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One of them replied, that he considered the proceedings of Saturday conclusive. The governor then finished his communication, and read it to the board. He was as, sured that no member of the council intended to treat him with disrespect. Without making any reply, he sealed his letter, and forwarded it to the legislature by the clerk. The council conceived it a duty to exculpate themselves from the charges of the governor, by furnishing the legislature with a brief statement of facts, counteracting the impression of the appointment having been made without his knowledge.—But the “ Civil,Officer” has stated, that the council did not act with frankness towards the governor, in not communicating their answer to him before it was presented to the assembly. An impartial public will decide, whether candour required, that men charged with indecorum of deportment towards the chief magistrate of the state, should communicate to their accuser the nature of their defence, prior to its being preferred to that tribunal before which the accusa. tion had been made? It will not be denied, that the go. vernor's conduct in reading his letter to the council is not inconsistent with the idea of frankness or candour; but it will never be admitted, that it deserves the dignified appellation of good breeding or refined politeness; with a breach of which the council were afterwards charged in the verbal address.
The governor left the council room in a short time after his letter was delivered, and the council expecting that the assembly would that day put a period to their session, hastily prepared their reply, that it might be handed to that body. It could hardly be supposed, that they would take their answer into consideration in the presence of the governor, after having heard the terms in which his letter was couched besides, it was not an executive act, but the address of individuals, justifying their conduct as public funétionaries; and if it were to be admitted, for the sake of argument, that the governor's fiat was necessary to give validity to the appointment of commissioners, yet the sanction of his approbation could not reasonably be deemed requisite to a defence against charges which he himself had exhibited.
Here, perhaps, this statement should be brought to a conclusion, but the writer cannot forbear remarkings that the “ Civil Officer” has published but one resolution of the senate on this subject, disconnected with any further procedure of the legislature, except the yeas and nays of the house of delegates on that resolution. Without any further explanation, this would be calculated to convey the idea that the house of delegates rejected the proposition of the senate, because they thought the governor's construction of the constitution correct.-T enable the public to judge upon this subject, by bringing into one view the whole proceeding, a copy of the senate's resolutions, and the message of the house of delegates, assigning the reason of their dissent to the last resolution, is herewith published.
Such facts are here submitted to the perusal of the public in justification of the council, as the omissions of the “ Civil Officer” seemed to render necessary. The constitutional question on the relative powers of the governor and council may hereafter claim the attention of
A FRIEND TO CANDOUR.
FROM THE AMERICAN.
1 HE lengthy publication in your paper of the 23d ultimo, of “ A Friend to Candour," from the different conversations the writer appears to have held with every mem ber of the executive council, must be considered as at least authorised by those gentlemen : certainly its decent exterior is well contrasted with the significant threats and quaint remarks of the Spectator, who has also addressed the public against the governor in your paper of the 25th.
Both these writers assume as a fact, that the original publication of a Civil Officer, in the Anti-Democrat, was the ait of the governor. It is understood that when the letters of the governor and the council to the legislature, and some mutilated extracts from tlie proceedings of that body, had appeared in this and other papers, the gover:
nor was requested, by a friend, to commit to writing the substance of his verbal address to the members of both houses; this was hastily done, but that it was substantially correct, (which is all it professes to be,) is fully established by the evidence of the council themselves; and here the public will naturally reflect, that if the governor and council differ' as to'facts, known only to themselves, the governor is precluded from all testimony but his own, or that of his opponents: natural reason would reject either as conclusive, and it is only from a comparative view of both statements that a satisfactory inference can be deduced.
The facts and reasoning of the Civil Officer will, it is believed, be avowed by the.governor, but as to its publication in the Anti-Democrat, (a prominent feature of accusation with both these writers,) it was no more the act of that officer than it was the act of the Friend to Candour, or of his friend the Spectator-although it is now asserted from authority, that the governor had no inti. mation where the publication would appear, until he saw it in print'; yet he must have then perceived the propriety of his friend's selection of that paper, and considered its insertion as a mark of candour in its editor, who had just before published an overflowing and virulent invective against him on the samé subječt. If other federal printers have republished the vindication, they have certainly not neglected the abuse; it is believed that they have never spared him; and in this solitary instance their bitterest adversaries seem heartily disposed to join them.
