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ning a war against the colony. Much discontent has been manifested in the Transvaal against the annexation of that country to the British colony. In December, the Boers rose against English rule, proclaimed the restoration of the Transvaal republic, and drove the English troops out of a number of places. (See CAPE COLONY.)
Affairs in Egypt have been unusually prosperous. The material condition of the people has improved, the financial exhibits have been more satisfactory, and the foreign relations of the country have been more pleasant. Hostilities with Abyssinia have been suspended, and the conclusion of peace between the two countries was reported in June; but another concentration of troops on the Abyssinian border was mentioned in the fall. The slavetrade, notwithstanding the Government professed to be making great efforts to put it down, has been kept up in the southern provinces and on the coast of the Red Sea. (See EGYPT.)
The condition of the Jews in Morocco has attracted serious attention. The numerous complaints of ill treatment which came from them, led to the calling of a conference of plenipotentiaries at Madrid, which was attended by a Moorish envoy. This body agreed upen a paper, which was put into the hands of the envoy, claiming liberty of conscience and equality of rights for all the Christian and Hebrew subjects of the Sultan. The Sultan was believed to be willing to promise TxU
reform, but wholly incapable and unwilling to carry it out. (See Morocco.)
AGRICULTURE. (See COMMERCE and UNITED STATES.)
ALABAMA. The session of the Legislature of Alabama commenced on November 9th, and with a recess in December continued into the ensuing year. Senator Rothen was chosen President of the Senate, and, in the House, N. H. R. Dallas was chosen Speaker.
The financial condition of the State has been greatly improved within the last six years. readjustment of the debt has been made, which is now wellnigh executed in its details; expenditures have been reduced, resources economized, outstanding warrants cleared off, payment of interest resumed, expenses paid as they were incurred, and a balance accumulated in the Treasury, while the rate of taxation has been reduced from eight mills to seven on the dollar.
The total interest-bearing bonded debt of the State is now $9,008,000, on which the interest for the current year will be $244,040, and for the year 1881-'82, owing to the increased rate on the A and the C classes of bonds, $319,130. The amount of the bonded debt, and therefore of interest, will be increased from time to time by further exchanges until the settlement embodied in the act of February 23, 1876, is complete.
On September 30, 1878, there remained in the Alabama Insane Hospital at Tuscaloosa 401 patients. In the last two years 214 pa
tients have been admitted and 213 have been discharged, leaving 402 under treatment on the 30th of September last, of whom 213 are women and 189 men. The percentage of cures on admissions was 44.50, and the percentage of deaths on the total number treated was 5.84. Of those under treatment at the date of the report, 71 were colored. The number of applications for treatment within the two years beginning October 1, 1878, was 427, of which 214 were received. In this time 142 were refused for want of room. The hospital receipts for 1878-79 were $85,095.95, of which $68,659.50 was from the State, and the balance from paying patients, sale of stock, borrowed money, etc., and the expenditures for all purposes were $85,095.95. The receipts for 1879 -'80 were $84,658.07, of which $67,203.50 was from the State, and $3,288.15 was borrowed; the expenditures, including the payment of money borrowed the previous year, were the same. There is a Deaf and Dumb and Blind Asylum in the State, in which the number of pupils is 75, of whom 19 are blind. All deaf-mutes in the State, and all blind children over eight years of age, are entitled to the benefits of the institution free of charge, save that all except the indigent bear the expense of travel from their homes and pay for their clothing.
In the State Penitentiary there were on September 30, 1878, 954 convicts, after which date 270 were received and five were recaptured, making a total during the two years of 929. Of these, 274 were discharged, 29 were pardoned, 26 escaped, and 60 died, leaving in prison on the 30th of September, 1880, only 540 convicts—a decrease in two years of 114. At the same date in 1878 there was due to the Penitentiary, and uncollected, from contractors $17,290.81, from the United States $626.50, and from other sources $35.11, and there was in the hands of the Warden in cash $5,313.37 -in all, $20,247.79. The gross earnings of the prison for two years were $51,813.15, and the expenses for provisions, clothing, wood, medicine, and transportation of convicts since March 1, 1879, were $9,840.94, leaving as net earnings $41,972.21.
There exists in Alabama a system of hard labor as an alternative for imprisonment in the Penitentiary. It is peculiar to the State, where it results in such diversity of punishment for the same offense in different localities that in some cases felons practically escape with a fine and in others are punished excessively and cruelly; for a sentence to hard labor for the county is supplemented by a further conditional sentence, often for a longer period than that fixed for the crime, for the payment of costs, thus bearing hardly and unequally on the evildoer whose inability to pay subjects him to longer confinement and service. The growing disposition to substitute hard labor for the county for hard labor in the Penitentiary is depopulating the latter, in which the number
of convicts is decreasing at the rate of more
than fifty a year the actual decrease in two years being 114.
On the subject of the payment of costs in criminal cases, the Governor, in his message to the Legislature, presents the following views: "I recommend such changes in the laws prescribing hard labor for the county for misdemeanors as will forbid and prevent punishment for non-payment of costs. In a recent case, an offender convicted of two misdemeanors on the same day and in the same court, was sentenced to three months' hard labor for each offense, and, on default of payment of costs, to hard labor for an additional period of nearly three years in each case. This is an instance of unusual hardship; but many cases differing from this in degree only have been brought to my attention. Inability to pay costs is not a crime, and should not be treated as such. Reasonable costs should be paid by the county which has the service at hard labor of convicts for misdemeanors, and the State should pay reasonable costs where the sentence is to the Penitentiary. Adequate punishment should be inflicted for every offense committed, but no punishment should ever be permitted for mere inability to pay what is in effect and fact, whatever it may be in law, a debt to the State or to its officers."
The receipts and expenditures of the State Treasury for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1880, were as follows: At the close of the last fiscal year, on October 1, 1879, there was a balance in the Treasury of $267,051.75. During the ensuing year the total receipts amounted to $681,174.81, and the disbursements to $597,692.82, leaving a balance in the Treasury, September 30, 1880, of $350,533.74, or $83,481.99 as the net accumulation of the year. This is attributable to the economy of the administration for 1880, a comparison of disbursements with those of the preceding year showing a difference of more than $90,000 in favor of 1880. The fact of there being no General Assembly to pay partly accounts for this difference, but that expense being less than $50,000, there remains a balance to the credit of the administration of more than $40,000. This statement, by comparison with those of former years, discloses the fact that receipts from general taxes have decreased. For the fiscal year ending September, 1878, the State received from general taxes $593,499.34; the next year $564,722.17; and for the year 1880, $515,716.16. Receipts from the tax on license, redemption of land, the Penitentiary, and other sources of revenue, were increased.
The following statement shows the valuations and taxation of property in Alabama for the last four years:
The number of children at colleges and private schools is about equal to that in the free schools. Of colleges in the State there are the State University, the Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Normal (white) at Florence, and also one at Huntsville and the other at Marion, both colored. Besides these, there are male colleges at Greensboro, at Mobile, at Marion, and at Oxford. There are female colleges at Tuskegee and Eufaula, at Montgomery two, at Marion two, at Huntsville two, at Athens, Florence, and Tuscaloosa two, and in almost every city, town, and village in the State are flourishing private schools. There has never been before such an interest in schools and education generally in Alabama as now exists.
While comparatively little has been expended in schoolhouses, salaries, printing, and books, a large proportion of the children are educated in log structures built by neighborhoods. The people have cheerfully paid the tax for free schools in sums relatively larger than the amounts paid by the populations of richer States. The following statistics show the improvement in public schools within a few years:
In 1874-75, 145,797 pupils were taught in 3,898 schools an average of about sixty days, at a cost of $562,437.50.
In 1875-'76, 126,891 pupils were taught in 3,632 schools an average of eighty days, at a cost of $351,496.64.
In 1876-77, 143,571 pupils were taught in 4,175 schools an average of eighty-one and one half days, at a cost of about $370,000.
In 1877-78, 160,713 pupils were taught in 4,796 schools an average of eighty-four and two-thirds days, at a cost of $377,634.38.
