Thursday, October 20, 2011

Des Moines Correspondence

DES MOINES, March 27, 1862.

The first steamboats of the season came up yesterday.  It is gratifying to the eyes of our citizens to see these evidences of an easy communication with the east.  If the Legislature were ready to adjourn, it would hesitate during the prevalence of mud, and before any other than stage communication exists.  Now there is no excuse for remaining longer than necessary, and the members begin to feel quite uneasy.  They are determined to get away as soon as possible.  The Senate yesterday passed a joint resolution providing for an adjournment sine die on the 8th of April.  They will need to work hard to finish the business on hand before that time.  The House is a little ahead, and might possibly get through some earlier.  Its business can certainly be finished by that time, and you may safely fix the above date as the time when the present Legislature will adjourn.

The Senate yesterday passed a bill fixing the salary of the Adjutant General at $1,000 per annum.  It also adopted Mr. Bowdoin’s joint resolution of thanks to the President – the Democrats, with three exceptions, voted against it.

The House was engaged most of the day on the war claims bill of the Senate.  Quite a border warfare occurred on that part of the bill relating to the claim of Cols. Edwards and Morledge, and claims growing out of their expeditions into Missouri.  Mr. Dunlavy, of Davis county, contended that there never was any just cause of alarm on the border; that no real danger had existed. – The rest of the border men indignantly denied and refuted the assertion, and alluded rather pointedly to the probably reason why some of the Davis County men were in danger from secessionists.  A substitute for the bill was adopted, but will doubtless be defeated when it again comes up.  This is one of the most perplexing questions that will come before this Legislature.  If it ever becomes settled by both Houses you will be promptly informed.

Lane’s Militia Bill was killed.  A motion to lay on the table carried by a large majority.  It was an elaborate bill and carefully drawn, but some of its features were obnoxious to the members.  No Militia bill will pass this General assembly.  The indications in the House are that none is wanted.

Stanton’s bill providing for the printing of the Adjutant General’s Report was referred to a committee and amended so as to have 6,000 copies printed annually until the close of the war, after which provision can be made for the publication of a full and complete report.  As thus amended it passed the House.  Perhaps a complete report could not be made before the meeting of the next General Assembly, and if not it is quite as well to leave the consideration of such complete publication to the next Legislature.

To-day the Senate has been considering the Railroad Bill relative to the resumption by the State of the lands forfeited by the various roads.  Mr. Dancombe spoke most of the morning in opposition to the resumption project; and was answered this afternoon by Judge Woodward.  Mr. Leake followed the Judge, and those who heard him, say he made a very able legal argument against resumption.  The matter lies over, but the opinion seems to prevail in the Senate this evening that the State cannot resume.

The house has passed a bill amending the Acts of the Board of Education.  It repeals the Act creating a Board of State Examiners at Iowa City.  Also that relating to the duties and compensation of the County Superintendent, and the one providing that graduates of the State Normal School shall be exempted from the necessity of obtaining certificates from the County Superintendent.  It amends the Acts in one or two respects besides these.

The Senate bill providing for the printing, blading and distribution of 3000 copies of the Reports of the State Officers, was defeated in the House.  The number provided for by law is 1,000, but it was thought best by some to have a larger number printed, so as to have enough to exchange with other States.  The house concluded to wait until the treasury is in better condition before making the change.

The State Arsenal Bill which passed the Senate some time since, was indefinitely postponed in the House.

J. R. C.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Tuesday Morning, April 1, 1862, p. 1

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