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NORTH-CAROLINA. The CONSTITUTION, or Form of Government, agreed to
and resolved upon, by the Representatives of the Freemer of the State of North-Curolina, elected and chosen for that particular purpose, in Congress allembled, at Halifax, Dec. 18, 1776.
A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, &c. THAT THAT all political power is vested in, and derived
from the People only. II. That the People of this State ought to have the fole and exclusive right of regulating the internal goverment and police thereof.
III. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to ex. clusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in confideration of public services.
IV, That the legislative, executive, and supreme judicial powers of Government, ought to be forever separate and distinct from cach other.
V. That all powers 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.
VI. "That elections of Members, to serve as Representarives in General Assembly, ought to be free.
VII. That in all criminal prosecutions, every man has a right to be informed of the accusation against laim, and to confront the accusers and witnesses with other testimony, and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself,
VIII. That no freeman fall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by indictment, presentment or impeachment.
IX. That no freeman shall be convicted of any crime, but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good and lawful men, in open court, as heretofore used.
X. That excessive bail should not be required, nor excessive tines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inficted.
XI. That general warrants, whereby an officer of messenger, maybe commanded to searc! fufpected places, without evidence of the fact cominitted, or to seize any person or persons, not named, whole offences are not particularly described, and supported by evidence-are dangerous to liberty and ought not to be granted.
XII. That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the law of the land,
XIII. That every freeman, restrained of his liberty, is entitled to a remedy, to enquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same, if unlawful ; and that such remedy ought not to be denied or delayed,
XIV. That in all controversies at law, respecting property, the ancient mode of trial by jury, is one of the best securities of the rights of the People, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable.
XV. That the freedom of the Press is one of the great bulwarks of Liberty, and therefore ought never to be restrained.
XVI. That the People of this State ought not to be taxed, or made subject to the payment of any impost, or duty, without the consent of themselves, or their Representatives in General Assembly freely given.
XVII. That the People have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the State ; and as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up ; and that the military should be kept un. der Atrict subordination to, and governed by the civil power.
XVIII. That the People have a right to assemble together, to consult for their common good, to instruct their Representatives, and to apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances.
XIX. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences.
XX. That for redress of grievances, and for amending and ftrengthening the laws, elections ought oftea to be held.
XXI. That a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary, to preferve the bler lings of Liberty,
Xxii, That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honours, be granted or conferred in this state.
XXIII. That perpetuities and monopolies are con. trary to the genius of a free State, and ought not to be allowed,
XXIV, That retrospective laws, punishing fa&ts, committed before the existence of such laws, and, by then only, declared criminal, are oppressive, unjust, and incompatible with Liberty; wherefore, no ex poft facto law ought to be made,
XXV. The property of the foil in a free government, being one of the effential rights of the collective body of the people, it is neceffary, in order to avoid future disputes, that the limits of the State Thould be ascertained with precision : and as the former temporary lice, between North and South Carolina, was confirmed and extended by Commissioners, appointed by the Legislatures of the two States, agreeable to the order of the late King George II, in council, that line, and that only; should be esteemed the southern boundary of this State--that is to fay, beginning on the fea lide, at a cedar take, at or near the mouth of Little river, (being the southern extremity of Brunswic couuty) and running from thence a north-west course, through the boundary houle, which ftands in 33 degrees 56 min. to 35 deg. Nlatitude; and from thence a west courte lo far as is mentioned in the charter of King Charles II, to the late proprietors of Carolina. Therefore all the territory, seas, waters and harbours, with their appurtenances, lying between the line above described, and the southern line of the State of Virginia, which begins on the sea-shore, in thirty fix degrees thirty minutes, north latitude, and from thence runs west, agreeable to the said charter of King Charles, are the right and property of the People of this State, to be held by them in sovereignty; any partial line without the confent of the Legislature of this State, at any time thereafter directed or laid out, in any wise notwithstanding
Provided always, That this Declaration of Right shall not prejudice any nation or nations of Indians, from enjoying such hunting grounds as may have been, cr hereafter shall be, secured to them, by any former or future Legislature of this State :--And provided also, That it shall not be construed, so as to prevent the establishment of one or more Governments, westward of this State, by consent of the Legislature :-And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall affect the titles or possessions of individuals, holding or claiming under the laws heretofore in force, or grants heretofore made by the late King George II, or his predecessors, or the late lords proprietors, or any of them.
THE CONSTITUTION OR FORM OF GOVERNMENT, &c.
WHEREAS allegiance and protection are, in their nature, reciprocal, and the one should of right be refused, when the other is withdrawn:
And whereas, George the third, King of Great Britian, and late sovereign of the British American Colonies, hath not only withdrawn from them his protection, but, by an act of the British Legislature, declared the inhabitants of these States out of the protection of the British crown, and all their property found upon the high seas, liable to be seized, and confiscated to the uses mentioned in the said act; and the said George the third, has also sent fleets and armies, to prosecute a cruel war against them, for the purpose of reducing the inhabitants of the said colonies to a state of abject slavery ; in consequence whereof, all government under the said King, within the said colonies, hath ceased, and a total dissolution of government, in many of them, hatlı taken place :
And whereas the Continental Congress, having considered the premises, and other previous violations of the rights of the good People of America, have therefore declared, that the thirteen United Colonies, are, of right, wholly absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, or any other foreign jurisdiction whatsoever; and that the said Colonies now are, and forever shall be free and independent States
Wherefore, in our present state, in order to prevent anarchy and confusion, it becomes necessary that Government should be established in this State ; therefore, We, the Representatives of the freemen of North-Carolina, chosen and assembled in Congress, for the express purpose of framing a Constitution, under the authority of the People, most conducive to their happiness and prosperity, do declare, that a Government for this State, shall be established in manner and form following, to wit:
1. That the Legislative authority shall be vested in two distinct branches, both dependent on the People, to wit : a Senate and House of Commons.
II. That the Senate shall be composed of Representatives, annually chosen by ballot, one for each county in the State.
III. That the House of Commons shall be composed of Representatives annually chosen by ballot, two for each county, and one for each of the towns of Edenton, Newbern, Wilmington, Salisbury, Hillsborough, and Halifax.
IV. That the Senate and House of Commons, assembled for the purpose of legislation, shall be denominated, The General Assembly.
V. That each member of the Senate shall have usu. ally resided in the county, in which he is chosen, for one year, immediately preceding his election, and for the same time shall have possessed, and continue to possess, in the county which he represents, not less than three hundred acres of land in fee.
VI. That each member of the House of Commons shall have usually resided in the county, in which he is chosen, for one year immediately preceding his election, and for six months shall have possessed, and continue to possess, in the county which he represents, not less than one hundred acres of land in fee, or for the term of his own life.
VII. That all freemen, of the age of twenty-one years, who have been inhabitants of any one county within the State twelve months, immediately preceding the day of any election, and possessed of a freeholds