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XXXIV. AND IT IS FURTHER OBDAINED, That in every trial on Parts accusimpeachment, or indictment for crimes or misdemeanors, the party lowed counimpeached or indicted shall be allowed counsel, as in civil actions,
XXXV. And this convention doth further, in the name and by the Law of the authority of the good people of this state, ORDAIN, DETERMINE, AND DECLARE, that such parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great Britain, 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 19th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this state, subject to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this state shall, from time to time, make concerning the same. That such of the said acts as are temporary, shall expire at the times limited for their duration respectively. That all such parts of the said common law, and all such of the said statutes and acts aforesaid, or parts thereof, as may be construed to establish or maintain any particular denomination of christians or their ministers, or concern the allegiance heretofore yielded to, and the supremacy, sovereignty, government, or prerogatives, claimed or exercised by the king of Great Britain and his predecessors, over the colony of NewYork and its inhabitants, or are repugnant to this constitution, be and they hereby are, abrogated and rejected. And this convention doth further ORDAIN, that the resolves or resolutions of the congresses of the colony of New York, and of the covention of the state of New York, now in force, and not repugnant to the government established by this constitution, shall be considered as making part of the laws of this state; subject, nevertheless, to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this state may, from time to time, make concerning the same. XXXVI. AND BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, That all grants of land Grants by the
king after a within this state, made by the king of Great Britain, or persons act- certain perioa ing under his authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null and void; but that nothing in this constitution contained, shall be construed to affect any grants of land, within this state, made by the authority of the said king or his predecessors, or to annul any charters to bodies politic, by him or them, or any of them, made prior to that day. And that none of the said charters shall be adjudged to be void, by Charter rights reason of any nonuser or misuser of any of their respective rights or grants proprivileges, between the nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and the publication of this constitution. AND FURTHER, that all such of the officers, described in the said charters respectively, as, by the terms of the said charters, were to be appointed by the governor of the colony of New-York, with or without the advice and consent of the council of the said king, in the said colony, shall henceforth be appointed by the
Free exercise of religion.
council established by this constitution for the appointment of officers
in this state, until otherwise directed by the legislature. Purchases of XXXVII. AND WHEREAS it is of great importance to the safety of the Indians. this state that peace and amity with the Indians within the same, be
at all times supported and maintained : And WHEREAS the frauds too often practiced towards the said Indians, in contracts made for their lands, have, in divers instances, been productive of dangerous discontents and animosities : BE IT ORDAINED, that no purchases or contracts for the sale of lands made since the 14th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, or which may hereafter be made with or of the said Indians, within the limits of this state, shall be binding on the said Indians, or deemed valid, unless made under the authority and with the consent of the legislature of this state.
XXXVIII. AND WHEREAS we are required, by the benevolent principles of rational liberty, not only to expel civil tyranny, but also to guard against that spiritual oppression and intolerance wherewith the bigotry and ambition of weak and wicked priests and princes have scourged mankind : this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this state, ORDAIN, DETERMINE, AND DECLARE, that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever hereafter be allowed within this state to all mankind : Provided, that the liberty of conscience hereby granted shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state.
XXXIX. And WHEREAS the ministers of the gospel are, by their hold any of profession, dedicated to the service of God and the cure of souls, and
ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their function; therefore no minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination whatsoever, shall, at any time hereafter, under any pretence or description whatever, be eligible to or capable of holding, any civil or military office or place within this state,
XL. AND WHEREAS it is of the utmost importance to the safety of every state, that it should always be in a condition of defence ; and it is the duty of every man who enjoys the protection of society, to be prepared and willing to defend it; this convention, therefore, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of this state, doth ORDAIN, DETERMINE, AND DECLARE, That the militia of this state, at all times hereafter, as well in peace as in war, shall be armed and disciplined, and in readiness for service. That all such of the inhabitants of this state (being of the people called Quakers) as from scruples of conscience, may be averse to the bearing of arms, be therefrom excused by the legislature, and do pay to the state such sums of money, in lieu of their personal service, as the same may, in the judgment of the legislature, be worth. And that a proper ma
No ininister or priest to
gazine of warlike stores proportionate to the number of inhabitants, Magazines. be, forever hereafter, at the expense of this state, and by acts of the legislature, established, maintained, and continued, in every county in this state.
XLI. And this convention doth further ORDAIN, DETERMINE AND Trial by jury. DECLARE, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of this state, that trial by jury, in all cases, in which it hath heretofore been used in the colony of New-York, shall be established, and remain inviolate forever: And that no acts of attainder shall be passed by the legislature of this state, for crimes other than those committed before the termination of the present war; and that such acts shall not work a corruption of blood. AND FURTHER, that the legislature New courts. of this state shall, at no time hereafter, institute any new court or courts, but such as shall proceed according to the course of the common law.
XLII. And this convention doth further, in the name and by the Naturalizaauthority of the good people of this state, ORDAIN, DETERMINE AND DECLARE, That it shall be in the discretion of the legislature to naturalize all such persons, and in such manner, as they shall think proper : Provided, all such of the persons so to be by them naturalized, as, being born in parts beyond sea, and out of the United States of America, shall come to settle in, and become subjects of this state, shall take an oath of allegiance to this state, and abjure and renounce all allegiance and subjection to all and every foreign king, prince, potentate, and state, in all matters, ecclesiastical as well as civil. By order :
LEONARD GANSEVOORT, Pres. pro tem.
[The following has been published as an authentic list of the members elected to the convention which formed the preceding constitution. Its insertion here will gratify a laudable curiosity, while it will perpetuate the names of those to whose labors their country is indebted for one of the earliest written constitutions adopted by the American states. In the first or left hand column are placed the names of those who are found to have attended the convention at any time from the day the constitution was reported by the select committee till its adoption—that is, from the 6th of March to the 20th of April, 1777, inclusive. In the second or right hand column are placed those who are not found to have attended at all during that period, though they had been more or less in the convention before, and some of them were members of the select committee.
Jacobus Van Zandt,
Abraham Brashier, John Morrin Scott,
Comfort Sands, James Beekman,
Henry Remsen, Daniel Dunscomb,
SUFFOLK. William Smith,
Nathaniel Woodhull, Thomas Tredwell,
1 Rev. Mr. Kettletas,
1 Joseph Marsh,
KINGS AND RICHMOND. It does not appear from any entry on the journals, or from any papers now to be found, that the members elected in these two counties, (if any,) ever attended the provincial congress, or the convention, after the 30th June, 1776. Before that period Messrs. Bancker and Lawrence were in the provincial congress, from Richmond ; and in the month of June, 1776, Messrs. Joumey, Conner, and Cortelyou were occasionally attending from Richmond, and Messrs. Lefferts, Polhemus, and Couenhoven, from Kings.]
AMENDMENTS TO THE FORMER CONSTITUTION.
ALBANY, OCTOBER 27, 1801. WHEREAS the legislature of this state, by their act passed the Preapable. sixth day of April last, did propose to the citizens of this state, to elect by ballot delegates to meet in convention, “ for the purpose of considering the parts of the constitution of this state, respecting the number of senators and members of assembly in this state, and with power to reduce and limit the number of them as the said convention FOL. I.