« ForrigeFortsett »
WRIGHT — OLIVER.
extremely warm, we can adjourn before the usual staff-officers as shall be provided for by law for hour.
their respective commands. I have no objection, however, that the motion
The gentleman for Wilbraham proposes to inlie over until to-morrow. The PRESIDENT. If the gentleman wishes
sert after the word “appoint,” the words “and
commissioned for one year or until their successors it, the motion will be considered in the nature of
shall be commissioned and qualified," so that that an order, and will, agreeably to the rules, lie over until to-morrow.
portion of the article will read:The motion was accordingly laid over to be
10. The Governor shall appoint and commisconsidered in the morning business of to-morrow. sion for one year, or until their successors shall be
commissioned and qualified, the Adjutant-GenPresentation of a Petition.
eral, the Quartermaster-General, and such other Mr. WRIGHT, of Westford, presented the pe
General Staff-Officers as shall be provided for by
law. tition of J. F. Evans and eighteen others, in aid of that of J. W. LeBarnes and others, and it
At that point a period is to be inserted, and the was referred to the Committee on the Bill of
word "and" changed to “The.” The whole resRights.
olution, as amended, will then read :On motion of Mr. WILSON, of Natick, the Convention resolved itself into
10. The Governor shall appoint and commis
sion for one year, or until their successors shall be COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE,
commissioned and qualified, the Adjutant-GenAnd resumed the consideration of the Report of eral, the Quartermaster-General, and such other
General Staff-Officers as shall be provided for by the Committee on so much of the Constitution as
law. The Major-Generals, and Brigadier-Genrelates to the
erals, and Commandants of regiments, squadrons,
and battalions, shall severally appoint such StaffMilitia,
Officers as shall be provided for by law for their The question being upon the motion of the gen
respective commands. tleman for Wilbraham, (Mr. Hallett,) to strike out
I am sorry that the gentleman for Wilbraham is of the 12th article in the resolve the word “three"
not in his place, so that he might offer the amendand insert “one;" and to strike out after the word “qualified” the following: “But they shall be voted down, I propose to offer the amend
ment himself, but if the amendment now pending shall be eligible for re-election, excepting that
ments I have just indicated. the adjutant-general shall hold his office for such
The question was taken, and the amendment term as the legislature may prescribe," so that
of the gentleman for Wilbraham was disagreed to. the resolve, as amended, would read :
Mr. OLIVER, of Lawrence, then submitted 12. The several officers hereinbefore named, his amendment to the tenth article, as stated shall be commissioned by the governor for the above, and the question being taken thereon, it term of one year from the date of their commis was adopted. sions, and until their successors shall have been Mr. OLIVER. I now move to amend the commissioned and qualified.
twelfth resolve by inserting in the first line, after Mr. OLIVER, of Lawrence. In a conversa
the word “ several," the word “elective," so that tion with the gentleman for Wilbraham, (Mr.
the first clause of the resolve would readHallett,) after the session this morning, a mod 12. The several elective officers hereinbefore ification of his amendment was proposed by him
named shall be commissioned by the Governor self, and upon a suggestion on the part of a mem
for the term of three years from the date of their
commissions, and until their successors shall have ber of the Committee, he was induced to waive
been commissioned and qualified. his objections to that portion of the 12th article which relates to the term of three years. He
Sir, a word of explanation in relation to that. proposes to alter the 10th article in some respects, It will be seen by this, that the officers will be and I see no objection to it. The 10th article
divided into two classes; one the elective and the now reads as follows:
other the appointed class. The design of the
amendment is to provide that the officers which 10. The Governor shall appoint the Adjutant are elected shall be commissioned for three years; General, the Quartermaster-General, and such other General Staff-Officers as shall be provided and that the commissions of those who are apfor by law; and Major-Generals, and Brigadier pointed shall expire when the appointing officer Generals, and Commandants of regiments, squad- goes out of commission, and after a successor shall rons, and battalions, shall severally appoint such l be appointed.
OLIVER — BRADFORD - WILSON - PARSONS — Davis.
