For congressional remarks that are not speeches.
Mr. Van Buren hoped the question would not be reconsidered. It had been once distinctly decided, and it ought not to be reviewed—at least, not until all hope of substituting a better plan was despaired of. The committee was now called to the consideration of the single question, whether justices of the peace should be elected by the towns in which they reside. Should the present question be... Continue Reading
Mr. Van Buren thought we should take the question on separate parts of the report. There had been twelve days occupied, and nothing settled yet. Mr. Van Buren said he had voted against a total and unqualified exclusion, for he would not draw a revenue from them, and yet deny to them the right of suffrage. But this proviso met his approbation. They were exempted from taxation until they had... Continue Reading
After further observations on the subject, by Messrs. Van Buren, Fairlie, J.R. Van Rensselaer, Sharpe, and Starkweather, the question was put and lost. Mr. Van Buren was in favour of the plan proposed by the select committee, opposed to the amendment.
Mr. Van Buren, in reply, referred to the constitutions of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, shewing that the principle of his amendment was recognized in each. He was, he said, surprised at the observation made by his friend from Lewis, (Gen. Collins,) that the people would have less connexion with the appointments if made in this way, than they had under the old mode. Could not the people make... Continue Reading
Mr. Van Buren thereupon moved to pass over the second, third, and fourth sections of the report, in order to take up the fifth. A question of order arose thereupon, in which Messrs. Spencer, Young, Briggs, Burroughs, Sharpe, Van Ness, Buel, Tallmadge, N. Williams, and Dodge, took part; when the motion for postponement was put and lost. Mr. Van Buren then moved specifically an adoption of the... Continue Reading
On motion of Mr. Van Buren, the Convention then resolved itself into a committee of the whole on the unfinished business of yesterday—Mr. Lawrence in the chair. Mr. Van Buren hoped, after the explanation which he should give, the gentleman from Oneida (Mr. Platt,) would withdraw his motion for the present. He was not certain that the appointing power might not receive a better shape, than it now... Continue Reading
A few additional remarks were made by Messrs. Fairlie, Tallmadge, Spencer and Van Buren, when the question was taken and lost. Mr. Van Buren moved to insert the words "secretary of state," next before words "attorney general." Carried. Mr. Van Buren remarked, that the section of the report under consideration was doubtless liable, in a greater or less degree, to the objections of the honourable... Continue Reading
On motion of Mr. Van Buren, the house then resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on the report of the committee on so much of the constitution as relates to the power of appointments to office, and the tenure thereof. Mr. Van Buren was not tenacious on this subject, but thought this limitation of age would have a tendency to repress ambition, and to occasion difficulty and inequality in... Continue Reading
On motion of Mr. Van Buren, the Convention then resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on the report of the committee to whom was referred subject of future amendments of the constitution. Mr. Van Buren rose merely to correct an idea that seemed to be entertained that he was in favour of an entire new constitution. The fact, he said was otherwise. He preferred to engraft amendments upon... Continue Reading
Mr. Van Buren occupied the floor for some time in expressing his sentiments decidedly against the amendment, and against universal suffrage. We were hazarding every thing by going to such lengths in the amendments—the people would never sanction them. Mr. King remarked that the poll tax was not universal. Mr. Radclief remarked, that if the argument of the gentleman from Queens was correct, a re-... Continue Reading
Mr. Van Buren felt himself called on to make a few remarks in reply to the gentleman from Delaware. He observed that it was evident, and indeed some gentlemen did not seem disposed to disguise it, that the amendment proposed by the honourable gentleman from Delaware, contemplated nothing short of universal suffrage. Mr. V. B. did not believe that there were twenty members of that committee, who,... Continue Reading
Another discussion on a question of order took place between Messrs. Tallmadge, Root, Van Buren, Spencer, Sharpe, and the Chairman. Mr. Van Buren called for the ayes and noes. Mr. Van Buren supported the motion for striking out. The people were not prepared for universal suffrage. Mr. Van Buren intimated that the gentleman from Columbia was not, perhaps, so much interested in the amendment as... Continue Reading
Mr. Van Buren thought it impossible to be guilty of a greater political heresy, than was proposed by the clause of the amendment of the gentleman from Delaware, and which his intelligent friend from Saratoga had fallen into—that of subjecting the votes of all the citizens of this state, between the ages of 18 and 45 to a law of congress. (Mr. Root here informed Mr. Van Buren that the question was... Continue Reading
Mr. Van Buren thought it would be dangerous to make it obligatory upon the legislature to adopt the course recommended in the report. He was therefore opposed to the motion. Mr. Van Buren said, that the register was no part of the qualifications of voters, and that the legislature now have the power to pass laws authorising an enrolment of the electors.
Mr. Starkweather wished to vary the motion so as to make it the duty of the governor to advertise all persons pardoned, the crimes of which they had been convicted, &c.—but upon some suggestion from Mr. Van Buren, he withdrew his motion. After some discussion on the point of order, as to how the question on the whole report should be taken, it was thus put: "that this report, as amended, be... Continue Reading