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[The State of Rhode-Island and Providence plantations has not assumed a form of government different from that in the foregoing chapter. For in that, the king ceded to the Governor and Company, all powers, legislative, executive, and judicial, reserving to himself, as an acknowledgement of his sovereignty, a render of the fifth part of the gold and silver ore that should be found within the territory. The Governor, Chief Magistrates, and Legislators are chosen by the freemen as usual, and all judicial and executive officers are annually elected by the Governor and Company, or upper and lower House of Assembly. All processes, original and judicial, formerly issued in the King's name, but they now issue in the name of the Governor and Company. The oaths of allegiance and of office are made conformable to the principles of the Revolution. The Governor, in his legislative capacity, cannot give a negative to any act of the two Houses; but, in common with the other Magistrates, has one voice only.
The State is divided into five counties, in each of which there is a Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace, held twice every year, for the trial of all causes not capital, that arise within their limits; from which an appeal lies to the Superior Court of judicature, Court of Assize and General Jail Delivery, whose Jurisdiction extends over the whole State, and who also sit.twice a year in each county. The Constitution admits not of religious establishments, any further than depends upon the voluntary choice of individuals. All men professing one Supreme Being, are equally protected by the laws, and no particular sect can claim pre-eminense.]
Account of the Conjhtulion of Conneflicut'., . , .
CONNECTICUT is divided into fix counties, and each county is divided into a number of towns,— Each, to-wn has a right to fend two Reprelentatives to the General Court of Alfembly. The General Courc confifts of two branches, called the Upper and Lower Houfe. The Upper Houle is corapofed of the Governor, Dep.Governor, and i2 Affiflants oiCounfellors ; and the L. Houfe, of theRepi efentatives of the feveral towns.— This Court has the fble power to make and repeal laws, grant levies, difpole of lands, belonging to the State, to particular towns and peribns; to erect and llile judicatories and officers, as they shall fee necefiary for the good government of the People; alio tn call to account any Court, Magistrate, or other Officer, for any mildemeanor ormal adminiltratiori; and fur jult taufe may fine, difplace, or remove them, or deal other wile, ar. the nature of the cafe shall require ; and deal or aft in any other matter that concerns the good of the State, except the election of Governor, Deputy-Governor, Affiftants, Treafurer, and Secretary, which shall be done by the freemen, at the yearly Court of Election, unlefs there be any vacancy, by reafon of death or ot her wife, after the election, which may be tilled up by the General Court. This Court has power alfo, for reafons fatisfaclory to them, to grant fufpenfion, releale, and jail delivery upon reprieve, in capital and criminal cafes. The General Court has two ftated feffions annually, on the fecond Thurfday of May and O&ober.' ^
The Governor, or in his abfence, the Deputy-Governor, may call the Affeuibly, on fpecial emergencies, to meet at any other time. The Governor, DeputyGovernor, Affiftants and Secretary, are annually elect■ed on the fecotid Thurday in May. The Reprelentatives are newly choien for each Hated feffion. The
Judges and Juftices are annually appointed by the Gen* eral Court; the fame perfons are commonly re-appointed, from time to time, during their capacity to i'ervc, unlefs guilty of mifbehaviour. Tlie Sheriffs are appointed by the Governor and Council, without limitation of tiiiie; bu: may be fuperfeded by the authority that appoints them. The Governor, for the time being, is Captain-General of the militia; the Deputy-Governor, Lieutenant.General; the other general officers, an-J the fie^J officers, are appointed by the General Courr, and commiffioned by the Governor. The captains and fubalterns are chofen by the vote of the company and lioufholders living within the limits of the company; the perfons, fo chofen, muft be approved by the General Courr, and commiffioned hy the Governor, befoie they have power to execute their offices. All the mil' itary officers hold their offices during the pleafure of the Alfembly; nor can they relign their cotnmiffioris, with-, but leave of the Captain-General, under penalty of doing duty in the ranks, as private