Obrázky stránek


from Humboldt is concerned, therefore, there home to attend to my private business ; and need be no hesitancy on the score of courtesy then let every man who wants to present argu

Mr. NOURSE. If there are any others who ments for or against the Constitution wbich we desire to explain their votes, I suggest that shall have adopted, go home, and work and they be allowed to do so in the columns of the talk as long as he pleases. Those are my senCarson Independent.

timents, and those are the reasons why I wanted Mr. KINKEAD. After the explanation wbich the resolutions laid on the table and allowed to has now been made by the geutleman from remain there. Humboldt, I desire to change my vote to the Mr. FITCH. I would like to explain my affirmative.

vote. I have only this to say--that I raised Mr. GIBSON. I desire to do the same. the question of order upon the motion to lay Mr. CROSMAN. I wish to change mine also on the table, not out of any discourtesy, but

Mr. TOZER. I wish to explain before chang- solely because I believed it to be important ing my vole. I voted “uo” only as a matter of that we should enforce the common parliamencourtesy to tbe gentleman, and now I vote in tary rules in the outset. the atticmative.

Mr. DELONG. Now, I am compelled to The PRESIDENT. I will state, with the rise to a point of order, because these gentlepermission of the Convention, that I am not men who put the gag on me are themselves prepared to refer to the gentleman's explana- making long speeches. My point of order is, tion as a reason why I should change my vote. that there is no question before the house. I voted in the negative, because I wanted to The PRESIDENT. The gentleman from have the matter discussed. I wanted to hear Storey (Mr. Fitch) asked leave to explain, and from some gentlemen whom I knew had hither leave was given bim, by the assent of the Conto opposed the adoption of a State Govern- vention, to proceed. ment, and who are now the ardent friends of Mr. FITCH. I only want to say that I that policy. I desired to hear from them an raised the question of order, not out of disexplanation of the reasons which, in their judy- courtesy to any one, nor from any desire to ment, now exist in favor of a State Govern- stitle discussion, but simply because I saw that ment which did not formerly appear, and I the discussion was flagrantly and clearly out of wanted that explanation to go forth to the order. people, to show them the reasons why we desire Mr. EARL offered the following resolution, now to adopt a State Government. I wanted which was read by the Secretary :the subject ventilated, and believed there was

Resolved. That we now enter into a Committee of the do better time for this discussion than at the whole, and ask of Congress to give us a change in our initiatory stage of our proceedings, in order Judiciary, and that this body now propose such change that the people may be instructed, so far as the necessary to be made, and forward the same to Conviews of their delegates are concerned, as to will grant our prayer; that we say to the people of

That we then adjourn, hoping that Congress the reasons and arguments in favor of the form- this Territory that if this change is granted us, we ation of a State Government. I do not change think it better for the present to remain as we are, my vote, therefore, and I hope the matter will under a Territorial Government. still be discussed, and possibly I may participate Mr. EARL. I offer this resolution, thinkin such discussion. I will repeat, bowever, my ing it will do no great hurt at least, to ascerformer statement, that I am opposed to every-tain what the feeling is amongst delegates from thing in the resolutions, save and except their different parts of the Territory in relation to loyal and patriotic sentiments.

our passing now from a Territorial to a State Messrs. Parker and Hawley changed their form of government: I offer it for that purpose votes from the negative to the affirmative.

wholly. The result of the vote was again announced, Mr. DELONG. Mr. President, I am frank to as follows:-

confess that if the recommendation in that resYear-Messrs. Ball, Banks, Belden, Brosnan, Brady, olution could be carried into effect immediChapin, Crosman, Crawford, Collins, Earl, Fith, Friz: ately, and we could be assured that the desired kearl, Kennedy, Murdock, Nourse, Parker, Proctor, change in our judicial system would be effected Sturtevant, Tagliabue, Tozer, and Wetherill-—27. in that mode, I would certainly favor it, and it

Vays--Messrs. De Long, Dunne, Lockwood, and Mr. would be all I should ask. I went into the canPresident-t.

vass and opposed the adoption of the ConstituSo the preamble and resolutions were laid tion last year, and the main grounds of my on the table.

argument were, that in my opinion, we, as a Mr. CHAPIN. I desire to say that I voted people, were too young ; that the amount of aye for an entirely different reason from any public property in this Territory which would that has yet been stated. I voted to lay the be taxable under that Constitution was too resolutions on the table for the simple reason small to warrant this people in assuming the that I believe we are here for business, not for responsibilities and obligations of a State Govthe presentation of arguments for or against ernment, the support of which must fall so the adoption of a State Constitution. I came onerously upon the small amount of property here to work, and I want to go to work, and which was then within our confines. I prowork every hour till I get through, and go posed that we should wait until we had the Tuesday,]


