« AnteriorContinuar »
27th day of June, 1798, entitled "An act to punish frauds committed on the Bank of the United States,'" (and all other their acts which assume to create, define, or punish crimes other than those enumerated in the Constitution,) are altogether void and of no force, and that the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes is reserved, and of right appertains solely and exclusively, to the respective States, each within its own territory.
and enduring peace and prosperity, we solemnly | act in addition to the act entitled, 'an act for the pledge ourselves to support no man for an elect- punishment of certain crimes against the United ive office who fails to join us in their adoption States," as also the act passed by them on the and enforcement, who fails to identify himself with the Union Republican party in spirit and action, or hesitates to connect himself openly and publicly with its platform as adopted here to day. 6. That we recognize the great fact that the interests of the laboring classes of the State are identical, and that, without regard to color, we desire to elevate them to their true position; that the exaltation of the poor and humble, the restraint of the rapacious and the arrogant, the lifting up of the poor and degraded without humiliation or degradation to any; that the attain-is ment of the greatest amount of happiness and prosperity to the greatest number is our warmest desire, and shall have our earnest and persistent efforts in their accomplishment; that while we desire to see all men protected in full and equal proportions, and every political right secured to the colored man that is enjoyed by any other class of citizens, we do not desire to deprive the laboring white men of any rights or privileges which they now enjoy, but do propose to extend those rights and privileges by the organization of the Republican party in this State.
KENTUCKY AND VIRGINIA RESOLUTIONS.
3. That it is true as a general principle, and also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the Constitution, that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people;" and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press, being delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, and were reserved, to the States or to the people: That thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be Kentucky Resolutions, November, 1798. separated from their use should be tolerated 1. Resolved, That the several States compos- rather than the use be destroyed; and thus, also, ing the United States of America are not united they guarded against all abridgment by the Union the principle of unlimited submission to their ted States of the freedom of religious opinions General Government; but that, by compact, un- and exercises, and retained to themselves the der the style and title of a Constitution for the right of protecting the same, as this State, by a United States and of Amendments thereto, they law passed on the general demand of its citizens, constituted a general government for special pur- had already protected them from all human reposes, delegated to that Government certain defi-straint or interference: And that, in addition to nite powers, reserving each State to itself the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: That to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming as to itself the other party: That the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions, as of the mode and measure of redress.
this general principle and express declaration, another and more special provision has been made by one of the amendments to the Constitution, which expressly declares that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press," thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press, insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others, and that libels, falsehoods, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religion, are withheld from the cognizance of federal tribunals: That therefore the act of the Congress of the United States, passed on the 14th day of July, 1798, entitled "An act in addition to the act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States," which does abridge the freedom of the press, is not law, but is altogether void and of no effect.
2. That the Constitution of the United States having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against 4. That alien friends are under the jurisdicthe laws of nations, and no other crimes what- tion and protection of the laws of the State ever, and it being true as a general principle, wherein they are; that no power over them has and one of the amendments to the Constitution been delegated to the United States nor prohibhaving also declared, "that the powers not dele-ited to the individual States distinct from their gated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people; therefore, also the same act of Congress, passed on the 14th day of July, 1798, and entitled, "An
power over citizens; and it being true, as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States,
are reserved to the States respectively or to the people," the act of the Congress of the United States, passed on the 22d day of June, 1798, entitled "An act concerning aliens," which assumes power over alien friends not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void and of no force.
5. That in addition to the general principle as well as the express declaration that powers not delegated are reserved, another and more special provision inserted in the Constitution from abun dant caution has declared "that the migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808" Th. t this Commonwealth does admit the migration of alien friends described as the subject of the said act concerning aliens; that a provision against prohibiting their migration is a provision against all acts equivalent thereto, or it would be nugatory; that to remove them when migrated is equivalent to a prohibition of their migration, and is therefore contrary to the said provision of the Constitution and void.
vide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States, and to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or any department thereof, goes to the destruction of all the limits prescribed to their power by the Constitution. That words meant by that instrument to be subsidiary only to the execution of the limited powers ought not to be so construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part so to be taken as to destroy the whole residue of the instrument: That the proceedings of tho General Government under color of these articles will be a fit and necessary subject for revisal and correction at a time of greater tranquillity, while those specified in the preceding resolutions call for immediate redress.
8. That the preceding resolutions be transmitted to the Senators and Representatives in Congress from this Commonwealth, who are hereby enjoined to present the same to their respective houses, and to use their best endeavors to procure, at the next session of Congress, a repeal of the aforesaid unconstitutional and obnoxious acts.
6. That the imprisonment of a person under the protection of the laws of this Commonwealth on his failure to obey the simple order of the 9. Lastly, That the Governor of this CommonPresident to depart out of the United States, as wealth be, and is hereby, authorized and requested is undertaken by the said act, entitled an act to communicate the preceding resolutions to the concerning aliens," is contrary to the Constitu- legislatures of the several States, to assure them tion, one amendment to which has provided, that this Commonwealth considers union for that "no person shall be deprived of liberty specified national purposes, and particularly for without due process of law," and that another those specified in their late federal compact, to having provided "that in all criminal prosecu be friendly to the peace, happiness, and prostions the accused shall enjoy the right to a public perity of all the States: that faithful to that trial by an impartial jury, to be informed of the compact, according to the plain intent and meannature and cause of the accusation, to be con- ing in which it was understood and acceded fronted with the witnesses against him, to have to by the several parties, it is sincerely anxious compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in for its preservation: that it does also believe, his favor, and to have the assistance of coun- that to take from the States all the powers of sel for his defence," the same act undertaking self-government, and transfer them to a gento authorize the President to remove a person eral and consolidated government, without reout of the United States who is under the pro-gard to the special obligations and reservations tection of the law, on his own suspicion, with- solemnly agreed to in that compact, is not for out accusation, without jury, without public trial, the peace, happiness, or prosperity of these without confrontation of the witnesses against States: And that therefore this Commonwealth him, without having witnesses in his favor, with is determined, as it doubts not its co-States are, out defence, without counsel, is contrary to these tamely to submit to undelegated and conseprovisions also of the Constitution, is therefore quently unlimited powers in no man or body not law, but utterly void and of no force. That of men on earth; that if the acts before specitransferring the power of judging any person, fied should stand, these conclusions would flow who is under the protection of the laws, from from them; that the General Government may the courts to the President of the United States, place any act they think proper on the list as is undertaken by the same act concerning of crimes, and punish it themselves, whether aliens, is against the article of the Constitution enumerated or not enumerated by the Constituwhich provides that "the judicial power of the tion as cognizable by them; that they may United States shall be vested in courts, the judges transfer its cognizance to the President or any of which shall hold their offices during good be- other person, who may himself be the accuser, havior;" and that the said act is void for that counsel, judge, and jury, whose suspicions may reason also; and it is further to be noted, that be the evidence, his order the sentence, his offithis transfer of judiciary power is to that mag-cer the executioner, and his breast the sole reistrate of the General Government who already possesses all the executive, and a qualified negative in all the legislative powers.
