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Recommending a Convention.
State of Massachusetts Bay.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
June 15, 1779.
WHEREAS, by the returns made into the Secretary's Office, from more than two-thirds of the Towns belonging to this State, agreeably to a Resolve of the General Court, of the 20th of February last, it appears, that a large majority of the inhabitants of such Towns as have made return as aforesaid, think it proper to have a new Constitution or form of Government, and are of opinion, that the same ought to be formed by a Convention of Delegates, who should be specially authorized to meet for this purpose :
Therefore, Resolved, That it be, and it hereby is recommended to the several inhabitants of the several Towns in this State to form a Convention, for the sole purpose of framing a new Constitution, consisting of such number of Delegates, from each Town throughout this State, as every different Town is entitled to send Representatives to the General Court, to meet at Cambridge, in the County of Middlesex, on the first day of September next. And the Selectmen of the several Towns and Places within this State, empowered by the laws thereof to send members to the General Assembly, are hereby authorized and directed to call a meeting of their respective Towns, at least fourteen days before the meeting of said Convention, to elect one or more Delegates, to represent them in said Convention, at which meeting, for the election of such Delegate or Delegates, every Freeman, Inhabitant of such town who is twenty-one years of
age, shall have a right to vote.
Be it also Resolved, That it be, and it hereby is recommended, to the Inhabitants of the several Towns in this State, to instruct their respective
Delegates, to cause a printed copy of the Form of a Constitution they may agree upon in Convention, to be transmitted to the Selectmen of each Town, and the Committee of each Plantation ; and the said Selectmen and Committees are hereby empowered and directed to lay the same before their respective Towns and Plantations, at a regular meeting of the Male Inhabitants thereof, being free and twenty-one years of age, to be called for that purpose, in order to its being duly considered and approved or disapproved by said Towns and Plantations. And it is also recommended to the several Towns within this State, to instruct their respective Representatives to establish the said Form of a Constitution, as the Constitution and Form of Government of the State of Massachusetts Bay, if, upon a fair examination, it shall appear that it is approved of by at least two-thirds of those, who are free and twenty-one years of age, belonging to this State, and present in the several meetings. Sent up for concurrence,
JOHN HANCOCK, Speaker.
IN COUNCIL, June 17, 1779.
Read and concurred,
JOHN AVERY, Dep'y Sec'y.
Consented to by a Major Part of the Council.
A true copy,
Attest, JOHN AVERY, Dep’y Sec'y.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONVENTION, begun and held at
Cambridge, in the County of Middlesex, on the first day of September, A. D. 1779, in conformity to the preceding Resolve of the Great and General Court of the State of the Massachusetts Bay, passed the 17th of June last, for the sole purpose of framing a new Constitution.of Government for said State.
A. M. WEDNESDAY, 1st Sept. 1779.
A large number of Delegates being convened,
On a motion made and seconded,
Col. Dawes, and
Brig'r. Brooks, be a Committee for this purpose. On a motion made and seconded, Voted, That the Convention first proceed to the choice of a Secretary. The Committee aforesaid accordingly proceeded to receive and sort the votes.
The Committee having reported, it appeared that Samuel Barrett was chosen Secretary.
On a motion made and seconded, Voted, That the Convention now proceed to the choice of a President. The Committee aforesaid accordingly proceeded to receive and sort the votes.
The Committee having reported, it appeared that the Honorable JAMES Bowdown, Esq., was chosen President.
It was then moved, that the Person usually attending the Meeting House as Servitor or Door Keeper, be directed, and he was accordingly directed, to give his attendance, as Servitor and Door Keeper to the Convention.
On a motion,
Voted, That the several Delegates produce Certificates or other Creden tials of their choice or appointment to represent the several Towns in this Convention, the same to be laid before the Convention.
On a motion made and seconded,
Voted, That the Hon'l WALTER SPOONER, and the Hon'l SAMUEL Adams, Esq., be a Committee to receive and declare the same.
Which being done, it appeared that the following gentlemen were duly returned to represent the several Towns and Plantations within this State, in this Convention, viz. :
LIST OF MEMBERS
CONVENTION FOR FRAMING A CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT,
September 1st, 1779.
FOR THE COUNTY OF SUFFOLK. Ipswich,
Hon. James Bowdoin, Esq. Newbury,
Ed. Hutchinson Robbins, Beverly,
Samuel Henshaw, Esq.
Mr. Joseph Thaxter, jr. Salisbury,
Rev. Jason Haven, Gloucester,
Doct. John Sprague,
Mr. Lemuel Kollock,
Mr. Daniel Noyce,
Mr. Silas Meriam,
FOR THE COUNTY OF ESSEX.
Hon. John Pickering, Esq. FOR THE COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX.
Mr. Benjamin Cooper,
Capt. Stephen Dana,
Samuel Fisk, Esq.
Jonathan Brown, Esq.