The star of the north. (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1849-1866, April 10, 1856, Image 1

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SSgsKi; K •
■OFFICE—Up stairs, in the new brick build
ing, on the south sute of Main Street,
third square be.'ow Market.
T £ R fll 8 :—Two Dollars per annnm, if
Daid within six months from the lime of sub
kcribiitjj; ; two dollars and fifty cents if not
paid within the year. No. subecriptiur. re
esived fof a less period titan six monies ; no
discontinuance permitted unlit alt arrearages
are paid, unless at the option of the editor.
ADVERTISEMENTS not exceeding one square
will be inserted three times foi One Dollar
and twenty five cents for each additional in
asrtion. A liberal discount will be made to -
those who advertise by the year.
Jn Senate, March 21, 1696, upon the Joint Res
olution proposing Amendments io the Coiufi-
Mr. SPEAKER : —The general nature, design
and results of constitutional government,
ought by this time to be familiar to the Amer
ican mind. But the boundaries of power,
wider any possible arrangement, are incapa
ble of exact description ; and besides there
ara great causes ir. constant action that drift
governments in directions no wisdom can
foresee or (frevent.
It is impossible for the wisest of men to
provide fundamental arrangements that shall
keep the government permanently in its due
course, protect the citizen from its usurps,
lions or injustice, and secure perfeotly the
great ends for which it was instituted. The
fature is unknown even to the wise, and no
sagacity, however deep and searching, can
discover the secrets discovered wiihin it.
Constitutions,-however skilfully construct
ed, mast therefore become imperfect in time,
BDd Mkdeqnate to thqir office and objeol. In
'auch c.ue the government is in the same sit
uation as the body of the people, when the
latter ar? without some law required by new j
conditions of society lor the occurrence of;
unexpected events. For the constitution
bears a lelslion to the government simitar to
that which the laws bear to the people. The j
government obeys the constitution, the peo-I
pie the laws. A constitution is olten called :
"the fundamental law," and it may be de
scribed as au instrument comprising the laws
imposed by (he people upon tha government.
In fact, ft resembles a corporation act, which
creates nn artificial body and prescribes, at i
the same time, the rules by which it shall
Now,'it is evident, that if the ordinary laws
.aequira occasional amendment, the constitu-1
(ion will also, unless time has a totally dif- '■
ferent effect upon the former from its effect
upon the latter. Those who assert such dif
fetence must show it.
Nothing is more certain than the propen
sity of governments to usurp power and a
busa power, and hence the cons'ant efforts
made in constitutional history to curb them. !
Herein is to be sought the reason for the lim
itations which abound in all our American j
Constitutions, and especially those of recent
formation ; limitations induced by experience
kUd the pressure of distufbirig forces upon
the action of our governments, and proved
to be ittdiapensabie to their eafely and sue- ,
cats. i.
With ha, the Legislative department oi
government is the mam offender, and re- j
quires the most numerous and powerful re-I
strain Is. Its usurpations and abuses of power
are endless ; for It is strong—it is moved by
hoi passions—its material is subject, to rapid
ehar.ges, and to most pernicious influences—
it often lacks experience, and (notwithstand
ing all assertions to the contrary) it is less
responsible to public opinion than either the
Executive or Indicia! departments. This is
not often said, but there is abundant evidence
of its truth, and it is absolutely necessary to
keep it in -view in all constitotinnai inquiries, j
Distrust of this department is largely man- ,
treated in the exts'ing constitution. The grant
of power-to it is iu (he first article* and ir. !
general terms. But from out this grant are
to be excepted the powers delegated to the
government of the United Slates, and those
.reserved in the ninth article or declaration of
rights, 'l&ilihenjtokoeghotif the whole in- 1
itrurnent appear checks and limitation] upon 1
it, pro<ridM - TOrt of onr ancestors, j
and founded iu g wise distrust ol those by
whom in after times the powers granted ■
would be exercised. And to secure the ob
servance of these reservations and limita
tions, as well as ihe'putformance'ar the pos
itive duties enjoined by the constitution, a
goleuiu oath or affirmation is required of all
who serve in this department and participate
in the enactment of laws. To secure popu
lar control also over if, its members are elect
ed for short terms, and by general suffrage.
