Slike strani

Jar. 2, 1837.)

Admission of Michigan.


delegates in their own way. If a particular mode had if, under the circumstances, they had given their assent? been pointed out, that mode must have been pursued; But, sir, when passion had subsided, and opportunity had but as there was none, the people were left to their own been given for reflecting upon the situation of a State eiection, and they have exercised their powers as they out of the Union, they discovered that they were de. thought most judicious. And now, sir, because they priving themselves of great and inestimable advantages; have not exercised them in a manner agreeable to the that their present state was one of weakness and espoviews of gentlemen, but in perfect accordance with the sure, and strength and protection could only be found in act of Congress, shall we set aside their doings, and the Union. Was it, then, wonderful that a change of compel them to wait year after year for the enjoyment sentiments should have taken place? No, sir, it would of those rights and privileges to which they have long have been much more wonderful if a change in this re. been entitled? “Who presided at those meetings? spect had not taken place. And is it true that, because How were they organized, and who swore their officers?" one convention diil not consent to the terms prescribed, Claiming the privilege of a Yankee, I will answer these another could not? No, sir, if one or two, or even questions by proposing others. Who presided over the a dozen conventions, had refused their assent to the con. meetings when the former delegates were chosen; and ditions, and afterwards, upon reflection, the people how were those mcetings organized? Who swore their changed their minds, and chose a convention, a majority officers! I have no doubt but that the town meetings of whom at last gave their assent, they would even thien were properly organized, governed, and the officers have had an incontestable right of admission into tlie sluly qualified. But, sir, is that a question before this Union. Besides, this list convention was chosen by honorable body? Has this Senate looked into the organ. about three thousand votes more than the forinir one. ization of towns, and to the qualifications of their officers? Sir, actuated by these principles, applied to these S:ich an instance I have never known), nor does it in my facts, I can entertain no doubt of the righis of Michigan opinion exist. What, sir, shall this grave Senale con. in his case, and the path of our duty is equally clear. vert itself into an inquisitorial body over primary as. Bill I am not for arlinitting them without retaining the semblies? And where shall we begin, and where end? preamble in the bill. That connects their admission Suppose we look into their organization for the year with the terms prescribed in the act of June, and that 1836.; That inquiry must necessarily carry us to their or. seitles the boundary line between Michigan and Olio, gunization, and the qualification of their officers for 1835; and puts an end to the long and bitter, if not bloody, and so we should go on to the first precedent under the contest in which those two States have been involved. constitution. The idea is too absurd to dwell upon. Nothing can be more abhorrent to the feelings of erery And why should we doubt a correct procedure in the friend of liberty and humanity, than a fratricidal war be. primary assemblies of the people of Michigan any more

tween two of the States of this Union. I would never ihan in those of Ohio, or any other State? No, sir; the admi! Michigan and her quarrel, but it should be fully people of Michigan had a right to holl their primary and permanently settled before she becomes one of this ireetings and choose their delegates, and they have done

United States. it; and who has a right to gainsay it? There seems to I concur, sir, in the views of the honorable Senator be a dread of the revolutionary character of these from North Carolina, (Mr. STRANGE,) that if this ques. meetings! A dread of the doings of the people! Sir, tion should be brought up hereafter, it must be seitled I have no fear of either. When left to themselves, the by a judicial tribunal. But the act of Congress prescris people will generally do righi; much more so than those bing and making known the terms of admission, and thie who would trammel them, and lead them astray. Nei.

assent of the convention to those terms, together with thier have I any of those apprehensions or gloomy forebo. the preamble of the present bill, woull, I apprehend, dings which seemed to alarm the mind of the honorable

throw an insuperable barrier in the way of a recovery Senator from South Carolina in regard to the violation of by Michigan. I am therefore for retaining the preamble. the constitution; nor have I any fears that the elements A single thought more, and I have done. ' it is not of our Government will be dissolved, which seemed to denied ihat Michigan embraces a population which en. burden the anticipations of the honorable member from titles lier to a rank among her sister States; that she has Ohio, (Mr. Monnis,) although we should adopt the pro. formed a republican constitution and organized her Gov. posed measures of admission. Sir, our glorious inde. ernment under it, and that Congress have approved of it. pendence was the purchase of blood and treasure lavish. She has also given her assent to the terms prescribed, ly expended, and our constitution and form of governo

and now presents herself for adm'ssion into the Union, ment the result of mature wisdom and experience com.

