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provide for the safety of its inhabitants. They, therefore, flatter themselves that their services will meet the approbation of their employers. The Council are of opinion that nothing but the want of a firm attachment and joint connection of the inhabitants of this state, can frustrate, or prevent their being what they so reasonably wish to be. I am, Gentlemen, by order of Council, Your most obd't humble Serv't,
THOMAS CHITTENDEN, Pres't. Since this work has been in press, I have been so fortunate as to find, in an old volume containing the revised laws of 1787, the following acts of the Legislature. An act establishing the Constitution of Vermont, and for determining who are entitled to the privileges of the Constitution and Laws.
Be it enacted, That the Constitution of this State as revised and established by convention, held at Manchester, in June 1786, subject to such alterations and additions as shall be made agreeable to the 40th section in the plan of Government, shall be forever considered, held, and maintained as part of the laws of this State.
And be it further enacted, That all the subjects of the United States of America, shall, within this Commonwealth be equally entitled to the privileges of law and justice with the citizens of this State, in all cases proper for the cognizance of the civil authority, and courts of judicature in the same, and that without partiality or delay. And
that no man's person shall be restrained, or imprisoned, unless by authority of law.
And, in an act, for regulating the election of Governor, Lieut. Governor, Council, Treasurer, and Representatives, is the following clause-the act is not divided into sections :
Be it further enacted, That every freeholder of the full age of twenty-one years, having resided in this State for the space of one year, next before the election of Representatives, and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the following oath, (or affirmation,) shall be entitled to all the privileges of a freeman of this State.
There are several other clauses in this act intended to give to certain sections of the Constitution the form, force and effect of an act of the Legislature: but this it is seen, makes an important alteration in the 18th section in the frame of government. That section gave to all, the right of suffrage without any property qualification; the act deprived all of the right of suffrage except freeholders. This produced a different practice in the admission of freemen in the different towns ; in some towns they were goverened by the Constitution; in other towns, they were governed by what they considered the paramount law-the act of the Legislature. In the revision of the laws in 1797, all the acts of the Legislature, legalizing or altering the Constitution were swept away, but they are of more practical use than ever-they put the question we have been discussing at rest —they prove conclusively that an act of the Legislature was considered paramount to the Constitution, and consequently, that every act of the Legislature, however repugnant to it, must continue in force until repealed. Hence the Council of Censors were vested with ample authority to recommend to the Legislature the repealing of such laws as shall appear to them to have been enacted contrary to the principles of the Constitution.
It may appear to the reader that I have occupied too much space—he may feel that I have detained him too long with the discussion of this subject, but he will find it very useful, as it will enable him to account for the origin, and some of the singular provisions of the last section of the Constitution, which will be the subject of the next chapter.
The last section of the Constitution providing for a Council
of Censors, originated in a want of confidence in the Government which they had instituted.- Expensive mode of amending the Constitution.—Mode of amending the Constitution in Kentucky and Missouri.--Extracts from Chipman's principles of Guvernment.
Having examined those sections of our Constitution which were formed by making additions to certain sections of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, I will now call the attention of the reader to the last section of the Constitution, providing among other things for its amendment. This section, it has been seen, is a copy of the last section in, the Constitution of Pennsylvania, with the exception of that part which relates to the number and the mode of electing the members of the Council.
In the concise history which has been given of the first Constitution of Pennsylvania, the reader has seen what was the practical operation of the provision in that State. But to ascertain what has been, and from the nature of the provision, must be its practical operation in this State, is of far greater importance to us.
I propose, therefore, to treat the subject somewhat at large, and
show that the principles on which our institutions rest were but imperfectly understood,--that there was a want of confidence in the people and in the Legislature, and that the Council of Censors was constituted for a protection against both.
As this section was soon abolished in Pennsylvania, and most of the thirty American States have since that time, either amended their Constitutions or formed new ones, and not one of them, with the exception of Vermont, has adopter this section, or any provision contained in it, it seems that it must have originated in some peculiar views of civil government entertained by those who framed it, and which arose from the novel situation in which they were placed. Our Constitution of civil government being only evidence of a civil compact, an agreement by and between the whole people, upon the manner in which they would be governed, and the government has proved to be so efficient in preserving good order and promoting the happiness of the people, that it seems to us it naturally grew out of the moral and social nature of man, and we cannot conceive it possible that any rational being could have entertained a doubt of the capacity of the people for self-government. We must be undeceived with