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Francis Newton Thorpe, The Federal and State Constitutions, Vol. VII Virginia-Wyoming-Index [1909]

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Francis Newton Thorpe, The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and other Organic Laws of the States and Territories now or heretofore forming the United States of America, compiled and edited by Francis Newton Thorpe (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909). Vol. VII Virginia-Wyoming-Index. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2680

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Thorpe was commissioned by the U.S. Congress to edit a 7 volume collection of Colonial, Federal and State constitutions in 1906. The volumes are in alphabetical order, with Volume 7 dealing with Virginia through Wyoming.

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Edition: current; Page: [i]
THE FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONS COLONIAL CHARTERS, AND OTHER ORGANIC LAWS OF THE STATES, TERRITORIES, AND COLONIES NOW OR HERETOFORE FORMING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Compiled and Edited under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 By FRANCIS NEWTON THORPE, Ph. D., LL. D.

Member of the Pennsylvania Bar; Fellow and Professor of American Constitutional History at the University of Pennsylvania, 1885-1898; Member of the American Historical Association; Author of The Constitutional History of the United States, 1765-1895; A (State) Constitutional History of the American People, 1776-1850; A Short Constitutional History of the United States; A (Social and Economic) History of the American People; A History of the Civil War; Editor of the History of North America, Volumes IX, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX; Author of The Government of the People of the United States; Benjamin Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania; The Life of William Pepper, etc.

VOL. VII
Virginia—Wyoming—Index
WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1909
Edition: current; Page: [ii] Edition: current; Page: [3783]

The Federal and State Constitutions
Colonial Charters, and other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies, Volume VII

Organic Laws State, Territorial, and Colonial

VIRGINIA

GRANT TO SIR WALTER RALEIGH—1584

(See page 53.)

THE FIRST CHARTER OF VIRGINIA—1606*

James, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. Whereas our loving and well-disposed Subjects, Sir Thomas Gates, and Sir George Somers, Knights, Richard Hackluit, Clerk, Prebendary of Westminster, and Edward-Maria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, and Ralegh Gilbert, Esqrs. William Parker, and George Popham, Gentlemen, and divers others of our loving Subjects, have been humble Suitors unto us, that We would vouchsafe unto them our Licence, to make Habitation, Plantation, and to deduce a colony of sundry of our People into that part of America commonly called Virginia, and other parts and Territories in America, either appertaining unto us, or which are not now actually possessed by any Christian Prince or People, situate, lying, and being all along the Sea Coasts, between four and thirty Degrees of Northerly Latitude from the Equinoctial Line, and five and forty Degrees of the same Latitude, and in the main Land between the same four and thirty and five and forty Degrees, and the Islands thereunto adjacent, or within one hundred Miles of the Coast thereof;

And to that End, and for the more speedy Accomplishment of their said intended Plantation and Habitation there, are desirous to divide themselves into two several Colonies and Companies; the one consisting of certain Knights, Gentlemen, Merchants, and other Adventurers, of our City of London and elsewhere, which are, and from time to time shall be, joined unto them, which do desire to begin their Plantation and Habitation in some fit and convenient Place, between four and thirty and one and forty Degrees of the said Latitude, alongst the Coasts of Virginia, and the Coasts of America aforesaid: And the other consisting of sundry Knights, Gentlemen, Merchants, and other Adventurers, of our Cities of Bristol and Exeter, and of our Town of Plimouth, and of other Places, which do join themselves unto that Colony, which do desire to begin their Plantation and Habitation in some fit and convenient Place, between eight and thirty Degrees and five and forty Degrees of the said Edition: current; Page: [3784] Latitude, all alongst the said Coasts of Virginia and America, as that Coast lyeth:

We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government: DO, by these our Letters Patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well-intended Desires;

And do therefore, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, Grant and agree, that the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, and Edward-Maria Wingfield, Adventurers of and for our City of London, and all such others, as are, or shall be, joined unto them of that Colony, shall be called the first Colony; And they shall and may begin their said first Plantation and Habitation, at any Place upon the said Coast of Virginia or America, where they shall think fit and convenient, between the said four and thirty and one and forty Degrees of the said Latitude; And that they shall have all the Lands, Woods, Soil, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Marshes, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the said first Seat of their Plantation and Habitation by the Space of fifty Miles of English Statute Measure, all along the said Coast of Virginia and America, towards the West and Southwest, as the Coast lyeth, with all the Islands within one hundred Miles directly over against the same Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, Soil, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Woods, Waters, Marshes, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the said Place of their first Plantation and Habitation for the space of fifty like English Miles, all alongst the said Coasts of Virginia and America, towards the East and Northeast, or towards the North, as the Coast lyeth, together with all the Islands within one hundred Miles, directly over against the said Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, Woods, Soil, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Marshes, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the same fifty Miles every way on the Sea Coast, directly into the main Land by the Space of one hundred like English Miles; And shall and may inhabit and remain there; and shall and may also build and fortify within any the same, for their better Safeguard and Defence, according to their best Discretion, and the Discretion of the Council of that Colony; And that no other of our Subjects shall be permitted, or suffered, to plant or inhabit behind, or on the Backside of them, towards the main Land, without the Express License or Consent of the Council of that Colony, thereunto in Writing first had and obtained.

And we do likewise, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, by these Presents, Grant and agree, that the said Thomas Hanham, and Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and all others of the Town of Plimouth in the County of Devon, or elsewhere, which are, or shall be, joined unto them of that Colony, shall be called the second Colony; And that they shall and may begin their said Plantation and Seat of their first Abode and Habitation, at any Place upon the said Coast of Virginia and America, where they shall Edition: current; Page: [3785] think fit and convenient, between eight and thirty Degrees of the said Latitude, and five and forty Degrees of the same Latitude; And that they shall have all the Lands, Soils, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Woods, Marshes, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the first Seat of their Plantation and Habitation by the Space of fifty like English Miles, as is aforesaid, all alongst the said Coasts of Virginia and America, towards the West and Southwest, or towards the South, as the Coast lyeth, and all the Islands within one hundred Miles, directly over against the said Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, Soils, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Woods, Marshes, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the said Place of their first Plantation and Habitation for the Space of fifty like Miles, all alongst the said Coast of Virginia and America, towards the East and Northeast, or towards the North, as the Coast lyeth, and all the Islands also within one hundred Miles directly over against the same Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, Soils, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Woods, Mines, Minerals, Marshes, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the same fifty Miles every way on the Sea Coast, directly into the main Land, by the Space of one hundred like English Miles; And shall and may inhabit and remain there; and shall and may also build and fortify within any the same for their better Safeguard, according to their best Discretion, and the Discretion of the Council of that Colony; And that none of our Subjects shall be permitted, or suffered, to plant or inhabit behind, or on the back of them, towards the main Land, without express Licence of the Council of that Colony, in Writing thereunto first had and obtained.

Provided always, and our Will and Pleasure herein is, that the Plantation and Habitation of such of the said Colonies, as shall last plant themselves, as aforesaid, shall not be made within one hundred like English Miles of the other of them, that first began to make their Plantation, as aforesaid.

And we do also ordain, establish, and agree, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, that each of the said Colonies shall have a Council, which shall govern and order all Matters and Causes, which shall arise, grow, or happen, to or within the same several Colonies, according to such Laws, Ordinances, and Instructions, as shall be, in that behalf, given and signed with Our Hand or Sign Manual, and pass under the Privy Seal of our Realm of England; Each of which Councils shall consist of thirteen Persons, to be ordained, made, and removed, from time to time, according as shall be directed and comprised in the same instructions; And shall have a several Seal, for all Matters that shall pass or concern the same several Councils; Each of which Seals, shall have the King’s Arms engraven on the one Side thereof, and his Portraiture on the other; And that the Seal for the Council of the said first Colony shall have engraven round about, on the one Side, these Words; Sigillum Regis Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ; on the other Side this Inscription round about; Pro Concilio primæ Coloniæ Virginiæ. And the Seal for the Council of the said second Colony shall also have engraven, round about the one Side thereof, the aforesaid Words; Sigillum Regis Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ; and on the other Side; Pro Concilio secundæ Coloniæ Virginiæ:

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And that also there shall be a Council, established here in England, which shall, in like manner, consist of thirteen Persons, to be, for that Purpose, appointed by Us, our Heirs and Successors, which shall be called our Council of Virginia; And shall, from time to time, have the superior Managing and Direction, only of and for all Matters that shall or may concern the Government, as well of the said several Colonies, as of and for any other Part or Place, within the aforesaid Precincts of four and thirty and five and forty Degrees abovementioned; Which Council shall, in like manner, have a Seal, for Matters concerning the Council or Colonies, with the like Arms and Portraiture, as aforesaid, with this inscription, engraven round about on the one Side; Sigillum Regis Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ; and round about on the other Side, Pro Concilio fuo Virginiæ.

And moreover, we do Grant and agree, for Us, our Heirs and Successors; that that the said several Councils of and for the said several Colonies, shall and lawfully may, by Virtue hereof, from time to time, without any Interruption of Us, our Heirs or Successors, give and take Order, to dig, mine, and search for all Manner of Mines of Gold, Silver, and Copper, as well within any Part of their said several Colonies, as of the said main Lands on the Backside of the same Colonies; And to Have and enjoy the Gold, Silver, and Copper, to be gotten thereof, to the Use and Behoof of the same Colonies, and the Plantations thereof; Yielding therefore to Us, our Heirs and Successors, the fifth Part only of all the same Gold and Silver, and the fifteenth Part of all the same Copper, so to be gotten or had, as is aforesaid, without any other Manner of Profit or Account, to be given or yielded to Us, our Heirs, or Successors, for or in Respect of the same:

And that they shall, or lawfully may, establish and cause to be made a Coin, to pass current there between the people of those several Colonies, for the more Ease of Traffick and Bargaining between and amongst them and the Natives there, of such Metal, and in such Manner and Form, as the said several Councils there shall limit and appoint.

And we do likewise, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, by these Presents, give full Power and Authority to the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, Edward-Maria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and to every of them, and to the said several Companies, Plantations, and Colonies, that they, and every of them, shall and may, at all and every time and times hereafter, have, take, and lead in the said Voyage, and for and towards the said several Plantations, and Colonies, and to travel thitherward, and to abide and inhabit there, in every the said Colonies and Plantations, such and so many of our Subjects, as shall willingly accompany them or any of them, in the said Voyages and Plantations; With sufficient Shipping, and Furniture of Armour, Weapons, Ordinance, Powder, Victual, and all other things, necessary for the said Plantations, and for their Use and Defence there: Provided always, that none of the said Persons be such, as shall hereafter be specially restrained by Us, our Heirs, or Successors.

Moreover, we do, by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, Give and grant Licence unto the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir Edition: current; Page: [3787] George Somers, Richard Hackluit, Edward-Maria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and to every of the said Colonies, that they, and every of them, shall and may, from time to time, and at all times forever hereafter, for their several Defences, encounter, expulse, repel, and resist, as well by Sea as by Land, by all Ways and Means whatsoever, all and every such Person or Persons, as without the especial Licence of the said several Colonies and Plantations, shall attempt to inhabit within the said several Precincts and Limits of the said several Colonies and Plantations, or any of them, or that shall enterprise or attempt, at any time hereafter, the Hurt, Detriment, or Annoyance, of the said several Colonies or Plantations:

Giving and granting, by these Presents, unto the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, Edward-Maria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert; William Parker, and George Thomas Haham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and their Associates of the said second Colony, and to every of them, from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, Power and Authority to take and surprise, by all Ways and Means whatsoever, all and every Person and Persons, with their Ships, Vessels, Goods, and other Furniture, which shall be found trafficking, into any Harbour or Harbours, Creek or Creeks, or Place, within the Limits or Precincts of the said several Colonies and Plantations, not being of the same Colony, until such time, as they, being of any Realms, or Dominions under our Obedience, shall pay, or agree to pay, to the Hands of the Treasurer of that Colony, within whose Limits and Precincts they shall so traffick, two and a half upon every Hundred, of any thing so by them trafficked, bought, or sold; And being Strangers, and not Subjects under our Obeysance, until they shall pay five upon every Hundred, of such Wares and Merchandises, as they shall traffick, buy, or sell, within the Precincts of the said several Colonies, wherein they shall so traffick, buy, or sell, as aforesaid; Which Sums of Money, or Benefit, as aforesaid, for and during the Space of one and twenty Years, next ensuing the Date hereof, shall be wholly emploied to the Use, Benefit, and Behoof of the said several Plantations, where such Traffick shall be made; And after the said one and twenty Years ended, the same shall be taken to the Use of Us, our Heires, and Successors, by such Officers and Ministers as by Us, our Heirs, and Successors, shall be thereunto assigned or appointed.

And we do further, by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, Give and grant unto the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, and Edward-Maria Wingfield, and to their Associates of the said first Colony and Plantation, and to the said Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and their Associates of the said second Colony and Plantation, that they, and every of them, by their Deputies, Ministers, and Factors, may transport the Goods, Chattels, Armour, Munition, and Furniture, needful to be used by them, for their said Apparel, Food, Defence, or otherwise in Respect of the said Plantations, out of our Realms of England and Ireland, and all other our Dominions, from time to time, for and during the Time of seven Years, next ensuing the Date hereof, for the better Relief of the said several Colonies and Edition: current; Page: [3788] Plantations, without any Customs, Subsidy, or other Duty, unto Us, our Heirs, or Successors, to be yielded or payed for the same.

Also we do, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, Declare, by these Presents, that all and every the Persons being our Subjects, which shall dwell and inhabit within every or any of the said several Colonies and Plantations, and every of their children, which shall happen to be born within any of the Limits and Precincts of the said several Colonies and Plantations, shall have and enjoy all Liberties, Franchises, and Immunities, within any of our other Dominions, to all Intents and Purposes, as if they had been abiding and born, within this our Realm of England, or any other of our said Dominions.

Moreover, our gracious Will and Pleasure is, and we do, by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, declare and set forth, that if any Person or Persons, which shall be of any of the said Colonies and Plantations, or any other, which shall traffick to the said Colonies and Plantations, or any of them, shall, at any time or times hereafter, transport any Wares, Merchandises, or Commodities, out of any of our Dominions, with a Pretence to land, sell, or otherwise dispose of the same, within any the Limits and Precincts of any of the said Colonies and Plantations, and yet nevertheless, being at Sea, or after he hath landed the same within any of the said Colonies and Plantations, shall carry the same into any other Foreign Country, with a Purpose there to sell or dispose of the same, without the Licence of Us, our Heirs, and Successors, in that Behalf first had and obtained; That then, all the Goods and Chattels of such Person or Persons, so offending and transporting, together with the said Ship or Vessel, wherein such Transportation was made, shall be forfeited to Us, our Heirs, and Successors.

Provided always, and our Will and Pleasure is, and we do hereby declare to all Christian Kings, Princes, and States, that if any Person or Persons which shall hereafter be of any of the said several Colonies and Plantations, or any other, by his, their, or any of their Licence and Appointment, shall, at any Time or Times hereafter, rob or spoil, by Sea or Land, or do any Act of unjust and unlawful Hostility to any the Subjects of Us, our Heirs, or Successors, or any the Subjects of any King, Prince, Ruler, Governor, or State, being then in League or Amitie with Us, our Heirs, or Successors, and that upon such Injury, or upon just Complaint of such Prince, Ruler, Governor, or State, or their Subjects, We, our Heirs, or Successors, shall make open Proclamation, within any of the Ports of our Realm of England, commodious for that purpose, That the said Person or Persons, having committed any such robbery, or Spoil, shall, within the term to be limited by such Proclamations, make full Restitution or Satisfaction of all such Injuries done, so as the said Princes, or others so complaining, may hold themselves fully satisfied and contented; And, that if the said Person or Persons, having committed such Robery or Spoil, shall not make, or cause to be made Satisfaction accordingly, within such Time so to be limited, That then it shall be lawful to Us, our Heirs, and Successors, to put the said Person or Persons, having committed such Robbery or Spoil, and their Procurers, Abettors, and Comforters, out of our Allegiance and Protection; And that it shall be lawful and free, for all Princes, and Edition: current; Page: [3789] others to pursue with hostility the said offenders, and every of them, and their and every of their Procurers, Aiders, abettors, and comforters, in that behalf.

And finally, we do for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, Grant and agree, to and with the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, Edward-Maria Wingfield, and all others of the said first colony, that We, our Heirs and Successors, upon Petition in that Behalf to be made, shall, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of England, Give and Grant, unto such Persons, their Heirs and Assigns, as the Council of that Colony, or the most part of them, shall, for that Purpose, nominate and assign all the lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, which shall be within the Precincts limited for that Colony, as is aforesaid, To be holden of Us, our heirs and Successors, as of our Manor at East-Greenwich, in the County of Kent, in free and common Soccage only, and not in Capite:

And do in like Manner, Grant and Agree, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, to and with the said Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and all others of the said second Colony, That We, our Heirs, and Successors, upon Petition in that Behalf to be made, shall, by Letters-Patent, under the Great Seal of England, Give and Grant, unto such Persons, their Heirs and Assigns, as the Council of that Colony, or the most Part of them, shall for that Purpose nominate and assign, all the Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, which shall be within the Precincts limited for that Colony, as is aforesaid, To be holden of Us, our Heires, and Successors, as of our Manor of East-Greenwich, in the County of Kent, in free and common Soccage only, and not in Capite.

All which Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, so to be passed by the said several Letters-Patent, shall be sufficient Assurance from the said Patentees, so distributed and divided amongst the Undertakers for the Plantation of the said several Colonies, and such as shall make their Plantations in either of the said several Colonies, in such Manner and Form, and for such Estates, as shall be ordered and set down by the Council of the said Colony, or the most part of them, respectively, within which the same Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments shall lye or be; Although express Mention of the true yearly Value or Certainty of the Premises, or any of them, or of any other Gifts or Grants, by Us or any of our Progenitors or Predecessors, to the aforesaid Sir Thomas Gates, Knt. Sir George Somers, Knt. Richard Hackluit, Edward-Maria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, or any of them, heretofore made, in these Presents, is not made; Or any Statute, Act, Ordinance, or Provision, Proclamation, or Restraint, to the contrary hereof had, made, ordained, or any other Thing, Cause, or Matter whatsoever, in any wise notwithstanding. In Witness whereof, we have caused these our Letters to be made Patent; Witness Ourself at Westminster, the tenth Day of April, in the fourth Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the nine and thirtieth.

Lukin
Per breve de privato Sigillo.
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THE SECOND CHARTER OF VIRGINIA—1609*

James, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all, to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Whereas, at the humble Suit and Request of sundry our loving and well-disposed Subjects, intending to deduce a Colony, and to make Habitation and Plantation of sundry our People in that Part of America, commonly called Virginia, and other Parts and Territories in America, either appertaining unto Us, or which are not actually possessed of any Christian Prince or People, within certain Bounds and Regions, We have formerly, by our Letters-patents, bearing Date the tenth Day of April, in the fourth Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the nine and thirtieth, Granted to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and others, for the more speedy Accomplishment of the said Plantation and Habitation, that they should divide themselves into two Colonies (the one consisting of divers Knights, Gentlemen, Merchants, and others, of our City of London, called the First Colony; And the other consisting of divers Knights, Gentlemen, and others, of our Cities of Bristol, Exeter, and Town of Plimouth, and other Places, called the Second Colony). And have yielded and granted many and sundry Privileges and Liberties to each Colony, for their quiet settling and good Government therein, as by the said Letters-patents more at large appeareth:

Now, forasmuch as divers and sundry of our loving Subjects, as well Adventurers, as Planters, of the said first Colony, which have already engaged themselves in furthering the Business of the said Colony and Plantation, and do further intend, by the Assistance of Almighty God, to prosecute the same to a happy End, have of late been humble Suitors unto Us, that (in Respect of their great Charges and the Adventure of many of their Lives, which they have hazarded in the said Discovery and Plantation of the said Country) We should be pleased to grant them a further Enlargement and Explanation of the said Grant, Privileges, and Liberties, and that such Counsellors, and other Officers, may be appointed amongst them, to manage and direct their Affairs, as are willing and ready to adventure with them, as also whose Dwellings are not so far remote from the City of London, but they may, at convenient Times, be ready at Hand, to give their Advice and Assistance, upon all Occasions requisite.

We greatly affecting the effectual Prosecution and happy success of the said Plantation, and commending their good desires therein, for their further Encouragement in accomplishing so excellent a Work, much pleasing to God, and profitable to our Kingdom, do of our especial Grace, and certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, Give, Grant, and Confirm, to our trusty and well beloved Subjects, Robert, Earl of Salisbury, Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, Henry, Earl of Southampton, William, Earl of Pembroke, Henry, Earl of Lincoln, Earl of Dorset, Thomas, Earl of Exeter, Philip, Earl of Montgomery, Robert, Lord Viscount Lisle, Theophilus, Lord Howard of Walden, James Montague, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, Edward, Lord Zouche, Thomas, Lord Lawarr, Edition: current; Page: [3791] William, Lord Mounteagle, Ralph, Lord Ewre, Edmond, Lord Sheffield, Grey, Lord Chandois, Lord Compton, John, Lord Petre, John, Lord Stanhope, George, Lord Carew, Sir Humphry Weld, Lord Mayor of London, George Piercy, Esq. Sir Edward Cecil, Knt. Sir George Wharton, Knt. Francis West, Esq. Sir William Wade, Knt. Sir Henry Nevil, Knt. Sir Thomas Smith, Knt. Sir Oliver Cromwell, Knt. Sir Peter Manwood, Knt. Sir Drue Drury, Knt. Sir Peter Scott, Knt. Sir Thomas Challoner, Knt. Sir Robert Drury, Knt. Sir Anthony Cope, Knt. Sir Horatio Vere, Knt. Sir Edward Conway, Knt. Sir William Brown, Knt. Sir Maurice Berkeley, Knt. Sir Robert Maunsel, Knt. Sir Amias Preston, Knt. Sir Thomas Gates, Knt. Sir Anthony Ashley, Knt. Sir Michael Sandys, Knt. Sir Henry Carey, Knt. Sir Stephen Soame, Knt. Sir Callisthenes Brooke, Knt. Sir Edward Michelborn, Knt. Sir John Ratcliffe, Knt. Sir Wilmot, Knt. Sir George Moore, Knt. Sir Hugh Wiral, Knt. Sir Thomas Dennis, Knt. Sir John Holles, Knt. Sir William Godolphin, Knt. Sir Thomas Monson, Knt. Sir Thomas Ridgwine, Knt. Sir John Brooke, Knt. Sir Robert Killigrew, Knt. Sir Henry Peyton, Knt. Sir Richard Williamson, Knt. Sir Ferdinando Weynman, Knt. Sir William St. John, Knt. Sir Thomas Holcroft, Knt. Sir John Mallory, Knt. Sir Roger Ashton, Knt. Sir Walter Cope, Knt. Sir Richard Wigmore, Knt. Sir William Cocke, Knt. Sir Herbert Crofte, Knt. Sir Henry Fanshaw, Knt. Sir John Smith, Knt. Sir Francis Wolley, Knt. Sir Edward Waterhouse, Knt. Sir Henry Seckford, Knt. Sir Edwin Sandys, Knt. Sir Thomas Waynam, Knt. Sir John Trevor, Knt. Sir Warwick Heele, Knt. Sir Robert Worth, Knt. Sir John Townshend, Knt. Sir Christopher Perkins, Knt. Sir Daniel Dun, Knt. Sir Henry Hobert, Knt. Sir Francis Bacon, Knt. Sir Henry Montague, Knt. Sir George Coppin, Knt. Sir Samuel Sandys, Knt. Sir Thomas Roe, Knt. Sir George Somers, Knt. Sir Thomas Freake, Knt. Sir Thomas Harwell, Knt. Sir Charles Kelke, Knt. Sir Baptist Hicks, Knt. Sir John Watts, Knt. Sir Robert Carey, Knt. Sir William Romney, Knt. Sir Thomas Middleton, Knt. Sir Hatton Cheeke, Knt. Sir John Ogle, Knt. Sir Cavellero Meycot, Knt. Sir Stephen Riddleson, Knt. Sir Thomas Bludder, Knt. Sir Anthony Aucher, Knt. Sir Robert Johnson, Knt. Sir Thomas Panton, Knt. Sir Charles Morgan, Knt. Sir Stephen Pole, Knt. Sir John Burlacie, Knt. Sir Christopher Cleave, Knt. Sir George Hayward, Knt. Sir Thomas Davis, Knt. Sir Thomas Sutton, Knt. Sir Anthony Forrest, Knt. Sir Robert Payne, Knt. Sir John Digby, Knt. Sir Dudley Digges, Knt. Sir Fowland Cotton, Knt. Dr. Matthew Sutcliffe, Dr. Meadows, Dr. Turner, Dr. Poe, Captain Pagnam, Captain Jeffrey Holcrofte, Captain Romney, Captain Henry Spry, Captain Shelton, Captain Sparks, Captain Thomas Wyat, Captain Brinsley, Captain William Courtney, Captain Herbert, Captain Clarke, Captain Dewhurst, Captain John Blundell, Captain Fryer, Captain Lewis Orwell, Captain Edward Lloyd, Captain Slingsby, Captain Hawley, Captain Orme, Captain Woodhouse, Captain Mason, Captain Thomas Holcroft, Captain John Coke, Captain Holles, Captain William Proud, Captain Henry Woodhouse, Captain Richard Lindesey, Captain Dexter, Captain William Winter, Captain Pearse, Captain John Bingham, Captain Burray, Captain Thomas Conway, Captain Rockwood, Captain William Lovelace, Captain John Ashley, Captain Thomas Wynne, Captain Thomas Mewtis, Captain Edward Edition: current; Page: [3792] Harwood, Captain Michael Everard, Captain Comock, Captain Mills, Captain Pigot, Captain Edward-Maria Wingfield, Captain Christopher Newport, Captain John Sicklemore, alias Ratcliffe, Captain John Smith, Captain John Martin, Captain Peter Wynne, Captain Waldo, Captain Thomas Wood, Captain Thomas Button, George Bolls, Esq. Sheriff of London, William Crashaw, Clerk, Batchelor of Divinity, William Seabright, Esq. Christopher Brooke, Esq. John Bingley, Esq. Thomas Watson, Esq. Richard Percival, Esq. John Moore, Esq. Hugh Broker, Esq. David Woodhouse, Esq. Anthony Aucher, Esq. Robert Boyer, Esq. Ralph Ewens, Esq. Zachary Jones, Esq. George Calvert, Esq. William Dobson, Esq. Henry Reynolds, Esq. Thomas Walker, Esq. Anthony Barnars, Esq. Thomas Sandys, Esq. Henry Sandys, Esq. Richard Sandys, Esq. Son of Sir Edwin Sandys, William Oxenbridge, Esq. John Moore, Esq. Thomas Wilson, Esq. John Bullock, Esq. John Waller, Esq. Thomas Webb, Jehu Robinson, William Brewster, Robert Evelyn, Henry Danby, Richard Hackluit, Minister, John Eldrid, Merchant, William Russel, Merchant, John Merrick, Merchant, Richard Banister, Merchant, Charles Anthony, Goldsmith, John Banks, William Evans, Richard Humble, Richard Chamberlayne, Merchant, Thomas Barber, Merchant, Richard Pomet, Merchant, John Fletcher, Merchant, Thomas Nicholls, Merchant, John Stoke, Merchant, Gabriel Archer, Francis Covel, William Bonham, Edward Harrison, John Wostenholme, Nicholas Salter, Hugh Evans, William Barnes, Otho Mawdet, Richard Staper, Merchant, John Elkin, Merchant, William Coyse, Thomas Perkin, Cooper, Humphrey James, Cooper, Henry Jackson, Robert Singleton, Christopher Nicholls, John Harper, Abraham Chamberlayne, Thomas Shipton, Thomas Carpenter, Anthony Crew, George Holman, Robert Hill, Cleophas Smith, Ralph Harrison, John Farmer, James Brearly, William Crosby, Richard Cox, John Gearing, Richard Strongarm, Ironmongers, Thomas Langton, Griffith Hinton, Richard Ironside, Richard Dean, Richard Turner, William Lawson, Mercer, James Chatfield, Edward Allen Tedder, Robert Hildebrand Sprinson, Arthur Mouse, John Gardiner, James Russell, Richard Caswell, Richard Evans, John Hawkins, Richard Kerril, Richard Brooke, Matthew Screvener, Gentleman, William Stallenge, Gentleman, Arthur Venn, Gentleman, Sandys Webbe, Gentleman, Michael Phetiplace, Gentleman, William Phetiplace, Gentleman, Ambrose Prusey, Gentleman, John Taverner, Gentleman, George Pretty, Gentleman, Peter Latham, Gentleman, Thomas Montford, Gentleman, William Centrel, Gentleman, Richard Wiffin, Gentleman, Ralph Moreton, Gentleman, John Cornelius, Martin Freeman, Ralph Freeman, Andrew Moore, Thomas White, Edward Perkin, Robert Offley, Thomas Whitley, George Pit, Robert Parkhurst, Thomas Morris, Peter Harloe, Jeffry Duppa, John Gilbert, William Hancock, Matthew Brown, Francis Tyrrel, Randolph Carter, Othowell Smith, Thomas Hammond, Martin Bond, Haberdasher, John Moulsoe, Robert Johnson, Wiliam Young, John Woodal, William Felgate, Humfrey Westwood, Richard Champion, Henry Robinson, Francis Mapes, William Sambach, Ralegh Crashaw, Daniel Tucker, Thomas Grave, Hugh Willeston, Thomas Culpepper, of Wigsel, Esq. John Culpepper, Gentleman, Henry Lee, Josias Kerton, Gentleman, John Pory, Gentleman, Henry Collins, George Burton, William Atkinson, Thomas Forest, John Russel, John Holt, Harman Harrison, Edition: current; Page: [3793] Gabriel Beedel, John Beedel, Henry Dawkes, George Scot, Edward Fleetwood, Gentleman, Richard Rogers, Gentleman, Arthur Robinson, Robert Robinson, John Huntley, John Gray, William Payne, William Field, William Wattey, William Webster, John Dingley, Thomas Draper, Richard Glanvil, Arnold Hulls, Henry Roe, William More, Nicholas Gryce, James Monger, Nicholas Andrews, Jeremy Haydon, Ironmonger, Philip Durette, John Quarles, John West, Matthew Springham, John Johnson, Christopher Hore, Thomas Snead, George Berkeley, Arthur Pet, Thomas Careles, William Berkley, Thomas Johnson, Alexander Bents, Captain William King, George Sandys, Gentleman, James White, Gentleman, Edmond Wynne, Charles Towlar, Richard Reynold, Edward Webb, Richard Maplesden, Thomas Lever, David Bourne, Thomas Wood, Ralph Hamer, Edward Barnes, Mercer, John Wright, Mercer, Robert Middleton, Edward Littlefield, Katharine West, Thomas Web, Ralph King, Robert Coppin, James Askew, Christopher Holt, William Bardwell, Alexander Chiles, Lewis Tate, Edward Ditchfield, James Swifte, Richard Widdowes, goldsmith, Edmond Brudenell, Edward Burwell, John Hansford, Edward Wooller, William Palmer, haberdasher, John Badger, John Hodgson, Peter Mounsel, John Carril, John Bushride, William Dun, Thomas Johnson, Nicholas Benson, Thomas Shipton, Nathaniel Wade, Randal Wetwood, Matthew Dequester, Charles Hawkins, Hugh Hammersley, Abraham Cartwright, George Bennet, William Cater, Richard Goddard, Henry Cromwell, Phineas Pet, Robert Cooper, John Cooper, Henry Newce, Edward Wilkes, Robert Bateman, Nicholas Farrar, John Hewhouse, John Cason, Thomas Harris, Gentleman, George Etheridge, Gentleman, Thomas Mayle, Gentleman, Richard Stafford, Thomas , Richard Cooper, John Westrow, Edward Welch, Thomas Britain, Thomas Knowles, Octavian Thorne, Edmond Smith, John March, Edward Carew, Thomas Pleydall, Richard Let, Miles Palmer, Henry Price, John Joshua, Gentleman, William Clauday, Jeremy Pearsye, John Bree, Gentleman, William Hampson, Christopher Pickford, Thomas Hunt, Thomas Truston, Christopher Salmon, John Howard, clerk, Richard Partridge, Allen Cassen, Felix Wilson, Thomas Bathurst, George Wilmer, Andrew Wilmer, Maurice Lewellin, Thomas Godwin, Peter Burgoyne, Thomas Burgoyne, Robert Burgoyne, Robert Smith, Merchant Taylor, Edward Cage, grocer, Thomas Cannon, Gentleman, William Welby, stationer, Clement Wilmer, Gentleman, John Clapham, Gentleman, Giles Francis, Gentleman, George Walker, sadler, John Swinhow, stationer, Edward Bishop, stationer, Leonard White, Gentleman, Christopher Baron, Peter Benson, Richard Smith, George Proctor, minister, Millicent Ramsdent, widow, Joseph Soane, Thomas Hinshaw, John Baker, Robert Thornton, John Davis, Edward Facet, George Newce, Gentleman, John Robinson, Captain Thomas Wood, William Brown, shoemaker, Robert Barker, shoemaker, Robert Pennington, Francis Burley, minister, William Quick, grocer, Edward Lewis, grocer, Laurence Campe, draper, Aden Perkins, grocer, Richard Shepherd, preacher, William Sherley, haberdasher, William Taylor, haberdasher, Edwin Lukin, Gentleman, John Franklyn, haberdasher, John Southwick, Peter Peate, George Johan, ironmonger, George Yeardley, Gentleman, Henry Shelly, John Prat, Thomas Church, draper, William Powel, Edition: current; Page: [3794] Gentleman, Richard Frith, Gentleman, Thomas Wheeler, draper, Francis Haslerig, Gentleman, Hugh Shipley, Gentleman, John Andrews, the Elder, Doctor of Cambridge, Francis Whistler, Gentleman, Jhon Vassal, Gentleman, Richard Howle, Edward Berkeley, Gentleman, Richard Keneridgburg, Gentleman, Nicholas Exton, draper, William Bennet, fishmonger, James Haywood, Merchant, Nicholas Isaac, Merchant, William Gibbs, Merchant, Bishop, Bernard Mitchel, Isaac Mitchel, John Streate, Edward Gall, John Martin, Gentleman, Thomas Fox, Luke Lodge, John Woodliffe, Gentleman, Richard Webb, Vincent Low, Samuel Burnham, Edmund Pears, haberdasher, John Googe, John St. John, Edward Vaughan, William Dunn, Thomas Alcocke, John Andrews, the younger, of Cambridge, Samuel Smith, Thomas Gerrard, Thomas Whittingham, William Canning, Paul Canning, George Chandler, Henry Vincent, Thomas Ketley, James Skelton, James Mountaine, George Webb, gentleman, Joseph Newbridge, smith, Josiah Mand, Captain Ralph Hamer, the younger, Edward Brewster, the son of William Brewster, Leonard Harwood, mercer, Philip Druerdent, William Carpenter, Tristian Hill, Robert Cock, grocer, Laurence Grecie, grocer, Samuel Winch, grocer, Humphry Stile, grocer, Avern Dransfield, grocer, Edward Hodges, grocer, Edward Beale, grocer, Thomas Culler, grocer, Ralph Busby, grocer, John Whittingham, grocer, John Hide, grocer, Matthew Shepherd, grocer, Thomas Allen, grocer, Richard Hooker, grocer, Lawrence Munks, grocer, John Tanner, grocer, Peter Gate, grocer, John Blunt, grocer, Robert Phipps, grocer, Robert Berrisford, grocer, Thomas Wells, grocer, John Ellis, grocer, Henry Colthurst, grocer, John Cavady, grocer, Thomas Jennings, grocer, Edmond Baschall, grocer, Timothy Bathurst, grocer, Giles Parslow, grocer, Robert Milmay, grocer, Richard Johnson, grocer, William Johnson, vintner, Ezekiel Smith, Richard Martin, William Sharpe, Robert Rich, William Stannard, innholder, John Stocken, William Strachey, gentleman, George Farmer, gentleman, Thomas Gypes, cloth-worker, Abraham Davies, gentleman, Thomas Brocket, gentleman, George Bache, fishmonger, John Dike, fishmonger, Henry Spranger, Richard Farrington, Christopher Vertue, vintner, Thomas Bayley, vintner, George Robins, vintner, Tobias Hinson, grocer, Vrian Spencer, Clement Chickeley, John Scarpe, gentleman, James Campbell, ironmonger, Christian Clitheroe, ironmonger, Philip Jacobson, Peter Jacobson, of Antwerp, William Berkeley, Miles Banks, cutler, Peter Higgons, grocer, Henry John, gentleman, John Stokley, merchant taylor, the Company of Mercers, the Company of Grocers, the Company of Drapers, the Company of Fishmongers, the Company of Goldsmiths, the Company of Skinners, the Company of Merchant-Taylors, the Company of Haberdashers, the Company of Salters, the Company of Ironmongers, the Company of Vintners, the Company of Clothworkers, the Company of Dyers, the Company of Brewers, the Company of Leathersellers, the Company of Pewterers, the Company of Cutlers, the Company of Whitebakers, the Company of Wax-Chandlers, the Company of Tallow-Chandlers, the Company of Armourers, the Company of Girdlers, the Company of Butchers, the Company of Sadlers, the Company of Carpenters, the Company of Cordwaynes, the Company of Barber-Chirurgeons, the Company of Paintstainers, the Company of Curriers, the Company of Masons, the Company of Plumbers, the Company of Innholders, the Company Edition: current; Page: [3795] of Founders, the Company of Poulterers, the Company of Cooks, the Company of Coopers, the Company of Tylers and Bricklayers, the Company of Boyers, the Company of Fletchers, the Company of Blacksmiths, the Company of Joiners, the Company of Weavers, the Company of Woolmen, the Company of Woodmongers, the Company of Scriveners, the Company of Fruiterers, the Company of Plasterers, the Company of Brownbakers, the Company of Stationers, the Company of Imbroiderers, the Company of Upholsterers, the Company of Musicians, the Company of Turners, the Company of Gardners, the Company of Basketmakers, the Company of Glaziers, John Levet, Merchant, Thomas Nornicot, clothworker, Richard Venn, haberdasher, Thomas Scott, gentleman, Thomas Juxon, merchant-taylor, George Hankinson, Thomas Seyer, gentleman, Matthew Cooper, George Buttler, gentleman, Thomas Lawson, gentleman, Edward Smith, haberdasher, Stephen Sparrow, John Jones, merchant, Reynolds, Brewer, Thomas Plummer, merchant, Jame Duppa, brewer, Rowland Coitmore, William Southerne, George Whitmore, haberdasher, Anthony Gosnold, the younger, John Allen, fishmonger, Simon Yeomans, fishmonger, Lancelot Davis, gentleman, John Hopkins, alderman of Bristol, John Kettleby, gentleman, Richard Clene, goldsmith, George Hooker, gentleman, Robert Chening, yeoman, and to such and so many as they do, or shall hereafter admit to be joined with them, in the form hereafter in these presents expressed, whether they go in their Persons to be Planters there in the said Plantation, or whether they go not, but adventure their monies, goods, or Chattles, that they shall be one Body or Commonalty perpetual, and shall have perpetual Succession and one common Seal to serve for the said Body or Commonalty, and that they and their Successors shall be known, called, and incorporated by the Name of The Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London, for the first Colony in Virginia.

And that they and their Successors shall be from henceforth forever enabled to take, acquire, and purchase by the Name aforesaid (Licence for the same from Us, our Heirs, and Successors, first had and obtained) any Manner of Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, Goods and Chattles, within our Realm of England, and Dominion of Wales.

And that they, and their Successors, shall likewise be enabled by the Name aforesaid, to plead and be impleaded, before any of our Judges or Justices in any of our Courts, and in any Actions or Suits whatsoever.

And we do also of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, give, grant and confirm, unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, under the Reservations, Limitations, and Declarations hereafter expressed, all those Lands, Countries, and Territories, situate, lying, and being in that Part of America, called Virginia, from the Point of Land, called Cape or Point Comfort, all along the Sea Coast to the Northward, two hundred miles, and from the said Point of Cape Comfort, all along the Sea Coast to the Southward, two hundred Miles, and all that Space and Circuit of Land, lying from the Sea Coast of the Precinct aforesaid, up into the Land throughout from Sea to Sea, West and Northwest; And also all the Islands lying within one hundred Miles along the Coast of both Seas of the Precinct aforesaid; Together with all the Soils, Grounds, Edition: current; Page: [3796] Havens, and Ports, Mines, as well Royal Mines of Gold and Silver, as other Minerals, Pearls, and precious Stones, Quarries, Woods, Rivers, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, Jurisdictions, Royalties, Privileges, Franchises, and Preheminences within the said Territories, and the Precincts thereof, whatsoever, and thereto, and thereabouts both by Sea and Land, being, or in any sort belonging or appertaining, and which We, by our Letters Patents, may or can grant, in as ample Manner and Sort, as We, or any our noble Progenitors, have heretofore granted to any Company, Body Politic or Corporate, or to any Adventurer or Adventurers, Undertaker or Undertakers of any Discoveries, Plantations, or Traffic, of, in, or into any Foreign Parts whatsoever, and in as large and ample Manner, as if the same were herein particularly mentioned and expressed; To have and to hold, possess and enjoy, all and singular the said Lands, Countries and Territories, with all and singular other the Premises heretofore by these Presents granted, or mentioned to be granted to them, the said Treasurer and Company, their Successors and Assigns forever; To the sole and proper Use of them, the said Treasurer and Company, their Successors and Assigns forever; To be holden of Us, our Heirs and Successors, as of our Manor of East-Greenwich, in free and common Soccage, and not in Capite; Yielding and paying therefore, to Us, our Heirs and Successors, the fifth Part only of all Ore of Gold and Silver, that from Time to Time, and at all Times hereafter, shall be there gotten, had, or obtained, for all Manner of Services.

And nevertheless, our Will and Pleasure is, and we do by these Presents, charge and command, warrant and authorise, that the said Treasurer, and Company, or their Successors, or the major Part of them which shall be present and assembled for that Purpose, shall from Time to Time, under their common Seal, Distribute, convey, assign, and set over such particular Portions of Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, by these Presents formerly granted unto such our loving Subjects, naturally born, or Denizens, or others, as well Adventurers as Planters, as by the said Company (upon a Commission of Survey and Distribution, executed and returned for that Purpose) shall be nominated, appointed, and allowed; Wherein our Will and Pleasure is, that Respect be had as well of the Proportion of the Adventurer, as to the special Service, Hazard, Exploit, or Merit of any Person so to be recompenced, advanced, or rewarded.

And forasmuch as the good and prosperous Success of the said Plantation, cannot but chiefly depend next under the Blessing of God, and the Support of our Royal Authority, upon the provident and good Direction of the whole Enterprise, by a careful and understanding Council, and that it is not convenient, that all the Adventurers shall be so often drawn to meet and assemble, as shall be requisite for them to have Meetings and Conference about the Affairs thereof; Therefore we do ordain, establish and confirm, that there shall be perpetually one Council here resident, according to the Tenour of our former Letters-Patents; Which Council shall have a Seal for the better Government and Administration of the said Plantation, besides the legal Seal of the Company or Corporation, as in our former Letters-Patents is also expressed.

And further, We establish and ordain, That Henry Earl of Southampton, William Earl of Pembroke, Henry Earl of Lincoln, Thomas, Earl of Exeter, Robert, Lord Viscount Lisle, Lord Theophilus Edition: current; Page: [3797] Howard, James, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, Lord Edward Zouche, Thomas Lord Lawarr, William, Lord Mounteagle, Edmund, Lord Sheffield, Gray, Lord Chandois, John, Lord Stanhope, George, Lord Carew, Sir Humfrey Weld, Lord Mayor of London, Sir Edward Cecil, Sir William Wade, Sir Henry Nevil, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Oliver Cromwell, Sir Peter Manwood, Sir Thomas Challoner, Sir Henry Hobert, Sir Francis Bacon, Sir George Coppin, Sir John Scot, Sir Henry Carey, Sir Robert Drury, Sir Horatio Vere, Sir Edward Conway, Sir Maurice Berkeley, Sir Thomas Gates, Sir Michael Sandys, Sir Robert Mansell, Sir John Trevor, Sir Amias Preston, Sir William Godolphin, Sir Walter Cope, Sir Robert Killigrew, Sir Henry Fanshaw, Sir Edwin Sandys, Sir John Watts, Sir Henry Montague, Sir William Romney, Sir Thomas Roe, Sir Baptist Hicks, Sir Richard Williamson, Sir Stephen Poole, Sir Dudley Digges, Christopher Brooke, Esq. John Eldred, and John Wolstenholme shall be our Council for the said Company of Adventurers and Planters, in Virginia.

And the said Thomas Smith, We do ordain to be Treasurer of the said Company; which Treasurer shall have Authority to give Order for the Warning of the Council, and summoning the Company to their Courts and Meetings.

And the said Council and Treasurer, or any of them shall be from henceforth nominated, chosen, continued, displaced, changed, altered and supplied, as Death, or other several Occasions shall require, out of the Company of the said Adventurers, by the Voice of the greater part of the said Company and Adventurers, in their Assembly for that Purpose: Provided always, That every Counsellor so newly elected, shall be presented to the Lord Chancellor of England, or to the Lord High Treasurer of England, or to the Lord Chamberlain of the Household of Us, our Heirs and Successors for the Time being, to take his Oath of a Counsellor to Us, our Heirs and Successors, for the said Company of Adventurers and Colony in Virginia. And we do by these Presents, of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, grant unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, that if it happen at any Time or Times, the Treasurer for the Time being to be sick, or to have any such Cause of Absence from the City of London, as shall be allowed by the said Council, or the greater part of them assembled, so as he cannot attend the affairs of that Company, in every such Case, it shall and may be lawful for such Treasurer for the Time being, to assign, constitute, and appoint one of the Council, or Company, to be likewise allowed by the Council, or the greater Part of them assembled, to be the Deputy Treasurer of the said Company; Which Deputy shall have Power to do and execute all Things which belong to the said Treasurer, during such Time as such Treasurer shall be either sick, or otherwise absent, upon Cause allowed of by the said Council, or the major Part of them, as aforesaid, so fully and wholly, and in as large and ample Manner and Form, to all Intents and Purposes, as the said Treasurer if he were present himself, might or could do and execute the same.

And further, of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, we do, by these Presents, Give and Grant full Power and Authority to our said Council here resident, as well at this present time, as hereafter from time to time, Edition: current; Page: [3798] to nominate, make, constitute, ordain and confirm, by such Name or Names, Stile or Stiles, as to them shall seem good, And likewise to revoke, discharge, change, and alter, as well all and singular Governors, Officers, and Ministers, which already have been made, as also which hereafter shall be by them thought fit and needful to be made or used for the Government of the said Colony and Plantation:

And also to make, ordain, and establish all Manner of Orders, Laws, Directions, Instructions, Forms and Ceremonies of Government and Magistracy, fit and necessary for and concerning the Government of the said Colony and Plantation; And the same, at all Times hereafter, to abrogate, revoke, or change, not only within the Precincts of the said Colony, but also upon the Seas, in going and coming to and from the said Colony, as they in their good Discretion, shall think to be fittest for the Good of the Adventurers and inhabitants there.

And we do also declare, that for divers Reasons and Considerations, Us thereunto especially moving, our Will and Pleasure is, and We do hereby ordain, that immediately from and after such Time as any such Governor or principal Officer, so to be nominated and appointed by our said Council, for the Government of the said Colony as aforesaid, shall arrive in Virginia, and give Notice unto the Colony there resident, of our pleasure in this Behalf, the Government Power and Authority of the President and Council heretofore by our former Letters-patents there established, and all Laws and Constitutions by them formerly made shall utterly cease and be determined; And all Officers, Governors, and Ministers formerly constituted and appointed, shall be discharged, anything in our former Letters-patents concerning the said Plantation contained in any wise to the contrary notwithstanding; Straightly charging and commanding the President and Council now resident in the said Colony upon their Allegiance, after Knowledge given unto them of our Will and Pleasure by these presents signified and declared that they forthwith be obedient to such Governor or Governors as by our said Council here resident shall be named and appointed as aforesaid, and to all Directions, Orders and Commandments which they shall receive from them, as well in the present resigning and giving up of their Authority, Offices, Charge and Places, as in all other Attendance as shall be by them from time to time required.

And we do further by these presents Ordain and establish, that the said Treasurer and Council here resident, and their successors or any four of them being assembled (the Treasurer being one) shall from time to time have full Power and Authority to admit and receive any other Person into their Company, Corporation, and Freedom; And further in a General Assembly of Adventurers, with the consent of the greater part upon good Cause, to disfranchise and put out any Person or Persons out of the said Freedom or Company.

And we do also Grant and confirm for Us, our Heirs and Successors, that it shall be lawful for the said Treasurer and Company and their Successors by direction of the Governors there, to dig and to search for all manner of Mines of Gold, silver, Copper, Iron, Lead, Tin, and all sorts of Minerals, as well within the precinct aforesaid, as within and part of the main land not formerly granted to any other; And to have and enjoy the Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Lead, and Tin, and all other Minerals to be gotten thereby, to the use and Edition: current; Page: [3799] behoof of the said company of Planters and Adventurers; Yielding thereof, and paying Yearly unto Us, our Heirs and Successors as aforesaid.

And we do further of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion for Us, our Heires, and Successors, Grant by these presents, to and with the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, that it shall be lawful and free for them and their Assigns, at all and every time and times hereafter, out of our Realm of England, and out of all other our Dominions, to take and lead into the said Voyages, and for and towards the said Plantation, and to travel thitherwards and to abide and inhabit there in the said Colony and Plantation, all such and so many of our loving Subjects, or any other Strangers, that will become our loving Subjects, and live under our Obedience, as shall willingly accompany them in the said Voyage and Plantation; With sufficient Shipping, Armour, Weapons, Ordinance, Munition, Powder, Shot, Victuals, and such Merchandises or Wares as are esteemed by the wild People in those Parts, Cloathing, Implements, Furniture, Cattle, Horses, and Mares, and all other things necessary for the said Plantation, and for their Use, and Defence, and Trade with the People there; and passing and returning to and fro; Without yielding or paying Subsidy, Custom, Imposition, or any other Tax or Duty, to Us, our Heirs, or Successors, for the space of seven Years from the Date of these Presents: Provided that none of the said Persons be such as shall be hereafter by special name restrained by Us, our Heirs, and Successors.

And for their further Encouragement, of our special Grace and Favour, we do by these Presents, for Us, our Heires, and Successors, Yeild and Grant to and with the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and every of them, their Factors and Assigns, that they and every of them shall be free of all Subsidies and Customs in Virginia, for the space of one and twenty Years, and from all Taxes and Impositions for ever upon any Goods or Merchandizes at any Time or Times hereafter, either upon Importation thither, or Exportation from thence into our Realm of England, or into any other of our Realms or Dominions, by the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and their Deputies, Factors, or Assigns, or any of them: Except only the five Pounds per Cent. due for Custom upon all such Goods and Merchandizes as shall be brought or Imported into our Realm of England, or any other of these our Dominions according to the antient Trade of Merchants; Which five Pounds per Cent only being paid, it shall be thenceforth lawful and free for the said Adventurers, the same Goods and Merchandizes to export and carry out of our said Dominions into foreign Parts without any Custom, Tax, or other Duty to be paid to Us, our Heires, or Successors, or to any other our Officers or Deputies: Provided, that the said Goods and Merchandizes be shipped out, within thirteen Months after their first landing within any Part of those Dominions.

And we do also Grant and confirm to the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, as also to all and every such Governor, or other Officers, and Ministers, as by our said Council shall be appointed to have Power and Authority of Government and Command in and over the said Colony and Plantation; That they, and every of them, shall and lawfully may from Time to Time and at all Times for ever hereafter, for their several Defence and Safety, Edition: current; Page: [3800] encounter, expulse, repel, and resist by Force and Arms, as well by Sea as by Land, and all Ways and Means whatsoever, all and every such Person and Persons whatsoever as (without the special Licence of the said Treasurer and Company and their Successors) shall attempt to inhabit within the said several Precincts and Limits of the said Colony and Plantation; And also all and every such Person and Persons whatsoever, as shall enterprize or attempt at any Time hereafter, Destruction, Invasion, Hurt, Detriment, or Annoyance, to the said Colony and Plantation, as is likewise specified in the said former Grant:

And that it shall be lawful for the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and every of them from Time to Time, and at all Times for ever hereafter, and they shall have full Power and Authority to take and surprize by all Ways and Means whatsoever, all and every Person and Persons whatsoever, with their Ships, Goods, and other Furniture, trafficking in any Harbour, Creek, or Place, within the Limits or Precincts of the said Colony and Plantation not being allowed by the said Company to be Adventurers or Planters of the said Colony until such Time as they being of any Realms and Dominions under our Obedience, shall pay, or agree to pay, to the Hands of the Treasurer, or of some other Officer deputed by the said Governor of Virginia (over and above such Subsidy or Custom as the said Company is or hereafter shall be to pay) five Pounds per Cent. upon all Goods and Merchandises so brought in thither, and also five per Cent. upon all Goods by them shipped out from thence; And being Strangers and not under our Obedience until they have paid (over and above such Subsidy and Custom, as the said Treasurer and Company, or their Successors, is, or hereafter shall be to pay) ten Pounds per Cent. upon all such Goods likewise carried in and out, any Thing in the said former Letters-patents to the contrary notwithstanding; And the same Sums of Money and Benefit, aforesaid, for and during the space of one and twenty Years, shall be wholly employed to the Benefit, Use, and Behoof of the said Colony and Plantation; And after the said one and twenty Years ended, the same shall be taken to the use of Us, our Heirs and Successors, by such Officers and Ministers, as by Us, our Heirs or Successors shall be thereunto assigned and appointed, as is specified in the said former Letters-patents.

Also we do for Us, our Heirs and Successors, declare by these Presents, that all and every the Persons being our Subjects, which shall go and inhabit within the said Colony and Plantation, and every their Children and Posterity, which shall happen to be born within any of the Limits thereof, shall have and enjoy all Liberties, Franchizes, and Immunities of Free Denizens and natural Subjects within any of our other Dominions to all Intents and Purposes, as if they had been abiding and born within this our Realm of England, or in any other of our Dominions.

And forasmuch as it shall be necessary for all such our loving Subject as shall inhabit within the said Precincts of Virginia aforesaid, to determine to live together in the Fear and true Worship of Almighty God, Christian Peace and Civil Quietness each with other, whereby every one may with more Safety, Pleasure and Profit enjoy that whereunto they shall attain with great Pain and Peril; We for Us, our Heirs, and Successors are likewise pleased and contented, and Edition: current; Page: [3801] by these Presents do give and grant unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and to such Governors, Officers, and Ministers, as shall be by our said Council constituted and appointed according to the Natures and Limits of their Offices and Places respectively, that they shall and may from Time to Time, for ever hereafter, within the said Precincts of Virginia, or in the way by Seas thither and from thence, have full and absolute Power and Authority to correct, punish, pardon, govern, and rule all such the Subjects of Us, our Heires, and Successors as shall from Time to Time adventure themselves in any Voyage thither, or that shall at any Time hereafter, inhabit in the Precincts and Territories of the said Colony as aforesaid, according to such Orders, Ordinances, Constitutions, Directions, and Instructions, as by our said Council as aforesaid, shall be established; And in Defect thereof in case of Necessity, according to the good Discretions of the said Governor and Officers respectively, as well in Cases capital and criminal, as civil, both Marine and other; So always as the said Statutes, Ordinances and Proceedings as near as conveniently may be, be agreeable to the Laws, Statutes, Government, and Policy of this our Realm of England.

And we do further of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, grant, declare, and ordain, that such principal Governor, as from Time to Time shall duly and lawfully be authorized and appointed in Manner and Form in these Presents heretofore expressed, shall have full Power and Authority, to use and exercise Martial Law in Cases of Rebellion or Mutiny, in as large and ample Manner as our Lieutenants in our Counties within this our Realm of England have or ought to have, by Force of their Commissions of Lieutenancy.

And furthermore, if any Person or Persons, Adventurers or Planters of the said Colony, or any other at any Time or Times hereafter, shall transport any Monies, Goods, or Merchandises, out of any of our Kingdoms with a Pretence or Purpose to land, sell, or otherwise dispose of the same within the Limits or Bounds of the said Colony, and yet nevertheless being at Sea, or after he hath landed within any part of the said Colony, shall carry the same into any other foreign Country with a Purpose there to sell and dispose thereof; That then all the Goods and Chattels of the said Person or Persons so offending, and transported, together with the Ship or Vessel wherein such Transportation was made, shall be forfeited to Us, our Heirs, and Successors.

And further, our Will and Pleasure is, that in all Questions and Doubts that shall arise upon any difficulty of Construction or Interpretation of any Thing contained either in this, or in our said former Letters-patents, the same shall be taken and interpreted in most ample and beneficial Manner for the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and every Member thereof.

And further, we do, by these Presents ratify and confirm unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, all the Privileges, Franchises, Liberties, and Immunities granted in our said former Letters-patents, and not in these our Letters-patents, revoked, altered, changed, or abridged.

And finally our Will and Pleasure is, and we do further hereby for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, grant and agree, to and with the said Edition: current; Page: [3802] Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, that all and singular Person and Persons, which shall at any Time or Times hereafter adventure any Sum or Sums of Money, in and towards the said Plantation of the said Colony in Virginia, and shall be admitted by the said Council and Company, as Adventurers of the said Colony in Form aforesaid, and shall be enrolled in the Book or Records of the Adventurers of the said Company, shall and may be accounted, accepted, taken, held, and reputed Adventurers of the said Colony, and shall, and may enjoy all and singular Grants, Privileges, Liberties, Benefits, Profits, Commodities and Immunities, Advantages and Emoluments whatsoever, as fully, largely, amply, and absolutely, as if they and every of them, had been precisely, plainly, singularly, and distinctly named and inserted in these our Letters-patents.

And lastly, because the principal Effect which we can desire or expect of this Action, is the Conversion and Reduction of the People in those Parts unto the true Worship of God and Christian Religion, in which Respect we should be loath that any Person should be permitted to pass that we suspected to affect the Superstitions of the Church of Rome, we do hereby declare, that it is our. Will and Pleasure that none be permitted to pass in any Voyage from Time to Time to be made into the said Country, but such as first shall have taken the Oath of Supremacy; For which Purpose, we do by these Presents give full Power and Authority to the Treasurer for the Time being, and any three of the Council, to tender and exhibit the said Oath, to all such Persons as shall at any Time be sent and employed in the said Voyage.

Although express Mention of true yearly Value or Certainty of the Premisses, or any of them, or of any other Gifts or Grants by Us, or any of our Progenitors or Predecessors to the aforesaid Treasurer and Company heretofore made in these Presents, is not made; Or any Act, Statute, Ordinance, Provision, Proclamation, or Restraint, to the contrary hereof had, made, ordained, or provided, or any other Thing, Cause, or Matter whatsoever in any wise notwithstanding. In Witness whereof, We have caused these our Letters to be made Patent. Witness ourself at Westminster, the 23d Day of May, in the seventh Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the * * *

Per Ipsum Regem.

Lukin.

THE THIRD CHARTER OF VIRGINIA—1611-12*

James, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith; To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Whereas at the humble Suit of divers and sundry our loving Subjects, as well Adventurers as Planters of the first Colony in Virginia, and for the Propagation of Christian Religion, and Reclaiming of People barbarous, to Civility and Humanity, We have, by our Letters-Patents, bearing Date at Westminster, the three-and-twentieth Day of May, in the seventh Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and the two-and-fortieth of Scotland, Edition: current; Page: [3803] Given and Granted unto them that they and all such and so many of our loving Subjects as should from time to time, for ever after, be joined with them as Planters or Adventurers in the said Plantation, and their Successors, for ever, should be one Body politick, incorporated by the Name of The Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London for the first Colony in Virginia;

And whereas also for the greater Good and Benefit of the said Company, and for the better Furtherance, Strengthening, and Establishing of the said Plantation, we did further Give, Grant and Confirm, by our Letters-Patents unto the said Company and their Successors, for ever, all those Lands, Countries or Territories, situate, lying and being in that Part of America called Virginia, from the Point of Land called Cape or Point Comfort all along the Sea Coasts to the Northward two hundred Miles; and from the said Point of Cape Comfort all along the Sea Coast to the Southward two hundred Miles; and all that Space and Circuit of Land lying from the Sea Coast of the Precinct aforesaid, up into the Land throughout from Sea to Sea West and North-west; and also all the Islands lying within one hundred Miles along the Coast of both the Seas of the Precinct aforesaid; with divers other Grants, Liberties, Franchises and Preheminences, Privileges, Profits, Benefits, and Commodities granted in and by our said Letters-patents to the said Treasurer and Company and their Successors for ever.

Now forasmuch as we are given to understand, that in those Seas adjoining to the said Coasts of Virginia, and without the Compass of those two hundred Miles by Us so granted unto the said Treasurer and Company as aforesaid, and yet not far distant from the said Colony in Virginia, there are or may be divers Islands lying desolate and uninhabited, some of which are already made known and discovered by the Industry, Travel, and Expences of the said Company, and others also are supposed to be and remain as yet unknown and undiscovered, all and every of which it may import the said Colony both in Safety and Policy of Trade to populate and plant; in Regard whereof, as well for the preventing of Peril, as for the better Commodity of the said Colony, they have been humble suitors unto Us, that We would be pleased to grant unto them an Enlargement of our said former Letters-patents, as well for a more ample Extent of their Limits and Territories into the Seas adjoining to and upon the Coast of Virginia, as also for some other Matters and Articles concerning the better government of the said Company and Colony, in which Point our said former Letters-Patents do not extend so far as Time and Experience hath found to be needful and convenient:

We therefore tendering the good and happy Success of the said Plantation, both in Regard of the General Weal of human Society, as in Respect of the Good of our own Estate and Kingdoms, and being willing to give Furtherance unto all good Means that may advance the Benefit of the said Company, and which may secure the Safety of our loving Subjects planted in our said Colony, under the Favour and Protection of God Almighty, and of our Royal Power and Authority, have therefore of our especial Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, given, granted, and confirmed, and for Us, our Heirs and Successors, we do by these Presents give, grant, and confirm to the said Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters of Edition: current; Page: [3804] the city of London for the first Colony in Virginia, and to their Heirs and Successors for ever, all and singular those Islands whatsoever situate and being in any Part of the Ocean Seas bordering upon the Coast of our said first Colony in Virginia, and being within three Hundred Leagues of any of the Parts heretofore granted to the said Treasurer and Company in our said former Letters-Patents as aforesaid, and being within or between the one-and-fortieth and thirtieth Degrees of Northerly Latitude; together with all and singular Soils, Lands, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Waters, Fishings, Mines and Minerals, as well Royal Mines of Gold and Silver, as other Mines and Minerals, Pearls, precious Stones, Quarries, and all and singular other Commodities, Jurisdictions, Royalties, Privileges, Franchises, and Preheminences, both within the said Tract of Land upon the Main, and also within the said Islands and Seas adjoining whatsoever and thereunto or thereabouts, both by Sea and Land being or situate; And which, by our Letters-Patents we may or can grant, and in as ample Manner as We or any our noble Progenitors have heretofore granted to any Person or Persons, or to any Company, Body Politick or corporate, or to any Adventurer or Adventurers, Undertaker or Undertakers of any Discoveries, Plantations, or Traffick, of, in, or into any foreign Parts whatsoever, and in as large and ample Manner as if the same were herein particularly named, mentioned, and expressed. Provided always, that the said Islands or any Premises herein mentioned, or by these Presents intended or meant to be granted, be not actually possessed or inhabited by any other Christian Prince or Estate, nor be within the Bounds, Limits, or Territories of the Northern Colony heretofore by Us granted to be planted by divers of our loving Subjects in the North Parts of Virginia. To have and to hold, possess and enjoy, all and singular the said Islands in the said Ocean Seas so lying and bordering upon the Coast and Coasts of the Territories of the said first Colony in Virginia, as aforesaid. With all and singular the said Soils, Lands, Grounds, and all and singular other the Premises heretofore by these Presents granted or mentioned to be granted to them, the said Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London for the first Colony in Virginia, and to their Heirs, Successors, and Assigns, for ever, to the sole and proper Use and Behoof of them the said Treasurer and Company, and their Heirs and Successors and Assigns, for ever; to be holden of us, our Heirs and Successors, as of our Manor of East-Greenwich, in Free and common Soccage, and not in Capite; yielding and paying therefore to Us, our Heirs and Successors, the fifth Part of the Ore of all Gold and Silver which shall be there gotten, had, or obtained for all Manner of Services whatsoever.

And further, Our Will and Pleasure is, and We do by these Presents, grant and confirm, for the Good and Welfare of the said Plantation, and that Posterity may hereafter know who have adventured and not been sparing of their Purses in such a noble and generous Action for the general Good of their Country, and at the Request and with the Consent of the Company aforesaid, that Our trusty and well-beloved Subjects George Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry, Earl of Huntington, Edward Earl of Bedford, Richard Earl of Clanrickard, &c. who since Our said last Letters-Patents are become Adventurers, and have joined themselves with the former Adventurers and Planters of the said Company and Society, shall from Edition: current; Page: [3805] henceforth be reputed, deemed, and taken to be, and shall be Brethren and free Members of the Company; and shall and may respectively, and according to the Proportion and Value of their several Adventures, have, hold, and enjoy, all such Interest, Right, Title, Privileges, Preheminences, Liberties, Franchises, Immunities, Profits, and Commodities, whatsoever, in as large and ample and beneficial Manner, to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes, as any other Adventures nominated and expressed in any our former Letters-Patents, or any of them have or may have by Force and Virtue of these Presents, or any our former Letters-Patents whatsoever.

And We are further pleased, and We do by these Presents grant and confirm, that Philip Earl of Montgomery, William Lord Paget, sir John Starrington, Knt. &c. whom the said Treasurer and Company have since the said last Letters-Patents nominated and set down as worthy and discreet Persons fit to serve Us as Counsellors, to be of our Council for the said Plantation, shall be reputed, deemed, and taken as Persons of our said Council for the said first Colony, in such Manner and Sort, to all Intents and Purposes, as those who have been formerly elected and nominated as our Counsellors for that Colony, and whose Names have been, or are inserted and expressed in our said former Letters-Patents.

And we do hereby ordain and grant by these Presents, that the said Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters aforesaid, shall and may, once every week, or oftener, at their Pleasure, hold, and keep a Court and Assembly for the better Order and Government of the said Plantation, and such Things as shall concern the same; And that any five Persons of our Council for the said first Colony in Virginia, for the Time being, of which Company the Treasure, or his Deputy, to be always one, and the Number of fifteen others, at the least, of the Generality of the said Company, assembled together in such Manner, as is and hath been heretofore used and accustomed, shall be said, taken, held, and reputed to be, and shall be a sufficient Court of the said Company, for the handling and ordering, and dispatching of all such casual and particular Occurrences, and accidental Matters, of less Consequence and Weight, as shall from Time to Time happen, touching and concerning the said Plantation.