and for her legilimate rank as an independent sovereign bined; and are these States, alter all, bound together by State. Her claim is not without precedent, but has fre. such feeble ligaments? Is the value of our Union so quently been conceded to others. Now, let me ask, slightly apprecialed as 10 be dissolved upon false issues, what is the duly or Congress? Have we a right to deny and for trivial causes! I will not indulge in such antici. her this privilege! Shall we continue tu debar her, pations, especially not as the consequence of this meas. from year to year, of rights and privileges to which she ure.

is entitled, and which she demands at our hands! Sir, Hluch, sir, has been objected to the passing of this bill, a solemn duly clevolves upon us, and I trust that we because the first convention of delegates withheld their shall best discharge it by immediately admitting this assent to the requisitions of the act. I am not at all sur.

State into the Union. prised that they did; nor ought this to operate in any way

Mr. WALKER sail that the Senator from South Car. against their siibs-quent assent. Consider for a mo.

olina (Mr. Calhoun) seemed to consider the question ment the situation of the people of Michigan, when they

of the admission of Michigan as a State of the Union, at chose their delegates to the first convention. They the present session of Congress, as fraught with alarming were then agitated by the question of boundary; they consequences. The preamble of the bill now under con. were disappointed at the decision of Congress; they sideration, the Senator tells us, imbodies principles an. were smarting under the wounds they bail received archical, revolutionary, and subversive of the constitu. from Ohio; and, not having time nor being in a condi

tion of the Union. The Senator says Congress can call tion to reflect upon the advantages and disadvantages of

no other convention than one to amend the constitution a union with the States, they did not consent to the

of the Union. Yet, said Mr. W., they have repeatedly Terms proposed by the National Legislature. Is this,

called conventions to enable the people within certain then, strange? Would it not have been more stronge | territorial linits to form State Governments. And Mr.

V0L XIH.-15


Admission of Michigan.

[Jan. 2, 1837.


W. read extracts from various acts of Congress to this Krw, said Mr. W., the act of Congress authorized the effect.

President to form an opinion as to the validity of the [Mr. Calhoun here said he intended to say that convention, and admit Michigan. He has formed and Congress could call no convention in a State, and communicated to us that opinii n, and now genilemen that Michigan was a State when this convention was would not give the effect even of prima facie evidence lo called.]

the President's opinion, as now officially cominunicated to If, then, said Mr. WALKER, Michigan is a State, or this body. If the President was satisfied with the validity was so when this convention was called or assembled, of the assenting convention, he might, under the law, why does the gentleman refuse to consider her as a have proclaimed Michigan a member of the Union. He State, and dery her, not only now, but till next year, tells us he is satisfied; and yet now that opinion is to have any representation in the Senate of the Union. If she

