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are immovable. I can scarcely enumerate them all. The gentleman from San Francisco (Mr. Gwip,) who proposes this boundary, remarks that it is important that we leave this question of the eastern boundary unsettled; but, in the next breath, he proposes to fix it.
Mr. Gwin, I said it was important we should settle it.
Mr. HASTINGS. I understand the gentleman to propose that we should include the entire terrie tory, and then fix it, if Congress chooses, by including a smaller boundary. I do not regard that as a settled boundary; it extends to the vast chain of the Rocky mountains. By the nearest route to the coast, it is fifteen hundred miles. This is a fact known in Congress as well as in California. The boundary which the gentleman proposes, includes all the territory from the Pacific coast to the Rocky mountains and New Mexico. It is urged that we ought to include this entire territory and leave it open, in order not to interfere with a question of vast importance which has agitated Congress for some time past. Sir, we ought to interfere with that question. We ought to settle it. Congress cannot within any reasonable space of time settle it. We would have had a Territorial Government now could Congress have settled that exciting question. If we leave this question of boundary open, we leuve the question of slavery open. If we fix the boundary, we fix that question also. We relieve Congress on that important point. We leave the question out by deciding it for ourselves. Sir, if you leave that question with Congress again, I can assure you that for years we sha'l have no government here with the sanction of the Governntent of the United States. But gentlemen maintain that it is very important to include the whole territory, if possible, because if we settle the question of slavery now for the entire territory it is forever settled; and Congreşe would be very much obliged to us for doing it; but if we do not include the whole territory, the question will be brought up again in Congress, and that very fact would give rise to endless discus sion when we apply for admission. Now, sir, if we propose a thing of this kind, I know the result. I know the South will insist that we have no right, as a State here, to present our claims to Congress for a State Government extending over a country as large in extent as all the Northern States of the Union. The South will readily see that the object is to force the settlement of this question, The South will never agree to it. It raises the question in all its bitterness and in its worst form before Congress. On the other hand, if we propose to settle the question for ou.selves, in reference to a territory which is not too extensive for a State, Congress cannot for a moment hesitate to sanction our action. I can assure gentlemen that the new State of California will not be permitted to setile the great question of slavery for a territory of such vast extent as that proposed-an extent of territory as large as all the non-slaveholding States of the Union. Will the South permit it? No, sir. It will be insisted by the South that we have been urged to do it by influences brought to bear upon us from the North. We will never be admitted in that way as a State. The gentleman (Mr. Gwin) remarks that, in reference to including the whole territory, it is no objection that the Mormon settlements are formed in the interior. Now, sir, it occurs to me as a very serious objection. While the Mormon settlements exist there, we cannot be admitted into the Union with that boundary ; because they are a portion of the people of the United States prepared to adopt our institutions and establish a government for themselves. They have already applied to Congress to establish a Territorial Government for them. Suppose these two propositions are brought up before Congress at the same time; we applying for a State Government, and they for a Territorial Government; both propositions coming from the same territory. Can we be admitted into the Union claiming the same territory, at the same time that they call for a Territorial Government over it? No, sir; for the Mormons will insist, and justly too, that they had nothing to do with the formation of our government--that they had no representation in this convention, and never gave their assent to the Constitution which we attempt to impose upon them. How would the Congress of the United States look upon it? Would they say to the Mormons, you were bound to take part in the formation of that government; if you did not, it was your own fault. Certainly not. The answer would be, you are as well entitled to a government for yourselves as the territory on the coast. We will grant governments to both ; but we cannot grant to California this enormous extent of territory which she claims. I repeat, Mr. Chairman, that if you leave this boundary question cpen, you leave open the question of slavery ; and if you do, sir, we get no boundary at all, and cannot have a State Government for three or four years. If we fix the boundary within reasonable limits, and Congress receives our proposition, the question of slavery is settled. Why not at once say at what point the boundary shall be? What possible cause to hesi. tate will Congress have if we claim no more than is sufficient for a State ? I am very sure that, if gentlemen who favor the boundary of the gentleman from Monterey (Mr. Halleck) were acquainted with the country east of the Sierra Nevada which it excludes, but which is included in the report of the Committee, that they would greatly prefer the latter. I have traveled all over it, sir, and the Committee are well acquainted with that country. We have a vast mineral region as well as agricultural, on this side of the Sierra Nevada ; but I am of opinion the other side affords probably equal agrieultural resources and as much gold as this. The line proposed by the Committee includes all that is valuable and no more. The Committee were very cautious to include as little as possible, and yet omit no portion of the territory that was deemed valuable.
Mr. Gwe. As this is a very important question, and several amendments have been proposed this morning, and it is important that the House should understand them before they are voted upon, I propose that the subject be laid aside, and that the Secretary be directed to prepare copies of the amendments to be laid before the members, so that when the subject comes up again we . may
be prepared to act upon it.
Mr. McDOUGAL. I hope the motion will prevail.
Mr. Borts. I am of the gentleman's opinion that we had better not take the question this morning; but I do not see why we should yet dispose of it. I am ignorant of the character of the country proposed to be included, and have not made up my mind definitely as to the proper boundary. There may be gentlemen here who are prepared to throw some light on the subject: If it appears that nobody has anything further to remark upon it, I shall be very willing that the Committee rise and report progress.
Mr. Gwin. My object is this. We are to debate certain propositions which different gentlemen have made. Before we can do so understandingly, we must have these propositions on our tables in writing, in order to comprehend them properly.
Mr. Borts. There may be other gentlemen who would be glad to make remarks upon this subject, and throw. some light upon it. I am not prepared myself to do so., If there are none, I concur with the gentleman.
On motion of Mr. Gwin, the Committee then rose and reported progress. On motion of Mr. HALLECK, the House resolved that when it adjourn it would adjourn to 10 o'clock A. M. on Monday next..
Mr. Gwin then moved that the House now go into consideration of the amend. ments, adopted in Committee of the Whole, to so much of the report of the Committee on the Constitution as is styled the "Bill of Rights."
some discussion, as to the propriety of taking up the Bill of Rights before the entire Constitution was passed through Committee of the whole, the motion was rejected.
Mr. Gwin, from the Committee of Ways and Means of defraying the expenses of the State Government, made a report, which, on his motion, was laid on the table to be read on Monday next.
On motion, the House then granted Mr. Ellis ten days' leave of absence.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1849. In Convention. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Willey. Journal of Saturday read and approved.
Mr. Norton, Chairman of the Committee on the Constitution, reported the article on miscellaneous provisions; which was read and referred to the Committee of the Whole.
Mr. SHANNON, on leave, made some verbal amendments to his proposition, and introduced a proviso prohibiting Congress from dividing the State of California by running any line east and west.
Mr. Gwin, on leave, made some verbal amendments to his amendment.
On motion of Mr. WOZENCRAFT, Mr. Vermuele, a member elect from San Joa. quin, was introduced, sworn, and admitted to his seat.
On motion, the House then resolved itself into Committee of the Whole, Mr. Lippitt in the Chair, on the report of the Committee on the Boundary.
Afier some discussion as to the order of amendments, the Chair decided that Mr. Gwin's amendment, with the proviso offered by Mr. Halleck and accepted by Mr. Gwin, was before the House.
Mr. Jones said that he hoped the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Halleck,) would explain the object of the two-third rule adopted in his proviso. We might, through the absence of one-third of the members of the Legislature, be kept out of a State Government for years. He could not see what object the gentleman had in view by requiring that two-thirds of the members of the Legislature accede to a proposition passed by a majority in Congress. He was clearly in favor of a majority himself, ever since Mr. Van Buren was knocked in the head by the two-third rule.
Mr. Halleck said that it was because the first portion of the proviso was taken from the Constitution of Florida, and not a word of objection was made to it by Congress. Congress admitted the State with that provision, and he thought that was a sufficient reason. · Mr. Jones said it was his understanding of the matter that, if our boundary was not accepted by Congress, Congress should make a proposition to us, and we should accept it or reject it as we pleased. He thought that the State Government should at least have its boundaries well defined; but in relation to the precedent of Florida, as far as the proposition goes, Congress had nothing to say. If Florida chose to impose a two-third rule upon her own Legislature, it was not a subject for the consideration of Congress. He preferred having a majority against a majority, and then any reasonable proposition made by Congress would certainly be accepted by the State Legislature ; but this one-third are certainly the most stubborn part of the Legislature. If in order, he would therefore move to strike out that portion and insert a majority.
Mr. HALLECK had no objection if the original mover of the amendment chose to accept it.
Mr. Gwin accepted the amendment; and the Secretary then, by order of the Chair, read the three propositions before the Committee, viz: the report of the Committee on the Boundary ; the proposition of Mr. McDougal, and the proposition of Mr. Gwin, with Mr. Halleck’s proviso.
