« AnteriorContinuar »
they had by the large district system, but I was when He made mankind, ordained rules and regnot confining my action to any party purposes, ulations, which should regulate their connections and I do hopo if any party seeks party and interconmunications with each other, and if advantages in this Convention that they will we shall be enabled to ascertain those laws we be disappointed, and I prophesy they will be dis- shall have the best security for the formation of appointed. I have no such desire. Now, I am sound constitutional provisions. Now, sir, if of the opinion that the question of senate dis- we examine the history of any statute we tricts was settled last evening; I do not see shall find that the law maker, in the making of the propriety of passing over this same discussion that statute, was coerced by facts and circumand consuming the time of this Convention by stances into the adoption of its provisions, and precisely the same propositions ; I do not think that in every case they were preceded by such any further useful information can be obtained on measures of coercion. If we examine the feudal this subject. I had said in the commencement of laws, which are now terins of opprobrium among my remarks, that I hoped and had reason to us, we find that they had a legitimate genesis. believe when the gentleman from Richmond (Mr. Those laws were produced by a feeling of inseE. Brooks) raised the point of order, claiming that curity on the part of the governed which engenthis was an equivalent question to that decided dered an absolute necessity for protection, and so last evening, that the Chair would so recognize it. long as that necessity for protection existed, that I will now raise that point of order.
protection could be afforded no other way than by The CHAIRMAN-The Chair is of the opinion the strong military chieftains who had the will that the amendment of the gentleman from Albany and the ability to protect their liegemen but no [Mr. A. J. Parker] is in order as a substitute one else. That law was proper; that law was for the ameudment made by the proposition of in conformity with the higher law, which, as I the gentleman from Richmond (Mr. E. Brooks]. have said, dominates all coustitutional provisions
Mr. GOULD- Is it in order to offer a new and the enactment of all laws. But, sir, when amendment vow?
new forms of protection were ascertained, when The CHAIRMAN - The Chair is of opinion better modes of protecting individuals in their that it is not in order, there being two amend rights and property were discovered, then prements now pending.
cisely the same law which originally coerced the Mr. HATCH - I rise to a point of order. enactment of the feudal law enacted its abolition.
Mr. ALVORD-I rise to a point of order, So, sir, slavery in its inception was a merciful that the gentleman (Mr. Hatch) is not in his institution; the laws of slavery were undoubtedly seat, and, therefore, is not recognizable by the in accordance with the divine laws, for slavery Chair under the rule.
had its origin in war; as it was formerly the ensMr. HATCH-I am in my seat for the present, tom to destroy the lives of all who were taken with all due deference to the gentleman. " I raise prisoners, it was certainly more merciful to spare the point of order that the proposition now their lives and keep them in slavery. When by made by the gentleman from Albany (Mr. A. J. the growth of better feeling among mankind there Parker) is practically the same proposition that was found a nobler principle spreading itself was voted down last night.
abroad and ruling the conduct of men, that vory The CHAIRMAN-The Chair has already de- same law which first originated slavery, that cided that point, that it was a different proposition. higher law required its abolition. Thus, slavery
Mr. HATCH — Then I appeal from the decision and its abolition were both the legitimate results of the Chair.
of the same law of mercy. Now, sir, if there are The question was put on sustaining the decision general laws which govern all constitutional proof the Chair, and it was declared carried. visions, it seems to me that it is proper for us to
Mr. GOULD- As there are two amendments inquire which of those general laws regulates the already pending, I will, sir, with the permission establishment of legislative bodies. It is easy to see of the Convention, read an amendment which I that one of these laws requires that all the interests design at the proper time to offer as a part of my of the community that are represented shall have remarks, as follows:
their proper representation in the legislative body. "No person shall be allowed to vote for a Sir, there are fishermen, mechanics and farmers, Senator who has not paid a town, county or State and there are merchants and there are tax within twelve months next preceding the persons of various trades and occupations, election at which he offers to vote."
all of which require a proper represenNow, sir, I suppose in the discussion of ques- tation. The fishermen frequently require tions of this character
legislation; they require that those who live in Mr. FOLGER - Is that offered as an amend- other States shall be restrained from trenching ment?
