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The oaths of allegiance and of office arc 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, she state is divided into five counties,, in each of which there js a court of common pleas and general seffions 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 affize anJ general jail delivery, whose jurisdiction extends over the whole state, and whp also fit twice a year in each county. The constitution admits not of religious establishments, any farther than depends upon the voluntary choice of individuals. All men profeffing one Supreme Being, ire equally protected by the jaws, and no particular fee* can claim pre-eminence.J :. , „ . >. ,W d-j it'. *
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C O *V N E C T I C U T.
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AccotwT of the CONSTITUTION of Connecticut.'
CONNECTICUT is divided into six counties* and each county is divided into a number of towns. Each town has * right to send two representatives to the general court or assembly. The general court consists of two branches called the upper and lower house. The upper house is composed of the governor, deputy-governor, and twelve affistants or counsellors; and the lower house of the representatives of the several towns. This Court has the sole power to make and repeal laws, grant levies, dispose of lands belonging to the state, to particular towns and persons.: to erect and stile judicatories and officers, as they shaU fee necessary for the good government of the people; and also to call to account any court, magistrate, or other officer, for any misdemeanor or mal-adminislration, and for just cause may sine, displace, or remove them, or deal otherwise, as the nature of the case shall require; and deal or act in any other matter that concerns the good of the state, except the election of governor, deputy-governor, affistants, treasurer, and secretary, whichihaU be done by the freemen at the yearly court of. election, unless there be any,vacancy by reason of death or otherwise, after the election, which may be filled up by the general court. This court has power also, forreasons satissactory to them, to grant suspension, release, and jail delivery upon reprieve, in capital and criminal cases. The general court has two stated sessions annually, on the second Thursdays of May and October. *..':'..:. ..
. The governor, or in his absence the deputy-governor, may call the assembly, on special emergencies, to meet at any other time.
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The governor, deputy-governor, affistants, and secretary, art annually elected on the second: Thursday in May. The repre.* sentativeS are newly chosen for each stated seffion. The judges and justices areannuadly appointed by the general court i thesame persons are commonly re-appointed from time to time during their capacity to serve, unless guilty of misbehaviour. The sheriffs are appointed by the governor and council, without limitation of time, but may be supersede! by the authority that appoints them. The governor for the time being h> captain-general of the militia; the deputy-governor* Ijeuteaant-genqfal j the other g*i neral officers, and the field officers, are appointed by the general court, and commiffioned by the governor. The captains and subalterns are chosen by the Vote os the company and housholders living within the limits of the company; the person so chosen must be approved by the general court, and commiffioned by the governor, before they have power to execute their offices. AH the military officers hold their offices during the pleasure of the assembly, nor can they resign their commiffions without leave of the captain-general, under penalty of doing duty in the ranks as private soldiers. • ~> sr. . ?>-;•.• >\ ••. .">
- The mode of electing the governor, deputy-governor, affistants, treasurer, and secretary is, that the freemen in the several towns meet on the Monday next after the first Tuesday in April annually (being the day appointed bylaw fonthat purpose, and choosing representatives), and give in their votes for the persons they choose for said offices respectively, with thei* names written on a piece of paper, whiehvdtes are received and sealed up by a constable in the freeoien!s\meeting; the votes for each of said officers in a disferent paper, writing on the outside the name of the town, and jheoffice for which the votej-are given in, which are sent by the representatives to the general'court, to be held on ;the second Thursday of May next ensuing; at which time, after the house »f representatives have chosen a speaker and cleric, a committee ischosen of members of both houses, to sort and count the votes; and declare the names of the persons chosen to said offices. Any freemen qualified to vote for representatives, &c. may be elected to any office in the government. In choosing affistants twenty persons are nominated by the votes of the freemen, given in at their meeting for choosing representatives in September annually, and sealed up and sent to the general court in Octoher then next, which are counted by a committee of both houses, and the twenty persons who have the greatest number of votes stand in nomination, out of which number twelve are to be chosen affistants by the freemen, the next April, in manner afore described. •'.,..
The qualifications requisite to entitle a person to vote in election of the officers.of government are, maturity in years, quiet and peaceable behaviour, a civil conversation, and forty shillings freehold, or forty pounds personal estate; is the selectmen of the town
3 certisy certify a personqualified inUhose respects, he is admitted a freemari, on his taking an bath of fidelity to the state. .. .:,: rw*i.os« : The names of all that are thus; admitted, are inrolled in the town-clerk's office, and continue freemen.: during lise, unless disfranchised by a sentence of the superior court on conviction of a misdemeanour. '..', .-»'.. ':.'> .r.: i oi . . , .
i . The governor or in his absence thedeputy governor in the upper house, and the speaker in the lower house of assembly, have a casting voice when the members of the respective houses, including the governor and speaker, are equally divided in opinion on any question. v; brtrtWi'jsan ,<'"'ef7io t«i i •>.i '.v"& .....">?.■■ U.iar . There« in this state.a superior court, consisting of one chief judge and four other judges, which have authority in all criminal cases, extending to lise, limb, and banishment, and to hear and determine all civil actions brought by appeal from the county Courts, or on writs of error. This court also hath authority in all matters of divorce. There are two stated sessions of the superior court in each county annually, r: . >:.o ion , > o..r.Li'
There are also county courts held in the several counties, con* sisting of one judge and four justices of the quorum, who have jurisdiction in arj criminal cases arising within their respective counties, whererthe punishment does not extend to lise, limb, or banishment. .The county courts also have original jurisdiction in all civil actions wherein the demand exceeds, forty .shillings. . The superior and county courts try matters of: sact by a jury, according to the course of, the common law. twine .:...
Justices of the peace have authority to hear and determine civil actions where the.demand does not exceed forty shillings. They also have authority in some cases of a criminal nature,.punishable by sine not exceeding forty shillings, or whipping not'exceeding ten stripes, or sitting in the> stocks. -• o. ol >. ';,,.: i
This state is also divided into a number of.probate districts,.less than counties; in each of; which is .appointed a judge for the probate of wills, granting administrationj on intestate estates, appointing guardians for minors, .ordering distribution of ;in.» testaie eitaites, &c. An appeal lies from any decree of this court to the superior court. r. '..'.'. • y. .-...';
The superior, county, and probate courts appoint their respective clerks. '.f .: ..>i;! ,....:.:T.,ii-Ji . . .Thegeoeral court 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 pounds value; the superiorcourtflom two hundred to eight hundred pounds valuej and the general assembly all cases exceeding the last mentioned sum. All attornies at law are admitted and sworn by the county courts; there is no attorney genera!, but there used to be .one eking's attorney in each county; but since the king has abdicated the government, they are now attornies to the governor and company. •• ..i:,',.. ,.,. .
N E W-T 0 R K.
Th* CONSTITUTION of the State of New-York. .
Established by the Convention, authorised and empowered for that Purpose, April 20, 1777.
X. /""T^HIS convention, in the name and by the authority of the
JL good people of this state, doth ordain, determine, and • declare, that no authority shall, on any pretence whatever, be exercised over the people or members of this state, but such as shall be derived from and granted by them.
2. This convention doth surther, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this state, ordain, determine, and .declare, that the supreme legislative power, within this state, shall be vested in two separate and distinct bodies of men; the one to be called The Jjsembly of the State of New-York; the. other to be called, The Senate of the State of New-York; who together shall form the legislature, and meet once, at least, in every year for the dispatch of business.
3. And whereas, laws inconsistent with the spirit of this constitution, or with the public good, may be hastily and unadvisedly passed; be it ordained that the governor, for the time being, the chancellor, and the judges of the supreme court, or any two of them, together with the governor, shall be, and hereby are, constituted a council to revise all bills about to be passed into laws by the legislature, and for that purpose shall assemble themselves, from time to time, when the legislature shall be convened ; for which nevertheless, they shall not receive any salary or consideration, under any pretence whatever. And that all billsj which have passed the senate and assembly, shall, before they become laws, be presented to the said council for their revisal and consideration; and if upon such revision and consideration, it should appear improper to the said council, or a majority of them, that the said bill should become a law of this state, that they return the same, together with their objections thereto in writing, to the senate or house of assembly, in which soever the same shall have originated, who shall enter the objections sent down by the council, at large, in their minutes,and proceed to reconsider the said bill. But if after such reconsideration, two thirds of the said senate or house of assembly, shall, notwithstanding the said objections^ agree to pass the
same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and is approved by two thirds of the members present shall be a law. And in order to prevent any unnecessary delays, be it surther ordained, that if any bill shall not be returned by the council within ten days after it shall have been presented; the same shall be a law, unless the legislature shall, by their adjournment, render a return of the said bill within ten days impracticable; in which cafe the bill shall be returned on the first day of the meeting of the legislature, after the expiration of the said ten days. ,
4. That the assembly shall consist ps at least seventy members, to be annually chosen in the severaj counties in. the pro, portions following, vis.
For the city and pounty of New-York, nine.
The county of Charlotte," four.
5. That as soon after the expiration of seyen years, subsefluent to the termination of the present war as may be, a cer;sus of the electors and inhabitants in this slate be taken, under the direction of the legislature. And is on such census, it shall appear, that the number of representatives in assembly from the said counties, is not justly proportioned to the number of electors in the said counties respectively, that the legislature do adjust an.d apportipn the same by that rule. And further, that once in every seven years, after the taking of the said first census a just account of the electors resident in each county shall be taken; and is it shall thereupon appear, that the number of electors in any county, /hall have encreased or diminished one or moTe seventieth parts of the whole number of electors, which cjn the sajil first census shall be found ir. this state, the number of representatives for such county shall be increased or diminished accordingly, that is to say, one representative for every seventieth part as aforesaid.