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Wheeling compiler. [volume] (Wheeling, Va. [i.e. W. Va.]) 1829-1831, November 25, 1829, Image 2

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± Jit* Jo ** JkXOfS.
W EBSssoAr, November 11.
The Convention assemb!* d and « .< o
«enen with praver by tin. Utv. .Mr. Hor
ner. of the Roman Catholic Church—ami
the Ptestd- irto .k »'e Ch.tr.
On motion of Mr. I*. »’. Barbour, the
Convention resolved into the Committee
of the Whole on tho ConsUtutioa—Mr.
lVwell in the Clieir.
Mr. JOHNSON mldrc-svd tno Com
mittee in o*t) tan*-,* as follows:
'Hie sub eel under eonsuioration has a!
re idy occupied much time in discussion
aiul will occupy much mw© during ibooe
fiber it to is of tins Committee. Its great
im »Oi lance, its extreme delicacy, entitled
to all the aid we carvderive from talent,
from temper, from torbe »r.ir. ©. from eon*
Cilmtion, from that free interchange of o
jvn.io i which the m* >t laborious investiga
tion of the subject ca » affwd. Oi the one
hand wo are encouraged vy tie m >st anx
ious hopes and by wr* anticipated benefits
to result from success. on the other hand
we are alarmed bv the most anxious
te.*r-; the whole country exhibits to most
intense interest; convinced as they are
that u;>>n your deliberations depends
Saui-h«f wi 'll or wee.
W e are cog igwd in a contest conceal
* it os you wdl I r power—Disgui *e as it
;v* y«si may, call it by what name you choso
call *t a discussion of the rights of man iu
his natural or m h’s social sta’e still it is
nothing n»or© nor l* ss than a contest for
power, fin gme vourself. s:r. presiding
over a school of philosophers, devising po
litical si items for all relations of man,
iretaphy steal, ab "ract svsieu s, 'or if you
plea-e, systems if iraticul utility, but
whether they ix* me physical reasoning or
practn J rules. thev .ire -till tho arms em
ployed to decide the contest whether “the
sec lire s! .d ■>, from Jud ih or the law*
I be! a peculiar interest on this occasion
because with one party it is my present
le -.de ice. it is th land of mv nativity, to
mar >■ of whose citizens. I am bound bv ihe
strong •.»-*-» of affinity and blood;— with tno
other party is mv projwrty and constitu
ents, to whom I am hound bv ev*»rv act of
kin lee--*, and bv t eendearme s of friend
ship—'bv tlie co.iti ence extended to me
bet • ire I li id earned it, a >d which has been
6iuee continued, though I thought it well
might have bee 11«>-t by my remov il. Un
der these circurfl-taoces. h id I take-: cou i
cil from prudence. I should have held a
strict ueotrahtv;—bat, dir I have looked
upon both fair tie*, as corn-»*n nt parts of
the -mne et.miiiuiiit- —-ban g -ome minor
in'^rt sla ml ev irflv in un »r dance, but
ident > d b\ the -aiuegovern©* it—having
the same le idi tg interests—-having one
C 'rnmon object—»he integrity, the liuppi
i. s, the glorv f common ci intry —
I had indulge
J*' jjl i-fT u * »•> rjuiei eww aiijfri
tho t ointi . wf . i; itfitf I have not f ,il< d
hope. 1 co’:1
tv at this muJcsti .g crisis of, fl ira. when
wien direful disre’/inw were fedpod bv
mun-* t this period w*ie » ever* thing
in v v»« K«t b' oe .dig ncc. or even tfaii u
w.c.rh mv constituents h»v# so confidently
placed tn »n> integrity, winch tbev hadco •
fidod to toe w thout pledge. and without
instruction, when they have left ine u* gui
ded, to follow the dictates of my own judg
meut, and to shape my course with a ssm
gtv eve to what I bebeve will couduce to
tbe pul'iif good.
