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duty to do so. Yet 1 should prefer his amendment to doing nothing but submitting quietly to this assumption of power. But, as I prefer the original resolution, I most vote against the amendment; and then it is possible that, by defeating it, we may also defeat the resolution. But be it so. The amendment may be regarded as having three ob. ects: J 1. To declare that the dues of the Government may be received in specie or specie-paying notes. Thus far it is a mere reiteration of the resolution of 1816, in almost precisely the same word-; and it leaves the authority of the Secretary exactly where that resolution left it. Poss it, and the Secretary has the same right to refuse every thing but specie that he bad in July last; and he will, of course, exercise it in the same way, for Congress will have expressed no opinion against it. It is intended as a repeal of the order. It may operate as such, but it evades, it does not directly and straightforward compel the repeal. 2. It limits the notes which are to be received to the banks which do not now issue of a less de nomination than five dollars, and shall not, aster 1st July, 1839, those of ten dollars, and after 1st July, 1841, of twenty dollars. I have no great repugnance to this progression, although, l think, too rapid, and that the convenience and interest of the country will not be promoted by it. It is much more slow, however, than the locomotive progress of the proposed bill of the last session “to reestablish the currency of the constitution for the Federal Government.” That brought us, in 1841, to the receipt of no notes of any bank which issued notes less than one thousand dollars, and no note after 1842. I prefer, for the present, the rule given in the deposite bill. But as Congress will retain the power of repealing this provisoon, if the circumstances of the country required it, I should not for it alone vote against the amendment. 3. I object also to the mixed discretion of the Secre. tary and the banks which the amendment to the amendment produces; and I preser, when we leg slate in regard to the currency, to do it directly, and in the ordinary forms of law. We are informed that we cannot agree to the resolu. tion, because it will be a censure upon the Executive, but must take the amendment, which will avoid the action of the order, and not condemn the President. I should like to be informed what we can do, and what opinion we may express. We declared that we thought the act of the Executive in taking the public treasure from the legal depository was not justified by the constitution and laws, and we sinned so that our act is to be expunged. And now we may not, by legislative action, by law, repeal an order of the Executive which violates the laws, and regulates the currency and the sales of the public lands. What, I repeat, may we do? Under this doctrine the Executive has only to get ahead of Congress, do any act which his ambition or his caprice may ictate, and our mouths are closed, our legislative au. thority is gone, and we are powerless for any purpose but to approve the act of tyranny. It is a doctrine of servility and base subserviency. I cannot act upon it. officially, I must do my duty; privately, I have no wish to censure or condemn. I can have no desire, sir, at this moment, to cast any censure there, which is not le. manded by the obligations of public duty. When *ge and disease are obtaining their gloomy triumphs over the body and the intellect; when eartbly honors are escaping with the rapidity of the passing hours; when sycophants and dependents are beginning to exhibit their conviction that their devotion is no longer required by their interests; and when a name which has gratified ambition and secured power is fast loosening its hold upon popular prejudice, credulity, and confidence, I
Land Bill—ldmission of Michigan.
[JAN. 2, 1837.
should as soon think of digging open the grave, and violating there the maxim, nil de mortuis, as of casting nnnecessary censure on the decaying idol. But, sir, when I believe that the great interests of our common country have been injured, the constitution and the laws disregarded, and I see no imperative obstacle to the expression of my opinions, I cannot refrain from the decisive vote which those interests and that constitution require at my hands. I believe that the order was unauthorized; that it has been injurious; and I cannot consent to evade the direct and proper expression of my opinions. If, in doing so, the amendment should be defeated, and the order remain unrevoked and unaltered, I must leave the responsibility with those who sustain it, and on whom that responsibility ought to rest. [About the usual hour of adjournment, Mr. South and gave way for a motion for adjournment by Mr. Ewing. Before the Senate adjourned, however, Mr. Rives gave notice of his intention to modify his amendment to Mr. Ew Ng's resolution on the subject of the Treasury order, so as to cause it to read as follows, viz: “Resolved, That hereafter all sums of money accruing or becoming payable to the United States, whether for customs, public lands, taxes, debts, or otherwise, shall be collected and paid only in the legal currency of the United Sta's s, or in the notes of banks which are payable and paid on demand in the said legal currency, under the following restrictions and conditions in regard to such notes; that is, from and after the passage of this rt solution, the notes of no bank which shall issue bills or notes of a less denomination that five dollars shall be received in payment of the public dues; from and after the 1st day of July, 1839, the notes of no bank which shall issue bills or notes of a less denomination than ten dollars, shall be receivable; and from and after the 1st of July, 1841, the like prohibition shall be extended to the notes of all banks issuing bil's or notes of a less denomination than twenty dollars; provided, however, that no notes shall be taken in payment by the collectors or receivers, which the banks in which they are to be depos. ited shall not, under the supervision and control of the Secretary of the Treasury, agree to pass to the credit of the United States as cash.” The amendment, thus amended, was ordered to be printed, and then the Senate, on motion of Mr. Clay, adjourned over to Monday next.]
