Massachusetts


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MASSACHUSETTS. One of the original states of the United States of America. The colony or province of Massachusetts was included in a charter granted by James the First, by which its territories were extended in breadth from the 40th to the 48th degree of north latitude, and in length by all the breadth aforesaid throughout the mainland from sea to sea. This charter continued until 1684. Holmes' Annals, 412; 1 Story, Const. Sec. 71. In 1691 William and Mary granted a new charter to the colony, and henceforth it became known as a province, and continued to act under this charter till after the Revolution. 1 Story, Const. Sec. 71.
     2. The constitution of Massachusetts was adopted by a convention begun and held at Cambridge, on the first of September, 1779, and continued, by adjournment, to the second of March, 1780.
     3. The style and name of the state is The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The government is distributed into a legislative, executive and judicial power.
     4.-1st. The department of legislation is formed by two branches, a senate and house of representatives, each of which has a negative on the other, and both are styled The General Court of Massachusetts. Part 2, c. 1, s. 1.
     5.-1. The senate is elected by the qualified electors, and is composed of forty persons to be counsellors and senators for the year ensuing their election. Part 2, c. 1, s. 2, art. 1.
     6.-2. The House of representatives is composed of an indefinite number of persons elected by the towns in proportion to their population. Part 2, c. 1, s. 3, art. 2.
     7.-2d. The executive power is vested in a governor, lieutenant governor and council.
     8.-1. The supreme executive magistrate is styled The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is elected yearly by the qualified electors. Part 2, c. 2, s. 1. He is invested with the veto power. Part 2, c. 1, s. 1, art. 2.
     9.-2. The electors are required to elect annually a lieutenant governor. When the office of governor happens to be vacant he acts as governor, and at other times he is a member of the council. Part 2, c. 2, s. 2, art. 2 and 3.
    10.-3. The council consists of nine persons chosen annually by the general court; they mast be taken from those returned for counsellors and senators, unless they will not accept the said office, when they shall be chosen from the people at large. The council shall advise the governor in the executive part of the government. Part 2, c. 2, s. 3, art. 1 and 2.
    11.-3d. The judicial power. The third chapter of part second of the constitution makes the following provisions in relation to the judiciary:
    Art. 1. The tenure that all commissioned officers shall, by law, have in their office, shall be expressed in their respective commissions; all judicial officers, duly appointed, commissioned, and sworn, shall hold their offices during good behaviour; excepting such concerning whom there is different provision made in this constitution; Provided, nevertheless, the governor, with consent of the council, may remove them upon the address of both houses of the legislature.
    12.-2. Each branch of the legislature, as well as the governor and council, shall have authority to require the opinions of the justices of the supreme judicial court, upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions.
    13.-3. In order that the people may not suffer from the long continuance in place of any justice of the peace, who shall fail of discharging the important duties of his office with ability or fidelity, all commissions of justices of the peace shall expire and become void in the term of seven years from their respective dates; and upon the expiration of any commission, the same may, if necessary, be renewed, or another person appointed, as shall most conduce to the well-being of the commonwealth.
    14.-4. The judges of probates of wills, and for granting letters of administration, shall hold their courts at such place or places, on fixed days, as the convenience of the people may require; and the legislature shall, from time to time hereafter, appoint such times and places: until which appointments, the said courts shall be holden at the times and places which the respective judges shall direct.
    15.-5. All causes of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and all appeals from the judges of probate, shall be heard and determined by the governor and council, until the legislature shall, by law, make other provision.

References in classic literature ?
Go on, my dear friend, till you, and those who, like you, have been saved, so as by fire, from the dark prison- house, shall stereotype these free, illegal pulses into statutes; and New England, cutting loose from a blood-stained Union, shall glory in being the house of refuge for the oppressed,--till we no longer merely "~hide~ the outcast," or make a merit of standing idly by while he is hunted in our midst; but, consecrat- ing anew the soil of the Pilgrims as an asylum for the oppressed, proclaim our WELCOME to the slave so loudly, that the tones shall reach every hut in the Carolinas, and make the broken-hearted bondman leap up at the thought of old Massachusetts.
During the Civil War he as- sisted in the recruiting of colored men for the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments and consistently argued for the emancipation of slaves.
I do not hesitate to say, that those who call themselves Abolitionists should at once effectually withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts, and not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them.
I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name -- if ten honest men only -- ay, if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this copartnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America.
The proper place to-day, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles.
No: until I want the protection of Massachusetts to be extended to me in some distant Southern port, where my liberty is endangered, or until I am bent solely on building up an estate at home by peaceful enterprise, I can afford to refuse allegiance to Massachusetts, and her right to my property and life.
So is the governor of that State, of Massachusetts, and of this State, and the president of New Hampshire.
He had the king's charter in his keeping, and was appointed the first governor of Massachusetts.
Methinks they were miserable men, these royal governors of Massachusetts," observed Miss Joliffe.
With these words Colonel Joliffe threw on his cloak, and drawing his granddaughter's arm within his own, retired from the last festival that a British ruler ever held in the old province of Massachusetts Bay.
I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name--if ten honest men only--ay, if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this co-partnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America.
The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less despondent spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles.

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