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brethren, to open and adjourn the court. An adequate, fixed, but moderate falary fhall be fettled on them during their continuance in office. The prefident and privy council fhall appoint the fecretary, the attorney-general. regifters for the probate of wills, and granting letters of adminiftration, regifters in chancery, clerks of the courts of common-pleas and orphans courts, and clerks of the peace, who fhall be commiffioned as aforefaid, and remain in office during five years, if they behave themselves well; during which time the faid regifters in chancery and clerks fhall not be juftices of either of the faid courts of which they are officers, but they fhall have authority to fign all writs by them iffued, and take recognizances of bail. The juftices of the peace fhall be nominated by the houfe of affembly, that is to fay, They fhall name twenty-four perfons for each county, of whom the prefident, with the approbation of the privy-council, fhall appoint twelve, who fhall be commiffioned as aforefaid, and continue in office during seven years, if they behave themselves well; and in cafe of vacancies, or if the legislature fhall think proper to increase the number, they fhall be nominated and appointed in like manner. The members of the legislative and privy councils fhall be juftices of the peace for the whole ftate, during their continuance in truft; and the juftices of the courts of commonpleas fhall be confervators of the peace in their refpective counties.

13. The juftices of the courts of common-pleas and orphans courts fhall have the power of holding inferior courts of chancery as heretofore, unless the legiflature fhall otherwife direct.

14. The clerks of the fupreme court fhall be appointed by the chief juftice thereof, and the recorders of deeds by the juftices of the courts of common-pleas for each county feverally, and commiffioned by the prefident under the great feal, and continue in office five years, if they behave themselves well.

15. The theriffs and coroners of the refpective counties fhall be chofen annually as heretofore; and any perfon having ferved three years as theriff, fhall be ineligible for three years after; and the prefident and privy-council fhall have the appointment of fuch of the two candidates returned for the faid offices of sheriff's and coroners, as they shall think best qualified, in the fame manner that the governor heretofore enjoyed this power.

16. The general affembly by joint ballot fhall appoint the generals and field-officers, and all other officers in the army or navy of this flate. And the prefident may appoint during pleasure, until otherwife directed by the legislature, all neceffary civil officers not herein before-mentioned.


17. There fhall be an appeal from the fupreme court of Delaware in matters of law and equity, to a court of feven perfons, to confift of the prefident for the time being, who fhall prefidet therein, and fix others, to be appointed, three by the legislative


council, and three by the house of affembly, who fhall continue in office during good behaviour, and be commiffioned by the prefident under the great feal; which court fhall be ftyled, The Court of Appeals, and have all the authority and powers heretofore given by law in the laft refort to the king in council, under the old government. The fecretary fhall be the clerk of this court, and vacancies therein occafioned by death or incapacity, shall be fupplied by new elections in manner aforefaid.

18. The juftices of the fupreme court and courts of commonpleas, the members of the privy-council, the fecretary, the trustees of the loan-office, and clerks of the courts of commonpleas, during their continuance in office, and all perfons concerned in any army or navy contracts, fhall be ineligible to either house of affembly; and any member of either house accepting of any other of the offices herein before mentioned (excepting the office of a juftice of the peace) fhall have his feat thereby vacated, and a new election fhall be ordered.

19. The legislative council and affembly fhall have the power of making the great feal of this ftate, which fhall be kept by the prefident, or in his abfence by the vice-prefident, to be used by them as occafion may require. It shall be called, The Great Seal of the Delaware State, and fhall be affixed to all laws and


20. Commiffions fhall run in the name of The Delaware State, and bear teft by the prefident. Writs fhall run in the fame manner, and bear teft in the name of the chief juftice, or justice first named in the commiffions for the feveral courts, and be fealed with the public feals of fuch courts. Indictments fhall conclude, Against the peace and dignity of the flate.

21. In cafe of vacancy of the offices above directed to be filled by the prefident and general affembly, the prefident and privycouncil may appoint others in their ftead, until there fhall be a new election.

22. Every person who fhall be chofen a member of either houfe, or appointed to any office or place of truft, before taking his feat, or entering upon the execution of his office, fhall take the following oath, or affirmation if confcientiously fcrupulous of taking an oath, to wit,

"I, A. B. will bear true allegiance to the Delaware State, submit to its conftitution and laws, and do no act wittingly whereby the freedom thereof may be prejudiced."

And also make and fubfcribe the following declaration, to wit, "I, A. B. do profefs faith in God the Father, and in Jefus Chrift his only Son, and the Holy Ghoft, one God, bleffed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy fcriptures of the Old and New Teftament to be given by divine infpiration."

And all officers shall also take an oath of office.

23. The

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23. The prefident when he is out of office, and within eighteen months after, and all others, offending against the state, either by mal-adminiftration, corruption, or other means, by which the fafety of the commonwealth may be endangered, within eighteen months after the offence committed, fhall be impeachable by the house of affembly before the legislative council; fuch impeachment to be profecuted by the attorney-general, or fuch other perfon or perfons as the houfe of affembly may appoint, according to the laws of the land. If found guilty, he or they fhall be either forever difabled to hold any office under government, or removed from office pro tempore, or fubjected to fuch pains and penalties as the laws fhall direct. And all officers fhall be removed on conviction of misbehaviour at common law, or on impeachment, or upon the addrefs of the general affembly.

