poses that this Convention has no power to issue such a precept. I wish merely to call his attention to the action of the Convention of 1780. In the case of the absence of John Adams, of Braintree, afterwards President of the United States, and also in the case of the death of Judge Foster, of Worcester, the places were filled by the Convention. We have, then, two precedents in the Convention of 1780.

Mr. BARTLETT. I was aware that in the Convention of 1780, the two instances specified occurred. I am also aware that when the question was raised for discussion in 1820, the Convention did not then pursue that course. Whether, under the altered condition of our fundamental laws, this course would be proper to pursue, is a question upon which I entertain some doubt. I shall be glad to have the precedent right; and I merely ask a short time to examine it. Unless the Convention are so clear that they think the question ought not to be drawn into debate, I hope they will not refuse. The motion to reconsider was agreed to.

Mr. BATES, of Plymouth. If it is in order, I should like to have the order so modified as to make it an invitation. That will obviate the legal difficulty, to make it a recommendation; although I am not clear where the authority is to come from. If we have no authority to issue a precept, the invitation would have no validity. But if there is any legal difficulty it may as well come up at this time as at any other. The town of Berlin sent a delegate to this Convention, supposing that he would come here and take his seat. He came; but instead of accepting their appointment, he sent in his resignation. What then shall be the action of the Convention? The Convention having accepted the declination, it seems to me that it devolves upon the Convention to say to the town-You may elect another man in place of him who has not accepted. There is no authority in law to do so. The time has expired within which they can elect a delegate. If that town is to be represented here at all, as it supposed that it was to be, it must elect another delegate by the authority of the Convention, unless we go behind the authority of the Convention and ask the legislature to issue a precept. Nobody supposes for a moment that that is to be the course. It seems unnecessary. This Convention is the judge of the election of its members. The Convention, then, has power to fill that vacancy; for it is not less than a vacancy.

Mr. ALLEN, of Worcester. I think that whatever doubts may be entertained as to the propriety of issuing an order, calling upon any town in this Commonwealth which is not already represented, to send a delegate to this Convention, there will be no doubt that the modification suggested by the gentleman will obviate every difficulty which may exist. This Convention may invite any town, not already represented here, to choose its delegate or delegates, and I think no serious difficulty will remain. In my opinion, the town of Berlin, for instance, which elected a representative to this Convention, who has declined to sit here as a delegate from that town, has an absolute right to be represented in this hody; and if the selectmen sit down and issue their precept in due form, calling upon the legal voters to choose another delegate at a meeting of the town regularly called, that delegate thus

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chosen, even without any previous authority or intimation of a wish upon the part of the Convention, I could not hesitate for a moment to receive as a member. But if any doubt is entertained with regard to that, I think that no doubt would exist as to the expression of an opinion by this Convention; and I will, therefore, ask that the order may be so modified as simply to express the opinion, upon the part of the Convention, that the town has a right to elect another delegate.

Mr. CROWNINSHIELD, of Boston. This order seems to me fraught with serious consequences. I am rather inclined at present to entertain the opinion expressed by the gentleman who has just taken his seat, that it may be that a town has a right to proceed without another precept of law, and to send another representative in case of vacancy. I should prefer that this subject should be referred to a committee-perhaps the Committee on Elections-and that they should be instructed to make a prompt report, to search the precedents and see whether this Convention has authority to issue a precept or not. As to sending an invitation, I confess I entertain very great doubts; for if this Convention can send an invitation to any town to send a representative here, I suppose they may as well invite a representative to come, or invite a gentleman to take a seat in this body. Can it be that the Convention has a right to invite delegates to come and sit and act with us; and can we dip our hands into the treasury of the Commonwealth to pay those members for their attendance? I entertain great doubts whether we have power to issue a precept or not. If the Convention of 1780 was called upon a law substantially like ours, and if the eminent men of that day did issue a precept to fill vacancies under such a law, I should be very much disposed, unless some very strong reason could be given to the contrary, to follow that precedent. But I think, with my colleague, (Mr. Bartlett,) that this is a fit subject of inquiry. If the subject was brought up in the Convention of 1820, it is probable that there were some arguments pro and con, which may be found in the report of their debates, or which some gentlemen who were members of that Convention may recollect. It will take a very short time, and I therefore move a reference of the subject to the Committee on Elections.


The PRESIDENT. The Chairman of that Committee is not now present, and perhaps a prompt report could not be obtained for that


Mr. CROWNINSHIELD. Then I move to refer it to a special committee to consist of five members, with instructions to report to-morrow.

