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1776 33 (1776)

handle is hein.ssl/ssva0154 and id is 1 raw text is: I N'TE R REG NO.
At a GENERAL CONVE NT 1 ON of Ddlegates and Reprefentatives, from
the   feveral    Counties-. and      Corporations of       firginia,     held    at the
Capitol in the City of Williamsurg,: on Monday the 6th of May 1776.
CH     A  P.    L
A rDcearalian of tbts made by the repfrtfeatatves of ihegood peaple of Virginia, affenihed in fall and free
Conwntfion; whbich rights do pertain to then, and their pqjleri4, as the baJs and fowadation of gvernret.
Lsu]IAT all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of
'which, when they enter into a Irate of fociety, they cannot, by any compad, deprive or deveft
*.    their pofterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the mqina of acquiring and
polfeling property, and purfuing and obtaining happinefs and fafety.
IT. THAT all power is vefted in, and confeqnently derived from, the people; that Magiftrates are
their truftees and fervants, and at all times amenable to them.
Ill. THAT government is, or ought to be, inflituted for the common benefit, protedion and feeurity,
of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is beft,
which is capable of producing the greatet degree of happinefs and fafety, and is moft efledually fecured
againlt the danger of mal-adminiftration ; and that when-any government Thall be found inadequate or
contrary to thefe purpofe., a majority of the community hath attindubitable, unalienable, and indefeafible
right, to reform, alte r, or aholifh it, in fuch manner as fhall be judged mop conducive to the public weal.
IV. THAT no man, or fet of men, 'are entitled to exelufive or feparate emoluments or privllcge'
from the community, but in cenfideration of public fervices; which not being defcendible, neither
ought the offices of Magiftrate, Legillator, or Judge, to be hereditary.
V. THAT the Legiflative, and Executive powers of the Irate Ihould be feparate and diain& from the
Judiciary; and that the members OF SC two firft may be reftrained from oppreffion, by feeling and par-
ticipating the burthens of the people, they hould, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private Ration,
return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be fupplied by frequent
certain, and regular clecaions, in which all, or any part of the former members, to be again eligible, or
ineligible, as the laws flall diredt.
VI. THAT eledions of members to ferve as reprefentatiles of the people, in Affembly, ought to be
free; and that all men, having futficient evidence of permanent common intereft with, and attachment
to, the community, have the right of fufragle, and cannot be taxed or deprived or their property for
public nfeis without their own confent, or that of their reprefentatives Co eleed, nor bound by any law
to which they have not, in like manner, ahoted, for the public good.
AM. THAT all power of fnfpcnding laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority without con.
Cent of the reprefentatives of the people, is injurious to their rights and ought not to be exercifed.
VII. THAT in all capital or criminal profecutions a man bath a right to demand the caufe and
nature of his accufation, to be confronted with the aetfers and witneffes, to call for evidence in his
favour, and to a fpeedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whofe unanimous content he
tar.not be found guilty, nor can he be compelled to give evidence againlt himfelf; that no man be depriv-
ed of his liberty except by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
IX. THAT exeeffive bail ought not to be required, nor exeeffive fines impofed, nor cruel and uR.
ufnalepuniflimeuts inflided.
X. TUIAT genEral warrants, whereby an officer or meflenger may be commanded to fearch fufpeded
places without evidence of a fad committed, or to feize any perfon or perfons not named, or whofe
orence is not particularly deferibed and fupported by evidence, are grievous and oppreflive, and ought
not to be granted.
XI. THAT in controverfies rcfpeing, property, and in fuits between man and man, the ancient
trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held facred.
XII. THAT the freedom of the prdfs is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, qnd can never he
reltrained but by defjiotick governments.
Xiii. THAT a well regulated militia, compofed of the body of the pecple, trained to arms, is the
'proper, natural and fate defence of a free Rate; that ftanding armies, in time of peace, TMuld be avoid-
ed, as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cafes, the military flhold he under ftriRt fabordinatioa to,
and governed by, the civil power.
XIV. THAT the people have a right, to uniio&rm goverinment; and therefore, that ro goveranment
feparate frcn, or independent of, the governmient of Virgizia, ought to be erected or efiablifled withini
the limits thereof.
XV. THAT no free government, or the blc.i:ng of liberty, can be preferred to any people but b; a
firm adherence to juftice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frcquent recurvcneg
to fundamental principles.
XVI THAT religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of difcharging it,
can be direed only by reafon and convidion, not by force or violence, and therefore all men are equally
entitled to the free exereife of religion, according to the diEates of confeience; and that it is te .mtu.l
duty of all to practife Chftian forbearance, love, and charity, towards each other,

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