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Where, he asked, was the delegate here that would place them in that predicament? He would contend that it was impossible for any man, however able and talented, to represent in the legislature, all the important and various interests of so many counties--spread over a vast extent of territory. He would ask the delegates from the city and county of Philadelphia, whether they would not rather represent ten thousand people embraced within two or three squares, than scattered over two or three bundred miles in diameter!
He thought it was not likely they would ever get a man in that district who well knew the geography of it. One of the counties he (Mr. P.) represented, he might say, he had scarcely been in. And, he would ventore to say that neither of his colleagues could tell us any thing about some parts of their districts.
He would put one more case. When the counties of Lycoming, M’Kean, and Potter, were represented together, it was in the power of Lycoming always to elect the members. But, as a matter of courtesy, however, M'Kean was permitted, by the other counties, for one or two years, to send members to the legislature. During one session a particular question arose, and the two members were doing all they could for their district, when a petition was presented from citizens of Warren praying the legislature to set off a part of that county 10 M'Kean. Neither of the representatives from the district, knew any more of Warren than they did of Upper Canada.
The bill brought in for that purpose would have passed,- for there was no one to oppose it, but for a gentleman from the cily of Philadelphia, who knew more about the counties than any one else. And, he induced the legislature 10 suspend their action until he wrote to, and heard from, the county of M'Kean on the subject. It turned out by the reply, that the people there knew nothing about it, and consequently, through his interposition, the bill was prevented from being passed.
And thus, sir, a citizen of Philadelphia better represents the counties of M'Kean and Potter than our own representatives. And I would as lief bave members for M'Kean and Potter come from the city of Philadelphia as from either of these counties, so far as regards the interests of the counties in which these men are not imniediately interested. Every year questions arise in which the interests of the two counties militate. It must be so, because it is impossible for a man to get rid of the interests of his own immediate neighbours, or constituents, or of hiinsell, or to be patriotic enough to go for the interest of other counties, when those inter esls are in opposition to the interests of his own immediate constituents.
1 find, Mr. President, that I have not strength enough to say all I would like to say, and that if I had, this convention is not now in a proper state to listen to it. I shall, therefore, say no more at this time, but will move that the convention do now adjourn.
Which motion was agreed to.
Ånd the convention adjourned until half past nine o'clock to-morrow morning.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1838.
Mr. Hiester, of Lancaster, submitted the following resolution, which was laid on the table for future consideration.
“ Resolved, That, hereafter, the convention will meet daily in the morning at nino o'clock.”
Mr. STERIGERE, of Montgomery, submitted the following resolution, which was also laid on the table for future consideration, viz:
“ Resolved, That the convention will take a recess from half past one to half past three o'clock to-day.”
Mr. Cope, of Philadelphia, from the committee on accounts, reported the following resolution, viz :
« Resolved, That the President draw his warrant on the State Treasurer, in favor of Samuel Shoch, for the sum of two thousand dollars, to be accounted for in the settlement of his accounts.
This resolution was read a second time, considered, and agreed to.
Mr. Magee, of Perry, from the committee to whom was referred the resolution of the 16th of May last, calling for an inquiry into the expediency of adopting constitutional restrictions upon the immigration of peoplc of colour and fugitive slaves from other states and territories into the state of Pennsylvania, made the following report, viz :
" That they have had the subject under consideration, and believe it 10 be one of deep concern to the future peace and welfare of the citizens of Pennsylvania; but inasmuch as they believe the legislature of the state have the power to enact such laws as will effect the object of the resolution in question, and while they therefore deem constitutional action thereon unnecessary, they do, most respectfully, through this body, recommend the subject to the early and sincere consideration of the legislature.'
The report having been read, was laid on the table,
Mr. CỌCHRAN, of Lancaster, from the commistee to whom was referred the amendments made to the constitution in committee, on second reading, reported as follows, viz:
" That the word " it,” in the twenty-fourth line of the first section of the tenth article be stricken out, and the words “the submission" bo inserted in lieu thereof."
