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Proceedings and Debates of the 1850 Constitutional Convention
Volume 101, Volume 1, Debates 122   View pdf image
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Mr. MERRICK expressed surprise at the reluc-
tance of the House to come to a direct vote. He
had not expected that any opposition would have
risen, or he would not have reported these reso-
lutions. He was astonished when some gentle-
men say they were not prepared to vote. He
felt apprehensive that there was something be-
hind, which he was unable to comprehend. It
was the desire of the committee that the House
should say if they would adopt either of the basis
in the resolutions. He believed that every gen-
tleman was prepared to give his vote, that the

opinions of all were made up on the subject be-
fore they came to the Convention; — and all that
the committee asked was that this opinion should
be expressed by the House. He did not believe
any gentleman on this floor was influenced by
fear. It was necessary that the House should
agree as to the basis, and having settled this
great controling principle, the committee would
be able to agree on a report. Then the subse-
quent action of the House also would be render-
ed easy. It will become a mere matter of figures
if numbers should be decided on, and if not, it
would be a plan of compromise. The settlement
of the question by the Convention would also
have the effect of settling public opinion on this
Mr. TUCK. I call for a division on the amend-
ment. It is nothing more nor leas than an affir-
mation of that which the committee have called
upon us to deny.
Mr. PRESSTMAN suggested that his amendment
was not susceptible of division. It would be
seen that it required the population basis in the
House, and a mixed basis in the Senate. The
two basis were embraced in one proposition, in
order that they might not beseparated. He wished
to have the sense of the House on the basis of
population in the House of Representatives, and
of territory and population in the Senate, and he
thought the two propositions could not be divi-
ded. He would withdraw his amendment.
The PRESIDENT (in reply to the enquiry of Mr.
PRESSTMAN) stated that the amendment offeree
by him, (Mr. P.,) was divisable.
Mr. PRESSTMAN. Then 1 withdraw it.
Mr. BLAKISTONE. I then offer the first part ol
that amendment as my own proposition.
The amendment was as follows :

" That the committee on representation and
apportionment be requested to report a plan ol
apportionment and representation, making num-
bers the basis of representation to the House o:

Mr. CHAMBERS, of Kent. I suggest to the
gentleman (Mr. BLAKISTONE) to modify th£ pro-
position so far as to introduce the word " exclu-
Mr. BLAKISTONE modified the amendment ac
cordingly, and demanded the previous question
Mr. JOHNSON called for the reading of the
amendment, which was again read.

Some conversation followed <m n puiiit U

Mr. BROWN enquired of the PRESIDENT wha

would be the question if the previous question
was sustained ?
The PRESIDENT said that under the rule as
amepded, the question would be simply on the
amendment of the gentleman from St. Mary's,
The question was taken, and by ayes 41, noes
34, the previous question was seconded. And
the main question was ordered to be now taken.
Mr. SPENCER asked the yeas and nays on the
amendment, which were ordered.
Mr. BRENT, or Baltimore city. 1 move Inst
he Convention now adjourn.
Mr. GWINN. I ask the yeas and nays.
Mr. BOWIE. I rise to a point of order. Is it
n order for any gentleman to move an adjourn-
ment when the Chair U in the act of putting a
question ?
The PRESIDENT. The Chair had put the ques-
Mr. BOWIE. The yeas and nays have been
The PRESIDENT. Yes, but the Secretary had
not commenced calling the roll. The motion to
adjourn is a privileged motion, and may be made
at any time except when the Convention is in the
act of dividing or of taking a question.
The question then recurred on ordering the
yeas and nays on the motion to adjourn.
The yeas and nays, the PRESIDENT said, wer«
Mr. BRENT. There are two more up.
The PRESIDENT. It is too late.
The question was then taken, and the House
refused to adjourn-
The question then recurred and was taken on
the amendment of Mr. BLAKISTONE, and was de-
cided in the negative, as folllows :
Affirmative. — Messrs. Buchanan, Bell, Welch,
Thomas, Shriver. Johnson, Gaither, Biser, An-
nan, McHenry, Gwinn, Brent, of Baltimore city,
Presstman, Ware, Parke, Shower and Brown-
Negative. — Messrs. Chapman, President, Mor-
gan, Blakistone, Dent, Hopewell, Ricaud, Cham-
bers, of Kent, Donaldson, Dorsey, Wells, Ran-
dall, Sellman, Dalrymple, Bond, Sollers, Brent,
of Charles, Merrick, Jenifer, Ridgely, Lloyd,
Dickinson, Colston, John Dennis, James U. Den-
nis, Crisfield, Dashiell, Williams, Hicks, Hod-
son, Phelps, Miller, McLane, Bowie, Tuck,
Sprigg, Bowling, Spencer, Wright, McMaster,
Hearn, Fooks, Jacobs, Sappington, Stephenson,
Nelson, Thawley, Hardcastle, Schley, Fiery,
• John Newcomer, Harbine, Davis, Brewer, Wa-
ters, Weber, Holliday, Slicer, Fitzpatrick,
Smith, and Cockey— 60.
So the amendment was rejected; and, there-
upon the Convention adjourned.

SATURDAY, January 25, 1851.

The Convention met at eleven; o'clock.
Trayer was made by the Key. Mr. GRIFFITH.
The roll was called, and a quorum was pres-