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Section 11. Members of the General Assem
bly, when privileged from ar
rest. 12. Apportionment of members to
House of Representatives. 13. Division of the State into dis
tricts. 14. Privilege of writ of habeas cor
pus.-Bill of attainder. 15. No law shall embrace more than
one subject. 16. Those who may be impeached. 17. Charters not granted to relig.
ious denominations. 18. Lotteries. 19. Formation of a new county. 20. Divorces and change of names
of persons. 21. Registration of births,
from officers in executive de
partment. 7. Commissions and grants to be
in the name of the common
wealth of Virginia. 8. Certain requirements for every
resolution before it becomes
a law. 9. Election of Lieutenant-Gover
nor. 10. When Lieutenant - Governor
takes the Governor's place. 11. Lieutenant - Governor president
of the Senate. 12. Secretary of the Commonwealth,
Treasurer and Auditor.-Elec
tion of the same. 13. Duties of the Secretary. 14. Powers and duties of the Treas
urer. 15. Bureau of statistics, agriculture,
chemistry and geology.
sist of Governor, Auditor and
riages and deaths.
vacancies. 23. Government of towns and cities
provided for by Legislature. 24. Removal of disabilities incurred
Legislative Department. 1. Legislative power vested in
General Assembly. 2. Election of House of Dele
gates. 3. The Senate shall consist of not less
than thirty-three nor more than forty members.
Election of the same. 4. Appointment of Senators and
Delegates. 5. Qualifications of Senators and
Delegates. 6. General Assembly to meet once
in two years. - In regard to
adjournment. 7. The speaker of the House of
Delegates.-Filling vacancies. 8. Salaries of members of General
Assembly. 9. Origin of bills and resolutions. 10. For a bill to become a law.
Judiciary Department. 1. Jurisdiction of Supreme Court
of Appeals, Circuit Courts, and County Courts, to be regu
lated by law. 2. Supreme Court of Appeals to
consist of five judges. 3. Special Courts of Appeals. 4. Reversal of judgment. 5. Choosing of judges and their
term of office. 6. Duties and compensation de
scribed by law. 7. Session of Supreme Court of
Appeals. 8. Election of Attorney-General. 9. Judicial districts, how divided. 10. Rearrangement of circuits. 11. Term of office of Circuit Judge. 12. Circuit Court to be held once a
year. 13. County Courts, term of office of
judges of the same.
1 14. Government of cities and towns. 15. Officers of the same. 16. Attorney for the Common
wealth. 17. City sergeant. 18. Treasurer. 19. Commissioner of revenue. 20. Mayor, his election and duties,
and other city and town offi
cers. 21. Time for holding elections. 22. General provisions. 23. Removal of judges. 24. Certain judges not to hold
other offices. 25. Duties after expiration of term
of office. 26. Writs and indictments.
County Organizations. 1. County officers. 2. Division of county into magis
terial districts. 3. School districts. 4. Rights of General Assembly to
appoint additional officers. 5. Sheriffs.
Education. 1. Superintendent of public instruc
tion. 2. Board of education. 3. Free schools. 4. Compulsory attendance
school. 5. Establishment of other schools. 6. Uniformity of text-books. 7. For the support of schools. 8. Supplying free text-books, when
Militia. Section 1. Those who may be called upon
to serve in the militia. 2. Encouragement of volunteer
corps by the State.
Taration and Finance. 1. Real and personal property to
be taxed in proportion to its
value. 2. Gathering of oysters free, but
the amount of sales may be
taxed. 3. Certain property may be exempt
from taxation. 4. Income tax on over $600 per
annum and upon certain 11
censes. 5. A tax on male citizens for bene
fit of public schools. 6. Reassessment of real estate
every five years. 7. What debts the State may con
tract. 8. A sinking fund to be provided. 9. In regard to the interest on
State bonds. 10. Appropriations to be made by
law for the payment of State
money. 11. A majority of the votes of the
members of each house neces
sary to make a law. 12. State credit not to be granted. 13. In regard to the issue of scrip. 14. State may not hold corporation
stock. 15. State not to be interested in any
work of internal improvement. 16. The fixing of a tax. 17. The State shall not assume in
debtedness of any county.
