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§ 6. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infa- Bill of mous crime (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of militia when in actual service; and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this state may keep, with the consent of congress in time of peace; and in cases of petit larceny, under the regulation of the legislature), unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury; and in any trial in any court whatever, the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person and with counsel as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.'


§ 7. When private property shall be taken for any public use the com- Private pensation to be made therefor, when such compensation is not made by and roads. the state, shall be ascertained by a jury or by not less than three commissioners appointed by a court of record, as shall be prescribed by law. Private roads may be opened in the manner to be prescribed by law; but in every case the necessity of the road, and the amount of all damage to be sustained by the opening thereof, shall be first determined by a jury of freeholders, and such amount, together with the expenses of the proceeding, shall be paid by the person to be benefited."

speech and

§ 8. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments Freedom of on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law the press. shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury, that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact."


§ 9. The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of Two-thirds the legislature, shall be requisite to every bill appropriating the public moneys or property for local or private purposes."

§ 10. No law shall be passed abridging the right of the people peaceably Right to to assemble and to petition the government, or any department thereof, petition. nor shall any divorce be granted, otherwise than by due judicial pro- Divorces. ceedings; nor shall any lottery hereafter be authorized or any sale of Lotteries. lottery tickets allowed within this state."

12 J. C. R. 162; 20 J. R., 103; 3 Pai., 45; 5 Pai., 137; 7 Pai., 598; 4 Wend., 9; 10 Wend., 449; 11
Wend., 148; 14 Wend., 54; 15 Wend., 374, 451; 17 Wend., 649; 18 Wend., 9; 19 Wend, 654; 20
Wend., 365; 24 Wend., 65; 25 Wend., 462; 4 Cow., 195; 5 Cow., 348; 7 Cow., 585; 2 D., 272; 1 H.,
324 3 H., 567; 4 H., 140; 6 H., 47; 3 Barb., 275, 459; 4 Barb., 64, 295; 5 Barb., 474; 7 Barb., 297,
416, 508; 8 Barb., 359; 9 Barb., 449, 350; 14 Barb., 405; 15 Barb., 255, 627; 18 Barb., 619, 159; 19
Barb., 118, 166, 179; 21 Barb., 513; 24 Barb., 232, 658; 25 Barb., 9; 3 N. Y., 511; 4 N. Y., 195, 419; 5
N. Y., 285; 6 N. Y., 358, 522; 7 N. Y., 314; 8N Y., 241; 9 N. Y., 100; 11 N. Y., 308; 12 N. Y., 209, 486;
13 N. Y., 378, 143; 18 N. Y., 88, 199; 19 N. Y., 116; 25 N. Y., 416; 24 How. P. R., 369, 388; 45 N. Y.
358; 37 N. Y., 270; 55 N. Y., 31; 55 N. Y., 662; 54 N. Y., 132; 54 N. Y., 523; 53 N. Y., 255; 50 N.
Y., 280, 525; 49 N. Y., 587; 48 N. Y., 313; 46 N. Y., 441; 61 Barb., 628; 55 Barb., 413; 6 Lans., 45;
47 How. Pr. R., 513; 74 N. Y., 183; 17 Hun, 561; 56 How. Pr. R., 60; 11 J. & S., 292; 20 Hun, 402
3 Abb N. C., 306; 70 N. Y., 327; 64 N. Y., 262, 547; 60 N. Y., 242; 72 N. Y, 1; 68 N. Y., 1, 167; 72
N. Y., 330; 66 N. Y., 413, 569; 63 N. Y., 326; 70 N. Y., 223; 67 N. Y., 563; 5 J. & S., 539; 56 N. Y.,
374; 52 N. Y., 80, 131; 5 Hun, 297, 475, 482; 57 N. Y., 473; 44 How. Pr., 334; 56 N. Y., 533; 60 N.
Y., 116, 242; 63 Barb., 437; 4 Hun, 201; 54 N. Y., 528; 20 Hun, 402; 12 Abb. N. C., 124; 13 id.,
187; 16 id., 395; 26 Hun, 156; 27 Hun, 151, 180, 537; 28 Hun, 158, 170, 515; 29 Hun, 646; 30 Hun, 98;
31 Hun, 83, 199, 209; 32 Hun, 577, note; 34 Hun, 362; 35 Hun, 571; 36 Hun, 24, 407, 491; 37 Hun,
541; 38 Hun, 198; 39 Han, 223, 240, 424, 490; 40 Hun, 22, 190, 230; 42 Hun, 186; 43 Hun, 407; 44
Hun, 162, 181, 472, 493; 90 N. Y., 48, 122; 92 N. Y., 128, 142; 93 N. Y., 97; 94 N. Y., 490; 96 N. Y.,
42, 175, 227; 99 N. Y., 302, 377, 484, 569; 100 N. Y., 403; 101' N. Y., 439; 102 N. Y., 176, 471; 104 N.
Y., 229, 306, 213; 22 J. &. S. 117; 106 N. Y., 293; 105 N. Y., 76, 123, 560; 107 N. Y., 329, 593; 107 N.
Y., 427, rev'g 45 Hun, 460; 103 N. Y., 10, 43, 388.

