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STATE OF NEW-YORK,
FROM No. 1 TO 78, INCLUSIVE.
PRINTED BY E. CROSWELL, PRINTER TO THE STATE.
January 4, 1831.
Message from the Governor.
Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the Assembly:
I should do injustice to my feelings, if I were to refrain from expressing, on this occasion, my deep sense of the high confidence reposed in me by the people of this State, at the recent election. I shall endeavor to make a suitable return, by devoting myself diligently to the discharge of the duties of the department entrusted to my care, regardless of every consideration but the public good. Conscious of my imperfections, it is no small satisfaction to me, to know, that the executive power under our government is so wisely circumscribed, that every measure emanating from it, affecting the policy of our laws, or the substantial interests of the people, must pass the supervision of your body, where the errors of a single judgment will receive due correction from the delegated wisdom of the State.
As a member of the Union, this State participates largely in its glory, and shares in its prosperity; and at no period since the revolution have we had greater reason to rejoice in the wisdom of its councils, or to feel a just pride at its elevated character as one of the family of nations. The individual at its bead, renowned for his great services and devotedness to his country in another capacity, has, in his civil station, shewn an intimate knowledge of the cardinal interests of the nation, a familiarity with his duties, and an intrepidity in the discharge of them, which cannot commend him more to our affections or respect, but which demand for him the admiration of the present age, and will secure to him the lasting gratitude of his country. The two leading principles of his administration, which lie at the foundation of our future prosperity as a nation, have been assert
(S. No. 1.]
ed by him in the discharge of his duties, in a manner which shews that he loves his country more than he fears the loss of power, or the efforts of disappointed cupidity and ambition. I allude to the payment of the national debt, and the restraining of the power of congress within the limits plainly marked out by the compact between the states. His veto upon the Maysville road bill, the first of a series of measures for internal improvement projected for the sanction of congress and estimated to cost more than ninety-six millions of dollars, will remain upon record a durable monument of his correct views of public policy and constitutional rights, as well as of his moral courage and uncompromising patriotism.
Our foreign relations are amicable, and we have no reason to apprehend a speedy rupture with any nation.
Enjoying, as we do, a high degree of happiness under our free institutions, we cannot be insensible to the influence of our example upon the people of other countries, nor unmoved by their efforts to assimilate their governments to our own. The late Spanish colonies at the south, having achieved their independence, are yet violently convulsed by efforts to organize their governments upon principles, and with modifications, which will ensure for them permanent tranquillity. The recent revolutionary movements in France afford a bright hope that this nation, distinguished for heroism and science, vividly associated with the recollections of our early struggle for independence, and endeared to us by so many ties, has at last found relief from an arbitrary abridgment of individual rights, in the full establishment of the authority of the people. The people under other European sovereignties seem stirred by bordering commotions; and we have reason to believe, that in the progress of light and knowledge, we, now the youngest of nations, will, at no distant period, be hailed as the elder brother of legitimate governments. It becomes us, for our own good as well as for the cause of struggling humanity, to manifest to the world, that a republican government, firmly based upon the will of a well instructed and virtuous people, is the most just and enduring, and exempt from those disturbing and destroying factions, which tend to anarchy and terminate in despotism.
In regard to our internal concerns, your labors will be directed towards providing for the due administration of justice; the improvement of the moral and intellectual condition of the people ; and the development and application of the physical resources of the State. We can look with satisfaction upon what has already been accomlished in relation to these objects. Our municipal laws have been relieved from much which belonged to a less enlightened age; the severity of our criminal code has been materially mitigated ; large provision has been made for public education; and our canals, dispensing their benefits through various channels, are evidence that an enlightened spirit of public improvement has guided our counsels. There is yet, however, much to do; and all these subjects will require your ceaseless exertions.
To what extent the industry of the country may be facilitated by the expenditure of money on works of public utility, depends essentially upon the condition of the treasury, and our means for producing revenue. Under no form of government can a people be happy and prosperous, if a careless and prodigal use of the treasures and credit of the State is indulged.
In my last annual message, I presented a review of the public funds from the year 1826, and showed a diminution of the capital of the general fund during that period, from two millions six hundred and thirty-seven thousand nine hundred and thirty-six dollars, to one million three hundred and forty-four thousand two hundred and sixty-eight dollars. That capital has sustained a farther reduction during the past year, so that it now remains at....... $1,312,466. That amount made up of the following items, viz:
$126,965 00 Bonds and mortgages, for lands sold,
792,568 47 Mortgages for loans to individuals,
369,771 34 16 debts due the state,
$1,312,466 00 The reduction of the capital during the last year has been by means of the sale of the Mohawk bank stock, and by receipts of the principal monies upon bonds and mortgages.
The estimated receipts from the general fund for the ensuing year,
$78,500 00 Capital,
Whole receipts,.. $113,500 00 The estimated ordinary expenses chargeable upon this fund for present year, are three hundred two thousand two hundred dol