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Francis Newton Thorpe, The Federal and State Constitutions, Vol. II Florida-Kansas [1909]

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Francis Newton Thorpe, The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and other Organic Laws of the States and Territories now or heretofore forming the United States of America, compiled and edited by Francis Newton Thorpe (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909). Vol. II Florida-Kansas. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2675

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About this Title:

Thorpe was commissioned by the U.S. Congress to edit a 7 volume collection of Colonial, Federal and State constitutions in 1906. The volumes are in alphabetical order, with Volume 2 dealing with Florida through Kansas.

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The text is in the public domain.

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THE FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONS COLONIAL CHARTERS, AND OTHER ORGANIC LAWS of the STATES, TERRITORIES, AND COLONIES now or heretofore forming THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
59th Congress 2d Session, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Document No. 357
Compiled and Edited under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 By FRANCIS NEWTON THORPE, Ph. D., LL. D.

Member of the Pennsylvania Bar; Fellow and Professor of American Constitutional History at the University of Pennsylvania, 1885-1898; Member of the American Historical Association; Author of The Constitutional History of the United States, 1765-1895; A (State) Constitutional History of the American People, 1776-1850; A Short Constitutional History of the United States; A (Social and Economic) History of the American People; A History of the Civil War; Editor of the History of North America, Volumes IX, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX; Author of The Government of the People of the United States; Benjamin Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania; The Life of William Pepper, etc.

VOL. II
Florida—Kansas
WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1909
Edition: current; Page: [iv] Edition: current; Page: [649]

The Federal and State Constitutions
Colonial Charters, and other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies, Volume II

Organic Laws State, Territorial, and Colonial

FLORIDA

TREATY BETWEEN SPAIN AND THE UNITED STATES—1795

[This treaty, which can be found in volume eight of the Statutes at Large, edition of 1848, pages 138-153, provides that: “The southern boundary of the United States, which divides their territory from the Spanish colonies of East and West Florida, shall be designated by a line beginning on the river Mississippi, at the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of latitude north of the equator, which from thence shall be drawn due east to the middle of the river Apalachicola, or Catahouche, thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint: thence straight to the head of Saint Mary’s River, and thence down the middle thereof to the Atlantic Ocean.”

It was agreed that a commissioner and a surveyor should be appointed by each of the contracting parties, who should meet at Natchez and proceed to run and mark this boundary; and it was further agreed that the two high contracting parties should, by all the means in their power, maintain peace and harmony among the several Indian nations who inhabit the country adjacent to the lines and rivers which formed the boundaries of the two Floridas.]

TREATY WITH SPAIN CEDING FLORIDA—1819a

Treaty of amity, settlement, and limits between the United States of America and His Catholic Majesty.

The United States of America and His Catholic Majesty, desiring to consolidate, on a permanent basis, the friendship and good correspondence which happily prevails between the two parties, have Edition: current; Page: [650] determined to settle and terminate all their differences and pretensions, by a treaty, which shall designate, with precision, the limits of their respective bordering territories in North America.

With this intention the President of the United States has furnished with their full powers John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State of the said United States; and His Catholic Majesty has appointed the Most Excellent Lord Don Luis De Onis, Gonzales, Lopez y Vara, Lord of the Town of Rayaces, Perpetual Regidor of the Corporation of the city of Salamanca, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal American Order of Isabella the Catholic, decorated with the Lys of La Vendée, Knight Pensioner of the Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Charles the Third, Member of the Supreme Assembly of the said Royal Order; of the Council of His Catholic Majesty; his Secretary, with Exercise of Decrees, and His Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States of America.

And the said Plenipotentiaries, after having exchanged their powers, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles:

Article I

There shall be a firm and inviolable peace and sincere friendship between the United States and their citizens and His Catholic Majesty, his successors and subjects, without exception of persons or places.

Article II

His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, in full property and sovereignty, all the territories which belong to him, situated to the eastward of the Mississippi, known by the name of East and West Florida. The adjacent islands dependent on said provinces, all public lots and squares, vacant lands, public edifices, fortifications, barracks, and other buildings, which are not private property, archives and documents, which relate directly to the property and sovereignty of said provinces, are included in this article. The said archives and documents shall be left in possession of the commissaries or officers of the United States, duly authorized to receive them.

Article III

The boundary-line between the two countries, west of the Mississippi, shall begin on the Gulph of Mexico, at the mouth of the river Sabine, in the sea, continuing north, along the western bank of that river, to the 32d degree of latitude; thence, by a line due north, to the degree of latitude where it strikes the Rio Roxo of Nachitoches, or Red River; then following the course of the Rio Roxo westward, to the degree of longitude 100 west from London and 23 from Washington; then, crossing the said Red River, and running thence, by a line due north, to the river Arkansas; thence, following the course of the southern bank of the Arkansas, to its source, in latitude 42 north; and thence, by that parallel of latitude, to the South Sea. The whole being as laid down in Melish’s map of the United States, published at Philadelphia, improved to the first of January, 1818. But if the source of the Arkansas River shall be found to fall north Edition: current; Page: [651] or south of latitude 42, then the line shall run from the said source due south or north, as the case may be, till it meets the said parallel of latitude 42, and thence, along the said parallel, to the South Sea: All the islands in the Sabine, and the said Red and Arkansas Rivers, throughout the course thus described, to belong to the United States; but the use of the waters, and the navigation of the Sabine to the sea, and of the said rivers Roxo and Arkansas, throughout the extent of the said boundary, on their respective banks, shall be common to the respective inhabitants of both nations.

The two high contracting parties agree to cede and renounce all their rights, claims, and pretensions to the territories described by the said line, that is to say: The United States hereby cede to His Catholic Majesty, and renounce forever, all their rights, claims, and pretensions, to the territories lying west and south of the above-described line; and, in like manner, His Catholic Majesty cedes to the said United States all his rights, claims, and pretensions to any territories east and north of the said line, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, renounces all claim to the said territories forever.

Article IV

To fix this line with more precision, and to place the landmarks which shall designate exactly the limits of both nations, each of the contracting parties shall appoint a Commissioner and a surveyor, who shall meet before the termination of one year from the date of the ratification of this treaty at Nachitoches, on the Red River, and proceed to run and mark the said line, from the mouth of the Sabine to the Red River, and from the Red River to the river Arkansas, and to ascertain the latitude of the source of the said river Arkansas, in conformity to what is above agreed upon and stipulated, and the line of latitude 42, to the South Sea: they shall make out plans, and keep journals of their proceedings, and the result agreed upon by them shall be considered as part of this treaty, and shall have the same force as if it were inserted therein. The two Governments will amicably agree respecting the necessary articles to be furnished to those persons, and also as to their respective escorts, should such be deemed necessary.

Article V

The inhabitants of the ceded territories shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion, without any restriction; and all those who may desire to remove to the Spanish dominions shall be permitted to sell or export their effects, at any time whatever, without being subject, in either case, to duties.

Article VI

The inhabitants of the territories which His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, by this treaty, shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States as soon as may be consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution, and admitted to the enjoyment of all the privileges, rights, and immunities of the citizens of the United States.

Edition: current; Page: [652]

Article VII

The officers and troops of His Catholic Majesty, in the territories hereby ceded by him to the United States, shall be withdrawn, and possession of the places occupied by them shall be given within six months after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or sooner if possible, by the officers of His Catholic Majesty to the commissioners or officers of the United States duly appointed to receive them; and the United States shall furnish the transports and escort necessary to convey the Spanish officers and troops and their baggage to the Havana.

Article VIII

All the grants of land made before the 24th of January, 1818, by His Catholic Majesty, or by his lawful authorities, in the said territories ceded by His Majesty to the United States, shall be ratified and confirmed to the persons in possession of the lands, to the same extent that the same grants would be valid if the territories had remained under the dominion of His Catholic Majesty. But the owners in possession of such lands, who, by reason of the recent circumstances of the Spanish nation, and the revolutions in Europe, have been prevented from fulfilling all the conditions of their grants, shall complete them within the terms limited in the same, respectively, from the date of this treaty; in default of which the said grants shall be null and void. All grants made since the said 24th of January, 1818, when the first proposal, on the part of His Catholic Majesty, for the cession of the Floridas was made, are hereby declared and agreed to be null and void.

Article IX

The two high contracting parties, animated with the most earnest desire of conciliation, and with the object of putting an end to all the differences which have existed between them, and of confirming the good understanding which they wish to be forever maintained between them, reciprocally renounce all claims for damages or injuries which they, themselves, as well as their respective citizens and subjects, may have suffered until the time of signing this treaty.

The renunciation of the United States will extend to all the injuries mentioned in the convention of the 11th of August, 1802.

2. To all claims on account of prizes made by French privateers, and condemned by French Consuls, within the territory and jurisdiction of Spain.

3. To all claims of indemnities on account of the suspension of the right of deposit at New Orleans in 1802.

4. To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the Government of Spain, arising from the unlawful seizures at sea, and in the ports and territories of Spain, or the Spanish colonies.

5. To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the Spanish Government, statements of which, soliciting the interposition of the Government of the United States, have been presented to the Department of State, or to the Minister of the United States in Spain, since Edition: current; Page: [653] the date of the convention of 1802, and until the signature of this treaty.

The renunciation of His Catholic Majesty extends—

1. To all the injuries mentioned in the convention of the 11th of August, 1802.

2. To the sums which His Catholic Majesty advanced for the return of Captain Pike from the Provincias Internas.

3. To all injuries caused by the expedition of Miranda, that was fitted out and equipped at New York.

4. To all claims of Spanish subjects upon the Government of the United States arizing from unlawful seizures at sea, or within the ports and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Finally, to all the claims of subjects of His Catholic Majesty upon the Government of the United States in which the interposition of his Catholic Majesty’s Government has been solicited, before the date of this treaty and since the date of the convention of 1802, or which may have been made to the department of foreign affairs of His Majesty, or to his Minister of the United States.

And the high contracting parties, respectively, renounce all claim to indemnities for any of the recent events or transactions of their respective commanders and officers in the Floridas.

The United States will cause satisfaction to be made for the injuries, if any, which, by process of law, shall be established to have been suffered by the Spanish officers, and individual Spanish inhabitants, by the late operations of the American Army in Florida.

Article X

The convention entered into between the two Governments, on the 11th of August, 1802, the ratifications of which were exchanged the 21st December, 1818, is annulled.

Article XI

The United States, exonerating Spain from all demands in future, on account of the claims of their citizens to which the renunciations herein contained extend, and considering them entirely cancelled, undertake to make satisfaction for the same, to an amount not exceeding five millions of dollars. To ascertain the full amount and validity of those claims, a commission, to consist of three Commissioners, citizens of the United States, shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, which commission shall meet at the city of Washington, and, within the space of three years from the time of their first meeting, shall receive, examine, and decide upon the amount and validity of all the claims included within the descriptions above mentioned. The said Commissioners shall take an oath or affirmation, to be entered on the record of their proceedings, for the faithful and diligent discharge of their duties; and, in case of the death, sickness, or necessary absence of any such Commissioner, his place may be supplied by the appointment, as aforesaid, or by the President of the United States, during the recess of the Senate, of another Commissioner in his stead. Edition: current; Page: [654] The said Commissioners shall be authorized to hear and examine, on oath, every question relative to the said claims, and to receive all suitable authentic testimony concerning the same. And the Spanish Government shall furnish all such documents and elucidations as may be in their possession, for the adjustment of the said claims, according to the principles of justice, the laws of nations, and the stipulations of the treaty between the two parties of 27th October, 1795; the said documents to be specified, when demanded, at the instance of the said Commissioners.

The payment of such claims as may be admitted and adjusted by the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, to an amount not exceeding five millions of dollars, shall be made by the United States, either immediately at their Treasury, or by the creation of stock, bearing an interest of six per cent. per annum, payable from the proceeds of sales of public lands within the territories hereby ceded to the United States, or in such other manner as the Congress of the United States may prescribe by law.

The records of the proceedings of the said Commissioners, together with the vouchers and documents produced before them, relative to the claims to be adjusted and decided upon by them, shall, after the close of their transactions, be deposited in the Department of State of the United States; and copies of them, or any part of them, shall be furnished to the Spanish Government, if required, at the demand of the Spanish Minister in the United States.

Article XII

The treaty of limits and navigation, of 1795, remains confirmed in all and each one of its articles excepting the 2, 3, 4, 21, and the second clause of the 22d article, which, having been altered by this treaty, or having received their entire execution, are no longer valid.

With respect to the 15th article of the same treaty of friendship, limits, and navigation of 1795, in which it is stipulated that the flag shall cover the property, the two high contracting parties agree that this shall be so understood with respect to those powers who recognize this principle; but if either of the two contracting parties shall be at war with a third party, and the other neutral, the flag of the neutral shall cover the property of enemies whose government acknowledge this principle, and not of others.

Article XIII

Both contracting parties, wishing to favor their mutual commerce, by affording in their ports every necessary assistance to their respective merchant-vessels, have agreed that the sailors who shall desert from their vessels in the ports of the other, shall be arrested and delivered up, at the instance of the consul, who shall prove, nevertheless, that the deserters belonged to the vessels that claimed them, exhibiting the document that is customary in their nation: that is to say, the American Consul in a Spanish port shall exhibit the document known by the name of articles, and the Spanish Consul in American ports the roll of the vessel; and if the name of the deserter or deserters Edition: current; Page: [655] who are claimed shall appear in the one or the other, they shall be arrested, held in custody, and delivered to the vessel to which they shall belong.

Article XIV

The United States hereby certify that they have not received any compensation from France for the injuries they suffered from her privateers, Consuls, and tribunals on the coasts and in the ports of Spain, for the satisfaction of which provision is made by this treaty; and they will present an authentic statement of the prizes made, and of their true value, that Spain may avail herself of the same in such manner as she may deem just and proper.

Article XV

The United States, to give to His Catholic Majesty a proof of their desire to cement the relations of amity subsisting between the two nations, and to favor the commerce of the subjects of His Catholic Majesty, agree that Spanish vessels, coming laden only with productions of Spanish growth or manufactures, directly from the ports of Spain, or of her colonies, shall be admitted, for the term of twelve years, to the ports of Pensacola and St. Augustine, in the Floridas, without paying other or higher duties on their cargoes, or of tonnage, than will be paid by the vessels of the United States. During the said term no other nation shall enjoy the same privileges within the ceded territories. The twelve years shall commence three months after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty.

Article XVI

The present treaty shall be ratified in due form, by the contracting parties, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in six months from this time, or sooner if possible.

In witness whereof we, the underwritten Plenipotentiaries of the United States of America and of His Catholic Majesty, have signed, by virtue of our powers, the present treaty of amity, settlement, and limits, and have thereunto affixed our seals, respectively.

Done at Washington this twenty-second day of February, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen.

John Quincy Adams. [l. s.]
Luis de Onis. [l. s.]
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TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA—1819a

[Fifteenth Congress, Second Session]

An Act to authorize the President of the United States to take possession of East and West Florida, and establish a temporary government therein.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to take possession of, and occupy, the territories of East and West Florida, and the appendages and appurtenances thereof; and to remove and transport the officers and soldiers of the king of Spain, being there, to the Havana, agreeably to the stipulations of a treaty between the United States and Spain, executed at Washington, on the twenty-second day of February, in the year one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, providing for the cession of said territories to the United States; and he may, for these purposes, and in order to maintain in said territories the authority of the United States, employ any part of the army and navy of the United States, and the militia of any state or territory which he may deem necessary.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, until the end of the first session of the next Congress, unless provision for the temporary government of said territories be sooner made by Congress, all the military, civil, and judicial, powers, exercised by the officers of the existing government of the same territories, shall be vested in such person and persons, and shall be exercised in such manner, as the President Edition: current; Page: [657] of the United States shall direct, for the maintaining the inhabitants of said territories in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion; and the laws of the United States, relative to the collection of revenue, and the importation of persons of colour, shall be extended to the said territories; and the President of the United States shall be, and he is hereby, authorized, within the term aforesaid, to establish such districts, for the collection of the revenue, and, during the recess of Congress, to appoint such officers, whose commissions shall expire at the end of the next session of Congress, to enforce the said laws, as to him shall seem expedient.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the sum of twenty thousand dollars is hereby appropriated for the purpose of carrying this act into effect, to be paid out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to be applied under the direction of the President of the United States.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That this act shall take effect, and be in force, whenever the aforesaid treaty, providing for the cession of said territories to the United States, shall have been ratified by the king of Spain, and the ratifications exchanged, and the king of Spain shall be ready to surrender said territory to the United States, according to the provisions of said treaty.

TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA—1822

[Seventeenth Congress, First Session]

An Act for the establishment of a territorial government in Floridaa

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all that territory ceded by Spain to the United States, known by the name of East and West Florida, shall constitute a territory of the United States, under the name of the territory of Florida, the government whereof shall be organized and administered as follows:

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall reside in the said territory, and hold his office during the term of three years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. He shall be commander-in-chief of the militia of the said territory, and be ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs; and shall have power to grant pardons for offences against the said territory, and reprieves for those against the United States, until the decision of the President of the United States thereon shall be made known; and to appoint and commission all officers, civil and of the militia, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Edition: current; Page: [658]

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted. That the secretary of the territory shall also be appointed, who shall hold his office during the term of four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States; whose duty it shall be, under the direction of the governor, to record and preserve all the papers and proceedings of the executive, and all the acts of the governor and legislative council, and transmit authentic copies of the proceedings of the governor, in his executive department, every six months, to the President of the United States.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That, in case of the death, removal, resignation, or necessary absence, of the governor of the said territory, the secretary thereof shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and required to execute all the powers, and perform all the duties, of the governor, during the vacancy occasioned by the removal, resignation, or necessary absence, of the said governor.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power shall be vested in the governor, and in thirteen of the most fit and discreet persons of the territory, to be called the legislative council, who shall be appointed annually, by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from among the citizens of the United States residing there. The governor, by and with the advice and consent of the said legislative council, or a majority of them, shall have power to alter, modify, or repeal the laws which may be in force at the commencement of this act. Their legislative powers shall also extend to all the rightful subjects of legislation; but no law shall be valid which is inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States, or which shall lay any person under restraint, burthen, or disability, on account of his religious opinions, professions, or worship; in all which he shall be free to maintain his own, and not burthened with those of another. The governor shall publish, throughout the said territory, all the laws which shall be made, and shall, on or before the first day of December in each year, report the same to the President of the United States, to be laid before Congress, which, if disapproved by Congress, shall thenceforth be of no force. The governor and legislative council shall have no power over the primary disposal of the soil, nor to tax the lands of the United States, nor to interfere with the claims to lands within said territory: the legislative council shall hold a session once in each year, commencing its first session on the second Monday of June next, at Pensacola, and continue in session not longer than two months; and thereafter on the first Monday in May, in each and every year; but shall not continue longer in session than four weeks; to be held at such place in said territory as the governor and council shall direct. It shall be the duty of the governor to obtain all the information in his power in relation to the customs, habits, and dispositions, of the inhabitants of the said territory, and communicate the same, from time to time, to the President of the United States.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the judicial power shall be vested in two superior courts, and in such inferior courts and justices of the peace, as the legislative council of the territory may, from time to time, establish. There shall be a superior court for that part of the territory known as East Florida, to consist of one judge; he shall hold a court on the first Mondays in January, April, July, and October, in each year, at St. Augustine, and at such other times and places Edition: current; Page: [659] as the legislative council shall direct. There shall be a superior court for that part of the territory known as West Florida, to consist of one judge; he shall hold a court at Pensacola on the first Mondays in January, April, July, and October, in each year, and at such other times and places as the legislative council shall direct. Within its limits, herein described, each court shall have jurisdiction in all criminal cases, and exclusive jurisdiction in all capital cases, and original jurisdiction in all civil cases of the value of one hundred dollars, arising under, and cognisable by, the laws of the territory, now of force therein, or which may, at any time, be enacted by the legislative council thereof. Each judge shall appoint a clerk for his respective court, who shall reside, respectively, at St. Augustine and Pensacola, and they shall keep the records there. Each clerk shall receive for his services, in all cases arising under the territorial laws, such fees as may be established by the legislative council.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That each of said superior courts shall, moreover, have and exercise the same jurisdiction within its limits, in all cases arising under the laws and constitution of the United States, which, by an act to establish the judicial power [courts] of the United States, approved the twenty-fourth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, and “An act in addition to the act, entitled ‘An act to establish the judicial courts of the United States,’ ” approved the second day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, was vested in the court of the Kentucky district. And writs of error and appeal from the decisions in the said superior court, authorized by this section of this act, shall be made to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the same cases, and under the same regulations, as from the circuit courts of the United States. The clerks, respectively, shall keep the records at the places where the courts are held, and shall receive, in all cases arising under the laws and constitution of the United States, the same fees which the clerk of the Kentucky district received for similar services, whilst that court exercised the powers of the circuit and district courts. There shall be appointed, in the said territory, two persons learned in the law, to act as attorneys for the United States as well as for the territory; one for that part of the territory known as East Florida, the other for that part of the territory known as West Florida: to each of whom, in addition to his stated fees, shall be paid, annually, two hundred dollars, as a full compensation for all extra services. There shall also be appointed two marshals, one for each of the said superior courts, who shall each perform the same duties, be subject to the same regulations and penalties, and be entitled to the same fees, to which marshals in other districts are entitled for similar services; and shall, in addition, be paid the sum of two hundred dollars, annually, as a compensation for all extra services.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the governor, secretary, judges of the superior courts, district attorneys, marshals, and all general officers of the militia, shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. All judicial officers shall hold their offices for the term of four years, and no longer. The governor, secretary, judges, members of the legislative council, justices of the peace, and all other officers, civil and of the militia, before they enter upon the duties of their respective Edition: current; Page: [660] offices, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States, and for the faithful discharge of the duties of their office; the governor, before the President of the United States, or before a judge of the Supreme or district court of the United States, or before such other person as the President of the United States shall authorize to administer the same; the secretary, judges, and members of the legislative council, before the governor, and all other officers, before such persons as the governor shall direct. The governor shall receive an annual salary of two thousand five hundred dollars; the secretary, of one thousand five hundred dollars; and the judges, of one thousand five hundred dollars, each; to be paid quarter yearly out of the treasury of the United States. The members of the legislative council shall receive three dollars each, per day, during their attendance in council, and three dollars for every twenty miles in going to, and returning from any meeting of the legislative council, once in each session, and no more. The members of the legislative council shall be privileged from arrest, except in cases of treason, felony, and breach of the peace, during their going to, attendance at, and returning from, each session of said council.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That the following acts, that is to say:

“An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States,” approved April thirtieth, one thousand seven hunderd and ninety, and all acts in addition or supplementary thereto, which are now in force:

“An act to provide for the punishment of [certain] crimes and offences committed within the Indian boundaries,” approved March third, one thousand eight hundred and seventeen:

“An act in addition to the act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, and to repeal the acts therein mentioned,” approved April twentieth, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen:

“An act for the punishment of [certain] crimes therein specified,” approved January thirtieth, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine:

“An act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters,” approved twelfth February, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three:

“An act to prohibit the carrying on the slave trade from the United States to any foreign place or country,” approved March twenty-second, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine [four:]

“An act in addition to the act entitled ‘An act to prohibit the carrying on the slave trade from the United States to any foreign place or country,’ ” approved May tenth, one thousand eight hundred:

“The act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight,” approved March second, one thousand eight hundred and seven:

“An act to prevent settlements being made on lands ceded to the United States until authorized by law,” approved March third, one thousand eight hundred and seven:

“An act in addition to ‘An act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, Edition: current; Page: [661] from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight, and to repeal certain parts of the same.’ ” approved April twentieth, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen:

“An act in addition to the acts prohibiting the slave trade,” approved March third, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen:

“An act to establish the post-office of the United States:”

“An act further to alter and establish certain post-roads, and for the more secure carriage of the mail of the United States:”

“An act for the more general promulgation of the laws of the United States:”

“An act in addition to an act, entitled ‘An act for the more general promulgation of the laws of the United States:’ ”

“An act to provide for the publication of the laws of the United States, and for other purposes:”

“An act to promote the progress of useful arts, and to repeal the act heretofore made for that purpose:”

“An act to extend the privilege of obtaining patents for useful discoveries and inventions to certain persons therein mentioned, and to enlarge and define the penalties for violating the rights of patentees:”

“An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned:”

“The act supplementary thereto, and for extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching, historical, and other prints:”

“An act to prescribe the mode in which the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings, in each State, shall be authenticated, so as to take effect in any other State:”

“An act supplementary to the act, entitled ‘An act to prescribe the mode in which the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings, in each State shall be acknowledged, so as to take effect in any other State:’ ”

“An act for establishing trading-houses with the Indian tribes,” and the several acts continuing the same:

“An act making provision relative to rations for Indians, and their visits to the seat of government.”

And the laws of the United States relating to the revenue and its collection, subject to the modification stipulated by the fifteenth article of the treaty of the twenty-second February, one thousand eight hundred and nine, in favor of Spanish vessels and their cargoes; and all other public laws of the United States, which are not repugnant to the provisions of this act, shall extend to, and have full force and effect in, the territory aforesaid.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That, to the end that the inhabitants may be protected in their liberty, property, and the exercise of their religion, no law shall ever be valid which shall impair, or in any way restrain, the freedom of religious opinions, professions, or worship. They shall be entitled to the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus. They shall be bailable in all cases, except for capital offences, where the proof is evident or the presumption great. All fines shall be moderate, and proportioned to the offence; and excessive bail shall not be required, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted. No Edition: current; Page: [662] ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed; nor shall private property be taken for public uses without just compensation.

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That all free male white persons, who are housekeepers, and who shall have resided one year, at least, in the said territory, shall be qualified to act as grand and petit jurors in the courts of the said territory; and they shall, until the legislature thereof shall otherwise direct, be selected in such manner as the judges of the said courts shall respectively prescribe, so as to be most conducive to an impartial trial, and to be least burthensome to the inhabitants of the said territory.

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to import or bring into the said territory, from any port or place without the limits of the United States, or cause or procure to be so imported or brought, or knowingly to aid or assist in so importing or bringing, any slave or slaves. And every person so offending, and being thereof convicted before any court within the said territory, having competent jurisdiction, shall forfeit and pay, for each and every slave so imported or brought, the sum of three hundred dollars, one moiety for the use of the United States, and the other moiety for the use of the person or persons who shall sue for the same; and every slave so imported or brought shall thereupon become entitled to, and receive, his or her freedom.

Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That the laws in force in the said territory, at the commencement of this act, and not inconsistent with the provisions thereof, shall continue in force until altered, modified, or repealed, by the legislature.

Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, That the citizens of the said territory shall be entitled to one delegate to Congress, for the said territory, who shall possess the same powers heretofore granted to the delegates from the several territories of the United States. The said delegate shall be elected by such description of persons, at such times, and under such regulations, as the governor and legislative council may, from time to time, ordain and direct.

ENABLING ACT FOR FLORIDA—1845

[Seventeenth Congress, First Session]

An Act for the admission of the States of Iowa and Florida into the Union

Whereas, the people of the Territory of Iowa did, on the seventh day of October, eighteen hundred and forty-four, by a convention of delegates called and assembled for that purpose, form for themselves a constitution and State government; and whereas, the people of the Territory of Florida did, in like manner, by their delegates, on the eleventh day of January, eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, form for themselves a constitution and State government, both of which said constitutions are republican; and said conventions having asked the admission of their respective Territories into the Union as States, on equal footing with the original States:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the States of Edition: current; Page: [663] Iowa and Florida be, and the same are hereby, declared to be States of the United States of America, and are hereby admitted into the Union on equal footing with the original States in all respects, whatsoever.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the following shall be the boundaries of the said State of Iowa, to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Des Moines river, at the middle of the Mississippi, thence by the middle of the channel of that river to a parallel of latitude passing through the mouth of the Mankato, or Blue-Earth river; thence west, along the said parallel of latitude, to a point where it is intersected by a meridian line, seventeen degrees and thirty minutes west of the meridian of Washington city; thence due south to the northern boundary line of the State of Missouri; thence eastwardly following that boundary to the point at which the same intersects the Des Moines river, thence by the middle of the channel of that river to the place of beginning.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said State of Iowa shall have concurrent jurisdiction on the river Mississippi, and every other river bordering on the said State of Iowa, so far as the said rivers shall form a common boundary to said State, and any other State or States now or hereafter to be formed or bounded by the same: Such rivers to be common to both: And that the said river Mississippi, and the navigable waters leading into the same, shall be common highways, and forever free as well to the inhabitants of said State, as to all other citizens of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll therefor, imposed by the said State of Iowa.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That it is made and declared to be a fundamental condition of the admission of said State of Iowa into the Union, that so much of this act as relates to the said State of Iowa shall be assented to by a majority of the qualified electors at their township elections, in the manner and at the time prescribed in the sixth section of the thirteenth article of the constitution adopted at Iowa city the first day of November, anno Domini eighteen hundred and forty-four, or by the legislature of said State. And as soon as such assent shall be given, the President of the United States shall announce the same by proclamation; and therefrom, and without further proceedings on the part of Congress, the admission of the said State of Iowa into the Union, on an equal footing in all respects whatever with the original States, shall be considered as complete.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That said State of Florida shall embrace the territories of East and West Florida, which, by the treaty of amity, settlement and limits between the United States and Spain, on the twenty-second day of February, eighteen hundred and nineteen, were ceded to the United States.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That until the next census and apportionment shall be made, each of said States of Iowa and Florida shall be entitled to one Representative in the House of Representatives of the United States.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That said States of Iowa and Florida are admitted into the Union on the express condition that they shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the public lands lying within them, nor levy any tax on the same whilst remaining the property of the United States: Provided That the ordinance Edition: current; Page: [664] of the convention that formed the constitution of Iowa, and which is appended to the said constitution, shall not be deemed or taken to have any effect or validity, or to be recognized as in any manner obligatory upon the Government of the United States.

CONSTITUTION OF FLORIDA—1838a

We, the people of the Territory of Florida, by our delegates in convention, assembled at the city of Saint Joseph, on Monday, the 3d day of December, ad 1838, and of the Independence of the United States the sixty-third year, having and claiming the right of admission into the Union as one of the United States of America, consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution, and by virtue of the treaty of amity, settlement, and limits between the United States of America and the King of Spain, ceding the provinces of East and West Florida to the United States, in order to secure to ourselves and our posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty, and property, and the pursuit of happiness, do mutually agree, each with the other, to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the name of the State of Florida.

Article I: DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare:

Section 1. That all freemen, when they form a social compact, are equal, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.

Sec. 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and established for their benefit; and, therefore, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter or abolish their form of government in such manner as they may deem expedient.

Sec. 3. That all men have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship in this State.

Sec. 4. That all elections shall be free and equal, and that no property qualification for eligibility to office, or for the right of suffrage, shall ever be required in this State.

Sec. 5. That every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments, on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and no law shall ever be passed to curtail, abridge, or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press.

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Sec. 6. That the right of trial by jury shall forever remain inviolate.

Sec. 7. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions from unreasonable seizures and searches; and that no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized, as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

Sec. 8. That no freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseized of his freehold, liberties, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the law of the land.

Sec. 9. That all courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him, in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered, without sale, denial, or delay.

Sec. 10. That in all criminal prosecutions the accused hath a right to be heard, by himself or counsel, or both; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in all prosecutions by indictment or presentment, a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district where the offence was committed, and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.

Sec. 11. That all persons shall be bailable, by sufficient securities, unless in capital offences, where the proof is evident or the presumption strong; and the privilege of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Sec. 12. That excessive bail shall in no case be required; nor shall excessive fines be imposed; nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted.

Sec. 13. That no person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.

Sec. 14. That private property shall not be taken or applied to public use unless just compensation be made therefor.

Sec. 15. That in all prosecutions and indictments for libel the truth may be given in evidence; and if it shall appear to the jury that the libel is true, and published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the truth shall be a justification; and the jury shall be the judges of the law and facts.

Sec. 16. That no person shall be put to answer any criminal charge but by presentment, indictment, or impeachment.

Sec. 17. That no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

Sec. 18. That retrospective laws, punishing acts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared penal or criminal, are oppressive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty; wherefore, no ex post facto law shall ever be made.

Sec. 19. That no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall ever be passed.

Sec. 20. That the people have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together to consult for the common good, and to apply to Edition: current; Page: [666] those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.

Sec. 21. That the free white men of this State shall have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence.

Sec. 22. That no soldier, in time of peace, shall be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 23. That no standing army shall be kept up without the consent of the legislature; and the military shall in all cases and at all times be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 24. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free State, and ought not to be allowed.

Sec. 25. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honors, shall ever be granted or conferred in this State.

Sec. 26. That frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.

Sec. 27. That, to guard against transgressions upon the rights of the people, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.

Article II: DISTRIBUTION OF THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT

Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Florida shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: Those which are legislative to one; those which are executive to another; and those which are judicial to another.

Sec. 2. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances expressly provided in this constitution.

Article III: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The supreme executive power shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the State of Florida.

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected for four years, by the qualified electors, at the time and place where they shall vote for representatives, and shall remain in office until a successor be chosen and qualified; and shall not be eligible to reëlection until the expiration of four years thereafter.

Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, shall have been a citizen of the United States ten years, or an inhabitant of Florida at the time of the adoption of this constitution, (being a citizen of the United States,) and shall have been a resident of Florida at least five years next preceding the day of election.

Sec. 4. The returns of every election for governor shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government, directed to the speaker Edition: current; Page: [667] of the house of representatives, who shall, during the first week of the session, open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the general assembly; and the person having the highest number of votes shall be governor; but if two or more shall be equal, and highest in votes, one of them shall be chosen governor by the joint vote of the two houses; and contested elections for governor shall be determined by both houses of the general assembly, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 5. He shall, at stated times, receive a compensation for his services, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected.

Sec. 6. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia thereof.

Sec. 7. He may require information, in writing, from the officers of the executive department, on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 8. He may, by proclamation, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place if that shall have become dangerous from an enemy or from disease; and in case of disagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not beyond the day of the next meeting designated by this constitution.

Sec. 9. He shall, from time to time, give to the general assembly information of the state of the government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Sec. 10. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 11. In all criminal and penal cases, (except of treason and impeachment,) after conviction, he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law; and in cases of treason, he shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to grant reprieves and pardons; and he may, in the recess of the senate, respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the general assembly.

Sec. 12. There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him officially, with such device as the governor first elected may direct; and the present seal of the Territory shall be the seal of the State until otherwise directed by the general assembly.

Sec. 13. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Florida, be sealed with the State seal, and signed by the governor, and attested by the secretary of state.

Sec. 14. There shall be a secretary of state appointed by a joint vote of both houses of the general assembly, who shall continue in office during the term of four years; and he shall keep a fair register of the official acts and proceedings of the governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative thereto, before the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.

Sec. 15. Vacancies that happen in offices, the appointment to which is vested in the general assembly, or given to the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall be filled by the governor during Edition: current; Page: [668] the recess of the general assembly, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of the next session.

Sec. 16. Every bill, which shall have passed both houses of the general assembly, shall be presented to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon the journals, and proceed to reconsider it; and if, after such reconsideration, a majority of the whole number elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; and if approved by a majority of the whole number elected to that house, it shall become a law. But in such cases the votes of both houses shall be by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for or against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each house, respectively; and if any bill shall not be returned by the governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it; unless the general assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Sec. 17. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on questions of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and, before it shall take effect, be approved by him, or, being disapproved, be repassed by both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Sec. 18. In case of the impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, refusal to qualify, resignation, or absence from the State, the president of the senate shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of governor, during the term for which the governor was elected; unless the general assembly shall provide by law for the election of a governor to fill such vacancy, or until the governor absent or impeached shall return or be acquitted.

Sec. 19. If, during the vacancy of the office of governor, the president of the senate shall be impeached, removed from office, refuse to qualify, resign, die, or be absent from the State, the speaker of the house of representatives shall, in like manner, administer the government.

Sec. 20. The president of the senate, or speaker of the house of representatives, during the time he administers the government, shall receive the same compensation which the governor would have received.

Sec. 21. The governor shall always reside, during the sessions of the general assembly, at the place where their sessions are held; and, at other times, wherever in their opinion the public good may require.

Sec. 22. No person shall hold the office of governor, and any other office or commission, civil or military, either in this State, or under any State, or the United States, or any other power, at one and the same time, except the president of the senate or the speaker of the house of representatives, when he shall hold the office, as aforesaid.

Sec. 23. A State treasurer, and comptroller of public accounts, shall be elected by joint vote of both houses of the general assembly, at each regular session thereof.

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Article IV: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. 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 representatives, and both together “the general assembly of the State of Florida;” and the style of the laws shall be, “Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the State of Florida in general assembly convened.”

Sec. 2. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen by the qualified voters, and shall serve for the term of one year, from the day of the commencement of the general election, and no longer; and the sessions of the general assembly shall be annual, and commence on the fourth Monday in November in each year, or at such other time as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 3. The representatives shall be chosen every year, on the first Monday in the month of October, until otherwise directed by law.

Sec. 4. No person shall be a representative unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of the State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the county for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years.

Sec. 5. The senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors, for the term of two years, at the same time, in the same manner, and in the same places where they vote for members of the house of representatives; and no man shall be a senator unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district or county for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-five years.

Sec. 6. The senators, after their first election, shall be divided by lot into two classes; and the seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, and of the second class at the expiration of the second year; so that one-half thereof, as near as possible, may be chosen forever thereafter, annually, for the term of two years.

Sec. 7. The house of representatives, when assembled, shall choose a speaker, and its other officers; and the senate a president, and its other officers; and each house shall be judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Sec. 8. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may prescribe.

Sec. 9. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause.

Sec. 10. Each house, during the session, may punish, by imprisonment, any person not a member for disrespectful or disorderly Edition: current; Page: [670] behavior in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings, provided such imprisonment shall not extend beyond the end of the session.

Sec. 11. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and cause the same to be published immediately after its adjournment; and the yeas and nays of the members of each house shall be taken and entered upon the journals, upon the final passage of every bill, and may, by any two members, be required upon any other question; and any member of either house shall have liberty to dissent from or protest against any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public or an individual, and have the reasons of his dissent entered on the journal.

Sec. 12. Senators and representatives shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to or returning from the same, allowing one day for every twenty miles such member may reside from the place at which the general assembly is convened; and for any speech or debate in either house they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Sec. 13. The general assembly shall make provision by law for filling vacancies that may occur in either house, by the death, resignation, or otherwise, of any of its members.

Sec. 14. The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the house, the public safety may imperiously require secrecy.

Sec. 15. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sec. 16. Bills may originate in either house of the general assembly, and all bills passed by one house may be discussed, amended, or rejected by the other; but no bill shall have the force of law until, on three several days, it be read in each house, and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless in cases of urgency four-fifths of the house in which the same shall be depending may deem it expedient to dispense with the rule; and every bill having passed both houses shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.

Sec. 17. Each member of the general assembly shall receive from the public treasury such compensation for his services as may be fixed by law; but no increase of compensation shall take effect during the term for which the representatives were elected when such law passed.

Sec. 18. The number of members of the house of representatives shall never exceed sixty.

Article V: JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The judicial power of this State, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in a supreme court, courts of chancery, circuit courts, and justices of the peace: Provided, The general assembly may also vest such criminal jurisdiction as may be deemed necessary in corporation courts; but such jurisdiction shall not extend to capital offences.

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Sec. 2. The supreme court, except in cases otherwise directed in this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be coextensive with the State, under such restrictions and regulations, not repugnant to this constitution, as may from time to time be prescribed by law: Provided, That the said courts shall always have power to issue writs of injunction, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and such other remedial and original writs as may be necessary to give it a general superintendence and control of all other courts.

Sec. 3. For the term of five years from the election of the judges of the circuit courts, and thereafter until the general assembly shall otherwise provide, the powers of the supreme court shall be vested in, and its duties performed by, the judges of the several circuit courts within this State; and they, or a majority of them, shall hold such sessions of the supreme court, and at such times, as may be directed by law.

Sec. 4. The supreme court, when organized, shall be holden at such times and places as may be provided by law.

Sec. 5. The State shall be divided into at least four convenient circuits, and until other circuits shall be provided for by the general assembly, the arrangement of the circuits shall be the western, middle, eastern, and southern circuits; and for each circuit there shall be appointed a judge, who shall, after his appointment, reside in the circuit for which he has been appointed, and shall, at stated times, receive for his services a salary of not less than two thousand dollars per annum, which shall not be diminished during the continuance of such judge in office; but the judges shall receive no fees or perquisites of office, nor hold any other office of profit under the State, the United States, or any other power.

Sec. 6. The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, within this State, not otherwise excepted in this constitution.

Sec. 7. A circuit court shall be held in such counties, and at such times and places therein, as may be prescribed by law; and the judges of the several circuit courts may hold courts for each other, and shall do so when directed by law.

Sec. 8. The general assembly shall have power to establish and organize a separate court or courts of original equity jurisdiction; but, until such court or courts shall be established and organized, the circuit courts shall exercise such jurisdiction.

Sec. 9. The general assembly shall provide by law for the appointment, in each county, of an officer to take probate of wills, to grant letters testamentary, of administration, and guardianship; to attend to the settlement of the estates of decedents and of minors, and to discharge the duties usually pertaining to courts of ordinary, subject to the direction and supervision of the courts of chancery, as may be provided by law.

Sec. 10. A competent number of justices of the peace shall be, from time to time, appointed or elected, in and for each county, in such mode and for such term of office as the general assembly may direct, and shall possess such jurisdiction as may be prescribed by law; and, in cases tried before a justice of the peace, the right of Edition: current; Page: [672] appeal shall be secured, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 11. Justices of the supreme court, chancellors, and judges of the circuit courts shall be elected by the concurrent vote of a majority of both houses of the general assembly.

Sec. 12. The judges of the circuit courts shall, at the first session of the general assembly to be holden under this constitution, be elected for the term of five years, and shall hold their offices for that term, unless sooner removed under the provisions made in this constitution for the removal of judges by address or impeachment; and at the expiration of five years, the justices of the supreme court and the judges of the circuit courts shall be elected for the term of and during their good behavior; and for wilful neglect of duty, or other reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the governor shall remove any of them, on the address of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly: Provided, however, That the cause or causes shall be stated at length in such address, and entered on the journals of each house: And provided further, That the cause or causes shall be notified to the judge so intended to be removed, and he shall be admitted to a hearing in his own defence before any vote for such address shall pass; and in such cases the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journals of each house respectively.

Sec. 13. The clerk of the supreme court and the clerks of the courts of chancery shall be elected by the general assembly; and the clerks of the circuit courts shall be elected by the qualified electors, in such mode as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 14. The justices of the supreme court, chancellors, and judges of the circuit courts, shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the State, and justices of the peace in their respective counties.

Sec. 15. The style of all process shall be, “The State of Florida;” and all criminal prosecutions shall be carried on in the name of the State of Florida, and all indictments shall conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Sec. 16. There shall be an attorney-general for the State, who shall reside at the seat of government. It shall be his duty to attend all sessions of the general assembly, and, upon the passage of any act, to draft, and submit to the general assembly, at the same session, all necessary forms of proceedings under such laws, which, when approved, shall be published therewith; and he shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law. He shall be elected by joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, and shall hold his office for four years; but may be removed by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of the two houses of general assembly; and shall receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law.

Sec. 17. There shall be one solicitor for each circuit, who shall reside therein, to be elected by the joint vote of the general assembly, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, and shall receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law.

Sec. 18. No justice of the supreme court shall sit as judge, or take part in the appellate court, on the trial or hearing of any case which shall have been decided by him in the court below.

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Sec. 19. The general assembly shall have power to establish in each county a board of commissioners for the regulation of the county business therein.

Sec. 20. No duty not judicial shall be imposed by law upon the justices of the supreme court, chancellors, or the judges of the circuit courts of this State.

Article VI: THE RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE—CIVIL OFFICERS

Section 1. Every free white male person of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, and who shall be, at the time of offering to vote, a citizen of the United States, and who shall have resided and had his habitation, domicile, home, and place of permanent abode in Florida, for two years next preceding the election at which he shall offer to vote, and who shall have at such time, and for six months immediately preceding said time shall have had, his habitation, domicile, home, and place of permanent abode in the county in which he may offer to vote, and who shall be enrolled in the militia thereof, (unless by law exempted from serving in the militia,) shall be deemed a qualified elector, at all elections under this constitution, and none others except in elections by general ticket in the State or district prescribed by law; in which cases the elector must have been a resident of the State two years next preceding the election, and six months within the election district in which he offers to vote: Provided, That no soldier, seaman, or marine, in the regular Army or Navy of the United States, unless he be a qualified elector of the State previous to his enlistment as such soldier, seaman, or marine, in the regular Army or Navy of the United States, or of the revenue service, shall considered a resident of the State, in consequence of being stationed within the same.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall, at its first session, provide for the registration of all the qualified electors in each county; and thereafter, from time to time, of all who may become such qualified electors.

Sec. 3. No president, director, cashier, or other officer, of any banking company in this State, shall be eligible to the office of governor, senator, or representative to the general assembly of this State, so long as he shall be such president, director, cashier, or other officer, nor until the lapse of twelve months from the time at which he shall have ceased to be such president, director, cashier, or other officer.

Sec. 4. The general assembly shall have power to exclude from every office of honor, trust, or profit, within the State, and from the right of suffrage, all persons convicted of bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime.

Sec. 5. No person shall be capable of holding or of being elected to any post of honor, profit, trust, or emolument, civil or military, legislative, executive, or judicial, under the government of this State, who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which may be the death of the challenger or challenged, or who shall be a second to either party, or who shall in any manner aid or assist in such duel, or shall be knowingly the Edition: current; Page: [674] bearer of such challenge or acceptance, whether the same occur or be committed in or out of the State.

Sec. 6. No person who may hereafter be a collector or holder of public moneys shall have a seat in either house of the general assembly, or be eligible to any office of trust or profit under this State, until he shall have accounted for, and paid into the treasury, all sums for which he may be accountable.

Sec. 7. No governor, member of Congress, or of the general assembly of this State, shall receive a fee, be engaged as counsel, agent, or attorney, in any civil case or claim against this State, or to which this State shall be a party, during the time he shall remain in office.

Sec. 8. No governor, justice of the supreme court, chancellor, or judge, in this State, shall be eligible to election or appointment to any other and different station, or office, or post of honor or emolument, under this State, or to the station of Senator or Representative in the Congress of the United States from this State, until one year after he shall have ceased to be such governor, justice, chancellor, or judge.

Sec. 9. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

Sec. 10. No minister of the gospel shall be eligible to the office of governor, senator, or member of the house of representatives of this State.

Sec. 11. Members of the general assembly, and all officers, civil and military, before they enter upon the execution of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I, ——— ———, do swear (or affirm) that I am duly qualified, according to the constitution of this State, to exercise the office to which I have been elected, (or appointed,) and will, to the best of my abilities, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of this State, and of the United States.”

Sec. 12. Every person shall be disqualified from serving as governor, senator, representative, or from holding any other office of honor or profit in this State, for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall have been convicted of having given or offered any bribe to procure his election.

Sec. 13. Laws shall be made by the general assembly to exclude from office, and from suffrage, those who shall have been, or may thereafter be, convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crime or misdemeanor; and the privilege of suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon, from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practices.

Sec. 14. All civil officers of the State at large shall reside within the State, and all district or county officers within their respective districts or counties, and shall keep their respective offices at such places therein as may be required by law.

Sec. 15. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to regulate by law in what cases and what deduction from the salaries of public officers shall be made for neglect of duty in their official capacity.

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Sec. 16. Returns of elections for members of Congress and the general assembly shall be made to the secretary of state, in manner to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 17. In all elections by the general assembly, the vote shall be viva voce; and in all elections by the people the vote shall be by ballot.

Sec. 18. No member of Congress, or person holding or exercising any office of profit under the United States, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly of this State, or hold or exercise any office of profit under the State; and no person in this State shall ever hold two offices of profit at the same time, except the office of justice of the peace, notary public, constable, and militia offices.

Sec. 19. The general assembly shall by law provide for the appointment or election, and the removal from office, of all officers, civil and military, in this State, not provided for in this constitution.

Sec. 20. The power of impeachment shall be vested in the house of representatives.

Sec. 21. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate; and, when sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

Sec. 22. The governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment, in such cases, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under this State; but the parties shall, nevertheless, be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment according to law.

Article VII: MILITIA

Section 1. All militia officers shall be elected by the persons subject to military duty within the bounds of their several companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and divisions, under such rules and regulations as the general assembly may, from time to time, direct and establish.

Sec. 2. The governor shall appoint all the officers of the executive staff, except the adjutant-general and paymaster-general, who shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate. The major-generals and brigadier-generals, and commanding officers of regiments, shall appoint such staff officers as may be prescribed by law: Provided, No person shall be eligible to any staff appointment unless he hold a commission in the line.

Article VIII: TAXATION AND REVENUE

Section 1. The general assembly shall devise and adopt a system of revenue, having regard to an equal and uniform mode of taxation, to be general throughout the State.

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Sec. 2. No other or greater amount of tax or revenue shall at any time be levied than may be required for the necessary expenses of government.

Sec. 3. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of an appropriation by law; and a regular statement of the receipts and the expenditures of all public moneys shall be published and promulgated annually with the laws of the general assembly.

Sec. 4. The general assembly shall have power to authorize the several counties and incorporated towns in this State to impose taxes for county and corporation purposes respectively; and all property shall be taxed upon the principles established in regard to State taxation.

Article IX: CENSUS AND APPORTIONMENT OF REPRESENTATION

Section 1. The general assembly shall, in the year 1845, and every tenth year thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the inhabitants of the State, and to the whole number of free white inhabitants shall be added three-fifths of the number of slaves; and they shall then proceed to apportion the representation equally among the different counties, according to such enumeration, giving, however, one representative to every county, and increasing the number of representatives, on a uniform ratio of population, according to the foregoing basis; and which ratio shall not be changed until a new census shall have been taken.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall also, after every such enumeration, proceed to fix by law the number of senators which shall constitute the senate of the State of Florida, and which shall never be less than one-fourth nor more than one-half of the whole number of the house of representatives; and they shall lay off the State into the same number of senatorial districts, as nearly equal in the number of inhabitants as may be, according to the ratio of representation established in the preceding section; each of which districts shall be entitled to one senator.

Sec. 3. When any senatorial district shall be composed of two or more counties, the counties of which such district consists shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district, and no county shall be divided in forming a district.

Sec. 4. No new county shall be entitled to separate representation until its population equal the ratio of representation then existing; nor shall any county be reduced in population, by division, below the existing ratio.

Sec. 5. Until the apportionment of representation by the general assembly, as directed in the foregoing section, the several counties shall be entitled to the following representatives, viz: Escambia, three; Walton, one; Washington, one; Jackson, three; Franklin, two; Calhoun, two; Gadsden, four; Leon, six; Jefferson, three; Madison, one; Hamilton, one; Columbia, two; Alachua, two; Duval, two; Nassau, one; Saint John’s, three; Mosquito, one; Dade, one; Monroe, one; Hillsborough, one; and, until the apportionment of Edition: current; Page: [677] senators under the census as aforesaid, there shall be sixteen senatorial districts in this State, which shall be as follows:

  • The county of Escambia shall compose the first district.
  • The counties of Walton and Washington shall compose the second district.
  • The county of Jackson shall compose the third district.
  • The county of Calhoun shall compose the fourth district.
  • The county of Franklin shall compose the fifth district.
  • The county of Gadsden shall compose the sixth district.
  • The county of Leon shall compose the seventh district.
  • The county of Jefferson shall compose the eighth district.
  • The county of Madison shall compose the ninth district.
  • The county of Hamilton shall compose the tenth district.
  • The county of Columbia shall compose the eleventh district.
  • The county of Alachua shall compose the twelfth district.
  • The county of Duval shall compose the thirteenth district.
  • The county of Nassau shall compose the fourteenth district.
  • The counties of Saint John’s and Mosquito shall compose the fifteenth district.
  • The counties of Dade, Monroe, and Hillsborough shall compose the sixteenth district.

And each senatorial district shall elect one senator, and the seventh district shall be entitled to two.

Article X: EDUCATION

Section 1. The proceeds of all lands that have been, or may hereafter be, granted by the United States for the use of schools and a seminary or seminaries of learning, shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, together with all moneys derived from any other source applicable to the same object, shall be inviolably appropriated to the use of schools and seminaries of learning, respectively, and to no other purpose.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall take such measures as may be necessary to preserve from waste or damage all land so granted and appropriated to the purposes of education.

Article XI: PUBLIC DOMAIN AND INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS

Section 1. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to provide for the prevention of waste and damage of the public lands now possessed, or that may hereafter be ceded to the Territory or State of Florida; and it may pass laws for the sale of any part or portion thereof, and, in such case, provide for the safety, security, and appropriation of the proceeds.

Sec. 2. A liberal system of internal improvements, being essential to the development of the resources of the country, shall be encouraged by the government of this State; and it shall be the duty of the Edition: current; Page: [678] general assembly, as soon as practicable, to ascertain, by law, proper objects of improvement, in relation to roads, canals, and navigable streams, and to provide for a suitable application such funds as may be appropriated for such improvements.

Article XII: BOUNDARIES

Section 1. The jurisdiction of the State of Florida shall extend over the Territories of East and West Florida, which, by the treaty of amity, settlement, and limits, between the United States and His Catholic Majesty, on the 22d day of February, ad 1819, were ceded to the United States.

Article XIII: BANKS AND OTHER CORPORATIONS

Section 1. The general assembly shall pass a general law for the incorporation of all such churches, and religious or other societies, as may accept thereof; but no special act of incorporation thereof shall be passed.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall pass no act of incorporation, or make any alteration therein, unless with the assent of at least two-thirds of each house, and unless public notice in one or more newspapers in the State shall have been given for at least three months immediately preceding the session at which the same may be applied for.

Sec. 3. No banking corporation shall be created, or continue, which is composed of a less number than twenty individuals, a majority of whom, at least, shall be residents of the State; and no other corporation shall be created, or continue, composed of a less number than ten, of whom at least five shall be residents of this State.

Sec. 4. No bank-charter, or any act of incorporation granting exclusive privileges, shall be granted for a longer period than twenty years; and no bank-charter shall ever be extended or renewed.

Sec. 5. The charters of banks granted by the general assembly shall restrict such banks to the business of exchange, discount, and deposit; and they shall not speculate or deal in real estate, or the stock of other corporations or associations, or in merchandise or chattels, or be concerned in insurance, manufacturing, exportation, or importation, except of bullion or specie; shall not act as trustee in any wise, nor shall they own real estate or chattels, except such as shall be necessary for their actual use in the transaction of business, or which may be pledged as further security, or received towards or in satisfaction of previously-contracted debts, or purchased at legal sales to satisfy such debts; of which they shall be required to make sale within two years after the acquisition thereof.

Sec. 6. The capital stock of any bank shall not be less than one hundred thousand dollars, and shall be created only by the actual payment of specie therein; and no bank shall borrow money to create or add to its capital or to conduct its business, and no loans shall be made on stock.

Sec. 7. All liabilities of such banks shall be payable in specie, and Edition: current; Page: [679] the aggregate of the liabilities and issues of a bank shall at no time exceed double the amount of its capital stock paid in.

Sec. 8. No bank shall make a note or security of any kind for a smaller sum than five dollars; and the general assembly may increase such restriction to twenty dollars.

Sec. 9. No dividends of profits exceeding ten per centum per annum on the capital stock paid in shall be made; but all profits over ten per centum per annum shall be set apart and retained as a safety fund.

Sec. 10. Stockholders in a bank, when an act of forfeiture of its charter is committed, or when it is dissolved or expires, shall be individually and severally liable for the payment of all its debts, in proportion to the stock owned by each.

Sec. 11. Banks shall be open to inspection, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and it shall be the duty of the governor to appoint a person or persons, not connected in any manner with any bank in the State, to examine at least once a year into their state and condition; and the officers of every bank shall make quarterly returns to the governor of its state and condition, and the names of the stockholders, and shares held by each.

Sec. 12. Non-user for the space of one year, or any act of a corporation, or those having the control and management thereof, or intrusted therewith, inconsistent with or in violation of the provisions of this constitution, or of its charter, shall cause its forfeiture; and the general assembly shall, by general law, provide a summary process for the sequestration of its effects and assets, the appointment of officers to settle its affairs; and no forfeited charter shall be restored. The foregoing provisions shall not be construed to prevent the general assembly from imposing other restrictions and provisions in the creation of corporations.

Sec. 13. The general assembly shall not pledge the faith and credit of the State to raise funds in aid of any corporation whatsoever.

Sec. 14. The general assembly shall, at its first session, have power to regulate, restrain, and control all associations claiming to exercise corporate privileges in the State, so as to guard, protect, and secure the interests of the people of the State, not violating vested rights or impairing the obligation of contracts.

Article XIV: AMENDMENTS AND REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION

Section 1. No convention of the people shall be called unless by the concurrence of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly.

Sec. 2. No part of this constitution shall be altered unless a bill to alter the same shall have been read three times in the house of representatives and three times in the senate, and agreed to by two-thirds of each house of the general assembly; neither shall any alteration take place until the bill so agreed to be published six months previous to a new election for members to the house of representatives; and if the alteration proposed by the general assembly shall be agreed to, at their first session, by two-thirds of each house of the general assembly, after the same shall have been read three times on three several days in each house, then, and not otherwise, the same shall become a part of the constitution.

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Article XV: THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT

Section 1. The seat of government of the State of Florida shall be and remain permanent at the city of Tallahassee, for the term and time of five years from and after the end of the first session of the general assembly to be holden under this constitution; and, after the expiration of the said five years, the general assembly shall have power to remove the seat of government from Tallahassee, and fix the same at any other point: Provided, That the general assembly shall, immediately after the expiration of ten years from the end of the said first session thereof, fix permanently the seat of government.

Article XVI: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. The general assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves.

Sec. 2. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as may be deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States: Provided, They shall have power to enact laws to prevent the introduction of any slaves who may have committed crimes in other States.

Sec. 3. The general assembly shall have power to pass laws to prevent free negroes, mulattoes, and other persons of color, from immigrating to this State, or from being discharged from on board any vessel in any of the ports of Florida.

Sec. 4. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his confession in open court.

Sec. 5. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony shall not be allowed but by the judgment of a court, as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall declare by law what parts of the common law and what parts of the civil law, not inconsistent with this constitution, shall be in force in this State.

Sec. 7. The oaths of officers, directed to be taken under this constitution, may be administered by any judge or justice of the peace of the Territory or State of Florida, until otherwise prescribed by law.

Article XVII: SCHEDULE AND ORDINANCE

In order that no inconvenience may arise from the organization and establishment of the State government, it is declared:

Section 1. That all laws or parts of laws now in force, or which may be hereafter passed by the governor and legislative council of the Territory of Florida, not repugnant to the provisions of this constitution, shall continue in force until, by operation of their provisions or limitations, the same shall cease to be in force, or until the general assembly of this State shall alter or repeal the same; and Edition: current; Page: [681] all writs, actions, prosecutions, judgments, and contracts shall be and continue unimpaired; and all process which has heretofore issued, or which may be issued prior to the last day of the first session of the general assembly of this State, shall be as valid as if issued in the name of the State; and nothing in this constitution shall impair the obligation of contracts, or violate vested rights, either of individuals, or of associations claiming to exercise corporate privileges in this State.

Sec. 2. All fines, penalties, forfeitures, obligations, and escheats accruing to the Territory of Florida shall accrue to the use of the State of Florida.

Sec. 3. All recognizances heretofore taken, or which may be taken before the organization of the judicial department under this constitution, shall remain valid, and shall pass over to, and may be prosecuted in the name of the State; and all bonds executed to the governor of the Territory of Florida or to any other officer, in his official capacity, shall pass over to the governor or other proper State authority, and to their successors in office, for the uses therein respectively expressed, and may be sued for and recovered accordingly; and all criminal prosecutions and penal actions which have arisen, or which may arise before the organization of the judicial department under this constitution, and which shall then be depending, may be prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of the State.

Sec. 4. All officers, civil and military, now holding their offices and appointments in the Territory under the authority of the United States, or under the authority of the Territory, shall continue to hold and exercise their respective offices and appointments until superseded under this constitution; and all actions at law or suits in chancery, or any proceeding pending, or which may be pending, in any court of the Territory of Florida, may be commenced in or transferred to such court of the State as may have jurisdiction of the subject-matter thereof.

Sec. 5. This constitution shall be submitted to the people for ratification at the election for delegate on the first Monday of May next. Each qualified voter shall express his assent or dissent to the constitution by directing the managers of said election to write opposite to his name on the poll-book either the word “Constitution” or “No constitution.” And in case the time of election for delegate be changed to any other day than the first Monday of May next, then the judges or clerks of the county courts respectively shall appoint managers to hold an election on the said first Monday of May, for ratification of the constitution; and said managers shall conduct said election in the manner provided by the laws of the Territory respecting elections, and make return of the result of such vote forthwith, by depositing the original poll-book in the clerk’s office of their counties, respectively, and by transmitting a certificate of the result to the president of the convention, who shall forthwith make proclamation of the same; and in case the constitution be ratified by the people, and immediately after official information shall have been received that Congress have approved the constitution, and provided for the admission of Florida, the president of this convention shall issue writs of election to the proper officers, in the different counties, enjoining them to cause an election to be held for governor, Edition: current; Page: [682] Representative in Congress, and members of the general assembly in each of their respective counties. The election shall be held on the first Monday after the lapse of sixty days following the day of the date of the President’s proclamation, and shall take place on the same day throughout the State. The said election shall be conducted according to the then existing election laws of the Territory of Florida: Provided, however, That in case of the absence or disability of the president of the convention to cause the said election to be carried into effect, the secretary of this convention shall discharge the duties hereby imposed upon the president; and, in case of the absence or disability of the secretary, a committee consisting of five, to wit, Leigh Read, George T. Ward, James D. Westcott, jr., Thomas Brown, and Leslie A. Thompson, or a majority of them, shall discharge the duties herein imposed on the secretary of the convention; and the members of the general assembly so elected shall assemble on the fourth Monday thereafter at the seat of government. The governor, Representative in Congress, and members of the general assembly shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices immediately after their election under the provisions of this constitution, and shall continue in office in the same manner and during the same period, they would have done had they been elected on the first Monday in October.

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall have power, by the votes of two-thirds of both houses, to accede to such propositions as may be made by the Congress of the United States upon the admission of the State of Florida into the national confederacy and Union, if they shall be deemed reasonable and just, and to make declaration of such assent by law; and such declaration, when made, shall be binding upon the people and the State of Florida as a compact; and the governor of the State of Florida shall notify the President of the United States of the acts of the general assembly relating thereto; and in case of declining to accede to such propositions, or any part thereof, the general assembly shall instruct the Senators and Representatives of the State of Florida in Congress to procure such modification or alteration thereof as may be deemed reasonable and just, and assent thereto, subject to the ratification of the general assembly by law as aforesaid.

Sec. 7. The courts of this State shall never entertain jurisdiction of any grants of land in the Floridas made by the King of Spain, or by his authority, subsequent to the twenty-fourth day of January, eighteen hundred and eighteen; nor shall the said courts receive as evidence, in any case, certain grants said to have been made by the said King of Spain in favor of the Duke of Alagon, the Count Punon Rostro, and Don Pedro de Vargas, or any title derived from either of said grants, unless with the express assent of the Congress of the United States.

Done in convention, held in pursuance of an act of the governor and legislative council of the Territory of Florida, entitled “An act to call a convention for the purpose of organizing a State government,” passed 30th day of January, 1838, and approved 2d February, eighteen hundred and thirty-eight.

Robert Raymond Reid,
President of the Convention.
Joshua Knowles, Secretary.
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AMENDMENTS

Article I

An Act to amend the Constitution of this State so as to make the sessions of the General Assembly biennial instead of annual

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Florida in General Assembly convened, That the second clause of the fourth article of the Constitution of this State be so amended as to read as follows, viz: 2nd. The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by the qualified voters and shall serve for the term of two years from and after the day of the first election under the amended Constitution, and no longer; and the sessions of the General Assembly shall be biennial, and commence on the fourth Monday in November in each and every second year, or at such other times as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the third clause of the fourth article of the Constitution be amended so that the same shall read as follows: 3d. That the Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in the month of October in each and every second year, from and after the first election under this amended Constitution, or on such other day as may be directed by law.

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the fifth clause of the aforesaid article be so amended as to read as follows, viz: The Senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors for the term of four years at the same time, in the same manner, and in the same place where they vote for members of the House of Representatives, and no person shall be a Senator unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State for two years next preceding his election, and the last year a resident of the District or County for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-five years.

Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That the sixth clause of the aforesaid article be so amended as to read as follows, viz; The classification of Senators, as made at the first session of the General Assembly held in the year 1845, shall continue unchanged; one half of whom, as nearly as possible, shall be chosen forever hereafter biennially for the term of four years; Provided, however, and it is hereby declared, that the term of office of that class of Senators unexpired at the first election under the amended Constitution, shall extend to, and expire on the first Monday in October eighteen hundred and fifty.

Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That the first election for Assemblymen, under the amended Constitution, shall take place on the first Monday in October, eighteen hundred and forty eight; and the first session of the General Assembly, under this amended Constitution, shall commence on the fourth Monday in November, in the year eighteen hundred and forty eight.

Second General Assembly.—Passed the Senate, by constitutional majority, December 22, 1846. Passed the House of Representatives, by Constitutional majority, December 29, 1846.

Third General Assembly.—Passed the Senate by the constitutional majority, December 21, 1847. Passed the House of Representatives by the constitutional majority, December 23, 1847.

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Article II

An Act to amend the Twelfth Clause of the Fifth Article of the Constitution of this State, so that the Judges of the Circuit Courts shall hold their offices for a term of eight years, instead of during good behavior.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Florida in General Assembly convened, That the twelfth clause of the fifth article of the Constitution of this State be so amended as to read as follows, viz; That at the expiration of the present term of office of the Judges of the Circuit Courts, with the exceptions hereinafter mentioned, the Justices of the Supreme Courts and the Judges of the Circuit Courts shall be elected for a term of eight years, and shall hold their offices for that term, unless sooner removed under the provisions made in this Constitution for the removal of Judges, by address or impeachment; and for wilful neglect of duty, or other reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the Governor shall remove any of them, on the address of two thirds of the General Assembly; Provided, however, That the cause or causes shall be stated at length in such address and entered on the journals of each house; And provided, further, That the cause or causes shall be notified to the judge so intended to be removed, and he shall be admitted to a hearing in his own defense, before any vote for such removal shall pass; and in such cases, the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journals of each house respectively.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the Judges first appointed under this amended Constitution shall be divided by lot into four classes; the first class shall hold his or their office or offices for the term of two years, the second for the term of four years, the third for the term of six years, the fourth for the term of eight years.

Third General Assembly.—Passed the Senate by the constitutional majority, December 22, 1847. Passed the House of Representatives by the constitutional majority, January 6, 1848.

Fourth General Assembly.—Passed the House of Representatives by the constitutional majority, December 8, 1848. Passed the Senate, by the constitutional majority, December 12, 1848.

Article III

An Act so to amend the Constitution of this State as to extend to all free white male inhabitants, being citizens of the United States, who shall have resided within this State one year, the elective franchise

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Florida in General Assembly convened, That the first clause of the sixth article of the Constitution be so amended as follows, viz: Every free white male person of the age of twenty one years and upwards, and who shall be at the time of offering to vote, a citizen of the United States, and who shall have resided and had his habitation, domicil, home, and place of permanent abode in Florida for one year next preceding the election at which he shall offer to vote, and who shall, at such time, and for six months immediately preceding said time, have had his habitation, domicil, home and place of permanent abode in the county in which he may offer to vote, shall be deemed a qualified voter at all elections under this Edition: current; Page: [685] Constitution, and none others, except in elections by general ticket in the State or district prescribed by law, in which cases the elector must have been a resident of the State one year next preceding the election, and six months within the election district in which he offers to vote: Provided, That no soldier, seaman or marine in the Regular Army or Navy of the United States, unless he were a qualified elector of this State previous to his enlistment as such soldier, seaman or marine in the Regular Army or Navy of the United States, or of the revenue service, shall be considered a resident of the State in consequence of being stationed within the same.

Second General Assembly.—Passed Senate by constitutional majority, December 1, 1846. Passed House of Representatives by constitutional majority, December 16, 1846.

Third General Assembly.—Passed Senate by constitutional majority, December 21, 1847. Passed House of Representatives by constitutional majority, December 23, 1847.

CONSTITUTION OF FLORIDA—1861

[A State convention, which met at Tallahassee, passed an ordinance of secession January 10, 1861, and amended the constitution by inserting the words “Confederate States” in place of “United States,” with a few other unimportant changes. Other amendments were adopted at called sessions of the convention, held in February, 1861; April, 1861; and January, 1862; but they were not submitted to the people.]

CONSTITUTION OF FLORIDA—1865*a

We, the people of the State of Florida, by our delegates in convention assembled, in the city of Tallahassee, on the 25th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1865, and of the Independence of the United States the ninetieth year, in order to secure to ourselves and our posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty, and property, and the pursuit of happiness, do mutually agree, each with the other, to form the following constitution and form of government in and for the said State:

Article I: DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare:

Section. 1. That all freemen, when they form a government, have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of Edition: current; Page: [686] enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.

Sec. 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and established for their benefit; and therefore they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter or abolish their form of government in such manner as they may deem expedient.

Sec. 3. That all men have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship in this State.

Sec. 4. That no property qualification for eligibility to office, or for the right of suffrage, shall ever be required in this State.

Sec. 5. That every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and no law shall be passed to curtail, abridge, or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press.

Sec. 6. That the right of trial by jury shall forever remain inviolate.

Sec. 7. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable seizures and searches; and that no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized, as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

Sec. 8. That no freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the law of the land.

Sec. 9. That courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law; and right and justice administered without sale, denial, or delay.

Sec. 10. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself or counsel, or both; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in all prosecutions by indictment or presentment, a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district where the offence was committed; and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.

Sec. 11. That all persons shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless in capital offences, where the proof is evident, or the presumption is strong; and the habeas-corpus act shall not be suspended unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Sec. 12. That excessive bail shall in no case be required; nor shall excessive fines be imposed; nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted.

Sec. 13. That no person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb.

Sec. 14. That private property shall not be taken or applied to public use, unless just compensation be first made therefor.

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Sec. 15. That in all prosecutions and indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence; and if it shall appear to the jury that the libel is true, and published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, the truth shall be a justification; and the jury shall be the judges of the law and facts.

Sec. 16. That no person shall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by presentment, indictment, or impeachment, except in such cases as the legislature shall otherwise provide; but the legislature shall pass no law whereby any person shall be required to answer any criminal charge involving the life of the accused, except upon indictment or presentment by a grand jury.

Sec. 17. That no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

Sec. 18. That retrospective laws punishing acts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared penal or criminal, are oppressive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty; wherefore no ex post facto law shall ever be made.

Sec. 19. That no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

Sec. 20. That the people shall have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together to consult for the common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.

Sec. 21. That no soldier, in time of peace, shall be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war but in a manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 22. That no standing army shall be kept up without the consent of the legislature; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 23. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free people, and ought not to be allowed.

Sec. 24. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honors shall be granted or conferred in this State.

Sec. 25. That a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.

Sec. 26. That, to guard against transgressions upon the rights of the people, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.

Article II: DISTRIBUTION OF THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT

Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Florida shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit, those which are legislative to one, those which are executive to another, and those which are judicial to another.

Sec. 2. No person, or collection of persons, being one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instance expressly provided in this constitution.

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Article III: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The supreme executive power shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the State of Florida.

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected for four years, by the qualified electors, at the time and place they shall vote for representatives, and shall remain in office until a successor shall be chosen and qualified.

Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, shall have been a citizen of the United States ten years, and shall have been a resident of Florida at least five years next preceding his election.

Sec. 4. There shall be elected at the same time, for the same term, and with like qualifications as the governor, a lieutenant-governor, who shall be ex-officio president of the senate, but shall have no vote except in cases of a tie, and during the session of the general assembly he shall receive such compensation as shall be allowed to a senator.

Sec. 5. The returns of every election for governor or lieutenant-governor shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government, directed to the speaker of the house of representatives, who shall, during the first week of the session next after their election, open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the general assembly; and the persons having the highest number of votes for the respective offices shall be governor and lieutenant-governor; but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes for the office of governor, one of them shall be chosen governor by the joint vote of the two houses; and, in like manner, if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes for the office of lieutenant-governor, one of them shall be chosen lieutenant-governor, by the joint vote of the two houses. And contested elections for governor and lieutenant-governor shall be determined by both houses of the general assembly, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 6. The governor shall, at stated times, receive a compensation for his services, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected; but such compensation shall never be less than three thousand dollars per annum.

Sec. 7. He shall be the commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia thereof.

Sec. 8. He may require information in writing from the officers of the executive department on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 9. He may by proclamation, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that shall have become dangerous from an enemy or from disease; and in case of disagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he may think proper, not beyond the day of the next meeting designated by the constitution.

Sec. 10. He shall, from time to time, give to the general assembly information of the state of the government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

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Sec. 11. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 12. In all criminal and penal cases, (except of impeachment,) after conviction, he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 13. The State seal last heretofore used (until altered by the general assembly) shall continue to be the great seal of the State, and shall be kept by the governor for the time being, and used by him officially.

Sec. 14. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Florida, be sealed with the State seal, and signed by the governor and attested by the secretary of state.

Sec. 15. There shall be a secretary of state elected by the qualified electors of the State at the same time, and who shall continue in office for the same term of years as the governor of the State; and he shall keep a fair register of the official acts and proceedings of the governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative thereto, before the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.

Sec. 16. Vacancies that happen in offices, the appointment to which is vested in the general assembly, or given to the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall be filled by the governor during the recess of the general assembly, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session.

Sec. 17. Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the general assembly shall be presented to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon the journals, and proceed to reconsider it; and if, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the whole number voting shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent with the objections to the other house, by which it shall be reconsidered; and if approved by two-thirds of the whole number voting, it shall become a law; but in such cases the votes of both houses shall be by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for or against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each house respectively; and if any bill shall not be returned by the governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed, unless the general assembly by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be law.

Sec. 18. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary (except on questions of adjournment) shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect, be approved by him, or being disapproved, be repassed by both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Sec. 19. In case of the impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, refusal to qualify, resignation, or absence from the State, the lieutenant-governor shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of governor, until the governor, absent or impeached, shall return, or be acquitted, or until the governor next regularly elected shall be duly qualified, as the case may be; and for the time the lieutenant-governor shall occupy the office of governor Edition: current; Page: [690] he shall receive the same compensation as shall be allowed by law to the regularly-elected governor.

Sec. 20. In case of the impeachment of both the governor and the lieutenant-governor, their removal from office, death, refusal to qualify, resignation, or absence from the State, the speaker of the house of representatives shall in like manner administer the government, unless the general assembly shall otherwise provide; and for the time he shall occupy the office of governor, he shall receive the same compensation as shall be allowed by law to the governor.

Sec. 21. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to provide for the purchase or erection of a suitable building for the residence of the governor, and the governor shall reside at the seat of government; but whenever, by reason of danger from an enemy, or from disease, the governor may deem the capital unsafe, he may, by proclamation, fix the seat of government at some secure place within the State, until such danger shall cease.

Sec. 22. No person shall hold the office of governor and any other office or commission, civil or military, either in this State or under any State, or the United States, or any other power, at one and the same time, except the lieutenant-governor or the speaker of the house of representatives, when he shall hold the office as aforesaid.

Sec. 23. A State treasurer and comptroller of public accounts shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at the same time, and who shall continue in office for the same term of years as the governor of the State, and until their successors shall have been duly commissioned and qualified.

Article IV: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. 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 representatives, and both together “the general assembly of the State of Florida;” and the style of the laws shall be, “Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the State of Florida in general assembly convened.

Sec. 2. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen by the qualified voters, and shall serve for the term of two years from the day of the general election, and no longer; and the sessions of the general assembly shall be annual, and commence on the second Wednesday in November in each year.

Sec. 3. The representatives shall be chosen every two years on the first Monday in the month of October, until otherwise directed by law.

Sec. 4. No person shall be a representative unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of the State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the county for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years.

Sec. 5. The senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors for the term of two years, at the same time, in the same manner, and in the same places where they vote for members of the house of representatives, Edition: current; Page: [691] and no man shall be a senator unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district or county for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-five years.

Sec. 6. The house of representatives, when assembled, shall choose a speaker and its other officers, and the senate, its other officers, and in the absence of the lieutenant-governor, a president pro tempore, and each house shall be judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Sec. 7. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may prescribe.

Sec. 8. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and with the consent of two-thirds expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause.

Sec. 9. Each house, during the session, may punish, by imprisonment, any person not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly behavior in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings, provided such imprisonment shall not extend beyond the end of the session.

Sec. 10. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and cause the same to be published immediately after its adjournment; and the yeas and nays of the members of each house shall be taken and entered upon the journals upon the final passage of every bill, and may, by any two members, be required upon any other question; and any member of either house shall have liberty to dissent from, or protest against, any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public, or an individual, and have the reasons of his dissent entered on the journal.

Sec. 11. Senators and representatives shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to or returning from the same, allowing one day for every twenty miles such member may reside from the place at which the general assembly is convened, and for any speech or debate in either house they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Sec. 12. The general assembly shall make provision by law for filling vacancies that may occur in either house by the death, resignation, or otherwise of any of its members.

Sec. 13. The doors of each house shall be open when in legislative session, except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the house, the public safety may imperiously require secrecy.

Sec. 14. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sec. 15. Bills may originate in either house of the general assembly; and all bills passed by one house may be discussed, amended, or rejected by the other; but no bill shall have the force of law until on three several days it be read in each house and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless, in cases of urgency, four-fifths of the house Edition: current; Page: [692] in which the same shall be pending may deem it expedient to dispense with the rule; and every bill having passed both houses shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.

Sec. 16. Each member of the general assembly shall receive from the public treasury such compensation for his services as may be fixed by law; but no increase of compensation shall take effect during the term for which the representatives were elected when such law passed.

Sec. 17. The sessions of the general assembly shall not extend in duration over thirty days, unless it be deemed expedient by a concurrent majority of two-thirds of the members of each house; and no member shall receive pay from the State for his services after the expiration of sixty days continuously from the commencement of the session.

Sec. 18. The general assembly shall by law authorize the circuit court to grant licenses for building toll-bridges, and to establish ferries, and to regulate the tolls of both; to construct dams across streams not navigable; to ascertain and declare what streams are navigable; but no special law for such purpose shall be made.

Sec. 19. The general assembly shall pass a general law prescribing the manner in which names of persons may be changed, but no special law for such purpose shall be passed; and no law shall be made allowing minors to contract, or manage their estates.

Sec. 20. The general assembly shall pass a general law for the incorporation of towns, religious, library, scientific, benevolent, military, and other associations, not commercial, industrial, or financial; but no special act incorporating any such association shall be passed.

Sec. 21. No act incorporating any railroad, banking, insurance, commercial, or financial corporation shall be introduced into the general assembly, unless the person or persons applying for such corporation shall have deposited with the treasurer the sum of one hundred dollars as a bonus to the State.

Sec. 22. Officers shall be removed from office for incapacity, misconduct, or neglect of duty, in such manner as may be provided by law, when no mode of trial or removal is provided in this constitution.

Article V: JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The judicial power of this State, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in a supreme court, courts of chancery, circuit courts, and justices of the peace, provided the general assembly may also vest such civil or criminal jurisdiction as may be necessary in corporation courts, and such other courts as the general assembly may establish; but such jurisdiction shall not extend to capital cases.

Sec. 2. The supreme court, except in cases otherwise directed in this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be coextensive with the State, under such restrictions and regulations, not repugnant to this constitution, as may, from time to time, be prescribed by law: Provided, That the said court shall always have power to issue writs of injunction, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and such other original and remedial writs as may be necessary to give it a general superintendence and control of all other courts.

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Sec. 3. The supreme court shall be holden at such times and places as may be prescribed by law; and two judges of the circuit court may be added to the supreme court, when in session, at the discretion of the legislature; and the court so composed shall constitute the supreme court of the State, when the legislature shall so direct.

Sec. 4. The State shall be divided into convenient circuits; and for each circuit there shall be a judge, who shall, after his election or appointment, reside in the circuit for which he has been elected or appointed; and shall, as well as justices of the supreme court, receive for his services a salary of not less than twenty-five hundred dollars per annum, which shall not be diminished during his continuance in office; but the judges shall receive no fees, perquisites of office, nor hold any other office of profit under the State, the United States, or any other power.

Sec. 5. The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, not otherwise excepted in this constitution.

Sec. 6. A circuit court shall be held in such counties, and at such times and places therein, as may be prescribed by law; and the judges of the several circuit courts may hold courts for each other, either for the entire circuit, or for a portion thereof, and they shall do so when required, by order of the governor or chief-justice of the supreme court; and they may exercise jurisdiction in cases of writs of habeas corpus in any judicial circuit in which the judge may happen to be at the time the case arises.

Sec. 7. The general assembly shall have power to establish and organize a separate court or courts of original equity jurisdiction; but until such court or courts shall be established and organized, the circuit courts shall exercise such jurisdiction.

Sec. 8. There shall be elected in each county of this State, by the qualified voters, an officer to be styled the judge of probate, to take probate of wills, to grant letters testamentary, of administration and guardianship, to attend to the settlement of the estates of decedents and minors, and to discharge the duties usually appertaining to courts of ordinary, and such other duties as may be required by law; subject to the direction and supervision of the circuit courts, as may be provided by law.

Sec. 9. A competent number of justices of the peace shall be from time to time elected in and for each county, in such mode, and for such term of office, as the general assembly may direct, and shall possess such jurisdiction as may be prescribed by law; and in cases tried before a justice of the jeace, the right of appeal shall be secured under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 10. There shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, a chief-justice and two associate justices of the supreme court of this State, who shall reside in this State, and hold their office for the term of six years from their appointment and confirmation, unless sooner removed under the provisions of this constitution, for the removal of judges by address or impeachment; and for wilful neglect of duty, or other reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the governor shall remove any of them on the address of two-thirds of the general assembly: Provided, however, That the cause or causes shall be notified to the judge so intended to be removed, and he shall be admitted to a hearing in his own defence, before any vote for such Edition: current; Page: [694] removal shall pass, and in such case the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journal of each house respectively, and in case of the appointment to fill a vacancy in said offices, the person so appointed shall only hold office for the unexpired term of his preddecessor.

Sec. 11. There shall be elected, at the time and places prescribed by law, by the qualified electors of each of the respective judicial circuits of this State, one judge of the circuit court, who shall reside in the circuit for which he may be elected, and the said circuit judges shall continue in office for the term of six years from the date of their respective elections, unless sooner removed, under the provisions in this constitution for the removal of judges by address or impeachment; and for wilful neglect of duty, or other reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient for impeachment, the governor shall remove any of them, on the address of two-thirds of the general assembly: Provided, however, That the cause or causes shall be stated at length in such address, and entered on the journals of each house: And provided further, That the cause or causes shall be notified to such judge so intended to be removed, and he shall be admitted to a hearing in his own defence before any vote or votes for such removal shall pass; and in such cases the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journals of each house respectively.

Sec. 12. The appointment of chief-justice and associate justices of the supreme court shall be made every sixth year after their first appointment, and the election of judges of the circuit court, and judges or chancellors of the chancery court, when established, shall be held in every sixth year after their first elections, at the same time and places as the elections for members of the general assembly.

Sec. 13. That whenever the general assembly shall create a chancery court, under the provisions of this constitution, the judges thereof shall be elected in the manner provided in the last two sections of this article, and shall hold their offices and be subject to all the provisions of said sections: Provided, however, That the said judges shall be elected by general ticket or by districts, as the general assembly may direct.

Sec. 14. That should a vacancy occur either in the chancery or circuit courts, by death, removal, resignation, or otherwise, it shall be the duty of the governor to issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy, and he shall give at least sixty days’ notice thereof by proclamation; and the judge so elected to fill such vacancy shall continue in office from the time he qualifies under his commission until the expiration of the term of his predecessor: Provided, however, That should it become necessary to fill any such vacancy before an election can be held under the provisions of this constitution, the governor shall have power to fill such vacancy by appointment, and the person so appointed shall hold his office from the date of his commission until his successor shall be duly elected and qualified.

Sec. 15. The clerks of the circuit courts of the several circuits of this State shall be elected by the qualified voters in their several counties at such times and places as are now or may be provided by law: Provided, however, That the chief-justice of the supreme court and the chancellors of the court of chancery, when such courts shall be established, shall have the power to appoint the clerks of their respective courts.

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Sec. 16. The justices of the supreme court, chancellors and judges of the circuit courts, shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the State.

Sec. 17. The style of all process shall be “The State of Florida;” and all criminal prosecutions shall be carried on in the name of the State, and all indictments shall conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Sec. 18. There shall be an attorney-general for the State, who shall reside at the seat of government, and he shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law; he shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State, at the same time and in the same manner that the comptroller, secretary of state, and treasurer are elected, and his term of office shall be the same; but he may be removed by the governor, on the address of a majority of the two houses of the general assembly, and shall receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law.

Sec. 19. There shall be one solicitor for each circuit, who shall reside therein, to be elected by the qualified electors of the circuit, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, and shall receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law.

Sec. 20. No justice of the supreme court shall sit as a judge, or take part in the appellate court on the trial or hearing of any case which shall have been decided by him in the court below.

Sec. 21. The general assembly shall have power to establish in each county a board of commissioners, for the regulation of the county business therein.

Sec. 22. No duty not judicial shall be imposed by law upon the justices of the supreme court, chancellors, or the judges of the circuit courts of this State, except in cases otherwise provided for in this constitution.

Article VI: THE RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE—CIVIL OFFICERS

Section 1. Every free white male person of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, and who shall be, at the time of offering to vote, a citizen of the United States, and who shall have resided and had his habitation, domicile, home, and place of permanent abode in Florida, for one year next preceding the election at which he shall offer to vote, and who shall, at such time, and for six months immediately preceding said time, have had his habitation, domicile, and place of permanent abode in the county in which he may offer to vote, shall be deemed a qualified elector at all elections under the constitution, and none others; except in elections by general ticket in the State or district prescribed by law, in which cases the elector must have been a resident of the State one year next preceding the election, and six months within the elective district in which he offers to vote: Provided, That no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine in the Regular Army or Navy of the United States, or any other person in the employ or pay of the United States, unless he be a qualified elector of the State previous to his appointment or enlistment as such officer, soldier, seaman, or marine in the Regular Army or Navy of the United States, or of the revenue service, shall be considered a resident of the State in consequence of being stationed within the same.

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Sec. 2. The general assembly shall have power to exclude from every office of honor, trust, or profit within the State, and from the right of suffrage, all persons convicted of bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime.

Sec. 3. No person shall be capable of holding or being elected to any post of honor, profit, trust, or emolument, civil or military, legislative, executive, or judicial, under the government of this State, who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which may be the death of the challenger or challenged, or who shall be a second to either party, or who shall, in any manner, aid or assist in such duel, or shall be knowingly the bearer of such challenge or acceptance, whether the same occur or be committed in or out of the State; but the legal disability shall not accrue until after trial and conviction, according to due form of law.

Sec. 4. No person who may hereafter be a collector or holder of public moneys shall have a seat in either house of the general assembly, or be eligible to any office of trust or profit under this State, until he shall have accounted for and paid into the treasury all sums for which he may be accountable.

Sec. 5. No governor, member of Congress, or of the general assembly of this State, shall receive a fee, be engaged as counsel, agent, or attorney, in any civil case or claim against this State, or to which this State shall be a party, during the time he shall remain in office.

Sec. 6. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

Sec. 7. Members of the general assembly, and all officers, civil or military, before they enter upon the execution of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do swear (or affirm) that I am duly qualified, according to the constitution of this State, to exercise the office to which I have been elected, (or appointed,) and will, to the best of my abilities, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of this State, and of the United States of America.”

Sec. 8. Every person shall be disqualified from serving as governor, senator, representative, or from holding any other office of honor or profit in this State, for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall have been convicted of having given or offered any bribe to procure his election.

Sec. 9. Laws shall be made by the general assembly to exclude from office, and from suffrage, those who shall have been, or may hereafter be, convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crime or misdemeanor; and the privilege of suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practices.

Sec. 10. All civil officers of the State at large shall reside within the State, and all district or county officers within their respective districts or counties, and shall keep their respective offices at such places therein as may be required by law.

Sec. 11. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to regulate Edition: current; Page: [697] by law in what cases and what deduction from the salaries of public officers shall be made for any neglect of duty in their official capacity.

