Imagens das páginas

development of the resources thereof," or of any. Mr. E. P. BROOKS offered the following resoact to which said act is supplemental, or of any lution : act supplemental to or amendatory of said chap Resolved, That on and after Tuesday next, this ter 236

Convention will commence its daily sessions at Resolved, That the Comptroller be, and he is nine o'clock A. 1., subject to the rule adopted by hereby, requested to inform this Convention what this Convention as to adjournments on alternate State of New York or United States stock, if Saturdays and the meetings on Mondays. any, and in what amount, has been deposited with The question was put upon the resolution of hiin, and the time when the same was so depos- Mr. E. P. Brooks, and it was declared lost. ited as security for taxes on lands, pursuant to The Convention then resolved itselt into Comsectior. 5 of chapter 236 of the Laws of 1863, mittee of the Whole on the report of the Comentitled "An act to encourage and facilitate the mittee on the Legislature, its Organization, etc., construction of a Railroad along the Upper Hud. Mr. ARCHER, of Wayne, in the chair. son into the Wilderness in the northern part of The CHAIRMAN announced the pending questhis State, and the development of the Resources tion to be on section 4 of the report of the comthereof."

mittee. Resolved, That the State Engineer and Surveyor The SECRETARY froceeded to read the seebe requested to communicate to this Convention a tion as follows: statement showing the quantity of lands sold by Sec. 4. The Assembly shall consist of one hun. the "Sackett's Harbor and Saratoga railroad dred and thirty-nine members who shall be company," tha " Lake Ontario and Hudson River chosen by counties, and shall be apportioned railroad company," and the " Adirondack com- among the several counties of the State, as nearly pany," or by any and every other company hav, as may be, according to the number of ic habitants ing or claiming to have or to have had and thereof, who are citizens of the State, and shall enjoyed the franchises of the corporation or cor- hold office for one year. Each county shall be porations aforesaid, with the location and descrip- entitled to at least one member, except that the tion of said lands, if any, and the names of the counties of Fulton and Hamilton shall

, together, grantees thereof.

elect, until the population of the county of Resolved, That the State Engineer and Surveyor Hamilton shall, according to the ratio, entitle it be requested to inform this Convention what evi- to a member. No new county shall be erected dences, if any, have been filed in his office of the unless its population shall entitle it to a member. construction and operation of the railroad men. The first apportionment of members of Assembly tioned in the fifth section of chapter 236 of the shall be made by the Legislature at its first sesLaws of 1863.

sion after the adoption of this Constitution, upon Which were laid over under the rule. the enumeration of the inhabitants of this State,

Mr. BICKFORD -- I wish to ask leave of who are citizens thereof, made in the year ono absence from this evening until ten o'clock Tues- thousand eight hundred and sixty-five. A lke day morning. I have received a letter stating apportionment shall be made by the Legislature that my wife and child are ill, and if the Conven- at its first session after every such enumeration. tion will give me this leave of absence it will give Every apportionment when made shall remain me two days instead of one.

unaltered until another enumeration shall be Objection being made, the question was put on made. granting Mr. Bickford leavo of absence, and it Mr. MERWIN-I offer the following substitute: was declared carried.

SEC. 4. The Assembly shall consist of one Mr. BELL - I am requested to ask leave of hundred and twenty-eight members, who shall be absence for the remainder of this week, for Mr. annually elected. The members of Assembly Merrill, of Wyoming, ho having been called home shall be apportioned among the several counties by a telegram.

of the State by the Legislature, as nearly as may There being no objection, leave was granted. be, according to the pumber of their respective The PRESIDENT presented a communication inhabitants, excluding

aliens, and shall be chosen from Richard O'Gorman, counsel to the corpora by single districts. The apportionment as now tion of New York, in answer to a resolution of established by law shall remain until another the Convention of August 3.

enumeration and apportionment as hereinafter Which was referred to the Committee on the provided. Judiciary.

