and was elected to Congress by the people of his old district.
John A. Andrew
, of Boston
, was inaugurated Governor of the Commonwealth
, Jan. 5, 1861, and immediately delivered his address to the Legislature, in which he gave a statement of the financial condition of the Commonwealth
, its liabilities, and its resources to meet them.
The State was practically free of debt.
The aggregate valuation of taxable property was within a fraction of nine hundred millions, a computation of which had been made by a special committee appointed for the purpose, whose labors had closed on the 1st of January, 1861, only five days before the address was delivered.
After asking the attention of the Legislature to matters of a purely local character, Governor Andrew
devoted the remainder of his address to matters of more general interest.
He discussed the right of the Legislature to pass the statutes concerning personal liberty and the habeas corpus
, and contended that Massachusetts
had a clear right to pass them; and that, if properly understood and rightfully carried out, there could not be any conflict of jurisdiction between the State
and Federal officers.
The argument upon these questions extends through nine pages, and concludes as follows:—
Supposing, however, that our legislation in this behalf is founded in mistake, the Legislature will only have endeavored to perform their duty towards the citizens whom they were bound to shield from unlawful harm.
The power to obtain the judgment of the court affords ample redress to all claimants.
Should a critical examination disclose embarrassments in raising and reserving questions of law for the appropriate tribunals, the Legislature will readily repair the error.
In dismissing this topic, I have only to add, that in regard, not only to one, but to every subject bearing on her Federal relations, Massachusetts has always conformed to her honest understanding of all constitutional obligations; that she has always conformed to the judicial decisions; has never threatened either to nullify or to disobey; and that the decision of one suit, fully contested, constitutes a precedent for the future.
The concluding ten pages of the address give a graphic, condensed, truthful, and eloquent review of the condition of the