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A treasurer shall be appointed annually by joint vote of both houses.


The executive department of the government shall remain as at present organized, and the governor and privy counsellors shall continue in office, until a governor, elected under this constitution, shall come into office : and all other persons in office when this constitution shall be adopted, except as is herein otherwise expressly directed, shall continue in office, till successors shall be appointed, or the law shall otherwise provide ; and all the courts of justice now existing shall continue with their present jurisdiction, until and except so far as the judicial system may or shall be hereafter otherwise organized by the legislature, Done in convention, in the city of Richmond, on the fifteenth day of

January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, and in the fifty-fourth year of the independence of the United States of America.


President of the Convention. D. BRIGGS, Secretary of the Convention.


The Constitution or form of Government, agreed to and resolved

upon, by the Representatives of the freemen of the state of North Carolina, elected and chosen for that particular purpose, in Congress assembled, at Halifax, December 18, 1776.

A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, &c. 1. That all political power is vested in, and derived from, the people only.

2. That the people of this state ought to have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof.

3. That no men, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.

4. That the legislative, executive, and supreme judicial powers of government, ought to be for ever separate and distinct from each other.

5. That all powers of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

6. That elections of members to serve as representatives in general assembly ought to be free.

7. That in all criminal prosecutions, every man has a right to be informed of the accusation against him, and to confront the accusers and witnesses with other testimony, and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.

8. That no freeman shall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by indictment, presentment, or impeachment.

9. That no freeman shall be convicted of any crime, but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good and lawful men, in open court, as heretofore used.

10. That excessive bail should not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted.

il. That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places, without evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or persons, not named, whose offences are not particularly described, and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be granted.

12. That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the law of the land.

13. That every freeman restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy, to inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same, if unlawful; and that such remedy ought not to be denied or delayed.

14. That in all controversies at law, respecting property, the ancient mode of trial by jury is one of the best securities of the rights of the people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable.

15. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty ; and therefore ought never to be restrained.

16. That the people of this state ought not to be taxed, or made subject to the payment of any impost, or duty, without the consent of themselves, or their representatives in general assembly freely given.

17. That the people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the state ; and as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

18. That the people have a right to assemble together, to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the legislature for redress of grievances.

19. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience.

20. That, for redress of grievances, and for amending and strengthen. ing the laws, elections ought to be often held.

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

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

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

24. That retrospective laws, punishing facts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oppres

sive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty ; wherefore, no ex post

facto law ought to be made.

25. The property of the soil, 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 between 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 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 Brunswick county,) and running from thence a north-west 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 far 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 legislature of this state, at any time thereafter directed or laid out, in any wise notwithstanding: provided always, that this declaration of right shall not prejudice any nation or nations of Indians, from enjoying such hunting grounds as 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 possessions 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.

The Constitution, or Form of Government, &c. Whereas allegiance and protection are 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 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 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 :

1. That the legislative authority shall be vested in two distinct branches, both dependent on the people, to wit, a senate and house of


2. That the senate shall be composed of representatives, annually chosen by ballot, one for each county in the state.

3. That the house of commons shall be composed of representatives, annually chosen by ballot, two for each county, and one for each of the towns of Edenton, Newbern, Wilmington, Salisbury, Hillsborough, and Halifax.

4. That the senate and house of commons, assembled for the purpose of legislation, shall be denominated the general assembly.

5. That each member of the senate shall have usually resided in the county in which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election, and for the same time shall have possessed, and continue to possess, in the county which he represents, not less than three hundred acres of land in fee.

6. That each member of the house of commons shall have usually resided in the county in which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election, and for six months shall have possessed, and continue to possess, in the county which he' represents, not less than one hundred acres of land in fee, or for the term of his own life.”

7. That all freemen of the age of twenty-one years, who have been inhabitants of any one county within the state twelve months immediately preceding the day of any election, and possessed of a freehold, within the same county, of fifty acres of land, for six months next before, and at the day of election, shall be entitled to vote for a member of the senate.

8. That all freemen of the age of twenty-one years, who have been inhabitants of any one county within the state twelve months immediately preceding the day of any election, and shall have paid public taxes, shall be entitled to vote for members of the house of commons, for the county in which he resides.

9. That all persons possessed of a freehold, in any town in this state, having a right of representation, and also all freemen, who have been inhabitants of any such town twelve months next before, and at the day of election, and shall have paid public taxes, shall be entitled to vote for a member to represent such town in the house of commons : provided, always, that this section shall not entitle any inhabitant of such town to vote for members of the house of commons for the county in which


he may reside ; nor any freeholder in such county, who resides without or beyond the limits of such town, to vote for a member of the said town.

10. That the senate and house of commons, when met, shall each have power to choose a speaker, and other their officers; be judges of the qualifications and elections of their members; sit upon their own adjournments from day to day; and prepare bills to be passed into laws. The two houses shall direct writs of election, for supplying intermediate vacancies : and shall also jointly, by ballot, adjourn themselves to any future day and place,

11. That all bills shall be read three times in each house, before they pass into laws, and be signed by the speakers of both houses.

12. That every person, who shall be chosen a member of the senate or house of commons, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall take an oath to the state : and all officers shall take an oath of office.

13. That the general assembly shall, by joint ballot of both houses, appoint judges of the supreme courts of law and equity, judges of admiralty, and attorney-general, who shall be commissioned by the governor, and hold their offices during good behaviour.

14. That the senate and house of commons shall have power to appoint the generals and field officers of the militia, and all officers of the regular army of this state.

15. That the senate and house of commons, jointly, at their first meeting after each nnual election, shall, by ballot, elect a governor for one year, who shall not be eligible to that office longer than three years, in six successive years ; that no person under thirty years of age, and who has not been a resident in this state above five years, and having, in the state, a freehold in lands and tenements, above the value of one thousand pounds, shall be eligible as a governor.

16. That the senate and house of commons, jointly, at their first meeting, after each annual election, shall, by ballot, elect seven persons to be a council of state for one year; who shall advise the governor in the execution of his office : and that four members shall be a quorum ; their advice and proceedings shall be entered in a journal, to be kept for that purpose only, and signed by the members present; to any part of which any member present may enter his dissent. And such journal shall be laid before the general assembly. when called for by them.

17. That there shall be a seal of this state, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him as occasion may require; and shall be called, the great seal of the State of North Carolina, and shall be affixed to all grants and commissions.

18. The governor, for the time being, shall be captain-general and commander-in-chief of the militia ; and in the recess of the general assembly, shall have power, by and with the advice of the council of state, to embody the militia for the public safety.

19. The governor, for the time being, shall have power to draw for and apply such sums of money as shall be voted by the general assembly, for the contingencies of government, and be accountable to them for the same.

He also may, by and with the advice of the council of state, lay embargoes, or prohibit the exportation of any commodity, for any term not exceeding thirty days, at any one time in the recess of

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