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WE, the people of the state of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, do establish this constitution.

16 J. R., 233; 17 J. R., 108, 195, 225; 19 J. R., 153; 20 J. R., 313; 7 J.
C. R., 297; 1 Cow., 450; 3 Cow., 713; 4 W., 9; 10 W., 547; 18 W.,
9; 20 W., 365; 21 W., 563; 24 W., 215, 337; 26 W., 43; 3 Pai.,
45; 5 Pal., 137; 6 Pai., 554; 11 Pai., 484; 1 B. C. R., 547; 5 H.,
317, 468; 6 H., 47; 3 D., 381; 3 B., 196; 4 B., 56; 9 B., 350; 14
B., 405, 559; 18 B., 583; 24 B., 232, 248, 446; 27 B., 575; 1 N. Y.,
536; 3 N. Y., 511; 4 N. Y., 276; 6 N. Y., 176; 7 N. Y., 9, 109; 9
N. Y., 100; 12 N. Y., 541; 13 N. Y., 378; 16 N. Y., 501; 17 N.
Y., 235; 18 N. Y., 38; 22 N. Y., 128.



to be dis

No member of this state shall be disfranchised or deprived of No person any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, franchised. unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

1 Cow., 550; 6 H., 47; 3 D., 382; 4 D., 374; 15 W., 436; 20 W., 365;

8 Cow., 543; 3 B., 196; 4 B., 64; 13 N. Y., 383; 14 N. Y., 423;
19 N. Y., 445.


The trial by jury, in all cases in which it has been here- Trial by tofore used, shall remain inviolate forever. But a jury trial jury. may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law.

2 Cow., 815; 1 H., 355; 6 H., 75; 5 W., 251, 468; 8 W., 85; 10 W.,
449; 3 Pai., 45; 24 W., 337; 10 B., 35; 14 B., 425; 18 B., 412;
20 B., 625; 13 N. Y., 378; 16 N. Y., 501; 18 N. Y., 199.


The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and Religious worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever liberty.

Habeas corpus.

Bail, fines,


Bill of rights.

Private property

and roads.

be allowed, in this state, to all mankind: and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state.

18 J. R., 98; 2 Cow., 432.


The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension.


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.

13 N. Y., 378.


No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of militia, when in actual service; and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this state may keep with the consent of congress in time of peace; and in cases of petit larceny, under the regulation of the legislature), unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury, and in any trial in any court whatever, the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person and with counsel, as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence; nor shall he be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

2 J. C. R., 162; 20 J. R., 103; 3 Pai., 45; 5 Pai., 137; 7 Pai., 598; 4

W., 9; 10 W., 449; 11 W., 148; 14 W., 54; 15 W., 374, 451; 17

W., 649; 18 W., 9; 19 W., 654; 20 W., 365; 24 W., 65; 25 W., 462; 4 Cow., 195; 5 Cow., 346; 7 Cow., 585; 2 D., 272; 1 H., 324; 3 H., 567; 4 H., 140; 6 H., 47; 3 B., 275, 459; 4 B., 64, 295; 5 B., 474; 7 B., 297, 416, 508; 8 B., 358; 9 B., 449, 350; 14 B. 405; 15 B., 255, 627; 18 B., 619, 159; 19 B., 118, 166, 179; 21 B., 513; 24 B., 232, 658; 25 B., 9; 3 N. Y., 511; 4 N. Y., 195, 419; 5 N. Y., 285; 6 N. Y., 358, 522; 7 N. Y., 314; 8 N. Y., 241; 9 N. Y., 100; 11 N. Y., 308; 12 N. Y., 209, 486; 13 N. Y., 378, 143; 18 N. Y., 38, 199; 19 N. Y., 116.


When private property shall be taken for any public use, the compensation to be made therefor, when such compensation is not made by the state, shall be ascertained by a jury, or by not less than three commissioners appointed by a court of record, as shall be prescribed by law. Private roads may be opened in the manner to be prescribed by law; but in every case the necessity of the road, and the amount of all damage to be sustained by the opening thereof, shall be first

determined by a jury of freeholders, and such amount,
together with the expenses of the proceeding, shall be paid
by the person to be benefited.

20 J. R., 375; 8 W., 85; 4 H., 140; 5 H., 168; 7 H., 9; 3 B., 332; 8 B.
486; 12 B., 446; 15 B., 517; 18 B., 451; 4 N. Y., 419; 7 N. Y.,
486; 9 N. Y., 100; 11 N. Y., 313; 12 N. Y., 190.


speech and

Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sen- Freedom of timents on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that the press. right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech, or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury, that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.

26 W., 383; 2 H., 248.



The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each Two-third branch of the legislature shall be requisite to every bill appropriating the public moneys or property for local or private purposes.

4 H., 384; 2 D., 380; 14 B., 563; 18 B., 620; 8 N. Y., 324.



No law shall be passed abridging the right of the people Right to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government, or any department thereof; nor shall any divorce be granted other- Divorces.. wise than by due judicial proceedings; nor shall any lottery Lotteries.. hereafter be authorized, or any sale of lottery tickets allowed within this state.

7 N. Y., 228.



The people of this state, in their right of sovereignty, are Eminent deemed to possess the original and ultimate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction of the state; and all lands the title to which shall fail, from a defect of heirs, shall revert or escheat to the people.

8 W., 183; 17 W., 312; 6 N. Y., 522.


All feudal tenures of every description, with all their inci- Fendal dents, are declared to be abolished, saving, however, all rents and services certain, which at any time heretofore have been lawfully created or reserved.



All lands within this state are declared to be allodial, so that All lands subject only to the liability to escheat, the entire and absolute property is vested in the owners according to the nature of their respective estates.



No lease or grant of agricultural land, for a longer period leases limi- than twelve years, hereafter made, in which shall be reserved any rent or service of any kind, shall be valid.


Fines and quarter

22 B., 606; 6 N. Y., 457.


All fines, quarter sales, or other like restraints upon alienasales abol- tion, reserved in any grant of land, hereafter to be made, shall be void.



from In


No purchase or contract for the sale of lands in this state, purchases made since the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven dians void. hundred and seventy-five; or which may hereafter be made, of, or with the Indians, shall be valid, unless made under the authority and with the consent of the legislature.

Parts of the


law, acts and statutes de


20 J. R., 693; 7 N. Y., 401, 428.


Such parts of the common law, 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, one clared to be thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and the resolutions of the congress of the said colony, and of the convention of the state of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed, or altered; and such acts of the legislature of this state as are now in force, shall be and continue the law of this state, subject to such alterations as the legislature shall make concerning the same. But all such

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parts of the common law, and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this constitution, are hereby abrogated; and the legislature, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall appoint three commissioners, whose duty it shall be to reduce into a written and systematic code the whole body of the law of this state, or so much and such parts thereof as to the said commissioners shall seem practicable and expedient. And the said commissioners shall specify such alterations and amendments therein as they shall deem proper, and they shall at all times make reports of their proceedings to the legislature, when called upon to do so; and the legislature shall pass laws regulating the tenure of office, the filling of vacancies therein, and the compensation of the said commissioners; and shall also provide for the publication of the said code, prior to its being presented to the legislature for adoption.

7 Pai., 77; 8 N. Y., 525, 559.


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

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