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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thoughts ... John Adams


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Miss MaudeYou know this old Tucker has sort of a built in guidance system, methinks ... maybe Preston's version of GPS ... it's been acting up lately and now, if I don't tell it exactly where I want to go, it sputters with the emergency flasher going on and off ... and then starts going round and round in circles, as if it can't make up its mind ... sorta like a woman ... so I'm naming her Maude ... Miss Maude Murray.

As perhaps suggested in "Chamberlain's Hangover," and reinforced in "Parties, ... I've discovered and taken somewhat of a liking for the obnoxious and disliked John AdamsJohn Adams, who delights in letting you know what he thinks and why! Discharging my sacred duty, it's he whom I select as the one whom I most esteem and love best for his knowledge, integrity, and benevolence ... and it's to him I will on occasion yield, trusting him to represent me well.

boy readingI've been reading a bit in the hope of being able to give Miss Maude some direction ... well, at least a bit. When I was young, I read a lot, mostly about Great Grandpa Doolittle's English cousin John, until I developed a strong, well founded aversion to reading, lest I be unduly influenced by others ... mainly my teachers who tried to make me read.

Now that I've shed the aversion, I find I now longer have the necessary energy. Thus, I must plead guilty of gross ignorance, at least relative to most things of consequence, including the writings of the great philosophers, our founding fathers, the history of our great land and pretty much everything else what weren't played in the movie theater, on the radio or on the TV. In other words, the only advantage I have over most folks is what I saw in the Movietone News or heard on the radio.

Unlike me, John Adams was well read ... "let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write" ... speaks well for him, methinks. His money backed his words for he was a deep thinker with a prolific pen. He wasn't alone ... our empassioned founding fathers were smart, real smart ... still are, as their writings and those of their fellows keep them alive and well.

He cautioned ... "abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society" ... so as we read his, we can rest comfortable that his were fastidiously chosen. Forked Tongue

He's right of course and in spite of contrariwise appearances, I too abhor the abuse and misuse of our language ... it often makes me cringe, like the scraping of ones nails on the blackboard. Yes, unlike me, he was well read ... does that mean he read a lot more than me or that a lot more folks read what he writ? Danged if I know!! It don't matter none ... both are true!

Citing "republic" as one of the most abused words in history, John Adams asserts that it orignally meant a government in which the property of the people predominated and governed ... one in which the property of the people, and of every one of them ... was secured and protected by law.

The notion of property taking precedence over people may be difficult for some to understand or swallow, but as the costumes, scenery and stage remain long after the actor's hour is over ... changes in ownership and management too ... it's important for it to so be. It will ever be, methinks ... and increasingly so, as the world's population continues to increase while there are no indications that the Lord plans to increase the size of the rock.

As noted in "Chamberlain's Hangover," he concluded that the true and only true definition of a republic was "a government in which all men are equally subject to its laws" King George

Through our glasses, and those prescribed by Doctor Franklin for our founding fathers, King George is clearly seen as an unreasonable tyrant, imposing taxes without proper representation ... and while Neville Chamberlain's were flawed, most folks recognized der Führer for the monster that he was. Indeed, Herr Hitler's "Mein Kampf" spelled it out for folks what might have defective glasses.

Unfortunately, times have changed and those who would be king have become far more insidious and beguiling ... hiding behind many masks and difficult to discern ... that they have developed a great penchant for abusing our language ... and become increasingly proficient in so doing ... bespeaks the cancerous condition with which we we find ourselves beset. That we, ourselevs, are so guilty is also symptomatic of the same condition, methinks.

Seeing as how we're getting somewhat "familiar" with the most honorable, esteemed and well respected John Adams, let's be somewhat familiar and irreverently call him "John" ... at least sometimes when it don't cause no confusion ... don't worry, he won't mind, now that he's pushing 265 years old.

The original definition of "republic" still survives ... but there is another, more recent, special meaning for the words "republic, commonwealth, popular state" ... introduced by 17th century journalist and publisher, Marchamont Nedham and used to denote a Representative Democracy ... a "government in one centre, and that centre the nation"

That is to say, "A single assembly, chosen at stated periods by the people, and invested with the supreme governmental power; encompassing the whole of legislative, executive, and judicial power, to be exercised in a body, or by committees, as they shall think proper."

