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Sir Robert Heath, in 1630, obtained a grant of a territory south of Vir. ginia, which was named Carolina. The first settlement made in this State was at Albemarle, by emigrants from Virginia. These persons fled from religious persecution in Virginia, and here for many years they enjoyed free. dom and plenty. As Sir R. Heath had not complied with the conditions of his title, in 1663 this territory was granted to Lord Clarendon and others. They organized a government on very liberal principles, and adopted a Constitution which was prepared by the celebrated John Locke. This Constitution provided that the Governor should hold his office during life, and that the office should be hereditary. This Constitution created great disorder in the colony, and was abolished in 1693. In 1729 the Crown purchased from the proprietors the Carolinas for £17,500 sterling, and established two separate governments, called North and South Carolina. In 1776 this State adopted its Constitution, which, with a few modifications, continues to the present time.
Area, 48,000 sq. miles. Pop. in 1850, 868,903. Slaves, 288,412. Free colored, 27,271,
CONSTITUTION. Art. I. The legislative authority shall be vested in two distinct branches, both dependent on the people, to wit, a Senate and House of Commons.
II. The Senate shall be composed of representatives, annually chosen by ballot, one for each county in the State.
III. 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. The Senate and House of Commons, assembled for the purpose of legislation, shall be denominated the General Assembly.
V. Each member of the Senate shall have usually resided in the county in which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election, and for the aame 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. 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. 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 freehold, within the same county, of fifty acres of land, for six months next before, and at the day of election, shall be entitled to vote for a member of the Senate.
VIII. 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 shall have paid public taxes, shall be entitled to vote for members of the House of Commons, for the county in which he resides.
IX. All persons possessed of a freehold, in any town in this State, having a right of representation, and also all freemen, who have been inhabitants of any such town twelve months next before, and at the day of election, and shall have paid public taxes, shall be entitled to vote for a member to represent such town in the House of Commons: provided, always, that this section shall not entitle any inhabitant of such town to vote for members of the House of Commons for the county in which he may reside; nor any freeholder in such county, who resides without or beyond the limits of such town, to vote for a member of the said town.
X. The Senate and House of Commons, when met, shall each have power to choose a Speaker and other their officers; be judges of the qualifications and elections of their members ; sit upon their own adjournments from day to day; and prepare bills to be passed into laws. The two houses shall direct writ of election, for supplying intermediate vacancies: and shall also jointly, by ballot, adjourn themselves to any future day and place.
XI. All bills shall be read three times in each house, before they pass into laws, and be signed by the speakers of both houses.
XII. Every person, who shall be chosen a member of the Senate or House of Commons, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office,
shall take an oath to the State: and all officers shall take an oath of office.
XIII. The General Assembly shall, by joint ballot of both houses, appoint judges of the supreme courts of law and equity, judges of admiralty, and attorney-general
, who shall be commissioned by the Governor, and hold their offices during good behavior.
XIV. The Senate and House of Commons shall have power to appoint the generals and field officers of the militia, and all officers of the regular army of this State.
XV. The Senate and House of Commons, jointly, at their first meeting after each annual election, shall by ballot, elect a Governor for one year, who shall not be eligible to that office longer than three years, in six successive years; that no person under thirty years of age, and who has not been a resident in this State above five years, and having, in the State, a freehold in lands and tenements, above the value of one thousand pounds, shall be eligible as a Governor
XVI. The Senate and House of Commons, jointly, at their first meeting, after each annual election, shall, by ballot, elect seven persons to be a Council of State for one year; who shall advise the Governor in the execution of his office: and that four members shall be a quorum; their advice and proceedings shall be entered in a journal, to be kept for that purpose only, and signed by the members present; to any part of which any member present may enter his dissent. And such journal shall be laid before the General Assembly when called for by them.
XVII. There shall be a seal of this State, which shall be kept by the Governor, and used by him as occasion may require; and shall be called, the great seal of the State of North Carolina, and shall be affixed to all grants and commissions.
XVIII. The Governor, for the time being, shall be captain-general and commander-in-chief of the militia ; and in the recess of the General Assembly, shall have power, by and with the advice of the Council of State, to embody the militia for the public safety.
