« ZurückWeiter »
And the counsel for the plaintiff, to maintain and prove the issue on his part, offered in evidence the following matters, facts, and things, in manner following, to wit:
1st. The plaintiff offered in evidence the proceedings and resolutions of a convention of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, passed 29th May, 1790, a copy whereof is hereunto annexed, marked A.
2d. The plaintiff offered in evidence the report of a committee of the House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island, &c., made in June, 1829, upon certain memorials to them directed therein, praying for an extension of the right of suffrage in said State, a copy of which is hereunto annexed, marked B.
3d. The plaintiff offered in evidence resolutions passed by the General Assembly of said State, at their session, January, 1841, a copy of which is hereunto annexed, marked C.
4th. The plaintiff then offered in evidence the memorial addressed to said Assembly, at said session, by Elisha Dillingham and others, a copy of which is hereunto annexed, marked D.
5th. The plaintiff offered evidence to prove that, in the last part of the year 1840, and in the year 1841, associations were formed in many, if not in all, the towns in the State, called « Suffrage Associations,” the object of which was to diffuse information among the people upon the question of forming a written republican constitution, and of extending the right
of suffrage. To prove this, he offered the officers and members of said associations, also the declaration of principles of said associations, passed February 7. 1841, and the proceedings of a meeting thereof on the 13th day of April, 1841; and also offered witnesses to prove that a portion of the people of this State assembled at Providence, on the 17th day of April, 1841, under a call from the Rhode Island Suffrage Association, to take into consideration certain matters connected with the existing state of suffrage in said State, and to prove the proceedings of said meeting; and this he offered to prove by the testimony of the chairman of said meeting, and the clerk of the same, and of other persons present thereat ; all of which proceedings and declaration, resolutions, &c., are hereunto annexed, marked E.
6th. The plaintiff offered to prove that, on the 5th day of May, A. D. 1841, a mass convention of the male inhabitants of this State, consisting of four thousand and upwards, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, met at Newport, in said State, in pursuance of notice for that purpose; whereat, among other things, it was resolved by said convention as follows: (See copy of said resolutions hereunto annexed, marked F.)
7th. The plaintiff offered to prove that the said mass convention at Newport aforesaid adjourned their meeting from said 5th day of May to the 5th day of July, 1841, to Provi dence, in said State, at which place and time last mentioned said convention reassembled, consisting of six thousand persons and upwards, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, the same being the free male inhabitants of said State, when and where, among other things, it was resolved by said convention as follows: (See copy of said resolutions hereunto annexed, and marked G.)
8th. The plaintiff offered in evidence certain resolutions of the General Assembly of said State, passed at their May session, 1841; also a certain bill (or act) presented by a member of said Assembly, at the same session, and the proceedings of said Assembly thereupon, copies of which are hereunto annexed, marked H a, H b.
9th. The plaintiff offered in evidence the minority report from the Committee on the Judiciary upon the bill or act mentioned in the eighth offer, made to said General Assembly at their June session, A. D. 1841, and the action of said General Assembly thereupon, copies of which are hereunto annexed, marked I a, I b.
10th. The plaintiff offered to prove that the said State committee, by virtue of the authority in them vested by the said mass convention, notified the inhabitants of the several towns, and of the city of Providence, in this State, to assemble together and appoint delegates to a convention, for the purpose of framing a constitution for this State aforesaid, and that every American male citizen, twenty-one years of age and upwards, who had resided in this State as his home one year preceding the election of delegates, should have the right to vote for delegates to said convention, to draft a constitution to be laid before the people of said State ; and that every thousand inhabitants in the towns in said State should be entitled to one delegate, and each ward in the city of Providence to three delegates, as appears by the following request duly published and proclaimed; also an address from said committee to the people of the State. See the copies of said request and address, hereunto annexed, and marked J a, J b.
11th. The plaintiff offered to prove that the said notice, request, or call was duly published and promulgated in public newspapers printed and published in said State, and by handbills which were stuck up in the public houses, and at various other places of public resort, in all the towns, and in every ward in the city of Providence, in said State.
12th. The plaintiff offered to prove, that, at the adjoumed mass convention aforementioned as held at Providence, in said
State, on the 5th day of July, A. D. 1841, the people of the State then present did by vote duly taken enlarge said State committee by the addition of the following-named persons, all citizens of this State, to wit:
Providence County, Henry L. Webster, Philip B. Stiness, Metcalf Marsh.
Newport County, Silas Sissons.
13th. The plaintiff offered to prove that, at the meeting of the said State committee, on the 20th day of July, 1841, at Providence aforesaid, when the said notice, request, or call was ordered, the following members of said committee were present, and approved of the aforesaid call, and of all the proceedings then had, to wit: Samuel H. Wales, Henry L. Webster, Benjamin Arnold, Jr., Welcome B. Sayles, Metcalf Marsh, Philip B. Stiness, Dutee J. Pearce, Silas Sissons, Benjamin M. Bosworth, Abijah Luce, Sylvester Himes.
