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Convention, for the purpose of remodeling the Constitution of the State, they did not take into consideration the expense. In fact, they cared nothing about the expense, as compared with their desire to have the Constitution amended. Their creed was-millions for defence, but not a cent for tribute. They wished to get rid of those features in it which kept them in bondage, and were at war with free principles of Government, and opposed to the intelligence and integrity of the people. He felt sure, that the gentleman's appeal to them would be without effect. For himself, he would not dare to make such an appeal to his constituents, without expecting to receive a rebuke from them. Gentlemen were sent here to discuss and deliberate, in order to ascertain what are the opinions of the people of the whole State, and to act accordingly. The people had a right to be heard, and would be heard, no matter what might be the ex pense, which they would not at all regret. He had not seen a letter, or a newspaper, containing any complaint, either as to the time which had been consumed, or the expense that had been incured. He had only seen in a country paper, or two, an attempt to question whether the Convention had not wasted their time. From the time he came here, up to the present moment, he had been but three days away from Harrisburg, and not one hour had he been absent from the deliberations of the Convention, whilst in town. When he came here, he did so with a determination to leave all his private feelings and interests behind him, and to devote himself entirely to the perfermance of those duties which he had assumed in behalf of his constituents. Although he knew many gentlemen in favor of reform, who desired an adjournment, he would vote against it. If, however, the Convention should adjourn, he was willing to go wheresoever it might go-whether in a season of sickness or of health, in warm weather, or in cold. And, having done that, he would go back to his constituents, and inform them what the Convention had done, and then would deliver up his trust into their hands-having discharged his duty.
Mr. PORTER, of Northampton, said, he presumed that when the people of Pennsylvania called this Convention, they did not enter into a calculation of dollars and cents—they wished us to take into consideration what amendments were necessary to be made to the Constitution, and did not think, or care about the expense of making them. That was a matter of secondary importance. It was, therefore, our duty to carry out their wishes. He did not think, with all due deference to gentlemen, who talked about the expense of this Convention, that they paid any compliment to the public, or added to the reputation of this body by indulging in remarks of that character. In matters, where principles were concerned, he considered money as naught. He was as much opposed to the extravagant expenditure of money as any man; but when the people desired a particular course of proceedings to be had, he never would attempt to come in competition with the will of the people. IIc confessed that he was as desirous of seeing the expenses of the Convention curtailed as much as possible—for he was anxious that the public money should not be squandered. But, we must not, through Tear, be driven from the performance of our duties. It was with a view to shorten the labors of the Convention that he had submited his amendment, which he thought might possibly meet the views of the majority. He was anxious that the Conyention should adjourn to some future time; and he thought that if the
amendment should be adopted we would be able to do much before the period of the adjournment. His impression was, that a great deal might be done by the 14th inst. Perhaps we might get through the first reading of the Constitution by that time when it could be laid before the people, 80 that they might have an opportunity of expressing their opinion as to the propriety or impropriety of what we had done. He thought we might easily arrange our business to adjourn on the 14th of July. The gentleman from the county of Philadelphia, (Mr. Brown) had talked in a spirit of pride, about his not having been home but once since he came here, and of his not caring to go home until we should have got through our business.
Mr. Brown, here explained that he had merely stated the fact, and did not mean to cast any reflection on the course of any gentleman.
Mr. PORTER: The gentleman has no wife or children.
Mr. PORTER said, if the gentleman from the county did not want to go home to see his wife and children, he (Mr. P.) did. After what had been said by the venerable delegate from the city of Philadelphia, (Mr. HOPKINson) he thought it must be manifest to every gentleman, that we should not be able to get through our labors at the present sitting of the Convention, and therefore it was better to adjourn on the 14th inst. He (Mr. P.) had no fear of members coming back here with a variety of speeches prepared to be delivered, and even if they should, it was doubtless better that they should be given, than that we should have more random speeches, such as had already been delivered, full of wild chimeras, spoken without a moment's reflection, elicited on the spur of the moment.
Mr. Donnell, of York, moved to amend the amendment by adding the following: “provided that all the articles of the Constitution have been passed through the committee of the whole".
