« ForrigeFortsett »
QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS.-SCHOULER – WESTON – BOUTWELL - IIOOD.
porations. I regard all religious societies as pri- tion will feel that the time has come for the ques-
The PRESIDENT. It will be.
Mr. PARKER, of Cambridge. I wish to inMr. SCHOULER. Yes, Sir, I am an Episco- quire, if the previous question cuts off any of the palian. (Laughter.] I have the pleasure of be- amendments ? longing to that respectable denomination. [Laugh- The PRESIDENT. It does not, but the ques
tion will be taken upon the amendments in their I think that when we adopt such a proposition usual order. as that contained in the amendment offered by The previous question was then ordered. the gentleman from Duxbury, we run a good Mr. DAWES, of Adams, called for the yeas principle into the ground, and I wish to keep it and nays upon the first question, which were above ground so that every-body can see it; but ordered. I do not think that the amendment of the gentle- The question was then taken upon the amendman from Pittsfield goes any further than it ought ment offered by Mr. Boutwell to the amendment to go, and that it goes just far enough.
of Mr. Briggs, and there were, yeas 210, nays I repeat what I said when I arose, that I am in 127, as follows:favor of the general principles reported by the Committee, and if I supposed that the adoption of the amendment of the gentleman from Pitts
Adams, Shubael P.. Davis, Ebenezer field would defeat the proposition before the peo
Allen, James B. Davis, Robert T. ple, I would vote against it; but believing, as I Allen, Joel C.
Day, Gilman do, that it will give strength to it, because it im- Allen, Parsons
Dean, Silas parts consistency and propriety to it, I shall Alley, John B.
Deming, Elijah S. heartily give my vote for it.
Duncan, Samuel Mr. WESTON, of Duxbury. Having attained
Alvord, D. W. Dunham, Bradish
Baker, Hillel one of the objects I had in view, in moving the
Durgin, John M.
Earle, John M. amendment, which I did, to the amendment of Ball, George S.
Easton, James, 2d the gentleman from Pittsfield, and to accommo- Bancroft, Alpheus Eaton, Calvin D. date the gentleman from Boston on my right, and Barrett, Marcus Edwards, Elisha the gentleman from Boston in front of me, I will
Bates, Moses, Jr. Ely, Joseph M.
Beach, Erasmus D. Fay, Sullivan now withdraw it. Mr. BOUTWELL, for Berlin. I suppose that
Fellows, James K.
Bennett, William, Jr. Fisk, Lyman the Convention is anxious to take the question, Bird, Francis W. Fitch, Ezekiel W. and I have nothing more to say, than that I con
Bishop, IIenry W. Foster, Aaron cur in the amendment which the gentleman from
Boutwell, George S. Fowle, Samuel Plymouth, (Mr. Bates,) gave notice that he
Booth, William S. Freeman, James M.
Boutwell, Sewell Gale, Luther should move when he had an opportunity. Bradford, William J. A. Gates, Elbridge Thinking, however, that the object which the Breed, Hiram Y. Gilbert, Washington friends of the resolution, as reported by the Com- Bronson, Asa
Gooch, Daniel W. mittee, desire, may be attained in a more casy
Brown, Adolphus F. Goulding, Dalton and direct way, and having, as I understand, the
Brown, Alpheus R. Gourgas, F. R.
Brown, Hammond Graves, John W. concurrence of the gentleman from Plymouth,
Brown, Hiram C. Green, Jabez and also the concurrence of the Committee which Brownell, Frederick Greene, William B. reported this resolution, I submit an amendment Brownell, Joseph Griswold, Josiah W. to the amendment proposed by the gentleman Bryant, Patrick
Griswold, Whiting from Pittsfield; and that is, to strike out all after
Burlingame, Anson Hadley, Samuel P.
IIall, Charles B. the word "national,” and insert the words “or
Carruthers, William Hallett, B. F. state officers whose election by the people is pro- Case, Isaac
Hapgood, Lyman W. vided for in this Constitution;" so that the reso- Chandler, Amariah Hapgood, Seth lution, if amended, will read
Chapin, Chester W. IIarmon, Phineas
Chapin, Daniel E. Haskins, William Resolred, That the Constitution be so amended
Chapin, IIenry IIathaway, Elnathan P. that the payment of a tax shall not be required as
Hawkes, Stephen E. a qualification to vote for any national or state
Churchill, J. McKean Heath, Ezra, 2d officers whose election by the people is provided
C'larke, Alpheus B. Hewes, James for in this Constitution.