Mr. HALLETT. If I understand that order, it embraces only the town of Berlin. Now, Sir, there are twenty-six towns besides Berlin which are not represented in this Convention. I hold that under the authority of this Convention, which derives its existence solely from the Act calling the Convention, the only power we have over this subject, applies as fully to those towns which have failed to elect representatives as to those towns whose delegates have resigned. It is simply a vacancy. By that Act the towns were required to come together in meetings called upon the 7th of March. Those meetings undoubtedly had power to adjourn from time to time; but when they finally dissolved they exhausted their power under that Act. I see nothing in the Act

[May 6th.

by which this Convention can move with reference to the subject, except that reserved power in the Convention to judge of the election and returns of its own members. It seems to me, therefore, manifest that the whole question is not so much as to the authority to issue a precept, as in relation to what the Convention will do in case members are returned here from any of those towns which are now unrepresented. It is, therefore, as proper to consider the question of the other unrepresented towns, as to consider the case of the town of Berlin. I entertain no doubt of the power of the Convention to receive delegates from the unrepresented towns; and I would suggest to the gentleman to enlarge the order so as to embrace all towns which have at present no representative in this Convention.

Mr. HATHAWAY, of Freetown. I may be mistaken in my recollection of the proceedings of yesterday; but I had supposed that the matter as to the unrepresented towns, where they had not made a choice of a delegate, was then referred to the Committee on Elections. If I am wrong, I should like to be corrected.

The PRESIDENT. The order was simply to report the vacancies that existed.

Mr. HATHAWAY. That is, I suppose, the towns that had failed to elect. That order it seems to me virtually carried with it all the incidents connected with the main question referred. But be that as it may, I am disinclined to have any riders thrown upon the proposition of the gentleman from Boston, (Mr. Crowninshield.) I wish the naked question to be propounded to the Committee, precisely as presented by that gentleman. It will be apparent to every one, upon a slight consideration, that there is a manifest distinction between the proposition that is now made by the gentleman from Wilbraham, and that made by the gentleman from Boston. The town of Berlin, under the act that has brought us together here, voluntarily did everything in their power to send a representative to this Convention. As a municipal corporation they manifestly expressed their determination to be here represented. I I doubt very much whether by the act of the gentleman whom they selected, they should be frustrated in that intention. I by no means intend to say that the gentleman by resigning committed a wrong. But I say that there is a principle involved in this matter. Whether a precept should go or not, I have great doubts. Whether there should be an invitation by the Convention, I have great doubts. If it be the right of the town under the law under which we are convened to send a delegate, without the issue of a precept, then the proper course, it seems to me, would be to instruct the Secretary of the Convention to give notice to that town of the vacancy. In reference to the towns which made no election, if they have lost the right to elect, it seems to me that we have no power to create the right for them. Hence the manifest difference between the towns which the gentleman from Wilbraham embraces in his order, and the case that is presented for our consideration. I agree with the gentleman from Boston, (Mr. Crowninshield,) that this matter should go to a committee. I have no doubt that the Committee would promptly report in reference to it. If they believe that we have a right, constitutional or otherwise, to issue a precept, or if we have any inherent right derived from the people so to do,



they will enlighten us upon that topic. If they think we have no power to order an election in any way, but come to the conclusion, to which on a moment's consideration I have come, it may be erroneously, that the town has a right to elect without a precept, we have only to notify the town of the fact and let them exercise their right as they may please. I have no doubt that the report of the Committee will be perfectly satisfactory to the Convention.

Mr. WILSON. I hope, Sir, that the gentleman from Wilbraham will not insist upon the proposition he has made; but that the motion of the gentleman from Boston will prevail, that this matter should be referred to a committee. This Convention is the judge of the election of its members, and to decide who are and who are not members. If a member of the Convention dies, or resigns, the case of that town seems to me entirely different from that of those towns which have failed in the first instance to elect. I think there about eighteen or nineteen vacancies in this Convention. The whole number, if the Convention were filled, would be 438; and there are 419 or 420 members who have been elected. There are ten or twelve towns which have failed to elect.

The people of Berlin elected me as their delegate. On Monday last I visited the people of that town for the first time in my life—perhaps if they had known me better they would not have elected me and I told the people that I would serve them to the best of my ability if they desired it; but that under the circumstances I should be under great obligations to them if they would allow me to resign as delegate from their town, and I obtained their unanimous vote to that effect. I hope that the matter will be referred to a committee, and that the committee will allow that town the privilege of a new election. I can see no doubt about the legality of the matter. It seems to me that the Convention have absolute power over the whole matter, and its will is the only way to settle the matter. This Convention can order the city of Charlestown, if it chooses, to hold a convention, and it would compel a meeting. It can issue a precept to that city to fill its vacancies, and to the delegates elect to come here. The legislature has no control over the matter. The Convention has the sole authority.

Mr. SARGENT, of Cambridge. It seems to me that this is a very simple question, and that the whole subject should go to the Committee. If the Committee upon examination find that there are two classes of cases, that a town in which a vacancy exists in consequence of a resignation stands differetly from a town which failed to elect they will so report, and they will report upon both cases. We shall then have the whole subject before us. I see no difficulty in submitting the whole question to the Committee, and they will report upon the cases as in their judgment may be proper.

Mr. HALLETT. I made no motion to include the other towns, but suggested to the gentleman from Boston so to modify his motion.

Mr. CROWNINSHIELD. I should prefer not to modify my motion, although I should have no objection if any gentleman should move additional instructions to the Committee. If the whole matter is to be referred, it may prevent the Committee from reporting to-morrow morning.

[May 6th.

question of power. I believe I speak the sentiments of most, if not all, of this Convention when I say that, if we have the power to call upon the towns to fill the various vacancies that may exist, no matter how they may have occurred, we shall rejoice to do so. But it is a matter of some doubt, and I wish to have a committee investigate the subject, whether we have any power over the matter at all. I know perfectly well that we are responsible to no body or tribunal except the people of this Commonwealth. I know that, in relation to the election, returns, and admission of members into this Convention, we have no controlling power over us. If we decide that these towns are entitled to be represented here, and they choose those representatives and send them here, we can admit them. If those towns do not elect representatives, and we choose to assume the power of admitting certain persons here as their representatives, there is no power that I know of can call us to account for so doing. We are perfectly irresponsible in that respect.

It is well known that the practice in the House | The question involved in this case is the mere
of Representatives has been for the legislature to
issue a precept to the town. But I remember a
case which happened in 1848, when there was an
extra session of the legislature, in which the
course was different. A member from Salem, I
think, died after the adjournment of the regular
session; and the people of Salem proceeded, with-
out any precept or any notification at all, to fill
the vacancy. The member thus chosen came
here at the commencement of the extra session
and was received. I believe the subject was not
a matter of discussion, although I know very
well that the question was carefully examined by
many persons. The opinion then entertained
was that the town had an absolute right to fill a
vacancy, whenever it occurred, without any pre-
cept or notice whatever from the House of Rep-
resentatives. So far as that case goes, at any rate,
it would be a precedent. The opinion is certainly
very plausible; but I am by no means clear that
the town of Berlin could go on and fill the
vacancy without a precept. Perhaps it may, and
perhaps it may not. I want further light upon
the subject. Indeed, I suppose that under the
parliamentary rule, it was not competent for the
gentleman elected from that town to resign; for
under the parliamentary rule no member can re-
sign without the consent of the body. No mem-
ber of Parliament can refuse to serve, unless by
direct leave of the House. I think that the whole
subject is deserving of investigation. I moved
originally that the Committee should report to-
morrow morning, because I feared that if I fixed
a more distant day, I might seem to desire to
interfere in this matter and to defeat the right of
the town; but as I really do not think that a
proper examination can be made in the time
intervening between an adjournment to-day and
our meeting to-morrow morning, I modify my
motion so far as to instruct the Committee to
report upon Monday.

Mr. WHITNEY, of Conway. I do not know but that the reference to a committee may be the proper course; but I have prepared an amendment which may perhaps obviate the necessity of appointing a committee. It is to strike out all after the word "“Ordered,” and insert :—

"That the Secretary of this Convention be instructed to notify the town of Berlin that Hon. Henry Wilson, delegate from said town, has resigned his seat in this body, and that it is the sense of this Convention that said town should be represented herein."

If in order, I will move to amend in this manner, hoping that this may obviate the objections which have been urged to the original order.

The PRESIDENT. The motion is not now in order; the motion to commit taking precedence over a motion to amend.

Mr. MORTON, of Taunton. There seems to be a difference of opinion in reference to the propriety of referring this subject to a committee.

hope that the motion of the gentleman from Boston, (Mr. Crowninshield,) in its original form, will prevail, and that a committee will be appointed to investigate this subject. Whether the scope of their labors shall be so far extended as to include all the other vacancies or not, seems to me to be a question of very little importance, because I think the final action upon this one will settle the question in regard to all the others.

But I trust that no member of this Convention will say that, because we are to be governed only by our own will and pleasure in this matter, we should assume this power and admit whom we please. I think that the power that the Convention has over this and every other subject upon which we may be called to act is to be found in the Act of the legislature, ratified and agreed to by the people, calling us together. If we can derive the authority contended for in this case, either in the letter or the fair construction of that law, I am in favor of exercising it. But if we cannot, then let us not assume power that is not delegated to us. The people have chosen us to come here to do certain things, and I hope we will do that which we are authorized to do, and not go one hair's breadth beyond. I am utterly opposed to any assumption of power by a body over which there is no supervision. However desirable it may be in some respects I am opposed to it.

