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20. In all controversies concerning property, and in all suits between two or more persons, excepting in cases wherein it hath been heretofore otherwise used and practised, the parties have a right to a trial by jury; and this right shall be deemed sacred and inviolable; but the legislature may, by the constitution, be empowered to make such regulations as will prevent parties from having as many trials by jury, in the same suit or action, as bath been heretofore allowed and practised, and to extend the civil jurisdiction of justices of the peace to the trials of suits where the sum demanded in damages doth not exceed four pounds, saving the right of appeal to either party. But no such regulations shall take away the right of trial by jury, in any case not in this article before excepted, unless in cases respecting mariners' wages.
21. In order to reap the fullest advantage of the inestimable privilege of the trial by jury, great care ought to be taken that none but qualified persons should be appointed to serve; and such ought to be fully compensated for their travel time, and attendance.
22. The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved.
23. Retrospective laws are highly injurious, oppressive, and unjust. No such laws, therefore, should be made, either for the decision of civil causes, or the punishment of offences.
24. A well regulated militia is the proper, natural, and sure defence, of a state.
25. Standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be raised, or kept up, without the consent of the legislature.
26. In all cases, and at all times, the military ought to be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
27. No soldier, in time of peace, shall be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; and in time of war, such quarters ought not to be made but by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the legislature.
28. No subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duty, shall be established, fixed, laid, or levied, under any pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people, or their representatives in the legislature, or authority derived from that body.
29. The power of suspending the laws, or the execution of them, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived therefrom, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the legislature shall expressly provide for.
30. The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, in either house of the legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any action, complaint, or prosecution, in any other court or place whatso
31. The legislature shall assemble for the redress of public
grievances, and for making such laws as the public good may require,
32. The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the public good, give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.
33. No magistrate or court of law shall demand excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel or unusual punishments.
34. No person can in any case be subjected to law martial, or to any pains or penalties by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the legislature.
35. It is essential to the preservation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, that the judges of the supreme judicial court should hold their offices so long as they behave well ; subject, however, to such limitations, on account of age, as may be provided by the constitution of the state ; and that they should have honourable salaries, ascertained and established by standing laws.
36. Economy being a most essential virtue in all states, especially in a young one; no pension shall be granted but in consideration of actual services; and such pensions ought to be granted with great caution by the legislature, and never for more than one year at a time.
37. In the government of this state, the three essential powers thereof, to wit, the legislative, executive, and judicial, ought to be kept as separate from, and independent of, each other, as the nature of a free government will admit, or as is consistent with that chain of connexion that binds the whole fabric of the constitution in one indissoluble bond of unity and amity.
38. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, frugality, and all the social virtues, are indispensably necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and good government; the people ought, therefore, to have a particular regard to all those principles in the choice of their officers and representatives: And they have a right to require of their lawgivers and magistrates an exact and constant observance of them in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of the govern
Form of Government. The people inhabiting the territory formerly called the province of New Hampshire, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other to form themselves into a free, sovereign, and independent body politic, or state, by the name of the State of New Hampshire.
General Court. The supreme legislative power, within this state, shall be vested in the senate and house of representatives, each of which shall have a negative on the other.
The senate and house shall assemble every year on the first Wednesday in June-and at such other times as they may judge necessary; and shall dissolve, and be dissolved, seven days days next preceding the said first Wednesday in June; and shall be styled The General Court of New Hampshire.
The general court shall for ever have full power and authority to erect and constitute judicatories and courts of record, or other courts, to be holden in the name of the state, for the hearing, trying, and determining all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, plaints, actions, causes, matters, and things whatsoever, arising or happening within this state, or between or concerning persons inhabiting or residing, or brought within the same, whether the same be criminal or civil, or whether the crimes be capital or not capital, and whether the said pleas be real, personal, or mixed; and for awarding and issuing execution thereon. To which courts and judicatories, are hereby given and granted, full power and authority, from time to time, to administer oaths or affirmations, for the better discovery of truth in any matter in controversy, or depending before them
And farther, full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the said general court, from time to time, to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, laws, statutes, ordinances, directions, and instructions, either with penalties or without, so as the same be not repug nant or contrary to this constitution, as they may judge for the benefit and welfare of this state, and for the governing and ordering thereof, and of the citizens of the same, for the neces. sary support and defence of the government thereof; and to name and settle annually, or provide by fixed laws for the naming and settling all civil officers within this state; such officers excepted, the election and appointment of whom are hereafter in this form of government otherwise provided for; and to set forth the several duties, powers, and limits, of the several civil and military officers of this state, and the forms of such oaths or affirmations as shall be respectively administered unto them, for the execution of their several offices and places, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitua
tion; and also to impose fines, mulcts, imprisonments, and other punishments; and to impose and levy proportional and reasonable assessments, rates, and taxes upon all the inhabitants of, and residents within, the said state; and upon all estates within the same; to be issued and disposed of by warrant, under the hand of the governor of this state for the time being, with the advice and consent of the council, for the public service, in the necessary defence and support of the government of this state, and the protection and preservation of the citizens thereof, according to such acts as are, or shall be, in force within the same.