Hewes, William H.
Clark, Ransom HIobart, Ilenry Mr. HOOD, of Lynn. I do not propose to
Cleverly, William Holder, Nathaniel
Cole, Lansing J. Hood, George detain this Convention by making any remarks Cole, Sumner
Hooper, Foster upon the amendment offered by the gentleman Crane, George B. Howard, Martin for Berlin. I presume there is a desire to have Crittenden, Simeon Howland, Abraham H. the vote taken. We have discussed this question
Cross, Joseph W. Hoyt, Henry K. four days, and in view of the calm manner in
Cushman, Henry W. Hunt, Charles E. which this subject has been treated, it appears to
Cutler, Simeon N. Huntington, George H.
Dana, Richard H., Jr. Hurlbut, Moses C. me that gentlemen upon all sides of the Conven- Davis, Charles G. Hyde, Benjamin D.
Ide, Abijah M., Jr. Richardson, Daniel
Richardson, Samuel H.
Simonds, John W.
Sprague, Jelzar Little, Otis
Spooner, Samuel W. Loomis, E. Justin Stevens, Granville Marble, William P. Stevens, Joseph L., Jr. Marey, Laban
Stevens, William Mason, Charles Stiles, Gideon Meader, Reuben Strong, Alfred L. Merritt, Simeon Sumner, Charles Monroe, James L. Swain, Alanson Moore, James M. Thayer, Willard, 2d Morton, William S. Thomas, John W. Nash, Iliram
Ward, Andrew H.
Wilson, Henry Pierce, Henry
Wilson, Willard Pool, James M. Winslow, Levi M. Powers, Peter
Wood, Charles C.
Wood, William H.
Aldrich, P. Emory Davis, Solomon
Gardner, llenry J. Bliss, William C. Gilbert, Wanton C. Bradbury, Ebenezer Goulding, Jason Braman, Milton P.
Gray, John C.
James, William Cummings, Joseph Jenkins, John Curtis, Wilber
Jenks, Samuel II. Davis, John
QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS. - DANA — WALKER — ALDRICH – MORTON – BISHOP.
Kellogg, Giles C. Putnam, George
Sleeper, Jo'ın S.
Payson, Thomas E.
Perkins, Noah C.
Ross, David S.
Sampson, George R. Fiske, Emery
Stacy, Eben HI.
Train, Charles R. Greenleaf, Simon Warner, Marshal Ilaskell, George Wheeler, William F. Hayden, Isaac Wilbur, Joseph Ileywood, Levi Wilkinson, Ezra Hobart, Aaron
Williams, llenry Hobbs, Edwin
Woods, Josiah B. Huntington, Asahel
Absent and not voting, 83.
The PRESIDENT. The question is now on | vent a student from voting who is entitled to vote the second resolve. This resolve was referred to under the existing law; for suppose a student is the ('ommittee of the Whole, and the Committee asked at the poll whether he is there simply for the reported it back with a recommendation that it do purpose of obtaining an education, a mere affirnot pa-s.
mative answer decides nothing. It will not enThe question was taken on concurring in the title him to vote, nor will it prevent him from report of the Committee of the Whole, and it was ' voting. It must be decided by “all the circumconcurred in.
stances of the case." If the resolution is adopted, The second resolve was therefore rejected. and a student is asked this question, and he an
The PRESIDENT. The question now is upon awers that he is there for that and for other purthe third resolve, as follows:
powes, and that he has no other home, then this R-sored, That, for the purpose of voting, no
resolution will not prevent his voting. It alters person shall be deemed to have gained or lost a
nothing; and I see no reason why this Convenresidence, by reason of his presence or absence
tion should make a distinction to the prejudice of while employed in the army or navy of the l'nited students, who are generally among the most inStuter, or while navigating the waters of this telligent class of voters. I see no reason why State, or of the l'nited States, or of the high seas,
they should be excluded rather than others. or while a member of any seminary of learning.
