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perfect, by reason of the fractional parts or
To these the bill adds twelve more members, assigned to the States marked thus +
It is thus demonstrated by figures, that if 240 members be apportioned, by the only true
ratio, viz. that obtained by dividing the whole population by the whole House, it will be found that fractions are represented : and if 240 be assumed as the number of the House, the only objection to the bill is, that it distributes the fractional members without regard, in all cases, to the size of the fractions. A moment's inspection of the table will show that the apportionment would be much more nearly according to the numbers of the several States, if one member were taken from New York, and given to Vermont; one from Pennsylvania, and given to Delaware; and one from Kentucky, and given to Missouri. In the table here with submitted, marked B, it will be seen that every apportionment bill hitherto passed has been obnoxious to the same objection of representing fractions, to a still greater degree than the amendment proposed by the Senate. In fact, in the admitted impossibility of constituting a House in such a way as that each State shall possess its exact mathematical proportion of the entire House, it is unavoidable that a remainder or a fraction should be left, if the numbers to be represented in different States be divided by any one ratio. But it is also mathematically demonstrable, that on the principles of the Senate’s amendment applied to the population of the States, these remainders are much less than they would be according to the bill as passed. In a House of 256, these remainders would, in the aggregate, amount to less than 140,000; by the bill they amount to 643,000, making a difference of more than half a million in favor of the principles of the amendment. But granting that the amendment represents fractions, and that this is an objection, it is a still stronger objection to the bill that it leaves fractions unrepresented. These fractions are composed of the people of the United States entitled to representation. The objection supposes that each member represents a portion of the population amounting to 47,000, or whatever else be the ratio, and that the amendment gives to some number less than 47,000 a member, who consequently represents a less number than are entitled to be represented by one member. On the principle of this objection, the bill leaves these fractions unrepresented, which is, to say the least, as great an evil. Perhaps it might be safely argued that, under our system, it is a greater evil to deprive a part of the people of their representation, than to give a part of them greater weight in the representation than they are entitled to. But, allowing these evils to be equal in themselves, their magnitude
|must depend on the numbers who suffer them.
It is, therefore, a greater objection to the bill
UNITED STATES WEEKLY TELEGRAPH.
that there is no constitutional authority for as-
first Congress was made.
order to understand whether this objection is,
Rhode Island, , 58,000
Connecticut, . 202,000
New York, 238,000, o
New Jersey, 138,000' ' ~ *
Delaware, • 37,000
Maryland, 218,000 including 3-5ths of
. . . 80,000 slaves.
Virginia, 420,000 280,000 “
North Carolina, 200,000 60,000 “
South Carolina, 150,000 80,000 “
Georgia, 90,000 20,000 “ so --
Several of these sums are evidently estimates only, and for this reason probably, and the convenience of round numbers, the convention appear to have taken the aggregate population of the States at 2,600,000, an amount exceed. ing the estimate of 27,000 only. The number of the House was previously fixed at 65. It being found that this gave a ratio of about 40,000, that number was adopted by the convention. We are informed in the debates of the New York convention for adopting the consti. tution, that it was only at the very close of their labors that the lower ratio ef one for every thirty thousand was substituted, at the re
consolidation. As the large States increase in
quest of General Washington. The convention had been guided to the number of 65, for the sake of making the Senate and House of Representatives consist, together of 91, which was the greatest number of delegates that could be sent to the old Congress by the 13 States, each being allowed to send seven. Deducting 26 Senators from 91, there remained 65 as the number of the House. But, in apportioning a House of 65 to the states, a regard for the smaller States was exercised, in harmony with the spirit of accommodation wiłich presided in the entire compact. Not merely were several of them allowed an additional representative for large fractions, but from two of the three large States, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, a member was taken away, and to one of the smaller ones, South Carolina, two members beyond her proportion were assigned. The following table will enable the House, by comparing the actual apportionment with that
which a rigid adherence to the ratio would have required, to judge of the extent to which this regard for the interest of the smaller States
and that the numbers in this section are artfully
lessened for the larger States, while the small-
*framed. It was very soon perceived that *hardship was done to several States by *š an arbitrary ratio; and as the constitu*d not prescribed the process by which
the apportionment of representatives was to be made, after ineffectual attempts to fix on a divisor, which would remedy the injustice complained of, resort was had to a propostion be. tween the aggregate population and the share to which each State was entitled. Both proGesses, in a spirit of accommodation, had been pursued in the convention. The question unfortunately assumed a sectional and party character in Congress, but the journals of the two Houses exhibit names in favor of the allotment of representatives by proportion, to which no suspicion can attach, and which must be considered as a high sanction of any interpretation of the constitution. Of those who voted in its favor in the Senate, were Messrs. Langdon, Cabot, Strong, King, Read, Bassett, and Ells. | worth, all members of the federal convention, and the last subsequently Chief Justice of the United States. In the House of Representa tives, the bill was supported by many of the most distinguished individuals of both the political parties which had begun, even then, to divide the country. The minority of the committee find it difficult to believe that any unconstitutional principle of apportionment could have received, the sanction of these eminent, patriotic, and sagacious men in both Houses of Congress, many of whom had been the most active and influential members of the federal convention. The bill which passed the two Houses, was expressed in the following terms: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That from and after the 3d day of March, 1793, the House of Representatives shall be composed of one hundred and twenty members, elected within the several States according to the following apportionment, that is to say: within the State of New Hampshire, five; within the State of Massachu. setts, sixteen; within the State of Vermont, three; within the State of Rhode Island, two, within the State of Connecticut, eight; within the State of New York, eleven; within the State of New Jersey, six; within the State of Pennsylvania, fourteen; within the State of Delaware, two; within the State of Maryland, nine, within the State of Virginia, twenty-one; with. in the State of Kentucky, two; within the State of North Carolina, twelve; within the State of South Carolina, seven; within the State of Georgia, two.” This bill was rejected by President Washing. ton; and the weight of his authority requires that the grounds of his rejection of it should be carefully examined; the rather, as it is believed by the minority of the committee that his precise views of the subject have been disclosed but recently, and that through a private chan. nel; and that for want of this intormation, mistaken inferences have been drawn from his public message. . In order to throw full light on the subject, the following extract is made from the private memoirs of Mr. Jefferson,then Secretary of State: “April 6th, [5th.] The President called on
314 UNITED STATES WEEKLY TELEGRAPH. *..
tenth day. I had before given him my opinion|t
me before breakfast, and first introduced someled no principle on which the allotment was so
other matter, then fell on the representation made. It wore the appearance of an arbitrary * bill, which he had now in his possession for the apportionment. The circumstance, also, uhat o here are two steps in the process of propot- or " in writing, that the method of apportionment|tion by which the result was obtained, may o was contrary to the constitution. He agreed|have been considered objectionable. The con: ... that it was contrary to the common understand-stitution, however, is silent on this head, and . ing of that instrument, and to what was under-|requires only that the apportionment should be o *ing,
stood at the time by the makers of it; that, yet, according to numbers.
it would bear the construction which the bill pit;
and he observed that the vote for and againstli
against a southern vote, and he feared he
clearly the purport of the message conveying|
his negative, a message not drafted by himself, as it appears from Mr. Jefferson's account, and sent to the House of Representatives at the last moment, and with evident reluctance. It is in the following terms:
“ Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: I have maturely considered the act pass. ed by the two Houses, entitled ‘An act for the apportionment of representatives among theseseveral States according to the first enumera. tion,” and I return it to your House where it originated, with the following objections;
First. The constitution has prescribed that representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, and there is no one proportion or divisor, which, applied to the respective numbers of the States, will yield the namber and allotment of representatives proposed by the bill.
Second. The constitution has also provided that the number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand; which restriction is, by the context, and fair and obvious construction, to be applied to the separate and respective numbers of the States; and the bill has allotted to eight of the States more than one for every thirty thousand.
- GEORGE WASHINGTON.”
The first objection of General Washington
The second was probably the main objection in General Washington s mind, viz. that it gave
every thirty thousand. This objection has no
adopted in the present amendment, was sup-
constitution has provided a new apportionment ficient reason for rectifying, on the occasion
process. It is a very insufficient reason for cQuiescence in a manifest injustice, that it has been borne forty years; it ought to be suff
was so far founded in fact, that the bill express
3d. That the principle of apportionment .
a new apportionment, any error in the former
cient to point it out, to have the remedy conce
numbers of the House, applies with equal forces,
nature to go on increasing indefinitely. The \!.