[July 5.

material wealth on which to base a State Gov- not prepared to say whether it would be well ernment, so far as property was concerned, so or ill. I would like to have that understood. that our revenues might be sufficient to meet The PRESIDENT. I suppose it would be our expenses. But, sir, since that time, in the entirely competent for the Convention at any short space of less than a year, I have seen so stage to raise a committee to consider any pormany of the evil workings of a Territorial tion of it. Government like ours, situated so far distant Mr. CHAPIN. I will explain my view of it, from the central Government, to wbich men are Mr. President. I notice that the committee looking for appointments; I have seen, in our which was appointed before we took a recess judicial department, such an extraordinary lack did not report a recommendation that we of ability to come up to the requirements of should have any standing committees; conseour condition, in the men who have received quently, as we must bring up our business in appointments in that department, that I have some manner, I think that this would be the come to the conclusion that some remedy is best method. We can take up the Constitution, absolutely demanded. Nor is it alone a lack adopting it as a basis, and consider it in Comof ability on the part of our judges. Of our mittee of the Whole. Let us go on with it three judges at nisi prius, at this time, one is there, until we come to a disagreement, or sick and the others have absented themselves, until discussion arises, and then, if it should and thus blocked the wheels of justice; so that seem to be necessary, we can appoint a special in reality we have no Courts at all; although committee of five or any other number, to which I know, and every lawyer knows, that we have may be referred any particular section or artiinterests in litigation só vast in importance that cle in regard to which there may be differences the parties interested in them could almost of opinion. I think it would be the better way afford to pay the expenses of a State Govern- to take up the Constitution in the manner the ment for one year if by that means they could resolution proposes, and then as we see the have their rights judicially determined. This necessity of appointing committees upon any is what impels me to favor a State organiza- particular portions, let them be appointed to tion. It is to obtain the power of electing our report at subsequent meetings. I believe we own judges, and just as many of them as we can expedite business in that way much more want, to transact our criminal and civil busi- rapidly than we can by referring the whole ness. But I feel sure that if this resolution matter to various standing committees. should pass, or one embodying the same propo- Mr. DELONG. I wish to offer an amendment sitions, and we should petition Congress for to that resolution. I move to strike out the this change of jụdiciary, the petition would words—“ The Constitution adopted by the late hang there and probably never be acted upon; Convention," and insert the words — “The or even if it were acted upon we should not be amended Constitution of California ; sure of obtaining any relief whatever ; conse- read : Resolved, That the amended Constitution quently, I have made up my mind to vote for of California be taken as a basis," etc. and support a State Government, and I shall Mr. BANKS. I second that motion. vote against this resolution.

Mr. DeLONG. I trust, Mr. President, that Mr. NOURSE. It seems to me that this is the Convention will bear with me in the few not the place to discuss the question whether remarks which I desire to make on this subject, or not we should adopt a State Government, because, whether successful or unsuccessful in the and therefore I am opposed to the resolution. enforcement of the views which I present, it will We are here to make and submit to the people propably be the last occasion on which I shall a Constitution and form of State Government, make any lengthy remarks in the Convention. and then let them say whether or not they will I hope, therefore, that I may be heard patiently. have a State Government. I move that the Now, sir, I came here with this as a particular resolution be indefinitly postponed.

pet object which I had in view--that this ConThe question was taken on the motion to vention should adopt the amended Constitution postpone the resolution indefinitely, and it was of California as the basis of the one which they agreed to.

were to frame for submission to the people of BASIS OF THE CONSTITUTION.

Nevada. My reasons for wishing that are

these : I know that this Territory is peopled Mr. CHAPIN. I now call up my resolution, almost exclusively by Californians—by men and ask that the Secretary read it as modified. that have lived and acquired property there for The Secretary read as follows :

years past—who have lived under and are acResolved, that the Constitution adopted by the late quainted with the Constitution of that State as Convention be taken as the basis of the Constitution to it has been construed from time to time by the be adopted by this Convention, and that the same be Supreme Court of that State. They have come taken up in Committee of the Whole, and acted upon into this Territory and found that here the section by section.

leading and paramount interests of our TerriMr. NOURSE. I would inquire in relation tory are similar to those which they left behind to that, Mr. President, whether that will pre- them in the State of California. This importvent the examination of different portions of ant fact renders the Constitution and laws of the Constitution by committees? If so, I am California peculiarly applicable to us; for if

so as to



July 5.


