North Carolina Newspapers

circumstances to shew how next to im
possible it was for them to form a con
stitution that would suit the future con
dition of the state. The same feelings
that now are called Eastern and JVest
r'r?:, then, and long before, existed in
the Province of North-Carolina. If
they existed among the people, it is
reasonable to presume that they were
not absent from the Congress of Hali
fax. Indeed the journals of that body
iurnish proofs of the fact. In the
several Congresses before that of Hal
ifax, the votes were always taken by
41 Counties and Towns." In that of
Halifax, a proposition was made to
Jon the same principles, or wiin the same
propriety. The states are distinct sove
reignties, and it is by compromise that
they all have an equal weight in the Sen
ate oF the Federal Legislature ; not so as
regards the counties. There is not a
greater disparity between the population
of Rhode Island and New-York, than
there is between Columbus and Rowan :
and yet, in that branch of the federal le
gislature where the people are represent
ed, Rhode Island has only two members,
while New-York has twenty-seven : but
here in both the Senate and Commons,
Columbus has as many members as Row
an so that it is not the people, as a rela
third of the free population of the sta'.e,
viz. 144,04 1 souls ; but these are entitled
only to 33 members, or 66 less than what
the same amount of population, in anoth
er part of the state, is entitled to.
Is this, said Mr. F. justice, or is h re
publicanism ? Is this giving to the citi
zens of difiercnt sections of the state an
equal participation in the rights and priv
ileges of the government ? Surely not.
litit perhaps this s) stem has its palliatives !
Since we have not an equal voice in ma
king the laws and appointing the officers
for their execution, perhaps, by way of
-tenement, we are exempted from bear
ing an equal share of the burdens of the
live part of the whole, but the counties, " state ? No, sir, we pay our full share of
as a kind of separate government, that ; the taxes, and, in times of clanger, we
change the mode so as that each indi-' arc represented. The original of this furnish our full quota for the public do
vidual member should have one vote, (feature in the constitution will be seen, j fence. Yes, we arctaxedby population
t;v- - :.: when at is remembered that counties, in i but we are represented bv comities. What
a u i liii.-) ii ii himi ion r v r i v ,v f-srr rn i - - - , , M
j x
county voted against it, none but the
smallest counties in the east voted. In
the Congress that adopted the consti
tution, 3G counties were represented ;
ot these, only ten were western : All
that wide range of country lying west
ot Kaleigh, was then divided only into
. rrtt .1 t
icu counties. i nat nouy being thus
composed, suppose that an effort had
been made to fix the principles of rep
resentation on other basis than the pres
ent, what would have been the result ?
The same feeling that will influence
members on these resolutions would
have put it down : the vote, in all prob
ability, would have been 2G against 10.
These, sir, said Mr. F. were the
circumstances under which our state
government was formed ; and this ac
counts for the features of aristocracy
that appear throughout the constitu
tion. In fact, few indeed were the al
terations that the constitution made in
the then existing laws and polity of the
province : even the names were retain
ed. The judicial department was but
little altered : and the legislature not
much more, except that instead of the
u House of Burgesses" the popular
branch is called 44 the House of Co?r.-
mons, a name as appropriate for this
branch, as the House of Lords would
be lor the Senate. Fhe General As
sembhj was the term by which the le
gislature was called under the provin
cial government, and it is retained in
the constitution. The qualification of
htty acres of land, and the representa
tion by counties, were taken from the
laws of the province. In short, sir,
the provincial laws and customs were
the materials out of which the consti
tution was built, and the constitution is
but little more than a compilation from
these materials. And this is the mon
ument of wisdom that we are told it
is. sacrilege to touch ! Sir, it is right
to reverence the work of our forefa
th ers, but its being their work does not
make it perfect ; like ourselves they
were erring men ; nor do I hold with
the maxim of the " Holy Alliance,"
that " whatever is ancient is good"
Even admitting that the constitution
was the best for the times in which it
was made, sure its framers were not
political prophets to foresee that it
rould suit equally well the conditions
of future generations.
'i lie old Congress, said Mr. F. that
frarred the articles of confederation, the
first American government, was a body
of men never surpassed for warmth of
patriotism, clearness of intelligence, and
force of sagacity ; and yet, sir, these men,
with all their wisdom and foresight, form
ed a government that in a few years be
gan to tumble to pieces : to save our in
fant republic, a new Convention was call
ed and a new Constitution was adopted is it, then, that the sages of the old
Congress failed in thSf first government,
tnd that the Congress of Halifax should
at once have readied the point of perfec
tion ! It is not so ; our constitution is
full of defects ; and I will now proceed to
point out som-2 of them.
