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istered voters.-Qualified by dollar tax.---Military duty.--Who to vote for city council in Providence, to impose a tax,

etc. 3. Of assessment and payment of

registry tax. 4. Who shall not gain residence,

or be permited to vote. 5. Residents on land ceded, etc.,

not electors. 6. Power of General Assembly over



Powers Distributed. Three departments.


Declaratien of Rights. Section 1. Right of the people to make and

alter their constitution, 2. Object ot government. How

laws should be made and burdens distributed, 3. Religious freedom secured. 4. Slavery prohibited. 5. Laws should provide remedies.

Justice should be free, com

plete, prompt. 6. Rights of search and seizure

regulated. 7. Provisions concerning criminal

proceedings. 8. Bail, fines and punishments. 9. Bail and habeas corpus. 10. Rights of the accused in criminal

proceedings. 11. Debtors entitled to relief. 12. No ex post facto law, eta, to be

passed. 13. No man to criminate himself. 14. Presumption of innocence.-AC

cused to be secured without se

verity. 15. Trial by jury. 16. Private property secured. 17. Rights of fishery. 18. Military subordinate.-Martial

law. 19. Of quartering soldiers. 20. Liberty of press secured.-Truth

as a defense to libels.
21. Right of people to assemble, and

to petition.
22. Right to bear arms.
23. Rule of construction.


Legislative Power. 1. Constitution supreme law. 2. Two houses.-General Assembly.

-Style of laws. 3. Sessions of General Assembly. 4. Members not to take fees, etc. 5. Members exempt from arrest, eta 6. Powers of each house.-Organi.

zation. 7. Powers to make rules, etc. 8. Of the journal, and yeas and

nays. 9. Of adjournments. 10. Of powers not prohibited. 11. Pay of members. 12. Lotteries prohibited. 13. Debts not to be incurred. 14. Private or local appropriations. 15. Of valuations of property and al

sessments. 16. Officers may be continued until

successors qualified. 17. Bills to create corporations to

be continued, except, etc. 18. Of election of Senators in Con.




1. Of electors owning real estate. 2. Of electors qualified to vote on

adoption of Constitution.-Reg

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1. How constituted. 2. Governor to preside.-When to

vote in grand committee. 8. May elect presiding officer in

case of vacancy, etc. 4. Secretary and other officers.


Executive. 1. Of the Governor and Lieutenant

Governor.-How elected. 2. Duty of Governor. 3. He shall command military and

naval forces, except, etc. 4. He may grant reprieves, etc. 5. He may fill vacancies. 6. He may adjourn Assembly, in

case, etc. 7. He may convene Assembly,

when, etc. 8. Commissions, how signed, etc. 9. Lieutenant-Governor, when to

act as Governor, 10. Vacancies, how filled. 11. Compensation of Governor, etc. 12. Duties of general officers.


Qualifications of office. 1. Qualified electors only eligible. 2. Conviction of bribery a disqual

ification. 3. Oath of general officers. 4. Officers, how engaged. 5. How oath to be administered to

Governor, etc. 6. Holding office under United

States, or other government, a disqualification for certain offices, except, etc.


Judiciary. 1. One Supreme Court.-Inferior

courts, how established. 2. Jurisdiction of courts.-Chan

cery powers. 3. Judges of Supreme Court to in

struct jury.-To give opinions,

etc. 4. Of election and tenure of office

of judges of Supreme Court. 5. Vacancies, how filled. 6. Compensation of judges. 7. Justices of the peace and war

dens, how elected.-Their jurisdiction.


Election. 1. Governor and general officers,

when elected. 2. General officers and Members of

Assembly.-How voted for. 8. Same subject.-How votes to be

sealed up, transmitted and

counted. 4. List of voters to be kept. (Ob

solete). 8. Ballots for Members of Assem

bly, how counted.-Adjourn

ment of elections, when. 6. Of voting in the city of Provi



Impeachments. 1. Impeachments, how ordered. 2. Impeachments, how tried. 3. What officers liable to impeachment.-Effect of conviction.


Education, 1. Duty of General Assembly to

promote schools, etc.

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We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence

Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and relig. ious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding genera. tions, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.

ARTICLE I. Declaration of Certain Constitutional Rights and Privileges.

In order effectually to secure the religious and political freedom established by our venerated ancestors, and to preserve the same for our posterity, we do declare that the essential and unquestionable rights and principles hereinafter mentioned shall be established, maintained and preserved, and shall be of paramount obligation in all legislative, judicial and executive proceedings.

Section 1. In the words of the Father of his Country, we declare that “the basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and alter their constitutions of government; but that the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all."

Sec. 2. All free governments are instituted for the proteotion, safety and happiness of the people. All laws, therefore, should be made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the State ought to be fairly distributed among its citizens.

Sec. 3. Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; and all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness; and whereas a principal object of our venerable ancestors, in their migration to this country and their settlement of this State, was, as they expressed it, to hold forth a lively experiment, that a flourishing civil State may stand and be best maintained with full liberty in religious concernments: We, therefore, declare that no man shall be compelled to frequent or to support any religious worship, place or ministry whatever, except in fulfillment of his own voluntary contract; nor enforced, restrained, molested or burdened in his body or goods; nor disqualified from holding any office; nor otherwise suffer on account of his religious belief; and that every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and to profess and by argument to maintain his opinion in matters of religion; and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect his civil capacity.

Sec. 4. Slavery shall not be permitted in this State.

Sec. 5. Every person within this State ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, property or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely and without purchase, completely and without denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the laws.

Sec. 6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers and possessions, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but on complaint, in writing, upon probable cause, supported by oath or afirmation, and describing as nearly as may be, the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Sec. 7. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or of such offenses as are cognizable by a justice of the peace; or in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger. No person shall, after an acquittal, be tried for the same offense.

Sec. 8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted; and all punishments ought to be proportioned to the offense.

Sec. 9. All persons imprisoned ought to be bailed by sufficient surety, unless for offenses punishable by death or by imprisonment for life, when the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption great. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety shall require it; nor ever without the authority of the General Assembly.

Sec. 10. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury; 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 them in his favor, to have the assistance of counsel in his defense, and shall be at liberty to speak for himself; nor shall he be deprived of life, liberty or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

Sec. 11. The person of a debtor, when there is not strong presumption of fraud, ought not to be continued in prison, after he shall have delivered up his property for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 12. No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed.

Sec. 13. No man in a court of common law shall be compelled to give evidence criminating himself.

Sec. 14. Every man being presumed innocent, until he is pronounced guilty by the law, no act of severity which is not necessary to secure an accused person shall be permitted.

Sec. 15. The right of trial by jury shall remain in violate.

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