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nine would give Chenango an additional repre- for any citizen, whether residing in the same sentative, and I think it is a better number than county with such electors or not, and any citizen one hundred aud twenty-eight. But sır, I believe receiving 5,500 votes shall be entitled to a seat in that an increase in the number of representatives the House of Assembly." is due to the increase of the population of this It is no new law that a person in a county State. The increase in the number ought to be may vote for any person outside of the large. If one hundred and twenty-eight in 1846 county; but no method has yet been devised and previous to it, was not too large a number to by which a person exercising th right represent the population of this state, then I think shall have his vote counted, except under one hundred and thirty-nine at this time is not too the old majority or minority plan. Now, sir, large a number to represent the present popula. I propose to try, by this amendment, to give the tion.
minorities a right throughout the State to be Mr. BICKFORD-I would respectfully ask the represented on the basis of 5,500 votes, which is Chair to mention the rule to which he refers, that almost equal to the apportionment now determthe motion to strike out and insert is one and ined by this committee for about one hundred indivisible. Rule 38 says, when a blank is to be and thirty-nine members; so that if a minority in filled and different sums or time shall be proposed, any one district of the State or any one county_I the question shall be first taken on the highest do not propose to set aside the rule at all-are sum and the longest time.
dissatisfied with the domination made, they will The CHAIRMAN-The Chair answers the gen- have a right to make a new nomination of their tleman from Jefferson (Mr. Bickford), that he does own, and to vote for a candidate of their own not recollect the specific rule, except it is an old choice, and thus have the power to give him a parliamentary usage, from the knowledge of which seat if they succeed in giving him 5,500 votes. I the Chair decided the question on the impulse of suppose that is the only practical way in which the moment, and he is now informed that it is in representation of minorities can at this time be the rules adopted by this body.
tried in this state. That is all I have to say. Mr. AXTELL- I call for the reading of the The question was then put on Mr. Conger's resolution.
amendment, and it was declared lost. The SECRETARY again read the resolution. Mr. BICKFORD-I propose to amend section
Mr. MERRITT—I wish to say that the conclu- four by striking out "one hundred and thirtysion which the committee arrived at, is based upon niue" in the first and second line, and insert “one the fact that this increase was occasioned by rep- hundred and forty-five." resenting majority fractions. A portion of the The question was put on Mr. Bickford's amendcommittee, of which I was one, were in favor of ment, and it was declared lost. largely increasing the Assembly, and the number Mr. DALY--I propose to amend the section by fixed upon was in the nature of a compromise. inserting this amendment at the end of it: We based it upon the same principle, and that "The provision herein, however, shall not prewas that the majority fraction should be fairly vent the Legislature from providing hereafter for and properly represented. We also included a more effectual representation of minorities.” a class who heretofore have been excluded-col I offer this amendment, Mr. Chairman, ored persons not taxed-and in making the distri- because it has been suggested by the gentlebution on that basis it gave the apportionment as men composing the society whose memorial and I stated it the other day, and it made an increase report I presented yesterday. I will not underof eleven members. I shall vote, therefore, take now to submit any argument upon the subject. against this proposition, believing an increase I agree with my colleague from New York (Mr. ought to be made, and I would be willing to Opdyke) that the time is not proper for the iucruextend that increase to one hundred and seventy- duction of this subject into the fundamental law. five or two hundred. I would be very willing to To the extent I have examined the subject, howsupport the proposition the gentleman from Jeffer- ever, I am not prepared to go as far as he does in son (Mr. Merwin) has made in his minority report, the conclusion that the whole natter is fallacious but I understand he does not propose to renew and impracticable. The impression made upon that proposition. There is no feeling on that sub- my mind so far as I have had an opportunity to ject, and in case the proposition is now adopted, examine the subject, is, that there is something in of course we adhere to the one hundred and twen- it, and I offer this amendment with a view of leaving ty-eight.
