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1879, the entire State had reason to dread a repetition of the terrible scenes of 1878. The State Bard, however, its powers and means having been enlarged by the General Assembly of 1879, afforded relief to the distressed, and prevented the epidemic from spreading. In the past two or three years, the State Board, co-operating with local authorities in various portions of Tennessee, has confined the ravages of small-pox to a very limited area. Judging from the statistics of other States, the saving of human life was very great, and the material loss prevented must be estimated at many thousands of dollars.
An essential aid to the proper working of a Health Department is the systematic and complete collections of the immense mass of facts known as “ Vital Statistics." The General Assembly of 1881, enacted a law under which much valuable information was gathered. This law perhaps was defective in some points, and could have been judiciously amended, though the last General Assembly struck it from the statute book. I commend the State Board of Health to your favorable consideration in such legislation as they may bring before your honorable body.
Contagious diseases, among stock is a source of much apprehen. sion to the stock-growers of the State, especially so as some very de. structive di-eases of that class bave been known to prevail in some of our neighboring States. Several of the States have enacted laws to prevent stock infected with contagious diseases from entering the State, and to destroy the disease if it exists in their borders. No such law is as yet upon the statute books of our State, and I recommend that some similar statutory provisions be promptly enacted for Tennessee. I especially urge prompt action in this matter for the reason that within the last few days I am in receipt of a telegram from Geo. B. Loring, United States Commissioner of Agriculture, at Washington City, tbat on December 31st last, there was shipped from Cynthiana, Ky., to Jackson, Tenn., a herd of Jersey cattle infected with pleuro-pneumonia--the most destructive of cattle diseases. I immediately notified our Commissioner of Agriculture, and some of the local authorities of the fact, but I had no legal power to furpish vecessary relief, there being no provision made to meet such emergencies, the orily law touching such cases being found in Sections 2162-3 of the Code of Tennessee, which only punishes the party for bringing them into the State.
JACKSON STATUE AND TOMB.
By an act of the Forty-second General Assembly, April 6, 1881, an appropriation of $2,000.00 was made for the purpose of having a base . placed under the equestrian statue of General Andrew Jackson, on the Capitol grounds. The committee to whom it was entrusted, composed of T. W. Dick Bullock, chairman; Hon. Jno. M. Lea, Hon. D. A. Nunn, Hon. Horace H. Harrison and Dr. W. P. Jones, have made a report to your Honorable Body, through the Executive, that they have accomplished the duty assigned them. The work was well done, out of durable material, has been paid for, and the vouchers for the same accompany the report.
Under the joint resolution of the last General Assembly, March 8, 1883, the Governor was directed to have certain repairs made on and about the tomb at the Hermitage, of General Jackson, limiting the amount to $350.00. I have the honor to report to the Forty-fourth General Assembly that the work contemplated was contracted for with the firm of Oman & Stewart. I regret the amount suggested in the resolution was not a little larger, as it was insufficient to have done that which was needed. However, I confined my. self to the $350.00 named in the resolution, made the contract for the work, but being so near the end of the legislative session, the work was not completed before the adjournment; hence, the report could not have been made during the session, as required. Although the work was completed soon after the adjournment, there had been a failure, a mere oversight, to name said amonnt in the appropriation bill; the result is Oman & Stewart are without their pay, and I have to suggest that you appropriate, at an early day, the required amount of $350.00 to meet this obligation.
SEAL OF THE STATE.
I repeat here what I said to the Forty-third General Assembly as to the Seal of the State:
"It is a part of current history that within the last few months, under the supposed authority of section 7th of chapter 4th, the act known as the "60-6 Act," passed at the third session of the Forty-second General Assembly of Tennessee, 1882, that the Seal of the State was carried beyond the limits of Tennessee to wit: to the State and city of New York, where bonds funded under said act were impressed with it.
“Believing that article III. and section 15 of the Constitution of Tennessee does not contemplate such power, and that it is alike of doubtful con
stitutional authority as of public policy, and a dangerous precedent, I suggest a positive enactment by you, forbidding said Seal to be taken, in time of peace, beyond the limits of the State, and that the same shall be at all times kept and used alone at the capital of Tennessee.”
