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The evening telegraph. [volume] (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1864-1918, January 07, 1867, FOURTH EDITION, Image 1

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Message of the President of the
United States Returning to the
Senate a Bill Entitled "An
Act to Regulate the
Elective Franchise
In the District of
Jo tht Senate of the UntieU States:
I have received and considered a bill entitled
"An act to regulate the clecrive franchise In
the District of Columbia," puscd by Itae Senate
on the 13th of December, and by the House of
Representatives on the succeeding day. It was
piescnted for my approval on the 2Cth ultimo
six days after the adjournment of Congress and
is now returned with my objections to the
Senate, in which House It originated.
Measures having been introduced, at the com
mencement ol toe first session of the present
Congress, for the extension of the elective fran
chise to persons of color in the District of
Columbia, steps weru taken by the corporate
authorities of Washington and Georgetown to
ascertain and make known the opinion of the
pople of the two cities upon a subject so imme
diately affectinir their welfare as a community.
The question was submitted to the people at
special elections, held in the month ot Decem
ber, 18G6, when the qualified voters of Washing
ton and Georgetown, with e.reat unanimity of
sentiment, expressed themselves opposed to the
contemplated legislation. In Washington, in a
vote of 6550 the lurpest, with but two excep
tions, ever polled in that city only thirty-a ve
ballots were cast for negro suffrage; while in
Georgetown, in an aggregate of 813 vote3 a
number considerably in excess of the average
voteit the four preceding annual elections
bat one was given in lavor of the proposed ex
tension ot the elective franchise.
As thee elections seem io have been con
ducted with entire fairness, the result must be
accepted as a truthful expression ot tbe opinion
of the people of the District upon the question
wnicn evoked it. possessing, a) an organizes
community, the same popular right as the inha
bitants ot a State or territory, to make known
their will upon matters which ail'ect their social
and political condition, they could have selected
no more appropriate mode of memorializing
Congress upon the subject of this bill than
through tbe suffraecs ot their qualified votes.
Entirely disregarding the wishes of the people
of the District of Columbia, Congress ha daeoied
it right and expedient to pass the measure now
submitted lor iny signature. It, therefore, be
comes the duty ol the Executive, standing
between the legislation of the one and the will
of the other, fairly expressed, to determine
-whether he should approve the bill, and thus
aid in placiutr upon the statute books of the
nation a law against which the people to whom
it is to apply have solemnly and with such
unanimity protested, or whether he slioul I
return It with his objections, in the hope lhat.
upon reconsideration, Congress, acting as the
representatives of the inhabitants ol the seat of
government, will permit them to regulate a
purely local question, as to them may seem best
suited to their interests and condition.
The District of Columbia was ceded to the
United States by Maryland and Virginia, in
order that it ruieht become the permanent. peat
of government of the United States. Accepted
by Congress, it at once became subject to the
"exclusive legislation" for which provision is
made In the Federal Constitution. It should
be borne in mind, however, that in exercisiug
its functions as the law-making power of the
District of Columbia, the authority of the Na
tional Legislature is not without limit, but that
Congress is bound to obperve the letter and
spirit of the Constitution, as well in tbe enact
ment of local laws lor the teat ol government,
as in legislation common to the entire Union.
Were it to be admitted that the right "to ex
ercise exclusive legislation in all caes what
soever," confeired uton Cougrefs unlimited
power within the District of Columbia, title of
nobility mictit be granted within its bounda
ries; laws might be made "respecting an esta
blishment of religion, or prohibmg the Iree ,
exercice thereof; or abridging the freedom of i
speech or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to uWemble and to petition the Gov- I
vernment lor a redress of grievances." Despot- I
ism would thus reign at the seat ot government j
of a free republic, and, as a place of permanent
residence, it would be avoided by all who prefer
the blessings of liberty to the mere emoluments
of official position.
It should also be remembered that in legis
lating for the District of Columbia, uuder the
Federal Constitution, the relation ot Congress to
its inhabitants is analogous to that of a Legis
lature to the people ot a State, under their own
local Constitution. It does aot, therefore, seem
to be asking too much that, iu matters pertain
ing to the District, Congress should have a like
respect for the will and interests of its inhabi
tants as is entertained by a State Legislature for
the wishes and prosperity ot those for whom they
legislate. The spirit of our Constitution and
the genius ot our Government require that, iu
regard to any law which is to affect and have a
permanent beuriuu upon a people, their will
Hhould exert at leaet a reaouublo influence upon
those who are acting in the capacity of their
Would, for instance, the Legislature of the
State of New York? or of Penusyl tinta, or of
Indiana, or of any State in the Union, in oppo
sition to the expressed will of a large majority
of the people whom they were chosen to repre
sent, arbitrarily force upon them, as voters, all
persons of the African or negro race, and mako
them eligible foroilioe, without any other quali
fication than a certain term ot residence within
the Plate f In neither of the States earned
would the colored population, when acting
together, be able to produce anv great social or
political result, in, in aew xoric, Deiore he
an vote, the man f color mu6t fulfil conditions
that are not required of the white citizeu; in
Pennsylvania the elective franchise is restricted
to white freemen: while lu Indiana negroes aud
mulattoes are expressly excluded from the right
of suffrage.
It hardly sterns consistent with the principles
of right and justice that repre-entativts of States
where suffrage is either denied the colored man,
or granted to him on qualifications requiring
intelligence or propeity, should compel the
people of the District of Columbia to try an ex
periment which their own constituents have
thus far shown an unwillingness to test for
themselves. Nor does it accord with our repub
. lican ideas that the principle of self-government
' should love its force when applied to the resi
dent of tb District, merely because their legis
lators are not, like those of the States, responsi
ble, through this ballot, to the people for whom
ttvey are the law-making power.
