Newspaper Page Text
The convention to reform the Constitu
tion of Pennsylvania, assembled at the state
capital on the 2d instant, all the delegates
being present except Thomas Hastings, of
Gen. Cunningham, of Mercer, was cho
sen chairman; -and J. C. Middle and'CirAs.
A. Barnitz, secretaries pro tern.
Tire secretary of the commonwealth
then presented to the convention a certified,
list of the delegates elected to the conven
tion; after which the convention proceeded
to elect the presiding officers. The vote
for president stood as follows:
John Sergeant liad GO votes.
James M. Porter " 03
'So that Mr. Sergeant was declared du
ly elected; and after being conducted to the
chair by Mr. Porter, made the following
.'cntlcmcn, Members of this Convention.
'The station yon have called me to by
your election, is one which in this common
wealth, and elsewhere incur country, lias
occupied by the most eminent citizens.
However unworthy I must feel myself to
be associated with tho illustrious names
which form the roll of Presidents of con
ventions, it cannot but be felt as a high
honor to have a place in tho same list with
them. It is deeply felt to be so, and I beg
you to accept for it my most sincere ac
knowledgments. The subjects we arc to deliberate upon
are of no ordinary character. It is not an
exaggeration to say that they are of trans
cendent importance. Tho commonwealth
at Pennsylvania was one of the first, if
not flic very first, to imitate the example of
the whole people of tho United Statesj in
taking down the fabric of govcrment which
had been provided amidst the exigencies of
a new and disturbed state of existence, and
in replacing it by a solid structure, deliber
ately formed, and intended to give perma
nent security to all the rights of every mem
ber of the community. At the end of fifty
years, the system of social order which
was then framed, is committed to our hands
that we may examine it, and if need be,
propose to our'fellow citizens such improve
ments as this great fundamental law may
seem to require. Such a work, it must be
acknowledged, demands the utmost exer
tion of wisdom and exemption, as far as
possible, from the influence of prejudice
and passion, and every disturbing motive
and..withall, a spirit of pure and generous
patriotism whlcir seeks- nu uihcr grminca--tion
than to promote tho lasting happiness of
those who are, and those who aro to be in
habitants of this great and favored com
monwealth. A constant sense of the magnitude of the
duty we aro called to perform, and of the
grave accountability we arc under for its
faithful performance, cannot fail to produce
calmness and order in our deliberations;
while at the same time a becoming serious
ness, with mutual kindness and respect,
will be an earnest to our fellow citizens of
thc-singleness of purpose with which we
follow the path of that great duty; and with
the blessings of a gracious Providence up
on our counsels, the best means of accom
plishing good results.
To the utmost of my humble powers, I
promise to co-operate with you in whatever
will tend to give character and efficacy to
our proceedings. With but little aid from
experience, I am very scnsiblo of my defi
ciencies, and how much I shall -stand in
need of your continual indulgence and sup
port. My hope, and my belief is, that
they will be liberally extended to uninten
tional error, and further than this you may
be assured there will bo no claim.
Pardon mo for detaining you a moment
longer, to express to you my heartful wish
that all who aro here assembled, may, to
the last day of their lives, have cause to re
joice in the acts of this convention, with as
firm conviction that they have done nothing
to weaken the foundations of human free
dom and happiness.
The convention then adjourned, to meet
again at 10 o'clock on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday, May, 3, 1837.
The convention met at ten o'clock, and
Rr(nt the whole morning in electing a Sec
retary, arid resolving the appointment of
three assistants. The vote lor secretary
stood as follows :
JFor Samuel Shoch, 07 votes,
Francis II. Shuilk, 05 "
ByUhc resolution Francis It. Shnnk was
mrwln an additional secretary, and George
L. Fauss arid Joseph Williams assistant
secretaries. Mr. ' Shunk, however, has
tince declined the honor of serving under
In the afternoon tho convention elected
-James E. Mitchell, Sorgcant-at-arms, and
Daniel Eckels, Door-keeper; ana oy a res.
olution Andrew Krausc was appointed as
m,n rnllnwinsr resolution was then offer
i i. at,. Tvoersol. and laid on the table :
IM "J . , . ,
Resolved, That it be referred to a ppccial
committee to repent what business it is pro
er for thin convention to lake intoconsidc-
i . j .t. il.n uoid rnminitlpfl be in-
tationi ana uim v -
strutted to report a rcfcrcnee'of tho follow
ing several 'subjects, each one to a special
committee, -to be appointed by the president'
of this convention, viz :
J st. 1 no subject Of Legislation.
2d. The subject of the Judiciary.
