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of a good conscience-rejoicing in the approbation of their contemporaries-rejoicing in the assurance that their memories shall be embalmed by a grateful posterity. All these blessings, together with the forgiveness of our sins, we ask in the name of Jesus, our Redeemer Amen.
Hon. ERASTUS CLARK, Deputy Secretary of State, then proceeded to call the roll of the Convention. All the delegates responded except the following: Delegates at large.-Homer A. Nelson, Francis Keruan, John Magee.
District Delegates.-6th. Abraham D. Russell; 8th. John E. Develin; 10th. Stephen A. Fullerton;
13th. Amasa J. Parker.
The Secretary of State then proceeded to administer the constitutional oath to the following delegates:
DELEGATES AT LARGE.
Waldo Hutchins, William M. Evarts, George Opdyke, Augustine J. H. Duganne, George William Curtis, Horace Greeley, Joshua M. Van Cott, Ira Harris, Erastus Cooke, Martin I. Townsend, William A. Wheeler, Charles Andrews, Tracy Beadle, Charles J. Folger, Erastus S. Prosser, Augustus Frank, Augustus Schell, George Law, Henry C. Murphy, David L. Seymour, Jacob Hardenburgh, Smith M. Weed, Alonzo C. Paige, George F. Comstock, Henry D. Barto, Sanford E. Church, Henry O. Chesebro, Joseph G. Masten. Marshal B. Champlain.
Seventeenth District.-William C. Brown, Edwin A. Merritt, Leslie W. Russell, Joel J. Seaver. Eighteenth District.-Edward A. Brown, Marcus Bickford, James A. Bell, Milton H. Merwin.
Nineteenth District.-Richard U. Sherman, Theodore W. Dwight, Benjamin N. Huntington, George Williams.
Fifth District.-Nathaniel Jarvis, Jr., Elbridge
Seventh District.-Samuel J. Tilden, Edwards
Twentieth District.-Elijah E. Ferry, John Eddy, Ezra Graves, Oliver B. Beals.
Twenty-First District.-Elias Root, Lester M. Case, M. Lindley Lee, Loring Fowler.
Ninth District.-Abraham B. Conger, Abraham B. Tappan, Robert Cochran, William H. Morris. Tenth District.-William H. Houston, Clinton V. R. Ludington, Gideon Wales.
Eleventh District.-B. Platt Carpenter, John Stanton Gould, Wilson B. Sheldon, Francis Sil
Twenty-Second District.-Thomas G. Alvord, L. Harris Hiscock, Patrick Corbett, Horatio Ballard.
Twenty-Third District.-Elizur H. Prindle, John Grant, Hobart Krum, Samuel F. Miller.
Twenty-Fourth. District. — Stephen D. Hand, Charles E. Parker, Oliver H. P. Kinney, Milo Goodrich.
Twenty-Fifth District.-George Rathbun, Chas. C. Dwight, Leander S. Ketcham, Ornon Archer.
Twenty-Sixth District.-Elbridge G. Lapham, Angus McDonald, Sterling G. Hadley, Melatiah
Twenty-Eighth District.-Jerome Fuller, Lorenzo D. Ely, William A. Reynolds, Freeman Clark. Twenty-Ninth District.-Seth Wakeman, Levi F. Bowen, Thomas T. Flagler, Ben Field.
SENATORIAL DISTRICT DELEGATES. First District.-Selah B. Strong, Solomon Townsend, William Wickham, Erastus Brooks. Second District.-John P. Rolfe, Daniel P. Barn-Verplanck, Allen Potter, George W. Clinton. ard, Charles Lowrey, Walter L. Livingston.
Thirtieth District.-Edward J. Farnum, Isaac L. Endress, John M. Hammond, William H. Merrill. Thirty-First District.-Israel T. Hatch, Isaac A.
Third District.-Teunis G. Bergen, William D. Veeder, John G. Schumaker, Stephen I. Collahan. Fourth District.-Charles P. Daly, Samuel B. Garvin, Abraham R. Lawrence, Jr., John E. Burrill.
Twenty-Seventh District.-Elijah P. Brooks, David Rumsey, Abraham Lawrence, George T. Spencer.
Thirty-Second District.-George Barker, Augustus F. Allen, Norman M. Allen, George Van Campen.
Mr. FOLGER moved that the Convention do now proceed to elect a president of the Convention, and that two tellers be appointed by the chair to count the votes.
Mr. STRONG-I would prefer, as there is but one candidate, that he should be elected by acclamation.
The CHAIR-The statute requires that the president shall be elected by ballot.
Mr. STRONG-I withdraw my motion. Mr. J. BROOKS-Before we proceed to an election by ballot for the President of this Convention, I am requested by some of my fellowmembers to say a few words. The minority of the members of this body assembled this morning for consultation, and acting upon the wise precedent which the Legislature of this State established at its last session, deemed it wise to present no particular candidate to this body. This Convention has assembled for an important objectnamely to revise the organic law of this State. Looking to the proceedings of the Legislature, we have seen with great approbation that that body
Twelfth District.-John M. Francis, Jonathan P. Armstrong, Cornelius L. Allen, Adolphus F. Hitchcock.
Thirteenth District.-Erastus Corning, William Cassidy, James Roy. Fourteenth District.-Marius Schoonmaker, Solo-enacted a law which secured the election of sixmon G. Young, Manly B. Mattice, Ezekiel P. More.
teen Republican and sixteen Democratic members throughout the State at large, and thereby gave an admonition, if they did not establish a precedent, which seemed to justify us, or at least to Mat-suggest to us that this Constitutional Conventhew Hale, Nathan G. Axtell, Andrew J. Cheri- tion, about to assemble for the formation of our great organic law, should not be organized for
Fifteenth District.-Alembert Pond, Hezekiah Baker, Judson S. Landon, Horace E. Smith. Sixteenth District.-George M. Beckwith,
party purposes or for party organization; and Erastus Corning,. though there were precedents to the contrary in Sanford E. Church,. the history of the State, yet that action of a Leg-George F. Comstock,. islature opposed to us in political feeling, was S. B. Garvin, deemed so wise that we have acquiesced in it, Selah B. Strong,. and have presented no particular candidate to be A. C. Paige,. voted for by the minority, leaving each member G. W. Clinton,. to vote for whomsoever he may please. We I. A. Verplanck,. have deeply regretted that others have deemed Samuel J. Tilden,. it wise to take a contrary course; and though I. B. Masten,. it is very natural and proper, and no matter G. W. Curtis,. of complaint by us that the majority of this I. T. Hatch,. body should select its own men for officers, yet, C. P. Daly,. it is matter of regret to us that in a Constitu- George Law,. tional Convention, which has met to form the Gideon J. Tucker,. organic law that shall govern this State, the Edwards Pierrepont,. presiding officer should go into the chair so Marshall B. Champlain,. bound down by party ties and party obligations Allen Potter,. . . . as not to feel himself absolved from the party that created him, and respect the views of the minority represented on the floor of this house. And we have apprehended with fear, and we certainly have a perfect right to fear, from what we have read in this morning's papers of the action of a body that met elsewhere, that the action of On taking his seat the President said: this Convention in selecting a presiding officer GENTLEMEN OF THE CONVENTION :-With a will be that of a mere party organization, and grateful appreciation of your kind partiality, I deprive us in the minority of those equitable and enter with unfeigned diffidence upon the disjust rights which the minority ought always to charge of the duties to which, by your ballots, have, not only in a legislative body, but more espe- you have assigned me, encouraged, nevertheless, cially in a body like this, whose action will establish by the conviction that honest efforts faithfully for future time the great organic law of this State. and impartially to administer the trust, will secure And we have the more regretted it, not only that to me a just degree of forbearance and supthey have elected all the other officers, but par- port. We are, in the history of our State, the fifth ticularly one officer in the same manner, who is body convened at the command of its sovereign to be--I will not say the recording angel of this people for the especial consideration of its fundabody-but who is to take down every word we mental law. We are to review, and seek better to utter for the future consideration of those who adapt to the demands of our time, the work of may come after us, and who wish to consult the our predecessors, embracing as well men who Constitution we may frame. We have thought carried the direct inspiration of the Revolution the stenographer of this body, if not the recording into their labors, as many others of a later period angel, should in the spirit of equity and justice whose names gild our historic page, and to all make a record which will be free to all and just of whose combined patriotism and wisdom we to all. And though we have no doubt that the are indebted for the imperial and priceless heriofficer they have selected will do his duty in jus-tage we enjoy. To remold the organic law of the tice to all, from his high professional reputation, first Commonwealth of the world, Empire in name yet we have deeply regretted that his selection by and Empire in fact, in which law are to rest the a party should seem to place him under any guarantees and safeguards of the rights, the party obligations whatsoever, that would make his interests and the welfare of our present and record more favorable to one side than it would future millions of people, is a task challenging be to the other, in a minority ir. this body. I our best efforts and our highest wisdom. Of the have deemed it proper to make these few brief work confided to us, I will not detain you to speak remarks prior to the ballots that the minority in in specific detail. Prominent however is the this body will give, not at all in censure or con- devising of means to secure the full benefits demnation of the majority, but in explanation of of that system of public works so closely interthe course that we have taken, and as a justification woven with our growth and prosperity, which of that course to our people throughout this State. has stimulated as well our own as the agriThe motion of Mr. Folger was then put to the culture of the great West, which has created vote of the Convention, and was declared car- cities and villages, and made vast contributions ried. to our internal and foreign commerce-the regulation and government of our State institutions and multiform corporations, municipal and other
The Chair appointed as tellers, Mr. Curtis of Richmond, and Mr. Cassidy of Albany. The Convention proceeded to vote for Presidenta wise, just and economic adjustment of State and the Chair announced the result as follows: finance-the conferring of such legislative pow
William A. Wheeler having received a majority of the votes of the Convention, the Chair announced that he was duly elected President of the Convention, and appointed Messrs. Harris and Murphy a committee to conduct the President elect to the chair.
The whole number of votes cast was 149, of ers as shall insure honest and general legislation,
and an improved system of Judiciary which shall 100 supply efficient remedy and prompt redress for 9 every violation of the rights of person or prop5 erty. But, gentlemen, let us not forget that it is
Henry C. Murphy,
Amasa J. Parker,
Mr. CALDWELL thereupon took the Constitutional oath of office which was administered by the President.
Mr. FOLGER offered the following resolution: Resolved, That Edward F. Underhill be and he is hereby appointed Stenographer to the Constitutional Convention. Which was adopted.
Mr. ELY offered the following resolution: Resolved, That Samuel C. Pierce be and he is hereby appointed Sergeant-at-Arms of this Convention. Which was adopted.
Mr. ARCHER offered the following resolution: Resolved, That John H. Kemper be and he is hereby appointed Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms of this Convention. Which was adopted.
Which was adopted.
