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Admission of Michigan.

[Jax. 2, 1837.

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Michigan, exercised in their primary assemblies, without and your whole purpose is answered. The State is un. the authority of any law of the State, and not only with der your feet; you are the master-spirit that directs its out the sanction of any constitutional provision, but in movements; and you would have the right to call upon direct contravention of constitution and law, and by mere the executive power of the country to see that your laws numerical strength, evidenced by a plurality of votes, were faithfully executed. Why, sir, but yesterday, and have understood her to give the assent of the State to we might have looked on this picture as fancy only; but an act of Congress, which is to remain obligatory upon it is now fast assuming the character of fact, and we may the State in all time to come, and which the regular con. awake to the reality before we are aware.

All that has stituted authorities of the State have no power to con- been suggested, and much more, may take place under trol, and which the people themselves, according to the the sanction of the broad principle now contended for. provisions of their own constitution, can never alter, Let it not be said that we are unnecessarily alarmed, abridge, or amend; and it is the assent thus given that and that the argument is carried to extremes. We al. we are now so emphatically called upon to receive as ways test principles by the extent to which they can, the constitutional and legitimate will of the State. Sir, consistent with themselves, be carried into effect. Sup. (said, Mr. M.,) I cannot consent thus to humble any one of pose Congress should have a favorite project to carry the sovereign States of this Union. Let it be constantly lihrough a State, say the Stale of South Carolina-for in. borne in mind, that there have been two conventions as- stance, a road or canal- which all would agree could not sembled in Michigan, for the purpose of considering, or be done without the consent of the State, and Congress assenting to, the act of Congress. The convention should pass an act in terms precisely those used in the which first met was in pursuance of a law of the State act for the admission of Michigan, and the Legislature of specially passed for that purpose; that it was elected the State should be convened to consider the proposiand organized according to the provisions of that law; tion, or should provide for the election of a convention, that this convention dissented from the proposition of who should meet and reject the sanie. lf, after all this, Congress, or rather did not consent thereio; that subse- some person should be found possessing influence suffi. quent to this decision it was that the people met in their cient, either with or without the patronage of this Gov. primary assemblies, and the result was that another con- ernment, to obtain a majority of the qualified electors of vention was had. The documents furnished the Senate the State, or even the whole body of the people, both inform us that in two counties no elections were held, male and female, no matter how expressed, whether by and, of course, those counties were not represented in convention or otherwise, would any man say that this this latter convention, the president of which, in a com. was sufficient authority for Congress to proceed with munication to the President of the United States, says the contemplated work? No! none would be found to that “the convention originated through primary meet- avow this at once; yet to this length will the doctrine ings of the citizens of the several counties, in ample lead. time to afford notice to the whole State; pursuant Sir, the matter can be brought home to our doors in thereto, elections, kept open for two days, on the 5th Ohio; we have had a controversy partaking of this charand 6th instant, (December,) have been held in all the acter with the Bank of the United States: the Legislacounties except Monroe and Macomb.' This (Mr. M. ture of the State denied the power of Congress to ausaid) was a relation of facts and circumstances to him thorize the bank to send a branch into the State without entirely inexplicable; no time is mentioned as to the no- its consent. Suppose the charter had contained a protice given, nor what kind of notice was thought necessa- vision that a branch might be sent into any State by the ry, or how the same was promulgated. This, as it ap. “assent of a convention of delegates, elected by the said pears to us, was mere maiter of opinion, and might, in State, for the sole purpose of giving such assent:" Michigan, depend very much on party views and party Suppose, sir, this had been the original charter of the purposes. But the great principle, and, indeed, the ar- bank, and a convention of delegates had been golten up, gument, does not depend on these minor considerations; and have forced upon the State the power of ihe bank, the question is, will Congress recognise as valid, constie contrary to her own constitution and laws, and against tutional, and obligatory, without the color of a law of the express will of the Legislature: I ask every citizen Michigan to sustain it, an act done by the people of that of Ohio, what would have been his opinion and feelings State in their primary assemblies, and acknowledge that on a state of things of this kind? For my own part, as a acl as obligatory on the constituted authorities and Legis. citizen of that State, I had rather see Ohio struck at once lature of the Sta!e? Are we prepared to subject all from the Union, than that a doctrine of this kind should be State power and State authority to the rest of this prin considered orthodox, and prevail in practice. We might ciple! Our answer not only concerns Michigan, but wander for a while at large, and find a resting place; but ought, and, I trust, will be examined into by every State when once swallowed up by this Government, our pow'. in the Union; and although Michigan at this moment er of action would entirely cease. Then, indeed, may be the scapegoat to bear off this power into the would we have no Government of our own; we would be Western wilderness, yet it may and can be found con. but mere automata in the hands of those who administer venient to apply it to other States. Are we prepared this Government. They would be the judges both as to for this application? Is the great question now about to the time and manner of our acting, and of the validity of be decided? I would most seriously call upon all State the records of those acts. Would not this be the condi. rights men to look well to this matter. Do you love and tion of the States if we adopt and maintain this danger. venerate your own constitution and laws, the only guar. ous principle?-a principle wbich admits a State into the antee you have for all your personal, social, and political Union without law and without record, so far as the rights? Are you willing to subject them all to this tre. State has any action in this case. It is true, as was obmendous power? Congress may have a favorite measure served by the Senator from South Carolina, (Mr. Calto accomplish, which may come in collision with State uoun,] that good precedents are soon forgotten, while power. How easy to overcome this power, by doing bad ones live forever. He (Mr. M.) contended that the wbat is now claimed to be right in Michigan; pass an act principle contained in the preamble to the bill was vi: requiring the people of the State to give their assent to cious in the extreme. Shall we, then, countenance it? it, or permitting them, if you please, to do so; send Shall we maintain it! He trusted not. amongst them your agents and emissaries, to induce He said he was somewhat surprised, he confessed, to calls for primary assemblies, to hold a convention to suit hear the doctrine that had been advanced by the Sena. your viewe; obiain the act of assent by such convention, I tor from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Buchanan.) Tbal gentle.

