« ForrigeFortsett »
to the people in a shape that would compel them enter into the business of the people, and take it to take sides for or against it. You put a propo out of the people's hands. I am for having this sition of this kind to the people, and they are business done, but I am for having it done by the compelled, by all the machinery of caucus and people, and if it be successful, I would have the electioneering, and party influences, to take sides people put the money into their own pockets, and for or against it. And what would be the result? not be obliged to go into competition with corSuppose they go for it, and you get the credit of porations aided by the State. Therefore, it is no the State. Good. But suppose that half, or argument in favor of granting the State credit, hearly half, the people of the Commonwealth go that the State will thereby replenish its treasury. against it, and you do not get the credit of the If that be good policy, I would say to the genState. Bad; bad every way; bad, because the tleman from Lenox, why not go into the issuing corporation has not got the State credit to aid the and endo sement of bills of exchange, and go into enterprise, and because there will be thousands of the bonding system, and inspect the board of men in the Commonwealth ready to rejoice in fancy stocks, day by day. Nobody wishes for the failure, and say that it was but a fulfilment of that. their prophecies, that they always knew it was a One word more, Mr. President, upon the subbad enterprise, and must fail. That is the reason ject of corporation influence upon the legislature. why I would never put a part of the people in a I have called no corporation by name, and I shall position which would make them the enemies of not do so—I allude to no individual and to no any project for internal improvement. Credit is corporation; that makes no part of my thoughts, based on good-will. I wish every one of the im or of my argument. My friend from Lenox said provements in the State to have the general good that no corporation is here to-day. I wish that will, and the particular good-will, of every man were true; but if no corporation is here to-day, in the Commonwealth.
why do we hear of any corporations. Now, Sir, My friend says, leave it to the legislature. So I am ready to express the conviction which I say I. But not without a limit, because the very have for several years felt; but before I do it, I legislature to which you leave it, is the identical will state what is hardly necessary for me to state legislature which will be deeply interested in the to anybody who knows my course, that I am a question for or against it, and men are but men, friend to corporations—that I have called them, and subject to influences, and I am not one to and I still believe them to be, the right arm of the stand here and condemn the fact that men are industry and enterprise of this Commonwealth. subject to influences. I agree with the old philo- I could talk an hour upon their beneficent action, sophic doctrine, that man is but a bundle of in- and describe the blessings which they have spread fluences. I assent to the sentiments of Cicero, through the land, where they have brought comuttered in the chamber of the Senate of Rome, on fort and luxury, and have stimulated all the best a remarkable occasion, when he made a remarka- appetites and tastes of our nature; but I have not ble oration, and was reproached by the dema- time for that. I say they have done what must gogues of that city and that day, who said that be done, and what will not be done at all except his knees trembled so that they knocked together by associated wealth, in every new country. But in the presence of that august body of patricians; there is a period coming, and it has begun in this and his reply was: “I did tremble; and my country, when your corporate production cannot knees did knock together, but not because I feared compete, and will not compete, with individual the face of man, but because I was a man ; and I production, and enterprise, and capital, because it thank the gods that I am subject to influence, be can no more produce a yard of cotton cloth so cause if I am not subject to influence by others, cheap as I can, than the State can do it so cheap how can I influence others myself.”
as I can. No, Sir; it neither makes the market Now, Sir, it is the part of wisdom not to im more than it is, nor has its sensitive hand upon peach our Maker, and condemn his arrangement the public pulse to know when to produce, and of the human mind and human system, but to when to stop—when to buy, and when to sell ; take it as we find it, and act wisely in reference to and it has, in addition to its ordinary expenses, a our organic laws, for their action and development. whole roll of corporation expenses, salaries, &c. My friend said again, that the experience of this But in reference to corporation influence upon State has been fortunate; that it has not lost a the legislature, what is my conviction? It is this. dollar. Agreed. That it will not lose a dollar. I speak from what I do know; I am not going to Grant it. That it will make, has made, and does speak from anybody's knowledge, but from that make, much money. True. But I do not assent which produces my own convictions; and I say to that policy. I say it is wrong for a State to here, to this Convention, and to the people of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that your cor to this point-is this an extraordinary exigency? poration wealth is, at this day, and at this moment, Is it one that will justify the State in granting too strong for your Commonwealth. Your cor its credit? I want it to serve at the same time as poration wealth has been increasing, is increasing, a caution to them and to the petitioners, and to and in my judgment, ought to be restrained. support your legislature and your governor; for Your corporation influence has increased, is in I do believe that every successive legislature and creasing, and in my judgment, ought to be re governor that shall ever honor this State and be strained. It is too strong for the Commonwealth, honored by it-and I hold that the State and its and your corporate wealth is too strong for the officers, thus far in its history, to have mutually Commonwealth ; and I say that, in my judgment honored each other-will be thankful for some-friend to corporations as I am, and it may go thing of this kind in your Constitution. Any for what it is worth—I say woe to the corporate basis of representation that is likely to be adopted institutions of Massachusetts, and the corporate will result in this, that two-thirds of your House interest and the corporate influence of Massachu- may be elected by about one-half of your people; setts, when, by intermeddling with the legislature and that is an idea that is worthy of consideration. of the people, or the conventions of the people. This restraint will not, therefore, be like a restraint they shall touch and rouse the heart, and muscle, upon the majority of the people, so far as this is and bone, of the masses of the people to come to concerned. the rescue of the people's legislatures and the peo Now, with regard to the effect which this would ple's conventions against corporations. Woe to be likely to have if ingrafted into your amendthem, when they bring that day upon their heads, ments to the Constitution, when you put it to the and that day they are bringing.