foldiers. The mode tif electing the Governor, Deputy-Governor, Afliflants, Treafurer, and Secretary, is, that the freemen, in the feveral towns, meet on the Monday next after the fir It Tuefday in April, annually (being the day appointed by law for that purpofe, and choulihg Reprefentati\es) and give in their votes for the perfons they choofe for faid offices relpecthely, with their names written on a piece of paper, which votes are received and iealetl hp by a eon liable, in the freemen's meeting—the votes for each of laid offices, in a different japer—writing on theotitfide the name of the town, and the office, for which the votes are given in; which arefent by the Reprefeniatives, to the General Court, to be held o.i the fecond Thurfday of May next enfuing, at which time, after the Houfe of Keprefentatives have chofen a Speaker and Clerk, a Committee is chofen of Members of both Houfes, to fort anl count the votes, and declare the names of the perfons chofen to faid offices. Any freeman, qualified to vote for Reprefentatives, &c. maybe elected to any office in the government. In cbooflBg Afliftants, twenty j.erfocs are nominated by
the votes of the freemen, given in at their meeting for chooilug Reprelentatives in September annually, and lea led up ant' fenc to the General Court in Oclober then next ; which are counted by a committee of both Houles, and the twenty peri'ons, who have the greateft number of votes, Hand in nomination, out of which number, twelve are to be chofen afllllants, by the freemen, the next April, in manner afore defcribed.
The qualifications requifite to entitle a perfen to vote in elections of the officers of government, are maturity in years, quiet and peaceable behaviour, a civil converfation, and forty fhillings ficehold, of fortypounds perfenal eifate; if the Selectmen of the town certify a perfon qualified in thofe refpeels, he is admitted a freeman, on his taking an cath of fidelity to the State.
The names of all that are thus admitted, are enrolled in the Town Ctei k's office, and continue freemen during life, unlefs disfranchii'ed by a fentence of the Superior Court, on convictton of a mifdemeauor.
The Governor, or, in his able nee, the Deputy-Governor, in the Upper Houfe->-and the Speaker in the Lower Houfeof Affembly—have a calling Toice, when the Members of the relpeclive Houfes, including the Governor and Speaker, are equally divided in opinion on any quefticn.
There is, in this State, a Superior Court, confiding of one Chief Judge, and four other Judges, who have authority in ail criminal cafes, extending to life, limb, and banifhroent, and to hear and determine all civil actions, brought by appeal from the county Courts, or on writs of error. This Court alio hath authority in all matters of divorce. There are two Hated feffions ot the Superior Court, in each county annually.
There are alfo County Courts held in the feveial counties, confining of one Judge and four Juftices of the quorum, who have jurifdiition in all criminal cafes, anting within their refpeclive counties, where the punilhment does not extend to life, limb, or banifhment.— The County Courts alfo, have original jurildiclion in all civil aflijns, wherein the demand exceeds forty fhil
The Superior and County Courts try matters of faft, by a jury, according to the cottrfe <>f common law.
Juftices of the Peace have authority to hear and determine civil actions, where the demand does not exceed torty fhillings. They alfo have authority, in fome cafes of a criminal nature, punifhable by fine not exceeding forty fhillings, or whipping not exceeding ten itripes, or fitting in the flocks.
This State is alfo divided into a number of probate diftridls, lei's than counties; in each of which is appointed a Judge for the probate of wills, granting administration on intellate eflates, appointing guardians for minors, ordering distribution of intellare eflates, &c. An appeal lies, from any decree of this Court, to the Superior Court.
The Superior, County, and Probate Courts appoint their refpeclive Clerks.
The General Couit has, till very lately, been the only Court of Chancery in this State. But by a late law, the County Courts determine matters of equity, from five pounds to two hundred value ; the Superior Court from two hundred to eight hundred pounds value ; and the General Aflembly, all cafes exceeding the laft mentioned Ann.
All attcrnies at law are admitted and fworn by the County Courts; there is no Attorney General, but there ufed to be one King's Attornev in each County; but fincethe King has abdicated the Government, they are now attornies to the Governor and Company.