Jan. 2, 1837.)

Admission of Michigan.


man, if he understood him correctly, not only sustained security of all, and in the formation of which all had an the proceedings of the last convention in Michigan, but equal right to participate. contended that if it had not assented, the people would But, sir, suppose all that has been urged against the have gone on, even ad infinitum, to elect conventions, facts, as they appear in this case, should be deemed in. until they had obtained one which would give the assent. sufficient to show that the principle upon which the A doctrine so latitudinarian as this, he said, he could by admission of Michigan is made to rest is founded in mis. no means admit. It was a doctrine that unloosed all the taken and erroneous views, yet he contended that there obligation of society, and dissolved government into its was no certain or conclusive evidence to show that the original elements.

consent of the people of Michigan had ever been given, In a controversy of this kind he would not fear to

as required by the act of Congress. Who are the peomeet the gentleman, even in his own State, in which, as ple of Michigan, within the meaning of that act? Surely far as he knew, this doctrine had been first promulgated the qualified voters of that State, and none other; no to the country. He would call the attention of the Sen. one will contend for an opposite construction. What ator to a public letter from the pen of a very distinguish evidence, then, have we that the convention which gave ed citizen of that State; that letter had been made public, the assent was elected by the proper persons! None at and of course was public property, and liable to public all; for aught we know, or for aught that appears in any examination. The doctrine, he contended, contained in part of the documents furnished the Senate, there is no it, was revolutionary in its nature; it went to prove, as he conclusive evidence that the people of Michigan ever understood it, that the right of revolution was a right in. did give their assent to the act of Congress. That the herent in the very nature of our institutions; a doctrine people of that State are desirous of being admitted into which he could not admit as correct, and one which went the Union he had little doubt; but insisted that certain to prove that we had no stability whatever in our Govern- forms were necessary before that admission could take ment. This doctrine was broached in a state whose cit. place. The evidence furnished to prove a compliance izens bad always proved themselves sound republicans; with those forms he considered entirely incomplete and democratic sons of democratic fathers; and he felt highly unsatisfactory. True, as the Senator from Tennessee gratified in finding that in that State this doctrine had fall- bas said, we have evidence founded on publications in en still-born from the press: it was at once rebuked by newspapers, the statements of individuals, and copies of the good, sound, democratic sense of the people, and he the proceedings of the convention itself; but none of thought had gone to the tomb of the Capulets; but he these come to us under oath, or under the forms of offi. feared it was but the precursor of more extensive opera, cial proceedings. The gentleman's opinion is, that evi. tions of a system which, while it Aattered the pride and dence thus furnished ought to be considered sufficient to vanity of the people, was stealing from them every ves- found an act of legislation upon. To this (he said) be tige of liberty, and undermining the foundation of all agreed; but was the present a mere question of general their social institutions. The case of Maryland had been or local policy, to operate in future?' He thought not. mentioned; the plea in that case was, if he understood it It was a question of a judicial character. Deciding upon correctly, that the Legislature of the Sta!e having, as the proper construction of an existing law, and the facts some thought, neglected to adopt such measures as the that were to determine the rights of citizens under that wants of the people required, that the people, or rather | law, we assumed here the character of judges rather a majority of the people, had the right, by a convention, than legislators; and he thought it indispensably neces. elected without the authority of any law, to put down sary that