Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:
The People of Michigan have committed to us the responsibilities of the State Government for the coming two years. We assemble to enter upon our duties in a time of great seriousness and public trial. It will become us to pause at the threshold of our term and survey the work before us, acknowledging our entire dependence upon that Divine Providence which is constantly over us alike in war as in peace. The state of the country and the temper of the times demand a cautious wisdom and patriotic energy in every department of government. Our first duty is naturally and properly with the internal affairs of our own fast growing Commonwealth. And here we are not without many causes for congratulation. After some years of difficulty, the State finances are free from embarrassmant, all the avocations of business flourish, harvests are abundant, general health prevails, and the diffusion of education is almost universal. The public order has been maintained, and all the institutions of civil government hold undisturbed sway to the general happiness and security of the people. Our one great need is national peace, and the only road to that leads through the gate of victory.
Austin Blair, Executive Office, Lansing, January 7, 1863