WHEREAS, the practice of Vegetarian diet is best adapted to the development of the highest and noblest principles of human nature, and the use of the flesh of animals as food tends to the physical, moral, and intellectual injury of mankind, and it is desirable that those persons who believe in the Vegetarian principle should have every opportunity to live in accordance therewith, and should unite in the formation of a company for the permanent establishment in some portion of this country, of a home where the slaughter of animals for food shall be prohibited, and where the principle of the Vegetarian diet can be fairly and fully tested, so as to more fully demonstrate its advantages; therefore,
RESOLVED, That we, the undersigned, do hereby agree to form ourselves into a Vegetarian Settlement Company, and to abide by the following constitution:
ARTICLE I. -- OBJECT.
1. The establishment, in the centre of the United States, of permanent homes for Vegetarians, where all the appliances for the production of their favorite articles of diet, fruits and farinaceous productions are at hand; namely, rich soil, salubrious and healthful climate, pure water, &c.
The concerted action of Vegetarians so associated, to be used for the establishment of a system of direct dealing, supplying the productions of the soil of the best quality direct from the producers to the consumers, without the enormous profits of speculators and retailers coming between these respective parties.
3. The dissemination of practical Vegetarian information, in connection with the supply of the articles of Vegetarian diet.
4. The calling public attention to the subject of Vegetarian diet in a way no mere theoretic movement in the form of lectures or publications ever can be expected to accomplish.
ARTICLE II. -- PRINCIPLE.
The Company shall be conducted on the Mutual Joint Stock principle, for the equal benefit of all the members, and to protect each other from the imposition of speculators and monopolists, by raising sufficient funds to start with efficient machinery, implements, and provisions.
ARTICLE III. -- OFFICERS.
The officers shall consist of a President, Secretary, and Treasurer, pro tem, who shall constitute a Board of Directors, and have entire control of the movements of the Company until a majority of the members shall meet and organize; at which time the permanent officers of the Company shall be elected, whose duty it will be to act under the direction of regular meetings, and to direct all affairs of the Company. The officers to receive such compensation for their services, by salary or otherwise, as the regular meetings of the shareholders shall decide.
ARTICLE IV. -- QUALIFICATION OF MEMBERS.
good moral character, who shall be approved by the Board
of Directors, whether male or female, and who are not
slaveholders, may become members of the company, on
paying one dollar entrance fee, and an instalment of ten
cents per share on not less than twenty shares. Each
member may subsequently purchase additional shares. No
member, however, shall be allowed to hold more than two
hundred and forty shares at any one time. Each person, on
becoming a member, must agree to sign the following
declaration on entering the settlement:
ARTICLE V. -- CAPITAL.
The capital stock of the Company shall consist of shares of five dollars each, equal in number to the acres of land located by the Company, and payable by members in money -- or labor, if required -- within four years; payable in such instalments as the Directors may call for. Any money or labor paid in advance of calls, shall be regarded as loans to the Company, and shall be paid for at the rate of one per cent per month.
ARTICLE VI. -- TRANSFER OF SHARES.
In case a member shall fail to keep up payments for the full amount of his shares according to the calls of the Directors or Company, the shares of such member shall be put up one by one at auction, until a sufficient amount is realized to secure the payment of the demands of the Company, with interest at the rate of one per cent. per month, and expenses of such sale; three months notice of such sale being previously given to such defaulter. Any member may sell his or her shares, provided the person to whom such sale is to be made, is approved of by the Board of Directors or the agent they may appoint for such purpose. The deed for conveying shares shall not be valid unless signed by the Directors or their duly appointed agent, as being recorded in the books of the Company.
ARTICLE VII. -- ELECTION AND VOTING.
Each member shall have as many votes as shares he or she may hold in the Company, on all questions involving the appropriation of funds, but on all other questions each member shall have only one vote. Absent members may vote by their duly authorized agents by proxy. Questions involving a change in the Constitution of the Company, must be submitted to every member, whether resident in the settlement of the Company or otherwise, and the vote of a majority of such members as vote shall decide such questions.
ARTICLE VIII. -- SETTLEMENTS.
