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STATE OF MAINE.

WHEREAS We hold that "all men are born equally 2 free and independent, have certain natural and un3 alienable rights, among which are those of enjoying 4 and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, 5 and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtain6 ing safety and happiness,”—that the people are the 7 source of all legitimate power-that all governments 8 derive their just powers from the consent of the gov9 erned that in the people resides full and plenary 10 power to institute government, "to alter, reform or 11 totally change the same, whenever their safety and 12 happiness require it,"-and whereas, the constitution 13 of the United States guarantees to every State in 14 this Union "a republican form of government," and 15 provides that " in all criminal prosecutions, the accused 16 shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by 17 an impartial jury of the State and district, wherein 18 the crime shall have been committed,”—and that "no 19 person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, 20 without due process of law." Therefore

RESOLVED, That the sovereign power of a State is 2 inherent in the people, and all free governments are 3 founded in their authority, and instituted for their 4 benefit-that no man, or set of men are entitled to

5 superior or exclusive privileges in the institution and 6 support of government.

RESOLVED, That the sovereign power of the State 2 of Rhode Island is inherent in the people thereof, 3 and to them belongs the right to institute government, 4 to change or abolish the same as they may deem wise 5 and proper for their safety and happiness.

RESOLVED, That the constitution of Rhode Island 2 adopted by the people in December, 1841, is repub3 lican in its form and was rightfully adopted by a ma4 jority of the people thereof, and thereby became the 5 paramount law of the State, and as such was entitled 6 to the guaranty of the United States.

RESOLVED, That the interference of John Tyler, 2 President of the United States, in behalf of the late 3 charter government of Rhode Island, with the military 4 power of the Union, by which the popular govern5 ment of that State under the constitution adopted in 6 December, 1841, was suppressed, was unauthorized 7 by the constitution and laws of the United States, in 8 derogation of both, a dangerous usurpation of power, 9 and a wanton violation of the rights of the people of 10 Rhode Island.

RESOLVED, That in the recent popular movement in 2 the State of Rhode Island, we recognize in the per3 son of Thomas Wilson Dorr a bold and uncompro4 mising champion of the great American doctrines of 5 the Revolution, the able and stern defender of pop6 ular sovereignty, a noble son of a degenerate State,

7 now the victim of vindictively corrupt judges, and a S packed and partial jury.

RESOLVED, That the State of Maine, by her Leg2 islature, hereby enters her SOLEMN PROTEST 3 against the imprisonment of Thomas W. Dorr in the 4 State Prison in the State of Rhode Island by the 5 authorities thereof, as unjust, illegal, malignant and 6 tyrannical, unbecoming the age in which we live, and 7 deserving the marked disapprobation of the American 8 people, and in the opinion of this Legislature it is the 9 imperative duty of the general government to adopt 10 any and all legal and constitutional measures for his 11 immediate release.

RESOLVED, That the Governor be requested to cause 2 a copy of these resolves to be transmitted to the Pres

3 ident of the United States, to the Governors of the 4 several States, and to each of our Senators and Rep5 resentatives in Congress.

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MINORITY REPORT.

THE undersigned, a minority of the Joint Select Committee of the Legislature of Maine, to whom was referred certain resolutions of the State of New Hampshire, in relation to the imprisonment of Thomas W. Dorr, dissenting from some of the sentiments embodied in the resolutions reported by the majority of said committee, ask leave to

REPORT:

That they have given the subject a careful and candid consideration, and are of the opinion that the recent disturbances in the State of Rhode Island, were without sufficient justification on the part of Mr. Dorr and those who acted with him. In support of that position, we present the following well known facts, touching the recent difficulties in that State.

It was complained, that under the charter government some individuals were deprived of their political rights and privileges. That charter which was ACCEPTED by the people of Rhode Island "at a very great meeting and assembly of the freemen of the colony," had been her fundamental law nearly two hundred years, and under which she had enjoyed a great degree of prosperity under it she was carried through the revolution of '76—and she came into the Union under the constitution of the United States, as a State having, in the words of that instrument, "a republican form of government." In the year 1836, Mr. George Bancroft, a distinguished writer of American history, said in his history of the United States, that "nowhere in the world have life, liberty and property been safer than in Rhode Island."

Previous to the year 1841, the subject of a modification of the charter had been agitated and discussed by the Legislature of Rhode Island and by the people of that State. The principal grounds of complaint against the charter were, that to entitle a citizen to exercise the right of suffrage, he must possess a freehold estate of the value of one hundred and thirty-four dollars, or be the eldest son of such a voter, and that the State having increased in population, there existed some inequality in the representation of the popular branch of the Legislature.

The undersigned are of opinion that these objections were well founded, but deny the constitutionality and legality of the measures adopted by Thomas W. Dorr, and those who acted with him, to remedy the evils complained of. Many of the citizens of Rhode Island of all parties were desirous of amending the charter or adopting a constitution free from the obnoxious provisions of the charter, and such an one as would be acceptable to the people of the State..

The General Assembly of Rhode Island which met in January, 1841, authorized the calling of a convention to frame a new constitution for the State. A convention accordingly assembled in November, 1841, in which all the towns and cities of the State were represented, in proportion to their population, by delegates chosen by those who had a legal right to vote. The convention adjourned to February, 1842, when it prepared and presented for the consideration of the people a constitution, under which, every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of 21 years, who had resided in the State two years, and in the town or city six months, had the right of suffrage, but a freehold qualification was required of foreigners who had been naturalized. Inequalities which existed under the charter in the representation of towns and cities were remedied in the new constitution. On the reference of this constitution to the people, all persons who were made voters by its provisions were allowed to vote on the question of its acceptance. This constitution is commonly known as the Landholders' coustitution. Unfortunately for the State, this constitution was rejected.

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