they were applicable to the wishes and wants of trouble of going to our Supreme Court to asCalifornians at home, they are equally applicable certain the true construction. If we find that here, so long as our leading and paramount in- Judge Field and other eminent judges have terests are the same. These men have acquired thrown the light of their genius upon any interests here under a knowledge of the laws clause of the Constitution, we shall be willing as they are established there. They have regu- at once to accept that construction. lated their intercourse with each other here as

Another thing: the California Reports are in it is regulated there, to a greater or less ex- nearly every lawyer's library here, and they tent. In fact, they have brought with them the are familiar to every business man'; and they peculiar customs and usages which prevail would become standard authorities on questions there, under the Constitution and laws of that of law, because they are reports of decisions State, and they have been governed by them in upon the same instrument which we would the acquirement of property here. Now no have as our fundamental law. I think it would other State in the Union, and no other land on save a world of expense, and a vast amount of the globe, except perhaps some of our remote litigation. And I think also—and in my opinTerritories, have those peculiar interests which ion

this is worthy of consideration—that when we have in common with California, and conse- the question is presented before the people, quently the Constitution and laws of any other whether or not we are to have a State GovernState would be decidedly more inapplicable to ment, this action would prevent many men us than would the Constitution and laws of from doubting the wisdom of the instrument California. The people of that State have gone submitted for their approval or rejection. It on under their Constitution for fifteen years, would prevent men from going into the canand have been pleased with it. It has worked vass and telling the people, who do not always well, and as a truly loyal, energetic, enterpris- stop to consider or to study, that the Constiing, and intelligent people, they are fully tution proposed contained some new-fangled satisfied with it. Then why should we desire machine that would blow them all up. (Laughor expect to obtain anything better than that? ter.] The reply to that would be that we

Then, another thing, if you adopt any other had adopted the same instrument that CaliConstitution, I care not whether it be better fornia has, and under which that State has

worse than the one I propose by my lived and prospered for fifteen years, and if amendment, and if in any single clause of that California has got a good Constitution, then we Constitution there is a difference in the reading, have a good one also. if any case arises which involves a construction of that clause of the Constitution, parties litigant

Now, I know, Mr. President, how much men will not rest content with a trial in the court become attached to their own works-to the of first instance, but in all cases, advised by things of their own creation. I know that a their attorneys, they will appeal, and there large and respectable number of gentlemen in will be the necessity of a construction of that this Convention were members of the last Conclause. The opposing counsel on either side stitutional Convention-gentlemen who framed will always desire to have the Supreme Court this Constitution which I now hold in my hand; of the State construe the clause for them. and it is natural for them to believe that in the That is what led to that multifarious system of framing of it they had framed a wise fundalitigation in California. Perbaps the Supreme mental law. But they will agree with me when Court of California has had more business before I state that on that point they and the people it during the last twelve or fifteen years than disagreed. That Constitution was repudiated. the first appellate court of any other State They may say it was not on account of any inin the Union, within the same period of time. herent defects in the instrument itself ; but I And wby? Because simply the people never say this, that there were defeets, and glaring will rest content with the decisions of the defects, which met with disapproval at the lower courts, but always appeal to the Supreme hands of this community, and which, if they Court upon every possible Constitutional ques- were reiterated to-morrow, would secure to the tion, until they get the entire instrument con- work of our hands the same popular condemstrued by the court of last resort. Now, if we nation. It would be a fatal error, which would adopt the Constitution of California we have blast all our hopes that the people will adopt the benefit, without cost to us, of fifteen years what we here shall construct. of jurisprudence there, and all the litigation of I say, also, that there were many objectiontheir courts and the constructions which the able things contained in this instrument which Supreme Court have given to that instrument. were not brought to the attention of the people The Supreme Court of that State has been during the canvass, as they would have been, presided over by men of marked ability. Such if there had not been more salient points to be men as Stephen J. Field, and other eminent ju- assailed—things which were never mentioned rists whom I might name, have adorned that by those who opposed this Constitution and bench with their learning and legal talent, and State Government before the people. I know their decisions would be received here by our that, for I was one of the number that opposed courts, and by parties litigant, with scarcely it, and I was in most of their conferences. I ever a question, and without the expense and know that the Constitution was assailable in

Tuesday, ]


[July 5.

many other points than those which we saw fit make. I hope the amendment offered by my to submit to the people.

