The Convention was opened with prayer by Rev. James G. West, member of the house of delegates from Wetzel county. Record of yesterday read and approved.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Mr. President, I want to make an admission. I offered some ciphering last evening which I find not quite correct. I find that the six members to a district will not divide equally owing to some economical affinity by which those counties in the three northern districts have settled themselves down to such shapes that they cannot be changed. I had endeavored to draw an argument from the importance of doing so in my remarks last evening, and it is but fair to say I find it will not work. However, I find while the three northern senatorial districts lose a member in consequence of difficulty of making a distribution, and while I believe the counties composing that district would be much better satisfied with the numbers assigned them - which of course have to be even numbers, two or one - than they would under the other arrangement, the thing is compensated by this: those three districts have the least population of all the senatorial districts; and thus what they lose in reference to the delegate is gained in reference to the senate. So that there is a sort of poetical justice yet in it. What is lost in the extreme northern district is gained in the extreme southern district where the counties are small and numerous and where a much better arrangement would be made. I may say in this connection that I have tried to figure forty-six and fifty-four, and am satisfied that fifty-four makes a division which will be much more acceptable to all concerned than forty-six can possibly be made. The principle I spoke of in reference to senatorial districts cannot be carried out with fifty-four or with forty-six, nor, I suppose with any number short of sixty-three. I thought it was proper, as I had endeavored to make that an argument to say that I found the facts would not bear me out.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I knew the gentleman would find that difficulty. I tried it myself.
I desire to offer an amendment to the amendment to test the sense of the Convention, and I believe we can get at it in this way. I will support the amendment of the gentleman from Wood provided the amendment to the amendment is adopted. It is this "and be so distributed as to give every county one delegate." I want to test the sense of the Convention on that.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I can reply to that, sir, that it is utterly impossible. If you are going to do that you have got to rob other counties and make the fractions of those greater than the whole population of these small counties. The hardship of having no separate delegate under the fifty-four arrangement will fall on fewer counties neither of which has a population over 1761. Now, whose wisdom it was to make such counties I do not know; but if people will make a county that cannot afford to support itself, to build its public buildings or pay the taxes necessary, they ought to be willing to take the consequences. I am told some of them now would gladly be annexed back where they came from, or have some other arrangement made by which they would be relieved from this burden of taxation if they go on and erect public buildings. The counties are Calhoun, Webster, Clay and McDowell, if I am not mistaken, and the one having the most population is 1761, and it goes down as low as 1396. The divisor under this arrangement is 5637. Now the largest of those counties is not one-third and is not entitled to one-fourth of a member.
MR. LAMB. About one-fourth.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Not to one-third of a member. If you give them one-half a member, you are doing more than you do for other counties. In order to give a county of 1396 white population a member. Wood must be deprived of one member and will have a fraction of nearly five thousand that will be unrepresented. Now if gentlemen think there is any justice in that, their ideas are different from mine.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Wood county will get two even under that arrangement.
MR. VAN WINKLE. She cannot have it. The additional members, by which Pleasants, with a population of nearly three thousand gets one to herself under fifty-four, which she would not get under forty-six, would deprive Wood of the other member. She would have to elect, as it was in forty-six, to elect one member in company with Wood and leave Wood to elect one. So that Wood might have one and a half; which would still give her a fraction double the whole population of Clay or Webster. It would be too great an injustice. We cannot help it if these counties have run themselves down so. As they increase in population and a new apportionment is made, their condition will be altered. But most certainly if this want of representation is to be visited anywhere, it ought to be visited on those who have the least claim to full representation.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Mr. President, the gentleman is mistaken in regard to the county of Wood. It will be found that under the plan adopted by the committee there is exactly eight counties that get no delegate under that arrangement of forty-six. If we add eight it gives to Pleasants a delegate and leaves the two to Wood. There is no mistake about that. We have calculated it. If the gentleman will look at it, he will find that is true, that Wood will be left with two delegates, and the eight additional delegates proposed here will be given to those that have no delegate under the basis proposed by the committee. I can see no earthly object in increasing the number unless that object would be to give the small counties a delegate. It is only giving additional delegates to the larger counties, which is unnecessary; and consequently the increase, in my opinion, is not necessary. But if it is giving the small counties a representative, then there is an object in it; and in order to test whether that is the object, I propose the amendment. I desire to test the question by it.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I would suggest to the gentleman to withdraw his amendment until we come to vote on that subject. The consideration of what could be done with fifty-four members, would afford a place where the amendment would come in more properly.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I want to vote for the gentleman's amendment, but I want to understand where the additional delegates are to go to before I vote for it - whether to the larger counties. If it goes to them, I cannot vote for it.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. Like the gentleman from Doddridge, I feel very much disposed to know before I vote to increase the number, to change the number at all - to know how they are to be distributed; and as he has made a motion which looks to the end in view, but I think fails to accomplish it, I propose to amend his amendment if that be in order.
THE PRESIDENT. That would not be in order.
MR. DILLE. I would suggest the amendment might be accepted by the gentleman from Doddridge.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I will state it and see. I propose to amend the amendment by adding:
"to be distributed so as to give Hancock 1, Brooke 1, Ohio 3, Marshall 2, Wetzel 1, Monongalia 2, Preston 2, Tucker 1, Barbour 1, Taylor 1, Marion 2, Harrison 2, Doddridge 1, Tyler 1, Ritchie 1, Pleasants 1, Wirt 1, Wood 1, Jackson 1, Roane 1, Calhoun 1, Gilmer 1, Lewis 1, Upshur 1, Randolph 1, Pocahontas 1, Webster 1, Braxton 1, Clay 1, Nicholas 1, Greenbrier 2, Monroe 2, Fayette 1, Kanawha 2, Putnam 1, Mason 1, Cabell 1, Wayne 1, Boone 1, Logan 1, Wyoming 1, Mercer 1, and McDowell 1."
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I cannot accept that for this reason. It gives to Monroe one, to Wood one, when Wood is a larger county. My arrangement is much better.
MR. HERVEY. I would inquire of the gentleman from Doddridge whether or not the number eight would not give one more representative than he desires. If you will refer to the list you will find that Raleigh, Wyoming, with a white population of 7600, have now one delegate, whereas his amendment proposes to give them each one. It seems to me the number forty-three, if I am not mistaken in my calculation, would give each of the unrepresented counties delegates and allow the other counties to remain just as they are. If that is the object of the gentleman from Doddridge, then the number seven would accomplish his purpose. I find that he provides for two counties here, giving them the benefit of one delegate each, which two counties now have one. Consequently the number seven will meet the requirements of all the counties unrepresented, and allow the other counties to remain as they are. I would like to vote for that amendment if I understand it. I am in favor of giving the smaller counties each a delegate and allowing the counties now provided for remain as they are, if the number seven is the proper number, as I think it is.
MR. SINSEL. I am opposed to the amendment, because to carry it out it carries with it absolute injustice. It looks to me - and I cannot see it in any other light - only a grasping after power. Now, I am willing, let me be located in what part of the new State I may, to submit to anything like a fair rule carried out upon fair principles. What is Tucker, with 1300 inhabitants that she should have one representative while others with a population of eight thousand and over only have one. There is Greenbrier with ten thousand; and Wood, according to this arrangement would have two.
MR. VAN WINKLE. One and a half.
MR. SINSEL. Well, you say seven unrepresented. They will have that with two to Wood, and this just consumes the eight. Many of these counties in the southwest now have representatives with only the fractional number - the largest portion of them. Then every county almost from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad south or the Northwestern Virginia Railroad, the large majority of them would have representatives on only fractional numbers and some of them not one-fourth. The county of Tucker with 1300 inhabitants, but we are at the expense of a court in that county just as much as in the county of Ohio - costs just as much to pay the judges, to pay the prosecuting attorney, as in Ohio, and all the other judiciary when carried out; and add to that the expense of a separate representative. Why there will be nothing but a bill of expense any way you take them. And then the principle itself is unjust, unreasonable. I am opposed to it, utterly opposed to it.
MR. LAMB. Mr. President, I coincide entirely with the principle announced by the gentleman from Taylor for Ohio county. We are willing to consent to any fair principle fairly applied. I would ask the members of the Convention to reflect if there is not a principle concerned in this matter. We have announced and adopted unanimously among our fundamental principles that representation should be apportioned as nearly as possible in proportion to the numbers of those entitled to be represented. We have passed that, and it passed unanimously. Now, the old system of county equality is to be forced upon us in West Virginia. Mr. President, I am not a very old man but I do recollect when throughout the whole northwest when the changes were rung upon the outrageous character of such a principle, when little Warwick and the counties down in the oyster and herring eating country with a population of four or five hundred were entitled to an equal representation in the legislature of the State with counties of twenty to thirty thousand. The whole northwest rang with the iniquity of such a scheme. The gentleman from Doddridge is not a very old man but he, too, will recollect - and perhaps he may have made his maiden political speech upon the iniquity of abandoning all principles and forcing such a scheme upon the people in western Virginia. Now, it is to be brought in again. Are we to abandon all principles in this matter? Gentlemen, if you adopt this, do not attempt to perpetrate a fraud upon the people by holding out the delusive profession that you intend to apportion representation upon principle, that it shall be apportioned according to the number of people to be represented. Tell them at once that your system of apportioning representation is not the system proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are free and equal, but that you amend that declaration by inserting that "all counties shall be equal." Is this proper and right? You abandon all principle by it. Then do not profess to be governed by principle. Strike out that clause which you have already adopted. Do not hold that profession out if you are to be governed in this measure by this scheme of county equality. Sir, in reference to this matter, it is not any one county - the county of Ohio - that is directly concerned. Shall not we here rise to the dignity of maintaining a principle? Is it to be imputed to us that we are influenced by some such petty motive as this, that it is a question - as was said here the other day - of whether Ohio county shall have three or four members. It makes not the slightest difference in regard to the county of Ohio, whether she shall have three or four out of a house of forty-six or a house of fifty-four. Her relative weight is very nearly the same in any case, and the proposition that has been made has been entirely misunderstood in that respect. If you will look at the seventh section reported by the Legislative Committee, in which this thing is carried into practical operation, you will see that after the county of Ohio and the seven counties of Harrison, Kanawha, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia and Preston, and the third delegate district, the apportionment is strictly according to principle. In seven counties and one delegate district, the principle is fairly applied. The representation, even upon the number forty-six is fairly distributed among those counties according to a fair principle fairly applied so far as those counties are concerned. The difficulty as we found in the number forty-six is just here. The application of the principle of distributing representation according to population ceases when you come to the number 12,656, and all the counties below that and districts below that are put on a dead level. Is that fair? The number forty-six is objectionable not because it affects the representation of the larger counties, for those counties, as I say, even upon the number forty-six have their representation fairly distributed; but it is objectionable because below the number 12,656 you put all upon a dead level. There this scheme of county equality is to govern instead of the principle of apportioning representation according to population.
I want, however, to put myself right in regard to this matter with the gentleman from Taylor. I am afraid he misunderstood the meaning and purpose of my remarks yesterday. I certainly did not intend to intimate in the slightest degree that there was anything improper in the conduct of the committee, or that they were influenced by improper motives in stopping at the number 12,656 in applying the principle of apportionment according to population. I did remark that when our work went out to the public and they saw that it fixed the house of delegates at forty-six that no possible reason could be assigned by the public, they could see nothing else in selecting such an odd number but that it must have been adopted to accomplish some temporary and local purpose. I spoke merely of the impression which the public would receive in regard to that. I did not intend to say that this number was unfairly adopted, or adopted from unfair reasons in the committee. The committee preferred forty-two, as has been stated already. It was extended to forty-six in order to do justice to certain counties, and my sole objection to it is that it stopped too soon. I do not wish to misstate the argument, to state the argument on the other side unfairly. We have two things to look to. One is to apportion representation according to correct principles; the other is not to make too large a house of delegates. I concur in the proper application of both these principles; but I think the number forty-six, really and practically as it does do, applying the principle of apportionment only to the seven larger counties and one delegate district, that we stopped there too short, for twenty- four counties and five delegate districts on that number are put upon a dead level. There is no apportionment there so far as those twenty-four counties and five delegate districts are concerned. The principle of county or district equality governs in regard to them. I would extend the principle of apportionment a little farther. At the same time I may say that I do not think upon any fair consideration of the subject we can determine that fifty-four would be an unreasonable number for the house of delegates for the forty-four or sixty-six if the additional seven delegates are adopted. If gentlemen will look at the seventh section in which the matter is practically applied, compare that with the tables, they will see that I state the matter correctly; that if we adopt the number forty-six the practical result of it is just this: we do apportion upon a fair principle of apportionment the representation so far as seven counties and one delegate district are concerned, and then we reduce all the others to a dead level of one each without regard to population. From the population of 10,499, which is the population of Greenbrier, down to a population of between three and four thousand (3686) in Pocahontas - from a population of 13,787 in Kanawha down to 1535 in McDowell - we adopt the simple plan of county equality instead of apportionment. I would extend the principle of apportionment a little further. I am aware that we cannot on any plan that the committee did or can devise make an exact equality. We are necessarily compelled to submit to some inequalities. In this case, as in all other cases where general regulations have to be adopted, individual cases of hardship can be pointed out. Such will be the result let us adopt any system that can be devised. But the principle upon which we proceeded, as announced in the apportionment principle as unanimously adopted by this Convention is that representation shall be apportioned according to population, as far as may be practicable, consistent with the preservation of other great and important objects. I admit that one great and important object is - should be - that we should not expand unreasonably the number of the house of delegates. I mentioned yesterday the result of the examination of the constitutions of the different states; that even if we adopted the number fifty-four we would have, with the exception of two states, Florida and Delaware, a smaller house of delegates, I believe, than any other state in the Union. Is not this some evidence, is not this some proof, that the number fifty-four would not be unreasonably large? We have thirty-two states having a larger number, and two having a smaller number. One of these is Delaware, in which there are just three counties. It was impossible there to make a large house. They give in the State of Delaware seven representatives to each county, making twenty-one.
