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viction of malpractice or neglect of duty; to receire a fixed compensation for the devotion of his time to the public service, to be paid out of the public treasury.
13. Resolved, That the national executive shall have a right to negative any legislative act; which shall not be afterwards passed, unless by two-thirds of each branch of the national legislature.
14. Resolved, That a national judiciary be established, to consist of one supreme tribunal, the judges of which shall be appointed by the second branch of the national legislature; to hold their offices during good behavior; to receive punctually, at stated times, a fixed compensation for their services, in which no diminution, shall be made so as to affect the persons actually in office at the time of such diminution.
15. Resolved, That the national legislature be empowered to appoint inferior tribunals.
16. Resolved, That the jurisdiction of the national judiciary shall extend to cases arising under laws passed by the general legislature, and to such other questions as involve the national peace and harmony.
17. Resolved, That provision ought to be made for the admission of States lawfully arising within the limits of the United States, whether from a voluntary junction of government and territory, or otherwise, with the consent of a number of voices in the national legislature less than the whole.
18. Resolved, That a republican form of government shall be guaranteed to each State; and that each State shall be protected against foreign and domestic violence.
19. Resolved, That provision ought to be made for the amendment of the articles of union, whensoever it shall seem necessary.
20. Resolved, That the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers, within the several States, and of the national government, ought to be bound, by oath, to support the articles of union.
21. Besolved, That the amendments which shall be offered to the Confederation by the Convention ought, at a proper time or times, after the approbation of Congress, to be submitted to an assembly, or assemblies, of representatives, recommended by the several legislatures, to be expressly chosen by the people to consider and decide thereon.
22. Besolved, That the representation in the second branch of the legislature of the United States shall consist of two members from each State, who shall vote per capita.
23. Resolved, That it be an instruction to the committee to whom were referred the proceedings of the Convention for the establishment of a national government, to receive a clause, or clauses, requiring certain qualifications of property and citizenship in the United States, for the executive, the judiciary, and the members of both branches of the legislature of the United States.
August 6. Mr. Rutledge delivered the report of the committee of detail, reporting a constitution at large. [This report was so nearly like the constitution as finally adopted, and as we shall give that at the close of this chapter, it is not thought necessary to occupy space by copying it here ]
August 7. The report of the committee of detail being taken up, Mr. Morris moved that that the right of suffrage be restrained to freeholders. A long debate ensued. Col. Mason opposed it as leading to an aristocracy.
Mr. Madison was for leaving this matter to the States. Some States required it, and others did not. His own opinion was that freeholders would be the safest depositaries of liberty. Those without property might become the tools of the rich and ambitious, hence there would be just the same danger as from the property qualification.
Dr. Franklin opposed the views of Mr. Madison. He thought the restriction wrong in principle, and had no doubt it would create dissatisfaction with the people.
On the question of Mr. Morris, only Delaware voted Aye. Maryland divided.
August 8. Article 4th, section 2d, being under consideration, declaring that a member of the House shall have been a citizen of the United States at least three years before his election.
Mr. Mason was for opening a wide door to emigrants, but thought three years too short. Foreign nations might impose upon us their tools, and get them into the legislature for insidious purposes. He moved seven years, which was agreed to, only Connecticut voting No.
Section 4th, allowing the legislatures to apportion the representatives according to the number of inhabitants, was taken up.
Mr. Morris moved to insert "free inhabitants." He said he would not agree to a constitution that upheld slavery. It was the curse of Heaven. He proceeded at length to demonstrate the evils of the institution.
Mr. Sherman said he did not regard the admission of negroes in the ratio of representation as a great objection. In fact, it was only the freemen of the South who would be represented, because it was only them who paid the taxes.
On the question to insert "free inhabitants," it was lost, only New Jersey voting Aye.
August 9. From this date to the 18th, the Convention was occupied in discussing questions of naturalization, revenue, &c.
August 18. Mr. Madison submitted to be referred to the committee of detail the following propositions, to be incorporated in the powers of Congress:
"To dispose of the unappropriated lands of the United States.
"To institute temporary governments for new States arising therein.
"To regulate affairs with the Indians, &c."
Mr. Pinckney also submitted several propositions, relating to the seat of government, public debt, post-offices, &c. From this till the 22d, nothing important by way of discussion transpired.
August 22. Article 1, section 4, was resumed.
Mr. Sherman was for leaving the clause as it stands. He disapproved of the slave trade; yet, as the States were now possessed of the right to import slaves, as the public good did not require it to be taken from them, and as it was expedient to have as few objections as possible to the proposed scheme of government, he thought it best to leave the matter as we find it He observed that the abolition of slavery seemed to be going on in the United States, and that the good sense of the several States would probably, by degrees, complete it. He urged on the Convention the necessity of dispatching its business.
Col. Mason. This infernal traffic originated in the avarice of British merchants. The British government constantly checked the attempts of Virginia to put a stop to it. The present question concerns not the importing States alone, but the whole Union. The evil of having slaves was experienced during the late war. Had slaves been treated as they might have been by the enemy, they would have proved dangerous instruments in their hands. But their folly dealt by the slaves as it did by the tories. He mentioned the dangerous insurrections of slaves in Greece and Sicily; and the instructions given by Cromwell, to the commissioners sent to Virginia, to arm the servants and slaves in case other means of obtaining its submission might fail. Maryland and Virginia, he said, had already prohibited the importation of slaves expressly; North Carolina had done the same in substance. All this would be vain, if South Carolina and Georgia be at liberty to import. The western people are already calling out for slaves for their new lands, and will fill that country with slaves, if they can be got through South Carolina and Georgia. Slavery discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves. They prevent the emigration of whites, who really enrich and strengthen a country. They produce the most pernicious effect on manners. Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of Heaven on a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities. He lamented that some of our Eastern brethren had, from a lust of gain, embarked in this nefarious traffic. As to the States being in possession of the right to import, this was the case with many other rights, now to be properly given up. He held it essentia], in every point of view, that the general government should have power to prevent the increase of slavery. Mr. Ellsworth, as he had never owned a slave, could not judge of the effects of slavery on character. He said, however, that if it was to be considered in a moral light, we ought to go further, and free those already in the country. As slaves also multiply so fast in Virginia and Maryland, that it is cheaper to raise than import them, whilst in the sickly rice-swamps foreign supplies are necessary, if we go no further than is urged, we shall be unjust toward South Carolina and Georgia. Let us not intermeddle. As population increases, poor laborers will be so plenty as to render slaves useless. Slavery, in time, will not be a speck in our country. Provision is already made in Connecticut for abolishing it. And the abolition has already taken place in Massachusetts. As to the danger of insurrections from foreign influence, that will become a motive to kind treatment of the slaves.