Any remedy for our present evil, to be adequate, must be one which shall vacate the offices held by the officers who have thus brought our trouble upon us.
Your delegates desire that you shall by election fill these offices, by process of your own choice, and for this purpose they have directed, by ordinance, that an election shall be held on the first Monday in November.
This time, rather than one nearer at hand, was selected, so as to conform to the spirit of the provision in the Constitution
, which requires three months notice to be given of an election to fill a vacancy in the office of Governor.
But, in the mean time, much damage might happen to the State
by keeping the present incumbents in office, not only by leaving necessary executive duties unperformed, while they prosecute their war measures, but by continuing and increasing the internal social strife which threatens the peace of the whole Sate.
Your delegates judged it necessary that, in order to preserve the peace, and in order to arrest invasions of the State
, these executive offices should be vacated at once, and be filled by persons selected by your delegates, until you could fill them by election.
They have, therefore, made such selection as they trust will be found to be judicious in preserving the peace of the State
The office of Secretary of State
has not been mentioned before, and it is sufficient to say that Benjamin F. Massey
, the present incumbent, has abandoned the seat of government, and has followed the fortunes of the Governor
, taking with him the Seal of State as an instrument of evil.
He may be employed by the Governor
in action deeply injurious to the State
; and he has been dealt with by your delegates in the same manner as the Governor
In regard to the members of the General Assembly, it is only necessary to say that by the enactment of the law called the Military bill, which violates the Constitution
, and places the entire military strength of the State
at the almost unlimited control of the Executive
, and imposes onerous burdens upon the citizens for the support of an army, and by the passage of general appropriation acts which give to the Executive
the command of large funds to be expended at his discretion for military purposes, thus uniting the control of the purse and the sword in the same hands, they have displayed their willingness to sustain the war policy of the Executive
, and place the destinies of the State
in the hands of the Governor
The offices of the members of the General Assembly have therefore been vacated and a new election ordered, so that you may have an opportunity of choosing such Legislative Representatives as may carry out your own views of policy.
In order that the schemes of those who seek to take Missouri
out of the Union
may not further be aided by the late secret legislation of the General Assembly, your delegates have by ordinance amended the Military law, and such other acts as were doubtless passed for the purpose of disturbing the relations of the State
with the Federal Government
These are the measures adopted by your delegates in Convention for the purpose of restoring peace to our disturbed State, and enabling you to select officers for yourselves to declare and carry into effect your views of the true policy of the State
They are measures which seem to be imperatively demanded by the present alarming condition of public affairs, and your delegates have determined to submit them to you for your approval or disapproval, that they may have the authority of your sanction, if you find them to be adapted to secure the peace and welfare of the State
There are some who question the power ot the Convention
to adopt these measures.
A very brief examination of this question of power, will show that the power exists beyond doubt.
It is one of the fundamental principles of our Government, that all political power resides in the people; and it is established beyond question, that a Convention of Delegates of the people, when regularly called and assembled, possesses all the political power which the people themselves possess, and stands in the place of the assemblage of all the people in one vast mass.
If there be no limitation upon the power of the Convention
, made in the call of the body, then the body is possessed of unlimited political power.
If it be a State Convention, then there is a limitation upon it, imposed by the Constitution of the United States
If we state the position of the opponents of the powers now exercised by this Convention in the strongest form, it is this: The Convention was called by an act of the General Assembly for specific purposes declared in the act, and, therefore, the people in electing delegates under that act intended to limit the Convention
to the subjects therein specified, and this action taken by the Convention
, in vacating State offices, is not within the scope of the subjects thus submitted to the Convention
It is very well understood by all that a Convention of the people does not derive any power from any act of the Legislature.
All its power is directly the power of the people, and is not dependent upon any act of the ordinary functionaries of the State
It cannot be claimed, in the present case, that we are to look at the act of Assembly referred to for any other purpose than to find whether there is any limitation imposed by the people upon the powers of the Convention
, by electing the Convention
under the act. If it be examined with that view, and if it be conceded that any of its provisions were designed to limit the powers of the Convention
, it will be seen that all the Convention
has done comes clearly within the scope of the powers designed to be exercised.
The 5th section of the act provides that the Convention
, when assembled, shall proceed to consider the then