Slike strani

should say who shall work them; upon what conditions they shall be worked ; if we are to derive the revenue from them, that we should take such steps as we deem best calculated to make that revenue what it should be. On that ground I .am opposed to the first provision that follows the resolution. The next says that the Congress of the United States shall establish an assay office. I have no objec. tion to an assay office, only that it seems to preclude the establishment of a mint.

Mr. STEUART. Not at all. It is recommended as a preliminary measure. There is no prohibition against the establishment of a mint.

Mr. GILBERT. I think, however, that if an assay office be established--especially if you take up the succeeding resolution, which says that a mint cannot be established at the proper time--that it would have the effect of precluding the establishment of a mint. Now, Mr. President, I am in favor of the establishment of a mint in California. I think the country requires it; and the sooner 'we can get it the better; not that I am opposed to an assay office, .except that it would preclude the speedy establishment of a mint.

This is substantially all the objection I have to the plan. I have no objection to the first or to the last resolution. I therefore move that they be voted upon seriatim.

Mr. STÊUART. In asking Congress to give us the entire revenue and benefit of the mines for a number of years, it is all I thought we probably could get; as Congress would not be likely to give in perpetuity these mines to California, or entangle them with such regulations as might give rise to difficulty hereafter. As regards the gentleman's objections on the subject of a mint, I am as much in favor of the establishment of a mint in California as any gentleman here. But it has been urged upon me by gentlemen acquainted with the subject, that an assay office must precede the establishment of a mint, and I desired that, until we could get a mint, the establishment of which would be more expensive, and require much more time, that we should have an assay office. It would not preclude the establishment of a mint. It would rather be an auxiliary. We must have an assay office, if we get a mint. I am willing that the House should take up

these resolutions seriatim and vote upon them. I am not particularly wedded to any particular form of words or any set of resolutions. All I desire is an expression of the opinion of this Convention on the main subjects embraced in the resolu. tions. I would prefer, however, that they should go as a whole.

Mr. GILBERT. I believe the gentleman will admit that I am as anxious to have a mint in California as he is; but inasmuch as I do not think this the best plan to get it, I am opposed to that portion of the resolutions. If he prefers that they should go as a whole, I shall withdraw my motion; but I shall be compelled to vote against the proposition as a whole.

Mr. McCARVER. I would call attention to my resolution, offered in relation to the public lands. That resolution gives the Legislature the power to do all that Congress is required to do in these resolutions, provided Congress agree to it. It covers the whole subject included in the proposition of the gentleman. I am in favor of any proposition that asks that the gold mines shall be granted to California ; but I do not at the same time believe that Congress would be so likely to relinquish the gold mines as they would the public lands in any other part of the country.

Mr. McDougal. I regard this as a very important matter, and I hope the gen. tleman (Mr. Steuart) will revise his proposition so as to leave out all the objec. tionable matter, which is not material, and then it will probably pass.

Mr. ELLIS. I am also of opinion that this is a very important subject; but I cannot think that any gentleman here can vote

for it as it stands, without violating an oath which he took to support the Constitution of the United States. The same objection has been urged by the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Botts.) It is contained in the 5th article of the 9th section : “ No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State."

[ocr errors]

taken up.

Mr. STEUART. The gentleman entirely mistakes the nature of the resolution. If the United States have the right to make an individual pay for the coining of gold at the mint, they have a right to make him pay for having it assayed. This right has never been denied. I tax has always been laid by the inspection laws. This is nothing more than an inspection of the gold of California.

Mr. Dent I am in favor of many of the provisions of these resolutions, but as they now stand, I shall be obliged to vote in the negative.

Mr. McDougal. I should vote in the affirmative if the objectionable clauses were stricken out; but I cannot vote in favor of the resolutions as a whole.

The question was then taken, and the resolution was rejected.
Mr. McCARVER's resolution in relation to the public lands was then, on motion,

Mr. SHERWOOD. I shall vote against this resolution. I think these lands be. long to the Government of the United States. They cost the General Govern. ment fifteen millions of dollars; and although it may be very well for us to ask Congress to grant them to the State of California, inasmuch as she has had no appropriation for the support of a government, I think we cannot say that of right they belong to California.