it to the power of the Legislature hereafter to Mr. BARKER—I desire simply to give inforadopt any provisions in respect to it which ex. •mation in regard to how the eleven addititioal perience may justify. I admit, for the present, it
members, if voted for, will be distributed among is entirely experimental, as it has not been subthe State. Allegany will have one; Chenangojected to the test of practical experience; but the one; Clinton one; New York twom Orange one ; fact that it has been very earnestly considered Kings one ; Westchester one ; Steuben one ; Mon- by very able minds, not only by Mr. Hare, its
projector, in England, but by the most eminent The question was then put on the motion of Mr. political economist of this age, Mr. Mill, and has A. J. Parker, and it was declared lost, on a divi- bcen largely discussed in other countries where sion, by a vote of 40 to 67.
personal representation exists, leads me to think Mr. CONGER – I offer the following amend- it would not be right in us to cut off the Legislament;
ture for twenty years from even considering this "But nothing herein contained shall prevent subject, if the views of those gontlemen who have any elector in any county from giving his vote advocated it, should prove to be correct. I agree
with the gentleman from New York (Mr. Opdyke), Mr. KINNEY-I offer the following amendthat the fundamental principle of this goverment ment: is, that it must be ruled by majorities, because Strike out of fourth section, commencing in there is no other alternative; but there is also a the sixth line, the following words: “except that principle, in connection with this which, is that the counties of Fulton and Hamilton, shall, tominorities must be heard. I have very great gether, elect, until the population of the county respect for the opinion of the intelligent gentlemen of Hamilton shall, according to the ratio, entitle who compose the society referred to, and at whose it to a member." suggestion this amendment is offered; their The object I have in offering this amendment is motive being the suppression of the causes which to carry out the principle which the committee now lead to political corruption in the Legislature have recognized, and which this Convention has and in the exercise of the elective franchise, and also recognized by a vote just taken, namely, that it is only in that view I submit this amendment; every county shall have one representative. leaving the Convention to make such disposition Now, sir, see no good reason why the county of it as, in their judgment, they may think of Hamilton, although a small county, should not proper.
be represented in the Legislature. That principle Mr. AXTELL—I hope the amendment just seems to have been recognized by the committee offered will not prevail. I must say, with all due in their deliberations, and in the report they have deference to gentlemen on this floor, that I think we made ; and is also recognized by the Convention. have had the representation of particular minori- I trust the Convention will not go back and reties, ad nauseam, and I hope nothing will be pudiate now, the very principle laid down in the placed in the Constitution recognizing the vision section which we propose to amend. The county ary theories of political doctrinaires.
is organized, and stands now on a perfect equality Mr. PAIGE-Political writers present the with all other counties in the State. If a county proposition and insist upon its correctness, that is to be represented by virtue of being a county, there can be po pure democracy in representative then the county of Hamilton should be representgovernments, unless minorities are represented. ed also. I hope the amendment will be passed I agree with the gentleman from New York (Mr. by this committee for the purpose of being conOpdyke) that we are not prepared in this Convensistent at least with itself, and have every county tion, with the knowledge we have on this subject, represented in the Legislature. to prepare and incorporate in the Constitution a The question was then put on the amendment plan for the application of this doctrine. But, sir, of Mr. Kinney, and it was declared lost. I thiuk so much of the principle of representing Mr. E. A. BROWN - I offer the following minorities, that I am willing to agree that this amendment: subject shall be committed to the Legislature. The In Mr. Merwin's amendment strike out the first true principle of representative government is the part and insert as follows, viz.: "The Assembly personal representation of all the electors. In dis- shall consist of one hundred and forty-two memtricts where one party greatly preponderates over bers, who shall be annually elected." the other, the minority for the time being are sub. The only change from Mr. Merwin's proposed stantially disfranchised, but if we can introduce amendment is in the number, and I think, from a principle whereby the minority may be repre- what has been said, there are very substantial sented, they will have a personal representation reasons why a small increase of the members of in the deliberative body, and so rr.eet face to face Assembly should be made. I do not propose to the representatives of the majority, and can ad- make any argument about it. vocate the views of the minority. This principle Mr. HAND - I do not know what reason tho is of so much importance, and it is so essential to gentleman from Lewis (Mr. E. A. Brown] has for the perfection of representative government, that this, specially, but I will mention one reason why I am willing to commit the subject to the Legis- this addition should be made ; that is, to do juslature for the reason that we have not now suffi. tice to three counties that have a fraction almost cient knowledge of the subject to devise a plan large enough to give them another member. One to be inserted in the Constitution.
is the county of Broome, another the county of Mr. VAN CAMPEN-I offer the following Onondaga, and the county of Jefferson, having a amendment to the proposition of the gentleman very large fraction-almost twelve thousand. By from New York (Mr. Daly]:
adding these three you would do justice to those "If approved by, or after submission to the counties, and certainly would not make a large people,"
representation for a State containing four millions Mr. DALY-I accept the amendment. of population. I would be in favor, personally,
Mr. E. A. BROWN-I rise merely to suggest of making this representation much larger, but I that, under the Constitution, provision will un- hope the Convention will be in favor of making doubtedly be made for amending that instrument, this addition of three to the number, and make it and when the electors have acquired the knowledge one hundred and forty-two. essential to the framing of an article, by which Mr. KETCHAM - I am in favor of the in. minorities can be represented in the Legislature, creased number of representatives, because I besuch a provision can be secured by an amend lieve that the increased population of the State ment to the Constitution without specially pro requires it; but I am opposed to making it an viding for it now.
even number, The question was then put on the amendment Mr. HAND - I move an amendment, to make of Mr. Daly, as amended by Mr. Van Campen, it one hundred and forty-three. and it was declared lost.
Mr. E. A. BROWN -I am willing to accept
the amendment, and call it one hundred and forty-intention to becomo citizens of the United States." three.
The question was then put on the amendment Mr. KETCHAM - I remember one or two occa- of Mr. Masten, and it was declared lost. sions, when the Legislature have been here for The SECRETARY then read the first division weeks, detained by reason of an inability to or of the proposition of Mr. Merwin. ganize the House, because they were equally Mr. RUMSEY-! propose to amend that propdivided. I think it is rather important, therefore, osition by making the members of the Assembly that we make the proposed odd number in the elected biennially, and I do it for the purpose of amendment. I shall vote for any increased num following it up by the proposition that we shall ber not exceeding two hundred, if the proposition have only biennial sessions of the Legislature. I makes the body consist of an odd number of think it will be foand that a very large portion of members.
the legislation in this State is confined to local or The question was put on the amendment of private legislation, and it seems to me to be enMr. E. Å. Brown, and it was declared lost. tirely manifest that the Convention intends to
Mr. E. A. BROWN-I propose one hundred and adopt some measure by which this large amount forty-one.
of private and local legislation shall cease from The question was put on the amendment of coming before the Legislature; and if such a Mr. E. Á. Brown, and it was declared lost. measure is adopted by the Convention, there is
Mr. MERRITT-I move to make it one huin- no need for the annual sessions of the Legislature. dred and thirty-nine, as proposed by the Commit. It is very evident, Mr. Chairman, that a very large tee, instead of one hundred and twenty-eight. portion of the legislation which applies to the
Mr. VAN CAMPEN-I rise to a point of order public and only to the public interest (if you that we have taken a direct vote on that number throw out private legislation) can be done prewithin thirty minutes past.
cisely as well by calling the Legislature in session The CHAIRMAN-The Chair understands the every other year, as it can by having it in session proposition of the gentleman from Jefferson (Mr. annually. Merwio) was to make it over one hundred and Mr. E. BROOKS-I hope the amendment twenty-eight. While that was pending the gen- moved by the gentleman who has just taken his tleman from Albany (Mr. A. J. Parker) moved an seat will prevail
. I believe it is a wise maxim amendment to the original article as reported by recognized by most persons who study public the committee, so as to change it from one hun- measures, that the world is governed too much, dred and thirty-nine to one huudred and twenty, and that the frequency of the assembling of our eight; that was lost. But that vote did not have Legislature, instead of contributing to the public ang connection with the amendment of the gen- good, tends very much to the public disadvantage. tleman from Jefferson (Mr. Merwin). The Chair, I believe it would be a measure of great public therefore, holds the proposition of the gentleman economy if the Legislature were to assemble bat from Jefferson (Mr. Merwin) now stands at one once in every two years, instead of every year, as hundred and twenty-eight, and the gentleman at present, and I do not believe in regard to any from St. Lawrence [Mr. Merritt] moves to amend, public question which may require action, that the by changing the number in that proposed amend people will suffer thereby. I do not wish to debate ment of the gentleman from Jefferson (Mr. Mer- the question, but I believe no measure has been win) from one hundred and twenty-eight to one proposed during the consideration of the question hundred and thirty-nine.
