Acts and resolves passed by the General Court of Massachusetts, Volume 2 online

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of the land.
^^Ji^^JSJthe V. The governor, with advice of council, shall have
J^^^JjJJJJJ^ full power and authority, during the session of the gen-
ua oonvene eral court, to adjourn or prorogue the same to any time
A/toS-oiu- the two houses shall desire; [and to dissolve the same on
w^tk^nta, the day next preceding the last Wednesday in May; and,
^^' ^' in the recess of the said court, to prorogue the same from

time to time, not exceeding ninety days in any one recess;]
and to call it together sooner than the time to which it
may be adjourned or prorogued, if the welfare of the com-
monwealth shall require the same; and in case of any
infectious distemper prevailing in the place where the said
court is next at any time to convene, or any other cause
happening, whereby danger may arise to the health or
lives of the members from their attendance, he may direct
the session to be held at some other, the most convenient
place within the state.
aonT^w**'"" [And the governor shall dissolve the said general court
a^en^enta, ou the day ucxt preceding the last Wednesday in May.]
Gorernorand VI. In cascs of disagreement between the two houses,
SSSSl'tS^ with regard to the necessity, expediency, or time of ad-
g^j[j[^«^ journment or prorogation, the governor, with advice of
butrotex-" the couucil, shall have a right to adjourn or prorogue
daya. "*" ^ the general court, not exceeding ninety days, as he shall

determine the public good shall require.
Governortobe VII . The govcmor of this commonwcalth, for the time
chief. being, shall be the commander-in-chief of the army and

navy, and of all the military forces of the state, by sea
and land; and shall have full power, by himself, or by
any commander, or other officer or officers, from time to
time, to train, instruct, exercise, and govern the militia
and navy; and, for the special defence and safety of the
commonwealth, to assemble in martial array, and put in
warlike posture, the inhabitants thereof, and to lead and
conduct them, and with them to encounter, repel, resist,
expel, and pursue, by force of arms, as well by sea as by
land, within or without the limits of this commonwealth,
and also to kill, slay, and destroy, if necessary, and con-
quer, by all fitting ways, enterprises, and means whatso-
ever, aU and every such person and persons as shall, at

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any time hereafter, in a hostile manner^ attempt or enter-
prise the destruction, invasion, detriment, or annoyance
of this commonwealth; and to use and exercise, over the
army and navy, and over the militia in actual service, the
law-martial, in time of war or invasion, and also in time
of rebellion, declared by the legislature to exist, as occa-
sion shall necessarily require; and to take and surprise,
by all ways and means whatsoever, all and every such
person or persons, with their ships, arms, ammunition,
and other goods, as shall, in a hostile manner, invade, or
attempt the invading, conquering, or annoying this com-
monwealth; and that the governor be intrusted with all
these and other powers, incident to the offices of cap-
tain-general and commander-in-chief, and admiral, to be
exercised agreeably to the rules and regulations of the con-
stitution, and the laws of the land, and not otherwise.

Provided, that the said governor shall not, at any time Limitation.
hereafter, by virtue of any power by this constitution
granted, or hereafter to be granted to him by the legis-
lature, transport any of the inhabitants of this conmion-
wealth, or oblige them to march out of the limits of the
same, without their free and voluntary consent, or the con-
sent of the general court; except so far as may be neces-
sary to march or transport them by land or water, for the
defence of such part of the state to which they cannot
otherwise conveniently have access.

VIII. The power of pardoning offences, except such Governor and
as persons may be convicted of before the senate by an ^^ "^
impeachment of the house, shall be in the governor, by Sj^l^rto.
and with the advice of council; but no charter of pardon,
granted by the governor, with advice of the council be-
fore conviction, shall avail the party pleading the same. But w)t before
notwithstanding any general or particular expressions iw mmb°828.
contained therein, descriptive of the offence or offences
intended to be pardoned.

IX. All judicial officers, [the attorney-general,] the J^**Ji®^;^
solicitor-general, [all sheriffs,] coroners, [and registers of SSSiLt^ ^d
probate,] shall be nominated and appointed by the gov- ^^^^n*
ernor, by and with the advice and consent of the council; "StSl!^''
and every such nomination shall be made by the governor, J^.JSJ^'^t^
and made at least seven days prior to such appoint- Art. xvu.

Torpronrinaa as to election of sberifTt, recistera of probate, etc., see amendmenta.
Art. XIX. For ptoviaion aa to appointment of notariea public, eee amendmenta*
Art. IV.

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Militia offioera,
how elected.
Limitation of
age Btruck out
by amend-
menta, Art. V.

How oommie-

Election of

how appointed
and oommia-

Vaoanciee, bow
filled, in case,

Officero duly
how removed.
Superseded by
Art. IV.

Adjutants, etc.,
how appointed.

Army officers,
how appointed.



Money, how
drawn from the
except, etc.
13 Alien. 693.

X. The captains and subalterns of the militia shall be
elected by the written votes of the train-band and alarm
list of their respective companies, [of twenty-one years
of age and upwards;] the field officers of regiments shall
be elected by the written votes of the captains and subal-
terns of their respective regimentsj the brigadiers shall be
elected, in like manner, by the field officers of their respec-
tive brigades; and such officers, so elected, shall be com-
missioned by the governor, who shall determine their rank.

The legislature shall, by standing laws, direct the time
and manner of convening the electors, and of collect-
ing votes, and of certifying to the governor, the officers

The major-generals shall be appointed by the senate and
house of representatives, each having a negative upon the
other; and be commissioned by the governor.

For proviaions as to ^pointment of a oommiaaary-general, aee amendmanta, Art. ly.

And if the electors of brigadiers, field officers, captains
or subalterns, shall neglect or refuse to make such elec-
tions, after being duly notified, according to the laws for
the time being, then the governor, with advice of council,
shall appoint suitable persons to fill such offices.

[And no officer, duly commissioned to command in the
militia, shall be removed from his office, but by the address
of both houses to the governor, or by fair trial in court-
martial, pursuant to the laws of the commonwealth for the
time being.]

The commanding officers of regiments shall appoint
their adjutants and quartermasters; the brigadiers their
brigade-majors; and the major-generals their aids; and
the governor shall appoint the adjutant-general.

The governor, with advice of council, shall appoint all
officers of the continental army, whom by the confeder-
ation of the United States it is provided that this common-
wealth shall appoint, as also all officers of forts and gar-

The divisions of the militia into brigades, regiments, and
companies, made in pursuance of the militia laws now in
force, shall be considered as the proper divisions of the
militia of this commonwealth, until the same shall be.
altered in pursuance of some future law.

XI. No moneys shall be issued out of the treasury of
this commonwealth, and disposed of (except such sums as
may be appropriated for the redemption of bills of credit

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or treasurer's notes, or for the payment of interest arising
thereon) but by warrant under the hand of the governor
for the time being, with the advice and consent of the
council, for the necessary defence and support of the com-
monwealth; and for the protection and preservation of
the inhabitants thereof, agreeably to the acts and resolves
of the general court.

XII. All public boards, the commissary-general, all ^ pjjJ>^»«
superintending officers of public magazines and stores, make quarterly
belonging to this commonwealth, and all commanding '®'"'°*-
officers of forts and garrisons within the same, shall once

in every three months, officially, and without requisition,
and at other times, when required by the governor, deliver
to him an account of all goods, stores, provisions, anmiu-
nition, cannon with their appendages, and small arms
with their accoutrements, and of all other public property
whatever under their care respectively; distinguishing the
quantity, mmiber, quality and kind of each, as particu-
larly as may be; together with the condition of such forts
and garrisons; and the said conunanding officer shall
exhibit to the governor, when required by him, true and
exact plans of such forts, and of the land and sea or har-
bor or harbors, adjacent.

And the said boards, and all public officers, shall com-
mimicate to the governor, as soon as may be after receiv-
ing the same, all letters, despatches, and intelligences of a
public nature, which shall be directed to them respectively.

XIII. As the public good requires that the governor ^^J^dot
should not be under the undue influence of any of the
members of the general court by a dependence on them

for his support, that he should in all cases act with free-
dom for the benefit of the public, that he should not have
his attention necessarily diverted from that object to his
private concerns, and that he should maintain the dignity
of the commonwealth in the character of its chief magis-
trate, it is necessary that he should have an honorable
stated salary, of a fixed and permanent value, amply suffi-
cient for those purposes, and established by standing laws:
and it shall be among the first acts of the general court,
after the conmiencement of this constitution, to establish
such salary by law accordingly.

Permanent and honorable salaries shall also be estab- salaries of jua-
lished by law for the justices of the supreme judicial p^S>^ judicial
court. ~^-

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And if it shall be found that any of the salaries afore-
said, so established, are insufficient, they shall, from time
to time, be enlarged, as the general court shall judge

SDvemor; hit
title And quali-
fieatioDs. See
Arts. VII. and


Election by
plurality pro-
vided for Dy
Art. XIV.

President of
fovemor a
member of,
except, eio.

foyemor to be
enKM*, incase,


Section II.


Article I. There shall be annually elected a lieu-
tenant-governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts,
whose title shall be — His Honor; and who shall be
qualified, in point of [religion,] [property,] and residence
in the commonwealth, in the same manner with the gov-
ernor; and the day and manner of his election, and the
qualifications of the electors, shall be the same as are re-
quired in the election of a governor. The return of the
votes for this officer, and the declaration of his election,
shall be in the same manner; [and if no one person shall
be found to have a majority of all the votes returned, the
vacancy shall be filled by the senate and house of repre-
sentatives, in the same manner as the governor is to be
elected, in case no one person shall have a majority of the
votes of the people to be governor.]

II. The governor, and in his absence the lieutenant-
governor, shall be president of the council, but shall have
no vote in council; and the lieutenant-governor shall
always be a member of the council, except when the chair
of the governor shall be vacant.

III. Whenever the chair of the governor shall be
vacant, by reason of his death, or absence from the com-
monwealth, or otherwise, the lieutenant-governor, for the
time being, shall, during such vacancy, perform all the
duties incumbent upon the governor, and shall have and
exercise all the powers and authorities, which by this con-
stitution the governor is vested with, when personally

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Section III.

Councily and the Manner of settling Elections by the Legis^


Article I. There shall be a council for advising the S?"°^
governor in the executive part of the government, to con- oo5^iiow
sbt of [nine] persons besides the lieutenant-governor, ^^J: *°
whom the governor, for the time being, shall have full SSito?Trt"
j)ower and authority, from time to time, at his discretion, ^•
to assemble and call together; and the governor, with the
said councillors, or five of them at least, shall and may,
from time to time, hold and keep a council, for the order-
ing and directing the affairs of the commonwealth, accord-
ing to the laws of the land.

II. [Nine councillors shall be annually chosen from Number; from
among the persons returned for councillors and senators, hS?'?fi^n.
on the last Wednesday in May, by the joint ballot of ^SSenta.
the senators and representatives assembled in one room; xm^ *°^
and in case there shall not be found upon the first choice, ^"p^^JJ^ ^y
the whole number of nine persons who will accept a seat 5St! xvi.°
in the council, the deficiency shall be made up by the
electors aforesaid from among the people at large; and

the number of senators left shall constitute the senate
for the year. The seats of the persons thus elected from if aonatora be-
the senate, and accepting the trust, shall be vacated in the £S?®thS?*2it8
senate.] ^ ^ vaoat«d.

III. The councillors, in the civil arrangements of the Rank of
commonwealth, shall have rank next after the lieutenant^ oounaiiore.

IV. [Not more than two councillors shall be chosen ^diatnctto
out of any one district of this commonwealth.] thjuaSS!*

Superseded by amendments, Art. XVI.

