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Article 17, agreed to yesterday, in order to take up the following amendment:
"The Legislature shall have power to admit other States into the Union; and new States to be formed by the division or junction of States now in the Union, with the consent of the Legislature of such States." [The first part was meant for the case of Vermont, to secure its admission.]
On the question, it passed in the negative,—
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, aye-5; New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, no-6.
Doctor JOHNSON moved to insert the words, " hereafter formed, or," after the words, "shall be," in the substitute for Article 17, [the more clearly to save Vermont, as being already formed into a State, from a dependence on the consent of New York for her admission.] The motion was agreed to,-Delaware and Maryland only, dissenting.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS moved to strike out the word "limits," in the substitute, and insert the word "jurisdiction." [This also was meant to guard the case of Vermont; the jurisdiction of New York not extending over Vermont, which was in the exercise of sovereignty, though Vermont was within the asserted limits of New York.]
On this question,—
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, aye— 7; New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-4.
Mr. L. MARTIN urged the unreasonableness of
forcing and guaranteeing the people of Virginia beyond the mountains, the Western people of North Carolina and Georgia, and the people of Maine, to continue under the States now governing them, without the consent of those States to their separation. Even if they should become the majority, the majority of counties, as in Virginia, may still hold fast the dominion over them. Again the majority may place the seat of government entirely among themselves, and for their own convenience; and still keep the injured parts of the States in subjection, under the guarantee of the General government against domestic violence. He wished Mr. WILSON had thought a little sooner of the value of political bodies. In the beginning, when the rights of the small States were in question, they were phantoms, ideal beings. Now when the great States were to be affected, political societies were of a sacred nature. He repeated and enlarged on the unreasonableness of requiring the small States to guarantee the Western claims of the large ones. It was said yesterday, by Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, that if the large States were to be split to pieces without their consent, their Representatives here would take their leave. If the small States are to be required to guarantee them in this manner, it will be found that the Representatives of other States will, with equal firmness, take their leave of the Constitution on the table.
It was moved by Mr. L. MARTIN to postpone the substituted article, in order to take up the following: "The Legislature of the United States shall have power to erect new States within, as well as without
the territory claimed by the several States, or either of them; and admit the same into the Union: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to affect the claim of the United States to vacant lands ceded to them by the late treaty of peace;" which passed in the negative,-New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, only, aye.
On the question to agree to Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS'S substituted article, as amended, in the words following: "New States may be admitted by the Legislature into the Union; but no new State shall be hereafter formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any of the present States, without the consent of the Legislature of such State, as well as of the general Legislature,-New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, no-3.
Mr. DICKINSON moved to add the following clause to the last:
"Nor shall any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts thereof, without the consent of th Legislature of such States, as well as of the Legislature of the United States;" which was agreed to without a count of the votes.
Mr. CARROLL moved to add: "Provided, nevertheless, that nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to affect the claim of the United States to vacant lands ceded to them by the treaty of peace." This, he said, might be understood as relating to lands not claimed by any particular States, but he had in view also some of the claims of particular States.
Mr. WILSON was against the motion. There was nothing in the Constitution affecting, one way or the other, the claims of the United States; and it was best to insert nothing, leaving every thing on that litigated subject in statu quo.
Mr. MADISON considered the claim of the United States as in fact favored by the jurisdiction of the Judicial power of the United States over controversies to which they should be parties. He thought it best, on the whole, to be silent on the subject. He did not view the proviso of Mr. CARROLL as dangerous; but to make it neutral and fair, it ought to go further, and declare that the claims of particular States also should not be affected.
Mr. SHERMAN thought the proviso harmless, especially with the addition suggested by Mr. MADISON in favor of the claims of particular States.
Mr. BALDWIN did not wish any undue advantage to be given to Georgia. He thought the proviso proper with the addition proposed. It should be remembered that if Georgia has gained much by the cession in the treaty of peace, she was in danger during the war of a Uti possedetis.
Mr. RUTLEDGE thought it wrong to insert a proviso, where there was nothing which it could restrain, or on which it could operate.
Mr. CARROLL withdrew his motion and moved the following:
"Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to alter the claims of the United States, or of the individual States, to the Western territory; but all such claims shall be examined into, and decided upon, by the Supreme Court of the United States.” VOL. I.-92*
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS moved to postpone this, in order to take up the following:
"The Legislature shall have power to dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations respecting, the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution contained, shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims, either of the United States or of any particular State." The postponement agreed to, nem. con.
Mr. L. MARTIN moved to amend the proposition of Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, by adding: "But all such claims may be examined into, and decided upon, by the Supreme Court of the United States."
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. This is unnecessary, as all suits to which the United States are parties are already to be decided by the Supreme Court.
Mr. L. MARTIN. It is proper, in order to remove all doubts on this point.
On the question on Mr. L. MARTIN's amendatory motion,
New Jersey, Maryland, aye-2; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, no-6. States not further called, the negatives being sufficient, and the point being given up. 345
The motion of Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS was then agreed to, Maryland alone dissenting.
Article 18, being taken up, the word "foreign" was struck out, nem con. as superfluous, being implied in the term "invasion."
Mr. DICKINSON moved to strike out, " on the application of its Legislature, against." He thought it of essential importance to the tranquillity of the