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and the other, and the senate were at liberty to reject or conform on their responsibility; that he had not been able to find a record of any civil officer of this state be. ing appointed in the absence of the governor, and he had examined for several years after the adoption of the constitution; tradition was certainly against such a practice, and for the council to transact business at all, without the governor, unless he was absent from the seat of government, would be found, on investigation, a novel abuse : He had made these observations on the practice, although he never could admit the monstrous and dan. gerous doctrines, that that usage could control the express words of the constitution. The governor closed his remarks by adding, that if the legislature should give a different construction to the constitution to that which he had maintained, (and by an act to be confirmed at their next session they had a right to declare what the constitution should be,) he was then ready to resign his : authority into those hands from whom he received it, as he could neither act against his conscience, nor would he act against their opinion; but if they should rise without declaring their opinion, he would continue to discharge his duties whilst in office, according to his solemn impressions of the meaning of that instrument he had so sacredly pledged himself to support. Had the resolution which passed the senate, (although it wandered from the line of conduct prescribed by the constitution,) received the sanction of the house of delegates, a letter was prepared to be delivered, limitting the period of the official duties of the present governor; but from that resolution the house of representatives dissented.
A CIVIL OFFICER OF MARYLAND.
FROM THE AMERICAN.
ILEPUBLICANISM is, and ever will be, con. sistent; it will defend no man, or body of men, in the undue or improper exercise of constitutional powers; it never was, nor ever will be the case, I trust, that a profession of republican principles will be a protection, as were federal principles in the days of terror, for abuses
of public confidence. The republican, who has been intrusted by his fellow-citizens, and who has deviated from the principles of the trust, may, and must, expect rejection. Principle ought not, and it will not be sacrificed for, or made to bend to any man, or set of men ; it is invariable and not to be shaken. And the man, let his situation, rank and circumstances in society, be what they may, who claims an exemption from republican reprobation, upon the ground of professions of republican. ism, and that these will prop him in office, when he has acted undeservedly, will most assuredly meet disappointment. And idle are the calculations of federals, when they suppose that there is no responsibility from the republican officer to the republican constituents. As de. lusive are their expectations that the recent instance of difference in opinion, upon a constitutional question, between the governor and council, will materially affect the cause of republicanism throughout the state. The cause of republicanism is not so infirm, as that a contrariety of opinion between the governor and council can unhinge it, and whirl us back into that vortex, in which we had nearly been overwhelmed under the former ad. ministration-Republicans 'will upon this, as upon all other occasions, hitherto, act steadily they will not for this difference abandon an inch of that ground, which they have so meritoriously, and with such difficulty, heretofore won. If any injury result to the public good from this difference in opinion, the governor or the council, which ever occasion the injury, will, and they expect to be, responsible to the next legislature--because they are republicans will not, imperiously, excuse. Another selection will be made to supply the place of him or them, whoever they be, that in the opinion of the legislature' have acted unworthily. In the interim, as they are mediately responsible to the public, an investigation of this difference, at the tribunal of the public, may not be deemed unnecessary.
The governor's justificatory, as it has been styled by the brainless braggart Prentiss, purporting to be “the substance of the verbal address of the governor, to the members of the legislature of Maryland, January roth,
1803," and signed “ A Civil Officer of Maryland,” contains some parts of the governor's speech; some material parts, for motives perhaps immaterial, it has omitted; and it contains besides, a great deal that was not in his speech. Many havé considered it written by the governor himself, but most assuredly he could not thus have committed himself; he certainly would not have published his justification through such a miserable vehicle as the Anti-Democrat; and vindicated his conduct and opi. nions, in the first instance, to federals; for this precious receptacle of federal calumnies is principally monopolized by federals, perhaps not ten republicans throughout the whole state see ten of them in a year. He could not certainly have selected this paper as the one most favourable, in its effects, to truth. If the fact is as supposed by many, to republicans it must appear strange, and conjecture will not be idle. In the course of this examination, the publication above mentioned will be occasionally noticed, let the writer of it be who it may.
The contrariety of opinion between the governor and council, upon the construction of the constitution, relative to the mode in which appointments should be made, first attracted the public attention, in the course of their acting upon the Susquehanna resolutions, directing the appointment of commissioners upon the part of the ate of Maryland. These resolutions were moved in he house of delegates, immediately after the bill “ to make navigable the river Susquehanna" was withdrawn, and when laid on the table were in the following language, as appears by those printed for the use of the members, and were originally, as I am informed, in the hand writing of the governor.
« Resolved, That the governor and council, be and they are hereby authorised and requested to appoint - commissioners on the part of the state of Maryland, to meet such commissioners as may be appointed on the part of the state of Pennsylvania, at such time and place as may mutually be agreed upon, to digest and prepare such plan or compact for the further and effectual improvement of the navigation of the river Susquehanna, as may appear
to them, or to a majority of them, most conducive to the joint interest, which plan or compact, when rtported to, and ratified by, the succeeding legislatures of the two states, shall be mutually binding and obligatory.
“ Resolved, That the governor be and he is hereby re, quested to forward the aforegoing resolution to the governor of the state of Pennsylvania.
« Resolved, That the governor and council be and they are hereby authorised and required to make compensation to the commissioners to be appointed by the aforegoing resolution, when they shall have executed the duties therein prescribed, as they shail deem just and reasona. ble, by order drawn on the treasurer of the western shore, who is hereby directed to pay the same out of any unappropriated money in the treasury.”
The language of " the governor and council is that most generally used in resolutions and laws--as an instance of its being used in the laws, I will refer to the act published in the American, by order of the executive, entitled, « An act respecting the debts due to the state, and the & biors thereof, and for other purposes;” the language ci spiss throughout, and of every other act and recrediit ating powers to the governor and council, is, Ibch. 2, invariably “tbe governor and council.”—The aiul going resolutions were reported in the same language, but upon the second reading of them it was ihought proper to alter the style of these resolutions from that which was commonly used for the purpose, as was publicly avowed upon the floor, of making them conformable in language to that of the constitution, in as much as the governor, to whom they were to be transmitted, was an eminent law character, and presumed to be acquainted with the constitutional language. No person can or will insist that any other reason was ever as. signed for the alteration. The amendment was not made, or did the resolutiolis ever contemplate, to give the governor, in this solitary instance, powers in making the appointment of commissioners more extensive than if the usual style “ the governor and council" had been used--and
in all preceding instances, where powers have been delegated to “ the governor and council” to make appointments, it has ever been the invariable practice for the governor, if present, and the council indiscriminately, to nominate, and if the council were in any appointment equally divided, the governor had then the casting vote; and this has also been the practice in making the appointments of all civil officers under the constitution, and this practice is well known and established ever since the adoption of the constitution of Maryland, and the legislature have evidenced, by the resolution of the IIth Janu. ary, 1803, the day after the governor's verbal address, which was concurred in by both branches, that this known and established mode was that which they intended should
be used by the executive in acting upon the Susquehanna · resolutions, for it is in the words following:
t6 Resolved, That at the time of passing the resoluti. ons respecting the appointment of commissioners on the part of this state to meet such commissioner or commissioners as may be appointed upon the part of the state of Pennsylvania and on the part of the Susquehanna canal company, respecting the navigation of the river Susquehanna, it was the intention of the legislature that these appointments should be made by the governor and council in the same manner, and not otherwise, that the civil officers of government are appointed.” .
But " a Civil Officer of Maryland” gives important and decisive weight to the following resolution being dissented from by the house of delegates, and intimates that the governor was by tliis dissent solely influenced not to resign.
“ Resolved, That is the opinion of the legislature, that the practice that has long since prevailed of indis. criminately nominating persons for appointments by the governor as well as by the council or any member thereof, is the safest, and perhaps the best construction that we can put upon the constitution, and that a person obtaining a majority of the council that constitutes a quo. fum is constituţionally elected.”