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Art. 16. State's attorneys shall be elected by the freemen of their respective counties.

Art. 17. Judges of probate shall be elected by the freemen of their respective probate districts.

Art. 18. Justices of the peace shall be elected by the freemen of their respective towns; and towns having less than one thousand inhabitants may elect any number of justices of the peace not ex ceeding five; towns having one thousand and less than two thousand inhabitants, may elect seven; towns having two thousand, and less than three thousand inhabitants, may elect ten; towns having three thousand, and less than five thousand inhabitants, may elect twelve; and towns having five thousand, or more, inhabitants, may elect fifteen justices of the peace.

Art. 19. All the officers named in the preceding articles of amendment (articles 14 to 18) shall be annually elected by ballot, and shall hold their offices for one year, said year commencing on the first day of December next after their election.

Art. 20. The election of the several officers mentioned in the preceding articles (articles 14 to 18), excepting town representatives, shall be made at the times and in the manner now directed in the constitution for the choice of senators. And the presiding officer of each freemen's meeting, after the votes shall have been taken, sorted, and counted, shall, in open meeting, make a certificate of the names of each person voted for, with the number of votes given for each annexed to his name, and designating the office for which the votes were given, a record of which shall be made in the town clerk's office, and he shall seal up said certificate, and shall write thereon the name of the town and the words Certificate of votes for and add thereto, in writing, the title of the office voted for, as the case may be, and shall deliver such certificate to some representative chosen as a member of the general assembly, whose duty it shall be to cause such certificate of votes to be delivered to the committee of the general assembly appointed to canvass the same. And at the sitting of the general assembly, next after such balloting for the officers aforesaid, there shall be a committee appointed of and by the general assembly, who shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of their duty, and whose duty it shall be to examine such certificates and ascertain the number of votes given for each candidate, and the persons receiving the largest number of votes for the respective offices, shall be declared duly elected, and by such committee be reported to the general assembly, and the officers so elected shall be commissioned by the governor. And if two or more persons designated for any one of said offices shall have received an equal number of votes, the general assembly shall elect one of such persons to such office.

Art. 21. The term of office of the governor, lieutenant-governor, and treasurer of the state, respectively, shall commence when they shall be chosen and qualified, and shall continue for the term of one year, or until their successors shall be chosen and qualified, or to the adjournment of the session of the legislature, at which, by the constitution and laws, their successors are required to be chosen,

and not after such adjournment. And the legislature shall provide, by general law, declaring what officer shall act as governor whenever there shall be a vacancy in both the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, occasioned by a failure to elect, or by the removal from office, or by the death, resignation, or inability of both governor and lieutenant-governor, to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office of governor; and such officer, so designated, shall exercise the powers and discharge the duties appertaining to the office of governor accordingly, until the disability shall be removed, or a governor shall be elected. And in case there shall be a vacancy in the office of treasurer, by reason of any of the causes enumerated, the governor shall appoint a treasurer for the time being, who shall act as treasurer until the disability shall be removed, or a new election shall be made.

Art. 22. The treasurer of the state shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, give sufficient security to the secretary of state, in behalf of the state of Vermont, before the governor of the state, or one of the judges of the supreme court. And sheriffs and high bailiffs, before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, shall give sufficient security to the treasurer of their respective counties, before one of the judges of the supreme court, or the two assistant judges of the county court of their respective counties, in such manner and in such sums as shall be directed by the legislature.

Art. 23. The senate shall be composed of thirty senators, to be of the freeman of the county for which they are elected, respectively, who shall have attained the age of thirty years, and they shall be elected annually by the freemen of each county respectively.

The senators shall be apportioned to the several counties, according to the population, as ascertained by the census taken under the authority of Congress in the year 1840, regard being always had, in such apportionment, to the counties having the largest fraction, and giving to each county at least one senator.

The legislature shall make a new apportionment of the senators to the several counties, after the taking of each census of the United States, or after a census taken for the purpose of such apportionment, under the authority of this state, always regarding the above provisions of this article.



WE, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavours to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of Go




In order effectually to secure the religious and political freedom estab. lished by our venerated ancestors, and to preserve the same for our posterity, we do declare that the essential and unquestionable rights and principles hereinafter mentioned, shall be established, maintained, and preserved, and shall be of paramount obligation in all legislative, judicial and executive proceedings.

§ 1. In the words of the Father of his Country, we declare, that "the basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and alter their constitutions of government; but that the constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all."

§ 2. All free governments are instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people. All laws, therefore, should be made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the State ought to be fairly distributed among its citizens.

