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shall be impartially administered without corruption or unnecessary delay: All their officers shall be paid an adequate but moderate com, pensation for their services, and if any officer shall take greater or other fees than the laws allow him, either directly or indirectly, it shall ever after disqualify him from holding any office in this state.

Sect. 27. All prosecutions shall commence in the name and by the authority of the freemen of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and all indictments shall conclude with these words-against the peace and dignity of the same. The stile of all process hereafter in this state" shall be the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Sect. 28. The person of a debtor, where there is not a strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up, bona fide, all his estate real and personal for the use of his creditors, in such manner as shall be hereafter regulated by law. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or presumption great.

Sect. 29. Excessive bail shall not be exacted for bailable offences:And all fines shall be moderate.

Sect. 30. Justices of the peace shall be elected by the freeholders of each city and county respectively, that is to say, two or more persons may be chosen for each ward, township or district, as the law shall hereafter direct: And their names shall be returned to the president in council, who shall commissionate one or more of them for eachi ward, township or district, so returning for seven years, removeable for misconduct, by the general assembly; but if any city or county, ward, township or district, in this commonwealth, shall hereafter incline to change the manner of appointing their justices of the peace as settled in this article, the general assembly may make laws to regulate the same, agreeable to the desire of a majority of the freeholders of the city or county, ward, township or district, so applying ; no justice of the peace shall sit in the general assembly, unless he first resign his commission, nor shall be be allowed to take any fees, nor any salary or allowance, except such as the future legislature may grant.

Sect. 31. Sheriffs and coroners shall be elected annually in each city and county by the freemen, that is to say, two persons for each office, one of whom for each, is to be commissioned by the president in council. No person shall continue in the office of sheriff more than three successive years, or be capable of being again elected during four years afterwards. The election shall be held at the same time and place appointed for the election of representatives : And the commissioners and assessors, and other officers chosen by the people, shall also be then and there elected, as has been usual heretofore, until. altered or otherwise regulated by the future legislature of this state.

Sect. 32. All elections, whether by the people or in general assem-bly, shall be by ballot, free and voluntary: And any elector, who shall receive any gift or reward for his vote, in meat, drink, monies or otherwise, shall forfeit his right to elect for that time, and suffer such other penalty as future laws shall direct. And any person who shall directly or indirectly give, promise or bestow any such rewards to be elected, shall be thereby rendered incapable to serve for the ensuing year.

Sect. 33. All fees, license money, fines and forfeitures heretofore granted or paid to the governor or his deputies, for the support of government, shall hereafter be paid into the public treasury, unless al. tered or abolished by the future legislature.

Sect. 34. A register's office for the probate of wills and granting letters of administration, and an office for the recording of deeds, shall be kept in each city and county; the officers to be appointed by the general assembly; removeable at their pleasure, and to be commissioned by the president in council.'

Sect. 35. The printing presses shall be free to every person, who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the legislature, or any part of government.

. Sect. 36. As every freeman, to preserve his independence, (if without a sufficient estate,) ought to have seme profession, calling, trade or farm, whereby he may honestiy subsist, there can be no necessity før nor use in establishing offices of profit, the usual effects of which are dependence and servility, unbecoming freemen, in the possessors and expectants, faction, contention, corruption, and disorder among the people: but if any man is called into public service to the prejudice of his private affairs, he has a right to a reasonable compensation : And whenever an oflice, through increase of fees, or otherwise becomes so profitable as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessener by the legislature.

Sect. 37. The future legislature of this state shall-regulate entails in such manner as to prevent perpetuities.

Sect. 38. The penal laws as heretofore used, shall be reformed by the future legislature of this state, as soon as may be, and punishments made in some cases less sanguinary, and in general more proportionate to the crimes.

Sect. 39. To deter more effectually from the commission of crimes: by continued visible punishment of long duration, and to make sanguinary punishments less necessary, houses ought to be provided for punishing by hard labour, those who shall be convicted of crimes not capital; wherein the criminals shall be employed for the benefit of the public, or for reparation of injuries done to private persons. And all persons

at proper times shall be admitted to see the prisoners at their labour.

Sect. 40. Every officer, whether judicial, executive or military, in authority under this commonwealth, shall take the following oath or affirmation of allegiance, and general oath of office before he enter of the execution of his office.

The oath or affirmation of allegiance. I

do swear (or affirm) that I will be true and faithful to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania : And that I will not directs ly or indirectly do any act or thing prejudicial or injurious to the conistitution or government thereof as established by the convention.

The oath or affirmation of office. I

do swear (or affirm that I will faithfully execute the office of

for the


and I will do equal right and justice to all men to the best of my judgment and abilities, according to law.

Sect. 41. No public tax, custom or contribution shall be imposed upon, or paid by the people of this state, except by a law for that pura pose; and before any law be made for raising it, the purpose for which any tax is to be raised, ought to appear clearly to the legislature to be of more service to the community than the money would be, if not col. lected, which being well observed, taxes can bever be barthens,

Sect. 42. Every foreigner of good character, who comes to settle in this state, having first taken an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the same, may purchase, or by other just means acqui:e, hold and transfer land or other real estate, and after one year's residence, shall be deemed a free denizen thereof, and' entitled to all the rights of a natural born subject of this state, except that he shall not be capable of being elected a representative until after two years' residence.

Sect. 43. The inhabitants of this state shall have liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times on the lands they hold, and on all other lands therein not inclosed, and in like manner to fish in all boata. ble waters and others not private property.

Sect. 44. A school or schools shali' be established in each county by the legislature for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters paid by the public as may enable them to instruct youth at low prices: And all useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more universities.

