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votes so given in shall be received, counted, canvassed and declared, in the samo manner now provided by the Constitution for the choice of senators. The person or persons (not exceeding the number by law allowed to the districts in which such votes shall be given in having the highest number of votes, shall be declared to be duly elected for such districts. But in the event of an equality of votes between two or more of the persons so voted for, the House of Representatives shall, in the manner provided for by the Constitution, designate which of such person or persons shall be declared to be duly elected.
ARTICLE IV.-Adopted November, 1831. There shall annually be chosen and appointed a Lieutenant-Governor, a Treasurer, and Secretary, in the same manner as is provided in the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of this State for the choice and appointment of a Governor.
ARTICLE V.-- Adopted November, 1836. A Comptroller of public accounts shall be annually chosen by the electors, in their meeting in April, and in the same manner as the Treasurer and Secretary are chosen and the votes for Comptroller shall be returned to, and counted, canvassed, and declared by the Treasurer and Secretary.
ARTICLE VI.-- Adopted November, 1836. The electors in the respective towns, on the first Monday of April in each year, may vote for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, Secretary, Senators and Representatives in the General Assembly, successively, or for any number of said officers at the same time. And the General Assembly shall have power to enact laws, regulating and prescribing the order and manner of voting for said officers; and also providing for the election of representatives at some time subsequent to the first Monday of April, in all cases when it shall so happen that the electors in any town shall fail, on that day, to elect the representative or representatives to which such town shall be by law entitled.
Provided, that in all elections of officers of the State, or members of the General Assembly, the votes of the electors shall be by ballot, either written or printed.
ARTICLE VII.-- Adopted October, 1838. A sheriff'shall be appointed in each county by the electors therein, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, who shall hold his office for three years, removable by the General Assembly, and shall become bound with sufficient sureties to the Treasurer of the State, for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office.
ARTICLE VIII.-- Adopted October, 1845. Every white anale citizen of the United States who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, who shall have resided in this State for a term of one year next preceding, and in the town in which he may offer himself to be admitted to the privileges of an elector, at least six months next preceding the time he may so offer himself, and shall sustain a good moral character, shall, on his taking such oath as may be prescribed by law, be an elector.
ARTICLE IX.- Adopted October, 1850. The Judges of Probate shall be appointed by the electors residing in the several probate districts, and qualified to vote for representatives therein, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
ARTICLE X.- Adopted October, 1850. The Justices of the Peace, for the several towns in this state, shall be appointed by the electors in such towns; and the time and manner of their election, the number for each town, and the period for which they shall hold their offices, shall be prescribed by law.
The first settlement of this State was made by the Dutch, in 1614, on Manhattan Island. They established a colonial government in 1629, under the name of New Netherlands. In 1664, Charles II. granted to his brother, the Duke of York, afterwards James II., a patent of a tract of country, comprising the present States of New York and New Jersey. The same year Col. Nichols, with a large force, took the country by conquest, for the Duke of York, and gave it the name of " New York.” În 1673, the territory was recaptured by the Dutch; but after a few months was restored by a treaty, and the Duke of York took out a new patent. The first legislative body of this province assembled in Oct. 1683. In 1693 Episcopacy was made the established religion of this province.
New York bore a very important part both in the French and Revolutionary wars. As it is the most populous State in the union, and has the largest legislation in Congress, it has received the appellation of the Empire State. The first Constitution was adopted in 1777, the second in 1822. (See Appendix.) The present one was adopted Nov. 30, 1846.
Area 46,000 sq. m. Population, 1850, 3,090,022.
The city of New York is the largest in the United States. Its population in 1850 was 515,394, which, with Brooklyn and Williamsburg (places contiguous), make a population of more than 640,000. The city and county have the same limits, embracing the island of Manhattan. It is about 14 miles long, and its average width 14 miles. The British had possession of this city during most of the Revolution. They evacuated it Nov. 25, 1783, when Gen. Washington with his troops marched in. Here the first Congress assembled in 1789, and here was Gen. Washington inaugurated as the first President of the United States of America, April 30, 1789. The house where the first Congress assembled occupied the place where the Custom House now stands.
The chair in which Washington was inaugurated, and those occupied by the members of the first Congress, may now be seen in the Common Council Room of this City.
We the People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom : in order to secure its blessings, do establish this Constitution.
ARTICLE I. Sec. 1. No member of this State shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
2. The trial by jury, in all cases in which it has been heretofore used, shall remain inviolate forever. But a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law.
3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State to all mankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.
4. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension.
5. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishment be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.
6. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous 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 compensation to be made therefor, when such compensation is not made by 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 damages to be sustained by the opening there. of, 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.
8. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law 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 a right to determine the law and the fact.
9. The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of 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 to assemble and to petition the government, or any department thereof, nor shall any divorce be granted, otherwise than by due judicial proceedings, nor shall any lottery hereafter be authorized, or any sale of lottery tickets allowed within this State.
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 reserved in any grant of land, hereafter to be made, shall be void.
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 seren hundred and 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 and 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 commissoners 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 thercin, 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.
18. All grants of land within this State, made by the King of Great Britain, or persons acting under his authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventyfive, shall be null and void ; but nothing contained in this Constitution shall affect 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 this State, or individuals, or bodies corporate, or any other rights of property, or any suits, actions, rights of action, or other proceedings in courts of justice.
ARTICLE II. SEC. 1. Every male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a citizen for ten days, and an inhabitant of this State one year next preceding any election, and for the last four months a resident of the county where 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 ; but such citizen shall have been for thirty days next preceding the election, a resident of the district from which the officer is to be chosen for whom he offers his vote. But no man of color, unless he shall have been for three years a citizen of this State, and for one year next preceding any election shall have been seized and possessed of a freehold estate of the value of two hundred and fifty dollars, over and above all debts