by unanimous consent was also read the second time, and referred to the committee on the judiciary.

Mr. Lord offered the following:

Whereas, The Constitution of the United States provides that the United States shall guaranty to every State in the Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them from domestic violence on application of the Legislature, or of the executive when the Legislature cannot be convened; and,

Whereas, It is the inherent and constitutional right of every legislative body in the United States, and in every State, including Louisiana, to judge of the election and qualifications of its own members; and,

Whereas, Without application from the Legislature of Louisiana, which had convened, and without the existence of domestic violence to justify application from the executive if the Legislature had not convened, the soldiery of the United States surrounded the capitol of that State on the 4th of January instant, invaded one of the Houses of the Legislature, expelled, at the point of the bayonet, a number of its members who had been formally admitted to their seats, and dispersed the legislative body; therefore,

Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That such invasion of the Legislature and overthrow of the legislative power of a State is a gross and wanton act of usurpation, in violation of the constitutional guaranties, tending to provoke domestic violence, and destructive of the form and substance of representative government and constitutional liberty; that it merits the unqualified condemnation of this Legislature, and that all in any way responsible for it deserve to suffer the extreme penalty of any law that may be applicable to their crimes, and the execration of every friend of free government.

Mr. Woodin moved to lay the resolution upon the table.

The President put the question whether the Senate would agree to said motion, and it was decided in the affirmative, as follows:

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A message from His Excellency the Governor was received and read in the words following:

To the Legislature:

ALBANY, January 12, 1875.


On your re-assembling I deem it to be my duty to invite your attention to the grave events which have happened in our sister state of Louisiana. The interval of your adjournment has afforded you an opportunity to receive the statements of the parties concerned in those occurrences, particularly that of Lieutenant-General Sheridan, in his official report to the secretary of war, dated January 8, 1875. You are now enabled to know with certainty all the facts necessary to form a just and deliberate judgment as to the nature of the principal acts which have created so much public excitement.

According to the official report of Lieutenant-General Sheridan, the United States soldiers entered the house of representatives of the state of Louisiana, while that body was in session, and removed from it five of its members.

The pretexts for this act are:

First-That it was done under directions from the governor of the state, recognized by the president.

Second-That the persons removed "had been illegally seated," and "had no legal right to be there."

Third-That a fear existed in the mind of Lieutenant-General Sheridan that, in some undefined contingency, violence might happen. With respect to the first and second of these pretexts, it is a decisive answer-that the Louisiana house of representatives had, by the constitution of that state, the exclusive judgment as to the right of these members to seats; that its judgment is subject to no review by any judicial authority, still less a review by the governor or by any officer of the United States army; that its judgment in favor of these members thus forcibly removed is binding in law and conclusive upon the governor and Lieutenant-General Sheridan, and upon every other person.

In respect to the third pretext, the fear in the mind of LieutenantGeneral Sheridan of possible future violence, where no violence really existed, is not only no lawful occasion but not even an excuse for an invasion of the right of the house of representatives of Louisiana to judge for itself of the title to seats of its own members.

Interference by United States soldiers was not only unlawful, but it was without the color of legality. It was an act of naked physical force in violation of the laws and constitution of Louisiana and of the laws and constitution of the United States.

There is a case of a disputed seat in the senate of this state now pending. Another was determined at the last session. The transaction in Louisiana is as if, at the instance of the governor of this state, General Hancock, commanding in this department, or an officer specially deputed by the president should send a file of federal soldiers and remove the incumbent to whom the seat had been adjudged by the senate. That disorders have formerly existed in Louisiana makes no difference. For the laws-to which the president and congress are parties-recognize the complete restoration of her autonomy. The right of her legislative bodies to determine the title of their members is as perfect and absolute as the right of the assembly or the senate of New York.

The animus of the transaction, as indicated by the correspondence between Lieutenant-General Sheridan and the secretary of war, is infinitely worse than the transaction itself. On the day after the event, Lieutenant-General Sheridan sent a dispatch proposing that a class of citizens, indefinite in number and description, should be declared, either by act of congress or by proclamation of the president, to be banditti; and then intimates his purpose to try them and execute them by military commission. On the next day, General Belknap, the secretary of war, telegraphed to General Sheridan that "The president and all of us have full confidence in and thoroughly approve your course.";

The nature of the acts thus proposed by the officer second in command of the army of the United States, and thus adopted and sanctioned by the president and his constitutional advisers is plainly declared by the common law.

In the recent case of the Queen v. Nelson and Brand, the present lord chief justice of England, in delivering the charge to the grand jury, declared that "supposing that there is no jurisdiction at all, that the whole proceeding is coram non judice, that the judicial functions are exercised by persons who have no judicial authority or power, and a man's life is taken, that is murder: for murder is putting a man to death without a justification, or without any of those mitigating circumstances which reduce the crime of murder to one of a lower degree. Thus, in the case put by Lord Coke of a lieutenant having a commission of martial law, who puts a man to death by martial law in times of peace, that, says Lord Coke, is murder."

Such are the established doctrines of the jurists and courts of this country and of England. Such is the voice of common law - glorious jurisprudence of freedom! birthright of every American citizen! Its stern logic declares that such an execution of any human being, as was proposed and sanctioned in this correspondence, would be murder by our laws; and that every functionary-civil or military — who should instigate it, aid or abet it, or become, in any manner, a party to it before the fact, would be guilty, as a principal, in that crime.

The patriot-statesmen who achieved our national independence, and formed our institutions of free government, foreboded if we should [Senate Journal.]


ever fall in intestine strife, that the ideas it would inspire in military minds of insubordination to the laws and of uncivic ambition-and the habit it would generate in the people-of acquiescence in acts of unlawful military violence-would imperil, if not destroy, civil liberty. Events compelled us to a manly choice of confronting these dangers in a struggle to save our country from dismemberment, and to vindicate the just rights of the federal union. Having triumphed in that struggle now forever closed, we are made sensible of the wise foresight of the founders of our freedom in their warning of the opposite dangers which would attend our success. Those dangers come to us, in acts of illegal military violence, committed in times of peace-in the usurpation by the soldiery of a power to decide the membership of our legislative assemblies, whose right to judge exclusively in such cases, has ever been_guarded with peculiar jealousy by our race in the proposal, made and accepted by our highest civil and military functionaries - to subject our citizens to tribunals in which a military officer will decide without appeal what persons, happening to be found in the locality, shall be sent to them for trial will appoint the members of the court-will review and confirm or change the judgment and the sentence and may order instant execution; and in which the accused will be tried in secret and without counsel for his defense. This proposition is thus made, and thus sanctioned-notwithstanding that, for similar acts, our English ancestors sent the first Charles to the scaffold and expelled the second James from the throne; and our own forefathers- exiled by kindred tyrannies and planting freedom in the wilderness - were careful to insert in our constitution, positive prohibitions against the application to any but military persons of such tribunals.

Unless such proposition, so made and so sanctioned, shall be condemned by a public reprobation which will make it memorable as a warning to all future officers of the state and the army-the decay of the jealous spirit of freedom - the loss of our ancestral traditions of liberty acquired through ages of conflict and sacrifice; the education of the present generation to servile acquiescence in the maxims and the practices of tyranny, will have realized the fears of Washington, and Jay and Clinton and their compatriots.

New York, first of the commonwealths of the American union, in population, in resources, and in military power, should declare her sentiments on this occasion, with a distinctness, a dignity and a solemn emphasis, which will command the thoughful attention of congress, of her sister states and of the people of our whole country. With the same unanimity with which she upheld the arms of the union in the past conflict, she now addresses herself to the great and most sacred duty of re-establishing civil liberty and the personal rights of individuals of restoring the ideas and habits of freedom, and of re-asserting the supremacy of the civil authority over the military power throughout the republic.


Mr. Jacobs moved that the message be referred to a special committee of three, and that they report thereon to-morrow morning.

Mr. Woodin moved that the message be laid upon the table. The President put the question whether the Senate would agree to said motion of Mr. Woodin, and it was decided in the affirmative, as follows:

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