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26. The jurisdiction of the said court shall be the same as that of the existing County Courts, except so far as it is modified by this Constitution or may be changed by law.
27. Each County shall be laid off into districts, as nearly equal as may be in territory and population. In each district there shall be elected by the voters thereof, four Justices of the Peace, who shall be commissioned by the Governor, reside in their respective districts, and hold their office for the term of four years. , The justices so elected shall choose one of their own body, who shall be the presiding Justice of the County Court, and whose duty it shall be to attend each term of said court. The other justices shall be classified by law for the performance of their duties in court.
28. The Justices shall receive for their services in court, a per diem compensation, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the County treasury; and shall not receive any fee or emolument for other judicial services.
29. The power and jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace within their respective Counties shall be prescribed by law.
• COUNTY OFFICERS. 30. The voters of each County shall elect a Clerk of the County Court, a Surveyor, an Attorney for the Commonwealth, a Sheriff, and so many Commissioners of the Revenue as may be authorized by law, who shall hold their respective offices as follows: The Clerk, and the Surveyor, for the term of six years; the Attorney, for the term of four years; the Sheriff, and the Commissioners, for the term of two years. Constables, and Overseers of the Poor, shall be elected by the voters, as may be prescribed by law.
31. The officers mentioned in the preceding section, except the Attorneys, shall reside in the Counties or Districts for which they were respectively elected. No person elected for two successive terms to the office of Sheriff, shall be re-eligible to the same office for the next succeeding term; nor shall he, during his term of service, or within one year thereafter, be eligible to any political office.
32. The Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Attorneys for the Commonwealth, Clerks of the Circuit and County Courts, and all other County officers, shall be subject to indictment for malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of official duty, and upon conviction thereof, their offices shall become vacant.
CORPORATION COURTS AND OFFICERS. 33. The General Assembly may vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in Corporation Courts, and in the Magistrates who may belong to the corporate body.
34. All officers appertaining to the Cities and other Municipal Corporations, shall be elected by the qualified voters, or appointed by the constituted authorities of such Cities or Corporations, as may be prescribed by law.
Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the first day of
August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, and in the seventy-sixth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
JOHN Y. MASON,
President of the Convention. S. D. WHITTLE,
Secretary of the Convention.
1. It shall be the duty of the President of this Convention, immediately on its adjournment, to certify to the Governor a copy of the Bill of Rights and Constitution adopted, together with this Schedule.
2. L'pon the receipt of such certified copy, the Governor shall, forth with, announce the fact by Proclamation, to be published in such newspapers of the State as may be deemed requisite for general information: and, shall annex to his Proclamation a copy of the Bill of Rights and Constitution, together with this Schedule: which Proclamation, Bill of Rights, Constitution and Schedule, shall be published in the manner indicated, for the period of one month; and ten printed copies thereof shall, by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, be immediately transmitted, by mail, to the Clerk of each County and Corporation Court in this Commonwealth, to be by such Clerk submitted to the examination of any person desiring the same.
3. The Officers authorized by existing laws to conduct General Elections, shall, at the places appointed for holding the same, open a Poll Book on the Fourth Thursday in October next, to be headed “ The Constitution as amended, and Schedule,” and to contain two separate columns; the first column to be headed “ For Ratifying;" the other, to be headed, “ For Rejecting." And such officers, keeping said Polls open for the space of three days, shall then and there receive, and record in said Poll Book, the votes for and against this Constitution and Schedule, of all persons qualified, under the existing or amended Constitution to exercise the right of suffrage.
4. The taking of the polls, the duties to be performed by the officers, the privilege of the voters, and the penalties attaching for misconduct on the part of any person, shall be, in all things, as prescribed by the second, third, fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth sections of the act of the General Assembly, passed March the fourth, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, entitled “ An act to take the sense of the people upon the call of a Convention, and providing for organizing the same," so far as the provisions of said sections may be applicable.
5. It shall be the duty of the Governor, upon receiving the returns of said officers, to ascertain the result thereof, and forth with to declare the same by his Proclamation, stating the aggregate vote in the State for and against the ratification of the amended Constitution and Schedule which shall be published at least once a week until the second Monday in December next, in such newspapers as, in his opinion, will be best calculated to diffuse general information thereof: and if it appear that a majority of the votes cast is in favor of ratification, the Governor, at the same time, and in like manner, shall make Proclamation for holding, on the day last mentioned, a General Election throughout the State for Delegates and Senators to the General Assembly, according to the apportionment and districts prescribed in this Constitution ; and also for the election of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General.
6. The officers authorized by existing laws to hold and conduct General Elections, shall hold and conduct the elections herein required, and such officers and all other persons shall be governed and controlled therein by the provisions of said laws, so far as the same may be applicable to, and necessary for, the proper conducting of the said elections. Duplicate polls shall be separately kept for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, for Attorney General, and for Senators and Delegates to the General Assembly, which shall be verified by the oaths of the officers conducting the elections.
7. The verified duplicate polls for Govemor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, shall be deposited with the Clerks of the several Counties and Cities, who shall retain one in their respective offices, and transmit the other, by mail, to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
8. In the election of Senators and Delegates for districts formed of more than one County and City, the officers conducting the same, at the court-houses of the several Counties and Cities forming each District, shall assemble on the eighth day after the commencement of the said election at the court-house of the County or City first named as one of the Counties of the District, shall compare the polls and ascertain the result: and shall deliver and return certificates of election according to the laws now in force.
9. The members of the General Assembly so elected shall meet at the Capitol, in the City of Richmond, on the second Monday in January, in the year one thousand, eight hundred and fifty-two, and then and there organize as the General Assembly of Virginia ; but before such organization, they shall respectively take the oath of fidelity to the Commonwealth, and the other oaths of office required by the laws now in force.
10. The election of Members of the General Assembly under this Constitution shall vacate the seats of those elected under the present Constitution,
11. The official terms of the Delegates first elected to the General Assembly under this Constitution shall expire on the thirtieth day of June, in the year one thousand cight hundred and fifty-three.
12. The oflicial terms of the first Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General elected under this Constitution, shall expire on the thirty-first day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five.
13. The present Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals and of the Circuit Courts, and their successors, who may be appointed under the existing Constitution, shall remain in office until such time as the law may prescribe for the commencement of the official terms of the Judges under the amended Constitution and no longer : which time, shall not be more than six months after the termination of the first session of the General Assembly under the amended Constitution.
14. The Executive Department of the Government shall remain as at present organized; and the Governor and Councillors of State and their successors appointed under the existing Constitution, shall continue in office until a Governor elected under this Constitution shall be qualified; and all other persons in office when this Constitution is adopted, except as is herein otherwise expressly directed, shall continue in office until their successors are qualified: and vacancies in office, happeniug before such qualification, shall be filled in the manner now prescribed by law.
15. All the Courts of Justice now existing shall continue with their present jurisdiction until and except so far as the Judicial system may or shall be otherwise organized; and all laws in force when this Constitution is adopted, and not inconsistent there with, and all rights, prosecutions, actions, claims and contracts shall remain and continue as if this Constitution was not adopted.
16. The General Assembly shall pass all laws necessary for carrying this Constitution into full effect and operation. Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the first day of August, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, and in the seventysixth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
JOHN Y. MASON, S. D. WHITTLE,
President of the Convention. Secretary of the Convention.
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,