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           WHEREAS all the constitutional authority ever possessed by
      the kings of Great Britain over these colonies, || or their other
      dominions, was, by compact, derived from the people, and held of
      them, for the common interest of the whole society; allegiance and
      protection are, in the nature of things, reciprocal ties, each
      equally depending upon the other, and liable to be dissolved by
      the others being refused or withdrawn.  And whereas George the
      Third, king of Great Britain, has refused protection to the good
      people of these colonies; and, by assenting to sundry acts of the
      British parliament, attempted to subject them to the absolute
      dominion of that body; and has also made war upon them, in the
      most cruen and unnatural manner, for no other cause, than
      asserting their just rights -- all civil authority under him is
      necesarily at an end, and a dissolution of government in each
      colony has consequently taken place.

           And whereas, in the present deplorable situation of these
      colonies, exposed to the fury of a cruel and relentless enemy,
      some form of government is absolutely necessary, not only for the
      preservation of good order, but also the more effectually to unite
      the people, and enable them to exert their whole force in their
      own necessary defence: and as the honorable the continental
      congress, the supreme council of the American colonies, has
      advised such of the colonies as have not yet gone into measures,
      to adopt for themselves, respectively, such government as shall
      best conduce to their own happiness and safety, and the well-being
      of America in general: -- We, the representatives of the colony of
      New Jersey, having been elected by all the counties, in the freest
      manner, and in congress assembled, have, after mature
      deliberations, agreed upon a set of charter rights and the form of
      a Constitution, in manner following, viz.

           I. That the government of this Province shall be vested in a
      Governor, Legislative Council, and General Assembly.

           II. That the Legislative Council, and General Assembly, shall
      be chosen, for the first time, on the second Tuesday in August
      next; the members whereof shall be the same in number and
      qualifications as are herein after mentioned; and shall be and
      remain vested with all the powers and authority to be held by any
      future Legislative Council and Assembly of this Colony, until the
      second Tuesday in October, which shall be in the year of our Lord
      one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven.

           III. That on the second Tuesday in October yearly, and every
      year forever (with the privilege of adjourning from day to day as
      occasion may require) the counties shall severally choose one
      person, to be a member of the Legislative Council of this Colony,
      who shall be, and have been, for one whole year next before the
      election, an inhabitant and freeholder in the county in which he
      is chosen, and worth at least one thousand pounds proclamation
      money, of real and personal estate, within the same county; that,
      at the the same time, each county shall also choose three members
      of Assembly; provided that no person shall be entitled to a seat
      in the said lAssembly unless he be, and have been, for one whole
      year next before the election, an inhabitant of the county he is
      to represent, and worth five hundred pounds proclamation money, in
      real and personal estate, in the same county: that on the second
      Tuesday next after the day of election, the Council and Assembly
      shall separately meet; and that the consent of both Houses shall
      be necessary to every law; provided, thast seven shall be a quorum
      of the Council, for doing business, and that no law shall pass,
      unless there be a mojority of all the Representatives of each body
      personally present, and agreeing thereto.  Provided always, that
      if a majority of the representatives of this Province, in Council
      and General Assembly convened, shall, at any time or times
      hereafter, judge it equitable and proper, to add to or diminish
      the number or proportion of the members of Assembly for any county
      or counties in this Colony, then, and in such case, the same may,
      on the principles of more equal representation, be lawfully done;
      anything in this Charter to the contrary nothwithstanding:  so
      that the whole number of Representatives in Assembly shall not, at
      any time, be less than thirty-nine.

           IV. That all inhabitants of this Colony, of full age, who are
      worth fifty pounds proclamation money, clear estate in the same,
      and have resided within the county in which they claim a vote for
      twelve months immediately preceding the election, shall be
      entitled to vote for Representatives in Council and Assembly; and
      also for all other public officers, that shall be elected by the
      people of the county at large.

           V. That the Assembly, when met, shall have power to choose a
      Speaker, and other their officers; to be judges of the
      qualifications and elections of their own members; sit upon their
      own adjournments; prepare bills, to be passed into laws; and to
      empower their Speaker to convene them, whenever any extraordinary
      occurrence shall render it necessary.

           VI. That the Council shall also have power to prepare bills
      to pass into laws, and have other like powers as the Assembly, and
      in all respects be a free and independent branch of the
      Legislature of this Colony; save only, that they shall not prepare
      or alter any money bill -- which shall be the privilege of the
      Assembly; that the Council shall, from time to time, be convened
      by the Governor or Vice-President, but must be convened, at all
      times, when the Assembly sits; for which purpose the Speaker of
      the House of Assembly shall always, immediately after an
      adjournment, give notice to the Governor, or Vice-President, of
      the time and place to which the House is adjourned.

           VII. That the Council and Assembly jointly, at their first
      meeting after each annual election, shall, by a majority of votes,
      elect some fit person within the Colony, to be Governor for one
      year, who shall be constant President of the Council, and have a
      casting vote in their proceedings; and that the Council themselves
      shall choose a Vice-President who shall act as such in the absence
      of the Governor.

           VIII. That the Governor, or, in his absence, the Vice-
      President of the Council, shall have the supreme executive power,
      be Chancellor of the Colony, and act as captain-general and
      commander in chief of all the militia, and other military force in
      this Colony; and that any three or more of the Councill shall, at
      all times, be a privy-council , to consult them; and that the
      Governor be ordinary or surrogate-general.

           IX. That the Governor and Council, (seven whereof shall be a
      quorum) be the Court of Appeals, in the last resort, in all
      clauses of law, as heretofore; and that they possess the power of
      granting pardons to criminals, after condemnation, in all cases of
      treason, felony, or other offences.

           X. That captains, and all other inferior officers of the
      militia, shall be chosen by the companies, in the respective
      counties; but field and general officers, by the Council and

           XI. That the Council and Assembly shall have power to make
      the Great Seal of this Colony, which shall be kept by the
      Governor, or in his absence, by the Vice-President of the Council,
      to be used by them as occasion may require: and it shall be
      called, The Great Seal of the Colony of New-Jersey.

           XII. That the Judges of the Supreme Court shall continue in
      office for seven years: the Judges of the Inferior Court of Common
      Pleas in the several counties, Justices of the Peace, Clerks of
      the Supreme Court, Clerks of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas
      and Quarter Sessions, the Attorney-General, and Provincial
      Secretary, shall continue in office for five years: and the
      Provinciall Treasurer shall continue in office for one year; and
      that they shall be severally appointed by the Council and
      Assembly, in manner aforesaid, and commissioned by the Governor,
      or, in his absence, the Vice-President of the Council.  Provided
      always, that the said officers, severally, shall be capable of
      being re-appointed, a the end of the terms severally before
      limited; and that any of the said officers shall be liable to be
      dismissed, when adjudged guilty of misbehaviour, by the Council,
      on an impeachment of the Assembly.

           XIII. That the inhabitants of each county, qualified to vote
      as aforesaid, shall at the time and place of electing their
      Representatives, annually elect one Sheriff, and one or more
      Coroners; and that they may re-elect the same person to such
      offices until he shall have served three years, but no longer;
      after which, three years must elapse before the same person is
      capable of being elected again.  When the election is certified to
      the Governor, or Vice-President, under the hands of six
      freeholders of the county for which they were elected, they shall
      be immediately commissioned to serve in their respective offices.

           XIV.  That the townships, at their annual town meetings for
      electing other officers, shall choose constables for the districts
      respectively; and also three or more judicious freeholders of good
      character, to hear and finally determine all appeals relative to
      unjust assessments, in cases of public taxation; which
      commissioners of appeal shall, for that purpose, sit at some
      suitable time or times, to be by them appointed, and made known to
      the people by advertisements.

