« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
of a good conscience-rejoicing in the approbation of their contemporaries-rejoicing in the assurance that their memories shall be embalmed by a grateful posterity. All these blessings, together with the forgiveness of our sins, we ask in the name of Jesus, our Redeemer - Amen.
Hon. ERASTUS CLARK, Deputy Secretary of State, then proceeded to call the roll of the Convention. All the delegates responded except the following: Delegates at large.-Homer A. Nelson, Francis Keruan, John Magee.
District Delegates.-6th. Abraham D. Russell; 8th. John E. Develin; 10th. Stephen A. Fullerton; 13th. Amasa J. Parker:
The Secretary of State then proceeded to administer the constitutional oath to the following delegates:
DELEGATES AT LARGE.
Waldo Hutchins, William M. Evarts, George Opdyke, Augustine J. H. Duganne, George William Curtis, Horace Greeley, Joshua M. Van Cott, Ira Harris, Erastus Cooke, Martin I. Townsend, William A. Wheeler, Charles Andrews, Tracy Beadle, Charles J. Folger, Erastus S. Prosser, Augustus Frank, Augustus Schell, George Law, Henry C. Murphy, David L. Seymour, Jacob Hardenburgh, Smith M. Weed, Alonzo C. Paige, George F. Comstock, Henry D. Barto, Sanford E. Church, Henry O. Chesebro, Joseph G. Masten. Marshal B. Champlain.
SENATORIAL DISTRICT DELEGATES. First District.-Selah B. Strong, Solomon Townsend, William Wickham, Erastus Brooks.
Second District.-John P. Rolfe, Daniel P. Barnard, Charles Lowrey, Walter L. Livingston.
Third District.-Teunis G. Bergen, William D. Veeder, John G. Schumaker, Stephen I. Collahan. Fourth District.-Charles P. Daly, Samuel B. Garvin, Abraham R. Lawrence, Jr., John E. Bur
Fifth District.-Nathaniel Jarvis, Jr., Elbridge
Seventh District.-Samuel J. Tilden, Edwards
Ninth District.-Abraham B. Conger, Abraham B. Tappan, Robert Cochran, William H. Morris. Tenth District.-William H. Houston, Clinton V. R. Ludington, Gideon Wales.
Eleventh District.-B. Platt Carpenter, John Stanton Gould, Wilson B. Sheldon, Francis Silvester.
Seventeenth District.-William C. Brown, Edwin A. Merritt, Leslie W. Russell, Joel J. Seaver. Eighteenth District.-Edward A. Brown, Marcus Bickford, James A. Bell, Milton H. Merwin.
Nineteenth District.-Richard U. Sherman, Theodore W. Dwight, Benjamin N. Huntington, George Williams.
Fifteenth District.-Alembert Pond, Hezekiah Baker, Judson S. Landon, Horace E. Smith. Sixteenth District.-George M. Beckwith, Matthew Hale, Nathan G. Axtell, Andrew J. Cheri
Twentieth District.-Elijah E. Ferry, John Eddy, Ezra Graves, Oliver B. Beals.
Twenty-First District.-Elias Root, Lester M. Case, M. Lindley Lee, Loring Fowler.
Twenty-Second District.-Thomas G. Alvord, L. Harris Hiscock, Patrick Corbett, Horatio Bal
Twenty-Third District.-Elizur H. Prindle, John Grant, Hobart Krum, Samuel F. Miller.
Twenty-Fourth. District. Stephen D. Hand, Charles E. Parker, Oliver H. P. Kinney, Milo Goodrich.
Twenty-Fifth District.-George Rathbun, Chas. C. Dwight, Leander S. Ketcham, Ornon Archer.
Twenty-Sixth District.-Elbridge G. Lapham, Angus McDonald, Sterling G. Hadley, Melatiah
Thirty-Second District.-George Barker, Augustus F. Allen, Norman M. Allen, George Van Campen.
Mr. FOLGER moved that the Convention do now proceed to elect a president of the Convention, and that two tellers be appointed by the chair to count the votes.
Mr. STRONG-I would prefer, as there is but one candidate, that he should be elected by acclamation.
The CHAIR-The statute requires that the president shall be elected by ballot.
Mr. STRONG-I withdraw my motion.
Mr. J. BROOKS-Before we proceed to an election by ballot for the President of this Convention, I am requested by some of my fellowmembers to say a few words. The minority of the members of this body assembled this morning for consultation, and acting upon the wise precedent which the Legislature of this State established at its last session, deemed it wise to present no particular candidate to this body. This Convention has assembled for an important objectnamely to revise the organic law of this State. Looking to the proceedings of the Legislature, we have seen with great approbation that that body
Twelfth District.-John M. Francis, Jonathan P. Armstrong, Cornelius L. Allen, Adolphus F. Hitchcock.
Thirteenth District.-Erastus Corning, William Cassidy, James Roy. Fourteenth District.-Marius Schoonmaker, Solo-enacted a law which secured the election of sixmon G. Young, Manly B. Mattice, Ezekiel P. More.
teen Republican and sixteen Democratic members throughout the State at large, and thereby gave an admonition, if they did not establish a precedent, which seemed to justify us, or at least to suggest to us that this Constitutional Conveution, about to assemble for the formation of our great organic law, should not be organized for
Twenty-Seventh District. - Elijah P. Brooks, David Rumsey, Abraham Lawrence, George T. Spencer.
Twenty-Eighth District.-Jerome Fuller, Lorenzo D. Ely, William A. Reynolds, Freeman Clark.
Twenty-Ninth District.-Seth Wakeman, Levi F. Bowen, Thomas T. Flagler, Ben Field.
Thirtieth District.-Edward J. Farnum, Isaac L. Endress, John M. Hammond, William H. Merrill.
