Page images

XXI. That a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.

XXII. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honours, ought to be granted or conferred in this State.

XXIII. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free state, and ought not to be allowed.

XXIV. That retrospective laws, punishing sacts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oppressive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty, wherefore no ex postfaSio law ought to be made.

XXV. The property of the foil in a free government being one of the essential rights of the collective body of the people, it is necessary, in order to avoid future disputes, that the limits of the State should be ascertained with precision; and as the former temporary line be-, tween North and South Carolina was confirmed and extended by Commissioners, appointed by the legislatures of the two States, agreeable to the order of the late King George II. in Council, that line, and that only, should be

U 4 ■ esteemed esteemed the southern boundary of this State; that is to say, beginning on the sea side at a Cedar Stake, at or near the mouth of Little River (being the southern extremity of Brunswic county), and running from thence a northwest course through the Boundary House, which stands in thirty-three degrees fifty-six minutes, to thirty-five degrees north latitude, and from thence a west course, so sar as is mentioned in the charter of King Charles II. to the late Proprietors of Carolina. Therefore all the territory, seas, waters, and harbours, with their appurtenances, lying between the line above described, and the southern line of the State of Virginia, which begins on the sea shore, in thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and from thence runs west, agreeable to the said charter of King Charles, are the right and property of the people of this State, to be held by them in sovereignty; any partial line, without the consent of the legisla-^ ture of this State, at any time thereafter directed or laid out in any wife notwithstanding. Provided always,That this Declaration of Rights shall not prejudice any nation or nations of Indians frdm. enjoying such hunting grounds as

may may have been, or hereafter shall be secured to them by any former or future legislature of this State. And provided also, That it shall not be construed so as to prevent the establishment of one or more governments westward of this State, by consent of the legislature. And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall affect the titles or possesikms of individuals, holding or claiming under the laws heretofore in force, or grants heretofore made by the late King George II. or his predecessors, or the late Lords Proprietors, or any of them.





WHEREAS allegiance and protection arc in their nature reciprocal, and the one should of right be refused when the other is withdrawn; and whereas George the Third, King of Great Britain, and late Sovereign of the British American Colonies, hath not only withdrawn from them his protection, but by an Act of the British Legislature declared the inhabitants of these States out of the protection of the British Crown, and all their property found upon the high seas liable to be seized and confiscated to the uses mentioned in the said Act; and the said George the Third has also sent fleets and armies to prosecute a. cruel war against them, for the purpose of reducing the inhabitants of the said Colonies to a state of abject slavery; in consequence whereof, all government under the said King within the said Colonies hath ceased, and a total dissolution of government in many of them hath

taken taken place: And whereas the Continental Congress, having considered the premises, and other previous violations of the rights of the good people of America, have therefore declared, that the thirteen United Colonies are of right wholly absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, or any other foreign jurisdiction whatsoever; and that the said Colonies now are, and for ever shall be, free and independent States: Wherefore, in our present state, in order to prevent anarchy and confusion, it becomes necessary that government should be established in this State: Therefore we, the Representatives of the freemen of North-Carolina, chosen and assembled in Congress, for the express purpose of framing a Constitution, under the authority of the people, most conducive to their happiness and prosperity, do declare, that a government for this State shall be established in manner and form following, to wit:


I. That the legislative authority shall be vested in two distinct branches, both dependent on the people, to wit, a Senate, and House Of Commons.

II. That the Senate mall be composed of Representatives annually chosen by ballot, one for each county in the State.

III. That

« PreviousContinue »