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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1821—(8 o'clock, A. M.)
At a meeting of the Convention, assemhled hy the special convocation of the president, he announced to them the uupleasant intelligence of the sudden, death of one of the memhers, Mr. Jansen, of Ulster, and mentioned that in the recess he had taken upon himself the appointment of a committee, consisting of the surviving colleagues of the deceased, Messrs. Clarke, Hunter, and Dubois, together with Messrs. Wendover and Duer, to make arrangements for the funeral.
The following resolutions were then adopted hy the Convention:
Renhrd, That the memhers and officers of this Convention, as a mark of reject to the deceased, accompany the corpse to the steam-hoat.
Bentvcd, That the memhers and officers of this Convention wear crape for the remainder of the session.
M*. Ht .nTfr, from the committee appointed to make arrangements for the funeral of the Hon. Henry Jansen, deceased, reported, that as it had heen determined, hy the friends of the deceased, to take his hody to his late place of residence in the county of Ulster, the committee had agreed to the following order of procession, to accompany the corpse to the steam-hoat, to wit:—
1. The Chaplains to the Convention. fhe corpse and pall hearers.
3. The relatives of the deceased.
4. Tne committee of arrangement, and hoarders in the same family with the deceased, as mourners. f
3. The physicians.
6. The President and Secretaries of the Convention, preceded hy the Serjeants at arms.
7. Memhers of the Convention, two and two. K. Governor and Lientenant-Governor.
9. Judges of the supreme court.
10. Mayor and corporation of the city of Alhany.
11. Other puhlic officers.
12. Citizens of Alhany and strangers.
13. The door-keepers of the Convention.
fhe President then left the chair, and the memhers were invested with the tadges of mourning, and at 9 o'clock, formed in procession in front of the capital, and escorted the corpse to the steam-hoat, on hoard of which it was embarked for Kingston, the residence of the deceased. At the hoat religious exercises of admonition and prayer were performed hy the Rev. Dr. Chester, in presence of a numerous concourse of the memhers and citizens. Messrs. Van Vachten, Gen. Root, Fairlie, Van Home, Duhois, and Hunter, acted as peil hearers; and the corpse was preceded hy the reverend clergy of the city, officiating as chaplains to the Convention.
Having returned to the capitol, at 10 o'clock the President resumed the cVair; and
On motion of Gen. Root, the Convention adjourned over to Mouday next
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1821.
The President took the chair at the usual hour, and after prayers hy the Dr. Ci'mmmc, the journals of Friday last were read and approved.
Mr. Van Buhen, from the committee on so much of the constitution as rehutt to the power of appointment to office, and the tenure thereof, reported, •hat in the opinion of the committee. the following amendments of the constipation o'jght to he made, via.:
Kesoh-etl, That the council of appointnu-nt, as established by the existing con. slitution, ought to be abolished.
lletohfd. That appointments and selections for offices in tin- militia, ought to be directed by tbe constitution to be made in the manner following, viz,
1st. Captains and subalterns by the written votes of the members of tieir respective companies; and non-commissioned officers to be appointed by captains.
2d. Field officers of regiments by the written votes of Hie commissioned officers of tlie respective regiments.
3d. Major-generals, brigadier-generals and commanding officers of regiments, to appoint the staff officers of their respective divisions, brigades, and regimenu.
4th. The governor, no nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of Uk senate, to appoint all major generals, brigadier-generals, and adjutant-general.
5th. That it should be made the duty of the legislature to direct by law tlie time and manner of electing militia officers, and of certifying the officers elected, to the governor.
6th. That the constitution ought to provide that in case the electors ofcaptains, subalterns, or field officers of regiments, shall neglect or refuse to make such election, after being notified according to law, the governor shall »ppo;nt suitable persons to fill the vacancies thus occasioned.
"th. That all commissioned officers of militia be commissioned by the governor, and that he determine their rank.
8;h. That the governor shall have power to fill up all vacancies in militia officers, the appointment of which is vested in the governor and senate, happening during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at tbe end of the next session of the legislature.
9th. That no officer, duly commissioned to command in the militia, shall be removed from his office, but hy the senate on the recommendation of the governor, stating the grounds on whiclx such removal is recommended, or by the decision of a court martial pursuant to law.
10th. That the commissions of the present officers of the militia be no otherwise afitcttil by these amendments than to subject those holding them, to removal in the manner above provided.
llth. That in case the mode of election and appointment of militia officers nondirected, shall not after a full and fair experiment be found conducive to the improvement of the militia, it shall be lawful for the legislature to abolish the swnf, and to provide by law for their appointment and removal: Provided two third* of the members present in each house shall concur therein.
