« AnteriorContinuar »
Resolved, That there be printed, in addition to the number already printed, a sufficient num. ber of copies of the debates, documents and journals, to furnish each of the members with three copies ; and also one copy each to the Mayor and the members of the Common Council of the city of Albany, and one copy each to the State Law Libraries at Rochester and Syracuse, the law libraries of the several judicial districts, the Law Institute, the Astor Library, and the New York Historical Society in the city of New York, and the Young Men's Associations of the cities of Albany and Troy.
LUTHER CALDWELL, Secretary.
PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES.
ALBANY, Tuesday, June 4, 1867.
Pursuant to chapter 194, of the Laws of 1867, being an Act to provide for a Convention to revise and amend the Constitution, passed March 29, 1867, the Delegates duly elected thereto assembled at the Capitol in the city of Albany.
Almighty and all gracious Father, we bow before Thee as the God of all the Nations of the earth Thou liftest up one and puttest down another, and all are alike under Thy control. We recognize Thy gracious providence in the ordering of our lot, ever since our existence as a Nation commenced. We thank Thee that here, while ret this was savage ground, a seed was sown 4 which has sprung up and expanded into a mighty tree, that has sent forth its boughs to the ends of the earth, and whose leaves we believe will be for the healing of the Nations. We thank Thee, that though Thou hast in retribution for our aggrarated sins, sometimes inflicted upon us grievous National calamities, yet Thou hast in Thine own best time delivered us out of them, so we are now in the full enjoyment of our liberties and our institutions. We thank Thee specially for the favor with which Thou hast regarded this State in which our lot is cast; and we thank Thee for all the means of intellectual, moral and Christian culture, which we have here enjoyed. We thank Thee for all the intelligence, order and social eleTation, which here prevail. We thank Thee for the good influence this State has exerted, not merely upon the sister States of the Union, but dence in the midst of us, and wilt Thou watch upon other Nations of the globe. We thank over and preserve their families during the period Thee for the wisdom of our fathers in which origi- of their separation from them; and when they nated the Constitution under which we live, and shall have accomplished the object of their meetfor the wisdom of their successors by which it ing, may they be returned safely to their homes, has been, from time to time, improved; and for rejoicing in Thy goodness-rejoicing in the approval
At eleven o'clock, A. M., the Convention was the wisdom of the present generation, which called to order by Hon. FRANCIS C. BARLOW, Sec-aspires still to amend and, if it may be, to perfect retary of State. the work of those who have gone before them. And now, we desire gratefully to acknowledge Thine hand in all the propitious circumstances which attend this occasion. We invoke Thy blessing upon this large deliberative assembly, who are assembled for one of the most important purposes which can occupy mortals. We ask, first of all, that Thou would impress them deeply with a sense of the importance of the object which has convened them together, and grant that they may rightly understand their duty and have grace and strength given them faithfully to discharge it; and that they may discharge their duty successfully, wilt Thou grant to them to-day a fresh baptism of the spirit of christian patriotism and good will toward each other; let them realize their responsibility, not only to those whose interests they are immediately charged with, but toward that God who has placed them in this important position. Grant, most merciful Father, that every discussion may be conducted with candor and courtesy and unity, that every measure may be adopted with wisdom, and that the result of all those deliberations may be to add to the stability of our institutions, and also to intensify our influence as a State, and to bring us into more intimate relations with the great Ruler of the world. Now grant that all the members of this Convention may be under Thy gracious care, during their resi
Rev. W. B. SPRAGUE, D.D., of Albany, addressed the throne of Grace in prayer, in words as
of a good conscience-rejoicing in the approbation of their contemporaries-rejoicing in the assurance that their memories shall be embalmed by a grateful posterity. All these blessings, together with the forgiveness of our sins, we ask in the name of Jesus, our Redeemer - Amen.
Hon. ERASTUS CLARK, Deputy Secretary of State, then proceeded to call the roll of the Convention. All the delegates responded except the following: Delegates at large.-Homer A. Nelson, Francis Keruan, John Magee.
District Delegates.-6th. Abraham D. Russell; 8th. John E. Develin; 10th. Stephen A. Fullerton: 13th. Amasa J. Parker.
The Secretary of State then proceeded to administer the constitutional oath to the following delegates:
Twenty-Third District.-Elizur H. Prindle, John Grant, Hobart Krum, Samuel F. Miller.
Twenty-Fourth District. Stephen D. Hand, Charles E. Parker, Oliver H. P. Kinney, Milo Goodrich.
DELEGATES AT LARGE.
Waldo Hutchins, William M. Evarts, George
Fifth District.-Nathaniel Jarvis, Jr., Elbridge
Seventh District.-Samuel J. Tilden, Edwards
Fifteenth District.-Alembert Pond, Hezekiah Baker, Judson S. Landon, Horace E. Smith. Sixteenth District.-George M. Beckwith, Matthew Hale, Nathan G. Axtell, Andrew J. Cheri
Twenty-Fifth District.-George Rathbun, Chas. C. Dwight, Leander S. Ketcham, Ornon Archer.
Twenty-Sixth District.- Elbridge G. Lapham, Angus McDonald, Sterling G. Hadley, Melatiah
Twenty-Eighth District.-Jerome Fuller, Lorenzo D. Ely. William A. Reynolds, Freeman Clark.
Twenty-Ninth District.-Seth Wakeman, Levi F. Bowen, Thomas T. Flagler, Ben Field.
SENATORIAL DISTRICT DELEGATES. First District.-Selah B. Strong, Solomon Townsend, William Wickham, Erastus Brooks.
Thirtieth District.-Edward J. Farnum, Isaac L. Endress, John M. Hammond, William H. Merrill.
Thirty-First District.-Israel T. Hatch, Isaac A. Verplanck, Allen Potter, George W. Clinton. Thirty-Second District.-George Barker, Augus
Second District.-John P. Rolfe, Daniel P. Barnard, Charles Lowrey, Walter L. Livingston. Third District.-Teunis G. Bergen, William D.tus F. Allen, Norman M. Allen, George Van Veeder, John G. Schumaker, Stephen I. Collahan. Fourth District.-Charles P. Daly, Samuel B. Garvin, Abraham R. Lawrence, Jr., John E. Burrill.
Twenty-Seventh District. -Elijah P. Brooks, David Rumsey, Abraham Lawrence, George T. Spencer.
Mr. FOLGER moved that the Convention do now proceed to elect a president of the Convention, and that two tellers be appointed by the chair to count the votes.
Mr. STRONG-I would prefer, as there is but one candidate, that he should be elected by acclamation.
The CHAIR-The statute requires that the president shall be elected by ballot.
Mr. STRONG-I withdraw my motion. Mr. J. BROOKS-Before we proceed to an election by ballot for the President of this Convention, I am requested by some of my fellowmembers to say a few words. The minority of the members of this body assembled this morning Eleventh District.-B. Platt Carpenter, John for consultation, and acting upon the wise preceStanton Gould, Wilson B. Sheldon, Francis Sil-dent which the Legislature of this State estabvester. lished at its last session, deemed it wise to present
Ninth District.-Abraham B. Conger, Abraham B. Tappan, Robert Cochran, William H. Morris. Tenth District.-William H. Houston, Clinton V. R. Ludington, Gideon Wales.
Twelfth District.-John M. Francis, Jonathan P. | no particular candidate to this body. This ConvenArmstrong, Cornelius L. Allen, Adolphus F. tion has assembled for an important objectHitchcock. namely to revise the organic law of this State. Looking to the proceedings of the Legislature, we have seen with great approbation that that body
Thirteenth District.-Erastus Corning, William Cassidy, James Roy. Fourteenth District.-Marius Schoonmaker, Solo-enacted a law which secured the election of sixmon G. Young, Manly B. Mattice, Ezekiel P. More.
teen Republican and sixteen Democratic members throughout the State at large, and thereby gave an admonition, if they did not establish a precedent, which seemed to justify us, or at least to suggest to us that this Constitutional Convention, about to assemble for the formation of our great organic law, should not be organized for
party purposes or for party organization; and Erastus Corning,. though there were precedents to the contrary in Sanford E. Church,. the history of the State, yet that action of a Leg-George F. Comstock, islature opposed to us in political feeling, was S. B. Garvin, deemed so wise that we have acquiesced in it, Selah B. Strong,.. and have presented no particular candidate to be A. C. Paige,.. voted for by the minority, leaving each member G. W. Clinton,.. to vote for whomsoever he may please. We I. A. Verplanck,. have deeply regretted that others have deemed Samuel J. Tilden, it wise to take a contrary course; and though I. B. Masten,. it is very natural and proper, and no matter G. W. Curtis,. of complaint by us that the majority of this I. T. Hatch,. body should select its own men for officers, yet. C. P. Daly,. it is matter of regret to us that in a Constitu-George Law,. tional Convention, which has met to form the Gideon J. Tucker, . organic law that shall govern this State, the Edwards Pierrepont,. presiding officer should go into the chair so Marshall B. Champlain,. bound down by party ties and party obligations Allen Potter,... as not to feel himself absolved from the party that created him, and respect the views of the minority represented on the floor of this house. And we have apprehended with fear, and we certainly have a perfect right to fear, from what we have read in this morning's papers of the action of a body that met elsewhere, that the action of this Convention in selecting a presiding officer will be that of a mere party organization, and deprive us in the minority of those equitable and just rights which the minority ought always to have, not only in a legislative body, but more especially in a body like this, whose action will establish for future time the great organic law of this State. And we have the more regretted it, not only that they have elected all the other officers, but pardeclarly one officer in the same manner, who is to be--I will not say, the recording angel of this body-but who is to take down every word we tter for the future consideration of those who may come after us, and who wish to consult the Constitution we may frame. We have thought the stenographer of this body, if not the recording angel, should in the spirit of equity and justice make a record which will be free to all and just all And though we have no doubt that the cer they have selected will do his duty in justice to all, from his high professional reputation, yet we have deeply regretted that his selection by a party should seem to place him under any party obligations whatsoever, that would make his record more favorable to one side than it would be to the other, in a minority ir. this body. I our best efforts and our highest wisdom. Of the have deemed it proper to make these few brief work confided to us, I will not detain you to speak remarks prior to the ballots that the minority in in specific detail. Prominent however is the this body will give, not at all in censure or con-devising of means to secure the full benefits demnation of the majority, but in explanation of of that system of public works so closely interthe course that we have taken, and as a justification woven with our growth and prosperity, which of that course to our people throughout this State. has stimulated as well our own as the agriThe motion of Mr. Folger was then put to the culture of the great West, which has created vote of the Convention, and was declared car-cities and villages, and made vast contributions ried. to our internal and foreign commerce-the regulation and government of our State institutions and multiform corporations, municipal and other -a wise, just and economic adjustinent of State finance-the conferring of such legislative pow
On taking his seat the President said: GENTLEMEN OF THE CONVENTION-With grateful appreciation of your kind partiality, I enter with unfeigned diffidence upon the discharge of the duties to which, by your ballots, you have assigned me, encouraged, nevertheless, by the conviction that honest efforts faithfully and impartially to administer the trust, will secure to me a just degree of forbearance and support. We are, in the history of our State, the fifth body convened at the command of its sovereign people for the especial consideration of its fundamental law. We are to review, and seek better to adapt to the demands of our time, the work of our predecessors, embracing as well men who carried the direct inspiration of the Revolution into their labors, as many others of a later period whose names gild our historic page, and to all of whose combined patriotism and wisdom we are indebted for the imperial and priceless heritage we enjoy. To remold the organic law of the first Commonwealth of the world, Empire in name and Empire in fact, in which law are to rest the guarantees and safeguards of the rights, the interests and the welfare of our present and future millions of people, is a task challenging
William A. Wheeler having received a majority of the votes of the Convention, the Chair announced that he was duly elected President of the Convention, and appointed Messrs. Harris and Murphy a committee to conduct the President elect to the chair.
The Chair appointed as tellers, Mr. Curtis of
William A. Wheeler, received,..
Henry C. Murphy,
The whole number of votes cast was 149, of ers as shall insure honest and general legislation,
and an improved system of Judiciary which shall 100 supply efficient remedy and prompt redress for 9 every violation of the rights of person or prop5 erty. But, gentlemen, let us not forget that it is