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the deaf, and the dumb have learned to lisp her other cities are not Paris; they are not made up name and charities in the same breath. These of that mass of people huddled together as they monuments which she has reared all over the are in Paris, without any distinctive features as State are more enduring than brass, that shall to their employments; made up, as was said by abide "when granite moulders and when records the gentleman from Boston, (Mr. Choate,) of fail.” Its press was to be hereafter, though I did Jacobin clubs, of harlot beauty, and of that party not understand the gentleman for Berlin to say it is which in the galleries out-roared the Mountain ; now, an engine through which the people of this but it is made up of its native population and and surrounding cities were to control the legis- those who come in here from the country. There lature of the Commonwealth in all time to come. is no one of this vast variety of pursuits in There are thirteen daily presses in Boston, he this city but what has its distinguishing and exclaims, and therein, in my judgment, lies its marked representative from the country. No safety. There is no one " London Times” to one of them into which the representatives from speak for the whole, not only for Boston, but for the country have not infused that character for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through stability and integrity which I have heard lauded which formerly, though not entirely so now, I here so highly. They who have come in here from rejoice to say, it was necessary to learn the politics the country have left something behind them; they not only of London and the British Empire, but have left something to draw them back into the of the world.
country. They have left their homes and their There are thirteen daily presses, representing hearths. There is the cradle that rocked them, every shadow of interest, and every political and the mother that nursed them; and through party in the Commonwealth, as well as in Boston. all the vicissitudes of fortune in the city, however And they represent not only every political party they may be immersed in business, politics, or but every shade of opinion in every party. The pleasure, there are serious moments in the life gentleman's party has shades, and the party to of the most thoughtless of them, which are drawwhich I belong has shades; all parties have ing them back as with cords, and binding them shades and tendencies. Every one of them is with hooks of steel to the country, from whence represented by some one among these thirteen they came. Wherever the representative from daily presses in Boston. And so long as there are the country may go, he is filled with the spirit of thirteen or more of them planted thus, to give Goldsmith's Traveller :utterance to the impressions, or guard and en
" Where'er I rore, whatever realms to see, courage the views of every one who favors these
My heart untravelled fondly turns to thee." antagonistic interests, so long all of them, not only in Boston, but throughout the State, I was sorry to hear the esteemed gentleman who wherever they have existence or representation, represents Manchester express a doubt whether are impotent for evil.
Boston would pay the tea tax now or not. He Moral character has been referred to; the said he was born and had always lived within moral character of the people of the cities, and three miles of the place where he then stood, and particularly of the people of Boston. The differ- I exceedingly regretted to hear him express that ence of that moral character from that of the doubt; for I do not believe it, although I have people of the country, has been alluded to; but no doubt that the gentleman honestly cherishes whether gentlemen mean to put forth dis- the doubt to which he gave utterance. But, Sir, I tinctly that principle as a basis of representation, don't believe Boston to be so craven. I know I do not know. It seems sometimes as though he can better speak of those who were born some of them were verging fast towards that within three miles of this place than I can. But proposition. I think my esteemed friend who for one, I can tell him there are country boys reprezents Manchester, (Mr. Dana,) alluded to enough in Boston to-day, living by the sweat of that principle, and said that in Boston there was their brows, beneath this burning sun, to tip every a greater number than all his constituents of pound of tea in it into the harbor ; and if it be Manchester, so degraded that they should be true that the native citizens of Boston have benameless; and I think he hinted at least at the come so degenerate, there are country boys question whether the basis of representation enough here to drive every one of her recreant should not be upon moral character. I do not sons down these steep places into the sea, where know about applying that principle. It is a new their prototypes were drowned nearly two thouelement, and I do not know by what standard sand years ago. we can measure the moral character of any por- The gentleman for Manchester said, that he tion of the people. But, Sir, Boston and the took the position that a town of one hundred Tuesday,]
thousand inhabitants was not so much entitled to I will next read from the remarks of the genone hundred representatives as a town of one tleman from Fall River, (Mr. Hooper). thousand inhabitants was entitled to one. I agree with the gentleman there. The mistake is just basis of representation, and one which will
“I believe that population is the only true and in attempting to give representation to the town give the highest satisfaction to all classes. It has itself, to the lifeless inanimate corporation, and been suggested, that one of the objects of this on this principle the town of one thousand is Convention is to limit the influence of some of entitled to just as many representatives as the the large places by changing this very basis, but town with one hundred thousand. The towns
I hope that our action will not go to substantiate
that allegation.” themselves, as towns, are equal. If they have any right to representation as towns, they
I read again, from the remarks of the gentlehave just the same power and the same force in
man from Lowell, (Mr. Butler). the one case as in the other. And, therefore, the town with one hundred thousand inhabitants, is
“I would have the basis of representation not only not entitled to one hundred times as
changed from a property basis, to a more perfect many representatives as the town with one thous- popular basis, so that the whole of the Commonand, but it is not entitled to one more represen- wealth should be represented, and that obvious tative. The town is a unit, and there are but principle is population, in my estimation.” two units in the case; and I want to know by
So, Sir, when we were constructing the basis what process the one unit is to be entitled to a
for the Senate, gentlemen dilated, gentlemen ensingle particle more of power on the floor of the House of Representatives than the other unit. larged and amplified upon this great, grand, dis
tinctive feature, found in that Report, namely, But I ask here, if each and every man in the
that it based the Senate upon population, and town with one hundred thousand inhabitants, has
upon that alone; and one gentleman could see not the same right of representation upon the
no reason why forty thousand or fifty thousand floor of the House, that each and every man in
in this city should be disfranchised, or that ten the town with one thousand inhabitants has ?
thousand girls in the city of Lowell should not Here is the distinction, and here the mistake. It is because the gentleman proceeds on the suppo
have their voice in forming the basis of the Sen
ate. And I cannot see the difference when you sition that the towns have a right to representa
come to the House of Representatives. tion. The town is an incorporeal thing, without
Suppose, Sir, that all these difficulties upon flesh and blood; it is a creature of a statute. It is without a soul, and has no more right to rep
which the argument of gentlemen is based exist.
What is the remedy? The majority have reported resentation than the brute cattle on the thousand hills about us. But it is the men who are en
a measure which I do not understand them to call titled to it. And if you do not believe my state
a remedy, but they have reported a basis of reprement, Mr. Chairman, I will read my authority. these evils. They recognize all this incquality in
sentation upon the principle of compensating for I read from a very interesting and able debate
the population and in wealth as legitimate, as which occurred on this floor, on the nineteenth of May last. I read from the very able and inter- continuing, lasting, abiding, and they undertake esting argument which I was delighted to hear ning, you cannot pay for it ; it was not purchased.
to compensate it. Now, I say, Sir, in the beginfrom the honorable gentleman from Natick, (Mr. in any such way. It owes its origin to diverse Wilson,) whom I am now happy to see in the
and other causes, and it cannot be paid for by loss Chair.
of political right. If there is any such inequality “Now I see no reason why the city of Lowell, existing in this Commonwealth, those who have because it happens to have ten thousand women, acquired it, did not acquire it, by any means from should be cut down in the senatorial representa- the basis of representation, or any other system of tion. I see no reason, because the city of Boston legislation which exists in the Commonwealth. has thirty, forty, or fifty thousand foreign popu. It is due to natural causes in a great measure, and lation, who have cast their lot in this country, and who are hereafter to be with us and of us, why they it is due to the policy of trade and to the mysteries should not be considered equal to the rest of our
of trade, and to a variety of causes ; it is not due fellow citizens in making the basis of representa- | in any measure to the basis of representation in tion. I believe, if this Convention undertakes to the House of Representatives, and it cannot be adopt any policy of that character, it will array compensated for in that way. How futile and against the acts of this body, at least the feelings how impotent, if the prediction is just, if there is of a large class of our population, which I do not wish to arouse, either in that class, or in any oth
no defect in the computation of the gentleman for er class of our fellow citizens."
