Imagens das páginas

Which amendment having been lost, Mr. Barry moved to lay the resolution on the table, which was not agreed to, and the original resolution was thereupon adopted.

On motion of Mr. Hough,

Resolved, That the secretary of the Senate be, and he is hereby directed to furnish at the expense of the state, the president and each member of the Senate, such newspapers as they may respectively direct, not exceeding in price two daily papers.

On motion of Mr. Britain,

Resolved, That the secretary of the Senate be instructed to furnish the printer to the Senate with a journal of the Senate's proceedings on each day of the session, as soon as practicable, after the close of the session for said day.

Resolved, That the printer to the Senate be requested to publish in the Democratic Free Press the daily journal of the Senate's proceedings as furnished by the secretary, and on each day of the session before the opening of the session for said day, to furnish the table of each member of the Senate with the journal of the Senate's proceedings on the preceding day.

A committee was announced from the House of Representatives, who informed the Senate that the House was now organized, and ready to proceed to business.

A message was received from the House of Representatives, through their clerk, informing the Senate that the House had appointed a committee of two on the part of the House of Representatives, to join such committee as might be appointed on the part of the Senate, to wait upon the Governor and inform him that both houses of the legislature were now organized and ready to receive any communication he might think proper to make

The Senate, on motion of Mr. Barry, agreed to the appointment of a committee on the part of the Senate to join the committee from the House of Representatives, and Messrs. Barry and Manning were appointed said committee on the part of the Senate.

Mr. Barry, from said committee, reported that the joint committee had waited upon the Governor, and that he was prepared to make a communication forthwith, either personally to the two houses jointly assembled in the hall of the House of Representa

tives, or in writing to the Senate and House of Representatives severally; and moved that the secretary inform the House of Representatives that the Senate were now ready to meet the House of Representatives in their hall to receive a communication from the Executive, which motion was agreed to by the Senate.

Mr. Hough laid the following resolution on the table :

Resolved, That the secretary cause to be procured for the use of this Senate, the constitutions of the United States and the state of Michigan; the articles of confederation; the order of business in the Senate and House of Representatives; the joint rules and orders, and the rules and orders of the Senate and House of Re. presentatives; an alphabetical list of the members of both houses, with their places of residence, and a list of senators according to their districts ; a list of the members of the House of Representatives by counties ; a list of the officers of both houses ; the standing committees of both houses: the select committees of both houses on the Governor's message ; a list of the banks and insurance companies in the state, with the amount of their capital and the time when their charters expire ; a list of the railroad companies in the state, with the amount of their capital, and the time they were incorporated; the act requiring the publication of notices in certain cases; copies of a map of the state of Michigan, and a calendar for 1837; and to have the same bound in a pocket volume, and deliver a copy thereof to each of the senators and officers of this House.

A committee was announced from the House of Representatives, who informed the Senate that the House were now ready to receive the Senate in the hall of the House of Representatives, to receive the message of the Executive.

And the Senate thereupon, on motion of Mr. Barry, proceeded to the hall of the House of Representatives, conducted by the above committee from the House.

When the Senate returned to their chamber, the President announced that the two houses in joint convention had received from the Governor the following message:

MESSAGE. Fellow citizens of the Senate,

and House of Representatives : On the annual assemblage of the representatives of the people, I am again required to review the affairs of the commonwealth, and in obedience to the express injunction of the constitution, to recommend to the legislature such matters as are expedient and essential to its permanent welfare and prosperity.

In taking a retrospect of the past year, we find much cause for congratulation. The tide of emigration is rapidly extending its course to the remotest borders of the state ; unprecedented health has blessed the habitations of the people; abundant harvests have crowned the exertions of the agriculturist; our cities and villages are thronging with an active and enterprizing population ; and notwithstanding the embarrassments which have surrounded us in our relations to the federal Union, social order has been preserved, and the majesty of the law has been supreme. Such are the advantages which have been secured to us during the past year, and we should not overlook the gratitude due the High Source from whose bounty they have arisen, and through whose providence and power they are to continue.

