War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0187 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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is still moving on with power and majesty, strengthening, protecting, and sustaining our people as it ever will strengthen and sustain those who respect it.

The General Assembly at its last session, actuated, no doubt, by the most patriotic motives, passed an act suspending the regular sessions of the supreme and superior courts of law and equity. This act is considered by many unconstitutional, and in my judgment, to say the least of it, is unwise in some of its provisions. that some remedy ought to have been provided protecting property generally from sacrifice, and particularly the property of our brave soldiers, who had left their homes and business for our defense (if indeed an enlightened and patriotic public opinion had not guaranteed that protection), no one will question, and to this extent meets my approval. But the courts themselves should be opened and the fountains of justice unsealed. The criminal law especially should be diligently administered, for it has been wisely said that "the commission of crime is prevented more by the certainty than the severity of its punishment. " Again, persons charged with crime and confined in prison, even if unlawfully convicted, cannot have their cases reviewed in a court of higher jurisdiction for many months, thus violating that sacred provision in our Declaration of Rights, which says "that every free man restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy to inquire into the lawfulness thereof and to remove the same if unlawful, and that such remedy ought not to be denied or delayed. " I therefore recommend that the regular sessions of the supreme and superior courts be restored. I am also convinced that while the soldier in the field should have his property protected from seizure under execution, there exists no valid reason why in the great plenteousness of money and the high prices of property any man should desire to be excused from paying his debts. I think it probable that it might also exerfluence on prices if men were compelled to part with their surplus property to satisfy their creditors. In this connection permit me to respectfully recommend that our present circuits be rearranged, adding at least one additional circuit and another judge thereof. The necessity for this charge will be apparent from the following considerations:

Some of the circuits embrace an extended area of territory with a large amount of business. The seventh circuit comprises eighteen counties, others more than twelve, and to some two weeks are allotted. According to existing statutes the judges are allowed an annual salary of $1,950, with the proviso "that in all cases where a circuit of the superior courts shall exceed twelve weeks the judges holding the said courts of any regular term shall be entitled to a compensation of $90 for the court of each county exceeding twelve held by them, to be paid by the public treasurer on the 1st days of January and July in addition to their salary aforesaid, and each week in which a court shall be held shall be considered a term. " Special terms of the superior courts are also held, and for this service a compensation of $90 given, to be paid by the county in which the court is held. Upon examination it will be found that the amounts thus paid for the additional and extra courts exceed the salary of a single judge. The fourth section of the one hundred and second chapter of the revised code provides that "every judge shall produce a certificate of the clerk of each county of his having held the court of the county according to law; and for every such certificate omitted to be produced there shall be a deduction from his salary of $100. " Portions