Imágenes de páginas

H. OF R.]

Mississippi Election.

[Oct. 3, 1837.

ordering an election in a case like this from the constitution Mr. LINCOLN next took the floor, and made an arguof the United States, which is the supreme law of the land, mentative speech in opposition to the report of the comand of course paramount to all State laws, he can fix upon mittee. whatever time he chooses for the election to be held; and Mr. HASTINGS followed in opposition to the report of therefore, in every State where members of Congress have the committee. not been chosen upon the 4th of March, whether an extra Mr. PARMENTER rose merely to respond to an apsession may be called or not, he can disregard the day which peal by his colleague, (Mr. LINCOLN,] on the matter of the statute may have designated, and thus overrule the laws. fact stated by him, that it had been the usage of the LegisI state the objection as it has occurred to my mind, without lature of Massachusetts to reject votes for any incorrectness recollecting whether I give it the exact shape which he did. of form. It is true, that, formerly, it had been the custom I feel and acknowledge its force, and admit that it is difli- to reject votes for informalities of almost every description ; cult to escape from the conclusion ; for, if this power is held but, more recently, the decisions had been different. ly the Governor under the constitution of the United States, Several instances of informal returns and other variations nu State legislation can take it away. But there are two from the provisions of law had occurred within a year or reflections which disarm this argument of much, if not all, two in Massachusetts; but after a very full discussion, nolof its force. The first is, that the conclusion will not be withstanding the incorrectness of form, the members, found, upon examination, to be as unpleasant as it appears whose scals were contested, were allowed to retain them. to be upon a cursory view; for it is not to be supposed that the decisions were the more striking, as the question had the chief agent of a State Government will, without any an important hearing on the relative strength of parties, and cause or motive, overthrow the laws of the people over whom political feelings were to some extent enlisted, yet the canhe presides. Such an evil is not, in the natural order of didates of the minority were sustained. things, to be feared ; and, besides, these very laws have, in In the instance quoted by my colleague, that returns all the States except Mississippi, confided to this very off- of votes were never counted unless received within the time cer the duty of selecting a day for the election in case of prescribed by law, he is correct. But there were several varinecessity. If the constitution reposes this discretion in him, ations from the statutes, which were considered matters of too, the mere anticipation of a flagrant abuse of the power form, and, although important, were not sufficiently so to cannot be received as an insurmountable objection to the destroy the substantial part of the proceedings of the towns fair construction of that instrument. The second reflection in voting. The principle sustained was this : that when is, that the constitution intended to provide, in all cases the will of the people was clearly shown, the irregularities where it was possible to do so, for its own perpetuation. should be very great to affect their expressed wishes. The federal Government was meant to be kept up, and so Mr. LOOMIS, of New York, addressed the Speaker, far as it springs from the people instead of the States, power and said that, viewing this question as involving directly was given to it to preserve its own existence. This House, an important construction of the constitution, no apology as a vital part of that Government, was not intended to be

was necessary by one who was called to sit in judgment come lapsed from a want of power to secure its continuance. upon it, for assigning briefly the reasons of his opinions. I find in the constitution, therefore, that, although the States In his estimation, the conclusion to which the House are permitted to regulate the elections for members of this should arrive on this question, however important to the body, at their own will and pleasure, yet provision is in individuals concerned, and to their State and constituents, stantly made for a defective execution of this power in the was still more so as a solemn adjudication upon the very legislative branches, by throwing upon the Governors the important feature of the constitution involved in it, and it clear and high responsibility of seeing that the meinbers of was matter of deep and abiding interest that this the first this House are duly chosen, in the very clause which is the decision upon it should be correct in principle. subject of all this debate; and, lastly, by way of meeting The constitution of these United States was doubtless every conceivable emergency, if the legislative and exec intended, by those who formed and adopted it, to embrace utive branches of a State should both fail to discharge their within itself all the elements of an original Government, duty, an ultimate power is reserved to Congress to regulate and of security against dissolution from external causes. for itself the elections to this House. Taking these differ- One of the provisions of that constitution is, that there ent parts, and deducing the spirit which emanates from shall be a House of Representatives with certain prescribed them all conjointly, I am led to believe that no

