[EDITORS NOTE: This copy of the constitution of 1777 is taken from “1777, The Political Revolution and New York’s First Constitution” by Willam A. Polf, New York State Bicentennial Commission, Albany, 1977, which itself transcribed it from the first edition printed in Fishkill by Samuel Loudon shortly after adoption. The formatting and hyphenation are shown differently here RAF.]

     The CONSTITUTION, &c.

WHEREAS the many tyrannical and oppressive usurpations of the King and Parliament of Great Britain, on the rights and liberties of the people of the American colonies, had reduced them to the necessity of introducing a government by Congresses and Committees, as temporary expedients, and to exist no longer than the grievances of the people should remain without redress.

AND WHEREAS the Congress of the colony of New  York, did on the thirty-first day of May now last past, resolve as follows, viz.

WHEREAS the present government of this colony by Congress and Committees, was instituted while the former government under the crown of Great-Britain existed in full force; and was established for the sole purpose of opposing the usurpation of the British Parliament, and was intended to expire on a reconciliation with Great-Britain, which it    was then apprehended would soon take place, but is now considered as remote and uncertain.

AND WHEREAS many and great inconveniences attend the said mode of government by Congress and Committees, as of necessity, in many instances, legislative, judicial, and executive powers have been vested therein, especially since the dissolution of the former government by the abdication of the late Governor, and the exclusion of this colony from the protection of the King of Great-Britain.

AND WHEREAS the Continental Congress did resolve as followeth, to wit,

WHEREAS his Britannic Majesty, in conjuction [sic] with the Lords and Commons of Great-Britain, has, by a late act of Parliament, excluded the inhabitants of these United Colonies from the protection of his crown. And whereas no answers whatever, to the humble petition of the colonies for redress of grievances and reconciliation with Great-Britain, has been, or is likely to be given, but the whole force of that kingdom, aided by foreign mercenaries, is to be exerted for the destruction of the good people of these colonies.-And whereas it appears absolutely irreconcileable [sic] to reason and good conscience, for the people of these colonies, now to take the oaths and affirmations necessary for the support of any government under the crown of Great-Britain; and it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed, and all the powers of government exerted under the authority of the people of the colonies, for the    preservation of internal peace, virtue and good order, as well as for the defence of our lives, liberties, and properties, against the hostile invasions, and cruel depredations of our enemies.

Therefore, RESOLVED, That it be recommended to the respective assemblies and conventions of the United Colonies, where no government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs has been hitherto established, to adopt such government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and saifety of their constituents in particular, and America in general.

AND WHEREAS doubts have arisen whether this Congress are invested with sufficient power and authority to deliberate and determine on so important a subject as the necessity of erecting and constituting a new form of government and internal police, to the exclusion of all foreign jurisdiction, dominion and controul [sic] whatever.

And whereas it appertains of right solely to the people of this colony to determine the said doubts, Therefore

RESOLVED, That it be recommended to the electors in the several counties in this colony, by election in the manner and form prescribed for the election of the present Congress, either to authorize (in addition to the powers vested in this Congress) their present deputies, or others in the stead of their present deputies, or either of them to take into consideration the necessity and propriety of instituting such new government as in and by the said resolution of the Continental Congress is described and recommended:

And if the majority of the counties, by their deputies in Provincial Congress, shall be of opinion that such new government ought to be instituted and established; then to institute and establish such a government as they shall deem best calculated to secure the rights, liberties and happiness of the good people of this colony; and to continue      in force until a future peace with Great-Britain shalJ render the same unnecessary. And

RESOLVED, That the said elections in the several counties, ought to be had on such day and at such place or places, as by the Committee of each county respectively shall be determined.—-And it is recommended to the said Committees, to fix such early days for the said elections, as that all the deputies to be elected have sufficient time to repair to the city of New-York by the second Monday in July next; on which day all the said deputies ought punctually to give their attendance.

AND WHEREAS the object of the aforegoing resolutions is of the utmost importance to the good people of this colony,

RESOLVED, That it be, and it is hereby earnestly recommended to the Committees, freeholders, and other electors in the different cou n-ties in this colony, diligently to carry the same into execution."

AND WHEREAS the good people of the said colony, in pursuance of the said resolution, and reposing special trust and confidence in the members of this Convention, have appointed, authorized and empowered them for the purposes, and in the manner, and with the powers in and by the said resolve specified, declared and mentioned.

AND WHEREAS the delegates of the United American States, in general Congress convened, did on the fourth day of July now last past, solemnly publish and declare, in the words following, viz.

           [See Declaration of Independence]

AND WHEREAS this Convention having taken this declaration into their most serious consideration, did on the ninth day of July last past, unanimously resolve, that the reasons assigned by the Continental Congress, for declaring the United Colonies, free and independent States,       are cogent and conclusive: And that while we lament the cruel necessity which has rendered that measure unavoidable we approve the same, and will at the risque [sic] of our lives and fortunes join the other Colonies in supporting it.

By virtue of which several acts, declarations and proceedings, mentioned and contained in the afore recited resolves or resolutions of the General Congress of the United American States, and of the Congresses or Conventions of this State, all power whatever therein hath reverted to the people thereof, and this Convention hath by their suffrages and free choice been appointed, and among other things        authorized to institute and establish such a government, as they shall deem best calculated to secure the rights and liberties of the good people of this State, most conducive of the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and of America in general.

[I. Authority]

I. This Convention therefore, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, doth ORDAIN, DETERMINE,and DECLARE, that no authority shall on any pretence whatever be exercised over the people or members of this State, but-such as-shall be derived from and granted by them.

[II. Supreme legislative power in Assembly and Senate]

II. This Convention doth further in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that the supreme legislative power, within this State, shall be vested in two separate and distinct bodies of men; the one to be called the Assembly of the State of New-York; the other to be called the Senate of the State of New-York; who together shall form the legislature, and meet once at least in every year for the dispatch of business.

[III. Council of Revision - Governor, Chancellor & Judges of the Supreme Court.]

III. AND WHEREAS, Laws inconsistent with the spirit of this constitution, or with the public good, may be hastily and unadvisedly passed; BE IT ORDAINED, that the Governor for the time being, the Chancellor and the Judges of the Supreme Court, or any two of them, together with the Governor, shall be, and hereby are, constituted a Council to revise all bills about to be passed into laws by the legislature. And for that purpose shall assemble themselves, from time to time, when the legislature shall be con vened; for which nevertheless, they shall not receive any salary or consideration under any pretence whatever. And that all bills which have passed the Senate and Assembly, shall, before they become laws, be presented to the said Council for their revisal and consideration; and if upon such revision and consideration, it should appear improper to the said Council, or a majority of them, that the said bill should become a law of this State, that they return the same, together with their objections thereto, in writing, to the Senate, or House of Assembly, in whichsoever the same shall have originated, who shall enter the objections sent down by the Council, at large, in their minutes, and proceed to reconsider the said bill. But if after such reconsideration, two thirds of the said Senate or House of Assembly, shall,  notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of the members present, shall be a law.

And in order to prevent any unnecessary delays, BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, that if any bill shall not be returned by the Council, within ten days after it shall have been presented, the same shall be a law, unless the legislature shall, by their adjournment render a return of the said bill within ten days impracticable; in which case the bill shall be returned on the first day of the meeting of the legislature, after the tmpiration of the said ten days.

[IV. Apportionment of representatives to Assembly.]

IV. That the Assembly shall consist of at least seventy members, to be annually chosen in the several counties, in the proportions following, viz.

For the city and county of New-York, nine;

The city and county of Albany, ten;

The county of Dutchess                 seven;

The county of Westchester,             six;

The county of Ulster,                    six;

The county of Suffolk,                   five;

The county of Queens,                   four;

The county of Orange,                   four;

The county of Kings,                     two;

The county of Richmond,                 two;

The county of Tryon,                     six;

The county of Charlotte,                four;

The county of Cumberland,              three;

The county of Gloucester,               two

[V. Provision for census]

V. That as soon after the expiration of seven years, subsequent to the termination of the present war as may be, a Census of the electors and inhabitants in this State be taken, under the direction of the legislature. And if on such Census it shall appear, that the number of representatives    in Assembly from the said counties, is not justly proportioned to the number of electors in the said counties respectively, that the legislature do adjust and apportion the same by that rule. And further, that once in every seven years, after the taking of the said first Census, a just account of the electors resident in each county shall be taken; and if it shall thereupon appear, that the number of electors       in any county, shall have encreased or diminished one or more seventieth parts of the whole number of electors, which on the said first Census shall be found in this State, the number of representatives-for such county shall be increased or diminished accordingly, th-af is to say, one representative for every seventieth part as aforesaid.

[VI. Elections to be had by ballot]

VI. AND WHEREAS, an opinion hath long prevailed among divers of the good people of this State, that voting at elections by Ballot, would tend more to preserve the liberty and equal freedom of the people, than voting viva voce. To the end therefore that a fair experiment be made, which of those two methods of voting is to be preferred:

BE IT ORDAINED, that as soon as may be, after the termination of the present war, between the United States of America and Great-Britain, an act, or acts be passed by the legislature of this State, for causing all elections thereafter to be held in this State for Senators and Representatives in assembly, to be by Ballot, and directing the manner in which the same shall be conducted. AND WHEREAS, it is possible, that after all the care of the legislature, in framing the said act or acts, certain inconveniencies and mischiefs, unforeseen at this day, may be found to attend the said mode of electing by Ballot:

IT IS FURTHER ORDAINED, that if after a full and fair experiment shall be made of voting by Ballot aforesaid, the same shall be found less conducive to the safety or interest of the State, than the method of voting viva voce, it shall be lawful and constitutional for the legislature to abolish the same; provided two thirds of the members present in each House, respectively shall concur therein: And further, that during the continuance of the present war, and until the legislature of this State shall provide for the election of Senators and Representatives in assembly by Ballot, the saidelections shall be made viva voce.

[VII. Eligibility to vote.]

VII. That every male inhabitant of full age, who shall have personally resided within one of the counties of this State, for six months immediately preceding the day of election, shall at such election, be entitled to vote for representatives of the said county in assembly; if during the time aforesaid, he shall have been a Freeholder, possessing a Freehold of the value of twenty pounds, within the said county, or have rented a tenement therein of the yearly value of forty shillings, and been rated and actually paid taxes to this State: Provided always, that every person who now is a freeman of the city of Albany, or who was made a freeman of the city of New-York, on or before the fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and shall be actually and usually resident in the said cities respectively, shall be entitled to vote for Representatives in assembly within his said place of residence.

[VIII - Oath may be required to vote.]

VIII. That every elector before he is admitted to vote, shall, if required by the returning officer or either of the inspectors, take an oath, or if of the people called Quakers, an affirmation, of allegiance to the State.

[IX. Assembly to proceed in like manner as assembly of colony.]

IX. That the assembly thus constituted, shall chuse [sic] their own Speaker, be judges of their own members, and enjoy the same privileges and proceed in doing business, in like manner as the assemblies of the colony of New York of right formerly did; and that a majority of the said members, shall, from time to time constitute a House to proceed upon business.

[X. Constitution of, and eligibility requirements for, Senate]

X. And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that the Senate of the State of New-York, shall consist of twenty-four freeholders, to be chosen out of the body of the freeholders, and that they be chosen by the freeholders of this State, possessed of freeholds of the value of one hundred pounds, over and above all debts charged thereon.

[XI. Term and rotation of Senate.]

XI. That the members of the Senate be elected for four years, and immediately after the first election, they be divided by lot into four classes, six in each class, and numbered one, two, three and four; that the seats of the members of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, the second class the second year, and so on continually, to the end that the fourth part of the Senate, as nearly as possible, may be annually chosen.

