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to Harrisburg. This is a private company. And notwithstanding that we have been carrying on a system of internal improvement by the means of the state, we have also authorized private corporations. And what has been the objection to them heretofore, or what can be so hereafter 1 None-none at all. Some parts of the commonwealth have been compelled under this system of a state debt, to become liable for immense amounts of money, and that, too, without any advantage resulting from them. The proportion of Montgomery county at this time exceeds probably the vast sum of one million of dollars. And what has she received for it? Not one dollar. If she has received any benefit at all from works of internal improvement, it has been from works constructed by private corporations.
I feel no disposition to take up the time of the convention, but as I intend to vote against the motion for indefinite postponement, I was desi. rous to state briefly the views which I entertain in relation to this subjcct. I do not give this vote because I am opposed to internal improvements on the part of the state, but because I believe that the insertion of this provision in the constitution will have a good effect, and that it will tend to put a check upon wild and improvident schemes of improvement.
We have been told that, if we adopt it, we shall repress the enterprize and cripple the energies of our state. I can not see by what process gentlemen can arrive at this conclusion. I should
suppose fact of putting the state out of debt, or of reducing that debt to very reasonable limits, would in itself increase and invigorate her energies. Can a man whose property is mortgaged consider himself in full possession of his resources and his energies? Or does a prudent man mortgage his estate, if he can avoid doing so ? Surely not, sir. Nor should a prudent state do so. A prudent man should be free from debt, and a prudent state should be so likewise, or at all events she should be free from any large amount of debt. By being so, as I have said, she adds strength and vigor to her energies. We in the state of Pennsylvania do not regard a public debt as a public blessing, although there may be some gentlemen who do so, but who constitute exceptions to the general rule as applica • ble to the mass of our citizens. And if a public debt is not a public blessing, then it is our policy to keep it down to as low an amount as possible.
repeat that I am not opposed to a proper system of internal improvement. But I consider that the best security which we can have against improper and improvident schemes, is to limit our state debts, and to render it necessary for the people to pay for works of internal improvement at the time they may be constructed.
Mr. Jenks, of Bucks county, said : Mr. President, I have so often attempted ineffectually to obtain the floor, that I find myself anticipated in the views I had intended to express.
I apprehend that the question now before us is, strictly speaking, a question of political economy; and that when regarded in a proper point of view, it will be found that we have nothing to sear from the expenditure of the public money and the extension of the public debt.
What is the wealth of the state ? I take it for granted that it consista in the population of the state, and in the labor of that population ; and
whatever tends to increase the population of a state necessarily tends to increase its wealth. Now, I ask you if such is not the result of your internal improvements ? Is it not in an astonishingly degree increased in population since the system of internal improvements was commenced ! And in the precise ratio of that increase has the state debt diminished.
I was an humble participant in the system of internal improvements when first commenced. At that day the prosperity of the west was jeopardized in consequence of not having a direct communication for the agricultural produce of her soil to market. I then saw the mutual jealousy which then existed between the people of the commonwealth generally and the inhabitants of this city. They were detached from each other. Their intercourre was difficult and at long intervals. In fact, they could scarcely be said to know each other when the system of internal improveinents went into operation; and it was immediately perceived that the interest of the one was identified with the other. And Dow we all recognize a periect identity of views existing between the people of this great metropolis and the people throughout the state of Pennsylvania. We are embarked in a great and stupendous system of internal improvements-a system which, when matured, will place this commonwealth above all the other states of this Union. By the adoption of the amendment contemplated by the gentleman from Lancaster, the most injurious, and I might say unjnst effects would ensue, at the piesent time, to those friends of the commonwealth who are expending large sums in the extension of certain great thoroughfares through the state. Adept your amendment to limit the sum appropriated by the legislature to thirty millions, and the consequence must be that your great thoroughfares must be arrested in their progress to perfection.
