Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

for food. He had made the bear and the beaver. I know when to believe, being so often deceived Their skins served us for clothing. He had by the white people ? scattered them over the country, and taught us BHOTHER: You say there is but one way to how to take them. He had caused the earth worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is to produce corn for bread. All this He had but one religion, why do you white people differ done for his red children, because He loved so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you them. If we had some disputes about our hunt- can all read the book? ing ground, they were generally settled without BROTHER: We do not understand these things. the shedding of much blood. But an evil day | We are told that your religion was given to your came upon us. Your forefathers crossed the forefathers, and has been handed down from great water, and landed on this island. Their father to son. We also have a religion, which numbers were small. They found friends and was given to our forefathers, and has been not enemies. They told us they had fled from handed down to us, their children. We wortheir own country for fear of wicked men, and ship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful had come here to enjoy their religion. They for all the favors we receive; to love each asked for a small seat. We took pity on them; other, and to be united. We never quarrel sranted their request; and they sat down about religion. amongst us. We gave them corn and meat; BROTHER: The Great Spirit has made us all, they gave us poison* in return.

but He has made a great difference between his The white people, brother, had now found white and red children. He has given us difour country. Tidings were carried back, and ferent complexions and different customs. To more came amongst us. Yet we did not fear you He has given the arts. To these He has them. We took them to be friends. They | not opened our eyes. We know these things called us brothers. We believed them, and to be true. Since He has made so great a difgave them a larger seat. At length their num ference between us in other things, why may bers had greatly increased. They wanted more we not conclude that he has given us a differland; they wanted our country. Our eyes were ent religion according to our understanding ? opened, and our minds became uneasy. Wars The Great Spirit does right. He knows what took place. Indians were hired to fight against is best for his children; we are satisfied. Indians, and many of our people were destroyed.' BROTHER: We do not wish to destroy your They also brought strong liquor amongst us. It religion, or take it from you. We only want was strong and powerful, and has slain thou- to enjoy our own. sands.

1 BROTHER : You say you have not come to get BROTHER: Our seats were once large, and our land or our money, but to enlighten our yours were small. You have now become a minds. I will now tell you that I have been great people, and we have scarcely a place left at your meetings, and saw you collect money to spread our blankets. Yo: have got our from the meeting. I cannot tell what this country, but are not satisfied, you want to money was intended for, but suppose that it force your religion upon us.

was for your minister, and if we should conBROTHER: Continue to listen. You say that form to your way of thinking, perhaps you may you are sent to instruct us how to worship the want some from us. Great Spirit agreeably to his mind; and, if we BROTHER : We are told that you have been do not take hold of the religion which you preaching to the white people in this place. white people teach, we shall be unhappy here- These people are our neighbors. We are acafter. You say that you are right, and we are quainted with them. We will wait a little lost. How do we know this to be true? We while, and see what effect your preaching has understand that your religion is written in a upon them. If we find it does them good, book. If it was intended for us as well as you, makes them honest, and less disposed to cheat why has not the Great Spirit given to us, and Indians, we will then consider again of what not only to us, but why did he not give to our you have said. forefathers, the knowledge of that book, with the BROTHER: You have now heard our answer means of understanding it rightly? We only to your talk, and this is all we have to say at know what you tell us about it. How shall we present. As we are going to part, we will

come and take you by the hand, and hope the

Great Spirit will protect you on your journey, • Rum.

and return you safe to your friends.

URIAH TRACY.

This eminent and accomplished statesman was born in the year 1754. His early yoath was devoted to the acquisition of the rudiments of a liberal education; and, in 1778, with Joel Barlow, Noah Webster, Oliver Wolcott, and other distinguished personages, he graduated at Yale College, with a high reputation for eloquence and erudition. Directing his attention to the profession of the law, by the strength of his talents and a rigid devotion to business, he soon rose to eminence and acquired a lucrative practice.

From this period of his life until his election to the lower House of Congress, in 1793, little is known of him. In the autumn of 1796, he was elected to the United States Senate, and on taking his seat in that assembly, at once became a distinguished and important member, admired by his political friends and respected by his opponents. Joseph Hopkinson, himself one of the ablest associates of Mr. Tracy, thus speaks of the members from New England," who were in the habit of spending their evenings at his house. “When I mention such names as Ellsworth, Ames, Griswold, Goodrich, Tracy and others, you may imagine what a rich and intellectual society it was. I will not say that we have no such now, but I don't know where they are." *

In wit and humor, Mr. Tracy was unrivalled, and his sarcasm was alike dreaded in the Senate chamber and the drawing-room. An anecdote of his sarcastic power is preserved, alike commemorative of the beauty and brilliancy of the circle in which he moved, and his own peculiar wit. “Mr. Liston, who succeeded Mr. Hammond as British Minister at Philadelphia, and who was thoroughly English in his ideas, on one occasion remarked to Mr. Tracy- Your country woman, would be admired even at St. James's.' 'Sir,' retorted the Senator from Connecticut, she is admired even on Litchfield Hill.'