Mr. President, a great deal has been said about getting back to the "flesh-pots of Egypt." It strikes me we are not now disposed to go back to the old system which existed in Virginia prior to 1860. We all recollect what that was. Every county, I believe, had two delegates. Warwick, with 500 white inhabitants, if I recollect right - for it has been twenty or thirty years since I heard anything about this matter - had two delegates, and other counties with twenty and thirty thousand inhabitants had just two delegates. One man in Warwick counted as many as forty or fifty in other sections of the state. We do not extend the thing quite to that extreme yet. One man in one section of the state bounded by certain county lines is to count only as much as seven or eight men in other sections of the state. And yet we profess this principle of equality; and in the first instrument to which this nation owes its existence, the Declaration of Independence, is laid down the principle that all men - in all counties - are created free and equal. I know all counties are not. They may be "free" but they certainly are not "equal."
I must contend for the principle that a man whether he resided here or there, so far as political matters are concerned, is equal to the man that resides elsewhere. And I must also say to this Convention that this is a question in which Ohio and the larger counties have no interest. We may lose a fraction now; but the principle is fairly applied to us and what we lose now we will gain at another apportionment. But it is the principle I object to - the principle embodied in the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge; the principle which is also carried too far in reducing the house to forty-six, that the larger counties and districts should be put upon a precise equality of counties, not equality of men. As illustrating this same matter, I may refer here - at least it may serve the purpose of illustration - to the motion made by the gentleman from Doddridge yesterday, that the house should be thirty-six. Now, gentlemen, you have got six delegate districts in your plan; you have got thirty-one counties outside of those delegate districts; that makes thirty-seven. You would have had to make another delegate district, if the amendment which the gentleman proposed, but which he very properly withdrew, had been carried, to get a house of thirty-six, with your principle of county equality in. full operation.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I rise to a question of order. The gentleman ought to confine himself to the question before the house.
THE PRESIDENT. The gentleman in discussing the question -
MR. LAMB. I am merely using it as an illustration of the principle of county equality; and if the gentleman would wish to carry out that principle fairly - to strike out the principle of apportionment which we have adopted in our fundamental proviso ions - if he would wish to carry out his own principle fairly and to its proper extent, let him renew his motion and let the Convention adopt a house of thirty-six. You would then have this principle of county equality in full and fair operation; for you would be compelled just to give each county and district one representative, large and small. This would be carrying the thing to extremes, and the gentleman very properly withdrew it. The number forty-six applies that principle in every case where the population is less than 12,656. That is the result of that number. It stops the principle of apportionment at that number, and then applies the principle of county equality below that. The number fifty-four is liable to the same objection, only it carries the principle of apportionment somewhat farther. It still leaves this principle of county equality to operate with a few, however. It sacrifices that much of it to that other principle - too much; I am willing to concede a good deal - that the legislature may not be made too large a body.
MR. SOPER. Mr. President, I ask the Convention to look at this matter calmly. If I understand the principle upon which the popular branch of the legislature is organized it is that all portions of the State shall be properly represented. And I believe, sir, in the eastern states the representation in the lower branch of the legislature is by townships instead of by counties; upon the ground, if I understand it correctly that no individual as an inhabitant of the county or town represented can represent it so well. It requires a person from the county to take care of the interests of that county to be represented and to have them properly guarded. I believe it is a very just principle in the administration of the government that we should always look to and take care of the weak. The strong are always able to take care of themselves; and instead of this being an argument against allowing these counties of small population a representative in the house of delegates I think it is an argument in favor. It has been intimated here by gentlemen that these counties are little, diminutive. Is that so, sir? Have they not got an equal representation on this floor and in this body? Why is it? It is because they represent a county organization. We have nothing to do with the wisdom which created that organization. That we have no business to inquire into. It is a matter that belongs to the people themselves; because of their small number of population brings any increase of taxation upon them, that is a matter for them without any fault to be found on our hand.
MR. VAN WINKLE. The difficulty is that it brings an increase of taxation on the rest of us.
MR. SOPER. Well, now, sir, let us look at that for a moment. We have here a session to last forty-five days, and a delegate comes from Tucker containing 1400 inhabitants, and he receives his three dollars a day - a little over one hundred dollars. Will gentlemen come up here and talk about the expenditure of a paltry hundred dollars and find fault - the county of Ohio and others find fault with that paltry sum because a county of equal organization has a representative in the house of delegates? It is too insignificant to be taken into consideration at all.
I deny that the popular branch in any legislature in this State is based upon equality of population. Why, according to the report which the committee has given us here, it is not so based. True they found a ratio; and what then do they say? Any county having one-half that ratio shall be entitled to a delegate. That is a violation of this principle of equality.
Another difficulty, sir, as some gentlemen have intimated here, when they speak of the insignificance of these counties, you attach them to a larger county. Now, who can control the statistics of that small county? Who can show it had representation in the delegation for all time if they feel disposed to, and if the small county is looked down on as not worth the notice, it may never have a representative in the house of delegates. Gentlemen have referred us to old Virginia and former days. I know very little about it; but I know what the representation is at this time. There is no equality in it. I reside in Tyler. She and Doddridge are connected as a delegate district. The two together have got at this time about twelve thousand population. And there is our neighboring county of Wetzel, with her six thousand population has a delegate, while the two Tyler and Doddridge, have but one delegate. That you will find wherever you go. You will find that in the lower house equality of representation according to population is not adopted.
Now, why is it not right to give every county in this State a delegate? I have before referred to the fact that no one so well as the individual in the county knows the wants of the county and can take care of it. Well, these small counties require the fostering hand of the legislature if it can consistently be given to them. And hence that is an additional reason in my estimation, in my opinion, why they ought to have a man from their own county who can represent to the legislature truthfully the situation and its wants.
Well, again, sir, much has been said about Tucker county. I do not know - she has now about 1400 inhabitants, and I have noticed in the papers that there is an application before the legislature to permit a portion of the people of Preston to take a vote on the propriety of being annexed to Tucker county, by which, I do not know how greatly, but if it prevails there must be some equity in it or the application would not be made - she probably may come in with a respectable number of population. I cannot speak very intelligently in regard to this subject, but I put it upon the ground, sir, that here we are about to organize our new State and we have invited every county to send here a delegate for the purpose of expressing the views of the people of that county; and I want, if we can organize our new State, that every one of those counties shall have a representative in the house of delegates. I believe it to be right and just that it should be so; and I believe, sir, that it is according to the principle which has been adopted probably in. almost every state in the Union.
I hope this amendment may prevail, because I deem it to be just. I would say one other thing. In taking care of the interests of the people, I hold that one delegate from the county of Wood and two from Ohio would take as good care of the interests of those counties as if they had a half dozen. I am now speaking of what I suppose to be the real interests of the counties. But I do say that if you shut a county out from representation at all no man from another county can take as good care of that county because they are not supposed to be well acquainted with its wants. I apprehend that when gentlemen talk here of injustice to the large counties it is more from a pride of feeling than anything else. It is not a real necessity, because their interests with one representative will be taken care of as well as though they had a larger number. There is not a county in this State I think, sir, with but one representative but who is well acquainted with all portions of the county. And hence, being well acquainted with it, they are prepared at all times to give such explanations as may be necessary in order that there may be righteous and just legislation in its behalf. Why, sir, I would rather see this legislature limited to the number of counties in the State than to see injustice done to any one county. Now, I remarked, sir, that we found the counties here already organized, and it does not become us to inquire why they have been thus organized. Yet in the preparation of this Constitution you will find when we come upon that part of it that our committees have guarded against the admission hereafter of new counties with a small population. I believe the proposition is, too, that no new county shall be created hereafter with less than 4000 inhabitants and the counties from which it shall be taken shall be left with that amount of population. So that even if that was an error in former legislation in creating these new counties, we in our new State will have guarded against it. Well, then, why shall we not take those small counties by the hand and why not place them on an equality, so far as it requires to enable them to have a representative in the house of delegates - extend to them that right? I believe, sir, it is right upon principle, that they can only be well represented by a delegate from their own body. I hope, sir, this amendment may prevail; and I believe that although it will increase from the report of the committee it will not be necessary to increase it beyond the proposition of making the house of delegates to consist of fifty-four members; and, if I understand it rightly- if these counties which are to take a vote to determine whether they will become a part of the State or not - if they should all vote to come in, then our house of delegates shall be fixed for sixty- six; and I would like to see sixty-six as the permanent number, with a clause in the Constitution that every county shall have a delegate, so that if our counties should extend to sixty-six delegates there would be but one in each county. I am, sir, in favor of the amendment.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. Mr. President, I have listened to the remarks of the gentleman from Tyler with pleasure; and while I admire a man who stands by principle, I am always struck, though with another natural feeling that always exhibits itself more or less in the human heart, that a man is always extremely pertinacious for a principle that favors his own interests. And when a gentleman is advocating the cause of the back counties so strongly, my mind naturally inclines to the inquiry, is he from a back county. If he is, you can see a double reason for his zeal. Now, if I find a gentleman from a little county advocating the principle of giving the largest number to the largest county -
MR. LAMB. I have stated, and it is a fact, that with reference to the eight larger counties the principle of apportionment according to numbers is fairly applied to them; but to the counties having a population below 12,656 there is no such principle applied. That is the fact of the case. The gentleman may misrepresent it as much as he pleases, but it is unquestionably a fact.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I do not desire to misrepresent anything at all.
MR. LAMB. It is misrepresenting the matter entirely.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I have not misrepresented anything as yet. The gentleman seems wholly to misconceive the object of my remarks, or the purport of them. I am one of those who never question the motives of others. I do assert this proposition: that men will be found pertinacious to adhere to a principle that favors their own side; and as I understand the gentleman is from a large county that the principle which does secure to the county he represents a large delegation - not larger than we may accord it perhaps, as the apportion is carried out; but I do maintain there is a total departure from the principle in the report of the committee and he has acknowledged it to be so. I represent a large county, too, and I acknowledge it has its influence upon me. I presume every man does - I know it is a fundamental principle in human nature that a man adheres to that which is his interest. It is nothing to his discredit; if the gentleman thinks it is, why I suppose he is alone in that supposition. I do not.
Now, sir, you set out with a fundamental principle, and that is that the representation is to be distributed in proportion to population. How far do you carry it? Not beyond your nose in the plan proposed. And as long as you are led by counties, it is utterly impossible to carry it out. The gentleman says all men are equal, but all counties are not. Why, sir, whenever you treat them as entities, then they are equals as much as men. A little man is no more equal to a big man than a little county to a big county; but as entities, they are both alike. They are separate and distinct - a separate organization - and in that they are perfectly equal. States are not equals in the sense that one is five times as large as another; but in their representation in the United States Senate, they are equals as entities and existing bodies. Let us carry this thing a little further. If the gentleman adheres so closely to the principle and it requires us to abandon every other principle to carry out the simple idea of population and principles, why not carry it out, because it is perfectly feasible. I deny the proposition that it is impossible to carry it out. Lay off your State into equal districts by hundreds or thousands and you will have your representation based on numbers, and there is no difficulty in the world in it. There is no state in the Union that is so based. There is none in the Federal Union in which it is so based among the states; for while our Federal Constitution provides the same idea, to apportion representation according to population and property combined, yet there are little states secured a representative in Congress though upon the basis she could not get a quarter of one? There is an idea, giving to the existing entity a separate and independent state and to the few individuals that inhabit it. So that this idea of equality in representation is always subject - or at least is always modified in its application by another principle; and when these principles happen to be in conflict it is absurd to attempt to carry out one to the annihilation of the other. The only wise course is that when you cannot get each in its perfection, instead of annihilation, get one by the application of the other and equalize by compromise. You can do no other way.
Well, now, in regard to the argument that it has been a subject of controversy in the past history of the state - before my day, however - when a big county in the west was balanced by little Warwick in the east - it was not altogether in the inequality between those little counties and the larger ones, but the great question was between the two sections; because you did not hear a big county complain of a little county by the side of it having a delegate, for they would vote just alike. It was because that operation was made to give neglect in the state that made men quarrel. So that the idea of a perfect equality in representation among counties or in individuals cannot be carried out successfully and never is attempted by the advocates of the principle. It is only to be applied in a modified form, always with reference to other things that are equally the subject of consideration. Gentlemen seem disposed to quarrel with the fact of the existence of small counties. I do not see that this is any cause for complaint. I take it the largest county in the country has been one day or other quite a small one. Why, I heard one gentleman in this body say that Preston but a few years ago, in his recollection - I do not remember its numbers - was very small compared with what it now is - perhaps a third or fourth. Why, sir, you must recollect, these little counties were born but yesterday. As well might the man quarrel with the infant. These infants will soon be men. We are forming a Constitution for a longer duration. Now, if it was such a case that these small counties never were expected to grow - and some of them are superior in territory, three or four times, to the large counties - only they have not had the advantages and opportunities that have been extended to the others. Well, sir, I maintain that in basing this representation, we should look to the territory, the capacities of these counties to contain a population that will soon fill them up. I remember that Roane county was formed off of Jackson and a little piece of my own county, and I do not know whether any other or not - a mere trifle in itself. Now, sir, it is a very respectable county. Yet in the last legislature, I believe, it was represented by a gentleman who did not live in any part of it. A part of it, sir, is represented by the delegate from Kanawha, a part of it by the delegate from Jackson. Now, I say this very case may come up, that Roane may have no delegate at all, in one sense, if the conflicting interests object between Roane and Jackson and Kanawha. At least she is not represented by any of her own citizens in the house. And I think it ought to be. And while I am not in favor of violating any principle, when you can with anything like reasonable regard to the principle give to all these separate counties a representative, I am in favor of it.
