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The senate consists of forty members, who are chosen annually by the people, by districts, or counties, according to population.
The house of representatives consists of members chosen an. nually by the cities and towns, according to population, every town having 300 ratable polls electing one representative, and for every 450 more, one additional representative. Any town having less than 300 polls, to be represented as many years within ten years, as 300 is contained in the product of the number of polls in said town, multiplied by ten. When there is a surplus of polls over a sufficiency for one or more representatives, multiply the surplus by ten, and divide by 450, and the quotient will show how many years of the decennial period the town shall be allowed an additional representative.
The supreme executive magistrate is styled the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and has the title of “ His Excellency.” The governor is elected annually by the people, and at the same time a lieutenant-governor is chosen, who has the title of “ His Honor." The governor is assisted in the executive department, particularly in appointments to office, by a council of nine members, who are chosen by the joint ballot of the senators and representatives, from the senators; and in case the persons elected councillors decline the appointment, others are chosen by the legislature from the people at large.
The annual election is held on the second Monday in Novem. ber, and the general court meets at Boston, on the first Wednesday of January.
•The right of suffrage is granted to every male citizen twentyone years of age and upward (excepting paupers and persons un. der guardianship), who has resided within the commonwealth one year, and within the town or district in which he may claim a right to vote, six calendar months next preceding any election, and who has paid a state or county tax, assessed upon him within two years next preceding such election ; and also every citi. zen who may be by law exempted from taxation, and who may be in all other respects qualified as above-mentioned.
The judiciary is vested in a supreme court, a court of common pleas, and such other courts as the legislature may establish. The judges are appointed by the governor, by and with the ad.
vice and consent of the council, and hold their offices during good behavior.
RHODE ISLAND. The charter granted to the colony of Rhode Island, by King Charles II., in 1663, formed the basis of the state government, until the present constitution was framed, which was adopted in November, 1842, and went into effect on the first Tuesday of May, 1843.
By this constitution, the legislative power is vested in a senate and house of representatives, who are together styled the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
The senate consists of the governor, lieutenant-governor, and one senator from each of the thirty-one towns in the state.
The house of representatives consists of sixty-nine members, apportioned among the towns according to population. Each town is to have at least one, and no town more than twelve representatives.
The executive power is vested in a governor, being, with the lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives, elected annually by the people, on the first Wednesday of April, for the year commencing the first Tuesday of May, when the general assembly meets at Newport ; and adjourned sessions are held alternately at Providence, South Kingston, East Greenwich, and Bristol. The judges and other public officers, except those chosen by the people, are appointed annually by the general assembly.
The judicial powers are vested in a supreme court, .consisting of a chief-justice and three associate justices, who hold their offices until they are removed by a resolution passed by both houses of the assembly, and in a court of common pleas for each county, consisting of a justice of the supreme court, and two associate justices.
The right of suffrage is vested in all male native citizens of the United States, who have resided in the state two years, and in the town where they propose to vote six months; who have been registered in the town clerk's office at least seven days before the election ; have paid within one year a tax of one dollar, or have
done military duty within the preceding year; likewise, in all male citizens (naturalized foreigners) of the United States, who, in addition to the preceding qualifications, possess real estate in the town or city, worth $134 over all incumbrances, or which rents for $7 per annum.
CONNECTICUT. The charter granted in 1662 by King Charles II., formed the basis of the government of Connecticut till 1818, when the present constitution was framed.
The legislative power is vested in a senate and house of representatives, which together are styled the General Assembly.
The members of the house of representatives are chosen by the different towns in the state; the more ancient towns, the majority of the whole number, send each two representatives; the rest only one each. The present number is 221.
The senate must consist of not less than eighteen, nor more than twenty-four members, whe are chosen by districts. The present number is twenty-one.
The executive power is vested in a governor. A lieutenantgovernor is also chosen, who is president of the senate, and on whom the duties of the governor devolve, in case of his death, re. signation, or absence.
The representatives, senators, governor, and lieutenant-governor, are all elected annually by the people, on the first Monday in April
The general assembly has one stated session every year, on the first Wednesday in May, alternately at Hartford and at New Haven.
Every white male citizen of the United States, who shall have gained a settlement in this state, attained the age of twenty-one years, and resided in the town in which he may offer himself to be admitted to the privilege of an elector, at least six months preceding, and have a freehold estate of the yearly value of seven dollars, in this state ; or having been enrolled in the militia, shall have performed military duty therein for the term of one year next preceding the time he shall offer himself for admission, or, being liable thereto, shall have been, by authority of law, excused
therefrom ; or shall have paid a state tax. within the year next preceding the time he shall present himself for such admission, and shall sustain a good moral character; shall, on the taking such an oath as may be prescribed by law, be an elector.
The judicial power is vested in a supreme court of errors of five judges, one of whom holds a superior court twice a year in each county ; and such inferior courts as the general assembly may, from time to time, establish. The judges are appointed by the general assembly; and those of the supreme and superior courts hold their offices during good behavior, but not beyond the age of seventy years. A county court is held by one judge for each county (who are appointed annually by the legislature), three times in each year in the several counties.
No person is compelled to join, support, or to be classed with, or associated to, any congregation, church, or religious association. But every person may be compelled to pay his proportion of the expenses of the society to which he may belong; he may, however, separate himself from the society by leaving a written notice of his wish with the clerk of such society.
NEW YORK. The present constitution of the state of New York was formed in 1821.
The executive power is vested in a governor, who is elected by the people every two years; and at the same time, a lieutenant-governor is chosen, who is president of the senate, and on whom, in case of the impeachment, resignation, death, or absence of the governor from office, the powers and duties of governor devolve.
The legislative power is vested in a senate of thirty-two members, who are chosen for four years, and an assembly of 128 members, who are elected annually; these bodies united are styled the Legislature.
For the election of senators, the state is divided into eight districts, each being entitled to choose four senators, one of whom is elected every year. The members of the assembly are chosen by counties, and are apportioned according to population.
The election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and
members of the assembly, is held at present on the next Tuesday after the first Monday in November, or at such time in the month of October or November, as the legislature may by law provide.
The political year commences on the first day of January, and the legislature meets annually at Albany, on the first Tuesday in January, unless a different day is appointed by law.
The constitution grants the right of suffrage, in the election of public officers, to every white male citizen, of the age of twentyone years, who has been an inhabitant of the state one year next preceding any election, and for the preceding six months a resident in the county where he may offer his vote; but no man of color is entitled to vote unless he is possessed of a freehold estate of the value of two hundred and fifty dollars, without any
The judicial powers are vested in a court of errors, consisting of the lieutenant-governor and senators, the chancellor, and three judges of the supreme court; a court of chancery; a supreme court, of three judges ; courts of common pleas; and in such other courts as the legislature may establish.
The chancellor and judges are appointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate. The chancellor and justices of the supreme and circuit courts hold their offices during good behavior, or until they attain the age of sixty years. The judges of the county courts, or courts of common pleas, are appointed for a term
of five years.
A convention of delegates met at Albany the 1st of June, 1846, to amend the present, or frame a new constitution, which is to be submitted to the people for their approval at the annual election in November, 1846.
NEW JERSEY. The original constitution of New Jersey was formed in 1776, and no revision of it took place until the adoption of the present constitution, in 1844, except that the legislature undertook to explain its provisions in particular parts.
In May, 1844, a convention of delegates, chosen by the people, assembled at Trenton, and prepared the draft of a new constitution, which was submitted to the people on the 13th of August,