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selves well, and that they should have honorable salaries Salaries. ascertained and established by standing laws.


XXX. In the government of this Commonwealth, the Separation of executive, julegislative department shall never exercise the executive and dicial, and legjudicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall never islative depart exercise the legislative and judicial powers or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws, and not of men.


The Frame of Government.

The people, inhabiting the territory formerly called the Title of body Province of Massachusetts Bay, do hereby solemnly and politic. mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a free, sovereign and independent body politic or state, by the name of THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.




The General Court.

ART. I. The department of legislation shall be formed Legislative deby two branches, a Senate and House of Representatives; partment. each of which shall have a negative on the other.

The legislative body [shall assemble every year on the see amendlast Wednesday in May, and at such other times as they ments, Art. X. shall judge necessary; and shall dissolve and be dissolved on

the day next preceding the said last Wednesday in May; and] shall be styled, THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS.


II. No bill or resolve of the senate or house of represent- Governor's atives shall become a law, and have force as such, until it shall have been laid before the governor for his revisal; and if he, upon such revision, approve thereof, he shall signify his approbation by signing the same. But if he have any

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See amend.

ments, Art. I.

General court may constitute judicatories,

courts of record, &c.

objection to the passing of such bill or resolve, he shall return the same, together with his objections thereto, in writing, to the senate or house of representatives, in whichsoever the same shall have originated, who shall enter the objections sent down by the governor, at large, on their records, and proceed to reconsider the said bill or resolve; but if, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the said senate or house of representatives shall, notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present, shall have the force of a law: but in all such cases, the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays; and the names of the persons voting for or against the said bill or resolve, shall be entered upon the public records of the Commonwealth.

And in order to prevent unnecessary delays, if any bill or resolve shall not be returned by the governor within five days after it shall have been presented, the same shall have the force of a law.

III. The general court shall forever have full power and authority to erect and constitute judicatories and courts of record, or other courts, to be held in the name of the Commonwealth, for the hearing, trying and determining of all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, plaints, actions, matters, causes and things, whatsoever, arising or happening within the Commonwealth, or between or concerning persons inhabiting or residing, or brought within the same; whether the same be criminal or civil, or whether the said crimes be capital or not capital, and whether the said pleas be real, Courts, &c., personal or mixed; and for the awarding and making out of

may adminis

ter oaths.

General court

may enact laws, &c.,

execution thereupon: to which courts and judicatories are hereby given and granted full power and authority, from time to time, to administer oaths or affirmations, for the better discovery of truth in any matter in controversy, or depending before them.

IV. And further, full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the said general court, from time to time, to make, ordain and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, laws, statutes and ordinances, directions and instructions, either with penalties or without, so as not repugnant the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of this Commonwealth, and for the government and ordering thereof, and of the subjects of the same, and for the necessary support and defence of the government thereof; and to name

to the constitu


the election or


and settle annually, or provide by fixed laws, for the naming may provide for and settling, all civil officers within the said Commonwealth, appointment of the election and constitution of whom are not hereafter in officers; this form of government otherwise provided for; and to set prescribe their forth the several duties, powers, and limits, of the several civil and military officers of this Commonwealth, and the forms of such oaths, or affirmations as shall be respectively administered unto them for the execution of their several offices and places so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitution; and to impose and levy propor- impose taxes; tional and reasonable assessments, rates and taxes, upon all the inhabitants of, and persons resident, and estates lying, within the said Commonwealth; and also to impose and levy duties and exreasonable duties and excises upon any produce, goods, wares, merchandise and commodities whatsoever, brought into, produced, manufactured, or being within the same; to to be disposed be issued and disposed of by warrant, under the hand of the protection, &c.' governor of this Commonwealth, for the time being, with the advice and consent of the council, for the public service, in the necessary defence and support of the government of the said Commonwealth, and the protection and preservation of the subjects thereof, according to such acts as are or shall be in force within the same.


of for defence,

tates once in

least, while, &c.

And while the public charges of government, or any part Valuation of esthereof, shall be assessed on polls and estates, in the manner ten years, at that has hitherto been practised, in order that such assessments may be made with equality, there shall be a valuation of estates within the Commonwealth, taken anew once in every ten years at least, and as much oftener as the general court shall order.




[ART. I. There shall be annually elected, by the freeholders and Senate, number other inhabitants of this Commonwealth, qualified as in this constitution of, and by whom is provided, forty persons to be councillors and senators, for the year ensuing their election; to be chosen by the inhabitants of the districts, See amendinto which the Commonwealth may, from time to time, be divided by the ments, Arts. XIII, XVI. and general court for that purpose: and the general court, in assigning the XXII. numbers to be elected by the respective districts, shall govern themselves by the proportion of the public taxes paid by the said districts; and timely make known, to the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, the limits of each

Counties to be


district, and the number of councillors and senators to be chosen therein: provided, that the number of such districts shall never be less than thirteen; and that no district be so large as to entitle the same to choose more than six senators.

