Benjamin Whitman.

Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r online

. (page 10 of 192)
Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 10 of 192)
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by ballot. Every ballot voted shall be numbered
in the order in which it shall be received, and the
number recorded by the election officers on the list
of voters, opposite the name of the elector who
presents the ballot. Any elector may write his
name upon his ticket, or cause the same to be writ-
ten thereon and attested bj' a citizen of the dis-
trict. The election officers shall be sworn or af-
firmed not to disclose how any elector shall have
voted unless required to do so as witnesses in a
judicial proceeding.

Sec. 5. Electors shall in all cases, except

i treason, felony and breach or surety of the peace,

be privileged from arrest during their attendance

on elections, and going to and returning there-

Sec. 6. Whenever any of the qualified elect-
ors of this commonwealth shall be in actual mili-
tary service, under a requisition from the Presi-
dent of the United States, or by the authority of
this commonwealth, such electors may exercise
the right of suffrage in all elections by the citi-
zens, under such regulations as are, or shall be,
prescribed by law, as fully as if they were present
at their usual places of election.

Sec. 7. All laws regulating the holding of
elections by the citizens or for the registration of
electors shall be uniform throughout the State,
but no elector shall be deprived of the privilege of
voting by reason of his name not being registered.
Sec. 8. Any person who shall give, or prom-
ise or offer to give, to an elector, any money, re-
ward or other valuable consideration for his vote
I at an election, or for withholding the same, or
I who shall give or promise to give such considera-
tion to any other person or party for such elector's
vote or for the withholding thereof, and any
' elector who shall receive or agree to receive,
j for himself or for another, any money, reward os
other valuable consideration for his vote at an
election, or for withholding the same, shall there-
by forfeit the right to vote at such election, and
any elector whose right to vote shall be challenged
for such cause before the election officers, shall be
I required to swear or affirm that the matter of the
' challenge is untrue before his vote shall be re-


Sec. 9. Any person who shall, while a candi-
date for office, be guilty of bribery, fraud or wil-
ful violation of any election law, shall be forever
disqualified from holding- an office of trust or profit
in this commonwealth: and any person convicted
of wilful violation of the election laws shall, in
addition to any penalties provided by law, be de-
prived of the right of suffrage absolutely for a
term of four years.

Sec. 10. In trials of contested elections and
in proceedings for the investigation of elections,
no person shall be permitted to withhold his testi-
mony upon the ground that it may criminate him-
self or subject him to public infamy; but such tes-
timony shall not afterwards be used against him
in any judicial proceeding except for perjury in
giving such testimony.

Sec. 11. Townships and wards of cities or
boroughs shall form or be divided into election
districts of compact and contiguous territory, in
such manner as the court of quarter sessions of
the city or county in which the same are located
may direct; but districts in cities of over one hun-
dred thousand inhabitants shall be divided by the
courts of quarter sessions, having jurisdiction
therein, whenever at the next preceding election
more than two hundred and fifty votes shall have
been polled therein; and other election districts
whenever the court of the proper county shall be
of opinion that the convenience of the electors and
public interests will be promoted thereby.

Sec. 12. All elections by persons in a repre-
sentative capacity shall be cira kxy.

Sec. 13. For the purpose of voting no person
shall be deemed to have gained a residence by
reason of his presence, or lost it by reason of his
absence, while employed in the service, either
civil or military, of this State or the United
States, nor while engaged in the navigation of the
waters of the State or of the United States, or on
the high seas, nor while a student of any institu-
tion of learning, nor while kept in any poorhouse
or other asylum at public expense, nor while con-
fined in public prison.

Sec. 14. District election boards shall consist
of a judge and two inspectors, who shall be chosen
annually by the citizens. Each elector shall have
the right to vote for the judge and one inspector,
and each inspector shall appoint one clerk. The
first election board for any new district shall be
selected, and vacancies in election boards filled
as shall be provided by law. Election officers
shall be privileged from arrest upon days of elec-
tion, and while making up and transmitting re-
turns, except upon warrant of court of record, or
judge thereof, for an election fraud, for felony, or
for wanton breach of the peace. In cities they
may claim exemption from jury duty during their
terms of service.