The speeches of Mr. Tracy, while a member of the Congress, were sometimes perhaps tinctured with severity ; but the ardor of debate, the rapidity of his ideas, and the impetuosity of his eloquence always constituted an apology. He was firmly attached to the administration of John Adams, the principles of which he ever advocated and sustained. Among the many incidents that have been related, illustrating his political career, is the following. "Toward the latter part of Adams's administration, the latter nominated to office a connection of his family, by the name of Johnson, formerly a federalist, but recently turned democrat. This was offensive to the federalists, and Tracy, then of the Senate, being regarded as a skilful diplomat, was

* Memoirs of the Administration of Washington and John Adams, by George Gibbs.

+ The vicinity of the residenco of Oliver Wolcott :-At the time of Mr. Tracy's residence in Philadelphia, & society existed there, marked by every characteristic which could recommend it to one of a cultivated mind and a social disposition, embracing much of the genius, the worth, and no little of the wit and beauty of the country. Of this society two members of the family of Oliver Wolcott, his younger sister and his wife, were themselves no inconspicuous ornaments. The former, married to Chauncey Goodrich, was distinguished for her personal beauty and brilliant conversation; Mrs. Wolcott, with less beauty had still a countenance of much loveliness, and manners graceful and dignified. To the most feminine gentleness of disposition, she added sound sense, and that kind of cultivation which is acquired in intercourse with thinkers. Both belonged to a class of women of whom Connecticut could then boast many, whose minds were formed, and habits of reflection directed by men; and without coming within the category of female politicians, they had been almost from childhood familiar with questions of public and general interest.-- Administrations of Washington and John Adams.

appointed to go and remonstrate with the President. He accordingly went, and having put his Excellency in excellent humor, by some of his best stories, at last said,

“By the way, we have been thinking over this nomination of Johnson, and find there is a good deal of objection to him. The democrats will oppose him, because you nominated him; and some of the federalists will oppose him, because he is a democrat. We fear that if he goes to a vote, he will fail of a confirmation. As it would be unfortunate, just now, to have the administration defeated, your friends have requested me to suggest to your Excellency whether it would not be best to withdraw his name and substitute another ?"

The President thrust his hands into his breeches pockets, and strode fiercely across the room : then coming up to Tracy, he said—“No, sir, no—that— Boston Junto will never be satisfied till they drive me and my family back to Braintree to dig potatoes. No, sir-I'll not withdraw it!"*

During the latter years of Mr. Tracy's life he experienced frequent and severe illness. In the spring of the year 1807, while in a feeble state of health, he exposed himself in attending the funeral of Abraham Baldwin, his former fellow-student and colleague in the Senate. Rapidly declining, he died at Washington, on the nineteenth of July, 1807. His death was deeply deplored, and from the useful talents he possessed, was justly considered a national loss.t

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION.

The following speech on a proposed amend- | a manifest tendency to deprive the small States ment of the Constitution of the United States, of an important right, secured to the

| a solemn and constitutional compact, and to relative to the mode of electing the President

vest an overwhelming power in the great and Vice-President, was delivered by Mr. States. And, further, I shall attempt to show, Tracy, in the United States Senate, on the that in many other points the resolation is obsecond day of December, 1802.

jectionable, and for a variety of causes, ought

not to be adopted. MR. PRESIDENT: I moved an adjournment, As I shall be obliged, in delineating the main because I thought a more full and fair discus- features of this resolution, to mention the great sion was due to this important question, than

States in the Union as objects of jealousy, I could be had after this late hour.

wish it to be understood, that no special stigma The merits have never, until now, been be- is intended. “Man is man,” was the maxim fore us, for although considerable time has been expressed, in an early part of this debate, by consumed in debate, it has chiefly been directed the gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Butler, to the subordinate amendments, and not to the and, in application to the subject of governmain resolution. But since the Senate have ment, the maxim is worthy to be written in refused to adjourn, I will now offer some ob- letters of gold. Yes, sir, “man is man," and servations on the merits, in doing which, I will the melancholy truth, that he is always imperstudy brevity, as much as the importance of the fect and frequently wicked, induces us to fear subject will permit.

his power, and guard against his rapacity, by I shall attempt to prove, sir, that the resolu- the establishment and preservation of laws, and tion, I before us, contains principles which have well regulated constitutions of government. Man, when connected with very many of his , immediately find evident marks of concession fellow-men, in a great State, derives power and compromise; and that the parties to these from the circumstance of this numerous combi- concessions were the great and small States. nation; and from every circumstance, which And the members of the convention who clothes him with additional power, he will gen- formed the instrument, have, in private inforerally derive some additional force to his pas- mation and public communications, united in sions.