borough or city. 18. An account of the expenditures
of public money is to be given. 19. In regard to adjusting with
West Virginia the proportion of the public debt of Virginia proper, to be borne by West Virginia.
it may be done. 9. Higher grades. 10. Donations to be applied in ac
cordance with the terms pre
scribed by donor. 11. Each city and town to be ac
countable for destruction of
ties to be fixed by General
PREAMBLE. Whereas, the delegates and representatives of the good people of Virginia, in convention assembled, on the twenty-ninth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, reciting and declaring, that whereas George the Third, King of Great Britain and Ireland, and elector of Hanover, before that time intrusted with the exercise of the kingly office in the government of Virginia, had endeavored to pervert the same into a detestable and insupportable tyranny, by putting his negative on laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good; by denying his governors permission to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation for his assent, and when so suspended, neglecting to attend to them for many years; by refusing to pass certain other laws unless the persons to be benefited by them would relinquish the inalienable right of representation in the legislature; by dissolving legislative assemblies, repeatedly and continually, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions of the rights of the people; when dissolved by refusing to call others for a long space of time, thereby leaving the political system without any legislative head; by endeavoring to prevent the population of our country, and for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; by keeping among us, in time of peace, standing armies and ships of war; by affecting to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power; by combining with others to subject us to a foreign jurisdiction, giving his assent to their pretended acts of legislation for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us; for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world; for imposing taxes on us without our consent; for depriving us of the benefit of trial by jury; for transporting us beyond the seas for trial for pretended offenses; for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever; by plundering our seas, ravaging our coasts, burning our towns, and destroying the lives of our people; by inciting insurrection of our fellow-subjects with the
Hurements of forfeiture and confiscation; by prompting our negroes to rise in arms among us—those very negroes whom, by an inhuman use of his negative, he had refused us permission to exclude by law; by endeavoring to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of · Warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions of existence; by transporting hither a large army of foreign mercenaries to complete the work of death, desolation and tyranny, then already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy unworthy the head of a civilized nation; by answering our repeated petitions for redress with a repetition of our injuries; and finally, by abandoning the helm of government and declaring us out of his allegiance and protection – by which several acts of misrule, the government of this country, as before exercised under the crown of Great Britain, was totally dissolved -- did, therefore, having maturely considered the premises, and viewing with great concern the deplorable condition to which this once happy country would be reduced unless some regular, adequate mode of civil policy should be speedily adopted, and in compliance with the recommendations of the general congress, ordain and declare a form of government of Virginia.
And, whereas, a convention, held on the first Monday in Octoher, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, did propose to the people of this Commonwealth an amended constitution or form of government, which was ratified by them;
And, whereas, the General Assembly of Virginia, by an act passed on the fourth of March in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty, did provide for the election, by the people, of delegates to meet in general convention, to consider, discuss and propose a new constitution, or alterations and amendments to the existing constitution of this Commonwealth; and by an act passed on the thirteenth of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, did further provide for submitting the same to the people for ratification or rejection, and the same having been submitted accordingly was ratified by them;
And, whereas, the General Assembly of Virginia, by an act passed on the twenty-first day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, did provide for the election, by the people, of delegates to meet in general convention, to consider, discuss and adopt alterations and amendments to the existing Constitution of this Commonwealth, the delegates so assembled, did, therefore, having maturely considered the premises, adopt a revised and amended Constitution as the form of government of Virginia;
And, whereas, the Congress of the United States did, by an act passed on the second day of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven, and entitled "An act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States," and by acts supplementary thereto passed on the twenty-third day of March and the nineteenth day of July, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven, provide for the election, by the people of Virginia, qualified to vote under the provisions of said acts, of delegates to meet in convention to frame a Constitution or form of government for Virginia in conformity with said acts; and by the same acts did further provide for the submitting of such Constitution to the qualified voters for ratification or rejection;
We, therefore, the delegates of the good people of Virginia, elected and in convention assembled, in pursuance of said act, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do propose to the people the following Constitution and form of government for this Commonwealth:
Bill of Rights.
ARTICLE I. A declaration of rights made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention; which