Sec. 12. Returns of elections for members of Congress and the general assembly shall be made to the secretary of state, in manner to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 13. In all elections of the general assembly the vote shall be viva voce, and in all elections by the people the vote shall be by ballot.

Sec. 14. No member of Congress or person holding or exercising any office of profit under the United States, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly of this State, or hold or exercise any office of profit under the State; and no person in this State shall ever hold two offices of profit at the same time, except the office of justice of the peace, notary public, constable, and militia officers, except by special act of the legislature; but the legislature shall never unite in the same person two offices the duties of which are incompatible.

Sec. 15. The general assembly shall, by law, provide for the appointment or election, and removal from office, of all officers, civil and military, in this State, not provided for in this constitution.

Sec. 16. The power of impeachment shall be vested in the house of representatives.

Sec. 17. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate; when sitting for that purpose the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

Sec. 18. The governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office, but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under this State; but the parties nevertheless shall be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment according to law.

Article VII: MILITIA

Section 1. All militia officers shall be elected or appointed, under such rules and regulations as the general assembly may from time to time direct and establish.

Sec. 2. All offences against the militia law shall be tried by court-martial, or before a court and jury, as the general assembly may direct.

Sec. 3. No commission shall be vacated except by sentence of a court-martial.

Article VIII: TAXATION AND REVENUE

Section 1. The general assembly shall advise and adopt a system of revenue, having regard to an equal and uniform mode of taxation throughout the State.

Sec. 2. No other or greater amount of tax or revenue shall at any Edition: current; Page: [698] time be levied that may be required for the necessary expenses of the government.

Sec. 3. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of an appropriation by law, and a regular statement of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published and promulgated annually with the laws of the general assembly.

Sec. 4. The general assembly shall have power to authorize the several counties and incorporated towns in this State to impose taxes for county and corporation purposes, respectively, and all property shall be taxed upon the principles established in regard to State taxation.

Sec. 5. The general assembly shall have power to authorize the levying of a capitation tax.

Article IX: CENSUS AND APPORTIONMENT OF REPRESENTATION

Section 1. The general assembly shall, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven, and in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five, and every tenth year thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the inhabitants of the State; and to the whole number of white inhabitants shall be added three-fifths of the number of colored people; and they shall then proceed to apportion the representation equally among the different counties, according to such enumeration, giving, however, one representative to every county, and increasing the number of representatives on a uniform ratio of population, according to the foregoing basis, and which ratio shall not be changed until a new census shall have been taken.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall also, after every such enumeration, proceed to fix by law the number of senators which shall constitute the senate of the State of Florida, and which shall never be less than one-fourth nor more than one-half of the whole number of the house of representatives; and they shall lay off the State into the same number of senatorial districts, as nearly equal in the number of inhabitants as may be, according to the ratio of representation established in the preceding section, each of which districts shall be entitled to one senator.

Sec. 3. When any senatorial district shall be composed of two or more counties, the counties of which such district consists shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district, and no county shall be divided in forming a district.

Sec. 4. No county now organized shall be divided into new counties, so as to reduce the inhabitants of either below the ratio of representation.

Sec. 5. The several counties of this State shall be entitled to the following representatives, viz: Escambia three, Santa Rosa two, Walton two, Holmes one, Washington one, Calhoun one, Franklin one, Jackson four, Gadsden three, Leon four, Wakulla one, Liberty one, Jefferson three, Madison two, Hamilton two, La Fayette one. Taylor one, Suwannee one, Columbia two, Baker one, Bradford one, Alachua two, Nassau one, Duval two, Clay one, Saint John’s one, Putnam one, Marion two, Sumter one, Orange one, Volusia one, Edition: current; Page: [699] Brevard one, Levy one, Hernando one, Hillsborough one, Manatee one, Monroe one, Dade one, and Polk one. There shall be twenty-nine senatorial districts in this State, which shall be as follows: The county of Escambia shall compose the first district; the county of Santa Rosa shall compose the second district; the county of Walton shall compose the third district; the counties of Washington and Holmes shall compose the fourth district; the county of Franklin shall compose the fifth district; the county of Calhoun shall compose the sixth district; the county of Jackson shall compose the seventh district; the county of Gadsden shall compose the eighth district; the county of Liberty shall compose the ninth district; the county of Leon shall compose the tenth district; the county of Wakulla shall compose the eleventh district; the county of Jefferson shall compose the twelfth district; the county of Madison shall compose the thirteenth district; the county of Hamilton shall compose the fourteenth district; the counties of La Fayette and Taylor shall compose the fifteenth district; the county of Columbia shall compose the sixteenth district; the county of Suwannee shall compose the seventeenth district; the counties of Baker and Bradford shall compose the eighteenth district; the county of Alachua shall compose the nineteenth district; the county of Nassau shall compose the twentieth district; the counties of Duval and Clay shall compose the twenty-first district; the counties of Saint John’s and Putnam shall compose the twenty-second district; the county of Marion shall compose the twenty-third district; the county of Sumter shall compose the twenty-fourth district; the counties of Orange and Volusia shall compose the twenty-fifth district; the counties of Levy and Hernando shall compose the twenty-sixth district; the counties of Hillsborough and Manatee shall compose the twenty-seventh district; the counties of Polk and Brevard shall compose the twenty-eighth district; and the counties of Monroe and Dale shall compose the twenty-ninth district; and each senatorial district shall be entitled to one senator.

Article X: EDUCATION

Section 1. The proceeds of all lands for the use of schools and a seminary or seminaries of learning shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, together with all moneys accrued from any other source, applicable to the same object, shall be inviolably appropriated to the use of schools and seminaries of learning respectively, and to no other purpose.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall take such measures as may be necessary to preserve from waste or damage all lands so granted and appropriated for the purpose of education.

Article XI: PUBLIC DOMAIN AND INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT

Section 1. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to provide for the prevention of waste and damage of the public lands, that may hereafter be ceded to the State of Florida, and it may pass Edition: current; Page: [700] laws for the sale of any part or portion thereof, and, in such cases, provide for the safety, security, and appropriation of the proceeds, but in no wise to affect the purposes for which said lands have heretofore been appropriated.

Sec. 2. A liberal system of internal improvements, being essential to the development of the resources of the State, shall be encouraged by the government of this State; and it shall be the duty of the general assembly, as soon as practicable, to ascertain by law proper objects for the extension of internal improvements, in relation to roads, canals, and navigable streams, and to provide for a suitable application of such funds as may have been, or may hereafter be, appropriated by said general assembly for such improvements.

Sec. 3. That the general assembly may at any time cede to the United States Government a sufficient parcel or fraction of land for the purpose of coast defence and other national purposes.

Article XII: BOUNDARIES

Section 1. The boundary of the State of Florida shall be as follows: Commencing at the mouth of the river Perdido, from thence up the middle of said river to where it intersects the southern boundary-line of the State of Alabama, on the thirty-first degree of north latitude; then due east to the Chattahoochee river; thence down the middle of said river to its confluence with the Flint River; from thence straight to the head of the Saint Mary’s River; thence down the middle of said river to the Atlantic Ocean; thence southwardly to the Gulf of Florida and Gulf of Mexico; thence northwardly and westwardly, including all islands within five leagues of the shore, to the beginning.

Article XIII: BANKS AND OTHER CORPORATIONS

Section 1. The general assembly shall pass no act of incorporation, nor make any alteration in one, unless with the assent of at least two-thirds of each house, and unless public notice in one or more newspapers in the State shall have been given for at least three months immediately preceding the session at which the same may be applied for.

Sec. 2. No bank-charter, nor any act of incorporation granting exclusive privileges, shall be granted for a longer period than twenty years.

Sec. 3. Banks chartered by the general assembly shall be restricted to the business of exchange, discount, and deposit, and they shall not deal in real estate, nor in merchandise or chattels, except as security for loans or discounts, or for debts due to such bank; nor shall they be concerned in insurance, manufacturing, exportation, or importation, except of bullion or specie; nor shall they own real estate or chattels, except such as shall be necessary for their actual use in the transaction of business, or which may be received in payment of previously-contracted debts, or purchased at legal sales to satisfy Edition: current; Page: [701] such debts, of which they shall be required to make sale within three years after the acquisition thereof.

Sec. 4. The capital stock of any bank shall not be less than one hundred thousand dollars, to be paid in suitable instalments, and shall be created only by the payment of specie therein.

Sec. 5. All liabilities of such banks shall be payable in specie, and the circulation of no bank shall exceed three dollars for one of capital actually paid in.

Sec. 6. No dividends or profits exceeding ten per centum per annum on the capital stock paid in shall be made; but all profits over ten per centum per annum shall be set apart and retained as a safety fund.

Sec. 7. Stockholders in a bank, when an act of forfeiture is committed, or when it is dissolved or has expired, shall be individually and severally liable for the redemption of the outstanding circulation, in proportion to the stock owned by each; and no transfer of stock shall exonerate such stockholders from this liability, unless such transfer was made at least two years previous to said forfeiture, dissolution, or expiration.

Sec. 8. Banks shall be open to inspection, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and it shall be the duty of the governor to appoint a person or persons, not connected in any manner with any bank in the State, to examine at least once a year into their state and condition; and the officers of every bank shall make quarterly returns, under oath, to the governor of its state and condition, and the names of the stockholders, and shares held by each.

Sec. 9. Non-user for the space of one year, or any act of a corporation, or those having the control or management thereof, or intrusted therewith, inconsistent with or in violation of the provisions of this constitution or of its charter, shall cause its forfeiture, and the general assembly shall by general law provide a summary process for the sequestration of its effects and assets, and the appointment of officers to settle its affairs; and no forfeited charter shall be restored.

Sec. 10. The general assembly shall not pledge the faith and credit of the State to raise funds in the aid of any corporation whatever.

Article XIV: AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION

Section 1. No part of this constitution shall be altered except by a convention duly elected.

Sec. 2. No convention of the people shall be called unless by the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of each house of the general assembly, made known by the passing of a bill, which shall be read three times on three several days in each house.

Sec. 3. Whenever a convention shall be called, proclamation of an election for delegates shall be made by the governor at least thirty days before the day of election. Every county and senatorial district shall be entitled to as many delegates as it has representatives in the general assembly. The same qualifications shall be required in delegates and in electors that are required in members of the general assembly, and voters for the same respectively; and the elections for delegates to a convention, and the returns of such election, shall be Edition: current; Page: [702] held and made in the manner prescribed by law for regulating elections for members of the general assembly, but the convention shall judge of the qualifications of its members.

Article XV: SEAT OF GOVERNMENT

The seat of government shall be and remain permanent at the city of Tallahassee, until otherwise provided for by the action of a convention of the people of the State.

Article XVI: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Whereas slavery has been destroyed in this State by the Government of the United States, therefore neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall in future exist in this State, except as a punishment for crimes whereof the party shall have been convicted by the courts of the State; and all the inhabitants of the State, without distinction of color, are free, and shall enjoy the rights of person and property, without distinction of color.

Sec. 2. In all criminal proceedings founded upon injury to a colored person, and in all cases affecting the rights and remedies of colored persons, no person shall be incompetent to testify as a witness on account of color; in all other cases, the testimony of colored persons shall be excluded, unless made competent by future legislation. The jury shall judge of the credibility of the testimony.

Sec. 3. The jurors of this State shall be white men, possessed of such qualifications as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 4. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his confession in open court.

Sec. 5. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony shall not be allowed but by the judgment of a court, as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall declare by law what parts of the common law and what parts of the civil law, not inconsistent with this constitution, shall be in force in this State.

Sec. 7. The oaths of officers directed to be taken under this constitution may be administered by any judge or justice of the peace in the State of Florida until otherwise provided by law.

Article XVII: SCHEDULE AND ORDINANCE.

Section 1. All laws of the State passed during and since the tenth session of the legislature thereof, in 1860, not repugnant to the constitution of this State or of the United States, shall be valid; all writs, actions, prosecutions, judgments, and decrees of the courts of the State, all executions and sales made thereunder, and all acts, orders, and proceedings of the judges of probate, and of executors, Edition: current; Page: [703] administrators, guardians, and trustees, provided they were in conformity to the laws then in force, and not fraudulent, shall be as valid as if made under the usual and ordinary legislation of the country, provided that the same be not repugnant to the constitution of the State and of the United States.

Sec. 2. All fines, penalties, forfeitures, obligations, and escheats heretofore accruing to the State of Florida, and not made unlawful by the constitution or laws of the United States, shall continue to accrue to the use of the State.

Sec. 3. All recognizances heretofore taken shall remain valid, and all bonds executed to the governor of the State of Florida, either before or since the 1st day of January, 1861, or to any other officer of the State in his official capacity, shall be of full force and virtue for the uses therein respectively expressed, and may be sued for and recovered accordingly; and all criminal prosecutions and penal actions which have arisen may be prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of the State.

Sec. 4. The provisional governor of this State is hereby requested to authorize the civil officers of this State who were discharging the duties of their offices prior to or during the month of May, ad 1865, to resume the exercise of the functions of their respective offices, and to make such other appointments to office as may be necessary or proper to reorganize or reëstablish the civil government of this State; and all actions at law or suits in chancery, or any proceeding pending in any of the courts in this State prior to or during the said month of May, ad 1865, and either before or subsequent to the 10th day of January, ad 1861, shall continue in all respects valid, and may be prosecuted to judgment and decree; and all judgments and decrees rendered in civil causes in any of the courts in this State during the period of time last above specified, and not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, are hereby declared of full force, validity, and effect.

Sec. 5. The provisional governor of the State is hereby requested and authorized, at as early a day as practicable, to issue writs of election to the proper officers in the different counties in this State, and make proclamation for an election for governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, treasurer, comptroller of public accounts, attorney-general, circuit judges, judge of probate, sheriffs, clerks of circuit courts, solicitors, Representative in Congress, senators and representatives of the general assembly, county commissioners, coroners, justices of the peace, county surveyors, and all other officers provided for by this constitution. The said election shall be held on the 29th day of November, ad 1865. The said election shall be conducted according to the existing laws of the State of Florida, and shall take place on the same day throughout the State, the returns to be made according to law. The members of the general assembly, so elected, shall assemble on the 3d Monday in December, ad 1865. The governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, treasurer, comptroller of public accounts, attorney-general, circuit judges, judges of probate, sheriffs, clerks of circuit courts, solicitors, Representative in Congress, senators and representatives of the general assembly, county commissioners, coroners, justices of the peace, county surveyors, and all other officers provided for by this constitution, shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices immediately after their election, and Edition: current; Page: [704] shall continue in office in the same manner and during the same period they would have done had they been elected on the first Monday in October, ad 1865. The Representative in Congress shall continue in office in the same manner and during the same period he would have done had he been elected on the first Monday in October, ad 1865.

Sec. 6. The statutes of limitations shall not be pleaded upon any claim in the hands of any person whomsoever, not sued upon when such claim was not barred by the statutes of limitation on the 10th day of January, 1861.

Sec. 7. No law of this State providing that claims or demands against the estates of decedents shall be barred if not presented within two years, shall be considered as being in force within this State between the 10th day of January, 1861, and the 25th day of October, 1865.

Done in open convention. In witness whereof the undersigned, the president of said convention, and delegates present, representing the people of Florida, do hereby sign our names this the seventh day of November, anno Domini eighteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States the ninetieth year, and the secretary of said convention doth countersign the same.

E. D. Tracy, President.
A. J. Peeler, Secretary.

CONSTITUTION OF FLORIDA—1868*a

PREAMBLE

We the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings and form a more perfect government, insuring domestic tranquillity, maintaining public order, perpetuating liberty, and guaranteeing equal civil and political rights to all, do establish this constitution:

Article I: DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

Section 1. All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

Sec. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of its citizens, Edition: current; Page: [705] and they have the right to alter or amend the same whenever the public good may require it; but the paramount allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government, and no power exists with the people of this State to dissolve its connection therewith.

Sec. 3. This State shall ever remain a member of the American Union, the people thereof a part of the American nation, and any attempt, from whatever source, or upon whatever pretense, to dissolve said Union, or to sever said nation, shall be resisted with the whole power of the State.

Sec. 4. The right of trial by jury shall be secured to all, and remain inviolate forever; but in all civil cases a jury-trial may be waived by the parties in the manner to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 5. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship shall forever be allowed in this State, and no person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to justify licentiousness, or practices subversive of the peace and safety of the State.

Sec. 6. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in case of invasion or rebellion, the public safety may require its suspension.

Sec. 7. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishment be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.

Sec. 8. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident, the presumption great.

Sec. 9. No person shall be tried for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of the militia when in active service in time of war, or which the State may keep, with the consent of Congress, in time of peace, and in cases of petit larceny, made under the regulation of the legislature, unless on presentment and indictment by a grand jury; and in any trial by any court the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person, and with counsel, as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken without just compensation.

Sec. 10. Every citizen may fully speak and write his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or the press. In all criminal prosecutions and civil actions for libel the truth may be given in evidence to the jury, and if it shall appear that the matter charged as libellous is true, but was published from good motives, the party shall be acquitted or exonerated.

Sec. 11. The people shall have the right to assemble together to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the legislature for redress of grievance.

Sec. 12. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation.

Sec. 13. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power.

Sec. 14. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any Edition: current; Page: [706] house, except with the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, except in manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 15. Representatives shall be apportioned according to population, as well as may be, but no county shall have more than four representatives and less than one representative in the assembly.

Sec. 16. No person shall be imprisoned for debt, except in case of fraud.

Sec. 17. No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, impairing the obligations of contracts, shall ever be passed.

Sec. 18. Foreigners, who are, or who may hereafter become, bona-fide residents of the State, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to possession, enjoyment, and inheritance of property as native-born citizens.

Sec. 19. Neither slavery or involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this State.

Sec. 20. The right of the people to be secure in either person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches, shall not be violated, and no warrants issued but in probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the person or persons and thing or things to be seized.

Sec. 21. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort; and no person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the overt act, or confession in open court. This enunciation of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.

Sec. 22. The people shall have the right to bear arms in defence of themselves and of the lawful authority of the State.

Sec. 23. No preference can be given by law to any church, sect, or mode of worship.

Article II: BOUNDARIES

The boundaries of the State of Florida shall be as follows: Commencing at the mouth of the river Perdido; from thence up the middle of said river to where it intersects the south boundary-line of the State of Alabama on the thirty-first degree of north latitude; thence due east to the Chattahoochee River; thence down the middle of said river to its confluence with the Flint River; from thence straight to the head of the Saint Mary’s River; thence down the middle of said river to the Atlantic Ocean; thence southeastwardly, along the coast, to the edge of the Gulf Stream; thence southwestwardly, along the edge of the Gulf Stream and Florida Reefs, to and including the Tortugas Islands; thence northwestwardly to a point five leagues from the mainland; thence northwestwardly five leagues from the shore, including all islands, to a point five leagues due south from the middle of the mouth of Perdido River; thence to the place of beginning.

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Article III: SEAT OF GOVERNMENT

The seat of government shall be and remain permanent at the city of Tallahassee, in the county of Leon, until otherwise located by a majority vote of the legislature, and by a majority vote of the people.

Article IV: DISTRIBUTION OF POWER

The powers of the government of the State of Florida shall be divided into three departments, to wit, legislative, executive, and judicial. No person properly belonging to one of the departments shall exercise any functions appertaining to either of the others, except in those cases expressly provided for by this constitution.

Article V: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The legislative authority of this State shall be vested in a senate and assembly, which shall be designated “The legislature of the State of Florida,” and the sessions thereof shall be held at the seat of government of the State.

Sec. 2. The sessions of the legislature shall be annual; the first session on the second Monday of June, ad 1868, and thereafter on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of January, commencing in the year ad 1869. The governor may, in the interim, convene the legislature in extra session by his proclamation.

Sec. 3. The members of the assembly shall be chosen biennially; those of the first legislature on the first Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of May, ad 1868, and thereafter on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, commencing with the year ad 1870.

Sec. 4. Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, at the same time and place as members of the assembly: Provided, That the senators elected at the first election from the senatorial districts designated by even numbers shall vacate their seats at the expiration of two years, and thereafter all senators shall be elected for the term of four years, so that one-half of the whole number shall be elected biennially.

Sec. 5. Senators and members of the assembly shall be duly qualified electors in the respective counties and districts which they represent.

Sec. 6. Each house shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its own members; choose its own officers, except the president of the senate, determine the rules of its proceedings, and may punish its members for disorderly conduct, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members present, expel a member.

Sec. 7. Either house, during the session, may punish by imprisonment any person, not a member, who shall have been guilty of disorderly or contemptuous conduct in its presence; but such imprisonment shall not extend beyond the final adjournment of the session.

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Sec. 8. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the presence of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may prescribe.

Sec. 9. Any person who shall be convicted of embezzlement or defalcation of the funds of this State, or of having given or offered a bribe to secure his election or appointment to office, or of having received a bribe to aid in the procurement of office for any other person, shall be disqualified from holding any office of honor, profit, or trust in the State; and the legislature shall, as soon as practicable, provide by law for the punishment of such embezzlement, defalcation, or bribery as a felony.

Sec. 10. Each house shall keep a journal of its own proceedings, which shall be published, and the yeas and nays of the members of either house on any question shall, at the desire of any three members present, be entered on the journal.

Sec. 11. The doors of each house shall be kept open during its session, except the senate while sitting in executive session; and neither shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, or to any other town than that in which they may be holding their session.

Sec. 12. Any bill may originate in either house of the legislature, and after being passed in one house may be amended in the other.

Sec. 13. The enacting clause of every law shall be as follows: “The people of the State of Florida, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows.

Sec. 14. Each law enacted in the legislature shall embrace but one subject, and matters properly connected therewith, which subject shall be briefly expressed in the title; and no law shall be amended or revised by reference to its title only, but in such case the act as revised, or section as amended, shall be reënacted and published at length.

Sec. 15. Every bill shall be read by sections in three several days in in each house, unless, in case of emergency, two-thirds of the house where such bill may be pending shall deem it expedient to dispense with this rule; but the reading of a bill by sections on its final passage shall in no case be dispensed with; and the vote on the final passage of every bill, or joint resolution, shall be taken by yeas and nays, to be entered in the journal of each house, and a majority of the members present in each house shall be necessary to pass every bill or joint resolution, and all bills or point resolutions so passed shall be signed by the presiding officers of the respective houses, and by the secretary of the senate and clerk of the assembly.

Sec. 16. No money shall be drawn from the treasury except by appropriation made by law, and accurate statements of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be attached to and published with the laws passed at every regular session of the legislature.

Sec. 17. The legislature shall not pass special or local laws in any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say: regulating the jurisdiction and duties of any class of officers, or for the punishment of crime or misdemeanor; regulating the practices of courts of justice; providing for changing venue of civil and criminal cases; granting divorces; changing the names of persons; vacating roads, town-plats, streets, alleys, and public squares; summoning and Edition: current; Page: [709] impanelling grand and petit juries, and providing for their compensation; regulating county, township, and municipal business; regulating the election of county, township, and municipal officers; or the assessment and collection of taxes for State, county, and municipal purposes; providing for opening and conducting elections for State, county, and municipal officers, and designating the places of voting; providing for the sale of real estate belonging to minors or other persons laboring under legal disabilities; regulating the fees of officers.

Sec. 18. In all cases enumerated in the preceding section, and in all other cases where general law can be made applicable, all laws shall be general and of uniform operation throughout the State.

Sec. 19. Provision may be made by general law for bringing suit against the State as to all liabilities now existing or hereafter originating.

Sec. 20. Lotteries are hereby prohibited in this State.

Sec. 21. The legislature shall establish a uniform system of county, township, and municipal government.

Sec. 22. The legislature shall provide by general law for incorporating such municipal, educational, agricultural, mechanical, mining, and other useful companies or associations as may be deemed necessary.

Sec. 23. Laws shall be passed regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practice.

Sec. 24. Regular sessions of the legislature may extend to sixty days, but any special session convened by the governor shall not exceed twenty days.

Sec. 25. All property, both real and personal, of the wife, owned by her before marriage, or acquired afterward by gift, devise, descent, or purchase, shall be her separate property, and not liable for the debts of her husband.

Sec. 26. The legislature shall provide for the election by the people, or appointment by the governor, of all State, county, or municipal officers not otherwise provided for by this constitution, and fix by law their duties and compensation.

Sec. 27. Every bill which may have passed the legislature shall, before becoming a law, be presented to the governor; if he approves it he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it originated, which house shall cause such objections to be entered upon its journals, and proceed to reconsider it; if after such reconsideration it shall pass both houses by a two-thirds vote of the members present, which vote shall be entered on the journal of each house, it shall become a law. If any bill shall not be returned within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to the governor, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it. If the legislature by its final adjournment prevent such action, such bill shall be a law, unless the governor, within ten days next after the adjournment, shall file such bill with his objections thereto in the office of the secretary of state, who shall lay the same before the legislature at its next session, and if the same shall receive two-thirds of the votes present it shall become a law.

Sec. 28. The assembly shall have the sole power of impeachment, but a vote of two-thirds of all the members present shall be required to impeach any officer; and all impeachments shall be tried by the Edition: current; Page: [710] senate when sitting for that purpose. The senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present.

The chief-justice shall preside at all trials by impeachment, except in the trial of the chief-justice, when the lieutenant-governor shall preside.

The governor, lieutenant-governor, members of the cabinet, justices of the supreme court, and judges of the circuit court, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under the State; but the party convicted or acquitted shall, nevertheless, be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment according to law. All other officers who shall have been appointed to office by the governor, and by and with the consent of the senate, may be removed from office upon the recommendation of the governor and consent of the senate, but they shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment according to law for any misdemeanor in office; all other civil officers shall be tried for misdemeanors in office in such manner as the legislature may provide.

Sec. 29. The legislature shall elect United States Senators in the manner prescribed by the Congress of the United States and by this constitution.

Sec. 30. Laws making appropriation for the salaries of public officers, and other current expenses of the State, shall contain provisions on no other subject.

Article VI: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of Florida.

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected by the qualified electors at the same time and places of voting for the members of the legislature, and shall hold his office for four years from the time of his installation: Provided, That the term of the first governor elected under this constitution shall expire at the opening of the regular session of the legislature of ad 1873, and until his successor shall be qualified. He shall take the oath of office prescribed for all State officers.

Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor who is not a qualified elector, and who has not been nine years a citizen of the United States, and three years of the State of Florida, next preceding the time of his election.

Sec. 4. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military forces of the State, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

Sec. 5. He shall transact all executive business with the officers of the government, civil and military, and may require information in writing from the officers of the administrative department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 6. He shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

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Sec. 7. When any office, from any cause, shall become vacant, and no mode is provided by this constitution or by the laws of the State for filling such vavancy, the governor shall have the power to fill such vacancy by granting a commission which shall expire at the next election.

Sec. 8. The governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the legislature by proclamation, and shall state to both houses, when organized, the purpose for which they have been convened, and the legislature then shall transact no legislative business except that for which they are especially convened, or such other legislative business as the governor may call to the attention of the legislature while in session, except by the unanimous consent of both houses.

Sec. 9. He shall communicate by message to the legislature at each regular session the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he may deem expedient.

Sec. 10. In case of a disagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of adjournment, the governor shall have power to adjourn the legislature to such time as he may think proper, provided it is not beyond the time fixed for the meeting of the next legislature.

Sec. 11. The governor shall have power to suspend the collection of fines and forfeitures, and grant reprieves for a period not exceeding sixty days, dating from the time of conviction, for all offences, except in cases of impeachment. Upon conviction for treason he shall have power to suspend the execution of sentence until the case shall be reported to the legislature at its next session, when the legislature shall either pardon, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve; and if the legislature shall fail or refuse to make final disposition of such case, the sentence shall be enforced at such time and place as the governor may by his order direct. The governor shall communicate to the legislature at the beginning of every session every case of fine or forfeiture remitted or reprieved, pardon or commutation granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime for which he was convicted, the sentence, its date, and the date of its remission, commutation, pardon, or reprieve.

Sec. 12. The governor, justices of the supreme court, and attorney-general, or a major part of them, of whom the governor shall be one, may, upon such conditions and with such limitations and restrictions as they may deem proper, remit fines and forfeitures, commute punishments, and grant pardons after conviction, in all cases except treason and impeachments, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons.

Sec. 13. The grants and commissions shall be in the name and under the authority of the State of Florida, sealed by the great seal of the State, signed by the governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state.

Sec. 14. A lieutenant-governor shall be elected at the same time and places, and in the same manner, as the governor, whose term of office and eligibility shall also be the same. He shall be the president of the senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein. If during a vacancy of the office of governor the lieutenant-governor shall be impeached, displaced, resign, die, or become incapable of performing the duties of his office, or be absent from the State, the Edition: current; Page: [712] president pro tempore of the senate shall act as governor until the office be filled or the disability cease.

Sec. 15. In the case of the impeachment of the governor, or his removal from office, death, inability to discharge his official duties, or resignation, the power and duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor for the residue of the term, or until the disability shall cease; but the governor shall not, without the consent of the legislature, be out of the State in time of war.

Sec. 16. The governor may at any time require the opinion of the justices of the supreme court as to the interpretation of any portion of this constitution, or upon any point of law, and the supreme court shall render such opinion in writing.

Sec. 17. The governor shall be assisted by a cabinet of administrative officers, consisting of a secretary of state, attorney-general, comptroller, treasurer, surveyor-general, superintendent of public instruction, adjutant-general, and commissioner of immigration. Such officers shall be appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the senate, and shall hold their offices the same time as the governor, or until their successors shall be qualified.

Sec. 18. The governor shall, by and with the consent of the senate, appoint all commissioned officers of the State militia.

Sec. 19. The governor shall appoint, by and with the consent of the senate, in each county, an assessor of taxes and collector of revenue, whose duties shall be prescribed by law, and who shall hold their offices for two years, and be subject to removal upon the recommendation of the governor and consent of the senate. The governor shall appoint in each county a county treasurer, county surveyor, superintendent of common schools, and five county commissioners, each of whom shall hold his office for two years, the duties of which shall be prescribed by law. Such officers shall be subject to removal by the governor when in his judgment the public welfare will be advanced thereby: Provided, No officer shall be removed except for wilful neglect of duty, or a violation of the criminal laws of the State, or for incompetency.

Sec. 20. The governor and cabinet shall constitute a board of commissioners of State institutions, which board shall have supervision of all matters connected therewith, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 21. The governor shall have power, in cases of insurrection or rebellion, to suspend the writ of habeas corpus within the State.

Article VII: JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in a supreme court, circuit courts, county courts, and justices of the peace.

Sec. 2. The style of all process shall be, “The State of Florida;” and all prosecutions shall be conducted in the name and by the authority of the same.

Sec. 3. The supreme court shall consist of a chief-justice and two associate justices, who shall hold their offices for life or during good behavior. They shall be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate.

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Sec. 4. The majority of the justices of the supreme court shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business. The supreme court shall hold three terms each year, in the supreme court room at the seat of government. Such terms shall commence on the second Tuesday of October, January, and April, respectively.

Sec. 5. The supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction in all cases in equity, also in all cases of law in which is involved the title to or right of possession of real estate, or the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll, or municipal fine, or in which the demand or the value of the property in controversy exceeds three hundred dollars; also in all other civil cases not included in the general subdivisions of law and equity; also in all questions of law alone, in all criminal cases in which the offences charged amount to felony. The court shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and also all writs necessary or proper to the complete exercise of its appellate jurisdiction.

Each of the justices shall have the power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the State, upon petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody, and may make such writs returnable before himself, or the supreme court, or before any circuit court in the State, or before any judge of said courts.

Sec. 6. The supreme court shall appoint a clerk of the supreme court, who shall have his office at the capitol, and shall be librarian of the supreme court library; he shall hold his office until his successor is appointed and qualified.

Sec. 7. There shall be seven circuit judges appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the senate, who shall hold their office for eight years. The State shall be divided into seven judicial districts, the limits of which are defined in this constitution, and one judge shall be assigned to each circuit. Such judge shall hold two terms of his court in each county within his circuit each year, at such times and places as shall be prescribed by law. The chief-justice may, in his discretion, order a temporary exchange of circuits by the respective judges, or any judge to hold one or more terms in any other circuit than that to which he is assigned. The judge shall reside in the circuit in which he is assigned.

Sec. 8. The circuit courts in their several judicial circuits shall have original jurisdiction in all cases of equity; also in all cases at law which involve the title or the right of possession to, or the possession of, or the boundaries of real property; of the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll, or municipal fine, and in all other cases in which the demand or the value of property in controversy exceeds three hundred dollars, and of the action of forcible entry and unlawful detainer, and also in all criminal cases amounting to felony. They shall have final appellate jurisdiction in all civil cases arising in the county court in which the amount in controversy is one hundred dollars and upwards, and in all cases of misdemeanor. The circuit courts and the judges thereof shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, and all other writs proper and necessary to the complete exercise of their jurisdiction, and also shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus on petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody in their respective circuits.

Sec. 9. There shall be a county court organized in each county. Edition: current; Page: [714] The governor shall appoint a county judge for each county, who shall be confirmed by the senate, and such judge shall hold his office for four years from the date of his commission, or until his successor is appointed and qualified.

Sec. 10. The county court shall be a court of oyer and terminer.

Sec. 11. The county court shall have jurisdiction of all misdemeanors and all civil cases where the amount in controversy does not exceed three hundred dollars; and its jurisdiction shall be final in all civil cases where the amount in controversy does not exceed one hundred dollars; but in no case shall the county court have jurisdiction when the title or boundaries of real estate is in controversy, or where the jurisdiction will conflict with that of the several courts of record; but they may have coextensive jurisdiction with the circuit courts in cases of forcible entry and unlawful detention of real estate, subject to appeal to the circuit court. The county court shall have full surrogate or probate powers, but subject to appeal. Provision shall be made by law for all other powers, duties, and responsibilities of the county courts and judges. There shall be a regular trial-term of the county courts six times in each year, at such times and places as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 12. The grand and petit jurors shall be taken from the registered voters of the respective counties.

Sec. 13. In all trials, civil and criminal, in the circuit and county courts, the evidence shall be reduced to writing by the clerk of the court or his deputy, under the control of the court; and every witness after his examination shall have done, shall be at liberty to correct the evidence he has given, and afterwards shall sign the same; such evidence shall be filed in the office of the clerk, with the papers in the case.

Sec. 14. All pleas shall be sworn to either by the parties or their attorneys.

Sec. 15. The governor shall appoint as many justices of the peace as he may deem necessary. Justices of the peace shall have criminal jurisdiction and civil jurisdiction not to exceed fifty dollars, but this shall not extend to the trial of any person for misdemeanor or crime. The duties of justice of the peace shall be fixed by law. Justices of the peace shall hold their offices during good behavior, subject to removals by the governor at his own discretion.

Sec. 16. The legislature may establish courts for municipal purposes only in incorporated towns and cities. All laws for the organization or government of municipal courts shall be general in their provisions, and be equally applicable to the municipal courts of all incorporated towns and cities.

Sec. 17. Any civil cause may be tried before a practising attorney as referee, upon the application of the parties, and an order from the court in whose jurisdiction the case may be authorizing such trial and appointing such referee. Such referee shall keep a complete record of the case, including the evidence taken, and such record shall be filed with the papers in the case in the office of the clerk, subject to an appeal in the manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 18. No other courts than those herein specified shall be organized in this State.

Sec. 19. The governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a State attorney in each judicial circuit, whose Edition: current; Page: [715] duties shall be prescribed by law. He shall hold his office for four years from the date of his commission, and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified. The governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint in each county a sheriff and clerk of the circuit court, who shall also be clerk of the county court and board of county commissioners, recorder, and ex-officio auditor of the county, each of whom shall hold his office for four years. Their duties shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 20. A constable shall be elected by the registered voters in each county for every two hundred registered voters; but each county shall be entitled to at least two constables, and no county shall have more than twelve constables. They shall perform such duties and under such instructions as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 21. Attorneys at law, who have been admitted to practice in any court of record in any State in the Union, or to any United States court, shall be admitted to practice in any court of this State on producing evidence of having been so admitted.

Article VIII: ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. There shall be a cabinet of administrative officers, consisting of a secretary of state, attorney-general, comptroller, treasurer, surveyor-general, and superintendent of public instruction, adjutant-general, and commissioner of immigration, who shall assist the governor in the performance of his duties.

Sec. 2. The secretary of state shall keep the records of official acts of the legislative and executive departments of the government, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all matters relative thereto, before either branch of the legislature, and shall be the custodian of the great seal of the State.

Sec. 3. The attorney-general shall be the legal adviser of the governor and of each of the cabinet officers, and shall perform such other legal duties as the governor may direct, or as may be provided by law. He shall be reporter for the supreme court.

Sec. 4. The treasurer shall receive and keep all funds, bonds, or other securities, in such manner as may be provided by law, and shall disburse no funds, bonds, or other securities, except upon the order of the comptroller, countersigned by the governor, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 5. The duties of the comptroller shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 6. The surveyor-general shall have the administrative supervision of all matters pertaining to the public lands, under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 7. The superintendent of public instruction shall have the administrative supervision of all matters pertaining to public instruction; the supervision of buildings devoted to educational purposes, and the libraries belonging to the university and the common schools. He shall organize a historical bureau for the purpose of accumulating such matter and information as may be necessary for compiling the history of the State. He shall also establish a cabinet of minerals and other natural productions.

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Sec. 8. The adjutant-general shall, under the orders of the governor, have the administrative supervision of the military department, and the supervision of State prison, and of the quarantine of the coast, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 9. The commissioner of immigration shall organize a bureau of immigration for the purposes of furnishing information and for the encouragement of immigration. The office of commissioner of immigration shall expire at the end of fifteen years from the ratification of this constitution, but the legislature shall have power to continue it by law.

Sec. 10. Each officer of the cabinet shall make a full report of his official acts, of the receipts and expenditures of his office, and of the requirements of the same, to the governor, at the beginning of each regular session of the legislature, or whenever the governor shall require it. Such reports shall be laid before the legislature by the governor at the beginning of each regular session thereof. Either house of the legislature may at any time call upon any cabinet officer for information required by it.

Article IX: EDUCATION

Section 1. It is the paramount duty of the State to make ample provision for the education of all the children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide a uniform system of common schools, and a university, and shall provide for the liberal maintenance of the same. Instruction in them shall be free.

Sec. 3. There shall be a superintendent of public instruction, whose term of office shall be four years, and until the appointment and qualification of his successor. He shall have general supervision of the educational interests of the State. His duties shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 4. The common-school fund, the interest of which shall be exclusively applied to the support and maintenance of common schools and purchase of suitable libraries and apparatus therefor, shall be derived from the following sources:

The proceeds of all lands that have been or may hereafter be granted to the State by the United States for educational purposes; donations by individuals for educational purposes; appropriations by the State; the proceeds of lands or other property which may accrue to the State by escheat to forfeiture; the proceeds of all property granted to the State, when the purpose of such grant shall not be specified; all moneys which may be paid as an exemption from military duty; all fines collected under the penal laws of this State; such portion of the per-capita tax as may be prescribed by law for educational purposes; twenty-five per centum of the sales of public lands which are now or hereafter may be owned by the State.

Sec. 5. A special tax of not less than one mill on the dollar of all taxable property in the State, in addition to the other means provided, shall be levied and apportioned annually for the support and maintenance of common schools.

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Sec. 6. The principal of the common-school fund shall remain sacred and inviolate.

Sec. 7. Provision shall be made by law for the distribution of the common-school fund among the several counties of the State in proportion to the number of children residing therein between the ages of four and twenty-one years.

Sec. 8. Each county shall be required to raise annually by tax, for the support of common schools therein, a sum not less than one-half the amount apportional to each county for that year from the income of the common-school fund. Any school-district neglecting to establish and maintain for at least three months in each year such school or schools as may be provided by law for such district shall forfeit its portion of the common-school fund during such neglect.

Sec. 9. The superintendent of public instruction, secretary of state, and attorney-general, shall constitute a body-corporate, to be known as the board of education of Florida. The superintendent of public instruction shall be president thereof. The duties of the board of education shall be prescribed by the legislature.

Article X: HOMESTEAD

Section 1. A homestead, to the extent of one hundred and sixty acres of land, or the half of one acre within the limits of any incorporated city or town, owned by the head of a family, residing in this State, together with one thousand dollars in value of personal property, and the improvements on the real estate, shall be exempted from forced sale under any process of law, and the real estate shall not be alienable without the joint consent of husband and wife, when that relation exists. But no property shall be exempt from sale for taxes, or for the payment of obligations contracted for the purchase of said premises, or for the erection of improvements thereon, or for house, field, or other labor performed on the same. The exemption herein provided for in a city or town shall not extend to more improvements or buildings than the residences and business houses of the owner.

Sec. 2. In addition to the exemption provided for in the first section of this article, there shall be and remain exempt from sale by any legal process in this State, to the head of a family residing in this State, such property as he or she may select to the amount of one thousand dollars; said exemption in this section shall only prevent the sale of property in cases where the debt was contracted, liability incurred, or judgment obtained before the 10th day of May, ad 1865. Nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to exempt any property from sale for payment of the purchase-money of the same, or for the payment of taxes or labor.

Sec. 3. The exemptions provided for in sections one and two of this article shall accrue to the heirs of the party having enjoyed or taken the benefit of such exemption, and the exemption provided for in section one of this article shall apply to all debts except as specified in said section, no matter when or where the debt was contracted or liability incurred.

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Article XI: PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

Section 1. Institutions for the benefit of the insane, blind, and deaf, and such other benevolent institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the State, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law.

Sec. 2. A State prison shall be established and maintained in such a manner as may be fixed by law. Provision may be made by law for the establishment and maintenance of a house of refuge for juvenile offenders, and the legislature shall have power to establish a home and workhouse for common vagrants.

Sec. 3. The respective courts of the State shall provide in the manner fixed by law for those of the inhabitants who, by reason of age, infirmity, or misfortunes, may have claims upon the aid and sympathy of society.

Article XII: MILITIA

Section 1. All able-bodied male inhabitants of this State, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, who are citizens of the United States, or have declared their intention to become citizens thereof, shall constitute the militia of the State, but no male citizen of whatever religious creed or opinion shall be exempt from military duty except upon such conditions as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide by law for organizing and disciplining the militia of the State, for the encouragement of volunteer corps, the safe-keeping of the public arms, and for a guard for the State prison.

Sec. 3. The adjutant-general shall have the grade of major-general. The governor, by and with the consent of the senate, shall appoint two major-generals and four brigadier-generals of militia; they shall take rank according to the date of their commissions. The officers and soldiers of the State militia, when uniformed, shall wear the uniform prescribed for the United States Army.

Sec. 4. The governor shall have power to call out the militia to preserve the public peace, to execute the laws of the State, and to suppress insurrection or repel invasion.

Article XIII: TAXATION AND FINANCE

Section 1. The legislature shall provide for a uniform and equal rate of taxation, and shall prescribe such regulations as shall secure a just valuation of all property, both real and personal, excepting such property as may be exempt by law for municipal, educational, literary, scientific, religious, or charitable purposes.

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide for raising revenue sufficient to defray the expenses of the State for each fiscal year, and also a sufficient sum to pay the principal and interest of the existing indebtedness of the State.

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Sec. 3. No tax shall be levied except in pursuance of law.

Sec. 4. No moneys shall be drawn from the treasury except in pursuance of appropriation made by law.

Sec. 5. An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public moneys shall be published with the laws of each regular session of the legislature.

Sec. 6. The legislature shall authorize the several counties and incorporated towns in the State to impose taxes for county and incorporation purposes, and for no other purpose, and all property shall be taxed upon the principle established for State taxation. The legislature may also provide for levying a specific capitation tax on licenses. But the capitation tax shall not exceed one dollar per annum for all purposes, excepting for State, county, or municipal taxes.

Sec. 7. The legislature shall have power to provide for issuing State bonds bearing interest, for securing the debt of the State, and for the erection of State buildings, support of State institutions, and perfecting public works.

Sec. 8. No tax shall be levied upon persons for the benefit of any chartered company of the State, or for paying the interest on any bonds issued by said chartered companies, counties, or corporations, for the above-mentioned purposes, and any laws to the contrary are hereby declared null and void.

Article XIV: CENSUS AND APPORTIONMENT

The legislature shall, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five, and every tenth year thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the inhabitants of the State; and they shall then proceed to apportion the representation among the different counties, giving to each county one representative at large, and one additional to every one thousand registered votes therein, but no county shall be entitled to more than four representatives.