powers. To secure the existence of this chief repository cancy in this body was intended to be long tolerated. In of legislative powers, under all circumstances, and under the physical world there is no vacuum. Nature is every contingency, was one of the wise designs of that insaid to abhor it. Just so in our political system; those who created this artificial state of being equally abhorred a The constitution provides that “the House of Reprevacancy in his House, and they therefore imposed a pres- sentatives shall be composed of members chosen every sesure upon every point where that pressure could tend to

cond year.'

The time of commencement of the term, or fill it up. This consideration leads us to the very struc- its termination, is no otherwise fixed in that instrument. ture of the Federal Government, whether it was meant to The first term of service of the Representatives, and that of be a loose and disjointed fabric, or one firmly knit togeth. the Executive and other officers under it, commenced er, so as to be lasting. This House is bound to the peo. necessarily on the day of the organization of the Governple of the United States by an indissoluble tie. If any one ment which was founded by it, and which was on the State chooses to loosen the knot, Congress can fasten it fourth day of March ; and from that day to this, the fourth again. This is the way in which I read the constitu- of March, in every second year, has been justly considered tion, and I shall not be deterred from coming to a conclu- as the commencement of the term of subsequent Represion corresponding with this interpretation, by a inis-sentatives. placed fear that Governors of States will rush madly from All parties here, I understand, concur in this constructheir spheres for no other purpose than to introduce confu- tion; all also agree that the Representatives in the 24th sion and disorder. I shall, therefore, vote to sustain the Congress from Mississippi went out of office on the third report of the majority of the Committee of Elections. day of March last. From that day the oflice of Represen

Mr. CUSHMAN now moved the previous question and tative must be considered vacant, unless it had been filled a call of the House, (which was very thin, owing, as was by a previous election, of which there is no pretence, until supposed, to an interesting debate in another part of the an election should be held under the constitution to fill it. Capitol;] but his motion not seeming to meet the wishes of By a law of the State of Mississippi, the election of Rehis friends, he withdrew it.



Oct. 3, 1837.)

Mississippi Election.

[H. OF R.

presentatives in Congress is to be held " once in every tivo in the case defined for each in the constitution. That inyears, to be computed from the first Monday in November, strument declared that Representatives should be elected ; 1833.” The Legislature of that State had not the power it authorized the Legislature to fix the time and place of to change the constitutional term of representation in Con- the election; it also authorized the Governor to act, to gress, nor is there any good reason to suppose it had any

cause an election to be held in case a vacancy happened. such design. It is a part of the policy of many of the It is a sound and well-established rule, that every law and States not to have their Representatives elected until after every instrument must be so construed, if practicable, as the expiration of the last session of each Congress. There to make all its parts eflectual and operative. It would renare many good reasons for this mode, as well as some der that part of the constitution which gives power to the against it. It is often very desirable to exhibit to the peo- Governor inefficient and inoperative, if he could not order ple the entire political courre through a whole Congress of an election, in case of a vacancy, at another time than the a member who is a candidate for re-election.

general election provided by law; no special election could The regular sessions of Congress have commenced on even be held by his order if that construction were to prethe day named in the constitution, no law naming a differ- vail; if a vacancy by death should happen, it could not be ent day having been adopted since the first organization of filled, if this view be right, until the time prescribed by the the Government, and this affords ample time for canvass- State law should arrive, because the Legislature alone is ing the merits of the candidates between the expiration of authorized to fix the time and place. their terms on the 3d of March, and the election in Novem- It will be perceived at once that this construction cannot ber. The instances in which extraordinary sessions of be sustained; it would render absolutely nugatory the part Congress have been called by the President have been which gives power to the Governor to cause a vacancy to rare, not exceeding two or three since the adoption of the be filled. That clause is equally valid with the other, and constitution ; and no such instance has, before this ses. both inust be construed so as to give effect to each. It is sion, occurred since the admission of Mississippi into the said this construction gives to the Governor of that State Union as a State. The time appointed by the President the right to order an election immediately after the expirafor the meeting of this extraordinary session was before the tion of the term on 3d of March in every case, whether it November election provided for by the law of that State ; be made necessary by a call of a special session of Con. and, unless a special election could be held, that State gress or not.

Be it so. I admit, nay, I maintain, that the would not be represented at a session of Congress called for Governor might do this as a matter of abstract constituan extraordinary occasion, and to which publie attention tional right; but, at the same time, I say it would be very was turned with unusual interest and anxiety.

indiscreet, and even an abuse of power in him, to put the The Governor of the State of Mississippi, under these people of the State to the trouble and expense of a special circumstances, issued his writ of election, reciting the call election, which was wholly unnecessary. Doubtless there of the special session, and that a vacancy had occurred by are many unwise things which a State Executive might the expiration of the term of the late members, and requir- constitutionally do; but there is no danger of such palpaing a special election to be held in July, “to till said va- ble and useless abuses; the people and the Legislature, in cancy," "until superseded by the members to be elected at appointing the time for election to be held in November, the next regular session” in November. At this special chose, for the good reasons I have before mentioned, to election the now sitting members were elected ; the ques- entrust to the Executive the duty to appoint the time and tion is now, at their request, presented to the House to de- place of special elections when rendered necessary, and termine what is their situation-are they lawfully members they justly concluded that no individual of sufficient charof this House? If they are, do their terms expire with acter to aitain that station would ever be guilty of the folly, this session or at the general election in November, or are though he might bave the power to order a special election, they members of the entire lwenty-fifth Congress? There when the general election appointed by law would arrive are two sections of the constitution having a bearing upon before the officers to be elected could act. this matter. Section 4 reads thus: “ The times, places, A new position was taken by the gentleman from Verand minnner of holding elections for Senators and Repre- mont, (Mr. SLADE.) He conceded that, by the fair consentatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legisla struction of the language, a vacancy had happened, but ture thereof; but the Congress may at any time, by law, that it was a limited vacancy, which expired at the time make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of appointed by law for holding the election. That the vacanchoosing Senators." Some of those who oppose ihe reso- cy being so limited, the election was to fill the vacancy lution reported by the committee insist that the Legisla- only, and, consequently, that members of that state were ture of the State of Mississippi has exercised this power properly entitled to seats until November, and then their by appointing the election to be held in November, and office expired. This would directly violate the constituthat to permit the present election to be held valid would | tion; it would be limiting the term of memhers on this be to give to the Governor of a State the power to repeal floor to a shorter period than that prescribed by the constiand set at naught a valid act of the State Legislature. tution ; it would give us two sets of members for ihe

It is provided in the second section of the constitution, twenty-fifth Congress. If it was competent for the State that " when vacancies happen in the representation from authorities, either unitedly or separately, to cause two sets any State, the Executive authority thereof shall issue writs of Representatives to hold seats successively in the twentyof election to fill such vacancies."

fifth Congress, there was nothing to prevent them from It is also said by some of the opponents of the resolution making the office annual, or having a new set at cach that the vacancy in question was not such a one as is men- session. tioned in this clause of the constitution; that it did not The only reasonable inference is, that the Legislature of "happen;" that the word “ happen" implies some death, that State designed to have members of Congress elected accident, or casualty, and does not cover the case of an under the Governor's writ of election, instead of at their omission by the Legislature to provide by law for an occa- general election, whenever the exigency demanded such a sion like the present. Mr. Speaker, I differ from those honorable gentlemen on both these positions. The Gov. But, sir, the strong ground relied on by most of those ernor's power and that of the Legislature were alike deriv. who oppose this resolution is involved in the use of the ed directly from the constitution of the United States. word “happen" in this clause of the constitution. I deny Neither was paramount to the other; neither could control that this word is limited to the sense to which those genthe other, or in any manner exercise its functions, except' tlemen would confine it. Sir, the word “happen" is used H. or R.]


Mississippi Election.

(Oct. 3, 1837.

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upon the concurrence of two events-whether those events commenced on the 4th of March last, and is to continue till are casual, or caused each by volition, or by natural laws. the 4th of March, 1839. That is the 25th Congress of Thus: this special session happened to be called between the United States, and that was the vacancy in the reprethe time of the expiration of the last Congress and the sentation of the people of the State of Mississippi ; and time appointed by law for a new election, and hence a va- so it is understood by the majority of the Committee of cancy happened. But I will not go into the matter of the Elections who have reported the resolution, that Messrs. philological meaning of this expression, for the reason that CLAIBORNE and Guouson have been duly elected members it has been very fully and ably discussed.

of the 25th Congress. The gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Howand] has re- But have they been so elected ? The constitution of ferred the House to the proceedings of the convention at the United States provides that “the House of Represenwhich the constitution was formed; it was there used pre- tatives shall be composed of members chosen every second cisely as if it had been when there shall be a vacancy. As year by the people of the several States.” The term for this clause was originally adopted, it was in a form some- which they are chosen is two years. what more diffuse, and ihe words “ in which such vacan- The constitution further provides, that the times, places, cy shall happen” were used at the last end of the sentence, and manner of holding elections for Senators and Repreto express the idea conveyed in the first part of the same sentatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislasentence by the word " vacancy,” without the conjunction ture thereof; but the Congress may, at any time, by law, of the word “happen.” After the constitution had been make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of adopted in detail, a committee was appointed to revise the choosing Senators. language and arrangeinont of it, and report it, to convey And the constitution further provides, that when vacanthe same ideas as intended by the draught. That commit- cies happen in the representation from any State, the Extee abridged this clause by changing the phraseology so as ecutive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill to use the word vacancy but once in it; and, in that way, such vacancies. the word happen came by transposition froin the last part The Legislature of the State of Mississippi had, by an of the sentence, and was placed by the side of the word act of the 2d of March, 1833, (so much of which as revacancy, in the first part, evidently without intending to lates to the subject before the House is inserted in the rechange the sense. Is not this conclusive as to the fair con- port of the Committee of Elections,) prescribed that the struction of those words ? But, sir, we have, in addition elections for members of Congress, as well as of the Govto this, the testimony of the distinguished gentleman from ernor, members of the Legislature, and others, should be Massachusetts, (Mr. Adams,] showing what has always held biennially, and particularly that the Kepresentatives to been the construction given to this word in similar cases Congress from that State should be elected once in every by the executive branch of the Government. It is, that two years, to be computed from the first Monday in Nowlienever a vacancy exists, a vacancy happens.

vember, in the year 1833. Such is the standing law of the Mr. Speaker, all party views on this question should be State, and in enacting it the Legislature appear not to entirely discarded. It should rest exclusively on its own have been aware that it left the State wholly without repmerits; and in that spirit I have endeavored to view it. In resentation in this Hall, from the commencement of every my mind there remains not a doubt upon the subject; and Congress on the 4th of March, till Jate in November of to me it appears most clearly that those gentlemen are duly every first Congressional year; and the consequence is, elected members of the 25th Congress, and that their and must be, that whenever Congress shall meet, whether term, as such members, cannot expire before the constitu- by virtue of a law of the United States, or by special call Lional limit. I cannot but anticipate that I am on this from the President of the United States, in the interval subject with a large majority of this House of both political between the 4th of March, the day when the Congress parties.

commences, and the first Monday in December thereafter, [The hour of recess arriving, the House separated until the State of Mississippi cannot lawfully be represented in 4 P. M. without taking any question.]

the House of Representatives of the United States. EFENING SESSIOx.

The vacancy is created, not as the writ of election issued

by Governor Lynch avers, by the expiration of the term of MISSISSIPPI ELECTION.

service of the members of a former Congress, but by the 'The House resumed the consideration of the report of law of the State deferring the elections of members to a the Committee of Elections.

