« AnteriorContinuar »
against it, or 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 confession in
No conviction of treason or attainder shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture.
ARTICLE X.- General Provisions. Sec. 1. Members of the General Assembly, and all officers, execu- . tive, and judicial, shall, before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, take the following oath or affirmation, to wit :
You do solemnly swear, (or affirm, as the case may be,) that you will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, so long as you continue a citizen thereof; and that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, the duties of the office of
to the best of your abilities. So help you God.
2. Each town shall annually elect selectmen, and such officers of local police. as the laws may prescribe.
3. The rights and duties of all corporations shall remain as if this Constitution had not been adopted; with the exception of such regulations and restrictions as are contained in this Constitution. All judicial and civil officers now in office, who have been appointed by the General Assembly, and commissioned according to law, and all such officers las shall be appointed by the said Assembly, and commissioned as aforesaid, before the first Wednesday of May next, shall continue to hold their offices until the first day of June next, unless they shall, before that time, resign, or be removed from office according to law. The Treasurer and Secretary shall continue in office until a Treasurer and Secretary shall be appointed under this Constitution. All military officers shall continue to hold and exercise their respective offices, until they shall resign, or be removed according to law. All laws not contrary to, or inconsistent with, the provisions of this Constitution, shall remain in force until they shall expire by their own limitation, or shall be altered or repealed by the General Assembly, in pursuance of this Constitution. The validity of all bonds, debts, contracts, as well of individuals as of bodies corporate, or the State, of all suits, actions, or rights of action, both in law and equity, shall continue as if no change had taken place. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and General Assembly, which is to be formed in October next, shall have, and possess,
all the powers and authorities not repugnant to, or inconsistent with, this Constitution, which they now have and possess until the first Wednesday of May next.
4. No judge of the Superior Count, or of the Supreme Court of Errors: or member of Congress ; no person holding any office under the authority of the United States; no person holding the office of Treasurer, Secretary, or Comptroller; no sheriff or sheriff's deputy; shall be a member of the General Assembly.
ARTICLE XI.- Of Amendments of the Constitution. Whenever a majority of the House of Representatives shall deem it necessary to alter or amend this Constitution, they may propose such alterations and amendments; which proposed amendments shall be continued to the next General Assembly, and be published with the laws which may have been passed at the same session ; and if two-thirds of each house, at the next session of said Assembly, shall approve the amendments proposed, by yeas and nays, said amendments shall, by the Secretary, be transmitted to the town clerk in each town in this State; whose duty it shall be to present the same to the inhabitants thereof, for their consideration, at a town meeting, legally warned and held for that purpose ; and if it shall
appear, in a manner to be provided by law, that a majority of the electors present at such meetings shall have approved such amendments, the same shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of this Constitution.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONST TUTION.
ARTICLE I.-Adopted November, 1828. From and after the first Wednesday of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, the Senate of this State shall consist of not less than eighteen, nor more than twenty. four members, and be chosen by districts.
ARTICLE II.-Adopted November, 1828. The General Assembly which shall be holden on the first Wednesday of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twentynine, shall divide the State into districts for the choice of senators. and shall determine what number shall be elected in each, which districts shall not be less than eight, nor more than twenty-four in sumber, and shall always be composed of contiguous territory, and in forming them no town shall be divided; no shall the whole or part of one county be joined to the whole or part of another county: to form a district; regard being had to the population in said ap portionment, and in forming said districts in such manner, that no county shall have less than two senators. The districts, when established, shall continue the same until the session of the General Assembly next after the completion of the next census of the United States; which said Assembly shall have power to alter the same, it found necessary to preserve a proper equality between said districts in respect to the number of inhabitants therein, according to the principles above recited; after which said districts shall not be altered, nor the number of senators altered, except at any session of the Gene ral Assembly next after the completion of a census of the United States, and then only according to the principles above prescribed.
