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NEW HAMPSHIRE. The name of one of the original states of the United States
of America. During its provincial state, New Hampshire was governed, down to
the period of the Revolution, by the authority of royal commissions. Its
general assembly enacted the laws necessary for its welfare, in the manner
provided for by the commission under which they then acted. 1 Story on the
Const. Book, 1, c. 5, Sec. 78 to 81.
2. The constitution of this state was altered and amended by a convention of delegates, held at Concord, in the said state, by adjournment, on the second Wednesday of February, 1792.
3. The powers of the government are divided into three branches, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial.
4.-1st. The supreme legislative power is vested in the senate and house of representatives, each of which bas a negative on the other.
5. The senate and house are required to assemble on the first Wednesday in June, and at such times as they may judge necessary and are declared to be dissolved seven days next preceding the first Wednesday in June. They are styled The General Court of New Hampshire.
6.-1. The senate. It will be considered with reference to the qualifications of the electors the qualifications of the members; the number of members; the duration of their office; and the time and place of their election.
7.-1. Every male inhabitant of each town, and parish with town privileges, and places unincorporated, in this state, of twenty-one years of age and upwards, excepting paupers, and persons excused from paying taxes at their own request, have a right at the annual or other town meetings of the inhabitants of said towns and parishes, to be duly warned and holden annually forever in the month of March, to vote in the town or parish wherein he dwells, for the senators of the county or district whereof be is a member.
8.-2. No person shall be capable of being elected a senator, who is not seised of a freehold estate, in his own right, of the value of two hundred pounds, lying within this state, who is not of the age of thirty years, and who shall not have been an inhabitant of this state for seven years immediately preceding his election, and a the time thereof he shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he shall be chosen.
9.-3. The senate is to consist of twelve members.
10.-4. The senators are to hold their offices from the first Wednesday in June next ensuing their election.
5. The senators are elected by the electors in the month of March.
11.-2. The house of representatives will be considered in relation to its constitution, under the same divisions which have been made in relation to the senate.
12.-1. The electors are the same who vote for senators.
13.-2. Every member of the house of representatives shall be chosen by ballot; and for two years at least next preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of this state; shall have an estate within the district which he may be chosen to represent, of the value of one hundred pounds, one half of which to be a freehold, whereof he is seised in his own right; shall be, at the time of his election, an inhabitant of the district he may be chosen to represent and shall cease to represent such district immediately on his ceasing to be qualified as aforesaid.
14.-3. There shall be in the legislature of this state, a representation of the people, annually elected, and founded upon principles of equality; and in order that such representation may be as equal as circumstances will admit, every town, parish, or place, entitled to town privileges, having one hundred and fifty rateable male polls, of twenty-one years of age, and upwards, may elect one representative; if four hundred and fifty rateable male polls, may elect two representatives; and so, proceeding in that proportion, make three hundred such rateable polls, the mean of increasing number, for every additional representative. Such towns, parishes, or places, as have less than one hundred and fifty rateable polls, shall be classed by the general assembly, for the purpose of choosing a representative, and seasonably notified thereof. And in every class formed for the above mentioned purpose, the first annual meeting shall be held in the town, parish, or place, wherein most of the rateable polls reside; and afterwards in that which has the next highest number and so on, annually, by rotation, through the several towns, parishes, or places forming the district. Whenever any town, parish, or place entitled to town privileges, as aforesaid, shall not have one hundred and fifty rateable polls, and be so situated as to render the classing thereof with any, other town, parish, or place very inconvenient; the general assembly may, upon application of a majority of the voters of such town, parish, or place, issue a writ for their selecting and sending, a representative to the general court.
15.-4. The members are to be chosen annually.
16.-5. The election is to be in the month of March.
17.-2. The executive power consists of a governor and a council.
18.-1. Of the governor. 1. The qualifications of electors of governor, are the same as those of senators.
19.-2. The governor, at the time of his election, must have been an inhabitant of this state for the seven years next preceding, be of the age of thirty years, and have an estate of the value of five hundred pounds, one-half of which must consist of a freehold in his own right, within the state.
20.-3. He is elected annually.
21.-4. The election is in the month of March.
22.-5. His general powers and duties are as follows, namely 1. In case of any infectious distemper prevailing in the place where the general court at any time is to convene, or any other cause whereby dangers may arise to the health or lives of the members from their attendance, the governor may direct the session to be holden at some other. 2. He is invested with the veto power. 3. He is commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and is invested with power on this subject very minutely described in the constitution as follows, namely: The governor of the state for the time being shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and all the military forces of this state, by sea and land: and shall have full power, by himself or by any chief commander, or other officer or officers, from time to time, to train, instruct, exercise and govern the militia and navy; and for the special defence and safety of this state, to assemble in martial array, and put in warlike posture the inhabitants thereof, and to lead and conduct them, and with them encounter, repulse, repel, resist, and pursue, by force of arms, as well by sea as by land, within and without the limits of this state; and also to kill, slay, destroy, if necessary, and conquer by all fitting ways, enterprise and means, all and every such person and persons as shall at any time hereafter in a hostile manner attempt or enterprise the destruction invasion, detriment, or annoyance of this state; and to use and exercise over the army and navy, and over the militia in actual service, the law martial in time of war, invasion, and also in rebellion, declared by the legislature to exist, as occasion shill necessarily require. And surprise, by all ways and means whatsoever, all and every such person or persons, with their ships, arms, ammunition, and other goods, as shall in a hostile manner invade, or attempt the invading, conquering, or annoying this state: And, in fine, the governor is hereby entrusted with all other powers incident to the office of captain-general and commander-in-chief, and admiral, to be exercised agreeably to the rules and regulations of the constitution, and the laws of the land: Provided, that the governor shall not at any, time hereafter, by virtue of any power by this constitution granted, or hereafter to be granted to him by the legislature, transport any of the inhabitants of this state, or oblige them to march out of the limits of the same, without their free and voluntary consent, or the consent of the general court, nor grant commissions for exercising the law martial in any case, without the advice and consent of the council.
23. Whenever the chair of the governor shall become vacant, by reason of* his death, absence from the state or otherwise, the president of the senate shall, during such 'Vacancy, have and exercise all the powers and authorities which, by this constitution, the governor is vested with, when personally present; but when the president of the senate shall exercise the office of governor, he shall not hold his office in the senate.
24.-2. The council. 1. This body is elected by the freeholders and other inhabitants qualified to vote for senators. 2. No person shall be capable of being elected a councilor who has not an estate of the value of five hundred pounds within this state, three hundred pounds of which (or more) shall be a freehold in his own right, and who is not thirty years of age; and who shall not have been in inhabitant of this state for seven years immediately preceding his election; and at the time of his election an inhabitant of the county in which he is elected. 3. The council consists of five members. 4. They are elected annually. 5. The election is in the month of March. 6. Their principal duty is to advise the governor.
25.-3. The governor and council jointly. Their principal, powers and duties are as follows: 1. They may adjourn the general court not exceeding ninety days at one time, when the two houses cannot agree as to the time of adjournment. 2. They are required to appoint all judicial officers, the attorney-general, solicitors, all sheriffs, coroners, registers of probate, and all officers of the navy, and general and field officers of the militia; in these cases the governor and council have a negative on each other. 3. They have the power of pardoning offences, after conviction, except in cases of impeachment.
26.-2d. The judicial power is distributed as follows:
The tenure that all commissioned officers shall have by law in their offices, shall be expressed in their respective commissions all judicial officers, duly appointed, commissioned and sworn, shall hold. their offices during good behaviour, excepting those concerning whom there is a different provision made in this constitution: Provided, nevertheless, the governor, with consent of council, may remove them upon the address of both houses of the legislature.
27. Each branch of the legislature, as well as the governor and council, shall have authority to require the opinions of the justices of the superior court, upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions.
28. In order that the people play not suffer from the long continuance in, place of any justice of the peace, who shall fail in discharging the important duties of his office with ability and fidelity, all commissions of justices of the peace shall become void at the expiration of five 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 state.
29. All causes of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and all appeals from the respective judges of probate, shall be heard and tried by the superior court until the legislature shall by law make other provision.
30. The general court are empowered to give to justices of the peace jurisdiction in civil causes, when the damages demanded shall not exceed four pounds, and title of real estate is not concerned but with right of appeal to either party, to some other court, so that a trial by jury in the last resort may be had.
31. No person shall hold the office of a judge in any court, or judge of probate, or sheriff of any county, after he has attained the age of seventy years.
32. No judge of any court, or justice of the peace, shall act as attorney, or be of counsel, to any Party, or originate any civil suit, in matters which shall come or be brought before him as judge, or justice of the peace.
33. All matters relating to the probate of wills, and granting letters of administration, shall be exercised by the judges of probate, in such manner as the legislature have directed, or may hereafter direct; and the judges of probate shall hold their courts at such place or places, on such fixed days as the conveniency of the people may require, and the legislature from time to time appoint.
34. No judge or register of probate, shall be of counsel, act as advocate, or receive any fees as advocate or counsel, in any probate business which is pending or may be brought into any court of probate in the county of which he is judge or register.