Why not put a provision in the Constitution to Mr. DAXA, for Manchester. I would like to
the effect that if a gang of Irishmen have been inquire of the chairman, or of some member of
working upon a railroad for six months, in any the Committee who reported this resolve, the
particular town, they shall not have the privreason and object of it. It seems to me that if it
ilege of voting in that town: If they were is a question for legi-lative action at all it properly
there for that purpose merely and not domiciled belongs to the legislature, and not to this ('onven
there, they would not be allowed to vote. Why tion. But even that I regard as extremely doubt
make a declaration in regard to students alone ful. It is a matter on which I desire some ex
which is equally applicable to other eases : The planation, and I think I am not taking up the
right to vote depends not upon the fact of a man time of the Convention unnecessarily by asking
being a student or a laborer, or whether he is in the for the reason of this resolution.
army or navy, but whether his domicil is in the Mr. WALKER, of North Brookfield. As the
town in which he offers to vote. If his domicil gentleman from Manchester may not be aware of
is there, it matters not whether he is a student or the great ditficulties which have sometimes arisen
not, he has a right to vote. If it is somewhere in those towns where these institutions of learn
else, then he has no right to vote. The resoluing exist, I would say to him that, with several
tion, therefore, in my opinion, has no value, but members of the Committee which reported this
would merely encumber the Constitution with an resolution, it appeared to be a matter of great im
unnecessary provision. For that reason, I am portance that there should be some constitutional opposed to it. provision in regard to the matter.
Mr. MORTON, of Taunton. I do not think Mr. ALDRICH, of Barre. I was a member
that this is a matter of much importance. I agree of the Committee which reported these resolves,
with the gentleman who last spoke that this proand had the misfortune to differ with several
vision which it is sought to put into the Constitumembers, in relation to the second one which has
tion, is precisely according to the law as it now been rejected. It strikes me that this third re
stands. There is not a shade of difference; and solve is entirely useless, because it neither adds to
when it was first proposed I entertained great nor takes away anything from existing laws upon
doubts whether it was of sufficient importance to the subject. In a supplementary note to the fifth
authorize its being put into the organic law of volume of Metcalf's Report of Cases argued before,
the State. But I learned that there had been conand determined by, the Supreme Court of Massa
siderable diversity of opinion in different parts of chusetts, I find the following :
the State upon the subject, and that much diffi
culty had arisen in different places in regard to The mere facts that a student, who has a students, owing to this diversity of opinion. And domicil in one town, resides at a public institu- although we have a decision of the highest court tion in another town for the sole purpose of ob
of the State in regard to this matter, we all know taining an education, and that he has his means of support from another place, do not constitute
that the reports of these decisions are not in the a test of his right to vote and his liability to be
hands of all the selectmen throughout the Comtaxed in the latter town. He obtains this right monwealth. and incurs this liability only by a change of dom- Again, I think it is of the highest importance icil; and, the question whether he has changed
that everything in regard to the qualitications of his domicil, is to be decided by all the circum
voters should not only be made plain and be in stances of the case."
the hands of every-body, but should be made so The mere fact of his residing at the university plain in the Constitution, that I could not be for the purpose of obtaining an education decides mistaken by the legislature. Seeing that a siminothing. The resolve says :
lar provision has been incorporated in many of
the recently revised constitutions, I thought that That, for the purpose of voting, no person perhaps it might be wise and proper to make this shall be deemed to have gained or lost a residence provision one of the permanent and fundamental by reason of his presence or absence while em
laws of the Commonwealth. ployed in the army or navy of the United States,
Mr. BISHOP, of Lenox. I am in favor of or while navigating the waters of this State or of the United States, or of the high seas, or while a
ingrafting this provision upon our Constitution. member of any seminary of learning.
In regard to this matter there is a term used in
our present Constitution, which, though perhaps This resolve only enunciates what is true now not of doubtful in port, is yet of very doubtful and perfectly well understood, and it will not pre- application, and has caused great perplexity to
So the amendment was adopted.
The question then recurring upon the adoption of the amendment of Mr. Briggs, as amended, it was put, and decided in the affirmative.
The question was then taken upon ordering the first resolve to a second reading, and it was, upon a division-ayes, 205; noes, 53—decided in the affirmative.
So the resolve was ordered to a second reading.
QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS. - DAVIS-DANA.
the selectmen in this respect. What I allude to is the meaning of the word “inhabitant." To remove all doubt as to the meaning of the word I would define it as I find it defined in the present Constitution, thus :
* Every person shall be considered an inhabitant,' for the purpose of electing and
being elected to any office or place within this State, in that town, district or plantation where he dwelleth or hath his home.”
Now it depends upon the intention. If a man removed to a place with the intention of making that place his home there could be little difficulty about it.
In relation to students, they attend seminaries of learning merely for temporary purposes—the purpose of equipping themselves for that particular profession which they design to follow, or of acquiring such information as is imparted in those institutions to which they go. They are there for a specific purpose—not for the purpose of becoming residents of the places where these institutions happen to be located, but for an entirely different purpose. True, there may be some solitary exceptions to this rule, but such is the rule notwithstanding; and in order to remove all doubts on the subject I think it would be proper to insert this provision in the Constitution.