colleague, (Mr. DeLong.) will not prevail. Now in following the line of the California The resolution which I offered admits of every Constitution, we are only following in that of facility for amending every section, and every the Constitution of a still greater State; a Con- line throughout the whole document. And stitution which received the indorsement of now I would like to inforın my colleague that, many wise men. I speak of the Constitution as the President very well knows, this Constiof the State of New York; a State which has tution which I offered as the basis for us to act given her Constitution to very many of the upon now, was framed under a resolution offerwestern States of this Union. The Constitution ed by Judge Bryan in the late Convention, of California was derived from that of New that the Constitution of California should be York, and from California it comes to us, and the basis of the Constitution there to be framed. then we have a Constitution which all may un- Under that resolution we went to work, and derstand and upon which there need be no dis- this Constitution was framed and adopted by agreement.

that Convention. Now I believe it will faI hope no feeling of personal pride, or desire cilitate the business very much, to take up to uphold that which they have themselves cre- this document which was passed by the last ated, will prevent any gentlemen on this fioor Convention, and let us proceed under that as a from selecting, as the basis of our new Consti- basis ; so that we will not have to begin, and tution, that which is the best. We desire to do the whole work over again, which was done give this people a fundamental law which will by the last Convention. This document is albe wise, and which all may understand, and oue ready a remodelling of the Constitution of Calalso which they will adopt when called upon ifornia, so as to adapt it to our own peculiar to vote upon it.

We desire to remove as many circumstances, and our own local divisions and as possible of the grounds of opposition, and subdivisions, geographically, with reference to of the arguments against a State government our courts, and every thing else ; and it would by those who are opposed to it, and who would require at least four times as much labor to go naturally in the canvass attack the instrument back and adapt the Constitution of California itself as being unwise.

to all these things, over again, as it would to Now, sir, with these views, submitted hastily, proceed under this Constitution. I hope the I leave this proposition with the Convention, amendment will not prevail. Is it not better to take that Constitution that

Mr. DUNNE. I conceive that the manner in we know to be a good one, because it fully pro

which this resolution itself operates, is a suflitects the people in their lives, in their liberty. cient illustration of the fact that we shall in their property, and in the pursuit of happi- hardly ever get through with the Constitution, ness; a Constitution that is better understood if we attempt to discuss every one of its prothan any other one could be in this state, and visions in Committee of the whole. Large one that is more applicable than any other, be- i bodies move slowly. In half an hour we have canse our interests are more nearly identical not determined on this simple question, and I with those of California than with those of any the entire Constitution, if we attempt to do the

think in two months we shall not have finished other State iu the Union? Why should we not, for these reasons, take up that instrument which whole work in Committee of the whole. I has received this thorough trial, and which has think well of the proposition to accept the last been found to be good and beneficent? Why Constitution as the basis of our action, for that not take that up and make it the basis of our tion on the part of the best talent in the Terri

Constitution was the result of grave deliberaaction? And if in any particulars we see grounds of objection, we can offer amendments, tory, and I think for that reason it is entitled and improve upon that which has been adopted

to our respect. At the same time, many perand acted upon so long by the people of Cali- sons here do not feel — I know it from the refornia. Let us improve upon it it' we can, but marks made about me here --- like taking up let us assume it as the basis of vur own funda- ;

with old clothes. Still, I think we had better mental law, and then we will have a fundamen- take the last Constitution as our basis. But I tal law which originates not with us, not with think, however, that we cannot get along with a few men assembled here who may be, and the work with advantage in Committee of the probably are, less wise in their generation than Whole, and I will therefore offer this resolution many of the men who have thrown the light of as a substitute :their minds upon the Constitutions of Califor- Resolred, That there be appointed a Standing Comnia and of Now York; but we will have the mittee on Declaration of Rights, whose dnty it shall be

to report upon the first three Articles of the late Consti. benefit of the wisdom of the past, the benefit tution of Nevada; a Standing Cominittee on Legislative of the jurisprudence of the past, the benetit of Department, to report on Article IV; also on Executive past experience; and I candidly believe that Dpartment, to report on article V; also, on Judiciary, we shall then present to the people an instru- Article VII of last constitution; also, on Municipal and ment which they will be more ready to adopt other Corporations, to report on Article VIII; also, on than any new or untried experiment which Finance and State Debt, to report on Article IX, which could possibly be brought forth by us.

committee shall also report on Irticles X and XI; also, Mr. CHIAPIN. I have a few remarks to tia, to report on Articles XIII, XIV, and XV, and that

on Education, to report on Article XII; also), on Mili



[July 5.