§ 3. Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; and all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness; and whereas a principal object of our venerated ancestors, in their migration to this country and their settlement of this State, was, as they expressed it, to hold forth a lively experiment that a flourishing civil State may stand and be best maintained with full liberty in religious concernments: we, therefore, declare, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or to support any religious worship, place or ministry whatever, except in fulfilment of his own voluntary contract; nor enforced, restrained, molested or burthened in his body or goods; nor disqualified from holding any office; nor otherwise suffer on account of his religious belief; and that every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and to profess and by argument to maintain his opinion in matters of religion; and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect his civil capacity.

4. Slavery shall not be permitted in this State.

§ 5. Every person within this State ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, property, or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely, and without purchase, completely and without denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the laws.

§ 6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers, and possessions, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but on complaint in writing, upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and describing as nearly

as may be, the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

§ 7. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or of such offences as are cognizable by a justice of the peace; or in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger. No person shall, after an acquittal, be tried for the same offence.

8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted; and all punishments ought to be proportioned to the offence.

§ 9. All persons imprisoned ought to be bailed by sufficient surety, unless for offences punishable by death or by imprisonment for life, when the proof of guilt is evident, or the presumption great. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety shall require it; nor ever without the authority of the General Assembly.

§ 10. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury; to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining them in his favour, to have the assistance of counsel in his defence, and shall be at liberty to speak for himself; nor shall he be deprived of life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

§ 11. The person of a debtor, when there is not strong presumption of fraud, ought not to be continued in prison, after he shall have delivered up his property for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

12. No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed.

§ 13. No man in a court of common law shall be compelled to give evidence criminating himself.

§ 14. Every man being presumed innocent, until he is pronounced guilty by the law, no act of severity which is not necessary to secure an accused person, shall be permitted.

§ 15. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

§ 16. Private property shall not be taken for public uses, without just compensation.

§ 17. The people shall continue to enjoy and freely exercise all the rights of fishery, and the privileges of the shore, to which they have been heretofore entitled under the charter and usages of this State. But no new right is intended to be granted, nor any existing right impaired by this declaration.

§ 18. The military shall be held in strict subordination to the civil authority. And the law martial shall be used and exercised in such cases only as occasion shall necessarily require.

§ 19. No soldier shall be quartered in any house, in time of peace, without the consent of the owner; nor, in time of war, but in manner to be prescribed by law.

§ 20. The liberty of the press being essential to the security of freedom in a state, any person may publish his sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, unless published from malicious, motives, shall be sufficient defence to the person charged.

§ 21. The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or for other purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.

§ 22. The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be in fringed.

§ 23. The enumeration of the foregoing rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.



§ 1. Every male citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who has had his residence and home in this State for one year, and in the town or city in which he may claim a right to vote, six months next preceding the time of voting, and who is really and truly possessed in his own right of real estate in such town or city of the value of one hundred and thirty-four dollars over and above all incumbrances, or which shall rent for seven dollars per annum over and above any rent reserved or the interest of any incumbrances thereon, being an estate in fee simple, fee tail, for the life of any person, or an estate in reversion or remainder, which qualifies no other person to vote, the conveyance of which estate, if by deed, shall have been recorded at least ninety days, shall thereafter have a right to vote in the election of all civil officers and on all questions in all legal town or ward meetings so long as he continues so qualified. And if any person herein before described shall own any such estate within this State out of the town or city in which he resides, he shall have a right to vote in the election of all general officers and members of the General Assembly in the town or city in which he shall have had his residence and home for the term of six months next preceding the election, upon producing a certificate from the clerk of the town or city in which his estate lies, bearing date within ten days of the time of his voting, setting forth that such person has a sufficient estate therein to qualify him as a voter; and that the deed, if any, has been recorded ninety days.

§ 2. Every male native citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who has had his residence and home in this State two years and in the town or city in which he may offer to vote, six months next preceding the time of voting, whose name is registered pursuant to the act calling the convention to frame this constitution, or shall be registered in the office of the clerk of such town or city at least seven days before the time he shall offer to vote, and before the last day of December in the present year; and who has paid or shall pay a tax or taxes assessed upon his estate within this State and within a year of the time of voting to the amount of one dollar, or who shall voluntarily pay at least seven days before the time he shall offer to vote, and before said last day of December, to the clerk or treasurer of the town or city where he resides, the sum of one dollar, or such sum as with his other taxes, shall amount to one dollar, for the support of public schools therein, and shall make proof of the same, by the certificate of the clerk, treasurer or collector of any town or city where such payment is made: or, who being so registered, has been enrolled in any military company in this State, and done military service or duty therein, within the present year, pursuant to law, and shall, (until other proof is required by law,) prove by the certificate of the officer legally commanding the regiment, or chartered, or legally authorized volunteer company in which he may

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