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New York’s 1788 Declaration of Rights—Important Precursor to the Bill of Rights
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This issue of The Massachusetts Gazette contains an important precursor to the Bill of Rights, from the New York Constitutional Convention held at Poughkeepsie. 

[BILL OF RIGHTS]. The Massachusetts Gazette. July 25, 1788. Boston: John Wincoll Allen. 4 pp., 9¼ x 14½ in.

Inventory #24983.99       Price: $4,500

The following Declaration of Rights, numbering to fifteen, was submitted to the Convention on July 7, by John Lansing:

That all freemen have essential rights, of which they cannot by any compact deprive or divest their posterity; among which are, the enjoyment of life and liberty.

That all power is originally vested in and consequently derived from the people; and that government is instituted for their common benefit, protection and security.

That in all cases in which a man may be subjected to a capital or infamous punishment, no one ought to be put to his trial unless on an indictment by a grand jury; and that, in all capital or criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation; to produce testimony and have counsel in his defence; and to a fair, publick and speedy trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the crime was committed, without whose unanimous consent he ought not to be found guilty (except in the government of the land and naval forces, in time of actual war, invasion or rebellion) nor ought he to be compelled to give evidence against himself.

That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, or be exiled or deprived of his privileges, franchises, life, liberty or property, but by the law of the land.

That no person ought to be put in jeopardy of life or limb, or otherwise punished twice for one and the same offence, unless upon impeachment.

That every freeman, restrained in his liberty is entitled to an enquiry into the lawfulness of such restraint, without denial or delay, and to a removal thereof if unlawful.

That in all controversies respecting property, and in all suits between man and man, the ancient trial of the rights of a free people, ought to remain sacred and inviolate forever.

That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted.

That every freeman has a right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his papers, and his property; and that therefore all warrants to search suspected places or to seize any freeman, his papers or property, without information upon oath (or affirmation of a person religiously scrupulous of taking an oath) of sufficient cause, are grievious and oppressive; and all general warrants to search suspected places, or to apprehend any suspected person, without especially naming or describing the place or person, are dangerous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

That people have a right peaceably to assemble together to consult for their common good, or to instruct their Representatives; and that every freeman has a right to petition or apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances.

That the freedom of the press ought not to be violated or restrained.

That the militia should always be kept well organized, armed and disciplined, and include, according to past usages of the states, all the men capable of bearing arms, and that no regulations tending to render the general militia useless and defenceless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests or attachments to the community, ought to be made; and that the militia ought not to be subject to martial law except in time of war, invasion or rebellion; and that in all cases the militia should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

That no soldier in time of peace ought to be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, and in time of war, only by the civil magistrate in such manner as the laws may direct.

That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, ought to be exempted therefrom, upon payment of an equivalent.

That the free and peaceable exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, is a natural and unalienable right, and ought never to be abridged or violated. (p2/c1)

Condition: Light toning and scattered soiling; good.

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