Monn Ay, JANUARY 2. Mr. KING, of Alabama, presented the credentials of the Hon. John McKisley, elected by the Legislature of the State of Alabama a Senator from that State, to serve for six years from the 4th of March next. Mr. Paxstos appeared in his seat to-day. LAND BI I.L. Mr. WALKER, from the committee to whom it was referred, reported Mr. Clay's land bill, with an amendment, stiiking out the whole bill save the enacog clause, and substituting another which restricts the sales of the public lands to actual settlers, and to them in small quantities, accompanied with many guards against its being evaded by speculators. ADMISSION OF MICH IGAN. Mr. GRUNDY moved that the previous orders of the day be postponed, for the purpose of considering the bill to admit the State of Michigan into the Union, Mr. CALHOUN was opposed to the motion; the documents accompanying the bill had but this morning been laid upon the tables, and no time had been allowed for even reading them over. Mr. G1(UNDY insisted on his motion. Of one point he was fully satisfied—that Michigan had a right to be
received into the Union; on this, he presumed, there would be but little difference of opinion, the chief difficulty having respect to the mode in which it was to be done. There seemed more difference of opinion, and he presumed there would be more debate, touching the preamble than concerning the bill itself, but he could not consent to postpone the subject. Congress were daily passing laws the effect of which pressed immediately upon the people of Michigan, and concerning which they were entitled to have a voice and a vote upon this floor, and, therefore, the bill for their admission ought to receive the immediate action of the Senate. As to the documents, they were not numerous. The gentleman from South Carolina might readily run his eye over them, and he would perceive that the facts of the case were easily understood. Indeed, there was but one of any consequence, respecting which there was any controversy. When the Senate adjourned on Thursday, many Senators had been prepared and were desirous to speak, although the documents were not then printed. It was the great principles involved in the case which would form the subjects of discussion, and they could as well be discussed now. He thought the Senate had better proceed. One fact in the case was very certain; there had been more voters for the members to the last convention than for the first. How many more was a matter of little comparative consequence. The great question for the Senate to consider was this: what is the will of Michigan on the subject of entering the Union? If this could be decided, it was of less consequence whether the bill should or should not expressly state that the last convention, and the assent by it given, formed the ground of the admission of the State. Mr. CALHOUN here inquired whether the chairman of the committee was to be understood as being now ready to abandon the preamble. If the Judiciary Committee were agreed to do this, he thought all difficulty would be at an end. Mr. GRUNDY replied, that, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he had no authority to reply to the inquiry; but, as an individual, he considered the preamble as of little consequence, and he should vote for the bill whether it were in or out. Michigan ought undoubtedly to be admitted, and all the consequences would result, whether the preamble were retained or not. He had received no authority from the committee to consent that it should he stricken out. For himself, he was settled in the belief that Congress possessed full power to prescribe the boundaries of a Territory, and that when that Territory passed into a State the right remained still the same. Congress had already established the boundary of Ohio, and that settled the ques. tion. He never had perceived the necessity of inserting in the admission bill the section which made the assent of Michigan to the boundaries fixed for her by Congress a prerequisite to her admission, because the disputed boundary line was fixed by another bill; and whether the preamble to this bill should be retained or not, Michigan could not pass that line, so that the preamble was really of very little consequence. Mr. CALHOUN said that, in