Whenever sufficient persons shall have paid the instalments of ten cents per share, it shall be the duty of the Directors or their agents to cause a suitable site of land to be surveyed on the Octagon plan, and provide such machinery, provisions, &c., as they may deem necessary for the success of the enterprise for which they shall make a call or assessment upon the said shareholders proportionate to the requirements of the settlement. That such of said shareholders as can, conveniently to themselves, shall be expected to co-operate with the Company in preparing the settlement, for which they shall receive compensation according to the value of their services, at the prices of such labor in the territory, or as fixed by the majority of members in such settlement, in money, scrip, or receipts for instalments on the shares subscribed for by each. The members living at the settlement to make their own by-laws and regulations, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. Chattel-slavery shall not be tolerated within the limits of the settlement.
ARTICLE IX. -- DISPOSITION OF LOTS.
The plan of each settlement shall be divided into lots, according to the number of acres. The selection of lots shall be as follows: Each enclosure of about one hundred and sixty lots shall be put up at auction among the members of the Company. Those who paid the first instalment by the time fixed upon by the Directors, have the preference in selection without the competition of those who subsequently pay the same, and the highest bidder shall have the right of possession to as many lots as shall correspond to the shares for which he shall have so previously subscribed ten cents per share. The remaining lots of said enclosure, should there be any, and the remaining enclosures shal1 be put up in the same way. If paid within a month, the amount bid shall be subject to six per cent. discount; if not within that period, it shall be subject to one per cent. per month interest until paid.
ARTICLE X. -- CURRENCY.
The scrip or receipt for money or labor held by each member, shall be exchangeable for provisions, lumber and other property of the Company, according to the amount of stock or supply on hand. The prices of provisions, lumber, etc., to be fixed by the Directors, or under the direction of a regular meeting of the members of the settlement. But the said scrip cannot be accepted for the purchase of the lands of the Company, except from recognized and duly recorded members thereof, their assigns, heirs, or administrators.
ARTICLE XI. PURCHASE AND TRANSFER OF LANDS.
The Directors as Trustees on behalf of the Company, shall procure titles to the lands settled by the members thereof, and convey the separate lots or parcels of land, with all the rights and privileges therewith connected, one lot for every paid-up share in the Company, on the presentation at the office of the Company of scrip proving the payments for such shares. Provided, however, the land on which the Company shall settle be not, at the time of settlement, in the market, each member who is eligible shall procure pre-emption claims according to statute. This Company in such cases to aid its members in making the necessary payments for their lands, when required by government to purchase their pre-empted lands. Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed as at variance with the pre-emption laws of the United States. At the end of four years from the first commencement of each settlement, or sooner if desired by a majority of members, there shall be a general making up of the accounts of the settlement; all arrearages of members must be paid or collected by the process prescribed in Article VI., after three months, notice; the property of the Company shall be sold by auction; and whatever profits may have been realized, after paying all expenses connected with such settlement, shall be equally divided among the shareholders or proprietors of the same, according to the amount of shares held by each.
ARTICLE XII. -- MEETINGS.
There shall be a semi-annual business meeting of the Company after the settlement shall have commenced, on the second Tuesday of every January and the second Tuesday in July, at which time the reports of the officers having charge of the affairs of the Company shall be present, and the officers for the succeeding year shall be elected at the January meeting by ballot. Special meetings may be held at any time on the call of one or more Directors, or at the request of six shareholders. A majority of the members residing at the time in the settlement to constitute a quorum. All the meetings to be conducted according to established parliamentary usage, subject to such modification and by laws as may be decided upon by such meetings.
ARTICLE XIII. -- LIABILITIES.
No individual member of the Company shall be liable for any debt contracted by the Company or its officers.
ARTICLE XIV. -- ARBITRATION.
All disputes between members and each other, or the Directors, shall be settled by arbitration.
One copy to be retained by the member, and the other to be retained by the Secretary with signature. Those members who signed the first edition of the Constitution will, if they approve of the additions now made, (Articles XIII and XIV,) please to sign this, and return it to the Secretary without delay.