that no one arbitrary ratio, previously fixed and
to the process by which direct taxes always have been, and always will be, apportioned. It has been argued, indeed, that no State, in a case where it has received a member beyond its exact proportion, would consent to pay tax. es in proportion to its members beyond its arith metical share of the tax; but it is still more im, portant to observe, that no State would be excused from any part of the tax on account of her unrepresented fractions. Although deprived of a part of the privilege of her representation, she would be relieved from no part of the burden of taxation. And if, as the objection truly assumes, no State would consent to be taxed for an extra member, it applies with double force to the bill. In a House of 240, the exact proportion of Mew York is 38.59—the amendment gives her 39 members. It is object. td to this, that out of a tax of $240, New York would not fairly be taxed $39. But the bill gives her 40 members; and in the same degree —and in which it would be more unjust to tax her $40 rather than $39, her true share being $38.59-in that degree, the bill is more obnoxo than the amendment to the objection urg
It is even contended that the bill apportions representatives to the States respectively, and that the amendment does not; and this unexpected result is thought to be attained because the numbers given by the bill, and amounting, altogether, to 240, are the quotients, onitting the remainders, obtained by dividing the whole population of the Union by the ratio which gives, in the aggregate, a House of 250. The fallacy of this statement is too apparent to require exposition. The objection of the proportion is to ascertain what part of a House of a given size is to be apportioned to each State. The first term of the proportion is the aggregate population of the Union—the second is the whole House—the third is the population of each State—and the fourth, the representation of each State. Now, as all the third terms, added logether, must make the first, so all the fourth terms, added together, must make the second. But this result cannot be attained without including the fractions. These the bill rejects, and makes the sum of the fourth terms equal to 240, instead of 250; and yet, it is said, “the due proportion between the States, each losing its own fractions, is to be presumed.”—
It has also been said that the approach to an exact proportion made by the amendment is imaginary; and tables have been constructed to show the inequalities which would result from taking, as the ratio of a portionment, the po- | pulation of some one of the States which receives an additional member. But the amendment proceeds on the incontestible principle,
applied to each State, would give an equitable result in practice, it is, therefore, illogical, to take the case of a State having an additional member for a large fraction, and make use of to population as a ratio to apply to all the other States. Still, however, this objection is capable of the most complete answer. It is admit‘ed that the same principle which, in the
amendment, gives Delaware two members, (or in the foregoing statement. House of 250, the result is a House of 251; and if 251 be, the number assumed, the aggregate result will be 252. Although, in practice,there
one for 37,716 inhabitants,) would greatly enlance the representation of New York, Penn. "lvania, &c. beyond what the amendment as:
*gns to them. But, on the other hand, it is i
This cannot be done without presuming that
any given number of representatives is the same
proportionate part of 250 and 240; that is, that
240 and 250 are the same number.
But, while the minority of the committee are
decidedly of opinion that the laws of equity,
This number has the advantage of re
n Congress—an advantage not possessed by the It is an additional recommenda
In apportioning a
sno inconvenience in this result, and the prin
most too obvious to need statement, that the ciple of the nearest possible approach to an exMinciple of the bill which gives Delaware but act mathematical proportion remains unimpair* for 75,432, would greatly reduce the repre-led, the number 256 has the advantage of being
* beyond what the bill assigns to those tes.
By a table marked A, and subjoined to the *Port of the committee, it appears that if eveState were represented on a ratio that gives
free from this real or supposed objection. The minority of the committee accordingly recommend an amendment to the amendment of the Senate, in virtue of which the House will consist of 256 members, distributed in such a man
Delaware two members, the House would be ner that each State will have that number as
*tied to 306. But if every State were repre*ned on a ratio that gives Delaware but one *mber,the entire House would be sunk to 148. * excess, on the first supposition,is 66. The oriency,on the second, is 92. The inequality of the bill over that of the amendment is, ac. ‘ordingly, as 92 is to 66. (See table C.) In * manner, it can be proved, by mathemati* calculation, that every other kind of inequa. *y ascribed to the amendment, operates
signed it which comes the nearest possible to the exact proportion which the population of the State bears to the Union.
Table marked D presents, at one view, the apportionment of the present House—the apportionment proposed by the bill—the apportionment proposed by the Senate's amendment —and the apportionment, proposed in the amendment here with submitted to the amendment. ED WARD EVERETT,
*inst the bill to a much greater degree.