Copyright
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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 9 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 9 of 192)
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the Commonwealth, Attorney General and Secre-
tary of Internal Affairs, or any three of them,
after full hearing, upon due public notice and in
open session; and such recommendation, with the
reasons therefor at length, shall be recorded and
filed in the office of the Secretary of the Common-
wealth.

Sec. 10. He may require information, in writ-
ing, from the officers of the executive department,
upon any subject relating to the duties of their
respective offices.

Sec. 11. He shall, from time to time, give to
the general assembly information of the state of
the commonwealth, and recommend to their con-
sideration such measures as he may judge expe-
dient.

Sec. 12. He may, on extraordinary occasions,
convene the general assembly; and, in case of dis-
agreement between the two Houses, with respect
to the time of adjournment, adjourn them to such
time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four
months. He shall have power to convene the
Senate in extraordinary session by proclamation,
for the transaction of executive business.

Sec. 13. In case of the death, conviction or
impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation, or
other disability of the Governor, the powers,
duties and emoluments of the office, for the re-
mainder of the term, or until the disability be
removed, shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Gov-
ernor.

Sec. 14. In case of a vacancy in the office of
Lieutenant Governor, or when the Lieutenant
Governor shall be impeached by the House of Rep-
resentatives, or shall be unable to exercise the
duties of his office, the powers, duties and emolu-
ments thereof for the remainder of the term, or
until the disability be removed, shall devolve up-
on the President pru tempore of the Senate; and
the President pro tempore of the Senate shall in
like manner become Governor if a vacancy or dis-
ability shall occur in the office of Governor; his
seat as Senator shall become vacant whenever he
shall become Governor, and shall be filled by
election as any other vacancy in the Senate.



AND UISTOUICAL REFEliENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUNTY.



Sec. 15. Every bill which shall have passed
both Houses shall be presented to the Governor;
if he approve he shall sig'a it; but if he shall uot
approve he shall return it, with his objections, to
the House in which it shall have originated, which
House shall enter the objections at large upon
their journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after
such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the mem-
bers elected to that House shall agree to pass the
bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the
other House, by which likewise it shall be recon-
sidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the
members elected to that House, it shall be a law;
but in such cases the votes of both Houses shall
be determined by yeas and nays, and the names
of the members voting for and against the bill
shall be entered on the journals of each House
respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by
the Governor within ten days after it shall have
been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in
like manner as if he had signed it, unless the gen-
eral assembh', by their adjournment, prevent its
return; in which case it shall be a law, unless he
shall file the same, with his objections, in the
office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and
give notice thereof by public proclamation with-
in thirty days after such adjournment.

Skc. 16. The Governor shall have power to
disapprove of any item or items of any bill mak-
ing appropriations of money, embracing distinct
items, and the part or parts of the bill approved
shall be the law, and the item or items of appro-
priation disapproved shall be void, unless re-pass-
ed according to the rules and limitations prescrib-
ed for the passage of other bills over the execu-
tive veto.

Sec. 17. The chief justice of the supreme
court shall preside upon the trial of any contested
election of Governor or Lieutenant Governor, and
shall decide questions regarding the admissabil-
ity of evidence, and shall, upon request of the
committee, pronounce his opinion upon other
questions of the law involved in the trial. The
Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall exercise
the duties of their respective offices until their
successor shall be duly qualified.

Sec. 18. The Secretary of the Common-
wealth shall keep a record of all official acts and
proceedings of the Governor, and when required
lay the same, with all papers, minutes and vouch-
ers relating thereto, before either branch of the
general assembly, and perform such other duties
as may be enjoined upon him by law.

Sec. 19. The Secretary of Internal Affairs
shall exercise all the powers, and perform all the
duties of the Surveyor General, subject to such
changes as shall be made by law. His department
shall embrace a bureau of industrial statistics,
and he shall discharge such duties relating to cor-
porations, to the charitable institutions, the agri-
cultural, manufacturing, mining, mineral, timber
and other material or business interests of the
State as may be prescribed by law. He shall an-
nually, and at such other times as may be required
by law, make report to the general assembly.

