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Previous to the meeting of the present Constitutional Convention, a summary of

the various provisions found in the existing Constitutions of the several States had been prepared by Dr. Franklin B. Hough, with the design of affording facilities for comparison and reference in the revision of the Constitution of the State of New

York. This summary was examined by several delegates to the Convention, and soon after organization the undersigned were appointed a committee to take into consideration the expediency of printing in bill form the present Constitution of New York, with such comparative references as might be proper. This committee after a careful examination of the plan proposed by Dr. Hough, approved of its general arrangement, but recommended a more extended list of references, a specification of the page, in the volume of Constitutions forming the first volume of the “Manual,” where the subject referred to would be found in its proper connection, and the adoption of the exact phraseology used in the several Constitutions whenever practicable. A concise statement was thought proper in cases where it might be desirable

to present the various provisions upon particular subjects at a single glance.

It would have been desirable to include in this connection references to legal

decisions upon constitutional points, but the brief time allowed for the preparation, upon the plan as modified, rendered this altogether impracticable.

From the blending of several subjects into one section, which in other cases are stated separately, a strict classification could not in all cases be secured, but to render this inconvenience less sensible, an extended index has been prepared, which will

obviate much of the difficulty of reference.

As a general rule, provisions of a strictly local character, and such as refer to

circumstances and conditions that have passed away, are omitted.

Whenever these have been retained, the analogies which they suggest, were thought worthy of notice, as in some cases having relation to a similar application in the revision now before the Convention. Whenever reference is made to sections “nearly similar," it will be understood that they differ somewhat in the phraseology, but that they agree in their general statement. In some instances, lengthy sections, embracing minute details, are referred to without insertion, or with but a brief analysis of their subject.


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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.(1)


1 SECTION 1. No member of this State shall be disfranchised, or deprived of

2 any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizens thereof, unless by the law 3 of the land, or the judgment of his peers. (2)

(1) N. Y., (1821), 41; Alinn., 319.

in Convention assembled, to secure to all the (2) N. Y., (1777), 28; (1821), 41.

citizens thereof the enjoyment of the rights of life,

liberty and property, and of pursuing happiness, do PREAMBLE.

ordain and establish this Constitution for its govern-In order to form a more perfect Union, establish ment. Ky. 209. justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for -We, the people of the State of grateful to the common defense, promote the general welfare, Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and taking into our serious consideration the best means our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution. for establishing a good Constitution in this State, for U. Š., 9. [Same except "government” in place of the sure foundation and inore permanent security "Union,"] IN. 151.

thereof, declare: Md. 253. -And secure to ourselves and to our posterity the -Acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness rights of life, liberty and property ; invoking the favor of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and estab- us an opportunity so favorable to the design; and lish the following Constitution and form of govern- imploring his aid and direction in its accomplishinent, ment. Ala, 72.

do agree to form ourselves into a free and independ-Having the right to establish for ourselves a Con- ent State, by the style and title of Me., 239. stitution in conformity with the Constitution of the — The end of the institution, maintenance and adminUnited States of America, to secure to ourselves and istration of Government, is to secure the existence our posterity the protection and blessings of the of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the Federal Constitution, and the enjoyment of all individuals who compose it with the power of enjoythe rights of liberty and the free pursuit of happiness, ing in safety and tranquility, their natural rights, and do agree to continue ourselves as a free and indepen- the blessings of life; and whenever these great objects dent State, by the name and style of —, and do are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government, and to take measures necessary for their government thereof. Ark. 83.

safety, prosperity and happiness. -In order more effectually to define, secure and per- - The body politic is formed by a voluntary associapetuate the liberties, rights and privileges which they tion of individuals; it is a social compact, by which have derived from their ancestors, hereby, after a the whole people covenants with each citizen, and careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be the following Constitution and form of civil govern- governed by certain laws for the common good. It ment. Ct. 107.

is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a Con-In order to secure to ourselves and our posterity stitution of government, to provide for an equitable the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty and mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial property, and the pursuit of happiness, do mutually interpretation and a faithful execution of them; that agree, each with the other, to form the following every man may, at all times, find his security in them, Constitution and form of government in and for the We, therefore, the people of acknowledging, said State. Fla. 128.

with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legis-In order to form a permanent government, establish lator of the Universe, in affording us, in the course of justice, insure domestic tranquility and secure the His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of acknowledging and invoking the guidance of Almighty entering into an original, explicit and solemn compact God, the author of all good government, do ordain with each other; and of forming a new Constitution of and establish this Constitution. Ga. 142.

civil government for ourselves and posterity; and – To the end that justice be established, public order devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a maintained, and liberty perpetuated, we, the people design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the folof. Ind. 169; Or. 447.

lowing Declaration of Rights and Frame of Govern-Grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings ment, as the ConstITUTION of the CoMMONWEALTH hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him

Mass., 279. for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and -Grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, establish a free and independent government by the and desiring to perpetuate its blessings, and secure name of. Iowa, 182.

the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain -Grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious and establish this Constitution. Min., 315. privileges, in order to insure the full enjoyment of -Grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler our rights as American citizens, do ordain and of Nations, for our State government, our liberties, establish this Constitution. Kan. 198.

and our connection with the American Union, and -We, the representatives of the people of acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the


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