Imágenes de páginas

est boast. Again thanking you gentlemen, for your kind consideration, I await your further dleasure Mr. HARRIS offered the following resolution Resolved, That Luther Caldwell be and he is hereby appointed Secretary of the Convention. Which was adopted.

Mr. CALDWELL thereupon took the Constitu tional oath of office which was administered by the President.

Mr. FOLGER offered the following resolution Resolved, That Edward F. Underhill be and h is hereby appointed Stenographer to the Constitu tional Convention.

Which was adopted.

Mr. ELY offered the following resolution: Resolved, That Samuel C. Pierce be and he i hereby appointed Sergeant-at-Arms of this Cor vention. Which was adopted.

Mr. ARCHER offered the following resolution Resolved, That John H. Kemper be and he i hereby appointed Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms this Convention.

Which was adopted.

Mr. SHERMAN offered the following resolution
Resolved, That until the adoption of permaner

Which was adopted.

not in these things alone, that the true life of a State consists. It consists rather, as has been aptly said elsewhere, in that public spirit which is the soul of Commonwealths, without which empire has no glory, and the wealth of nations is a source of corruption and decay. I mean that public spirit best illustrated in our recent great conflict, by the sublime national enthusiasm, the matchless patience, the heroic strength, and the unstinted sacrifice of blood and treasure, by all of which we rescued from the toils and grasp of treason our imperiled nationality. A State will be great, prosperous and stable in the degree in which it possesses this spirit. Its germ is free, equal, conscious, intelligent and enfranchised manhood. To develop and foster such manhood is the highest civil duty which can engage the patriotic statesman. We owe it to the inspiration of the age in which we live we owe it to the cause of universal civil liberty- -we owe it to the struggling liberalism of the old world-we owe it to the memories of the myriads of our martyred dead who sleep their last sleep upon countless battle-fields, to make proclamation, by the sovereign majesty of this great State, that every man within the limits of its broad domain, of whatever race or color, or however poor, help-rules for the regulation of the proceedings of th less or lowly he may be, in virtue of his MANHOOD, Convention, the rules of the Assembly of th is entitled to the full enjoyment of every right ap- State be followed as far as they may be applica pertaining to the most exalted citizenship. This ble; and that a select committee of five be aj done, we have only to secure the means of free, pointed by the President to report a code of rule universal education-thus keeping power and in-suited to the wants of the Convention. telligence hand in hand-to realize the highest ideals of popular Government. Such, gentlemen, is the mission to which we are called. We ought, rising above the low grounds of partisanship, to inspirit our work with an earnest, whole-souled patriotism, enlivened, regenerated and sanctified by all the trials of the fiery crucible through by prayer. which we have just passed. It is our exalted privilege to initiate the movement of bringing our State up to the full standard of the theories. of a true Republican Government. In the progress of the march to that destiny to which the God of Nations is unmistakably leading us, we have reached a higher plane of our national life. The duty is laid upon us of reaping from the great MR. SILVESTER-The Legislature in the a struggle through which we have made this which it passed to provide for this Conventic advance, such fruits, such influence and such to revise and amend the Constitution, provide power as shall carry us to the highest attainable for the election of certain officers by the Conve points of enlightened and Christian civilization. tion, and of the appointment of certain oth In this beneficent work, New York should officers by the President and Secretary. The maintain her supremacy among her sister com- seems in the act which was passed by the Legi monwealths, leading in the march of human liberty lature to be no provision for the appointment of and human progress, as she led in marshaling the postmaster for the Convention. Every perso armies which won them for all nations, kindreds, familiar with the proceedings of any deliberativ tongues and peoples who take shelter under the body is aware that they have found it necessary f folds of the banner of the Republic. Let us, the correct transaction of business to have a pos whose action is so vitally to affect the future of master. It will be necessary for us very often our State, trusting to that Superior Power so have conference with our constituents, to recei signally manifested in our National behalf in the communications from them and send communic battling years from which we have just emerged, tions to them, and for that purpose a postmaster and with confirmed faith in a Government "of this body would be very essential. Undoubted the people, by the people, and for the people," be the Legislature omitted to provide for the electio true to our trust, true to ourselves, and true to and appointment of a postmaster through ina truth. So shall we faithfully meet and wisely dis- vertence. charge the obligations of our day and generation, and advance the growing grandeur of the towering State, whose citizenship is our highest, proud- the convention.

MR. BELL offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the Secretary be requested t confer with the regular clergy of this city, an request them to make such arrangements, that th daily sessions of this Convention may be opene

Which was adopted.

Mr. HARRIS offered the following resolution: Resolved, That a committee of two membe from each judicial district be appointed by th President, whose duty it shall be to consider ar report the best practical mode of proceeding 1 revise the constitution, which was adopted.

The PRESIDENT-The Chair would remin the gentleman that there is no question befo

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

MR. SILVESTER-I propose to introduce the resolution and to preface it with a few remarks showing the pertinency of the resolution.

The PRESIDENT-If the gentleman will first offer his resolution and base his remarks upon it, it will be a little more in order.

Mr. SILVESTER then offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That Peter J. Hotailing, of Columbia, be and hereby is, appointed Postmaster for this Convention.

Mr. GREELEY-I trust this resolution will not be adopted.

The PRESIDENT—The gentleman from Colombia has the floor.

Mr. SILVESTER-I ask that the body of the memorial that I sent up to the Clerk's desk may be read.


The Secretary read the memorial as follows:The undersigned, members of the Legislature of 1867, hereby testify to the efficiency and strict attention to the duties of his office of Assistant Postmaster to the Assembly, of Mr. Peter J. Hotailing, and we sincerely recommend him to the Constitutional Convention as a suitable person to perform the duties of Postmaster to that body."

Mr. SILVESTER—The recommendation of the Legislature bears date subsequently to the act passed to provide for the Convention, showing that the Legislature intended that this Convention should have the benefit of these labors of a Postmaster, although in the act itself they had omitted to provide for the election and appointment of such an officer. Mr. Hotailing seems to have performed these duties to the satisfaction of the Legislature, and is eminently competent to perform the duties of this body, he having had the experience of a postmaster.

much need of correspondence between us and those we may leave at home, as there would be if we sat here passing one thousand bills, as was done last year. For that reason the committee, and I think the Legislature, thought, that the officers in the bill were amply sufficient to carry out all the duties of this Convention, and the deputy sergeant-at-arms might very well act as postmaster to this body. Then, in addition to that, there is another consideration, and that is, that the Comptroller will not pay this officer, if he should be elected. I know that he will not pay any money, if it is not provided for in any law, and the law provides for no such office. When the postmaster, if he should be elected, applies to him for payment, he will say: "Where is the act that will allow me to draw my warrant for this upon the Treasurer and it will not be found.

Mr. SILVESTER-In respect to the observation that the Comptroller will not pay the postmaster if elected, I would merely answer in reply, that the Convention of 1846, I believe, elected several officers who had not been provided for in the act, and a subsequent Legislature provided for the payment of those officers. I suppose the same rule could be adopted in this case; and this gentleman, if he be elected, or any gentleman elected or appointed Postmaster, would run the risk of being paid by the Legislature. I did not suppose it was necessary to protect us from invasion from abroad. I do not want any further legislation with that view, but it was rather to further invasion by the people and to get suggestions of their views.

Mr. GREELEY-I trust that this Convention will not commence its labors by violating the laws of the State, in regard to the officers provided for. Certainly eight door-keepers must be four too many, and two sergeants-at-arms at least one too many, and we could spare one of these officers who could act as postmaster. I trust that this resolution will not pass.

