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Byrne, Carter, Chowning, Coffin, Deaderick, Dibbrell, Doherty, Fentress, Gaut, Heiskell, Henderson, Jones of Giles, Kirkpatrick, Kyle, Mabry, Meeks, Netherland, Nicholson, Porter of Haywood, Sample, Shepard and Walters—29.
Those voting in the negative are :
Messrs. Brandon, Branson, Brown of Davidson, Campbell, Deavenport, Dromgoole, Fielder, Finley, Fulkerson, Garner, Gardner, Gibbs, Gibson, Gordon, Hill of Warren, Hill of Gibson, Key, Martin, Morris, Porter of Henry, Seay, Shelton, Staley, Thompson of Maury, Warner, Williamson and Wright—29.
Mr. GIBSON offered the following as an independent section :
“No law of a general nature shall take effect until the 60th day after its passage, unless the preamble to such law recite that the public welfare requires that the law take effect sooner."
Mr. BAXTER moved to lay the amendment of Mr. Gibson on the table, which was adopted, but the amendment was subsequently taken from the table and referred to the Committee on the Legislative Department.
Mr. DROMGOOLE offered the following resolution which was read and ordered to be laid upon the table until Tuesday :
“ All the revenues of this State after defraying the current expenses of the Government shall be applied to the payment of the just debts of the State, and no other application of its revenues shall be made until the debts of the State are paid.”
Mr. HEISKELL offered the following protest, which was read and ordered to be spread upon the Journal :
The undersigned have voted against the proposition to except merchants from the protection of the Constitution, and from the rate of equal taxation guaranteed to other classes of the community, ask leave to enter a protest against what they regard as a declaration that the merchant is not entitled to the rights of a citizen.
We think that the principles of constitutional government require that every class of men shall be entitled to the same protection against oppression and against unequal burthens which are guaranteed to other classes. The provision inserted by the Convention, borrowed from the Constitution of 1834, declares that all men shall be taxed equally except merchants and peddlers. Why they should be singled out and subjected to a rule of taxation absolutely prohibited as to any other citizen, the subscribers cannot well perceive. They can see no good reason why merchants should not on the same principle be excluded from the protection of the Constitution as to trial by jury, or habeas corpus, or the clauses which give every man, for an injury done him in “his lands, goods, person or reputation,” a remedy by due course of law.
It seems to us that such a proposition is no worse than this power expressly conferred on the Legislature to impose upon a small class of citizens all the burthens of the State.
It, for the period which has elapsed since the Constitution of 1834, this power had remained without exercise, or if the power had been exercised with any regard to principles of justice we might be less reluctant to submit to the violation of the principles of free and just government contained in this objectionable clause of the organic law.
But we know not only that existing power is contrary to just principles, but that it has been continually exercised to discriminate grievously against a portion of our citizens, to overrate them with burthens from which others are protected, by taxation amounting to from ten times to one hundred times the amount imposed on other citizens on the use of the same amount of property or capital. We have on this floor one member who, as a merchant, operating on a small capital, actually paid a tax of twenty-five cents on every dollar of his capital for the privilege of using it one year as a merchant. One-fourth of the whole of his capital taken in one year for taxes, while every other citizen, not of his class, paid at the same time twenty-five cents on every one hundred dollars of his capital, a tax actually one hundred times as much on this individual as upon his neighbors.
A departure from principles so odious, with known consequences so abhorrent to our sense of justice, and so calculated to depress the interests of trade and commerce, we cannot allow to pass without putting on record our solemn protest against it.
We respectfully submit this protest, and ask that it may be spread on the Journal.
W. H. STEPHENS,
E. H. SHELTON.
in lieu of third amendment reported by the Committee on Finance, which was ordered to be laid over until Tuesday :
“Strike out the third amendment reported by the Committee on Finance, Internal Improvement and Corporations and insert:
“The rate of interest shall be fixed by law, and shall be uniform throughout the State, but the Legislature shall have power to provide by law for a conventional rate of interest."
REPORT ON CORPORATIONS CONSIDERED,
The Convention took up the report of the Committee on Corporations.
Mr. BAXTER offered the following amendment:
Mr. BAXTER demanded the yeas and nays upon the adoption of his amendment, which were ordered, and the amendment rejected. Yeas....
.44 Those voting in the affiative are:
Messrs. Bate, Baxter, Chowning, Campbell, Fielder, Finley, Jones of Giles, Netherland, Thompson of Davidson, Warner, Williamson and President Brown-12.
Those voting in the negative are:
Messrs. Allen, Blizard, Branson, Britton, Brooks, Brown of Davidson, Burkett, Byrne, Carter, Coffin, Cypert, Deaderick, Deavenport, Dibbrell, Doherty, Fentress, Fulkerson, Gardner, Garner, Gibson, Gordon, Heiskell, Henderson, Hill of Warren, Hill of Gibson, Key, Kyle, McNabb, Martin, Morris, Nicholson, Parker, Porter of Haywood, Porter of Henry, Sample, Seay, Shepard, Shelton, Staley, Taylor, Thompson of Maury, Walters and Wright -44.
Mr. NICHOLSON proposed to amend by adding at the end of the paragraph the following:
“But no such alteration or repeal shall interfere with or divest rights which have become vested.”
On motion of Mr. BAXTER, the further consideration of the subject was postponed until Tuesday.
On motion of Mr. BAXTER, the Convention adjourned until Monday morning at 10 o'clock.
MONDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 14, 1870.
The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, Mr. President BROWN in the Chair.
Prayer by the Rev. Dr. YOUNG.
REPORT ON CORPORATIONS FURTHER CONSIDERED.
Mr. JONES, of Lincoln, offered the following amendment to the report of the Committee on Incorporations, which was read and 100 copies ordered to be printed : Add at the end of the Section on Corporations :
Every stockholder in an incorporated Stock Company shall refund to the Company or its creditors, all dividends received by them respectively, in case it shall, at any time, be necessary to pay the liability of the Company."
THE FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.
Mr. GIBSON offered the following preamble and resolution, which, under the rule, lies over one day.
WHEREAS, It is now settled in political science that suffrage is a right and not a privilege; and
WHEREAS, Three-fourths of the States have ratified, or soon will ratify, the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, known as Article XV; and
WHEREAS, Upon such ratification universal suffrage will be the supreme law of the land, whether Tennessee participates in such ratification or not; and
WHEREAS, It is believed that such ratification by Tennessee will not only be in fulfillment of the political pledges of the last canvass for Governor and members of the Legislature, but will also accelerate the removal of disabilities now resting on many Tennesseeans by virtue of the XIV amendment to the United States Constitution; therefore,
Resolved, That it is the sense of this Convention that the Legislature of the State of Tennessee should, without delay, ratify said proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States known as Article Xy.
MANAGEMENT OF STATE FINANCES.
Mr. CARTER offered the following resolution, which, under the rule, was ordered to lie over :
Resolved, That a committee of five members be appointed to investigate and make report upon the management of the finances of the State, with power to send for persons and papers, and to examine parties and witnesses on oath.
EXPENSES OF THE CONVENTION,
Mr. WILLIAMSON offered the following resolution, which, under a suspension of the rules, was adopted:
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the President to inquire into and audit the expenses of this Convention, and report the same at as early a day as practicable.
Whereupon the President appointed Messrs. WILLIAMSON, PORTER of Haywood, and BURKETT, to constitute said Committee.
REPORT OF COMMON SCHOOLS CONSIDERED.
. Mr. JONES, of Lincoln, moved to strike out in line six of the Report of Committee on Common Schools the word “educational” and insert “free or common schools,” which was adopted.
Mr. NICHOLSON moved to insert in line three after.“ assessed," he words “ by the State," which was adopted.
Mr. GORDON proposed to amend the report of the Committee by filling the blanks with five and sixteen years, which was rejected.
Mr. GIBSON moved to insert six instead of five, and eighteen instead of sixteen, which was adopted.
Mr. HEISKELL moved to insert 7 instead of 6, and 19 instead of 18, which was rejected : Yeas......
..36 Those voting in the affirmative are:
Messrs. Baxter, Blackburn, Blizard, Brandon, Branson, Britton, Brown of Davidson, Burkett, Byrne, Chowning, Cypert, Deavenport, Finley, Fulkerson, Gibson, Gordon, Henderson, Key, Kirk