It must, no doubt, be very amusing to this public officer, to be placed between two such fires; and to be be. spattered by both parties : it is to be hoped that he regards it as it merits, and that it will not divert him from a full disclosure of every circumstance that may enable the public to judge correctly of his own conduct and that of others, and aid the constituent authority in the deci. sion of an important constitutional question.
The Friend to Gandour, has charged the Civil Officer with a misrepresentation of facts; or at least his statement is said to be materially variant from that of every member of the council--this is a serious accusation; but it will be recollected, that a general allegation, unsupported by evidence, is a stronger proof of malevolence than candour, It is now asked with confidence, has a single fact assert. ed by the Civil Officer been yet publicly denied, either by the council or the Friend to Candour? It is believed not. If the alleged variance respects the proposed meeting of Saturday evening, let the letter written by the council, under the impression made by the recency of the transaction, bę compared with the assertion of a Friend to Candour, that some of the council are positive that the governor proposed the adjournment himself, and it will be perceived that those gentlemen vary more as to the fact from each other, than they do from the governor. The following detail, asserted by that Officer to be correct, to the best of his recollection, may be tedious, and is certainly unimportant, except as it tends to elucidate truth: The council had risen without one word being mentioned of a meeting in the evening; the governor was cloaked, and leaving the room, when one of the members observed in his hearing, that as he expected to leave town next morning he wished a meeting in the evening; the governor returned towards the fire, entered into conversation on the subjects standing, and finally agreed conditionally to meet in the evening--the expectation of this member to leave town the next morning-the material circumstance relied on in the letter of the council, and now admitted by the Friend to Candour, as one of the motives for the evening session, must satisfactorily prove whence the proposition came--and that the assent of the governor was also conditional, must result from his admitted declaration of an intention to converse with the two members of the le. gislature then nominated ; such conversation could only, from its nature, be eventual, and as its object would be decisive, it was essential. Conscious, as he has since publicly declared himself, of a personal attachment to one of those members, and of a disposition favourable to the other, he could not apprehend that they would suspect him of a wish to wound the feelings or lessen the reputation of either; he might have candidly stated his own impressions, how aukward would be their feelings, and how uneasy those of the interested, if an appointment, which must support and protect the important
and indispensable right of the state to grant the half toll against the efforts of the Pennsylvania commissioners, instructed, as they must consider themselves,) to deny and defeat that right, should be made of commissioners on the part of Maryland, of whom the majority were, openlv and avowedly, as hostile to the half toll as the Pennsylvanians themselves. Under these circumstances, and as dinner was to intervene, which generally at that season brings on the approach of night, the governor could hardly have expected an evening meeting at all; especially as there was no precedent of an adjournment of the council to meet in the evening since they had ašted together; buc certainly he could have felt no suspicion that so important an appointment would be precipitated, when a delay of six months could produce no inconvenience : if an appointment in the evening was considered as certain, to' delay it in the morning was idle and absurd-and under every circumstance yet adduced, what possible knowledge could the governor have at the government-house, of what was transacting at the stadt-house, nearly half a mile distant, without the intervention of some supernatural agency? With these reflections it is now submitted to an impartial public to decide, which party has been guilty of misrepresentation in the instance examined.
Questions relative to frank conduct, or even the palm of · good breeding, are perhaps immaterial, but those which
respect common decency, must rest on the evidence which results from the transactions themselves.
Has it been denied that the governor early apprized the council of his construction of the constituion ? No! on the contrary it is admitted: but the Friend to Candour states, that they also apprized him of their construction, not only by words but by deeds; for this writer, who appears to have had frequent conversations with the council respecting the transactions even of the last year, himself states the degree of respect they paid the governor's construction; he tells us that they proceeded, notwithstanding his protest, to ballot for an officer; from this, and all balloting, it must be known that the goverror is excluded; of what avail then, it is asked, can the