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Jax. 25, 1837.)
Freedom of Elections.
(H. Of R.
vice--the disgrace of American politics. It will be per- largest class of crimes known in the criminal code of ceived, and must be acknowledged, that this principle every country? Do you know sir, that this same spoils is founded upon the abuse of patronage. It can have no principle has been the cause of more devaslation, wretch. existence or operation but in the abuse of patronage. edness, and guilt, individual and national, than any other The doctrine is
, that all the public offices and employ in the history of human suffering; that it is the incentive ments belong, as a matter of right, to the successful alike to the burglar who breaks and enters your house party in a political contest, and should be distributed at night, and the highwayman who waylays your path among them in the same manner that the spoils, whether and takes your life; that, rising from individuals to mul. of lands or goods, plundered from a conquered people titudes and nations, it is the actuating motive to all the in war, belong to and ought to be distribuied among the plunderings and desolations of military conquests; that it victors. It is impossible that a principle so odious and forces the gates of cities, plunders temples of religion, tyrannical, and one which has been discarded as dishon. overturning in its course, indiscriminately, republican orable
, and against natural law, even in war, among civ. States and imperial dynasties? It is the great despoiler ifized nations, could have received the sanction of any of private rights and of national independence. It was respectable portion of the people, if ibey had not been the spoils principle which united the barbarians of the deluded and their confidence abused by their favorite North, and finally overthrew the vast fabric of Roman leaders; if the principle itself had not been arrayed in policy, law, and civilization—the work of ages; and it is the guises of patriotism. And accordingly we find that the only principle which can ever shake the solid fabric such was the fact. The people have been told that their of our own free and happy institutions. best friends, and the only true patriots, were contending The charge that the British general encouraged the against a powerful combination to change the character troops before New Orleans, during the late war, hy holdand administration of the Government from a govern- ing out the beauty and booty of the city as the rewards ment of the people into an aristocracy--a Government of their alor and success, was thought so dishonorable of and for the rich only. The President, as we have al. to the British army as to have led to a correspondence teady seen, condescended to give bis sanction to this ar with the American general, as I have been informed, lifice
, by charging that the supporters of Judge White, with a view to procure a retraction of the imputation. in Tennessee, were “attempting to undermine our re But in what does this new principle of party association publican system.” Upon such grounds as these the peo. differ from that which was thought so disgraceful to ple have been prevailed on to bear with, and, in some British arms! I repeat the question: how does the spoils sort, to sanction every abuse; and if they believe half the principle of the party now in power, in this country, statements made to them upon this subject, they are differ, as regards the honor or safely of it, from the right. They act upon the same principle upon which watchword of the British general? If
, in war between General Jackson, in the defence of New Orleans and civilized nations, the spoils principle is regarded as too the liberty of his country, called in the aid of notorious great a templation to licentiousness, and too dangerous pirates. The people suppose that the defenders of their for the general safety of property and society, how much liberty and of our free constitution, against the wealth more dangerous and insufferable must such a principle and aristocracy of the land, whatever may be their merits be, when applied to the contests for power between pois other respects
, are at least entitled to all the offices litical parties in a free GovernmentIn truth, sir, what and employments in the public control. The circum- is this principle but the watch word invented by a politsances that many of the leaders of the party which thus ical chief 10 animate his followers to a savage and unclaims to be arrayed against the rich are themselves, scrupulous warfare: sparing neither sex; practising every Among the most 'wealthy citizens of the country; and species of fraud and hypocrisy; confounding right and that many of those profligate incendiaries, who have been wrong; and often robbing the innocent and viriucus of Rost active in exciting ihe poor against the rich, have their only treasure-their honest fume? What is it, I re. actually become rich themselves upon the spoils of of peat, but a proclamation to the venal and corrupt, of all hce, and are taking their stand in the ranks of the parties, to rally to the standard of a chief who, like the waliby, even while they are yet hoarse with bawling leader of an army of bandits, points to the Treasury, and the fire-cry of the party, with which they have alarmed says to them, that shall be the reward of victory ? Sir, the slumbering senses of the country, appear to have this is no exaggeration. Disguise it as you will, it is a ad no effect in undeceiving those who set out the vic system of corruption and plunder.
