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to promote public schools, and to adopt all means which they may deem necessary and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.

Sec. 2. The money which now is or which may hereafter be appropriated by law for the establishment of a permanent fund for the support of public schools, shall be securely invested, and remain a perpetual fund for that purpose.

Sec. 3. All donations for the support of public schools, or for other purposes of education, which may be received by the General Assembly, shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by the donors.

Sec. 4. The General Assembly shall make all necessary provisions by law for carrying this article into effect. They shall not divert said money or fund from the aforesaid uses, nor borrow, appropriate, or use the same, or any part thereof, for any other purpose, under any pretense whatsoever.



Of Amendments. The General Assembly may propose amendments to this Con. stitution by the votes of a majority of all the members elected to each house. Such propositions for amendment shall be published in the newspapers, and printed copies of them shall be sent by the Secretary of State, with the names of all the members who shall have voted thereon, with the yeas and nays, to all the town and city clerks in the State. The said propositions shall be, by said clerks, inserted in the warrants or notices by them issued, for warning the next annual town and ward meetings in April; and the clerks shall read said propositions to the electors when thus assembled, with the names of all the Representatives and Senators who shall have voted thereon, with the yeas and nays, before the election of Senators and Representatives shall be had. If a majority of all the members elected to each house, at said annual meeting, shall approve any proposition thus made, the same shall be published and submitted to the electors in the mode provided in the act of approval; and if then approved by three-fifths of the electors of the State present and voting thereon in town and ward meetings, it shall become a part of the Constitution of the State.


Of the Adoption of the Constitution. Section 1. This Constitution, if adopted, shall go into operation on the first Tuesday of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-three. The first election of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney-General and General Treasurer, and of Senators and Representatives under said Constitution, shall be had on the first Wednesday of April next preceding, by the electors qualified under said Constitution. And the town and ward meetings therefor shall be warned and conducted as is now provided by law. All civil and military officers now elected, or who shall hereafter be elected, by the General Assembly, or other competent authority, before the said first Wednesday of April, shall hold their offices and may exercise their powers until the said first Tuesday of May, or until their successors shall be qualified to act. All statutes, public and private, not repugnant to this Constitution, shall continue in force until they expire by their own limitation, or are repealed by the General Assembly. All charters, contracts, judgments, actions and rights of action shall be valid as if this Constitution had not been made. The present government shall exercise all the powers with which it is now clothed, until the said first Tuesday of May, one thousand eight hundred and forty-three, and until the government under this Constitution is duly organized.

Sec. 2. All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be valid against the State as if this Constitution had not been adopted.

Sec. 3. The Supreine Court, established by this Constitution, shall have the same jurisdiction as the Supreme Judicial Court at present established, and shall have jurisdiction of all causes which may be appealed to, or pending in the same; and shall be held at the same times and places, and in each county, as the present Supreme Judicial Court, until otherwise prescribed by the General Assembly.

Sec. 4. The towns of New Shoreham and Jamestown shall continue to enjoy the exemption from military duty which they now enjoy, until otherwise prescribed by law.

Done in convention, at East Greenwich, this fifth day of November, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and forty-two.






ARTICLE I. It shall not be necessary for the town or ward clerks to keep and transmit to the General Assembly a list or register of all persons voting for general officers; but the General Assembly shall have power to pass such laws on the subject as they may deem expedient.

ARTICLE II. The Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall hereafter exclusively exercise the pardoning power, except in cases of impeachment, to the same extent as such power is now exercised by the General Assembly.

ARTICLE III. There shall be one session of the General Assembly, holden annually, commencing on the last Tuesday in May, at Newport, and an adjournment from the same shall be holden annually at Providence.

Adopted November, 1854.

ARTICLE IV. Electors of this State who, in time of war, are absent from the State, in the actual military service of the United States, being otherwise qualified, shall have a right to vote in all elections in the State for electors of President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, and general officers of the State. The General Assembly shall have full power to provide by law for carrying this article into effect; and until such provision shall be made by law, every such absent elector on the day of such elections, may deliver a written or printed ballot, with the names of the persons voted for thereon, and his christian and surname, and his voting residence in the State, written at length on the back thereof, to the officer commanding the regi. ment or company to which he belongs; and all such ballots, certified by such commanding officer to have been given by the elector whose name is written thereon, and returned by such commanding officer to the Secretary of State within the time prescribed by law for counting the votes in such elections, shall be received and counted with the same effect as if given by such elector in open town, ward, or district meeting; and the clerk of each town or city, until otherwise provided by law, shall, within five days after any such election, transmit to the Secretary of State a certified list of the names of all such electors on their respective voting lists.

Adopted August, 1864.


The manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors to be used as a beverage shall be prohibited. The General Assembly shall provide by law for carrying this article into effect.

ARTICLE VI. All soldiers and sailors of foreign birth, citizens of the United States, who served in the army or navy of the United States from this State in the late civil war, and who were honorably discharged from such service, shall have the right to vote on all questions in all legally organized town, district or ward meetings, upon the same conditions and under and subject to the same restrictions as native born citizens. Adopted April 7, 1886.

ARTICLE VII. Section 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 two years, and in the town or city in which he may offer to vote six months next preceding the time of his voting, and whose name shall be registered in the town or city where he resides on or before the last day of December, in the year next preceding the time of his voting, shall have a right to vote in the election of all civil officers and on all questions in all legally organized town or ward meetings: Provided, That no person shall at any time be allowed to vote in the election of the city council of any city, or upon any proposition to impose a tax, or for the expenditure of money in any town or city, unless he shall within the year next preceding have paid a tax assessed upon his property therein, valued at least at one hundred and thirty. foar dollars.

Sec. 2. The assessors of each town and city shall annually assess upon every person, who, if registered, would be qualified to vote, a tax of one dollar, or such sum as with his other taxes shall amount to one dollar, which tax shall be paid into the treasury of such town or city and be applied to the support of public schools therein: Provided, That such tax assessed upon any person who has performed military duty, shall be remitted for the year he shall perform such duty; and said tax assessed upon any mariner for any year while he is at sea, or upon any person who by reason of extreme poverty is unable to pay said tax, shall upon application of such mariner or person, be remitted. The General Assembly shall have power to provide by law for the collection and remission of said tax.

Sec. 3. This amendment shall take in the Constitution of the State, the place of sections 2 and 3 of article II, “Of the Qualification of Electors," which said sections are hereby annulled. Adopted April 4, 1888.

ARTICLE VIII. Article V of the amendments to the Constitution of this State is hereby annulled. Adopted June 20, 1889.

ARTICLE IX. Section 1. Hereafter the General Assembly may provide by general law for the creation and control of corporations: Provided, however, That no corporation shall be created with the power to exercise the right of eminent domain, or to acquire franchises in the streets and highways of towns and cities, except by special act of the General Assembly upon a petition for the same, the pendency whereof shall be notified as may be required by law.

Sec. 2. This amendment shall take in the Constitution of the State the place of section 17 of article IV, “Of the Legislative Power," and shall be deemed to be in amendment of said section and article.

Adopted November 8, 1892.

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