And that nevertheless, for the handling, ordering, and disposing of Matters and Affairs of greater Weight and Importance, and such as shall or may, in any Sort, concern the Weal Publick and general Good of the said Company and Plantation, as namely, the Manner of Government from Time to Time to be used, the ordering and Disposing of the Lands and Possessions, and the settling and establishing of a Trade there, or such like, there shall be held and kept every Year, upon the last Wednesday, save one, of Hillary Term, Easter, Trinity, and Michaelmas Terms, for ever, one great, general, and solemn Assembly, which four Assemblies shall be stiled and called, The four Great and General Courts of the Council and Company of Adventurers for Virginia; In all and every of which said Great and General Courts, so assembled, our Will and Pleasure is, and we do, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, for ever, Give and Grant to the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors for ever, by these Presents, that they, the said Treasurer and Company, or the greater Number of them, so assembled, shall and may have full Power and Authority, from Time to Time, and at all Times hereafter, Edition: current; Page: [3806] to elect and chuse discreet Persons, to be of our said Council for the said first Colony in Virginia, and to nominate and appoint such Officers as they shall think fit and requisite, for the Government, managing, ordering, and dispatching of the Affairs of the said Company; And shall likewise have full Power and Authority, to ordain and make such Laws and Ordinances, for the Good and Welfare of the said Plantation, as to them from Time to Time, shall be thought requisite and meet: So always, as the same be not contrary to the Laws and Statutes of this our Realm of England; And shall, in like Manner, have Power and Authority, to expulse, disfranchise, and put out of and from their said Company and Society for ever, all and every such Person and Persons, as having either promised or subscribed their Names to become Adventurers to the said Plantation, of the said first Colony in Virginia, or having been nominated for Adventurers in these or any other our Letters-Patents, or having been otherwise admitted and nominated to be of the said Company, have nevertheless either not put in any adventure at all for and towards the said Plantation, or else have refused or neglected, or shall refuse and neglect to bring in his or their Adventure, by Word or Writing, promised within six Months after the same shall be so payable and due. And whereas, the Failing and not Payment of such Monies as have been promised in Adventure, for the Advancement of the said Plantation, hath been often by Experience found to be dangerous and prejudicial to the same, and much to have hindered the Progress and Proceeding of the said Plantation, and for that it seemeth unto Us a Thing reasonable, that such Persons, as by their Hand Writing have engaged themselves for the Payment of their Adventures, and afterwards neglecting their Faith and Promise, should be compelled to make good and keep the same: Therefore, Our Will and Pleasure is, that in any Suit or Suits commenced, or to be commenced in any of our Courts at Westminister, or elsewhere, by the said Treasurer and Company, or otherwise against any such persons, that our Judges for the Time being, both in our Court of Chancery, and at the Common Pleas do favour and further the said Suits so far forth as Law and Equity will in any wise further and permit. And We do, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, further give and grant to the said Treasurer and Company, or their Successors forever, that the said Treasurer and Company, or the greater Part of them for the Time being, so in a full and general Court assembled as aforesaid, shall and may from Time to Time, and at all times forever hereafter, elect, choose and admit into their Company, and Society, any Person or Persons, as well Strangers and Aliens born in any Part beyond the Seas wheresoever, being in Amity with us, as our natural Liege Subjects born in any our Realms and Dominions: And that all such Persons so elected, chosen, and admitted to be of the said Company as aforesaid, shall thereupon be taken, reputed, and held, and shall be free Members of the said Company, and shall have, hold, and enjoy all and singular Freedoms, Liberties, Franchises, Privileges, Immunities, Benefits, Profits, and Commodities whatsoever, to the said Company in any Sort belonging or appertaining, as fully, freely and amply as any other Adventurers now being, or which hereafter at any Time shall be of the said Company, hath, have, shall, may, might, or ought to have and enjoy the same to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever. And We do further of our especial Grace, certain Edition: current; Page: [3807] Knowledge, and mere Motion, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, give and grant unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors for ever, by these Presents, that it shall be lawful and free for them and their Assigns, at all and every Time and Times hereafter, out of any our Realms and Dominions whatsoever, to take, lead, carry, and transport in and into the said Voyage, and for and towards the said Plantation of our said first Colony in Virginia, all such and so many of our loving Subjects, or any other Strangers that will become our loving Subjects, and live under our Allegiance, as shall willingly accompany them in the said Voyages and Plantation, with Shipping, Armour, Weapons, Ordnance, Munition, Powder, Shot, Victuals, and all Manner of Merchandises and Wares, and all Manner of Clothing, Implements, Furniture, Beasts, Cattle, Horses, Mares, and all other Things necessary for the said Plantation, and for their Use and Defence, and for Trade with the People there, and in passing and returning to and from, without paying or yielding any Subsidy, Custom, or Imposition, either inward or outward, or any other Duty to Us, our Heirs and Successors, for the same, for the Space of Seven Years from the Date of these Presents.

And We do further, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, give and grant to the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors forever, by these Presents, that the said Treasurer of that Company, or his Deputy for the Time being, or any two other of the said Council, for the said first Colony in Virginia, for the Time being, or any two other at all Times hereafter, and from Time to Time, have full Power and authority to minister and give the Oath and Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, or either of them, to all and every Person and Persons, which shall at any Time or Times hereafter, go or pass to the said Colony in Virginia:

And further, that it shall be lawful likewise for the said Treasurer, or his Deputy for the Time being, or any two or others of our said Council, for the said first Colony in Virginia, for the Time being, from Time to Time, and at all Times hereafter to minister such a formal Oath, as by their discretion shall be reasonably devised, as well unto any Person or Persons employed in, for, or touching the said Plantation, for their honest, faithful and just Discharge of their Service in all such Matters as shall be committed unto them, for the Good and Benefit of the said Company, Colony and Plantation; As also unto such other Person or Persons as the said Treasurer, or his Deputy, with two others of the said Council shall think meet, for the Examination or clearing of the Truth, in any Cause whatsoever, concerning the said Plantation, or any Business from thence proceeding, or thereunto belonging.

And furthermore, whereas We have been certified, That divers lewd and ill disposed Persons, both Sailors, Soldiers, Artificers, Husbandmen, Labourers and others, having received Wages, Apparel and other Entertainment, from the said Company, or having contracted and agreed with the said Company to go, or to serve, or to be employed in the said Plantation of the said first Colony in Virginia, have afterwards either withdrawn, hid, or concealed themselves, or have refused to go thither, after they have been so entertained and agreed withal: And that divers and sundry Persons also, which have been sent and employed in the said Plantation of the said first Colony in Virginia, at and upon the Charge of the said Company, Edition: current; Page: [3808] and having there misbehaved themselves by Mutinies, Sedition, or other notorious Misdemeanors, or having been employed or sent abroad by the Governor of Virginia, or his Deputy, with some Ship or Pinnace, for our Provision of the said Colony, or for some Discovery, or other Business and Affairs concerning the same, have from thence most treacherously either come back again, and returned into our Realm of England, by Stealth, or without Licence of our Governor of our said Colony in Virginia, for the Time being, or have been sent thither as Misdoers and Offenders: And that many also of those Persons after their Return from thence, having been questioned by our Council here, for such their Misbehaviors and Offences, by their Insolent and Contemptuous Carriage in the Presence of our said Council, have shewed little Respect and Reverence either to the Place or Authority in which we have placed and appointed them; And others for the colouring of their Lewdness and Misdemeanors committed in Virginia, have endeavoured by most vile and slanderous Reports made and divulged, as well of the Country of Virginia, as also of the Government and Estate of the said Plantation and Colony, as much as in them lay, to bring the said Voyage and Plantation into Disgrace and Contempt: By Means whereof, not only the Adventurers and Planters already engaged in the said Plantation, have been exceedingly abused and hindered, and a great Number of other, our loving and well-disposed Subjects, otherwise well affected and inclined to join and adventure in so noble, Christian, and worthy an Action, have been discouraged from the same; but also the utter overthrow and Ruin of the said Enterprise hath been greatly endangered, which cannot miscarry without some Dishonour to Us, and our Kingdom.

Now, forasmuch as it appeareth unto us, that these Insolences, Misdemeanors, and Abuses, not to be tolerated in any civil Government, have, for the most part, grown and proceeded, in regard our said Council have not any direct Power and Authority, by any express Words in our former Letters-patents, to correct and chastise such Offenders; We therefore, for more speedy Reformation of so great and enormous Abuses and Misdemeanors heretofore practised and committed, and for the preventing of the like hereafter, do by these Presents for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, give and grant, to the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors for ever, that it shall, and may be lawful for our said Council for the first Colony in Virginia, or any two of them (whereof the said Treasurer or his Deputy for the Time being, to be always one) by Warrant under their Hands, to send for, or cause to be apprehended, all, and every such Person or Persons, who shall be noted, or accused, or found at any Time or Times hereafter, to offend or misbehave themselves, in any the Offences before mentioned and expressed, and upon the Examination of any such Offender or Offenders, and just Proof made by Oath, taken before the said Council, of any such notorious Misdemeanors by them committed as aforesaid; And also upon any insolent and contemptuous, or indecent Carriage and Misbehaviour, to, or against, any our said Council, shewed or used by any such Person or Persons so called, convented, and appearing before them as aforesaid; That in all such cases, they our said Council, or any two of them for the time being, shall, and may have full Power and Authority, either here to bind them over with good Sureties for their good Behaviour, Edition: current; Page: [3809] and further therein, to proceed to all Intents and Purposes, as it is used in other like Cases, within our Realm of England; Or else, at their Discretions, to remand and send back the said Offenders, or any of them, unto the said Colony in Virginia, there to be proceeded against and punished, as the Governor, Deputy or Council there, for the Time being, shall think meet; Or otherwise, according to such Laws and Ordinances, as are and shall be in Use there, for the well-ordering and good Government of the said Colony.

And for the more effectual Advancing of the said Plantation. We do further, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, of our especial Grace and Favour, by Virtue of our Prerogative Royal, and by the Assent and Consent of the Lords and others of our Privy Council, Give and Grant, unto the said Treasurer and Company, full Power and Authority, free Leave, Liberty, and Licence, to set forth, erect, and publish, one or more Lottery or Lotteries, to have Continuance, and to endure and be held, for the Space of one whole Year, next after the opening of the same; And after the End and Expiration of the said Term, the said Lottery or Lotteries to continue and be further kept, during our Will and Pleasure only, and not otherwise. And yet nevertheless, we are contented and pleased, for the Good and Welfare of the said Plantation, that the said Treasurer and Company shall, for the Dispatch and Finishing of the said Lottery or Lotteries, have six Months Warning after the said Year ended, before our Will and Pleasure shall, for and on that Behalf, be construed, deemed, and adjudged, to be in any wise altered and determined.

And our further Will and Pleasure is, that the said Lottery and Lotteries shall and may be opened and held, within our City of London, or in any other City or Town, or elsewhere, within this our Realm of England, with such Prizes, Articles, Conditions, and Limitations, as to them, the said Treasurer and Company, in their Discretions, shall seem convenient:

And it shall and may be lawful, to and for the said Treasurer and Company, to elect and choose Receivers, Surveyors, Auditors, Commissioners, or any other Officers whatsoever, at their Will and Pleasure, for the better marshalling, disposing, guiding, and governing of the said Lottery and Lotteries; And that it shall likewise be lawful, to and for the said Treasurer and any two of the said Council, to minister to all and every such Person, so elected and chosen for Offices, as aforesaid, one or more Oaths, for their good Behaviour, just and true Dealing, in and about the said Lottery or Lotteries, to the Intent and Purpose, that none of our loving Subjects, putting in their Names, or otherwise adventuring in the said general Lottery or Lotteries, may be, in any wise, defrauded and deceived of their said Monies, or evil and indirectly dealt withal in their said Adventures.

And we further Grant, in Manner and Form aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful, to and for the said Treasurer and Company, under the Seal of our said Council for the Plantation, to publish, or to cause and procure to be published by Proclamation, or otherwise (the said Proclamation to be made in their Name, by Virtue of these Presents) the said Lottery or Lotteries, in all Cities, Towns, Burroughs, and other Places, within our said Realm of England; Edition: current; Page: [3810] And we Will and Command all Mayors, Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables, and other Officers and loving Subjects, whatsoever, that in no wise, they hinder or delay the Progress and Proceedings of the said Lottery or Lotteries, but be therein, touching the Premises, aiding and assisting, by all honest, good, and lawful Means and Endeavours.

And further, our Will and Pleasure is, that in all Questions and Doubts, that shall arise, upon any Difficulty of Construction or Interpretation of any Thing, contained in these, or any other our former Letters-patent, the same shall be taken and interpreted, in most ample and beneficial Manner for the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and every Member thereof.

And lastly, we do, by these Presents, ratify and confirm unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, for ever, all and all Manner of Privileges, Franchises, Liberties, Immunities, Preheminences, Profits, and Commodities, whatsoever, granted unto them in any our former Letters-patent, and not in these Presents revoked, altered, changed, or abridged. Although express Mention of the true Yearly Value or Certainty of the Premises, or any of them, or of any other Gift or Grant, by Us or any our Progenitors or Predecessors, to the aforesaid Treasurer and Company heretofore made in these Presents is not made; Or any Statute, Act, Ordinance, Provision, Proclamation, or Restraint, to the contrary thereof heretofore made, ordered, or provided, or any other Matter, Cause, or Thing, whatsoever, to the contrary, in any wise, notwithstanding.

In Witness whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made Patents. Witness Ourself, at Westminster, the twelfth Day of March, in the ninth Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the five and fortieth.

ORDINANCES FOR VIRGINIA—JULY 24-AUG. 3, 1621a

An Ordinance and Constitution of the Treasurer, Council, and Company in England, for a Council of State and General Assembly. Dated July 24, 1621

to all People, to whom these Presents shall come, be seen, or heard, The Treasurer, Council, and Company of Adventurers and Planters for the City of London for the first Colony of Virginia, send Greeting. Know ye, that we, the said Treasurer, Council, and Company, taking into our careful Consideration the present State of the said Colony of Virginia, and intending, by the Divine Assistance, to settle such a Form of Government there, as may be to the greatest Benefit and Comfort of the People, and whereby all Injustice, Grievances, and Oppression may be prevented and kept off as much as possible from the said Colony, have thought fit to make our Entrance, by Edition: current; Page: [3811] ordering and establishing such Supreme Councils, as may not only be assisting to the Governor for the time being, in the Administration of Justice, and the executing of other Duties to this office belonging, but also, by their vigilant care and Prudence, may provide, as well for a Remedy of all Inconveniences, growing from time to time, as also for advancing of Increase, Strength, Stability, and Prosperity of the said Colony:

II. we therefore, the said Treasurer, Council, and Company, by Authority directed to us from his Majesty under the Great Seal, upon mature Deliberation, do hereby order and declare, that, from hence forward, there shall be two supreme councils in Virginia, for the better Government of the said Colony aforesaid.

III. the one of which Councils, to be called the council of state (and whose Office shall chiefly be assisting, with their Care, Advise, and Circumspection, to the said Governor) shall be chosen, nominated, placed and displaced, from time to time, by Us, the said Treasurer, Council, and Company, and our Successors: Which Council of State shall consist, for the present, only of these Persons, as are here inserted, viz. Sir Francis Wyat, Governor of Virginia, Captain Francis West, Sir George Yeardley, Knight, Sir William Neuce, Knight Marshal of Virginia, Mr. George Sandys, Treasurer, Mr. George Thorpe, Deputy of the College, Captain Thomas Neuce, Deputy for the Company, Mr. Pawlet, Mr. Leech, Captain Nathaniel Powel, Mr. Christopher Davison, Secretary, Doctor Pots, Physician to the Company, Mr. Roger Smith, Mr. John Berkeley, Mr. John Rolfe, Mr. Ralph Hamer, Mr. John Pountis, Mr. Michael Lapworth, Mr. Harwood, Mr. Samuel Macock. Which said Counsellors and Council we earnestly pray and desire, and in his Majesty’s Name strictly charge and command, that (all Factions, Partialities, and sinister Respect laid aside) they bend their Care and Endeavours to assist the said Governor; first and principally, in the Advancement of the Honour and Service of God, and the Enlargement of his Kingdom amongst the Heathen People; and next, in erecting of the said Colony in due obedience to his Majesty, and all lawful Authority from his Majesty’s Directions; and lastly, in maintaining the said People in Justice and Christian Conversation amongst themselves, and in Strength and Ability to withstand their Enemies. And this Council, to be always, or for the most Part, residing about or near the Governor.

IV. the other Council, more generally to be called by the Governor, once yearly, and no oftener, but for very extraordinary and important occasions, shall consist, for the present, of the said Council of State, and of two Burgesses out of every Town, Hundred, or other particular Plantation, to be respectively chosen by the Inhabitants: Which Council shall be called THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, wherein (as also in the said Council of State) all Matters shall be decided, determined, and ordered, by the greater Part of the Voices then present; reserving to the Governor always a Negative Voice. And this General Assembly shall have free Power to treat, consult, and conclude, as well of all emergent Occasions concerning the Publick Weal of the said Colony and every Part thereof, as also to make, ordain, and enact such general Laws and Orders, for the Behoof of the said Colony, and the good Government thereof, as shall, from time to time, appear necessary or requisite;

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V. whereas in all other Things, we require the said General Assembly, as also the said Council of State, to imitate and follow the Policy of the Form of Government, Laws, Customs, and Manner of Trial, and other Administration of Justice, used in the Realm of England, as near as may be, even as ourselves, by his Majesty’s Letters Patent, are required.

VI. provided, that no Law or Ordinance, made in the said General Assembly, shall be or continue in Force or Validity, unless the same shall be solemnly ratified and confirmed, in a General Quarter Court of the said Company here in England and so ratified, be returned to them under our Seal; It being our Intent to afford the like Measure also unto the said Colony, that after the Government of the said Colony shall once have been well framed, and settled accordingly, which is to be done by Us, as by Authority derived from his Majesty, and the same shall have been so by us declared, no Orders of Court afterwards shall bind the said Colony, unless they be ratified in like Manner in the General Assemblies. in witness whereof we have hereunto set our Common Seal, the 24th of July 1621, and in the Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, James, King of England, &c., the * * * and of Scotland the * * * .

THE CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA—1776*a

BILL OF RIGHTS

A declaration of rights made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention; which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government.

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Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Sec. 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

Sec. 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

Sec. 4. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which, not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.

Sec. 5. That the legislative and executive powers of the State should be separate and distinct from the judiciary; and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all, or any part of the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

Sec. 6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assembled, for the public good.

Sec. 7. That all power 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.

Sec. 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

Sec. 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

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Sec. 10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

Sec. 11. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.

Sec. 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

Sec. 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Sec. 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of the government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

Sec. 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Sec. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

THE CONSTITUTION OR FORM OF GOVERNMENT, AGREED TO AND RESOLVED UPON BY THE DELEGATES AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES AND CORPORATIONS OF VIRGINIA

Whereas George the third, King of Great Britain and Ireland, and elector of Hanover, heretofore intrusted with the exercise of the kingly office in this government, hath endeavoured to prevent, the same into a detestable and insupportable tyranny, by putting his negative on laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good:

By denying his Governors permission to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation for his assent, and, when so suspended neglecting to attend to them for many years:

By refusing to pass certain other laws, unless the persons to be benefited by them would relinquish the inestimable right of representation in the legislature:

By dissolving legislative Assemblies repeatedly and continually, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions of the rights of the people:

When dissolved, by refusing to call others for a long space of time, thereby leaving the political system without any legislative head:

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By endeavouring to prevent the population of our country, and, for that purpose, obstructing, the laws for the naturalization of foreigners:

By keeping among us, in times of peace, standing armies and ships of war:

By effecting to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power:

By combining with others to subject us to a foreign jurisdiction, giving his assent to their pretended acts of legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offences:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever:

By plundering our seas, ravaging our coasts, burning our towns, and destroying the lives of our people:

By inciting insurrections of our fellow subjects, with the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation:

By prompting our negroes to rise in arms against us, those very negroes whom, by an inhuman use of his negative, he hath refused us permission to exclude by law:

By endeavoring to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions of existence:

By transporting, at this time, a large army of foreign mercenaries, to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy unworthy the head of a civilized nation:

By answering our repeated petitions for redress with a repetition of injuries: And finally, by abandoning the helm of government and declaring us out of his allegiance and protection.

By which several acts of misrule, the government of this country, as formerly exercised under the crown of Great Britain, is Totally Dissolved.

We therefore, the delegates and representatives of the good people of Virginia, having maturely considered the premises, and viewing with great concern the deplorable conditions to which this once happy country must be reduced, unless some regular, adequate mode of civil polity is speedily adopted, and in compliance with a recommendation of the General Congress, do ordain and declare the future form of government of Virginia to be as followeth:

The legislative, executive, and judiciary department, shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other: nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them, at the same time; except that the Justices of the County Courts shall be eligible to either House of Assembly.

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 shall be called, The General Assembly of Virginia. One of these shall be called, The House of Delegates, and consist of two Representatives, to be chosen for each county, and Edition: current; Page: [3816] for the district of West-Augusta, annually, of such men as actually reside in, and are freeholders of the same, or duly qualified according to law, and also of one Delegate or Representative, to be chosen annually for the city of Williamsburgh, 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 Delegate or Representative to the Assembly.

The other shall be called The Senate, and consist of twenty-four members, of whom thirteen shall constitute a House to proceed on 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 of 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 shall be equally divided into four classes 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 choose its own Speaker, appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election, for the supplying intermediate vacancies.

All laws shall originate in the House of Delegates, to be approved of or rejected by the Senate, or to be amended, with consent of the House of Delegates; except money-bills, which in no instance shall be altered by the Senate, but wholly approved or rejected.

A Governor, or chief magistrate, shall be chosen annually by joint ballot of both Houses (to be taken in each House respectively) deposited in the conference room; the boxes examined jointly by a committee of each House, and the numbers severally reported to them, that the appointments may be entered (which shall be the mode of taking the joint ballot of both Houses, in all cases) who shall not continue in that office longer than three years successively, nor be eligible, until the expiration of four years after he shall have been out of that office. An adequate, but moderate salary shall be settled on him, during his continuance in office; and he shall, with the advice of a Council of State, exercise the executive powers of government, according to the laws of this Commonwealth; and shall not, under any pretence, exercise any power or prerogative, by virtue of any Edition: current; Page: [3817] law, statute or custom of England. But he shall, with the advice of the Council of State, have the power of granting reprieves or pardons, except where the prosecution shall have been carried on by the House of Delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly direct; in which cases, no reprieve or pardon shall be granted, but by resolve of the House of Delegates.

Either House of the General Assembly may adjourn themselves respectively. The Governor shall not prorogue or adjourn the Assembly, during their sitting, nor dissolve them at any time; but he shall, if necessary, either by advice of the Council of State, or on application of a majority of the House of Delegates, call them before the time to which they shall stand prorogued or adjourned.

A Privy Council, or Council of State, consisting of eight members, shall be chosen, by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly, either from their own members or the people at large, to assist in the administration of government. They shall annually choose, out of their own members, a President, who, in case of death, inability, or absence of the Governor from the government, shall act as Lieutenant-Governor. Four members shall be sufficient to act, and their advice and proceedings shall be entered on record, and signed by the members present, (to any part whereof, any member may enter his dissent) to be laid before the General Assembly, when called for by them. This Council may appoint their own Clerk, who shall have a salary settled by law, and take an oath of secrecy, in such matters as he shall be directed by the board to conceal. A sum of money, appropriated to that purpose, shall be divided annually among the members, in proportion to their attendance; and they shall be incapable, during their continuance in office, of sitting in either House of Assembly. Two members shall be removed, by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly, at the end of every three years, and be ineligible for the three next years. These vacancies, as well as those occasioned by death or incapacity, shall be supplied by new elections, in the same manner.

The Delegates for Virginia to the Continental Congress shall be chosen annually, or superseded in the mean time, by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly.

The present militia officers shall be continued, and vacancies supplied by appointment of the Governor, with the advice of the Privy-Council, on recommendations from the respective County Courts; but the Governor and Council shall have a power of suspending any officer, and ordering a Court Martial, on complaint of misbehaviour or inability, or to supply vacancies of officers, happening when in actual service.

The Governor may embody the militia, with the advice of the Privy Council; and when embodied, shall alone have the direction of the militia, under the laws of the country.

The two Houses of Assembly shall, by joint ballot, appoint Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and General Court, Judges in Chancery, Judges of Admiralty, Secretary, and the Attorney-General, to be commissioned by the Governor, and continue in office during good behaviour. In case of death, incapacity, or resignation, the Governor, with the advice of the Privy Council, shall appoint persons to succeed in office, to be approved or displaced by both Houses. These officers shall have fixed and adequate salaries, and, together Edition: current; Page: [3818] with all others, holding lucrative offices, and all ministers of the gospel, of every denomination, be incapable of being elected members of either House of Assembly or the Privy Council.

The Governor, with the advice of the Privy Council, shall appoint Justices of the Peace for the counties; and in case of vacancies, or a necessity of increasing the number hereafter, such appointments to be made upon the recommendation of the respective County Courts. The present acting Secretary in Virginia, and Clerks of all the County Courts, shall continue in office. In case of vacancies, either by death, incapacity, or resignation, a Secretary shall be appointed, as before directed; and the Clerks, by the respective Courts. The present and future Clerks shall hold their offices during good behaviour, to be judged of, and determined in the General Court. The Sheriffs and Coroners shall be nominated by the respective Courts, approved by the Governor, with the advice of the Privy Council, and commissioned by the Governor. The Justices shall appoint Constables; and all fees of the aforesaid officers be regulated by law.

The Governor, when he is out of office, and others, offending against the State, either by mal-administration, corruption, or other means, by which the safety of the State may be endangered, shall be impeachable by the House of Delegates. Such impeachment to be prosecuted by the Attorney-General, or such other person or persons, as the House may appoint in the General Court, according to the laws of the land. If found guilty, he or they shall be either forever disabled to hold any office under government, or be removed from such office pro tempore, or subjected to such pains or penalties as the laws shall direct.

If all or any of the Judges of the General Court should on good grounds (to be judged of by the House of Delegates) be accused of any of the crimes or offences above mentioned, such House of Delegates may, in like manner, impeach the Judge or Judges so accused, to be prosecuted in the Court of Appeals; and he or they, if found guilty, shall be punished in the same manner as is prescribed in the preceding clause.

Commissions and grants shall run, “In the name of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” and bear test by the Governor, with the seal of the Commonwealth annexed. Writs shall run in the same manner, and bear test by the Clerks of the several Courts. Indictments shall conclude, “Against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth.

A Treasurer shall be appointed annually, by joint ballot of both Houses.

All escheats, penalties, and forfeitures, heretofore going to the King, shall go to the Commonwealth, save only such as the Legislature may abolish, or otherwise provide for.

The territories, contained within the Charters, erecting the Colonies of Maryland, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, are hereby ceded, released, and forever confirmed, to the people of these Colonies respectively, with all the rights of property, jurisdiction and government, and all other rights whatsoever, which might, at any time heretofore, have been claimed by Virginia, except the free navigation and use of the rivers Patomaque and Pokomoke, with the property of the Virginia shores and strands, bordering on either of the said rivers, and all improvements, which have been, or shall be made thereon. The western and northern extent of Virginia shall, Edition: current; Page: [3819] in all other respects, stand as fixed by the Charter of King James I. in the year one thousand six hundred and nine, and by the public treaty of peace between the Courts of Britain and France, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three; unless by act of this Legislature, one or more governments be established westward of the Alleghany mountains. And no purchases of lands shall be made of the Indian natives, but on behalf of the public, by authority of the General Assembly.

In order to introduce this government, the Representatives of the people met in the convention shall choose a Governor and Privy Council, also such other officers directed to be chosen by both Houses as may be judged necessary to be immediately appointed. The Senate to be first chosen by the people, to continue until the last day of March next, and the other officers until the end of the succeeding session of Assembly. In case of vacancies, the Speaker of either House shall shall issue writs for new elections.

CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA—1830*ab

Whereas the delegates and representatives of the good people of Virginia, in convention assembled, on the twenty-ninth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, reciting and declaring that whereas George the Third, King of Great Britain and Ireland, and elector of Hanover, before that time intrusted with the exercise of the kingly office in the government of Virginia, had endeavored to pervert the same into a detestable and insupportable tyranny, by putting his negative on laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good; by denying his governors permission to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation for his assent, and when so suspended neglecting to attend to them for many years; by refusing to pass certain other laws unless the persons to be benefited by them would relinquish the inestimable right of representation in the legislature; by dissolving legislative assemblies repeatedly and continually for opposing with manly firmness his invasions of the rights of the people; when dissolved, by refusing to call others for a long space of time, thereby leaving the political system without any legislative head; by endeavoring to prevent the population of our country, and for that purpose obstructing the laws for the naturalization of foreigners; by keeping among us, in time of peace, standing armies and ships of war; by affecting to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power; by combining with others to subject us to a foreign jurisdiction, giving his assent to their pretended acts of Edition: current; Page: [3820] legislation, for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us, for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world, for imposing taxes on us without our consent, for depriving us of the benefits of the trial by jury, for transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences, for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever; by plundering our seas, ravaging our coasts, burning our towns, and destroying the lives of our people; by inciting insurrections of our fellow-subjects with the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation; by prompting our negroes to rise in arms among us, those very negroes whom, by an inhuman use of his negative, he had refused us permission to exclude by law; by endeavoring to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions of existence; by transporting hither a large army of foreign mercenaries, to complete the work of death, desolation, and tyranny, then already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy unworthy the head of a civilized nation; by answering our repeated petitions for redress with a repetition of injuries; and finally, by abandoning the helm of government, and declaring us out of his allegiance and protection; by which several acts of misrule, the government of this country, as before exercised under the crown of Great Britain, was totally dissolved, did, therefore, having maturely considered the premises, and viewing with great concern the deplorable condition to which this once happy country would be reduced unless some regular, adequate mode of civil polity should be speedily adopted, and in compliance with the recommendation of the general Congress, ordain and declare a form of government of Virginia;

And whereas the general assembly of Virginia, by an act passed on the tenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, entitled “An act to organize a convention,” did authorize and provide for the election, by the people, of delegates and representatives, to meet and assemble, in general convention, at the capital in the city of Richmond, on the first Monday of October, in the year last aforesaid, to consider, discuss, and propose a new constitution, or alterations and amendments to the existing constitution of this commonwealth, to be submitted to the people, and to be by them ratified or rejected:

We, therefore, the delegates and representatives of the good people of Virginia, elected and in convention assembled, in pursuance of the said act of assembly, do submit and propose to the people the following amended constitution and form of government for this commonwealth, that is to say:

Article I

The declaration of rights made on the 12th June, 1776, by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention, which pertained to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government, requiring in the opinion of this convention no amendment, shall be prefixed to this constitution, and have the same relation thereto as it had to the former constitution of this commonwealth.a

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Article II

The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others; nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time, except that the justices of the county courts shall be eligible to either house of assembly.

Article III

Section 1. The legislature shall be formed of two distinct branches, which together shall be a complete legislature, and shall be called “the general assembly of Virginia.”

Sec. 2. One of these shall be called the house of delegates, and shall consist of one hundred and thirty-four members, to be chosen, annually, for and by the several counties, cities, towns, and boroughs of the commonwealth; whereof thirty-one delegates shall be chosen for and by the twenty-six counties lying west of the Alleghany Mountains; twenty-five for and by the fourteen counties lying between the Alleghany and Blue Ridge of mountains; forty-two for and by the twenty-nine counties lying east of the Blue Ridge of mountains and above tide-water, and thirty-six for and by the counties, cities, towns, and boroughs lying upon tide-water, that is to say: Of the twenty-six counties lying west of the Alleghany, the counties of Harrison, Montgomery, Monongalia, Ohio, and Washington shall each elect two delegates; and the counties of Brooke, Cabell, Grayson, Greenbrier, Giles, Kanawha, Lee, Lewis, Logan, Mason, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Tyler, Wood, and Wythe shall each elect one delegate. Of the fourteen counties lying between the Alleghany and Blue Ridge, the counties of Frederick and Shenandoah shall each elect three delegates; the counties of Augusta, Berkeley, Botetourt, Hampshire, Jefferson, Rockingham, and Rockbridge shall each elect two delegates; and the counties of Alleghany, Bath, Hardy, Morgan, and Pendleton shall each elect one delegate. Of the twenty-nine counties lying east of the Blue Ridge and above tide-water, the county of Loudoun shall elect three delegates; the counties of Albemarle, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Culpeper, Fauquier, Franklin, Halifax, Mecklenburg, and Pittsylvania shall each elect two delegates; and the counties of Amelia, Amherst, Charlotte, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Fluvanna, Goochland, Henry, Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Nelson, Nottoway, Orange, Patrick, Powhatan, and Prince Edward shall each elect one delegate. And of the counties, cities, towns, and boroughs lying on tide-water, the counties of Accomack and Norfolk shall each elect two delegates; the counties of Caroline, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Greenesville, Gloucester, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, King and Queen, King William, King George, Nansemond, Northumberland, Northampton, Princess Anne, Prince George, Prince William, Southampton, Spottsylvania, Stafford, Sussex, Surry, and Westmoreland, and the city of Richmond, the borough of Norfolk, and the town of Petersburg, shall each elect one delegate; the counties of Lancaster and Richmond shall together elect one delegate; the counties of Matthews and Middlesex shall together elect one delegate; the counties of Elizabeth City and Warwick shall Edition: current; Page: [3822] together elect one delegate; the counties of James City and York, and the city of Williamsburg, shall together elect one delegate; and the counties of New Kent and Charles City shall together elect one delegate.

Sec. 3. The other house of the general assembly shall be called the senate, and shall consist of thirty-two members, of whom thirteen shall be chosen for and by the counties lying west of the Blue Ridge of mountains, and nineteen for and by the counties, cities, towns, and boroughs lying east thereof; and for the election of whom the counties, cities, towns, and boroughs shall be divided into thirty-two districts, as hereinafter provided. Each county of the respective districts, at the time of the first election of its delegate or delegates under this constitution, shall vote for one senator; and the sheriffs or other officers holding the election for each county, city, town, or borough within five days at farthest after the last county, city, town, or borough election in the district, shall meet at some convenient place, and from the polls so taken in their respective counties, cities, towns, or boroughs, return as a senator the person who shall have the greatest number of votes in the whole district. To keep up this assembly by rotation, the districts shall be equally divided into four classes, and numbered by lot. At the end of one year after the first general election, the eight 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. And for the election of senators, the counties of Brooke, Ohio, and Tyler shall form one district; the counties of Monongalia, Preston, and Randolph shall form another district; the counties of Harrison, Lewis, and Wood shall form another district; the counties of Kanawha, Mason, Cabell, Logan, and Nicholas shall form another district; the counties of Greenbrier, Monroe, Giles, and Montgomery shall form another district; the counties of Tazewell, Wythe, and Grayson shall form another district; the counties of Washington, Russell, Scott, and Lee shall form another district; the counties of Berkeley, Morgan, and Hampshire, shall form another district; the counties of Frederick and Jefferson shall form another district; the counties of Shenandoah and Hardy shall form another district; the counties of Rockingham and Pendleton shall form another district; the counties of Augusta and Rockbridge shall form another district; the counties of Alleghany, Bath, Pocahontas, and Botetourt shall form another district; the counties of Loudoun and Fairfax shall form another district; the counties of Fauquier and Prince William shall form another district; the counties of Stafford, King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Lancaster, and Northumberland shall form another district; the counties of Culpeper, Madison, and Orange shall form another district; the counties of Albemarle, Nelson, and Amherst shall form another district; the counties of Fluvanna, Goochland, Louisa, and Hanover shall form another district; the counties of Spottsylvania, Caroline, and Essex shall form another district; the counties of King and Queen, King William, Gloucester, Matthews, and Middlesex shall form another district; the counties of Accomack, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, and Warwick, and the city of Williamsburg, shall form another district; the counties of Edition: current; Page: [3823] Charles City, James City, New Kent, and Henrico, and the city of Richmond, shall form another district; the counties of Bedford and Franklin shall form another district; the counties of Buckingham, Campbell, and Cumberland shall form another district; the counties of Patrick, Henry, and Pittsylvania shall form another district; the counties of Halifax and Mecklenburg shall form another district; the counties of Charlotte, Lunenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward shall form another district; the counties of Amelia, Powhatan, and Chesterfield, and the town of Petersburg, shall form another district; the counties of Brunswick, Dinwiddie, and Greenesville shall form another district; the counties of Isle of Wight, Prince George, Southampton, Surry, and Sussex shall form another district; and the counties of Norfolk, Nansemond, and Princess Anne, and the borough of Norfolk, shall form another district.

Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the legislature to reapportion, once in ten years, to wit, in the year 1841, and every ten years thereafter, the representation of the counties, cities, towns, and boroughs of this commonwealth, in both of the legislative bodies: Provided, however, That the number of delegates from the aforesaid great districts, and the number of senators from the aforesaid two great divisions, respectively, shall neither be increased nor diminished by such reapportionment. And when a new county shall hereafter be created, or any city, town, or borough, not now entitled to separate representation in the house of delegates, shall have so increased in population as to be entitled, in the opinion of the general assembly, to such representation, it shall be the duty of the general assembly to make provision by law for securing to the people of such new county, or such city, town, or borough, an adequate representation. And if the object cannot otherwise be effected, it shall be competent to the general assembly to reapportion the whole representation of the great district containing such new county, or such city, town, or borough, within its limits; which reapportionment shall continue in force till the next regular decennial reapportionment.

Sec. 5. The general assembly, after the year 1841, and at intervals thereafter of not less than ten years, shall have authority, two-thirds of each house concurring, to make reapportionments of delegates and senators throughout the commonwealth, so that the number of delegates shall not at any time exceed one hundred and fifty, nor of senators thirty-six.

Sec. 6. The whole number of members to which the State may at any time be entitled in the House of Representatives of the United States shall be apportioned as nearly as may be amongst the several counties, cities, boroughs, and towns of the State, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.

Sec. 7. Any person may be elected a senator who shall have attained to the age of thirty years, and shall be actually a resident and freeholder within the district, qualified by virtue of his freehold to vote for members of the general assembly according to this constitution. And any person may be elected a member of the house of delegates who shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, and shall be actually a resident and freeholder within the county, city, Edition: current; Page: [3824] town, borough, or election district, qualified by virtue of his freehold to vote for members of the general assembly according to this constitution: Provided, That all persons holding lucrative offices, and ministers of the gospel, and priests of every denomination, shall be incapable of being elected members of either house of assembly.

Sec. 8. The members of the assembly shall receive for their services a compensation to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the public treasury; but no law increasing the compensation of the members shall take effect until the end of the next annual session after such law shall have been enacted. And no senator or delegate shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under the commonwealth, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

Sec. 9. The general assembly shall meet once or oftener every year. Neither house, during the session of the legislature, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide. And each house shall choose its own speaker, appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for supplying intermediate vacancies. But if vacancies shall occur by death or resignation, during the recess of the general assembly, such writs may be issued by the governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Each house shall judge of the election, qualification, and returns of its members; may punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

Sec. 10. All laws shall originate in the house of delegates, to be approved or rejected by the senate, or to be amended with the consent of the house of delegates.

Sec. 11. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not in any case be suspended. The legislature shall not pass any bill of attainder, or any ex post facto law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts; or any law whereby private property shall be taken for public uses without just compensation; or any law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever; nor shall any man be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise affect, diminish, or enlarge their civil capacities. And the legislature shall not prescribe any religious test whatever; nor confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any one sect or denomination; nor pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry, but it shall be left free to every person to select Edition: current; Page: [3825] his religious instructor, and make for his support such private contract as he shall please.

Sec. 12. The legislature may provide by law that no person shall be capable of holding or being elected to any post of profit, trust, or emolument, civil or military, legislative, executive, or judicial, under the government of this commonwealth, who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which may be the death of the challenger or challenged, or who shall be a second to either party, or shall in any manner aid or assist in such duel, or shall be knowingly the bearer of such challenge or acceptance; but no person shall be so disqualified by reason of his having heretofore fought such duel, or sent or accepted such challenge, or been a second in such duel, or bearer of such challenge or acceptance.

Sec. 13. The governor, the judges of the court of appeals and superior courts, and all others offending against the State, either by maladministration, corruption, neglect of duty, or any other high crime or misdemeanor, shall be impeachable by the house of delegates; such impeachment to be prosecuted before the senate, which shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, the senate shall be on oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the commonwealth; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.

Sec. 14. Every white male citizen of the commonwealth, resident therein, aged twenty-one years and upwards, being qualified to exercise the right of suffrage according to the former constitution and laws; and every such citizen being possessed, or whose tenant for years, at will, or at sufferance is possessed, of an estate or freehold in land of the value of twenty-five dollars, and so assessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law; and every such citizen being possessed as tenant in common, joint tenant, or partner of an interest in or share of land, and having an estate of freehold therein, such interest or share being of the value of twenty-five dollars, and so assessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law; and every such citizen being entitled to a reversion or vested remainder in fee, expectant on an estate for life or lives, in land of the value of fifty dollars, and so assessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law, (each and every such citizen, unless his title shall have come to him by descent, devise, marriage, or marriage settlement, having been so possessed or entitled for six months;) and every such citizen who shall own and be himself in actual occupation of a leasehold estate, with the evidence of title recorded two months before he shall offer to vote, of a term originally not less than five years, of the annual value or rent of twenty dollars; and every such citizen who for twelve months next preceding has been a housekeeper and head of a family within the county, city, town, borough, or election district where he may offer to vote, and shall have been assessed with a part of the revenue of the commonwealth within the preceding year, and actually paid the same, and no other persons, shall be Edition: current; Page: [3826] qualified to vote for members of the general assembly in the county, city, town, or borough, respectively, wherein such land shall lie, or such housekeeper and head of a family shall live. And in case of two or more tenants in common, joint tenants, or parceners in possession, reversion, or remainder, having interest in land, the value whereof shall be insufficient to entitle them all to vote, they shall together have as many votes as the value of the land shall entitle them to; and the legislature shall by law provide the mode in which their vote or votes shall in such case be given: Provided, nevertheless, That the right of suffrage shall not be exercised by any person of unsound mind, or who shall be a pauper, or a non-commissioned officer, soldier, seaman, or marine in the service of the United States, or by any person convicted of any infamous offence.

Sec. 15. In all elections in this commonwealth to any office or place of trust, honor, or profit, the votes shall be given openly, or viva voce, and not by ballot.

Article IV

Section 1. The chief executive power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a governor, to be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly. He shall hold his office during the term of three years, to commence on the first day of January next succeeding his election, or on such other day as may from time to time be prescribed by law; and he shall be ineligible to that office for three years next after his term of service shall have expired.

Sec. 2. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor, unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, shall be a native citizen of the United States, or shall have been a citizen thereof at the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and shall have been a citizen of this commonwealth for five years next preceding his election.

Sec. 3. The governor shall receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law, which shall be neither increased nor diminished during his continuance in office.

Sec. 4. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, shall communicate to the legislature at every session the condition of the commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient. He shall be commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the State. He shall have power to embody the militia, when in his opinion the public safety shall require it; to convene the legislature on application of a majority of the members of the house of delegates, or when, in his opinion, the interest of the commonwealth may require it; to grant reprieves and pardons, except where the prosecution shall have been carried on by the house of delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly direct; to conduct, either in person or in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, all intercourse with other and foreign States; and during the recess of the legislature, to fill, pro tempore, all vacancies in those offices which it may be the duty of the legislature to fill permanently: Provided, That his appointments to such vacancies shall be by commissions to expire at the end of the next succeeding session of the general assembly.

Sec. 5. There shall be a council of state, to consist of three members, any one or more of whom may act. They shall be elected by Edition: current; Page: [3827] joint vote of both houses of the general assembly, and remain in office three years. But of those first elected, one, to be designated by lot, shall remain in office one year only, and one other, to be designated in like manner, shall remain in office for two years only. Vacancies occurring by expiration of the term of service, or otherwise, shall be supplied by elections made in like manner. The governor shall, before he exercises any discretionary power conferred on him by the constitution and laws, require the advice of the council of state, which advice shall be registered in books kept for that purpose, signed by the members present and consenting thereto, and laid before the general assembly when called for by them. The council shall appoint their own clerk, who shall take an oath to keep secret such matters as he shall be ordered by the board to conceal. The senior councillor shall be lieutenant-governor, and in case of the death, resignation, inability, or absence of the governor from the seat of government, shall act as governor.

Sec. 6. The manner of appointing militia officers shall be provided for by law; but no officer below the rank of a brigadier-general shall be appointed by the general assembly.

Sec. 7. Commissions and grants shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear test by the governor, with the seal of the commonwealth annexed.

Article V

Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court of appeals, in such superior courts as the legislature may from time to time ordain and establish, and the judges thereof, in the county courts, and in justices of the peace. The legislature may also vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in corporation courts, and in the magistrates who may belong to the corporate body. The jurisdiction of these tribunals, and of the judges thereof, shall be regulated by law. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts shall hold their offices during good behavior, or until removed in the manner prescribed in this constitution, and shall, at the same time, hold no other office, appointment, or public trust, and the acceptance thereof by either of them shall vacate his judicial office.

Sec. 2. No law abolishing any court shall be construed to deprive a judge thereof of his office, unless two-thirds of the members of each house present concur in the passing thereof; but the legislature may assign other judicial duties to the judges of courts abolished by any law enacted by less than two-thirds of the members of each house present.

Sec. 3. The present judges of the supreme court of appeals, of the general court, and of the supreme courts of chancery, shall remain in office until the termination of the session of the first legislature elected under this constitution and no longer.

Sec. 4. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts shall be elected by the joint vote of both houses of the general assembly.

Sec. 5. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts shall receive fixed and adequate salaries, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

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Sec. 6. Judges may be removed from office by a concurrent vote of both houses of the general assembly; but two-thirds of the members present must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journals of each. The judge against whom the legislature may be about to proceed shall receive notice thereof, accompanied with a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either house of the general assembly shall act thereupon.

Sec. 7. On the creation of any new county, justices of the peace shall be appointed, in the first instance, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. When vacancies shall occur in any county, or it shall, for any cause, be deemed necessary to increase the number, appointments shall be made by the governor, on the recommendation of the respective county courts.

Sec. 8. The attorney-general shall be appointed by joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, and commissioned by the governor, and shall hold his office during the pleasure of the general assembly. The clerks of the several courts, when vacancies shall occur, shall be appointed by their respective courts, and the tenure of office, as well of those now in office as of those who may be hereafter appointed, shall be prescribed by law. The sheriffs and coroners shall be nominated by the respective county courts, and when approved by the governor shall be commissioned by him. The judges shall appoint constables. And all fees of the aforesaid officers shall be regulated by law.

Sec. 9. Writs shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear test by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth.”

Article VI

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

Article VII

The executive department of the government shall remain as at present organized, and the governor and privy councillors 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.

Philip P. Barbour, President.
D. Briggs, Secretary.
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SCHEDULE

Ordered, that the roll containing the draft of the amended Constitution adopted by this Convention, and by it submitted to the people of this Commonwealth, for their ratification, or rejection, be enclosed by the Secretary in a case proper for its preservation, and deposited among the archives of the Council of State.

Ordered, that the Secretary, do cause the Journal of the proceedings of this Convention, to be entered in a well bound book, and after the same shall have been signed by the President, and attested by the Secretary that he deposit the same, together with all the original documents in the possession of the Convention, and connected with its proceedings among the archives of the council of State; and further, that he cause ten printed copies to be well bound, and deposited in the Public Library.

Ordered, that the President of the Convention do certify a true copy of the amended Constitution to the General Assembly now in session; and that the General Assembly be, and they are hereby requested to make any additional provisions by law, which may be necessary and proper for submitting the same to the voters thereby qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly at the next April elections, and for organizing the Government under the amended Constitution, in case it shall be approved and ratified by such voters.

CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA—1850*a

BILL OF RIGHTS

I. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

II. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

III. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which Edition: current; Page: [3830] is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

IV. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge, to be hereditary.

V. That the legislative, executive, and judicial powers should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all, or any part of the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

VI. That all elections ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representaives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good.

VII. That all power 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.

VIII. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the acusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

IX. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

X. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

XI. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury of twelve men is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.

XII. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

XIII. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

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XIV. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of, the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

XV. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

XVI. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

CONSTITUTION

Whereas the delegates and representatives of the good people of Virginia, in convention assembled, on the twenty-ninth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, reciting and declaring, that whereas George the Third, king of Great Britain and Ireland and elector of Hanover, before that time intrusted with the exercise of the kingly office in the government of Virginia, had endeavored to pervert the same into a detestable and insupportable tyranny, by putting his negative on laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good; by denying his governors permission to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation for his assent, and when so suspended, neglecting to attend to them for many years; by refusing to pass certain other laws, unless the persons to be benefited by them would relinquish the inestimable right of representation in the legislature; by dissolving legislative assemblies repeatedly and continually for opposing with manly firmness his invasions of the rights of the people; when dissolved, by refusing to call others for a long space of time, thereby leaving the political system without any legislative head; by endeavoring to prevent the population of our country, and for that purpose obstructing the laws for the naturalization of foreigners; by keeping among us, in time of peace, standing armies and ships of war; by affecting to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power; by combining with others to subject us to a foreign jurisdiction, giving his assent to their pretended acts of legislation, for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us, for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world, for imposing taxes on us without our consent, for depriving us of the benefits of the trial by jury, for transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences, for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever; by plundering our seas, ravaging our coasts, burning our towns, and destroying the lives of our people; by inciting insurrections of our fellow-subjects with the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation; by prompting our negroes to rise in arms among us, those very negroes whom, by an inhuman use of his negative, he had refused us permission to exclude by law; by endeavoring to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule Edition: current; Page: [3832] of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions of existence; by transporting hither a large army of foreign mercenaries to complete the work of death, desolation, and tyranny, then already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy unworthy the head of a civilized nation; by answering our repeated petitions for redress with a repetition of injuries; and finally, by abandoning the helm of government, and declaring us out of his allegiance and protection; by which several acts of misrule the government of this country, as before exercised under the crown of Great Britain, was totally dissolved, did, therefore, having maturely considered the premises, and viewing with great concern the deplorable condition to which this once happy country would be reduced, unless some regular, adequate mode of civil policy should be speedily adopted, and in compliance with the recommendation of the general Congress, ordain and declare a form of government of Virginia;

And whereas a convention held on the first Monday in October, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, did propose to the people of the commonwealth an amended constitution or form of government, which was ratified by them;

And whereas the general assembly of Virginia, by an act passed on the fourth of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty, did provide for the election, by the people, of delegates to meet in general convention, to consider, discuss, and propose a new constitution, or alterations and amendments to the existing constitution of this commonwealth; and by an act passed on the thirteenth of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, did further provide for submitting the same to the people for ratification or rejection:

We, therefore, the delegates of the good people of Virginia, elected and in convention assembled, in pursuance of said acts, do propose to the people the following constitution and form of government for this commonwealth:

Article I: BILL OF RIGHTS

The declaration of rights, as amended and prefixed to this constitution, shall have the same relation thereto as it had to the former constitution.

Article II: DIVISION OF POWERS

The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others; nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time, except that justices of the peace shall be eligible to either house of assembly.

Article III: QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS

Section 1. Every white male citizen of the commonwealth, of the age of twenty-one years, who has been a resident of the State for two years, and of the county, city, or town where he offers to vote Edition: current; Page: [3833] for twelve months next preceding an election, and no other person, shall be qualified to vote for members of the general assembly and all officers elective by the people; but no person in the military, naval or marine service of the United States shall be deemed a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein. And no person shall have the right to vote who is of unsound mind, or a pauper, or a non-commissioned officer, soldier, seaman, or marine in the service of the United States, or who has been convicted of bribery in an election, or of any infamous offence.

Sec. 2. The general assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, and afterwards as occasion may require, shall cause every city or town, the white population of which exceeds five thousand, to be laid off into convenient wards, and a separate place of voting to be established in each; and thereafter no inhabitant of such city or town shall be allowed to vote except in the ward in which he resides.

Sec. 3. No voter during the time for holding any election at which he is entitled to vote shall be compelled to perform military service, except in time of war or public danger; to work upon the public roads, or to attend any court as suitor, juror, or witness; and no voter shall be subject to arrest under any civil process during his attendance at elections, or in going to and returning from them.

Sec. 4. In all elections votes shall be given openly, or viva voce, and not by ballot; but dumb persons entitled to suffrage may vote by ballot.

Article IV: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The legislature shall be formed of two distinct branches, which together shall be a complete legislature, and shall be called “the general assembly of Virginia.”

HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Sec. 2. One of these shall be called the house of delegates, and shall consist of one hundred and fifty-two members, to be chosen biennially for and by the several counties, cities, and towns of the commonwealth, and distributed and apportioned as follows:

The counties of Augusta and Rockingham and the city of Richmond shall each elect three delegates; the counties of Albemarle, Bedford, Berkeley, Campbell, Fauquier, Franklin, Frederick, Halifax, Hampshire, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Loudoun, Marion, Monongalia, Monroe, Norfolk, Pittsylvania, Preston, Rockbridge, Shenandoah, and Washington shall each elect two delegates; the counties of Botetourt and Craig shall together elect two delegates.

The counties of Accomack, Alexandria, Amherst, Appomattox, Barbour, Brunswick, Buckingham, Cabell, Caroline, Carroll, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Clarke, Culpeper, Dinwiddie, Fairfax, Floyd, Fluvanna, Giles, Gloucester, Goochland, Grayson, Greenbrier, Hanover, Hardy, Henrico, Henry, Highland, Isle of Wight, Jackson, King William, Lee, Lewis, Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Morgan, Nansemond, Nelson, Northampton, Page, Patrick, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Prince William, Pulaski, Putnam, Edition: current; Page: [3834] Randolph, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Scott, Smyth, Southampton, Spotsylvania, Taylor, Upshur, Warren, Wayne, Wetzel, Wood, and Wythe, and the cities of Norfolk and Petersburg, shall each elect one delegate.

The counties of Lee and Scott, in addition to the delegate to be elected by each, shall together elect one delegate.

The following counties and cities shall compose election districts: Alleghany and Bath; Amelia and Nottoway; Boone, Wyoming, and Logan; Braxton and Nicholas; Charles City, James City, and New Kent; Cumberland and Powhatan; Doddridge and Tyler; Elizabeth City, Warwick, York, and the city of Williamsburg; Essex and King and Queen; Fayette and Raleigh; Gilmer and Wirt; Greene and Orange; Greenesville and Sussex; King George and Stafford; Lancaster and Northumberland; Matthews and Middlesex; Pleasants and Ritchie; Prince George and Surrey; and Richmond and Westmoreland; each of which districts shall elect one delegate.

At the first general election under this constitution, the county of Ohio shall elect three delegates, and the counties of Brooke and Hancock shall together elect one delegate; at the second general election, the county of Ohio shall elect two delegates, and the counties of Brooke and Hancock shall each elect one delegate; and so on, alternately, at succeeding general elections.

At the first general election the county of Russell shall elect two delegates, and the county of Tazewell shall elect one delegate; at the second general election, the county of Tazewell shall elect two delegates, and the county of Russell shall elect one delegate; and so on, alternately, at succeeding general elections.

The general assembly shall have power, upon application of a majority of the voters of the county of Campbell, to provide, that instead of the two delegates to be elected by said county, the town of Lynchburg shall elect one delegate, and the residue of the county of Campbell shall elect one delegate.

SENATE

Sec. 3. The other house of the general assembly shall be called the senate, and shall consist of fifty members, to be elected for the term of four years; for the election of whom the counties, cities, and towns shall be divided into fifty districts. Each county, city, and town of the respective districts, at the time of the first election of its delegate or delegates under this constitution, shall vote for one senator; and the sheriffs or other officers holding the election for each county, city, and town, within five days at farthest after the last election in the district, shall meet at the court-house of the county or city first named in the district, and from the polls so taken in their respective counties, cities, and towns, return as senator the person who has received the greatest number of votes in the whole district. Upon the assembling of the senators so elected, they shall be divided in two equal classes, to be numbered by lot. The term of service of the senators of the first class shall expire with that of the delegates first elected under this constitution, and of the senators of the second class at the expiration of two years thereafter; and this alternation shall be continued, so that one-half of the senators may be chosen every second year.

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Sec. 4. For the election of senators—

  • I. The counties of Accomack and Northampton shall form one district.
  • II. The city of Norfolk shall be another district.
  • III. The counties of Norfolk and Princess Anne shall form another district.
  • IV. The counties of Isle of Wight, Nansemond, and Surry shall form another district.
  • V. The counties of Sussex, Southampton, and Greenesville shall form another district.
  • VI. The city of Petersburg and the county of Prince George shall form another district.
  • VII. The counties of Dinwiddie, Amelia, and Brunswick shall form another district.
  • VIII. The counties of Powhatan, Cumberland, and Chesterfield shall form another district.
  • IX. The counties of Lunenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward shall form another district.
  • X. The counties of Mecklenburg and Charlotte shall form another district.
  • XI. The county of Pittsylvania shall be another district.
  • XII. The county of Halifax shall be another district.
  • XIII. The counties of Henry, Patrick, and Franklin shall form another district.
  • XIV. The county of Bedford shall be another district.
  • XV. The counties of Campbell and Appomattox shall form another district.
  • XVI. The city of Williamsburg and the counties of James City, Charles City, New Kent, York, Elizabeth City, and Warwick shall form another district.
  • XVII. The counties of Henrico and Hanover shall form another district.
  • XVIII. The city of Richmond shall be another district.
  • XIX. The counties of Gloucester, Matthews, and Middlesex shall form another district.
  • XX. The counties of Richmond, Lancaster, Northumberland, and Westmoreland shall form another district.
  • XXI. The counties of King and Queen, King William, and Essex shall form another district.
  • XXII. The counties of Caroline and Spottsylvania shall form another district.
  • XXIII. The counties of Stafford, King George, and Prince William shall form another district.
  • XXIV. The counties of Fairfax and Alexandria shall form another district.
  • XXV. The county of Loudoun shall be another district.
  • XXVI. The counties of Fauquier and Rappahannock shall form another district.
  • XXVII. The counties of Madison, Culpeper, Orange, and Greene shall form another district.
  • XXVIII. The county of Albemarle shall be another district.
  • XXIX. The counties of Louisa, Goochland, and Fluvanna shall form another district. Edition: current; Page: [3836]
  • XXX. The counties of Nelson, Amherst, and Buckingham shall form another district.
  • XXXI. The counties of Jefferson and Berkeley shall form another district.
  • XXXII. The counties of Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan shall form another district.
  • XXXIII. The counties of Frederick, Clarke, and Warren shall form another district.
  • XXXIV. The counties of Shenandoah and Page shall form another district.
  • XXXV. The counties of Rockingham and Pendleton shall form another district.
  • XXXVI. The county of Augusta shall be another district.
  • XXXVII. The counties of Bath, Highland, and Rockbridge shall form another district.
  • XXXVIII. The counties of Botetourt, Alleghany, Roanoke, and Craig shall form another district.
  • XXXIX. The counties of Carroll, Floyd, Grayson, Montgomery, and Pulaski shall form another district.
  • XL. The counties of Mercer, Monroe, Giles, and Tazewell shall form another district.
  • XLI. The counties of Smyth, Wythe, and Washington shall form another district.
  • XLII. The counties of Scott, Lee, and Russell shall form another district.
  • XLIII. The counties of Boone, Logan, Kanawha, Putnam, and Wyoming shall form another district.
  • XLIV. The counties of Nicholas, Fayette Pocahontas, Raleigh, Braxton, and Greenbrier shall form another district.
  • XLV. The counties of Mason, Jackson, Cabell, Wayne, and Wirt shall form another district.
  • XLVI. The counties of Ritchie, Doddridge, Harrison, Pleasants, and Wood shall form another district.
  • XLVII. The counties of Wetzel, Marshall, Marion, and Tyler shall form another district.
  • XLVIII. The counties of Upshur, Barbour, Lewis, Gilmer, and Randolph shall form another district.
  • XLIX. The counties of Monongalia, Preston, and Taylor shall form another district.
  • L. The counties of Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio shall form another district.

APPORTIONMENT OF REPRESENTATION

Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the general assembly, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and in every tenth year thereafter, in case it can agree upon a principle of representation, to reapportion representation in the senate and house of delegates in accordance therewith; and in the event the general assembly, at the first or any subsequent period of reapportionment, shall fail to agree upon a principle of representation and to reapportion representation in acordance therewith, each house shall separately propose a scheme of representation, containing a principle or rule for the house of delegates, in connection with a principle or rule for the senate. And it shall be the duty of the general assembly, at the same Edition: current; Page: [3837] session, to certify to the governor the principles or rules of representation which the respective houses may separately propose, to be applied in making reapportionments in the senate and in the house of delegates; and the governor shall, as soon thereafter as may be, by proclamation, make known the propositions of the respective houses, and require the voters of the commonwealth to assemble at such time as he shall appoint, at their lawful places of voting, and decide by their votes between the propositions thus presented. In the event the general assembly shall fail, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, or in any tenth year thereafter, to make such reapportionment or certificate, the governor shall, immediately after the adjournment of the general assembly, by proclamation, require the voters of the commonwealth to assemble, at such time as he shall appoint, at their lawful places of voting, and to declare by their votes—

First, whether representation in the senate and house of delegates shall be apportioned on the “suffrage basis;” that is, according to the number of voters in the several counties, cities, towns, and senatorial districts of the commonwealth;

Or, second, whether representation in both houses shall be apportioned on the “mixed basis;” that is, according to the number of white inhabitants, contained, and the amount of all State taxes paid, in the several counties, cities, and towns of the commonwealth, deducting therefrom all taxes paid on licenses and law process, and any capitation tax on free negroes, allowing one delegate for every seventy-sixth part of said inhabitants, and one delegate for every seventy-sixth part of said taxes, and distributing the senators in like manner;

Or, third, whether representation shall be apportioned in the senate on taxation; that is, according to the amount of all State taxes paid in the several counties, cities, and towns of the commonwealth, deducting therefrom all taxes paid on licenses and law process, and any capitation-tax on free negroes, and in the house of delegates on the “suffrage basis” as aforesaid;

Or, fourth, whether representation shall be apportioned in the senate on the “mixed basis” as aforesaid, and in the house of delegates on the “suffrage basis” as aforesaid; and each voter shall cast his vote in favor of one of said schemes of apportionment, and no more.

Sec. 6. It shall be the duty of the sheriffs and other officers taking said polls to keep the same open for the period of three days, and, within five days after they are closed, to certify true copies thereof to the governor, who shall, as early as may be, ascertain the result of said vote, and make proclamation thereof; and in case it is ascertained that a majority of all the votes cast is in favor of either of the principles of representation, referred as aforesaid to the choice of the voters, the governor shall communicate the result of such vote to the general assembly, at its first regular session thereafter; but in case it is ascertained that a majority of all the votes cast is not in favor of either of the principles of representation referred as aforesaid to the choice of the voters, it shall be the duty of the governor, as soon as may be after ascertaining that fact, in like manner to cause the voters to decide between the two principles of representation which shall, at such previous voting, have received the greatest number of votes; and he shall ascertain and make proclamation of the result of the said Edition: current; Page: [3838] last vote, and communicate the same to the general assembly at its next regular session; and in either case, the general assembly, at the regular session thereof which shall be held next after the taking of the vote, the result of which shall have been so communicated to it by the governor, shall reapportion representation in the two houses respectively in accordance with the principle of representation in each for which a majority of the votes cast were given; and it shall be the duty of the general assembly in every tenth year thereafter to reapportion and distribute the number of senators and delegates in accordance with the same principle.

QUALIFICATIONS OF SENATORS AND DELEGATES

Sec. 7. Any person may be elected senator who, at the time of election, has attained the age of twenty-five years, and is actually a resident within the district, and qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, according to this constitution. And any person may be elected a member of the house of delegates who, at the time of election, has attained the age of twenty-one years, and is actually a resident within the county, city, town, or election district, qualified to vote for members of the general assembly according to this constitution; but no person holding a lucrative office, no minister of the gospel or priest of any religious denomination, no salaried officer of any banking corporation or company, and no attorney for the commonwealth shall be capable of being elected a member of either house of assembly. The removal of any person elected to either branch of the general assembly from the county, city, town, or district for which he was elected shall vacate his office.

POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Sec. 8. The general assembly shall meet once in every two years, and not oftener, unless convened by the governor in the manner prescribed in this constitution. No session of the general assembly, after the first under this constitution, shall continue longer than ninety days, without the concurrence of three-fifths of the members elected to each house; in which case the session may be extended for a further period, not exceeding thirty days. Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Sec. 9. The house of delegates shall choose its own speaker, and, in the absence of the lieutenant-governor, or when he shall exercise the office of governor, the senate shall choose from their own body a president pro tempore, and each house shall appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for supplying intermediate vacancies; but if vacancies shall occur during the recess of the general assembly, such writs may be issued by the governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Each house shall judge of the election, qualification, and returns of its members, may punish them for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence Edition: current; Page: [3839] of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

Sec. 10. The members of the assembly shall receive for their services a compensation, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the public treasury; but no act increasing such compensation shall take effect until after the end of the term for which the members of the house of delegates voting thereon were elected. And no senator or delegate, during the term for which he shall have been elected, shall be appointed to any civil office of profit under the commonwealth, which has been created, or the emoluments of which have been increased, during such term, except offices filled by elections by the people.

Sec. 11. Bills and resolutions may originate in either of the two houses of the general assembly, to be approved or rejected by the other, and may be amended by either house with the consent of the other.

Sec. 12. Each house of the general assembly shall keep a journal of its proceedings, which shall be published from time to time, and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal. No bill shall become a law until it has been read on three different days of the session in the house in which it originated, unless two-thirds of the members elected to that house shall otherwise determine.

Sec. 13. The whole number of members to which the State may at any time be entitled in the House of Representatives of the United States shall be apportioned as nearly as may be amongst the several counties, cities, and towns of the State, according to their respective numbers; which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and exluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.

Sec. 14. In the apportionment the State shall be divided into districts, corresponding in number with the representatives to which it may be entitled in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, which shall be formed respectively of contiguous counties, cities, and towns, be compact, and include, as nearly as may be, an equal number of the population, upon which is based representation in the House of Representatives of the United States.

Sec. 15. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not in any case be suspended. The general assembly shall not pass any bill of attainder; or any ex post facto law; or an law impairing the obligation of contracts; or any law whereby private property shall be taken for public uses without just compensation; or any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever; nor shall any man be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise affect, diminish, or enlarge their civil capacities. And the general assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever; or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination; or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others any tax for the erection or repair of any Edition: current; Page: [3840] house for public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry; but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.

Sec. 16. No law shall embrace more than one object, which shall be expressed in its title; nor shall any law be revived or amended by reference to its title, but the act revived or section amended shall be reënacted and published at length.

Sec. 17. The general assembly may provide that no person shall be capable of holding, or being elected to, any post of profit, trust, or emolument, civil or military, legislative, executive, or judicial, under the government of this commonwealth, who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which may be the death of the challenger or challenged, or who shall be second to either party, or shall in any manner aid or assist in such duel, or shall be knowingly the bearer of such challenge or acceptance; but no person shall be so disqualified by reason of his having heretofore fought such duel, or sent or accepted such challenge, or been second in such duel, or bearer of such challenge or acceptance.

Sec. 18. The governor, lieutenant-governor, judges, and all others offending against the State, by maladministration, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crime or misdemeanor, shall be impeachable by the house of delegates and be prosecuted before the senate, which shall have the sole power to try impeachments. When sitting for that purpose they shall be on oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the commonwealth; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law. The senate may sit during the recess of the general assembly for the trial of impeachments.

SLAVES AND FREE NEGROES

Sec. 19. Slaves hereafter emancipated shall forfeit their freedom by remaining in the commonwealth more than twelve months after they become actually free, and shall be reduced to slavery under such regulation as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 20. The general assembly may impose such restrictions and conditions as they shall deem proper on the power of slave-owners to emancipate their slaves; and may pass laws for the relief of the commonwealth from the free negro population, by removal or otherwise.

Sec. 21. The general assembly shall not emancipate any slave, or the descendant of any slave, either before or after the birth of such descendant.

TAXATION AND FINANCE

Sec. 22. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the commonwealth, and all property other than slaves shall be taxed in proportion to its value, which shall be ascertained in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

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Sec. 23. Every slave who has attained the age of twelve years shall be assessed with a tax equal to and not exceeding that assessed on land of the value of three hundred dollars. Slaves under that age shall not be subject to taxation; and other taxable property may be exempted from taxation by the vote of a majority of the whole number of members elected to each house of the general assembly.

