Page images

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.


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

ARTICLE VII. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reëxamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparaye others retained by the people.

ARTICLE X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

ARTICLE XI. The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another State, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign State.

ARTICLE XII. The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballot the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots' the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate :-The President of the Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted; The person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such pumber be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately by ballot the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one; a quorum for this shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President, whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, be- fore the fourth day of March next following, then the VicePresident shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then, from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-Pregident; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds

of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President, shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

ARTICLE XIII. “SECTION 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

"SECTION 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this Article by appropriate legislation, approved February 1, 1863."

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

The Constitution was adopted on the 17th of September, 1787, by the convention appointed in pursuance of the Resolution of the Congress of the Confederation, of the 21st February, 1787, and ratified by the conventions of the several States, as follows: By Convention of Delaware

.7th December, 1787 Pennsylvania. .12th December, 1787 New Jersey...... 18th December, 1787 Georgia

20 January, 1788 Connecticut. ...9th January, 1788 Massachusetts......6th February, 1788 Maryland..... 28th April, 1788 South Carolina.. ..28th May, 1788 New Hampshire. .21st June, 1788 Virginia..

.26th June, 1788 New York...

.26th July, 1788 North Carolina ...21st November, 1789 Rhode Island. ..29th May, 1790

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The first ten of the Amendments were proposed on the 25th September, 1789, and ratified by the constitutional number of States on 15th December, 1791 ; the eleventh, on the 8th January, 1798; and the twelfth, on the 25th September, 1804; and the thirteenth, on the


as it

[ocr errors]

There were not many occasions during his public career that Washington was called upon to exercise his abilities as a writer or an orator; but when such occasion did occur, he always acquitted himself with a degree of perspicuity and modesty which may be said to have been characteristic of himself alone. The addresses which follow mark, were, four distinct epochs in the history of this unexampled man: the first, when he accepted the command of the armies by which our national independence was achieved; the second, when he surrendered his commission, after having driven the foes of freedom from his beloved country; the third, when he assumed the responsible duties of President, in which office his high qualities for civil government were as conspicuous as had been his military talents in the field; and fourth, when he resigned his great trust and took leave of the people in his imperishable - Farewell Address," an inestimable legacy, which can not be too frequently conned by every American who values his birthright.

WASHINGTON'S ELECTION AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. On the 15th of June, 1775, Washington was unanimously elected by Congress to "command all the Continental forces raised, or to be raised, for the defense of American liberty," and when he appeared in his place the next day, the President of that body acquainted him with his election, in a welltimed address, “and requested that he should accept of that employment;" to which Washington replied as follows:

"MR. PRESIDENT: Though I am truly sensible of the high honor done me, in this appointment, yet I feel great distress, from consciousness that my abilities and military experience may not be equel to the extensive and important trast: However, as the Congress desire it, I will enter I beg

upon the momentous duty, and exert every power I possess in their service, and for support of the glorious cause. they will accept my most cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation.

“ But lest some unlucky event should happen, unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered, by every gentleman in the room, that I, this day, declare, with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with.

“As to pay, sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress, that, as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment, at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expenses. Those, I doubt not, they will discharge, and that is all I desire.”

WASHINGTON'S RESIGNATION OF HIS COMMISSION. The War of the Revolution having terminated auspiciously, Washington took leave of his officers and army at New York, and repaired to Annapolis, Md., where Congress was then in session. On the 20th of December, 1783, he transmitted a letter to that body, apprising them of his arrival, with the intention of resigning his commission, and desiring to know whether it would be most agreeable to receive it in writing or at an audience. It was immediately resolved that a public entertainment be given him on the 22d, and that he be admitted to an audience on the 23d, at 12 o'clock. Accordingly, he attended at that time, and, being seated, the President informed him that Congress were prepared to receive his communications. Whereupon he arose, and spoke as follows:

“MR. PRESIDENT: The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place, I have now the honor of offering my sincere congratulations to Congress, and of presenting myself before them, to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the service of my country.

“Happy in the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »