« ForrigeFortsett »
growth of these cities and towns for the last ten | reform, and the reform of which the gentleman or twenty years, and then calculate what it will has this morning spoken so boastfully? Such be for ten or twenty years to come, and then tell facts as these and such professions for reform are me if the tendency is not to centralization ? wholly unreconcilable, by any metaphysics how* Where the carcass is, thither will the eagles be ever subtile or complex, with the great principles gathered together,” and where the cities and large of verity. towns are, there will be the great influx and cu Mr. Chairman, I recollect that a certain gentlemulation of the people. Let the gentleman from man from Boston, who occupied a very imporAdams compare the increase of these commercial
tant side position in the House last winter, and and manufacturing towns with that of the agri- who was a member of the House in 1852, and cultural portion of the Commonwealth, and also a member of the Senate whose name I will cypher out the result by the rule of three.
not call—for “he was, and is not"-who, each Why, Sir, the tendency is so plain that no man proposed certain measures of reform, not in exact in his senses could mistake it.
keeping with the feelings and active principles of Sir, there is danger to the Commonwealth from the party to which they belonged, flying off as in this centralizing power. I confess, when I heard a tangent from the old stereotyped action of the my friend who represents Manchester, (Mr. party; and for what was all this, think ye? It Dana,) the other day portray in characters of was ostensibly for reform, but what was it in living light-in a manner so logical, so cogent, so reality? Was not the whole burden of that clear, I was moved by it. I could but see that movement to head off this Convention to make there was danger. If there is none, then human abortive the attempt to call a Convention: If it nature is not here what it is elsewhere.
was not that, then what was it? All parties and I say that your district system will serve to the world so understood it. These measures were increase this centralizing tendency, and to ren out of sight in advance of the party. “Always der it more dangerous, so far as the country is for reform !!” “0, consistency, thou art a jewconcerned, but if you will district the cities that el.” Again, where were all these gentlemen, on will serve somewhat as a check. Now, Sir, the plurality question, when it came up in 1849 and people surely cannot complain, if they get them 1850? Were they head and shoulders in advance selves, just what they want every-body else to of their party in regard to reforms? Did they have; and if the people of the city of Boston say it is our child, let us feed, clothe, educate it, want the whole State districted they certainly and train it up as ours. Let facts, those stubborn cannot with any reason, complain if they are things, speak for themselves. When one of my districted themselves, as they want every-body else friends om a small town, who was born, reared to be.
and nurtured in the country, and had always Mr. Chairman, I did not like the remarks made breathed the exhilarating air of its hills, rose here by a certain gentleman this morning upon the and spoke against this principle, I was grieved ; subject of reform; that a certain class of people and it brought to mind the story of a certain were always the friends of reform and a certain regiment of soldiers who were carried away from other class opposed to it. I do not wish to mis- Switzerland, their native land, to fight the battles represent the gentleman, but it seemed to me as of another country, and it unfortunately happened much as to say, “I, speaker,-1, first person sin- that the band of their regiment struck up a Swiss gular-I have always been right upon the subject tune which brought so forcibly to their minds the of reform." Sir, I confess that I cannot feel scenes of their childhood, and awakened such pleasantly to hear such remarks. I recollect up- strong and vivid recollections of the past, that they on a certain occasion, I shouldn't think it strange instinctively broke the ranks and fled. And it was if it was in the year 1850, a certain bill was something like that feeling which I experienced introduced into the legislature of Massachusetts in listening to the speech of my friend. It reto divide the State into single senatorial districts. called to my mind an anecdote of John Randolph, The subject was discussed very ably upon both which I think illustrates his position pretty well. sides, then came the yeas and nays, and Sir, how Upon one occasion a gentleman of eminent abilido they stand? Yes, Sir, I repeat the interroga- ties, possessing a fine classical taste and a thorough tory, how do they stand? The old county of acquaintance with literature, and who could speak Suffolk is first called, and what do we hear, save the language more correctly than any man living, one unbroken chain of noes, not a solitary excep arose upon the floor of congress, and began there tion--and the same was virtually true of a cer to defend the system of slavery, and to prove that tain party known, neither as the Democratic nor slavery as an institution was right. When the Free Soil party. Sir, does this look just like I gentleman had concluded his speech, Old John
DURGIN — HILLARD.