Thirty-First District.—Israel T. Hatch, Isaać A, Verplanck, Allen Potter, George W. Clinton.
Gideon J. Tucker,.
party purposes or for party organization; and Erastus Corning,
The Chair appointed as tellers, Mr. Curtis of Richmond, and Mr. Cassidy of Albany.
The Convention proceeded to vote for President and the Chair announced the result as follows: The whole number of votes cast was 149, of which
William A. Wheeler, received,...
Henry C. Murphy,
Amasa J. Parker,
William A. Wheeler having received a majority of the votes of the Convention, the Chair announced that he was duly elected President of the Convention, and appointed Messrs. Harris and Murphy a committee to conduct the President elect to the chair.
Which was adopted.
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 Mr. SHERMAN offered the following resolution: every man within the limits of its broad domain, Resolved, That until the adoption of permanent of whatever race or color, or however poor, help-rules for the regulation of the proceedings of the less or lowly he may be, in virtue of his MANHOOD, Convention, the rules of the Assembly of this is entitled to the full enjoyment of every right ap- State be followed as far as they may be applicapertaining to the most exalted citizenship. This ble; and that a select committee of five be apdone, we have only to secure the means of free, pointed by the President to report a code of rules 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 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 struggle through which we have made this advance, such fruits, such influence and such power as shall carry us to the highest attainable points of enlightened and Christian civilization. In this beneficent work, New York should maintain her supremacy among her sister commonwealths, leading in the march of human liberty and human progress, as she led in marshaling the armies which won them for all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples who take shelter under the folds of the banner of the Republic. Let us, whose action is so vitally to affect the future of our State, trusting to that Superior Power so signally manifested in our National behalf in the battling years from which we have just emerged, and with confirmed faith in a Government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," be true to our trust, true to ourselves, and true to truth. So shall we faithfully meet and wisely discharge the obligations of our day and generation, The PRESIDENT-The Chair would remind and advance the growing grandeur of the tower- the gentleman that there is no question before ing State, whose citizenship is our highest, proud- the convention.
Mr. HARRIS offered the following resolution: Resolved, That a committee of two members from each judicial district be appointed by the President, whose duty it shall be to consider and report the best practical mode of proceeding to revise the constitution, which was adopted.
MR. SILVESTER-The Legislature in the act which it passed to provide for this Convention to revise and amend the Constitution, provided for the election of certain officers by the Convention, and of the appointment of certain other officers by the President and Secretary. There seems in the act which was passed by the Legislature to be no provision for the appointment of a postmaster for the Convention. Every person familiar with the proceedings of any deliberative body is aware that they have found it necessary for the correct transaction of business to have a postmaster. It will be necessary for us very often to have conference with our constituents, to receive communications from them and send communications to them, and for that purpose a postmaster of this body would be very essential. Undoubtedly the Legislature omitted to provide for the election and appointment of a postmaster through inadvertence.
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 Constitutional oath of office which was administered by the President.
Mr. FOLGER offered the following resolution : Resolved, That Edward F. Underhill be and he is hereby appointed Stenographer to the Constitutional Convention.
Which was adopted.
Mr. ELY offered the following resolution: Resolved, That Samuel C. Pierce be and he is hereby appointed Sergeant-at-Arms of this Convention.
Which was adopted.
Mr. ARCHER offered the following resolution : Resolved, That John H. Kemper be and he is hereby appointed Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms of this Convention.
MR. BELL offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the Secretary be requested to confer with the regular clergy of this city, and request them to make such arrangements, that the daily sessions of this Convention may be opened by prayer.
Which was adopted.
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 reso-out lution:
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 Columbia 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."
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 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 Mr. SILVESTER The recommendation of the elected or appointed Postmaster, would run the Legislature bears date subsequently to the act risk of being paid by the Legislature. I did not passed to provide for the Convention, showing suppose it was necessary to protect us from invathat the Legislature intended that this Convention sion from abroad. I do not want any further legshould have the benefit of these labors of a Post-islation with that view, but it was rather to master, although in the act itself they had omitted further invasion by the people and to get suggesto provide for the election and appointment of tions of their views. 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.
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, there was no inadvertence; we thought the deputy sergeant-at-arms might very well, without taking a great deal of time from duties which would necessarily 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. 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. 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 offered 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 :
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.
informed, when I state that, under the law by which we are organized, a manual will be laid upon our desks which will contain in substance, and I believe in form, an entire answer to the 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 resolution 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. I do not think with the gentleman from Westchester, (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 Constitution, and that the Party at the polls will respond to the action of their representatives. I move, sir, that for the present, the resolution of the gentleman from New York do lie on the table.
Mr. TILDEN-Will the gentleman withdraw his motion for a moment, in order that I may make a single observation?
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
The gentleman from New York, (Mr. Brooks) who has addressed this Convention I think rather out of season, made some remarks as to party aspects of organization, which I wish to say a word about in speaking to this resolution. I offered this in endeavoring to get the clearest and fullest statement possible with regard to 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 it would not be good faith for men to come here believe. I met them at the polls acting in this determined before hand to vote against whatever spirit, and I found them in the press acting in the wisdom and deliberation of this Convention this spirit, and, in my judgment, if there had been might finally determine to adopt. If I were disa Democratic majority in the Legislature last win-posed, as I am not at this period of the discuster, no Convention would now be assembled, or sion, to retort, I might be inclined to say, that this year held. I regard as imposed on the if the gentleman knows there is to be put into Republican majority of this Convention the duty this Constitution what we ought not to or cannot of revising the Constitution. I apprehend when support, then we would be warranted in coming 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 is our duty here, acting in a spirit of the largest good faith, to
Mr. ALVORD—I believe, sir, I am correctly