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rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportuni- future periods. ties and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, ments, Art. and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of XVII. legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them; especially the university at Cambridge, public schools and grammar schools in the towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, rewards and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their deal-, ings; sincerity, good humor, and all social affections, and generous sentiments among the people.

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I. Any person chosen governor, lieutenant-governor, councillor, sena- Oaths, &c. tor or representative, and accepting the trust, shall, before he proceed to execute the duties of his place or office, make and subscribe the following declaration, viz.:

I, A. B., do declare, that I believe the christian religion, and have a firm persuasion Abolished, see of its truth; and that I am seised and possessed, in my own right, of the property amendments, required by the constitution as one qualification for the office or place to which I am elected.

And the governor, lieutenant-governor, and councillors, shall make and subscribe the said declaration, in the presence of the two houses of assembly; and the senators and representatives first elected under this constitution, before the president and five of the council of the former constitution, and forever afterwards before the governor and council for the time being.

And every person chosen to either of the places or offices aforesaid, as also any person appointed or commissioned to any judicial, executive, military, or other office under the government, shall, before he enters on the discharge of the business of his place or office, take and subscribe the following declaration, and oaths or affirmations, viz. :

{"I, A. B., do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testify and declare, that the Oath of allegtCommonwealth of Massachusetts is, and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign and ance, see substiindependent state; and I do swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the tute, amend

ment, Art. VI. said commonwealth, and that I will defend the same against traitorous conspiracies and all hostile attempts whatsoever; and that I do renounce and abjure all allegiance, subjection and obedience to the

queen, or government of Great Britain, (as the case may be) and every other foreign power whatsoever; and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, superiority, pre-eminence, authority, dispensing or other power, in any matter, civil, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this commonwealth, except the authority and power which is or may be vested by their constituents in the congress of the United States : and I do further testify and declare, that no man or body of men hath or can have any right to absolve or discharge me from the obligation of this oath, declaration, or affirmation ; and that I do make this acknowledgment, profession, testimony, declaration, denial, renunciation and abjuration, heartily and truly, according to the common meaning and &cceptation of the foregoing words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret Teservation whatsoever. So help me, God.")

“ I, A. B., do solemnly swear and affirm, that I will faithfully and Oath of office. impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as

according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the constitution and the laws of the commonwealth. So help me, God."


See amend


Provided always, that when any person chosen or appointed as aforesaid, shall be of the denomination of the people called Quakers, and shall decline taking the said oaths, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, and subscribe thé same, omitting the words “ I do swear," " and abjure," " oath or," "and abjuration," in the first oath ; and in the second oath, the words “swear and," and in each of them the words “ So help me, God;" subjoining instead therof, “This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury."

And the said oaths or affirmations shall be taken and subscribed by the governor, lieutenant-governor, and councillors, before the president of the senate, in the presence of the two houses of assembly; and by the senators and representatives first elected under this constitution, before the president and five of the council of the former constitution ; and forever afterwards before the governor and council for the time being; and by the residue of the officers aforesaid, before such persons and in such manner as from time to time shall be prescribed by the

legislature. Plurality of of- II. No governor, lieutenant-governor, or judge of the supreme fices prohibited. judicial court, shall hold any other office or place, under the authority except, &c. of this commonwealth, except such as by this constitution they are ments, Art. admitted to hold, saving that the judges of the said court may hold the

offices of justices of the peace through the state; nor shall they hold any other place or office, or receive any pension or salary from any other state or government or power

whatever. Same subject. No person shall be capable of holding or exercising at the same time,

within this state more than one of the following offices, viz.: judge of probate — sheriff — register of probate- or register of deeds; and never more than any two offices which are to be held by appointment of the governor, or the governor and council, or the senate, or the house of representatives, or by the election of the people of the state at large, or of the people of any county, military offices, and the offices

of justices of the peace excepted, shall be held by one person. Incompatible No person holding the office of judge of the supreme judicial court

secretary -- attorney-general — solicitor-general — treasurer or receivments, Art.

er-general - judge of probate commissary-general — president, professor, or instructor of Harvard College - sheriff -- clerk of the house of representatives - register of probate---register of deeds - clerk of the supreme judicial court — clerk of the inferior court of common pleas — or officer of the customs, including in this description naval officers — shall at the same time have a seat in the senate or house of representatives; but their being chosen or appointed to, and accepting the same, shall operate as a resignation of their seat in the senate or

house of representatives; and the place so vacated shall be filled up. Same subject. And the same rule shall take place in case any judge of the said

supreme judicial court, or judge of probate, shall accept a seat in coun

cil; or any councillor shall accept of either of those offices or places. Bribery, &c., And no person shall ever be admitted to hold a seat in the legisladisqualify.

