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of the gentleman from Chester, so as to have the constitution go into operation in 1842.
The motion to postpone was lost.
Mr. Dickey said it was admitted that the amendment was based on the supposition that the constitution would go into operation before another election. He called the attention of the convention to the fact that the law required the returns of the votes for, and against, the constitution to be returned to the legislature. Well, suppose we get through by the 2d of February, will it be possible to submit the amendments to the people and return their votes to the legislature before the termination of the present session of the legislature ?
Mr. Darlington said the whole of the argument of the gentleman from Montgomery, was based on the supposition that the constitution would go into operation in the year 1838, and that the election under it would take place in October, 1838. He did not believe it possible for this to happen. The first election that could possibly take place under the constitution, would be in 1839. In October, 1839, the first election would take place for senators, for three years. Eight only would be elected, for there would be but eight vacancies, and those then elected would hold their office till 1842. In 1841 the third class would be elected.
He maintained that nothing was to be gained by this complex mode of proceeding. The gentleman from Montgomery, (Mr. Sterigere) had argued that there would be impropriety in turning a senator out before the expiration of the four years' term for which he was elected. D.) insisted that the amendment he had proposed, would not do injustice to any individual, and that the delegate had entirely mistaken the effect of it. The senators could not be classified till 1843, and no individual could be deprived of his office before his term expired. The plan which he (Mr. D.) had proposed, was in accordance with the principle laid down in the constitution of 1790.
Mr. STERIGERE had a word or two to say. The argument of the delegate from Somerset, (Mr. Cox) made the question so plain, that all opposition on that point ought to be abandoned. The argument of the delegate from Beaver, (Mr. Dickey) and that of the gentleman who had just taken his seat, seemed to be predicated on the assumption that the amendments 10 the constitution were not to be submitted to the people this year. He considered that it was by no means so improbable, as the gentleman from Beaver seemed to suppose, that the constitution would not go into operaton till 1839. He (Mr. S.) thought that when the convention came to its final action on the amendment, that they would find some difficulty in changing the figure from 1841 to 1842. The convention should provide, if the amendments were adopted, that the governor might convene the legis-lature to do what was necessary.
Mr. DARLINGTON asked for the yeas and nays; which were ordered.
He (Mr. SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 1838.
Mr. BIDDLE presented the memorial of Charles W. Gardner and Frederick A. Hinton, in behalf of the people of colour in the city and county of Philadelphia, praying that no alteration may be made in the present constitution in regard to the rights of citizenship and suffrage.
Mr. BIDDLE moved that this memorial be printed. The subject was one of importance. It would be premature to go into the discussion of it at this time. Similar documents had been ordered to be printed, and among them, one which was adverse in its tone to the prayer of this petition. He hoped, therefore, that the convention would agree to his motion, and order the memorial to be printed. On this question he would call for the yeas and nays,
The yeas and nays being ordered, the question was then taken and decided in the negative by the following vote, viz:
Yeas-Messrs. Agnew, Baldwin, Barnitz, Biddle, Brown, of Philadelphia, Carey, Chambers, Chandler of Chester, Chandler, of Philadelphia, Chauncey, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Cline, Coats, Cochran, Cope, Craig, Crain, Cunningham, Darlington, Denny, Dickey, Dickerson, Earle, Forward, Hays, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, Kerr, Konigmacher, Long, Maclay, M'Cahen, M'Call, M’Dowell, Montgomery, Pennypacker, Porter, of Lancaster, Purviance, Royer, Saeger, Scott, Serrill, Sill, Sterigere, Thomas, Todd, Weidman, Young, Sergeant, President–50.
Nars-Messrs. Banks, Barclay, Barndollar, Bedford, Bigelow, Brown, of Lancaster, Brown, of Northampton, Clarke, of Indiana. Cleavinger, Crawford, Crum, Cummin, Curll, Darrah, Dillinger, Donagan, Donnell, Fleming, Foulkrod, Fry, Fuller, Gamble, Gearhart, Gilmore, Grenell, Harris, Hastings, Hay hurst, Henderson of Allegheny, High, Hopkinson, Houpt, Hyde, Ingersoll, Keim, Kennedy, Krebs, Lyons, Magee, Mann, M'Sherry, Merkel, Miller, Pollock, Read, Riter, Ritter, Russell, Scheetz, Sellers, Seltzer, Shellito, Smith, of Columbia, Smyth, of Centre, Snively, Stickel, Sturdevant, Taggert, Weaver, White, Woodward-61.