20 J. R., 375; 8 Wend., 85; 4 H., 140; 5 H., 168; 7 H., 9; 3 Barb., 332; 8 Barb., 486; 12 Barb., 446;
15 Barb., 517; 18 Barb., 451; 4 N. Y., 419; 7 N. Y., 486; 9 N. Y., 100; 11 N. Y., 313; 2 N. Y., 190; 27
N. Y., 308; 43 Barb., 199; 42 Barb., 265; 50 N. Y., 525; 39 N. Y., 173; 56 N. Y., 374; 54 N. Y., 528; 53
N. Y, 255; 60 Barb., 137; 63 Barb., 282; 10 Hun, 91; 5 Hun, 175; 63 N. Y., 136; 11 J, & S., 292; 62
N. Y., 580; 1 Hun, 268; 69 N. Y., 368; 18 J. & S., 318; 16 Abb. N. C., 395; 29 Hun, 325; 34 Hun,
447; 35 Hun, 578; 37 Hun, 541; 39 Hun, 426; 82 N. Y., 196; 99 N. Y., 569; 19 Abb. N. C., 247.
26 Wend., 383; 2 H., 249; 31 How. Pr. R., 421; 26 Hun, 396; 37 Hun, 450.

44 H., 384; 2 D., 380; 14 Barb., 563; 18 Barb., 620; 8 N. Y., 324; 54 N. Y., 276; 42 N. Y., 378; 47
How. Pr. R., 512; I N. Y. S. C. R. (T. & C.), 283; 64 N. Y., 91; 33 Hun, 222; 99 N. Y., 532.
$7 N. Y., 228; 26 Hun, 396; 43 Hun, 619; 1 Daly, 1, 82.

Eminent domain.

Feudal tenures.

All lands allodial.


leases limited.

Fines and quarter

§ 11. The people of this state, in their right of sovereignty, are deemed to possess the original and ultimate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction of the state; and all lands the title to which shall fail, from a defect of heirs, shall revert, or escheat to the people.'

§ 12. All feudal tenures of every description, with all their incidents, are declared to be abolished, saving however all rents and services certain which at any time heretofore have been lawfully created or reserved. § 13. All lands within this state are declared to be allodial, so that, subject only to the liability to escheat, the entire and absolute property is vested in the owners, according to the nature of their respective estates. § 14. No lease or grant of agricultural land, for a longer period than twelve years, hereafter made, in which shall be reserved any rent or service of any kind, shall be valid.'

§ 15. All fines, quarter sales, or other like restraints upon alienation sales abol- reserved in any grant of land, hereafter to be made, shall be void."

ished. Certain


from Indians void.

