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may have to the restoration of peace and harmony, and for the establishment of such a Constitution or form of government for my native State as will secure to every man in the commonwealth an equal share of political rights, will protect us in the future from the errors which have led to our present unhappy condition, and will speedily rehabilitate. the State as a constituent part of the great national confederation.
With this expression of my sentiments, which will not, however, control me in the impartial administration of the duties of the office to which you have assigned me, I am now prepared to take my place as your presiding officer, at the same time invoking your indulgence for any unintentional errors that I may commit, and your earnest co-operation in preserving the dignity and decorum of the body.
Mr. W. J. WHIPPER, of Beaufort, offered the following resolution, which was agreed to:
Resolved, That pending the appointment and report of the Committee on Rules, the Convention adopt and be guided by the rules of the House of Representatives of the United States for its government.
Mr. R. C. DELARGE moved that the thanks of the Convention be returned to Mr. T. J. ROBERTSON, of Columbia, temporary Chairman, for the dignity and impartiality with which he had presided over their deliberations.
The motion was unanimously agreed to.
Mr. R. G. HOLMES, of Beaufort, moved that the Convention proceed to the election of a Secretary by ballot.
Mr. A. J. RANSIER, of Charleston, moved that a Committee of one from each District be appointed to complete the permanent organization of the Convention, and that the Committee report on Thursday at twelve o'clock meridian. : Mr. W. J. WHIPPER, of Beaufort, opposed the motion, and said they were ready to go on and complete the organization without an adjournment. He thought the appointment of a Committee upon which the Convention was to wait for a report, not only foolish, but unjust. He wanted to go on with their work as rapidly as possible.
Mr. D. H. CHAMBERLAIN, of Berkley, also opposed the resolution and thought the elections could be better settled in open Convention. It would take less time than an unwieldy Committee, and give more general satisfaction. He hoped to get to work and accomplish what they had to do as early as possible.
Mr. R. G. HOLMES, of Beaufort, moved that the resolution be laid upon the table, which was carried.
Mr. HOLMES moved to proceed to the election of a Secretary by ballot.
The PRESIDENT decided the motion out of order, the Convention having adopted the rules of the House of Representatives, which require all elections to be viva voce. The rules, however, might be suspended for the time, by the unanimous consent of the Convention.
On motion, the Convention proceeded to the election of a Secretary, viva voce.
Mr. WHITTEMORE nominated Mr. Carlos J. Stolbrand, and moved that the calling of the roll be suspended, which was adopted.
On motion of Mr. WHITTEMORE, Mr. C. J. Stolbrand was declared elected permanent Secretary of the Convention by acclamation.
Mr. PARKER moved that they proceed at once to the election of an Assistant Secretary, an Engrossing Clerk, a Sergeant-at-Arms, an Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms, a Doorkeeper, an Assistant Doorkeeper, and a Chaplain.
Mr. F. J. MOSES, Jr., of Sumter. I would like to ask the mover of the resolution before the House, something in relation to its meaning. I would ask if he means that some person not a member of the Convention shall be elected chaplain? I, for one, am opposed in toto to that part of the gentleman's resolution which refers to the election of a regular chaplain for this body. As far as I am individually concerned, I am utterly opposed to the services of any chaplain in this body. I am opposed to having our proceedings opened with prayer, for that practice so sacred in the past, has been so prostituted lately in all legislative bodies that it is to be feared it will be prostituted here, and instead of prayers we shall have political protestations. But it is not on that ground alone I object. I ask, gentlemen, whether it would not be best for us as members of the Convention, as responsible persons, sent to perform the work before us, as responsible to all the citizens of the State, is it not incumbent upon us to have as much respect for the Treasury of the State as possible, and to get along as cheaply as possible.
I disclaim, in what I have said, having reference to any one. It is simply my individual opinion in reference to the practice of opening our proceedings with prayer. I ask what necessity is there to put our hands into the Treasury of the State and pull out more money than necessary, when we have gentlemen here who no doubt are willing to give their services free of charge.
Mr. B. F. RANDOLPH, of Orangeburg. I am in favor of the election of a chaplain. My first reason is that it is a custom of all such legislative bodies to have a chaplain. The Congress of the United States has a chaplain. Our legislatures have chaplains, and so far as I have noticed the reports of all the conventions which have assembled under the reconstruction acts, they all elected chaplains. It would, therefore, be passing strange for South Carolina to assemble in Convention and not elect a chaplain.
The gentleman thinks we should respect the Treasury of the State. No one upon this floor is more than I am, disposed to respect that Treasury. But I am not disposed to ignore religion, forzet God, and leave one of the most important offices, as I consider it, unnoticed by the Convention.. I think, therefore, it is wise to have a chaplain. The quota of officers will not be complete unless we do. There will be a lack, a vacancy. I hope that out of the respect the Convention has for God, or if there is any respect at all in our religion, unless it is all a farce, we shal) have a chaplain. If it is a farce. let us have no prayers, let us say the Bible is a lie, and that God never hears prayer. Let us ignore the doctrine which says Jesus died to save all men. I believe that religion is a reality, and I hope we may regard it as such. If the Bible is truth, it is to become established throughout all the earth, and it should be respected, not only by such bodies as this, but by all men. It says every knee shall bow to Jesus, and every heart respect him. That day, in my humble opinion, is coming, and I hope, if it has been the general rule, we will have a chaplain, and do as other Conventions have done, elect
Mr. MOSES, Jr. I do not propose to answer the gentleman. I do not think a single argument he has made was applicable. The closing part of his speech should convince every one that the view I took was right and proper, that we ought not to take so much money out of the Treasury. We have had a capital prayer since the argument was started.