no effect whatever. All that Congress desired was the (Michigan) is a S'ate, as the gentleman asserts, she must assent of a convention of the people, not of the Legislabe entitled to all the rights of a State, and especially to ture of Michigan; and if the convention be revolutionary, the most important of all those rights, that of represent the act of Congress is revolutionary; for it requires no ation in the Congress of the Union. Sir, said Mr. W., assent or sanction of the Legislature of Michigan. But this convention in Michigan has been assembled, as in if the second convention be revolutionary, because not former cases, by a people passing from territorial pu. called in pursuance of any law of Michigar, why is not pilage to State sovereignty, arid is called by Congress the first convention still more clearly revolutionary, bein the same manner as similar conventioris have been cause called in defiance of the provisions of the constituheretofore called by Congress, for the same purpose. tion of Michigan? But, said Mr. W., if Michigan became But if Michigan be a State, and it be a violation of a State by the adoption by her people of their State con. State sovereignty to authorize the people to call a con- stitution before the last session of Congress, why, when Ibe vention, is it not equally a violation of State sovereignty Senator from Ohio, (Mr. Ewing,) at the last session, infor Congress to authorize the Legislature to call a con- troduced his bill to annul all that had passed, and calling, vention in Michigan, and especially to call such a con- by the mere act of Congress, a new convention in Michivention in a manner repugnant to the provisions of the gan, did not the Senator from South Carolina (Ms. Cal. constitution of Michigan? Yet the Senator from South | Houn) then oppose that act of Congress for calling that Carolina adopts the proceedings of the first convention, { convention in what, it appears, the Senator considers and disowns the proceedings of the second convention. the State of Michigan? Yet all the Senator's friends Was the first convention called in pursuance of the who voted on that bill voted for it; and, of course, if the act of Congress? If so, that convention, according Senator's present position be correct, violated the constito the Senator's argument, is a gross violation of the tution of the Union. J is somewhat remarkable that constitution of the Union; and yet, if that convention Michigan is regarded by many as a Territory, when that was not called in pursuance of the act of Congress, 1 view of the question will esclude her from the Union; the dissent of the convention to the terms proposed and that again she is beld up as a Slate, when that posiby Congress can have no eft ct. Now, one of the tion, it is supposed, will delay her admission. express grounds upon which the first convention re. Mr. W. concluded by observing that, in his opinion, fused its assent to the terms proposed by Congress to delay longer the admission of Michigan would be an was, that the convention then assembled had no control act of the clearest injustice, and a violation of the spirit over the boundary question; the Legislature not having of the constitution and of the ordinance of 1785. pursued the mole designaied by the constitution of Mr. TIPTON addressed the Senate in favor of the Michigan, in calling the convention. And yet the Sen. bill. Again, said he, we have before us the question of ator from South Carolina would give efficacy to the pro- admitting Michigan into the Union as a member of this ceedings of this convention, which disclaims its own confederacy. This subject is an old acquaintance. Four authority and constitutional existence, whilst hie denies years ago it came before us in the form of a memorial the authority of the last convention, assembled in pur. from her Territorial Legislature, praying Congress to suance of the act of Congress. The act providing for authorize the election of delegates to a convention, fur the admission of Michigan as a State of the Union de. the purpose of framing a constitution, and to provide for mands, as a prerequisite of admission, the assent of a her admission into the Union on an equal footing with convention of delegates elected by the people of Michi. the existing Stales. The subject was referred to a segan, for the sole purpose of giving such assent. The lect committee, and a bill was reported accordingly; which, intervention of the Legislature was not required, nay, it | however, did not find favor with a majority of the Senwas previously dispensed with; for the bill, as proposed ate of that day. Every effort made by its friends was at the last session, did first require legislative action; but met by motions to posipone, lay on the table, or adjourn; that clause of the bill was stricken out, as Mr. W. the opposition having the power in the Senate to give the conceived, to satisfy those who contended that the Le- bill the, the session closed without passing the bill, gislature could not, but by the assent of two thirds of that and, as he thought at the time, in denial of justice to the body, assemble a convention for any purpose whatever, people of Micivigan. and that the assent of a majority of the people was all The people of the Territory, thus left to scek justice that Congress required. But now the uimost authority under the ordinance of Congress of July, 1787, in their is given to legislative action by those who denied it's own way appointed delegates 10 a convention, to form authority at the last session of Congress. A convention a constitution and State G:wernment for themselves. But, of delegales, elected by the people, was all that Con. unfortunately, by their constitution, they claimed juris. gress required. That convention has assembled, and | diction over a portion of the territory of the neighboring there is satisfactory evidence that it di truly represent States. They claimed to include within the jurisdictional the wishes of a majority of the people of Michigan. Il limits of Michigan more than a tho :: sand square miles of was a convention called, not by Congress, but in pur. the State of Indiana. This territory was given to Indi. suance of the act of Congress; and the act required no ana by an act of Congress of the 19th of April, 1816, other authority. The President declares that inis con- authorizing the people of Indiana to form a constitution vention bas su assembled, in pursuance of the act of Con- and State Government. The territory was accepted hy gress, and that if Congress were not in session, he would Indiana, her laws extended over it, and thereby placed have issued his proclamation for the admission of Michio beyond the control of Congress or any other power es.

cept that of the people of Indiana. That part of the


Jas. 3, 1837.)

