« 이전계속 »
cussion on that question which lasted nearly four days, when every gen tleman who spoke took what range of debate he thought proper to take, and the result was the decision which stands recorded on our journals. What more would gentlemen have? Do they suppose that we are assembled here for the purpose of making a constitution for any of the southern states of this Union ? or, do they concede that we have assembled to frame a constitution for the government of the people of this commonwealth of Pennsylvania ? If the latter, they must see that it is our duty to confine ourselves to the limits of our own state, and to do that which the wants, and the wishes, and the interests of our own people may demand, without reference to considerations beyond our borders." I trust we shall not depart in the remotest degree, from the true path of our duty.
Mr. C. here gave way to Mr. BIDDLE, who moved that the convention do now adjourn.
And, the question having been taken,
The gentleman from Allegheny, (Mr. Denny) has contended, ingeni. ously enough, that the right of the citizen was invaded in taking away the right of trial by jury, in the case of a certain class of people.
The Chair suggested to the gentleman from Juniata, to confine bimself a little more closely to the question immediately before the convention.
Mr. Cummin resurned.
I am aware, Mr. President, that I am a little out of the track; but I am merely saying a word in reply to what has fallen from the gentleman from Allegheny. I say, that nothing has been done on the part of this convention to deprive a citizen of the state of Pennsylvania of his right to trial by jury; and I say that it was an act of imposition to occupy four days of our valuable time in making a constitution for a southern state. I say more—I say that, if the notions of some gentlemen here had been carried out, it would have been tantamount to giving a premium 10 slaves to run away from their masters.
The Chair said, he must again interrupt the gentleman from Juniata, and request that he would confine his remarks to the question before the house.
Mr. CUMMIN resumed:
Well, Mr. President, I know I am travelling beyond the record, and that you are only discharging the duty which the rules of the convention impose upon you, in trying to keep me within it. But I will endeavor to come back to the subject matter.
I have remarked that no person who was about to commit a crime, would take with him a witness to look
the act. The gentleman from Allegheny ought to appoint a board of officers to go to all the lurking places in the commonwealih in order to apprehend these violators of the law. I do not see by what other means it will be possible for him to do any thing at all with this matter. For my own part, I must say, that I look
upon this amendment as one of the greatest curiosities that ever was presented to a deliberative body in this, or any other part of the world,
and I think it ought to be put down by the unanimous voice of this con. vention.
Mr. Hiester said that the time of the convention was altogether too limited to admit of a long discussion on this amendment, and he would therefore, ask the convention to second him in the call for the immediate question.
When the said motion was seconded by the requisite number of delegates rising in their places.
And the question was ordered to be now taken.
and nays were required by Mr. HIESTER and Mr. OVERFIELD, and are as follow, viz:
YEAs—Messrs. Ayres, Barndoller, Barnitz, Chambers, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Cline, Chochran, Cox, Crum, Cunningham, Denny, Dickey, Harris, Hays, Henderson of Allegheny, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, Houpt, Long, Maclay W'Sherry, Merrell
, Merkel, Montgomery, Pennypacker, Porter, of Lancaster, Purviance, Russell, Saeger, Thomas, Young-32.
Nars—Messrs. Agnew, Banks, Barclay, Bedford, Bigelow, Bonham, Brown, of Northampton, Brown, of Philadelphia, Butler, Chandler, of Philadelphia, Clark, of Indiana, Cleavinger, Crain, ('rawford, Cummin, Curll, Darrah, Dillinger, Donagan, Doran, Earle, Fleming, Foulkrod, Fry, Fuller, Gamble, Gearhart, Gilmore, Grenell, Hastings, Hayhurst, High, Hopkinson, Hyde, Ingersoll, Jenks, Keim, Kennedy, Krebs, Lyone, Magee, Mann, Martin, M'Cahen, Miller, Myers, Overfield, Payne, Read, Ritter, Rogers, Scheetz, Scott. Sellers, Serrill
, Shellito, Smith, of Columbia, Smyth, of Centre, Snively, Sterigere, Stickel, Sturdevant, Taggart, Weaver, Woodward, Porter, of Northampton, President pro tempore—66.
So the motion to postpone the further consideration of the said tenth article, for the purpose indicated, was rejected.
And the said report being again under consideration,
Mr. STERIGER6 observed that there was an inaccuracy in the report of the committee, in the second line, in the use of the word “ assembly," whereas it should be " house of representatives."
A motion was therefore made by Mr. S.,
To amend the said report by striking therefrom, in the second line, the word assembly," and inserting in lieu thereof, the words “house of representatives."
Which amendment was agreed to.
Further to amend the said report by inserting after the word “repre. sentatives," the following, viz: "Upon petitions signed by citizens of this coinmonwealth, in number not less than one tenth of the number of votes which shall have been polled at the then next preceding gove ernor's election."
MI. MERRILL said, that if the project suggested in this new article was to be adopted, it ought to be adopted with great care and caution. It
behoved this convention to exercise the greatest circumspection in deciding upon it, lest too easy a way might be provided for making amendments to the constitution.
The object which I have in view, continued Mr. M., in proposing this amendment, is to prevent a large portion of the time of the legislature from being consumed in propositions for amendments which the people of the commonwealth do not actually require. It is known that in those states of the Union, where amendments to the constitution can be had through the means of the legislature, young men --and sometimes old men-but young men more especially, go into that body and make long speeches in behalf of certain favored projects of their own, by which the time and money of the state are very unprofitably consumed. I believe if ever the sime comes in Pennsylvania, when an amendment to the constitution is really desired by the people, that desire will be expressed before hand by at least one tenih “ of the number of votes which shall have been polled at the next preceding governor's election."
I desire that my proposition may receive the calm consideration of this body; I believe that is entitled to receive it; and that such a provision, while it will not stand as an obstacle in the way of any proper amendments being made to the constituiion, will prevent the time of the legislajure from being wasted in the discussion of such proposed amendments as are not positively desired by the people. I have no desire to make a speech, especially at this late hour of the day. But the question I wish the convention to decide, is this : shall these propositions for amendment 10 the constitution come from the people, or sliall they come from the representatives of the people, or in what other way?
To give time for reflection, I will me that the convention do now adjourn.
Which motion was agreed to.
And the convention adjourned until lalf past pine o'clock to-morrow morning.
WEDNESDAY, F&BRDARY 7, 1838.
Mr. KONIGMACHER, of Lancaster, asked leave to record his vote among the yeas and nays, taken yesterday on the motion to postpone the consideration of article tenth, for the purpose of proceeding to the consideration of the following amendment to the said report, to be called sea tion one, viz:
SECTION 1. No secret society using or administering unauthorized oaths or obligations in the nature of oaths, and using secret signs, tokens or passwords, operating by affiliated branches or kindred societies, shall hereafter be formed within this commonwealth without express authority of law.
The question being put on the motion, it was decided in the negalive.
Mr. Brown, of Philadelphia county, submitted the following resololion, which was laid on the table for future consideration, viz:
"Resolved, That the committee on English Debates be instructed to inquire into the manner in which the Debates are prepared for publication, what progress has been mad in the same; and if any, what measures are necessary to be taken for the more speedy and perfect completion thereof."
Mr. Cochran, of Lancaster, from the committee appointed to prepare the amendments made to the constitution for a third reading, reported as follows, viz:
'That the first and second sections of the sixth article are found to be correctly printed.
That the third section of the said sixth article be made to read as rollows, viz:
“ Sect. 3. Prothonotaries of the supreme court shall be appointed by the said court for the term of three years, if they so long behave themselves well. Prothonotaries and clerks of the several other courts, recorders of deeds and registers of wills shall, at the times and places of election of representatives, be elected by the qualified electors of each counly or the districts over which the jurisdiction of said courts extends, and shall be commissioned by the governor. They shall hold their offices for three years, if they shall so loug behave themselves well: and uniil their successors shall be duly qualified. The legislature shall provide by law the number of persons in each county who shall hold said offices, and how many, and u bich of said offices shall be held by one person. Vacancies in any of the said offices shall be filled by appointments to be made by the governor, to continue until the next general election, and until successors shall be elected and qualified as aforesaid."
They recommend further that the word "and" in the first line of the seventh section, of the said sixth article be stricken out, and the word “ or” be substituted therefor.
The committee report the remaining amended sections of said sixth article as they stand on the printed files.
Your committee further report the amendments to the seventh article is correctly printed, and submit them as they are arranged on the files.
The report was ordered to be laid on the table, and printed.
Mr. FULLER, of Fayette, rose to ask a question as to the nature of the power given to the committee which had been appointed to prepare the schedule.
Mr. WOODWARD, of Luzerne, replied that they had the power to say where the elections should be held, and what officers should perform the duties. But they had no power to say any thing as to the manner in which, or the time when, the constitution should go into effect.
Mr. FULLER, than moved that the convention proceed to the second reading and consideration of the resolution read on the 6th instant, in the following words, viz:
Resolved, That the several amendments agreed to by this convention to the constitution. shall be arranged and embodied in such manner as to submit to the electors of this commonwealth, a whole constitution as amended, to be by them adopted or rejected at the next general election for members of the legislature.
The question having been put, the motion was decided in the affirma. tive.
Mr. DICKEY, of Beaver, expressed a hope that the gentleman from Fayette, would modify his resolution, so as to submit the whole natter to the committee on the schedule. The questions which had been stated were such as it properly belonged to them to determine. He would be glad to have the benefit of the report of the committee on the subject.
Mr. CHAMBERS, of Franklin, moved to amend the resolution, by striking therefrom all after the word “ Resolved," and inserting in lieu thereof, the following words, viz:
" That it be referred to the committee on the schedule to consider the form and manner in which the amendments adopted in convention, shall be submitted to the people, and when the amended constitution shall go into effect."
Mr. Fuller accepted the amendment, as a modification of the original resolution.
The resolution in its modified form was then agreed to.
ORDER OF THE DAY.
The convention resumed the second reading of the report of the committee, to whom was referred the resolution concerning the expediency of providing a mode by which future amendments to the constitution may be made, at the desire, and by the act of the people.
The question being on the motion of Mr. MERRILL, of Union, to amend the said report by inserting after the word " representative," the words following, viz:
Upon petition signed by citizens of this commonwealth, in number not less than one-tenth of the number of votes which shall have been polled at the next preceding governor's election."
Mr. MERRILL modified his amendment, so as to read as follows, viz: “ Provided, that no such amendment shall be considered in either branch