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Proceedings and Debates of the 1850 Constitutional Convention
Volume 101, Volume 1, Debates 123   View pdf image
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The Secretary read the journal in part, when
en motion of Mr. WRIGHT, the further reading
was dispensed with.
The President announced the regular order ol
business to be the call of the committee for re-


Mr. JOHNSON (Chairman of the committee on
the Legislative Department) said, he was in-
structed by that committee to make a report.
The committee (Mr. J. said) had given as
much time as could well be spared to the con-
sideration of the subject matter of this report.
They had found some difficulty in defining the
line where their appropriate duties began and
ended. So multifarious had been the matters
referred to them by the Convention — some be-
longing to the committee on the Legislative De-
partment, and some to other committees — that it
had not been an easy task to escape encroach-
ment upon the prerogative of other committees.
So far as was post ible, however, they had done
In the report now presented, the committee
had embodied many suggestions drawn from the
references made to them by the Convention, but
had not made a special report upon each special
reference. He presented it as a report in part,
inasmuch as there were one or two subjects which
had not yet been acted upon, and upon which
a report would be made when the action of the
committee had been matured upon them. And
each member of the committee, so far from be-
ing considered as committed to the report, would
feel himself privileged to offer any amendments
which he might think proper at any time in the
course of the discussion. Many such amend-
ments would no doubt be offered — the common
desire of all gentlemen being to perfect the Le-
gislative Department ab far as practicable. Mr.
J. then presented the following


Section 1st. The Legislative power of this
State shall be vested in two distinct branches,
the one to be styled the Senate, the other the
House of Delegates, and both together "the Gen-
eral Assembly of Maryland."
Sec. 2d. The Senators shall be elected by the
qualified voters, for the term of four years, and
the Delegates for the term of from the
day of the general elections.
Sec. 3d. Che first election for Senator* *nd
Delegates shall take place on the first Wednes-
day of October eighteen hundred and fifty-one,
and on the same day in every second year forever
thereafter .the general elections for Delegates;
and for one-half of the Senators as nearly as '
practicable, shall be held. I
Sec. 4th. Immediately after the Senate shall 1
have convened after the first election under this 1
Constitution, the Senators shall be divided by lot
into two classes as nearly equal in number as
, may be, the Senators of the first class shall go
out of office at the expiration of two years, and
Senators shall be elected on the first Wednesday
of October eighteen hundred and fifty-three, for

the term of four yeafs, to supply their places; so
that, after the first election one-half of the Sen-
ators may be chosen every second year. In case
the number of Senators be hereafter increased,
such classification of the additional Senators shall
be made as to preserve as nearly as may be, an
equal number in each class.
Sec. 5th. The General Assembly shall meet
on the first Wednesday of January eighteen hun-
dred and fifty-two, and on the same day in every
year forever therenfter, and at no other
time unless convened by the proclamation of the
Governor, who shall have power to convene the
same whenever he may deem it expedient and
Sec. 6th. The General Assembly may continue
their first two sessions after the adoption of this
Constitution as long as in the opinion of the two
Houses, the public interest may require it, but
all subsequent regular sessions of the General
Assembly shall be closed on the tenth day of
March next ensuing the time of their commence-
ment, unless the same shall be closed at an earlier
day by the agreement of the two Houses.
Sec. 7th. No person shall be eligible as a Sen-
ator or Delegate who, at the time of his election,
is not a citizen of the United States, and who
has not resided at least three years next preced-
ing the day of his election in the State, and the
last year thereof in the which he may be
chosen to represent, if such shall have
been so long established, and if not, then in the
county from which in whole or in part, the same
may have been formed; nor shall any person be
eligible as a Senator unless he shall have also
attained the age of jears, nor as a Delegate
unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-
one years at I he time of his election.
See. 8th. No member of Congress, or person
holding any Civil or Military office under the
United States, shall be eligible to a seat in the
General Assembly, and if any person shall after
his election as a member of either House of the
General Assembly, be elected to Congress or be
appointed to any office. Civil or Military, under
the government of the United States, his accept-
ance thereof shall vacate his seat.
Sec. 9th. No Priest, Clergyman or Teacher of
any religious persuasion, society or sect, and no
person holding any civil office of profit under this
State, except Justices of the Peace, shall be
capable of having a seal in the General Assem-
See. 10. Every Senator and Delegate before
he acts as such, shall tate at.d subscribe the fol-
lowing oath or affirmation, viz: "1 do solemnly
swear, (or affirm as the case may be,) that I will
support the Constitution of the United Stales,
and the Constitution of the State of Maryland,
and that I will faithfully discharge my duties as
Senator, (or Delegate as the case may be,) with-
out prejudice or partiality, and to the best of my
Sec. 11th. The Senate, upon assembling, shall
choose a President and its other officers , and the
House of Delegates when assembled shall choose
a Speaker and its other officers — each House
shall be judge of the qualifications, elections and