Parts of the common

law, acts and statutes de


§ 16. No purchase or contract for the sale of lands in this state made since the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, or which may hereafter be made, of, or with the Indians, shall be valid, unless made under the authority, and with the consent of the legislature.'

§ 17. Such parts of the common law and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony, on the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and clared to be seventy-five, and the resolutions of the congress of the said colony, and of the convention of the State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed or altered; and such acts of the legislature of this state as are now in force, shall be and continue the law of this state, subject to such alterations as the legislature shall make concerning the same. But all such parts of the common law, and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this constitution, are hereby abrogated; and the legislature, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall appoint three commissioners, whose duty it shall be to reduce into a written and systematic code the whole body of the law of this state, or so much and such parts thereof as to the said commissioners shall seem practicable and expedient. And the said commissioners shall specify such alterations and amendments therein as they shall deem proper, and they shall at all times make reports of their proceedings to the legislature, when called upon to do so; and the legislature shall pass laws regulating the tenure of office, the filling of vacancies therein, and the compensation of the said commissioners and shall also provide for the publication of the said code, prior to its being presented to the legislature for adoption.


Grants of

king of




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§ 18. All grants of land within this state, made by the king of Great land by the Britain, or persons acting under his authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null and void; but nothing contained in this constitution shall effect any grants of land within this state, made by the authority of the said king or his predecessors, or shall annul any charters to bodies politic and corporate, by him or them made, before that day; or shall affect any such grants or charters since made by this state, or by persons acting under its authority; or shall impair the obligation of any debts contracted by the state, or individuals, or bodies corporate, or any other rights of


rights not affected.

18 Wend., 183; 17 Wend., 312; 6 N. Y., 522; 3 N. Y., S. C. R. (T. & C.), 235.

2 22 Barb., 606; 6 N. Y., 457; 41 N. Y., 480; 76 N. Y., 301; 62 N. Y., 524.

96 N. Y., 467.

4 20 J. R., 693; 7 N. Y., 401, 428; 3 N. Y., S. C. R. (T. & C.), 235.

556 N. Y., 445; 8 N. Y, 525; 54 Barb., 483; 39 Barb., 115; 7 Paige, 77; 4 N. Y. Crim. R., 104; 32 Hun, 586, note; 92 N. Y., 403, 481.

property, or any suits, actions, rights of action, or other proceedings in courts of justice.'


tion of

* § 1. Every male citizen of the age of twenty-one years who shall qualificahave been a citizen for ten days and an inhabitant of this state one year electors. next preceding an election, and for the last four months a resident of the county, and for the last thirty days a resident of the election district in which he may offer his vote, shall be entitled to vote at such election in the election district of which he shall at the time be a resident, and not elsewhere, for all officers that now are or hereafter may be elective by the people, and upon all questions which may be submitted to the vote of the people, provided that in time of war no elector in the actual military service of the state, or of the United States, in the army or navy thereof, shall be deprived of his vote by reason of his absence from such election district; and the legislature shall have power to provide the manner in which, and the time and place at which, such absent electors may vote, and for the return and canvass of their votes in the election districts in which they respectively reside."

from right

§ 2. No person who shall receive, expect or offer to receive, or pay, Persons offer or promise to pay, contribute, offer or promise to contribute to excluded another, to be paid or used, any money or other valuable thing of suffrage. as a compensation or reward for the giving or withholding a vote at an election, or who shall make any promise to influence the giving or withholding any such vote, or who shall make or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of any election, shall vote at such election; and upon challenge for such cause, the person so challenged, before the officers authorized for that Challenge. purpose shall receive his vote, shall swear or affirm before such officers that he has not received or offered, does not expect to receive, has not paid, offered or promised to pay, contributed, offered or promised to contribute to another, to be paid or used, any money or other valuable thing as a compensation or reward for the giving or withholding a vote at such election, and has not made any promise to influence the giving or withholding of any such vote, nor made or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of such election. The legislature, at the session thereof next after the adoption Laws to be of this section shall, and from time to time thereafter may, enact laws passed excluding excluding from the right of suffrage all persons convicted of bribery or from right of any infamous crime."

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of suffrage.

ments not


$3. For the purpose of voting, no person shall be deemed to have Certain gained or lost a residence, by reason of his presence or absence, while employ employed in the service of the United States; nor while engaged in the to affect navigation of the waters of this state, or of the United States, or of the of voters. high seas; nor while a student of any seminary of learning; nor while kept at any alms-house, or other asylum, at public expense; nor while confined in any public prison.

§ 4. Laws shall be made for ascertaining by proper proofs the citizens who shall be entitled to the right of suffrage hereby established. $5. All elections by the citizens shall be by ballot, except for such town officers as may by law be directed to be otherwise chosen.

19 N. Y., 349; 10 Barb., 130.

250 N. Y., 458; 39 N. Y., 425; 42 Hun, 116.

$50 N. Y., 458; 45 N. Y., 814.

42 Hun, 116; 107 N. Y., 55.


amended by vote of the people, Nov. 3, 1874. Went into effect January 1, 1875.

Proofs of

right to vote.

Election to

be by ballot.

Legislative powers.


number of number of


Senatorial districts.

No. 1

No. 2. Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6.

No. 7.

No. 8.

No. 9.

No. 10.

No. 11.

No. 12.

No. 13.

No. 14.

No. 15.

No. 16.

No. 17.

No. 18.

No. 19.

No. 20.


SECTION 1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in a senate and assembly.'

§ 2. The senate shall consist of thirty-two members, and the senators shall be chosen for two years. The assembly shall consist of one hundred and twenty-eight members, who shall be annually elected.

§3. The state shall be divided into thirty-two districts, to be called senate districts, each of which shall choose one senator. The districts

shall be numbered from one to thirty-two inclusive.*

District number one (1) shall consist of the counties of Suffolk, Richmond and Queens.

District number two (2) shall consist of the county of Kings. District number three (3), number four (4), number five (5), and number six (6) shall consist of the city and county of New York. And the board of supervisors of said city and county shall, on or before the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven, divide the said city and county into the number of senate districts, to which it is entitled, as near as may be of an equal number of inhabitants, excluding aliens and persons of color not taxed, and consisting of convenient and contiguous territory; and no assembly district shall be divided in the formation of a senate district. The board of supervisors, when they shall have completed such division, shall cause certificates thereof, stating the number and boundaries of each district and the population thereof, to be filed in the office of the secretary of state, and of the clerk of said city and county.

District number seven (7) shall consist of the counties of Westchester, Putnam and Rockland.

District number eight (8) shall consist of the counties of Dutchess and Columbia.

District number nine (9) shall consist of the counties of Orange and Sullivan.

District number ten (10) shall consist of the counties of Ulster and Greene.

District number eleven (11) shall consist of the counties of Albany and Schenectady.

District number twelve (12) shall consist of the county of Rensselaer. District number thirteen (13) shall consist of the counties of Washington and Saratoga.

District number fourteen (14) shall consist of the counties of Warren, Essex and Clinton.

District number fifteen (15) shall consist of the counties of St. Lawrence and Franklin.

District number sixteen (16) shall consist of the counties of Herkimer, Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery.

District number seventeen (17) shall consist of the counties of Schoharie and Delaware.

District number eighteen (18) shall consist of the counties of Otsego and Chenango.

District number nineteen (19) shall consist of the county of Oneida. District number twenty (20) shall consist of the counties of Madison and Oswego.

