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Proceedings and Debates of the 1850 Constitutional Convention
Volume 101, Volume 2, Debates 636   View pdf image
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captivating. By the time the jury cases are
through, the lawyers get tired and the judge?
Wish to go to their farms. And consequently
the old chancery cases are continued. There
was a case in Charles County where a chancery
case had been pending eighteen or nineteen
years. It was brought before one of the associ-
ate judges of the court, and was decided upon
the ground that old transactions ought not to be
ripped up, and he therefore dismissed the case,
after it bad been eighteen years on the docket.
What is to become of these cases? Transfer
them to the chancery court, and new life is in-
fused into them. I think the true plan would
be to give the chancery court jurisdiction over
the whole State; and to give to the county courts
power over all matters of summary equity juris-
diction, and thus much expense may be saved.
I know that I can sit in my office, Baltimore
city, and have a complete transcript of all the
papers filed in any case at Annapolis, merely at
the cost of postage. I receive a copy of the bill
and every other paper the moment it is filed in
the high court of chancery, and I can prepare
the whole case, argue the case by note, without
coming to Annapolis.
The amendment was rejected,
The question recurred upon the amendment
moved by Mr. Howard.
Mr. MCLANE. Before the question is taken,
I wish to inquire whether, if the resolution is
passed, it will then be competent to alter the
present mode of appointment.
Mr. HOWARD. I think so. I offer it with that
view. It only looks to the establishment of the
Mr. MCMASTER demanded the yeas and nays,
which were ordered, and being taken, resulted
—yeas 23, nays 53—as follows;
Affirmative.—Messrs. Chapman, Presid't, Mor-
gan, Blakistone, Dent, Hopewell, Ricaud, Cham-
bers, of Kent, Donaldson, Dorsey, Wells, Randall,
Kent, Sellman, Brent, of Charles, Jenifer,
toward, Buchanan, Williams, Bowling, Grason,
Fooks, Davis and Brown—23.
Negative.—Messrs. Lee, Mitchell, Dalrymple,
Bond, Welch, Lloyd, Dickinson, Colston, John
Dennis, Dashiell, Hicks, Hodson, Goldsborough,
Eccleston, Chambers, of Cecil, Miller, McLane
Spencer, George, Dirickson, McMaster, Hearn
Jacobs, Johnson, Gaither, Biser, Annan, Sap-
pington, McHenry, Nelson, Carter, Thawley
Stewart, of Caroline, Gwinn, Stewart, of Balti-
more city, Brent, of Baltimore city, Sherwood
of Baltimore city, Schley, Fiery, Neill, John
Newcomer, Harbine, Kilgour, Brewer, Waters
Anderson, Weber, Holliday, Slicer, Smith
Parke, Shower and Cockey—53.
So the Convention refused to accept the substitute.

Mr. WRIGHT, when his name was called or
the yeas and nays just taken, rose in his seat
and stated that having paired off with Mr. Sprigg
on the question under consideration, he declined
Mr. RANDALL offered as a substitute for the
25th section, the following:
"The present chancellor and the register in
chancery, and in the event of any vacancy in
their respective offices, their successors in office
respectively, who are to be appointed as at pres-
ent by the Governor and Senate, shall continue
in office, with the powers and compensation as
at present established, until the expiration of
five years after the adoption of this constitution
by the people, and until the end of the session
of the Legislature next thereafter; after which
period the said offices of chancellor and register
shall be abolished. And the Legislature shall
in the meantime provide by law for the record-
ing, safe keeping or other disposition of the re-
cords, decrees and other proceedings, of the
court of chancery, and for the copying and al-
teration thereof, and for the custody and use of
the great seal of the State, when required after
the expiration of said five years, and for the
transmission to the said counties and the city of
Baltimore, all the causes and proceedings in
said court as may be then undisposed of and un-
finished, in such manner and under such regula-
tions as may be deemed necessary and proper."
Mr. RANDALL. I will state, sir, that this
amendment which I propose is identical with
the section for which it is proposed as a substitute,
with the exceptions I will now point out.
My amendment confers upon the chancery
court the power to continue its business until it is
abolished. If you continue the court in existence.
why should you lose the advantages of having
its jurisdiction to fall back upon as a court of relief,
in the event of your present system proving
inadequate to the exigencies of the people?
If the court is to be continued five years, let it
be continued with all the powers and advantages;
as you have the expenses of its continuance, en-
joy all its benefits. The object to be accomplished
by the continuance of the court for five years is,
to enable it to wind up its business, will not be
interfered with by its retaining all its powers for
that period. The new cases to be instituted will
all be such as will be terminated within that pe-
riod, so that the whole operation of this will be
to enable the people to have the benefit of an-
other tribunal, and, at the same time, lo accom-
plish the object of closing up the business of this
court within five years.
There are also some words inserted here which,
I respectfully submit, ought to have been insert-
ed in the printed bill. For instance: Provision is
here made for the preservation, attestation, and
copying of the papers remaining after the expi-
ration of five years. It must be necessary to have
such a provision as this, because otherwise the
records of this court cannot be copied and attested.
Most of the titles in this State are traced through
this court; and without the use of these records,
valuable muniments of title may be lost. What,
I ask, shall become of the great seal of this State,
now deposited in that court? This is another
omission in that section. No public or private
paper requiting it, could be attested without the
use of that great seal being properly provided for.
Provision is here made for its disposition by the
Legislature. The only point, it seems to me, in
this amendment, upon which there can be any

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1850 Constitutional Convention
Volume 101, Volume 2, Debates 636   View pdf image
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