Page images

No person

exceed four pounds, and the title of real estate is not concerned ; but with right of appeal to either party to some other court, so that a trial by jury in the last resort may be had.

shall hold the office of a judge in any court, or judge of probate, or sheriff of any county, after he has attained the age of seventy years.

No judge of any court, or justice of the peace, shall act as an attorney, or be of counsel to any party, or originate any civil suit, in matters which shall come or be brought before him as judge, or justice of the peace.

All matters relating to the probate of wills, and granting letters of administration, shall be exercised by the judges of probate, in such manner as the Legislature have directed, or may hereafter direct; and the judges of probate shall hold their courts at such place or places, on such fixed days as the conveniency of the people may require, and the Legislature from time to time appoint.

No judge or register of probate shall be of counsel, act as advocate, or receive any fees as advocate or counsel, in any probate business which is pending, or may be brought into any court of probate in the county of which he is judge or register.

Clerks of Courts. The judges of the courts (those of the probate excepted,) shall appoint their respective clerks, to hold their office during pleasure; and no such clerks shall act as an attorney, or be of counsel, in any cause in the court of which he is clerk, nor shall he draw any writ originating a civil action.

Encouragement of Literature, fc. Knowledge and learning, generally diffused through a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; and spreading the opportunities and advantages of education through the vari. ous parts of the country, being highly conducive to promote this end: it shall be the duty of the legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools, to encourage private and public institutions, rewards, and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and economy, honesty and punctuality, sincerity, sobriety, and all social affections and generous sentiments among the people. Oath and subscriptions; exclusion from offices; commissions; writs ;

confirmation of laws; habeas corpus; the enacting style; continuance of officers ; provision for a future revision of the Constitution, f.c. Any person chosen Governor, counselor, senator, or representative, military or civil officer (town officers excepted), accepting the trust, shall, before he proceeds to execute the duties of his office, make and subscribe the following declaration, viz. : I, A. B., do solemnly swear, that I will bear faith and true alle.

giance to the State of New Hampshire, and will support the Con

stitution thereof. So help me God. I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely swear and affirm, that I will

faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as

according to the best of my abilities, agreeably to the rules and regulations of this Constitution, and the laws of the State of New Hampshire. So help me God.

Any person having taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance, and the same being filed in the Secretary's office, he shall not be obliged to take said oath again.

Provided always, When any person chosen or appointed as aforesaid, shall be of the denomination called Quakers, or shall be scrupulous of swearing, and shall decline taking the said oaths, such shall take and subscribe them, omitting the word swear, and likewise the words so help me God, subjoining, instead thereof, this I do under the pains and penalties of perjury.

And the oaths or affirmations shall be taken and subscribed by the Governor, before the President of the Senate, in presence of both houses of the Legislature, and by the senators and representatives first elected under this Constitution, as altered and amended, before the President of the State, and a majority of the Council then in office, and forever afterwards before the Governor and Council for the time being; and by all other officers, before such persons, and in such manner as the Legislature shall from time to time appoint.

All commissions shall be in the name of the State of New Hampshire, signed by the Governor, and attested by the Secretary or his deputy, and shall have the great seal of the State affixed thereto.

All writs issuing out of the clerk's office in any of the courts of law, shall be in the name of the State of New Hampshire; shall be under the seal of the court whence they issue, and bear test of the chief, first, or senior justice of the court; but when such justice shall be interested, then the writ shall bear test of some other justice of the court, to which the same shall be returnable; and shall be signed by the clerk of such court.

All indictments, presentments, and informations shall conclude against the peace and dignity of the State.

The estate of such persons as may destroy their own lives shall not for that offence 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.

All the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used, and approved in the Province, Colony, or State of New Hampshire, and usually practised on in courts of law, shall remain and be in full force until altered and repealed by the Legislature: such parts thereof only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this Constitution : Provided, that nothing herein contained, when compared with the twenty-third article in the bill of rights, shall be construed to affect the laws already made respecting the persons or estates of absentees.

The privilege and benefit of the habeas corpus shall be enjoyed in this State, in the most free, easy, cheap, expeditious, and ample manner, and shall not be suspended by the Legislature, except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a time not exceeding three months.

The enacting style, in making and passing acts, statutes, and laws, shall be-Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court convened.

No governor, or judge of the Supreme Judicial Court, shall hold any office or place under the authority of this State, except such as by this Constitution they are admitted to hold, saving that the judges of the said Court may hold the offices of justice of the peace throughout the State; nor shall they hold any place or office, or receive any pension or salary, from any other State, government, or power whatever.