[XII. Senatorial districts]

XII. That the election of Senators shall be after this manner; that so much of this State as is now parcelled into counties, be divided into four great districts; the southern district to comprehend the city and county of New-York, Suffolk, Westchester, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties; the middle district to comprehend the counties of Dutchess, Ulster and Orange; the western district the city and county of Albany, and Tryon county; and the eastern          district, the counties of Charlotte, Cumberland and Gloucester. That the Senators shall be elected by the freeholders of the said districts, qualified as aforesaid, in the proportions following, to wit, in the southern district nine, in the middle district six, in the western district six, and in the eastern district three. And BE IT ORDAINED, that a Census shall be taken as soon as may be, after the expiration of seven years from the termination of the present war, under the direction of the legislature: And if on such Census it shall appear, that the number of Senators is not justly proportioned to the several districts, that the legislature adjust the proportion as near as may be, to the number of freeholders qualified as aforesaid, in each district. That when the number of electors within any of the said districts, shall have increased one twenty-fourth part of the whole number of electors, which by the said Census, shall be found to be in this State, an additional Senator shall be chosen by the electors of such district. That a majority of the number of Senators to be chosen as aforesaid, shall be necessary to constitute a Senate, sufficient to proceed upon business, and that the Senate shall in like manner with the assembly, be the judges of its own members. And BE IT ORDAINED, that it shall be in the power of the future legislatures of this State for the convenience and advantage of the good people thereof, to divide the same into such further and other counties and districts, as shall to them appear necessary.

[XIII. Protection from interference with rights and liberties.]

XIII. And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that no member of this State, shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to the subjects of this State, by this constitution, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.

[XIV. Adjournment by assembly or senate limited.]

XIV. That neither the assembly or the senate shall have power to adjourn themselves for any longer time than two days, without the mutual consent of both.

[XV. Senate-Assembly conferences]

XV. That whenever the Assembly and Senate disagree, a conference shall be held in the presence of both, and be managed by Committees to be by them respectively chosen by ballot. That the doors both of the Senate and Assembly shall at all times be kept open to all persons, except when the welfare of the State shall require their debates to be kept secret. And the Journals of all their proceedings shall be kept in the manner heretofore accustomed by the General Assembly of the colony of New-York, and except such parts as they shall as aforesaid, respectively determine not to make public, be from day to day (if the business of the legislature will permit) published.

[XVI. Limitation of size of Senate and Assembly]

XVI. It is nevertheless provided, that the number of Senators shall never exceed one hundred, nor the number of Assembly three hundred; but that whenever the number of Senators shall amount to one hundred, or of the Assembly to three hundred, then and in such case, the legislature shall from time to time thereafter, by laws for that purpose, apportion and distribute the said one hundred Senators and three hundred Representatives, among the great districts and counties of this State in proportion to the number of their respective electors; so that the representation of the good people of this State, both in the Senate and Assembly, shall for ever remain proportionate and adequate.

[XVII. Power and election of Governor]

XVII. And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that the supreme executive power, and authority of this State, shall be vested in a Governor; and that statedly once in every three years, and as often as the seat of government shall become vacant, a wise and discreet freeholder of this State, shall be by ballot elected Governor, by the freeholders of this State, qualified as before described to elect Senators; which elections shall be always held at the times and places of choosing representatives in assembly for each respective county; and that the person who hath the greatest number of votes within the said State, shall be Governor thereof.

[XVIII. Governor is General and Commander in Chief of Militia and Admiral of Navy.]

XVIII. That the Governor shall continue in office three years, and shall, by virtue of his office, be General and Commander in Chief of all the militia, and Admiral of the Navy of this State; that he shall have power to convene the Assembly and Senate on extraordinary occasions, to prorogue them from time to time, provided such prorogations shall not exceed sixty days in the space of any one year; and at his discretion to grant reprieves and pardons to persons convicted of crimes, other than treason or murder, in which he may suspend the execution of the sentence, until it shall be reported to the legislature at their subsequent meeting; and they shall either pardon or direct the execution of the criminal, or grant a further reprieve.

[XIX - Responsibilities of Governor]

XIX. That it shall be the duty of the Governor to inform the legislature, at every sessions, of the condition of the State, so far as may respect his department; to recommend such matters to their consideration as shall appear to him to concern its good government, welfare and prosperity; to correspond with the Continental Congress, and other States; to transact all necessary business with the officers of government, civil and military; to take care that the laws are faithfully executed to the best of his ability; and to expedite all such measures as may be resolved upon by the legislature.

[XX. - Lieutenant-Governor]

XX. That a Lieutenant-Governor shall, at every election of a Governor, and as often as the Lieutenant-Governor shall die, resign, or be removed from office, be elected in the same manner with the Governor, to continue in office, until the next election of a Governor; and such Lieutenant-Governor shall, by virtue of his office, be President of the Senate, and, upon an equal division, have a casting voice in their decisions, but not vote on any other occasion.

And in case of the impeachment of the Governor, or his removal from office, death, resignation, or absence from the State, the Lieutenant-Governor shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of Governor, until another be chosen, or the Governor absent or impeached shall return, or be acquitted. Provided that where the Governor shall, with the consent of the legislature, be out of the State, in time of war, at the head of a military       force thereof, he shall still continue in his command of all the military force of this State, both by sea and land.

[XXI. Absence of Lieutenant-Governor]

XXI. That whenever the Government shall be administered by the Lieutenant-Governor, or he shall be unable to attend as President of the Senate, the senators shall have power to elect one of their own members to the office of President of the Senate, which he shall exercise pro hac vice. And if, during such vacancy of the office of Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor shall be impeached, displaced, resign, die, or be absent from the State, the President of the Senate, shall in like manner as the Lieutenant-Governor administer the government, until others shall be elected by  the suffrage of the people at the succeeding election.

[XXII. Treasurer to be appointed by the Assembly.]

XXII. And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that the Treasurer of this State shall be appointed by act of the legislature, to originate with the assembly: Provided that he shall not be elected out of either branch of the legislature.

[XXIII. - Appointment of Officers]

XXIII. That all officers, other than those, who by this constitution are directed to be otherwise appointed, shall be appointed in the manner following, to wit, The assembly shall, once in every year, openly nominate and appoint one of the Senators from each great district, which Senators shall form a council for the appointment of the said officers, of which the Governor for the time being, or the Lieutenant-Governor, or the President of the Senate, when they shall respectively administer the government, shall be President, and have a casting voice, but no other vote; and with the advice and consent of the said council, shall appoint all the said officers; and that a majority of the said council be a quorum. And further, the said Senators shall not be eligible to the said council for two years successively.

{XXIV. Commissioning of Military Officers]

XXIV. That all military officers be appointed during pleasure; that all commissioned officers civil and military, be commissioned by the Governor, and that the Chancellor, the Judges of the supreme court, and first Judge of the county court in every county, hold their offices during good behaviour, or until they shall have respectively attained the age of sixty years.

[XXV. Chancellor and Judges to hold no other office.]

XXV. That the Chancellor and Judges of the supreme court, shall not at the same time hold any other office, excepting that of Delegate to-the General Congress, upon special occasions; and that the first Judges of the county courts in the several counties, shall not at the same time hold any other office, excepting that of Senator, othe General Congress: But if the Chaucellor or either of the  said Judges be elected or appointed to any other office, excepting as is before excepted, it shall be at his option in which to serve.

[XXVI. Sheriffs & Coroners annually appointed.]

XXVI. That Sheriffs and Coroners be annually appointed; and that no person shall be capable of holding either of the said offices more than four years successively, nor the Sheriff of holding any other office at the same time.

[XXVII. Appointment of Clerks.}

XXVII. AND BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, that all registers and clerks in chancery be appointed by the Chancellor; the clerks of the supreme court by the Judges of the said court; the clerk of the court of probates, by the Judge of the said court; and the register and marshall of the court of admiralty, by the Judge of the admiralty.—-The said marshall, registers and clerks, to continue in office during the pleasure of those, by whom they are to be appointed, as aforesaid.

And that all Attorneys, Solicitors and Coungellors at Law, hereafter to be appointed, be appointed by the court, and licensed by the first judge of the court in which they shall respectively plead or practice; and be regulated by the rules and orders of the said courts.

{XXVIII. Duration of officers not ascertained.]

XXVIII. AND BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, that where by this Convention the duration of any office shall not be ascertained, such office shall be construed to be held during the pleasure of the Council of Appointment: Provided that new commissions shall be issued to judges of the county courts (other than to the first judge) and to justices of the peace, once at the least in every three years.

