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alternation of personal estate was deemed admissible in some places. With the single exception, I believe, of Pennsylvania, the whole Union was of one mind as to this characteristic circumstance, of holding a property qualification indispensable.

Even Rhode Island and Connecticut, under their colonial charters, concurred in it. The amounts specified were different in different places, and each State had its own form of words to express the intent. I have not the New Hampshire Constitution of 1783 now before

In Massachusetts, the rule was, “a freehold estate within the commonwealth, of the annual income of three pounds, or any estate of the value of sixty pounds;" in New York, it was “ a freehold of the value of twenty pounds within the county," or a leasehold “ of the yearly value of forty shillings,” provided the voter should also “have been rated and actually paid taxes to the State.” In New Jersey, “ fifty pounds proclamation money” was to be the measure of competency. In Pennsylvania, to have paid taxes was enough, “ provided always that the sons of freeholders should be allowed to vote, although they had not paid taxes.” This was shaving By the Constitution of Maryland it was declared, “ that every man having property in, a common interest with, and attachment to the community, ought to have a right of suffrage;" which right was thereupon given to actual residents, “having freeholds of five acres of land in their respective counties,” or possessing " property in the State above the value of thirty pounds;" connected with a county residence “ of one whole year next preceding the election,” in which they might claim a suffrage. Virginia is understood to have agreed in practice with the other States, but the Constitution merely says the right of suffrage is “to remain as at present,” and I have not found the law containing the particulars, In North Carolina, the vote for senators depended on “a freehold of fifty acres of land," while as to members of the other house no similar rule existed. In South Ca. rolina, “ every free white man, who acknowledged the being of a God, and believed in a future state of rewards and punishments,” and who also “ had a freehold of at least fifty acres of land, or a town lot, and had been legally seized and possessed of the same for six months previous to the election” when he claimed his franchise, “or had paid a tax the preceding year, or was taxable the present year, at least six months previous to such election, in a sum equal to the tax on fifty acres of land," was held a duly qualified elector. And in Georgia, a man was such an elector, who was of lawful age

and had resided six months in the State, provided he was “ possessed, in his own right, of tén pounds value, and liable to pay tax in the State, or who was of any mechanical trade.” Such are all the facts of the case in this aspect of it.

If not mistaken, a freehold qualification for electors for either branch of the South Carolina Legislature is still required, and it is probably the only State now in which that qualification is unconditionally required; but in all the States there are still certain conditions annexed to the right of voting for members of the State Legislature.

In Rhode Island, the suffrage is vested in all native citizens of the United States, who have resided in the State two years, and in the town in which they propose to vote six months, and who have been registered in the town clerk's office seven days before the election, and paid within one year a tax of one dollar ; all naturalized citizens are required, in addition to the preceding qualifications, to possess real estate in the place they wish to vote, worth $134 over all incumbrances, or which rents for $7 per annum.


In New Hampshire, a tax qualification is required. So in Massachusetts, and a residence of one year in the State, and six months in the place the vote is offered.

In Connecticut, a voter is required to have gained a settlement in the State, to have resided six months preceding the election in the town, and to have a freehold of the yearly value of $7 in the State ; or shall have performed military duty for one year next preceding, or shall have paid a tax within the year, and shall sustain a good moral character.

In Vermont, one year's residence, and a “quiet and peaceable behavior” is required.

In New Jersey, one year's residence in the State, and five months in the place the vote is offered, is required.

In Pennsylvania, a residence of one year in the State, ten days before the election in the place the vote is offered, and the payment of a tax within two years, which shall have been assessed at least ten days previous to the election.

So in the southern States. In Virginia, by the Constitution of 1851, a residence of two years in the State, and one year in the county, city or town, is required ; in South Carolina, a residence of two years in the State, and having been possessed of a freehold of fifty acres of land, or a town lot, at least six months before the election, or, not having such freehold or town lot, baving been a resident in the election district six months, and paid a tax the preceding year of three shillings; in Georgia, a residence of six months and the payment of tax; in Louisiana, two years' residence, but no naturalized citizen can vote until two years after be becomes a citizen; in Kentucky, one year's residence, and the payment of tax; and so in all of them, with but little variation in the terms.

In the western States, one year's residence, and in some of them less, is the only qualification, except, perhaps, Ohio, which requires the payment of a tax.

It may, therefore, be justly assumed, as Chancellor Kent states, that the House of Representatives of the United States represents the whole body of the American people. 1 Kent's Commentaries, 229. Certainly it does—all who have an interest in the government, and whom the States deem proper persons to exercise the elective franchise.




Many other provisions might be referred to; but enough have already been noticed to show the complex structure of the United States Government, as compared with a simple and pure democracy. It may, however, not be out of place yet to refer to the compromise in regard to the representation of the States in the Senate, and the basis of representation in the House of Representatives, now so frequently found fault with, and complained of, but without which the Constitution could have never been formed, nor the Union established. It was the vexed question, which caused more anxious deliberation and discussion, and was attended with more embarrassment, than any other subject; and a brief view of the deliberations of the Convention in relation to it will explain the reasons for the compromise finally agreed upon, as well as the danger now to be apprehended from any attempt to disturb it.

The second resolution of the series proposed by Mr. Randolph was in these words: “That the rights of suffrage in the National Legislature ought to be proportioned to the quotas of contribution, or to the number of free inhabitants, as the one or the other rule may seem best in different cases.” This Col. Hamilton moved to amend, by making it read: “That the rights of suffrage in the National Legislature ought to be proportioned to the number of free inhabitants." Mr. Madison theò moved, “that the equality of suffrage, established by the Articles of Confederation, ought not to prevail in the National Legislature, and that an equal ratio of representation ought to be substituted,” which was seconded by Gouverneur Morris, "and being generally relished, would have been agreed to," but for the interposition of Mr. Read of Delaware, as will appear from the following extract from the proceedings :

“ Mr. Read moved that the whole clause relating to the point of representation be postponed ; reminding the committee that the deputies from Delaware were restrained by their commission from assenting to any change of the rule of suffrage; and in case such a change should be fixed on, it might become their duty to retire from the Convention. Mr. Gouverneur Morris observed, that the valuable assistance of those members could not be lost without real concern; and that so early a proof of discord in the Con. vention, as the secession of a State, would add much to the regret; that the change proposed was, however, so fundamental an article in a National Government, that it could not be dispensed with. Mr. Madison observed, that, whatever reason might have existed for the equality of suffrage when the Union was a federal one among sovereign States, it must cease when a National Government should be put into the place. In

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the former case, the acts of Congress depended so much for their efficacy on the cooperation of the States, that these had a weight, both within and without Congress, nearly in proportion to their extent and importance. In the latter case, as the acts of the General Government would take effect without the intervention of the State Legislatures, a vote from a small State would have the same efficacy and importance as a vote from a large one, and there was the same reason for different numbers of representatives from different States, as from counties of different extents within particular States. He suggested, as an expedient for at once taking the sense of the members on this point, and saving the Delaware deputies from embarrassment, that the question should be taken in committee, and the clause on report to the House, be postponed without a ques-, tion there. This, however, did not appear to satisfy Mr. Read. By several it was observed, that no just construction of the act of Delaware could require or justify a secession of her deputies, even if the resolution were to be carried through the House as well as the committee. It was finally agreed, however, that the clause should be postponed, it being understood that, in the event, the proposed change of representa. tion would certainly be agreed 10, no objection or difficulty being started from any. other quarter than from Delaware. 5 Elliott's Deb., 135.

When the subject was resumed, Judge Brearly and Mr. Patterson, both from New Jersey, led off in speeches against the provision, and declared their uncompromising and irreconcilable hostility to it.

Judge Brearly said he was sorry that any question on this point was brought into view. It had been much agitated in Congress at the time of forming the Confederation, and was then rightly settled, by allowing to each sovereign State an equal vote. Otherwise, the smaller States must have been destroyed instead of being saved. The substitution of a ratio, he admitted, carried fairness on the face of it: but, on a deeper examination, was unfair and unjust. Judging of the disparity of the States by the quota of Congress, Virginia would have sixteen votes, and Georgia but one. A like proportion to the others will make the whole number ninety. There will be three large States, and ten small ones. The large States, by which he meant Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, will carry every thing before them.” “ When the proposition for destroying the equality of votes came forward, he was astonished, he was alarmed. Is it fair, then, it will be asked, that Georgia should have an equal vote with Virginia ? He would not say it was—what remedy, then ? One only; that a map of the United States be spread out, that all the existing boundaries be erased, and that a new partition of the whole be made into thirteen equal parts."

Mr. Patterson followed him in a similar strain, and concluded thus :

“ New Jersey will never confederate on the plan before the committee. She would be swallowed up. He had rather submit to a monarch, to a despot, than to such a fate. He would not only oppose the plan here, but, on his return home, do every thing in his power to defeat it there.”

The following discussion then ensued :

Mr. Wilson hoped, if the Confederacy should be dissolved, that a majority-nay, à minority of the States would unite for their safety. He entered elaborately into the defence of a proportional representation, stating, for his first position, that, as all authority was derived from the people, equal numbers of people ought to have an equal

number of representatives, and different numbers of people, different numbers of repre sentatives. This principle bad been improperly violated in the Confederation, owing to the urgent circumstances of the times. Representatives of different districts ought çlearly to hold the same proportion to each other, as their respective constituents hold to each other. If the small States will not confederate on this plan, Pennsylvania, and he presumed some other States, would not confederate on any other. We have been told that each State being sovereign, all are equal. So each man is naturally a sovereign over himself; and all men are therefore nalurally equal. Can he retain this equality when he becomes a member of civil government? He cannot. As little can a sovereign State, when it becomes a member of the Federal Government. If New Jersey will not part with her sovereignty, it is vain to talk of government. A new partition of the States is desirable, but evidently and totally impracticable.

Mr. Sherman proposed, that the proportion of suffrage in the first branch should be according to the respective numbers of free inhabitants; and that in the second branch, or Senate, each State should have one vote and no more. He said, as the States would remain possessed of certain individual rights, each State ought to be able to protect itself; otherwise, a few large States will rule the rest. The House of Lords in England, he observed, had certain particular rights under the Constitution, and hence they have an equal vote in the House of Commons, that they may be able to defend their rights.

Mr. Rutledge proposed, that the proportion of suffrage in the first branch should be according to the quotas of contribution. The justice of this rule, he said, could not be contested.

Mr. Butler urged the same idea ; adding, that money was power; and that the States ought to have weight in the government in proportion to their wealth.

Mr. King and Mr. Wilson, in order to bring the question to a point, moved, “ that the right of suffrage in the first branch of the National Legislature ought not to be according to the rule established in the Articles of Confederation; but according to some equitable ratio of representation.” The clause, so far as it related to suffrage in the first branch, was postponed, in order to consider this motion. [In the printed Journal, Mr. Rutledge is named as the seconder of the motion.]

Mr. Dickinson contended for the actual contributions of the States, as the rule of their representation and suffrage in the first branch; by thus connecting the interests of the States with their duty, the latter would be sure to be performed.

Mr. King remarked, that it was uncertain what mode might be used in levying a national revenue; but that it was probable imposts would be one source of it. If the actual contributions were to be the rule, the non-importing States, as Connecticut and New Jersey, would be in a sad condition indeed. It might so happen that they would have no representation. This situation of particular States had always been one powerful argument in favor of the five per cent. impost.

The question being about to be put, Dr. Franklin said he had thrown his ideas of the matter on a paper; which Mr. Wilson read to the Committee in the words following :

Mr. Chairman: It has given me great pleasure to observe, that till this point-the proportion of representation-came before us, our debates were carried on with great

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