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Wilson — CHURCHILL - ALDRICH.
Mr. WATERS, of Millbury, moved that the for I am far from regarding it as amended, which Contention adjourn.
was proposed when the subject was previously The motion did not prevail—there being on a under discussion; and it seems to me that it is open division, ayes 81, noes 90.
to this objection, it gives to persons who have given Mr. WILSON, of Natick, moved that the Con- up their residence in any town, and who may vention resolve itself into Committee of the Whole, have gone to a distant part of the Commonwealth upon the Report concerning the
to reside, who have dissolved, perhaps entirely,
all connection with their previous residence, whose Election of Senators
interests in their former residence have entirely By the legislature on joint ballot.
ceased, and who, perhaps, may be actuated by no The motion was agreed to, and the Convention
very friendly motives to it. This resolve, I say, accordingly resolved itse into
as it now stands, leaves such persons at liberty
to return, within six months after, and vote, COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE,
in all elections of that town, both for officers Mr. Cushman, of Bernardston, in the Chair, and national and state, and for the imposition of taxes. proceeded to consider the said Report, namely, By this resolve, such persons can vote in such that it is inexpedient to act thereon.
town, and perhaps influence an election contrary The Report was agreed to, and the Committee to the real feelings of the people actually living rose, and by their chairman reported the same in such town. Such a provision seems to me to to
be too broad an extension of this privilege, and
perhaps it might give rise to other serious abuses. THE CONVENTION,
I am, therefore, opposed to the adoption of the With a recommendation that it be adopted.
resolve, and hope it will not be passed. The Report of the Committee of the whole
Mr. ALDRICH, of Barre. This first resoluwas concurred in, and the resolution accompany
tion which has been reported by the Committee, ing the Report was adopted. On motion by Mr. WILSON, of Natick, the
is precisely and substantially the same as was Convention resolved itself into
once before reported, and, by a vote of the Con
vention, recommitted to the Committee who reCOMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE,
ported it. It strikes me, that it ought not to
pass, and I will state very briefly the reasons why Mr. Briggs, of Pittsfield, in the Chair, on Conven
I think it should not. It has been the policy of tion Document No. 55, being resolves reported
this Convention, so far as I know,--and it is a by the Committee to whom was recommitted the
policy in which I concur,—to enlarge the right resolves on the qualifications of voters, as fol
of suffrage, rather than to restrain it ; not in any lows:
manner to restrict that right; but this resolution 1. Resolved, That for the purpose of voting, no
does partially restrict it so far as it applies to the person shall be deemed to have gained or lost a particular classes of persons named in it. But one residence by reason of his presence or absence strong objection which I have to the resolution is while employed in the army or navy of the that it means nothing—that it decides nothingUnited States, or while navigating the waters of that it leaves everything precisely as it now this State, or of the United States, or of the high stands under the laws of the Commonwealth. seas, or while a student of any seminary of learning.
Take for example the student in a seminary in 2. Resolved, That no person removing his dom- any given town, and the resolution says that the icil from one town or city within this common- simple fact of his residence there shall not give wealth, to another, shall, by reason of such re
him the right to vote in that town. Why, Sir, moval, be deemed to have lost his residence in the former, for the purpose of voting for National
that is the law now. If he resides there for that and State Officers, until six months after his purpose, and no other, that is the law as it is at removal.
