Page images
PDF
EPUB

laws, are oppressive and unjust, and ought not to be made.

XII. That every freeman, for every injury done him in his goods, lands, or person, by any other person, ought to have remedy by the course of the law of the land, and ought to have justice and right for the injury done to him, freely without sale, fully without any denial, and speedily without delay, according to the law of the land.

XIII. That trial by jury of facts where they arise, is one of the greatest securities of the lives,, liberties, and estates of the people.

XIV. That in all prosecutions for criminal offences, every man hath a right to be informed of the accusation against him, to be allowed counsel, to be confronted with the accusers or witnesses, to examine evidence on oath in his savour, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, without whose unanimous consent. he ought not to be found guilty.

XV. That no man in the courts of common law ought to be compelled to give evidence against himself.

XVI. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor exxessive sines imposed, nor cruel or .unusual punishments inflicted.

P 4 XVII. That

XVII. That all warrants without oath to search suspected places, or to seize any person or his property, are grievous and oppressive; and all general warrants to search suspected places, or to apprehend all persons suspected, without naming or describing the place or any person in special, are illegal, and ought not to be granted.

XVIII. That a well-regulated militia is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free government.

XIX. That standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be raised or kept up without the consent of the legislature.

XX. That, in all cases and at all times the military ought to be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

XXI. That no soldier ought to be quartered' in any house in time of peace, without the consent of the owner.; and in time of war in such manner" only as the legislature shall direct.

XXII. That the independency and uprightness of Judges are essential to the impartial administration of justice, and a great security to the rights and liberties of the people.

XXIII. That the liberty of the press ought to be inviolably preserved.

THE *

CONSTITUTION,

O R

SYSTEM Of GOVERNMENT,

AGREED TO AND-RESOLVED UPON BY THE REPRESENTATIVES IN FULL CONVENTION OF' THE DELAWARE STATE, FORMERLY STILED, « THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COUNTIES OF NEWCASTLE, KENT, AND SUSSEX, UPON DELAWARE ;" THE SAID REPRESENTATIVES BEING CHOSEN BY THE FREEMEN OF THE SAID STATE. FOR THAT EXPRESS PURPOSE.

I. f | ^HE Government of the counties of X Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, upon Delaware, (hall hereafter in all public and other writings be called, The Delaware State.

II. The legislature shall be formed of two distinct branches. They shall meet once ©r oftener in every year, and shall be called, The General Assembly Of Delaware.

III. One of the branches of the legislature shall be called, The House Of Assembly, and shall consist of seven Representatives to be chosen for each county annually, of such persons as are freeholders of the same.

IV. The'

IV. The other branch shall be called, The Council, and consist of nine Members; three to be chosen for each county at the time of the first election of the Assembly, who shall be freeholders of the county for which they are chosen, and be upwards,of twenty-five years of age. At the end of one year after the general election, the Councillor who had the smallest number of votes in each county ihall be displaced, and the vacancies thereby occasioned supplied by the freemen of each county choosing the same or another person at a new election in manner aforesaid. At the end of two years after the first general election, the Councillor who stood second in number of votes in each county shall be displaced, and the vacancies thereby occasioned supplied by a new election in manner aforesaid. And at the end of three years from the first general election, the Councillor who had the greatest number of votes in each county shall be displaced, and the vacancies thereby occasioned supplied by a new election in manner aforesaid. And this rotation of a Councillor being displaced at the end of three years in each county, and his office supplied by a new choice, shall be continued afterwards in due order annually for ever,

whereby,

whereby, after the first general election, a Councillor will remain in trust for three years from the time of his being elected, and a Councillor will be displaced, and the same or another chosen in each county at every election.

V. The right of suffrage in the election of Members for both Houses shall remain as exercised by law at present; and each House shall choose its own Speaker, appoint its own officers, judge of the qualifications and elections of its own Members, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for supplying intermediate vacancies. They may also severally expel any of their own Members for misbehaviour, but not a second time in the same sessions for the same offence, if re-elected; an4 they shall have all other powers necessary for the legislature of a free and independent State.

VI. All money-bills for the support of Government shall originate in the House of Assembly, and may be altered, amended or rejected by the Legislative Council. All other bills and ordinances may take rife in the House of Assembly or Legislative Council, and may be altered, amended or rejected by either.

« PreviousContinue »