« PrejšnjaNaprej »
data upon which the Governor could base his estimate, were the returns themselves. The committee could meantime examine into those already received, and be prepared to report at the next meeting of the Convention.
MR. BOTTS was of opinion that the first question in the meeting of a Convention was, as to the certificates of election. What certificate of election had been pre. sented here ? He presumed none that could be so called, except the official communication of the Governor, which states that certain gentlemen, naming them, have been duly elected according to the official returns. These gentlemen, and these only, have a prima facia right to sit in this body. He was very unwilling, during the pendancy of this question, to admit any others than the members so designated." He hoped all the facts in relation to the postponement of the election and the grounds upon which these gentlemen claimed seats, would be placed in possession of the House, and that for this purpose, a committee on privileges and elections would be appointed.
Mr. Gwin then submitted his amendment to Mr. Semple’s, as follows: Resolved, That all persons present who were vo'ed for on the 1st and 16th of August, in the San Joaquin District, as members of this Convention, be admitted to seats.
Mr. HALLECK said that his colleague (Mr. Botts,) had suggested an amendment to the amendment proposed by him, having in view the appointment of a com. mittee on privileges and elections. With the permission of that gentleman, he would introduce the following as a substitute for the original amendment:
Resolved, That a committee on privileges and elections, to consist of one member from each district, be appointed by the Chair, and that they report to this Convention this day, the number of delegates which, in their opinion, ought to be received from each district, and the names of the persons who are deemed entitled to seats according to the apportionment so recommended.
Mr. SEMPLE, being the proposer of the original resolution, said he would with draw it, and accept with pleasure the amendment last read.
Mr. Gwin having no objection to the appointment of this committee, withdrew his own amendment. He did not think, however, that the whole day should be lost in waiting for the report of the committee, and would therefore propose that the members present from the San Joaquin District, claiming seats, should be admitted to participate in the organization of the House.
Mr. Borts asked his colleague (Mr. Halleck) what was intended by this resolution. As it reads, it seemed to confound two very distinct questions. Was the committee to report what number of regular delegates from eack district were to be admitted, or supernumerary delegates ?
The Chain stated that the resolution read, “the number of delegates.”
Mr. Botts suggested that this matter be made the subject of two resolutions. He deemed it important that the question should be divided as to the regular and supernumerary delegates, and would therefore make a motion to that effect.
Mr. HALLECK amended his resolution so as to read, “according to their recom. mendations as to the number to be received."
Mr. Norton said that this was a matter involving a great deal of investigation, and would occupy a great deal of time to report upon. It would be entirely im. practicable for the Committee to report as early as three o'clock. Another point: the question as to the District of San Joaquin should stand upon its own basis. It should be decided one way or the other, and not considered in connexion with other districts. This would give rise to much confusion, and greatly retard the business of the House.
He was in favor of the appointment of a committee of one delegate from each district, or such a committee as might be deemed proper, to take this question alone into consideration, and report upon it to the House at as early a period as practicable.
Mr. Sherwood did not for his part see the object of having several committees. It was most desirable that the Convention should organize at once and pro. ceed to business without delaying from day to day the question as to what members were entitled to seats. If in the first place one committee was appointed to
investigate the election of delegates from the District of San Joaquin, and settle that question ; and then another in regard to San Francisco, and another for Sacramento, the result would be that the Convention could not proceed to busi. ness short of three or four days. He was in hopes there would be no delay; but if two or three committees were to be appointed, the time of the House would be unnecessarily consumed. He was in favor of one committee, consisting of a delegate from each district. It was desirable that there should be a full and fair representation from each district. He thought the committee could report by 2 or 3 o'clock.
Mr. GILBERT said that the only districts upon which it was necessary the committee should report, were San Joaquin, San Francisco, and Sacramento. In regard to all the other districts, he regarded the question as settled by the action of the people themselves, under the recommendation of the Governor's proclamation. From none of those districts did it appear that there were supernumerary delegates claiming seats. He would therefore move that the duties of the Committee be explicitly prescribed with reference to these districts. He believed that two or three supernumeraries had been elected in the District of San Jose ; but he un. derstood there would be no attempt made by them to claim seats. He regarded the representation made by the proclamation as fair and equitable, with regard to every district, except the three named. He, therefore, thought it best that the Committee should be instructed to report the names of the regularly elected dele. gates from these districts, who were entitled to seats in the Convention, without reference to the other districts.
