Gambar halaman

equalize themselves. The value of labor might be considered as the principal criterion of wealth and ability to support taxes; and this would find its level in different places, where the intercouse should be easy and free, with as much certainty as the value of money or any other thing. Wherever labor would yield most, people would resort; till the competition should destroy the inequality. Hence it is that the people are constantly swarming from the more, to the less, populous places-from Europe to America—from the Northern and middle parts of the United States to the Southern and Western. They go where land is cheaper, because there labor is dearer. If it be true that the same quantity of produce raised on the banks of the Ohio is of less value than on the Delaware, it is also true that the same labor will raise twice or thrice the quantity in the former, that it will raise in the latter, situation.

Colonel Mason agreed with Mr. G. Morris, that we ought to leave the interests of the people to the representatives of the people; but the objection was, that the Legislature would cease to be the representatives of the people. It would continue so no longer than the States now containing a majority of the people should retain that majority. As soon as the southern and western population should predominate, which must happen in a few years, the power would be in the hands of the minority, and would never be yielded to the majority, unless provided for by the Constitution.

On the question for postponing Mr. Williamson's motion, in order to consider that of Mr. RUTLEDGE, it passed in the negative,-Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, Georgia, aye5; Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, no—5.

On the question on the first clause of Mr. WillTAMSON's motion, as to taking a census of the free inhabitants, it passed in the affirmative,—Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, aye—6; Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, no—4.

The next clause as to three-fifths of the negroes being considered,—

Mr. King, being much opposed to fixing numbers as the rule of representation, was particularly so on account of the blacks. He thought the admission of them along with whites at all, would excite great discontents among the States having no slaves. He had never said, as to any particular point, that he would in no event acquiesce in and support it; but he would say that if in any case such a declaraation was to be made by him, it would be in this. He remarked that in the temporary allotment of representatives made by the Committee, the Southern States had received more than the number of their white and three-fifths of their black inhabitants entitled them to.

Mr. SHERMAN. South Carolina had not more beyond her proportion than New York and New Hampshire; nor either of them more than was necessary in order to avoid fractions, or reducing them below their proportion. Georgia had more; but the rapid growth of that State seemed to justify it. In general the allotment might not be just, but considering all circumstances he was satisfied with it. Mr. GORHAM supported the propriety of establishing numbers as the rule. He said that in Massachusetts estimates had been taken in the different towns, and that persons had been curious enough to compare these estimates with the respective numbers of people; and it had been found, even including Boston, that the most exact proportion prevailed between numbers and property. He was aware that there might be some weight in what had fallen from his colleague, as to the umbrage which might be taken by the people of the Eastern States. But he recollected that when the proposition of Congress for changing the eighth Article of the Confederation was before the Legislature of Massachusetts, the only difficulty then was, to satisfy them that the negroes ought not to have been counted equally with the whites, instead of being counted in the ratio of three-fifths only.*

Mr. Wilson did not well see, on what principle the admission of blacks in the proportion of threefifths could be explained. Are they admitted as citizens—then why are they not admitted on an equality with white citizens? Are they admitted as property—then why is not other property admitted into the computation? These were difficulties, however, which he thought must be overruled by the necessity of compromise. He had some apprehensions also, from the tendency of the blending of the blacks with the whites, to give disgust to the people of Pennsylvania, as had been intimated by his colleague (Mr. GOUVERNEUR Morris). But he differed from him in thinking numbers of inhabitants so incorrect a measure of wealth. He had seen the western settlements of Pennsylvania, and on a comparison of them with the city of Philadelphia could discover little other difference, than that property was more unequally divided here than there. Taking the same number in the aggregate, in the two situations, he believed there would be little difference in their wealth and ability to contribute to the public wants.

* They were then to have been a rule of taxation only.

Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS was compelled to declare himself reduced to the dilemma of doing injustice to the Southern States, or to human nature; and he must therefore do it to the former. For he could never agree to give such encouragement to the slave trade, as would be given by allowing them a representation for their negroes; and he did not believe those States would ever confederate on terms that would deprive them of that trade.

On the question for agreeing to include threefifths of the blacks, --Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, aye—4; Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,* South Carolina, no-6.

On the question as to taking the census “the first year after the meeting of the Legislature,”—Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, aye-7; Connecticut, Maryland, Georgia, no—3.

* Mr. Carroll said, in explanation of the vote of Maryland, that he wished the phraseology to be so altered as to obviate, if possible, the danger which had been expressed of giving umbrage to the Eastern and Middle States.

On filling the blank for the periodical census with fifteen years,-agreed to, nem. con.

Mr. Madison moved to add, after “fifteen years,” the words "at least,” that the Legislature might anticipate when circumstances were likely to render a particular year inconvenient.

On this motion, for adding "at least,” it passed in the negative, the States being equally divided, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—5; Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, no—5.

A change in the phraseology of the other clause, so as to read, “and the Legislature shall alter or augment the representation accordingly," was agreed to, nem. con.

On the question on the whole resolution of Mr. Williamson, as amended, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no–9; so it was rejected unanimously.



In Convention,-Mr. GOUVERNEUR Morris moved to add to the clause empowering the Legislature to vary the representation according to the principles of wealth and numbers of inhabitants, a proviso, " that taxation shall be in proportion to representation."

Mr. Butler contended again, that representation should be according to the full number of inhabit

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »