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Legislative Report

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This is a most extraordinary document boih as lo sentiment and siyle. We should bc glad to treat it with gravity and respect, were it pos3ble. Nothing but the (act of its having corne from the Legislature of a (ree State, boastful of its liberty and republicanism, saves it from its descrved fate - contemptuous silence. We confesa ourdisappointmen, sha me and indignation. We did expect a report of a Very different character from such men as Thomas Backus and Zalmon Storrs, who were members of the Committee, the furmer a gentlemen of reputed attacliment to Ihe principies of überly. an-1 ij 9 latter a professed abolitionisr,and nn officer in our State Society. IIow could the latter gentleman have been persuadod to nppend his name lo such a tissue of lalsehood and vulgarity, rivalling, in these respects, every lliing of the kind that has ever emanated from the Legislaturc of a free State ! We do not unJerstand wint influences could have actuated ihechainxian thns to prostitute his name, and disappcint thetions of the friends af jitsttce and liberty throughout the State. We are unwilling to ascribe il tothe intoxicalion so comtnon to men of weak minds, 'dressed in a liule brief authority.' But we basten to Iny the report before our readers, accompanying it with a kv brief notes on some of the most remarkable passages. We shall give a literal and true copy, as we are buund to do. REPORT. The Committee to whom was referred the petition of A. M. Frink and olhers, praying for an alteration of the Cunstitution of this State, by striking iherefrom the word white- and of otliers praying for an alieration of the laws so as to permit colored persons to vote in town meetings. &c., report, that they have had these subjectá under consideration, and have giv en {o them all the attention which the nature of these questions scem to detnand. The Committee are of opinión that the Conptitution . should not be changcd for süght or lÜnsient caujes - thatlhe stabil ity of our institutions rests mainly upon the permanency of our fundamental laws and therefore do not believe ifcat the objeets of these petilions are of suflicient importance to require the interference of tlie Legislature, so far as to make the contemplated change. The petitions'elajm that our Constitution isjunjust in its operation upon them - That it deprives them of the right'of suffrage, #vvhile at the same time our laws compel them to pay taxes on their propert3'. The committee are of opinión that these petitioners have taken but n superficial view of the subject - The constitutiondoes not confer the right of universal suffiage to al! our white populaiion - Thosc who pay no ta.ves nor perform military duty are by its provisioHS excluded - But with regard to t.ixation, our laws require ihat the owners óf property without distinciion of color shall be taxed for such property - and whije we tax the property of females the constitulion does not confer upon them the right of suft'rage - But of this we are nol aware that they have ever complained or sought for a change in the constitution - to be consistent the comrnitiee are of opinión that these petitioners bhould exlend iheir objects further tlian the erifranchisement of our colored pnpulation, for there are thousands of cur white population who are laboring under the same dis- ubilities - the m titioüers urge their claims still further, and assert that they are entitled to the right of sufiVage on thegroum of the patriutismof their fathers who fough and suffered in the cause of American In dependence - The committee are aware that to some extent this may be true- but have they not in return obtained privileges commensurate with iheir services - Laws were long ogo enacted which must aiirtly resul i in the entire freedom of the colored race in our State - Andver, our laws extend to them the same protection and the same privileges, both civil and religious, which they do to our while population - But these petitioners nsist thiit by granting the right of sufírage to them it will serve to elévate thein in moráis and thereby quaüfy ihem furgreat er usefulness and huppiness. In reply to ihis claim the comrriUtee need only refer to faets - In some of the adjoining States their colored population have long participated in the right of voting at elections - and if any itnprorement has been made either in moráis or otherwise, they have not been able tocover it by any testimony submuted to them - the committee therefore in view of all ilie circurn3tance8 cannot believe that the objects sought to be accomplished are of suilicient importance to require the legislature to rccommend the contemplated change in our constitution or any alteration in our laws in relulion to voting and thereiore recommend that the petitioners have leave to withdraw their petitions, all which is respecfullv sjhmitted.