But public opinion and oaths are not regard
ed as so flic ient cqrbs upon tt, and we there
, (of* euhject'ltS atllon to review by the Ex-1
ectniye. The Governor may destroy any
l bill unless two-thirds of each heote re-enact
it.< Ner do we stop here. The Judicial de
-0 psrlmem may annul and pronounce void any
u P? n * constitutional objection. Tltia
judicial veto ja without review and therefore
more absolute than that of the Executive,
but being Confined to unconstitutional acts is
less extensive.
Observe'flag, the construction of the Le
ogioiature. It ia divided into two separate
•Bd distinct* branches, and the assent of both
required to the enactment of a Igw. Con
..current majorities of boll. Houses are required
befqr* a bill oan pasa to the Executive. And,
in practice, the necessity has been felt of
clogging as well as perfecting, action by the
lion of degnuiiteef, en J by tuldd that
" constantly interpose to secure deloy ami de
deliberation. Bpl, >ll (h*e arrangements
•re iitynf&cient fp xf#iy end' a sOtir.d system,
and therefore amend wen is of our fundamen-
tl law ate occasionally necessary in relalion
to the legislative as well Eta other departments
of the government. And such amendments
will almost of necessity consist oi changes
in the constitution of the two Houses, or of
farther limitations of their powers.
The amendments before us aro four in
number. They are all limitations of legis
lative power, except the third, which affect*
the constitution of the House of Representa
tives, and thpy are all, in my opinion, wise,
necessary, and timely.
The fourth amendment originates with the
Senator from the county, (Mr. BHOWNE;) and
is intended to retain control over charters of
incorporation for purposes of amendment
and repeal.
The Just amendment is directed against
public indebtedness, State and municipal, and
will protect our people against profligate ex
penditures and grievous burdens consequent
thereon. They demand it, and will endorse
it with promptness and gladness of heart, as
some security against the weakness, corrup
tion and folly of their public servants.
Tha second amendment strikes a crying
evil, I think in an effectual manner, and be
ing already endorsed by a decisive vote of
the Senate does not require further discus
sion. AB now modified, it will prevent the
creation of diminutive counties as well as
the mutilition, against its will, of any one
now existing.
The third amendment demands debate and
shall have it. I will consider separately the
several changes proposed by it
It proposes to strike from section 2 of the
first article of the Constitution the words "of
the city of Philadelphia and of each county
respectively." This is but a correction of
phraseology rendered necessary by a change
in the 4th section to be presently noticed.—
It is next proposed to make the 4th section
read in such manner as to embody several
important changes on the subject of repre
sentation in the House, while retaining some
features of the present session :
First— Representatives shall be appoint
ed "among the several counties and such
cities as may be entitled to a sepa-ate rep
resentation, according to the number of
taxable inhabitants in each,,' and "any
city containing a sufficient number of tsxs
bies to entitle i: to at least two representa
tives, shall have a separate representation
assigned it." This, in connection with the
change in the second section ju st noticed,
will authorize the separaiioti of any city
from the county of which it composes a
pan, for the purpose of representation in
the House, whenever its laxables are sufft
i cient lor two members.
Second— "Each county containing not le6s
than three thousand taxables may be al
lowed a separate representation." This is
a material improvement. By the constitu
tion of 1790 each county was to have one
representative, but counties thereafter erect
ed should not have a separate representation
until they had the full taxable ratio for a
member. This provision was not altered by
the couventiou of 1838, and inasmuch as by
the third section of the schedule to the con
stitution as amcndeikby that body, all parts
of tbe constitution unchanged were to be
construed as if no amendments had been
made, it follows that no county erected
since 1790 can have a separate representa
tion until it has the full ratio for a member.