Sect. 45. Laws for the encouragement of virtue, and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be made and constantly kept in force, and provision shall be made for their due execution: And all religious sou cieties or bodies of men heretofore united or incorporated for the advancement of religion and learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities and estates which they were accustomed to enjoy or could of right have enjoyed under the laws and former constitution of this state.

Sect 46. The declaration of rights is hereby declared to be a part of the constitution of this commonwealth, and ought never to be violated on any pretence whatever.

Sect. 47. In order that the freedom of this commonwealth may be preserved inviolate for ever, there shall be chosen, by ballot, by the freemen in each city and county respectively, on the second Tuesday in October, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, and on the second Tuesday in October, in every seventh year thereafter, two persons in each city and county of this state, to be called The COUNCIL OF CENSORS, who shall meet together on the second Monday of November next ensuing their election; the majority of whom shall be a quorum in every case, except as to calling a convention, in which two-thirds of the whole number elected shall agree, and whose duty it shall be to enquire whether the constitution has been preserved inviolate in every part; and whether the legislative and executive branches of governeinnt have performed their duty, as guardians of the people, or assumed to themselves or exercised other or greater powers than they are entitled to by the constitution; they are also to enquire whether the public taxes have been justly laid and collected in all parts of this commonwealth, in what manner the public monies have been disposed of, and whether the laws have been duly executed: For these purposes they shall have power to send for persons, papers and records; they shall have authority to pass public censures, to order impeachments, and to recommend to the legislature the repealing such laws as appear to them to have been enacted contrary to the principles of the constitution. These powers they shall continue to have for and during the space of one year, from the day of their election, and no longer. The said council of censors shall also have power to call a convention, to meet within two years after their sitting, if there appear to them an absolute necessity of amending any article of the constitution, which may be defective, explaining such as may be thought not clearly expressed, and of adding such as are necessary for the preservation of the rights and happiness of the people; but the articles to be amended, and the amendments proposed, and such articles as are proposed to be added or abolished, shall be promulgated at least six months before the day appointed for the election of such convention, for the previous consideration of the people, that they may have an opportunity of instructing their delegates on the subject.

On motion, Ordered, That the president and every member of this convention present, do sign the same, which was accordingly done, by the following members of the convention: Philadelphia city.

William Clarke,
Timothy Matlack,

Robert Whitehill,
Frederick Kuhi,

William Duffield,
James Cannon,

James Brown,
George Schlosser,

Hugh Alexander,
David Rittenhouse.

James M'Clean.
Philadelphia county

Berks county
Robert Loller,

Jacob Morgan,
Joseph Blewer,

Gabriel Hiester,
John Bull,

Benjamin Spyker,
William Coates.

Valentine Eckert,
Bucks county.

Charles Shoemaker,
John Wilkinson,

Thomas Jones, jr.
Samuel Smith,

Northampton county.
John Keller,

Simon Driesbach,
William Vanhorn,

Jacob Arndt,
John Grier,

Peter Burkholder,
Abraham Van Middleswarts Jacob Stroud,
Joseph Kirkbride.

Neigal Gray,
Chester county:

Abraham Miller,
Benjamin Bartholomew,

John Ralston.
Thomas Strawbridge,

Bedford couratga
Robert Smith,

Benjamin Elliot,
Samuel Cunningham,

Thomas Coulter,
John Mackey,

Joseph Powell,
John Flemming

John Burd,
Lancaster county.

John Cessna.
Philip Marsteller,

John Wilkins,
Thomas Porter,

Thomas Smith,
Bartram Galbreath,

Northumberland county.
John Hubley,

William Cooke,
Alexander Lowrey.

James Potter,
York county.

Robert Martin,
James Edgar,

Matthew Brown,
James Smith,

Walter Clark,
Cumberland county.

John Kelley,
John Harris,

James Crawford,
Jonathan Hoge,

John Weitze!l.

Westmoreland county,

John Moore,
James Barr,

John Carmichael,
Edward Cook,

John M'Clellan,
James Smith,

Christopher Lavingair.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, President. Attest-John Morris, JR. Secretary.

Ordered, That the constitution of this commonwealth, as now agreed to and signed by the members of this convention, be committed to the charge of the council of safety, with directions to deliver the same to the general assembly of this state, at their first meeting, immediately after they shall have chosen their speaker.

On motion, Resolved, That Mr. Rittenhouse, Mr. Cannon and Mr. Matlack, be a committee to settle the incidental expenses of this convention

On motion, Resolved, That the president of this convention be allowed the same wages as the speaker of the late house of assembly, and that the vice president draw an order on the state treasurer for the amount thereof.

On motion, Resolved, That Mr. Rittenhouse, Mr. Jacobs and Mr. Clymer, be a committee to prepare the seals for the future legislature and executive council of this state.

Resolved, Tnat immediate public notice be given by the secretary, that the freemen of this state are empowered by the frame of

government this day passed, to choose at their next election for representatives, in the city of Philadelphia, and each county, one person as a councillor of state.

Resolved, That Mr. Cannon, Mr. Rittenhouse, Col. Matlack and Col. Bull, be a committee to revise the minutes of this convention, and print 250 copies of the same, together with the constitution, ordinances, &c. (one hundred of which to be bound) for the use of the members of this House.

Resolved unanimously, That the thanks of this convention be given to the president, for the honor he has done it, by filling the chair during the debates on the most important parts of the bill of rights and frame of government, and for his able and disinterested advice thereon.

Then the convention rose.



Chapter I.


A view of the proceedings of the first session of the Council of Censors,

convened at Philadelphia, on Monday the 10th day of November, one thousand seven hundred and eighty three.

MONDAY, November 10, 1783.

Pursuant to the 47th section of the constitution of this common: wealth, a number of gentlemen elected as censors for the city and se

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