[XXIX. Town & County officials to continue.]

XXIX. That town clerks, supervisors, assessors, constables and collectors, and all other officers heretofore eligible by the people, shall always continue to be so eligible, in the manner directed by the present or future acts of legislature.

That loan officers, county treasurers, and clerks of the supervisors, continue to be appointed in the manner directed by the present or future acts of the legislature.

[XXX. Appointment of Delegates to the General Congress of the United States of America.]

XXX. That Delegates to represent this State, in the General Congress of the United States of America, be annually appointed as follows, to wit, The Senate and Assembly shall each openly nominate as many persons as shall be equal to the whole number of Delegates to be appointed; after which nomination, they shall meet together, and those persons named in both lists shall be Delegates; and out of those persons whose names are not in both lists, one half shall be chosen by the joint ballot of the Senators and Members of Assembly, so met together as aforesaid.

[XXXI. Preamble of all laws to be “by the people of the State of New York.”

XXXI. That the stile [sic] of all laws shall be as follows, to wit, BE IT ENACTED by the people of the State of New-York, represented in Senate and Assembly. And that all writs and other proceedings shall run in the name of the people of the State of New- York, and be tested in the name of the Chancellor or Chief Judge of the court from whence they shall issue.

[XXXII. Court for Impeachments and Corrections of Errors.]

XXXIL And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that a court shall be instituted for the trial of Impeachments, and the Correction of Errors, under the regulations which shall be established by the legislature; and to consist of the President of the Senate, for the time being, and the Senators, Chancellor, and Judges of the Supreme Court, or the major part of them; except that when an impeachment shall be prosecuted against the Chancellor, or either of the Judges of the Supreme Court, the person so impeached shall be suspended from exercising his office, until his acquittal: And in like manner, when an appeal from a decree in equity shall be heard, the Chancellor shall inform the court of the reasons of his decree, but shall not have a voice in the final sentence. And if the cause to be determined shall be brought up by writ of error on a question of law, on a judgment in the Supreme      Court, the Judges of that Court shall assign the reasons of such their judgment, but shall not have a voice for its affirmance or reversal.

[XXXIII. Power of impeachment vested in Assembly.]

XXXIII. That the power of impeaching all officers of the State, formal and corrupt conduct in their respective offices, be vested in the representatives of the people in assembly; but that it shall always be necessary that two third parts of the members present shall consent to and agree in such impeachment. That previous to the trial of every impeachment, the members of the said court shall respectively be sworn, truly and impartially to try and determine  the charge in question, according to evidence; and that no judgement of the said court shall be valid, unless it shall be assented to by two third parts of the members then present; nor shall it extend farther than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold or enjoy any place of honour, trust or profit, under this State. But the party so convicted, shall be, nevertheless, liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to the laws of the land.

[XXXIV. Party to be impeached has right to counsel.]

XXXIV. AND IT IS FURTHER ORDAINED, that in every trial on impeachment or indictment for crimes or misdemeanors, the party impeached or indicted, shall be allowed counsel, as in civil actions.

[XXXV. Laws of England and colonial assembly continued.]

XXXV. And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that such parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great-Britain, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New-York, as together did form the law of the said colony on the nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this State; subject to such alterations and provisions, as the legislature of this State shall, from time to time, make concerning the same. That such of the said acts as are temporary, shall expire at the times limited for their duration respectively. That all such parts of the said common law, and all such of the said statutes, and acts aforesaid, or parts thereof, as may be construed to establish or maintain any particular denomination of Christians, or their Ministers, or concern the allegiance heretofore yielded to, and the supremacy sovereignty, government or prerogatives, claimed or exercised by the King of Great-Britain and his predecessors, over the colony of New-York and its inhabitants, or are repugnant to this constitution, be, and they hereby are, abrogated and rejected.

And this Convention doth farther ordain, that the resolves or resolutions of the Congresses of the colony of New York, and of the Convention of the State of New-York, now in force, asot repugnant to the government estab lished by this Constitution, shall be considered as making part of the laws of this State; subject, nevertheless to such  alterations and provisions, as the legislature of this State may from time to time make concerning the same.