24. All acts of affembly in force in this ftate on the fifteenth day of May laft (and not hereby altered, or contrary to the refolutions of congrefs, or of the late houfe of affembly of this ftate) fhall fo continue until altered or repealed by the legiflature of this ftate, unless where they are temporary, in which cafe they shall expire at the times refpectively limited for their duration.

25. The common law of England, as well as fo much of the ftatute law as have been heretofore adopted in practice in this flate, shall remain in force, unless they fhall be altered by a future law of the legislature; fuch parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and privileges contained in this constitution and the declaration of rights, &c. agreed to by this convention.

26. No perfon hereafter imported into this ftate from Africa ought to be held in flavery under any pretence whatever, and no negro, Indian, or mulatto flave, ought to be brought into this ftate for fale from any part of the world.

27. The firft election for the general affembly of this ftate shall be held on the twenty-first day of October next, at the court houfes in the feveral counties, in the manner heretofore used in the election of the affembly, except as to choice of infpectors and affeffors, where affeffors have not been chofen on the fixteenth day of September inftant, which fhall be made on the morning of the day of election, by the electors, inhabitants of the refpective hundreds in each county; at which time the fheriffs and coroners for the faid counties refpectively are to be elected; and the prefent fheriffs of the counties of Newcastle and Kent may be re-chofen to that office until the first day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand feven hundred and feventy-nine, and the prefent fheriff for the county of Suffex may be re-chofen to that office until the first day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and feventy-eight, provided the frecmen think proper to re-elect them at every general election;


and the present sheriffs and coroners refpectively fhall continue to exercife their offices as heretofore, until the fheriffs and coroners to be elected on the faid twenty-first day of October shall be commiffioned and fworn into office. The members of the legiflative council and affembly fhall meet for tranfacting the bufinefs of the ftate on the twenty-eighth day of October next, and continue in office until the first day of October which will be in the year one thousand seven hundred and feventy-feven; on which day, and on the first day of October in each year forever after, the legislative council, affembly, fheriffs, and coroners, fhall be chofen by ballot in manner directed by the feveral laws of this ftate, for regulating elections of members of affembly, and fheriffs and coroners; and the general affembly shall meet on the twentieth day of the fame month, for tranfacting the bufinefs of the ftate; and if any of the faid firft and twentieth days of October fhould be Sunday, then, and in fuch case, the elections fhall be held and the general affembly meet the next day following.

28. To prevent any violence or force being ufed at the faid elections, no perfons fhall come armed to any of them; and no mufter of the militia fhall be made on that day, nor fhall any battalion or company give in their votes immediately fucceeding each other, if any other voter who offers to vote objects thereto; nor fhall any battalion or company in the pay of the continent, or of this or any other state, be fuffered to remain at the time and place of holding the faid elections, nor within one mile of the faid places refpectively, for twenty-fours before the opening faid elections, nor within twenty-four hours after the fame are clofed, fo as in any manner to impede the freely and conveniently carrying on the faid election: Provided always, that every elector may in a peaceable and orderly manner give in his vote on the faid day of election.

29. There fhall be no establishment of any one religious fect in this ftate in preference to another; and no clergyman or preacher of the gospel of any denomination fhall be capable of -holding any civil office in this flate, or of being a member of either of the branches of the legiflature, while they continue in the exercise of the paftoral function.

30. No article of the declaration of rights and fundamental rules of this state, agreed to by this convention, nor the firft, fecond, fifth (except that part thereof that relates to the right of fuffrage), twenty-fixth and twenty-ninth articles of this conftitution, ought ever to be violated on any pretence whatever. No other part of this conftitution fhall be altered, changed or diminifhed, without the confent of five parts in feven or the affembly, and feven members of the legiflative council.

Friday, September 20, 1776.


M A RY r L A N


A DECLARATION of RIGHTS, and the CONSTITUTION and FORM of GOVERNMENT agreed to by the Delegates of Maryland, in free and full CONVENTION assembled.

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HE parliament of Great Britain, by a declaratory act, having affumed a right to make laws to bind the colonies in all cafes whatsoever, and in purfuance of fuch claim endeavoured by force of arms to fubjugate the united colonies to an unconditional fubmiffion to their will and power, and having at length conftrained them to declare themselves independent states, and to affume government under the authority of the people: Therefore, we, the delegates of Maryland, in free and full convention afflembled, taking into our most serious confideration the best means of eftablishing a good conftitution in this ftate, for the fure foundation and more permanent fecurity thereof, declare,

1. That all government of right originates from the people, is founded in compact only, and instituted folely for the good of the whole.

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

3. That the inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the common law of England, and the trial by jury according to the course of that law, and to the benefit of fuch of the English statutes as exifted at the time of their firft emigration, and which by experience have been found applicable to their local and other circumftances, and of fuch others as have been fince made in England, or Great-Britain, and have been introduced, used, and practised, by the courts of law or equity; and alfo to all acts of affembly in force on the firft of June feventeen hundred and feventy-four, except fuch as may have fince expired, or have been, or may be altered by acts of convention, or this declaration of rights, fubject nevertheless to the revifion of, and amendment or repeal by, the legiflature of this ftate; and the inhabitants of Maryland are alfo entitled to all property derived to them from or under the charter granted by his Majefty Charles I, to Cæcilius Calvert, baron of Baltimore.


4. That

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