the balance of the late Constitution be reported from considerate regard which the subject demands, Committee of the Whole; and that the several committees appointed be requested not to consider them to pass upon the varied subjects treated of, selves limited in their powers to the consideration of without having them, in some form, presented the articles referred to them, but are requested to pre- for our inspection, and this City cannot furnish, sent any amendments thereto they may deem advisa- in sufficient number, copies of the Constitution ble.

of California to supply each member of the Mr. BROSNAN. I second the substitute, in Convention; to say nothing of the facilities order to get it before the house.

which would be required for making amendMr. FITCH. I trust that the substitute ments, and placing them properly before the offered by the gentleman from Humboldt will Convention, so as to be understood. But, on not be adopted. We have now before us, under the contrary, if we take the Constitution of the the resolution of the gentleman from Storey State of Nevada, as adopted by the late Con(Mr. Chapin), the Constitution adopted by the vention, as the groundwork and base of our last Convention, and if the amendment of the action, we have it already in print. Several other gentleman from Storey (Mr. De Long) be hundred copies of it are accessible, and when adopted, we shall then be in exactly the same the necessity of amendments arises, as doubtless condition that we would be if we were to adopt it will, we can use those printed copies, sepathe resolution offered by the gentleman from rating the different parts, and so obviate the Humboldt (Mr. Dunne), so far as our practical necessity of any expense in the item of printwork is concerned. You take, for instance, ing, and, at the same time, furnish all needed inthe Constitution of Nevada or the Constitution formation. I speak without any pride of opinion or California, and bring it into Committee of in this matter, although, as most of you know, the Whole, and you can there take up the I had considerable hand in the framing of that propositions advanced, seriatim, and pass upon document. I care nothing for that ; I want them without difficulty. But if committees are the Convention to adopt a good, loyal Constiappointed upon the different provisions in either tution, and one which will receive the indorseof those Constitutions, and consider them, and ment of our respective constituencies ; and I bring tbem into the Convention, then, after that, care not whose handiwork it may be. If it is we have got to consider them in Committee of such as to assure us a good State Government the Whole. We can just as well proceed in the I am content. first place in Committee of the Whole, without Again, as has been correctly remarked by the considering them in a standing committee first, gentleman from Storey, (Mr. Chapin), the Conand then in Committee of the Whole after- stitution of California was adopted as the basis ward. I do not see that anything would be of action of the late Convention which framed gained, but, on the contrary, it seems to me the Constitution referred to in the original momuch valuable time would be lost, by adopting tion. The gentleman from Storey, (Mr. Dethe suggestions of the gentleman from Hum- Long,) has referred to the Constitution of New boldt.

York. I have had occasion, perhaps more than The question was taken on the substitute he has, or if less, then his memory is more at proposed by Mr. Dupne, and it was rejected. fault, to compare the Constitution of New

The question recurred on the amendment York with that of California, and I cannot perproposed by Mr. De Long.

ceive that twenty sections of the one earlier Mr. KENNEDY demanded the yeas and nays. framed, that of New York, has, without some (Mr. Fitch in the chair.]

material alterations, been incorporated in the Mr. JOHNSON (the President). It is not constitution of California ; and I think it would my purpose to unreasonably detain the Con- be within the bounds of truth to assert that not vention in the course of this discussion, but even ten consecutive sections of tbe California some views have been expressed which seem to Constitution are to be found in the fundamental me to call for a reply, and are entitled to the law of New York. There, the Judicial system respectful consideration of the Convention is entirely unlike that of California. The same First, it is proposed to adopt the Constitution may be said of their Legislative and Executive of Nevada, framed by the late Convention, and departments. The Declaration of Rights of rejected by the people, as the basis of our ac- California contains not three consecutive lines tion ; and the pending amendment is that the as embodied in the Constitution of New York. Constitution of California be substituted as Indeed, in all its essential features, the differsuch basis of action. We well know that no ences are important and essential. So that, to appropriation has been made to pay the ex- my mind, the gentleman's argument should penses of this Convention, and no inconsider- have no possible weight. But, on the contrary, able part of the expenditures of the late Con- the embodied labors of the late Convention has stitutional body, and, I may say, in all bodies section following section, without the substituof like nature, assembled under ordinary cir- tion of a word, or change of a single clause, cumstances, has been the item of printing. copied from the Constitution of California as it Now, if we secure the California Constitution now exists. In all essential features of the J11as a basis of action for this body, we will neces-dicial department, it is word for word with that sarily require a considerable amount of print- of California. In the Legislative department ing, as it will be impossible for us, with that it proceeds further, and provides annual sessions


« PředchozíPokračovat »