Mr. Gwin said his colleague (Mr. Gilbert) was mistaken in one particular. There were five delegates elected in San Diego, three supernumeraries and two regular delegates. There was no reason why they, as well as the supernumeraries from San Jose, should not apply for their seats. It was not probable they would, but the question ought to be decided in advance. He believed there was also a supernumerary elected in Los Angeles. He thought the resolution as it stood cov. ered the whole ground, and hoped it would be adopted. Mr. GILBERT observed, that if such was the fact, it altered the case.
He was guided by the Governor's message in making the statement, and presumed a cleri. cal error had been committed. If San Diego claimed additional members, as well as the other districts, the resolution as it stood was correct and proper.
Mr. HALLECK said that the two districts of San Louis Obispo and Santa Barbara had elected the same individua). He would probably be here this afternoon, and would select from which district he would be received. From the other district one of the supernumeraries should be chosen to fill his place. That fact had influ. enced him in offering the resolution in its present form.
After some further discussion, Mr. Halleck's resolution was adopted.
Resolved, That the chair invite Mr. W. E. P. Hartnell to act at present as interpreter to the Convention.
On motion of Mr. Sherwood, the reporters present were invited to take seats within the bar.
The CHAIR then announced the following as the Committee on Privileges and Elections, namely :
San Diego-Henry Hill. Los Angeles—S.C. Foster. Santa Barbara, P. La Guerra. San Luis Obispo-H. A. Tefft. Monterey-H. W. Halleck. San Jose-J. Aram. San Francisco M. Norton. Sonoma-M. G. Vallejo. Sacramento–J. R. Snyder. San Joaquin–J. McH. Hollingsworth.
Whereupon, on motion of Mr. Gwin, the Convention took a recess till 3 o'clock, P. M.
AFTERNOON SESSION, 3 o'CLOCK, P., M. The Convention met pursuant to adjournment.
Mr. Hill, from the Committee on Privileges and Elections, reported progress and asked for further time.
Whereupon, on motion of Mr. Gwin, the convention adjourned to meet again at 8 P. M.
Eight O'CLOCK, P. M.—The Convention met pursuant to adjournment.
Mr. Hill, from the Committee on Privileges and Elections, submitted the fol. lowing report;
Your Committee, appointed by the President to ascertain and report to the Convention the number of delegates which in their opinion ought to be received from each district, and the names of the persons which they deem entitled to seats according to their recommendations as to the number to be received,” would respectfully report to your honorable body, that from the best information to be obtained by your committee, the district of San Diego is entitled to two delegates, Los Angeles, four; Santa Barbara, two; San Luis Obispo, two; Monterey, five; San Jose, five; San Francisco, eight; Sonoma, four; Sacramento, eight; and San Joaquin, eight.
And the following named persons having received the greatest number of votes in the respective districts, are entitled to seats, viz:
San Diego.—Miguel de Pedrorena, Henry Hill. Los Angeles.-S. C. Foster, J. A. Carillo, M. Dominguez, A. Stearns. Sunta Barbara.-P. La Guerra. San Luis Obispo.--Henry A. Tefft, J. M. Cabarruvias. Monterey-H. W. Halleck, T. 0. Larkin, C. T. Botts, P. Ord, L. S. Dent. San Jose.-J. Aram, K. H. Dimmick, J. D. Hoppe, A. M. Pico, E. Brown. San Francisco-E. Gilbert, M. Norton, W. M. Gwin, J. Hobson, W.M. Steuart, W. D. M. Howard, F. J. Lippitt, A. J. Ellis.
Sonoma-J. Walker, R. Semple, L. W. Boggs, M. G. Vallejo.
Sacramento.-J. R. Snyder, W. s. Sherwood, L. W. Hastings, J. S. Fowler, W. E. Shannon, J. A. Sutter, J. Bidwell, M. M. McCarver.
San Joaquin- J. McH. Hollingsworth, C. L. Peck, S. Haley, B. S. Lippincott, T. L. Vermuile, M. Fallon, B. F. Moore, Walter Chipman.