1 18 Wend., 9; 21 id., 563; 1 Hill, 324; 5 Hill, 121; 15 Barb., 112, 122; 23 Barb., 355, 33; 8 N. Y., 488; 10 N. Y., 374; 12 N. Y. 541; 19 N. Y., 445; 55 id., 361, 367, 613; 53 id, 245; 58 N. Y., 295 7 Lans., 215; 57 N. Y., 177; 4 T. & C., 365, 381; 56 N. Y, 261; 2 Hun, 475; 50 N. Y., 451; 5 Hun, 626; 11 Hun, 610; 71 N. Y., 527; 70 N. Y, 287; 63 N. Y., 202, 239; 5 Abb. N. C., 1; 9 Hun, 153; 7 J. & S., 192; 64 N. Y., 262; 74 N. Y., 95; id, 161; id., 216; id., 509; 67 N. Y., 528; 1 Sheld., 517; 66 N. Y., 129; 68 N. Y., 88; 4 Hun, 92; 32 Hun, 580.

For the existing senate districts, see chapter 208, laws of 1879, post.

District number twenty-one (21) shall consist of the counties of Jeffer- No. 21. son and Lewis.

District number twenty-two (22) shall consist of the county of Onon- No. 22. daga.

District number twenty-three (23) shall consist of the counties of Cort- No. 23. land, Broome and Tioga.

District number twenty-four (24) shall consist of the counties of Cayuga No. 24. and Wayne.

District number twenty-five (25) shall consist of the counties of Tomp- No. 25. kins, Seneca and Yates.

District number twenty-six (26) shall consist of the counties of Steuben No. 26. and Chemung.

District number twenty-seven (27) shall consist of the county of Mon- No. 27.


District number twenty-eight (28) shall consist of the counties of Or- No. 28. leans, Genesee and Niagara.

District number twenty-nine (29) shall consist of the counties of Ontario No. 29. and Livingston.

District number thirty (30) shall consist of the counties of Allegany No. 30. and Wyoming.

District number thirty-one (31) shall consist of the county of Erie. No. 81. District number thirty-two (32) shall consist of the counties of Chau- No. 32. tauqua and Cattaraugus.


§4. An enumeration of the inhabitants of the state shall be taken, Census, under the direction of the legislature, in the year one thousand eight when to be hundred and fifty-five, and at the end of every ten years thereafter; and the said districts shall be so altered by the legislature, at the first session Senate after the return of every enumeration, that each senate district shall altered. contain, as nearly as may be, an equal number of inhabitants, excluding aliens, and persons of color not taxed; and shall remain unaltered until To remain the return of another enumeration, and shall at all times consist of contiguous territory; and no county shall be divided in the formation of a senate district, except such county shall be equitably entitled to two or more senators.'


number of,


§ 5. The assembly shall consist of one hundred and twenty-eight Members of members, elected for one year. The members of assembly shall be assembly, apportioned among the several counties of the state, by the legislature, and how as nearly as may be, according to the number of their respective inhabi- tioned and tants, excluding aliens, and shall be chosen by single districts. The chosen. assembly districts shall remain as at present organized, until after the enumeration of the inhabitants of the state, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-five. The legislature, at its first session after the return of every enumeration, shall apportion the members of assembly among the several counties of the state, in manner aforesaid, and the board of supervisors in such counties as may be entitled under such Boards of apportionment, to more than one member, except the city and county in certain of New York, and in said city and county the board of aldermen of said counties, city shall assemble at such time as the legislature making such appor- of aldertionment shall prescribe, and divide their respective counties into man in N. assembly districts, each of which districts shall consist of convenient to divide and contiguous territory, equal to the number of members of assembly into assem to which such counties shall be entitled, and shall cause to be filed in bly disthe offices of the secretary of state and the clerks of their respective Descrip counties a description of such districts, specifying the number of each tion of as district and the population thereof, according to the last preceding tricts to be

119 N. Y., 55; 20 N. Y., 447; 45 N. Y., 814; 90 N. Y., 68.
As amended by vote of the people, November 3, 1874.

see chapter 208, laws of 1879, post.

Went into effect Jan. 1, 1875.


and board

York city



sembly dis filed.

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