In 1878-79-not including Fayette and Winston Counties, from which no reports have been made, and not including the unreported negro schools of Blount-172,540 pupils were taught in 4,582 schools an average of eighty-four days, at a cost of $381,884.35.
The Board of Health for the State differs with the National Board of Health about the expediency of intrusting the administration of quarantine to any other health authorities than those of its own people and appointment. The State Board objects to the several bills before
Congress for increasing the efficiency of the National Board, as interfering with State and local quarantine. It argues that no uniform system of quarantine regulations is suitable at all times and places; but that one which is applicable to one place will often prove unsuited to another, and that in different seasons even the same place will require different regulations. It holds also that the circumstantial details of quarantine present the important problems of quarantine administration, and that only by experts, intimately acquainted with the local conditions, can these be wisely ordered and managed. The State Board also objects to the rule established in 1879 by the National Board, to the effect that assistance should be extended only to such State and municipal boards as had first adopted the national rules and regulations, and it contends that such State and municipal boards as desire the assistance of the National Board should be required to submit their local regulations to the National Board for examination, and if these are found sufficient the needed assistance should be granted; that the National Board ought properly to have the general direction and control of quarantines against foreign countries, but that even these international quarantines could be most wisely administered through the agency of State and municipal boards having local jurisdiction in the seaport cities. The Alabama Board disclaims any antagonism to the National Board; on the contrary, admits for it a wide and important field of usefulness within which State and municipal boards have no jurisdiction, and that its existence should be maintained by the appropriations for which it has made application, as necessary for the successful continuance of scientific investigations, sanitary surveys, and other works of sanitary administration and research that have been auspiciously begun.
The commissioners representing the late corporation of Mobile, in October, 1880, decided with the bondholders on a basis of adjustment in the payment of three per cent. for five years, four per cent. for fifteen years, and five per cent. for five years. Under the terms of the act annulling the charter of the late city, the commissioners are required to report to the Governor of the State the result of their compromise with the bondholders. The attorney of the commissioners will at the same time submit to the Legislature a draft of such an act for their consideration as, in the judgment of the commissioners, may be required to carry into effect the scheme of adjustment agreed upon. On the passage of such act the commissioners are to apply to the Chancery Court at Mobile for such orders and decrees as may be necessary to secure the application of the assets under its jurisdiction to the uses and purposes agreed upon.
A decision by the United States Supreme Court in several cases arising from the repeal of the Memphis charter follows the decision
in Barkeley vs. Levee Commissioners et al. It decides that a State has the power to abolish a public corporation, even when it owes debts, and that new corporations may be created over the same territory which are not responsible for the debts of the defunct corporation; and, further, that the creditor has no remedy in the courts whatever, but can only apply to the Legislature for relief.
According to the sixth quarterly report made by the commissioners to the Chancery Court, and filed therein September 20, 1880, it appears that the total outstanding coupons due down to May 1, 1880, amount to $86,504. This, added to the bonded debt ($2,223,749), makes the total debt $2,310,253. Add to this the coupons that may be due when the adjustment goes into effect, and the judgments obtained against the late city, and the debt will still be under two and one half millions.
To pay three per cent. upon this debt will require $75,000 annually for five years, $100,000 annually thereafter for fifteen years, and $125,000 annually thereafter for five years.
The assessed value of property within the old limits of the city in 1878 was $16,254,093. Assuming that the assessments under this adjustment will amount to $16,000,000, it will require a tax of less than one half of one per cent. to realize $75,000 annually. In five years the assessments may advance with renewed prosperity, and no larger ratio of taxation be required to realize the $100,000 which will then be needed annually.
The annual statement of the commerce and trade of Mobile, in September, 1880, does not exhibit a large increase-with New Orleans on one, and the Atlantic ports on the other side of her, and with the extensive shipments of cotton from the interior by railway to the north, Mobile suffers serious disadvantages as a commercial seaport. But notwithstanding these, new branches of trade and industry have sprung into existence. The popular enterprise is directed toward manufacturing; the increase of naval stores, and the lumber trade; and to the production of vegetables for the Western markets. Its dry-dock competes successfully with similar establishments elsewhere, and the proprietors have launched, in addition to smaller craft, a new river steamboat of about one thousand bales capacity. Two new manufacturing enterprises have been inaugurated, an ice company and a furniture factory; while evidences of work in iron, tinware, vehicles, etc., are increasing. In the vegetable trade alone, $175,000 worth of produce was shipped in 1880; and the fish and oyster traffic shows creditable results.
The Alabama railroad system is very complete, and is rapidly developing the State. The South and North Alabama (a part of the Louisville and Great Southern)-the grand trunk, so to speak-runs from Montgomery to Decatur, 183 miles. At Calera it crosses the Selma, Rome and Dalton; at Birmingham it
crosses the Alabama Great Southern, and at Decatur it crosses the Memphis and Charleston, and taps the Tennessee River, with its line of boats to Chattanooga, and thence by rail on to Nashville, Louisville, St. Louis and Cincinnati, etc. The Alabama Great Southern runs east and west across the State, 295 miles, connecting at Meridian, Mississippi, with the Mobile and Ohio and the Vicksburg and Meridian. The other lines traverse the State in all directions-such as the Mobile and Montgomery (now a part of the Louisville and Great Southern); the Western, from Montgomery to Selma, and to Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia, and the Montgomery and Eufaula, viá Eufaula to Macon and Savannah, with cross and short lines to nearly everywhere and in all directions. The only two projected roads needed in Alabama are the Georgia Western, from Atlanta, and the Grand Trunk, from Mobile to Birminghain. With these two additional lines, especially the first mentioned, the system will be complete, and equal to any emergency in the near future, notwithstanding the present and prospective industries and developments. The Alabama River is navigable all the year, five hundred miles, between Montgomery, Selma, and Mobile, as are also the Warrior, Bigbee, and Chattahoochee all tapping a rich cotton belt and inaking rail connections.
The purchase by the Louisville and Nashville of the Selma and Pensacola Railroad will open a new timber and cotton market for Pensacola, Greenville, and Montgomery. There are in operation forty miles of this new purchase, known as the Selma and Gulf, from Selma in the direction of Pensacola. The Louisville and Nashville company are working on its southern end, from its junction with the Mobile and Montgomery and the Pensacola, at or near Pollard.
The Louisville and Nashville combination and consolidation with the Georgia system is nothing more than an alliance, offensive and defensive, or division of territory, as to freights and rates.
The route from Meridian to Tupelo touches Lauderdale Junction, where the Alabama Central Railroad diverges on its way to Selma and Montgomery. From Mobile to Macon, a distance of one hundred and seventy-six miles, the road traverses the long-leaved pine region of the South. Crowned with perpetual green, the stately monarchs of the Southern forests tower a hundred feet in the air, and at their feet, in tropical luxuriance, grow dwarf palmettoes with their fan-like leaves, magnolias with their gigantic buds and flowers, hollies, myrtles, and evergreen oaks, draped with long gray moss. At Macon the prairie region begins, and thence to Okolona, a distance of about sixty-five miles, the country is open and slightly rolling, with occasional skirts of woodland dividing plains almost level. The soil is of a fertility nearly equal to that of the Mis
sissippi bottom, and a large portion of it is under cultivation, though the area planted is less than before the war. Cotton is the leading product, but corn, wheat, and other cereals may be as easily grown. West Point, an important station on this division, near Ókolona, is the county-seat of Clay County. Its population is among the thousands, and the town is an important shipping point for cotton, and the various products of this agricultural region. It is situated two hundred miles from Mobile, and two hundred and thirty-nine from Columbus, Kentucky, making it the halfway station of the road.
A case between the Southern Express Company and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which organized an express company of its own in opposition to the former, was decided in the United States Circuit Court, at Nashville, against the latter. The rights of express companies, in their relations with railroads, were very distinctly defined. The points set forth in the decision were (6 that the express business is separate and distinct in every way from the railroad business, and that railroad corporations desiring to embark in this pursuit must do so as expressmen, subject to all the rules and restrictions imposed upon that class of persons. If a railroad desires to have an express department, it must be a separate and distinct branch of its business, which must deal with the railroad proper upon the same basis with other express companies. The railroads are prohibited from making discriminations in favor of their own express departments as against other express companies. The practical result of the decision, so far as the interest of the public is concerned, is that the great railroad corporations will be prevented from making the express business a monopoly by the exclusion from their lines of mere express companies.
