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That the fifteenth paragraph in the constitution, under the head oaths, subscriptions, &c. be expunged and the following substituted in lieu thereof.


No person holding the office of judge of any court (except special judges) Secretary, Treasurer of the state, attorney general, commissary general, military officers, receiving pay from the Continent or this state, excepting officers of the militia, occasionally called forth on an emergency, Register of deeds sheriff or officer of the customs, including naval officers Collectors of excise, and state and continental taxes hereafter appointed and not having settled their accounts with the respective officers with whom it is their duty to settle such accounts, members of Congress, or any person holding an office under the United States, shall at the same time hold the office of Governor, or have a seat in the senate or house of representatives or council, but his being chosen and appointed to and accepting the same shall operate as a resignation of his seat in the chair, senate, or house of representatives or council, and the place so vacated shall be filled up. No member of the council shall have a seat in the senate or of house of representatives.


To the end that there may be no failure of justice, or danger to the state by the alterations and amendments made in the constitution, the general court is hereby fully authorized and directed to fix the time when the amendments and alterations shall take effect; and make the necessary arrangements accordingly.

That the last paragraph in the constitution be expunged, and the following substituted in lieu thereof. viz.


It shall be the duty of the selectmen and assessors of the several towns and places in this state, in warning the first annual meeting for the choice of senators, after the expiration of seven years from the adoption this constitution, as amended to insert expressly in the warrant, this purpose among the others, for the meeting, to wit: to take the sense of the qualified voters on the subject of a revision of the constitution. And the meeting being warned accordingly and not otherwise, the moderator shall take the sense of the qualified voters present, as to the necessity of a revision, and a return of the number of votes for, and against such necessity, shall be made by the clerk, sealed up and directed to the general court at their then next session. And if it shall appear to the general court by such returns, that the sense of the people of the state has been taken and that in the opinion of the majority of the qualified voters, in the state present, and voting at said meetings, there is a necessity for a revision of the constitution; it shall be the duty of the general court to call a convention for that purpose, otherwise the general court shall direct the sense of the people to be taken, and then proceed in the manner before mentioned.

The delegates to be chosen in the same manner, and proportioned as the representatives to the general court; provided, that no alterations shall be made in this constitution, before the same shall be laid before the towns and unincorporated places; and approved by two thirds of the qualified voters present, and voting on the subject.And the same method of taking the sense of the people, as to the revision of the constitution, and calling a convention for that purpose; shall be observed afterwards at the expiration of every seven years.

SAMUEL LIVERMORE, President. Attest: JOHN CALFE, Secretary.



Ayes, 2,122 ; Noes, 978.

Constitution Unchanged, 1792 to 1852. Notwithstanding the people were periodically given opportunity by the General Court to order the calling of another constitutional convention, they declined to do so, and the constitution as amended in 1792 was the fundamental law of the State for nearly sixty years. No other State of the American Union has preserved any constitution ratified by the people unmodified for so long a period, although North Carolina closely approached it.

The following table shows the dates of the approval of the several acts of the Legislature during that period, 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 :

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Fifth Constitutional Convention, 1850–51. . On Wednesday, November 6, 1850, this convention assembled in Concord, and organized by electing Franklin Pierce of Concord, president, and Thomas J. Whipple of Laconia, secretary.

The following Rules of Procedure 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. In case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries, the President, or chairman of the committee of the whole Convention, shall have the power to order the same to be cleared.

4. No person but the members and officers of the Convention shall be admitted within the chamber, unless by invitation of the President or of some member of the Convention.

5. When a member is about to speak in debate or deliver any matter to the Convention, he shall rise and address himself to the President.

6. No member shall speak more than twice to the same question without leave of the Convention.

7. 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 which they are arranged. Motions to adjourn and lie on the table shall be decided without debate.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. No vote shall be reconsidered unless the motion for reconsideration be made by a member who voted with the majority.

II. 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.

12. 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.

13. After the journal has been read and corrected, the order of business shall be as follows, viz. :

ist. The presentation of petitions ;
2nd. The report of committees;
3rd. The unfinished business of the preceding day.

On November 8th the president announced the standing committees, naming their chairmen as follows: On the Bill of Rights,

Ichabod Bartlett, Portsmouth. The Executive Department,

Samuel Swasey, Haverhill. The Legislative Department,

Charles G. Atherton, Nashville. The Judicial Department,

Levi Woodbury, Portsmouth. The Militia,

John Wadleigh, Meredith. The Religious and Property Test,

William P. Weeks, Canaan.

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