Congress commencing on the 4th of March till the subMr. LOOMIS resumed and concluded his remarks, as

sequent November. given entire above.

The vacancy thus created by the law of the State is a Mr. ADAMS then rose and addressed the Chair sub

vacancy which the Executive of a State cannot supply. It stantially as follows:

is not within the purview of the authority given him to Mr. Speaker : Differing essentially in opinion as I do supply vacancies, for the following reasons: First, because from that of the gentleman who has just taken his seat, it is inconsistent with the law of the State itself, which and from the report of the majority of the Committee of prescribes that the election shall be held once in every two Elections, with regard to the limitation in the writ of elec- years, in November, and consequently prohibiting its being tion, I am constrained again, though very unwillingly, lo held more than once in that term. Secondly, because it is address the House on this question. Not on the question inconsistent with the provision of the constitution of the whether a vacancy had bappened in the representation of United States that the members of the House of Reprethe people of Mississippi in this House, because upon that sentatives shall be chosen by the people every second year. point you have understood, from the observations which I And, thirdly, because it would change the tenure of the submiited to the House this morning, my opinions concur term of office, prescribed by the constitution to be for two with those contained in the report of the committee. But years, into a tenure of two sets of members from the same the question affecting the right of the members from Missis- State ; one for a single session or part of a session, and the sipri to seats on this foor, is not whether a vacancy in the other for the remainder of the term of two years. representation of the State had happened, liut what the va- But if the Governor of the State cannot supply the vacancy was, and how that vacancy was to be filled.

cancy, thus created by the law of the State, for the interNow the vacancy was of two seats in this House of inem- val of time between the 4th of March and the first Monday bers from the State of Mississippi for the twenty-fifth Con- | in November, still less can he, directly in the face of ihe gress of the United States, which twenty-fifth Congress' law of the State, supply a vacancy for a whole term of two

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Ост. 3, 1837.]

Mississippi Election.

(H. OF R.

years. The gentleman from New York thinks he could have been a transcending of his powers with a vengeance ! and that his writ of election, instead of authorizing it to be Sir, there has been a time, in the land of our fathers, when held for a choice of members to sit until superseded by the pretension of power in a kingly crowned head to annul members to be chosen at the regular election in November, the laws of the land by proclamation conducted the royal should have directed it to be held for members of the twen- nullifier to the block. As a democrat, as a republican, I ty-fifth Congress. The report of the Committee of Elec- should hardly expect that the gentleman from New York tions avows the opinion that the Governor, by introducing would be ready to invest the Governor of a State with a into his writ of election the restriction upon the terms of dispensing power to annul the laws of the State by procservice of the members to be chosen, transcended his pow- lamation. As devoted and ardent supporters of State ers. The report says that the opinion of the committee was rights, I should hardly have expected from the majority of almost unanimous that the writ was perfect in itself with the Committee of Elections a charge against the Governor out the restricting clause; that its being there does not in- of the State of Mississippi, of transcending his powers by validate the election held under it, but that it may fairly be strict conformity to the law of the State ; and still less can rejected as surplusage. They, accordingly, reject it as sur- I think that this House will adopt a resolution equivalent plusage, and present to the House a resolution that Messrs. to the appointment by this House of members to represent CLAUBORNE and Gholson have been duly elected members the people of the State of Mississippi from the close of the of the twenty-fifth Congress.