Mr. DAVIS, of Plymouth. I am in favor of the resolution of the Committee as it stands, so far as it goes. I believe that no man should become a voter by compulsion, and that no man should gain a legal citizenship by compulsion. I believe that with regard to two classes mentioned in this resolution—the army and navy-much difficulty has arisen and will continue to arise. It is well known that they are subject to the orders of the government of the United States, and may be sent to any portion of the Union. SQ also with students. They are subject generally to the orders of their parents; and are generally minors when they enter a seminary, and for this reason it seems to me that a person, or class of persons, who come into this Commonwealth or into any town of the Commonwealth, for a special purpose, and a limited period, not being supposed, from the manner in which they come, to be liable to engage in any of the pursuits of the inhabitants of that town, nor to be interested in its welfare, or to have anything in common with that town-such persons should not sustain legal rights in this respect. I cannot but think that even upon the doctrine of state rights, the doctrine of self-defence, and the doctrine of the independent sovereignty of a state, this resolution should be adopted by us. The question is whether, in times of trouble, we will allow the president of the United States, or other United States authorities, to quarter a citizen soldiery-or a portion of the army or navy of the United States, educated in a different portion of the Union, and it may be entertaining feelings and principles opposed to our particular interests and institutions—upon us, for the purpose, as it were, of becoming citizens by compulsion. Shall we allow foreign governments to send here an immense population for a temporary, though it may be for the time being a necessary, purpose, and thus endow them with the privileges of citizenship in our State with whose interests they have nothing in common? Are our interests and institutions to be thus influenced, and perhaps endangered, by
the votes of strangers ? I hope not, Sir. So far tion of the amendment, and upon a division-
Mr. DANA, for Manchester. I desire that the
3. Resolred, That for the purpose of voting, Committee upon my motion. There were rea
no person shall be deemed to have gained or lost
a residence by reason of his presence or absence sons, which have been stated by the gentleman
while employed in the army or navy of the United from Taunton, why many members of the Con
States, or while navigating the waters of this vention should desire that a three months' resi- State, or of the United States, or of the high seas, dence in a town or city should be sufficient to or while a student in any seminary of learning. entitle a party to citizenship.
And no person removing his domicil from any It would be convenient, in many cities and
town or city to another within the Commonwealth,
shall, by reason of such removal, be deemed to towns of the Commonwealth, that a person should have lost his residence for the purpose aforesaid acquire the right to vote after a three months' resi- until six months after his removal. dence, but there were other reasons, which, I believe, were apparent to the good sense of the Com- Mr. DANA. I sincerely hope, Sir, that the mittee, and which will be apparent to the good whole thing will be rejected. It is a good deal sense of the members of the Convention, why it worse than it was when it came from the Comwould be unwise to reduce the term of residence mittee-if I may be allowed to speak disrespectto three months. It will be seen, that by so re- fully of the action of the Convention, as the ducing it, any person might acquire a residence in resolution is now open to be voted upon. four towns or cities in a single year, and in that In the first place, I see clearly, that the Convenway, in large towns or cities, where parties are tion are in a humor for doing business to-night, and nicely balanced, by a transfer of this class of I dislike very n uch on that account, to trouble voters, one large city or one large district might them with remarks, but if we could afford to spend populate another large city or district; and one four or five days in passing half a resolution, we city or district might revolutionize another in the can surely afford to spend a few minutes in discourse of three months. I believe it would be cussing this provision, which embodies two resodangerous to insert such a provision in our lutions. The resolve, as reported by the ComConstitution. It seems to me, however, we mittee, provides that “no person shall be deemed should take care, so far as we are able, that the to have gained or lost a residence, by reason of citizens of the State, in removing from one town his presence or absence, while employed in the or city to another, within the State, should not army or navy of the United States, or while navlose the right to vote in national elections, or in igating the waters of this State, or of the United elections for general officers of the State govern- States, or of the high seas, or while a student in ment, and for this purpose I propose to offer an any seminary of learning.” Now, I believe it is amendment to this effect : I propose to add to the conceded in all parts of the Convention that that third resolution the following:
resolution lays down no new principle of law, nor
is it pretended that it explains what is now doubtAnd no person removing his domicil from any ful law. Nor am I aware that this has been one town or city to another within this Common
of those great amendments, which the people have wealth, shall, by reason of such removal, be deemed to have lost his residence for the pur
looked for, and for which this Convention was pose aforesaid, until six months after his removal.
called. I do not pretend to say that a provision
something like this, may not be very well in the I believe no good reason can be given by any legislature, but I submit it to the judgment of member of this Convention, why, by removing every member of the Convention, whether the from Roxbury to Boston, or from Boston to Rox- mere reading of the resolution does not show that bury, a man should lose his right to vote for gov- it is a matter for legislation, and not a principle of ernor, lieutenant-governor, or for any officers of constitutional law. Is it a question upon which the State or national government. No good rea- any doubt has ever arisen in the legislature : Has son, I believe, can be suggested. It seems to me
there ever been any conflict of legislation upon that the right of citizenship, or any of the priv
the subject? I admit that upon important subileges which have been and are connected with jects, where there has been conflicting legislation, that rig!t, should not be lost by reason of any re- the Constitution might step in and settle it; or, if moval from one town or city to another within there is any danger of conflicting legislation in the limits of the Coinmonwealth. In this age, future, upon the subject, it would be very well increased facilities of intercourse, the advance in for the Constitution to settle the matter. But I intelligence, and the ever changing domicils of ask any gentleman to show me when there has many of our most intelligent and active citizens, ever been any conflicting legislation upon this obviate the objections which formerly existed to subject, or where there is any danger of it. It the provision I now recommend. I therefore strikes me, with all due deference to the Committee t.ope that the Convention will not only see the who reported this resolution, that probably there propriety of this amendment, but that they will vote
are some towns where there are colleges, and to incorporate it into the resolution. It is similar where the people have thought that persons have to a provision wnich has been incorporated into voted who ought not to have voted, and for that the Constitution of several other States; but reason, have come forward and asked the Conwhether they adopt it, or reject, or modify it, I vention to make such a provision. The law is hope that it may be done without much debate. perfectly plain upon this subject. It is laid down
The question was then taken upon the adop- in the 5th volume of Metcalf's Reports, and is very
QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS. - DANA.
like this provision, only, if I may be allowed the opinion, it is expressed a little more clearly.
It is said by the learned gentleman from Taunton, (Mr. Morton,) that this is alreadly a mattor of law, but it would be well enough to put it into the ('onstitution because it will be a little more easy for the selectmen to find; that the selectmen of every town are not supposed to be acquainted with our law reports, and it is better, therefore, to place it where they can readily find it.
Now, Mr. President, that is a new reason. It is entirely a novel reason to me for making a Constitution. The law is all right and always has been all right. There have been n conflicting decisions, there has been no conflicting legislation, but inasmuch as this is a better place for the selectmen to find it, let us put it in the Constitution. If that principle is to be adopted, in the choice of subjects which are to be made constitutional law, I can furuish enough for the Convention to do from now through the hot weather, and until pretty well into the autumn. The only difficulty will be that if we have too many of these things in the ('onstitution, it may be as difficult for the selectmen to find it in the Constitution as it is in the Reports. The difficulty is not in being able to find the law or of not knowing what it is, but it is in applying the law to the facts of the case. A question was asked of the supreme court by the legislature whether a person who had resided several years as a student in a university, but who had his means of support elsewhere, could be allowed to vote in the town or city in which the university was located. The court said that was not a question which could be answered by itself. It would depend altogether upon whether he was domiciled in that town; if he was domiciled in that town, he had the right to vote there, but if he was not, he had no such right. The more fact of his being there as a student did not create a domicil. Now, I am afraid the impression may prevail in the Convention, that the mere fact of a person residing in a certain place as a student in a seminary of learning gives him a domicil in that place. But such is not the fact. The law is well settled upon this point. The fact of a student's attending a seminary of learning for a number of years does not make him lose his domicil in the place where he has before lived; and the mere fact that he is a student there does not give him a domicil in that place. I submit it to the better judgment of the Convention. I submit it to the judgment of the chairman of this Committee, (Mr. Walker,) whose attention I would like to gain, if this is not so. The mere fact that a person is a student, neither gives a domicil nor takes it away. The case is different with different students. For instance, here is a student who is under age ; his father lives at Springfield, and his home is there ; he comes to Williamstown College, but he derives his means of support from his father, and goes home during the vacations. He makes that his regular home, and puts his name in the catalogue as from Springfield. All these are facts which go to fix his domicil at the place where his father lives.
But take another case: a man has no parents whatever; he has no means of support except his own labor; but he goes to Williamstown, enters college, and is supporting himself by his own labor, or his property there. He puts his name
down against Williamstown in the catalogue. IIe I should like to put the question to gentlemen is over one-and-twenty years of age, but has no of thi» ('onvention whether they are all agreed home in the world it it be not there. He is look- upon the construction of that clause: It strikes ing forward to a permanent residence there; lie me that the domicil is a que tion of fact, not deis making preparatious for entering in businens pending, as gentlemen may suppose, upon the one there when he shall leave college. lle is at the fact of residence, but a great variety of facts. clove of l.is course, or is a student of a prodision. I appeal to the judgment of every professional What would the law decide in his ca-e? It would man whether it is not settled law that domicil deundoubtedly ti v his domicil at William-town, and pends upon a great variety of facts, each of which would decide that he was entitled to vote there. are entitled to its weight. Take the well known And why should it not be soDo you want to case of these gentlemen who remove from Boston di-franchise a man bcause he is a student in a into the country before the first of May, keeping sen inary of learning: If you do, then say so. a house in each place. What determines the
But how is this resolution to be construel: I domicil there: jury must go into the most think in many instances it would be so con-trued minute inquiry to ascertain which of the two as to give him, the student, no domicil at all. Is houses in the domicil of the citizen, where he has this convention going to make such a fundamental his family, his servants, table and bed linen, &c., provinion as that? Will you provide that when on the first of May, and which house had most a student las no hoine to go to; has no parerits of the attributes of a domicil. They are very to be doniciled with, but lives in the town where nice questions. The two houses are both furhe is attending college, shall he be deprived of the nished and kept open, but which is his domicil ? right to vote: I will venture to say that if we And so these nice questions come up in the case pass this resolve and such a case comes up, the of students at our seminaries of learning. Some selectmen would decide that the student had no are under twenty-one years of age, and some are domicil in the town, although he could vote no- over that age. Some have parents, and some where else. Now, I do not mean to say, by any have not. Some derive the means of support ineans, that that is the right construction to be from home, while others do not. So there is evput upon this resolve, but I ask every gentleman ery variety of case, from that of the student of the profession in this Convention, and every whose domicil is clearly at his father's house, to gentleman out of the profesion, to look at it and that of the student whose domicil is clearly at tell me, if their minds are quite clear, wiat the pre- the seminary of learning. Then you step in and cise construction s!ould be? And I am the more attach to this fact a decisive character by consticontirmed in that opinion from the fact that the tutional law. These cases must be decided by chairman of the Committee, (Mr. Walker,) when the selectmen, each on its circumstances. Their explaining the resolution to the ('ommittee, stated decision may be appealed from. There may be an it in different words from those in the resolution action brought, and then the case goes to a court itself. He said that from the mere fact of a stu- and jury. dent's residence at a seminary of learning, he I was very much struck and pleased with the should not be deemed to have a domicil there. remarks made by a gentleman, who I do not now Now, the resolution does not so read. It says see in his seat, (Mr. Boutwell,) this morning, as that no person shall be deemed to have gained a to our duties here in the matter of making a residence by reason of his presence, while a stu- Constitution. It strikes me that if a case can be dent, at a seminary of learning.
made out which goes beyond the line he drew I must say that if you wish to confound and for us, and which he drew so well, this is one. confuse those venerable men who have charge It is a matter of nice detail,--and a matter of of the ballot-box, who cannot understand the de- doubtful meaning at that. I suppose that persons cisions in the 5th of Metcalf, who cannot under- smarting under some difficulty, and heated in a stand the provisions contained in our Revised controversy, thought, that since there was to be Statutes, but who want a Constitution to make a great Constitutional Convention which was to it clear, that you have taken the best possible operate as a panacea for all evils, the best thing method of securing that end. I think that no they could do was to get us to cure the evil for sooner will you have adopted this amendment in them. I respectfully submit that this is a diffithe Constitution than you will find very great culty which it is not in our province to cure. confusion arising out of it. You are supposing Now comes an additional amendment, moved that a student who goes to attend a seminary has and carried without any discussion in the Conacquired a residence in the place from which he vention. I understand it to provide that a person comes; but if he shall not have gained one there, who leaves a town or city for another shall not you will provide that he shall not be allowed to vote lose his right to vote in the former town or city anywhere-at least that construction may be given for six months. The provision is, that a man who to it. I do not say that it cannot be amended so has left a town, determined never to see it again, as remove that doubt. This is not a doubt of my may still go back upon election day and vote taxes own simply, but on conferring with men of learn- upon the people which he will not be obliged to ing in the Convention, I find they conceive there pay, and vote men into office whom he means is room for this doubt. It needs to be amended. never to be governed by. I do not know what If we have got to amend it here, I think the Con- will be the effect of this provision in another revention ought to be satisfied that we had better spect, because I do not know whether we are let it alone altogether; and if it has caused a going to adopt this distinction, that men are to doubt here, we ought to see that the subject mat- be voters for offices and not to be elected for ter is not constitutional in its nature, but of a offices. I submit to the judgment of this conlegislative character. “No person shall be deem- vention, whether it is not a little extraordinary to ed to have gained a residence by reason of his provide that a class of persons shall be voters in presence while a student of a seminary of learn- a place, their residence being one hundred and ing."