The legislature shall also, after every such enumeration, proceed to fix by law the number of senators which shall constitute the senate of Florida, and which shall never be less than one-fourth nor more than one-half of the whole number of the assembly. When any senatorial district shall be composed of two or more counties, the counties of which such district consists shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district, and no county shall be divided in forming a district, and all counties shall remain as now organized unless changed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature.

Article XV: SUFFRAGE AND ELIGIBILITY

Section 1. Every male person of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, of whatever race, color, nationality, or previous condition, or who shall, at the time of offering to vote, be a citizen of the United States, or who shall have declared his intention to become such in conformity to the laws of the United States, and who shall have resided Edition: current; Page: [720] and had his habitation, domicile, home, and place of permanent abode in Florida for one year, and in the county for six months, next preceding the election at which he shall offer to vote, shall in such county be deemed a qualified elector at all elections under this constitution. Every elector shall, at the time of his registration, take and subscribe to the following oath:

“I, ——— ———, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States, and the constitution and government of Florida, against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith, loyalty, and allegiance to the same, any ordinances or resolution of any State convention or legislation to the contrary notwithstanding: so help me God.”

Sec. 2. No person under guardianship, non compos mentis, or insane, shall be qualified to vote at any election; nor shall any person convicted of felony be qualified to vote at any election unless restored to civil rights.

Sec. 3. At any election at which a citizen or subject of any foreign country shall offer to vote, under the provisions of this constitution, he shall present to the persons lawfully authorized to conduct and supervise such election a duly sealed and certified copy of his declaration of intention; otherwise he shall not be allowed to vote; and any naturalized citizen offering to vote, shall produce before said persons, lawfully authorized to conduce and supervise the election, his certificate of naturalization, or a duly sealed and certified copy thereof; otherwise he shall not be permitted to vote.

Sec. 4. The legislature shall have power, and shall enact the necessary laws to exclude from every office of honor, power, trust, or profit, civil or military, within the State, and from the right of suffrage, all persons convicted of bribery, perjury, larceny, or of infamous crime, or who shall make, or become directly or indirectly interested in, any bet or wager, the result of which shall depend upon any election; or who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge to fight, or who shall be a second to either party, or be the bearer of such challenge or acceptance; but the legal disability shall not accrue until after trial and conviction by due form of law.

Sec. 5. In all elections by the legislature the vote shall be viva voce, and in all elections by the people the vote shall be by ballot.

Sec. 6. The legislature at its first session after the ratification of this constitution shall by law provide for the registration, by the clerks of the circuit court in each county, of all the legally qualified voters in such county, and for the returns of elections; and shall also provide that after the completion, from time to time, of such registration, no person not duly registered according to law shall be allowed to vote.

Sec. 7. The legislature shall enact laws requiring educational qualifications for electors after the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty, but no such laws shall be made applicable to any elector who may have registered or voted at any election previous thereto.

Article XVI: SCHEDULE

Section 1. That all ordinances and resolutions heretofore passed by any convention of the people, and all acts and resolutions of the Edition: current; Page: [721] legislature, conflicting or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, and the statutes thereof, and with this constitution, and in derogation of the existence or position of the State as one of the States of the United States of America, are hereby declared null and void, and of no effect.

Sec. 2. That all acts and resolutions of the general assembly, and all official acts of the civil officers of the State, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution and statutes of the United States, or with this constitution, or with any ordinance or resolution adopted by this convention, and which have not been, and are not by this constitution, annulled, are in force, and shall be considered and esteemed as the laws of the State until such acts or resolutions shall be repealed by the legislature of the State, or this convention.

Sec. 3. All laws of the State passed by the so-called general assembly since the 10th day of January, ad 1868, not conflicting with the word and spirit of the Constitution and laws of the United States, or with this constitution, shall be valid; all writs, acts, proceedings, judgments, and decrees of the so-called courts of the State, when actual service was made, as the defendant, all executions and sales made thereunder, and all acts, orders, and proceedings of the judges of probate, and of executors, administrators, guardians, and trustees, provided they were in conformity with the laws then in force, and did not conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United States and this constitution, shall be valid; the sales of the property or effects of deceased persons shall not prevent the widow from claiming said property in kind, in whosesoever hands the same may be found, where the sale had not been made for the purpose of paying the debts of deceased, and where other than lawful money of the United States was obtained for said property.

Nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to make any one who was an officer of any court, or who acted under the authority of any court, individually liable, provided they acted strictly in accordance with what was then considered the law of the State, and not conflicting with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

All fines, penalties, forfeitures, obligations, and escheats heretofore accruing to the State of Florida shall continue to accrue to the use of the State.

All recognizances heretofore taken shall remain valid, and all bonds executed to the governor of the State of Florida, either before or since the 10th day of January, ad 1861, or to any other officer of the State, in his official capacity, shall be of full force and virtue, for the uses therein respectively expressed, and may be sued for and recovered accordingly, unless they were contrary to the laws of the United States or to this constitution, or to any ordinance or resolution adopted by the convention; also, all criminal prosecutions which have arisen may be prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of the State.

All actions at law or suits in chancery, or any proceedings pending in the courts of this State, either prior to or subsequent to the 10th day of January, ad 1861, shall continue in all respects valid, and may be prosecuted to judgment and decree.

All judgments and decrees rendered in civil causes in any of the courts of the State during the period of time above specified are hereby declared of full force, validity, and effect: Provided, That, Edition: current; Page: [722] unless otherwise provided in this constitution, the statute of limitation shall not be pleaded upon any claim in the hands of any person for the period of time between the 10th day of January, ad 1861, and the 25th day of October, 1865, whether proceedings at law had been commenced before the 25th day of October, 1865, or not: Provided, further, That all claims of widows, minors, and decedents, which were not barred by the statutes of this State on the 10th day of January, 1861, shall be considered good and valid for the period of two years from the ratification of this constitution.

Sec. 4. That State treasury notes, all bonds issued, and all other liabilities contracted by the State of Florida, or any county or city thereof, on and after the 10th day of January, ad 1861, and before the 25th day of October, ad 1865, except such liabilities as may be due to the seminary or school fund, be and are declared null and void, and the legislature shall have no power to provide for the payment of the same or any part thereof, but this shall not be construed so as to invalidate any authorized liabilities of the State contracted prior to the 10th day of January, ad 1861, or subsequent to the 25th day of October, ad 1865.

Sec. 5. No money shall ever be appropriated by this State to reimburse purchasers of United States land who purchased the same of the State of Florida.

Sec. 6. All proceedings, decisions, or actions accomplished by civil or military officers acting under authority of the United States subsequent to the 10th day of January, 1861, and prior to the final restoration of the State to the Government of the United States, are hereby declared valid, and shall not be subject to adjudication in the courts of this State; nor shall any person acting in the capacity of a soldier or officer of the United States, civil or military, be subject to arrest for any act performed by him pursuant to authorized instructions from his superior officers during the period of time above designated.

Sec. 7. That in all cases where judgments have been obtained against citizens of the State after the 10th day of January, 1861, previous to the 25th day of October, 1865, and where actual service was not made on the person of any defendant, such defendant, not served with process, may appear in court within one year after the adoption of this constitution, and make oath that injustice has been done and that he or she has a good and valid defence, stating the defence, and upon making such oath and filing said defence, the proceedings in the judgment shall cease until the defence is heard.

Article XVII: MISCELLANEOUS

Section 1. Any person debarred from holding office in the State of Florida by the third section of the fourteenth article of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which is as follows: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President or Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, or as an Edition: current; Page: [723] officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid and comfort to enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove such disability,” is hereby debarred from holding office in this State: Provided, That whenever such disability from holding office shall be removed from any person by the Congress of the United States, the removal of such disability shall also apply to this State, and such person shall be restored, in all respects, to the rights of citizenship as herein provided for electors.

Sec. 2. Any person elected to the Senate of the United States by the legislature of this State, or any person elected by the people, or appointed to office by the governor of the State, or by any officer of the State, under the provisions of the constitution adopted by the convention of the people, convened on the 25th day of October, 1865, shall not be empowered to hold such office after the same position or office shall have been filled by election or appointment under the provisions of this constitution: Provided, That all officers holding office under the provisions of the constitution adopted the 25th day of October, ad 1865, and not provided for in this constitution, shall continue to hold their respective offices, and discharge the duties thereof, until the governor shall, by his proclamation, declare such offices vacant.

Sec. 3. The several judicial circuits of the circuit courts shall be as follows: The first judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, and Jackson; the second judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Gadsden, Liberty, Calhoun, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, and Jefferson; the third judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Madison, Taylor, La Fayette, Hamilton, Suwannee, and Columbia; the fourth judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Nassau, Duval, Baker, Bradford, Clay, and Saint John’s; the fifth judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Putnam, Alachua, Levy, Marion, and Sumter; the sixth judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Polk, and Monroe; the seventh judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Volusia, Brevard, Orange, and Dade.

Sec. 4. The salary of the governor of the State shall be $5,000 per annum; that of the chief-justice shall be $4,500; that of each associate justice shall be $4,000; that of each judge of the circuit court shall be $3,500; that of the lieutenant-governor shall be $2,500; that of each cabinet officer shall be $3,000. The pay of the members of the senate and house of representatives shall be $500 per annum, and in addition thereto ten cents per mile for each mile traveled from their respective places of residence to the capital, and the same to return. But such distances shall be estimated by the shortest general public thoroughfare. All other officers of the State shall be paid by fees as per diem fixed by law.

Sec. 5. The legislature shall appropriate $2,000 each year for the purchase of such books for the supreme court library as the said court shall direct.

Sec. 6. The salary of each officer shall be payable quarterly upon his own requisition.

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Sec. 7. The tribe of Indians located in the southern portion of the State, and known as the Seminole Indians, shall be entitled to one member in each house of the legislature. Such member shall have all the rights, privileges, and remuneration as other members of the legislature. Such members shall be elected by the members of their tribe, in the maner prescribed for all elections by this constitution. The tribe shall be represented only by a member of the same, and in no case by a white man: Provided, That the representatives of the Seminole Indians shall not be a bar to the representation of any county by the citizens thereof.

Sec. 8. The legislature may at any time impose such tax on the Indians as they may deem proper; and such imposition of tax shall constitute the Indians citizens, and they shall thenceforward be entitled to all the privileges of other citizens, and thereafter be barred of special representation.

Sec. 9. In addition to other crimes and misdemeanors for which an officer may be impeached and tried, shall be included drunkenness and other dissipations; incompetency, malfeasance in office, gambling, or any conduct detrimental to good morals shall be considered sufficient cause for impeachment and conviction. Any officer, when impeached by the assembly, shall be deemed under arrest, and shall be disqualified from performing any of the duties of his office until acquitted by the senate. But any officer so impeached and in arrest may demand his trial by the senate within ten days of the date of his impeachment.

Sec. 10. The following shall be the oath of office for each officer in the State, including members of the legislature: “I do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States, and of the State of Florida, against all enemies, domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, loyalty, and allegiance to the same, and that I am entitled to hold office under this constitution; that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of the office of ———, which I am about to enter: so help me God.”

Sec. 11. The legislature may provide for the donation of the public lands to actual settlers; but such donation shall not exceed one hundred and sixty acres to any one person.

Sec. 12. All county officers shall hold their respective offices at the county seats of their counties.

Sec. 13. The legislature shall provide for the speedy publication of all statutes and laws of general nature. All decisions of the supreme court, and all laws and judicial decisions, shall be for free publication by any person. But no judgment of the supreme court shall take effect and be operative until the opinion of the court in such case shall be filed with the clerk of said court.

Sec. 14. The legislature shall not create any office, the term of which shall be longer than four years.

Sec. 15. The governor, cabinet, and supreme court shall keep their offices at the seat of government. But in case of invasion or violent epidemics, the governor may direct that the offices of the government shall be removed temporarily to some other place. The session of the legislature may be adjourned for the same cause to some other Edition: current; Page: [725] place; but in such case of removal all the departments of the government shall be removed to one place. But such removal shall not continue longer than the necessity for the same shall continue.

Sec. 16. A plurality of votes given at an election by the people shall constitute a choice when not otherwise provided by this constitution.

Sec. 17. The term of the State officers elected at the first election under this constitution, not otherwise provided for, shall continue until the first Tuesday of January, ad 1873, and until the installation of their successors, excepting the members of the legislature.

Sec. 18. Each county and incorporated city shall make provision for the support of its own officers, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Each county shall make provision for building a court-house and jail, and for keeping the same in good repair.

Sec. 19. If at the meeting of the senate at any session the lieutenant-governor has not been qualified or is not present, the senate shall elect one of its members as temporary president before proceeding to other business.

Sec. 20. The legislature shall at the first session adopt a seal for the State, and such seal shall be of the size of the American silver dollar. But said seal shall not again be changed after its adoption by the legislature; and the governor shall, by his proclamation, announce that the said seal has become the great seal of the State.

Sec. 21. The governor, lieutenant-governor, and all the State officers elected by the people shall be installed on the first day of the meeting of the legislature, and immediately assume the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 22. The governor and lieutenant-governor shall have been, before their election to office, nine years a citizen of the United States, and three years a citizen of the State. All other officers shall have been one year a citizen of the State, and six months a citizen of the county from which they are elected or appointed. No person shall be eligible to any office unless he be a registered voter.

Sec. 23. The governor or any State officer is hereby prohibited from giving certificates of election or other credentials to any person as having been elected to the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, or the United States Senate, who has not been two years a citizen of the State, and nine years a citizen of the United States, and a registered voter.

Sec. 24. The property of all corporations, whether heretofore or hereafter incorporated, shall be subject to taxation, unless such corporation be for religious, educational, or charitable purposes.

Sec. 25. All bills, bonds, notes, or evidences of debt outstanding and unpaid, given for or in consideration of bonds or treasury-notes of the so-called Confederate States, or notes and bonds of this State paid and redeemable in the bonds and notes of the Confederate States, are hereby declared null and void, and no action shall be maintained thereon in the courts of this State.

Sec. 26. It shall be the duty of the courts to consider that there is a failure of consideration, and it shall be so held by the courts of this State, upon all deeds or bills of sale given for slaves with covenant or warrantee of title or soundness, or both; upon all bills, bonds, notes, Edition: current; Page: [726] or other evidences of debt, given for or in consideration of slaves, which are now outstanding and unpaid, and no action shall be maintained thereon; and all judgments and decrees rendered in any of the courts of this State since the 10th day of January, ad 1861, upon all deeds or bills of sale, or upon any bond, bill, note, or other evidence of debt based upon the sale or purchase of slaves, are hereby declared set aside, and the plea of failure of consideration shall be held a good defence in all actions to said suit; and that when money was due previous to the 10th day of January, 1861, and slaves were given in consideration for such money, these shall be deemed a failure of consideration for the debt: Provided, That settlements and compromises of such transaction made by the parties thereto shall be respected.

Sec. 27. All persons who, as alien enemies under the sequestration act of the so-called confederate congress, and now resident of the State, had property sequestered and sold by any person acting under a law of the so-called Confederate States, or the State of Florida, subsequent to the 10th day of January, ad 1861, and prior to the 1st day of January, 1865, shall be empowered to file a bill in equity in the circuit court of the State, and shall be entitled to obtain judgment against the State for all damages sustained by said sale and detention of property. The court shall estimate the damages upon the assessed valuation of the property in question in the year ad 1870, with interest at six per cent. from the time the owner was deprived of the same.

But all judgments against the State shall be paid only in certificates of indebtedness, redeemable in State lands. Said certificates shall be issued by the governor, countersigned by the secretary of state and by the comptroller, upon the decree of the court. Oral testimony shall be sufficient to establish the fact of a sale having been made.

Sec. 28. There shall be no civil or political distinction in this State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, and the legislature shall have no power to prohibit by law any class of persons, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, to vote or hold any office, beyond the conditions prescribed by this constitution.

Sec. 29. The apportionment for the assembly shall be as follows: Escambia, two; Santa Rosa, one; Walton, one; Holmes, one; Washington, one; Jackson, three; Calhoun, one; Gadsden, two; Franklin, one; Liberty, one; Wakulla, one, Leon, four; Jefferson, three; Madison, two; Taylor, one; Hamilton, one; Suwannee, one; La Fayette, one; Alachua, two; Columbia, two; Baker, one; Bradford, one; Nassau, one; Duval, two; Clay, one; Saint John’s one; Putnam, one; Marion, two; Levy, one; Volusia, one; Orange, one; Brevard, one; Dade, one; Hillsborough, one; Hernando, one; Sumter, one; Polk, one; Manatee, one, and Monroe, one. There shall be twenty-four senatorial districts, which shall be as follows, and shall be known by their respective numbers from one to twenty-four inclusive: The first senatorial district shall be composed of Escambia county; the second of Santa Rosa and Walton; the third, of Jackson; the fourth, of Volusia and Washington; the fifth, of Calhoun and Franklin; the sixth, of Gadsden; the Edition: current; Page: [727] seventh, of Liberty and Wakulla; the eighth, of Leon; the ninth, of Jefferson; the tenth, of Madison; the eleventh, of Hamilton and Suwannee; the twelfth, of La Fayette and Taylor; the thirteenth, of Alachua and Levy; the fourteenth, of Columbia; the fifteenth, of Bradford and Clay; the sixteenth, of Baker and Nassau; the seventeenth, of Saint John’s and Putnam; the eighteenth, of Duval; the nineteenth, of Marion; the twentieth, of Volusia and Orange; the twenty-first, of Dade and Brevard; the twenty-second, of Hillsborough and Hernando; the twenty-third, of Sumter and Polk; the twenty-fourth, of Manatee and Monroe; and each senatorial district shall be entitled to one senator.

Sec. 30. No person shall ever be appointed a judge of the supreme court or circuit court who is not twenty-five years of age and practising attorney.

Sec. 31. The legislature shall, as soon as convenient, adopt a State emblem, having the design of the great seal of the State impressed upon a white ground, of six feet six inches fly and six feet deep.

Article XVIII: AMENDMENTS

Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in either branch of the legislature; and if the same shall be agreed upon by a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their respective journals, with the yeas and nays thereon, and referred to the legislature then next to be chosen, and shall be published for three months next preceding the time of making such choice; and if, in the legislature next chosen as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each house, then it should be the duty of the legislature to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people in such manner and at such time as the legislature may prescribe; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the legislature voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of the constitution.

Sec. 2. If at any time the legislature, by a vote of a majority of all the members elected to each of the two houses, shall determine that it is necessary to cause a revision of this entire constitution, such determination shall be entered on their respective journals, with the yeas and nays thereon, and referred to the legislature then next to be chosen, and shall be published for three months next preceding the time of making such choice.

And if in the legislature next chosen aforesaid such proposed revision shall be agreed by a majority of all the members elected to each house, then it shall be the duty of the legislature to recommend to the electors of the next election for members of the legislature to vote for or against a convention; and if it shall appear that a majority of the electors voting at such election shall have voted in favor of calling a convention, the legislature shall, at its next session, Edition: current; Page: [728] provide by law for a convention, to be holden within six months after the passage of such law, and such convention shall consist of a number of members not less than both branches of the legislature.

In determining what is a majority of the electors voting at such election, reference shall be had to the highest number of votes cast at such election for the candidates for any office or on any question.

Done in open convention. In witness whereof, we, the undersigned delegates, representing the people of Florida, in convention assembled, do hereunto affix our names this twenty-fifth day of February, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States the ninety-second, and the secretary doth countersign the same.

Horatio Jenkins, Jr., President.
S. Conant, Secretary.

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1868a

(Ratified 1870)

Article I. The salary of the governor of the State shall be three thousand five hundred dollars per annum; that of each justice of the supreme court shall be three thousand dollars; that of each judge of the circuit courts shall be two thousand five hundred dollars; that of each cabinet officer shall be two thousand dollars; that of the lieutenant-governor shall be five hundred dollars, and he shall receive the same mileage as members of the legislature. The pay of members of the legislature shall be a per diem, to be fixed by law, for each day’s actual attendance, and in addition thereto ten cents per mile for travelling-expenses for each mile from their respective places of residence to the capital, estimated by the shortest thoroughfare, and the same to return. All other officers of the State shall be paid by fees or per diem, fixed by law. No legislature shall increase its own pay.

Art. II. The several members of the cabinet of administrative officers shall be elected by the people.

Art. III. The sixth and seventh judicial districts are hereby abolished, and the limits of the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth judicial districts shall be defined by law.

Art. IV. The offices of surveyor-general and commissioner of immigration are hereby consolidated under the name of commissioner of lands and immigration.

Art. V. The thirteenth section of the sixth article of the constitution is hereby abrogated.

Art. VI. The third, fifth, and twenty-seventh sections of the sixteenth article of the constitution are hereby abrogated.

Art. VII. The number of terms of the supreme court, and the time of holding the same, shall be fixed by law.

Art. VIII. The legislature shall have power to prescribe regulations for calling into the supreme court a judge of the circuit court, to hear and determine any matter pending before the court, in the place Edition: current; Page: [729] of any justice thereof who shall be disqualified or disabled in such case from interest or other cause.

Art. IX. That the following portion of section nine, Article XVI, of the constitution is hereby abrogated:

“Any officer when impeached by the assembly shall be deemed under arrest, and shall be disqualified from performing any of the duties of his office until acquitted by the senate; but any officer so impeached and in arrest may demand his trial by the senate within one year from the date of his impeachment.”

(Ratified 1875)

Article I. Section two of article four of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 2. From and after the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January, ad one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven, the regular sessions of the legislature shall be held biennially, commencing on said day and on the corresponding day of every second year thereafter, but the governor may convene the same in extra session by his proclamation.

Art. II. Section twenty-nine of article four of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 29. The assembly shall have the sole power of impeachment, but a vote of two-thirds of all the members present shall be required to impeach any officer, and all impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present. The senate may adjourn to a fixed day for the trial of any impeachment, and may sit for the purpose of such trial whether the assembly be in session or not, but the time fixed for such trial shall not be more than six months from the time articles of impeachment shall be preferred by the assembly. The chief-justice shall preside at all trials by impeachment except in the trial of the chief-justice, when the lieutenant-governor shall preside. The governor, lieutenant-governor, members of the cabinet, justices of the supreme court, and judges of the circuit court, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office, but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under the State, but the party convicted or acquitted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment according to law. All other officers who shall have been appointed to office by the governor, and by and with the consent of the senate, may be removed from office upon the recommendation of the governor, and consent of the senate, but they shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment according to law for any misdemeanor in office. All other civil officers shall be tried for misdemeanor in office in such manner as the legislature may provide.

Art. III. Section seven of article twelve of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 7. The legislature shall have power to provide for issuing State bonds bearing interest for securing the debt of the State, for the erection of State buildings, and for the support of State institutions, but the credit of the State shall not be pledged or loaned to any Edition: current; Page: [730] individual company, corporation, or association; nor shall the State become a joint owner or stockholder in any company, association, or corporation. The legislature shall not authorize any county, city, borough, township, or incorporated district to become a stockholder in any company, association, or corporation, or to obtain or appropriate money for, or to loan its credit to, any corporation, association, institution, or individual.

Art. IV. Section five of article six of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 5. The supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction in all cases at law and in equity commenced in circuit courts and of appeal from the circuit court in cases arising in the county court as a court of probate, and in the management of the estates of infants, and in all criminal cases commenced in the circuit court. The court shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and also all writs necessary or proper to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction. Each of the justices shall have the power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the State upon petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody, and may make such writs returnable before himself or the supreme court, or any justice thereof, or before any circuit judge.

Section eight of article six of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as folows:

Sec. 8. The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction in all cases in equity, also in all cases at law in which the demand or the value of the property involved exceeds one hundred dollars, and of all cases involving the legality of any tax assessment, toll, or municipal fine, and of the action of forcible entry and unlawful detainer, and of actions involving the titles or right of possession of real estate, and of all criminal cases, except such as may be cognizable by law by inferior courts. They shall have appellate jurisdiction of matters pertaining to the probate jurisdiction and the estates and interests of minors in the county courts, and of such other matters as may be provided by law, and final appellate jurisdiction in all civil cases arising in the court of a justice of the peace in which the amount or value of property involved is twenty-five dollars and upwards, and of misdemeanors tried before any justice’s or mayor’s court. The circuit courts and judges shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, habeas corpus, and all writs proper and necessary to the complete exercise of their jurisdiction.

Section ten of article six of the constitution is hereby abrogated.

Section eleven of article six of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 11. The county court shall have power to take probate of wills, to grant letters testamentary, and of administration and guardianship, to attend to the settlement of the estates of decedents and of minors, and to discharge the duties usually pertaining to courts of probate, subject to the direction and supervision of the appellate and equity jurisdiction of the circuit court as may be provided by law. And the county judges shall have and exercise the civil and criminal jurisdiction of justices of the peace. They may also have jurisdiction of such proceedings relating to the forcible entry or unlawful detention of lands and tenements subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the circuit court as may be provided by law.

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Section fifteen of article six of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 15. The governor shall appoint as many justices of the peace as he may deem necessary. Justices of the peace shall have jurisdiction in civil actions at law in cases in which the amount or value involved does not exceed one hundred dollars; and in criminal cases their powers shall be fixed by law. Their powers, duties, and responsibilities shall be regulated by law. They may hold their offices for the term of four years, subject to removal by the governor for reasons satisfactory to him.

Art. V. Section seven of article six of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 7. There shall be five circuit judges appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate, who shall hold their respective offices for the term of six years from the time of their qualification. The State shall be divided into five judicial circuits as defined in this constitution, and the judge of each circuit shall reside in the circuit to which he shall be appointed. Each judge shall hold the terms of the court at such times and places as may be prescribed by law, and he may hold special terms with or without juries. The chief-justice may, in his discretion, order a temporary exchange of circuits by the respective judges, or designate any judge to hold a general or special term, or part of a term, in any other circuit than that one in which he resides.

Section three of article sixteen of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 3. The several judicial circuits of the circuit courts shall be as follows:

The first judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Calhoun, and Franklin.

The second judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Liberty, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, and La Fayette.

The third judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Hamilton, Suwannee, Columbia, Baker, Bradford, Alachua, and Levy.

The fourth judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Nassau, Duval, Clay, Saint Johns, Putnam, Volusia, Orange, Brevard, and Dade.

The fifth judicial circuit shall be composed of the counties of Marion, Sumpter, Hernando, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, and Monroe.

Art. VI. Section twelve of article six of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 12. Grand and petit jurors shall be taken from the registered voters of the respective counties. The number of jurors for the trial of causes in any court may be fixed by law.

Art. VII. Sections seven and eight of article sixteen of the constitution are hereby abrogated.

Art. VIII. Section twenty-four of article sixteen of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 24. The property of all corporations, whether heretofore or hereafter incorporated, shall be subject to taxation, unless such Edition: current; Page: [732] property be held and used exclusively for religious, educational, or charitable purposes.

Art. IX. Section twenty-two of article five of the constitution shall read as follows:

Sec. 22. The governor shall have power to disapprove of any item or items of any bill making appropriations of money embracing distinct items, and the part or parts of the bill approved shall be the law, and the item or items of appropriation disapproved shall be void unless repassed according to the rules and limitations prescribed for the passage of other bills over the executive veto.

Art. X. Section fourteen of article five of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 14. A lieutenant-governor shall be elected at the same time and places and in the same manner as the governor, whose term of office and eligibility shall also be the same. He shall be the president of the senate, but shall only have a casting vote therein. In the case of the impeachment of the governor or his removal from office, death, inability to discharge his official duties, or resignation, the power and duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor for the residue of the term, or until the disability shall cease. In the case of the impeachment of the lieutenant-governor or his removal from office, death, inability to discharge his official duties, or resignation, the power and duties of the office shall devolve upon the president pro tempore of the senate.

In case a vacancy shall occur both in the offices of governor and lieutenant-governor, the legislature shall at its next session order an election to fill such vacancies. But the governor shall not, without the consent of the legislature, be out of the State in time of war.

Section fifteen of article five of the constitution is hereby abrogated.

Art. XI. Section sixteen of article five of the constitution is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

Sec. 16. The governor may at any time require the opinion of the justices of the supreme court as to the interpretation of any portion of this constitution upon any question affecting his executive powers and duties, and the justices shall render such opinion in writing.

CONSTITUTION OF FLORIDA—1885*

PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its blessings and to form a more perfect government, insuring domestic tranquility, Edition: current; Page: [733] maintaining public order, and guaranteeing equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

Section 1. All men are equal before the law, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing happiness and obtaining safety.

Sec. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the citizens, and they have the right to alter or amend the same whenever the public good may require it; but the paramount allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government, and the people of this State have no power to dissolve its connection therewith.

Sec. 3. The right of trial by jury shall be secured to all, and remain inviolate forever.

Sec. 4. All courts in this State shall be open, so that every person for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation shall have remedy, by due course of law, and right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay.

Sec. 5. The free exercise and enjoyment of religous profession and worship shall forever be allowed in this State, and no person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to justify licentiousness or practices subversive of, or inconsistent with, the peace or moral safety of the State or society.

Sec. 6. No preference shall be given by law to any church, sect or mode of worship, and no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect or religious denomination, or in aid of any sectarian institution.

Sec. 7. The writ of habeas corpus shall be grantable speedily and of right, freely and without cost, and shall never be suspended unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension.

Sec. 8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines be imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishment or indefinite imprisonment be allowed, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.

Sec. 9. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, where the proof is evident or the presumption great.

Sec. 10. No person shall be tried for a capital crime or other felony, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except as is otherwise provided in this Constitution, and except in cases of impeachment, and in cases in the militia when in active service in time of war, or which the State, with the consent of Congress, may keep, in time of peace.

Sec. 11. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, in the county where the crime was committed, and shall be heard by himself, or counsel, or both, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and have compulsory process for the attendance of witnesses in his favor, and shall be furnished with a copy of the indictment against him.

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Sec. 12. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense, nor compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken without just compensation.

Sec. 13. Every person may fully speak and write his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions and civil actions for libel the truth may be given in evidence to the jury, and if it shall appear that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published for good motives, the party shall be acquitted or exonerated.

Sec. 14. No person shall be compelled to pay costs except after conviction, on a final trial.

Sec. 15. The people shall have the right to assemble together to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the Legislature for redress of grievances.

Sec. 16. No person shall be imprisoned for debt except in cases of fraud.

Sec. 17. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed.

Sec. 18. Foreigners shall have the same rights as to the ownership, inheritance and disposition of property in this State as citizens of the State.

Sec. 19. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party has been duly convicted, shall ever be allowed in this State.

Sec. 20. The right of the people to bear arms in defence of themselves and the lawful authority of the State, shall not be infringed, but the Legislature may prescribe the manner in which they may be borne.

Sec. 21. The military shall in all cases and at all times be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 22. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable seizures and searches, shall not be violated, and no warrants issued but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the person or persons, and thing or things to be seized.

Sec. 23. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort; and no person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court, and no conviction for treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

Sec. 24. This enunciation of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.

Article I: BOUNDARIES

The boundaries of the State of Florida shall be as follows: Commencing at the mouth of the river Perdido; from thence up the Edition: current; Page: [735] middle of said river to where it intersects the south boundary line of the State of Alabama, and the thirty-first degree of north latitude; thence due east to the Chattahoochee river; thence down the middle of said river to its confluence with the Flint river; thence straight to the head of the St. Marys river; thence down the middle of said river to the Atlantic ocean; thence southeastwardly along the coast to the edge of the Gulf stream; thence southwestwardly along the edge of the Gulf stream and Florida Reefs to and including the Tortugas Islands; thence northeastwardly to a point three leagues from the mainland; thence northwestwardly three leagues from the land, to a point west of the mouth of the Perdido river; thence to the place of beginning.

Article II: DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS

The powers of the government of the State of Florida shall be divided into three departments—Legislative, Executive and Judicial; and no person properly belonging to one of the departments shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the others, except in cases expressly provided for by this Constitution.

Article III: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The Legislative authority of this State shall be vested in a Senate and a House of Representatives, which shall be designated, “The Legislature of the State of Florida,” and the sessions thereof shall be held at the seat of government of the State.

Sec. 2. The regular sessions of the Legislature shall be held biennially, commencing on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in April, ad, 1887, and on the corresponding day of every second year thereafter, but the Governor may convene the same in extra session by his proclamation. Regular sessions of the Legislature may extend to sixty days, but no special session convened by the Governor shall exceed twenty days.

Sec. 3. The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen biennially, those of the first Legislature on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, ad, 1886, and thereafter on the corresponding day of every second year.*

Sec. 4. Senators and members of the House of Representatives shall be duly qualified electors in the respective counties and districts for which they were chosen. The pay of members of the Senate and House of Representatives shall not exceed six dollars a day for each day of session, and mileage to and from their homes to the seat of government, not to exceed ten cents a mile each way, by the nearest and most practicable route.

Sec. 5. No Senator or member of the House of Representatives shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed or elected to any civil office under the Constitution of this State, that has Edition: current; Page: [736] been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.

Sec. 6. Each House shall judge of the qualifications, elections and returns of its own members, choose its own officers, and determine the rules of its proceedings. The Senate shall, at the convening of each regular session thereof, choose from among its own members a permanent President of the Senate, who shall be its presiding officer. The House of Representatives shall, at the convening of each regular session thereof, choose from among its own members a permanent Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be its presiding officer. Each House may punish its own members for disorderly conduct; and each House, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all of its members present, may expel a member.

Sec. 7. No person holding a lucrative office or appointment under the United States or this State, shall be eligible to a seat in the Legislature of this State.

Sec. 8. The seat of a member of either House shall be vacated on his permanent change of residence from the district or county from which he was elected.

Sec. 9. Either House during the session may punish by fine or imprisonment any person not a member who shall have been guilty of disorderly or contemptuous conduct in its presence, or of a refusal to obey its lawful summons, but such imprisonment shall not extend beyond the final adjournment of the session.

Sec. 10. Either House shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses upon any investigations held by itself, or by any of its committees; the manner of the exercise of such power shall be provided by law.

Sec. 11. A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the presence of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as it may prescribe.

Sec. 12. Each House shall keep a Journal of its own proceedings, which shall be published, and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of any five members present, be entered on the Journal.

Sec. 13. The doors of each House shall be kept open during its session, except the Senate while sitting in Executive session; and neither shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, or to any other town than that in which they may be holding their session.

Sec. 14. Any bill may originate in either House of the Legislature, and after being passed in one House may be amended in the other.

Sec. 15. The enacting clause of every law shall be as follows: “Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida.”

Sec. 16. Each law enacted in the Legislature shall embrace but one subject and matter properly connected therewith, which subject shall be briefly expressed in the title; and no law shall be amended or revised by reference to its title only; but in such case the act, as revised, or section, as amended, shall be re-enacted and published at length.

Sec. 17. Every bill shall be read by sections on three several days in each House, unless, in case of emergency, two-thirds of the House where such bill may be pending shall deem it expedient to dispense Edition: current; Page: [737] with this rule; but the reading of a bill by sections on its final passage shall in no case be dispensed with, and the vote on the final passage of every bill or joint resolution shall be taken by yeas and nays, to be entered on the Journal of each House; Provided, That any general revision of the entire laws embodied in any bill shall not be required to be read by sections upon its final passage, and its reading may be wholly dispensed with by a two-thirds vote; and a majority of the members present in each House shall be necessary to pass every bill or joint resolution; and all bills or joint resolutions so passed shall be signed by the presiding officers of the respective Houses, and by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.*

Sec. 18. No law shall take effect until sixty days from the final adjournment of the session of the Legislature at which it may have been enacted, unless otherwise specially provided in such law.

Sec. 19. Accurate statements of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be attached to and published with the laws passed at every regular session of the Legislature.

Sec. 20. The Legislature shall not pass special or local laws in any of the following enumerated cases: that is to say, regulating the jurisdiction and duties of any class of officers, except municipal officers, or for the punishment of crime or misdemeanor; regulating the practice of courts of justice, except municipal courts; providing for changing venue of civil and criminal cases; granting divorces; changing the names of persons; vacating roads; summoning and empanneling grand and petit juries, and providing for their compensation; for assessment and collection of taxes for State and county purposes; for opening and conducting elections for State and county officers, and for designating the places of voting; for the sale of real estate belonging to minors, estates of decedents, and of persons laboring under legal disabilities; regulating the fees of officers of the State and county; giving effect to informal or invalid deeds or wills; legitimizing children; providing for the adoption of children; relieving minors from legal disabilities; and for the establishment of ferries.

Sec. 21. In all cases enumerated in the preceding section all laws shall be general and of uniform operation throughout the State, but in all cases not enumerated or excepted in that section, the Legislature may pass special or local laws; Provided, That no local or special bill shall be passed, unless notice of the intention to apply therefor shall have been published in the locality where the matter or thing to be affected may be situated, which notice shall state the substance of the contemplated law, and shall be published at least sixty days prior to the introduction into the Legislature of such bill, and in the manner to be provided by law. The evidence that such notice has been published shall be established in the Legislature before such bill shall be passed.

Sec. 22. Provision may be made by general law for bringing suit against the State as to all liabilities now existing or hereafter originating.

Sec. 23. Lotteries are hereby prohibited in this State.

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Sec. 24. The Legislature shall establish a uniform system of county and municipal government, which shall be applicable, except in cases where local or special laws are provided by the Legislature that may be inconsistent therewith.

Sec. 25. The Legislature shall provide by general law for incorporating such educational, agricultural, mechanical, mining and other useful companies or associations as may be deemed necessary.

Sec. 26. Laws shall be passed regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult or other improper practice.

Sec. 27. The Legislature shall provide for the election by the people or appointment by the Governor of all State and county officers not otherwise provided for by this Constitution, and fix by law their duties and compensation.

Sec. 28. Every bill that may have passed the Legislature shall, before becoming a law, be presented to the Governor; if he approves it he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it with his objections to the House in which it originated, which House shall cause such objections to be entered upon its Journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, it shall pass both Houses by a two-thirds vote of members present, which vote shall be entered on the Journal of each House, it shall become a law. If any bill shall not be returned within five days after it shall have been presented to the Governor (Sunday excepted) the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it. If the Legislature, by its final adjournment, prevent such action, such bill shall be a law, unless the Governor, within ten days after the adjournment, shall file such bill, with his objections thereto, in the office of the Secretary of State, who shall lay the same before the Legislature at its next session, and if the same shall receive two-thirds of the votes present, it shall become a law.

Sec. 29. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment; but by a vote of two-thirds of all members present shall be required to impeach any officer; and all impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When sitting for that purpose the Senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present. The Senate may adjourn to a fixed day for the trial of any impeachment, and may sit for the purpose of such trial whether the House of Representatives be in session or not, but the time fixed for such trial shall not be more than six months from the time articles of impeachment shall be preferred by the House of Representatives. The Chief-Justice shall preside at all trials by impeachment except in the trial of the Chief-Justice, when the Governor shall preside. The Governor, Administrative officers of the Executive Department, Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Circuit Court shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office, but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit under the State; but the party convicted or acquitted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial and punishment according to law.

Sec. 30. Laws making appropriations for the salaries of public officers and other current expenses of the State shall contain provisions on no other subject.

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Sec. 31. The Legislature shall elect United States Senators in the manner prescribed by the Congress of the United States and by this Constitution.

Sec. 32. The repeal or amendment of any Criminal Statute shall not affect the prosecution or punishment of any crime committed before such repeat or amendment.

Sec. 33. No statute shall be passed lessening the time within which a civil action may be commenced on any cause of action existing at the time of its passage.

Article IV: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The Supreme Executive power of the State shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate, who shall be styled the Governor of Florida.

Sec. 2. The Governor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at the time and places of voting for members of the Legislature, and shall hold his office for four years from the time of his installation, but shall not be eligible for re-election to said office the next succeeding term; Provided, That the first election for Governor under this Constitution shall be had at the time and places of voting for members of the Legislature and State officers, ad 1888, and the term of office of the Governor then elected shall begin on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January after his election.

Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor who is not a qualified elector, and who has not been ten years a citizen of the United States, and five years a citizen and resident of the State of Florida, next preceding the time of his election; Provided, That these limitations of time shall not apply to the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives when, under this Constitution, the powers and duties of Governor shall devolve upon them.

Sec. 4. The Governor shall be Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

Sec. 5. The Governor shall transact all Executive business with the officers of the Government, civil and military, and may require information in writing from the administrative officers of the Executive Department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 6. The Governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 7. When any office, from any cause, shall become vacant, and no mode is provided by this Constitution or by the laws of the State for filling such vacancy, the Governor shall have the power to fill such vacancy by granting a commission for the unexpired term.

Sec. 8. The Governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislature by proclamation, and shall in his proclamation state the purpose for which it is to be convened, and the Legislature when organized shall transact no legislative business other than that for which it is especially convened, or such other legislative business as Edition: current; Page: [740] the Governor may call to its attention while in session, except by a two-thirds vote of each House.

Sec. 9. The Governor shall communicate by message to the Legislature at each regular session information concerning the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he may deem expedient.

Sec. 10. In case of a disagreement between the two Houses with respect to the time of adjournment, the Governor shall have power to adjourn the Legislature to such time as he may think proper, provided it be not beyond the time fixed for the meeting of the next Legislature.

Sec. 11. The Governor shall have power to suspend the collection of fines and forfeitures, and grant reprieves for a period not exceeding sixty days, for all offences, except in cases of impeachment. In cases of conviction for treason he shall have power to suspend the execution of sentence until the case shall be reported to the Legislature at its next session, when the Legislature shall either pardon, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve; and if the Legislature shall fail or refuse to make disposition of such case, the sentence shall be enforced at such time and place as the Governor may direct. He shall communicate to the Legislature, at the beginning of every session, every case of fine or forfeiture remitted, or reprieve, pardon or commutation granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime for which he was convicted, the sentence, its date, and the date of its remission, commutation, pardon or reprieve.

Sec. 12. The Governor, Justices of the Supreme Court, and Attorney-General, or a major part of them, of whom the Governor shall be one, may, upon such conditions, and with such limitations and restrictions as they may deem proper, remit fines and forfeitures, commute punishment and grant pardons after conviction, in all cases except treason and impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons.*

Sec. 13. The Governor may, at any time, require the opinion of the Justices of the Supreme Court as to the interpretation of any portion of this Constitution upon any question affecting his Executive powers and duties, and the Justices shall render such opinion in writing.

Sec. 14. All grants and commissions shall be in the name and under the authority of the State of Florida, sealed with the great seal of the State, signed by the Governor, and countersigned by the Secretary of State.

Sec. 15. All officers that shall have been appointed or elected, and that are not liable to impeachment, may be suspended from office by the Governor for malfeasance, or misfeasance, or neglect of duty in office, for the commission of any felony, or for drunkenness or incompetency, and the cause of suspension shall be communicated to the officer suspended and to the Senate at its next session. And the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, may remove any officer, not liable to impeachment, for any cause above named. Every suspension shall continue until the adjournment of the next session of the Senate, unless the officer suspended shall, upon the recommendation of the Governor, be removed; but the Governor may reinstate the officer so suspended upon satisfactory evidence that the charge or charges against him are untrue. If the Senate shall refuse to remove, or fail Edition: current; Page: [741] to take action before its adjournment, the officer suspended shall resume the duties of the office. The Governor shall have power to fill by appointment any office, the incumbent of which has been suspended. No officer suspended who shall under this section resume the duties of his office, shall suffer any loss of salary or other compensation in consequence of such suspension. The suspension or removal herein authorized shall not relieve the officer from indictment for any misdemeanor in office.

Sec. 16. The Governor shall appoint all commissioned officers of the State Militia, including an Adjutant-General for the State. The Adjutant-General shall be the chief officer of the Governor’s staff, with the rank of Major-General. His duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law; Provided, That this Constitution shall work no vacancy in the office of Adjutant-General, as now constituted, until the expiration of the present term.

Sec. 17. The Governor and the administrative officers of the Executive Department shall constitute a Board of Commissioners of State Institutions, which Board shall have supervision of all matters connected with such institutions in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 18. The Governor shall have power to disapprove of any item or items of any bills making appropriations of money embracing distinct items, and the part or parts of the bill approved shall be the law, and the item or items of appropriation disapproved shall be void, unless repassed according to the rules and limitations prescribed for the passage of other bills over the Executive veto.

Sec. 19. In case of the impeachment of the Governor, his removal from office, death, resignation or inability to discharge his official duties, the powers and duties of Governor shall devolve upon the President of the Senate for the residue of the term, or until the disability shall cease; and in case of the impeachment, removal from office, death, resignation or inability of the President of the Senate, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the Speaker of the House of Representatives. But should there be a general election for members of the Legislature during such vacancy, an election for Governor to fill the same shall be had at the same time.