Mr. CLARKE, of Indiana, said, that he would vote against the original resolution, if this amendment should not be adopted. And, he would be very much mistaken if it should not be. The views of gentlemen with regard to the proposed adjournment were now tolerably well known. For himself, he would vote against the amendment to the amendment. Those who would vote for it consisted of three or four classes. The ultra conservatives had openly avowed their opposition to make any amendments to the Constitution. Their opposition, however, had been direct, open, and manly. He honoured them for the candid expression of their sentiments, although he did not approve of their course. There was another set of conservatives here, who had been carrying on this Fabian war, but who were not strong enough to successfully oppose the amendments which were offered, and consequently indulged themselves in throwing every obstacle in the way, which their ingenuity could devise. They had provoked discussion, when none was needed, and those favorable to amendments had fallen into the snare perhaps too readily. He trusted that a spirit of compromise would animate our proceedings, and that each man would surrender something in order to obtain unanimity, and promote the wishes of each as far as practicable. There were two classes of men who would vote for an adjournment, and who would go
home to say that, by the exercise of a little ingenuity and concert between them, they had succeeded in preventing any thing from being done. They would say
we have managed to out-maneuvre the radicals and agrarians, and nothing has been done in regard to amending the Constiintion. They would point, too, to the expense attending the Convention—that it cost the State a thousand dollars a day, and had already put them to the expense of seventy-five thousand dollars. The newspapers opposed to reform would make the most of it, and before the next election, the amount would be swelled to fifteen hundred dollars per day. If, then, the Convention should now adjourn to meet again here, and the Legislature should turn us out of this Hall, we would be obliged to have a third meeting. We would create ourselves a sort of Rump Parliament, like that which once existed in England. Looking to the division of sentiment among gentlemen here, and of the different courses they had seen proper to pursue, he would content himself with voting in favor of the amendment of the gentleman from York, (Mr. DONNELL) and against the resolution.
Mr. GAMBLE asked for the yeas and nays.
And the question being taken on the amendment, it was decided in the negative-yeas 43; nays 55—as follows:
Yuas. Messrs. Agnew, Bayde, Bonham, Brown, of Northampton, Brown, of Philadelphia, Butler, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Clarke, of Indiana, Cochran, Crain, Darrah, Donnell, Doran, Dunlop, Earle, Farrelly, Fleming, Gamble, Gearhart, Grenell, Hayhurst, Helffenstein, Hiester, Keim, Kerr, M'Sherry, Miller, Montgomery, Myers, Nevin, Purviance, Read, Riter, Ritter, Shellito, Smith, Smyth, Sterigere, Stevens, Stickel, Taggart, Young–43.
Nars.--Messrs. Baldwin, Barclay, Barndollar, Carey, Chambers, Chandler, of Ches tor, Chauncey, Cleavinger, Cline, Crum, Cummin, Curll, Darlington, Denny, Dickerson, Dillinger, Forward, Foulkrod, Fry, Fuller, Gilmore, Hastings, Henderson, of Allegheny, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hopkinson, Houpt, Hyde, Jenks, Kennedy, Konigmacher, Krebs, Maclay, Mann, M'Call, M'Dowell, Meredith, Merkel, Overfield, Pennypacker, Pollock, Porter, of Northampton, Rogers, Russell, Saeger, Scott, Sellers, Serrill, Scheetz, Sill, Snively, Swetland, Thomas, Todd, Weidman, Sergeant, President--55.
Mr. KONIGMACHER moved to strike out “this place” and insert "Lansaster”.
Mr. DORAN moved to postpone the further consideration of the amendment, together with the resolution, indefinitely.
Mr. STERIGERE rose and said, that he did not intend to occupy much of the time of the Convention, in what he was about to say. When he was elected a delegate to this body, he expected and desired to come here and discharge his duties in the shortest possible time. His belief, at this moment was, that if we adjourned to meet again, the consequence would be that more time would be consumed than if we remained here and closed our labors. He understood the gentleman from Northampton, (Mr. PorTER) to allude to him as having thrown censure upon his proposition. He would tell that gentleman that he did not mean to do any such thing, or even complain of it. But, being under that impression, he had taken occasion to make some remarks personal to himself, (Mr. S.)
The Chair called the gentleman to order. He did not understand the gentleman from Northampton to speak of any gentleman's course here.
Mr. STERIGERE resumed. He did not think it necessary, or called for, that a gentleman should do so. He had not the slightest intention to allude to the gentleman (Mr. Porter). He would be sorry to reflect on any gentleman's course. He was responsible to no gentleman in this Convention, and no gentleman was responsible to him. He disapproved of gen
tlemen setting themselves up as censors of any man's conduct. For him. self, he could unhesitatingly declare that he had never done it, and never would do it. Whenever a gentleman thought proper to address the Convention, he had a right to do so : he was responsible to his constituents and to no one else. And, while he would not censure any one, he would not submit to the control of any one here. He wished it clearly to be understood, that, in making these observations in regard to the impropriety of censuring one another, he meant, of course, not to reflect on any individ
The indulgence in the practice of censuring each other, sometimes produced unpleasant feelings. He should regret it, if he had said anything which had wounded the feelings of any gentleman of the Convention. And, he would, for the future, take care not to hurt them again.