If this amendment shall be adopted, I then de see, therefore, no necessity for, nor any propriety sire to move-or, if it be in order, I will move of putting this proviso into the Constitution. them both in one amendment-to strike out all There is nothing similar to it in the Constitution after the word "qualified.” I desire to ask the of a single State in the Union. Its existence Chairman whether they can both be moved as there has given rise to some embarrassment in the one amendment?
past, and may give rise to more in the future, if it The CHAIRMAN. The Chair thinks it will is retained. I hope, therefore, that the seventh be in order for the gentleman to move to strike article, as reported by the Committee will be susout and insert.
tained by the Committee of the Whole and by Mr. OLIVER. Then I move to strike out, at the Convention. the end of the resolve, the following words: “but Suppose the country were in a state of war, they shall be eligible for re-election, excepting and a military force should be drawn up in Rhode that the Adjutant-General shall hold his office Island, within a few miles of the boundary line of for such term as the legislature may prescribe," Massachusetts, and suppose there were encamped in addition to the motion I have made to insert. within the limits of the Commonwealth ten thou
The question was taken upon the motion to sand militia, would it not be wise for the governor strike out and insert, as stated above, and it was of Massachusetts to march them over the disputed agreed to..
boundary and drive the enemy into the sea ? I Mr. BRADFORD, of Essex. I view the sev have no expectation that such an emergency will enth article, which I suppose was designed to ever arise, but I can at least see no necessity for take the place of the long seventh article in the this check being inserted in the Constitution. Constitution as an exceedingly good substitute, It seems to me entirely unnecessary to insert any comprising, as it does, in four or five lines, what proviso of that character. occupied a whole page in the Constitution. But Mr. PARSONS, of Lawrence. I like the ReI think the proviso to that article ought to be re port of the Committee upon this seventh article, tained; I move, therefore, to add at the end of but I am opposed to the amendment offered by the article the following :
the gentleman from Essex, (Mr. Bradford). I
think it is entirely superfluous, because the sub“ Provided, That the said Governor shall not at
stance is embodied in the article itself as reported any time hereafter, by virtue of any power by this Constitution granted, or hereafter to be by the Committee. As I understand that Report, granted to him by the legislature, to transport any
the governor would not have the right to call out of the inhabitants of this Commonwealth, or
the military of the State, and march them into oblige them to march out of the limits of the some other State. I do not think he can control same, without their free and voluntary consent, the militia for any such purpose.
If a rebellion or the consent of the general court; except so should arise in an adjoining State which it was not far as may be necessary, to march or transport them by land or water, for the defence of such
in the power of that State to subdue, I do not part of the State to which they cannot otherwise
think it would be the duty of the governor of conveniently have access."
this Commonwealth to interfere ; but on the con
trary, it is expressly left in the power of the Mr. WILSON, of Natick. I like the Report government of the United States to call out such of the Committee upon this subject. This sev aid as they may think proper to quell any rebellion enth article, as reported, is all that is necessary,
which may arise and to enforce the laws of the as it seems to me. I like the change proposed,
United States. But there are United States and I doubt whether the Report of the Committee
officers who would command in such cases and can be made more perfect. The seventh article in the whole matter would be left to the United the Constitution is copied from the Charter of States authorities. Therefore, I think the amend1692. It is a long article; there is very much in ment is wholly unnecessary and uncalled for. it that is entirely superfluous and unnecessary,
The article as reported by the Committee covers and I am glad the Committee have made the the whole ground, and I hope, therefore, that the change.
amendment will not be adopted. I do not, however, concur in the amendment Mr. DAVIS, of Fall River. I should like to which my friend from Essex has present d. I do say one word about the Report of the Committee. not think there is any danger that the governor I take it for granted that a large majority of the will ever undertake to march the militia out of Convention are in favor of sustaining the militia the State, at least, without a sufficient reason system, and that some provision for it will for it. It is barely possible that some emergency be inserted in the Constitution. I presume, might arise, such as to justify such an act. I can therefore, that the Report of your Committee is
DAVIS - OLIVER.
very proper. But it seems to me it is a rather | middle ages so far as the history of their military voluminous document. It comprises some fifteen matters is concerned. I should be very willing, articles. In fact, containing about as many heads and very happy, say on some cool day of autumn, as an ancient sermon, although it certainly does should we happen to adjourn, to talk over the not preach modern gospel. For myself, I am, subject of jousts and tournaments, and gallant with a very large class of people in the Con mon cavaliers and fair ladies, with the gentleman who wealth, opposed to any military legislation ; but last spoke. If this Committee should take a aside from this, I would ask the Convention, a recess until September, it might come off then, majority of whom are in favor such legislation, with, perhaps, a harmless passage-at-arms, but whether it is expedient, unless the provisions of not now, not on this day of ninety degrees in the old Constitution should be found radically the shade, not at the present time, the weather defective upon this subject, to insert so great a is quite too hot. The gentleman says that “the change which must be submitted to the people, chairman of the Militia Committee, is undoubtand which, should it not be received favor- edly a very ardent and ambitious military man.” ably, might jeopardize the acceptance of the On this point, I might appeal, with perfect safety, whole labor of the Convention.
to my worthy and excellent friend from North I am satisfied that a large number of the votes Brookfield, (Mr. Walker,) who has frequently of an entire class of persons, by no means incon done me the favor, (and he knows now what I siderable in this Commonwealth, if they are com am thinking of I see, by the bland smile which pelled to vote affirmatively upon a military prop- pervades his countenance,) to read the reports osition, will be given against the Constitution. which I had the honor of writing, when I held They cannot, consistently, be given for such a the office of adjutant-general, to our then excelproposition as this, and it might jeopardize the lent commander-in-chief, the gentleman from fate of the whole Constitution. There is no Pittsfield, (Mr. Briggs,) who is not now in his question but the opponents of this Convention, seat, and to commend them as most admirable without meaning any disparagement to them, will peace documents. I appeal to that gentleman for use all the means in their power to defeat the the proof of what I say, and I make use of this entire objects for which the Convention was fact, in reply to the gentleman upon the other called. They will appeal to the class to which I side, when he makes reference to me as an "enhave referred with great force. They will show thusiastic and ambitious military man.” On this to them that this Report was adopted by a Com- point I will define my position, and let me say, mittee the chairman of which, without meaning in all soberness and truth, that in my judgany disparagement to him, is a passionate and ment, if there be any one curse that has, enthusiastic devotee of the military art and spirit; more than another, cursed the nations of the that he even, in his fervor upon this subject, goes earth, and kept back the march of civilization beyond the military ardor of the last century, and and the approach of the coming kingdom of the earlier part of this, and that of the armed Christ, it is this horrid curse of war; if there be, knights-herald of the middle ages. It does or has been any greater curse on the face of God's really appear to me, without in fact assuming beautiful earth, than those monstrous, non-proanything like pleasantry upon this subject, if we ducing and tax-swelling aggregated bands of follow the lead of the gentleman, that we shall idlers, called standing armies, cursing and crushhave our tilts and tournaments, and we might | ing the nations of the earth, those deadly even have the judicial combats of the middle foes of liberty, whose trade is the butchery of ages. I therefore am decidedly opposed-not man for sixpence a day, then I have never yet merely as a matter of principle, but as a friend of heard of it and never wish to hear of it. These the general objects of this Convention—to inserting are the notions of one who is spoken of by the such a mass of distinctive military features in this gentleman—who I am sure does not know me Constitution.
nor my inner heart—as being "an ardent, enthuMr. OLIVER, of Lawrence. It is rather too siastic and ambitious military man.” God forwarm weather, Mr. Chairman, for any reasonable bid, in his great mercy, that the time should ever person to presume to occupy the time of the Com come, when war and the devastation of war mittee in arguing the general question, as to the should afflict our good State and our good land. necessity of an armed force for the protection of God forbid, that in your day, Mr. Chairman, the Commonwealth in any exigency of insurrec or in the day of any man in this Convention, tion, or of domestic violence, or of possible dan or in those of our children to the latest generager from abroad. Nor would I enter upon a tion, that war, with its ravaging, wasting and comparison of the nineteenth century with the desolating ruin, should sweep over the fair land
And how can man die better
of our birth, leaving that which was “like the roes, to the remarkable and just rebuke adminisgarden of Eden before it,” but a desert and a tered by the letter of Gen. Napier to Mr. William desolated wilderness behind it. But if, by any Gurney upon this subject. I beg leave to refer them possibility, it should come, then may you and I to the testimony of history to the truth of my asserbe equally ready to lay down the poor offering of tion, when I declare that it is the politicians who our lives for the safety and protection of that make wars, and soldiers that end them. Who country, and for the loved ones who make happy made the war with Mexico: Who forced the its homes.