The great obieet of placing the seat of govern
ment under the exclusive legislation of Con
gress, was to secure tlv? eutire Independence oi
the gtjjcm) Govercment from, undue fcute irjflij-
encc and to suable it to discharge, without
danger of interruption or infringement ot it-i
authority, the high functions for which It was
created by the people. For this important pur
pose It was ceded to the United States by Maty
land and Virginia, and it certainly never could
have been contemplated, as one of the objects
to be attained by placing it under the exclusive
inrtadtctlon of Conere, that it would afford to
puipapaiidifits or political parties a place for an
experimental test of ther principles and theo
ries. While, indeed, the residents of the
seat of government are not citizens of any
Staff, and are not, therefore, allowed a voice
in the electoral college, or representation in
the councils of the nation, they are, never
theless, American citizens, entitled as such
to evry guarantee ot the Constitution,
to every benefit ol the laws, and to every riht
whicu pertains to citizens ot our common
country. In all matters, then, atrecting their
domestic affairs, the spirit of our democratic
form of government demands that their wishes
should be consulted and respected, and they
taught to feel that, although not permitted
practically to participate iu national concerns,
they are nevertheless under a paternal Govern
ment, regardful ot their rights, mindful ot their
wants, and solicitous tor their prosperity. It
was evidently contemplated that all local ques
tions would be left to their decision, at least to
an extent thai would not be incompatible with
the object tor which Congress was erauted ex
clusive legislation over the seat ot government.
When the Constitution was yet under considera
tion, it was assumed by Mr. Madison that its
inhabitants would bo allowed "a muni
cipal legislature, for local purposes, derived
from tl'Cir own sulTraees." When, for the
first time, Congress, in the year 1WM), aiscmoled
at Washington, President Adams, in his speech
at its opening, reminded the two Houses that it
was for them to consider whether the local
powers over the District of Columbia, vested
by the Constitution in tbe Congress of the
United States, should be immediately exercised,
and he asked thero to "consiler it a.s the capi
tal of a grent nation, advancing with unexam
pled rapidity in arts, in commerce, in wealth,
and in population, and possessing within itselt
those rcourcej which, it not thrown away or
lamentably misdirected, would secure to it a
long course ot prosperity and selt-eoveinment."
Three years had. not elapsed when Congress
was called upon to determine the propriety of
relroceding to Maryland and Virginia the juris
diction ot the territory which they had re
spectively relinquished to the Government of
the Uni'ed States. It was urged, on the one hand,
that exclusive jurisaielion was not necessary
or useful to the Government ; that it deprived
the inhabitants of the District of their political
riehts; that much of the time of Congress was
consumed in legislation pertaining to it; that its
government was expensive; that Congress was
not competent to legislate for the District, be
cause the members were strangers to its local
concerns; and that it was an example of a gov
ernment without representation an experiment
dangerous to the liberties of the States. On the
other hand, it was held, among other reasons,
and successfully, that the Constitution, the acts
of cession of Virginia and Maryland, all
contemplated the exercise of exclusive
legislation by Congress, and that its
usefulness, it not its necessity, was in
ferred from the inconvenience which was felt tor
want ot it by tbe Conercss of the Con'edera
hon: that the people themselves, who it was said
had been deprived ot their political rights, had
not complained and did not desire a retroces
sion; that the evil might be remedied by giving
them a representation in Congress when tho
District should become sufficiently populous,
and in the meantime a local legislature; that if
the inhabitants bad not political rights, they
had great political influence; that tbe trouble
and expense of leuislnting for the District
would not be great, but would diminish, and
might in a great measure be avoided by a local
legislature; and that Congress could not retro
cede the inhabitants wiihout their consent.
Continuing to live substantially under the laws
that existed at ibe time of the cession, and such
changes only having been made as were sug
gested by themselves, the people of the District
have not sought, by a local legislature, that
which has generally been wllllugly conceded
by the Congress of the nation.
As a general rule, sound policy requires that
the Legislature should yield to the wishes of a
people, when not inconsistent with the Consti
tution and the laws. The measures suited to
one community might not be well adapted to
the condition of another; and the persons best
qualified to determine 6uch questions are those
whose interests are to be directly affected
by any proposed law. In Massachusetts, for
instance, male perrons are allowed to vote
without regaid to color, provided they poseesi
a certain degree of intelligence. In a popula
tion in that State ol 1,231,066, there were, by
the census of 100, only 0ti02 persons of color;
aud of tbe males over twenty years of age,
there were 339,066 white to 2602 colored. By
the same official enumeration, there were in the
District oi Columbia 60,764 whites to 14.31G per
sons ot the colored race. Since theu, however,
tbe population of the District has largely in
cieased, and it is estimated that at the present
time there are nearly a hundred thousand whites
to thirty thousand negtoes.
The cause of the augmented numbers of the
latter class needs no explanation. Contiguous
to Maryland and Virginia, the District, during
the war, became a place of refuge for those who
escaped from servitude, and it is yet the abiding
place of a considerable proportion of those who
sought within its limits a shelter from bondage.
Until then held in slavery, and denied all oppor
tunies for mental culture, their flrst knowledge
of the Government wa acquired when, by con
ferring upon them freedom, it became the'bene
lactor of their race; the test of their capability
for improvement began when, lor the first time,
the career of tree industry and the avenues to
intelligence were opened to them. Pos
sessing these advantages but a limited time,
the greater number perhaps . bavins entered
the District of Columbia during "the later
years of the war or since. it6 termination w
may well pause to inquiie whether, atter so brief
a probation, they'are as a class capable of an
intelligent exercise of the right of suffrage, and
qualified to discharge the duties of official posi
tion. The people who are daily witnesses of
their mode of living, and who have become
lamiliar with their habits of thought, have ex
pressed the conviction that they are not yet com
petent to serve as electors, and Uiub become
eligible lor office in the local Governments under
which they live. Clothed with the elective
franchise, their numbers, already largely in ex
cess of the demand tor labor, would be
eoon increased by an Influx horn the ad
joining States. Diawn from fields where
employment Is abundant, they would In vain
seek it here, and so add to the embarrassments
already experienced from the large class of idle
persons congregated in the District. Hardlv
yet capable of forming correct judgments upon
the important questions that often make the
issues of a political contest, tbey coul l readily
be made subservient to tho purooses of design
ing persona. While In Massachusetts, under
the census of 16U0, the proportion of white to
colored males over twenty years of age was one
hundred and thirty to one, here the black rice
constitutes nearly one-third of the entire popu
lation, whilst the same class surrounds the
District on all sides, ready to change their resi
dence at a moment's notice, and with all the
facility of a nomadic people, in order to enjoy
here, after a short residence, a privilege thy
find nowhere else. It is within their power, in
one year, to come into the District in such
number as to have the supreme control of the
white race, and to govern them by their own
officers, and by the exercise of all the munioipal
authority among the rest, of the power ot taxa
tion over property in which they have no m
tewti Ii AlasthuHttts, where they have
r n.joyed the benefits of n thorough educational
jstn, a qusii rication ot intcl'iifnee require t,
while hcie suHrnge tt extended to all, witnont
discrimination, as well to tho mot incapable,
who can prove a reddence in the Distiict of one
year, as to those persons ol color who, compara
tively tew- In number, ar -permanent inhabi
tant, and having triven evidence of niTtt and
qualification, are recoenized as useful and re
sponsible members of tho community. Im
poBcd upon an unwilling people, placed b
the CoiiPtitution under the exclusive legis
lation of Corigfi.ss. it would be viewed
as an arbitrary exrcNe of power, and as
an indication by tho country of the purpose of
Congress to compel the acceptance ot negro suf
frage by the States. Il would engender a feel
ing of opposition and hatred between the two
races, which, nceomincr deep-rooted and inera
dicable, would pievent them from living together
in a state of mutual friendliness Carefully
avoiding every measure that mieht tend to pro
duce such a result, and lollowma the clear and
well-ascertained popular will, we should assidu
ously endeavor to promote kindly relations be
tween them, and lhu, when that popular will
lead the way, prepare for the gradual and har
monious intrf duction of this nev element into
the political power of the country.
It cannot be urged that the proposed exten
sion of suffrage in the District ot Columbia Is
necessary to enable pcrsom of color to pi-n'.cct
either theu interests or their riarhK They
stand hove precisely its they stand in Pennsyl
vania, ohto, aud Indiana. Hi-re, ns e!ewhni-e,
in a'l that pertains to civil rights, there is
in.thirg to distinguish this class 'of persons
lrom citizens of the United States; for they
posse's the "full and equal benetit of all laTS
ai.d proceedings for the security of person and
property as is cnoyeJ by white citizens," an 1
nie made "subject to like punishment, pains,
and penalties, and to none otlter, any law.
fctatute. ordinance, regulation, or custom to the
contrary notwithstanding." Xor, as has been
assumed, arc their suflruges necessary to aid a
lQJftl sentiment bere; for local governments
already exist of undoubted fealty to the Gov
ernment, and are sustained by communities
which were among tbe first to testify their devo
tion to the Union, and which during the strug
gle furnished th-ir full quotas of men to the
military service of the country.
Tbe exercise of the elective franchise is the
highest attribute of an American citizen, and,
when guided by virtue, Intelligence, patriotism,
und a proper appreciation of" our institutions,
constitutes the true bnis of a democratic form
of government, in which the sovereign power Is
lodged in tbe body of the people. Its influence
tor good necessarily depends upon the elevated
character and patriotism of the elector, for if
exercised by persons who do not justly estimate
its value, and who are indifferent as to its
results, it will only serve as a means ol placing
power in the hands of tbe unprincipled and am
bition, and must eventuate in the complete
destruction of that liherty of whieh it should be
tho most powerful conservator. Great danger is
therefore io be apprehended irom an untimely
extension of tbe elective franchise to any new
class in our country, especially when the
large majority of that class, in wielding the
power thus placed in their hands, cannot be
expected correctly to comprehend tho duties
and responsibilities which pertain to suffrage.
Yesteiday, as it were, four millions of persons
were held in a condition of slavery tbut had
existed for generations; to-day they are free
men, and are assumed by law to b? citizens. It
cannot be presumed, liom their previous con
dition of servitude, that, as a class, they are as
well informed as to the nature of our Govern
ment as the intelligent foreigner who makes
our land the homo of his choice. In the case of
the latter, neither a residence of five years, and
the knowledge ot our institutions which it trives,
nor attachment to the principles of the Consti
tution, are tbe only conditions upon which he
can be admitted io eitlzenshio. Ho must Drove.
in addition, a good moral character, and thus
give reasonable ground for the belief that be
will be faithful to the obligations which he
assumes as a citizen of the republic.
