Слике страница

Jar. 24, 1837.]

Admission of Michigan.

[H. OF R.

Legislatore there that was rec'ignised by Congress. The senting delegates who constituted the majority at the history of the act of Congress conclusively shows that first convention, elected, for the second convention, lelesuch was the sense of Congress when the act passed. By gates favorable to the terms of admission prescribed by a reference to the journals of the Senate of last session, the act of Congress, and that too by a vote so decisive as it would be found ihat the bill, as originally reported to to leave no room to doubt the then state of feeling on the Senate, provided that this condition " should be sub- this subject in that large and very important county. mitted to be Legislature of Michigan, and to their Sen It is said, however, that a very inconsiderable number ators in Congress, and the member elected to this House." of the persons who were qualified to vote actually voted An amendment was moved, to strike out this provision, at the second election. We are told that in December and refer the subject directly to the people, on the last the Territory of Michigan contained about two hunground that the Legislature of Michigan, as a sovereign dred thousand souls, and that only nine thousand votes Stale, was a body that Congress would not recognise be were given for the delegates chosen at this second confore her admission into the Union was consummated. vention. It must be recollected, in regard to this point, The Territorial Governor bad resigned, or disappeared, that a residence of six months in the State is one of the the Legislature of the Territory, which had for so many qualifications of an elector in Michigan; and that it years convened in a Territorial character, was no longer appears, from the documents before us, that about fifty in existence, and there was, therefore, no intermediate thousand of the non-residents of Michigan moved into body with whom Congress could or would treat in so the State between the 1st day of June and the 1st day important a matter as ibis. Hence Congress, by the act of December last, none of whom were qualified to vote. of June, 1835, dealt not with the Legislature, but with this argument, founded upon the inconsiderable numthe people of Michigan; and the true question, therefore, ber of voters, amounts to nothing, so long as it appears was, whether the last convention, elected in the manner that about two thousand more votes were given for the and under the circumstances which characterized the assenting delegates at the last convention than were given election of its delegates, sufficiently proved the sense of at the former convention for the assenting and dissenting a majority of the people of Michigan.

delegates together; and the same gentlemen, who conThis, said Mr. V., was altogether a question of fact; tend that it was competent for delegates chosen by much and, to dispose of it satisfactorily, a moment's recurrence less than seven thousand voters at the first convention to to the evidence in the case was necessary. And upon give a valid negative to the terms prescribed by Conthis branch of the case there was one circumstance which gress, tell us that it was not competent for delegates appeared to him entirely conclusive. The second con chosen by at least nine thousand electors for the second vention was held on the 15th day of December, ihe convention to give a valid affirmative. This was, in his election of the delegates which composed it was fair and (Mr. V's) estimation, very strange argument. But, openly held in all the counties of the State except two. more than this, be was not altogether prepared to admit The proceedings of the second convention were noto that nine thousand voters were so inconsiderable a num. rious to every citizen of the State; it was well known ber of the qualified electors of Michigan, especially in that a messenger bad been despatched to Washington these piping times of peace. Those who remained (e