« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
At the second session of the fourth Congress, on the 2d of March, 1787, the following resolution was adopted :
“ UNITED STATES IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED. Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President be requested to adopt some speedy and effectual means of obtaining information from the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina, whether they have ratified the amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution concerning the sua bility of states; if they have, to obtain the proper evidence thereof.
“ JONATHAN DAYTON, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“ WILLIAM BINGHAM, President, pro tempore, of the Senate. Approved, March 2, 1797.
“GEORGE WASHINGTON, President of the United States.” At the second session of the fifth Congress, the following message from the President of the United States was transmitted to both houses :
From a report of the secretary of state, made under the direction of President Adams, on the 28th December, 1797, it appeared that the states of Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia, had ratified the amendment; that New Jersey and Pennsylvania had not ratified it; South Carolina had not definitely acted upon it. No answers had been received from Kentucky and Tennessee.
“ Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of Representa
tives : “I have an opportunity of transmitting to Congress a report of the secretary of state, with a copy of an act of the legislature of the state of Kentucky, consenting to the ratification of the amendment of the Constitution of the United States proposed by Congress, in their resolution of the second day of December, 1793, relative to the suability of states. This amendment having been adopted by three fourths of the several states, may now be declared to be a part of the Constitution of the United States. “ UNITED STATES, January 8, 1798.
JOHN ADAMS." At the first session of the eighth Congress, the following amendment was proposed by Congress to the state legislatures:
“ Eighth CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES. “At the First Session, begun and held at the City of Washington, in the
Territory of Columbia, on Monday, the seventeenth of October, one thousand eight hundred and three.
“ Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two thirds of both houses con
curring, That, in lieu of the third paragraph of the first section of the second article of the Constitution of the United States, — which, when ratified by three fourths of the legislatures of the several states, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, to wit,
"The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they, shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President; and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each ; which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the president of the Senate. The president of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.
“The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then, from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President. °A quorum for that purpose shall consist of two thirds of the whole number of senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.
"But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.' “ Attest. John BECKLEY, Clerk of the House of Rep's of the U. Slates.
“Sam. A. Otis, Secretary to the Senate of the United States." At the same session, an act passed, of which the following is the 1st section:“ An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled An Act relative to the Elec
tion of a President and Vice-President of the United States, and declaring the Officer who shall act as President, in Case of Vacancies in the Offices both of President and Vice-President.
“ Be it enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, whenever the amendment proposed, during the present session of Congress, to the Constitution of the United States, respecting the manner of voting for Presi
dent and Vice-President of the United States, shall have been ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, the secretary of state shall forthwith cause a notification thereof to be made to the executive of every state, and shall also cause the same to be published in at least one of the newspapers printed in each state, in which the laws of the United States are annually published. The executive authority of each state shall cause a transcript of the said notification to be delivered to the elect ors appointed for that purpose, who shall first thereafter meet in such state, for the election of a President and Vice-President of the United States; and whenever the said electors shall have received the said transcript of notification, or whenever they shall meet more than five days subsequent to the publication of the above-mentioned amendment, in one of the newspapers of the state, by the secretary of state, they shall vote for President and Vice-President of the United States, respectively, in the manner directed by the above-mentioned amendment; and, having made and signed three certificates of all the votes given by them, each of which certificates shall contain two distinct lists, -one, of the votes given for President, and the other, of the votes given for Vice-President, - they shall seal up the said certificates, certifying on each that lists of all the votes of such state given for President, and of all the votes given for Vice-President, are contained therein, and shall cause the said certificates to be transmitted and disposed of, and in every other respect act in conformity with the provisions of the act to which this is a supplement. And every other provision of the act to which this is a supplement, and which is not virtually repealed by this act, shall extend and apply to every election of a President and Vice-President of the United States, made in conformity to the above
mentioned amendment to the Constitution of the United States."
And on the 25th of September, 1804, the following notice, in pursuance of the above provision, was issued from the state department:
" By James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States. “ Public notice is hereby given, in pursuance of the act of Congress passed on the 26th March last, entitled • An Act supplementary to the Act entitled An Act relative to the Election of a President and VicePresident of the United States, and declaring the Officer who shall act as President, in Case of Vacancies in the Offices both of President and VicePresident,'— That the amendment proposed, during the last session of Congress, to the Constitution of the United States, respecting the manner of voting for President and Vice-President of the United States, has been ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, to wit, by those of Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and has thereby become valid as part of the Constitution of the United States. “Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this twenty-fifth day of September, 1804. (Signed)
LUTHER MARTIN'S LETTER
FEDERAL CONVENTION OF 1787.
THE GENUINE INFORMATION, DELIVERED TO THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF
MARYLAKD, RELATIVE TO THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL CONVENTION, HELD At Philadelphia, in 1787, By Luther Martin, Esq., ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF MARYLAND, AND ONE OF THE DELEGATES IN THE said Convention.
To the Hon. Thomas Cockey Deve, Speaker of the House of Delegates
of Maryland. Sir, I flatter myself the subject of this letter will be a sufficient apology for thus publicly addressing it to you, and, through you, to the other members of the House of Delegates. It cannot have escaped your or their recollection, that, when called upon, as the servant of a free state, to render an account of those transactions in which I had a share, in consequence of the trust reposed in me by that state, among other things, I informed them, that, some time in July, the Hon. Mr. Yates and Mr. Lansing, of New York, left the Convention ; that they had uniformly opposed the system, and that, I believe, despairing of getting a proper one brought forward, or of rendering any real service, they returned no more.” You cannot, sir, have forgotten — for the incident was too remarkable not to have made some impression — that, upon my giving this information, the zeal of one of my honorable colleagues, in favor of a system which I thought it my duty to oppose, impelled him to interrupt me, and, in a manner which I am confident his zeal alone prevented bim from being convinced was not the most delicate, to insinuate, pretty strongly, that the statement which I had given of the conduct of those gentlemen, and their motives for not returning, was not candid.
Those honorable members have officially given information on this subject, by a joint letter to his excellency, Governor Clinton. (See elsewhere in this volume.] Indulge me, sir, in giving an extract from it, that it may stand contrasted in the same page with the information I gave, and may convict me of the want of candor of which I was charged, if the charge was just : if it will not do that, then let it silence my accusers.
“Thus circumstanced, under these impressions, to have hesitated would have been to be culpable. We therefore gave the principles of the Constitution, which has received the sanction of a majority of the Convention, our decided and unreserved dissent. We were not present at the completion of the new Constitution; but, before we left the Convention, its principles were so well established as to convince us that no alteration was to be expected to conform it to our ideas of expediency and safety. A persuasion that our further attendance would be fruitless and unavailing, rendered us less solicitous to return."
These, sir, are their words. On this I shall make no comment. I wish not to wound the feelings of any person. I only wish to convince. I have the honor to remain, with the utmost respect, Your very obedient servant,
LUTHER MARTIN. BALTIMORE, January 27, 1788.
[Mr. Martin, when called upon, addressed the house nearly as follows:-) Since I was notified of the resolve of this honorable house, that we should attend this day, to give information with regard to the proceedings of the late Convention, my time has necessarily been taken up with business, and I have also been obliged to make a journey to the Eastern Shore. These circumstances have prevented me from being as well prepared as I could wish to give the information required. However, the few leisure moments I could spare, I have devoted to refreshing my memory, by looking over the papers and notes in my possession; and shall, with pleasure, to the best of my abilities, render an account of my conduct.
It was not in my power to attend the Convention immediately on my appointment. I took my seat, I believe, about the 8th or 9th of June. Í found that Governor Randolph, of Virginia, had laid before the Convention certain propositions for their consideration, which have been read to this house by my honorable colleague; and I believe he has very faithfully detailed the substance of the speech with which the business of the Convention was opened; for, though I was not there at the time, I saw notes which had been taken of it.
The members of the Convention from the states came there under different powers; the greatest number, I believe, under powers nearly the same as those of the delegates of this state. Some came to the Convention under the former appointment, authorizing the meeting of delegates merely to regulate trade. Those of Delaware were expressly instructed to agree to no system which should take away from the states that equality of suffrage secured by the original Articles of Confederation. Before Í arrived, a number of rules had been adopted to regulate the proceedings of the Convention, by one of which, seven states might proceed to business, and consequently four states, the majority of that number, might eventually have agreed upon a system which was to affect the whole Union. By another, the doors were to be shut, and the whole proceedings were to be kept secret; and so far did this rule extend, that we were thereby prevented from corresponding with gentlemen in the different states upon the subjects under our discussion - a circumstance, sir, which I confess I greatly regretted. I had no idea that all the wisdom, integrity, and virtue of this state, or of the others, were centred in the Convention. I wished to have corresponded freely and confidentially with eminent political characters in my own and other states — not implicitly to be dictated to by them, but to give their sentiments due weight and consideration. So extremely solicitous were they that their proceedings should not transpire, that the members were prohibited even from taking copies of resolutions, on which the Convention were deliberating, or extracts of any kind from the Journals, without formally moving for, and obtaining permission, by a vote of the Convention for that purpose. You have heard sir, the resolutions which were brought forward by the