not in these things alone, that the true life of al est boast. Again thanking you gentlemen, for your State consists. It consists rather, as has been kind consideration, I await your further dleasure. aptly said elsewhere, in that public spirit which is Mr. HARRIS offered the following resolution: the soul of Commonwealths, without which empire Resolved, That Luther Caldwell be and he is has no glory, and the wealth of nations is a hereby appointed Secretary of the Convention. source of corruption and decay. I mean that Which was adopted. public spirit best illustrated in our recent great conflict, by the sublime national enthusiasm, the matchless patience, the heroic strength, and the unstinted sacrifice of blood and treasure, by all of which we rescued from the toils and grasp of treason our imperiled nationality. A State will be great, prosperous and stable in the degree in which it possesses this spirit. Its germ is free, equal, conscious, intelligent and enfranchised manhood. To develop and foster such manhood is the highest civil duty which can engage the patriotic statesman. We owe it to the inspiration of the age in which we live we owe it to the cause of universal civil liberty-we owe it to the struggling liberalism of the old world-we owe it to the memories of the myriads of our martyred dead who sleep their last sleep upon countless battle-fields, to make proclamation, by the sovereign majesty of this great State, that Mr. SHERMAN offered the following resolution: every man within the limits of its broad domain, Resolved, That until the adoption of permanent of whatever race or color, or however poor, help-rules for the regulation of the proceedings of the less or lowly he may be, in virtue of his MANHOOD, Convention, the rules of the Assembly of this is entitled to the full enjoyment of every right ap- State be followed as far as they may be applicapertaining to the most exalted citizenship. This ble; and that a select committee of five be apdone, we have only to secure the means of free, pointed by the President to report a code of rules universal education-thus keeping power and in-suited to the wants of the Convention. telligence hand in hand-to realize the highest ideals of popular Government. Such, gentlemen, is the mission to which we are called. We ought, rising above the low grounds of partisanship, to inspirit our work with an earnest, whole-souled patriotism, enlivened, regenerated and sanctified by all the trials of the fiery crucible through by prayer. which we have just passed. It is our exalted Which was adopted. privilege to initiate the movement of bringing Mr. HARRIS offered the following resolution: our State up to the full standard of the theories Resolved, That a committee of two members of a true Republican Government. In the progress from each judicial district be appointed by the of the march to that destiny to which the God President, whose duty it shall be to consider and of Nations is unmistakably leading us, we have report the best practical mode of proceeding to reached a higher plane of our national life. The revise the constitution, which was adopted. duty is laid upon us of reaping from the great MR. SILVESTER-The Legislature in the act struggle through which we have made this which it passed to provide for this Convention advance, such fruits, such influence and such to revise and amend the Constitution, provided power as shall carry us to the highest attainable for the election of certain officers by the Convenpoints of enlightened and Christian civilization. tion, and of the appointment of certain other In this beneficent work, New York should officers by the President and Secretary. There maintain her supremacy among her sister com-seems in the act which was passed by the Legismonwealths, leading in the march of human liberty lature to be no provision for the appointment of a and human progress, as she led in marshaling the postmaster for the Convention. Every person armies which won them for all nations, kindreds, familiar with the proceedings of any deliberative tongues and peoples who take shelter under the body is aware that they have found it necessary for folds of the banner of the Republic. Let us, the correct transaction of business to have a postwhose action is so vitally to affect the future of our State, trusting to that Superior Power so signally manifested in our National behalf in the battling years from which we have just emerged, and with confirmed faith in a Government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," be true to our trust, true to ourselves, and true to truth. So shall we faithfully meet and wisely discharge the obligations of our day and generation, and advance the growing grandeur of the towering State, whose citizenship is our highest, proud- the convention.
MR. BELL offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the Secretary be requested to confer with the regular clergy of this city, and request them to make such arrangements, that the daily sessions of this Convention may be opened
master. It will be necessary for us very often to have conference with our constituents, to receive communications from them and send communications to them, and for that purpose a postmaster of this body would be very essential. Undoubtedly the Legislature omitted to provide for the election and appointment of a postmaster through inadvertence.
The PRESIDENT-The Chair would remind the gentleman that there is no question before
Mr. SILVESTER -The recommendation of the Legislature bears date subsequently to the act passed to provide for the Convention, showing that the Legislature intended that this Convention should have the benefit of these labors of a Postmaster, although in the act itself they had omitted to provide for the election and appointment of such an officer. Mr. Hotailing seems to have performed these duties to the satisfaction of the Legislature, and is eminently competent to perform the duties of this body, he having had the experience of a postmaster.
