this time that you should adopt some rigid measure requiring such parties, under an adequate penalty, to return all such property to the office of the adjutant-general or deposit it in the hands of the chief justices of their respective counties, subject to the order of the adjutant-general. There remains in the hands of the adjutant-general property of a perishable nature, including principally a number of horses and mules which are not now, nor are they likely to be, of any immediate use to the State. This property if retained will become a heavy charge. It would be well that all of said property be sold by the adjutant-general at public sale, the proceeds received in treasure warrants and paid into the treasury. By an act of Congress of the Confederate States that Government assumes to pay all the debts incurred by the several States incident to their secession from the Government of the United States. Texas, as one of the seceding States, will have a large claim against the Confederate Government under that law. Prudence demands that you adopt such measures as will speedily collect the testimony necessary to establish our claim, in order that it may be promptly examined and audited by that Government. You will see be referring to the report of the secretary of state that there remain on deposit in that office some 1,600 or 1,800 volumes of Oldham & White's Digests over and above the number requisite to furnish all those entitled to them by law. In view of the fact that the constitution requires a new digest of all the laws, civil and criminal, to be publish within three years from the 2d day of March, 1861, these Digests are likely to become valueless to the State. It is therefore suggested that the secretary of state b authorized, after reserving a sufficient number for the use of the State, to sell the remainder at a price not less than cost.
The committee on public printing reports that, notwithstanding they complied with the law authorizing the giving of contracts to do the public printing, they have been unable to secure the services of a public printer, the parties making the bids failing to execute bond and give security. It will therefore devolve on you to take such action as the public interest requires. Permit me to suggest, however, that an amendment be made to the law regulating the public printing, requiring parties who bid for the contract to do the work to accompany their bids with approved guarantees that if their bids are accepted they will execute bond as the laws requires. I would call your attention to the report of the commissioner of the general land office, the condition of the public suggestions made relative thereto. The institution for the insane, blind, and deaf and dumb merit your attention. They have doubtless accomplished much good, and if properly managed in the future will confer great benefits on a large number of our unfortunate people and reflect great credit on the State. Should any legislation be deemed necessary to place them on a better footing, I will cheerfully co-operate with you and give any such measure my most cordial approval.
From the failure of the crops for a series of years past, together with the pressure of the money market consequent upon the existing war, the many calls made upon the people for contributions to sustain our men in the field, and the total inability of effecting sales of produce, our citizens have been embarrassed and oppressed to such a degree that some measure becomes absolutely necessary to protect them from ruinous sacrifices or utter bankruptcy. I do not deem it my duty to do more than call your attention to a subject of such vital importance.