Sec. 15. No person shall be qualified to serve
as an election officer who shall hold, or shall
within two months have held, an office, appoint-
ment or employment in or under the government
of the United States or of this State, or of any
city or county, or of anj- municipal board, com-
mission or trust in any city, save only justices of
the peace and aldermen, notaries public, and per-

sons in the militia service of the State; nor shall
any election officer be eligible to any civil office
to be filled at an election at which he shall serve,
save only to such subordinate, municipal or local
offices, below the grade of city or county offices.
as shall be designated by general law.

Sec. 16. The courts of common pleas of the
several counties of the commonwealth shall have
power, within their respective jurisdictions, to ap-
point overseers of elections, to supervise the pro-
ceedings of election officers, and to make report
to the court as may be required; such appoint-
ments to be made for any district in a city or
county, upon petition of five citizens, lawful vot-
ers of such election districts, setting forth that
such appointment is a reasonable precaution to
secure the purity and fairness of elections; over-
seers shall be two in number for an election dis-
trict, shall be residents therein, and shall be per-
sons qualified to serve upon election boards, and
in each case members of different political par-
ties. Whenever the members of an election board
shall differ in opinion, the overseers, if they shall
be agreed thereon, shall decide the question of
difference; in appointing overseers of election, all
the law judges of the proper court, able to act at
the time, shall concur in the appointments made.

Sec. 17. The trial and determination of con-
tested elections of electors of President and Vice
President, members of the general assembly, and
of all public officers, whether State, judicial,
municipal or local, shall be, by the courts of law,
or by one or more of the law judges thereof; the
general assembly shall, by general law, designate
the courts and judges by whom the several classes
of election contests shall be tried, and regulate
the manner of trial, and all matters incident
thereto; but no such law assigning jurisdiction, or
regulating its exercise, shall apply to any contest
arising out of an election held before its passage.


Sec. 1. All taxes shall be uniform, upon the
same class of subjects, within the territorial lim-
its of the authority levying the tax. and shall be
levied and collected under general laws; but the
general assembly may, by general laws, exempt
from taxation public property used for public pur-
poses, actual places of religious worship, places of
burial not used or held for private or corporate
profit, and institutions of a purely public charity.

Sec. 2. All laws exempting property from
taxation, other than the property above enumer-
ated, shall be void.

Sec. 3. The power to tax corporations and
corporate property shall not be surrendered or sus-
pended by any contract or grant to which the
State shall be a party.

Sec. 4. No debt shall be created by or on be-
half of the State, except to supply casual de-
ficiencies of revenue, repel invasions, suppress in-
surrection, defend the State in war, or to pay
existing debt; and the debt created to supply de-
ficiencies in revenue shall never exceed, in the


ag-greg^ate at any one time, one million of dollars.

Sec. 5. All laws authorizing the borrowing
of money by and on behalf of the State shall
specify the purpose for which the money is to be
used, and the money so borrowed shall be used for
the purpose specified, and no other.

Sec. 6. The credit of the commonwealth shall
not be pledged or loaned to any individual, com-
pany, corporation or association, nor shall the
commonwealth become a joint-owner or stock-
holder in any company, association or corporation.

Sec. 7. The general assembly shall not au-
thorize any county, city, borough, township or in-
corporated district to become a stockholder in any
company, association or corporation, or to obtain
or appropriate money for, or to loan its credit to,
any corporation, association, institution or indi-

Sec. 8. The debt of any county, city, bor-
ough, township, school district or other munici-
pality or incorporated district, except as herein
provided, shall never exceed seven per centum up-
on the assessed value of the taxable property
therein, nor shall any such municipalitj' or district
incur any new debt, or increase its indebtedness
to an amount exceeding two per centum upon
such assessed valuation of property, without the
assent of the electors thereof at a public election
in such manner as shall be provided by law; but
any city, the debt of which now exxeeds seven
per centum of such assessed valuation, may be
authorized by law to increase the same three per
centum, in the aggregate at any one time, upon
such valuation.

