« ForrigeFortsett »
est numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the VicePresident; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of twothirds of the whole number of Şenators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."
This article has been considered in a former part of the work. See $ 388.
We have already stated that the first Continental Congress, which assembled at Philadelphia September 5, 1774, adopted a Declaration of Rights. ($21.) The following is the document, as finally agreed upon by the Congress, October 14, 1775. It is confined to the consideration of such rights as had been infringed by acts of the British Parliament since the year 1763, for the further consideration of the general state of American rights was postponed until a subsequent day.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
WHEREAS, since the close of the last war, the British parliament claiming a power of right, to bind the people of America by statutes in all cases whatsoever, hath, in some acts, expressly imposed taxes on them, and in others, under various pretences, but in fact for the purpose of raising a revenue, hath imposed rates and duties payable in these colonies, established a board of commissioners, with unconstitutional powers, and extended the jurisdiction of courts of admiralty, not only for collecting the said duties, but for the trial of causes merely arising within the body of a county.
And whereas, in consequence of other statutes, judges, who before held only estates at will in their offices, have been made dependant on the crown alone for their - salaries, and standing armies kept in times of peace: And whereas it has lately been resolved in parliament, that by force of a statute, made in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of king Henry the eighth, colonists may be transported to England, and tried there upon accusations for treasons, and misprisions, or concealments of treasons com
mitted in the colonies, and by a late statute, such trials have been directed in cases therein mentioned.
And whereas, in the last session of parliament, three statutes were made; one, entitled an “ Act to discontinue, in such man
ner and for such time as are therein mentioned, the landing " and discharging, lading, or shipping of goods, wares and mer“chandise, at the town, and within the harbour of Boston, in “the province of Massachusetts-Bay, in North-America;” another, entitled “An act for the better regulating the government of “the province of Massachusetts-Bay in New-England;” and another, entitled “An act for the impartial administration of “justice, in the cases of persons questioned for any act done by " them in the execution of the law, or for the suppression of “riots and tumults, in the province of the Massachusetts-Bay, “in New-England ;” and another statute was then made, “for “making more effectual provision for the government of the pro« vince of Quebec, &c." All which statutes are impolitic, unjust, and cruel, as well as unconstitutional, and most dangerous and destructive of American rights.
And whereas, assemblies have been frequently dissolved, contrary to the rights of the people, when they attempted to deliberate on grievances; and their dutiful, humble, loyal, and reasonable petitions to the crown for redress, have been repeatedly treated with contempt, by his majesty's ministers of state:
The good people of the several colonies of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, NorthCarolina, and South-Carolina, justly alarmed at these arbitrary proceedings of parliament and administration, have severally elected, constituted, and appointed deputies to meet, and sit in General Congress, in the city of Philadelphia, in order to obtain such establishment, as that their religion, laws, and liberties, may not be subverted. Whereupon the deputies so appointed being now assembled, in a full and free representation of these colonies, taking into their most serious consideration, the best means of attaining the ends aforesaid, do, in the first place, az Englishmen, their ancestors in like cases have usually done, for affecting and vindicating their rights and liberties, DECLARE,
That the inhabitants of the English colonies in North-America, by the immutable laws of nature, the principles of the English constitution, and the several charters or compacts, have the fol. lowing RIGHTS: