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the offence. Let us take his own premises, and see what they'amount to. He told us that he would prefer being hung by the neck at thirty days notice, to de. privation of the right of suffrage. There are the premises. What is the conclusion ? Is it not known to every member of this Convention that almost, if not every State in the Union, has on its statute book, and has had ever since the ori ganization of the State, laws inflicting this very punishment of hanging by the neck, in order to repress the very crime in question; and that these laws have remained a perfect dead letter on the 'statute book? If the penalty of death has not been sufficient to repress the offence, then we must increase it. We must es. tablish a higher grade of punishment; and if we are compelled to have recourse to this punishment, deprivation of the right of suffrage, we can only do it in the Constitution. We cannot permit the Legislaturė to pass any law which will im. pair the right of suffrage. It is one of those rights that is established by the Cona stitution, and cannot be impaired except by constitutional provision.
Mr. McCarver. On the very ground upon which the gentleman from Sonoma (Mr. Semple) opposes this provision-the deprivation of the right of suffrage-I am in favor of this high penalty. Suppose an individual calls out his friend and shoots him down, and suppose another murders a citizen for his money, what difference is there in effect between the two cases. They have both committed mur. der; the object was different, but the result is the same. In either case, a citizen of the State is slain. The one murderer is hung ; the other is merely deprived of a political right. The gentleman says that the penalty of death is not so great. Why, sir, when a man is hung, he is disfranchised; he can no more exercise the rights of citizenship. He is deprived both of his life and his political rights ; whereas, the other is deprived of his political rights only; he is permitted to live and profit by his punishment. But the man who is put to death is forever deprived of that opportunity. I am in favor of putting a restriction in the Constitution to disfranchise any man of his political rights who shall attempt to murder his fellow man.
Mr. McDougal. Did I understand my colleague (Mr. McCarver) to say that a man after he is hung is disfranchised? I desire to know whether he is serious in that belief, because it is a very important point, and it is well we should all un. derstand it. I confess I have very great doubts on the subject myself; and I should like to have some opportunity of coming to a correct decision upon it. In the re. marks which I made at the commencement of this discussion, I hope I may not be considered as an advocate of duelling, for I certainly am not'; and I will go as far as any member of this House in fixing a penalty against it. I would fix a pen. alty against it as against the violation of any moral law; but, Mr. Chairman, I cannot give my vote to disfranchise any person who shall be guilty of duelling, if he has fought it in the ordinary way. If the Committee wish to prevent the crime of fighting, why do they not make a gradation, and take the whole subject up from first to last
. They simply define one mode of fighting. There are torty other modes. Why exclude one and fix a penalty upon another. If you deprive a citi. zen of this State from holding any office of trust or profit within the gift of the people, for fighting a duel in defence of his pride or honor, that pride and that sense of honor will seek revenge in some other way if he does not choose to be disfran. chised. It is against the very laws of nature for him to act otherwise. He will have satisfaction in some other way. Suppose if this law goes into effect, and one of our worthiest citizens finds himself insulted, he does not wish to be disfranchised or deprived of his right to hold office which the citizens may desire to confer upon him, he goes into the street with his gun, and fires upon his assailant or opponent, irrespective of the danger to other persons. You force him into the street to at• tack his foe, and as is often the case, the wound is inflicted upon others. This is the inevitable result; you place a man in a position which causes him to take a mode of settling his difficulties which endangers not only the life of his opponent, but the lives of others. I say let the punishment be such as will not produce this effect ; let it be simply a fine. If fighting a duel be a violation of the laws of God, his own conscience alone is affected by it. Do not place our citizen upon a level with the degraded culprit coming from the penitentiary; do not deprive him of the glorious right of suffrage. The advocates of the section reported by the Committee and of the various amendments, preşume that every man that goes out to fight a duel must certainly kill somebody or die himself; and they have painted terrible pictures here, brought up grave.yards, and blood flowing in the dust, and various sanguinary spectacles. Why, sir, I do not suppose, in all the history of duelling, that there is one case in twenty that results in death. I venture to say, that in the aggregate of duels, there are more legs and arms hurt than lives taken, and far more cases than either, where there is no damage done at all. It is a presumption that I do not admit. But if gentlemen who consider themselves bound to fight, choose to stand breast to breast and shoot one another, they had better be out of society and out of the world. Such a class of men are not wanted here. Let them take their own course and we will get rid of them the sooner.
Mr. Crosby gave notice that if the amendment before the House was rejected, he would introduce an amendment leaving the punishment entirely to the Legis. lalure, but recognizing in the Constitution a dissent from the custom. He thought it would satisfy the scruples of those who were opposed to carrying the penalty to the extent provided in the clause as reported.
The question was then taken on Mr. Steuart's amendment, to strike out the words a "citizen of thisState," wherever they occur, and the amendment was adopted.
Mr. WOZENCRAFT then offered the amendment of which he had previously given notice.
- Mr. GWIN gave notice that if this amendment was adopted, he would move to strike out the section, and insert the provision on this subject from the Constj. tution of Iowa.
Mr. Hoppe was opposed to the amendment on the ground that it gave foreigners the advantage over citizens of the State. He moved to strike it out, and insert an amendment requiring the Legislature to pass such laws as effectually to prevent all persons, not citizens of the State, as well as citizens, from engaging in duels. within its borders.
Mr. LIPPITT rose to a question of order. He desired the Chair to state which of the amendments was before the House,
The CHAIR decided that the question was on the adoption of the amendment offered by Mr. Wozencraft.
The question was then taken, and the amendment rejected by ayes 14, noes 20. Mr. Crosby then moved his proposed amendment.
Mr. SHERWOOD suggested that his colleague withdraw the amendment, and let the question be taken on the original article.
The question was then taken on the original section, as amended by Mr. Steuart, and it was adopted as follows:
“ Añy citizen of this state who shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, fight a duel with deadly weapons, or send, or accept a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, either within this State or out of it, or who shall act as second, or knowingly aid or assist in any manner those thus offending, shall be deprived of holding any office of profit, and of enjoying the right of suffrage, under this Constitution.”
Section 3 then coming under consideration as follows :
de Sec. 3. Members of the Legislature, and all officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation : I(A B) do solemnly swear (or affirm,) that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution and Laws of the United States, and of this State ; and I do further solemnly swear (or affirm,) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State, nor out of it, with a citizen of this State, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, with a citizen of this State, nor have I' acted as second in carrying a challenge, or aided, or advised, or assisted any person thus offending. So help me God.”
Mr. HALLECK moved to strike out the whole section, and insert the following, viz :
“Sec. 3. Members of the Legislature, and all officers, executive and judicial, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before they enter on the duties of their respeca tive offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation :
• I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of California, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of -, according to the best of my ability.'
“And no other oath, declaration, or test, shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.”
Mr. HALLECK said this substitute was the most simple he could find on the subject in any of the Constitutions.
Mr. McDOUGAL was opposed to it on the ground that the section as reported was necessary to carry out the object of the preceding section.
The question was then taken on the substitute, and it was adopted.
The question was then taken, without debate, on sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, and they were passed, as follows:
Sec. 4. The Legislature shall establish a system of county and town governments, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable, throughout the State.
Sec. 5. The Legislature shall have power to provide for the election of a board of supervisors in each county; and these supervisors shall jointly and individually perform such duties as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 6. All county officers whose election or appointment is not provided for by this Constitution, shall be elected by the respective counties, or appointed by the board of supervisors or other authorities, as the Legislatute shall direct. All city, town, and village officers, whose election or appointment is not provided for by this Constitution, shall be elected by the electors of such cities, towns, and villages, or some division thereof, or appointed by such authorities as the Legislaturo shall designate for that purpose; and other officers whose election or appointment is not provided for by this Constitution, and all officers whose offices may hereafter be created by law, shall be elected by the people or appointed, as the Legislature my direct.