now before us, of more public importance than The question was then put on the amendment this one, and I believe, sir, that the people, in of Mr. Merritt, and it was declared carried. regard to whom we hear so much, and of whom
The CHAIRMAN announced that the question we say so much, will be entirely satisfied with the was on the proposed substitute of Mr. Merwin, proposition, should it become part of the organic as amended by the committee.
law. Mr. BARKER-I rise simply to state that hav. Mr. RATHBUN-I will state now, sir, npon ing changed the number to one hundred and this subject, that the Committee on the Powers thirty-nine, the balance of the proposition of the and Duties of the Legislature have considered this gentleman from Jefferson (Mr. Merwin) should question thoroughly, and they are unanimous, as be voted down, because it proposes to continue I understand it, in favor of the proposition offered the present apportionment. "If it is one hundred by the gentleman from Steuben (Mr. Rumsey). and thirty-nine there will have to be a new appor. They believe that it is better in every possible tionment, and therefore I think the proposition sense for the people of this State to have a session ought to be voted down as being only calculated of the Legislature but once in two years. It is for one hundred and twenty-eight.
perfectly well known, I apprehend, by the memMr. MERWIN—The main proposition now left bers of the legal profession in this Convention, of my amendment is whether or not we shall that one of the greatest annoyances in the world elect by counties or single districts.' When that and which occurs every year, is that the legislais determined the wording of the amendment can tive provisions of this state are continually be altered to correspond with the vote taken. changing. No man knows until he gets
Mr. E. A. BROWN–We can avoid any diffi- possession of the Session Laws and goes through culty by dividing the question.
and through, reading them from beginning to end, Mr. MASTEN-I offer the following amend. anything about what our law is, and how many ment:
changes have been made. They are frequently Insert after the word "aliens” the words made with a view to accommodate particular "who have not declared, according to law, their cases, and the rules of evidence are changed to
meet cases that are about to be commenced. on the Powers and Duties of the Legislature has They change the rules of evidence about cases been referred to, and it is therefore not improper that have been long pending. And in that man for me to say that they have provided in their report ner legislation has been going on for years, with that the Governor may call a special session of this constant and vexatious interference by the the Legislature at any time when he shall see fit to Legislature, with the rules of evidence, and other do so, stating in his proclamation the purposes provisions existing at the time the right of action and object for which it is called, and that the in many cases accrued. I hope this amendment Legislature shall do no other business. will prevail. It is intended on the part of the com Mr. ANDREWS-If it should turn out that the mittee I named to report other amendments in re- Governor himself, unfaithful to the interests of gard to this change, and with a view to carry it out. the State, ought to be impeached and removed It'seems to me we can hardly do much better than from that position, I submit that the difficulty and to acopt this provision; it will have one effect, the necessity would not be met by relying upon which I think members cannot fail to see, and that officer to convene the Legislature for the purwhich is very desirable. It will, at all events, pose of deposing him. I have but this morning relieve the House for one year from the third taken up the Journal of the Debates of the Con. branch. They will be compelled to go abroad vention in Michigan, which are sent to my coland enter into some occupation and support them- league [Mr. Alvord), and this very subject is a selves for one year without depending on the matter of discussion. In that State, where bienLegislature, and a good many of them will per- nial sessions of the Legislature have for a long haps commit suicide in the mean time, and the time been held, I notice a statement in the speech balance will probably return to some honorable of Mr. Lathrop, Attorney-General of that State, business or calling that will keep them away from that, although he was originally strongly in favor the halls of the Legislature, and for that reason I of that measure, experience has shown to him think it is very desirable this experiment should that it has an unwise limitation of the power of be tried.
