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ned by the Governor, and adjourn on the first Monday April, except in case of insurrection or actual war.
No. 60. Resolved, That the committee on the first article of the Constitution be instructed to enquire into the expediency of altering the seventeenth section of said article as follows: “The members of the Legislature shall receive for their services a compensation to be ascertained by law and paid out of the public treasury, but no increase of the compensation shall take effect during the time for which the members of either House shall have been elected, and such compensation shall never exceed three dollars a day”.
Resolved, That no member of the Legislature shall receive any civil appointment from the Governor and Senate, or from the Legislature during the term for which he is elected, or for one year thereafter.
No. 61. Resolved. That the third section of the first article of the Constitution, be so amended that no person shall be a representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-four years; and that the eighth section be so amended that no person shall be a senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-eight years.
Mr. DENNY then moved that the committee to whom was refered the first article, be discharged from the further consideration of the following resolution, and that the same be refered to the committee to whom was refered the seventh article, which was laid on the table :
No. 44. Resolved, That the legislative power relative to the incorporation of banking companies, shall be so restricted that no charter shall be granted for a longer time than ten years, nor any note of a less denomination than twenty dollars issued, and that the books, papers and vouchers of every banking institution shall be subject to the inspection and supervision of the Legislature, who, (if they discover that any bank has departed from the business for which it was created,) shall forth with declare the charter null and void, and the real and personal estates of the stockholders, both in their corporate and individual capacity, shall be liable for the payment of the notes in circulation or in the hands of the people.
Mr. Denny then made the following motion which was also laid on the table:
That the committee to whom was refered the first article of the Constitution, be discharged from the further consideration of the following resolution, and that the same be refered to the committee to whom was refered the ninth article of the Constitution.
No. 59. Resolved, That the said committee be instructed to report against the establishment of any lottery, for the sale of lottery tickets in this Commonwealth.
The Convention resolved itself into committee of the whole, Mr. PORTER of Northampton in the chair, and proceeded to the consideration of the first article of the Constitution.
The question pending being on the motion of Mr. Stevens to amend the amendment of Mr. DUNLOP—to strike out the word “ fourth” and insert the word “third”-by striking therefrom the word " third”, and all that follows the same, and inserting in lieu thereof, the following, viz: “Second Monday and Tuesday of November, at which time the electors of President and Vice President shall also be chosen, unless otherwise ordered by the Legislature; and none of the tickets shall be counted, until the polls have been closed on the last day of election, and the polls shall close at six o'clock on each day”.
Mr. FORWARD said, he hoped the amendment would not be passed without some remarks. It was an important question whether we should blend the elections of our State officers, with the Presidential elections. He hoped the gentleman who had offered the amendment would favor the
Convention with his views on the subject. It strikes me (said Mr. F.) that by making both the State and the general elections on the same day, the influence and feeling which are called into action in reference to the choice of suitable officers for the State Government, may be made to operate on the Presidential election, and that, thus the interests of the Sta will be more effectually merged and lost sight of, than if the elections are at distinct periods. It is known that our relations to the General Government are such as to render it certain that great exertions will be always made to obtain the election of a particular President. Such has been the case, and it will be so again ; it is a fact written in our history. Some one candidate will be supported by all the influence which the State officers can bring to bear on the election. The concurrence of these elections, would, in all probability, be fatal to the State influence; all would be made to yield to the cabinet influence; unless it should so hap
that, at any time, there should be raised an opposition powerful enough to countervail this cabinet influence. It was well known by all who observed the course of things, that the Federal influence was expanding itself daily—and that it was now twice as great as it was twenty years ago. The number of postmasters and revenue officers had been prodigiously increased ; and every one of these was a slave to the Federal Government, brought into office by the patronage of some one of influence with the administration ; liable to be turned out, if a different party should prevail ; a perfect dependant and slave. Every one of these was expected to do his duty, to attend to the interests of the cabinet. I am not (continued Mr. F.) speaking in reference to any particular party. I am stating facts, as they exist under all administrations, and in all parties. Whoever sways the rod of power, his breath is sufficient, and every one who holds office by this tenure of thread, is liable to be displaced by it. All this cabinet influence will be brought to bear on the State influence. The elections take place on the same day; and the success of the State officers is influenced by it.