Sec. 20. The Superintendent of Public In-
struction shall exercise all the powers and perform



all the duties of the superintendent of common
schools, subject to such changes as shall be made
by law.

Sec. 21. The term of the Secretary of Inter-
nal Affairs shall be four years; of the Auditor
General three years, and of the State Treasurer
two years. These officers shall be chosen by the
qualified electors of the State at general elections.
No person elected to the office of Auditor General
or State Treasurer shall be capable of holding the
same office for two consecutive terms.

Sec. 22. The present Great Seal of Pennsyl-
vania shall be the seal of the State. All commis-
sions shall be in the name and by authority of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and be sealed
with the State sea!, and signed by the Governor.

ARTICLE V.



THE Jl'DICl.\KV.

Sec. 1. The judicial powers of this common-
wealth shall be vested in a supreme court, in
courts of common pleas, courts of oyer and ter-
miner and general jail delivery, courts of quarter
sessions of the peace, orphans' courts, magistrates'
courts, and such other courts as the general as-
sembly may from time to time establish.

Sec. 2. The supreme court shall consist of
seven judges, who shall be elected by the qualified
electors of the State at large. They shall hold
their offices for the term of twenty-one years, if
they so long behave themselves well, but shall not
be again eligible. The judge whose commission
shall first expire shall be chief justice, and there-
after each judge whose commission shall first ex-
pire shall in turn be chief justice.

Sec. 3. The jurisdiction of the supreme court
shall extend over the State, and the judges thereof
shall, by virtue of their offices, be justices of oyer
and terminer and general jail delivery in the sev-
eral counties; they shall have original jurisdiction
in cases of injunction where a corporation is a
party defendant, of habidx corpus, of mandamus to
courts of inferior jurisdiction, and of quo warranto
as to all officers of the commonwealth whose juris-
diction extends over the State, but shall not exer-
cise any other original jurisdiction; they shall
have appellate jurisdiction by appeal, certiorari, or
writ of error in all cases, as is now or may here-
after be provided by law.

Sec. 4. Until otherwise directed by law, the
courts of common pleas shall continue as at pres-
ent established, except as herein changed; not
more than four counties shall, at any time, be in-
cluded in one judicial district organized for said
courts.

Sec. S. Whenever a county shall contain forty
thousand inhabitants it shall constitute a separate
judicial district, and shall elect one judge learned
in the law; and the general assembly shall provide
for additional judges, as the business of said dis-
tricts may require. Counties containing a popula-
tion less than is sufficient to constitute separate
districts shall be formed into convenient single
districts, or, if necessary, may be attached to
contiguous districts, as the general assembly may



NELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY



provide. The office of associate judg-e, not learned
in the law, is abolished in counties forming sep-
arate districts; but the several associate judg-es in
office when this constitution shall be adopted shall
serve for their unexpired terms.

Sec. 6. In the counties of Philadelphia and
Alleg-heny all the jurisdiction and powers now
vested in the district courts of common pleas, sub-
ject to such changes as may be made by this con-
stitution or by law, shall be, in Philadelphia,
vested in four, and in Allegheny in two, distinct
and separate courts of equal and co-ordinate juris-
diction, composed of three judges each; the said
courts in Philadelphia shall be designated respect-
ively as the court of common pleas number one,
number two, number three, and number four, and
in Allegheny as the court of common pleas number
one and number two, but the number of said
courts may be by law increased, from time to time,
and shall be, in like manner, designated by suc-
cessive numbers; the number of judges in any of
said courts, or in any county where the establish-
ment of an additional court may be authorized by
law, may be increased from time to time, and
whenever such increase shall amount in the whole
to three, such three judges shall compose a dis -
tinct and separate court as aforesaid, which shall
be numbered as aforesaid. In Philadelphia, all
suits shall be instituted in the said courts of com-
mon pleas without designating the number of said
court, and the several courts shall distribute and
apportion the business among them in such man-
ner as shall be provided by rules of court, and
each court to which any suit shall be thus as-
signed, shall have exclusive jurisdiction thereof,
subject to change of venue, as shall be provided
by law. In Allegheny each court shall have ex-
clusive jurisdiction of all proceedings at law and
in equity, commenced therein, subject to change
of venue, as may be provided by law.

