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wrong, unless he travels out of the two lists of candidates; and this he cannot do, hy the amendment proposed. Sir, it has heen urged, that no possihle good could arise from having the governor appoint and commission the justices of the peace. In answer to this, as the executive is commander-in-chief of the militia, and whose official duty is to see that the laws are faithfully executed, it is highly proper that every commissioned officer should receive his anthority from the chief magistrate, and to whom he should he accountahle for the faithfill performance of his duty.
The question on the amendment offered hy Mr. Van Baren, was then taken hy ayes and noes, and decided in the negative, as follows:
NOES.—Messrs. Bacons Baker, Bowman, Briggs, Brooks, Carpenter, Collins, Duer, Edwards. Fish, flallock. Wees, Hogehoom, Huntington, Kurd, Jay, Jones, Kent. King, Lefferfs, A. Liringston, M'Call, Millikin, Moore, Panlding, Piatt, Porter, Price, Radeliff, Rhinclander, Rose, Roeehrugh, Sage, Sanders, N. Sanford, R. Sand ford, Secley, Sharpe, F. Smith, R. Smith, Spencer, Stagg, D. Southertand, Sylvester, Tallmadge, Townfey, Van Fleet, Van Ness, J. R. Van Rensselaer, S. Van Rensselaer, Van Vechten, Wards, E. Wehster, Wendover, Wheaton, E. Williams, Woods, Woodward—50.
AYES—Messrs. Barlow, Beckwith, Birdseye, Breese, Brinkerliaff, Buel, Burroughs, Carver, Case, Child, R. Clarke, Clyde, Cramer, LJaj, Dodge, Duhois, Dyckman, Eastwood, Fairhe, Fenfbn, Ferris, Frost, Howe, Humphrey, Hunt, Hunter, Hunting, Lansing, Monro, Nelson, Pike, Park, Piteher, President, Pnmpelly, Reeve, Richards, Root, Ross, Russell, Schenck, Sheldon:, Starkweather, Steele, I. Sutherland, Swift, Taylor, Townsend, Tuttle, Tripp, Van Boron, Van Home, Wheeler, N. Wrlliams, Yates, Young—S6.
On motion of Col. Young, the committee then rose, reported progress, and ohtained leave to sit again.
THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE.
The Convention then went into committee of the whole, on the report of the select committee of tlitrteen, relative to the right of suffrage—Ms. N. Wils i I Ams in the chair.
The report made yesterday, hy Mr. Young, heing under consideration,
Mr. Buel moved to amend the section, hy inserting after the word "assessed," the words " upon his real or personal estate," so as to- preclude any recurrence of the question whether lahour on the highways should he considered a tax. Carried.
Mr. Wennover moved further to amend, hy erasing the words ■s the year,.* in the sixth line, and inserting in lieu thereof the words " two years." He said such a prvvixion would he desirahle, particularly in the city of New-York, where there were frequent removals from one ward to another. The question was taken therenpon, and lost.
Gen. Root and Col. Young were respectively ahorrt to suhmit further amendments, when the usual hour of adjournment having arrived, the committee rose, reported progress, and ohtained leave to sit again.
Leave was granted to Mr. Jav, to move a reconsideration of the vote taken yesterdav, on the question of electing justices of the peace hy the people, at a future day, when the consideration of the suhject relative to the appointing power, should he resumed in committee of the whole. Adjourned.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1821.
The Convention assembled as usual, and after prayers by the Rev. Mr. LaCe*, the journals of yesterday were read and approved.
THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE.
On motion of Mr. Eastwood, the Convention resolved itself into a committee of the whole on the unfinished business of yesterday, (the reports on the right of suffrage,) IWr. N. Williams in the chair.
The chairman stated the question for consideration, to be upon the first part of the report of the committee (of thirteen) of which tbe honourable Mr. Young; was chairman.
After a question of order had been disposed of,
Col. Yourc moved to erase the words - his real and personal property,* and to insert the word ' him.'
Mr. Burroughs objected, on the ground that it would authorize the legislature to extend universal suffrage. They would rip up the proceedings of the Convention by a single act.
The question was taken and lost.