Randolph gets up, and says:
“I do not envy
duly cared for by a small House? Surely not! that gentleman his head, who can come here, de Then, Sir, all these evils and dangers are to be fend and justify slavery, much less do I envy counterbalanced by the single item of a trifling him his heart." .
expense. I say the same to my friend. I do not envy What, Sir, are some of the advantages of a him his head, nor do I envy him his heart, if he large House ? Sir, in a country like ours, the can come here and exert all his influence against government is for the people, and from the people, the interests, rights, and privileges of the small and they should be made, as far as may be, to towns of this old Commonwealth, whose sons share in its deliberations and bear its responsibiliwere first and last upon the battle field of the Re ties. volution, fighting for the liberties which we now In what school can the great principles of free enjoy. I shall vote for the Majority Report of the government be so thoroughly learned and so Committee with some slight alterations which I clearly understood as in our legislature? Sir, the have not the time now to suggest. I hope that glory and strength of this great republic is, the this whole subject will be thoroughly investigated, full, clear and practical knowledge of the princiand that we will consider it calmly and patiently, ples and workings of the government. Sir, I free from all party bias and feeling. Some people would like it much if every man in the Commontalk about sacrificing their political existence. I wealth and in the nation could possess the benefits do not have any, and I thank God I never had arising from years of legislative experience; for it any. I am always willing to do all I can for the would make the nation stronger than could the good of the Commonwealth, and I never con standing armies of Europe! One word in regard descended to ask political favors from any man. to expense. The revenues of the Commonwealth If the people choose to send me here or to the had far better be expended for legislation than to Legislature, all I have to say is, that I will serve accumulate in her treasury. Better for those who them according to the best of my ability. I have have access to the funds of the Commonwealth no political existence in the sense in which it is better for the whole people. generally used, but that only which is common to Sir, a large House is above and beyond the every man. But it is a crime almost, for any man control of all extrinsic influences—not so liable to not to bear his portion of the burden which de corruption. And, Sir, as the time of the legislavolves upon him in society.
ture is to be limited to one hundred days, by an I hope that there are gentlemen here who will amendment already passed, the argument as to bring forward a system of representation that will expense is fully answered. I hope we shall prove acce ble to every man in this Convention retain a large House. I shall vote for the Majorand the Commonwealth. But one thing I can ity Report, or something of like character. assure, gentlemen, that the small towns will never Mr. WALKER, of North Brookfield. I hope consent to be disfranchised and deprived of their that the question will be taken. It is quite evirepresentation.
dent that we shall not make any advance by the But in concluding these remarks, I will notice course we are pursuing. one objection to the Majority Report which pro
The CHAIRMAN. The question now pendposes to give to every town a representative, and ing, is upon the amendment proposed by the that is, it will increase rather than diminish the gentleman from Boston, (Mr. Hale,) to strike out size of the House. Now, Sir, in order to meet the resolution reported by the majority of the this objection, we have only to compare the merits Committee, and substitute the resolution reported of a small, with those of a large House. Well, Sir, by the minority. the only excellency, if an excellency it may be The question was taken and a count being decalled, that a small House has, or can have over a manded, there were yeas 61, noes 156. large one, is the the simple item of expense. A So the amendment was rejected. small House will not possess more talent than a The question recurred upon the adoption of the large one. It cannot do more than all the busi Majority Report. ness brought before it; and if done in shorter Mr. HILLARD, of Boston. I beg leave to time it is only an item of expense. Can it be done suggest to the Committee the expediency of not better than by a large House: I do not believe pressing the question upon the Majority Report it. Is not a small House far more liable to cor at this moment. I take it, there are amendments ruption than a large one: Are not external in which may be offered, and which may very fluences far more likely to control a small House ? properly be discussed by gentlemen not now here. Are the varied and numerous interests of a Com. Besides, I presume there are gentlemen who are monwealth as likely to be fully understood and prepared to address the Committee, especially my
BRINLEY - HALLETT – SCHOULER — EARLE.