3d. Tho subject of the Executive de
4th. TllCv Sllhiect nf VAnniinna .nnA ..Qui.
5th. The subject of a bill of rights.
Gth. Thcsubjcctof constitutional amend
7th. Tho subject of the Cutroncy.
8th Thcsubjcctof Corporations and Pri
iclges. 0th Thc subicct of Lenrninrr. TMnnntinn
10th. Thee subiect of Offipinl A nnnint.
ment and Tenure.
1 1 . The subject of the Militia.
12th. The subiccf of Pnhlm Wirlm-rivo
by land and water, and tho eminent Domain
of the State.
13th. The subject of Internal Imnrovc-
14th. The subject of the Political Year.
Tonother with such other Kllhipfits ns the
said first mentioned committee mav think-
fit to report for the action of this Conven
ts! '.in ... ' . .
uon, anu mat inc sam committee be instruc
ted io report whether this convention is. nr
can bo restrained by any act of the legisla
ture; in its power to submit amendments to
the constitution, or a new constitution for
the acceptance of the people.
air. Hopkinson ottered the following,
which was laid on the table :
Jicsolved. That so much of tlm r (institu
tion as relates to tho legislative dnmrtment.
be referred to a committee to take into con
sideration the expediency of making any,
and if any, what alterations and amend
ments tncrein, anu report thereon.
Resolved, That so much of tho constitu
tion as relates to tho executive department,
be referred to a committee, to take into con
sideration, tho expediency of making any,
and if any, what alterations and amend
ments therein, and to report thereon.
Jccsolveu, 1 hat so m'5h of tho constitu
tion as relates to matters not referred to by
the foreffoincr resolutions, bo referred to n
committee to take the same into considera
tion, and report whether any, and if any,
what alterations and amendments thereof
Resolved, That the Bill of Rights be re
ferred to a committee, to consider and report
whether any, and if any, what alterations
and amendments thereof are expedient.
The convention then prov-ooj,i tn hnlln
for printers of the English Debates, but ad
journed without accomplishing the object
me isanors oi tne "licystono," and l-'cnn
of tho "Telegraph," having an equal num
ber ot votes.
Thursday, May 4, 1837.
A communication from Francis It. Shunk,
resigning the office of additionol clerk was
read; and a resolution electing Packer, Bar
rett and Parke, printers of the English De
bates, Thompson and Clark printers of the
English Journal, E. Guyer printer of the
German Debates, and Joseph Ehrenfreid
printer of tho German Journal was adopted
by a vote of 93 to 37.
Friday, May 5, 1837.
After some preliminary business Samuel
A. Gilmore was elected an additional Sec
retary in the room of Mr. Shunk; and the
present constitution, together with the bill
of rights, and constitution of 1770, ordered
to be printed for the use of tho members.
Several resolutions were offered, which
were cither laid on the table or indefinitely
Saturday, May 0, 1837.
The committee appointed to report rules
for tho regulation of tho convention, sub
mitted a great number, which after much
discussion and various amendments were
The following just and highly merited
tribute of respect to the memory of Dan
Caldwell, dee'd., was delivered in the re
form Convention, by E. Banks, Esq. of
Mifflin on the 3d inst:
Mr. President: Before proceeding to
the business of tho Convention this morn
ing, allow me to remark, that although
there is a very full attendance of the dele
gates elected by tho people on the 4th of
November last, to prepare anu propose a-
mendments to the constitution oi the state,
there is one absent, and who never can bt
Ono who, on the day of tho election
which made you sir, and every gentleman
on tin's floor, with one exception, (tho gen
tleman who fills his plucc,) members of
Ihis Convention, had as fair a prospect of
bointr ncre. as any one now present. Unc
who could not havo been detained "by
light and trivial causes," from being here
ihis day, if in being, but who submissively
bowing to tho will of Omnipotence, said as
his relatives and friends havo and should
individuatly say in relation to his loss, "tho
will of my God bo done." I will be un
derstood to mean Dan Caldwell, of Union
It is not my purpose to eulogize Mr.
Caldwell, Hit I may be allowed to state,
that in nil the relations of life in addition to
being affectionate and kind, he was active,
energetic and useful, upright m his deport
ment, a good citizen and an honest man.
Resolved, That tho Convention, as a to
ken of their regard for the memory of Dan
Ualctwcll, allow .tins notice ot his death to
be placed upon the journal.
Mr. Merrill did not know that he could
suggest any thing to whatliad been presented
by the gentleman on his right, Mr. (Banks.)
lie deemed it proper, however, as a citizen
from tliC'COunty where tho deceased resi
ded, to say that in all tho walks of life he
had been respected, honored and esteemed.
