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district, at the time of the election of its delegates, shall vote for one fenator, who is actually a refident and freeholder within the district, or duly qualified according to law, and is upwards of twenty-five years of age; and the fheriffs of each county, within five days at fartheft after the last county election in the district, fhall meet at fome convenient place, and from the poll so taken in their respective counties, return as a fenator the man who fhall have the greatest number of votes in the whole diftrict. To keep up this aflembly by rotation, the districts fhall be equally divided into four claffes, and numbered by lot. At the end of one year after the general election, the fix members elected by the first divifion fhall be difplaced, and the vacancies thereby occafioned fupplied from fuch clafs or divifion, by new election in the manner aforefaid. This rotation fhall be applied to each divifion according to its number, and continued in due order annually.

The right of fuffrage in the election of members for both houfes shall remain as exercised at present, and each house shall choose its own speaker, appoint its own officers, fettle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for the supplying intermediate vacancies.

All laws fhall originate in the houfe of delegates, to be approved of or rejected by the fenate, or to be amended with confent of the houfe of delegates; except money-bills, which in no inftance fhall be altered by the fenate, but wholly approved or rejected.

A governor, or chief magiftrate fhall be chofen annually, by joint ballot of both houses, to be taken in each house refpectively, depofited in the conference room, the boxes examined jointly by a committee of each houfe, and the numbers feverally reported to them, that the appointments may be entered (which shall be the mode of taking the joint ballot of both houses in all cafes) who fhall not continue in that office longer than three years fucceffively, nor be eligible until the expiration of four years after he fhall have been out of that office. An adequate, but moderate falary fhall be fettled on him during his continuance in office; and he fhall, with the advice of a council of ftate, exercise the executive powers of government, according to the laws of this commonwealth; and fhall not, under any pretence, exercife any power or prerogative by virtue of any law, ftatute, or custom of England: But he fhall, with the advice of the council of ftate, have the power of granting reprieves or pardons, except where the profecution fhall have been carried on by the house of delegates, or the law fhall otherwife particularly direct; in which cafes no reprieve or pardon fhall be granted, but by refolve of the houfe of delegates. Either house of the general assembly may adjourn themselves refpectively. The governor fhall not prorogue or adjourn the affembly during their fitting, nor diffolve them at any time; but


he fhall, if neceffary, either by advice of the council of state, or on application of a majority of the houfe of delegates, call them before the time to which they fhall ftand prorogued or adjourned.

A privy council, or council of state, confifting of eight members, fhall be chofen by joint ballot of both houfes of affembly, either from their own members or the people at large, to affift in the administration of government. They fhall annually choose, out of their own members, a prefident, who, in cafe of death, inability, or abfence of the governor from the government, fhall act as lieutenant-governor. Four members fhall be fufficient to act, and their advice and proceedings fhall be entered on record, and figned by the members prefent, (to any part whereof any member may enter his diffent) to be laid before the general affembly, when called for by them. This council may appoint their own clerk, who shall have a falary fettled by law, and take an oath of secrecy in fuch matters as he fhall be directed by the board to conceal. fum of money appropriated to that purpose, fhall be divided annually among the members, in proportion to their attendance; and they fhall be incapable, during their continuance in office, of fitting in either houfe of affembly. Two members shall be removed by joint ballot of both houfes of affembly, at the end of every three years, and be ineligible for the three next years. Thefe vacancies, as well as thofe occafioned by death or incapacity, fhall be fupplied by new elections in the fame manner.


The delegates for Virginia to the continental congrefs fhall be chofen annually, or fuperfeded in the mean time by joint ballot of both houfes of affembly.

The prefent militia officers shall be continued, and vacancies fupplied by appointment of the governor, with the advice of the privy council, on recommendations from the refpective county courts; but the governor and council fhall have a power of fufpending any officer, and ordering a court martial on complaint of misbehaviour or inability, or to fupply vacancies of officers happening when in actual fervice.

The governor may embody the militia, with the advice of the privy council; and, when embodied, fhall alone have the direction of the militia under the laws of the country.

The two houses of affembly fhall, by joint ballot, appoint judges of the fupreme court of appeals, and general court, judges in chancery, judges of admiralty, fecretary, and the attorneygeneral, to be commiffioned by the governor, and continue in office during good behaviour. In cafe of death, incapacity, or refignation, the governor, with the advice of the privy-council, fhall appoint perfons to fucceed in office, to be approved or difplaced by both houfes. Thefe officers fhall have fixed and adequate falaries, and, together with all others holding lucrative offices, and all minifters of the gospel of every denomination, be


incapable of being elected members of either house of affembly, or the privy-council.