So the question was determined in the negative.
Mr. CAREY presented a memorial from citizens of Bucks county, praying that no alteration may be made in the present constitution in regard to the rights of citizenship and suffrage.
Mr. DARLINGTON presented a memorial of like import, from citizens of Chester county.
Mr. CLARK, of Dauphin, presented a memorial of like import, from citizens of Dauphin county.
Mir. SELLERS presented two memorials from citizens of Montgomery county, praying that measures may be adopted effectually to prevent all amalgamation between the white and coloured population, in regard to the government of this state.
Mr. STICKEL presented a memorial of like' import from citizens of York county.
Mr. Clark, of Dauphin, presented four memorials from citizens of Dauphin county, praying that the sixth section of the ninth article of the constitution of this state, may be amended to read as follows: “ The trial by jury shall be as heretofore, and in questions affecting life or liberty shall be extended to every human being, and the right thereof shall remain in violate."
And the said memorials were laid on the table.
Mr. COPE, from the committee on accounts, reported the following resolution, viz:
Resolved, That the President draw his warrant on the State Treasurer, in favor of Samuel Shoch, secretary, for the sum of two thousand dollars, to be accounted for in the settlement of his accounts.
This resolution was then read a second time, considered and agreed to.
The convention proceeded to the consideration of the following amendment, offered yesterday, by Mr. DARLINGTON of Chester, in lieu of the ninth section of the first article, as amended by the committee of the whole:
“At the first election subsequent to the next enumeration, the whole number of senators which shall then have been fixed by the legislature shall be elected in the respective districts into which the state shall then be divided; immediately after the senators shall be assembled in conse
of such election, they shall be divided by lot as equally as may be, into three classes. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year ; 'of the second class, at the expiration of the second year; and of the third class, at the expiration of the third year, so that one-third may be ehosen every year.”
Mr. CLARKE, of Indiana, moved to amend the section by substituting the following:
“ The senators who may be eleeted at the first general election under the amendments to the constitution, shall be divided by lot into three classes; the seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; of the second class at the expiration of the second year ; and of the third class at the expiration of the third year ; so that thereafter one-third of the whole number of senators may be chosen every year.
The senators elected before the amendments shall be in operation, shall hold their offices during the terms for which they shall respectively have been elected.”
The PRESIDENT: The amendment cannot be received at this time, it being an amendment to an amendment.
Mr. Clarke proceeded to explain the object of his amendment. It would be perceived that by the original report of the committee, a particular year was fixed, without knowing whether the constitution would be adopted by the people. In order to bring the section into operation, it would require seventeen senators to be elected in one year. That he regarded as an objectionable feature. With respect to the amendment of the gentleman from Chester, it contemplates that all the senators are to be newly elected, after the next enumeration shall have been made and divided into classes, so that they shall go out in rotation, and one-third of the senators be chosen every year. The amendment that he (Mr. C.) had brought to the notice of the convention, he conceived, would obviate many of the objections which attached to the section, as reported by the committee of the whole, as well as to the amendment of the delegate from Chester. He (Mr. Clarke) had been told by those whom he respected, that having brought forward an amendment he had a right to explain its meaning. He would do so. At the first election, after the new constitution shall have gone into effect, there would be eight senators to elect. There were three classes; the term of the first class would expire one year subsequent to the constitution going into operation. The second, the second year; and the third, the third year. His amendment would not unsettle any of the seats of the senators holding for the time being. The whole arrangement was simply taking the class that was left, and distributing it among the rest, which would not disturb the remaining senators. He thought the simplicty of the amendment would recommend it to the favorable attention of the convention.
Mr. STERIGERE would inform the gentleman from Indiana, that he was going to move to strike out the year, and say the first election after the adoption of the constitution.
The PRESIDENT said the motion would not be in order.
Mr. Meredith, of Philadelphia, said it seemed to have been forgotten that this section was introduced as a substitute, in the expectation that the new constitution would be voted for at the last fall election. The difficulty at present in the way, could be very easily removed, and that was sinply by changing the year. The object in view was to obtain a new classification without producing much derangement. The objection taken to the amendmeut of the gentleman from Chester, (Mr. Darlington) was that we should have to commence with new senators. He (Mr. M.) thought the best mode was that suggested by the report of the committee. The third
after the constitution would have been in operation, the terms of two classes of senators would expire. There would be one class for one year, another for two years, and two classes for shree years. It would then be necessary to take two from the three year class, and add them to the one year class, and then three and add them to the two year class. Then a new classification would be made. In 1838, one-fourth of the senators would be elected for four years, whose terms would expire in 1812, and those elected in 1839, under the new constitution, would go out in 1842, also. By arranging the plan in this manner, as suggested, he thought it would be likely to meet the views of the delegates. He considered this a most intricate subject to debate, and he would subunit whether it did more properly belong to the schedule.
Mr. CLARKE said he hoped that the gentleman from Philadelphia, (Mr. Meredith) whose judgment he respected, would examine his (Mr. Č.'s) proposition, before giving his preference to the mode suggested by the committee, and respecting which he had given his views. Supposing the constitution to go into operation in 1839, the terms of those senators who were elected in 1836, would expire in 1840 ; those in 1837, in 1841; and those in 1838, in 1842. But, the senators elected in 1839, the year the constitution would go into effect, if approved, would by his (Mr. C.'s.)
amendment, be divided into three classes-the first of which would expire in 1840 ; the second, in 1841; and the third, in 1842. His amendment, therefore, created no derangement, and the new section would come into operation without disturbing anything.
Mr. READ, of Susquehanna, rose for the purpose of making a remark or two, which might, perhaps, relieve us fronı a difficulty on the subject, suggested by the gentleman from Beaver, (Mr. Dickey) which had been stated, he thought, without much reflection, and that was, that we could not hold an election under the new constitution until it was adopted. He (Mr. R.) would say that there was no necessity for postponing the election under the new constitution, in consequence of the provision in the act of assembly to which the gentleman had referred. He apprehended that the convention would be able to submit the constitutiun to the people in April or May, at farthest. And, although the act of assembly makes it the duty of the speaker of the senate to open and publish the returns of the election, yet every delegate must be convinced that there
no necessity, for waiting until next December, The convention could direct that the returns should be opened by the state treasurer and governor, or any other officer, in whom they have confidence, before the meeting of the next legislature ; so that if the amendments are approved, the next election might be held under the new constitution.
Mr. DARLINGTON said that, when he first turned his attention to the subject, he saw the difficulty, and without having had any previous reflection, he sat down and drew up an amendment which he thought was calculated to remove it. On subsequent reflection, however, and after having seen the proposition and heard the remarks of the delegate from Indiana, he had made up his mind to accept that gentleman's amendment as a modification of his own. Mr. D. then withdrew his amendment.
Mr. Meredith remarked, after reading Mr. Clarke's amendment, that there might hereafter arise a question as to whether those senators elected before the constitution of 1838 went into operation, hold their offices or not. He then suggested, in order to remove all ambiguity, that a clause be inserted in the schedule.
Mr. Clarke fully acquiesced in the propriety of the course suggested.
Mr. STERIGERE said, that the only difficulty among delegates last evening was, to fix upon the year when the new constitution should go into effect. He (Mr. Sterigere) thought that the provision fully explained itself.
With a view to obviate the objection, which some gentleinen regarded as attaching to the amendment, he had intended this morning to have moved to strike out the fourth or fifth line, so as to strike out the year, and to have inserted the words "after the amendments to this constitution shall have been adopted." The objection to the amendment of the gentleman from Indiana was, that it was susceptible of another construction being put on it, besides the one that he gave to it, and that was, that all the senators--the old as well as the new, shall be chosen at the next election after the adoption of the cons/itution; for, there was no pro. vision to prevent the continuance of the old senators in office. So that,