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[134] wealth; who have been caught in debt by the revolution, and need assistance. Shall their property, the hard earnings of years of toil, risk, and honest industry, be swept from them at half its value, and they, with their helpless families, turned out penniless upon the world? Are these men, who have carried forward the progress of the country in its rapid advancement to power, to receive protection, or are they to be sacrificed to the cupidity and avarice of another class who do not work — who consume, but produce nothing — who add nothing to the wealth, and little to the happiness of the country — who live by lending money at ten per cent a year, and gloat over the ill-gotten gains of two per cent per month, wrung from the earnings of honest industry? Shall the feast of the capitalist come, in exorbitant demands of interest submitted to and promised by the borrower, to save property from being sold at ruinous sacrifices? Shall the carnival of the miser come, who neither fights nor works, and who has hoarded up his usurious gains to take advantage of the distresses of the people at such a time as this? It is contrary to the spirit of our institutions for too large a portion of the property of the country to be owned by a few men. On the other hand, dishonest men are too apt to seize the opportunity afforded by relief-laws to defraud their creditors.

Numerous as are the difficulties that environ the subject, I had hoped that this question would have been answered previous to your last adjournment, in the passage of some constitutional relief measure, satisfactory to the people; but in this I was sadly disappointed; and had it not been that you were soon to meet again, and wishing to avoid the expense incurred in the call of another extra session of the Legislature, at a time when we should most rigidly economise, diminish our expenditures, and husband all our resources, much as I am opposed to relief laws under ordinary circumstances, in a time of peace, I would have thought myself justified in calling you back without delay to legislate upon this subject.

Whether a two thirds valuation law, applied to personal as to real estate, or a further suspension of the courts, or some other mode of relief, be the remedy, I forbear at this time to suggest, for the reason that a Treasury note bill is now pending before Congress, making paper money a legal tender for debts. Unconstitutional as I believe this bill to be, and much as I deprecate its passage, it is confidently believed by its friends that it will prove a sovereign panacea for our financial ills, and afford the debtor all the relief he needs, in the immediate advance in his property, from the excessive issues of a depreciated currency. In any event, I think it fair to conclude that the creditor is entitled to a lien upon all the property of his debtor, for the payment of his debt, and after that has been honestly surrendered, at such a time as this, he is entitled to a full discharge from the payment of the remainder. Every honest man will pay to the uttermost farthing, if he ever becomes able.

The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, by an act approved July twenty-seventh, 1861, was directed by Congress, “out of any money in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated, to pay to the Governor of any State, or to his duly authorized agents, the costs, charges and expenses properly incurred by such State, for enrolling, subsisting, clothing, supplying, arming, equipping, paying and transporting its troops employed in aiding to suppress the present insurrection against the United States, to be settled upon proper vouchers, to be filed and passed upon by the proper accounting officers of the Treasury.”

About the middle of last month I addressed a letter to the President of the Military Board, requesting him to furnish me with the amount expended by the Board for the above purpose, with the proper vouchers, with the view of laying them before the proper accounting officers of the Treasury, have them passed upon without delay, and demand for the State the sum she has expended, and is entitled to under the act from the Federal Government. In reply, I received a note, informing me the Board was not then ready to report, as the vouchers for some of the money expended had not then been obtained, and so soon as they were procured, a report would be made. No report having yet been received, I have been unable to apply for the money under this act. I deem it of the utmost importance to the interests of the State, that this matter should be attended to as speedily as possible, and have no doubt the Board is using its best efforts to procure the vouchers required. I notified the Secretary of the Treasury, in due time, that Kentucky had assumed her portion of the interest of the public debt incurred by the war, by inclosing a copy of the resolution passed by the Legislature. Paying the whole of it before the first day of July, fifteen per cent will be deducted. It may be well, therefore, to set off the claim of the Government for taxes, by so much of our liquidated claim against the Government, and thus allow the people longer time to meet it by taxation. The balance, I am informed, the banks are willing to receive in Government bonds.

I forbear, at present, to make any allusion to our Federal or foreign relations, in the hope that the horrid civil war, in which we are engaged, will soon be ended, and trusting that Divine Providence will enlighten us by his wisdom, direct us in the, pathway of duty, and lead us in the right direction through the troubles which surround us.

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