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ernor and deputy governor for the time being, and all the magistrates of that jurisdiction, were, with the President, and a number of the clergy, in the said act described, constituted the overseers of Harvard College; and it being necessary, in this new constitution of government, to ascertain who shall be deemed successors to the said governor, deputy governor, and magistrates, it is declared that the governor, lieutenantgovernor, council, and senate of this commonwealth are, and shall be deemed, their successors; who, with the president of Harvard College, for the time being, together with the ministers of the congregational churches in the towns of Cambridge, Watertown, Charlestown, Boston, Roxbury and Dorchester, mentioned in the said act, shall be, and hereby are, vested with all the powers and authority belonging, or in any way appertaining, to the overseers of Harvard College: Frovided, That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the legislature of this commonwealth from making such alterations in the government of the said university as shall be conducive to its advantage, and the interest of the republic of letters, in as full a manner as might have been done by the legislature of the late province of the Massachusetts Bay.
SECTION 2.—THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF LITERATURE, ETC. Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them; especially the university at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar-schools in the towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, rewards and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings; sincerity, and good humor, and all social affections and generous sentiments, among the people.
OATHS AND SUBSCRIPTIONS; INCOMPATIBILITY OF AND EXCLUSION FROM OFFICES;
PECUNIARY QUALIFICATIONS; COMMISSIONS; WRITS; CONFIRMATION OF LAWS; HABEAS CORPUS; THE ENACTING STYLE; CONTINUANCE OF OFFICERS; PROVISION FOR A FUTURE REVISAL OF THE CONSTITUTION, ETC.
Article I. Any person chosen governor, lieutenant-governor, councillor, senator, or representative, and accepting the trust, shall, before he proceed to execute the duties of his place or office, make and subscribe the following declaration, viz:
“1, A. B., do declare that I believe the Christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth; and that I am seized and possessed, in my own right, of the property required by the constitution, as one qualification for the office or place to which I am elected.”
And the governor, lieutenant-governor, and councillors shall make and subscribe the said declaration, in the presence of the two houses of assembly; and the senators and representatives, first elected under this constitution, before the president and five of the council of the former constitution; and forever afterwards, before the governor and council for the time being.
And every person chosen to either of the places or offices aforesaid, as also any person appointed or commissioned to any judicial, executive, military, or other office under the government, shall, before he enters on the discharge of the business of his place or office, take and subscribe the following declaration and oaths or affirmations, viz:
“I, A. B., do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testify, and declare that the
commonwealth of Massachusetts is, and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign, and independent State, and I do swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the said commonwealth, and that I will defend the same against traitorous conspiracies and all hostile attempts whatsoever ; and that I do renounce and abjure all allegiance, subjection, and obedience to the King, Queen, or government of Great Britain, (as the case may be,) and every other foreign power whatsoever; and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, superiority, preëminence, authority, dispensing or other power, in any matter, civil, ecclesiastical, or spiritual, within this commonwealth ; except the authority and power which is or may be vested by their constituents in the Congress of the United States; and I do further testify and declare that no man, or body of men, hath, or can have, any right to absolve or discharge me from the obligation of this oath, declaration, or affirmation; and that I do make this acknowledgment, profession, testimony, declaration, denial, renunciation, and abjuration heartily and truly, according to the common meaning and acceptation of the foregoing words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever: So help me, God.”]
“I, A. B., do solemnly swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as — according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the constitution and the laws of the commonwealth : So help me, God.”
[Provided always, That when any person, chosen and appointed as aforesaid, shall be of the demomination of people called Quakers, and shall decline taking the said oaths, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, and subscribe the same, omitting the words, “I do swear," "and abjure," "oath or,” “and abjuration,” in the first oath ; and in the second oath, the words, “swear and," and in each of them the words, “So help me, God;" subjoining instead thereof, “This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury.”
And the said oaths or affirmations shall be taken and subscribed by the governor, lieutenant-governer, and councillors, before the president of the senate, in the presence of the two houses of assembly; and by the senators and representatives first elected under this constitution, before the president and five of the council of the former constitution; and forever afterwards before the governor and council for the time being; and by the residue of the officers aforesaid, before such persons and in such manner as from time to time shall be prescribed by the legislature.
Art. II. No governor, lieutenant-governor, or judge of the supreme judicial court shall hold any other office or place, under the authority of this common
onwealth, except such as by the constitution they are admitted to hold, saving that the judges of the said court may hold the offices of justices of the peace through the State; nor shall they hold any other place or office, or receive any pension or salary from any other State, or government, or power, whatever.
No person shall be capable of holding or exercising at the same time, within this State, more than one of the following offices, viz: judge of probate, sheriff, register of probate, or register of deeds; and never more than any two offices, which are to be held by appointment of the governor, or the governor and council, or the senate, or the house of representatives, or by the election of the people of the State at large, or of the people of any county, military offices, and the offices of justices of the peace excepted, shall be held by one person.
No person holding the office of judge of the supreme judicial court, secretary, attorney-general, (solicitor-general,] treasurer or receiver-general, judge of probate, commissary-general, president, professor, or instructor of Harvard College, sheriff, clerk of the house of representatives, register of probate, register of deeds, clerk of the supreme judicial court, (clerk of the inferior court of common pleas,] or officer of the customs, including in this description naval officers, shall at the same time have a seat in the senate or house of representatives; but their being chosen or appointed to, and accepting the same, shall operate as a resignation of their seat in the senate or house of representatives; and the place so vacated shall be filled up.
And the same rule shall take place in case any judge of the said supreme judicial
court or judge of probate shall accept a seat in council, or any councillor shall accept of either of those offices or places.
And no person shall ever be admitted to hold a seat in the legislature, or any office of trust or importance under the government of this commonwealth, who shall in the due course of law have been convicted of bribery or corruption in obtaining an election or appointment.
Art. 111. In all cases where sums or money are mentioned in this constitution, the value thereof shall be computed in silver, at six shillings and eight pence per ounce; and it shall be in the power of the legislature, from time to time, to increase such qualifications, as to property, of the persons to be elected to offices as the circumstances of the commonwealth shall require.
ART. IV. All commissions shall be in the name of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed by the governor, and attested by the secretary or his deputy, and have the great seal of the commonwealth affixed thereto.
Art. V. All writs, issuing out of the clerk's office in any of the courts of law, shall be in the name of the commonwealth of Massachusetts; they shall be under the seal of the court from whence they issue; they shall bear test of the first justice of the court to which they shall be returnable who is not a party, and be signed by the clerk of such court.
Art. VI. All the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used, and approved in the province, colony, or State of Massachusetts Bay, and 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.
ART. 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.
ART. 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 authority of the same."
(ART. IX. To the end ihere may be no failure of justice or danger arise to the commonwealth from a 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 effect, 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.
ART. 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 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 favor of such revision or 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.
And 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.]
Art. 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. SAMUEL BARRETT, Secretary.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1780.*
ARTICLE I. If any bill or resolve shall be objected to and not approved of by the governor, and if the general court shall adjourn within five days after the same shall have been laid before the governor for his approbation, and thereby prevent his returning it, with his objections, as provided by the constitution, such bill or resolve shall not become a law, nor have force as such.
Arr. II. The general court shall have full power and authority to erect or constitute municipal or city governments in any corporate town or towns in this commonwealth, and to grant to the inhabitants thereof such powers, privileges, and immunities, not repugnant to the constitution, as the general court shall deem necessary or expedient for the regulation and government thereof, and to prescribe the manner of calling and holding public meetings of the inhabitants in wards, or otherwise, for the election of officers under the constitution, and the manner of returning the votes given at such meetings: Provided, That no such government shall be erected or constituted in any town not containing twelve thousand inhabitants, nor unless it be with the consent and on the application of a majority of the inhabitants of such town, present and voting thereon, pursuant to a vote at a meeting duly warned and holden for that purpose: And provided also, That all by-laws, made by such municipal or city government, shall be subject, at all times, to be annulled by the general court.
ART. III. Every male citizen of twenty-one years of age and upwards, (except paupers and persons under guardianship,) who shall have resided within the commonwealth one year, and within the town or district in which he may claim a right to vote six calendar months next preceding any election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, or representatives, and who shall have paid, by himself or his parent, master, or guardian, any State or county tax which shall, within two years next preceding such election, have been assessed upon him in any town or district of this commonwealth, and also every citizen who shall be by law exempted from taxation, and who shall be in all other respects qualified as above mentioned, shall have a right to vote in such election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives, and no other person shall be entitled to vote in such elections.
ART. IV. Notaries public shall be appointed by the governor, in the same manner as judicial officers are appointed, and shall hold their offices during seven years, unless sooner removed by the governor, with the consent of the council, upon the address of both houses of the legislature.
In case the office of secretary or treasurer of the commonwealth shall become vacant from any cause during the recess of the general court, the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall nominate and appoint, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, a competent and suitable person to such vacant
* The first nine articles of amendment were framed by a convention which met at Boston November 5, 1820, and completed its labors January 9, 1821. They were submitted to the people, (with five others that were rejected,) and ratified April 9, 1822.
The other articles of amendment were each adopted by the legislature at two successive sessions, and then ratified by the people.
office, who shall hold the same until a successor shall be appointed by the general court.*
Whenever the exigencies of the commonwealth shall require the appointment of a commissary-general, he shall be nominated, appointed, and commissioned in such manner as the legislature may, by law, prescribe.
All officers commissioned to command in the militia may be removed from office in such manner as the legislature may, by law, prescribe.
ART. V. In the election of captains and subalterns of the militia, all the members of their respective companies, as well those under as those above the age of twenty-one years, shall have a right to vote.
ART. VI. Instead of the oath of allegiance prescribed by the constitution, the following oath shall be taken and subscribed by every person chosen or appointed to any office, civil or military, under the government of this commonwealth, before he shall enter on the duties of his office, to wit:
“I, A. B., do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the constitution thereof: So help me God."
Provided, That when any person shall be of the denomination 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. VII. No oath, declaration, or subscription, excepting the oath prescribed in the preceding article and the oath of office, shall be required of the governor, lieutenantgovernor, councillors, senators, or representatives to qualify them to perform the duties of their respective offices.
ART. VIII. 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, (postmasters excepted,) shall at the same time hold the office of governor, lieutenant-governor, or councillor, or have a seat in the senate or house of repre. sentatives 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 court, 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 offices excepted.]
Art. IX. If, in any time hereafter, any specific and particular amendment or amend. ments 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.
RATIFIED 1833 Art. X. The political year shall begin on the first Wednesday of January, instead of the last Wednesday of May; and the general court shall assemble every
* See Article XVII of the amendments.