[XXXVI. Grants and Charters to bodies politic continued.]

XXXVI. AND BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, that all grants of land within this State, made by the King of Great-Britain, or persons acting under his authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null and void: But that nothing in this constitution contained, shall be construed to affect any grants of land, within this State, made by the authority of the said King or his predecessors, or to annul any charters to bodies politic, by him or them or any of them, made prior to that day. And that none of the said charters, shall be adjudged to be void by reason of any non-user or mis-user of any of their respective rights or privileges, between the nineteeeth [sic] day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and the publication of this constitution. And further, that all such of the officers described in the said charters respectively, as by the terms of the said charters, were to be appointed by the Governor of the colony of New-York, with or without the advice and consent of the Council of the said King, in the said colony, shall henceforth be appointed by the Council established by this constitution, for the appointment of officers in this State, until otherwise directed by the legislature. [Emph. Added - RAF]

[XXXVII. Puchases or contracts of sale with Indians prohibited.]

XXXVIL AND WHEREAS it is of great importance to the safety of this State, that peace and amity with the Indians within the same, be at all times supported and maintained. AND WHEREAS, the frauds too often practised towards the said Indians, in contracts made for their lands, have in divers instances been productive of dangerous discontents and animosities; BE IT ORDAINED, that no purchases or contracts for the sale of lands made since the fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, or which may hereafter be made with or of the said Indians, within the limits of this State, shall be binding on the said Indians, or deemed valid, unless made under the authority, and with the consent of the legislature of this State.

[XXXVIII. Freedom of religion and worship protected.]

XXXVIII. AND WHEREAS we are required by the benevolent principles of rational liberty, not only to expel civil tyranny, but also to guard against that spiritual oppression and intolerance, wherewith the bigotry and ambition of weak and wicked priests and princes, have scourged mankind: This Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall for ever hereafter be allowed within this State to all mankind. Provided that the  liberty of conscience hereby granted, shall not be so construed, as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.

[XXXIX. Ministers and priests barred from public office.]

XXXIX. AND WHEREAS the ministers of the gospel, are by their profession dedicated to the service of God and the cure of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their function; therefore no minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination whatsoever, shall at any time hereafter, under any pretence or description whatever, be eligible to, or capable of holding any civil or military office or place, within this State.

[XL. Militia to maintain readiness.]

XL. AND WHEREAS it is of the utmost importance to the safety of every State, that it should always be in a condition of defence; and it is the duty of every man, who enjoys the protection of society, to be prepared and willing to defend it; this Convention therefore, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, doth ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that the militia of this State, at all times hereafter, as well in peace as in war, shall be armed and disciplined, and in readiness for service. That all such of the inhabitants of this State, being of the people called Quakers, as from scruples of conscience, may be averse to the bearing of arms, be therefrom excused by the legislature; and do pay to the State such sums of money in lieu of their personal service, as the same may, in the judgment of the legislature, be worth: And that a proper magazine of warlike stores, proportionate to the number of inhabitants, be, for ever hereafter, at the expence [sic] of this State, and by acts of the legislature, established, maintained, and continued in every county in this State.

[XLI. Right to trial by jury.]

XLI. And this Convention doth further ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, that trial by jury, in all cases in which it hath heretofore been used in the colony of New-York, shall be established, and remain inviolate forever. And that no acts of attainder shall be passed by the legislature of this State for crimes, other than those committed before the termination of the present war; and that such acts shall not work a corruption of blood. And further, that the legislature of this State shall, at no time hereafter, institute any new court or courts, but such as shall proceed according to the course of the common law.

[XLII. Naturalization]

XLlI. And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that it shall be in the discretion of the legislature to naturalize all such persons, and in such manner as they shall think proper; provided all such of the persons, so to be by them naturalized, as being born in parts beyond sea, and out of the United States of America, shall come to settle in, and become subjects of this State, shall take an oath of allegiance to this State, and abjure and renounce all allegiance and subjectionto all and every foreign King, Prince, Potentate and State, in all matters ecclesiastical as well as civil.

By order.