fifty miles off, and that they shall not hold office Thursday,)
QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS. - DAYA-ILALLETT.
If the amendment is adopted you fore they pass to a second reading the resolutions the town where he had his legal residence. If he will have the anomaly presented of a person of as they now stand with the amendment just goes away five months or five days before the twenty-one years of age leaving the old home- adopted, and ask them elves whether they mean election, why deprive him of the right of voting stead in Brookfield, going to sea, making his to say that a man shall vote under any such cir- at all? Is there any danger that he will go back home in Provincetown and going up to Brook- cumstances, and then to say whether it is worth and do anything wrong or unjust? field and voting, because, by virtue of this part of while to go into these details. Let gentlemen, The gentleman for Manchester, (Mr. Dana,) the amendment, he is not to lose anything by after considering the matter, ask themselves said one thing, which I must think he had not navigating the high seas, whether in the United whether these things should not be left to legisla- well considered, for a gentleman of his legal States or British India. He votes in Brookfield, tion ; but if the Convention are of the opinion learning. Ile says that, in his own case, after but his residence is in Provincetown, and after that we met dive into these details, let us have having removed from Boston to Cambridge, a he has been chasing whales in the Eastern Ocean, a resolution which will not be misunderstood by short time before an election, he went and asked he comes back and votes taxes upon the people the selectmen, for whose better information only, the selectmen of Cambridge to allow him the of Brookfield. I do not doubt that this all comes I am informned, it is to be introduced.
privilege of voting, and they would not allow from tenderness for the rights of voters. I sym- Mr. HALLETT, for Wilbraham. I think we him to vote because he had not resided there six pathize with that feeling myself, but then we should understand ourselves distinctly, upon ev- months. They told him that he had lost his vote, must recollect that we may, by indulging our ery point of amendment to the Constitution which
and he looks upon it as
most remarkable eviextreme tenderness for the rights of voters, intro- affects the legal rights of the voter. I respect, dence of the purity of the ballot-box, that his duce a dangerous principle, and in our kindness very much, the legal opinions of my friend for vote was refused. The gentleman was at the to voters we may not be so kind to those persons Manchester, (Mr. Dana,) but I must think that he wrong end of the argument. He should have who are to be affected by the votes cast. It has is not aware of the true state of the case in re- gone back to Boston, walked into the room of the been said in this Convention, and sustained by a gard to a man's losing his vote, by passing over ward from which he moved, found his name redecided majority here, that persons ought not to the line of one town into another, just before an corded upon the ward list and deposited his vote vote in town affairs, though they were born in election. He has put extreme cases. Let us there. That is what I contend he should have the town, reside there, and mean to die there, consider cases of towns adjoining, or nearly so. had the right to do. I say, therefore, let the unless they pay seventy-five cents, or thereabouts, Now the rule of law as to residence, in the cases principle which governs domicil be carried out for fear that they might vote taxes upon people in Metcalf's Reports, to which he has referred, is, correctly as to voting. Your courts have decided which they themselves did not mean to pay. that a man never loses his domicil, and that he differently. They have decided that a man canAnd it was stated that a person who lived in a has at all times a domicil somewhere. In order not lose his domicil in one place until he has town and did not pay his fifty or seventy-five cents, to carry out that principle in the Constitution, it acquired residence in another, but they have deought not to vote for town officers, because those should be provided, that a man shall have his cided, if he goes out of one town into another to officers might have the power to do something to voting right somewhere, and shall not lose it, no reside there, though it be only one day before the citizens of the town which would not affect more than he shall lose, under the law, one dom- election, that he has lost his right to vote anyhim, though that man has at stake there all he icil until he has acquired another. If the man
where. Now I would make the Constitution parhas in the world, his life, his peace, his liberty, moves over the line from Boston into Roxbury, allel in this rule, as it regards residence, so that the peace of his family, though he is obliged to just before election day, he does not lose his res- residence and voting shall go together, and then perform military duty and though he has children idence, say the courts, for he acquires one imme- you have it certain. to be sent to school, simply because he is not sup- diately in Roxbury, but they say that he does l'pon that point, and also upon the other point posed to have that interest which gives him the lose his right to vote, until he has been there six
