« ForrigeFortsett »
BIRD - DANA.
tribute their action, whether to selfishness or pa- Boston. When I go to bed, I sleep very soundly triotism, it was still the people who on that occa- and quietly, because I am myself, as I humbly sion preserved the peace of the community. hope, a law-abiding and peaceable citizen, with a
Mr. DANA. If the gentleman will allow me, tolerably clear conscience; and in addition to I will state that on that memorable occasion the that, I feel that the whole community around me entire military force of London and the vicinity is composed of honest, conscientious, law-loving, was concentrated in London and furnished with and law-abiding citizens, and that we have five arms so as to be ready at any moment to repair hundred thousand men of the same description all to the scene of action; but they were skilfully over the State. That is what preserves the peace stationed ought of sight, so that the feelings of the of Massachusetts ; it is not your four thoupeople might not be aggravated by seeing that sand five hundred or five thousand men, who there was any apprehension that the military parade your streets, making night hideous with would be needed. The civil forces, however, their music, and the day too, as we have learned knew that they were ready at any moment, and in our sittings here for two or three days past, so did the Chartists.
amusing children, and children of a pretty large Mr. BIRD. I am aware of all that; but had growth, some of them. It may be a very harmit not been that the citizen soldiery stood between less amusement for those who cannot appreciate the Chartists and the Throne, the institutions of anything better ; and I am not sure but that I England could not hare stood one moment, if the should be very willing, although it is perfectly Chartists had seriously attempted to overthrow useless, to pay my share of the forty or fifty them. There was physical force enough in the thousand dollars a year, more or less, which this Chartist ranks and behind them to have demol- children's play costs, for the sake of affording this ished any portion of the military which could amusement; but it is rather a poor way of expendhave been brought to bear upon them, had not ing money, for all that. Gentlemen lack words the people of England stood between anarchy to extol the patriotism of the volunteer militia in and order.
maintaining their organization to preserve public Let me ask attention to an illustration nearer order. Patriotism, is it? It is hardly safe to home. The only case in which there has ever question it; but, Mr. Chairman, let me say, enexisted a real necessity for the interposition of a force effectually the “ Maine Law,” shut up military force to preserve the peace in Massachu- the “ Porters,” and the “ Nonantum,” and half a setts, (except in the days of 1775, when the people dozen other “retreats in the vicinity of Boston, took arms to put down the military,) was the and the majority of the volunteer companies will “Shay's Rebellion;" and then, gentlemen who be disbanded in a month. If this is any reflection glorify the militia must remember, the people upon their patriotism, make the best of it. I armed themselves to suppress an insurrection do n't want their votes. headed by a militia officer, with militia men for The gentleman from Charlestown, (Mr. Froththe mass of his followers.
ingham,) told us of the joy which swelled his Now, Mr. Chairman, gentlemen talk about the heart as he heard the tap of the drum and the necessity of this volunteer militia, in order to pre- tramp of the approaching soldiery on a recent vent mobs in Massachusetts. Let me ask, Sir, occasion in that city. Now, Mr. Chairman, I am how many there are of them? I understand that unwilling to cast any reflections upon the police the whole number is not more than four or five arrangements of the city of Charlestown, of which thousand; or at the farthest, we may say seven the gentleman is chief executive officer; but I thousand. Now, can any gentleman seriously must say, that with a properly organized police suppose that the peace of this whole Common- force, and the aid of the citizens that could at any wealth is preserved by this insignificant body of time have been secured, the very organization of a men? Sir, it is the law-abiding, peace-loving, dangerous mob on that occasion would have been order-preserving citizens of Massachusetts, to impossible. And, as a matter of fact, I underwhom we are indebted for the feeling of security stand that no military force was necessary at all which we enjoy. My friend for Wilbraham, (Mr.