inquiring of the honorable chairman whether he intended to abandon the preamble of the bill, his question had had respect not to any pledge respecting boundaries; but to the recognition of the second convention and of its do ngs. He wanted to know whether the chairman was ready to abandon that principle. He had examined the subject a good deal, and his own mind was fully made up that Michigan could not be admitted on the ground of that second convention; but the Senate might set aside the whole of what had been done, and receive Michigan as she stood at the commer, cement of the last scssion. Mr. GRUNDY observed that, if the gentleman's mind
was fully made up, then there could be no necessity of postponing the subject. The gentleman has fully satisfied himself, and now (said Mr. G.) let us see if he can satisfy us. His argument, it seems, has been fully matured, and we are now ready to listen to it. Though I consider that there is no virtue in the preamble, and that the effect of the bill will be the same whether it is stricken out or retained, yet I am not ready to say that I shall vote to strike it out. I am ready to hear what can be said both for and against it. The question was now put on the motion of Mr. GRUNDr to postpone the previous orders, and carried, twenty-two to sixteen. So the orders were postponed, and the Senate proceeded to consider the bill; which having been again read at the Clerk's table, as follows:
A bill to admit the State of Michigan into the Union upon an equal footing with the original States.
Whereas, in pursuance of the act of Congress of June the fifteenth, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, entitled “An act to establish the northern boundary of the State of Ohio, and to provide for the admission of the State of Michigan into the Union, upon the conditions therein expressed,” a convention of delegates, elected by the people of the said State of Michigan, for the sole purpose of giving their assent to the boundaries of the said State of Michigan, as described, declared, and established, in and by the said act, did, on the fifteenth of December, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, assent to the provisions of said act: therefore, Be it enacted, &c., That the State of Michigan shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, in all respects whate ver. Sec. 2, And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury, in carrying into effect the thirteenth and fourteenth sections of the act of the twenty-third of June, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, entitled “An act to regulate the deposites of the public money,” shall consider the State of Michigan as being one of the United States. Mr. MORRIS moved to recommit the bill to the Com. mittee on the Judiciary, with instructions to strike out the preamble. Mr. CAL!! OUN then rose and addressed the Senatc as follows: I have bestowed on this subject all the attention that was in my power, and, although actuated by a most anxious desire for the admission of Michigan into the Union, I find it impossible to give my assent to this bill. I am satisfied the Judiciary Committee has not bestowed upon the subject all that attention which its magnitude requires; and I can explain it on no other supposition why they should place the admission on the grounds they have. One of the committee, the Senator from Ohio on my left, [Mr. Monus,) has pronounced the grounds is dangerous and revolutionary. He might have gone far ther, and with truth pronounced them utterly repugnant to the principles of the constitution. I have not ventured this assertion, as strong as it is, without due reflection, and weighing the full force of the terms I have used; and do not fear, with an impartal hearing, to establish its truth beyond the power of controversy. To understand fully the objection to this bill, it is ne cessary that we should have a correct conception of the facts. They are few, and may be briefly told. Some time previous to the last session of Congress, the Territory of Michigan, through its Legislature, authorized the people to meet in convention, for the purpose of forming a State Government. They met accordingly, and agreed upon a constitution, which thry SENATE.]
..?dmission of Michigan.
[JAN. 2, 1837.