V. The resolutions and advice of the council shall be ^^^^^ ^^
recorded in a register, and signed by the members present;

and this record may be called for at any time by either
house of the legislature; and any member of the council
may insert his opinion, contrary to the resolution of the

VI. Whenever the oflSce of the governor and lieuten- Counai to ex-
ant-govemor shall be vacant, by reason of death, absence, powofVv-
or otherwise, then the council, or the major part of them, So?*' ^^ "*^*

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Elections mxiy
until, eto.

Order thereof.
Superseded by
Arts. XVI. and

shall, during such vacancy, have full power and authority
to do, and execute, all and every such acts, matters, and
things, as the governor or the lieutenant-governor might
or could, by virtue of this constitution, do or execute, if
they, or either of them, were personally present.

VII. [And whereas the elections appointed to be made,
by this constitution, on the last Wednesday in May annu-
ally, by the two houses of the legislature, may not be
completed on that day, the said elections may be adjourned
from day to day until the same shall be completed. And
the order of elections shall be as follows: the vacancies in
the senate, if any, shall first be filled up; the governor
and lieutenant-governor shall then be elected, provided
there should be no choice of them by the people; and
afterwards the two houses shall proceed to the election of
the council.]

Secretary, etc.,
by whom and
how chosen.
For provision
as to Section
of secretary,
treasurer and
eral, and audi«
tor and
eral, see amend-
ments. Art.


Treasurer in-
eligible for
more than five

Secretary to
keep records;
to attend the
governor and
council, eto.


Section IV.

Secretary, Treasurer, Commissary, etc.

Article L [The secretary, treasurer and receiver-
general, and the commissary-general, notaries public, and]
naval officers, shall be chosen annually, by joint ballot of
the senators and representatives in one room. And, that
the citizens of this commonwealth may be assured, from
time to time, that the moneys remaining in the public
treasury, upon the settlement and liquidation of the pub-
lic accounts, are their property, no man shall be eligible
as treasurer and receiver-general more than five years

For provision as to appointment of notaries public and the commissary-general, see amend-
ments. Art. rV.

II. The records of the commonwealth shall be kept in
the office of the secretary, who may appoint his deputies,
for whose conduct he shall be accountable; and he shall
attend the governor and council, the senate and house of
representatives, in person, or by his deputies, as they shall
respectively require.

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Article I. The tenure, that all commission oflBcers T«mre of an
shall by law have in their offices, shall be expressed in JffiJSJTto^b?*
their respective commissions. All judicial officers, duly SSuSIfofficen
appointed, commissioned and sworn, shall hold their y ^^'^^^T
offices during good behavior, excepting such concerning behavior, «e-
whom there is different provision made in this constitu- bS?*^" be
tion: provided, nevertheless, the governor, with consent JJ^^JJ; ****
of the council, may remove them upon the address of
both houses of the legislature.

II. Each branch of the legislature, as well as the gov- justices of, au-
emor and council, shall have authority to require the opin- SJSrto*S^
ions of the justices of the supreme judicial court, upon J^^JS.^***"
important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions. J^JJjJjJJ?*

III. In order that the people may not suffer from the wi.

long continuance in place of any justice of the peace who JSaSeTtofure*
shall fail of discharging the important duties of his office f^^ ^^'
with ability or fidelity, all commissions of justices of the
I>eace shall expire and become void, in the term of seven
years from their respective dates; and, upon the expira- For removal of
tion of any commission, the same may, if necessary, be jiSSSTs^' *^*
renewed, or another person appointed, as shall naost con- 5Sl°xxxvii.
duce to the well-being of the commonwealth.

rV. The judges of probate of wills, and for granting Provisions for
letters of administration, shall hold their courts at such batooourtT
place or places, on fixed days, as the convenience of the ^^ ^'*^' "^•
people shall require; and the legislature shall, from time to
time, hereafter, appoint such times and places; until which
appointments, the said courts shall be holden at the times
and places which the respective judges shall direct.