The Democratic State Convention met June 2, 1880, at Montgomery. Dennis M. Stone was elected President, and the following persons were nominated for office: R. W. Cobb for Governor; W. W. Screws, Secretary of State; H. C. Tompkins, Attorney-General; I. H. Vincent, Treasurer. For Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Robert C. Brickell was nominated; George W. Stone and Amos R. Manning, Associate Justices; J. M. Carmichael for Auditor, and H. C. Armstrong, Superintendent of Education. E. A. O'Neal and Walter Bragg were nominated for Presidential Electors at large. The platform of the last Convention, without the resolution relating to paper money, was adopted. The delegates to Cincinnati were instructed to adhere to the two-thirds
The committee upon resolutions reported a platform, the concluding resolution of which was as follows:
That we favor the just payment of the public debt and a stable currency. We are opposed to the refunding of the public debt beyond the reach of the Gov
ernment to pay it as soon as it is able. We favor the retirement of the national-bank notes as soon as the same can be done without injury to the business of the country, and the issue of Treasury notes, commonly called greenbacks, sufficient in volume to meet the commercial and business demands of the country, and redeemable at the option of the holder, and that we oppose any unnecessary restriction on the coinage of the silver dollar.
The Convention voted to strike out the resolution, because it was deemed that the proper place to consider a national question was in the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati. The platform adopted was as follows:
declares its confidence in and unshaken adherence 1. The Democratic party in convention assembled to the great principles of democratic government; its devotion to the Union and Constitution, with the amendments thereto; its unswerving maintenance of the following principles, viz.: strict subordination of the military to the civil power; purity of elections, and their absolute freedom from all interferences by the officers of the Federal Government, civil or military; profound respect for the popular will fairly and legally expressed at the ballot-box; a fixed purpose to expose and punish all political fraud and corruption; the political equality of all citizens; the largest rights of individual liberty consistent with the rights of others, and general participation by the body of the people in public affairs.
2. That our present tariff laws are an impediment to American industry, devised in the interest of monopolies, and maintained in opposition to the demands of the people. We therefore demand their repeal and substitution of a simple revenue which shall be productive without being oppressive. We demand the restoration of the Federal Government to its constitutional limits, and a return of its administration to its original economy, simplicity, and impartiality.
3. In the name of the Democracy of Alabama we the bar of public opinion as the authors of all the most solemnly arraign the Republican party before evils of government which threaten and oppress the people; protesting its friendship for the Federal Union, it sought to destroy it in centralization; declaring its purpose to establish justice, it trampled it proclaimed mission, it preached the gospel of hate, and under its feet; "to insure domestic tranquillity," its filled the land with niisrule and anarchy and blood. As the legitimate fruit of its administration it has paralyzed all our industrial pursuits; it has destroyed the value of our property; it has impoverished tho country, and it has filled the land with discontent and agitation. For these crimes against humanity and constitutional government, we denounce the Republi can party as unworthy the trust and confidence of an intelligent and patriotic people.
4. That the fraud, first triumphant in American poliof the freemen of the republic was defied and subtics and unparalleled in the world, whereby the will verted, and a defeated candidate placed in the Presidential chair, shall never be ignored, and we call upon the Democracy and the people throughout the land to right, and the condemnation and punishment of the stand with us in demanding the vindication of the wrong, to the end that fraud shall henceforth be powerless and odious, and free government a reality in America.
alcoholic productions it has encouraged violations of
5. By the levy of excessivo duties upon tobacco and
the revenue laws, and, under pretense of protecting the revenue service, it has turned loose on our people irresponsible and reckless men, who maltreat and imprison our citizens, and who destroy property at will, yet refuse to allow these enemies to society to be tried in the State courts for the violation of State laws.
6. That we rely, to a great extent, upon the educa tion of the masses of the people for the perpetuity and