on that occasion to resist the mob; for the soldiers Hallett,) says that when we go to bed at night, marched over the bridge from Boston, and then We sleep soundly because we feel that we have the marched back again—the whole thing was settled bayonets of the soldiers around us for protection. long before they got there. I can tell my friend that I sleep very quietly, and Mr. FROTHINGHAM. I beg leave to add a we have not got a soldier in the whole of Norfolk few words to correct the gentleman's statement. County, that I know of, unless there may be one There were two volunteer corps belonging to or two companies in Roxbury to help take care of Charlestown; those two companies were on the
spot, and they prevented the violence. Subse- gated ; and he had the door locked upon him and quently, a company came from Boston whose
He then took out his watch and held services were not required.
it in his hand, and said to the prisoners—“I will Mr. BIRD. These two companies prevented give you five minutes to go to your places.” violence? I protest against any such nonsense. Those minutes were delivered off to them, one [Laughter.] I want the gentleman to show me after another; one minute has expired-another what the militia did to prevent violence. Sir, I minute has expired, and another, until at last the say it is a libel upon the character of Massachu- word was given to his men, in military parlance, setts men to say that these four or five thousand “Ready! Aim!” and the prisoners went out men are necessary to protect them ; it is not true through the door they had entered. I do not that the law-loving citizens of Massachusetts need know which went first, but they all went to their any such protection. I do not know what other respective places. men think about it, but, for one, I would rather Mr. WILSON, (in his seat). Probably they trust my liberties to any hundred men whom I “stood not upon the order of their going.” could pick up when the occasion should require [Laughter.] it, than to trust them in the hands of the men
Mr. OLIVER. I merely mention these facts, whose training, if it has any effect, leads them to but I do not know but that the ingenuity of the rely rather upon the law of might than the law of gentleman will find some way to turn them right.
upon me. While the gentleman from Charlestown was Mr. BIRD. As that happened so long ago, speaking, I was thinking about the State Prison that my friend has forgotten when it was, and as in that city, and about the argument as to the no gentleman here seems to be able to furnish necessity of the military, in connection with that
him with the date, I submit, that the fact that the institution. You have got more villany, more discipline of the prison has been maintained ever desperation, more of the elements of mischief since without the resort to military force, proves within those four walls than in all the rest of the more for us than his story does for him. But State ; and who keeps all those convicts in order ? what does his story prove? It proves that the
Mr. OLIVER, of Lawrence. If the gentleman managers of the prison allowed a bad system of from Walpole will allow me to interrupt him, I police, which enabled the prisoners to get the would like to ask him who it was that preserved power into their own hands; but it does not order and put down a riot in the State Prison, at prove that any United States troops were necesthe time when Major Wainwright and the marines sary, except to remedy gross neglect; for in that from the navy yard marched in there?
case a detachment of United States troops should Mr. BIRD. The gentleman himself is evident
be stationed in the vicinity of every jail in the ly more familiar with the history of the case than
Commonwealth. I am, and he can answer his own question if he What I undertake to say is this; that within pleases.
twenty or thirty years past—and my friend for Mr. OLIVER. I presume some gentlemen Abington, says this happened nearly thirty years here may be more conversant with the circum- ago-the State Prison has contained nearly all the stances than I am ; for we should all take an
desperadoes in the Commonwealth, or at any rate, interest in such matters. I am sorry that I more than all the rest put together; and order cannot give the date of the transaction, but I will
has been maintained without a resort to military mention some of the particulars of the case.