I wish it were in my power, fellow citizens, to communicate to you as my first duty, the honorable and favorable accommodation of our difficulties with the general government. That duty I trust, however, is postponed to no distant day. The convention which assembled under the act of July the twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, and to whom was submitted the proposition of the Congress of the United States, refused to accede to the proposed terms of admission of the state into the Union. A subsequent convention of the people, assembled without the sanction of the legislative or executive agency, have nevertheless given the assent required by the act of Congress as a prerequisite to our admission, reserving at the same time to the people of Michigan, all their right under the constitution of the United States, and protesting against the constitutionality of the power exercised by the federal government. It does not perhaps become me at this time, and in my present place, to deliberate upon the validity of the proceedings of this convention. It is sufficient for me to state,

that it emanated with and from the exclusive source of all political power ; that it had its origin in that declaration of your constitution which asserts, that government is instituted for the benefit, protection and security of the governed ; that it recognizes the greatest good of the greatest number as the vital principle of the social compact, and that its authority is the deliberate will of the people.

I am unauthorized to say in what light the authorities of the United States will view the assent given by this convention. Whether it will be considered a compliance with the requisition of the act of Congress, or not, I am unable to state. Nothing official has been received that would justify a conclusion on this point. Neither have I been able to indulge a reasonable hope that Congress will remove the obstacle to our admission by a repeal of the obnoxious provision of their law, and permit the unconditional admission of the state into the Union, as she is in justice and by right entitled.

My views of the rights of Michigan under the ordinance of seventeen hundred and eighty-seven, as repeatedly expressed to the legislature, remain unaltered and unalterable. In the question of our admission into the Union, I would yield to the general government nothing as a matter of right, unless their claim of power was clearly pointed out by the constitution and laws of the country. I protest against the constitutionality of an act of Congress prescribing any condition to the admission of a state into the federal Union. The states themselves and the judiciary are the only tribunals competent to take cognizance of conflicting claims of boundaries between states. But it is needless for us to theorize longer upon abstract principles of right. We are compelled to view things as they are, and not as they should be. At one period of the controversy the legislation of Congress was with

It is now against us, and we must respect it. We therefore spend a bootless grief by delaying our admission into the Union, and I deem it your duty to extend every aid in your power, by which an object se desirable may be most certainly accomplished. The interests of your constituents demand this at your hands; a sound and prudent policy dictates it.

The people of Michigan, it is true, with an unanimity seldom


if ever equalled, deny to congress the right of attaching any condition whatsoever to their admission into the Union. The power has however been exercised, and admitting the wrong, who will point out the remedy? An appeal to the supreme judicial tribunal of the country is denied us until a state of the Union, and if the right could be acknowledged to us, we cannot exist as a state independent of that Union. Whatever brilliancy our increasing prosperity may exhibit, it is but a reflected light of a confederated republic.

Then, fellow citizens, what course is there left for us to pursue ! But one, and that a patriotic obedience to the will of the people of the United States. We have our views in regard to the constitutionality of the power exercised by Congress, it is true ; but we must not forget that we constitute but a small fraction of the thirteen millions of people, who by their representatives have given this decision against us, and that their views are perhaps in their minds, entitled to equal consideration with our own. We can only judge the future by the past, and we cannot therefore reasonably expect the present or a future Congress to annul the solemn enactment of their predecessors. We have no additional argument to offer, for argument has been exhausted. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated ; but all has been in vain.

Yet there is, fellow citizens, perhaps a remedy left us, which tyranny may drive a people to adopt. It is the natural right of resistance to oppression inherent in every community ; it is the ultima ratio of a desperate and oppressed people, whose edict must be written in blood. But have we reached that degree of oppression where resistance to authority becomes a virtue ? I will not, fellow citizens, offer an indignity to your understandings and feelings, by an answer to such an interrogatory. I feel that, as American citizens, we should cherish the tender ties of a common descent, and recollect that our federal Union was the offspring of the great achievements, the common perils and common triumphs of the fathers of the republic. We recognize in the government of the United States the representative head of that Union ; we acknowledge it to be the guardian of the constitution, authorized and bound to enforce its laws; and although we have

« AnteriorContinuar »