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27. Each county shall be laid off into districts, as nearly equal as may be in territory and population. In each district there shall be elected by the voters thereof, four justices of the peace, who shall be commissioned by the governor, reside in their respective districts, and hold their office for the term of four years. The justices so elected shall choose one of their own body, who shall be the presiding justice of the county court, and whose duty it shall be to attend each term of said court. The other justices shall be classified by law for the performance of their duties in court.

28. The justices shall receive for their services in court, a per diem compensation, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the county treasury; and shall not receive any fee or emolument for other judicial services.

29. The power and jurisdiction of justices of the peace within their respective counties shall be prescribed by law.


30. The voters of each county shall elect a clerk of the county court, a surveyor, an attorney for the commonwealth, a sheriff, and so many commissioners of the revenue as may be authorized by law, who shall hold their respective offices as follows: The clerk, and the surveyor, for the term of six years; the attorney, for the term of four years; the sheriff, and the commissioners, for the term of two years. Constables, and overseers of the poor, shall be elected by the voters, as may be prescribed by law.

31. The officers mentioned in the preceding section, except the attorneys, shall reside in the counties or districts for which they were respectively elected. No person elected for two successive terms to the office of sheriff, shall be re-eligible to the same office for the next succeeding term; nor shall he, during his term of service, or within one year thereafter, be eligible to any political office.

32. The justices of the peace, sheriffs, attorneys for the commonwealth, clerks of the circuit and county courts, and all other county officers, shall be subject to indictment for malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of official duty, and upon conviction thereof, their offices shall become vacant.


33. The general assembly may vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in corporation courts, and in the magistrates who may belong to the corporate body.

34. All officers appertaining to the cities and other municipal corporations, shall be elected by the qualified voters, or appointed by the constituted authorities of such cities or corporations, as may be prescribed by law.

Done in convention, in the city of Richmond, on the first day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, and in the seventy-sixth year of the commonwealth of Virginia.

JOHN Y. MASON, President of the Convention. 8. D. WHITTLE, Secretary of the Convention.


1. It shall be the duty of the president of this convention, immediately on its adjournment, to certify to the governor a copy of the bill of rights and constitution adopted, together with this schedule.

2. Upon the receipt of such certified copy, the governor shall, forthwith, announce the fact by proclamation, to be published in such newspapers of the state as may be deemed requisite for general information: and shall annex to his proclamation a copy of the bill of rights and constitution, together with this schedule: which proclamation, bill of rights, constitution, and schedule, shall be published in the manner indicated, for the period of one month; and ten printed copies thereof shall, by the secretary of the commonwealth, be immediately transmitted, by mail, to the clerk of each county and corporation court in this commonwealth, to be by such clerk submitted to the examination of any person desiring the same.

3. The officers authorized by existing laws to conduct general elections, shall, at the places appointed for holding the same, open a poll book on the fourth Thursday in October next, to be headed "The Constitution as amended, and Schedule," and to contain two separate columns; the first column to be headed "For Ratifying;" the other, to be headed, "For Rejecting." And such officers, keeping said polls open for the space of three days, shall then and there receive, and record in said poll book, the votes for and against this constitution and schedule, of all persons qualified, under the existing or amended constitution, to exercise the right of suffrage.

4. The taking of the polls, the duties to be performed by the officers, the privilege of the voters, and the penalties attaching for misconduct on the part of any person, shall be, in all things, as prescribed by the second, third, fourth, seventh, eighth, and ninth sections of the act of the general assembly, passed March the fourth, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, entitled "An Act to take the sense of the people upon the call of a convention, and providing for organizing the same," so far as the provisions of said sections may be applicable.

5. It shall be the duty of the governor, upon receiving the returns of said officers, to ascertain the result thereof, and forthwith to declare the same by his proclamation, stating the aggregate vote in the state for and against the ratification of the amended constitution and schedule which shall be published at least once a week until the second Monday in December next, in such newspapers as, in his opinion, will be best calculated to diffuse general information thereof: and if it appear that a majority of the votes cast is in favour of ratification, the governor, at the same time, and in like manner, shall make proclamation for holding, on the day last mentioned, a general election throughout the state for delegates and senators to the general assembly, according to the apportionment and districts prescribed in this constitution; and also for the election of a governor, lieutenant-governor, and attorney-general.

6. The officers authorized by existing laws to hold and conduct general elections, shall hold and conduct the elections herein required, and such officers and all other persons shall be governed and controlled therein by the provisions of said laws, so far as the same may be applicable to, and necessary for, the proper conducting of the said elections. Duplicate polls shall be separately kept for governor and lieutenantgovernor, for attorney-general, and for senators and delegates to the general assembly, which shall be verified by the oaths of the officers conducting the elections. 7. The verified duplicate polls for governor, lieutenant-governor, and attorneygeneral, shall be deposited with the clerks of the several counties and cities, who shall retain one in their respective offices, and transmit the other, by mail, to the secretary of the commonwealth.

8. In the election of senators and delegates for districts formed of more than one county and city, the officers conducting the same, at the court-houses of the several counties and cities forming each district, shall assemble on the eighth day after the commencement of the said election at the court-house of the county or city first named as one of the counties of the district, shall compare the polls and ascertain the result: and shall deliver and return certificates of election according to the laws now in force.

9. The members of the general assembly so elected shall meet at the capitol, in the city of Richmond, on the second Monday in January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, and then and there organize as the general assembly of Virginia; but before such organization, they shall respectively take the oath of fidelity to the commonwealth, and the other oaths of office required by the laws now

in force.

10. The election of members of the general assembly under this constitution shall vacate the seats of those elected under the present constitution.

