(June 29th.

mind can be brought to bear. Gentlemen must what they would carry through and support after yield something and they must meet this ques- it is submitted to the Convention. tion like men, because it must be met in some Mr. MORTON, of Taunton. Mr. President. shape or another, at some time or other; and I Knowing the impatience of the Convention to apprehend it may be done, after the discussion take this question, I will assure you I will dewe have had and the publication of the report we tain them but a very few minutes, and I will have had, in the course of three days here, by endeavor not to deviate from strict order, in the continuing the discussion; and that will be bet- consideration of this subject. ter than to jeopard the whole matter, and possi- I should not have arisen but to reply to a perbly. jeopardize the whole question upon which sonal remark made by the gentleman from the attention of the whole people of the Com- Lowell, (Mr. Butler). When he was addressing monwealth is so intensely directed to-day. this Committee, and speaking of the delay of gen

Mr. STETSON, of Braintree. I will not de- tlemen in one section of the Commonwealth in tain the Convention long. My purpose in rising presenting any plan for consideration, he referred is to state, that if this question is recommitted, to me, and said I had a plan, and that I had kept I wish the committee may be requested to report my mouth shut on the subject. Now, if any one in a certain number of days-say two or three imputes to me any intention to keep anything days. And as the plans which will be proposed, back, sick or well, I repel it. I profess to act in or may be proposed to this committee, are all all cases with openness and frankness. I did inmatured, I trust that it will not, in the nature of tend to address the Convention on this subject things, occupy the time of the committee but a long ago; but I was providentially prevented from very few days, and that they will bring in a doing it, and I think the gentleman knew it well; proposition which will meet the acceptance of a and that so far from withholding any plan, I premajority of this Convention.

sented it to as many members of the Convention Now, Sir, the gentleman for Erving says it will as I could, and among others to the gentleman take two or three weeks. I think that if he will from Lowell himself. Now, when he alluded to consider and reflect upon it, that he would not, me as keeping my mouth shut, I think he departin his judgment assert that it could take so long ed from that kindness and suavity, if not from a time, and that the committee would not be able that parliamentary decorum, which belongs to to report to this Convention in three days, as well every gentleman in this Convention ; and I preas in three weeks. Now I trust that some plan- sume he would be as unwilling intentionally to I would not have the Convention understand that do it, as any body else. I have one to offer, because I had one killed at its Having made these remarks, and being up, I will birth a few days since—which has not yet been say two or three words in reference to the motion acted upon in this Convention, will meet with to recommit this subject to the committee; and the views of that committee, and that they will in that I trust I shall deal with perfect frankness. bring to its support a majority of this Conven- I believe my views on this subject are known, and tion. And if I may be pardoned, I will say that it is supposed that I am in a minority. But I have the Old Colony, to which allusion has been made come to the conclusion that there are but two in this discussion, is not alone in this issue. Sir, courses which this Convention can pursue. One, the county of Norfolk will sustain and support, I think, is founded in justice, equality, and rightso far as I know-I speak of the southern part of

Other gentlemen have their opinions the county-what is right and just, and nothing differing from me, I have no doubt. The other, else, whether the basis of representation Le twelve I think, is founded on an artificial system, ou a hundred or any other number. I can only say I am contrivance-I do not mean to use the word in in favor of the recommittal of this question, and any improper sense at all--to accomplish an obI am in favor of having the committee ordered to ject indirectly; an object which they, doubtless, report back a plan within three days. I think think right. These subjects are before the Conthat since we have had a Majority and a Minority vention, if the district system is not repudiated, as Report fully discussed here, the Convention may I hope it will not be; and we have only left the well be assured that after all these plans have had town system, and it is said we have some ten or a fair hearing in the committee, and are reported fifteen propositions distinct and separate in relaback again to this Convention, there will be no tion to that subject. debate of any consequence arise upon that report. Now, a motion has been made to submit all The question has been argued fully, and I believe these to a committee; and if I understand the that when such a report is made, the majority of question which we are now to act upon, with a this Convention will settle down at once upon / view to a proper transaction, and the speedy Wednesday,]



[June 29th.