at least the shadow of judicial evidence should the whole frame of Government, and establish a new be preserved; and he contended that in this case even Government, with new powers and new agents, in its that shadow did not appear. In measures of naked polstead; that, in fact, the majority of the people of a State icy, the argument of the gentleman might safely be ad. had the right to form a Government to suit their own mitted; but he repudiated its application in the present convenience, without any regard to the rights of the mi- If evidence of a higher nature exists, it is somenority, as secured under the existing Government. This what extraordinary that it has not been furnished the he considered the first act in the grand drama, by which Senate. If we are to rely exclusively on the popular he feared that public institutions, made for the safety of vote of the people of the state, we ought to have some all, were to be abolished for the special benefit of a part; evidence of ihe votes given, and by whom. Does a sin. it was the mere precursor of more energetic and exten- gle gentleman here know, by any evidence furnished, sive operations.' Suppose a few of the large States whether the persons who voted on the 5th and 6th days should be disposed to think that the Senatorial repre- of December, for members to a convention, were qualisentation in Congress was unequal; that it was absurd, fied electors or not? No; not one of us has any evidence and derogatory to the rights of the people, that New on that point. How, then, are we to judge of the validYork should have no more power in this body than Delo ity of the vote, or the rights of the convention? None aware; and should wish to change the present order of of the proceedings were authorized by a State law, and things. True it is that the constitution of the United thus stamping them with the solemnity of State authorStates has provided that no State, without its consent, ity; nor have we any parol evidence, even without oath, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate; at all satisfactory on this point. It is most extraordinary but what of thai? This, according to the argument we that we are not furnished with any evidence as to who have heard, is but a subordinate right, always subject to the voters were that cast their votes for the election of the constitutional power of the people; let conventions members to the convention by whom the assent was be holden, elected by the people in their primary as. given; and we may ask, and not without reason, who semblies, according to mere numbers, and less than half were they, or by what rule or authority their votes were a dozen of the most populous States would swallow up collected and counted? No one here knows any thing the twenty smaller ones, who now, by giving their assent on the subject. Sir, the history of the day informs us to this doctrine, do homage to the larger States for their that the tide of emigration into the State of Michigan has liberties, and appear willing to rely on them, and not on for a year or two past been immense; not only citizens the constitution, as the security for their rights. It of the United States, but foreigners, who have reached would be well that we should always remember that our our shores in shoals, have found their way into that part fathers did not expend their blood and treasure to estab- of our country. Have we any evidence that this class lish a Government resting alone upon popular breath, of men were not the persons, in a good degree, who but one founded on written constitutions and laws for the I have thus undertaken to remodel the constitution of



Admission of Michigan.

[Jan. 2, 1837.

tive power.

Michigan, and with it the very principles of our Gov. or two past much said about the abuse of executive powernment? Was it this class of men, or any portion of er; but, said he, we are about to change the question, them, that have undertaken to give the assent of Michi. and to establish here dangerous assumptions of legislagan to her boundaries, as prescribed by Congress? Have

By the act of the 15th of June, the fact of we, I repeat again, any evidence to prove that this is Michigan having assented to the conditions of that act is not the class of persons who elected the second conven. to be ascertained by the President of the United States tion? We have no such evidence.