Berlin, if we are really to have in seventeen years Tuesday,]
a population of 377,000 in Boston, and in forty- | not for one, Sir, go for the Minority Report any seven years we are to have 2,500,000 in Boston more than I do for that of the Majority. I do not and eleven other cities in the Commonwealth to know that I ought to say any more. It contains control the legislation of the State. They will go the principle of the district system, imperfectly on and do it in spite of your parchments and your developed. At the proper time, Sir, if I can have cob-web contrivances on this floor. It cannot be the indulgence of the Committee, I may offer an done in that way. Now, what are you going to amendment to that amendment, by which the do, suppose you deprive these men of their just district system shall be developed in this Comproportion of the political power of this Common- monwealth perfectly, so that whatever may be wealth? Have you taken from them their power the inequalities hereafter, whatever may be the Have you disarmed them ? Have you plucked ratio of the basis of increase, that every man in their sting? If Boston is to be like Paris, the this Commonwealth, wherever he may be, and ruler of France, deprive it of representation in the however humble, will have precisely the same House, and you put in a new element of disturb- political rights in the House of Representatives ance; you arm her, you put into her mouth the that he does in the Senate, and that he does everycry that she has lost her just share of representa- where else, and that every other man shall have tion, that she has lost her just power in the in that hall, however exalted he may be. government, and then there is no force in Christen- I have a resolution, but I do not deem it proper dom can put her down and keep her down. Has to embarrass the action of those gentlemen who it occurred to the gentleman who represents offered this Minority Report by proposing it at Berlin, what will be the state of things in Massa- this time, whereby the Commonwealth, which is chusetts with a population of more than two to be divided into forty senatorial districts, might millions in the city of your capitol, and where your be further cut up into eight subdivisions or sublaws are to be made, deprived of any just or any districts, making a House of three hundred and considerable share of the voice in making laws twenty members, and making the basis of reprewhich are to govern them? Has it occurred to sentation in each district somewhere about three him what will be the state of things then : Not thousand ; and, Sir, upon a liberal application of only will the galleries be filled with those out- that basis we have precisely the system forebellowing the Mountain, but those who come shadowed by the gentleman for Berlin, (Mr. here advocating such a system, will be driven Boutwell,) and more developed by the gentleman hence. Something of the spirit which did throw from North Brookfield, viz. : small towns put the tea overboard, will be found to wake up then, together, middling sized towns, between fifty and though it may sleep now. I beg gentlemen to a hundred, forming single districts, and large consider that if they have any just reason for towns and cities being divided into single districts, believing that there is any danger of such a state so that it is in fact the same principle which perof things as they predict, they are rendering it ten vaded the system, which as near as I can tell, is fold more dangerous by this attempt to deprive shadowed by the views of the gentleman for this population of its fair proportion of that power Berlin, and to which the gentleman from North in the government to which every man is entitled, Brookfield would perhaps adhere. I think that and which, with every soul, is inalienable. You there would be more than fifty towns which may guide, direct, mould and fashion this mass, would each be a district, and by which arrangement but you cannot put your hand upon it and hold the town lines would be preserved, and all that it down. It has within it that irrepressible, pertains to that blessed state of things would irresistible Yankee spirit - which “can but by exist and go on for a while just as they have annihilation die," and no system, whether that done. I understand that with the exception of of the gentleman who is the chairman of the the chairman of the Committee, (Mr. Griswold,) Committee, or any other, based on any such false every-body who has spoken upon this floor principle as that of depriving any considerable deems it absolutely necessary that these small portion of the people of this Commonwealth of towns should be grouped together. Then, Sir, their just share of their rights, and of power in more than two of the small towns should be put the hall of the House of Representatives, the together, if possible, and I will give the reason popular branch, can live for a moment when such why I should prefer that three should go together a state of things as that represented by the gentle- rather than two. If only two were put together, man for Berlin, shall be upon us, if that day the weaker of them would have to contend ever comes.