Mr. FOLGER-I merely rise to notice a remark made by the gentleman from Columbia [Mr. Silvester] that the omission to provide for a postmaster was through the inadvertence of the Legislature. That subject, sir, was considered in the Committee on Judiciary and in the Committee of Conference upon the bill which has called this body into existence, and it was considered when we provided for a sergeant-at-arms, assistant sergeant-at-arms and eight door-keepers, that we provided for a sufficient force to protect this body from invasion from abroad, and ample force to conduct into and out of it, all the mail matter we might reasonably send to or receive from our constituents. Theoretically, in the Senate of this State, there is no postmaster; but practically, the deputy sergeant-at arms always officiates in that capacity, and supplies every want for an office of that description. Just so in preparing this bill, there was no inadvertence; we thought the deputy sergeant-at-arms might very well, without taking a great deal of time from duties which would necessarily call him elsewhere, conduct the postal department of this Convention as has been done in the Senate. Because, we can readily perceive, that there is quite a difference in the matter of detail of the proceedings of this Convention and the proceedings of the Legislature. Here we deal with generalities for the whole State, and not for special localities, and there will not be sol
much need of correspondence between us and those we may leave at home, as there would be if we sat here passing one thousand bills, as was done last year. For that reason the committee, and I think the Legislature, thought, that the officers in the bill were amply sufficient to carry out all the duties of this Convention, and the deputy sergeant-at-arms might very well act as postmaster to this body. Then, in addition to that, there is another consideration, and that is, that the Comptroller will not pay this officer, if he should be elected. I know that he will not pay any money, if it is not provided for in any law, and the law provides for no such office. When the postmaster, if he should be elected, applies to him for payment, he will say: "Where is the act that will allow me to draw my warrant for this upon the Treasurer ?" and it will not be found.
Mr. SILVESTER-In respect to the observation that the Comptroller will not pay the postmaster if elected, I would merely answer in reply, that the Convention of 1846, I believe, elected several officers who had not been provided for in the act, and a subsequent Legislature provided for the payment of those officers. I suppose the same rule could be adopted in this case; and this gentleman, if he be elected, or any gentleman elected or appointed Postmaster, would run the risk of being paid by the Legislature. I did not suppose it was necessary to protect us from invasion from abroad. I do not want any further legislation with that view, but it was rather to further invasion by the people and to get suggestions of their views.
Mr. GREELEY-I trust that this Convention will not commence its labors by violating the laws of the State, in regard to the officers provided for. Certainly eight door-keepers must be four too many, and two sergeants-at-arms at least one too many, and we could spare one of these officers who could act as postmaster. I trust that this resolution will not pass.
Mr. STRATTON offered the following amendment to the resolution offered by Mr. Silvester:
Resolved, That the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms be and he is hereby instructed to discharge the duties of Postmaster of Convention. Which was adopted.
Mr. SHERMAN offered the following amendment to the amendment offered by Mr. Stratton:
"And that the Sergeant-at-arms detail from among the messengers a sufficient number to act as assistants and messengers to the Postmaster." Which was adopted.
The question was taken on the resolution offered by Mr. Silvester, as amended, and it was declared adopted.
Mr. FOLGER offered the following resolution: Resolved, That when the Convention adjourns this day, it adjourn until 4 o'clock P. M., and that there be a session beginning at that hour for the purpose of drawing for seats in such manner as shall be determined.
Which was adopted.
Mr. FULLER offered the following resolution: Resolved, That until otherwise determined, this Convention will meet in this Assembly Chamber daily at 11 o'clock, A. M. Which was adopted.
The Constitutional oath of office was then ad-informed, when I state that, under the law by ministered by the President to Samuel C. Pierce, which we are organized, a manual will be laid Sergeant at Arms, John H. Kemper, assistant upon our desks which will contain in substance, Sergeant at Arms, and Edward F. Underhill, and I believe in form, an entire answer to the Stenographer to the Convention.
Mr. GREELEY-I desire to offer the following resolution of inquiry, which if it is held to be too soon, I will withdraw it. I will read the resolution and then make a few remarks.
Resolved, That the Comptroller be requested to prepare and communicate to this Convention a tabular statement showing:
1. The original cost of the several canals of this State, including that of any enlargement or extension thereof.
2. The aggregate cost of each canal as aforesaid, including the superintendence, repairs and legal interest on the cost of construction up to the close of the last fiscal year.