Sec. 7. For Philadelphia there shall beonepro-
thonotary's office and one prothonotary for all
said courts, to be appointed by the judges of said
courts, and to hold office for three years, subject
to removal by a majority of the said judges; the
said prothonotary shall appoint such assistants as
may be necessary and authorized by said courts;
and he and his assistants shall receive fixed sala-
ries, to be determined by law and paid by said
county; all fees collected in said office, except
such as may be by law due to the commonwealth,
shall be paid by the prothonotary into the county
treasury. Each court shall have its separate
docket, except the judgment docket, which shall
contain the judgments and liens of all the said
courts, as is or may be directed by law.

Sec. 8. The said courts in the counties of
Philadelphia and Allegheny, respectively, shall,
from time to time, in turn, detail one or more of
their judges to hold the courts of oyer and terminer
and the courts of quarter sessions of the peace of
said counties, in such manner as may be directed
by law.

Sec. 9. Judges of the courts of common pleas
learned in the law shall be judges of the courts of
oyer and terminer, quarter sessions of the peace,
and general jail delivery, and of the orphans'



court, and within their respective districts, shall
be justices of the peace as to criminal matters.

Sec. 10. The judges of the courts of common

pleas, within their respective counties shall have

power to issue writs of rcrlioi-ari to justices of the

; peace, and other inferior courts, not of record, and

[ to cause their proceedings to be brought before

j them, and right and justice to be done.

Sec. 11. Except as otherwise provided in this

I constitution, justices of the peace, or aldermen,

i shall be elected in the several wards, districts,

I boroughs and townships at the time of the elec-

I tion of constables by the qualified electors thereof,

I in such manner as shall be directed by law, and

! shall be commissioned bj- the Governor for a term

i of five years. No township, ward, district or bor-

j ough shall elect more than two justices of the

peace or aldermen, without the consent of a ma-

, jority of the qualified electors within such town-

i ship, ward or borough: no person shall be elected

to such office unless he shall have resided within

the township, borough, ward or district for one

[ year next preceding his election. In cities con-

! taining over fifty thousand inhabitants not more

than one alderman shall be elected in each ward

or district.

Sec. 12. In Philadelphia there shall be estab-
lished, for each thirty thousand inhabitants, one
court, not of record, of police and civil causes,
with jurisdiction not exceeding one hundred dol-
lars; such courts shall be held by magistrates
whose term of office shall be five years, and they
shall be elected on general ticket by the qualified
voters at large; and in the election of the said
magistrates no voter shall vote for more than two-
thirds of the number of persons to be elected when
more than one are to be chosen; they shall be
compensated only by fixed salaries, to be paid by
said county, and shall exercise such jurisdiction,
civil and criminal, except as herein provided, as is
now exercised by aldermen, subject to such
changes, not involving an increase of civil juris-
diction or conferring political duties, as may be
made by law. In Philadelphia, the office of alder-
' man is abolished.

\ Sec. 13. All fees, fines and penalties in said

[ courts shall be paid into the county treasury.
I Sec. 14. In all cases of summary conviction

I in this commonwealth, or of judgment in suit for
I a penalty before a magistrate or court not of
I record, either party may appeal to such court of
record, as may be prescribed by law, upon allow-
j ance of the appellate court, or judge thereof, upon
cause shown.

Sec. is. All judges required to be learned in
the law, except the judges of the supreme court,
! shall be elected by the qualified electors of the
respective districts over which they are to preside,
and shall hold their offices for the period of ten
j'ears, if they shall so long behave themselves
well: but for any reasonable cause, which shall
not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the
Governor may remove any of them on the address
of two-thirds of each House of the general as-
sembly.

