Lapas attēli

G E O R G I A.

The CONSTITUTION of the State of Georgia, unanimously agreed to, in CONVENTION, the 5th of February, 1777.


HEREAS the conduct of the legislature of Great-Britain for many years past, has been so oppreffive on the people of America, that of late years, they have plainly declared, and afferted a right to raise taxes upon the people of America, and to make laws to bind them in all cafes whatfoever, without their confent; which conduct being repugnant to the common rights of mankind, hath obliged the Americans, as freemen, to oppofe fuch oppreffive measures, and to aflert the rights and privileges they are intitled to, by the laws of nature and reafon; and accordingly it hath been done by the general confent of all the people of the ftates of New-Hampshire, Malachusetts-Bay, RhodeInland, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jerfey, Pennsylvania, the counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Suflex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia, given by their reprefentatives met together in general congrefs in the city of Philadelphia.

And whereas it hath been recommended by the faid Congrefs on the fifteenth of May laft, to the refpective affemblies and conventions of the united ftates, where no government, fufficient to the exigencies of their affairs, hath been hitherto eítablished, to adopt fuch government, as may, in the opinion of the reprefenta tives of the people, beft conduce to the happiness and safety of their conftituents in particular, and America in general..

And whereas the independence of the united flates of America has been alfo declared, on the fourth day of July, one thousand feven hundred and feventy-fix, by the faid honourable congress, and all political connection between them and the crown of Great Britain is in confequence thereof diffolved.

We, therefore, the reprefentatives of the people, from whom all power originates, and for whole benefit all government is intended, by virtue of the power delegated to us, do ordain and declare, and it is hereby ordained and declared, that the following rules and regulations be adopted for the future government of this ftate.

1. The



1. The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and diftinét, fo that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other.

2. The legiflature of this ftate fhall be compofed of the reprefentatives of the people, as is herein after pointed out: And the representatives fhall be elected yearly, and every year, on the firft Tuesday in December; and the reprefentatives fo elected, fhall meet the first Tuesday in January following, at Savannah, or any other place or places, where the house of affembly for the time being fhall direct.

On the first day of the meeting of the reprefentatives fo chofen, they fhall proceed to the choice of a governor, who fhall be ftiled, Honourable; and of an executive council, by ballot out of their own body; viz. two from each county, except thofe counties which are not yet entitled to fend ten members. One of each county fhall always attend where the governor refides, by monthly rotation, unless the members of each county agree for a longer or fhorter period; this is not intended to exclude either member attending: The remaining number of representatives shall be called The House of Affembly; and the majority of the members of the faid houfe fhall have power to proceed on bufinefs.

3: 3. It fhall be an unalterable rule, that the house of affembly thall expire, and be at an end yearly and every year, on the day preceding the day of election, mentioned in the foregoing rule.

4. The reprefentation fhall be divided in the following manner? Ten members for each county, as is herein after directed, excepting the county of Liberty, which contains three parishes, and that fhall be allowed fourteen.

The ceded lands north of Ogeechie fhall be one county, and known by the name of Wilkes.

The parish of St. Paul fhall be another county, and known by the name of Richmond.

The parish of St. George fhall be another county, and known by the name of Burke.

The parish of St. Matthew, and the upper part of St. Philip, above Canouchie, fhall be another county, and known by the name of Effingham.

The parish of Chrift-Church, and the lower part of St. Philip, below Canouchie, fhall be another county, and known by the name of Chatham.

The parishes of St. John, St. Andrew, and St. James, fhall be another county, and known by the name of Liberty.

The parishes of St. David and St. Patrick shall be another county, and known by the name of Glyn.

The parishes of St. Thomas and St. Mary shall be another county, and known by the name of Camden.

The port and town of Savannah fhall be allowed four members. to represent their trade.



The port and town of Sunbury fhall be allowed two members to reprefent their trade.

5. The two counties of Glyn and Camden fhall have one reprefentative each, and alfo they, and all other counties that may hereafter be laid out by the house of affembly, fhall be under the following regulations, viz, at their firft inftitution, each county fhall have one member, provided the inhabitants of faid county fhall have ten electors; and if thirty, they fhall have two; if forty, three; if fixty, four; if eighty, fix; if an hundred and upwards, ten; at which time two executive councillors fhall be chofen, from them, as is directed for the other counties.

6. The reprefentatives fhall be chofen out of the residents in each county, who fhall have refided, at leaft, twelve months in this ftate, and three months in the county where they fhall be elected; except the freeholders of the counties of Glyn and Camden, who are in a state of alarm, and who fhall have the liberty of choofing one member each, as fpecified in the articles of this conftitution, in any other county, until they have refidents fufficient to qualify them for more: And they shall be of the Proteftant religion, and of the age of twenty-one years, and fhall be poffeffed in their own right of two hundred and fifty acres of land, or fome property to the amount of two hundred and fifty pounds.

7. The house of aflembly fhall have power to make fuch laws and regulations, as may be conducive to the good order and well being of the ftate; provided fuch laws and regulations be not repugnant to the true intent and meaning of any rule or regulation contained in this conftitution.

The houfe of affembly fhall alfo have power to repeal all laws, and ordinances, they find injurious to the people: And the houfe fhall chufe its own fpeaker, appoint its own officers, fettle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election, for fupplying intermediate vacancies; and fhall have power of adjournment to any time, or times within the year,

8. All laws and ordinances fhall be three times read, and each reading fhall be on different and feparate days, except in cafes of great neceffity and danger; and all laws and ordinances fhall be fent to the executive council, after the fecond reading, for their perufal and advice.