people for a popular vote upon its adoption or reOne other point I will allude to. I must go by jection, that is a thing that I have not looked at; points or I shall not get through. That is this: but it is a consideration worthy of being looked at. I have heard it said by distinguished gentlemen I would not put anything in which I thought here to-day, and heretofore, that the State credit would be likely to endanger that which I deem is to be claimed, is now claimed, and I know it important and valuable; and I would put nohas been claimed from other quarters, independ- thing in which was not needed to bring the Conent of the specific merits of the specific cases, stitution nearer to perfection. If, therefore, you merely because the State has granted its credit to think that such a proposition would endanger others; and every road and every enterprise is in any of its associates, put it separately, so that the its nature local, and is producing great advantages people can say yea or nay upon it, and nothing in a particular locality. The claim comes up; else; and if a majority of the Convention shall “You have granted it here, you have granted it deem that its being in their amendments at all there, and you ought to grant it again, because will endanger the rest, do with it in your wisdom you bave granted it so and so before.” Now, Sir, what you please. I have myself but one course, every road is local; every road must lead some and that is, to consider every effect within my where. I will say what was once said by a dis- knowledge of the course of action which I am tinguished man in reference to a western road, about to take, and to do as well as I can, accordthe Maysville Road—no road can lead everywhere, ing to the dictates of my judgment and my conexcept the road to ruin. I do not recognize the science, and put unbounded confidence in the solidity of this argument in favor of the State good and judicious action of the people; in other granting its credit, merely because it has done so words, I shall do according to what is termed before; for that would lead us into the maelström part of the code of a gentleman, and that is, to of speculation, and if we came out whole and consider every man a gentleman until he proves sound, we should have another cause in addition himself to be no gentleman, and treat him accordto the innumerable instances which we now have, ingly; and I shall treat the people accordingly. of grateful acknowledgment to that superintend. I will put to them, therefore, what I deem to be ing Providence which is wiser than we, and most best; and if they do not agree to it, they can reject wise where we are the least so.
it, as we have agreed they shall. I have no desire Now, Sir, in regard to the particular number to have one improvement in the Constitution carof two-thirds, amend it as you please make it ried by connecting it indissolubly with another, two-thirds of the House and a majority of the when it is of a doubtful character ; but I do believe Senate, or the other way, or suppose you adopt in the expediency of some restriction upon this anything near two-thirds, anything that shall granting of the State credit. accomplish this result; when a case comes up, I My friend alluded to the idea that this restricwish the attention of the legislature drawn right tion was in the nature of a cramp; yea, and a
GILES - LORD.
cramp upon the industry of the people. But do tion to do with it as seems just and expedient to I go for any such thing? No, Mr. President. them, and I shall be content. Did I not say to him the other day, lay not the Mr. THOMAS, of Weymouth. Mr. President, icy hand of death upon the enterprise of the this subject has been amply discussed on both people of this Commonwealth ? This enterprise sides; every member of this body has probably is instinct with trade, with life, and energy; and made up his mind upon the subject, and I thereI said then, as I say now—support, encourage, fore move the previous question. cherish, sustain that enterprise, here and every The motion was agreed to. where. But it is with the enterprise of this com The question being then taken on reconsidering munity as it is with the leading and dominant the vote by which the resolution was ordered to spirit that acts in man and in the nation; it is be read a second time, on a division there werenot to be cramped, but it is to be guided, and this ayes, 189; noes, 87—so it was agreed to. is the way in which you are to aid it. Let the The question then recurred, on ordering the flood burst from your mountains, and fall into a resolve to a second reading, as amended. course where there are no banks; will it not Mr. FREEMAN, of Franklin, demanded the overrun your plains and devastate your fields ? previous question. But let it go in such channels as the Maker of the Mr. EARLE, of Worcester. I desire to inquire earth has formed for such beneficent streams, and of the Chair, whether, if the main question were what is the result? It makes a river, bordered not pending, it would not be in order to move for with cities and villages; it is then a blessing to a reconsideration of the vote by which the Conthe country, for it makes it populous, prosperous, vention adopted the amendment which now productive, and happy. I claim, therefore, that I stands as the resolve. go with him who goes the farthest in favor of The PRESIDENT. It would be in order. enterprise and credit, energy and industry, and Mr. EARLE. I
many gentlemen everything that we deem good; but I claim it to voted for a reconsideration under the belief that be wise, from past experience and the nature of it might be done. the case, to impose some restriction upon the Mr. LORD, of Salem. I move to amend the granting of the State credit.
resolve by striking out the words "two-thirds," I will say to my friend from Lenox, who and inserting the words “a majority.” The redoubts the constitutionality of any grant, that the solve now reads :Constitution says that the legislature shall have power to enact all wholesome and reasonable
That the legislature shall not have power to laws, and to take private property for public grant the credit of the State to any individual or uses. There is the foundation of this policy, and
corporation without a two-thirds vote of the
House of Representatives and the Senate in its there let it be. It has worked well, and it will favor. work well; but when you come to grant the State credit, which is my credit, and your credit, I understand the motion to reconsider, is made and his credit, and every man's special and private with the view of striking out the words “twocredit, as well as the associated credit of the whole, thirds” and inserting instead the words “a mathen let it be done wisely. Let the instance be jority," and if I understand rightly, the President such as to commend itself to more than a bare ruled that amendment out of order. Since that majority, under all the influences which I do not time, I understand that the President has reversed deprecate, but which I expect will be brought to that rule, and now rules that such a motion is in bear upon the legislative body in that particular order. I only desire to know whether the Presicase; and if the case be a good one, it can com dent considers that motion before the Convention, mand more than a bare majority of the legislature, so that if the previous question be voted down, and it will command the assent of the people. the question will recur on that amendment, or But if it fail, this failure will not destroy its own whether the previous question having been called credit, as a failure under a mere majority might for at a time when the President ruled the motion If it succeeds, it will give you not only the out of order, that motion will now stand. amount in millions, but it will double that The PRESIDENT. The Chair will state to amount in the good-will and coöperation of the the gentleman from Salem, the position of the whole people in your favor. That is what you question as it now stands. The resolution is as need—that is what I want you to have—that is follows: That the legislature shall not have what I design to give you, and that is the object power to grant the credit of the State to any inof this resolution, so far as my individual mind dividual or corporation, without a two-thirds enters into it. It is in the power of the Conven vote of the House of Representatives and the
Senate in its favor. To strike out the words re Rogers, John
Turner, David P. ferred to by the gentleman from Salem, and in Ross, David, s. Wallis, Freeland sert those proposed by the gentleman from Mon
Royce, James C. Walker, Samuel son, would make a change in that to which the
Ward, Andrew H.
Simmons, Perez Waters, Asa H. Convention have already agreed, and it is not, Simonds, John W. Weeks, Cyrus therefore, in order at this time.
Sprague, Melzar Wetmore, Thomas Mr. GRAY, of Boston. I would ask the Stevens, Granville Wilbur, Daniel Chair if the demand for the previous question Stevens, Joseph L., Jr. Wilbur, Joseph prevails, and the main question is ordered, wheth
Stevenson, J. Thomas Wilkinson, Ezra
Stiles, Gideon er that main question will not be the passing to
Williams, J. B. its next stage, of the amendment of my col- Taft, Arnold
Wilson, Willard league
Talbot, Thomas Winslow, Levi M. The PRESIDENT. That will be the main Taylor, Ralph
Wood, Nathaniel question.
Tilton, Horatio W. Woods, Josiah B. The call for the previous question was sus
Turner, David Wood, Otis tained.
NAYS. Mr. CROWNINSHIELD, of Boston, moved, that when the vote be taken, it be taken by yeas Adams, Benjamin P.
Abbott, Josiah G. Cooledge, Henry F.
Cressy, Oliver s.
Crittenden, Simeon The motion was agreed to, and the yeas and Allen, James B. Cross, Joseph W. nays being taken, resulted-yeas, 112; nays, 199
Allen, Joel C.
Cummings, Joseph -as follows:
Alley, John B. Cushman, Henry W.
Andrews, Robert Davis, Charles G. Aldrich, P. Emory Hapgood, Seth
Aspinwall, William Day, Gilman Appleton, William Haskell, George
Atwood, David C. Dean, Silas Austin, George Hathaway, Elnathan P.
Ayres, Samuel Denison, Hiram S. Barrows, Joseph Hayward, George Baker, Hillel
Ballard, Alvah Durgin, John M.
Ball, George S. Eames, Philip
Bancroft, Alpheus Easland, Peter
Bell, Luther V. Ely, Joseph M. Briggs, George N. James, William
Bennett, William, Jr. Eustis, William T. Brown, Hiram C. Jenkins, John
Bennett, Zephaniah Farwell, A. G.