Mr. McCabver wished to offer an amendment to the proposition of the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Halleck.)
The Chair stated that it would not be in order, as there were three propositions before the Committee. If the gentleman chose to accept the amendment, it could be introduced in that way.
Mr. McCarver said he desired to shape it so that the Legislature should not entertain any proposition from Congress, fixing a boundary line. He thought if the boundary was left open, Congress might cut this state in two by running a line east and west-which he was decidedly opposed to.
Mr. HALLECK remarked that no line could come west farther than the Sierra Nevada under this proposition.
Mr. McCarver said it was his desire to fix a permanent boundary line. He wished to amend the proposition so that neither Congress nor the Legislature could change that line.
Mr. HALLECK. I will endeavor to explain the object of the united proposition. In the first place, the boundary includes all of Upper California, as has always been recognized by Mexico and by the Congress of the United States, so far as any action has been had on that subject. By the treaty with Mexico and the discussions with Mexico previous to the treaty, and the maps that have been published of California since that time, and all the orders which have proceeded from our Government, these limits have been acknowledged and recognised as the limits of Upper California. The first part of the proposition embraces such limits as have always been heretofore recog. nised as the territory of Upper California. It is asked what is the object of embracing the whole territory? As was said the other day, it closes forever this agitating question of slavery in all the territory this side of the Rocky mountains. But objections are urged against including those limits-that we include more territory than we are capable of governing. Before taking up these objections, let me state one other point in connexion with this boundary. It is known that there is a large number of Americans settled beyond the Sierra Nevada, a peculiar class of people, it is true, but nevertheless American citizens. Large numbers of American citizens are travelling from the United States to the portions of California this side of the Sierra Nevada-the portion which is to be included in the State Government. Numerous questions are arising and will continue to arise, in that portion of the country, between the members of this large emigration. These questions must be decided somewhere. Probably half a dozen or a dozen murders have taken place during the past year in that country. Where are these persons to seek justice, if we limit California to the Sierra Nevada, or to a meridian of longitude a few degrees beyond. All cases that occur beyond that limit cannot be tried in any court, because there is no government in that country, and if we leave this question of slavery open in that portion of the territory, there will be no government for the next five years, and these people will be obliged to resort to lynch law for the punishment of crime. Now it is said that Congress will not agree to so large a State, unless some provision is introduced that these limits may be narrowed down. Such objection I have heard from very high authority, and I have no doubt it is a valid one. It is therefore proposed to remove that objection by introducing a proviso to that effect. Then it is said that we ought not to include that portion of the territory in our government, because it is not represented here. I think this objection will disappear when we consider it. In the first place, it was impossible to get a representation here ; we would have been obliged to put off this Convention five or six months longer. That portion of the country is without the limits of the organized districts of California, and there are sufficient precedents in all the States of the Union, for excluding portions of the territory of the State not included in organized districts of that State. Those members who are acquainted with the history of New York will recollect that the county of Hamilton for many years was excluded under the old Constitution from taking any part in the deliberations of the Legislature, because it was beyond the organized portions of the State ; and even now it has no representation. I do not consider that a valid objection. Other examples of other States were mentioned to me yesterday; and I have no doubt every gentleman can recollect examples in the history of his own State. Another objection which I have heard to this proviso is, that we do not become a State until the Legislature and Congress agree upon those limits. Such is not the case. The very object of patting it in this form was to make us a State with the whole boundary and whole limits immediately, but to give Congress the power afterwards to limit our boundary to a smaller State. Suppose this amendment and proviso should pass and be approved of by the people of California ; that it should go to Congress, and they should admit California into the Union with this Constitution and chis amendment and proviso. Is not California a State instantly on the ratification of the Constitution ; a State, too, with the entire boundary as defined in that amendment ? But then Congress, together with the Legislature of California, may limit these boundaries, and organise, if they choose, a Territorial Government for that portion of the country beyond the Sierra Nevada, or be
yond the line through the great desert. Many think it more expedient to make the boundary line • in the great desert itself, instead of the coast of the Sierra Nevada. This can be done under the present proposition and proviso, by joint agreement between Congress and the Legislature. It possesses this advantage over the boundary reported by the Committee—that while that line comes this side of the mouth of the Gila river
and within forty or fifty miles of San Diego, cutting off a portion of the southern part of Upper California, if I remember right, that is already inhabited throwing without the limits of California a portion of the people who have always belonged to California and have taken part in iis government-by this proviso, the boundary line cannot come this side of the mouth of the Gila, nor this side of the northern part of the Sierra Nevada. There is no danger then of the State being divided by a line of latitude, as apprehended by the gentleman from Sacramento, (Mr. McCarver, which I think would be very objectionable. It is not my pure pose to go into any detailed argument. I merely rose to make this brief explanation of the effect of the united proposition, as I understand it. I have endeavored to draw up the proviso so as to obviate all the objections that I have heard on the other side of the House.
Mr. SEMPLE. I desire to state my views in regard to this proposition. At the proper time, I will offer an ordinance which is equally competent and will ensure the same general result. If we make no boundary for California at all, the Congress of the United States will fix the boundary. They are under particular obligations to give us all that California ever had; they will have no right to dismember this territory. If this be the case, then we will take the entire boundary to New Mexico. I say then, if we pass an ordinance determining that, in the formation of the new State, they shall not come east of a certain line, it will accomplish the same object proposed by the gentlemen from Monterey and San Francisco, (Mr. Halleck and Mr. Gwin.) In the first instance, the Constitution of the United States provides that-"New States may be admitted by Congrese into this Union ; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of Congress." This, then, gives the power to form new States, with the consent of the Legislature, either within the jurisdiction of one State already existing, or a new State to be admitted. I deny, then, that Congress has a right to dismember California without her consent ; and I doubt very much whether we ourselves possess the right to dismember the territory without the consent of Congress. I contend that Congress must admit us with our whole boundary, or reject our Constitution claiming that boundary. The gentleman from Monterey (Mr. Halleck) has fully answered the objections which may be urged against including the whole boundary of California. I think the House is decided in opinion that we should take it all in.
It is a duty we owe to the emigrants passing the deserts, and the people residing there, to take care of them until they are otherwise provided for. I shall certainly vote for the amendment. I never can consent to have this State divided east and west, so as to have our coast cut in two. It is well in the formation of the State to provide permanently against any danger upon that point. You will find in the admission of Maine that there was just such a proposition made there originally. It will be recollected by the House, that none of the original States had their boundarieg defined. Virginia claimed all the territory from the Atlantic to the Western ocean. They knew just as little about the extent of her boundary west as we do about the extent of our boundary east. The boundary of Virginia once included the very territory that we now occupy. If you look at the old charter of Virginia, you will find that she runs to the great Western ocean. In the territory of Massachusetts, Maine was included. It was a district of Massachusetts ; and the gentle man will observe in the preamble of the act admitting Maine, that it was constituted an independent State by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature, which was ratified by Congress as provided in the Constitution; and she barely passed an act of four lines and a half, saying Maine was a member of the Union. It would seem, therefore, that in the admission of this State we would be doing ourselves injustice to dismember California. In proposing to do this, we should bear in mind another consideration. It will be recollected that not many years ago there was a very considerable trade carried on between San Diego and the interior of Mexico, and that there still exist strong inducements for a lucrative commerce with the interior provinces of Mexico. The State of California ought to have the means of throwing out military escorts for the protection of that portion of the country. It is important that it should be protected. It is a matter of justice to the southern part of California that we should include a sufficient portion of the territory south to protect our irade there. From this time, when the port of San Diego is open to the vessels of the United States, there will be an immense trade carried on to the interior States of Mexico. The Indian tribes inhabiting that portion of the country are almost invariably hostile and disposed to commit murders and robberies on the traders. If the State is so extended in that part of the territory as to throw out military defences, you will find that much smaller parties can carry on that interior trade, and that it will be greatly facilitated. Suppose we include the whole territory recognised as California, and in a few years we find that southern trade profitable to the State, is it likely she would consent to dismember that portion of her territory? It is proper we should claim it, when we can get the whole just as readily as we can a part. Congress has no right to dismember us; and if she does, it can only be with the consent of our Legislature. I trust, therefore, that the amendment will prevail, including originally the entire territory of California, giving Congress the power to accept that, but not to dismember the State or reduce these limits, unless with the consent of the Legislature.
Mr. MCCARVER. The gentleman's position is not tenable. What was the position of Louisiana? It stood in the same position as California. The territory included not only Louisiana but Arkansas ; Missouri included the new State of Iowa and a portion of the Territorý of Nebraska. Has anybody ever questioned the right of Congress to divide these territories? I venture to say that the very first question that gentlemen propose to settle by leaving an open boundary, will be the obstacle that will keep us out of the Union--the question of slavery. It is a very desirable thing, and as an individual opposed to slavery, I desire to settle it ; but do gentlemen suppose that the South will acquiesce in this arrangement—that they will permit us to settle the question of slavery in a territory as large as all the slaveholding States of the Union? It is the duty of the people of California to fix their boundary definitely. We want our two Senators in the Senate chamber to maintain the interests and supply the wants of California ; we want our Representatives in Congress as early as we can. What prevented Congress from providing a Territorial Government for California at the last session? It was nothing else but the slavery question; and we should avoid anything caleulated to keep us from taking our position in the Confederacy at as early a period as prácticable. Now, sir, I am decidedly of opinion that this will be a barrier against the admission of California into the Union; and that we may be detained several years while they are debating this question in the halls of Congress. I deem it absolutely essential that we should fix a permanent boundary north, south, east, and west. We should leave no boundary open ; we should leave'no question open that would be the means of keeping us out of the Union. The boundary proposed in the report of the Committee is a reasonable one. It gives us a moderate sized State, such as cannot be objected to in Congress. I shall sustain that or some boundary of a similar character. But I am decidedly in favor of submitting to Congress a fixed and permanent boundary, which I am confident they will not reject. That boundary is as advantageous as any I have heard suggested, and unless I see a better one, I shall vote for it.
Mr. HASTINGS. As the joint proposition of the gentleman from San Francisco and the gentle. man from Monterey, is now before the House, I wish to examine the effect and object designed to be accomplished by it, and what the result of its adoption would be. The object is to establish a State Government here as speedily as possible, and to effect the consumation of that State organization at once. But, sit, that object is wholly defeated if we include all this territory, for the reason that I mentioned yesterday, and for the reason that my colleague, (Mr. McCarver,) has urged this morning, and which I shall not repeat. It is clear to my mind that this proposition raises the question of slavery; it is also clear that that question is settled beyond dispute, if we establish a reasonable boundary. Congress has not, in that event, the right or power to interfere with us ; no right to say whether slavery shall or shall not be introduced. But if we include the whole territory, Congress has that right. We have a very low estimate of the sagacity of the South, if we suppose they will overlook this point. They will naturally say: You, a tew Californians on the other side of the continent, assume to settle the great question of slavery for a tract of territory which must ultimately constitute thirteen or fourteen States of the Union. What an important position you assume--what an important object you attempt to accomplish! No, California, you cannot be made the tool to accomplish an object like this. East, west, and north, and south, combined, will oppose it. We cannot--we should not attempt this. But, sir, there is another reason why we defeat ourselves--why we cannot, with this boundary, obtain admission into the Union. It is this : that a proposition from a vast population of that region east of the great desert, is now or will soon be before Congress, calling for the establishment of a Territorial Government. It is the Morion population of the Salt Lake. Their proposition will probably be presented to Congrees at the same time with ours. What must Congress do? Can they give us all that territory, a portion of which is demanded by these people who actually occupy it. No, sir; they cannot ; they can only reasonably say: Your proposition cannot be entertained. You have no right to include all that territory. It contains a vast population as much entitled to respect as you are, amounting to thirty or forty thousand souls, twelve or fifteen hundred miles remote from your seat of Government-out of the reach of your laws or authority, and impossible for them to be represented in your L+gislature. We must consider their rights and interests as well as yours. They ask that we shall grant them a Territorial Government. You ask a State Government. We are willing to do both, but we are not willing to include the Mormons in the proposition of the State of California. Theirs is a distinct proposition, originating from a distinct population, having distinct interests. This, sir, would be an insuperable obstacle to our admission. But here I come to a proposition contained in the proviso, which admits that all this may be true; that there are very strong reasons why we ought not to include the whole territory, but says we are willing, since it is useless to insist upon including the whole territory, to accept such boundary, including such extent of territory as Congress may choose to fix, provided they do not extend it westward beyond certain limits. Now, it is contended that the great object is to acquire speedy admission into the L'nion; but instead of making a proposition to Congress, we ask Congress to make a proposition to us, and say that our Legislature will probably accede to it. The proposition is now to come from Congress, and we, through our Legislature, must accede to it before we are a State. Whereas, on the other, if we make a proposition, fixing the boundary ourselves, the moment Congress accedes to it, our boundary is permanently established, and no further proposition is necessary. Everybody must see that it is a rare specimen of independence in California to dictate to Congress, that if they do not think proper to give us all the territory for a State Government, they may
form à Territorial Government on the other side. This proviso says: "and to organize a Territorial Government for that portion of California east of this boundary, or to admit it into the Union as a