ARTICLE III.-Adopted November, 1828. At the meeting of the electors on the first Monday of April, in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty, and annually thereafter, immediately after the choice of representatives, the electors qualified by law to vote in the choice of such representatives, shall be called upon, by the presiding officer in such meeting, in the several towns within their districts respectively, to bring in their ballots for such person or number of persons to be senator or senators for such districts in the next General Assembly, as shall by law be allowed to such districts respectively; which person or per. sons, at the time of holding such meetings, shall belong to and raside in the respective districts in which they shall be so balloted for as aforesaid. And each elector present at such meeting, qualified as aforesaid, may thereupon bring in his ballot or suffrage for such person or persons as he shall choose to be senators for such district, not exceeding the number by law allowed to the same, with the name or names of such person or persons, fairly written* on one piece of paper. And the votes so given in shall be received, counted, canvassed and declared, in the same manner now provided by the Constitution for the choice of senators. The person or persons (not exceeding the number by law allowed to the districts in which such votes shall be given in,) having the highest number of votes, shall be declared to be duly elected for such districts. But in the event of an equality of votes between two or more of the persons so voted for, the House of Representatives shall in the manner provided for by the Constitution, designate which of such person or persons
shall be declared to be duly elected.
ARTICLE IV.--Adopted November, 1831. There shall annually be chosen and appointed a LieutenantGovernor, a Treasurer, and Secretary, in the same manner as is provided in the second section of the fourth article of the Constitu. tion of this State for the choice and appointment of a Governor.
ARTICLE V.-Adopted November, 1836. A Comptroller of public accounts, shall be annually chosen by the electors, in their meeting in April, and in the same manner as the Treasurer and Secretary are chosen; and the votes for Comptroller shall be returned to, and counted, canvassed, and declared by the Treasurer and Secretary.
ARTICLE VI.-Adopted November, 1836. The electors in the respective towns, on the first Monday of April in each year, may vote for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, Secretary, senators and representatives in the General Assembly, successively, or for any number of said officers at the same time. And the General Assembly shall have power to enact laws, regulating and prescribing the order and manner of voting for said officers; and also providing for the election of representatives, at some time subsequent to the first Monday of April, in all cases when it shall so happen that the electors in any town shall fail, on that day, to elect the representative or representatives to which such town shall be by law entitled.
Provided, that in all elections of officers of the State, or members of the General Assembly, the votes of the electors shall be by ballot, either written or printed
* Amendment, 1836.
The first settlement of this State was made by the Dutch, in 1614, on Man. hattan Island. They established a colonial government in 1629, under the name of New Netherlands. In 1664, Charles II. granted to his brother, the Duke of York, afterwards James II., a patent of a tract of country, comprising the present States of New York and New Jersey. The same year Col. Nichols, with a large force, took the country by conquest, for the Duke of York, and gave it the name of " New York. In 1673, the territory was recaptured by the Dutch; but after a few months was restored by a treaty, and the Duke of York took out a new patent. The first legislative body of this province assembled in Oct. 1683. In 1693 Episcopacy was made the established religion of this province.
New York bore a very important part both in the French and Revolutionary wars. As it is the most populous State in the union, and has the largest legislation in Congress, it has received the appellation of the Empire State. The first Constitution was adopted in 1777, the second in 1822. (See Appendix.) The present one was adopted Nov. 3d, 1846.
Area 46,000 sq. m. Population, 1845, 2,603,980.
The city of New York is the largest in the United States. Its population in 1845 was 371,223, which, with Brooklyn and Williamsburg (places contiguous), make a population of more than 450,000. The city and county have the same limits, embracing the island of Manhattan. It is about 14 miles long, and its average width 14 miles. The British had possession of this city during most of the Revolution. They evacuated it Nov. 25, 1783, when Gen. Washington with his troops marched in. Here the first Congress assembled in 1789, and here was Gen. Washington inaugurated as the first President of the United States of America, April 30, 1789. The house where the first Congress assembled occupied the place where the Custom ise now stands.
The chair in which Washington was inaugurated, and those occupied by the members of the first Congress, may now be seen in the Common Council Room of this City.
We the People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom : in order to secure its blessings, do establish this Constitution.
ARTICLE I. Sec. 1. No member of this State shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
2. The trial by jury, in all cases in which it has been heretofore used, shall remain iuviolate forever. But a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law.
3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State to all mankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.
4. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension.
5. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishment be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained. 6. No person
shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of militia, when in actual service; and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this State may keep with the consent of Congress in time of peace; and in cases of petit larceny, under the regulation of the Legislature,) unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury; and in
any court whatever, the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person and with counsel, as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence; nor shall he be compelled in any
case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law: nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
7. When private property shall be taken for any public use, the compensation to be made therefor, when such compensation is not made by the State, shall be ascertained by a jury, or by not less than three commissioners appointed by a Court of Record, as shall be prescribed by law. Private roads may be opened in the manner to be prescribed by law; but in every case the necessity of the road, and the amount of all damages to be sustained by the opening there