In relation to this question I will merely say, that I hope a committee will be appointed, and that they will fully and thoroughly investigate it. If any gentleman supposes that we have the power contended for here, and will point out the provision of law upon which he relies for that power, let him point it out to this committee and they can report to us accordingly.

The question being then taken, upon authorizing the appointment of a special committee to which the order of Mr. Bates, of Plymouth, should be referred, with instructions, it was agreed to, and the committee ordered.

Mr. THOMAS, of Weymouth, submitted the following:

Ordered, That the Secretary of this Convention be directed to notify the town of Berlin, that the Hon. Henry Wilson has resigned his seat as the member elect from that town.

Mr. WILSON, of Natick. If I correctly understand this matter, the Convention has already referred this subject to the special committee just ordered.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair understands this to be a different proposition, viz.: That the town of Berlin be notified that a vacancy exists in their representation.

Mr. WILSON. This is the same subject mat



ter. I hope the gentleman from Weymouth (Mr. Thomas) will withdraw his proposition.

Mr. THOMAS. If any gentleman will point out any harm that will result from the adoption of the order I have submitted I will withdraw it. Mr. ALLEN, of Worcester. I am in favor of the proposition offered by the gentleman from Weymouth. Ishould like to have the Convention determine at once that, inasmuch as the most of the towns of the Commonwealth have sent delegates here for the purpose of taking part in the formation of the organic law of this State, those towns not now represented have the same right to do so. I think that notifications to the various towns where vacancies exist of that fact, will be all that will be required, and upon such an intimation the authorities of those towns will take measures to elect their delegates and send them here. Let us adopt the order submitted by the gentleman from Weymouth, (Mr. Thomas,) and then we can reconsider the vote just taken, authorizing the appointment of a special committee upon the subject. I should be glad for one that this Convention, by its united voice, should determine at once in favor of issuing the notification, as suggested by the gentleman from Weymouth.

Mr. WOOD, of Fitchburg. I suppose that the town of Berlin would understand, if we give them information of the existence of this vacancy in their representation that they were called upon to fill it. And yet this committee that is to report to us next Monday, may report that we have no right to admit any member so clected; and, therefore, if the town of Berlin should, in the meantime, elect a member and send him up here, we may find ourselves placed in a very awkward position. It seems to me, therefore, that we ought either to reconsider the order for the appointment of this special committee, or not adopt the order submitted by the gentleman from Weymouth. Mr. WATERS, of Millbury. I think the order submitted by the gentleman from Weymouth is entirely superfluous. In order to have any force, it ought to be in the form of a precept or order to the town of Berlin for a new election. I have no doubt that the committee to which this subject has been referred, will report that we should notify the town of Berlin that the honorable gentleman chosen as delegate by that town has resigned, and also that a precept be issued to that town for the election of another delegate. I think therefore that this order directing the Secretary to notify that town of the resignation of the honorable gentleman chosen as its delegate, is entirely unnecessary and superfluous.

On motion of Mr. CROWNINSHIELD, of Boston, the order of Mr. Thomas, of Weymouth, was referred to the Special Committee upon that subject.

Mr. KINSMAN, of Newburyport, submitted the following:

Ordered, That the Special Committee that has in charge the order concerning the vacancy in the town of Berlin be instructed to consider and report upon the expediency of filling such other vacancies as may exist in this Convention, in the representation of other towns of this Commonwealth.

Mr. KINSMAN moved a suspension of the rules, so as to proceed to the consideration of this order at this time.

Mr. BATES, of Plymouth. Has not that matter been already disposed of? An order was introduced yesterday and passed by this Convention, referring the whole subject in relation to vacancies in this Convention to the Committee on Credentials. That Committee this morning asked to be discharged from any further consideration of that subject, and to have it referred to the Committee on Elections, which was granted, and the subject is now in the hands of the Committee on Elections.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair understands that the order adopted on yesterday, merely required a report of the number, aud what vacancies now exist. The order before the Convention is in reference to the filling of those vacancies.

Mr. KINSMAN. I should hardly have troubled the Convention at this time with this order, were it not for the interest which my constituents feel in the matter. It appears from the statement of the President made to us this morning that the chairman of the Committee on Elections (Mr. Hallett) is absent, and of course some time must elapse before we have a report on this subject. During the discussion on yesterday about procuring another hall, and the question of adjourning over for a few weeks, great sympathy was exhibited for some twenty or more towns, which it was said were in danger of being disfranchised. I wish to have that sympathy extended to other towns. It is said that the case of the town of Berlin is peculiar. So it is, in so far, that every gentleman who has expressed any opinion, has been in favor of allowing them to choose a representative, either by sending them a precept for a new election, or a notification that a vacancy exists, while in regard to other towns they seem to think that having exercised their right to elect on the day appointed for that purpose, and having failed to make any choice of delegate, they now have no further right in the matter. This is a question that should be acted upon at once. It would be a little singular if we were to appoint a special committee to report immediately upon a matter in reference to which there seems to be no serious difference of opinion, and leave a question of so great magnitude as this to be delayed, perhaps, for some weeks.

The question being then taken upon suspending the rules, it was agreed to, and the order of Mr. Kinsman then adopted.

The PRESIDENT appointed the following gentlemen to constitute the Special Committee to consider the subject of vacancies::

Messrs. Allen, of Worcester, Bartlett, of Boston, Sumner, of Otis, Crowninshield, of Boston, Butler, of Lowell, Walcott, of Salem, and Huntington, of Northampton.

Time of Meeting.

On motion of Mr. MORTON, of Fairhaven.

Ordered, That when the Convention adjourn to-day, it be to meet to-morrow morning at ten o'clock.

On motion, the Convention adjourned.

SATURDAY, May 7, 1853. Merchants' Exchange.

Mr. LIVERMORE, of Cambridge, laid before the Convention an invitation from the Superin

[May 7th.

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A communication from JAMES T. ROBINSON, signifying his acceptance of the office of Second Secretary, was laid before the Convention by the First Secretary.

On motion by Mr. Gourgas, of Concord,

The President was authorized to administer the oath of office to the Second Secretary; and the oath was accordingly administered.

Committee of Conference.

Mr. Hallett, in consequence of domestic affliction, having declined to serve upon the Committee to confer with the House of Representatives, with regard to the place of meeting, the President appointed Mr. Bishop, of Lenox, to serve in his place.

Mr. Sumner, of Otis, not being present, Mr. Beach, of Springfield, was appointed to take his place upon the same committee.

Constitutions of the United States. Mr. BROWN, of Dracut, submitted the following order, which lies over until Monday :


Ordered, That the Secretary of the Convention be authorized to furnish to each delegate a copy of A. S. Barnes & Co.'s edition of the Constitutions of the United States.

Time of Meeting.

Mr. NOYES, of Newbury, moved that when the Convention adjourn to-day, it be to meet on Monday next at nine o'clock, A. M.

Mr. HOOPER, of Fall River, moved to amend by changing the time of meeting to half past nine o'clock, A. M.

Mr. NOYES accepted the amendment,

The question recurred upon the motion as modified.

Mr. WALKER, of N. Brookfield. I should like to inquire, if we adopt this motion, where we are to meet?

The PRESIDENT. Unless further action be taken by this Convention, the place of meeting will be this hall.

Mr. WALKER. I should like to ask how do we know that we can have this hall? We do not yet know the pleasure of the House of Representatives in regard to this matter.

Mr. EARLE, of Worcester. As to-day is Saturday, many of our members will go home, and return again on Monday, and on many of the routes the trains do not arrive in this eity in sufficient season to enable those members to meet here at half past nine o'clock in the morning. I hope, therefore, the motion will be so modified as to fix the hour of meeting on Monday, at ten o'clock, instead of the hour named.

The PRESIDENT. The question will be taken upon the longest time first.

Mr. NOYES. The only objection I have to the hour of ten, is, that that is the hour at which the House of Representatives meet,



Mr. MORTON, of Fairhaven. Allusion has been made to the hour of meeting of the House of Representatives. According to a standing rule of the House, their hour of meeting is ten o'clock, A. M. It is true that no positive assurances can be given that their hour of meeting will be changed when they meet this afternoon. But after conversation with gentlemen here, I feel justified in saying that the House will take such action this afternoon, as will prevent any collision whatever between the hours of meeting of the House and of the Convention.

Mr. WESTON, of Duxbury. I hope before we fix the hour of our next meeting, we will fix upon a place of meeting. For that reason I move that the motion of the gentleman from Newbury (Mr. Noyes) be laid upon the table, for the purpose of calling up the order submitted by the gentleman from Boston (Mr. Bartlett) for the appointment of a committee to make arrangements to procure the hall of the Lowell Institute for the use of this Convention.

The question being then taken upon the motion to lay upon the table, upon a division it was agreed to as follows-ayes, 139; noes, 94.

Place of Meeting.