The Legislature at its first session after the reMr. KRUM - I ask leave of absence until turn of every enumeration shall re-apportior the to-morrow.

members of Assembly among the several counties There being no objection, leave was granted. of the State, in the mapper aforesaid, and the

Mr. SEAVER- I ask unanimous consent that boards of supervisors in such counties as may be the several resolutions offered by me a few entitled, under such apportionment to more than moments since may be now considered.

one member, shall assemble at such time as may The question was put on the resolutions of be provided by law, and divide such counties Mr. Seaver and they were declared adopted. into assembly districts equal to the number

Mr. FOLGER – I ask leave of absence for my of members of Assembly to which such colleague from the twenty-sixth district, Mr. Lap. counties shall be entitled, and shall cause ham. He has received a letter making it neces. to be filed in tho offices

the sary for him to leave at one o'clock and fifteen Secretary of State, and tho clerks of their minutes, and remain away until Tuesday. respective counties, a description of such Assem

There being no objection, leave was granted bly districts, specifying the mumber of each dis



trict and the population thereof, according to the and a more honest and intelligent representatation last preceding State euutceration, as near as can in the lower branch of the Legislature than we be ascertained. Each assembly district shail cou have heretofore had. And I know of no better tain, as nearly as may be, an equal number of io- weaps of accomplishing this most desirable rehabizants, excluding aliers, and shall consist of sult, than by going back to the old system of convenient and contiguous territory, but no town electing the members of Assembly hy counties. I shall be divided in the formation of such districts. believe that a great majority of the candid and The apportioument aud districts so to be made observing citizens of this State, who have given shall remain unaltered until another enumeration any attention to the matter, will unite in declaring shall be taken under the provisions of the pre- that the small district system, which was estabceding sectiou. Each county shall be entitled to lished by the Constitutiou of 1846, is a failure. at least one member, except that the counties of Under the first Constitution of this state, as well Fulton and Hamilton shall together elect until the as under the Constitution of 1821, they were population of the county of Hamilton shall, ac- chosen by counties, and then we had men of great cording to the ratio, entitle it to a member. No ability, honesty and integrity; men whose influnew county shall be erected unless its population ence was felt in behalf of ail that was wise, right shall entitle it to a member.

and good in government; men of whom the State Mr. MERWIN - It will be seen that this might well be proud, and whose names will long amendment leaves the provisions of the Constitu- be remembered by a grateful people. But our tion as they now are. It provides for one hun-members of Assembly have gradually become dred and twenty-eight members to be elected by worse and worse, until now few respectable men single districts, the apportionment and distribu- care to hold the office. I do not tion of them to remain as they are now, so that say that there are not some able, high-minded, no new apportionment will need to be made by and honorable men in the Assembly every year, the Legislature. In my opinion, a larger number but I do mean to say that these are the exception, would be preferable, I think that would be more and that as a rule, the great majority of the memconsistent with the spirit of our institutions; still bers are in almost every respect inferior to the men many of those wbose opinions I respeot differ from we had under the old system. And I think eveme, and I think, perhaps, upon the whole, it is ry reflecting man will bear me out in this asserbetter to retain the number we now have. It tion. This I attributé, in a great measure, to tho may be more satisfactory to the people, and will fact that they are elected in small assembly disnot be inaugurating any change in that respect. tricts. Under the present system it does not It will also be seen that the system of single dis- matter much how little a man may be qualified tricts is retained. That question has been dis. for the position, or how ignorant or depraved he cussed in another aspect, but the same arguments may be; if he can gather enough of the same in regard to that question as to senate districts sort, like himself around lim, he can, by political will apply more forcibly here. I have stated in and other influences, succeed in getting a nomi. another place all that I care to say upon nation, and be elected. This is so'not only in cities, this question, and I think that it is the more cor. but I understand from a distinguished member rect and just plan to adopt. I think it would be of this body, who belongs to the party in the mamore satisfaciory to the people, and will retain jority here, that it is, in a great measure, equally the elements which we desire to attain in the true of the rural districts. Now it seems to me, constitution of the Assembly. There will be a re- that if they are elected by general ticket through sponsibility about it which you cannot get if you out the county, these direct personal influences have large districts. There are in the State cannot be brought to bear so readily nor so effectwenty-nine counties that elect more than one tually. The votes of the better class of the commember; there being sixty counties in the State--munity will be more apt to tell, because the other or really fifty-nine, inasmuch as Fulton and Ham. class will not be able to make such combined and ilton elect together-and, of these, twenty-nine united efforts in behalf of their favorite candihave more than one member, and these twenty- dates. Money, which is so often all.powerful in nine comprise at least four-fifths of the inhabi- small districts, and before which obstacles, seemtants of the State. Also, inasmuch as we have ingly insurmountable, give way like ice before the adopted the single senate districts, if wo elect the summer's sun, will in a great measure be useless Assemblymen by counties we will have the anom. in a county canvass. Candidates will be comaly of having assembly districts larger than senate pelled to rely more on their previous reputation, districts; which, in a number of instances, it for an election; and the result will be, that we seems to me, will work badly. I think the will have a much abler body of men.