distinguished colleague, the attorney-general, consideration is necessary before it can be acted who is not here now, but who intimated a wish
upon. to reply to some of the arguments adduced against Mr. HALLETT. I move a reconsideration, his proposition. I therefore, submit, whether it then, for the purpose of moving to strike out may not be better to postpone taking the question the word “Supreme" and inserting the word upon the Majority Report, and leave it to be “ Chief;" and if I have an opportunity, I shall modified, so long as gentlemen may wish to con furnish a very excellent article. tinue the debate.
The PRESIDENT. The Chair will state the Mr. BRINLEY, of Boston. I intimated this question, which is on the reconsideration of the morning that there was a proposition which I had yote by which the resolution was passed. the honor to submit, being No. 42 of the printed Mr. HALLETT. My reason for desiring the documents. It was only very partially distributed, reconsideration on the subject of the title of “His and as the weather is very hot, and the hour Excellency” is for the purpose of striking out the rather late, I would prefer not to go into any adjective supreme, attached to the word “Execuexplanation of it this afternoon. I move that the tive," and inserting “Chief," so that it will be Committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to “ Chief Executive Magistrate.” The phraseology sit again. The motion was upon a division as it now stands is; “ There shall be a Supreme ayes, 88; noes, 81-agreed to, and the Committee Executive Magistrate.". That was adopted before accordingly rose, and the President having re there was any Constitution of the United States, sumed the Chair of
and I suppose we shall concur in the propriety of
striking it out, from the reasoning of gentlemen in THE CONVENTION,
a very celebrated document which I hold in my The chairman reported progress, and obtained hand, which was printed in 1840, and is entitled, leave to sit again.
“ Answer of the Whig Members of the Legislature
of Massachusetts, constituting a majority of both Orders of the Day.
branches, to the address of His Excellency Marous On motion of Mr. BOUTWELL, the Conven Morton, delivered in the Convention of the two tion proceeded to the consideration of the Orders Houses, January 22, 1840." of the Day, being the resolve in relation to the Upon the first page I find a commentary upon title of “His Excellency,” reported from the His Excellency, as follows :-" "You announce Committee on so much of the Constitution as yourself as the • SUPREME EXECUTIVE Magistrate,' relates to the Governor, said resolve being upon -a title which, though authorized by the Constiits second reading.
tution, has heretofore been waived for the more The resolve was then read a second time and simple one of Chief Magistrate.'” passed.
This was signed by many gentlemen who are Mr. HALLETT. I desire to move an amend now members of this Convention, and it had ment to the Report, with regard to the title of an amazing influence upon the votes of that governor, by striking out the word “Supreme,” party and inserting the word “ Chief” before the word Mr. SCHOULER. I rise to a point of order, " Executive."
Mr. President. The PRESIDENT. The Chair will suggest The PRESIDENT. The gentleman will state that the resolution is passed.
his point of order. Mr. HALLETT. With reference to one por Mr. SCHOULER. By the rules, a motion for tion of the title, I know it is passed; but, I the reconsideration of a question goes over till supposed that an alteration might be made in any to-morrow. other portion.
Mr. HALLETT. I think the gentleman should The PRESIDENT. The question which the have been willing to receive this lesson of Whig Convention has disposed of, was upon that part wisdom, and that he should not have stopped me of the resolve which is comprehended in the in this part of the debate. words " His Excellency."