Sec. 24. A capitation-tax, equal to the tax assessed on land of the value of two hundred dollars, shall be levied on every white male inhabitant who has attained the age of twenty-one years; and one equal moiety of the capitation-tax upon white persons shall be applied to the purposes of education in primary and free schools; but nothing herein contained shall prevent exemptions of taxable polls in cases of bodily infirmity.

Sec. 25. The general assembly may levy a tax on incomes, salaries, and licenses; but no tax shall be levied on property from which any income so taxed is derived, or on the capital invested in the trade or business in respect to which the license so taxed is issued.

Sec. 26. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of appropriations made by law; and a statement of the receipts, disbursements, appropriations, and loans shall be published after the adjournment of each session of the general assembly, with the acts and resolutions thereof.

Sec. 27. On the passage of every act which imposes, continues, or revives a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues, or revives any appropriation of public or trust money or property, or releases, discharges, or commutes any claim or demand of the State, the vote shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the same shall be entered on the journals of the respective houses, and a majority of all the members elected to each house shall be necessary to give it the force of a law.

Sec. 28. The liability to the State of any incorporated company or institution to redeem the principal and pay the interest of any loan heretofore made, or which may hereafter be made, by the State to such company or institution, shall not be released; and the general assembly shall not pledge the faith of the State, or bind it in any form, for the debts or obligations of any company or corporation.

Sec. 29. There shall be set apart annually, from the accruing revenues, a sum equal to 7 per cent. of the State debt exising on the first day of January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two. The fund thus set apart shall be called the sinking-fund, and shall be applied to the payment of the interest of the State debt, and the principal of such part as may be redeemable. If no part be redeemable, then the residue of the sinking-fund, after the payment of such interest, shall be invested in the bonds or certificates of debt of this commonwealth, or of the United States, or of some of the States of this Union, and applied to the payment of the State debt as it shall become redeemable. Whenever, after the said first day of January, a debt shall be contracted by the commonwealth, there shall be set apart in like manner, annually, for thirty-four years, a sum exceeding by 1 per cent. the aggregate amount of the annual interest agreed to be paid thereon at the time of its contraction; which sum shall be part of the sinking-fund, and shall be applied in the manner before directed. The general assembly shall not otherwise appropriate Edition: current; Page: [3842] any part of the sinking-fund or its accruing interest, except in time of war, insurrection, or invasion.

Sec. 30. The general assembly may, at any time, direct a sale of the stocks held by the commonwealth in internal improvement and other companies; but the proceeds of such sale, if made before the payment of the public debt, shall constitute a part of the sinking-fund, and be applied in like manner.

Sec. 31. The general assembly shall not contract loans or cause to be issued certificates of debt or bonds of the State, irredeemable for a period greater than thirty-four years.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 32. The general assembly shall not grant a charter of incorporation to any church or religious denomination, but may secure the title to church property to an extent to be limited by law.

Sec. 33. No lottery shall hereafter be authorized by law; and the buying, selling, or transferring of tickets or chances in any lottery, not now authorized by a law of this State, shall be prohibited.

Sec. 34. No new county shall be formed with an area less than six hundred square miles; nor shall the county or counties from which it is formed be reduced below that area; nor shall any county, having a white population less than five thousand, be deprived of more than one-fifth of such population; nor shall a county having a larger white population be reduced below four thousand. But any county, the length of which is three times its mean breadth, or which exceeds fifty miles in length, may be divided at the discretion of the general assembly. In all general elections the voters in any county, not entitled to separate representation, shall vote in the same election district.

Sec. 35. The general assembly shall confer on the courts the power to grant divorces, change the names of persons, and direct the sale of estates belonging to infants and other persons under legal disabilities, but shall not, by special legislation, grant relief in such cases, or in any other case of which the courts or other tribunals may have jurisdiction.

Sec. 36. The general assembly shall provide for the periodical registration in the several counties, cities, and towns, of the voters therein; and for the annual registration of the births, marriages, and deaths in the white population, and of the births and deaths in the colored population of the same, distinguishing between the numbers of the free colored persons and slaves.

Sec. 37. The general assembly, at intervals of five years from the dates of the returns of the census of the United States, shall cause to be taken a census and such statistics of this State as may be prescribed by law; which census and statistics shall be returned to the secretary of the commonwealth, who shall compare and correct the returns and report the same to the general assembly.

Sec. 38. The manner of conducting and making returns of elections, of determining contested elections, and of filling vacancies in office, in cases not specially provided for by this constitution, shall be prescribed by law; but special elections to fill vacancies in the office of judge in any court shall be for a full term. And the general Edition: current; Page: [3843] assembly may declare the cases in which any office shall be deemed vacant, where no provision is made for that purpose in this constitution.

Article V: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

GOVERNOR

Section 1. The chief executive power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a governor. He shall hold the office for the term of four years, to commence on the first day of January next succeeding his election, and be ineligible to the same office for the term next succeeding that for which he was elected, and to any other office during his term of service.

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected by the voters, at the times and places of choosing members of the general assembly. Returns of the elections shall be transmitted, under seal, by the proper officers, to the secretary of the commonwealth, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of delegates on the first day of the next session of the general assembly. The speaker of the house of delegates shall, within one week thereafter, in the presence of a majority of the senate and house of delegates, open the said returns, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared elected; but if two or more shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, one of them shall be chosen governor by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly. Contested elections for governor shall be decided by a like vote, and the mode of proceeding in such cases shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor unless he has attained the age of thirty years, is a native citizen of the United States, and has been a citizen of Virginia for five years next preceding his election.

Sec. 4. The governor shall reside at the seat of government; shall receive five thousand dollars for each year of his services, and while in office shall receive no other emolument from this or any other government.

Sec. 5. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; communicate to the general assembly at every session the condition of the commonwealth; recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient; and convene the general assembly on application of a majority of the members of both houses thereof, or when in his opinion the interest of the commonwealth may require it. He shall be commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the State; have power to embody the militia to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, and inforce the execution of the laws; conduct, either in person or in such other manner as shall be prescribed by law, all intercourse with other and foreign states; and, during the recess of the general assembly, fill, pro tempore, all vacancies in those offices for which the constitution and laws make no provision; but his appointments to such vacancies shall be by commissions to expire at the end of thirty days after the commencement of the next session of the general assembly. He shall have power to remit fines and penalties in such cases and under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed Edition: current; Page: [3844] by law; and, except when the prosecution has been carried on by the house of delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly direct, to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction, and to commute capital punishment; but he shall communicate to the general assembly, at each session, the particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same.

Sec. 6. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; and may also require the opinion in writing of the attorney-general upon any question of law connected with his official duties.

Sec. 7. Commissions and grants shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and be attested by the governor, with the seal of the commonwealth annexed.

LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR

Sec. 8. A lieutenant-governor shall be elected at the same time, and for the same term as the governor, and his qualification and the manner of his election in all respects shall be the same.

Sec. 9. In case of the removal of the governor from office, or of his death, failure to qualify, resignation, removal from the State, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the said office, with its compensation, shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor, and the general assembly shall provide by law for the discharge of the executive functions in other necessary cases.

Sec. 10. The lieutenant-governor shall be president of the senate, but shall have no vote, and while acting as such shall receive a compensation equal to that allowed to the speaker of the house of delegates.

SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH, TREASURER, AND AUDITOR

Sec. 11. A secretary of the commonwealth, treasurer, and an auditor of public accounts shall be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, and continue in office for the term of two years, unless sooner removed.

Sec. 12. The secretary shall keep a record of the official acts of the governor, which shall be signed by the governor and attested by the secretary; and when required, he shall lay the same, and any papers, minutes, and vouchers pertaining to his office, before either house of the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 13. The powers and duties of the treasurer and auditor shall be such as now are or may be hereafter prescribed by law.

BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS

Sec. 14. There shall be a board of public works, to consist of three commissioners. The State shall be divided into three districts, containing as nearly as may be equal numbers of voters, and the voters of each district shall elect one commissioner, whose term of office shall be six years; but of those first elected, one, to be designated by lot, Edition: current; Page: [3845] shall remain in office for two years only, and one other, to be designated in like manner, shall remain in office for four years only.

Sec. 15. The general assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall provide for the election and compensation of the commissioners, and the organization of the board. The commissioners first elected shall assemble on a day to be appointed by law, and decide by lot the order in which their terms of service shall expire.

Sec. 16. The board of public works shall appoint all officers employed on the public works, and all persons representing the interest of the commonwealth in works of internal improvement, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 17. The members of the board of public works may be removed by the concurrent vote of a majority of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly; but the cause of removal shall be entered on the journal of each house.

Sec. 18. The general assembly shall have power, by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house, to abolish said board whenever in their opinion a board of public works shall no longer be necessary.

MILITIA

Sec. 19. The manner of appointing militia officers shall be prescribed by law.

Article VI: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Section 1. There shall be a supreme court of appeals, district courts, and circuit courts. The jurisdiction of these tribunals and of the judges thereof, except so far as the same is conferred by this constitution, shall be regulated by law.

JUDICIAL DIVISIONS

Sec. 2. The State shall be divided into twenty-one judicial circuits, ten districts, and five sections.

  • I. The counties of Princess Anne, Norfolk, Nansemond, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Greenesville, Surry, and Sussex, and the city of Norfolk shall constitute the first circuit.
  • II. The counties of Prince George, Dinwiddie, Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Amelia, Chesterfield, and Powhatan, and the city of Petersburg shall constitute the second circuit.
  • III. The counties of Cumberland, Buckingham, Appomattox, Campbell, Prince Edward, Charlotte, and Halifax, and the town of Lynchburg shall constitute the third circuit.
  • IV. The counties of Pittsylvania, Bedford, Franklin, Patrick, and Henry shall constitute the fourth circuit.
  • V. The counties of Accomack and Northampton shall constitute the fifth circuit.
  • VI. The counties of Elizabeth City, Warwick, York, Gloucester, Matthews, Middlesex, Henrico, New Kent, Charles City, and James City, and the city of Williamsburg shall constitute the sixth circuit.
  • VII. The city of Richmond shall be the seventh circuit.
  • VIII. The counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, King George, Spottsylvania, Caroline, Hanover, King Edition: current; Page: [3846] William, King and Queen, and Essex shall constitute the eighth circuit.
  • IX. The counties of Stafford, Prince William, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier, and Rappahannock shall constitute the ninth circuit.
  • X. The counties of Culpeper, Madison, Greene, Orange, Albemarle, Louisa, Fluvanna, and Goochland shall constitute the tenth circuit.
  • XI. The counties of Nelson, Amherst, Rockbridge, Augusta, and Bath shall constitute the eleventh circuit.
  • XII. The counties of Pendleton, Highland, Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah, Warren, and Hardy shall constitute the twelfth circuit.
  • XIII. The counties of Clarke, Frederick, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson shall constitute the thirteenth circuit.
  • XIV. The counties of Monroe, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Alleghany, Botetourt, Roanoke, and Craig shall constitute the fourteenth circuit.
  • XV. The counties of Giles, Mercer, Raleigh, Wyoming, Logan, Boone, Fayette, and Nicholas shall constitute the fifteenth circuit.
  • XVI. The counties of Grayson, Carroll, Wythe, Floyd, Pulaski, and Montgomery shall constitute the sixteenth circuit.
  • XVII. The counties of Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Russell, Scott, and Lee shall constitute the seventeenth circuit.
  • XVIII. The counties of Wayne, Cabell, Mason, Jackson, Putnam, and Kanawha shall constitute the eighteenth circuit.
  • XIX. The counties of Wood, Wirt, Gilmer, Braxton, Lewis, Ritchie, Doddridge, and Pleasants shall constitute the nineteenth circuit.
  • XX. The counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, and Monongalia shall constitute the twentieth circuit.
  • XXI. And the counties of Harrison, Marion, Taylor, Preston, Barbour, Randolph, and Upshur shall constitute the twenty-first circuit.

Sec. 3. The first and second circuits shall constitute the first district; the third and fourth circuits the second district; the fifth, sixth, and seventh circuits the third district; the eighth and ninth circuits the fourth district; the tenth and eleventh circuits the fifth district; the twelfth and thirteenth circuits the sixth district; the fourteenth and fifteenth circuits the seventh district; the sixteenth and seventeenth circuits the eighth district; the eighteenth and nineteenth circuits the ninth district; and the twentieth and twenty-first circuits the tenth district.

Sec. 4. The first and second districts shall constitute the first section; the third and fourth districts the second section; the fifth and sixth districts the third section; the seventh and eighth districts the fourth section; and the ninth and tenth districts the fifth section.

Sec. 5. The general assembly may, at the end of eight years after the adoption of this constitution, and thereafter at intervals of eight years, rearrange the said circuits, districts, and sections, and place any number of circuits in a district, and of districts in a section; but each circuit shall be altogether in one district, and each district in one section; and there shall not be less than two districts and four circuits in a section, and the number of sections shall not be increased or diminished.

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CIRCUIT COURTS

Sec. 6. For each circuit a judge shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of eight years, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this constitution. He shall at the time of his election be at least thirty years of age, and during his continuance in office shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge.

Sec. 7. A circuit court shall be held at least twice a year by the judge of each circuit in every county and corporation thereof, wherein a circuit court is now or may hereafter be established. But the judges in the same district may be required or authorized to hold the courts of their respective circuits alternately, and a judge of one circuit to hold a court in any other circuit.

DISTRICT COURTS

Sec. 8. A district court shall be held at least once a year in every district, by the judges of the circuits constituting the section and the judge of the supreme court of appeals for the section of which the district forms a part, any three of whom may hold a court; but no judge shall sit or decide upon any appeal taken from his own decision. The judge of the supreme court of appeals of one section may sit in the district courts of another section, when required or authorized by law to do so.

Sec. 9. The district court shall not have original jurisdiction, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition.

COURT OF APPEALS

Sec. 10. For each section a judge shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of twelve years, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this constitution. He shall at the time of his election be at least thirty-five years of age, and during his continuance in office reside in the section for which he is elected.

Sec. 11. The supreme court of appeals shall consist of the five judges so elected, any three of whom may hold a court. It shall have appellate jurisdiction only, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition. It shall not have jurisdiction in civil causes where the matter in controversy, exclusive of costs, is less in value or amount than five hundred dollars, except in controversies concerning the title or boundaries of land, the probate of a will, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee, or curator; or concerning a mill, road, way, ferry, or landing, or the right of a corporation or of a county to levy tolls or taxes; and except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition, and cases involving freedom, or the constitutionality of a law.

Sec. 12. Special courts of appeals, to consist of not less than three nor more than five judges, may be formed of the judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the circuit courts, or any of them, to try any cases remaining on the dockets of the present court of appeals when the judges thereof cease to hold their offices; or to try any cases which may be on the dockets of the supreme court of appeals established by this constitution, in respect to which a majority of the Edition: current; Page: [3848] judges of said court may be so situated as to make it improper for them to sit on the hearing thereof.

Sec. 13. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the supreme court of appeals, the reasons therefor shall be stated in writing, and preserved with the record of the case.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 14. Judges shall be commissioned by the governor, and shall receive fixed and adequate salaries, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. The salary of a judge of the supreme court of appeals shall not be less than three thousand dollars, and that of a judge of a circuit court not less than two thousand dollars per annum, except that of the judge of the fifth circuit, which shall not be less than fifteen hundred dollars per annum; and each shall receive a reasonable allowance for necessary travel.

Sec. 15. No judge, during his term of service, shall hold any other office, appointment, or public trust, and the acceptance thereof shall vacate his judicial office; nor shall he, during such term, or within one year thereafter, be eligible to any political office.

Sec. 16. No election of judge shall be held within thirty days of the time of holding any election of electors of President and Vice-President of the United States, of members of Congress or of the general assembly.

Sec. 17. Judges may be removed from office by a concurrent vote of both houses of the general assembly, but a majority of all the members elected to each house must concur in such vote; and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journal of each house. The judge against whom the general assembly may be about to proceed shall receive notice thereof, accompanied by a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either house of the general assembly shall act thereupon.

Sec. 18. The officers of the supreme court of appeals and of the district courts shall be appointed by the said courts respectively, or by the judges thereof in vacation. Their duties, compensation, and tenure of office shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 19. The voters of each county or corporation in which a circuit court is held shall elect a clerk of such court, whose term of office shall be six years. The attorney for the commonwealth, elected for a county or corporation wherein a circuit court is directed to be held, shall be attorney for the commonwealth for that court; but in case a circuit court is held for a city, or for a county and a city, there shall be an attorney for the commonwealth for such, to be elected by the voters of such city or county and city, and to continue in office for the term of four years. The duties and compensation of these officers, and the mode of removing them from office, shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 20. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of clerk of any court, such court may appoint a clerk pro tempore, who shall discharge the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled.

Sec. 21. The general assembly shall provide for the compensation of jurors, but appropriations for that purpose shall not be made from the State treasury, except in prosecutions for felony and misdemeanor.

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Sec. 22. At every election of a governor, an attorney-general shall be elected by the voters of the commonwealth for the term of four years. He shall be commissioned by the governor, shall perform such duties and receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law, and be removable in the manner prescribed for the removal of judges.

Sec. 23. Judges and all other officers, whether elected or appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices after their terms of service have expired, until their successors are qualified.

Sec. 24. Writs shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and be attested by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth.”

COUNTY COURTS

Sec. 25. There shall be in each county of the commonwealth a county court, which shall be held monthly, by not less than three nor more than five justices, except when the law shall require the presence of a greater number.

Sec. 26. The jurisdiction of the said courts shall be the same as that of the existing county courts, except so far as it is modified by this constitution, or may be changed by law.

Sec. 27. Each county shall be laid off into districts, as nearly equal as may be in territory and population. In each district there shall be elected, by the voters thereof, four justices of the peace, who shall be commissioned by the governor, reside in their respective districts, and hold their offices for the term of four years. The justices so elected shall choose one of their own body, who shall be the presiding justice of the county court, and whose duty it shall be to attend each term of said court. The other justices shall be classified by law for the performance of their duties in court.

Sec. 28. The justices shall receive for their services in court a perdiem compensation, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the county treasury; and shall not receive any fee or emolument for other judicial services.

Sec. 29. The power and jurisdiction of justices of the peace within their respective counties shall be prescribed by law.

COUNTY OFFICERS

Sec. 30. The voters of each county shall elect a clerk of the county court, a surveyor, an attorney for the commonwealth, a sheriff, and so many commissioners of the revenue as may be authorized by law, who shall hold their respective offices as follows: The clerk and the surveyor for the term of six years; the attorney for the term of four years; the sheriff and the commissioners for the term of two years. Constables and overseers of the poor shall be elected by the voters, as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 31. The officers mentioned in the preceding section, except the attorneys, shall reside in the counties or districts for which they were respectively elected. No person elected for two successive terms to the office of sheriff shall be reëligible to the same office for the next succeeding term; nor shall he, during his term of service, or within one year thereafter, be eligible to any political office.

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Sec. 32. The justices of the peace, sheriffs, attorneys for the commonwealth, clerks of the circuit and county courts, and all other county officers, shall be subject to indictment for malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of official duty; and, upon conviction thereof, their offices shall become vacant.

CORPORATION COURTS AND OFFICERS

Sec. 33. The general assembly may vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in corporation courts, and in the magistrates who may belong to the corporate body.

Sec. 34. All officers appertaining to the cities and other municipal corporations shall be elected by the qualified voters, or appointed by the constituted authorities of such cities or corporations, as may be prescribed by law.

Done in convention, in the city of Richmond, on the first day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, and in the seventy-sixth year of the commonwealth of Virginia.

John Y. Mason, President.
S. D. Whittle, Secretary.

SCHEDULE

Section 1. It shall be the duty of the president of this convention, immediately on its adjournment, to certify to the governor a copy of the bill of rights and constitution adopted, together with this schedule.

Sec. 2. Upon the receipt of such certified copy, the governor shall forthwith announce the fact by proclamation, to be published in such newspapers of the State as may be deemed requisite for general information; and shall annex to his proclamation a copy of the bill of rights and constitution, together with this schedule; which proclamation, bill of rights, constitution, and schedule shall be published in the manner indicated, for the period of one month; and ten printed copies thereof shall, by the secretary of the commonwealth, be immediately transmitted by mail to the clerk of each county and corporation court in this commonwealth, to be by such clerk submitted to the examination of any person desiring the same.

Sec. 3. The officers authorized by existing laws to conduct general elections shall, at the places appointed for holding the same, open a poll-book on the fourth Thursday in October next, to be headed “The constitution as amended and schedule,” and to contain two separate columns; the first column to be headed “For ratifying;” the other to be headed “For rejecting.” And such officers keeping said polls open for the space of three days, shall then and there receive and record in said poll-book the votes for and against this constitution and schedule, of all persons qualified under the existing or amended constitution, to exercise the right of suffrage.

Sec. 4. The taking of the polls, the duties to be performed by the officers, the privilege of the voters, and the penalties attaching for misconduct on the part of any person, shall be in all things as prescribed by the second, third, fourth, seventh, eighth, and ninth sections of the act of the general assembly passed March the fourth, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, entitled “An act to take the sense Edition: current; Page: [3851] of the people upon the call of a convention, and providing for organizing the same,” so far as the provisions of the said sections may be applicable.

Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the governor, upon receiving the returns of said officers, to ascertain the result thereof, and forthwith to declare the same by his proclamation, stating the aggregate vote in the State for and against the ratification of the amended constitution and schedule, which shall be published at least once a week until the second Monday in December next, in such newspapers as, in his opinion, will be best calculated to diffuse general information thereof; and if it appear that a majority of the votes cast is in favor of ratification, the governor, at the same time, and in like manner, shall make proclamation for holding, on the day last mentioned, a general election throughout the State for delegates and senators to the general assembly, according to the apportionment and districts prescribed in this constitution; and also for the election of a governor, lieutenant-governor, and attorney-general.

Sec. 6. The officers authorized by existing laws to hold and conduct general elections, shall hold and conduct the elections herein required; and such officers and all other persons shall be governed and controlled therein by the provisions of said laws, so far as the same may be applicable to and necessary for the proper conducting of the said elections. Duplicate polls shall be separately kept for governor and lieutenant-governor, for attorney-general, and for senators and delegates to the general assembly, which shall be verified by the oaths of the officers conducting the elections.

Sec. 7. The verified duplicate polls for governor, lieutenant-governor, and attorney-general shall be deposited with the clerks of the several counties and cities, who shall retain one in their respective offices, and transmit the other by mail to the secretary of the commonwealth.

Sec. 8. In the election of senators and delegates for districts formed of more than one county and city, the officers conducting the same at the court-house of the several counties and cities forming each district shall assemble, on the eighth day after the commencement of the said election, at the court-house of the county or city first named as one of the counties of the district; shall compare the polls and ascertain the result, and shall deliver and return certificates of election according to the laws now in force.

Sec. 9. The members of the general assembly so elected shall meet at the capitol in the city of Richmond on the second Monday in January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, and then and there organize as the general assembly of Virginia; but before such organization, they shall respectively take the oath of fidelity to the commonwealth, and the other oaths of office required by the laws now in force.

Sec. 10. The election of members of the general assembly under this constitution shall vacate the seats of those elected under the present constitution.

Sec. 11. The official terms of the delegates first elected to the general assembly under this constitution shall expire on the thirtieth day of June, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three.

Sec. 12. The official terms of the first governor, lieutenant-governor, and attorney-general elected under this constitution shall Edition: current; Page: [3852] expire on the thirty-first day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five.

Sec. 13. The present judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the circuit courts, and their successors, who may be appointed under the existing constitution, shall remain in office until such time as the law may prescribe for the commencement of the official terms of the judges under the amended constitution, and no longer; which time shall not be more than six months after the termination of the first session of the general assembly under the amended constitution.

Sec. 14. The executive department of the government shall remain as at present organized; and the governor and councillors of state and their successors appointed under the existing constitution shall continue in office until a governor elected under this constitution shall be qualified; and all other persons in office when this constitution is adopted, except as is herein otherwise expressly directed, shall continue in office until their successors are qualified; and vacancies in office, happening before such qualification, shall be filled in the manner now prescribed by law.

Sec. 15. 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 otherwise organized; and all laws in force when this constitution is adopted, and not inconsistent therewith, and all rights, prosecutions, actions, claims, and contracts shall remain and continue as if this constitution was not adopted.

Sec. 16. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary for carrying this constitution into full effect and operation.

Done in convention, in the city of Richmond, on the first day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, and in the seventy-sixth year of the commonwealth of Virginia.

John Y. Mason, President.
S. D. Whittle, Secretary.

CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA—1861

[A convention which met at Richmond February 13, 1861, passed an ordinance of secession, subject to the ratification or rejection of the people, and amended the constitution. The ordinance of secession was ratified by 128,884 votes against 32,734 votes.]

CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA—1864*a

BILL OF RIGHTS

[This bill of rights was adopted from the constitution of 1830, as amended from its original passage in 1776.]

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CONSTITUTION

Whereas the delegates and representatives of the good people of Virginia in convention assembled, on the twenty-ninth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, reciting and declaring, that whereas George the Third, King of Great Britain and Ireland and elector of Hanover, before that time intrusted with the exercise of the kingly office in the government of Virginia, had endeavored to pervert the same into a detestable and insupportable tyranny, by putting his negative on laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good; by denying his governors permission to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation for his assent, and when so suspended, neglecting to attend to them for many years, by refusing to pass certain other laws, unless the persons to be benefited by them would relinquish the inestimable right of representation in the legislature; by dissolving legislative assemblies repeatedly and continually, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions of the rights of the people; when dissolved, by refusing to call others for a long space of time, thereby leaving the political system without any legislative head; by endeavoring to prevent the population of our country, and for that purpose obstructing the laws for the naturalization of foreigners; by keeping among us, in time of peace, standing armies and ships of war; by affecting to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power; by combining with others to subject us to a foreign jurisdiction, giving his assent to their pretended acts of legislation, for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us, for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world, for imposing taxes on us without our consent, for depriving us of the benefits of the trial by jury, for transporting us beyond seas for trial for pretended offences, for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever; by plundering our seas, ravaging our coasts, burning our towns, and destroying the lives of our people; by inciting insurrections of our fellow-subjects with the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation; by prompting our negroes to rise in arms amongst us, those very negroes whom, by an inhuman use of his negative, he had refused us permission to exclude by law; by endeavoring to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions of existence; by transporting hither a large army of foreign mercenaries to complete the work of death, desolation, and tyranny, then already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy unworthy the head of a civilized nation; by answering our repeated petitions for redress with a repetition of injuries; and finally, by abandoning the helm of government, and declaring us out of his allegiance and protection; by which several acts of misrule the government of this country, as before exercised under the crown of Great Britain, was totally dissolved, did, therefore, having maturely considered the premises, and viewing with great concern the deplorable condition to which this once happy country would be reduced, unless some regular, adequate mode of civil policy should be speedily adopted, and in compliance with the recommendation of the Edition: current; Page: [3854] general Congress, ordain and declare a form of government of Virginia;

And whereas a convention held on the first Monday in October, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, did propose to the people of the commonwealth an amended constitution or form of government, which was ratified by them;

And whereas the general assembly of Virginia, by an act passed on the fourth of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty, did provide for the election, by the people, of delegates to meet in general convention, to consider, discuss, and propose a new constitution, or alterations and amendments to the existing constitution of this commonwealth; and by an act passed on the thirteenth of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, did further provide for submitting the same to the people for ratification or rejection; and the same having been submitted accordingly was ratified by them.

And whereas the general assembly of Virginia, by an act passed on the twenty-first day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, did provide for the election, by the people, of delegates to meet in general convention to consider, discuss, and adopt alterations and amendments to the existing constitution of this commonwealth:

We therefore, the delegates of the good people of Virginia, elected and in convention assembled, in pursuance of said act, have adopted the following constitution and form of government for this commonwealth.

Article I: BILL OF RIGHTS

The declaration of rights, as prefixed to this constitution, shall have the same relation thereto as it had to the former constitution.

Article II: DIVISION OF POWERS

The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others; nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time, except that justices of the peace shall be eligible to either house of assembly.

Article III: QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS

Section 1. Every white male citizen of the commonwealth, of the age of twenty-one years, who has been a resident of the State for one year, and of the county, city, or town where he offers to vote for six months next preceding an election, and who has paid all taxes assessed to him, after the adoption of this constitution, under the laws of the commonwealth after the reorganization of the county, city, or town where he offers to vote, shall be qualified to vote for members of the Edition: current; Page: [3855] general assembly, and all officers elective by the people: Provided, however, That no one shall be allowed to vote who, when he offers to vote, shall not thereupon take, or shall not before have taken, the following oath:

“I do solenmly swear [or affirm] that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the laws made in pursuance thereof, as the supreme law of the land, anything in the constitution and laws of the State of Virginia, or in the ordinances of the convention which assembled at Richmond on the thirteenth day of February, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, to the contrary notwithstanding; and that I will uphold and defend the government of Virginia as restored by the convention which assembled at Wheeling on the eleventh day of June, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, and that I have not since the first day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, voluntarily given aid or assistance, in any way, to those in rebellion against the Government of the United States for the purpose of promoting the same.”

But the legislature shall have power to pass an act or acts prescribing means by which persons who have been disfranchised by this provision shall or may be restored to the rights of voters when in their opinion it will be safe to do so. Any person falsely so swearing shall be subject to the penalties of perjury.

No person shall hold any office under this constitution who shall not have taken and subscribed the oath aforesaid. But no person shall vote or hold office under this constitution who has held office under the so-called confederate government, or under any rebellious State government, or who has been a member of the so-called confederate congress, or a member of any State legislature in rebellion against the authority of the United States, excepting therefrom county officers.a

No person in the military, naval, or marine service of the United States shall be deemed a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein; but citizens of this State, when in the military service of the United States, shall be permitted to vote, under such regulations as may be prescribed by the general assembly, wherever they may be stationed, the same as if they were within their respective cities, counties, or districts. No person shall have the right to vote who is of unsound mind or a pauper, or who has been convicted of bribery in an election, or of any infamous offence.

Sec. 2. The general assembly, as occasion may require, shall cause every city or town, the white population of which exceeds five thousand, to be laid off into convenient wards, and a separate place of voting to be established in each; and thereafter no inhabitants of such city or town shall be allowed to vote except in the ward in which he resides.

Sec. 3. No voter, during the time for holding any election at which he is entitled to vote, shall be compelled to perform military service, except in time of war or public danger; to work upon the public roads, or to attend any court as suitor, juror, or witness; and no voter shall be subject to arrest under any civil process during his attendance at elections, or in going to or returning from them.

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Sec. 4. In all elections for members of the general assembly and other State officers, votes shall be given by ballot, and not viva voce, for which the general assembly shall provide by law, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, but until such provision shall have been made, votes shall be given as heretofore.

Article IV: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The legislative power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of delegates.

Sec. 2. The house of delegates shall consist of not less than eighty and of not more than one hundred and four members. The senate shall never be less than one-fourth nor more than one-third the number of the house of delegates.

Sec. 3. The house of delegates shall be elected biennially, by the voters of the cities of Norfolk and Richmond, and the several counties, on the fourth Thursday in May.

Sec. 4. The counties of Augusta and Rockingham, and the city of Richmond, shall each elect three delegates; the counties of Accomac, Albemarle, Bedford, Berkeley, Campbell, Fauquier, Franklin, Frederick, Halifax, Henrico, Jefferson, Loudoun, Norfolk, Pittsylvania, Rockbridge, Scott, Shenandoah, and Washington, shall each elect two delegates; the county of Dinwiddie and the city of Petersburg shall together elect two delegates, and the city of Norfolk shall elect two delegates.

The counties of Alleghany, Amherst, Bottetourt, Caroline, Carroll, Chesterfield, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Hanover, Henry, Lee, Louisa, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Nansemond, Nelson, Northampton, Page, Patrick, Prince William, Princess Anne, Rappahannock, Russell, Smyth, Southampton, Spottsylvania, Tazewell, and Wythe shall each elect one delegate.

The following counties and cities shall compose election districts: Appomattox and Prince Edward, Amelia, Powhatan, and Nottoway, Bath and Highland, Brunswick and Greenville, Bland and Pulaski, Buchanan and Wise, Buckingham and Cumberland, Charlotte and Lunenburg, Charles City, James City, and New Kent, Clarke and Warren, Craig and Roanoke, Culpepper and Orange, Elizabeth City, York, Warwick, and city of Williamsburg, Essex and Middlesex, Fluvanna and Goochland, Gloucester and Matthews, Greene and Madison, Isle of Wight and Surrey, King George and Stafford, King and Queen and King William, Lancaster and Northumberland, Prince George and Sussex, Richmond and Westmoreland, each of which districts shall elect one delegate.

At the first general election under this constitution the county of Alexandria shall elect two delegates and the county of Fairfax one delegate. At the second general election the county of Fairfax shall elect two delegates and the county of Alexandria shall elect one delegate, and so on alternately at succeeding elections.

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THE SENATE

Sec. 5. The senators shall be elected for the term of four years, for the election of whom the counties, cities, and towns shall be divided into thirty-four districts.

Each county, city, and town of the respective districts at the time of the first election of its delegate or delegates under this constitution, shall vote for one senator, and the sheriffs or other officers holding the election for each county, city, or town within ten days at the farthest after the last election in the district, and from the polls so taken in their respective counties, cities, and towns, return as senator the person who has received the greatest number of votes in the whole district.

FOR THE ELECTION OF SENATORS

  • I. The counties of Accomac and Northampton shall form one district.
  • II. The city of Norfolk shall be another district.
  • III. The counties of Norfolk and Princess Anne shall form another district.
  • IV. The counties of Isle of Wight, Nansemond, Surry, and Southampton shall form another district.
  • V. The counties of Sussex, Prince George, and Dinwiddie shall form another district.
  • VI. The counties of Louisa, Henrico, and Hanover shall form another district.
  • VII. The counties of Matthews, Gloucester, Middlesex, King and Queen, King William, and Essex shall form another district.
  • VIII. The counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, Caroline, and King George shall form another district.
  • IX. The counties of James City, Charles City, New Kent, York, Elizabeth City, Warwick, and city of Williamsburg shall form another district.
  • X. The city of Richmond shall be another district.
  • XI. The counties of Chesterfield, Amelia, Prince Edward, Cumberland, and Powhatan shall form another district.
  • XII. The counties of Buckingham, Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Goochland shall form another district.
  • XIII. The counties of Spottsylvania, Stafford, Orange, and Prince William shall form another district.
  • XIV. The counties of Alexandria and Fairfax shall form another district.
  • XV. The counties of Frederick, Clarke, and Warren shall form another district.
  • XVI. The county of Loudoun shall be another district.
  • XVII. The counties of Rappahannock, Fauquier, Madison, and Culpepper shall form another district.
  • XVIII. The counties of Shenandoah and Page shall form another district.
  • XIX. The counties of Rockingham and Green shall form another district.
  • XX. The county of Augusta shall be another district. Edition: current; Page: [3858]
  • XXI. The counties of Rockbridge and Nelson shall form another district.
  • XXII. The counties of Allegheny, Bath, Highland, and Battetourt shall form another district.
  • XXIII. The counties of Appomattox, Campbell, and Charlotte shall form another district.
  • XXIV. The counties of Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Brunswick, and Greenville shall form another district.
  • XXV. The counties of Pittsylvania and Halifax shall form another district.
  • XXVI. The counties of Amherst and Bedford shall form another district.
  • XXVII. The counties of Henry and Franklin shall form another district.
  • XXVIII. The counties of Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, and Craig shall form another district.
  • XXIX. The counties of Carroll, Floyd, and Patrick shall form another district.
  • XXX. The counties of Wythe, Grayson, Pulaski, and Bland shall form another district.
  • XXXI. The counties of Washington and Smyth shall form another district.
  • XXXII. The counties of Buchanan, Russell, and Tazewell shall form another district.
  • XXXIII. The counties of Scott, Lee, and Wise shall form another district.
  • XXXIV. The counties of Berkeley and Jefferson shall form another district.

Sec. 6. It shall be the duty of the general assembly, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy, and in every tenth year thereafter, to reapportion representation in the senate and house of delegates among the cities of Norfolk and Richmond, and the several counties, from an enumeration of the inhabitants of the State.

QUALIFICATION OF SENATORS AND DELEGATES

Sec. 7. Any person may be elected senator who at the time of election has attained the age of twenty-five years, is actually a resident within the district, and qualified to vote for members of the general assembly according to this Constitution. And any person may be elected a member of the house of delegates who at the time of election has attained the age of twenty-one years, and is actually a resident within the county, city, town, or election district, qualified to vote for members of the general assembly according to this constitution; but no person holding a lucrative office, no minister of the gospel, priest of any religious denomination, or salaried officer of any banking corporation or company, and no attorney for the commonwealth, shall be capable of being elected a member of either house of the general assembly. The removal of any person elected to either branch of the general assembly from the city, county, town, or district for which he was elected shall vacate his office.

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POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Sec. 8. The general assembly shall meet annually, and not oftener, unless convened by the governor in the manner prescribed in this constitution.

No session of the general assembly, after the first under this constitution, shall continue longer than sixty days, without the concurrence of three-fifths of the members elected to each house, in which case the session may be extended for a further period, not exceeding thirty days.

Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.

A majority of the members elected to each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalty as each house may provide.

Sec. 9. The house of delegates shall choose its own speaker, and in the absence of the lieutenant-governor, or when he shall exercise the office of governor, the senate shall choose from their own officers, a president pro tempore, and each house shall appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for supplying intermediate vacancies, but if vacancies shall occur during the recess of the general assembly, such writs may be issued by the governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Each house shall judge of the election, qualification, and returns of its members, may punish them for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

Sec. 10. The members of the general assembly shall receive for their services a compensation to be ascertained by law and paid out of the public treasury, but no act increasing such compensation shall take effect until after the end of the term for which the members of the house of delegates voting thereon were elected.

And no senator or delegate during the term for which he shall have been elected shall be appointed to any civil office of profit under the commonwealth, which has been created, or the emoluments of which have been increased, during such term, except offices filled by election by the people.

Sec. 11. Bills and resolutions may originate in either of the two houses of the general assembly, to be approved or rejected by the other, and may be amended by either house with the consent of the other.

Sec. 12. Each house of the general assembly shall keep a journal of its proceedings, which shall be published from time to time, and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal. No bill shall become a law until it has been read on three different days of the session in the house in which it originated, unless two-thirds of the members elected to that house shall otherwise determine.

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Sec. 13. The whole number of members to which the State may at any time be entitled in the House of Representatives of the United States shall be apportioned as nearly as may be amongst the several counties, cities, and towns of the State, according to their population.

Sec. 14. In the apportionment, the State shall be divided into districts corresponding in number with the Representatives to which it may be entitled in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, which shall be formed respectively of contiguous counties, cities, and towns, be compact, and include, as nearly as may be, an equal number of population.

Sec. 15. The privilege of habeas corpus shall not in any case be suspended. The general assembly shall not pass any bill of attainder, or any ex post facto law, or any law impairing the obligations of contracts, or any law whereby private property shall be taken for public uses without just compensation, or any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall any man be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise affect, diminish, or enlarge their civil capacities. And the general assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others any tax for the erection or repair of any house of public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry, but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.

Sec. 16. No law shall embrace more than one object, which shall be expressed in its title, nor shall any law be revived or amended by reference to its title, but the act revived or the section amended shall be reënacted and published at length.

Sec. 17. The general assembly may provide that no person shall be capable of holding, or being elected to, any post of profit, trust, or emolument, civil or military, legislative, executive, or judicial, under the government of this commonwealth, who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which may be the death of the challenger or challenged, or who shall be a second to either party, or shall in any manner aid or assist in such duel, or shall be knowingly the bearer of such challenge or acceptance, but no person shall be so disqualified by reason of his having heretofore fought such duel, or sent or accepted such challenge, or been second in such duel, or bearer of such challenge or acceptance.

Sec. 18. The governor, lieutenant-governor, judges, and all others offending against the State by maladministration, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crime or misdemeanor, shall be impeachable by the house of delegates, and be prosecuted before the senate, which shall have the sole power to try impeachments. When sitting for that purpose they shall be on oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in case of impeachment shall not extend further than Edition: current; Page: [3861] to removal from office, and disqualification to hold or enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the commonwealth; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law. The senate may sit, during the recess of the general assembly, for the trial of impeachment.

SLAVERY OR FREEDOM

Sec. 19. Slavery and involuntary servitude (except for crime) is hereby abolished and prohibited in the State forever.

Sec. 20. Courts of competent jurisdiction may apprentice minors of African descent on like conditions provided by law for apprenticing white children.

Sec. 21. The general assembly shall make no law establishing slavery or recognizing property in human beings.

Sec. 22. A capitation-tax, equal to the tax assessed on land of the value of two hundred dollars, shall be levied on every white male inhabitant who has attained the age of twenty-one years, and one equal moiety of the capitation-tax upon white persons shall be applied to the purposes of education in primary and free schools; but nothing herein contained shall prevent exemptions of taxable polls in cases of bodily infirmity.

Sec. 23. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the commonwealth, and all property shall be taxed in proportion to its value, which shall be ascertained in such manner as may be prescribed by law. The general assembly may levy a tax on incomes, salaries, and licenses, but no tax shall be levied on property from which any income so taxed is derived of the capital invested in trade or business in respect to which the license so taxed is issued.

Sec. 24. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of appropriation made by law, and a statement of receipts, disbursements, appropriations, and loans shall be published after the adjournment of each session of the general assembly, with the acts and resolutions thereof.

Sec. 25. On the passage of every act which imposes, continues, or revives a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues, or revives any appropriation of public or trust money or property, or releases, discharges, or commutes any claim or demand of the State, the vote shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the same shall be entered on the journals of the respective houses, and a majority of all the members elected to each house shall be necessary to give it the force of a law.

Sec. 26. The liability to the State of any incorporated company or institution to redeem the principal and pay the interest of any loan heretofore made or which may hereafter be made by the State to such company or institution shall not be released, and the general assembly shall not pledge the faith of the State or bind it in any form for the debt or obligation of any company or corporation.

Sec. 27. The general assembly shall provide by law for adjusting with the State of West Virginia the proportion of the public debt of Virginia, proper to be borne by the States of Virginia and of West Virginia, respectively, and may authorize, in conjunction with the State of West Virginia, the sale of all lands and property of every description, including all stocks and other interests owned and held by the State of Virginia in banks, works of internal improvement, Edition: current; Page: [3862] and other companies at the time of the formation of the State of West Virginia, and no ordinance passed by the convention which assembled at Wheeling on the eleventh day of June, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, adjusting the public debt between Virginia and West Virginia, shall be binding upon this State. It shall not provide for the payment of any debt or obligation created in the name of the State of Virginia by the usurped and pretended State authorities at Richmond; and it shall not allow any county, city, or corporation to levy or collect any tax for the payment of any debt created for the purpose of aiding any rebellion against the State or the United States. The legislature shall not provide for the payment of any bonds now held by rebels in arms against the State or United States governments.

Sec. 28. The general assembly may at any time direct the sale of the stocks held by the commonwealth in internal improvements, and other companies located within the limits of this commonwealth, but the proceeds of such sale, if made before the payment of the public debt, shall be appropriated to the payment thereof.

Sec. 29. No debt shall be contracted by this State except to meet casual deficits in the revenue, to redeem a previous liability of the State, or to suppress insurrection, repel invasion, or defend the State in time of war. If the State becomes a stockholder in any association or corporation for purposes of internal improvements, such stock shall be paid for at the time of subscription, or a tax shall be levied for the ensuing year sufficient to pay the subscription in full.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 30. The general assembly shall not grant a charter of incorporation to any church or religious denomination, but may secure the title to church property to an extent to be limited by law.

Sec. 31. No lottery shall hereafter be authorized by law, and the buying, selling, or transferring of tickets or chances in any lottery not now authorized by a law of this State shall be prohibited.

Sec. 32. No new county shall be formed with an area of less than six hundred square miles; nor shall the county or counties from which it is formed be reduced below that area, nor shall any county having a white population less than five thousand be deprived of more than one-fifth of such population, nor shall a county having a larger white population be reduced below four thousand. But any county, the length of which is three times its mean breadth, or which exceeds fifty miles in length, may be divided at the discretion of the general assembly. In all general elections the voters in any county not entitled to separate representation shall vote in the same election district.

Sec. 33. The general assembly shall confer on the courts the power to grant divorces, change the names of persons, and direct the sale of estates belonging to infants and other persons under legal disabilities, but shall not, by special legislation, grant relief in such cases, or in any other case of which the courts or other tribunals may have jurisdiction.

Sec. 34. The general assembly shall provide for the periodical registration in the several counties, cities, and towns of the voters therein; and for the annual registration of births, marriages, and Edition: current; Page: [3863] deaths in the white population, and of the births and deaths in the colored population.

Sec. 35. The manner of conducting and making returns of elections, of determining contested elections, and of filling vacancies in office, in cases not specially provided for by this constitution, shall be prescribed by law; but special elections to fill vacancies in the office of judge of any court shall be for a full term. And the general assembly may declare the cases in which any office shall be deemed vacant, where no provision is made for that purpose in this constitution.

Article V: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

GOVERNOR

Section 1. The chief executive power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a governor. He shall hold the office for the term of four years, to commence on the first day of January next succeeding his election, and be ineligible to the same office for the term next succeeding that for which he was elected, and to any other office during his term of service.

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected by the voters, at the times and places of choosing members of the general assembly. Returns of the elections shall be transmitted under seal, by the proper officers, to the secretary of the commonwealth, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of delegates on the first day of the next session of the general assembly. The speaker of the house of delegates shall, within one week thereafter, in the presence of the senate and house of delegates, open the said returns, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared elected; but if two or more shall have the highest and equal number of votes, one of them shall be chosen governor by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly. Contested elections for governor shall be decided by a like vote, and the mode of proceeding in such cases shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor unless he has attained the age of thirty years, is a native citizen of the United States, and has been a citizen of Virginia for five years next preceding his election.

Sec. 4. The governor shall reside at the seat of government; shall receive five thousand dollars for each year of his services; and, while in office, shall receive no other emolument from this or any other government.

Sec. 5. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; communicate to the general assembly at every session the condition of the commonwealth; recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient; and convene the general assembly on application of a majority of the members of both houses thereof, or when, in his opinion, the interest of the commonwealth may require it. He shall be commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the State; have power to embody the militia to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, and enforce the execution of the laws; conduct, either in person or in such other manner as shall be prescribed by law, Edition: current; Page: [3864] all intercourse with other and foreign States; and, during the recess of the general assembly, fill, pro tempore, all vacancies in those offices for which the constitution and laws make no provision; but his appointments to such vacancies shall be by commission, to expire at the end of thirty days after the commencement of the next session of the general assembly. He shall have power to remit fines and penalties in such cases and under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law; and, except when the prosecution has been carried on by the house of delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly direct, to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction, and to commute capital punishment; but he shall communicate to the general assembly, at each session, the particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same.

Sec. 6. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; and may also require the opinion in writing of the attorney-general upon any question of law connected with his official duties.

Sec. 7. Commissions and grants shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and be attested by the governor, with the seal of the commonwealth annexed.

LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR

Sec. 8. A lieutenant-governor shall be elected at the same time and for the same term as the governor, and his qualification and the manner of his election in all respects shall be the same.

Sec. 9. In case of the removal of the governor from office, or of his death, failure to qualify, resignation, removal from the State, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the said office, with its compensation, shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor; and the general assembly shall provide by law for the discharge of the executive functions in other necessary cases.

Sec. 10. The lieutenant-governor shall be president of the senate, but shall have no vote; and while acting as such shall receive a compensation equal to that allowed to the speaker of the house of delegates.

SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH, TREASURER, AND AUDITOR

Sec. 11. A secretary of the commonwealth, treasurer, and an auditor of public accounts shall be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, and continue in office for the term of two years, unless sooner removed.

Sec. 12. The secretary shall keep a record of the official acts of the governor, which shall be signed by the governor and attested by the secretary; and when required, he shall lay the same, and any papers, minutes, and vouchers pertaining to his office, before either house of the general assembly; and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 13. The powers and duties of the treasurer and auditor shall be such as now are, or may be hereafter, prescribed by law.

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BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS

Sec. 14. There shall be a board of public works, to consist of three commissioners. The State shall be divided into three districts containing as nearly as may be equal numbers of voters, and the voters of each district shall elect one commissioner, whose term of office shall be six years; but of those first elected, one, to be designated by lot, shall remain in office for two years only, and one other, to be designated in like manner, shall remain in office for four years only.

Sec. 15. The general assembly shall provide for the election and compensation of the commissioners, and the organization of the board. The commissioners first elected shall assemble on a day to be appointed by law, and decide by lot the order in which their term of service shall expire.

Sec. 16. The board of public works shall appoint all officers employed on the public works, and all persons representing the interest of the commonwealth in works of internal improvement, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 17. The members of the board of public works may be removed by the concurrent vote of a majority of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly; but the cause of removal shall be entered on the journal of each house.

Sec. 18. The general assembly shall have power, by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house, to abolish said board whenever, in their opinion, a board of public works shall no longer be necessary; and until the general assembly shall direct an election of a board of public works, after the adoption of this constitution, and such board shall have been duly elected and qualified, the governor, auditor, and treasurer of the commonwealth shall constitute said board, and shall exercise the authority and discharge the duties thereof, and the secretary of the commonwealth shall discharge the duties of the clerk of said board.

MILITIA

Sec. 19. The manner of appointing militia officers shall be prescribed by law.

Article VI: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Section 1. There shall be a supreme court of appeals, district courts, and circuit courts. The jurisdiction of these tribunals, and of the judges thereof, except so far as the same is conferred by this constitution, shall be regulated by law. The judges shall be chosen, by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, from persons nominated by the governor.

JUDICIAL DIVISION

Sec. 2. The State shall be divided into sixteen judicial circuits, seven districts, and three sections.

  • I. The counties of Princess Anne, Norfolk, Nansemond, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Greenesville, Surry, and Sussex, and the city of Norfolk, shall constitute the first circuit. Edition: current; Page: [3866]
  • II. The counties of Prince George, Dinwiddie, Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Amelia, Chesterfield, and Powhatan, and the city of Petersburg, shall constitute the second circuit.
  • III. The counties of Cumberland, Buckingham, Appomattox, Campbell, Prince Edward, Charlotte, and Halifax, and the town of Lynchburg, shall constitute the third circuit.
  • IV. The counties of Pittsylvania, Bedford, Franklin, Patrick, and Henry shall constitute the fourth circuit.
  • V. The counties of Accomac and Northampton shall constitute the fifth circuit.
  • VI. The counties of Elizabeth City, Warwick, York, Gloucester, Matthews, Middlesex, Henrico, New Kent, Charles City, and James City, and the city of Williamsburg, shall constitute the sixth circuit.
  • VII. The city of Richmond shall be the seventh circuit.
  • VIII. The counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, King George, Spottsylvania, Caroline, Hanover, King William, King and Queen, and Essex shall constitute the eighth circuit.
  • IX. The counties of Stafford, Prince William, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier, and Rappahannock shall constitute the ninth circuit.
  • X. The counties of Culpepper, Madison, Greene, Orange, Albemarle, Louisa, Fluvanna, and Goochland shall constitute the tenth circuit.
  • XI. The counties of Nelson, Amherst, Rockbridge, Augusta, and Bath shall constitute the eleventh circuit.
  • XII. The counties of Highland, Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren shall constitute the twelfth circuit.
  • XIII. The counties of Clarke, Frederick, Berkeley, and Jefferson shall constitute the thirteenth circuit.
  • XIV. The counties of Alleghany, Bottetourt, Roanoke, Craig, and Giles shall constitute the fourteenth circuit.
  • XV. The counties of Grayson, Carroll, Wythe, Floyd, Pulaski, and Montgomery shall constitute the fifteenth circuit.
  • XVI. The counties of Smyth, Tazewell, Bland, Washington, Russell, Scott, Lee, Wise, and Buchanan shall constitute the sixteenth circuit.

Sec. 3. The first and second circuits shall constitute the first district; the third and fourth circuits the second district; the fifth and sixth and seventh circuits the third district; the eighth and ninth circuits the fourth district; the tenth and eleventh circuits the fifth district; the twelfth and thirteenth circuits the sixth district, and the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth circuits the seventh district.

Sec. 4. The first and second districts shall constitute the first section; and third and fourth districts the second section; and the fifth, sixth, and seventh districts the third section.

Sec. 5. The general assembly may at the end of five years after the adoption of this constitution, and thereafter at intervals of ten years, rearrange the said circuits, districts, and sections, and place any number of circuits in a district and of districts in a section; but each circuit shall be altogether in one district, and each district in one section; and there shall not be less than two districts and four circuits in a section, and the number of sections shall not be diminished.

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CIRCUIT COURTS

Sec. 6. For each circuit a judge shall be chosen in the manner hereinbefore provided, who shall hold his office for the term of eight years unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this constitution. He shall, at the time of being chosen, be at least thirty years of age, and shall have resided in the State one year next preceding his election, and during his continuance in office shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge.

Sec. 7. A circuit court shall be held at least twice a year by the judge of each circuit, in every county and corporation thereof, wherein a circuit court is now or may hereafter be established. But the judges in the same district may be required or authorized to hold the courts of their respective circuits alternately, and a judge of one circuit to hold a court in any other circuit.

DISTRICT COURTS

Sec. 8. A district court shall be held at least once a year in every district, by the judges of the circuits constituting the section and the judge of the supreme court of appeals for the section of which the district forms a part, any three of whom may hold a court; but no judge shall sit or decide upon an appeal taken from his own decision. The judge of the supreme court of appeals of one section may sit in district courts of another section, when required or authorized by the law to do so.

Sec. 9. The district courts shall not have original jurisdiction, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition.

COURT OF APPEALS

Sec. 10. For each section a judge shall be chosen in the manner hereinbefore provided, who shall hold his office for the term of twelve years unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this constitution. He shall, at the time of his being chosen, be at least thirty years of age, and shall have resided in the State one year next preceding his election, and during his continuance in office he shall reside in the section for which he is chosen.

Sec. 11. The supreme court of appeals shall consist of three judges so chosen, any two of whom may hold a court. It shall have appellate jurisdiction only, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition. It shall not have jurisdiction in civil cases where the matter in controversy, exclusive of costs, is less in value or amount than five hundred dollars, except in controversies cencerning the title or boundaries of land, the probate of a will, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee, or curator; or concerning a mill, road, way, ferry, or landing, or the right of a corporation or of a county to levy tolls or taxes, and except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition, and cases involving freedom or the constitutionality of a law.

Sec. 12. Special courts of appeals, to consist of not less than three nor more than five judges, may be formed of the judges of the supreme court of appeals, and of the circuit courts, or any of them, to try any cases being on the dockets of the supreme court of appeals when this constitution goes into operation; or to try any cases which may be on Edition: current; Page: [3868] the dockets of the supreme court of appeals, in respect to which a majority of the judges of said court may be so situated as to make it improper for them to sit on the hearing thereof. And a special court of appeals, to consist of not less than three nor more than five judges, may be formed of the judges of the circuit courts, to exercise the jurisdiction and perform the duties of the supreme court of appeals and of the judges thereof, until the judges of the supreme court of appeals shall have been duly chosen and qualified.

Sec. 13. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the supreme court of appeals, the reasons therefor shall be stated in writing, and preserved with the record of the case.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 14. Judges shall be commissioned by the governor, and shall receive fixed and adequate salaries, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. The salary of a judge of the supreme court of appeals shall not be less than three thousand dollars, and that of a judge of a circuit court not less than two thousand dollars per annum, except that of the judge of the fifth circuit, which shall not be less than fifteen hundred dollars per annum, and each shall receive a reasonable allowance for necessary travel.

Sec. 15. No judge, during his term of service, shall hold any other office, appointment, or public trust, and the acceptance thereof shall vacate his judicial office; nor shall he, during such term, or within one year thereafter, be eligible to any political office.

Sec. 16. Judges may be removed from office by a concurrent vote of both houses of the general assembly, but a majority of all the members elected to each house must concur in such vote; and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journal of each house. The judge against whom the general assembly may be about to proceed shall receive notice thereof, accompanied by a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either house of the general assembly shall act thereupon.

Sec. 17. The officers of the supreme court of appeals and of the district courts shall be appointed by the said courts respectively, or by the judges thereof in vacation. Their duties, compensation, and tenure of office shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 18. The voters of each county or corporation in which a circuit court is held shall elect a clerk of such court, whose term of office shall be six years. The attorney for the commonwealth, elected for a county or corporation wherein a circuit court is directed to be held, shall be attorney for the commonwealth for that court; but in case a circuit court is held for a city, or for a county and a city, there shall be an attorney for the commonwealth for such, to be elected by the voters of such city, or county and city, and to continue in office for the term of four years. The duties and compensation of these officers, and the mode of removing them from office, shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 19. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of clerk of any court, (except it be a county or corporation court,) such court, or the judges thereof, in vacation, may appoint a clerk pro tempore, who shall discharge the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled; when such vacancy shall occur in the office of a clerk of a county or corporation court, (if in vacation,) the presiding justice thereof may Edition: current; Page: [3869] appoint the clerk pro tempore, who shall discharge the duties of the office until the next term, and then the court shall appoint a pro-tempore clerk to serve until the vacancy shall be filled.

Sec. 20. The general assembly shall provide for the compensation of jurors, but appropriations for that purpose shall not be made from the State treasury, except in prosecutions for felony and misdemeanor.

Sec. 21. At every election of a governor, an attorney-general shall be elected by the voters of the commonwealth for the term of four years. He shall be commissioned by the governor, shall perform such duties and receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law, and be removable in the manner prescribed for the removal of judges.

Sec. 22. Judges and all other officers, whether elected or appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices after their terms of service have expired, until their successors are qualified.

Sec. 23. Writs shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and be attested by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth.”

COUNTY COURTS

Sec. 24. There shall be in each county of the commonwealth a county court, which shall be held monthly, by not less than three nor more than five justices, except when the law shall require the presence of a greater number.

Sec. 25. The jurisdiction of the said courts shall be the same as that of the existing county courts, except so far as it is modified by this constitution, or may be changed by law.

Sec. 26. Each county shall be laid off into districts as nearly equal as may be in territory and population. Such districts as now laid off by law shall continue, subject to such changes as may hereafter be made by the general assembly. In each district there shall be elected, by the voters thereof, four justices of the peace, who shall be commissioned by the governor, reside in their respective districts, and hold their offices for the term of four years. The justices so elected shall choose one of their own body, who shall be the presiding justice of the county court, and whose duty it shall be to attend each term of said court. The other justices shall be classified by law for the performance of their duties in court.

Sec. 27. The justices shall receive for their services in court a perdiem compensation, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the county treasury, and such fees and emoluments for other services as may be allowed them by law.

Sec. 28. The power and jurisdiction of justices of the peace within their respective counties shall be prescribed by law.

COUNTY OFFICERS

Sec. 29. The voters of each county shall elect a clerk of the county court, a surveyor, an attorney for the commonwealth, a sheriff, and so many commissioners of the revenue as may be authorized by law, who shall hold their respective offices as follows: The clerk, the commissioner of the revenue, and the surveyor for the term of six years; the attorney for the term of four years, and the sheriff for the Edition: current; Page: [3870] term of two years. Constables and overseers of the poor shall be elected by the voters as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 30. The officers mentioned in the preceding section, except the attorneys, shall reside in the counties or districts for which they were respectively elected. No person elected for two successive terms to the office of sheriff shall be reëligible to the same office for the next succeeding term; nor shall he, during his term of service, or within one year thereafter, be eligible to any political office.

Sec. 31. The justices of the peace, sheriffs, attorneys for the commonwealth, clerks of the circuit and county courts, and all other county officers, shall be subject to indictment for malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of official duty; and upon conviction thereof, their offices shall become vacant.

CORPORATION COURTS AND OFFICERS

Sec. 32. The general assembly may vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in corporation courts and in the magistrates who may belong to the corporate body.

Sec. 33. All officers appertaining to the cities and other municipal corporations shall be elected by the qualified voters, or appointed by the constituted authorities of such cities or corporations, as may be prescribed by law.

Done in convention in the city of Alexandria, on the seventh day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and in the eighty-eighth year of the commonwealth of Virginia.

Le Roy G. Edwards, President.
W. J. Cowing, Secretary.

SCHEDULE

Section 1. It shall be the duty of the president of this convention, immediately on its adjournment, to certify to the governor a copy of the bill of rights and constitution adopted, together with this schedule.

Sec. 2. Upon the receipt of such certified copy, the governor shall forthwith announce the fact by proclamation, to be published in such manner as he may deem requisite for general information, and shall annex to his proclamation a copy of the bill of rights and constitution, together with this schedule, all of which shall be published in the manner indicated. Ten printed copies thereof shall, by the secretary of the commonwealth, be immediately transmitted by mail to the clerk of each county and corporation court in this commonwealth, to be by such clerk submitted to the examination of any person desiring the same.

Sec. 3. All ordinances and laws in force when this constitution is adopted, and not inconsistent therewith, shall remain and continue as if this constitution was not adopted; and so of all rights, prosecutions, actions, claims, and contracts.

Sec. 4. All executive, judicial, and other officers and members of the general assembly now elected shall continue in office until their present terms expire, in the same manner as if this constitution had not been adopted. The senate may so fix the term of members first Edition: current; Page: [3871] elected thereto from districts not now represented, that one-half the number of senators (or as near that number as may be) shall be elected every two years.

Sec. 5. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary for carrying this constitution into full force and effect.

Le Roy G. Edwards, President.
W. J. Cowing, Secretary.

AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1864

(Ratified 1865)

Art. I. Sec. 1. Amended by striking out the words: No person shall hold any office under this constitution who shall not have taken and subscribed the oath aforesaid. But no person shall vote or hold office under this constitution who has held office under the so-called confederate government, or under any rebellious State government, or who has been a member of the so-called confederate congress, or a member of any State legislature in rebellion against the authority of the United States, excepting therefrom county officers.

CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA—1870*a

Whereas the delegates and representatives of the good people of Virginia, in convention assembled, on the twenty-ninth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, reciting and declaring that whereas George the Third, King of Great Britain and Ireland and Elector of Hanover, before that time intrusted with the exercise of the kingly office in the government of Virginia, had endeavored to pervert the same into a detestable and insupportable tyranny, by putting his negative on laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good; by denying his governors permission to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation for his assent, and when so suspended, neglecting to attend to them for many years; by refusing to pass certain other laws, unless the persons to be benefited by them would relinquish the inestimable right of representation in the legislature; by dissolving legislative assemblies repeatedly and continually, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions of the rights of the people; when dissolved, by refusing to call others for a long space of time, thereby leaving the political system without any legislative head; by endeavoring to prevent the population of our country, and Edition: current; Page: [3872] for that purpose obstructing the laws for the naturalization of foreigners; by keeping among us, in time of peace, standing armies and ships of war; by affecting to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power; by combining with others to subject us to a foreign jurisdiction, giving his assent to their pretended acts of legislation; for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us, for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world, for imposing taxes on us without our consent, for depriving us of the benefit of the trial by jury, for transporting us beyond the seas for trial for pretended offences, for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever; by plundering our seas, ravaging our coasts, burning our towns, and destroying the lives of our people; by inciting insurrection of our fellow-subjects with the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation; by prompting our negroes to rise in arms among us—those very negroes whom, by an inhuman use of his negative, he had refused us permission to exclude by law; by endeavoring to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions of existence; by transporting hither a large army of foreign mercenaries to complete the work of death, desolation, and tyranny, then already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy unworthy the head of a civilized nation; by answering our repeated petitions for redress with a repetition of injuriesl and finally, by abandoning the helm of government and declaring us out of his allegiance and protection; by which several acts of misrule the government of this country, as before exercised under the crown of Great Britain, was totally dissolved; did, therefore, having maturely considered the premises, and viewing with great concern the deplorable condition to which this once happy country would be reduced unless some regular, adequate mode of civil policy should be speedily adopted, and in compliance with the recommendation of the general Congress ordain and declare a form of government of Virginia;

And whereas a convention held on the first Monday in October, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, did propose to the people of this commonwealth an amended constitution or form of government, which was ratified by them;

And whereas the general assembly of Virginia, by an act passed on the fourth of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty, did provide for the election, by the people, of delegates to meet in general convention, to consider, discuss, and propose a new constitution, or alterations and amendments to the existing constitution of this commonwealth; and by an act passed on the thirteenth of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, did further provide for submitting the same to the people for ratification or rejection; and the same having been submitted accordingly, was ratified by them;

And whereas the general assembly of Virginia, by an act passed on the twenty-first day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, did provide for the election, by the people, of delegates to meet in general convention to consider, discuss, and adopt alterations and amendments to the existing constitution of this Edition: current; Page: [3873] commonwealth, the delegates assembled did, therefore, having maturely considered the premises, adopt a revised and amended constitution as the form of government of Virginia;

And whereas the Congress of the United States did, by an act passed on the second day of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven, and entitled “An act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States,” and by acts supplementary thereto, passed on the twenty-third day of March and the nineteenth day of July, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven, provide for the election by the people of Virginia, qualified to vote under the provisions of said acts, of delegates to meet in convention, to frame a constitution or form of government for Virginia, in conformity with said acts, and by the same acts did further provide for the submitting of such constitution to the qualified voters for ratification or rejection:

We, therefore, the delegates of the good people of Virginia, elected and in convention assembled, in pursuance of said acts, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do propose to the people the following constitution and form of government for this commonwealth:

Article I: BILL OF RIGHTS

A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS MADE BY THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOOD PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA, ASSEMBLED IN FULL AND FREE CONVENTION, WHICH RIGHTS DO PERTAIN TO THEM AND THEIR POSTERITY, AS THE BASIS AND FOUNDATION OF GOVERNMENT

Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity, namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Sec. 2. That this State shall ever remain a member of the United States of America, and that the people thereof are part of the American nation, and that all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve said Union or to sever said nation, are unauthorized and ought to be resisted with the whole power of the State.

Sec. 3. That the Constitution of the United States, and the laws of Congress passed in pursuance thereof, constitute the supreme law of the land, to which paramount allegiance and obedience are due from every citizen, anything in the constitution, ordinances, or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Sec. 4. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

Sec. 5. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness Edition: current; Page: [3874] and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

Sec. 6. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community but in consideration of public services; which, not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.

Sec. 7. That the legislative, executive, and judicial powers should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens of the people, they should at fixed periods be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all or any part of the former members to be again eligible or ineligible, as the law shall direct.

Sec. 8. That all elections ought to be free, and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not in like manner assented, for the public good.

Sec. 9. That all power 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.

Sec. 10. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

Sec. 11. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.

Sec. 12. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

Sec. 13. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.

Sec. 14. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments; and any citizen may speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Sec. 15. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies in time of peace should be avoided Edition: current; Page: [3875] as dangerous to liberty, and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

Sec. 16. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from or independent of the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

Sec. 17. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, and virtue, and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Sec. 18. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

Sec. 19. That neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as lawful imprisonment may constitute such, shall exist within this State.

Sec. 20. That all citizens of the State are hereby declared to possess equal civil and political rights and public privileges.

Sec. 21. The rights enumerated in this bill of rights shall not be construed to limit other rights of the people not therein expressed.

The declaration of the political rights and privileges of the inhabitants of this State is hereby declared to be a part of the constitution of this commonwealth, and shall not be violated on any pretence whatever.

Article II: DIVISION OF POWERS

The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others; nor shall any person exercise the power of more than one of them at the same time, except as hereinafter provided.

Article III: ELECTIVE FRANCHISE AND QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE

Section 1. Every male citizen of the United States, twenty-one years old, who shall have been a resident of this State twelve months, and of the county, city, or town in which he shall offer to vote three months next preceding any election, shall be entitled to vote upon all questions submitted to the people at such election: Provided, That no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine of the United States Army or Navy shall be considered a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein: And provided also, That the following persons shall be excluded from voting:

1st. Idiots and lunatics.

