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Whereupon, all the above named senators were duly sworn by Paul Dillingham, jun. Esquire, one of the Justices of the peace, for the county of Washington.
The Senate proceeded to the choice of a President pro tempore, and the Hon. Ebenezer N. Briggs was elected and took the chair.
The Senate proceeded to elect a Secretary pro tempore, and the Hon. Robert Pierpoint was chosen.
On motion of Mr. Howe,
The following was adopted as a rule of the Senate.
The credentials of senators shall be presented to the Secretary or Assistant Secretary, previous to nine o'clock in the morning of the second Thursday of October, at which time the Senate shall be called to order. The names of the senators shall be called over, and when a quorum shall have taken their seats, they shall, having first taken the necessary oaths, on nomination of the President, appoint a canvassing committee, consisting of one Senator from each county, to join such committee as the House of Representatives may appoint, whose duty it shall be to receive, sort and count the votes for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer, and make report thereof to the joint assembly of both Hous
Whereupon the following named persons were nominated by the President and appointed by the Senate, a committee in pursuance of the foregoing rule, viz:-Messrs. Watson, Henry, Converse, Howe, Bell, Hebard, Van Sicklin, Kinsman, Beckwith, Young, Hubbell, Barnes and Gates.
On motion of Mr. Howe, the House of Representatives was informed, by the Secrctary, that the Senate had organized and were ready to receive any communications from the House; and also that the Senate had, on their part, appointed a canvassing committee.
A message from the House of Representatives by Mr. Whitney, a member:
Mr. PRESIDENT-The House of Representatives have assembled and chosen Carlos Coolidge, Esq. Speaker pro tempore, and A. L. Miner, Esq. Clerk pro tempore, and are ready to proceed to business.
A communication was received from the House of Representatives, announcing that the House had, on their part, appointed a canvassing committee.
The Senate adjourned to three o'clock this afternoon.
The following resolution was received from the House of Represen tatives:
Resolved, if the Senate concur, that both Houses meet in joint assembly on Friday the 14th instant at 10 o'clock A. M. for the purpose of electing a Secretary of State, for the year ensuing.
Which was read, and on motion,
Resolved to concur therein.
The following resolution was received from the House of Representatives:
Resolved, the Hon. Senate concurring herein, that the two Houses meet in joint convention this afternoon at four o'clock, in the representatives' hall, for the purpose of receiving the report of the committee appointed to canvass the votes for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer, Which was read and concurred in.
In pursuance of the forgoing resolution the Senate attended the House of Representatives and the canvassing committee made the following report:
To the Hon. General Assembly now in session:
Your committee, appointed to receive, sort and count the votes for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer, having attended to the duties assigned them, respectfully report, that the whole number of votes given for Governor was
Necessary for a choice,
Of the above number of votes,
Silas H. Jenison received
Your committee thereupon report that the freemen have elected
SILAS H. JENISON
Governor, for the year ensuing.
Your committee further report that the whole number of votes given for Lieutenant Governor was
Necessary for a choice,
Of the above number of votes,
David M. Camp received
John S. Pettibone
Your committee therefore report that the freemen have elected
DAVID M. CAMP
Lieutenant Governor, for the year ensuing.
Your committee further report, that the whole number of votes giv en for Treasurer was
The following communication was received from His Honor the Lieutenant Governor :
MONTPELIER, Oct. 13, 1836.
Hon. E. N. Briggs, President, pro tempore, of the Senate:
SIR-Having just learned that I have been elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor, I have the honor to inform you that I propose to
attend, immediately, in the senate chamber to take the necessary oaths of office and to enter upon the discharge of its duties.
Very respectfully, sir,
Your humble servant,
D. M. CAMP.
His Honor the Lieutenant Governor appeared in the Senate, was duly qualified and took the chair as President of the Senate; and thereupon addressed the Senate as follows:
GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE:
In entering upon the duty of presiding officer, it has occurred to me that it might be proper, and perhaps expected, that I should submit a few remarks suggested by the occasion, and give some intimation of the course which it will be my design to pursue. Respect for you seems to require this. That provision in the constitution, which makes the Lieutenant Governor the President of the Senate, obviously demands it. All legislative bodies in this country, with perhaps, the exception of the Senate of the United States and that of the state of New York, enjoy the right of selecting from their own number a presiding officer.
This has been supposed wisely calculated to promote harmony and ensure efficient action. Whether these important ends may not be equally attained under our organization, is yet to be proved, and I am aware must, in a good degree, depend upon the manner in which the duties of the chair are discharged. I cannot but sensibly feel the delicacy of my situation, admonished as I am, by the presence of gentlemen older and far more experienced, that were you left to the freedom of a direct choice, and were I also a member of your body, you would make a different selection.
It will be my earnest desire and constant endeavor, so to conduct as to leave you no reason to regret that the usual privilege is withheld from you. But the wisdom or the weakness, exhibited in this peculiar feature of our constitution it is not my design to discuss. It would be useless for any of us to do so, for a bare statement of the question would remind us that such is the organic law of the state, which we may not disregard and cannot alter.
The station of presiding officer of a legislative body requires a scope and diversity of talent which few will have the temerity to claim. The instances of entire success are rare, indeed, except where much wisdom and industry have been united with long experience. Patience and promptitude, candor and zeal, decision and forbearance, energy and coolness, must alternately, and at the critical moment, be exhibited by one, who seeks the approbation of his fellow citizens in this difficult and important station. But, gentlemen, whilst I painfully feel the embarrassment arising from a very limited experience in the business of legislation, I seek in vain for precedent or example in the peculiar duties of the office in this state. I cannot but flatter myself that an honest endeavor, on my part, will insure your cordial co-operation, furnishing all the aids of your wisdom, experience and forbearance.
