North Carolina Newspapers

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SPEECH OF !
MR.' jlAYNER, OF HERTFORD,
On the proposition to change the ponsiitu
': tion by legislative enactment pi as to ex-
tend to voters for members of t ie House
of Commons the right to vote for jnem-
lert vf the Senate, In the . louse of
r . L n- mil. i onA iqra
uommpns, ucc. ivui tinu ut
. Tho rhnjority of the Committee to
thorn 'Ihtuhject had been re fe red. ha v
jng reporteij a bill to chajfige the constitu
tion legislative enactment, so as to ex
jrnd to atlVoter for members of the
ilbuse o( Commons, the right to vote for
rnrmbers ..ofjjthe Senate, and Mr. Ilayner
iavingiofiVrpd a subsfitute, a bi I to pro
vide (or taking thejsense of the ieople of
the State, on' i he proposed chanjjeof the
constitutio'h and for calling a convention
limited to that one object and tc no other,
in c;ise a majority of the people of -the
$t;tfe .should jVotc in favor of it --the ques
tion coming Up on substituting Mr. Kay
pryg bill for the bill of the committee, Mr.
Mr. Uayner said he heartily joncured
with what bad been declared by other
gentlrnifn who had addressed tlie House,
in regard to the solemnity and importance
of the work on Which the House was en
gaged. We Kre (said Mr. Un employed
n no ordinary work of legislatjion. The
tsusl work of legislative duty here can be
Aseisily 'undone, a done. The people
)nve but tof pass on our acts, and if they
ionot approv'e.our successors can at the
end of two short years; reverse our actio. i.
Jjut in the serious business ofJ'changing
one of the provisions of our fundamental
law under whfch our fathers liv(;d, and un
der which wejhave lived so securely and
trmilv. the O.akp. is pntirlv A'tifpront
pur present action is intended jfor a long
jdistant futureit is to affecti the very
frarhe work of our social organization it
is to opertte fop good or for eviil, upon our
nosteritV-after we'shall all havle left this
busy theatre and our very names be for
gotten. Serious and imposing! then, and
fraught w ith the most momentous conse
quences, is th&iwork in which ware now
engaged ; andibeavy indeed is the respon
sibility which rests upon us al .
r , am decidedly opposed to amending the
constitution by 1 legislative enactment. I
i admit the amended constitution of 1835
providesTor further amendments by the
' Legislature, but I think thai aj proper in
erpretation of (hat provision and one most
in accordancelwiih the theory of our in
siitutionsshould confine such amendments
to the exceptioris just ajludedjlo. Those
exceptions aro suclas involve mere con
venience of opinion in regard to the ne
cessity of some slight change, in the mere
machinery of ihe government-U-and when
there is no crent vital princip e of the or-anic-law
involved. For in; tarjee, if it
should be fouiid by rxperienc, that in or.
der to avoid the inconvenience of a tie in
the Senate, and for the promr t organiza
tion o( that body, the office of Liejutenant
Governor should be cstablis jrd in this
State, thenJt would not only t e more con
venirnt, but eminently proper that the
j change should' be effected by legislative
j enactment. So, in regard to allowing any
recorded in tho Journal if tins Should be
i found to work an inconvenien je and a use
less waste 'df time, and it should by some-
5 ihing like a general concurrebcc be con-
sidenul best to limit this to the call of one
fifth a? in most other legislative bodies,
the change could and ought to be made
by legislative provision.; In: hotl of the
hcascs put. no great principle of popular
njnts or ol tree government would be in
vadedtherc vvouhd be nothing involved"
in the change conflicting with the settled
habjfs of the Deonle. nothing violative of
vlhe great ririncinlcs which donstitute the
; basjs of the political fabric. Not so, how-
tver, in regard to those cardinal elements
of our ci vil polity, which never have been
; a part and. jiarcel of our social system
j not so. in regard to questians which at
f iect the rights pf the citizen;!, which strike
t the source and fountain of power.