forthwith transmitted to Congress. It was fully discussed in this chamber, and, objectionable as the instrument was, an act was finally passed, which accepted the constitution, and declared Michigan to be a State, and admitted into the Union, on the single condition, that she should, by a convention of the people, assent to the boundaries prescribed by the act. Soon after our adjournment the Legislature of the State of Michigan (for she had been raised by our assent to the dignity of a state) called a convention of the people of the State, in conformity to the act, which met at the time appointed, at Ann Arbor. After full discussion, the convention withheld its assent, and formally transmitted the result to the President of the United States. This is the first part of the story. I will now give the sequel. Since then, during the last month, a self-constituted assembly met, professedly as a convention of the people of the State, but without the authority of the State. This unauthorized and lawless assemblage assume the high function of giving the assent of the State of Michigan to the condition of admission, as prescribed in the act of Congress. They communicated their assent to the Executive of the United Sta'es, and he to the Senate. The Senate referred his message to the Committee on the Judociary, and that committee, on its own authority, reported this present bill for the admission of the State. Such are the facts out of which grows the important question, had this self-constituted assembly the authority to assent for the State? Had they the authority to do what is implied in giving assent to the condition of admission? That assent introduces the State into the Union, and pledges in the most solemn manner to the constitutional compact which binds these States in one confederated body; imposes on her all its obligations, and confers on her all its benefits. Had this irregular, self-cons itated assemblage the authority to perform these high and solemn acts of sovereignty in the name of the State of Michigan? She could only come in as a State, and none could act or speak for her without her express authority; and to assume the authority without her sanction is nothing short of treason against the State. Again: the assent to the conditions prescribed by Con. gress implies an authority in those who gave it to supersede in part the constitution of the State of Michigan; for her constitution fixes the boundaries of the State as part of that ins' rument which the condition of admission entirely alters, and to that extent the assent would supersede the constitution; and thus the question is presented, whether this self-constituted assembly, styling itself a convention, had the authority to do an act which necessarily implies the right to supersede in part the consti. tution. But further: The State of Michigan, through its Legislature, author zed a convention of the people, in order to determine whether the condition of admission should be assented to or not. The convention met; and, aster mature deliberation, it dissented to the condition of admission; and thus again the question is presented, whether this self-called, self-constituted assemblage, this caucus--for it is entitled to no higher name——had the authority to annul the dissent of the State, solemnly given by a convention of the people, regularly convoked under the express authority of the constituted authorities of the State? If all or any of these questions be answered in the negative—if the self-created assemblage of December had no authority to speak in the name of the State of Michig on—if none to supersede any portion of her constitu. tio 1–if none to annul her dissent to the condition of admission regularly given by a convention of the people of the State, convoked by the authority of the state, to introduce her on its authority would be not only revölu. to lary and dangerous, but utterly repugnant to t'e prin.
ciples of our constitution. The question then submitted to the Sen ste is, had that assemblage the authority to perform these high and solemn acts?
The chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary holds that this self-constituted assemblage had the authority ; and what is his reason? Why, truly, because a greater number of votes were given for those who constituted that assemblage than for those who constituted the convention of the people of the State, convened under its constituted authorities. This argument resolves itself into two questions—the first of fact, and the second of principle. I shall not discuss the first. It is not necessary to do so. But if it were, it would be easy to show that never was so important a fact so loosely testified. There is not one particle of official evidence before us. We had nothing but the private letters of individuals, who do not know even the numbers that voted on either occasion; they know nothing of the qual fications of voters, nor how their votes were received, nor by whom counted. Now, none knows better than the honorable chairman himself, that such testimony as is submitted to us to estabish a fact of this moment, would not be received in the lowest magistrate's court in the land. But I waive this. I come to the question of the principle involved; and what is it? The argument is, that a greater number of persons voted for the last convention than for the first, and therefore the acts of the last, of right, abrogated those of the first; in other workls, that mere numbers, without regard to the forms of law or the principles of the constitution, give authority. The authority of numbers, according to this argument, sets aside the authority of law and the constitution. Need I show that such a principle goes to the entire overthrow of our constitu. tional Government, and would subvert all social order? It is the identical principle which prompted the late revolutionary and anarch cal movement in Maryland, and which has done more to shake confidence in our system of government than any event since the adoption of our constitution, but which happily has been frowned down by the patriotism and intelligence of the people of that State.