Where a people the source of all political
power speak, by their sutlranes, through the
instrumentality of the ballot-box, it must be
carefully guarded acainst the control of those
who are corrupt in principle aud enemies of
free institutions, for it can only become to our
political and social system a safe conductor of
healthy popular sentiment when kept free from I
demoralizing lnffueuces. Controiled, through
fraud and usurpation, by the designing,
anarchy and despotism must inevitably follow.
In the hands of the patriotic and woitby, our
Government will be preserved upon the princi
ples of the Constitution inherited from our
fathers. It follows, therefore, that in admitting
to the ballot-box a new clas ol voters uot quali
fied for the exercise of the elective franchise, we
weaken our system of arovernmont, instead of
adding to its strength and durability.
In returning this bill to the Senate i deeply
reuret that . there should be any conflict of
dpnion between the Leilslative and Ex3cu
tive Departments of the Government in recriud
to measures that vitally atlect the prosperity
and peace of the country. Sincerely desiring
to reconcile tl'.L . ts'e j v.1 li . ne another, and
tho whole people to tbe Government of the
Cnlted States, it has been my earnest wish to
co-operate with Congress In all measures hav
ing tor their object a proper and complete
adjustment of the quetions resulting lrom our
late civil war. Harmony between the co-ordinate
branches of the Government, always
necetsary for the public welfare, was nevar
more demanded than at the present time, and it
w ill therefore be my constant aim to promote,
as far as possible, concert of .action between
them. The differences of opinion that
have already occurred have rendered
me only the more cautious lebt the
Executive should encroach upon any ot the pre
rogatives of Congress, or, by exceeding, in any
manner, the constitutional limit of his duties,
destroy the equilibrium which should exist be
tw een the several co-ordinate departments, and
which is so essential to the harmonious working
of the Government. 1 know it has been ureed
tbiit the Executive Department is more likely to
enlarge the sphere of its action than either of
the other two branches of the Government, and
especially in the exercise of the veto power con
feired upon it by the Constitution. It should
be remembered, however, that this power is
wholly negative and conservative in iu charac
ter, and was intended to operate as a check opou
unconfctitutional, hasty, and improvident legis
lation, and as a means of protection auafnst
invasions of the just powers of the Execu
tive und Judicial Departments. It is re
marked by Chancellor Kent that "to enact
laws is a tran.-cendent power; and, if the
body that possesses it be a full and equal
representation of the people,' there is danger of
its pressing with destructive weight upon all
tbe other parte of the machinery ot govern
ment. It has, therefore, been thought neces
sary, by the most skilful and most experienced
anists in the science of civil polity, that strong
barriers should be erected for the Drotectlon
and security of the other tecessary powers of
I the Government. Nothing has been deemed
I more fit aud expedient for tbe purpose than tbe
; provision that the head ol the Executive De
J partment shoulJ be so constituted as to secure
i a reoufxlte ehare of indenimdnne.e. and that he
should have a negative upon the passing of
laws; and that the judiciary power, resting on
a still more permanent basis, should have the
right of determining upon the validity of laws
by the standard of the Constitution."
The necessity of some such check in the bauds
of the Executive is shown by reference to the
most eminent writers upon our system of gov
ernment, who seem to concur in the opinion
that encroachments are most to be apprehended
from the department iu which all legislative
powers are vested by the Constitution. Mr.
Matlicon, lu referrArg to the difficulty of pro
viding some practical security for each acainst
the invaion of the others, remarks that "the
Legislative Department Is every where extend
ing the sphere of its activity, and drawing all
power into its impetuous vortex." "The
founders of our republics seem never
to have recollected the dangpr from legisla
tive usurpations, which, by assembling all power
in the same hands, must lead to the same
nranny as Is threatened by Executive usurpa
t.ns." "In a representative Republic, where
tbe Executive Magistracy is careiully limited,
beth In the exent and the duration of ifs fower,
and where the leeislattve power is exercised bv
an assembly which is in,-pi red by a siippo-ed
influence over the people, with an intrepid con
fidence in its own strength; which is sufficiently
numerous to fee) all the passions which actuate
a multitude, 5ct not so numerous as to be Inca
pable ot pursuing the objects of its passions by
means which reason prescribes it is againt
the enterprising ambition of this department
that the people ought to indulge all their lea
lousy and exhaust all their precautions."
"The Legislative Department derives a supe
riority in our Government from other circum
stances. Its constitutional powers being at
once more extensive and lees susceptible of
precise limits, it can with the greater facility
mask, nndei complicated and indirect measures,
the encroachments which It makes on the co or
dinate departments. On the other side, the exe
cutive itower being restrained within a narrower
eompais, and beine more simple in its nature,
and the judiciary being described by land
marks still less uncertain, projects of usurpa
tion b either of these departments would im
mediately betray and deteat themselves. Nor
i this all. As the Legislative Department alone
has access to tho pockets of the people, and has
in some constitutions lull discretion, and in all
a prevailing influence over the pecuniary re
wards of those who till the other departments,
a dependence is thus created in the latter which
gives still erenter facility to encroachments of
the former. We have sesn that the tendency
of republican governments is to an aggrandize
ment of the legislative, at tho expense of the
other departments."
Mr. Jefferson, In referring to the early Consti
tution ot Virginia, objected that by its pro
visions all the powers of government legisla
tive, executive, and juoicial resulted to the
legislative body, holding that "the concentrat
ing these in the same hands is precisely the
tleunition of despotic government. It will be
no alleviation that these powers will be exer
cised by a plurality of hand', anJ not by a sin
gle one. One hundred and seventy-three des
pots would surely be as oppressive as one."
"As little will it avail us that they are choen
by ourselves. An elective despotism was uot
the Government we fought lor, but one which
should not only be founded on free pr'nciples,
but in which the powers of government should
be so divided and balauced among several
bodies of maeistracy as that no one could tran
scend their legal limits without being effec
tually checked and restrained by the others.
For this rea:on that Convention which
passed the ordinance of government laid
its foundation on this basis, that the Legis
lative, Executive, and Judiciary Departments
should be separate and distinct, so that no
person should exercise the powers of more than
one of them at the same time. But no barrier
was provided between thefe several powers.
The Judiciary and Executive members were left
dependent on the Legislative lor their subsist
ence in office, and some of them for their con
tinuance in it. If, therefore, the Legulatoro
assumes executive and judiciary powers, no
opposition is likely to be made, nor, if made,
can be effectual; because m that case they
may put tbetr proceedings into the form of an
act of assembly, which will render them obliga
tory on the other branches. They have ac
cordingly, in many instances, decided rights
which should have been left to judiciary con
troversy; and the direction of the Executive,
during the whole time of their session, is be
cora'ng habitual and familiar.''
Mr. Justice Story, in bis commentaries on the
Constitution, reviews the same subject, and
"The ttnth in that the lesrMative rower is the
great and overruling power in every free Govern
ment." '1'ne representatives ol the people will
watch with jealousy every encroachment of tne
Executive Magistrate, tor it trencues upon their
own aiithori'y. But who shall watou the encroach
ments of ihce representatives themselves? Will
they be as jealous of the exeroise ot power by thona
selves as by others f" "ihore ore many roasous
which may be assigned for the engrossing influence
of tho legislative department. In the hrt place, Hi
constitutional powers are more extensive and le-s
apahle of Doing brought within precise liui ts, taau
those ol either ol the other departments. J'ha
bounds ot the Executive authority are easily marked
out and defined. It reaches few obloo s, aud those
are known. It cannot transcend thorn without
being brought in contact with the other depart
ments. .Laws may check aud test rain and
bound its exercise. The same remarks apply
with still greater foroe to the Judiciary.
The jurisdiction is, or may be, bounded to a few
otijeci or persons; or, however general and un
limited, its operations are neoessaiilr confined to
the mere administration of private and puDlio fug.
tlce. It cannot punish without law. it cannot
create controversies to . act upon It can decide
on.y upon rights and cases as tusyure broueht bv
others bttore it It can do nothing foriise i. It
must do everything lor others It must obey the
law; and il it corruptly administers them it is sub
ject to the power ot Impeachment. On the other
hand, the legislative power, except in the tw cases
ol constitutional prohibition, is unlimited. It if
forever varying is means and its end. It governs
tho institutions and laws and publio policy of the
country. It regulates all its vast interest. It dis
poses of ml its property. Look but at tbe exercise
ot two or three braucho of its ordinary powers. It
livits all taxes; it directs and appropriates all sup
plies ; it gives the rules lor tbe descent, distribution,
and demises oi all property hold by individuals. It
controls the sources and tbe resources of wealth. It
chunge at its will the whole iabrio of the laws. It
moulds at its pleasure almost all the institutions
which give strength and comfort and dignity to
eociety. Jn the next plaoe, it is the direct, visible
representative ot the will Of the people in ail the
changes of times and circumstance. It has the
pride, at wed as the power ot nniuhers It u easily
moved and steadily moved bv tbe strong Inipu ses
of popular fuelinr and popu'ar odium. It ohevs,
wiihout rouctauce, tho wishes and tho will
of the mujority lor the time being. Th path
to publio favor lies open bv such obedience; and it
finds not only support, but impunity, iu whatever
measures the majority advises, even though they
transcend the constitutional limit It has no mo
tive, therelore, to be jealous or scrupulous iu its own
use ot power; and ft finds lis ambition st mutated,
and its arm strengthened, by the coiiut6nao.ee and
tbe oourage ot nomhers. These Views are not aloue
tlioe ot men who look w th appiehension upon the
fate of republics, but ther are also freely admitted
by tome ol the strongest advocates for popular
rights and the permanency of republican institu
tions." " Rach department should have a will of its
own." "Each should have its own independence
secured beyond tbe power of being taken a ay by
either or both of the others. But at the same time
the relations of each to the other should
be so stiong that there should be a mu
tual interest to sus'ain and protect each
other. I here should not only be constitutional
means, but personal motives to relat enoroachmouta
ot ono or either of the others Thus, ambition would
be made to counteract ambition j tbe desire of power
to oueck power; and the pressure of interest to bal
ance an opposing interest." "The judiciary is natu
ra'ly,ai.d almost necessarily (as nan been already
sa'd) the weakest department. It can have no m -ans
of Influence by patronage. IU powers can never be
wielded lor itself. It has no command over tbe
purse or tbe sword of the nation. It can neither lay
taxes, nor appropriate money, nor command arures,
nor appoint to office. It is never brought iuu con
Uot with the people by constant appeals and solici
tations, aud private intercourse, whioh belong to a'l
the ott.er departments of Government. It is seen
only iu controversies, or In trials and punishmDts.