cord of the transaction; that a very numerous and valuable description of the inhabitants of these States, being by this precedent reduced as 7. That the construction applied by the Gen-outlaws to the absolute doininion of one man, eral Government (as is evinced by sundry of their proceedings) to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegates to Congress a power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; to pay the debts, and pro
and the barrier of the Constitution thus swept away from us all, no rampart now remains against the passions and the power of a majority of Congress to protect from a like exportation or other more grievous punishment the minority
of the same body, the legislatures. judges, govern- | the rights of the States, and consolidating them ors, and counselors of the States, nor their other in the hands of the General Government with a peaceable inhabitants who may venture to re- power assumed to bind the States, (not merely claim the constitutional rights and liberties of in cases made federal,) but in all cases whatsothe States and people, or who for other causes, ever, by laws made, not with their consent, but good or bad, may be obnoxious to the views, or by others against their consent: That this would marked by the suspicions of the President, or be be to surrender the form of government we have thought dangerous to his or their elections or chosen, and to live under one deriving its powers other interests, public or personal; that the from its own will, and not from our authority; friendless alien has indeed been selected as the and that the co-States, recurring to their natural safest subject of a first experiment; but the citi- right in cases not made federal, will concur in zen will soon follow, or rather has already fol- declaring these acts void and of no force, and lowed; for already has a sedition act marked will each unite with this Commonwealth in him as its prey that these and successive acts requesting their repeal at the next session of of the same character, unless arrested on the Congress. threshold, may tend to drive these States into revolution and blood and will furnish new cal- Virginia Resolutions, December, 1798. umnies against republican governments, and Resolved, That the General Assembly of Virnew pretexts for those who wish it to be be-ginia doth unequivocally express a firm resolulieved that man cannot be governed but by a tion to maintain and defend the Constitution of rod of iron that it would be a dangerous delu- the United States and the constitution of this sion, were a confidence in the men of our choice State against every aggression, either foreign or to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: domestic; and that they will support the Govthat confidence is everywhere the parent of des-ernment of the United States in all measures potism; free government is founded in jealousy warranted by the former.
to maintain which it pledges its powers; and that, for this end, it is their duty to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the only basis of that Union, because a faithful observance of them can alone secure its existence and the public happiness.
valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that, in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the States, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them
and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not 2. That this Assembly most solemnly declares confidence which prescribes limited constitu- a warm attachment to the Union of the States, tions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which and no further our confidence may go; aud let the honest advocate of confidence read the alien and sedition acts, and say if the Constitution has not been wise in fixing limits to the govern- 3. That this Assembly doth explicitly and ment it created, and whether we should be wise peremptorily declare, that it views the powers in destroying those limits? Let him say what of the Federal Government as resulting from the the Government is if it be not a tyranny, which compact to which the States are parties, as limthe men of our choice have conferred on the ited by the plain sense and intention of the inPresident, and the President of our choice has as-strument constituting that compact, as no further sented to and accepted over the friendly strang ers, to whom the mild spirit of our country and its laws had pledged hospitality and protection that the men of our choice have more respected the bare suspicions of the President than the solid rights of innocence, the claims of justifica tion, the sacred force of truth, and the forms and substance of law and justice In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. That this 4. That the General Assembly doth also exCommonwealth does therefore call on its co-press its deep regret that a spirit has, in sundry States for an expression of their sentiments on instances, been manifested by the Federal Govthe acts concerning aliens and for the punish- ernment to enlarge its powers by forced construcment of certain crimes herein before specified, tions of the constitutional charter which defines plainly declaring whether these acts are or are them; and that indications have appeared of a not authorized by the federal compact? And design to expound certain general phrases (which, it doubts not that their sense will be so an- having been copied from the very limited grant nounced as to prove their attachment unaltered of powers in the former Articles of Confederation, to limited government, whether general or par- were the less liable to be misconstrued) so as to ticular, and that the rights and liberties of their destroy the meaning and effect of the particular co-States will be exposed to no dangers by re- enumeration which necessarily explains and limmaining embarked on a common bottom with its the general phrases, and so as to consolidate their own: That they will concur with this the States, by degrees, into one sovereignty, the Commonwealth in considering the said acts as so obvious tendency and inevitable result of which palpably against the Constitution, as to amount would be to transform the present republican to an undisguised declaration that the compact system of the United States into an absolute, or, is not meant to be the measure of the powers of at best, a mixed monarchy. the General Government, but that it will proceed in the exercise over these States of all powers whatsoever: That they will view this as seizing
5. That the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution in the two late
cases of the alien and sedition acts," passed at the last session of Congress; the first of which exercises a power nowhere delegated to the Federal Government, and which, by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government, as well as the particular organization and positive provisions of the Federal Constitution; and the other of which acts exercises, in like manner, a power not delegated by the Constitu tion, but, on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thereto a power which, more than any other, ought to produce universal alarm, because it is levelled against the right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right.