of residence embraced in these propositions, genright to vote away other men's money. But you months. The question is, shall he be induced to tlemen say that it is not dignified to put a plain propose to say that any person leaving that town, deal honestly or dishonestly with the public ? definition with reference to them, in the Constinerer intending to see it again and going to the Shall he secure his vote by falsehood, which he tution. I stand upon dignity in constitutional farthest part of the Commonwealth may still go can do by falsely denying that he goes to Rox- language as much as any one, and I thought I did back to that town and vote taxes upon other per- bury to live there, or shall he lose it by telling even more so than my friend for Manchester, sons which he never means to pay, and elect per- the truth? That is the proposition, because the (Mr. Dana,) but I think, as I have said before, sons to office who are not to govern him. I removal depends upon the intention, and that that the principle which should govern us in this should like to see gentlemen put those two propo- rests mainly upon declarations. If he goes to matter, is to have the Constitution as plain as sitions together and show me why they sustain Roxbury one week or one day before the election, possible. The gentleman complains that this the one and do not sustain the other. I recollect and there honestly proclaims the truth, and says, proposition, about removal affecting residence, once losing my right to vote. I moved my resi- I have come here to reside with you," and the and the one concerning persons employed in the dence from the city of Boston to the town of next day goes back to Boston, he cannot vote in army and navy of the United States, or who are Cambridge, and when I went to the voting list either place; but if he removes from Boston with attending seminaries of learning, are not of sufthere, I found that my name was not recorded. a lie in his mouth, and says, "I want you to un
ficient dignity to be incorporated into the ConstiI dare say some gentleman will say that there derstand that I have not removed, and that I am tution, but I do not find that those who framed was a great wrong done, that I was injured, and coming back to Boston,” when he does not mean the Constitution held that opinion. When they they would have gone right off to a Constitutional to do so, then he can go back to Boston and vote. provided, in the Constitution of 1780, that every Convention, if one had been sitting, and had a So that it depends upon this, a man loses his res
male inhabitant who owned a freehold estate of resolve brought in to remedy the injury done idence and his vote in Boston if he tells the hon- three pounds income per annum, or personal esme. But it did not operate so with me. I can est truth, and keeps his right to vote if he lies. tate worth sixty pounds, should have a right to honestly say that I never felt more gratification in I do not consent to hold out any such induce
vote, they went on to make it still plainer, by my life and greater pride in the old Commonwealth
ments to men to deal dishonestly. No fraud can saying than when the selectmen of the town of Cambridge be perpetrated by his retaining his right to vote “ And to remove all doubts concerning the said, “Sir, you cannot vote here,” because I felt in his place of domicil, until he has acquired it meaning of the word • inhabitant,' in this Constithat the same law which prohibited me from in another. The name of the voter is upon the tution, every person shall be considered as an invoting, saved the purity of the ballot-box in the voting list of the town of his legal residence. He
habitant for the purpose of electing and being Commonwealth in all times of peril. I am will- is there a permanent, recorded voter. There is no
elected into any office, in that town, district, or ing to submit to restrictions, and if I choose
plantation where he dwelleth or hath his home.” uncertainty about it. If he comes to the polls change my residence from town to town I am and assumes that he is a voter, his name will be Is there anything more undignified in that than willing to lose my vote by it for a few months. found upon that check list, for it cannot be re- in saying “ that, by reason of his absence, or I am perfectly willing to submit to this, in moved until he has lost his residence there ; and presence, no person shall be deemed to have gainorder to save the purity of the ballot-box. I if he has gone out of town within a period of ed or lost a residence while employed in the army submit that these provisions are necessary for the six months, he cannot have acquired a residence or navy of the United States, or while navigating protection of the ballot-box. I most respectfully anywhere else, and therefore he cannot possibly the waters of this state or of the United States, ask the Convention to re-examine this matter be- vote at that election anywhere, unless it be in or while a member of any seminary of learning."