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be proper to authorize the President to dispose of any sentiments, the filling up the blank with any numof the public ships of war now in the service of the ber need not prevent it, as the number might be United States, and to report by bill or otherwise." withdrawn to afford him that opportunity, and

Ordered, That this motion lie for consideration. the discussion of the main question might still

A message from the House of Representatives proceed. informed the Senate, that the House have passed Mr. Dayton was opposed to that mode of proa bill, entitled “ An act to repeal an act, entitled ceeding. Upon the issue of the number five or "An act to establish an uniform system of bank- three, it was probable that the whole question ruptcy throughout the United States,” in which would depend. they desire the concurrence of the Senate.

Mr. Tracy was for a postponement. He felt The bill was read and ordered to the second himself unwell. reading.

Mr. Cocke was indifferent; whether decided Mr. Bradley, from the committee to whom now or to-morrow, it would be the same. Postwas referred, on the 23d instant, the bill, entitled poned. "An act fixing the salaries of certain officers iherein mentioned,” reported the bill with amend

Tuesday, November 29. ments.

Mr. BRADLEY presented the petition of Elijah Ordered That they lie for consideration.

Brainard, stating that he had received a wound AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.

in the service of the United States during the late The Senate resumed the consideration of the Revolutionary war, and that he is thereby reduced report of the comunittee appointed to consider the to great distress

, and wholly incapacitated for amendment proposed to the Constitution, in the sion list, although his claim may be barred by the

bodily labor, and praying admission on the penmode of electing the President and Vice Presi- statute of limitations; and the petition was read, dent of the United States.

and ordered to lie on the table. Mr. Adams suggested the propriety of postponing the question this day, as a member was ab

The following Message was received from the

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: sent indisposed, (Mr. ANDERSON,) who was the representative of a small State. He was ready To the Senate and House of on Saturday to give his vote on the main ques

Representatives of the United States : tion and on the incidental question; but as he un

I now communicate an appendix to the information derstood the number three to be a sine qua non

heretofore given on the subject of Louisiana. You with the gentleman from Virginia, he thought it will be sensible, from the face of these papers, as well

as of those to which they are a sequel, that they are better the subject should be postponed until the not, and could not, be oficial, but are furnished by difHouse should be full.

ferent individuals, as the result of the best inquiries Mr. Cocke said, that number was not with him they had been able to make, and now given as received a sine qua non; he would vote for the amendment from them, only digested under heads to prevent repewith either number; though, from a more deliber- titions.

TH. JEFFERSON. ate consideration of the arguments he had heard, NOVEMBER 29, 1803 he was disposed to think three the best number, The Message and papers therein referred to as it promised to bring the election closer to the were read, and ordered to lie for consideration. people. He was not apprized how his colleague The bill entitled “ An act to repeal an act, entimeant to vote.

tled 'An act to establish an uniform system of Mr. FRANKLIN was against a postponement. bankruptcy throughout the United States," was His mind was perfectly made up on the subject, read the second time. and it was time the Senate should come to a de- Ordered, That the further consideration thereof cision. The Legislature of his State was in ses- be the order of the day for to-morrow. sion ; their sentiments were decidedly in favor of the amendment, and he wished it to reach them

AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION. before Christmas, as they would most likely rise The order of the day being called up on the about that time.

amendments to the Constitution-a considerable Mr. White said that he, as well as other gen- | time elapsed, when tlemen, was ready to vote on the main and inci- Mr. Dayton rose and said, that since no other dental questions, and was fully aware of the im- gentleman thought proper to address the Chair, portance of an early decision. His mind was although laboring himself under a very severe made up, as a member from a small State, for the cold, which rendered speaking painful, he could number five, and he understood that the member not suffer the question to pass without an effort to absent was in favor of the same number. He arrest it in its progress; and should consider his wished, on his account, therefore, to postpone, last breath well expended in endeavoring to prethough ready himself. The gentleman might be vent the degradation which the State he repreable to attend to-morrow.

sented would suffer if the amendment were to Mr. Nicholas thought there was no necessity prevail. whatever to delay a decision. If the indisposition As to the question immediately before the Senof a member was a good reason for delay, busi- ate for filling the blank with five, he felt himself ness might be postponed forever ; but even if the indebted to the member from Tennessee for regentleman absent was solicitous to deliver his newing the subject. He was grateful, also, to


Amendment to the Constitution.

SENATE. the member from Marylaod (Mr. Wright) for other House for allowing the privilege of frankdeclaring he would support it, as well as for giving a few letters to a gentleman who sat there as ing the assurance that he was disposed to consider delegate, and had travelled about thirteen hunand spare the interests of the small States as far dred miles from the banks of the Mississippi to inas possible, consistently with the great object of form us that it was inhabited by other creatures discrimination.

than alligators, the bill was opposed by that very Every member who had spoken on this subject gentleman, upon the ground that the dignity of seemed to have admitted, by the very course and Georgia would be wounded, and her rights inpointing of their arguments, even though they jured by the passage of that bill. It was aftermay have denied it in words, that this was really wards committed and recommitted, whilst the una question between great and small States, and happy delegate (since put in his grave, poor man! disguise it as they would the question would be no doubt of a broken heart) was compelled to so considered out of doors. The privilege given wait several weeks without writing under priviby the Constitution extended to five, out of which lege and without drawing a shilling of money, the choice of President should made ; and why until the gentleman from Georgia could find leisshould the smaller, for whose benefit and security ure to secure the rights and dignity of his State that number was given, now wantonly throw it from being injured by allowing the delegate to away without an equivalent ? As to the Vice frank his billets. President, his election had no influence upon the In a more recent and far more important transnumber, because the choice of President in the action, it might be recollected also, how dexterHouse of Representatives was as free and un- ously, how zealously, and how very successfully qualified as if that subordinate office did not exist. he advocated the interests of a little corner of the Nay, he said, he would venture to assert that, even Union known by the name of Georgia. On the if the number five were continued, and the Vice list of expenditures there would hereafter be seen Presidency entirely abolished, there would not be between one and two millions accounted for by as great a latitude of choice as under the present being paid over to the treasury of the State he mode, because those five out of whom the choice represents, as the fair fruits of his zeal and admust eventually be made, were much more likely dress. He may now be ready, since he has obhereafter to be nominated by the great States, in- tained thus the extent of his wishes, to banish asmuch as their electors would no longer be com- all local attachments pending this question. He pelled to vote for a man of a different State. The would give him credit for his assertion, and for honorable gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Smith) two reasons: first, because the gentleman himself has said, he was not surprised that those who had had said so; and next, because he should, on any seats in the old Congress, should perplex them- other principle, be at a loss to account for the selves with the distinctions; but he could tell that vote he was about to give. gentleman, that it was not in the old Congress he Since these instances of State attachment, and had learnt them, for there he had seen all the of the good fruits of it, were so fresh in the recolvotes of the States equal, and had known the lection of the Senate, it was to be hoped the gencomparatively little State of Maryland control- tleman from Georgia would allow members from ling the will of the Ancient Dominion. It was other States, sometimes, to imitale his commendin the Federal Convention that distinction was able example, by taking a little care of the intermade and acknowledged; and he defied that mem-ests of their constituents-not in the more trivial ber to do, what had been before requested of the question of franking letters or of a few dirty acres,

honorable gentleman from Virginia, viz: to open but in a question so very serious in its nature as - the Constitution, and point out a single article, if to strike at their sovereignty itself.

he could, that had not evidently been framed upon Some attention was due to the remarks of the a presumption of diversity (he had almost said, gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Maclay,) adversity) of interest between the great and small who went into an ingenious but subtle distincStates.