But this is inconvenient ami leads tu embar
rassment and injustice. A county created
since 1790 (hut falls short but a few laxables
\ of the ratio, cstmot have a member sepa
rately, but must be joined lo a county or
counties adjoining. The great number of,
' counties which have been erected since 1790
has rendered this provision a serious griev-1
■ aiice. Cumbrous districts are created and ;
1 counties are joined having no common in-i
terests and averse to the connection into i
which they are forced. We getaway from
this difficuly by the proposed amendment,
and besides, as we make provision else
where against the undue creation of new ,
' counties, all reason for retaining the clause
: in question as a discouragement lo their j
1 creation, is removed.
| ITiuYt?—"Not more than three counties
1 shall be joined, and no oounty shall be divi- j
! dad ia tha faun alien of a district." jVe I
' have here some security tgejnai the forma
tion of large and unwieldy districts. Were
it not for the existence of such counties as
Elk and Fotesl, I think it would be wise to
' prohibit ths joining of counties at all in the 1
formation of districts. That no county shall
be divided, ia in conformity with our past
practice and with public sentiment. And. so
long as the formation of districts is left wjih
the Legislature, this is proper both upon
grounds of convenience and to prevent Qer
j ryrtiaudering.
Fourth —Any city allowed a separate rep
resentation, "shall be divided into cortve.
nfout districts of contiguous territory, as near
as may be of equal taxable population, each
of which districts shall elect one representa
tive;" qnd further: "fio city shall be allow
ed .more than fifteen representatives, nor any
CQttnty or district formed of counties more
titan five."
We tread here upon disputed ground, But
1 hope we sit ail tread .it firmly, with "an
eye stin gk" to She public weal and the im
provement of oar political system. Let us
examine the ground upon which we are to
proceed, /r*-
Upon the 3d day of Feb. 1854, the most
important political bill introduced into the
Legislature of this State within the recollec
tion of man now living, was approved by
the Uovernur aud became, A fifth
pert of our population was thereby put
under one municipal organization, by far
the most populous and powerful of onr coun
ties, comprising within its boundaries many
incorporated districts, boroughs and 'town
ships, was blotted nut of existence; and a
consolidated government, with high antl ex
tensive powers, established upon the ruins
of limited jurisdictions. What may have
been the local results ofthis measure, wheth
er salutary or otherwise, it is not now neces
sary to inquire. But it ia high lime that the
nature and results of consolidation as a State
question 6hotihl be understood; that the ex
isting and prospective relations of Philadel
phia to the rest of the State and the govern
ment of (ho State, should be defined and
comprehended by all.
By the consolidation act, Philadelphia, with
her extended boundaries, was,toagreat extent
separated from rest of the State ; ju
risdiction within her limits was partially
withdrawn, and her relations with the rest of
the Slate became less extensive and intimate
than before. In short, she became less in
terested iu our common government to the
extent to which her local jurisdiction was ex
tended. Speaking with strict accuracy, her
full weight in the direction of public aflairs
was no longer so much required as previous
ly for the protection and advancement of her
peculiar interests, because they were com
mitted to her local authorities.
But was the weight of the city in tbe State
government lessened ? Was there a with
drawal of her power and influence in the State
proportioned to the decrease of State juris
diction 1 So far was this from being the fact,
that not only was the full proportional weight
of the city iu selecting incumbents lor the
Executive and judicial departments retained,
and -be felt4kkprsen:atlon Of ber population
in the House of Representatives continued,
but a serious, an unpreceden'od, and injuri
ous change was produced in the basis of rep
resentation for both branches of the Legisla
ture. This point requires to be clearly sta
ted. Under a wise provision of the Constitu
tion no oily or county can select more than
four seuators. Therefore, the consolidated
city, under a new apportionment, will he lim
ited to that number. But as no city or coun
ty (under another provision ol the Constitu
tion) cau be divided foe the election ol Sena
tors, the four will be elected by the whole
body pi the electors of the city—that is, will
be elected by and represent qna and die same
constituency. So many members of the Sen
ate have never been elected by a single dis
trict; but hetcaheran elector in Philadelphia
S will be represented by four Senators, while iu
( other parts of the Stale an election will be
represented by but one or two. Heretofore
| the city and county of Philadelphia have usu
' ally chosen Senators of different politics ; but
: since they are merged, this cannot he expec-
I ted, and the whole four chosen by the con
solidated city will be of the same political
opinions. And, as the Senate is not ohen
very unequally divided between existing po
litical patties, it is certain that Philadelphia
with her four Senators will otdinarily deter
mine the political complexion of litis body.
This is to be accepted a* one of the certain
and necessary results of consolidation. The
balance of power produced by separate elec
tions oi Senators in the former city and coun
ty is clean gone forever.
But the disturbance of power in the House
:of Representatives ie alill greater. Nearly a
1 fifth part of the House, under the nextappor
' tionment, will be elected by the city and
i probably by general ticket! This will give
control over that branch and over joint con
ventions of the two bouses. To whatever
: party the vote of Philadelphia is given, pow
er over legislation and patronage will pass,
| perhaps agaiust a popular majority in the
State to the contrary, and tnus the minority
be made to rule and do its pleasure. Id short,
i Philadelphia wHI control the government.—
Besides, as there is no limitation upon toe
number of representatives Irom any city or
county, this evil will be aggravated in fu
ture, and it is possible the time may come
when the city will have as many as twenty
' five representatives, or one-fourlbof the whole
i number. •
I The evil staled is not confined Io a mere
! disturbance of the balance of party power.—
i So large a mass of votss representing the
' same constituency, elected together, inspired
("Ay common leelings, and united by assocta
: lions and personal interests, will rule the or-
I dmary course p_f legislation and all questions
| wheie the separate action of the House or the
l joint -action of the two Houses is involved.—
;Iu all controversies the interest against
; which thexitV'vote is arrayed will go to the
I wall. i
Bu'. why has not this subject excited earnest
attention and general remark? The answer
is at hand and complete. It is, because the
mischiefs of consolidation, as a state ques
tion, lay in the future sud did not constitute
• pressing, present evil. An apportionment
of members of the Legislature, Under the con
stitution, is for seven years and unchangea
ble until the time of revision arrives. The
existing one was made in 1860 and extends
to 1857: therefore, although the city ar.d
coonty of Philadelphia are united and merged
together by lh4 act of 1854, the former divis
ion between them yet continues in the elec
tion of members of tha Senate, and House.
But t|)* Itrpej fip|ifoacbes aritl fa gf hand when
the redistribution of representation must be
made, and when the full effect of consolida
tion dtsoovered and felt. .
The remedy now proceed is two fold :
First, a limitstiun of representation alto num
ber,- apd next, the ekcticmrof rejweMntatives
"by single districts.
L 1.-rNo city shall be allowed more than fif
teen representatives; no oonnty or district
formed of counties, beirig allowed more than
five, or one third the number. This limila-
; — I'OIUI urn. . 1 I'LL,.— E I T ■
Truth, ml Wghlr— *#d*V toeHuir>.
* ♦ * - , . . i •, - • -j- —
lion is justified by the facts already staled,
and by other cbnsideratious. Tbe number
named will constitute a formidable force end
be adequate to protect the internals of thecity
so far as they are, involved in legislation,
whila it will not yield her au overwhelming
weight as against other sections. It is the
number to which the is now entitled and is
mors than one-seventh the whale House. As
she las a local government contistiug of
councils, an executive aud other functiona
ries, charged with the transaction and man
agement af a groat part of her public con
cerns, it is not unreasonable Io withhold from
her increased representation here; represen
tation unnecessary to Iter owo interests and
disturbing to the balance of power which
should be maintained between the different
divisions of the State. he observed
that any count) or <litrierT*md of coun
ties is limited to five, to prevent an undue ag
gregation of strength at any point, and to pre
serve the feature of quality in the proposed
arrangement. There ie also a limitation upon
the entire number ol representative* from tbe
whole Stale, as in the present constitution.—
The number shall never be less than sixty
nor greater than one hundred; so that the
city with fifteen members must always have
more than one seventh the whole number.
Any increase of the population of the State
can never bo expected to make her weight
and iufluence less than it is at present.
A reason for tbe proposed limitation is
found in the inequality of the existing plan
of distributing representation. This is not
generally undetstood, and as it is material to
the argument I will attempt to explain it. By
the constitution, at (he UnjoTf making each
apportionment, the ara to be
apportioned (to quote words) "a
mong the city of Philadelphia and the sev
eral counties, accordiug to the number of
taxabla inhaoitsnls in each." But this ap
parent equality of distiibulion is disturbed by
a practical difficulty, always embarrassing,
but greatly enhanced and aggravated by con
solidation. The ratio, or aumber of taxablss
for a representative, is ascertained by divi
ding the whole number of taxables in the
Slate by the number one hundred, (if that he
the number of representatives fixed, as is
usually the rase,) the quotient is the ratio.
