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Counties. Townships. Population.
16 8,277 Mifflin, . 9 12,132 Montgomery,
29,703 Northampton, , 32 38.149 Northumberland, 26 36,327 Philadelphia, 18 111,200
651 810,091 The Constitution of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania was established by the general convention held at Philadelphia in 1776, * and was amended in the year 1790. The legislative power is vested in a General Assembly, consisting of a Senate and House of Repre
* This act, of which the charter of Penn formed the basis, was drawn up by Sir William Jones, a lawyer distinguished by his eru. dition and patriotism.
sentatives. The Senators are elected in districts for four years ; the latter in counties for one only, by free electors of 21 years of age, who, before the election, shall have resided two years within the state, and during which they have paid state or county-tax. The senators are divided into four classes, one of which is renewed yearly. It is fixed that their number shall never be less than one-fourth, nor greater than one-third of the number of representatives. A senator must have attained the age of twenty-five years, and have been both a citizen and inhabitant of the state four years next preceding his election, and the last year an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen. No person can be a representative who has not attained the age of twenty-one years, been a citizen and inhabitant of the state three years next preceding his election, and the last year an inhabitant of the city or county for which he is chosen, unless he shall have been absent on pub, lic business. The number of representatives can never be less than 60, nor greater than 100. Any officer may be impeached for misconduct before the General Assembly. The Executive Power is vested in a governor, who is elected by the citizens for the term of three years. He must be thirty years of age, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the state seven years next before his election, unless absent on public business. He is incapable of holding the otfice more than nine years out of twelve ; nor can he be charged with any other public employment. The Governor is commander in chief of the army and navy, except when called into the actual service of the United States.
He has power to convene the General Assembly on extraordinary occasions ; to remit fines and forfeitures, and grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment; he has also power to return a bill presented for his approbation, which does not become a law unless afterwards approved of by two thirds of the house. The annual meeting of the General Assembly is on the 1st Tuesday of December. In the 9th and last article of the constitution, it is delared, that all power is inherent in the people : That every man has a natural right to worship God according to his conscience: That no person who acknowledges the being of a God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under the commonwealth : * That elections shall be free and equal ; the trial by jury inviolate ; the press unshackled ; the people secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures : That no law invalidating contracts, and no ex post facto law shall exist : That citizens have the right of petition, redress, and remonstrance, are entitled to bear arms in their own defence, and to emigrate from the state at pleasure.
* By the constitution of 1776, a religious test or declaration was required of all civil officers and magistrates, and members of assembly, stating the individual's “ belief in one God, the Creator and Governor of the world, the rewarder of the good, and the punisher of the wicked ;” and “ an acknowledgment, that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are given by divine inspiration."
Foreigners.-Any foreigner, on taking the oath of allegiance, may purchase and transfer land.
Judiciary.—The judges are appointed by the governor during good behaviour, and may be impeached or removed by him, on the address of two-thirds of both houses. They bave fixed salaries, and can hold no other office. The judicial power is vested in different courts; namely, a supreme court, court of oyer and terminer, and general jail delivery, of common pleas, orphan's court, register's court, and court of quarter sessions of the peace for each county, and justices of the peace, and such other courts as the legislature may from time to time establish. The compensation for their services is fixed by law; and they can receive no fees nor perquisites, nor hold any office of profit under the commonwealth. The judges of the court of common pleas in each county are appointed by the governor, for the trial of capital and other offences within its limits ; but on allegation of error, or other just grounds, an appeal lies from this to the supreme court. These judges also sit in the orphan's court and court of quarter sessions. The justices of the peace, appointed by the governor, are subject to removal for misdemeanour, by impeachment. In each county there is a register's office for the recording of deeds. Sheriffs and coroners are chosen for three years, by the citizens of each county, at the time and place of the election of representatives ; and two persons are named for each office, one of whom is appointed by the governor, but cannot be re-appointed within the term of six years. The state treasurer is elected annually, by the joint votes of the members of both houses. Within
the city of Philadelphia the supreme court has original jurisdiction in all civil cases in which the matter in controversy is of the value of 500 dollars, with ap. pellate jurisdiction in all cases whatsoever. This court has its regular sittings in March and December ; but it may order the trial of causes by jury, from time to time, before one judge only. When necessary, courts of nisi prius are holden yearly, during thirty-three weeks. The court of common pleas, which is holden four times a year, has jurisdiction of cases in which the matter of controversy exceeds 100 dollars, and appellate jurisdiction from the decision of the justices of the peace, in all cases exceeding 5 dollars and 33 cents. In 1811 a district court was established for the city and county of Philadelphia, composed of a president and two associates, who have power to determine all civil pleas, and to exercise the same powers as are vested in the court of common pleas. It has four terms annually. The register's court, which is holden from time to time, is composed of the register of wills and any two judges of the court of common pleas.
Criminal Courts, for the trial of capital offences. The justices of the supreme court are justices of those of oyer and terminer in the several counties; and the judges of common pleas in their respective counties. These courts are holden once a-year, by each alternately. The court of quarter sessions, which is held four times a year, exercises jurisdiction in cases of misdemeanour and small felonies. The mayor's court, composed of the mayor, recorder, and alderman, has the like authority concerning similar offences committed within the city. In all criminal prosecutions the