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“ Art. 99. Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in the Senate or House of Representatives, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house, such proposed amendment or amendments shall then be entered on their respective journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the Legislature then next to be chosen, and shall be duly published; and if in the Legislature next afterwards to be chosen such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house and the same be recorded on their journals, and the yeas and nays taken thereon as aforesaid, then it shall be the duty of the Legislature to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people, and if twothirds of the qualified voters of this State present and voting thereon at meetings duly called and warned for that purpose, shall approve and ratify the same, then such amendment or amendments shall become a part of the Constitution : Provided that no amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the people oftener than once in ten years, the Legislature to fix the first year for such purpose and the number afterwards to be computed from that: and if more than one amendment be submitted, they shall be submitted in such manner and form that the people may vote for or against each amendment proposed to any and every provision of the Constitution separately."
VOTE ON THE THREE AMENDMENTS OF 1851, TO CONSTITUTION
SESSION, WHICH ADJOURNED APRIL 17, 1851.
Period from 1852 to 1877. During the next quarter of a century the people voted at five different times upon the question of calling a convention; and three times a majority of the voters were in favor of it. Although the vote taken under act of July 4, 1860, showed a majority in favor of calling a convention, the senate and house of representatives at the June session, 1861, failed to agree upon a bill for that purpose. Again the vote under act of Aug. 19, 1864, showed a majority of the voters in favor of calling a convention ; but the Legislature at the June session, 1865, by joint resolution decided to take no action in the matter.
The following table shows the dates of the approval of the several acts of the Legislature between 1850 and 1876, providing for taking the sense of the qualified voters on the expediency of calling a convention to revise the constitution, and the aggregate, the affirmative, and the negative votes on the question as returned by the town clerks:
Sixth Constitutional Convention, 1876. The delegates elected to this convention assembled in the hall of the house of representatives in the Capitol at Concord on Wednesday, December 6, 1876, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon.
At the afternoon session the convention elected Daniel Clark, of Manchester, to be its president, and Thomas J. Smith, of Dover, to be secretary, and Alpheus W. Baker, of Lebanon, to be assistant secretary.
On December 7th, Mr. Sargent, of Concord, for the Committee on Rules, reported the following rules which were adopted by the convention :
1. The President shall take the chair at precisely the hour to which the Convention shall have adjourned, shall immediately call the members to order, and at the commencement of each day's session shall cause the journal of the preceding day to be read.
He shall preserve decorum and order, and may speak on points of order in preference to other members, and may substitute any member to perform the duties of the chair, such substitution not to extend beyond an adjournment.
2. All committees shall be appointed by the President, unless otherwise directed by the convention; and the first named member of any committee appointed by the President shall be chairman.
3. No person but the members and officers of the convention shall be admitted within the chamber, unless by invitation of the President or some member of the convention.
4. No member shall speak more than twice to the same question without leave of the convention.
5. When any question is under debate, no motion shall be received but, ist, to adjourn ; 2d, to lie on the table; 3d, to postpone to a day certain; 4th, to commit; 5th, to amend, - which several motions shall take precedence in the order in which they are arranged. Motions to adjourn and lie on the table shall be decided without debate.
6. Any member may call for a division of the question, when the sense will admit of it; but a motion to strike out and insert shall not be divided.
7. A motion for commitment, until it is decided, shall precede all amendments to the main question; and all motions and reports may be committed at the pleasure of the convention.
8. No vote shall be reconsidered unless the motion for reconsideration be made by a member who voted with the majority.
9. Every question shall be decided by yeas and nays, whenever a demand for the same shall be made and sustained by at least ten members.
10. The convention may resolve itself into a committee of the whole convention, at any time, on the motion of a member; and, in forming a committee of the whole, the president shall leave the chair, and appoint a chairman to preside in committee; and the rules of proceeding in convention, and the rule relating to calls for the yeas and nays, shall be observed in committee of the whole, except the rule limiting the times of speaking.
11. After the journal has been read and corrected, the order of business shall be as follows, viz., ist, the presentation of resolutions and petitions ; 2d, the reports of committees; 3d, the unfinished business of the preceding day.
Mr. Sargent of Concord, for the Committee on Rules and Methods of Procedure, also reported the following resolution, which was adopted :
Resolved, That this convention will proceed to revise the present Constitution of the state by considering it as in committee of the whole, till gone through with under consecutive and separate heads, and by sending to special and appropriate committees, from time to time, such amendments as may be adopted by the convention; that there shall be appointed four separate committees, by the president, consisting of two members from each county, which shall be committees on the following subjects, viz. :
1. The Bill of Rights, the Executive Department, and the Religious Test.
The Legislative Department.
The Judicial Department. 4. Future mode of amending the Constitution, and other miscellaneous matters.
These committees shall consider the amendments submitted to them by the convention, and put the same in proper form, and recommend such modifications and amendments of the same as they may deem necessary.
(J. 1876, pp. 26, 27.)
The president on December 8 appointed the standing committees of the convention, naming their chairmen as follows: