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kinds to the contrary, nevertheless.* Their legislative bodies consist of two branches, both of which are returned by the same electors, who may be said to compose the entire adult white population of the country:—the usual qualification being citizenship, with one, or two years residence, and payment of taxes. The only exceptions are the following:
In Vermont,—The legislature consists of a house of representatives only.
In North Carolina.—Representatives are chosen by the whole resident free citizens who pay taxes. But senators only by freeholders.
In New Jersey and Virginia.—The right of suffrage for both houses is limited to persons holding a small amount of landed property.
In Maryland.—The senators are chosen by delegates named for the purpose by the people.
In all the other States, the period for which the representatives serve is for one, or two years. The elections are biennial in Delaware, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Illinois, and Missouri; and annual in the other States.
The shortest period for which senators serve in any State is one year, and the longest five. In the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, North
* The rights of citizenship or naturalization are denied to all foreigners possessing European titles, until such time as they publicly renounce these—" degrading marks of monarchical government," and sign a declaration to this effect, which is immediately placed oil record.
SELFISHNESS OP SENATORS. 101
Carolina, Georgia, the senators hold their office for one year only. In Ohio, and Tennessee for two years; Mississippi, Indiana, Alabama, for three years. In New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Soutk Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Illinois, Missouri, for four years. And in Maryland, for jive years. When the senate of any State serves for more than one year, it is renewed by parts, or divisions, onethird of the number going out annually when they serve for three years; and one-fourth when they serve for four years. The removal is by halves every two years.
It is no very easy matter to speak of these several legislative bodies with composure, or in befitting language. To say that they are bad—very bad, will convey a very indistinct notion of their character and general usefulness, and afford the reader a slender estimate of their real value. Instituted for the declared purpose of preserving the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens, and guarding with jealous care the interests and property of the people whom they represent, they merge these and every other purpose, in the one absorbing consideration of self—self—to which their whole mind is turned, their every thought, their individual exertions made to subserve. Their political position is only valued, as it contributes to their worldly gain, and the advancement of their personal and worldly advantages. Chosen from all grades and classes of the people, they present a strange diversity of the most dissonant and heterogeneous materials—a gathering of the mere odds and ends of society, without reference to peculiar fitness, or capacity for the efficient exercise of the important trusts which they assume. All matters of local legislation are nevertheless, within their province; the property of every individual in their respective States, within their jurisdiction; his life and liberty within their control; regulated by the laws they may choose to enact for this purpose.
The following presents a tolerably accurate analysis of the late House of Representatives, of the State of Massachusetts, as also of Pennsylvania; which affords a fair sample of the legislatures of the twenty-four remaining States: that of Massachusetts consisting of 241 farmers; 127 merchants or traders, including grocers, iron and lumber dealers; 44 lawyers and attorneys; 22 shipmasters; 22 manufacturers; 10 physicians; 12 clergymen; 8 gentlemen; 5 freeholders; 5 educators; 4 editors; 4 surveyors; 3 agents of manufacturing companies; 1 clerk of ditto; 3 shoremen; 2 underwriters; 1 civil engineer; 1 wood dealer; 1 deputy sheriff, or bailiff; 1 surveyor of lumber; 1 druggist; 1 drover; 1 oysterman; 1 saddler; 3 taylors; 1 silversmith; 11 carpenters and housewrights; 2 bakers; 3 printers and booksellers; 3 blacksmiths; 2 pump and block makers; 10 tanners; 2 soap boilers; 3 wheelwrights; 1 thatcher; 5 coopers; 4 shoemakers; 2 butchers; 1 chair and harness maker; 3 card makers; 1 paper maker; 1 tinman; 5 masons; 1 maker of playing cards; 1 looking glass maker; 1 paper stainer; 3 machinists; and 6 others, occupation not known
REPRESENTATIVES OF PENNSYLVANIA. 103
The same august body, in the year 1837, consisted of 239 farmers; 117 mechanics and handicraftsmen; 110 merchants and retail dealers of different callings; 36 lawyers and attorneys; 16 clergymen of various persuasions; 10 physicians and apothecaries; 30 manufacturers; 22 mariners or seafaring persons; 17 gentlemen of various characters; and 35 of other occupations.
Of these "other occupations," there are 6 surveyors; 4 inn and tavern keepers; 3 post-masters; 3 schoolmasters, or teachers; 3 newspaper editors; 2 deputy sheriffs, or bailiffs; 2 butchers; 1 broker.
Of the mechanics, the greater number of any one kind is, 8 tanners; next greatest, 6 painters, &c.
The House of Representatives of Pennsylvania is somewhat more select. It consists of 55 farmers; 15 lawyers and attorneys; 28 merchants and retail dealers of various callings; and 2 set down in American phraseology as gentlemen.
These details will convey to the reader some idea of the strange variety of character, and of persons, of which the local legislative assemblies in the United States are usually composed; the diversified materials of which they are framed and put together. What a strange medley do they present!—what a hotch-potch miscellany of all casts and grades of American society; from the anvil, as well the conventicle and pulpit—from the boiling house, as from the judicial bench—the shambles and slaughter house, as from the merchant's desk—the tailor's board, as from the plough—all—all abandoning their natural and legitimate occupations, quitting the pursuits of a more quiet and rational industry to legislate and give laws to a nation, v hose varied, uncertain, and ill digested form of government, we are asked to consider, as the perfection and acme of human legislation :—at the same time that every species of unmeasured abuse is unsparingly heaped upon the Institutions of the parent country, from whence in point of fact they derive all that is of the least value, or in any manner worth preserving among themselves.
The character of many of these tribunals, we believe, to scarcely admit of any very strict inquiry. They however accord with all that their fellowcitizens usually require, or even expect from them; who are generally prepared to extend to them immunity for any dereliction of their duties, except of a very flagrant kind, which they sometimes take care to visit at the next ballot-box. The following description of the Pennsylvanian Legislature affords, we verily believe, a tolerably correct portraiture of most of the others. The statement is taken from a letter of the late William Cobbett, written a short time before his death, and addressed by him to General Jackson, at that time President of the United States. It was extensively circulated in the several States of the Union, including the State of Pennsylvania, where we happened to be on the occasion, without one word of contradiction being uttered or published in reply: we may then reasonably presume its entire correctness :—