1 h . ve h* e.'ed toal that has been said,
and milch has be n al>M - ad. 1 have con
sidered it with candour, and am fully sat
isfiel. that bv advocating the resolution of
tl< * Committee and bv opposing the amend*
p-cut. 1 shall best advance tlie interests of
1 whs no advoc tie fbi the- csll of a Con
VI..It Ml i . vc lou^lit C present « ’in*
■tit»r on » .ippdwf in theory red defective
in * ctice. I h.». thought that the iw
0 ution of liie Cu niii*' e is i ;'c Ided to
t»*r year- i a member of that
quality w<s * «.. gi nog -md hid an
opporro it •-.-•rviug i - cfT-cis. I ren
oftnc white in
tion. Mvsvlf
re »res - vtives of o-.c tntrd part of th»*
w
mg i'itqui)!|U, for I behold the inter sis of
ests of the West. 1 had **n tha c nse
qoences. had witnessed the he it and anger
e igendered uy the ttgttafi •» >f tfit'se con
lot to be a nieuialor t*tween bolo parties.
1 had seen t iese onteiitio is fomenting
a ' incr<-ising the evils of the system, se
’! ig tirethr from brethren, and pni
dMeord. sft*re in truth there
t t 'hty (>t | <t> il »i, espe
tb** i i?e, h •- always been one
' *j ’t o; reform, and the i:ie
. has »*iv »ri »hlv been
ne law of 17^2 rn
v—;f adopted a stn i
•"'"ch tiu .gi just at me t me ofils
'l* N »d s m'# beroui* ur> qn.J nod
aifixmg
* >? value
1 "*I ii-u ,••.*. j » ti*i ii' *t Class
: lc‘ ' r *f yi*' >e < i ijalad to t<
c ‘U* — u * second, exel d»ug
he counties of Puliick and Henry, and
including two large counties in the Valley
iho average value was seven shillings; in
ttie third it was fixed at five shillings and
\pence, and in the fourth to three shil
h.igs. I irs bill was reported by the Coni
i;.;tec, ar. 1 the Legislature adopted it,
• emiug it better to do this until a re-as-j
es-ment could be made lor the uhole
■State. The operation of this law of course |
was unequal, the trans-Allegheny and the i
Valley districts paid too little, the others
paid too much—m cottsequ nee of this,
the people of tho West had constantly
b'-eri jet red on account of their poverty &
fur the want of contributing their just share
to the discharge of the public bur'liens: —
h-nce all reform has been impracticable,
every attempt lms been defeated and con
troversv alone has been the consequence.
In this state of affair*, (some other caus
os of excitement intervening,) in
his discontent was siewd upon to inflame
the public mind—anti the fruit yvas the
Staunton Convention—it assembled under
-'xcitement, additional alarm yvas created;
but the people I represented was not yet
excited—1 was depute I to this Convention
thus assembled, not tc rouse to resentment
I or stimulate to mischief,—not to excite a
!u: m or agitate commotions but to endea
vour to allay these feelings and t" restrain
•»!! * scene, with this distinct understanding,
that all yvr nvked fv yvas the means of cor
j rertiiyi the inequality’ of representation,
and inequality ’I taxation. i his. howev
er, was not ail then asked for by the Staun
ton Convention—I thought they asked for
too muck, they desired a Convention with
unlimited powers—we yvanted a limited
Convention, to remedy these tyvo defects,
yvitb a prnvisicn in the new Constitution,
fur’ts future amendment, yvell guarded a
irai»st abuse, o prevent greater miBcmei.
’I heir proceedngs were laid before tue Lc
gi-Luire, amja bill was introduced to call
a limited Convention, and expressly to e
qmihze tax iti >n, and to extend the right ol
suffrage. If vns afterwards amended and
routined to tie two first objects omitting
the extension of the right of suffrage, ami
it was thought not wise to ask for the pro
vision of future amendments. J hat bill
p assed the House of Delegates, but met
with obstacles in the Senate, it was soon
followed bv a bill to equalize the Senatori
al Disricts. The first was laid on the ta
hie in the Seiafc to wait the arrival ol the
other, and both were acted upon together.
The Senatorial bill only provided a tempo
r irv remedy the limited Convention bill a
permanent one. I advocated the latter,
but it was lest—the first was carried by a
majority of oue only. Both bills were in
common obnoxious to the people of the
Ea«t. and they opposed them both;—but
some preferred the Senatorial bill to the
other—but when they found the Conven
tion bill was loit. and the other would be
passed, a proposition w’as made by one of
those gentlemen frc*n the East, who defeat
Jed the Convention biU, that if it could be
r -considered, lie w< ul I now vote for it in
1 preference;—the motion accordingly
made, but he who had promised to give
tif vote, did net redeem tin- promise; the
notion of course failed, and die Senatorial
bill was then taken up and passed.
l'ermit me to tell you bow that thing
l»npi*ened:—the gentlen.an who made the
promise, intended to have kept it—it was
► bargain, it was a promise made to him
seiii—Itie passage of the Senatorial Bill was
.now it to depend upon a single member
I w bo was considered as doubtful—lus vote
' tad been counted upon by both sides—un
I ier these circumstances, a gentleman Irom
lie East, met a gentleman from the South
—they had a conversation, in which the
gentleman from the East, was asked it he
k i>'\y what he was about, and w as told, by
adhering t > his former vote, be might de
feat both Bills—Accordingly when the
vot*' was taken, he voted against the re
consideration. I afterwards enquired to
know why he had thus changed his deter
initiation. lie told me tt reminded him
how unfit he was for Legislation, for he
had been served as he was formerly, in his
clt onon to that body, for knowing that the
'di if «»f his own countv would vote toj
hi'ii, uud the Sheriff of hi- adversary’s
■ tv would vote for hi* adversary, he
;vui oeea pursuaded by his opponent, to
n :\e the requiring the .Sheriff ol lus own
c iiptv. t > vote, under the expectation (hat
tiie Sheriff**»f the other county would also,
not be required to vote—but when thev
t : *ie to the last county, the Sheriff voted
lor us oppoi cut. 1 enquired if he had not
,r ni-ed th it »!ie Sheriff should not vote?
Vt sf Do vo i now intend he shall vote?
\ ■ J Then yon intend'd to ifocejva 't*e?
tYrtainlv! And I now rail upon all the
voters, to take notice tint 1 have taken
von in; and I warn the people against e
1»*. i,ng von. tor if vou can thus be cheated
n the s me w . y you will be che ilcd out of
your vote* in the Semite.
1 beg pardon for detaining the Commit
tee w ■ a this anecdote.— The bill was pas
s <1. It gave the people of the West their
full share of representation.—It gave them
nm Senators, when according to the cen
sus at 1^1 (?, they would only have beer, en
title ! to eight and a fraction. They al
r >.i v had rheir shara \\ the House oi Del
egates—;In*v then hid their full share of
power and the new bill provided for the
removal of the obj ection to the inequality
of tue land tax Though I preferred the
permanent to this temporary relief, yet l
w .s then coa'ent rather than expose the
wit tie Constitution to the danger of inuo
\ t m -\:id ij iry. 1 thought our present
tter suited to the trem
n- i.td . 1 rracter of our people, better adap
ted t » promote our lotcro^t* anJ protect
nr r gips. -.u’i all d'e Constitutions of all
it* other States of tins Union —I prefer
-. I it to all, because of its antiquity—1
viadvated it because it was the work of
our forefathers, and because it was the,
child of the revolution.—1 ror.i ike unio
when this great political inequality was
removed, 1 have constantly opposed the
rail of any Convention, general or limited,
and have labored no little to prevent it.
Step by step, side by side, 1 ha/e followed
my noble friend from Chesterfield, (Mr.
Leigh) in preserving the old Constitution,
and he will bear me witness, taat I have
(ought like a faithful soldier, and did not
abandon my arms till victory was wrested
from me—but fiorn the time the majority
had decided in favor of it, m/ opposition
ceased—from that time all wiso men agreed
that the Convention should organized
without delay, and all complaints speedily
settled.
1 have detained you with tbs explana
tion. because 1 thought it due to myself,
my consistency, I neither expect nor de
sire to recommend myself thereby to your I
favorable acceptation. I submit my re
j marks with the hope they will not be lost on
' the candour and intelligence of this Com-;
mittee. My first duty is to tc know ledge
the error 1 fell into in the early stage of
these proceedings—the error of supposing
that the order of debate ought not to have J
been that proposed by the member from
Norfolk, who now no longei hold a seat
among us. 1 foolishly imagned that we
Imd learned the rudiments at Igast of polit
ical science before we came hen—that We
•lid not now require to he taught our horn j
hook, not to be schooled jn the elements of
government, that the members of this bo- j
dy had been selected for their wisdom, for j
their knowledge in the science of govern
ment, and for their experience; but I have
j informed by all of my mistake; 1 have
I been taught to acknowledge inv error, by
the conclusions to wind) my adversaries
have come, in tlicir arguments during this
debate.
It was the misfortune ot tiie gentleman
from Frederick, (Mr. Cooke) t > suppose
that there was settled principles declared
by our liill of Rights, and to think that
when he had shewn that any proposition
was sustained by its principles, it was suf
ficient, and that any proposition opposed
to it should bo condemned. B it this vin
unfortunate opinion has been made the ba
sis of a most discussive inquiry into the
natural rights of man; into a:i examination
of all history, & to a period antecedent cv
en to history itself; into an effort to un »
gine unimaginable things, and t > cast odi
um upon all principles and all political
doctrines. The eloquent gentleman from
Northampton, [Mr. Upsher] in order to
prove how improper abstractions were, in
dulged in a long tram of abstractions and
metaphysical arguments, at last came to
this hold conclusion that there were no prin
ciples whatever in government. Well may
1 be supposed in error in imagining there
! are such principles, when the w it. the tal
ent, the eloquence of the gentleman from
Northampton asserts that there are no
principles in government. No principles,
S'r!—-The character of the gentleman is
too well known, his talents too well un
derstood to believe that he ready enter
tains a belief in the truth of tins a sertion,
but the nature of the warfire w-ged here
against the doctrines behind which we en
i trench ourselves, compels gentlemen to
throw every thing into ridicule and conlu
Sion —No principles! because every ques
t»<*,j relating to government is a question of
expediency?—-ecause every government
should l»e made not with reference to any
! given standard, but with reference to the
situation of the people fa* whom the gov
J eminent is intended?—.ve ; nit the prem
ises and deny the cowan .v— oes it fol
low because government should be -adapt
ed to the situation of the people, that there
are no principles?—The gentleman would
tell us with equal truth, through every
building should he constructed with intent
to suit the business to bo transacted in it
as well as the individual tenant, yet (liar
there were no principles of architecture.
Surely such reasoning would require no re
futation.—I state this to shew that the gen
tleman did not mean what lie said.—I sug
gest that the real object of his argu
[ inent is as little to be vindicated as the
plain meaning of the proposition in its
: broadest application.— If it was intended
to discredit those principles we have been
taught to venerate, which have been con
secrated bv the love of our ancc-tors,
which we have been taught to look to as the
guides fur our political faith, it is as un
wise as untrue, it has neither been the
doctrine of ancient or modern times to in
culcate such principles—it has not been
the opinion of any writer deserving the
least respect from the days of Plato, down
to the last Southern Review. Tho.y aro
the principles which have been recommen
ded to us for our adoption; for our love—
and is it wise that principles which eonsti
tute a part of our government itself, ild
be thrown into disrepute and sue* ■ v
argument or proposition, whatever b.. •-<
character? Thus much with respect to
tins argument of no principles in govern
ment.
