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presence of the two Houses of Assembly; and by the Senators and Representatives first elected under this Constitution, before the President, and five of the Council, of the former Constitution ; and, forever afterwards, before the Governor and Council for the time being ; and by the residue of the officers aforesaid, before such persons, and in such manner, as from time to time shall be prescribed by the Legislature.
II. No Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court, shall hold any other office, or place under the authority of this Commonwealth, except such as by this Constitution they are admitted to hold, saving that the Judges of the said Court may hold the offices of Justices of the Peace through the State ; nor shall they hold any other place or office, or receive any pension or salary, from any other state, or government, or power, whatever.
No person shall be capable of holding or exercising, at the same time, more than one of the following offices within this State, viz. Judge of Probate, Sheriff, Register of Probate, or Register of Deeds ; and never more than any two offices, which are to be held by appointment of the Governor, or the Governor and Council, or the Senate, or the House of Representatives, or by the election of the people of the State at large, or of the people of any county, (military officer, and the office of Justice of the Peace excepted) shall be held by one person.
No person, holding the office of Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court, Secretary, Attorney-General, Solicitor-General, Treasurer or Receiver General, Judge of Probate, Commissary-General; President, Professor, or Instructor of Harvard College ; Sheriff, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Register of Probate, Register of Deeds, Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court, Clerk of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, or officer of the Customs, (including in this description naval officers) shall at the same timu have a seat in the Senate or House of Representatives ; but their being chosen or appointed to, and accepting the same, shall operate as a resignation of their seat in the Senate or House of
Representatives ; and the place so vacated shall be filled up.
And the same rule shall take place, in case any Judge of the said Supreme Judicial Court, or Judge of Probate, shall accept a seat in Council ; or any Counsellor shall accept of either of those offices or places.
And no person shall ever be admitted to hold a seat in the Legislature, or any office of trust or importance under the government of this Commonwealth, who shall, in the due course of law, have been convicted of bribery, or corruption in obtaining an election or appoint. ment.
III. In all cases, where sums of money are mentioned in this Constitution, the value thereof shall be computed in silver, at six shillings and eight pence per ounce; and it shall be in the power of the Legislature, from time to time, to increase such qualifications, as to property, of the persons to be elected into offices, as the circumstances of theCommonwealth shall require.
IV. All commissions shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed by the Governor, and attested by the Secretary or his Deputy, and have the great seal of the Commonwealth affixed thereto..
V. All writs, issuing out of the Clerk's office, in any of the courts of law, shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ; they shall be under the seal of the court from whence they issue; they shall bear test of the first Justice of the Court, to which they shall be returnable, (who is not a party) and be signed by the Clerk of such Court.
VI. All the laws, which have heretofore been adopted, used and approved in the province, colony or state of Massachusetts-Bay,and usually practised on in theCourts of law, shall still remain and be in full force, until altered or repealed by the Legislature ; such parts only excepted, as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this Constitution."
VII. The privilege and benefit of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall be enjoyed in this Commonwealth, in the most free, easy, cheap, expeditious and ample manner;
and shall not be suspended by the Legislature, except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time not exceeding twelve months.
VIII. The enacting stile, in making and passing all acts, statutes, and laws, shall be, « Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same."
IX. To the end there may be no failure of justice, or danger arise to the Commonwealth, from a change of the form of government, all officers civil and military, holding commissions under the government and people of Massachusetts-Bay, in New-England, and all other officers of said people, at the time this Constitution shall take effect, shall have, hoid, use, exercise and enjoy, all the powers and authority to them granted or committed, until other persons shall be appointed in their stead; and all courts of law shall proceed in the execution of the business of their respective departments; and all the executive and legislative officers, bodies and powers shall continue in full force in the enjoyment and exercise of all their trusts, employments and authority, until the General Court, and the Supreme and Executive officers, under this Constitution, are designated and invested with their respective trusts, powers and authority.
X. In order the more effectually to adhere to the principles of the Constitution, and to correct those violations which by any means may be made therein, as well as to form such alterations as from experience shall be found necessary, the General Court, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, shall issue precepts to the Selectmen of the several towns, and to the Assessors of the unincorporated plantations, directing them to convene the qualified voters of their respective towns and plantations, for the purpose of collecting their sentiments, on the necessity or expediency of revising the Constitution in order to amendments.
And if it shall appear, by the returns made, that two. thirds of the qualified voters throughout the State, who shall assemble and vote in consequence of the said prea
cepts, are in favour of such revision or amendment, the General Court shall issue precepts, or direct them to bc issued from the Secretary's office to the several towns, to elect delegates to mcet in convention, for the purpose aforesaid,
The said delegates to be chosen in the same manner and proportion, as their Representatives, in the second branch of the Legislature, are by this Constitution to be chosen.
XI. This form of government shall be enrolled on parchment, and deposited in the Secretary's office, and be a part of the laws of the land ; and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to the book containing the laws of this Commonwealth, in all future editions of the said laws.
JAMES BOWDOIN, Pres. Atiest. SAMUEL BARRET, Sec.
RHODE-ISLAND. Rhode-Island Charter, granted by King Charles II, in the
fourteenth year of his reign. Quntadecima pars Patentium Anno Regni Regis Caroli
. Secundi Quintodecimo. CHARLES the Second, by the grace of God, &c.
w To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas we have been informed, by the petition of our trusty and well beloved subjects, John Clarke, on the behalf of Benedict Arnoid, William Brenton, Wil. liam Codington, Nicholas Easton, William Boulston, John Porter, John Sluith, Samuel Gorton, John Weekes, Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, Gregory Dexter, John Cogeshall, Joseph Clarke, Randall Houlden, John Green, John Roome, Samuel Wildbore, William Field, James Barker, Richard Tew, Thomas Harris and William Dyre, and the rest of the purchasers, and free inhabitants of our island called Rhode-Island, and the rest of the colony of Providence Plantations, in the
Narraganset Bay, in New-England, in America - That they, pursuing with peace and loyal minds their sober, serious, and religious intentions, of Godly edifying them- i selves, and one another, in the holy Christian faith and worship as they were persuaded, together with the gaining over and conversion of the poor ignorant Indian natives, in those parts of America, to the sincere profession and obedience of the same faith and worship, did not only, by the consent and good encouragement of our royal progenitors, transport themselves out of this kingdom of England, into America ; but also since their arrival there, after their first settlement amongst other of our subjects in those parts, for the avoiding of discord, and those many evils which were likely to ensue upon those our subjects, not being able to bear, in those remote parts, their different apprehensions in religious concernments ; and in pursuance of the aforesaid ends, did once again leave their desirable stations and habitations, and with excessive labour and travel, hazard and charge, did transplant themselves into the midst of the Indian natives, who, as we are informed, are the most potent princes and people of all that country ; where, by the good Providence of God, (from whom the plantations have taken their name) upon their labour and industry, they have not only been preserved to admiration, but have increased and prospered, and are seized and pose sessed, by purchase and consent of the said natives, to their full content, of such lands, islands, rivers, harbours, and roads, as are very convenient both for plan tations, and also for building of ships, supply of pipestaves, and other merchandise, which lie very commodi. ous, in many respects, for commerce, and to accommodate our southern plantations, and may much advance the trade of this our realm, and greatly enlarge the territories thereof; they having by near neighbourhood to, and friendly society with, the great body of Narraganset Indians, given them encouragement of their own accord, to subject themselves, their people and land unto us; whereby, as is hoped, there may, in