Abbildungen der Seite

tion called Quakers, and shall decline taking said oath, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, omitting the word “swear,” and inserting, instead thereof, the word “affirm," and omitting the words "so help me God," and subjoining, instead thereof, the words “ this I do under the pains and penalties of perjury.

Art. 7. No oath, declaration, or subscription, excepting the oath prescribed in the preceding article, and the oath of office, shall be required of the governor, lieutenant governor, counsellors, senators, or representatives, to qualify them to perform the duties of their respective offices.

Art. 8. No judge of any court of this commonwealth, (except the court of sessions,) and no person holding any office under the authority of the United States, (post masters excepted,) shall, at the same time, hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, or counsellor, or have a seat in the senate or house of representatives of this commonwealth; and no judge of any court in this commonwealth, (except the court of sessions,) nor the attorney general, solicitor general, county attorney, clerk of any cổurt, sheriff, treasurer and receiver general, register of probate, nor register of deeds, shall continue to hold his said office after being elected a member of the congress of the United States, and accepting that trust; but the acceptance of such trust, by any of the officers aforesaid, 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 next 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 fundamental laws of this commonwealth, and published in immediate connexion therewith, in all future editions of the laws of this commonwealth, printed by public authority. 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 commonwealth, and become a part of the constitution thereof; and requiring all magistrates, officers civil and military, and all the citizens of this commo

monwealth, to take notice thereof, and govern themselves' accordingly."

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 !


The Constitution of New Hampshire, as altered and amended by

a convention of delegates held at Concord, in said state, by adjournment, on the second Wednesday of February, 1792.


BILL OF RIGHTS. ARTICLE 1. All men are born'equally free and independent: Therefore, all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded in consent, and instituted for the general good.

2. All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent

rights-among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness.

3. When men enter into a state of society, they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others; and without such an equivalent the surrender is void.

4. Among the natural rights, some are in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or received for them. Of this kind are the rights of conscience.

5. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no person shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or disturb others in their religious worship.

6. As morality and piety, rightly grounded on evangelical principles, will give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay, in the hearts of men, the strongest obligations to due subjection; and as the knowledge of these is most likely to be propagated through a society, by the institution of the public worship of the Deity, and of public instruction in morality and religion; therefore, to promote these important purposes, the people of this state have a right to empower, and do hereby fully empower, the legislature, to authorize, from time to time, the several towns, parishes, bodies corporate, or religious societies, within this state, to make adequate provision, at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of public protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality:

Provided, notwithstanding, That the several towns, parishes, bodies corporate, or religious societies, shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their own public teachers, and of contracting with them for their support and maintenance: And no person, of any one particular religious sector denomination, shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the teacher or teachers of another persuasion, sect, or denomination.

And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves quietly, and as good citizens of the state, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another, shall ever be established by law.

And nothing herein shall be understood to affect any former contracts made for the support of the ministry; but all such contracts shall remain, and be in the same state, as if this constitution had not been made.

7. The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and for ever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled.

8. All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government, are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them.

9. No office or place whatsoever, in government, shall be hereditary-the abilities and integrity requisite in all, not being transmissible to posterity or relations.

10. Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, or public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to, reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

11. All elections ought to be free, and every inhabitant of the state, having the proper qualifications, has an equal right to elect, and be elected, into office.

12. Every member of the community has a right to be protected by it, in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property; he is therefore bound to contribute his share to the expense of such protection, and to yield his personal service when necessary, or an equivalent. But no part of a man's property shall be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. Nor are the inhabitants of this state controllable by any other laws than those to which they, or their representative body, have given their consent.

13. No person who is conscientiously scrupulous about the lawfulness of bearing arms, shall be compelled thereto, provided he will pay an equivalent.

14. Every citizen of this state is entitled to a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries he may receive in his person, property, or character; to obtain right and justice freely, without being obliged to purchase it; completely, and without denial, promptly, and without delay, conformable to the laws.

15. No person shall be held to answer for any crime or offence, until the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally, described to him: nor be compelled to accuse or furnish evidence against himself. And every person shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favourable to himself; to meet the witnesses against him, face to face; and to be fully heard in his defence, by himself, and counsel. And no person shall be arrested, imprisoned, despoiled, or deprived of bis property, immunities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled, or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

16. No person shall be liable to be tried, after an acquittal, for the same crime or offence. Nor shall the legislature make any law that shall subject any person to a capital punishment, (excepting for the government of the army and navy, and the militia in actual service,) without trial by jury.

17. In criminal prosecutions the trial of facts, in the vicinity where they happen, is so essential to the security of the life, liberty, and estate, of the citizens, that no crime or offence ought to be tried in any other county than that in which it is committed, except in cases of general insurrection in any particular county, when it shall appear to the judges of the superior courts that an impartial trial cannot be had in the county where the offence may be committed, and upon their report the legislature shall think proper to direct the trial in the nearest county in which an impartial trial can be obtained.

18. All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offence, No wise legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery, and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same undistinguished severity is exerted against all offences, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offences. For the same reason, a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjust. The true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate, mankind.

19. Every person hath a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. Therefore, all warrants to search suspected places, or arrest a person for examination or trial, in prosecutions for criminal matters, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order in a warrant of a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be issued, but in cases, and with the formalities, prescribed by law,

« ZurückWeiter »