And while the public charges of government, or any part thereof, shall be assessed on polls and estates in the manner that has been heretofore practised, in order that such assessments may be made with equality, there shall be a valuation of the estates within the state, taken anew once in every five years at least, and as much oftener as the general court shall order.
No member of the general court shall take fees, be of counsel or act as advocate, in any cause before either branch of the legislature; and upon due proof thereof, such member shall forfeit his seat in the legislature.
The doors of the galleries of each house of the legislature shall be kept open to all persons who behave decently, except when the welfare of the state, in the opinion of either branch, shall require secrecy.
Senate, The senate shall consist of twelve members, who shall hold their offices for one year, from the first Wednesday in June next ensuing their election.
And that the state may be equally represented in the senate, the legislature shall, from time to time, divide the state into twelve districts, as nearly equal as may be without dividing towns and unincorporated places; and in making this division, they shall govern themselves by the proportion of public taxes paid by the said districts, and timely make known to the inhabitants of the state the limits of each district.
The freeholders and other inhabitants of each district, qualified as in this constitution is provided, shall annually give in their votes for a senator, at some meeting holden in the month of March.
The senate shall be the first branch of the legislature: and the senators shall be chosen in the following manner, viz. Every male inhabitant of each town, and parish with town privileges, and places unincorporated, in this state, of twentyone years of age and upwards, excepting paupers and persons excused from paying taxes at their own request, shall have a right, at the annual or other meetings of the inhabitants of said towns and parishes, to be duly warned and holden annually for ever in the month of March, to vote in the town or parish wherein he dwells, for the senators in the county or district whereof he is a member.
Provided, nevertheless, That no person shall be capable of being elected a senator, who is not seized of a freehold estate, in his own right of the value of two hundred pounds, lying within this state, who is not of the age of thirty years, and who shall not have been an inhabitant of this state for seven years immediately preceding his election, and at the time thereof he shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he shall be chosen.
And every person, qualified as the constitution provides, shall be considered an inhabitant for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office or place within this state, in the town, parish, and plantation, where he dwelleth, and hath his home.
And the inhabitants of plantations and places unincorporated, qualified, as this constitution provides, who are, or shall be required to assess taxes upon themselves towards the support of government, or shall be taxed therefor, shall have the same privilege of voting for senators, in the plantations and places wherein they reside, as the inhabitants of the respective towns and parishes aforesaid have. And the meeting of such plantations and places for that purpose shall be holden annually, in the month of March, at such places respectively therein as the assessors thereof shall direct; which assessors shall have like authority for notifying the electors, collecting and returning the votes, as the selectmen and town clerks have in their several towns by this constitution.
The meetings for the choice of governor, council, and sena. tors, shall be warned, by warrant, from the selectmen, and governed by a moderator, who shall, in the presence of the selectmen, (whose duty it shall be to attend,) in open meeting, receive the votes of all the inhabitants of such towns and parishes present, and qualified to vote for senators; and stall, in said meetings, in presence of the said selectmen and of the town clerk, in said meeting, sort and count the said votes, and make a public declaration thereof, with the name of every person voted for, and the number of votes for each person: and the town clerk shall make a fair record of the same at large, in the town book, and shall make out a fair attested copy thereof, to be by him sealed up, and directed to the secretary of the state, with a superscription, expressing the purport thereof: and the said town clerk shall cause such attested
delivered to the sheriff of the county in which such town or parish shall lie, forty days at least before the first Wednesday, in June; or to the secretary of the state at least thirty days before the said first Wednesday in June, and