The Constitution of the United States of America
signed 17 September 1787
Article. 1., Section. 2., Paragraph. 4+. & Section. 3., Paragraph. 1.
The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of 10 Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and George three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
The Chautauqua County Legislature, presently consisting of 25 members, meanders from downsizing to status quo. In 1970, the population of Chautauqua County was 147,305 and in 1980 it was 146,925, so in 1975 it is fair to say that the population was about 147,115.
The 2010 U.S. Census showed that Chautauqua County had population of 134,905, or 12,210 less that in 1975.
As you can see from the U.S. Constitution, a state with almost the same population as Chautauqua now, back in 1790, New Hampshire (141,885) was allowed three U.S. Representatives and also the two senators making only five (that is five) legislators for New Hampshire in the U.S. government!
It might be noted that horseback and few newspapers were the communication methods in 1787. No cell or telephones, e-mail, telegraph, radio, tv, cars, computers, trains nor texting back in 1787.
Today a legislator or staff member can be in contact with a constituent without getting on a horse!
It might also be observed that, ''The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand ...'' said the founding fathers.
Let's see: 134,905 divided by 30,000 equals four and one-half (plus the two senators) gives Chautauqua County six and one-half legislators. Okay, round it up to seven!
An aside, the fellow who helped the newspaper industry back in 1787, a ''B. Franklin,'' signed the hallowed document above my great-great-great-grandfather's name.
John F. R. Wysard is a resident of Westfield.