said, shall be deemed and taken to be a resignation of his said office; and judges of the courts of common pleas shall hold no other office, under the government of this commonwealth, the office of the justice of the peace and militia officers excepted.

Art. 9. If at any time hereafter, any specific and particular amendment, or amendments to the Constitution be proposed in the general court, and agreed to by a majority of the senators, and two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives present and voting thereon, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on the journals of the two Houses, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the general court then dext to be chosen, and shall be published ; and if in the general court then next chosen, as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of the senators and two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives present and voting thereon; then it shall be the duty of the general court to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people; and if they shall be approved and ratified by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon, at meetings legally warned and holden for that purpose, they shall become part of the Constitution of this commonwealth,

Resolved, That the above recited articles of amendment, shall be enrolled on parchment, and deposited in the secretary's office, as a part of the Constitution and funda. mental laws of this commonwealth, and published in immediate connexion therewith, in all future editions of the laws of this commonwealth, printed by public autho rity. And in order that the said amendments may be promulgated and made known to the people of this commonwealth, without delay, it is further

Resolved, That his excellency, the Governor, be, and he hereby is authorized and requested to issue his proclamation, reciting the articles aforesaid ; announcing that the same have been duly adopted and ratified by the people of this common

onwealth, and become a part of the Constitution thereof; and requiring all magistrates, officers, civil and military, and all the citizens of this common. wealth, to take notice thereof, and govern themselves aco cordingly."

Now, therefore, I, John Brooks, Governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority to me given by the resolution last above written, do issue this my proclamation, and I do hereby announce, that the several articles aforesaid have been duly ratified and adopted by the people of this commonwealth, and have become a part of the Constitution thereof. And all magistrates, officers, civil and military, and all the citizens of the commonwealth, are required to take notice thereof, and govern themselves accordingly. Given at the council chamber, in Boston, the day and year first above written, and in the forty-fifth year

of the independence of the United States.

JOHN BROOKS. By his Excellency, the Governor,

ALDEN BRADFORD, Secretary. God save the commonwealth of Massachusetts !



SECTION 1. No member of this State shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.

2. The trial by Jury, in all cases in which it has been heretofore used, shall remain inviolate forever.

But a jury trial

may be waived by the parties in all civil cases, in the manner to be prescribed by law.

3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State to all mankind; and no person

shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be 80 construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or jus. tify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.

4. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspendel, unless when; in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension.

5. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.

6. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of the militia, when in actual service; and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this State may keep with the consent of Congress in time of peace; and in cases of perit larceny, under the regulation of the Legislature), unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury, and in any trial in any court whatever, the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person and with counsel, as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the saine offence; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

7. When private property shall be taken for any public use, the compensation to be made therefor, when such coinpensation is not made by the State, shall be ascertained by a jury, or by not less than three commissioners appointed by a court of record, as shall be prescribed by law. Private roads may be opened in the manner lo be prescribed by law; but in every case the necessity of the road, and the amount of all damage to be sustained by the opening thereof, shall be first determined by a jury of freeholders, and such amount, together with the expenses of the proceeding, shall be paid by the person to be benefitted.

8. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech, or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall ap. pear to the jury, that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published with good motives, and for justi


fiable ends, the party shall be acquitted ; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.

9. The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the Legislature, shall be requisite to every bill appropriating the public moneys or property for local or private purposes.

10. No law shall be passed, abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the gove ernment, or any department thereof, nor shall any divorce be granted, otherwise than by due judicial proceedings, nor shall any lottery hereafter be authorized or any sale of lottery tickets allowed within this State.

11. The People of this State, in their right of sovereignty, are deemed to posess the original and ultimate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction of the State ; and all lands the title to which shall fail, from a defect of heirs, shall revert, or escheat to the people.

12. All feudal tenures of every description, with all their incidents, are declared to be abolished, saving however, all rents and services certain which at any time heretofore have been lawfully created or reserved.

13. All lands within this State are declared to be allodial, so that, subject only to the liability to escheat, the entire and absolute property is vested in the owners according to the nature of their respective estates.

14. No lease or grant of agricultural land, for a longer period than twelve years, hereafter made, in which shall be reserved any rent or service of any kind, shall be valid.

15. All fines, quarter sales, or other like restraints upon alienation reserved in any grant of land, hereafter to be made, shall be void.

16. No purchase or contract for the sale of lands in this State, made since the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five ; or which may hereafter be made, of, or with the Indians, shall be valid, unless made under the authority, and with the consent'of the Legislature.

17. Such parts of the common law, and of the acts of the Legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony, on the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy

five, and the resolutions of the Congress of the said colony, and of the Convention of the State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed or altered ; and such acts of the Legislature of this State as are now in force, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations as the Legislature shall make concerning the

But all such parts of the common law, and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this Constitution, are hereby abrogated; and the Legislature, at its first session after the adoption of this Constitution, shall appoint three commissioners, whose duty it shall be to reduce into a written and systematic code the whole body of the law of this State, or so much and such parts thereof as to the said commissioners shall seem practicable and expedient. And the said cominissioners shall specify such alterations and amendments therein as they shall deem proper, and they shall at all times make reports of their proceedings to the Legislature, when called upon to do so; and the Legislature shall pass laws regulating the tenure of office, the filling of vacancies therein, and the compensation of the said commissioners ; and shall also provide for the publication of the said code, prior to its being presented to the Legisislature for adoption.


18. All grants of land within this ate, made by the King of Great Britain, or persons acting under his authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null and void ; but nothing contained in this Constitution shall affect any grants of land within this State, made by the authority of the said king or his predecessors, or shall annul any charters to bodies politic and corporate, by him or them made, before that day; or shall affect any such grants or charters since made by this State, or by persons acting under its authority, or shall impair the obligation of any debts contracted by this State, or individuals, or bodies corporate, or any other rights of property, or any suits, actions, rights of action, or other proceedings in courts of justice.

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