And there is another principle that enters into my mind. If in giving these representatives to these small counties they would get scattered all over the State, so they do not fall in one particular locality so as to destroy the equilibrium of the State, then there is no objection to it.
The gentleman from Tyler alluded to the fact that, in the report of the committee. Wood and Pleasants were coupled in a delegate district. It is plain to me exactly what the operation of that would be. If you adopt that principle, you might just as well give all the delegates to Wood, because Pleasants has no voice there. Men are governed by their interests. When you attach a little county to a big one, you exterminate that little county. If you could so order that all little counties would be thrown together, there would be some equality in that. Take the case of Tucker and Preston. You annihilate Tucker. It is the same way if you attach Clay to Kanawha. Now then, while you held out in your pretense of basing your report on population and put the county of Clay with Kanawha in order to give Clay a representation, by it you only effectually give to the people of Kanawha the complete power of ever refusing to the people of Clay any man in the legislature, by always selecting their own men and asking Clay no odds about it. Thus you annihilate these entities, and you annihilate also the individuality of the people in those entities. The first idea is in ordering your report upon population as far as you can do it consistently with another principle of giving each county a representation in some form or other. Then you have a principle which does justice as far as it can be done to all parties. It is impossible that it can be done completely. Now, the gentlemen who advocate the idea of apportioning according to population, while they assure us they are earnest advocates of that principle as the basis of representation, tell us they do not propose to carry it a foot farther than it harmonizes with this idea of entities, of distinct, separate corporate organizations, and wherever it interferes with that, that is to be thrown off and those individuals must go unrepresented and take their chance in the other delegate. There is a complete departure from principle. They only do it in subjection to the idea that there is a county that ought to be represented and ought to be looked to. In apportioning representation in the United States House of Representatives, on the basis of population, they never throw off the excess or fraction and attach it to another district, but keep in view the other idea of state existence. I confess then, sir, that I am for extending the number of delegates for the purpose of giving each of these entities a representative because that by so doing you diminish the inequality that will exist on the principle of a ratio. The question to my mind is should not the reason for extending be sufficient to overbalance the objection of enlarging the house unnecessarily. Because I would just as soon take the house at forty-six, because it would be cheaper and smaller and I hold would be more efficient. But by doing it without doing greater violence to this principle of apportionment, you can more nearly approximate that principle by giving to each county a delegate than if you retain the smaller house and give to each a delegate; and you might go on and carry this practice out fundamentally by just taking the ratio of population and give a delegate to the very smallest county in the State. The objection is it makes your house too large. And there you have to destroy one principle in order to attain another end. Why not say that the county of Tucker shall be the ratio of population for a delegate, and Tucker shall have one and other counties shall have as many more as they have multiples of the population of Tucker? Only because your house will be too large. Therefore you attempt to cramp the principle by diminishing the house. We will do it in subjection to the principle whether each entity shall be represented, and you can attain more justice and satisfaction among the people than by diverting from the one entirely.
Again, sir, it is notorious - we know it - that there often exists that accord and interest in counties as counties alone as individualities. We know not the circumstances under which these small counties have been formed. One allusion has been made to individuals in Preston who are obtaining the permission to take the sense of their people on the question of being attached to Tucker. I have been informed of another proposed to be made in Clay and Nicholas, to be stricken out of Nicholas and attached to Clay. Thus even now efforts are making to equalize these counties. Well, sir, giving them a delegate only renders it more fixed and certain. These people will be equally represented from the one county, from the large and the small. In fact the people of Preston may be getting an advantage by going from one to the other on the question of delegation.
I, therefore, with these views shall feel myself compelled to vote that the principle that is departed from is only in a modified form and to attain another idea which if not of equal is of sufficient importance to reconcile us to the consideration that while it violates no great principle, does no more injustice to anybody, it does substantial justice to all.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I am sorry, Mr. President, to be again obliged to differ so widely from my friend from Kanawha. Without professing to be entirely accurate in my recollection yet it does appear to me that on every question which was to be settled here with regard to popular rights we have had that gentleman in opposition. I am not therefore very much surprised to find him there now, but I confess I am surprised to find any gentleman advocating a departure from a principle which he has sanctioned with his own vote. It was but a few days before the recess that this Convention solemnly adopted, not without due consideration and certainly with a knowledge of all the facts and circumstances that could apply to it as a fundamental principle to govern us - not only in the formation of this Constitution, but as citizens who were to live under it, that equality of rights was the fundamental principle upon which we build. I have, sir, on all occasions whenever a question has arisen here that seemed to refer to it at all I have with confidence appealed to this great principle of popular equality, believing that if gentlemen could see that if the principle did affect the case there was nothing further need be said on the occasion. Either, sir, we must be governed by principles and we must, in the language of Mr. Jefferson, whenever we are in doubt, take the principle and follow it as far as it will go, or else we must be arranging that which is to operate for a half century or something less and that which is to operate is to be settled upon the expediency of today. Sir, I assert the plainest dictates of common-sense is against any such conclusion. The very counties that have been alluded to as having unequal representation under the present apportionment had a much more equal one when the apportionment was made; and, sir, if it were possible now to foresee what would be the population of these counties ten years hence, we might act upon that; we might anticipate, and still preserve our principle I believing it would come right in the course of a few years. But I assert without fear of contradiction that if we look to the future, judging it by the past, the increase in the counties it is proposed to rob of their fair share of representation in order to give it to others not entitled to it, that the increase of those counties will be much more rapid than of those which are to receive the favor. If their increase was in the same ratio - that is if it bore the same per cent of their present population - the large counties will much sooner be entitled to an additional representative than the small ones, although the increase grow at the same rate of per cent on their population.
Now, sir, we have adopted and I hope it is not necessary to refresh the recollection of gentlemen - we have here solemnly affirmed by our previous votes, and unanimous vote, that every citizen of the State shall be entitled to equal representation in the government. And why not? Now, why not? Is there a principle of any other kind any other words, or language recognized under our democratic institutions - 1 say is there another principle anywhere that is received in this country that is not in accordance strictly with that? Why, sir, the very principle on which we shook off our dependence on Great Britain was involved in that. The whole principle and fundamentals of our government, whatever it is, is based on this equity of citizens. Their rights are to be the same before the law; their privileges are to be the same; they are to be subjected to no restraints other than those that all other of their fellow-citizens are subject to. Surely this principle every man feels the value of preserving. Strike it out from your State, have your legislature go on and act under no law but their wills and the notions of the moment; give them no such restraint as this that the equity of all citizens is to be preserved, and where will you be? Designing men will rule you for their own purposes. And perhaps classes of citizens may find themselves completely ostracized or driven from any power or position in the government. There is no safety anywhere else for the people where that principle is not recognized and acted upon. Shall we found here a Russian despotism, where the citizens and subjects are nothing and the emperor everything? Shall we come down by degrees?
I have before me an excellent list of how and where to depart from principle when our State comes into view. I have before me a minority report of the Legislative Department and the apportionment of senatorial districts. When I find the gentleman from Kanawha has placed himself in one of 15,700, and placed my friend from Ohio in one of 18,000, and myself in one of 17,400, I am not inclined for one, to submit to any injustice of that kind, and so long as my voice can be heard here in rebuke of any attempt to render this representation unequal or depart from the principle recognized throughout the United States, upon which only representation should be founded - so long as my voice can be heard here so long will it be resisted; and if this injustice that is proposed shall be heard hereafter when this Constitution comes before the people, I, sir, will not depart from these cherished principles of the whole people of this commonwealth, the new State. And what object would they have in acceding to your Constitution? Better, say they, to remain as we were, with a principle at least partially recognized than to come here and make a new State and go into it with the acknowledgment upon its face that there is not to be an equality of public rights and representation.
This rule, already adopted by this Convention, deliberately assented to by every member goes on to say:
"Every citizen of the State shall be entitled to equal representation in the government, and in all appointments of representation equality of numbers of those entitled thereto shall, as nearly as possible be preserved."
It anticipated the difficulty. It anticipated the fact that owing to the particular organization of the counties there would be one if we apportioned it strictly upon this population; but it gives you the only rule that can be given in reference to representation. When it must be departed from, depart from it as little as possible. If you were going through the woods and your path is obstructed and you have to leave it, you go no farther than you cannot help. But to repudiate, to knock it down, to throw it out entirely, as the proposition now pending would do, seems to me shows, at any rate either lack of judgment or want of reverence for the principle by which we ought to be governed - a principle which is the foundation stone of all our democratic government.
I am compelled to differ with my friend from Tyler also. I think he will find if he will examine into the subject strictly that every state of this Union in its representation in the lower house has adhered to the basis of population. The difference between us is very broad. He says none of the states - as making a positive assertion. I replied, not as making a positive assertion but as saying what I very sincerely believed, that every state has had regard to the population in making its apportionment of delegates in the lower house. I am unable to understand in any other way what we have so much talked of, about that being the popular branch. What does it mean? Why discriminate from the other house? Always as the "popular branch." If that does not mean that it is the house in which the people are represented? And can they be represented on any other principle than that of equality of numbers ? Sir, the rule that has been adopted here has been taken. from the Constitution of the United States. And there, sir, in the grand exemplar, which is always before us for our study and government - aye, and for our practice and example - in that, sir, the popular branch is divided precisely according to the population, or as nearly as possible; and very near they manage to get to it, owing to the different arrangement of the states, they are much larger numbers. The principle upon which the fractions are disposed of is now the same, by a law of Congress; and, sir, it is but a few years ago - maybe fifteen or twenty - but within my recollection - that some of the states elected their members of the lower house by general ticket; and Congress almost unanimously then passed a law, as they had the right to do under the Constitution, that thereafter in every state in the Union members of the House of Representatives should be elected from single districts. They can contract their districts; they can direct the State to make an apportionment, giving the ratio. It is impossible for us to avoid some inequality because the numbers necessary to entitle to a representative are so much less. Our fractions bother us more than theirs do. But the rule is laid down in this report, which will come up presently; and the apportionment now before us that has been made is nearly the same as that adopted by Congress.
But to come back to the gentleman from Tyler, he speaks of the state with which he is most familiar - the State of New York, and he tells us that New York gives the representation in her lower house arbitrarily; that it is given to townships -
MR. SOPER. No, sir; I speak of eastern states.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I accept the correction. I might say of townships, that in some of these eastern states the townships are larger than some of our counties. But in reference to New York, I expect that if I am able to show that gentleman he is entirely mistaken - that New York adopts the same rule precisely we are endeavoring to adopt - that he will come over and vote with me. I have before me the statutes of New York, and lest it should be necessary for somebody to decide between us I will ask the Secretary to read:
The Secretary read a provision that "the members of the assembly shall be apportioned" among the counties "according to the number of their respective inhabitants," excluding aliens, etc.
MR. VAN WINKLE. They go a little further; and there comes in the joint township idea - the one I referred to - that if a county is entitled to two members in the legislature the county is divided into two districts for the purposes of that election. That is undoubtedly what has misled the gentleman. But here then we have the principle recognized by the great State of New York, and I have no doubt by others. The principle is a plain one, and the question now is whether we shall depart further from that principle than is necessary and thereby do injustice to a great many. I have footed up the population of the five smallest counties. If they had anything near a fraction approaching to nearly one-half, I should not be at all tenacious. But the injustice they work from their diminutive numbers is so great that I cannot get my own consent to assent to it. I have footed up five counties that amount to 9286, or 1500 less than the population of Wood county; nearly as much less than that of Greenbrier; and yet still less than that of Monroe. To each of these you propose to give one delegate and then to give five delegates to these five counties with a population aggregating less than any one of these large counties. Now, gentlemen, be disposed as much as you will to favor these small counties, and I will go with you but are you prepared to neglect so far the interests of your own sections upon which you must rely for support whenever a contested question comes up and give to distant sections of the State - or your own even - this enormous inequality of representation? If you give to Wood and Greenbrier one, then fairly these counties ought to be entitled to only one-fifth. Instead of that, this plan gives them each one-half. Is not that generous enough under the circumstances; and can we be reproached if we deny them more than half a representative apiece? We do them no injustice. We are not speaking of trifling inequalities of population. These counties on a divisor of fifty-six hundred cannot show over one-third - the largest of them - and the lowest only one-fourth. Taking the divisor as the rule, then, these five counties would not be entitled to more than one and a half, and you propose to give them five. It may be all very well to pick out the big counties and try to diminish their lawful and equal power in the State, but I do not see what is to be gained by it. Their interests are always with the general interests of the State. The interests of Wheeling must be with the interests of the State when she becomes a part of it. You cannot separate on any grave question of that kind when it comes up. She must necessarily be with you because she is dependent on the State itself throughout almost all its ramifications for the support of her trade and manufactures. I hardly know a portion of this new State to which they are not sent.