There was a time, Mr. Speaker, in the history of mod. But
, sir, is it not a little remarkable tbat those who ern Europe, when, whatever discord prevailed among claim all the public virtue, all the disinterestedness, all the Christian nations which occupied that fair continent, the patriotism, and exclusive devotion to free and equal however bloody and furious the wars which raged be. rebe, should be the champions of a system of plunder; tween them, the moment it was announced by pilgrim feeling to despise and fear riches, as the source of all messengers that the infidel Powers of the East were as. oppression and injustice, yet seizing upon, and appro- sembled, and advancing their standard to the confines of priating exclusively to themselves, ihe entire national Christendom, the sacred tocsin was sounded! " The Treasury; a capital which yields an annual income of at truce of God” was proclaimed, and Christian armies least twenty-five millions! is it not remarkable that such which had lately met in deadly strise, upon many a th, with such professions daily upon their lips, should bloody field, were now seen advancing barmoniously in be the inventors and supporters of a principle of party united columns, a consolidated
phalanx, rolling back the sociation, a motive to party action, the most mercenary, tide of war upon the baughty Turk! I will not say, air, ante exclusively in a thirst for riches, ihan any which so; but I will say, that next to the Christian religion, as has ever been known heretofore in the history of Gov. an instrument for the improvement of the condition of
the human race, that which is most precious on earth is Sit, what is the true spirit and character of the spoils in peril. The constitution of the United States is inva
as avowed by some of the leaders of the party ded! The janizaries are mustered; the infidel powers power? That it is detestable, is felt by many; but advance; already are the outworks carried; they ap
proach the citadel, and nothing but a united effort, and sidered. Have you, sir, ever reflected upon its nature? I the most determined courage and good conduct, can pou know that this principle is the foundation of thie save it from irretrievable destruction,
lims of delusion.
H. or R.]
Admission of Michigan.
[Jan. 25, 1837.
ADMISSION OF MICHIGAN.
Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Love, S. Mason, McCarty, Before Mr. Bell had concluded his speech, as given | McKennan, McLene, Mercer, Milligan, J. A. Pearce, entire in preceding pages, the House passed to the or. Phillipe, Pickens, Pinckney, Potts, Reed, Rencher, ders of the day, and resumed the consideration of the Russell, Slade, Sloane, Steele, Storer, Taliaferro, W. bill from the Senate entitled “ An act to provide for the Thompson, Underwood, Vinton, E. Whittlesey, L. Wil. admission of the State of Michigan into the Union on an liams, S. Williams, Wise, Young-57. equal fouting with the original States."
So the bill was ordered to be read a third time to-day. The question pending was the demand for the previ. The bill was then read a third time, and the question ous question, made yesterday by Mr. Mann, of New being on its final passage, York, and the motion of Mr. JENIFER for a call of the Mr. JENIFER inquired if the bill was then open for House.
discussion. Mr. JENIFER withdrew his motion for a call of the The CHAIR replied that its merits were open in the House.
broadest latitude at that stage. Mr. MERCER inquired of the Speaker whether, if Mr. JENIFER then addressed the House as follows: the demand for the previous question should be second Mr. Speaker: The question being on the final passage ed, the question could not be separately taken on the of the bill, the previous question having been carried preamble and the bill?
on the third reading, precludes the motion, which I had The CHAIR replied that there was no precedent for intended to make, to strike out the preamble. I cannot such a division.
see the propriety of having a reason assigned which does Mr. MANN asked if, when the bill was on its passage, not exist in point of fact. The preamble in reference after its engrossment, a motion to recommit it,' with in. to the act of Congress of the 15th June, 1836, providing structions to strike out the preamble, would not be in for the admission of Michigan into the Union, declares order.