In conformity to this recommendation an Act was passed by the last General Assembly, and after being signed by both Speakers,
was subsequently ascertained, amidst the confusion consequent
the closing scenes of the session, inadvertently left in the drawer of the Speaker of the Senate, with two other bills of local character, and never reached the Governor for his signature. I think it should be the Jaw of Tennessee, and trust you will so enact.
MINERAL HOME RAILROAD BONDS.
I beg to repeat here what I said in my message to the Forty-third General Assembly in regard to the Mineral (Home Railroad Bonds:
“ Under the Acts of December 10, 1866, and December 14, 1867, $100,000.00 in bonds were authorized, upon the performance of certain condions, to be issued to the Mineral Home Railroad Company.
“In disregard to the creditors and in violation of law, the President of the Company procured one hundred bonds of the denomination of $1,000 each, to be issued to him on the 2nd day of October, 1869.
“ On the 1st of July, 1870, an Act was passed which directed the Attorney-General to institute suits to protect the State against these bonds.
“The bonds were sold by the Company in January, 1870, and the proceeds deposited in the Exchange and Deposit Bank at Knoxville.
“ The State, through the proceedings instituted by the Attorney-General, attached this fund (and secured, and for several years has had the same amounting to about $35,000.
“The State rightly refuses to recognize or pay any of the bonds. that reason, the money to which I have referred ought to be paid back, as it is not the policy or purpose of Tennessee to realize profits, but merely to protect the people by the courre adopted with reference to outstanding bonds. The Mineral Home bonds ought not to be either recognized or paid; but the moneys attaehed and taken by the State ought to be refunded. Not a dollar of it belongs to Tennessee, and she ought not to keep it.
I therefore suggest, as the best and most equitable method, that he net balance of this fund, after defraying all expenses which have been incurred, be refunded pro rata to holders of said bonds upon their deliveri ng up the same.”
THE TAXING DISTRICT.
I hereby transmit the Biennial Report of Hon. David P. Hadden, President of the Fire and Police Commissioners of the Taxing District (Memphis) of Shelby County, Tennessee, made in conformity to the act establishing said District. I take pleasure in referring you to it as a report gotten up with much care and particularity, and showing with great explicitness the operations of said Taxing District.
CAPITOL BUILDING AND GROUNDS.
The Capitol building and grounds have been looked after with care and attention, but being a large building and spacious grounds, visited daily by great numbers of people, there is necessarily constant supervision required to keep them in proper repair and an object of ornamentation creditable to the State. A committee should be appointed to look after this matter, whose work will be greatly aided by investigation of the report of Superintendent Hayden March, herewith transmitted.
THE STATE ARMORY.
Some changes may be necessary in the Armory at the Capitol for the preservation of the arms of the State, and for keeping them under proper classification and order. The laws touching the arms of the State are defective, having become to a great extent obsolete, and, as a remedy, I call your attention to the report of the Adjutant-General, which, I think, makes some practical suggestions, that, if adopted, will contribute to the efficiency of the Armory and its contents.
I beg to call the attention of the General Assembly to the fact that much confusion ordinarily exists in most legislative bodies as they draw to a close, and in consequence thereof many material matters, especially those that ought to be named in the appropriation bill, are lost sight of, or amid the rush of business they are either neglected or their advocates are unable to get action upon them, hence they are lost. It is suggested, in view of these facts, that a resolution be passed that no bill requiring an appropriation from the Treasury shall be introduced within twenty days of the adjournment of the Legislature.
I am under obligations to the officers of the State for their courtesy and promptness in furnishing me with full and intelligent reports of the condition of their several departments, which have greatly aided me in keeping knowlege of the State's affairs. All of which are herewith transmitted.
I have reason to hope and believe that your labors, while arduous, will be rendered with care and patience, looking alone to the public good, and that they will meet the approval of your constituency and reflect credit upon the State and upon you as a body and individ ually.
WILLIAM B. BATE. Excecutive Office, Nashville, January 12, 1885 .