Well, now, in reference to local questions. Is it not fair that a big county as well as a little one should have a fair share of representation in order that she may be truly represented in regard to local questions? But I am sure I need say no more, for if the argument made by my friend on my left (Mr. Lamb) in reference to the principle involved in this thing is satisfactory to this Convention, nothing I can say will make it so. But I should like to know whether it is intended to depart from principle wherever convenience or expediency dictates it. If so, I think we have mistaken the rule that should govern, and we will find ourselves much more at sea when we get through than we expect. But if we will adhere to principle as far as possible, and "whenever" as Jefferson says "we are in doubt, take the principle and carry it as far as it will go," the result of our labors must be in the end - at least when they are understood - satisfactory to our constituents. But going at random, doing this for one consideration and that for another, which are not general considerations - going at random and without rule - it is, sir, out of the question to expect that our labors will give satisfaction to those who have sent us here. If we adhere to the principles which they cherish - principles which they can easily understand - the application of which can be readily explained to them - we have always a defense, when we go back to them which they will appreciate. But if we say this was done on grounds of expediency, or to favor one section or another, or for any reason except a proper rule or principle just in its nature, depend on it those who are to pass on our work and are to be affected by it, will repudiate it in the end.
MR. SOPER. The gentleman has referred to a remark I made about representation under the Constitution of New York, that I have been conversant with. I know that recently New York has been divided off into separate districts. With a ratio of twenty thousand you will find counties with fifteen thousand entitled to a member, whereas a county with 50,000 or 40,000 would have but two. It is thus with counties that have more than one representative, that the county is divided into districts. Before that division was made every county in the state had a representative.
The gentleman remarks about designing men operating on small counties. I suppose he means these small counties representing but a small number of inhabitants and probably a smaller portion of the wealth of the community should not have the privilege of levying taxation burdens on populous and wealthy counties.
MR. VAN WINKLE. My allusion, to "designing men" was this: I said if we establish arbitrary rules instead of rules based on principle, we put the whole State under the hands of designing men.
MR. SOPER. I want to say that there is no inequality here. I am speaking of the lower house where it is necessary that as full a representation should be made of all portions of the State and when the State is divided into counties that the representation ought to be according to counties, whereas it is based on population. The two houses constitute one body. It requires the acquiescence of both to pass a law; and there is the safety of the people. So far as it relates to the passage of acts it is on a fair representation of all the people. While the lower house has the representation of all the counties, the senate is to represent according to population. So there is safety in it, sir.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. My friend from the county of Wood; I must say to the gentleman to keep cool and be quiet; do not fret just now because others may have the same judgment in this matter the gentleman has. The gentleman seems to insinuate because some members of the Convention do not act in these premises just as he thinks we should, it is for a lack of judgment or a disposition to depart from principle. Keep quiet, my friend! Now, we may not have the same judgment as the gentleman from Wood has. It has been my fortune to go with the gentleman in some measures and oppose him in others. I always go with him when I think he is right and oppose him when I think he is wrong. And because we differ on questions, I do not like the imputation that we are disposed to act from personal motives or in violation of principle. But I think interest in this question will influence the action of some members of this Convention; but I am prepared to say that interest cannot influence me, because the county I represent cannot be affected by any apportionment proposed. The little county of Doddridge will have a representative any way you please. Then I stand here between you, rather, and look on this matter with impartiality and not a particle of interest. It does seem to me the gentlemen from Wood and Ohio look through this with rather partial glasses. I think interest is rather biasing their minds and leading them to the conclusion with slack judgment on this question.
Now, sir, I have been governed a great deal here by the figures of the gentleman from Ohio. He is very apt in this and I have always been governed by his figures because he is the greatest hand to figure I ever saw in my life. I have not heretofore taken the trouble upon myself to go into this figure question; but, sirs, it seems to me now in taking the ratio which is 5637 that the gentleman from Ohio has divided the population of Ohio, as near as he could, by the number forty-six, and then wants all the rest of us to walk up to this ratio, and if it is favorable to Ohio, good; if it acts oppressively, let it go.
MR. LAMB. The gentleman is entirely mistaken. I divided the population by the number fifty-four - just exactly three times the number of the senate. I do not think it is a matter that Ohio is principally interested in.
MR. CALDWELL (in the chair). I do not understand the gentleman from Doddridge as giving way.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I do not know how he got at his figures.
I am not departing from principle, as the gentleman from Wood seems to think I am, in making this amendment, because I am willing to take the report of the committee. If you depart from that number, you want then to be governed by reason and the necessity of the other counties. There seems to me some reason in it. Not merely that it gives the county of Wood and the county of Ohio another delegate, because they are already represented fully, amply and sufficiently. But if we depart from the representation of the committee, then I want to be governed by a principle and by a reason for my acts. Now, sir, it does strike me, although I was not willing to offer an amendment to the report of the committee, that every county here ought to be represented in some way distinctly and apart from the other counties. If we carry out the principle that is adopted in the Constitution of the United States where it gives all the small states equal representation in the Senate of the United States, then, sir, one of our bodies ought to be represented on a basis of that kind. It is not possible that a county here could be represented in the senate separate and distinct from another county. They are bound to be classified, to be formed into districts. Then the only way they can be so represented is in the house of delegates, giving to each county at least one delegate. That is the only way you can do it. That is carrying out a principle, it seems to me, and departing from that would be departing from a principle. Now, I must be permitted to say, in answer to the argument of the gentleman from Wood that although this Convention may adopt the one principle or the other I will not feel myself so grieved that I will go before my people and oppose the adoption of the Constitution. I understood the threatening attitude of the gentleman, that that would be his course.
MR. VAN WINKLE. No, sir, if you please, I only said if they departed from principle. I did not say in this particular case.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Now, sir, the ratio proposed in the amendment I seek to amend is 5637, the fraction is 2818. Let us see how this thing will apply. Then we can be governed by reason in the premises. We find that the county of Barbour has a fraction of 3082, Greenbrier 5754, Monroe 5589, Pleasants 2926, Raleigh 3291, Mason 3115, Ohio 5285, for which, of course, she gets a delegate. These counties will get under the amendment of the gentleman from Wood an additional delegate. Well, sir, that only lifts the disproportion off of one set and places it on another. If you depart from the report of the committee you simply take the inequality that that report makes from one set of counties and place it upon another. Jackson will have a fraction of 2063, which comes up nearly entitling her to a delegate. Here will be the county of Lewis, with a fraction of 2099, within a few of the number of Barbour. Barbour will get two under the amendment of the gentleman from Wood and the county of Lewis one. I only make these figures to show that you cannot adopt a principle here possibly but what it will operate against one county or the other. There is no principle that you can adopt but what you will be necessarily compelled to depart from that principle when you do make an allotment of delegates. Well, if you are not to stick to principle, if you are bound to depart from it, let us look to the interests of the whole and see that every county is represented. You cannot possibly stick to the principle. There is no way you can do it; and if principle must be stuck to and we are to look to nothing else, let us take the report of the committee without amending it at all, unless you want to give to Ohio four and Wood two to quiet her representative, and leave Lewis with one and give Barbour two; which makes as great inequality as any other apportionment you can possibly make. But, sir, the amendment of the gentleman from Wood proposes to increase the number of delegates eight over the number provided for in the committee's report. That increase would exactly give to the eight small counties which have no delegate, as they are placed in districts, one delegate each and leave the rest of the apportionment exactly as prepared by the committee. The increase of eight that you now propose to make gives one delegate to each of those little counties, and does not change the allotment of delegates to the other counties. Ohio has two, Wood, two, Monongalia two, Marion two, Marshall two and Preston two. If you adopt the amendment you will get no more but throw the odd apportionment off one set and place it on another.
MR. POMEROY. I think this matter has been sufficiently discussed.
MR. HALL of Marion. I would insist, Mr. President, upon the gentleman from Hancock occupying the floor first, but from the remark he made it occurred to me he wished the discussion to cease. Like the gentleman from Wood, when I see it proposed to throw away a vital principle upon which we must act I cannot be silent. My people demand that I shall not be silent. I would like to know if it is proposed to establish west of the Allegheny mountains the Confederate counties of West Virginia? "Confederated" counties, I believe they call it down in Dixie - if the hills that the people live upon are proper subjects of representation - and it is nothing more nor less - it is absolutely proposed that you discard the idea of representing the people and representing the territory though it may be composed of but rocks and trees. No less than that has been proposed in the argument here this morning by some gentlemen who are anxious to gather up these little counties. I am somewhat like the gentleman from Wood, I do not feel very cool when it is proposed that if we cannot perfectly carry out a principle we shall discard it absolutely. I do not want to run into the opposition of my friend from Doddridge. He objects that his friend from Wood impugns the motives or intimates that there is any selfish motive, and then imputes selfish motives to him and to the gentleman from Ohio. I do not impute any motive to anybody, any selfish motive, beyond what the facts may disclose of themselves. I may say, as others have said, that whether you adopt this amendment - whether you adopt the one number of 54 or the other of 46, that it makes no difference at all with the counties I represent. It will not change the representation of my county. I believe I have just as much care for the small counties as any of the gentlemen who are so very anxious now to cast away this principle and that every one of them shall have a delegate. But whilst I have a care for them I would have upon a principle that will not bring upon us ruin. By discarding the very fundamental principles upon which we claim to be governed. If we are to adopt this suggestion, the idea as incorporated in the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge, I must insist we amend the first section of this report. If there is any force in the argument they have urged for it, there is eminent propriety - an absolute necessity - that we amend the first section and say the legislature for our State shall be vested in two senates. We have a legislature? Why vote but the one body? If you are to have a house chosen upon the principle that they urge and argue in behalf of, why have a senate? All the arguments in behalf of arbitrary representation for these counties are founded on the very worst idea. They are not even dignified with the idea of states rights but of county rights, and it is even worse than secession. I do not want that we start from that point at all. It is argued that these small counties cannot be represented properly, that they are literally cut off from representation unless they have a representative from their own county; and that if they are associated in a district with a larger county, the larger county will overpower them and their interests never be looked to. In the first place I maintain this is not the fact. That will not be the effect of a county line running through the district. The line does not change the interests of those adjacent people. They are so situated that they have an identity of interest - a common interest; and in. order to promote the one the representative will necessarily represent the interests of the other. I do not think these county lines are such extraordinary barriers. I have looked on enough to know that where they are thus situated, the little county will control the big county, in spite of itself. I have lived in a county where I have been acting with the minority for years, and while we could not get things just as we wanted them, we always got things just as our opponents did not want them. You start two men in a large county and they will, both want to be elected, because that is the object of being a candidate. They will compete in pledges to get the vote of the small county, and the man who best represents the little county, which holds the balance of power, will be elected. The little county will always elect the delegate. I ask any man who has looked on if that is invariably the fact?
Supposing that were not the case: I would not abandon this principle I would rather ascertain the ratio between the larger and the smaller and provide that the large county shall furnish the representative, say, for two years, the smaller for the third year, and so on. Before I would so use this principle, I would leave those smaller counties absolutely without representation. I would turn them so out that they would be bound to come back into the larger counties. I would not violate a principle that would ruin them if I had even to resort to the other means of placing them under the necessity of attaching themselves to the larger counties. But my friend from Tyler (I believe it was) says we have nothing to do with the formation of these small counties heretofore; that we must take that as a fixed fact; that we must represent them. But he says we are now going to fix it so we cannot have any more of them. Well, now, I wonder if we are? Not by my vote, if these hills are to be represented against the people. No, sir. I would cut the county of Ohio, if need be, to give her a fair representation - and every other large county. I would have equality of rights if I had to cut them utterly into finger bits. Tell me that the people are not the subject of representation! Then throw away your idea of popular government! What is it you represent? I ask, sir, if it is not the industrial interests of the country that need to be represented? And you claim, that the territory - though scarcely inhabited, has the same interest in being represented that an active business commercial people have. I don't believe a word of it. I do not believe any other man believes it. I was surprised at my friend from Kanawha; and while I said I did not mean to impugn motives beyond what the facts would demonstrate, he will pardon me for referring to the action of this Convention on another question. You recall the question of boundary, and the gentleman's proposition there, and he fought manfully for the lower-end counties against the larger counties and talked about the balance of power. It does occur to me that this is upper-end balance of power. The gentleman is seeking by giving additional representatives over there to build the balance of power against this end of the State. Well, now, I am in favor of a balance of power; but I have observed it to work practically that there is but one safe rule and that is to work by principles that are known to be safe and right and not to depart from them for supposed hardships upon individuals or portions of the community, that may be, not imaginary but real for the time because times change. As was remarked by the gentleman from Kanawha, when making a constitution we make it to operate for all time, and not for a day.
I trust it will not be the pleasure of the Convention to adopt this amendment. If you do and send me back to my people, I tell you, sir, that I shall go before that people and tell them we have ignored the idea of representing the people, abandoned the great principles that we have always clamored for. I tell you, sir, that I shall not go before my people and ask them to adopt our Constitution. I should be ashamed to ask them to adopt a principle that will destroy the very foundation principles of government. And I tell you I care not what I or other men might do, that people will not be ignorant of the fact that a vital principle in this thing has been discarded and cast away. We might very easily fix the thing up here. We might reconcile the thing to the minds and feelings of members of this body. We might say, well we are not going to be sticklers for this, that or the other and by compromising and all that sort of thing get a new state - all that sort of thing. But let me tell you this thing has to go through the mill before we can get there. When this thing is submitted to the people - all the people within the proposed territory of West Virginia are not going to vote on this question at all. You will find in some places there will be a power behind the voter greater than the voter himself. You will have incorporated into your Constitution a departure from the fundamental principles upon which our government is founded, and I will tell you that thing will be whispered into the ears of many men, who having had an opportunity to canvass and think of this thing, will act under the influence that may be brought to bear on them by persons who will not vote yea or nay on the question. We must look to this thing. We must build our tower so that it will be impregnable and so that we can go before our people and tell them it is safe, and wise and desirable. If we do not do this, we will find there are men who can point out all these things and those who may be influenced by it.