Mr. FOLGER-I merely rise to notice a remark made by the gentleman from Columbia [Mr. Silvester] that the omission to provide for a postmaster was through the inadvertence of the Legislature. That subject, sir, was considered in the Committee on Judiciary and in the Committee of Conference upon the bill which has called this body into existence, and it was considered when we provided for a sergeant-at-arms, assistant sergeant-at-arms and eight door-keepers, that we provided for a sufficient force to protect this body from invasion from abroad, and ample force to conduct into and out of it, all the mail matter we might reasonably send to or receive from our constituents. Theoretically, in the Senate of this State, there is no postmaster; but practically, the deputy sergeant-at arms always officiates in that capacity, and supplies every want for an office of that description. Just so in preparing this bill, the was no inadvertence; we thought the deputy sergeant-at-arms might very well, without taking a great deal of time from duties which would Decessarily call him elsewhere, conduct the postal department of this Convention as has been done in the Senate. Because, we can readily perceive, that there is quite a difference in the matter of detail of the proceedings of this Convention and the proceedings of the Legislature. Here we deal with generalities for the whole State, and not for special localities, and there will not be sol

Mr. STRATTON offered the following amendment to the resolution offered by Mr. Silvester:

Resolved, That the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms be and he is hereby instructed to discharge the duties of Postmaster of Convention.

Which was adopted.

Mr. SHERMAN offered the following amendment to the amendment offered by Mr. Stratton:

"And that the Sergeant-at-arms detail from among the messengers a sufficient number to act as assistants and messengers to the Postmaster." Which was adopted.

The question was taken on the resolution offered by Mr. Silvester, as amended, and it was declared adopted.

Mr. FOLGER ffered the following resolution: Resolved, That when the Convention adjourns this day, it adjourn until 4 o'clock P. M., and that there be a session beginning at that hour for the purpose of drawing for seats in such manner as shall be determined.

Which was adopted.

Mr. FULLER offered the following resolution: Resolved, That until otherwise determined, this Convention will meet in this Assembly Chamber daily at 11 o'clock, A. M.

Which was adopted.

5. The annual receipts or income of the State from each canal, with the annual cost of superintendence and repair, respectively of such canals up to the close of the last fiscal year.

The Constitutional oath of office was then ad-informed, when I state that, under the law by ministered by the President to Samuel C. Pierce, which we are organized, a manual will be laid Sergeant at Arms, John H. Kemper, assistant upon our desks which will contain in substance, Sergeant at Arms, and Edward F. Underhill, and I believe in form, an entire answer to the Stenographer to the Convention. resolution of the gentleman from Westchester. (Mr. Greeley). Each and every requisite of that resolution is answered in that manual, which will be laid upon our table in a very few days. I trust the gentleman will consent that his resolu tion shall lie on the table. It strikes me that the passage of this resolution, under these circumstances, must necessarily increase the expense to the State, and for that reason also I trust the gentleman will consent that his resolution lie on the table. I wish to say a few words more. do not think with the gentleman from Westches ter, (MR. GREELEY) that the Democratic party acting either here, through their representatives upon this floor, or as part and parcel of the people of the State of New York, will be inclined under any and every circumstance to go against the adoption of a Constitution which shall be made by this body. I believe, if we go in the right spirit to work, and frame a Constitution to subserve the great interests of the people of the State of New York, that the Democratic party represented here will vote in favor of that ConThe gentleman from New York, (Mr. Brooks) stitution, and that the Party at the polls will who has addressed this Convention I think rather respond to the action of their representatives. I out of season, made some remarks as to party move, sir, that for the present, the resolution of aspects of organization, which I wish to say a the gentleman from New York do lie on the table. word about in speaking to this resolution. I Mr. TILDEN-Will the gentleman withdraw offered this in endeavoring to get the clearest his motion for a moment, in order that I may and fullest statement possible with regard to make a single observation? our canals, being determined to act here with: the most entire independence of party upon this as upon every other question, with a single view to the best interests of the whole people of the State. I was among the gentlemen who met here last evening to consult and consider the proper mode of organization of this Convention. I did so as I could not have done otherwise, simply because I believed from observing the facts all around me throughout the last two or three years, that the Democratic party of this State did not consider it wise, or perhaps I should say timely-now to enter upon the work of revising the Constitution of our State. They had a perfect right so to believe. I met them at the polls acting in this spirit, and I found them in the press acting in this spirit, and, in my judgment, if there had been a Democratic majority in the Legislature last winter, no Convention would now be assembled, or this year held. I regard as imposed on the Republican majority of this Convention the duty of revising the Constitution. I apprehend when we meet at the polls, no matter what the Consti- to the conclusion he has stated. Not othertution shall be, it will be boldly confronted by the wise, sir. Whether it be wise or otherwise that general opposition of the party which is not in the this body should assemble-whether it is the majority in this Convention. I think with refer- most opportune and auspicious occasion in which ence to that fact, that the action of this Conven- the people of the State of New York should assemtion-the Constitution as we shall frame it-will ble in their original sovereignty to form a new fundabe met with a political party opposition, no matter mental law-upon that question undoubtedly there what it shall contain. I deem it necessary and have been very grave doubts entertained. Very proper that the political majority in this Conven-wide differences of opinion, if this be the most fittion shall take upon themselves the labor and re- ting and auspicious occasion to undertake this sponsibility of organization, and, if I may say so, work, have been entertained. But it is enough of directing its action. that it is undertaken, and it our duty here, acting in a spirit of the largest good faith, to

