Page images

second section of the said fifth article. . Their successors shall hold ac. cording to the tenure therein prescribed.

VIII. The legislature at its first session under the amended constitution, shall divide the other associate judges of the state into four classes. The commissions of those of the first class shall expire on the twenty.neventh day of February, eighteen hundred and forty : of those of the second class on the lwenty-seventh day of February, eighteen hundrell anil forty-one : of those of the third class on the twenty-seventh day of February, eighteen hundred and forty-two; and of those of the fourth class on the twenty seventh day of February, eighteen hundred and forty-three.

IX. Prothonotaries, clerks of the several courts, (except of the supreme court,) recorders of seeils and registers of wills, shall be first elected under the amended constitution, at ihe election of representatives in the year eighteen hundred and thirty-vine, in such manner as inay be prescribed by law.

X. 'The :ppointing power shall remain as heretofore, and all officers in the appointmeni of the executive dep:rtment, shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective offi:es until the legislazure shall pass such laws as may be required by the eighth section of the sixth article of the amended constitution, and until appointments shall be made under such laws, unless their commissions sliall be superseded by new app:iniments, or shall sooner expire by their own limitations, or the said offices shall become vacanl by death or resignation ; and such laws shall be enacted by the first legislature under the aniended constitution.

XI. The first election for aldermen anil justices of the peace shall be held in March, eighteen hundred and furiy, at the time fixed for the election of constables. The legislature at its firsi session under the amended constitution, shall provide for the said election, and for subse. quent similar elections. The aldermen and justices of the peace now in commission, or who may in the interiin be appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties of ileir respective offices mil new coinmissions shall be issued under said clection : at which time all previous comissions shall be held wo expire.

Which was read and laid on the table ; and, On motion of Mr. M'SHERRY, Ordered to be printed. Mr. WOODWARD, on behalf of a minority of the committee appointed to prepare and report a schedule to the annended constitution, made report:

That they dissent from the sisth a'ul seventh sections of the report of the majority, and they recomend the adoption of the following sections instea:) of those numbered six and seven in that report.

VI. Within three months from and after the third 'Tuesday of Janu. ary next, the governor shail, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, re-appoint one of the then existing ju lyes of the supreine court for the term of three years; one of them for the term of six years one of them for the term of nine years; one of them for the term of tivelve years; and one of them for the term of lifieen years.

VII. The commissions of the president judges of the eleventh and

[ocr errors]

thirteenth judicial districts shall expire on the twenty-seventh day of
Februarv. anno domini, one thousand, eight loundred and thirty-nine ;-
of the ninth and fifteenth districts on the twenty-seventh day of Febru.
ary, anno domini, one thoufand eight hundred and forty ;-of the sixth
and firs: districts on the twenty-seventh day of February, anno domini,
one thousand eigh hundred and (oriy one :—of the luurih and sixteenth
districts on the wenty-seventh day of February, anno domini, one
thousand eight hundred and fortv.iwo ;-of the iwelfth and seventh dis.
triçis on the iweniy-seventh day of Femmary, anno doinini, one thousand
eight hundred and furiy-three; of t!.e seventeenth and eighth districis,
on the twenty-seventh clay of February, anno domini, one thousand
eight hundred and forty-four;—of the nineteenth and fifth districts,
and the commissions of the associate judges of the first district, shall
espire on the twenty seventh day of February, anno domini, one thou.
sand eight lindrei ani foriy.five :-he commissions of the presiilent
judges of the cighteenth and third districts, shall expire on the twenty-
seventh day of February, anno domi:si, one thousand eig'it hundred and
forty-six ; ----of the secouil an: tenth districts, on the twenty-seventh day
of February, anno domini. one thousand eight hundred and forty-sever;-
and of the fourteenth district on the twenty-seventh day of February,
anno domini one thousanı ciglit lundred and forty-eight.


Laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

Mr. M'Sherry, on the behalf of a minority of the committee appointed to prepare and report a schedule to the a:nended constitution, made the following report, viz :

The undersigned, a minority of the committee appointed to prepare and report a schedule to the ameniled costos, recommend the adoption of the subjoined sections in place of the cighth and eleveath sections reported by the cominillee, viz :

VIII. The comniissions of the assoviate judges of the several courts of common pleas of this commonwealth (.is well as of those of the first judicial district,) now in com niission, shall not be affected by the said sec. ond section of the said lilil article. "Tveir successors shall hold accor. ding to the tenure therin prescribeci.

XI. All aldermen a'rid j'estices of the peace now in commission shall continue to hold their oflices according to the terms of their present coinmissions. Whenever the numrer of these officers in any warıl, bor. ough or township, shall be reduced loy death, resignation or otherwise, below the number which may be prescribed by law, the Vacancies shall be filled in the manner and upon tire tenure prescribed by the seventh section of the sixth article of ihe amended.consiilution.


Laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


The convention resumed the seconil reading and consideration of the report of the committee appointed to prepare and report a schedule to the amended constitution, to whom was referred the resolution instructing said com mittee to report when it will be most expedient for the citizens of the state to vote upon the amendments to the constitution, which may be submitted to them for their approbation.

The amendment to the amendment to the said report being under consideration, as follows, viz:

To strike from the amendment the werds “second Tuesday of October," and insert in lieu thereof the words “first Tuesday of November.”

Mr. Reigart of Lancaster, said. I presme we may take the ques. tion very soon on the matter now before us, and I will give iny reason. If the election is to take place in November, ac ording to the amendment now immediately under consideration, it seems to me that it will be more likely to beget political excitement, than if held at any other line, and that parties will array themselves one against the other in reference to these amendinents. The election for governor will then have passed, and the parties, according to the success of their respective candidates, will arouse themselves for or against the amendments. Every thing of this kind has been properly deprecated by the gantleman from the city, (Mr. Scott) an II concur with him in the views he has expressed on that point. But I do not ayree with him in the position, that a day in November, will be better than the second Tuesday in October. I do not see how political considerations can be mixed up with the question of the amendments, if we fix on the latier day. It is uncertain who will be elected governor, and we may suppose that the election is held at that time, will go according to the ineriis or demerits of the amendments them. belves. I, therefore, go in favor of the second Tuesday in October ; and moreover, I think that a greater number of votes will be polled, than on any other day that can be fixed upon. Il is true, that in the cities and lowns, the people can go out to the polls at any time, but it is not so with the agricultural interests.

There is another matter which may seem unimportant to the minds of some gentlemen, but which in my estimation is not so. I allude to the expense of a special election. We may differ as to which day will be best ;-but if we do not differ as to the day on which the greatest number of votes will be given, it seem to me that the expense, altlaough a sınall matter, should be allowed to enter into the computation.

I shall vote for the second Tuesday in October. Mr. Fuller, of Fayette, said : I believe there are only three objects connected with this question. The first is, to have a fair and full expression of the opinions of the volers on the amendments which may be agreed to by this convention. This is the first and most important object; because if there should not be such an expression of opinion, I take it for granted that the minority of the voters of this commonwealth, not being satisfied with many, or most, of

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

the amendments that may be adopted by the people, will be more willing to make application for further changes in the constitution. But if the amended constitution should be adopted by the vote of a large majority of our people-as I have no doubt it will be, if the election shall be held al a proper time I believe that all questions of this kind will be put at rest for many years to come.

The question then presents itself, what is the proper time at which to obtain the largest number of votes ? So far as any thing has transpired in the course of this debate, it seems to me that no gentleinan on either side las objected in the position, that more voters would turn out on the second Tuesday of October, than at any other time. As to the propriety of accomplishing that great and important ohject, it does not appear that there is any difference of opinion among the members of this convention. The only point of difference in reference to that particular, is, on what day can the object be best accomplished.