Mr. Nelson moved to amend, by striking oat the words < and shall have been within the year next preceding assessed upon his real or personal property, and shall bare actually paid a tax to the state or county,' and to insert in lieu thereof tbe words, ' and shall have paid1 a tax to the state or county within the year next preceding the election, assessed upon his real or personal property.' Carried.
Chief Justice Spencer moved to insert the word 'specially,' after the frord^ ' by law.' to render the provision more explicit. Lost.
Mr. Birdseve moved to strike out the words " or shall be by law exempted from taxation," he disliked the principle, ft was opening a door for favouritism, and for unjust and odious distinctions. If it should be thought proper to encourage any particular business or calling as useful to the public, it ought to be done by other means than by exemption from taxation.
Col. Young was opposed to striking out—it amounted to nothing more than leaving with the legislature the power to exempt from taxation such persons as they should think proper, and woild conduce to the public good The clergy, he said, were debarred from holding any office, and it was but reasonable that they should have some privileges granted them. The legislature had exempted those serving in artillery companies from taxation; this had been to encourage that service, because it was supposed the public interest would be promoted by it: So also with regard to manufactories—it might be thought expedient for the purpose of encouraging some of them, to exempt the capital employed from taxation.
Mr. Bctl advocated the striking out. his objection to retaining these words was, that it would require a recurrence to oaths, to ascertain who were, or who were not, within the exemption; and his object would be, to do away all necessity for oaths to determine the qualifications of electors.
Ma. Burroughs said, the object of the committee was to leave the clergy the same privileges which they had heretofore enjoyed; he did not know that any difficulty had arisen from their exemption from taxation heretofore—it contributed in some degree to aid the congregations to support their preachers. Mr. Ross enquired whether there was not some discrepancy between this, and the proviso at the end of the section'
Gen. Root said there were three special exemptions by law from taxation— the clergy to the amount of jjl,500 were excused from paying taxes. Whenever he had thought of that law, he had thought it unwise, because it was une> qua! in its operation, and unequal as it respects the relative rights and duties of fcis fellow citizens. He said any class, however honourable or respectable, being exempted from taxation, would have a tendency to bring about a state of things not very desirable—that of a distinction between citizens. It was, therefore odious, and calculated, by its pernicious example, Ib make greater distinctions.
Many clergymen will derive no benefit from this provision. There ire many whom our assessors, with all their squirming and quibbling, cannot brim; within the limits of this exemption. Many of the bumble disciples of John Wesley, itinerating the country, will claim no benefit from this exemption; and others too, in humble stations among the clergy, have no property liable to taxation, depending on an annual stipend from their parishioners. He hoped the constitution would be so formed as to lead the legislature to abolish that law.
There was another exemption, of which the honourable president of (lie Convention had spoken: he alluded to the artillery companies of New-York, who are exempted from taxation, from the circumstance of their having to train oftener than other militia. He would not permit them to vote because they were exempted from taxation, but because they buckle on their armour to fight the battles of their countrj7.
There was another portion of the community exempted from taxation, because they were enff.i^td in manufacturing establishments, which were considered a public benefit; and he called on the chancellor to vote in favour of his proposition: (as he had a few days before, said that these establishments were the seats of corruption, and could bring to the poles of an election an hundred votes at the will of their master) he was aware that a gentleman entertaining sucli sentiments would vote with him.
The I'.jtion was farther supported by the mover, and opposed by Mr. Duel.
Mr. Brict.s remarked, that he was opposed to exclusive privileges, whether to the manufacturers or the clergy. If the latter are exempted, why should not deacons be exempted too > They are good men. And why not exempt the carpenter also, who builds the church, and the printer who prints bibles and psalm hooks .' Where should the line be drawn? He wished to shackle llie legislature, and prevent them from enacting such laws.
Cur.. Young hoped the Convention would not descend to legislate upon eveTV little nice point; it would not do to fix any thing but first principles.
The gentlemen from Delaware and Onondaga (Messrs. Root and Birdseye) hud expressed great fears that these exemptions would not operate equally. We cannot have any tax distributed equally. With respect to our school fund, is it not the case in every town, that for this fund, money is collected by taxation from wealthy individuals who have no children, to educate other men's children, who otherwise must remain in ignorance? Still, this is a salutary provision. If the exemption of clergymen is productive of public good, by improving the morals, why not sanction it?
During the war it was thought proper to extend patronage to the manufacturers of certain articles, for which we had before thought proper to send trar money to Europe. He considered this right and politic. He could not unite iu opinion with those gentlemen who had spoken of these manufacturing establishments as being the seats of vice and corruption; for in many of these establishments much attention had been paid to improving- the morals by the aid of Sunday schools, &c. and many children had been learnt to read and write, who otherwise must have remained in ignorance and poverty, without such opport unity.
To pretend to shackle the legislature by constitutional embarrassments wa) nsgalory and unavailing. If we prohibit the legislature from exempting them fvom taxation, they will legislate to give them money which will be equivalent. Our endeavouring to hedge in the legislature, will not answer the purpose ; they will get round it some way. He hoped they should not strike out the words.
Mb. Bunas said, if they could not infuse any thing into the constitution which would compel the legislature to make taxation equal, he would by all ircans avoid doing that which would encourage them to render it unequal— Ho was of the opinion that something might be with propriety done to equalize
The gentleman from Saratoga had tried to get off, by referring to the inequality with which the school-tax was levied; but this was a subject in whicb the dearest interests of the community were embarked; education was the very soul of all our republican institutions; and he hoped that patronage might be extended for the promotion of education, till the public mind was raised from its present dejected situation* The question was taken on striking out. Lott
Gen. Root said, that when he heard the drum heat this morning, the Alhany regiment and a hattalion of ridemen were then forming near the capitol for review: it reminded him of his motion yesterday; he therefore moved to insut after the word "taxation," in the 9th lino, the following words, "or hein,r, armed and equipped according to law, shall have performed within that year military duty in the militia of this state."
Gen. J. R. Van Rensselaer said, if the gentleman from Delaware would consent to wait a moment, he would offer an amendment which he then held in his hand.
Gen. Root. What is it?
Gen. Van Rensselaer. As follows: after the word "assessed," insert the words, " upon real or personal estate to an amount not less than dollars."
Mr. Root. Oh! I can't wait for that—it will certainly he rejected.
Mr. Root, in support of his motion, remarked, that young men coming of age atter the assessment came out, and hefore Octoher, would not he provided for hy the other provisions of the report, until they were more than twenty-two years of age.
There was another exception with respect to those who ought to vote—such as emigrated from New-England or elsewhere. They must remain three years, untess they have heen put upon the assessment roll, even though they had performed militia duty, which was in it6clf a very heavy lax upon a poor man.
Mr. .sharpe said, he had voted for the militia qualification on a former oceatinn. and he should do so again. Without this qualification the operation of the system would he unequal, there were very many worthy citizens in the city of New-York, who would not come within any of the other qualifications.
The militia of that city, he said, were not of the degraded character, that tome gentlemen seemed to suppose; a very great proportion of them were young men of great respectahility; merehants' clerks, and mechanies—they were not taxed—and in that city they had no highway tax. And they would ail therefore he excluded from voting, if this amendment did nut prevail.
Col. Youno was not alarmed hy any fear of permitting those to vote who performed military duty: hut he thought the instances would not he more than one hundred annually in the state who would not come within the other prov isions contemplated hy the report.
Mr. Fairlte wished that the order of the question might he reversed. He was opposed to the principle of allowing the performance of highway lahour as a qualification to vote; hut if that should he so decided, he should he prepared to extend that privilege to the militia.
Mr. Radcliff was opposed to the motion, and hoped that the military and highway qualifications would hoth he expunged.
Gcn. Root was of the opinion that the honourahle chairman of the select committee, (Mr. Young) could not have made much caleulation, when he said that not more than a hundred or two would he affected hy thi-s provision. From an estimate which he had made, knowing the numher of voters in tho state would he from two to three hundred thousand, he found that there would annually come of age ahout four thousand, and within the first six montlis after the lax list was made out, ahout two thousand, who would, without this provision, ho excluded from a participation in the right of suffrage, hecanse they had not paid taxes. By my proposition, should it he adopted, they will, in consideration of having done military service from the age of eighteen to twenty-one, he entitled to come forward at the polls of your election. These too are young men who have not hecome so proud and hanghty as to disdain going out to the parade; they can associa1e with their fellow young men, and feci a pride and dignity in the high station of militiamen. Exertions are now making to deprive two thouaand young men in this way from this inestimahle privilege, as well as great numhers of the sons of emigrants. But, says the gentleman from Saratoga, the numher of emigrants to this state now is very small; they all pass throu_h our state to others in the west. I know they do not emigrate to Saratoga; hut there are vast numhers who emigrate to the western Mates, and return to settle in ihe western horders of our state, and some who stop in the county where I reside.
The numher to he affected hy this provision cannot he correctly ascertained, hut it is without douht very considerahle. As to the numher in New-York, I will leave it for those who represent that city to determine—And in this city, how many young men are there on this day marehing under the hanner of their country, who will he for years deprived of the right of suffrage, hut for the amendment which 1 now offer! Who are these young men who are serving in your militia? They are young men whose patriotic hosoms hurn with a love country ; and will they vote from the dictation of the petty lordlings of the day f No; they will vote for the good of their country, which they are now preparing todefend—they will not vote for peace party men, hut for men that are willing to hare their hreasts to the arms of the enemy. These are the young men that 1 want to hring to tlic polls of our election—Young men that will vote for the man that will lead them in the hour of danger to the field of hattle. Yes, men that, when a restless moh shall excite commotion, will willingly he led forward to suppress the insurrection—friends of order and of law, hut not of aristocracy. Not one out of ten of these young militiamen would vote for a hanghty, proud, and domineering aristocrat;—they will vote for repuhlicans.
Mr. BmOgs said he hoped tlie Convention would do right.
Mr. Wheeler remarked that he had heard a somhre picture of the depravity of our cities, and he was now happy to learn that their moral condition was improving. Being satisfied that the alarms excited the other day respecting that diseased population were unfounded, he should vote for the amendment.
The question was then taken hy ayes and noes, and decided in the affirmative, as follows:
AYES—Messrs. Barlow, Beckwith, Birdscye, Brinkerhoff, Bncl, Burroughs, Carpenter, Carver, I). Clark, R. Clarke, Clyde, Collins, Day, Dodge, Duhois, Eastwood, Fenbon, Ferris, Frost, Hallock, Hogehoom, Howe. Humphrey, Hunt, Hunting, Hurd, Lefferts, A. Livingston, MsCaJI, Moore, Nelson, Park, Pike, President, Priee, Pumpelly, Maileliff, Richards, Root, Ross, Russell, Sage, N. Sanford, R. Sandford, Selienck, Seaman, Seeley, Sliarpe, Sheldon, I. Smith, Starkweather, Steele, D. Soutlievland, Swift, Tallmadge, Taylor, Townsend, Tripp, Tuttle, Van Duren, Van Fleet, Ward, E. Wehster, Wendover, Wheeler, Young—67.
NOES—Messrs. Bacon, Bowman, Briggs, Child, Duer, Dyckinan, Edwards, Fairhe, Fish, Hees, Huntington, Jay, Jones, Kent, King, Lansing, Lawrence, Munro, Panlding, Piatt, Rhinelander, Rose, R. Smith. Spencer, Stagg, Sylvester, Van Hurne, Van Ness, J. R. Van Rensselaer, Van Vecliten, Wheatou, E. Williams, Woods, Woodward—34.
Gen. J. R. Van Rensselaer then introduced his amendment, as stated ahove, and supported the same at length.
TJic ohject he said, of the proposed amendment, is to require that the electors should possess some small portion of property, which is to he suhject to contrihution for the support of government, and to exclude from a participation in its administration that portion of citizens of this community, who feel uo interest in its welfare, and who do not afford it any aid. There is in every community, a portion of idle, proffigate, and ahandoned men; and it is unjust and impolitie, that this description of people shonld have it in their power to control the government and the property of the industrious, the virtuous, and moral part of the community. The ohject of all good governments.is the protection of life, liherty, and property. The two first, are always safe, under a government of laws, hecanse no laws can he passed which shall operate partially as to them. All will he protected or injured alike hy any general provision i hut the introduction of universal suffrage, would operate unequally as it regard* the latter ohject, hecanse it would afford to him who possesses no property, who has none to he affected hy any law which may he enacted, as much political power as the freeholder or farmer who contrihutes from ten to fifty dollars per year towards its support. The farmers and mechanies wlio owi portions of property procured hy the practice of all the moral virtues, are uni