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"I, A. B. do solemnly declare, that, as a member of the\ legislative council (or assembly, as the case may be) of the colony of New-Jersey, I will not assent to any law, vote, or proceeding, which shall appear so me injurious to the public welsare of said colony, nor that shall annul or repeal that part of the third section in the charter in this colony, which establishes that the elections of members of the legislative council and assembly shall be annual, nor that part of the twentysecond section in said charter, respecting the trial by jury, nor that shall annul, repeal, or alter any part or parts of the eighteenth or nineteenth sections of the same,"
And any person or persons, who shall be elected as aforesaid, is hereby impowered to administer to the said members, the said] oath or affirmation.
Provided always* and it is the true intent and meaning of this congress, that is a reconciliation between Great-Britain and these colonies should take place, and the latter be taken again, under the protection and government of the crown of Britain, this charter shall be null and void, otherwise to remain sirm and inviolable. [ f • .
*i •. • .. , . .. '
In Provincial Congress, New-Jersey, Burlington, July 2, I776. .,:
By order of .Ctngrest, > * .
SAMUEL TUCKER* President.
Extract from the Minutes; :~
WitiiAM Paterson, Secretary.,
^'CONSTITUTION of the Commonwealth of Peiin^ sylvania, as established by the General Convention, eleiied for that Purpose, and held at Philadelphia, July\^ 1776, and consumed by Adjournments to September 28, 1776.
WHEREAS all government ought to be instituted and supported for the security and protection of the community as such, and to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and the other bleffings which the author of existence has bestowed upon man; and whenever these great ends of government are not obtained, the people have a right, by common consent to change it, and take such measures as to them may appear necessary to promote their sasety and happiness. And whereas the inhabitants of this commonwealth have, in consideration of protection only, heretofore acknowledged allegiance to the king of Great Britain, and the said king has not only withdrawn that protection, but commenced> and still continues to carry on, with unabated vengeance, a most cruel and unjust war against them^ employing therein, not only the troops of Great-Britain, but foreign mercenaries, savages, and slaves, for the avowed purpose of reducing them to a total and abject submiffion, to the despotic domination of the British Parliament, with many other acts of tyranny, (more fully set forth in the declaration of congress) whereby all allegiance and sealty to the said king and his succestbrs, are dissolved and at an end, and all power and authority derived from him ceased in these colonies. And whereas it is absolutely necessary for the welsare and sasety of the inhabitants of said colonies, that they be henceforth free and independent states, and that just, permanent, and proper forms of government exist in every part of them, derived from and fouhded on the authority of the people only, agreeable to the directions of the honourable American congress. We, the representatives of the freemen as Pennsylvania, in general convention met, for the express purpose of framing such a government, conseffing the irpodness of the great Governor of the universe, (who alone
h2 knows *nows to what degree of earthly happiness mankind may attain, by persecting-the arts of government) in permitting the. people of this state,'by common consent, and without violence, deliberately to form for themselves such just rules as they shall think best, for governing their suture society; and being sully convinced, that it is our indispensible duty to establish such original principals of government, as will best promote the general happiness of the people of this state, and their posterity, an<f provide for suture improvements, without partiality for, ,or prejudice against any particular class, sect, or denomination of men whatever, do, by virtue of the authority, vested in us by our constituents, ordain, declare, and establish, the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Governments to be the Constitution of this commonwealth, and to remain in force therein for ever, unaltered, except in such articles as shall hereafter on experience be found to require improvement, and which shall by the same authority of the people, sairly delegated as this frame of government directs, be amended or improved for the more effectual obtaining and securing the great end and design of all government, herein before mentioned.
A DECLARATION of the R I G H T S:
of the Inhabitants of the State of Pennsylvania.
I. r | **HAT all men are born equally free and independent, Jj_ and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable' rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and desending life and liberty, acquiring, posseffing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and sasety.
2. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding: And that no man ought, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or suppprt any place of worship, or maintain any ministry, contrary to, or against, his own free will and consent: Nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of hjs religious sentiments, or peculiar mode of religious worship: And that no authority can or ought to be vested in, or assumed by any power whatever, thut shall in any case
interfere with, or In any manner confroul, the right pf conscience in the free exercise of religious Worship.
T! That the people of this state have the sole, exclusive, and inherent right of governing and regulating the internal police of the same,
A.. That all power being originally inherent in, and consequently-derived from, the people j therefore all officers of government, whether legislative or excutive, are their trustees, and servants, and at all times accountable to them. "5. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single man, samily, or set of men, who are a part only of that community: And that the community hath an undubitable, inalienable, and indeseasible right to reform, klter, or abolish government in such manner, as shall be by that community judged jnost conducive to the public weal.
6. That those who are employed in the legislative and executive business of the state may be restrained from oppreffion, .the people have a right, at such periods as they may think proper, to reduce their public officers to a private station, and supply the vacancies by certain and regular elections.
7. That all elections ought to be free; and that all free men having a sufficient eyident common interest with, and attachment to the community, have a right to elect officers, or te elected into office.
8. That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of lise, liberty, and property, and therefore is bound to contribute his proportion towards the expence of that protection, and yield his personal service, when necessary, or an equivalent thereto: But no part of a man's property can be justly taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his consent, or that of his legal representatives: 'Nor Can any man who is consciencioully scrupulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto, if he will pay such equivalent: Nor are the people bound by any laws, but such as they have in like manner assented, to for their common good-.
9. That in all prosecutions for criminal offences, a man hath a right to be heard by himself and his council, to demand the cause and nature pf his accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses, to call for evidence in his savour, and a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the country, without the unanimous consent of which jury he cannot be found guilty: Nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself: Nor can any man be justly deprived of his liberty, except by the laws of the land, or the judgmen/. of his peers.
: 10. That
.IjO. That the people have a right to hold themselves their houses, papers, and posseffions free from search or seizure j and therefore warrants without oaths or affirmations first made, affording a sufficient foundation for them, and wherebyany officer or messenger may be commanded or required to search .suspected places, or to seize any person or persons, his or their .property, not particularly described, are contrary to that right and ought not to be granted,
ii. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the parties have a right to trial by jury, .which ought to be held sacred,
12, That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing, and publishing their sentiments; therefore the freedom 9s the press ought not to be restrained,
j 3. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence -of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time ©f peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept .up: And that the military should be kept under strict, subordination to, and governed by, the civil power,
14. That a frequent recurrence to sundamental principles, ;and a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, in-~ dustry, and frugality are absolute necessary to preserve th© .bleffings of liherty, and keep a government free; The people ought therefore to pay particular attention to these points io. the choice of officers and representatives, and have a right tx> exact a due and constant regard to them, from their legislators and magistrates, in the making and executing such laws as are necessary for the good government of the state,
15. That all men have a natural inherent right to emigrate from one state to another that will receive them, or to form a new state in vacant countries, or in such countries as they can purchase, whenever they think that thereby they may promote their own happiness,
16. That the people have a right to assemble together, ta consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives^ and. to apply to the legislature for redress of grievances, by address, petition, or remonstrance.