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Ratification of the Constitution of the United States, by the State of Rhode Island and
UNITED STATES, June 16th, 1790. Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
The ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, was received by me last night, together with a letter to the President of the United States, from the President of the Convention. I have directed my Secretary to lay before you a copy of each.
G. WASHINGTON. “RHODE ISLAND:
“NEWPORT, June 9th, 1790. “Sir: I had, on the 29th ultimo, the satisfaction of addressing you, after the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the Convention of this State. I have now the honor of enclosing the Ratification as then agreed upon by the Convention of the People of this state. The Legislature is now in session in this town; an appointment of Senators will undoubtedly take place in the present week, and from what appears to be the sense of the Legislature, it may be expected that the gentlemen who may be appointed, will immediately proceed to take their seats in the Senate of the United States. “ I have the honor to be, with great respect, Sir, your obedient humble servant,
“ DANIEL OWEN, President. « PRESIDENT of the United States." [The Constitution of the United States of America precedes the following Ratification.) Ratification of the Constitution by the Convention of the State of Rhode Island and Pra
vidence Plantations. “We, the Delegates of the People of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, duly elected and met in Convention, having maturely considered the Constitution for the United States of America, agreed to on the seventeenth day of September, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, by the Convention then assembled at Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, (a copy whereof precedes these presents,) and having also seriously and deliberately considered the present situation of this state, do declare and make known:
First. That there are certain natural rights, of which men, when they form a social compact, cannot deprive or divest their posterity, among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Second. That all power is naturally vested in, and consequently derived from, the People; that magistrates, therefore, are their trustees and agents, and at all times amenable to them.
Third. That the powers of Government may be reassumed by the People, whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness. That the riglits of the States respectively to nominate and appoint all State officers, and every other power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or to the Departments of Government thereof, remain to the People of the several States, or their respective State Governments, to whom they may have granted the same; and that those clauses in the said Constitution, which declare that Congress shall not have or exercise certain powers, do not imply that Congress is entitled to any powers not given by the said Constitution; but such clauses are to be construed as exceptions to certain specified powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.
Fourth. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, and not by force or violence; and therefore all men have an equal, natural, and unalienable right to the exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established by law, in preference to others.
Fifth. That the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary powers of Government should be separate and distinct; and that the inembers of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the public burthens, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into the mass of the People, and the vacancies be supplied by certain and regular elections in which all or any part of the former members to be eligible, or ineligible, as the rules of the Constitution of Government and the laws shall direct.
Sixth. That elections of Representatives in Legislatures ought to be free and frequent, and all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to the com.nunity, ought to have the right of suffrage; and no aid, charge, tas, or fee, can be set, rated, or levied upon the People, without their own consent, or that of their Representatives so elected, nor can they be bound by any law to which they have not in like manner consented for the public good.
Seventh. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any aushority, without the consent of the Representatives of the People in the Legislature, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
Eighth. That in all capital and criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence and be allowed counsel in his favor, and to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty, (except in the government of the land and naval forces,) nor can be be compelled to give evidence against himself
Ninth. That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized, of his freehold, liberties, privileges, or franchises, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manncr destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the trial by jury, or by the law of the landa
Tenth. That every freeman restrained of his liberty, is entitled to a remedy, to inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same if unlawful, and that such remedy ought not to be denied or delayed.
Eleventh. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury, as hath been exercised by us and our ancestors, from the tiine whereof the memory of man is not to the contrary, is one of the greatest securities to the rights of the People, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable.
Twelfth. That every freeman ought to obtain right and justice, freely and without sale, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay; and that all establishments or regulations contravening these rights, are oppressive and unjust.
Thirteenth. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.
Fourteenth. That every person has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his papers, or his property; and therefore, that all warrants to search suspected places, or seize any person, his papers of his property, without information upon oath or affirmation of sufficient cause, are grievous and oppressive; and that all general warrants (or such in which the place or person suspected are not particularly designated) are dangerous, and ought not to be granted.
Fifteenth. That the People have a right peaceably to assemble together, to consult for their common good, or to instruct their Representatives, and that every person has a right to petition or apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances.
Sixteenth. That the People have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their sentiments. That freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and ought not to be violated.
Seventeenth. That the People have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated militia, including the body of the People capable of bearing arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that the militia shall not be subject to martial law, except in time of war, rebellion, or insurrection; that standing armies in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be kept up, except in cases of necessity; and that at all times the military should be under strict subordination to the civil power; that in time of peace no soldier ought to be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, and in time of war only by the civil magistrate, in such manner as the law directs.
Eighteenth. That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, ought to be exempted upon payment of an equivalent to employ another to bear arms in his stead.
Under these impressions, and declaring that the rights aforesaid cannot be abridged or violated, and that the explanations aforesaid are consistent with the said Constitution, and in confidence that the amendments hereafter mentioned will receive an early and mature consideration, and conformably to the fifth article of said Constitution, speedily become a part thereof-We the said delegates, in the name and in the behalf of the People of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, do, by these presents, assent to and ratify the said Constitution. In full confidence, nevertheless, that until the amendments hereafter proposed and undermicntioned, strand he agreed to and rati
fied, pursuant to the aforesaid fifth article, the militia of this state will not be continued
Island and Providence Plantations, the twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our
DANIEL OWEN, President. Attest. DANIEL UPDIKE, Secretary.
And the Convention do, in the name and behalf of the People of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, enjoin it upon their Senators and Representative or Representatives which may be elected to represent this state in Congress, to exert all their influence, and use all reasonable means, to obtain a ratification of the following amendments to the said Constitution, in the manner prescribed therein, and in all laws to be passed by the Congress in the mean time, to conform to the spirit of the said amendments, as far as the Constitution will admit.
AMENDMENTS. First. The United States shall guaranty to each State its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Constitution expressly delegated to the United States.
Second. That Congress shall not alter, modify, or interfere in, the times, places, or manner, of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, or either of them, except when the Legislature of any State shall neglect, refuse, or be disabled by invasion or rebellion, to prescribe the same, or in case when the provision made by the State is so imperfect as that no consequent election is had, and then only until the Legislature of such State shall make provision in the premises.
Third. It is declared by the Convention, that the judicial power of the United States, in cases in which a State may be a party, does not extend to criminal prosecutions, or to authorize any suit by any person against a State : but to remove all doubts or controversies respecting the same, that it be especially expressed as a part of the Constitution of the United States, that Congress shall not, directly or indirectly, either by themselves, or through the Judiciary, interfere with any one of the States, in the redemption of paper money already emitted, and now in circulation, or in liquidating or discharging the public securities of any one State ; that each and every State shall have the exclusive right of making such laws and regulations for the before mentioned purpose as they shall think proper.
Fourth. That no amendments to the Constitution of the United States, hereafter to be made pursuant to the fifth article, shall take effect, or become a part of the Constitution of the United States, after the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, without the consent of eleven of the States heretofore united under the Confederation.
Fifth. That the judicial powers of the United States shall extend to no possible case where the cause of action shall have originated before the ratification of this Constitution ; except in disputes between States about their territory, disputes between persons claiming lands under grants of different States, and debts due to the United States.
Sixth. That no person shall be compelled to do military duty otherwise than by voluntary enlistment, except in cases of general invasion ; any thing in the second paragraph of the sixth article of the Constitution, or any law made under the Constitution, to the contrary notwithstanding.
Seventh. That no capitation or poll tax shall ever be laid by Congress.
Eighth. In cases of direct taxes, Congress shall first make requisitions on the several States to assess, levy, and pay, their respective proportions of such requisitions, in such way and manner as the Legislatures of the several States shall judge best: and in case any State shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion pursuant to such requisition, then Congress may assess and levy such State's proportion, together with interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum, from the time prescribed in such requisition.
Ninth. That Congress shall lay no direct taxes without the consent of the Legislatures of three fourths of the States in the Union.
Tenth. That the Journals of the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be published as soon as conveniently may be, at least once in every year ; except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances, or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy.
Eleventh. That regular statements of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys, shall be published at least once a year.
Twelfth. As standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be kept up except in cases of necessity, and as at all times the military should be under strict subordination to the civil power, that therefore no standing army or regular troops shall be raised or kept up in time of peace.
Thirteenth. That no moneys be borrowed on the credit of the United States, without the assent of two-thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each House.
Fourteenth. That the Congress shall not declare war without the concurrence of two thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each House.
Fifteenth. That the words “ without the consent of Congress,” in the seventh clause in the ninth section of the first article of the Constitution, be expunged.
Sixteenth. That no Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, shall hold any other office under the United States, or any of them ; nor shall any officer appointed by Congress, or by the President and Senate of the United States, be permitted to hold any office under the appointment of any of the States.
Seventeenth. As a traffic tending to establish or contiuue the slavery of any part of the human species, is disgraceful to the cause of liberty and humanity, that Congress shall, as soon as may be, promote and establish such laws and regulations as may effectually prevent the importation of slaves of every description into the United States.
Eighteenth. That the State Legislatures have power to recall, when they think it expedient, their federal Senators, and to send others in their stead.
Nineteenth. That Congress have power to establish a uniform rule of inhabitancy or settlement of the poor of the different states throughout the United States.
Twentieth. That Congress erect no company with exclusive advantages of commerce.
Twenty-first. That when two members shall move or call for the ayes and nays on any question, they shall be entered on the journals of the Houses respectively. 19
Done in Convention, at Newport, in the county of Newport, in the State of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, the twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of
DANIEL OWEN, President. Attest. DANIEL UPDIKE, Secretary.”
A true copy
TOBIAS LEAR, Secretary to the President of the United States.
Ratifications of the Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
BY THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
UNITED STATES, February 15th, 1790. Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives :
I have directed my Secretary to lay before you the copy of a vote of the Legislature of the State of New Hampshire, to accept the articles proposed in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, except the second article. At the same time will be delivered to you, the copy of a letter from his Excellency the President of the State of New Hampshire, to the President of the United States.
The originals of the abovementioned vote and letter will be lodged in the office of the Secretary of State.
“Durham, in New Hampshire, January 29th, 1790. SIR : I have the honor to inclose youi, for the information of Congress, a vote of the Assemby of this State to accept all the articles of amendments to the Constitution of the United States, except the second, which was rejected.
I have the honor to be, with the most profound respect, Sir, your most obedient, and very humble servant,
JOHN SULLIVAN. The President of the United States:
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
In the House of Repcesentatives, January 25th, 1790. Upon reading and maturely considering the proposed amendments to the Federal Const tution,
Voted, To accept the whole of said amendments, except the second article, which was rejected. Sent up for concurrence.
THOMAS BARTLETT, Speaker. In Senate, the same day, read and concurred.
J. PEARSON, Secretary. A true copy. Attest,
JOSEPH PEARSON, Secretary." I certify the above to be a true copy of the copy transmitted to the President of the United States.
TOBIAS LEAR, Secretary to the President of the United States.
BY THE STATE OF NEW YORK. The People of the State of New York, by the grace of God free and independent:
To all to whom these presents shall come or may concern, greeting : Know ye, that we, having inspected the records remaining in our Secretary's office, do find there a certain act of our Legislature, in the words following: AN ACT ratifying certain Articles in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution
of the United States of America, proposed by the Congress. Whereas, by the fifth article of the Constitution of the United States of America, it is provided that the Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to the said Constitution, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by Congress:
And whereas, in the session of the Congress of the United States of America, begun and held at the city New York, on Wednesday, the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, it was resolved by the Senate and House of Represen. tatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as a part of the said Constitution, viz: Articles in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of
America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth article of the original Constitution.
Article First. After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Repre. sentative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred ; after which, the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Repre. sentative for every fifty thousand persons.
Article the Second. No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.