This view of the subject seems to be in ac
cordance with the history of the conven-
nun oi inns. An examinatjion oune ae
tes of that body will show that the dis
tinguished men who composed it . looked
,pon the compromises therein agreed up
cKhs a final settlement of he, distracting
estions and sectional jealousies which
tad for years disturbed the councils
Of the State, i All the pritevances then
; complained of; Were considered to have
been settled. iN" new element of disqui
et, either of seqtional interest or of popu
lar privilegeysejemed to be contemplated
or the next half century. Head the de
I Mesof the cotivention, and you will see
that it was w ith these cheering hopes that
kjhc! members of that body terminated their
j i kbors. How then are we to understand
: that provision of the constitution providing
amendments by the Legislature?
Hy.that it wis intended to provide for
'cose immatcnal changes of the mere ma
finery of the igovernmenti, without inter
fering with any great principle on which
' 11 .was based. v 1 1 was aller this provision
d been, agreed on (in committee of the
. u'Me,if I recif)Hectiright) that the able
' ajd lamented Meares moved the addition
; provision which was aljso adopted, pro
;! 'ngthat no convention should be called,
!retcept by a vote of two thirds of all the
' mhers of both llouses. What are we
l9 understand by this bjit that he who
1 J0vr(J t, and the convention that adopted
foresaw thai it some ft ture lime an at-
mig
made, nod
merely to im
J. J. BRUNER,
Editor 4 Proprietor.
prove the machinery of The government,
I . . . y i 1
uui to cnange us organic pnncipieswnicn
could only be done properly by the people
in contentionthrough a vote of a bare
majority of the two Houses? Little" did
that convention suppose that in fifteen
years their foresight and wisdom would be
brought to the test of trial.
Am I not therefore warranted in saying
that this attempt to change one ofi the
great fundamental principles of the con
stitution by legislative action, is not only
ibntrary to the spirit and purpose of the
provision of the convention of '35, in re
gard to amending the constitution-ibut
that it is also repugnant to the very theo
ry of the government itself? The very
first great cardinal maxim of free and re
presentative government laid down in the
"declaration of rights," which is declared
to be a part of the constitution, is this,
that all political power is vested in and
derived from the people only." Here is a
great question of political power affecting
for all time those from whom we derive
our brief tenure of authority, with which
we cannot rightfully interfere, except by
making provision to consult those whose
servants we are, with which we were not
sent here to interfere, and with which we
dare not interfere, unless we assume to
ourselves a prerogative which the people
have reserved to themselves. This assu
ming to know what are the people's rights
better than they do themselves, although
resting on the affectation of great love for
the people, is anti-republican and contra
ry to the doctrine of constitutional free
dom. This doling out favors to the peo
ple by piece-meal, is constituting ourselves
their masters instead of ther servants.
The gentleman from Burke, (Mr. Avery.)
said that it was evident, the convention of
'35 intended that all specific amendments
not involving an entire overthrow of the
organic law, should be by legislative en
actment. .The proposed change does in
volve a radical alteration of the organic
law in one particular. What is more im
portant, what more safely "guarded, what
more intimately interwoven with the
frame-workof civil liberty than the ques
tion of suffrage ? -And the change con
templated proposes an entire abandon
ment of a system that has been commen
surate with our history as a people, under
which the glorious deeds of our revolu
tionary history were achieved, under
which the people have lived contented and
happy, which was never heard of in the
catalogue of complaints to redress which
the convention of 35 was called. Ordid
the gentleman from Burke mean that the
provision in the constitution for calling a
convention wasnot designed for an amend
ment of the constitution, but for the fram
ing of an entire new one to suit a new
system of government upon an entire over
throw of the present republican form ? If
so. a moment's reflection will teach the
gentlejnan the absurdity of his position.
