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usually practised on in the courts of law, shall still remain and be in full force, until altered or repealed by the legislature; such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this Constitution.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 style 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 the 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 the said Government and People, at the time this Constitution shall take ef

H sect, sect, shall have, hold, 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 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 precepts are in favour of such revision and amendment, the General Court shall issue precepts, or direct them to be issued from the Secretary's office, to the several towns to elect Delegates to meet 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, President. Attest. Samuel Barret, Secretary.

H z Rhode

HHO D E-1SLAND.

RHODE-ISLAND CHARTER,

GRANTED BY

KING CHARLES II.

c

IN THE FOURTEENTH YEAR OF HIS REIGN.

S>uintadecima pars Tatentium Anno Regni Regis Caroli Seaindi Quifitodecimo.

CHARLES the Second, by the grace of God, &c. 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 Arnold, William Brenton, William Codington, Nicholas Easton, William Boulslon, John Porter, John Smith, Samuel Gorton, John Weekes, Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, Gregory Dexter, John Cogefhall, Joseph Clarke, Randall Houlden, John Greene, 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 called Rhode-Island, and the rest of the colony of Providence Plantations, in the NarragansetBay, in New England, in America, That they, pursuing with peace and loyal minds their sober, serious, and religious intentions, of godly edifying themselves and one another in the holy Christian saith 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 saith 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 among other 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 travail, 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 H 3 coun

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