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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 48   View pdf image (33K)
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Legislature meets and where the Governor
resides, and where the archives are depos-
ited :—all of which combine to enjoin upon
us that we should here meet and continue our
sessions at the capital of the State unless there
can be shown some great controlling necessity,
for removing. If there were a military ne-
cessity, for instance, I should have no objec-
tion in the world to moving to another point,
and least of all should I have any objection
to moving to Baltimore city.
In conclusion, allow me to make a sugges-
tion upon one point to which the gentleman
from Anne Arundel has not adverted, but
which I wish he had alluded to; and it is
this: I do not profess to be so intimately ac-
quainted with the laws regulating the muni-
cipal affairs of Baltimore city as to be able to
determine the powers of the City Council.
But reasoning from analogy, I do not pre-
sume that the City Council have any author-
ity to expend money for outside purposes any
more that the local authorities of the counties
have. The State has gone to work and at
great expense has fitted up a State House, and
has rendered it the equal of" most such struc-
tures in the country, and provided fur us here
every necessary convenience, with the obvious
intent that it should be used for all appro-
priate State purposes. Our removal wilt ne-
cessitate the abandonment of this building,
and involve a large and useless expenditure
for accommodations in Baltimore.
If we move to Baltimore, is there any gen-
tleman in this Convention that is willing to
let the people of Baltimore city be taxed for a
necessary State expense to be incurred by
our removing there? We, of Prince George's,
do not wish to be excused from bearing our
share of the burden of taxation for any ex-
penses which this Convention shall think ad-
visable and necessary for the people of this
State to defray. If we go there at all, it
seems to me that we ought to go there upon
the idea that it is necessary, and not because
we are invited, in my judgment it would
seriously detract from our dignity were we to
consent to remove to Baltimore, in the exer-
cise of a doubtful power, merely because the
city offers to rid other sections of the State of
their share of the just expense to be incurred
by the removal. Certainly, if the action of
the City Council is unwarranted by law, in
taxing the citizens of Baltimore for our bene-
fit, the Constitutional Convention, sitting at
the very foundation of all law, ought to be
the last body to excuse and abate that action
on the part of the City Council. We should
protect the tax payers of the city against the
generosity of their own Council.
Mr. BERRY, of Baltimore county. I would
like to ask, in answer to the invitation which
has been extended to this Convention by the
Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, if a
hall has been obtained, and if so, where and
what hall?
Mr. EVANS, (chairman of committee.) A
ball has not yet been actually obtained. The
hall to which we have directed our attention
is Odd Fellows' Hall, situated in Gay street,
not very fair north of Baltimore street. We
have no doubt about getting that, although
formal application has not been made. If
unexpectedly we should fail there, we could
get a hall in the Law Buildings, in which the
Superior Court of Baltimore County holds its
sessions, which has three rooms attached to
it, and which can be fitted up, I understand,
quite as well as this room. Or the New As-
sembly Rooms could be got I suppose; but
probably would not be so convenient as either
of the others, not being so well supplied with
committee rooms.
Mr. BERRY, of Baltimore county. I shall
oppose the removal of this Convention from
the city of Annapolis to any place in the
State of Maryland, although I am thankful
for the courtesy which has been extended to
the Convention by the Mayor and City Coun-
cil of Baltimore In answer to the question
which I put, whether a hall had been ob-
tained, and if so where, and what, I under-
stand the statement to be that none has been
obtained. It is expected that Odd Fellows'
Hall can be obtained. I wish that my col-
league who sits on my left were present to-
day (Mr. Ridgely;) he would satisfy this
Convention that under no circumstances can
Odd Fellows' Hall be obtained. There is a
standing law which precludes any body ex-
cepting those connected with the Odd Fellows
from using that hall. My information is
from my colleague, who is Grand Secretary
in the Grand Lodge of the United States of
Odd Fellows. So much for Odd Fellows'
In regard to the Law Buildings, it is such
a small and poor place that no one attempts
to call an assembly there unless driven to it
by necessity, it has no conveniences it is
a small concert room. it is not as capable of
answering the wants and requirements of this
Convention as this beautiful Hall
The Assembly Rooms, the gentleman in-
forms us, may possibly be obtained, but prob-
ably not. If the possibility should overcome
the probability, it is a most noisy place, and
would not suit the Convention.
I do not discover, therefore, that the invi-
tation which has been extended to us is any-
thing more than, as my friend remarked the
other evening, formal.
The points which have been attempted to
be made by gentlemen on this floor, have
been accommodation and convenience, against
inconvenience and expense. We yet have no
knowledge that we can have any accommo-
dation in Baltimore. We yet have no know-
ledge that we can have any convenience there.
Now what is the inconvenience of this place?
A convention of the people assembled here in
the year 1850. I had the honor in 1858 to

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 48   View pdf image (33K)
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