Ho had known the deceased long, and al
though they differed on some points, yet as
intimato acquaintances and friends, they
had always agreed; and he could say with
truth that thero was no ono among his friends
for whom he entertained a higher regard
than Dan Caldwell. The convention in
the death of this gentleman had met with
a serious loss; for although ho was attached
to a party, he held the interests of his coun
try above any feeling of party; whatever
respect therefore could be paid to his mem
ory by the convention, he hoped it might
bo done, as there was no one more deserv
ing of it than the deceased.
Wc shall continue our notice, as above,
of the diurnal proceeding.
jC7The "Integrity of the Union" con
vention which we noticed in our last as hav
ing adjourned without accomplishing any
particular object, must have transacted much
business in the absence of our correspon
dent. About 100 delegates attended, rep
resenting 37 counties of the state; and with
the exception of a few unsuccessful attempts
made by disguised abolitionists who procu
red seats in the Convention, to disturb the
proceedings, there existed a perfect harmony
of feeling, and unity of action. The Hon.
Thomas II. Baird, of Washington presided,
assisted by twelve vice presidents and five
secretaries. Wc extract from the proceed
ings tho following preamble and resolutions
as reported by the committee appointed for
that purpose, and which were unanimously
adopted by the Convention.
The cautious wisdom which distinguish
ed the framcrs of the constitution of the
United States, is strikingly manifested in
the reserve with which the instrument al
ludes to tho existence of domestic servitude
amonu ii.t. - i , -i . . . n.,
sarily presented to their view, and exerted
an important influence on several articles of
the compact, mo lorm siavc or slavery no
The appointment of representatives and
of direct taxes, is required to be made ac
cording to the population of the states re
spectively, by adding to the whole number
of free persons, including thoso bound to
service for a term of years, and excluding
Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other
persons. Tho migration or importation of
sucu persons as any ot the states should
think proper to admit, is not to be prohibit
ed by congress prior to the year 1808.
No person held to labor or service in one
slate according to the laws thereof, esca
ping into another, shall in consequence of
any law or regulation therein, be discharg
ed from such labor or service, but shall be
delivered up on claim of the party, to whom
such labor or service may bo due.
By this carefully varied but clear phrase
ology, it was sought to protect the interests
of the slave holding states, and to secure
tho right of the master to the services of his
slave. Congress was vested with power
to proliibit the introduction of slaves after
the year 1808; but in all other respects,
the subject of slavery wa3 included in the
general reservation of powers not delega
ted, and was left to the unrestricted action
of each state within its own limits.
Such arc the articles of the constitution,
which relato to slavery within the United
States, fully rccognisinsr its existence, and
guarding against any legislation which might
liberate an absconding slave.
When it is remembered, how many con
dieting interests, and how many variant
iwuibui uiuugiu unu inu, were reconciled
by the spirit of mutual coiiccssion which is
embodied in this compact, no argument
should bo required to enforce all its provi
sions, and to rescuo its principles from Vio
lation. Nor can it bo necessary to demonstrate
to tho candid and the honorable, that the
spirit of this compact is opposed to meas
ures by winch the rights it recognises aro
disturbed in their exercise, or impaired in
their security. Principle cannot sanction
an indirect interference with relations.
which are thus formally vindicated and es
Slavery existed in the District of Colum
bia at tho time of its cession to the United
States, and the rights growing out of this
circumstance have recently been made the
subject ot highly excited discussion. It is
not however necessary, in tho judgment of
mis convention, to inquire now lar those
rights aro protected by tho terms of the con
sttiution. It is enough that, whether so
protected or not, they ought in no wise to
be affected by an act of legislation. Were
even tho power of Congress' unquestiona
ble, its action on the subject is forbidden by
considerations of tho highest policy.
Suck it is believed aro now tha views and
opinions of tho people of Pennsylvania,
a state which actu'ig for itself, lias ifithinits
own borders treated slavery as an civil both
in tho abstract ahd in practice, ahd It is
for tho single purpose of expressing tlicrh
that this convention has been assembled.
Its members have been chosen tit meetings
held without distinction of party in the sev
eral counties of the state, and most of them
have been especially charged by tho lan
guage of their commission to "assure our
brethren of tho Southern states, thatwc, as
a state, are opposed to the schemes of the
immediate abolitionists, and that wc will to
the utmost of our ability defend and sus
tain the constitution of tho United States,
and that compact by which wc arc unitod
as ono people."
Scnsiblo of tho importance of declaring
frankly and accurately the general senti
ment of Pennsylvania on tins subject, the
convention, after a full consultation; has a
doptcd, in the name of its constituents, the
Resolved, That tho government of the
United States, has no constitutional power
whatever, over the rclatioh of maslcr and
slave, in any of tho states of the Union.
Resolved, That Whether congress docs
or docs not possess the right of legislating
on the subject of tho abolition of slavery
within the district of Columbia, it would be
unwise and impolitic in the extreme, to as
sert or exercise such right; as any attempt
to do so would impair the harmony and
mutual confidence of tho states, if not peril
tho integrity of the Union.
Rrsolvcd, That each state has tho ex
clusive right under tho constitution, to judge
of, establish, and maintain within its own
borders, its own system of domestic rela
tions and domestic policy; and that every
attempt by the citizens of one state to de
nounce or invalidate the established institu
tions of another, i3 unwarranted by the
constitution, and hostile to the peace and
harmony of the Union.
Resolved, That no state could be justly
required to recognise as valid, under the
constitutional compact of the states, a mea
sure which should violate its internal secu
rity and peace, or abrogate the rights of
property of its citizens; and that we nledire
ourselves to unite with the people of the
other states, in opposing such infractions of
the constitution, and in maintaining the do
mestic repose oi every member ot this con
federation. Resolved, That the project of colonizing.
on the coast of Africa, free persons of color
and manumitted slaves, to be carried thither
with their own consent, does hold out to
the patriot and philanthropist, the hope of
the ultimate abolition of slavery, the eleva-
tension of tho blessings of cfvWihAii? x:
self-government, and the diffusion of the
principles of the Sacred Gospel of Peace
within that benighted region; and that the
praisworthy efforts of the colonization so
cieties, to bring about these most desirable
results, arc entitled to the best wishes and
the hearty co-operation of all the friends of
the peace, order, harmony and integrity of
the union of these states.
Resolved, That a copy of these pro
ceedings be forwarded to the President of
the United States, the governors of the sev
eral states and the members of the Senate
and House of Representatives of the Uni
From the Pennsylvania Reporter.
THE NEW SCHEME.
There is, wc doubt not, a settled deter
mination on the part of Mr. Biddlc, and
other leading individuals connected with the
United Stales Bank, to procure, if possible,
a re-charter of that institution by congress.
To this desire may be traced, in a great
measure, the cause of the pressure which is
now o generally complained of in our
business cities because, a part of the plan
is, so to unsettle and derange all business
regulations, as to induce the belief, on the
minds of the people, that a prosperous state
of affairs cannot again exist, until a new
National Bank shall have been established.
So confident arc these gentlemen of the
success of their scheme, that they aro al
ready beginning to let their humdlo satel
lites into tho secret, and wo have been in
formed through a source entitled to credit,
that a wager to a large amount has actu
ally been laid within the last two weeks,
by a zealous and active partizan of tho
Bank, that this design would be accom
plished, and a National Bank established
bxi Consress within two nmrs!
The pressuro under which tho individuals
very extensively engaged in business in tho
commercial cities of the country, for some
time past, has been attempted to be attribu
ted to a variety of causes, the principal ono
of which, appeared to bo tho operation of
the Treasury order issued under tho direc
tion of Gen. Jackson, a few months before
his retirement from the presidency. To
his "interference," as tho Bank Whigs arc
pleased to call it, with tho currency and bu
siness relations of the country, all tho evils
were traced. The abuse which has been
heaped upon him for several years past,
was redoubled, and threats aro now openly
made, that unless his successor consents to
an abandonment of his policy, "pistols
shall flash, and dirks gleam, and a commit
tee often thousand armed free men" pro
ceed to AVashington to "relievo the coun
try from tho grievance" complained of. A
fire-eater named Gould, belonging to the
city of New York, has avowed his rcadi
nessto engage in the enterprise, and more
than one incendiary Whig press has openly
advocated the adoption of such a course.
Tho object of tho Bank ami its satlolhii Sj
is evidently to create a "panlc" to Rprcail
confusion throughout the land, and force,
if possible, from President Van Burcn, a
rcpcnl bt a salutary and wise regulation,
and froin Congress an act of incorporation
for a National Bank. Those who havo
read the nfllclCs upon the subjefct of the
pressure, wliiclt wc have fCccntly laid be
fore them from Aid Washington G'.obc and
other able exponents of sound principles,
'understand perfectly well, how the Treasu
ry order,so obnoxious to greedy speculators,
opcratcsj and tho beneficial results which
must necessarily flow from Us continuance";
and it will also atipdar perfectly evident to
them, that whilst it affects Injuriously, only
the few who sought, by a system of specu-i
lation upon the public domain, through Aid
medium of fictitious capital, to enrich them
selves speedily at the expense of the many)
it is calculated materially to improve tile
condition of the poor man, and secure tho ac
tual settler of the public lands in the posses
sion of his rights.
With this knowledge before them, they
know full well, how little truth there can bo
in tho declamatory assertions of the Bank
Whigs, that to this cause the existing mon
etary difficulties aro attributable and they
will, we arc confident unite with m in the
hope, that the President will, under no cir
cumstances, take any steps in relation to its
abrogation, which would have tho effect of
again awakening the extravagant system of
land speculation, which the order itself so
It is not the effect of tho treasury order.
but the operation of the United Suites bank
itself, which has produced the present de
rangement in the monied affairs of the coun
try. Its object is tho one wc have already
adverted to, to grind and oppress the peo
ple, until it forces achartcr from their rep
resentatives in congress. The bank has
found that it cannot act as extensively and
profitably as it desires to, under the charter
granted by the legislature of this state, and
it now aspires to be at the head of affairs,
where it may exercise unlimited power, and
"make money plenty or scarce at its pleas
ure." What do the people of Pennsylvania
think of this project? They havo been ac
tively engaged for several years past, in
combatting this monster in all its forms.
They condemned in loud and emphatic
terms, the recreant representatives who vi
olated their solemn pledges, and gave the
bank a now existence They instructed
their delegates to the reform convention, to
use all proper exertions to repeal tho charter
so mysteriously obtained; and they have on
all occasions, manifested a most dnniilnil
and uncompromising hostility to every mca-
a slate institution.' caffiA'fionsylvania, as
mit to sec the bank thrust itself fo'rwarir,
and forco from congress an act of incorpo
ration which would establish, at once and
forever, its supremacy over the nation, and
bind the government in chains? Never!
THE PHILADELPHIA BANKS.
For tho information of our friends at a distance;,
wc may state that not a doubt exists in tlw minds of
tho community, as to tho entire solvency of nil these
institutions. They have no doubt suffered some
what hy the failure of some of their customers, but
they arc all well managed, and under tho' control' of
skilful and experienced financiers, and enjoy tho un
bounded confidence of our citiicns. If it shall lie
determined on tho part of tho New York or nny
other banks to suspend specie payments temporarily,
wo feel satisfied that tho Philadelphia iustitutions
will bo tho last to resort to sucli a remedy, although
from present appearances, it is our conviction that
no such remedy will nt any time bo rendered neces
sary for them. Wo believe it is an admitted fact
tlat the amount of specio in v: -Its at this time, is
larger than at any former period for a number of
years. Uicknell't Reporter.
It will bo seen on reference to the tablo on our
fourth page, that wo havo given quotations with re
tard to a number of tho eastern and western Banks.
It is proper for us to add that littlo dependence can
be placed upon them, as such is tho deranged con
dition of exchanges, that notes which tho brokers
purchase readily and on liberal terms ono day, they
refuse on any terms the next, Yesterday, for exam
ple, they refused on any terms, the notes of tho Safe
ty Fund Banks of tho state of New York, whilo on
Saturday they purchased them at ten per cent, dis
count J ho reader can readily pcrceivo tho melan
choly condition of aftiirsfrom theso facts. Ib.
"The silken tic that binds two willing hearts."
e."nH'o Fr-n Thursday Ixst, by tholtcMr.
KY BOON, all of Hemlock township.
u ilU.?1'1 U'J-l'y John I'nich, Mr. Wm.
ll. itlbllbL of Liberty township, Columbia coun
ty, to Miss MAKY ANN BTLFFEB, of Union
On Wednesday, tho 2Gth ult. by tho Rev. Wm,
Codcr.Mr. HYHAM HUGHES, of Steuben coun
, N. Y. to Miss LBWIUSSA BOONE, of Oat
tawissa township, Columbia county, Pa.
In Muncy, on tho 22d ult. by J. J. Course. Erf I
ty, to Miss SAIIAH MERRILL, of tho former
In Jersey Shore, on tho 25th ult. by tho Kcv. 8,
f. bhedden, Rev. JOHN H. GHIEIt.of Pino creek
township, to Miss BAILY, of tho formerplacc
V 0W10T,4.l!!,i"St, '1,?Ilev-J- anks, Mr.JOHN
,Sen .nelto Mis HELEN DAVIS, all of Berwick,
"hvthe midst of life wo arc in death,"
In thia place on Thursday tho 4th instant, Tiioa
as, the eldest son of Mr. Philip C'luUtman, in tlus
tenth year of his age.
OBIT IT A TV-