To dwell upon all the defects of the
constitution, said Mr. F. would require
more time than he could at present com
mand, lie would, therefore, only take
up a part, and leave a wide field for his
friends to occupy.
Of all trie objectionable parts of our
constitution, the sy stern of reirescntafion
is the most unjust and oppressive. Upon
this, said he, I shall confine my remarks ;
and for the sake of being better under
stood, I shall consider, 1st. The represen
tation of the people. 2diy. The repre
sentation of property ; for the theory of
the constitution seems to be, the repre
sentation of the people in one branch of
the legislature, and of property in the oth
er. lc.t. Then cs to the representation of
the people. And here he it said, tint in
practice, the people are not represented
at all. It is not the fiecfde, in the true
meaning, it is the comities, that arc repre
sented. If the people, were represented,
numbers would form the basis of the sys
tem. The counties arc as much icprc
fented in this House as the States are in
the Senate of the U. States ; but not up-
thc first settlement of the province, were
separate and distinct governments we
have altered the theory, but retained the
practice. This then is a relic from the
old colonial system ; but, sir, come from
where it may, it is a system under the op
eration of which, our state government
has ceased to be a republic, and become a
complete and perfect aristocracy. What
is an aristocracy, but where the f civ govern
the many ? Is it not essential in a repub
lic that all the citizens of the same grade
of qualifications should have an equal par
ticipation in the rights and privileges of
the government r and that a majority
shall rule ? No government where these
principles are absent, can merit the name
of a republican government ; and, sir, it
will not be difficult to prove that this is
the case under our constitution. To show
that it is, said Mr. F. I ask your attention
to a few calculations bottomed on the last
census, anil on the revenue laws ol the
state. Let me here premise, that in all
calculations made on population, the free
fiofmlathn alone is taken ; for that is the
only population entitled to representation
under the constitution ; and, when gentle
men are contending for the perfection of
that instrument, they surely will not wish
to assume data not recognized by it. Slaves
are not felt in our legislature, cither as
population or as property ; and where cal
culations arc made to shew the operation
of the system, we must confine ourselves
to the provisions of that system. Mr. F.
said he made these remarks, because some
gentlemen may wish to assume the feder
al 7iumhcrs as the data of calculations an
assumption which he could not admit.
View I. The State is divided into 62
counties, of very unequal extent and pop
ulation, yet each sending to the legisla
ture the same number of members
making in all 193, including the borough
representation. The free population of
the state is 433,912 souls, which, divided
by the number of members in the legis
lature, gives to each member 2248 souls;
or, in other words, every 2248 souls, up
on principles of equality, would be enti
tled to one representative. Take this
then as the ratio of one member, and how
will the result appear ? Why, the coun
ties of Washington, Jones, Greene Chow
an, Columbus and Brunswick, each would
be entitled to one member, while, upon
the same calculation, Rowan would obtain
9, and Orange 7 members. But take the
free population of Greene or Washing
ton, as the ratio that shall send 3 mem
hers; and, then, Cuch of the little coun
ties just named, will retain their 3 mem
bers, while Rowan will send 27, Orange
would gentlemen say, were we to propose
as a law, that each county in the state
should pay the same amount of taxes in
to the treasury, and in times of war that
each county should furnish the same
number of men for defence ? We would
soon be stunned by the cries of injustice !
injustice ! And, sir, where would there
be any thing more unjust or oppressive in
this, than that each county should have
the same share in making the laws I But
let us see the proportion of taxes paid by
some of the counties, in comparison with
that paid by others. The counties of Co
lumbus, Carteret, Currrituck, Ashe, Tyr
rel, Washington, Haywood, Hyde, Bruns
wick and Moore, ten in number, in the
year 1819, from all the sources of taxa
tion, as returned by the sheriffs, paid into
the Treasury g4,195 85 : while Rowan
and Orange themselves paid within a frac
tion of 85,000. But nothing more stri
kingly exposes the injustice of our system
of repi esentation, than the fact, that there
are a number of small counties that do
not furnish taxes enough to pay the wages
of their own members.
The counties of Currituck, Columbus,
Carteret, Ashe, Tyrrel, Hyde and Hay
wood, in the year 1819, paid into the
treasury &2,607, ancj for thc same yc.-r
their members drew out S3.441, or SS34
more than was paid into the treasury.
for the year 1820,
Tajres paid into
the Treasury.
S W 24
3S4 29
245 87
406 09
o4 33
460 62
259 77
lay tlraiim nut
S466 90
435 40
449 S3
383 20
472 80
S3.206 10
1 1 . . i L T . . ...... i !.. ! . . -
ami me outer large couuues m uuc
Vievj II. To the six counties just nam
ed, add Tyrrel, Martin, Lenoir, Hyde,
Gates and Carteret, making twelve coun
ties. These twelve counties contain a
population of 33,037 souls, while Rowan
and Orange contain 37,963, nearly the
same amount ; but these twelve counties
send 36 members, and Rowan and Orange
only 6, exclusive of the borough repre
sentation. Vierj III. We have seen that twelve
small counties contain 38,037 souls: con
trast this with the population of twelve
large counties, viz : Rowan, Orange, Lin
coln, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Stokes, Ru
therford, Burke, Iredell, Randolph, Surry,
and Wake, with a population of 156,726
S2,509 43
From this sum of S2,509 43 deduct
S168 50, repaid to the sheriffs of those
counties for mileage in attending to make
settlement, and you have the sum of S2,-
310 93 as the amount paid into the treas
ury lor that year ; while their members
drew out the sum of S3,206 10, or S865
17, exceeding the amount of their taxes.
The proportion of each county the expen
ses of the judicial and executive branches
of the government, is about S 165 annual
ly ; which added to the 865 17 makes
these seven counties an equal expense to
the state of g4,120 over and above their
taxes. At this rate, from the taking of - are opposed to the calling of a conven
the census in 1820 to 1830, when another
enumeration will take place, they will
have cost the treasury beyond their taxes,
the sum of g4 1,000, a sum not vcrv far
short of the whole amount of the taxes of
the last yeai on lands and slaves. Now,
sir, is there any thing just or equitable in
a system that operates in this manner ? Is
acies of the barren sand banks ot Curri
tuck, or the rocks of Haywood, not worth
one cent per acre, should be entitled to
vote for a senator, while the same privi
lege is denied to him that owns forty-nine
acres of the rich bottom of the Roanoke,
worth S50 per acre ! How, sir, could
this strange and unequitable provision
have got into the constitution ? Like all
the rest a mere copy from the colonial
government. Under that government,
fifty acres of land was a qualification to
vote for a member of the House of Bur
gesses. By the act of 1764, which estab
lished by law the Church of England in
the Province, fifty acres of land entitled
a person to vote for Vestrymen ; and by an
act of 1723, only freeholders of fifty acres
of land were permitted to keep a horse of
a certain description. In fact, this free
hold of fifty acres, seems to have been
the general qualifier for all officers among
the provincial law-givers ; and perhaps
for this reason it was carried into the con
stitution. Thus land weighs down popu
lation, and all other kinds of property put
together, while slaves, our next valuable
species of property, is neither felt in the
legislature as property, nor as population.
Sir, said Mr. F. have I succeeded in
shewing that there are defects in our con
stitution, that ou?ht to be amended ? If
, j
so, why not do it now ? Can there ever
be a season more favorable for such a
work than the present ? We are at peace
with ourselves, and the world ; no vio
lent factions harrass and vex the passions
of the people ; the public mind is at rest,
save on this one subject ; feelings of
harmony and liberality reign throughout
the land. It is a time, indeed, that invites
to a review of our political institutions.
It would seem as if the genius of our re
public had lulled to repose the hydra of
faction, on purpose to give her favorite
people an opportunity to perfect their
system of government ; and, accordingly,
we see our sister states availing them
selves of the happy season. .Massachu
setts, that framed her government under
more favorable circumstances than we
did, has, nevertheless, revised her consti
tution. Maine, her eldest daughter, has
erected a new one. Connecticut, the land
of steady habits, the people that are fond
of ancient things and prejudices, has re
modelled her irovernment, and made it
more republican. The great state of
New-York has just completed the impor
tant work, and jnven to the people a new
and better constitution. Besides these,
all the other old states have made impor
tant changes in their constitutions, and all
the new states have held conventions and
framed governments. What does all this
prove ? That the people of other states
do not consider their constitutions perfect !
How, then, does it happen that ours alone
should require no amendment ? And, si,
after all, wnat i; it we ask of you ? Not
to lay violent hands on the constitution,
tear it to pieces, and scatter it to the
winds of heaven ! No : only to put the
question to the people Will you, or will
you not, have a Convention to revise the
Constitution ? Even if you doubt the pro
priety of altering the constitution, surely
you will not withhold the question from
the people. It a majority of the people
the government, ana we as;i no more
this we ought to have, this we must have ;
and, without the smallest intention tc
menace, I may add this ive vAll have.
(Debate to be continued.)
He comes, the herald of a noisy world,
News from all nations lumb'ring at his back.
it not enough that we must permit these
small counties to equal powers with the
larger ones Must we actually pay them
for making laws for us ?
I shall, now, said Mr. F. leave this part
of the subject, and proceed to the next
branch of it the representation of firofi
erty. It is a principle now universally
acknowledged, that property ought to be
felt in the councils of the government :
not to have a predominating influence, but
a proportionate weight. One of the great
objects in establishing government is for
the protection of property, and nine-tenths
of all the taxes that support government,
! are raised directly or indirectly from prop
Thus 38,037 souls in certain small coun- erty. It is, then, nothing more than jus-
ties, send as many members to the legis-itice and good policy that propeity should
laturc as 156,726 souls, existing in a like have something like a relative represcn
iniiu.iui 01 larcre couuues uic nunc uuun 111 uic luuiiuhs ui 1111.1 is
this the case under our constitution ? Is
the weight of property graduated and rep
resented as it ought to be ? Certainly not.
One species of property only is represen
ted, viz. land ; and the land-holdci s have
just double the weight in the legislature
that population and every species of prop
erty put together have. And to make
large counties contain 1 18,689 souls more
than the twelve smaller ones.
Vieiv IV. The counties of Washington,
Jones, Greene, Chowan, Brunswick, Co
lumbus, Tyrrel, Martin, Lenoir, Hyde,
Catcs, Carteret, Ashe, Beaufort, Bladen,
Bertie, Camden, Currituck, Franklin,
Hertford, Havwood, Moore, Northampton,
Nash, New-Hanover, Onslow, Pitt, Pas-; the system stiil worse, even land is very
quotank, Perqiiimons, Warren, Wayne, unequally and unfairly represented: 1st,
Person and Richmond, in all 33, contain as to value. The lands of Gates, Colum-
1 lt,923 ,ouls, just about cue-third of t!,o bus, Lenoir, Ashe, Haywood, Perquimons,
free population of the state : yet thev send Pasquotank and Tvrrel, containing U3CO,-
99 members, which is a majority of the 000 acres of land, in 1315 w re valued at
whole legislature ! Does it not plainly S 1 ,7 I ,S 10. But the lands of Po-v:m a-
appcar, from thi view of the subject, that lrie wore valued at S 1.870,1-12. and Hal-
one-iLnct ot the population of the state lfax at 13 : And vet each of these
completely govern and control the other ' poor counties hae as much weight in the
t'vo-thirds ? What is this but aristocracy I Senate as liowan or Halifax. 2dly, as to
Thcf:: govern the many : one-third con- i extent. Rowan Iras a greater extent of
trohng two-thirds making all the laws i territory than some four or five of the
appointing all the ofliccrs, judicial, execu
live and military ? Again : the eleven
large counties (omitting Wake) cnume-i
little counties just named but she has
no more influence in the Senate than
cither of them. Can there be any thing
rated in -ici-j 3c, also contain about one-1 more unjust, than that the holder of fiftv
tion, we will at once submit without a
murmur: if a majority arc in favor of
tne measure, then, surely, there is not a
man on this floor so unjust and anti-re
publican as to prevent it, even if he could.
Then lei the question to the people
to the source of all political power ; and
whatever they determine, let us, like good
republicans, submit to. What is it that
our eastern brethren fear from a conven
Hon i Are they afraid to trust the peo
ple with their own rights ? Are the peo
ple of North-Carolina less enlightened.
less virtuous, than those of the other
states ? Are they less enlightened and
less virtuous now. than they were forty
years ago ? Say not so ! it is a libel on
the state I on the march of the human
mind !
But gentlemen apprehend, if a conven
tion is called, that the power will fall into
the hands of the people, and that a ma
jority of them live in the West. Admit
!t, and what then ? Ought the power not
to rest with the people ? And what have
you to fear from the people of the west ?
vrc our interests not the same ? Are we
not brothers ? Can we in the west adopt
anv measure, or pass any law, that will
injure you, without, at the same time, in
juring ourselves ? Surely not ! No : we
expect nothing from a convention but jus
tice, but equal rights in common with the
people in every other section of the state !
These, sir, arc our claims, and are they
not just, and reasonable ? We appeal to
your magnanimity and republicanism.
The rights that we claim, were won by
the joint exertions of our forefathers.