Admission of Michigan.


constitution of Michigan which lays a claim to juris:lic- pursued by the honorable Senator from Ohio, (Mr. MORtion over it, is, therefore, contrary to the constitution RIS.] That Senator was a member of the Judiciary and laws of the United Stales, and necessarily void. Committee, who reported the bill under consideration,

By the act of Congress of the 15th of June, 1836, knew the views entertained by the majority of that comMichigan was admitted into the Union on certain con- mittee, and now he moved to recommit the bill, with inditions, one of which prescribed the limits within which structions to strike out the preamble, because, as he tells she was to exercise jurisdiction; confining her southern us, it recognises the action of the last convention of del. boundary to a line drawn through a point ten miles north egates. The mode pursued in electing delegates to that of the southern extreme of Lake Michigan, which line convention he is pleased to characterize as revolutionais the northern boundary of the State of Indiana. To ry; and he tells us, all that is necessary is to s rike out the boundaries thus prescribed, Michigan was required the preamble, and repeal the third section of the law to give her assent by a convention of delegates elected of the 15th of June, requiring the assent of the people of by the people for that sole purpose. The President of Michigan to the terms of admission, and all will be right. the United States, on being notified that the assent of I suppose he thinks all is safe as regards his own State, Michigan was given to the terms prescribed by Con- and that others must take care of themselves. Sir, i gress, was authorized and required to issue his procla- hope that the members of this Senate will bear in mind mation announcing the fact; upon which she was to be that, in framing the constitution of Ohin, doubts existed admitted into the Union without further legislation on whether a line drawn due east from the southern extreme the part of Congress.

of Lake Michigan would terminate upon Lake Erie or it appears, by the documents communicated to the the Detroit river; and the convention incorporated in Senate by the President, that there have been two con. the 6th section of the 7th article of the constitution ventions held in Michigan since the adjournment of Con. of that State, a provision, that if the line referred to gress in July last. The delegates composing the first should not include the most northerly cape of the Mauwere elected in pursuance of a law of herLegislature. The mee bay, then, and in that case, the northern boundary convention consisted of forty-nine members, met at Ann was to be extendeid so far north as to include it, with the Arbor in the month of September, and, by a vote of 28 assent of Congress. And, sir, the honorable members to 21, refused to accept the terms of admission proposed from Ohio, in this and the other branch of Congress have by Congress. Various causes operated, we are told, to labored incessantly for forty years to obtain the assent produce this result. The people of Michigan, finding of Congress to that provision, and it was not until the last the very unpleasant position in which they were placed session that a law could be passed fixing that boundary by the non-acceptance of the terms of admission pro. as he wished it, and now the honorable member tells us posed 10 them, met in primary assemblies, and resolved all is well. He is willing to strike the preamble from to hold elections in the different counties for delegates ibis bill, and repeal the third section of the law of last 10 a convention, to accept the terms of admission pro: session, both of which require the agreement of Michposed.

igan to take the northern boundary of Indiana, as Elections were bolden in an orderly and proper manner now established, as her soulbern limit. Sir, I shall yote in every county but two. Near three thousand more votes against the recommitment, and against striking out the were polled at tbis than at the former election. About preamble of the present bill. I view the preamble as in 70 delegales were chosen, who met in convention on the fact the key to the true intent and meaning of the bill, 14th ult., and by their resolution, now on our tables, and as important as any part of it. If it be stricken out, I unanimously acceded to the terms upon which their ad. must vote against the bill. To pass the bill without the mission was provided for.

preamble, would, in my judgment, endanger the peace Honorable Senators on the opposite side of this ques. of more than one State. To retain it can be protion deny the legality of this latter convention. They ductive of no evil, whilst striking it out might be followtell us it savors of revolution or misrule, is subversive of ed by serious consequences. it might give Michigan the constitution and principles of the Government under grounds to believe that she would be supported here in which we live, lacks the sanction of law, and does not by the extraordinary claim she has set up to more than a any means express the sentiments of the people of Mich- thousand square miles of the State of Indiana, a lerritoigan. What would the honorable Senators have bad the ry wbich Indiana will never resign. people of Michigan to do? Congress had prescribed no I am in favor of the bill as it came from the Judiciamethod to be pursued by them in electing delegales to ry Committee. It will quiet forever the unjustifiable the convention. It said nothing about a law of the Legis claim of Michigan to a portion of the State from which I lature of Michigan being necessary to legalize the election. come. I am anxious she should be admitted into the But, on the other hand, the delegates who composed the Union, when this can be done with a due regard to the first convention declared, in the preamble to their reso- interests of the neighboring States; and I think this can Jutions, that the Legislature of Michigan derived no pow. be best effected by passing the bill as it came from the er from their constitution to authorize or direct the elec.committee. tion of delegates tu a convention.

Before the question was taken, on motion of Mr EW If a competent authority had luid down rules by which ING, of Obio, these elections were to be conducted, the qualification The Senate adjourned. of voters, fc., they would have been impliciily obeyed; but as rothing is said in the constitution or law upon the

TUESDAY, JANUARY 3. subject, the people were left to pursue such a mode of arriving at the object as they thought proper, and we

After the reception and reference of sundry petitions, learn that the elections were conducted in the manner

the Senate resumed the consideration of the bill declaheretofore usual in the Territory. With this I am satis ring the admission into the Union of fied. I consider it a convention of delegates elected by

THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. the people, for the sole purpose of giving the assent re. The question pending was on a mution made yesterquired; that they have given their assent will not, I pre. day by úr. Morris, to strike out the preamble of the su me, be denied. And, such being the case, I feel bound, bill. This motion Mr. M. now varied, by moving an from a sense of justice, 10 fulfil the agreement made amendment to the preamble, (recapitulating the prowith them on our part.

ceedings in Michigan under the act of the last session of Als. T. said he was somewbat surprised by the course Congress for the admission of the State,) which modifi


Admission of Michigan.

[Jar. 3, 1837.

cation lie was desirous of trying before the question gress for the admission of Michigan into the Union; that should be taken on striking out the preamble.

it was a convention according to law. This is the fact Mr. EWING, of Ohio, rose and addressed the Senate asserted in the preamble, and this I controvert. nearly as follows:

The evidence is well condensed in the recital which To the bill now before the Senate (said he) I have no my colleague offered as an amendment to the preamble, other objection than that which I stated at the last ses. and we have it more at large from the President, in his Bion, viz: that I feel reluctant to admit a new state into official communication now on our tables. Prom this it the Union, unless she come in regularly, in accordance appears that a convention, called by an act of the Lewith a law of Congress preriously enacied.

gislature of Michigan, did assemble, and, after delibera. But I waived this objection in the case of Arkansas, tion, did refuse to enter the Union under the conditions because a precedent had been set by the admission of of the act of Congress, and that their dissent was for. Bichigan at the last session. Still, however, I think it warded to the Executive. Now, it is said by the honor. wrong: the practice is loose, irregular, and calculated to able Senator from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Buchanan,) this lead to bad consequences. And i think it proper to say convention was not held according to the act of Con; that in the present question, in any of its forms, the gress; that Congress directed the people to meet; and State of Ohio bas no interest whatever; none in the pre- that no reference was bed in the act to the interposition amble, none in the bill itself, save that interest wlich she of the Legislature of Michigan; but that a subsequent shares in common with all the other members of the con- convention, which, it is said, afterwards assembled, alone federacy; and, in voting on this question, I shall vote satisfied the law. The ques!ion, then, is between the precisely as if Ohio were the most distant State in the two conventions. Ifihe first was legal, the last was noi. Union from Michigan, instead of being separated from it If the first was not legal, then we may inquire into the only by a boundary line, which line was once disputed. legality of the second. Now, let me put one question

On this subject my colleague and myself entirely con. 10 that honorable Senator; I ask him whether, had the cur. Indeed, we have from the first differed but little first convention, instead of rejecting, accepted the con. in our opinion as to the controversy lately pending be. ditions contained in the act of Congress, would he, in iween our Siale and Michigan; but we liere concur en. that case, have held that assent illegal? Would he then tirely as to the effect of this preamble upon her, and we have said that it was a convention not held according to may fairly ass: me that we speak the opinion and feelings the act of Congress? I would almost venture to say that of the State on that point. We hold this preamble un. he would not; I rather think the convention would have true in fact, and of most dangerous tendency. Our State, passed pretty well. But if so, what has altered the matfor whose benefit gentlemen profess to have inserted it, ier? If that was a proper mode of calling a convention has no interest in the thing. She does not ask for it; which assented, why was it not a proper mode of calling and if she had an interest, no matter how deep and vital, a convention which refused its assent? But after the she would not consent that that interest should be sub. convention assembled by the Legislature of the State served by stating, in a solemn act of legislation, that of Michigan (for our act did recognise her as a State, which is untrue.

though I think very improperly) had dissenied, no ai. Permit me to reiterate that there exists at this mo.

