Charles William Eliot.

American historical documents 1000-1904, with introductions, notes and illustrations online

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the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

(3) The President shall have power to fill up all Vacan-
cies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by
granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of
their next Session.

Section 3 He shall from time to time give to the Congress
Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to
their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge neces-
sary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions,
convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Dis-
agreement between them, with Respect to the Time of

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Adjouramenty he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall
think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public
Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully
executed^ and shall Commission all the Officers of the United

Section 4 The President, Vice President and all civil
Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office
on Impeachment for, and Conviction of. Treason, Bribery,
or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Akticle III

Section i The judicial Power of the United States, shall
be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts
as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall
hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated
Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which
shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section 2 (i) The judicial Power shall extend to all
Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution,
the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which
shall be made, under their Authority;— to all Cases affecting
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; — ^to all
Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction ;— to Contro-
versies to which the United States shall be a party;— to Con-
troversies between two or more States; — ^between a State
and Citizens of another State; — ^between Citizens of differ-
ent States,— between Citizens of the same State claiming
Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State,
or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or

(2) In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public
Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be
a Party, the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.
In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court
shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact,
with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the
Congress shall make.

(3) The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeach-

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mcnt, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the
State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but
when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be
at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have

Section 3 (i) Treason against the United States, shall
consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to
their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No person
shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of
two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in
open Court

(2) The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punish-
ment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work
Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life
of the Person attainted.

Akticle IV

Section i Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each
State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings
of every other State. And the Congress may by general
Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and
Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2 (i) The Citizens of each State shall be en-
titled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the
several States.

(2) A person charged in any State with Treason, Felony,
or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in
another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority
of the State from which he fled, be delivered up to be
removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

(3) No person held to Service or Labour in one State,
under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in
Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be dis-
charged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered
up on Claim of the Party to whom such service or Labour
may be due.

Section 3(1) New States may be admitted by the Con-
gress into this Union ; but no new State shall be formed or
erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any

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State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or
Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of
the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

(2) The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and
make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the
Territory or other Property belonging to the United States;
and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to
Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any par-
ticular State.

Section 4 The United States shall guarantee to every
State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and
shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Appli-
cation of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the
Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Article V

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall
deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Consti-
tution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two
thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for
proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid
to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution,
when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the
several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof,
as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed
by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may
be mfade prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and
eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses
in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State,
without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage
in the Senate.

Article VI

(i) All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into,
before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid
against the United States under this Constitution, as under
the Confederation.

(2) This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States
which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all Treaties

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made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the
United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and
the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing
in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary

(3) The Senators and Representatives before mentioned,
and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all
executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and
of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation,
to support this Constitution ; but no religious Test shall ever
be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust
under the United States.

Article VII

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall ^
be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution be-
tween the States so ratifying the Same.
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the
States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the
Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and
Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United
States of America the Twelfth. Sin HMtnott whereof
We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

Go. Washington
Presidt. and Deputy from Virginuk

New Hampshire
John Langdon Nicholas Oilman

Nathaniel Gorham Rufus King

Wm. Saml. Johnson Roger Sherman

New York

Alexander Hamilton

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WiL: Livingston
David Brearley

B. Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
RoBT. Morris
Geo. Clymeb

New Jersey

Wm. Patterson
Jona: Dayton


Thos. Fitzsimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv, Morris

Geo. Read Richard Bassett

Gunning Bedford, Jun Jaco ; Broom

John DiCKiNi>0N

James McHenry Danl. Carroll

Dan of St. Thos. Jenifer

John Blair


James Madison, Jr

North Carolina
Wm. Blount Hu. Williamson

Richd Dobbs Spaight

South Carolina
J. Rutledge Charles Pinckney

Charles Cotesworth Pierce Butler


William Few Abr. Baldwin

Attest William Jackson Secretary


Articles in Addition to, and Amendment of, the Constitu-
tion of the United States of America, Proposed by Con-
gress, and Ratified by the Legislatures of the Several States
Pursuant to the Fifth Article of the Original Constitution.

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition
the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article II.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security
of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear
Arms, shall not be infringed.

Ahticle III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any
house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of
war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Articlb IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirma-
tion, and particularly describing the place to be searched^
and the persons or things to be seized

Abticls V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or other-
wise infamous crime, tmless on a presentment or indictment
of a Grand Jury, except In cases arisbg^ in the land or
naval forces, or in the Militia, when fai actual service in
time of War or in public danger; nor shall any person be
subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of
life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any Criminal Case to
be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty,
or property, without due process of law; nor shall private

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property be taken for public use^ without just compensa-

Article VI

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 ascer-
tained 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

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
re-examined in any Court of the United States, than accord-
ing to the rules of the common law.

Article VIII

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

Article IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
shall not be construed to deny or disparage 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.

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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

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 ballots 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 of 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 the 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
number be a majority of the whole number of Electors ap-
pointed; 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 hav-
ing one vote; a quorum for this purpose 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, before the fourth day of March next following, then
the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of
the death or other constitutional disability of the President.
The person having the greatest nimiber of votes as Vice-

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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-Presi-
dent; 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 oflfice of President shall be
eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Article XIII

Section i 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.

Abticle XIV

Section i All persons bom or naturalized m the United
States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens
of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge
the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States ;
nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or
property, without due process of law; nor deny to any per-
son within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2 Representatives shall be apportioned among
the several States according to their respective numbers,
counting the whole number of persons in each State, exclud-
ing Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any
election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-
President of the United States, Representatives in Con-
gress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the
members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the
male inhabitants of such States, being twenty-one years of
age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way
abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other

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crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in
the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall
bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years
of age in such State.

Section 3 No person shall be a Senator or Representa-
tive in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President,
or hold any ofl&ce, civil or military, under the United States,
or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath,
as a member of Congress, or as an oflScer of the United
States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an
executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the
Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in
insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or
comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a
vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4 The validity of the public debt of the United
States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for pay-
ment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing
insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But
neither the United States nor any State shall assume or
pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection
or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the
loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obli-
gations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5 The Congress shall have power to enforce,
by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Article XV

Section i The right of citizens of the United States to
vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States
or by any State on account of race, color, or previous con-
dition of servitude.

Section 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this
article by appropriate legislation.

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[In the interval between the drawing up of the Constitution and
its ratification, there appeared in The Independent Journal and other
New York newspapers a series of eighty-five articles under the
general heading of The Federalist, devoted to expounding and de-
fending the new instrument of government. Most of the articles
were written by Hamilton, some twenty-nine by Madison (whose
work the Constitution largely was), and five by Jay. Together they
form one of the great classics on government; and they exercised
a highly important influence in favor of the adoption of the Con-



To THE People of the State of New York:

A FTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of
l\ the subsisting Foederal Government, you are called
-^ ■ upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the
United States of America. The subject speaks its own
importance ; comprehending in its consequences, nothing less
than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare
of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire,
in many respects, the most interesting in the world. It has
been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been re-
served to the people of this country, by their conduct and
example, to decide the important question, whether societies
of men are really capable or not, of establishing good gov-
ernment from reflection and choice, or whether they are
forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions,
on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark,
the crisis, at which we are arrived, may with propriety be
regarded as the aera in which that decision is to be made;
and a wrong election of the part we shall act, may, in this


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view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of

This idea will add the inducements of philanthropy to those
of patriotism to heighten the solicitude, which all considerate
and good men must feel for the event Happy will it be if
our choice should be directed by a judicious estimate of our
true interests, unperplexed and unbiased by considerations
not connected with the public good. But this is a thing
more ardently to be wished, than seriously to be expected.
The plan offered to our deliberations, affects too many par-
ticular interests, innovates upon too many local institutions,
not to involve in its discussion a variety of objects foreign
to its merits, and of views, passions and prejudices little
favorable to the discovery of truth.

Among the most formidable of the obstacles which the
new Constitution will have to encounter, may readily be dis-
tinguished the obvious interest of a certain class of men in
every State to resist all changes which may hazard a
diminution of the power, emolument and consequence of the
offices they hold under the State-establishments — ^and the
perverted ambition of another class of men, who will either
hope to aggrandize themselves by the confusion of their
country, or will flatter themselves with fairer prospects of
elevation from the subdivision of the empire into several
partial confederacies, than from its union under one Gov-

It is not, however, my design to dwell upon observations
of this nature. I am well aware that it would be dis-
ingenuous to resolve indiscriminately the opposition of any
set of men (merely because their situations might subject
them to suspicion) into interested or ambitious views:
Candor will oblige us to admit, that even such men may be
actuated by upright intentions; and it cannot be doubted,
that much of the opposition which has made its appearance,
or may hereafter make its appearance, will spring from
sources, blameless at least, if not respectable; the honest
errors of minds led astray by preconceived jealousies and
fears. So numerous indeed and so powerful are the causes,
which serve to give a false bias to the judgment, that we,
upon many occasions, sec wise and good men on the wrong

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as well as on the right side of questions, of the first magni-
tude to society. This circumstance, if duly attended to,
would furnish a lesson of moderation to those, who are ever
so much persuaded of their being in the right, in any contro-
versy. And a further reason for caution, in this respect,
might be drawn from the reflection, that we are not always
sure, that those who advocate the truth are influenced by
purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice,
personal animosity, party opposition, and many other mo-
tives, not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as
well upon those who support, as upon those who oppose, the
right side of a question. Were there not even these induce-
ments to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than
that intolerant spirit, which has, at all times, characterized
political parties. For, in politics as in religion, it is equally
absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword.
Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.

And yet however just these sentiments will be allowed to
be, we have already sufficient indications, that it will happen
in this as in all former cases of great national discussion.
A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose.
To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall
be led to conclude, that they will mutually hope to evince the
justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of
their converts by the loudness of their declamations, and the
bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the
energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized, as
the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power, and hostile
to the principles of liberty. An over scrupulous jealousy of
danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly
the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented
as mere pretence and artifice; the stale bait for popularity
at the expense of public good. It will be forgotten, on the
one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of violent
love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is too apt to be
infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. On
the other hand, it will be equally forgotten, that the vigor of
Government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in
the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment,
their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous

Online LibraryCharles William EliotAmerican historical documents 1000-1904, with introductions, notes and illustrations → online text (page 18 of 48)