Sec. 16. Whenever two judges of the supreme
court are to be chosen for the same term of serv-



AND nWTOlilVAL REFEUENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUNTY.



ice, each voter shall vote for one only, and when
three are to be chosen he shall vote for no more
than two; candidates highest in vote shall be de-
clared elected.

Sec. 17. Should any two or more judges of
the supreme court, or any two or more judges of
the court of common pleas for the same district,
be elected at the same time, they shall, as soon
after the election as convenient, cast lots for pri-
ority of commission, and certify the result to the
Governor, who shall issue their commissions in
accordance therewith.

Sec. is. The judges of the supreme court and
the judges of the several courts of common pleas,
and all other judges required to be learned in the
law, shall, at stated times, receive for their serv-
ices an adequate compen;5ation, which shall be
fixed by law and paid by the State. They shall
receive no other compensation, fees or perquisites
of office for their services from any source, nor
hold any other office of profit under the United
States, this State, or any other State.

Sec. 19. The judges of the supreme court,
during their continuance in office, shall reside
within this commonwealth, and the other judges
during their continuance in office shall reside
within the districts for which they shall be re-
spectively elected.

Sec. 20. The several courts of common pleas,
besides the powers herein conferred, shall have
and exercise within their respective districts, sub-
ject to such changes as may be made by law, such
chancery powers as are now vested by law in the
several courts of common pleas of this common-
wealth, or as may hereafter be conferred upon
them by law.

Sec. 21. No duties shall be imposed by law
upon the supreme court or any of the judges there-
of except such as are judicial, nor shall any of the
judges exercise any power of appointment except
as herein provided. The court of iiixi priiis is
hereby abolished, and no court of original juris-
diction to be presided over by any one or more
of the judges of the supreme court shall be estab-
lished.

Sec. 22. In every county wherein the popula-
tion shall exceed one hundred and fifty thousand,
the general assembly shall, and in any other coun-
ty may, establish a separate orphans' court, to
consist of one or more judges who shall be learned
in the law, which court shall exercise all the juris-
diction and powers now vested in or which may
hereafter be conferred upon the orphans' courts,
and thereupon the jurisdiction of the judges of
the court of common pleas within such county, in
orphans' court proceedings, shall cease and de-
termine. In any county in which a separate or-
phans' court shall be established, the register of
wills shall be clerk of such court and subject to its
directions, in all matters pertaining to his office;
he may appoint assistant clerks, but only with the
consent and approval of said court. All accounts
filed with him as register or as clerk of the said
separate orphans' court shall be audited by the
court without expense to parties, except where all
the parties in interest in a pending proceeding
shall nominate an auditor whom the court may,



in its discretion, appoint. In every county or-
phans' courts shall possess all the powers and
jurisdiction of a registers' court, and .separate
registers' courts are hereby abolished.

Sec. 23. The style of all process shall be
"The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." All
prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and
by the authority of the Commonwealth of Penn-
sylvania, and conclude " against the peace and
dignity of the same."

Sec. 24. In all cases of felonious homicide,
and in such other criminal cases as may be pro-
vided for by law, the accused, after conviction
and sentence, may remove the indictment, record
and all proceedings to the supreme court for re-
view.

Sec. 25. Any vacancy happening by death,
resignation or otherwise, in any court of record,
shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, to
continue until the first Monday of January next
succeeding the first general election, which shall
occur three or more months after the happening
of such vacancy.

Sec. 26. All laws relating to courts shall be
general, and of uniform operations, and the or-
ganization, jurisdiction and powers of all courts
of the same class or grade, so far as regulated by
law, and the force and effect of the process and
judgments of such courts shall be uniform; and the
general assembly is hereby prohibited from creat-
ing other courts to exercise the powers vested by
the constitution in the judges of the courts of
common pleas and orphans' courts.

Sec. 27. The parties, by agreement filed,
may, in any civil case, dispense with trial by jury,
and submit the decision of such case to the court
having jurisdiction thereof, and such court shall
hear and determine the same; and the judgment
thereon shall be subject to writ of error, as in
other cases.

ARTICLE VI.

impe.^chment and remov.^i, from ofeice.

Sec. 1. The House of Representatives shall
have the sole power of impeachment.

Sec. 2. All impeachments shall be tried by
the Senate. When sitting for that purpose, the
senators shall be upon oath or affirmation. No
person shall be convicted without the concurrence
of two-thirds of the members present.

Sec. 3. The Governor, and all other civil of-
ficers, shall be liable to impeachment for any
misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases
shall not extend further than to removal from of-
fice, and disqualification to hold any office of trust
or profit under this commonwealth; the person ac-
cused, whether convicted or acquitted, shall never-
theless be liable to indictment, trial, judgment,
and punishment, according to law.

Sec. 4 All officers shall hold their offices on
the condition that they behave themselves well
while in office, and shall be removed on conviction
of misbehavior in office, or of any infamous
crime. Appointed officers, other than judges of
the courts of record and the Superintendent of
Public Instruction, may be removed at the pleas-



54



NELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DIGTIONABT



ure of the power by which they shall have been
appointed. All officers elected by the people, ex-
cept Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of
the g-eneral assembly, and judges of the courts of
record learned in the law, shall be removed by the
Governor for reasonable cause, after due notice
and full hearing-, on the address of two-thirds of
the Senate.

ARTICLE VII.

OATH OF OFFICE.

Sec. 1. Senators and representatives, and all
judicial, state and county officers, shall, before
entering- on the duties of their respective offices,
take and subscribe the following oath or affirma-
tion.

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will sup-
port, obey and defend the Constitution of the
United States, and the Constitution of this Com-
monwealth, and that I will discharge the duties of
my office with fidelity; that I have not paid or
contributed, or promised to pay or contribute,
either directly or indirectly, any money or other
valuable thing, to procure my nomination or elec-
tion (or appointment), except for necessary and
proper expenses expressly authorized by law; that
I have not knowingly violated any election law of
this commonwealth, or procured it to be done by
others in my behalf; that I will not knowingly re-
ceive, directly or indirectly, any moneys or other
valuable thing for the performance or non-per-
formance of any act or duty pertaining to my
office, other than the compensation allowed by
law."

The foregoing oath shall be adtuinistered by
some person authorized to administer oaths, and
in the case of State officers and judges of the
supreme court, shall be filed in the office of the
Secretary of the Commonwealth, and in the case
of other judicial and county officers, in the office
of the prothonotary of the county in which the
same is taken; any person refusing to take said
oath or affirmation shall forfeit his office, and any
person who shall be convicted of having sworn or
affirmed f alselj', or of having violated said oath or
affirmation, shall be guilt3' of perjury, and be for-
ever disqualified from holding any office of trust
or profit within this commonwealth. The oath to
the members of the Senate and House of Repre-
sentatives shall be administered by one of the
judges of the supreme court or of a court of com-
mon pleas, learned in the law, in the hall of the
House to which the members shall be elected.



ARTICLE VIII.

SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS.

Sec. 1. Every male citizen twenty-one years
of age possessing the following qualifications
shall be entitled to vote at all elections: First.
He shall have been a citizen of the United States
at least one month. Scivnd, He shall have resided
in the State one year (or if, having previously
been a qualified elector or native-born citizen of



the State, he shall have removed therefrom and
returned, then six months) immediately preceding
the election. Thit-d. He shall have resided in the
election district where he shall offer to vote at
least two months immediatel}' preceding the elec-
tion. Fourth. If twenty-two years of age or up-
wards, he shall have paid within two years a State
or county tax, which shall have been assessed at
least two months and paid at least one month be-
fore the election.

Sec. 2. The general election shall be held an-
nually on the Tuesday next following the first
Monday of November, but the general assembly
may by law fix a different day, two-thirds of all
the members of each House consenting thereto.

Sec. 3. All elections for city, ward, borough
and township officers, for regular terms of serv-
ice, shall be held on the third Tuesdaj' of Feb-
ruary.

Sec. 4. All elections by the citizens shall be



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 9 of 192)