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tion of the reader. By means of these constitutional, or rather unconstitutional, enactments, slavery is elevated to what is called a domestic institution. In the Federal Constitution slaves are politely termed bound servants. They figure there together with presidents, senators, embassadors, representatives, generals, &c., on the same political platform. This ought to be altered. Slaves may be considered as members of the families of slaveholders; but millions of them cannot, as such, represent a fracton of a self-governing freeman. To count them in voting, and thus give them the weight of freemen, is more than unreasonable. Instructions how to treat laborers and servants, bound, or born, or hired, do not belong to constitutions. We may as well insert rules there for the treatment of apprentices, students, ladies and gentlemen. These passages in the Southern constitutions ought to be obliterated. We inay dispense with them easily by adopting uniformly, all over the Union, the mode of voting proposed in section 2, of our projected State Constitution.
In regard to the chattel principle of American slavery, we appeal to the courts, chiefly to the Supreme Court of the United States, to decide, that it is against reason that a slave can be born in America. Otherwise, we may as well have born shoemakers, lawyers, merchants, and presidents, and why not knights, barons, and kings too! No man can be born a slave, or to a station, where liberty of education, instruction and industry reigns, by means of which alone a man becomes what he is. The courts have the power to annihilate this fatal, shameless factory system of making slaves, which exists no where but in America. And if the courts are asked for positive legal reasons, they may bring forth the Declaration of Independence, signed by Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, (District of Columbia,) North and South Carolina, and Georgia, wherein it is said, " that all men are created equal,” which simply means, that men are not born to stations.
After the constitutions are purified, and the courts have annulled the monstrous slave birth-right, the necessary steps are taken, which lead gradually but effectually, to the termination of slavery. It first must be made what it really is, a mere private affair. If a man grown up as a slave, prefers to be one, let him do so; but his offspring ought not therefore to be doomed to the same station. It is an unpardonable sin of the North American Congress,
that it has not, in this way, laid hands a long time since to the work in the District of Columbia. But we are aware that little will be done in this grave matter, by this body, until the Federal Constitution is altered.
20. There is another business left which is opposed to self-government; we mean the process of Naturalization. We shall find that all laws referring to it become superfluous by adopting the natural suffrage principle laid down by us. The present naturalization laws are imitations of European laws, which regard birth and landed property as necessary qualifications for a citizen. But, according to the principle of self-government, personal qualifications, and neither birth nor earthly possessions, make a freeman. If that is true, and who will deny it, there cannot be a difference between a freeman born south of the St. Lawrence, and one born north of that river. These qualifications must be the same in all civilized countries, i. e., where there are freemen. We consider our requisites of voting capable of superseding the oaths of allegiance. This procedure, together with this oath, are inventions of Eastern politicians for purposes which are strangers to us.
After having adopted the idea, that only a born American is a citizen, we were under the necessity of ordaining, that a man, who happens to be born on the other side of the St. Lawrence river, and immigrates into our Union, must be born over again, and swear to become a citizen, &c. All this is superfluous, and indeed, trash. No man can be born a citizen, or slave, or freeman. We are, indeed, born equal, but God alone knows for what station. A man may be free, but he is not therefore what we call a self-governing freeman. A man who steals, kills, and cheats, is, although born in America, a criminal-nothing else. A man who comes from abroad with a family, or settles a family here, and resides for a certain time in a town, and complies with the often mentioned natural conditions of voting, exhibits himself as a self-governing, free, and useful member of society. From these self-evident facts it follows, that he can be no longer a subject of other governments, otherwise he would not be here. That he must obey our laws from the moment he enters our states, is matter of course, with or without the formality of naturalization. Or will naturalization alter the case, if he is acting wrong? Will not naturalized rogues meet the same punishment as unnaturalized ones? An American in foreign countries is in the
same situation. If he will not obey the foreign laws, he will soon feel the consequences, whether he has become a citizen there or not. Nearly all that refers to social and public business is mutual. We in America should forget narrow national differences, established and fostered by despotic governments for their selfish purposes, and dispense with laws and business which tend to disunite society.
21. After Congress and States have been relieved of all business not belonging to their spheres, and the State and Federal constitutions better adapted to the principle of selfgovernment, the question will arise, what business remains for Congress and States?
Let us consider, first, the business of State Governments.
According to the annexed plan of a State Constitution, the administration of justice will and ought to be the chief business of states. To administer justice in conformity with the principle of self-government, we require laws and arrangements which lead to self-government. The less the inhabitants of a town are able to govern themselves, the more constables, jailors, sheriffs, policemen, nightwatches, prisons, lawyers, judges, courts, law-makers, governors, and finally, soldiers, and guns, and cannons, will be wanting to govern and rule them. A man can or should only be liable to come within the reach of the law, in consequence of a want of education, incomplete instruction, and lack of industry, leading to bad actions. Both civil and criminal laws ought to supply these wants, and to aim to promote self-government. How little, indeed, our present laws do answer this purpose, we may
infer from the generally prevalent opinion, that a person, who once has the misfortune to fall into the hands of the law, is lost for ever.
It seems not so much the crime which dishonors a man, as the punishment inflicted upon him. This would be otherwise if mankind could be made to feel that the adıninistration of justice is only intended to restore to the fallen man the power of self-government. An entire change in our laws will be required to accomplish this end. This is no easy task. We add a few suggestions in this regard.
1. Make and alter the laws with great deliberation. Make only a very few and very simple laws, and free them from all Gothic, Latin, French and other obsolete phrases, futile formalities and subtilities, which common sense peo
ple do not comprehend. Merge common law, chancery, equity, admiralty or marine and probate courts in one civil court, so that we may have police, civil and criminal courts, and a single Supreme Court only for all kind of appeals.
2. Banish from our statute books all that belongs to barbarous times, such as the idea of revenging crimes by a certain amount of punishment, the penalty of death, &c. Courts should not revenge and kill like savages. The laws and sentences must be humane, and neither cruel nor unreasonable, Justice-not barbarous physical forcemust step in, to accomplish what education, instruction, and industry have left undone in single instances. To answer those ends of justice we 'ought, therefore, to avoid the crowding together of offenders in huge prisons, so that the labors of education and instruction may the more surely reach them, and they be the more successfully trained by them to useful industry. Small farm-like prison establishments (perhaps one for two counties,) should take the place of our prisons with factory labor. Factory labor is not calculated to promote independence so certainly as agriculture. Let us not forget the families of prisoners, if the head of one should happen to be a convict. They are at present often more severely punished than the malefactors themselves. Place these establishments under the care of the best officers and county committees, composed of members of both sexes, and do not insert into the sentences of criminals a certain amount of punishment, because this is revenge.
The convict must remain under strict charge, until he gives satisfactory proofs of being able to guide himself right in the future, when provision may be made for his discharge. Should this proposed reform be adopted, the pardoning power will be found useless, therefore we have omitted it in our plans of constitutions.
3. Forbid reference to European laws in general, and those of Great Britain in particular. These are written in blood, and filled with provisions not in harmony with selfgovernment. The English criminal laws seem to have been made by rogues for the benefit of scoundrels, and the civil laws more for the convenience of lawyers than for the comfort of men in search of justice.
4. Abolish flour, tobacco and other ware inspector offices. An honest dealer must feel offended by seeing his goods inspected, because he must be always ready to stand for his name.
The fraudulent dealer knows how to cheat the
inspector, as we daily witness. (We see that the new Constitution of the state of New York has abolished these offices.)
5. Do not lay duties or taxes upon private business, as banking, auctions, Sc. Regulations about auctions are best left to the town officers. Duties on auctions are often a tax on the unfortunate and poor. Let towns and courts take care of all such business as changing names, planting oysters, building wharves, dissolving matrimonial contracts, &c.
6. In section 29 of our plan of a State Constitution, we have suggested that the courts may, from time to time, inform the public and the legislatures what judicial reform may be necessary. Some such practice would lead to much good.
7. Let legislatures convene only every second year, to avoid too much law making.
8. Let the justices of the peace be truly peace makers, as we have proposed in sections 37 and 38 of the said plan. What business may and can be done by lower instances or magistrates (justices of the peace,) ought not to belong to higher instances or magistrates, (county or supreme courts.)
9. Abolish the practice of requiring a majority to elect a candidate. Such a requirement produces party combination, superfluous business and expense, and is more aristocratically capricious than just.
10. Let all statistical, geological, geographical and similar researches and investigations be made by private enterprise, or towns, or free associations, and not by states, It will be better and cheaper done than at the state expense.
22. To Congress should chiefly belong,
1. The care of preserving and extending our Federal Union. (See the plan of a Federal Constitution, Appendix, note b., section 3.)
Ours being the only government which is founded upon the true principle of self-government, our Congress may be considered as the most important magistrate on earth. It is endowed with a kind of providential influence on the progress of civilization
Therefore we should remove every thing from the sphere of its business activity which is not in strict harmony with its high destination. Both the greatness and goodness of our Union are owing to self-govern