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its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrui. ment for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies :

“For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments :

“For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power, to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

“He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.

“He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

“ He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries, to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civia lized nation.

“ He has constrained our fellow citizens, taken captive on tlie bigb seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavonred to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless In. dian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished de. struction .f all ages, sexes, and conditions.

“ In every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned for redress, in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince whose character is thu, marked, by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit iu be the ruler of a free people.

"Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and set. tlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magna. nimily, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kin. dred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interropt our connexion, and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind-enemies in war ; in

peace, friends. Declaration of

“We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of Ame. Independence. rica, in general congress assembled, appealing to the supreme judge

of the world, for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly pub. lish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right onight to be FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES ; that they are ab. solved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all politi. cal connexion between them and the state of Great Britain, is, and ought to be, totally dissolved ; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes,

and our sacred honour." proved.

AND WHEREAS this convention, having taken this declaration into their most serious consideration, did, on the ninth day of July last past, unanimously resolve that the reasons assigned by the conti. nental congress, for declaring the united colon.es free and indepen. dent states, are cogent, and conclusive ; and that, while we lament the cruel necessity which has rendered that measure unavoidable, we approve the same, and will, at the risk of our lives and fortunes,

join with the other colonies in supporting it. Tower of the By virtue of which several acis, declarations, and proceedings, conception, mentioned and contained in the afore-recited resolves or resolutions of the general congress of the United American States, and of the consess or conventions of this state, all power whatever therein hath reverted to the people thereof, and this convention hatlı, by their suffrages and free choice, been appointed, and among other things, allthorized to institute and establish such a government as ibey shall deem bestcalculated to secure therights and liberties of the good peo. ple of this state, most conducive of the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and of America in general.

I This convention, therefore, in the name and by the authority All authority of the good people of this slate, DOTH ORDAIN, DETERMINÉ (e people. AND DECLARE, That no authority shall, on any pretence what. ever, be exercised over the people or members of this state, but such as shall be derived from and granted by them.

II. This convention doih further, in the name and by the authori. Legislative ly of the good people of this state, ONDAIN, DETERMINE AND NE- power. CLARE, That the supreme legislative power within this state, shall be vested in two separate and distinct bodies of men ; the one to be called the Assembly of the state of New-York; the other to be call. ed the Senate of the state of New York ; who, together, shall form the Legislature, and meet once at least in every year for the despatch of business. III. AND WHEREAS laws inconsistent with the spirit of this consti. Council of Re

tution, or with the public good, may be hastily and unadvisedly
passed : BB IT ORDAINED, That the governor, for the time being, thie
chancellor and the judges of the supreme court, or any iwo of tben,
logether with the governor, shall be, and hereby are, constituted a
council to revise ali bills about to be passed into laws by the legis.
lature. And for that purpose shall assemble themselves, from time
to time, when the legislature shall be convened ; for which, never.
theless, they shall not receive any salary or consideration under any
pretence whatever. And that all bills which have passed the Senate
and Assembly, shall, before they become laws, be presented to the said
council for their revisal and consideration ; and if upon such revision
and consideration, it should appear improper to the said council, or
a majority of tiem, that the said bill should become a law of this
state, that they return the same, together with their objections
thereto in a'riting, to the senale or house of assembly, in whichso-
ever the same shall have originated, who shall enter the objections
sent down by the council, at large, in their minutes, and proceed to
re-cosider the said bill. But if afier such re-consideration, two
thirds of the said senate or house of assembly, shall, notwithstand.
ing the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together
with the objeciions, be sent to the other branch of the legislature,
where it shall also be re-considered, and if approved by two thirds
of the members present, shall be a law.

And in order to prevent any unnecessary delays,
Be it further ordaineil, That if any bill shall not be returned by

BiUs to become the council, within ten days after it shall have been presented, tive laws in more release same shall be a law, unless the legislature shall, by their adjourn. turned in ten ment, render a return of the saiul bill within ten days impracticable ; days. in which case, the bill shall be returned on the first day of the meeting of the legislature, after the expiration of the said ten days.

IV. That the assembly shall consist of at least seventy members, The Assembly. to be annually chosen in the several counties, in the proportion fol. lowing, viz: For the City and County of New York,

Nine. Representation

apportioned to The City and County of Albany,

The County of Dutchess,

The County of Westchester,


Note. Repre-
The County of Uister,

The County of Suffolk,

Five. Members of As.
The County of Queens,
The County of Orange,

each county.

sentation in creased 'o 118

Four. ed to 47, Edi.

