Monday, November 28, 2011

Des Moines Correspondence

DES MOINES, April 1, 1862.

This is “All Fools Day” as some of fully realize the members of the House were well “fooled” this morning.  Mr. Russell of Dallas, our jovial clergyman, rose to a question of privilege, and wished to offer a protest, which the members disliked to have entered upon the journal.  It was sent up and read by the Clerk, and after citing the dangers in which constitutional liberty was placed by the action of the House, it closes by making “April Fools” of the whole House!

A bill making an appropriation of $10,000 to the Insane Hospital has passed both Houses.  This amount is needed to complete the building.  The question was pretty fully discussed in the Senate but the House passed it without debate.

The Senate Medical College bill, providing for a loan of a portion of the School Fund to the College was defeated by that body yesterday.  The college has already borrowed of this fund and has failed to pay the interest on the same.  This is doubtless the main reason on which the action of the Senate is based.

A bill has just passed the two houses, authorizing cities and towns to license auctioneers and transient merchants.

The Senate has passed the House bill authorizing the Auditing board to administer the oath to Witnesses, and to audit claims without regard to the time of presentation.  This will relieve many just claimants.

The Senate has busied itself much of the time to-day on the School bill, which it finally passed.  It is a bill to annul and consolidate an act passed by the Board of Education at its last session.

The Railroad matter has not come up again.  They have not as yet perfected anything relative to that subject, so as to send it to the House.

Senator Teeter’s Liquor bill was passed by the House yesterday.  It contains stringent provisions relative to those who hold permits to sell intoxicating drinks, and provides that they shall forfeit their permits if they violate the same.

A Representative apportionment bill has passed the House, but it is so long that I must refer your readers to the Act, which will soon be published.

The claim of Capt. Morton and the troops under his command, for services on our northwestern border was passed upon yesterday.  There had been considerable opposition to this and other similar claims early in the session, but the vote in the House yesterday was largely in favor of the bill.

A bill providing for the appointment by the Governor of agents to settle with the General Government in relation to the swamp lands, has passed the House.  It provides that if any county desires an agent of its own to settle for the swamp lands within its borders, and is willing to pay the expenses of such agent, it may nominate a man, and the Governor shall appoint the same an agent to act with the authority of a State agent.

A bill to confer civil and criminal jurisdiction on County Courts, for which there have been many petitions and many earnest advocates, was defeated by the House yesterday.  This morning it was reconsidered and again defeated.  This decides the question.

A joint resolution of Mr. Lane protesting against the disbanding of the 17th regiment has been passed.  Whether it will have the effect of changing the decision of the War department is questionable.  If they wish to close this war as soon as possible it will be well to accept every Iowa regiment that offers.

I have refrained from sketching our Speaker from the fact that so many others have been making pen and ink portraits of him.  At the present I can do the fullest justice to him by sending you the following brief resolution which is as truthful in its assertions as it is complimentary.  It was offered by Mr. Bracewell, a Democrat and unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That in view of the fairness, impartiality and marked ability with which the Hon. Rush Clark has discharged the duties of speaker of this House for the Present session, proof of which may be found in the fact that no appeal has been taken to the House by any member thereof from any decision of his, therefore, in testimony of our due appreciation of his faithful services as Speaker, we tender to him the chair he has so ably filled with honor to himself and honor to the General Assembly of the state of Iowa.

Mr. Clark has proved himself a prompt and efficient officer on all occasions, and has always been ready to decide without hesitation any question that might arise.  No better man could have been in the chair.  No man could have dispatched business with more rapidity.

J. R. C.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Monday Morning, April 7, 1862, p. 2

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