Then the number uf laxables in any city or
county is to be divided by the ratio to ascer
tain the number to which it is entitled. The
result in each case almost inevitably is, a
certain number and a fraction or surplus.—
This is the ptocess by which the distribu
tion is to to itvfcei)/ eu f l " w
counties, "according to the number of taxa
ble inhi-bitanis in each." Suppose (he ratio
is 5,00°, and that Philadelphia has fil teen
times that number and a fraction or surplus
over of only s dozen taxables. She gets her
fifteen representatives and lite fraction is
dropped. Schuylkill may have twice the ra
tio and two thousand taxables over, site gets
two members and the fraction is lost; Leba
non, adjoining, may in like manner get one
member anil lose a fraction of one thousand;
Northumberland mav get a member and lose
a fraction of five hundred ; Cumberland with
two members may lose a fraction of four
hundred; York with three a fraction of fif
teen hundred; Perry with one, six hundred;
Erie with two, eighteen hundred; Washing
ton with two, fourteen hundred; and Indiana
with one, a fraction ol nine hundred. Here
the nine counties warned wauWdiave fifteen
members, (the same number as Philadel
phia,) and tbe lost fraction when added to
gether would amount to over leu thousand.
If, however, these counties that lose in this
manner were merged into one, they would
get seventeen members, because, us in the
case of Philadelphia, (here would bo a loss
ol but one fraction, instead of as many frac
tions as there are oonnties. It will be obser
ved, that while the city and county were sep
] arate, there might be a loss of fractions in
| each, but hereafter tbera can be a loss of but
i one.
It is true the fractions are to be considered
in completing tbe distribution. Representa
tives are lo be allowed for some of the lar
gest, but in this (lie city fraction is just at:
likely to be favoted as any one else.
The sum of the matter is this: the city from
tbe extent and aggregation of its population
is secure from the peril of undbr-fepresenta
tion; instead of running the risk of losing a
dozen fractions it can lose but one, and is not
likely to lose that if it is of any magnitude.
It may be remarked also, that in framing an
apportionment bill the city has a manifest
advauiage over any other district, upon all
points within ths discretion of the Legislature.
An apportionment is a question of party as
well a| of localities, and no psrly can afford to
defy Phil adelphia by framing a bill displeas
ing to her. A county with but one or two
representatives tnay be hardly used with im
punity, but the city with fiheen members in
one House and lour or more in tbe ot.ier must
be treated tenderly and can command her
own terms.
A reasonable limitation of the nnmber of
representatives from the city wiif but pre
serve an equilibrium between her and other
parts of the Slate by preventing the extreme
weight which she WliroiheiwUe obtain in the
But it Is objeoted that representation should
I be baaed exclusively upon number*; in oth
er words tbst the numerical majority alone
1 should rule. T deny this proposition, and
as it is the main if not the only objection
made to tbis amendment, I shall proceed to
show how deceptive and unfounded it ie.
Representation in the legislature Is not now
based upon population but on taxable*. .The,
basis fa not more cnmhets, hot rue payors
antl those taxed per capita.
Here is section 7, article 1, of (be oonsti
ration "No city or county shall be entitled
to elect more than four Senators." Numbers
may entitle it to six or more, but they are dis
regarded. It can have but four. By section
4, tame article, "etch county [existing when
the constitution was formed] shall have et
least one representativeno matter what
may be iu number of laxables. By section
7, no pity or count) can be divided in form
ing senatorial districts, however much the
uvmerioal principle may require it; In fact,
Senators are to some extent the representa
tives of cities and counties aud not of lax
ables alone.
Neither in establishing the basis of repre
sentation or of suffrage do you regard the
whole number of the population, nor do you
put suffrajf& and representation upon- the
• sine ground. -Jfog exclude- (rem the right
of suffrago aliens, minors, non-taxables, ne
groes and lemalss, atul require focal resi
dence, and tax payment of those otherwise
qualified. But you base representation upon
taxables, not excluding all whom you exclude
from suffrage, but still excluding a part of the
population. The result ia that taxable mi
nors, females, foreigners and negroes are
represented but are not permitted to vote.—
The proportion of the iwo first to the whole
population is pretty uniform throughout the
State from the operation of obvious and nat
ural causes. But, [omitting tn notice foreign
ers as to whom a similar course of remark
would apply,] the case is different ss to ne
groes. Four-sevenths of these ais located in
Philadelphia, Chester, Lancaster and Alle
gheny, and over one-third in Philadelphia.—
There are twenty thonsand in Philadelphia,
the taxables among whom, although not vo
ters, aro"ecumed to swell the representation
of the city. 'lf this clars of non-voters were
distributed throughout the Slate in uniform
proportion to the white taxables in each part,
there would be no disturbance of the basis of
representation, but as the fact is not so, ine
quality to some extent is created.
It is sometimes u-ged as matter of reproach
against the free white voters of the south that
they have a representation in Congress based
upon their negroes, and (so to speak) vole
for them. The same lacl stands out in our
own case, (as to our free taxable negroes.)
arid the city and a few other points gain the
advantage thereof in tbe distribution of po
litical power.
But to return. Representation in the Con
gress of the United Slates is no more based
on the strict principle of numbers than it is
with usj on the contrary less regard is paid
to it. Every one knows that representation
in the United States Senate is by States and
that popular numbers is entirely disregarded.
Delaware, with 90,000 inhabitants, has the
same number of Senators as Pennsylvania
with over two millions. Have evils resulted
irom this? Have the interests of the large
Stales been sacrificed or put in perilr On
the contrary, is it not more than probable that
this very arrangement has tended to keep the
general government in its true course, and
promote the common good!
Nor is the lower House of Congress form
ed in strict conformity to the principle. Each
Stele, however small it may be in numbers,
shall always have a Representative. Who
shall elect the members, is left to each State
to determine, for they are to be the same
persons qualified to vote for members of the
most numeroos branch of the State Legisla
ture. But, what is most noticeable is the gen
eral basis of apportionment, which is to be
for each State "the whole number.of free
persons, including those bound to service for
a term of years, and excluding Indians not
taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.'"—
Gentlemen may say this is a peculiar ar
rangement, grounded in a compromise be
tween great national interests. Whatever it
may be, it is certainly not a distribution of
representatives upon the strict principle of
The oxample of other Stales can also be
consulted. As far back as 1819 Maine es
tablished a limitation upon the representa
tion of towns in her House of Represent
lives. The whole number of members was
not to be less than one hundred nor more
then two hundred, and by a subsequent
amendment it was fixed at one hundred and
fifty-one Of these Portland had assigned to
it, ai first, three members, "and no town Was
ever lo be entitled to more than seven." There
is also a principle of graduation in the appor
tionment. Towns with 1500 inhabitants are
(o have one member; with 3750, two; 6750,
three; 10,500, lour; 15,000, five; 20,000, six;
26,250 and over, seven. When population
becomes too large for these numbers they
are to be raised, but the same principle of
graduation and proportion is fo be aaintaiu
The amended Confutation of Rhode Isl
and provides, that the Senate of that State
"shall constat of the Lieutenant Governor and
of one Senator irom each (own or city ir. the
State;" no regard being had to population.
"The House ot Representatives shall never
exceed seventy-two members, and shall be
constituted on th 9 basis of population always
allowing one Representative for a fraction
exceeding half the ratio; bat each town or
oily shall always be entitled to at least one
member, and no town or city shall have more
than one-sixth the whole number of mem
bers to which the House is limited." The
population of Providence city in 1850 was
M,513, and of the whole Slats 147,545. And
yet the former can have but one Senator, and
but a sixth of the Representatives, although
its population wonld entitle it to between
one-third and one-fourth.
Maryland is a nearer case, and a striking,
one., Like, our own Comraonwealtji, she!
has a great commercial empoiiumeqf oily,'
and in a recent constitutional convention, fol
lowed by u populas vote, its political relations
with the rest of the Slate were adjusted and
settled. First, the city of Baltimore and each
county shall elect one Senator; although Bal
timore has a population of 170,000, while a
majority of the counties have leas than 20,-
000 each.
The constitution of the House of Delegates
is as follows: The whole number shall nev
er exceed eighty nor be lees than sixty.five;
they shall be apportioned umonglhe coun
ties according to population, allowing to each
not leas than two members, and Baltimore
oily shall have four more than any county.