tempt whatever was made by the constituted authorities ment no controversy whatever between Ohio and Michi- of the State to bring together another; none whatever. gan, nor does there exist, at least on the part of the But an assemblage of the people, in meetings which are citizens of Ohio, the slightest feeling of enmity toward familiarly denominated caucuses, was held in some of the their neighboring fellow-citizens. There is no such counties, and mutually agreed to call a new convention. feeling there; and I well know there is none here. The Committees get together, and, after consultation, pub. controversy which once agitated and excited them is lish a time and place at which it is to assemble. The now setiled. Congress, by its act, has assented to the whole maiter was utterly unauthorized, save by party boundary claimed by Ohio in 1803, before Michigan was organization, and was the effect of such organization, erected into a Territory; and unless the act of 1805 is Will any man dispute it? Will any man pretend that irrevocable, there can never again be any controversy this laiter conveniion was the effect of a simultaneous between Ohio and Micliigan on the question of boundary and spontaneous impulse of the whole people of Niichi. If it is pronounced irrevocable, then it is not in the gan?' Is there any tlie least proof of such being the fac!! power of Congress to modify or touch it, and ihe bound. The convention originated in county calls; and all the ary therein specified will be declared by the Supreme counties but iwo joined in the plan, and held elections Court to be the true boundary. But if that act is not for delegales. What evidence is there of any regulari. irrevocable, we are so affected by it that it never can ty in these elections! be revived against Ohio.

Let us look at the papers. We have, to be sure, the But I said the preamble to this bill asserts whai is not act of the convention itself, giving the assent of the State a fact. I shall endeavor to make that position good. to the act of admission, and which was transmitted to What is its language?

the President of the United States. And we have the “Whereas, in pursuance of the act of Congress of certificate of General Williams, said to llave been the June the fifteenih, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, en. presiding officer of the convention, and the names of the titled . An act to establish the northern boundary of the delegates. But there is not any official act or signature State of Ohio, and to provide for the admission of the of any officer known to the laws, either of Mich gan or State of Michigan into the Union, upon the conditions of the United States; not the slightest proof of their therein expressed,' a convention of delegates, elected election or qualifica ion. That paper, containing the as. by the people of the said State of Michigan, for the sole sent of Michigan in a malter so important, is not at all purpose of giving their assent to the boundaries of the authenticated. Where do you find the law according to said State of Michigan, as described, declared, and estab. which it was conducted? There is none. It rests on Jished, in and by the said act, did, on the fifteenth of nothing. There was a meeting of certain individuals December, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, assent to held at a place called, I believe, Ann Arbor; and we the provisions of said act: therefore"

have certain resolutions of theirs, which are to avail Now, I take it that, in the insertion of this preamble, against the doings of a convention held in pursuance of the Judiciary Committee meant to declare that the con- a law of the Siale, and all whose acis are fully and legal. vention referred to was a legal convention; that it was ly authenticated. I cannot recognise such a paper.. i Buch a convention as is contemplated in the act of Con. must do violence to my own judgment, should I receive Jax. 3, 1837.)

Admission of Michigan.


it. Even the chairman of the Judiciary Committee eracy by an act resting on this loose assertion, without could not do it. He called upon the Senators elect (and evidence. whose admission here is to follow the passage of the bill) It is said, however, that the law of Congress pointed to say ihat every thing at this self-styled convention was out no particular mode in which the people of Michigan well and duly conducted; and they do say so, and give the were to meet, in order to express their assent or dissent privale letters of certain individuals to that effect. And to the proposition contained in the law; that this was an they give, further and that I understand to be the evi. omission on the part of Congress, and no fault in the dence principally relied on—an article from a Detroit people of Michigan. Agreed: I know it was a defect in newspaper, stating that such an election was had, such the law. I saw it, too, at the time. I understood and sug. convention held, 3,000 more votes were given for the gested it, but to no purpose. But how was that bill pass. delegates to this last convention than for those who con- ed! It was forced through the Senate by a majority of stituted the first convention. This, sir, is the evidence one vote; it was driven through late at night, and those to support an organic law of a new State about to enter who were opposed to it had not time allowed them 10 the Union! Yes, of an organic law, the very highest state and to support their objections, or even to counsel act a coinmunity of men can perform. Letters, refer. with the majority as to the mode of obviating them; and ring to other letters! and a scrap of a newspaper! for the reison, if I rightly remember, that one of the

I am not satisfied that the Government of my country, Senators on the other side wished to make a short ex. or of any portion of it, should stand on such a founda- cursion of business or pleasure into the country. tion. I am not willing that an organic law of a sover. I, for one, looked upon the third section of the act eign State should be thus made and thus authenticated. for the admission of Michigan as a perfectly nugatory

