Page images


Appeals and Circuit Courts,

etc. 2. The Supreme Court of Appeals

to consist of four judges.

Their term of office. 3. Shall have original jurisdiction

in certain cases enumerated. 4. In regard to decisions of the

Supreme Court of Appeals. 6. In regard to the affirmation or

reversal of a decision by the

Supreme Court of Appeals.
6. A writ of error, supersedeas or

appeals, shall be allowed only
by the Supreme Court of Ap-

7. In case of vacancy in Supreme

Court of Appeals how filled. 8. The officers of the Supreme

Court of Appeals, how ap

pointed. 9. At least two terms to be held

annually. 10. The State shall be divided into

thirteen sections. 11. A court to be held in every

county at least three times in

each year. 12. The Circuit Court, supervision

and control of the same.
13. Enumeration of the Circuits.
14. They may be rearranged.
16. The Legislature shall provide

by law for holding regular
and Special Terms of the

Circuit Court.
16. All judges shall commis-


be elected for a term of office,

etc. 24. County Court to have custody

of all deeds, etc. 25. In regard to actions, suits, etc.,

not embraced in the next pre

ceding section. 26. Clerk of the County Court.

His term of office, duties and

compensation. 27. Justices of the peace. 28. Their jurisdiction and au

thority. 29. The County Court may be al

tered or modified. 30. The office of commissioner and

justice of the peace not compatible.


County Organization. 1. The voters of each county shall

elect a surveyor of lands. 2. Also a constable, and if the population

exceeds 1,200, others. 3. The same

person shall not be elected sheriff for two SUC

cessive terms. 4. County Court officers shall be

subject to indictment. 5. The Legislature shall provide

for commissioning such of the officers herein mentioned as

it may deem proper. 6. It shall further provide for the

compensation, duties, etc., of


sioned by the Governor. 17. They may be removed. 18. Clerk of the Circuit Court.-His

duties and compensation. 19. Courts of limited jurisdiction. 20. In regard to the property of

soldiers of the late war of

either side.
21. The laws of the State which

are in force and not repug-
nant to this article shall con-

tinue, etc.
22. There shall be in each county

of the State a County Court. 23. Commissioners of the same to!

the same. 7. Conservators of the peace. 8. No new county to be formed

with an area of less than 400 square miles, or a population of less than 6,000.


Turition and Finuire. 1. Taxation shall be equal and

uniform. 2. An annual capitation tax of one

dollar. 3. No money to be drawn from the

Treasury but by appropriation.

Section 11. Parallei or competing lines may

not consolidate. 12. The right of eminent domain

not to be abridged.


Section 4. No debt to be contracted by the

State, etc. 6. The power of taxation by the

Legislature. 6. The credit of the State not to

be granted to any of its sub

divisions. 7. County taxes not to exceed for

one year ninety-five cents on

one hundred dollars. 8. The limit of indebtedness in

county, city, etc. 9. Certain corporate bodies may

be authorized to assess and collect taxes.



Corporations 1. Legislature to provide for the

organization of. 2. What stockholders shall be lia

ble for the indebtedness of

corporations. 3. All existing charters or grants

under which organization shall not have taken place within two years from the time this Constitution takes effect, shall

be invalid. 4. Law to provide for the election

of directors or managers of incorporated companies.-Stockholders shall have the right

to vote in person or by proxy. 6. Street railroads may not be con

structed in any city, town or incorporated village without the consent of the local au

thorities. 6. A general banking law for the

creation and organization of

banks. 7. Every railroad corporation do

ing business in the State shall make a report to the Auditor

of public accounts. 8. The rolling stock and moveable

property of railroads shall be

considered personal property. 9. Railroads are public highways. 10. In regard to the establishment

of stations.

1. The Legislature shall provide

by general law for a system

of free schools. 2. The State Superintendent.-His

duties. 3. The Legislature may provide

for county superintendents and other officers.-Their duties and powers and compen

sation. 4. School fund. 5. Interest of the school fund to

be used for the support of

free schools. 6. The school districts into which

any county is now divided shall continue until changed

by law. 7. In regard to levies for the sup

port of free schools. 8. White and colored persons shall

not be taught in the same

schools. 9. No person connected with the

free school system of the State shall be interested in the sale of books, etc., used

therein. 10. No independent free school dis

trict shall hereafter be cre

ated, except. 11. No appropriations shall hereaf

ter be made to any State Normal school except those al

ready established. 12. The Legislature shall encour

age moral, intellectual, scientific and agricultural improvement,


Land Titles.

1. All private rights in lands in

this State derived from the

6. Every owner of land to have it

entered on the land books of
the county and causing him-
self to be charged with taxes


laws of the State of Virginia

shall remain valid. 2. No entry by warrant on land

in this State shall hereafter

be made. 3. In regard to title of forfeited

lands. 4. Waste and unappropriated land

in this State to be sold to the

highest bidder.
6. The former owner of any such

land may receive the excess
of the sum, over the taxes,
charged for which the land
was sold.



1. No convention shall be called

having the authority to alter the Constitution of this state,

unless. 2. Any amendment to the Consti

tution may originate at either house.

ARTICLE L. Relations to the Government of the United States. 1. The State of West Virginia is, and shall remain, one of the United States of America. The Constitution of the United States of America, and the laws and treaties made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the land.

2. The government of the United States is a government of enumerated powers, and all powers not delegated to it, nor inhibited to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people thereof. Among the powers so reserved to the States is the exclusive regulation of their own internal government and police; and it is the high and solemn duty of the several departments of government, created by this Constitution, to guard and protect the people of this State from all encroachments upon the rights so reserved.

3. The provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and of this State, are operative alike in a period of war as in time of peace, and any departure therefrom, or violation thereof, under the plea of necessity, or any other plea, is subversive of good government, and tends to anarchy and despotism.

4. For the election of representatives to Congress, the State shall be divided into districts, corresponding in number with the representatives to which it may be entitled; which districts shall be formed of contiguous counties, and be compact. Each district shall contain, as nearly as may be, an equal number of population, to be determined according to the rule prescribed in the Constitution of the United States,


[ocr errors]

The State. 1. The territory of the following counties, formerly parts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, shall constitute and form the State of West Virginia, viz.:

The counties of Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, i Mercer, Mineral, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming. The State of West Virginia includes the bed, bank and shores of the Ohio river, and so much of the Big Sandy river as was formerly included in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and all territorial rights and property in, and jurisdiction over the same, heretofore reserved by, and vested in, the Commonwealth of Virginia, are vested in and shall hereafter be exercised by the State of West Virginia.-And such parts of the said beds, banks and shores, as lie opposite and adjoining the several counties of this State, shall form parts of said several counties respectively.

2. The powers of government reside in all the citizens of the State, and can be rightfully exercised only in accordance with their will and appointment.

3. All persons residing in this State, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, shall be citizens of this State.

4. Every citizen shall be entitled to equal representation in the government, and, in all apportionments of representation, equality of number of those entitled thereto shall, as far as practicable, be preserved.

5. No distinction shall be made between resident aliens and citizens, as to the acquisition, tenure, disposition or descent of property.

6. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on cod

fession in open court. Treason shall be punished according to the character of the acts committed, by the infliction of one, or more, of the penalties, of death, imprisonment or fine, as may be prescribed by law.

7. The present seal of the State with its our motto, “Montani Semper Liberi," shall be the great seal of the State of West Virginia, and shall be kept by the Secretary of State, to be used by him officially, as directed by law.

8. Writs, grants and commissions issued under the authority of this State shall run in the name of, and official bonds shall be made payable to, the State of West Virginia. Indictments shall conclude, "Against the peace and dignity of the State."


Bill of Rights. All men are, by nature, equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity, namely: The enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

2. All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. Magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

3. Government is instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community. Of all its various forms that is the best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community has an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

4. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended. No person shall be held to answer for treason, felony or other crime not cognizable by a justice, unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury. No bill or attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of a contract, shall be passed.

« PreviousContinue »