transaction of business, it is whether a commit- | and arguments be made, with some degree of certee of eleven men, selected to compare and ex- tainty, as to their effect. Now the first reason amine these several plans, exchange views and which would induce me to favor the recommitbring the plans together so as to form a system, ment of this subject to the Committee, would be can do it better than four hundred individuals that we should thereby obtain a plan, not only sitting here. It seemed to me very plain, that the showing the operation of the amendment upon small number, who could, if you please, sit around the present census, but upon the future cena round table, and have the plans all before them, I am certainly contented with the genand make suggestions one to the other, would be tleman's plan, so far as the present census is more likely to bring their minds together and concerned, but I have not figured it out, nor make the necessary concessions, and hit upon do I know that it has been figured out by some plan among them, or form one out of all any one, to ascertain what will be its operation those submitted to them, that would be acceptable hereafter. In making a Constitution, we are to to all, and satisfactory to the whole Convention. provide not only for the present, but for the fuI do not suppose that I shall vote for any plan ture. For that reason I am, as yet, undecided which they will recommend; but if they wish to how I shall vote upon it. I voted in favor of it get up this patch work system, I wish to give in Committee of the Whole, because I was aware them an opportunity to exercise their taste and that I should have an opportunity to consider it skill in endeavoring to present to us the most when it should come up in Convention. I may beautiful piece of Mosaic work they can accom- be compelled, from the circumstances, to vote plish.

against the amendment, and I do not doubt but The Old Colony has been alluded to, and it is such will be the case with many other gentlemen. a subject about which I feel a little sensitive, A great deal has been said about inequality, and I feel desirous of doing justice to them on but I submit that this is a matter which has all proper occasions. I shall not enter into the nothing to do with the subject at all, and if the inquiry whether the gentleman from Plymouth, whole question on this point had not been enor the gentleman for Chatham, have known the tirely demolished by the able remarks of the Old Colony longer or better than I have; but I gentleman from Northampton, (Mr. Huntington,) profess to know something in relation to the sub- I would have endeavored, myself, to have said ject, and perhaps I should not differ from them. I something about this great humbug of inequality. think they are a pretty honest, intelligent, and very I could show where there are men in this Compeace-loving community, and I think they have monwealth who have had sixty-six times the practised a Christian virtue for a good while; and power that I have had, notwithstanding what that was, when smitten on the one cheek, they our Constitution says to the contrary. turned the other. But if my young friend, (Mr. The reasons which were stated by my friend Davis,) who, supposing that some injustice im- for Erving, (Mr. Griswold,) upon this subject, pended over them, got a little zealous, it is not have been perfectly conclusive to my mind. He very remarkable; but I think if they had had says that the question of districting has been enthe experience which I have, they would have tirely done away with. That is my opinion. been a little more cautious, and it would be very That was the only ground for the long speeches apt to be supposed by every gentleman about us, which were made in his Committee; it was this who has seen us and known us, for many years, that caused the division, and having been once that we had been so used to being skinned, that settled I take it that no man is going into that we should not squirm under the operation. Committee to try and establish it again. (Laughter.]

The attention of gentlemen must, therefore, be Mr. KEYES, for Abington. It occurred to confined solely to the making of some system by me, Mr. President, that when this motion was which towns will be represented as much as they made in the Convention this morning, it was a can be, and in as equal a manner as possible, very proper one; but notwithstanding this, if it is throughout the Commonwealth. With these vabelieved by the gentleman for Erving (Mr. Gris- rious propositions before them, it strikes me that wold,) that it is a more expeditious mode to settle the committee to which the subject is referred the matter in the Convention than in Committee, would require but a very short time to accomI shall coincide with him. I labor under this plish an object so desirable. But whoever that difficulty: I voted for the proposition of the gen- committee may be, let me suggest to them in the tleman from Lowell, (Mr. Butler,) in order that consideration of each plan, to show its operation some one subject might be selected for considera- not only under the present census, but also its tion, upon which amendments might be submitted, operations under the two succeeding censuses, acWednesday,]


(June 29th.


