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Resolution, touching the mode of ratification as reported from the Committee of the Whole, viz, to refer the Constitution, after the approbation of Congress, to assemblies chosen by the people,-New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—9; Delaware, no-1.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS and Mr. King moved, that the representation in the second branch consist of members from each State, who shall vote per capita.
Mr. Ellsworth said he had always approved of voting in that mode.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS moved to fill the blank with three. He wished the Senate to be a pretty numerous body. If two members only should be allowed to each State, and a majority be made a quorum, the power would be lodged in fourteen members, which was too small a number for such a trust.
Mr. Gorham preferred two to three members for the blank. A small number was most convenient for deciding on peace and war, &c., which he expected would be vested in the second branch. The number of States will also increase. Kentucky, Vermont, the Province of Maine and Franklin, will probably soon be added to the present number. He presumed also that some of the largest States would be divided. The strength of the General Government will be, not in the largeness, but the smallness, of the States.
Col. Mason thought three from each State, including new States, would make the second branch too
numerous. Besides other objections, the additional expense ought always to form one, where it was not absolutely necessary.
Mr. WilliamSON. If the number be too great, the distant States will not be on an equal footing with the nearer States. The latter can more easily send and support their ablest citizens. He approved of the voting per capita.
On the question for filling the blank with " three,” -Pennsylvania, aye—1; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—8.
On the question for filling it with “ two,"—agreed to, nem. con.
Mr. L. MARTIN was opposed to voting per capita, as departing from the idea of the States being represented in the second branch.
Mr. CARROLL was not struck with any particular objection against the mode; but he did not wish so hastily to make so material an innovation.
On the question on the whole motion, viz.: "the second branch to consist of two members from each State, and to vote per capita,”—New Hampshire, Msssachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-9; Maryland, no-1.
Mr. Houston and Mr. Spaight moved, “that the appointment of the Executive by Electors chosen by the Legislatures of the States,” be reconsidered. Mr. Houston urged the extreme inconveniency and the considerable expense of drawing together men from all the States for the single purpose of electing the chief magistrate.
On the question, which was put without debate,New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye –7; Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, no—3.
Ordered, that tomorrow be assigned for the reconsideration ;-Connecticut and Pennsylvania, no; all the rest, aye.
Mr. GERRY moved, that the proceedings of the Convention for the establishment of a National Government (except the part relating to the Executive) be referred to a Committee to prepare and report a Constitution conformable thereto.
General PINCKNEY reminded the Convention, that if the Committee should fail to insert some security to the Southern States against an emancipation of slaves, and taxes on exports, he should be bound by duty to his State to vote against their report.
The appointment of a Committee, as moved by Mr. GERRY, was agreed to, nem. con.
On the question, Shall the Committee consist of ten members, one from each State present ?-all the States were no, except Delaware, aye.
Shall it consist of seven members ?-New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, aye—5; Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, no—5.
The question being lost by an equal division of votes, it was agreed, nem. con., that the Committee should consist of five members to be appointed tomorrow.
TUESDAY, JULY 24TH.
In Convention, The appointment of the Executive by Electors being reconsidered,
Mr. Houston moved that he be appointed by the National Legislature, instead of “ Electors appointed by the State Legislatures,” according to the last decision of the mode. He dwelt chiefly on the improbability that capable men would undertake the service of Electors from the more distant States.
Mr. Spaight seconded the motion.
Mr. Gerry opposed it. He thought there was no ground to apprehend the danger urged by Mr. HousTON. The election of the Executive Magistrate will be considered as of vast importance, and will create great earnestness. The best men, the Governors of the States, will not hold it derogatory from their character to be the Electors. If the motion should be agreed to, it will be necessary to make the Executive ineligible a second time, in order to render him independent of the Legislature; which was an idea extremely repugnant to his way of thinking
Mr. STRONG supposed that there would be no necessity, if the Executive should be appointed by the Legislature, to make him ineligible a second time; as new Elections of the Legislature will have intervened; and he will not depend for his second appointment on the same set of men that his first was received from. It had been suggested that gratitude for his past appointment would produce the same effect as dependence for his future appointment. He thought very differently. Besides, this objection
would lie against the Electors, who would be objects of gratitude as well as the Legislature. It was of great importance not to make the government too complex, which would be the case if a new set of men, like the Electors, should be introduced into it. He thought, also, that the first characters in the States would not feel sufficient motives to undertake the office of Electors.
Mr. WillIAMSON was for going back to the original ground, to elect the Executive for seven years, and render him ineligible a second time. The proposed Electors would certainly not be men of the first, nor even of the second, grade in the States. These would all prefer a seat in the Senate, or the other branch of the Legislature. He did not like the unity in the Executive. He had wished the Executive power to be lodged in three men, taken from three districts, into which the States should be divided. As the Executive is to have a kind of veto on the laws, and there is an essential difference of interests between the Northern and Southern States, particularly in the carrying trade, the power will be dangerous, if the Executive is to be taken from part of the Union, to the part from which he is not taken. The case is different here from what it is in England; where there is a sameness of interests throughout the kingdom. Another objection against a single magistrate is, that he will be an elective king, and will feel the spirit of one.
He will spare no pains to keep himself in for life, and will then lay a train for the succession of his children. It was pretty certain, he thought, that we should at some time or other have a king; but he wished no pre