Mr. STEUART. I certainly cannot vote for the resolution. It is a doctrine broached some twenty or thirty years ago-a doctrine which can never prevail in the Congress of the United States. It may be popular in the Western States; but it is in open violation of the Constitution of the United States.

The question was then taken, and the resolution was rejected.

On motion of Mr. Norton, Mr. Steuart's resolution, submitted on the 27th of September, for the appointment of a Committee to draft an Address to the people of California, was then taken up.

Mr. STBUART said he had offered the resolution because he thought it important to send out with the constitution, as adopted by this Convention, a short address to the people of California, upon the importance of an early consideration of the constitution, and also the importance of attendance at the polls, in order that a full expression of the public voice might be had, not only to show the sense of the people of California in regard to this constitution, but to show the Congress of the United States the imposiog attitude that we assume, and the array of votes which we can produce in the formation of our State government.

The question was then taken, and the resolution was adopted.
The Chair (Mr. Botts) appointed Messrs. Steuart, Halleck and Vermeule.

Mr. HALLECK asked to be excused, as other duties would render it very difficult for him to attend upon this Committee.

Mr. SHERWOOD ihought it would be proper to have one delegate from each district Mr. VERMEULE was also of that opinion.

On motion, the vole on the resolution was reconsidered; and, on motion, it was so amended as to provide that the Committee should consist of one from each district, and thus amended, the resolution was adopted.

The CHAIR appointed as such Committee, Messrs. Steuart, McDougal, Ver. meule, Larkin, Hoppe, Walker, Tefft, De La Guerra, Stearns and Pedrorena.

Mr. McDougal offered the following resolution :

Resolved, That Mr. Howe, a clerk of this House, be allowed the sum of five dollars per day additional to his present salary.

Mr. McDougal said he would merely state that Mr. Howe was a most faithful and efficient clerk; that his duties had been very laborious, and he had discharged them with great credit to himself and advantage to the Convention.

Mr. STEUART fully concurred in the opinion expressed by his frind from Sacra. mento.

Mr. Gwin thought it an act of justice to state that he had never seen duties more faithfully performed. Those duties had been very laborious; and he hoped the House would unanimously adopt the resolution.


Mr. STEUART moved to amend, by adding thereto the following:

And that he be authorized to continue the record of the proceedings at the same per diem allowance, provided he shall not be employed more thap ten days from the adjournment of this Convention.

The amendment was agreed to, and the resolution adopted, as amended.
Mr. MOORE offered the following resolution :

Resolved, That William H. Richardson is entitled to receive mileage and per diem while prosecuting his claim to a seat in this House, as a delegate from the District of San Diego.

Mr. MOORE said he considered that inasmuch as Mr. Richardson had come here with a certificate of election, he was entitled to his per diem and mileage.

Mr. McDougal stated that Mr. Richardson was duly elected under the call of the people of San Diego, and they gave him a certificate of election, as a delegate from that district. He came here with that certificate. When be arrived here, he found that this Convention had resolved to admit but a certain number, and they, decided that he could not be admitted. He (Mr. McDougal) thought it was bụt simple justice that Mr. Richardson should at least have his allowance for travelling expenses.

Mr. SHANNON was of opinion that there was a good deal of doubt upon this matter. It was known to the House that if Mr. Richardson could have been at all admitted he could have been admitted only as a supernumerary.

He (Mr. Richardson) then came here at his own risk; but further than that, he came here under pay from the United States Government, and at public expense.

Mr. PEDRORENA slated that Mr. Richardson resigned his office under the Gov. ernment of the United States, before he left for this Convention.

The question was then taken on the resolution, and it was adopted. :
Mr. SHERWOOD offered the following resolution, which was adopted unanimously :

Resolved, That J. S. Houston be recommended to Gen. Riley as a suitable person to circulate the constitution in the Districts of San Francisco, Sonoma, Sacramento and San Joaquin.

On motion of Mr. Price, the resolution submitted by him on the 27th of September, relative to the Seal of State of California, was taken up.

Mr. DIMMICK’moved to amend the resolution by adding at the end," press and materials."

Mr. NORTON wanted to know what this $1,000 was for? Whether it was for the payment of the design and execution of the work, or to enable Mr. Lyon to go up to San Francisco and superintend the work.

Mr. McDougal said it was for the design, the engraving of the-seal, and press, all included. He hoped no gentleman would think the sum too much. He was authorised to say that if the House thought it too extravagant, that Sacramento herself would the $1,000.

Mr. McCARVER stated that the mechanic's bill for the press for the State of Iowa, was $500. If the Committee had said $2,000 he would not have thought it out of the way.

Mr. NORTON said he had made no objection whatever to the thousand dollars. All he wanted to know, was what it was for. He did not know but that it was to pay Mr. Lyon for going to Sacramento, and merely superintending the work. He moved to insert at the end of the resolution, " press and all appendages.".

Mr. DIMMICK said thiş was his amendment.

Mr. HALLECK suggested that this thousand dollars could not be advanced, be. cause the work was not for the existing government, and could not be paid for except by the new State government, for which the seal was intended.

Mr. Norton then offered the following substitute, which was adopted: Resolved, That Mr. Caleb Lyon be, and is hereby, authorised to superintend the engraving o the Seal for the State, and to furnish the same in the shortest possible time to the Secretary of the Convention, with the press and all necessary appendages, to be by him delivered to the Secretary of State appointed under this Constitution; and that the sam of $1,000, be paid to Mr. Lyon in full compensation and payment for the design, seal, press, and all appendages.

Resolved, That the words “The great Seal of the State of California," be added to the design.

a pay

Mr. HALLECK inquired if any gentleman present knew what had become of the original design. The gentleman by whom it was designed* requested that it should be found, if possible, and handed to the gentleman who occupied the Chair.

Mr. Sherwood believed that this seal was not the entire production of the gentleman who was authorized to have it engraved, and he (Mr. Lyon) did not claim it as such. The original design was given to Mr. Lyon by a gentleman' who did not wish his name to be made public, but expressed a desire in a confidential let. ier to Mr. Lyon that he (Mr. Lyon) might be known as the author of the design. Some additions were made to it by Mr. Lyon, and it was adopted by the House in its present form.

Mr. HALLEČK did not wish to throw the slightest censure upon Mr. Lyon, but; after the matter was all settled and disposed of, he was requested to ascertain if the original paper laid before the House could be found.

On motion the Convention took a recess until 7 o'clock P, M,



The Convention met pursuant to adjournment.

On motion of Mr. Gwin, the ordinance heretofore submitted by him, was taken up, as follows, viz:

ORDINANCE. Be it ordained by the Convention assembled to form a constitution for the State of California, on behalf and by authority of the people of said State, that the following propositions be submitted to the Congress of the United States, which, if assented to by that body, shall be obligatory upon this State:

1. One' section of land for every quarter township of the public lands; and when such section has been sold or otherwise disposed of, other lands equivalent thereto, and as contiguous as may be, shall be granted to the State for the use of schools.

2. Seventy-two sections of the unappropriated lands within this state, shall be set apart and reserved for use and support of a University, which, together with such further quantities as may. be agreed upon by Congress, shall be conveyed to the State and appropriated solely to the use and support of such university in such manner as the Legislature may prescribe.

3. Four sections of land, to be selected under the direction of the Legislature, from any of the unappropriated public lands belonging to the United States, within this state, shall be granted to the State for its use in establishing a seat of Government, or to defray the expenses of public build ings at the same.

Five hundred thousand acres of the unappropriated public lands in this state, belonging to, the United States, in addition to the 500,000'acres granted to the new States under an act of Con. gress distributing the proceeds of the public lands among the several States of the Union, approved A, D., 1841, shall be designated, under the direction of the Legislature, and granted to the State for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the State Government, and for other State purposes.' : And five per cent. of the net proceeds of the sale of all lands lying within the State which shall be sold under the authority of the United States, after deducting all expenses incident to the same, shall also be appropriated for the encouragement of learning.