Sec. 20. The Governor shall be assisted by administrative officers as follows: A Secretary of State, Attorney-General, Comptroller, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Commissioner of Agriculture, who shall be elected at the same time as the Governor, and shall hold their offices for the same term; Provided, That the first election of such officers shall be had at the time of voting for Governor ad 1888.

Sec. 21. The Secretary of State shall keep the records of official acts of the Legislature and Executive Departments of the Government, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all matters relative thereto, before either branch of the Legislature; and shall be the custodian of the Great Seal of the State. He shall also have charge of the Capitol building and grounds, and perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 22. The Attorney-General shall be the legal adviser of the Governor, and of each of the officers of the Executive Department, and shall perform such other legal duties as may be prescribed by law. He shall be Reporter for the Supreme Court.

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Sec. 23. The Comptroller shall examine, audit, adjust and settle the accounts of all officers of the State and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 24. The Treasurer shall receive and keep all funds, bonds, and other securities, in such manner as may be prescribed by law, and shall disburse no funds, nor issue bonds, or other securities, except upon the order of the Comptroller countersigned by the Governor, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 25. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall have supervision of all matters pertaining to public instruction; the supervision of State buildings devoted to educational purposes, and perform such other duties as the Legislature may provide by law.

Sec. 26. The Commissioner of Agriculture shall perform such duties in relation to agriculture as may be prescribed by law; shall have supervision of all matters pertaining to the public lands under regulations prescribed by law, and shall keep the Bureau of Immigration. He shall also have supervision of the State Prison, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 27. Each officer of this Department shall make a full report of his official acts, of the receipts and expenditures of his office, and of the requirements of the same, to the Governor at the beginning of each regular session of the Legislature, or whenever the Governor shall require it. Such reports shall be laid before the Legislature by the Governor at the beginning of each regular session thereof. Either House of the Legislature may at any time call upon any officer of this department for information required by it.

Sec. 28. The administrative officers of the Executive Department shall be installed on the same day as the Governor.

Sec. 29. The salary of the Governor of the State shall be thirty-five hundred dollars a year, of the Comptroller two thousand dollars, of the State Treasurer two thousand dollars, of the Secretary of State fifteen hundred dollars, of the Attorney-General fifteen hundred dollars, of the Commissioner of Agriculture fifteen hundred dollars, of the Superintendent of Public Instruction fifteen hundred dollars, a year; Provided, That no administrative officer of the Executive Department shall receive any additional compensation beyond his salary for any service or services rendered the State in connection with the Internal Improvement Fund or other interests belonging to the State of Florida; Provided, further, That the Legislature may, after eight years from the adoption of this Constitution, increase or decrease any or all of said salaries.

Article V: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in a Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, Criminal Courts, County Courts, County Judges and Justices of the Peace.

Sec. 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of three Justices, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at the time and places of voting for members of the Legislature, and shall hold their office for the term of six years, except those first elected, one of whom, to be designated by lot in such manner as they may determine, shall Edition: current; Page: [743] hold his office for two years, another to be designated in like manner for four years, and the third for six years, so that one shall be elected every two years after the first election. The Chief Justice shall be designated by lot by said Justices, and shall be such during his term of office. The first election for said Justices shall take place at the first election for members of the Legislature after the ratification of this Constitution, and their term of office shall begin on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January after their election.

Sec. 3. No person shall ever be appointed or elected as a Justice of the Supreme Court, or Judge of a Circuit Court, or Criminal Court, that is not twenty-five years of age and an attorney at law.

Sec. 4. The majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business. The concurrence of two Justices shall be necessary to a decision. The number of terms of the Supreme Court and the times of holding the same shall be regulated by law. All terms shall be held at the Capital of the State.

Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction in all cases at law and in equity originating in Circuit Courts, and of appeals from the Circuit Courts in cases arising before Judges of the County Courts in matters pertaining to their probate jurisdiction and in the management of the estates of infants, and in cases of conviction of felony in the criminal courts, and in all criminal cases originating in the Circuit Courts. The Court shall have the power to issue writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and also all writs necessary or proper to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction. Each of the Justices shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the State upon petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody, and may make such writs returnable before himself or the Supreme Court, or any Justice thereof, or before any Circuit Judge.

Sec. 6. The Legislature shall have power to prescribe regulations for calling into the Supreme Court a Judge of the Circuit Court, to hear and determine any matters pending before the Court in the place of any Justice thereof that shall be disqualified or disabled in such case from interest or other cause.

Sec. 7. The Supreme Court shall appoint a Clerk who shall have his office at the Capital and shall be Librarian of the Supreme Court Library.

Sec. 8. There shall be seven Circuit Judges, who shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, and who shall hold their office for six years. The State shall be divided into seven Judicial Circuits, and one Judge shall be assigned to each Circuit. Such Judge shall hold at least two terms of his court in each county within his Circuit every year, at such times and places as shall be prescribed by law, and may hold special terms. The Governor may, in his discretion, order a temporary exchange of Circuits by the respective Judges, or order any Judge to hold one or more terms or parts of terms in any other Circuit than that to which he is assigned. The Judge shall reside in the Circuit of which he is Judge. Successors to the Judges of the Circuit Courts in office at the ratification of this Constitution shall be appointed and confirmed at the first session of the Legislature after such ratification.

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Sec. 9. The salary of the Justices of the Supreme Court shall be three thousand dollars a year. The salary of each Circuit Judge shall be two thousand five hundred dollars a year.

Sec. 10. Until otherwise defined by the Legislature the several Judicial Circuits of the State shall be as follows:

  • The First Judicial Circuit shall be composed of the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington and Jackson.
  • The Second Judicial Circuit shall be composed of the counties of Gadsden, Liberty, Calhoun, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla and Jefferson.
  • The Third Judicial Circuit shall be composed of the counties of Madison, Taylor, Lafayette, Hamilton, Suwannee and Columbia.
  • The Fourth Judicial Circuit shall be composed of the counties of Nassau, Duval, Baker, Bradford, Clay and St. Johns.
  • The Fifth Judicial Circuit shall be composed of the counties of Putnam, Alachua, Levy, Marion and Sumter.
  • The Sixth Judicial Circuit shall be composed of the counties of Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Polk and Monroe.
  • The Seventh Judicial Circuit shall be composed of the counties of Volusia, Brevard, Orange and Dade.

Sec. 11. The Circuit Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases in equity, also in all cases at law, not cognizable by inferior courts, and in all cases involving the legality of any tax, assessment, or toll; of the action of ejectment and of all actions involving the titles or boundaries of real estate, and of all criminal cases not cognizable by inferior courts; and original jurisdiction of actions of forcible entry and unlawful detainer, and of such other matters as the Legislature may provide. They shall have final appellate jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases arising in the County Court, or before the County Judge, of all misdemeanors tried in Criminal Courts, of judgments or sentences of any Mayor’s Court, and of all cases arising before Justices of the Peace in counties in which there is no County Court; and supervision and appelate jurisdiction of matters arising before County Judges pertaining to their probate jurisdiction, or to the estates and interests of minors, and of such other matters as the Legislature may provide. The Circuit Courts and Judges shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, prohibition, habeas corpus and all writs proper and necessary to the complete exercise of their juridiction.

Sec. 12. The Circuit Courts and Circuit Judges may have such extra territorial jurisdiction in chancery cases as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 13. It shall be the duty of the Judges of the Circuit Courts to report to the Attorney-General at least thirty days before each session of the Legislature such defects in the laws as may have been brought to their attention, and to suggest such amendments or additional Legislation as may be deemed necessary. The Attorney-General shall report to the Legislature at each session such legislation as he may deem advisable.

Sec. 14. A Circuit Judge may appoint in each county in his Circuit one or more attorneys at law, to be Court Commissioners, who shall have power in the absence from the county of the Circuit Judge, to allow writs of injunction and to issue writs of habeas corpus, returnable before himself or the Circuit Judge. Their orders in such Edition: current; Page: [745] matters may be reviewed by the Circuit Judge, and confirmed, qualified or vacated. They may be removed by the Circuit Judge. The Legislature may confer upon them further powers, not judicial, and shall fix their compensation.

Sec. 15. The Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, shall appoint a State Attorney in each Judicial Circuit, whose duties shall be prescribed by law, and who shall hold office for four years. There shall be elected in each county a Sheriff, and a Clerk of the Circuit Court, who shall also be Clerk of the County Court, except in counties where there are Criminal Courts, and of the Board of County Commissioners, and Recorder and ex-officio Auditor of the County, each of whom shall hold office for four years. Their duties shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 16. There shall be in each county a County Judge who shall be elected by the qualified electors of said county at the time and places of voting for other county officers and shall hold his office for four years. His compensation shall be provided for by law.

Sec. 17. The County Judge shall have original jurisdiction in all cases at law in which the demand or value of property involved shall not exceed one hundred dollars; of proceedings relating to the forcible entry or unlawful detention of lands and tenements; and of such criminal cases as the Legislature may prescribe. The County Judge shall have jurisdiction of the settlement of the estates of decedents and minors, to order the sale of real estate of decedents and minors, to take probate of wills, to grant letters testamentary and of administration and guardianship, and to discharge the duties usually pertaining to courts of probate. He shall have the power of a committing magistrate and shall issue all licenses required by law to be issued in the county.

Sec. 18. The Legislature may organize in such counties, as it may think proper, County Courts which shall have jurisdiction of all cases at law in which the demand or value of the property involved shall not exceed five hundred dollars; of proceedings relating to the forcible entry or unlawful detention of lands and tenements, and of misdemeanors, and final appellate jurisdiction in civil cases arising in the Courts of Justices of the Peace. The trial of such appeals may be de novo at the option of the appellant. The County Judge shall be the Judge of said Court. There shall be elected by the qualified electors of said county at the time when the said Judge is elected a Prosecuting Attorney for said county, who shall hold office for four years. His duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law. Such Courts may be abolished at the pleasure of the Legislature.

Sec. 19. When any civil case at law in which the Judge is disqualified shall be called for trial in a Circuit or County Court, the parties may agree upon an attorney at law, who shall be Judge ad litem, and shall preside over the trial of and make orders in said cause as if he were Judge of the Court. The parties may, however, transfer the cause to another Circuit Court or County Court, as the case may be, or may have the case submitted to a referee.

Sec. 20. Any civil cause may be tried before a practicing attorney as referee upon the application of the parties and an order from the court in whose jurisdiction the case may be, authorizing such trial and appointing such referee. The referee shall keep a complete Edition: current; Page: [746] record of the case, including the evidence taken, and such record shall be filed with the papers in the case in the office of the Clerk; and the cause shall be subject to an appeal in the manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 21. The County Commissioners of each county shall divide it into as many Justice Districts, not less than two, as they may deem necessary. There shall be elected one Justice of the Peace for each of the said districts. He shall hold his office for four years.

Sec. 22. In each county where there is no County Court, as provided for in section eighteen of this Article, the Justices of the Peace shall have jurisdiction in cases at law in which the demand or value of the property involved does not exceed one hundred dollars, and in which the cause of action accrued, or the defendant resides, in his district; and in such criminal cases, except felonies, as may be prescribed by law; and in counties where County Courts are established, as provided for in section eighteen of this Article, every Justice of the Peace shall have jurisdiction in cases at law in which the demand or value of the property does not exceed fifty dollars, and in which the cause of action accrued, or the defendant resides, in his district; and he shall have power to issue process for the arrest of persons charged with crime, and to make the same returnable before himself or the County Judge, for examination, discharge, commitment or bail of the accused. Justices of the Peace shall have power to hold inquests of the dead. Appeals from Justices of the Peace Courts to Circuit Courts in criminal cases shall be tried de novo under such regulations as the Legislature may prescribe.*

Sec. 23. A Constable shall be elected by the registered voters in each Justice’s district, who shall perform such duties, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 24. There shall be established in the county of Escambia, and upon application of a majority of the registered voters in such other counties as the Legislature may deem expedient, a Criminal Court of Record, and there shall be one Judge for each of the said courts, who shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, who shall hold his office for four years, and whose salary shall be one thousand dollars a year, the counties paying the salaries.

Sec. 25. The said courts shall have jurisdiction of all criminal cases not capital which shall arise in said counties respectively.

Sec. 26. There shall be six terms of said courts in each year.

Sec. 27. There shall be for each of said courts a Prosecuting Attorney, who shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, and who shall hold his office for four years. His compensation shall be fixed by law.

Sec. 28. All offences triable in said Court shall be prosecuted upon information under oath, to be filed by the prosecuting attorney, but the grand jury of the Circuit Court for the county in which said Criminal Court is held may indict for offences triable in the Criminal Court. Upon the finding of such indictment the Circuit Judge shall commit or bail the accused for trial in the Criminal Court, which trial shall be upon information.

Sec. 29. The County Courts in counties where such Criminal Courts are established shall have no criminal jurisdiction and no prosecuting Attorney.

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Sec. 30. The Clerk of said Court shall be elected by the electors of the county in which the Court is held and shall hold office for four years, and his compensation shall be fixed by law. He shall also be Clerk of the County Court. The Sheriff of the County shall be the executive officer of said Court, and his duties and fees shall be fixed by law.

Sec. 31. The State Attorney residing in the county where such Court is held shall be eligible for appointment as County Solicitor for said county.

Sec. 32. Such courts may be abolished by the Legislature.

Sec. 33. When the office of any Judge shall become vacant from any cause, the successor to fill such vacancy shall be appointed or elected only for the unexpired term of the Judge whose death, resignation, retirement, or other cause created such vacancy.

Sec. 34. The Legislature may establish in incorporated towns and cities, courts for the punishment of offences against municipal ordinances.

Sec. 35. No courts other than those herein specified shall be established in this State.

Sec. 36. All judicial officers in this State shall be conservators of the peace.

Sec. 37. The style of all process shall be “The State of Florida,” and all prosecutions shall be conducted in the name and by the authority of the State.

Sec. 38. The number of jurors for the trial of causes in any court may be fixed by law but shall not be less than six in any case.

Article VI: SUFFRAGE AND ELIGIBILITY

Section 1. Every male person of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, that shall, at the time of registration, be a citizen of the United States, or that shall have declared his intention to become such in conformity to the laws of the United States, and that shall have resided and had his habitation, domicile, home and place of permanent abode in Florida for one year, and in the county for six months, shall in such county be deemed a qualified elector at all elections under this Constitution.a

Sec. 2. The Legislature, at its first session after the ratification of this Constitution, shall provide by law for the registration of all the legally qualified voters in each county, and for the returns of elections; and shall also provide that after the completion, from time to time, of such registration, no person not duly registered according to law shall be allowed to vote.

Sec. 3. Every elector shall at the time of his registration take and subscribe to the following oath: “I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Florida, that I am twenty-one years of age, and have been a resident of the State of Florida for twelve months and of this county for six months, and I am qualified to vote under the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida.”

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Sec. 4. No person under guardianship, non compos mentis or insane shall be qualified to vote at any election, nor shall any person convicted of felony by a court of record be qualified to vote at any election unless restored to civil rights.

Sec. 5. The Legislature shall have power to, and shall, enact the necessary laws to exclude from every office of honor, power, trust or profit, civil or military, within the State, and from the right of suffrage, all persons convicted of bribery, perjury, larceny, or of infamous crime, or who shall make, or become directly or indirectly interested in, any bet or wager, the result of which shall depend upon any election; or that shall hereafter fight a duel or send or accept a challenge to fight, or that shall be a second to either party, or that shall be the bearer of such challenge or acceptance; but the legal disability shall not accrue until after trial and conviction by due form of law.

Sec. 6. In all elections by the Legislature the vote shall be viva voce, and in all elections by the people the vote shall be by ballot.

Sec. 7. At any election at which a citizen or subject of any foreign country shall offer to vote under the provisions of this Constitution, if required by any elector, he shall produce to the persons lawfully authorized to conduct and supervise such election a duly sealed and certified copy of his declaration of intention, and if unable to do so by reason that such copy cannot be obtained at the time of said election, he shall be allowed to make affidavit before a proper officer, setting forth the reason why he is unable to furnish such certificate, and if said affidavit prove satisfactory to the inspectors they shall allow said elector to cast his vote; and any naturalized citizen offering to vote shall, if so required by any elector, produce his certificate of naturalization or a duly certified copy thereof, and in the event that said elector cannot produce the same, he shall be allowed to make affidavit before a proper officer stating in full the reason why it cannot be furnished, and if satisfactory to the inspectors of said election such elector shall be allowed to vote.a

Sec. 8. The Legislature shall have power to make the payment of the capitation tax a prerequisite for voting, and all such taxes received shall go into the school fund.

Sec. 9. The Legislature shall enact such laws as will preserve the purity of the ballot given under this Constitution.

Article VII: CENSUS AND APPORTIONMENT

Section 1. The Senators representing the odd numbered districts, as said districts are now designated, whose terms have not expired, and those Senators representing even numbered districts, to be elected ad 1886, under the Constitution of 1868, shall be the first Senate under this Constitution; and the members of the Assembly to be elected ad 1886 shall be the first House of Representatives under this Constitution, and the Senate and House of Representatives thus constituted shall be the first Legislature under this Constitution, and the terms of office of each of the said Senators and members of the House of Representatives shall expire at the election for Senators Edition: current; Page: [749] and members of the House of Representatives ad 1888, and in that year a new Senate and House of Representatives shall be elected.

Sec. 2. The Legislatures that convene in the year 1889 and thereafter, shall consist of not more than thirty-two members of the Senate, and of not more than sixty-eight members of the House of Representatives. The members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for terms of two years, and the members of the Senate shall be elected for terms of four years, except as hereafter provided, the elections for members of the Senate and House of Representatives to be held at the same time and places. The terms of Senators elected in 1888 from districts designated by even numbers, shall expire at the end of two years from that date, and thereafter all Senators shall be elected for four years, so that one-half of the whole number shall be elected biennially.a

Sec. 3. The Legislature that shall meet ad 1887, and those that shall meet every ten years thereafter, shall apportion the representation in the Senate, the whole number of Senators not to exceed thirty-two members; and at the same time shall also apportion the representation in the House of Representatives, the whole number of Representatives not to exceed sixty-eight members. The representation in the House of Representatives shall be apportioned among the several counties as nearly as possible according to population; Provided, Each county shall have one representative at large in the House of Representatives, and no county shall have more than three Representatives.

Sec. 4. When any Senatorial District is composed of two or more counties, the counties of which such district consists shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district. Any new county that may be created shall be entitled to one member in the House of Representatives until the next apportionment thereafter; and shall be assigned when created to one of the adjoining Senatorial Districts as shall be determined by the Legislature.

Sec. 5. The Legislature shall provide for an enumeration of all the inhabitants of the State by counties for the year 1895, and every ten years thereafter.

Article VIII: COUNTIES AND CITIES

Section 1. The State shall be divided into political divisions to be called counties.

Sec. 2. The several counties as they now exist are hereby recognized as the legal political divisions of the State.

Sec. 3. The Legislature shall have power to establish new counties, and to change county lines. Every newly established county shall be held liable for its proportion of the then existing liabilities of the county or counties from which it shall be formed, rated upon the basis of the assessed value of the property, both real and personal, subject to taxation within the territory taken from any county or counties; and every county acquiring additional territory from another county shall be held liable for its proportion of the liabilities of Edition: current; Page: [750] such other county existing at the time of such acquisition, to be rated upon the basis of the assessed value of all property subject to taxation within such acquired territory.

Sec. 4. The Legislature shall have no power to remove the County Seat of any county, but shall provide by general law for such removal; Provided, That in the formation of new counties the County Seat may be temporarily established by law.

Sec. 5. There shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, in and for each county, five County Commissioners. Their terms of office shall be two years, and their powers, duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law. The Legislature shall provide for the division of each county into five districts, and one County Commissioner shall be selected from each of such districts.

Sec. 6. The Legislature shall provide for the election by the qualified electors in each county of the following county officers: A Clerk of the Circuit Court, a Sheriff, Constables, a County Assessor of Taxes, a Tax Collector, a County Treasurer, a Superintendent of Public Instruction, and a County Surveyor. The term of office of all county officers mentioned in this section shall be four years, except that of County Assessor of Taxes, County Tax Collector and County Treasurer, who shall be elected for two years. Their powers, duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 7. The Legislature shall by law authorize the County Commissioners of the several counties, where it is deemed necessary for assessment purposes, to divide their respective counties into taxation districts, and to appoint in and for each district an Assistant Assessor of Taxes, whose powers, duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law. All county officers, except Assistant Assessors of Taxes, shall, before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, be commissioned by the Governor; but no such commission shall issue to any such officer until he shall have filed with the Secretary of State a good and sufficient bond in such sum and upon such conditions as the Legislature shall by law prescribe, approved by the County Commissioners of the county in which such officer resides, and by the Comptroller. No county officer shall become security upon the official bond of any other county officer. If any person elected or appointed to any county office shall fail to give bond and qualify within sixty days after his election, the said office shall become vacant.

Sec. 8. The Legislature shall have power to establish and to abolish municipalities, to provide for their government, to prescribe their jurisdiction and powers, and to alter or amend the same at any time. When any municipality shall be abolished, provision shall be made for the protection of its creditors.

Article IX: TAXATION AND FINANCE

Section 1. The Legislature shall provide for a uniform and equal rate of taxation, and shall prescribe such regulations as shall secure a just valuation of all property, both real and personal, excepting Edition: current; Page: [751] such property as may be exempted by law for municipal, educational, literary, scientific, religious or charitable purposes.

Sec. 2. The Legislature shall provide for raising revenue sufficient to defray the expenses of the State for each fiscal year, and also a sufficient sum to pay the principal and interest of the existing indebtedness of the State.

Sec. 3. No tax shall be levied except in pursuance of law.

Sec. 4. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury except in pursuance of appropriations made by law.

Sec. 5. The Legislature shall authorize the several counties and incorporated cities or towns in the State to assess and impose taxes for county and municipal purposes, and for no other purposes, and all property shall be taxed upon the principles established for State taxation. But the cities and incorporated towns shall make their own assessments for municipal purposes upon the property within their limits. The Legislature may also provide for levying a special capitation tax, and a tax on licenses. But the capitation tax shall not exceed one dollar a year and shall be applied exclusively to common school purposes.

Sec. 6. The Legislature shall have power to provide for issuing State bonds only for the purpose of repelling invasion or suppressing insurrection, or for the purpose of redeeming or refunding bonds already issued, at a lower rate of interest

Sec. 7. No tax shall be levied for the benefit of any chartered company of the State, nor for paying interest on any bonds issued by such chartered companies, or by counties, or by corporations, for the above-mentioned purpose.

Sec. 8. No person or corporation shall be relieved by any court from the payment of any tax that may be illegal, or illegally or irregularly assessed, until he or it shall have paid such portion of his or its taxes as may be legal, and legally and regularly assessed.

Sec. 9. There shall be exempt from taxation property to the value of two hundred dollars to every widow that has a family dependent on her for support, and to every person that has lost a limb or been disabled in war or by misfortune.

Sec. 10. The credit of the State shall not be pledged or loaned to any individual, company, corporation or association; nor shall the State become a joint owner or stockholder in any company, association or corporation. The Legislature shall not authorize any county, city, borough, township or incorporated district to become a stockholder in any company, association or corporation, or to obtain or oppropriate money for, or to loan its credit to, any corporation, association, institution or individual.

Article X: HOMESTEAD AND EXEMPTIONS

Section 1. A homestead to the extent of one hundred and sixty acres of land, or the half of one acre within the limits of any incorporated city or town, owned by the head of a family residing in this State, together with one thousand dollars worth of personal property, and the improvements on the real estate, shall be exempt from forced Edition: current; Page: [752] sale under process of any court, and the real estate shall not be alienable without the joint consent of husband and wife, when that relation exists. But no property shall be exempt from sale for taxes or assessments, or for the payment of obligations contracted for the purchase of said property, or for the erection or repair of improvements on the real estate exempted, or for house, field or other labor performed on the same. The exemption herein provided for in a city or town shall not extend to more improvements or buildings than the residence and business house of the owner; and no judgment or decree or execution shall be a lien upon exempted property except as provided in this Article.

Sec. 2. The exemptions provided for in section one shall inure to the widow and heirs of the party entitled to such exemption, and shall apply to all debts, except as specified in said section.

Sec. 3. The exemption provided for in the Constitution of this State adopted in 1868 shall apply as to all debts contracted and judgments rendered since the adoption thereof and prior to the adoption of this Constitution.

Sec. 4. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to prevent the holder of a homestead from alienating his or her homestead so exempted by deed or mortgage duly executed by himself or herself, and by husband and wife, if such relation exists; nor if the holder be without children to prevent him or her from disposing of his or her homestead by will in a manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 5. No homestead provided for in section one shall be reduced in area on account of its being subsequently included within the limits of an incorporated city or town, without the consent of the owner.

Sec. 6. The Legislature shall enact such laws as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this Article.

Article XI: MARRIED WOMEN’S PROPERTY

Section 1. All property, real and personal, of a wife owned by her before marriage, or lawfully acquired afterward by gift, devise, bequest, descent, or purchase, shall be her separate property, and the same shall not be liable for the debts of her husband without her consent given by some instrument in writing executed according to the law respecting conveyances by married women.

Sec. 2. A married woman’s separate real or personal property may be charged in equity and sold, or the uses, rents and profits thereof sequested for the purchase money thereof; or for money or thing due upon any agreement made by her in writing for the benefit of her separate property; or for the price of any property purchased by her, or for labor and material used with her knowledge or assent in the construction of buildings, or repairs, or improvements upon her property, or for agricultural or other labor bestowed thereon, with her knowledge and consent.

Sec. 3. The Legislature shall enact such laws as shall be necessary to carry into effect this Article.

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Article XII: EDUCATION

Section 1. The Legislature shall provide for a uniform system of public free schools, and shall provide for the liberal maintenance of the same.

Sec. 2. There shall be a Superintendent of Public Instruction, whose duties shall be prescribed by law, and whose term of office shall be four years and until the election and qualification of his successor.

Sec. 3. The Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney-General, State Treasurer and State Superintendent of Public Instruction shall constitute a body corporate, to be known as the State Board of Education of Florida, of which the Governor shall be President, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction Secretary. This Board shall have power to remove any subordinate school officer for cause, upon notice to the incumbent; and shall have the management and investment of all State School Funds under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, and such supervision of schools of higher grades as the law shall provide.

Sec. 4. The State School Fund, the interest of which shall be exclusively applied to the support and maintenance of public free schools, shall be derived from the following sources:

The proceeds of all lands that have been or may hereafter be granted to the State by the United States for public school purposes.

Donations to the State when the purpose is not specified.

Appropriations by the State.

The proceeds of escheated property or forfeitures.

Twenty-five per cent. of the sales of public lands which are now or may hereafter be owned by the State.

Sec. 5. The principal of the State School Fund shall remain sacred and inviolate.

Sec. 6. A special tax of one mill on the dollar of all taxable property in the State, in addition to the other means provided, shall be levied and apportioned annually for the support and maintenance of public free schools.

Sec. 7. Provision shall be made by law for the distribution of the interest on the State School Fund and the special tax among the several counties of the State in proportion to the number of children residing therein between the ages of six and twenty-one years.a

Sec. 8. Each county shall be required to assess and collect annually for the support of public free schools therein, a tax of not less than three mills nor more than five mills on the dollar of all taxable property in the same.

Sec. 9. The County School Fund shall consist, in addition to the tax provided for in section eight of this Article, of the proportion of the interest of the State School Fund and of the one mill State tax apportioned to the county; the net proceeds of all fines collected under the penal laws of the State within the county; all capitation Edition: current; Page: [754] taxes collected within the county; and shall be disbursed by the County Board of Public Instruction solely for the maintenance and support of public free schools.

Sec. 10. The Legislature may provide for the division of any county or counties into convenient school districts; and for the election biennially of three school trustees, who shall hold their office for two years, and who shall have the supervision of all the schools within the district; and for the levying and collection of a district school tax, for the exclusive use of public free schools within the district, whenever a majority of the qualified electors thereof that pay a tax on real, or personal property shall vote in favor of such levy; Provided, That any tax authorized by this section shall not exceed three mills on the dollar in any one year on the taxable property of the district.

Sec. 11. Any incorporated town or city may constitute a School District. The fund raised by section 10 may be expended in the district where levied for building or repairing school houses, for the purchase of school libraries and text-books, for salaries of teachers, or for other educational purposes, so that the distribution among all the schools of the district be equitable.

Sec. 12. White and colored children shall not be taught in the same school, but impartial provision shall be made for both.

Sec. 13. No law shall be enacted authorizing the diversion or the lending of any County or District School Funds, or the appropriation of any part of the permanent or available school fund to any other than school purposes; nor shall the same, or any part thereof, be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian school.

Sec. 14. The Legislature at its first session shall provide for the establishment, maintenance and management of such Normal Schools, not to exceed two, as the interests of public education may demand.

Sec. 15. The compensation of all county school officers shall be paid from the school fund of their respective counties, and all other county officers receiving stated salaries shall be paid from the general funds of their respective counties.

Article XIII: PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

Section 1. Institutions for the benefit of the insane, blind and deaf, and such other benevolent institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the State, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 2. A State Prison shall be established and maintained in such manner as may be prescribed by law. Provision may be made by law for the establishment and maintenance of a house of refuge for juvenile offenders; and the Legislature shall have power to establish a home and work-house for common vagrants.

Sec. 3. The respective counties of the State shall provide in the manner prescribed by law for those of the inhabitants that, by reason of age, infirmity or misfortune, may have claims upon the aid and sympathy of society.

Sec. 4. The first Legislature that convenes after the adoption of this Constitution shall enact the necessary laws to carry into effect the provisions of this Article.

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Article XIV: MILITIA

Section 1. All able-bodied male inhabitants of the State, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, that are citizens of the United States, or have declared their intention to become citizens thereof, shall constitute the militia of the State; but no male citizen of whatever religious creed or opinion shall be exempt from military duty except upon such conditions as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 2. The Legislature may provide by law for organizing and disciplining the militia of the State, for the encouragement of volunteer corps, the safe keeping of the public arms, and for a guard for the State Prison.

Sec. 3. The Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, shall appoint two Major-Generals and four Brigadier-Generals of Militia. They shall take rank according to the dates of their commissions. The officers and soldiers of the State Militia, when uniformed, shall wear the uniform prescribed for the United States Army; Provided, That volunteer companies may select their own uniforms.

Sec. 4. The Governor shall have power to call out the Militia to preserve the public peace, to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion.

Article XV: PUBLIC HEALTH

Section 1. The Legislature shall establish a State Board of Health and also County Boards of Health in all counties where it may be necessary.

Sec. 2. The State Board of Health shall have supervision of all matters relating to public health, with such duties, powers and responsibilities as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 3. The County Boards of Health shall have such powers and be under the supervision of the State Board to such extent as the Legislature may prescribe.

Article XVI: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Section 1. The Seat of Government shall be at the City of Tallahassee, in the county of Leon.

Sec. 2. Each and every officer of this State, including the members of the Legislature, shall before entering upon the discharge of his official duties take the following oath of office: I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the State, and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of ——— on which I am now about to enter. So help me God.

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Sec. 3. The salary of each officer shall be payable quarterly upon his own requisition.

Sec. 4. All county officers shall hold their respective offices, and keep their official books and records, at the county seats of their counties; and the Clerk and Sheriff shall either reside or have a sworn deputy within two miles of the county seat.

Sec. 5. The Legislature may provide for the donation of the public lands to actual settlers, but such donation shall not exceed eighty acres to any one person.

Sec. 6. The Legislature shall provide for the speedy publication and distribution of all laws it may enact. All decisions of the Supreme Court and all laws and judicial decisions shall be free for publication by any person. But no judgment of the Supreme Court shall take effect until the opinion of the Court in such case shall be filed with the Clerk of said Court.a

Sec. 7. The Legislature shall not create any office, the term of which shall be longer than four years.

Sec. 8. A plurality of votes given at an election of officers shall constitute a choice when not otherwise provided by this Constitution.

Sec. 9. In all criminal cases prosecuted in the name of the State, where the defendant is insolvent or discharged, the State shall pay the legal costs and expenses, including the fees of officers, under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law.b

Sec. 10. The Governor, Supreme Court and all the administrative officers of the Executive Department shall keep their offices at the Seat of Government. But in case of invasion or violent epidemics the Governor may direct that the offices of the Government be removed temporarily to some other place. The sessions of the Legislature may be adjourned for the same cause to some other place, but in case of such removal all the Departments of the Government shall be removed to one place. But such removal shall not continue longer than the necessity for the same shall continue.

Sec. 11. No extra compensation shall be made to any officer, agent, employe, or contractor after the service shall have been rendered, or the contract made; nor shall any money be appropriated or paid on any claim, the subject matter of which shall not have been provided for by pre-existing laws, unless such compensation or claim be allowed by bill passed by two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the Legislature.

Sec. 12. The present Seal of the State shall be and remain the Seal of the State of Florida; and the present State Emblem shall be and remain the Emblem of the State of Florida.

Sec. 13. The sureties upon the official bonds of all the State officers shall be residents of, and have sufficient visible property unencumbered within the State, not exempt from sale under legal process, to make good their bonds; and the sureties upon the official bonds of all county officers shall reside within the counties where such county officers reside, and have sufficient visible property therein unencumbered Edition: current; Page: [757] and not exempt from sale under legal process to make good their bonds.a

Sec. 14. All State, County, and Municipal officers shall continue in office after the expiration of their official terms until their successors are duly qualified.

Sec. 15. No person holding or exercising the functions of any office under any foreign Government, under the Government of the United States, or under any other State, shall hold any office of honor or profit under the government of this State; and no person shall hold, or perform the functions of, more than one office under the government of this State at the same time; Provided, Notaries Public, militia officers, county school officers and Commissioners of Deeds may be elected or appointed to fill any legislative, executive or judicial office.

Sec. 16. The property of all corporations, except the property of a corporation which shall construct a ship or barge canal across the peninsula of Florida, if the Legislature should so enact, whether heretofore or hereafter incorporated, shall be subject to taxation unless such property be held and used exclusively for religious, scientific, municipal, educational, literary or charitable purposes.

Sec. 17. No person shall hold any office of trust or profit under the laws of this State without devoting his personal attention to the duties of the same.

Sec. 18. The Legislature shall provide for deductions from the salaries of public officers who neglect the performance of any duty assigned them by law.

Sec. 19. No Convention nor Legislature of this State shall act upon any amendment of the Constitution of the United States proposed by Congress to the several States, unless such Convention or Legislature shall have been elected after such amendment is submitted.

Sec. 20. The Governor and every State officer are hereby prohibited from giving certificates of election or other credentials to any person as having been elected to the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, or the United States Senate, who has not been five years a citizen of the State and ten years a citizen of the United States, and a qualified voter.

Sec. 21. Deeds and mortgages which have been proved for record and recorded according to law, shall be taken as prima facie evidence in the courts of this State without requiring proof of the execution. A certified copy of the record of any deed or mortgage that has been Edition: current; Page: [758] or shall be duly recorded according to law shall be admitted as prima facie evidence thereof, and of its due execution with like effect as the original duly proved; Provided, It be made to appear that the original is not within the custody or control of the party offering such copy.

Sec. 22. The Legislature shall provide for giving to mechanics and laborers an adequate lien on the subject matter of their labor.

Sec. 23. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 24. All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent to the fourth generation, inclusive, are hereby forever prohibited.

Sec. 25. The term felony, whenever it may occur in this Constitution or in the laws of the State, shall be construed to mean any criminal offence punishable with death or imprisonment in the State Penitentiary.

Sec. 26. The Legislature may make provision for the proper adjustment and settlement of the claim of the citizens of Ocala against the State for certain aid given by the town of Ocala for the establishment of the East Florida Seminary in 1852, and conditional upon its location at the said town.

Sec. 27. The Legislature shall appropriate at least five hundred dollars each year for the purchase of such books for the Supreme Court Library as the Court may direct.

Sec. 28. The Legislature may provide for the drainage of the land of one person over or through that of another, upon just compensation therefor to the owner of the land over which such drainage is had.

Sec. 29. No private property nor right of way shall be appropriated to the use of any corporation or individual until full compensation therefor shall be first made to the owner, or first secured to him by deposit of money; which compensation, irrespective of any benefit from any improvement proposed by such corporation or individual, shall be ascertained by a jury of twelve men in a court of competent jurisdiction, as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 30. The Legislature is invested with full power to pass laws for the correction of abuses and to prevent unjust discrimination and excessive charges by persons and corporations engaged as common carriers in transporting persons and property, or performing other services of a public nature; and shall provide for enforcing such laws by adequate penalties or forfeitures.

Sec. 31. No railroad or other transportation company or common carrier in this State shall grant a free pass, or discount the fare paid by the public generally, to any member of the Legislature, or to any salaried officer of this State, and the Legislature shall prohibit the granting or receiving such free pass, or fare at a discount, by suitable penalties.

Article XVII: AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Either branch of the Legislature, at a regular session thereof, may propose amendments to this Constitution; and if the Edition: current; Page: [759] same be agreed to by three-fifths of all the members elected to each House, such proposed amendments shall be entered upon their respective Journals with the yeas and nays, and published in one newspaper in each county where a newspaper is published, for three months immediately preceding the next general election of Representatives, at which election the same shall be submitted to the electors of the State, for approval or rejection. If a majority of the electors voting upon the amendments at such election shall adopt the amendments, the same shall become a part of the Constitution. The proposed amendments shall be so submitted as to enable the electors to vote on each amendment separately.

Sec. 2. If at any time the Legislature, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of both Houses, shall determine that a revision of this Constitution is necessary, such determination shall be entered upon their respective Journals, with the yeas and nays thereon. Notice of said action shall be published weekly in one newspaper in every county in which a newspaper is published, for three months preceding the next general election of Representatives, and in those counties where no newspaper is published, notice shall be given by posting at the several polling precincts in such counties for six weeks next preceding said election. The electors at said election may vote for or against the revision in question. If a majority of the electors so voting be in favor of revision, the Legislature chosen at such election shall provide by law for a Convention to revise the Constitution, said Convention to be held within six months after the passage of such law. The convention shall consist of a number equal to the membership of the House of Representatives, and shall be apportioned among the several counties in the same manner as members of said House.

Article XVIII: SCHEDULE

Section 1. The Constitution adopted ad 1868, with amendments thereto, is declared to be superceded by this Constitution: But all rights, actions, claims and contracts, both as respects individuals and bodies corporate, shall continue to be as valid as if this constitution had not been adopted. And all fines, taxes, penalties and forfeitures due and owing to the State of Florida under the Constitution of 1868, shall inure to the use of the State under this Constitution.

Sec. 2. All laws now in force not inconsistent with this Constitution shall continue in force until they shall expire by their own limitation, or be repealed by the Legislature.

Sec. 3. All persons holding any office or appointment at the ratification of this Constitution shall continue in the exercise of the duties thereof, according to their respective commissions or appointemnts, and until their successors are duly qualified, unless by this Constitution otherwise provided.

Sec. 4. Nothing contained in this Constitution shall operate to vacate the office of Lieutenant-Governor until the expiration of his present term.

Sec. 5. All vacancies occurring by limitation of terms before the general election in 1888 shall be filled as provided for by law under the Constitution of 1868.

Edition: current; Page: [760]

Sec. 6. The term of office for all appointees to fill vacancies in any of the elective offices under this Constitution, shall extend only to the election and qualification of a successor at the ensuing general election.

Sec. 7. In all cases of elections to fill vacancies in office such election shall be for the unexpired term.

Sec. 8. Upon the ratification of this Constitution the Commissioner of Lands and Immigration shall assume the office of Commissioner of Agriculture, and his duties as such shall be prescribed by the first Legislature assembled under this Constitution.

Sec. 9. A general election shall be held in each county in this State on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, ad 1888, and every two years thereafter, for all elective State and county officers whose terms of office are about to expire, or for any office that shall have become vacant.*

Sec. 10. The first election for County Judge, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Sheriff, Tax Assessor, Tax Collector, County Treasurer, County Superintendent of Public Instruction, County Surveyor, Justices of the Peace, Constables and all other elective County Officers shall be at the general election in 1888.

Sec. 11. It shall be the duty of the President of this Convention immediately on its adjournment to certify to the Governor a copy of this Constitution.

Sec. 12. Upon receipt of such certified copy the Governor shall forthwith announce the fact by proclamation, to be published in such newspapers in this State as may be deemed requisite for general information, and five printed copies of such Constitution shall be transmitted by the Secretary of State to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, and five to the County Judge of each county, which shall be kept on file in their respective offices for examination by any person desiring the same.

Sec. 13. All Courts as now organized and constituted shall continue with their jurisdiction until the Legislature shall conform to the requirements of this Constitution the jurisdiction of such Courts as, under this Constitution, are to exercise in whole or in part the jurisdiction of Courts now organized.

Sec. 14. The terms of office of all County Officers, unless otherwise provided, shall commence on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January next after their election.

Article XIX: LOCAL OPTION

Section 1. The Board of County Commissioners of each county in the State, not oftener than once in every two years, upon the application of one-fourth of the registered voters of any county, shall call and provide for an election in the county in which application is made, to decide whether the sale of intoxicating liquors, wines or beer shall be prohibited therein, the question to be determined by a majority vote of those voting at the election called under Edition: current; Page: [761] this section, which election shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by law for holding general elections; Provided, That intoxicating liquors, either spiritous, vinous, or malt, shall not be sold in any election district in which a majority vote was cast against the same at the said election. Elections under this section shall be held within sixty days from the time of presenting said application, but if any such election should thereby take place within sixty days of any State or National election, it shall be held within sixty days after any such State or National election.

Sec. 2. The Legislature shall provide necessary laws to carry out and enforce the provisions of Section 1 of this Article.

ORDINANCES

Ordinance No. 1

Section 1. This Constitution shall be submitted to the people of the State of Florida for ratification on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, ad 1886, and it shall require a majority of the votes cast upon the question to determine its ratification or rejection.

Sec. 2. At such election each qualified elector shall express his assent or dissent, by having written or printed upon the ticket which he shall vote the words, “For the Constitution,” or “Against the Constitution;” such election being subject to the same regulations and restrictions as are now prescribed by law. And in case of its ratification by the people, the Governor shall forthwith cause proclamation to be made of the fact, and it shall go into effect on the first day of January, ad 1887.

Ordinance No. 2

Section 1. Article XIX shall be submitted to the people, when the Constitution is submitted for ratification, to become a part of the Constitution, if adopted by a majority of the votes cast upon the question, and the ballots of those voting on this Article shall have written or printed on them the words, “For Article XIX,” or “Against Article XIX.”

Ordinance No. 3

Be it ordained by the People of Florida, Represented in Constitutional Convention:

Section 1. The pay of the members of this Constitutional Convention shall be a per diem for attendance of six ($6.00) dollars a day in addition to mileage of ten cents a mile, each way, from their places of residence to the Capital and return, estimated by the shortest thoroughfare.

Sec. 2. The pay of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Convention and all the Clerks elected by the Convention shall be six ($6.00) dollars per diem each, allowing the Secretary and Assistant Secretary one day after adjournment to complete unfinished business; all Committee Clerks shall receive five ($5.00) dollars per diem for the number of days certified by the Chairman of the Committee; the pay of the Sergeant-at-Arms shall be six ($6.00) dollars per diem, Edition: current; Page: [762] and the Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms shall be five ($5.00) dollars per diem; the pay of the Messengers of the Convention shall be four ($4.00) dollars per diem each; the pay of the Door-Keeper shall be five ($5.00) dollars per diem; the pay of Pages shall be three ($3.00) dollars per diem each; the pay of the Janitor shall be two ($2.00) dollars per diem; the pay of the Chaplain shall be one hundred dollars. The Recording Clerk shall complete his work after the adjournment of the Convention, under the supervision of the Secretary of State, and shall be paid for the same fifty dollars when his work is completed. Eighteen dollars shall be paid W. R. Carter for services as Assistant Secretary for three days. Messrs. Dorr & Bowen shall be paid for printing the amount approved by the Committee on Printing, certified by the President and Secretary of the Convention.

Sec. 3. The Comptroller is required to draw his warrant on the Treasurer in favor of the officers and employees of this Convention for the full amount allowed them by section two, and to each delegate of this Convention for his pro rata share of the amount appropriated by the Legislature, after deducting from said amount the amount due said employees and all other expenses, including mileage of members, incurred by this Convention.

Sec. 4. The President is authorized on behalf of this Convention to issue certificates signed by himself and countersigned by the Secretary, to each of the members, payable to himself or his order, bearing interest at the rate of eight per cent. per annum from date, for the amount remaining due on account of the deficiency of the Legislative appropriation for expenses of this Convention.

Sec. 5. The Legislature shall make an appropriation at its next session to pay said certificates.

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That the Secretary of this Convention be and he is hereby authorized to audit the accounts of the members and all other expenses.

Done in open Convention, at Tallahassee, this 3d day of August, ad eighteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the independence of the Uniited States the one hundred and tenth year.

S. Pasco, President.
J. E. Yonge, First Vice-President.
Wm. H. Reynolds, Secretary Convention.

AMENDMENTS.

(Article III, sec. 3, 1896)

Sec. 3. The members of the House of Representatives of the State of Florida shall be chosen biennially beginning with the general election on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1898, and thereafter on the corresponding day of every second year.

(Article III, sec. 17, 1896)

Sec. 17. Every bill shall be read by its title, on its first reading, in either house, unless one-third of the members present desire it read by sections. Every bill shall be read on three several days unless two-thirds of the members present when such bill may be pending shall deem it expedient to dispense with this rule. Every bill shall be read Edition: current; Page: [763] by its sections on its second reading and on its final passage, unless on its second reading two-thirds of the members present in the House where such bill may be pending, shall deem it expedient to dispense with this rule. The vote on the final passage of every bill or joint resolution shall be taken by yeas and nays to be entered on the Journal of each House; Provided, That any general revision of the entire laws embodied in any bill shall not be required to be read by sections upon its final passage, and its reading may be wholly dispensed with by a two-third vote. A majority of the members present in each house shall be necessary to pass every bill or joint resolution, all bills or joint resolutions so passed shall be signed by the presiding officer of the respective Houses and by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

(Article IV, sec. 12, 1896)

Sec. 12. The Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Attorney-General and Commissioner of Agriculture or a major part of them, of whom the Governor shall be one, may upon such conditions and with such limitations and restrictions as they may deem proper, remit fines and forfeitures, commute punishment and grant pardon after conviction, in all cases except treason and impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons.

(Article V, sec. 22, 1896)

Sec. 22. The Justices of the Peace shall have jurisdiction in cases at law in which the demand or value of the property involved does not exceed $100.00 and in which the cause of action accrued or the defendent resides in his district; and in such criminal cases, except felonies, as may be prescribed by law, and he shall have power to issue process for the arrest of all persons charged with felonies and misdemeanors not within his jurisdiction.

(Article VI, 1894)

SUFFRAGE AND ELIGIBILITY

Section 1. Every male person of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, that shall, at the time of registration, be a citizen of the United States, and that shall have resided and had his habitation, domicile, home and place of permanent abode in Florida for one year and in the county for six months, shall in such county be deemed a qualified elector at all elections under this Constitution. Naturalized citizens of the United States at the time of and before registration shall produce to the registration officer his certificate of naturalization or a duly certified copy thereof.

(Article VII, sec. 2, 1896)

Sec. 2. The Legislature shall consist of not more than thirty-two members of the Senate, and of not more than sixty-eight members of the House of Representatives. The members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for terms of two years, and the members Edition: current; Page: [764] of the Senate shall be elected for terms of four years, except as hereinafter provided. The elections for members of the House of Representatives and Senate shall be at the same time and places. The terms of office of the Senators elected in October ad 1896, shall expire on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November ad 1900, and the terms of those elected in November ad 1898, shall expire on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November ad 1902, and thereafter all Senators shall be elected for four years.

(Article XII, sec. 7, 1894)

Sec. 7. Provision shall be made by law for the apportionment and distribution of the interest on the State School Fund and all other means provided, including the special tax, for the support and maintenance of public free schools, among the several counties of the State in proportion to the average attendance upon schools in the said counties respectively.

(Article XVI, sec. 6, 1896)

Sec. 6. The Legislature shall provide for the speedy publication and distribution of all laws it may enact. Decisions of the Supreme Court and all laws and judicial decisions shall be free for publication by any person. But no judgment of the Supreme Court shall take effect until the decision of the court in such case shall be filed with the clerk of said court.

(Article XVI, sec. 9, 1894)

Sec. 9. In all criminal cases prosecuted in the name of the State when the defendant is insolvent or discharged, the legal costs and expenses, including the fees of officers, shall be paid by the counties where the crime is committed, under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law; and all fines and forfeitures collected under the penal laws of the State shall be paid into the county treasuries of the respective counties as a general fund.

(Article XVIII, sec. 9, 1896)

Sec. 9. A general election shall be held in each county in this State on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, ad 1898, and every two years thereafter, for all elective State and County officers, whose terms of office are about to expire, or for any elective office that shall have become vacant.

Edition: current; Page: [765]

GEORGIA

For organic acts relating to the lands now included within Georgia, see in this work:

Charter of Virginia, 1606 (Virginia, p. 3783).
Charter of Carolina, 1663 (North Carolina, p. 2743).
Proprietary Proposals, 1663 (North Carolina, p. 2753).
Charter of Carolina, 1665 (North Carolina, p. 2761).
Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, 1669 (North Carolina, p. 2772).

CHARTER OF GEORGIA—1732*a

George the second, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and so forth. To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting.

Whereas we are credibly informed, that many of our poor subjects are, through misfortunes and want of employment, reduced to great necessity, insomuch as by their labor they are not able to provide a maintenance for themselves and families; and if they had means to defray their charges of passage, and other expences, incident to new settlements, they would be glad to settle in any of our provinces in America where by cultivating the lands, at present waste and desolate, they might not only gain a comfortable subsistence for themselves and families, but also strengthen our colonies and increase the trade, navigation and wealth of these our realms. And whereas our provinces in North America, have been frequently ravaged by Indian enemies; more especially that of South-Carolina, which in the late war, by the neighboring savages, was laid waste with fire and sword, and great numbers of English inhabitants, miserably massacred, and our loving subjects who now inhabit them, by reason of the smallness of their numbers, will in case of a new war, be exposed to the late calamities; inasmuch as their whole southern frontier continueth unsettled, and lieth open to the said savages—And whereas we think Edition: current; Page: [766] it highly becoming our crown and royal dignity, to protect all our loving subjects, be they ever so distant from us; to extend our fatherly compassion even to the meanest and most unfortunate of our people, and to relieve the wants of our above mentioned poor subjects; and that it will be highly conducive for accomplishing those ends, that a regular colony of the said poor people be settled and established in the southern territories of Carolina. And whereas we have been well assured, that if we will be most graciously pleased to erect and settle a corporation, for the receiving, managing and disposing of the contributions of our loving subjects; divers persons would be induced to contribute to the uses and purposes aforesaid—Know ye therefore, that we have, for the considerations aforesaid, and for the better and more orderly carrying on of the said good purposes; of our special grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, willed, ordained, constituted and appointed, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do will, ordain, constitute, declare and grant, that our right trusty and well beloved John, lord-viscount Purcival, of our kingdom of Ireland, our trusty and well beloved Edward Digby, George Carpenter, James Oglethorpe, George Heathcote, Thomas Tower, Robert Moore, Robert Hucks, Roger Holland, William Sloper, Francis Eyles, John Laroche, James Vernon, William Beletha, esquires, A. M. John Burton, B. D. Richard Bundy, A. M. Arthur Bedford, A. M. Samuel Smith, A. M. Adam Anderson and Thomas Corane, gentlemen; and such other persons as shall be elected in the manner herein after mentioned, and their successors to be elected in the manner herein after directed; be, and shall be one body politic and corporate, in deed and in name, by the name of the Trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia in America; and them and their successors by the same name, we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, really and fully make, ordain, constitute and declare, to be one body politic and corporate in deed and in name forever; and that by the same name, they and their successors, shall and may have perpetual succession; and that they and their successors by that name shall and may forever hereafter, be persons able and capable in the law, to purchase, have, take, receive and enjoy, to them and their successors, any manors, messuages, lands, tenements, rents, advowsons, liberties, privileges, jurisdictions, franchises, and other hereditaments whatsoever, lying and being in Great Britain, or any part thereof, of whatsoever nature, kind or quality, or value they be, in fee and in perpetuity, not exceeding the yearly value of one thousand pounds, beyond reprises; also estates for lives, and for years, and all other manner of goods, chattels and things whatsoever they be; for the better settling and supporting, and maintaining the said colony, and other uses aforesaid; and to give, grant, let and demise the said manors, messuages, lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, chattels and things whatsoever aforesaid, by lease or leases, for term of years, in possession at the time of granting thereof, and not in reversion, not exceeding the term of thirty-one years, from the time of granting thereof; on which in case no fine be taken, shall be reserved the full value, and in case a fine be taken, shall be reserved at least a moiety of the full value that the same shall reasonably and bona fide be worth at the time of such demise; and that they and their successors, by the name aforesaid, shall and may forever hereafter, be persons able, Edition: current; Page: [767] capable in the law, to purchase, have, take, receive, and enjoy, to them and their successors, any lands, territories, possessions, tenements, jurisdictions, franchises and hereditaments whatsoever, lying and being in America, of what quantity, quality or value whatsoever they be, for the better settling and supporting and maintaining the said colony; and that by the name aforesaid they shall and may be able to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, defend and be defended, in all courts and places whatsoever, and before whatsoever judges, justices, and other officers, of us, our heirs and successors, in all and singular actions, plaints, pleas, matters, suits and demands, of what kind, nature or quality soever they be; and to act and to do, all matters and things in as ample manner and form as any other our liege subjects of this realm of Great Britain, and that they and their successors forever hereafter, shall and may have a common seal, to serve for the causes and business of them and their successors; and that it shall and may be lawful for them and their successors, to change, break, alter and make new the said seal, from time to time, and at their pleasure, and as they shall think best.

And we do further grant, for us, our heirs and successors, that the said corporation, and the common council of the said corporation, hereinafter by us appointed, may from time to time, and at all times, meet about their affairs when and where they please, and transact and carry on the business of the said corporation. And for the better execution of the purposes aforesaid, we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, give & grant to the said corporation, and their successors, that they and their successors forever, may upon the third Thursday in the month of March, yearly, meet at some convenient place to be appointed by the said corporation, or major part of them who shall be present at any meeting of the said corporation, to be had for the appointing of the said place; and that they, or two thirds of such of them, that shall be present at such yearly meeting, and at no other meeting of the said corporation, between the hours of ten in the morning and four in the afternoon of the same day, choose and elect such person or persons to be members of the said corporation, as they shall think beneficial to the good designs of the said corporation. And our further will and pleasure is, that if it shall happen that any person hereinafter by us appointed, as the common council of the said corporation, or any persons to be elected or admitted members of the said common council in the manner hereafter directed, shall die, or shall by writing under his and their hands respectively resign his or their office or offices of common council man or common council men; the said corporation, or the major part of such of them as shall be present, shall and may at such meeting, on the said third Thursday in March yearly, in manner as aforesaid, next after such death or resignation, and at no other meeting of the said corporation, into the room or place of such person or persons so dead or so resigning, elect and choose one or more such person or persons, being members of the said corporation, as to them shall seem meet; and our will is, that all and every the person or persons which shall from time to time hereafter be elected common council men of the said corporation as aforesaid, do and shall, before he or they act as common men of the said corporation, take an oath fo the faithful and due execution of their Edition: current; Page: [768] office; which oath the president of the said corporation for the time being, is hereby authorized and required to administer to such person or persons elected as aforesaid. And our will and pleasure is, that the first president of the said corporation is and shall be our trusty and well-beloved, the said Lord John Viscount Percival; and that the said president shall, within thirty days after the passing this charter, cause a summons to be issued to the several members of the said corporation herein particularly named, to meet at such time and place as he shall appoint, to consult about and transact the business of said corporation. And our will and pleasure is, and we, by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, grant, ordain, and direct, that the common council of this corporation shall consist of fifteen in number; and we do, by these presents, nominate, constitute, and appoint our right trusty and well-beloved John Lord Viscount Percival, our trusty and beloved Edward Digby, George Carpenter, James Oglethorpe, George Heathcote, Thomas Laroche, James Vernon, William Beletha, esqrs., and Stephen Hales, Master of Arts, to be the common council of the said corporation, to continue in the said office during their good behavior. And whereas it is our royal intention, that the members of the said corporation should be increased by election, as soon as conveniently may be, to a greater number than is hereby nominated; Our further will and pleasure is, and we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, ordain and direct, that from the time of such increase of the members of the said corporation, the number of the said common council shall be increased to twenty-four; and that the same assembly at which such additional members of the said corporation shall be chosen, there shall likewise be elected in the manner hereinbefore directed for the election of common council men, nine persons to be the said common council men, and to make up the number thereof twenty-four. And our further will and pleasure is, that our trusty and well beloved Edward Digby, esquire, shall be the first chairman of the common council of the said corporation; and that the said lord-viscount Purcival shall be, and continue, president of the said corporation, and that the said Edward Digby shall be and continue chairman of the common council of the said corporation, respectively, until the meeting which shall be had next and immediately after the first meeting of the said corporation, or of the common council of the said corporation respectively, and no longer; at which said second meeting, and every other subsequent and future meeting of the said corporation or of the common council of the said corporation respectively, in order to preserve an indifferent rotation of the several offices, of president of the corporation, and of chairman of the common council of the said corporation we do direct and ordain that all and every the person and persons, members of the said common council for the time being, and no other, being present at such meetings, shall severally and respectively in their turns, preside at the meetings which shall from time to time be held of the said corporation, or of the common council of the said corporation respectively: and in case any doubt or question shall at any time arise touching or concerning the turn or right of any member of the said common council to preside at any meeting of the said corporation, or at the common council of the said corporation, the same shall respectively be determined by Edition: current; Page: [769] the major part of the said corporation, or of the common council of the said corporation respectively, who shall be present at such meeting. Provided always, that no member of the said common council having served in the offices of president of the said corporation, or of chairman of the common council of the said corporation, shall be capable of being, or of serving as president or chairman at any meeting of the said corporation, or common council of the said corporation next and immediately ensuing that in which he so served as president of the said corporation or chairman of the said common council of the said corporation respectively; unless it shall so happen that at any such meeting of the said corporation, there shall not be any other member of the said common council present.

And our will and pleasure is, that at all and every of the meetings of the said corporation, or of the common council of the said corporation, the president or chairman for the time being, shall have a voice and shall vote, and shall act as a member of the said corporation or of the common council of the said corporation, at such meeting; and in case of any equality of votes, the said president or chairman for the time being, shall have and exercise a casting vote. And our further will and pleasure is, that no president of the said corporation, or chairman of the common council of the said corporation, or member of the said common council or corporation, by us by these presents appointed, or hereafter from time to time to be elected and appointed in manner aforesaid, shall have, take, or receive, directly or indirectly, any salary, fee, perquisite, benefit or profit whatsoever, for or by reason of his or their serving the said corporation, or common council of the said corporation, or president, chairman or common council man, or as being a member of the said corporation. And our will and pleasure is, that the said herein before appointed president, chairman or common council-men, before he and they act respectively as such, shall severally take an oath for the faithful and due execution of their trust, to be administered to the president by the Chief Baron of our Court of Exchequer, for the time being, and by the president of the said corporation to the rest of the common council, who are hereby authorised severally and respectively, to administer the same. And our will and pleasure is, that all and every person and persons, shall have in his or their own name or names, or in the name or names of any person or persons in trust for him or them, or for his or their benefit, any place, office or employment of profit, under the said corporation, shall be incapable of being elected a member of the said corporation; and if any member of the said corporation during such time as he shall continue a member thereof, shall in his own name or in the name of any person or persons, in trust for him or for his benefit, have, hold or exercise, accept, possess or enjoy, any office, place or employment of profit, under the said corporation, or under the common council of the said corporation—such member shall from the time of his having, holding, exercising, accepting possessing and enjoying such office, place and employment of profit, cease to be a member of the said corporation. And we do for us, our heirs and successors, grant unto the said corporation, that they and their successors or the major part of such of them as shall be present at any meeting of the said corporation, convened and assembled for that purpose by a convenient notice thereof, shall have power from time to time, and at all Edition: current; Page: [770] times hereafter, to authorize and appoint such persons as they shall think fit to take subscriptions, and to gather and collect such moneys as shall be by any person or persons contributed for the purposes aforesaid; and shall and may revoke and make void such authorities and appointments, as often as they shall see cause so to do.

And we do hereby for us, our heirs and successors, ordain and direct, that the said corporation shall every year lay an account in writing before the chancellor, or speaker, or commissioners, for the custody of the great seal of Great-Britain, of us, our heirs and successors; the Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench, the Master of Rolls the Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and the chief Baron of the Exchequer of us, our heirs and successors for the time being, or any two of them; of all moneys and effects by them received or expended, for the carrying on of the good purposes aforesaid. And we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant unto the said corporation, and their successors, full power and authority to constitute, ordain and make, such and so many by-laws, constitutions, orders and ordinances, as to them, or the greater part of them, at their general meeting for that purpose, shall seem necessary and convenient for the well ordaining and governing of the said corporation; and the said by-laws, constitutions, orders and ordinances, or any of them, to alter and annul, as they or the major part of them then present shall see requisite: and in and by such by-laws, rules, orders and ordinances, to sell, impose and inflict, reasonable pains and penalties upon any offender or offenders, who shall transgress, break or violate the said by-laws, constitutions, orders and ordinances, so made as aforesaid, and to mitigate the same as they or the major part of them then present shall find cause, which said pains and penalties, shall and may be levied, sued for, taken, retained and recovered, by the said corporation and their successors, by their officers and servants, from time to time, to be appointed for that purpose, by action of debt, or by any other lawful ways or means, to the use and behoof of the said corporation and their successors, all and singular: which by-laws, constitutions, orders and ordinances, so as aforesaid to be made, we will shall be duly observed and kept, under the pains and penalties therein to be contained, so always, as the said by-laws, constitutions, orders, and ordinances, pains and penalties, from time to time to be made and imposed, be reasonable and not contrary or repugnant to the laws or statutes of this our realm; and that such by-laws, constitutions and ordinances, pains and penalties, from time to time to be made and imposed; and any repeal or alteration thereof, or any of them, may be likewise agreed to be established and confirmed by the said general meeting of the said corporation, to be held and kept next after the same shall be respectively made. And whereas the said corporation intend to settle a colony, and to make an habitation and plantation in that part of our province of South-Carolina, in America, herein after described.

Know ye, therefore that we greatly desiring the happy success of the said corporation, for their further encouragement in accomplishing so excellent a work have of our aforesaid grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, given and granted by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do give and grant to the said corporation and their successors under the reservation, limitation and declaration, Edition: current; Page: [771] hereafter expressed, seven undivided parts, the whole in eight equal parts to be divided, of all those lands, countrys and territories, situate, lying and being in that part of South-Carolina, in America, which lies from the most northern part of a stream or river there, commonly called the Savannah, all along the sea coast to the southward, unto the most southern stream of a certain other great water or river called the Alatamaha, and westerly from the heads of the said rivers respectively, in direct lines to the south seas; and all that share, circuit and precinct of land, within the said boundaries, with the islands on the sea, lying opposite to the eastern coast of the said lands, within twenty leagues of the same, which are not inhabited already, or settled by any authority derived from the crown of Great-Britain: together with all the soils, grounds, havens, ports, gulfs and bays, mines, as well royal mines of gold and silver, as other minerals, precious stones, quarries, woods, rivers, waters, fishings, as well royal fishings of whale and sturgeon as other fishings, pearls, commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, franchises, privileges and pre-eminences within the said frontiers and precincts thereof and thereunto, in any sort belonging or appertaining, and which we by our letters patent may or can grant, and in as ample manner and sort as we may or any of our royal progenitors have hitherto granted to any company, body politic or corporate, or to any edventurer or adventurers, undertaker or undertakers, of any discoveries, plantations or traffic, of, in, or unto any foreign parts whatsoever; and in as large and ample manner, as if the same were herein particularly mentioned and expressed: to have, hold, possess and enjoy, the said seven undivided parts, the whole into eight equal parts, to be divided as aforesaid, of all and singular the lands, countries and territories, with all and singular other the premises herein before by these presents granted or mentioned, or intended to be granted to them, the said corporation, and their successors forever, for the better support of the said colony, to be holden of us, our heirs and successors, as of our honour of Hamptoncourt, in our county of Middlesex in free and common soccage, and not in capite, yielding, and paying therefor to us, our heirs and successors yearly forever, the sum of four shillings for every hundred acres of the said lands, which the said corporation shall grant, demise, plant or settle; the said payment not to commence or to be made, until ten years after such grant, demise, planting or settling; and to be answered and paid to us, our heirs and successors, in such manner and in such species of money or notes, as shall be current in payment, by proclamation from time to time, in our said province of South-Carolina. All which lands, countries, territories and premises, hereby granted or mentioned, and intended to be granted, we do by these presents, make, erect and create one independent and separate province, by the name of Georgia, by which name we will, the same henceforth be called. And that all and every person or persons, who shall at any time hereafter inhabit or reside within our said province, shall be, and are hereby declared to be free, and shall not be subject to or be bound to obey any laws, orders, statutes or constitutions, which have been heretofore made, ordered or enacted by, for, or as, the laws, orders, statutes or constitutions of our said province of South-Carolina, (save and except only the commander in chief of the militia, of our said province of Georgia, to our governor Edition: current; Page: [772] for the time being of South-Carolina, in manner hereafter declared;) but shall be subject to, and bound to obey, such laws, orders, statutes and constitutions as shall from time to time be made, ordered and enacted, for the better government of the said province of Georgia, in the manner hereinafter declared.

And we do hereby, for our heirs and successors, ordain, will and establish, that for and during the term of twenty-one years, to commence from the date of these our letters patent, the said corporation assembled for that purpose, shall and may form and prepare, laws, statutes and ordinances, fit and necessary for and concerning the government of the said colony, and not repugnant to the laws and statutes of England; and the same shall and may present under their common seal to us, our heirs and successors, in our or their privy council for our or their approbation or disallowance: and the said laws, statutes and ordinances, being approved of by us, our heirs and successors, in our or their privy council, shall from thence forth be in full force and virtue within our said province of Georgia. And forasmuch as the good and prosperous success of the said colony cannot but chiefly depend, next under the blessing of God, and the support of our royal authority, upon the provident and good direction of the whole enterprise, and that it will be too great a burthen upon all the members of the said corporation to be convened so often as may be requisite, to hold meetings for the settling, supporting, ordering, and maintaining the said colony; therefore we do will, ordain and establish, that the said common council for the time being, of the said corporation, being assembled for that purpose, or the major part of them, shall from time to time, and at all times hereafter, have full power and authority to dispose of, extend and apply all the monies and effects belonging to the said corporation, in such manner and ways and by such expenses as they shall think best to conduce to the carrying on and effecting the good purposes herein mentioned and intended; and also shall have full power in the name and on account of the said corporation, and with and under their common seal, to enter under any covenants or contracts, for carrying on and effecting the purposes aforesaid. And our further will and pleasure is, that the said common council for the time being, or the major part of such common council, which shall be present and assembled for that purpose, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, shall and may nominate, constitute and appoint a treasurer or treasurers, secretary or secretaries, and such other officers, ministers and servants of the said corporation as to them or the major part of them as shall be present, shall seem proper or requisite for the good management of their affairs; and at their will and pleasure to displace, remove and put out such treasurer or treasurers, secretary or secretaries, and all such other officers, ministers and servants, as often as they shall think fit so to do; and others in the room, office, place or station of him or them so displaced, remove or put out, to nominate, constitute and appoint; and shall and may determine and appoint, such reasonable salaries, perquisites and other rewards, for their labor, or service of such officers, servants and persons as to the said common council shall seem meet; and all such officers servants and persons shall, before the acting of their respective Edition: current; Page: [773] offices, take an oath to be to them administered by the chairman for the time being of the said common council of the said corporation, who is hereby authorized to administer the same, for the faithful and due execution of their respective offices and places.

And our will and pleasure is, that all and every person and persons, who shall from time to time be chosen or appointed treasurer or treasurers, secretary or secretaries of the said corporation, in manner herein after directed, shall during such times as they shall serve in the said offices respectively, be incapable of being a member of the said corporation. And we do further of our special grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, for us, our heirs and successors, grant, by these presents, to the said corporation and their successors, that it shall be lawful for them and their officers or agents, at all times hereafter, to transport and convey out of our realm of Great-Britain, or any other of our dominions, into the said province of Georgia, to be there settled all such so many of our loving subjects, or any foreigners that are willing to become our subjects, and live under our allegiance, in the said colony, as shall be willing to go to, inhabit, or reside there, with sufficient shipping, armour, weapons, powder, shot, ordnance, munition, victuals, merchandise and wares, as are esteemed by the wild people; clothing, implements, furniture, cattle, horses, mares, and all other things necessary for the said colony, and for the use and defence and trade with the people there, and in passing and returning to and from the same. Also we do, for ourselves and successors, declare, by these presents, that all and every the persons which shall happen to be born within the said province, and every of their children and posterity, shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunities of free denizens and natural born subjects, within any of our dominions, to all intents and purposes, as if abiding and born within this our kingdom of Great-Britain, or any other of our dominions———And for the greater ease and encouragement of our loving subjects and such others as shall come to inhabit in our said colony, we do by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, grant, establish and ordain, that forever hereafter, there shall be a liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God, to all persons inhabiting, or which shall inhabit or be resident within our said province, and that all such persons, except papists, shall have a free exercise of their religion, so they be contented with the quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the same, not giving offence or scandal to the government. And our further will and pleasure is, and we do hereby for us, our heirs and successors, declare and grant, that it shall and may be lawful for the said common council, or the major part of them assembled for that purpose, in the name of the corporation, and under the common seal, to distribute, convey, assign and set over such particular portions of lands, tenements and hereditaments by these presents granted to the said corporation, unto such our loving subjects, natural born, denizens or others that shall be willing to become our subjects, and live under our allegiance in the said colony, upon such terms, and for such estates, and upon such rents, reservations and conditions as the same may be lawfully granted, and as to the said common council, or the major part of them so present, shall seem fit and proper. Provided always that no grants shall be made of any part of the said lands Edition: current; Page: [774] unto any person, being a member of the said corporation, or to any other person in trust, for the benefit of any member of the said corporation; and that no person having any estate or interest, in law or equity, in any part of the said lands, shall be capable of being a member of the said corporation, during the continuance of such estate or interest. Provided also, that no greater quantity of lands be granted, either entirely or in parcels, to or for the use, or in trust for any one person, than five hundred acres; and that all grants made contrary to the true intent and meaning hereof, shall be absolutely null and void.

And we do hereby grant and ordain, that such person or persons, for the time being as shall be thereunto appointed by the said corporation, shall and may at all times, and from time to time hereafter, have full power and authority to administer and give the oaths, appointed by an act of parliament, made in the first year of the reign of our late royal father, to be taken instead of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; and also the oath of abjuration, to all and every person and persons which shall at any time be inhabiting or residing within our said colony; and in like cases to administer the solemn affirmation to any of the persons commonly called quakers, in such manner as by the laws of our realm of Great-Britain, the same may be administered. And we do, of our further grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, grant, establish and ordain, for us, our heirs and successors, that the said corporation and their successors, shall have full power and authority, for and during the term of twenty-one years, to commence from the date of these our letters patent, to erect and constitute judicatories and courts of record, or other courts, to be held in the name of us, our heirs and successors for the hearing and determining of all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, plaints, actions, matters, causes and things whatsoever, arising or happening, within the said province of Georgia, or between persons of Georgia; whether the same be criminal or civil, and whether the said crimes be capital or not capital, and whether the said pleas be real, personal or mixed: and for awarding and making out executions thereupon; to which courts and judicatories, we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant full power and authority, from time to time, to administer oaths for the discovery of truth in any matter in controversy, or depending before them, or the solemn affirmation, to any of the persons commonly called quakers, in such manner, as by the laws of our realm of Great-Britain, the same may be administered.

And our further will and pleasure is, that the said corporation and their successors, do from time to time, and at all times hereafter, register or cause to be registered, all such leases, grants, plantings, conveyances, settlements, and improvements whatsoever, as shall at any time hereafter be made by, or in the name of the said corporation, or any lands, tenements or hereditaments within the said province; and shall yearly send and transmit, or cause to be sent or transmitted, authentic accounts of such leases, grants, conveyances, settlements and improvements respectively, unto the auditor of the plantations for the time being, or his deputy, and also to our surveyor for the time being of our said province of South-Carolina; to whom we do hereby grant full power and authority from time to time, as often as need shall require, to inspect and survey, such of the said lands and premises, as shall be demised, granted and settled as aforesaid: which said Edition: current; Page: [775] survey and inspection, we do hereby declare, to be intended to ascertain the quitrents which shall from time to time become due to us, our heirs and successors, according to the reservation herein before mentioned, and for no other purposes whatsoever; hereby for us, our heirs and successors, strictly enjoining and commanding, that neither our or their surveyor, or any person whatsoever, under the pretext and colour of making the said survey or inspection, shall take, demand or receive, any gratuity, fee or reward, of or from, any person or persons, inhabiting in the said colony, or from the said corporation or common council thereof, on the pain of forfeiture of the said office or offices, and incurring our highest displeasure. Provided always, and our further will and pleasure is, that all leases, grants and conveyances to be made by or in the name of the said corporation, of any lands within the said province, or a memorial containing the substance and effect thereof, shall be registered with the auditor of the said plantations, of us, our heirs and successors, within the space of one year, to be computed from the date thereof, otherwise the same shall be void.

And our further will and pleasure is, that the rents, issues and all other profits, which shall at any time hereafter come to the said corporation, or the major part of them which shall be present at any meeting for that purpose assembled, shall think will most improve and enlarge the said colony, and best answer the good purposes herein before mentioned, and for defraying all other charges about the same. And our will and pleasure is, that the said corporation and their successors, shall from time to time give in to one of the principal secretaries of state, and to the commissioners of trade and plantations, accounts of the progresses of the said colony. And our will and pleasure is that no act done at any meeting of the said common council of the said corporation, shall be effectual and valid, unless eight members at least of the said common council, including the member who shall serve as chairman at the said meeting, be present, and the major part of them consenting thereunto. And our will and pleasure is, that the common council of the said corporation for the time being, or the major part of them who shall be present, being assembled for that purpose, shall from time to time, for, and during, and unto the full end and expiration of twenty-one years, to commence from the date of these our letters patent, have full power and authority to nominate, make, constitute and commission, ordain and appoint, by such name or names, style or styles, as to them shall seem meet and fitting, all and singular such governors, judges, magistrates, ministers and officers, civil and military, both by sea and land, within the said districts, as shall by them be thought fit and needful to be made or used for the said government of the said colony; save always, and except such offices only as shall by us, our heirs and successors, be from time to time constituted and appointed, for the managing collecting and receiving such revenues, as shall from time to time arise within the said province of Georgia, and become due to us, our heirs and successors.

Provided always, and it is our will and pleasure, that every governor of the said province of Georgia, to be appointed by the common council of the said corporation, before he shall enter upon or execute the said office of governor, shall be approved by us, our heirs or successors, and shall take such oaths, and shall qualify himself in such Edition: current; Page: [776] manner, in all respects, as any governor or commander in chief of any of our colonies or plantations in America, are by law required to do; and shall give good and sufficient security for observing the several acts of parliament relating to trade and navigation, and to observe and obey all instructions that shall be sent to him by us, our heirs and successors, or any acting under our or their authority, pursuant to the said acts, or any of them. And we do by these presents for us, our heirs and successors, will, grant and ordain, that the said corporation and their successors, shall have full power for and during and until the full end and term of twenty-one years, to commence from the date of these our letters patent, by any commander or other officer or officers, by them for that purpose from time to time appointed, to train and instruct, exercise and govern a militia, for the special defence and safety of our said colony, to assemble in martial array, the inhabitants of the said colony, and to lead and conduct them, and with them to encounter, expulse, repel, resist and pursue by force of arms, as well by sea as by land, within or without the limits of our said colony; and also to kill, slay and destroy, and conquer by all fitting ways, enterprizes and means whatsoever, all and every such person or persons as shall at any time hereafter, in any hostile manner, attempt or enterprize the destruction, invasion, detriment or annoyance of our said colony; and to use and exercise the martial law in time of actual war and invasion or rebellion, in such cases, where by law the same may be used or exercised; and also from time to time to erect forts, and fortify any place or places within our said colony, and the same to furnish with all necessary ammunition, provisions and stores of war, for offence and defence, and to commit from time to time the custody or government of the same, to such person or persons as to them shall seem meet: and the said forts and fortifications to demolish at their pleasure; and to take and surprize, by all ways and means, all and every such person or persons, with their ships, arms, ammunition and other goods, as shall in an hostile manner, invade or attempt the invading, conquering or annoying of our said colony. And our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, declare and grant, that the governor and commander in chief of the province of South-Carolina, of us, our heirs and successors, for the time being, shall at all times hereafter have the chief command of the militia of our said province, hereby erected and established; and that such militia shall observe and obey all orders and directions, that shall from time to time be given or sent to them by the said governor or commander in chief; any thing in these presents before contained to the contrary hereof, in any wise notwithstanding. And, of our more special grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, we have given and granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do give and grant, unto the said corporation and their successors, full power and authority to import and export their goods, at and from any port or ports that shall be appointed by us, our heirs and successors, within the said province of Georgia, for that purpose, without being obliged to touch at any other port in South-Carolina. And we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, will and declare, that from and after the termination of the said term or twenty-one years, such form of government and method of making laws, statutes and ordinances, for Edition: current; Page: [777] the better governing and ordering the said province of Georgia, and the inhabitants thereof, shall be established and observed within the same, as we, our heirs and successors, shall hereafter ordain and appoint, and shall be agreeably to law; and that from and after the determination of the said term of twenty-one years, the governor of our said province of Georgia, and all officers civil and military, within the same, shall from time to time be nominated and constituted, and appointed by us, our heirs and successors. And lastly, we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, grant unto the said corporation and their successors, that these our letters patent, or the enrolments or exemplification thereof, shall be in and by all things good, firm, valid, sufficient and effectual in the law, according to the true intent and meaning thereof, and shall be taken, construed and adjudged, in all courts and elsewhere in the most favorable and beneficial sense, and for the best advantage of the said corporation and their successors any omission, imperfection, defect, matter or cause, or thing whatsoever to the contrary, in any wise notwithstanding. In witness, whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent: witness ourself at Westminster, the ninth day of June, in the fifth year of our reign.

By writ of privy-seal.

Cooks.

CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA—1777*a

Whereas the conduct of the legislature of Great Britain for many years past has been so oppressive on the people of America that of late years they have plainly declared and asserted a right to raise taxes upon the people of America, and to make laws to bind them in all cases whatsoever, without their consent; which conduct, being repugnant to the common rights of mankind, hath obliged the Americans, as freemen, to oppose such oppressive measures, and to assert the rights and privileges they are entitled to by the laws of nature and reason; and accordingly it hath been done by the general consent of all the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, given by their representatives met together in general Congress, in the city of Philadelphia;

And whereas it hath been recommended by the said Congress, on the fifteenth of May last, to the respective assemblies and conventions of the United States, where no government, sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs, hath been hitherto established, to adopt such government as may, in the opinion of the representatives of Edition: current; Page: [778] the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular and America in general;

And whereas the independence of the United States of America has been also declared, on the fourth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, by the said honorable Congress, and all political connection between them and the Crown of Great Britain is in consequence thereof dissolved:

We, therefore, the representatives of the people, from whom all power originates, and for whose benefit all government is intended, by virtue of the power delegated to us, do ordain and declare, and it is hereby ordained and declared, that the following rules and regulations be adopted for the future government of this State:

Article I. The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other.

Art. II. The legislature of this State shall be composed of the representatives of the people, as is hereinafter pointed out; and the representatives shall be elected yearly, and every year, on the first Tuesday in December; and the representatives so elected shall meet the first Tuesday in January following, at Savannah, or any other place or places where the house of assembly for the time being shall direct.

On the first day of the meeting of the representatives so chosen, they shall proceed to the choice of a governor, who shall be styled “honorable;” and of an executive council, by ballot out of their own body, viz: two from each county, except those counties which are not yet entitled to send ten members. One of each county shall always attend, where the governor resides, by monthly rotation, unless the members of each county agree for a longer or shorter period. This is not intended to exclude either member attending. The remaining number of representatives shall be called the house of assembly; and the majority of the members of the said house shall have power to proceed on business.

Art. III. It shall be an unalterable rule that the house of assembly shall expire and be at an end, yearly and every year, on the day preceding the day of election mentioned in the foregoing rule.

Art. IV. The representation shall be divided in the following manner: ten members from each county, as is hereinafter directed, except the county of Liberty, which contains three parishes, and that shall be allowed fourteen.

The ceded lands north of Ogechee shall be one county, and known by the name of Wilkes.

The parish of Saint Paul shall be another county, and known by the name of Richmond.

The parish of Saint George shall be another county, and known by the name of Burke.

The parish of Saint Matthew, and the upper part of Saint Philip, above Canouchee, shall be another county, and known by the name of Effingham.

The parish of Christ Church, and the lower part of Saint Philip, below Canouchee, shall be another county, and known by the name of Chatham.

The parishes of Saint John, Saint Andrew, and Saint James shall be another county, and known by the name of Liberty.

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The parishes of Saint David and Saint Patrick shall be another county, and known by the name of Glynn.

The parishes of Saint Thomas and Saint Mary shall be another county, and known by the name of Camden.

The port and town of Savannah shall be allowed four members to represent their trade.

The port and town of Sunbury shall be allowed two members to represent their trade.

Art. V. The two counties of Glynn and Camden shall have one representative each, and also they, and all other counties that may hereafter be laid out by the house of assembly, shall be under the following regulations, viz: at their first institution each county shall have one member, provided the inhabitants of the said county shall have ten electors; and if thirty, they shall have two; if forty, three; if fifty, four; if eighty, six; if a hundred and upward, ten; at which time two executive councillors shall be chosen from them, as is directed for the other counties.

Art. VI. The representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county, who shall have resided at least twelve months in this State, and three months in the county where they shall be elected; except the freeholders of the counties of Glynn and Camden, who are in a state of alarm, and who shall have the liberty of choosing one member each, as specified in the articles of this constitution, in any other county, until they have residents sufficient to qualify them for more; and they shall be of the Protestent religion, and of the age of twenty-one years, and shall be possessed in their own right of two hundred and fifty acres of land, or some property to the amount of two hundred and fifty pounds.

Art. VII. The house of assembly shall have power to make such laws and regulations as may be conducive to the good order and well-being of the State; provided such laws and regulations be not repugnant to the true intent and meaning of any rule or regulation contained in this constitution.

The house of assembly shall also have power to repeal all laws and ordinances they find injurious to the people; and the house shall choose its own speaker, appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for supplying intermediate vacancies, and shall have power of adjournment to any time or times within the year.

Art. VIII. All laws and ordinances shall be three times read, and each reading shall be on different and separate days, except in cases of great necessity and danger; and all laws and ordinances shall be sent to the executive council after the second reading, for their perusal and advice.

Art. IX. All male white inhabitants, of the age of twenty-one years, and possessed in his own right of ten pounds value, and liable to pay tax in this State, or being of any mechanic trade, and shall have been resident six months in this State, shall have a right to vote at all elections for representatives, or any other officers, herein agreed to be chosen by the people at large; and every person having a right to vote at any election shall vote by ballot personally.

Art. X. No officer whatever shall serve any process, or give any other hinderances to any person entitled to vote, either in going to the place of election, or during the time of the said election, or on their Edition: current; Page: [780] returning home from such election; nor shall any military officer, or soldier, appear at any election in a military character, to the intent that all elections may be free and open.

Art. XI. No person shall be entitled to more than one vote, which shall be given in the county where such person resides, except as before excepted; nor shall any person who holds any title of nobility be entitled to a vote, or be capable of serving as a representative, or hold any post of honor, profit, or trust in this State, whilst such person claims his title of nobility; but if the person shall give up such distinction, in the manner as may be directed by any future legislation, then, and in such case, he shall be entitled to a vote, and represent, as before directed, and enjoy all the other benefits of a free citizen.

Art. XII. Every person absenting himself from an election, and shall neglect to give in his or their ballot at such election, shall be subject to a penalty not exceeding five pounds; the mode of recovery, and also the appropriation thereof, to be pointed out and directed by act of the legislature: Provided, nevertheless, That a reasonable excuse shall be admitted.

Art. XIII. The manner of electing representatives shall be by ballot, and shall be taken by two or more justices of the peace in each county, who shall provide a convenient box for receiving the said ballots: and, on closing the poll, the ballots shall be compared in public with the list of votes that have been taken, and the majority immediately declared; a certificate of the same being given to the persons elected, and also a certificate returned to the house of representatives.

Art. XIV. Every person entitled to vote shall take the following oath or affirmation, if required, viz:

“I, A B, do voluntarily and solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I do owe true allegiance to this State, and will support the constitution thereof; so help me God.”

Art. XV. Any five of the representatives elected, as before directed, being met, shall have power to administer the following oath to each other; and they, or any other member, being so sworn, shall, in the house, administer the oath to all other members that attend, in order to qualify them to take their seats, viz:

“I, A B, do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the State of Georgia, and will truly perform the trusts reposed in me; and that I will execute the same to the best of my knowledge, for the benefit of this State, and the support of the constitution thereof, and that I have obtained my election without fraud or bribe whatever; so help me God.”

Art. XVI. The continental delegates shall be appointed annually by ballot, and shall have a right to sit, debate, and vote in the house of assembly, and be deemed a part thereof, subject, however, to the regulations contained in the twelfth article of the Confederation of the United States.

Art. XVII. No person bearing any post of profit under this State, or any person bearing any military commission under this or any other State or States, except officers of the militia, shall be elected a representative. And if any representative shall be appointed to any place of profit or military commission, which he shall accept, his seat shall immediately become vacant, and he shall be incapable of reëlection whilst holding such office.

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By this article it is not to be understood that the office of a justice of the peace is a post of profit.

Art. XVIII. No person shall hold more than one office of profit under this State at one and the same time.

Art. XIX. The governor shall, with the advice of the executive council, exercise the executive powers of government, according to the laws of this State and the constitution thereof, save only in the case of pardons and remission of fines, which he shall in no instance grant; but he may reprieve a criminal, or suspend a fine, until the meeting of the assembly, who may determine therein as they shall judge fit.

Art. XX. The governor, with the advice of the executive council, shall have power to call the house of assembly together, upon any emergency, before the time which they stand adjourned to.

Art. XXI. The governor, with the advice of the executive council, shall fill up all intermediate vacancies that shall happen in offices till the next general election; and all commissions, civil and military, shall be issued by the governor, under his hand and the great seal of the State.

Art. XXII. The governor may preside in the executive council at all times, except when they are taking into consideration and perusing the laws and ordinances offered to them by the house of assembly.

Art. XXIII. The governor shall be chosen annually by ballot, and shall not be eligible to the said office for more than one year out of three, nor shall he hold any military commission under any other State or States.

The governor shall reside at such place as the house of assembly for the time being shall appoint.

Art. XXIV. The governor’s oath:

“I, A B, elected governor of the State of Georgia, by the representatives thereof, do solemnly promise and swear that I will, during the term of my appointment, to the best of my skill and judgment, execute the said office faithfully and conscientiously, according to law, without favor, affection, or partiality; that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain, and defend the State of Georgia, and the constitution of the same; and use my utmost endeavors to protect the people thereof in the secure enjoyment of all their rights, franchises, and privileges; and that the laws and ordinances of the State be duly observed, and that law and justice in mercy be executed in all judgments. And I do further solemnly promise and swear that I will peaceably and quietly resign the government to which I have been elected at the period to which my continuance in the said office is limited by the constitution. And, lastly, I do also solemnly swear that I have not accepted of the government whereunto I am elected contrary to the articles of this constitution; so help me God.”

This oath to be administered to him by the speaker of the assembly.

The same oath to be administered by the speaker to the president of the council.

No person shall be eligible to the office of governor who has not resided three years in this State.

Art. XXV. The executive council shall meet the day after their election, and proceed to the choice of a president out of their own body; they shall have power to appoint their own officers and settle their own rules of proceedings.

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The council shall always vote by counties, and not individually.

Art. XXVI. Every councillor, being present, shall have power of entering his protest against any measures in council he has not consented to, provided he does it in three days.

Art. XXVII. During the sitting of the assembly the whole of the executive council shall attend, unless prevented by sickness, or some other urgent necessity; and, in that case, a majority of the council shall make a board to examine the laws and ordinances sent them by the house of assembly; and all laws and ordinances sent to the council shall be returned in five days after, with their remarks hereon.