The report was laid on the table for future consideration, and ordered to be printed.
The conventien resumed the third reading of the amendments made in the first article of the constitution.
The amendments to the motion that the convention resolve itself into a committee of the whole, for the purpose of sıriking from the fourth saction of the first article all after the word " hundred," and inserting
in lieu thereof the following, viz: “In apportioning the representatives, oach county erected before the first day of December, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, shall first have one representative, and the complement of the required number shall then be apportioned among the several counties according to the number of taxable inhabitants," being under consideration,
The same was withdrawn.
To amend the motion by inserting in lieu of the amendment withdrawn, the following, viz: “In apportioning the representatives, those counties erected prior to the first of December, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, which may not have within their bounds a cufficient number of taxables 10 entitle them to a representative, shall be credited with all fractions less than the established ratios which may exist in the other counties, or with so much of them as may be necessary to give one representative to each deficient county.
Mr. PAYNE rose and said,
I am aware, Mr. President, that a motion of a similar character to this, or, at least, one that embraced the same object, was offered and was ably advocated by my predecessor on this foor, (Mr. Hamblin.) I am aware how fully capable that gentlemen was to do justice to that or any other subject which he might undertake to advocate here or elsewhere. also certain that if he were still here in my place, he not would suffer his patriotic efforts to be baffled by a single defeat, but you would again hear his voice raised in support of this proposition.
I believe, Mr. President, that all the objections which have been made to the amendment now proposed by me, have been based upon the theo. retical principle that representation and taxation are inseparably identified with each other. For my own part, I do not concede that such is the
In theory, I grant, it appears a very plausible doctrine, but, in practice, I do not believe that it can be carried out. It never has been, and it never can be ; and I desy any gentleman to point me to any instance either under the constitution of the United States, or under the constitution of any sale in the Union, or under the constitution of any country in the world, where this principle has been carried out—that is to say, carried out to the extent to which it is coniended for by some gentlemen on this Noor.
We all know that under the constitution of the United States, every state of the Union, however small, or however young it may be, or whatover may be the aggregate amount of its population, is entiiled to at least one representative in congress, and two senators. Seventeen states of this Union are represented by territory, if you please. If gentlemen will refer to Sergpani on the cons:itution, they will see this principle argued to their satisfaction; that is to say, that representation and taxation are not necessarily connected, and do not necessarily depend upon each other. Congress may tax the District of Columbia, congress may tax the terri. tories, and yet they are not entitled to a representative ;-—but the very moment that they become states, they are entitled to two senators and af least one representative.
This principle, then, of representation according to taxation, is not carried out in any instance. And that is the reason why I modified tho proposition which I offered yesterday, although that and the one now before the convention are very much alike.
I believe that in apportioning representatives under the constitution of this commonwealth, nearly the same principle should be adopted as in apportioning representatives under the constitution of the United Statesthat no fraction, however large, less than the ratio required, should be entitled to a separate representation upon a fraction. This is the case under the constitution of the United States, and by lurning to the fifth volume of Marshall's Life of Washington, gentlemen will perceive that a bill was returned by him with his objections against giving representatives to fractions, and that he considered it as a violation of the constitution of the United States.
After making the best apportionment yon can, credit the fractions to the smaller counties until you provide for the representation of each county now erected, or which were erected on the first of December, 1837. This is in perfect harmony with the fourth sectior of the constitution as it now stands, without striking out any thing. Is there any injustice in this ? What would be the difference iwo years hence in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to take from the fractions a sufficient number to provide for four representatives in counties which are not at this time represented ? What, I ask, would be the difference? Twenty years might elapse before some of these counties would be entited to a separate representation, unless the legislature should do something to foster and settle them. And I ask any gentleman here whether, if he were in the legislature, he would not like to see a representative from every territory embracing within its limits forty miles, in order that it might be known what use the commonwealth could make of that portion of the state for her own good not what use may be made of it for the good alone of the inhabitants of that region, but for the good of the whole community.
In the remarks which I submitted last evening, I put a strong case, as gentlemen may probably remember,—that is to say, with reference to the lucality of the Erie division of the Pennsylvania canal. There is a con. tention between persons interested in an entire Northern route, and those who contend that another route is most preferable. Franklin was fixed as the point in the survey. The citizens of M'Kean, and Potter, and Warren believe that a more practicable, as well as a nearer and a cheaper route would be through the southern part of M'Kean county by way of the driftwood branch of the
-; but, unfortunately for them, they had no representative to suggest this route. The commonwealth has an interest in it to the amount of several hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the time the subject was before the legislature, no person was there to say a word in behalf of the northern counties, except so far as it was done by the southern members. Such cases are always arising; cases where the interests of two contiguous counties are concerned. It is not uncom. mon here to gee gentlemen sitting on the opposite side of the streets in the city and county of Philadelphia, differing as to the interests of their constituents—when, as I have said, there is nothing but a single street dividing them. For my own part, I would be willing to leave it to the people of the city and county of Philadelphia to say if they would not
give four of their representatives to supply the counties of M'Kean, Poller, Jefferson and Warren. The city and county of Philadelphia are interested in it. The land in these counties is pretty much owned by the citizens of Philadelphia, and it would be manifestly to their interest to do 80; and I would as lief that these counties were represented by a man living in the city of Philadelphia, as by a man living in the same district with us, if that district embraced three or four counties. I say, I would as lief it should be so, because the interests of the several counties constantly militate against each other, whilst the representatives of the city and county of Philadelphia, whose interests would not thus be brought in conflici, would represent us impartia'ly.
What is the history of these counties? About forty years ago, the commonwealth was in debt some five millions of dollars. The Holland company paid the debt. They bought the land of Pennsylvania, and paid her for it. She has had the use of the money; she has parted with the interest in the sale, and thrown it away, as something that was not worth touching. Sir, the state of Pennsylvania ought to have held on to that land, and to have sold it in tracts of about four hundred acres each, at the sum of twenty-six cents an acre, or thereabouts. Had the commonwealth given the same advantages to us that she has given to other parts of the country, the region of which I speak would have been by this time thickly settled. So far back as forty years ago, the coinmonwealth got her pay for the land in the counties of M'Kean, Potter, Jefferson, and the greater part of Warren county ; whilst in some of the counties of the blale having the most valuable land, it was sold for twenty-six cents per acre and less; and you will now see the representatives of those counties asking the legislature to deduct the interest which was owing to the commonwealth on that land. It is from those very counties that we receive opposition when we ask the legislature to extend its fostering care to us in the manner it has done to the other portions of the state. Other parts of the state have got their canals, and turnpikes, and rail-roads, till they were checquered over with improvements like a checquer board. They have got all that ihey have asked, and nearly all they can conceive that they would wish to have; and yet they would keep those who are situated nearly a hundred miles from any improvement of any kind as we are, from ever having an opportunity to ask for their rights.
Sir, this subject is a very broad one, and enough might be said upon it to make a volume as large as Purdon's Digest,—and all to the purpose.
I have no disposition, however, to detain the convention with many details, knowing as I'well do, how impatient they are to progress rapidly withi their busineas, so as to bring it to a final termination by the day fixed upon for our adjournment. And I feel the less disposition to enter at any great length into the discussion of this subject, because I know the ability with which it has heretofore been treated by my predecessor on this floor. I know that he would do justice to any thing which he undertook. Believing, therefore, that what he and other gentlenien have said, is sufficient to convince any man that is willing to be convinced, and that does not wilfully and obstinately refuse to listen to the truth, I shall, without further remark, leave the question at the disposition of the convention, I hope that their decision may be such as is called for by ajust and equat regard to the rights and the interests of every portion of our common wealth.