The census of 1850 exhibitathe practical op
eration of this arrangement. Population of
Maryland, 583,034 ; of Baltimore, 180,054.
The ratio for if ma whole
number is fixed at eighty, would be 7,287,
which would give to Ballimere 23 members.
If the whole number is fixed at sixty-five,
the ratio would be 8.960, and Baltimore would
have nearly enough for 19 members. Rut
she actually obtains but ten under the existing
apportionment, (in which 74 is fixed as the
whole number; —in other words, less than
one hall the number to which her popula
tion would entitle her if distribution were
made on that basis alone. In short, she is
put in her senatorial representation upon an
equality with tbe counties of Calvert and
Caroline, having a population of only 9,000
each, and she can have but four more rep
resentatives than the most populous coun
ty, containing less than a fourth of ber num
The basis of representation in South Caro
lina is peculiar and exceptional. Her ar
rangement is the most complicated of any of
the States, embracing the elements of white
population, geography and taxation, but is di
rectly in point upon the question we are
considering, and it has admirably subserved
and secured to her the main purpose of a
constitution—the equal protection of nil the
leading interests of society considered as a
Further examples from our American con
stitutions are probably unnecessary; and 1
pass on to the general reasons justifying the
limitation proposed. I find them stateo with
signal clearness and force by one of the pu
rest and proloundesl public nten of his age
—Mr. Calhoun. Ha is speaking of the prin
ciple of the numerical majority, or of basing
power upon population alone, and observes:
"It assumes that by assigring to every part
of the State a representative in every depart
ment of its government in proportion to its
population it secures to each a weight in the
government in exact proportion to its popu
lation under all circumstances. But such is
not the fact. The relative weight of populu
lion depends as much on circumstances as
on numbers. The concentrated population
of cities for example would ever have, un
der such a distribution, far more weight in
the government than the same number in
the scattered and sparse population of the
country. One hundred thousand individu
als concentrated in a city two miles square
would have much more influence than the
same number scattered over two hundred
miles square. Concert of action and com
bination of means would be easy in the one
and almost impossible in the other; not to
take into the estimate the great control that
cities have over the press, the great organ
of public opinion. To distribute power then
in proportion to population would be, in fact,
to give tbe con'rol of government in the end
to the cities, and to subject the rural and ag
ricultural population to (hat description of
population which usually oongregate in them,
and eventually to the very dregs of their pop
ulation. This can only be counteracted by
such a distribution of power as would give
to the rural and agricultural population in
some one of the two legislative bodies or
departments of the government a decided
preponderance. And this may be done in
most cases by allotting an equal number of
members in one of the Legislative bodies to
each election district, as a majority of the
counties or election districts will usually
have a decided majority of its population
engaged in agricultural and other rural pur
suits. If this should nut he sufficient in it
self to establish an equiribtium, a maximum
of representation might be established, be
yond which the number allotted to each elec
tion district or city should never extend."—
[Works, Vol. 1,398.]
These words read aa if written for thii de
bate, so directly and decisively do they
strike the very point in question. But, it is
obvious that the equilibrium here spoken of
cannot in our case be maintained in estab
lishing an equality between the city and
counties in the Senate. Passing by other
considerations, by our practice the election
of United States Senators and of Slate Treas
urers and Public Priflters, is by joint con
vention of the two Houses, in which the
House has three times the weight of the Sen
ate. Our practice in ibis respect is different
from that of many other States, and while it
has the argument of convenience in its fa
vor, certainly eatends the power of the
House, and makes its voice decisive in any
oontest. Recourses -must therefore be had
to some scheme whi<£ shall affect the con
stitution of Jhe accomplish thert
the equalization desired.
The Consiilutiomof government provided '
for certajp of onr coronation!, furnishes a
lair argument by an4gy for the proposed
limitation of city representation. By the
tenth section, lfitbof April, 1850, teg.
ulating provided that ip the elec-
directors by stockholders each share
Cot exceeding two shall entitle the holder to
vote, every two share* above two and
not exceeding ten, one vole;
| above ten, and oot exceeding lbivtf,^s3^^^i
l vole, every ten above thirty, end not exoeed-
I iog fifty, one vote;.but no natnbeiSof aharei
over fifty shall authorize the bolder to give
additional rates. By the act of 7th April,,
| 1849, authorizing the incorporation of mart)-
| factoring companies, (subsequently exlenif-
I ed to embrace companies for mining coal
1 and various other purposes,) the number of
votes which any stockholder cat) give in
elections is limited to one third of the whole
number to which the stockholders would be
entitled, (Sec. 4.) And by act of 26th Janu
ary, 1849, for tbe organization of Turnpike
and Flank road companies, See. 3, each
stockholder in elections lor managers and oth
er officers shall be entitled to one vote fqr
reach share ol not exceeding ten, and
one vote for every five shares exceeding that
number. These are samples of our legisla
tion regarding corporations, and .they show
that limitations are judged necessary to pre
vent the government of the corporation ffota
being unduly controlled by its most powerful
members. The rights of alt are conceived to
be best protected by limiting somewhat the
powers of the strongest.
Interests with which legislation is concern
ed. do t.ot tup.jjjjh. papulation .alone, but
with geography also., They base locations,
a place as well * Uftjqes.. >A vast mass of
our action is particular PbiuifSand
not equally or indifferently to all purta of the
Commonwealth. All special legislation is of
this character, and many general laws have
mainly or altogether a local effect. And we
have to do with interests as sucb, as well as
with individuals in general—will) Milread
questions in Eric and in York, eu well a,
with the punishment ol larceny and tbe con
veyance of lands. A canal question exteuds
itself along some peculiar river; the division
of a county aoimems a single neighborhood;
and a mining bill narrows itself to the coal
field for whioh it was "intended and the mar
ket it is to supply. Nature hat fixed tbe
character of places by immovable laws, and
man must conform himself to the order ol her
arrangements. She has raised up mountains
and spread out plains—has given the rivers
their courses and stamped fruilfuJiißss or ate
rillitv upon the soil. At one point she has
deposited fuel, and at another ores. She bag
lilted the hills of Berks for vineyards, and
the site ol our great city for commerce, man
ufactures and trade.. As population comes
to be located overextended territory, varied
pursuits and therefore intereyts must spring
up, all deeply concerned in government, and
dependant for protection and prosperity upon
the laws. But to give to one spot of the
Stale preponderating power in the govern
ment is to give to the intends there located
power over those located elsewhere, and to
degrade the government (rom a common ar
biter and protector of all, to a special agent
and favorite of a pari. And it is immaterial,
j in the view here taken, whether this result
is attained by an arbitrary decree, by uiar
| patioa, or by pursuing the principle of nun
l bers or population to its utmost extent in for
ming the basis of representation in the gov
Suppdae the limits of the Slats were so con
tracted that the population of Philarfelphiaex
ceeded one half the whole population. It is
clear, if numbers alone were regarded, she
would rule, and the securities of the coun
ties would be in her moderation and not in
their power of resistance. But this ie really,
to a great extent, the condition of things at
present; because interests in other parts of
the State are various, and because they are
broken up by territorial divisions. They are
are not identical in different places, and they
cannot act with compact, united force, ei
i thor for purposes of aggression or defence.
The example of England on this
is instructive. From the British census of
1851, and the Parliamentary returns of 1863,
I obtain the following statement:
Population. Mem. Hume Commune.
England, 16,921,888,.. 467
Scotland, 2,789,742, 53
Ireland, 6.553,(63, 105
Wales, ty)05,731, W i
' Total, 27,369,514. .■ 664
Population and number of members returned to
the House of Commons by London and the
Parliamentary Boroughs contiguous :
Member* House Commons.
London, including 4
Tower Hamlets, 2
Westminster, 2
Soulhwark, • 2,362,236, Pop. 2
Lambeth, ' * 2
Finsbury, " " '■ '•' 2
Mtrylebone, .. J; 2
Total, 16 * * -
From this it will be seen, thai while Lon
don (inolnding the adjoining munrciphlities)
contains one-seventh the population bt Eng- t
land, she has but
ihe representation in the House,
mons. The same fact of lipiited
is streu in the case of oAer
Cities of Scotland. Mem. House of CoU
Aberdeen, 71,973,
Edinburgh, 158,0 lag ,
Glasgow, 347,001; ■
Cities in Ireland. >r 1 . 4> -.
Dublin, 254,850, Z
lis University,attend
the nnmbirvf
Towns I