present session to the end of the 25th Congress. For this, Mr. Speaker, I have never been a tenacious adherent to and nothing less than this, will be the effect of adopting the disorganizing doctrine of State rights. But conversant the resolution reported by the majority of the Committee as I have been with the constitution of the United States of Elections. from its origin; familiar as I have been with all the con- Upon the face of the credentials of these gentlemen, as troversies which attended its progress from the 17th of stated by themselves, they were elected to represent the September, 1787, when it was presented by the convention people of the State of Mississippi in this House, until suat Philadelphia to the people of the Union, till its final perseded by members to be chosen at the regular State adoption by the people of the whole thirteen primitive election in November. Yet the resolatlon, reported by the States of the Confederacy-equally familiar with all the committee, declares that they shall represent the people of subsequent controversies and collisions of power between that State during the whole of the 25th Congress. The the General and State Governments, as well as between people of the State elected them to serve for one session. the several departments of this Government-sworn as I The resolution of the House is to constitute them Reprehave repeatedly been to support both the constitution of sentatives of the people of Mississippi from the close of this the United States and that of my native Commonwealth of session till the 4th of March, 1839. Massachusetts, and profoundly responsible as I hold, and Sir, it is my very deliberate opinion that the election of ever have held, myself to a tribunal far beyond this visible the two members from the State of Mississippi, for a term, diurnal sphere, for the faithful observance of those oaths, to be superseded by others to be elected next November, I have invariably considered the Government of this our was unconstitutional ; that no such election could be held, common country as consisting of two distinct, separate, because it is in direct collision with that provision of the independent, but interwoven authorities, both limited constitution of the United States which prescribes that the each sovereign within its appropriate sphere each lawfully members of this House shall be chosen every other year. powerless to encroach upon the appropriate functions of But the time, place, and manner of holding the election, the other; and of all the errors which half a century of being entrusted by the constitution to the State Legislanational existence has brought forth to kindle the torch of ture, and the Legislature having provided only for an discord in our country, the doctrine of nullification is, in election to be held once in two years, and that in the month my judgment, the greatest and the most pernicious. And of November, after the commencement of the term of the next to that is the doctrine of nullification, by the Execu- | Congress for which they are elected, there was no author-tive, of the acts of the legislative power—I do not mean by ity in the State competent to ordain an election for a single the veto, before a legislative act becomes a law-_I do not session of Congress, or for a term short of two years, from mean by the constitutional control given to Congress over the 4th of March, 1837. The election was, therefore, null certain acts of State legislation-but I mean the annul- and void. It was not an election for a single session, or ment, by a State law, of an act of Congress, or the annul- until November, because the constitution of the United ment of a State law by an Executive proclamation, or by States admits of no such election. It was not an election any department of the General Government, except as au- for the whole Congress, because the law of the State rethorized by the constitution.

quired that another election for that purpose should be held Now, sir, it appears to me that both these errors are in- in November, and the writ of election issued by the Govervolved in the opinion expressed by the gentleman near me nor, in exact conformity to the law of the State, express from New York, (Mr. Loomis,] in the report of the Com- restricted the term of service to the interval till the regular mittee of Elections, and in the resolution with which it election in November. If he had no power to insert the closes, that Messrs. CLAIBORNE and GHOLSOn have been restriction in the writ, he had none to issue the writ itself. duly elected members of the 25th Congress. The gentle. If the election was to be held for the whole Congress, the man from New York thinks the Governor of the State of law of the State had prescribed that it should be held in Mississippi reprehensible for limiting in his writ the elec. November, and it could be held at no other time. tion of the members to a term to be superseded by members The error of all this was in the law of the State, fixing to be chosen at the general election in November, pre

the time for the election of the State's members in this scribed by the law of the State. The report of the Com- House nine months after the commencement of the Conmittee of Elections considers the Governor as having, by gress itself. The power of the Governor was not compeinserting the restriction, transcended his powers. They tent either to repeal this law or to supply its defect. He reject the restriction as surplusage !

assumed authority to supply its defect; and the report of the Sir, it was the standing law of the State. The law of Committee of Elections, while charging him with transthe State surplusage! The Governor of the State, by cending his powers in this assumption, concedes to him conforming his writ to the law of the State, transcended the power which he did not assume, of annulling the law his powers! Why, what would he have done if he had of the State, assumes that he has annulled it, and stretches omitted the restriction from his writ? He would have the election, avowedly authorized by him for a term of annulled the law of the State by proclamation. That would'three months, into an election for the whole Congress.

H. OF R.]

Mississippi Election.

[Oct. 3, 1837.