XIX. The Governor, for the time being, shall have power to draw for and apply such sums of money as shall be voted by the General Assembly, for the contingencies of government, and be accountable to them for the same. He also may, by and with the advice of the Council of State, lay embargoes, or prohibit the exportation of any commodity, for any term not exceeding thirty days, at any one time in the recess of the General Assembly; and shall have the power of granting pardons and reprieves, except where the prosecution shall be carried on by the General Assembly, or the law shall otherwise direct; in which case he may, in the recess, grant a reprieve until the next sitting of the General Assembly; and he may exercise all the other executive powers of government, limited and restrained, as by this Constitution is mentioned, and according to the laws of the State. And, on his death, inability, or absence from the State, the Speaker of the Senate, for the time being, and in case of his death, inability, or absence from the State, the Speaker of the House of Commons, shall exercise the powers of government, after such death, or during such absence or inability of the Governor, or Speaker of the Senate, or until a new nomination is made by the General Assembly.
XX. In every case where any officer, the right of whose appointment is by this Constitution vested in the General Assembly, shall, during their recess, die, or his office by other means become vacant, the Governor shall have power, with the advice of the Council of State, to fill up such vacancy, by granting a temporary commission, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the General Assembly
XXI. The Governor, judges of the supreme court of law and equity, judges of admiralty, and attorney-general, shall have adequate salaries, during their continuance in office.
XXII. The General Assembly shall, by joint ballot of both houses, annually appoint a treasurer or treasurers for this State.
XXII. The Governor, and other officers offending against the State, by violating any part of this Constitution, maladministration, or corruption, may be prosecuted, on the impeachment of the General Assembly, or presentment of the grand jury of any court of supreme jurisdiction in this State.
XXIV. The General Assembly shall, by joint ballot of both kuses, triennially appoint a Secretary for this State. XXV. No persons who heretofore have been, or hereafter may
be receivers of public moneys, shall have a seat in either house of General Assembly, or be eligible to any office in this State, until such person shall have fully accounted for, and paid into the treasury, all sums for which they may be accountable and liable.
XXVI. No treasurer shall have a scat, either in the Senate, House of Commons, or Council of State, during his continuance in that office, or before he shall have finally settled his accounts with the public, for all the moneys which may be in his hands, at the expiration of his office, belonging to the State, and hath paid the same into the hands of the succeeding treasurer.
XXVII. No officer in the regular army or navy, in the service and pay of the United States, of this State, or any other State, nor any contractor or agent for supplying such army or navy with clothing or provisions, shall have a seat either in the Senate, House of Commons, or Council of State, or be eligible thereto; and any ber of the Senate, House of Commons, or Council of State, being ap pointed to, and accepting of such office, shall thereby vacate his seat.
XXVIII. No member of the Council of State shall have a seat, either in the Senate or House of Commons.
XXIX. No judge of the supreme court of law and equity, or judge of admiralty, shall have a seat in the Senate, House of Com mons, or Council of State.
XXX. No Secretary of this State, Attorney-General, or clerk of any court of record, shall have a seat in the Senate, House of Commons, or Council of State.
XXXI. No clergyman, or preacher of the gospel, of any denomination, shall be capable of being a member of either the Senate, House of Commons, or Council of State, while he continues in the exercise of his pastoral function.
XXXII. No person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority of either the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit, in the civil department, within this State.
XXXIII. The justices of the peace, within their respective coun ties in this State, shall in future be recommended to the Governor for the time being, by the representatives in General Assembly; and the Governor shall commission them accordingly: and the justices, when so commissioned, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall not be removed from office by the General Assembly, unless for misbehavior, absence, or inability.
XXXIV. There shall be no establishment of any one religious church or denomination in this State, in preference to any other; neither shall any person, on any pretence whatsoever, be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith or judgment, nor be obliged to pay for the purchase of any glebc, or the building of any house of worship, or for the maintainance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes right, or has voluntarily and personally engaged to perform; but all persons shall be at liberty to exercise their own mode of worship: provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to exempt preachers of treasonable or seditious discourses, from legal trial and punishment.
XXXV. No person in the State shall hold more than one lucrative office at any one time; provided that no appointment in the militia, or the office of a justice of the peace, shall be considered as a lucrative office.
XXXVI. All commissions and grants shall run in the name of the State of North Carolina, and bear test, and be signed by the . Governor. All writs shall run in the same manner, and bear test, and be signed by the clerks of the respective courts.
Indictments shall conclude, against the peace and dignity of the State.
XXXVII. The delegates for this State to the Continental Congress, while necessary, shall be chosen annually by the General Assembly, by ballot; but may be superseded, in the mean time, in the same manner; and no person shall be elected to serve in that capacity for more than three years successively.
XXXVIII. There shall be a sheriff, coroner, or coroners, and constables, in each county within this State.
XXXIX. The person of a debtor, where there is not a strong pre