Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, Nov. 28, 1843 >> Page 69

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 69

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 69
advantage of the State at large. There can be no
necessity for two Treasurers within six or eight hours
ride of each other. There is very little, if any un-
granted land in the State, and the Surveyor General's
office might with propriety be finally closed. It is
now chiefly an instrument for perpetrating frauds, and
increasing litigation. Such duties of the Surveyor
General, as it would be beneficial to the State to have
performed, might be confided to a clerk in the Secretary
of State's Department. The present incumbent has vol-
untarily made to me a Report, which gives a very candid
statement of the condition of his office, and I transmit
it to you as worthy of your consideration. There might
be constitutional difficulties in the way of closing the
office during his term, but provision could be made for
doing so hereafter. The Comptroller General should
be near the Treasurer and the Executive. There are
still stronger reasons for reorganizing the office of Sec-
retary of State, and locating it entirely at the seat of
Government. The whole salary of this office is derived
from fees, and no trifling portion of it is paid by the
State for small and occasional services. He should at
least be put upon the footing of a State officer, by having
a fixed salary, in lieu of all charges against the State,
and for taking care of the records. A large portion
of these records are in a wretched condition. Many
have entirely gone to decay, and others are fast mould-
ering away ; while some important papers are altogether
lost. These are the necessary consequences of a di-
vided office, and an officer without a salary. The most
important duties of the Secretary of State are con-
nected with the Executive Department, and he should
he fixed near it. The private records in this office
5