Page images
PDF
EPUB

run thus, The State of Maryland, &c. and shall be signed by the Governor, and attested by the Chancellor, with the Seal of the State annexed, except military commissions, which (hall not be attested by the Chancellor, or have the Seal of the State annexed: That all writs shall run in the same stile, and be tested, sealed and signed as usual: That all indictments shall conclude, Against the Peace, Government, and Dignity of the State.

LVIII. That all penalties and forfeitures, heretofore going to the King or Proprietary, shall go to the State, save only such as the General Assembly may abolish or otherwise provide for.

LIX. That this Form of Government, and the Declaration of Rights, and no part thereof, shall be altered, changed, or abolished, unless a bill so to alter, change, or abolish the same, shall pass the General Assembly, and be published at least three months before a new election, and shall be confirmed by the General Assembly after a new election of Delegates, in the first session after such new election: Provided, that nothing in this Form of Government which relates to the eastern shore particularly, mall at any time hereafter be altered,

unless

unless for the alteration and confirmation thereof at least two-thirds of all the Members of each branch of the (general Assembly shall concur.

LX. That every bill passed by the General Assembly, when engrossed, shall be presented by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, in the Senate, to the Governor for the time being, who shall sign the same, and thereto affix the Great Seal, in the presence of the Members of both Houses. Every law shall be recorded in the General Court-Office of the western more, and in due time printed, published, and certified under the Great Seal, to the several county courts, in the fame manner as hath been heretofore used in this State.

This Form of Government was assented to, and passed in Convention of the Delegates of the Freemen of Maryland, begun and held at the city of Annapolis, the 14th of August, A. D. 1776,

By order of the Convention,

M. TILGHMAN, President.

T 4 FIR

[ocr errors][merged small]

THE

CONSTITUTION,

OR

FORM Of GOVERNMENT,

AGREED TO AND RESOLVED UPON BY THE DELE,
GATES AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SEVE--
RAL COUNTIES AND CORPORATIONS OF VIR-
GINIA, IN A GENERAL CONVENTION HELD AT
WILLIAMSBURGH, ON THE SIXTH OF MAY, AND
CONTINUED BY ADJOURNMENTS TO THE FIFTH
OF JULY, 1776.

WE, the Delegates and Representatives of
the good people of Virginia, do declare
the future Form of Government of Virginia,
to be as followeth;

The legislative, executive, and judiciary de-. partments mall be separate and distinct, so tha{. neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other; nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them at the fame time, except that the Justices of the county courts shall be eligible to either House of Assembly.

The

The legislative shall be formed of two distinct branches, who, together, shall be a complete legislature. They shall meet once, or oftener, every year, and mall be called, The General Assembly Of Virgin t A. One of these shall be called, The House Of Delegates, and consist of two Representatives to be chosen for each county, and for the district of WestAugusta, annually, of such men as actually reside in and are freeholders of the fame, or duly qualified according to law; and also of one Delegate or Representative to be chosen annually for the city of Williamfburgh, and one for the borough of Norfolk, and a Representative for each of such other cities and boroughs as may hereafter be allowed particular representation by the legislature; but when any city or borough shall so decrease, as that the number of persons having right of suffrage therein shall have been for the space of seven years successively less than half the number of voters in some one county in Virginia, such city or borough thenceforward shall cease to send a Pclegate or Representative to the Assembly.

The other shall he called, The Senate, and consist of twenty-four Members, of whom thirteen shall constitute a House to proceed on

business, business, for whose election the different counties shall be divided into twenty-four districts, - and each county of the respective district, at the time of the election os its Delegates, shall vote for one Senator, who is actually a resident and freeholder within the district, or duly qualified according to law, and is upwards of twenty-five years of age; and the Sheriffs of each county, within five days at farthest after the last county election in the district, shall meet at some convenient place, and from the poll so taken in their respective counties, return as a Senator the man who shall have the greatest number of votes in the whole district. To keep up this Assembly by rotation, the districts sliall be equally divided into four clasies, and numbered by lot. At the end of one year after the general election, the six Members elected by the first division shall be displaced, and the vacancies thereby occasioned supplied from such class or division, by new election in the manner aforesaid. This rotation shall be applied to each division according to its number, and continued in due order annually.

The right of suffrage in the election of Members for both Houses shall remain as exercised at present, and each House shall chuse

its

« PreviousContinue »