ture, or any office of trust or importance under the government of this commonwealth, who shall, in the due course of law, have been convicted of bribery or corruption in obtaining an election or ap

pointment. Value of money

III. In all cases where sums of money are mentioned in this constiProperty quali- tution, the value thereof shall be computed in silver, at six shillings fications may be and eight pence per ounce; and it shall be in the power of the legisla

ture from time to time to increase such qualifications, as to property, ments, Art.

of the persons to be elected to offices, as the circumstances of the

See amend-


See amend

commonwealth shall require. Provisions re- IV. All commissions shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of specting commissions. Massachusetts, signed by the governor and attested by the secretary or


2 Met. 118.


his deputy, and have the great seal of the commonwealth affixed thereto.

V. All writs issuing out of the clerk's office in any of the courts of Provisions relaw, shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; they pickim. shall be under the seal of the court from whence they issue; they shall 3 Met. 58.

13 Gray, 74. bear test of the first justice of the court to which they shall be returnable, who is not a party, and be signed by the clerk of such court.

VI. All the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used and continuation of approved in the Province, Colony or State of Massachusetts Bay, and former laws, usually practised on in the courts of law, shall still remain and be in 1 Mass. 59. full force, until altered or repealed by the legislature; such parts only & Pick. 309, 316. excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this 16 Pick. 107, 115. constitution.

VII. The privilege and benefit of the writ of habeas corpus shall be Benefit of hadeenjoyed in this commonwealth, in the most free, easy, cheap, expedi- ed, except, ecc tious and ample manner; and shall not be suspended by the legislature, except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time, not exceeding twelve months.

VIII. The enacting style, in making and passing all acts, statutes and The enacting laws, shall be — " Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Represen

style. tatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same."

IX. To the end there may be no failure of justice, or danger arise Officers of forto the commonwealth from a change of the form of government, all men countin officers, civil and military, holding commissions under the government until, &c. and people of Massachusetts Bay in New England, and all other officers of the said government and people, at the time this constitution shall take effect, shall have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy, all the powers and authority to them granted or committed, until other persons shall be appointed in their stead: and all courts of law shall proceed in the execution of the business of their respective departments; and all the executive and legislative officers, bodies and powers shall continue in full force, in the enjoyment and exercise of all their trusts, employments and authority, until the general court, and the supreme and executive officers under this constitution, are designated and invested with their respective trusts, powers and authority.

X. In order the more effectually to adhere to the principles of the Provision for constitution, and to correct those violations which by any means may taxisin. be made therein, as well as to form such alterations as from experience shall be found necessary, the general court which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, shall issue precepts to the selectmen of the several towns, and to the assessors of the unincorporated plantations, directing them to convene the qualified voters of their respective towns and plantations, for the purpose of collecting their sentiments on the necessity or expediency of revising the constitution, in order to amendments.

And if it shall appear, by the returns made, that two-thirds of the qualified voters throughout the state, who shall assemble and vote in consequence of the said precepts, are in favor of such revision or amendment, the general court shall issue precepts, or direct them to be issued from the secretary's office to the several towns to elect delegates to meet in convention for the purpose aforesaid.

The said delegates to be chosen in the same manner and proportion as their representatives in the second branch of the legislature are by this constitution to be chosen.

XI. This form of government shall be enrolled on parchment, and Provision for deposited in the secretary's office, and be a part of the laws of the preserving and land; and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to the book con- constitution. taining the laws of this commonwealth, in all future editions of the said laws.


mean time. 3 Mass. 567.

charter cities.


of voters for


11 Pick. 538.

Bill, &c. not ap

ARTICLE I. If any bill or resolve shall be objected to, and not approved fire days, not to by the governor; and if the general court shall adjourn within five become a law, if days after the same shall have been laid before the governor for his legislature adjourn in the approbation, and thereby prevent his returning it with his objections,

as provided by the constitution, such bill or resolve shall not become a See Const.,

law, nor have force as such. Ch. 1, § 1, art. 2.

Art. II. The general court shall have full power and authority to General court empowered to erect and constitute municipal or city governments, in any corporate

town or towns in this commonwealth, and to grant to the inhabitants thereof such powers, privileges and immunities, not repugnant to the constitution as the general court shall deem necessary or expedient for the regulation and government thereof and to prescribe the manner of calling and holding public meetings of the inhabitants, in wards or otherwise for the election of officers under the constitution, and the manner of returning the votes given at such meetings. Provided, that no such government shall be erected or constituted in any town not containing twelve thousand inhabitants, nor unless it be with the consent, and on the application of a majority of the inhabitants of such town, present and voting thereon, pursuant to a vote at a meeting duly warned and holden for that purpose. And provided also, that all bylaws made by such municipal or city government shall be subject, at

all times to be annulled by the general court. Qualifications Art. III. Every male citizen of twenty-one years of age and up

wards, (excepting paupers and persons under guardianship) who shall governor tenant-govern have resided within the commonwealth one year, and within the town representatives. or district in which he may claim a right to voté, six calendar months

next preceding any election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators ments, Art. xx. or representatives, and who shall have paid, by himself or his parent, master or guardian, any state or county tax, which shall

, within two years next preceding such election, have been assessed upon him in any town or district of this commonwealth; and also, every citizen who shall be, by law, exempted from taxation, and who shall be, in all other respects, qualified as above mentioned, shall have a right to vote in such election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators and representatives; and no other person shall be entitled to vote in such

elections. Notaries public, ART. IV. Notaries public shall be appointed by the governor in the how appointed and removed.

same manner as judicial officers are appointed, and shall hold their offices during seven years, unless sooner removed by the governor with the consent of the council, upon the address of both houses of the

legislature. l'acancies in the In case the office of secretary or treasurer of the commonwealth offices of secre- shall become vacant from any cause during the recess of the general urer, how filled court, the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall

nominate and appoint, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, a competent and suitable person to such vacant office, who shall hold the same until a successor shall be appointed by the general

court. Commissary. Whenever the exigencies of the commonwealth shall require the apgeporntega y be pointment of a commissary-general, he shall be nominated, appointed and appointed, in

commissioned in such manner as the legislature may, by law, prescribe. Militia officers, All officers commissioned to command in the militia may be removed

from office in such manner as the legislature may, by law, prescribe. Who may vote Art. V. In the elections of captains and subalterns of the militia, for captains and all the members of their respective companies, as well those under as

those above the age of twenty-one years, shall have a right to vote,

in case, &c. See amendments, Art. XVII.

case, &c.

how removed.

in case, &c.


ART. VI. Instead of the oath of allegiance prescribed by the consti- Oath to be taken tution, the following oath shall be taken and subscribed by every person See Const. chosen or appointed to any office, civil or military under the govern- Chap. VI. Art. 1: ment of this commonwealth, before he shall enter on the duties of his office, to wit:

1, A. B, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the constitution thereof. So help me God."

Provided, That when any person shall be of the denomination called or affirmation, Quakers, and shall decline taking said oath, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, omitting the word "swear” and inserting instead thereof the word "affirm;" and omitting the words “So help me God," and subjoining, instead thereof, the words “This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury."

Art. VII. No oath, declaration or subscription, excepting the oath Testa abolishprescribed in the preceding article and the oath of office, shall be required of the governor, lieutenant-governor, councillors, senators or representatives, to qualify them to perform the duties of their respective offices.

Art. VIII. No judge of any court of this commonwealth, (except Incompatibility the court of sessions) and no person holding any office under the au- of offices. thority of the United States (postmasters excepted) shall, at the same time, hold the office of governor, lieutenant-governor, or councillor, or have a seat in the senate or house of representatives of this commonwealth; and no judge of any court in this commonwealth (except the court of sessions) nor the attorney-general, solicitor-general, countyattorney, clerk of any court, sheriff

, treasurer and receiver-general, register of probate, nor register of deeds, shall continue to hold his said office after being elected a member of the Congress of the United States, and accepting that trust; but the acceptance of such trust by any of the officers aforesaid shall be deemed and taken to be a resignation of his said office; and judges of the courts of common pleas shall hold no other office under the government of this commonwealth, the office of justice of the peace and militia offices excepted.

ART. IX. If, at any time hereafter any specific and particular amend- Amendments to ment or amendments to the constitution be proposed in the general how made. court, and agreed to by a majority of the senators and two thirds of the members of the house of representatives present and voting thereon, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on the journals of the two houses, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the general court then next to be chosen, and shall be published; and if, in the general court next chosen as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of the senators and two-thirds of the members of the house of representatives present and voting thereon; then it shall be the duty of the general court to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people; and if they shall be approved and ratified by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon, at meetings legally warned and holden for that purpose, they shall become part of the constitution of this commonwealth.

ART. X. The political year shall begin on the first Wednesday of Commencement January instead of the last Wednesday of May, and the general court of political year, shall assemble every year on the said first Wednesday of January, and shall proceed at that session to make all the elections, and do all the other acts which are by the constitution required to be made and done at the session which has heretofore commenced on the last Wednesday of May. And the general court shall be dissolved on the day next pre- and terminaceding the first Wednesday of January, without any proclamation or tion.. other act of the governor. But nothing herein contained shall prevent the general court from assembling at such other times as they shall


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