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erty, must take place, before our governments can be moved from their republican basis, unless they be violently struck off by military power. The people possess the property, more emphatically than it could ever be said of the people of any other country, and they can have no interest to overturn a government which protects that property by equal laws.

If the nature of our institutions be to found government on property, and that it should look to those who hold property for its protection, it is entirely just that property should have its due weight and consideration, in political arrangements. Life, and personal liberty, are, no doubt, to be protected by law; but property is also to be protected by law, and is the fund out of which the means for protecting life and liberty are usually furnished. We have no experience that teaches us that any other rights are safe, where property is not safe. Confiscation and plunder, are generally in revolutionary commotions not far before banishment, imprisonment, and death. It would be monstrous to give even the name of government, to any association in which the rights of property should not be competently secured. The disastrous revolutions which the world has witnessed, those political thunderstorms and earthquakes which have overthrown the pillars of society, from their very deepest foundations, have been revolutions against property.-Since the honorable member from Quincy (President Adams) has alluded, on this occasion, to the history of the ancient states, it would be presumption in me to dwell upon it. It may be truly said, however, I think, that Rome herself is an example of the mischievous influence of the popular power, when disconnected with property, and in a corrupt age. It is true, the arm of Cæsar prostrated her liberty; but Cæsar found his support within her very walls. Those who were profligate and necessitous, and factious and desperate, and capable therefore of being influenced by bribes and largesses, which were distributed with the utmost prodigality, outnumbered, and out voted, in the tribes and centuries, the substantial, sober, prudent and faithful citizens. Property was in the hands of one description of men, and power in those of another; and the balance of the constitution was destroyed. Let it never be forgotten, that it was the popular magistrates, elevated to office where the bad outnumbered the good,— where those who had no stake in the commonwealth, by clamor, and noise, and numbers, drowned the voice of those who had,-that laid the neck of Rome at the feet of her conqueror. When Cæsar, manifesting a disposition to march his army into Italy, approached that little stream, which has become so memorable, from its association with his character and conduct, a decree was proposed in the senate, declaring him a public enemy, if he did not disband his troops. To this decree the popular tribunes, the sworn protectors of the people, interposed their negative; and thus opened the high road of Italy, and the gates of Rome herself, to the approach of her conqueror.

The English revolution of 1688 was a revolution in favor of properly, as well as of other rights. It was brought about by the men of property, for their security; and our own immortal revolution was undertaken, not to shake or plunder property, but to protect it. The acts of which the country complained, were such as violated rights of property. An immense majority of all those who had an interest

in the soil, were in favor of the revolution; and they carried it through, looking to its results for the security of their possessions. It was the property of the frugal yeomanry of New England, hard earned, but freely given, that enabled her to act her proper part, and perform her full duty, in achieving the independence of the country.

I would not be thought, Mr. Chairman, to be among those who underrate the value of military service. My heart beats, I trust, as responsive as any one's, to a soldier's claim for honor and renown. It has ever been my opinion, however, that while celebrating the military achievements of our countrymen, in the revolutionary contest, we have not always done equal justice to the merits, and the sufferings, of those, who sustained, on their property, and on their means of subsistence, the great burden of the war. Any one, who has had occasion to be acquainted with the records of the New England towns, knows well how to estimate those merits, and those sufferings. Nobler records of patriotism exist nowhere. Nowhere can there be found higher proofs of a spirit, that was ready to hazard all, to pledge all, to sacrifice all, in the cause of the country. Instances were not unfrequent, in which small freeholders parted with their last hoof, and the last measure of corn from their granaries, to supply provision for the troops, and hire service for the ranks. The voice of OTIS and of ADAMS in Faneuil Hall, found its full and true echo, in the little councils of the interior towns; and if within the Continental Congress patriotism shone more conspicuously, it did not there exist more truly, nor burn more fervently; it did not render the day more anxious, or the night more sleepless; it sent up no more ardent prayer to God, for succour; and it put forth in no greater degree, the fullness of its effort and the energy of its whole soul, and spirit, in the common cause, than it did in the small assemblies of the towns. I cannot, therefore, sir, agree that it is in favor of society, or in favor of the people, to constitute government, with an entire disregard to those who bear the public burdens in times of great exigency. This question has been argued, as if it were proposed only to give an advantage to a few rich men. I do not so understand it. I consider it as giving property, generally, a representation in the Senate, both because it is just that it should have such representation, and because it is a convenient mode of providing that check, which the constitution of the legislature requires. I do not say that such check might not be found in some other provision; but this is the provision already established, and it is, in my opinion, a just and proper one.

I will beg leave to ask, sir, whether property may not be said to deserve this portion of respect and power in the government? It pays, at this moment, I think, five sixths of all the public taxes;one sixth only being raised on persons. Not only, sir, do these taxes support those burdens which all governments require, but we have, in New England, from early times holden property to be subject to another great public use;—I mean the support of SCHOOLS.

In this particular we may be allowed to claim a merit of a very high and peculiar character. This commonwealth, with other of the New England states, early adopted, and has constantly maintained the principle, that it is the undoubted right, and the bounden duty

of government, to provide for the instruction of all youth. That which is elsewhere left to chance, or to charity, we secure by law. For the purpose of public instruction, we hold every man subject to taxation, in proportion to his property, and we look not to the question, whether he, himself, have or have not children to be benefited by the education for which he pays. We regard it as a wise and liberal system of police, by which property, and life, and the peace of society are secured. We seek to prevent, in some measure, the extension of the penal code, by inspiring a salutary and conservative principle of virtue, and of knowledge, in an early age. We hope to excite a feeling of respectability, and a sense of character, by enlarging the capacity, and increasing the sphere of intellectual enjoyment. By general instruction, we seek, as far as possible, to purify the whole moral atmosphere; to keep good sentiments uppermost, and to turn the strong current of feeling and opinion, as well as the censures of the law, and the denunciations of religion, against immorality and crime. We hope for a security, beyond the law, and above the law, in the prevalence of enlightened and well principled moral sentiment. We hope to continue and to prolong the time, when, in the villages and farm houses of New England, there may be undisturbed sleep, within unbarred doors. And knowing that our government rests directly on the public will, that we may preserve it, we endeavour to give a safe and proper direction to that public will. We do not, indeed, expect all men to be philosophers, or statesmen; but we confidently trust, and our expectation of the duration of our system of government rests on that trust, that by the diffusion of general knowledge, and good and virtuous sentiments, the political fabric may be secure, as well against open violence and overthrow, as against the slow but sure undermining of licentiousness.

We know, sir, that at the present time an attempt is making in the English Parliament to provide by law for the education of the poor, and that a gentleman of distinguished character, (Mr. Brougham) has taken the lead, in presenting a plan to government for carrying that purpose into effect. And yet, although the representatives of the three kingdoms listened to him with astonishment as well as delight, we hear no principles with which we ourselves have not been familiar from youth; we see nothing in the plan, but an approach towards that system which has been established, in this state, for more than a century and a half. It is said, that in England, not more than one child in fifteen, possesses the means of being taught to read and write; in Wales, one in twenty; in France, until lately, when some improvement was made, not more than one in thirty-five. Now, sir, it is hardly too strong to say, that in this state, every child possesses such means. It would be difficult to find an instance to the contrary, unless where it was owing to the negligence of the parentand in truth the means are actually used and enjoyed by nearly every A youth of fifteen, of either sex, who cannot both read and write, is very unfrequently to be found. How many such can any member of this convention remember to have met with in ten years? Sir, who can make this comparison, or contemplate this spectacle, without delight, and a feeling of just pride? And yet, sir, what is it but the property of the rich, devoted, by law, to the education of


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the poor, which has produced this state of things? Does any history show property more beneficently applied? Did any government ever subject the property of those who have estates, to a burden, for a purpose more favorable to the poor, or more useful to the whole community? Sir, property and the power which the law exercises over it, for the purpose of instruction, is the basis of the system. It is entitled to the respect and protection of government, because, in a very vital respect, it aids and sustains government. The honorable member from Worcester, in contending for the admission of the mere popular principle in all branches of the government, told us, that our system rested on the intelligence of the community. He told us truly. But allow me, sir, to ask the honorable gentleman, what, but property, supplies the means of that intelligence? What living fountain feeds this ever-flowing, ever-refreshing, ever-fertilizing stream, of public instruction and general intelligence? If we take away from the towns the power of assessing taxes on property, will the school houses remain open? If we deny to the poor, the benefit which they now derive from the property of the rich, will their children remain on their forms, or will they not, rather, be in the streets, in idleness and in vice?

I might ask again, sir, how is it with religious instruction? Do not the towns and parishes, raise money, by vote of the majority, assessed on property, for the maintenance of religious worship? Are not the poor, as well as the rich benefited by the means of attending on public worship, and do they not, equally with the rich, possess a voice and vote, in the choice of the minister, and in all other parish concerns? Does any man, sir, wish to try the experiment, of striking out of the constitution the regard which it has hitherto maintained for property, and of foregoing also, the extraordinary benefit which society among us, for near two centuries, has derived, from laying the burden of religious and literary instruction of all classes upon property? Does any man wish to see those only worshipping God, who are able to build churches and maintain ministers for themselves; and those children only educated, whose parents possess the means of educating them? Sir, it is as unwise as it is unjust, to make property an object of jealousy. Instead of being, in any just sense, a popular course, such a course would be most injurious and destructive to the best interests of the people. The nature of our laws sufficiently secures us against any dangerous accumulations; and, used and diffused as we have it, the whole operation of property is in the highest degree useful, both to the rich and to the poor. I rejoice, sir, that every man in this community may call all property his own, so far as he has occasion for it, to furnish for himself and his children the blessings of religious instruction and the elements of knowledge. This celestial, and this earthly light, he is entitled to by the fundamental laws. It is every poor man's undoubted birthright, it is the great blessing which this constitution has secured to him, it is his solace in life, and it may well be his consolation in death, that his country stands pledged, by the faith which it has plighted to all its citizens, to protect his children from ignorance, barbarism and vice.

I will now proceed to ask, sir, whether we have not seen, and

whether we do not at this moment see, the advantage and benefit of giving security to property, by this and all other reasonable and just provisions? The constitution has stood, on its present basis, forty years. Let me ask, what state has been more distinguished for wise and wholesome legislation? I speak, sir, without the partiality of a native, and also without intending the compliment of a stranger; and I ask, what example have we had of better legislation? No violent measures affecting property, have been attempted.-Stop laws, suspension laws, tender laws, all the tribe of these arbitrary and tyrannical interferences between creditor and debtor, which, wheresoever practised, generally end in the ruin of both, are strangers to our statute book. An upright and intelligent judiciary has come in aid of wholesome legislation; and general security, for public and private rights, has been the result. I do not say that this is peculiar-I do not say that others have not done as well. It is enough, that in these respects we shall be satisfied that we are not behind our neighbours. No doubt, sir, there are benefits of every kind, and of great value, in possessing a character of government, both in legislative and judicial administration, which secures well the rights of property; and we should find it so, by unfortunate experience, should that character be lost. There are millions of personal property, now in this commonwealth, which are easily transferable, and would be instantly transferred elsewhere, if any doubt existed of its entire security. I do not know how much of this stability of government, and of the general respect for it, may be fairly imputed to this particular mode of organizing the senate. It has, no doubt, had some effect-It has shown a respect for the rights of property, and may have operated on opinion, as well as upon measures. Now, to strike out and obliterate it, as it seems to me, would be in a high degree unwise and improper.

As to the right of apportioning senators upon this principle, I do not understand how there can be a question about it. All government is a modification of general principles, and general truths, with a view to practical utility. Personal liberty, for instance, is a clear right, and is to be provided for; but it is not a clearer right than the right of property, though it may be more important. It is therefore entitled to protection. But property is also to be protected; and when it is remembered, how great a portion of the people of this state possess property, I cannot understand how its protection or its influence is hostile to their rights and privileges.

For these reasons, sir, I am in favor of maintaining that check, in the constitution of the legislature, which has so long existed there. I understand the gentleman from Worcester, (Mr. Lincoln) to be in favor of a check, but it seems to me he would place it in the wrong House. Besides, the sort of check he proposes, appears to me to be of a novel nature, as a balance in government. He proposes to choose the senators according to the number of inhabitants; and to choose representatives, not according to that number, but in proportions greatly unequal in the town coporations. It has been stated to result from computation, and I do not understand it is denied, that, on his system, a majority of the representatives will be chosen by towns not containing one third part of the whole population

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