incapable of being elected members of either house of assembly, or the privy-council. ,

The governor, with the advice of the privy council, shall appoint justices of the peace for the counties; and in case of vacancies, or a neceffity of increasing the number hereafter, such appointments to be made upon the recommendation of the respective county courts. The present acting secretary in Virginia, and clerks of all the county courts, shall continue in office. In case of vacancies, either by death, incapacity, or resignation, a secretary shall be appointed, as before directed, and the clerks by the respective courts. The present and suture clerks shall hold their offices during good behaviour, to be judged of and determined in the general court. The sheriffs and coroners shall be nominated by the respective courts, approved by the governor with the advice of the privy-council, and commissioned by the governor. The justices shall appoint constables j and all sees of the aforesaid officers be regulated by law.

The governor, when he is out of office, and others offending against the state, either by mal -administration, corruption, or other means, by which the sasety of the state may be endangered, shall be impeachable by the house of delegates. Such impeachment to be prosecuted by the attorney-general, or such other person or persons as the house may appoint, in the general court, according to the laws of the land. If found guilty, he or they shall be either for ever disabled to hold any office under government, or be removed from such office pro tempore, or subjected to such pains or penalties as the law shall direct.

If all or any of the judges of the general court should, on good grounds (to be judged of by the house of delegates), beaccused of any of the crimes or offences above mentioned, such house of delegates may in like manner impeach the judge or judges so accused, to be prosecuted in the court of appeals; and he or they, if found guilty, shall be punished in the same manner as is prescribed in the preceding clause.

Commiffions and grants shall run, In the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear test by the governor, with the seal <»f the commonwealth annexed. Writs shall run in the same manner, and bear test by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, Against the peace and dignity of the tom" monwealth.

A treasurer shall be appointed annually, by joint ballot of both houses.

All escheats, penalties, and forseitures, heretofore going to the king, shall go to tiie commonwealth, save only such as the legislature may abolish, or otherwise provide for.

The territories contained within the charters erecting the colonies of Maryland, Pennsylvania, North and South-Carolina,


are hereby ceded, released, and for ever confirmed to the people of these colonies respectively, with all the rights ot" property, jurisdiction and government, and all other rights whatsoever, which might at any time heretofore have been claimed by Virginia, except the free navigation and use of the rivers Potomaque and Pokomoke, with the property of the Virginia shores and strands bordering on either of the said rivers, and all improvements which have been or shall be made thereon. The western and northern extent of Virginia shall in all other respects stand as fixed by the charter of king James I. in the year one-thousand fix hundred and nine, and by the public treaty of peace between the courts of Britain and France, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three; unless, by act of this legislature, one or more governments be established westward of the Allegheny mountains. And no purchases of lands shall be made of the Indian natives but on behalf of the public, by authority of the general assembly.


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^CONSTITUTION, tr For M of Government, agreed to. andresolved upon by the Representatives of the Freemen of the State ofNonh-Ctio\\fi&,*Ieaedandchosenfor'thatparticular* Purpose, in Congress assembled, at Halifax^ Dec. 18, 1776;


I. rT^HAT all political power is vested in, and derived from, I the people only.

.2. That the people of this state ought to have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof.

3. That no man, or set of men are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.

4.. That the legislative, executive, and supreme judicial powers of government ought to be for ever separate and distinct from each other.

5. That all powers of suspending laws, or the execution of laws by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

6. That elections of members to serve as representatives in general assembly ought to be free.

7. That in all criminal prosecutions every man has a right to be informed of the accusation against him, and to confront the accusers and witnesses with other testimony, and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.

8. That no freeman shall be put to answer any criminal charge but by indictment, presentment, or impeachment.

g. That no freeman shall be convicted of any crime, but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good and lawsul men, in open court as heretofore used.

10. That exceffive bail should not be required, no/ exceffive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inslicted.

11. That general warrants whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence

pf of the sact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named whose offences are not particularly -delcribed and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be .granted.' •'-.-. .... .• ,-jtStt •. .

12. That no freeman ought taken, imprisoned, or disseized -of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed or exiled, 4t>t in any manner destroyed or. deprived of his lise, liberty, or property, but by the lawof the land. \! .. nv «.. .

13. That every freeman restrained of his liberty, is intitled to a^cinedy, to-efUjuire into the lawsulness thereof, and' to remove thesame if unlawsul, and that such remedy Ought not to be de?fried;ordelayed.: .''_• •.'.:;...,• . ..-,''

»4< -Thatinall controversies at law respecting property, the ancient mode of trial by jury is one of the best securities of the '"Hg&ts of the- people,- and ought to remain sacred and inviolable. • :, '15. -Thatthe freedom of the press is one ofthe great bulwarks of liberty, and therefore ought never to be restrained* .. . ."t6. 1 hat'the people of this state ought not to be taxed, or -made subject to tjhe payment of any impost or duty, without the consent of themselves, or their .representatives in general assembly

freely given; -.'.'>' ".. . '- '„

. -A"]; That the people have aright to bear armssor the desence of the state ; and as standingarmies in time of peaceare dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up j and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by the civil power. . ..j " .-. . .: . ~.;:.^ _-. J.j.i ,' .

-" 18. That the people have a right to assemble together, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the legislature for redress of grievances. ^.:-sg. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to '-worship Alcttighty'Gpd according to the dictates of their own conscience. .!•'. .: " .•. ". u .'.

20. That for redress of grievances, and for amending and strengthening the laws, elections ought to be often held. . -21. -That !a.frequent recurrence to sundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the bleffings ot liberty.

22. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honours, -ought to be granted or conserred in this state. ./ '-.'* rv-'aj,. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius .of a free slate, and ought not to be allowed". ./".a.4. That retrospective laws, punishing sacts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oppreffive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty, w-herefore po ex poji fafto law ought to be made." .. 1 V .» .

..' '1$- I he pfcope'rty of the soil in a free government being one of the essential rights.of the collective body of the people, it is ^necessary, in order to avoid future disputes, that the limits of «".-'" R 2 the the state should be ascertained with precision; and as the former temporary line between North and South Carolina was consirmed and extended by commiffioners, appointed by the legislatures of the two states, agreeable to the order of the late king George II. in council, that line, and that only, should be esteemed the southern boundary of this state; that is to say, beginning on the sea side at a cedar stake, at or near the mouth of Little River (being the southern extremity of Brunswic county), and running from thence a north-west course through the boundary house, which stands in thirty three degrees fifty fix minutes, to thirty five degrees .north latitude, and from thence a west course, so sar as is mentioned in the charter of king Charles II. to the late proprietors of Carolina-. Therefore all the territory, seas, waters, and harbours, with- their appurtenances, lying between the line above described, and the southern line of the state of Virginia, which begins on the sea shore, in thirty fix degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and from thence runs west, agreeable to the said charter of king Charles, are the right and property of the people of this state, to be held by them in sovereignty; any partial line, without the consent of the legislature of this state, at any time thereafter directed or laid out in any wise notwithstanding. Provided always, That this declaration' of right shall not prejudice any nation or nations of Indians from enjoying such hunting grounds as may have been, or hereafter (hall be secured to them by any former or. suture legislature of this state.: Andprovided also, That it shall not be construed so as to prevent the establishment of one or more governments westward of this state, by consent of the legislature. And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall affect the titles or posseffions of individuals, holding or claiming under the laws heretofore in force, or grants heretofore made by the. late king George II. or his predecessors, or the late lords proprietors, or any of them.


WHEREAS allegiance and protection are in their nature reciprocal, and the one should of right be resused when the other is withdrawn; and whereas George the Third, king of Great-Britain, and late sovereign of the British American colonies, hath not only withdrawn from them his protection, but by an act of the British legislature declared the inhabitants of these states out of the protection of the British crown, and all their property found upon the high seas liable to be seized and confiscated to-the uses mentioned in the said act; and the said George the Third has also sent sleets and armies to prosecute a cruel war against


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