Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sec. 35. All deeds and conveyances of land shall be recorded in the town clerk's office in their respective towns, and, for want thereof, in the county clerk's office of the same county.

Sec. 36. The Legislature shall regulate entails in such manner as to prevent perpetuities.

Sec. 37. To deter more effectually from the commission of crimes, by continued visible punishments of long duration, and to make sanguinary punishments less necessary, means ought to be provided for punishing by hard labor, those who shall be convicted of crimes not capital, whereby the criminal shall be employed for the benefit of the public, or for the reparation of injuries done to private persons; and all persons at proper times ought to be permitted to see them at their labor.

Sec. 38. The estates of such persons as may destroy their own lives, shall not, for that offense be forfeited, but descend or ascend in the same manner as if such persons had died in a natural way. Nor shall any article which shall accidentally occasion the death of any person, be henceforth deemed a deodand, or in any wise forfeited on account of such misfortune.

Sec. 39. Every person of good character who comes to settle in this State, having first taken an oath or affirmation of allegi. ance to the same, may purchase, or by other means acquire, hold or transfer land, or other real estate; and after one year's residence shall be deemed a free denizen thereof, and entitled to all rights of a natural born subject of this State, except that he shall not be capable of being elected Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, Councillor or Representative in Assembly, until after two years' residence.

Sec. 40. The inhabitants of this State shall have liberty in seasonable times, to hunt and fowl on the lands they hold, and on other lands not inclosed; and in like manner to fish in all boatable and other waters (not private property) under proper regu. lations, to be hereafter made and provided by the General Assembly.

Sec. 41. Laws for the encouragement of virtue and prevention of vice and immorality ought to be constantly kept in force and duly executed; and a competent number of schools ought to be maintained in each town for the convenient instruction of youth; and one or more grammar schools be incorporated and properly supported in each county in this state. And all religious societies or bodies of men that may be hereafter united or incorporated for the advancement of religion and learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities and estates, which they in justice ought to enjoy, under such regulations as the General Assembly of this State shall direct.

The declaration of the political rights and privileges of the inhabitants of this State, is hereby declared to be a part of the Constitution of this Commonwealth; and ought not to be violated on any pretense whatsoever.

Sec. 43. In order that the freedom of this Commonwealth may be preserved in violate forever, there shall be chosen, by ballot, by the freemen of this State, on the last Wednesday in March, in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, and on the last Wednesday in March in every seven years there after, thirteen persons, who shall be chosen in the same manner the Council is chosen, except that they shall not be out of the Council or General Assembly, to be called the Council of Censors, who shall meet together on the first Wednesday of June next ensuing their election, the majority of whom shall be a quorum in every case, except as to calling a convention, in which twothirds of the whole number elected shall agree; and whose duty it shall be to inquire, whether the Constitution has been pre. served inviolate in every part, during the last septenary (including the year of their service); and whether the legislative and executive branches of government have performed their duty as guardians of the people, or assumed to themselves or exercised other or greater powers than they are entitled to by the Constitution. They are also to inquire whether the public taxes have been justly laid and collected in all parts of this Commonwealth - in what manner the public moneys have been disposed of - and whether the laws have been duly executed. For these purposes they shall have power to send for persons, papers and records they shall have authority to pass public censures, to order impeachments, and to recommend to the Legislature the repealing such laws as shall appear to them to have been passed contrary to the principles of the Constitution. These powers they shall continue to have for and during the space of one year from the day of their election, and no longer. The said Council of Censors shall also have power to call a convention, to meet within two years after their sitting, if there appears to them an absolute necessity of amending any article of this Constitution, which may be defective - explaining such as may be thought not clearly expressed -- and of adding such as are necessary for the preservation of the rights and happiness of the people; but the articles to be amended, and the amendments proposed, and such articles as are proposed to be added or abolished, shall be promulgated at least six months before the day appointed for the election of such convention, for the previous consideration of the people, that they may have an opportunity of instructing their delegates on the subject.

Articles of Amendment.

ARTICLE I. No person who is not already a freeman of this State shall be entitled to exercise the privileges of a freeman unless he be a natural born citizen of this or some one of the United States, or until he shall have been naturalized agreeably to the acts of Congress.

ARTICLE II. The most numerous branch of the Legislature of this State shall hereafter be styled the House of Representatives.

ARTICLE III. The supreme legislative power of this State shall hereafter be trercised by a Senate and the House of Representatives, which shall be styled “The General Assembly of the State of Vermont." Each shall have and exercise the like powers in all acts of legislation; and no bill, resolution or other thing, which shall have been passed by the one, shall have the effect of, or be declared to be, a law without the concurrence of the other: Provided, that all revenue bills shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills. Neither house during the session of the General Assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that, in which the two houses shall be sitting, and in case of disagreement between the two houses, with respect to adjournment, the Gov. ernor may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper.

ARTICLE IV. The Senate shall be composed of thirty Senators, to be of the freemen of the county for which they are elected, respectively, who are thirty years of age or upwards, and to be annually elected by the freemen of each county respectively. Each county shall be entitled to one Senator at least, and the remainder of the Senators shall be apportioned to the several counties according to their population, as the same was ascertained by the last census, taken under the authority of the United States, regard being always had, in such apportionment to the counties having the greatest fraction. But the several counties shall, until after the next census of the United States, be entitled to elect, and have their Senators, in the following proportion, to wit:

Bennington county, two; Windham county, three; Rutland county, three; Windsor county, four; Addison county, three; Orange county, three; Washington county, two; Chittenden county, two; Caledonia county, two; Franklin county, three; Orleans county, one; Essex county, one; Grand Isle county, one.

The Legislature shall make a new apportionment of the Senators, to the several counties, after the taking of each census of the United States, or census taken for the purpose of such apportionment, by order of the government of this State — always regarding the above provisions in this article.

ARTICLE V. The freemen of the several towns in each county shall annually give their votes for the Senators apportioned to such county, at the same time, and under the same regulations, as are now provided for the election of Councillors. And the person or persons, equal in number to the number of Senators apportioned to such county, having the greatest number of legal votes, in such county respectively, shall be the Senator or Senators, of such county. At every election of Senators, after the votes shall have been taken, the constable or presiding officer, assisted by the selectmen and civil authority present, shall sort and count the said votes, and make two lists of the names of each person, with the number of votes given for each annexed to his name, a record of which shall be made in the town clerk's office, and shall seal up his said lists, separately, and write on each the name of the town, and these words, “ Votes for Senator,” or “ Votes for Sen.

a

ators," as the case may be, one of which lists shall be delivered by the presiding officer, to the Representative of said town (if any), and if none be chosen, to the Representative of an adjoin. ing town, to be transmitted to the President of the Senate; the other list, the said presiding officer shall, within ten days, deliver to the clerk of the County Court, for the same county; and the clerk of each County Court, respectively, or in case of his absence or disablity, to the Sheriff of such county, or in case of the absence or disability of both, to the high bailiff of such county, on the tenth day after such election, shall publicly open, sort and count said votes, and make a record of the same in the office of the clerk of such County Court, a copy of which he shall transmit to the Senate—and shall also within ten days thereafter, transmit to the person or persons elected, a certificate of his or their election: Provided, however, that the General Assembly shall have power to regulate by law the mode of balloting for Senators, within the several counties, and to prescribe the means, and the manner by which the result of the balloting shall be ascertained and through which the Senators chosen shall be certified of their election, and for filling all vacancies in the Senate, which shall happen by death, resignation or otherwise. But they shall not have power to apportion the Senators to the several counties otherwise than according to the population thereof agreeably to the provisions herein before ordained.

ARTICLE VI.

[ocr errors]

The Senate shall have the like powers to decide on the election and qualifications of, and to expel any of its members, make its own rules and appoint its own officers, as are incident to or are possessed by, the House of Representatives. A majority shall constitute a quorum. The Lieutenant-Governor shall be President of the Senate, except when he shall exercise the office of Gov. ernor, or when his office shall be vacant, or in his absence, in which cases the Senate shall appoint one of its own members to be President of the Senate pro tempore. And the President of the Senate shall have a casting vote, but no other.

ARTICLE VII. The Senate shall have the sole power of trying and deciding upon all impeachments — when sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath, or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted,

« PreviousContinue »