Bigelow, Edward B. Fay, Sullivan
Bird, Francis W. Fellows, James K.
Booth, William S. Foster, Aaron
Braman, Milton P. Fowler, Samuel P. Cogswell, Nathaniel Miller, Seth, Jr.
Brinley, Francis Freeman, James M. Copeland, Benjamin F. Morey, George
French, Charles A. Crane, George B. Morton, Elbridge G. Brown, Alpheus R. French, Rodney Crowninshield, F. B. Morton, Marcus
Brown, Artemas French, Samuel Davis, Solomon Morton, Marcus, Jr. Brown, Hammond Gale, Luther Deming, Elijah S. Newman, Charles Brownell, Joseph Gates, Elbridge Denton, Augustus Nichols, William
Bryant, Patrick Gilbert, Washington Doane, James C. Norton, Alfred
Bullock, Rufus Giles, Charles G. Dunham, Bradish Oliver, Henry K. Bumpus, Cephas C. Gooding, Leonard Earle, John M. Orcutt, Nathan
Burlingame, Anson Graves John W. Eaton, Lilley
Orne, Benjamin S. Butler, Benjamin F. Green, Jabez Ely, Homer
Parker, Adolphus G. Caruthers, William Griswold, Josiah W. Fitch, Ezekiel W. Parker, Joel
Chandler, Amariah Griswold, Whiting Fowle, Samuel Peabody, George
Chapin, Henry Hadley, Samuel P. Gardner Henry J. Peabody, Nathaniel Childs, Josiah
Hall, Charles B. Gilbert, Wanton C. Pease, Jeremiah, Jr. Churchill, J. McKean Hapgood, Lyman W. Giles, Joel Perkins, Noah C.
Clark, Ransom Harmon, Phineas
Clarke, Alpheus B. Haskins, William
Clarke, Stillman Hawkes, Stephen E.
Cleverly, William Hayden, Isaac Hammond, A. B. Rockwood, Joseph M. Cook, Charles E. Heath, Ezra 2d,
NAYS — ABSENT.
Henry, Samuel Perkins, Jesse
Prince, F. 0. Hooper Foster Putnam, George Howard, Martin Read, James Hoyt, Henry K. Rice, David Hunt, Charles E. Richards, Luther Hunt, William Richardson, Nathan Huntington, George H. Richardson, Samuel H. Hurlbut, Moses C. Sanderson, Amasa Ide, Abijah M., Jr. Sanderson, Chester Jacobs, John
Schouler, William Jenks, Samuel H. Sheldon, Luther Kellogg, Giles C. Sherril, John Kendall, Isaac
Sleeper, John S. Kimball, Joseph Souther, John Kingman, Joseph Spooner, Samuel W. Knight, Joseph Stevens, William Knowlton, Charles L. Sumner, Charles Knowlton, J. S. C. Thayer, Willard, 2d Knowlton, William H. Thomas, John W. Knox, Albert
Thompson, Charles Kuhn, George, H. Tilton, Abraham Ladd, Gardner P. Tower, Ephraim Ladd, John S.
Train, Charles R.
Walcott, Samuel B.
Wilkins, John H.
Loud, Samuel P. Cutler, Simeon N. Marvin, Theophilus R. Davis, Ebenezer Mixter, Samuel Davis, Isaac
Monroe, James L.
Morss, Joseph B.
Payson, Thomas E.
Putnam, John A. Goulding, Dalton Richardson, Daniel Goulding, Jason Ring, Elkanah, Jr. Greene, William B. Rockwell, Julius Greenleaf, Simon Sampson, George R. Hale, Nathan
Wales, Bradford L. Loomis, E. Justin Wallace, Frederick T. Lord, Otis P.
Wright, Ezekiel Lothrop, Samuel K.
Absent and not voting, 107.
So the resolution was not ordered to be read a second time.
On motion, by Mr. WILSON, of Natick, the Convention then adjourned until three o'clock, P. M.
The Convention reassembled at three o'clock.
A Committee Appointed.
Abbott, Alfred A. Brown, Adolphus F.
Bullen, Amos H.
Cole, Lansing J. Bigelow, Jacob Cole, Sumner Blagden, George W. Conkey, Ithamar Bliss, Willam C. Crockett, George W. Bradbury, Ebenezer Crosby, Leander Brewster, Osmyn
The PRESIDENT announced the following gentlemen as constituting the Committee, under the order adopted by the Convention, relative to legal remedy to representatives of persons deceased by railroad accidents : Messrs. Hallett, for Wil. braham, Stevenson, of Boston, Haskins, of Medford, Richardson, of Middletown, and Fowler, of Danvers.