Mr. Chairman it becomes us iu ap
proaching this question now under cori3id- j
eration, to look with attention to the real
principles—the true doctrines which lay at
the foundation of our government. Much
time has been bestowed upon the declara
tion of rights, it will not be amiss to look
at it again with further attention. This
delaralion is said to be the basis upon
which the Constitution itself was formed,
the basis sir, with all just government, was
intended to declare those doctrines upon
winch the revolution was rounde l, it was
intended and an examination will prove
that the intention was executed, to embody
the doctrines of Sidney and Locke. It had
been the province of tliese distinguished
men at the period which preceded aud fol
lowed the revolution in England to main
tain the rights of the people against the
rights of the prince, and nj deny its legiti-;
mate toundaticn in the will of the prince: <
inspired by the principles oflibert/ which i
the history of the English government nad <
infused into the people, emboldend by t.ie i
accession which the rights of the people
had gained from the prince, they came .or
ward to prove that all power resided m the
people; they did not confine themselves to
the governments, which had existed, nor to
the 'experience of mankind under former
fTovernments, hut they availed themselves
of that experience and applied it to the na
tural and uriwearned relation between the
governors and the governed. These doc
trines clearly illustrated we recorded as
:he foundations of our government, and
they never ought to be treated as abstrac
tions, as visionary theories, but as solemn
truths; as the articles of our political faith
and the standard of our political conduct.
To rccal men to original maxims is recall
in" them to virtue—this is the language ol
a great political writer—it is the language
of truth, it is the language of our Bill of
Rights in the Declaration, that no tree
government can be sustained but by a rc
currence of fundamental principles. I lie
advocates of liberty, the friends of good
government, in ancient times, thought it
important to exhibit to the people, a stand
ard of perfection, which, though they could
not follow, they might at least strive to
imitate. The Republic of Plato, was writ
ten to exhibit the hi"h standard of perfec
tion to which nv-n ought aim, though it
was not reasonable to hope they would at
tain it. The Republic of Cicero, was
written to endeavor to recall the Roman ^
people to their ancient virtue—to impress
it upon their hearts; and recall them from
i their aberations into which they had fall
and reform the degenerucy of the age— <t
! was written for valuable purposes, and bad
it been practicable to reform the nation,
reform would have been accomplished, and
he would have attained Ins efforts. \V hen
Edmund Burke, who was as much afraid
of the excesses of the French >rmciples.
.1 I A A L - .1_1- -
as any repuuiicun ougm m"
pointed out with eloquence, with prophetic
talent, the errors of the French revolution,
and its deleterious consequences; did he
deny principles—when warning the peo
ple of England against these evils; did
he content * himself with ridiculing princi
ples’ or did he refer to the word and spir
it of the English Declaration of K.ghts?
It was to this spirit he appealed, when
warning igunst French excess; and it is
to the wnr* and smri* of on. immortal Bill
of Rights, th it 1 ' j - nt tj bind the af
foe? 10 is fit cv( ijnrican Statesman.
\re wet idonot.il - to render ours vene
rated and sacred, or are wc to ridicule them
m practice? Is this tho wisdom of our
forefathers? We fire told that the educa
tion of every people should be shaped ae
cording to the circumstances in which they
are placed—according to die principles
simportc bv the petiole—we should then
enquire what sort 01 Legislation is best cal
culated to support those principle* We
passed tip* law, docking entails—*as»i be
cause of the injustice of the system—not
because of any intrinsic impropriety in
making die elder -on richer than the youn
ger. hut because t w <s incompatible with
the doctrines of our government.—- The
same wisdom dictated our statute of des
cents—that law which declared property
should pass to all children equally, rather
than to the first born son. Ate not these
rules of reason, and ought not they to be
countenanced? Let us enquire what these
doctrines are, and wherefore tiiev are thus
obnoxious, and wherefore we should not
reverence them. The first provisio> of our
Bill of Rights is piere lie read the 1st ir
ticle ] The first hoc then is the language
! of Locke himself, with a very slight alt r
j ation. Locke declares that all men are
born equally free, equal and independent ;
onr Bill of Rights, tb it all men nre l>v na
ture equaly free and independent. Wo have
"heard a rommentaay already upon this
word born, and I shall not ex end it; but
♦his sentence has given rise to all ih.s de
flation upon the natural rights of man
Gentlemen have doubled whether any such
rights could lie traced to a -t he of n .ture,
or whether there co del he any st ite prece
dent to civil society. I am rcudv to con
cur in the opinion, that mao can no where
be found except jn a -fate of society, that
he can no where he found without the law
incident to society; tin- state which p-e
cedes nil society, never did exist, unle
lndaod Robinson t 'rusoe bo an instance to
the contrary, aud the instance given in Bi
: hie history; and then it existed only dur
ing that time “when roan the hermit sigh
I ed,” and disappeared is soon “as woman
. smiled/’ and termi-iati i this state of na
lu e. It is as well a law of our u .tore that
we shall be governed b\ rules appertaining
to society, as that we shall “hve, arm
move, and have our being;7’ lor men can
; not exist without some law governing their
! relations one to another—he is compelled
to labor fur his subsistence—lit* is actuated
by instinct to preserve his being and pro
mote his comforts—that instinct that pro
motes tint com lor t and preserves that he
| mg. pr.mts at the same tune to tiie law!