KenlveJ, that instead of the mode now provided for, tiie appointment of civil officers, the constitution ought to be so amended as to diiect their cled**11 and appointment in the m:inncr following:
1st. The secretary of s'ate, comptroller, treasurer, surveyor-general, »"d commissary-general, to be appointed as follows, to wit: The senate and assembly shall each openly nominate one person for the said offices respectively, afu-r which nominations they shall meet together, and if on comparing their respective nominal ions they shall be found to agiee, the person so designated shall '«-' so appointed to lite office for which he is nominated,—if they dis.igree, tlie appointment shall be made by the .joint ballot of the senators "and members of :"sembly, Bo met together as aforesaid.
2d. That the- governor shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and ron; wntof the -.ena'.e, shall appoint the attorney-general, sheriffs, and all judicial officers, except justices of tlie peace.
3.1. That the clerks of courts including comiu clerks, be appointed by tl" courts of which they respectively arc clerks ; and district attorneys by the cmirli »f common plejs.
4th. That the mayors and clerks of all Hie cities in this slate, except the rity of New-York, be appointed by the common councils of the said respective cities.
5th. Tlut there Khali be elected in every town in this slate by the person* «l«ial 5»d «o vo'~ fo.- m-m1)—s of the legislature, so many justices of the pcaci
as the lagislature may direct, not exceeding four in any town. That every person so elected a justice of the peace may liold his office fir four years, unless re noved hy the county court or court of common pleas, for canses particularly assigned hy the judges of the said court. And that no justice of the peace shall he so removed until notice is given him of the charges made against him, and an opportumty afforded him of heing heard in his defence.
6th. That all officers under the anthority of the government of this state in the city of New-York, whose appointment i. not vested in the common council of said city, or in the governor, hy and with the advice and consent of the senate, ihill he appointed in the following manner, to wit: The inhahitants of the respective wards of that city, qualified to Vote for memhers of the legislature, shall rlect one person in each of the said wards, and the persons so elected shall constitute a hoard of electors for the appointment and removal of all such officers— That immediately after they shall he assemhled in consequence of the first election, they shall he divided as equally as may he into three classes—The seats of the electors of the first class shall he vacated at the expiration of the first year; of tlie second class at the expiration of the second year, and of the third class at the expiration of the third year; so that one third may he chosen every year; and if vacancies happen hy resignation or otherwise, they shall he supplied hy the wards in which they happen, in the manner ahove mentioned—And that no such elector shall he eligihle to any office within their gift, during the time for which he shall he elected.
Tih. That all the officers which are at present elected hy the people, continue to he so elected; and all other officers whose appointment is not provided for hy ttio constitution, and who are not included in tlie resolution relative to the city of New-York, and all officers who may he hereafter created hy law, may he elected hy the people, or appointed as the legislature may from time to time hy law direct, in such manner as they shall direct.
TENURE OF OFFICE.
Hmited, That the tenure of the offices herein after named he as follows r 1. Treasurer to he chosen annually.
2- Secretary of state, comptroller, surveyor and commissary general, to hold daring the pleasure of the legislature—removahle hy concurrent resolution.
3. sheviffs to he appointed annuatly, ineligihle after four years, and to hold no «hcr office at the same time.
4. Judges of the courts of common pleas (except the first judge) and surrora rs to he appointed for five years, removahle hy the senate on the recommenCa1ian of the governor, stating the grounds on which such removal is recommended.
5. Attorney general to hold his officee during the pleasure of the governor and snute, removahle hy the latter on the recommendation of the former.
6. Itreonlerj of cities hy the same tenure, except that the recommendation of real Tat shall state the grounds.
7. Mayors of cities to he appointed annually.
8. Clerks of courts and district atlornies to hold during t!ie pleasure of the courts isppointing them.
Scwidi Lk of the numher of officers in the state holding their commission unkj-r tlie council of appointment as at present organized, and showing also the r umher and nature of the officers which will he appointed hy the governor and sca*:r, if the system, recommended hy the committee, he adopted.
Cici7 appointment! under the council of appointment.
There are 52 counties in the state, and 639 towns, (allowing the wards in cities to he eqnat to towns)
Owe chancellor, five judges of the supreme court, and one judge of the
court of prohate amounted to, 7
first judge and four other judges in each county, amounted to, 260
four justices in each town, 2556
•sae clerk, one surrogate, and one sheriff to each county, 156
Auctioneers in the state 316
Carorers in the state, 630
Masters in chancery,
Inspectors of turnpike roads, "•
Commissioners to acknowledge deeds, !tc. 1131
Examiners in chancery, **
Inspectors of beef and pork, and all other inspectors for commercial or mer
cantile purposes, Other officers not particularized, 326
Total, 6663 • Some of the masters in chancery not being cotauetlvri at /tnr cannot act.
MILITARY APPOINTMENTS. Officers in 25 divisions, 51 brigades,
237 regiments— ttaff, 1896
26 battalions— •taff, 104
Total 8287 KECAPlTirLATTON.
