Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

viz judge of probate, sheriff, register of probate, or register of deeds; and never more than any two offices which are to be hild by appointment of the governor, or the governor and council, or the senate, or the house of representatives, or by the election of the people of the state at large, or of the people of any "tounty, military offices, and the office of justice of the peace excepted, shall beheld by one person,

No person holding the office of judge of the supreme judicial court, secretary, attorney-general, solicitor-general, treasurer or receiver-general, judge of probate, commissary-general; president, prosessor, or instructor of Harvard College ; sheriff, cleric of the house of representatives, register of probate, register of deeds, clerk of the supreme judicial court, clerk of the inserior court of common-pleas, or officer of the customs, including in this description naval officers, shall at the same time have a (eat in the senate or house of representatives; but their being chosen or appointed to, and accepting the same, shall operate as a resignation of their seat in the senate or house of representatives, and the place so vacated shall be filled up.

And the same rule shall take place in cafe any ju^ge of the said supreme judicial court, or judge of probate, shall accept a seat in council; or any councillor Avail accept of either of those offices er places.

And no person shall ever be admitted to hold a seat in the. legislature, or any office of trust or importance under the government of this commonwealth, who shall, in the due course of law, have been convicted of bribery or corruption in obtaining an election or appointment.

III. In all cases where sums of money are mentioned in this constitution, the value thereof shall be computed in silver, at six shillings and eight-pence per ounce :. and it shall be in the power of the leg stature from time to time to increase such qualifications, as to property of the persons to be elected into offices, as the circumstances of the commonwealth shall require.

IV. All commiffions shall be in the name of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed by the governor and attested by the secretary or his deputy, and have the great seal of the commonwealth affixed thereto.

V. All writs issuing out of the clerk's office in any of the courts of law shall be in the name of the commonwealth of Massachusetts: they shall be under the seal of the court from whence they issue: they shall bear test of the first: justice of the court to which they shall be returnable, who is not a party, and be signed by the clerk of such court.

VI. All the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used and approved in the province, colony, or state of MafiachusettsPay, and usually practised on in the courts of law, shall still re

Q 2 main

main and be in sull force, until altered or repealed by the legislature; such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this constitution.

VII. The privilege and benefit of the writ of habeas-corpuS shall be enjoyed in this commonwealth, in the most free, easy, cheap, expeditious and ample manner; and shall not be. suspended by the legislature, except upon the most urgent and presling occasions, and for a limited time, not, exceeding twelve months.

\ III. The enacting style in making and paffing all acts, statutes, and laws, shall be, " Be it enacted by the senate and house 'ps representatives in general court assembled, ar|d by the authority of the same."

IX. To the end there may be no sailure of justice, or danger arise to the commonwealth from a change of the form of government—all officers, civil and military, holding commiffions under the government and people of Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, and all other officers of the said government and people, at the time this constitution shall take efsect, shall have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy, all the powers and authority to them granted or committed, until other persons shall be appointed in their stead : And all courts of law shall proceed in the execution of the business of their respective departments; and all the executive and legislative officers, bodies, and powers, shall continue jn sull force, in the enjoyment and exercise of all their trusts, employments, and authority, until the general court, and the supreme and executive officers under this constitution, are designated and invested with their respective trusts, powers and authority.

X. In order the more efsectually to adhere to the principles of she constitution- and to correct tnose violations which by any means maybe made therein, a* well as to form such alterations as from experience shall be found necessary, the general court which stiall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five shall issue precepts to the selectmen of the several towns, and to the assessors of the unincorporated plantations, directing them to convene the qualifsed voters of their respective towns and plantations, for the purpose of collecting their sentirnents on the neceffi'.v or expediency of revising the constitution, in order to amendments.

And if it shall appear by the returns made, that two-thirds of the qualified voters throughout the st^te who shall assemble and vote in consequence of the said precepts are in favour of such revision and amendment, the genera^court shall issue precepts, or direct them to be issued from the secretary's office,- to the se

yeral

,veral towns to elect delegates to meet in convention, for the purpose aforesaid.

The said delegates to be chosen in the same manner and proportion as their representatives in the second branch of the legislature are by this constitution to be chosen.

XI. This form of government shall be enrolled on parchment, and depofited in the secretary's office, and be a part of the laws of the land; and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to she book containing the laws of this commonwealth, in all suture editions of' the said laws..

JAMES BOWDOIN, President. Attest. Samuel Barret, Stcrttary.

[ocr errors]

RHODE-ISLAND.

RHODE-ISLAND CHARTER, granted by King Charles II. in

the Fourteenth Year of his Reign.

Qgintadecima pars Patentium Anno Regni Regis Caroli Setundi

^uintodecimo.

CHARLES the Second, by the grace of God, &c. To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas we have been informed by the petition of our trusty and well beloved subjects, John Clarke, on the behalf of Benedict Arnold, William Brenton, William Codington, Nicholas Easton, William Boulston, John Porter, John Smith, Samuel Gorton, John Weekes, Roger Williams, Thomas OIney, Gregory Dexter, John Cogeshall, Joseph Clarke, Randall Houlden, John Greene, John Roome, Samuel Wildbore, William Field, James Barker, Richard Tew, Thomas Harris, and William Dyre, and the rest of the purchasers, and free inhabitants of our island called Rhode-Island, and the rest of the colony of Providence Plantations, in the Narraganset-Bay in New England in America, That they, pursuing with peace and loyal minds their sober, serious, and religious intentions, of godly edifying themselves and one another in the holy Christian saith and worship as they were persuaded, together with the gaining over and conversion of the poor ignorant Indian natives in those parts of America to the sincere proseffion and obedience of the .same saith and worship, did not only by the consent and good encouragement of our royal progenitors, transport themselves out of this kingdom of England into America; but also since their arrival there, after their first settlement among other our subjects in thole parts, for the avoiding of discord and those many -evils which were likely to ensue upon those Our subjects not being able to bear in those remote' parts their diffe/ent apprehensions in religious concernments ; and in pursuance of the aforesaid ends did once again leave their desirable stations and habitations, and with exceffive labour and travail, hazard and charge, did transplant themselves into the midst of the Indian natives, who, as we are informed, are the most potent princes and people of all that country ; where, by the good providence of God (from whom the plantations have taken their name} upon their labour and industry,

dustry, they have not only been preserved to admiration, but have increased and prospered, and are seized and possessed, by purchase and consent of the said natives, to their sull content, of such lands, islands, rivers, harbours, and roads, as are very convenient both for plantations, and also for building of ships, supply of pipe-staves, and other merchandise, and which lye very commodious in many respects for commerce, and to accommodate our southern plantations, and may much advance the trade of this our realm, and greatly enlarge the territories thereof; they having, by near neighbourhood to, and friendly society with, the great body of the Narraganset Indians, given them encouragement, of their own accord, to subject themselves, their people and lands, unto us; whereby, as is hoped, there may, in time, by the bleffing of God upon their endeavours, be laid a (ure foundation of happiness to all America. And whereas, in their humble address, they have freely declared, That it is much qn their hearts (if they be permitted) to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most slourishing civil state may stand, and best be maintained, and that among our English subjects, with a sull liberty iirreligious concernments; and that true piety, rightly grounded upon gospel principles, will give the best and greatest security to sovereignty, and will lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to true loyalty: Now, know ye, That we being willing to encourage the hopesul undertaking of our said loyal and loving subjects, and to secure them in the free exercise and enjoyment of all their civil and religious rights appertaining to them, as our loving subjects; and to preserve unto them that liberty in the true Christian saith and worship of God which they have sought with so much travail, and with peaceable minds and loyal subjection to our royal progenitors and ourselves, to enjoy ; and because some of the people and inhabitants of the same colony cannot, in their private opinion, conform to the public exercise of religion, according to the liturgy, form, and ceremonies of the church of England, or take or subscribe the oaths and articles made and established in that behalf; and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of those places, will, as we hope, be no breach of the unity and uniformity established in this nation, have therefore thought fit, and do hereby publish, grant, ordain, and declare, that our royal will and pleasure is, That no person within the said cohany, at any time hereafter, shall be anywise molested, punished, d'isquieted, or called in question, for any differences in opinion in matters of religion, who do not actually disturb the civil peace of our said colony; but that all and every person and persons may, from time to time, and at al! times hereafter, freely and sully have and enjoy his and their own judgemeats and consciences, in matters of religious concernments, throughout the track of land hereafter-mentioned, they behaving

themselves

« ForrigeFortsett »