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commenced December term, 1839, determined same term; acquitted.
People vs. Augustus Amilton, assault and Battery; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined December term, 1839; acquitted.
People vs. John Prentiss, assault and battery; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839; plead guilty, fined ten dollars and costs.
People vs. Nathaniel Graves, perjury, in swearing to preemption claim; circuit court; commenced December term, 1839, determined June term, 1840; nolle prosequi.
I would respectfully suggest the propriety of some legislation in explanation of what the law is, respecting specific taxes on merchants, tavern keepers, &c. Is there any obligation to pay, on the part of the merchant, &c.? If so, to whom must the treasurer pay the money on hand, apply it, &c.? I have the honor to be,
With all respect,
FRANKLIN JOHNSON, Prosecuting Attorney, Monroe county, M. Monroe, November 15, 1840.
Report of the board of regents of the university. Board of Regents, December 31, 1840.
To the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the state of Michigan:
The board of regents of the university of Michigan, respectfully present to the honorable the members of the senate and house of representatives of the state of Michigan, the following report, in obedience to the "Joint resolution relative to the university of Michigan," adopted and approved March 25,
The resolution requires the board of regents to report to your honorable bodies, at the commencement of their sessions, "if any changes, and what, are necessary to be made in the organic law of the state relative to said university, in order to secure more effectually the objects of the same.
The board of regents, having duly considered this subject, respectfully state that changes are needed, and such as were contemplated in the bill number thirty-six, on the file of the senate, and herewith presented, as containing the views of the board.
The first change in the organic law, deemed essential, is the proper restriction of responsibility to the board of regents. At present the responsibility is divided, and the board would be greatly facilitated in their action, were such amendments made of title twelfth, chapter first, part first of the revised statutes of this state, as would throw entire responsibility on the board, and require them to report their annual proceedings to the legislature.
The second change relates to the trust and management of the funds of the university. Under the existing law, it is impossible for the board to adopt their measures to their means, or to project or execute such plans as the interests of education, the wants of the state, and the resources of the university may demand. The machinery contemplated in title eleven, chapter two, and sections fifteen and sixteen, is too complicated and cumbrous, and the duties imposed on the superintendent of public instruction, in connection with the university, unnecessary and onerous.
Extract from the journal of proceedings of the board of regents of the university of Michigan, at a session of said board, held at the office of the secretary of said board, in Detroit, on the 5th day of January, 1841.
"Mr. Duffield, from the select committee to whom was referred the joint resolution of the legislature of this state, "relative to the university of Michigan," approved March 25, 1840, made a report, (of which the foregoing is a true copy,) which, on motion of justice Whipple, was adopted.
"On like motion, the president, pro tempore, of the board, major Jonathan Kearsley, was instructed to transmit a copy of said report, with the bill accompanying the same, to the presi dent of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives of this state."
A. TEN EYCK, Secretary Board of Regents, Univ. Mich. Detroit, January 6, 1841.
Special message concerning the five million loan. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
GENTLEMEN-Shortly before the commencement of your present session, the state treasurer was enabled to bring to a
close, the negotiations he was instructed to commence, with a view to the more effectual security of the large debt owing to the state by the "Morris canal and banking company." The act of the last legislature, by which this duty was devolved upon the treasurer, was well timed, and wise in its provisions. The trust was of the highest importance; its successful prosecution required great diligence, devoted assiduity, and business talents of a high order. No agent could have been selected in whom all the requisite qualifications were more eminently united, than in the gentleman who has conducted, on the part of Michigan, this negotiation. And I do not hesitate in the opinion, that but for the measures pursued, the state would have suffered the total loss of at least half a million of dollars. Since your session has commenced, report has been made to me of the proceedings of the treasurer, which it gives me great satisfaction to lay before you.
The amount due to the state from the "Morris canal and banking company, and which was in so great jeopardy, is an increasing sum, now amounting, as you will perceive, to about $823,000 00, for the guaranty of which, assignments have been taken, by way of hypothecation, valued at $621,000 00, and which, upon the most reduced calculation, are estimated decidedly good for one half million of dollars. And the very fact of the consummation of this amicable arrangement, seems likely, of itself, by its favorable influence upon the business operations and the reputation of the company, so far to enlarge and strengthen its capacities, as to furnish strong assurance that hereafter all its engagements to the state will be met with promptitude and punctuality.
