Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Mr. HIESTER called for the yeas and nays on his motion, and they were ordered.

The question was taken on the amendment of Mr. HIESTER, and decided in the negative, by the following vote, viz;

YEAS-Messrs. Agnew, Bayne, Brown, of Northampton, Butler, Clarke, of Beaver, Clarke, of Indiana, Cummin, Darrah, Donnell, Doran, Earle, Fleming, Gamble, Hayhurst, Helffenstein, Hiester, Keim, Konigmacher, Myers, Read, Ritter, Shellito, Smyth, Sterigere, Stickel-25.

Nays-Messrs. Baldwin, Barclay, Barndollar, Bonham, Brown, of Philadelphia, Carey, Chambers, Chandler, of Chester, Chauncy, Clark, of Dauphin, Cleavinger, Cline, Cochran, Crain, Crum, Curll, Darlington, Denny, Dickerson, Dillinger, Dunlop, Farrelly, Forward, Foulkrod, Fry, Fuller, Gearhart, Gilmore, Grenell, Hastings, Henderson, of Allegheny, Hopkinson, Houpt, Hyde, Jenks, Kennedy, Kerr, Krebs, Maclay, Mann, M'Call, M’Dowell, M'Sherry, Meredith, Merkel, Miller, Montgomery, Nevin, Overfield, Pennypacker, Pollock, Porter, of Northampton, Purviance, Riter, Rogers, Russell, Saeger, Scott, Sellers, Serrill, Scheetz, Sill, Smith, Snively, Stevens, Swetland, Taggart Thomas, Todd, Weidman, Sergeant, President-69.

Mr. STEVENS, of Adams, moved to amend the resolution, by striking out the word “ fourteenth”, and inserting the word " fifteenth”, and striking out the words “sixteenth of October”, and inserting in lieu thereof, the words "twenty-fourth of July”.

Mr. Stevens said, it appeared to be entirely out of the question to adjourn to meet in the fall, as we should be interrupted by the meeting of the Legislature. He was opposed to any adjournment for a longer time than that which he had proposed , but, for that length of time a recess was expedient, as it would give gentlemen an opportunity for relaxation during the warm weather, and to attend to their private concerns. They ought, also, to understand each others views, that they might finish the business in a month after they returned. He suggested another reason for a recess at the time proposed. It was known that the great national ship—the Pennsylvanian-which had been so long on the stocks, was to be launched on the 18th of July, and a great number of the members wished to be there, and would be there without doubt, whether we adjourned or not. There would be a propriety, he thought, in the attendance of the whole Convention in a body upon the occasion of the launch of so noble a ship, bearing the name of the State of Pennsylvania. Congress, it would be recollected adjourned over for a day to witness the launch of the Columbia.

Mr. DARLINGTON said the object of the motion was, to kill the proposition by a side blow. The day did not meet his views, but it probably met the views of the majority as well as any other day would, and it was now very certain, that there was a majority in favor of adjourning over to some day in the fall. If, as had been objected to the proposition, the Legislature should require the Hall before we finished our session, we could go elsewhere. He would himself, if the resolution was agreed to, offer a proposition directing an inquiry whether we could have suitable accommodations in Philadelphia.

Mr. M'Dowell: I hope that the amendment will not pass. I see very plainly what object the gentleman from Adams has in view. He wants to get all of us reformers on board of that ship, in the hope that we should never get back again.

Mr. Mann said, the subject had been discussed very fully, heretofore, at great expense of time, and he therefore demanded the previous question,

and it was required by eighteen members, viz: Messrs. MANN, SELLERS,
Houdt, SERRILL, MARTIN, CURLL, Fry, TAGGART, GRENELL, OVERFIELD,
KENNEDY, BROWN, of Northampton, MERKEL, KREBS, MILLER, HAST-
INGS, CRUM, PENNYPACKER, SAEGER, DARLINGTON, and BARCLAY.