And your Committee, having no further business before them, most respectfully beg leave to be discharged.
Mr. Gwin moved that the report be recommitted to the committee, with instruca tions to report in favor of the admission of every member voted for by a respectable constituency, and now present, claiming a seat. He would reduce his motion to a more definite form in writing. According to this report the district of San Joaquin had but three members on this floor. It was well known to the Conven. tion, that the main communications of this country were of a character not to be relied upon ; that San Joaquin was a very remote district; and that the members that were not here, could not get the information contained in the report in time to participate in the deliberations of this body. It was to be borne in mind, that the district of San Joaquin was larger than any other portion of California repre. sented by twenty members on this floor; that the number of voters was greater. He did not wish to excite sectional prejudices, but when a manifest act of injustice was about to be committed, it was due to the occasion to speak his opinions freely. One of the gentlemen excluded (Mr. Wozencraft) represented a mining district into which a large emigration was pouring through Fort Smith and San Antonio. It was notorious that not less than twenty thousand American citizens were now on the road; and when you send that member back to inform his constituency that he shall not have a seat on this floor, it is proper you should look boldly in the face the consequences. It was not for the native Californians we were making this Constitution; it was for the great American population, comprising four-fifths of the population of the country. In this report that majority has been cut off from a representation in the Convention, A member who had received upwards of eight hundred votes was to be excluded, while there were members on this floor who had received less than one hundred. It was important that a Constitution should be sent forth which would meet the approval of the great majority
of the people. If a constitution was submitted to them in which they considered their rights violated, it would be indignantly rejected by their votes. These gen. tlemen had been elected by a large and respectable constituency of American citizens. Were they to be rejected and sent back, after incurring extraordinary expense and subjecting themselves to the greatest inconvenience in coming here? He would wage a war of extermination against such an act of injustice. His only object was to insure a successful issue for the labors of the Convention. He considered that when a man was sent here as a delegate, he was entitled to all the privileges of the body until the question of representation was settled. He therefore moved the adoption of the following order :
On motion, it is ordered by the Convention, that the report of the Committee on Frivileges and Elections be recommitted, with instructions to report in favor of the election as a delegate of this Convention, of any person present who has received one hundred votes for the same, from any district in California where any election has been held, without reference to the day on which the election may have been held.
Mr. Hill explained the motives which had actuated the Committee in arriving at the conclusions contained in the report. He did not believe the Committee with the facts before them could have come to any other conclusion.
Mr. SHANNON gave a statistical synopsis of the number of delegates which he considered each district entitled to, with a view of showing that, on the basis as. sumed by gentlemen from the San Joaquin district, that of Sacramento was entitled to a larger representation than she claimed under the proclamation of Governor Riley.
On motion of Mr. Gwin, those persons' excluded from their seats as well as those admitted to seats, by the report, were invited to take seats within the bar, and to participate in the debate.
Messrs. Jones, Wozencraft, and Moore, thereupon entered and addressed the Committee in relation to their claims.
Mr. Jones considered it a poor privilege, to which every prisoner at the bar was entitled, that of defending his rights. He did not come here to subject him. self to the discretion of any committee. He came to represent a large and re. spectable constituency, by whom he was elected, and he claimed a seat in this Convention, not as a matter of sympathy, but as a matter of right. His reputation, he trusted was above committees. In the absence of full election returns, he con. tended that the word of a gentleman who was deemed worthy of the confidence reposed in him by his constituents, was sufficient to establish his right to a seat in this Convention—at least until the arrival of complete returns. Mr. Jones proceeded at some length to sustain the position which he had assumed.
Mr. WOZENCRAFT entered into an elaborate defence of the grounds upon which he claimed a seat in this Convention. He had been urged by his friends, much against his will, to submit his name as a candidate. It was known to many pre. sent that he had received a large vote in the district of San Joaquin, there being no opposing candidate. He came here knowing he had received this vote, and without the slightest expectation of being refused a seat. He had subjected him. self to a great sacrifice of time and money in the hope of being enabled to serve that constituency who had 'conferred the honor of election upon him. He had agreed to every honorable compromise proposed by gentlemen on the floor, and had studiously avoided everything calculated to lead to dissention. It was his sin. cere hope that the difficulty would be amicably adjusted, and that the House would proceed to business in a spirit of harmony and concession. Whatever might be its decision he would abide by it, confident that it would be actuated by no other than just and patriotic motives.