Mr. Porter replied, that his observations were not made in reference to the gentleman from Montgomery, but we.e in reply to the gentleman from Philadelphia, (Mr.Brown). The gentleman, however, seemed to have taken some prejudice to him, (Mr. P.) and he knew not why it should exist. He did not know that they had crossed each others' path: nor could he (Mr. P.) say, that the course of the gentleman had caused him any unpleasantness.
Mr. STERIGERE : I am glad to hear the gentleman say so.
Mr. Porter said, that he wished to undeceive the gentleman from Montgomery, as to his (Mr. P's.) course.
Mr. Sterigere expressed himself quite satisfied with the explanation.
Mr. Stevens said, that he should vote for the indefinite postponement, as the Convention were not prepared, at this time, to say whether they would adjourn over the next election. It seemed to him, that if there were a desire among different members, or different parties here, if you please, to make a compromise—to give and take-we could agree on certain amendments to the Constitution, in time to submit it to the people at the next general election. And, if the course indicated by the gentleman from Northampton (Mr. Porter) this morning, which was, to have a committee appointed to consider a report upon the different propositions, and to bring in a resolution for the immediate action of the Convention upon them, so that they might be disposed of at once, without going through the forms of a second and third reading, should be met in the spirit, which it seemed to him, he (Mr. P.) made it, we should be able to come to some satisfactory conclusion. Or, if not quite satisfactory, at least more su than it would to gentlemen to have to sit here nine months, and would better please those who we represent on this floor. Among the objects which he was sent here to do, was. to give the county officers to the people, and also, to oppose some alterations which gentlemen night propose,
and which did not suit his constituents. He was now willing 10 go further than he had intended-was disposed to vote for some plan like that of the gentleman from Northampton, which he regarded, as being offered in a spirit of reconciliation. Some genóleinen, however, were for having all, or nothing. We had sat here already, between two and three months, and had done but little, and the Convention would not get through their labors in nine months, and after having spent a proportionate amount of the people's money, unless gentlemen should evince a disposition of reconciliation and compromise. He was therefore opposed to the adjournment over to the fall; and he was somewhat surprised, that the gentleman VOL. III.
from Northamption (Mr. PORTER) should be in favor of adjournment, until another week should have gone round, and we should see if there was no proposition which might be agreed on, not in the expectation of pleasing every one, but one which would be agreeable to a majority, leaving those points on which they could not agree, to the action of the people, under the easy mode which would be pointed out for making amendments. We ought never to agree to adjourn over a week or ten days, until we learn that it is the desire of the people that we should do se. Gentlemen said, we had better adjourn, and consult our constituents, and return. How are we to know their views ? One gentleman told us, he was sent here to get such amendments, and another told us that he was sent here to get a different set of amendments : and we are to be made a board of Justices, to record the edicts of the people, who speak to us through their mouthpieces. Another gentleman, gave us another view. We are very apt to suppose that the people want, what we ourselves want. He wanted the justices to be elected by the people. Another says, I am the people. Another expresses a deference to the people, and favors us with opinions, which we are asked to take as the sense of the people. Persons disposed to sleep, may sometimes be rouzed by a jog. 'He would wake up these gentlemen, and suggest to them to make the day of adjournment the third of November, so that the people may say at the next election, whether we shall assemble here again, or not. Would gentlemen accede to the suggestion ? The conservatives would not. Would the reformers, who make the people their idol, and who say prayers to the people, at the corners of the streets, twenty times a day; and, if not, dare they let us sit here, and do our business with as little cost to the country as we can? He concluded with moving to amend the amendment, by striking out the words “sixteenth of October", and inserting the words "third day of November", and adding to the end thereof, the following, viz :
“ Provided, that at the next general election, the question whether this Convention shall re-assemble, shall be submited to the people in the following manner, to wit: Tickets, containing on the outside the word “ Convention”, and on the inside “ assemble", or " not assemble", shall be received by the inspectors from legal voters of this Commonwealth, and carefully counted and returned to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, as is provided for in the election of Sheriffs ; and the said Secretary shall open and count the same within days of the day of said general election ; and the Governor, by proclamation, published in each county of the State, shall announce the result; and if the tickets containing the word " assemble”, shall exceed those containing the words “not assemble", then the Govrenor shall notify the Convention to re-assemble ; but if the majority of the votes thus given, shall not be in favor of the Convention's re-assembling, then this Convention shall not again meet, but be dissolved —and that the amendments to the Constitution already agreed upon in committee of the whole, as well as the proposition now pending, with regard to county officers, be submited to the people at the next general election, for their ratification or rejection”.
Mr. Fuller, of Fayette, expressed a hope that the question would be taken. He wished the Convention to save time in debating. He had desired to pass such a resolution some weeks ago, but it seemed as if gentlemen were determined no resolution of the kind should pass.
He would go