Mr. ALVORD-As I do not wish to stifle debate, I will withdraw it.

Mr. TILDEN-Mr. President: The observations which my friend, the delegate from Westchester, (Mr. Greeley), has deemed it proper to make to this Convention, seem to require that, in behalf of those like myself—(and I speak for myself, and for a few others whose opinions on this subject I know) we should be allowed to say, as we do say, that we have met here upon this occasion under the sworn duty which we have assumed, to discharge that duty in good faith, and to the best of our ability. And, sir, I do not hesitate to say that it would not be good faith for men to come here determined before hand to vote against whatever the wisdom and deliberation of this Convention might finally determine to adopt. If I were disposed, as I am not at this period of the discussion, to retort, I might be inclined to say, that if the gentleman knows there is to be put into this Constitution what we ought not to or cannot support, then we would be warranted in coming

Mr. ALVORD-I believe, sir, I am correctly

Mr. GREELEY-I desire to offer the following resolution of inquiry, which if it is held to be too soon, I will withdraw it. I will read the resolution and then make a few remarks.

Resolved, That the Comptroller be requested to prepare and communicate to this Convention a tabular statement showing:

1. The original cost of the several canals of this State, including that of any enlargement or extension thereof.

2. The aggregate cost of each canal as aforesaid, including the superintendence, repairs and legal interest on the cost of construction up to the close of the last fiscal year.

3. The aggregate receipts or income of each canal computed in like manner.

4. The net cost (or profit) of each canal up to the close of the last fiscal year.

endeavor to make that work as perfect as it is possible for this body to make it. If, then, it fails to be such as we can give our support to, we shall undoubtedly express our opposition to the conclusions and the labors of this Convention, in a way that is not only our right, but our duty to do. Mr. President, I see around me a large number of men. not of my own political associations, in whose integrity, in whose honor, and in whose sense of public duty, I have the greatest confidence. I do not think that we ought, any of us to act-I do not think that those gentlemen ought to act-I do not think that those even who have been most despairing of good results in reference to the proceedings of this Convention ought to act upon any presumption beforehand that this Convention is to be a failure. If we think so let us adjourn tomorrow and go home. If, on the other hand, we are to make a fair trial-if we are to make an experiment in good faith, to improve the organic law of the State-let us not begin with any mutual misconception of each others motives. Let us not assume that the majority of this Convention have Add "and also the amount of outstanding canal determined before hand to put anything into it debt and when due, and when the same would be that will secure our opposition, and let them not paid, taking as a basis of calculation the future suppose that we are determined to make this oppo-average of our toll receipts for the last seven sition whatever they may put in. Sir, I think it extremely probable that there are many questions here upon which party lines as they now exist in this State will not be distinctly drawn. think there will be many questions upon which gentlemen will act with independence, with candor, and with wisdom and I simply make these observations for the purpose that there should be no misunderstanding and no misconception of the position which I, for one, occupy, and I know of many others who think with me on these questions. The PRESIDENT-The resolution giving rise to debate will lie on the table under the rules.