What was the ground of this insurrectionary measure,
but that the Government of Maryland did not represent the voice of the numercial majority of the people of Maryland, and that the authority of law and constitution was nothing against that of numbers. Here we find, on this floor, and from the head of the Judiciary Committee, the same principle revived, and, if possible, in a worse form; for, in Maryland, the anarchists assumed that they were sustained by the numerical majority of the people of the State in their revolutionary movements; but the utmost the chairman can pretend to have is a mere plurality. The largest number of votes claimed for the selfcreated assemblage is 8,000; and no man will undertake to say that this constitutes any thing like a majority of the voters of Michigan; and he claims the high authori y which he does for it, not because it is a majority of the people of Michigan, but because it is a greater number than voted for the authorized convention of the people that refused to agree to the condition of admission. It may be shown by his own witness, that a majority of the voters of Michigan greatly exceed 8,000. Mr. Williams, the president of the self-created assemblage, stated that the population of that State amounted to nearly 200,000 persons. If so, there cannot be less than from 25,000 to 30,000 voters, considering how nearly universal the right of suffrage is under its constitution; and it thus eppears that this irregular, self-constituted meeting did not represent the vote of one third of the State; and yet, on a mere principle of plurality, we are to supersede the constitution of Michigan, and annul the act of a convertion of the people regularly convened under the authority of the Government of the state.
Jax. 2, 1837.)
But, says the Senator from Pennsylvania, [Mr. Bu. chas AN,) this assembly was not self-constituted. It met under the authority of an act of Congress; and that act had no reference to the State, but only to the people; and that the assemblage in December was just such a meeting as that act contemplated. It is not my intention to discuss the question whether the honorable Senator has given the true interpretation of the act, but, if it were, I could very easily show his interpretation to be erroneous; for, if such had been the intention of Congress, the act surely would have specified the time when the convention was to be held, who were to be the managers, who the voters, and would not have left it to individuals who might choose to assume the authority to determine all these important points. I might also readily show that the word “convention” of the people, as used in law or the constitution, always means a meeting of the people regularly convened by the constituted au. thority of the State, in their high sovereign capacity, and that it never means such an assemblage as the one in question. But I waive this; I take higher ground. If the act be, indeed, such as the Senator says it is, then I maintain that it is utterly opposed to the fundamental principles of our federal Union. Congress has no right whatever to call a convention in a State. It can call but one convention, and that is a convention of the people of the United States to amend the federal constitution; nor can it call that, except authorized by two thirds of the States.
Ours is a federal republic-—a union of States. Michigan is a State—a State in the course of admission—and differing only from the other States in her federal relations. She is declared to be a State in the most solemn manner by your own act. She can come into the Union only as a State, and by her voluntary assent, given by the people of the State in convention, called by the consti
tuted authority of the State. To admit the State of Mich
igan, on the authority of a self-created meeting, or one called by the direct authority of Congress, passing by the authorities of the State, would be the most monstrous proceeding under our constitution that can be conceived; the most repugnant to its principles, and dangerous in its consequences. It would establish a direct relation between the individual citizens of a State and the General Government, in utter subversion of the federal character of our system. The relation of the citizens to this Gov. ernment is through the States exclusively. They are subject to its authority and laws only because the state has assented they should be. If she dissents, their assent is nothing; and, on the other hand, if she assents, their dissent is nothing. . It is through the State, then, and through the State alone, that the United States Government can have any, connexion with the people of a State; and does not, then, the Senator from Pennsylvania see, that if Congress can authorize a convention of the people in the State of Michigan, without the authority of the State, it matters not what is the object, it may in like manner authorize conventions in any other State, for whatever purpose it may think proper? Michigan is as much a sovereign State as any other; differing only, as I have said, as to her federal relations. lf we give our sanction to the assemblage of December,
on the principle laid down by the Senator from Pennsyl.