On motion of Mr. WESTON, of Duxbury,upon a division as follows, ayes, 142; noes, 104,the Convention then took from the table and proceeded to consider the following order, submitted on yesterday by Mr. Bartlett of Boston.

Ordered, That a committee of five be appointed to make arrangements to procure the temporary use of the hall of the Lowell Institute, pursuant to a recommendation in the Report of the Committee appointed to see if a suitable hall and committee rooms could be procured for the use of this Convention.

Mr. WESTON. I hope that the Convention will adopt this order. I am in favor of it for the simple reason that I am for doing the work that the people sent us here to do, with the greatest expedition and economy. I feel satisfied that if we wait for the action of the legislature, and they come to the conclusion to occupy this hall alternately with us, we shall not only prolong the session of the Convention, but that of the legislature also, and thus greatly increase what would be otherwise the expense of both bodies. As far as I have been able to judge, from what experience I have had in matters of legislation, the latter part of the session is the time when the legislature wants to occupy this hall, not only during the day, but also most of the time during the evenings. Their committees have probably matured the most important matters referred to them, and if they have not already made their reports, they will soon be ready to do so. What, then, will be the result of our continuing to meet here in this hall? It must evidently be to increase the length of the session of the legislature, according to the argument of the gentleman from Abington, (Mr. Keyes,) and which is attended, according to his statement, with an expense of $1,000 a day. If we occupy this hall alternately with the legislature, we must meet here either in the forenoon or afternoon, and thus occupy a portion of time which would otherwise be occupied by the legislature in the discharge of their duties.

For these reasons I trust the Convention will

adopt this order, and procure, for the present at least, until the legislature shall adjourn, the use of the hall of the Lowell Institute, or some other suitable hall for the convenience of this Convention.

Mr. WHITNEY, of Boylston. I should like to say a few words upon this subject. What has been said here about the impracticability of our using this hall for our sessions because we would thereby occupy it some of the time when the House of Representatives should be in session, seems quite strange to some of us from the country, who have been in the habit of working ten, twelve, and even more hours each day. Now I think there is ample time for both the legislature and Convention to meet and work here. It has been said that there are many members who go home each night. Well, are there not at least twelve hours in the day in which we can work here? I hope this order will not pass, but that we shall continue to meet here, and do so hereafter at eight o'clock in the morning, or at that hour in the evening, until we can have this hall exclusively to ourselves.

Mr. EARLE, of Worcester. In looking at this subject, I have come to the conclusion that the best course for the Convention to pursue, is to adjourn for one day, (in order to try the experiment,) either to the hall of the Lowell Institute, or some other place, I am not particular where. In the meantime our committee appointed for that purpose will have opportunity afforded them for conferring with a similar committee on the part of the House of Representatives, in order to see whether suitable arrangements can be made for holding alternately with them, our sessions in this hall. After we have tried the experiment of holding our sessions in another place, and after our committee shall find out what can be done in regard to this hall, we shall be better prepared than we now are to judge of the best course for us then to pursue. My own opinion is that an arrangement can be made in reference to this hall that will suit all parties. I should prefer, and I think the better mode would be to have the legislature meet here an hour earlier than they now do, and adjourn by two or three o'clock in the afternoon, and then have the Convention take the remainder of the day. But I do not think we are now prepared to determine upon the question either one way or the other. I am therefore in favor of adjourning to some other place for one day, and before that day's session would be closed we would probably have the facts of the case laid before us by our committee so as to enable us to judge of the matter understandingly.

I understand that there are other halls besides that of the Lowell Institute which we can procure, and which would not require any fitting up for a session of this Convention for one day. I trust therefore, that we will adjourn to some other place for one day, and that the question of holding our sessions, either permanently or until the close of the legislature, in some other place than where we are now assembled, will not be determined until we have tried that experiment.

Mr. NAYSON, of Amesbury. As the action of this Convention upon this question may be influenced to some extent by a doubt as to what will be done by the House of Representatives, I beg leave to say that I hope that doubt may be removed, as I believe I speak the opinion of a large portion of the members of the House when

[May 7th.

I say that the action of that body will conform to the decision of this Convention in regard to the time to which they will adjourn. If this Convention will adopt the motion submitted a short time since of adjourning to-day, until 10 o'clock on Monday morning, I have no doubt that the House would cheerfully determine to meet here in the afternoon instead of the forenoon, as it now does. I hope, therefore, that members here will not be influenced at all in their action upon this question, by any doubt with regard to what may be the action of the House in reference to it.

Mr. GRISWOLD, of Erving. The Convention have decided not to adjourn over for any length of time. The question now is, which is the most convenient and the least expensive, for the Convention to hold its sessions in this hall or go to some other place? If the legislature were not in session, I for one should be in favor of remaining here, for the reason that this place in every respect is best adapted to our convenience, and besides it is the most proper place for the purpose. But as the legislature is still in session, an entirely different view of the question is presented. In the first place it seems to me that it would be very inconvenient, if not almost impossible, for the Convention and the House of Representatives to hold their sessions at the same time, and in the same place. If we should have morning sessions, we must feel that our time was limited, as the House of Representatives were ready and waiting to occupy this place. Should we have evening sessions, the House of Representatives would be in the same condition. It would at the same time prolong the session of the legislature at least a week or ten days, and I have no doubt that the session of the Convention would be equally prolonged. Now it is not expedient to do this when the Convention can obtain other rooms in this city for its sessions.

Something has also been said about bringing the Convention in conflict and antagonism with the legislature, and the great necessity of avoiding such a result. Now I do not believe any member of the Convention is willing to have this conflict. The argument of the gentleman from Boston, (Mr. Bartlett,) is very conclusive on that point, that the most likely course to avoid a collision is to permit the two bodies to act independently of each other, by meeting in separate places, instead of meeting in the same hall; 400 men coming in, and holding their sessions, and then going out for the purpose of allowing 300 more to come in and occupy their places.

This is an important consideration. The subject before the Convention is of the highest magnitude. We ought to have a room for our deliberations as far away from the influences and actions of other bodies as possible. On the other hand, many of the subjects before the legislature are, as I know, of great magnitude and importance, and they ought to be allowed to enter upon the consideration of those subjects as freely and independently of the action of the Convention as possible. I am quite clear that so far as despatch and convenience in relation to the business, both of the Convention and legislature are concerned, it would be much better for both bodies to have separate places of meeting, for deliberation and action. And as far as the question of economy is concerned, I am also quite as firmly convinced, that it will be a great saving to the Commonwealth, for us to adjourn to some other place.



I am not at all particular as to the place to which we shall go. I have visited but one of the hells in this city, suited to the purpose, that of the Lowell Institute. It seemed to me that that hall would answer all the purposes of this Convention, inasmuch as we can have the committee rooms of the State House, for our committees. When the legislature shall have adjourned, we can return to this hall. If, however, other gentlemen desire some other room than the hall of the Lowell Institute, Music Hall, for instance, or some other hall, I shall make no objection. I think that it will be better for the business of the Convention, and of the legislature, and also better on the score of economy, for us to go to some other place in the city, to hold our sessions.

Mr. HOOPER. I am in hopes that we shall conclude not to go to another room, for it strikes me that we shall gain in point of forwarding our business by remaining here. During the first few weeks of the session, the business will be mostly done in the committee rooms, and I have no doubt but it would be advisable to limit our sessions, as might be done by meeting in the morning. I am perfectly willing to agree to the suggestion of the gentleman on my right, to meet at eight o'clock and sit until ten, and let the House of Representatives have the hall for the rest of the day. That will give us as much time as we ought to occupy in discussion for the first few weeks, and the committees can sit while the House is in session.

Mr. THOMPSON, of Charlestown. I now call for the special assignment, for this hour, the order in relation to the election of Messenger.

Mr. GOURGAS. I hope that motion will not prevail, and I move to lay it upon the table. The motion being agreed to, the order was laid upon the table.

The question being then taken on the order of Mr. Bartlett, providing for the appointment of a committee of five to procure the temporary use of the hall of the Lowell Institute, on a division there were-ayes, 111; noes, 176: so it was not agreed to.

Time of Meeting on Monday.

Mr. NOYES, of Newbury, moved that the order providing that when the Convention adjourns today, it be to meet on Monday next at ten o'clock, be taken from the table; which was agreed to. Mr. SIMONDS, of Bedford. Mr. President, I move to amend that order by striking out the words "ten o'clock," and inserting "seven o'clock, P. M.," so that the Convention will meet at that hour in this place. By adopting this amendment, I think all our difficulties will be obviated. By that time we can have the Report of the Committee of Conference, and we can then be able to settle definitely what course the Convention will adopt with reference to future meetings, whether they shall be in this hall or in some other place. I believe we shall lose nothing by adjourning to the evening of Monday, when we shall undoubtedly have the free use of this hall for our deliberations.

The question being then taken on the amendment, it was not agreed to.

The question recurred on the order offered by Mr. Noyes, and it was agreed to.

Election of Messenger.

On motion by Mr. WOOD, of Fitchburg, the

order concerning the election of Messenger was then taken up for consideration.

Mr. CHURCHILL, of Milton, moved that the election of Messenger be postponed until Monday next, at twelve o'clock.

Mr. THOMPSON, of Charlestown. I think it is uncertain whether we shall be in session at that time. We do not yet know how long we can retain this hall, if we meet here on Monday in accordance with the vote which has just been taken. It seems conclusive to me that this body will not adjourn to any other place, and if we wish to complete our organization, we can do it as well now as at any other period. I hope therefore that the motion will not prevail.

Mr. HOOPER. We do not know what arrangement will be made, or where we shall hold our sessions; and it seems to me that we would better postpone this election until we shall hear from the Committee of Conference.

The question being then taken on the motion to postpone the election until Monday, on a division there were-ayes, 107; noes, 189: so it was not agreed to.

Messrs. Thompson, of Charlestown, Kuhn, of Boston, Churchill, of Milton, Oliver, of Lawrence, and Griswold, of Buckland, were appointed the Committee to receive, sort and count the votes for Messenger. Having performed that

duty, they reported as follows:Whole number of votes,

Necessary for a choice,

Benjamin Stevens,

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- 288 145

284 4

And Mr. STEVENS was therefore declared to be elected.

Order Adopted.

On motion by Mr. WILSON,

Ordered, That the President of the Convention be directed to notify the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the appointment of a committee on the part of the Convention, to confer with that body with regard to the occupancy of this hall by the Convention.

Rules and Orders.

On motion by Mr. HOOPER,

The Rules and Orders for the government of the Convention, reported by the Committee, were taken from the table.

On motion by Mr. HALL, of Haverhill,

The word "House" in the 45th Rule was stricken out, and the word "Convention" was inserted in its stead.

Mr. HOOPER moved for the reading of the Report. Having been once read the motion was rejected.

Mr. COLE, of Cheshire, moved to strike out the words "obliged to be," from the 25th Rule, so that it should read, "No member shall be on more than two committees at the same time," &c.

Mr. EARLE remarked that it might be better to leave this matter to the discretion of the President.

The amendment was rejected.

Mr. CARTER, of Chicopee, moved to strike out from the 28th section the words, "And in case the reason assigned shall be deemed by the Convention sufficient, such member shall be entitled to receive pay for his travel, and not otherwise.

[May 7th.

Mr. CARTER. It will be obvious to any gentleman who will look at the Rule that here is a penalty attached to the wilful neglect of duty, which is not applicable to gentlemen residing in Boston or its vicinity. The penalty is the nonpayment of travel. I do not apprehend that the Rule will be enforced against any individual, but it seems to me that we ought to place all the members of the Convention upon an equal footing; and it is with that view that I make this motion. The motion was not agreed to.

Mr. BRADFORD, of Essex, moved to strike out the 39th Rule, which was read, as follows:

"It shall be the duty of each member who moves that any committee be instructed to inquire into the expediency of amending the existing Constitution, to point out the amendment which he deems expedient, in writing, to accompany his motion, or to furnish a written statement thereof to such committee, if by them required."

Mr. BRADFORD. It seems to me that the course proposed in this Rule will exceedingly limit the action of the Convention, and I should prefer that the Rule should be stricken out.

Mr. THOMPSON, of Charlestown. I hope that motion will not prevail. During the sessions of the Convention, I have no doubt that suggestions will almost daily occur to some members which it would be advisable to have reduced to writing and laid before the proper committee. I think, therefore that the Rule will be salutary in its effects. If no such propositions arise, the Rule will be inoperative; but if there should be any such propositions, I think it would be well that the gentleman making them should designate the amendments so proposed.

The amendment was rejected.

Mr. ASPINWALL, of Brookline. I should like to inquire of the Committee whether the understanding of the 24th Rule, in relation to reconsideration, is that a proposition which by the Rule requires to be read on two several days before it can be finally acted upon, cannot be reconsidered a second time in a different stage, or that it cannot be reconsidered a second time in the same stage. Suppose, for instance, that a proposition is submitted to the Convention with regard to the House of Representatives. It is read the first time. A motion is made to reconsider, and it is reconsidered and passed again to a second reading. Then it comes up a second time before the Convention upon its second reading. A motion is made to reconsider. I want to know whether that motion is in order or not. Does the Rule prohibit that second reconsideration at a subsequent stage? I think, that as the Rule stands, a reconsideration would be prohibited, because it would be the same subject although at a different reading, and, according to parliamentary rules, a different question before the Convention.

Mr. HALL, of Haverhill. The intention of altering the phraseology of the Rule, as I suggested yesterday, was merely to simplify the Rule, so that there need be no debate upon the question of a second reconsideration, which debate has been had under the Rule as it formerly existed. The intention of the Rule is that when a vote has passed affirmatively or negatively upon any question, a motion to reconsider that vote or that motion may be made within the time specified in the Rule and not beyond; and that a

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