present; and therefore, in regard to them by in
corporating this provision into the Constitution, Mr. CHURCHILL, of Milton. If I am not you do not ing but leave the law precisely as it too late, Mr. Chairman, I was about to express now is. But, Sir, the question whether a student one or two objections which I have to the second has a right to vote in any particular town, while of these resolves. The first resolve is substantially attending a seminary of learning, depends not the same as that originally reported by the Com- merely upon his residence, for that purpose, but mittee; but the second is an amendment. I am upon his intentions, as well as upon a variety of sorry to say, Sir, that in this case, the word other considerations. Domicil, as I understand it, amendment does not convey the proper meaning, | depends both upon the fact and the intention with Wednesday,]
which the party resides there. If he is there Then, Sir, in regard to those persons who besimply for the purpose of obtaining an education, long to the army and navy of the United States, even now he has no right to vote under the the same general remark is applicable. If a sollaws of the Commonwealth, and the decisions of dier or a sailor of the United States should hapthe supreme court; but if that is his home, and pen to be within the borders of Massachusetts, he is ready to say that it is his home for all pur- and residing here for a period of twelve months, poses, then, I say, that he would be entitled to and he is here merely as a soldier or a sailor, and vote there even if this resolution should pass; has his family or his domicil elsewhere, he has, while on the other hand, if it should be adopted, under the existing laws, no right to vote here, it might, in many instances be scized upon by nor, if his home is here, would he by temporary the selectmen or other officers presiding over absence lose his right to vote in this State; so elections, for the purpose of depriving a man of that, if you incorporate this prov sion in your his right to vote, when, in fact, he was in full Constitution, and it is properly understood, you possession of such right.
will not enlarge the elective rights of the soldier Then, again, Mr. Chairman, I object to this or sailor, but on the contrary, this resolve being a resolution, because it makes an invidious distinc- part of that instrument, it will be liable to be tion. You point out students in particular, who understood as an attempt to abridge the right of are among the most intelligent and best informed suffrage as to sailors and soldiers coming into this classes of society, and because they are students, State from other States, although they come with at least, so it would appear upon the face of the the purpose of making this their home. Now, as thing,-you apparently attempt to prevent them the policy of the Convention has been to extend from exercising the elective franchise, while you and enlarge the right of suffrage, I do not see why do not say the same thing with respect to other you should now attempt to introduce a provision classes of persons. Why not say that if a per- to restrain and limit the rights of one or two son resides in a town simply for the purpose of classes of voters. I say, therefore, it should not be learning a trade he shall not, for that reason alone, incorporated for these general reasons—first, bebe entitled to vote in that place, or even if he is cause the provision, if properly understood, leaves residing there for any other single purpose; why the law entirely as it now stands; and, secondly, do you not say, that from the simple fact of his if incorporated in the Constitution, the design of being a resident in a place, he shall not, for that the framers of that instrument will be likely to be reason, be allowed to vote? Why not make the taken as meaning to abridge the right of suffrage same rule applicable to other and less capable in regard to these classes. classes of men ? Suppose, for example, that Then, with regard to the second resolution, I this Hoosac Tunnel, of which we have here and did not agree to it in Committee, and I do not elsewhere heard so much, were to be undertaken agree to it now. It provides that the voter and carried through-a work which would doubt- removing his domicil from one town to another less occupy some three or four years; and sup- shall not be deemed to have lost his residence for pose that there were three or four hundred men the purpose of voting, in the former, until the to be employed in that work-Irishmen and expiration of six months. This, I think will inothers-and I have nothing disparaging to say troduce confusion into our elections. Another of Irishmen as such-why not incorporate a pro
resolution which I believe has been reported for vision in your Constitution, saying that laborers adoption into the Constitution provides that there employed on such a work in any given town, shall be a registration of all the voters. Now, if and were there simply for the purpose of carry- you allow persons who are floating about the ing on that work, they should not, for that rea- community and removing from one part of the son, be allowed to vote? I do not see why such State to another, to return to a former domicil to a provision is not just as proper and necessary as vote, it strikes me that you will open a very wide to select the students of Cambridge, and other door to fraud. Tell me, Sir, how it is to be known places, and say that because they are students, how long a person has been absent? If he has a they shall not be entitled to vote. For this reason, residence in any given town it is well known therefore, I have strong objections to the provision, to his neighbors, and is likely to be known to because it makes an invidious distinction against those who preside at the elections. But if you one class of our fellow-citizens, and that class, open the door and allow any person to come in too, always among the most intelligent and best and vote on his mere declaration of having been informed. I do not see any good reason why absent from a town for less than six months, you you should select this class of persons to the ex- will open a door to fraud, the end of which I clusion of all others.
venture to say none of us can see.
HOUGHTON - HOPKINSON - FRENCH.
But, Sir, there is another objection.
suppose now that the Committee mean officers olution says:
chosen by the vote of the State at large, and with That no person removing his domicil from one that meaning I must confess that I see a strong town or city within this Commonwealth, to objection to the proposition. another, shall, by reason of such removal, be But, Sir, there is another objection which I deemed to have lost his residence in the former, have to it, and that is that it does not touch for the purpose of voting for national and state
another class of cases in which the whole people officers, until six months after his removal.
are interested, or those questions on which they Now, suppose that a person has resided in a may all be called upon to vote. Now, Sir, in town for three months and then removes to
order to secure the right of every person in regard another town and resides there four months, and to his right to vote, where he truly has such right, goes again to another town and resides there five I would move to amend the second resolution, by months; where has he a right to vote: If he striking out, in the last line but one, the words, returns to the first town has he any right there "and state," and insert, after the word "officers," or if he returns to the second or the third town in the next line, the words, “or for any officer to has he any right there? It might be difficult for be chosen, or upon any question to be decided by even aconstitutional lawyer to answer the question, a vote of the people of the whole State.” So that and much more so for those who usually conduct it will then read :our elections. Now, Sir, as it seems to me that this provision domicil from one town or city within this com
2. Resolved, That no person removing his would be applicable only to a very small number monwealth to another, shall, by reason of such of honest voters, and as I think it would open removal, be deemed to have lost his residence in the door to an immense number of dishonest the former, for the purpose of voting for national ones to perpetrate frauds in our elections, I con
officers, or for any
officer to be chosen, or upon ceive that while the mischief it might effectuate any question to be decided by a vote of the people
of the whole State, until six months after his is not only apparent but extensive, the advantage removal. to be gained is by no means equivalent, and, therefore, I would have no such provision in the Mr. FRENCH, of Berkley. I hope that this Constitution, but would reject both the resolu- amendment will not prevail. If we are to amend tions reported by the Committee.
the Constitution let us amend it, and make it Mr. HOUGHTON, of Sterling. I object, better than it was before; and as I do not believe Sir, to both resolutions, particularly on one account,
that either of these resolutions are necessary, or that a person residing in any given town, and that, if they are adopted, they will make the leaving it to reside in another, might, if so dis- Constitution any better than it is at present, I posed, vote in both places. He would certainly hope the Committee will reject them both. I am have a chance of voting twice for state officers; opposed to the first one because it neither adds which, in the event of a close contest, might anything to the Constitution as it now stands, nor determine the result. As has already been re- takes anything from it. I am opposed to the marked by the speaker who has just taken his second one because I think it is not only unnecesseat, it would open the door to great frauds, and sary but might be highly mischievous. If a man it appears to me that, for that reason alone, it leaves his domicil and goes to sea, or anywhere would be very wrong to adopt this section of the else, and has a home somewhere, and he comes Report.
home, why then, of course he is a voter. And Mr. HOPKINSON, of Boston. I confess that why should we undertake to insert into the I do not like this second resolution. I do not organic platform of our government anything think it is so material as to demand a place in which is extraneous and unnecessary to be there : our Constitution ; but if it is to be here I certainly | After spending so much time upon that instruthink that it might be improved. I find that it ment we want it to look well, after we have done proposes that any person having removed from a with it, and when it is presented to the people. town shall still, within the space of six months, I hope therefore that these resolves will not be have the right to vote for state officers. I do not accepted. They will only add to the Constitution know that I am exactly aware of what a “state matter which is of no possible use, and will do no officer" is, as meant by this resolve. If, before earthly good. I trust that the amendment which this matter had been placed here, I had been was offered by the gentleman from Boston, (Mr. asked what I meant by “ state officers," I should Hopkinson,) will not prevail ; and, if it should have said the Senate and House of Representa-not, then that both of the resolutions themselves tives, and that the Committee so intended ; but I l will be rejected.