It is true that the gentleman from the city of Philadelphia, (Mr. Scott) wlio proposed the amendment immediately under consideration, objects to the second Tuesday of October, on the ground that the people may become so excited, as he terms it, upon the general election day, that they will not vole calmly and considerately; that their feelings will be wrought up to such a pitch by parly excitement as to warp their better judgment. There has been as niuch excitement in a governor's election and in county elections as ever will be got up by this important subject; and will the gentleman say, that the minds of the independent voters of this commonwealth have been so led away by party excitement, and the heat of party warfare, as to cause them to voie improperly?

If the gentleman intends to advance this doctrine, I should like him to carry it out, and see where it will land him. I should like him to propose some remedy, by means of which, the people can vote clearly and understandingly ; but at all events, I think he must concur with me on one point that is to say, that this whole subject is a proper subject for deliberation and decision, whether coolly or otherwise, by the people themselves.

As to the convenience of ihe people, that is another point to be considered. How the facts may be in the cities and large towns, I do not so well know; but I should suppose that to people residing there, it will make little difference whether these amendments are passed upon at the general election, or upon a day specially set apart for the purpose. I know, however, that this is not the case in the sinall towns and villages - with the country people, as they are termed. This fact has been sufficienily demonstrated in the elections which have taken place during the last fisieen or twenty years. The result may be seen in the general elec. tions which take place on the second Tuesday of October, and the elec. tion sur electors of president of the United States which is held in November.

Il gentlemen will examine the list of returns, they will see that, in the election for electors of president of the United States, the number of votes polled, is infinitely less than the number taken on the second Tuesday of October. It is reasonable that it should be so; we can not expect any thing else. A large portion of the voters of Pennsylvania are agricultural

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

sto, or labourers. They do not generally take so lirely an interest in the elections as I could desire. They live far from the polls ; they are unwilling to spend their time in travelling there, and the consequence is, that many stay at home on the second election. And I have no doubt Hat this will be the case in the present instance.

As to the proposition for the first Tuesday of June, that appears to me equally as objectionable as the proposition of the gentleman from the city of Philadelphia. It is undoubtedly proper that the people should have time allowed them to examine the amended constitution, and to compare its provisions with those of the constitution of 1790. This I believe to be requisite. They will then be bener able to possess themselves of information, and to coine in the polls prepared to vote understandingly and wisely.

The next objection which I have to urge against a special election, is the aduitional expense which must be thereby entailed upon the p'ople. There are in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, one thousand and four wards, boroughs and townships. Each of these election districis will cost about fifteen dollars upon an average. That will amount to an additional experse of about lifieen thousand and sixty dollars – 10 be imposed upon the people. But is this all the additional expense which will be incurred? I hold that it is not. Take the average time of the volersfor to the indusuious and hard working population of this state, time is money--and a special election will cost every man at least fifty cents. How many voters are there in tlie state? Say two hundred thousand. So that the whole would ainout to a sum of one hundred thousand dollars. It is true that this sun is not actually paid out of pocket by a majority of the roters, but it is a greater loss than if the money were actually so paid. By this calculation, therefore, a special election would involve an additional expense of one hundred and filleen thousanı dollars. Is this nothing ? Surely it is a matter worthy or some consideration at the hands of this body.

Now Mr. President, taking into view the first and greatest object which it is our duty 10 accomplish—hat is to say 10 procure a full expression of the will of the voters of this commonwealili, it is ay reell, I believe, upon all hands, that that object can be beller accomplished by holding the election on the second Tuesday of October than on any other day.

'The next object which we should have in view, is the convenience of the volers. The second Tuesday of October is a convenient day 10 them. It is a time when the voters arrange their business so as to attend the polle on that particular day--and I repeat, that I suppose all gentlemen must be satisfied that a larger vote will be polled on that day than on any other.

For these reasons, I hope that the convention will fix upon the second Tuesday of October. It will give the most satisfaction to the people.

I shall, therefore, go against the amendment of the gentleman from the city of Philadelphia, ind in favor of the second Tuesday of October.

Mr. MILLER, of Fayelle, demanded the immediale question.
But there was no second.

« PreviousContinue »