But supposing that all the counties of Michigan did provision. It seems to be supposed that the Senators agree to ibe proposal, and did send delegates to this last from Ohio sought the insertion of this third section be. convention, and we had the returns of the elections; cause they did not agree that the assent of the Legisla. yet who, I ask, presided at the polls? Who delermin. ture of Michigan and her Senators and Representative ed what voles should be received? How many votes here to the conditions in the bill would be binding on the was each man who favored the object permitted to give? State. We dich, it is true, hold that their assent would Who voted? Was it the qualified electors, or was it all be invalid. We did, it is true, say that their assent the men, women, and children, of Michigan and its vicino would be nugatory; but we did not, therefore, ask for ity?

the third section authorizing a convention, and we held The honorable Senator from Maine (Mr. Dara) says that the assent of such convention, if given, would be we are not in the habit of going into town meetings to see void also. And why? Because Congress had recognised whether the votes are regularly polled for members of the constitution of Michigan as that of a sovereign State; Congress; and he asks why we should be so particular in we had recognised her Senators as elected under it, and this case. The gentleman'seems to have no conception of then proposed, by an act of Congress, to authorize the the difficulty in which his party have involved themselves. amendment of that constitution in another mode than that it is true, we don't go into the doings of town meer pointed out by the constitution itself. And if she were ings; and why? Because those meetings are held by a State, as that law avers, I held, and I hold now, that regular authority; the officers who preside are appointed we could no more touch her constitution by an act of by the State, and their certificate is official and legal ev. Congress, than that of any other sovereign State. Lin. idence of that which they certify. That certificate is sub.deed did not admit that she was a State; but gentlemen mitted to a superior officer, appointed also according to on the other side did aver it; that law assumed it, and an law; that high officer of the State is known to the nation, essential part of its provisions rested on the assumption. and his certificate is evidence to us of all that it covers, Gentlemen havi taken their position, and sustained it by thus constituting a regular chain of legal evidence and a vote of the Senate, had no riglit to change that position; official authentication. But here there is no official, no and on the ground chosen by themselves we met them, legal evidence whatever-nothing but the certificates and now meet them. The act, then, as it is now construed and statements of unauthorized and generaliy interested by the Senator from Pennsylvania, authorized the pen. individuals.

ple of a State to meet in convention and amend their In this case, therefore, if we aim al truth, we must go constitution; and, in the plenitude of our power and of into detail; we must poll the votes; we must see for our. our democracy, we pass by the Legislature of the State, selves whether the people were called together, and how and appeal directly in the people; we ask the people to cailed, and whether they obeyed the call; because we act without organization, without law; and wlien they, or have no regularly appointed chain of officers to ascertain such part of them as will obey our call, have so acted, these facts and certify them to us.

we pronounce the act valid, and the constitution of the But the honorable Senator from Tennessee says, that State changed. You have the same right, sir, to set though we may be without evidence which is strictly leaside the regulariy constituted authorities of Ohio, to gal, yet we do possess such evidence as is made every pass by her constitution avid her Legislature, and appeal day the basis of legislation; nay, that we often proceed to the people to change their organic law; and when the on much looser evidence; and he seems to think that we Caucus which you have so called shall have met and may well dispense with that exact legal evidence on this changed it, you have the same right to recognise and occasion. And yet he says that the recital in the pre. hold it binding upon the State.

The doctrine is mon). amble of the bill, containing an assertion of facts of which strous, and of most mischievous tentency. we have no legal proof, will create a legal estoppel It has been said by the Senator from Tennessee [.r. against Michigan, which will forever bar her from here. GRUNDT) that this is no parly question. It is very irue after contesting the question of boondary with Ohio. it ought not to be made one; so far as I have any feeling Indeed! and what sort of an es!oppel is this to bind a in the matter, it can only be thus far a party question. sovereign and independent community? The letters of If the parties in this republic have resolved themselves A, B, and C, and a paragraph in a Detroit newspaper! into a constitutional and caucus party, I am of the party Will the honorable chairman of the Judiciary Committee that goes for constitutions and constitutional government, of the Senate of the United States place himself upon against caucus and a government by caucus. Ard as this ground in a malter of such moment? lle cannot, I his preamble goes directly to put doun constitutional &m sure, have duly considered the matter; he could not government, and put up in its place and legalize a gov. deliberately wish to bind one of the States of this confed. I ernment by caucus, I am opposed to it, and I belong to

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