If the House should adopt the resolution reported by the Avcrigg, Bell, Bond, John Calhoon, Wm. B. Campbell, Committee of Elections, we are yet to see how it will be Wm. B. Carter, Chambers, Cheatham, Childs, Corwin, taken by the people of the State of Mississippi. Their Cranston, Crockett, Curtis, Darlington, Dawson, Davies, law requires that the election of members to represent them Deberry, Dennis, Dunn, Elmore, Evans, Everett, Ewing, in this House for the present Congress should be held next Goode, Wm. Graham, Graves, Grennell, Hall, Halsted, November. That law this House cannot set aside. The Harlan, Harper, Hastings, Hawes, Henry, Herod, Henry election must and will be held, and it is to be presumed Johnson, Lawler, Lewis, Lyon, Mallory, Samson Mason, that the same members will be again returned. Although I Maury, Maxwell, McKennan, Milligan, Calvary Morris, hold that the election by which they now occupy their seats Ogle, Pope, Potts, Rariden, Randolph, Reed, Rencher, was irregular, null, and void, I have been content that they Ridgway, Russell, Sawyer, Sergeant, Slade, Southgate, should hold the seats, and wish they niay continue to hold Stanly, Thompson, Tillinghast, Toland, Elisha Whittlethem till the close of the session ; because, however irregu- sey, Lewis Williams, Wise, Yorke—70. lar the election may have been, they were actually chosen Nays--Messrs. H. Allen, Anderson, Andrews, Atherby large majorities of the people, and there is no compari- ton, Beatty, Beirne, Bicknell, Birdsall, Boon, Borden, son in point of magnitude between the mere inconvenience Bouldin, Briggs, Brodhead; Bronson, Bruyn, Buchanan, of an informal election, and the great evil of depriving the Bynum, Wm. B. Calhoun, Cambreleng, John Campbell, people of a whole State of their representation in this T. J. Carter, Casey, Chaney, Chapman, Cilley, Clark, House, when they have actually signitied their pleasure by Cleveland, Clowney, Coles, Connor, Crary, Cushman, whom they choose to be represented. I would, therefore, Davee, DeGraff, Dromgoole, Duncan, Edwards, Farringpostpone to the last hour of the session the decision of the ton, Fairfield, R. Fletcher, I. Fletcher, Foster, Fry, Galquestion ; but I should then vote for the resolution as pro- | lup, Rice Garland, Glascock, J. Graham, Grant, Gray, posed by the gentleman from Tennessee. The regular Griffin, Haley, Hammond, Hamer, Harrison, Hawkins, election would then be held according to the law of the Haynes, Holsey, Holt, Hopkins, Howard, Hubley, Robert State of Mississippi; and as there is no reason for expecting M. T. Hunter, Ingham, T. B. Jackson, Jabez Jackson, that the people of the State of Mississippi have, since last Joseph Johnson, N. Jones, J. W. Jones, Kilgore, KlingAugust, transferred their preferences to other persons, there ensmith, Leadbetter, Lincoln, Logan, Arphaxed Loomis, can be no doubt that the same members will be chosen Andrew W. Loomis, Marvin, J. M. Mason, Martin, May, again.

McKay, R. McClellan, A. McClellan, McClure, McKim, But it is devoutly to be wished that the Legislature of the Menefee, Mercer, Miller, Montgomery, Morgan, S. W. State of Mississippi will, by a suitable modification of their Morris, Muhlenberg, Murray, Noyes, Palmer, Parker, election law, provide against the recurrence of this defect in Parinenter, Patterson, Pation, Paynier, Pearce, Peck, their representation in this House, which must otherwise Penny backer, Petrikin, Phelps, Phillips, Plumer, Potter, return whenever a session intervenes between the fourth of Prart, Prentiss, Reily, Rhett, Richardson, Rives, RobertMarch and the first Monday in December of every alter- son, Rumsey, Sheffer, Charles Shepard, Shields, Sheplor, nate year. Other States are in the same situation. Eight Smith, Snyder, Spencer, Stewart, Stratton, Taliaferro, or ten have been obliged to hold their elections since the Taylor, Thomas, Titus, Toucey, Towns, Turney, Underspecial call for the present session by the President of the wood, Vail, Vanderveer, Wagener, Weeks, A. S. White, United States. The constitution no doubt authorizes John White, Thomas T. Whittlesey, S. Williams, J. W. Congress by law to alter the time of holding the election, Williams, J. L. Williams, C. H. Williams, Worthington, as regulated by the law of the State ; but there never yet Yell-145. has arisen a necessity for exercising this power by Con- So the motion to lay on the table was decided in the negress; nor should it, without necessity, be exercised. It is gative. a still more exceptionable remedy for the evil which is now Mr. HAYNES then moved the previous question, which proposed ; an assumption of illegal power by the Governor was seconded : Yeas 105, nays 81; and the main question of a State, and the nullification of a State law by a reso- was ordered without a division. lution of this House.

