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Convened in the City of Nashville on Monday, the 10th day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy, and in the ninety-fourth year of American Independence, in pursuance of an Act of the General Assembly of the State aforesaid, entitled “An Act to provide for the Calling of a Convention,” passed the 15th day of November, 1869.
Mr. NICHOLSON called the Convention to order, and read the following proclamation from the Governor:
“ExECUTIVE OFFICE, -
“To the People of the State of Tennessee, and to the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, elected at the general election held in pursuance of an Act passed by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, on the 18th day of December, 1869, now assembled in Mashville :
“WHEREAs, By the 12th section of an Act ‘entitled an Act to authorize the people to call a Convention and for other purposes,’ passed November 15th, 1869, it is made the duty of the Governor and Secretary of State to compare the returns made by the Commissioners of Registration, of the votes cast at the general election held on the 18th day of December, 1869, for and against the Con
vention therein provided for, and if a majority of those voting be
in favor of a Convention, it shall be the duty of the Governor im
mediately to issue his proclamation announcing the result. “Now, therefore, be it known, that upon a careful comparison of
the returns made, it satisfactorily appears that a large majority of the votes so cast are in favor of said Convention, the votes for Convention being 50,520, and against 10,020, showing a majority of 40,500. I do, therefore, hereby proclaim that said Convention is carried by a majority of 40,500, as far as heard from. “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my official signature, and caused the Great Seal of the State to be affixed, at the Department in Nashville, this 10th day of January, 1870. “D. W. C. SENTER,”
“By the Governor :
On motion of Mr. NICHOLSON, Bolling Gordon, the delegate from Hickman, was appointed temporary President of the Convention.
Mr. GORDON, on taking the Chair, addressed the Convention as follows: GENTLEMEN OF THE CONVENTION:
For the honor conferred upon me, unsuited as I am to preside over this body during its organization, accept my thanks. I receive it at your hands the more properly, because I am a sort of connecting link between the past and present generation. I stand before you as the sole return delegate to this body, being one who met with others, almost on this identical spot, thirty-five years ago, to give to the State a Constitution. Whether that instrument has been acceptable, it is not for me to inquire; but it certainly has to the great majority of the people of the State. I was associated with a class of men who performed great services for the State. I make mention of Blount, a man venerable in years and profound in erudition ; Walton, an upright, sensible man, who occupied the same position in the Convention of 96, which I occupy in the present. To this class of men I may add the names of McKinney, of East, and Weakley, of West Tennessee. We had among us various distinguished men, whose deeds it is not necessary for me to recount. I may name the venerable Francis B. Fogg, of this city, who left his impress upon the Constitution. But society, like everything else, moves on, and we are now called upon to remodel that Constitution, to adapt it to the wants of the age.