Its rigid justice and impartiality give it no otaimt to
favor, however they may to respect. It stands soli
tary and unsupported, except by that portion of
public opinion which Is interested only in the
strict administration of Justioe. It can rarely
seoura the sympathy or sealou support either
of the Executive or the Legislature. If thev
are aot (as Is not unfrequtntiy the case) Jealous ol
Its prerogatives, the conMsnt or comity of scrutiniz
ing the acts of eserj, opon ths application of any
private person, and the painttil du y erf pronouncing
Judgment lhat there acts aie a departure from the
law or Constitution, can have no Vndency to con
ciliate kindness or nourish influence. It wouut
seem, therefore, tlia' some additiona guards would,
under sucb circumstances, be necessary to protec.
this di partment from the absolute dominion ot the
others Yet rarely have any such guards boon ap
plied; and every attempt to introduce thorn tins
been rensbd with a pertinacity whlcn dtmonsiratos
bow slow popu ar loaders are to lntromeo nbecks
npon their own power, ana bow siOw tho peop e are
to believe that the judiciary is the real bulwark of
their lit eitie." - It any department ot tho Govern,
nient has undue Influence, or absorbing po vor.it
certairny has not been enber tho executive or juui
ciarj "
In addition to what has been said by theie
distinguished writers, H may also be ureed tbat
the dominant party in each House may, by the
expulsion of a sufficient number of members, or
by the exclusion from representat on of a requi
site number of States, reduce the minority to
lees than one-third. Congress, by these means,
might be enabled to pass a law, the objectioas
ot the President to the contrary notwithstand
ing, which would render Impotent tho otuertAO
departments ol the Government, and make io
of erative the wholesome and res'.rxiuing piwer
which it was Intended by the frainers of the
Constitution should be exerted by them. This
would be a practical concentration oi all power
in tne Congress of the United Stales Ibis, in
the language of the author of the Declaration ot
Independence, would be "precisely the defini
tion of despotic government."
I have preferred to reproduce thee teaehincs
of the great statesmen and co'istitu loual law
yers ol the early and later days of the repub
lic, rather than to rely simoly upon an expres
sion of my own opinions. We cannot too olten
recur to them, especially at a conluncture like
the present. Their application to our actual
conauion is so apparent, that they no v come
to us a living voice, to be listened to with more
attention than at any previous period of our
h'slory. We have been and are jet in the
midst of popular commotion. The passions
aroused by a great civil war are still dominant.
It is uot a time favorable to that calm and
deliberate judgment which is tbe only sa'e
guide when radical changes in our institutions
ate to be made. The measure now before
roe is one of those changes. It initiates an
untried experiment, lor a people who
have said, with one voice, that it is
not lor their good. This alone should
make ns pause; but it is not all. Tho experi
ment has not been tried, or so much as de
manded, by the people ot the several States for
themselves. In but few ot tho States has such
an ii novation been allowed a giving the ballot
to the coloied population without any other
qualification than a residence of one year, and
In mot of them the denial ot the ballot to this
race is absolute, and by tuudamental law placed
beyond the domain of ordinary legislation. In
most of those States the eil of such suffrage
would be partial; but, small as it would be, it is
guarded by constitutional barriers. Here tbe
innovation assumes formidable proportions,
which may easily grow to such an extent as to
make the white population a subirdinate ele
ment in the body politic.
After full deliberation npon this measure, 1
cannot bring myself to approve it, even upon
local considera'ions, nor jet as the beginning of
an experiment on a larger scale. I yield to no
one in attachment to that rule ot general suf
frage v. hit h distinguishes our policy as a nation.
But there is a limit, wisely observed hitherto,
which makes the ballot a privilege and a trust,
and which requires of botne clashes a time suit
able for probation and preparation. To give it
indiscriminately to a new class, wholly unpre
pared, by previous habits and opportunities, to
perform the trust which it demands, is to
degrade it, and finally to destroy its power; for
it may be safely assumed tbat no political truth
is better established than tbat such Indiscrimi
nate and all-embracing extension of popular
suffrage must end at last in its destruction.
ANnaEw Johnson.
Washington, January 5, 18G7.
Organization of Both Branches this
This morning at 10 o'clock both branches of
the City Council met for the purpose of orga
nizing for the present year. We give below the
names of the members, with the Wards which
they represent, their residences or places of
business, and the party by whom they we.e
elected. Those marked with au asterisk ()
are new members; the others hold over from
last year.
First Ward Thomas A. Barlow (it.), So. 1332 .
Finn street.
heoond Ward-Dr. 0. R. Eamerly (O.), 8. W cor
nel ot 'l bird and Federal streets.
Ibird Ward James D. tampbsll (0.), No 739 f.
Filth street.
Fourth Ward Henry Marcus (O.), No. 720 South
Filth Ward-James Page (0.), No 272 8. Fourth
Mxth Ward-Patrick Duffj (O.), 8. W. corner ol
Fifth and Vine streets,
heventh Ward John A. fihermer (B.). N. E. corner
o f Kluhlh aud South streets.
Ktgliib Wara Alexander L. Hodgdon (B ), No. 1015
Bp race street.
iilntji Ward-William 8. Btokley (B.). No. 19 Se
Elphth street.
lentb Ward-Joshua 8perlng (B.l, No. 1013 Vin
street or No. Ill south Fourth afreet.
Eleventh Ward Samuel o. King (O.), No 352 N.
Second street.
Twelnh Ward Charles SI. Wagner (R.), No. 341 S.
Sixth street.
Thirteenth Ward Alexander M. Fox(R ), No. IttO N.
8 etoud sireet, or No 8S8 N. fiixtii street
Fourteenth Ward F. A. Van Cleve (B ), No. 311 N,
Tenth or No. 118 8. blxih street
FitteentU Ward-John J. Kersey (B.), No. 1920 Green
hlxteentb Ward James W. Hopkins (0.), No. 1102 N.
Ihlrd street.
Hevsuieenth Ward Patrick bheru (0 ). So. 1210 Han
cock street.
eighteenth Ward Wlltlam Bumm (H.), Bace street
aud Delaware avenue.
Nineteenth Ward James Blc hie (R.), No. 1624 1 merl
es n sireet.