2d. Persons convicted of bribery in any election, embezzlement of public funds, treason, or felony.

3d. No person who, while a citizen of this State, has, since the adoption of this constitution, fought a duel with a deadly weapon, sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with a deadly weapon, either Edition: current; Page: [3876] within or beyond the boundaries of this State, or knowingly conveyed a challenge, or aided or assisted in any manner in fighting a duel, shall be allowed to vote or hold any office of honor, profit, or trust under this constitution.

4th. Every person who has been a senator or representative in Congress, or elector of President or Vice-President, or who held any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

This clause shall include the following officers: Governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, auditor of public accounts, second auditor, register of the land office, State treasurer, attorney-general, sheriffs, sergeant of a city or town, commissioner of the revenue, county surveyors, constables, overseers of the poor, commissioner of the board of public works, judges of the supreme court, judges of the circuit courts, judge of the court of hustings, justices of the county courts, mayor, recorder, alderman, councilmen of a city or town, coroners, escheators, inspectors of tobacco, flour, &c., clerks of the supreme, district, circuit and county courts, and of the court of hustings, and attorneys for the commonwealth.

Provided, That the legislature may, by a vote of three-fifths of both houses, remove the disabilities incurred by this clause from any person included therein, by a separate vote in each case.

Sec. 2. All elections shall be ballot, and all persons entitled to vote shall be eligible to any office within the gift of the people, except as restricted in this constitution.

Sec. 3. All persons entitled to vote and hold office, and none others, shall be eligible to sit as jurors.

Sec. 4. The general assembly shall, at its first session under this constitution, enact a general registration law; and every person offering or applying to register shall take and subscribe, before the officer charged with making a registration of voters, the following oath:

“I, ——— ———, do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I am not disqualified from exercising the right of suffrage by the constitution framed by the convention which assembled in the city of Richmond on the third day of December, 1867, and that I will support and defend the same to the best of my ability.”

Sec. 5. No voter during the time of holding any election at which he is entitled to vote shall be compelled to perform military service, except in time of war or public danger, to work upon public roads, or to attend any court as suitor, juror, or witness; and no voter shall be subject to arrest under any civil process during his attendance at elections, or in going to or returning from them.

OATH OF OFFICE

Sec. 6. All persons, before entering upon the discharge of any function as officers of this State, must take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation:

“I, ——— ———, do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, Edition: current; Page: [3877] and the constitution and laws of the State of Virginia; that I recognize and accept the civil and political equality of all men before the law, and that I will faithfully perform the duty of ——— to the best of my ability: So help me God.”

Sec. 7. In addition to the foregoing oath of office, the governor, lieutenant-governor, members of the general assembly, secretary of state, auditor of public accounts, State treasurer, attorney-general, and all persons elected to any convention to frame a constitution for this State, or to amend or revise this constitution in any manner, and mayor and council of any city or town, shall, before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: Provided, The disabilities therein contained may be individually removed by a three-fifths vote of the general assembly:

“I, ——— ———, do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I have never voluntarily borne arms against the United States since I have been a citizen thereof; that I have voluntarily given no aid, countenance, counsel or encouragement to persons engaged in armed hostility thereto; that I have never sought nor accepted, nor attempted to exercise the functions of any office whatever, under any authority, or pretended authority, in hostility to the United States; that I have not yielded a voluntary support to any pretended government, authority, power or constitution within the United States, hostile or inimical thereto. And I do further swear [or affirm] that, to the best of my knowledge and ability, I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The above oath shall also be taken by all city and county officers before entering upon their duties, and by all other State officers not included in the above provision.

Article IV: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

GOVERNOR

Section 1. The chief executive power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a governor. He shall hold office for a term of four years, to commence on the first day of January next succeeding his election, and be ineligible to the same office for the term next succeeding that for which he was elected, and to any other office during his term of office.

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected by the voters at the times and places of choosing members of the general assembly. Returns of elections shall be transmitted, under seal, by the proper officers, to the secretary of the commonwealth, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of delegates, on the first day of the next session of the general assembly. The speaker of the house of delegates shall, within one week thereafter, in presence of a majority of the senate and house of delegates, open the said returns, and the votes shall Edition: current; Page: [3878] then be counted. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared elected; but if two or more shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, one of them shall be chosen governor by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly. Contested elections for governor shall be decided by a like vote, and the mode of proceeding in such cases shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 3. No person, except a citizen of the United States, shall be eligible to the office of governor; and if such person be of foreign birth, he must have been a citizen of the United States for ten years next preceding his election; nor shall any person be eligible to that office unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, and have been a resident of this State for three years next preceding his election.

Sec. 4. The governor shall reside at the seat of government; shall receive five thousand dollars for each year of his service, and while in office shall receive no other emolument from this or any other government.

Sec. 5. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; communicate to the general assembly, at every session, the condition of the commonwealth; recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient, and convene the general assembly, on application of two-thirds of the members of both houses thereof, or when, in his opinion, the interest of the commonwealth may require it. He shall be commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the State; have power to embody the militia, to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, and enforce the execution of the laws; conduct, either in person or in such other manner as shall be prescribed by law, all intercourse with other and foreign States; and, during the recess of the general assembly, to fill, pro tempore, all vacancies in those offices for which the constitution and laws make no provision; but his appointments to such vacancies shall be by commissions to expire at the end of thirty days after the commencement of the next session of the general assembly. He shall have power to remit fines and penalties in such cases and under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law; and, except when the prosecution has been carried on by the house of delegates, to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction; to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offenses committed prior or subsequent to the adoption of this constitution, and to commute capital punishment; but he shall communicate to the general assembly at each session the particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same.

Sec. 6. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; and may also require the opinion, in writing, of the attorney-general upon any question of law connected with his official duties.

Sec. 7. Commissions and grants shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and be attested by the governor, with the seal of the commonwealth annexed.

Sec. 8. Every bill which shall have passed the senate and house of delegates, and every resolution requiring the assent of both branches of the general assembly, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented Edition: current; Page: [3879] to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such consideration, two-thirds of the members present shall agree to pass the bill or joint resolution, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members present, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the objections of the governor. But in all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by ayes and noes, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill or joint resolution shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill or resolution shall not be returned by the governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature shall, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR

Sec. 9. A lieutenant-governor shall be elected at the same time and for the same term as the governor, and his qualification and the manner of his election, in all respects, shall be the some.

Sec. 10. In case of the removal of the governor from office, or of his death, failure to qualify, resignation, removal from the State, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the said office, with its compensation, shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor; and the general assembly shall provide by law for the discharge of the executive functions in other necessary cases.

Sec. 11. The lieutenant-governor shall be president of the senate, but shall have no vote except in case of an equal division; and, while acting as such, shall receive a compensation equal to that allowed to the speaker of the house of delegates.

SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH, TREASURER, AND AUDITOR

Sec. 12. A secretary of the commonwealth, treasurer, and auditor of public accounts shall be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, and continue in office for the term of two years, unless sooner relieved. The salary of each shall be determined by law.

Sec. 13. The secretary shall keep a record of the official acts of the governor, which shall be signed by the governor and attested by the secretary; and when required, he shall lay the same, and any papers, minutes, and vouchers pertaining to his office, before either house of the general assembly; and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law. All fees received by the secretary shall be paid into the treasury.

Sec. 14. The powers and duties of the treasurer and auditor shall be such as now are or may hereafter be prescribed by law.

Sec. 15. There may be established in the office of the secretary of state a bureau of statistics and a bureau of agricultural chemistry and geology, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 16. The general assembly shall have power to establish a Edition: current; Page: [3880] bureau of agriculture and immigration, under such regulations as may be prescribed.

BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS

Sec. 17. There shall be a board of public works, to consist of the governor, auditor, and treasurer of the commonwealth, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Article V: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The legislative power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of delegates.

Sec. 2. The house of delegates shall be elected biennially by the voters of the several cities and counties on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November, and shall be distributed and apportioned as follows:

  • District No. 1. Accomac shall have two delegates.
  • 2. Albemarle shall have three delegates.
  • 3. Amelia shall have one delegate.
  • 4. Alexandria shall have two delegates.
  • 5. Amherst shall have two delegates.
  • 6. Appomattox shall have one delegate.
  • 7. Alleghany and Craig shall have one delegate.
  • 8. Augusta shall have three delegates.
  • 9. Bath and Highland shall have one delegate.
  • 10. Bedford shall have three delegates.
  • 11. Bland shall have one delegate.
  • 12. Botetourt shall have one delegate.
  • 13. Brunswick shall have one delegate.
  • 14. Buckingham shall have two delegates.
  • 15. Buchanan and Wise shall have one delegate.
  • 16. Campbell shall have three delegates.
  • 17. Caroline shall have two delegates.
  • 18. Carroll shall have one delegate.
  • 19. Charles City shall have one delegate.
  • 20. Charlotte shall have two delegates.
  • 21. Chesterfield and Powhatan shall have three delegates.
  • 22. Cumberland shall have one delegate.
  • 23. Culpeper shall have one delegate.
  • 24. Clarke shall have one delegate.
  • 25. Dinwiddie shall have one delegate.
  • 26. Elizabeth City and Warwick shall have two delegates.
  • 27. Essex shall have one delegate.
  • 28. Fauquier shall have two delegates.
  • 29. Fairfax shall have one delegate.
  • 30. Floyd shall have one delegate.
  • 31. Franklin shall have two delegates.
  • 32. Fluvanna shall have one delegate.
  • 33. Frederick shall have one delegate.
  • 34. Giles shall have one delegate. Edition: current; Page: [3881]
  • 35. Goochland shall have one delegate.
  • 36. Greenesville shall have one delegate.
  • 37. Greene shall have one delegate.
  • 38. Gloucester shall have one delegate.
  • 39. Grayson shall have one delegate.
  • 40. Halifax shall have three delegates.
  • 41. Hanover shall have two delegates.
  • 42. Henrico and Richmond City shall have eight delegates.
  • 43. Henry shall have one delegate.
  • 44. Isle of Wight shall have one delegate.
  • 45. James City and city of Williamsburg shall have one delegate.
  • 46. King and Queen shall have one delegate.
  • 47. King William shall have one delegate.
  • 48. King George shall have one delegate.
  • 49. Lancaster shall have one delegate.
  • 50. Lee shall have one delegate.
  • 51. Louisa shall have two delegates.
  • 52. Lunenburg shall have one delegate.
  • 53. Loudoun shall have two delegates.
  • 54. Mathews shall have one delegate.
  • 55. Madison shall have one delegate.
  • 56. Mecklenburg shall have two delegates.
  • 57. Middlesex shall have one delegate.
  • 58. Montgomery shall have one delegate.
  • 59. Nansemond shall have one delegate.
  • 60. New Kent shall have one delegate.
  • 61. Norfolk county and the city of Portsmouth shall have three delegates.
  • 62. Norfolk City shall have two delegates.
  • 63. Nelson shall have one delegate.
  • 64. Nottoway shall have one delegate.
  • 65. Northampton shall have one delegate.
  • 66. Northumberland shall have one delegate.
  • 67. Orange shall have one delegate.
  • 68. Patrick shall have one delegate.
  • 69. Page shall have one delegate.
  • 70. Pittsylvania shall have four delegates.
  • 71. Petersburg City shall have two delegates.
  • 72. Prince Edward shall have one delegate.
  • 73. Prince George shall have one delegate.
  • 74. Prince William shall have one delegate.
  • 75. Pulaski shall have one delegate.
  • 76. Princess Anne shall have one delegate.
  • 77. Rappahannock shall have one delegate.
  • 78. Richmond County shall have one delegate.
  • 79. Rockingham shall have two delegates.
  • 80. Rockbridge shall have two delegates.
  • 81. Roanoke shall have one delegate.
  • 82. Russell shall have one delegate.
  • 83. Shenandoah shall have one delegate.
  • 84. Smyth shall have one delegate.
  • 85. Southampton shall have one delegate. Edition: current; Page: [3882]
  • 86. Scott shall have one delegate.
  • 87. Surry shall have one delegate.
  • 88. Stafford shall have one delegate.
  • 89. Sussex shall have one delegate.
  • 90. Spotsylvania shall have one delegate.
  • 91. Tazewell shall have one delegate.
  • 92. Washington shall have two delegates.
  • 93. Warren shall have one delegate.
  • 94. Westmoreland shall have one delegate.
  • 95. Wythe shall have one delegate.
  • 96. York shall have one delegate.

Sec. 3. The senators shall be elected for the term of four years, for the election of whom the counties, cities, and towns shall be divided into not more than forty districts. Each county, city, and town of the respective districts, at the time of the first election of its delegates or delegates under this constitution, shall vote for one or more senathe respective districts, at the time of the first election of its delegate bearing odd numbers shall vacate their offices at the end of two years, and those elected in districts bearing even numbers, at the end of four years; and vacancies occurring by expiration of term shall be filled by the election of senators for the full term.

The following shall constitute the senatorial districts:

  • Alexandria, Fairfax, and Loudoun shall form the first district, and be entitled to two senators.
  • Fauquier, Rappahannock, and Prince William shall form the second district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Orange, Culpeper, and Madison shall form the third district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Louisa shall form the fourth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Fluvanna, Goochland, and Powhatan shall form the fifth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Albemarle and Greene shall form the sixth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Buckingham and Appomattox shall form the seventh district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Nelson and Amherst shall form the eighth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Franklin and Henry shall form the ninth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Pittsylvania shall form the tenth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Campbell shall form the eleventh district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Bedford shall form the twelfth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Halifax shall form the thirteenth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Charlotte and Prince Edward shall form the fourteenth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Mecklenburg shall form the fifteenth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, and Edition: current; Page: [3883] Lancaster shall form the sixteenth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Caroline, Essex, and King William shall form the seventeenth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Gloucester, Middlesex, Mathews, and King and Queen shall form the eighteenth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Richmond City and Henrico shall form the nineteenth district, and be entitled to three senators.
  • Norfolk City and Princess Anne County shall form the twentieth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Norfolk County and the city of Portsmouth shall form the twenty-first district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Nansemond, Southampton, and Isle of Wight shall form the twenty-second district, and be entitld to one senator.
  • Greenesville, Dinwiddie, and Sussex shall form the twenty-third district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Surry, York, Warwick, and Elizabeth City shall form the twenty-fourth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Brunswick and Lunenburg shall form the twenty-fifth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Chesterfield and Prince George shall form the twenty-sixth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • The city of Petersburg shall form the twenty-seventh district and be entitled to one senator.
  • Accomac and Northampton shall form the twenty-eighth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Hanover, New Kent, Charles City, and James City shall form the twenty-ninth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Cumberland, Amelia, and Nottoway shall form the thirtieth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Frederick, Clarke, and Shenandoah shall form the thirty-first district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Page, Warren, and Rockingham shall form the thirty-second district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Highland and Augusta shall form the thirty-third district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Rockbridge, Bath, and Alleghany shall form the thirty-fourth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Botetourt, Roanoke, Craig, and Giles shall form the thirty-fifth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Montgomery, Floyd, and Patrick shall form the thirty-sixth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Grayson, Carroll, and Wythe shall form the thirty-seventh district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Pulaski, Bland, Tazewell, and Russell shall form the thirty-eighth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Lee, Scott, Wise, and Buchanan shall form the thirty-ninth district, and be entitled to one senator.
  • Washington and Smyth shall form the fortieth district, and be entitled to one senator.

Sec. 4. At the first session of the general assembly after the enumeration of the inhabitants of the State by the United States, a reapportionment of senators and members of the house of delegates, and every tenth year thereafter, shall be made.

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QUALIFICATIONS OF SENATORS AND DELEGATES

Sec. 5. Any person may be elected senator who, at the time of election, is actually a resident within the district, and qualified to vote for members of the general assembly according to this constitution; and any person may be elected a member of the house of delegates who, at the time of election, is actually a resident within the county, city, town, or election district, qualified to vote for members of the general assembly according to this constitution. The removal of any person elected to either branch of the general assembly from the city, county, town, or district for which he was elected, shall vacate his office.

POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall meet annually, and not oftener, unless convened by the governor in the manner prescribed in this constitution. No session of the general assembly, after the first under this constitution, shall continue longer than ninety days, without the concurrence of three-fifths of the members elected to each house; in which case the session may be extended for a further period, not exceeding thirty days. Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting. A majority of the members elected to each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall have power to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalty as each house may prescribe.

Sec. 7. The house of delegates shall choose its own speaker, and in the absence of the lieutenant-governor, or when he shall exercise the office of governor, the senate shall choose from their own body a president pro tempore; and each house shall appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for supplying intermediate vacancies; but if vacancies shall occur during the recess of the general assembly, such writs may be issued by the governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Each house shall judge of the election, qualification, and returns of its members, may punish them for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.

Sec. 8. The members of the general assembly shall receive for their services a compensation, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the public treasury, but no act increasing such compensation shall take effect until after the end of the term for which the members of the house of delegates voting thereon were elected; and no senator or delegate during the term for which he shall have been elected shall be appointed to any civil office of profit under the commonwealth, which has been created, or the emoluments of which have been increased, during such term, except offices filled by election by the people.

Sec. 9. Bills and resolutions may originate in either of the two houses of the general assembly, to be approved or rejected by either, and may be amended by either house, with the consent of the other.

Sec. 10. Each house of the general assembly shall keep a journal Edition: current; Page: [3885] of its proceedings, which shall be published from time to time, and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal. No bill shall become a law until it has been read on three different days of the session in the house in which it originated, unless two-thirds of the members in that house shall otherwise determine.

Sec. 11. The members of the general assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the sessions of their respective houses; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place. They shall not be subject to arrest under any civil process, during the session of the general assembly, nor for fifteen days next before the convening and after the termination of each session.

Sec. 12. The whole number of members to which the State may at any time be entitled in the House of Representatives of the United States shall be apportioned, as nearly as may be, amongst the several counties, cities, and towns of the State, according to their population.

Sec. 13. In the apportionment the State shall be divided into districts, corresponding in number with the Representatives to which it may be entitled in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, which shall be formed, respectively, of contiguous counties, cities, and towns, be compact, and include, as nearly as may be, an equal number of population.

Sec. 14. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of invasion or rebellion, the public safety may require it. The general assembly shall not pass any bill of attainder, or any ex post facto law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts, or any law whereby private property shall be taken for public uses without just compensation, or any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall any man be forced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise affect, diminish, or enlarge their civil capacities. And the general assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others any tax for the erection or repair of any house of public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry, but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.

Sec. 15. No law shall embrace more than one object, which shall be expressed in its title; nor shall any law be revived or amended with reference to its title, but the act revived, or the section amended, shall be reënacted and published at length.

Sec. 16. The governor, lieutenant-governor, judges, and all others offending against the State, by maladministration, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crime or misdemeanor, shall be impeachable by the house of delegates, and be prosecuted before the senate, Edition: current; Page: [3886] which shall have the sole power to try impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment, in case of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold or enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the commonwealth; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law. The senate may sit during the recess of the general assembly for the trial of impeachment.

Sec. 17. The general assembly shall not grant a charter of incorporation to any church or religious denomination, but may secure the title to church property to an extent to be limited by law.

Sec. 18. No lottery shall hereafter be authorized by law; and the buying, selling, or transferring of tickets or chances in any lottery shall be prohibited.

Sec. 19. No new county shall be formed with an area of less than six hundred square miles; nor shall the county or counties from which it is formed be reduced below that area; nor shall any county having a population less than ten thousand be deprived of more than one-fifth of such population; nor shall a county having a larger population be reduced below eight thousand. But any county, the length of which is three times its mean breadth, or which exceeds fifty miles in length, may be divided at the discretion of the general assembly. In all general elections the voters in any county not entitled to separate representation shall vote in the same election district.

Sec. 20. The general assembly shall confer on the courts the power to grant divorces, change the names of persons, and direct the sale of estates belonging to infants and other persons under legal disabilities, but shall not, by special legislation, grant relief in such cases, or in any other case of which the courts or other tribunals may have jurisdiction.

Sec. 21. The general assembly shall provide for the annual registration of births, marriages, and deaths.

Sec. 22. The manner of conducting and making returns of elections, of determining contested elections, and of filling vacancies in office, in cases not specially provided for by this constitution, shall be prescribed by law; and the general assembly may declare the cases in which any office shall be deemed vacant, where no provision is made for that purpose in this constitution.

Article VI: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Section 1. There shall be a supreme court of appeals, circuit courts, and county courts. The jurisdiction of these tribunals, and the judges thereof, except so far as the same is conferred by this constitution, shall be regulated by law.

COURT OF APPEALS

Sec. 2. The supreme court of appeals shall consist of five judges, any three of whom may hold a court. It shall have appellate jurisdiction only, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and Edition: current; Page: [3887] prohibition. It shall not have jurisdiction in civil cases where the matter in controversy, exclusive of costs, is less in value or amount than five hundred dollars, except in controversies concerning the title or boundaries of land, the probate of a will, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee, or curator; or concerning a mill, roadway, ferry, or landing; or the right of a corporation or of a county to levy tolls or taxes, and except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition, or the constitutionality of a law: Provided, That the assent of a majority of the judges elected to the court shall be required in order to declare any law null and void by reason of its repugnance to the Federal Constitution, or to the constitution of this State.

Sec. 3. Special courts of appeals, to consist of not less than three nor more than five judges, may be formed of the judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the circuit courts, or any of them, to try any cases on the docket of said court, in respect to which a majority of the judges thereof may be so situated as to make it improper for them to sit on the hearing of the same; and also to try any cases on the said docket which cannot be otherwise disposed of with convenient dispatch.

Sec. 4. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the supreme court of appeals, the reasons therefor shall be stated in writing and preserved with the records of the case.

Sec. 5. The judges shall be chosen by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, and shall hold their office for a term of twelve years; they shall, when chosen, have held a judicial station in the United States, or shall have practiced law in this or some other State for five years.

Sec. 6. The officers of the supreme court of appeals shall be appointed by the said court, or the judges thereof in vacation. Their duties, compensation, and tenure of office shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 7. The supreme court of appeals shall hold its sessions at two or more places in the State, to be fixed by law.

Sec. 8. At every election of a governor, an attorney-general shall be elected by the qualified voters of this commonwealth. He shall be commissioned by the governor, perform such duties, and receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law, and shall be removable in the manner prescribed for the removal of judges.

CIRCUIT COURTS

Sec. 9. The State shall be divided into sixteen judicial circuits, as follows:

  • 1. The counties of Norfolk, Princess Anne, Nansemond, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry, and the city of Norfolk, shall constitute the first circuit.
  • 2. The counties of Sussex, Greenesville, Brunswick, Prince George, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Chesterfield, and the city of Petersburgh, shall constitute the second circuit.
  • 3. The counties of Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Charlotte, Amelia, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Buckingham, and Cumberland shall constitute the third circuit.
  • 4. The counties of Halifax, Pittsylvania, Henry, Patrick, Franklin, and the town of Danville, shall constitute the fourth circuit. Edition: current; Page: [3888]
  • 5. The counties of Bedford, Campbell, Appomattox, Amherst, Nelson, and the city of Lynchburg, shall constitute the fifth circuit.
  • 6. The counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Culpeper, Goochland, Madison, Greene, and Orange shall constitute the sixth circuit.
  • 7. The county of Henrico and the city of Richmond shall constitute the seventh circuit.
  • 8. The counties of Accomac, Northampton, York, Elizabeth City, Warwick, James City, New Kent, Charles City, and the city of Williamsburg, shall constitute the eighth circuit.
  • 9. The counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Mathews, Middle-sex, Gloucester, King William, Essex, and King and Queen shall constitute the ninth district.
  • 10. The counties of Westmoreland, Spotsylvania, Caroline, Hanover, Stafford, King George, Richmond, and Louisa shall constitute the tenth circuit.
  • 11. The counties of Loudoun, Fauquier, Fairfax, Prince William, Rappahannock, and Alexandria shall constitute the eleventh circuit.
  • 12. The counties of Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Page, Shenandoah, and Rockingham shall constitute the twelfth circuit.
  • 13. The counties of Augusta, Rockbridge, Bath, Highland, and Alleghany shall constitute the thirteenth circuit.
  • 14. The counties of Botetourt, Roanoke, Montgomery, Floyd, Giles, and Craig shall constitute the fourteenth circuit.
  • 15. The counties of Carroll, Grayson, Wythe, Pulaski, Bland, and Tazewell shall constitute the fifteenth circuit.
  • 16. The counties of Smyth, Washington, Lee, Scott, Wise, Russell, and Buchanan shall constitute the sixteenth circuit.

Sec. 10. The general assembly may rearrange said circuits, or any of them, and increase or diminish the number thereof when the public interests shall require it.

Sec. 11. For each circuit a judge shall be chosen by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, who shall hold his office for a term of eight years, unless sooner removed, in the manner prescribed by this constitution. He shall, when chosen, possess the same qualifications of judges of the supreme court of appeals, and during his continuance in office shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge.

Sec. 12. A circuit court shall be held at least twice a year by the judges of each circuit in every county and corporation thereof wherein a circuit court now is, or may hereafter be, established; but the judges may be required or authorized to hold the courts of their respective circuits alternately, and the judge of one circuit to hold court in any other circuit.

COUNTY COURTS

Sec. 13. In each county of this commonwealth there shall be a court called the county court, which shall be held monthly by a judge learned in the law of the State, and to be known as the county-court judge: Provided, That counties containing less than eight thousand inhabitants shall be attached to adjoining counties for the formation of districts for county judges; county-court judges shall be chosen in the same manner as judges of the circuit courts; they shall hold their Edition: current; Page: [3889] office for a term of six years, except the first term under this constitution, which shall be three years, and during their continuance in office they shall reside in their respective counties or districts; the jurisdiction of said courts shall be the same as that of the existing county courts, except so far as it is modified by this constitution or may be changed by law.

GOVERNMENT OF CITIES AND TOWNS

Sec. 14. For each city or town in the State containing a population of five thousand there shall be elected, on the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, one city judge, who shall hold a corporation or hustings court of said city or town as often and as many days in each month as may be prescribed by law, with similar jurisdiction which may be given by law to the circuit courts of this State, and who shall hold his office for a term of six years: Provided, That in cities or towns containing thirty thousand inhabitants there may be elected an additional judge to hold courts of probate and record separate and apart from the corporation or hustings courts, and perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 15. Also the following-enumerated officers, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of the said cities or towns: One clerk of the corporation or hustings court, who shall also be the clerk of the circuit court, except in cities or towns containing a population of thirty thousand or more; in which city or town there may be a separate clerk for the circuit court, who shall hold his office for a term of six years.

Sec. 16. One commonwealth’s attorney, who shall be the commonwealth’s attorney for the circuit court, and shall hold his office for a term of two years.

Sec. 17. One city sergeant, who shall hold his office for a term of two years.

Sec. 18. One city or town treasurer, whose duties shall be similar to those of county treasurer, and shall hold his office for a term of three years.

Sec. 19. One commissioner of the revenue.

Sec. 20. There shall be chosen by the electors of every city a mayor, who shall be the chief executive officer thereof, and who shall see that the duties of the various city officers are faithfully performed. He shall have power to investigate their acts, have access to all books and documents in their offices, and may examine them and their subordinates on oath. The evidence given by persons so examined shall not be used against them in any criminal proceedings. He shall also have power to suspend or remove such officers, whether they be elected or appointed, for misconduct in office or neglect of duty, to be specified in the order of suspension or removal; but no such removal shall be made without reasonable notice to the officer complained of, and an opportunity afforded him to be heard in his defence. All city, town, and village officers, whose election or appointment is not provided for by this constitution, shall be elected by the electors of such cities, towns, and villages, or of some division thereof, or appointed by such authorities thereof as the general Edition: current; Page: [3890] assembly shall designate. All other officers whose election or appointment is not provided for by this constitution, and all officers whose offices may be hereafter created by law, shall be elected by the people, or appointed, as the general assembly may direct. Members of common councils shall hold no other office in cities, and no city officer shall hold a seat in the general assembly. The general assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall pass such laws as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of this article. General laws shall be passed for the organization and government of cities, and no special act shall be passed except in cases where, in the judgment of the general assembly, the object of such act cannot be attained by general laws. Nothing in this article shall affect the power of the general assembly over quarantine, or in regard to the port of Norfolk, or the interest of the State in the lands under water and within the jurisdiction or boundaries of any city, or to regulate the wharves, piers, or slips in any city. All laws or city ordinances in conflict with the provisions of the preceding sections shall be void from and after the adoption of this constitution.

Sec. 21. All regular elections for city or town officers, under this article, shall be held on the fourth Thursday in May, and the officers elect shall enter upon their duties on the first day of July succeeding.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 22. All the judges shall be commissioned by the governor, and shall receive such salaries and allowances as may be determined by law, the amount of which shall not be diminished during their term of office. Their terms of office shall commence on the first day of January next following their appointment, and they shall discharge the duties of their respective offices from their first appointment and qualification under this constitution until their terms begin.

Sec. 23. Judges shall be removed from office by a concurrent vote of both houses of the general assembly, but a majority of all the members elected to each house must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journal of each house. The judge against whom the general assembly may be about to proceed shall have notice thereof, accompanied by a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either house of the general assembly shall act thereon.

Sec. 24. Judges of the supreme court of appeals and judges of the circuit courts shall not hold any other office or public trust during their continuance in office.

Sec. 25. Judges, and all other officers elected or appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices after their terms of service have expired, until their successors have qualified.

Sec. 26. Writs shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and be attested by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth.”

Article VII: COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS

Section 1. There shall be elected by the qualified voters of the county one sheriff, one attorney for the commonwealth, who shall also Edition: current; Page: [3891] be the commonwealth’s attorney for the circuit court, one county clerk, who shall also be the clerk of the circuit court, except that in counties containing fifteen thousand inhabitants there may be a separate clerk for the circuit court, one county treasurer, and one superintendent of the poor; and there shall be appointed, in the manner provided for in Article VIII, one superintendent of schools: Provided, That counties containing less than eight thousand inhabitants may be attached to adjoining counties for the formation of districts for superintendents of schools: Provided also, That in counties containing thirty thousand inhabitants there may be appointed an additional superintendent of schools therein. All regular elections for county officers shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and all officers elected or appointed under this provision shall enter upon the duties of their offices on the first day of January next succeeding their election, and shall hold their respective officers for the term of three years, except that the county and circuit court clerks shall hold their offices for four years.

TOWNSHIPS

Sec. 2. Each county of the State shall be divided into so many compactly located townships as may be deemed necessary, not less than three: Provided, That after three have been formed no additional township shall be made containing less than thirty square miles. Each township shall be known as the township of ———, in the county of ———, and may sue and be sued by such title. In each township there shall be elected annually one supervisor, one township clerk, one assessor, one collector, one commissioner of roads, one overseer of the poor, one justice of the peace, who shall hold his office three years; one constable, who shall hold his office three years: Provided, That at the first election held under this provision there shall be three justices of the peace and three constables elected, whose terms shall be one, two, and three years, respectively. All regular elections for township officers shall take place on the fourth Thursday in May, and all officers so elected shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices on the first day of July next succeeding their election. The supervisors of each township shall constitute the board of supervisors for that county, and shall assemble at the court-house thereof on the first Monday in December, in each year, and proceed to audit the accounts of said county, examine the books of the assessors, regulate and equalize the valuation of property, fix the county levies for the ensuing year, apportion the same among the various townships, and perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by law.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Sec. 3. Each township shall be divided into so many compactly located school districts as may be deemed necessary: Provided, That no school district shall be formed containing less than one hundred inhabitants. In each school district there shall be elected or appointed annually one school trustee, who shall hold his office three years: Provided, That at the first election held under this provision there shall be three trustees elected, whose terms shall be one, two, and three years, respectively.

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ROAD DISTRICTS

Sec. 4. Each township shall be divided into one or more road districts. In each road district there shall be elected annually one overseer of roads, under whose direction the roads shall be kept in repair, at the public expense, in a mode prescribed by law.

Sec. 5. The general assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall pass such laws as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of this article. But nothing in this article shall be construed as prohibiting the general assembly from providing by law for any additional officers in any city or county.

Sec. 6. Sheriffs shall hold no other office. They may be required by law to renew their security, and, in default of so doing, their offices shall be declared vacant. Counties shall never be made responsible for the acts of the sheriffs.

Article VIII: EDUCATION

Section 1. The general assembly shall elect, in joint ballot, within thirty days after its organization under this constitution, and every fourth year thereafter, a superintendent of public instruction. He shall have the general supervision of the public free-school interests of the State, and shall report to the general assembly for its consideration within thirty days after his election a plan for a uniform system of public free schools.

Sec. 2. There shall be a board of education, composed of the governor, superintendent of public instruction, and attorney-general, which shall appoint and have power to remove for cause and upon notice to the incumbents, subject to confirmation by the senate, all county superintendents of public free schools. This board shall have, regulated by law, the management and investment of all school-funds, and such supervision of schools of higher grades as the law shall provide.

Sec. 3. The general assembly shall provide by law, at its first session under this constitution, a uniform system of public free schools, and for its gradual, equal, and full introduction into all the counties of the State by the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six, or as much earlier as practicable.

Sec. 4. The general assembly shall have power, after a full introduction of the public free-school system, to make such laws as shall not permit parents and guardians to allow their children to grow up in ignorance and vagrancy.

Sec. 5. The general assembly shall establish, as soon as practicable, normal schools, and may establish agricultural schools and such grades of schools as shall be for the public good.

Sec. 6. The board of education shall provide for uniformity of text-books, and the furnishing of school-houses with such apparatus and library as may be necessary, under such regulations as may be provided by law.

Sec. 7. The general assembly shall set apart, as a permanent and perpetual “literary fund,” the present literary funds of the State, the Edition: current; Page: [3893] proceeds of all public lands donated by Congress for public-school purposes, of all escheated property, of all waste and unappropriated lands, of all property accruing to the State by forfeiture, and all fines collected for offences committed against the State, and such other sums as the general assembly may appropriate.

Sec. 8. The general assembly shall apply the annual interest on the literary fund, the capitation-tax provided for by this constitution for public free-school purposes, and an annual tax upon the property of the State of not less than one mill, nor more than five mills, on the dollar, for the equal benefit of all the people of the State, the number of children between the ages of five and twenty-one years in each public free-school district being the basis of such division. Provision shall be made to supply children attending the public free schools with necessary text-books, in cases where the parent or guardian is unable, by reason of poverty, to furnish them. Each county and public free-school district may raise additional sums by a tax on property for the support of public free schools. All unexpended sums of any one year in any public free-school district shall go into the general school-fund for redivision the next year: Provided, That any tax authorized by this section to be raised by counties or school districts shall not exceed five mills on a dollar in any one year, and shall not be subject to redivision, as hereinbefore provided in this section.

Sec. 9. The general assembly shall have power to foster all higher grades of schools under its supervision, and to provide for such purpose a permanent educational fund.

Sec. 10. All grants and donations received by the general assembly for educational purposes shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by the donors.

Sec. 11. Each city and county shall be held accountable for the destruction of school property that may take place within its limits by incendiaries or open violence.

Sec. 12. The general assembly shall fix the salaries and prescribe the duties of all school officers, and shall make all needful laws and regulations to carry into effect the public free-school system provided for by this article.

Article IX: MILITIA

Section 1. The militia of this State shall consist of all able-bodied male persons between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such persons as hereafter may be exempted by the laws of the United States or of this State; but those who belong to religious societies whose tenets forbid them to carry arms shall not be compelled to do so, but shall pay an equivalent for personal service; and the militia shall be organized, armed, and equipped, and trained as the general assembly may provide by law.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide by law for the encouragement of volunteer corps of the several arms of the service, which shall be classed as the active militia, and all other militia shall be classified as the reserve militia, and shall not be required to muster in time of peace.

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Article X: TAXATION AND FINANCE

Section 1. Taxation, except as hereafter provided, whether imposed by the State, county, or corporate bodies, shall be equal and uniform, and all property, both real and personal, shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as prescribed by law. No one species of property, from which a tax may be collected, shall be taxed higher than any other species of property of equal value.

Sec. 2. No tax shall be imposed on any of the citizens of this State for the privilege of taking or catching oysters from their natural beds with tongs, in the waters thereof, but the amount of sales of oysters so taken by any citizen in any one year may be taxed at a rate not exceeding the rate of taxation imposed upon any other species of property.

Sec. 3. The legislature may exempt all property used exclusively for State, county, municipal, benevolent, charitable, educational, and religious purposes.

Sec. 4. The general assembly may levy a tax on incomes in excess of six hundred dollars per annum, and upon the following licenses, viz: the sale of ardent spirits, theatrical and circus companies, menageries, jugglers, itinerant pedlers, and all other shows and exhibitions for which an entrance-fee is required, commission mechants, persons selling by sample, brokers, and pawnbrokers, and all other business which cannot be reached by the ad-valorem system. The capital invested in all business operations shall be assessed and taxed as other property. Assessments upon all stock shall be according to the market-value thereof.

Sec. 5. The general assembly may levy a tax, not exceeding one dollar per annum, on every male citizen who has attained the age of twenty-one years, wihch shall be applied exclusively in aid of public free schools; and counties and corporations shall have power to impose a capitation-tax, not exceeding fifty cents per annum for all purposes.

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall provide for a reassessment of the real estate of this State in the year 1869, or as soon thereafter as practicable, and every fifth year thereafter: Provided, In making such assessments, no land shall be assessed above or below its value.

Sec. 7. No debt shall be contracted by this State except to meet casual deficits in the revenue, to redeem a previous liability of the State, to suppress insurrection, repel invasion, or defend the State in time of war.

Sec. 8. The general assembly shall provide, by law, a sinking-fund, to be applied solely to the payment and extinguishment of the principal of the State debt, which sinking-fund shall be continued until the extinguishment of such State debt; and every law hereafter enacted by the general assembly, creating a debt or authorizing a loan, shall provide a sinking-fund for the payment of the same.

Sec. 9. The unfunded debt shall not be funded or redeemed at a value exceeding that established by law at the time said debt was contracted, nor shall any discrimination hereafter be made in paying the interest on State bonds which shall give a higher actual value to Edition: current; Page: [3895] bonds held in foreign countries over the same class of bonds held in this country.

Sec. 10. No money shall be paid out of the State treasury except in pursuance of appropriations made by law; and no appropriation shall ever be made for the payment of any debt or obligation created in the name of the State of Virginia, by the usurped and pretended State authorities assembled at Richmond during the late war; and no county, city, or corporation shall levy or collect any tax for the payment of any debt created for the purpose of aiding any rebellion against the State, or against the United States.

Sec. 11. On the passage of every act which imposes, continues, or revives any appropriation of public or trust money or property, or releases, discharges, or commutes any claim or demand of the State, the vote shall be determined by ayes and noes, and the names of the persons voting for and against the same shall be entered on the journals of the respective houses, and a majority of all the members elected to each house shall be necessary to give it the force of a law.

Sec. 12. The credit of the State shall not be granted to, or in aid of, any person, association, or corporation.

Sec. 13. No scrip, certificate, or other evidence of State indebtedness shall be issued except for the redemption of stock previously issued, or for such debts as are expressly authorized in this contitution.

Sec. 14. The State shall not subscribe to or become interested in the stock of any company, association, or corporation.

Sec. 15. The State shall not be a party to or become interested in any work of internal improvement, nor engage in carrying on any such work, otherwise than in the expenditure of grants to the State of land or other property.

Sec. 16. Every law which imposes, continues, or revives a tax shall distinctly state the tax and the object to which it is to be applied, and it shall not be sufficient to refer to any other law to fix such tax or object.

Sec. 17. The State shall not assume any indebtedness of the county, borough, nor city, nor lend its credit to the same.

Sec. 18. A full account of the State indebtedness, and an accurate statement of receipts and expenditures of the public money, shall be attached to and published with its laws passed at every regular session of the general assembly.

Sec. 19. The general assembly shall provide by law for adjusting with the State of West Virginia the proportion of the public debt of Virginia proper to be borne by the State of Virginia and West Virginia, and shall provide that such sum as shall be received from West Virginia shall be applied to the payment of the public debt of the State.

Sec. 20. No other or greater amount of tax or revenue shall at any time be levied than may be required for the necessary expenses of the government, or to pay the existing indebtedness of the State.

Sec. 21. The liability to the State of any incorporated company or institution to redeem the principal and pay the interest of any loan heretofore made by the State to such company or institution shall not be released or commuted.

Edition: current; Page: [3896]

USURYa

Upon debts hereafter contracted it shall be lawful to receive any rate of interest not exceeding twelve per centum per annum, which may be agreed upon by the parties and be specified in the bond, note, or other writing evidencing the debt. When there is no such agreement, the rate of interest shall be six per centum per annum for the use and forbearance of every hundred dollars.

Article XI: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

HOMESTEAD AND OTHER EXEMPTIONS

Section 1. Every householder or head of a family shall be entitled, in addition to the article now exempt from levy or distress for rent, to hold exempt from levy, seizure, garnisheeing, or sale, under any execution, order, or other process, issued on any demand for any debt heretofore or hereafter contracted, his real and personal property, or either, including money and debts due him, whether heretofore or hereafter acquired or contracted, to the value of not exceeding two thousand dollars, to be selected by him: Provided, That such exemption shall not extend to any execution, order, or other process issued on any demand in the following cases:

  • 1. For the purchase price of said property, or any part thereof.
  • 2. For services rendered by a laboring person or a mechanic.
  • 3. For liabilities incurred by any public officer, or officer of a court, or any fiduciary, or any attorney at law, for money collected.
  • 4. For a lawful claim for any taxes, levies, or assessments accruing after the first day of June, 1866.
  • 5. For rent hereafter accruing.
  • 6. For the legal or taxable fees of any public officer, or officers of a court, hereafter accruing.

Sec. 2. The foregoing section shall not be construed as subjecting the property hereby exempted, or any portion thereof, to any lien by reason of any execution levied on property which has been subsequently restored to the defendant, or judgment rendered or docketed on and after the 17th day of April, 1861, and before the 2d day of March, 1867, for any debt contracted previous to the 4th day of April, 1865, except debts of the character mentioned in either of the above first three exceptions.

Sec. 3. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to interfere with the sale of the property aforesaid, or any portion thereof, by virtue of any mortgage, deed of trust, pledge, or other security thereon.

Sec. 4. The general assembly is hereby prohibited from passing any law staying the collection of debts, commonly known as “stay laws;” but this section shall not be construed as prohibiting any legislation which the general assembly may deem necessary to fully carry out the provisions of this article.

Edition: current; Page: [3897]

Sec. 5. The general assembly shall, at its first session under this constitution, prescribe in what manner and on what conditions the said householder or head of a family shall thereafter set apart and hold, for himself and family, a homestead out of any property hereby exempted, and may, in its discretion, determine in what manner and on what conditions he may thereafter hold for the benefit of himself and family, such personal property as he may have, and coming within the exemption hereby made. But this section shall not be construed as authorizing the general assembly to defeat or impair the benefits intended to be conferred by the provisions of this article.

Sec. 6. An act of the general assembly entitled “An act to exempt the homesteads of families from forced sales,” passed April 29, 1867, and an act entitled “An act to stay the collection of debts for a limited period,” passed March 2, 1866, and the acts amendatory thereof, are hereby abrogated.

Sec. 7. The provisions of this article shall be construed liberally, to the end that all the intents thereof may be fully and perfectly carried out.

CHURCH PROPERTY

The rights of ecclesiastical bodies in and to church property conveyed to them by regular deed of conveyance shall not be affected by the late civil war, nor by any antecedent or subsequent event, nor by any act of the legislature purporting to govern the same, but all such property shall pass to and be held by the parties set forth in the original deeds of conveyance, or the legal assignees of such original parties holding through or by conveyance, and any act or acts of the legislature in opposition thereto shall be null and void.

HEIRSHIP PROPERTY

The children of parents one or both of whom were slaves at and during the period of cohabitation, and who were recognized by the father as his children, and whose mother was recognized by such father as his wife, and was cohabited with as such, shall be as capable of inheriting any estate whereof such father may have died seized or possessed as though they had been born in lawful wedlock.

Article XII: FUTURE CHANGES IN THE CONSTITUTION

Any amendment or amendments to the constitution may be proposed in the senate and house of delegates, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the ayes and noes taken thereon, and referred to the general assembly to be chosen at the next general election of senators and members of the house of delegates, and shall be published for three months previous to the time of making such choice. And if in the general assembly so next chosen as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to each house, then it shall be the duty of Edition: current; Page: [3898] the general assembly to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people, in such manner and at such times as the general assembly shall prescribe, and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become part of the constitution.

At the general election to be held in the year 1888, and in each twentieth year thereafter, and also at such time as the general assembly may by law provide, the question, “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” shall be decided by the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly; and in case a majority of the electors so qualified voting at such election shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the general assembly, at its next session, shall provide by law for the election of delegates to such convention: Provided, That no amendment or revision shall be made which shall deny or in any way impair the right of suffrage, or any civil or political right as conferred by this constitution, except for causes which apply to all persons and classes without distinction.

John C. Underwood, President.
Attest:
George Rye, Secretary.
J. H. Painter, Assistant Secretary.

SCHEDULE

That no inconvenience may arise from the changes in the constitution of this State, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared that—

Section 1. The common law and the statute laws now in force, not repugnant to this constitution, shall remain in force until they expire by their own limitation, or are altered or repealed by the legislature.

Sec. 2. All writs, actions, causes of action, prosecutions, and rights of individuals, and of bodies-corporate, and of the State, and all charters of incorporation, shall continue; and all indictments which shall have been found, or which may hereafter be found, for any crime or offence committed before the adoption of this constitution, may be proceeded upon as if no change had taken place. The several courts, except as herein otherwise provided, shall continue with the like powers and jurisdiction, both in law and in equity, as if this constitution had not been adopted, and until the organization of the judicial department of this constitution.

Sec. 3. That all fines, penalties, forfeitures, and escheats accruing to the State of Virginia, under the present constitution and laws, shall accrue to the use of the State under this constitution.

Sec. 4. That all recognizances, bonds, obligations, and all other instruments entered into or executed before the adoption of this constitution, to the people of the State of Virginia, to any State, county, or township, or any public officer or public body, or which may be entered into or executed, under existing laws, “to the people of the State of Virginia,” to any such officer or public body before the complete organization of the department of government under this constitution, shall remain binding and valid, and rights and liabilities Edition: current; Page: [3899] upon the same shall continue, and may be prosecuted as provided by law. All crimes and misdemeanors and penal actions shall be tried, punished, and prosecuted as though no change had taken place, until otherwise provided by law.

ELECTION ORDINANCE

An ordinance concerning the election for ratification of this constitution and for State officers and members of Congress

Section 1. Be it ordained by the people of Virginia in convention assembled, That the constitution adopted by this convention be submitted for ratification on Tuesday, the 2d day of June, 1868, to the voters of this State, registered and qualified in compliance with the acts of Congress known as the reconstruction acts. The vote on said constitution shall be “For the constitution” or “Against the constitution.” The said election shall be held at the same places where the election for delegates to this convention was held, and under the regulations to be prescribed by the commanding general of this military district, and the returns made to him as directed by law.

Sec. 2. An election shall be held at the same time and places for members of the general assembly and for all State officers to be elected by the people under this constitution; the said election for State officers shall be conducted under the same regulations as the election for the ratification of the constitution and by the same persons. The returns of this election shall be made in duplicate, one copy to the commanding general and one copy to the president of this convention, who shall give certificates of election to the persons elected. The officers elected shall enter upon the duties of the offices for which they are chosen as soon as elected and qualified, in compliance with the provisions of this constitution, and shall hold their respective offices for the term of years prescribed by the constitution, counting from the 1st day of January next, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Sec. 3. An election for members of the United States Congress shall be held in the congressional districts as established by this convention, one member of Congress being elected in the State at large, at the same time and places as the election for State officers; said election to be conducted by the same persons and under the same regulations before mentioned in this ordinance; the returns to be made in the same manner provided for State officers.

Sec. 4. The general assembly elected under this ordinance shall assemble at the capitol, in the city of Richmond, on Wednesday, the 24th day of June, 1868.

Sec. 5. The commanding general is requested to enforce this ordinance.

CONGRESSIONAL APPORTIONMENT

Be it ordained by the people of Virginia in convention assembled, That the following-named counties shall compose the respective congressional districts:

The counties of Accomac, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, Essex, Lancaster, Middlesex, King and Queen, Edition: current; Page: [3900] King William, Gloucester, Mathews, York, James City, city of Williamsburg, Elizabeth City, Warwick, King George, and Caroline, with a population of 151,295, shall form the first congressional district.

The counties of Princess Anne, Norfolk City, Norfolk County, city of Portsmouth, Nansemond, Southampton, Greenville, Sussex, Surry, Dinwiddie, city of Petersburg, Prince George, Isle of Wight, and Nottoway, with a population of 150,584, shall form the second congressional district.

The counties of Charles City, Henrico, city of Richmond, Hanover, Chesterfield, Goochland, Powhatan, Amelia, Cumberland, and New Kent, with a population of 149,021, shall form the third congressional district.

The counties of Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Charlotte, Halifax, Pittsylvania, Franklin, Patrick, and Henry, with a population of 160,730, shall form the fourth congressional district.

The counties of Greene, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson, Buckingham, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell, Prince Edward, and the city of Lynchburg, with a population of 155,490, shall form the fifth congressional district.

The counties of Frederick, city of Winchester, Clarke, Warren, Page, Shenandoah, Rockingham, Augusta, town of Staunton, Highland, Bath, Botetourt, Allegheny, and Rockbridge, with a population of 146,824, shall form the sixth congressional district.

The counties of Alexandria, Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier, Stafford, Rappahannock, Culpepper, Spottsylvania, town of Fredericksburg, Orange, Louisa, Loudon, and Madison, with a population of 158,295, shall form the seventh congressional district.

The counties of Montgomery, Giles, Pulaski, Wythe, Bland, Tazewell, Smyth, Washington, Russell, Scott, Lee, Wise, Buchanan, Grayson, Carroll, Floyd, Craig, and Roanoke, with a population of 147,679, shall form the eighth congressional district.

And there shall be one member of Congress elected by the State at large.

This ordinance shall be in force from its passage, and may be altered or repealed by the legislature.

John C. Underwood, President.
Attest:
George Rye, Secretary.
J. H. Painter, Assistant Secretary.

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1870

(Ratified 1872)

Art. X. Amended by striking out the following clause in relation to usury: Upon debts hereafter contracted it shall be lawful to receive any rate of interest not exceeding twelve per centum per annum, which may be agreed upon by the parties and be specified in the bond, note, or other writing evidencing the debt. When there is no such agreement, the rate of interest shall be six per centum per annum for the use and forbearance of every hundred dollars.

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(Ratified 1874)

Art. VII. Amended by striking out the first, second, third, and fourth sections, and inserting in lieu thereof:

Section 1. There shall be elected by the qualified voters of the county, one sheriff, one attorney for the commonwealth, (who shall also be the commonwealth’s attorney for the circuit court,) one county clerk, (who shall be clerk of the circuit court, except that in counties containing fifteen thousand inhabitants there may be a separate clerk for the circuit court,) one county treasurer, and so many commissioners of the revenue as may be provided by law; and there shall be appointed, in a manner to be provided by law, one superintendent of the poor and one county surveyor; and there shall also be appointed, in the manner provided for in article eight, one superintendent of schools. All regular elections for county officers shall be held on the fourth Thursday in May; and all officers elected or appointed under this provision shall enter upon the duties of their offices on the first day of July next succeeding their election, and shall hold their respective offices for the term of four years, except that county and circuit court clerks shall hold their offices for six years.

Sec. 2. Each county of the State shall be divided into so many compactly-located magisterial districts as may be deemed necessary, not less than three: Provided, That after these have been formed no additional districts shall be made containing less than thirty square miles, each magisterial district to be known as ——— magisterial district of ——— county. In each district there shall be elected one supervisor, three justices of the peace, one constable, and one overseer of the poor, who shall hold their respective offices for the term of two years. All regular elections for magisterial district officers shall take place on the fourth Thursday in May; and all officers so elected shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices on the first day of July next succeeding their election. The supervisors of the district shall constitute the board of supervisors for that county, whose duty it shall be to audit the accounts of the county, examine the books of the commissioners of the revenue, regulate and equalize the valuation of property, fix the county levies of the ensuing year, and perform any other duties required of them by law.

Sec. 3. Each magisterial district shall be divided into so many compactly-located school-districts as may be deemed necessary: Provided, That no school-district shall be formed containing less than one hundred inhabitants. In each school-district there shall be elected or appointed annually one school-trustee, who shall hold his office three years: Provided, That at the first election held under this provision there shall be three trustees elected, whose terms shall be one, two, and three years respectively.

(Ratified 1876)

Art. III. Amended by striking out the first and fourth sections, and inserting in lieu thereof:

Section 1. Every citizen of the United States, twenty-one years old, who shall have been a resident of the State twelve months, and of the county, city, or town in which he shall offer to vote, three months Edition: current; Page: [3902] next preceding any election, and shall have paid to the State, before the day of election, the capitation tax required by law for the preceding year, shall be entitled to vote for members of the general assembly and all officers elected by the people: Provided, That no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine of the United States Army or Navy shall be considered a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein: And provided also, That the following persons shall be excluded from voting:

First. Idiots and lunatics.

Second. Persons convicted of bribery in any election, embezzlement of public funds, treason, felony, or petit larceny.

Third. No person who, while a citizen of this State, has, since the adoption of this constitution, fought a duel with a deadly weapon, sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with a deadly weapon, either within or beyond the boundaries of this State, or knowingly conveyed a challenge, or aided or assisted in any manner in fighting a duel, shall be allowed to vote or hold any office of honor, profit, or trust under this constitution.

Art. V. Amended by striking out the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth sections, and inserting in lieu thereof the following; and by adding two new sections, the twenty-third and the twenty-fourth:

Sec. 2. The house of delegates shall be elected biennially by the voters of the several cities and counties, on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November, and shall, from and after the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, consist of not more than one hundred and not less than ninety members.

Sec. 3. From and after the same date the senate shall consist of not less than thirty-three nor more than forty members. They shall be elected for the term of four years—for the election of whom the counties, cities, and towns shall be divided into districts. Each county, city, and town of the respective districts shall, at the time of the first election of its delegate or delegates under this amendment, vote for one or more senators. The senators first elected under this amendment, in districts bearing odd numbers, shall vacate their offices at the end of two years, and those elected in districts bearing even numbers, at the end of four years; and vacancies occurring by expiration of term shall be filled by the election of senators for the full term.

Sec. 4. An apportionment of senators and members of the house of delegates shall be made at the regular session of the general assembly next preceding the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, or sooner. A re-apportionment shall be made in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-one, and every tenth year thereafter.

Sec. 5. Any person may be elected senator who, at the time of election, is actually a resident within the district, and qualified to vote for members of the general assembly according to this constitution; and any person may be elected a member of the house of delegates who, at the time of election, is actually a resident of the county, city, or town or election district, qualified to vote for members of the general assembly according to this constitution. But no person holding a salaried office under the State government shall be capable of being Edition: current; Page: [3903] elected a member of either house of the general assembly. The removal of any person elected to either branch of the general assembly, from the city, county, town, or district for which he was elected, shall vacate his office.

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall meet once in two years, and not oftener, unless convened by the governor in the manner prescribed in this constitution. No session of the general assembly, after the first under this amendment, shall continue longer than ninety days, without the concurrence of three fifths of the members elected to each house; in which case the session may be extended for a further period, not exceeding thirty days. Neither house during the session of the general assembly shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting. A majority of the members elected to each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall have power to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalty as each house may prescribe.

Sec. 8. The members of the general assembly shall receive for their services a salary, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the public treasury; but no act increasing such salary shall take effect until after the end of the term for which the members of the house of delegates voting thereon were elected; and no senator or delegate, during the term for which he shall have been elected, shall be appointed to any civil office of profit under the commonwealth, which has been created, or the emoluments of which have been increased during such term, except offices filled by election by the people.

Sec. 23. The legislature shall have power to provide for the government of cities and towns, and to establish such courts therein as may be necessary for the administration of justice.

Sec. 24. The general assembly shall have power, by a two-thirds vote, to remove disabilities incurred under clause third, section one, article third, of this constitution, with reference to dueling.

(March 3, 1882)

Strike out the first section of the third article, in reference to the elective franchise and qualifications for office, and in lieu thereof insert

Section 1. Every male citizen of the United States, twenty-one years old, who shall have been a resident of this State twelve months, and of the county, city or town in which he shall offer to vote three months next preceding any election, shall be entitled to vote for members of the General Assembly and all officers elected by the people: provided that no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine of the United States army or navy, shall be considered a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein: and provided, also, that the following persons shall be excluded from voting:

First. Idiots and lunatics.

Second. Persons convicted of bribery in any election, embezzlement of public funds, treason, felony, or petit larceny.

Third. No person who, while a citizen of this State, has since the adoption of this Constitution, fought a duel with a deadly weapon, Edition: current; Page: [3904] sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with a deadly weapon, either within or beyond the boundaries of this State, or knowingly conveyed a challenge, or aided or assisted in any manner in fighting a duel, shall be allowed to vote or hold any office of honor, profit, or trust under this constitution.

CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA—1902*a

Whereas, pursuant to an act of the General Assembly of Virginia, approved March the fifth, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred, the question, “shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?” was submitted to the electors of the State of Virginia, qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly, at an election held throughout the State on the fourth Thursday in May, in the year nineteen hundred, at which election a majority of the electors so qualified voting at said election did decide in favor of a convention for such purpose; and,

Whereas, the General Assembly at its next session did provide by law for the election of delegates to such convention, in pursuance whereof the members of this convention were elected by the good people of Virginia, to meet in convention for such purpose.

We, therefore, the people of Virginia, so assembled in convention through our representatives, with gratitude to God for His past favors, and invoking His blessings upon the result of our deliberations, do ordain and establish the following revised and amended Constitution for the government of the Commonwealth:

Article I: BILL OF RIGHTS

A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, MADE BY THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOOD PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA ASSEMBLED IN FULL AND FREE CONVENTION; WHICH RIGHTS DO PERTAIN TO THEM AND THEIR POSTERITY, AS THE BASIS AND FOUNDATION OF GOVERNMENT

Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and sefety.

Sec. 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

Sec. 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of mal-administration; and, whenever any government shall be found Edition: current; Page: [3905] inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

Sec. 4. That no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge to be hereditary.

Sec. 5. That the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the State should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by regular elections, in which all or any part of the former members shall be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws may direct.

Sec. 6. That all elections ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed, or deprived of, or damaged in, their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representatives duly elected, or bound by any law to which they have not, inilike manner, assented for the public good.

Sec. 7. That all power 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.

Sec. 8. That no man shall be deprived of his life, or liberty, except by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers; nor shall any man be compelled in any criminal proceeding to give evidence against himself, nor be put twice in jeopardy for the same offence, but an appeal may be allowed to the Commonwealth in all prosecutions for the violation of a law relating to the state revenue.

That in all criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; provided, however, that in any criminal case, upon a plea of guilty, tendered in person by the accused, and with the consent of the attorney for the Commonwealth, entered of record, the court shall, and in a prosecution for an offence not punishable by death, or confinement in the penitentiary, upon a plea of not guilty, with the consent of the accused, given in person, and of the attorney for the Commonwealth, both entered of record, the court, in its discretion, may hear and determine the case, without the intervention of a jury; and, that the General Assembly may provide for the trial of offences not punishable by death, or confinement in the penitentiary, by a justice of the peace, without a jury, preserving in all such cases, the right of the accused to an appeal to and trial by jury in the circuit or corporation court; and may also provide for juries consisting of less than twelve, but not less than five, for the trial of offences not punishable by death, or confinement in the penitentiary, and may classify such cases, and prescribe the number of jurors for each class.

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Sec. 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Sec. 10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

Sec. 11. That no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law; and in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred; but the General Assembly may limit the number of jurors for civil cases in circuit and corporation courts to not less than five in cases now cognizable by justices of the peace, or to not less than seven in cases not so cognizable.

Sec. 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments; and any citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.

Sec. 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Sec. 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of, the government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

Sec. 15. That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Sec. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other.

Sec. 17. The rights enumerated in this Bill of Rights shall not be construed to limit other rights of the people not therein expressed.

Article II: ELECTIVE FRANCHISE AND QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE

Sec. 18. Every male citizen of the United States, twenty-one years of age, who has been a resident of the State two years, of the county, city, or town one year, and of the precinct in which he offers to vote, thirty days, next preceding the election in which he offers to vote, has been registered, and has paid his state poll taxes, as hereinafter required, shall be entitled to vote for members of the General Assembly and all officers elective by the people; but removal from one precinct to another, in the same county, city or town shall not deprive any person of his right to vote in the precinct from which he has moved, until the expiration of thirty days after such removal.

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Sec. 19. There shall be general registrations in the counties, cities and towns of the State during the years nineteen hundred and two and nineteen hundred and three at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed by an ordinance of this Convention. At such registrations every male citizen of the United States having the qualifications of age and residence required in section Eighteen shall be entitled to register, if he be:

First. A person who, prior to the adoption of this Constitution, served in time of war in the army or navy of the United States, of the Confederate States, or of any state of the United States or of the Confederate States; or,

Second. A son of any such person; or,

Third. A person, who owns property, upon which, for the year next preceding that in which he offers to register, state taxes aggregating at least one dollar have been paid; or,

Fourth. A person able to read any section of this Constitution submitted to him by the officers of registration and to give a reasonable explanation of the same; or, if unable to read such section, able to understand and give a reasonable explanation thereof when read to him by the officers.

A roll containing the names of all persons thus registered, sworn to and certified by the officers of registration, shall be filed, for record and preservation, in the clerk’s office of the circuit court of the county, or the clerk’s office of the corporation court of the city, as the case may be. Persons thus enrolled shall not be required to register again, unless they shall have ceased to be residents of the State, or become disqualified by section Twenty-three. Any person denied registration under this section shall have the right of appeal to the circuit court of his county, or the corporation court of his city, or to the judge thereof in vacation.

Sec. 20. After the first day of January, nineteen hundred and four, every male citizen of the United States, having the qualifications of age and residence required in section Eighteen, shall be entitled to register, provided:

First. That he has personally paid to the proper officer all state poll taxes assessed or assessable against him, under this or the former Constitution, for the three years next preceding that in which he offers to register; or, if he come of age at such time that no poll tax shall have been assessable against him for the year preceding the year in which he offers to register, has paid one dollar and fifty cents, in satisfaction of the first year’s poll tax assessable against him; and,

Second. That, unless physically unable, he make application to register in his own handwriting, without aid, suggestion, or memorandum, in the presence of the registration officers, stating therein his name, age, date and place of birth, residence and occupation at the time and for the two years next preceding, and whether he has previously voted, and, if so, the state, county, and precinct in which he voted last; and,

Third. That he answer on oath any and all questions affecting his qualifications as an elector, submitted to him by the officers of registration, which questions, and his answers thereto, shall be reduced to writing, certified by the said officers, and preserved as a part of their official records.

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Sec. 21. Any person registered under either of the last two sections, shall have the right to vote for members of the General Assembly and all officers elective by the people, subject to the following conditions:

That he, unless exempted by section Twenty-two, shall, as a prerequisite to the right to vote after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and four, personally pay, at least six months prior to the election, all state poll taxes assessed or assessable against him, under this Constitution, during the three years next preceding that in which he offers to vote; provided that, if he register after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and four, he shall, unless physically unable, prepare and deposit his ballot without aid, on such printed form as the law may prescribe; but any voter registered prior to that date may be aided in the preparation of his ballot by such officer of election as he himself may designate.

Sec. 22. No person who, during the late war between the States, served in the army or navy of the United States, or the Confederate States, or any state of the United States, or of the Confederate States, shall at any time be required to pay a poll tax as a prerequisite to the right to register or vote. The collection of the state poll tax assessed against any one shall not be enforced by legal process until the same has become three years past due.

Sec. 23. The following persons shall be excluded from registering and voting: Idiots, insane persons, and paupers; persons who, prior to the adoption of this Constitution, were disqualified from voting, by conviction of crime, either within or without this State, and whose disabilities shall not have been removed; persons convicted after the adoption of this Constitution, either within or without this State, of treason, or of any felony, bribery, petit larceny, obtaining money or property under false pretences, embezzlement, forgery, or perjury; persons, who, while citizens of this State, after the adoption of this Constitution, have fought a duel with a deadly weapon, or sent or accepted a challenge to fight such duel, either within or without this State, or knowingly conveyed a challenge, or aided or assisted in any way in the fighting of such duel.

Sec. 24. No officer, soldier, seaman, or marine of the United States army or navy shall be deemed to have gained a residence as to the right of suffrage, in the State, or in any county, city or town thereof, by reason of being stationed therein; nor shall an inmate of any charitable institution or a student in any institution of learning, be regarded as having either gained or lost a residence, as to the right of suffrage, by reason of his location or sojourn in such institution.

Sec. 25. The General Assembly shall provide for the annual registration of voters under section Twenty, for an appeal by any person denied registration for the correction of illegal or fraudulent registration, thereunder, and also for the proper transfer of all voters registered under this Constitution.

Sec. 26. Any person who, in respect to age or residence, would be qualified to vote at the next election, shall be admitted to registration, notwithstanding that at the time thereof he is not so qualified, and shall be entitled to vote at said election if then qualified under the provisions of this Constitution.

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Sec. 27. All elections by the people shall be by ballot; all elections by any representative body shall be viva voce, and the vote recorded in the journal thereof.

The ballot-box shall be kept in public view during all elections, and shall not be opened, nor the ballots canvassed or counted, in secret.

So far as consistent with the provisions of this Constitution, the absolute secrecy of the ballot shall be maintained.

Sec. 28. The General Assembly shall provide for ballots without any distinguishing mark or symbol, for use in all state, county, city, and other elections by the people, and the form thereof shall be the same in all places where any such election is held. All ballots shall contain the names of the candidates, and of the offices to be filled, in clear print and in due and orderly succession; but any voter may erase any name and insert another.

Sec. 29. No voter, during the time of holding any election at which he is entitled to vote, shall be compelled to perform military service, except in time of war or public danger; to attend any court as suitor, juror, or witness; and no voter shall be subject to arrest under any civil process during his attendance at election or in going to or returning therefrom.

Sec. 30. The General Assembly may prescribe a property qualification not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars for voters in any county or subdivision thereof, or city or town, as a prerequisite for voting in any election for officers, other than the members of the General Assembly, to be wholly elected by the voters of such county or subdivision thereof, or city, or town; such action, if taken, to be had upon the initiative of a representative in the General Assembly of the county, city or town affected: provided, that the General Assembly in its discretion may make such exemptions from the operation of said property qualification as shall not be in conflict with the Constitution of the United States.

Sec. 31. There shall be in each county and city an electoral board, composed of three members, appointed by the circuit court of the county or the corporation court of the city, or the judge of the court in vacation. Of those first appointed, one shall be appointed for a term of one year, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of three years; and thereafter their successors shall be appointed for the full term of three years. Any vacancy occurring in any board shall be filled by the same authority for the unexpired term.

Each electoral board shall appoint the judges, clerks, and registrars of election for its county or city; and, in appointing judges of election, representation as far as possible shall be given to each of the two political parties which, at the general election next preceding their appointment, cast the highest and next highest number of votes.

No person, nor the deputy of any person, holding any office or post of profit or emolument, under the United States Government, or who is in the employment of such government, or holding any elective office of profit or trust in the State, or in any county, city, or town thereof, shall be appointed a member of the electoral board, or registrar, or judge of election.

Sec. 32. Every person qualified to vote shall be eligible to any office of the State, or of any county, city, town, or other subdivision Edition: current; Page: [3910] of the State, wherein he resides, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, and except that this provision as to residence shall not apply to any office elective by the people where the law provides otherwise. Men and women eighteen years of age shall be eligible to the office of notary public, and qualified to execute the bonds required of them in that capacity.