3. The aggregate receipts or income of each canal computed in like manner.
4. The net cost (or profit) of each canal up to the close of the last fiscal year.
5. The annual receipts or income of the State from each canal, with the annual cost of superintendence and repair, respectively of such canals up to the close of the last fiscal year.
Mr. ALVORD-As I do not wish to stifle debate, I will withdraw it.
resolution of the gentleman from Westchester. (Mr. Greeley). Each and every requisite of that resolution is answered in that manual, which will be laid upon our table in a very few days. I trust the gentleman will consent that his resolution shall lie on the table. It strikes me that the passage of this resolution, under these circumstances, must necessarily increase the expense to the State, and for that reason also I trust the gentleman will consent that his resolution lie on the table. I wish to say a few words more. I do not think with the gentleman from Westchester, (MR. GREELEY) that the Democratic party acting either here, through their representatives upon this floor, or as part and parcel of the people of the State of New York, will be inclined under any and every circumstance to go against the adoption of a Constitution which shall be made by this body. I believe, if we go in the right spirit to work, and frame a Constitution to subserve the great interests of the people of the State of New York, that the Democratic party represented here will vote in favor of that ConThe gentleman from New York, (Mr. Brooks) stitution, and that the Party at the polls will who has addressed this Convention I think rather respond to the action of their representatives. I out of season, made some remarks as to party move, sir, that for the present, the resolution of aspects of organization, which I wish to say a the gentleman from New York do lie on the table. word about in speaking to this resolution. I Mr. TILDEN-Will the gentleman withdraw offered this in endeavoring to get the clearest his motion for a moment, in order that I may and fullest statement possible with regard to make a single observation? our canals, being determined to act here with the most entire independence of party upon this as upon every other question, with a single view Mr. TILDEN-Mr. President: The observations to the best interests of the whole people of the which my friend, the delegate from Westchester, State. I was among the gentlemen who met here (Mr. Greeley), has deemed it proper to make to last evening to consult and consider the proper this Convention, seem to require that, in behalf of mode of organization of this Convention. I did so those like myself—(and I speak for myself, and as I could not have done otherwise, simply because for a few others whose opinions on this subject I I believed from observing the facts all around me know) we should be allowed to say, as we do say, throughout the last two or three years, that the that we have met here upon this occasion under Democratic party of this State did not consider it the sworn duty which we have assumed, to diswise, or perhaps I should say timely-now to charge that duty in good faith, and to the best of enter upon the work of revising the Constitution our ability. And, sir, I do not hesitate to say that of our State. They had a perfect right so to it would not be good faith for men to come here believe. I met them at the polls acting in this determined before hand to vote against whatever spirit, and I found them in the press acting in the wisdom and deliberation of this Convention this spirit, and, in my judgment, if there had been might finally determine to adopt. If I were disa Democratic majority in the Legislature last win- posed, as I am not at this period of the discuster, no Convention would now be assembled, or sion, to retort, I might be inclined to say, that this year held. I regard as imposed on the if the gentleman knows there is to be put into Republican majority of this Convention the duty this Constitution what we ought not to or cannot of revising the Constitution. I apprehend when support, then we would be warranted in coming we meet at the polls, no matter what the Consti- to the conclusion he has stated. Not othertution shall be, it will be boldly confronted by the wise, sir. Whether it be wise or otherwise that general opposition of the party which is not in the this body should assemble-whether it is the majority in this Convention. I think with refer- most opportune and auspicious occasion in which ence to that fact, that the action of this Conven- the people of the State of New York should assemtion-the Constitution as we shall frame it-will ble in their original sovereignty to form a new fundabe met with a political party opposition, no matter what it shall contain. I deem it necessary and proper that the political majority in this Convention shall take upon themselves the labor and responsibility of organization, and, if I may say so, of directing its action.
Mr. ALVORD-I believe, sir, I am correctly
mental law-upon that question undoubtedly there have been very grave doubts entertained. Very wide differences of opinion, if this be the most fitting and auspicious occasion to undertake this work, have been entertained. But it is enough that it is undertaken, and it is our duty here, acting in a spirit of the largest good faith, to