Mr. L. S. LANGLEY, of Beaufort. I agree in part with the views of the delegate from Sumter. I believe this Convention should not, by the election or appointment of a chaplain, sacrifice or waste money belonging to the State. We have gentlemen bere, honorable members of this body, who are perfectly competent to act as chaplain, and in the impoverished condition of the State Treasury, I think it would be better that the Chair should appoint some gentleman, or request some member in the body, to officiate as chaplain.
Mr. J. J. WRIGHT, of Beaufort, rose to a point of order. The resolution did not require that the chaplain should be paid, and the gentleman seemed to be discussing the question whether they should or should not pay a chaplain. The resolution simply called for the election of a chaplain.
The PRESIDENT decided the point of order was not well taken, the previous speaker having used his argument in stating his positions.
Mr. L. S. LANGLEY said, with regard to the remark of the gentleman from Sumter, as to the propriety of opening their proceedings with prayer, he was decidedly in favor of first invoking the divine blessing before commencing their deliberations. He certainly hoped that it could never be said that they, in the noon of the 19th century, refused to open their sessions with prayer. He believed this to be the sense of this body, which had assembled for the purpose of taking the proud Commonwealth of South Carolina back into the Union from which she was torn in 1860 He was in favor of the appointment of a chaplain, but not in favor of paying him eight dollars per day out of the State Treasury. There were able gentlemen in the body, whom he believed had sufficient patriotism, and were ready and willing to officiate without pay.
Mr. R. O DELARGE called for the previous question, which was not sustained.
Mr. J. J. WRIGHT, of Beaufort, said he was in favor of the election of a chaplain to the body. The resolution did not require he should be elected outside of the body. The gentleman from Beaufort, and the gentleman from Sumter, perhaps, had the same reasons for taking the positions they had, that it was not necessary to have a chaplain. One of the gentlemen, and he did not know but the other, had only followed the examples set for him to respect money more than God.
Mr. T. HURLEY, of Berkley, moved to amend the resolution so as to read that "the Chaplain shall be appointed by the Chair."
Mr. N. G. PARKER accepted the amendment.
Mr. A. J. RANSIER, of Charleston, moved to amend so as to leave it to the Chair to appoint from among the Convention those willing to perform extra labor of Chaplain.
Mr. A. C. RICHMOND hoped it would be left open so that visiting clergymen could be invited to be present and open the proceedings with prayer. He hoped the proceedings would be opened with prayer because it was customary. He was of opinion though that the invocation of the divine blessing in the South Carolina Convention of 1860 was not of any great service to the cause for which it was invoked, nor was it in the Convention of 1865. But he did not wish to abolish it because the custom had been abused on other occasions. It was possible they might prove more serviceable.
Mr. PARKER said that he did not suppose, in offering the resolution, it would be debated. He did not think there was any gentleman in the House who wished to make a speech upon the question, and was prised at the remarks made. He hoped the debate would stop and the question be at once disposed of,
The question then being taken the resolution was adopted.
The PRESIDENT read the following communication from Mr. F. A, Sawyer, a delegate from Charleston, resigning his position:
CHARLESTON, January 15, 1869. To the President of the Convention of South Carolina :
SIR :-I regret the necessity which compels me to announce to you my inability to assume the duties of a member of the Constitutional Convention.
While I am grateful for the confidence of my fellow-citizens, manifested in my election, it is due to them to say that I should not have consented to becoine a candidate had I foreseen, or thought I had a reason to foresee, the pressure of official duties under which I now find myself, and which is greater than at any time in the last two years.
If I become a member of the Convention I must elect one or two alternatives, neither of which I am willing to accept; on the one hand, a neglect, to an unjustifiable extent, of my duties as an officer of the United States Government-duties, the due performance of which I am every way bound to provide for; or, on the other, an unsatisfactory and partial discharge of the obligations which would be imposed upon me as a member of the Convention. The duties of my office at this season are such that a large part of them can be devolved upon no other person, and must be personally performed in the hours appropriated to the sessions of the Convention.
The labors I might perform as a member of that body would be only auxiliary to those of other equally or more competent men.
With the hope that the action of the body over which you preside will be such as to merit the approval of good men everywhere, and receive the endorsement of all right-thinking men in our state, I am. sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FREDERICK A. SAWYER.
On motion of Mr. HURLEY, the resignation was accepted.
The PRESIDENT called the attention of the Convention to the fact that a vacancy was made in the Charleston delegation by the resignation of Mr. Sawyer, which would require to be filled by the action of the House.
Mr. PARKER moved to add, in the resolution just adopted, a Reading Clerk, an Engrossing Clerk, three Messengers, and an additional Doorkeeper.
Mr. AURLEY moved that the Messengers be appointed by the Chair.
The PRESIDENT said he preferred that the voice of the Convention should be heard in the selections of all its officers
Mr. R. C. DELARGE was opposed to having so many hangers on and digging unnecessarily into the State Treasury. If they kept on they would soon have as many officers as delegates.
Mr. J.J. WRIGHT agreed with Mr. DELARGE. Most of us, he