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- Civil Government for Common Schools - 6/15 -

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Q. What is a city?

Q. By what authority organized?

A. By an act of the legislative.

Q. What instrument defines its powers?

A. A charter.

Q. What are the divisions of a city called?

A. Wards.

Q. Name the cities in New York State, when incorporated, and the number of wards in each?


Pop. in 1800 New York, 1680, has 24 wards, 1,206,590 Brooklyn, 1834, has 25 wards, 566,689 Buffalo, 1832, has 13 wards, 155,137 Albany, 1832, has 16 wards, 90,903 Rochester, 1686, has 16 wards, 89,363 Troy, 1816, has 13 wards, 56,747 Syracuse, 1847, has 8 wards, 51,791 Utica, 1832, has 12 wards, 33,913 Auburn, 1848, has 7 wards, 21,924 Oswego, 1848, has 8 wards, 21,117 Elmira, 1864, has 7 wards, 20,541 Poughkeepsie 1854, has 6 wards, 20,207 Cohoes, 1869, has 4 wards, 19,417 Yonkers, 1872, has 4 wards, 18,892 Kingston, 1872, has 9 wards, 18,342 Newburg, 1865, has 4 wards, 18,050 Binghamton, 1867, has 5 wards, 17,315 L. I. City, 1870, has 5 wards, 17,117 Schenectady, 1798, has 5 wards, 13,675 Lockport, 1865, has 4 wards, 13,522 Rome, 1870, has 5 wards, 12,045 Watertown, 1869, has 4 wards, 10,697 Ogdensburg, 1868, has 4 wards, 10,340 Hudson, 1785, has 4 wards, 8,828

The census for 1880 is not fully completed, but gives substantially the above figures.

Q. How populous must a village be, before it can be incorporated as a city?

A. No definite number is required; whenever a large proportion of the inhabitant desire it, the legislature will grant a city charter.

Q. What is the executive officer of a city called?

A. The Mayor. His term of office is one year, unless otherwise ordered by the, charter, as in New York and Albany where it is two years.

Q. What other important officers are elected?

A. Aldermen and Supervisors; one each in every ward unless otherwise ordered by their charter.

Q. What officers form the common council?

A. Mayor and aldermen; and they are the legislative body of the city; they have authority to appoint police officers.

Q. What courts exist in cities in addition to those established for the State at large?

A I. The Superior Court of the city of New York.

II. The Court of Common Pleas for the city and county of New York.

III. The Superior Court of Buffalo.

IV. The City Court of Brooklyn. Const, Art. VI., Sec. 12.


Q. What is a jury?

A. A body of men elected according to law, and sworn to inquire into and try any matter of fact, and declare the truth of it on the evidence given in the case.

Q. Name some juries?

A. I. One of six persons for the trial of causes in a Justice Court

II. One of twelve persons, summoned for the purpose of laying out new roads or discontinuing old ones.

III. One of not less than six nor more than fifteen persons, summoned by the coroner, to inquire into the cause of any violent death.

IV. One of twelve men, called a petit jury, whose duty it is to try causes, civil or criminal, in the county court and sessions, or circuit and oyer and terminer.

V. One called a grand jury of not less than sixteen nor more than twenty-three, whose duty it is to examine into accusations against persons charged with crime, and if they find sufficient testimony to warrant it, to find a bill of indictment against them to be presented to the court.

Q. Name some qualifications requisite for jurors?

A. They must be freeholders, twenty-one years old.

Q. Who are exempt from sitting on a jury?

A. Persons over sixty years of age, postmasters and many others.

Q. How many are summoned for a justice court and by whom?

A. Twelve, and by a constable; and from these twelve six are drawn.

Q. Who selects and notifies the jury for laying out roads,

A. By the coroner.

Q. How is the petit jury list obtained?

A. The supervisors, town clerk, and assessors of the several towns of the county make out a list of the names of those persons qualified, and the names in the several lists are written upon slips of paper of the same size and deposited in a box in the county clerk's office.

Q. How is the grand jury list obtained?

A. The supervisors apportion the number (three hundred,) among the several towns in the county in proportion to population. Each supervisor selects from his town the number to which it is entitled; and these several lists are written upon slips of paper as before and deposited in a box in the county clerk's office.

Q. How frequently are the lists changed?

A. The petit jury list is changed once in three years; the grand jury list every year.

Q. When are these juries drawn?

A. Not more than twenty, nor less than fourteen days before the sitting of the court for which they are drawn.

Q. How many are drawn?

A. Thirty-six petit and twenty-four grand jurors.

Q. How is the jury for each individual case obtained?

A. The thirty-six petit jurors' names are put into a box and the names are drawn out until twelve satisfactory persons are obtained.

Q How many of this jury must agree in a verdict?

A. The twelve must agree.

Q. Who is the officer authorized to report the verdict?

A The person they have elected foreman.

Q. In case the twelve jurymen do not agree, what will be done?

A. When the judge is satisfied that the jury will not agree he will discharge them.

Q. What will be done with the case then?

A. Another trial will take place with a different jury, unless the suit be discontinued.

Q. Who is the presiding officer of the grand jury?

A. The foreman, and he is appointed by the judge who presides at that court.

Q. What other officer does this jury have?

Civil Government for Common Schools - 6/15

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