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II. Resolved, that it be, and hereby is, recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, to alter so much of the last clause of an act passed in February, 1779, entitled, " An act to encourage the destroying of wolves and panthers," as directs corporeal punishment for taking a wolf out of a trap; because punishments too severe in their nature, for the crimes, have a direct tendency to prevent the execution of the laws enforcing them; and if inflicted, to lessen the beneficial operation of the same punishments in cases where severity is expedient.
In Council of Censors, Oct. 6, 1785. III. Resolved, that it be recommended to the Honorable Legislature, to alter the punishment to be inflicted by the first and sixth clauses of an act passed in February, 1779, entitled, "An act against counterfeiting bills of public credit, coins or currencies, and emitting and passing bills or notes on private credit, and preventing injustice in passing counterfeit bills;" this Council conceiving the punishment for the crime in the first clause to be too severe for the offence, (although heinous in its nature) as it excludes all idea of reformation, for the first transgression; and that the same punishments are beyond all proportion to the actions mentioned in the first paragraph of the sixth clause of said act, which are no otherwise offences, than because they are prohibited by law.
IV. Resolved, that it be recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, to alter the proviso annexed to the third clause of an act passed in February, 1779, entitled, "An act for authenticating deeds and conveyances" because the said proviso is contrary to the intent of the XXXIst section in the frame of government, where there is no town clerk in the town, admits of so many different offices for recording deeds, as renders it difficult and expensive for the purchasor to inform himself of the safety of his title.
V. Resolved, That it be, and is hereby, recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, in their next session, to repeal the last paragraph of an act passed in February, 1779, entitled, " An act to prevent unseasonable night walking, and for the punishing of disorders committed in the night season;" because, as this Council conceives, the same is contrary to the 10th article in the Bill of Rights, which declares the right of an accused person to be confronted with witnesses, to be tried by an impartial jury of the country, and that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself.
VI. Resolved, that it be recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, to repeal an act passed in February, 1779, entitled, “An act to prevent the selling or transporting raw or untanned hides or skins, out of this State;" the same being considered by this Council as being too great a controul over the right each individual has of disposing of his property, to be exercised by a permanent law, and as being contrary to the principles of the constitution.
VII. This Council conceiving it exceedingly inconvenient, and against the interest of the community, that so numerous a body as the Governor, Council, and General Assembly of the State, should be employed in de termining causes between party and party, and their attention thereby
* See page 322.-† See page 333.- See page 336- See page 359,- See page 382.
FIRST COUNCIL OF CENSORS.
diverted from their more important business of legislation; do hereby recommend to the Honorable the Legislature, during their next session, to repeal such parts of an act passed October 22, 1779, entitled, " An act constituting the superior court a court of equity, and declaring their power,' as invest the Governor, Council, and House of Representatives, with authority to hear and determine cases in equity; with a proviso, that the repealing act shall not affect any cause commenced and depending before the said court of equity.
VIII. Resolved, that it be, and hereby is, recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, to repeal an act passed 3d November, 1780, entitled, "An act against inimical conduct?" and also an act passed 6th November, 1780, entitled, " An act in addition to and explanation of the last paragraph of an act, entitled,' An act against high treason;"" on account of the large powers therein given, in the one to a single, and in the other to two ministers of justice-the vague definition of the offencesand the inexpediency of having acts in force after the reason for their existence has ceased.
IX. Resolved, that it be, and hereby is, recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, in their next session, to repeal an act passed on the 22d February, 1781, entitled, " An act for quieting disputes concerning landed property;" because this Council conceive it to be an encroachment made by the Legislature upon the power assigned by the constitution to the judicial department, and that it invests them with the authority of determining upon the validity of their own grants.
In Council of Censors, October 7, 1785.
X. Resolved, that it be, and is hereby, recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, in their next session, to repeal an act, entitled, " An act for the punishment of conspiracies against the peace, liberty, and independence of this State," passed 21st June, 1782; on account of the inexpediency of continuing in force a law of so great severity, after the necessity which occasioned passing it has ceased.
XI. Resolved, that it be, and hereby is, recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, in their next session, to alter the first clause of an act passed 22d October, 1782, entitled, " An act in addition to an act regulating goals and goalers ;"|| on account of its not sufficiently guarding the property of the subject:
Firstly, in not more explicitly defining the time of notice to be given to the creditor, or his attorney.
Secondly, for that the said clause is so expressed, that it may be (and by some is) construed, that any justice of the peace of the county is obliged to administer the oath therein mentioned to the debtor, upon his application, although such justice should be convinced of the falsity of it. Thirdly, because no penalty is prescribed in case of the debtor's false swearing.
Fourthly, because it leaves it in the power of the debtor to choose any justice in the county to determine upon his application, and authorises one justice to liberate a debtor from imprisonment, let the amount of his debts be what they may.
* See page 394. See page 413.- See page 424.- See page 454,- See page 458. R 3
XII. Resolved, that it be, and hereby is earnestly recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, in their next session, to repeal an act passed 22d October, 1782, entitled, " An act for the regulation and establishment of town lines," and the several additions thereto; and also an act passed February 26th, 1782, entitled, " An act to ascertain the boundaries of the towns therein mentioned ;" and also an act passed 23d October, 1783, entitled, "An act for the purpose of enabling the Surveyor-General to complete the survey of the town lines in this State;" and an act passed 8th March, 1784, entitled, " An act for the purpose of cutting roads in the northern parts of this State ;"* for the following reasons, viz:
First, because the said several acts appear to this Council calculated for the emolument of individuals, by arbitrarily taking and disposing of the property of others, rather than for the true interest of the community at large.