The governor, with the advice of the privy council, fhall appoint juftices of the peace for the counties; and in cafe of vacancies, or a neceffity of increafing the number hereafter, fuch appointments to be made upon the recommendation of the refpective county courts. The prefent acting fecretary in Virginia, and clerks of all the county courts, fhall continue in office. In cafe of vacancies, either by death, incapacity, or refignation, a fecretary fhall be appointed, as before directed, and the clerks by the respective courts. The prefent and future clerks fhall hold their offices during good behaviour, to be judged of and determined in the general court. The fheriffs and coroners fhall be nominated by the respective courts, approved by the governor with the advice of the privy-council, and commiffioned by the governor. The juftices fhall appoint conftables; and all fees of the aforesaid officers be regulated by law.

The governor, when he is out of office, and others offending against the state, either by mal-administration, corruption, or other means, by which the fafety of the ftate may be endangered, shall be impeachable by the house of delegates. Such impeachment to be profecuted by the attorney-general, or fuch other person or perfons as the house may appoint, in the general court, according to the laws of the land. If found guilty, he or they fhall be either for ever difabled to hold any office under government, or be removed from fuch office pro tempore, or fubjected to fuch pains or penalties as the law fhall direct.

If all or any of the judges of the general court fhould, on good grounds (to be judged of by the house of delegates), be accused of any of the crimes or offences above mentioned, fuch houfe of delegates may in like manner impeach the judge or judges fo accufed, to be profecuted in the court of appeals; and he or they, if found guilty, fhall be punished in the fame manner as is prefcribed in the preceding claufe.

Commiffions and grants fhall run, In the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear teft by the governor, with the feal of the commonwealth annexed. Writs fhall run in the fame manner, and bear teft by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments fhall conclude, Against the peace and dignity of the com-. monwealth.

A treasurer fhall be appointed annually, by joint ballot of both houfes.

All efcheats, penalties, and forfeitures, heretofore going to the king, fhall go to the commonwealth, fave only fuch as the legiflature may abolish, or otherwife provide for.

The territories contained within the charters erecting the colonies of Maryland, Pennfylvania, North and South-Carolina,


are hereby ceded, released, and for ever confirmed to the people of these colonies refpectively, with all the rights of property, jurifdiction and government, and all other rights whatsoever, which might at any time heretofore have been claimed by Virginia, except the free navigation and use of the rivers Potomaque and Pokomoke, with the property of the Virginia fhores and strands bordering on either of the faid rivers, and all improvements which have been or fhall be made thereon. The western and northern extent of Virginia fhall in all other refpects ftand as fixed by the charter of king James I. in the year one thousand fix hundred and nine, and by the public treaty of peace between the courts of Britain and France, in the year one thousand seven hundred and fixty-three; unless, by act of this legiflature, one or more governments be established weftward of the Allegheny mountains. And no purchases of lands fhall be made of the Indian natives but on behalf of the public, by authority of the general affembly.




The CONSTITUTION, or FORM of GOVERNMENT, agreed to and refolved upon by the Reprefentatives of the Freemen of the State of North-Carolina, elected and chofen for that particular Purpose, in CONGRESS affembled, at Halifax, Dec. 18, 1776.




HAT all political power is vested in, and derived from, the people only.

2. That the people of this state ought to have the fole and exclufive right of regulating the internal government and police


3. That no man, or fet of men are entitled to exclufive or feparate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in confideration of public services.

4. That the legislative, executive, and fupreme judicial powers government ought to be for ever feparate and diftinct from each other.

5. That all powers of fufpending laws, or the execution of laws by any authority, without confent of the reprefentatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

6. That elections of members to ferve as reprefentatives in general affembly ought to be free.

7. That in all criminal profecutions every man has a right to be informed of the accufation against him, and to confront the accufers and witneffes with other teftimony, and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.

8. That no freeman fhall be put to answer any criminal charge but by indictment, prefentment, or impeachment.

9. That no freeman fhall be convicted of any crime, but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good and lawful men, in open court as heretofore used.

10. That exceffive bail fhould not be required, nor exceffive fines impofed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.

11. That general warrants whereby an officer or meffenger may be commanded to fearch fufpected places without evidence


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