Civil officers 6663
If the system recommended by the committee be adbp'ed j out of the 14.943 appointmenis now made by the council of appointment, the following only will fce made by the general appointing power, viz.
Major generals, 25
Brigadier generals, 52
Adjutant generals, 1—78
First jndge, and judges of canntiet, 360
Surrogates and sheriff's, 104
Kecorders of cities, 4
Chancellor, judges of the supreme court, and judge of probate 7— 37-i
[Mr. Van Bvken, in making the foregoing report, stated that a difference of opinion existed among the members of the committee with respect to some •f its provisions; and that a particular provision, limited to the city of fiewYork, haJ been introduced at the unanimous request of the delegates representing that city.]
The report wan committed to a committee of the whole house, and ordered to be printed.
THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.
Gen. Root understood the chairman of the committee of the whole, on the executive department to have reported that various amendments had been gone through, and that he was not instructed to ask leave to sit again. lie therefore thought the proper course would be to refer the report back to the committee of the whole, in order that they might make a perfect report, and be made a motion to that effect. After some discussion on the point of order between the president, Messrs. Spencer, Radcliff, and Root, it was moved by Mr. Spencer, that in consequence of the thinness- of the house, the consideration of this report he deferred until to-morrow.
Gr.N. Root wished business to be done in order. He only desired to see. the report of the chairman of the committee of the whole on the executive department referred back to that committee, fur the sake of order. He should then concur in the motion of the gentleman from Alhany, tliat the Convention should not go into consideration of this report to-day. Mr. Root's motion was then put and carried.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS. Mr. Sharpe then moved that the house go into committee of the whole, on the report of the committee on the hill of rights—which was acceded to, and Mr. Tates was called to the chair, and read the hill of rights as reported hy the committee—when the chairman heing called on for an explanation of the views of the committee,
Mr. Sharpe stated, that the committee had taken up the hills of rights of other states, of the United States, and of our own state, and compressed the whole into the nine articles read—hut other gentlemen may think other provisions important and can add them. A hill of rights setting forth the fundamental provisions of our government, has always heen held sacred, and I have seen, as «ther gentlemen familiar with legislation must have seen, the utility of this hill of rights, which serves as a standard, easily referred to on all constitutional questions: one caleulated to restrain useless and improvident legislation.
Chtef Justice Spencer thought much of the hill of rights redundant—perhaps, indeed, where rights are so well understood as in this country, it is useless to have any hill setting them forth—yet upon the whole it was deemed proper to keep hefore the eyes of the legislature a hrief and paramount declaration of rights heyond which they cannot go. There was one part of this hill ut- rights which he thought, however, quite useless, that restraining from cruel and unnecessary punishments—now no punishment can he inflicted hut hy law—and if the legislature pass laws inflicting punishment, the punishment whatever it he, will not he considered hy them as cruel. There are provisions in other constitutions and hills of rights withholding all power not granted ; and negating the right of passing certain laws. Such as for example, that no law shall he passed making any thing hut gold and silver a tender, and others-—hut we have thought it unnecessary to add these provisions—gentlemen thinking differently can propose their amendments.
The question was then taken on the first clanse, and carried unanimously. The second clanse was then read, and
Chtef Justice Spencer explained the motives which had induced the committee to except, from the necessity of presentment hy the grand jury, certain cases, and principally that of petit lareeny, which requires speedy punishment, and which it would he too vexatious, and productive of too much delay, to suhject to the form of indictments hy a grand jury.
Mr. Radclife wished the question taken on the first paragraph of the first clanse, tenninating at the words grand jury.
Gas. Root wished information on the extent of the term of "hreach of :hc peace." He had known persons put to trial against their will, without jury, clearly against the constitution of this state, and of the United States— persons who cannot, or will not give hail, are suhject to this summary proceedmg, which has heen winked at hecanse it is summary. But hreaches of the peace may he very extensive—the sending of a challenge is a hreach of the jieace. Now is it intended to he provided, that three justices may take up and trv a man for sending or accepting a challenge—there are other hreaches of lite peace of a high nature—a riot, for the commission of high treason or a feiooy, when the crime is not perpetrated, is still a hreach of the peace, hut ought surely to he tried on the presentment of a grand jury.
Mr. Buel moved to strike out the words " cases of petit lareeny and hreaches of the peace." AVe are taking away the henefit of jury to an extent unknown in other parts of the United States; and the mode of trial which is suhttituted for it, is not productive of good; it wants solemnity. A person accused of petit lareeny, is suhjected to a summary trial and conviction hefore three justices—without the power of appealing; a traveller, at a distance from his frtends, may he accused, tried, and punished, without the power of giving hail, or appealing against his sentence. A conviction for petit lareeny not only is punished, as a specific offence, hut renders the person suhjected to it infamous, «ad incapahle of futurr credihility as a witness, and this without the intervention of a jury.