force. My friend from Quincy, near me, (Mr. Gentlemen here may perhaps recollect that on a Morton,) recommends the gentleman to tell that certain occasion a riot took place among the
story to the marines. [Laughter.] criminals in the State Prison, and the usual Now, Mr. Chairman, to speak of this matter armed police force was found to be entirely in- seriously, this is what I claim—that you need a competent to perform the duty of keeping the military force in this Commonwealth only as an prisoners in subjection. They had, by some armed police. I do not care whether it requires means or other, obtained the keys, and opened five thousand, or ten thousand, or fifty thousand the passages by which the cells communicated men, when they are needed, they can be had, in with each other, and there they completely defied whatever numbers. Arm them, equip them, drill the whole force of the prison. A messenger was them if necessary, and they will always be reliable sent to the navy yard for Major Wainwright, and when law and order are threatened. Let them he repaired to the State Prison with a detachment be an armed police or citizen soldiery, and nothing of marines, and marched those marines into the else--no part of the army of the United States. entry in which the mob of prisoners was congre- There seems to be a strange confusion of ideas Monday]
in the minds of some gentlemen here, or else it is State Rights, and gives up the State bound hand in mine, upon the relations between the Federal and foot to the federal government—who will and the State governments. This whole matter, acknowledge the right of the president of the with regard to the militia of Massachusetts, was United States to issue a proclamation ordering put into the Constitution of the Commonwealth out the troops of a State for any purpose whatunder the old confederation. There was no Uni- ever, whether for a foreign invasion, a war of ted States Constitution then-no federal govern- conquest, or to suppress insurrection in another ment; and it was necessary that some provision State. should be made in relation to military matters. But, say the Federalists of the present day,This Constitution was made during the war of the not such Federalists as Governor Strong, for he Revolution, when possibly, an exaggerated im- was a democrat on this point,—this doctrine portance was given to the militia, and when a makes it impossible for the federal government to necessity was supposed to exist of inserting details call out troops in a case of actual necessity. My in the Constitution. Under the confederation answer is, if they have not got the power in the it was natural and competent for the State to act Constitution that may be their misfortune, not upon this subject. But, I undertake to say that our fault. I stand upon the bond. We have the recent interpretation of the relations existing not delegated this power to the federal governbetween the Federal government and the Statement; therefore we will not submit to its usurgovernments have settled conclusively—I care not pation. what the decisions of the United States Courts But I reply farther, that it will be always safe have been—but I say, that practically, the whole to rely upon the voluntary aid of the militia of country has come to this conclusion, viz. : that the States whenever the federal government each State government has its entire control of ought to have it. If there were ever any doubt the military force of its own State; and that the upon that point, it was removed by our experiFederal government has no power whatever to ence in the Mexican war. If volunteers could be compel the militia of any State to go beyond its gathered to engage in such a war as that, then I borders without their own voluntary consent. say that it is perfectly safe in every future continCongress may, as provided for in the Federal gency to rely upon the patriotism of the people. Constitution, “provide for calling forth the militia In the first place, whenever one State needs aid to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insur- from another to suppress insurrections, reliance rections and repel invasions ;” but each State can be placed upon the comity of the several has reserved to herself the right to judge, as a States ; and, in the next place, if the general sovereign, whether the exigency justifies the government needs the militia to repel invasion, “call," and then, whether she will order her we can always depend upon the patriotism of militia to respond to the “call.” Is this nullifi- individuals who will volunteer, in every emercation ? No-it is State Rights. The Federal gency requiring the exercise of that patriotism. Constitution provides that a fugitive from justice What I would insist upon is this, that the “shall, on demand of the executive authority of federal government has no power whatever to the State from which he fled, be delivered up, meddle with our State military system. So far &c." And yet, it is notorious, that the executive as the power was delegated to congress to “ organof every State decides for itself, whether or not it ize, arm, and discipline the militia,” and to "call will comply with the requisition. In this case, as forth the militia” for certain specific purposes, in the case of the calling forth of the militia, it is our hands are tied. But I would see to it that a matter of comity entirely, and the federal gov- we yield to the federal government no powers not ernment has no right to enforce its call for troops clearly granted by the Constitution. In the case any more than a State government has the right cited by the gentleman from Natick, (Mr. Wilson) to enforce its demand for a fugitive from jus- when the administration of Mr. Van Buren intertice.
fered in this matter, it is alleged that this interferThis, I hold to be true democratic doctrine;
ence was one of the causes of the defeat of that and no democrat and no democratic party in the
administration. Sir, it deserved it, and any admincountry dares stand upon any other doctrine than istration that should attempt to encroach upon that acted upon by the Federalists of the war of
he rights reserved to the States, and guarded by 1812-to which reference was made by the gen
the States so jealously, would meet with a simtleman for Wilbraham, (Mr. Hallett). I say it
ilar rebuke. without fear of contradiction, Mr. Chairman, that I wish gentlemen would try to look a little the democrat does not live and never will live- more clearly-I say it with all deference-at this unless he surrenders entirely all our doctrines of doctrine which they broach here about the power Monday,]
of the Federal government to interfere in any way | spirit to the militia, or to the Committee who whatever with the militia system of a State. The made the Report ; but at the time when I subConstitution gives power to congress to do certain mitted it, I supposed it was a matter which had specified things; let them do it in their own way. been overlooked by the Committee; and if the The Constitution gives power to call out the article introduced in the Report is intended as a militia of a State ; let them call them out if they substitute for the old seventh article in our Conwill, and get them out if they can. I would like stitution, it seemed to me that the proviso was in to see any man who will stand up and say that some way overlooked. the president of the United States has any power to Several objections have been made by various compel me to go and assist in putting down a slave gentlemen who have very zealously defended the insurrection in Virginia. I say I will not go; militia where it was not attacked. One of the and he may make me go if he can. That is the principal grounds upon which this amendment, true doctrine of reserved rights. Gentlemen may that I have submitted, is opposed, is that it will perhaps say that this is nullification ; but it is lead to a clashing between the authorities of the not. It is simply asserting my rights as an indi- United States and those of Massachusetts. Sir, vidual—rights which I never yielded up to the if that were certain to be the case, I should not federal government. It is saying to the federal deem it a sufficient reason, provided the amendgovernment, “ You are not competent to compel ment is, as I deem it is, an important safeguard us to do what we did not give you any authority to the people of the Commonwealth ; but this to require of us." Of course I trust I should be seventh article, as reported by the Committee, has willing to volunteer in a good cause; but I pro- put it out of the case that there would be any test against admitting what is practically denied clashing between this State and the United all over the country, although theoretically it may States, as there formerly was when the power of be admitted. I protest against admitting the the governor and the president were brought into power of the federal government to call upon me,
conflict. This seventh article states that the govor upon any citizen of this State, to go into any ernor shall be commander-in-chief of the army other State, either to quell insurrection or to and navy of the State, when that army and navy repel invasion, without our free and voluntary are not in the service of the United States. That consent. Gentlemen are shocked at the contuma- exception takes away all the danger of any concious conduct of the old federalists in the war of flict or clashing between the governor of this 1812 ; but we remind them that the only trouble State and the executive of the United States. was that in that case the federalists took the When the militia is called out by the president democratic doctrine and carried it out, and would of the United States, they are put under his not allow the federal government to interfere with authority and command, and the governor has their reserved rights. That is not the only nothing to do with them; and of course the instance in the history of the country that the amendment would not apply. It applies only to federal party or the whig party, no matter what cases where the president of the United States name you choose to call it by, has had to suffer does not call out the militia, but where the govfor carrying out democratic doctrine a little too ernor calls them out as commander of the forces. honestly.
Many cases might be supposed, in which this Mr. BRADFORD, of Essex. The gentleman would be done. If the State of Rhode Island from North Brookfield has defended the chair- should be in a state of insurrection, and the govman of the Committee who made this Report, ernor of that State should apply to the governor from the imputation of being an ambitious mili- of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for aid ; tary man. If the chairman is not, I profess that and if, on that application, our governor should I am an ambitious military man; that is, that I propose to order out the militia of the State to go desire to have the militia of the State established into Rhode Island, and suppress that insurrecand supported in a condition of as much effective- tion, there is a case in which this amendment ness as possible. I wish to see it always as effect- would apply. The object of the amendment is ive as it is at this time, or as it is represented to to afford a safeguard and protection to the people be by its zealous defender, the gentleman from of this State against being drawn into a war in Lawrence, on my left, (Mr. Parsons,) at recep
Rhode Island without their consent. tions ;-not that kind of receptions, however, to I was almost persuaded by the argument of the which he alluded, where the entertainment is roast | president to withdraw the amendment which I beef and champagne ;—but those where the tapster offered, for it would seem from his remarks that draws claret, and lead and powder are the food. there was no real necessity for it, because it was
I offered the amendment in no unfriendly already implied in the language of the resolution.
