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It must be vain to ask the States to give the militia out of their hands.
Mr. SHERMAN seconds the motion.
Mr. DICKINSON. We are come now to a most important matter—that of the sword. His opinion was, that the States never would, nor ought to, give up all authority over the militia. He proposed to restrain the general power to one-fourth part at a time, which by rotation would discipline the whole militia.
Mr. Butler urged the necessity of submitting the whole militia to the general authority, which had the care of the general defence.
Mr. Mason had suggested the idea of a select militia. He was led to think that would be, in fact, as much as the General Government could advantageously be charged with. He was afraid of creating insuperable objections to the plan. He withdrew his original motion, and moved a power “to make laws for regulating and disciplining the militia, not exceeding one-tenth part in any one year, and reserving the appointment of officers to the States.”
General PINCKNEY renewed Mr. Mason's original motion. For a part to be under the General and a part under the State Governments, would be an incurable evil. He saw no room for such distrust of the General Government.
Mr. LANGDON seconds General PINCKNEY's renewal. He saw no more reason to be afraid of the General Government, than of the State Governments. He was more apprehensive of the confusion of the different authorities on this subject, than of either.
Mr. Madison thought the regulation of the militia
naturally appertaining to the authority charged with the public defence. It did not seem, in its nature, to be divisible between two distinct authorities. If the States would trust the General Government with a power over the public treasure, they would, from the same consideration of necessity, grant it the direction of the public force. Those who had a full view of the public situation, would, from a sense of the danger, guard against it. The States would not be separately impressed with the general situation, nor have the due confidence in the concurrent exertions of each other,
Mr. ELLSWORTH considered the idea of a select militia as impracticable; and if it were not, it would be followed by a ruinous declension of the great body of the militia. The States would never submit to the same militia laws. Three or four shillings as a penalty will enforce obedience better in New England, than forty lashes in some other places.
Mr. PINCKNEY thought the power such an one as could not be abused, and that the States would see the necessity of surrendering it. He had, however, but a scanty faith in militia. There must be also a real military force. This alone can effectually answer the purpose. The United States had been making an experiment without it, and we see the consequence in their rapid approaches toward anarchy.
Mr. SHERMAN took notice that the States might want their militia for defence against invasions and
* This had reference to the disorders, particularly, that had occurred in Massachusetts, which had called for the interposition of the Federal troops.
insurrections, and for enforcing obedience to their laws. They will not give up this point. In giving up that of taxation, they retain a concurrent power of raising money for their own use.
Mr. GERRY thought this the last point remaining to be surrendered. If it be agreed to by the Convention, the plan will have as black a mark as was set on Cain. He had no such confidence in the General Government as some gentlemen possessed, and believed it would be found that the States have not.
Col. Mason thought there was great weight in the remarks of Mr. SHERMAN, and moved an exception to his motion, “ of such part of the militia as might be required by the States for their own use.”
Mr. Read doubted the propriety of leaving the appointment of the militia officers to the States. In some States, they are elected by the Legislatures; in others, by the people themselves. He thought at least an appointment by the State Executives ought to be insisted on.
On the question for committing to the Grand Committee last appointed, the latter motion of Col. Mason, and the original one revived by General PINCKNEY, —
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—8; Connecticut, New Jersey, no—2; Maryland, divided. 319
Monday, August 20TH.
In Convention, Mr. PINCKNEY submitted to the House, in order to be referred to the Committee of Detail, the following propositions :
"Each House shall be the judge of its own privileges, and shall have authority to punish by imprisonment every person violating the same, or who, in the place where the Legislature may be sitting and during the time of its session, shall threaten any of its members for any thing said or done in the House; or who shall assault any of them therefor; or who shall assault or arrest any witness or other person ordered to attend either of the Houses, in his way going or returning; or who shall rescue any person arrested by their order.
“Each branch of the Legislature, as well as the Supreme Executive, shall have authority to require the opinions of the Supreme Judicial Court upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions.
The privileges and benefit of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall be enjoyed in this Government, in the most expeditious and ample manner; and shall not be suspended by the Legislature, except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time not exceeding months.
" The liberty of the press shall be inviolably preserved.
“No troops shall be kept up in time of peace, but by consent of the Legislature.
"The military shall always be subordinate to the
power; and no grants of money shall be made by the Legislature for supporting military land forces, for more than one year at a time.
“No soldier shall be quartered in any house, in time of peace, without consent of the owner.
“No person holding the office of President of the United States, a Judge of their Supreme Court, Secretary for the department of Foreign affairs, of Finance, of Marine, of War, or of shall be capable of holding at the same time any other office of trust or emolument, under the United States, or an individual State.
“No religious test or qualification shall ever be annexed to any oath of office, under the authority of the United States.
“ The United States shall be forever considered as one body corporate and politic in law, and entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities, which to bodies corporate do or ought to appertain.
“The Legislature of the United States shall have the
power of making the Great Seal, which shall be kept by the President of the United States, or in his absence by the President of the Senate, to be used by them as the occasion may require. It shall be called the Great Seal of the United States, and shall be affixed to all laws.
"All commissions and writs shall run in the name of the United States.
“The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall be extended to all controversies between the United States and an individual State; or the United States and the citizens of an individual State."
These propositions were referred to the Committee