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XLI. That the subsisting resolves of this, and the several Conventions, held for this Colony, ought to be in force; as laws, unless altered by this Convention, or the Legislature of this State.
XLII. That this Declaration of Rights, or the Form of Government, to be established by this Convention, or any part or either of them, ought not to be altered, changed, or abolished, by the Legislature of this State, but in such manner as this Convention shall prescribe sitid direct.
This Declaration of Rights was assented to, and passed, in Convention of the Delegates of the Freemen of Maryland, begun and held at Anna[ polis, the 14th day of August A.D. 1776.
By order of the Convention,
MAT. TII.GHMAN, President.
THE CONSTITUTION, OR FORM OF
I. That the Legislatureconsistof two distinct branches, a Senate and House of Delegates, which shall be styled,. The General Assembly of Maryland.
II. That the House of Delegates shall be chosen in the following manner; All freemen, above twenty-one years of age, having a freehold of fifty acres of land in the county, in which they ofl'er to vote, and residing therein—and all freemen, having property in this State, above the value of thirty pounds current money, and having resided in the county, in which they ofl'er to vote, one whole year next preceding the election—shall have a right of suffrage, in the election of Delegates for such county: and all freemen so qualified, shall, on the first Monday of October, seventeen hundred and seventy-seven, and on the same day in every year thereafter, assemble in the counties, in which they are respectively qualified to vote, at the Court-house in the said counties, or at such other place as the Legislature shall direct. ; and when assembled, they shall proceed to elect, viva-voce, four Delegates for their respective counties, of the most wise, sensible, and discreet of the people, residents in the county, where they are to be chosen,
one whole year next preceding the election, above twenty-one years of age, and having, in the State, real or personal property, above the value of five hundred pounds current money; and upon the final counting of the polls, the four persons, who shall appear to have the greatest number of legal votes, shall be declared and returned duly elected for their respective counties.
III. That the Sheriff of each county, or, in case of sickness, his deputy, (summoning two Justices of the county, who are required to attend for the preservation of the peace) shall be the Judges of the eiection, and may adjourn from day to day, if necessary, till the same be finished so that the whole election shall be concluded in four .days; and shall make his return thereof, under his hand, to the Chancellor of this State for the time being.
IV. That all persons, qualified by the charter of the city of Annapolis, to vote for burgesses, shall, on the same first Monday of October, seventeen hundred and seventy-seven, and on the same day in every year for ever thereafter, elect, viva voce, by a majority of votes, two Delegates, qualified agreeable to the said charter; that the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen of the said city, or any three of them, be judges of the election, appoint the place in the said city for holding the same, and may adjourn from day to day, as aforesaid, and shall make return thereof as aforesaid : but the inhabitants of the said city shall not be entitled to vote for Delegates for Anne-Arundel county, unless they have a freehold of fifty acres of land in the county distinct from the city.
V. That all persons, inhabitants of Baltimore town, and having the same qualifications, as electors in the county, shall, on the same first Monday in October, seventeen hundred and seventy-seven, and on the same day in every year forever thereafter, at such place in the said town, as the Judges shall appoint, elect viva voce, by a majority of votes, two Delegates, qualified as aforesaid; but if the said inhabitants of the town shall so decrease, as that the number of persons, having a right of suffrage therein, shall have been, for the space of seven yeavs successively, less than one-half the number of voters. in some one county in this State, such town shall thenceforward cease to send two Delegates or Representatives to the House of Delegates,' until the said town shall have one-half of the number of voters in some one county in this State.
VI. That the commissioners of the said town, or any three or more of them, for the time being, shall be Judges of the said election, and may adjourn as aforesaid, and shall make return thereof, as aforesaid: but the inhabitants of the said town shall not be entitled to vote for, or be elected, Delegates for Baltimore county: neither shall the inhabitants of Baltimore county, out of the limits of Baltimore town, be entitled to vote for, or be elected, Delegates for the said town.
VII. That on refusal, death, disqualification, resignation, or removal out of this State, of any Delegate, or on his becoming Governor, or member of the Council, a warrant of election shall issue by the Speaker^ for the election of another in his place; of which ten days notice, at least (excluding the day of notice and the day of election) shall be given.
VIII. That not less than a majority of the Delegates, with their Speaker (to be chosen by them, by ballot) constitute a House, for the transaction of any business, other than that of adjourning.
IX. That the House of Delegates shall judge of the elections and qualifications of Delegates.
X. That the House of Delegates may originate all mosey bills, propose bills to the Senate, or receive those offered by that body, and assent, dissent, or propose amendments; that they may enquire, on the oath of witnesses, into all complaints, grievances, and offences, as the grand inquest of this State, and may commit any person, for any crime, to the public jail, there to remain till he be discharged by due course of law. They may expel any member for a great misdemeanor, but not a second time for the same cause. They may examine and pass all accounts of the State, relating either to the collection or expenditure of the revenue, or appoint auditors to state and adjust the
same. They may call for all public or official papers and records, and send for persons whom they may judge necessary in the course of their enquiries, concerning affairs relating to the public interest ; and may dircet all office bonds (which shall be made payable to the State) to be sued for any breach or duty.
XI. That the Senate may be at full and perfect liberty to exercise their judgment in passing laws; and that they may not be compelled by the House of Delegates, either to reject a money bill, which the emergency of affairs may require, or to assent to some other act of legislation, in their conscience and judgment, injurious to the public welfare—the House of Delegates shall not, on any occasion, or under any pretence, annex to, or blend with a money bill, or any matter, clause or thing, not immediately relating to, and necessary for the imposing, assessing, levying, or applying the taxes or supplies to be raised for the support of government, or the current expenses of the State; and to prevent altercations about such bills, it is declared, that no bill, imposing duties or customs for the mere regulation of commerce, or inflicting fines for the reformation of morals, or to enforce the execution of the laws, by which an incidental revenue may arise, shall be accounted a money bill; but every bill assessing, levying or applying taxes or supplies for the support of government or the current expenses of the State, or appropriating money in the treasury, shall be deemed a money bill.
XII. That the House of Delegates may punish, by imprisonment, any person, who shall be guilty of a contempt, in their view, by any disorderly or riotous behaviour, or by threats to, or abuse of their members, or by any obstruction to their proceedings. They may also punish, by imprisonment, any person, who shall be guilty of a breach of privilege, by arresting on civil process, or by assaulting any of their members, during their sitting, or on their way to, or return from theHouse of Delegates, or by any assault of, or obstruction to their officers, in the execution of any order or process, or by assaulting or obstructing any witness, or any otherper
son, attending on, or on their way to, or from the House, or by rescuing any person committed by the House :— and the Senate may exercise the same power, in similar cases.
XIII. That the Treasurers (one for the western, and another for the eastern shore) and the Commissioners of the Loan Office, may be appointed by the House of Delegates, during their pleasure ; and in case of refusal, death, resignation, disqualification, or removal out of the State, of any of the said Commissioners or Treasurers, in the recess of the General Assembly, the Governor, with the advice of the Council, may appoint and commission a fit and proper person to such vacant office, to hold the same, until the meeting of the next General Assembly.
XIV. That the Senate be chosen in the following manner: All persons, qualified, as aforesaid, to vote for county Delegates, shall, on the first day of September, i78i, and on the same day in every "fifth year for ever thereafter, elect, viva voce, by a majority of votes, two persons for their respective counties (qualified, as aforesaid, to be elected county Delegates) to be electors of the Senate: and the Sheriff of each county, or, in case of sickness, hisDeputy (summoning two Justice.s of the county, who are required to attend, for the preservation of peace) shall hold and be judge of the said election, and make return thereof, as aforesaid. And all persons disqualified as aforesaid, to vote for Delegates for the city of Annapolis and Baltimore town, shall on the same first Monday of September, 17S1, and on the same day in every fifth year forever thereafter, elect, viva voce, by a majority of votes, one person for the said city and town respectively, qualified as aforesaid, to be elected a Delegate for the said city and town respectively ; the said election to be held in the same manner, as the election of Delegates for the said city and town; the right to elect the said elector, with respect to Baltimore town, to continue as long as the right to elect Delegates for the said town.
XV. That the said electors of the Senate meet at the city of Annapolis, or such other place as shall be