           XV.  That the laws of the Colony shall begin in the following
      style, viz. "Be it enacted by the Council and Generally Assembly
      of this Colony, and it is hereby enacted by authority of the
      same:" that all commissions, granted by the Governor or Vice-
      President, shall run thus -- "The Colony of New-Jersey to A. B.
      &c. greeting:" and that all writs shall likewise run in the name
      of the Colony: and that all indictments shall conclude in the
      following manner, viz. "Against the peace of this Colony, the
      government and dignity of the same."

           XVI.  That all criminals shall be admitted to the same
      privileges of witnesses and counsel, as their prosecutors are or
      shall be entitled to.

           XVII.  That the estates of such persons as shall destroy
      their own lives, shall not, for that offence, be forefeited; but
      shall descend in the same manner, as they would have done, had
      such persons died in the natural way; nor shall any article, which
      may occasion accidentally the death of any one, be henceforth
      deemed a deodand, or in anywise forfeited, on account of such

           XVIII. That no person shall ever, within this Colony, be
      deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God
      in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor,
      under any pretence whatever, be compelled to attend any place of
      worship, contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall any
      person, within this Colony, ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes
      or any other rates, for the purpose of building or repairing any
      other church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the
      maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he
      believes to be right, or has deliberately or voluntarily engaged
      himself to perform.

           XIX.  That there shall be no establishment of any one
      religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and
      that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the
      enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious
      principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith
      of any Protestant sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably
      under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of
      being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a
      member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and
      freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their
      fellow subjects.

           XX.  That the legislative department of this government may,
      as much as possible, be preserved from all suspicion of
      corruption, none of the Judges of the Supreme or other Courts,
      Sherriffs, or any other person or persons possessed of any post of
      profit under the government, other than Justices of the Peace,
      shall be entitled to a seat in the Assembly: but that, on his
      being elected, and taking his seat, his office or post shall be
      considered as vacant.

           XXI.  That all the laws of this Province, contained in the
      edition lately published by Mr. Allinson, shall be and remain in
      full force, until altered by the Legislature of this Colony (such
      only excepted, as are incompatible with this Charter) and shall
      be, according as heretofore, regarded in all respects, by all
      civil officers, and others, the good people of this Province.

           XXII.  That the common law of England, as well as so much of
      the statute law, as have been heretofore practised in this Colony,
      shall still remain in force, until they shall be altered by a
      future law of the Legislature; such parts only excepted, as are
      repugnant to the rights and privileges contained in this Charter;
      and that the inestimable right of trial by jury shall remain
      confirmed as a part of the law of this Colony, without repeal,

           XXIII.  That every person, who shall be elected as aforesaid
      to be a member of the Legislative Council, or House of Assembly,
      shall, previous to his taking his seat in Council or Assembly,
      take the following oath or affirmation, viz:

           "I, A. B., do solemnly declare, that, as a member of the
           Legislative Council, [or Assembly, as the case may be,] of
           the Colony of New-Jersey, I will not assent to any law, vote
           or proceeding, which shall appear to me injurious to the
           public welfare of said Colony, nor that shall annul or repeal
           that part of the third section in the Charter of this Colony,
           which establishes, that the elections of members of the
           Legislative Council and Assembly shall be annual; nor that
           part of the twenty-second section in said Charter, respecting
           the trial by jury, nor that shall annul, repeal, or alter any
           part or parts of the eighteenth or nineteenth sections of the

           And any person persons, who shall be elected as aforesaid, is
      hereby empowered to administer to the said members the said oath
      or affirmation.
           Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of
      this Congress, that if a reconciliation between Great-Britain and
      these Colonies should take place, and the latter be taken again
      under the protection and government of the crown of Britain, this
      Charter shall be null and void -- otherwise to remain firm and

           In PROVINCIAL CONGRESS, New Jersey,
           Burlington, July 2, 1776.

           By order of Congress.
                                            SAMUEL TUCKER, Pres.
           William Paterson, Secretary.

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