Sec. 33. The terms of all officers elected under this Constitution shall begin on the first day of February next succeeding their election, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution. All officers, elected or appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices after their terms of service have expired until their successors have qualified.

Sec. 34. Members of the General Assembly and all officers, executive and judicial, elected or appointed after this Constitution goes into effect, shall, before they enter on the performance of their public duties, severally take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Virginia ordained by the Convention which assembled in the city of Richmond on the twelfth day of June, nineteen hundred and one, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as ——, according to the best of my ability; so help me God.”

Sec. 35. No person shall vote at any legalized primary election for the nomination of any candidate for office unless he is at the time registered and qualified to vote at the next succeeding election.

Sec. 36. The General Assembly shall enact such laws as are necessary and proper for the purpose of securing the regularity and purity of general, local and primary elections, and preventing and punishing any corrupt practices in connection therewith; and shall have power, in addition to other penalties and punishments now or hereafter prescribed by law for such offences, to provide that persons convicted of them shall thereafter be disqualified from voting or holding office.

Sec. 37. The General Assembly may provide for the use, throughout the State or in any one or more counties, cities, or towns in any election, of machines for receiving, recording, and counting the votes cast thereat: provided, that the secrecy of the voting be not thereby impaired.

Sec. 38. After the first day of January, nineteen hundred and four, the treasurer of each county and city shall, at least five months before each regular election, file with the clerk of the circuit court of his county, or of the corporation court of his city, a list of all persons in his county or city, who have paid not later than six months prior to such election, the state poll taxes required by this Constitution during the three years next preceding that in which such election is held; which list shall be arranged alphabetically, by magisterial districts or wards, shall state the white and colored persons separately, and shall be verified by the oath of the treasurer. The clerk, within ten days from the receipt of the list, shall make and certify a sufficient number of copies thereof, and shall deliver one copy for each voting place in his county or city, to the sheriff of the county or sergeant of the city, whose duty it shall be to post one copy, without delay, at each of the voting places, and, within ten days from the receipt thereof, to make Edition: current; Page: [3911] return on oath to the clerk, as to the places where and dates at which said copies were respectively posted; which return the clerk shall record in a book kept in his office for the purpose; and he shall keep in his office for public inspection, for at least sixty days after receiving the list, not less than ten certified copies thereof, and also cause the list to be published in such other manner as may be prescribed by law; the original list returned by the treasurer shall be filed and preserved by the clerk among the public records of his office for at least five years after receiving the same. Within thirty days after the list has been so posted, any person who shall have paid his capitation tax, but whose name is omitted from the certified list, may, after five days’ written notice to the treasurer, apply to the circuit court of his county, or corporation court of his city, or to the judge thereof in vacation, to have the same corrected and his name entered thereon, which application the court or judge shall promptly hear and decide.

The clerk shall deliver, or cause to be delivered, with the poll-books, at a reasonable time before every election, to one of the judges of election of each precinct of his county or city, a like certified copy of the list, which shall be conclusive evidence of the facts therein stated for the purpose of voting. The clerk shall also, within sixty days after the filing of the list by the treasurer, forward a certified copy thereof, with such corrections as may have been made by order of the court or judge, to the Auditor of Public Accounts, who shall charge the amount of the poll taxes stated therein to such treasurer unless previously accounted for.

Further evidence of the prepayment of the capitation taxes required by this Constitution, as a prerequisite to the right to register and vote, may be prescribed by law.

Article III: DIVISION OF POWERS

Sec. 39. Except as hereinafter provided, the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others, nor any person exercise the power of more than one of them at the same time.

Article IV.: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Sec. 40. The legislative power of the State shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Delegates.

Sec. 41. The Senate shall consist of not more than forty and not less than thirty-three members, who shall be elected quadrennially by the voters of the several senatorial districts, on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November.

Sec. 42. The House of Delegates shall consist of not more than one hundred and not less than ninety members, who shall be elected biennially by the voters of the several house districts, on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November.

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Sec. 43. The apportionment of the State into senatorial and house districts, made by the acts of the General Assembly, approved April the second, nineteen hundred and two, is hereby adopted; but a reapportionment may be made in the year nineteen hundred and six, and shall be made in the year nineteen hundred and twelve, and every tenth year thereafter.

Sec. 44. Any person may be elected senator who, at the time of election, is actually a resident of the senatorial district and qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly; and any person may be elected a member of the House of Delegates who, at the time of election, is actually a resident of the house district and qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly. But no person holding a salaried office under the state government, and no judge of any court, attorney for the Commonwealth, sheriff, sergeant, treasurer, assessor of taxes, commissioner of the revenue, collector of taxes, or clerk of any court, shall be a member of either house of the General Assembly during his continuance in office, and the election of any such person to either house of the General Assembly, and his qualification as a member thereof, shall vacate any such office held by him; and no person holding any office or post of profit or emolument under the United States Government or who is in the employment of such government, shall be eligible to either house. The removal of a senator or delegate from the district for which he is elected, shall vacate his office.

Sec. 45. The members of the General Assembly shall receive for their services a salary to be fixed by law and paid from the public treasury; but no act increasing such salary shall take effect until after the end of the term for which the members voting thereon were elected; and no member during the term for which he shall have been elected, shall be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit in the State except offices filled by election by the people.

Sec. 46. The General Assembly shall meet once in two years on the second Wednesday in January next succeeding the election of the members of the House of Delegates and not oftener unless convened in the manner prescribed by this Constitution. No session of the General Assembly, after the first under this Constitution, shall continue longer than sixty days; but with the concurrence of three-fifths of the members elected to each house, the session may be extended for a period not exceeding thirty days. Except for the first session held under this Constitution, members shall be allowed a salary for not exceeding sixty days at any regular session, and for not exceeding thirty days at any extra session. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn to another place nor for more than three days. A majority of the members elected to each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall have power to compel the attendance of members in such manner and under such penalty as each house may prescribe.

Sec. 47. The House of Delegates shall choose its own speaker; and, in the absence of the Lieutenant-Governor, or when he shall exercise the office of Governor, the Senate shall choose from their own body a president pro tempore. Each house shall select its officers, settle its rules of procedure, and direct writs of election for supplying Edition: current; Page: [3913] vacancies which may occur during the session of the General Assembly; but, if vacancies occur during the recess, such writs may be issued by the Governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Each house shall judge of the election, qualification, and returns of its members; may punish them for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.

Sec. 48. Members of the General Assembly shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the sessions of their respective houses; and for any speech or debate in either house shall not be questioned in any other place. They shall not be subject to arrest, under any civil process, during the sessions of the General Assembly, or the fifteen days next before the beginning or after the ending of any session.

Sec. 49. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, which shall be published from time to time, and the yeas and nays of the members of either house on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Sec. 50. No law shall be enacted except by bill. A bill may originate in either house, to be approved or rejected by the other, or may be amended by either, with the concurrence of the other.

No bill shall become a law unless, prior to its passage, it has been,

(a) Referred to a committee of each house, considered by such committee in session, and reported;

(b) Printed by the house, in which it originated, prior to its passage therein;

(c) Read at length on three different calendar days in each house; and unless,

(d) A yea and nay vote has been taken in each house upon its final passage, the names of the members voting for and against entered on the journal, and a majority of those voting, which shall include at least two-fifths of the members elected to each house, recorded in the affirmative.

And only in the manner required in subdivision (d) of this section shall an amendment to a bill by one house be concurred in by the other, or a conference report be adopted by either house, or either house discharge a committee from the consideration of a bill and consider the same as if reported; provided that the printing and reading, or either, required in subdivisions (b) and (c) of this section, may be dispensed with in a bill to codify the laws of the State, and in any case of emergency by a vote of four-fifths of the members voting in each house taken by the yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against, entered on the journal; and provided further, that no bill which creates, or establishes a new office, or which creates, continues, or revives a debt or charge, or makes, continues or revives any appropriation of public or trust money, or property, or releases, discharges or commutes any claim or demand of the State, or which imposes, continues or revives a tax, shall be passed except by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members elected to each house, the vote to be by the yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against, entered on the journal. Every law imposing, continuing or reviving a tax shall specifically state such tax and no law shall be construed as so stating such tax, which requires a reference to any other law or any other tax. The presiding officer Edition: current; Page: [3914] of each house shall, in the presence of the house over which he presides, sign every bill that has been passed by both houses and duly enrolled. Immediately before this is done, all other business being suspended, the title of the bill shall be publicly read. The fact of signing shall be entered on the journal.

Sec. 51. There shall be a joint committee of the General Assembly, consisting of seven members appointed by the House of Delegates, and five members appointed by the Senate, which shall be a standing committee on special, private, and local legislation. Before reference to a committee, as provided by section Fifty, any special, private, or local bill introduced in either house shall be referred to and considered by such joint committee and returned to the house in which it originated with a statement in writing whether the object of the bill can be accomplished under general law or by court proceeding; whereupon, the bill, with the accompanying statement, shall take the course provided by section Fifty. The joint committee may be discharged from the consideration of a bill by the house in which it originated in the manner provided in section Fifty for the discharge of other committees.

Sec. 52. No law shall embrace more than one object, which shall be expressed in its title; nor shall any law be revived or amended with reference to its title, but the act revived or the section amended shall be re-enacted and published at length.

Sec. 53. No law, except a general appropriation law, shall take effect until at least ninety days after the adjournment of the session of the General Assembly at which it is enacted, unless in case of an emergency (which emergency shall be expressed in the body of the bill), the General Assembly shall otherwise direct by a vote of four-fifths of the members voting in each house, such vote to be taken by the yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against entered on the journal.

Sec. 54. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Attorney-General, judges, members of the State Corporation Commission, and executive officers at the seat of government, and all officers appointed by the Governor or elected by the General Assembly, offending against the State by malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crime or misdemeanor, may be impeached by the House of Delegates, and prosecuted before the Senate, which shall have the sole power to try impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be on oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present. Judgment in case of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the State; but the person convicted shall nevertheless be subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law. The Senate may sit during the recess of the General Assembly for the trial of impeachments.

Sec. 55. The General Assembly shall by law apportion the State into districts, corresponding with the number of representatives to which it may be entitled in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States; which districts shall be composed of contiguous and compact territory containing, as nearly as practicable, an equal number of inhabitants.

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Sec. 56. The manner of conducting and making returns of elections, of determining contested elections, and of filling vacancies in office, in cases not specially provided for by this Constitution, shall be prescribed by law, and the General Assembly may declare the cases in which any office shall be deemed vacant where no provision is made for that purpose in this Constitution.

Sec. 57. The General Assembly shall have power, by a two-thirds vote, to remove disabilities incurred under section Twenty-three, of Article Two, of this Constitution, with reference to duelling.

Sec. 58. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when in cases of invasion or rebellion, the public safety may require. The General Assembly shall not pass any bill of attainder, or any ex post facto law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts, or any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. It shall not enact any law whereby private property shall be taken or damaged for public uses, without just compensation. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And the General Assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this State, to levy on themselves or others any tax for the erection or repair of any house of public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry; but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.

Sec. 59. The General Assembly shall not grant a charter of incorporation to any church or religious denomination, but may secure the title to church property to an extent to be limited by law.

Sec. 60. No lottery shall hereafter be authorized by law; and the buying, selling, or transferring of tickets or chances in any lottery shall be prohibited.

Sec. 61. No new county shall be formed with an area of less than six hundred square miles; nor shall the county or counties from which it is formed be reduced below that area; nor shall any county be reduced in population below eight thousand. But any county, the length of which is three times its mean breadth, or which exceeds fifty miles in length, may be divided at the discretion of the General Assembly.

Sec. 62. The General Assembly shall have full power to enact local option or dispensary laws, or any other laws controlling, regulating, or prohibiting the manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors.

Sec. 63. The General Assembly shall confer on the courts power to grant divorces, change the names of persons, and direct the sale of estates belonging to infants and other persons under legal disabilities, and shall not, by special legislation, grant relief in these or other cases of which the courts or other tribunals may have jurisdiction. The General Assembly may regulate the exercise by courts of the Edition: current; Page: [3916] right to punish for contempt. The General Assembly shall not enact local, special, or private law in the following cases:

  • 1. For the punishment of crime.
  • 2. Providing a change of venue in civil or criminal cases.
  • 3. Regulating the practice in, or the jurisdiction of, or changing the rules of evidence in any judicial proceedings or inquiry before, the courts or other tribunals, or providing or changing the methods of collecting debts or enforcing judgments, or prescribing the effect of judicial sales of real estate.
  • 4. Changing or locating county seats.
  • 5. For the assessment and collection of taxes, except as to animals which the General Assembly may deem dangerous to the farming interests.
  • 6. Extending the time for the assessment or collection of taxes.
  • 7. Exempting property from taxation.
  • 8. Remitting, releasing, postponing, or diminishing any obligation or liability of any person, corporation, or association, to the State or to any political subdivision thereof.
  • 9. Refunding money lawfully paid into the treasury of the State or the treasury of any political subdivision thereof.
  • 10. Granting from the treasury of the State, or granting or authorizing to be granted from the treasury of any political subdivision thereof, any extra compensation to any public officer, servant, agent, or contractor.
  • 11. For conducting elections or designating the places of voting.
  • 12. Regulating labor, trade, mining or manufacturing, or the rate of interest on money.
  • 13. Granting any pension or pensions.
  • 14. Creating, increasing, or decreasing, or authorizing to be created, increased, or decreased, the salaries, fees, percentages, or allowances of public officers during the term for which they are elected or appointed.
  • 15. Declaring streams navigable, or authorizing the construction of booms or dams therein, or the removal of obstructions therefrom.
  • 16. Affecting or regulating fencing or the boundaries of land, or the running at large of stock.
  • 17. Creating private corporations, or amending, renewing, or extending the charters thereof.
  • 18. Granting to any private corporation, association, or individual any special or exclusive right, privilege or immunity.
  • 19. Naming or changing the name of any private corporation or association.
  • 20. Remitting the forfeiture of the charter of any private corporation except upon the conditions that such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter subject to the provisions of this Constitution and the laws passed in pursuance thereof.

Sec. 64. In all the cases enumerated in the last section, and in every other case which, in its judgment, may be provided for by general laws, the General Assembly shall enact general laws. Any general law shall be subject to amendment or repeal, but the amendment or partial repeal thereof shall not operate directly or indirectly to enact, and shall not have the effect of the enactment of a special, private, or local law.

Edition: current; Page: [3917]

No general or special law shall surrender or suspend the right and power of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, to tax corporations and corporate property, except as authorized by Article Thirteen. No private corporation, association, or individual shall be specially exempted from the operation of any general law, nor shall its operation be suspended for the benefit of any private corporation, association, or individual.

Sec. 65. The General Assembly may, by general laws, confer upon the boards of supervisors of counties, and the councils of cities and towns, such powers of local and special legislation, as it may from time to time deem expedient, not inconsistent with the limitations contained in this Constitution.

Sec. 66. The Clerk of the House of Delegates shall be Keeper of the Rolls of the State but shall receive no compensation from the State for his services as such.

The General Assembly by general law shall prescribe the number of employees of the Senate and House of Delegates, including the clerks thereof, and fix their compensation at a per diem for the time actually employed in the discharge of their duties.

Sec. 67. The General Assembly shall not make any appropriation of public funds, of personal property, or of any real estate, to any church, or sectarian society, association, or institution of any kind whatever, which is entirely or partly, directly or indirectly, controlled by any church or sectarian society; nor shall the General Assembly make any like appropriation to any charitable institution, which is not owned or controlled by the State; except that it may, in its discretion, make appropriations to non-sectarian institutions for the reform of youthful criminals; but nothing herein contained shall prohibit the General Assembly from authorizing counties, cities, or towns to make such appropriations to any charitable institution or association.

Sec. 68. The General Assembly shall, at each regular session, appoint a standing committee, consisting of two members of the Senate and three members of the House of Delegates, which shall be known as the Auditing Committee. Such committee shall annually, or oftener in its discretion, examine the books and accounts of the First Auditor, the State Treasurer, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and other executive officers at the seat of government whose duties pertain to auditing or accounting for the state revenue, report the result of its investigations to the Governor, and cause the same to be published in two newspapers of general circulation in the State. The Governor shall, at the beginning of each session, submit said reports to the General Assembly for appropriate action. The committee may sit during the recess of the General Assembly, receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law, and employ one or more accountants to assist in its investigations.

Article V: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Sec. 69. The chief executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor. He shall hold office for a term of four years, to commence on the first day of February next succeeding his election, and Edition: current; Page: [3918] be ineligible to the same office for the term next succeeding that for which he was elected, and to any other office during his term of service.

Sec. 70. The Governor shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the time and place of choosing members of the General Assembly. Returns of the election shall be transmitted, under seal, by the proper officers, to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, who shall deliver them to the Speaker of the House of Delegates on the first day of the next session of the General Assembly. The Speaker of the House of Delegates shall, within one week thereafter, in the presence of a majority of the Senate and of the House of Delegates, open the returns, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared elected; but if two or more shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, one of them shall be chosen Governor by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. Contested elections for Governor shall be decided by a like vote, and the mode of proceeding in such cases shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 71. No person except a citizen of the United States shall be eligible to the office of Governor; and if such person be of foreign birth, he must have been a citizen of the United States for ten years next preceding his election; nor shall any person be eligible to that office unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, and have been a resident of the State for five years next preceding his election.

Sec. 72. The Governor shall reside at the seat of government; shall receive five thousand dollars for each year of his services, and while in office shall receive no other emolument from this or any other government.

Sec. 73. The Governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; communicate to the General Assembly, at every session, the condition of the State; recommend to its consideration such measures as he may deem expedient, and convene the General Assembly on application of two-thirds of the members of both houses thereof, or when, in his opinion, the interest of the State may require. He shall be commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the State; have power to embody the militia to repel invasion, suppress insurrection and enforce the execution of the laws; conduct, either in person or in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, all intercourse with other and foreign states; and, during the recess of the General Assembly, shall have power to suspend from office for misbehavior, incapacity, neglect of official duty, or acts performed without due authority of law, all executive officers at the seat of government except the Lieutenant-Governor; but, in any case in which this power is so exercised, the Governor shall report to the General Assembly, at the beginning of the next session thereof, the fact of such suspension and the cause thereof, whereupon the General Assembly shall determine whether such officer shall be restored or finally removed; and the Governor shall have power, during the recess of the General Assembly, to appoint, pro tempore, successors to all officers so suspended, and to fill, pro tempore, vacancies in all offices of the State for the filling of which the Constitution and laws make no other provision; but his appointments to such vacancies shall be by commissions to expire at the end of thirty days after the commencement of the next session of the General Assembly. He shall have power to Edition: current; Page: [3919] remit fines and penalties in such cases, and under such rules and regulations, as may be prescribed by law, and except when the prosecution has been carried on by the House of Delegates, to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction; to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offences committed prior or subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution, and to commute capital punishment; but he shall communicate to the General Assembly, at each session, particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same.

Sec. 74. The Governor may require information in writing, under oath, from the officers of the executive department and superintendents of state institutions upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices and institutions; and he may inspect at any time their official books, accounts and vouchers, and ascertain the condition of the public funds in their charge, and in that connection may employ accountants. He may require the opinion in writing of the Attorney-General upon any question of law affecting the official duties of the Governor.

Sec. 75. Commissions and grants shall run in the name of Commonwealth of Virginia, and be attested by the Governor, with the seal of the Commonwealth annexed.

Sec. 76. Every bill, which shall have passed the Senate and House of Delegates, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but, if not, he may return it with his objections to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large on its journal and proceed to reconsider the same. If, after such consideration, two-thirds of the members present, which two-thirds shall include a majority of the members elected to that house, shall agree to pass the bill it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members present, which two-thirds shall include a majority of the members elected to that house, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the objections. The Governor shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. The item or items objected to shall not take effect except in the manner heretofore provided in this section as to bills returned to the General Assembly without his approval. If he approve the general purpose of any bill, but disapprove any part or parts thereof, he may return it, with recommendations for its amendment, to the house in which it originated, whereupon the same proceedings shall be had in both houses upon the bill and his recommendations in relation to its amendment, as is above provided in relation to a bill which he shall have returned without his approval, and with his objections threto; provided, that if after such reconsideration, both houses, by a vote of a majority of the members present in each, shall agree to amend the bill in accordance with his recommendations in relation thereto, or either house by such vote shall fail or refuse to so amend it, then, and in either case the bill shall be again sent to him, and he may act upon it as if it were then before him for the first time. But in all the cases above set forth the votes of both houses shall be determined by ayes and Edition: current; Page: [3920] noes, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill, or item or items of an appropriation bill, shall be entered on the journal of each house. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sunday excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly shall, by final adjournment, prevent such return; in which case it shall be a law if approved by the Governor in the manner and to the extent above provided, within ten days after such adjournment, but not otherwise.

Sec. 77. A Lieutenant-Governor shall be elected at the same time and for the same term as the Governor, and his qualifications and the manner and ascertainment of his election, in all respects, shall be the same.

Sec. 78. In case of the removal of the Governor from office, or of his death, failure to qualify, resignation, removal from the State, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the said office, with its compensation, shall devolve upon the Lieutenant-Governor; and the General Assembly shall provide by law for the discharge of the executive functions in other necessary cases.

Sec. 79. The Lieutenant-Governor shall be president of the Senate, but shall have no vote except in case of an equal division; and while acting as such, shall receive a compensation equal to that allowed to the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

Sec. 80. A Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time and for the same term as the Governor; and the fact of his election shall be ascertained as in the case of the Governor. He shall keep a daily record of the official acts of the Governor, which shall be signed by the Governor and attested by the Secretary, and, when required, he shall lay the same, and any papers, minutes and vouchers pertaining to his office, before either house of the General Assembly. He shall discharge such other duties as may be prescribed by law. All fees received by the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be paid into the treasury monthly.

Sec. 81. A State Treasurer shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time and for the same term as the Governor; and the fact of his election shall be ascertained in the same manner. His powers and duties shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 82. An Auditor of Public Acocunts shall be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly for the term of four years. His powers and duties shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 83. The salary of each officer of the Executive Department, except in those cases where the salary is determined by this Constitution, shall be fixed by law; and the salary of no such officer shall be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected or appointed.

Sec. 84. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the establishment and maintenance of an efficient system of checks and balances between the officers at the seat of government entrusted with the collection, receipt, custody, or disbursement of the revenues of the State.

Sec. 85. All State officers, and their deputies, assistants or employees, charged with the collection, custody, handling, or disbursement of public funds, shall be required to give bond for the faithful Edition: current; Page: [3921] performance of such duties; the amount of such bond in each case, and the manner in which security shall be furnished, to be specified and regulated by law.

Sec. 86. The General Assembly shall have power to establish and maintain a Bureau of Labor and Statistics, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Article VI: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Sec. 87. The Judiciary Department shall consist of a Supreme Court of Appeals, circuit courts, city courts, and such other courts as are hereinafter authorized. The jurisdiction of these tribunals and the judges thereof, except so far as conferred by this Constitution, shall be regulated by law.

Sec. 88. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall consist of five judges, any three of whom may hold a court. It shall have original jurisdiction in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition; but in all other cases, in which it shall have jurisdiction, it shall have appellate jurisdiction only.

Subject to such reasonable rules, as may be prescribed by law, as to the course of appeal, the limitation as to time, the security required, if any, the granting or refusing of appeals, and the procedure therein, it shall, by virtue of this Constitution, have appellate jurisdiction in all cases involving the constitutionality of a law as being repugnant to the Constitution of this State or of the United States, or involving the life or liberty of any person; and it shall also have appellate jurisdiction in such other cases, within the limits hereinafter defined, as may be prescribed by law; but no appeal shall be allowed to the Commonwealth in any case involving the life or liberty of a person, except that an appeal by the Commonwealth may be allowed by law in any case involving the violation of a law relating to the State revenue. No bond shall be required of any accused person as a condition of appeal, but a supersedeas bond may be required where the only punishment imposed in the court below is a fine.

The court shall not have jurisdiction in civil cases where the matter in controversy, exclusive of costs and of interest accrued since the judgment in the court below, is less in value or amount than three hundred dollars, except in controversies concerning the title to, or boundaries of land, the condemnation of property, the probate of a will, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee, or curator, or concerning a mill, roadway, ferry, or landing, or the right of the State, county, or municipal corporation, to levy tools or taxes, or involving the construction of any statute, ordinance or county proceeding imposing taxes; and, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition, the constitutionality of a law, or some other matter not merely pecuniary. After the year nineteen hundred and ten the General Assembly may change the jurisdiction of the court in matters merely pecuniary. The assent of at least three of the judges shall be required for the court to determine that any law is, or is not, repugnant to the Constitution of this State or of the United States; and if, in a case involving the constitutionality of any such law, not more than two of the judges sitting Edition: current; Page: [3922] agree in opinion on the constitutional question involved, and the case cannot be determined, without passing on such question, no decision shall be rendered therein, but the case shall be reheard by a full court; and in no case where the jurisdiction of the court depends solely upon the fact that the constitutionality of a law is involved, shall the court decide the case upon its merits, unless the contention of the appellant upon the constitutional question be sustained. Whenever the requisite majority of the judges sitting are unable to agree upon a decision, the case shall be reheard by a full bench, and any vacancy caused by any one or more of the judges being unable, unwilling, or disqualified to sit, shall be temporarily filled in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 89. The General Assembly may, from time to time, provide for a Special Court of Appeals to try any cases on the docket of the Supreme Court of Appeals in respect to which a majority of the judges are so situated as to make it improper for them to sit; and also to try any cases on said docket which cannot be disposed of with convenient dispatch. The said special court shall be composed of not less than three nor more than five of the judges of the circuit courts and city courts of record in cities of the first class, or of the judges of either of said courts, or of any of the judges of said courts together with one or more of the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Sec. 90. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeals the reasons therefor shall be stated in writing and preserved with the record of the case.

Sec. 91. The judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be chosen by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. They shall, when chosen, have held a judicial station in the United States, or shall have practiced law in this or some other State for five years. At the first election under this Constitution, the General Assembly shall elect the judges for terms of four, six, eight, ten, and twelve years, respectively; and thereafter they shall be elected for terms of twelve years.

Sec. 92. The officers of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be appointed by the court or by the judges in vacation. Their duties, compensation, and tenure of office shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 93. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall hold its sessions at two or more places in the State, to be fixed by law.

Sec. 94. The State shall be divided into twenty-four judicial circuits, as follows:

  • The counties of Norfolk, Princess Anne, and the city of Portsmouth, shall constitute the first circuit.
  • The counties of Nansemond, Southampton, Isle of Wight, and the city of Norfolk, shall constitute the second circuit.
  • The counties of Prince George, Surry, Sussex, Greenesville, and Brunswick, shall constitute the third circuit.
  • The counties of Chesterfield, Powhatan, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, and Amelia, and the city of Petersburg, shall constitute the fourth circuit.
  • The counties of Prince Edward, Cumberland, Buckingham, Appomattox, and Charlotte, shall constitute the fifth circuit.
  • The counties of Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Halifax, Campbell, and the city of Lynchburg, shall constitute the sixth circuit. Edition: current; Page: [3923]
  • The counties of Pittsylvania, Franklin, Henry, and Patrick, and the city of Danville, shall constitute the seventh circuit.
  • The counties of Amherst, Nelson, Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Goochland, shall constitute the eighth circuit.
  • The counties of Rappahannock, Culpeper, Madison, Greene, Orange, and Louisa, shall constitute the ninth circuit.
  • The county of Henrico and the city of Richmond, shall constitute the tenth circuit.
  • The counties of Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, and the city of Newport News, shall constitute the eleventh circuit.
  • The counties of Richmond, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Lancaster, and Essex, shall constitute the twelfth circuit.
  • The counties of Gloucester, Mathews, King and Queen, King William, and Middlesex, shall constitute the thirteenth circuit.
  • The counties of New Kent, Charles City, York, Warwick, James City, and the city of Williamsburg, shall constitute the fourteenth circuit.
  • The counties of King George, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, and Hanover, shall constitute the fifteenth circuit.
  • The counties of Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Fairfax, and Alexandria, and the city of Alexandria, shall constitute the sixteenth circuit.
  • The counties of Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, and Page, shall constitute the seventeenth circuit.
  • The counties of Rockingham, Augusta, and Rockbridge, shall constitute the eighteenth circuit.
  • The counties of Highland, Bath, Alleghany, Craig, and Botetourt, shall constitute the nineteenth circuit.
  • The counties of Bedford, Roanoke, Montgomery, and Floyd, and the city of Roanoke, shall constitute the twentieth circuit.
  • The counties of Pulaski, Carroll, Wythe, and Grayson, shall constitute the twenty-first circuit.
  • The counties of Bland, Tazewell, Giles, and Buchanan, shall constitute the twenty-second circuit.
  • The counties of Washington, Russell, and Smyth, shall constitute the twenty-third circuit.
  • The counties of Scott, Lee, Wise, and Dickenson, shall constitute the twenty-fourth circuit.

Sec. 95. After the first day of January, nineteen hundred and six, as the public interest requires, the General Assembly may rearrange the said circuits and increase or diminish the number thereof. But no new circuit shall be created containing, by the last United States census or other census provided by law, less than forty thousand inhabitants, nor when the effect of creating it will be to reduce the number of inhabitants in any existing circuit below forty thousand according to such census.

Sec. 96. For each circuit a judge shall be chosen by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. He shall, when chosen, possess the same qualifications as judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and during his continuance in office shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge. At the first election under this Constitution, the General Assembly shall elect, as nearly as practicable, one-fourth of the entire number of judges for terms of two years, one-fourth for four years, one-fourth for six years, and the remaining Edition: current; Page: [3924] fourth for eight years, respectively; and thereafter they shall be elected for terms of eight years.

Sec. 97. The number of terms of the circuit courts to be held for each county and city, shall be prescribed by law. But no separate circuit court shall be held for any city of the second class, until the city shall abolish its existing city court. The judge of one circuit may be required or authorized to hold court in any other circuit or city.

Sec. 98. For the purposes of a judicial system, the cities of the State shall be divided into two classes. All cities shall belong to the first class which contain, as shown by the last United States census or other census provided by law, ten thousand inhabitants or more, and all cities shall belong to the second class which contain, as thus shown, less than ten thousand inhabitants. In each city of the first class, there shall be, in addition to the circuit court, a corporation court. In any city containing thirty thousand inhabitants or more, the General Assembly may provide for such additional courts as the public interest may require, and in every such city the city courts, as they now exist, shall continue until otherwise provided by law. In every city of the second class, the corporation or hustings court existing, at the time this Constitution goes into effect, shall continue hereafter under the name of the corporation court of such city; but it may be abolished by a vote of a majority of the qualified electors of such city, at an election held for the purpose, and whenever the office of judge of a corporation or hustings court of a city of the second class, whose salary is less than eight hundred dollars, shall become and remain vacant for ninety days consecutively, such court shall thereby cease to exist. In case of the abolition of the corporation or hustings court of any city of the second class, such city shall thereupon come in every respect within the jurisdiction of the circuit court of the county wherein it is situated, until otherwise provided by law, and the records of such corporation or hustings court shall thereupon become a part of the records of such circuit court, and be transferred thereto, and remain therein until otherwise provided by law; and during the existence of the corporation of hustings court, the circuit court of the county in which such city is situated, shall have concurrent jurisdiction with said corporation or hustings court in all actions at law and suits in equity.

Sec. 99. For each city court of record a judge shall be chosen by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. He shall, when chosen, possess the same qualifications as judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and during his continuance in office shall reside within the jurisdiction of the court over which he presides; but the judge of the corporation court of any corporation having a city charter, and less than five thousand inhabitants, may reside outside its corporate limits; and the same person may be judge of such corporation court and judge of the corporation court of some other city having less than ten thousand inhabitants. At the first election of said judges under this Constitution, the General Assembly shall elect, as nearly as practicable, one-fourth of the entire number for terms of two years, one-fourth for four years, one-fourth for six years, and the remaining fourth for eight years; and thereafter they shall be elected for terms of eight years. The judges of city courts in cities Edition: current; Page: [3925] of the first class may be required or authorized to hold the circuit courts of any county and the circuit courts of any city.

Sec. 100. The General Assembly shall have power to establish such court or courts of land registration as it may deem proper for the administration of any law it may adopt for the purpose of the settlement, registration, transfer, or assurance of titles to land in the State, or any part thereof.

Sec. 101. The General Assembly shall have power to confer upon the clerks of the several circuit courts jurisdiction, to be exercised in the manner and under the regulations to be prescribed by law in the matter of the admission of wills to probate, and of the appointment and qualification of guardians, personal representatives, curators, appraisers, and committees of the estates of persons who have been adjudged insane or convicted of felony, and in the matter of the substitution of trustees.

Sec. 102. All the judges shall be commissioned by the Governor. They shall receive such salaries and allowances as may be determined by law within the limitations fixed by this Constitution, the amount of which shall not be increased or diminished during their terms of office. Their terms of office shall commence on the first day of February next following their election, and whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of judge, his successor shall be elected for the unexpired term.

Sec. 103. The salaries of the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be not less than four thousand dollars per annum, and shall be paid by the State.

The salary of the judge of each circuit court shall be not less than two thousand dollars per annum, one-half of which shall be paid by the State, the other half by the counties and cities composing the circuit, according to their respective population; except that of the salary of the judge of the circuit court of the city of Richmond, the State shall pay the proportion which would otherwise fall to the city of Richmond. The salary of a judge of a city court in a city of the first class shall be not less than two thousand dollars per annum, one-half of which shall be paid by the State, the other half by the city. The whole of the aforesaid salaries of said judges shall be paid out of the state treasury, the State to be reimbursed by the respective counties and cities. Any city may, by an ordinance, increase the salaries of its city or circuit judges, or any one or more of them as it may deem proper, and the increase shall be paid wholly by the city, but shall not be enlarged or diminished during the term of office of the judge. Each city containing less than ten thousand inhabitants shall pay the salary of the judge of its corporation or hustings court.

Sec. 104. Judges may be removed from office for cause, by a concurrent vote of both houses of the General Assembly; but a majority of all the members elected to each house must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journal of each house. The judge against whom the General Assembly may be about to proceed shall have notice thereof, accompanied by a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either house of the General Assembly shall act thereon.

Sec. 105. No judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals, of the circuit court, or of any city court of record shall practice law, within or Edition: current; Page: [3926] without this State, nor shall he hold any other office of public trust during his continuance in office; except that the judge of a corporation or hustings court in a city of the second class, may hold the office of commissioner in chancery of the circuit court for the county in which the city is located.

Sec. 106. Writs shall run in the name of the “Commonwealth of Virginia,” and be attested by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude “against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth.”

Sec. 107. An Attorney-General shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time and for the same term as the Governor; and the fact of his election shall be ascertained in the same manner. He shall be commissioned by the Governor, perform such duties and receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law, and shall be removable in the manner prescribed for the removal of judges.

Sec. 108. The General Assembly shall provide for the appointment or election and for the jurisdiction of such justices of the peace as the public interest may require.

Sec. 109. The General Assembly shall provide by whom, and in what manner, applications for bail shall be heard and determined.

Article VII: ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT OF COUNTIES

Sec. 110. There shall be elected by the qualified voters of each county, one county treasurer, who shall not be elected or serve for more than two consecutive terms, nor act as deputy of his immediate successor; one sheriff, one attorney for the Commonwealth, and one county clerk, who shall be the clerk of the circuit court. There shall be elected or appointed, for four years, as the General Assembly may provide, commissioners of the revenue, for each county, the number, duties and compensation of whom shall be prescribed by law; but should such commissioners of the revenue be chosen by election by the people then they shall be ineligible for re-election to the office for the next succeeding term.

There shall be appointed, for each county, in such manner as may be provided by law, one superintendent of the poor, and one county surveyor.

Sec. 111. The magisterial districts shall, until changed by law, remain as now constituted: provided, that hereafter no additional districts shall be made containing less than thirty square miles. In each district there shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof, one supervisor. The supervisors of the districts shall constitute the board of supervisors of the county, which shall meet at stated periods and at other times as often as may be necessary, lay the county and district levies, pass upon all claims against the county, subject to such appeal as may be provided by law, and perform such duties as may be required by law.

Sec. 112. All regular elections for county and district officers shall be held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and all of said officers shall enter upon the duties of their offices on the first day of January next succeeding their election, and shall hold their Edition: current; Page: [3927] respective offices for the term of four years, except that the county clerk shall hold office for eight years; provided that the term of the clerks first elected under this Constitution shall begin on the first of February, nineteen hundred and four, and end on the first of January, nineteen hundred and twelve.

Sec. 113. No person shall at the same time hold more than one of the offices mentioned in this article. Any officer required by law to give bond may be required to give additional security thereon, or to execute a new bond, and in default of so doing his office shall be declared vacant.

Sec. 114. Counties shall not be made responsible for the acts of the sheriffs.

Sec. 115. The General Assembly shall provide for the examination of the books, accounts and settlements of county and city officers who are charged with the collection and disbursement of public funds.

Article VIII: ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT OF CITIES AND TOWNS

Sec. 116. As used in this article the words “incorporated communities” shall be construed to relate only to cities and towns. All incorporated communities, having within defined boundaries a population of five thousand or more, shall be known as cities; and all incorporated communities, having within defined boundaries a population of less than five thousand, shall be known as towns. In determining the population of such cities and towns the General Assembly shall be governed by the last United States census, or such other enumeration as may be made by authority of the General Assembly; but nothing in this section shall be construed to repeal the charter of any incorporated community of less than five thousand inhabitants having a city charter at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, or to prevent the abolition by such incorporated communities of the corporation or hustings court thereof.

Sec. 117. General laws for the organization and government of cities and towns shall be enacted by the General Assembly, and no special act shall be passed in relation thereto, except in the manner provided in Article Four of this Constitution, and then only by a recorded vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house. But each of the cities and towns of the State having at the time of the adoption of this Constitution a municipal charter may retain the same, except so far as it shall be repealed or amended by the General Assembly: provided, that every such charter is hereby amended so as to conform to all the provisions, restrictions, limitations and powers set forth in this article, or otherwise provided in this Constitution.

Sec. 118. In each city which has a court in whose office deeds are admitted to record, there shall be elected for a term of eight years by the qualified voters of such city a clerk of said court, who shall perform such other duties as may be required by law.

There shall be elected in like manner and for a like term all such additional clerks of courts for cities as the General Assembly may prescribe, or as are now authorized by law, so long as such courts shall continue in existence. But in no city of less than thirty thousand Edition: current; Page: [3928] inhabitants shall there be more than one clerk of the court, who shall be clerk of all the courts of record in such city.

Sec. 119. In every city, so long as it has a corporation court, or a separate circuit court, there shall be elected for a term of four years by the qualified voters of such city, one attorney for the Commonwealth, who shall also, in those cities having a separate circuit court, be the attorney for the Commonwealth, for such circuit court.

In every city there shall be elected, or appointed, for a term of four years, in a manner to be provided by law, one commissioner of revenue, whose duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law; but should he be elected by the people, he shall be ineligible for re-election to the office for the next succeeding term.

Sec. 120. In every city there shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof one city treasurer, for a term of four years, but he shall not be eligible for more than two consecutive terms, nor act as deputy for his immediate successor; one city sergeant, for a term of four years, whose duties shall be prescribed by law; and a mayor, for a term of four years, who shall be the chief executive officer of such city. All city and town officers, whose election or appointment is not provided for by this Constitution, shall be elected by the electors of such cities and towns, or of some division thereof, or appointed by such authorities thereof as the General Assembly shall designate.

The mayor shall see that the duties of the various city officers, members of the police and fire departments, whether elected or appointed, in and for such city, are faithfully performed. He shall have power to investigate their acts, have access to all books and documents in their offices, and may examine them and their subordinates on oath. The evidence given by persons so examined shall not be used against them in any criminal proceedings. He shall also have power to suspend such officers and the members of the police and fire departments, and to remove such officers, and also such members of said departments when authorized by the General Assembly, for misconduct in office or neglect of duty, to be specified in the order of suspension or removal; but no such removal shall be made without reasonable notice to the officer complained of, and an opportunity afforded him to be heard in person, or by counsel, and to present testimony in his defense. From such order of suspension or removal, the city officer so suspended or removed shall have an appeal of right to the corporation court, or, if there be no such court, to the circuit court of such city, in which court the case shall be heard de novo by the judge thereof, whose decision shall be final. He shall have all other powers and duties which may be conferred and imposed upon him by general laws.

Sec. 121. There shall be in every city a council, composed of two branches having a different number of members, whose powers and terms of office shall be prescribed by law, and whose members shall be elected by the qualified voters of such city, in the manner prescribed by law, but so as to give as far as practicable, to each ward of such city, equal representation in each branch of said council in proportion to the population of such ward; but in cities of under ten thousand population the General Assembly may permit the council to consist of one branch. No member of the council shall be eligible during his tenure of office as such member, or for one year thereafter, to any office to be filled by the council by election or appointment. Edition: current; Page: [3929] The council of every city may, in a manner prescribed by law, increase or diminish the number, and change the boundaries, of the wards thereof, and shall, in the year nineteen hundred and three, and in every tenth year thereafter, and also whenever the boundaries of such wards are changed, reapportion the representation in the council among the wards in a manner prescribed by law; and whenever the council of any such city shall fail to perform the duty so prescribed, a mandamus shall lie on behalf of any citizen thereof to compel its performance.

Sec. 122. The mayors and councils of cities shall be elected on the second Tuesday in June, and their terms of office shall begin on the first day of September succeeding. All other elective officers, provided for by this article, or hereafter authorized by law, shall be elected on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and their terms of office shall begin on the first day of January succeeding, except that the terms of office of clerks of the city courts shall begin coincidently with that of the judges of said courts: provided, that the General Assembly may change the time of election of all or any of the said officers, except that the election and the beginning of the terms of mayors and councils of cities shall not be made by the General Assembly to occur at the same time with the election and beginning of the terms of office of the other elective officers provided for by this Constitution.

Sec. 123. Every ordinance, or resolution having the effect of an ordinance, shall, before it becomes operative, be presented to the mayor. If he approve he shall sign it, but if not, if the council consist of two branches, he may return it, with his objections in writing, to the clerk, or other recording officer, of that branch in which it originated; which branch shall enter the objections at length on its journal and proceed to reconsider it. If after such consideration two-thirds of all the members elected thereto shall agree to pass the ordinance or resolution it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other branch, by which it shall likewise be considered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members elected thereto, it shall become operative notwithstanding the objections of the mayor. But in all such cases the votes of both branches of the council shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the ordinance or resolution shall be entered on the journal of each branch. If the council consist of a single branch, the mayor’s objections in writing to any ordinance, or resolution having the effect of an ordinance, shall be returned to the clerk, or other recording officer of the council, and be entered at length on its journal; whereupon the council shall proceed to reconsider the same. Upon such consideration the vote shall be taken in the same manner as where the council consists of two branches, and if the ordinance or resolution be approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to the council, it shall become operative notwithstanding the objections of the mayor. If any ordinance or resolution shall not be returned by the mayor within five days (Sunday excepted), after it shall have been presented to him, it shall become operative in like manner as if he had signed it, unless his term of office, or that of the council, shall expire within said five days.

The mayor shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation ordinance or resolution; but the veto shall Edition: current; Page: [3930] not affect any item or items to which he does not object. The item or items objected to shall not take effect except in the manner provided in this section as to ordinances or resolutions not approved by the mayor. No ordinance or resolution appropriating money exceeding the sum of one hundred dollars, imposing taxes, or authorizing the borrowing of money, shall be passed, except by a recorded affirmative vote of a majority of all the members elected to the council or to each branch thereof where there are two; and in case of the veto by the mayor of such ordinance or resolution, it shall require a recorded affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to the council, or to each branch thereof where there are two, to pass the same over such veto in the manner provided in this section. Nothing contained in this section shall operate to repeal or amend any provision in any existing city charter requiring a two-thirds vote for the passage of any ordinance as to the appropriation of money, imposing taxes or authorizing the borrowing of money.

Sec. 124. No street railway, gas, water, steam, or electric heating, electric light or power, cold storage, compressed air, viaduct, conduit, telephone, or bridge, company, nor any corporation, association, person or partnership, engaged in these or like enterprises, shall be permitted to use the streets, alleys, or public grounds of a city or town without the previous consent of the corporate authorities of such city or town.

Sec. 125. The rights of no city or town in and to its water front, wharf property, public landings, wharves, docks, streets, avenues, parks, bridges, and other public places, and its gas, water, and electric works shall be sold except by an ordinance or resolution passed by a recorded affirmative vote of three-fourths of all the members elected to the council, or to each branch thereof where there are two, and under such other restrictions as may be imposed by law; and in case of the veto by the mayor of such an ordinance or resolution, it shall require a recorded affirmative vote of three-fourths of all the members elected to the council, or to each branch thereof where there are two, had in the manner heretofore provided for in this article, to pass the same over the veto. No franchise, lease or right of any kind to use any such public property or any other public property or easement of any description, in a manner not permitted to the general public, shall be granted for a longer period than thirty years. Before granting any such franchise or privilege for a term of years, except for a trunk railway, the municipality shall first, after due advertisement, receive bids therefor publicly, in such manner as may be provided by law, and shall then act as may be required by law. Such grant, and any contract in pursuance thereof, may provide that upon the termination of the grant the plant as well as the property, if any, of the grantee in the streets, avenues, and other public places shall thereupon, without compensation to the grantee, or upon the payment of a fair valuation therefor, be and become the property of the said city or town; but the grantee shall be entitled to no payment by reason of the value of the franchise; and any such plant or property acquired by a city or town may be sold or leased, or, if authorized by law, maintained, controlled and operated, by such city or town. Every such grant shall specify the mode of determining any valuation therein provided for, and shall make adequate Edition: current; Page: [3931] provision by way of forfeiture of the grant, or otherwise, to secure efficiency of public service at reasonable rates, and the maintenance of the property in good order throughout the term of the grant. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as preventing the General Assembly from prescribing additional restrictions on the powers of cities and towns in granting franchises or in selling or leasing any of their property, or as repealing any additional restriction now required in relation thereto in any existing municipal charter.

Sec. 126. The General Assembly shall provide by general laws for the extension and the contraction, from time to time, of the corporate limits of cities and towns; and no special act for such purpose shall be valid.

Sec. 127. No city or town shall issue any bonds or other interest-bearing obligations for any purpose, or in any manner, to an amount which, including existing indebtedness, shall at any time, exceed eighteen per centum of the assessed valuation of the real estate in the city or town subject to taxation, as shown by the last preceding assessment for taxes: provided, however, that nothing above contained in this section shall apply to those cities and towns whose charters existing at the adoption of this Constitution authorize a larger percentage of indebtedness than is authorized by this section: and provided further, that in determining the limitation of the power of a city or town to incur indebtedness there shall not be included the following classes of indebtedness:

(a) Certificates of indebtedness, revenue bonds or other obligations issued in anticipation of the collection of the revenue of such city or town for the then current year; provided, that such certificates, bonds or other obligations mature within one year from the date of their issue, and be not past due, and do not exceed the revenue for such year;

(b) Bonds authorized by an ordinance enacted in accordance with section One Hundred and Twenty-three, and approved by the affirmative vote of the majority of the qualified voters of the city or town voting upon the question of their issuance, at the general election next succeeding the enactment of the ordinance, or at a special election held for that purpose, for a supply of water or other specific undertaking from which the city or town may derive a revenue; but from and after a period to be determined by the council, not exceeding five years from the date of such election, whenever and for so long as such undertaking fails to produce sufficient revenue to pay for cost of operation and administration (including interest on bonds issued therefor, and the cost of insurance against loss by injury to persons or property), and an annual amount to be covered into a sinking fund sufficient to pay, at or before maturity, all bonds issued on account of said undertaking, all such bonds outstanding shall be included in determining the limitation of the power to incur indebtedness, unless the principal and interest thereof be made payable exclusively from the receipts of the undertaking.

Sec. 128. In cities and towns the assessment of real estate and personal property for the purpose of municipal taxation, shall be the same as the assessment thereof for the purpose of state taxation, whenever there shall be a state assessment of such property.

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Article IX: EDUCATION AND PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Sec. 129. The General Assembly shall establish and maintain an efficient system of public free schools throughout the State.

Sec. 130. The general supervision of the school system shall be vested in a State Board of Education, composed of the Governor, Attorney-General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and three experienced educators to be elected quadrennially by the Senate, from a list of eligibles, consisting of one from each of the faculties, and nominated by the respective boards of visitors or trustees, of the University of Virginia, the Virginia Military Institute, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the State Female Normal School at Farmville, the School for the Deaf and Blind, and also of the College of William and Mary, so long as the State continue its annual appropriation to the last named institution.

The board thus constituted shall select and associate with itself two division superintendents of schools, one from a county and the other from a city, who shall hold office for two years, and whose powers and duties shall be identical with those of other members, except that they shall not participate in the appointment of any public school official.

Any vacancy occurring during the term of any member of the board shall be filled for the unexpired term by said board.

Sec. 131. The Superintendent of Public Instruction, who shall be an experienced educator, shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time and for the same term as the Governor. Any vacancy in said office shall be filled for the unexpired term by the said board.

His duties shall be prescribed by the State Board of Education, of which he shall be ex-officio president; and his compensation shall be fixed by law.

Sec. 132. The duties and powers of the State Board of Education shall be as follows:

First. It may, in its discretion, divide the State into appropriate school divisions, comprising not less than one county or city each, but no county or city shall be divided in the formation of such divisions. It shall, subject to the confirmation of the Senate, appoint, for each of such divisions, one superintendent of schools, who shall hold office for four years, and shall prescribe his duties, and may remove him for cause and upon notice.

Second. It shall have, regulated by law, the management and investment of the school fund.

Third. It shall have authority to make all needful rules and regulations for the management and conduct of the schools, which, when published and distributed, shall have the force and effect of law, subject to the authority of the General Assembly to revise, amend, or repeal the same.

Fourth. It shall select text books and educational appliances for use in the schools of the State, exercising such discretion as it may see fit in the selection of books suitable for the schools in the cities and counties respectively.

Fifth. It shall appoint a board of directors, consisting of five members, to serve without compensation, which shall have the management Edition: current; Page: [3933] of the State Library, and the appointment of a librarian and other employees thereof, subject to such rules and regulations as the General Assembly shall prescribe; but the Supreme Court of Appeals shall have the management of the law library and the appointment of the librarian and other employees thereof.

Sec. 133. Each magisterial district shall constitute a separate school district, unless otherwise provided by law. In each school district there shall be three trustees selected, in the manner and for the term of office prescribed by law.

Sec. 134. The General Assembly shall set apart as a permanent and perpetual literary fund, the present literary fund of the State; the proceeds of all public lands donated by Congress for public free school purposes; of all escheated property; of all waste and unappropriated lands; of all property accruing to the State by forfeiture, and all fines collected for offences committed against the State, and such other sums as the general Assembly may appropriate.

Sec. 135. The General Assembly shall apply the annual interest on the literary fund; that portion of the capitation tax provided for in the Constitution to be paid into the State treasury, and not returnable to the counties and cities; and an annual tax on property of not less than one nor more than five mills on the dollar to the schools of the primary and grammar grades, for the equal benefit of all of the people of the State, to be apportioned on a basis of school population; the number of children between the ages of seven and twenty years in each school district to be the basis of such apportionment: but if at any time the several kinds or classes of property shall be segregated for the purposes of taxation, so as to specify and determine upon what subjects state taxes and upon what subject local taxes may be levied, then the General Assembly may otherwise provide for a fixed appropriation of state revenue to the support of the schools not less than that provided in this section.

Sec. 136. Each county, city, town if the same be a separate school district, and school district is authorized to raise additional sums by a tax on property, not to exceed in the aggregate five mills on the dollar in any one year, to be apportioned and expended by the local school authorities of said counties, cities, towns and districts in establishing and maintaining such schools as in their judgment the public welfare may require: provided, that such primary schools as may be established in any school year, shall be maintained at least four months of that school year, before any part of the fund assessed and collected may be devoted to the establishment of schools of higher grade. The boards of supervisors of the several counties, and the councils of the several cities, and towns if the same be separate school districts, shall provide for the levy and collection of such local school taxes.

Sec. 137. The General Assembly may establish agricultural, normal, manual training and technical schools, and such grades of schools as shall be for the public good.

Sec. 138. The General Assembly may, in its discretion, provide for the compulsory education of children between the ages of eight and twelve years, except such as are weak in body or mind, or can read and write, or are attending private schools, or are excused for cause by the district school trustees.

Sec. 139. Provision shall be made to supply children attending the Edition: current; Page: [3934] public schools with necessary text-books in cases where the parent or guardian is unable, by reason of poverty, to furnish them.

Sec. 140. White and colored children shall not be taught in the same school.

Sec. 141. No appropriation of public funds shall be made to any school or institution of learning not owned or exclusively controlled by the State or some political subdivision thereof: provided, first, that the General Assembly may, in its discretion, continue the appropriations to the College of William and Mary; second, that this section shall not be construed as requiring or prohibiting the continuance or discontinuance by the General Assembly of the payment of interest on certain bonds held by certain schools and colleges as provided by an act of the General Assembly, approved February twenty-third, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, relating to bonds held by schools and colleges; third, that counties, cities, towns, and districts may make appropriations to non-sectarian schools of manual, industrial, or technical training, and also to any school or institution of learning owned or exclusively controlled by such county, city, town, or school district.

Sec. 142. Members of the boards of visitors or trustees of educational institutions shall be appointed as may be provided by law, and shall hold for the term of four years: provided, that at the first appointment, if the board be of an even number, one-half of them, or, if of an odd number, the least majority of them, shall be appointed for two years.

Article X: AGRICULTURE AND IMMIGRATION

Sec. 143. There shall be a Department of Agriculture and Immigration, which shall be permanently maintained at the capital of the State, and which shall be under the management and control of a Board of Agriculture and Immigration, composed of one member from each congressional district, who shall be a practical farmer, appointed by the Governor for a term of four years, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and the president of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, who shall be ex-officio a member of the board: provided, that members of the board first appointed under this Constitution from the congressional districts bearing odd numbers shall hold office for two years.

Sec. 144. The powers and duties of the board shall be prescribed by law: provided, that it shall have power to elect and remove its officers, and establish elsewhere in the State subordinate branches of said department.

Sec. 145. There shall be a Commissioner of Agriculture and Immigration, whose term of office shall be four years, and who shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State, and whose powers and duties shall be prescribed by the Board of Agriculture and Immigration until otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 146. The president of the Board of Agriculture and Immigration shall be ex-officio a member of the Board of Visitors of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

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Article XI: PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND PRISONS

Sec. 147. There shall be a state penitentiary, with such branch prisons and prison farms as may be provided by law.

Sec. 148. There shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, a board of five directors which, subject to such regulations and requirements as may be prescribed by law, shall have the government and control of the penitentiary, branch prisons, and prison farms, and shall appoint the superintendents and surgeons thereof. The respective superintendents shall appoint, and may remove, all other officers and employees of the penitentiary, branch prisons, and prison farms, subject to the approval of the board of directors. The superintendents and surgeons shall be appointed for a term of four years, and be removable by the board of directors for misbehavior, incapacity, neglect of official duty, or acts performed without authority of law. The terms of the directors first appointed shall be one, two, three, four, and five years, respectively; and thereafter, upon the expiration of the term of a director, his successor shall be appointed for a term of five years.

Sec. 149. For each state hospital for the insane now existing, or hereafter established, there shall be a special board of directors, consisting of three members, who shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate; such board shall have the management of the hospital for which it is appointed, under the supervision and control of the general board of directors hereinafter constituted. The terms of the directors first appointed shall be two, four, and six years, respectively, and thereafter, upon the expiration of the term of a member, his successor shall be appointed for a term of six years.

Sec. 150. There shall be a general board of directors for the control and management of all the state hospitals for the insane now existing or hereafter established, which shall consist of all the directors appointed members of the several special boards. The general board of directors shall be subject to such regulations and requirements as the General Assembly may from time to time prescribe, and shall have full power and control over the special boards of directors and all of the officers and employees of the said hospitals.

Sec. 151. The general board of directors shall appoint for a term of four years a superintendent for each hospital, who shall be removable by said board for misbehavior, incapacity, neglect of official duty, or acts performed without authority of law. The special board of each hospital, shall, subject to the approval of the general board, appoint for a term of four years all other resident officers. The superintendent of each hospital shall appoint, and may remove, with the approval of the special board, all other employees of such hospital.

Sec. 152. There shall be a Commissioner of State Hospitals for the Insane, who shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, for a term of four years. He shall be ex-officio chairman of the general and of each of the special boards of directors, and shall be responsible for the proper disbursement of all moneys Edition: current; Page: [3936] appropriated or received from any source for the maintenance of such hospitals; he shall cause to be established and maintained at all of the hospitals a uniform system of keeping the records and the accounts of money received and disbursed and of making the reports thereof. He shall perform such other duties and shall execute such bond and receive such salary as may be prescribed by law.

Article XII: CORPORATIONS

Sec. 153. As used in this article, the term “corporation” or “company” shall include all trusts, associations and joint stock companies having any powers or privileges not possessed by individuals or unlimited partnerships, and exclude all municipal corporations and public institutions owned or controlled by the State; the term “charter” shall be construed to mean the charter of incorporation by, or under, which any such corporation is formed; the term “transportation company” shall include any company, trustee, or other person owning, leasing or operating for hire a railroad, street railway, canal, steamboat or steamship line, and also any freight car company, car association, or car trust, express company, or company, trustee or person in any way engaged in business as a common carrier over a route acquired in whole or in part under the right of eminent domain; the term “rate” shall be construed to mean “rate of charge for any service rendered or to be rendered;” the terms “rate,” “charge” and “regulation,” shall include joint rates, joint charges, and joint regulations, respectively; the term “transmission company” shall include any company owning, leasing, or operating for hire, any telegraph or telephone line; the term “freight” shall be construed to mean any property transported, or received for transportation, by any transportation company; the term “public service corporation” shall include all transportation and transmission companies, all gas, electric light, heat and power companies, and all persons authorized to exercise the right of eminent domain, or to use or occupy any street, alley or public highway, whether along, over, or under the same, in a manner not permitted to the general public; the term “person,” as used in this article, shall include individuals, partnerships and corporations, in the singular as well as plural number; the term “bond” shall mean all certificates, or written evidences, of indebtedness issued by any corporation and secured by mortgage or trust deed; the term “frank” shall be construed to mean any writing or token, issued by, or under authority of, a transmission company, entitling the holder to any service from such company free of charge. The provisions of this article shall always be so restricted in their application as not to conflict with any of the provisions of the Federal Constitution, and as if the necessary limitations upon their interpretation had been herein expressed in each case.

Sec. 154. The creation of corporations, and the extension and amendment of charters (whether heretofore or hereafter granted), shall be provided for by general laws, and no charter shall be granted, amended or extended by special act, nor shall authority in such matters be conferred upon any tribunal or officer, except to ascertain whether the applicants have, by complying with the requirements of Edition: current; Page: [3937] the law, entitled themselves to the charter, amendment or extension applied for, and to issue, or refuse, the same accordingly. Such general laws may be amended or repealed by the General Assembly; and all charters and amendments of charters, now existing and revocable, or hereafter granted or extended, may be repealed at any time by special act. Provision shall be made, by general laws, for the voluntary surrender of its charter by any corporation, and for the forfeiture thereof for non-user or mis-user. The General Assembly shall not, by special act, regulate the affairs of any corporation, nor, by such act, give it any rights, powers or privileges.

Sec. 155. A permanent commission, to consist of three members, is hereby created, which shall be known as the State Corporation Commission. The commissioners shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly in joint session, and their regular terms of office shall be six years, respectively, except those first appointed under this Constitution, of whom, one shall be appointed to hold office until the first day of February, nineteen hundred and four, one, until the first day of February, nineteen hundred and six, and one, until the first day of February, nineteen hundred and eight. Whenever a vacancy in the commission shall occur, the Governor shall forthwith appoint a qualified person to fill the same for the unexpired term, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly aforesaid. Commissioners appointed for regular terms shall, at the beginning of the terms for which appointed, and those appointed to fill vacancies shall, immediately upon their appointments, enter upon the duties of their office; but no person so appointed, either for a regular term, or to fill a vacancy, shall enter upon, or continue in, office after the General Assembly shall have refused to confirm his appointment, or adjourned sine die without confirming the same, nor shall he be eligible for re-appointment to fill the vacancy caused by such refusal or failure to confirm. No person while employed by, or holding any office in relation to, any transportation or transmission company, or while in any wise financially interested therein, or while engaged in practicing law, shall hold office as a member of said commission, or perform any of the duties thereof. At least one of the commissioners shall have the qualifications prescribed for judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals; and any commissioner may be impeached or removed in the manner provided for the impeachment or removal of a judge of said court. The commission shall annually elect one of their members chairman of the same, and shall have one clerk, one bailiff and such other clerks, officers, assistants and subordinates as may be provided by law, all of whom shall be appointed, and subject to removal, by the commission. It shall prescribe its own rules of order and procedure, except so far as the same are specified in this Constitution or any amendment thereof. The General Assembly may establish within the department, and subject to the supervision and control, of the commission, subordinate divisions, or bureaus, of insurance, banking or other special branches of the business of that department. All sessions of the commission shall be public, and a permanent record shall be kept of all its judgments, rules, orders, findings and decisions, and of all reports made to, or by, it, Two of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, whether there be a vacancy in the commission or not. The commission shall keep its office open for business on every Edition: current; Page: [3938] day except Sundays and legal holidays. Transportation companies shall at all times transport, free of charge, within this State, the members of said commission and its officers, or any of them, when engaged on their official duties. The General Assembly shall provide suitable quarters for the commission and funds for its lawful expenses, including pay for witnesses summoned, and costs of executing processes issued, by the commission of its own motion; and shall fix the salaries of the members, clerks, assistants and subordinates of the commission and provide for the payment thereof; but the salary of each commissioner shall not be less than four thousand dollars per annum. After the first day of January, nineteen hundred and eight, the General Assembly may provide for the election of the members of the commission by the qualified voters of the State; in which event, vacancies thereafter occurring shall be filled as hereinbefore provided, until the expiration of twenty days after the next general election, held not less than sixty days after the vacancy occurs, at which election the vacancy shall be filled for the residue of the unexpired term.

Sec. 156. (a) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to such requirements, rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law, the State Corporation Commission shall be the department of government through which shall be issued all charters and amendments or extensions thereof, for domestic corporations, and all licenses to do business in this State to foreign corporations; and through which shall be carried out all the provisions of this Constitution, and of the laws made in pursuance thereof, for the creation, visitation, supervision, regulation and control of corporations chartered by, or doing business in, this State. The commission shall prescribe the forms of all reports which may be required of such corporations by this Constitution or by law; it shall collect, receive, and preserve such reports, and annually tabulate and publish them in statistical form; it shall have all the rights and powers of, and perform all the duties devolving upon, the Railroad Commissioner and the Board of Public Works, at the time this Constitution goes into effect, except so far as they are inconsistent with this Constitution, or may be hereafter abolished or changed by law.

(b) The Commission shall have the power, and be charged with the duty, of supervising, regulating and controlling all transportation and transmission companies doing business in this State, in all matters relating to the performance of their public duties and their charges therefor, and of correcting abuses therein by such companies; and to that end the commission shall, from time to time, prescribe, and enforce against such companies, in the manner hereinafter authorized, such rates, charges, classifications of traffic, and rules and regulations, and shall require them to establish and maintain all such public service, facilities and conveniences, as may be reasonable and just, which said rates, charges, classifications, rules, regulations and requirements, the commission may, from time to come, alter or amend. All rates, charges, classifications, rules and regulations adopted, or acted upon, by any such company, inconsistent with those prescribed by the commission, within the scope of its authority, shall be unlawful and void. The commission shall also have the right at all times Edition: current; Page: [3939] to inspect the books and papers of all transportation and transmission companies doing business in this State, and to require from such companies, from time to time, special reports and statements under oath, concerning their business; it shall keep itself fully informed of the physical condition of all the railroads of the State, as to the manner in which they are operated, with reference to the security and accommodation of the public, and shall, from time to time, make and enforce such requirements, rules and regulations as may be necessary to prevent unjust or unreasonable discriminations by any transportation or transmission company in favor of, or against, any person, locality, community, connecting line, or kind of traffic, in the matter of car service, train or boat schedule, efficiency of transportation or otherwise, in connection with the public duties of such company. Before the commission shall prescribe or fix any rate, charge, or classification of traffic, and before it shall make any order, rule, regulation or requirement directed against any one or more companies by name, the company or companies to be affected by such rate, charge, classification, order, rule, regulation or requirement, shall first be given, by the commission, at least ten days’ notice of the time and place, when and where the contemplated action in the premises will be considered and disposed of, and shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to introduce evidence and to be heard thereon, to the end that justice may be done, and shall have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses; and before the commission shall make or prescribe any general order, rule, regulation or requirement, not directed against any specific company or companies by name, the contemplated general order, rule, regulation or requirement shall first be published in substance, not less than once a week for four consecutive weeks in one or more of the newspapers of general circulation published in the city of Richmond, Virginia, together with notice of the time and place, when and where the commission will hear any objections which may be urged by any person interested, against the proposed order, rule, regulation or requirement; and every such general order, rule, regulation or requirement, made by the commission shall be published at length, for the time and in the manner above specified, before it shall go into effect, and shall also, as long as it remains in force, be published in each subsequent annual report of the commission. The authority of the commission (subject to review on appeal as hereinafter provided) to prescribe rates, charges and classifications of traffic, for transportation and transmission companies, shall be paramount; but its authority to prescribe any other rules, regulations or requirements for corporations or other persons shall be subject to the superior authority of the General Assembly to legislate thereon by general laws: provided, however, that nothing in this section shall impair the right which has heretofore been, or may hereafter be, conferred by law upon the authorities of any city, town or county to prescribe rules, regulations or rates of charge to be observed by any public service corporation in connection with any services performed by it under a municipal or county franchise granted by such city, town or county, so far as such services may be wholly within the limits of the city, town or county granting the franchise. Upon the request of the parties interested, it shall be the duty of the commission, Edition: current; Page: [3940] as far as possible, to effect, by mediation, the adjustment of claims, and the settlement of controversies, between transportation or transmission companies and their patrons.

(c) In all matters pertaining to the public visitation, regulation or control of corporations, and within the jurisdiction of the commission, it shall have the powers and authority of a court of record, to administer oaths, to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of papers, to punish for contempt any person guilty of disrespectful or disorderly conduct in the presence of the commission while in session, and to enforce compliance with any of its lawful orders or requirements by adjudging, and enforcing by its own appropriate process, against the delinquent or offending company (after it shall have been first duly cited, proceeded against by due process of law before the commission sitting as a court, and afforded opportunity to introduce evidence and to be heard, as well against the validity, justness or reasonableness of the order or requirement alleged to have been violated, as against the liability of the company for the alleged violation), such fines or other penalties as may be prescribed or authorized by this Constitution or by law. The commission may be vested with such additional powers, and charged with such other duties (not inconsistent with this Constitution) as may be prescribed by law, in connection with the visitation, regulation or control of corporations, or with the prescribing and enforcing of rates and charges to be observed in the conduct of any business where the State has the right to prescribe the rates and charges in connection therewith, or with the assessment of the property of corporations, or the appraisement of their franchises, for taxation, or with the investigation of the subject of taxation generally. Any corporation failing or refusing to obey any valid order or requirement of the commission, within such reasonable time, not less than ten days, as shall be fixed in the order, may be fined by the commission (proceeding by due process of law as aforesaid) such sum, not exceeding five hundred dollars, as the commission may deem proper, or such sum, in excess of five hundred dollars, as may be prescribed, or authorized, by law; and each day’s continuance of such failure or refusal, after due service upon such corporation of the order or requirement of the commission, shall be a separate offence: provided, that should the operation of such order or requirement be suspended pending an appeal therefrom, the period of such suspension shall not be computed against the company in the matter of its liability to fines or penalties.