Recollections of a Lifetime, by S. G. Goodrich, vol. 2, The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote page 92.

by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at + See New York Evening Post, 1807.

least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themThe resolution was as follows: Resolved, By the Senate selves; they shall name in their ballots, the person voted for and House of Representatives of the United States of | as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses | Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all per concurring, that in lieu of the third paragraph of the first sons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as section of the second article of the Constitution of the Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which United States, the following be proposed as an amendment lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the to the Constitution of the United States, which, when rati seat of the government of the United States, directed to the fied by three-fourths of the legislatures of the several States, President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, constitution, to wit:

open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted

the declaration, that the constitution was the Having premised this, I shall not deem it result of concession and compromise between requisite to make any apology, when I attempt the great and small States. In this examinato excite the attention, the vigilance, and evention of the constitution, it will be impossible the jealonsy of the small, in reference to the to keep out of view our political relations under conduct of the great States. The caution is the first confederation. We primarily united meant to apply against the imperfections and upon the footing of complete State equality; passions of man, generally, and not against any each State had one, and no State had more than State, or description of men, particularly.

one vote in the federal council or Congress.

With such a confederation we successfully Mr. Tracy here made some observations ex waged war, and became an independent nation. planatory of his meaning, when he used the

When we were relieved from the pressure of

war, that confederation, both in structure and words small and great, as applicable to States.

power, was found inadequate to the purposes

for which it was established. Under these cirIt will be recollected, that, in the various

cumstances, the States, by their convention, turns which this debate has taken, gentlemen

entered into a new agreement, upon principles have repeatedly said, that the constitution was

better adapted to promote their mutual security formed for the people, that the good of the

and happiness. But this last agreement, or whole was its object, that nothing was discern

Constitution, under which we are now united, ible in it like a contest of States, nothing like we moniti

nothing like was manifestly carved out of the first confedejealousy of small States against the great; and although such distinctions and jealousies might to the principles of State equality, and gave up

ration. The small States adhered tenaciously have existed under the first confederation; yet

only a part of this federative principle, comthey could have no existence under the last.

plete State equality, and that with evident cauAnd one gentleman, Mr. Smith, of Maryland,

tion and reluctance. To this federative princihas said that he has been a member of this

ple they were attached by habit; and their government ten years, and has heard nothing

attachment was sanctioned and corroborated of great and small States, as in the least affect

| by the example of most, if not all the ancient ing the operations of government, or the feel

and the modern confederacies. And when the ings of those who adininister it. Propriety,

great States claimed a weight in the councils therefore, requires, that we attentively examine

of the nation proportionate to their numbers the constitution itself, not only to obtain cor

and wealth, the novelty of the claim, as well rect ideas upon these observations, so repeated

as its obvious tendency to reduce the soverly urged; but to place, in the proper light, the

eignty of the small States, must have produced operations and effects of the resolution in de

serious obstacles to its admission. Hence it is, bate.

that we find in the constitution but one entire If we attend to the constitution, we shall departure from the federal principle. The

House of Representatives is established upon The person having the greatest number of votes for Presi- the popular principle and given to numbers and dent, shall be the President, if such number be a majority wealth, or to the great States, which, in this of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no per- view of the subject are synonymous. It was son have such majority, then from the persons having the thought by the convention, that a consolidation highest numbers, not exceeding three on the list of those of the States into one simple republic, would voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall be improper: and the local feelings and jealehoose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choos

ousies of all, but more especially of the small ing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the

States, rendered a consolidation impracticable. representation from each State having one vote; a quorum | The Senate, who have the power of a legislative for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from

check upon the House of Representatives, and two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States

many other extensive and important powers, is must be necessary to a choice.

preserved as an entire federative feature of The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice

government, as it was enjoyed by the small President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a

States, under the first confederacy. majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if

In the article which obliges the electors of no person have a majority, then from the two highest numhers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President;

President to vote for one person not an inhabi& quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the

tant of the same State with themselves, is diswhole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole num

covered State jealousy. In the majorities reber shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitu quired for many purposes by the constitution, tionally ineligible to the office of President, shall be eligible | although there were other motives for the reg o that of Vice-President of the United States.

