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the general assembly ; and shall have the power of granting pardons and reprieves, except where the prosecution shall be carried on by the general assembly, or the law shall otherwise direct; in which case, he may, in the recess, grant a reprieve until the next sitting of the general assembly ;' and he may exercise all the other executive powers of government, limited and restrained, as by this constitution is mentioned, and according to the laws of the state. And, on his death, inability, or absence from the state, the speaker of the senate, for the time being, and in case of his death, inability, or absence from the state, the speaker of the house of commons, shall exercise the powers of government, after such death, or during such absence or inability of the governor, or speaker of the senate, or until a new nomination is made by the general assembly.

20. That, in every case, where any officer, the right of whose appointment is, by this constitution, vested in the general assembly, shall, during their recess, die, or his office by other means become vacant, the governor shall have power, with the advice of the council of state, to fill up such vacancy, by granting a temporary commission, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the general assembly.

21. That the governor, judges of the supreme court of law and equity, judges of admiralty, and attorney-general, shall have adequate salaries, during their continuance in office.

22. That the general assembly shall, by joint ballot of both houses, annually appoint a treasurer or treasurers for this state,

23. That the governor, and other officers, offending against the state, by violating any part of this constitution, maladministration, or corruption, may be prosecuted, on the impeachment of the general assembly, or presentment of the grand jury of any court of supreme jurisdiction in this state.

24. That the general assembly shall, by joint ballot of both houses, triennially appoint a secretary for this state.

25. That no persons who heretofore have been, or hereafter may be, receivers of public moneys, shall have a seat in either house of general assembly, or be eligible to any office in this state, until such person shall have fully accounted for, and paid into the treasury, all sums for which they may be accountable and liable.

26. That no treasurer shall have a seat, either in the senate, house of commons, or council of state, during his continuance in that office, or before he shall have finally settled his accounts with the public, for all the moneys which may be in his hands, at the expiration of his office, belonging to the state, and hath paid the same into the hands of the succeeding treasurer.

27. That no officer in the regular army or navy, in the service and pay of the United States, of this state or any other state, nor any contractor or agent for supplying such army or navy with clothing or provisions, shall have a seat either in the senate, house of commons, or council of state, or be eligible thereto; and any member of the senate, house of commons, or council of state, being appointed to, and accepting of such office, shall thereby vacate his seat.

28. That no member of the council of state shall have a seat, either in the senate or house of commons.

29. That no judge of the supreme court of law or equity, or judge of admiralty, shall have a seat in the senate, house of commons, or council of state.

30. That no secretary of this state, attorney-general, or clerk of any court of record, shall have a seat in the senate, house of commons, or council of state.

31. That no clergyman, or preacher of the gospel, of any denomination, shall be capable of being a member of either the senate, house of commons, or council of state, while he continues in the exercise of his pastoral function.

32. That no person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority of either the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the state, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit, in the civil department, within this state.

33. That the justices of the peace, within their respective counties in this state, shall in future be recommended to the governor for the time being, by the representatives in general assembly; and the governor shall commission them accordingly: and the justices, when so commissioned, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall not be removed from office by the general assembly, unless for misbehaviour, absence, or inability.

34. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious church or denomination in this state, in preference to any other ; neither shall any person, on any pretence whatsoever, be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith or judgment, nor be obliged to pay for the purchase of any glebe, or the building of any house of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes right, or has voluntarily and personally engaged to perform ; but all persons shall be at liberty to exercise their own mode of worship : Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to exempt preachers of treasonable or seditious discourses, from legal trial and punishment.

35. That no person in the state shall hold more than one lucrative office at any one time : Provided that no appointment in the militia, or the office of a justice of the peace, shall be considered as a lucrative office.

36. That all commissions and grants shall run in the name of the state of North Carolina, and bear test, and be signed by the governor. All writs shall run in the same manner, and bear test, and be signed by the clerks of the respective courts. Indictments shall conclude, against the peace and dignity of the state.

37. That the delegates for this state to the continental congress, while necessary, shall be chosen annually by the general assembly, by ballot; but may be superseded, in the mean time, in the same manner; and no person shall be elected to serve in that capacity for more than three years successively.

38. That there shall be a sheriff, coroner, or coroners, and constables, in each county within this state.

39. That the person of a debtor, where there is not a strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up, bona fide, all his estate, real and personal, for the use of his creditors, in such manner as shall hereafter be regulated by law. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident, or the presumption great.