5. All salt springs within this state, and the lands“ reserved for the use of the same, at least" one section including each spring, shall be granted to the State, to be used or disposed of as

as the Legislature may direct.

6. The first Senators and Representatives elected to Congress from this State, are hereby aðthorized and empowered to make or assent to such other proposition, or to such variations of the propositions herein made, as the interests of the State may require; and any such changes when approved by the Legislature shall be as obligatory as if the assent of this Convention were given thereto, and all stipulátions'entered into by the Legisláture in pursuance of the authority herein conferred, shall be considered articles of compact between the United States and this State; and the Legislature is hereby, further authorized to declare in behalf of the people of California, if such declaration be proposed by Congress, that they will not interfere with the primarý disposal, under the authority of the United States, of the vacant lands within the limits of this state.

Mr. Gwin. I find appended to most of the Constitutions of the new States an ordinance, guaranteeing to the United States the exclusive right to dispose of the

• Major Garnett.


vacant land within the State, and agreeing to certain propositions, made by Con. gress, or when the Constitution has been formed without previous authorization by Congress, making propositions to that body.

An ordinance of this kind may not be indispensible to the admission of Cali. fornia into the Union, but the want of it might seriously embarrass if not post. pone the admission. With the limited means at hand I have not been able to make a thorough examination into these ordinances, but I find Ohio had no ordi. nance. Louisiana had one agreeing to the requirements of the act of Congress relinquishing the right to the public domain : so also with Alabama and Missis: sippi." Indiana has an ordinance, without guaranteeing the right of the vacant lands to the United States. The same with Illinois and Missouri, and Florida merely gave the power to two-thirds of the Legislature to agree to such proposi. tions as might be made by the United States; while Arkansas passed no ordi.

These two latter States formed constitutions without the authority of a previous act of Congress. One gave limited power to the Legislature to agree to propositions Congress might make, while the other gave none at all

. Yet we see no difficulty between this State and the United States in regard to the pri. mary disposal of the vacant lands within their borders.

In looking over these ordinances, I have seen none that seems so well adapted to our situation as that of Michigan ; and I have accordingly adopted it as the basis of the one I hold in my hand and propose for adoption by this body. I have varied it in some of its provisions, For instance, I ask for a section of land for schools for every quarter township instead of one for each township. I earnestly hope this proposition will be acceded to by the United States. It will give us a munificent school fund, and boing the school-house within reach of every house in the State. Congress has already in part adopted this policy with Oregon, giving them two sections to each township instead of one, as was formerly the case. May we not hope that, influenced by the liberal and enlightened spirit of an age when the schoolmaster is abroad, we may get a section to each quarter township, and thus, as I said before, bring the residence of every citizen within reach of the

There is another slight alteration in the third clause, where we ask for four sections of land upon which to establish a seat of government, or to be appropriated towards erecting public buildings. In the fourth clause, instead of asking for seven hundred sections for roads and canals, we ask for half a million of acres to assist us in starting our State Government. This is but just and proper, and I hope will be acceded to without hesitation by Congress. We have been forced into the organization of a State Government, to prevent confusion and anarchy, by the failure of Congress to give us a Territorial Government. We have had no territorial pupilage, with large appropriations to build court houses, jails, and other necessary buildings. All of this has to be done by us, by a tax upon the people, unless Congress gives us a portion of the public domain for that purpose, or allows us, what is nothing but just, right, and proper, all the moneys collected prior to the admission of our State into the Union.

I conceive it to be of the utmost importance that this ordinance should be adopt., ed by the Convention. It may prevent serious difficulties, and can do no possible harm; for not a member of this body supposes or proposes that the United States should not have the exclusive disposal of the vacant lands within our horders, al. though some of us hope that the General Government may relinquish to the State authorities the control of the mineral lands, upon the payment of a very moderate sum into the National Treasury. But this is a subject for future action between the State authorities and the General Government, and I will not consume the time of the House by giving my views on it, but submit the ordinance without further remark.

Mr. Steuart. I had hoped, sir, from hearing this resolution or ordinance read, that some proposition would have been presented to this House upon which we could

« PrejšnjaNaprej »