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(REPRINTED FROM MEMORIAL VOLUMES UPON THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE GOVERNMENT.)
PRESS OF GEORGE H. ELLIS, 141 FRANKLIN ST.
THE following sketch was written in fulfilment of a promise made
to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, for insertion in memorial volumes concerning the State Institutions and Government, prepared under his editorship. It is only entitled to separate publication as containing in connection facts brought out from many separate hiding-places in old sources of information. It is a sketch without pretension to completeness.
R. R. B.
Provisions of the First Charter.- Court of Assistants.-Gen
eral Court.— Governor, Deputy Governor, Assistants, and other Officers, how chosen.-All Legislative and Judicial and Many Executive Functions reposed in the General Court.- Other Poroers gradually eliminated and Legislative retained.- Separation of the Departments of Government.Whole People participated in Legislative and Judicial Power in the Beginning.–Our Government the Growth and Perfection of a Principle existing from the Beginning.-Powers given to Towns to send Deputies.-Attendance by Deputy or Whole Body of Freemen optional at first.General Court sat as One Body.—Deputies retired for Consultation.— Controversy between Mrs. Sherman and Captain Keayne.-- The Question whether the General Court constituted One Body to act by Majority, or whether Assistants and Deputies had a Negative Vote upon Each Other. Winthrop's Views and Arguments.- Reference of the Question to the Elders, their Decision.-Tro Branches in Fact.
- The Next Step inevitable; Separation and Two Branches in Form.
HE Charter granted by King Charles the First, by (1
which the Governor and Company of the Massachu
setts Bay, in New England, were established as a “ body corporate and politique,” provided that there should be “one Governor, one Deputy Governor, and eighteene