BRADFORD - HOPKINSON - KEYES.
But if it is not absolutely necessary, no man has Mr. HOPKINSON, of Boston. I now move yet stated upon this floor that its adoption will to amend the seventh article by adding the words, work any evil. Whether it is necessary, is a “ to be exercised agreeably to the laws of the matter of some doubt. One of the gentlemen land.” I wish to say that if the recommendation who spoke in opposition to this amendment, the of the Committee is to have any force upon the gentleman from Natick, who holds a high mili- Convention, the vote should be taken when the tary command in this State, and who, I suppose, House is fuller than it is at present. I desire, has as good a prospect as any other gentleman in also, to have every amendment discussed in Comthe State of being commander-in-chief of her mittee of the Whole when this can be done; and military forces, has distinctly stated that if there therefore I would move that the Committee now was an invasion of Rhode Island, the military rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again. forces of this State must be marched there to re- The motion was not agreed to. pel it. There might be a difference of opinion Mr. HOPKINSON. It appears to me that upon this point between the different governors this is a question of too much importance not to of this Commonwealth. Some of them would be considered and acted upon by a full Commitbe for carrying the militia out of the State, if tee. If a discussion should take place upon it this provision which I have submitted as an now, it will have to be all gone over again in amendment did not restrain them; while others Convention, for no vote, even an unanimous vote would think they were already restrained. Some in Committee of the Whole, could be considered might suppose they had power to march the mili- a vote of the Convention. As the Committee tia even into Virginia to put down an insurrec- refuse to rise, I shall, at the suggestions of some tion there, to use the illustration of one of the gentlemen near me, now withdraw the amendgentlemen who preceded me; and if such a gen- ment, but shall offer it again, and endeavor to tleman should happen to be governor of the Com- have it considered and acted upon in the Conmonwealth, this amendment would be absolutely vention. necessary for the protection of the people of the
Mr. KEYES, for Abington. Although I do State. It seems that a call was actually made not know but that most of those who voted upon the governor of this State by Rhode Island against the amendment offered by the gentleman for aid in a certain emergency; but the executive from Essex, have gone away, I feel constrained had the extreme prudence not to order the militia to say a few words in connection with that part to go to the aid of that State. Whether it was of the subject. Sir, the rejection of that propoaltogether prudence on the part of the executive, sition strikes me as one more evidence to the peoor whether it was this constitutional proviso, the ple of Massachusetts, that we want to exhibit very language of which I now propose to have still farther our servility to the government of added here—which it was that saved the citizens the United States. We have listened to four of this Commonwealth upon that occasion, is not speeches, and there was not in them all, one sinquite certain. I am willing to believe, however, gle argument in relation to the amendment. On that the prudence of the executive would have the one hand there was nothing but a fulsome sufficed without the proviso; but it may not al- eulogy of our militia ; and on the other hand, ways be so. There may be danger that we may there was the most ridiculous and extreme cauhave an executive of less prudence than the gen- tion manifested not to say anything reflecting tleman who at that time filled the chair. No
upon the acts or government of the United States, gentleman has yet stated that this proviso can but, throughout, the most base, abject and menial work any harm, except in an anticipated conflict submission to that authority. In the first place which it may bring us into with the United
we were told, that if we should adopt the proStates. I think, Sir, that it is very evident that posed amendment, it might bring us into conflict the exception already made in the seventh article with the United States. Well, Sir, who cares in the language as placed there by the chairman for that? If the government of the United States of the Committee will provide for that case. That cannot take care of its business without our objection, therefore, is not valid; it is altogether crawling on our faces all the time, what is the imaginary, and is struck out by this exception to use of having a government of Massachusetts ? the seventh article. No other valid objection, as If Massachusetts cannot take care of its own I understand it, has been made against adding rights, it is unworthy of the allegiance of the that proviso to the seventh article, and I hope, people of Massachusetts. What is the use of this Sir, that it will be added.
continual harping about the authority of the The question being then taken, the amendment United States? Why, Sir, the men of 1812 and was not agreed to.
1814 thought something about protecting the rights