Men of acamendment I have suggested is right, and I hope knowledged ability, and high standing in society it will prevail.

who would scorn to resort to the trickery, the Mr. LOEW-I am opposed to the amendment low cupping, and the improper and illegal use of of the gentleman from Jefferson [Mr. Merwin); money which is rendered absolutely necessary in and in favor of electing members of Assembly order to secure an election in a small district, from counties, as reported by the majority of the would be willing to become candidates if their committee. I do not desire at this time to enter claims could be fairly presented for the considerinto any lengthy argument upon this subject, but ation and judgment of their fellow.citizens, with. simply to give utterance to a few thoughts that out any necessity on their part of going through bave suggested themselves to my mind. I pre- a degrading canvass. This, I apprehend, can sume all will agree that our best efforts should be only be done by electing them on a genedirected and brought to bear to secure a better ral county ticket, whereby every elector is

enabled to decide unbiased upon the merits Senator would represent, two or three times, the and demerits of all the candidates in his population and area of territory that the Assem. county, and cast his vote for those whom he blýmen from those counties would represent. may think best qualified. Permit me now, Mr. Several of the counties form each a senatorial Chairman, to notice very briefly, the objections district, and then the Senator and Assemblymen which I have heard urged against that mode of would each represent the county. But nowhere electing them. The first is, that they will not except in New York is a senate district composed represent the views and sentiments of the people of less than one county, and consequently nonearly so well

, as if they were elected from small where but there could an assembly district be districts. There would be force in this objection, larger than a senate district. If we elect Sena. if there was a great diversity of interest between tors by the present system, and Assemblymen different parts of those counties who are entitled by counties, we will only have thirty-two senate to more than one member. So far as cities are districts, while we will have sixty assembly concerned, every representative in the Legisla districts, being nearly double the number. It ture, as a general thing, really represents the seems to me, therefore, that there would be no whole city, and not the particular assembly dis- incongruity between the arrangement of senate trict in which he was elected, and with especial and assembly districts. But even if there was, reference to which, he is very rarely, if ever, I think it would be of small account if we could called on to act. As regards the country, I am thereby secure better men. Sir, we should aim not sufficiently acquainted with its peculiar wants to get the very best men, both in the Senate and and necessities to pass an intelligent judgment Assembly, and adopt whatever means will best on the matter. But when I reflect that the State accomplish that purpose. The fourth and last ob. is divided into sixty counties, each of which is jection that I have heard, is, that even if necessarily composed of a comparatively small we elect them by counties, we will not portion of the territory of the State, the interests get better men, as the central organization of whose inhabitants must be in a great measure will, in making nominations, defer in identical, so far at least as representation in the a great measure to the wishes of the different councils of the State is concerned, it seems to me assembly organizations, who will claim the right this objection must fall to the ground. The second of naming the candidates. Assuming, for arguobjection is, that it will take away the power ment's sake, that this will be the case, I still from the people and place it in the hands of poli. insist that we will then have a much better class ticians. If this were so I would be the last one of men. The central organization will say to to countenance it. Who, let me ask, makes the the local organization, “We will nominate any assembly nominations now? Do the people one you name, provided he is a good man, one of make them? Are they not in reality made by whom we need not be ashamed, and whom the political organizations in each assembly district, people will support.” Both parties will be comthrough whose combined and united influence pelled to do this, in order to present as strong a and power, either directly or indirectly, the county ticket as possible to the people for their suffrages, nominations are also made? True, sometimes and if either should fail to do so, the chances independent candidates are run and supported by are that the good men who belong to that party, citizens who are tired of party rule and party nomi- those who desire the public good, more than they nations; but we all know how very seldom do party success, would give their votes, and their they are successful. At other times a influence, to the opposition, and thus elect that number of influential citizens in an assembly dis. ticket. It seems to me, therefore, Mr. Chairman, trict may succeed in procuring the nomination for that there is absolutely nothing, in either of these a certain person from the powers that be, but, as objections against the county system, which is I said before, does it not much more frequently not greatly overbalauced by the many positive happen that bold and bad men will procure the good results which will flow from it, and I sin. nominations for their favorites ? No, no, Mr. cerely hope that the Convention will see fit to Chairman, when the time shall come that the best, adopt it. the most honest and most intelligent portion of Mr. A. J. PARKER-I wish to offer another the community in each assembly district shall be amendment, which I think is now in order. I willing to devote the necessary time and atten. wish in the first line to change "one hundred and liou to this matter, and combine to elect thirty-vine," to " one hundred and twenty-eight," the best men, I shall be in favor of the small so as to retain the present number of members. district system; but that time is not yet. Mr. MERWIN—That is my amendment. The tbiru objection is, that inasmuch as the Con Mr. A. J. PARKER-I know it is, but I wish ventioa has decided in Committee of the Whole to reject the rest, all except the change of pumto adhore to the small district system so far as the ber to one hundred and twenty eight. Sanale is concerned, it will not do to enlarge the The CHAIRMAN - The Chair is of the opinion present asseinbly districts, because if we do, that the amendment of the gentleman from Albaihe members of che lower house will represent a ny [Mr. A. J. Parker) is in order, as it seeks to greater number of constituents and a larger area perfect the section rather than to strike out. The of territory than those in the upper house. This, amendment of the gentleman proposes to strke it is true, will be the case in the city and county out the uumber of which the Assembly shall be of New York—which is divided into several composed, as recommended in the report of the senate districts — but nowhere else. In most committee, and insert the present number, one cases it requires either two or three counties to hundred and twenty-eight. make a sonate district, and there, of course, the Mr. SEYMOUR-I understand that the amend.

ment proposed by the gentleman from Albany half an hour, and that the balance of the section (Mr. A. J. Parker), is an amendment to the orig- be considered before one o'clock. inal section, as reported by the committee, and The PRESIDENT — Will the gentleman from that the only alteration that he proposes, really, Onondaga (Mr. Alvord] submit his proposition in is to strike out the number of members of Assem- writing? bly as reported, and make it one hundred and Mr. CONGER-I give notice that if that propotwenty-eight, the number that has for many years sition is submitted to the Convention at this constituted the House of Assembly. I am in time I shall object to its being entertained. favor of that amendment, and in favor of the re The PRESIDENT—The Chair holds that under port of the committee as respects —

the circumstances it is in the province of the The CHAIRMAN- The Chair has been in Convention to instruct the conmittee, aud the reerror in allowing the debate to progress thus far. solution will be in order. According to the resolution adopted this morning, Mr. CONGER-I underatand it cay only be enthe whole debate would seem to be limited to five tertained by unanimous cousent and I object. minutes. The resolution reads thus:

The PRESIDENT - The Chair rules, that the “Resolved, That further debate in Committee of proposition to amend the resolution, can only be the Whole, on the report of the Standing Com- entertained by upanimous consent. mittee on the Legislature, its Organization, etc., Mr. CONGER-I only want to give notice to be limited to five minutes, and that at one o'clock the gentleman from Onoodlaga to-day the article be reported to the Convention Mr. SHERMIN-I take the point of order, and immediately considered, and continued the that debate is uot in order special order until disposed of."

The PRESIDENT — The point of order is well Mr. MERRITT– I hope the Chairman will taken. construe that to mean five minutes to each speaker. Mr. BICKFORD-I move to reconsider the

The CHAIRMAN - If there be no objection resolution by which the resolution offered by the Chair will so construe it.

the gentleman from Oneida (Mr. Williams), was Mr. ALVORD-I object

adopted. Mr. SEYMOUR - I believe I have the floor. Mr. CONGER - I object.

The CHAIRMAN - Not until it is determined The PRESIDENT - Objection being made the whether the debate can be continued further than resolution must lie upon the table. five minutos, under this rule.

Mr. WEED – I call for the question upon the Mr. SEYMOUR -I move then that the com- amendment of the gentleman from Oneida [Mr. mitlee now rise and report proceedings to the Williams). Convention. It is evident that the intention was The PRESIDENT - It lies on the tabii. to limit each speaker to five minutes and my Mr. A. J. PARKER - Is it in order to move object in moving to rise is to move to amend the to send this again to the committee, under resolution so that it will conform to the intention. instructions such as are contained in that resolu

The CHAIRMAN—The motion is not debat- tion substituting five minutes time to each speaker ? able.

The PRESIDENT — The Chair will hold under The question was then put on the motion of the peculiar circumstances of this case, although Mr. Seymour, and declared carried.

it is not exactly parliamentary, the Convention Mr. ALVORD-I will withdraw my objection. may instruct the committee as to the order

Mr. WEED—The gentleman from Onondaga of proceedings. [Mr. Alvord). has withdrawn his objection.

Mr. A. J. PARKER-I move such instrucThe CHAIRMAN-It is too late.

tions giving five minutes to each speaker Whereupon the committee rose and the Presi Mr. CONGER - I wish to say that I base my dent resumed the Chair in Convention.

objection solely upon a further attempt to limit Mr. ARCHER from the Committee of the Mr. SHERMAN - I rise to a point of order. Whole reported that the committee had had This question is not debatable, it relating to priorunder consideration the report of the Committee ity of business. on the Legislature, its Organization, etc., had Mr. CONGER - I do not desire to debate the made some progress therein, but not having gone question, but only to give notice. through therewith, had instructed their Chairman The PRESIDENT- The gentleman from Rockto report that fact to the Convention and ask land [Mr. Conger) is out of order. leave to sit again.

Mr. CONGER - I consent to withdraw my obThe question was put on granting leave, and it jection. was declared carried.

The PRESIDENT - The Chair must observe Mr. WILLIAMS-I beg leave to offer an amend the parliamentary rule. If there be no new propoment to the resolution offered by me this morning. sition for the action of the Convention, the It was my intention to give five minutes to each Convention will again resolve itself into Commitspeaker.

tee of the Whole on the Report of the Committee The PRESIDENT—That can only be done by on the Legisiature, its Organization, etc. unanimous consent.

Mr. MERRITT - I move that debate in ComMr. ALVORD-I shall have to object unless mittee of the Whole be confined to six minutes the gentleman consents to limit the time on each for each speaker. section, and to limit it on the whole article to one Mr. WEED — Will an amendment be in order? o'clock. I therefore propose that he accept a The PRESIDENT-It will. limitation of the time upon the pending section to Mr. WEED-I move to amend by making it twenty minutes, the time on the next section to 'five minutes.

The PRESIDENT - That amendment is not in, members of Assembly from counties, it is greatly order.

desirable that we should attain it; the fact Mr. WEED- Then I withdraw it.

that we elect Senators from small districts in Mr. ALVORD-I move it be six minutos, and two particular parts of this State seems to me that the debate be closed at one o'clock.

should not weigh against the general proposition Mr. MERRITT-I accept that amendment as applicable to the whole State. But you have

Mr. S. TOWNSEND-I ask for a division on another consideration in reference to the Senate, the question.

as the amendment now before this body now The question was then put upon the first part stands on this subject; I understand that a longer of the proposition of Mr. Merritt, limiting debate period of service is to be given; they are to be to six minutes, and was declared carried. elected for four years; so you will have for your

The question was then put upon the second Senators, although elected from smaller districts, clause of the motion, that the committee rise at the benefit of longer experience. I think, sir, that half-past one o'clock and report to the Convention, it is an important thing to attain this organizaand it was declared carried, on a division, by a tion and to sustain it, of the election of vote of 63 to 22.

our members of Assembly by counties, and The Convention again resolved itself into Com- it will do much, I think, to raise the character of mittee of the Whole on the report of the Com- the body to which these members are to be remittee on tho Legislature, its Organization, etc., turned; it gives us a better opportunity of selecMr. ARCHER, of Wayne, in the chair.

tion; it concentrates the power of the county as The CHAIRMAN announced the pending ques- a county, and the weight and influence of each tion to be on the amendmont offered by Mr. A. J. county in the State then can be felt as it should Parker to the fourth section.

be for the benefit of that county, and not be Mr. SEYMOUR-- The amendment offered by frittered away as it now is under the small district the gentleman from Albany (Mr. A. J. Parker), system. is simply to limit the number of members Mr. WEED - I think that the number of the in the Assembly to the present number, one more numerous House of the Legislature of hundred and twenty-eight, and it is an amend the State of New York is substantially large ment, as I understand it, to the original proposi. enough at the present day. If there were tion of the committee, to wit, that the members no other considerations except a desire to of the Assembly shall be elected by counties, and change, I should be opposed to increasing that not by districts, as was the practice up to the number, but from the peculiar size of quite a Constitution of 1846. I am in favor of this proposi- number of counties in this State, when you divide tion; I am in favor of the election of members the number of inhabitants in the State by the one of the Assembly by counties, and not by hundred and twenty-eight, the present number districts, and I am in favor of limiting tle in the Assembly, several counties with a very number of members of Assembly to one hundred large fraction over the requisite population for ope, and twenty-eight. There are many considera- are entitled to but one member, though they are tions in favor of electing members of Assem- very nearly entitled to two. I believe that a just bly by counties. It gives opportunity for a representation of those counties in the Assembly better selection; you have the population will induce every member who will sit down and of the entire county to select from; whereas calculates those fractions, to vote to increase tho by the small district system you must con- number, as reported by this committee. I am fine your selection to the distriot from forced to come to that conclusion from the examwhich the member is to be elected. When ination I have given this subject, and for that we reflect that our countics are organizations reason, Mr. Chairman, I shall oppose the amendof long continuance, that the public business is ment offered by the gentleman from Albany (Mr. regulated in reference to counties to a very great A. J. Parker). In my own county we, for a extent, that it is customary for the people of coun- large number of years, have had more inhabitants ties to meet as a people, as residents of the coun- than entitle that county to two members, but ty, and to act together in relation to their public because of living upon the borders, quite a numaffairs and matters of importance to them, we ber of those inhabitants are aliens, and we are must, I think, see that the representation of reduced just below the requisite number for two, this population having one concentrated interest only a few hundreds less, I think, at the apportion together, is better than a representation divided ment before the last, and hence we were reduced and scatiered over a county, among little localities. to but one. Under this apportionment, making it My time will not allow me to pursue all these con- just and equal to the balance of the State, my siderations, but I commend them to the reflection county will have two members of Assembly, of every member of this Convention before he votes. as it is entitled to by its numbers, I uoder.. The only objection I have heard in reference to this stand it was the desire of the committee, in proposition of electing our members by counties making the number one hundred and thirty-nine, is this, that we have already fixed upon sen to accommodate, as far as possible, those counties, ate districts which, in some instances, will divide having a large fraction over the number of the counties, and therefore if you elect members, for present apportionment, to give to those who had instance in the city of Brooklyn and in the city of more than one-half enough for another member New York, by counties, you will elect them from an additional member by reducing the quota, ky larger districts than you do your Senators. I do dividing the whole number by one hundred and not conceive that is any objection. If there is a thirty-nine, instead of one hundred and twenty. positive good, as I believe there is, in electing our eight. For that reason, and believing that increa.

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