Now, it is objected - and I really cannot see the force of that - that because you cannot carry out this principle perfectly that therefore you must discard it entirely. What is the proposition here? You take the one or the other number, leaving out the idea of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Doddridge. What is it? You approximate. You adopt a principle and act on it and apply it as nearly as may be found practicable. That is all we can reasonably be expected to do. That is just what the people will demand of us, and they will demand that and no more. Are we going to yield to that demand? I trust we will. If I am to be told that the people are not entitled to be represented that is a remnant of old fogyism, and I want to go home. I do not want to be here to participate in the destruction of that principle and will not do it. I shall not promise what I shall do before my people on this Constitution if the fundamental principles are to be assailed and destroyed for individual interest or caprice. I will not say to this Convention what I may do, because I do not want a new state without a government or with principles that will be destructive of every interest. I want a new state. I desire it as ardently and will forego as much, if it does not sacrifice principle, as any man. But I tell you we must not tear down the very foundations on which government must necessarily stand. They have set us an example over in the other end of the state of the destruction of all the principles of free government. I do not want that we shall follow it. I want that we shall stand on the sound principles that we will be able to vindicate before the people everywhere and throughout all time, and I tell you the people are not going to complain about it. Where there are districts made up of the different counties to be represented by the same men, I know there will be an imaginary difficulty with reference to that thing. I wish it could be avoided. I wish every county could be entitled to a representative; but I do insist, and I think upon reflection other gentlemen of this body will concur with me, that these difficulties exist more in imagination than in reality. In the application of a principle, such inequalities always must be, always will. It is more a disputation and controversy gotten up between aspirants than any diversity of interests of the people. Is it not so? And that they may make a noise about it. But where can you find two counties - call them a large and a small county - whose interests are rendered antagonistic or different by merely running a county line through them. You cannot do it.
I trust we will be governed by these principles, and will not depart from a cardinal principle, that is the very corner-stone of the foundation upon which we build, merely for the accommodation of these schemes and expedients which under pretext of avoiding a small evil would plunge us into much greater ones. Let us establish our representation upon just principles that have been acknowledged and endorsed, tried and found to be the proper principles; the principles that have been taught to our people; that they demand of us shall be carried out; shall be the foundation of the Constitution and government we present to them for approval.
Let us stand by them, carry them out, and equalize as far as we can under that principle and not go outside of it. Just, sir, as we would not go outside of a constitution when we had it, for any of these minor considerations. Just so I would not go outside of a great principle in making a constitution. I trust it may be the pleasure of this Convention to adhere to this principle and vote down the amendment and give an equal representation to our people.
MR. POMEROY. It is just about time to take a vote; and while I am the last man to cut off discussion, I think we ought to take a vote on the amendment; which will give us a new starting point after dinner.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I do not wish to speak; but I differ from my friend from Hancock. The question is of so much importance I think it would be better for the members of the Convention to eat on it and then come back and vote on it.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I rise for a personal explanation, sir. My acquaintance with my friend from Ohio - I hope yet to call him a friend - renders it impossible that he intended to be offensive in the remarks he made. I desire to understand distinctly whether he did so or not.
MR. LAMB. I am aware, sir, that in discussing questions here, I myself, as well as the gentleman from Kanawha, sometimes make arguments with too strong an expression. I do not - I did not - suppose the gentleman intended anything personal in regard to it; and I hope the same measure that I mete out will be meted out to me. I do not intend when I speak of the arguments of members that are advanced by them in strong terms - 1 do not intend any personal reflections. I hope I shall always have discretion enough to avoid them.
The hour for recess having arrived, the chair was vacated and the Convention took a recess.
The Convention reassembled at the usual hour, President Hall in the chair.
MR. PAXTON. Mr. President, the Committee on Taxation and Finance have instructed me to present their report and to ask that it be laid on the table and printed.
Following is the report as presented:
Of the Committee on Taxation and Finance. (Submitted January 10,1862.)
The Committee on Taxation and Finance respectfully submit the following provisions for incorporation into the Constitution of West Virginia:
1. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State, and all property, both real and personal, shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law. No one species of property from which a tax may be collected shall be taxed higher than any other species of property of equal value; but property for educational, literary, scientific, religious or charitable purposes, and public property, may, by law, be exempt from taxation.
2. A capitation tax, not less than fifty cents nor more than one dollar, shall be levied upon each white male inhabitant who has attained the age of twenty-one years.
3. The legislature shall provide for an annual tax, sufficient to defray the estimated expenses of the State for each year; and whenever the ordinary expenses of any year shall exceed the income, the legislature shall provide for levying a tax for the ensuing year, sufficient, with other sources of income, to pay the deficiency, as well as the estimated expenses of such year.
4. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of appropriations made by law, and an accurate and detailed statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be published annually.
5. No debt shall be contracted by this State except to meet casual deficits in the revenue - to redeem a previous liability of the State - to suppress insurrection, repel invasion or defend the State in time of war.
6. The credit of the State shall not be granted to, or in aid of, any county, city, town, township, corporation or person whatever; nor shall the State ever assume or become responsible for the debts or liabilities of any county, city, town, township, corporation or person, unless incurred in time of war or insurrection for the benefit of the State.
7. No county, township, city, town or other municipal corporation, by vote of its citizens or otherwise, shall become a stockholder in any joint-stock company, corporation or association whatever; or raise money for, or loan its credit to, or aid of, any such company, corporation or association.
8. The legislature may at any time direct a sale of the stocks owned by the State in banks and other corporations; but the proceeds of such sale shall be applied to the liquidation of the public debt; and hereafter the State shall not become a stockholder in any bank or other association or corporation.
9. An equitable portion of the public debt of the Commonwealth of Virginia prior to January 1st, 1861, shall be assumed by this State; and the legislature shall ascertain the same as soon as may be practicable, and provide for the liquidation thereof, by a sinking-fund sufficient to pay the accruing interest and redeem the principal within thirty-four years.
J. W. PAXTON, Chairman.
THE PRESIDENT. It will be done as a matter of course. When the Convention adjourned, it had under consideration the adoption of the amendment to the amendment. Is the Convention ready for the question?
MR. SOPER. I would suggest to wait a reasonable time until the gentlemen of the other house can get here before the vote is taken.
MR. VAN WINKLE. It is not quite half past three. We may as well wait.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Mr. President, I propose to occupy the few minutes that will intervene between now and the time those gentlemen come in. I think it my duty to say something on this question. I will, however, be as brief as possible.
I may say, in the outset, that I really cannot see so great a difference in point of argument between the two sides of the question as some gentlemen appear to see. But my mind seems to have settled upon this conviction after hearing the matter so ably discussed as it has been: that it is better, if we can discover a principle - and I think we have the principle in this report - that it will be better to adhere to the principle as near as possible. I am aware sir, that it is difficult - 1 suppose I may say it is impossible - to reduce any principle which is right in the abstract to practice strictly. But our duty, it seems to me, should be to adopt a principle and work as near it as possible. Because, there is such a thing as this, that when we have taken a departure from a principle we may in the process of a few years lose sight of it altogether.
Now, sir, I am willing to admit that the principle which seems to have been adopted here by this committee is liable to objection. You will discover, sir, the gentlemen of the Convention will, in looking at the table which they have appended to their report that there are some sixteen districts, some of them made up of two counties, the balance of one, that fail to come up to the standard of 6618 of a white population, which is made the ratio of representation. Those counties having less than that number, some sixteen of them - or at least some sixteen districts that I have marked out - are still entitled to a delegate. Well, now, there is no great variation from principle there unless we take extreme cases. If we come down, for instance, to the county of Wirt, which is entitled to a delegate according to this report; it has a fraction of 3728 - when we compare that with Greenbrier which has a population of 10,499, and is also entitled to but one delegate, there seems to be injustice done to that county. Well, there is probably at least an unfairness if not injustice; but that is an extreme view of the case. Most of the other counties contain fractions within a few hundred of the population that is required by the ratio which the committee have made out. It seems to me that it would hardly be possible to get nearer a correct principle upon which representation shall be based unless we increase the number, which, of course, will bring the fractions nearer to the ratio which representation should be based upon. At least it will render less inequality if we increase from 46 to 54. About that, however, I am not so very particular.
Now, sir, if we are to adopt this plan of giving one delegate to every county - and I must confess it struck me first as a very fair proposition - and if it was possible without violating this principle or endangering its violation hereafter to adopt an amendment of that character - 1 would certainly favor it. But let us look how it will operate, sir. The very principle - the reason why you have a representation in the legislature - the very reason why districts are allowed to elect delegates to represent them - in a law-making body is not only that the great public necessities of the State require that representation but more especially because there are local interests to be attended to and to be put, if it can be done, in charge of the delegate from the particular locality. That is one of the principal reasons - probably the great one why we cut up our State into districts and allow those districts to be represented, because there are particular local interests which pertain to that region that it would be impossible to legislate upon fairly, justly and equitably unless the district was allowed a representative. At least, to some extent. Now, sir, this brings me to consider what appears to be an unfairness in that quarter, and I have admitted there appears to be something like an unfairness in the other. Now, let me give you this example. Here are the counties of Tucker, which has a population of 1396, Calhoun, Clay, Webster, and McDowell, combined their population is 8736. Now, sir, they have, according to the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge, they are to have five delegates. Here, for example, and I only give it as an example - Greenbrier, with between ten and eleven thousand. Now, you give five delegates here to a population of 8756 and you give but one delegate to a county which has a population of nearly 11,000. Now, then, for the practical working of that thing. Suppose this county of Greenbrier has some question of vital importance to the people of that county brought up in the legislature; and any member of the Convention can imagine to himself a hundred cases where questions of vital importance can come up in which every county in this new State will be interested - but here comes up such a measure of this county. Well, now, don't you see, sir, that if the circumstances should be such as to make it necessary for these counties - Tucker, Calhoun, Clay, Webster and McDowell, to oppose Greenbrier, that they may have power enough in those five delegates to defeat that measure and thus effectually destroy the interests of the people in that county, which they could not have done had the representation been based on the principle of a proper ratio, or something like it, as given by the committee. It seems to me there is an important principle to be found in the report of the committee which the amendment proposed by the gentleman appears at least to some extent, to be a departure from.
Let me say one word in reference to how this matter will act on the smaller counties, where the operation of the report of the committee appears to act harshly or unjustly. I supposed when I first looked into this report - for I did not examine it very particularly - that some five or six counties were to be left without representation; but I find that is not the case. I find in the fifth section a provision is made that where the population is not sufficient to entitle the county to a representative exclusively it shall be attached to contiguous territory and that the person shall not only be the representative of that contiguous territory but of this district whose population does not reach the requisite amount to have a delegate of their own.
Now, I deny here that as a general thing, or at least so frequently as has been asserted, larger districts in such cases are likely to swallow up or destroy communities of the smaller ones in this matter of representation. I am willing to admit that will sometimes occur. It may frequently; but I do say that in the small districts, in consequence of the balance of power which they hold, and in consequence of combinations which they make, with parties in the other or larger districts, they have the means in their power to retaliate and checkmate the larger districts and prevent any long-continued injustice. It operates so in the congressional districts where large and populous counties are connected, with small ones. As a general thing there is a good deal of rivalry; yet the smaller counties, through their power to combine against the larger, generally control the representation of the district, and generally have their share - sometimes more than their share. From my own observations I am led to believe the representation is generally tolerably equalized between them.
I wish to make another remark here, that I have no particular feeling, or do not intend to allow myself to entertain any, beyond what is proper on this or any other question; but I say that I am willing myself - I have so much faith in the wisdom and good sense of this Convention - I am so desirous of getting this new State - I am so desirous of being cut loose from that nest of traitors east of the Blue Ridge - that I am willing to pledge myself almost in advance to go for any constitution that this Convention may adopt. And I hope, sir, that that will be the declaration of others; and I will add to this, because it has been intimated here once or twice that unless we can carry some particular views of ours into this Constitution and have them endorsed by the Convention, we will throw cold water on the Constitution after it is adopted. I hope no such a sentiment will prevail. For I take it Lot might just as well have looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah as for the people of this new State to look back now and ever expect or hope or desire to be reunited to Richmond and eastern Virginia.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I desire to say one word - I yield to the gentleman from Marion.