Mr. SCHOULER. I will withdraw my obMr. HALLETT. The Committee had referred jection to taking the question on the reconsiderato them, “so much of the Constitution in chapter tion of the vote at this time. 2, section 1, (except articles 9 and 10,) as relates Mr. EARLE, of Worcester. I hope the reconto the Governor, and an order of May 23d, rela on will not take place.
see no occasion tive to the title of the Governor.”
for it. It is true the Constitution was adopted The PRESIDENT. The gentleman must see before the present government of the United States that the Convention has disposed of it, and a re was established, but still, as I understand it, the
MILLER - HALLETT - WHITNEY.
governor is no less the supreme executive magis- | the question again, unless it was done by general trate of the State than he was then; and, although consent. Objection was made, and the question the government of the United States is supreme, was not put. yet it is not over the State as a State, but over the Union as a Union, and therefore I see no occasion
The Militia. for any change. And, unless there is a clear and The resolve and articles of amendment on the positive reason in favor of the change, I am op- subject of the militia, as amended, then had their posed to making any. I hope, therefore, the second reading; and the question was stated on reconsideration will not take place.
their final passage. Mr. MILLER, of Wareham. I have but a Mr. WHITNEY, of Boylston. I have a few single word to say. I hope this Committee will thoughts in relation to this subject which I desire not strike out the word supreme.” As was to offer at this time. I confess that I believe well stated by the gentleman from Worcester, the it is wrong to take human life, but that is a quesgovernor is the supreme executive of our Com tion which I shall not discuss now. I will say monwealth. I suppose the idea of the gentleman one word, however, with reference to certain who moved the reconsideration is, that because gentleman who seem to suppose that those who the President of the United States is the supreme look upon life-taking as wrong and sinful in the executive, this term ought not to be applied to sight of God are no-government men—that they the chief magistrate of a State. But we use that are anarchists—that they want to see this whole term in another department of this government frame-work of government go to pieces if they We have a court called the Supreme Court; yet could be the gainers by any such result. I wish we have a court of the United States before which to say, Sir, that we do not belong with such men. matters are brought from other courts, and which We believe, however, that God forbids us to take is called the Supreme Court of the United States. human life, and therefore we must obey him. If I know not where we shall end if we persist in other men believe that they are commissioned, and making these mere verbal changes in the Consti- | that under certain circumstances they are justified tution. The word “chief,” is a word generally in taking it, to their own Master they stand or applied to warriors. The first idea of it is gen- fall. Let them do their duty; but when gentleerally that of the title of the head of a band of men suppose that we cannot have any way to Indian warriors, and I should not like to go back govern our families, and to discharge the various to anything like that barbarous idea, and change duties and offices of life, because we deny the right the word “supreme" to that of " chief." I have of one man to take the life of another, they altonot more to say.
gether misjudge the matter; they do not underMr. HALLETT. I merely wish to say, in stand the reasons and the grounds upon which reply to my friend from Wareham, that there is we act. If gentlemen want an illustration to see no such term as "supreme," applied to any indi how we would deal with bad men, or violent and vidual in this Commonwealth except the gov- dangerous men, let them go to the Insane Hospi
We have a Supreme Judicial Court, but tals in this land and throughout the world, and we do not call the chief justice the supreme jus see how the most violent men are managed withtice. No man in this Commonwealth should out the use of the life-taking power. We regard have the title of supreme, nor should any man all violent and vicious and unruly men-all those in this republic have that title. I think it is anti who are dangerous to their fellow men-as laborrepublican, no longer necessary, and should not ing under a moral insanity, and we think that remain in the Constitution.
they ought to be restrained. But we hold that Mr. SCHOULER, of Boston. I am somewhat we can restrain them without resorting to the in a quandary how to vote on this question. The life-taking principle; and we accomplish that gentleman for Wilbraham has come down to object by simply using physical force in love and 1840. I wish ask him what the supreme kindness, just as you would take care of a raging executive was called in 1636 ?
maniac. That is the only means to which we Mr. HALLETT. He was called supreme think a man can rightfully resort in overcoming executive in 1780.
evil. The question was taken upon the motion to Now, Sir, this matter before us is one that inreconsider the final vote and it was decided in the terests us very much. Not that we suppose this negative.