upon their priviliges, and it is absolutely necesMr. GOULD– I read it as a part of my re- sary for them to have some one in the Legislature marks, and intend to offer it at the proper time. who is in sympathy with their rights, who underNow, sir, in my opinion, all laws both statutory stands the peculiar techincal language which they and fundamental must have a legitimate genesis. use, and who shall be able to translate that techThere is a law above all laws which dominates the nical language for the members of the Legislature. growth of customs and the enactment of statutes. So mechanics have a technical language, and Šir, the ancients had this idea, dimly, vaguely and they, too, require that they shall have persons mistily as was expressed by the "Jus Gentium" here who are familiar with that language, and of the Romans; but it seems to me, sir, that there in sympathy with their interests. Why, sir, is a pobler origin for this. It seems to me that God, lif the iechnical language of a mechanic was
used in this House, such as “ arbor," "slot” | foundatious as a branch of the legislature, and and " feather," "gag” and "journal," very bicameral arrangements were thus established. few of the gentlemen here would understand So it was in Rome; the Senate was originally the FFhat they meant. It is, therefore, necessary single legislature of Rome, and it was found that that they should have representatives on the floor the difficulties of government were so great, and who can interpret their meaning and translate the confusion of interests was so very bewildering their peculiar language into the general language in that city that by slow degrees and imperceptiwhich is understood by all intelligent men ble gradations the tribes acquired more and more So, sir, another law is, that men of different power, until the comitia tributa was recognized as casts of character shall be introduced into the a regularly established chamber of legislation, and Assembly. The old have experience, and they no laws could have any validity that did not have have the prudence which flows from it. The the assent of both of those bodies. Sir, when a young men are ardent and enthusiastic; they are vital cell is first formed it is a single body, but full of hopes, but they are apt to confound when we watch it under the microscope for a the ideal with the real, and from the very forma- little time a constriction takes place in the middle tion of their minds, they are well adapted to carry and it gradually grows greater and greater until forward the car of progress, which makes the cell is finally divided into two parts. This the nation go on from step to step in its career of exactly expresses what has been taking place in glory and usefulness. Tlie man of business, too, our legislative arrangements. If they have begun has a peculiar habit of mind; by his very occu- with a single body, they have always ended in the pation he has cultivated his powers of observa establishment of two bodies in the Legislature. tion in such a way as to arrive at a very great If we inquire into the causes of this spontaneous rapidity of action, while the student, on the other division, we fiud that national life springs from hand, looks upon subjects with a microscopic the interaction or the antagonism of opposing vision and is slow and careful in his calculatious. human interests; and these interests gradually It is necessary that the legislative body - and naturally group themselves around two dis
Mr. HUTCHINS—[ rise to a point of order. Linct centers, which are called the rights of perThat I am ugable to hear a word the gentleman sous and the rights of property. They arrange uiters. I hope we shall either adjourn, or that themselves naturally and gradually into those two we shall be held to order while we are in Con- distinct divisions. Laws, like persons, must vention,
spring from a dual origin; they must, like Thy CHAIRMAN–The point of order is well human beings, have a father and a mother; taken. The Chair trusts gentlemen will avoid they must be th resultant of two forces, discussions in a loud tone, in the chamber.
