therefore recommend the passage of an act authorizing and providing the renewal of the bonds and the extension of the debt for such length of time as the Legislature may deem advisable.
As it is impossible to foresee what is to be the duration, or what the expenses of the present war, it is of the utmost importance that every preparation and provision possible be made for its vigorous and successful prosecution, be it long or short. I therefore, with great reluctance, am compelled to recommend that the appropriation for education purposes be suspended until the termination of the war and the money be applied to the defense of the country. I also suggest that the fund arising from the military tax, under the provisions of an act approved February 18, 1860, be applied to the purpose. If I believed it to be in the power of the Legislature to give the same direction to the interest of the sixteenth section ommend it. Taking it for granted that the Legislature has not the right to change the application of this fund, I respectfully suggest that an appeal be made in some form by the Legislature to the citizens of the several townships in this State to appropriate the interest of the sixteenth section fund to the support of the war. Most of the townships in which the sixteenth sections are valuable are inhabited by persons of wealth, who can afford to make this sacrifice; a sacrifice which is as nothing compared with the great end to be effected. Having had so many evidences of the patriotism of our people, and of the unexampled alacrity with which they respond to every call in behalf of the country, I cannot doubt that the citizens of the townships will willingly consent that the interest of this fund may be applied during the war to its support. This interest, with the appropriation for common schools, amounts to $300,000. Under no other circumstances than those which now surround us would I recommend a change in the application of these educational funds; but every appropriation not necessary in conducting the State government should be made to yield to the support of our struggle for deliverance and liberty.
Complaints have been made to me from many portions of the State that there were persons engaged in purchasing articles indispensable to the support of the Army and of our poor people for the purpose and with the intent of extorting extravagant prices from those who might be compelled to purchase these articles. Upon this information I issued a proclamation denouncing such conduct as unpatriotic and wicked, and instructed the quartermasters and other agents of the State to purchase nothing from such persons. Merchants and tradesmen, in common with persons engaged in every legitimate pursuit, are entitled to the fostering care of the Government, but when so forgetful of social duty and regardless of the interest of their country as to monopolize the trade in those commoditiesfor the comfort and subsistence of our soldiers and citizens, it becomes the duty of the Legislature, as the public guardians, to adopt such measures as will prevent, as far as possible, the State and the people from becoming the prey of such harpies. I am gratified to be able to say that comparatively but few are engaged in this illegitimate