tion between civil and political rights, artfully The gentleman from Georgia, too, (Mr. Jack- calculated to divert the attention of the Senate son) is very much afflicted that the State distinc- from the true distinction upon which this motion tions had been introduced on the occasion, and and the main question turned, by amusing them admonished the Senate to put away all local con- with an ingenious disquisition on the rights of siderations. That gentleman may now be pre- men in society, distinguishing them under the pared to do so, since he has obtained all his heart heads of political and civil

. But without followcould wish for his immediate constituents; but if ing him through his regular chain of reasoning, there was a single member who had more ably, he would make shorter work, and reduce all that more perseveringly, and more successfully and gentlemen had said to the rest of analysis. To warmly contended for the rights and interests of those Representatives of small States who should his particular State, than any or all the other vote with bim, his disquisition was intended doubtmembers on that floor, he was that member. The less as a sort of justification; and to those of them gentleman had not only been quickly, but trem- who, although voting against him, must be comblingly alive to every measure that could in the pelled to submit

, it was kindly meant as a consolamost distant degree 'affect the interests of his tion under the new dispensation of State influence. State. It would be remembered that in the ses. They were told that their rights were of two sion before last, when a bill came up from the kinds, viz: political, in relation to their standing


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as members of a State, and civil in reference to to be made from five or from twenty. As he had
their rights as mere individuals; that their politi- not used such arguments, he supposed he must
cal rights might be abolished or abridged, or their have been imposed upon, by the misrepresenta-
State sovereignties invaded and prostrated, but tion of his sentiments in an infamous paper, call-
their civil rights might remain unimpaired; that ed the Washington Federalist, in which nothing
they might, to be sure, be less respected as Jer said on his side of the House was reported truly;
seymen, Rhode Islanders, or Georgians, but they that paper had falsified his speech, and he took
would not therefore be less respected and regard that opportunity to state that, whosoever was the
ed as members of the Union, or Americans. Mr. reporter of his speech in that paper, was guilty of
D. said he liked the gentleman's illustration of a lie.
his argument much better than the argument it- Mr. DAYTON observed that the allusion he had
self; and he approved the machinery he bad em- made was to the support which the gentleman cer-
ployed much more than the use he had made of tainly gave to the number five; as to what the
it. With his leave, therefore, he would take the paper alluded to might say, he had nothing to
materials he had furnished for the occasion, and answer,
put them into plain and simple allegory:

Mr. Wright had repeatedly advocated the dis-
The gentleman from Pennsylvania had com- criminating principle, and he had been represent-
pared the great and small States confederated, to ed as holding opinions which he did not hold, that
rich and poor men associated in one community. the amendment was an attack on the small States;
Let the comparison for argument's sake, be ad- now, as he had never entertained that opinion,
mitted to be just, and let the analogy be pursued. and as that infamous paper had so misrepresented
Suppose these rich men, four in number, and the him, he must repeat, that whoever wrote that
poor men thirteen, had entered into a compact charge in that paper, wrote a lie.
which required that a chief should be chosen from Mr. Dayton hoped the gentleman did not mean
among them once in four years, and that, as their to connect him in his observations; he could not
votes would be in proportion to their wealth, the certainly suspect him as the author of any piece
four men would have a preponderance over the in that paper.
other thirteen. Suppose them allowed to vote

Mr. Cocks had also come in for a share of the for themselves exclusively, but with this stipula- gentleman's thanks, but there were none due, as tion, that if, on the first ballot, a majority should he had acted as one of the majority, and was willbe found for one, it should devolve upon the whole ing by giving them an opportunity to say all they seventeen to decide upon a chief, with equal voices; had to say in favor of the number five. With hini, would it not in this case be the interest of these at first, it was a matter of indifference, so he obfour to limit the choice to the three highest on tained the discriminating principle. His constitthe list, and of the thirteen to extend it to five ? uents were unanimous in favor of this principle, In the first case of three, they would be compelled and he had their instructions to that effect. He to elect one of the three rich, however unworthy; preferred the number three for the reasons he had and in the other case, they would be at liberty to already given; it brought the election closer to choose one of their own number, if they thought the people; five would give a greater latitude, him better qualified than any of the other four. and subject it to the Legislature, which he did not They might, it was true, risk the displeasure of wish to see take place. As to those dreadful conthe four rich men, but why debar themselves from sequences, and all this depredation of States, he doing it, if the case should justify their running could not see how those things could happen. the risk? This could with propriety be said 10 What if the larger States were foolish enough to be such a case, or, to drop all figure, a question attempt the enslavement of the smaller States, between the great and small States. The Con- were the small States so feeble and so few as not stitution allowed a choice from the five highest to be able to prevent them? As to this degradaon the list, and why should we debar ourselves of tion of small States, he could recollect the time the right of such a choice?. It was a privilege when it was said that if Pennsylvania would give which ought to be persisted in, even though the an unanimous vote, New Jersey would give a vote resentment of the great States might be aroused. to counteract it. He knew nothing that would As expressed in the animated language of the hon- degrade a State so much as intrigues of such a orable gentleman from Virginia, “ their power was nature; and, it was to avoid that degradation, he great, and he could hear the menace of a for- wished for the amendment. He wished the Presmer day reverberating through the Senate Cham- ident not to be an intriguer; he wished to have ber;" its effects would perhaps be best ascertained him what he now is, the man of the people; and, by the vote which was to follow.

for that purpose, he would vote for three. Mr. Wright rose only to correct an error into Mr. Jackson had intended to have given only a which the gentleman from New Jersey had fallen, naked vote on this question, but the profusion of concerning the number five, which he had spoken compliments heaped upon him for merely disin favor of on a former day; he had never admit- charging his duty, demanded some return; he had ted nor argued that the number five or three been sent to that body to watch the interests of his would affect the Constitution or the small States; State, and to do, to the best of Iris judgment, jushe had, on the contrary, declared that all he want- tice between it and the United Siales. He had ed was the discriminating principle; and so that conceived the rights of Georgia invaded, and he was effected, he cared not whether the choice was felt it to be his duty to seek justice according to


Amendment to the Constitution.



the Constitution. Whatever gentlemen may in - one, it cannot be for want of inclination ; and sinuate about dirty acres, nof State of the Union where Princeton College exists it would be unwas so much oppressed as Georgia had been; not gracious 10 suppose that the requisite talents could by the large Siates, from which the gentleman not be found there. Georgia had never wished to apprehends so much, but by the small. Let any bring forward a candidate, neither had Tennessee, gentleman consult the Convention at New York, nor several other States. He believed that wherand they will find that not a single small Staré ever a man should be found in the Union distincame forward to support her protest against a guished by his virtues, his genius, and his devotion great wrong when a treaty was sanctioned that io republican principles, that he would be taken violated her rights and parcelled out her territory up, without concern for the State in which he has As well might ihe Union pretend to give up Phil his residence. adelphia to Great Britain, as the county of Talas- This league of the large States, so much harped see to a parcel of tomahawking Indians. Had that upon, he could not comprehend; where was it to gentleman been a Representative no doubt he be formed, and how? Are we certain that Maswould have come down upon them in thunder, he sachusetts and Virginia. Pennsylvania and New would have with a loud voice rent the Hall of York, will, notwithstanding their distance, several Congress with the wrofgs of the State, and the interests, and views, combine to tie the small ravage and carnage to which it was exposed; he States, hands and feet ? No, sir, we find the large would have described the children torn from their States disagreeing and as jealous of each other as mothers' arms by the unfeeling savage, and dash- the small; and with more reason, if the argument ed to pieces; the matron abused and murdered; has any weight at all. and deplored that, to the authors of such cruelties, He preferred the number three in the amendthe territory had been consigned.

ment, as it brough: the election two degrees nearer Gentlemen either knew not or cared not for to the people; because a Constitution was not these wrongs; and, after several years supplica- intended for the convenience of the servants, but tion, it was only two years ago tħat half justice for the use of the Sovereign-the people. Out of was done; for half what was taken away by usur- five persons the provision for a choice was before pation, has not been restored by justice. We had directed to be made; the Constitution as now paid other States for defending the Union, but proposed to be altered would approach to the prinGeorgia had not yet been paid, and it remains yet ciple and number of five in a safer and more certo be known, whether the widow, bereaved of her tain way, for the President would be chosen out husband in battle, or murdered by treachery, while of the three highest, and the Vice President out defending his country, or the orphan who survive of two others. It was not proper that any man ed her murdered parents, are to be remunerated should have a chance of being placed in a situaeven for their country and equitable demands. tion of so much consequence, contrary to the inGovernment by a law seized upon this territory tention of the people. "It is, iherefore, our duty to and legislated for it. It was for that territory a prevent such an occurrence; and we ought to Delegate was sent, to whom the gentleman advert. send our amendment to the people as free from ed. He opposed the extension of the privilege of defects as possible, because their rights are infranking to any Delegate, because agreeing to it volved therein; neglect their rights, and they will would be to acknowledge the title of injustice. form a Constitution for themselves; or, in seeking

No State had ever beerf oppressed by Georgia; to reform it, they will incur the dangers, either of year after year they had sent petitions demanding a sanguinary revolution, or of the establishment payment for the service of the militia which had of a Government like that of Great Britain, susprotected the frontiers, but they had not been paid tained by corruption and wretchedness of the to this hour.

people. Upon the merits of the question of numbers, he Mr. Taylor would trespass on the House with had wished to remain silent, but, as he was up, he a few observations. With other gentlemen, he was would intrude upon the House a few observations. not so much disposed to dispute about the number He preferred the number three, for several serious five or three, as strenuous to obtain the principle reasons; he wished to prevent the choice from of designation. The argument of those who devolving upon the House of Representatives; he opposed the amendment, he perceived, had been wished it to be out of their power, if it should de- all along founded on extreme cases, which, even if volve upon them, to elect any man not evidently they were to happen, would not produce the afintended by the people; the smaller number would firmed effects on the small States. The number render this more certain; he did not consider it a three he certainly preferred, because it gave a matter of any consequence from what State a greater certainty to popular choice; the extreme President was chosen; he believed the small case of this would be an election by the House of States had never offered a candidate; the period Representatives; if the number were three, how was too short, since the existence of the Govern- would this operate in the House? Would not the ment to admit of many States having an oppor- small States have a greater share of influence tunity to bring forward a candidate; and various than the large States, in the proportion of thirteen good causes had contributed to make the selec- to four ? Another case is, inat election should tions that had been from large Slates. While remain in the divisible electoral bodies, as heretoparties existed there would be a champion chosen fore. or, in the extreme, be elected by an accumuby each; if New Jersey has not brought forward lated body in the House of Representatives.


Amendment to the Constitution.


Would this latter be in favor of the small States ? full majority of nine States, they will deny themWould the election by a Diet be preferable or selves the power of self-government? 'It is a safer than the choice by Electors in various places principle of heroism, or something else, which so remote as to be out of the scope of each other's enables minorities to govern ; but it is a principle influence, and so numerous as not to be accessible of reason and virtue, which gives the Government by corruption ? It is true, that the number three to majorities in a free Government. Are we, then, has a greater tendency to give the choice to the in making the designating principle, to adhere to people; it cannot be true that the small States the form and desert the substance? How does the would wish to place it in the House of Repre. Constitution now stand? We choose from five sentatives, because three would give the people the the President and Vice President. How, if we choice; and, even if they did wish to take the adopt three? Then the President would be chosen choice out of the hands of the people, it ought to from three, and the Vice President from twobe opposed, because it is contrary to the spirit and making five. Here preserving the substance, and intent of the Constitution.