Mr. Moore briefly defended his claim, stating that the vote which he had re. ceived in the San Joaquin district greatly exceeded that of his colleague (Mr. Wozencraft.) He did not claim any priority or preference on that account, but merely submitted the fact, in common with others, to show that he did not come here without some ground for supposing that he was entitled to a seat.
Mr. Borts proposed to amend the resolution (Mr. Gwin's) by striking out all after the word " resolved,” and inserting the following : “ That the report be re. committed to the Committee with instructions to report what members, in addition to those returned by General Riley in his message, are entitled to seats in this Convention, with the facts and circumstances attending their election.” He had seen a good deal of parliamentary bodies, and had read a great many reports made by Committees, but never such a report as that made to this House. It was, to say the least of it, the briefest and most unsatisfactory report that ever came under his observation. The Convention was called upon to vote upon a question in which it was utterly in the dark. This Committee was raised to ascertain the facts that the House might vote understandingly. Where were the facts ? It was utterly impossible to vote without them. A great mistake had been committed, In every parliamentary body something must be taken for granted ; some start must be given. As constituent part of every election, was the returning officer. By the adoption of the proclamation of Governor Riley, the people made it their act, and as such it was in full force and effect. General Riley was made, by the adoption of that proclamation, the returning officer of this Convention. The judges and magistrates of election were directed to make sealed returns to the office of the Secretary of State. The inference is conclusive, that the certificates of election were to issue from that department. It has been done. That statement has been made to this House. According to all parliamentary usage, the per. sons therein named, and no others, have a prima facia right to seats on this floor.
Messrs. Hill and TEFFT sustained the position taken in the report, and defended the action of the Committee.
Mr. Botrs finally withdrew his proposed amendment.
Messrs. McCARVER, SHANNON, GWIN, SHERWOOD, HALLECK, BOTTS, PRICE, GILBERT, and SEMPLE continued the debate, chiefly in relation to the representation of the respective districts which they represented.
Mr. GILBERT regretted exceedingly that the recommendation of the Governor in regard to the supernumerary delegates in the different districts should have brought about the contusion which existed in the Convention. He was certain that the recommendation was made with the best motives, and having in view the best ends. He was also satisfied that the Committee, in their report on this case, had done what they conceived to be their duty, and though he regretted that they had not given full statistics opposite the name of each delegate, yet the principal which they had acted upon, of taking the highest number of votes cast for each delegate, as the data upon which to base his election, was the proper one. The only evidence of a right to a seat in this body, was the election returns, which alone could prove that the delegate claiming admittance had received a majority of the votes of his district over and above a certain number of men who had re. ceived a minority of those votes. For the purpose of keeping the questions at issue as distinct as possible, be submitted the following amendment to the motion of the gentleman from San Francisco (Mr. Gwin :)
Resolved, That so much of the report of the committee on Privileges and Elections as relates to the districts of San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Jose, and Sonoma, be received and adopted by this Convention.
Mr. Gwin accepted Mr. Gilbert's amendment as a substitute for his motion, and moved to amend by adding the following:
Resolved, That J. M. Jones and O. M. Wozencraft, of San Joaquin district ; P. O. Crosby and John McDougal, of Sacramento district; W. D. M. Howard, Rodman M. Price, A. J.. Ellis and Francis J. Lippitt, of the district of San Francisco, are all duly elected delegates of this Convention, and that they be now admitted as such.
Mr. Gwin withdrew his amendment to allow Mr. Botts 10 submit the following: That the district of San Diego shall be entitled to 2 delegates, Los Angeles 4, Santa Barbara 2, San Luis 2, Monterey 5, San Jose 5, San Francisco 10, Sonoma 4, Sacramento 15, San Joaquin 15. .
A debate of considerable length here arose in relation to the representation of the different districts, in which Messrs. GWIN, McCARVER, SHANNON, SHERWOOD, PRICE, and Botts took part.