Lapas attēli

nence, authority, difpenfing or other power, in any matter, civil, ecclefiaftical or fpiritual, within this commonwealth, except the authority or power which is or may be vested by their conftituents in the Congrefs of the United States. And I do fur. ther teftify and declare, that no man or body of men hath or can have any right to abfolve or discharge me from the obligation of this oath, declaration or affirmation; and that I do make this acknowledgement, profeffion, teftimony, declaration, denial, renunciation and abjuration, heartily and truly, according to the common meaning and acceptation of the foregoing words, without any equivocation, mental evafion, or fecret refervation, whatfo.ver. So help me God."

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"I, A. B. do folemnly fwear and affirm, that I will faithfully and impartially difcharge and perform all the duties incumbent according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the conftitution, and the laws of this commonwealth. So help me

on me as


Provided always, that when any perfon chofen or appointed as aforefaid fhall be of the denomination of the people called Quakers, and shall decline taking the faid oaths, he fhall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, and subscribe the same, omitting the words, "I do fwear," " and abjure," "oath or," "and abjuration," in the firft oath; and in the fecond oath, the words, "fwear and ;" and in each of them the words, "So help me God" fubjoining instead thereof, "This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury."

And the faid oaths or affirmations fhall be taken and fubfcribed by the governor, lieutenant-governor, and councillors, before the prefident of the fenate, in the prefence of the two houfes of affembly; and by the fenators and representatives firft elected under this conftitution, before the prefident and five of the council of the former conftitution; and forever afterwards before the governor and council for the time being and by the refidue of the officers aforefaid, before fuch perfons and in fuch manner as from time to time shall be prescribed by the legislature.


II. No governor, lieutenant-governor, or judge of the fupreme judicial court, fhall hold any other office or place under the authority of this commonwealth, except fuch as by this conftitution they are admitted to hold; faving that the judges of the faid court may hold the offices of juftices of the peace through the ftate; nor fhall they hold any other place or office, or receive any penfion or falary from any other ftate or government or power whatever.

No person shall be capable of holding or exercifing at the fame time more than one of the following offices within this ftate,


viz judge of probate, fheriff, 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 fenate, or the house of representatives, or by the election of the people of the ftate at large, or of the people of any county, military offices, and the office of juftice of the peace excepted, fhall be held by one person,

No perfon holding the office of judge of the fupreme judicial court, fecretary, attorney general, folicitor-general, treasurer or receiver-general, judge of probate, commiffary-general; prefident, profeffor, or inftructor of Harvard College; theriff, clerk of the house of reprefentatives, regifter of probate, regifter of deeds, clerk of the fupreme judicial court, clerk of the inferior court of common-pleas, or officer of the customs, including in this description naval officers, fhall at the fame time have a feat in the fenate or house of representatives; but their being chofen or appointed to, and accepting the fame, fhall operate as a refignation of their feat in the fenate or houfe of reprefentatives, and the place fo vacated fhall be filled up.

And the fame rule fhall take place in cafe any judge of the faid fupreme judicial court, or judge of probate, fhall accept a feat in council; or any councillor fhall accept of either of those offices or places.

And no perfon fhall ever be admitted to hold a feat in the legiflature, or any office of truft or importance under the government of this commonwealth, who fhall, in the due course of law, have been convicted of bribery or corruption in obtaining an election or appointment.

III. In all cafes where fums of money are mentioned in this conftitution, the value thereof fhall be computed in filver, at fix fhillings and eight-pence per ounce and it fhall be in the power of the leg flature from time to time to increase fuch qualifications, as to property of the perfons to be elected into offices, as the circumftances of the commonwealth fhall require,

IV. All commiffions fhall be in the name of the commonwealth of Maffachufetts, figned by the governor and attefted by the fecretary or his deputy, and have the great feal of the commonwealth affixed thereto.

V. All writs iffuing out of the clerk's office in any of the courts of law fhall be in the name of the commonwealth of Maflachusetts: they fhall be under the feal of the court from whence they iffue: they fhall bear teft of the first juftice of the court to which they fhall be returnable, who is not a party, and be figned by the clerk of fuch court.

VI. All the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used and approved in the province, colony, or ftate of MalachusettsBay, and ufually practifed on in the courts of law, fhall ftill re

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main and be in full force, until altered or repealed by the legiflature; fuch parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this conftitution.

VII. The privilege and benefit of the writ of habeas-corpus fhall be enjoyed in this commonwealth, in the most free, eafy, cheap, expeditious and ample manner; and fhall not be fufpended by the legislature, except upon the most urgent and preffing occafions, and for a limited time, not exceeding twelve months.

VIII. The enacting style in making and paffing all acts, ftatutes, and laws, fhall be," Be it enacted by the fenate and house of reprefentatives in general court affembled, and by the authority of the fame."

IX. To the end there may be no failure of juftice, or danger arife to the commonwealth from a change of the form of government-all officers, civil and military, holding commiffions under the government and people of Maffachusetts-Bay in New-England, and all other officers of the faid government and people, at the time this conftitution fhall take effect, fhall have, hold, ufe, exercise, and enjoy, all the powers and authority to them granted or committed, until other perfons fhall be appointed in their ftead And all courts of law fhall proceed in the execution of the business of their respective departments; and all the executive and legislative officers, bodies, and powers, fhall continue in full force, in the enjoyment and exercife of all their trufts, employments, and authority, until the general court, and the fupreme and executive officers under this constitution, are defignated and invefted with their refpective trufts, powers and authority.

X. In order the more effectually to adhere to the principles of the conftitution, and to correct thofe violations which by any means may be made therein, as well as to form fuch alterations as from experience fhall be found neceffary, the general court which hall be in the year of our Lord one thoufand feven hundred and ninety-five fhall iffue precepts to the felectmen of the feveral towns, and to the affeffors of the unincorporated plantations, directing them to convene the qualified voters of their refpective towns and plantations, for the purpofe of collecting their fentiments on the neceffity or expediency of revifing the conftitution, in order to amendments.

And if it fhall appear by the returns made, that two-thirds of the qualified voters throughout the ftate who fhall affemble and vote in confequence of the faid precepts are in favour of fuch revifion and amendment, the general court fhall iffue precepts, or direct them to be iffued from the fecretary's office, to the fe



veral towns to elect delegates to meet in convention, for the purpofe aforesaid,

The faid delegates to be chosen in the fame manner and proportion as their reprefentatives in the fecond branch of the legiflature are by this conftitution to be chofen.

X. This form of government fhall be enrolled on parchment, and depofited in the fecretary'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 faid laws.


Atteft. SAMUEL BARRET, Secretary.


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RHODE ISLAND CHARTER, granted by King Charles II. in the Fourteenth Year of his Reign.

Quintadecima pars Patentium Anno Regni Regis Caroli Secundi

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HARLES the Second, by the grace of God, &c. To all to whom thefe prefents fhall come, greeting. Whereas we have been informed by the petition of our trufty and well beloved fubjects, John Clarke, on the behalf of Benedict Arnold, William Brenton, William Codington, Nicholas Eafton, William Boulton, john Porter, John Smith, Samuel Gorton, John Weekes, Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, Gregory Dexter, John Cogefhall, Jofeph Clarke, Randall Houlden, John Greene, John Koome, Samuel Wildbore, William Field, James Barker, Richard Tew, Thomas Harris, and William Dyre, and the reft of the purchasers, and free inhabitants of our ifland called Rhode-Ifland, and the reft of the colony of Providence Plantations, in the Narraganfet-Bay in New England in America, That they, purfuing with peace and loyal minds their fober, ferious, and religious intentions, of godly edifying themfelves and one another in the holy Chriftian faith and worship as they were perfuaded, together with the gaining over and converfion of the poor ignorant Indian natives in those parts of America to the fincere profeffion and obedience of the fame faith and worship, did not only by the consent and good encouragement of our royal progenitors, tranfport themselves out of this kingdom of England into America; but also fince their arrival there, after their first fettlement among other our fubjects in thofe parts, for the avoiding of difcord and those many evils which were likely to enfue upon those our subjects not being able to bear in those remote parts their different apprehenfions in religious concernments; and in purfuance of the aforefaid ends did once again leave their defirable ftations and habitations, and with exceffive labour and travail, hazard and charge, did tranfplant themselves into the midst of the Indian natives, who, as we are informed, are the most potent princes and people of all that country; where, by the good providence of God (from whom the plantations have taken their name) upon their labour and industry,

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