MORTON — STEVENS — ADAMS.
The question was then taken on the adoption instances of individuals, coming to such towns to of the amendment, and a division being demanded, reside for a period of time less than a year, and there were 46 in the affirmative and 52 in the aiding in the election of the representatives of towns negative-no quorum voting.
in the State legislature,-a matter in which they Mr. MORTON, of Quincy. The amendment had and could have no particular interest. On which is pending is simply to prevent persons the other hand, the students in our seminaries of from voting for representatives. But when ques- learning, who, for the most part reside for four tions come up upon which all persons who vote years in the institution with which they are conare voters in the State, vote, then the removal nected, must acquire more or less interest in the from one place to another should not prevent them affairs of that town, and especially so far as the from voting. The proposition is very simple, election of representatives to the State legislature very clear, and it is a good one. It takes away the is concerned, for the action of such legislature objection suggested by the gentleman from Milton, may have a serious influence upon such semina(Mr. Churchill,) and it seems to me that if it is ries of learning. If this amendment shall not understood, it will be passed by the Committee prevail, I shall then move to add to the resolution without hesitation.
a clause, which shall include within it, this class The question was again put upon the adoption of persons to which I have referred. of the amendment; and there were, upon a Mr. DUNCAN, of Williamstown. I move, division-ayes, 74; noes, 47.
Mr. Chairman, that the Committee rise, report So the amendment was agreed to.
progress, and ask leave to sit again. Mr. STEVENS, of Clinton. I move to strike The motion was agreed to, and the Committee out from the first resolution the words “or while accordingly rose. a student of any seminary of learning.”
I do not wish to occupy much of the time of the Convention, with a statement of the views I The chairman of the Committee, (Mr. Briggs, entertain upon this subject. They have been of Pittsfield,) reported that the Committee had already expressed in part by my friend from had under consideration the Report and resolves Barre. I cannot see any reason why this dis- on the Qualification of Voters, and had instructed tinction should be made; why, if it is proposed him to report progress, and ask leave to sit again. to exclude any class or any classes of our citizens Leave was granted. from voting, in the towns where they reside, this On motion of Mr. DUNCAN, at a quarter past distinction should not be carried to a greater six o'clock, the Convention then adjourned. extent.
It has been stated upon this floor, that elections in our manufacturing towns have been carried,
THURSDAY, June 23, 1853. from time to time, by individuals who come to
The Convention assembled pursuant to adjournthose places to reside but for a short time. It ment, and was called to order by the President, at was stated by the gentleman from Lowell, and
9 o'clock, A. M. others who entered into the discussion of the same
Prayer by the Rev. Warren Burton, Chaplain. subject, that it was the custom of certain citizens,
The Journal of yesterday's proceedings was of a neighboring State, to come to these manufac
read. turing towns in the spring, for the purpose of
Limitation of Speeches. engaging in mechanical or manufacturing pursuits or other occupations, and there remain until after Lowell
, yesterday, was now taken up for consid
The following order, offered by Mr. Adams, of the State elections, participating in the elections,
eration :aiding in the election of the officers of Lowell, and then returning to their homes.
Ordered, That hereafter, no member shall speak Now, if there is awreason for excluding from more than one hour on any question, either in the privilege of voting, students of seminaries of Committee of the Whole, or in Convention, with
out leave. learning, and of colleges, who usually reside for a period of three or four years in the town where Mr. ADAMS. I wish simply to say one word they pursue their studies, that reason is much in reference to this order, which was introduced stronger in favor of excluding those persons to by me yesterday. I suppose that it is the desire whom I have referred, who come into the State to and the hope of many, if not all of the members reside for a period less than a year. Residing of this body, that the Convention may be able myself in a manufacturing town, I have seen the to close its labors as early as the tenth of July. effect of this course, and have known repeated | That will allow us, including to-day, fourteen Thursday,]
- BRIGGS - MARVIN - DUNCAN.
working days, three of which are Saturdays.