vania, then we establish the doctrine that Congress has power to call at pleasure conventions within the States. is there a Senator on this floor who will assent to such a doctrine? Is there one, especially, who represents the smaller States of this Union, or the weaker section? Admit the power, and every vestige of State rights would be destroyed. ... Our system would be subverted, and, instead of a confederacy of free and sovereign States, we would have all power concentrated here, and this would become the most odious despotism. He, indeed, must be Vol. XIII.-14
blind, who does not see that such a power would give the Federal Government a complete control of all the States. I call upon Senators now to arrest a doctrine so dangerous. Let it be remembered that, under our system, bad precedents live forever; good ones only perish. We may not feel all the evil consequences at once, but this precedent, once set, will surely be received, and will become the instrument of infinite evil. It will be asked, what shall be done? Will you refuse to admit Michigan into the Union? I answer, no; I desire to admit her; and if the Senators from Indiana and Ohio will agree, I am ready now to admit her as she stood at the beginning of last session, without giving sanction to the unauthorized assemblage of December. But if that does not meet their wishes, there is still another by which she may be admitted. We are told that two thirds of the Legislature and people of Michigan are in favor of accepting the conditions of the act of last ses. sion. . If that be the fact, then all that is necessary is, that the Legislature should call another convention. All difficulty will thus be removed, and there will be still abundant time for her admission at this session. And shall we, for the sake of gaining a few months, give our assent to a bill fraught with principles so monstrous as this? We have been told, that unless she is admitted immediately, it will be too late for her to receive her proportion of the surplus revenue under the deposite bill. I trust that on so great a question a difficulty like this will have no weight. Give her at once her full share. I am ready to do so at once, without waiting her admission. I was mortified to hear on so grave a question such mo. tives assigned for her admission, contrary to the law and constitution. Such considerations ought not to be presented when we are settling great constitutional principles. I trust that we shall pass by all such frivolous motives on this occasion, and take ground on the great and fundamental principle that an informal, irregular, self-consti. tuted assembly, a mere caucus, has no authority to speak for a sovereign State in any case whatever; to supersede its constitution, or to reverse its dissent deliberately given by a convention of the people of the State, regularly convened under its constituted authority. Mr. GRUNDY confessed that he could not see any thing in the whole proceedings calculated to excite alarm. The Senator [Mr. Calhoun] had told the Senate that a proceeding in Maryland had excited more apprehension in regard to our institutions than any thing that had occurred since the establishment of our Gov. ernment. Now, that was the gentleman's opinion; but he (Mr. G.) had seen the time when there was felt more | solicitude with respect to the stability of our Union than what had recently happened in Maryland, or in the proceedings which had been adopted in Michigan. In order to determine the question before the Senate, it might be as well to take a short review of the facts and circumstances connected with it. By the ordinance of 1787 it was provided that this Terri. tory, and all portions of the territory ceded by the state of Virginia northwest of the Ohio, should be admitted as a State, not by conventions called for the purpose of ratifying a proposal made by Congress, but upon the fair condition that when their population should have amounted to a certain number. Michigan, at the time she first appied to be admitted into the Union, possessed a population of one third more than was required b the ordinance of 1787. But he should state that, before asking for admission, as she had a right to do, she called a convention, and framed a constitution. The General Government had at that time a right (without prescri. bing the terms to be found in the act of the 2d March, 1836) to receive her into the Union. But what did con. gress do? Did they comply with her request, or with SENATE.]
the terms of the ordinance? No. Congress prescribed different provisions from any to be found in the ordinance. Now, according to the view he took of the subject, this sovereign and independent State, having the same right to be represented on that floor as South Carolina or Tennessee, has been for a long time kept knocking at the doors of Congress, and still they were shut against them. He would, having said this much, say nothing further on this part of the subject. At the last session, and for some sessions previous to that, a very serious controversy had arisen between the State of Ohio and the Territory of Michigan. What, he asked, did Congress do, in its great desire to see tranquillity and harmony restored between them? It passed the act of 1836. And yet the Senator from Ohio [Mr. Ew ING) now wanted to see no such provision as that contained in the act of 1836, and which he [Mr. Gnu NDy] believed to have been placed there by the committee in the proper discharge of their duty, and which he thought commendable in them. [Mr. Ewing explained. I contended for the third section. I thought it of no importance then, nor do I now.] Mr. GRUN or resumed. He was speaking of the Senator's exertions in regard to another bill, or other bills, which were introduced to fix the northern boundary of the State of Ohio; and before that was accomplished Senators insisted that Michigan could not be admitted into the Union. Well, what was the objection now to her admission? None that he could see. But when the Senate came to pass this act of