personage no less than the president of the conven. home, and did not vote, must certainly be deemed to tion) with the proceedings of the convention, for the have assented to the terms held out by Congress. There purpose of procuring an immediate admission of Michi. were many congressional districts in the State wbich he gan into the Union, on the ground tbat she had complied had the honor, in part, tu represent, that contained nine with the terms proposed by the act of Congress of June thousand voters. On occasions when there was not last; the subject had been openly and earnestly discussed much public excitement, some of these districts would in the other branch of the Legislature weeks ago, and not probably give more than five thousand votes, and the yet not a whisper of remonstrance had been heard from prevailing candidate might be, and no doubt frequently any quarter. 'Sbould not this circumstance irresistibly was, elected by three thousand votes. Still, no one would lead us to the conclusion that there is good ground for doubt the validity of his election on this ground. Could the statement of the honorable Senators and Representa not these nine thousand voters have elected a Governor tive elect from Michigan, when they tell us they are and Representative to Congress? Why, then, hold them atisfied that three fourths of the people of Michigan so entirely impotent in regard to this subject? arixiously desire admission into the Union, even on the II. It has been strenuously contended that this act of hard condition of admission prescribed by Congress? acceptance of the second convention works an alteration Who can, who dare, doubt as to the real sense of a ma. of the constitution of Michigan; and it is urged, in the jority of the people upon this subject, with this circum same breath, that the latter convention had no right, in Kance staring him in the face? But there were other this form, to make such alteration. items of evidence, tending to show that the last conven This objection, were it a sound one, would be as aptop or last election formed a good criterion of the popu. plicable to the doings of the first as those of the second lar will. It would be recollected that at the last con convention. The first convention was called by the Fention more than two thousand more votes were given Legislature of Michigan; and if, as had been contender, for the assenting delegates alone, than were given at the the people of Michigan had no right to call a convention former election for both assenting and dissenting dele. with power in any manner to alter, amend, or modify gates together. Nor was this all; he (Mr. V.) had al- their constitution, in any other mode than that prescribed ready stated, that after the first convention had rejected by the constitution of Michigan itself, he would ask what the terme prescribed by the act of Congress, and in the authority the Legislature of Michigan had to call a conmonth of November last, an election was held for mem vention for such purpose! If the Legislature had a bers of the Legislature of Michigan. The question right to disregard the mode pointed out by the constitu. whether she should come into the Union on the terms tion, had not the sovereign people of Michigan an equal prescribed by the act of Congress was a test question at right? The constitution of Michigan prescribes the ibe election, and it resulted in the election of about mode, and the only mode, in which it may be amended. three fourths of the candidates who were in favor of as. According to the eleventh article of the constitution of senting to the condition of admission to the two branches Michigan, “any amendment or amendments to the conof the Legislature. To these circumstances might be stitution may be proposed in the Senate or House of superadded the very material fact, that this county of Representatives; and if the same shall be agreed to by Washtenaw, which bad originally returned the seven dis. a majority of the members elected to each of the two

H. OF R.]

Admission of Michigan.

[Jan. 24, 1837

Houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall when they undertake to change their organic law; that be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays is to say, through the medium of forms and regulations, taken thereon, and referred to the Legislature then next as to time and manner, prescribed by their Legislature. to be chosen, and shall be published for three months This doctrine, said Mr. V., is contrary to the whole previous to the making such choice. And if, in the theory and sprit of our institutions. It puts the servant Legislature next to be chosen, such proposed amend. above bis master, the creature above his creator. Acment or amendments shall be agreed to by two thirds of cording to this doctrine, if the people are suffering all the members elected to each House, then it shall be grievances, be they ever so intolerable, and their lawa the duty of the Legislature to submit such proposed makers do not take the incipient steps towards remedy, amendment or amendments to the people, in such man ing them, the people in their sovereign capacity are enner and at such time as the Legislature shall prescribe; tirely impotent. The idea that every peaceable moveand if the people shall approve and ratify such amend. ment of the people to change their organic law is a fac. ment or amendments by a majority of the electors quali- tious or rebellious movement is indeed monstrous. But fied to vote for members of the Legislature voting there it was more particularly unsound, when applied to the on, such amendment or amendments shall become part subject-matter now under consideration; for be it re. of the constitution."

membered, that in the conditional compact which we Here, said Mr. V., we have the mode of amending the made here, in the overture which we held out by the constitution of Michigan clearly pointed out to us. What act of last session, we knew nothing about the Legislastronger right had the Legislature than the people to ture of Michigan. We recognised no authority but the call a convention to amend the constitution!-(if there sovereign people of a particular Territory, over which, were indeed any amendment of the constitution in the until they accepted of our condition of admission into the matter.) It was certainly too late to make this objec. family of States, we had a right to execute jurisdiction. tion now. If it ever was sound, (which he very much The Territory of Michigan was ours; he meant so far as doubted,) it ought to have been urged against the pas. sovereignty and jurisdiction were concerned. When sage of the act of Congress of last session. Congress, called upon to surrender this sovereignty and this juriswhen that act was passed, had the constitution of Michi- diction, we had a right to prescribe our own conditions, gan lying before it. It knew that the Legislature of so long as they were reasonable and consistent with the Michigan (a body which Congress had never yet abso- constitution of the United States; and if we were satislutely recognised) would have no right to give a bind.fied that those conditions had been substantially, not ing assent, if it were true, as some gentlemen contended, technically, complied with, it was not only our right, that such assent involved an amendment of the constitu- but our duty, to make the promised surrender. We tion; and Congress, therefore, instead of referring it to were dealing, as it were, with our own; not with a comany intermediate agency, whose powers were defined munity whose sovereignty and State independence we and limited, at once referred the matter to the sovereign had already absolutely recognised. We would not recpower, the people of Michigan. Where were the vigi- ognise Michigan as a sovereign confederate State un lant guardians of the constitution of Michigan when the til she complied with a certain condition; and whether act of Congress passed, recognising the right of the sov that condition had or had not been substantially complied ereign people, through a convention, to accept of the with was a question of fact, easy to be determined. terms contained in the act? They were not then at While upon this branch of the subject, said Mr. V., their posts, for this act passed very quietly through Con. he would say a word or two as to the nature and weight gress, and no gentleman, to his (Mr. V's) knowledge, of the evidence upon which the friends of the bill rely, then imagined that, by referring the subject to the ar for the purpose of proving the sense of the people of bitrament of the people, we were authorizing measures Michigan. 'It had been remarked by the honorable genthat were anarchical and revolutionary. But if the act tleman from Kentucky, (Mr. HARDIN,] that the evidence of acceptance by the last convention did alter the con was not alto ber satisfactory, and that it was not the stitution of Michigan, if it were true that that Territory character and degree of evidence upon which we could has so much of the essence of the constitution of a State as safely rely as the basis of our legislation. He entirely that a small portion of disputed territory could not be differed from the honorable gentleman upon this point. added or subtracted without working an alteration of The evidence was not only full and overflowing, but the constitution of such State, he would, in such event,

emanated from sources that we could not but respect. contend that it was competent for the people, through it came to us, too, fortified with the strong circumstance the medium of the convention chosen by them for such that no effort had been made to impeach or falsify it in purpose, to make such alteration. When the people of any particular. Indeed, it would almost seem that the Michigan made their constitution, prescribing the mode disagreeing members of the first convention had themof amending it, as above quoted, with whom did they selves been converted to the faith of those from whom, contract! They contracted with themselves; and have at first, they had dissented; for not a syllable, by way of they not a right to revoke what they themselves have or. protest, had been heard from them. There was the dained? They contracted with themselves, and have a per- official communication of General Williams, the president fect right to exonerate themselves from the binding force of the convention, informing us of the doings of the conof the contract. The Legislature is the creature of the vention. There was the assent of the members of the constitution, and is therefore under it. It has no life convention, duly signed by them, to the condition reand capacity other than what it draws from the laiter. quired by the act of Congress; there was the letter of The constitution, on the other hand, is the creature of the Senators in Congress, and the Representative cho. the people. It is their potential will alone that gave it sen to this House, from Michigan, containing answers to all its eficacy and binding force. As had well been ob- interrogatories propounded to them by the committee of served by one of the commentators cited by his friend this House to whom the bill on your table had been refrom Maryland, (Mr. Tuomas,] the constitution was, in ferred; there was an extract from a letter of the Governrelation to the people, like clay in the hands of the or of Michigan, and letters from various other gen. potter. They could mould and fashion it as their sense tlemen, well known to most of the members of this of patriotism, or their views of public good, might dic- House, all going to prove the facts which he (Mr. V.) tate.

had detailed in the introduction of his argument. And But it had been urged, that although the people are was not this evidence abundant, especially when viewed sovereign, they can only act through a legal organization in connexion with the fact that not a word of dissent

Jax. 24, 1837.)

Admission of Michigan.

[H. OF R.

or remonstrance had been heard from any quarter? | the second. Under and according to that constitution, What evidence do you require as a legitimate basis for the first convention had no right to amend it. legislative action? Do you want seals, and bonds, and We have, said Mr. V., heard a great deal said about records, and subscribing witnesses, when you have no revolutions, and some portions of the elaborate argument ressonable room to doubt as to the fact which is to form of his friend from Maryland, as to the right of the peothe ground of your legislation! Legislative bodies are ple to revolutionize their Government, able as it was, not so frammelled with form and technicality as all this was, (he spoke with great deference to the superior abil. would seem to indicate. They pass very important laws ity and experience of that gentleman,) he humbly appreupon mere newspaper accounts or representations. bended, somewhat calculated to mislead those who had Does a tremendous fire lay waste a valuable portion of not attended very strictly to the facts and to the true your great commercial emporium! You extend relief points in this case. It was calculated to induce the suisto some of the sufferers, without first sending forth a picion or fear that some terrible revolution may have commission to take testimony, and report whether the been wrought there. Sir, there has been no revolution derouring element has indeed committed the ravages in the Government of Michigan. Though a little terri. told of by public journals and private letters. Do the tory may have been taken from her at one end, and a public journals tell you that vessels are wrecked and little more may have been added at another, all the hundreds of lives lost upon your coast, in consequence of guarantees thrown around the rights of person and prop. a want of energy, vigilance, and efficiency, in the pilots erty, by the constitution of Michigan, were still here, whose duty it is to point out the sa passages to your unchanged and unmodified any particular. Was the harbors? You at once recollect that the constitution has Government provided by the constitution of Michigan committed to your hands the great trust of regulating republican? It is still so. Did it secure the freedom commerce, and you forth with set about inquiring the of conscience and religion, and the freedom of the ways and means you had best put in requisition to pre-press? It still does. Did it prescribe and define the yent a recurrence of such shocking catastrophes; and duties of the executive, legislative, and judicial branchthat, too, without first appointing a committee to inquire es of the Government. It still does. Did it prescribe how many ill-fated mortals had fallen victims to your the qualifications of electors? It still does. Did it se. past remissness. He who will not believe the testimony cure the citizen against unwarrantable searches and accumulated upon the points—firs', that the election for seizures, and guaranty the right of trial by jury? It still delegales to the second convention were fairly conduct does. All these fundamental provisions--the life and ed; second, that the votes for the assenting delegates for soul and essence of the constitution--are still there, notthe last convention exceeded, by a large majority, that withstanding the terrible revolution we have heard so for both assenting and disagreeing delegates for the first much of What, then, is this monstrous revolution, this convention; and, thirdly, that at least four fifths of the radical change of the constitution, about which we bave sovereign people of Michigan would rather come into heard such doleful jeremiads? Why, sir, a little piece the Union upon what they deemed the bard terms propo of territory has been taken from one end of the State, sed by the act of last session of Congress, rather than be and a little more than an equivalent has been added to langer postponed-those who are yet unbelievers in the other, and all with the consent and direction of the these several propositions must be sceptical in the ex Congress of the United States, before Michigan had ab. treme.

solutely passed from under her tutelage, and with the The honorable gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Har consent, too, of a large majority of the people of MichiDux) bas asked me, in a tone of triumph, and chal- gan. lenged me to answer him, whether there could be in This, said Mr. V., brought him to another point, up. Michigan & constitutional Government and a revolutiona. on which he proposed to dwell for only a moment. He If Government in operation at one and at the same time. was not prepared to admit that territory was so much of Br, said Mr. V., 'the gentleman begs the question the essence of even a regularly organized State (not 10 when he assumes that it is necessary for our purpose lo mention a mere Territory) as that a little addition to, or shox that a constitutional Government and a revolution. subtraction from, the territory which the jurisdiction of ury Government can legitimately coexist in a State. the State originally covered, could not be made without He contended, as will be remembered, that there was altering or amending its constitution. The constitution 19 constitutional Government in Michigan, which cons of the United States, when it was framed and adopted, gress had absolutely recognised, up to the time of the did not contemplate the addition of Louisiana or Flórida. second convention. Congress bad, be it always remem. It did not originally cover either; and yet this immense bered, made no absolute recognition of any power in territory was purchased, and your federal jurisdiction Michigan but that which was lodged in the people of was exiended over it, without amending your federal the Territory. The gentleman, in one part of his speech, constitution. Constitutions, after all, seemed to be a admitted that Michigan bad been somewhat irregular in little more elastic, or a litile more capable of contraction, her first movement; that, strictly speaking, she could than many gentlemen seemed to imagine. There have ut change ber Territorial relation, and form a State been various controversies between States, respecting constitution, without first obtaining the assent of Con- disputed boundary lines; and they have all been settled pess; but that Congress, if it saw fit, could waive the ir. without feeling it necessary to amend their constitutions, regolarity of the proceedings of the people of Michigan, and without dreaming that their constitutions were in Ind ratify and affirm their doings. The gentleman had effect amended thereby. New York, long after the further contended that the first convention was the fruit adoption of her constitution, claimed a considerable porcf the constitutional Government, and that the last con tion of what is now Vermont. She relinquished all Fention was an emanation of the revolutionary Govern. claim of jurisdiction over it, without ever supposing Deat. Sir, said Mr. V., both were equally revolution that her constitution was amended by the operation. ary in their character, if an amendment of ihe constitu- But, sir, let us come down to a later period. For many sa vis effected by the acceptance of the terms propo- years, and until very lately, there has been a controverked by Congress. It had already too often been said that sy between New York and New Jersey, l'especting the Pere was but one mode of amending the constitution of true boundary line between those iwo contiguous States, Michigan, according to the organic law which the peo. The gallant Jersey men were very pugnacious when they ple of tbat State had adopted; and that the first conven fancied that the Empire State was disposed to trespass faa y no more the child of that constitution than was upon their oysler beds. The matter was once brought

Vol. XIII.-91

H. OF R.)

Admission of Michigan.

[Jan. 24, 1837.

before the Supreme Court of the United States, and bad, adopt and ratify the act, you make him your agent from as he believed, been finally adjusted, without any the beginning. Mr. V. said there were too many law. Amendment of constitutions on either side. The States, yers, and, if not lawyers, too many gentlemen of sound through their Legislatures, were constantly ceding juris. discrimination and strong common sense, now in his diction to the United States, for military or naval pur hearing, to require him longer to dilate upon this topic. poses; and all this, too, without amending their constitu Sir, said Mr. V., I have now said, upon the points in. tions. Constitutions, said Mr. V., are organic laws, that volved in this case, all that I demeed myself called upon guard the cardinal rights of States and communities; and to say, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, to if, in the progress of events, a small portion of territory, which this whole subject was referred. I have attemptor a few members of the community, once shielded by ed, as is ever my study, so to discuss this subject as to this law, be severed from it, it is idle to say that it is not give offence to no gentleman, and have endeavored to operative and binding upon the main body that remain, exclude from my discourse, feeble as it has been, all without resorting to the process of amendment.

extraneous topics. I will not so far degrade the proud A change in the constitution of a State, a revolution in place to which my constituents have here elevated me as Government, is something more than the loss of a few to pervert it on every occasion into the means of pouring miles of disputed territory over which the Government forih party tirades against political adversaries. . There was originally extended. It is not quite so insignificant are duties and topics that belong to the stump and the an affair. It is not a gentle breeze, that merely tears electioneering rostrum, and there are duties and iopics that off a branch or a leaf, but a tornado, that sweeps away appropriately belong to your halls of legislation. There the main pillars and the very corner stones of ihe edi. is a style, a tone, and a temper, that may well become fice, and levels the old order of things to the ground. the harangue occasions of political gladiators elsewhere, It shakes whole nations, and marks its career with deso. and which illy accords with the dignity and amenity that lation and blood. To call the orderly proceedings of should always be observed in your halls of legislation, the free people of Michigan, in this instance, a revolu. I wish not, sir, to assume the odious office of censor of tion, is indeed contradicting all our former notions of the habits and practices of this House. I claim no es revolutions of Government. It is disparaging and libel. emption from those that are exceptionable. Standing, ling that great and glorious struggle which secured to then, in the relation of particeps criminis, I will take oc. us the right of sitting here, and legislating for a great, a casion to say, that while I have had the honor of a seat free, and a happy people,

in this House, there has been generally too great an inAt the same time that be deemed it unnecessary for clination in gentlemen here to wander from the true the purposes of the question immediately before the point under debate, too great a propensity to deal in House to have gone into all the profound and elementa. common-place parly denunciation, rather than illustrate ry learning extant, as to the right of the people to resort great questions of principle with fair, with terse and to this extreme remedy, he did not wish to be consider statesmanlike logic. Amid the thousand speeches that ed as entirely repudiating the doctrines of the gentle are constantly tlirown off here about matters and things man from Maryland, [Mr. TAOMAS.] Deny to the people in general, compact, well-digessed, and instructive arguthe right of changing their Government, when it becomes ments are indeed "like angels' visits, few and far be. either oppressive or inadequate to the purposes for