Sec. 7. When the duration of any office is not provided for by this sonstitution, it may be declared by law, and if not so declared, such office shall be held during the pleasure of the authority making the appointment; but the duration of any office not fixed by this Constitution, shall never exceed four years.
Sec. 8. The political year shall begin on the 1st day of January, and the fiscal year on the 1st day of July.
Sec. 9. Each county, town, city, and incorporated village, shall make provision for the support of its own officers, subject to such restrictions and regulations as the Legislature may prescribe.
Sec. 10. The credit of the State shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to or in aid of any individual, association, or corporation ; nor shall the State directly or indirectly become a stockholder in any association or corporation.
Sec. 11. Suits may be brought against the State in such manner, and in such courts, as shall be directed by law.
Sec. 12. No contract of marriage, if otherwise duly made, shall be invalidated for want of conformity to the requirements of any religious sect.
Mr. HALLECK asked the consent of the House to receive the reading of an additional section. It was drawn up to satisfy the opinions of the southern members in regard to taxation :
All lands liable to taxation in this State shall be taxed in proportion to their value ; and this value shall be appraised by officers elected by the qualified electors of the district, county, or town in which the lands to be taxed are situated.
Mr. Ord moved to amend by striking out the word “lands”: after the word " all," and insert the words “immoveable and moveable property ;" to strike out the word “there” before the word " value,'? and insert the word “its," and to strike out all after the word “the” and before the word "situated,” and insert the words“ said property is.”
Mr. HALLECK said that this had reference to lands particularly. There were other provisions in relation to other kinds of property.
Mr. Sherwood thought the amendment of the gentleman from Monterey (Mr.“ Ord) would not operate very well in this country. Suppose the gentleman had a
hundred thousand dollars in gold dust in Sacramento, and he lived here? It would be impracticable to carry it out in respect to personal property.
Mr. ORD. I believe my amendment is not understood by the House. · Assessors, in making their assessments of property, will make general assessments ; they will make assessments of all the property at a ranch. As to the instance of a bag of gold dust, it will be very difficult, whatever law you may form, to draw taxation from property of that kind. I think, with regard to assessments, that the rule should be uniform.
MR. HALLECK. There is a custom in California of sending cattle to ranches in one district from other districts, but I do not wish the question of cattle, or other questions of moveable property, to mix up with this. You cannot conveniently send lands from one district to another.' I wish this to refer to lands merely, and if gen. tlemen want such a provision as that suggested by the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Ord,) they can put it in a new article.
The question was then taken on Mr. Ord's amendment, and it was rejected.
Mr. PRICE could see no use in the section proposed by the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Halleck,) and therefore no reason for inserting it in the Constitution. The operation of taxation would go on without it, and other provisions of the Constitution provided that it should be uniform.
The question was then taken, and the additional section proposed by Mr. Halleck was adopted. • The question being on the thirteenth section-'!!! :
Mr. LIPPITT said it was a subject of great importance, and as there appeared to be scarcely a quorum present, he hoped the Committee would rise and report progress.
The Committee then rose and reported progress.
NIGHT SESSION, 7 O'CLOCK, P. M.
On motion of Mr. Sherwood, the Committee appointed to report a plan for taking The State census were instructed to report to:morrow.
On motion, the House then resolved itself into Committee of the Whole, Mr. Shannon in the Chair, on so much of the report of the Committee on the Constitu, tion as relates to miscellaneous provisions.
The thirteenth section of the report being under consideration, as follows: Sec. 13. All property, both real and personal, of the wife, owned or claimed by her before mar, riage, and that acquired afterwards by gift, devise, or descent, shall be her separate property, and laws shall be passed more clearly defining the rights of the wife, in relation as well to her separate property as that held in common with her husband. Laws shall also be passed providing for the registration of the wife's separate property.
Mr. LIPPITT. I have a substitute to propose for this section. "It is in the fol. lowing words :
“Laws shall be passed more effectually securing to the wife the benefit of all property owned by her at her marriage, or acquired by her afterwards, by gift, demise, or bequest, or otherwise than from her husband.”
It is not my intention at present to enter into any argument upon this question. I would only state, generally, that I am opposed to the section as it stands, 'be. cause I'think it a matter of great importance, and goes to change entirely the nature of the married relations. The relative rights of property of husband and wife, I think, are matters involving laws that can móre safely be entrusted to the action of the Legislature, than introduced at once into one Constitution, and form part of the fundamental irrepeálable law of the land. I think that we tread upon dangerous ground when we make an invasion upon that system which has prevailed among ourselves and our ancestors for hundreds and hundreds of years. The married relation is one from which flow all other relations. It lies at the very foundation of society; the well-being, happiness, and morality of society, and of every individual in it, depend more upon the nature of that relation than any other. I think it a dangerous subject of experiment. I do not say that the expe. riment is not worth trying ; I am inclined to admit that there are abuses connected with the present marriage system which need correction. What I contend against is, trying the experiment in our Constitution. This Constitution is irre, pealable until the people choose to meet in Convention again. it is not so with the statute-with the law passed by the Legislature. If the law is found to be a bad one, or does not work well, if its tendency is to produce mischief, it is easy to repeal it; a majority of the Legislature can always repeal. You may make a bad law, and you can repeal it, or have it amended in a few months time. Not 80 with the Constitution. This provision, if we insert it here, will be the fun. damental law of the land. It will not be, in fact, trying any experiment at all; it will be adopting it at once without experiment. It will be rash and head. long, and we do not know to what consequences it may lead. I therefore, hope that the section may be stricken out, and that the substitute which I have offered in its place may be adopted.
Mr. TEFFT. It is not my intention, on this occasion, to enter into any discus. sion as regards the two systems of civil and common law ; neither is it my inten. tion to argue here upon the rights of women in general, and married women in particular ; but I feel bound to notice the objections of the gentleman from San Francisco, (Mr. Lippitt,) and his amendment. This is undoubtedly a matter of great importance. It is a matter upon which we cannot otherwise than expect a difference of opinion in this House. It was said this evening that this was an attempt to insert in our Constitution a provision of the civil law. Very wellsuppose it is ; there are gentlemen in this House wedded to the common law; I am myself greatly attached to it; but that does not prevent me from seeing many very excellent provisions in the civil law. The gentleman (Mr. Lippitt) terms this an invasion. I do not regard it in that light; but I think that to strike this section out would be a very decided invasion upon the people of California. This very section not only stands upon the statute books of many of the old States, but is inserted in the Constitution of some of them. It is our duty to give a fa. vorable consideration to any proposition which does not do marked and radical wrong to any class in California, and which deeply concerns the interests of the native Californians. It would be an unheard of invasion, not to secure and guar. anty the rights of the wife to her separate property; and of all classes in Califor. nia, where the civil law is the law of the land, where families have lived and died under it, where the rights of the wife are as necessary to be cared for as those of the husband, we must take into consideration the feelings of the native Californians, who have always lived under this law. We come then to the actual right of the wife to the protection of her property. I do not pretend to look far into the future, no farther than other men, but any cool, dispassionate man, who looks forward to California, as she will be in five years to come, who does not see that wildness of speculation will be the characteristic of her citizens, as it has been for some time past, is not, I think, gifted with the power of prọphecy. I · claim that it is due to every wife, and to the children of every family, that the wife's property should be protected ; and I am not willing to trust to the Legislature in this matter. It is the common cry to leave all these things to the Legislature, assuming that we are to have a Legislature that will look upon those matters as we do. I say that we have not only the right to embrace a provision of this kind in our Constitution, hụt that it is our duty. This is a matter in which not only the native Californians, but many of the new residents in this country, feel a deep interest. I do contend, sir, that every wife has a right, a positive right, to the entire control of her private and personal property. I do not, and cannot see, that it will create dissensions in families, or that it makes separate and distinct interests between man and wife. It does not interfere with the rights of those whom this law is not designed to restrain.