deem it necessary or advisable, under such circumstances, to unduly press the claims of a State so well able to share its portion of our country's burdens.
It deserves your consideration whether it may not be proper to enact some provision allowing the banks of this State additional privileges in their exchanges, as the new burdens imposed by taxes upon circulation and deposited sc business of banking to be remunerative. Some of the New England States have made laws granting their banks which have become, or may hereafter become, national banks the privilege o chartered rights under the old organization at any period when they may elect to return to the organization contemplated by their charters.
Some changes have occurred in the Board of Inspectors of our State prison. The business has continued to be profitable, though the great increase in the price of material will diminish the profit.
It may become necessary at some time to change the location of this institution, and attention should be given to the subject at as early as a day as practicable, before large expenditures shall have been made upon the present establishment.
Reports from the State military departments will be transmitted to you, and will inform you of all the details of the business of the year now closing.
In pursuance of an act of the Legislature submitting to the people the question of amending the constitution so as to permit the taking of a vote of the citizens of this State while absent from their homes in the service of the United States, and the action of the people thereon, a proclamation was issued by the Executive, which is annexed, marked C, and also annexed is the report of the Secretary of State showing the result of the soldiers" vote.
In October, 1863, an invitation in behalf of the State was extended to Admiral Lessovsky, of the Russian fleet, then in New York Harbor, to visit our waters. A report of the proceedings of the deputation who presented the invitation will be found in the appendix, marked D.
The State agents in Washington, Philadelphia, and New York have been instructed to pay every attention to the soldiers in the several hospitals, and are believed to have performed their duties in a satisfactory manner.
It is desirable to make the burdens of the State as light as possible, and perhaps it will be found practicable to procure census returns for the year 1865 through the agency of some organization already established for kindred purposes, like the Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, at less cost than by any other methomend that a special committee be appointed to confer with the society and report at this session.
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of September, 1864, a proclamation was issued from the Executive Department (which will be found in the appendix, marked E) requesting the city and town authorities to take measures (by appointment of suitable committees) to have the enrollment lists corrected. The great importance of this correction has not been appreciated by the people, and little had been done to effect it. The expense in which the State is involved by this neglect is too serious an item to be overlooked. The call for 500,000 men has undoubtedly cost the State several hundred thousand dollars more than it would cost to answer a similar call if our quota was based upon proper and correct enrollment lists.
The recent call for 300,000 men involved such an unavoidable expenditure of money as well as labor that the correction of the rolls has been determined upon, notwithstanding the almost unaccountable embarrassment thrown in the way of the Executive by U. S. officers and the difficulty of obtaining the co-operation of our citizens, whose interest in the matter is more direct and serious than they realize. The towns having been relieved from providing recruits and paying bounties, have naturally relied upon the State authorities and left to them the whole work. It has thus become necessary for the State to cause the entire rolls to be printed, and to institute a thorough examination, which has already resulted in disclosing numerous and gross errors. In many cases there have been restored to the rolls the names of those who were generally known to be overage or otherwise disqualified, to have served two years, or to have furnished substitutes. Whatever difficulties there may be to overcome, the Executive will, without hesitation, use all the means at his command to obtain justice for the State and to have the rolls properly corrected. He only asks such co-operation in the work as he may be entitled reasonably to expect. The State has, within the short space of fifteen months, been called upon by the President of the United States for her quota of 1,500,000 men. We have responded to our quota for 1,200,000 and intend to meet the present call for 300,000 before the 15th of February, and be prepared for any other call that may be made during the coming spring.