cording to the prospective increase of the popula- | Committee of the Whole. And I may be pertion as it has been stated in the public documents. mitted to say, in this connection, that during the Then we can know whether we will adopt such a entire deliberation of this body upon the subject, plan for the present as well as for the future. On no human being in the Convention can say that looking at the Orders of the Day, I perceive that he has been debarred from the privilege of sugthere is plenty of business to engage the attention gesting such plans, and introducing his figures of the Convention while all this is being done; and results, as he may have deemed would meet and if it should happen that we should have dis- the difficulty which existed. Why, Sir, I was posed of all the subjects before us before that is surprised to hear my friend for Abington comreported back, we shall then have plenty of time plaining that there had not been figures and reto consider it and nothing else. I do not believe it sults enough. Figures and results! I had bewill consume the time unnecessarily or unprofita- gun to think that for the last ten days, we had bly, but, on the contrary, it is my opinion that resolved ourselves into a convention of arithmesuch a course, if pursued, will save several days ticians, for we have been almost smothered in of hard labor in the Convention.

figures. One would almost suppose, from our Mr. ABBOTT, of Lowell. I did not intend to transactions here, that we had assembled to settle say a single word upon the question which has questions of statesmanship by the rules of arithbeen mooted here to such an extent, whether the metic. Every man who has desired it, has Old Colony has had justice done her in times brought his plan, and submitted it, either to the past, or is to have justice done her in all time to Committee of the Whole, or to the Convention;

It seems to me that it is a question which nobody has held him back; no restraint has been really has nothing to do with the matter now be- exercised, but, on the contrary, he has been alfore the Convention. And if I may be permit- lowed to present his view and make his explanated to speak of that section of the Common- tions, which have been entertained and considwealth which I in part represent, I can assure ered by this body. And now I submit, if I may the gentleman from Taunton, that it is the fur- be permitted to use the expression without thest from any desire in the vicinity where I live, trenching upon the rules of order, whether it to do injustice towards the Old Colony. I pre- does not look very much like boy's play, after we sume it is the feeling and the wish of the Con- have had the subject under consideration for so vention, to have right done to all, though we long a time, and after the Convention have gone have all come to the conclusion, I apprehend, by into Committee of the Whole upon it, have disthis time, that it is exceedingly difficult to get at cussed it there, and adopted, and rejected the and ascertain where that right is, that has been amendments, and plans, and suggestions which so greatly encroached upon, as is represented. have come from all directions and now, when it Having trespassed upon the time of the Conven- has been reported back from the Committee after tion heretofore, I shall perhaps not have occasion being discussed over and over again, to send it again again to allude to this matter, but I desire to call to be reconsidered and reported upon once more the attention of gentlemen to this subject for a by a committee. After all this deliberation, let me moment, in a practical point of view.

ask where we are? Have we made an advance, Let us see, before going any farther, where we have we made one step forward : No, Sir, we are historically, in regard to this matter, because have arrived at the point from whence we started ? we have been considering the details of this ques- And now it is proposed to send it back to another tion, of the basis of representation, so long that committee, and see if we cannot get from them it has really become a matter of history. It was something different from the very able Report originally, I believe, submitted to a committee, which we received from a Committee of twentyconsisting of twenty-one gentlemen, and that one, before we commenced the cons deration of Committee, I have no doubt, brought to bear this question. upon the subject all the learning, and knowledge, Sir, I apprehend that this body can just as and industry which they possessed. They gave well settle this matter in Convention, as a Comus two Reports, both of which have been con- mittee of eleven, or any other number, can do it. sidered in Committee of the Whole, and by the If my friend from Freetown, (Mr. Hathaway,) Convention, for two weeks or more. One of has any plan which he desires to propose, in God's these systems reported by that Committee, after name let him have an opportunity to propose it. having been debated with all the learning and And if it should prove any better than the plan eloquence which could be brought to bear in fa- which has been submitted by my colleague from vor of, and against it, in so large a body as this, from Lowell, (Mr. Butler,) I, for one, will go for after being amended, has been finally adopted in it with all my power.




(June 29th.