MR. HALL of Marion. Mr. President, I wish to say, having made the remark which may have been understood - I think it should not have been understood - as a threat, I wish to say some remark was made as to the effect that the discarding of cardinal principles would have; what men might be driven to do - and I meant only to say that I would not and could not pledge myself in advance to go before my people and support anything that might be gotten up here if there was to be an abandonment of the cardinal principle which constituted the foundation of our government. I hope I was not understood as using any remark in the way of threatening or anything of the sort. I meant only to say that we must so act that we could get support both here and at home and that our people would support. I do not design to commit myself now pro or con on the Constitution we shall make; but when we get through, I shall very soon intimate to you what I shall do individually.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. Mr. President, the course of the remarks of the gentlemen who seemed to consider themselves par excellence the advocates of principle has seemed to be as if there were any one controverting their argument. I desire to be understood distinctly that I profess to stand on that principle as well as any gentleman in this house. I intend to enumerate and meet the arguments of gentlemen in defence of principle. I do not think it requisite to argue in defence of the principle of equality of representation based on population. That has been adopted, and one gentleman did me the honor to read from the report the committee had adopted and I believe called to my attention the fact that if I did not move the resolution at least I voted for it - the amendment that representation should be in proportion to population as far as possible. I may not quote the precise language. Well, now, sir, I maintain that doctrine yet. And I hold these gentlemen while they are struggling in this very case are doing the same thing. When a gentleman argues to this house that we should adopt this proposition here, repudiate the representation of counties and charge that all those who support the representation of various counties - not directly, that is inferential from the argument - that we are violating and opposing that principle, are opposed to it and opposing the doctrine. I do not understand it so, no more than the gentlemen who advocate this very proposition of apportioning here on fractions of counties. Why, sir, if you attempt to follow the principle thus laid down in this report on fundamental provisions, then we have no alternative but to apportion the country by hundreds or thousands into districts that will exactly meet the case, because it is perfectly possible; it is only a little inconvenience. Whenever you say the principle is to be carried out - and these gentlemen would not depart a hair's breadth to save the Constitution or the country, yet the very moment they attempt to apply it they depart from the principle in every particular in every county within the whole State.
Now, I say if that is any principle and it is to be adhered to and over-ride every other consideration, carry it out, for there is no difficulty in the way of it; because none of you understood the vote in this house in pledging this house to sustain that principle over every other consideration. In the language of the gentleman from Wood, when we in following this principle find ourselves trammeled with difficulties or inequalities in the counties, desiring to carry out the fundamental principle consistent with another principle to secure each of these counties a delegate if possible, or if it be reasonable, it is no violation of principle, no more in the one case than in the other.
Now, then, this argument on this proposition that the gentlemen who are advocating this principle are exclusively the advocates of principle, I maintain to be incorrect. Why, one gentleman, the gentleman last on the floor was so strong an advocate of standing by principle that before he would sacrifice this principle, which seemed in his view the principle on which the whole republic was based and if sacrificed would bring absolute ruin on the country - how? In simply giving a delegate to a county - that before he would sacrifice this principle he would disfranchise the county. Does that maintain the principle? A principle which asserts that every person in the country shall be represented is to be maintained by sacrificing a whole county of individuals. It seems to me as forcible as another illustration the gentleman gave of the case of two counties in one district. He tried to make it appear that in such cases the small county would control the larger. The argument cuts its own throat. If it had the operation he contends, according to the doctrine he maintains, could never advocate any such plan. It is urged we have been advocating another principle, of keeping up equality between the sections of the State in the political power between the two ends of the State. So we have. That has been my determination from the beginning and it will be to the end, to maintain that right if I can. I say further that whenever a people absolutely surrender that right they surrender their liberties. That is one of the things we have been contending against in the east all the time. I put it to the gentlemen, why do you exclude the counties that lie at our end of the State? Why, lest they might come together in order that they might keep up the balance of power with us. We are apportioning the delegates between these portions of the State. We find ourselves now in the minority with three-fourths of the territory - a minority of the people. The question is to distribute these delegates. The gentlemen tell us they are such advocates of principle they would not sacrifice it on any consideration whatever. Let us see how the gentlemen propose to carry out their principle. Let them take up my supplementary report and show how it will operate in the report proposed. The counties of Harrison and Kanawha from which the delegate comes are given one senator each, while a much larger section of country from other counties has only one. I wish to say in justification of myself and explanation of that apportionment of representation that finding some inequalities in the report of the committee, I undertook as far as I could to remedy it. I stated there the principles on which I endeavored to do it to secure equality as one idea. Another was to group people according to their social and business relations and balance the political power in the two sections of the State. And thus I have begun at one end of the State and formed one district as near as I could get it and as near as they have got it; and then I went to the other end and endeavored to form another senatorial district at the extreme end precisely the same size as nearly as it could be done. And so on, back and forth, endeavoring every time that the two districts should correspond in size, equality and components; and I find myself, sir, with the counties of Harrison and Kanawha, which are difficult to add to either of the adjacent counties left alone. I found also in the Winchester district (the county of Frederick) - another large county I could add them to another senatorial district around without derangement, to elect them as near as possible in the two or three distinct sections of the State so that equality would be kept up in the various sections. We have the first district, Hancock, Brooke and Ohio, with 32,063; at the other end of the State, Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Raleigh and McDowell, 31,382. The next is 39,131 at the north end.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I must arise to a question of order. The apportionment of senatorial districts is not the question before the house.
Mr. Brown of Kanawha, endeavoring to show that those who contend for principles are no more its friends in carrying it into execution than we are.
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair is aware that there has been a good deal of discussion that did not legitimately belong to the question before the Convention; but the question of fairness has been up several times, and though it was not expected to be introduced to the extent it was, if the Chair could have foreseen the latitude the discussion would take, it would have been stopped in advance. The gentlemen have gone so far the Chair is of opinion it would be hardly right to prevent a fair argument of the question. The Chair would certainly prevent any unkind remarks. The gentleman can proceed with his argument.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I have no wish, sir, to be unfair to any gentleman. I presume we are all here representing our constituency and endeavoring to form a Constitution for the government of our people in which we all have the same common interest; and I presume we are all actuated by common motives of patriotism in the accomplishment of this object to the very best we can do, and that we are at the same time all under the influence of our peculiar, partial and local feelings and interests, to see that they are particularly cared for and our interests and rights preserved in this Constitution. I do not attach any kind of blame to any gentleman for differing with me, and do not desire to reflect upon any gentleman's motives. The motive I presume is that a man is biased by what his interests seem to require; and I have no doubt I am under the influence of it as much as any other members if not more so. I am now replying to the arguments of gentlemen which seem to indicate that we were peculiarly under this influence and I wish to show that while they are throwing stones at their neighbors, there are beams in their own. I proposed, then a system of senatorial districts to carry out this principle, and I only use it as an illustration of his own principle. He proposes to give to the north end of the State three senatorial districts, every one of which is too small and to give to the south end every one of which, one after the other is too large. And now I ask the gentleman how he can ever stand up here and say that we are the parties that are abandoning principle and they are par excellence the one to maintain it.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I wish to call the gentleman's attention to the fact that the smallest of these senatorial districts is only 1700 under the ratio and the largest 700 over.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I will admit that it is difficult to arrange this matter; but when you go to one end of the State and find your first district too small and find the other end too large, you might make your next larger and the next smaller at the other end instead of making them all too large. If you will, by going back and forth you can rectify the evil. I find no difficulty in the plan I proposed. There is a fundamental principle at the bottom of this I think. We have had the indication continually in this Convention that the subject of railroads - that is, large corporations here in the new State are to be put down.
THE PRESIDENT. In permitting the reply to the allusions that have been made heretofore on the subject of senatorial districts, the Chair would not be willing to have a new subject or charge brought in against the other party and would insist that the delegate confine himself to the original argument.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. If I understand the argument of the gentleman from Wood it was an allusion - I may have misapprehended the gentleman - that one of the considerations against extending this franchise, or this privilege, to the various small counties is that they will be the counties who will be clamoring for the aid of the State for works of internal improvements - for railroads and turnpikes and all these things that you must ask the aid of the public for or you may never get them at all. Well, now, I wish to look at the history and condition of the country to see if there are not peculiar reasons why gentlemen should advocate with so much zeal that doctrine of restraining us from the public crib. You find large portions of our section of the State have received no advantages. We find this section of the State that has the population - the small section containing the political power of the State - with railroads running through it. They did not come out of the state treasury, I admit, but they got it, and by reason of the railroads these counties have grown rich and populous. Now they have got the whole power of the State in their hands and the proposal is to keep it there. Now, here are other counties that need some aid; and the question is, will you adopt a system that will attach those counties to each of the larger ones and put them in their control? I oppose; I vote not. I do not represent a small county but I feel a great interest in the whole section of the country I represent and represent the feeling and interest and sympathy that pervades the whole section of country - far stronger than the small trifle of obtaining one delegate more in my county. Because we have a common interest. I know that these small counties, as well as many others, will have wants at the hands of the public that they must receive or be shut out forever, and that their growth in any great degree is to depend on the legislation of the State. They therefore have a very deep interest in it. Those that have profited - that are strong already - have nothing to fear. And therefore it is I say that this section of country has a peculiar interest in this subject; and while, as the gentleman informs me - and in looking over it I believe it is correct - that by this proposition it may be arranged to compensate in my section of the State for the inequality that is acknowledged to exist on the face of the report. I prefer to stand on this simple doctrine of simplicity of representation in each county as far as it can be had and then apply the general principle of equality in adding the additional delegates to all the other counties. It seems to me therefore, Mr. President, that we on this subject no more depart from the principle than the gentlemen on the other side - the fundamental principle that where there is not something to control your action you shall stick to the equality of the report, but that where a reasonable impossibility exists - of a physical impossibility, you shall apply another principle if it compensates fully.
MR. LAMB. I regret exceedingly that this matter of senatorial representation is unnecessarily brought into this discussion. It was unnecessary entirely to encumber the present question with any reference to questions of that character. But, sir, I am not willing that this Convention should be suffered to remain under an impression such as has been sought to be conveyed by the speech of the gentleman from Kanawha. The argument which he has made, and which the Chair has decided in order, must necessarily lead to the investigation of that subject, little as it has connection with the subject before this Convention.
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair did not suppose the matter properly in order, but it got by degrees before the Convention - it had been so frequently alluded to - that the Chair felt constrained to some extent to allow it.
MR. LAMB. I take it it is now in order to bring up the whole subject, and let us see if these inequalities - inequalities purposely made, as the gentleman insists - do exist in the senatorial apportionment.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I have to rise to a question of order. It seems to me the question is between the gentleman from Wood and the gentleman from Kanawha, and they have combatted each other; and I do hope we will not go into a discussion now on that question, but will discuss the amendment to the amendment as proposed. I hope the Chair will rule it out, and if he does not I will take an appeal from the decision of the Chair.
MR. POMEROY. As I am on the other side, I hope the gentleman from Ohio will not press making his speech now. I hope the Chair will . . .
MR. LAMB. It strikes me . . .
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I want the question settled, sir.
MR. LAMB. The gentleman ought to have raised his point of order when the representation made on this subject was . . .
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I have a perfect right to raise the point. I rise to a question of order.
MR. LAMB. Then it is in order to impugn the report of the committee and it is not in order to reply. I think the whole remarks are out of order on both sides.
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair will take the sense of the house.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I contend this debate is strictly in order. I call for the point of order in writing.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I can soon state my point of order. I will reduce it to writing.
MR. HALL of Marion. Allow me, in the interim, again to say that the gentleman from Kanawha did not purposely misrepresent my argument; but as I conceive did very much misrepresent me upon the point of the balance of power, representing that my argument tended necessarily to show that the little counties' power over the big ones was unjust to the latter. That was not my argument. I said distinctly that the balance of power held by the small county prevented the great populous county from controlling by throwing its vote to one or the other candidates compelling them to give fair terms to the small county.
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair would remark that there is nothing before the house at present.
MR. LAMB. I am certainly entitled to the floor.
MR. VAN WINKLE. When you are called to order, you must take your seat (Merriment) !
THE PRESIDENT. TAKE YOUR SEATS, gentlemen.
MR. POMEROY. I would like to pour oil on these troubled waters and say that before the point is decided we would all feel it was decided right and go on harmoniously.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Is that what you call "oil ?"
MR. POMEROY. Yes.
THE PRESIDENT. The gentleman from Ohio will proceed, then.
MR. LAMB. The gentleman from Kanawha announces at length what he has not done before, his adhesion to this principle that every citizen of the State shall be entitled to equal representation, that "in all apportionments of representation, equality of numbers of those entitled thereto shall as far as possible be preserved." But he is somewhat late, it strikes me, in announcing now his adhesion to this principle, for his arguments heretofore sounded to me more like arguments, that this principle was of no account and that nobody need attempt to preserve it; that it was a principle that was not observed in any case, but was here as a mere idle provision to be violated whenever we came to apply it in practice. But he has at least admitted.
Now, let us see how near the senatorial apportionment, which he impugns, approaches this principle. This principle does not require a precise equality in all respects. As expressed here it admits that an exact equality is impossible. But the rule is, we are to approach equality as "nearly as possible." How near we can approach it in the senatorial districts is to be ascertained, perhaps, and the only mode of ascertaining that it exists is to compare one apportionment which is proposed with another. The gentleman in conformity with the principle which he now admits, has submitted his apportionment of the senatorial districts, and the committee has submitted theirs. If we wish to ascertain whether the apportionment of the committee is in conformity with this principle as near as possible, it is certainly a fair test upon that question to see whether the gentleman's own apportionment is an improvement in reference to the principle we adopt in common.
Now, in the apportionment of senatorial districts which the committee have suggested, the severest test possible in any case of that kind is to take all the small districts and put them together and then take all the large districts and put them together. You cannot subject an apportionment to any severer test.
There are nine senatorial districts reported here by the committee. You have to take four upon one side - the four largest, and four upon the other. Take the four largest and the four smallest, and the difference between the whole is 6200 - precisely 6201. Is this approaching to the principle as near as possible? Let us see what the gentleman has worked out. Take the largest districts the gentleman asks us to adopt here for a senatorial apportionment, on the one side and the smallest on the other, and the difference is just 50,000. Now I can at least say we have come a little nearer to this principle, which we adopt in common, than the gentleman has.