alone; he is made the sole judge when the assent is given, There is another view of this subject, not unworthy and is to make the same known by proclamation. Has he our notice. The election appears to have been held two found the fact to exist? or has he issued bis proclamadays in each county, and he should be glad to be inform- tion? No; he has done neither. He informs us that one ed who it was that selecled the days, and the number of convention, elected and convened in pursuance of a law days in which the election was holden. Who it was that of the State, had not given its assent. He also informs gave the notice of the place and manner of conducting us that another convention bad met, and did assent; and the elections. Was it proclaimed by one individual, or he further says, that if the proceedings of this lalter conwas it made known by an assemblage of citizens in one vention had come to him in the recess of Congress, county to the citizens of another county? Did the he would have issued his proclamation in conformity county of A send a special messenger to the county of with the provision of the act of Congress, if he was saiB, and so throughout the State; or did the people actisfied that this convention, in all respects, had accorded simultaneously, by instinct or impulse? Was the voting with the will of the people of Michigan. The President by ballot in one county, and viva voce in another, and in was not satisfied that such facts existed, upon which his a third by the holding up of hands or counting of heads? | proclamation ought to issue, and he referred the whole All these facts, he contended, were entirely unknown to proceedings to Congress; and this very reference ought the Senate, and yet we were called to declare, by the to prove to us that the fact did not exist, and that Mich. solemn enactment of a law, that the people of Michigan, igan had not complied with the conditions required of in proper form, had given their assent to the condition her; and he referred it, in order that the restrictions imposed on them by the act of Congress. He contendo might be removed; but, instead of removing the restriced that the Senate was about to establish the truth of a tions, we are about to find the fact of assent. He was fact about which they had heard but little, except from anxious that this question should come to an issue, and that public rumor, paragraphs in party newspapers, or from Michigan should come into the Union, but was not wil. ihe statements and assertions of individuals not under the ling to sacrifice any principle to attain even this desiraobligations of an oalh. This, he thought, would be a ble end. He thought it would be better for the people most dangerous decision, pronounced at a very inauspic of Michigan themselves, and more satisfactory, if they cious time. The condition of the country is at this were kept a little longer out of the Union, rather than time peculiar, if not alarming. He said he felt it his

have a principle adopted which both of her conventions duty to express his opinions honestly, as be entertained had declared to be unconstitutional. He trusted, how. them; and he regretted much that duty seemed to re. ever, that the difficulties might be remedied in the way quire him to comment on the existing state of things. suggested by the chairman of the committee; for he unAlmost every newspaper on which he laid his hands con- derstood the gentleman to say that he viewed the pretained the history of crimes almost without number, and amble as of little consequence, and would vote for the strongly impressed upon his mind the idea that men be: bill if it was stricken out; yet he would feel himself bound gan to think it right io take the administra'ion of justice to retain it, although he considered it perfectly harmless into their own hands, and dispense what ihey believed it and nugatory: to be, entirely without any of the forms of law." He bad Now, if this was the case, he hoped the gentleman, in read of punishments of the highest nature being inflicted courtesy, would at once agree to let it be stricken out by the order of assemblies of the people, in some of the by the Senate, without his vote, as he believed it to be siaies, who had conducted their proceedings with all the entirely unimportant, while other gentlemen believed it formality and gravity, no doubt, that the convention of involved a dangerous principle, and would compel them Michigan bad conducted theirs. He had read, with some to vote against the bill if it was retained; and be fully surprise as well as regret, advertisements in newspapers believed, that if the gentleman would thus give his asin different cities, offering for sale fine duelling pistols, sent, and the obnoxious preamble was stricken out, and pistols for the belt and the pocket, bowie-knives, there would not be a dissenting voice to the admission of and like instruments, well calculated for the taking of hu- the new State into the Union. He could see no prejuman life, offered as convenient articles, necessary for the dice that would result, in pursuing this course, to the convenience or comfort of man. He had no recollection boundaries of either Ohio or Indiana; their boundaries of seeing, until very lately, advertisements of this kind; were already settled, and could not be disturbed, wheth. and the question very naturally pressed itself upon his er the preamble was retained or not. A great deal mind, what does all this mean? Does it not prove to us (said Mr. M.) has been said here about Michigan having that men are endeavoring to place themselves entirely extended her jurisdiction over part of the territory beabove the power of the law, and do that which they longing to Olio and Indiana; but if he understood the think to be right in their own eyes? Ile thought that it constitution of Michigan, no definite boundary was estabwas high time for the whole constituted authorities of lished by that instrument. It was in the preamble to the country to use all proper means to circumscribe the the constitution it was to be found, and in that alone. It entire action of the people within the strict limits of the was there provided that the people inhabiting the Terri. law, before the restraint of law was lost sight of al. tory, as established by the act of Congress of 1805, formtogether. Recognise (said Mr M.) that the people of ed for themselves a State Government; this he considerMichigan may, in this informal manner, dispense with ed as creating no dificulty as it respected the question the constitution and laws of their own State, and you at of boundary, either with Ohio or Indiana. He there. the same time recognise the doctrine that numerical fore most sincerely hoped the honorable chairman would strength alone shall have precedence in point of obliga. give liis assent to thus striking out the preamble, for tion to the most solemn legal enactments. It seemed to with it he thought it impossible to vote for the bill. bin there was at that moment a powerful responsibility The honorable chairman, he said, had told us that this resting on Congress, and that they ought to proceed with was not a party or political question. He agreed with the most serivus deliberation. He had beard for a year ! him that it was not, He felt that he ought to approach

