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servant shall be held to the specific performance of his contract, and compelled to labor for the creditor until all of his indebtedness is paid.
“These obligations are rigorously enforced. But while thus subjected to the influence and placed under the almost absolute control of the creditor, the peon is not deprived of his civil rights, nor does he lose the status of a citizen. He may acquire and hold property, may vote and be elected to office, may sit upon juries, and do all that a freeman can do. It is said that in practice the system has been but little changed by the ameliorations of the law, and that the old rigorous provisions are yet enforced upon persons ignorant of their legal rights, and that under it great abuses have arisen. But, without consuming time in enumerating consequences so obvious, or arguing the inconsistency of such enactments with the organic law, I say to you that the system is founded in wrong, and will result in oppression, that it is degrading to the dignity of labor, and debases the laboring man; it is equally a disgrace and a reproach to the peon, and to the other citizens of the State whose equal by law the peon is made—it is an obstacle to education and a bar to progress. I recommend the immediate abrogation of this system, and that the creditor be left to his action for debt, or damages for a breach of contract, and the same remedy for the collection of his debt which is provided in other cases. The New Mexican law further provides that a debtor in arrest may be detained in prison five days before he can be permitted to take the poor debtor's oath. I suggest that this relic of a barbarous law be abolished, and that the debtor, upon instituting
proper proceedings, be admitted to an immediate examination, and if permitted to take the poor debtor's oath be at once discharged.
“In the fierce conflicts for life waged by the people of this territory with the hostile Apaches, some young persons have been captured, and there being no provision made by government for their custody or support, have been placed in families as servants or laborers. These captives, so far as I have information, have been kindly treated, and in some instances have become partly civilized, and would not now voluntarily leave the persons with whom they are living.
“But though no wrong or oppression may have resulted from this relation between the parties, it is certainly liable to abuse, and if permitted to continue should be regulated by law. It is very important that reservations should be made, if they have not been, for all Indian tribes, and captives taken to them at once, that a settlement may be commenced, to which the whole tribe will eventually be taken. But where these persons have become accustomed to civilized life, and are unwilling to return to the savage state, there seems to be no good reason for compelling them to do so. I can suggest no better enactment in such cases than a system of apprenticeship similar to that existing in most of the states. It may be provided that such persons may come before the Judge of Probate of the county in which they live and assume a name, and be bound as apprentices for a term of years, in the presence and by the authority of that officer. The persons to whom they are bound should at the same time engage to feed, clothe and instruct them, and at stipulated times bring them before the Judge of Probate, when their indentures can be continued or cancelled. Similar provisions can be applied when the children of friendly Indians are placed by them in the families of citizens. Severe penalties should be imposed upon those who illegally restrain these persons of their liberty, and do not comply with the provisions of the law.
“You are specifically authorized by the organic law to divide the territory into three judicial districts, to assign to each of them one of the judges who have been appointed, and to fix the times and places for holding terms of the district court. You have also the power to establish inferior courts. It will likewise be necessary to divide the territory into counties, and into legislative districts, to decide what territorial, county and town officers are required, to fix their duties, terms of office, and compensation. You are to determine the time and manner of holding elections of all elective officers and of the future meetings of the legislature, the qualifications of voters and of holding office. I have exercised some of these powers temporarily, where authority of law and a necessity for their exercise existed. Copies of the proclamations that have been issued, and the papers relating to the preliminary census, together with the election returns, and a list of all state and county officers appointed by me, will be submitted for your information. I have appointed an Attorney-General, who has performed the duties of district or county attorneys. I have also appointed a Judge of Probate, Sheriff, Register, Justices of the Peace and Constables, for each of the three judicial districts, which I have regarded as counties, and constituted districts for.sưch officers. In forming these districts I have endeavored to consult the convenience and wishes of the citizens, and in this, as well as in the appointment of officers, to secure the prompt and economical transaction of business. Such officers only as were indispensable to the execution of the laws have been appointed, and consequently a very small indebtedness has been incurred, for which payment must be provided by you. I bespeak your careful attention to the provisions for the government of counties and towns.
“If their affairs are promptly and economically administered, the foundation of good government is secured.
"I recommend that but few offices be created. Duties which in more populous communities are performed by several officers may here with propriety be imposed upon one, and such compensation should be paid as will secure the full time and services of competent men. If the wants of the people can be accommodated for the present by forming not more than three counties, it will to some extent relieve them from taxation that must in any event be onerous. In new territories the formation of numerous counties has laid the foundation of great and accumulating indebtedness with no commensurate advantages. In affairs of states as well as individuals economy is the surest basis of permanent prosperity.
“The revenue required to meet the expenses of the government which are not covered by the Congressional appropriation must be raised by
taxation. An estimate of the amount required for territorial purposes can be proximately made when the number and salaries of territorial officers are fixed. It should be borne in mind that for some time comparatively large sums will be required by counties to enable them to build court houses and other county buildings, and that such proper objects of taxation should be left to be assessed by them, or part given them from the amount raised by the territory, as will enable them to carry out the objects of these organizations. The only restrictions in the organic law upon the power to tax, or the objects of taxation, are that 'the property of nonresidents shall not be taxed higher than the property of residents, and that no tax shall be imposed on the property of the United States.' We need not at present avail ourselves of this latitude in taxation, for a revenue nearly if not quite sufficient can be raised by a system of licenses and a poll tax. These taxes will bear less heavily than others, and can be collected with less expense.
“The proceeds of all dividend paying mines can be taxed without obstructing the development of the country, and a license and tax should be required from foreign miners. I also suggest that hereafter the discoverers of mines which are taken up and recorded be required to locate next to the discovery claim one claim which shall be the property of the territory. I further recommend that a large proportion of the money, realized from taxing the mining interests, be set apart as a fund for raising, arming and supporting in the field companies of citizens, organized as rangers, to operate against the hos