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OF THE

CONSTITUTION

OF THE

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.

COMPILED FROM OFFICIAL SOURCES AND EDITED WITH
SKETCH OF THE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE STATE, THE

BASIS OF REPRESENTATION, AND APPENDIX,

BY

JAMES FAIRBANKS COLBY.

CONCORD, 1902.

PRINTED BY IRA C. EVANS Co., CONCORD.

BOUND BY RUMFORD PRINTING CO., CONCORD,

CONTENTS.

9

Page.

I. Preface.....

5

II. Constitution of New Hampshire established October 31, 1783, as

subsequently amended and in force December 1, 1902..

III. Index to Constitution......

48

IV. Sketch of the Constitutions of New Hampshire, including-

Name and bounds.

59

Early government.

59

Revolutionary government..

62

Suggestions of Gen. John Sullivan on plan of government

for New Hampshire......

65

First Constitutional Convention, 1775–76..

70

Temporary Constitution of January 5, 1776.

71

Proclamation of new plan of government.

74

Character of government formed....

75

Declaration of Independence of New Hampshire..

77

Preparation for another Convention..

79

Second Constitutional Convention, 1778...

81

Draft of Constitution submitted to the people for approval

and rejected, 1779.....

Third Constitutional Convention, 1781-83. .

89

Address of Convention to the people upon submitting first

draft of proposed constitution, 1781...

99

Constitution (third draft) as approved by the people and

established October 31, 1783..

109

Fourth Constitutional Convention, 1791-92.

140

Amendments proposed (72) first series, 1792.

147

Popular vote thereon.......

169

Amendments proposed (secondisories) 1792...

171

Popular vote thereon.

190

Constitution unchanged, 1792-1852..

190

Fifth Constitutional Convention, 1850-51.

191

Amendments proposed (15) first series, 1851.

195

Popular vote thereon...

Fifth Constitutional Convention, second session, 1851.

214

Amendments proposed (3) second series, 1851.

216

Popular vote thereon......

218

Constitution unchanged, 1852–77...

218

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PREFACE.

This manual has been prepared, pursuant to a vote of the Governor and Council, for the use of the constitutional convention. This fact has determined both its contents and its form.

The text of the constitution of New Hampshire herewith printed as now in force, is based upon the earliest engrossed copy in existence, that of the constitution as amended in 1792.

The sketch of the constitutions of the State is limited to a simple narrative of events, without any attempt to unfold their causal relations. No work of that character can be written properly until numerous manuscripts now in the British or American archives and important records in possession of the State or its towns are made more accessible to historical students. The same general causes that have governed the constitutional development of the other New England states have been at work in New Hampshire, but its organic law is not without distinguishing marks. The Temporary Constitution of January 5, 1776, was the first frame of government adopted by any of the thirteen original states which, though not a grant of powers, was deemed by the people to be a fundamental law. The Permanent Constitution, established October 31, 1783, and drafted in all its important provisions by the statesman of the American Revolution, John Adams, was unchanged for sixty years, 1792-1852, a fact unparalleled among the other states except Rhode Island and

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