Sec. 9. The commonwealth shall not assume
the debt, or any part thereof, of any city, county,
borough or township, unless such debt shall have
been contracted to enable the State to repel inva-
sion, suppress domestic insurrection, defend itself
in time of war, or to assist the State in the dis-
charge of any portion of its present indebtedness.

Sec. 10. Any county, township, school dis-
trict or other municipality, incurring any indebt-
edness, shall, at or before the time of so doing,
provide for the collection of an annual tax, suffi-
cient to pay the interest, and also the principal
thereof within thirty years.

Sec. 11. To provide for the payment of the
present State debt, and any additional debt con-
tracted as aforesaid, the general assembly shall
continue and maintain the sinking fund sufficient
to pay the accruing interest on such debt, and
annually to reduce the principal thereof by a sum
not less than two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars; the said sinking fund shall consist of the
proceeds of the sales of the public works, or any part
thereof, and of the income or proceeds of the sale of
any stocks owned by the commonwealth, together
with other funds and resources that may be des-
ignated by law, and shall be increased from time
to time by assigning to it any part of the taxes, or
other revenues of the State, not required for the
ordinary and current expenses of government;
and unless in case of war, invasion or insurrection,
no part of the said sinking fund shall be used or
applied otherwise than in the extinguishment of
the public debt.

Sec. 12. The moneys of the State, over and
above the necessary reserve, shall be used in the
payment of the debt of the State, either directly
or through the sinking fund, and the moneys of
the sinking fund shall never be invested in or
loaned upon the security of anything, except the
bonds of the United States, or of this State.

Sec. 13. The moneys held as necessary re-
serve shall be limited by law to the amount requir-
ed for current expenses, and shall be secured and
kept as may be provided by law. Monthly state-
ments shall be published, showing the amount of
such moneys, where the same are deposited and
how secured.

Sec. 14. The making of profit out of the pub-
lic moneys, or using the same for any purpose not
authorized by the law, by an officer of the State,
or member or officer of the general assembl.v, shall
be a misdemeanor, and shall be punished as may
be provided by law; but part of such punishment
shall be disqualification to hold office for a period
or not less than five years.



Sec. 1. The general assembly shall provide
for the maintenance and support of a thorough and
efficient system of public schools, wherein all the
children of this commonwealth, above the age of
six years, may be educated, and shall appropriate
at least one million dollars each year for that

i purpose.

' Sec. 2. No money raised for the support of

the public schools of the commonwealth, shall be
appropriated to, or used for, the support of an)'
sectarian school.

Sec. 3. Women twenty-one years of age and
upwards shall be eligible to an)' office of control or
management under the school law of this State.



Sec. 1. The freemen of this commonwealth
shall be armed, organized and disciplined for its
defense, when, and in such manner as may be di-
rected by law. The general assembly shall pro-
vide for maintaining the militia, by appropriations
from the treasury of the commonwealth, and may
exempt from military service persons having con-
scientious scruples against bearing arms.


public officers.

Sec. 1. All officers whose selection is not
provided for in this constitution, shall be elected
or appointed, as may be directed by law.

Sec. 2. No member of congress from this
State, nor any person holding or exercising any
office or appointment of trust or profit under the
United States, shall at the same time hold or exer-
cise any office in this State to which a salary.






fees or perquisites shall be attached. The g-eneral
assembly may by law declare what offices are

Sec. 3. Any person who shall fight a duel, or
send a challenge for that purpose, or be aider or
abettor in fighting- a duel, shall be deprived of the
right of holding any office of honor or profit in
this State, and may be otherwise punished as shall
be prescribed by law.



