Gambar halaman

was six years a counsellor, has, on being asked, said, that during all the time he served, if the members of the council assembled, and the governor was not present, but at the seat of government, they never proceeded to business without him. General Stone, who was six years a counsellor, and three years a governor, on being asked declared, he could recollect nothing like the conduct of the present council; and every member of any former council with whom the Civil Officer has conversed, has related to him instances of their convening at the government house, when the governor from any cause yould not conveniently attend at the stadthouse.

But, according to the Friend to Candour, if the governor is notified and will not attend, it is his own fault. Will the Friend to Candour deny that the council have met when the governor was in town-transacted business, and made appointments, without notifying him at all? It is certain, that if according to their constructi. on of the constitution, they can act without the governor, and that when present, if all the council attend, or any number but four, he can do nothing; their notification and his attendance must be mere matter of civility and form; and it must be as well, or even better, to proceed without him, especially if they believe he is averse to their measures: Nothing farther is necessary but for them to shew, “ that when the governor, by and with the advice and consent of council, is authorised and required to appoint,” the council are thereby empowered to appoint, and to appoint without the consent or even the presence of the governor; if they can establish this, then they have acted constitutionally, and their incivili.'' ty, to an individual, however felt by him, will not probably be much regarded by the public, and much less by themselves. But this is yet to be determined.

The Friend to Candour must have strangely misunderstood the Civil Officer respecting the resolutions; no particular allusion was made to those which originated in the senate; all the resolutions, those respecting the Susquehanna, and those explanatory of them, were con,

templated by the Civil Officer, who would not consider himself as justified by any personal motive in publishing their history; but he has prepared it; and if, after this explanation, he is again invited to publish, it shall be furnished to the printer, and the Friend to Candour may have it published if he pleases, and the Civil Officer will give his name, and become responsible for the facis,

It yet remains to remark on the comments which the Friend to Candour has made on the assertion of the Ci. yil Officer, that there was no precedent of an adjournment of the council to meet in the evening since the governor and they þad acted together. This he has politely termed quibbling, a vulgar expression, heretofore considered as appropri. ated to the lowest pettifogging retainers of a county court bar; the Civil Officer will leave the term with those who have used it; but in reply he must take the liberty to prove, that the Friend to Candour has been guilty of a suggestion of what is not true, and it is feared with malice prepense. He has suggested, that there had been an adjournment of the council in the morning to meet in the evening with the knowledge of the governor, before that ong the Susquehanna appointment. This is not the fact. He could not have supposed that the Civil Officer meant that there could be an adjournment on one day to meet on the evening of the next day, this would be too abşurd. The Civil Officer evidențly meant, that the coun, cil had never done business twice a day to his know, ledge ; this not only appears from the entries on the journal, but it is the real fact, These expressions were used by the Civil Officer to avoid the following disagree, able detail ; " that for the governor to meet the council in the evening at the stadt-house in the winter, (when this happened,) could not be reasonably desired; at that season it is expected that he should entertain frequent. ly; this seems indeed the principal object of his appointment, as the constitution is construed by the council, although it must be chiefly done at his own expence; as the public bodies sit till late before dinner, his company seldom disperses till long after candlelight, and although he may not entertain every day, yet his hours must be

nearly the same every day; from this cause there never had been an adjournment to meet in the evening to the knowledge of the governor. The instances alluded to by the Friend to Candour happened as the year advanced, the days lengthened, and the public bodies had retired; and from the following cause, as far as the governor has been concerned. A member has been sent for from the country to make a board, he would be late the next day before he arrived, and a meeting has been therefore held in an evening, but there was then no meetting in the morning." From this detail of facts the public could determine where the imputation of quibbling and fabrication would attach, was other evidence wanting.

With the citizens of Maryland, and their representatives, it now remains to decide, whether the constructie on of the council is the real constitution of the state. , They will naturally reflect, that if the governor is thus rendered a cypher, and if he is to continue a mere dependant on the civility of the council, who may ask him or not to be present at their deliberations, where he must sit chiefly as an unconcerned spectator, no man of talents or worth will accept of the office on such.condi. tions.-They must know, that when the head is insigni. ficant, the body politic can never be respectable. The people have established the office of governor as the first in their constitutional compact; the power and authority they have attached to it are their power and their authoșity; it rests with their sovereign will to support this office, or to let others destroy it. As to the individual who now fills it, he holds it but for a moment, and that as their trustee and servant. In determining the question they will only be guided by the interest of the state, and their duty to themselves and their posterity; in comparison with these objects, the officer of the day or the year will disappear from their view; he is but as a grain of sand on the shore of the ocean: but still the devotion to public service of more than eight and twenty of the forty-three years of his life that have now passed away, without any other reward, or hope of reward, than the good opinion and good will of his fellow-citi.

zens, may excuse an anxiety to explain the principles, and justify the motives of his conduct.

A CIVIL OFFICER OF MARYLAND. The Appendix, although necessarily delayed, will be furnished, and at no distant period,

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »