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An ACT for eflabVJhhg the C O N S T I T U T I O N os the Stale of South-Carolina, faffed the iqth day os Marth, T778.
WHEREAS the constitution or form of government agreed to and resolved upon by the freemen of this country, met in congress the 26th day of March, 1776, was temporary only, and suited to the situation of their public affairs at that period, looking forward to an accommodation with Great-Britain, an event then desired: And whereas the united colonies of America have been since constituted independent states, and the political connexion heretofore subsisting between them and Great-Britain entirely dissolved, by the declaration of the honourable the continental congress, dated the 4th day of July 1776, for the manygreat and weighty reasons therein particularly set forth; it therefore becomes absolutely necessary to frame a constitution suitable to that great event: Be it therefore constituted and enacted, by his excellency Rawlins Lowndes, Esq. president and commander 'in chief in and over the state of South-Carolina, by the honourable the legislative council and general assembly, and by the authority of the same, That the following articles agreed upon' by the freemen of this state, now met in general'assembly, be deemed and held the constitution and form of government of the said state, unless altered by. the legislative authority thereof: which constitution or form of government shall immediately take place and be of force from the pasting of this act, excepting such parts as are hereafter mentioned and specified.
1. That the stile of this country be hereafter. The State of SouthCarolina.
2. That the legislative authority be vested in a general assembly, to consist of two distinct bodies, a senate and house of representatives; but, that the legislature of this state, as established by the constitution or form of government, passed the 26th of March 1776, shall continue and be in sull force, until the 29th day of November next ensuing.
3. That as soon as may be after the first meeting of the senate and house of representatives, and at every first meeting of the senate and house of representatives thereafter, to be elected by virtue of
£ 2 this
'this constitution, they shall, jointly, in the house of representatives, choose by ballot, from among themselves or from the people at large, a governor and commander in chief, a lieutenant-governor, both to continue for two years, and a privy-council, all of the Protestant religion; and till such choice shall be made, the former president, or governor and commander in chief, and vicepresident, or lieutenant-governor, as the case may be, and privycouncil, shall continue to act as such.
4. That a member of the senate or house of representatives, being chosen and acting ns governor and commander in chief, or lieutenant-governor, shall vacate his seat, and another person shall be elected in his room.
5. That every person who shall \c eleSled governor and commander in chief of the state, or lieutenant-governor, or a member of the privy-council, shall be qualified as followeth, that is to say. The governor and lieutenant-governor shall have been residents in this state for ten years, and the members of the privy-council five years, preceding their said election, and shall have in this state a settled plantation or freehold, in their and each of their own right, of the value of at least ten thousand pounds currency, clear of debt; and on being elected, they shall respectively take an oath of qualification in the house of representatives.
6. That no suture governor and commander in chief who shall serve for two years, shall be eligible to serve in the said office after the expiration of the said term, until the sull end and term of four years. , <
7. That no person in this state shall hold the office of governor thereof, or lieutenant-governor, and^nyotherofficeorcomfiiiffion, civil or military, (except in the militia) either in this or any other state j or under the authority of the continental, congress, at one and the same time.
8. That in case of the impeachment of the governor and commander in chief, or his removal from office, death, resignation, or absence from the state, the lieutenant-governor shall succeed tq bis office, and the privy-council shall choose, out of their own body, a lieutenant-governor of the state. And in case of the impeachment of the lieutenant-governor, or his removal from office^ death, resignation, or absence from the state, one of the privycouncil, to'be chosen by themselves, shall succeed to his office, until a nomination to those offices respectively, by the senate and bouse of representatives, for the remainder of the time for which, the officer so injpeached, removed from office, dying, resigning, or, being absent, was appointed.
9. That the privy-council shall consist of the lieutenant governor for the time being, and eight other members, five of whom shall be a quqrum, to be chosen as before directed, four to serve for two years, and four for one year ; and at the expiration of one
year, four others shall be chosen in the room of the last four to
serve for two years, and all suture members of the privy-council
shall thence-forward be elected to serve sot two years, whereby
there will be a new election every year for half of the privy
council, and a constant rotation established ; but no member of
the privy council, who shall serve for two years, shall be eligible
to serve therein after the expiration of the said term, until the sull
end and term of four years: Provided always, that no officer of the
army or navy, in the service of the continent or this state, nos
judge of any of the courts of law shall be eligible; nor shall the
sather, son or brother of the governor for the time being, be elected
in the privy-council during his administration. A member of the
senate or house of representatives, being chosen of the privy-coun*
cil, shall not thereby lose his seat in the senate or house of
representatives, unless he be elected lieutenant governor, in which
case he shall, and another person shall be chosen in his stead. The
privy council is to advise the governor and commander in chief,
when required, but he shall not be bound to consult them unless
directed by law. If a member of the privy-council shall die or
depart the state, during the recess of the general assembly, the
privy-council shall choose another to act in his room, until %
nomination by the senate and house os representatives shall take
place. The clerk of the privy-council shall keep a regular journal.
of all their proceedings, in which shall be entered the yeas and
nays on every question, and the opinion, with the reasons at large,
of any member who desiiesat; which journal shffill be laid before
the legislature, when required by either house.
io. That in case of theabsence from the seat of government* or sickness of the governor and the lieutenant-governor, anyone of the privy-council may be empowered by the governor, under hi.S hand and seal, to act in his room; but such appointment shall not vacate his seat in the senate, house of representatives, or privy* council.
li. That the executive authority be vested in the governor and commander in chief, in manner herein mentioned.
12- That each parish and district throughout this state, shall on the last Monday in November next, arid the day following, and on the same days of every second year thereafter, elect, by ballot, one member of the senate; except the district of St. Philip and St. Michael's parishes, Charles-town, which shall elect two members, and except also the district between Broad and Saludy rivers, in three divisions, viz. the lower district, little river district, and upper or Spartan district, each of which said divisions shall elect one member; and except the parishes of St. Matthew and Orange, which shall elect one member; and also except the parishes of Prince George and All Saints, which shall elect one member. And the election efsenators for such parishes respectively,
shall, shall, until otherwise altered by the legislature, be at the parish of Prince George, for the said parish and the parish of All Saints, and at the parish of St. Matthew for that parish and the parish 'of Orange; to meet on the first Monday in January then next, at the seat of government, unless the casualties of war or contagious disorders should render it unsase to meet there; in which case the governor and commander in chief for the time being, may, by proclamation, with the advice and consent of the privy-council, appoint a more secure and convenient place of meeting; and to continue for two years, from the said last Monday in November; and that no person shall be eligible to a seat in the said senate, unless he be of the Protestant religion, and hath attained the age of thirty years, and hath been a resident in this state at least five years. Not less than thirteen members shall be a quorum to do business, but the president or any three members may adjourn from day to day. No person who resides in the parish or district for which he is elected, sb'alltake his seat in the senate, unless he possesses a settled estate and freehold, in his own right, in the said parish or district, of the value of two thousand pounds currency at least, clear of debt; and no non-resident shall be eligible to a seat in the said senate, unless he is owner of a settled eliate and freer, hold, in his own right, in the parish or district where he is elected, of the value of seven thousand pounds currency at least, also clear of debt. ,.J
13. That on the last Monday in November next, and the day following, and on the same days of every second year thereafter,, members of the house of representatives shall be chosen, to meet on the sirst Monday in January then next, at the seat of government, unless the casualties of war or contagious disorders should render it unsase to meet there, in which case the governor and commander in chief for the time being may by proclamation, with the advice and consent of the privy council, appoint a more secure and convenient pjaceof meeting; and to continue for two," years from the said last Monday in November. Each parish and district within this stat", shall send members to the general assembly in the, following proportions, that is to say,
The parish of St. Philip and St. Michael, Charlestown, thirty members. ..>.,.
The parish of Christ-Church, six members.
The parish of St. George, Dorchester, six members. , •
The parish of St. James, Goose-creek, six members. The parish of St. '1 homas and St. Dennis, six members. The parish of St. Paul, six members. 'The parish of St. Bartholomew, six members. , The parish of St. Helena, six members.
. The parish of St. James, Santee, six members.
The parish of Prince George, VVinyah, sour members.
The parish of All Saints, two members.
The parish of Prince Frederick, six members. ,,
The parish of St. John, in Collcton county, six members. • • The parish of St. Peter, six members. ....;.
The parish of Prince William, six members..
The parish of St. Stephen, six members. . . ,
The district to the eastward of Wateree river, ten members.
The district of Ninety-Six, ten members.
The district of Saxe-Gotha, six members. .. •. > a
The district between Broad and Saludy rivers, in three divisions, . .(, viz. o: .•: .;
The.Lower district, four members.: . ;. «..: •, ,, r.s
The district between Broad and Catawba rivers, ten members.'
The district called the New Acquisition, ten members. . The parish of St. Matthew, three members., ..>...-.
The parish of Orange, three members.
The parish of St. David, six members. .. .
The district between Savannah river, and.the north fork of Edisto, six members. . ... ..i .>•/ ••...; ; 'i
And the election of the said members shall be conducted, as near as may be, agreeable to the directions of the present or any suture election act or acts. And where there are no churches or churchwardens in a district or parish, the house of representatives, at some convenient time before their expiration, shall appoint places of election, and persons to receive votes and make returns. The qualification of electors shall be, that every free white man, and no other person, who acknowledges the being of a. God, and belhives in a suture state of rewards and punishments, and who has attained to the age of one and twenty years, and hath been a resident and an inhabitant in this state for the space of one whole year, before the day appointed for the election he offers to give his vote at, and hath a freehold at least of fifty acres of land, or a town lot, and hath been legally seized and possessed of the same, at least six months previous to such election, or hath paid a tax the preceding year, or was taxable the present year, at least six months previous to the said election, in a sum equal, to the tax on fifty acres of land, to the support of this government, shall be deemed a person qualified to vote for, and shall be capable of electing a representative or representatives^ to serve as a member or members ia the senate, and house of representatives, for the parish Ot district where he actually is a resident, or in any other parish or district, in this state, where he hath the like freehold. Electors shall take an oath or asfirmation of qualification, if required by the returning >. . .:.-i "o&cer.