Tuesday, July 02, 2013

"Neither was it the work of the mushroom politicians of the present day"

   "The constitution of Maryland, which has been denounced here as so odious, so abominable, so atrociously oppressive upon the people of the State, that they would be justified in rising, with arms in their hands, to destroy it by violence, is no royal charter, conceding to the people a few poor privileges--nor an admission of rights, extorted by rebellion from despotic power. Neither was it the work of the mushroom politicians of the present day, who are springing up all over the land, ready and anxious to engage in a patriotic scuffle for those spoils of victory which are too often the object of conventions, and such reforms as aim at whole systems of government. Agitators, in all periods of the world's history, have generally had an appetite for office which swallowed up their zeal for principle. It was not by such men that the constitution of Maryland was formed, but by the heroes and sages of 1776, the conscript fathers of our State, who pledged life, fortune, and sacred honor, for the achievement of their country's freedom, and who nobly redeemed that pledge.
   "When this traduced constitution was formed, it received the general approbation of the gallant men who were then engaged in an unequal and perilous strife for the vindication of those rights of the people which my colleague seems to think they misunderstood so strangely. When its provisions were read to one of the signers of the declaration of independence, and particularly that one which fixes the organization of the Senate, he exclaimed "it is virgin gold."
   "The framers of our constitution did not consider political power as the sole end and aim of Government. They endeavored to establish such institutions as would secure the welfare of society, and maintain inviolable the rights of person and of property. Under the constitution thus formed, with occasional alterations, the State has flourished for sixty years, with as few, perhaps fewer, abuses of government than have fallen to the lot of other communities in the same period. The people have been insensible of any thing like tyranny or oppression. In general, mild and wholesome laws have been enacted; the Executive has been guilty neither of corruption nor of extravagance--while justice has been equally dispensed by an honest, able, and independent Judiciary...."--Mr. PEARCE, of Maryland, Jan. 25, 1837, U.S. House of Representatives, Admission of Michigan, [Pgs. 1495-96]

   "Mr. BELL begged the indulgence of the House for a few moments, to give the reasons why he had thought proper to propound such an interrogatory.
   "He would state, in the first place, that he would not have done so had he not considered it material, under the course of examination pursued on the trial of Mr. Whitney towards his (Mr. B's) colleague, [Mr. Peyton,] and towards his honorable friend from Virginia, [Mr. Wise.] The House well knew that those gentlemen had been, in fact, the parties against whom charges had been brought. It had been alleged that their conduct had been exceptionable, on the ground that they carried firearms about their persons; and Mr. B. had propounded this interrogatory to show that there existed extraordinary grounds for their doing so; that there were extraordinary reasons for their wearing arms about their persons constantly, every day, in coming to and going from that House, in coming to and going from their committees; and that they could not conceive they could safely walk the streets, in justice to themselves and their families, without bearing arms upon their persons. They had had the evidence of this course of denunciation for some time past, and this interrogatory was propounded with the expectation, that either from the gentleman then under examination, or from some other honorable member of that House, and, perhaps, from other witnesses, this fact could be proven.
   "The interrogatory proposed to inquire whether the President, upon more than one occasion, had not said, in relation to those gentlemen, members of the House, that they should be, or ought to he, chastised in the public streets for their conduct towards Mr. Whitney; and that be particularly used the word "Houstonized," as expressed in that interrogatory. Now, if that be true, if it be true that the executive head of these United States was in the habit of denouncing members of House in such terms, and pending the transactions which have been the foundation of the present proceedings, was it not important to these gentlemen, as a justification of their course on that occasion, and on any other occasion, that they should bear firearms about their persons? Besides, it should be borne in mind that this was General Jackson who made this declaration, if what is alleged be true. It was not a private individual, but the President of the United States, the dispenser of all patronage of the Government, who had more influence, more power, than belonged to most crowned heads. Mr. B. appealed to members whether that was not a material inquiry in reference to the transaction in the committee, and the alleged ground of defence of the gentlemen from Virginia and Tennessee in carrying firearms."--Feb. 20, 1837, U.S. House of Representatives, Case of R.M. Whitney. [Pg. 1876]

   "To retain it in the Treasury, unemployed in any way, is impracticable. It is, besides, against the genius of our free institutions to lock up in vaults the treasure of the nation. To take from the people the right of bearing arms, and put their weapons of defence in the hands of a standing army, would be scarcely more dangerous to their liberties, than to permit the Government to accumulate immense amounts of treasure beyond the supplies necessary to its legitimate wants. Such a treasure would doubtless be employed at some time, as it has been in other countries, when opportunity tempted ambition."--President Andrew Jackson, MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, To Both Houses Of Congress, At the commencement of the Second Session of the Twenty-fourth Congress. [APPENDIX TO Gales & Seaton's Register. Pg. 3.]


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