“that a convention of delegates elected by the people of The CHAIR. Every member of the House must know the State of Michigan, &c., did, on the 15th of Decem. that that motion would be in order.
ber, 1836, assent to the provisions of said act," wben it is The House seconded the demand for the previous so notoriously the reverse, ibat ihe advocates of the bill question: Yeas 84, nays 67; and the question recurring have themselves admiited inat not one third of the legally on ordering the main question to be put
qualified voters elected that convention; still, an impresMr. THOMAS rose, and said he had voted in the neg sion is attempted to be made, that it was by the assent ative on the seconding the previous question. But now of the people of Michigan that that convention was held. the position of the bill had been changed, and he hoped I do not desire to be considered as opposed to the adthe House would not refuse to order that the main ques. mission of Michigan; but I am unwilling she should be tion be now put. If that was done, the further action of admitted illegally or unconstitutionally. the House on the bill would be postponed until to-mor During the last session of Congress, I opposed the row. The bill would be open for discussion after it has bill for the admission; because, after confirming her been read a third time, on the question of its final pas. constitution, it prescribed terms different from the prosage. By ordering the main question, the House will visions of that constilution; and because it did not acnot close the debate, but it will signify o willingness to complish that which it professed to do, the settlement of take the bill as it is, without further amendment. the boundary line between the States of Ohio and Mich
The question was then taken, on ordering the bill to igan, but left still open that controversy; and because I a third reading, and was decided in the affirmative: believed it was then pressed from other considerations Yeas 140, nays 57, as follows:
than the desire to benefit the State of Michigan, I have Yeas-Messrs. Adams, Anthony, Ash, Barton, Bean, now other and additional reasons. My objections are to Bell, Black, Bockee, Boon, Bouldin, Bovee, Boyd, the manner in which she is proposed to be admitted; Brown, Buchanan, Bunch, Burns, Bynum, J. Calhoon, because the people of Miclaigan bave not given their asCambreleng, Carr, Casey, Chapman, Chapin, N. A. sent to the act of Congress of the 15th June, 1836, ad. Claiborne, J. F. H. Claiborne, Cleveland, Coles, Con. mitting her into the Union; and because her admission nor, Craig, Cramer, Cushman, Davis, Denny, Double. is predicated upon revolutionary principles. day, Drom.goole, Dunlap, Fairfiell, Farlin, Forester, By the act of last session it is made a “fundamental Fowler, Fuller, Galbraith, J. Garland, R. Garland, condition” that the boundaries of the State of Michigan, Gholson, Gillet, Glascock, Grabam, Grantland, laley, as defined in that act, shall receive the assent of a conJ. Hall, Hamer, Hannegan, s. S. Harrison, A. G. Har vention of delegates elected by people of said State, for rison, Hawes, Hawkins, Haynes, Henderson, Holsey, the sole purpose of giving the assent herein required; Holt, Howard, Howell, Hubley, Hunt, Huntington, and as soon as the assent herein required shall be given, Huntsman, Ingham, J. Johnson, R. M. Jobnson, C. the President of the United States shall announce the Johnson, I. Johnson, B. Jones, Kennon, Kilgore, sume by proclamation; and thereupon, and without any Klingensmith, Lane, Lansing, Laporte, Lawler, Lay, further proceedings on the part of Congress, the admis. G. Lee, J. Lee, T. Lee, L. Lea, L'onird, Logar', sion of ihe said State into the Union, as one of the UniLoyall, Lucas, Lyon, A. Mann, J. Mann, Martin, w. ted States of America, shall be considered as complete. Mason, M. Mason, May, McComas, McKay, McKeon, Let us examine how far these conditions have been comMcKim, Miller, Montgomery, Morgan Morris, Muhlt n. plied with. The President of the United States, in his berg, Owens, Page, Parks, Patterson, F. Pierce, 1. J. message to Congress of 27th December last, in rela. Pearce, Peyton, Phelps, John Reynolds, Joseph Rey tion to Michigan, says: “In November last, I nolds, Richardson, Rogers, Sclienck, Seymour, A. ceived a communication enclosing the official proceed# Sheppeid, Shields, Sickles, Smith, Spragu", Stan ings of a convention assembled at Ann Arbor, in Michdefer, Sutherland, Taylor, Thomas, J. Thomson, Tou- igan, on the 26th September, 1836, and which cey, Turrill, Vanderpiel, Wagener, Waril, Wardwell, herewith laid before you. It will be seen by these paWebster, Weeks, White, T. T. Whitilesey, Yell-140. pers that the convention therein referred to was elected!
Nars-Messrs. H. Allen, Bailey, Bond, Briggs, W. B. by the people of Michigan, pursuant to an act of the Callorun, G. Chambers, J. Chanbers, Chaney, Chel State Legislature, passed on ihe 25th July last, in con. wood, Darlington, Dau son, Deberry, Elmore, Graves, sequence of the above-mentioned act of Congress, and Grayson, Griffin, H. Hall, Hardin, Harper, Hazeltine, that it declined giving its assent to the fundamental con. Hester, Hopkins, ligersell, Janes, Jaivis, Jenifer, i dition prescribed by i ongress, and rejected the same.
Jax. 25, 1837.)
Admission of Michigan.
(H. OF R.
Thus it appears that the President of the United States recommendation of the measure being almost unanimous. recognised this first convention as legal and constitution- ly rejected? When has be ever evinced any regard for al, as elected by the people, pursuant to an act of the their opinions? Has he not, on all occasions, exercised State Legislature, in consequence of the act of Con- whatever power may have been placed in his hands, gress; and that they declined acceding to the terms without regard to any tribunal? And had he believed therein prescribed, and passed the following resolution: that the latter convention was beld by authority, he
“Resolved, That this convention cannot give their as. would not have besitated to issue bis proclamalion, acsent to the proposition contained in said proviso, but the cording to the act of Congress, and declare Michigan one same is hereby rejected;" and further protest against of the United States. But, sir, the presidential question the "condition contained in the act of Congress of Juue was then setiled; the role of Michigan was not necessa15, 1836, as being contrary to the articles of compact ry to insure the succession, and President Jackson was contained in the ordinance of 1787, and the constitution unwilling to take the responsibility without a benefit. of the State Government."
The error into which gentlemen have fallen, if error Thus i convention, regularly organized under the law it be, is the denominating this second convention a conof the State, and according to the act of Congress, re vention of the people of Michigan. Whenevzr illegal ject the conditions upon which Michigan is proposed to and unjustifiable measures are adopted, an effort is made be admitted into the Union, and communicated ihe facts to induce a belief that it is the will of the people. But, to the President of the United States.
in this particular case, they have not the benefit of that This was then the determination of the people of argument, because it is admitted that not more than nine Michigan, expressed by her delegates, regularly elected thousand votes, less than one third, were given, with a under the law of the State, and in pursuance of the act population, in 1835, of upwards of eighty-seven thouof Congress. This determination has not been authorita- sand, and now claimed to exceed (wo hundred thousand, tirely revoked, as far as the facts are presented to Con- and this without any act of the Territorial or State gress. Still it is pretended that this second convention- Legislature. Thus, then, we have the proceedings of Of, more properly speaking, caucus-expresses the a regularly called convention, held in pursuance of the opinion and wishes of the people of Michigan. Let us act of the Legislature, rejecting the condition contained esmine bow far the facts in the case support these pre- in the act of Congress of the 15th of June, 1836; and of tensions. This second convention, without authority, a subsequent convention, in the language of the Presi. was held on the 5th and 6th of December last. It will dent, "not beld or elecied by virlue of any act of the be recollected that the refusal of Michigan to accept the Territorial or State Legislature," accepting those con. terms proposed by the act of Congress rendered the ditions. election of the Vice President, if not the President, un. It is not contended that Michigan is proposed to be certain. This second convention was urged to relieve admitted in the usual manner of admitting States. But trat doubt. A meeting, cailed together without author- ber admission, from the proceedings, is justified upon 19, (two whole counties unrepresented,) undertake to revolutionary principles. If any doubt existed before, reverse the authorized act of the former convention; and, upon this subject, it will be only necessary to refer to after declaring "that the Congress of the United States the opening speech of the chairman of the Judiciary have no constitutional right to require the assent afore. Committee (Mr. THOMAS) to satisfy them on that point, said, as a condition preliminary to the admission of Michi- The honorable chairman who reported this bill did not gan into the Union,” they " resolve that the assent re. attempt to conceal the fact that those proceedings were quired in the foregoing recited act of the Congress of the revolutionary; and bis whole argument was a justificaUnited States is hereby given;" thus assenting to that tion of their principles. In support of which, he bag which they themselves pronounce to be unconstitutional. referred to the manner in which Arkansas, Tennessee, Can any gentleman believe that these proceedings were and other States, have been admitted into the Union; to gotten up for other than political purposes? The pro. the opinions of distinguished citizens of Virginia; in fine, ceedings of this meeting were also communicared to to all the authorities which he could bring to bear on Congress by the President, but he does not recognise it this subject since the formalion of our Government. is a convention of the people of the State of Michigan, Sir, the honorable chairman finds no analogy between so as to justify her admission into the Union; but he says, the cases cited and the present. Those States were mn has message, " this latter convention was not held'or admitted after the authorized and expressed will of the elected by virtue of any act of the Territorial or State people was ascertained, by their consen', legally and Legislature." But "had these latter proceedings come constitutionally expressed. How is it with Micbigan? o me during the recess of Congress, I should therefore Her legally, constitutionally authorized convention rehave felt it my duty, on being satisfied that they emanated jec!ed the terms proposed by the act of Congress, from a convention of delegates elected, in point of fact, and the President of the United States recognised by the people of the State, for the purpose required, to it as such. She now proposes to be admitted, by base issued my proclamation thereon, as provided by / application of a convention got up without authority
of law of either Territorial or State Legislature, and I bave quoted the President's language to show that which the President bas not recognised as being the Le did out believe that this latter convention was elected, expression of the will of the people; yet my col. in point of fact, by the people of the State, as required league finds in those proceedings sufficient to justify og toe act of Congress; because, had he so believed, he his doctrines. He does not consider law, constitution, or Fould have issued his proclamation as required, without any authorized Government, a barrier to his principles. referring the matter to Gongress. His proclamation was He sets out with taking certain positions, the correctnes 3 sione necessary to a mit Michigan into the Union; and, of some of which had never been denied, and of others alitough it has been urged that his respect for Congress which it is only necessary to stute to show their absurd. deced him to submit it to ibeir decision, no man, who ity. He tells us that all power emanates from the 129 as the President, will believe that consideration 10 people;" that “the people hive a right to throw off bare influenced him in any degree whatever. When their Government whenever it becomes tyrannical and has be ever shrunk from responsib lity, or evinced such oppressive;" that a "majority of the people have a right * respect for Congress as to part with one iota of power, to make a constitution, and, when oppressed, to abolista en enee within his grasp). Where was his respect for the old or set up a new one." Congress when he removed the deposites, to prevent his Sir, these may be considered as the fundamental prin.
H. OF R.]
Admission of Michigan.