against the stronger ; but if three should be joined On the other hand, Sir, the only other ground the two weakest could combine against the strongthat can be taken, is the district system. I do est. I think, if I know anything of the feeling Tuesday,]
in the small towns--and, Sir, having been born At the close of the same remarks, the gentleand brought up in one of them, I know something man said :about it—they would much prefer a larger district, than to be yoked together two and two, as is
“I trust that in taking the vote we shall not
go backward. I wish our basis to be made as broad proposed by the gentleman from North Brook
as are the people, and when coming to vote upon field, (Mr. Walker). I appreciate the difficulty that question I trust we shall arrive as far as which surrounds the honorable chairman of the possible at a unanimous result." Committee. I know the strong feeling in the small towns, to which he has so fully con- I was delighted, Sir, when I heard these reformed his Report, to the sacrifice of jus- marks. But notwithstanding these sentiments, tice and equal rights. But it seems now to what has the gentleman been doing in this debate? be adınitted that the small towns must come My curiosity has been a good deal gratified to see together. It is admitted by all, as I understand, the same gentleman go back to the period of sixty that a district system is exactly just; and I be- years, one hundred years, two hundred years and lieve one great complaint against it is that it is too even two hundred and seventeen years, to 1636, exactly just. The gentleman who represents arm in arm with my progressive friend who repManchester, (Mr. Dana,) seems to think that it resents Erving, groping around the musty resavors too much of French mathematics—too cords of that day to find out what was then the much of the square root, and he is afraid there theory of representation in this Commonwealth. will be found some difficulty in reducing it to And it was rather amusing to see the learned and practice, it is so completely and exactly equal and distinguished gentleman from Cambridge followjust. The complaint is that it is so very just that | ing them, and softly and quietly threading his we cannot get along with it, and we must stop way among the musty tomes of antiquity, searchshort of it, and introduce some disturbing elementing for these two progressive brothers as they of inequality to make it savor more of our past were threading their devious way behind this notions. It is a very excellent thing to talk book and that pile, in this alcove and on that shelf, about-this principle of equality—a capital thing and having at last put his finger on them to point to put in resolutions at caucuses and conventions ; out that about two hundred and twenty-five years but it would be dangerous to attempt to carry it ago we find a precedent for the whole thing. This out in practice. But, Sir, I have not yet learned is “progress !" Now I submit whether there is that there is any insurmountable difficulty in the any analogy in the state of things in this Commonway. It is founded, as I said, upon the true wealth at the present day and the state of things theory, that of men and not of corporate rights. here in 1636? Is Massachusetts to-day what she It is upon the principle so ably laid down by the was then? Sir, there is not one particle of conhonorable gentleman who represents Wilbraham, sequence attached to the question whether the in the same debate from which I have heretofore gentleman for Wilbraham, or the gentleman for read ; and it is in accordance with the spirit there | Erving, had succeeded in this memorable dispute set forth. If for no other reason, I think that the with the gentleman from Cambridge. It makes Convention, having by their vote established and no sort of difference, because the state of things sanctioned the principles he laid down, are bound has altered very much from what it was at that to go for it. Here is what the honorable gentle time. What was just, right and proper then, is no man representing Wilbraham said :
more likely to be just, right and proper now, than
anything else is. There were then only a few scat“ Mr. President, I am for progress, not for rashness, haste, nor destruction; but I am for
tered plantations or towns—and they could not taking no step backward in this Convention. I
either of them tell which they were, plantations or friend from Freetown if it is not taking a
towns-here and there, scarcely able to preserve step backwards to attempt to reduce the basis of their existence, and carrying on a fearfuland doubtrepresentation from the whole people to a particu- ful contest with famine and war—the savages and lar class ? For forty years the friends of liberal starvation—not knowing which would extermiprinciples labored to abolish from the Constitution the property qualification. They finally
nate them the quickest. The state of things in effected that to a certain extent. It then cost those provincial and colonial times furnishes no twenty years more to come from the ratable polls, rule by which a question can be decided at this which was the first amendment of the present day by this Convention. The State of MassaConstitution, to the present basis, of the entire
chusetts at this day is covered all over with these population or inhabitants. There is the result of sixty years of progress. Will gentlemen go back towns, for free interchango of sentiment, intertwenty years ? That is the question before us. I twined and interwoven by the ties of social life, would rather go forward.”
of genius, industry and enterprise, by her thou
sands of miles of railway and facilities of inter- | thousand in Quincy?” I would like to put the communication, making all the inhabitants of the question to my friend in front of me from New State one common people; and yet we are told Ashford, (Mr. Harmon,) whether he asks, or that the question is to be decided here upon the whether his innate sense of justice will allow him doubtful point whether in 1636 towns a d plan- to ask, in the name of the two hundred and ten tations having less than ten freeholders were en- men of New Ashford, to have the same power titled to a voice in the provincial legislature. Sir, which Williamstown with its two thousand five in my humble judgment this is taking more than hundred and thirty-four men has upon this floor. one step backwards.
The men of New Ashford are good and true as Gentlemen tell us that for two hundred years steel, but no more so than the men of Williamsthe towns have rejoiced in town representation, town. Every man of Williamstown, or Lee, or that it has become a part of their nature, and a Great Barrington, or even of Adams, has the same part of their policy, and therefore we must adhere inherent and inalienable right of representation to that precise and exact state of things. This is with each man in New Ashford. the reason they give us for going back to these But it is said that the district system breaks up early times. The people of this Commonwealth old associations, and brings together communities will not give up this town representation, they tell that are strangers to each other and to the men us, because they have had it so long. Will not who represent them. They cannot know their give it up! Why, Sir, these very gentlemen who Who says this? Who says that in a dissay that the towns will not give up this system, trict system the electors will hardly know their without a twinge or a pang have cut off limb after candidates—that they ought to live near to and be limb of this old tree which is more than two hun- familiar with their representatives? Why, Sir, dred years old. “ His Excellency" fell yesterday it is the gentleman from Groton, who represents without their shedding a tear or a sigh; and this Berlin-the gentleman from Dedham, who repregoes back more than two hundred years, before the sents Abington—the gentleman from Cambridge, existence of the colony. This dates back even for Manchester—from Greenfield for Ervingbefore the time when Columbus found the spot from Boston for Wilbraham. I let practice anwhere we stand. The Council came over here swer preaching. before we had representation, and the gentleman Again, it is said that the district system weakfor Wilbraham, demonstrated that it had existed ens the power of the towns. But, Sir, the imfor more than two hundred years, as a part of our portance of the town organization, does not congovernment, when the people roamed almost in a sist in choosing a representative—the act of voting. savage state; and then he turned round from his Th
is preserved to them intact. It is in their argument which demonstrated its antiquity, and deliberative character, in their municipal governcut it off. Why, Sir, if the people of the Com- ment, all of which remains untouched under the monwealth are to suffer their old institutions to district system. be thus cast away, I want to know where is the This district system may not prevail at this limit-I want to know where is the distinction time, but it will come sooner or later. I take my wherein and whereby gentlemen are authorized to stand upon it and patiently bide the time of its say that the people will submit to this pruning, coming. and that dismemberment, and the other dissection, But, Sir, before I close let me say a word to but yet when y.ju come to the matter of town the small towns. I submit whether it would representation they will cling to it in spite of its not be better to be content with a just share of injustice-they will cling to it in the face of the political power, rather than by grasping too much fact that by this system more than two-thirds of to lose all. The inequalities of population and the people of the Commonwealth are put at the power, so far as they do not arise from physical mercy of less than the other third. I would like causes may be removed. Beyond this they should to put the question to my venerable friend who not ask or desire to go. Open the channels of represents Clarksburg upon this floor, (Mr. Clark,) trade all over the Commonwealth, develop her if it were not that I see his vacant seat, and am re- resources, awaken her slumbering energies in minded by its vacancy, that we may not have him every part—among all her hills and throughhere more I would like to put it to his innate out all her vales, and along her waterfalls, and sense of justice, “Do you wish that the three you have counteracted all the tendencies to cenhundred and ninety-four men of the town of tralization that it is in the power of man to Clarksburg shall have the same power in the counteract. House of Representatives, with the four thousand But, Sir, if this Majority Report should be men of Lee, or Great Barrington, or the five adopted, and if by any means it should be ratified