(d) From any action of the commission prescribing rates, charges or classifications of traffic, or affecting the train schedule of any transportation company, or requiring additional facilities, conveniences or public service of any transportation or transmission company, or refusing to approve a suspending bond, or requiring additional security thereon or an increase thereof, as provided for in subsection e of this section, an appeal (subject to such reasonable limitations as to time, regulations as to procedure and provisions as to costs, as may be prescribed by law) may be taken by the corporation whose rates, charges or classifications of traffic, schedule, facilities, conveniences or service, are affected, or by any person deeming himself aggrieved by such action, or (if allowed by law) by the Commonwealth. Until otherwise provided by law, such appeal shall be taken in the manner Edition: current; Page: [3941] in which appeals may be taken to the Supreme Court of Appeals from the inferior courts, except that such an appeal shall be of right, and the Supreme Court of Appeals may provide by rule for proceedings in the matter of appeals in any particular in which the existing rules of law are inapplicable. If such appeal be taken by the corporation whose rates, charges or classifications of traffic, schedules, facilities, conveniences or service are affected, the Commonwealth shall be made the appellee; but, in the other cases mentioned, the corporation so affected shall be made the appellee. The General Assembly may also, by general laws, provide for appeals from any other action of the commission, by the Commonwealth or by any person interested, irrespective of the amount involved. All appeals from the commission shall be to the Supreme Court of Appeals only; and in all appeals to which the Commonwealth is a party, it shall be represented by the Attorney-General or his legally appointed representative. No court of this Commonwealth (except the Supreme Court of Appeals, by way of appeals as herein authorized), shall have jurisdiction to review, reverse, correct or annual any action of the commission, within the scope of its authority, or to suspend or delay the execution or operation thereof, or to enjoin, restrain or interfere with the commission in the performance of its official duties: provided, however, that the writs of mandamus and prohibition shall lie from the Supreme Court of Appeals to the commission in all cases where such writs, respectively, would lie to any inferior tribunal or officer.

(e) Upon the granting of an appeal, a writ of supersedeas may be awarded by the appellate court, suspending the operation of the action appealed from until the final disposition of the appeal; but, prior to the final reversal thereof by the appellate court, no action of the commission prescribing or affecting the rates, charges or classifications of traffic or any transportation or transmission company shall be delayed, or suspended, in its operation, by reason of any appeal by such corporation, or by reason of any proceedings resulting from such appeal, until a suspending bond shall first have been executed and filed with, and approved by, the commission (or approved on review by the Supreme Court of Appeals), payable to the Commonwealth, and sufficient in amount and security to insure the prompt refunding, by the appealing corporation to the parties entitled thereto, of all charges which such company may collect or receive, pending the appeal, in excess of those fixed, or authorized, by the final decision of the court on appeal. The commission, upon the execution of such bond, shall forthwith require the appealing company, under penalty of the immediate enforcement (pending the appeal and notwithstanding any supersedeas), of the order or requirement appealed from, to keep such accounts, and to make to the commission, from time to time, such reports, verified by oath, as may, in the judgment of the commission, suffice to show the amounts being charged or received by the company, pending the appeal, in excess of the charge allowed by the action of the commission appealed from, together with the names and addresses of the persons to whom such overcharges will be refundable in case the charges made by the company pending the appeal, be not sustained on such appeal; and the commission shall also, from time to time, require such company, under like penalty, to give additional security on, or to increase, the said Edition: current; Page: [3942] suspending bond, whenever, in the opinion of the commission, the same may be necessary to insure the prompt refunding of the overcharges aforesaid. Upon the final decision of such appeal, all amounts which the appealing company may have collected, pending the appeal, in excess of that authorized by such final decision, shall be promptly refunded by the company to the parties entitled thereto, in such manner, and through such methods of distribution, as may be prescribed by the commission, or by law. All such appeals affecting rates, charges or classifications of traffic, shall have precedence upon the docket of the appellate court, and shall be heard and disposed of promptly by the court, irrespective of its place of session, next after the habeas corpus, and Commonwealth’s, cases already on the docket of the court.

(f) In no case of appeal from the commission shall any new or additional evidence be introduced in the appellate court; but the chairman of the commission, under the seal of the commission, shall certify to the appellate court all the facts upon which the action appealed from was based and which may be essential for the proper decision of the appeal, together with such of the evidence introduced before, or considered by, the commission as may be selected, specified and required to be certified, by any party in interest, as well as such other evidence, so introduced or considered, as the commission may deem proper to certify. The commission shall, whenever an appeal is taken therefrom, file with the record of the case, and as a part thereof, a written statement of the reasons upon which the action appealed from was based, and such statement shall be read and considered by the appellate court, upon disposing of the appeal. The appellate court shall have jurisdiction, on such appeal, to consider and determine the reasonableness and justness of the action of the commission appealed from, as well as any other matter arising under such appeal: provided, however, that the action of the commission appealed from shall be regarded as prima facie just, reasonable and correct; but the court may, when it deems necessary, in the interest of justice, remand to the commission any case pending on appeal, and require the same to be further investigated by the commission, and reported upon to the court (together with a certificate of such additional evidence as may be tendered before the commission by any party in interest) before the appeal is finally decided.

(g) Whenever the court, upon appeal, shall reverse an order of the commission affecting the rates, charges or the classification of traffic of any transportation or transmission company, it shall, at the same time substitute therefor such order as, in its opinion, the commission should have made at the time of entering the order appealed from; otherwise, the reversal order shall not be valid. Such substituted order shall have the same force and effect (and none other) as if it had been entered by the commission at the time the original order appealed from was entered. The right of the commission to prescribe and enforce rates, charges, classifications, rules and regulations, affecting any or all actions of the commission theretofore entered by it and appealed from, but based upon circumstances or conditions different from those existing at the time the order appealed from was made, shall not be suspended or impaired by reason of the pendency of such appeal; but no order of the commission, prescribing or altering such rates, charges, classifications, rules or regulations, shall be retroactive.

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(h) The right of any person to institute and prosecute in the ordinary courts of justice, any action, suit or motion against any transportation or transmission company, for any claim or cause of action against such company, shall not be extinguished or impaired, by reason of any fine or other penalty which the commission may impose, or be authorized to impose, upon such company because of its breach of any public duty, or because of its failure to comply with any order or requirement of the commission; but, in no such proceeding by any person against such corporation, nor in any collateral proceeding, shall the reasonableness, justness or validity of any rate, charge, classification of traffic, rule, regulation or requirement, theretofore prescribed by the commission, within the scope of its authority, and then in force, be questioned: provided, however, that no case based upon or involving any order of the commission shall be heard, or disposed of, against the objection of either party, so long as such order is suspended in its operation by an order of the Supreme Court of Appeals as authorized by this Constitution or by any law passed in pursuance thereof.

(i) The commission shall make annual reports to the Governor of its proceedings, in which reports it shall recommend, from time to time, such new or additional legislation in reference to its powers or duties, or the creation, supervision, regulation or control of corporations, or to the subject of taxation, as it may deem wise or expedient, or as may be required by law.

(k) Upon the organization of the State Corporation Commission, the Board of Public Works and the office of Railroad Commissioner, shall cease to exist; and all books, papers and documents pertaining thereto, shall be transferred to, and become a part of the records of, the office of the State Corporation Commission.

(l) After the first day of January, nineteen hundred and five, in addition to the modes of amendment provided for in Article Fifteen of this Constitution, the General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the State Corporation Commission, may, by law, from time to time, amend subsections a to i, inclusive, of this section, or any of them, or any such amendment thereof: provided, that no amendment made under authority of this subsection shall contravene the provisions of any part of this Constitution other than the subsections last above referred to or any such amendment thereof.

Sec. 157. Provision shall be made by general laws for the payment of a fee to the Commonwealth by every domestic corporation, upon the granting, amendment or extension of its charter, and by every foreign corporation upon obtaining a license to do business in this State as specified in this section; and also for the payment, by every domestic corporation, and foreign corporation doing business in this State, of an annual registration fee of not less than five dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars, which shall be irrespective of any specific license, or other, tax imposed by law upon such company for the privilege of carrying on its business in this State, or upon its franchise or property; and for the making, by every such corporation (at the time of paying such annual registration fee), of such report to the State Corporation Commission, of the status, business or condition of such corporation, as the General Assembly may prescribe. No foreign corporation shall have authority to do business in this State, Edition: current; Page: [3944] until it shall have first obtained from the commission a license to do business in this State, upon such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by law. The failure by any corporation for two successive years to pay its annual registration fee, or to make its said annual reports, shall, when such failure shall have continued for ninety days after the expiration of such two years, operate as a revocation and annulment of the charter of such corporation if it be a domestic company, or, of its license to do business in this State if it be a foreign company; and the General Assembly shall provide additional and suitable penalties for the failure of any corporation to comply promptly with the requirements of this section, or of any laws passed in pursuance thereof. The commission shall compel all corporations to comply promptly with such requirements, by enforcing, in the manner hereinbefore authorized, such fines and penalties against the delinquent company as may be provided for, or authorized by, this article; but the General Assembly may relieve from the payment of the said registration fee any purely charitable institution or institutions.

Sec. 158. Every corporation heretofore chartered in this State, which shall hereafter accept, or effect, any amendment or extension of its charter, shall be conclusively presumed to have thereby surrendered every exemption from taxation, and every non-repealable feature of its charter and of the amendments thereof, and also all exclusive rights or privileges theretofore granted to it by the General Assembly and not enjoyed by other corporations of a similar general character; and to have thereby agreed to thereafter hold its charter and franchises, and all amendments thereof, under the provisions and subject to all the requirements, terms and conditions of this Constitution and of any laws passed in pursuance thereof, so far as the same may be applicable to such corporation.

Sec. 159. The exercise of the right of eminent domain shall never be abridged, nor so construed as to prevent the General Assembly from taking the property and franchises of corporations and subjecting them to public use, the same as the property of individuals; and the exercise of the police power of the State shall never be abridged, nor so construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such manner as to infringe the equal rights of individuals or the general well-being of the State.

Sec. 160. No transportation or transmission company shall charge or receive any greater compensation, in the aggregate, for transporting the same class of passengers or property, or for transmitting the same class of messages, over a shorter than over a longer distance, along the same line and in the same direction—the shorter being included in the longer distance—but this section shall not be construed as authorizing any such company to charge or receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance. The State Corporation Commission may, from time to time, authorize any such company to disregard the foregoing provisions of this section, by charging such rates as the commission may prescribe as just and equitable between such company and the public, to or from any junctional or competitive points or localities, or where the competition of points located without this State may make necessary the prescribing of special rates for the protection of the commerce of this Edition: current; Page: [3945] State; but this section shall not apply to mileage tickets, or to any special excursion, or commutation, rates, or to special rates for services rendered to the government of this State, or of the United States, or in the interest of some public object, when such tickets or rates shall have been prescribed or authorized by the commission.

Sec. 161. No transportation or transmission company doing business in this State shall grant to any member of the General Assembly, or to any State, county, district or municipal officer, except to members and officers of the State Corporation Commission for their personal use while in office, any frank, free pass, free transportation, or any rebate or reduction in the rates charged by such company to the general public for like services. For violation of the provisions of this section the offending company shall be liable to such penalties as may be prescribed by law; and any member of the General Assembly, or any such officer, who shall, while in office, accept any gift, privilege or benefit as is prohibited by this section, shall thereby forfeit his office, and be subject to such further penalties as may be prescribed by law; but this section shall not prevent a street railway company from transporting free of charge any member of the police force or fire department while in the discharge of his official duties, nor prohibit the acceptance by any such policeman or fireman of such free transportation.

Sec. 162. The doctrine of fellow-servant, so far as it affects the liability of the master for injuries to his servant resulting from the acts or omissions of any other servant or servants of the common master, is to the extent hereinafter stated, abolished as to every employee of a railroad company, engaged in the physical construction, repair or maintenance of its roadway, track or any of the structures connected therewith, or in any work in or upon a car or engine standing upon a track, or in the physical operation of a train, car, engine, or switch, or in any service requiring his presence upon a train, car or engine; and every such employee shall have the same right to recover for every injury suffered by him from the acts or omissions of any other employee or employees of the common master, that a servant would have (at the time when this Constitution goes into effect), if such acts or omissions were those of the master himself in the performance of a non-assignable duty: provided, that the injury, so suffered by such railroad employee, result from the negligence of an officer, or agent, of the company of a higher grade of service than himself, or from that of a person, employed by the company, having the right, or charged with the duty, to control or direct the general services or the immediate work of the party injured, or the general services or the immediate work of the co-employee through, or by, whose act or omission he is injured; or that it result from the negligence of a co-employee engaged in another department of labor, or engaged upon, or in charge of, any car upon which, or upon the train of which it is a part, the injured employee is not at the time of receiving the injury, or who is in charge of any switch, signal point, or locomotive engine, or is charged with dispatching trains or transmitting telegraphic or telephonic orders therefor; and whether such negligence be in the performance of an assignable or non-assignable duty. The physical construction, repair or maintenance of the roadway, track or any of the structures connected therewith, and the physical construction, repair, maintenance, cleaning Edition: current; Page: [3946] or operation of trains, cars or engines, shall be regarded as different departments of labor within the meaning of this section. Knowledge, by any such railroad employee injured, of the defective or unsafe character or condition of any machinery, ways, appliances or structures, shall be no defence to an action for injury caused thereby. When death, whether instantaneous or not, results to such an employee from any injury for which he could have recovered, under the above provisions, had death not occurred, then his legal or personal representative, surviving consort, and relatives (and any trustee, curator, committee or guardian of such consort or relatives) shall, respectively, have the same rights and remedies with respect thereto as if his death had been caused by the negligence of a co-employee while in the performance, as vice-principal, of a non-assignable duty of the master. Every contract or agreement, express or implied, made by an employee, to waive the benefit of this section, shall be null and void. This section shall not be construed to deprive any employee, or his legal or personal representative, surviving consort or relatives (or any trustee, curator, committee or guardian of such consort or relatives), of any rights or remedies that he or they may have by the law of the land, at the time this Constitution goes into effect. Nothing contained in this section shall restrict the power of the General Assembly to further enlarge, for the above-named class of employees, the rights and remedies hereinbefore provided for, or to extend such rights and remedies to, or otherwise enlarge the present rights and remedies of, any other class of employees of railroads or of employees of any person, firm or corporation.

Sec. 163. No foreign corporation shall be authorized to carry on, in this State, the business, or to exercise any of the powers or functions, of a public service corporation, or be permitted to do anything which domestic corporations are prohibited from doing, or be relieved from compliance with any of the requirements made of similar domestic corporations by the Constitution and laws of this State, where the same can be made applicable to such foreign corporation without discriminating against it. But this section shall not affect any public service corporation whose line or route extends across the boundary of this Commonwealth, nor prevent any foreign corporation from continuing in such lawful business as it may be actually engaged in within this State, when this Constitution goes into effect; but any such foreign public service corporation, so engaged, shall not, without first becoming incorporated under the laws of this State, be authorized to acquire, lease, use or operate, within this State, any public or municipal franchise or franchises in addition to such as it may own, lease, use or operate when this Constitution goes into effect. The property, within this State, of foreign corporations shall always be subject to attachment, the same as that of non-resident individuals; and nothing in this section shall restrict the power of the General Assembly to discriminate against foreign corporations whenever, and in whatsoever respect, it may deem wise or expedient.

Sec. 164. The right of the Commonwealth, through such instrumentalities as it may select, to prescribe and define the public duties of all common carriers and public service corporations, to regulate and control them in the performance of their public duties, and to fix and limit their charges therefor, shall never be surrendered nor abridged.

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Sec. 165. The General Assembly shall enact laws preventing all trusts, combinations and monopolies, inimical to the public welfare.

Sec. 166. The exclusive right to build or operate railroads parallel to its own, or any other, line of railroad, shall not be granted to any company; but every railroad company shall have the right, subject to such reasonable regulations as may be prescribed by law, to parallel, intersect, connect with or cross, with its roadway, any other railroad or railroads; but no railroad company shall build or operate any line of railroad not specified in its charter, or in some amendment thereof. All railroad companies, whose lines of railroad connect, shall receive and transport each other’s passengers, freight, and loaded or empty cars, without delay or discrimination. Nothing in this section shall deprive the General Assembly of the right to prevent by statute, repealable at pleasure, any railroad from being built parallel to the present line of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad.

Sec. 167. The General Assembly shall enact general laws regulating and controlling all issues of stock and bonds by corporations. Whenever stock or bonds are to be issued by a corporation, it shall, before issuing the same, file with the State Corporation Commission a statement (verified by the oath of the president or secretary of the corporation, and in such form as may be prescribed or permitted by the commission) setting forth fully and accurately the basis, or financial plan, upon which such stock or bonds are to be issued; and where such basis or plan includes services or property (other than money), received or to be received by the company, such statement shall accurately specify and describe, in the manner prescribed, or permitted, by the commission, the services and property, together with the valuation at which the same are received or to be received; and such corporation shall comply with any other requirements or restrictions which may be imposed by law. The General Assembly shall provide adequate penalties for the violation of this section, or of any laws passed in pursuance thereof; and it shall be the duty of the commission to adjudge, and enforce (in the manner hereinbefore provided), against any corporation refusing or failing to comply with the provisions of this section, or of any laws passed in pursuance thereof, such fines and penalties as are authorized by this Constitution, or may be prescribed by law.

Article XIII: TAXATION AND FINANCE

Sec. 168. All property, except as hereinafter provided, shall be taxed; all taxes, whether State, local or municipal, shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects within the territory limits of the authority levying the tax, and shall be levied and collected under general laws.

Sec. 169. Except as hereinafter provided, all assessments of real estate and tangible personal property shall be at their fair market value, to be ascertained as prescribed by law. The General Assembly may allow a lower rate of taxation to be imposed for a period of years by a city or town upon land added to its corporate limits, than is imposed on similar property within its limits at the time such land is added. Nothing in this Constitution shall prevent the General Edition: current; Page: [3948] Assembly, after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and thirteen, from segregating for the purposes of taxation, the several kinds or classes of property, so as to specify and determine upon what subjects, State taxes, and upon what subjects, local taxes may be levied.

Sec. 170. The General Assembly may levy a tax on incomes in excess of six hundred dollars per annum; may levy a license tax upon any business which cannot be reached by the ad valorem system; and may impose State franchise taxes, and in imposing a franchise tax, may, in its discretion, make the same in lieu of taxes upon other property, in whole or in part, of a transportation, industrial, or commercial corporation. Whenever a franchise tax shall be imposed upon a corporation doing business in this State, or whenever all the capital, however invested, of a corporation chartered under the laws of this State, shall be taxed, the shares of stock issued by any such corporation, shall not be further taxed. No city or town shall impose any tax or assessment upon abutting land owners for street or other public local improvements, except for making and improving the walkways upon then existing streets, and improving and paving then existing alleys, and for either the construction, or for the use of sewers; and the same when imposed, shall not be in excess of the peculiar benefits resulting therefrom to such abutting land owners. Except in cities and towns, no such taxes or assessments, for local public improvements shall be imposed on abutting land owners.

Sec. 171. The General Assembly shall provide for a re-assessment of real estate, in the year nineteen hundred and five, and every fifth year thereafter, except that of railway and canal corporations, which, after January the first, nineteen hundred and thirteen, may be assessed as the General Assembly may provide.

Sec. 172. The General Assembly shall provide for the special and separate assessment of all coal and other mineral land; but until such special assessment is made, such land shall be assessed under existing laws.

Sec. 173. The General Assembly shall levy a State capitation tax of, and not exceeding, one dollar and fifty cents per annum on every male resident of the State not less than twenty-one years of age, except those pensioned by this State for military services; one dollar of which shall be applied exclusively in aid of the public free schools, in proportion to the school population, and the residue shall be returned and paid by the State into the treasury of the county or city in which it was collected, to be appropriated by the proper county or city authorities to such county or city purposes as they shall respectively determine; but said State capitation tax shall not be a lien upon, nor collected by legal process from, the personal property which may be exempt from levy or distress under the poor debtor’s law. The General Assembly may authorize the board of supervisors of any county, or the council of any city or town, to levy an additional capitation tax not exceeding one dollar per annum on every such resident within its limits, which shall be applied in aid of the public schools of such county, city or town, or for such other county, city or town purposes as they shall determine.

Sec. 174. After this Constitution shall be in force, no statute of limitation shall run against any claim of the State for taxes upon any Edition: current; Page: [3949] property; nor shall the failure to assess property for taxation defeat a subsequent assessment for and collection of taxes for any preceding year or years, unless such property shall have passed to a bona fide purchaser for value, without notice; in which latter case the property shall be assessed for taxation against such purchaser from the date of his purchase.

Sec. 175. The natural oyster beds, rocks, and shoals, in the waters of this State, shall not be leased, rented or sold, but shall be held in trust for the benefit of the people of this State, subject to such regulations and restrictions as the General Assembly may prescribe, but the General Assembly may, from time to time, define and determine such natural beds, rocks or shoals, by surveys or otherwise.

Sec. 176. The State Corporation Commission shall annually ascertain and assess, at the time hereinafter mentioned, and in the manner required of the Board of Public Works, by the law in force on January the first, nineteen hundred and two, the value of the roadbed, and other real estate, rolling stock, and all other personal property whatsoever (except its franchise and the non-taxable shares of stock issued by other corporations) in this State, of each railway corporation, whatever its motive power, now or hereafter liable for taxation upon such property; the canal bed and other real estate, the boats and all other personal property whatsoever (except its franchise and the non-taxable shares of stock issued by other corporations) in this State, of each canal corporation, empowered to conduct transportation; and such property shall be taxed for State, county, city, town, and district purposes in the same manner as authorized by said law, at such rates of taxation as may be imposed by them, respectively, from time to time, upon the real estate and personal property of natural persons: provided, that no tax shall be laid upon the net income of such corporations.

Sec. 177. Each such railway or canal corporation, including also any such as is exempt from taxation as to its works, visible property, or profits, shall also pay an annual State franchise tax equal to one per centum upon the gross receipts hereinafter specified in section One Hundred and Seventy-eight, for the privilege of exercising its franchises in this State, which, with the taxes provided for in section One Hundred and Seventy-six, shall be in lieu of all other taxes or license charges whatsoever upon the franchises of such corporation, the shares of stock issued by it, and upon its property assessed under section One Hundred and Seventy-six: provided, that nothing herein contained shall exempt such corporation from the annual fee required by section One Hundred and Fifty-seven of this Constitution, or from assessments for street and other public local improvements authorized by section One Hundred and Seventy; and provided, further, that nothing herein contained shall annul or interfere with, or prevent any contract or agreement by ordinance between street railway corporations and municipalities, as to compensation for the use of the streets or alleys of such municipalities by such railway corporations.

Sec. 178. The amount of such franchise tax shall be equal to one per centum of the gross transportation receipts of such corporations for the year ending June the thirtieth of each year, to be ascertained by the State Corporation Commission, in the following manner:

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(a) When the road or canal of the corporation lies wholly within this State, the tax shall be equal to one per centum of the entire gross transportation receipts of such corporation.

(b) When the road or canal of the corporation lies partly within and partly without this State, or is operated as a part of a line or system extending beyond this State, the tax shall be equal to one per centum of the gross transportation receipts earned within this State, to be determined as follows: By ascertaining the average gross transportation receipts per mile over its whole extent within and without this State, and multiplying the result by the number of miles operated within this State: provided, that from the sum so ascertained there may be a reasonable deduction because of any excess of value of the terminal facilities or other similar advantages in other states over similar facilities or advantages in this State.

Sec. 179. Each corporation mentioned in sections One Hundred and Seventy-six and One Hundred and Seventy-seven shall annually, on the first day of September, make to the State Corporation Commission the report which the law, in force January the first, nineteen hundred and two, required to be made annually to the Board of Public Works by every railroad and canal company in this State, not exempt from taxation by virtue of its charter, which report shall also show the property taxable in this State belonging to the corporation on the thirtieth day of June preceding, and its total gross transportation receipts for the year ending on that date. Upon receiving such report the State Corporation Commission shall, after thirty days’ notice previously given, as provided by said law, assess the value of the property not exempt from taxation, of the corporation, and ascertain the amount of the franchise tax and other State taxes chargeable against it. All taxes for which the corporation is liable shall be paid on or before the first day of December following. The provisions of said law, except as changed by this article, shall apply to the ascertainment and collection of the franchise, as well as other taxes of such corporations. Said taxes, until paid, shall be a lien upon the property within this State of the corporation owning the same, and take precedence of all other liens or incumbrances.

Sec. 180. Any corporation aggrieved by the assessment and ascertainment made under sections One Hundred and Seventy-six and One Hundred and Seventy-eight may, within thirty days after receiving a certified copy thereof, apply for relief to the circuit court of the city of Richmond. Notice of the application, setting forth the grounds of complaint, verified by affidavit, shall be served on the State Corporation Commission, and on the Attorney-General, whose duty it shall be to represent the State. The court, if of opinion that the assessment or tax is excessive, shall reduce the same; but if of opinion, that it is insufficient, shall increase the same. Unless the applicant paid the taxes under protest, when due, the court, if it disallow the application, shall give judgment against it for a sum, by way of damages, equal to interest at the rate of one per centum per month upon the amount of taxes from the time the same were payable. If the application be allowed, in whole or in part, appropriate relief shall be granted, including the right to recover any excess of taxes that may have been paid, with legal interest thereon, and costs, from the State or local authorities, or both, as the case may be; the Edition: current; Page: [3951] judgment to be enforceable by mandamus or other proper process issuing from the court finally adjudicating the application. Subject to the provisions of Article Six of this Constitution, the Supreme Court of Appeals may allow a writ of error to either party.

Sec. 181. After January the first, nineteen hundred and three, the system of taxation, as to the corporations mentioned in sections One Hundred and Seventy-six and One Hundred and Seventy-seven, shall be as set forth in sections One Hundred and Seventy-six to One Hundred and Eighty, inclusive; and for that year the franchise tax shall be based upon such gross receipts for the year ending the thirtieth day of June, nineteen hundred and three, and such system shall so remain until the first day of January, nineteen hundred and thirteen, and thereafter until modified or changed, as may be prescribed by law: provided, that, if the said system shall for any reason become inoperative, the General Assembly shall have power to adopt some other system.

Sec. 182. Until otherwise prescribed by law, the shares of stock issued by trust or security companies chartered by this State, and by incorporated banks, shall be taxed in the same manner in which the shares of stock issued by incorporated banks were taxed, by the law in force January the first, nineteen hundred and two; but from the total assessed value of the shares of stock of any such company or bank, there shall be deducted the assessed value of its real estate otherwise taxed in this State, and the value of each share of stock shall be its proportion of the remainder.

Sec. 183. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the following property and no other, shall be exempt from taxation, State and local; but the General Assembly may hereafter tax any of the property hereby exempted save that mentioned in sub-section (a):

(a) Property directly or indirectly owned by the State, however held, and property lawfully owned and held by counties, cities, towns, or school districts, used wholly and exclusively for county, city, town, or public-school purposes, and obligations issued by the State since the fourteenth day of February, eighteen hundred and eighty-two or hereafter exempted by law.

(b) Buildings with land they actually occupy, and the furniture and furnishings therein lawfully owned and held by churches or religious bodies, and wholly and exclusively used for religious worship, or for the residence of the minister of any church or religious body, together with the additional adjacent land reasonably necessary for the convenient use of any such building.

(c) Private family burying-grounds not exceeding one acre in area, reserved as such by will or deed, or shown by other sufficient evidence to be reserved as such, and so exclusively used, and public burying-grounds and lots therein exclusively used for burial purposes, and not conducted for profit, whether owned or managed by local authorities or by private corporations.

(d) Buildings with the land they actually occupy, and the furniture, furnishings, books and instruments therein, wholly devoted to educational purposes, belonging to, and actually and exclusively occupied and used by churches, public libraries, incorporated colleges, academies, industrial schools, seminaries, or other incorporated institutions of learning, including the Virginia Historical Society, which Edition: current; Page: [3952] are not corporations having shares of stock or otherwise owned by individuals or other corporations; together with such additional adjacent land owned by such churches, libraries and educational institutions as may be reasonably necessary for the convenient use of such buildings, respectively; and also the buildings thereon used as residences by the officers or instructors of such educational institutions; and also the permanent endowment funds held by such libraries and educational institutions directly or in trust, and not invested in real estate: provided, that such libraries and educational institutions are not conducted for profit of any person or persons, natural or corporate, directly, or under any guise or pretence whatsoever. But the exemption mentioned in this sub-section shall not apply to any industrial school, individual or corporate, not the property of the State, which does work for compensation, or manufactures and sells articles, in the community in which such school is located: provided, that nothing herein contained shall restrict any such school from doing work for or selling its own products or any other articles to any of its students or employees.

(e) Real estate belonging to, actually and exclusively occupied, and used by, and personal property, including endowment funds, belonging to Young Men’s Christian Associations, and other similar religious associations, orphan or other asylums, reformatories, hospitals and nunneries, which are not conducted for profit, but purely and completely as charities.

(f) Buildings with the land they actually occupy, and the furniture and furnishings therein, belonging to any benevolent or charitable association and used exclusively for lodge purposes or meeting rooms by such association, together with such additional adjacent land as may be necessary for the convenient use of the buildings for such purposes; and

(g) Property belonging to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, and the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union.

No inheritance tax shall be charged, directly or indirectly, against any legacy or devise made according to law for the benefit of any institution or other body or any natural or corporate person whose property is exempt from taxation as hereinbefore mentioned in this section.

Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to exempt from taxation the property of any person, firm, association or corporation, who shall, expressly or impliedly, directly or indirectly, contract or promise to pay any sum of money or other benefit, on account of death, sickness, or accident to any of its members or any other person; and whenever any building or land, or part thereof, mentioned in this section and not belonging to the State, shall be leased or shall be a source of revenue or profit, all of such buildings and land shall be liable to taxation as other land and buildings in the same county, city, or town; and nothing herein contained shall be construed as authorizing or requiring any county, city, or town to tax for county, city or town purposes, in violation of the rights of the lessees thereof existing under any lawful contract heretofore made, any real estate owned by such county, city or town, and heretofore leased by it.

Obligations issued by counties, cities, or towns may be exempted by the authorities of such localities from local taxation.

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Sec. 184. No debt shall be contracted by the State except to meet casual deficits in the revenue, to redeem a previous liability of the State, to suppress insurrection, repel invasion, or defend the State in time of war. No scrip, certificate or other evidence of State indebtedness, shall be issued except for the transfer or redemption of stock previously issued, or for such debts as are expressly authorized in this Constitution.

Sec. 185. Neither the credit of the State, nor of any county, city, or town, shall be, directly or indirectly, under any device or pretence whatsoever, granted to or in aid of any person, association, or corporation; nor shall the State, or any county, city, or town subscribe to or become interested in the stock or obligations of any company, association, or corporation, for the purpose of aiding in the construction or maintenance of its work; nor shall the State become a party to or become interested in any work of internal improvement, except public roads, or engaged in carrying on any such work; nor assume any indebtedness of any county, city, or town, nor lend its credit to the same; but this section shall not prevent a county, city or town from perfecting a subscription to the capital stock of a railroad company authorized by existing charter conditioned upon the affirmative vote of the voters and freeholders of such county, city or town in favor of such subscription: provided, that such vote be had prior to July first, nineteen hundred and three.

Sec. 186. All taxes, licenses, and other revenue of the State, shall be collected by its proper officers and paid into the State treasury. No money shall be paid out of the State treasury except in pursuance of appropriations made by law; and no such appropriation shall be made which is payable more than two years after the end of the session of the General Assembly, at which the law is enacted authorizing the same; and no appropriation shall be made for the payment of any debt or obligation created in the name of the State during the war between the Confederate States and the United States. Nor shall any county, city, or town pay any debt or obligation created by such county, city, or town in aid of said war.

Sec. 187. The General Assembly shall provide and maintain a sinking fund in accordance with the provisions of section Ten of the act, approved February the twentieth, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, entitled “an act to provide for the settlement of the public debt of Virginia not funded under the provisions of an act entitled an act to ascertain and declare Virginia’s equitable share of the debt created before, and actually existing at the time of the partition of her territory and resources, and to provide for the issuance of bonds covering the same, and the regular and prompt payment of the interest thereon, approved February the fourteenth, eighteen hundred and eighty-two.” Every law hereafter enacted by the General Assembly, creating a debt or authorizing a loan, shall provide for the creation and maintenance of a sinking fund for the payment or redemption of the same.

Sec. 188. No other or greater amount of tax or revenue shall, at any time, be levied than may be required for the necessary expenses of the government, or to pay the indebtedness of the State.

Sec. 189. On all lands and the improvements thereon, and on all tangible personal property, not exempt from taxation by the provisions of this article, the rate of State taxation shall be twenty Edition: current; Page: [3954] cents on every hundred dollars of the assessed value thereof, the proceeds of which shall be applied to the expenses of the government and the indebtedness of the State, and a further tax of ten cents on every hundred dollars of the assessed value thereof, which shall be applied to the support of the public free schools of the State; provided, that after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and seven, the tax rate upon said real and personal property, for such purposes shall be prescribed by law. But the General Assembly during such period of four years, in addition to making annually an appropriation for pensions not to exceed the last appropriation made for such purpose prior to September the thirtieth, nineteen hundred and one, may levy annually, a special tax for pensions, on such real and personal property of not exceeding five cents on the hundred dollars of the assessed value thereof.

Article XIV: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

HOMESTEAD AND OTHER EXEMPTIONS

Sec. 190. Every householder or head of a family shall be entitled, in addition to the articles now exempt from levy or distress for rent, to hold exempt from levy, seizure, garnishment, or sale under any execution, order, or other process issued on any demand for a debt hereafter contracted, his real and personal property, or either, including money and debts due him, to the value of not exceeding two thousand dollars, to be selected by him: provided, that such exemption shall not extend to any execution, order, or other process issued on any demand in the following cases:

First. For the purchase price of said property, or any part thereof. If the property purchased, and not paid for, be exchanged for, or converted into, other property by the debtor, such last-named property shall not be exempted from the payment of such unpaid purchase money under the provisions of this article;

Second. For services rendered by a laboring person or mechanic;

Third. For liabilities incurred by any public officer, or officer of a court, or any fiduciary, or any attorney-at-law for money collected;

Fourth. For a lawful claim for any taxes, levies, or assessments accruing after the first day of June, eighteen hundred and sixty-six;

Fifth. For rent;

Sixth. For the legal taxable fees of any public officer or officers of a court.

Sec. 191. The said exemption shall not be claimed or held in a shifting stock of merchandise, or in any property, the conveyance of which by the homestead claimant has been set aside on the ground of fraud or want of consideration.

Sec. 192. The General Assembly shall prescribe the manner and the conditions on which a householder or head of a family shall set apart and hold for himself and family a homestead in any of the property hereinbefore mentioned. But this section shall not be construed as authorizing the General Assembly to defeat or impair the benefits intended to be conferred by the provisions of this article.

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Sec. 193. Nothing contained in this article shall invalidate any homestead exemption heretofore claimed under the provisions of the former Constitution; or impair in any manner the right of any householder or head of a family existing at the time that this Constitution goes into effect, to select the exemption, or any part thereof, to which he was entitled under the former Constitution; provided that such right, if hereafter exercised, be not in conflict with the exemptions set forth in sections One Hundred and Ninety and One Hundred and Ninety-one. But no person who has selected and received the full exemption allowed by the former Constitution shall be entitled to select an additional exemption under this Constitution; and no person who has selected and received part of the exemption allowed by the former Constitution shall be entitled to select an additional exemption beyond the difference between the value of such part and a total valuation of two thousand dollars. So far as necessary to accomplish the purposes of this section the provisions of chapter One Hundred and Seventy-eight of the Code of Virginia, and the acts amendatory thereof, shall remain in force until repealed by the General Assembly. The provisions of this article shall be liberally construed.

Sec. 194. The General Assembly is hereby prohibited from passing any law staying the collection of debts, commonly known as “stay laws”; but this section shall not be construed as prohibiting any legislation which the General Assembly may deem necessary to fully carry out the provisions of this article.

HEIRS OF PROPERTY

Sec. 195. The children of parents, one or both of whom were slaves at and during the period of cohabitation, and who were recognized by the father as his children, and whose mother was recognized by such father as his wife, and was cohabited with as such, shall be as capable of inheriting any estate whereof such father may have died seised, or possessed, or to which he was entitled, as though they had been born in lawful wedlock.

Article XV: FUTURE CHANGES IN THE CONSTITUTION

Sec. 196. Any amendment or amendments to the Constitution may be proposed in the Senate or House of Delegates, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the ayes and noes taken thereon, and referred to the General Assembly at its first regular session held after the next general election of members of the House of Delegates, and shall be published for three months previous to the time of such election. If, at such regular session the proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to each house, then it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people, in such manner and at such times as it shall prescribe; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments Edition: current; Page: [3956] by a majority of the electors, qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly, voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become part of the Constitution.

Sec. 197. At such time as the General Assembly may provide, a majority of the members elected to each house being recorded in the affirmative, the question, “shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same”? shall be submitted to the electors qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly; and in case a majority of the electors so qualified, voting thereon, shall vote in favor of a convention for such purpose, the General Assembly, at its next session, shall provide for the election of delegates to such convention; and no convention for such purpose shall be otherwise called.

Schedule

That no inconvenience may arise from the adoption of this Constitution, and in order to provide for carrying it into complete operation, it is hereby ordained that:

Section 1. The common law and the statute laws in force at the time this Constitution goes into effect, so far as not repugnant thereto or repealed thereby, shall remain in force until they expire by their own limitation, or are altered or repealed by the General Assembly.

Sec. 2. All ordinances adopted by this Convention, and appended to the official draft of the Constitution delivered to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, shall have the same force and effect, as if they were parts of this Constitution.

Sec. 3. Except as modified by this Constitution, all writs, actions and causes of action, prosecutions, rights of individuals, of bodies corporate or politic, and of the State, shall continue. All legal proceedings, civil and criminal, pending at the time this Constitution goes into effect, or instituted prior to the first day of February, nineteen hundred and four, in any county or circuit court as now existing, shall be prosecuted therein: provided, that all such matters, which are not finally terminated before the day last above mentioned, shall, on that date, by operaton of this Constitution and Schedule, be transferred to the circuit court of the county or city created under this Constitution, and shall be proceeded with therein. All such matters pending in the city courts, preserved by this Constitution, when the same goes into effect, or thereafter instituted therein, shall continue in said courts, and be therein proceeded with, until otherwise provided by law. All matters before justices of the peace or police justices at the time this Constitution goes into effect, shall be proceeded with before them, until otherwise provided by law. All legal proceedings prosecuted after this Constitution goes into effect, whether in any of the courts now existing, or in those created by this Constitution, shall be proceeded with in the manner now or hereafter provided by law, except as otherwise required by this Constitution.

Sec. 4. All taxes, fines, penalties, forfeitures and escheats, accrued or accruing to the Commonwealth, or to any political subdivision thereof, under the present Constitution, or under the laws now in force, shall, under this Constitution, enure to the use of the Commonwealth, or of such subdivision thereof.

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Sec. 5. All recognizances, and other obligations, and all other instruments entered into or executed before the adoption of this Constitution, or before the complete organization of the departments thereunder, to the Commonwealth, or to any county, or political subdivision thereof, city, town, board, or other public corporation, or institution therein, or to any public officer, shall remain binding and valid, and rights and liabilities thereunder shall continue and may be enforced or prosecuted in the courts of this State as now or hereafter provided by law.

Sec. 6. From the day this Constitution goes into effect, the present judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals, or their successors then in office, shall be the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals created by this Constitution, and continue in office, unless sooner removed, until February the first, nineteen hundred and seven. The jurisdiction of the court shall be as now or hereafter provided by law, subject to the provisions of this Constitution. All proceedings, then pending in the court as now organized, shall, by virtue of this Constitution, be transferred to and disposed of by the court created by this Constitution.

Sec. 7. The present judicial system of county and circuit courts of the Commonwealth is continued, and the terms of the several judges thereof, with the powers and duties now possessed by them respectively, are continued, until the first day of February, nineteen dundred and four, as if this Constitution had not been adopted; on which day the judicial system of circuit courts created by this Constitution shall go into operation. The terms of the judges of the city courts, as preserved by this Constitution, of the cities of Alexandria, Charlottesville, Danville, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Petersburg, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Richmond, Staunton, Manchester, Roanoke, Winchester, and Newport News, shall continue until the first day of February, nineteen hundred and seven; and the terms of the judges of the city courts, as preserved by this Constitution, of the cities of Bristol, Radford and Buena Vista, shall continue until the first day of February, nineteen hundred and four, unless the said courts shall be sooner abolished. The privilege now allowed by statute to judges of county courts and to judges of certain city courts to practice law, shall continue during the terms of the judges whose terms are continued by this Schedule, unless otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 8. The terms of the clerks of the county and circuit courts now in office, or their successors, shall continue until the first day of February, nineteen hundred and four; and thereupon, the several clerks of the county courts in those counties in which such clerks are now ex-officio clerks of the circuit courts of said counties shall be and become the county clerks of their respective counties, and the clerks of all the other county courts of the State, except the counties of Accomac, Augusta, Bedford, Campbell, Elizabeth City, Fairfax, Lee, Loudoun, Hanover, Henrico, Rockingham, Nansemond, Southampton, Pittsylvania, Nelson, and Wythe, and, as such, the clerks of the circuit courts created therefor by this Constitution, and shall hold office as such until the first day of January, nineteen hundred and six, unless sooner removed, and their successors shall be elected on Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and Edition: current; Page: [3958] five; provided, that the first term of the clerks so elected be for six years. In the counties of Accomac, Augusta, Bedford, Campbell, Elizabeth City, Fairfax, Lee, Loudoun, Hanover, Henrico, Rockingham, Nansemond, Southampton, Pittsylvania, Nelson, and Wythe, in which there are now separate clerks for the county and circuit courts thereof, there shall be elected on Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and three, county clerks for such counties. The terms of the clerks now in office, or their successors, of the several city courts preserved by this Constitution, shall continue until the first day of January, nineteen hundred and seven; and their successors shall be elected on Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and five; but if any of such city courts shall be sooner abolished as provided in this Constitution or by law, then the term of the clerk of any such court shall thereupon determine.

Sec. 9. The first election of the Governor and of all officers required by this Constitution, to be chosen by the qualified voters of the State at large, shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and five, and their terms of office shall begin on the first day of February following their election. The present incumbents of said offices, or their successors, shall continue in office until the last-named day.

Sec. 10. The first election of members of the House of Delegates, and of all county and district officers, to be elected by the people under this Constitution, except as otherwise provided in this Schedule, shall be held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November, in the year nineteen hundred and three; and the terms of office of the several officers elected at that or any subsequent election shall begin on the first day of January, next after their election, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution or in this Schedule. And the terms of the office of the sheriff, Commonwealth’s attorney, treasurer, commissioners of the revenue, superintendents of the poor, supervisors of the several counties, justices of the peace, and overseers of the poor, and of any incumbent of any other county or district office not abolished by this Constitution, nor herein specifically mentioned, now in office, or their successors, or whose terms of office shall begin on the first day of July, nineteen hundred and two, are continued until January the first, nineteen hundred and four.

The terms of the present members of the House of Delegates, and the terms of the Senators now in office, or (in case of vacancies therein), their successors, representing the senatorial districts bearing even numbers, are extended until the second Wednesday in January, nineteen hundred and four; provided, that the term of the senator, now residing in the ctiy of Richmond, who by the provisions of the apportionment act, approved April the second, nineteen hundred and two, is continued in office as one of the senators from the thirty-eighth senatorial district thereby created, be extended until the second Wednesday in January, nineteen hundred and six. The terms of the senators now in office, or (in case of vacancies therein), their successors, representing the senatorial districts bearing odd numbers are extended until the second Wednesday in January, nineteen hundred and six.

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In the senatorial districts bearing even numbers, there shall be elected, on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and three, for a term of four years, to begin on the second Wednesday in January succeeding their election, members of the Senate to represent such districts; in the senatorial districts bearing odd numbers, and in the city of Richmond to fill the vacancy, which will, as above provided, occur on the second Wednesday in January, nineteen hundred and six, there shall be elected, on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and five, for a term of two years, to begin on the second Wednesday in January succeeding their election, members of the Senate to represent such districts; and on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and seven, there shall be elected, for the term of four years, to begin on the second Wednesday in January succeeding their election, a senator from each senatorial district in the State.

Sec. 11. All other State, county, and district officers, and their successors, who may be in office at the time this Constitution goes into effect, except the Auditor of Public Accounts, the Second Auditor, the Register of the Land Office, the Superintendent of Public Printing, the Commissioner of Labor and Industrial Statistics, Railroad Commissioner, notaries public, the Adjutant-General, the Superintendent and the Surgeon of the Penitentiary, the Manager and the Surgeon of the State Prison Farm, the superintendents of the several State hospitals, and the school superintendents for counties and cities, and school trustees, shall, unless their respective offices be abolished, or unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or Schedule, hold their respective offices, and discharge the respective duties and exercise the respective powers thereof, until January the first, nineteen hundred and four. The terms of the present incumbents in the offices of Auditor of Public Accounts, Second Auditor, Register of the Land Office, Superintendent of Public Printing, and Commissioner of Labor and Industrial Statistics, shall continue until March the first, nineteen hundred and four. The term of the Railroad Commissioner shall end as soon as the State Corporation Commission shall be organized. Notaries public shall continue in office until their respective commissions shall expire. The term of the office of Adjutant-General shall expire March the first, nineteen hundred and six. The Superintendent and the Surgeon of the Penitentiary, the Manager and the Surgeon of the State Prison Farm, the superintendents of the several State hospitals, shall continue in office until their successors shall be appointed by the respective boards empowered under this Constitution to make the several appointments. The school superintendents for counties and cities shall remain in office for their respective terms, and until their successors are appointed. School trustees now in office, or their successors, shall remain in office until otherwise provided by law. Electoral boards with the powers conferred by existing laws, except the appointment of registrars, shall remain in office until March the first, nineteen hundred and four.

Sec. 12. The terms of the State Board of Education, the State Corporation Commission and the Board of Agriculture and Immigration, the directors of public institutions and prisons, and of each State hospital, and the Commissioner of State Hospitals, to be first elected, Edition: current; Page: [3960] or appointed, under this Constitution, shall begin on March the first, nineteen hundred and three. The board of any of the above-named departments and institutions as now constituted shall continue until the boards created under this Constitution for such departments and institutions respectively are duly organized. And the terms of the members of the Board of Fisheries are continued until March the first, nineteen hundred and six. The terms of the trustees or visitors of the State educational institutions, and other honorary appointments made by the Governor, are continued until otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 13. Charters of incorporation may, until the first day of April, nineteen hundred and three, be granted or amended by the courts of the State in accordance with the laws in force when this Constitution goes into effect, unless the General Assembly shall sooner provide for the creation of corporations as required by this Constitution.

Sec. 14. The terms of all officers elected by the qualified voters of a city, and of their successors, in office at the time this Constitution goes into effect, or whose terms of office begin on the first day of July, nineteen hundred and two, except the terms of mayors, of members of city councils and of the clerks of city courts, are continued until January the first, nineteen hundred and six; and their successors shall be elected on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and five. The terms of all city officers, not so elected, shall expire as provided in the charters of the several cities, or as may be provided by law.

Sec. 15. Until otherwise provided by law, the mayors of the several cities shall continue in office until September the first, nineteen hundred and four, and their successors shall be elected the second Tuesday in June, nineteen hundred and four. Until otherwise provided by law, the members of the several city councils shall continue in office for the terms prescribed in the charters of their respective cities, except that where their terms are prescribed as ending on the first day of July of any year, they shall be extended until the first day of September following.

Sec. 16. Vacancies in any office, the term of which is confirmed or extended by this Schedule, occurring during such term or extension thereof, shall be filled in the manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 17. All officers, whose terms of office are extended by this Schedule, required by law or municipal ordinance to give bond for the faithful discharge of the duties of their respective offices, shall, prior to the expiration of the terms for which they were respectively chosen, before the court or other authority before whom such officer was required by law or municipal ordinance to give such bond, enter into a new bond, in the same penalty and with such security as was prescribed by law or municipal ordinance in respect to his former bond, and with like conditions as therein prescribed, for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office for the extended term herein provided for, and until his successor shall have been duly chosen, and shall have qualified according to law. Upon failure to give such bond within the time above prescribed, the office shall, upon the expiration of the term for which the incumbent thereof was chosen, become vacant.

Sec. 18. In all elections held after this Constitution goes into effect, the qualifications of electors shall be those required by Article Two of this Constitution.

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Sec. 19. The General Assembly which convened on the first Wednesday in December, nineteen hundred and one, shall be called by the Governor to meet in session at the Capitol at twelve o’clock M., on Tuesday, the fifteenth day of July, nineteen hundred and two. It shall be vested with all the powers, charged with all the duties, and subject to all the limitations prescribed by this Constitution in reference to the General Assembly, except as to the limitation upon the period of its session, qualifications of members, and as to the time at which any of its acts shall take effect; but the ineligibility of the members thereof to be elected to any other office during their terms as members of the General Assembly shall be such as is imposed by this Constitution. The said General Assembly shall elect judges for all of the circuit courts provided for in this Constitution, and also of the corporation courts for Bristol, Radford, and Buena Vista, unless said city courts are sooner abolished.

Sec. 20. The said General Assembly shall enact such laws as may be deemed proper, including those necessary to put this Constitution into complete operation; to confirm those officers whose appointment is made by this Constitution subject to confirmation by the General Assembly or either house thereof; and to transact other proper business; and such session shall continue so long as may be necessary. The members shall receive for their services four dollars per day, for the time when the General Assembly is actually in session, including Sundays and recesses of not exceeding five days, and the mileage provided by law; the Speaker of the House of Delegates and President of the Senate shall each receive seven dollars per day for the same period and the mileage provided by law; and the other officers and employees shall receive such compensation for their services as the General Assembly may prescribe. Provision may be made for compensation at said rate of four dollars per day of members of legislative committees which may sit during any recess of said session.

Sec. 21. The compensation and duties of the Clerk of the House of Delegates and of the Clerk of the Senate shall continue as now fixed by law until the first of January, nineteen hundred and three, after which date their compensation shall be as prescribed by section Sixty-six of this Constitution.

Sec. 22. When the General Assembly convenes on the fifteenth day of July, nineteen hundred and two, its members and officers, before entering upon the discharge of their duties, shall severally take and subscribe the oath or affirmation prescribed by section Thirty-four of the Constitution. And not later than the twentieth day of July, nineteen hundred and two, the Governor and all other executive officers of the State, whose offices are at the seat of government, and all judges of courts of record, shall severally take and subscribe such oath or affirmation; and upon the failure of any such officer, executive or judicial, to take such oath by the day named, his office shall thereby become vacant. Such oaths or affirmations shall be taken and subscribed before any person authorized by existing laws to administer an oath. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall cause to be printed the necessary blanks for carrying into effect this provision, and the said oaths and affirmations so taken and subscribed, except of the members and officers of the General Assembly, shall be returned to and filed in his office; and those taken by the members and officers Edition: current; Page: [3962] of the General Assembly shall be preserved in the records of the respective houses.

Sec. 23. The official copy of the Constitution and Schedule, and of any ordinance adopted by the Convention, shall, as soon as they shall be enrolled, be signed by the President and attested by the Secretary of the Convention, and the President will thereupon cause the same to be delivered to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, who will file and preserve the same securely among the archives of the State in his custody.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth will cause the Constitution, Schedule, and said ordinances to be transcribed in a book to be provided for the purpose and safely kept in his office.

The Secretary of the Convention will immediately upon the adoption of this Schedule, deliver a certified copy of the Constitution and Schedule, and of said ordinances, to the Governor of the Commonwealth.

Sec. 24. The Governor is authorized and directed to immediately issue his proclamation announcing that this revised and amended Constitution has been ordained by the people of Virginia, assembled in Convention, through their representatives, as the Constitution for the government of the people of the State, and will go into effect as such, subject to the provisions of the Schedule annexed thereto, on the tenth day of July, nineteen hundred and two, at noon, and calling upon all the people of Virginia to render their true and loyal support to the same, as the organic law of the Commonwealth.

Sec. 25. This Constitution shall, except as is otherwise provided in the Schedule, go into effect on the tenth day of July, nineteen hundred and two, at noon.

This Schedule shall take effect from its passage.

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WASHINGTON

For organic acts relating to the land now included within Washington see in this work:

Convention with Great Britain, 1818 (Oregon, p. 2983).
Convention with Russia, 1824 (Oregon, p. 2983).
Treaty with Great Britain, 1846 (Oregon, p. 2985).
Territorial Government of Oregon, 1848 (Oregon, p. 2986).
Enabling Act for Washington, 1889 (Montana, p. 2289).

THE TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT OF WASHINGTON—1853a

[Thirty-second Congress, Second Session]

An Act to establish the Territorial Government of Washington

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act, all that portion of Oregon Territory lying and being south of the forty-ninth degree of north latitude, and north of the middle of the main channel of the Columbia River, from its mouth to where the forty-sixth degree of north latitude crosses said river, near Fort Wallawalla, thence with said forty-sixth degree of latitude to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, be organized into and constitute a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Washington: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to affect the authority of the government of the United States to make any regulation respecting the Indians of said Territory, their lands, property, or other rights, by treaty, law, or otherwise, which it would have been competent to the government to make if this act had never been passed: Provided further, That the title to the land, not exceeding six hundred and forty acres, now Edition: current; Page: [3964] occupied as missionary stations among the Indian tribes in said Territory, or that may have been so occupied as missionary stations prior to the passage of the act establishing the Territorial government of Oregon, together with the improvements thereon, be, and is hereby, confirmed and established to the several religious societies to which said missionary stations respectively belong.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the executive power and authority in and over said Territory of Washington shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for four years, and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. The governor shall reside in said Territory, shall be the commander-in-chief of the militia thereof, shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of Superintendent of Indian affairs; he may grant pardons and remit fines and forfeitures for offences against the laws of said Territory, and respites for offences against the laws of the United States until the decision of the President can be made known thereon; he shall commission all officers who shall be appointed to office under the laws of the said Territory, where, by law, such commission shall be required, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be a Secretary of said Territory, who shall reside therein, and hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States; he shall record and preserve all the laws and proceedings of the Legislative Assembly hereinafter constituted, and all the acts and proceedings of the Governor in his Executive department; he shall transmit one copy of the laws and journals of the Legislative Assembly within thirty days after the end of each session, and one copy of the executive proceedings and official correspondence semi-annually, on the first days of January and July in each year, to the President of the United States, and two copies of the laws to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, for the use of Congress. And in case of the death, removal, resignation, or absence of the Governor from the Territory, the Secretary shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and required to execute and perform all the powers and duties of the Governor during such vacancy or absence, or until another Governor shall be duly appointed and qualified to fill such vacancy.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the Legislative power and authority of said Territory shall be vested in a Legislative Assembly, which shall consist of a Council and House of Representatives. The Council shall consist of nine members, having the qualification of voters, as hereinafter prescribed, whose term of service shall continue three years. Immediately after they shall be assembled, in consequence of their first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the members of Council of the first class, shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, of the second class at the expiration of the second year, and of the third class at the expiration of the third year, so that one third may be chosen every year; and if vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, the same shall be filled at the next ensuing election. The House of Representatives shall, at its first session, consist of eighteen members, possessing the same qualifications as prescribed for members of Edition: current; Page: [3965] the Council, and whose term of service shall continue one year. The number of representatives may be increased by the Legislative Assembly, from time to time, in proportion to the increase of qualified voters: Provided, That the whole number shall never exceed thirty. An apportionment shall be made, as nearly equal as practicable, among the several counties or districts, for the election of the Council and Representatives, giving to each section of the Territory representation in the ratio of its qualified voters, as nearly as may be. And the members of the Council and of the House of Representatives shall reside in, and be inhabitants of, the district or county or counties, for which they may be elected, respectively. Previous to the first election, the Governor shall cause a census or enumeration of the inhabitants and qualified voters of the several counties and districts of the Territory to be taken, by such persons, and in such mode, as the Governor shall designate and appoint; and the persons so appointed shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor. And the first election shall be held at such time and places, and be conducted in such manner, both as to the persons who shall superintend such election and the returns thereof, as the Governor shall appoint and direct; and he shall at the same time declare the number of members of the Council and House of Representatives to which each of the counties or districts shall be entitled under this act; and the Governor shall, by his proclamation, give at least sixty days’ previous notice of such apportionment, and of the time, places, and manner of holding such election. The persons having the highest number of legal votes in each of said council districts for members of the Council shall be declared by the Governor to be duly elected to the Council, and the persons having the highest number of legal votes for the House of Representatives shall be declared by the Governor to be duly elected members of said House: Provided, That in case two or more persons voted for shall have an equal number of votes, and in case a vacancy shall otherwise occur in either branch of the Legislative Assembly, the Governor shall order a new election; and the persons thus elected to the Legislative Assembly shall meet at such place, and on such day, within ninety days after such election, as the Governor shall appoint. But thereafter the time, place, and manner of holding and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning the representatives in the several counties or districts to the Council and House of Representatives, according to the number of qualified voters, shall be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the commencement of the regular session of the Legislative Assembly: Provided, That no session in any one year shall exceed the term of sixty days, except the first session, which shall not exceed one hundred days.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That every white male inhabitant above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of said Territory at the time of the passage of this act, and shall possess the qualifications hereinafter prescribed, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within the said Territory; but the qualifications of voters and of holding office at all subsequent elections shall be such as shall be prescribed by the Legislative Assembly: Provided, That the right of suffrage and of holding office shall be exercised only by citizens of the United States above the age of twenty-one years, and those above that age Edition: current; Page: [3966] who shall have declared on oath their intention to become such, and shall have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the provisions of this act: And provided further, That no officer, soldier, seaman, mariner, or other person in the army or navy of the United States, or attached to troops in the service of the United States, shall be allowed to vote in said Territory, by reason of being on service therein, unless said Territory is, and has been for the period of six months, his permanent domicil: Provided further, That no person belonging to the army or navy of the United States shall ever be elected to or hold any civil office or appointment in said Territory.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the Legislative power of the Territory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States. But no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil; no tax shall be imposed upon the property of the United States; nor shall the lands or other property of non-residents be taxed higher than the lands or other property of residents. All the laws passed by the Legislative Assembly shall be submitted to the Congress of the United States, and, if disapproved, shall be null and of no effect: Provided, That nothing in this act shall be construed to give power to incorporate a bank or any institution with banking powers, or to borrow money in the name of the Territory, or to pledge the faith of the people of the same for any loan whatever, directly or indirectly. No charter granting any privileges of making, issuing, or putting into circulation any notes or bills in the likeness of banknotes, or any bonds, scrip, drafts, bills of exchange, or obligations, or granting any other banking powers or privileges, shall be passed by the Legislative Assembly; nor shall the establishment of any branch or agency of any such corporation, derived from other authority, be allowed in said Territory; nor shall said Legislative Assembly authorize the issue of any obligation, scrip, or evidence of debt, by said Territory, in any mode or manner whatever, except certificates for service to said Territory. And all such laws, or any law or laws inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall be utterly null and void. And all taxes shall be equal and uniform; and no distinctions shall be made in the assessments between different kinds of property, but the assessments shall be according to the value thereof. To avoid improper influences, which may result from intermixing in one and the same act such things as have no proper relation to each other, every law shall embrace but one object, and that shall be expressed in the title.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That all township, district, and county officers not herein otherwise provided for, shall be appointed or elected in such manner as shall be provided by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Washington.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That no member of the Legislative Assembly shall hold or be appointed to any office which shall have been created, or the salary or emoluments of which shall have been increased while he was a member, during the term for which he was elected and for one year after the expiration of such term; but this restriction shall not be applicable to members of the first Edition: current; Page: [3967] Legislative Assembly; and no person holding a commission or appointment under the United States shall be a member of the Legislative Assembly, or shall hold any office under the government of said Territory.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That the judicial power of said Territory shall be vested in a supreme court, district courts, probate courts, and in justices of the peace. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and two associate justices, any two of whom shall constitute a quorum, and who shall hold a term at the seat of government of said Territory annually, and they shall hold their offices during the period of four years, and until their successor shall be appointed and qualified. The said Territory shall be divided into three judicial districts, and a district court shall be held in each of said districts by one of the justices of the supreme court, at such times and places as may be prescribed by law; and the said judges shall, after their appointments, respectively reside in the districts which shall be assigned them. The jurisdiction of the several courts herein provided for, both appellate and original, and that of the probate courts and of justices of the peace, shall be as limited by law: Provided, That justices of the peace shall not have jurisdiction of any case in which the title to land shall in any wise come in question, or where the debt or damages claimed shall exceed one hundred dollars; and the said supreme and district courts, respectively shall possess chancery as well as common-law jurisdiction. Each district court, or the judge thereof, shall appoint its clerk, who shall also be the register in chancery, and shall keep his office at the place where the court may be held. Writs of error, bills of exception, and appeals, shall be allowed in all cases from the final decisions of said district court to the supreme court under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; but in no case removed to the supreme court shall trial by jury be allowed in said court. The supreme court, or the justices thereof, shall appoint its own clerk, and every clerk shall hold his office at the pleasure of the court for which he shall have been appointed. Writs of error, and appeals, from the final decisions of said supreme court, shall be allowed, and may be taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the same manner and under the same regulations as from the circuit court of the United States, where the value of the property, or the amount in controversy, to be ascertained by the oath or affirmation of either party, or other competent witness, shall exceed two thousand dollars, and in all cases where the constitution of the United States, or acts of Congress, or a treaty of the United States, is brought in question; and each of the said district courts shall have and exercise the same jurisdiction in all cases arising under the constitution of the United States and the laws of said Territory, as is vested in the circuit and district courts of the United States; writs of error and appeal in all such cases shall be made to the supreme court of said Territory the same as in other cases. Writs of error, and appeals from the final decisions of said supreme court, shall be allowed and may be taken to the supreme court of the United States in the same manner as from the circuit courts of the United States, where the value of the property, or the amount in controversy, shall exceed two thousand Edition: current; Page: [3968] dollars, and each of said district courts, shall have and exercise the same jurisdiction, in all cases arising under the constitution and laws of the United States, as is vested in the circuit and district courts of the United States; and also of all cases arising under the laws of said Territory, and otherwise. The said clerk shall receive in all such cases the same fees which the clerks of the district courts of the Territory of Oregon receive for similar services.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed an attorney for said Territory, who shall continue in office for four years and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President, and who shall receive the same fees and salary as is provided by law for the attorney of the United States for the Territory of Oregon. There shall also be a marshal for the Territory appointed, who shall hold his office for four years and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President, and who shall execute all processes issuing from the said courts when exercising their jurisdiction as circuit and district courts of the United States; he shall perform the duties, be subject to the same regulation and penalties, and be entitled to the same fees, as are provided by law for the marshal of the Territory of Oregon, and shall, in addition, be paid the sum of two hundred dollars annually as a compensation for extra services.

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That the governor, secretary, chief justice, and associate justices, attorney, and marshal, shall be nominated, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed by the President of the United States. The governor and secretary to be appointed as aforesaid shall, before they act as such, respectively take an oath or affirmation before the district judge, or some justice of the peace in the limits of said Territory duly authorized to administer oaths and affirmations by the laws in force therein, or before the chief justice or some associate justice of the supreme court of the United States, to support the constitution of the United States, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices, which said oaths, when so taken, shall be certified by the person before whom the same shall have been taken; and such certificates shall be received and recorded by the said Secretary among the executive proceedings; and the Chief Justice and Associate Justices, and all other civil officers in said Territory, before they act as such, shall take a like oath or affirmation before the said Governor or Secretary, or some judge or justice of the peace of the Territory who may be duly commissioned and qualified, which said oath or affirmation shall be certified and transmitted, by the person taking the same, to the Secretary, to be by him recorded as aforesaid; and afterwards, the like oath or affirmation shall be taken, certified and recorded in such manner and form as may be prescribed by law. The Governor shall receive an annual salary of fifteen hundred dollars as Governor, and fifteen hundred dollars as Superintendent of Indian affairs. The Chief Justice, and Associate Justices, shall each receive an annual salary of two thousand dollars. The Secretary shall receive an annual salary of fifteen hundred dollars. The said salaries shall be paid quarterly, from the dates of the respective appointments, at the Treasury of the United States; but no such payment shall be made until said officers shall have entered upon the duties of their respective appointments. The members of the legislative assembly shall be entitled to Edition: current; Page: [3969] receive three dollars each per day during their attendance at the session thereof, and three dollars each for every twenty miles’ travel in going to and returning from said session, estimated according to the nearest usually travelled route. And a chief clerk, one assistant clerk, a sergeant-at-arms, and door-keeper, may be chosen for each house; and the chief clerk shall receive five dollars per day, and the said other officers three dollars per day, during the session of the legislative assembly; but no other officers shall be paid by the United States: Provided, That there shall be but one session of the legislative assembly annually, unless, on an extraordinary occasion, the Governor shall deem it expedient and proper to call the legislature together. There shall be appropriated, annually, the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, to be expended by the Governor, to defray the contingent expenses of the Territory, including the salary of a clerk of the executive department; and there shall also be appropriated, annually, a sufficient sum to be expended by the Secretary of the Territory, and upon an estimate to be made by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, to defray the expenses of the legislative assembly, the printing of the laws, and other incidental expenses; and the Governor and Secretary of the Territory shall, in the disbursement of all moneys intrusted to them, be governed solely by the instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and shall, semi-annually, account to the said Secretary for the manner in which the aforesaid sums of money shall have been expended; and no expenditure, to be paid out of money appropriated by Congress, shall be made by said legislative assembly for objects not specially authorized by the acts of Congress making the appropriations, nor beyond the sums thus appropriated for such objects.

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That the laws now in force in said Territory of Washington, by virtue of the legislation of Congress in reference to the Territory of Oregon, which have been enacted and passed subsequent to the first day of September, eighteen hundred and forty-eight, applicable to the said Territory of Washington, together with the legislative enactments of the Territory of Oregon, enacted and passed prior to the passage of, and not inconsistent with, the provisions of this act, and applicable to the said Territory of Washington, be, and they are hereby, continued in force in said Territory of Washington until they shall be repealed or amended by future legislation.

Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That the legislative assembly of the Territory of Washington shall hold its first session at such time and place in said Territory as the Governor thereof shall appoint and direct; and at said first session, or as soon thereafter as they shall deem expedient, the legislative assembly shall proceed to locate and establish the seat of government for said Territory, at such place as they may deem eligible; which place, however, shall thereafter be subject to be changed by said legislative assembly. And the sum of five thousand dollars, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, is hereby appropriated and granted to said Territory of Washington, to be there applied by the Governor to the erection of suitable buildings at the seat of government.

Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, That a delegate to the House of Representatives of the United States, to serve for the term of two years, who shall be a citizen of the United States, may be elected by Edition: current; Page: [3970] the voters qualified to elect members of the legislative assembly, who shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as have been heretofore exercised and enjoyed by the delegates from the several other Territories of the United States to the House of Representatives, but the delegate first elected shall hold his seat only during the term of the Congress to which he shall be elected. The first election shall be held at such time, and places, and be conducted in such manner, as the Governor shall appoint and direct; of which, and the time, place, and manner of holding such elections, he shall give at least sixty days notice by proclamation; and at all subsequent elections the time, places, and the manner of holding the election shall be prescribed by law. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be declared by the Governor to be duly elected, and a certificate thereof shall be given accordingly. The delegate from the Territory shall be entitled to receive the same per diem compensation and mileage at present allowed the delegate from the Territory of Oregon.

Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That all suits, plaints, process, and proceedings, civil and criminal, at law and in chancery, and all indictments and information, which shall be pending and undetermined in the courts established within and for said Territory of Oregon, by act of Congress, entitled “An act to establish the territorial government of Oregon,” approved August fourteen, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, within the venue in said cases, suits at law, or in chancery, or criminal proceedings, shall be included within the limits hereinbefore declared and established for the said Territory of Washington; then, and in that case, said actions so pending in the Supreme or Circuit Courts of the Territory of Oregon shall be, by the clerks of said courts, duly certified to the proper courts of said Territory of Washington; and thereupon said causes shall, in all things concerning the same, be proceeded on, and judgments, verdicts, decrees, and sentences, rendered thereon, in the same manner as if the said Territory had not been divided. All bonds, recognizances, and obligations of every kind whatsoever, valid, under the existing laws, within the limits of said Territory of Oregon, shall be held valid under this act, and all crimes and misdemeanors against the laws now in force within the said limits of the Territory of Washington may be prosecuted, tried, and punished in the courts established by this act, and all penalties, forfeitures, actions, and causes of action, may be recovered and enforced, under this act, before the Supreme and Circuit Courts established by this act as aforesaid: Provided, That no right of action whatever shall accrue against any person for any act done in pursuance of any law heretofore passed by the legislative assembly of the Territory of Oregon, and which may be declared contrary to the Constitution or laws of the United States.

Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, That all justices of the peace, constables, sheriffs, and other judicial and ministerial officers, who shall be in office within the limits of said Territory of Washington when this act shall take effect, shall be and they are hereby authorized and required to continue to exercise and perform the duties of their respective offices, as officers of said Territory, until they or others shall be duly elected or appointed, and qualified, to fill their places in the same manner herein directed, or until their offices shall be abolished.

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Sec. 17. And be it further enacted, That the sum of five thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be expended, by and under the direction of the Governor of Washington, in the purchase of a library, to be kept at the seat of government for the use of the Governor, legislative assembly, Judges of the Supreme Court, secretary, marshal, and Attorney of said Territory, and such other persons, and under such regulations, as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 18. And be it further enacted, That until otherwise provided for by law, the Governor of said Territory may define the judicial districts of said Territory, and assign the judges who may be appointed for said Territory to the several districts, and also appoint the time and places for holding courts in the several counties or subdivisions in each of said judicial districts by proclamation, to be issued by him; but the legislative assembly, at their first or any subsequent session, may organize, alter, or modify such judicial districts, and assign the judges, and alter the times and places of holding the courts, as to them shall seem expedient and proper.

Sec. 19. And be it further enacted, That all officers to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for the Territory of Washington, who, by virtue of the provisions of any law of Congress now existing, or which may be enacted during the present session of Congress, are required to give security for moneys that may be intrusted with them for disbursement, shall give such security at such time and place, and in such manner, as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe.

Sec. 20. And be it further enacted, That when the lands in said Territory shall be surveyed under the direction of the Government of the United States, preparatory to bringing the same into market or otherwise disposing thereof, sections numbered sixteen and thirty-six in each township in said Territory shall be, and the same are hereby, reserved for the purpose of being applied to common schools in said Territory. And in all cases where said sections sixteen and thirty-six, or either or any of them, shall be occupied by actual settlers prior to survey thereof, the County Commissioners of the counties in which said sections so occupied as aforesaid are situated, be, and they are hereby, authorized to locate other lands to an equal amount in sections, or fractional sections, as the case may be, within respective counties, in lieu of said sections so occupied as aforesaid.

Sec. 21. And be it further enacted, That the Territory of Oregon and the Territory of Washington shall have concurrent jurisdiction over all offences committed on the Columbia River, where said river forms a common boundary between said Territories.

PROCLAMATION ANNOUNCING ADMISSION OF WASHINGTON—1889

By the President of the United States of America

A PROCLAMATION

Whereas the Congress of the United States did by an act approved on the twenty-second day of February one thousand eight hundred Edition: current; Page: [3972] and eighty-nine, provide that the inhabitants of the Territory of Washington might, upon the conditions prescribed in said act, become the State of Washington;

And whereas it was provided by said act that delegates elected as therein provided, to a Constitutional convention in the Territory of Washington, should meet at the seat of government of said Territory; and that, after they had met and organized they should declare on behalf of the people of Washington that they adopt the Constitution of the United States; whereupon the said convention should be authorized to form a State Government for the proposed State of Washington;

And whereas it was provided by said act that the Constitution so adopted should be republican in form and make no distinction in civil or political rights on account of race or color, except as to Indians not taxed, and not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and the principles of the Declaration of Independence; and that the Convention should by an ordinance irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of said State make certain provisions prescribed in said act;

And whereas it was provided by said act that the Constitution thus formed for the people of Washington should, by an ordinary of the Convention forming the same, be submitted to the people of Washington at an election to be held therein on the first Tuesday in October, eighteen hundred and eighty-nine, for ratification or rejection by the qualified voters of said proposed State; and that the returns of said election should be made to the Secretary of said Territory, who, with the Governor and Chief justice thereof, or any two of them, should canvass the same; and if a majority of the legal votes cast should be for the Constitution, the Governor should certify the result to the President of the United States, together with a statement of the votes cast thereon, and upon separate articles or propostions and a copy of said Constitution, articles, propositions and ordinances;

And whereas it has been certified to me by the Governor of said Territory that within the time prescribed by said act of Congress a Constitution for the proposed State of Washington has been adopted and that the same, has been ratified by a majority of the qualified voters of said proposed State in accordance with the conditions prescribed in said act;

And whereas it is also certified to me by the said Governor that at the same time the body of said Constitution was submitted to a vote of the people two separate articles entitled “Woman Suffrage” and “Prohibition” were likewise submitted, which said separate articles did not receive a majority of the votes cast thereon or upon the Constitution and were rejected; also that at the same election the question of the location of a permanent seat of government was so submitted and that no place receive a majority of all the votes cast upon said question;

And whereas a duly authenticated copy of said Constitution and articles, as required by said act, has been received by me;

Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States of America, do, in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress aforesaid, declare and proclaim the fact that the conditions Edition: current; Page: [3973] imposed by Congress on the State of Washington to entitle that State to admission to the Union have been ratified and accepted and that the admission of the said State into the Union is now complete.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

[seal.] Done at the City of Washington this eleventh (11th) day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fourteenth.
Benj. Harrison.
By the President:
James G. Blaine,
Secretary of State.

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON—1889.*a

PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this constitution.

Article I: DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

Section 1. All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Sec. 2. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.

Sec. 3. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Sec. 4. The right of petition, and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good, shall never be abridged.

Sec. 5. Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.

Sec. 6. The mode of administering an oath, or affirmation, shall be such as may be most consistent with and binding upon the conscience of the person to whom such oath, or affirmation, may be administered.

Sec. 7. No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.

Sec. 8. No law granting irrevocably any privilege, franchise or immunity shall be passed by the legislature.

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Sec. 9. No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to give evidence against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.

Sec. 10. Justice in all cases shall be administered openly, and without unnecessary delay.

Sec. 11. Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief, and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion, but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment. No religious qualification shall be required for any public office or employment, nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror in consequence of his opinion on matters of religion, nor be questioned in any court of justice touching his religious belief to affect the weight of his testimony.

Sec. 12. No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations.

Sec. 13. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety requires it.

Sec. 14. Excessive bail shall not be required, excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishment inflicted.

Sec. 15. No conviction shall work corruption of blood, nor forfeiture of estate.

Sec. 16. Private property shall not be taken for private use, except for private ways of necessity, and for drains, flumes or ditches on or across the lands of others for agricultural, domestic or sanitary purposes. No private property shall be taken or damaged for public or private use without just compensation having been first made, or paid into court for the owner, and no right-of-way shall be appropriated to the use of any corporation other than municipal, until full compensation therefor be first made in money, or ascertained and paid into the court for the owner, irrespective of any benefit from any improvement proposed by such corporation, which compensation shall be ascertained by a jury, unless a jury be waived as in other civil cases in courts of record, in the manner prescribed by law. Whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and determined as such without regard to any legislative assertion that the use is public.

Sec. 17. There shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in cases of absconding debtors.

Sec. 18. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 19. All elections shall be free and equal, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.

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Sec. 20. All persons charged with crime shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, when the proof is evident, or the presumption great.

Sec. 21. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, but the legislature may provide for a jury of any number less than twelve in courts not of record, and for a verdict by nine or more jurors in civil cases in any court of record, and for waiving of the jury in civil cases where the consent of the parties interested is given thereto.

Sec. 22. In criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a copy thereof, to testify in his own behalf, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his own behalf, to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed, and the right to appeal in all cases; and in no instance shall any accused person before final judgment be compelled to advance money or fees to secure the rights herein guaranteed.

Sec. 23. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contracts shall ever be passed.

Sec. 24. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

Sec. 25. Offenses heretofore required to be prosecuted by indictment may be prosecuted by information or by indictment, as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 26. No grand jury shall be drawn or summoned in any county, except the superior judge thereof shall so order.

Sec. 27. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against the state, or adhering to its enemies, or in giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.

Sec. 28. No hereditary emoluments, privileges or powers shall be granted or conferred in this state.

Sec. 29. The provisions of this constitution are mandatory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.

Sec. 30. The enumeration in this constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny others retained by the people.

Sec. 31. No standing army shall be kept up by this state in time of peace, and no soldiers shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of its owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 32. A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual right and the perpetuity of free government.

Article II: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The legislative powers shall be vested in a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the State of Washington.

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Sec. 2. The house of representatives shall be composed of not less than sixty-three nor more than ninety-nine members. The number of senators shall not be more than one-half nor less than one-third of the number of members of the house of representatives. The first legislature shall be composed of seventy members of the house of representatives and thirty-five senators.

Sec. 3. The legislature shall provide by law for an enumeration of the inhabitants of the state in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five, and every ten years thereafter; and at the first session after such enumeration, and also after each enumeration made by the authority of the United States, the legislature shall apportion and district anew the members of the senate and house of representatives, according to the number of inhabitants, excluding Indians not taxed, soldiers, sailors and officers of the United States army and navy in active service.

Sec. 4. Members of the house of representatives shall be elected in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-nine, at the time and in the manner provided by this constitution, and shall hold their offices for the term of one year and until their successors shall be elected.

Sec. 5. The next election of the members of the house of representatives after the adoption of this constitution shall be on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, eighteen hundred and ninety, and thereafter, members of the house of representatives shall be elected biennially, and their term of office shall be two years; and each election shall be on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, unless otherwise changed by law.

Sec. 6. After the first election the senators shall be elected by single districts of convenient and contiguous territory at the same time and in the same manner as members of the house of representatives are required to be elected, and no representative district shall be divided in the formation of a senatorial district. They shall be elected for the term of four years, one-half of their number retiring every two years. The senatorial districts shall be numbered consecutively, and the senators chosen at the first election had by virtue of this constitution, in odd numbered districts, shall go out of office at the end of the first year, and the senators elected in the even numbered districts shall go out of office at the end of the third year.

Sec. 7. No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not be a citizen of the United States and a qualified voter in the district for which he is chosen.

Sec. 8. Each house shall be the judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Sec. 9. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish for contempt and disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expell a member, but no member shall be expelled a second time for the same offense.

Sec. 10. Each house shall elect its own officers, and when the lieutenant governor shall not attend as president, or shall act as governor, the senate shall choose a temporary president. When presiding, the lieutenant governor shall have the deciding vote in case of an equal division of the senate.

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Sec. 11. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish the same, except such parts as require secrecy. The doors of each house shall be kept open, except when the public welfare shall require secrecy. Neither house shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any place other than that in which they may be sitting, without the consent of the other.

Sec. 12. The first legislature shall meet on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November, ad 1889. The second legislature shall meet on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January, ad 1891, and sessions of the legislature will be held biennially thereafter, unless specially convened by the governor, but the times of meeting of subsequent sessions may be changed by the legislature. After the first legislature the sessions shall not be more than sixty days.

Sec. 13. No member of the legislature, during the term for which he is elected, shall be appointed or elected to any civil office in the state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the term for which he was elected.

Sec. 14. No person, being a member of congress, or holding any civil or military office under the United States or any other power, shall be eligible to be a member of the legislature; and if any person after his election as a member of the legislature shall be elected to congress or be appointed to any other office, civil or military, under the government of the United States, or any other power, his acceptance thereof shall vacate his seat: Provided, That officers in the militia of the state who receive no annual salary, local officers and postmasters, whose compensation does not exceed three hundred dollars per annum, shall not be ineligible.

Sec. 15. The governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either house of the legislature.

Sec. 16. Members of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony and breach of the peace; they shall not be subject to any civil process during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement of each session.

Sec. 17. No member of the legislature shall be liable in any civil action or criminal prosecution whatever for words spoken in debate.

Sec. 18. The style of the laws of the state shall be: “Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of Washington.” And no law shall be enacted except by bill.

Sec. 19. No bill shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.

Sec. 20. Any bill may originate in either house of the legislature, and a bill passed by one house may be amended in the other.

Sec. 21. The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall be entered on the journal on the demand of one-sixth of the members present.

Sec. 22. No bill shall become a law unless on its final passage the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered on the journal of each house, and a majority of the members elected to each house be recorded thereon as voting in its favor.

Sec. 23. Each member of the legislature shall receive for his services five dollars for each day’s attendance during the session, and ten Edition: current; Page: [3978] cents for every mile he shall travel in going to and returning from the place of meeting of the legislature, on the most usual route.

Sec. 24. The legislature shall never authorize any lottery or grant any divorce.

Sec. 25. The legislature shall never grant any extra compensation to any public officer, agent, servant or contractor after the services shall have been rendered or the contract entered into, nor shall the compensation of any public officer be increased or diminished during his term of office.

Sec. 26. The legislature shall direct by law in what manner and in what courts suits may be brought against the state.

Sec. 27. In all elections by the legislature the members shall vote viva voce, and their votes shall be entered on the journal.

SPECIAL LEGISLATION

Sec. 28. The legislature is prohibited from enacting any private or special law in the following cases:

  • 1. For changing the names of persons, or constituting one person the heir at law of another.
  • 2. For laying out, opening or altering highways, except in cases of state roads extending into more than one county, and military roads to aid in the construction of which lands shall have been or may be granted by congress.
  • 3. For authorizing persons to keep ferries wholly within this state.
  • 4. For authorizing the sale or mortgage of real or personal property of minors, or others under disability.
  • 5. For assessment or collection of taxes, or for extending the time for collection thereof.
  • 6. For granting corporate powers or privileges.
  • 7. For authorizing the apportionment of any part of the school fund.
  • 8. For incorporating any town or village, or to amend the charter thereof.
  • 9. [From] giving effect to invalid deeds, wills or other instruments.
  • 10. Releasing or extinguishing, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liability or other obligation of any person or corporation to this state, or to any municipal corporation therein.
  • 11. Declaring any person of age, or authorizing any minor to sell, lease or encumber his or her property.
  • 12. Legalizing, except as against the state, the unauthorized or invalid act of any officer.
  • 13. Regulating the rates of interest on money.
  • 14. Remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures.
  • 15. Providing for the management of common schools.
  • 16. Authorizing the adoption of children.
  • 17. For limitation of civil or criminal action.
  • 18. Changing county lines, locating or changing county seats: Provided, This shall not be construed to apply to the creation of new counties.

Sec. 29. After the first day of January, eighteen hundred and ninety, the labor of convicts of this state shall not be let out by contract to any person, copartnership, company or corporation, and the Edition: current; Page: [3979] legislature shall by law provide for the working of convicts for the benefit of the state.

Sec. 30. The offense of corrupt solicitation of members of the legislature, or of public officers of the state or any municipal division thereof, and any occupation or practice of solicitation of such members or officers to influence their official action, shall be defined by law, and shall be punished by fine and imprisonment. Any person may be compelled to testify in any lawful investigation or judicial proceeding against any person who may be charged with having committed the offense of bribery or corrupt solicitation, or practice of solicitation, and shall not be permitted to withhold his testimony on the ground that it may criminate himself or subject him to public infamy, but such testimony shall not afterwards be used against him in any judicial proceeding—except for perjury in giving such testimony—and any person convicted of either of the offenses aforesaid, shall, as part of the punishment therefor, be disqualified from ever holding any position of honor, trust or profit in this state. A member who has a private interest in any bill or measure proposed or pending before the legislature shall disclose the fact to the house of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.

Sec. 31. No law, except appropriation bills, shall take effect until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was enacted, unless in case of an emergency (which emergency must be expressed in the preamble or in the body of the act) the legislature shall otherwise direct by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house; said vote to be taken by yeas and nays and entered on the journals.

Sec. 32. No bill shall become a law until the same shall have been signed by the presiding officer of each of the two houses in open session, and under such rules as the legislature shall prescribe.

Sec. 33. The ownership of lands by aliens, other than those who in good faith have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, is prohibited in this state, except where acquired by inheritance, under mortgage or in good faith in the ordinary course of justice in the collection of debts; and all conveyances of lands hereafter made to any alien directly, or in trust for such alien, shall be void: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to lands containing valuable deposits of minerals, metals, iron, coal or fire clay, and the necessary land for mills and machinery to be used in the development thereof and the manufacture of the products therefrom. Every corporation, the majority of the capital stock of which is owned by aliens, shall be considered an alien for the purposes of this prohibition.

Sec. 34. There shall be established in the office of the secretary of state, a bureau of statistics, agriculture and immigration, under such regulations as the legislature may provide.

Sec. 35. The legislature shall pass necessary laws for the protection of persons working in mines, factories and other employments dangerous to life and deleterious to health; and fix pains and penalties for the enforcement of same.

Sec. 36. No bill shall be considered in either house unless the time of its introduction shall have been at least ten days before the final adjournment of the legislature, unless the legislature shall otherwise Edition: current; Page: [3980] direct by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, said vote to be taken by yeas and nays and entered upon the journal, or unless the same be at a special session.

Sec. 37. No act shall ever be revised or amended by mere reference to its title, but the act revised or the section amended shall be set forth at full length.

Sec. 38. No amendment to any bill shall be allowed which shall change the scope and object of the bill.

Sec. 39. It shall not be lawful for any person holding public office in this state to accept or use a pass or to purchase transportation from any railroad or other corporation, other than as the same may be purchased by the general public, and the legislature shall pass laws to enforce this provision.

Article III: THE EXECUTIVE

Section 1. The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and a commissioner of public lands, who shall be severally chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and place of voting as for the members of the legislature.

Sec. 2. The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for a term of four years, and until his successor is elected and qualified.

Sec. 3. The lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction and commissioner of public lands, shall hold their offices for four years, respectively, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Sec. 4. The returns of every election for the officers named in the first section of this article shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government by the returning officers, directed to the secretary of state, who shall deliver the same to the speaker of the house of representatives at the first meeting of the house thereafter, who shall open, publish and declare the result thereof in the presence of a majority of the members of both houses. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared duly elected, and a certificate thereof shall be given to such person, signed by the presiding officers of both houses; but if any two or more shall be highest and equal in votes for the same office, one of them shall be chosen by the joint vote of both houses. Contested elections for such officers shall be decided by the legislature in such manner as shall be decided by law. The terms of all officers named in section one of this article shall commence on the second Monday in January after their election, until otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 5. The governor may require information in writing from the officers of the state upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

Sec. 6. He shall communicate at every session by message to the legislature the condition of the affairs of the state, and recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient for their action.

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Sec. 7. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the legislature by proclamation, in which shall be stated the purposes for which the legislature is convened.

Sec. 8. He shall be commander-in-chief of the military in the state except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

Sec. 9. The pardoning power shall be vested in the governor under such regulations and restrictions as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 10. In case of the removal, resignation, death or disability of the governor, the duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor, and in case of a vacancy in both the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, the duties of governor shall devolve upon the secretary of state, who shall act as governor until the disability be removed or a governor be elected.

Sec. 11. The governor shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, and shall report to the legislature at its next meeting each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, and the reasons for granting the same, and also the names of all persons in whose favor remission of fines and forfeitures shall have been made, and the several amounts remitted and the reasons for the remission.

Sec. 12. Every act which shall have passed the legislature shall be, before it becomes a law, presented to the governor. If he approves, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to that house in which it shall have originated, which house shall enter the objections at large upon the journal and proceed to reconsider. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present, it shall become a law; but in all such cases the vote of both houses shall be determined by the yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for or against the bill shall be entered upon the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within five days, Sunday excepted, after it shall be presented to him, it shall become a law without his signature, unless the general adjournment shall prevent its return, in which case it shall become a law unless the governor, within ten days next after the adjournment, Sundays excepted, shall file such bill, with his objections thereto, in the office of secretary of state, who shall lay the same before the legislature at its next session in like manner as if it had been returned by the governor. If any bill presented to the governor contain several sections or items, he may object to one or more sections or items while approving other portions of the bill. In such case he shall append to the bill, at the time of signing it, a statement of the section or sections, item or items to which he objects, and the reasons therefor, and the section or sections, item or items so objected to shall not take effect unless passed over the governor’s objection, as hereinbefore provided.

Sec. 13. When, during a recess of the legislature, a vacancy shall happen in any office, the appointment to which is vested in the legislature, or when at any time a vacancy shall have occurred in any other state office, for the filling of which vacancy no provision is Edition: current; Page: [3982] made elsewhere in this constitution, the governor shall fill such vacancy by appointment, which shall expire when a successor shall have been elected and qualified.

Sec. 14. The governor shall receive an annual salary of four thousand dollars, which may be increased by law, but shall never exceed six thousand dollars per annum.

Sec. 15. All commissions shall issue in the name of the state, shall be signed by the governor, sealed with the seal of the state, and attested by the secretary of state.

Sec. 16. The lieutenant governor shall be presiding officer of the state senate, and shall discharge such other duties as may be prescribed by law. He shall receive an annual salary of one thousand dollars, which may be increased by the legislature, but shall never exceed three thousand dollars per annum.

Sec. 17. The secretary of state shall keep a record of the official acts of the legislature and executive department of the state, and shall, when required, lay the same and all matters relative thereto, before either branch of the legislature, and shall perform such other duties as shall be assigned him by law. He shall receive an annual salary of twenty-five hundred dollars, which may be increased by the legislature, but shall never exceed three thousand dollars per annum.

Sec. 18. There shall be a seal of the state kept by the secretary of state for official purposes, which shall be called “The Seal of the State of Washington.”

Sec. 19. The treasurer shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by law. He shall receive an annual salary of two thousand dollars, which may be increased by the legislature, but shall never exceed four thousand dollars per annum.

Sec. 20. The auditor shall be auditor of public accounts, and shall have such powers and perform such duties in connection therewith as may be prescribed by law. He shall receive an annual salary of two thousand dollars, which may be increased by the legislature, but shall never exceed three thousand dollars per annum.

Sec. 21. The attorney general shall be the legal adviser of the state officers, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law. He shall receive an annual salary of two thousand dollars, which may be increased by the legislature, but shall never exceed thirty-five hundred dollars per annum.

Sec. 22. The superintendent of public instruction shall have supervision over all matters pertaining to public schools, and shall perform such specific duties as may be prescribed by law. He shall receive an annual salary of twenty-five hundred dollars, which may be increased by law, but shall never exceed four thousand dollars per annum.

Sec. 23. The commissioner of public lands shall perform such duties and receive such compensation as the legislature may direct.

Sec. 24. The governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of public lands and attorney general shall severally keep the public records, books and papers relating to their respective offices, at the seat of government, at which place also the governor, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor shall reside.

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Sec. 25. No person, except a citizen of the United States and a qualified elector of this state, shall be eligible to hold any state office, and the state treasurer shall be ineligible for the term succeeding that for which he was elected. The compensation for state officers shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which they shall have been elected. The legislature may, in its discretion, abolish the offices of the lieutenant governor, auditor, and commissioner of public lands.

Article IV: THE JUDICIARY

Section 1. The judicial power of the state shall be vested in a supreme court, superior courts, justices of the peace, and such inferior courts as the legislature may provide.

Sec. 2. The supreme court shall consist of five judges, a majority of whom shall be necessary to form a quorum and pronounce a decision. The said court shall always be open for the transaction of business except on non-judicial days. In the determination of causes, all decisions of the court shall be given in writing, and the grounds of the decision shall be stated. The legislature may increase the number of judges of the supreme court from time to time, and may provide for separate departments of said court.

Sec. 3. The judges of the supreme court shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state at large, at the general state election, at the times and places at which state officers are elected, unless some other time be provided by the legislature. The first election of judges of the supreme court shall be at the election which shall be held upon the adoption of this constitution, and the judges elected thereat shall be classified, by lot, so that two shall hold their office for the term of three years, two for a term of five years, and one for the term of seven years. The lot shall be drawn by the judges, who shall for that purpose assemble at the seat of government, and they shall cause the result thereof to be certified to the secretary of state, and filed in his office. The judge having the shortest term to serve, not holding his office by appointment or election to fill a vacancy, shall be the chief justice, and shall preside at all sessions of the supreme court, and in case there shall be two judges having in like manner the same short term, the other judges of the supreme court shall determine which of them shall be chief justice. In case of the absence of the chief justice, the judge having in like manner the shortest or next shortest term to serve shall preside. After the first election the terms of judges elected shall be six years from and after the second Monday in January next succeeding their election. If a vacancy occur in the office of a judge of the supreme court, the governor shall appoint a person to hold the office until the election and qualification of a judge to fill the vacancy, which election shall take place at the next succeeding general election, and the judge so elected shall hold the office for the remainder of the unexpired term. The term of office of the judges of the supreme court, first elected, shall commence as soon as the state shall have been admitted into the Union, and continue for the term herein provided, and until their successors are Edition: current; Page: [3984] elected and qualified. The sessions of the supreme court shall be held at the seat of government until otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 4. The supreme court shall have original jurisdiction in habeas corpus, and quo warranto and mandamus as to all state officers, and appellate jurisdiction in all actions and proceedings, excepting that its appellate jurisdiction shall not extend to civil actions at law for the recovery of money or personal property when the original amount in controversy, or the value of the property, does not exceed the sum of two hundred dollars ($200), unless the action involves the legality of a tax, impost, assessment, toll, municipal fine, or the validity of a statute. The supreme court shall also have power to issue writs of mandamus, review, prohibition, habeas corpus, certiorari and all other writs necessary and proper to the complete exercise of its appellate and revisory jurisdiction. Each of the judges shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the state upon petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody, and may make such writs returnable before himself, or before the supreme court, or before any superior court of the state, or any judge thereof.

Sec. 5. There shall be in each of the organized counties of this state a superior court for which at least one judge shall be elected by the qualified electors of the county at the general state election: Provided, That until otherwise directed by the legislature one judge only shall be elected for the counties of Spokane and Stevens; one judge for the county of Whitman; one judge for the counties of Lincoln, Okanogan, Douglas and Adams; one judge for the counties of Walla Walla and Franklin; one judge for the counties of Columbia, Garfield and Asotin; one judge for the counties of Kittitas, Yakima and Klickitat; one judge for the counties of Clark, Skamania, Pacific, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum; one judge for the counties of Thurston, Chehalis, Mason and Lewis; one judge for the county of Pierce; one judge for the county of King; one judge for the counties of Jefferson, Island, Kitsap, San Juan and Clallam; and one judge for the counties of Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish. In any county where there shall be more than one superior judge, there may be as many sessions of the superior court at the same time as there are judges thereof, and whenever the governor shall direct a superior judge to hold court in any county other than that for which he has been elected, there may be as many sessions of the superior court in said county at the same time as there are judges therein, or assigned to duty therein by the governor, and the business of the court shall be so distributed and assigned by law, or, in the absence of legislation therefor, by such rules and orders of court, as shall best promote and secure the convenient and expeditious transaction thereof. The judgments, decrees, orders and proceedings of any session of the superior court held by any one or more of the judges of such court shall be equally effectual as if all the judges of said court presided at such session. The first superior judges elected under this constitution shall hold their offices for the period of three years, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified, and thereafter the term of office of all superior judges in this state shall be for four years from the second Monday in January next succeeding their election, and until their successors are elected and qualified. The first election of judges of the superior court shall be at the election held for the adoption of this constitution. If a vacancy occurs in the office of judge of the superior court, the Edition: current; Page: [3985] governor shall appoint a person to hold the office until the election and qualification of a judge to fill the vacancy, which election shall be at the next succeeding general election, and the judge so elected shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Sec. 6. The superior court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases in equity, and in all cases at law which involve the title or possession of real property, or the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll or municipal fine, and in all other cases in which the demand, or the value of the property in controversy amounts to one hundred dollars, and in all criminal cases amounting to felony, and in all cases of misdemeanor not otherwise provided for by law; of actions of forcible entry and detainer; of proceedings in insolvency; of actions to prevent or abate a nuisance; of all matters of probate, of divorce, and for annulment of marriage; and for such special cases and proceedings as are not otherwise provided for. The superior court shall also have original jurisdiction in all cases and of all proceedings in which jurisdiction shall not have been by law vested exclusively in some other court; and said court shall have the power of naturalization, and to issue papers therefor. They shall have such appellate jurisdiction in cases arising in justice’s and other inferior courts in their respective counties as may be prescribed by law. They shall be always open except on non-judicial days, and their process shall extend to all parts of the state. Said courts and their judges shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, quo warranto, review, certiorari, prohibition and writs of habeas corpus, on petition by or on behalf of any person in actual custody in their respective counties. Injunctions and writs of prohibition and of habeas corpus may be issued and served on legal holidays and non-judicial days.

Sec. 7. The judge of any superior court may hold a superior court in any county at the request of the judge of the superior court thereof, and upon the request of the governor it shall be his duty to do so. A case in the superior court may be tried by a judge pro tempore, who must be a member of the bar, agreed upon in writing by the parties litigant, or their attorneys of record, approved by the court, and sworn to try the case.

Sec. 8. Any judicial officer who shall absent himself from the state for more than sixty consecutive days shall be deemed to have forfeited his office: Provided, That in cases of extreme necessity the governor may extend the leave of absence such time as the necessity therefor shall exist.

Sec. 9. Any judge of any court of record, the attorney general, or any prosecuting attorney may be removed from office by joint resolution of the legislature, in which three-fourths of the members elected to each house shall concur, for incompetency, corruption, malfeasance, or delinquency in office, or other sufficient cause stated in such resolution. But no removal shall be made unless the officer complained of shall have been served with a copy of the charges against him as the ground of removal, and shall have an opportunity of being heard in his defense. Such resolution shall be entered at length on the journal of both houses, and on the question of removal the ayes and nays shall also be entered on the journal.

Sec. 10. The legislature shall determine the number of justices of the peace to be elected in incorporated cities or towns and in precincts, and shall prescribe by law the powers, duties and jurisdiction Edition: current; Page: [3986] of justices of the peace: Provided, That such jurisdiction granted by the legislature shall not trench upon the jurisdiction of superior or other courts of record, except that justices of the peace may be made police justices of incorporated cities and towns. In incorporated cities or towns having more than five thousand inhabitants the justices of the peace shall receive such salary as may be provided by law, and shall receive no fees for their own use.

Sec. 11. The supreme court and the superior courts shall be courts of record, and the legislature shall have power to provide that any of the courts of this state, excepting justices of the peace, shall be courts of record.

Sec. 12. The legislature shall prescribe by law the jurisdiction and powers of any of the inferior courts which may be established in pursuance of this constitution.

Sec. 13. No judicial officer, except court commissioners and unsalaried justices of the peace, shall receive to his own use any fees or perquisites of office. The judges of the supreme court and judges of the superior courts shall severally, at stated times, during their continuance in office, receive for their services the salaries prescribed by law therefor, which shall not be increased after their election, nor during the term for which they shall have been elected. The salaries of the judges of the supreme court shall be paid by the state. One-half of the salary of each of the superior court judges shall be paid by the state, and the other one-half by the county or counties for which he is elected. In cases where a judge is provided for more than one county, that portion of his salary which is to be paid by the counties shall be apportioned between or among them according to the assessed value of their taxable property, to be determined by the assessment next preceding the time which such salary is to be paid.

Sec. 14. Each of the judges of the supreme court shall receive an annual salary of four thousand dollars ($4,000); each of the superior court judges shall receive an annual salary of three thousand dollars ($3,000), which said salaries shall be payable quarterly. The legislature may increase the salaries of the judges herein provided.

Sec. 15. The judges of the supreme court and the judges of the superior court shall be ineligible to any other office or public employment than a judicial office or employment during the term for which they shall have been elected.

Sec. 16. Judges shall not charge juries with respect to matters of fact, nor comment thereon, but shall declare the law.

Sec. 17. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the supreme court or judge of a superior court unless he shall have been admitted to practice in the courts of record of this state or of the Territory of Washington.

Sec. 18. The judges of the supreme court shall appoint a reporter for the decisions of that court, who shall be removable at their pleasure. He shall receive such annual salary as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 19. No judge of a court of record shall practice law in any court of this state during his continuance in office.

Sec. 20. Every cause submitted to a judge of a superior court for his decision shall be decided by him within ninety days from the submission thereof: Provided, That if, within said period of ninety days a rehearing shall have been ordered, then the period within which he Edition: current; Page: [3987] is to decide shall commence at the time the cause is submitted upon such a rehearing.

Sec. 21. The legislature shall provide for the speedy publication of opinions of the supreme court, and all opinions shall be free for publication by any person.

Sec. 22. The judges of the supreme court shall appoint a clerk of that court, who shall be removable at their pleasure, but the legislature may provide for the election of the clerk of the supreme court and prescribe the term of his office. The clerk of the supreme court shall receive such compensation, by salary only, as shall be provided by law.

Sec. 23. There may be appointed in each county, by the judge of the superior court having jurisdiction therein, one or more court commissioners, not exceeding three in number, who shall have authority to perform like duties as a judge of the superior court at chambers, subject to revision by such judge, to take depositions and to perform such other business connected with the administration of justice as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 24. The judges of the superior courts shall, from time to time, establish uniform rules for the government of the superior courts.

Sec. 25. Superior judges shall, on or before the first day of November in each year, report in writing to the judges of the supreme court such defects and omissions in the laws as their experience may suggest, and the judges of the supreme court shall, on or before the first day of January in each year, report in writing to the governor such defects and omissions in the laws as they may believe to exist.

Sec. 26. The county clerk shall be, by virtue of his office, clerk of the superior court.

Sec. 27. The style of all process shall be, “The State of Washington,” and all prosecutions shall be conducted in its name and by its authority.

Sec. 28. Every judge of the supreme court and every judge of a superior court shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath that he will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the State of Washington, and will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of judge to the best of his ability, which oath shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state.

Article V: IMPEACHMENT

Section 1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. The concurrence of a majority of all the members shall be necessary to an impeachment. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate, and when sitting for that purpose the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation to do justice according to law and evidence. When the governor or lieutenant governor is on trial, the chief justice of the supreme court shall preside. No person shall be convicted without a concurrence of two-thirds of the senators elected.

Sec. 2. The governor and other state and judicial officers, except judges and justices of courts not of record, shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes or misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office, but Edition: current; Page: [3988] judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit, in the state. The party, whether convicted or acquitted, shall, nevertheless, be liable to prosecution, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.

Sec. 3. All officers not liable to impeachment shall be subject to removal for misconduct or malfeasance in office, in such manner as may be provided by law.

Article VI: ELECTIONS AND ELECTIVE RIGHTS

Section 1. All male persons of the age of twenty-one years or over, possessing the following qualifications, shall be entitled to vote at all elections: They shall be citizens of the United States; they shall have lived in the state one year, and in the county ninety days, and in the city, town, ward or precinct thirty days immediately preceding the election at which they offer to vote: Provided, That Indians not taxed shall never be allowed the elective franchise: Provided further, That all male persons who at the time of the adoption of this constitution are qualified electors of the territory shall be electors.

Sec. 2. The legislature may provide that there shall be no denial of the elective franchise at any school election on account of sex.

Sec. 3. All idiots, insane persons, and persons convicted of infamous crime, unless restored to their civil rights, are excluded from the elective franchise.

Sec. 4. For the purpose of voting and eligibility to office no person shall be deemed to have gained a residence by reason of his presence, or lost it by reason of his absence, while in the civil or military service of the state or of the United States, nor while a student at any institution of learning, nor while kept at public expense at any poor house or other asylum, nor while confined in public prison, nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of this state or of the United States, or of the high seas.

Sec. 5. Voters shall, in all cases except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections and in going to and returning therefrom. No elector shall be required to do military duty on the day of any election except in time of war or public danger.

Sec. 6. All elections shall be by ballot. The legislature shall provide for such method of voting as will secure to every elector absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing his ballot.

Sec. 7. The legislature shall enact a registration law, and shall require a compliance with such law before any elector shall be allowed to vote: Provided, That this provision is not compulsory upon the legislature, except as to cities and towns having a population of over five hundred inhabitants. In all other cases the legislature may or may not require registration as a pre-requisite to the right to vote, and the same system of registration need not be adopted for both classes.

Sec. 8. The first election of county and district officers, not otherwise provided for in this constitution, shall be on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, 1890, and thereafter all elections Edition: current; Page: [3989] for such officers shall be held biennially on the Tuesday next succeeding the first Monday in November. The first election of all state officers not otherwise provided for in this constitution, after the election held for the adoption of this constitution, shall be on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, 1892, and the elections for such state officers shall be every fourth year thereafter on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November.

Article VII: REVENUE AND TAXATION

Section 1. All property in the state, not exempt under the laws of the United States, or under this constitution, shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as provided by law. The legislature shall provide by law for an annual tax sufficient, with other sources of revenue, to defray the estimated ordinary expenses of the state for each fiscal year. And for the purpose of paying the state debt, if there be any, the legislature shall provide for levying a tax annually, sufficient to pay the annual interest and principal of such debt within twenty years from the final passage of the law creating the debt.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide by law a uniform and equal rate of assessment and taxation on all property in the state, according to its value in money, and shall prescribe such regulations by general law as shall secure a just valuation for taxation of all property, so that every person and corporation shall pay a tax in proportion to the value of his, her or its property: Provided, That a deduction of debts from credits may be authorized: Provided further, That the property of the United States, and of the state, counties, school districts and other municipal corporations, and such other property as the legislature may by general laws provide, shall be exempt from taxation.

Sec. 3. The legislature shall provide by general law for the assessing and levying of taxes on all corporation property as near as may be by the same methods as are provided for the assessing and levying of taxes on individual property.

Sec. 4. The power to tax corporations and corporate property shall not be surrendered or suspended by any contract or grant to which the state shall be a party.

Sec. 5. No tax shall be levied except in pursuance of law; and every law imposing a tax shall state distinctly the object of the same, to which only it shall be applied.

Sec. 6. All taxes levied and collected for state purposes shall be paid in money only into the state treasury.

Sec. 7. An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public moneys shall be published annually, in such manner as the legislature may provide.

Sec. 8. Whenever the expenses of any fiscal year shall exceed the income, the legislature may provide for levying a tax for the ensuing fiscal year, sufficient, with other sources of income, to pay the deficiency, as well as the estimated expenses of the ensuing fiscal year.

Sec. 9. The legislature may vest the corporate authorities of cities, towns and villages with the power to make local improvements by Edition: current; Page: [3990] special assessment, or by special taxation of property benefited. For all corporate purposes, all municipal corporations may be vested with authority to assess and collect taxes, and such taxes shall be uniform in respect to persons and property within the jurisdiction of the body levying the same.

Article VIII: STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL INDEBTEDNESS

Section 1. The state may, to meet casual deficits or failures in revenues, or for expenses not provided for, contract debts, but such debts, direct and contingent, singly or in the aggregate, shall not at any time exceed four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000), and the moneys arising from the loans creating such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which they were obtained, or to repay the debts so contracted, and to no other purpose whatever.

Sec. 2. In addition to the above limited power to contract debts, the state may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection; or to defend the state in war, but the money arising from the contracting of such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which it was raised, and to no other purpose whatever.

Sec. 3. Except the debts specified in sections one and two of this article, no debt shall hereafter be contracted by, or on behalf of this state, unless such debt shall be authorized by law for some singlo work or object to be distinctly specified therein, which law shall provide ways and means, exclusive of loans, for the payment of the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal of such debt within twenty years from the time of the contracting thereof. No such law shall take effect until it shall, at a general election, have been submitted to the people and have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at such election, and all moneys raised by authority of such law shall be applied only to the specific object therein stated, or to the payment of the debt thereby created, and such law shall be published in at least one newspaper in each county, if one be published therein, throughout the state, for three months next preceding the election at which it is submitted to the people.

Sec. 4. No moneys shall ever be paid out of the treasury of this state, or any of its funds, or any of the funds under its management, except in pursuance of an appropriation by law; nor unless such payment be made within two years from the first day of May next after the passage of such appropriation act, and every such law making a new appropriation, or continuing or reviving an appropriation, shall distinctly specify the sum appropriated, and the object to which it is to be applied, and it shall not be sufficient for such law to refer to any other law to fix such sum.

Sec. 5. The credit of the state shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual, association, company or corporation.

Sec. 6. No county, city, town, school district or other municipal corporation shall for any purpose become indebted in any manner to an amount exceeding one and one-half per centum of the taxable property in such county, city, town, school district or other municipal Edition: current; Page: [3991] corporation, without the assent of three-fifths of the voters therein voting at an election to be held for that purpose, nor in cases requiring such assent shall the total indebtedness at any time exceed five per centum on the value of the taxable property therein, to be ascertained by the last assessment for state and county purposes previous to the incurring of such indebtedness, except that in incorporated cities the assessment shall be taken from the last assessment for city purposes: Provided, That no part of the indebtedness allowed in this section shall be incurred for any purpose other than strictly county, city, town, school district or other municipal purposes: Provided further, That any city or town with such assent may be allowed to become indebted to a larger amount, but not exceeding five per centum additional, for supplying such city or town with water, artificial light and sewers when the works for supplying such water, light and sewers shall be owned and controlled by the municipality.

Sec. 7. No county, city, town or other municipal corporation shall hereafter give any money or property, or loan its money or credit, to or in aid of any individual, association, company or corporation, except for the necessary support of the poor and infirm, or become directly or indirectly the owner of any stock in or bonds of any association, company or corporation.

Article IX: EDUCATION

Section 1. It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste or sex.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools. The public school system shall include common schools, and such high schools, normal schools, and technical schools as may hereafter be established. But the entire revenue derived from the common school fund, and the state tax for common schools, shall be exclusively applied to the support of the common schools.

Sec. 3. The principal of the common school fund shall remain permanent and irreducible. The said fund shall be derived from the following named sources, to wit: Appropriations and donations by the state to this fund; donations and bequests by individuals to the state or public for common schools; the proceeds of lands and other property which revert to the state by escheat and forfeiture; the proceeds of all property granted to the state, when the purpose of the grant is not specified, or is uncertain; funds accumulated in the treasury of the state for the disbursement of which provision has not been made by law; the proceeds of the sale of timber, stone, minerals or other property from school and state lands, other than those granted for specific purposes; all moneys received from persons appropriating timber, stone, minerals or other property from school and state lands other than those granted for specific purposes, and all moneys other than rental recovered from persons trespassing on said lands; five per centum of the proceeds of the sale of public Edition: current; Page: [3992] lands lying within the state, which shall be sold by the United States subsequent to the admission of the state into the Union as approved by section 13 of the act of congress enabling the admission of the state into the Union; the principal of all funds arising from the sale of lands and other property which have been, and hereafter may be, granted to the state for the support of common schools. The legislature may make further provisions for enlarging said fund. The interest accruing on said fund, together with all rentals and other revenues derived therefrom, and from lands and other property devoted to the common school fund, shall be exclusively applied to the current use of the common schools.

Sec. 4. All schools maintained or supported wholly or in part by the public funds shall be forever free from sectarian control or influence.

Sec. 5. All losses to the permanent common school or any other state educational fund, which shall be occasioned by defalcation, mismanagement or fraud of the agents or officers controlling or managing the same, shall be audited by the proper authorities of the state. The amount so audited shall be a permanent funded debt against the state in favor of the particular fund sustaining such loss, upon which not less than six per cent. annual interest shall be paid. The amount of liability so created shall not be counted as a part of the indebtedness authorized and limited elsewhere in this constitution.

Article X: MILITIA

Section 1. All able-bodied male citizens of this state between the ages of eighteen (18) and forty-five (45) years, except such as are exempt by laws of the United States or by the laws of this state, shall be liable to military duty.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide by law for organizing and disciplining the militia in such manner as it may deem expedient, not incompatible with the constitution and laws of the United States. Officers of the militia shall be elected or appointed in such manner as the legislature shall from time to time direct, and shall be commissioned by the governor. The governor shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the state to suppress insurrections and repel invasions.

Sec. 3. The legislature shall provide by law for the maintenance of a soldiers’ home for honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors. marines and members of the state militia disabled while in the line of duty, and who are bona fide citizens of the state.

Sec. 4. The legislature shall provide by law for the protection and safe keeping of the public arms.

Sec. 5. The militia shall, in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the attendance at musters and elections of officers, and in going to and returning from the same.

Sec. 6. No person or persons, having conscientious scruples against bearing arms, shall be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace: Provided, Such person or persons shall pay an equivalent for such exemption.

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Article XI: COUNTY, CITY AND TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATION

Section 1. The several counties of the Territory of Washington existing at the time of the adoption of this constitution are hereby recognized as legal subdivisions of this state.

Sec. 2. No county seat shall be removed unless three-fifths of the qualified electors of the county, voting on the proposition at a general election, shall vote in favor of such removal, and three-fifths of all votes cast on the proposition shall be required to relocate a county seat. A proposition of removal shall not be submitted in the same county more than once in four years.

Sec. 3. No new county shall be established which shall reduce any county to a population of less than four thousand (4,000), nor shall a new county be formed containing a less population than two thousand (2,000). There shall be no territory stricken from any county unless a majority of the voters living in such territory shall petition therefor, and then only under such other conditions as may be prescribed by a general law applicable to the whole state. Every county which shall be enlarged or created from territory taken from any other county or counties shall be liable for a just proportion of the existing debts and liabilities of the county or counties from which such territory shall be taken: Provided, That in such accounting neither county shall be charged with any debt or liability then existing, incurred in the purchase of any county property or in the purchase or construction of any county buildings then in use or under construction, which shall fall within and be retained by the county: Provided further, That this shall not be construed to affect the rights of creditors.

Sec. 4. The legislature shall establish a system of county government which shall be uniform throughout the state, and by general laws shall provide for township organization, under which any county may organize whenever a majority of the qualified electors of such county voting at a general election shall so determine, and whenever a county shall adopt township organization, the assessment and collection of the revenue shall be made, and the business of such county, and the local affairs of the several townships therein, shall be managed and transacted in the manner prescribed by such general law.

Sec. 5. The legislature, by general and uniform laws, shall provide for the election in the several counties of boards of county commissioners, sheriffs, county clerks, treasurers, prosecuting attorneys, and other county, township or precinct and district officers, as public convenience may require, and shall prescribe their duties and fix their terms of office. It shall regulate the compensation of all such officers, in proportion to their duties, and for that purpose may classify the counties by population. And it shall provide for the strict accountability of such officers for all fees which may be collected by them, and for all public moneys which may be paid to them, or officially come into their possession.

Sec. 6. The board of county commissioners in each county shall fill all vacancies occurring in any county, township, precinct or road district office of such county by appointment, and officers thus appointed Edition: current; Page: [3994] shall hold office till the next general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Sec. 7. No county officer shall be eligible to hold his office more than two terms in succession.

Sec. 8. The legislature shall fix the compensation by salaries of all county officers, and of constables in cities having a population of 5,000 and upward; except that public administrators, surveyors and coroners may or may not be salaried officers. The salary of any county, city, town or municipal officer shall not be increased or diminished after his election, or during his term of office; nor shall the term of any such officer be extended beyond the period for which he is elected or appointed.

Sec. 9. No county, nor the inhabitants thereof, nor the property therein, shall be released or discharged from its or their proportionate share of taxes to be levied for state purposes, nor shall commutation for such taxes be authorized in any form whatever.

Sec. 10. Corporations for municipal purposes shall not be created by special laws; but the legislature, by general laws, shall provide for the incorporation, organization and classification, in proportion to population, of cities and towns, which laws may be altered, amended or repealed. Cities and towns heretofore organized or incorporated may become organized under such general laws whenever a majority of the electors voting at a general election shall so determine, and shall organize in conformity therewith; and cities or towns heretofore or hereafter organized, and all charters thereof framed or adopted by authority of this constitution, shall be subject to and controlled by general laws. Any city containing a population of twenty thousand inhabitants, or more, shall be permitted to frame a charter for its own government, consistent with and subject to the constitution and laws of this state, and for such purpose the legislative authority of such city may cause an election to be had, at which election there shall be chosen by the qualified electors of said city, fifteen freeholders thereof, who shall have been residents of said city for a period of at least two years preceding their election, and qualified electors, whose duty it shall be to convene within ten days after their election and prepare and propose a charter for such city. Such proposed charter shall be submitted to the qualified electors of said city, and if a majority of such qualified electors voting thereon ratify the same, it shall become the charter of said city, and shall become the organic law thereof, and supersede any existing charter, including amendments thereto, and all special laws inconsistent with such charter. Said proposed charter shall be published in two daily newspapers published in said city, for at least thirty days prior to the day of submitting the same to the electors for their approval, as above provided. All elections in this section authorized shall only be had upon notice, which notice shall specify the object of calling such election, and shall be given for at least ten days before the day of election, in all election districts of said city. Said elections may be general or special elections, and except as herein provided shall be governed by the law regulating and controlling general or special elections in said city. Such charter may be amended by proposals therefor submitted by the legislative authority of such city to the electors thereof at any general election after notice of said submission Edition: current; Page: [3995] published as above specified, and ratified by a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon. In submitting any such charter, or amendment thereto, any alternate article or proposition may be presented for the choice of the voters, and may be voted on separately without prejudice to others.

Sec. 11. Any county, city, town or township may make and enforce within its limits all such local police, sanitary and other regulations as are not in conflict with general laws.

Sec. 12. The legislature shall have no power to impose taxes upon counties, cities, towns or other municipal corporations, or upon the inhabitants or property thereof, for county, city, town, or other municipal purposes, but may by general laws vest in the corporate authorities thereof the power to assess and collect taxes for such purposes.

Sec. 13. Private property shall not be taken or sold for the payment of the corporate debt of any public or municipal corporation, except in the mode provided by law for the levy and collection of taxes.

Sec. 14. The making of profit out of county, city, town or other public money, or using the same for any purpose not authorized by law, by any officer having the possession or control thereof, shall be a felony, and shall be prosecuted and punished as prescribed by law.

Sec. 15. All moneys, assessments and taxes belonging to or collected for the use of any county, city, town or other public or municipal corporation, coming into the hands of any officer thereof, shall immediately be deposited with the treasurer, or other legal depositary, to the credit of such city, town, or other corporation respectively, for the benefit of the funds to which they belong.

Article XII: CORPORATIONS OTHER THAN MUNICIPAL

Section 1. Corporations may be formed under general laws, but shall not be created by special acts. All laws relating to corporations may be altered, amended or repealed by the legislature at any time, and all corporations doing business in this state may, as to such business, be regulated, limited or restrained by law.

Sec. 2. All existing charters, franchises, special or exclusive privileges, under which an actual and bona fide organization shall not have taken place, and business been commenced in good faith, at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall thereafter have no validity.

Sec. 3. The legislature shall not extend any franchise or charter, nor remit the forfeiture of any franchise or charter of any corporation now existing, or which shall hereafter exist under the laws of this state.

Sec. 4. Each stockholder in all incorporated companies, except corporations organized for banking or insurance purposes, shall be liable for the debts of the corporation to the amount of his unpaid stock, and no more, and one or more stockholders may be joined as parties defendant in suits to recover upon this liability.

Sec. 5. The term corporations, as used in this article, shall be construed to include all associations and joint stock companies having any powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals Edition: current; Page: [3996] or partnerships, and all corporations shall have the right to sue and shall be subject to be sued, in all courts, in like cases as natural persons.

Sec. 6. Corporations shall not issue stock, except to bona fide subscribers therefor, or their assignees; nor shall any corporation issue any bond, or other obligation, for the payment of money, except for money or property received or labor done. The stock of corporations shall not be increased, except in pursuance of a general law, nor shall any law authorize the increase of stock, without the consent of the person or persons holding the larger amount in value of the stock, nor without due notice of the proposed increase having been previously given in such manner as may be prescribed by law. All fictitious increase of stock or indebtedness shall be void.

Sec. 7. No corporation organized outside the limits of this state shall be allowed to transact business within the state on more favorable conditions than are prescribed by law to similar corporations organized under the laws of this state.

Sec. 8. No corporation shall lease or alienate any franchise, so as to relieve the franchise, or property held thereunder, from the liabilities of the lessor, or grantor, lessee, or grantee, contracted or incurred in the operation, use, or enjoyment of such franchise or any of its privileges.

Sec. 9. The state shall not in any manner loan its credit, nor shall it subscribe to, or be interested in, the stock of any company, association or corporation.

Sec. 10. The exercise of the right of eminent domain shall never be so abridged or construed as to prevent the legislature from taking the property and franchises of incorporated companies, and subjecting them to public use the same as the property of individuals.

Sec. 11. No corporation, association, or individual shall issue or put in circulation as money anything but the lawful money of the United States. Each stockholder of any banking or insurance corporation or joint stock association shall be individually and personally liable, equally and ratably and not one for another, for all contracts, debts and engagements of such corporation or association accruing while they remain such stockholders, to the extent of the amount of their stock therein at the par value thereof, in addition to the amount invested in such shares.

Sec. 12. Any president, director, manager, cashier, or other officer of any banking institution who shall receive or assent to the reception of deposits after he shall have knowledge of the fact that such banking institution is insolvent or in failing circumstances shall be individually responsible for such deposits so received.

Sec. 13. All railroad, canal and other transportation companies are declared to be common carriers and subject to legislative control. Any association or corporation organized for the purpose, under the laws of the state, shall have the dight to connect at the state line with railroad of other stages. Every railroad company shall have the right with its road, whether the same be now constructed or may hereafter be constructed, to intersect, cross or connect with any other railroad, and when such railroads are of the same or similar gauge they shall, at all crossings and at all points where a railroad shall begin or Edition: current; Page: [3997] terminate at or near any other railroad, form proper connections, so that the cars of any such railroad companies may be speedily transferred from one railroad to another. All railroad companies shall receive and transport each the other’s passengers, tonnage and cars without delay or discrimination.

Sec. 14. No railroad company or other common carrier shall combine or make any contract with the owners of any vessel that leaves port or makes port in this state, or with any common carrier, by which combination or contract the earnings of one doing the carrying are to be shared by the other not doing the carrying.

Sec. 15. No discrimination in charges or facilities for transportation shall be made by any railroad or other transportation company between places or persons, or in the facilities for transportation of the same classes of freight or passengers within this state, or coming from or going to any other state. Persons and property transported over any railroad, or by any other transportation company, or individual, shall be delivered at any station, landing or port, at charges not exceeding the charges for the transportation of persons and property of the same class, in the same direction, to any more distant station, port or landing. Excursion and commutation tickets may be issued at special rates.

Sec. 16. No railroad corporation shall consolidate its stock, property or franchises with any other railroad corporation owning a competing line.

Sec. 17. The rolling stock and other movable property belonging to any railroad company or corporation in this state shall be considered personal property, and shall be liable to taxation and to execution and sale in the same manner as the personal property of individuals, and such property shall not be exempted from execution and sale.

Sec. 18. The legislature shall pass laws establishing reasonable maximum rates of charges for the transportation of passengers and freight, and to correct abuses, and to prevent discrimination and extortion in the rates of freight and passenger tariffs on the different railroads and other common carriers in the state, and shall enforce such laws by adequate penalties. A railroad and transportation commission may be established and its powers and duties fully defined by law.

Sec. 19. Any association or corporation, or the lessees or managers thereof, organized for the purpose, or any individual, shall have the right to construct and maintain lines of telegraph and telephone within this state, and said companies shall receive and transmit each other’s messages without delay or discrimination, and all of such companies are hereby declared to be common carriers and subject to legislative control. Railroad corporations organized or doing business in this state shall allow telegraph and telephone corporations and companies to construct and maintain telegraph lines on and along the rights-of-way of such railroads and railroad companies, and no railroad corporation organized or doing business in this state shall allow any telegraph corporation or company any facilities, privileges or rates for transportation of men or material, or for repairing their lines, not allowed to all telegraph companies. The right of eminent Edition: current; Page: [3998] domain is hereby extended to all telegraph and telephone companies. The legislature shall, by general law of uniform operation, provide reasonable regulations to give effect to this section.

Sec. 20. No railroad or other transportation company shall grant free passes, or sell tickets or passes at a discount, other than as sold to the public generally, to any member of the legislature, or to any person holding any public office within this state. The legislature shall pass laws to carry this provision into effect.

Sec. 21. Railroad companies now or hereafter organized or doing business in this state, shall allow all express companies organized or doing business in this state, transportation over all lines of railroad owned or operated by such railroad companies upon equal terms with any other express company, and no railroad corporation organized or doing business in this state shall allow any express corporation or company any facilities, privileges or rates for transportation of men or materials or property carried by them, or for doing the business of such express companies, not allowed to all express companies.

Sec. 22. Monopolies and trusts shall never be allowed in this state, and no incorporated company, copartnership or association of persons in this state shall directly or indirectly combine or make any contract with any other incorporated company, foreign or domestic, through their stockholders, or the trustees or assignees of such stockholders, or with any copartnership or association of persons, or in any manner whatever, for the purpose of fixing the price or limiting the production or regulating the transportation of any product or commodity. The legislature shall pass laws for the enforcement of this section by adequate penalties, and in case of incorporated companies, if necessary for that purpose, may declare a forfeiture of their charter.

Article XIII: STATE INSTITUTIONS

Section 1. Educational, reformatory and penal institutions; those for the benefit of blind, deaf, dumb or otherwise defective youth, for the insane or idiotic, and such other institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the state, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. The regents, trustees, or commissioners of all such institutions existing at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and of such as shall thereafter be established by law, shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; and upon all nominations made by the governor, the question shall be taken by the ayes and noes, and entered upon the journal.

Article XIV: SEAT OF GOVERNMENT

Section 1. The legislature shall have no power to change, or to locate the seat of government of this state; but the question of the permanent location of the seat of government of the state shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the territory, at the election to be held for the adoption of this constitution. A majority of all the Edition: current; Page: [3999] votes cast at said election, upon said question, shall be necessary to determine the permanent location of the seat of government for the state; and no place shall ever be the seat of government which shall not receive a majority of the votes cast on that matter. In case there shall be no choice of location at said first election, the legislature shall, at its first regular session after the adoption of this constitution, provide for submitting to the qualified electors of the state, at the next succeeding general election thereafter, the question of choice of location between the three places for which the highest number of votes shall have been cast at the said first election. Said legislature shall provide further that in case there shall be no choice of location at said second election, the question of choice between the two places for which the highest number of votes shall have been cast, shall be submitted in like manner to the qualified electors of the state at the next ensuing general election: Provided, That until the seat of government shall have been permanently located as herein provided, the temporary location thereof shall remain at the city of Olympia.

Sec. 2. When the seat of government shall have been located as herein provided, the location thereof shall not thereafter be changed except by a vote of two-thirds of all the qualified electors of the state voting on that question, at a general election, at which the question of location of the seat of government shall have been submitted by the legislature.

Sec. 3. The legislature shall make no appropriations or expenditures for capitol buildings or grounds, except to keep the territorial capitol buildings and grounds in repair, and for making all necessary additions thereto, until the seat of government shall have been permanently located, and the public buildings are erected at the permanent capital in pursuance of law.

Article XV: HARBORS AND TIDE WATERS

Section 1. The legislature shall provide for the appointment of a commission whose duty it shall be to locate and establish harbor lines in the navigable waters of all harbors, estuaries, bays and inlets of this state, wherever such navigable waters lie within or in front of the corporate limits of any city or within one mile thereof upon either side. The state shall never give, sell or lease to any private person, corporation or association any rights whatever in the waters beyond such harbor lines, nor shall any of the area lying between any harbor line and the line of ordinary high tide, and within not less than fifty feet nor more than 600 feet of such harbor line (as the commissioners shall determine) be sold or granted by the state, nor its right to control the same relinquished, but such area shall be forever reserved for landings, wharves, streets and other conveniences of navigation and commerce.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide general laws for the leasing of the right to build and maintain wharves, docks and other structures upon the areas mentioned in section 1 of this article, but no lease shall be made for any term longer than thirty years, or the legislature may provide by general laws for the building and maintaining upon such area, wharves, docks and other structures.

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Sec. 3. Municipal corporations shall have the right to extend their streets over intervening tide lands to and across the area reserved as herein provided.

Article XVI: SCHOOL AND GRANTED LANDS

Section 1. All the public lands granted to the state are held in trust for all the people, and none of such lands, nor any estate or interest therein, shall ever be disposed of unless the full market value of the estate or interest disposed of, to be ascertained in such manner as may be provided by law, be paid or safely secured to the state; nor shall any lands which the state holds by grant from the United States (in any case in which the manner of disposal and minimum price are so prescribed) be disposed of except in the manner and for at least the price prescribed in the grant thereof, without the consent of the United States.

Sec. 2. None of the lands granted to the state for educational purposes shall be sold otherwise than at public auction to the highest bidder. The value thereof, less the improvements, shall, before any sale, be appraised by a board of appraisers, to be provided by law, the terms of payment also to be prescribed by law, and no sale shall be valid unless the sum bid be equal to the appraised value of said land. In estimating the value of such lands for disposal, the value of the improvements thereon shall be excluded: Provided, That the sale of all school and university land heretofore made by the commissioners of any county or the university commissioners, when the purchase price has been paid in good faith, may be confirmed by the legislature.

Sec. 3. No more than one-fourth of the land granted to the state for educational purposes shall be sold prior to January 1, 1895, and not more than one-half prior to January 1, 1905: Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed as to prevent the state from selling the timber or stone off of any of the state lands in such manner and on such terms as may be prescribed by law: And provided further, That no sale of timber lands shall be valid unless the full value of such lands is paid or secured to the state.

Sec. 4. No more than one hundred and sixty (160) acres of any granted lands of the state shall be offered for sale in one parcel, and all lands within the limits of any incorporated city, or within two miles of the boundary of any incorporated city, where the valuation of such lands shall be found by appraisement to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per acre, shall, before the same be sold, be platted into lots and blocks of not more than five acres in a block, and not more than one block shall be offered for sale in one parcel.

aSec. 5. None of the permanent school fund shall ever be loaned to private persons or corporations, but it may be invested in national, state, county, or municipal bonds.

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Article XVII: TIDE LANDS

Section 1. The State of Washington asserts its ownership to the beds and shores of all navigable waters in the state up to and including the line of ordinary high tide, in waters where the tide ebbs and flows, and up to and including the line of ordinary high water within the banks of all navigable rivers and lakes: Provided, That this section shall not be construed so as to debar any person from asserting his claim to vested rights in the courts of the state.

Sec. 2. The state of Washington disclaims all title in and claim to all tide, swamp and overflowed lands patented by the United States: Provided, The same is not impeached for fraud.

Article XVIII: STATE SEAL

Section 1. The seal of the State of Washington shall be, a seal encircled with the words: “The seal of the State of Washington,” with the vignette of Gen. George Washington as the central figure, and beneath the vignette the figures “1889.”

Article XIX: EXEMPTIONS

Section 1. The legislature shall protect by law from forced sale a certain portion of the homestead and other property of all heads of families.

Article XX: PUBLIC HEALTH AND VITAL STATISTICS

Section 1. There shall be established by law a state board of health and a bureau of vital statistics in connection therewith, with such powers as the legislature may direct.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall enact laws to regulate the practice of medicine and surgery, and the sale of drugs and medicines.

Article XXI: WATER AND WATER RIGHTS

Section 1. The use of the waters of the state for irrigation, mining and manufacturing purposes shall be deemed a public use.

Article XXII: LEGISLATIVE APPORTIONMENT

Section 1. Until otherwise provided by law, the state shall be divided into twenty-four (24) senatorial districts, and said districts shall be constituted and numbered as follows: The counties of Edition: current; Page: [4002] Stevens and Spokane shall constitute the first district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Spokane shall constitute the second district, and be entitled to three senators; the county of Lincoln shall constitute the third district, and be entitled to one senator; the counties of Okanogan, Lincoln, Adams and Franklin shall constitute the fourth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Whitman shall constitute the fifth district, and be entitled to three senators; the counties of Garfield and Asotin shall constitute the sixth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Columbia shall constitute the seventh district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Walla Walla shall constitute the eighth district, and be entitled to two senators; the counties of Yakima and Douglas shall constitute the ninth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Kittitas shall constitute the tenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the counties of Klickitat and Skamania shall constitute the eleventh district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Clarke shall constitute the twelfth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Cowlitz shall constitute the thirteenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Lewis shall constitute the fourteenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the counties of Pacific and Wahkiakum shall constitute the fifteenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Thurston shall constitute the sixteenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Chehalis shall constitute the seventeenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Pierce shall constitute the eighteenth district, and be entitled to three senators; the county of King shall constitute the nineteenth district, and be entitled to five senators; the counties of Mason and Kitsap shall constitute the twentieth district, and be entitled to one senator; the counties of Jefferson, Clallam and San Juan shall constitute the twenty-first district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Snohomish shall constitute the twenty-second district, and shall be entitled to one senator; the counties of Skagit and Island shall constitute the twenty-third district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Whatcom shall constitute the twenty-fourth district, and be entitled to one senator.

Sec. 2. Until otherwise provided by law, the representatives shall be divided among the several counties of the state in the following manner: The county of Adams shall have one representative; the county of Asotin shall have one representative; the county of Chehalis shall have two representatives; the county of Clarke shall have three representatives; the county of Clallam shall have one representative; the county of Columbia shall have two representatives; the county of Cowlitz shall have one representative; the county of Douglas shall have one representative; the county of Franklin shall have one representative; the county of Garfield shall have one representative; the county of Island shall have one representative; the county of Jefferson shall have two representatives; the county of King shall have eight representatives; the county of Klickitat shall have two representatives; the county of Kittitas shall have two representatives; the county of Kitsap shall have one representative; the county of Lewis shall have two representatives; the county of Lincoln shall have two representatives; the county of Mason shall have one representative; the county of Okanogan shall have one representative; the county of Pacific shall have one representative; the Edition: current; Page: [4003] county of Pierce shall have six representatives; the county of San Juan shall have one representative; the county of Skamania shall have one representative; the county of Snohomish shall have two representatives; the county of Skagit shall have two representatives; the county of Spokane shall have six representatives; the county of Stevens shall have one representative; the county of Thurston shall have two representatives; the county of Walla Walla shall have three representatives; the county of Wahkiakum shall have one representative; the county of Whatcom shall have two representatives; the county of Whitman shall have five representatives; the county of Yakima shall have one representative.

Article XXIII: AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in either branch of the legislature, and if the same shall be agreed to by two-thirds of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered in their journals, with the ayes and noes thereon, and be submitted to the qualified electors of the state for their approval, at the next general election, and if the people approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the same shall become part of this constitution, and proclamation thereof shall be made by the governor: Provided, That if more than one amendment be submitted, they shall be submitted in such a manner that the people may vote for or against such amendments separately. The legislature shall also cause the amendments that are to be submitted to the people to be published for at least three months next preceding the election, in some weekly newspaper in every county where a newspaper is published throughout the state.

Sec. 2. Whenever two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the legislature shall deem it necessary to call a convention to revise or amend this constitution, they shall recommend to the electors to vote at the next general election for or against a convention, and if a majority of all the electors voting at said election shall have voted for a convention, the legislature shall, at the next session, provide by law for calling the same; and such convention shall consist of a number of members not less than that of the most numerous branch of the legislature.

Sec. 3. Any constitution adopted by such convention shall have no validity until it has been submitted to and adopted by the people.

Article XXIV: BOUNDARIES

Section 1. The boundaries of the State of Washington shall be as follows: Beginning at a point in the Pacific ocean one marine league due west of and opposite the middle of the mouth of the north ship channel of the Columbia river, thence running easterly to and up the middle channel of said river and where it is divided by islands up the Edition: current; Page: [4004] middle of the widest channel thereof to where the forty-sixth parallel of north latitude crosses said river, near the mouth of the Walla Walla river; thence east on said forty-sixth parallel of latitude to the middle of the main channel of the Shoshone or Snake river; thence follow down the middle of the main channel of Snake river to a point opposite the mouth of the Kooskooskia or Clear Water river; thence due north to the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude; thence west along said forty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates Vancouver’s Island from the continent, that is to say to a point in longitude 123 degrees, 19 minutes and 15 seconds west; thence following the boundary line between the United States and British possessions through the channel which separates Vancouver’s Island from the continent to the termination of the boundary line between the United States and British possessions at a point in the Pacific ocean equidistant between Bonnilla point on Vancouver’s Island and Tatoosh Island lighthouse; thence running in a southerly course and parallel with the coast line, keeping one marine league off shore, to place of beginning.

Article XXV: JURISDICTION

Section 1. The consent of the State of Washington is hereby given to the exercise, by the congress of the United States, of exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such tracts or parcels of land as are now held or reserved by the government of the United States for the purpose of erecting or maintaining thereon forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, lighthouses and other needful buildings, in accordance with the provisions of the seventeenth paragraph of the eighth section of the first article of the constitution of the United States, so long as the same shall be so held and reserved by the United States: Provided, That a sufficient description by metes and bounds, and an accurate plat or map of each such tract or parcel of land be filed in the proper office of record in the county in which the same is situated, together with copies of the orders, deeds, patents or other evidences in writing of the title of the United States: And provided, That all civil process issued from the courts of this state, and such criminal process as may issue under the authority of this state, against any person charged with crime in cases arising outside of such reservations, may be served and executed thereon in the same mode and manner, and by the same officers, as if the consent herein given had not been made.

Article XXVI: COMPACT WITH THE UNITED STATES

The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this state:

First: That perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and that no inhabitant of this state shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship.

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Second: That the people inhabiting this state do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries of this state, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that, until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the congress of the United States, and that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the limits of this state shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the lands belonging to residents thereof, and that no taxes shall be imposed by the state on lands or property therein belonging to or which may be hereafter purchased by the United States or reserved for use: Provided, That nothing in this ordinance shall preclude the state from taxing, as other lands are taxed, any lands owned or held by any Indian who has severed his tribal relations, and has obtained from the United States or from any person a title thereto by patent or other grant, save and except such lands as have been or may be granted to any Indian or Indians under any act of congress containing a provision exempting the lands thus granted from taxation, which exemption shall continue so long and to such an extent as such act of congress may prescribe.

Third: The debts and liabilities of the Territory of Washington, and payment of the same, are hereby assumed by this state.

Fourth: Provision shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of systems of public schools free from sectarian control, which shall be open to all the children of said state.

Article XXVII: SCHEDULE

In order that no inconvenience may arise by reason of a change from a territorial to a state government, it is hereby declared and ordained as follows:

Section 1. No existing rights, actions, suits, proceedings, contracts or claims shall be affected by a change in the form of government, but all shall continue as if no change had taken place; and all process which may have been issued under the authority of the Territory of Washington previous to its admission into the Union shall be as valid as if issued in the name of the state.

Sec. 2. All laws now in force in the Territory of Washington, which are not repugnant to this constitution, shall remain in force until they expire by their own limitation, or are altered or repealed by the legislature: Provided, That this section shall not be so construed as to validate any act of the legislature of Washington Territory granting shore or tide lands to any person, company or any municipal or private corporation.

Sec. 3. All debts, fines, penalties and forfeitures, which have accrued, or may hereafter accrue, to the Territory of Washington, shall inure to State of Washington.

Sec. 4. All recognizances heretofore taken, or which may be taken before the change from a territorial to a state government, shall remain valid, and shall pass to and may be prosecuted in the name of Edition: current; Page: [4006] the state, and all bonds executed to the Territory of Washington or to any county or municipal corporation, or to any officer or court in his or its official capacity, shall pass to the state authorities and their successors in office, for the uses therein expressed, and may be sued for and recovered accordingly, and all the estate, real, personal and mixed, and all judgments, decrees, bonds, specialties, choses in action, and claims or debts, of whatever description, belonging to the Territory of Washington, shall inure to and vest in the State of Washington, and may be sued for and recovered in the same manner, and to the same extent, by the State of Washington, as the same could have been by the Territory of Washington.

Sec. 5. All criminal prosecutions and penal actions which may have arisen, or which may arise, before the change from a territorial to a state government, and which shall then be pending, shall be prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of the state. All offienses committed against the laws of the Territory of Washington, before the change from a territorial to state government, and which shall not be prosecuted before such change, may be prosecuted in the name and by the authority of the State of Washington, with like effect as though such change had not taken place; and all penalties incurred shall remain the same as if this constitution had not been adopted. All actions at law and suits in equity which may be pending in any of the courts of the Territory of Washington, at the time of the change from a territorial to a state government, shall be continued and transferred to the court of the state having jurisdiction of the subject matter thereof.

Sec. 6. All officers now holding their office under the authority of the United States, or of the Territory of Washington, shall continue to hold and exercise their respective offices until they shall be superseded by the authority of the state.

Sec. 7. All officers provided for in this constitution, including a county clerk for each county, when no other time is fixed for their election, shall be elected at the election to be held for the adoption of this constitution on the first Tuesday of October, 1889.

Sec. 8. Whenever the judge of the superior court of any county, elected or appointed under the provisions of this constitution, shall have qualified, the several causes then pending in the district court of the territory, except such causes as would have been within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States district court, had such court existed at the time of the commencement of such causes within such county, and the records, papers and proceedings of said district court, and the seal and other property pertaining thereto, shall pass into the jurisdiction and possession of the superior court of such county. And where the judge is elected for two or more counties, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the district court having custody of such papers and records to transmit to the clerk of such county or counties, other than that in which such records are kept, the original papers in all cases pending in such district and belonging to the jurisdiction of such county or counties, together with transcript of so much of the records of said district court as relate to the same; and until the district courts of the territory shall be superseded in manner aforesaid, the said district courts and the judges thereof shall continue Edition: current; Page: [4007] with the same jurisdiction and powers, to be exercised in the same judicial districts, respectively, as heretofore, constituted under the laws of the territory. Whenever a quorum of the judges of the supreme court of the state shall have been elected and qualified, the causes then pending in the supreme court of the territory, except such causes as would have been within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States circuit court, had such court existed at the time of the commencement of such causes, and the papers, records and proceedings of said court, and the seal and other property pertaining thereto, shall pass into the jurisdiction and possession of the supreme court of the state, and until so superseded, the supreme court of the territory and the judges thereof shall continue with like powers and jurisdiction as if this constitution had not been adopted.

Sec. 9. Until otherwise provided by law, the seal now in use in the supreme court of the territory shall be the seal of the supreme court of the state. The seal of the superior courts of the several counties of the state shall be, until otherwise provided by law, the vignette of General George Washington, with the words: “Seal of the superior court of —— county,” surrounding the vignette. The seal of municipalities, and of all county officers of the territory, shall be the seals of such municipilities and county officers, respectively, under the state, until otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 10. When the state is admitted into the Union, and the superior courts in their respective counties organized, the books, records, papers and proceedings of the probate court in each county, and all causes and matters of administration pending therein, shall, upon the expiration of the term of office of the probate judges, on the second Monday in January, 1891, pass into the jurisdiction and possession of the superior court of the same county created by this constitution, and the said court shall proceed to final judgment or decree, order or other determination, in the several matters and causes as the territorial probate court might have done if this constitution had not been adopted. And until the expiration of the term of office of the probate judges, such probate judges shall perform the duties now imposed upon them by the laws of the territory. The superior courts shall have appellate and revisory jurisdiction over the decisions of the probate courts, as now provided by law, until such latter courts expire by limitation.

Sec. 11. The legislature, at its first session, shall provide for the election of all officers whose election is not provided for elsewhere in this constitution, and fix the time for commencement and duration of their term.

Sec. 12. In case of a contest of election between candidates, at the first general election under this constitution, for judges of the superior courts, the evidence shall be taken in the manner prescribed by the territorial laws, and the testimony so taken shall be certified to the secretary of state; and said officer, together with the governor and treasurer of state, shall review the evidence and determine who is entitled to the certificate of election.

Sec. 13. One representative in the congress of the United States shall be elected from the state at large, at the first election provided for in this constitution; and thereafter at such times and places and Edition: current; Page: [4008] in such manner as may be prescribed by law. When a new apportionment shall be made by congress, the legislature shall divide the state into congressional districts, in accordance with such apportionment. The vote cast for representative in congress, at the first election, shall be canvassed and the result determined in the manner provided for by the laws of the territory for the canvass of the vote for delegate in congress.

Sec. 14. All district, county and precinct officers, who may be in office at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and the county clerk of each county elected at the first election, shall hold their respective offices until the second Monday of January, ad 1891, and until such time as their successors may be elected and qualified, in accordance with the provisions of this constitution; and the official bonds of all such officers shall continue in full force and effect as though this constitution had not been adopted. And such officers shall continue to receive the compensation now provided until the same be changed by law.

Sec. 15. The election held at the time of the adoption of this constitution shall be held and conducted in all respects according to the laws of the territory, and the votes cast at said election for all officers (where no other provisions are made in this constitution), and for the adoption of this constitution and the several separate articles, and the location of the state capital, shall be canvassed and returned in the several counties in the manner provided by territorial law, and shall be returned to the secretary of the territory in the manner provided by the enabling act.

Sec. 16. The provisions of this constitution shall be in force from the day on which the president of the United States shall issue his proclamation declaring the State of Washington admitted into the Union, and the terms of all officers elected at the first election under the provisions of this constitution shall commence on the Monday next succeeding the issue of said proclamation, unless otherwise provided herein.

Sec. 17. The following separate articles shall be submitted to the people for adoption or rejection at the election for the adoption of this constitution: Separate article No. 1. “All persons, male and female, of the age of 21 years, or over, possessing the qualifications, provided by this constitution, shall be entitled to vote at all elections.” Separate article No. 2. “It shall not be lawful for any individual, company or corporation, within the limits of this state, to manufacture, or cause to be manufactured, or to sell, or offer for sale, or in any manner dispose of, any alcoholic, malt or spirituous liquors, except for medicinal, sacramental or scientific purposes.” If a majority of the ballots cast at said election on said separate articles be in favor of the adoption of either of said separate articles, then such separate articles so receiving a majority shall become a part of this constitution and shall govern and control any provision of the constitution in conflict therewith.a

Edition: current; Page: [4009]

Sec. 18. The form of ballot to be used in voting for or against this constitution, or for or against the separate articles, or for the permanent location of the seat of government, shall be:

  • 1. For the Constitution.

    Against the Constitution.

  • 2. For Woman Suffrage Article.

    Against Woman Suffrage Article.

  • 3. For Prohibition Article.

    Against Prohibition Article.

  • 4. For the permanent location of the seat of Government.

    [Name of place voted for.]

Sec. 19. The legislature is hereby authorized to appropriate from the state treasury sufficient money to pay any of the expenses of this convention not provided for by the enabling act of congress.

CERTIFICATE

We, the undersigned, members of the convention to form a constitution for the State of Washington, which is to be submitted to the people for their adoption or rejection, do hereby declare this to be the constitution formed by us, and in testimony thereof, do hereunto set our hands, this twenty-second day of August, anno domini, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine.

John P. Hoyt, President.
Attest:
Jno. I. Booge, Chief Clerk.

AMENDMENTS

(Amendment 1)

Art. 16. Sec. 5. Investment of School Fund.—None of the permanent school fund of this state shall ever be loaned to private persons or corporations, but it may be invested in national, state, county, municipal, or school district bonds.

Adopted November, 1894.

(Amendment 2)

Art. 6. Sec. 1. Qualifications of Voters.—All male persons of the age of twenty-one years or over, possessing the following qualifications, shall be entitled to vote at all elections: They shall be citizens of the United States; they shall have lived in the state one year, and in the county ninety days, and in the city, town, ward, or precinct thirty days immediately preceding the election at which they offer to vote; they shall be able to read and speak the English language: Provided, That Indians not taxed shall never be allowed the elective franchise: And further provided, That this amendment shall not affect the right of franchise of any person who is now a qualified elector of this state. The Legislature shall enact laws defining the manner of ascertaining the qualifications of voters as to their ability Edition: current; Page: [4010] to read and speak the English language, and providing for punishment of persons voting or registering in violation of the provisions of this section.

(Amendment 3)

Art. 7, Sec. 2, was amended by adding the following proviso: “And provided further, That the Legislature shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to exempt personal property to the amount of three hundred dollars for each head of a family liable to assessment and taxation under the provisions of the laws of this state of which the individual is the actual bona fide owner.”

Approved November, 1900.

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WEST VIRGINIA*a

For organic acts issued previous to 1862 relating to the land now included within West Virginia see in this work:

Charter to Raleigh, 1584 (p. 53).
Charter of Virginia, 1609 (Virginia, p. 3799).
Charter of Virginia, 1612 (Virginia, p. 3802).
Ordinances for Virginia, 1621 (Virginia, p. 3810).
Virginia Bill of Rights, 1776 (Virginia, p. 3812).
Constitution of Virginia, 1776 (Virginia, p. 3812).
Constitution of Virginia, 1830 (Virginia, p. 3819).
Constitution of Virginia, 1850 (Virginia, p. 3829).

ACT FOR THE ADMISSION OF WEST VIRGINIA—1862

[Thirty-seventh Congress, Second Session]

An Act for the Admission of the State of “West Virginia” into the Union, and and for other purposes

Whereas the people inhabiting that portion of Virginia known as West Virginia did, by a convention assembled in the city of Wheeling, on the twenty-sixth of November, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, frame for themselves a constitution, with a view of becoming a separate and independent State; and whereas at a general election held in the counties composing the territory aforesaid, on the third day of May last, the said constitution was approved and adopted by the qualified voters of the proposed State; and whereas the legislature of Virginia, by an act passed on the thirteenth day of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, did give its consent to the formation of a new State within the jurisdiction of the said State of Virginia, to be known by the name of West Virginia, and to embrace the following-named counties, to wit: Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor, Tyler, Pleasants, Ritchie, Doddridge, Harrison, Wood, Jackson, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Barbour, Tucker, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur, Randolph, Mason, Putnam, Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Mercer, McDowell, Webster, Pocahontas, Fayette, Raleigh, Greenbrier, Monroe, Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, and Morgan; and whereas both the convention and the legislature aforesaid have requested that the new State should be admitted into he Union, and Edition: current; Page: [4012] the constitution aforesaid being republican in form, Congress doth hereby consent that the said forty-eight counties may be formed into a separate and independent State. Therefore,

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the State of West Virginia be, and is hereby, declared to be one of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, and until the next general census shall be entitled to three members in the House of Representatives of the United States: Provided always, That this act shall not take effect until after the proclamation of the President of the United States hereinafter provided for.

It being represented to Congress that since the convention of the twenty-sixth of November, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, that framed and proposed the constitution for the said State of West Virginia, the people thereof have expressed a wish to change the seventh section of the eleventh article of said constitution by striking out the same and inserting the following in its place, viz: “The children of slaves born within the limits of this State after the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, shall be free; and that all slaves within the said State who shall, at the time aforesaid, be under the age of ten years, shall be free when they arrive at the age of twenty-one years; and all slaves over ten and under twenty-one years shall be free when they arrive at the age of twenty-five years; and no slave shall be permitted to come into the State for permanent residence therein:” Therefore,

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That whenever the people of West Virginia shall, through their said convention, and by a vote to be taken at an election to be held within the limits of the said State, at such time as the convention may provide, make, and ratify the change aforesaid, and properly certify the same under the hand of the president of the convention, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to issue his proclamation stating the fact, and thereupon this act shall take effect and be in force from and after sixty days from the date of said proclamation.

PROCLAMATION ANNOUNCING THE ADMISSION OF WEST VIRGINIA—1863

By the President of the United States of America

A PROCLAMATION

Whereas, by the act of congress approved the 31st day of December, last, the State of West Virginia was declared to be one of the United States of America, and was admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states in all respects whatever, upon the condition that certain changes should be duly made in the proposed constitution for that state:

And whereas proof of a compliance with that condition, as required by the second section of the act aforesaid, has been submitted to me:

Now, therefore, be it known, that I, Abraham Lancoln, President Edition: current; Page: [4013] of the United States, do hereby, in pursuance of the act of congress aforesaid, declare and proclaim that the said act shall take effect and be in force from and after sixty days from the date hereof.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

[l. s.] Done at the city of Washington, this twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
Abraham Lincoln.
By the President:
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State.

TRANSFER OF TERRITORY TO WEST VIRGINIA—1866

[Thirty-ninth Congress, First Session]

Joint Resolution giving the consent of Congress to the transfer of the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson to the State of West Virginia

Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress hereby recognizes the transfer of the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson from the State of Virginia to West Virginia, and consents thereto.

CONSTITUTION OF WEST VIRGINIA—1861-1863a

Article I: THE STATE

Section 1. The State of West Virginia shall be and remain one of the United States of America. The Constitution of the United States, and the laws and treaties made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the land.

Sec. 2. The following counties, formerly parts of the State of Virginia, shall be included in, and form a part of, the State of West Virginia, namely: the counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor, Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Doddridge, Harrison, Wood, Jackson, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Barbour, Tucker, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur, Randolph, Mason, Putnam, Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Edition: current; Page: [4014] Logan, Wyoming, Mercer, McDowell, Webster, Pocahontas, Fayette, Raleigh, Greenbrier, and Monroe. And if a majority of the votes cast at the election or elections held, as provided in the schedule hereof, in the district composed of the counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, and Morgan shall be in favor of the adoption of this constitution, the said four counties shall also be included in, and form part of, the State of West Virginia; and if the same shall be so included, and a majority of the votes cast at the said election or elections in the district composed of the counties of Berkeley, Jefferson, and Frederick shall be in favor of the adoption of this constitution, then the three last-mentioned counties shall also be included in, and form a part of, the State of West Virginia. The State of West Virginia shall also include so much of the bed, banks, and shores of the Ohio River as heretofore appertained to the State of Virginia, and the territorial rights and property in, and the jurisdiction of whatever nature over, the said bed, banks, and shores heretofore reserved by, or vested in, the State of Virginia shall vest in and be hereafter exercised by the State of West Virginia.

Sec. 3. The powers of government reside in all the citizens of the State, and can be rightfully exercised only in accordance with their will and appointment.

Sec. 4. The legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the government shall be separate and distinct. Neither shall exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others. No person shall be invested with or exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time.

Sec. 5. Writs, grants, and commissions, issued under State authority, shall run in the name of, and official bonds shall be made payable to, “the State of West Virginia.” Indictments shall conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the State of West Virginia.”

Sec. 6. The citizens of the State are the citizens of the United States residing therein; but no person in the military, naval, or marine service of the United States shall be deemed a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein.

Sec. 7. Every citizen shall be entitled to equal representation in the government, and in all apportionments of representation, equality of numbers of those entitled thereto shall, as far as practicable, be preserved.

Article II: BILL OF RIGHTS

Section 1. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, except when in time of invasion, insurrection, or other public danger the public safety may require it. No person shall be held to answer for treason, felony, or other crime not cognizable by a justice, unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of a contract shall be passed.

Sec. 2. Excessive bail shall not be required, or excessive fines imposed, or cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Penalties shall be proportioned to the character and degree of the offence. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence.

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Sec. 3. The right of the citizens to be secure in their houses, persons, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. No warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.

Sec. 4. No law abridging freedom of speech or of the press shall be passed; but the legislature may provide for the restraint and punishment of the publishing and vending of obscene books, papers, and pictures, and of libel and defamation of character, and for the recovery, in civil actions, by the aggrieved party, of suitable damages for such libel or defamation. Attempts to justify and uphold an armed invasion of the State, or an organized insurrection therein, during the continuance of such invasion or insurrection, by publicly speaking, writing, or printing, or by publishing or circulating such writing or printing, may be, by law, declared a misdemeanor, and punished accordingly.

Sec. 5. In prosecutions and civil suits for libel the truth may be given in evidence; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the verdict shall be for the defendant.

Sec. 6. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. No person, in time of peace, shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power.

Sec. 7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy exceeds twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury, if required by either party, shall be preserved. No fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reëxamined in any case than according to the rules of the common law.

Sec. 8. The trial of crimes and misdemeanors, unless herein otherwise provided, shall be by jury, and shall be held publicly and without unreasonable delay, in the county where the alleged offence was committed, unless upon petition of the accused and for good cause shown, or in consequence of the existence of war or insurrection in such county, it is removed to, or instituted in, some other county. In all such trials the accused shall be informed of the character and cause of the accusation, and be confronted with the witnesses against him, and shall have the assistance of counsel for his defence, and compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

Sec. 9. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever; nor shall any man be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer, on account of his religious belief; but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise affect, diminish, or enlarge their civil capacities. And the legislature shall not prescribe any religious test whatever; or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination; or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this State, to levy on themselves or others any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry; but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.

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Sec. 10. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court. Treason shall be punished, according to the character of the acts committed, by the infliction of one or more of the penalties of death, imprisonment, fine, or confiscation of the real and personal property of the offender, as may be prescribed by law.

Article III: ELECTIONS AND OFFICERS

Section 1. The white male citizens of the State shall be entitled to vote at all elections held within the election districts in which they respectively reside; but no person who is a minor, or of unsound mind, or a pauper, or who is under conviction of treason, felony, or bribery in an election, or who has not been a resident of the State for one year, and of the county in which he offers to vote for thirty days, next preceding such offer, shall be permitted to vote while such disability continues.a

Sec. 2. In all elections by the people, the mode of voting shall be by ballot.

Sec. 3. No voter during the continuance of an election at which he is entitled to vote, or during the time necessary and convenient for going to and returning from the same, shall be subject to arrest upon civil process, or be liable to attend any court or judicial proceeding as suitor, juror, or witness; or to work upon the public roads; or, except in time of war or public danger, to render military service.

Sec. 4. No persons, except citizens entitled to vote, shall be elected or appointed to any State, county, or municipal office. Judges must have attained the age of thirty-five years, the governor the age of thirty years, and the attorney-general and senators the age of twenty-five years, at the beginning of their respective terms of service, and must have been citizens of the State for five years next preceding, or at the time this constitution goes into operation.

Sec. 5. Every person elected or appointed to any office or trust, civil or military, shall, before proceeding to exercise the authority or discharge the duties of the same, make oath or affirmation that he will support the Constitution of the United States, and the constitution of this State; and every citizen of this State may, in time of war, insurrection, or public danger, be required by law to make like oath or affirmation, upon pain of suspension of his right of voting and holding office under this constitution.

Sec. 6. All officers elected or appointed under this constitution may be removed from office for misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, or other causes, in such manner as may be prescribed by general laws; and unless so removed, shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices until their successors are elected or appointed and qualified.

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Sec. 7. The general elections of State and county officers, and of members of the legislature, shall be held on the fourth Thursday of October. The terms of such officers and members, not elected or appointed to fill a vacancy, shall, unless herein otherwise provided, begin on the first day of January next succeeding their election. Elections to fill vacancies shall be for the unexpired term. Vacancies shall be filled in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 8. The legislature, in cases not provided for in this constitution, shall prescribe by general laws the terms of office, powers, duties, and compensation of all public officers and agents, and the manner in which they shall be elected, appointed, and removed.

Sec. 9. No extra compensation shall be granted or allowed to any public officer, agent, or contractor, after the services shall have been rendered, or the contract entered into. Nor shall the salary or compensation of any public officer be increased or diminished during his term of office.

Sec. 10. Any officer of the State may be impeached for maladministration, corruption, incompetence, neglect of duty, or any high crime or misdemeanor. The house of delegates shall have the sole power of impeachment. The senate shall have the sole power to try impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be on oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under the State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law. The senate may sit during the recess of the legislature, for the trial of impeachments.

Sec. 11. Any citizen of this State, who shall, after the adoption of this constitution, either in or out of the State, fight a duel with deadly weapons, or send or accept a challenge so to do; or who shall act as a second, or knowingly aid or assist in such duel, shall ever thereafter be incapable of holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under this State.

Sec. 12. The legislature may provide for a registry of voters. They shall prescribe the manner of conducting and making returns of elections, and of determining contested elections; and shall pass such laws as may be necessary and proper to prevent intimidation, disorder, or violence at the polls, and corruption or fraud in voting.

Article IV: LEGISLATURE

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and house of delegates. The style of their acts shall be, “Be it enacted by the legislature of West Virginia.

Sec. 2. The senate shall be composed of eighteen, and the house of delegates of forty-seven members, subject to be increased according to the provisions hereinafter contained.

Sec. 3. The term of office of senators shall be two years, and that of delegates one year. The senators first elected shall divide themselves Edition: current; Page: [4018] into two classes, one senator from every district being assigned to each class; and of these classes, the first, to be designated by lot in such manner as the senate may determine, shall hold their offices for one year, and the second for two years; so that after the first election one-half of the senators shall be elected annually.

Sec. 4. For the election of senators, the State shall be divided into nine senatorial districts, which number shall not be diminished, but may be increased as hereinafter provided. Every district shall choose two senators, but after the first election both shall not be chosen from the same county. The districts shall be equal, as nearly as practicable, in white population, according to the returns of the United States census. They shall be compact, formed of contiguous territory, and bounded by county lines. After every such census the legislature shall alter the senatorial districts, so far as may be necessary to make them conform to the foregoing provisions.

Sec. 5. Any senatorial district may at any time be divided by county lines or otherwise, into two sections, which shall be equal, as nearly as practicable, in white population. If such division be made, each section shall elect one of the senators for the district; and the senators so elected shall be classified in such manner as the senate may determine.

Sec. 6. Until the senatorial districts are altered by the legislature after the next census, the counties of Hancock, Brooke, and Ohio shall constitute the first senatorial district; Marshall, Wetzell, and Marion the second; Monongalia, Preston, and Taylor the third; Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Doddridge, and Harrison the fourth; Wood, Jackson, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, and Gilmer the fifth; Barbour, Tucker, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur, and Randolph the sixth; Mason, Putnam, Kanawha, Clay, and Nicholas the seventh; Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Mercer, and McDowell the eighth; and Webster, Pocahontas, Fayette, Raleigh, Greenbrier, and Monroe the ninth.

Sec. 7. For the election of delegates, every county containing a white population of less than half the ratio of representation for the house of delegates, shall, at each apportionment, be attached to some contiguous county or counties, to form a delegate district.

Sec. 8. When two or more counties are formed into a delegate district, the legislature shall provide by law that the delegates to be chosen by the voters of the district shall be in rotation, residents of each county, for a greater or less number of terms, proportioned as nearly as can be conveniently done to the white population of the several counties in the district.

Sec. 9. After every census the delegates shall be apportioned as follows:

The ratio of representation for the house of delegates shall be ascertained by dividing the whole white population of the State by the number of which the house is to consist and rejecting the fraction of a unit, if any, resulting from such division.

Dividing the white population of every delegate district, and of every county not included in a delegate district, by the ratio thus ascertained, there shall be assigned to each a number of delegates equal to the quotient obtained by this division, excluding the fractional remainder.

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The additional delegates necessary to make up the number of which the house is to consist shall then be assigned to those delegate districts and counties not included in a delegate district, which would otherwise have the largest fractions unrepresented. But every delegate district and county not included in a delegate district shall be entitled to at least one delegate.

Sec. 10. Until a new apportionment is declared, the counties of Pleasants and Wood shall form the first delegate district; Calhoun and Gilmer the second; Clay and Nicholas the third; Webster and Pocahontas the fourth; Tucker and Randolph the fifth; and McDowell, Wyoming, and Raleigh the sixth. The first delegate district shall choose two delegates, and the other five one each.

Sec. 11. The delegates to be chosen by the first delegate district shall, for the first term, both be residents of the county of Wood, and for the second term, one shall be a resident of Wood, and the other of Pleasants County; and so in rotation. The delegate to be chosen by the second delegate district shall, for the first term, be a resident of Gilmer, and for the second of Calhoun County. The delegate to be chosen by the third delegate district shall, for the first two terms, be a resident of Nicholas, and for the third term of Clay County. The delegate to be chosen by the fourth delegate district shall, for the first two terms, be a resident of Pocahontas, and for the third term of Webster County. The delegate to be chosen by the fifth delegate district shall, for the first three terms, be a resident of Randolph, and for the fourth term of Tucker County. And the delegate to be chosen by the sixth delegate district shall, for the first term, be a resident of Raleigh, for the second term of Wyoming, for the third term of Raleigh, for the fourth term of Wyoming, and for the fifth term of McDowell County; and so, in each case, in rotation.

Sec. 12. Until a new apportionment is declared, the apportionment of delegates to the counties not included in delegate districts shall be as follows:

To Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Doddridge, Fayette, Hancock, Jackson, Lewis, Logan, Mason, Mercer, Putnam, Ritchie, Roane, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Wetzel, and Wirt Counties, one delegate each.

To Harrison, Kanawha, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, and Preston Counties, two delegates each.

To Ohio County, three delegates.

To Greenbrier and Monroe Counties together, three delegates; of whom, for the first term, two shall be residents of Greenbrier and one of Monroe County; and for the second term, two shall be residents of Monroe and one of Greenbrier County; and so in rotation.

Sec. 13. If the counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, and Morgan become part of this State, they shall, until the next apportionment, constitute the tenth senatorial district, and choose two senators. And if the counties of Frederick, Berkeley, and Jefferson becomes part of this State, they shall, until the next apportionment, constitute the eleventh senatorial district and choose two senators. And the number of the senate shall be, in the first case, twenty, and in the last twenty-two, instead of eighteen.

Sec. 14. If the seven last-named counties become part of this State, the apportionment of delegates to the same shall, until the next apportionment, Edition: current; Page: [4020] be as follows: To Pendleton and Hardy, one each; to Hampshire, Frederick, and Jefferson, two each; and the counties of Morgan and Berkeley shall form the seventh delegate district, and choose two delegates; of whom, for the first term, one shall be a resident of Berkeley and the other of Morgan County; and for the second term, both shall be residents of Berkeley County; and so in rotation.

But if the counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, and Morgan become part of the State, and Frederick, Berkeley, and Jefferson do not, then Pendleton, Hardy, and Morgan Counties shall each choose one delegate, and Hampshire two, until the next apportionment.

The number of the house of delegates shall, instead of forty-seven, be in the first case fifty-seven, and in the last, fifty-two.

Sec. 15. The arrangement of senatorial and delegate districts, and appointment of delegates, shall hereafter be declared by law, as soon as possible after each succeeding census taken by authority of the United States. When so declared, they shall apply to the first general election for members of the legislature to be thereafter held, and shall continue in force unchanged until such districts are altered and delegates apportioned under the succeeding census.

Sec. 16. Additional territory may be admitted into and become part of this State with the consent of the legislature. And in such case provision shall be made by law for the representation of the white population thereof in the senate and house of delegates, in conformity with the principles set forth in this constitution. And the number of members of which each branch of the legislature is to consist shall thereafter be increased by the representation assigned to such additional territory.

Sec. 17. No person shall be a member of the legislature who shall not have resided within the district or county for which he was chosen one year next preceding his election; and if a senator or delegate remove from the district or county for which he was chosen, his office shall be thereby vacated.

Sec. 18. No person holding an office of profit under this State or the United States shall be a member of the legislature.

Sec. 19. No person who may have collected or been entrusted with public money, whether State, county, township, or municipal, shall be eligible to the legislature, or to any office of honor, trust, or profit, until he shall have duly accounted for and paid over such money according to law.

Sec. 20. The legislature shall meet once in every year, and not oftener, unless convened by the governor. The regular sessions shall begin on the third Tuesday of January.

Sec. 21. The governor may convene the legislature, by proclamation, whenever, in his opinion, the public safety or welfare shall require it. It shall be his duty to convene them on application of a majority of the members elected to each branch.

Sec. 22. The seat of government shall be at the city of Wheeling until a permanent seat of government be established by law.

Sec. 23. When, for any cause, the legislature, in the opinion of the governor, cannot safely meet at the seat of government, the governor, by proclamation, may convene them at another place.

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Sec. 24. No session of the legislature, after the first, shall continue longer than forty-five days, without the concurrence of three-fourths of the members elected to each branch.

Sec. 25. Neither branch, during the session, shall adjourn for more than two days without the consent of the other. Nor shall either, without such consent, adjourn to any other place than that in which the legislature is then sitting.

Sec. 26. Each branch shall be the judge of the elections, qualifications, and returns of its own members.

Sec. 27. A majority of each branch shall constitute a quorum to do business. But a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 28. The senate shall choose from their own body a president, and the house of delegates one of their own number as speaker. Each branch shall appoint its own officers and remove them at pleasure, and shall determine its own rules of proceeding.

Sec. 29. Each branch may punish its own members for disorderly behavior; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

Sec. 30. Each branch shall have the power necessary to provide for its own safety, and the undisturbed transaction of its business, and may punish, by imprisonment, any person, not a member, for disrespectful behavior in its presence, obstructing any of its proceedings, or any of its officers in the discharge of his duties; or for any assault, threatening, or abuse of a member for words spoken in debate. But such imprisonment shall not extend beyond the termination of the session, and shall not prevent the punishment of any offence by the ordinary course of law.

Sec. 31. For words spoken in debate, or any report, motion, or proposition made, in either branch, a member shall not be questioned in any other place.

Sec. 32. Members of the legislature shall, in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session, and for ten days before and after the same.

Sec. 33. Senators and delegates shall receive for their services a compensation not exceeding three dollars a day during the session of the legislature, and also ten cents for every mile they shall travel in going to and returning from the place of meeting by the most direct route. The president of the senate and speaker of the house shall, respectively, receive an additional compensation of two dollars a day.

Sec. 34. Bills and resolutions may originate in either branch, to be passed, amended, or rejected by the other.

Sec. 35. No bill shall become a law until it has been fully and distinctly read on three different days in each branch, unless, in cases of urgency, three-fourths of the members present dispense with this rule.

Sec. 36. No law shall embrace more than one object, which shall be expressed in its title.

Sec. 37. On the passage of every bill, the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and be entered on the journal; and no bill shall be passed by either branch without the affirmative vote of a majority of the members elected thereto.

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Sec. 38. The presiding officer of each branch shall sign, before the close of the session, all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature.

Sec. 39. Each branch shall keep a journal of its proceeding, and cause the same to be published from time to time; and the yeas and nays on any question, if called for by one-fifth of those present, shall be entered on the journal.

Article V: EXECUTIVE

Section 1. The chief executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall be elected by the voters of the State, and hold his office for the term of two years, to commence on the fourth day of March next succeeding his election. The person acting as governor shall not be elected or appointed to any other office during his term of service.

Sec. 2. The governor shall reside at the seat of government; shall receive two thousand dollars for each year of his service, and, during his continuance in office, shall receive no other emolument from this or any other government.

Sec. 3. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military forces of the State; shall have power to call out the militia to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, and enforce the execution of the laws; shall conduct in person, or in such manner as may be prescribed by law, all intercourse with other States; and, during the recess of the legislature, shall fill temporarily all vacancies in office, not provided for by this constitution or the legislature, by commissions to expire at the end of thirty days after the commencement of the succeeding session of the legislature. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; communicate to the legislature at each session thereof the condition of the State, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient. He shall have power to remit fines and penalties in such cases and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; to commute capital punishment, and, except when the prosecution has been carried on by the house of delegates, to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction; but he shall communicate to the legislature, at each session, the particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of punishment commuted, and of reprieve or pardon granted, with his reasons for remitting, commuting, or granting the same.

Sec. 4. The governor may require information in writing from the officers of the executive department, upon any subject pertaining to their respective offices, and also the opinion in writing of the attorney-general upon any question of law relating to the business of the executive department.

Sec. 5. Returns of the election of governor shall be made, in the manner and by the persons designated by the legislature, to the secretary of the State, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of delegates on the first day of the next session of the legislature. The speaker shall, within ten days thereafter, in the presence of a majority of each branch of the legislature, open the said returns, when the votes shall be counted. The person having the highest number of votes, if duly qualified, shall be declared elected; but if two or more Edition: current; Page: [4023] have the highest and an equal number of votes, one of them shall thereupon be chosen governor by the joint vote of the two branches. Contested elections for governor shall be decided by a like vote, and the mode of proceeding in such cases shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 6. In case of the removal of the governor from office, or of his death, failure to qualify within the time prescribed by law, resignation, removal from the seat of government, or inability to discharge the duties of the office, the said office, with its compensation, duties, and authority, shall devolve upon the president of the senate; and in case of his inability or failure from any cause to act, on the speaker of the house of delegates. The legislature shall provide by law for the discharge of the executive functions in other necessary cases.

Sec. 7. A secretary of state, a treasurer, and an auditor shall be elected at the same time and for the same term as the governor. Their duties shall be prescribed by law. The secretary of the State shall receive thirteen hundred, the treasurer fourteen hundred, and the auditor fifteen hundred dollars per annum.

Sec. 8. The governor shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all military officers above the rank of colonel.

Article VI: JUDICIARY

Section 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in a supreme court of appeals and circuit courts, and such inferior tribunals as are herein authorized.

Sec. 2. The State shall be divided into nine circuits. The counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, and Marshall shall constitute the first; Monongalia, Preston, Tucker, and Taylor the second; Marion, Harrison, and Barbour the third; Wetzel, Tyler, Pleasants, Ritchie, Doddridge, and Gilmer the fourth; Randolph, Upshur, Calhoun, Roane, Jackson, and Clay the sixth; Kanawha, Mason, Putnam, and Fayette the seventh; Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Wyoming, and Raleigh the eighth; and Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, and McDowell the ninth. If the counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, and Morgan become a part of the State, they shall constitute another circuit, to be called the tenth. And if the counties of Frederick, Berkeley, and Jefferson become a part of this State, they shall constitute the eleventh circuit.

Sec. 3. The legislature may, from time to time, rearrange the circuits; and after the expiration of five years from the time this constitution goes into operation, and thereafter, at periods of ten years, may increase or diminish the number of circuits, or the number of courts in a year, as necessity may require.

Sec. 4. For each circuit a judge shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of six years. During his continuance in office he shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge.

Sec. 5. A circuit court shall be held in every county at least four times a year, unless otherwise provided by law, in pursuance of the third section of this article. The judges may be required or authorized to hold the courts of their respective circuits alternately, and a judge of one circuit to hold a court in any other circuit.

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Sec. 6. The circuit courts shall have the supervision and control of all proceedings before justices and other inferior tribunals, by mandamus, prohibition, or certiorari. They shall, except in cases confined exclusively by this constitution to some other tribunal, have original and general jurisdiction of all matters at law, where the amount in controversy, exclusive of interest, exceeds twenty dollars, and of all cases in equity, and of all crimes and misdemeanors. They shall have appellate jurisdiction in all cases, civil and criminal, weher an appeal, writ of error, or supersedeas may be allowed to the judgment or proceedings of any inferior tribunal. They shall also have such other jurisdiction, whether supervisory, original, appellate, or concurrent, as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 7. The supreme court of appeals shall consist of three judges, any two of whom shall be a quorum. They shall be elected by the voters of the State, and shall hold their offices for the term of twelve years; except that of those first elected, one, to be designated by lot in such manner as they may determine, shall hold his office for four years; another, to be designated in like manner, for eight years, and the third for twelve years; so that one shall be elected every four years after the first election.

Sec. 8. The supreme court of appeals shall have original jurisdiction in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition. It shall have appellate jurisdiction in civil cases where the matter in controversy, exclusive of costs, is of greater value or amount than two hundred dollars; in controversies concerning the title or boundaries of land, the probate of wills, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee, or curator, or concerning a mill, road, way, ferry, or landing, or the right of a corporation or county to levy tolls or taxes; and also in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition, and cases involving freedom, or the constitutionality of a law. It shall have appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases where there has been a conviction for felony or misdemeanor in a circuit court, and such other appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 9. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the supreme court of appeals, every point made and distinctly stated in writing in the cause, and fairly arising upon the record of the case, shall be considered and decided, and the reasons therefor shall be concisely and briefly stated in writing, and preserved with the records of the case.

Sec. 10. When any judge of the court of appeals is so situated in regard to any case pending before it as to make it improper for him to aid in the trial of the same, or is under any other disability, the remaining judges may call to their assistance a judge of the circuit court, who shall act as a judge of the court of appeals in the cases to which such disability relates.

Sec. 11. Judges shall be commissioned by the governor. The salary of a judge of the supreme court of appeals shall be two thousand, and that of a judge of a circuit court eighteen hundred dollars per annum, and each shall receive the same allowance for necessary travel as members of the legislature.

Sec. 12. No judge, during his term of office, shall hold any other office, appointment, or public trust, under this or any other government, and the acceptance thereof shall vacate his judicial office; nor Edition: current; Page: [4025] shall he, during his continuance therein, be eligible to any political office.

Sec. 13. Judges may be removed from office for misconduct, incompetence, or neglect of duty, or on conviction of an infamous offence, by the concurrent vote of a majority of all the members elected to each branch of the legislature, and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journals. The judge against whom the legislature may be about to proceed shall receive notice thereof, accompanied by a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either branch of the legislature shall act thereon.

Sec. 14. The officers of the supreme court of appeals shall be appointed by the court, or by the judges thereof in vacation. Their duties, compensation, and tenure of office shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 15. The voters of each county shall elect a clerk of the circuit court, whose term of office shall be four years. His duties and compensation, and the mode of removing him from office, shall be prescribed by law; and when a vacancy shall occur in the office, the judge of the circuit court shall appoint a clerk, who shall discharge the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled. In any case, in respect to which the clerk shall be so situated as to make it improper for him to act, the court shall appoint a substitute.

Sec. 16. At every regular election of a governor, an attorney-general shall be elected. He shall be commissioned by the governor; shall perform such duties and receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law, and be removable in the same manner as the judges.

Sec. 17. The legislature may establish courts of limited jurisdiction within any incorporated town or city, subject to appeal to the circuit courts.

Article VII: COUNTIES AND TOWNSHIPS

Section 1. Every county shall be divided into not less than three nor more than ten townships, laid off as compactly as practicable, with reference to natural boundaries, and containing, as nearly as practicable, an equal number of white population, but not less than four hundred. Each township shall be designated, “The township of ———, in the county of ———,” by which name it may sue and be sued.

Sec. 2. The voters of each township, assembled in stated or special township meeting, shall transact all such business relating exclusively to their township as is herein, or may be by law, required or authorized. They shall annually elect a supervisor, clerk of the township, surveyor of roads for each precinct in their township, overseer of the poor, and such other officers as may be directed by law. They shall also, every four years, elect one justice, and if the white population of their township exceeds twelve hundred in number, may elect an additional justice; and every two years shall elect as many constables as justices. The supervisor, or, in his absence, a voter chosen by those present, shall preside at all township meetings and elections, and the clerk shall act as clerk thereof.

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Sec. 3. The supervisors chosen in the townships of each county shall constitute a board to be known as “the supervisors of the county of ———,” by which name they may sue and be sued, and make and use a common seal, and enact ordinances and by-laws not inconsistent with the laws of the State. They shall meet statedly, at least four times in each year, at the court-house of their county, and may hold special and adjourned meetings. At their first meeting after the annual township election, and whenever a vacancy may occur, they shall elect one of their number president of the board, and appoint a clerk, who shall keep a journal of their proceedings, and transact such other business pertaining to his office as may be by them or by law required, and whose compensation they shall fix by ordinance and pay from the county treasury.

Sec. 4. The board of supervisors of each county, a majority of whom shall be a quorum, shall, under such general regulations as may be prescribed by law, have the superintendence and administration of the internal affairs and fiscal concerns of their county, including the establishment and regulation of roads, public landings, ferries, and mills; the granting of ordinary and other licenses; and the laying, collecting, and disbursement of the county levies; but all writs of ad quod damnum shall issue from the circuit courts. They shall from time to time appoint the places for holding elections in the several townships of their county; and shall be the judges of the election, qualifications, and returns of their own members, and of all county and township officers.

Sec. 5. The voters of every county shall elect a sheriff, prosecuting attorney, surveyor of lands, recorder, one or more assessors, and such other county officers as the legislature may from time to time direct or authorize; the duties of all of whom shall be prescribed and defined, as far as practicable, by general laws. All the said county officers shall hold their offices for two years, except the sheriff, whose term of office shall be four years. The same person shall not be elected sheriff for two consecutive full terms, nor shall any person who has acted as deputy of any sheriff be elected his successor, nor shall any sheriff act as the deputy of his successor; but the retiring sheriff shall finish all business remaining in his hands at the expiration of his term, for which purpose his commission and official bond shall continue in force. The duties of all the said officers shall be discharged by the incumbents thereof in person, or under their superintendence. The board of supervisors shall designate one or more constables of their respective counties to serve process and levy executions, when the sheriff thereof is a party defendant in a suit instituted therein, or is under any other disability.

Sec. 6. The recorder, in addition to the duties incident to the recording of inventories, and other papers relating to estates, and deeds and other writings, the registering of births, marriages, and deaths, and the issuing of marriage licenses, shall have authority, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, to receive proof of wills and admit them to probate, to appoint and qualify personal representatives, guardians, committees, and curators, to administer oaths, take acknowledgments of deeds and other writings, and relinquishments of dower.

Sec. 7. The legislature shall, at their first session, by general laws, provide for carrying into effect the foregoing provisions of this Edition: current; Page: [4027] article. They shall also provide for commissioning such of the officers therein mentioned as they may deem proper, and may require any class of them to give bond with security for the faithful discharge of the duties of their respective offices, and for accounting for and paying over, as required by law, all money which may come to their hands by virtue thereof. They shall further provide for the compensation of the said officers by fees, or from the county treasury; and for the appointment, when necessary, of deputies and assistants, whose duties and responsibilities shall be prescribed and defined by general laws. When the compensation of an officer is paid from the county treasury, the amounts shall be fixed by the board of supervisors, within limits to be ascertained by law.

Sec. 8. The civil jurisdiction of a justice shall extend to actions of assumpsit, debt, detinue, and trover, if the amount claimed, exclusive of interest, does not exceed one hundred dollars, when the defendant resides, or, being a non-resident of the State, is found, or has effects or estate within his township, or when the cause of action arose therein; but any other justice of the same county may issue a summons to the defendant to appear before the justice of the proper township, which may be served by a constable of either township. In case of a vacancy in the office of justice or constable in any township having but one, or of the disability to act of the incumbent, any other justice or constable of the same county may discharge the duties of their respective offices within the said township. The manner of conducting the aforesaid actions, and of issuing summonses and executions, and of executing and making return of the same, shall be prescribed by law; and the legislature may give to justices and constables such additional civil jurisdiction and powers, within their respective townships, as may be deemed expedient.

Sec. 9. Every justice and constable shall be a conservator of the peace throughout his county, and have such jurisdiction and powers in criminal cases therein as may be prescribed by law. Jurisdiction of all misdemeanors and breaches of the peace, punishable by fine not exceeding ten dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, may be, by law, vested in the justices.

Sec. 10. Either party to a civil suit brought before a justice, where the value in controversy or the damages claimed exceeds twenty dollars, and the defendant in such cases of misdemeanor or breach of the peace as may be made by law cognizable by a single justice, when the penalty is imprisonment or a fine exceeding five dollars, shall be entitled to a trial by six jurors, if demanded, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 11. In all cases an appeal shall lie, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, from the judgment or proceedings of a justice or recorder, to the circuit court of the county, excepting judgments of justices in assumpsit, debt, detinue, and trover, and for fines, where the amount does not exceed ten dollars, exclusive of interest and costs, and where the case does not involve the freedom of a person, the validity of a law, or the right of corporation or county to levy tolls or taxes.

Sec. 12. No new county shall be formed having an area of less than four hundred square miles; or if another be thereby reduced below that area; or if any territory be thereby taken from a county containing less than four hundred square miles. And no new county shall Edition: current; Page: [4028] be formed containing a white population of less than four thousand; or if the white population of another county be thereby reduced below that number; or if any county containing less than four thousand white inhabitants be thereby reduced in area. But the legislature may, at any time, annex any county containing less than four thousand white inhabitants to an adjoining county or counties as a part thereof.

Sec. 13. The board of supervisors may alter the bounds of a township of their county, or erect new townships therein, with the consent of a majority of the voters of each township interested, assembled in stated township meeting or in a meeting duly called for the purpose, subject to the provisions of the first section of this article.

Sec. 14. Nothing contained in this article shall impair or affect the charter of any municipal corporation, or restrict the power of the legislature to create or regulate such corporations.

Article VIII: TAXATION AND FINANCE

Section 1. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State, and all property, both real and personal, shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law. No one species of property from which a tax may be collected shall be taxed higher than any other species of property of equal value; but property used for educational, literary, scientific, religious, or charitable purposes, and public property, may, by law, be exempted from taxation.

Sec. 2. A capitation-tax of one dollar shall be levied upon each white male inhabitant who has attained the age of twenty-one years.

Sec. 3. The legislature shall provide for an annual tax, sufficient to defray the estimated expenses of the State for each year; and, whenever the ordinary expenses of any year shall exceed the income, shall levy a tax for the ensuing year, sufficient, with other sources of income, to pay the deficiency, as well as the estimated expenses of such year.

Sec. 4. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of appropriations made by law, and an accurate and detailed statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be published annually.

Sec. 5. No debt shall be contracted by this State, except to meet casual deficits in the revenue, to redeem a previous liability of the State, to suppress insurrection, repel invasion, or defend the State in time of war.

Sec. 6. The credit of the State shall not be granted to or in aid of any county, city, town, township, corporation, or person, nor shall the State ever assume or become responsible for the debts or liabilities of any county, city, town, township, corporation, or person, unless incurred in time of war or insurrection for the benefit of the State.

Sec. 7. The legislature may at any time direct a sale of the stocks owned by the State in banks and other corporations, but the proceeds of such sale shall be applied to the liquidation of the public debt; and hereafter the State shall not become a stockholder in any bank. Edition: current; Page: [4029] If the State become a stockholder in any association or corporation for purposes of internal improvement, such stock shall be paid for at the time of subscribing, or a tax shall be levied for the ensuing year, sufficient to pay the subscription in full.

Sec. 8. An equitable proportion of the public debt of the commonwealth of Virginia prior to the first day of January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, shall be assumed by this State; and the legislature shall ascertain the same as soon as may be practicable, and provide for the liquidation thereof, by a sinking-fund sufficient to pay the accruing interest and redeem the principal within thirty-four years.

Article IX: FORFEITED AND UNAPPROPRIATED LANDS

Section 1. All private rights and interests in lands in this State, derived from or under the laws of the State of Virginia prior to the time this constitution goes into operation, shall remain valid and secure, and shall be determined by the laws heretofore in force in the State of Virginia.

Sec. 2. No entry by warrant on land in this State shall be hereafter made; and in all cases where an entry has been heretofore made and has been or shall be so perfected as to entitle the locator to a grant, the legislature shall make provision by law for issuing the same.

Sec. 3. The legislature shall provide for the sale of all lands in this State heretofore forfeited to the State of Virginia for the non-payment of the taxes charged thereon for the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, or any year previous thereto, or for the failure of the former owners to have the same entered on the land-books of the proper county and charged with the taxes due thereon for the said or any year previous thereto, under the laws of the State of Virginia, and also of all waste and unappropriated lands, by proceedings in the circuit courts of the county where such lands are situated.

Sec. 4. All lands within this State, returned delinquent for non-payment of taxes to the State of Virginia since the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, where the taxes, exclusive of damages, do not exceed twenty dollars; and all lands forfeited for the failure of the owners to have the same entered on the land-books of the proper county, and charged with the taxes chargeable thereon since the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, where the tract does not contain more than one thousand acres, are hereby released and exonerated from forfeiture and from the delinquent taxes and damages charged thereon.

Sec. 5. All lands in this State heretofore vested in the State of Virginia by forfeiture, or by purchase at the sheriffs’ sales for delinquent taxes, and not released or exonerated by the laws thereof, or by the operation of the preceding section, may be redeemed by the former owners by payment to this State of the amount of taxes and damages due thereon at the time of such redemption, within five years form the day this constitution goes into operation; and all such lands not so released, exonerated, or redeemed shall be treated as forfeited, and proceeded against and sold as provided in the third section of this article.

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Sec. 6. The former owner of any tract of land in this State sold under the provisions of this article shall be entitled to receive the excess of the sum for which such tract may be sold over the taxes and damages charged and chargeable thereon, and the costs, if his claim be filed in the circuit court which decreed the sale, within two years thereafter.

Article X: EDUCATION

Section 1. All money accruing to this State, being the proceeds of forfeited, delinquent, waste, and unappropriated lands, and of lands heretofore sold for taxes and purchased by the State of Virginia, if hereafter redeemed, or sold to others than this State; all grants, devises, or bequests that may be made to this State for the purposes of education, or where the purposes of such grants, devises, or bequests are not specified; this State’s just share of the literary fund of Virginia, whether paid over or otherwise liquidated, and any sums of money, stocks, or property which this State shall have the right to claim from the State of Virginia for educational purposes; the proceeds of the estates of all persons who may die without leaving a will or heir, and of all escheated lands; the proceeds of any taxes that may be levied on the revenues of any corporation hereafter created; all moneys that may be paid as an equivalent for exemption from military duty, and such sums as may from time to time be appropriated by the legislature for the purpose, shall be set apart as a separate fund, to be called the school-fund, and invested under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, in the interest-bearing securities of the United States, or of this State, and the interest thereof shall be annually applied to the support of free schools throughout the State, and to no other purpose whatever. But any portion of said interest remaining unexpended at the close of the fiscal year shall be added to and remain a part of the capital of the school-fund.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide, as soon as practicable, for the establishment of a thorough and efficient system of free schools. They shall provide for the support of such schools by appropriating thereto the interest of the invested school-fund; the net proceeds of all forfeitures, confiscations, and fines accruing to this State under the laws thereof; and by general taxation on persons and property, or otherwise. They shall also provide for raising, in each township, by the authority of the people thereof, such a proportion of the amount required for the support of free schools therein as shall be prescribed by general laws.

Sec. 3. Provision may be made by law for the election and prescribing the powers, duties, and compensation of a general superintendent of free schools for the State, whose term of office shall be the same as that of the governor, and for a county superintendent for each county, and for the election in the several townships, by the voters thereof, of such officers, not specified in this constitution, as may be necessary to carry out the objects of this article, and for the organization, whenever it may be deemed expedient, of a State board of instruction.

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Sec. 4. The legislature shall foster and encourage moral, intellectual, scientific, and agricultural improvement; they shall, whenever it may be practicable, make suitable provision for the blind, mute, and insane, and for the organization of such institutions of learning as the best interests of general education in the State may demand.

Article XI: MISCELLANEOUS

Section 1. No lottery shall be authorized by law; and the buying, selling, or transferring of tickets or chances in any lottery shall be prohibited.

Sec. 2. No charter of incorporation shall be granted to any church or religious denomination. Provision may be made by general laws for securing the title to church property, so that it shall be held and used for the purpose intended.

Sec. 3. The circuit courts shall have power, under such general regulations as may be prescribed by law, to grant divorces, change the names of persons, and direct the sales of estates belonging to infants and other persons under legal disabilities; but relief shall not be granted by special legislation in such cases.

Sec. 4. Laws may be passed regulating or prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquor within the limits of this State.

Sec. 5. The legislature shall pass general laws whereby any number of persons associated for mining, manufacturing, insuring, or other purpose useful to the public, excepting banks of circulation and the construction of works of internal improvement, may become a corporation, on complying with the terms and conditions thereby prescribed; and no special act incorporating, or granting peculiar privileges to any joint-stock company or association, not having in view the issuing of bills to circulate as money or the construction of some work of internal improvement, shall be passed. No company or association authorized by this section shall issue bills to circulate as money. No charter of incorporation shall be granted under such general laws, unless the right be reserved to alter or amend such charter, at the pleasure of the legislature, to be declared by general laws. No act to incorporate any bank of circulation or internal-improvement company, or to confer additional privileges on the same, shall be passed, unless public notice of the intended application for such act be given under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 6. For the election of Representatives to Congress, the State shall be divided into districts, corresponding in number with the Representatives to which it may be entitled; which district shall be formed of contiguous counties, and be compact. Each district shall contain, as nearly as may be, an equal federal number, to be determined according to the rule prescribed in the second section of the first article of the Constitution of the United States.

Sec. 7. [The children of slaves born within the limits of this State after the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, shall be free; and all slaves within the said State who shall, at the time aforesaid, be under the age of ten years shall be free when they Edition: current; Page: [4032] arrive at the age of twenty-one years; and all slaves over ten and under twenty-one years shall be free when they arrive at the age of twenty-five years; and no slave shall be permitted to come into the State for permanent residence therein.]a

Sec. 8. Such parts of the common law and of the laws of the State of Virginia as are in force within the boundaries of the State of West Virginia when this constitution goes into operation, and are not repugnant thereto, shall be and continue the law of this State until altered or repealed by the legislature. All offences against the laws of Virginia heretofore committed within the boundaries of this State shall be cognizable in the courts of this State in the same manner they would be if hereafter committed within this State. All civil and criminal suits and proceedings pending in the county or circuit courts of the State of Virginia, held within the said boundaries, shall be docketed and thereafter proceeded in before the circuit court of the proper county; and all such suits and proceedings pending in the supreme and district courts of appeals of the State of Virginia, if the defendant in the court below resides within the said boundaries, or the subject of the suit is land or other property situated or being therein, and the plaintiff is entitled to prosecute in this State, shall be docketed, and thereafter proceeded in before the supreme court of appeals thereof.

Sec. 9. The records, books, papers, seals, and other property and appurtenances of the former circuit and county courts, within the State of West Virginia, shall be transferred to, and remain in, the care and custody of the circuit courts of the respective counties, to which all process outstanding at the time this constitution goes into operation shall be returned, and by which new process in suits then pending, or previously determined, in the said former courts, may be issued in proper cases. Copies and transcripts of the records and proceedings of the said former courts shall be made and certified by the courts having the care and custody of such records and proceedings, or the proper officers thereof, and shall have the same force and effect as if they had been heretofore properly made and certified by the said former courts.

Article XII: AMENDMENTS

Section 1. No convention shall be called having authority to alter the constitution of the State, unless it be in pursuance of a law passed by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members elected to each branch of the legislature, and providing that polls shall be held throughout the State, on some day therein specified, which shall not be less than three months after the passage of such law, for the purpose of taking the sense of the voters on the question of calling a convention. And such convention shall not be held unless a majority of the votes cast at such polls be in favor of calling the Edition: current; Page: [4033] same; nor shall members be elected to such convention, until at least one month after the result of the polls shall be duly ascertained, declared, and published. And all acts and ordinances of said convention shall be submitted to the voters of the State for ratification or rejection, and shall have no validity whatever until they are ratified, and in no event shall they, by any shift or device, be made to have any retrospective operation or effect.

Sec. 2. Any amendment to the constitution of the State may be proposed in either branch of the legislature; and if the same, being read on three several days in each branch, be agreed to on its third reading, by a majority of the members elected thereto, the proposed amendment, with the yeas and nays thereon, shall be entered on the journals, and referred to the legislature at the first session to be held after the next general election; and shall be published, at least three months before such election, in some newspaper in every county in which a newspaper is printed. And if the proposed amendment be agreed to during such session, by a majority of the members elected to each branch, it shall be the duty of the legislature to provide by law for submitting the same to the voters of the State, for ratification or rejection. And if a majority of the qualified voters, voting upon the question at the polls held pursuant to such law, ratify the proposed amendment, it shall be in force from the time of such ratification as part of the constitution of the State. If two or more amendments be submitted at the same time, the vote on the ratification or rejection shall be taken on each separately.

John Hall, President.
Ellery R. Hall, Secretary.

AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1861-1863

(Adopted in 1866)

Art. III. Add to section 1: No person who, since the first day of June, 1861, has given or shall give voluntary aid or assistance to the rebellion against the United States shall be a citizen of this State, or be allowed to vote at any election held therein, unless he has volunteered into the military or naval services of the United States, and has been or shall be honorably discharged therefrom.

CONSTITUTION OF WEST VIRGINIA—1872*a

Article I: RELATIONS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES

1. The State of West Virginia is, and shall remain, one of the United States of America. The Constitution of the United States of America, and the laws and treaties made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the land.

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2. The government of the United States is a government of enumerated powers, and all powers not delegated to it, nor inhibited to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people thereof. Among the powers so reserved to the States is the exclusive regulation of their own internal government and police; and it is the high and solemn duty of the several departments of government, created by this Constitution, to guard and protect the people of this State from all encroachments upon the rights so reserved.

3. The provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and of this State, are operative alike in a period of war as in time of peace, and any departure therefrom, or violation thereof, under the plea of necessity, or any other plea, is subversive of good government, and tends to anarchy and despotism.

4. For the election of representatives to Congress, the State shall be divided into districts, corresponding in number with the representatives to which it may be entitled; which districts shall be formed of contiguous counties, and be compact. Each district shall contain, as nearly as may be, an equal number of population, to be determined according to the rule prescribed in the Constitution of the United States.

Article II: THE STATE

1. The territory of the following counties, formerly parts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, shall constitute and form the State of West Virginia, viz.:

The counties of Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo,a Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming. The State of West Virginia includes the bed, bank and shores of the Ohio river, and so much of the Big Sandy river as was formerly included in the Commonwealth of Virginia; and all territorial rights and property in, and jurisdiction over the same, heretofore reserved by and vested in the Commonwealth of Virginia, are vested in and shall hereafter be exercised by the State of West Virginia. And such parts of the said beds, banks and shores, as lie opposite, and adjoining the several counties of this State, shall form parts of said several counties, respectively.

2. The powers of government reside in all the citizens of the State, and can be rightfully exercised only in accordance with their will and appointment.

3. All persons residing in this State, born, or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, shall be citizens of this State.

4. Every citizen shall be entitled to equal representation in the government, and, in all apportionments of representation, equality of Edition: current; Page: [4035] numbers of those entitled thereto, shall as far as practicable, be preserved.

5. No distinction shall be made between resident aliens and citizens, as to the acquisition, tenure, disposition or descent of property.

6. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court. Treason shall be punished, according to the character of the acts committed, by the infliction of one, or more of the penalties, of death, imprisonment or fine, as may be prescribed by law.

7. The present seal of the State with its motto, “Montani Semper Liberi,” shall be the great seal of the State of West Virginia, and shall be kept by the Secretary of State, to be used by him officially, as directed by law.

8. Writs, grants and commissions, issued under the authority of this State shall run in the name of, and official bonds shall be made payable to the State of West Virginia. Indictments shall conclude, “Against the peace and dignity of the State.”

Article III: BILL OF RIGHTS

1. All men are, by nature, equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity, namely; the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

2. All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. Magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

3. Government is instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community. Of all its various forms that is the best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community has an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it in such a manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

4. The privilege of a writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended. No person shall be held to answer for treason, felony or other crime not cognizable by a justice, unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury. No bill of attainder, ex-post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of a contract, shall be passed.

5. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. Penalties shall be proportioned to the character and degree of the offense. No person shall be transported out of, or forced to leave the State for any offense committed within the same; nor shall any person, in any criminal case, be compelled to be a witness against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty for the same offense.

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6. The right of citizens to be secure in their houses, persons, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. No warrant shall issue except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, or the person or thing to be seized.

7. No law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, shall be passed; but the Legislature may by suitable penalties, restrain the publication or sale of obscene books, papers or pictures, and provide for the punishment of libel, and defamation of character, and for the recovery in civil actions, by the aggrieved party, of suitable damages for such libel, or defamation.

8. In prosecutions, and civil suits for libel, the truth may be given in evidence; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libellous, is true, and was published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the verdict shall be for the defendant.

9. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use, without just compensation; nor shall the same be taken by any company, incorporated for the purpose of internal improvements, until just compensation shall have been paid or secured to be paid, to the owner; and when private property shall be taken, or damaged, for public use, or for the use of such corporations, the compensation to the owner shall be ascertained in such manner, as may be prescribed by general law; Provided, that when required by either of the parties, such compensation shall be ascertained by an impartial jury of twelve freeholders.

10. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, and the judgment of his peers.

11. Political tests requiring persons, as a pre-requisite to the enjoyment of their civil and political rights, to purge themselves by their own oaths, of past alleged offences, are repugnant to the principles of free government, and are cruel and oppressive. No religious or political test oath shall be required as a pre-requisite or qualification to vote, serve as a juror, sue, plead, appeal, or pursue any profession or employment. Nor shall any person be deprived by law, of any right, or privilege, because of any act done prior to the passage of such law.

12. Standing armies in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power; and no citizen, unless engaged in the military service of the State, shall be tried or punished by any military court, for any offense that it cognizable by the civil courts of the State. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, except in the manner to be prescribed by law.

13. [As amended—Acts 1879, p. 182.] In suits at common law, where the value in controversy exceed twenty dollars exclusive of interests and costs, the right of trial by jury, if required by either party, shall be preserved; and in such suit before a justice a jury may consist of six persons. No fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any case than according to the rules of the common law.

14. Trials of crimes, and of misdemeanors, unless herein otherwise provided, shall be by a jury of twelve men, public, without unreasonable Edition: current; Page: [4037] delay, and in the county where the alleged offence was committed, unless upon petition of the accused, and for good cause shown, it is removed to some other county. In all such trials, the accused shall be fully and plainly informed of the character and cause of the accusation, and be confronted with the witnesses against him, and shall have the assistance of counsel, and a reasonable time to prepare for his defence; and there shall be awarded to him compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

15. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever; nor shall any man be enforced, restrained, molested or burthened, in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument, to maintain their opinions in matters of religion; and the same shall, in no wise, affect, diminish or enlarge their civil capacities; and the legislature shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this State, to levy on themselves, or others, any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry, but it shall be left free for every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support, such private contract as he shall please.

16. The right of the people to assemble in a peaceable manner, to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives, or to apply for redress of grievances, shall be held inviolate.

17. The courts of this State shall be open, and every person, for an injury done to him, in his person, property or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law; and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay.

18. No conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

19. No hereditary emoluments, honors, or privileges shall ever be granted or conferred in this State.

20. Free government and the blessings of liberty can be preserved to any people only by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Article IV: ELECTIONS AND OFFICERS

1. The male citizens of the State shall be entitled to vote at all elections held within the counties in which they respectively reside; but no person who is a minor, or of unsound mind, or a pauper, or who is under conviction of treason, felony, or bribery in an election, or who has not been a resident of the State for one year, and of the county in which he offers to vote, sixty days next preceding such offer, shall be permitted to vote while such disability continues; but no person in the military, naval or marine service of the United States shall be deemed a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein.

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2. In all elections by the people, the mode of voting shall be by ballot; but the voter shall be left free to vote by either open, sealed or secret ballot, as he may elect.

3. No voter, during the continuance of an election at which he is entitled to vote, or during the time necessary and convenient for going to and returning from the same, shall be subject to arrest upon civil process, or be compelled to attend any court, or judicial proceeding, as suitor, juror or witness; or to work upon the public roads; or, except in time of war or public danger, to render military service.

4. No person, except citizens entitled to vote, shall be elected or appointed to any State, county or municipal office; but the Governor and Judges must have attained the age of thirty, and the Attorney General and Senators the age of twenty-five years, at the beginning of their respective terms of service; and must have been citizens of the State for five years next preceding their election or appointment, or be citizens at the time this Constitution goes into operation.

5. Every person elected or appointed to any office, before proceeding to exercise the authority, or discharge the duties thereof, shall make oath or affirmation that h