Secondly, because, however injurious the operation of the said several acts may be to the property of individual towns or persons, they are obliged to defray the expense, and that upon much shorter notice, and less equitable principles, than the laws point out in common demands between party and party, as their lands are thereby subjected to sale at public vendue, for the satisfaction of debts, merely of a private nature, and difiering from private contracts in no respect, only, that the persons on whom the demand is made, are not allowed a voice in the contract, and the satisfaction is made in a mode that precludes them the privilege of contesting the demand.
Thirdly, because they appear to authorise the Legislature to determine the right of property, held under different titles, and thereby preclude the aggrieved proprietors their remedy at law, contrary to the true intent and meaning of the 13th article in the Bill of Rights.
XIII. Resolved, that it be, and hereby is recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, to alter the penalty contained in the fourth clause of an act passed 2d March, 1784, entitled, "An act to prevent the spreading of the small-pox;" because the unusual severity of the said clause, is contrary to the humane spirit manifested in the XXVIth section of the Frame of Government, and may probably defeat its operation.†
XIV. Resolved, that it be, and hereby is recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, to repeal an act passed 9th March, 1784, entitled, "An act to reverse the several judgments therein mentioned;" this
These acts may be found in the appendix to the revised laws of 1797.
Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person or persons, in any town in this State, shall know of any person or persons being infected in any manner with the small-pox, contrary to the true intent of this act, and do not immediately acquaint the authority or select-men of such town, in which such infected person or persons reside, or some of them, of the same, and he thereof convicted, he or they shall forfeit and pay a fine of fifty pounds, lawful money, to be recovered and applied as aforesaid. And if such convicted person or persons, in either of the cases before mentioned, shall not have estate sufficient to satisfy such judgment or fine, and cost, the court, before whom the trial is had, is hereby authorised and directed to dispose of such person in service, a sufficient time to pay such fine and cost.
See page 491.
FIRST COUNCIL OF CENSORS.
Council conceiving the said act to be an encroachment upon the authority assigned by the constitution to the judicial department; the supreme court being, in the opinion of this Council, competent to remedy the grievances complained of.
XV. Resolved, that it be, and hereby is recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, to alter an act passed 29th October, 1784, entitled, "An act for the purpose of opening a free trade to and through the ProSO far as to provide that no further expense shall acvince of Quebec,"* crue to the State by any proceedings thereon; this Council conceiving it unreasonable to tax the inhabitants of the State at large to defray the expense of a treaty, the benefits of which will be partial and confined to a few individuals.
In Council of Censors, October 17, 1785.
Resolved, that it be, and hereby is recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, in their present session, to repeal an act passed 18th June, 1785, entitled," An act to secure Daniel Marsh in the possession of a certain farm until he shall have opportunity of recovering his betterments, and nullifying several judgments rendered against him."+
1. Because said act, in effect, destroys the power assigned by the constitution to the judicial department.
2. Because it divests one subject of his possession to land, already determined to be his right, by a court and jury, and arbitrarily vests it in another, without the intervention of a jury, contrary to the 13th article in the Bill of Rights, and the XXIId section of the Frame of Government.
3. Because it gives Mr. Marsh a greater privilege than was thought proper by the Legislature to be given to other subjects, by the 7th clause of an act passed by them the preceding day, entitled," An act for settling disputes respecting landed property;" as it enables him to enter his action for the betterments of the land, without first paying the costs of the judgments recovered against him; and, by annulling those judgments, destroys Mr. Whitney's remedy for his costs of suit.
4. Because said act appears to render void certain judgments in forcible entry and detainer, and, of consequence, remits fines; which is a branch of power assigned by the constitution to the Governor and Council.
5. That said act not only takes the possession of the land in dispute from Whitney and gives it to Marsh, but hinders Whitney from commencing a suit for recovering his possession, until a final judgment shall be rendered in the suit for betterments; and Whitney is then left to a course of litigation to recover the possession which is thus extraordinarily wrest ed from him.
Resolved, that it be, and hereby is recommended to the Honorable the Legislature, in their present session, to repeal an act passed 18th June 1785, entitled," An act confirming Andrew Graham, of Putney, in th county of Windham, in the quiet and peaceable possession of the far on which he now lives in said Putney, and rendering all judgments r specting the possession of the same, heretofore had and rendered by an court of law whatsoever, null and void."+
* See page 496 See page 499.- See page 500.
1. For reasons similar to the first, second, and fourth, given in the preceding resolution.
2. Because the said act is so worded as to reverse a judgment rendered previous to the existence of this State.
3. Because, by reversing the judgments obtained against said Graham, the adverse party is precluded obtaining his costs awarded by the judg
4. Because the said act is so unguardedly worded, as to suspend all executions, processes, and other law proceedings of what name or nature soever, within the State; and to declare that they be no further prosecuted.
5. Because, contrary to the verdict of two juries under oath, said Graham is declared the legal possessor of the land in dispute.
AS REVISED BY THE FIRST COUNCIL OF CENSORS AND RECOMMENDED FOR THE CONSIDERATION
OF THE PEOPLE.
A DECLARATION OF THE POLITICAL RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE STATE OF VERMONT.
I. THAT all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural and inherent rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. Therefore, no male person, born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person, in this commonwealth, as a servant, slave, or apprentice, after he arrives to the age of twenty-one years; nor female, in like manner, after she arrives to the age of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their own consent, after they arrive to such age, or bound by law for the payment of public or private demands.
II. That private property ought to be subservient to public uses, when