Jan. 2, 1837.)

Admission of Michigan.


it as a judge; and, so far as he was advised of the impor-condition therein prescribed, and the preamble merely tant principle involved in the case, he would endeavor asserted the performance of that condition. And what to decide upon it according to the dictates of his best was that condition? Why, that the people of Michigan judgment. He trusted that no Senator would give his should hold a convention, and agree therein to be bound vote on this question under the influence of party or po- by the territorial limits prescribed by Congress to that litical feelings. However, (said Mr. M.,) we may be at. State. Have the people of Michigan complied with that tached to party for the purpose of favoring political condition? Has she held her convention, and given the views as to future policy; yet, when we come to a ques- assent required? It was not denied, as he understood, tion of the magnitude of the one before us, we must that a convention had been holden, but the manner of decide it upon higher grounds, and suffer ourselves to holding it was objected to. He was not aware that be influenced by the sound principles of justice only. either the common law, or any statute, prescribed any If Michigan was not a State, when would her existence mode of assembling conventions; and no mode was preas a State commence! If she was a State at the time the scribed in the act of Congress imposing upon Michigan act of the 15th of June last was passed, she could only the condition of holding this convention; and it was rathspeak or rather make known her will as such Stale, and er hard now, after she bad holden her convention, to therefore the assent of this latter convention was not her tell her that she could take nothing by it, because it had act. If, said he, we recognise her as a State, we must not been properly holden, although no landmarks for date ber existence from the time she adopted her consti- | her guidance were laid down by the common law or stat. tution; and if her Senators and Representative, who ute, and Congress herself had neglected to indicate any have been elected to Congress, are entitled to seats, then mode in which a convention might be constituted satisindeed was she a State to all intents and purposes from factory to herself. Michigan was left, as we are still tbal time; and the convention which afterwards met with left, to the plain dictates of common sense, that a conout authority was in derogation of all her State rights. vention was an assemblage of the people of a communiNo gentleman, he presumed, would deny this; and yet ty, in person or by their agents or representatives, no we are about to set up the acts of certain unauthorized matter how assembled; and by that plain principle of individuals as above the constituted authorities of the

common sense she has a right to ask that she shall be State. There was one circunstance which he deemed tried. How was the Government under which we live somewhat material, which he wished to notice. The put in operation, but through the action of the primary number of delegates which composed the first convention assemblages of the people--and who has ever dared to was forty-nine, and he took it for granted that the law of question the propriety of that result? And is Michigan Michigan prescribed this number. But the convention now to be told, in the absence of all law, and in the face which gave its assent to the act of Congress was com- of such examples, that there was a particular mode of posed of seventy-two members. How happened this action, the only legitimate and proper one? The report Was this a movement by which certain gentlemen in the ; of the chairman of the Judiciary Committee shows that State were to be put up, and others put down? Who Michigan bas holden a convention and given ber assent, apportioned to one county twelve delegates, the sixth and it is not denied that a convention has been bolden, part of the whole number, while an adjoining county and the assent thereby given; but gentlemen say it is not sent but i wo? Where was the power in Michigan to a legitimate convention, but do not show us what is ne. make this discrimination, except ibe legislative power? cessary to constitute a legitimate convention. It 11:28 Sir, (said Mr. M.,) admit the truth of this preamble, and been assumerl, in the argument of this matter, that Michthen the legitimate lengths to which it may be carried, igan is a State. If so, there is nothing left, it seemed and we dissolve the very elements of Gorernment, and to him, either lo dispute or legislate about. The Senareduce its power to physical or numerical force. It is lors and Representative from that State were entitled through anarchy that we arrive at despotism. Submit to their seats without further action. He was not prethis to any State, even to Michigan herself, freed from pared to admit that she was a Stale. She was unques. duresse, and no one would agree to it. He was sure it tionably once a Territory, the property of this Uniun, never would be assented to in his own State; her people and could only rise to the dignity of a sovereign State had no juthority to change her political condition, even by the consent of Congress, properly given. Congress by the consent or advice of Congress, but only through had given this consen', but it was accompanied with cer. their own Legislature, and in the manner and form in tain conditions, which conditions must be performed ere which they had bound themselves to each other in their the consent could take effect; and whether these condi. own constitution. It bas been said that the first step tions had been performed was the very matter under from correct principles was taken with more difficully consideration. He denied that ibere was any chrysalis than others which followed. As in morals, so in politics: state in which she ceased to be a Territory, and yet was if we once let go our hold on tbe constitution, for any not a member of this Union. The transition must nepurpose whatever, we may soon find it convenient to dig.

