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OREGON. The name of a territory of the United States of America. This
territory was established by the act of congress of August 14, 1848; and
this act is the fundamental law of the territory.
2.-Sect. 2. The executive power and authority in and over said territory of Oregon shall be vested in a governor who shall hold his office for four years, and until his successors shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the president of the United States. The governor shall reside within said territory, shall be commander-in-chief of the militia thereof, shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of superintendent of Indian affairs; he may grant pardons and respites for offences against the laws of said territory, and reprieves for offences against the laws of the United States until the decision of the president can be made thereon; he shall commission all officers who shall be appointed to office under the laws of the said territory, where, by law, such commissions shall be required, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
3.-Sect. 3. There shall be a secretary of said territory, who shall reside therein, and hold his office for five years, unless sooner removed by the president of the United States; he shall record and preserve all the laws and proceedings of the legislative assembly hereinafter constituted, and all the acts and proceedings of the governor in his executive department; he shall transmit one copy of the laws and journals of the legislative assembly within thirty days after the end of each session, and one copy of the executive proceedings and official correspondence, semi- annually, on the first days of January and July, in each year, to the president of the United States, and two copies of the laws to the president of the senate and to the speaker of the house of representatives for the use of congress. And in case of the death, removal, resignation, or absence of the governor from the territory, the secretary shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and required to execute and perform all the powers and duties of the governor during such vacancy or absence, or until another governor shall be duly appointed and qualified to fill such vacancy.
4.-Sect. 4. The legislative power and authority of said territory shall be vested in a legislative assembly. The legislative assembly shall consist of a council and house of representatives. The council shall consist of nine members, having the qualifications of voters as hereinafter prescribed, whose term of service shall continue three years. Immediately after they shall be assembled, in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into, three classes. The seats. of the members of council of the first. class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; of the second class at the expiration of the second year; and of the third class at the expiration of the third year, so that one- third may be chosen every year, and if vacancies happen by resignation or otherwise, the same shall be filled at the next ensuing election. The house of representatives shall, at its first session, consist of eighteen members, possessing the same qualifications as prescribed for members of the council, and whose term of service shall continue one year. The number of representatives may be increased by the legislative assembly from time to time, in proportion to the increase of qualified voters: Provided, That the whole number shall never exceed thirty. An apportionment shall be made, as nearly equal as practicable, among the several counties or districts, for the election of the council and representatives, giving to each section of the territory representation in the ratio of its qualified voters, as nearly as may be. And the members of the council and of the house of representatives shall reside in and be inhabitants of the district, or county or counties, for which they may be elected respectively. Previous to the first election, the governor shall cause a census or enumeration of the inhabitants and qualified voters of the several counties and districts of the territory to be taken by such persons, and in such mode as the governor shall designate and appoint; and the persons so appointed shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor; and the first election shall be held at such time and places, and be conducted in such manner, both as to the person who shall superintend such election, and the returns thereof, as the governor shall appoint and direct; and he shall, at the same time, declare the number of members of the council and house of representatives to which each of the counties or districts shall be entitled under this act; and the governor shall, by his proclamation, give at least sixty days previous notice of such apportionment, and of the time, places, and manner of holding such election. The persons having the highest number of legal votes in each of said council districts for members of the council shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected to the council; and the persons having the highest number of legal votes for the house of representatives shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected members of said house; Provided, That, in case two or more persons voted for shall have an equal number of votes and in case a vacancy shall otherwise occur, in either branch of the legislative assembly, the governor shall order a new election, and the persons thus elected to the legislative assembly shall meet at such place, and on such day, within ninety days after such elections, as the governor shall appoint; but, thereafter, the time, place, and manner of holding and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning the representation in the several counties or districts to the council and house of representatives, according to the number of qualified voters, shall be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the commencement of the regular sessions of the legislative assembly: Provided, That no session in any one year shall exceed the term of sixty days, except the first session, which shall not be prolonged beyond one hundred days.
5.-Sect, 5. Every white male inhabitant, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of said territory at the time of the passage of this act, and shall possess the qualifications hereinafter prescribed, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within the said territory; but the qualifications of voters and of holding office, at all subsequent elections, shall be such as shall be prescribed by the legislative assembly: Provided, That the right of suffrage and of holding office shall be exercised only by citizens United States above the age of twenty-one years, and those above that age who shall have declared, on oath, their intention to become such, and shall have taken an oath to support the constitution of the United States, and the provisions of this act: And, further, provided, That no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine, or other person in the army or navy of the United States, or attached to troop's in the service of the United States, shall be allowed to vote in said territory, by reason of being on service therein, unless said territory is and has been for the period of six months, his permanent domicil: Provided, further, That no person belonging to the army or navy of the United States shall ever be elected to, or hold any civil office or appointment in, said territory.
6.-Sect. 6. The legislative power of the territory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States; but no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil; no tar shall be imposed upon the property of the United States; nor shall the lands or other property of non-residents be taxed higher than the lands or other property of residents. All the laws passed by the legislative assembly shall be submitted to the congress of the United States, and, if disapproved, shall be null and of no effect: Provided, That nothing in this act shall be construed to give power to incorporate a bank, or any institution with banking powers, or to borrow money in the name of the territory, or to pledge the faith of the people of the same for any loan whatever, either directly or indirectly. No charter granting any privilege of making, issuing, or putting into circulation any notes or bills in the likeness of bank notes, or any bonds scrip, drafts, bills of exchange, or obligations, or granting any other banking powers or privileges, shall be passed by the legislative assembly; nor shall the establishment of any branch or agency of any such corporation, derived from other authority, be allowed in said territory; nor shall said legislative assembly authorize the issue of any obligation, scrip, or evidence of debt by said territory, in any mode or manner whatever, except certificates for services to said territory; and all such laws, or any law or laws inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall be utterly null and void; and all taxes shall be equal and uniform and no distinction shall be made in the assessments between different kinds of property, but the assessments shall be according to the value thereof. To avoid improper influences which may result from intermixing in one and the same act, such things as have no proper relation to each other, every law shall embrace but one object and that shall be expressed in the title.
7.-Sect. 7. All township, district, and county, officers, not herein otherwise provided for, shall be appointed or elected, in such manner as shall be provided by the legislative assembly of the territory of Oregon.
8.-Sect. 8. No member of the legislative assembly shall hold, or be appointed to, any office which shall have been created, or the salary or emoluments of which shall have been increased, while he was a member, during the term for which he was elected, and for one year after the expiration of such term; but this restriction shall not be applicable to members of the first legislative assembly; and no person holding a commission, or appointment under the United States shall be a member of the legislative assembly, or shall hold any office under the government of said territory.
9. The 16th section of the act authorizes the qualified voters to elect a delegate to the house of representatives of the United States, who shall have and exercise all the rights and privileges as have been heretofore exercised and enjoyed by the delegates from the other territories of the United States to the said house of representatives. Vide Courts of the United States.