Such an overthrow aS he speaks of could
be nothing but revolutionary, which dis
regards constitutions as well as ordinary
laws. An amendment of a constitution
pre-supposes that the great principles
which constitute its organic existence are ;
to remain unchanged. " An entire over
throw of the organic law," for which the
gentleman from Burke thinks the provi
sion for calling a convention was design
ed, would involve an overthrow of that
very provision as well as all others, and
would throw us back upon the original
elements of social organization; and be
ing revolutionary in its nature would not
be likely to regard the barriers against the
popular will, by requiring a vote of two
thirds. . ' ' i
Another objection to changing the con-!
stilution by legislative enactment, is its
great convenience, which will render it
habitual and thus destroy-the confidence
of the people in the stability of their in
stitutions. This is the trying ordeal
through which the people of the several
States of this Union are now passing and
from destructive evils of which nothing
but the conservative, cohesive character
of Anglo Saxon institutions can preserve
them. Constitutions or rather the ele-;
mentary principles of constitutions, should
Lbe permanent. I am one of those who
have na faith in the, adaptability of cer
tain defined fundamental principles of
what is commonly termed liberty to the
wants and conditions of any and every)
peoplei France for the last sixty years!
has given us the best practical illustra-j
tion ofthe utopianism of constitutional
tinkers. The besr constitution for any
people is that which secures most happH
ness to the citizen consistently with thej
power of the government to make itself
respected and to preserve its stability.
When the great Athenian law-giver was
asked if he bad given his countrymen the
best possible system of Jaws he answer
ed that they were the test Athenian people
were then capable of enjoying the bless
ings of. Solon showed his wisdom as
much, by adapting his Jaw& to the pecu
liar wants and conditions of his country
men, as in the intrinsic excellence of the
laws themselves. Where any people are
sufficiently enlightened, or where its enj
joy ment has accustomed them to its bless
ings, civil liberty will of course enter
more largely into their, happiness than
any other element of government,- and
when a constitution secures this, the onljf
change to which the people should accus
tom themselves to look, is & mere adap
Keep a chxcktjpoji all your
RCLEK-S.
Kit- : . XjFCs
SALISBURY, N. ijC., THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 1851.
if- . bbbbbbbbsbbsmsmsibbbbbsb
tation of its machinery to the wants and
developments of the age. In this lies the
strength and powerand harmonious work
ing of the English constitution. From
1GSS to the present time, its great cardi
nal landmarks and elementary principles
have in the main, continued the same. It
h as from time to time, beerj merely modi
fied to adapt it to the exigencies of the
ispirit of the age, and only then jwith the
most extreme caution and deliberation.
Nothing is better proven by experience
than that permanence and stability are
necessary in order to secure the I affection
.of the people for. the government and to
Unsure peace and quiet and contentment
fin the community. Industry and enter
prise haVe. nostimulus to exertion with
out it. All the impulses of a I patriotic
iambition, all the high and noble incentives
o professional fame, to scientific and lit
jerary renown, all social ties of kindred
jand home, best flourish androsper under
'the consciousness of stability a tfd firmness
;in the institutions under which we live.
Consequently,: the public mind instead of
being accustomed to look to constant
changes in their fundamental law, asthe
panacea for every temporary 111, should
rather view with jealousy every attempt
to unsettle its long established principles;
and if, as in our ease, it be the work of
an illustrious ancestry, instead of being
derided for its antiquity, h should be ven
erated on account of the associations
which marked its formation. I fear if
we now set the precedent of changing the
constitution bv legislative provision, that
the character which North Carolina has
so long enjoyed for conservatism and sta
bility will be gone forever. Fault. find
ing is one of the commonest ingredients
in man's nature. Every moral, social and
political evil will be traced to some de
fect in the organic lawr the General As
sembly, instead of attending to the duties
for which they were chosen, and of striv
ing toromote the honor and character
of the State, will be session after session,
engaged in solving constitutional prob
lems, and endeavoring to show how much
wiser they are than Were our fathers
until that venerated instrument, which
has so, long been our boast and pride, will
have finally disappeared forever.
I suppose I need scarcely insist c-n what
will be admitted on all hands, jthat all
changes or modifications of the fundamen
tal law should be free from; the baneful
influences ot party-spirit. In such a work
of wisdom as that of making or revising
a constitution under which posterity is to
live, the minds of those engaged in it
should be divested of not only partisan
jealousy and bitterness, but ; of all those
other distracting and unhappy associa
tions which must necessarily attach to
those selected for the business of ordinary
legislation. The various questions of a
local character, the agitating subjects of
State policy, the conflicting interests of
rival sections, together with all the other
exciting elements that enter) into the ordi
nary contests of the hustings, are calcu
lated to disturb that spirit of harmony and
compromise, and to prevent that calm and
dispassionate consideration, so absolutely
necessary in affixing the land-marks of
the constitution. This is a matter better
understood by the great body of our peo
ple, than some gentlemen jseem to sup
pose. Call a convention to revise the
Constitution, and Delegates will be selec
ted with an especial view;to that object
alone. Men will be selected with refer
ence to their wisdom, thejr experience,
their patriotism. Can this be expected of
an ordinary legislature? Agitate any
question of constitutional amendment as
much as you may, and yet can you ex
pect the elections to turn upon it alone?
In theseytimes of high party excitement,
can you expect a legislature that will
readily sacrifice party allegiance to the
public good In most of the counties,
the election pf members of the General
Assembly turns upon party politics in
some upon questions of 'State improve
ment. Can you expect a legislature thus
elected, to reflect the popular voice upon
an abstract question of constitutional re
form ? This method, then, of amending
theconstitution by legislative enactment,
is not only anti-republican, inasmuch as
it is calculated to prevent, a fair expres
sion of the popular will but the very in
fluences which usually prevail in the elec
tions of members, are calculated to pre
vent that calm, unbiassed, and patriotic
action, requisite in so important a work.
I do not wish to allude to the circumstances,
under which this proposed amendment of the
constitution, first came lo be agitated, or to the
influences which have thus far marked its pro
gress lest T might be considered by some as
fiolatinc that rule wjiich I have laid down for
myelf, not to introduce party t thh discussion.
I indulge in no partisan crimination, when I
say, that the history cf the agitation of this sub.
ject is calculated to alarm etery conservative
North Carolinian, more especially, if the pro
ject now on foot succeeds. 1 Violent as have
hepn our oartv contests heretofore, yet the con-
ttitntmn has escaped the contasrion. With one
accord we had all agreed tojfeave to popular
opinion and tbe developments of time the reg.
ulation of tbe organic law.) The provision
complained of had existed, wjthout complaint,
ever since the first establishment of free go
vernment among us.: The people were satis
fied with it, no demand for change proceeded
from them. But in a heated political canvass,
one of our candidates for Governor in this State
nominated; by a party convention as the organ
Ni , (
Do THIS, AND LlBEKTT IS SArE'
- Gen'l Harrison.
and exponent of a partizan creed, introduces
this new weapon of political iwarfare. The
people are told that their revolutionary fathers,
in pretending to frame for them a system ol
free government, had cheated and deceived
them. That jealousy, on account of power, no
matter for what good reasons withheld, which
is a striking characteristic of man, is appealed
to, and the people of ail sections and ail par
ties are called on lo rally around "the poor
man's friend." And because he who was the
hero of ibis movement has, owing to a peculiar
train of circumstances, been finally elected, we
are now called on in the common parlance of
the time, to carry out the popular will. By the
way, do not gentlemen of the dominant party
here see the absurdity of ibeir position ? In
one breath they tell us, tha the gubernatorial
election in this State turned upon this question,
and say that is a reason why we should make
the change. And then again, we have it said,
and echoed by the party prtss that the election
was the result of a changelin the public mind
in regard to party politics and hence they
claim it as a party triumph. But it is not on
account of the party relations of this question,
thati look on it with such misgiving. It is the
precedent likely to be set by it. Our constitu
tion is to become the mere loot-ball of party.