Again, in order to reap full advantage froin the expenditures you have already made, it is necessary
you should complete your lateral roads to communicate by your great thoroughfares with the mineral deposits in the state ; and, by so doing, you increase in a fifty-fold degree the amount of the receipts of the tolls on your canals and the value of your rail-roads. The mineral products of the state are not by any means fully developed. The time, I believe, is not distant when the application of anthracite coal to the smelting of iron will be in full operation. And, when that desirable issue is once brought about, who can say what mind is sufficienily capacious to grasp all the advantages that that discovery will have on the affairs of the commonwealth? The application of science to mineral productions is now being made, and under circnmstances that promise the most perfect and complete success.
And, trusting there will be no liniitation of appropriations for the internal improvements of the commonwealth, as the legislature are, at all times, capable of judging to what extent they ought to carry them. I have no doubt that the immediate responsibilty of the legislature to the people will prevent their ever carrying appropriations to an inproper extent.
Mr. Crum, of Huntingdon, called for the previons question; which vas sustained.
And on the question,
And on the question,
The yeas and nays were required by Mr. Bonham and Mr. STERIGERE, and are as follow, viz :
Yxas-Messrs. Banks, Barndollar, Barnitz, Bonham, Clarke, of Indiana, Cox, Craig, Crawford. Darrah, Denny, Dillinger. Donagan, Fry, Fuller, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, Keim, Kerr, Konigmacher, Krebs, Long, Mann, M'sherry, Merkel, Miller, Porter, of Lancaster, Ritter, Sellers, Seltzer, Smyth, of Centre, Sterige re, Stickel, Taggart, Young-34,
Nars-Messrs. Agnew, Ayres, Baldwin, Barclay, Bedford, Bell, Bigelow, Brown, of Northampton, Brown, of Philadelphia, Chambers, Chandler, of Philadelphia, Chauncey, Clapp, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Coates, Cochran, ('ope, Crain, Crum, Cummin, Curll, Dickey, Dickerson, Doran, Dunlop, Earle, Farrelly, Fleming. Forward, Gamble, Gearhart. Grenell, Harris, Hastings, Hayhurst, Hays, Helffenstein, Henderson, of Allegheny, High, Hopkinson, Houpt, Hyde, Ingersoll, Jenks, Kennedy, Lyons, Maclay, Magee, Martin, M'Cahen, M’Dowell, Meredith, Merrill, Montgomery, Myers, Overfield, Payne, Pennypacker, Porter, of Northampton, Purviance, Read, Riter, Rogers, Russell, Saeger, Scheetz. Scott, Serrill, Shellito, Smith, of Columbia, Snively, Sturde vant, 'Todd, White, Woodward, Sergeant, President-77.
So the question was determined in the negative.
That the convention proceed to the third reading of the amendments made in the first article of the constitution.
The said motion being under consideration,
The motion to proceed to the third reading of the amendments made in the first article of the constitution, being again under consideration,
The orders of the day were called for by Mr. DICKEY.
That the orders of the day be postponed for the purpose of proceeding to the third reading of the amendments made in the first article of the constitutiou.
And on the question,
The yeas and nays were required by Mr. DICKEY, and Mr. EA and are as follow, viz:
Yung Messrs. Agnew, Banks, Barclay, Barnitz, Bedford, Bell, Bigelow, Bonham, Brown, of Northampton, Brown, of Philadelpnia, Chambers, Clapp, Clarke, of Indiana, Craig, Crain, Crawford, Crum, Cummin, Curll, Darrah, Dickerson, Dillinger, Donagan, Doran, Dunlop, Fleming, Forward, Fry, Fuller, Gearhart, Grenell
, Harris, Hastings, Hayhurst, Helffenstein, High. Hopkinson, Hyde, Ingersoll, Keim, Kennedy, Kerr, Krebs, Lyons, Maclay, Magee, Mann, Martin, M'Cahen, M'Sherry, Meredith, Merkel, Miller, Myers, Overfield, Pennypacker, Porter, of Lancaster, Porter, of Northampton, Purviance, Read, Riter, Ritter, Rogers, Russell, Saeger, Scheetz, Sellers, Seltzer, Serrill, Sbellito, Smith, of Columbia, Smyth, of Centre, Snívely, Sterigere, Stickel. Sturdevant, Taggart, Todd, White, Woodward, Young--81,
Nays-Messrs. Ayres, Barndollar, Chandler, of Philadelphia, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Coatea. Cochran, Cope, Cox, Denny, Dickey, Earle, Hays, Henderson, of Allegheny, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiaster, Hoapt, Jenko, Konigmacher, Long, Merrill, Montgomery, Scott, Sergeant, Fresident-A.