Twentieth Waid-Joseph Vannel (X ), N. W. corner
Franklin and Butlonwood streets.
Twenty- ttrst Ward Char.es Ttiompson Jones (B.), No.
131 8. Filth stieet.
Twenty second Ward William F. Smith (&., No. 112
8. Fourth street.
Twentt-tbird W aid Edward A. Snatloross (B ), No.
331 CLeuuut s reet.
Twenti-fouitti Ward-8amuel W. Cattell(B.), 8. W.
corner Twenty-flith aud fcnruce stree's
TwentT-hrth Ward James Uecutcheon (0.), corner
of Ann and Amber street.
Twtntyslx'h Ward-William J. Pollock (B.), N. W.
corner Seventeenth and Fitzwatoi streets.
Twenty seventh Ward K. P Ull. Ingham (B.), No.
3708 (,'hcsnut. oi From and Poplar streets.
Bepubticans 14
Opposition.... 0
Republican majority 9
ceuuoir COUNCIL.
First Ward George W. Uaciague iK), No. 1313 8.
Fourth street.
Fhst Ward-WiUlam Calhoun (B ),No. 13262doyamen
slrig avenue.
Second Ward-William D. Martin (0 ), No. IOOSMoj a
mensiug avenue
Second Ward Hugh Kennedy ro )
Second Ward-John K. Tjson ,0.), No. 1U6 8. Ele
venth street
Third Ward-WU'lam Thompson (O.), No. 1203 Catha
rine street.
Fourth Ward-W. P. H Barnes (9 ), No. 802 Booth
Fourth Ward-Benjamin Haney (O ), No. 702 Penn
Filth Ward Junes P. Dillon (O.), No. 308 Houtb street .
Mxth Ward fiilllip Mutton (O.), No. IM N. Fourth
herenth Ward-Thomas LUtle (B ), No. 338 8. Thir
teenth street.
(eveuth Ward John Bardsler (B.) No. 311 Lom
bard street
FUjbth Ward Alexander J. Uarper (B ), No. 1108
W alnut street.
FlKhih Ward-Joba C. Martin B.), No. 118 8. Eighth
Ninth Ward-Walter Allison (B ) No. M 8. Eigh
teenth street
Ninth Ward A. 0. Msrshon (ft.). No. 308 Karket
Tenth Ward-A. 11. Frano.si M (K.), Ko. 511 Market
lenth Ward-. W. Henr.M(R.. T O 811 Are"! stieet.
Flev nth War' Thomas If. Uiil(0.), No. 810 North
Pecond ntreet.
i welith Waid-Wll tam Littleton' (K., No. 314 Tor
thirteenth WarJ-William Palmer (K.), No.703Coate
1 hlrteenth Ward John L. Shoemaker (B.), No 621 '
Vine Mreet.
Fnurteenth Ward H.'. C. Oram (B.), No. 1218 Soring
Garden street
Sou rleentti Ward Joseph B. Baucook (B.), No. 864 N.
Eleventh street.
FWeenth Warrt-Bobert M. Evans B. No. 818 N.
Sixteenth street.
Fiiteenih Ward Joseph B. Conrow ,B ), No IMS
Green Mreet
Fiiteenih Ward Thomas I'ottel (B.), No. 1810 Green
Fl teenth Wsrd George W. Smith (R.), No. 3 K.
i Iphteenth street
Hlxieen h Ward Charles Eager (a.) No. 1144 Ffonk
lord reati.
Six tees th Ward-George J. Betsel (O.).No. 1M Dock
r-eventeenth Ward-Lewis Driesbach (O )
Peventeemh Ward J. O'AeU. (O ), Fiith ana.Jelfcr-
son streets.
Hkbteenth Ward-Daalel P. Bay (B.), N. Ill N.
Third street
Eighteenth Ward Daniel W. Stockhsm (It ), NorrlS
and ( laltiome
Mneteentn Ward-Joseph Earnest (K-), No. 1B24 N.
Front street
N ineteeuth Ward-Nicholas Shane (B ), No. 2148 if.
Fl th street
Nineteenth Waid Francis Martin (R ), N. 847 East
York stieet.
Twentieth Watd-Joseph F. Marcer (1.), No. 818 N.
Twenih 'ireet.
Twentieth Ward James H. Hit mgton (B J, No. 41 S.
Front street.
Twentieth Ward Henry C. Harrison tR.). Master and
.Sixth fleets.
'luei.titth Ward-Angus Cameron (R ), No. 19 9.
Blxth street.
T - enty tint Ward William A. Simpson (B ), No. 228
Walnut street.
Twenty-arm Ward George W. Alevcrg (B.), Twen
tletb nrat Herks
'I v?en y second Ward Joseph Hill (B ), Mo. AS N.
Front, or Germantnwn.
Twenty-second Ward Lewis Wsgner (B.), No. 131
Walnut street.
Twen y-third Ward Samuel C. Wiilltt R ), Ho:mes
bum P. o.
'iwenty -third Ward-Joseph T. Vsnklrk(R.), Frank
ford P. O.
Twenty-fourth Ward William Stokes (R.), No. 48 H.
Water street .... .
Twenty-lli tn wara o. a. loionower to. j, rort Kicn
mTwenty-sixth Ward John Kcter (B), No. 1528 SoulS
1 wentv-slxth Ward-Bobert Armstrong (B.j, No. 1237
C'l wentv-se'venth Ward-Wllllam Ogdon(B.), King
scsslna P. o.
K(, publicans 99
Opposition ujU
Republican majority "....26
Join ballot Republican majority, 34. a
Proceeding In Select Council.
