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ASSEMBLY CHAMBER THE CAPITOL
ALBANY, N. Y., APRIL 6, 1915 Assembly Speaker Sweet — All persons except members of the Convention and press representatives, and those occupying chairs along the brass rail, will retire back of the railing. No one will be permitted to stand in front of the brass rail except delegates. The Sergeant-at-Arms will see that all those standing in front of the brass rail who are not delegates to the Convention retire back of the rail.
Secretary of State Hugo — The Convention will be in order. Prayer will be offered by the Rev. Dr. Hopkins.
Dr. Hopkins — Almighty and everlasting God, clothed in holiness, abundant in compassion, full of grace and truth, accept our thanksgiving, we pray Thee, for daily benefits, for gifts that crown the year, for Thy light and Thy truth sent out abroad and for Thy wondrous dealings with this beloved land, so great in beginnings and so rich in promise. Send down, we beseech Thee, upon this Convention, gathered in such high purpose and weighted with such responsibilities, the spirit of wisdom, concord, purity and justice, that, all evil influences and false counsels being absent, these servants of the people may be guided ever in the ways of godly reverence and wise and unselfish service.
Bless with Thy favor whatsoever may be enacted here, that at length it may make its contribution to the honor and welfare of the Commonwealth, and the righteousness, peace and prosperity of the nation, and thus may redound to the glory of Thy great Name. Amen.
The Secretary of State - Gentlemen of the Constitutional Convention, ladies and gentlemen, the Constitution of the State of New York provides for its own amendment and the statutes prescribe the details and the method of this amendment. Pursuant, therefore, to statutory provision, it is my duty to call together the
several Constitutional Convention delegates of the State of New York. It is also my pleasant privilege, on behalf of Governor Whitman and the entire State administration, to extend to you a most cordial welcome to the scenes of your activities for the next few months.
This is an extraordinary Convention. The people of the State of New York in the exercise of their sovereign will have selected you as their representatives to suggest their Constitution.
Theories of government are now being tested on the battlefields of Europe. In the State of New York we test our theories in open debate, in representative assemblies such as this.
Gentlemen of the Convention, it is your high privilege to interpret the spirit, experience, hopes and aspirations of eleven millions of people and to write that interpretation into a proposed Constitution which, if adopted by the people of the State, will prescribe and regulate their activities as an organized State for the next twenty years.
Of all the constitutions which a people make for themselves, the best is that which is written with a close hold on the past but which, with prophetic vision, prepares the way for appropriating the lessons of a progressive future. Under such a constitution, embodying the essential excellencies harmonizing conservative and progressive principles, the one becoming the complement of the other, steadily, consciously and safely molding this instrument to greater perfection.
I thank you.
To avoid calling the roll twice I will swear in the members in groups of fifteen, and, gentlemen, as your names are called, will you please present yourselves at the table? After the roll has been completed we shall be able then to determine who is present and who is absent.
The Deputy Secretary of State will commence calling the roll, beginning with the delegates-at-large, and when we have called the names of the delegates-at-large they will kindly come forward, we will swear them in and after that distribute the delegates in groups of fifteen.
The oath was duly administered.
The Secretary of State - All of the delegates are present with the exception of five — 163 delegates are present.
Now we will call the roll again on those five, and if any or all of those gentlemen are present will they kindly come forward and it will make the roll complete.
Deputy Secretary of State — Moses J. Wafer, excused on account of sickness.
Mr. Brackett - I ask that it may be entered upon the record of the Convention that Mr. V. M. Allen is excused because of
temporary ill-health. He expects to be present on the adjourned date when the Convention shall meet again, but it is impossible that he be here to-day, and I therefore ask that his excuse be entered and that he be so excused.
The Secretary of State -- The excuse will be so entered.
Secretary of State - All of the delegates are present except four.
Mr. Wadsworth — Mr. Secretary, I offer the following resolution.
Secretary of State - Before offering this resolution I have an announcement to make: The committee or commission appointed by the Legislature to provide materials, books, etc., for the Convention, has made its report, also a committee consisting of the Attorney-General, the Comptroller and Secretary of State to make a book for your purposes here, have reported, and we are going to present to each one of the delegates a manual, a copy of the Constitution and a Legislative Manual, in addition to the books already sent to you. In addition to that we have a box of stationery, letterheads and envelopes, and all of these supplies are now in the office of the Secretary of State, and you will receive them there on application. If you do not want to bother with them, if you will give us your address we will see that they are sent to you at your homes.
The Secretary will read the resolution.
Deputy Secretary of State — By Mr. Wadsworth: Resolved, That the Convention proceed to elect a president, upon call of the roll each member rising in his place as his name is called and stating his choice.
The Secretary of State - It is moved by Mr. Wadsworth that the Convention proceed to elect a president on call of the roll, each member rising in his place as the roll is called and stating his choice. All in favor of the motion say Aye, those opposed No.
The motion is carried.
Mr. Low - Mr. Secretary of State and gentlemen of the Convention.
This Convention is assembled here in response to the mandate of the people of the State of New York acting in their sovereign capacity. They have charged us with the duty of restudying the fundamental law of the State and of submitting to them such a revision thereof or such amendments thereto as this Convention may determine. No more delicate nor more responsible duty could be laid upon any body of citizens.
In order that this duty may be discharged with greatest advantage to the Commonwealth it is necessary that the President of the Convention should be a man well equipped to discharge the