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The first edition of the remarks and forms was prepared by the subscriber, with the aid of his predecessor, in October, 1846. They were intended to facilitate the transaction of business by districts and school officers, and it is believed that they have answered the purpose intended, and been the means of preventing much litigation. They are now republished with the alterations necessary to conform them to the new act.
The new act was passed Thursday, June 19, 1851. It takes effect on "the tenth day next after the rising of the General Assembly." The General Assembly rose on Saturday, June 21, 1851. E. R. POTTER, Commissioner of Public Schools.
Providence, June 23, 1851.
EXTRACTS FROM THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE.
DECLARATION OF CERTAIN CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND PRINCIPLES.
In order effectually to secure the religious and political freedom established by our venerated ancestors, and to preserve the same for our posterity, we do declare that the essential and unquestionable rights and principles hereinafter mentioned, shall be established, maintained, and preserved, and shall be of paramount obligation in all legislative, judicial and executive proceedings.
SEC. 3. Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; and all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness; and whereas a principal object of our venerable ancestors, in their migration to this country and their settlement of this State, was, as they expressed it, to hold forth a lively experiment that a flourishing civil State may stand and be best maintained with full liberty in religious concernments: we, therefore, declare, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or to support any religious worship, place or ministry, whatever, except in fulfilment of his own voluntary contract; nor enforced, restrained, molested or burthened in his body or goods; nor disqualified from holding any office; nor otherwise suffer on account of his religious belief; and that every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and to profess and by argument to maintain his opinion in matters of religion; and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect his civil capacity.
SECTION 1. The diffusion of knowledge, as well as of virtue, among the people, being essential to the preservation of their rights and liberties, it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to promote
Public Schools, and to adopt all means which they may deem necessary and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.
SEC. 2. The money which now is, or which may hereafter be appropriated by law for the establishment of a permanent fund for the support of Public Schools, shall be securely invested and remain a perpetual fund for that purpose.
SEC. 3. All donations for the support of Public Schools or for other purposes of education, which may be received by the General Assembly, shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by the donors.
SEC. 4. The General Assembly shall make all necessary provisions by law for carrying this article into effect. They shall not divert said money or fund from the aforesaid uses, nor borrow, appropriate, or use the same, or any part thereof, for any other purpose, under any pretence whatsoever.