Графични страници
PDF файл
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

MONDAY, June 20, 1853. for those who remain to transact any public

business of importance. I do not see any other AFTERNOON SESSION.'

way of avoiding the difficulty than to adjourn at The Convention met at three o'clock.

that time. I hope, therefore, that the committees Instructing Committees to Report.

will report as soon as possible, and if they cannot

do so before that time, we shall have to submit Mr. WILSON, of Natick. Some days ago I to the adoption of the amendment. submitted an order instructing the various Com- Mr. WILSON, of Natick. I suppose that it mittees of the Convention to report on or before will be in the power of most of the committees the 22d inst. I now move to take up that order to make their reports prior to that time, perhaps for the purpose of amending it.

within a day or two; but as circumstances may The motion was agreed to.

prevent some of them from making their reports The order was read by the Secretary, as so soon, I prefer that the amendment fixing follows:

Monday next should be adopted. I think there

will be no difficulty whatever in getting all of the Ordered, That the several Committees be instructed to make their final reports on or before reports in at that time. I am as anxious as the Wednesday, the 22d instant.

gentleman from Washington, (Mr. Eames,) that

we shall adjourn at the earliest possible day. He Mr. WILSON. I now move to amend the has suggested that he would this afternoon make order by striking out the words “ Wednesday, a motion to meet after Wednesday next, at nine the 22d," and inserting the words “ Monday, the o'clock. I hope he will make that motion as soon 27th."

as this order is disposed of, and I will cordially Mr. EAMES, of Washington. It occurs to me, sustain and vote for his proposition. Sir, that by the adoption of that amendment we The question was then taken on the adoption shall be putting off the time for receiving the of the order of the gentleman from Natick, (Mr. final reports of the different committees too long. Wilson,) and it was decided in the affirmative. I was about making the motion, Sir, and shall So the order was adopted. probably do so in the course of the afternoon, Mr. EAMES, of Washington. I move, Sir, that after Wednesday next the Convention meet that after to-morrow this Convention meet at at nine o'clock in the morning instead of ten nine o'clock in the morning; and my reason for o'clock, as heretofore. There are nearly two making that motion is, that at that time in the hundred of the members of the Convention who morning the weather is cooler and more agreeawill leave the city a week from next Friday, and ble, and it is better to do business one hour it will be impossible, under these circumstances, I earlier than when it is later and warmer. If it is





[June 20th.

extremely warm, we can adjourn before the usual staff-officers as shall be provided for by law for hour.

their respective commands. I have no objection, however, that the motion

The gentleman for Wilbraham proposes to inlie over until to-morrow. The PRESIDENT. If the gentleman wishes

sert after the word “appoint,” the words “and

commissioned for one year or until their successors it, the motion will be considered in the nature of

shall be commissioned and qualified,” so that that an order, and will, agreeably to the rules, lie over until to-morrow.

portion of the article will read :The motion was accordingly laid over to be

10. The Governor shall appoint and commisconsidered in the morning business of to-morrow. sion for one year, or until their successors shall be

commissioned and qualified, the Adjutant-GenPresentation of a Petition.

eral, the Quartermaster-General, and such other Mr. WRIGHT, of Westford, presented the pe

General Staff-Officers as shall be provided for by

law. tition of J. F. Evans and eighteen others, in aid of that of J. W. LeBarnes and others, and it

At that point a period is to be inserted, and the was referred to the Committee on the Bill of

word "and" changed to “The." The whole resRights.

olution, as amended, will then read :On motion of Mr. WILSON, of Natick, the Convention resolved itself into

10. The Governor shall appoint and commis

sion for one year, or until their successors shall be COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE,

commissioned and qualified, the Adjutant-GenAnd resumed the consideration of the Report of

eral, the Quartermaster-General, and such other

General Staff-Officers as shall be provided for by the Committee on so much of the Constitution as

lay The Major-Generals, and Brigadier-Genrelates to the

erals, and Commandants of regiments, squadrons,

and battalions, shall severally appoint such StaffMilitia,

Officers as shall be provided for by law for their The question being upon the motion of the gen

respective commands. tleman for Wilbraham, (Mr. Hallett,) to strike out

I am sorry that the gentleman for Wilbraham is of the 12th article in the resolve the word “three"

not in his place, so that he might offer the amendand insert “one;" and to strike out after the

ment himself, but if the amendment now pending word “ qualified” the following: “ But they shall be voted down, I propose to offer the amendshall be eligible for re-election, excepting that

ments I have just indicated. the adjutant-general shall hold his office for such

The question was taken, and the amendment term as the legislature may prescribe," so that

of the gentleman for Wilbraham was disagreed to. the resolve, as amended, would read :

Mr. OLIVER, of Lawrence, then submitted 12. The several officers hereinbefore named,

his amendment to the tenth article, as stated shall be commissioned by the governor for the above, and the question being taken thereon, it term of one year from the date of their commis- was adopted. sions, and until their successors shall have been Mr. OLIVER. I now move to amend the commissioned and qualified.

twelfth resolve by inserting in the first line, after Mr. OLIVER, of Lawrence. In a conversa

the word “ several," the word “elective,” so that

the first clause of the resolve would readtion with the gentleman for Wilbraham, (Mr. Hallett,) after the session this morning, a mod- 12. The several elective officers hereinbefore ification of his amendment was proposed by him

named shall be commissioned by the Governor

for the term of three years from the date of their self, and upon a suggestion on the part of a mem

commissions, and until their successors shall have ber of the Committee, he was induced to waive

been commissioned and qualified. his objections to that portion of the 12th article which relates to the term of three years. IIe

Sir, a word of explanation in relation to that. proposes to alter the 10th article in some respects,

It will be seen by this, that the officers will be and I see no objection to it. The 10th article divided into two classes ; one the elective and the now reads as follows:

other the appointed class. The design of the

amendment is to provide that the officers which 10. The Governor shall appoint the Adjutant- are elected shall be commissioned for three years ; General, the Quartermaster-General, and such other General Staff-Officers as shall be provided and that the commissions of those who are apfor by law; and Major-Generals, and Brigadier- pointed shall expire when the appointing officer Generals, and Commandants of' regiments, squad- goes out of commission, and after a successor shall rons, and battalions, shall severally appoint such l be appointed.


OLIVER – BRADFORD - WILSON - Parsons — Davis.

(June 20th.

If this amendment shall be adopted, I then de- see, therefore, no necessity for, nor any propriety sire to move-or, if it be in order, I will move of putting this proviso into the Constitution. them both in one amendment—to strike out all There is nothing similar to it in the Constitution after the word “qualified.” I desire to ask the of a single State in the Union. Its existence Chairman whether they can both be moved as there has given rise to some embarrassment in the one amendment:

past, and may give rise to more in the future, if it The CHAIRMAN. The Chair thinks it will is retained. I hope, therefore, that the seventh be in order for the gentleman to move to strike article, as reported by the Committee will be susout and insert.

tained by the Committee of the Whole and by Mr. OLIVER. Then I move to strike out, at the Convention. the end of the resolve, the following words: “but Suppose the country were in a state of war, they shall be eligible for re-election, excepting and a military force should be drawn up in Rhode that the Adjutant-General shall hold his office Island, within a few miles of the boundary line of for such term as the legislature may prescribe,” Massachusetts, and suppose there were encamped in addition to the motion I have made to insert. within the limits of the Commonwealth ten thou

The question was taken upon the motion to sand militia, would it not be wise for the governor strike out and insert, as stated above, and it was of Massachusetts to march them over the disputed agreed to.

boundary and drive the enemy into the sea ? I Mr. BRADFORD, of Essex. I view the sev- have no expectation that such an emergency will enth article, which I suppose was designed to ever arise, but I can at least see no necessity for take the place of the long seventh article in the this check being inserted in the Constitution. Constitution as an exceedingly good substitute, It seems to me entirely unnecessary to insert any comprising, as it does, in four or five lines, what proviso of that character. oceupied a whole page in the Constitution. But Mr. PARSONS, of Lawrence. I like the ReI think the proviso to that article ought to be re- port of the Committee upon this seventh article, tained; I move, therefore, to add at the end of but I am opposed to the amendment offered by the article the following :

the gentleman from Essex, (Mr. Bradford). I

think it is entirely superfluous, because the subProvided, That the said Governor shall not at stance is embodied in the article itself as reported any time hereafter, by virtue of any power þy by the Committee. As I understand that Report, this Constitution granted, or hereafter to be granted to him by the legislature, to transport any

the governor would not have the right to call out of the inhabitants of this Commonwcalth, or

the military of the State, and march them into oblige them to march out of the limits of the some other State. I do not think he can control same, without their free and voluntary consent, the militia for any such purpose.

If a rebellion or the consent of the general court; except so far as may be necessary, to march or transport in the power of that State to subdue, I do not

should arise in an adjoining State which it was not them by land or water, for the defence of such part of the State to which they cannot otherwise

think it would be the duty of the governor of conveniently have access.'

this Commonwealth to interfere ; but on the con

trary, it is expressly left in the power of the Mr. WILSON, of Natick. I like the Report government of the United States to call out such of the Committee upon this subject. This sey- aid as they may think proper to quell any rebellion enth article, as reported, is all that is necessary,

which may

arise and to enforce the laws of the as it seems to me. I like the change proposed,

United States. But there are United States and I doubt whether the Report of the Committee

officers who would command in such cases and can be made more perfect. The seventh article in the whole matter would be left to the United the Constitution is copied from the Charter of States authorities. Therefore, I think the amend1692. It is a long article; there is very much in ment is wholly unnecessary and uncalled for. it that is entirely superfluous and unnecessary,

The article as reported by the Committee covers and I am glad the Committee have made the the whole ground, and I hope, therefore, that the change.

amendment will not be adopted. I do not, however, concur in the amendment Mr. DAVIS, of Fall River. I should like to which my friend from Essex has presented. I do say one word about the Report of the Committee. not think there is any danger that the governor I take it for granted that a large majority of the will ever undertake to march the militia out of Convention are in favor of sustaining the militia the State, at least, without a sufficient reason system, and that some provision for it will for it. It is barely possible that some emergency be inserted in the Constitution. I presume, might arise, such as to justify such an act. I can therefore, that the Report of your Committee is Monday,]


(June 20th.

very proper. But it seems to me it is a rather middle ages so far as the history of their military voluminous document. It comprises some fifteen matters is concerned. I should be very willing, articles. In fact, containing about as many heads and very happy, say on some cool day of autumn, as an ancient sermon, although it certainly does should we happen to adjourn, to talk over the not preach modern gospel. For myself, I am, subject of jousts and tournaments, and gallant with a very large class of people in the Common- cavaliers and fair ladies, with the gentleman who wealth, opposed to any military legislation ; but last spoke. If this Committee should take a aside from this, I would ask the Convention, a recess until September, it might come off then, majority of whom are in favor such legislation, with, perhaps, a harmless passage-at-arms, but whether it is expedient, unless the provisions of not now, not on this day of ninety degrees in the old Constitution should be found radically the shade, not at the present time, the weather defective upon this subject, to insert so great a is quite too hot. The gentleman says that “the change which must be submitted to the people, chatrman of the Militia Committee, is undoubtand which, should it not be received favor- edly a very ardent and ambitious military man.” ably, might jeopardize the acceptance of the On this point, I might appeal, with perfect safety, whole labor of the Convention.

to my worthy and excellent friend from North I am satisfied that a large number of the votes Brookfield, (Mr. Walker,) who has frequently of an entire class of persons, by no means incon- done me the favor, (and he knows now what I siderable in this Commonwealth, if they are com- am thinking of I see, by the bland smile which pelled to vote affirmatively upon a military prop- pervades his countenance,) to read the reports osition, will be given against the Constitution. which I had the honor of writing, when I held They cannot, consistently, be given for such a the office of adjutant-general, to our then excel

lent commander-in-chief, the gentleman from

fate of the whole Constitution. There is no Pittsfield

, (Mr. Briggs,) who is not now in his


question but the opponents of this Convention, seat, and to commend them as most admirable without meaning any disparagement to them, will peace documents. I appeal to that gentleman for use all the means in their power to defeat the the proof of what I say, and I make use of this entire objects for which the Convention was fact, in reply to the gentleman upon the other called. They will appeal to the class to which I side, when he makes reference to me as an "enhave referred with great force. They will show thusiastic and ambitious military man.” On this to them that this Report was adopted by a Com- point I will define my position, and let me say, mittee the chairman of which, without meaning in all soberness and truth, that in my judgany disparagement to him, is a passionate and ment, if there be any one curse that has, enthusiastic devotee of the military art and spirit; more than another, cursed the nations of the that he even, in his fervor upon this subject, goes earth, and kept back the march of civilization beyond the military ardor of the last century, and and the approach of the coming kingdom of the earlier part of this, and that of the armed Christ, it is this horrid curse of war; if there be, knights-herald of the middle ages. It does or has been any greater curse on the face of God's really appear to me, without in fact assuming beautiful earth, than those monstrous, non-proanything like pleasantry upon this subject, if we ducing and tax-swelling aggregated bands of follow the lead of the gentleman, that we shall | idlers, called standing armies, cursing and crushhave our tilts and tournaments, and we mighting the nations of the earth, those deadly even have the judicial combats of the middle foes of liberty, whose trade is the butchery of ages. I therefore am decidedly opposed-not man for sixpence a day, then I have never yet merely as a matter of principle, but as a friend of heard of it and never wish to hear of it. These the general objects of this Convention-to inserting are the notions of one who is spoken of by the such a mass of distinctive military features in this gentleman—who I am sure does not know me Constitution.

nor my inner heart-as being “ an ardent, enthuMr. OLIVER, of Lawrence. It is rather too siastic and ambitious military man.” God forwarm weather, Mr. Chairman, for any reasonable bid, in his great mercy, that the time should ever person to presume to occupy the time of the Com- come, when war and the devastation of war mittee in arguing the general question, as to the should afflict our good State and our good land. necessity of an armed force for the protection of God forbid, that in your day, Mr. Chairman, the Commonwealth in any exigency of insurrec- or in the day of any man in this Convention, tion, or of domestic violence, or of possible dan- or in those of our children to the latest generager from abroad. Nor would I enter upon a tion, that war, with its ravaging, wasting and comparison of the nineteenth century with the desolating ruin, should sweep over the fair land


« ПредишнаНапред »