The report is accompanied by three distinct documents, marked A, B, and C, which I also lay before you. The document marked A, contains the terms of the agreement entered into, in its details. I invite your critical examination of it. The agreement itself, appearing to be clearly sanctioned by the authority and enactments of the "Act to authorize the treasurer of the state to take further security for the five million loan," no further act on your part, would seem necessary, to give it legal efficacy; but you will perceive in it a clause which will render it necessary that provision be made for the selection and appointment of the agent contemplated in the city of New York; and in providing for that appointment, I would recommend that regard be had to the possible contingency, that the agent first appointed may refuse to accept the trust, may die, or that cause may exist for vacating such appointment and making another, during the recess of the legislature. The selection already made by the treasurer, however proper and necessary, would seem ad interim merely, and only to continue until you should have passed upon the matter.
improvements and current business; yet is there strong ground to hope, that through the favorable arrangements effected with most of their creditors, and from their connection with other important works of internal improvements, running through Pennsylvania, &c., the company will recover from its embarrassments. The Indiana commissioner is so fully convinced of this, that he has advanced them, as above stated, $100,000, for the enlargement of the locks of their canal.
From my own personal observation on the line of their works, as well as from information from competent judges, I feel confident that their revenue will very soon be greatly increased, by virtue of their union and arrangements with other valuable and useful transportation lines, coal companies, and iron foundries, now in operation on the borders of their canal; the probability, too, is that many more of these latter establishments will be erected, as it is astertained that iron can be made with anthracite coal, at fifteen dollars per ton, which must drive foreign competition out of our markets, the price being thirty to thirty-two dollars, in the city of New York. Should these expectations be realized, Morris canal stock may so enhance in value, as to enable the company to pay off all their debts. Some indication of this was given, in the sudden rise of their stock, from nine to twenty-three per cent, as soon as it was known they had effected an arrangement with the states of Indiana and Michigan. The securities I have obtained, amount to $621,000, and will, in my opinion, be ultimately good for at least $500,000. I transmit with this communication, a copy of the agreement, (marked A,) exhibiting the details of the whole arrangement; also the bill, (marked B,) which I filed in chancery, under the belief that further negotiation would be unavailable; this bill sets forth my views, &c., in relation to the wrong done the state, by sub-agreements, militating against the terms of the original contract of 1st June, 1838, for the five million loan. The agreement I have entered into is based on their bond alone, so as not to invalidate any just claim the state may hereafter deem it right to prefer. The accompanying statement, (marked C,) shows the different items of loss to the state, in consequence of deviations from the legitimate agreements, amounting to nearly $122,000. The portion of the five million loan, guaranteed by the Bank of the United States, is, in my opinion, safe, and will, doubtless, be paid. The state bonds, for the quarter of the loan, retained by the Morris canal and banking company, have long since been disposed of, and are now in the hands of third parties, entirely beyond the company's control.
My personal expenses for the two journeys to New York, Pennsylvania, &c., embracing a period of six months and a half, during which I have been absent on this business exclu
sively, amounted to five hundred and sixty dollars; the fee to Mr. Foote, the counsel employed in New York, was one thousand dollars; and that to Mr. Whitehead, in New Jersey, four hundred and fifty dollars; making in all, two thousand and ten dollars, which I have caused to be paid by the Morris canal and banking company. I have deposited the securities, &c., for safe keeping, with Samuel A. Foote, Esq., our counsel in New York, whom I have found an able and faithful coadjutor.
Presuming my duties in this business now to have terminated; I would respectfully suggest the propriety of the honorable the legislature, giving authority to some person to act in the premises, as circumstances may hereafter require, with power of substitution; for by the terms of the agreement, the agency of some person in New York, will become necessary. All of which is respectfully submitted by, sir,
Your obedient servant,
ROBERT STUART, Treasurer of the State of Michigan.
Memorandum of an agreement entered into, the 9th day of December, in the year 1840, between "the state of Michigan," by Robert Stuart, Treasurer thereof, and the "Morris Canal and Banking Company," a body corporate of the state of New Jersey.
Whereas, The state of Michigan hold a bond against the said Morris canal and banking company, for the sum of one million forty-eight thousand five hundred and sixty-two dollars and fifty cents, dated the 13th day of March, 1839, on which there remains still unpaid for principal, the sum of seven hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars, and for interest thereon up to this date, the sum of eighty-five thousand seven hundred and ninety-five dollars and eighty-three cents, making the whole sum due this day, on said bond from said. company to said state, the sum of eight hundred and twentythree thousand two hundred and ninety-five dollars and eightythree cents, which sum the said company is unable to pay at this time, and in instalments as specified in said bond.
Now, therefore, It is mutually agreed between the said parties, as follows:
The Morris canal and banking company agree to deliver over to the state of Michigan, or the authorized agent thereof, as collateral security for the payment of the sum of eight hundred and twenty-three thousand two hundred and ninety-five