It was not so, sir, in the early days of the which it was instituted, and you deny the very cause republic, when your Madisons, your Hamiltons, your which gave existence to us as a nation. You open Marshalls, and your Ellsworths, illustrated the ansources of sovereignty other than those which your nals of your legislation. We now, at this lale day, confathers taught you, and array yourselves against the stantly consult their speeches, as if they were the gifts principles which were promulgated to the world in that of oracles. It is, sir, because, when they entered the immortal instrument which declared your independence sacred halls of legislation, they disdained ihe miserable as a nation. But, sir, neither the time nor the occasion trashy ephemeral party topics of the day, and dwelt only will justify my going into an elaborate disquisition on the on questions of interest. Yes, their giant intellects inherent rights of man and the origin of government. grappled only with great subjects of principle, that

It has been asked, and will doubtless again be asked, concerned the public weal, not only for a day or a year, if Michigan was not, to all intents and purposes, a sov but for ages to come. It is high time, sir, that wc ereign State when you passed the law of the last session should begin to emulate their example. It is high time admitting her into the Union, after she should have ex. that we begin to realize that the people did not send us ecuted certain conditions on her part, how could she here as schoolmasters, to teach them what candidates choose Senators in Congress, and a . Representative to they had better honor with their confidence, and to tell this House, before the act of Congress had passed? The them of the foibles or the virtues of the ins or the outs, gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. HARDIN) had himself but as agents 10 originate measures and enact laws that given the answer to this. He had told us that although may conduce to their permanent bappiness and prosthe proceedings of Michigan, in forming a State consti- perity. tution and organizing a Siate Government, were prema When Mr. VANDERPOEL had taken his seat, ture and irregular, yet it was competent for Congress to Mr. TOUCEY addressed the House as follows: Na waive ibis irregularity, and to ratify and confirm wbat one, Mr. Speaker, rejoices more than I do that the Michigan had thus done. There is a difference between time has arrived when the just rights of the people of adopting and ratifying an unauthorized thing after it is Michigan, as a State of this Union, are to be acknowl. done, and authorizing the doing of it before it is done. edged and regarded. After every obstacle seemed to You are constantly passing laws confirming titles that have been removed, and every difficulty overcome, new are either void or voidable, yet it does not follow from difficulties and new obstacles have sprung up, and the this that the title which you are thus called upon 10 per. ground is coniested to the very last moment. With the fect was good before your act of confirmation passed, right secured to her, by the fundamental compact of the The adoption and ratification of an act, originally irreg. ordinance of 1787, to form a constitution and State Gov ular, by a party competent to adopt or ratify, legalizes ernment, and to be admitted into the Union as an inde the act from its inception. If, as between individuals, a pendent State, upon an equal footing with the other party, professing to be your agent, usurps authority States, whenever ber population should be sixty thou which he had strictly no right to exercise, and does an sand in number, she applied to Congress to provide by Act which lie had no right to do, and you afierwards I law for that event, and was told there was no tim

Jax. 24, 1837.]

Admission of Michigan.

(H. OF R.

her own.

then to attend to her demand. She applied again and boundaries were fixed, and her population amounted to again, and the message was still borne to her, that Con- sixty thousand, to form a constitution and State Govern. gress was not yet ready. Having a population far ex. ment for herself. Her boundaries are fixed beyond the ceeding sixty thousand, no longer waiting for a prelimi- reach of any authority known in this country, except nary law of Congress, she proceeded, under the ordi

Her population is sixty thousand three times dance of 1787, which is of higher obligation than any told. She has formed her own constitution and State law, as unchangeable and more so than the constitution Government, in pursuance of the right secured to her itself, formed a constitution and State Government, and by the compact; a right inherent in her people, which presented herself at the doors of Congress for admis cannot be taken from them except by brute force, by a sion. She was again told that we were not yet ready, flagrant violation of the public faith, of the articles of that ber boundary was not settled, that her claims con

compact, and of the constitution of the United States, ficted with those of another State, that we had un. which guaranties the perpetual obligation of that com bounded authority to settle that controversy, (now of pact, and by violating the rights of every American citi. more than thirty years' duration,) and to prescribe her zen within her limits. The Congress of the United limits by law, and that she must wait until we could find States, by the act of June last, has accepted, ratified, time to exercise that authority. She again waited during and confirmed, ber constitution and State Government, an almost interminable session, her Senators and Repre, without restriction or qualification, save that they are sentative standing at our doors for more than half a year, declared to be of force only within the boundaries, preand we finally exercised that authority, settled the con scribed. Within those boundaries that constitution and tested boundary, prescribed ber limits on all sides, rati. State Government are of binding force, by authority of fied, accepted, and confirmed, her constitution and

the people of Michigan, and by the sanction of an act State Government, and declared her to be a sovereign of Congress. The Territorial Government is abolished; and independent State. By the same act, we declared The Territorial jurisdiction is withdrawn; not a vestige her to be thereby admitted into the Union, upon the ex of it remains. It has receded before the State jurisdicpress condition ibat her boundaries should be those tion, which has sprung up in its place. Michigan is a which we then assumed and exercised the authority to State de jure as well as a State de facto. prescribe.