| ulations, yet the jealousy of the small States is

[ocr errors]

clearly discernible. Indeed, sir, if we peruse the people at large, or, in other words, that the the constitution with attention, we shall find great States, ought to have more weight and the small States are perpetually guarding the influence in the choice; that it should be brought federative principle, that is, State equality: and nearer to the popular, and carried further from this, in every part of it, except in the choice the federative principle. This claim, we find of the House of Representatives, and in their was made at the formation of the constitution. ordinary legislative proceedings. They go so The great States naturally wished for a popular far as to prohibit any amendment which may choice of first magistrate: this mode was sancaffect the equality of States in the Senate. tioned by the example of many of the States, This is guarding against almost an impossi- in the choice of governor. The small States bility; because the Senators of small States claimed a choice on the federative principle, by must be criminally remiss in their attendance, the legislatures, and to vote by States: analoand the legislatures extremely off their guard, gies and examples were not wanting to sancif they permit such alterations, which aim at tion this mode of election. A consideration of their own existence. But lest some accident, the weight and influence of a President of this some unaccountable blindness or perfidy should Union, must have multiplied the difficulties of put in jeopardy the federative principle in the agreeing upon the mode of choice. But, as I Senate, they totally and for ever prohibit all have before said, by mutual concession, they attempts at such a measure.

agreed upon the present mode, combining both In the choice of President, the mutual cau- principles and dividing between the two partion and concession of the great and small ties, thus mutually jealous, as they could, this States, is, if possible, more conspicuous than in important privilege of electing a chief magisany other part of the constitution. He is to trate. This mode then became established, and be chosen by electors appointed as the State the right of the small States to elect upon the legislatures shall direct, not according to num- federative principle, or by States, in case of bers entirely, but adding two electors in each contingency of electoral failure of choice, canState as representatives of State sovereignty. not, with reason and fairness, be taken from Thus Delaware obtains three votes for Presi- them without their consent, and on a full undent, whereas she could have but one in right derstanding of its operation; since it was meant of numbers. Yet, mixed as this mode of choice to be secured to them by the constitution, and is, with both popular and federative principles, was one of the terms upon which they became we see the small States watching its motions members of the present confederacy;, and for and circumscribing it to one attempt only; and which privilege they gave an equivalent to the on failure of an electoral choice, they instantly great States, in sacrificing so much of the fedeseize upon the right of a federal election, and rative principle, or State equality. select from the candidates a President, by The constitution is nicely balanced, with the States, and not by numbers. In confirmation federative and popular principles; the Senate of my assertion, that this part of the constitu are the guardians of the former, and the House tion was peculiarly the effect of compromise of Representatives of the latter; and any atbetween the great and small States, permit me tempts to destroy this balance, under whatever to quote an authority, which will certainly have specious names or pretences they may be pregreat weight, not only in the Senate, but sented, should be watched with a jealous eye. through the Union, I mean that of the present Perhaps a fair definition of the constitutional Secretary of State, Mr. Madison, who was a power of amending is, that you may, upon exleading member of the federal convention who periment, so modify the constitution, in its formed, and of the Virginia convention, who practice and operation, as to give it, upon its adopted the constitution. In the Debates of own principles, a more complete effect. But the Virginia Convention, volume three, page this is an attack upon a fundamental principle seventy-seven, he says, speaking of the mode established after a long deliberation, and by of electing the President, "As to the eventual mutual concession—a principle of essential imvoting by States, it has my approbation. The portance to the instrument itself, and an atlesser States and some larger States will be tempt to wrest from the small States a vested generally pleased by that mode. The deputies right, and, by it, to increase the power and infrom the small States argued, and there is some fluence of the large States. I shall not pretend, force in their reasoning, that when the people sir, that the parties to this constitutional comvoted, the large States evidently had the ad- pact, cannot alter its original, essential princivantage over the rest, and without varying the ples; and that such alterations may not be efmode, the interests of the little States might be fected under the name of amendment; but, let neglected or sacrificed. Here is a compromise. a proposal of that kind come forward in its own For, in the eventual election, the small States proper and undisguised shape; let it be fairly will have the advantage."

stated to Congress, to the State legislatures, to After this view of the constitution, let us the people at large, that the intention is to inquire, what is the direct object of the pro- change an important federative feature in the posed alteration in the choice of President ? | constitution, which change, in itself, and all To render more practicable and certain the its consequences, will tend to a consolidation choice by electors: and for this reason; that of this Union into a simple republic; let it be

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »