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serting their just: rights; all civil authority under him is necessarily at an end, and a dissolution of government in each Colony has consequently taken place.
And whereas in the present deplorable.situation of these Colonies, exposed to the fury of a cruel and relentless enemy, some form of government is absolutely necessary, not only for the preservation of good order, but also the. more effectually to unite the people, and enable . them to exert their whole force in their own necessary defence; and as the honourable the Continental Congress, the supreme council of the American Colonies, has advised such of the Colonies as have not yet gone into the measure, to adopt for themselves respectively such government as shall best: conduce to their own happiness and safety, and the well-being of America in general: We, the Representatives of the Colony of New-Jersey, having been elected by all the counties in the freest manner, and in Congress assembled, have, after mature deliberations, agreed upon a sett of charter rights,' and the form of a Constitution, in manner following, viz.
I. That the government of this Province M 4 shall shall be vested in a Governor, Legislative Council, and General Assembly.
II. That the Legislative Council and General. Assembly shall be chosen, for the first time, on the second Tuesday in August next; the Members whereof shall be the same in number and qualifications as is herein after mentioned; and shall be and remain vested with all the powers and authority to be held by any suture Legislative Council and Assembly of this Colony, until the second Tuesday in October which shall bfe in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven.
III.' That on the second Tuesday in October yearly, and every year forever (with the privilege of adjourning from day to day, as occasion may require) the counties mall severally choose one person to be a Member of the Legislative Council of this Colony, who shall be and have been for ©ne whole year next before the election, an inhabitant and freeholder in the county in which he is chosen, and worth at least one thousand pounds, proclamation money, of real and personal estate within the same county: that, at the same time, each county shall also choose three Members of Assembly; provided, that no person stall be entitled to a
seat in the said Assembly, unless he be and have been for one whole year next before the election, an inhabitant of the county he is to represent, and worth five hundred pounds, proclamation money, in real and personal estate, in the same county: that on the second Tuesday next after the day of election, the Council and Assembly shall separately meet; and that the consent of both Houses shall be necessary to every law; provided, that seven shall be a Quorum of the Council for doing business, and that no law shall pass, unless there be a majority of all the Representatives of each, body personally present, and agreeing thereto. Provided always, that if a majority of the Representatives of this Province, in Council and General Assembly convened, shall, at any time or times hereafter, judge it equitable and proper to add to or "diminish the number or proportion of the Members of Assembly for any county or counties in this Colony, then, and in such case, the same may, on. the principles of more equal representation, be lawfully done, any thing in this charter to the contrary notr withstanding, so that the whole number of Representatives in Assembly shall not at any time be less than thirty-nine.
IV. That all inhabitants of this Colony of full age, who are worth fifty pounds, proclamation money, clear estate in the same, and have resided within the county in which they claim a vote, for twelve months immediately preceding the election, shall be entitled to Vote for Representatives in Council and Assembly; and also for all other public officers that shall be elected by the people of the county at large.
V. That the Assembly, when met, shall have power to choose a Speaker, and other their officers; to be judges of the qualifications and elections of their own Members; sit upon their own adjournments; prepare bills to be passed into laws; and to empower their Speaker to convene them, whenever any extraordinary occurrence shall render it necessary.
VI. That the Council shall have power to prepare bills to pass into laws, and have other like powers as the Assembly, and in all respects to be a free and independent branch of the legislature of this Colony; save only, that they shall not prepare or alter any money bill, which shall be the privilege of the Assembly. That the Council shall from time to time
be convened by the Governor or Vice-President, but must be convened at all times when the Assembly sits; for which purpose the Speaker of the House of Assembly shall always immediately after an adjournment give notice to the Governor or Vice-President of the time and place to which the House is adjourned.
VII. That the Council and Assembly jointly, at their first meeting after each annual election* shall, by a majority of votes, elect some fit person within the Colony to be Governor for one year, who shall be constant President os the Council, and have a casting vote in their proceedings, and that the Council themselves shall choose a Vice-President, who shall act as such in the absence of the Governor.
VIII. That the Governor, or, in his absence, the Vice-president of the Council, shall have the supreme executive power, be Chancellor of the Colony, and act as Captain general and Commander in Chief of all the militia and other military force in this Colony; and that any three or more of the Council shall, at all times, be a Privy-council to consult them; and that the Governor be Ordinary, or Surrogate-general.