6. That this State, having by its convention, which ratified the Federal Constitution, expressly declared that, among other essential rights, "the liberty of conscience and the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified, by any authority of the United States," and from its extreme anxiety to guard these rights from every possible attack of sophistry and ambition, having, with other States, recommended an amendment for that purpose, which amendment was, in due time, annexed to the Constitutionit would mark a reproachful inconsistency, and
criminal degeneracy if an indifference were now shown to the most palpable violation of one of the rights thus declared and secured, and to the establishment of a precedent which may be fatal to the other.
7. That the good people of this Commonwealth, having ever felt, and continuing to feel, the most sincere affection for their brethren of the other States, the truest anxiety for establishing and perpetuating the union of all, and the most scrupulous fidelity to that Constitution, which is the pledge of mutual friendship and the instrument of mutual happiness, the General Assembly doth solemnly appeal to the like dispositions in the other States, in confidence that they will concur with this Commonwealth in declaring, as it does hereby declare, that the acts aforesaid are unconstitutional, and that the necessary and proper measures will be taken by each for co-operating with this State in maintaining unimpaired the authorities, rights, and liberties reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
8. That the Governor be desired to transmit a copy of the foregoing resolutions to the executive authority of each of the other States, with a request that the same may be communicated to the legislature thereof, and that a copy be furnished to each of the Senators and Representatives representing this State in the Congress of the United States.
ELECTIVE FRANCHISE IN THE STATES. In Tennessee.
1867, February 6-The HOUSE passed a bill striking the word "white from the franchise law of the State*-yeas 38, nays 25. The yeas were Messrs. Anderson of Hamilton, Anderson of White, Baker, Blackman, Clements, Clingan, Donaldson, Doughty, Dowdy, Elliott, Fuson, Garner, Gilmer, Hudson, Hale, Kerchival, Maxwell, McNair, Morris, Murphy, Norman, Patton, Porter, Puckett, Raulston, Richards, Shepherd, Smith of Hardeman, Smith of Obion, Taylor, Thornburgh, Underwood, Waters, Welsh, Wines, Woodcock, Woods, and Speaker (pro tem.) Mulloy-38.
February 18-The SENATE concurred-yeas 14, nays 7.
March 21-The supreme court of the State unanimously sustained the constitutionality of
the franchise law.
declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, and that they shall not have participated in the late rebellion."
1867, April 6-This joint resolution passed:
Relative to an amendment of the constitution, providing for the extension of the elective franchise:
Resolved, By the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, three-fifths of the members elected to each house agreeing thereto, that it be and is hereby proposed to the electors of this State, to vote at the next annual October election upon the approval or rejection of the following amendment as a substitute for the first section of the fifth article of the constitution of this State, to wit: "Every male citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the State one year next preceding the election, and of the county, township, or ward in which he resides such time as may be provided by law, except such persons as have borne arms in support of any insurrection or rebellion against the Government of the United States, or have fled from their places of residence to avoid being drafted into the military service thereof, or have deserted the military or naval service of said Government in time of war, and
Whereas it has been announced by persons high in authority that propositions from the southern States having in view the adjustment of our present political troubles would be re(Re-ceived and considered, &c: Therefore,
had not subsequently been honorably discharged from the same, shall have the qualifications of an elector, and be entitled to vote at all elections." In the SENATE, the vote was yeas 23, nays 11, strictly party vote except that Mr. Combs publican) voted in the negative.
Both houses have agreed to proposing an amendment to the constitution so as to extend suffrage to all persons* over the age of twentyone years. The vote in the Senate was 18 to 9, not voting 6.
In New Jersey.