which authorizes him to repel the assailant
ami punish the off-ndcr—whether written j
or unwritten, implied nr expressed—.nd!
vain is the enquiry into that state suppos
ed to exist with man as an unsocial being
W hen the Declaration of Rights tells o-.!
that men arc by rabire equally free and in
dependent, it tells us tint those laws give'
to all equal freedom and independence.
These doctrines were maintained and were
i avowed, not for their simple truth, but to
declare the more important law directly ap
plicable to the doctrines of government, j
which was reared upon tiiia foundation, j
“all men are by nature equally free,” &c. j
—This declaration which thank God we j
have the authority of the highest tribunal j
in the ?tatc, tor saying a part of the L'on-J
«titiition, wac intended for tlic wise purpose j
declaring the natural limit to ue placedupon
all governments, which the government
of laws intended for the protection of these
rights, could not be made to destroy, You
are to yield to the government only those
things which are necessary to attain the
legitimate ends of government; not toy»el<<
every thing which government is intended
to guard. Your liberty and your lives are
not to be yielded, for no government in
its legitimate sphere, undertake to claim
life, liberty, and tho earnings of labor; toi
thev are rightful and unalienable privileges
of the individual citizen. I now give it to
rescue the declaration of rights from the
sneers and obliquy which have been thrown
upon it. [Here the second article was
iea>lr Johnson having read the second ar
ticle of the Bill of Rights, declaring “that
all power is vested in and consequently dc
rived from the people,” &c. proceeded—
This too, Sir, is nothing more than a
re-affirmance ot the ancient doctrine of
Sydney and Locke, which was itself but
a denial of the doctrine of Sir Robe.t Fil
mer, that the right of the king was ol di
vine origin:—this second article contains a j
proposition which no one will now dare toi
controvert, and to which no one will now .
refuse entire submssiou. t j
Mr Johnson then read the third artic**
in the Rfil of Rights, “that government/
is, or ought to be executed for tho com.
man benefit, protection and security of the»
I people, ,,ation or co,nn,u",t3r* ctc- )
i This section contains a manifest truth, a
I clear and correct expositon of a standard, j
by which the excellonce of your gover*.
I ir.ent may be tested, and a rule by which
I government itself is to be formed, astanf
lid which is surely unexceptionable, a ruli
I which should be invariable ond mvioU-;
hie. The first sentence provides tie j
-tandard and pointing to the object en ikiry j
you to compare the standard with the »' ■.
ject and ascertains whether it be c<r
•* tan . • .» * 1 _11 t. tt*
rect or not. '> hat is the standard? Jl,
ill modes and forms of government that is j
best which is capable of producing the gen •
est degree of happiness and safety and is
most effectually secured against tho danpr
of mal-administration, ect ” Surely this
opinion is true, if government be instituted
for the common benefit, that form is btot
which produces the greatest share of pub
lic good; this gives to gentleme the till
benefit of their argument, for it admits t ie
propo.sitton that practical utility is tie
standard of all beneficial governments; tl is
I intend to consider when examing the true
rule by which the tandard should be appS
ed. I state it here, that gentlemen may
perceive that in facts there is no distine
t on or difference between us, and will nov
proceed to the last clause of this third at*
tide: “that when uny government shall be
found inadequate or contrary to these put-1
poses, a majority of the community liatn
an indubitable, etc. right to reform, alter
or abolish it, etc.” What is here declar
ed? The right of the majority to reform
the government, when a is •*<>♦ found to
answer the end in view. No one consid
ering this subject, can deny the truth of
tins proposition, and there ought to lie no
difference of opinion as to the method of
applying it.—The people grunt the power
—the people grant the authority to l>e ex
ercised for their benefit—the people, the
majority of the people, have the unaliena
ble, indefeasible and indubitable right to
abrogate the power, to deny the authority,
and to reform or abolish the government
as to tins majority shall seem right The
people propose an alteration rufW—the />eo
ple who granted the power originally—the
people whose happiness is to he promoted
seek this change, and shall they be asked
bv what authority you seek this reform?