Constitutions are limitations upon those exer
cising power. In republican governments, the
people put restraints upon themselves. Every
one knows how easy a matter it is, by appeal-
ing to the weak and the bad passions of man's
nature, to make generation dissatisfied with the
limitations, a preceding one may have put on
their exercise of power. This has been the
nusiness of demagogues from the days of the
Gracchi to the present time. If we counten
ance this attempt to make the constitution ther
mere stalking. horse of party, wheieisthe mat
ter to end As soon as this question shall
have answered its ends, some other Solomon
will discover that the people have for 75 years,
been sleeping over other grievous wrongs
and just as often as the ordinary appliances of
party can not avail for success, some other pro
vision of the constitution will be held up as the
relic of feudal tyranny, or some new amend
ment proposed as a cure for all social ills.
Carry out this movement by legislative enact
ment and a horde of demagogues will overrun
the land. Yes, that pestiferous brood whose
calling ever is to delude the unwary, for their
own selfish ends ever now keep in retirement
many of the best and purest patriots in the land.
But consummate this measure in the spirit in
which it was commenced, and the reign of
these harpies will, I fear become interminable.
There is a palpable inconsistency in the pur
poses professed by those who favor this amend
ment of the Constitution by legislative enact-
ment, and the means by which they propose to
accomplish their purpose. This extension of
the right to vote for Senators to all qualified to
vote in the Commons is advocated as a great
principle of popular liberty. If this really be
so if this is a privilege which the people have
a right to demand and the witholdmg which
is in conflict with republican institutions then
of course, the change should be made as speed-
ily as the frame-work of our government will
possibly admit of. If the Ireemen ol the Slate
hive, through either the design or the over
sight of those who have heretofore been en
trusted with the modeling or remodeling of the
organic law, been defrauded of their rights,
then, in the name of liberty, in the name ofjus- who originally made- the constitution. My ob
tice, repair the wrong at the earliest possible jection to making the change now is, first, be
day, yes, at the earliest possible hour. By the cause of the circumstances under which it was
method proposed, how long will it be before the
people obtain their rights? In the first place
the proposition must obtain Ihe votes of three-
fifths of the whole number of both Houses at
this session. Suppose it to receive this vote
now, which is a matter ot very considerable
doubt. it must again be submitted to the next
Legislature, and must then receive two thirds
of the whole number ol the members of both
Houses, and must still further be ratified by a magogue in the land, who may hereafter at
majority of all these hazards and all this delay tempt to divert the public mind from the party
even supposing it pass safely through such a
trying ordeal. 1 his great ana precious noon,
i rri i f ii
which the professed advocates of popular rights
affect to have so much at heart, can not, even
under the most favorable circumstances, be en-
joyed before 1S54 if we are to waiter the
slow and tedious process of amending the Con-
stitution by legislative enactment. Whereas,
by the passage of my bill, the people will be
first consulted, and that within a few months,
as to whether they desire the change; their
delegates will soon assemble, and it will re-
quire but three or four days to make the alter-
ation ; the matter will be accomplished, and
at the very next election for members of the
Genera! Assembly in 1852, all persons will
alike vote in both Senate and Commons in-
stead of having to wait till 1854. Why, sir,
if this be a matter of as much importance as
some gentlemen pretend, then I say they are
trifling with ihe people, mocking and insulting
ihem, thus to dally with them, and subject to
sacb risk and delay, their rights as freemen.
We are told the people will have time to re
fleet and pass on this question in the next elec
tion for members of the Legislature and the
gentleman from Burke (Mr. Avery) asks what
is the difference betwixt consulting the people
then, and consulting them now for, says he.
the people can then elect their Representatives
. -.L i i i K n i . Bioura -.n ihia c 1 1 1 1 1 .
wiih reiereiiuo iu men .... -. - j . .
How can gentlemen use such an argument as
iK5 he.i ihev see that vear alter year
our elections turn mainly upon party poli-
:. n,t nt An m.esiinn, of State do icv.