The gentleman remarks particularly and impressively upon the fact that take one district from one end of the State and another from the other end and there is a difference of over two thousand between these two districts in the apportionment reported by the committee. How does that stand on the gentleman's report? Why there are no less than sixteen districts in the report of the gentleman the differences between which exceed two thousand. If you adopt nine senatorial districts for a population of 304,433, the ratio is one district for every 33,825. Compared with this ratio there is no district reported by the committee which does not amount to within 1760 of that ratio. There is no excess reported by the committee which exceeds 750. All the deficiencies in the report of the committee amount to 3739; the whole surplus 3747.
Now, how is this in the report with which I am comparing? Why, gentlemen, the difference between two of these districts is over 7600. The whole deficiencies in the report of the committee, added to the whole excesses, do not amount to as much as the difference between two of the districts which the gentleman has reported. But not only those two, take another two, and the difference is 7000. Take still another two and the difference is 6500, and so on.
That is the apportionment which the gentleman impugns as departing from our principle, which he contends is not only unequal; but he has at least intimated that this inequality was for the purpose of accomplishing some covert object with reference to railroads, or something of that kind. That gentleman has tried his hand at working out this apportionment, and he knows it is impossible to approach nearer to the principle than the committee have done in the senatorial apportionments, if the gentleman would figure at it every minute to the end of this year.
And yet the intimation is given to the Convention that these slight inequalities - slight and trifling as they are - must have been adopted for the purpose of securing an undue influence of one section of the State over another - with a view of accomplishing some purpose with reference to railroads!
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I certainly did not intimate at all or intend to - that there was any sinister motive, but expressly stated that I supposed these gentlemen, like myself, were influenced by partialities; that when they could not get the desired equalities, their partialities were on one side and mine on the other.
MR. LAMB. I accept the gentleman's explanation with a great deal of pleasure, but I must insist upon it that after the gentleman has tried - as I know he has done - to make a better and more equal apportionment, one more in conformity with the principle which he now admits, that he ought in common candor to have admitted that it was impossible to come any nearer than the committee had done. Now, I know that to be the fact. For I have been figuring at this until my head ached; and the apportionment of the committee far more nearly approaches the grand principle for which we are here contending than any other I could possibly devise. I would see some objections; thought I could improve some difficulties; tried my hand over, and over, and over again; but though I could get one district, I would spoil three or four others. I never could work it through with anything like the equality that is presented in this plan of apportionment. There are other gentlemen of the Convention who have tried their hands on these matters. I must insist that because these trifling inequalities exist, the imputation on the committee in that respect is entirely unfounded. I accept with pleasure the explanation of the gentleman that he did not intend to impute to the committee any purpose in shaping their report any of these ulterior objects for it is certainly not the case.
I wish, however, in more immediate connection with what I regard the only subject here in order to make an explanation in regard to the operation of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Wood, as compared with the other propositions now before the house in regard to the apportionment of the house of delegates.
In the first place, the Convention must bear in mind in the consideration of this subject the other provisions in the report of the committee. Whenever one of these small counties shall appear in that apportionment of representation to have a population equal to one-half the ratio which would entitle it to a representative, it becomes, on the plan reported by the committee entitled to a delegate. This is certainly greatly in favor of the small counties. As soon as their population reaches one-half the amount to entitle them to a delegate, they are allowed a full delegate. This then lies at the foundation of the matter in regard to the small counties; and there is no application of the principle then to the small counties unless their population is below one-half of the ratio. Then the provision is that if the population of a county is below one-half the ratio, it shall be, for the purpose of electing delegates annexed to some adjoining county in order to make up something like a fair ground to entitle a certain district of country to a delegate.
Now as to the conformity with this principle of apportionment which has been announced in our fundamental provisions, does. it not approach much nearer than anything else that has been suggested to this Convention to an apportionment as near as possible according to population? I stated here when the subject was introduced that if you adopt the house of 54, there will be no fraction unrepresented exceeding 2100. You approach at least within 2100 of a precise apportionment of representation in the extremest case; and then I take it, from the trials I have given to this subject, from the working out of the apportionment with one number and another, I think that this is, in fact, as near as it is possible to apportion representation among these counties according to population. If you adopt the motion of the gentleman from Doddridge, you give Tucker a delegate although she is 4300 off from the ratio. Compare the one case with the other. Compare it with the principle you have adopted, which now seems to be admitted. One is making apportionment as near as possible according to the white population; the other is certainly violating that principle; and it violates it throughout. Compare your number 54 with 46. With 54 you have no excess exceeding 2100; with 46 you have excesses of 3800, 2900 and 2300, and so on. Now, if your principle means anything it is that the apportionment shall be as nearly as possible in proportion to white population. If - and there is no doubt whatever in regard to it for it is a matter of simple figures - the number 54 enables you to make a much nearer apportionment; a much nearer approach to the exact proportion in regard to population than the number 46, this is still much nearer than the motion of the gentleman from Doddridge.
I need not refer to the calculation submitted by the other gentleman from Wood (Stevenson). The five smallest counties, each of which have a number less than one-half of what would entitle a county to a delegate, it is proposed by the gentleman from Doddridge shall each have a delegate, thus giving five delegates for a population of 8736. Mason county - not to quote an extreme case - has a population of 8752; and she becomes to one delegate also. Now, in this favored section of the country, one man, in these counties, counts exactly as much as five men in Mason. The Constitution of the United State allows five negroes to count as much as three white men; but five men in Mason county only count as much as one man in Tucker.
Now, Mr. President, go home to your constituents and tell them that you have adopted an expedient here by which a man in Mason is to be rated as. but one-third of a negro, and see if you do not have votes against your Constitution. Am I going to my constituents and tell them that a man in Ohio county is to count as much as one-third of a negro and expect them to vote for this Constitution. No, sir; No, sir! I came here intending to adopt a constitution; intending, and I have labored only and zealously for the purpose of preparing it based upon proper principles, and which I could tell my constituents is a constitution worthy of their acceptance; and I hope - I do hope - that this Convention when it adjourns will enable me to present a constitution framed by it for their acceptance, with such a declaration. It can only be because a constitution is formed upon fair and acknowledged principles. It cannot be so if a constitution is passed on principles which violate the very fundamentals of republican government.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Will the Clerk report the amendment to the amendment. I am not advised where that amendment comes in.
The Secretary reported that the motion was to insert at the end of the first sentence of Section 2 the words: "and be so distributed as to give each county at least one delegate."
MR. VAN WINKLE. At the amendment. My amendment is to substitute 54 for 46.
On the adoption of Mr. Stuart's motion, Mr. Brown of Preston asked for the yeas and nays.
The roll was called and the vote resulted as follows:
YEAS - Messrs. John Hall (President), Brown of Kanawha, Brumfield, Dering, Dolly, Hansley, Haymond, Harrison, Hubbs, Hervey, Montague, Parsons, Simmons, Stephenson of Clay, Sheets, Soper, Stuart of Doddridge, Taylor, Walker, Wilson - 20.
NAYS - Messrs. Brown of Preston, Brooks, Chapman, Caldwell, Carskadon, Dille, Hall of Marion, Irvine, Lamb, Mahon, O'Brien, Powell, Parker, Paxton, Pomeroy, Robinson, Ruffner, Sinsel, Stevenson of Wood, Stewart of Wirt, Trainer, Van Winkle, Warder - 23.
The question then recurred upon the adoption of the amendment of Mr. Van Winkle, to strike out "forty-six" and insert "fifty-four;" and upon this question the yeas and nays were demanded, which being sustained the amendment was rejected - yeas 14, nays 29.
And on motion of Mr. Hervey, the vote was recorded as follows:
YEAS - Messrs. John Hall (President), Brown of Kanawha, Carskadon, Dering, Hubbs, Lamb, Mahon, Paxton, Ruffner, Stevenson of Wood, Soper, Stuart of Doddridge, Van Winkle, Walker - 14.
NAYS - Messrs. Brown of Preston, Brooks, Brumfield, Chapman, Caldwell, Dille, Dolly, Hansley, Hall of Marion, Haymond, Harrison, Hervey, Irvine, Montague, O'Brien, Parsons, Powell, Parker, Pomeroy, Robinson, Sinsel, Simmons, Stephenson of Clay, Stewart of Wirt, Sheets, Taylor, Trainer, Warder, Wilson - 29.
MR. LAMB. I may hope now that I can occupy what the gentleman from Doddridge seems to regard as my proper place in defending the report of the committee hereafter. I move the adoption of the first clause: "The senate shall be composed of eighteen and the house of delegates of forty-six members."
The motion was agreed to and the clause adopted.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Mr. President, in reference to the peculiar circumstances in which we are placed, I move the introduction of a clause here that at one time I thought, and probably the committee thought, would be more proper in the schedule. But I believe, under the circumstances, it had better be incorporated in the body of the Constitution. I want to move to add after the close of the period in the tenth line: "except that the terms of those first elected shall commence twenty days after their election," with a view of following it in the proper place with this: that of the senators first elected, one from each senatorial district, to be determined by lot in the presence of the senate, shall serve until the.................... day of................. .................. in the year 1863, and the other to the same day in 1864. The delegates first elected shall serve to the same day in 1863. A question here arises which may turn me from my purpose. Well, then, we do not know at what time we shall be able to hold an election for delegates or to put this new State into operation, supposing we get through Congress happily. If Congress should admit us say by the first of June, then we could go on and elect. Of course, the terms of those members would not commence until the first day of October. I wish . . .
MR. LAMB. This section was amended by inserting fourth of July instead of October first.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I had forgotten that.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. It was your own motion.
MR. LAMB. The section now reads that the term of office shall commence, both for senators and delegates on the fourth day of July next succeeding their election.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Well, that makes it just as necessary. We will not be able to go through Congress until after the fourth of July, and then it would have to go over until the next fourth. I think for safety they had better go over. I understand the chairman of the committee approves it. To avoid any mistake hereafter, better here than in the schedule. The amendment is:
"Except that the terms of those first elected shall commence twenty days after their election."
It will take that time to get in the returns. I propose to follow that by this other that I read when we come to the proper place for that, wherever it may be, but fixing the close of the terms. It would be now say two years for senators from the fourth of July next and for delegates one year from same date. So that whenever that election takes place the terms will close as if they had been elected previous to the fourth of July next, in order that we may have a guide from which to go regularly. It is a mere matter of regulation. I apprehend the Convention will see the necessity of making the provision. It must be made either here or in the schedule; and it had better be in the Constitution itself.
At the request of Mr. Hervey, the Secretary read the section as amended.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I see the propriety, I did not catch it at first, for some provision of the kind. But it seems to me it would be much more appropriate in the schedule and let the Constitution fix the day. The 4th of July is fixed for the commencement. If we should elect after the 4th of July, of course it would be the next 4th before they would take office. To put it into operation, it seems to me the schedule would be the proper place.
MR. VAN WINKLE. My difficulty about that was that the schedule would then override the Constitution, and it struck me that matters of that kind ought not to go into the schedule. It is a matter, of course not exactly of taste, but upon which there may be a very wide difference of opinion, I admit.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. The schedule to a Constitution is always a part and parcel of it for putting it into operation. It is adopted by the people. There can be no want of validity in it.
MR. LAMB. It certainly would be proper to have a provision of this kind somewheres in the Constitution or schedule; and I suppose whether it is put here into the Constitution, or into the schedule, that when the matter comes before the Committee of Revision they have full authority to arrange the different motions and provisions in their proper places. I mention this in order that we may have some understanding as to what may be the duties of that committee. I take it they have full authority over the arrangement at least, of the different provisions which the Convention have adopted. It strikes me that as the provision which is suggested is an exception to the clause which is here reported by the committee, perhaps the proper place would be to let it follow immediately after the clause to which it does constitute an exception. It is the simplest way of expressing it.
The question was taken on the amendment offered by Mr. Van Winkle, and it was agreed to.
The question recurred on the remainder of the section.
MR. HERVEY. I presume it would be in order to amend it still further. I feel disposed to test the sense of the Convention as to the time of the election again.
THE PRESIDENT. Will the gentleman state the particular amendment he had reference to.
MR. HERVEY. Perhaps it might be in order to make the motion at this time.
MR. VAN WINKLE. It would not be strictly in order because the day was changed after an attempt to change it had failed; but after that we fixed some late day, the third Tuesday I believe, in January for the commencement of the session.
The object of the inquiry of the Chair, was, whether the gentleman had reference to the term of years.
MR. HERVEY. I apprehend it would be in order when the question comes up on the adoption of the whole report.
MR. VAN WINKLE. We did something with this section and then passed from it believing the subject was not ripe for action. Whether the Convention would under those circumstances be inclined to hold us to the strict rule not to offer any amendment until the whole report comes up, it strikes me this needs amendment. It had better be amended now, and go on as if it had not been acted on.
MR. POMEROY. I think gentlemen are willing to make a reconsideration.
MR. LAMB. No part of this section, was adopted. Certain amendments were adopted and certain others proposed and rejected; but the Convention passed over the section without adopting any part of it. Such is the memorandum which I have made from the journal.
THE PRESIDENT. Taken to-day?
MR. LAMB. No, sir; before the recess.
THE PRESIDENT. That agrees with the recollection of the Chair.
MR. LAMB. We acted on certain amendments, and then having adopted some of these amendments and rejected others, we passed by the section without a vote.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Well, sir, in order to test the sense of the Convention and accomplish the gentleman's object, I will take the suggestion of the gentleman from Hancock and move a reconsideration of the vote by which the election was fixed for the 4th Thursday of May.
MR. HERVEY. I desire to know whether the time now fixed is the 4th of July?
MR. VAN WINKLE. No, not the election; the time for the terms to commence. The time of holding the session of the legislature is in January.