cessarily be instanlaneous from territorial existence to pense with it on most if not every occasion. These (Mr. that of membership in t!:e Union. Until she became a M. said) were his views on this important question, de. Siate she continued to be a Territory, and only ceased livered, to be sure, in desultory and unconnected manner; to be a Territory when she became a State in the Union. and he thanked the Senate for their patient attention. Her existence as a Slale, and her membership in the

Mr. STRANGE said be should detain the Senate but Union, were the cotemporaneous effects of one action. a moment or two; for, in his judgment, there was not If he rightly understood the reason why Congress had space for much pertinent argumentation on the subject imposed this condition upon Michigan, it was that there under consideration. He did not perceive the alarming might be no future difficulty between her and the States consequences from the adoption of the preamble, which of Ohio and Indiana, relative to boundary. Congress presented themselves to the minds of other gentlemen; could never decide the judicial question, as to what ef. nor, indeed, did he much care, except so far as it might fect any or all the circumstances should have upon the be gratifying to others to retain it, whether the pream. rights of the several parties. As a matter of prudence, ble accompanied the bill or not. The ri tention of it, she might ask conditions which might, in her judgment, struck him as being an exceedingly simple matter, in- tend to peace, out it remained to the judicial tribunals volving no assertion either dangerous or untrue. Con. of the country only to decide ultimately upon their reg. gress, at the last session, passed a law constituting Mich- ularity and effect. A rigid technical course was, there. igan one of the States of this Union upon a particular | fore, unbefitting Congress; and nothing remained for


Admission of Michigan.

(Jan. 2, 1837.

her at present but to ascertain, upon broad and liberal It is understood, sir, that a convention of the people principles, whether the condition required of Michigan of Michigan was held in September last, who did not bad been performed.

give their assent to the terms of admission prescribed by Some reference bad been made to the State of Mary. this act; and of course the President did not admit that land in the course of the argument, which, by the by, he State into the Union by proclamation. It is further undid not think at all parallel to the case of Michigan; but, derstood, that a second convention was held on the 15th as it had been mentioned, he would say that if the peo- December last, who did give their assent to the terms ple of Maryland, or any other State, thought proper at prescribed by the act, as before mentioned; but the eviany time, by a convention, however originated or or. dence of this assent was not communicated to the Presi. ganized, to change her constitution, Congress would dent until after the present session of Congress. He did have no right to interfere, unless she departed from a not admit the State by proclamation, but said he should republican form of government. It was an affair entire have done so had he received evidence of the fact of the ly domestic; and the authority of Congress to intermed. assent of the convention during the recess. As he did dle in the matter, under any circumstances, could only not, he has submitted the subject to the present Conbe by force of the fourth section of the fourth article of gress. the constitution of the United States, by wbich a repub. These, sir, are the facts. And, now, what are the prinlican form of government is guarantied by the United ciples by which we are to be governed in the case! If, States to the States, respectively. The evil of such a sir, I understand any thing of statutes, or their construc. course, if any, would be confined to the citizens of the tion, the act of Congress last June, defining the State itself; and neither the General Government, nor limits and regulating the jurisdiction of Michigan, acthat of any other State, would have a right to interfere, cepting her constitution, and providing for her admission as long as the republican form of government was pre into the Union as an independent State, stands, as it ever served. But the case of Michigan fellfar short of this, and, has stood, an act of Congress. That section of it, howin his judgment, involved no question which could alarm ever, which authorized the President to admit this State the most apprehensive. It was a case which could only by proclamation, not having been acted upon by him, is occur on the formation and admission of new States, and inoperative, a dead letter. The power delegated by Con. could be drawn into precedent under no other circum- gress to him, now reverts to them, and we can admit upstances. The simple question, he repeated, was, has on the same lerms on which we authorized the President Michigan complied with the conditions required of her? to admit this State, or we can admit upon such other The preamble affirmed that she had, and, believing it to terms as Congress shall deem wise and expedient. But, be true, he should vote for retaining it.

