« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
election of Delegates, the sense of the people of Maryland in regard to the calling a Convention for altering the Constitution; and in case the majority of votes cast at said election shall be in favor of calling a Convention, the Legislature shall provide for assembling such Convention, and electing Delegates thereto at the earliest convenient day; and the Delegates to the said Convention shall be elected by the several counties of the State and the city of Baltimore, in proportion to their representation respectively in the Senate and House of Delegates, at the time when said Convention may be called.
Of the original thirteen colonies, this was the largest. It was named Virginia by Sir Walter Raleigh, in honor of Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of Eng. land, who had granted him the country. He attempted to settle it, but failed. A grant was made of it to the London Company as early as 1606. Soon after, they sent out three ships with one hundred and five persons to begin a settlement. They located themselves at Jamestown, on the James river, in 1607. These adventurers suffered much for want of provisions, and in four months from the time of their landing, fifty of their little company had perished. In 1608, 120 new settlers arrived. In 1609, the London Company obtained a new charter, with greater power and privileges. When Charles II. was in exile, Va. invited him to become her King, which was prevented by his returning to England; hence Va. was called the old dominion. In 1619, the first legislative body ever held in America, met at Jamestown. As many had become dissatisfied, and contemplated returning to England, the London Company, in 1620, sent over more than ninety girls to be disposed of as wives among the young plant. ers. At first the price was 100 lbs. of tobacco each, but the demand was so great, that it was increased to 160 lbs. The infant colony suffered much from the Indians, and for want of provisions; so that, in 1624, out of about 9000 persons who had come over, only 1800 were living.
In 1624 King James dissolved the London Company, assumed the govern ment, and appointed a Governor. The colonists submitted reluctantly to this till 1636, when they took the government into their own hands, sending back to England the Governor appointed by the King. This State adopted its first Constitution in 1776, the second. in 1830, the present one in 1851.
Virginia has the honor of being the birth-place of six of the Presidents of the United States, viz.: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Harrison, and Tyler.
Area, 64,000 sq. m. Pop. in 1850, 1,421,081, of which 473,026 are slaves. Free colored, 53,906.
BILL OF RIGHTS.
[PASSED JUNE 12, 1776.] ADOPTED WITHOUT ALTERATION BY THE CONVENTION OF 1829-'30, AND
RE-ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENTS BY THE CONVENTION OF 1850-'51. A Declaration of Rights made by the Representatives of the good peo
ple of Virginia, assembled in full and free Convention, which rights do pertain to them and their posterity as the basis and foundation of government.
1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity ; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.
3. That government is, or ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community : of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of mal-administration, and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.
4. That no man, or set of men are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services, which, not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge to be hereditary.
5. That the legislative, executive and judicial powers should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain and regular elections, in which all, or any part of the former members to be again eligible or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.
6. That all elections ought to be free, and that all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good.
7. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by
any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
8. That, in all capital or criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the . judgment of his peers.
9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.
11. That, in controversies respecting property, and suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury of twelve men is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.
12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.
13. That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free state ; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.
14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of, the government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.
15. That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by, a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other..
CONSTITUTION. Whereas, the Delegates and Representatives of the good people of Virginia, in Convention assembled, on the twenty-ninth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six: reciting and declaring, that whereas, George the Third,