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which expresses the combined wisdom of the illustrious founders of the Government, is still the palladium of our liberties, adequate to every emergency, and justly entitled to the support of every good citizen. It embraces, in its provisions and spirit, all the defence and protection which any section of the country can rightfully demand, or honorably concede. Adopted with primary reference to the wants of five millions of people, but with the wisest reference to future expansion and development, it has carried us onward with a rapid increase of numbers, an accumulation of wealth, and a degree of happiness and general prosperity never attained by any nation. Whatever branch of industry, or whatever staple production, shall become, in the possible changes of the future, the leading interest of the country, thereby creating unforeseen complications or new conflicts of opinion and interest, the Constitution of the United States, properly understood and fairly enforced, is equal to every exigency, a shield and defence to all, in every time of need. If, however, by reason of a change in circumstances, or for any cause, a portion of the people believe they ought to have their rights more exactly defined or more fully explained in the Constitution, it is their duty, in accordance with its provisions, to seek a remedy by way of amendment to that instrument; and it is the duty of all the States to concur in such amendments as may be found necessary to insure equal and exact justice to all. In order, therefore, to announce to the country the sentiments of this Convention, respecting not only the remedy which should be sought for existing discontents, but also to communicate to the public what we believe to be the patriotic sentiment of the country, we adopt the following resolutions: 1st. Resolved, That this Convention recognize the well-understood proposition that the Constitution of the United States gives no power to Congress, or any branch of the Federal Government, to interfere in any manner with slavery in any of the States; and we are assured by abundant testimony, that neither of the great political organizations existing in the country contemplates a violation of the spirit of the Constitution in this regard, or the procuring of any amendment thereof, by which Congress, or any department of the General Government, shall ever have jurisdiction over slavery in any of the States. 2d. Resolved, That the Constitution was ordained and established, as set forth in the preamble, by the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity; and when the people of any State are not in full enjoyment of all the benefits intended to be secured to them by the Constitution, or their rights under it are disregarded, their tranquillity disturbed, their prosperity retarded, or their liberty imperilled by the people of any State, full and adequate redress can and ought to be provided for such grievances. 8d. Resolved, That this Convention recommend to the Legislatures of the
States of the Union to follow the example of the Legislatures of the States of Kentucky and of Illinois, in applying to Congress to call a Convention for the proposing of amendments to the Constitution of the United States, pursuant to the fifth article thereof. Mr. GUTHRIE:—I object to printing this paper. If that course is taken, every member may offer his disquisitions on the Constitution, and they will be printed at our expense. Mr. TUCK:—Unanimous consent was given that it be read, laid on the table, and printed. The PRESIDENT:—There were three motions involved in one. Now the question is upon laying the paper on the table and printing it. - Mr. ALEXANDER:—I call for a division of the question. The PRESIDENT:-The question will be on the motion to lay it on the table. Mr. TUCK:—Are we not entitled to have the question taken on the motion to print? I supposed all these questions would be taken in a spirit of conciliation. But if not, I will withdraw the motion to lay on the table, and move that the paper be printed. Mr. MOREHEAD, of Kentucky:-I came here in a spirit of conciliation, and I shall act in that spirit. Let us all do so. I disagree entirely with Mr. TUCK and his proposition, but I am in favor of receiving every proposition that is offered, of printing them all, and at the proper time of considering them all. I trust that unanimous consent will be given to printing this paper. The PRESIDENT then put the motion upon printing the address, and it was carried upon a division. . Mr. GUTHRIE offered the following resolution, which was adopted unanimously:
Resolved, That if the President shall choose to speak on any question, he may, for the occasion, call any member to preside.
Mr. MEREDITH:—I wish to offer a proposition, and hope for the present it may lie on the table, and be considered hereafter. I do not desire to move it as an amendment to the report of the committee, but think it better to present it as a direct and independent proposition. I present it now only for the purpose of having it before the Convention. It is as follows:
ARTICLE.—That Congress shall divide all the territory of the United States into convenient portions, each containing not less than sixty thousand square miles, and shall establish in each a territorial government; the several territorial legislatures, whether heretofore constituted, or hereafter to be constituted, shall have all the legislative powers now vested in the respective States of this Union; and whenever any territory having a population sufficient, according to the ratio existing at the time, to entitle it to one member of Congress, shall form a republican constitution, and apply to Congress for admission as a State, Congress shall admit the same as a State accordingly. The proposition of Mr. MEREDITH was laid on the table without objection. Mr. WICKLIFFE:—There appears to be a misunderstanding between the Secretary and myself upon the question of printing the Journal. To avoid question, I move that the Journal be printed up to and including to-day. Mr. GOODRICH:—I move to amend by adding “and from day to day during the session.” The amendment and the motion were adopted without objection. Mr. ALEXANDER, of New Jersey, took the chair. The PRESIDENT:-The Convention will now proceed to the order of the day—the consideration of the report of the committee. Mr. REID, of North Carolina:—I wish to move an amendment to the amendment offered by Mr. Johnson. It is to add to his the words “and future.” If adopted, the language will be “present and future territory.” Mr. EWING:-This will render a division of the question necessary. The gentleman had better withdraw his amendment for the time. Mr. REID:—I am instructed by the Legislature of North Carolina to offer it, and I think best to do so in this regular manner. Mr. CLEVELAND:—I think the motion of Mr. REID is out of order. I suggest that if adopted, with Mr. JohnsoN’s amendment, the sense of the proposition as it now stands will not be changed. Mr. RUFFIN:—I rise merely to make a suggestion to my colleague. This motion must be made at some time, by some one, so that we may have a regular vote upon it. Now, as it is not certain how the report of the majority of the committee is to be construed, I propose at a suitable time to move an amendment which will make the proposition applicable to territory hereafter acquired. If this will suit my colleague, I hope he will withdraw his motion. Mr. REID :—I came here not to deceive the North or the South. I intend to be plain and unambiguous. Why should we send forth a proposition that is uncertain, vague, and, as gentlemen admit, open to different constructions? If we are to pour oil upon the troubled waters, let us do so to some purpose; above all, let us be definite, plain, and certain. I cannot consent to withdraw my motion. I must insist upon its consideration. Mr. LOGAN:—I had hoped the question on Mr. JoHNsoN's amendments would have been taken on Saturday. It is an important one, and one which must be met. I would suggest that it would be best to let the question be taken on Mr. Johnson's amendments now. The subject presents itself to my mind in this way: The proposition of the majority, as it now stands, is uncertain. The friends of the proposition ought to be allowed to perfect it, to make it satisfactory to themselves. If there is a doubt about it, let us make it clear that it applies only to the present territory. Then we can have a clear and decisive vote upon it. The substance of the proposition is what I wish to arrive at, and it will be more in order if the vote is not taken till we know what that substance is. I shall not object to its application to future territory. I hope the gentleman from North Carolina will withdraw his amendment, and let the question be taken on that of Mr. JoHNSON. Mr. SEDDON:—One word only. I fear we are being placed in an awkward position. I am desirous to have the language of the proposition clear and not delusive. The amendment of Mr. JoHNSON embarrasses me; I hardly know how to vote upon it. If I vote for Mr. Johnson's motion, I shall have the semblance of favoring the limitation of the proposition to present territory. Mr. RUFFIN and myself both want the same thing, but on Mr. Johnson's motion he will vote one way and I the other. Mr. RUFFIN:—Will the gentleman allow me to explain I voted against the proposition in committee because, as it now stands, it applies only to existing territory. I wish to carry this proposition, but not by the vote of the South alone. I want Northern votes, and assurances that the people of the North will vote for the proposition and adopt it. Mr. SEDDON:—I shall feel disposed to vote against Mr. Johnson's motion. The question was here stated by the President as follows: The vote will be taken upon the motion of Mr. REID to amend the amendment offered by Mr. JoHNSON. Mr. REID:—It strikes me that the question is this: My proposition is to add the words “and future,” but Mr. Johnson's amendment is to add the word “present.” Can this be treated as an amendment to his motion ? I must say that my duty to my country and State will prevent my voting for the proposition as he proposes to limit it. Mr. COALTER:—I think the committee ought to be permitted to amend and complete their report. Let us, by general consent, agree to have the word “present” inserted. Mr. REID:—I object to that all the time. Mr. TURNER:-I move that the report be recommitted for amendment. Mr. COALTER:—Shall we adjourn over simply for this? That will use up another day. Mr. GUTHRIE:—I hope it will not be recommitted. We can settle the question here in a moment. The PRESIDENT:—The vote will now be taken. Mr. McCURDY:—I call for the individual names of members voting. The PRESIDENT:—The call is not in order. The question was then taken on the amendment of Mr. REID, and resulted as follows: AYEs—New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, and Virginia—8. NAYs—Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
Rhode Island, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and Iowa–12.
So the amendment failed.
The PRESIDENT:-The question now recurs on the motion of the gentleman from Maryland.
Mr. JOHNSON :—I trust that I shall not trespass upon the time of the Conference, but the subject now before it is one of