sir, we are told by grave and learned Senators that Con. Mr. DANA said: I have listened with attention to the gress having authorized the President to perform this arguments of the gentlemen opposed to the admission of service on a certain contingency, that be, and he alone, Michigan into the Union, and have perceived no sound can receive this State into the Union. Is this sound reason for rejecting her application. She has, as is ad doctrine? Can it be so? Let us examine this position. mitted by those gentlemen, complied with all the condi. On receiving evidence of the assent of a majority of the tions required of her. She has the requisite population; convention, the President was authorized to admit this she has formed a republican constitution; and Congress, State into the Union. He does not receive this evidence, by its act of last session, has approved of that constitution. or not in season, and the subject is submitted to Con. And does not an imperious duly rest on us to receive that gress. Now, sir, my apprehension is, that the Presi. State into the Union? She asks it, and I am satisfied dent's power conferred by the act bas ended; that it has that we are bound to grant her request. And why not reverted to Congress, and they alone can exercise it. do it now, sir? We are told by the honorable gentle. Does a delegated power for a specific object, and for a man from South Carolina, (Mr. CALHOUN,) that we can- limited time, always continue? Cannot those who con. not do it without a violation of the constitution; and hy | stitute an agent also revoke his power? And can they the honorable member from Ohio, (Mr. Moruis,] that it not exercise that power, when voluntarily surrendered cannot be done without dissolving the elements of our by the agent? If not, I have yet to learn the first prinUnion? But how stands the case? Let us advert to the ciples of statutes and their construction. Yes, sir, in principles and facts on which this question resls. Sir, a my humble opinion, we have a right to exercise the long and severe contest had existed between Michigan powers we delegated to the President, and that section and Ohio in relation to their boundary line, each claim- of the statute granting them will not be violated. Tbat ing the same territory, and each ready to defend it with section is dead, and as if it never had passed; and the their lives. Michigan claimed an admission into the powers return to us, and, I rust, to be exercised by us Union; but Congress could not admit her, standing as in the admission of this State. she did in a hostile attitude towards one of the States of But, sir, we are met with another objection, viz: the Union, until the exciting question of boundary was That a majority of the convention have not assented 102 settled. And the wisdom of this measure is apparent to the terms prescribed in the act of June last. We are every one. To have admitted her with her quarrel into told, sir, that one convention assembled for the purpose the Union would have been dangerous and ruinous. Con- of giving their assent, but withheld it, and that their do. gress, therefore, in the first place, proceeded to st tule the ings ought to be conclusive. Again: the honorable Sen. boundary line between these contending parties, upon ator from Ohio (Mr. Ewing] tells us that the second principles conceived to be right, and then to limit and convention was not called by autbority, not according to prescribe the boundaries, and point out the territory act of Congress; that it originated with the people, and over which Michigan should have jurisdiction; and then, that they assembled in their primary meetings and chose in the same act of June, it approved of her constitution, their delegates to the convention. And then he tri. and provided for her admission into the Union by the umphan'ly asks, who presided at those meetings? How proclamation of the President, if a majority of delegates, were they organized, and who swore their officers? My chosen by the people for that sole purpose, should give reply to these positions and inquiries is, first, that the act their assent to the terms of admission prescribed by said of Congress requiring the assent of the convention does act. And to me it appears that the only question for us not point out how the delegates shall be chosen. It re. to consider is, have a majority of a convention, thus quires the assent of a majority of a convention chosen by chosen, given their assent to the terms of admission? If the people for that purpose. Here, sir, the law has they have, we are bounr, sir, to admit them.

lest it, and wisely left it, to the people to select their

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