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FRIDAY, January 14, 1853.
Committee on the Judiciary.
On Education, School and University Lands. Messrs. Wakely, Alban and Whittlesey.
On Finance. Messrs. Whittlesey, Miller and Smith.
On Claims. Messrs. Smith, McLane and Prentice.
On Incorporations. Messrs. Sharpstein, Reed and Alban.
On Internal Improvements. Messrs. Hunter, Pinkney and Vittum.
On Roads and Bridges. Messrs. Sterling, Brown and Bovee.
On Town and County Organization. Messrs. Bovee, Bashford and Weil.
On Militia. Messrs. Pinkney, Briggs and Bowen.
On Agriculture and Manufactures. Messrs. McLane, Prentice and Dunn.
On Expiration and Re-ennactment of Lare. Messrs. Lewis, Reed and Hunter.
On Legislative Expenditures. Messrs. Alban, Vittum and Sharpstein.
On State Affairs. Messrs. Blair, Squires and Miller.
On Public Printing. Messrs. Miller, Briggs and Cary.
On Contingent Expenditures. Messrs. Allen, Smith and Bashford.
On Banks and Banking. Messrs. Cary, Whittlesey and Dunn.
On Public Lands. Messrs. Vittum, Prentice and McLane,
On Enrolled Bils. Messrs. Squires, Bovee and Cary.
On Engrossed Bills. Messrs. Stewart, Blair and Hunter.
On Privileges and Elections Messrs. Weil, Pinkney and Sterling
Mr. Cary introduced the following memorial, which was read and referred to the Judiciary committee:
ELECTORAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN.
To the Honorable the Senate and Assembly
Of the Legislature of Wisconsin:
The Memorial of the undersigned respectfully represents,—That at a Meeting of the Presidential Electorial College of Wisconsin, in the Capitol at this place, on the 1st ultimo, the following RESOLUTION was unanimously adopted, constituting the undersigned its organ for a specific purpose—as will be more fully seen by reference to the printed proceedings of the College, a pamphlet copy of which will be furnished to each member of your Honorable Bodies; viz:
“ Resolved, That the Honorable the Legislature be requested to make provisions by law for preserving a permanent record of the proceedings of the Electoral College of this State, at each quadrennial meeting of that body, commencing with 1848, and for defraying the actual and neccessary expenditures attending such meetings; and, also, that the President of this College be deputed to
communicate with the Legislature, in such manner as he may deem most appropriate, for the furtherance of that object."
And in fulfilment of the agency thus conferred, the undersigned begs respectfully to invite the attention of the Honorable the Legislature to the expediency the necessity, indeed . of further legislation, for securing a permanent record of the votes and proceedings of the Electoral College of this State, at its quadrennial meetings, inclusive of those of the College of 1848 .. provided an authentic transcript of its proceedings in that year can be obtained.
By the Constitution of the United State and the laws of Congress,
it is enjoined upon each State to “appoint, in such manner as the legislature may direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress ;” but it is left to the legislative authority of the States, to devise suitable forms of proceedure for giving effect to these organic provisions. And in the early practice of the State, many of the Legislatures assumed to themselves the direct “appointment” of the Electors and which method is still adhered to by one at least of the original members of the confederacy: And although the choice of electors in the other states is by a popular vote of the people, yet that choice is effected by general ticket in all cases, thus preserving the unity of State acaction, and recognizing the reserved sovereignty of State authority.
From this glance at the provisions of the federal constitution and the laws of Congress that have a bearing on the question, and the early action of the State under that authority, it seems clear to the mind of the undersigned, and he trusts it will prove equally so to the perceptions of the Honorable the Legislature, that it was the intention of the founders of the national government that the Electoral College should be constituted as a State Board, of whose acts and proceedings it is as obligatory upon the Executive and Legislative authority of the State to take cognizance and preserve a re
cord, as of any other legally constituted representative body within the State, invested with a portion of the sovereign power of the people thereof.
And in accordance with these views of the matter, the Legislature of the State of Wisconsin has enacted statutes intended, no doubt, to give effect to the national laws in this regard: But the test of experience has proved that further legislation is requisite; for although our State law directs that a quadrennial election of electors shall be held—that the Board of Electors shall convene at the State Capitol at the time designated by the constitution, and cast their votes for President and Vice President of the United States ---and that a per diem and mileage shall be paid to the electors for such service ;-yet no legal authority exists for defraying other and inevitable expenditures incident to the Sessions of the Board, or for keeping a record of its proceedings.
And believing that the State authorities should not, in so important a matter as the election of the Chief Executive Officer of the Republic, abate one jot or tittle of their prerogative as the depositary of the sovereign rights of the people, by any omission of forms of procedure material in the assertion and maintenance of that prerogative, the undersigned begs leave, in the name and on behalf of the Electoral College of the State, respectfully to request, that your Honorable Bodies will be pleased, at your present Session, to pass an act amendatory of the present laws on the subject, so as to provide for publishing the votes and transactions of the Electoral Board at each quadrennial meeting, and for preserving a permanent record of the same among the archives of the State ; as, also, for defraying the actual and indispensable expenditures attending its Sessions. And, as in duty bound, &c.
PHILO WHITE, President of the Electoral College of Wisconsin, 1852. MADISON, January 12, 1853.
Mr. Hunter presented the account of John White, against the State,
Which was referred to the Committee on Claims.
Whereas, Resolutions were passed at the Session of the Legislature of this state in 1819, instructing our Senators and Representatives in Congress, upon the subject of Slavery; and, whereas, we believe whatever real or immaginary necessity there may have been for such action then, at the present time, those instructions are not only unnecessary, but impolitic and unwise, and have a direct tendency to lessen the influence of our State abroad, and to embarrass the action of our Senators and Representatives in Congress. And whereas we believe that the time has arrived when all sectional jealousies and differences should be obliterated, and every good citizen of the Republic, should lend his most efficient aid in strengthening and perpetuating the glorious compact by which the States are now united.
Resolved by the Senate and Assembly of the State of Wisconsin, That all instructions to our Senators and Representatives in Congress, relative to Slavery, contained in the resolutions, aforesaid, passed at the Session of the Legislature of 1849, are hereby rescinded.
Which were read, and referred to a select committee of three, consisting of Messrs. Vittum, Miller and Sharpstein.
Mr. Stewart introduced the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk be instructed to procure from the person having the contract for the incidental printing, five hundred copies of the Governor's message, and accompanying documents, in pamphlet form, for the use of the Senate.
Which was adopted.
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk be authorized to procure fifteen hundred copies of the Wisconsin Banner, containing the Governor's Message in the German language for the use of the Senate at a cost not exceeding ten cents per copy.