Tkio ;D r mv .rrnnoe&t obiections lo a-
mending the Constitution by the Legislature
You cannot obtain a reflexion of public opin
ion upon the merit of any specific proposition
1 UI9 IS WUW va J
because there are so many other more exciting
elements that enter into the contest. Parly
fpolitics, internal improvements peculiar views
in regard to southern rights, and numberless
questions of a local nature-4are calculated to oi
vert the public mind from one isolated ques.
tion. How litlle will the public mind of this
Slate be prepared to decide upon a great ques-
linn r C inncl ll 111 Inna 1 reform, at lbe polls in
loo-i. e snail men
j . f o Presidential election : our
rr?t-. 7 -l.-ii l tn tho tp ipmpt
- - - i .
minds thoroughly agitated and inflamed by all
NEW series;
VOLUME VII NUMBER 48.
I
the issues involved in such a contest. Is it rea
sonable to suppose, under such circumstances
that we are likely "to obtain the quiet and re
flectire judgment of the public mind on the
question of free suffrage ? But pas my bill-
and .call upon the people to elect Delegates, to
make the proper change in the Constitution,
and there will be but one naked question pre
sented for consideration, uncumbered and un
trammelled by any conflicting issues. The
public decision can not be mistakenjor. it will
be narrowed down to but one object. And of
all questions on which the representatives of
any people are called on to pass, that of amend
ing their constitution should be in accordance
with the unprejudiced judgment ot the popular
mind.
The gentleman from Burke, (Mr. Avery.)
says that those who support my amendment are
evidently opposed to free sufl'iage. That the
ienlleman merely assumes to be so ; but if it
were true, the being reminded of it is no ar-
gument against the propriety of my bill. So far
as regards the choice betwixt mv bill and the
bill bf fore the House, it is not the merits of
free suffrage, that is in issue but the question
is, snail this Legislature undertake to decide
upon what sort of a Constitution the people
need, or shall we consult the people as to what
sort of a Constitution they desire. The ques
tion is, shall the Legislature from time to time
dole out privileges to the people, or shall we
make the legal provision for tne people lo elect
their own delegates to make effective their
own will. Suppose it to be trne, as suggested
by the gentleman from Burke, that land tose
who concur with me, are opposed to tree Suf
frage yet how much belter friends to popular
freedom do we show ourselves to be, than he
and those who act with him ! We are oppos
ed to free suffrage (as assumed by the gentle,
man,) in principle ; but yet, recognising this as
a free government, where the people have a
right to alter their institutions if they desire it.
we are willing to consult the people, to leave
the decision of this matter lo them, and if they
decide against us, we are willing lo submit.
But the gentleman and those who agree with
him are in fivor of free suffrage they desire
to see the change made but they not willing
to leave it to the people ; being in favor of it
and being members of the Legislature, they
insist on carrying out their own wishes, with
out first asceitaining whether it will be agree
able to the people or not. 1 am not in the
habit of dealing in professions of great love for
the people, and am'now led to make these re-
marks in reply to what we have so .often heard
here about the people's rights being witheld from
them. Now let the gentleman from Burke re.
fleet and consider, who is the greatest friend
to the peoplehe, who is for carrying out his
views, without consulting the people, or I, who
am willing to submit the question to the people
and to acquiesce, if they decide against me ?
As to my own individual opinions, in regard
to the merits of Free Suffrage, as an isolated
question, I have no hesitation in avowing them,
although that has nothing to do with the ques-
tion now under consideration. If this were an
original question, if we were now engaged in
making a new constitution. I should not object
to the principle of free suffrage. I do not be
lieve that the Senate is any more conservative
in its character, by virtue of ihe election of its
members by the fiftv acre free holders altho'
it was no doubt so designed to be, by tho?e
first brought forward. It was introduced as
an element of party strife, to prop up a minor-
ily party and a weak candidate. And il
we
yield to the behest of party, that which should
have been demanded by public opinion, in or-
der to entitle it to respect; we-set a precedent.
the evil consequences of which no one can
foresee. If Ave yield now to the clamor ol
party rage, we are but encouraging every de-
issues of ihe day, by presenting himself as the
j great cnampion ol me consiuuiionai reform..