Your fathers and our fathers mingled their
mooci in the same holy cause : they won
the boon together. Why, then, will you,
in dividing,claim the greater half? Wherp
is that love of justice, and of right, that
fired the bosoms of our A ashes" David
sons, and Moores, and their generous com
patriots ? -Has it fled forever I Sav not
so. May it return and inspire our 'east
ern brethren with the influence of that
sacred maxim, of doing unto others as
you would wish others to do unto you. It
is all we ask ; give us but an equal parti
cipation with yourselves in the rights of
London', J an. 5.- The project of the
law of the public press proposed by the
new French Ministers, is given in oui
preceding columns. These men pledget!
themselves, when seeking oluce, to dis
pense with the previous censorship, but
actual possession of office appears to have
had a wonderful effect upon their memo
ry. They proposed U limit the exercise
of the censorship, it is true, but in place
of the curtailment, they substitute a mea
sure of increased severity, which enable?
Goverement to suspend or entirely sup
press any journal which has net the good
fortune to find favour in their sight. It
is not probable that a Ministry got into
power by the affectation of liberal views,
should survive the insult offered to pub
lic opinion on the proposals of a law that
completely extinguishes the liberty of the
press, and with it aims a deadly blow at
the constitution and the liberties of the
German papers, and a Dutch Mail, the
latter with papers to the 2d instant, arriv
ed this mornirg. They contain an ac
count of a curious affair between some
Turkish and Russian soldiers on the
Pruth, but was merely an accidental ren
counter. The Austria?! Observer, from
the 19th to the 22d Dec. inclusive, has
no news from Turkey and Greece. The
story of the assassination of the Grand
Seignior is now become an exploded fab
rication. There is no agitation in the funds thiv
day. They remain steady.
The Government Officers were all bus
tle yesterday, and it is understood that
several important orders were issued, with
reference to the Declaration of war by
Russia, which is now hourly expected.
3Torriing fiaficr.
We understand that Lieutenant-General
Sir Edward Paget, G. C. B. now com
manding the Forces at Ceylon, is appoin
ted Commanderin Chief in the East Indies,
from which the return of the Marquis ol
Hastings, who holds that appointment, as
well as that of Governor-General, appears
certain ; as also that a Civilian will suc
ceed the Marquis as Governor-General.
Paris, Jan. 2. Great expectation was
to-day excited by a report which wan
spread in the morning, that Ministers had
at last resolved to come forth from behind
their veil of mystery and indecision, and
to propose to the Legislature their new
law for the journals. Accordingly, though
no ministerial communication was an
nounced, great numbers of people pro
ceeded to the Chamber of Deputies.
The late change of the Cabinet, in conse
quence of the declared dissatisfaction of
the Chamber the withdrawing nf thn
late ministerial project of law, when it
was about to be discussed on account of
its repugnance to public opinion and the
known sentiments of many of the Ultras
against any other project that should in
volve a previous censorship (with which,
nevertheless, it was supposed Ministers
could not immediately dispense,) gave
an extraordinary degree of interest to
this first legislative essay of the new Min
istry. It was presented to day. AH the
Ministers were present. The fruit of
their protracted labours and renewed con
sultations cannot fail to inspire you with
wonder, and may be considered as deci
sive of their fate. Their project has
struck all the lovers of free discussion ,
with horror. It embraces the censorship
in certain cases, and introduces arbitrary
power into the Courts when arbitrary pow
er ceases in the censors. If the Court
Royal, after a solemn sitting, and without
a jury, thinks a journal conducted on bad
principles, it may suspend and even sup
press it. Of course any Opposition Jour
nal may, in the opinion of the Ministry,
be considered as conducted in a bad spirit.
1 have not been able to get vou a cony ot
the new law, but the following is the sub
stance of its most important provisions.
Art. I. No Journals, except those
which at present exist, can henceforth ap
pear without the authority of Government.
Art. 2. The offences of the journals
against individuals will be prosecuted in
the ordinary manner.
Art. 3. In case the spirit or genera!
tendency of any journal or periodical
writing shall be of a nature to injure the
public percc, or the respect due to the
religion of the State, or the other reli
gions recognized in Faancc, or the au
thority of the King, or the stability of con
stitutional institutions, the Royal Court;
within the range of whose jurisdiction
these journals are published, shall have
the power, in a solemn audience, to sus
pend the said journals or even to suppress
Art. 4 If, in the interval of the Ses
sion of the Chambers, grave circumstan
ces should momentarily render insuffi
cient the measures of guarantee and re
pression at present established, the cen-

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