11. The official terms of the delegates first elected to the general assembly under

this constitution shall expire on the thirtieth day of June, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three.

12. The official terms of the first governor, lieutenant-governor, and attorneygeneral elected under this constitution, shall expire on the thirty-first day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five.

13. The present judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the circuit courts, and their successors, who may be appointed under the existing constitution, shall remain in office until such time as the law may prescribe for the commencement of the official terms of the judges under the amended constitution and no longer: which time shall not be more than six months after the termination of the first session of the general assembly under the amended constitution.

14. The executive department of the government shall remain as at present organized; and the governor and councillors of state and their successors appointed under the existing constitution, shall continue in office until a governor elected under this constitution shall be qualified; and all other persons in office when this constitution is adopted, except as is herein otherwise expressly directed, shall continue in office until their successors are qualified: and vacancies in office, happening before such qualification, shall be filled in the manner now prescribed by law.

15. All the courts of justice now existing shall continue with their present jurisdiction until and except so far as the judicial system may or shall be otherwise organized; and all laws in force when this constitution is adopted, and not inconsistent therewith, and all rights, prosecutions, actions, claims, and contracts shall remain and continue as if this constitution was not adopted.

16. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary for carrying this constitution into full effect and operation.

Done in convention, in the city of Richmond, on the first day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, and in the seventy-sixth year of the commonwealth of Virginia.

JOHN Y. MASON, President of the Convention.

S. D. WHITTLE, Secretary of the Convention.


The Constitution or form of Government, agreed to and resolved upon, by the Representatives of the freemen of the state of North Carolina, elected and chosen for that particular purpose, in Congress assembled, at Halifax, December 18, 1776.


1. That all political power is vested in, and derived from, the people only.

2. That the people of this state ought to have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof. 3. That no men, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.

4. That the legislative, executive, and supreme judicial powers of government, ought to be for ever separate and distinct from each other.

5. That all powers of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

6. That elections of members to serve as representatives in general assembly ought to be free.

7. That in all criminal prosecutions, every man has a right to be informed of the accusation against him, and to confront the accusers and witnesses with other testimony, and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.

8. That no freeman shall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by indictment, presentment, or impeachment.

9. That no freeman shall be convicted of any crime, but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good and lawful men, in open court, as heretofore used.

10. That excessive bail should not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted.

11. That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places, without evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or persons, not named, whose offences are not particularly described, and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be granted.

12. That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the law of the land.

13. 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.

14. That in all controversies at law, respecting property, the ancient mode of trial by jury is one of the best securities of the rights of the people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable.

15. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty; and therefore ought never to be restrained.

16. That the people of this state ought not to be taxed, or made subject to the payment of any impost, or duty, without the consent of themselves, or their representatives in general assembly freely given.

17. That the people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the state; and as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

18. That the people have a right to assemble together, to consult fothe common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the legislature for redress of grievances.

19. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience.

20. That, for redress of grievances, and for amending and strengthenng the laws, elections ought to be often held.

21. That a frequent recurrence to fundamental prínciples is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.

22. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honours ought to be granted or conferred in this state.

23. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free state, and ought not to be allowed.

24. That retrospective laws, punishing facts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oppres

sive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty; wherefore, no ex post facto law ought to be made.

25. The property of the soil, in a free government, being one of the essential rights of the collective body of the people, it is necessary, in order to avoid future disputes, that the limits of the state should be ascertained with precision: and as the former temporary line between North and South Carolina was confirmed, and extended by commissioners, appointed by the legislatures of the two states, agreeable to the order of the late king George II. in council, that line, and that only, should be esteemed the southern boundary of this state; that is to say, beginning on the sea-side, at a cedar stake at or near the mouth of Little River, (being the southern extremity of Brunswick county,) and running from thence a north-west course, through the boundary-house, which stands in thirty-three degrees fifty-six minutes, to thirty-five degrees north latitude; and from thence a west course, so far as is mentioned in the charter of king Charles II. to the late proprietors of Carolina. Therefore, all the territory, seas, waters, and harbours, with their appurtenances, lying between the line above described, and the southern line of the state of Virginia, which begins on the sea-shore, in thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and from thence runs west, agreeable to the said charter of king Charles, are the right and property of the people of this state, to be held by them in sovereignty: any partial line, without the consent of the legislature of this state, at any time thereafter directed or laid out, in any wise notwithstanding: provided always, that this declaration of right shall not prejudice any nation or nations of Indians, from enjoying such hunting grounds as may have been, or hereafter shall be secured to them, by any former or future legislature of this state: And provided also, that it shall not be construed so as to prevent the establishment of one or more governments westward of this state, by consent of the legislature: And provided further, that nothing herein contained shall affect the titles or possessions of individuals holding or claiming under the laws heretofore in force, or grants heretofore made by the late king George II., or his predecessors, or the late lords, proprietors, or any of them.

The Constitution, or Form of Government, &c.

Whereas allegiance and protection are in their nature reciprocal, and the one should of right be refused when the other is withdrawn : And whereas George the Third, king of Great Britain, and late sovereign of the British American colonies, hath not only withdrawn from them his protection, but, by an act of the British legislature, declared the inhabitants of these states out of the protection of the British crown, and all their property found upon the high-seas liable to be seized and confiscated to the uses mentioned in the said act; and the said George the Third has also sent fleets and armies to prosecute a cruel war against them, for the purpose of reducing the inhabitants of the said colonies to a state of abject slavery; in consequence whereof, all government, under the said king, within the said colonies, hath ceased, and a total dissolution of government, in many of them, hath taken place:

And whereas the continental congress, having considered the pre

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