that body, and for those reasons, Mr. Chairman, Mr. C. C. DWIGHT-I desire to say I am in and because it is a novelty in respect to the Legisfavor of the proposition, and to make a single lature of this State, I am opposed to the proposed suggestion. As I understand it, the Legislature amendment. elected in the manner proposed by the gentleman Mr. FULLER—I agree with the gentleman from Steuben [Mr. Rumsey) will hold their from Onondaga [Mr. Andrews] that the people office for two years; and it will be within have not called for this change, and they do not the province of the Governor, under the expect it. I learn another fact from some conarticle reported by the committee on that subject, sultation with my constituents who come down to call an extra session of the Legislature should here occasionally from the western part of the any contingency arise to make it nocessary, at State, and that is that there is a sentiment growother than the time appointed for the regular ing up in that part of the State, and daily increassession.
ing, that the people will not be inclined to ratify Mr. ANDREWS—This is a new proposition to any Constitution which this Convention will me, and I think it will be wholly new to the peo- probably make, and I think therefore we had ple of the State. So far as I am advised, no rep- better avoid these sweeping changes. Again, resentation upon this subject has been made to sir, I do not think that the proposed amendment this body, nor has this matter received public will remedy the evil which the gentleman from attention or discussion. I agree, sir, that it is Cayuga [Mr. Rathbun] complains of. The only eminently desirable to limit the legislation of the effect of having biennial sessions will be to State, and, while I say that, I must also say that, double the length of the sessions when they come, in my judgment, the vast and varied interests of and to double the business of the sessions. You this State, which is in itself almost an empire, re- will have just double the amount of laws passed at quire the acnual assembling of a Legislature in one session that you do now; it will not remedy which is reposed the entire law making power. the evil complaimed of, and the Legislature, Now, sir, I think we should limit, as far as we instead of sitting three or four months, as they can, the subjects of legislation; but I am entirely do now, will sit six or eight months, and do opposed to prohibiting the annual assembling of double the work. That will be substantially the the Legislature when, as we know from the ex- effect of passing the proposed amendment. I perience of the past, it would have been impos- think therefore that, as at present advised, I sible to have carried along the great public ques- should have to go against it. tions in this State which have arisen during the Mr. PAIGE—This proposition strikes me favorlast five years without an annual assembling of ably. In reference to there being a demand for the Legislature. Sir, it is because the public exi- legislation in the alternate years, that objection gencies in a State like this often require the fre- has been answered by two delegates, the Gov. quent'assembling of tho body of the Legislature ernor having the power to make a special call that I am in favor of continuing the present sys- of the Legislature on any particular exigency. tem. And, sir, what are we to do? Are we to Then in reference to the other objection, that the abrogate substantially, for the period of two years, Legislature, sitting only once in two years, the the supervisory power of the Legislature over the session will be doubled in its length. I do not public officers of the State and over all the great agree in that conclusion. I think the Legislature interests which are committed to their charge ? sitting only once in two years, would sit no
Ur. RUMSEY-Will the gentleman allow me longer than if they sat every year. It seems to to interrupt him? The report of the Committee me that the crying evil of the time is excessive
legislation, and this proposition is one which | Add to section five, at the end thereof, "No commends itself, I think, to the favorable consid- member of either branch of the Legislature shall eration of the Convention and of the people. either directly or indirectly, demand or receive
The question was then put on the amendment from any source, any other or additional compenof Mr. Rumsey and it was declared lost.