r - i if
Absta ynncipus, should be our motto. When
the progress of mind and the developments of
lime, prove some change in the fundamental
law to be necessary, and lhat change Js d.
manded by a conservative and patriotic public
opinion, every friend of republican government
should quietly yield, if he cannot conscien-
tiously concur. Uut when an effort is made to !
make the organic law the mere plaything ol
faction, to identify great questions of constitu-j
tional law wiih the discords and tumults of par. I
ty strife, every friend of liberty should resist
it at the threshold. The evil is not so much I
in the change itself, as in the temptations of ;
fered for still more violent and radical reforms. '
It is cheapening the constitution to allow it lo.i
become an element of party. I object lo ibis
change at this time, in lbe second place, be-
cause it is entirely delusive in its characier.
It affects to bestow equal privileges on all,
when in fact it does no Such thing. In what
consists the value ol the right ol suttrage 7 It
is not the mere privilege of depositing in the
ballot-box a strip of paper, with the name of
A or B or C on it. '1 hat of itself confers no
substantial power and but for the, res ills that
are to follow, is a mere idle and unmeaning
ceremony. 1 he value ot tbe ngrii ol suttrage
1 UUfS IIOl COII8IM 111 UUII" Mil rk iu wicaac
. .
triend, or in voting against ii to spue an ene
my. i nat wouia ue convening a mgu anu
lemn duly into the mere gratification of private
leeling. i ne real vaiue ana importance oi ine
right of suffrage consists in the extent of tbe
power exercised, in selecting those who are to
control ihe government and to direct its opera
lions. Suffrage, then, to be uniformly' equal.
must be so regulated as to give every voter in
lbe State an equal power in ihe government of
the State, at leabt in its legislative branch.
Will free suffrage do this? Certainly not.
Suppose you allow every man to vote in the
Senate, does that make every man's power
equally felt in the Senate ? Certainly not. In
the County of Hertford, some GOO men would
elect a Senator. If equality of power is what
. i tiirir-a rr a r mm ii ai"rw 111 11 1
I ... f : . nnr
I I villi ntfsnr: uv d'juiov , vv
j j . - -
men in Guilford also entitled to elect a bena
tor, and in (he latter County it will require
1
some 2500 men to elect a Senator. It is not
perfectly apparent then, that all ibis talk about
free suffrage is not tp give any man more real
power in the Government, than he hat now,
but to delude the ignorant with the idea,' that
the right of suffrage has answered all its ends,
when a slip of paper; has been deposited in the.
ballot-box, by which a friend has been grati.
fiedjux an euemy punished, orjhe purposes of
party been accomplished ? Siri it is an insult
lo the understanding of the people, it is a mock
ery of their privileges, it is a slur; at free gov.
ernment itself, to suppose that the people look
upon the right of sutlinge, noias a great privi.
lege secured to them by their fathers, by which
their influence in the government is feltbut
as consisting in the mere -ceremonial of the
ballot box and the indulgence of personal feel-
ing.
My bill is objected to by some because it i
proposes to limit the action of the convention,
if called, to the sole object of amending the
constitution so as to extend to all voters in the
Commons the right to vote for. Senators. And
we have been told that such a limitation is
based on a distrust of the people, who haTe
the right to frame their fundamental law just
as they desire. This inference is by no meant
a legitimate one. I admit the people ol North j
Carolina have the right to amend their consti
tution as they wish, provided it is left republi.
can in its character ; but then, the Legisla-
lure, on whom devolves the duty of taking the
initiatory steps of providing for the legal and
constitutional assemblage of a convention of
the people, should follow, rather than attempt j
lo lead public opinion on all questions of con
stitutional reform. I mean, of course, in ref.- j
ereuce to those great cardinal principles of !
popular governrneut-which appertain to the n.
ture of free institutions and not to those slight
and immaterial chariges, which time and expe. j
rience.have proven to be necessary in carry
ing on the mere machinery of the government,
which as I have already said, it was the de
sign of the convention of 1835, to leave to
legislative enactments. The limitation con
templated by my bill is not imposed on the
people by the legislature as contended, for by ,
some ; my bill simply pioposes to put the ques
tion to the people, whether they will themselves
call a convention limited to (his one object. If
the people call the Convention, they impose the
limitation, and not we. But it is asked, why
not consult the people, as to whether they de
sire a convention without limitation? For the
reason that this question of tree suffrage, as it
is called, is the only one which has been gen
erallygitated, and on which lbe public mind
has been generally excited. I presume it will
be admitted by all that it is not the part, of
wisdom, for the legislature to put itself in ad-
vance of popular opinion, on the great question-!
ot constitutional reform. It is a very easy
matter for agitators and mischief makers to in
flame the public mind and to render people dis
satisfied with the institutions under which thay
live. If the people are wronged, they are apt
to find it out soon enough. 1 do not think any
one on this floor, can say conscientiously, lhat
there is any other great' question of constitu
tional amendment, jhat has been sufficiently
agitated as to leave it doubtful whether a ma
jority ot the peopleof the Slate desire a change.
1 dare say there are many questions on which
active politicians might produce discontent and
the desireof change ; but sufficient unto the
day, is the evil thereof." On other questions
the popular mind is now quiet,'and 1 for one
am not disposed lo disturb it. On this ques.
tion of free suffrage, the public mind has been
agitated, it is doubtful on which side the major
ily inclines, and I am willing lo leave its deci
sion to the tribunal of the ballot-box. I occupy
the true republican platform on this question. I
shall not attempt to lead public opinion, in re.
gard lo altering the constitution ; neither will I
attempt to carry out my views, regardless of the
; wisuoi me people ; uui i am willing lo leave
j this matter to them, and no matter what may be
: my view as an individual, yet I am willing to
i " lo me Qec,s,on ' l&e majority ol the
l J - f I - m
(Concluded next tceek.)
MISSOURI
vs. THE NASHVILLE COX-
YEN TION.
I'he substance of certain resolutions recent-
j ly passed by the Legislature of Missouri, con-
' demnatorv of the Nashville Convention and
its proceedings, was briefly stated in a para
graph copied into this paper a day or two ago.
Since then we have received a copy of the re
solves, as follows :
if.vorrrirThat in the opinion of this House
the practice of convening such bodies as the
)ate Neville. Convention is dangerous in its
lendencies, calculated to foster sectional jeal.
nuies, and to weaken the bond of the Union,
; 'fhe people of Missouri will co-operate with no
! organized body, be it North or Souih, the ap-
parent object of which may be to foment na-
;ijrtllH discord, to alienate one portion of the
j Confederacy from another, or to diminish (he
veneration of the people lor the union of the
States.
Resolved. That the House emphatically de.
nies the doctrine of secession as maintained,
by Southern statesmen, and dissents from the
resolution of the Nashville Convention, as en
closed to his Excellency the Governor, by the
Hon. C. J. McDonald, of Georgia, and the Go
vernor is respectlully requested to return the
resolutions to Mr. McDonald, with a copy of
these resolutions.
MR. WHIT'S APPOINTMENTS.
WTe have been requested to give tbe follow,
lowing as a list of appointments of Philip S.
White, Eq., in bis visit to tbe different Divis
ions of the Sons of Temperance in this section
of the Slate. Mr, White is an able lecturer
and is rendering the cause of Temperance effi
cient service. j:
At Rocky River on ihe 10th of April.
At Philadelphia on the 11th '
At Charlotte on the 12ih 44
Al Davidson College on the 14th
At Hopewell on the 15th "
At Dallas on the 16th "
At Lincolnton on the 17th
Charlotte Journal,
Deep IVocr Mr. A. D. Bacbe, of the ,U.
o. toasi survey, says inai uoiusoorougrj,
U. S. Navy, During the passage from the Rio
i de Janeiro to Cape of Good Hope, made sound
ings to the depth of three and a half miles ! and
brought up bottom. Tbe sounding apparatus
was a 32 pound shot, attached to a line strong
enough to bear sixty 'pounds weight.
1
    

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