Four. sembly, and

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be made :

The County of Kings,

The County of Richinond,

* The County of Tryon,

Six. + The County of Charlotte,

Four. # The County of Cumberland,

Three. Census, when # The County of Gloucester,

Two. V. That as soon after the expiration of seven years, subsequent to taken.

the termination of the present war, as may be, a census of the elec-
tors and inhabitants in this state be taken, under the direction of the
legislature. And if on such census it shall appear, that the num.
ber of representatives in assembly from the said counties is not justly
proportioned to the number ofelectors in the said counties respective.
ly, that the legislature do adjust and apportion the same by that rule.
And further, that once m every seven years, after the taking of the
said first census, a just account of the electors resident in each county
shall be taken ; and if it shall thereupon appear that the number of
electors in any county, shall have increased or diminished one or
more seventieth parts of the whole number of electors, which on the
said first census shall be found in 1!is state, the number of repre-
sentatives for such county shall be increased or diminished accord-
ingly, that is to say, one representative for every seventieth part, as

Ballot, opinion
of voting by.

VI. And whercus an opinion bath long prevailed among divers of the good people of this state, that voting at elections by ballot, would tend more to preserve the liberty and equal freedom of the people, than voting viva voce : To the end, therefore, that a fair

experiment be made, which of those two methods of voting is to be After the war

preterred : experiment to

Be it ordained, That as soon as may be, after the termination of the present war, between the United States of America and Great. Britain, an act or acts be passed by the legislature of this state, for causing all elections thereafier to be held in this state for senators and representatives in assembly, to be by ballot, and directing the manner in which the sarre shall be conducted. And whereas it is possible, that after all the care of the legislature, in framing the said act or acts, certain inconveniences and mischiefs, unforeseen at

this day, may be found to attend the said mode of electing by ballot: To be abolished

It is further ordained, That if after a full and fait experiment shall it found incon- be made of voting by ballot aforesaid, the same shall be found less

conducive to the safety or interest of the stale, than the method of
voting viva voce, it shall be lawful and constitutional for the legisla-
ture in abolish the same : Provided two thirds of the kember's pre-
sent in each house respectively shall concur therein. And further,
that during the continuance of the present war, and until the legis.
lature of this state shall provide for the election of senators, and
representatives in assembly, by ballot, the said elections shall be
made viva voce.

VII. That every male inhabitant of full age, who shall have perqualifications sonally resided within one of the counties of this state, for six

months immediately preceding the day of election, shail at such
election, be entitled to vote for representatives of the said county in
assembly; if during the time aforesaid, he shall have been a freehold.
er, possessing a freenold of the value of twenty pounds, within the
said county, or have rented a lenement there in of the yearly value of
forly shillings, and been rated and aciually paid taxes to this state :
Proviiled always, That every person who now is a freeman of the city
of Albany, or who was made a freeman of the city of New York, on
or before the fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one
thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and shall be actually and
usually resident in the said ciiies respectively, shall be entitled to
vote for representatives in assembly within his said place of resi.


* Name afterwards allered 10 Montgomery.- Name afterwards altered lo Wasuington...f Ceded 10 Vermont ... Editors.


Senators, and

VIII. That every elector, before he is admitted to vote, shall, if Oath of allegi. required by the returning officer or either of the inspectors, take an oath, or if of the people called quakers, an affirmation, of allegiance to the state.

ix. That the assembly thus constituted, shall chuse their own Privileges of speaker, be judges of their own members, and enjoy the same privi. members of As

sembly. leges, and proceed in doing business, in like manner as the assemblies of the colony of New York of right formerly did ; and that a majority of the said members ball, from time to time, constitute a A quorum. house io proceed upon business.

X. And this convention doth further, in the name, and by the au. Number of thority of the good people of this state, ordAIN, DETERMINE, AND DE

by whom cho CLAB£, that the senate of the state of New-York shall consist of sen. tweniy-four freeholders, to be chosen out of the body of the free vide amendo holders, and that they be chosen by the freeholders of this state, pos. stitution. sessed of freeholds of the value of one hundred pounds, over and above all debts cliarged thereon.

XI That the members of the senate be elected for four years, and, Their term of immediately after the firsı election, they be divided by lot into four election, and classes, six in each class, and numbered one, two, three, and four; and office. that the seats of the members of the first class shall be vacated ai the expiration of the first year ; the second class the second year, and so on continually, to the end, that lie fourth part of the senate, as nearly as possible, may be annually chosen. XU. That the election of senators shall be after this manner : that

Manner of so much of this state as is now parcelled into counties, be divideri into choosing. four great districts: the southern district lo comprehend the city and county of New York, Suffolk, West-Chester, Kings, Queens, and Ricii mood counties; the middle district to comprehend the counties of Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange ; the western district, the city and county of Albany, and Tryon county; and the eastern district, the counties of Charlotte, Cumberland and Gloucester. That the senators shall be elected by the freeholders of the said districts, qualified as aforesaid, in the proportions following, viz: in the southera district, nine ; in the middle district, six; in the western district, six; and in the eastern district, three. And be i ordained, ibai a Census, and apcensus shall be taken as soon as may be, afier the expiration of stver pornmeat of years from the termination of ine present war, under the direction of ihe Senators. ibe legislature; and if, on such census, it shall appear that the num. ber of senators is not justly proportioned to the several districts, that the legislature adjust the proportion, as near as may be, to the number of freeholders, qualified as aforesaid, in each districi. That when the number of electors within any of the said districts shall have in. creased one twenty-fourth part of it.e whole number of eleciors, which by the said census shall be found to be in this state, an additional senalor shall be chosen by the electors of such district. That a A quoruin. majority of the number of senators, to be chosen as aforesa:d, shall be necessary to constitute a senate sufficient to proceed upon busi. To be judges of ness; and that the senate shall, in like manner with the assembly, useir own membe the judges of its own members. And be it ordained, that it shall

