adaptation to the demands of comf any other single State, with extended lines of railway opening up other channels of communication, now so fortunately contributing to the public defense, with a governmental organization based upon our admirable constitution, securing permanency and efficiency, harmoniously blended in the administration of its various departments, and, above all, and better than all, with its great popular heart devoted to liberty, yet obedient to law, full of energy and self-reliance, respectful of the right of others and sensitively jealous of its own, braving all dangers and daring all things except the displeasure of the Almighty-who could not afford to suffer, who would not be willing to die for Alabama? We have reached and eventful era in the progress of the State. Our usual tranquility and regular pursuits have been disturbed by the tocsin of war. The emergency will test the mettle and the nerve of the body politic. But the historian who records our sacrifices shall also record our triumphs. Pending the interruption of active industry and its appropriate rewards, the people expect the General Assembly to devise such expedient as with a rigid economy may alleviate the pressure of unaccustomed burdens, which shall likewise maintain public order and preserve the public faith unimpaired. No measures of legislation are, however, more delicate, none more hazardous than those which affect the finances or interfere with the legitimate pursuits of the people. Governments are instituted among men to protect life, liberty, and property, and the great merit of our republican system has ever been that it secures the largest enjoyment of all our natural rights consistent with the general good; and the special boast of the slave-holding States of America is that we have as a basis of our conservation an establishment of domestic labor which gives strength and stability to their government. While Alabama is now engaged in active hostilities, and the fleets of the enemy are hovering upon her coasts, the internal machinery of her State organization remains intact in all its parts and proportions, and her people calmly repose beneath the sheltering aegis of her laws. This assured protection of the citizen in all his just rights, as well against internal violence as against external wrong, has laid the foundations of our public credit and prosperity, and will bear us safely through the perils which surround us.
While the Legislature shall provide appropriate and needful relief amid the disturbed condition of affairs, I cannot doubt that it will so guide its deliberations as not to weaken but to uphold and strengthen our State efficiency and power, and thus justify the confidence entertained by the people in its wisdom and patriotism. And, as public servants intrusted with all the vast interests of the State, it becomes our duty to fortify her position by every means at our command; to stimulate the energies of her people and encourage those internal enterprises and industrial adventures which shall contribute to the public benefit; to promote the popular intelligence, elevate the public morals, and strengthen the public confidence, and to infuse and intensify that spirit of State independence, State loyalty, and State pride which shall link her people in closer sympathy and attach them to Alabama with all the ardor of devoted sons. I need hardly give assurance that I will cordially co-operate with the General Assembly in all such measures as may promise the accomplishment of the most desirable results. In January last, after years of patient endurance of wrong and insult, under the vain hope of a returning sense of justice, Alabama withdrew from her compact with the United States and entered into a new federal alliance with the States of the South,