[Jan. 25, 1837.
ciples of all republican Governments. But when he wrongs; that State will heave, from the Atlantic to the assumes " that no Government, no constitution, is neces Alleghanies, to throw off that incubus which has long sary, because all power emanates from the people; that weighed upon her heart!" Sir, the means by which this meetings called by unknown, irresponsible persons, col. was to be accomplished, and which were resorted to, lected iogether upon the spur of the occasion, by in. within the last six or eight months, in Maryland, should flammatory addresses or insidious publications, under admonish this House and the country of the danger take to constitute a convention to uproot the foundations sanctioning such measures. In exposing the conduct of of Government, then his doctrines become those of those who, forgetful of the high obligations they owed to anarchy and revolution. It will be recollected that the their Government, and reckless of the consequences to honorable chairman cominenced the debate, and, be. their fellow-citizens, for political purposes were willing. fore any objection was made to the admission of Michi- to sacrifice the best interests of the State, I do not desire gan, he developed his views, and the groun:ls upon to do injustice to my colleague, and therefore shall conwhich he supported her admission. No gentleman who fine myself to that which has become matter of history, has succeeded him has had the temerity to sanction or fairly deducible from facts as they existed. them. It is true, the gentleman from New York, (Mr. I feel that the character of Maryland has been at VANDERPOEL,) in reference to bis friend's remarks, says, stake. I know that a misapprehension bas prevailed, “ he cannot endorse nor can be repudiate them." This, to some extent, throughout the country, with regard 10 in the spirit of thie present times, is truly non-committal. her Government and her people; this misapprehension But all who listened to my colleague, who had not heard was for a time entertained within her borders, and it him before upon this subject, must have been astonished bas been the policy of those who produced it to conat the latitude of his opinions. He dues not recognise tinue it. It is too true that a dark clond for a while any sort of law w bich may not at a moment be abrogated hung upon her horizon; that she had within her limits and annulled; and, in the language of the anarchists, men whose want of principle would have led them to bases his position upon the rigbis of the people. None the perpetration of any act, fir personal or political could doubt the object of his remarks. 'They were in. prefirment; whose every nerve was strained to bring tended to cover and to justify past transactions, the ef. her constitution and laws into disrepute, to render hier fect of which would be to delude the country as to the citiz: ns dissatisfied with their Governmen', and 10 position he and his friends held in relation to recent revo- plunge the State into anarchy and revolutioni
. lutionary movements. And, although he thought proper But Maryland stands redet med--redeemed by the to refer to Virginia and other States for examples to justi. virtue of her people and the energy of her Govern. fy the measure, he might have found ample materials ment! liearer home. The honorable chairman need not bave I hope I may be indulged on this occasion (although gone to Virginia for tlie support of such doctrines. And it might have been more proper elsewhere) in defendhere permit me to say that he has done great injustice ing my native State from the obloquy which has been by calling to his aid the names of some of her distin- atten.pted to be heaped on her constitution, ber Legisguished sons who took a prominent part in her con lature, and her people. I know liat an impression has vention, boh before and at the time of its organization. been attempted to be made, that such was the aristocra. They held no such doctrines as thuse advanced by my cy of her constitution, and the tyranny of her Executive colleague; they would have repudiated them, as incon and Legislature in the administration of the Govern. sistent with all good government.
ment, that the people were oppressell and their wisties They have not been sanctioned, to any considerable disregarded; and this coming, tuo, from some of her extent, except in my colleague's own Slate. He need own native citizens. The people have never desired not have travelled elsewhere for examples of disorder an alteration in ber constitution, which has not been and attempts at revolution. 1 say it with deep humili. made. The constitution and laws of Maryland, like all ation, that Marlyand has been the theatre of revolution other fallible instrumento, require changes according to and anarchy:
tinc and circumstances. The former is altered or I am aware, Mr. Speaker, that the subject under con. amended by an act of the Legislature, (submitted to sideration is the bill to admit Michigan into the Union. the people, who annually elect their delegates to the I am also aware that this bill did not take the usual popular branch,) and confirmed by the subsequent Lecourse of being referred to the Committee of the Whole gislature. And no case can be cited where the people on the state of the Union, because it was decided that have expressed a desire at the polls, or otherwise made the discussion should be confined to the question immedi. known iheir wishes for a change, which has not been ately before the Chair. And, sir, if, in following the made. But the Legislature is too enlightened, too rehonorable chairman' who opened this debate by promul gardful of the riglıts of the people, to permit them. ging the principles upon which Michigan is to be ad selves to be influenced by self-constituted conventions milled, I show that the practical results of such meas.. or caucuses, without authority of law, to subserve the ures, if carried into effect, will be the prostration of con views of political demagogues, although they may call stitutional Government, and the substitution of revolution them.selves the proper exponents of the popular will. and anarchy, if not despotism, I trust I shall not be sir, the people know and feel that anarchy is not liberviewed as transgressing beyond the limits of parliamento ty, that revolution is not reform, and without law there ary rules.
can be no security. It is by prof-sing that the people This is not the first occasion upon which my colleague desire those changes that these disorganiz-rs endeavor has advanced those or similar opinions; this is not the lo render their own acts acceptable to popular feeling: first time he has denounced constilulional Government; Before we can properly appreciate the motives of ile nor is it the first time that he has raised bis voice in favor originators of the intended revolution in Maryland, it of revolution! During the last session of Congress, not will be necessary to understand the origin, the prog: satisfied with expressing his opinion in favor of republi- 10ss, and the result of those movements. can Government, he thought proper to denounce, on A reform in the constitution was the ustensible ob. this Avor, the constitution and Legislature of his own ject; the real one, a political ascendency in the State. State, and then to predict that the ensuing election it was intended to give the vote of Ma yland to Mr. would purge her of her tyrannical oppressors; "that ibe Van Buren and Mr. R. M. Johnson, and thert by insure sepublicans, the democratic republicans of Maryland, for Hiemselves places of high preferment.
The meani were in motion, roused by the recollection of many 1 by which this was to be accoiriplished will show their
Jas, 25, 1837.)
Admission of Michigan.
[H. OF R.
total disregard of honorable engagements, and a treach By the constitution of the State, the duties of electors erous abandonment of their own friends.
of the Senate are defined and limited. They are pointed A reform in the constitution of Maryland had been, out in the 15th article of that instrument, which o Jains: at repeated sessions of her Legislature, a subject of con. " That the said electors of the Senate meet at the sideration; and, in fact, during the last session, a bill city of Annapolis, or such other place as shall be ap. had passed making some changes approximating more pointed for convening the Legislature, on the ihird Mon. nearly to the wishes of the larger counties, and a spirit day in September, 1781, and on the same day in every was e vinced to carry it much further. Various propo. fifth year forever thereafter; and they, or any twentystions had beretofore been made to give a more numer four of them, so met, shall proceed to elect, by ballot, ous representation to the more populous counties; but either out of their own body or the people at large, fifno digested plan had ever been agreed on by them. teen Senators, (nine of whom to be residents of the Westselves, much less to have a representation according to ern, and six to be residents of the Eastern Shore,) men of populition. The peculiar siturion of Maryland, having the most wisdum, experience, and virtue, above twentya large com nerciul city, so dispr. portioned in her pop. five years of age, residents of the State above three ulation to the other parts of the State, that but few in. whole ye.rs next preceding the election." telligent men, from any section of it, would advocale a This very article (which shows the spirit of compro. representation according to population. Many of her mise which formed the constitution) gives to the Eastern viers are transient residents; hundreds vote at the Shore six Senators out of the fifteen, was to represent election without any residence whatever.
and protect the minority of the State; and without such I speak from a know ledge of the fact, that many of compromise the constitution could not have been formed. the most respectable citizens of the smaller counties are, With their duties thus defined, most of them under the and a'ways have been, willing an'i anx ous to increase solemn obligation of an oath to support the constitution, the representation, in either branch of the L«gislature, all of them pledged to the people for a faithful discharge from the city of Baltimore and the larger counties. But of the duties which they had solicited to be intrusted with, laose alteratijns were not before attempted to be made these nineteen violators of pledged faith, usurping powby revolution. It was reserved fir the pa riots of the ers not given them, have the unparalleled effrontery to present day to signalize themselves by so inglorious an refuse to go into the electoral college and perform their achievement.
duties, unless the iwenty.one electors will pledge ihem1a 1836 the Jackson parly proposed a union with selves to violate their honor and their oaths, by bargain. their polirical adversaries, to further the objects of re ing away the rights of their constituents. form. This was acceded to by the whigs, and both Mr. Speaker, I do not desire to reflect on those electparties in several of the counties sent delegates to a ors, who are not here to protect and answer for them. convention which assembled in the city of Baltimore on selves; nor do I consider them responsible for the iniquithe 6th Jane, 1836. In that convention the counties of ly of their acts. With but few exceptions, they knew Cecil, Harford, Baltimore, Frederick, Montgomery, and not what they did. They were not capable of originaWashington, and Baltimore city, were represented. ting or carrying out those revolutionary objects. No, The following resolu:jons were adopted:
sir, they were not men for such a crisis. The honor or " ist. Resolved, that it be recommended by this con. the renown of originating and enacting the traitorous reation, to the people of the counties and cities friendo deed is justly due to others in another sphere. Who ly to a reform of the constitution of the State, to elect, those men are, wbo should be held responsible for this at the next October election, deltgales faithfully pleilg. attempt at treason against their native State, and who ed to the people to introduce and support a bill to pro " with the will to do, had not the heart to dare," after vide for taking the sense of the people on the ques'ion the facts which I shall develop, I leave tu this House of refurining the constitution of the State, on the first and the country to determine.
anday in May, 1837; and in the event of a majority of Sir, the first meeting which took place after the Septhe people declaring themselves in favor of such reform, tember elections, to instruct the electors to violate their providing in the same bill for ļhe calling of a convention solemn duty, was held in the county of Frederick, the for that object.
county and district which my colleague, the chairman of "24. Resoired, That in the bill providing for the call of the Judiciary Committee, [ur. THOMAS,] represents upi convention, the members of the convention ought to on this floor. I wish it to be distinctly understood that bedstributed qualiy among the several congressional I am not about to give vague or doubisul rumors, but a dancs of this state, with ihe exception of the fourth, recital of facts as they occurred; in doing which, if I err Boich, being a double cingressional district, ought to I desire that my colleague may correct me. I intend bare twice inhe number of representatives of any other not to do injustice; but I feel that it is due to the State of dstrict; that ihe members of the convention should be Maryland and her people, that they should be disabused ekced on the first Monday in June, 1837, to assemble from the odium attempted to be cast upon them, and na he city of Annapolis, on the 4th day of July there that no language can be too strong (confined within par. aler, to prepare and present a constitution for the rati. liamentary limits) in reprobation of such conduct. fca ion et itie peuple of Maryland at the following Oc. At this meeting in Frederick county, a committee of h.ber election.”
five, Mr. Francis Thomas one of the number, reported Anungst honorable men of all parties this would have sundry resolutions, amongst which were the following: been considered binding, and the period to which they " Whereas the fifteenth section of the constitution Lad referred would have been awaited, so as to have declares that no Senate can be formed unless twentyLecertained the wishes of the people, and to have adopt. four electors agree to meet for the appointment of the ti measures accordingly. But instead of waiting until members of which it is to consist: therefore, !12 October election, to see whether delegates were " Resolved, that the ser.atorial electors of this county toisen to the Legislature favorable to a reforr, as de. be instructed to require of the twenty-one whig electors Lied, v.e moment the September elections for electors a pledge that no member of the former Senate, and no ai e Senate bad taken place, and it was ascertained member of the House of Delegates who opposed the bill
attsenty-one wliigs and nineteen in favor of Mr. Van calling a convention of the people, shall be elected 10 Buen has been elected, the arch intriguer put in ope the next Senate of the State. That at least eight of the 13... his insidious plans, not to reform her constitution, members of the Senate, to be chosen by the electoral 3 to refolutionize M ryland.
college, shall be selected from among persons known to