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. 26, 1844 >> Page 91

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Page 91

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 91
provements which might be made in that office, and
also in the Surveyor General's, that would be both
useful and convenient. The expense of them was
greater than I felt authorized to incur, without con-
sulting the Legislature. I think it highly expedient
that a Commission should be appointed to examine
the condition of these offices, and report to you in
detail upon them. I have heretofore recommended
that all the State offices should be consolidated
at the Seat of Government ; that the Executive De-
partment should be properly organized ; that a stated
salary should be given to the Secretary of State,
in lieu of perquisites, which are now his only compen-
sation, and that the Land Office should be closed.
The experience of another year has confirmed my
opinion of the propriety and importance of these mea-
sures, aid I suggest them again for your consideration.
The power of appointing Notaries Public has been
immemorially exercised by the Executive. I can find
no law conferring that power ; nor can I, indeed, find
any statute creating such an office. It is recognized in
some acts, and its authority is sometimes specially
limited ; but none of them prescribe its powers and
duties, or fix its term of duration. The office origi-
nated in the Civil Law, was handed down with it to all
modern nations, and probably has no other authority
here than that derived from usage. As it is held by
hundreds in the State, and is more and more sought
after, I think you would do well to legalize its exist-
ence, and regulate its appointment, powers, and tenure.
Much inconvenience, and sometimes serious evils,
arise from the ignorance of the common Magistrates,
and their irregular distribution in the Districts for