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The CONSTITUTION of Vermont, adopted by the Conven.

tion holden at Windsor, 4th July 1793. A Declaration of Rights of the inhabitants of the State

of Vermont.

CHAP. I.--ART, I. \HAT all men are born equally free and indepen.

dent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, pofleffing, and protecting property, and pursuing, and obtaining happiness and safety : therefore, no male person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servani, llave, or a pprentice, after he arrives to the age of twenty-. one years, nor female in like manner, after the arrives to the age of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their own content, after they arrive to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.

ARTICLE II. That private propery ouglit to be subservient to public uses when necessity requires ii, nevertheless, whenever any person's property is taken for the use of the public, the owner ought to receive an equivalent in money.

ARTICLE III. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Aimighty God, according to the dictates of their own confciences and understandings, as in their opinion Mall be regulated by the word of God: and that no man ought to, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place o£. worship, or maintain any minister contrary to the dictates of his own conscience, nor can any man be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on


account of his religious sentiments, or peculiar mode of religious worhip ; and that no authority can, or ought to be velted in, or assumed by, any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner controul the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship. Nevertheless, every fee or denomination of Christians ought to observe the Sabo bath or Lord's day, and keep up some fort of religious worship, which to them thall seem moit agreeable to the revealed will of God.

ARTICLE IV. Every person within this State ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all inju. ries or wrongs, which he may receive in his person, property or character: he ought to obtain right and juro rice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it; completely and without any devial ; promptly and without delay, conformably to the laws.

ARTICLE V. That the people of this State, by their legal representatives, have the fole, inherent, and exclusive right of governing and regulating the internal police of the Tame.

ARTICLE VI, That all power being originally inherent in, and consequently derived from the People, therefore all officers of government, whether Legislative or Executive, are their trustees and servants, and at all times, in a legal way, accountable to them.

ARTICLE VII, That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community, and not for the particuJar emolument or advantage of any single man, family, or set of men, who are a part only of that commuer. nity; and that the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or alter goverment, in such inaoner as shall be, by that communi. ty, judged most conducive to the public weal.

ARTICLE VIII. That all elections ought to be free and without corruption, and that all freemen, having a sufficient, evi


dent, coipmon interest with, and attachment to, the community, liave right to elect officers, and be elect. ed into office, agreeably to the regulations inade in this Constitution.

ARTICLE IX. That every inember of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and therefore is bound to contribute his proportion towards the expense of that protection, and yield his perfonal service, when necessary, or an equivalent thereto, but no part of any person's property can be juftly taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of freemen ; nor can any man who is conscientiously fcru. pulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto, if he will pay such equivalent ; nor are the people bound by any law but such as they have in like manner assented to, for their common good: and previous to any law being made to raise a'lax, the purpose for which it is to be raised ought to appear evident to the Legislature, to be of more service to the community than the money. would be if not collected.

ARTICLE X. That in all prosecutions for offences, a person hath a, right to be heard by himself and his counsel; to demand the cause and nature of his accusation ; to be confronio ed with the witnesses ; to call for evidence in his favour, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jory of the country, without, the unanimous consent of which jury, he cannot be found guilty ; nor can he bc compelled to give evidence against himself ; nor can any person be juftly deprived of his liberty, except by the laws of the land' or the judgment of his peers,

ARTICLE XI. That the people have a right to hold themselves, their houses, papers, and poffeffions, free from search or seizure ; and therefore warrants, without oath or affirmation first made, affording fufficient foundation för i hem, and whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded or required to scarch suspected places, ok to seize any person or persons, his, her, or their propérty, not particularly described, are contrary to that right, and ought not to be granted,

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ARTICLE XII. That when any issue in fact, proper for the cognizance of a jury is joined in a court of law, the parties have a right to trial by jury, which ought to be held facred.

ARTICLE XIII. That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing, and publishing their sentiments concerning the transactions of government, and therefore the freedom of the press ought not to be restrained.

ARTICLE XIV. The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, in the Legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any acculation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any other court or place whatsoever.

ARTICLE XV. The power of fufpending laws, or the execution of laws, ought never to be exercised but bythe Legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases, as this Constitution, or the Legislature thall provide for.

ARTICLE XVI. That the people have a right to bear arnis for the defence of themselves and 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 under (trict subordination to and governed by the civil power,

ARTICLE XVII. That no person in this State, can in any case be subjected to law inartial, or to any penalties or pains by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army, and the militia in actual service,

ARTICLE XVIII. That frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, induftry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preferve the blessings of Liberty, and keep Government free; the people ought therefore, to pay particular attention to these points, in the choice of officers and representativos, and have a right in a legal way, to exact

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a due and constant regard to them, from their legislators and magistrates, in making and executing fuch laws as are necessary for the good government of the State.

ARTICLE XIX. That all people liave a natural and inherent right to emigrate from one State to another that will receive them.

ARTICLE XX. That the people have a right to assemble together to consule for their common good to instruct their representatives and apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances, by address, petition, or remonitrance.

ARTICLE XXI. That no person thall be liable to be transported out of this State for trial for any offence committed within the same.

CHAP. II. PLAN OR FRAME OF GOVERNMENT. SECTION 1. THE Commonwealth, or state of Vermont, shall be governed hereafter, by a Governor, (or Lieutenant-Governor) Council, and an Assembly of the Representatives of ihe Freemen of the fanie, in manner and form following:

SECT, 2. The fupreme legislative porrer shall be vested in a House of Representatives of the freemen of the Commonwealth, or State of Verinont,

Sect. 3. The supreme executive power shall be velt. ed in a Governor, or, in his absence, à Lieut. Governor and Council.

Sect. 4, Courts of Justice shall be maintained in every county in this Stare, and allo in new counties, when formed ; which Courts shall be open for the trial of all causes proper for their cognizance ; and justice shall be thercio impartially administered, without cure ruption, or unnecessary delay. The Judges of the Supreme

Court shall be Jorhees of Peace throughout the Srate ; and the several Judges of the County Couris, in their respective counties, by virtue of their office, except in the trial of such causes as may be appealed to the County Court.

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