necessarily untagonistic, but different. Mr. GOULD-All these habits of mind and all For instance, sir, the plant is ncurished by the these classes of individuals must necessarily be combivation of earth and moisture. It is not incorporated into a legislative body, which nourished by earth alune or moisture alone, but by shall adequately reflect the popular views, feel. a combination of the two. Fruit has its genesis ings and interests. These classes of miud are out of the pistil and the stamen Neither one is never found in any instance combined in a sufficient to piovuce it. Salt has a double origin. single individual, but they may be harmoni. It is formed in all cases from acid with a base. ously bleuded in a legislative body, so that the acid itself has a double origin. It is formed all these various characters can be brought to out of the combination of oxygen and acid. · So in bear upon the elucidation of questions presented vegetables, animals and organic forms. Everyfor discussion in a way to enable the body to where and in every case all things have a dual arrive at sound and wise conclusions. In fact no origin. Legislation is no exception to this general intelligent conclusion can be reached in the law, but if we desire to bring forth fruits beneficial absence of these things. It follows, therefore, to the people we must provide a legitimate parentthat that scheme for the constitution of a Legis- age; they must spring from two chambers, one of lature which makes the most perfect representa- which represents the rights of property and the tion for all these interests, and for the bringing other the rights of persons. All the bicameral artogether of all these different casts of character rangements in Europe are based upon this principle. is on the whole the most perfect. But, sir, it is and the only fault with those arraugements is obvious that all these that I have already men that they do not perfectly and adequately repretioned may be amply provided for in a unicameral sent. them. The House of Lords in England Legislature. We find that where governments represents persons, and the House of Commons have originated in unicameral Legislatures they represents the property of the nation. But, sir, have almost invariably (and indeed I may say the fault of the Constitution of England is that invariably, without the qualifying adjective) the House of Lords only represents one single resulted in a bicameral arrangement. We find this class of persons. Its fault is that it does not was the case in Athens; originally, there was a represent all the persons of England. So it is in Senate, and the government was lodged in that France, and in every Legislature of Europe and single Seuate. But in the days of Solon the difficulty South America. Our own Congress has this of a single legislation began to be apparent, and double origin. The Senate of the United States by slow gradations the assembly of the people represents the corporations of the States themwas introduced and they took part in greater num selves, and incidentally represents property, bers by successive steps in legislation, until at while the House of Representatives is properly a length in the days of Pericles the popular assem representation of persons. Now, the misfortune bly of the Agora was fully established upon firm of our present Constitution is that it adopts the
bicameral arrangement without adopting the around it, every man who thinks candidly on reason upon which that arrangement is founded. the subject will admit that he who actually pays It is the shadow without the substance. the taxes has a stronger right to control the expenIt is the name without the thing. The gentleman diture of them thau he who does not. The from Oneida (Mr. Kernan] complained the other amendment therefore commends itself to the sense evening that our Legislature, as at present con- of natural equity. The amendment will prove a stituted, was only a great and little assembly; more effectual estoppel of the bribery and corrupthat it represented precisely the same persons, tion which have been so much complained of than and did not represent any distinct interests what. any of the stringent oaths which have been proever. This complaiut is eminently just. We might vided in the article on suffrage. The Senate will as well attempt to produce fruit from the union have a more natural sympathy with the tax payer, of pistil with pistil, or stamen with stamen, as to and a greater sense of responsibility to him, than produce good legislation from bodies thus con. the present Senate or Assembly. This amend. stituted. Vast evils have resulted from this bi- ment will give to the farmers of the State a relacameral arrangement of our Legislature, and live power greater than that of the cities. The although the rights of persons are the only rights farming population being stationary while the which are represented either in the Senate or cities are rapidly increasing, the latter will evenAssembly, those rights of persons have not been tually overwhelm the former. This can never be as well represented as if there had been a repre- desired by the patriot or the statesman, who have sentation of property in one chamber established always, in all nations, considered agriculture to be by the Constitution, and the rights of persons and the basis of national prosperity, and farmers as the property both had been honestly and equally rep- most trustworthy depositaries of political power. resented. We have seen most vehement and persist- Correct and safe conclasions are more generally ent efforts made by democratic members on this reached when the facts on which they are founded floor to deprive 11,000 negroes of the elective fran- have been slowly and patiently examined, and chise. These gentlemen are neither knaves nor their mutual relations carefully traced out. This fools. They know perfectly well that the color requires a habit of keeping the mind closely of the skin is not a proper foundation for the in contact with a given topic. Sir Isaac rights of franchise, but these gentleman have felt, Newton declared that his wonderful discoveries sir, as the other side of the question do not were more owing to this habit than to any feel, that there is danger to the rights of prop- other quality of mind. From the very pature erty in the city of New York by the large intro of their occupations farmers acquire the habit, duction of aliens into it; there is that danger, at the plow, at the harrow, in the hay field, the and they have a real fear that even 11,000 farmers quietly revolve the public questions of negroes introduced into the voting will add too interest in their minds, and like their oxen they much force to that side, and that there will be chew the cud until all its flavor is extracto a real danger to the rights of property. But if It is not so with citizens of a crowded city, their you give to property a negative power in the studies of public questions are hasty, irregular, legislation of this State all dangers of this kind and fragmentary, they hastily consider one point rass away at once. If there is one body which of a subject, and decide the whole subject by their can adequately represent the interests of property decision of the single point. The farmer' spust, then the danger of agrarian and destructive legisla- therefore, from his habits and occupatious, be a tion is entirely avoided. You may introduce as safer repository of political power than the many aliens and negroes as you please, and no dan- citizen. They are more exempt from corruptiog ger whatever will threaten to destroy or jeopardize influences than the inhabitants of cities, and they the right of property. This is a consideration are less migratory in their habits. Another great which ought to occupy our earnest attention; we advantage will flow from this amendment, it will 0.ght to give it a careful, candid, and intelligent add to the number of tax payers. There are consideration, whether we are not in duty bound about three hundred and eighty thousand persons to take away this disturbing element from us and taxed for the ownership of land, and those who bring back peace and quietness to our Legislature, will be taxed for personal estate will swell the and thus calm those fears that are now so rife in number to five hundred and fifty thousand voters. the bosoms of gentlemen. Once establish this These, sir, are some of the reasons that have principle, and our democratic friends will cease influenced me in offering this amendment, and I their opposition to the introduction of negro voters, only regret that the time allowed me will not as some gentlemen on the other side will cease their allow me to develop them with greater fullness, fears with regard to the introduction of alien voters. and to illustrate them in a clearer manner. Persons will all be represented, and the republican Mr. MONELL—The vote which I shall give upon law will be carried out to its utmost degree of per- the amendment of the gentleman from Albany fection. I would oppose with all my power the [Mr. A. J. Parker) may seem to be inconsistent withholding of the franchise from any individual with my presumed assent to the report of the whatever. I would have persons represented Committee on the Organization of the Legislature in the fullest degree and to the widest extent; which is now under consideration in this commitand in ono part of the Legislature I would give a tee, unless I state the reasons which influence my similar protection to property. Then you will concurrence with such report. The chairman of fiod all these heart-burnings will cease, and the the committee correctly stated, a few days since, rich and the poor, the alien and the negro, will go that the committee, with a single exception, was on harmoniously together. Stripping the subject unanimous in the opinion that it was best to of the mists wliich demagogueism has thrown recommend adoption by the Convention, the plan
for the organization of the Legislature provided upon the suggestion of the chairman of the com. by the Constitution of 1821. I believed at mittee it was deemed practicable that some plan of the time and I believe now, sir, that a better Leg. division of the State into senate districts should islature would be secured by adopting the plan be presented to the Convention, and that being provided by the Constitution of 1821 than by the assented to by the members of the committee, the plan adopted by the Constitution under which we duty was confided to one gentleman, and he prenow live. That plan provided for a division of pared the division of the State into senatorial disthe State into large senatorial districts, and the tricts, which subsequently, with the assent of the election of members of Assembly by counties. committee, but without examination, was incor. To that extent the committee was unanimous, and porated into the report, but upon the understandI am still of the opinion that a Senate organized upon ing that no member of the committee was to be that plan would be preferable to a Senate organ- concluded or bound by it; and in this remark I am ized on the small district plan. A reason which, corroborated and borne out by one member of the perhaps, had no influence with the other members committee. I allude to the gentleman from of the committee had its effect upon my mind. Ulster (Mr. Cooke), who a short time since proWe heard in the early session of this Convention posed that when the proper time arrived he would from gentlemen, not officially but conversationally, submit a new and different plan for the division that the powers of the Legislature were not to be of the State. Since the submission of that roport enlarged. On the contrary, that the powers of I have with some care examined the figures upon the Legislature were to be greatly abridged and which it was predicated, and I am satisfied, limited. It was said that the Legislature were upon that examination, that a great wrong, to be confined to the enactment of general laws, if that plan had been adopted by the Convention, and were to be prohibited from the passage of would have been done to that portion of the State any private or special charters. And, sir, in which I have the honor in part to represent. That furtherance of that view, we find that one com- plan of division was predicated upon the enumeramittee has already-I allude to the Committee on tion of 1865, and it is enough, I think, for me to Corporations other than Municipal—reported a say that that enumeration had been condemned as section for the consideration of this Convention being utterly unfair and unjust to the city of New prohibiting the Legislature from passing other York. But even assuming it to be correct
, the than general laws for the incorporation of large fraction which is given by it to the city of individuals. We were
also told in the New York is sufficient to entitle her to another early session of the Convention that local Senator, Independently of that, the large in. legislative powers would be conferred upon local crease of population in the city of New York bodies, alluding, I suppose, to boards of su- since '1865 has been entirely ignored or overpervisors, and we find that the Committee on looked by the committee. We all know that the Counties and Towns, who reported a day or two population of the city of New York has increased since, have also recommended for the considera- ten if not fifteen per cent within the last three tion of this Convention a provision conferring years, and such increase will go on until 1875 beupon the boards of supervisors local legislative fore there can be any increase of representation powers which the Constitution will define and fix. in the Seuate from that city. Now, Mr. Chairman, Now, sir, if this is so, and this Convention shall under these facts and circumstances, if I had been finally adopt these provisions recommended by present when the vote was taken on the original these committees, and other similar provisions, proposition contained in the second section of the and that the powers of the Legislature shall be report of the committee, I should have felt authorconfined to general legislation, and they shall be ized, with the understandig I have mentioned, deprived of the power of local legislation, it is a and should have conceived it to have been my matter of small consequence whether the legislator duty, to have voted against the entire section unless comes from one section of the State or another; the subject could have been divided. Mr. Chairman, whether the member of the Senate comes from the a word or two in regard to the amendment proposed eighth or first senatorial district; whether the by the gentleman from Albany (Mr. A. J. Parker). member of the Assembly comes from Cattaraugus, I have heard, sir, no explanation in regard to that Clinton or New York, in each case he will legis section. I was not in my seat at the time it was introlate for the people of the State at large, and not for duced in Committee of the Whole ; but there is one any local constituency. That, sir, if it be true, objection to it which is sufficient to authorize me not will entirely do away with this entire idea of local only to oppose, but to vote against it. It renders constituency; there will be no longer any local it possible, nay, indeed, it renders it probable, constituency to be represented; the Legislature that the city of New York, as a senate district, will be confined to the enactment of general laws must be divided, and that a portion must be and prohibited from the passage of any special attached to adjacent territory. I have been at all laws, and the legislator will necessarily represent times opposed to a division of a county in the entire people and no particular section of the arranging senate districts. It is not possible State. The subject of dividing the State into dis. under the plan proposed by the amendment of the tricts in the early meetings of the committee was gentleman from Albany (Mr. A. J. Parker] to briefly but not much discussed. The committee provide a representation from the city of New at that time with much, if not entire, unanimity York without dividing it, and attaching a portion agreed that it was wise to devolve that duty upon of it to either the county of Kings, Westchester, the Legislature and not to assume it by the Con- or Richmond. That is one objection wbich veution. At a later period and within a few presents itself to me to the proposition of hours of the submission of their reports the gentleman from Albany (Mr. A. J. Parker).
I have not heard any explanation of the details of is gravely proposed as a great measure to promote the amendment, but I can conceive a serious difti- the interests of the State of New York, and to culty in carrying it into execution; which diffi- promote the interests of the republican party, that culty was well stated by the gentleman from we must so organize the senatorial districts Westchester (Mr. Greeley) in the course of his below the Highlands that no man of 35,000 repubremarks the other day ou this subject; namely, licans in the city of New York, and of at least that it would inevitably lead to the defeat of the 25,000 republicans in the remainder of that tereptire scheme by reason of the election in strong ritory, can ever be represented in his polities in democratic districts of the entire democratic the Senate of the State. I believe when a propoticket, and in the strong republican districts of the sition of that kind shall be carried down to the entire republican ticket. Untii, therefore, I have republicans of that district of country, it will be heard something that may satisfy me that the found that the republicans of that region are not amendment is feasible, and that it can be carried so singular in their notions as to forget or ignore into execution so as to be effectual in all parts of what is due to them as a part of the republican the State, and leave the city of New York undivided family of the State, not so lost to the notion of in its territory, I shall oppose and vote against it. their own right of representation as to say " ayo"
Mr. M. I. TOWNSEND — Although I have to the bill of sale that sells them out for ever for spoken on the main question in this case, there is a fallacy. And, sir, this report of the committee, one consideration that presents itself to my mind if the whole of which is fairly under considerathat I think it my duty to present this Convention. tion, at the same time proposes to do nearly the I should vote for the proposition of the gentleman same thing with the assembly districts. from Albany [Mr. A. J. Parker), if we must have That region of country can send ordinarily about quadruple districts or treble districts, if there two republicans from Westchester and six froin were any hope of the republican party in the city New York and some four from Kings, and yet of of New York being represented in the Senate of all that body of men — ten to twelve at least the State under the proposition of the gentleman not one is ever to come liere in the future. The from Albany (Mr. A. J.Parker). But it has been well men of that district are, by the majority in this said here that the democratic party in the city of Convention, to be bound land and foot and cast New York is suficiently strong to run two tickets out into utier darkness. But whether there shall and certainly secure the election of one of them be any weeping or gnashing of teeth, our frieuds over the entire vote the republican party could will determine when the proposition, il adopted, bring to the polls, so that the republicans of the comes down to the polls. I have seen something city of New York would have under that proposi- of politics in this State. I do not propose to tion no representative in the Senate. I propose forget the teachings of experience. I would not especially to present, through the chairman, to be a partisan bere. I lave advocated this matter my republican friends in this Convention, a cou because it is right, and not because of its partisan sideration which las not yet been presented, and aspects, and I have received some frowns for doing I do it the more anxiously because some of my so. I now want to show gentlemen they are republican friends in this Convention, of more doing very poor work, as partisans, in carrying mature age and experience than myself, have come out a measure that is reactionary to the last to look with somewhat of distrust and dissatis- degree; and the majority of the world outside faction on the course I felt it my duty to pursue of this Convention will believe large districts in regard to single districts. In 1864, at the last were devised from mere distrust of popular gov. senatorial election in this State, the republicans ernment, and some on the inside hold the same carried four of the eight senatorial districts below opinion. I rise, sir, simply for the purpose of the Highlands. They elected four Senators in presenting this consideration; and having presentthe territory which the commitlee has proposed to ed this consideration, I am entirely willing to consign to endless night. They have now in the leave the question. I have occupied my share Senate of the State one-half the representation of the time, but I felt it my duty to present that is proposed to be given directly and en masse this question, as this part of the State to the democratic party. And, sir, if there is did the honor
their nobody else to speak for this region of the State, votes, and I felt it to be my duty to look as they did me the honor to give me their votes, I after their interests as well as the interests of the wish to protest against the arrangemeut of dis- other parts of the State. tricts in such a manner as to forever settle the Mr. OPDYKE — As I am one of those who question, that no republican below the Highlands voted against the large districts, I do not can ever sit in the Senate of the State. I com- come under the censure of the gentleman from mend it to those gentlemen who wish so strongly Rensselaer [Mr. M. I. Townsend]. If I were one for party interest. I am not talking about a fal of that class, I should say, in answer to him, lacy. I am not talking about a thing that is that according to my judgment I should best impossible. My democratic friend from Queens subserve the interests of the party to which I [Mr. S. Townsend) sits in this Convention by a belong by voting as I believe is best for the majority of only about one hundred in the first interests of the State. That is the only answer I sebate district, and his colleagues by the same should make. But, sir, I rise for another pur. majority. In one of the districts in New York, my pose. I have been an interested listener to this republican friend whom I see before me [Mr. Strat- debate ton) secured his election to this Convention, and Mr. M. I. TOWNSEND-I would ask the genthose of the opposite party for the other three tleman a question, if he will allow me. Have I places in that district were barely elected. Now, it given any offense to that gentleman ?