The people are jealous of this, and wish to cripple this Federal influence. They expressed their desire to do this at the last November elections. They wish to prevent their own State affairs from being mixed up with, and intermeddled with by, this dangerous influence. It was not the habit of the country to disdain and repel the influence of the General Government, as it did any improper interference in the State elections. He did not know how many officers there are in the State. In every county, there
Look at the Philadelphia Post Office and see the number there : and every county too has its Post Office. All the military and navy are dependent on this influence, and these are present every where, and their presence involves the interests of the State. It should be the interest of the State, and the object of the State, to divorce itself from this powerful and prejudicial influence? What is the lesson which history gives to us on that subject ? Yielding to the superior power, State interests have, in all cases, been forced to bend and give away to this irresistible influence of the cabinet. Are we strangers to it? The object of this amendment is to bring the State influence into immediate contact with the cabinet influence-to bring all the weight of Federal influence to operate on the elections of State officers. The country will not bear this. It may so happen that there may be a recoil of the interference of State
officers in the October elections, which may be felt afterwards, and enable the State to emancipate itself before November. Therefore, he wished the elections to be kept separate. He hoped the Convention would not adopt the amendment. It was better to keep these elections as far from each other as possible. The State elections might be fixed for the second Tuesday in September; a day, at that season, could be more easily given up by the farmers, as he understood there was then an interval between their busy seasons.
The weather too, at that season, was generally good; the days were longer; the people would turn out in greater numbers: the time would be further separated from that of the Presidential election : and there would be time enough to cool off from the excitement of the State elections, to resume their calmness, and to get rid of their feelings of dependence. He thought it would be better to fix the elections in September, but he would not make any motion on the subject. This fastening of our State to the Federal Government; this attaching of our State elections to the car of the cabinet, and bringing the influence of the General Government into our ward and town meetings for the purpose of operating on the elections, ought to be particularly guarded against. He would carefully avoid this cabinet influence from which, once admitted, all our elections would take their hue. The greater influence would soon merge the less, and the interests of the State would be overshadowed and lost
He hoped all our officers would be elected without the interposition of cabinet influence, which, like the plagues of Egypt, could be omnipresent, and seen and felt every where throughout the Commonwealth. He hoped the gentleman who made the proposition would reflect on the matter. Would not the introduction of his proposition be fatal to the little independence we have left? What do we see even now ? Whenever any measure is proposed, is it not the inquiry by every one -Is it demanded by the party
? If it be, I go for it; if not, I will go with the members from the country? Every one has heard this language. It is the fashion of the day, in the very greenness of the matter, to put every thing on a party footing. If we suffer this cabinet influence to find its way among us, every fourth year, it will merge all the State elections. What can we expect but that the force of party will prove stronger than the feelings of patriotism, truth and virtue. These considerations would induce him to oppose the amendment.
Mr. SAEGER, of Crawford, stated that he had been a practical farmer for many years, and he thought the convenience of the farming interest would be promoted by the change proposed by the committee, from the second, to the fourth Tuesday in October. An experience of thirteen years as a farmer in the extensive west and north west parts of the State, convinced him that the change would be beneficial. In the northern parts, he admitted, the alteration would not be productive of such important advantages as in the south, where, if the weather was fine, the greater part of the seeding could have been got through by the time fixed by the report of the committee. In the more northern parts of the State, the time between the close of harvest and the day of election would be shortertoo short, perhaps, to enable the farmer to do his seeding before the election. Great part might be undone. But if it should happen to be a wet season, the change from the second to the fourth Tuesday, would give him more time to get through his work. If there was any part of
the State which would, in the slightest degree, be injured by the change, there would be some reason for opposing it. But as the change would be advantageous to the farming interest, and would be productive of no disadvantage to any part of the community, he hoped it would be agreed to, as reported by the committee. He was not willing to go for any alterations, unless he could be satisfied that they would prove advantageous; he would go for no changes, for the mere sake of change. As to the amendment, which was now the question, it had been so well treated by the gentleman who had spoken just before him, that he would not take up the time of the committee in relation to it. On one part alone did he differ from the gentleman. The gentleman from Allegheny wished to make the State elections and the Presidential elections still further apart, in order that there might be an opportunity between them for party violence to cool down. He (Mr. S.) thought there would be time enough to cool at that season, without throwing back the State elections to an earlier period.
Mr. M'CAHEN, of Philadelphia, said he was indifferent as to the issue of this question. But he had listened with regret to what had fallen from the gentleman from Allegheny. He had entertained the hope that the worn out slang of politicians, the thread bare topics of party, and the often refuted assertions of the exertion of administration influence on the State elections, would not have been introduced on this floor. He had believed there was no one gentleman who seriously thought that he could succeed by such means, in driving any party from the position it had assumed ; and he was surprised that so respectable a gentleman should have taken this course. The gentleman had remarked on the amount of the patronage of the General Government in the city of Philadelphia, and in the State ; but, if the memory of that gentleman had not failed him, he must know that the patronage of the Governor in the city of Philadelphia was greater than that of the Federal Government. He thanked God that every man knew his own rights, and would be allowed to exercise them. All alike, he hoped, would shew themselves unfettered, either by the State or General Government. As to party influence, he hoped it would always exist; he was himself a party man, a radical party man, sent here, and standing here, for the purpose of carrying out the views of a party for the general welfare. The Government was held up by party, and had been sustained by it. He was sorry to hear the gentleman getting into this track. Why had he deemed it necessary to bring in the Federal Government? If that influence existed in the State, and a majority was in favor of its continuance, then it was right, the opinion of the gentleman to the contrary notwithstanding. The party selects their men, and he desired to support the party. Inexperienced as he was,
he would be guided by party opinion. He had heard the gentleman from Allegheny speak with great talent, and he would be proud to adopt his views if he could. But there was no good object to be effected by bringing up the General Government. He did not suspect the gentleman of any design of a party character, in his efforts to have the local questions freed from any connexion with Federal influence. He hoped to hear no more of this topic, but that the course of the argument would proceed.
Mr. FORWARD explained. In what he said he expressly disclaimed, and more than once disclaimed all reference to party. He said, that
whatever party obtained the ascendancy, the same would be the result. He would go as far as any gentleman here in reducing the patronage of the Government, and to give his aid to that object he had came here.
Mr. HOPKINSON had so much respect, he said, for the unanswerable argument of the gentleman from Allegheny, against the proposition to hold the State election, and the Electoral election, on the same day, that he would not add one word to it. He would, however, say a word or two against the proposition to keep the polls open for two days. In the first place, there was no necessity for it. In the city of Philadelphia, the polls were closed at ten in the evening. It was of the utmost consequence that the people should have confidence in the purity of their elections; and, that the elections should not only be pure, but free from the suspicion of impurity. At present, the officers of the elections never separated until the votes were all counted, and the boxes sealed up, in the presence of men of both parties.
The votes were counted, the boxes sealed, and the returns signed before the officers of the election separated. But, suppose the polls were kept open for two days—closed at six in the evening, and opened again at nine or ten in the morning. In whose custody would the votes be in the mean time? The officers of the election would walk abroad and talk about the state of the polls, while the boxes containing the votes, would be at the mercy of the crafty and corrupt. He was far from insinuating any thing against any class of citizens. He spoke of no particular party, but charges of corruption, at elections, had already been made, even in this State ; and he would, therefore, oppose any measure which would have a tendency to bring disrepute or suspicion upon an election. In a neighboring State, where the polls are kept open two days, no election ever passes without the charge, from one party or the other, of fraud and corruption. As the election might be just as well closed in one day, as in a week, he should oppose the proposition to keep open the polls for two days.
Mr. FLEMING, of Lycoming, refered to another part of the section, and said he disapproved of the language of the section. He would, on all occasions, move to strike out the “ city of Philadelphia”, unless “ the county of Lycoming”, which was one of the largest counties in the State, was also specially inserted. He made that motion now. The Chair said it was not in order. That
of the section was not before the committee.
Mr. FLEMING continued. The amendment, he said, was objectionable, because it left it to the Legislature to fix the day of the election. The language, “ unless otherwise ordered by the Legislature”, would leave it to them to say whether the two elections should take place on the same day, or not. But, if we left it to the Legislature to fix the day, the other part of the clause would have no binding effect; and, if it was to have no effect, where was the use of making the provision ? As to the two days, he was, at first, favorable to that part of the clause ; but, on reflection, he thought it would be better to confine the election to one day; though, in his district, the people had, some of them, to come fifteen miles to the polls, and over very bad roads. He should move to amend the amendment, so as to provide, that the election should take place in the several cities and counties, on the first Tuesday in November. This would fix upon a certain day, and leave it to the Legislature to fix the same day for