And the several counties in this Commonwealth shall, until the general districts, until, court shall determine it necessary to alter the said districts, be districts for the choice of councillors and senators, (except that the counties of Dukes county and Nantucket shall form one district for that purpose,) and shall elect the following number for councillors and senators, viz:—

See amend

ments, Arts. XIII. and XXII.

Manner and

time of choos.


See amendments, Arts. II., X., XIV. and XV.

See amend-
ments, Arts.
III., XX.,
XXIII. and

Suffolk, six; Essex, six; Middlesex, five; Hampshire, four; Plymouth, three; Barnstable, one; Bristol, three; York, two; Dukes county and Nantucket, one; Worcester, five; Cumberland, one; Lincoln, one; Berkshire, two.]

II. The Senate shall be the first branch of the legislaing senators and ture; [and the senators shall be chosen in the following manner, viz. there shall be a meeting on the first Monday in April, annually, forever, of the inhabitants of each town in the several counties of this Commonwealth, to be called by the selectmen, and warned in due course of law, at least seven days before the first Monday in April, for the purpose of electing persons to be senators and councillors; and at such meetings every male inhabitant of twenty-one years of age and upwards, having a freehold estate, within the Commonwealth, of the annual income of three pounds, or any estate of the value of sixty pounds, shall have a right to give in his vote for the senators for the district of which he is an Word "inhabi- inhabitant.] And to remove all doubts concerning the meaning of the word "inhabitant," in this constitution, every person shall be considered as an inhabitant, for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office or place within this State, in that town, district or plantation where he dwelleth or hath his home.

tant" defined.

Selectmen to preside at town meetings.

The selectmen of the several towns shall preside at such meetings impartially, and shall receive the votes of all the inhabitants of such towns, present and qualified to vote for senators, and shall sort and count them in open town meeting, and in presence of the town clerk, who shall make a Return of votes. fair record, in presence of the selectmen, and in open town meeting, of the name of every person voted for, and of the number of votes against his name; and a fair copy of this record shall be attested by the selectmen and the town clerk, and shall be sealed up, directed to the secretary of the Commonwealth, for the time being, with a superscription expressing the purport of the contents thereof, and delivered by the Amendments, town clerk of such towns, to the sheriff of the county in which such town lies, thirty days at least before [the last Wednesday in May, annually; or it shall be delivered into

See amendments, Art. II.

Art. X.

the secretary's office seventeen days at least before the said last Wednesday in May; and the sheriff of each county shall deliver all such certificates, by him received, into the secretary's office, seventeen days before the said last Wednesday in May.]


taxes, may


And the inhabitants of plantations unincorporated, quali- Inhabitants of fied as this constitution provides, who are or shall be plantations, empowered and required to assess taxes upon themselves who pay State toward the support of government, shall have the same vote. privilege of voting for councillors and senators, in the plantations where they reside, as town inhabitants have in their respective towns; and the plantation meetings for that pur- Plantation pose shall be held, annually, [on the same first Monday in See amendApril,] at such place in the plantations, respectively, as the ments, Art. X. assessors thereof shall direct; which assessors shall have Assessors to nolike authority for notifying the electors, collecting and tify, &c. returning the votes, as the selectmen and town clerks have in their several towns, by this constitution. And all other persons living in places unincorporated, (qualified as aforesaid,) who shall be assessed to the support of government, by the assessors of an adjacent town, shall have the privilege of giving in their votes for councillors and senators, in the town where they shall be assessed, and be notified of the place of meeting, by the selectmen of the town where they shall be assessed, for that purpose, accordingly.

council to ex

count votes,

ments, Art. X.

III. And that there may be a due convention of senators Governor and [on the last Wednesday in May,] annually, the governor, amine and with five of the council, for the time being, shall, as soon as and issue summay be, examine the returned copies of such records; and mouses. fourteen days before the said day, he shall issue his summons See amendto such persons as shall appear to be chosen by a majority of voters, to attend on that day, and take their seats accordingly; [provided, nevertheless, that for the first year, the said returned copies shall be examined by the president and five of the council of the former constitution of government; and the said president shall, in like manner, issue his summons to the persons so elected, that they may take their seats as aforesaid.]

final judge of

of its own

IV. The senate shall be the final judge of the elections, Senate to be returns and qualifications of their own members, as pointed elections, &c., out in the constitution; and shall, on the said [last Wednes- members. day in May,] annually, determine and declare who are elected by each district to be senators, [by a majority of votes: and See amendin case there shall not appear to be the full number of sena- XIV. and tors returned, elected by a majority of votes, for any district, the deficiency shall be supplied in the following manner,

ments, Art. X.,


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