Art. XXVIII. A committee from the council, sent with any proposed amendments to any law or ordinance, shall deliver their reasons for such proposed amendments, sitting and covered; the whole house at that time, except the speaker, uncovered.

Art. XXIX. The president of the executive-council, in the absence or sickness of the governor, shall exercise all the powers of the governor.

Art. XXX. When any affair that requires secrecy shall be laid before the governor and the executive council, it shall be the duty of the governor, and he is hereby obliged, to administer the following oath, viz:

“I, A B, do solemnly swear that any business that shall be at this time communicated to the council I will not, in any manner whatever, either by speaking, writing, or otherwise, reveal the same to any person whatever, until leave given by the council, or when called upon by the house of assembly; and all this I swear without any reservation whatever; so help me God.”

And the same oath shall be administered to the secretary and other officers necessary to carry the business into execution.

Art. XXXI. The executive power shall exist till renewed as pointed out by the rules of this constitution.

Art. XXXII. In all transactions between the legislative and executive bodies the same shall be communicated by message, to be delivered from the legislative body to the governor or executive council by a committee, and from the governor to the house of assembly by the secretary of the council, and from the executive council by a committee of the said council.

Art. XXXIII. The governor for the time being shall be captain-general and commander-in-chief over all the militia, and other military and naval forces belonging to this State.

Art. XXXIV. All militia commissions shall specify that the person commissioned shall continue during good behavior.

Art. XXXV. Every county in this State that has, or hereafter may have, two hundred and fifty men, and upwards, liable to bear arms, shall be formed into a battalion; and when they become too numerous for one battalion, they shall be formed into more, by bill of the legislature; and those counties that have a less number than two hundred and fifty shall be formed into independent companies.

Art. XXXVI. There shall be established in each county a court, to be called a superior court, to be held twice in each year.

On the first Tuesday in March, in the county of Chatham.

The second Tuesday in March, in the county of Effingham.

The third Tuesday in March, in the county of Burke.

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The fourth Tuesday in March, in the county of Richmond.

The next Tuesday, in the county of Wilkes.

And Tuesday fortnight, in the county of Liberty.

The next Tuesday, in the county of Glynn.

The next Tuesday, in the county of Camden.

The like courts to commence in October and continue as above.

Art. XXXVII. All causes and matters of dispute, between any parties residing in the same county, to be tried within the county.

Art. XXXVIII. All matters in dispute between contending parties residing in different counties shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides, except in cases of real estate, which shall be tried in the county where such real estate lies.

Art. XXXIX. All matters of breach of the peace, felony, murder, and treason against the State to be tried in the county where the same was committed. All matters of dispute, both civil and criminal, in any county where there is not a sufficient number of inhabitants to form a court, shall be tried in the next adjacent county where a court is held.

Art. XL. All causes, of what nature soever, shall be tried in the supreme court, except as hereafter mentioned; which court shall consist of the chief-justice, and three or more of the justices residing in the county. In case of the absence of the chief-justice, the senior justice on the bench shall act as chief-justice, with the clerk of the county, attorney for the State, sheriff, coroner, constable, and the jurors; and in case of the absence of any of the aforementioned officers, the justices to appoint others in their room pro tempore. And if any plaintiff or defendant in civil causes shall be dissatisfied with the determination of the jury, then, and in that case, they shall be at liberty, within three days, to enter an appeal from that verdict, and demand a new trial by a special jury, to be nominated as follows, viz: each party, plaintiff and defendant, shall choose six, six more names shall be taken indifferently out of a box provided for that purpose, the whole eighteen to be summoned, and their names to be put together into the box, and the first twelve that are drawn out, being present, shall be the special jury to try the cause, and from which there shall be no appeal.

Art. XLI. The jury shall be judges of law, as well as of fact, and shall not be allowed to bring in a special verdict; but if all or any of the jury have any doubts concerning points of law, they shall apply to the bench, who shall each of them in rotation give their opinion.

Art. XLII. The jury shall be sworn to bring in a verdict according to law, and the opinion they entertain of the evidence; provided it be not repugnant to the rules and regulations contained in this constitution.

Art. XLIII. The special jury shall be sworn to bring in a verdict according to law, and the opinion they entertain of the evidence; provided it be not repugnant to justice, equity, and conscience, and the rules and regulations contained in this constitution, of which they shall judge.

Art. XLIV. Captures, both by sea and land, to be tried in the county where such shall be carried in; a special court to be called by the chief-justice, or in his absence by the then senior justice in Edition: current; Page: [784] the said county, upon application of the captors or claimants, which cause shall be determined within the space of ten days. The mode of proceeding and appeal shall be the same as in the superior courts, unless, after the second trial, an appeal is made to the Continental Congress; and the distance of time between the first and second trial shall not exceed fourteen days; and all maritime causes to be tried in like manner.

Art. XLV. No grand jury shall consist of less than eighteen, and twelve may find a bill.

Art. XLVI. That the court of conscience be continued as heretofore practiced, and that the jurisdiction thereof be extended to try causes not amounting to more than ten pounds.

Art. XLVII. All executions exceeding five pounds, except in the case of a court-merchant, shall be stayed until the first Monday in March; provided security be given for debt and costs.

Art. XLVIII. All the costs attending any action in the superior court shall not exceed the sum of three pounds, and that no cause be allowed to depend in the superior court longer than two terms.

Art. XLIX. Every officer of the State shall be liable to be called to account by the house of assembly.

Art. L. Every county shall keep the public records belonging to the same, and authenticated copies of the several records now in the possession of this State shall be made out and deposited in that county to which they belong.

Art. LI. Estates shall not be entailed; and when a person dies intestate, his or her estate shall be divided equally among their children; the widow shall have a child’s share, or her dower, at her option; all other intestates’ estates to be divided according to the act of distribution, made in the reign of Charles the Second, unless otherwise altered by any future act of the legislature.

Art. LII. A register of probates shall be appointed by the legislature in every county, for proving wills and granting letters of administration.

Art. LIII. All civil officers in each county shall be annually elected on the day of the general election, except justices of the peace and registers of probates, who shall be appointed by the house of assembly.

Art. LIV. Schools shall be erected in each county, and supported at the general expense of the State, as the legislature shall hereafter point out.

Art. LV. A court-house and jail shall be erected at the public expense in each county, where the present convention or the future legislature shall point out and direct.

Art. LVI. All persons whatever shall have the free exercise of their religion; provided it be not repugnant to the peace and safety of the State; and shall not, unless by consent, support any teacher or teachers except those of their own profession.

Art. LVII. The great seal of this State shall have the following device: on one side a scroll, whereon shall be engraved, “The Constitution of the State of Georgia;” and the motto, “Pro bono publico.” On the other side, an elegant house, and other buildings, fields of corn, and meadows covered with sheep and cattle; a river running through the same, with a ship under full sail, and the motto, “Deus nobis hæc otia fecit.

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Art. LVIII. No person shall be allowed to plead in the courts of law in this State, except those who are authorized so to do by the house of assembly; and if any person so authorized shall be found guilty of malpractice before the house of assembly, they shall have power to suspend them. This is not intended to exclude any person from that inherent privilege of every freeman, the liberty to plead his own cause.

Art. LIX. Excessive fines shall not be levied, nor excessive bail demanded.

Art. LX. The principles of the habeas-corpus act shall be a part of this constitution.

Art. LXI. Freedom of the press and trial by jury to remain inviolate forever.

Art. LXII. No clergyman of any denomination shall be allowed a seat in the legislature.

Art. LXIII. No alteration shall be made in this constitution without petitions from a majority of the counties, and the petitions from each county to be signed by a majority of voters in each county within this State; at which time the assembly shall order a convention to be called for that purpose, specifying the alterations to be made, according to the petitions preferred to the assembly by the majority of the counties as aforesaid.

Done at Savannah, in convention, the fifth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, and in the first year of the Independence of the United States of America.

CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA—1789ab

We, the underwritten delegates from the people, in convention met, do declare that the following articles shall form the constitution for the government of this State; and, by virtue of the powers in us vested for that purpose, do hereby ratify and confirm the same.

Article I

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in two separate and distinct branches, to wit, a senate and house of representatives, to be styled “The general assembly.”

Sec. 2. The senate shall be elected on the first Monday in October in every third year, until such day of election be altered by law; and shall be composed of one member from each county, chosen by the electors thereof, and shall continue for the term of three years.

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Sec. 3. No person shall be a member of the senate who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-eight years, and who shall not have been nine years an inhabitant of the United States, and three years a citizen of this State; and shall be an inhabitant of that county for which he shall be elected, and have resided therein six months immediately preceding his election, and shall be possessed in his own right of two hundred and fifty acres of land, or some property to the amount of two hundred and fifty pounds.

Sec. 4. The senate shall elect, by ballot, a president out of their own body.

Sec. 5. The senate shall have solely the power to try all impeachments.

Sec. 6. The election of members for the house of representatives shall be annual, on the first Monday in October, until such day of election be altered by law, and shall be composed of members from each county, in the following proportions: Camden, two; Glynn, two; Liberty, four; Chatham, five; Effingham, two; Burke, four; Richmond, four; Wilkes, five; Washington, two; Green, two; and Franklin, two.

Sec. 7. No person shall be a member of the house of representatives who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-one years, and have been seven years a citizen of the United States, and two years an inhabitant of this State; and shall be an inhabitant of that county for which he shall be elected, and have resided therein three months immediately preceding his election; and shall be possessed in his own right of two hundred acres of land, or other property to the amount of one hundred and fifty pounds.

Sec. 8. The house of representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers.

Sec. 9. They shall have solely the power to impeach all persons who have been or may be in office.

Sec. 10. No person holding a military commission, or office of profit, under this or the United States, or either of them, (except justices of the peace and officers of the militia,) shall be allowed to take his seat as a member of either branch of the general assembly; nor shall any senator or representative be elected to any office of profit which shall be created during his appointment.

Sec. 11. The meeting of the general assembly shall be annual, on the first Monday in November, until such day of meeting be altered by law.

Sec. 12. One-third of the members of each branch shall have power to proceed to business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of their members in such manner as each house may prescribe.

Sec. 13. Each house shall be judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, with powers to expel or punish for disorderly behavior.

Sec. 14. No senator or representative shall be liable to be arrested during his attendance on the general assembly, or for a reasonable time in going thereto or returning home, except it be for treason, felony, or breach of the peace; nor shall any member be liable to answer for anything spoken in debate in either house, in any court or place elsewhere.

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Sec. 15. The members of the senate and house of representatives shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I, A B, do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I have not obtained my election by bribery, or other unlawful means; and that I will give my vote on all questions that may come before me, as a senator, (or representative,) in such manner as, in my judgment, will best promote the good of this State; and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to the utmost of my power observe, support, and defend the constitution thereof.”

Sec. 16. The general assembly shall have power to make all laws and ordinances which they shall deem necessary and proper for the good of the State, which shall not be repugnant to this constitution.

Sec. 17. They shall have power to alter the boundaries of the present counties, and to lay off new ones, as well out of the counties already laid off, as out of the other territory belonging to the State. When a new county or counties shall be laid off, out of any of the present county or counties, such new county or counties shall have their representation apportioned out of the number of the representatives of the county or counties out of which it or they shall be laid out; and when any new county shall be laid off in the vacant territory belonging to the State, such county shall have a number of representatives, not exceeding three, to be regulated and determined by the general assembly. And no money shall be drawn out of the treasury, or from the public funds of this State, except by appropriations made by law.

Sec. 18. No clergyman of any denomination shall be a member of the general assembly.

Article II

Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office during the term of two years, and shall be elected in the following manner:

Sec. 2. The house of representatives shall, on the second day of their making a house, in the first, and in every second year thereafter, vote by ballot for three persons; and shall make a list containing the names of the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each person; which list the speaker shall sign in the presence of the house, and deliver it in person to the senate; and the senate shall, on the same day, proceed, by ballot, to elect one of the three persons having the highest number of votes; and the person having a majority of the votes of the senators present shall be the governor.

Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor who shall not have been a citizen of the United States twelve years, and an inhabitant of this State six years, and who hath not attained to the age of thirty years, and who does not possess five hundred acres of land, in his own right, within this State, and other species of property to the amount of one thousand pounds sterling.

Sec. 4. In case of the death, resignation, or disability of the governor, the president of the senate shall exercise the executive powers of government until such disability be removed, or until the next meeting of the general assembly.

Sec. 5. The governor shall, at stated times, receive for his service a compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during Edition: current; Page: [788] the period for which he shall be elected; neither shall he receive, within that period, any other emolument from the United States, or any of them, or from any foreign power. Before he enters on the execution of his office he shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will faithfully execute the office of governor of the State of Georgia, and will, to the best of my abilities, preserve, protect, and defend the said State, and cause justice to be executed in mercy therein, according to the constitution and laws of the same.”

Sec. 6. He shall be commander-in-chief in and over the State of Georgia, and of the militia thereof.

Sec. 7. He shall have power to grant reprieves for offences against the State, except in cases of impeachment, and to grant pardons, in all cases after conviction, except for treason or murder, in which cases he may respite the execution, and make a report thereof to the next general assembly, by whom a pardon may be granted.

Sec. 8. He shall issue writs of election to fill up all vacancies that happen in the senate or house of representatives, and shall have power to convene the general assembly on extraordinary occasions, and shall give them, from time to time, information of the state of the republic, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem necessary and expedient.

Sec. 9. In case of a disagreement between the senate and house of representatives, with respect to the time to which the general assembly shall adjourn, he may adjourn them to such time as he may think proper.

Sec. 10. He shall have the revision of all bills passed by both houses, before the same shall become laws; but two-thirds of both houses may pass a law, notwithstanding his dissent, and, if any bill should not be returned by the governor within five days after it hath been presented to him, the same shall be a law, unless the general assembly, by their adjournment, shall prevent its return.

Sec. 11. The great seal of the State shall be deposited in the office of the secretary, and it shall not be affixed to any instrument of writing without it be by order of the governor or general assembly; and the general assembly may direct the great seal to be altered.

Article III

Section 1. A superior court shall be held in each county twice in every year; in which shall be tried, and brought to final decision, all causes, civil and criminal, except such as may be subject to a Federal court, and such as may, by law, be referred to inferior jurisdiction.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall point out the mode of correcting errors and appeals, which shall extend so far as to empower the judges to direct a new trial by jury within the county where the action originated, and which shall be final.

Sec. 3. Courts-merchant shall be held as heretofore, subject to such regulations as the general assembly may by law direct.

Sec. 4. All causes shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides except in cases of real estate, which shall be tried in the county where such estate lies, and in criminal cases, which shall be tried in the county where the crime shall be committed.

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Sec. 5. The judges of the superior court and attorney-general shall have a competent salary established by law, which shall not be increased nor diminished during their continuance in office, and shall hold their commission during the term of three years.

Article IV

Section 1. The electors of the members of both branches of the general assembly shall be citizens and inhabitants of this State, and shall have attained to the age of twenty-one years, and have paid tax for the year preceding the election, and shall have resided six months within the county.

Sec. 2. All elections shall be by ballot, and the house of representatives, in all appointments of State officers, shall vote for three persons; and a list of the three persons having the highest number of votes shall be signed by the speaker, and sent to the senate, which shall from such list determine, by a majority of their votes, the officer elected, except militia officers and the secretaries of the governor, who shall be appointed by the governor alone, under such regulations and restrictions as the general assembly may prescribe. The general assembly may vest the appointment of inferior officers in the governor, the courts of justice, or in such other manner as they may by law establish.

Sec. 3. Freedom of the press and trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

Sec. 4. All persons shall be entitled to the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus.

Sec. 5. All persons shall have the free exercise of religion, without being obliged to contribute to the support of any religious profession but their own.

Sec. 6. Estates shall not be entailed; and when a person dies intestate, leaving a wife and children, the wife shall have a child’s share, or her dower, at her option; if there be no wife, the estate shall be equally divided among the children and their legal representatives of the first degree. The distribution of all other intestate estates may be regulated by law.

Sec. 7. At the general election for members of assembly, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, the electors in each county shall elect three persons to represent them in a convention, for the purpose of taking into consideration the alterations necessary to be made in this constitution, who shall meet at such time and place as the general assembly may appoint; and if two-thirds of the whole number shall meet and concur, they shall proceed to agree on such alterations and amendments as they may think proper: Provided, That after two-thirds shall have concurred to proceed to alterations and amendments, a majority shall determine on the particulars of such alterations and amendments.

Sec. 8. This constitution shall take effect, and be in full force, on the first Monday in October next, after the adoption of the same; and the executive shall be authorized to alter the time for the sitting of the superior courts, so that the same may not interfere with the annual elections in the respective counties, or the meeting of the first general assembly.

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Done at Augusta, in convention, the sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine and in the year of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States the thirteenth.

Wm. Gibbons, President.
D. Longstreet, Secretary.

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1789a

Article I. The senate shall be elected annually on the first Monday in November until such day of election be altered by law; and shall be composed of one member from each county, to be chosen by the electors thereof.

Art. II. All elections to be made by the general assembly, shall be by joint ballot of the senate and house of representatives.

Art. III. The election of members for the house of representatives shall be annual on the first Monday in November; and shall be composed of members from each county in the following proportions: Camden, two; Glynn, two; Liberty, four; McIntosh, two; Bryan, two; Chatham, four; Effingham, two; Scriven, two; Montgomery, two; Burke, three; Richmond, two; Columbia, two; Wilkes, three; Elbert, two; Franklin, two; Oglethorpe, three; Green, three; Hancock, three; Washington, three; Warren, three.

Art. IV. At the general election for members of assembly in the year 1797, the electors of the present counties shall elect three persons to represent them in a convention for the purpose of taking into consideration the further alterations and amendments necessary to be made in the constitution, who shall meet at the town of Louisville the second Tuesday in May thereafter; a majority of the said convention shall have power to proceed to, and agree on, such alterations and amendments as they may think proper.

Art. V. The meeting of the general assembly shall be annual on the second Tuesday in January; a majority of whom shall have power to proceed to business.

Art. VI. That Louisville be the permanent seat of government; and that the governor, secretary of the State, the treasurer, the auditor, and the surveyor-general, remove their offices thereto, as soon as may be convenient, previously to the next meeting of the general assembly.

Art. VII. Article of constituted rights annexed to the constitution as amended.

Art. VIII. All powers not delegated by the constitution as amended, are retained by the people.

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CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA—1798*a

The constitution of the State of Georgia, as revised, amended, and compiled by the convention of the State, at Louisville, on the 30th day of May, 1798

Article I

Section 1. The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments of government shall be distinct, and each department shall be confided to a separate body of magistracy; and no person or collection of persons, being of one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly attached to either of the others, except in the instances herein expressly permitted.

Sec. 2. The legislative power shall be vested in two separate and distinct branches, to wit: A senate and house of representatives, to be styled “The general assembly.”

Sec. 3. The senate shall be elected annually, on the first Monday in November, until such day of election be altered by law; and shall be composed of one member from each county, to be chosen by the electors thereof.

Sec. 4. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and have been nine years a citizen of the United States, and three years an inhabitant of this State, and shall have usually resided within the county for which he shall be returned, at least one year immediately preceding his election, (except persons who may have been absent on public business of this State or of the United States,) and is and shall have been possessed, in his own right, of a settled freehold estate of the value of five hundred dollars, or taxable property to the amount of one thousand dollars, within the county, for one year preceding his election, and whose estate shall, on a reasonable estimation, be fully competent to the discharge of his just debts over and above that sum.

Sec. 5. The senate shall elect, by ballot, a president of their own body.

Sec. 6. The senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit within this State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.

Sec. 7. The house of representatives shall be composed of members from all the counties which now are, or hereafter may be, included within this State, according to their respective numbers of free white persons, and including three-fifths of all the people of color. The actual enumeration shall be made within two years, and within every Edition: current; Page: [792] subsequent term of seven years thereafter, at such time and in such manner as this convention may direct. Each county containing three thousand persons, agreeably to the foregoing plan of enumeration, shall be entitled to two members; seven thousand, to three members; and twelve thousand, to four members; but each county shall have at least one and not more than four members. The representatives shall be chosen annually, on the first Monday in November, until such day of election be altered by law. Until the aforesaid enumeration shall be made, the several counties shall be entitled to the following number of representatives, respectively: Camden, two; Glynn, two; Liberty, three; M’Intosh, two; Bryan, one; Chatham, four; Effingham, two; Scriven, two; Montgomery, two; Burke, three; Bullock, one; Jefferson, three; Lincoln, two; Elbert, three; Jackson, two; Richmond, three, Wilkes, four; Columbia, three; Warren, three; Washington, three; Hancock, four; Greene, three; Oglethorpe, three; and Franklin, two.

Sec. 8. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-one years, and have been seven years a citizen of the United States, three years an inhabitant of this State, and have usually resided in the county in which he shall be chosen one year immediately preceding his election, (unless he shall have been absent on public business of this State or of the United States,) and shall be possessed in his own right of a settled freehold estate of the value of two hundred and fifty dollars, or of taxable property to the amount of five hundred dollars within the county, for one year preceding his election, and whose estate shall, on a reasonable estimation, be competent to the discharge of his just debts, over and above that sum.

Sec. 9. The house of representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers.

Sec. 10. They shall have solely the power to impeach all persons who have been or may be in office.

Sec. 11. No person holding any military commission or other appointment, having any emolument annexed thereto, under this State or the United States, or either of them, except justices of the inferior court, justices of the peace, and officers of the militia, nor any person who has had charge of public moneys belonging to the State, unaccounted for and unpaid, or who has not paid all legal taxes or contributions to the government required of him, shall have a seat in either branch of the general assembly; nor shall any senator or representative be elected to any office or appointment by the legislature, having any emoluments or compensation annexed thereto, during the time for which he shall have been elected, with the above exception, unless he shall decline accepting his seat, by notice to the executive within twenty days after he shall have been elected; nor shall any member, after having taken his seat, be eligible to any of the aforesaid offices or appointments during the time for which he shall have been elected.

Sec. 12. The meeting of the general assembly shall be annually, on the second Tuesday in January, until such day of meeting be altered by law; a majority of each branch shall be authorized to proceed to business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of their members in such manner as each house may prescribe.

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Sec. 13. Each house shall be the judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members; with powers to expel or punish, by censuring, fining, and imprisoning, or either, for disorderly behavior; and may expel any person convicted of any felonious or infamous offence; each house may punish by imprisonment, during session, any person, not a member, who shall be guilty of disrespect by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence, or who, during session, shall threaten harm to the body or estate of any member, for anything said or done in either house, or who shall assault or arrest any witness in going to or returning therefrom, or who shall rescue any person arrested by order of either house.

Sec. 14. No senator or representative shall be liable to be arrested during his attendance on the general assembly, or for ten days previous to its sitting, or for ten days after the rising thereof, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace; nor shall any member be liable to answer for anything spoken in debate in either house, in any court or place elsewhere; but shall nevertheless be bound to answer for perjury, bribery, or corruption.

Sec. 15. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish them immediately after their adjournment; and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two members, be entered on the journals.

Sec. 16. All bills for raising revenue or appropriating moneys shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate shall propose or concur with amendments, as in other bills.

Sec. 17. Every bill shall be read three times and on three separate days, in each branch of the general assembly, before it shall pass, unless in cases of actual invasion or insurrection; nor shall any law or ordinance pass, containing any matter different from what is expressed in the title thereof; and all acts shall be signed by the president in the senate, and speaker in the house of representatives. No bill or ordinance which shall have been rejected by either house shall be brought in again during the session, under the same or any other title, without the consent of two-thirds of each branch.

Sec. 18. Each senator and representative, before he be permitted to take his seat, shall take an oath, or make affirmation, that he hath not practised any unlawful means, either directly or indirectly, to procure his election; and every person shall be disqualified from serving as a senator or representative, for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall be convicted of having given or offered any bribe or treat, or canvassed for such election; and every candidate employing like means, and not elected, shall, on conviction, be ineligible to hold a seat in either house, or to hold any office of honor or profit for the term of one year, and to such other disabilities or penalties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 19. Every member of the senate or house of representatives shall, before he takes his seat, take the following oath or affirmation, to wit: “I, A B, do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I have not obtained my election by bribery, treats, canvassing, or other undue or unlawful means, used by myself, or others by my desire or approbation, for that purpose; that I consider myself constitutionally qualified as a senator, (or representative,) and that, on all questions and measures which may come before me, I will give my vote and so conduct myself as may, in my judgment, appear most Edition: current; Page: [794] conductive to the interest and prosperity of this State; and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and to the utmost of my power and ability observe, conform to, support, and defend the constitution thereof.”

Sec. 20. No person who hath been or may be convicted of felony before any court of this State, or any of the United States, shall be eligible to any office or appointment of honor, profit, or trust within this State.

Sec. 21. Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that at which the two branches shall be sitting; and in case of disagreement between the senate and house of representatives, with respect to their adjournment, the governor may adjourn them.

Sec. 22. The general assembly shall have power to make all laws and ordinances which they shall deem necessary and proper for the good of the State, which shall not be repugnant to this constitution.

Sec. 23. They shall have power to alter the boundaries of the present counties, and to lay off new ones, as well out of the counties already laid off as out of the other territory belonging to the State; but the property of the soil, in a free government, being one of the essential rights of a free people, it is necessary, in order to avoid disputes, that the limits of this State should be ascertained with precision and exactness; and this convention, composed of the immediate representatives of the people, chosen by them to assert their rights, to revise the powers given by them to the government, and from whose will all ruling authority of right flows, doth assert and declare the boundaries of this State shall be as follows, that is to say: The limits, boundaries, jurisdictions, and authority of the State of Georgia do, and did, and of right ought to, extend from the sea or mouth of the river Savannah, along the northern branch or stream thereof, to the fork or confluence of the rivers now called Tugalo and Keowee, and from thence along the most northern branch or stream of the said river Tugalo, till it intersect the northern boundary-line of South Carolina, if the said branch or stream of Tugalo extends so far north, reserving all the islands in the said rivers Savannah and Tugalo to Georgia; but, if the head spring or source of any branch or stream of the said river Tugalo does not extend to the north boundary-line of South Carolina, then a west line to the Mississippi, to be drawn from the head spring or source of the said branch or stream of Tugalo River, which extends to the highest northern latitude; thence, down the middle of the said river Mississippi, until it shall intersect the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of north latitude; south, by a line drawn due east from the termination of the line last mentioned, in the latitude of thirty-one degrees north of the equator, to the middle of the river Apalachicola, or Chatahoochee; thence, along the middle thereof, to its junction with Flint River; thence straight to the head of Saint Mary’s River; and thence, along the middle of Saint Mary’s River, to the Atlantic Ocean, and from thence to the mouth or inlet of Savannah River, the place of beginning; including and comprehending all the lands and waters within the said limits, boundaries, and jurisdictional rights; and also all the islands within twenty leagues of the sea-coast. And this convention Edition: current; Page: [795] doth further declare and assert that all the territory without the present temporary line, and within the limits aforesaid, is now, of right, the property of the free citizens of this State, and held by them in sovereignty, inalienable but by their consent: Provided, nevertheless, That nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to prevent a sale to, or contract with, the United States, by the legislature of this State, of and for all or any part of the western territory of this State lying westward of the river Chatahoochee, on such terms as may be beneficial to both parties; and may procure an extension of settlement and extinguishment of Indian claims in and to the vacant territory of this State to the east and north of the said river Chatahoochee, to which territory such power of contract or sale, by the legislature, shall not extend: And provided also, The legislature may give its consent to the establishment of one or more governments westward thereof; but monopolies of land by individuals being contrary to the spirit of our free government, no sale of territory of this State, or any part thereof, shall take place to individuals or private companies, unless a county or counties shall have been first laid off, including such territory, and the Indian rights shall have been extinguished thereto.

Sec. 24. The foregoing section of this article having declared the common rights of the free citizens of this State in and to all the territory without the present temporary boundary-line, and within the limits of this State thereby defined, by which the contemplated purchases of certain companies of a considerable portion thereof are become constitutionally void, and justice and good faith require that the State should not detain a consideration for a contract which has failed, the legislature, at their next session, shall make provision by law for returning to any person or persons who has or have bona fide deposited moneys for such purposes in the treasury of this State: Provided, That the same shall not have been drawn therefrom in terms of the act passed the thirteenth day of February, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six, commonly called the rescinding act, or the appropriation laws of the years one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six and one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven; nor shall the moneys paid for such purchases ever be deemed a part of the funds of this State, or be liable to appropriation as such; but until such moneys be drawn from the treasury, they shall be considered altogether at the risk of the persons who have deposited the same. No money shall be drawn out of the treasury or from the public funds of this State, except by appropriation made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published from time to time. No vote, resolution, law, or order shall pass the general assembly granting a donation or gratuity in favor of any person whatever but by the concurrence of two-thirds of the general assembly.

Sec. 25. It shall be the duty of the justices of the inferior court, or any three of them, in each county respectively, within sixty days after the adjournment of this convention, to appoint one or more fit persons in each county, not exceeding one for each battalion district, whose duty it shall be to take a full and accurate census or enumeration of all free white persons and people of color residing therein, distinguishing, in separate columns, the free white persons from persons of color, and return the same to the clerks of the superior courts Edition: current; Page: [796] of the several counties, certified under their hands, on or before the first day of December next; the person so appointed being first severally sworn before the said justices, or either of them, duly and faithfully to perform the trust reposed in them; and it shall be the duty of the said clerks to transmit all such returns, under seal, directed to the speaker of the house of representatives, at the first session of the legislature thereafter. And it shall be the duty of the general assembly, at their said first session, to apportion the members of the house of representatives among the several counties, agreeably to the plans prescribed by this constitution, and to provide an adequate compensation abode shall be in any family on the first Monday in July next shall be returned as of such family; and every person occasionally absent at the time of taking the enumeration, as belonging to that place in which he usually resides. The general assembly shall, by law, direct the manner of taking such census or enumeration, within every subsequent term of seven years, in conformity to this constitution. And it is declared to be the duty of all officers, civil and military, throughout the State, to be aiding and assisting in the true and faithful execution thereof. In case the justices of the inferior courts should fail to make such appointments, or if there should not be a sufficient number of such justices in any county, then the justices of the peace, or any three of them, shall have and exercise like powers and authority respecting the said census; and if the census or enumeration of any county shall not be so taken and returned, then, and in that case, the general assembly shall apportion the representation of such county according to the best evidence in their power, relative to its population.

Sec. 26. The Legislature shall have no power to change names, nor to Legitimate persons, nor to make or change Precincts, nor to establish Bridges or Ferries, but shall, by law, prescribe the manner in which said powers shall be exercised by the Superior or Inferior courts, and the privileges to be enjoyed.

Article II

Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office during the term of two years, and until such time as a successor shall be chosen and qualified. He shall have a competent salary, established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected; neither shall he receive, within that period, any other emolument from the United States, or either of them, or from any foreign power.

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected by the general assembly, at their second annual session after the rising of this convention, and at every second annual session thereafter, on the second day after the two houses shall be organized and competent to proceed to business.

Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor who shall not have been a citizen of the United States twelve years, and an inhabitant of this State six years, and who hath not attained to the age of thirty years, and who does not possess five hundred acres of land, in his own right, within this State, and other property to the Edition: current; Page: [797] amount of four thousand dollars, and whose estate shall not, on a reasonable estimation, be competent to the discharge of his debts, over and above that sum.

Sec. 4. In case of the death, resignation, or disability of the governor, the president of the senate shall exercise the executive powers of government until such disability be removed, or until the next meeting of the general assembly.

Sec. 5. The governor shall, before he enters on the duties of his office, take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will faithfully execute the office of governor of the State of Georgia; and will, to the best of my abilities, preserve, protect, and defend the said State, and cause justice to be executed in mercy therein, according to the constitution and laws thereof.”

Sec. 6. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia thereof.

Sec. 7. He shall have power to grant reprieves for offences against the State, except in cases of impeachment, and to grant pardons or to remit any part of a sentence, in all cases after conviction, except for treason or murder, in which cases he may respite the execution, and make report thereof to the next general assembly, by whom a pardon may be granted.

Sec. 8. He shall issue writs of election to fill up all vacancies that happen in the senate or house of representatives; and shall have power to convene the general assembly on extraordinary occasions; and shall give them, from time to time, information of the state of the republic, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem necessary and expedient.

Sec. 9. When any office shall become vacant by death, resignation, or otherwise, the governor shall have the power to fill such vacancy; and persons so appointed shall continue in office until a successor is appointed, agreeable to the mode pointed out by this constitution or by the legislature.

Sec. 10. He shall have the revision of all bills passed by both houses before the same shall become laws; but two-thirds of both houses may pass a law notwithstanding his dissent; and if any bill should not be returned by the governor within five days after it hath been presented to him, the same shall be a law, unless the general assembly, by their adjournment, shall prevent its return.

Sec. 11. Every vote, resolution, or order, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor; and, before it shall take effect, be approved by him; or, being disapproved, may be repassed by two-thirds of both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Sec. 12. There shall be a secretary of the State, a treasurer, and a surveyor-general, appointed in the same manner and at the same session of the legislature, and they shall hold their offices for the like period as the governor, and shall have a competent salary, including such emoluments as may be established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected.

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Sec. 13. The great seal of the State shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state, and shall not be affixed to any instrument of writing but by order of the governor or general assembly; and the general assembly shall, at their first session after the rising of this convention, cause the great seal to be altered by law.

Sec. 14. The governor shall have power to appoint his own secretaries.

Article III

Section 1. The judicial powers of this State shall be vested in a superior court, and in such inferior jurisdictions as the legislature shall, from time to time, ordain and establish. The judges of the superior court shall be elected for the term of three years, removable by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of both houses for that purpose, or by impeachment and conviction thereon. The superior court shall have exclusive and final jurisdiction in all criminal cases which shall be tried in the county wherein the crime was committed, and in all cases respecting titles to land, which shall be tried in the county where the land lies; and shall have power to correct errors in inferior judicatories by writs of certiorari, as well as errors in the superior courts, and to order new trials on proper and legal grounds: Provided, That such new trials shall be determined, and such errors corrected, in the superior court of the county in which such action originated. And the said court shall also have appellate jurisdiction in such other cases as the legislature may by law direct, which shall in no case tend to remove the cause from the county in which the action originated; and the judges thereof, in all cases of application for new trials, or correction of errors, shall enter their opinions on the minutes of the court. The inferior courts shall have cognizance of all other civil cases, which shall be tried in the county wherein the defendant resides, except in cases of joint obligors, residing in different counties, which may be commenced in either county, and a copy of the petition and process, served on the party or parties residing out of the county in which the suit may be commenced, shall be deemed sufficient service, under such rules and regulations as the legislature may direct; but the legislature may, by law, to which two-thirds of each branch shall concur, give concurrent jurisdiction to the superior courts. The superior and inferior courts shall sit in each county twice in every year, at such stated times as the legislature shall appoint.

Sec. 2. The judges shall have salaries adequate to their services, established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office; but shall not receive any other perquisites or emoluments whatever, from parties or others, on account of any duty required of them.

Sec. 3. There shall be a State’s attorney and solicitors appointed by the legislature, and commissioned by the governor, who shall hold their offices for the term of three years, unless removed by sentence on impeachment, or by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly. They shall have salaries adequate to their services established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office.

Sec. 4. Justices of the inferior courts shall be appointed by the general assembly, and be commissioned by the governor, and shall Edition: current; Page: [799] hold their commissions during good behavior, or as long as they respectively reside in the county for which they shall be appointed, unless removed by sentence on impeachment, or by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly. They may be compensated for their services in such manner as the legislature may by law direct.

Sec. 5. The justices of the peace shall be nominated by the inferior courts of the several counties, and commissioned by the governor; and there shall be two justices of the peace in each captain’s district, either or both of whom shall have power to try all cases of a civil nature within their district, where the debt or litigated demand does not exceed thirty dollars, in such manner as the legislature may by law direct. They shall hold their appointments during good behavior, or until they shall be removed by conviction on indictment in the superior court, for malpractice in office, or for any felonious or infamous crime, or by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the legislature.

Sec. 6. The powers of a court of ordinary, or register of probates, shall be invested in the inferior courts of each county, from whose decision there may be an appeal to the superior court, under such restrictions and regulations as the general assembly may by law direct; but the inferior court shall have power to vest the care of the records, and other proceedings therein, in the clerk, or such other person as they may appoint, and any one or more justices of the said court, with such clerk or other person, may issue citations and grant temporary letters, in time of vacation, to hold until the next meeting of the said court; and such clerk or other person may grant marriage-licenses.

Sec. 7. The judges of the superior courts, or any one of them, shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, scire facias, and all other writs which may be necessary for carrying their powers fully into effect.

Sec. 8. Within five years after the adoption of this constitution, the body of our laws, civil and criminal, shall be revised, digested, and arranged under proper heads, and promulgated in such manner as the legislature may direct; and no person shall be debarred from advocating or defending his cause before any court or tribunal, either by himself or counsel, or both.

Sec. 9. Divorces shall not be granted by the legislature until the parties shall have had a fair trial before the superior court, and a verdict shall have been obtained authorizing a divorce upon legal principles. And in such cases two-thirds of each branch of the legislature may pass acts of divorce accordingly.

Sec. 10. The clerks of the superior and inferior courts shall be appointed in such manner as the legislature may by law direct; shall be commissioned by the governor, and shall continue in office during good behavior.

Sec. 11. Sheriffs shall be appointed in such manner as the general assembly may by law direct, and shall hold their appointments for the term of two years, unless sooner removed by sentence on impeachment, or by the governor on the address of two-thirds of the justices of the inferior court and of the peace in the county; but no person shall be twice elected sheriff within any term of four years; and no county officer after the next election shall be chosen at the time of electing a senator or representative.

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Article IV

Section 1. The electors of members of the general assembly shall be citizens and inhabitants of this State, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, and have paid all taxes which may have been required of them, and which they may have had an opportunity of paying, agreeably to law, for the year preceding the election, and shall have resided six months within the county: Provided, That in case of an invasion, and the inhabitants shall be driven from any county, so as to prevent an election therein, such refugee inhabitants, being a majority of the voters of such county, may meet under the direction of any three justices of the peace thereof, in the nearest county not in a state of alarm, and proceed to an election, without having paid such tax so required of electors; and the persons elected thereat shall be entitled to their seats.

Sec. 2. All elections by the general assembly shall be by joint ballot of both branches of the legislature; and when the senate and house of representatives unite for the purpose of electing, they shall meet in the representative chamber, and the president of the senate shall in such cases preside, receive the ballots, and declare the person or persons elected. In all elections by the people the electors shall vote viva voce until the legislature shall otherwise direct.

Sec. 3. The general officers of the militia shall be elected by the general assembly, and shall be commissioned by the governor. All other officers of the militia shall be elected in such manner as the legislature may direct, and shall be commissioned by the governor; and all militia officers now in commission, and those which may be hereafter commissioned, shall hold their commissions during their usual residence within the division, brigade, regiment, battalion, or company to which they belong, unless removed by sentence of a court-martial, or by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly.

Sec. 4. All persons appointed by the legislature to fill vacancies shall continue in office only so long as to complete the time for which their predecessors were appointed.

Sec. 5. Freedom of the press, and trial by jury, as heretofore used in this State, shall remain inviolate; and no ex post facto law shall be passed.

Sec. 6. No person who heretofore hath been, or hereafter may be, a collector, or holder of public moneys, shall be eligible to any office in this State until such person shall have acounted for and paid into the treasury all sums for which he may be accountable or liable.

Sec. 7. The person of a debtor, where there is not a strong presumption of fraud, shall not be detained in prison after delivering up, bona fide, all his estate, real and personal, for the use of his creditors, in such manner as shall be hereafter regulated by law.

Sec. 8. Convictions on impeachments which have heretofore taken place are hereby released, and persons lying under such convictions restored to citizenship.

Sec. 9. The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

Sec. 10. No person within this State shall, upon any pretence, be Edition: current; Page: [801] deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in a manner agreeable to his own conscience, nor be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall he ever be obliged to pay tiths, taxes, or any other rate, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or hath voluntarily engaged to do. No one religious society shall ever be established in this State, in preference to another; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of any civil right merely on account of his religious principles.

Sec. 11. There shall be no future importation of slaves into this State, from Africa or any foreign place, after the first day of October next. The legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of each of their respective owners, previous to such emancipation. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants from either of the United States to this State from bringing with them such persons as may be deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States.

Sec. 12. Any person who shall maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of life shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like offence had been committed on a free white person, and on the like proof, except in case of insurrection by such slave, and unless such death should happen by accident in giving such slave moderate correction.

Sec. 13. The arts and sciences shall be promoted, in one or more seminaries of learning; and the legislature shall, as soon as conveniently may be, give such further donations and privileges to those already established as may be necessary to secure the objects of their institution; and it shall be the duty of the general assembly, at their next session, to provide effectual measures for the improvement and permanent security of the funds and endowments of such institutions.

Sec. 14. All civil officers shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their several offices during the periods for which they were appointed, or until they shall be superseded by appointments made in conformity to this constitution; and all laws now in force shall continue to operate, so far as they are compatible with this constitution, until repealed; and it shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass all necessary laws and regulations for carrying this constitution into full effect.

Sec. 15. No part of this constitution shall be altered, unless a bill for that purpose, specifying the alterations intended to be made, shall have been read three times in the house of representatives, and three times in the senate, on three several days in each house, and agreed to by two-thirds of each house respectively; and when any such bill shall be passed in manner aforesaid, the same shall be published at least six months previous to the next ensuing annual election for members of the general assembly; and if such alterations, or any of them, so proposed, shall be agreed to in their first session thereafter, by two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly, after the same shall have been read three times, on three separate days, in each respective house, then, and not otherwise, the same shall become a part of this constitution.

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We, the underwritten delegates of the people of the State of Georgia, chosen and authorized by them to revise, alter, or amend the powers and principles of their government, do declare, ordain, and ratify the several articles and sections contained in the six pages hereunto prefixed, as the constitution of this State; and the same shall be in operation from the date hereof.

In testimony whereof we, and each of us, respectively, have hereunto set our hands, at Louisville, the seat of government, this thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, and in the twenty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America; and have caused the great seal of the State to be affixed thereto.

Article 4, section 11, and the first line, the following words being interlined, to wit, “after the first day of October next.”

Jared Irwin, President.
James M. Simmons, Secretary.

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1798.a

(Ratified December 16, 1808)

Art. III. Sec. 10. So altered and amended as to read: That the clerks of the superior and inferior courts shall be elected on the same day as pointed out by law for the election of other county officers.

(Ratified 1812b)

Art. III. Sec. 4. So altered and amended as to read: The justices of the inferior courts shall be elected on the third Tuesday in October, eighteen hundred and thirteen, and on the third Tuesday in October in every fourth year thereafter, by the electors entitled to vote for members of the general assembly, which election shall be held and conducted in the same manner as pointed out by law for the elections of clerks and sheriffs; and the persons so elected shall be commissioned by the governor, and continue in office for the term of four years, unless removed by impeachment for malpractice in office, or by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of both branches of the general assembly. They may be compensated for their services in such manner as the legislature may by law direct; and there shall be five justices for each county, who shall hold their offices until their successors are elected and qualified; and when any vacancy shall happen by death, resignation, or otherwise, of any justice of the inferior court, it shall be the duty of two or more justices of the inferior court, or justices of the peace, to give at least twenty days’ notice by advertisement, at three of the most public places in the county, previous to the election, to fill such vacancy; which election shall be held in the same manner as is by this section before expressed.

Art. III. Sec. 5. So altered and amended as to read: There shall be two justices of the peace in each captain’s district, in the several counties of this State, either or both of whom shall have power to try Edition: current; Page: [803] all cases of a civil nature within their district, where the debt or liquidated demand does not exceed thirty dollars, in such manner as the legislature may by law direct; they shall be elected on the first Saturday in January, eighteen hundred and thirteen, and on the first Saturday in January in every fourth year thereafter, by the citizens of the district to which they respectively belong, entitled to vote for members of the general assembly; which election shall be superintended by three freeholders of the district, whose duty it shall be to take the following oath, to be administered by the captain or commanding officer of said district, to wit: “I, A B, do solemnly swear that I will, to the best of my abilities, superintend the election of justices of the peace for this district; so help me God;” and they shall transmit a return of said election, within twenty days, to his excellency the governor, who is hereby authorized to commission the persons so elected accordingly; and they shall hold their appointments during the term of four years, and until their successors are elected and qualified, unless they shall be removed by conviction on indictment in the superior court, for malpractice in office, or for any felonious or infamous crime, or by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the legislature. And when any vacancy shall happen by death, resignation, or otherwise, of any justice of the peace, between the time of such election and the expiration of the time for which such justice or justices were elected, it shall be the duty of two of the justices of the peace, in any of the adjoining districts, where such vacancy or vacancies may happen, to advertise in three of the most public places in the district, where such vacancy or vacancies may happen, the time of holding an election for the purpose of filling such vacancy or vacancies, and give at least fifteen days’ notice of the time and place where such election shall be held, which shall be in the district where such vacancy or vacancies shall have happened; and it shall be the duty of the said justices to superintend such election, and certify the same, under their hands, to his excellency the governor, who shall, within ten days after receiving the same, commission the person having the highest number of votes, provided the same is not contested.