MR. HERVEY. Then, sir, I desire to make a motion to change the time of election.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I was going to move a reconsideration to give the opportunity. I would simply add that if the members deem it worth considering now, that the time for the meeting of the legislature having been changed to a date so much later, this would give an opportunity to fix a later day in the fall, when probably gentlemen generally would be as much disengaged as on this day in the spring - say about the time it is usual to hold the presidential election.
I will, therefore, move a reconsideration of the vote by which the Convention refused to strike out the 4th Thursday of May.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. It seems to me the gentleman voted against the 4th Thursday of May, and has no right to move a reconsideration under the rules.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Did I? Then perhaps some other gentleman would do it. I wished only to test the sense of the Convention, whether they were willing to consider the question of altering the day. If not, it will be disposed of at once.
MR. HARRISON. I have a right, I believe, to move a reconsideration. I voted for the 4th Thursday of May. I move to reconsider that vote.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. There will have to be another consideration if this time is changed, for you have fixed it that the office commences on the 4th of July.
SEVERAL MEMBERS. Certainly, we will have to change that.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Well, sir, that will lead to the necessity of another reconsideration and discussion on both these points.
MR. VAN WINKLE. That is an important change. It is worth the discussion.
The question was taken on the motion to reconsider, and it was lost.
MR. LAMB. I would move, then, Mr. President, to adopt the balance of this section.
MR. BROWN of Preston. I do not remember, sir, whether the last clause of the section was acted upon or not. I presume it was, however. It strikes me that if an additional section proposed to this report by the gentleman from Ohio shall be adopted, that that latter clause is entirely unnecessary.
The provision to which I allude is the provision (the substitute) that the legislature will provide by law, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, for filling vacancies for the unexpired terms. It seems to me we are perhaps going to cover the same ground exactly by two provisions, one or the other of which will be entirely unnecessary.
MR. LAMB. I would suggest to the gentleman from Preston that many cases of this kind may arise. This proposition has not been acted on. Should this be adopted as well as the concluding clause of the section, the whole matter will go to the Committee on Revision who if they find double provisions covering one thing will of course leave one of them out. We may as well act upon it as it stands at present.
THE PRESIDENT. The gentleman made no motion?
MR. BROWN of Preston. No, sir; merely an explanation.
The question was put on the adoption of the second section and the section was adopted.
The Secretary reported the third section:
"3. For the election of senators, the State shall be divided into nine senatorial districts, as nearly equal as possible in white population; each district to choose two senators. Every such district shall be compact, formed of contiguous territory and be bounded by county lines. After each census hereafter taken by authority of the United States, the legislature shall alter the senatorial districts, so far as may be necessary to make them conformable to the foregoing provisions."
The third section was adopted, and the Secretary reported the fourth as follows:
"4. Until the senatorial districts shall be differently arranged after the next census taken by authority of the United States, the counties of Hancock, Brooke and Ohio shall constitute the first senatorial district; Marshall, Wetzel and Marion the second; Monongalia, Preston and Taylor the third; Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Doddridge and Harrison the fourth; Wood, Jackson, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun and Gilmer the fifth; Barbour, Tucker, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur and Randolph the sixth; Mason, Putnam, Kanawha, Clay and Nicholas the seventh; Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Mercer and McDowell the eighth; and Webster, Pocahontas, Fayette, Raleigh, Greenbrier and Monroe the ninth."
MR. LAMB. Mr. President, I have already said sufficient, I presume, in reference to this apportionment. I need not repeat the explanation I gave in regard to it. I can only assure the Convention, and you, Mr. President, it is the very nearest we could come to making an apportionment precisely according to population; the very best shaped districts we could get, having that object in view. If we have not made it all that might be desired, it certainly has not been for want of trial, for there has been a vast deal of figuring spent on this subject, I can assure you. The matter has been tested in almost every shape. Every county in the State has been put in every position in which it could be in the attempt to improve it; and I do not think it is possible to come to a more just and equitable apportionment than that which is here presented.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. Mr. President, I wish to move an amendment to that section. I wish to move as an amendment the double district, as it is termed, in the minority report, beginning with the counties of "Hancock", etc. I do not propose to enter at large on the discussion of this subject, as it has been to some extent the subject of discussion already, in connection with the question of the composition of the house of delegates.
The following is the portion of the minority report which I offer as a substitute for the section reported by the committee:
"1. The counties of Hancock, Brooke and Ohio shall constitute one district.
2. The counties of Wayne, Cabell, Logan, Boone, Wyoming, Raleigh and McDowell shall constitute another district.
3. The counties of Monongalia, Preston, Taylor and Tucker shall constitute another district.
4. The counties of Mason, Putnam, Kanawha and Fayette shall constitute another district.
5. The counties of Marion, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler shall constitute another district.
6. The counties of Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Wirt, Calhoun and Roane shall constitute another district.
7. The counties of Harrison, Barbour, Doddridge and Ritchie shall constitute another district.
8. The counties of Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, Nicholas and Clay shall constitute another district.
9. The counties of Lewis, Upshur, Randolph, Pocahontas, Webster, Braxton and Gilmer shall constitute another district.
And if the following counties become a part of this State, then -
10. The counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire and Morgan shall constitute another district.
11. The counties of Berkeley, Frederick and Jefferson shall constitute another district.
Two senators to be elected by the voters in each district." Substitute that first double-district, as it is called, in the tabular form, the first part of the minority report, in lieu of the provision in the committee report. I desire to call attention to the fact that while there is a greater inequality between several of the districts than in the committee's report, I think it does attain another end of equalizing the representation of political weight in the two ends of the State, which the committee's report does not do. And as the gentleman from Ohio did me the honor to express his gratification that I had become a convert to the fact that the committee's report had attained very nearly the equalizing in numbers, the principle that is laid down as a fundamental principle, that is not the ground of my complaint of that report. A perfect equality, I know, is impossible as long as you have counties of different sizes and different populations. The objection I urge to it is that the inequalities added together in the one end and of diminution of excess in the other, enlarge that excess. Now, where the errors compensate each other, I have no serious objections. In the minority report, I endeavored, and I think to a very great extent, did remedy this. The question then is, whether the fact that two districts adjacent and in the same section have a considerable difference between them yet as between the two sections of the State on the equilibrium, is better kept up I think. There is another idea I have endeavored in the report that I think is more effectually guarded than in the majority report and that is this: That while the equality of population and territory is one object, the geographical features of the territory, the components in forming the districts, whether they are united and such as shall increase the business relations of the people of each district and their peculiar and local institutions, are looked to in the form of those districts; and I think these ideas are better developed in this substitute than in the committee report, and therefore, I shall prefer it.
MR. LAMB. I merely wish to say in regard to the inequalities in this report that if you take all of them together - if you take the largest districts and compare them with the smallest - the difference is 6200, which amounts to less than one-fifth of a district. The largest district is the sixth, which is in the middle territory, and the next largest is the fourth, which is also in the middle territory; so that this small difference would not have been an exceeding hardship even if it had all been thrown on the southern end of the territory. It would have hardly amounted to one-fifth of a district. But it is by no means thrown there.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I will say to the gentleman if he will throw that difference between the three principal districts and three lower districts on my end of the State, I will go for the report.
MR. LAMB. It cannot be done without making new counties.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. It can be done. There is no difficulty about that. If I understand, adding together the three upper districts and the three lower districts - the middle ones are of course common - add in this way, the difference is some six or seven thousand.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Cannot possibly be more than 2600.
MR. SINSEL. We have just passed a section providing that these districts are to be of contiguous counties and compact. Now if you look at Monongalia and Taylor, they just touch in this way - corner on the same tree. (Holding two copies of report corner-wise together.) They have a population of twenty thousand and upwards while others have but thirteen thousand. We have senatorial districts of single counties.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Does the gentleman from Kanawha propose to connect his single districts or his double districts?
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. No, sir; the double ones.
MR. POMEROY. I do not know whether we could get at it, but I really think we ought to postpone this section with a view of reconsidering the other section. A large majority I think are in favor of single districts. I know that I am; and I am only carrying out the wish of my constituents to have single instead of double senatorial districts. I think that vote was taken without us having time to consider, and I really thought the large majority of the Convention was in favor of single senatorial districts if they could be so arranged. And I thought the gentleman from Kanawha had a report - whether it was the proper apportionment or not I cannot say; but I really feel aggrieved at the idea of double districts.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I never was more gratified in my life, going along without any discussion on this section, and I was going to compliment my friend for having waived his objection to it; but now to come in at this hour, without even making a motion to reconsider - it seems to me he wants to tangle us up again. Why, sir, just look how smoothly we passed along! I understand there is no motion to reconsider that vote at present. I only want to say that the double district as reported here by the committee, that every member of this Convention can go out and work at it a week or month, and it is not possible to make anything like a report that will come nearer equalizing districts than this. I have worked at it for weeks and could not change it; and I say if there is a gentleman here, who will change it and make it more equal, he will do more than I can do. Before you attempt to move an amendment of this thing, try your hand on it and see whether you can do it. Do not get us torn up here without knowing whether you can propose something better.
MR. VAN WINKLE. That is it.
MR. LAMB. I suppose the Convention will be somewhat astonished to hear me announce that I am in favor of single districts too. The gentleman from Doddridge will bear me witness I was so from the start; but I ciphered at the matter until I got tired of it and I found it was impossible to arrange single districts with anything like equality and justice and I abandoned that. The proposition of the gentleman from Kanawha for single districts is a very fair sample of the result which you can figure out with the best ingenuity you can exert in regard to the matter. I doubt very much whether if you adopt the single-district system you can improve much on the proposition of the gentleman from Kanawha. For the counties are so situated and the amount of population lies in such direction that it is impossible to secure anything like a proper equality of representation by a single-district system. I tried it to my heart's content. If the gentleman wants to try it, why -
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. As the gentleman suggests, I had formed a report for a single-district system and a substitute for the majority report, so the Convention might determine whether they would have a single or double district. The Convention having determined that it shall be double, therefore I presented the double district substitute. I confess I was in favor of a single district if I could get one. I undertook it and the report I submitted was the best I could do. It is not what I wanted I will admit very candidly; but I do not believe any gentleman can sit down and get it just as he wants; and the question is how near he can get to it. As that has been laid on the shelf; I only look to the second which contains the districts with a ratio of 33,824. I have the first district the same as taken in the majority report, 32,063. I have then endeavored to equalize the sections as far as possible between the two ends of the State. I endeavored to form a district at the south end as near as possible to that at the north end, arriving at 31,382, a little small. The next, therefore will find this compensated, as it is a little too large. Beginning thus at the other end of the State you have 34,786. The next formed at the other end is a little too large. I found it utterly impossible to district the State to keep up the idea of what I conceived to be equality between the sections of the State and at the same time equality in the districts. To attain the one it is absolutely necessary, unless you split a county in two, to go from one end to the other, alternate, and where there is a deficiency to compensate in the next district formed, which will be that joining to it. How far that has been accomplished it is for the house to judge. I have done the best I could. I think this report comes nearer to it in the meaning of carrying along the two features than the majority report. But while up, the gentleman from Wood thought there was only a few hundred difference in these sections. Some gentleman has done me the kindness to make a calculation. At the north end of the State the first, second and third districts amount to 97,736, and three districts at the other end of the State amount to 104,273.
MR. LAMB. There is a mistake in the addition of a thousand.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I referred to the smallest and the ratio. I did not refer to the aggregate.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. It is ninety-seven against one hundred and three. That makes a difference of six thousand and upwards thrown on one end of the State, which I propose to take and throw on the other end.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Mr. President, I have something more to say on this question in view of what I said to-day; but as the subject has been pretty well ventilated I apprehend that every member understands the whole aspect of it in every possible bearing almost. I am content to waive any further remarks if that is done by others. I would simply say in answer to the gentleman from Kanawha that arranging these districts so as to balance north and south is not all that is required. We may very soon have a question between east and west. We do not know. So that it ought to be balanced that way whether it is or not. But I am willing the vote should be taken, and as it is near our hour of adjournment, take the vote and go home. If, however, debate is to be reopened, I want to have a chance at it.
MR. CALDWELL. Before a vote is taken I would like to call attention of the members of the district of which my county of Marshall forms a part. This minority report makes the fifth district embrace over 7,000 more than some other districts - the second district, and 6,000 more than the first district, and, sir, some 8,000 more than the 10th district. I protest, sir, as representing part of Marshall county against the injustice of this arrangement of the senatorial districts so far as Marshall is concerned. I cannot but think there is marked injustice in it. I much prefer the report of the committee. The equalizations there, according to my view of the matter are much nearer at least to a fair apportionment than in the report of the minority. I merely rose to call the attention of the members.
Mr. Ruffner occupied the chair.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I desire to call attention of the members to the fact that while it is true these districts have large excess, fractions, the counties are very compact, all join each other and all except Marion are river counties. They are homogeneous. While Kanawha county, which is its offset has 37,911. There is only about a thousand difference, and we cannot get a county less than that.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. To reconcile the gentleman from Kanawha, there are three classes - lower, upper and middle. If you look at the middle class, of which my county is one, my district is 34,976; and I make no complaint because it is as near the prin- ciple as we can possibly come. We cannot make any classification anything like it, and I think we are willing to submit to this report. The gentleman complains because there are a few thousand surplus in the lower end, when we have as many in the middle as he has, and a little more, he ought to be satisfied.
The question was. taken on Mr. Brown's substitute, and it was rejected.
The question recurring on the fourth section of the majority report, it was adopted.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I move we adjourn, Mr. President.
The motion was agreed to and the Convention adjourned.
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Chapter Eleven: First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia