Message of Gov. James D. Porter, 1879.
Under the authority of the Act of May 14, 1866, Gov. W. G. Brownlow executed and delivered three bonds, dated June 1, 1866, in favor of the United States, one for $337,993.73, another for $94,142.85, and the other for $21,661.73, all due in two years and bearing interest from date at the rate of 7.3 per cent per annum for property and railway material sold to the Edgefield & Kentucky Eailroad and the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Railroad. Upon a demand for a payment of these bonds, my immediate predecessor. Gov. John C. Brown, insisted upon an abatement of the price of the material to its actual value, also for a credit for the value of the bridges and other property of these roads destroyed by Federal authority,and for a credit for the value of the rails and crossties removed from the Winchester & Alabama Eailroad by Federal authority. The Thirty-seventh General Assemblyauthorized Governor Brown to settle these mutual demands, but the adjustments were refused and the credits denied by the auditing office of the Federal Government. An appeal without effect was then made to Congress to authorize the settlement.
The Federal authorities have several times during my official terms of office appealed to me for a settlement of our debt without considering the credits claimed by the State, and upon a recent repetition of this demand I placed the record in the hands of Senator Harris, with the request that he would endeavor to secure legislation that would authorize an adjustment of the controversy.[Tennessee Senate Appendix, 1879, page 34.]