That's a lot of power ... and as power corrupts, the potential for a lot of corruption, methinks. John agrees ... "because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases".
Well, It's really not my intent or intended purpose to either recite or to put into my own words very much of that which has been written by our founding fathers regarding the Constitution ... that's work what's done been did, much better I could ever ... and, that, folks can do for themselves, if they feel so obliged.. Me hope is to find some of the answers to the questions begged by the problems with which we find ourselves confronted ... a task requiring our very best efforts, yours, mine and theirs, if we are to be successful.

It seems fate may have taken a hand ... for as I read and pondered what might be used as a basis for getting us started on our quest ... I found, totally by accident, that others had done did the same. HallifaxJohn' Adams is a pretty smart for a Yankee, methinks ... word gets around and others thought so too, at least as far south as North Carolina.

No place better to start than this ... sometime in late March of 1776, members of the North Carolina Provincial Congress asked John for his suggestions on the establishment of a new government and the drafting of a constitution for themselves. White House Etching Talk about "Seek and Ye Shall Find" ... well, I found that out when I was seeking some pictures of the White House back when it was first built!

What about "Ask and Ye Shall Receive?"

North Carolina asked and she received John's "Thoughts on Government, Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies" ... jump in the Tucker, only if you dare, for where it's gonna take us is anybody's guess ... just found it ... will read it as I write!

These folks had no sense of mystery or intrigue... says right up front that a revised version was published as a pamphlet in April, 1776 as "Thoughts on Government," considered to be one of his most influential Revolutionary writings. Thoughts' Pamphlet

In the propriety of the day, John claimed himself unqualified but considered it an honor to be so asked, ... accepted, saying " the divine science of politics is the science of social happiness, and the blessings of society depend entirely on the constitutions of government, which are generally institutions that last for many generations, there can be no employment more agreeable to a benevolent mind than a research after the best" ... sounds like he kinda enjoyed being asked, methinks!

Remember, this was the spring of 1776, before even the declaration ... the situation was tense, to say the least ...or in the words of the man himself ... "In the present exigency of American affairs, ... it has become necessary to assume government for our immediate security." ... the colonies each had their Tories as well as their Whigs.

As we know what ultimately transpired, we can't expect many surprises ... but still, if we can but find out what he and others thought and why, then those insights just might offer the keys that'll open the locks of our bounds and set us free ... well, help us figure out what went wrong and why ... and how to best go about fixing it.

I sense that we tend to under appreciate the intellect and how learned these men were ... Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin and the others ... especially the others, them from North Carolina, and the other twelve! I sense too that most recognized, far better than me, if not we ... the relevance of the natural nature of men, as a piece of this interlocking puzzle.

John stressed that the end of government dictates it's form ... and that speculative politicians would agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government ... "just as all divines and moral philosophers would agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man."

Cudda knocked me over with a feather when I read that ... yes, there are politicians today who will speculate that a happy society means an end to government ... and many who believe that man won't be happy until he self destructs ... but, that was back in 1776 ... 21st century thinking in the 18th, who wudda thunk?! Scary!

Maybe what he meant was that the purpose and ultimate objective of government dictates its form ... to wit, "the happiness of society" ... you think?

I do ... and while I consider the purpose of man to be one of God's best kept secrets, I agree with the notion that the happiness of the individual is on man's short list of ultimate objectives. If we take it a step further ... if government's purpose is to facilitate man's fulfilling his, then is that not in close equivalency with the notion that the ultimate purpose of government is to serve God?

Maybe we'll see where this takes on a later trip ... as John is well known for having so said "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other" ... I think we're proof positive of his posit!

For them what don't know, it's time you do ... part of the abuse folks think I inflict on me mother tongue is to turn verbs into nouns without permission ... "posit" is one of me favorites!

John started out wanting to be a preacher but became a lawyer ... same, only different. He starts this sermon by pleading his case for a republican form of government, positing ...

while fear is the foundation of most governments, the form what delivers the greatest degree of happiness to the greatest number of people is the best ... something like that. That throughout history, those seriously seeking truth have all concluded that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue ... and they would acknowledge any form of government whose principle and foundation is virtue, as the form best designed to promote the general happiness.

He makes it clear that "virtue" encompasses the whole of at least the cardinal virtues, injecting that while honor is a truly sacred virtue, it is but part of the whole, holding a lower rank in the scale of moral excellence than virtue and thus less suitable as a foundation.