Mr. BRIGGS called for the yeas and nays on the main Mr. CAMBRELENG asked that there might be a call question, which was the adoption of the resolution reported of the House. This was agreed to, and the roll was called; by the Committee of Elections, that Messrs. Claiborne and when 105 members answered to their names.

Gholsun were entitled to their seats; which were ordered, Mr. CAMBRELENG moved that all further proceedings and were : Yeas 118, pays 101, as follows: in the call be dispensed with; and, with a view of afford- YEAs--Messrs. Anderson, Andrews, Atherton, Beatty, ing the absent members time to resume their seats, asked Bierne, Bicknell, Birdsall, Boon, Bouldin, Brodhead, for the yeas and nays on his motion ; which being ordered, Bronson, Bruyn, Buchanan, Bynum, Cambreleng, John resulted : Yeas 137, nays 61. So all further pruceedings Campbell, T. J. Carter, Casey, Chaney, Chapman, Cilin the call were dispensed with.

ley, Clark, Cleveland, Coles, Connor, Crary, Cushman, Mr. WAITTLESEY, of Ohio, said that, as there was Davee, DeGraff, Dromgoole, Duncan, Edwards, Elmore, a doubt as to whether the gentlemen from Mississippi had Farrington, Fairfield, Isaac Fletcher, Foster, Fry, Gallup, been elected for the present session only, or the whole Con- | Glascock, William Grabam, Grant, Gray, Haley, Hamgress, he thought it would be the better plan to lay the mond, Hamer, Harrison, Hawkins, Haynes, Herod, Holwhole subject on the table, and thus afford time for them sey, Holt, Howard, Hubley, Ingham, T. B. Jackson, J. to return and be re-elected. With that view, he moved Jackson, Joseph Johnson, N. Jones, J. W. Jones, Kemthat the report of the Committee of Elections, with the ble, Kilgore, Klingensmith, Legare, Leadbetter, Lewis, amendment thereto, be laid on the table, and, on that ques- Logan, Arpbaxed Loomis, J. M. Mason, Martin, May, tion he asked for the yeas and nays.

R. McClellan, A. McClellan, McClure, McKim, Miller, Mr. WHITTLESEY withdrew his motion at the re- Montgomery, Moore, Morgan, S. W. Morris, Muhlenquest of Mr. FILLMORE, who hoped the subject would berg, Murray, Noble, Palmer, Parker, Parmenter, Paynnot be thus disposed of, as it would leave the people of ter, Pennybacker, Petrikin, Phelps, Plumer, Potter, Pratt, Mississippi in doubt.

Prentiss, Reily, Rhett, Richardson, Rives, Sheiler, ShepMr. WHITTLESEY then renewed his motion, and lor, Smith, Snyder, Spencer, Stewart, Taylor, Thomas, the yeas and nays being ordered, resulted : Yeas 70, nays Tiius, Toucey, Turney, Vail, Vanderveer, Wagener, 145, as follows:

Webster, Weeks, A. S. White, T. T. Whittlesey, Jared YEAs-Messrs. Adams, Alexander, John W. Allen, W. Williams, Worthington-118.

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