If it is a plan that will do more justice to the cide upon the matter now, as we ever shall be, part of the Commonwealth from which the gen- and I hope we shall be allowed to do so. But, tleman comes, and do no injustice to another, I suppose that we recommit it to the hands of a will go for it with pleasure. I do not believe committee. That committee will, in all probathere is any disposition in this Convention to pre- bility, take a certain plan, and comparing it with vent any gentleman who desires to do so, from the history of the past in relation to this question, bringing forth any plan, or that there is an un- will decide it in accordance with that history. willingness to listen to any arguments that may And do you believe when that system is reported be introduced in favor of such plan and its opera- back from the committee, that there will not be tion, and I believe, Sir, that we are capable of this man, and that man, and another man, where appreciating those arguments at this time. I think it happens to hit his particular town or section of the Convention will bear me out in the statement, the Commonwealth, who will not jump up and that no proposition has been submitted, that has present another plan more in accordance with his not received its due consideration.

feelings and interests? And shall we not, thereWe have had on the one side, the Report of the fore, have to go over this same discussion again? majority of the Committee in favor of town rep- Laying these considerations aside, however, if resentation, a plan that has certainly the past his- this subject is to go into the hands of a committory of the Commonwealth in reference to this tee again, I am in favor of allowing them all the subject, in its favor, and which is based and time they desire to discuss and consider it, and I founded upon the very political existence of the should be sorry to have any iron rule imposed people of this State.

upon them, as has been proposed, that they should Then again, on the other side, you have the plan report in three days. But when that report is introduced by the minority of the Committee, a made, whether it be sooner or later, depend upon system which is based on another great principle it, Sir, the fire will break out anew. Gentlemen of our government—the principle of political who have made speeches before will make them equality; this has been called the district system. again. I, myself, may be a sinner, and yet the The third plan submitted by the gentleman from circumstances may warrant it; and in this way Lowell is, I apprehend, a compromise, between the another fortnight will be consumed. I ask the two. It is giving up something asked for by the good sense of the Convention, whether they begentleman for Erving, (Mr. Griswold,) and those lieve we shall have any more real light after purwho go for the towns, and it is taking something suing such a course than we have at present? I from the proposition of the minority, yet not de- trust that we shall go on and finish this business tracting materially from the great principle of now. If my friend from Freetown, (Mr. Hathaeither. I think the Convention will bear me wit-way,) as I before remarked, has a plan which he ness that I have stated the matter substantially as it desires to submit, let him submit it in Convennow stands--a compromise and the two extremes. tion, and I can assure him it will receive due conAnd, Sir, is it to be urged here, that after having sideration. If it is what we want we shall adopt brought to bear upon the question, all the learn- it; if not, it will go down, where other plans have ing and eloquence and industry of the many gone before it. members of this Convention, that we cannot Mr. WEEKS, of Harwich. A great deal has bring into shape in some way or other, either of been said in regard to the old counties of Plythese propositions ? What we want to do is to mouth and Barnstable. And it was just now recome to some definite understanding in regard to marked, by the gentleman for Chatham, that the details of one or the other of these plans. I the people of Barnstable County were in favor of am not in the habit of making predictions, nor town representation; I should like to ask that will I predict what conclusion the Convention gentleman what indications he can find to warmay come to in the consideration of this subject, rant this assertion. All of its representatives, but I will say what I believe will be the course with but one exception, have, I believe, voted for taken by certain gentlemen who are in favor of the district system, and they are all good demotown representation; and it is this, that if the crats. The people of that county desire equal compromise of my colleague from Lowell, (Mr. political rights with their neighbors in the other Butler,) goes much further in a direction away counties, and it is all they ask for. When comfrom town representation, or much beyond it, I pared with the people of the county of Franklin, apprehend that the tread of many gentlemen in we are, in fact, but half men, since that county this House will be broad enough and long enough possesses just double the political rights that we to step over to the other extreme of district rep- possess; and it is this of which we complain. resentation. I think we are as well able to de- Now, Sir, a word in regard to the district plan. Wednesday,]


(June 29th.