John's thrust was that as the foundation of every government is some principle or passion in the minds of the people ... the noblest and most generous models of government will thus have the best chance of appealing to their noblest principles and most generous affections ... and bring their best to the fore."

Sidney, Harrington, Locke, Milton, Nedham, Neville, Burnet, and Hoadly greatly influenced John's thinking ... he wrote that the wretched condition of the country leading to the Revolution frequently reminded him of their principles and reasonings ... "they will convince any candid mind, that there is no good government but what is republican."
In 1787, John would write "of all the words in all languages, perhaps there has been none so much abused as the words republic, commonwealth, and popular state". Of course, that was was close to 225 years ago and I'm not so sure that those words haven't been surpassed in terms of the abuse inflicted upon them. In recent times, we have developed a great penchant for abusing our language ... symptomatic of the cancerous condition with which we're concerned, methinks.

He then concluded that the true and only true definition of a republic was "a government, in which all men, rich and poor, magistrates and subjects, officers and people, masters and servants, the first citizen and the last, are equally subject to the laws" ... one of his most famous quotes, methinks.

But this was Spring, 1776 ... and he said it differently ... The very definition of a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men"

His posit was that ... since a republic is the best of governments, it follows that the one which is "best designed to effect an impartial and exact execution of the laws," is the best of republics, noting that there is an inexhaustible variety, because of the possible combinations of the powers of society.

Satisfied with his impassioned plea, John's task turned to one of helping them to select one from the inexhaustible variety ... that is, lend substance to the form.

The questions, to be asked and answered ...

As good government is an empire of laws, how shall your laws be made?

In a large society, inhabiting an extensive country, it is impossible that the whole should assemble to make laws. The first necessary step, then, is to appoint or elect a few of the most wise and good and empower them to act for the many on their behalf.

But by what rules shall you choose your representatives?

  • Agree upon the number and qualifications of persons who shall have the privilege of choosing, or give this privilege to the inhabitants of a certain area.
  • The primary difficulty lies in constituting the representative assembly ... great care should be taken to effect in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large ... to think, feel, reason, and act like them.
  • To assure that the assembly's interests will be to do strict justice at all times and to prevent unfair, partial, and corrupt elections ... great care should be taken to effect those same interests among the people.
  • It would be safest to proceed with well established selection practices to which the people were well accustomed ... leaving the enactment of new practices and reforms for times of greater tranquillity when all the powers of government come to be in the hands of the people's friends.

Having established the framework and obtained a representative assembly, it must be resolved as to whether all the powers of government, ... legislative, executive, and judicial ... should rest with that body.

While it may sometimes be difficult for us of the 21st century to grasp the exact and intended meaning of what was written in the 18th and before, especially that penned by John Adams, his answer was light bedtime reading and left no room for doubt ... "I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one assembly" ... and supplied the reasons for his so thinking, which can be condensed to three, methinks'.

  • A representative assembly, although extremely well qualified, and absolutely necessary, as a branch of the legislative, is unfit to exercise the executive power as it lacks two essential properties, secrecy and dispatch.
  • A representative assembly is even less qualified to exercise the judicial power, because it is too numerous, too slow, and too little skilled in the laws.
  • The natural nature of men!
    • A single assembly is liable to all the vices, follies, and frailties of an individual; subject to:
      • fits of humor,
      • starts of passion,
      • flights of enthusiasm,
      • partiality and/or prejudice
      resulting in rash actions and absurd judgments.
    • A single assembly is apt to grow ambitious, and after a time will not hesitate to vote itself perpetual. A truly noteworthy case in point occurred in Holland where the assembly first voted themselves from annual terms to every seven years, then for life, and after a course of years, that all vacancies happening by death or otherwise, should be filled by themselves.
    • Because a single assembly, possessed of all the powers of government, would make arbitrary laws for their own interest, execute all laws arbitrarily for their own interest, and adjudge all controversies in their own favor.

Seems like John's notion of a republic is a mite different from Marchamont Nedham's ... now don't it? He would call it yet another example of abuse and misuse inflicted upon the word, methinks.
regarding the need for an assembly of two legislative houses ...For many of the preceding reasons, the legislative power ought to be more complex ... and, if the legislative power is wholly in one assembly, and the executive in another, or in a single person, then these two powers will oppose and encroach upon each other, until the contest shall end in war, and of the legislative and executive power be usurped by the strongest.