I am also well aware that the incessant labor and untiring vigilance required from the presiding officer of a large and promiscuous assemblage, made up of persons of opposite characters and representing a variety of opposite interests, will not be expected here where the number is comparatively small and each one possessing a character for wisdom and experience.
A frequent resort to the rules for the preservation of order, so difficult and so invidious in their application, I am sure will seldom become necessary.
The provisions of the constitution and the rules which you may adopt, for regulating the action of the Senate, it will be my duty to support and maintain. This I shall endeavor to do in a measure consistent with parliamentary practice, with respect for you individually, and an ardent desire to promote the interests of our common constituents. Further than this, for the preservation of order and for facilitating the operations of business, I shall mainly rely upon a becoming selfrespect, a love of regularity and decorum, and an ambition to be useful, which, I confidently trust will be uniformly exhibited by every
The circumstances, gentlemen, under which we meet, though new and peculiar, demand our mutual congratulations. The political desideratum, long and anxiously sought by the wisest men of our state, is, at length, obtained. The Senate of Vermont, possessing co-ordinate legislative powers, by the free and spontaneous action of the people, has been institituted and you are delegated by the freemen of your respective counties to make the first essay at legislation, as senators. On you is devolved a more than usual weight of responsibility. The friends of the amendment of the constitution have, doubtless, been somewhat unreasonable in their anticipations of benefits, which they promised, and will not very patiently submit to disappointment, while those, attached to the ancient order of things, will abate nothing of the advantages, which have been described as the necessary result; hence, you will see the necessity of great prudence, of much wisdom and untiring industry, to meet their high-wrought expectations.
But as it is now a settled axiom of political economy, that the interests of a people are best secured by a division of the legislature into two independent bodies of co-equal powers, so we may rest assured that the experiment, which has uniformly succeeded elsewhere, will not fail here, for we are not at liberty to suspect that the people of this state, having the light of experience, will not reason and judge as correctly as any other. We may by our action hasten, or retard their decision; but ultimately it must be pronounced, and we may not doubt that it will be in accordance with the opinion of enlightened citizens of other states.
Much of the success of the Senate will depend upon an auspicious beginning.
The first and probably most important duty, which will demand your attention, is to provide a code of rules. Without these, it is difficult even to commence your ordinary legislative duties. Rules should be so constructed as to leave as few occasions as possible for the existence of discretion in the President; should be specific and minute so as to furnish a plain direction in every case of importance and carefully guard the respective rights of the majority and minority on every question. It seems to be very obvious that a body, which does not choose its presiding officer, cannot with propriety assign to him the power of appointing its committees and officers.
In a large body mostly strangers to each other, these appointments would consume considerable time and might prove a source of irritation. Not so in a small one like this. These elections can be made in a brief space of time, and the President saved a most embarrassing and sometimes odious exercise of power.
Expedients for regulating the freedom of debate in a body so small as this, can hardly become necessary, and as a consequence, many embarrassing questions, growing out of the construction and application of rules providing for them may be avoided.
I cannot but suggest the propriety of so framing your rules that we may never have to contend with the subtleties and perplexities of the previous, and some other privileged questions.
These seem to have originated in parliament, with a view of avoiding the evil consequences of some stubborn and unbending regulations previously incorporated in the rules of proceedings.
There may be much learning and ingenuity in these questions, but a plain common sense legislature is equally removed from any necessity for such proceedings and the ability at once to comprehend them.
In consequence of the relations created by the constitution between the Senate and the House of Representatives it will be necessary that your early attention should be given to the construction of a system of joint rules of both houses. These will be indispensable to the proper discharge of various and important duties.
They must be the joint work of both houses, and care should be taken to prevent collision, either in their construction, or subsequent interpretation. The just rights of each house should be carefully guarded and no undue advantage sought or accepted by either. These initiatory steps having been taken, you will have, gentlemen, an extensive field of labor before you, inviting the diligent employment of your time and the exercise of your best talents, with a fair prospect of usefulnes. It will afford me pleasure ever to co-operate with you in such a manner as, if possible, to lighten your labors, and to secure from the public a just appreciation of their value, so that you may secure all the reward you will either seek or accept, the approbation of your constituents.
On motion of Mr Hammond,
Ordered, That the Senate now proceed to the election of a Secretary of the Senate, for the year ensuing.
The ballots having been taken and examined, Norman Williams had a majority of all the votes and was duly elected.
Mr. Briggs introduced the following resolution:
Resolved, that a committee of three be appointed by the President to report rules for the government of the Senate,
Which was read and adopted, and thereupon Messrs. Briggs, Merrill and White were appointed the committee.
Mr. Williams, Secretary elect, appeared and was duly sworn and took his seat as Secretary of the Senate.
On motion of Mr. Pierpoint,
R. PIERPOINT, Secretary pro tem.
Ordered, That the Senate shall meet every day (Sundays excepted,) at nine o'clock in the morning and at two o'clock in the afternoon, unless otherwise specially ordered.
On motion, the Senate adjourned.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 1836.
On motion of Mr. Pierpoint,
The journal of the proceedings of yesterday was read.