sation of any character or description, than that The CHAIRMAN announced the pending ques- above provided, for any services rendered by him tion to be on the first part of Mr. Merwin's in relation to any matter before the Legislature amendment, as follows:
or any of the committees thereof, during the time "SEC. 4. The Assembly shall consist of one for which he was elected. And any member hundred and thirty-nine members, who shall be who shall, either directly or indirectly, demand annually elected. The members of Assembly or receive any such other additional compensashall be apportioned among the several counties tion, his seat shall be declared vacant, and he of the State by the Legislature, as nearly as may shall be deemed guilty of bribery and corruption, be, according to the number of their respective and punishable therefor." inhabitants, excluding aliens, and shall be chosen Mr. GREELEY – I move the following subby single districts. The apportionment as now stitute : established by law shall remain until another SEC. 5. "The Senators shall receive no compenenumeration and apportionment as hereinafter sation other than the consciousness of honorable provided."
usefulness, and the resulting gratitude of their Mr. SEYMOUR-I ask for a division of the fellow-citizens.” latter clause. As it now reads it provides for the The CHAIRMAN - The Chair is of the opinelection by single districts, and I ask for a divis- ion that the amendment of the gentleman from ion before that.
Westchester (Mr. Greeley] is not now in order. Mr. WEED—I understand the only difference The proposition of the gentleman from Ulster between this and the original proposition is the [Mr. Schoonmaker) being to add to this section, question whether we will elect by single districts this cannot be regarded as an amendment to the or by counties.
amendment. Mr. SEYMOUR—This adds that the counties Mr. L. W. RUSSELL-I move this as a subshall elect by districts. If you stop short of the stitute to the amendment offered by the gentlelast provision, then you will have the provision man from Ulster (Mr. Schoonmaker). of the committee, and that is the whole distinc The SECRETARY proceeded to read the amendtion there is in it. If you substitute this for the ment, as follows: action of the committee, you substitute single “No Senator or member of Assembly shall districts for election by counties. If you vote draw his pay until the close of the session, wheu this down, it stands counties.
he shall take his oath or affirmation that he has The question was then put on the first part of not received or agreed to receive, nor does he Mr. Merwin's amendment, and it was declared expect to receive any money or other property lost, on a division, by a vote of 41 to 74. for his vote or other official action as such Sena
The CHAIRMAN then announced the question tor or member of the Assembly. If he fails to to be on the last part of Mr. Merwin's amend- take such oath or affirmation he shall forfeit his ment.
pay, and be ineligible to re-election." Mr. MERWIN—The last part of the proposi The question was put on the amendment of tion is of no importance now, and I withdraw it. Mr. Russell and it was declared adopted.
Mr. BARKER-I move to strike out of lines The question was then put on the amendment four and five the following words: “who are of Mr. Schoonmaker, and it was declared carried. citizens of the State," and insert in the place Mr. GREELEY-I propose now to strike out thereof "excluding aliens," so as to have it com- the words "members of the Legislature” in the ply with the section as the committee reported it beginning of the first line, and insert as follows: last night.
The SECRETARY again read the amendment The question was put on the amendment of Mr. as follows: Barker and it was declared carried.
"SEO. 5. The Senators shall receive no comMr. MERRITT-On the fourteenth line of the pensation, other than the consciousness of honsame section make the same change.
orable usefulness, and the resulting gratitude of There being no objection the correction was their fellow-citizens." ordered to be made.
Mr. GREELEY-I propose no experiment, no The SECRETARY then proceeded to read the novelty. The best legislative bodies ever since fifth section, as follows:
there were such, have been unpaid bodies. The SEC, 5. "The members of the Legislature shall most honorable, the most useful and the most inreceive for their services an annual salary of one fluential legislative bodies to-day are unpaid. No thousand dollars, and ten cents for each mile member of the British Parliament ever receives they shall travel in going to or returning from pay for his services, or would receive it. He has their place of meeting by the most usual route. not any office. If he takes office he instantly The Speaker of the Assembly shall receive an vacates his seat as a member of Parliament, and additional compensation equal to one-half his sal- has to be re-elected. I propose there shall be ary as a member."
one branch of the Legislature, a small body, Mr. SCHOONMAKER - I have a proposition composed of men who are willing to serve the to amend.
public without compensation. They need not be The SECRETARY proceeded to read the amend- rich men. There are poor farmers who will serve ment, as follows:
honorably and usefully, because they believe it