admission, they put in this section: “That, as a compliance with the fundamental condition of admission contained in the last preceding section of this act, the boundaries of the said State of Michigan, as in that section described, declared, and established, shall receive the assent of a convention of delegates elected by the people of said State, for the sole purpose of giving the assent herein required,” &c. Now, that was the provision to which this preamble has a reference. Did that section say that the Legislative Assembly of Michigan should call a convention to decide on the subject? Not a word did it contain to that effect. Did the constitution of Michigan authorize the calling of a convention on the part of the Legislature? Not a word did the constitution contain on the subject? But the Legislature did call a convention, and they refused to assent to the conditions contained in the act of Congress. Now, to judge that Congress did not intend putting a legal construction on the section, that the intervention of the Legislature should be necessary, let him suppose that the Legislature should refuse to act, and consequently call no convention, and the people of Michigan had risen up una voce, and given their assent to the meeting in convention, would gentlemen have said “the convention must be called by the Legislature?” Now, this was the consent of the people of Michigan—of the population entitled to vote, residing there. And shall the Legislature of that State have the power to resuse or grant that which the people may demand on so important a subject as this? It seemed to him it ought not to be required; and, therefore, the conclusion he drew from the question was, that the people have a right to convoke their assemblies, the delegates from which have a right to meet in convention, and there, if they deem proper, ratify the conditions prescribed by Congress. If he were right in that conclusion, then the preamble was correct; and if wrong, it ought to be struck out. He felt no concern in regard to this branch of the subject at all. He was free to admit that, without the preamble, he was ready to vote for the bill. But for the third section of the act of 1836, let him tell the Sen.
ate, Michigan would have been represented here, and in the other House, long ago. Well, now the people have been called upon in their primary capacity, and have given their assent to the conditions of Congress, why should the Senate cause further delay in admitting her? The Senator from South Carolina had said it would not take long to have another convention. He (Mr. G.) admitted it; but every moment did her injury. Senators were, by delay, violating a greater principle than that of which the gentleman had spoken. It was a greater infraction of principle than any known to free govcriminent. He admitted, with the Senator from South Carolina, that the testimony establishing the fact of the assent of the people of Michigan was of great importance, and in this case not according to the strict rules of legality; yet the testimony was of such a character that Legislatures would not refuse to act upon it, although courts of justice would reject it, because not duly accredited by the oaths of witnesses. But did not Senators do daily many acts upon testimony not on oath, but for which the statements of men of high standing, honor, and honesty, guarantied their truth? What, he asked, was the amount of the testimony produced? Why, that between five and six thousand votes were given at the election of members for the convention in September last, and that from eight to nine thousand were given for the delegates who formed the convention in December. What was the object in calling upon the people of Michigan? It was to know whether they were willing to come into the Union on the terms prescribed by the act of the 2d of March, 1836. They have answered, and given their assent. In cine county there was given at the first election for the delega'es who were elected, 180 votes of a majority. These delegates constituted the majority in the first convention; and by their votes the assent of Michigan was refused. At the first election, about 1,700 votes were cast, including both parties. At the last election, 1,900 votes were given in favor of the assenting party alone. The whole thing was changed, and must have been changed by the revolution of opinion. Without going further into the subject, he wanted the Senator from South Carolina to inform the Senate how he would do justice to the people of Michigan; and, further, how the passage of the bill was to be obtained in any form. Would he send the people back again to a convention? The delay was unnecessary, and objections would be made of a similar character. Why should the Scnator not vote for the bill, the preamble being struck out. What difficulty was there in it? For his (Mr. G's) part, he could not see any. He contended that there was nothing of a political character in this matter, either on one side or the other; therefore, it was fairly on principle that a difference of opinion could be said to exist. In answer to the inquiry of the Senator from South Carolina, “Can Congress call a convention in a State?” he answered, “No!” nor did it in this instance; neither does the preamble or bill give such a power, nor imply it. He would conclude his remarks by merely declaring that, whether the preamble should be stricken from the bill or not, he would vote for it. Mr. MORRIS, on his first motion to strike out the preamble to the bill providing for the admission of Michigan into the Union, said: The gentleman, from
South Carolina had correctly understood his object,
which was to bring the principle contained in the preamble to the bill in a direct form hefore the Senate, for its decision. Although he entertained for the talents and ability of the Senator from Tennessee the highest respect, yet on this subject he had entirely different views from those expressed by that gentleman; still he would say that, on this question, particularly on the doc