It is, in my opinion, the only plan that can be this floor, but about two-fifths of the delegates, adopted by which equality of representation can and would, of course, be here in a minority, and be secured to all. And, although the people of if a vote upon the propositions was forced, they Barnstable County have been represented to be in must yield to the three-fifths of the delegates, favor of town representation, yet if this district who, in fact, represented but two-fifths of the system is submitted to them for their decision, population or voters. I did tell an anecdote of a they will one and all unanimously vote to sustain distinguished son of Massachusetts, but so far that principle.

from intending any threats thereby, it was merely Mr. HATHAWAY, of Freetown. After the for the purpose of illustrating what would be his sharp rebukes, and the severe criticism to which sense, if he now was living, of the great injustice I have been subjected in this debate, I beg the which would be done, if either the amendment indulgence of the Convention for a few moments, or Report shall be adopted. I went still further, while I shall, at once, reply to the gentleman and and said, there was a power behind us, and that make an explanation. Sir, the gentleman from the three-fifths of the delegates who were elected, Lowell, let me say to him in starting, shall never and who are now here, represented but about place me in a false position, either before this two-fifths of the population or voters, and that Convention or the people, however much he may that power, which would see that no injustice endeavor or desire so to do. But, to commence should be done, was the people. The gentleman aright, it will be necessary for me to go back from Lowell, in his remarks, appealed to a higher a little and repeat in part what I before said, and law or tribunal, than the people. In my view, see whether I uttered any threat, as has been inti- the people are the legitimate tribunal for making mated. And in the first place I will say, that I their organic law, without appealing to a higher did not threaten, nor did I, in the refined and power or tribunal. parliamentary language of that gentleman,- for it The gentleman said, also, that I had intimated was undoubtedly parliamentary, as it was permit- there was a conspiracy in this matter. I, Sir, ted to be used,—talk about bullying; nor did I made no such intimation. He went on, learnedly, use any language of that character, because I deem to instruct us in reference to the conspiracy of it not only unparliamentary, but ungentlemanly, Rachel and Jacob, and the goat skins with which in the highest degree. But, to be strictly parlia- they deceived Isaac, and the goat soup with which mentary myself, I ought not to say whether the they fed him. But I can tell the gentleman from gentleman used it or not; the Convention can Lowell, that if he intends his proposition as one decide upon that point. But let me examine the of the goat skins, we, of the Old Colony, shall position in which I was placed, and what I not be misled or deceived by it; nor am I, or will said.

the people in that part of the Commonwealth, as When I first addressed the Convention upon I believe, be deceived by, or in the least be inthe question, whether this subject should be re

clined to sup with him any of his odoriferous goat committed to the Committee or not, I stated soup, which he so highly prizes, and which is so that my mouth had been closed, heretofore, and palatable to his taste. He may have the whole of I had remained silent upon this question, and it; I do not choose to be a partaker of it with that it was the first time I had spoken upon the him, or from his hand. proposition as to the basis of the House of Repre

The gentleman, also, in the course of his resentatives. In the next place, I said, that I de- marks, perhaps in a perfectly proper and parliasired to have the subject recommitted to the Com- mentary manner

r-I mean no disrespect to the mittee, because I felt that injustice would be done

Chairto certain parts of the Commonwealth, and es

The PRESIDENT. The gentleman from Freepecially to that part of it called the Old Colony, town will recollect that the Chair checked the if either the original Report of the majority of gentleman from Lowell in his observations, and the Select Committee, or the amendment of the that the Chair said to the gentleman from Lowell, gentleman from Lowell should be adopted. I that he did not understand the gentleman from felt the peculiarity of the position in which we Freetown as having uttered any threats. were placed, who happened to be opposed to Mr. HATHAWAY. I am aware of that, Sir, these propositions—to wit: that the small towns, and it was not to that I was about referring; but, that had but about one-third or two-fifths of the in the course of his remarks, he took occasion to population or voters in this Commonwealth, had, appeal to the “reform party" of the Old Colony, on this floor, a majority, at least, if not three- and to refer to the reform democracy. fifths, of the delegates, and that the remaining Mr. BUTLER. I rise to correct a statementthree-fifths of the population or voters, had, on will the gentleman yield the floor?

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