Mr. HATCH offered the following amendment to the resolution offered by Mr. Greeley:


informed that under the law this cannot be printed in the Manual unless it have the special sanction by resolution of this body, and I have, therefore, offered the resolution with that view.

The question was taken on Mr. Gould's resolution and it was declared adopted.

Mr. FOLGER-I wish to offer an amendment to the resolution of the gentleman from Westchester, (Mr. Greeley) which may lie over with the original, under the rule.

Mr. GREELEY-I wish it understood that I will accept all amendments.

Mr. E A. BROWN-I rise to say that the gentleman who has charge of the manual states that one volume is printed, and is ready to be laid on the table of members.

The CLERK read the amendment offered by Mr. Folger, as follows:

Add thereto the following: "And a table which will show with how much each so-called lateral canal should be credited for its contributions to the revenues of this State, which, in the yearly official tables and reports, are credited to the Erie canal.


The amendment laid over under the rule.
Mr. LARREMORE offered the following reso-

Resolved, That the privileges of the floor of this Convention be and the same are hereby extended to the members of the former State Conventions who may be temporarily in this city. Which was adopted.

On motion of Mr. WEED, the Convention took recess till four o'clock P. M.


The Convention reassembled at four o'clock. The CLERK read the resolution under which the Convention had taken a recess.

Mr. SHERMAN offered the following resolution:

The PRESIDENT.-The Chair would inform the gentleman from Lewis, (Mr. E. A. Brown), that there is no question before the Convention.

Mr. GOULD offered the following resolution: Resolved That a Committee be appointed to prepare in bill-form a copy of the present State Constration, to be printed with open spaces for inter-ing lineation and memoranda and with such comparative notes and references as may be found practicable.

Resolved, That the drawing for seats, assigned as the business of the present session, be adopted according to the mode usually practiced in the Assembly, viz.:

1. Folded ballots to be prepared, each containthe name of a member.

2. These ballots to be examined and compared with the official list by a Committee of two, to be appointed for that purpose by the President.

4. The members then to retire outside the bar. 5. A person other than a member or officer to be designated by the President to draw the ballots.


Mr. GOULD-My object in introducing the resolution I will now state. On going to the office of the Secretary of State I saw and examined the manual as prepared. I found Dr. Hough, the Secretary of the commission appointed under the law, had for his own private 6. Each ballot as drawn to be handed to the information prepared a document such as is called President, and to be opened by him; then handed for by the resolution. On looking it over, it to the Clerk who shall announce the name drawn. seemed to me most admirably calculated to facili- 7. The person whose name shall be drawn, to tate the business of this Convention. It has select his seat and to occupy it till the completion under the sections of our present Constitution all of the drawing, under penalty of forfeiture if the corresponding provisions of all other Constitutions of the States. Such examinations and comparisons will frequently have to be made, and struck me that it would facilitate the labors of Mr. CONGER-It may not be expedient at this the Convention to have such a document. I am time to suggest any modification of the resolution,


8. The drawing to continue in this manner till concluded.

3. The ballots to be placed in a box, and thoroughly shaken in presence of the Convention.

which has doubtless been prepared in accordance | Mr. SHERMAN-The plan I have offered seems with the wishes of the majority of this Conven- to me as fair as any that could be adopted, and it tion, but it seems to me, and I desire to draw the is one that is equally practicable, while the one attention of the gentlemen present to the fact, that which the gentleman from Rockland [Mr. Conger] we are not constituted as the Assembly, that we has suggested seems to me not to be practicable. are not here to-day representing Assembly dis- And the one I have offered is as fair to the minori tricts, but in obedience to the high behests of the ty as it is to the majority. If the gentleman, howLegislature of the State we are here as the repre-ever, can offer one which is at the same time to be sentatives of the various Senatorial districts. It fair and practicable, I shall be very glad to hear seems to me, therefore, proper, that some regard and to adopt it in the place of my own. should be had, in the drawing of seats, to the Mr. GREELEY-It seems to me the proposition manner in which this body is constituted, and that would be just as fair to allow the Senatorial disinstead of drawing the seats as individual rights,tricts to draw in the same manner, and then allow we should draw seats to represent the Senatorial the gentlemen here present each of them to take districts here represented. And this would add their seats upon that drawing. It would shorten vastly to the convenience of the gentlemen repre- the balloting very much, as we should have but senting one district. Had the old rule prevailed thirty-two ballots to be drawn. I think the propin the construction of this body, then every gen-osition of the gentleman from Rockland [Mr. tleman here present would be representing an Conger] is certainly fair and practicable, and we Assembly district, and as such would have a should get through much sooner, and in that way paramount right to his seat as an individual repre- we could allow gentlemen to take their seats sentative of an individual district. But if I together or separate as they may choose. understand the meaning and purpose of the law by which we come together here, we represent, four, five, six or eight of us, as the case may be, one single Senatorial district. I would, therefore, respectfully suggest, and move as an amendment, chance with the gentleman from the Ninth Senain order to try the temper and sense of the Con-torial district.

Mr. WEED-May I ask the gentleman from Westchester (Mr. Greeley) what district he represents?

Mr. GREELEY-I say that I would take my

vention on this subject, in reference to the manner Mr. WEED-There are no representatives from in which we are constituted as a body, that the the Senatorial districts, except the four especially seats be drawn so as to represent Senatorial Dis-elected. Because I happen to live in a Senatorial tricts, and that the gentlemen who are entitled to, district, or because a gentleman happens to live and do represent, Senatorial Districts, take the in a Senatorial district, and is elected upon the number of seats which belong to them as of right. ticket at large, he is not the Delegate of that SeI don't know how this proposition may strike other natorial district, nor has the special charge of that gentlemen, but for myself I would be pleased to be Senatorial district upon his hands. It seems to associated with all the gentlemen representing my me that the amendment of the gentleman from Senatorial District. I have no predilections as to Rockland [Mr. Conger] is perfectly impracticable. their political opinions whatever. The gentleman Under the plan suggested in the original resoluwho this morning spoke for Westchester, (Mr. tion, each member here when his name is drawn Greeley) is my associate in the representation of will be authorized to choose his seat in that part that District-the Ninth Senatorial District. The of the house that suits him best. The room is Delegates at large have been so distributed, that not so large but that, during the deliberations, in New York many gentlemen represent the the members from any Senatorial District can Senatorial Districts there. In the case of the consult with each other. Ninth Senatorial District, besides those selected Mr. M. I. TOWNSEND-I hope the original by the people-four in number--there are gentle-resolution may prevail. I know it would be men here as Delegates at Large, representing that agreeable in a social point of view, that gentlemen district, and I should like for purposes of confer- who come from the same locality and who are ence and for the convenience of the discussion of acquaintances, should be seated together, but I local interests, to have these gentlemen brought doubt whether the influence of such coteries and together in such a way that it would be more associations would be beneficial upon the delibconvenient for them to consult together. With erations of this body. We have seen this morn entire respect to the gentleman who offers this ing that in the minds of some, there is a disresolution, and I trust, with due delicacy, as repre- position to make party decisions, while other senting those who have been described here this minds seem to be measurably free from it. morning, as in the minority, I still feel with believe we shall be more likely to keep ourselves great confidence that this Convention will remem- aloof from such considerations if we commingle ber its constitution and the manner in which it is with each other freely without reference to our constituted, and that those gentlemen do not stand previous politics or previous locations. I think it here in their individual rights as representing is the case in every Senatorial district that the mere localities, but unitedly, Senatorial Districts. gentlemen from that Senatorial district are all of I submit my proposition in the shape of an amend- the same politics-I mean those elected from the ment. Senatorial districts-with one exception throughout the entire State. We find there is one gentleman from the city of New York who seems to have been elected, of different politics than that of the other three members, from that district In other cases you will put the four men agree

The CLERK read the amendment as follows: That the drawing of seats be for each Senatorial District represented in this Convention, and that the members of such district select their seats according to their discretion.

« AnteriorContinuar »