The Select branch met at 10 o'clock. Presi
dent Sperm In the chair. The credentials of
the new members were read, when the election
of a President was proceeded with, resulting as
follows: jg
Johua Sperine, Republican . . . 15
Samuel D. King, Opposition . . .. -TCESfll 0
Majority for Sperinn. . . . .nlMj .
Mr. hperinK then took the oath of orhec, alter
which he addressed tho members as follows:
- Gcntlemeu of Solect Council : In taking the posi
tion to which I have been chosen by the favor of
my colleagues, it will, I trust, uot be considered out
oi plnce to briefly review the linaucial condition ot
the city with reference to its debt and the resources
it posfi'S'cs to moot it.
is; retert nee to tbe official statement, prepared by
the t ontrol er on the 1st of November, 1866, for the
use of councils, aud upon wh eh the estimates of
receipts and expenditure lor the year 1867 are
bused, tt appeal b that the amount of tue existing
funded deut on that day (not mo udinv that au
thorized lor special pui poses, but uot lasood)
was 8o,981,7wi
IO mis mu'i ub uuuuu iuu suiuuui ui
warrants outstanding 1,398,552 12
And to par arrears of State tax, due in
Match, 1807 601,111 43
llakins tbe whole amount of the dobt.
fuL'ded and unfundea, on the 1st of
JNov tuber, 1806 f 37,001,402 79
Included iu the amount of iunded debt
is $1 fal 300, ls-ued lor tho extension
of tbe Gas Works, the inteict and
Sinkinr.Fund lor which aie paid out
of the incomo of tno Works, and
which nileht, therefore, properly be
deciucted in tho statement of iunded
' debt, it havniK a special provision iu
the property of the Gas Works for . , , ,,
To pay this debt the tame statement
ot the Contioller shows resources as
Cah in hands of Commis-
uoiiors oi the Sinking
fund 372-50
City loan lu s nking fund . 2 7,186 81 '
Otner securities, va'ued at IS 9jl,346 00
Outstanding taxes collect- . .
able 860.000O0
23.108,6o4 81
Leaving a balance of debt not repre- ', ,
sou ted by assets in the sinking fund
ot 914,67 4.007 08
But for the large amount of money
rai d by loau Uuriusr the four years
oi the v. ar, lor tbe purpose ot Daviug
bounties and supporting tho families
of volunteers, which was about 13,160,000-00
lbe balance ot debt uuprovided lor
would have been only 1,724 607-98
I submit that, with this provison of tho sinking
lnud, there cannot be a doutof the ability of the
city to provide tor ail her obligations.
There is no exaggeration in tho valuation ot the
assets ot the Sinking Fund, which waa carefully
made by ibo Commissioners, at tho actual market
vaiue of the several securities composing it.
borne ol the items of assets of the Sinking Fund
are improving m value, among which are:
The stock ol the North l'enna. R. K tl 400,000
do. l'hila aud trie It. It ... . 2,260,000
Amounting topether to 3,66J,009
It is hoped that these will soon become dividend
pnjint-, and thus relieve the cny of the payment of
the interest on the loans issued to theu to theextout
01 219,000 per annum.
Iu the valuation ot the a-wtsot tbe Sinking Fund,
time is cot included tho Parks, fcquaros, Vacant
GrouLd, Publio Bullrings, Biidges, Prison, 11 1 use
ot Keluge, Police Stations, Almshouses, Municipal
lio.-pital, Gas Works, bohoo. Houses, etc., wh oh
hat e cost many millions, and tar exceed in value
tbe bulance of the dobt beyond the ainkiug uud,
and all ot which have Ions Binco been paid lor.
Perceiving the uneasiness ot tho publio mind at
the rapid increase ol our debt during the lait four
years (all of which grew out of the war, directly or
indirectly), 1 have thought that a statement of thla
nature might servo to reassure (bo holders of th
city debt oi tho entire cur aiuty of the regular pay
mint ot their interest, and oi the liquidation of the
princii at when due.
It is tho mistortune of the city to have inherited
tiomtheold muuie'palities an irregular system of
aseaements, which beat with particular severity
upon the holders ot property in the thickly settled
districts, here tbo assessments are high and ap
proximate somewhat to the actual value of the pro
perty. An experience ot some years in Council has
satitlied me that tbe whole real estate of the city Is
not assessed at an average ot twentj -Ave per cent,
of its actual va'ue. sCXJ
When the measures now in contemplation for iu
creasing the powers and adding to the working
lorce of the Board of Eevision are comileted, which
it is hoped will be early in tne preseut year, a tax of
2 per cent on the aotual valuu of the real esta'e.
$040 000,000 ilf uit estimate is correct), wbicu would
seem low gttor the apparent y high rates to whioh
we have been accustomed, would t leld 412,840 0U0,
a sum which, with the othor sources of Income, is
lar more than enonch to meet every oh luauon and
requirement of the Government.
FJiorts have been made tor the last few rears to
exercise the power possessed by the oity, to raise
some portion of the expense of Government bra
tax on personal estate, but these efforts have so far
been unsuccessful, irom tbe resUtaooe mado by ths
interests to te affected, aud the eouaidoratioa that
such taxation of personal property might have a
tendency to drive away capital from ibe city. How
ever tht may be, other cities raise eousiderabie
levenue from personal estate without seeming to
banish capita! from among then. Perhaps if tho
legal rate of interest were rained to seven per cent
the objections of capitalists to a moderate imposi
tion upoa that kiud of property might ho with
drawn. Cvntinut4 on ft ihA TV-)

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