1840-Apr 21-Meriwether Superior Court- Presentments- Feb. Term-Meriwether Co Ga
The Grand Judy, sworn, chosen, and selected for said county, beg leave to make the
We have examined the books of the Clerk of the Superior Court and the Clerk of Inferior Court and
County Treasurer, and take pleasure in stating that we find them kept in a neat and business-like
manner. We allow the Tax Collector his insolvent list, amounting to one hundred and fourteen
dollars. We recommend the Inferior Court of this county to Cause to be created a neat and
We require the tax collector of this county ti furnish the Justices of the Peace, in each precinct in the
county, a copy of his insolvent list, previous to the next general election for members of the next
Legislature; and we enjoin it on said officers to strictly attend to that matter by suffering no man to
vote that has not paid his taxes. We reccomend the Inferior Court of this county to levy an extra
tax of twenty-five per cent. on the General Tax for county purposes.
We present as a grievance of no small magnitude, the unsound condition of what is generally
received as, but fasly termed the currency of the non-specie paying banks in the State, without
any overruling cause, if any cause could by any possibility exist, in good faith to their promises.
We have direct alusion to the recent suspension, we believe amounts to a violation of their
respective charters, and highly injurious to the true and most important (interest) of the county,
by having the effect to depress business in general in our mercantile and commercial relations
almost equilent in oppression to a high Tariff, or a non intercourse law between the Government
and foreign nations--
This jury is firmly of the opinion that joint stock company banks, according to the present system of
Banking, are at best, but highly favored, monopolies, are aristocratil in their nature, antirepublican
in their tendancies, and at variance with the spirit and meaning of our republican institutions, for
once admitted that they have the right to accumulate the precious metals, the only currency known
to the Constitution, and place in the coffers of the Banks and suspend at pleasure, which the
Legislature of the state have passed over, it seems, without even a regret. It argues bad faith in
those institutions, without the community is prepared to receive their edicts as paramount to the
well known and established laws of the land. If a suspention of a Bank amounts to a refusal on
its part to redeem its notes on demand, according to equity it would be deemed unnecessary to
make that demand on a bank, or the Banks that have suspended, for it is understood that they
will not redeem their notes when presented.-
Should an individual give his note payable on demand, after the demand was made it would bear
interest until redeemed. This Jury, in point of fact, cannot see any differences in Equity, between
a refusal to redeem a note, or notes, or demand when a demand is made on them, or a
suspension by the banks to redeem their notes according to promise, when called up to redeem
them. This Jury believe it to be a system fraught in incalculable mischief to the Federal branch of
this Government, if the Banks are permitted to suspend by withdrawing the specie, the only
currency known to the Constitution of the United States. We believe the Judiciary, the only
competent tribunal to decide upon this matter.
The frequent exercise of the pardoning power by the Legislature, is becoming a subject of
alarming importance. The framers of the Constitution could not have intended in conferring this
power to make the Legislature a Criminal Court. There are circumstances under which the
pardening power may be improperly exercised; but when a prisoner has had a fair trial, in the
absence of any improper bias on the minds of the court and jury, and has been found guilty of
the offence with which he stands charged, nothing should authorise the Legislature to stay the
arm of law, or to arrest the sword of justice in the performance of its duty, however solemn that
duty may be. The members of the General Assembly, with a mere skeleton of the testimony before
them cannot be so well qualified to determine the guilt or innocence of the culprit, as a jury acting
under the direction of an enlightened court. Nearly every application for six pardens has been
granted, and the consequence is that this course of legislature is undermining the very foundation
on which the criminal jurisdiction of the courts rest,and is rapidly destroying the bariers which the
law has provided against the commission of the most atrocious crimes. We respectfully reccommend
the Grand Juries of the several counties in this State to take under their serious consideration the
pardening power as exercised by our Legislature.
We tender our approbation to his Honor Judge Warner, for the prompt and able manner in which he
has discharged the various duties devolving on him during the present term of this Court. We also
tender our approbation to the Soliciter General, N B Knight for the prompt attendition to the jury
during the present term.
We request that those of our presentments that of a public nature, be published in the Federal
Union and Georgia Journal.
Wiley E Burks - Foreman
Allen Rowe Catlett Campbell
Abner Durham Hinson N. Jackson
Jordan Reese Joseph Slack
Thomas Parham Charles R Green
Robert B Dark James Wicher
Alexander Hall Green Fuller
Isaac Thrush Samuel K Gates
Robert N. Parham Robt. A Jones
Ezekiel Brown Thomas F Hardaway
It is ordered that the Clerk furnish a copy of the within presentments of the Grand Jury to the offices
of the Georgia Journal and Federal Union, to be published in the pursuance of their request.
A true extract from the minutes of Meriwether Superior Court, March 1840
44-lt L M Adams, Clerk
(Alexander Hall son of Hugh & Mary Reid-married Elizabeth "Betsy" Brown dtr of Reuben
his brother Hugh married Mary Ann Brown dtr of Reuben
Ezekiel Brown is son of Reuben- in-law to Alexander-all ofr Greene Co Ga)
(Green Fuller was son of Elijah & Cenith Browning. His #2 was Amanda E M Roberts-dtr of Isaac
in Meri. also all of Greene)
(Catlett Campbell- son of John & Judith Clark- married Susannah P Harris)
Please do not ask-because I know nothing of the others.
The Brown's are my family- Ezekiel in nearby Harris, from Greene, Uncle of this Ezekiel and Father of another one!
Ms. Gerry Hill-Albany Ga-Just Sharing.
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