A proposition to strike the word "white" from the constitution was defeated in the house -yeas 20, nays 38, as follow:
YEAS-Messrs. Atwater, Sayre, Murphy, Edwards, Baldwin, Voorhees, Runyon, A. P. Condit, Bruere, Stansbury, Mount, Estler, J. D. Condit, Wolsieffer, Moore, Custis, Ball,
Trimble, Morris, Falkenbury-20.
NAYS-Messrs. Allen, Taylor, Iliff, Davenport, W. W. Clark, Vail, Lippincott, Fort, Christie, White, Pickel, Henry, Coles, Crozer, Ayres, Tyrrell, W. J. Iliff, Evans, H. F. Clark, Vliet, Nixon, Garrison, Collings, Wilson, Thompson, Hendrickson, Hedden, Dwyer, Beesley, Van Emburgh, Jarrard, Fulmer, Corlies, Ward, Perrine, Givens, Coate, Yawger-38.
Resolved by the Legislature of the State of That the Congress of the United States be requested to propose to the legislatures of the several States the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
ARTICLE 14, SEC. 1. No State under the Constitution has a right of its own will to renounce its place in or to withdraw from the Union; nor has the Federal Government any right to eject a State from the Union, or to deprive it of its equal suffrage in the Senate or of representation in the House of Representatives. Union under the Constitution shall be perpetual. SEC. 2. The public debt of the United States, authorized by law, shall ever be held sacred and inviolate; but neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the Government or authority of the United States.
SEC. 3. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States in which they reside; and the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States. No State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
SEC. 4. Representatives shall be apportioned A proposition to extend the elective franchise among the several States according to their reto women is pending.
A PROPOSED SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
In February, 1867, an effort was made to prepare a constitutional amendment to be substituted for that proposed by Congress. The plan given below was published, and was declared to be approved by President Johnson, and submitted to the Legislature of North Carolina, but was not favorably received:
*The following paragraph from the New York Tribune is
Lucy Stone and H. B. Blackwell, citizens of New Jersey, have made an investigation, the result of which is remarkable, and proves that previously to 1776 only men voted, ont that in 1776 the original State constitution conferred the franchise on "all inhabitants" (men or women, white or
black) possessing the prescribed qualifications of £50 clear estate and twelve months' residence, and this constitution remained in force until 1814. In 1790, the Legislature, in an act regulating elections, used the words "he or she" in reference to voters. In 1797, another act relative to elections repeatedly designates the voters as "he or she." In the same year, 1797, seventy-five women voted in Elizabethtown for the Federal candidate. In 1800 women generally voted through out the State in the presidential contest between Jefferson and Adams, In 1802 a member of the legislature from Hunterdon county was actually elected, in a closely contested election, by the votes of two or three women of color. In 1807, at a local election in Essex county for the location of the county seat, men and women generally participated, and were jointly implicated in very extensive frauds, In the winter of 1807-8, the legislature, in violation of the terms of the constitution, passed an act restricting suffrage to free white male adult citizens, and, in reference to these, virtually abolished the property qualification of £50, thus extending it to all white male tax-payers, while excluding all women and negroes. In 1820 the same provisions were repeated, and remained unchanged until the adoption of the present constitution in 1814.
spective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State,excluding Indians not taxed. But when any State shall, on account of race or color or previous condition of servitude, deny the exercise of the franchise at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, members of the legislature, and other officers elected by the people, to any of the male inhabitants of such State being twenty-one years of age and citizens of the United States, then the entire class of persons so excluded from
the exercise of the elective franchise shall not bo counted in the basis of representation.
And whereas, &c., be it further resolved by the Legislature of ད That the following article shall be adopted as an amendment to, and become a part of the constitution of the State of
ARTICLE -. sided in this State for one year, and in the Every male citizen who has recounty in which he offers to vote six months immediately preceding the day of election, and who can read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States in the English language and write his name; or who may be the owner of two hundred and fifty dollars' worth of taxable property, shall be entitled to vote at all elections for governor of the State, members of the legislature and all other officers the election of whom may be by the people of the State: Provided, That no person by reason of this article shall be excluded from voting who has heretofore exercised the elective