14th. The plaintiff then offered to prove that, in the month of August, 1841, citizens of this State, qualified as aforesaid, did meet in their several towns, and in the several wards in the said city of Providence, and made choice of delegates, in conformity with said notice, to meet in convention to form a draft of a constitution to be laid before the people of this State; and he offered the chairman presiding at said meetings, and the persons acting as clerks of the same, the votes or ballots then and there cast by the persons voting thereon, and of the persons then and there voting, to prove the aforesaid facts, and to prove the number of citizens so voting.
15th. The plaintiff offered to prove that the said delegates did meet in convention, in said city of Providence, in the month of October, 1841, and drafted a constitution, and submitted it to the people of said State for their examination, and then adjourned, to meet in said city of Providence, in the month of November, A. D. 1841; and he offered to prove this by the produetion of the original minutes, or records, of the proceedings of said convention, verified by the oaths of the presidents and secretaries thereof, and of divers persons attending the same, as members thereof, or delegates thereto.
16th. The plaintiff offered to prove that, in pursuance of said adjournment, the said delegates did again meet in convention, in said Providence, in said month of November, and then completed the draft of the following constitution, (a copy of which is hereunto annexed marked K,) and submitted the same to the people of said State for their adoption or rejection, recommend
ing them to express their will on the subject, at meetings to be duly presided over by moderators and clerks, and by writing their names upon their tickets, and to be holden in their several towns, and in the several wards of the city of Providence, on Monday, the 27th day of December, and on the two next successive days; and that any person entitled to vote, who, from sickness or other cause, might be unable to attend and vote in the town or ward meeting on the days aforesaid, might write his name on a ticket, and obtain the signature upon the back of the same, as a witness thereto, of a person who had given in his vote, which tickets were in the following form, to wit : _“I am an American citizen, of the age of twenty-one years, and have my permanent residence, or home, in this State; I am (or not) qualified to vote under the existing laws of this State. I vote (for or against) the constitution formed by the convention of the people assembled in Providence, and which was proposed to the people by said convention on the 18th day of November, A. D. 1841”; which votes the moderator or clerk of any town or ward meetings should receive on either of the three days succeeding the three days before named; and which he offered to prove by the production of said original minutes and records as aforesaid, verified as aforesaid, and by the testimony of said persons aforesaid, and by the 14th article of said constitution.
17th. The plaintiff offered to prove that meetings were held in the several towns, and wards of the city of Providence aforesaid, and on the days aforesaid, for the purposes aforesaid, in pursuance of the requirements of said constitution; and the said moderators and clerks did receive, on said three successive days, such votes of persons qualified as aforesaid, and then carefully kept and made registers of all the persons voting, which, together with the tickets given in by the voters, were sealed up and returned by said moderators and clerks, with certificates signed and sealed by them, to the secretary of said convention, to be counted and declared at their adjourned meeting, on the 12th day of January, A. D. 1842; all of which he offered to prove by the testimony of the several moderators presiding at said meeting, and of the clerks of the same, and of the secretaries of said convention, and by the production of the original votes or ballots cast or polled by the persons then and there voting, the original registers of all said persons so voting, and the said certificates, signed and sealed as aforesaid, verified by the oaths of said moderators and clerks.
18th. The plaintiff offered to prove that the said convention of delegates did meet in said Providence, on the said 12th day of January, 1842, and did then and there count the said votes;
and the said convention thereafterwards, on the said 13th day of said January, did pass the preamble and resolutions following, to wit:
“Whereas, by the return of the votes upon the constitution proposed to the citizens of this State by this convention, the 18th day of November last, it satisfactorily appears that the citizens of this State, in their original sovereign capacity, have ratified and adopted said constitution by a large majority; and the will of the people, thus decisively made known, ought to be implicitly obeyed and faithfully executed.
" We do therefore resolve and declare that said constitution rightfully ought to be, and is, the paramount law and constitution of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
" And we further resolve and declare, for ourselves, and in behalf of the people whom we represent, that we will establish said constitution, and sustain and defend the same by all necessary means.
“ Resolved, That the officers of this convention make proclamation of the return of the votes upon the constitution, and that the same has been adopted and become the constitution of this State ; and that they cause said proclamation to be published in the newspapers of the same.
“ Resolved, That a certified copy of the report of the committee appointed to count the votes upon the constitution, and of these resolutions, and of the constitution, be sent to his Excellency the Governor, with a request that he would communicate the same to the two houses of the Genetal Assembly.” A copy of which resolutions and proceedings is annexed, marked L c.
And he further offered to prove that the same was sent to said Governor, and by him communicated to the said General Assembly, and by them laid on the table; and that, by a subsequent resolution of the House of Representatives in said General Assembly, the further consideration thereof was indefinitely postponed. All these matters he offered to prove by the production of the original minutes or records of the convention aforesaid, verified by the oaths of the president, vice-presidepts, and secretaries thereof; by the report of the committee appointed by said convention to count said votes, verified by the certificate of the secretaries of said convention, and by the onths of the members of said committee, and by the certificate of Henry Bowen, Secretary of State under the then acting government, and of Thomas A. Jenks, one of the clerks of the then House of Representatives. And he further offered to prove, that, at the same session of said Assembly, a member of ihe House of Representatives submitted to that body, for their