opium war upon China, “that iron-headed old "To every man upon this earth
rats” might smuggle a deadly drug into the conDeath cometh, soon or late;
fines and against the laws of a nation that desired Than facing fearful odds,
and designed to keep it out? Who perfected the For the altars of his country,
tyranny that precipitated the war of American And for his country's gods!"
Independence? Who are at this moment pushing This is the sentiment of every true lover of his
the soldier forward into the deadly climate of the country, and if there be one aspiration of my East, that the associated robbers of the lands of heart more constant, more steady, and uniform
the Indies, may be glutted with more spoil ? than any other; if there be any one prayer that
Answer me these things truly, and you will not I breathe more fervently than any other, it is that say it is the soldier. I wish most earnestly that peace may forever spread her halcyon wings over
arms might yield to the white robes of perpetual the land of my birth. I have no such feelings as
peace; yet in my poor judgment, it will be unthe gentleman has attributed to me. I never had safe, in the present condition of the world, to be them, and I pray God I may never have them.
without some force to sustain your laws and reThose who have had anything to do with mili- pel invasion, if it should come.
It is one thing tary arrangements, or have really fought on some
to talk about the uselessness of an armed force, sternly contested battle-field, are the men to talk and quite another to be without arms in time of about the horrors and ravages of war. They who
need. If such a force had been brought properly, have suffered and participated in them know immediately, and effectually into play when, in a them better in their full and terrible reality than neighboring city, an unbridled mob were about those who stay at home and enjoy the peaceful
to commit such wanton desolation of property, if security and comforts of the fireside. Sir, it is they had checked, as they would certainly have among military men, of sober judgment and of done, this frantic, and lawless, and yelling mob, feeling heart, and I assure you that there are
in the work of destruction, then your legislature many such, that the awful responsibility of a
would not have been importuned, year after year, resort to arms is most deeply felt. It is they who
to make reparation and compensation for the injumost severely feel the measureless wickedness of ries done. I might refer to well known acts of war, when it can by any possibility be avoided. violence that have occurred, which the prompt Who suffer more than they who encounter, face and effectual aid of an armed force has prevented. to face, the pitiless ravaging of death upon a battle The presence of arms and of armed men is often field? Who suffer more than they, who, leaving the presence of peace. Gentlemen may talk behind them all the dear delights of home about organizing citizens into an armed police to fathers, mothers, and the endearments of wife resist a mob. Suppose you should organize all and children, those very hearts of their household the able-bodied men into an armed force. You --leaving all the charms and refinements of social have then to go through with the same process of life-all that is lovely and beloved, to encounter legislation, same process of organizing, drilling, the unspoken and unspeakable horrors of war.