indirectly the form. How, if we adopt the desigThe division of election is one of the sound- nating principle, and leave the number five ? est principles of the Constitution; elections are Then, we would choose the President from the more free and less liable to passion and corruption five, and the Vice President from two otherin the state of division; for experience has shown making seven! The more the subject is examthat elections, any more than Executive powers, ined the more we must be convinced that three cannot be so well effected by accumulative bodies should have the preference. Your Constitution directs elections in States, not Before he sat down he would say a word more assembled in one place. And why? To prevent on the subject of the threat alleged to have come the evils to which Diets or Legislative bodies are from the Ancient Dominion. If he mistook not exposed. Does not three, then, adhere infinitely there were intimations held out in the course of more to the leading principle of your Constitution, the debate, that bloodshed would be the result of by placing it in the power of the numerous elec- the amendment of the Constitution; and many tion districts, and keeping out of the reach of the other expressions of that nature had been emnumerous or accumulate i body the choice? Is it ployed, which by no means argued decorum, and not necessary to guard, by every means, against could not serve as argument with any member of what has proved fatal to so many Republics ? that House. The malignant passion of jealousy

Let the extreme cases, on the other hand, be was conjured up, to be the herald of this civil distaken. The number five is adopted. For what cord, and the most disastrous afflictions were preend ? To carry the election to the House of Rep- dicted as the consequence. In glancing at these resentatives; will the small States be benefited by unwarranted and unwarrantable sentiments, he five more than three? Will they not, from the had assumed it as a principle not to be overthrown, number, be more likely to be divided; and would that free governments must exist upon moral recnot a number of the large States then possess all titude, or perish; and that if the United States the advantages of number and union ? For the were capable of being actuated to rage by their gentlemen consider this union of the large States pernicious and destructive passions, rectitude and as certain, and they cannot refuse their own argu- morality would no longer exist among them, ments, or the consequences of them.

and they must be destroyed by each other. What, Suppose the elective power of the people anni- sir, because there are strong and powerful States, hilated, and transferred solely to the Legislature ? must the weak be tolerated to menace them with Would the small States consent to this? Would injury and bloodshed, without the liberty of warthey be so blind? Yet, by adopting five, you pro- ring against the fatal consequences ? Are strong mote this evil; by three you prevent it. And yet men bound to bear the wrongs done them by the genilemen say they look upon this as only a con- weak? Are the rich to fold their arms and bear test of small and large States.

to be robbed by the poor with silence, and withThe gentleman from New Jersey had talked out remonstrance? Yet such is the inference that something of a threat, alleged to have been thrown must be made from what the gentleman has unout in that House, by him in a former day's debate. dertaken to call a threat. Wherefore threaten with He would beg leave to say, that the gentleman good? Can evil be the result of good, or goud of had most egregiously misrepresented or miscon- evil? Natural and moral consequences flow from strued him. But he could see in it a very shallow moral actions; and when there are any who unstratagem; he thought the gentleman possessed dertake to do evil, it is but strict justice he should more skill; had his generalship been as great as suffer. He found some difficulty in bringing himhis reputation he would not have planted his am- self to notice this charge of a threat, because he buscade where the enemy must see him from all had perceived, particularly in the paper published sides, and expose all his force by this state of his in this city, a common practice of misrepresentaadvance party. When he heard this clamor about tion. In a former day's debate he had alluded to the danger of small States, he was led to ask, the fatal effects which the British Government what was their number ? And, looking round thai had produced on the liberty and prosperity of that House, he found that there were thirteen repre- country, by the means of the rotten boroughs; and sented, and only four large States! Are the Rep. he had been misrepresented as depreciating the resentatives of 'the small States in this Senate, small States and describing them as the rotten then, so blind to their danger, that, possessed of a boroughs of America. It must be obvious that a


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