In such case, the judicial power could not effectively mediate, or hold the balance between the two contending powers, because the legislative would undermine it.

To avoid these dangers, let a distinct assembly be constituted, as a mediator between the two extreme branches of the legislature, ... the one representing the people, and the one vested with the executive power.

Let the representative assembly then elect by ballot, from among themselves or their constituents, or both, ... a distinct assembly, which, for the sake of clarity, we will call a council. It may consist of any number, say twenty or thirty, and should have a free and independent exercise of its judgment, and consequently a negative voice in the legislature.
The executive power ...With the two bodies thus constituted and made integral parts of the legislature, let them, by joint ballot, choose a governor ... who, after being stripped of most of the usual privileges accorded those of such high office, should be given a free and independent exercise of his judgment and also be made an integral part of the legislature.

Adams wasn't all that concerned with the usual trappings of high office but knew the importance of the executive power having enough power and independence to do its chores. Well aware too was he of the passionate, widespread concern and opposition to giving significant power to an individual, courtesy of the young tyrant king, writing ... "you may make him only president of the council ... but, as the governor is to be invested with the executive power, with consent of council, I think he ought to have a negative upon the legislative."

John reasoned that if the governor were elected annually, as suggested, he would always have so much reverence and affection for the people, their representatives and counselors, that ... although given the freedom to exercise of his independent judgment, he would seldom use it in opposition to the two houses, except when he felt it was in the public interest, and would be well received.

Further, that any seven or nine of the legislative council may be made a quorum for doing business as a privy council, to advise the governor in the exercise of the executive branch of power, and acts of state.

  • The governor should have the command of the militia and of all the armies.
  • The power of pardons should be with the governor and council.
  • All officers should have commissions, under the hand of the governor and seal of the colony.
  • Judges, justices, and all other officers, civil and military, should be nominated and appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of council.

Commissions, writs and such can be executed as under the crown ... in the name of the colony and under authority of the governor or appropriate official.

Unfortunately, the only available images are those created in the mind's eye by me abuse of Mister Adams' masterful letter ... and for their deficiencies, I apologize ... but from having decided upon the republican governmental form to empowering a governor in but one page ... is itself a feat, methinks.

RevolutionGiven the then current urgent state of American affairs ... being deprived of the protection of the Crown by an act of Parliament, and thus forced to assume government for their immediate security,

John Adams counseled that the ... governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary, treasurer, commissary, attorney-general, should be annually chosen by joint ballot of both houses. Indeed, that all elections should be annual, especially those of representatives and counselors, citing the maxim ... "where annual elections end, there slavery begins."

On a roll, he wrote ... These great men, in this respect, should be, once a year, "Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne, they rise, they break, and to that sea return."

Adding, "This will teach them the great political virtues of humility, patience, and moderation, without which every man in power becomes a ravenous beast of prey."
Hooper-Penn gravesite
Summarizing, John suggested that if the proposed approach should later be found inconvenient, the legislature could, at its leisure, devise other methods ... elections of the people at large, increasing the terms for which they shall be chosen from one to seven years, or three years, or for life, or make any other changes that the people found productive of its happiness.

These persons may be allowed to serve for three years, and then be excluded three years, or for any longer or shorter term ... noting that there are many plausible supporting arguments and advantages to complete rotations of all offices, representatives and counselors ... and many strong advocates. He wrote "if the society has a sufficient number of suitable characters to supply the great number of vacancies which would be made by such a rotation, I can see no objection to it."

The judicial power ...
The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society ... First Courtdepend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent of both, that so it may be a check upon both as they on it.

The judges, therefore, should be always men of learning and experience in the laws, of exemplary morals, great patience, calmness, coolness, and attention.

Their minds should not be distracted with jarring interests; they should not be dependent upon any man, or body of men. To these ends, their commissions should be for life, during good behavior, and their salaries ascertained and established by law.

Among the particulars ...

For misbehavior, the grand inquest of the colony, the house of representatives, should impeach them before the governor and council, where they should have time and opportunity to make their defense; but, if convicted, should be removed from their offices, and subjected to such other punishment as shall be thought proper.

A militia law requiring all able men, excluding conscientious objectors, to be provided with arms and ammunition, and to be trained ... requiring counties, towns, or other small districts to be provided with public stocks of ammunition, equipment and definitive plans for supplying their militia when engaged ... and requiring certain key districts to be provided with the means of providing greater defensive support ... is always wise and, given present conditions, indispensable.

Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.

If our countrymen have wisdom and virtue enough to submit to sumptuary laws, the happiness of the people might be greatly promoted by them, and a revenue saved sufficient to carry on this war forever. Frugality is a great revenue, besides curing us of vanities, levities, and fopperies, which are real antidotes to all great, manly, and warlike virtues.

A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, causing good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals in general.

That elevation of sentiment inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and enterprising. The ambition it inspires makes them sober, industrious, and frugal. You will find among them some elegance, perhaps, but more solidity; a little pleasure, but a great deal of business; some politeness, but more civility.

If the colonies should assume governments separately, they should be left entirely to their own choice of the forms.

if a continental constitution should be formed, it should be a congress, containing a fair and adequate representation of the colonies, and its authority should sacredly be confined to:
  • war,
  • trade,
  • disputes between colony and colony,
  • the post office,
  • and the unappropriated lands of the crown, as they used to be called.

These colonies, under such forms of government, and in such a union, would be unconquerable by all the monarchies of Europe.

Can you imagine such depth in thought being so rapidly and expertly brought to the fore and penned upon request?

William HooperJohn finished his response to William Hooper with "You and I, my dear friend, have been sent into life at a time when the greatest lawgivers of antiquity would have wished to live. How few of the human race have ever enjoyed an opportunity of making an election of government, more than of air, soil, or climate, for themselves or their children! When, before the present epocha, had three millions of people full power and a fair opportunity to form and establish the wisest and happiest government that human wisdom can contrive?

I hope you will avail yourself and your country of that extensive learning and indefatigable industry which you possess, to assist her in the formation of the happiest governments and the best character of a great people.
"

William HooperUpon his return home, Hooper delivered John's letter to Thomas Burke, the chairman of the committee to frame a state constitution. On 12 April, they unanimously adopted the "Halifax Resolves," officially recommending independence from England ... the first colony to so do!.

John expanded, finalized and published his "Thoughts on Government" in April 1776 and it's considered one of his most influential Revolutionary writings ... Thomas Paine's Common Sense had been published in January and in May, John would write the preamble for a resolution to encourage the colonies to form their own governments.

Richard CaswellOn 12 November, the Fifth Provincial Congress assembled for the purpose of drafting its first state constitution ... them North Carolina boys work fast ... upon completion, it was adopted, 18 December ... with Richard Caswell selected as the first governor.

Caswell, Hooper, and Joseph Hewes had represented North Carolina in the first Continental Congress ... said John Adams, "We always looked to Richard Caswell of North Carolina, he was a model man and a true patriot." In 1787, he served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

North Carolina's first Constitution contains 46 provisions and a "Declaration Of Rights" of some 25 stipulations. It stipulates that the state's legislative authority be vested in a General Assembly consisting of 2 separate houses, each with annually elected representatives .... a Senate having one from each county ...and a House of Commons with two from each county, and one for each of its principal towns.

One year's residence in the county was required to vote in its elections ... and required for election to the Assembly ... both being limited to freemen, age 21 and older. All so qualified taxpayers were entitled to vote for members of the House of Commons ... while only landowners holding at least 50 acres in the county could vote for Senators.

Candidates for the Assembly were limited to landowners ... for the Senate, not less than 300 acres of land in the county, for the year preceding the election ... for the House of Commons, it was six months and 100 acres. All elected to the Assembly ... or appointed to any office or place of trust ... were required to take an oath to the State, and all Officers, an oath of office.

The Constitution gives the General Assembly the broadest of powers and directives ... each house was given the power to choose its own speaker and other officers; be judges of the qualifications and elections of their members; and prepare bills to be passed into laws.
Elections, Appointments and such ...
  • at its first meeting following each annual election,
    • elect a Governor for one year. The requirements were substantial (thirty years of age, 5 years state residency and having property values above one thousand pounds) no one was eligible to serve longer than three years in any six successive years.
    • elect seven persons to be a Council of State for one year, who shall advise the Governor in the execution of his office. Their advice and proceedings shall be kept in a journal, made available the Assembly upon request.
  • by joint ballot of both houses,
    • appoint Judges of the Supreme Courts of Law, and Equity, Judges of Admiralty, and the Attorney-General ... to be commissioned, and hold office during good behavior.
    • annually appoint a Treasurer for the State.
    • triennially appoint a Secretary for the State.
    • annually choose delegates to the Continental Congress, while necessary, with no person eligible to serve more than three successive years.
  • appoint the generals and field-officers of the militia, and all officers of the regular army of the State.
  • impeach the Governor, and other officers, offending against the State, by violating any part of this Constitution, mal-administration, or corruption. Providing further that those so impeached or charged by the Grand Jury of any court of supreme jurisdiction in the State, may be prosecuted.
Powers Of The Governor ...
  • The Governor is captain-general and commander in chief of the militia.
  • Justices of the Peace are to be recommended to the Governor by the Representatives in General Assembly and the Governor shall commission them accordingly ... commissioned Justices shall not be removed from office by the General Assembly, unless for misbehavior, absence, or inability.
  • use such sums as shall be voted by the Assembly for the contingencies of government, and be accountable to them for the same
  • grant pardons and reprieves, except where the prosecution shall be carried on by the General Assembly, or the law shall otherwise direct; in which case he may in the recess grant a reprieve until the next sitting of the General Assembly;
  • by and with the advice of the Council of State, when the General Assembly is not in session
    • employ the militia for the public safety,
    • lay embargoes, or prohibit the exportation of any commodity, for any term not exceeding thirty days, at any one time
    • fill vacancies in appointments made by the General Assembly by granting a temporary commission, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Assembly
  • exercise all the other executive powers of government, subject to the provisions of the Constitution and according to the laws of the State.

The Constitution provides that the Governor, Judges of the Supreme Court of Law and Equity, Judges of Admiralty, and Attorney-General, shall have adequate salaries during their continuance in office.
Prohibits ...
  • There shall be no establishment of any one religious church or denomination in this State, in preference to any other ... neither shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith or judgment, ... but all persons shall be at liberty to exercise their own mode of worship ... however, this does not exempt preachers of treasonable or seditious discourses or from legal trial and punishment.
  • No person, who shall deny the being of God, the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either the Old or New Testaments ... or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall hold any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.
  • Govermental Positions
    • no member of the Council of State shall have a seat in the General Assembly.
    • No functioning Treasurer, Judge of the Supreme Court of Law or Equity, Judge of Admiralty, Secretary of this State, Attorney-General, Clerk of any Court of Record, clergyman or preacher of the gospels ... military officers nor contracted suppliers of the military ... shall concurrently have a seat in the General Assembly or Council of State.
    • No person shall hold than one lucrative office, at any one time ... however, no appointments in the militia, or to the office of Justice of the Peace, shall be considered a lucrative office.
State SealOther Notable Provisions:
  • There shall be a seal of this State, kept by the Governor, and used by him, as occasion may require; it shall be called "The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina," and be affixed to all grants and commissions.
  • Foreigners, after having first taken an oath of allegiance to the state, shall have the right to acquire, hold, and transfer land, or other real estate ... and, after one year's residence, be deemed a free citizen.
  • schools shall be established by the Legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public ... and all useful learning shall be duly encouraged, and promoted, in one or more universities.
  • any member of either house of the Assembly had the right to dissent from, and protest against, any act or resolve... and have the reasons of his dissent made part of the public record.

They did good! John did good too ... his influence is seen throughout. My personal, singular opine is that under a constitution of this form, it would have been far less likely that we should find ourselves confronted with the consuming cancer with which we're now concerned.

Miss MaudeIt's that time again ... known in these parts as déjà vu all over again. Without your comments, it is all but much ado ... they are the sweet feed what fuels Miss Maude Murray ... please leave yours in the sweet feed depository, a.k.a. "The General Discussion Area" ... see you there!

I wish to thank my representative assembly of one ... well Done!

Well it would have been,, had I not usurped all the powers as governor of the Shop when the patrons didn't speak up ... and represented him, instead of him, me. Rest assured that he will be reelected for another term ... back again, when we next convene ... under a constitution of his design.

If I should then change me view, just call me Sue.
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