State or any other State is ready to adopt our own Mr. HOOPER, of Fall River, asked for a views of principle in relation to this matter, but division ; but the PRESIDENT said that the because we regard with a good deal of interest the vote having been announced, it was too late to take l tendency of our citizens in various parts of the
community towards the abandonment of arms and nets ; but they do not use them. If you order the laying aside of physical force. We are glad these soldiers to fire upon their fathers or brethren to see them getting rid of this thing, because we do you believe they will do it? Not they. I consider it a great evil to have a military spirit, in say then, as a matter of police assistance, in times any of its manifestations, increasing and spread of great danger, this banded military power is ing among our fellow men. More than seventeen useless. Two or three years ago, the public sentimes as many human beings as now people this timent of Boston—and permit me to refer to these fair world of ours, have been slaughtered in mu matters as mere matters of fact, for I do not refer tual strife. Our own Burritt has computed the to them with any evil design-within two or three amount of blood which has thus been shed, and years the public sentiment of Boston, from politiwhich if brought into one great ocean, the entire cal considerations, or commercial considerations, navy of the entire world could float upon its or considerations of some other character, allowed crimson surface. We say, this is enough-let it be one of our sable brethren to be carried away from stayed, at any rate, so far as it can be done with Boston, into a state of interminable slavery. The any safety to what is good among the human race. great public sentiment of Boston said the thing We think that the time has come when all good must be done; and then the military were on men should be seeking for a deliverance from this hand to do this duty; and when there was any terrible scourge. I should be glad if this State of danger of an uprising of the same spirit in the Massachusetts, which gave birth to so many mem hearts of men that threw the tea overboard and bers of this Convention would take the lead in that committed the other acts which were charged this great work of peace on earth, and good will against them, as set forth in years gone by, the among men.
military were on hand and ready to act. When Now the point which I wish to make against the public sentiment goes in favor of a great the Report of the Committee is this—that the wrong, the military is ready to enforce the wrong; militia as an occasional aid to the civil power and but when you need the the military to protect to the police in the execution of the laws, is en the poor and humble individual who has no tirely useless at the very time when it is most power to protect himself, and the public sentineeded. Reference was made in the remarks of one ment says, “let him be crushed !" then you may of the gentlemen who preceded me, to the burning tap the drum as long as you please, but the of the convent in a neighboring city. Now I ask, swords and bayonets will not make their appearSir, why was it burned? You had time enough ance-you cannot get them to act in opposition to to call out your militia. It was not a sudden their own brothers and their own fathers. I matter; it was premeditated and talked about for therefore assert, that as a matter of occasional days and nights, and the whole surrounding police regulation, the military power is inefficient region knew all about it. Why did you not then where it is most needed. I am not certain, Mr. have the tap of the drum and the steady tramp of President, how much assistance the faithful and the soldiery, and have that building protected ? laborious leader in the great temperance moveSimply because the tone of public sentiment was ment would receive from the military power of against the matter. Public sentiment said " burn Boston, in the execution of the laws of the Comit!” and it was burned, to the deep disgrace of monwealth against the sale of liquors. It is very Massachusetts. I believe it was the same year, or
doubtful how much assistance the military power the next year at any rate, that one of the most would grant him if he should undertake to exepeaceful, loving and gentle citizens whom this cute these laws; but I am certain that if the Commonwealth has ever reared, was taken in public sentiment was strong against their execubroad daylight and dragged through the streets tion, the military power would be of no use to him. of the city of Boston, with a rope around his It is ready when there is no necessity for its neck, like a criminal. Where were the militia services; but when it is most needed it is of no ther? Why did they not protect the rights and avail. I will say here, although I do not suppose the safety of this unoffending man? Was it be that a great many military men are total absticause they had no right to do so ? Sir, it was nence men, yet in urging the subject of temperance because the public sentiment of Boston said, " let once upon an old militia colonel, he answered me the fanatic be suppressed.” That is the only by saying, that it was as much impossible to mainreason. Now, Sir, your common soldiers who tain the military spirit without the use of ardent go about the streets are not real soldiers. Because spirits, as it would be to make a world. Now, they have a little bear skin upon them, it does not Sir, I told him that I would be perfectly willing, prove that they are real soldiers, who will fire upon if that was true, that these twin sisters of destrucanybody-not at all. They carry guns and bayo- tion--the military spirit and intoxicating spirit