Sec. 1. No new county shall be established
which shall reduce any county to less than four
hundred square miles, or to less than twenty thou-
sand inhabitants, nor shall any county be formed
of less area, or containing less population; nor
shall any line thereof pass within ten miles of the
county seat of any county proposed to be divided.



Sec. 1. County officers shall consist of sherifl^s,
coroners, prothonotaries, registers of wills, recorders
of deeds, commissioners, treasurers, surveyors,
auditors and controller.-, clerks of the courts, dis-
trict attorneys, or such others as may from time
to time be established by law; and no sheriff or
treasurer shall be eligible for the term next suc-
ceeding the one for which he may be elected.

Sec. 2. County officers shall be elected at the
general elections, and shall hold their offices for
the term of three years, beginning on the first
Monday of January next after their election, and
until their successors shall be duly qualified: all
vacancies not otherwise provided for shall be filled
in such manner as may be provided by law.

Sec. 3. No person shall be appointed to any
office within any county, who shall not have been
a citizen and an inhabitant therein one year next
before his appointment, if the county shall have
been so long erected, but if it shall not have been
so long erected, then within the limits of the coun-
ty or counties out of which it shall have been

Sec. 4. Prothonotaries, clerks of the courts,
recorders of deeds, registers of wills, county sur-
veyors, and sheriffs, shall keep their offices in the
county town, of the county in which they respect-
ively shall be officers.

Sec. 5. The compensation of officers shall be
regulated by law, and all county officers who are
or may be salaried shall pay all fees which they
may be authorized to receive, into the treasury of
the county or State, as may be directed by law. In
counties containing over one hundred and fifty
thousand inhabitants all county officers shall be
paid by salary, and the salary of any such officer
and his clerks, heretofore paid by fees, shall not ex-
ceed the aggregate amount of fees earned during
his term and collected by or for him.

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall provide
by law for the strict accountability of all county,

township and borough officers, as well as for the
fees which may be collected by them, as for all
public or municipal moneys which may be paid to

Sec. 7. Three county commissioners and
three county auditors shall be elected in each
county where such officers are chosen, in the year
one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five and
every third year thereafter; and in the election of
said officers each qualified elector shall vote for no
more than two persons, and the three persons hav-
ing the highest number of votes shall be elected;
any casual vacancy in the office of county com-
missioner or county auditor shall be filled by the
court of common pleas of the county in which
such vacancy shall occur, by the appointment of
an elector of the proper county who shall have
voted for the commissioner or auditor whose place
is to be filled.



Sec. 1. Cities may be chartered whenever a

majority of the electors of any town or borough

having a population of at least ten thousand shall

vote at any general election in favor of the same.

Sec. 2. Nodebt shall be contracted or liability

i incurred by any municipal commission, except in

j pursuance of an appropriation previouslv made

therefor by the municipal government.

Sec. 3. Every city shall create a sinking fund,
[ which shall be inviolably pledged for the payment
of its funded debt.



! Sec. 1. All existing charters or grants of

special or exclusive privileges, under which a bona
fide organization shall not have taken place and
business been commenced in good faith, at the
time of the adoption of this constitution, shall
thereafter have no validity.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall not remit
the forfeiture of the charter of any corporation
now existing, or alter or amend the same, or pass
any other general or special law for the benefit of
such corporation, except upon the condition that
such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter
subject to the provisions of this constitution.

Sec. 3. The exercise of the right of eminent
domain shall never be abridged or so construed as
to prevent the general assembly from taking the
property and franchises of incorporated com-
panies, and subjecting them to public use, the
same as the property of individuals; and the exer-
cise of the police power of the State shall never be
abridged or so construed as to permit corporations
to conduct their business in such manner as to
infringe the equal rights of individuals or the
general wellbeing of the State.

Sec. 4. In all elections for directors or man-
agers of a corporation, each member or share-
holder may cast the whole number of bis votes for



one candidate, or distribute them upon two or
more candidates, as he may prefer.

Sec. 5. No foreign corporation shall do any
business in this State without having one or more
known places of business and an authorized agent
or agents in the same upon whom process maj' be

Sec. 6. No corporation shall engage in any
business other than that expressly authorized in
its charter, nor shall it take or hold any real
estate except such as may be necessary and proper
for its legitimate business.

Sec. 7. No corporation shall issue stocks or
bonds except for money, labor done, or money or
property actually received, and all fictitious in-
crease of stock or indebtedness shall be void. The
stock and indebtedness of corporations shall not
be increased except in pursuance of general law,
nor without the consent of the persons holding the
larger amount in value of the stock first obtained
at a meeting to be held after sixty days' notice
given in pursuance of law.

Sec. 8. Municipal and other corporations and
individuals invested with the privilege of taking
private property for public use shall make just
compensation for property taken, injured or de-
stroyed by the construction or enlargement of
their works, highways or improvements, which
compensation shall be paid or secured before such
taking, injury or destruction. The general as-
sembly is hereby prohibited from depriving any
person of an appeal from any preliminary assess-
ment of damages against any such corporations
or individuals made by viewers or otherwise; and
the amount of such damages in all cases of appeal
shall, on the demand of either party, be deter-
mined by a jury, according to the course of the
common law.

Sec. 9. Every banking law shall provide for
the registry and countersigning, by an officer of
the State, of all notes or bills designed for circu-
lation, and that ample security to the full amount
thereof shall be deposited with the Auditor
General for the redemption of such notes or bills.
. Sec. 10. The general assembly shall have the
power to alter, revoke or annul any charter of in-
corporation now existing and revocable at the
adoption of this constitution, or any that may
hereafter be created, whenever, in their opinion,
it may be injurious to the citizens of this common-
wealth, in such manner, however, that no injust-
ice shall be done to the corporators. No law here-
after enacted shall create, renew or extend the
charter of more than one corporation.

Sec. 11. No corporate body to possess bank-
ing and discounting privileges shall be created or
organized in pursuance of any law without three
months' previous public notice, at the place of the
intended location, of the intention to apply for
such privileges, in such manner as shall be pre-
scribed by law, nor shall a charter for such priv-
ilege be granted for a longer period than twenty

Sec. 12. Any association or corporation, or-
ganized for the purpose, or any individual, shall
have the right to construct and maintain lines of
telegraph within this State, and to connect the

same with other lines, and the general assembly
shall, by general law of uniform operation, provide
reasonable regulations to give full effect to this
section. No telegraph company shall consolidate
with, or hold a controlling interest in, the stock or
bonds of any other telegraph company owning a
competing line, or acquire, by purchase or other-
wise, any other competing line of telegraph.

Sec. 13. The term "corporations," as used
in this article, shall be construed to include all
joint-stock companies or associations having any
of the powers, or privileges of corporations, not
possessed by individuals or partnerships.




Sec. 1. All railroads and canals shall be pub-
lic highways, and all railroad and canal companies
shall be common carriers. Any association or
corporation, organized for the purpose, shall have
the right to construct and operate a railroad be-
tween any points within this State, and to connect
at the State line with railroads of other States.
Every railroad company shall have the right with
its road to intersect, connect with, or cross any-
other railroad; and shall receive and transport
each the other's passengers, tonnage and cars,
loaded or empty, without delay or discrimination.

Sec. 2. Every railroad or canal corporation
organized in this State, shall maintain an office
therein, where transfers of its stocks shall be
made, and where its books shall be kept for in-
spection by any stockholder or creditor of such
corporation, in which shall be recorded the
amount of capital stock subscribed or paid in, and
by whom, the names of the owners of its stock,

Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 10 of 192)