40. That every foreigner who comes to settle in this state, having first taken an oath of allegiance to the same, may purchase, or, by other just means, acquire, hold, and transfer land, or other real estate, and after one year's residence be deemed a free citizen.

41. That a school or schools shall be established by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct at low prices; and, all useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more universities.

42. That no purchase of lands shall be made of the Indian natives, but on behalf of the public, by authority of the general assembly.

43. That the future legislature of this state shall regulate entails, in such a manner as to prevent perpetuities.

44. That the declaration of rights is hereby declared to be part of the constitution of this state, and ought never to be violated on any pretence whatsoever.

45. That any member of either house of general assembly shall have liberty to dissent from and protest against any act or resolve which he may think injurious to the public, or any individual, and have the reasons of his dissent entered on the journals.

46, That neither house of the general assembly shall proceed upon public business, unless a majority of all the members of such house are actually present; and that upon a motion made and seconded, the yeas and nays, upon any question, shall be taken and entered on the journals : and that the journals of the proceedings of both houses of the general assembly shall be printed, and made public, immediately after their adjournment.

This constitution is not intended to preclude the present congress from making a temporary provision, for the well ordering of this state, until the general assembly shall establish government agreeable to the mode herein before described.


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December the eighteenth, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-
six, read the third time, and ratified in open congress.
By order :

JAMES GREEN, Jun. Secretary.

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We, the delegates of the people of the state of South Carolina, in general convention met, do ordain and establish this constitution for its government.

ARTICLE 1. § 1. The legislative authority of this state shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives.

2. The house of representatives shall be composed of members chosen by ballot, every second year, by the citizens of this state, qualified as in this constitution is provided.

3. The several election districts in this state shall elect the following number of representatives, viz:



Charleston, including St. Philip and St. Michael, . fifteen members.
Christ Church,

three do. St. John, Berkley,

three do. St. Andrew, .

three do. St. George, Dorchester,..

three do, St. James, Goose Creek, .

three do. St. Thomas and St. Dennis,..

three St. Paul,

three St. Bartholomew,

three do. St. James, Santee,...

three do. St. John, Colleton,....

three do. St. Stephen,

three do. St. Helena,


do. St. Luke,..


do. Prince William,

three do. St. Peter,


do. All Saints, (including its ancient boundaries,)

do. Winyaw, (not including any part of All Saints,) three do. Kingston, (not including any part of All Saints) two do. Williamsburgh,


do. Liberty,


two do. Marlborough,

two do. Chesterfield,

two do. Darlington,

two do. York,

three do. Chester,

two do. Fairfield,

two do. Richland,

two do. Lancaster,

two Kershaw,

two do. Claremont,

two Clarendon,

two do.



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4. Every free white man, of the age of twenty-one years, being a citizen of this state, and having resided therein two years previous to the day of election, and who hath a freehold of fifty acres of land, or a town lot, of which he hath been legally seized and possessed, at least six months before such election, or, not having such freehold or town lot, hath been a resident in the election district, in which he offers to give his vote, six months before the said election, and hath paid a tax the preceding year of three shillings sterling towards the support of this government, shall have a right to vote for a member or members, to serve in either branch of the legislature, for the election district in which he holds such property, or is so resident.

5. The returning officer, or any other person present, entitled to vote, may require any person who shall offer his vote at an election, to produce a certificate of his citizenship, and a receipt from the tax collector of his having paid a tax, entitling him to vote, or to swear, or affirm, that he is duly qualified to vote agreeably to this constitution.

6. No person shall be eligible to a seat in the house of representatives, unlesa he is a free white man, of the age of twenty-one years, and hath been a citizen and resident in this state three years previous to his election. If a resident in the election district, he shall not be eligible to a seat in the house of representatives, unless he be legally seized and possessed, in his own right, of a settled freehold estate of five hundred acres of land, and ten negroes; or of a real estate, of the value of one hun. dred and fifty pounds sterling, clear of debt. If a non-resident, he shall be legally seized and possessed of a settled freehold estate therein, of the value of five hundred pounds sterling, clear of debt.

7. The senate shall be composed of members to be chosen for four years, in the following proportions, by the citizens of this state, qualified to elect members to the house of representatives, at the same time, in the same manner, and at the same places, where they shall vote for representatives, viz.


Charleston, (including St. Philip and St. Michael,) two members.
Christ church,

do. St. John, Berkley,.

do. St. Andrew, .

do. St. George,


one one one


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