Monday, May 12, 2008

IMPORTANT FROM KANSAS. [N.Y. Times July 12, 1859.]


The Constitutional Convention.


Correspondence of the New York Times.
Wyandot, Tuesday, July 12, 1859.

The Committee appointed by the Constitutional Convention to prepare and report a Preamble and Bill of Rights, have submitted the following:


Existence was the first gift of Omnipotence to man. It is the end of the institution and administration of Government to secure to every individual perfect freedom to enjoy in safety and tranquility the rights and blessings of that existence; and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to institute a new government, and take measures necessary for their protection and happiness.

The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of indiviuals; it is a community in covenant, where the whole people treats with each citizen, and each citizen treats with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is therefore, the duty of the people, in framing their Organic Law, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as an impartial interpretation and a faithful execution of them, that every citizen may at all times find security in them.

We, therefore, the people of Kansas, acknowleging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator and Preserver of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, peaceably and without fraud or violence, of entering into an original. explicitand solemn compact with each other, and of forming a Constitution of civil government for ourselves and our posterity; having the right of admission into the union as one of the American States consistent with the Federal Constitution and by virtue of the treaty of cession by France to the United States of the province of Louisiana; believing that the right of self=governmentis inherent, and should be asserted in accordance with the popular will and Federal Constitution, do ordain and establish the following Constitution as the fundamental law of a free and independent State, by the name and style of the State of Kansas, bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at a point on the western boundry of the State of Missouri where the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude crosses the same, thence westward on said parallel to the twenty-fifth parallel of longitude west from Washington, thence north on said parallel to the fortieth parallel of latitude, thence cast on said parallel to the western boundry of the State of Missouri, thence south with the western boundry of said State to the place of beginning.



Section 1. All men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties, acquiring. possessing, and protecting property, and of seeking and obtaining happiness and safety, and the right of all men to the control of their persons, exists prior to law and is inalienable.

Sec. 2. All political power is inherent in the People, and all free Governments are founded on their authority, and are instituted for their equal protection and benefit. No special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted by the General Assembly which may not be altered, revoked or repealed by a two thirds vote of the same body, and this power shall be exercised by no other tribunal or agency.

Sec. 3 The people have the right to assemble, in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good, to instruct their Representatives and to petititon the General Assembly for redress of the grievances.

Sec. 4. The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security, but standing armies, in times of peace, aredangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 5. The right of trial by jury shall be inviolate, and extend to persons of every condition; but a jury trial may bewaived by the parties in all cases, in the manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 6. There shall be no Slavery in this State, and no involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime, whereofthe parties shall have been duly convicted.

Sec. 7. The right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed...."

Published: July 20, 1859
Copyright The New York Times
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