Shall they be told by one who is opposed
to reform, “1 can demonstrate that you
suffer no inconvenience, you labor under
no grievances, you are happy, and no oth
• r form of government could procure you
iiie same quantity of good”-—and then de
ni nd of you why you would alter it? what
answer would they not give? We ac
knowledge your sincerity—-we know you
believe what you say—hut you are argu
ing to us a question about winch you must
allow us to leel, to think, to understand
f>r ourselves; how great soever may be
your superiority of intellect, your superior
ity of virtue, your wisdom and your fore
sight; yet ^r-ou cannot feel more than our
selves. \ou are proving to us by logic
that we arc prosperous and happy; but we
feel, we think, we know otherwise, and
we care not for your logic. He may tell
them, you know that the government has
ot attained all possible, imaginable happi
ie>s; but how can you teii how toe new
out- will ojierate, how can you tell how it
will compare with the old Constitution?—
They will answer, ihe right is ours—ihe
-take is ours—the loss is ours—Ihe gam is
our —we feel, vve know that happiness lias
not been secured to us—and it is our pro
viuce to make tho hazard, our risk, and
therefore our rigut to siboln h it. Who is
to judge between them? the answer proves
the principle laid down to bo perfectly cor*
rect:—;he majority must judge! The ar
•»dc was not intended to set forth vain and
impossible things, for in the nature ofthings
it must result in this, and tnc majority
must judge, and that is tho unquestiona
ble meaning. It is not my purpose to take
up isolated passages ir, the Bill of Rights,
or consider it independent of the Conititu
; non; for I ad nit that both were nude at
; sumo time, and each sheds a light upon
j the other, tmd whatever light the Coustitu
tion would throw u .on the construction of
, die Bill of Rights, ought to be employed.
But mere is nothing in tho Constitution it
self, nor in the commentary, which the
?roat men of that day placed upon it, no
thing in tho superstructure which deniei?
that the majority have this right. Is there
* iy tiling? Nothing. I shal allow oth
ers the;: ?q cbnsider lUo two together, f»r J
rlaitu tlic same right. I claim y I
to consider them both, amihe],
*”?'g'«rPff* •>«"*
then is declared? 1 hat as gov» J
made for the benefit ot the woy. j^^Bj,|!
have the right, w hen it is
to this intention to alter or abol^T®
was tins Constitution to hertxeiT^B
notone of those who could r 'iitcy
sanction, or that wc ha\c any
to doubt its validity. It was j<
the people, not with the 15:11
coaled, but both together, opouh
ly.— I'hc great men of that day.
rious forefathers, told our a (
believe the government we S'VcyJf^Kor
the best we can adapt to y.>ur Cl jj
and when you believe it not so. SI i
the right and can abolish it—
it as long as you please, unt.lj -^R,r
shall declare it no longer obi>g.vC^Bro
was tho compact entered into
and is it not the most solemn
pacts? t 'an it he more distinrt!rw^^Ka
edged. We look then not to
nature, but to the compact nfS0Ct^^^E„
which declares expressly tho r^^Hy
majority to reform, alter or
pleasure. This proposition
cd, doe* not lead to the cor.clit.^^B ji
Imcan-o the majority have the r^M, .th
form, that therefore, the mi,j.sTRyV»'«ki
right to control tho Legislation
trv: it does not prove tli«t the hB? $
may not confer upon the niinr^^Bjt.