The question being, “ shall the main question be now put" ?
Mr. Stevens asked the yeas and nays, and they were as follows:

Y148—Messrs. Barclay, Bonham, Brown, of Northampton, Carey, Cleavinger, Cockran, Crain, Crum, Curll, Darlington, Dickerson, Dillinger, Fry, Gilmore, Grenell, Hafe hurst, Henderson, of Allegheny, Houpt, Hyde, Jenks, Kennedy, Krebs, Macley, Mann, Martin, M'Call, M'Dowell

, Merkel, Miller, Overfield, Pennypacker, Polloc, Porter, of Northampton, Purviance, Read, Riter, Russell, Saeger, Sellers, Serrill, Schetz, Sill, Smith, Smyth, Snively, Stickel, Swetland, Taggart, Thomas-47. Nars-Messrs. Agnew, Baldwin, Barndollar, Bayne, Brown, of Philadelphia, Butler

, Chambers, Chandler, of Chester, Chauncey, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Clarke, of Indiana, Cline, Cummin, Darrah, Denny, Donnell, Doran, Dunlop, Earle, Farrelly, Fleming, Forward, Foulkrod, Fuller, Gamble, Gearhart, Hastings, Hefa, stein, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, Hopkinson, Keim, Kerr, Konigmacher, M'Sberry Meredith, Montgomery, Myers, Nevin, Ritter, Rogers, Scott, Shellito, Sterigere, Stevens, Todd, Weidman, Young, Sergeant, President50.

So the Convention determined that the main question should not no be put.

The PRESIDENT stated, that it had been the usage to consider the decis. ion against putting the main question as defering the proposition for ose day; but that rule had not been adopted here, and from what he knew of the sense of the Convention on the subject, he believed they would not sustain it. He should, therefore, decide, with the assent of the Convertion, that the subject was still before them for consideration.

Mr. Fuller moved that the resolution and amendment be postponed till Friday next. He hoped that no adjournment would take place until we had gone through with the sixth article. He should be governed by that entirely as to the time of adjournment. If we could not get through that, he should be opposed to adjourning on the 14th. There was now but ninety-eight members present, and probably more would absent themselves. He doubted the propriety of continuing the session with so small a number of members, and thought it better to adjourn till fall.

Mr. FLEMING said we seemed to have a strong disposition to practice that which we condemned in the Legislature, and which we had undertaken to remedy as an evil. The Legislature was in the habit of adjourning over the holidays, and we were trying to prevent them from it, by postponing the day of meeting. But while we were acting as guides for others, we ought to avoid falling into the same error ourselves. He had hoped that the wire edge of the speech-making had been in some measure worn off. We certainly had made up our minds as to many of the questions that were to be decided, and there would be no necessity for further discussion upon such propositions.

Our labors had certainly been protracted to a length unexpected by us, or by our constituents : but now, after two months' talking, and much of it in a ring, the desire for speaking had greatly subsided, and it would be highly injudicious to suffer gentlemen to go home, and whet their appetites for a second course of speeches on the same questions.

The proceedings of this day had shown us the impropriety of an adjourn

projects for a Constitution. If the proposition to adjourn was predicated on the supposition that we should adopt any of these projects, it was founded on a very great mistake. We see, by other gentlemen now, that it was their intention to offer different projects. We could arrive at no conclusion without going on with our labors in the regular track. No gentleman had suffered in his health by remaining here. Many members had gone home, attended to their private concerns,

and returned. Thirtyfour now were absent, but in a few days they would all return, and another party of thirty-four would go home. In this way, gentlemen would all have an opportunity to refresh themselves, while, at the same time, the business would go on. To adjourn over, for a short time, would be attended with no special advantage to any gentleman. To adjourn over till the autumn, would be to defer the result of our labors for another year; but, if we should go on, we would complete our business, and submit the result to the people at the next election. He was perfectly willing to adjourn over the fourth of July, nor would he set here on that day if he could elude the grasp of the Sergeant-at-Arms : but he was opposed to any adjournment, either for a week or two, or till the fall.

Mr, Kerr hoped, he said, that the motion to postpone would prevail ; but he would prefer a longer time. It appeared to him that the question of adjournment was one of considerable importance. It was important to the members personally, and in relation to the expenses of the Convention. Gentlemen would find that if we adjourned till the fall, it would greatly increase, and perhaps double, the expense attending the Convention. For two reasons he would wish the question to be postponed for the present ; the first was, that so many of the delegates were now absent from their seats. It was highly improper, he thought, to force this question in the absence of so many delegates, who were necessarily greatly interested in it, as well as the State at large. The people would have the impression that we took the advantage of the absence of those members to force an adjournment. The next reason was, that, as it appeared to him, we were about coming to a plan by which we should be enabled to get the whole business through in a short time. He alluded to the propositions this morning offered by the gentlemen from Adams and Northampton, and which had been ordered to be printed. There was a strong probability that some such plan would be agreed to. If the resolutions were refered to a select committee, and they should make such a report as would be satisfactory to a majority, we would, in a few days, come to some conclusion. He moved to amend the amendment, so as to postpone the further consideration of the resolution till this day a week; but, at the request of Mr. FULLER, he withdrew the motion.

Mr. Jenks was in favor of the motion to postpone, for the reason that the Convention was not in a situation to act on the question to-day. But the necessity of a very early action upon it, appeared evident to him. The experience of the past week had shown the necessity of an adjournment till the fall. It had been customary to grant leave of absence to all who asked for it, and he now found that there were thirty delegates absent. He asked whether it was prudent or proper to go on with the amendmente in the absence of so many members ? Did not the importance of the subject require an adjournment till some more favorable season of the year? This season was extremely unpropitious to the consideration of questions

VOL. III. 03

of such magnitude-questions involving the law on which all future legislation was to be based. It was certainly advisable to adjoum, for the purpose of meeting at another time, under more favorable circumstances.

Mr. Cummin was, he said, opposed to the postponement, and in favor of the resolntion. He had, heretofore, steadily resisted every proposition to adjourn, without completing our business; but now, he saw plaints, that nothing would be done, under present circumstances, if we remained here. Every morning a resolution was brought up for adjournment, and the discussion of it consumed a great part of the day. There was, evidently, a strong feeling of restlessness and impatience pervading the whole body, and nothing would be discussed but the question of adjouroment

, even if we sat two months longer. The gentleman from Adams had offered an amendment to adjourn for a week, because in that time he could go home and attend to his private concerns. He and others could go home in a day. But how was it with him, an 1 the members from Erie county! They were too far from home to avail themselves of this short recess. 1 was an extraordinary proposilion to come from a gentleman of such high talent—to go to see a vessel launched! The gentleman says we must go, because we will go, whether or not. He certainly could not have been in earnest. The resolution of the gentleman from Monroe, he considered as expedient and proper. He hoped it would be adopted. We should then have no more debates on adjournments, but be able to go on till the 14th with the business before us. Many amendments had been offered here and discussed, merely with a view to throw obstacles in the way of the proceedings. We ought to be more serious in the discharge of our duties. It was a solemn occasion on which we had been called together. We were convened to adopt a form of government that might endure for ages. should be as solemn as if we were going about worship; for we are acting not only for ourselves, but for posterity. He was sorry to witness so many light and unnecessary propositions and discussions here. If we looked back to our journals, we should see a great many propositions there recorded, the movers of which never expected to carry them into effect. He hoped we should go home on the 14th, and, returning in the fall, endeavor to complete our work.

Mr. FULLER withdrew his amendment, in order to arrest the debate.
Mr. KERR renewed it.
The motion to postpone was lost.

The question being taken on the amendment of Mr. STEVENS, it was de termined in the negative, as follows-yeas, 4: nays, 94:

YxasMessrs. Brown, of Northampton, Meredith, Stevens, Sergeant, President

Nars-Messrs. Agnew, Baldwin, Barndollar, Bayne, Bonham, Brown, of Philadel phia, Butler, Carey, Chambers, Chandler, of Chester, Chauncey, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Clarke, of Indiana, Cleavinger, Cline, Cochran, Crain, Crum, Cum min, Curll, Darlington, Darrah, Denny, Dickerson, Dillinger, Donnell, Doran, Danlon, Earle, Farrelly, Fleming, Forward, Foulkrod, Fry, Fuller, Gamble, Gearhart, Gilmore, Grenell, Hastings, Hayhurst, Helffenstein, Henderson, of Allegheny, Henderson, Dauphin, Hiester, Hopkinson, Houpt, Hyde, Jenks, Keim, Kennedy, Kerr, Konigms. cher, Krebs, Maclay, Mann, Martin, M'Call, M'Dowell, M'Sherry, Merkel, Miller, Moatgomery, Myers, Nevin, Overfield, Pennypackor, Pollock, Porter, of Northampton, Purvi ance, Reigart, Read, Riter, Ritter, Rogers, Russell, Saeger, Scott, Sellers, Serrill, Scheetz, Bhellito, Sill, Smith, Smyth, Snively, Sterigere, Stickel, Swetland, Taggart, Thomas,

We

The question recuring on the adoption of the resolution,

Mr. Earle had hoped, he said, that, after the defeat of repeated attempts to carry this proposition, it would not be renewed during the absence of so many members. The motion was in furtherance of the views of those conservatives who wished to prevent any amendments being made to the Constitution which were desired by the people, and who had brought forward questions which the people did not propose for our consideration. We spent two weeks on an article which it was never expected that we should amend, and we were urged into the debate upon it. We had been repeatedly vexed with the questions of adjournment; every obstacle had been thrown in the way of our progress; and the objects of the Convention had been defeated by a minority. He was opposed to adjournment, until we had acted on life terms of office; upon the mode of appointing Judges, Justices of the Peace, and Aldermen; and on future amendments. He had been anxious to get up the question of life office, but the conservatives kept it off. He had wished to get at some of the prominent questions in which the people were interested, and he was desirous of giving his constituents an opportunity to say, whether upon those questions, he and others represented them correctly, but he had found it impossible thus far. He had witnessed some remarkable and sudden conversions here in relation to those topics. Some of those who came here the avowed opp0nents of life office were now its champions. When the duty was accepted, no gentleman would say that he was not bound by his acceptance of the trust to sit here till he had discharged it, and it was expected of us by our constituents that we should remain in session till the business was concluded. Three important subjects remained unacted upon and these could be disposed of by prolonging the session for three weeks, unless the same spirit of procrastination which had heretofore marked our proceeding should still be cherished. It was perfectly well understood that the abolition of life tenures was one of the main objects of the people in calling the Convention, and now, as the gentleman from Lancaster says, because we are harrassed with various propositions, we ought to adjourn. But that course would enable the minority to defeat the wishes of the majority of the Convention and of the people.

Mr. CHAMBERS remarked that, classed as he was with the conservatives in that body, he was unwilling to hear, without reply, the reproach of the delegate from the county of Philadelphia, (Mr. EARLE,) that the conservatives in the Convention had, from their first meeting, combined to delay and prevent the action of this body on the work of revision and amendment of the Constitution.

Mr. Earle explained, by saying that he did not mean to include all the conservatives.

Mr. CHAMBERS said that the charges made against the conservatives were unfounded, and in opposition to the facts. He said he had occasioned no delay, nor any postpement, in relation to the judiciary. He had advocated the consideration of the report on that subject, and had voted for it, and against the substitution of the report on the sixth article now under consideration.

If, sir, an examination was had of the journal, it would be found that the frivolous questions and motions that had been made, and consumed so much of the time of the Covention, and occasioned delay, were nearer to

« ZurückWeiter »