V. All causes of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and 3J;™f®;„id
all appeals from the judges of probate, shall be heard and ^^^y-
determined by the governor and council, until the legis- visiowmads
lature shall, by law, make other provision. iSnlL^tvr.

lie Mass. 817.

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[The delegates of this commonwealth to the congress of
the United States, shall, some time in the month of June,
annually, be elected by the joint ballot of the senate and
house of representatives, assembled together in one room;
to serve in congress for one year, to commence on the
first Monday in November then next ensuing. They shall
have commissions under the hand of the governor, and
the great seal of the commonwealth; but may be recalled
at any time within the year, and others chosen and com-
missioned, in the same manner, in their stead.]


Powers, privi-
leges, etc., of
the president
and fellows,



Section I.

The University.

Article I. Whereas our wise and pious ancestors, so
early as the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-six,
laid the foundation of Harvard College, in which univer-
sity many persons of great eminence have, by the blessing
of God, been initiated in those arts and sciences which
qualified them for public employments, both in church
and state; and whereas the encouragement of arts and
sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of
God, the advantage of the Christian religion, and the
great benefit of this and the other United Stfites of
America, — it is declared, that the President and Fel-
lows OF Harvard College, in their corporate capacity,
and their successors in that capacity, their officers and
servants, shall have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy, all the
powers, authorities, rights, liberties, privileges, immuni-
ties, and franchises, which they now have, or are entitled
to have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy; and the same are
hereby ratified and confirmed unto them, the said presi-
dent and fellows of Harvard College, and to their suc-
cessors, and to their officers and servants, respectively,

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n. And whereas there have been at sundry times, by
divers persons, gifts, grants, devises of houses, lands, tener
ments, goods, chattels, legacies, and conveyances, here-
tofore made, either to Harvard College in Cambridge, in
New England, or to the president and fellows of Harvard
College, or to the said college by some other description,
under several charters, successively; it is declared, that
all the said gifts, grants, devises, legacies, and convey- aii gifto.
ances, are hereby forever confirmed unto the president SSfirmed.'
and fellows of Harvard College, and to their successors
in the capacity aforesaid, according to the true intent and
meaning of the donor or donors, grantor or grantors,
devisor or devisors.

III. And whereas, by an act of the general court of
the colony of Massachusetts Bay, passed in the, year one
thousand six hundred and forty-two, the governor and
deputy-governor, for the time being, and all the magis-
trates of that jurisdiction, were, with the president, and
a number of the clergy in the said act described, consti-
tuted the overseers of Harvard College; and it being
necessar>% in this new constitution of government to
ascertain who shall be deemed successors to the said gov- who shaii be
emor, deputy-governor, and magistrates; it is declared, °^'®'~®'"-
that the governor, lieutenant-governor, council, and sen- J^.^******
ate of this commonwealth, are, and shall be deemed, their 1852I27.'
successors, who, with the president of Harvard College, Iswlm!
for the time being, together with the ministers of the con- ^^' •**
gr^ational churches in the towns of Cambridge, Water-
town, Charlestown, Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchester,
mentioned in the said act, shall be, and hereby are, vested
with all the powers and authority belonging, or in any
way appertaining to the overseers of Harvard College;
provided, that nothing herein shall be construed to pre- Pbwer of aitera-
vent the legislature of this commonwealth from making tSTi^d^ure.
such alterations in the government of the said university,
as shall be conducive to its advantage, and the interest
cS the republic of letters, in as full a manner as might
have been done by the legislature of the late Province of
the Massachusetts Bay.

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Section II.

The Encouragement of Literature^ etc.

£t*™ iiT*" Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused gen-
SffewSi*""* erally among the body of the people, being necessary for
gsri^. the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these

provisioDsas to depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of
£m am^d^^' education in the various parts of the country, and among
xvnf.'iS* t^c different orders of the people, it shall be the duty
n AUen wo- ^^ legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of
ira'Mam-94.97 ^^ commonwcalth, to cherish the interests of literature

Online LibraryMassachusettsActs and resolves passed by the General Court of Massachusetts, Volume 2 → online text (page 3 of 102)