powers of Legislation; tint i- a
however, of property: but tlw
which it should ho earned. J'^tih^HH;
considering those things u:
tunte us in our dolibcr.iiu ns. TiBbV>
joritv have the right to reform;
have, they should at lets* be
they should at least U« allowed
to explain their ominous. mid
shall give the law. If will ocrur '.K|r
to you. nir. that the eousideratioo
question, i* calculated to prod'ieft hB&
tie delicacy in the d*diberatini»it^H|
House; we came here to enqur*
will ot this majority; how then s r^^B
ascertained? The people are
rented here in proportion to th.'ir
therefore, what may he in fnttkiOK'
the majority of the members otth< Lfll
may not he tho will of « m4.|ontv cf^^B
constituents.—tor what is uic^f • L^B
majority?—livery instrument intj^EXf
derstood with reference to the
ter of which it treats.—we are uifnra^H
another part of this instrument. wU 0
the parties to the compact. “Even^H
having a permanent common
and attachment to the community, t IB»
right of Riiflragc”—the q unit fa!
then. aro the parties—they htotho rwIBt
mty. to a majority of w hich the rigtn^H
form or alter the government
the majority then of these qualified iflp
give the rule; and the difficulty wMI^H
gest, is, how is this majority to b*
ed? Wo cannot declare, 'hat mirvon^B
presenting a majority of tins h-><iv,f^H
present a majority of the wh'fapey^M
we moat vote however, and all q’gSf'
must be decided bv our nvijnntei^H
tlm lull knowledge tha' they
e*ent majorities of the people. 'itviKfl
however is entitled to i mi
ought to have its weigh' in r°<nniiN^J
forbearance, a spirit nfconcih ,h<M t/^B
mg disposition, a feeing; of
cession; it is entitled to weight aadl^B
upon the subject of lean uisjoritien.it^B
ten referred to by gentlemen h»:rr;5n^B
lean majority decide against this tn^B
tion, they will decide against n m
the people; hut if a lean majon yi^M
in favor of this proposition, diend^B
cule in favor of a great m.i joriiv d^B
constituents. These niatteis
ted to ho weighed for a« much .1* tfryli
worth, and they are entitled to nrr'^B
wc are considering how the |>ro;A-<itaM
; dopted or rejected here, will rffaW
! people, or wdl he submitted to by
Mr. J. repeated Ins decl rnnoo.ibf®
j question was to be decided hr
utility. But he contended that irifl
was so well calculated to riii*lcad
this doctrine of practical utility ort®'
understood. It has been found
al laws had proved useful or saltW*B|
men. What is your test of moral
ty? Is it any thing el»e but thu»
utility? and this makes one fhiaf»H
moral or that immoralWitho* >B
would not our prejudices and iatere«t*^B
stantly mislead us? Why is mHT&B,
moral? not because the lo^s of .
would be injurious to society; b'Jt
it would be wrong to permit met10
of the taking away life. Whv is^B
he re nee to contracts proper? It w *** j
cause in any particular case, it
be prodnctive of good to violate a c^Bj
hut because the faith of contract#
Rary to hind society together. "
the parent love Ins child? Butb*J*B
is essential to keep society tofletWj;!
: Godwin’s morality has been n#rro#
contracted—" lien he adyocated themj
of the Abbe Bnrtholomi in pref^re*
vour ow n father. It was not bu^B
practical utility which was erroneo^B
its application of it in a more
view of consequences. i
Mr. J. said, that tho people I--B
them here to ascertain what refon1’ t
necessary in the Constitution; ar-d^B
g-slalivo Committee has proposed to r^I
he representation cn the basis of *B
population. The gentleman fror.if0<B
| mr had proposed lo amend it, by
ting the white basis. He proceeded
amine both.—But it nras not tob®* |
stood hy tho word “exclusively,- y J
ry election District, wlacli has a
-•entative iu tho House.ofDelegate*1
have an equal proportion ol white p
tion—hut that, that population viS ^
the basis, without regard to prop*".*,
what manner this power was to
fibred aiuonjj the whiles, was a V?

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