No person shall be capable of exercising, at the same time, more than one of the following offices within this State, viz., judge of probate, sheriff, register of deeds; and never more than two offices of profit, which may be held by appointment of the Governor, or Governor and Council, or Senate and House of Representatives, or superior and inferior courts, military offices and offices of justices of the peace excepted.

No person holding the office of judge of any court (except special judges), Secretary, Treasurer of the State, Attorney-General, Commissary-General, military officers receiving pay from the continent or this State (excepting officers of the militia occasionally called forth on an emergency), register of deeds, sheriff, or officers of the customs, including naval officers, collectors of excise, and State and continental taxes, hereafter appointed, and not having settled their accounts with the respective officers with whom it is their duty to settle such accounts, members of Congress, or any person holding any office under the United States, shall, at the same time, hold the office of Governor, or have a seat in the Senate, or House of Representatives, or Council; but his being chosen, or appointed to, and accepting the same, shall operate as a resignation of his seat in the chair, Senate, or House of Representatives, or Council; and the

places so vacated shall be filled up. No member of the Council shall have a seat in the Senate or House of Representatives.

No person shall ever be admitted to hold a seat in the Legislature, or any office of trust or importance under this government, who, in the due course of law, has been convicted of bribery or corruption in obtaining an election or appointment.

In all cases where sums of money are mentioned in this Constitution, the value thereof shall be computed in silver, at siz shillings and eight pence per ounce.

To the end that there may be no failure of justice, or danger to the State, by the alterations and amendments made in the Constitution, the General Court is hereby fully authorized and directed to fix the time when the alterations and amendments shall take effect, and make the necessary arrangements accordingly.

It shall be the duty of the selectmen and assessors of the several towns and places in this State, in warning the first annual meeting for the choice of senators, after the expiration of seven years from the adoption of this Constitution, as amended, to assert expressly in the warrant, this purpose, among the others for the meeting, to wit: to take the sense of the qualified voters on the subject of a revision of the Constitution; and the meeting being warned accordingly, and not otherwise, the moderator shall take the sense of the qualified voters present, as to the necessity of a revision; and a return of the number of votes for and against such necessity, shall be made by the clerk, sealed up, and directed to the General Court, at their next session; and if it shall appear to the General Court, by such return, that the sense of the people of the State has been taken, and that, in the opinion of the majority of the qualified voters in this State, present and voting at said meetings, there is a necessity for a revision of the Constitution, it shall be the duty of the General Court to call a convention for that purpose; otherwise the General Court shall direct the sense of the people to be taken, and then proceed in the manner before mentioned. The delegates to be chosen in the same manner, and proportioned as the representatives to the Gencral Court; provided that no alteration shall be made in this constitution, before the same shall be laid before the towns and unincorporated places, and approved by two-thirds of the qualified voters present and voting on the subject.

And the same method of taking the sense of the people as to a revision of the Constitution, and calling a Convention for that purpose, shall be observed afterwards, at the expiration of every seven years.

This form of government shall be enrolled on parchment, and deposited in the Secretary's office, and be a part of the laws of the land; and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to the books containing the laws of this State in all future editions thereof.

[merged small][graphic][subsumed]

The first settlement in this State was at Fort Dummer, in the S. E. part of the State, from Mass. New York and New Hampshire respectively laid claim to the territory till 1764, when N. Y. obtained a grant from the British Parliament, which put an end to the claim of N. H. N. Y. thereupon attempted to enforce her jurisdiction, which was resisted by the inhabitants. They claimed to be independent both of N. H. and N. Y., and organized themselves in armea bands, with Ethan Allen at their head, under the celebrated name of the Green Mountain Boys. The contest continued and increased till the breaking out of the Revolutionary War. Owing to this claim of N. Y., Congress refused to admit Vermont into the confederation. Vermont, in 1790, paid to N. Y. $30,000 to withdraw her claim, and in 1791 was admitted to the union.

Notwithstanding this fourteenth State was not admitted into the union until after the Revolutionary contest was over, yet she bore an important part in that transaction, and her hardy sons gave ample proof of their bravery. A range of mountains, covered with evergreens, nearly divides this State in its centre from north to south. Hence its name, and hence the appellation Green Mountain Boys. The first Constitution of this State was formed in 1777; the present one was adopted July 3, 1793. Area, 9,700 sq. m. Population, in 1850, 313,611.


CHAPTER I A Declaration of Rights of the Inhabitants of the State of Vermont.

Art. 1. That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and inalienable rights, amongst which

« PreviousContinue »