9. All male white inhabitants, of the age of twenty-one years, and poffeffed, in his own right, of ten pounds value, and liable to pay tax in this ftate, or being of any mechanic trade, and fhall have been a refident fix months in this ftate, fhall have a right to vote at all elections for reprefentatives, or any other officers, herein agreed to be chofen by the people at large; and every perfon having a right to vote at any election, thall vote by ballot perfonally.

10. No officer whatever fhall ferve any procefs, or give any other


[ocr errors]

other hindrance to any perfon intitled to vote, either in going to the place of election, or during the time of the faid election, or on their returning home from fuch election; nor fhall any military officer, or foldier, appear at any election in a military character, to the intent that all elections may be free and open.

II. No perfon fhall be entitled to more than one vote, which fhall be given in the county where fuch perfon refides, except as before excepted; nor fhall any perfon, who holds any title of nobility, be entitled to a vote, or be capable of ferving as a reprefentative, or hold any poft of honour, profit or truft, in this ftate, whilft fuch perfon claims his title of nobility; but if the perfon fhall give up fuch diftinction, in the manner as may be directed by any future legiflature, then, and in fuch cafe, he fhall be entitled to a vote, and reprefent, as before directed; and enjoy all the other benefits of a free citizen.

[ocr errors]

12. Every perfon abfenting himself from an election, and shall neglect to give in his, or their ballot, at fuch election, fhall be fubject to a penalty not exceeding five pounds; the mode of recovery, and alfo the appropriation thereof, to be pointed out, and directed by act of the legislature; provided nevertheless, that a reasonable excufe fhall be admitted.

13. The manner of electing reprefentatives fhall be by ballot, and shall be taken by two or more juftices of the peace, in each county, who fhall provide a convenient box for receiving the faid ballots; and on clofing the poll, the ballots fhall be compared in public, with the lifts of voters that have been taken, and the majority immediately declared; a certificate of the fame being given to the perfons elected, and alto a certificate returned to the houfe of reprefentatives.

14. Every perfon intitled to vote fhall take the following oath or affirmation, if required, viz.

"I, A. B. do voluntarily and folemnly fwear, or affirm, (as the cafe may be) that I do owe true allegiance to this ftate, and will fupport the conftitution thereof. So help me God."

15. Any five of the reprefentatives elected, as before directed, being met, fhall have power to adminifter the following oath to each other; and they or any other member, being fo fworn, fhall in the house adminifter the oath to all other members that attend, in order to qualify them to take their feats, viz.

"I, A. B. do folemnly fwear, that I will bear true allegiance to the fate of Georgia, and will truly perform the trust reposed in me; and that I will execute the fame to the best of my knowledge, for the benefit of this ftate, and the support of the conftitution thereof; and that I have obtained my election without fraud or bribe whatever. So help me God."

16. The continental delegates fhall be appointed annually by ballot, and fhall have a right to fit, debate and vote, in the houfe


of affembly, and be deemed a part thereof; fubject however to the regulations contained in the twelfth article of the confederation of the united ftates.

17. No perfon bearing any poft of profit under this ftate, or any perfon bearing any military commiffion, under this or any other ftate, or ftates, except officers of the militia, fhall be elected a representative. And if any reprefentative shall be appointed to any place of profit, or military commiffion, which he shall accept, his feat fhall immediately become vacant, and he fhall be incapable of re-election, whilft holding fuch office.

By this article it is not to be understood, that the office of a juftice of the peace is a poft of profit.

18. No perfon fhall hold more than one office of profit, under this ftate, at one and the fame time.

19. The governor fhall, with the advice of the executive council, exercise the executive powers of government, according to the laws of this ftate, and the conftitution thereof; fave only in the cafe of pardons, and remiffion of fines, whieh he fhall in no inftance grant; but he may reprieve a criminal, or fufpend a fine, until the meeting of the affembly, who may determine therein, as they fhall judge fit.

20. The governor, with the advice of the executive council, fhall have power to call the houfe of affembly together, upon any emergency, before the time which they ftand adjourned to.

21. The governor, with the advice of the executive council, fhall fill up all intermediate vacancies, that fhall happen in offices, till the next general election: And all commiffions civil and military fhall be iffued by the governor, under his hand, and the great feal of the state.

22. The governor may prefide in the executive council at all times, except when they are taking into confideration, and perufing the laws and ordinances offered to them by the house of affembly. 23. The governor fhall be chofen annually by ballot, and fhall not be eligible to the faid office for more than one year out of three, nor fhall he hold any military commiffion under any other ftate or ftates.

[ocr errors]

The governor fhall refide at fuch place as the house of affembly for the time being fhall appoint.

24. The governor's oath.

"I, A. B. elected governor of the state of Georgia, by the representatives thereof, do folemnly promife and fwear, that I will, during the term of my appointment, to the beft of my skill and judgement, execute the faid office faithfully and confcientiously, according to law, without favour, affection, or partiality; that I will, to the utmost of my power, fupport, maintain, and defend the state of Georgia, and the conftitution of the fame; and use my utmost endeavours to protect the people thereof, in the fecure

U 2


[ocr errors]
« iepriekšējāTurpināt »