Report of a Committee. And it was with the view of being able to finish Mr. BRIGGS, of Pittsfield, from the Committhe business of the session within that time, that tee on the Encouragement of Literature, having I introduced the order which limits the duration under consideration an order concerning the proof speeches to one hour. Without any reflection priety of requiring that voters shall be able to read whatever, upon the past, I submit, that in the the Constitution in the English language, subpresent stage of the public business here, one
mitted a Report, asking to be discharged from the hour is amply sufficient time for any gentleman consideration of the order, and recommended that who wishes it, to express his views upon any it be referred to the Committee on the Qualificaquestion that would be likely to come before this tions of Voters. Convention. The greatest questions which have Mr. MARVIN, of Winchendon. I wish to heretofore come, or are hereafter to come before
say one word in explanation before the question this body, in my humble judgment, are of such a is taken upon the adoption of this Report. The character that it is not so material to discuss the object of having that order referred to the Comabstract principles upon which they are to be de- mittee on the Encouragement of Literature instead cided, as it is to ascertain by an interchange of of the Committee on the Qualifications of Voters, sentiment among the members of the Conven
was to prevent the prejudice which might arise tion, what is the desire of the people of the Com
from the supposition that its design was to restrict monwealth in regard to them. For it is our ob
the right of suffrage, if it had been referred to the ject, and our business, I undertake to say, rather latter Committee. But that, Sir, was not its to frame a Constitution which shall meet the intention, for I have no wish to have anybody wants of the community, than to frame an in-deprived of the right of suffrage. Its object was strument which shall conform only to the senti
more for the purpose of promoting education, than ment which may be expressed here. We are to anything else. We provide means for the edumake a Constitution that shall commend itself, if cation of every inhabitant of this Commonwealth, need be, to all the prejudices of the community. and there is not the slightest reason why all may And I submit, that in order to bring about this not take advantage of that privilege and learn. I desirable result, it is not necessary for gentlemen think that the adoption of this order, if it is favorof the Convention to occupy more than one hour ably considered by the Committee to which it is at a time in their remarks. Short speeches, and about to be referred, will tend greatly to increase to the point, are what we find absolutely requi- the desire of the ignorant to acquire a knowledge site, to bring our labors to a close within the time of reading and writing, and consequently lead to I have named.
the establishment of schools and institutions of Mr. BRADFORD, of Essex. I hope, Sir, learning. Having thus explained the object of that that order will not be adopted. I think the the order, I have now no objection to its reference subjects which come before us, are of a character to the Committee on the Qualifications of Voters. that require great consideration and deliberation, The order was accordingly referred to that and we are consequently compelled to adopt one Committee. of two plans, either to act with deliberation or Mr. BREED, of Lynn. If there is no other not act at all. This rule of limiting speeches has business before the Convention, I move that it had a very bad effect in congress, where it has now resolve itself into Committee of the Whole been adopted, and has been the means of greatly on the unfinished business of yesterday. multiplying the number of speeches, and in- Mr. DUNCAN, of Williamstown. I hope that creasing the debate upon the various questions the subject of the qualification of voters, which before that body. And if it is adopted here, I I believe is the unfinished business of yesterday, think it will have a tendency rather to increase will not be taken up in Committee of the whole than to shorten the length of the session. As I at the present time, as the chairman of the Comsaid before, the subjects before us require calm mittee who reported the resolutions, as well as the and deliberate consideration ; they should not be distinguished member from Lenox, (Mr. Bishop,) acted upon in a hasty manner, but in such a way both of whom are desirous of speaking upon it, as will render them lasting, and for the public are necessarily absent. I hope that some other good. For these reasons I am decidedly opposed question may be taken up in Committee. to the order, and I hope it will not be adopted. Mr. BREED. I withdraw my motion.
The question was taken on the adoption of the order, and upon a division-ayes, 114; noes, 40
Loan of State Credit. -it was decided in the affirmative.
Mr. WILSON, of Natick, moved that the ConSo the order was adopted.
vention resolve itself into Committee of the Whole