Other counties te in ive power of the future legislatures of this sta é, for the con- and districts Tenience and advantage of the good people ihereof, to divide te may be erected. same into such further and other counties and districts, as to them shall appear necessary.

XIII. And this convention doth further, in the name and by the au. No person to thority of the good people of this state, ondaix, DETERMINE, AND DE


but by law. CLARE, that no member of this staie shall be disfranchised, or dc. prived of any of the rights or privileges secured to the subjects of this siate by this constitution, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.

XIV. That neither the assembly or the senate shall have power No adjournment to adjourn themselves for any longer time than two days, without of either house the mutual consent of both.


two days but by mutual consent.

for more than

Conference between them.



See Amend. ments to Constitution.

XV. That, whenever the assembly and senate disagree, a conference

shall be held in the presence of both, and be managed by commit. Doors to be tees, to be hy them respectively chosen by ballo's That the doors, open, and

both of the senale and assembly, shall at all timese kepe open to all persons, except when the welfare of the state shail require their

debates to be kept secret. And the journals of all their proceed. kept and pub. ings shall be kept in the manner heretofore accustomed by the ge.

neral assembly of the colony of New-York; and, except such parts as they shall, as aforesaid, respectively determine not to make public, be, from day to day, if the business of the legislature will permit, published.

XVI. It is, neveriheless, provided, that the number of senators Number of the shail never exceed one hundred, nor the number of the assembly three Senate and As-hundred; but that, whenever he number of senators shall amount sembly limited.

to one hundred, or of the assembly to three hundred, then, and in such case, the legislature shall, from time to time hereafter, by laws for that purpose, apportion and distribu e the said one hundred senators and three hundred representatives among the great districts, and counties of this slate, in proportion 10 the number of their re. spective electors, so that the representation of the good people of this state, both in the Senate and assembly, shall for ever remain proportionate and adequate.

XVII. And this convention doth further, in the name and by the Executive powo

authority of the good people of this state, ORDAIN, DETENMINE, AND er vested in a DECLANE, that the supreme executive power and auibori y of this governor.

state shall be vested in a governor; and that, staredly, once in every

three years, and as often as the seat of government shall become When and how vacant, a wise and discreet freeholder of this state shall be, by ballot, to be chosen.

elected governor, by the freeholders of this state, qualified, as before described, to elect senators, which eleccions shall be always held at the times and places of choosing representatives in assembly for each respective county ; and that the person who hath the greatest num. ber of voles within the said state, shall be the governor thereof.

XVIII. That the governor shall continue in office three years, and shall, by virtue of bis office, be general and comma der in chief of all the militia, and admiral of the navy, of this state; that he shall have power to convene the assembly and senate on extraordinary oc. casions ; to prorogue them from time to time, provided such prorogations shall not exceed sixty days, in the space of any one year; and, at his discretion, to grant reprieves and pardons to persons convicted of crimes other than treason or murder, in which he may susperd 'lie execution of the sentence, in til it shall be reported 10 the legislatore, at their subsequent meeting, and they shall either pardon, or

direct the execution of the criminal, or grant a further reprieve. And duty.

XIX. That it shall be the duty of the governor to inform the legislaiure, at every session, of the condition of the state, so für as may respect his department; to recommend such matters to their con. sideration as shall appear to him to concern its good government, welfare, and prosperity; to correspond wiih the continenial congress, and o:her states ; to transací all necessary business with the officers of government, civil and military; to take care that the laws are faithfully es cuier!, to the best of his ability; and to expedite all such measures as may be resolved upon by the legislature.

XX. That a lieutenant governor sball, at every election of a go. vernor, and as often as the lieutenant governor shall die, resign, or be removed from office, be elected in ihe same manner with the governos, to continue in office until it.e next election of a govemor; and

such lieutenant governor shall, by virtue of his office, be president Ho be president of the senale, anil, upon an equal division, have a casting vote in of the

their decisions, but not vote on any other occasion. His further And in case of the impeachment of the governor, or his removal power and duty. from office, death, resignation, or absence from the state, the lieu.

tenant gover or shall exercise all the power and authority apperlaining ?o the ofice of governor, until another be chosen, or the ge

His power.

Lt. Governor.

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