She is a State not out of the Union. She was a TerA mind of ordinary intelligence would have supposed ritory under the authority of the Union. The transition that, having gone thus far, the next step was inevitable, was, from a Territory under the authority of the Union, and that her Senators and her Representative would to a State under the authority of the Union.

The one have been admitted to their seats; that the right of par- necessarily succeeds to the other, unless a change is ticipating in framing the laws which she was to obey wrought by conquest; unless, by conquest, the new would have been practically allowed; that taxation and State goes out of the Union. The power of Congress representation would no longer have been forced asun

can only be exerted by maintaining the Territorial auder; and that her people, already become a powerful thority; when that is withdrawn, and the Sta!e authority is State, would no longer be denied the rights, privileges, recognised, the result in constitutional law is a State and immunities, of American citizens, secured to them under the authority of the Union. The people of by the plighted faith of the nation, by the unalterable Michigan are citizens of the United States, subject to compact of the ordinance, and by the constitution of the the federal authority, subject, like the citizens of other Union. But their just rights and their just expecta- States, to the laws of Congress, and owe an allegiance Lions were not regarded. The jealousy of controversy to this Government, which may be violated by acts of and the jealousy of questioned power were not so easily treason against it. They are each and all of them not appeased.

out of the Union. The State of Michigan can neither The admission of the State of Michigen into the Union negotiate foreign alliances, declare war nor make peace, was not to be complete, and ber Senators and Represent- maintain armies nor navies, coin money nor issue bills of atives were not to take their seats, until the boundaries credit, regulate her own commerce, nor do any one act prescribed by act of Congress had received the assent

which is prohibited to any other State. All this, and of a convention of delegates, elected by the people of more, she might do, were she out of the Union. But Michigan for the sole purpose of giving that assent. she cannot do it, for the plain and obvious reason that And now, when that assent has been given, as I shall at she is bound by the constitution. That a State and the tempt to show, in the only possible mode, and the voice people of a State should be under the constitution, and of remonstrance from that injured people is not heard, bound by it, and yet be out of the Union, and without opposition is raised here, her convention is denounced the pale of the constitution, is a contradiction in terms. 23 revolutionary, its authority denied, and the time for what must be the condition of a State, which has eyber admission into the Union, properly and constitutionery essential quality and circumstance which define evally, it is said, has not yet come.

ery other State in this confederacy, it is unnecessary I ask the attention of the House to a plain view of for me to say. this question. I apprehend the die is cast, the subject Michigan is then a State de faclo, a State de jure, a bas gone from our hands, the only power we have is to state not out of the Union, a State acknowledged by Con. acknowledge the truth, to recognise the existence of an

gress, her constitution accepted by Congress, her State independent State of this Union, and to admit the just Government, revolutionary perhaps in its origin, ratified chittis of her delegates in both Houses of Congress. and confirmed by Congress.

Look to the peninsula Michigan. What do we be. What, then, will you do? Will you put her out of the told there! A State, in fact, with a population of two Union? You cannot do it. Your decree would be im. Sendred thousand; with definite boundaries, now at all potent. Two hundred thousand American citizens canevents fixed beyond the control of Congress; with a con not be put out of the Union by act of Congress. A sovstitution and State Government; legislative, judicial, and ereign state, whose constitution you have accepted, executive departments; with laws enacted, administered, whose State Government you have ratified and confirinzod esecuted by its own authority; all its officers per- ed, which is bound by the constitution and laws of the forming their respective functions, without interruption Union, cannot be put out of the Union by act of Congress, and without question-Michigan is a State de facto. nor can she be put out of existence. Verbum irrevoca

Sbe is rigbtfully a State. By the fundamental compact bile. It has gone forth. It is too late. What, then, will of the ordinance of 1787, she was entitled, when her | you do? Have you the power to exclude her delegates

« ПретходнаНастави »