So the question was determined in the affirmative. A motion was made by Mr. Doran, That the convention do now adjourn. Which was agreed to. "And the convention adjourned until half past three o'clock this afternoon.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON, FEB. 8, 1838.
A greebly to order,
The convention presented to the third reading of the amendments made in the first article of the constitution, and which were read as follows:
SECTION 3. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained the
age of twenty-one years, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the state three years next preceeding his election, and the last year thereof an inhabitant of the district in and for which he shall be chosen a representative, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this state.
SECTION 5. Not more than three counties shall be united to form a representative district: No two counties shall be so united, unless one of them shall contain less than one half of the average representative ratio of daxable population; and no three counties shall be so united unless two of them combined shall contain less than one half of the representative ratio aforesaid.
Section 6. The senators shall be chosen for three years by the citizens of Philadelphia and the several counties at the same time, in the same manner, and at the same places where they shall vote for representativea.
Section 8. The senators shall be chosen in districts, to be formed by the legislature ; but no district shall be so formed as to entitle it to elect more than two senators, unless the number of taxable inhabitants in any city or county shall, ai any time, be such as to entitle it to elect more than two, but no city or county shall be entitled to elect more than four senafors; when a district shall be composed of two or more counties, they shall be adjoining; neither the city of Philadelphia nor any county shall be divided in forming a district.
SECTION 2. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the stale four years next before his election, and the last year thereof an inhabitant of the dis!rict for which he shall be chosen, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this siate; Bnd no person elected as aforesaid shall hold said office after he shall have Temoved from such district.
SECTION 10. The senators who may be elected at the first general election under the amendments to the constitution, shall be divided by lot into three clases. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; of the second class at the expiration of the second year; and of the third class at the expiration of the third year; so that hereafter one third of the whole number of senators may be chosen every year. The senators elected before the amendments shall be in operation, shall hold their offices during the terms for which they shall have respectively been elected.
Section 11. The general assembly shall meet on the first Tuesday of January, in every year, unless sooner convened by the
governor. SECTION 14. The legislature shall not have power to enact laws annulling the contract of marriage in any case where. hy law, the courts of this commonwealth are, or hereafter may be, empowered to decree a divorce.
Section 26, No corporate body shall be hereaster created, renewed or extendnd with banking or discounting privleges, without six months public notice of the application for the same in such inanner as shall be prescribed by law. Nor shall any charter for the purposes aforesaid be granted for a longer period than twenty years, and every such charter shall contain a clause reserving to the legislature the power to alter, revoke and annul the same, whenever in their opinion they may be injurious to the citizens of the commonwealth, in such manner however that no injustice shall be done to the corporators. No law hereaster enacted, shall contain more than one corporate body.
And the question being, on the final passage of the said amendments ;
Mr. Bell, of Chester, rose and said it would be in the recollection of the convention, that a coinmitiee had soine time since been appointed to revise the proposed amendments to the constitution and their phraseology. and to suggest any contradictions which might be found between different sections of the same, or other articles. He had been informed that the proper course would be for the convention to go into the consideration of the report of the committəe, in committee of the whole.
He would move, therefore, that the convention resolve itself into committee of the whole for the purpose of considering the report of the com. mittee appointed on the subject of proposing and engrossing the amendments to the first article, for the third reading.
Mr. CHAMBERS, of Franklin, said he was desirous that the convention should go into committee of the whole, for the purpose of considering all the amendments to the first article, as well as those reported by the committee on revision.
He moved, therefore, to amend the motion of the gentleman from Chester, (Mr. Bell) as follows; That the convention resolve itself into committee of the whole, for
of considering the amendments to the first article of the con. stitution."
Mr. WOODWARD, of Luzerne, said that there was one amendment in the first article which had been adopted with very little consideration, and which contained a principle as to the operation of which on the small counties of this commonwealth, he had become seriously alarmel. He