and training, that you have already applied in the But, and let this be marked by all who stigma- creation and perpetuation of your present militatize military men with the easy finger of scorn,
ry force, and a very clumsy substitute it would it is not the soldier who makes war. It is the
be. Which will you have, for you must, in the politician. It is the men of the cabinet, who, for end, take your choice—a standing army or an a vague point of ambition, or for lust of power,
armed citizen soldiery? The one is a blessing in or for territorial aggrandizement, with one dash
its place, and may prove a blessing to the counof the pen, seal the fate of thousands that perish try, while the other is but a curse, and deserves in fight. “Why should the soldier love war? no other name. But we must take our choice, What does he gain by it but death, wounds, and that is already done. In every State in the pain, disease, premature old age, poverty, and in- Union, with the exception of Iowa and Wisconsult :” I beg leave to refer gentlemen who prattle sin, we have an armed citizen soldiery. And about military men and ambitious war-making he our citizens are very easily inured to the military
art. I venture to say, that there is not to be vide for calling forth the militia to execute the found on the face of the earth a people so readily laws of the Union, suppress insurrection, and initiated in the art of war, as the American peo- repel invasions." “To provide for organizing, ple. You may go the hill-sides and to the val-arming and disciplining the militia, and for govleys, and take out people where you can find erning such part of them as may be employed in them-farmers, mechanics, clerks, and profes the service of the United States, reserving to the sional men, and in the course of three months, States respectively, the appointment of the offiyou may initiate and fit them for service in the cers, and the authority of training the militia field. I will even agree, and this is saying a good according to the discipline prescribed by Condeal, but I take the risk, and will agree to take gress.” the gentlemen around me, and make them ready It is thus perfectly clear, that only the choice for all the purposes connected with arms, in less of the officers, and the training of the militia, is time than they will be ready to present a Consti left to the States; but, so far as organizing, armtution to the people, if they will consent to forego ing and disciplining the militia, with the view of talking, and learn to act. But to close-all we their being a part of the offensive and defensive want to do is to keep up and guide this spirit in force of the United States, I insist that the Comthe proper direction, subordinate to the civil monwealth has parted with her power. A word power, so that when that fails before a mob or in relation to the amendment proposed by the any invasion arises from a foreign power, the cit- gentleman from Essex, (Mr. Bradford). It proizen soldiery may be ready to take the field, and vides that the governor shall have no power to act in the spirit and with the courage of their transport any portion of the militia of the Comfathers. I have made these few desultory re monwealth beyond the limits of the State, except marks partly in justification of myself, and partly with their own voluntary consent, or that of the upon the general subject before the Committee, legislature. and will detain them no longer.
The gentleman from Natick, (Mr. Wilson,) Mr. BIRD, of Walpole. It is about as much says, suppose that an invasion should occur in as a man's reputation is worth, to question the an adjoining State, and they could not take care propriety of doing everything that can possibly of themselves, and the Federal Government could be done, in the organic law or by statute law, to not provide for the emergency in season. I do foster and strengthen the military spirit even of
not believe that such a case would ever occur, Massachusetts in the middle of the 19th century. but supposing it were likely to arise, I would be It is generally understood, that that man who willing to trust to the patriotism of the citizen questions the sacredness of the military institu militia of Massachusetts to go voluntarily, and if tions of this Commonwealth, will have no chance the general court of Massachusetts could be asof election by the votes of the people of the sembled in season, I would be willing to trust Commonwealth. I am willing to take that risk. the good feeling of the legislature. But merely,
I have taken little interest in this discussion, for the sake of guarding against such a possible because I have regarded the adoption of the Re- contingency, I am not willing to leave it in the port of the Committee as a foregone conclusion; power of the governor of this Commonwealth, to but I desire to call attention to one point, and it order your militia to South Carolina, Mexico, is this. What power have we in Massachusetts, China, or the Lord knows where. either in constitutional convention or in legisla I am surprised that any gentleman who calls tive assembly to meddle at all with this matter of himself a democrat, or who has taken his first lesthe militia, except so far as is necessary for police sons in the doctrines of State Rights, can take such purposes ? To that question I invite the atten a position; that you are to give the governor a tion of the legal gentlemen of this Committee. I right to order the troops where he pleases, so that should like to have that question settled. It is every citizen soldier is bound to go, no matter not a quibble on my part, but it is a question for what cause, no matter for what object, no upon which I have reflected somewhat carefully matter whether for invasion, conquest, pillage or
upon which my own mind is per- plunder. I am surprised; but why should I be fectly clear ; that beyond the merest purposes of surprised at any concessions to the militia when police in this Commonwealth, we have nothing votes are expected : whatever to do with “organizing, arming and It is said there have been embarrassments here. disciplining" the militia. I believe that we tofore, growing out of the existence of this prodelegated that power to the general government viso in our present Constitution. It may be; when we accepted the Federal Constitution which but there must be something more than "emdeclares that Congress shall have power “to pro
barrassments" to justify us putting such a power