(Ratified December 15, 1818)

Art. II. Sec. 4. So amended and altered as to read: In case of the death, resignation, or disability of the governor, the president of the senate, or the last acting president of the senate, shall exercise the executive powers of the government until such disability be removed, in the election and qualification of a governor by the general assembly; and in case of the death, resignation, or disability of the president of the senate, or of the last acting president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, or the acting speaker of the house of representatives, shall exercise the executive powers of the government, until such disability be removed in the election and qualification of a governor by the general assembly.

(Ratified December 18, 1818a)

Art. III. Section 1. So altered and amended as to read: The judicial powers of this State shall be vested in a superior, inferior, and justices’ Edition: current; Page: [804] courts, and such other courts as the legislature shall from time to time ordain and establish. The judges of the superior courts shall be elected for the term of three years, and shall continue in office until their successors shall be elected and qualified; removable by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of both branches of the general assembly for that purpose, or by impeachment and conviction thereon. The superior courts shall have exclusive and final jurisdiction in all criminal cases, (except as relates to people of color, and fines for neglect of duty, and for contempt of court, for violations against road-laws, and for obstructing water-courses, which shall be vested in such judicature or tribunal as shall be or may have been pointed out by law; and except in all other minor offences, committed by free white persons, and which do not subject the offender or offenders to loss of life, limb, or member, or to confinement in the penitentiary; in all such cases corporation courts, such as now exist, or may hereafter be constituted, in any incorporated city, being a sea-port town and port of entry, may be vested with jurisdiction, under such rules and regulations as the legislature may hereafter by law direct;) which shall be tried in the county where the crime was committed; and in all cases respecting titles to lands, which shall be tried in the county where the land lies; and also concurrent jurisdiction in all other civil cases; and shall have power to correct errors in inferior judicatories by writ of certiorari, as well as errors in the superior courts, and order new trials on proper and legal grounds: Provided, That such new trials shall be determined, and such errors corrected, in the superior court of the county in which such action originated; and the said court shall have appellate jurisdiction in such other cases as are or may be pointed out by law, which shall in no case tend to move the cause from the county in which the action originated; and the judges thereof, in all cases of application for new trials or correction of errors, shall enter their opinion on the minutes of the court. The inferior courts shall also have concurrent jurisdiction in all civil cases, (except in cases respecting the titles to lands,) which shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides; and in case of joint obligors and joint promissors, residing in different counties, the same may be brought in either county, and a copy of the petition and process served on the party residing out of the county in which the suit may be commenced, shall be deemed sufficient service, under such rules and regulations as the legislature have or may direct. The superior and inferior courts shall sit in each county twice in every year, at such stated times as have or may be appointed by the legislature.

(Ratified November 23, 1819a)

Art. III. Sec. 4. So altered and amended as to read: The justices of the inferior court shall be elected by the persons entitled to vote for members of the legislature, in such manner as the legislature may by law direct.

Art. III. Sec. 5. So altered and amended as to read: The justices of the peace throughout this State shall be elected by the persons Edition: current; Page: [805] residing in their respective districts, entitled to vote for members of the general assembly, under such rules and regulations as the legislature may by law direct.

(Ratified November 17, 1824)

Art. II. Sec. 2. So altered and amended as to read: The governor shall be elected by the persons qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, on the first Monday in October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five; and on the first Monday in October in every second year thereafter, until such time be altered by law; which election shall be held at the place of holding general elections, in the several counties of this State, in the same manner as is prescribed for the election of members of the general assembly. The returns for every election of governor shall be sealed up by the presiding justices, separately from other returns, and directed to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives, and transmitted to his excellency the governor, or the person exercising the duties of governor for the time being, who shall, without opening the said returns, cause the same to be laid before the senate, on the day after the two houses shall have been organized, and they shall be transmitted by the senate to the house of representatives. The members of each branch of the general assembly shall convene in the representative chamber, and the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives, shall open and publish the returns in presence of the general assembly; and the person having the majority of the whole number of votes given in shall be declared duly elected governor of this State. But if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the two highest number of votes who shall be in life, and shall not decline an election at the time appointed for the legislature to elect, the general assembly shall elect immediately a governor by joint ballot; and in all cases of election of a governor by the general assembly, a majority of the votes of the members present shall be necessary for a choice. Contested elections shall be determined by both houses of the general assembly, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

(Ratified 1833)

Art. III. Sec. 9. So altered and amended as to read: Divorces shall be final and conclusive when the parties shall have obtained the concurrent verdicts of two special juries, authorizing a divorce upon legal principles.

(Ratified December, 1835)

Article I. Sec. 4. So altered and amended as to read: No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and have been nine years a citizen of the United States, and three years an inhabitant of this State, and shall have usually resided within the county for which he shall be returned at least one year immediately preceding his election, except persons who may have been absent on lawful business of this State or of the United States.

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Article I. Sec. 8. So altered and amended as to read: No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-one years, and have been a citizen of the United States seven years, and three years an inhabitant of this State, and have usually resided in the county in which he shall be chosen one year immediately preceding his election, unless he shall have been on the public business of this State or of the United States.

(Ratified 1835a)

Art. III. Section 1. So altered and amended as to read: The judicial powers of this State shall be vested in a supreme court for the correction of errors; a superior, inferior, and justices’ courts, and in such other courts as the legislature shall, from time to time, ordain and establish. The supreme court shall consist of three judges, who shall be elected by the legislature for such term of years as shall be prescribed by law, and shall continue in office until their successors shall be elected and qualified, removable by the governor on the address of two-thirds of both branches of the general assembly for that purpose, or by impeachment and conviction thereon. The said court shall have no original jurisdiction, but shall be a court alone for the trial and correction of errors in law and equity from the superior courts of the several circuits, and shall sit at least once a year, at a time to be prescribed by law, in each of five judicial districts, to be hereafter laid off and designated by the legislature for that purpose, at the most central point in such judicial district, or at such other point in each district as shall by the general assembly be ordained, for the trial and determination of writs of error from the several superior courts included in such judicial districts. And the said court shall at each session in each district dispose of and finally determine each and every case on the docket of such court at the first term after such writ of error brought; and in case the plaintiff in error in any such case shall not be prepared, at such first term of such court, after error brought to prosecute the same, unless precluded by some providential cause from such prosecution, it shall be stricken from the docket, and the judgment below shall stand affirmed. The judges of the superior court shall be elected for the term of four years, and shall continue in office until their successors shall be elected and qualified, removably by the governor on the address of two-thirds of both branches of the general assembly for that purpose, or by impeachment and conviction theron. The superior court shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all criminal cases, (except as relates to people of color, and fines for neglect of duty and for contempt of court; for violations against road-laws, and for obstructing water-courses, which shall be vested in such judicature or tribunal as shall be or may have been pointed out by law; and except in all other minor offences committed by free white persons, and which do not subject the offender or offenders to loss of life, limb, or member, or to confinement in the penitentiary; in all such cases corporation courts, such as now exist, or may hereafter be constituted, in any incorporated city, being a sea-port town and a port of Edition: current; Page: [807] entry, may be vested with jurisdiction, under such rules and regulations as the legislature may hereafter by law direct,) which shall be tried in the county where the crime was committed; and in all cases respecting titles to land, which shall be tried in the county where the land lies; and also concurrent jurisdiction in all other civil cases, and shall have power to correct errors in inferior judicatories, by writ of certiorari, and to grant new trials in said superior courts on proper and legal grounds; and in all cases where a new trial shall be so allowed, the judge allowing the same shall enter on the minutes of said court his reasons for the same; and the said superior courts shall have appellate jurisdiction in such other cases as may be pointed out by law, in cases arising in inferior judicatories, which shall in no case tend to remove the cause from the county in which the action originated.

(Ratified 1840a)

Article I. Whereas a part of the third section of the first article of the constitution is in the following words, viz: “The senate shall be elected annually;” and a part of the seventh section of the first article is in the following words: “The representatives shall be chosen annually;” and a part of the twelfth section of the first article is in the following words: “The meeting of the general assembly shall be annually;” and whereas a part of the third section of the third article is in the following words: “There shall be a State’s attorney and solicitor appointed by the legislature and commissioned by the governor, who shall hold their offices for the term of three years;” and a part of the fifteenth section of the fourth article is in the following words: “The same shall be published at least six months previous to the next ensuing annual election for members of the general assembly;” and whereas the before-recited clauses require amendments:

Section 1. Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the State of Georgia, in general assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That so soon as this act shall have passed, agreeably to the requisitions of the constitution, the following shall be adopted in lieu of the foregoing clauses: In the third section of the first article, the following, to wit: “The senate shall be elected biennially, after the passage of this act, the first election to take place on the first Monday in 1843.” In lieu of the seventh section of the first article, the following: “The representatives shall be elected biennially, after the passing of this act, the first election to take place the first Monday in October, eighteen hundred and forty-three;” and in lieu of the clause in the twelfth section in the first article, the following: “The meeting of the general assembly shall be biennially, after the passage of this act, on the first Monday in November;” and in lieu of the clause in the third section of the third article, the following, to wit: “There shall be a State attorney and solicitor elected by the legislature, who shall hold their offices for the term of four years;” and in lieu of the clause in the fifteenth section of the fourth article, the following: “The same shall be published at least six months previous to the next ensuing biennial election for Edition: current; Page: [808] members of the general assembly;” the provisions of this act not to go into effect until the year eighteen hundred and forty-three.

(Ratified 1841)

Art. III. Sec. 3. So altered and amended as to read: There shall be a State’s attorney and solicitors appointed by the legislature, and commissioned by the governor, who shall hold their offices for the term of four years, or until their successors shall be elected and qualified, unless removed by sentence on impeachment, or by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly. They shall have salaries adequate to their services, established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office.

Art. IV. Sec. 15. Amended by striking out the word “annual.”

(Ratified 1843)

Article I. Sec. 3. So altered and amended as to read: The senate shall be elected biennially on the first Monday in October, and shall consist of forty-seven members, and shall be composed of one member from each senatorial district, which district shall be composed of two contiguous counties, not including the county with the largest representative population, which shall constitute a separate district; which districts shall be arranged and organized by the general assembly, at the session when this shall be adopted, and if any new county shall be hereafter formed, it shall be annexed to one of the districts from which it was taken.

Article I. Sec. 7. So altered and amended as to read: The house of representatives shall be composed of one hundred and thirty members; each county shall have one representative, and no county shall have more than two representatives; thirty-seven counties having the greatest population, counting all free white persons, and three-fifths of the people of color, shall have two representatives; the said apportionment shall be made by the general assembly, at the session at which this section shall be adopted as an alteration of the constitution, by an act to be introduced after the adoption thereof, and a new apportionment shall be made at the session next after each future enumeration of the inhabitants of this State, made under the constitution and laws thereof, but at no other time.

Art. III. Section 1. Added to the concluding portion of the section, so that it reads: And in case of a maker and indorser or indorsers of promissory notes residing in different counties in this State, the same may be sued in the county where the maker resides, and a copy of the petition and process served on the indorser or indorsers residing out of the county in which the suit may be commenced shall be deemed sufficient service, under the same rules and regulations as the legislature have or may direct in the case of joint obligors and joint promisors. The superior and inferior courts shall sit in each county twice in every year, at such stated times as have or may be appointed by the legislature.

Art. IV. Sec. 3. So altered and amended as to read: It shall and may be lawful for all major-generals and brigadier-generals to be Edition: current; Page: [809] elected by the people of the respective divisions and brigades; and all persons subject to military duty shall be entitled to vote for the same only, and shall be commissioned by the governor. All other officers of the militia shall be elected in such manner as the legislature may direct, and shall be commissioned by the governor; and all militia officers now in commission, and those which may be hereafter commissioned, shall hold their commissions during their usual residence within the division, brigade, regiment, battalion, or company to which they belong, unless removed by sentence of a court-martial, or by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly.

(Ratified 1847)

Art. II. Sec. 3. So altered and amended as to read: No person shall be eligible to the office of governor who shall not have been a citizen of the United States twelve years, and an inhabitant of this State six years, and who hath not attained to the age of thirty years.

(Ratified 1849a)

Art. III. Sec. 9. So altered and amended as to read: Divorces shall be final and conclusive when the parties shall have obtained the concurrent verdicts of two special juries, authorizing a divorce upon such legal principles as the general assembly may by law prescribe.

CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA—1861

[A State convention, called by an act of the legislature, passed an ordinance of secession January 19, 1861, and on March 23, 1861, completed a revision of the State constitution, which was ratified by the people on the first Tuesday of the following July.]

CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA—1865*b

PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Georgia, in order to form a permanent government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, acknowledging and invoking the guidance of Almighty God, the author of Edition: current; Page: [810] all good government, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Georgia:

Article I: DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

One. Protection to person and property is the duty of government.

Two. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, except by due process of law.

Three. The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Four. A well-regulated militia, beig necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Five. Perfect freedom of religious sentiment be, and the same is hereby, secured, and no inhabitant of this State shall ever be molested in person or property, nor prohibited from holding any public office or trust, on account of his religious opinions.

Six. Freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, are inherent elements of political liberty. But while every citizen may freely speak or write or print on any subject, he shall be responsible for the abuse of the liberty.

Seven. The right of the people to appeal to the courts, to petition government on all matters of legitimate cognizance, and peaceably to assemble for the consideration of any matter of public concern, shall never be impaired.

Eight. Every person charged with an offence against the laws of the State shall have the privilege and benefit of counsel, shall be furnished on demand with a copy of the accusation, and list of the witnesses on whose testimony the charge against him is founded; shall have compulsory process to obtain the attendance of his own witnesses; shall be confronted with the witnesses testifying against him, and shall have a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury, as heretofore practised in Georgia.

Nine. No person shall be put in jeopardy of life or liberty more than once for the same offence, save on his or her own motion for a new trial after conviction, or in case of mistrial.

Ten. No conviction shall work corruption of blood or general forfeiture of estate.

Eleven. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Twelve. The powers of the courts to punish for contempt shall be limited by legislative acts.

Thirteen. Legislative acts in violation of the constitution are void, and the judiciary shall so declare them.

Fourteen. Ex post facto laws, laws impairing the obligation of contracts, and retroactive laws injuriously affecting any right of the citizen, are prohibited.

Fifteen. Laws should have a general operation, and no general law affecting private rights shall be varied in any particular case by special legislation, except with the free consent, in writing, of all persons to be affected thereby; and no person being under a legal disability to contract is capable of such free consent.

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Sixteen. The power of taxation over the whole State shall be exercised by the general assembly only to raise revenue for the support of government, to pay the public debt, to provide for the common defence, and for such other purposes as the general assembly may be specially required or empowered to accomplish by this constitution. But the general assembly may, by statute, grant the power of taxation for designated purposes, with such limitations as they may deem expedient, to county authorities and municipal corporations, to be exercised within their several territorial limits.

Seventeen. In cases of necessity, private ways may be granted upon just compensation being first paid; and with this exception private property shall not be taken, save for public use, and then only on just compensation, to be first provided and paid, unless there be a pressing, unforeseen necessity; in which event the general assembly shall make early provision for such compensation.

Eighteen. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.

Nineteen. The person of a debtor shall not be detained in prison, after delivery, for the benefit of his creditors, of all his estate not expressly exempted by law from levy and sale.

Twenty. The Government of the United States having, as a war-measure, proclaimed all slaves held or owned in this State emancipated from slavery, and having carried that proclamation into full practical effect, there shall henceforth be, within the State of Georgia, neither slavery or involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime, after legal conviction thereof: Provided, This acquiescence in the action of the Government of the United States is not intended to operate as a relinquishment, waiver, or estoppel of such claim for compensation of loss sustained by reason of the emancipation of his slaves as any citizen of Georgia may hereafter make upon the justice and magnanimity of that Government.

Twenty-one. The enumeration of rights herein contained is a part of this constitution, but shall not be construed to deny to the people any inherent rights which they have hitherto enjoyed.

Article II

Section 1. One. The legislative, executive, and judicial departments shall be distinct; and each department shall be confided to a separate body of magistracy. No person, or collection of persons, being of one department, shall exercise any power properly attached to either of the others, except in cases herein expressly provided.

Two. The legislative power shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives, the members whereof shall be elected and returns of the elections made in the manner now prescribed by law (until changed by the general assembly) on the 15th day of November, in the present year, and biennially thereafter, on the first Wednesday of October, to serve until their successors shall be elected; but the general assembly may, by law, change the day of election.

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Three. The first meeting of the general assembly, under this constitution, shall be on the first Monday in December next, after which it shall meet annually on the first Thursday in November, or on such other day as the general assembly may prescribe. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to transact business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of its absent members, as each house may provide. No session of the general assembly, after the first above mentioned, shall continue longer than forty days, unless prolonged by a vote of two-thirds of each branch thereof.

Four. No person holding any military commission, or other appointment, having any emolument or compensation annexed thereto, under this State or the United States, or either of them, (except justices of the inferior court, justices of the peace, and officers of the militia,) nor any defaulter for public money, or for any legal taxes required of him, shall have a seat in either branch of the general assembly; nor shall any senator or representative, after his qualification as such, be elected by the general assembly, or appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the senate, to any office or appointment having any emolument or compensation annexed thereto, during the time for which he shall have been elected.

Five. No person convicted of any felony before any court of this State, or of the United States, shall be eligible to any office or appointment of honor, profit, or trust, within this State, until he shall have been pardoned.

Six. No person who is collector or holder of public money shall be eligible to any office in this State until the same is accounted for and paid into the treasury.

Sec. 2. There shall be forty-four senatorial districts in the State of Georgia, each composed of three contiguous counties, from each of which districts one senator shall be chosen, until otherwise arranged, as hereinafter provided.

The said districts shall be constituted of counties as follows:

  • The first district, of Chatham, Bryan, and Effingham.
  • The second, of Liberty, Tattnall, and MacIntosh.
  • The third, of Wayne, Pierce, and Appling.
  • The fourth, of Glynn, Camden, and Charlton.
  • The fifth, of Coffee, Ware, and Clinch.
  • The sixth, of Echols, Lowndes, and Berrien.
  • The seventh, of Brooks, Thomas, and Colquitt.
  • The eighth, of Decatur, Mitchell, and Miller.
  • The ninth, of Early, Calhoun, and Baker.
  • The tenth, of Dougherty, Lee, and Worth.
  • The eleventh, of Clay, Randolph, and Terrell.
  • The twelfth, of Stewart, Webster, and Quitman.
  • The thirteenth, of Sumter, Schley, and Macon.
  • The fourteenth, of Dooly, Wilcox, and Pulaski.
  • The fifteenth, of Montgomery, Telfair, and Irwin.
  • The sixteenth, of Laurens, Johnson, and Emanuel.
  • The seventeenth, of Bullock, Scriven, and Burke.
  • The eighteenth, of Richmond, Glascock, and Jefferson.
  • The nineteenth, of Taliaferro, Warren, and Greene. Edition: current; Page: [813]
  • The twentieth, of Baldwin, Hancock, and Washington.
  • The twenty-first, of Twiggs, Wilkinson, and Jones.
  • The twenty-second, of Bibb, Monroe, and Pike.
  • The twenty-third, of Houston, Crawford, and Taylor.
  • The twenty-fourth, of Marion, Chattahoochee, and Muscogee.
  • The twenty-fifth, of Harris, Upson, and Talbot.
  • The twenty-sixth, of Spalding, Butts, and Fayette.
  • The twenty-seventh, of Newton, Walton, and Clarke.
  • The twenty-eighth, of Jasper, Putnam, and Morgan.
  • The twenty-ninth, of Wilkes, Lincoln, and Columbia.
  • The thirtieth, of Oglethorpe, Madison, and Elbert.
  • The thirty-first, of Hart, Franklin, and Habersham.
  • The thirty-second, of White, Lumpkin, and Dawson.
  • The thirty-third, of Hall, Banks, and Jackson.
  • The thirty-fourth, of Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Henry.
  • The thirty-fifth, of Clayton, Fulton, and Cobb.
  • The thirty-sixth, of Meriwether, Cowetta, and Campbell.
  • The thirty-seventh, of Troup, Heard, and Carroll.
  • The thirty-eighth, of Haralson, Polk, and Paulding.
  • The thirty-ninth, of Cherokee, Milton, and Forsyth.
  • The fortieth, of Union, Towns, and Rabun.
  • The forty-first, of Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens.
  • The forty-second, of Bartow, Floyd, and Chattooga.
  • The forty-third, of Murray, Whitfield, and Gordon.
  • The forty-fourth, of Walker, Dade, and Catoosa.

If a new county be established, it shall be added to a district which it adjoins. The senatorial districts may be changed by the general assembly, but only at the first session after the taking of each new census by the United States Government, and their number shall never be increased.

Two. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years and be a citizen of the United States, and have been for three years an inhabitant of this State, and for one year a resident of the district from which he is chosen.

Three. The presiding officer shall be styled the president of the senate, and shall be elected viva voce from their own body.

Four. The senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, profit, or trust within this State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.

Sec. 3. One. The house of representatives shall be composed as follows: The thirty-seven counties having the largest representative population shall have two representatives each. Every other county shall have one representative. The designation of the counties having two representatives shall be made by the general assembly immediately after the taking of each census.

Two. No person shall be a representative who shall not have Edition: current; Page: [814] attained to the age of twenty-one years, and be a citizen of the United States, and have been for three years an inhabitant of the State, and for one year a resident of the county which he represents.

Three. The presiding officer of the house of representatives shall be styled the speaker, and shall be elected viva voce from their own body.

Four. They shall have the sole power to impeach all persons who have been or may be in office.

Five. All bills for raising revenue or appropriating money shall originate in the house of representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur in amendments, as in other bills.

Sec. 4. One. Each house shall be the judge of the election returns and qualifications of its own members; and shall have power to punish them for disorderly behavior or misconduct, by censure, fine, imprisonment, or expulsion; but no member shall be expelled except by a vote of two-thirds of the house from which he is expelled.

Two. Each house may punish, by imprisonment, not extending beyond the session, any person not a member, who shall be guilty of a contempt by any disorderly behavior in its presence; or who, during the session, shall threaten injury to the person or estate of any member, for anything said or done in either house; or who shall assault any member therefor or who shall assault or arrest any witness going to or returning therefrom; or who shall rescue, or attempt to rescue, any person arrested by order of either house.

Third. The members of both houses shall be free from arrest during their attendance on the general assembly, and in going to and returning therefrom; except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace. And no member shall be liable to answer in any other place for anything spoken in debate in either house.

Four. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish them immediately after its adjournment. The yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of the members present, be entered on the journals. The original journals shall be preserved (after publication) in the office of the secretary of state; but there shall be no other record thereof.

Five. Every bill, before it shall pass, shall be read three times, and on three separate and distinct days, in each house, unless in case of actual invasion or insurrection. Nor shall any law or ordinance pass which refers to more than one subject-matter, or contains matter different from what is expressed in the title thereof.

Six. All acts shall be signed by the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives; and no bill, ordinance, or resolution, intended to have the effect of law, which shall have been rejected by either house, shall be again proposed under the same or any other title without the consent of two-thirds of the house, by which the same was rejected.

Seven. Neither house shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place, without the consent of the other; and in case of disagreement between the two houses on a question of adjournment, the governor may adjourn them.

Eight. Every senator and representative, before taking his seat, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States and of this State; and also, that he hath not practised Edition: current; Page: [815] any unlawful means, either directly or indirectly, to procure his election. And every person convicted of having given or offered a bribe shall be disqualified from serving as a member of either house for the term for which he was elected.

Nine. Whenever this constitution requires an act to be passed by two-thirds of both houses, the yeas and nays on the passage thereof shall be entered on the journals of each.

Sec. 5. One. The general assembly shall have power to make all laws and ordinances consistent with this constitution, and not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, which they shall deem necessary and proper for the welfare of the State.

Two. They may alter the boundaries of counties, and lay off and establish new counties; but every bill to establish a new county shall be passed by at least two-thirds of the members present in each branch of the general assembly.

Three. The general assembly shall have power to appropriate money for the promotion of learning and science, and to provide for the education of the people; and shall provide for the early resumption of the regular exercises of the University of Georgia, by the adequate endowment of the same.

Four. The general assembly shall have power, by a vote of two-thirds of each branch, to grant pardons in cases of final conviction for treason, and to pardon or commute after final conviction in capital cases.

Five. It shall be the duty of the general assembly, at its next session, and thereafter as the public welfare may require, to provide by law for the government of free persons of color; for the protection and security of their persons and property, guarding them and the State against any evil that may arise from their sudden emancipation, and prescribing in what cases their testimony shall be admitted in the courts; for the regulation of their transactions with citizens; for the legalizing of their existing and the contracting and solemnization of their future marital relations, and connected therewith their rights of inheritance and testamentary capacity; and for the regulation or prohibition of their immigration into this State from other States of the Union, or elsewhere. And further, it shall be the duty of the general assembly to confer jurisdiction upon courts now existing, or to create county courts with jurisdiction in criminal cases excepted from the exclusive jurisdiction of the superior court, and in civil cases whereto free persons of color may be parties.

Sec. 6. One. The general assembly shall have no power to grant corporate powers and privileges to private companies, except to banking, insurance, railroad, canal, plank-road, navigation, mining, express, lumber, manufacturing, and telegraph companies; nor to make or change election precincts; nor to establish bridges and ferries; nor to change names, or legitimate children; but shall by law prescribe the manner in which such power shall be exercised by the courts. But no bank-charter shall be granted or extended, and no act passed authorizing the suspension of specie payment by any chartered bank, except by a vote of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly.

Two. No money shall be drawn from the treasury of this State, except by appropriation made by law; and a regular statement and Edition: current; Page: [816] account of the receipt and expenditure of all public money shall be published from time to time.

Three. No vote, resolution, law, or order shall pass, granting a donation or gratuity in favor of any person, except by the concurrence of two-thirds of the general assembly.

Four. No law shall be passed by which a citizen shall be compelled, directly or indirectly, to become a stockholder in or contribute to a railroad, or other work of internal improvement, without his consent, except the inhabitants of a corporate town or city. This provision shall not be construed to deny the power of taxation for the purpose of making levees or dams to prevent the overflow of rivers.

Article III

Section 1. One. The executive power shall be vested in a governor, the first of whom under this constitution shall hold the office from the time of his inauguration, as by law provided, until the election and qualification of his successor. Each governor subsequently elected shall hold the office for two years and until his successor shall be elected and qualified, and shall not be eligible to re-election after the expiration of a second term for the period of four years. He shall have a competent salary, which shall not be increased nor diminished during the time for which he shall have been elected; neither shall he receive within that time any other emolument from the United States, or either of them, nor from any foreign power.

Two. The governor shall be elected by the persons qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, on the fifteenth day of November, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-five, and biennially thereafter, on the first Wednesday of October, until such time be altered by law, which election shall be held at the places of holding general elections in the several counties of this State, in the manner prescribed for the election of members of the general assembly. The returns for every election of governor shall be sealed up by the managers, separately from other returns, and directed to the president of the senate and speaker of the house of representatives; and transmitted to the governor, or the person exercising the duties of governor for the time being; who shall, without opening the said returns, cause the same to be laid before the senate, on the day after the two houses shall have been organized; and they shall be transmitted by the senate to the house of representatives. The members of each branch of the general assembly shall convene in the representative chamber, and the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives shall open and publish the returns in presence of the general assembly; and the person having the majority of the whole number of votes given in shall be declared duly elected governor of this State; but if no person have such majority, then from the two persons having the highest number of votes, who shall be in life, and shall not decline an election at the time appointed for the legislature to elect, the general assembly shall immediately elect a governor viva voce; and in all cases of election of a governor by the general assembly, a majority of the votes of the members present shall be necessary for a choice. Contested elections shall be determined by both houses of the general assembly, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

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Three. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor who shall not have been a citizen of the United States twelve years, and an inhabitant of this State six years, and who hath not attained the age of thirty years.

Four. In case of the death, resignation, or disability of the governor, the president of the senate shall exercise the executive powers of the government until such disability be removed, or a successor is elected and qualified. And in case of the death, resignation, or disability of the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives shall exercise the executive power of the government until the removal of the disability or the election and qualification of a governor.

Five. The governor shall, before he enters on the duties of his office, take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will faithfully execute the office of governor of the State of Georgia; and will, to the best of my abilities, preserve, protect, and defend the constitution thereof, and the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Sec. 2. One. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia thereof.

Two. He shall have power to grant reprieves for offences against the State, except in cases of impeachment, and to grant pardons, or to remit any part of a sentence, in all cases after conviction, except for treason, murder, or other capital offences, in which cases he may respite the execution, and make report thereof to the next general assembly.

Three. He shall issue writs of election to fill vacancies that happen in the senate or house of representatives, and shall have power to convene the general assembly on extraordinary occasions; and shall give them, from time to time, information of the state of the republic, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem necessary and expedient.

Four. When any office shall become vacant by death, resignation, or otherwise, the governor shall have power to fill such vacancy unless otherwise provided for by law; and persons so appointed shall continue in office until a successor is appointed, agreeably to the mode pointed out by this constitution, or by law in pursuance thereof.

Five. A person once rejected by the senate shall not be reappointed by the governor to the same office during the same session or the recess thereafter.

Six. The governor shall have the revision of all bills passed by both houses, before the same shall become laws, but two-thirds of each house may pass a law notwithstanding his dissent; and if any bill should not be returned by the governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it has been presented to him, the same shall be law, unless the general assembly, by their adjournment, shall prevent its return. He may approve any appropriation and disapprove any other appropriation in the same bill, and the latter shall not be effectual unless passed by two-thirds of each house.

Seven. Every vote, resolution, or order, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of election or adjournment, shall be presented to the governor; and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or, being disapproved, shall be Edition: current; Page: [818] repassed by two-thirds of each house, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Eight. There shall be a secretary of state, a comptroller-general, a treasurer, and surveyor-general, elected by the general assembly, and they shall hold their offices for the like period as the governor, and shall have a competent salary, which shall not be increased or diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected. The general assembly may at any time consolidate any two of these offices, and require all the duties to be discharged by one officer.

Nine. The great seal of the State shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state, and shall not be affixed to any instrument of writing but by order of the governor or general assembly; and that used previously to the year 1861 shall be the great seal of the State.

Ten. The governor shall have power to appoint his own secretaries, not exceeding two in number.

Article IV

Section 1. One. The judicial powers of this State shall be vested in a supreme court for the correction of errors, a superior, inferior, ordinary, and justices’ courts, and in such other courts as have been, or may be, established by law.

Two. The supreme court shall consist of three judges, who shall be elected by the general assembly, for such term of years, not less than six, as shall be prescribed by law, and shall continue in office until their successors shall be elected and qualified; removable by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly, or by impeachment and conviction thereon.

Three. The said court shall have no original jurisdiction, but shall be a court alone for the trial and correction of errors in law and equity from the superior courts of the several circuits, and from the city courts of the cities of Savannah and Augusta, and such other like courts as may be hereafter established in other cities; and shall sit “at the seat of government” at such time or times in each year as the general assembly shall prescribe, for the trial and determination of writs of error from said courts.

Four. The said court shall dispose of and finally determine every case on the docket of such court, at the first or second term after such writ of error brought; and in case the plaintiff in error shall not be prepared at the first term of such court, after error brought, to prosecute the case, unless precluded by some providential cause from such prosecution, it shall be stricken from the docket and the judgment below affirmed. And in any case that may occur, the court may, in its discretion, withhold its judgment until the term next after the argument thereon.

Sec. 2. One. The judges of the superior courts shall be elected on the first Wednesday in January, until the legislature shall otherwise direct, immediately before the expiration of the term for which they or either of them may have been appointed or elected, from the circuits in which they are to serve, by a majority vote of the people of the circuit qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, for the term of four years, vacancies to be filled as is provided by the laws of force prior to January 1, 1861, and shall continue in office until Edition: current; Page: [819] their successors shall be elected and qualified; removable by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly, or by impeachment and conviction thereon.

Two. The superior court shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all cases of divorce, both total and partial; but no total divorce shall be granted except on the concurrent verdicts of two special juries. In each divorce case, the court shall regulate the rights and disabilities of the parties.

Three. The superior courts shall also have exclusive jurisdiction in all criminal cases, except as relates to fines for neglect of duty, contempts of court, violation of road-laws, obstructions of watercourses, and in all other minor offences which do not subject the offender or offenders to loss of life, limb, or member, or to confinement in the penitentiary; jurisdiction of all such cases shall be vested in such county or corporation courts, or such other courts, judicatures, or tribunals as now exist, or may hereafter be constituted, under such rules and regulations as the legislature may have directed, or may hereafter by law direct.

Four. All criminal cases shall be tried in the county where the crime was committed, except in cases where a jury cannot be obtained.

Five. The superior court shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all cases respecting titles to land, which shall be tried in the county where the land lies; and also in all equity causes which shall be tried in the county where one or more of the defendants reside, against whom substantial relief is prayed.

Six. It shall have appellate jurisdiction in all such cases as may be provided by law.

Seven. It shall have power to correct errors in inferior judicatories by writ of certiorari, and to grant new trials in the superior court on proper and legal grounds.

Eight. It shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, scire facias, and all other writs which may be necessary for carrying its powers fully into effect.

Nine. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in all other civil cases, and in them the general assembly may give concurrent jurisdiction to the inferior court, or such other county court as they may hereafter create, which cases shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides.

Ten. In case of joint obligors, or joint promisors or copartners, or joint trespassers residing in different counties, the suit may be brought in either county.

Eleven. In case of a maker and indorser or indorsers of promissory notes residing in different counties in this State, the same may be sued in the county where the maker resides.

Twelve. The superior court shall sit in each county not less than twice in every year, at such stated times as have been or may be appointed by the general assembly, and the inferior and county courts at such times as the general assembly may direct.

Sec. 3. One. The judges shall have salaries adequate to their services fixed by law, which shall not be diminished nor increased during their continuance in office; but shall not receive any other perquisites or emoluments whatever, from parties or others, on account of any duty required of them.

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Two. There shall be a State’s attorney and solicitors elected in the same manner as the judges of the superior court, and commissioned by the governor, who shall hold their offices for the term of four years, or until their successors shall be appointed and qualified, unless removed by sentence on impeachment, or by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly. They shall have salaries adequate to their services fixed by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office.

Three. The justice or justices of the inferior court, and the judges of such other county court as may by law be created, shall be elected in each county by the persons entitled to vote for members of the general assembly.

Four. The justice of the peace shall be elected in each district by the persons entitled to vote for members of the general assembly.

Five. The powers of a court of ordinary and of probate shall be vested in an ordinary for each county, from whose decision there may be an appeal to the superior court, under regulations prescribed by law. The ordinary shall be ex-officio clerk of said court, and may appoint a deputy clerk. The ordinary, as clerk, or his deputy, may issue citations, and grant temporary letters of administration, to hold until permanent letters are granted; and said ordinary, as clerk, or his deputy, may grant marriage-licenses. The ordinaries in and for the respective counties shall be elected, as other county officers are, on the first Wednesday in January, 1868, and every fourth year thereafter, and shall be commissioned by the governor for the term of four years. In case of any vacancy of said office of ordinary, from any cause, the same shall be filled by election, as is provided in relation to other county officers, and until the same is filled, the clerk of the superior court for the time being shall act as clerk of said court of ordinary.

Article V

Section 1. One. The electors or members of the general assembly shall be free white male citizens of this State, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, and have paid all taxes which may have been required of them, and which they have had an opportunity of paying, agreeable to law, for the year preceding the election; shall be citizens of the United States, and shall have resided six months either in the district or county, and two years within this State, and no person not qualified to vote for members of the general assembly shall hold any office in this State.

Two. All elections by the general assembly shall be viva voce, and the vote shall always appear on the journal of the house of representatives, and where the Senate and house of representatives unite for the purpose of electing, they shall meet in the representative chamber, and the president of the senate shall in such cases preside and declare the person or persons elected.

Three. In all elections by the people the electors shall vote by ballot until the general assembly shall otherwise direct.

Four. All civil officers heretofore commissioned by the governor, or who have been duly appointed, or elected, since the first day of January last, but who have not received their commissions, and who have not resigned, nor been removed from office, and whose terms of Edition: current; Page: [821] office shall not have expired, shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective offices during the periods for which they were duly appointed or duly elected as aforesaid, and commissioned, and until their successors shall be appointed under the provisions of this constitution, unless removed from office as herein provided.

Five. Laws of general operation now of force in this State are, 1st, as the supreme law, the Constitution of the United States; the laws of the United States in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made under the authority of the United States; 2d, as next in authority thereto, this constitution; 3d, in subordination to the aforegoing, all laws declared of force by an act of the general assembly of this State, assented to December the 19th, ad 1860, entitled “An act to approve, adopt, and make of force, in the State of Georgia, a revised code of laws, prepared under the direction and by authority of the general assembly thereof, and for other purposes therewith connected,” an act of the general assembly aforesaid, assented to December 16, ad 1861, amendatory of the aforegoing, and an act of the general assembly aforesaid, assented to December 13, ad 1862, entitled “An act to settle the conflicts between the code and the legislation of this general assembly;” also, all acts of the general assembly aforesaid, passed since the date last written, altering, amending, repealing, or adding to any portion of law hereinbefore mentioned, (the latter enactments having preference in case of conflict,) and also so much of the common and statute law of England, and of the statute laws of this State of force in Georgia in the year eighteen hundred and sixty, as is not expressly superseded by nor inconsistent with said codes, though not embodied therein; except so much of the law aforesaid as may violate the supreme law herein recognized, or may conflict with this constitution, and except so much thereof as refers to persons held in slavery, which excepted laws shall henceforth be inoperative and void, and any future general assembly of this State shall be competent to alter, amend, or repeal any portion of the law declared to be of force in this third specification of the fifth clause of this fifth article. If in any statute law herein declared of force the word “Confederate” occurs before the word States, such law is hereby amended by substituting the word “United” for the word “Confederate.”

Six. Local and private statutes heretofore passed, intended for the benefit of counties, cities, towns, corporations, and private persons, not inconsistent with the supreme law, nor with this constitution, and which have neither expired by their own limitations nor have been repealed, shall have the force of statute law, subject to judicial decision as to their validity when enacted, and to any limitations imposed by their own terms.

Seven. All judgments, decrees, orders, and other proceedings of the several courts of this State, heretofore made within the limits of their several jurisdictions, are hereby ratified and affirmed, subject only to past and future reversal, by motion for new trial, appeal, bill of review, or other proceedings, in conformity with the law of force when they were made.

Eight. All rights, privileges, and immunities which may have vested in or accrued to any person or persons, in his, her, or their own right, or in any fiduciary capacity, under and in virtue of any act of Edition: current; Page: [822] the general assembly, or of any judgment, decree, or order, or other proceeding of any court of competent jurisdiction in this State, since the first day of January, ad eighteen hundred and sixty-one, shall be held inviolate by all courts before which they may be brought in question, unless attacked for fraud.

Nine. The marriage relation between white persons and persons of African descent is forever prohibited, and such marriage shall be null and void; and it shall be the duty of the general assembly to enact laws for the punishment of any officer who shall knowingly issue a license for the celebration of such marriage, or any officer or minister of the gospel who shall marry such persons together.

Ten. All militia and county officers shall be elected by the people, under such regulations as have been or may be prescribed by law.

Eleven. This constitution shall be altered or amended only by a convention of the people, called for that purpose by act of the general assembly.

Signed November 7, 1865.

Herschel V. Johnson, President.
Attest: J. D. Waddell, Secretary.

CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA—1868ab

PREAMBLE

We, the people of Georgia, in order to form a permanent government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, acknowledging and invoking the guidance of Almighty God, the author of all good government, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Georgia:

Article I: DECLARATION OF FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES

Section 1. Protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government, and shall be impartial and complete.

Sec. 2. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and resident in this State, are hereby declared citizens of this State, and no laws shall be made or enforced which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, or of this State, or deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws. And it shall be the duty of the general assembly, by appropriate legislation, to protect every person in the due enjoyment of the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed in this section.

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Sec. 3. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, except by due process of law.

Sec. 4. There shall be within the State of Georgia neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime after legal conviction thereof.

Sec. 5. The right of the people to appeal to the courts, to petition government on all matters, and peaceably to assemble for the consideration of any matter, shall never be impaired.

Sec. 6. Perfect freedom of religious sentiment shall be, and the same is hereby, secured, and no inhabitant of this State shall ever be molested in person or property, or prohibited from holding any public office or trust, on account of his religious opinion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the people.

Sec. 7. Every person charged with an offence against the laws shall have the privilege and benefit of counsel, shall be furnished, on demand, with a copy of the accusation and a list of the witnesses on whose testimony the charge against him is founded, shall have compulsory process to obtain the attendance of his own witnesses, shall be confronted with the witnesses testifying against him, and shall have a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury.

Sec. 8. No person shall be put in jeopardy of life or liberty more than once for the same offence, save on his or her own motion for a new trial after conviction, or in case of mistrial.

Sec. 9. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are inherent elements of political liberty. But while every citizen may freely speak, or write, or print on any subject, he shall be responsible for the abuse of the liberty.

Sec. 10. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.

Sec. 11. The social status of the citizen shall never be the subject of legislation.

Sec. 12. No person shall be molested for his opinions, or be subject to any civil or political incapacity, or acquire any civil or political advantage in consequence of such opinions.

Sec. 13. The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Sec. 14. A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but the general assembly shall have power to prescribe by law the manner in which arms may be borne.

Sec. 15. The punishment of all frauds shall be provided by law.

Sec. 16. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted, nor shall any person be abused in being arrested, whilst under arrest, or in prison.

Sec. 17. The power of the courts to punish for contempt shall be limited by legislative acts.

Sec. 18. There shall be no imprisonment for debt.

Sec. 19. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel the truth may Edition: current; Page: [824] be given in evidence, and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.

Sec. 20. Private ways may be granted upon just compensation being paid by the applicant.

Sec. 21. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offence.

Sec. 22. Whipping, as a punishment for crime, is prohibited.

Sec. 23. No lottery shall be authorized, or sale of lottery-tickets allowed, in this State, and adequate penalties for such sale shall be provided by law.

Sec. 24. No conviction shall work corruption of blood, and no conviction of treason shall work a general forfeiture of estate longer than during the life of the person attained.

That the cause or causes shall be notified to the judge so intended to

Sec. 25. Treason against the State of Georgia shall consist only in levying war against the State, or the United States, or adhering to the enemies thereof, giving them aid and comfort; and no person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Sec. 26. Laws shall have a general operation, and no general law, affecting private rights, shall be varied, in any particular case, by special legislation, except with the free consent, in writing, of all persons to be affected thereby; and no person under legal disability to contract is capable of such free consent.

Sec. 27. The power of taxation over the whole State shall be exercised by the general assembly only to raise revenue for the support of government, to pay the public debt, to provide a general school-fund, for common defence and for public improvement; and taxation on property shall be ad valorem only, and uniform on all species of property taxed.

Sec. 28. The general assembly may grant the power of taxation to county authorities and municipal corporations, to be exercised within their several territorial limits.

Sec. 29. No poll-tax shall be levied except for educational purposes, and such tax shall not exceed one dollar annually on each poll.

Sec. 30. Mechanics and laborers shall have liens upon the property of their employers for labor performed or material furnished, and the legislature shall provide for the summary enforcement of the same.

Sec. 31. The legislative, executive, and judicial departments shall be distinct; and each department shall be confided to a separate body of magistracy. No person, or collection of persons, being of one department, shall exercise any power properly attached to either of the others, except in cases herein expressly provided.

Sec. 32. Legislative acts in violation of this constitution, or the Constitution of the United States, are void, and the judiciary shall so declare them.

Sec. 33. The State of Georgia shall ever remain a member of the American Union: the people thereof are a part of the American nation; every citizen thereof owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and Government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of this State, in contravention or subversion thereof, shall ever have any binding force.

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Article II: FRANCHISE AND ELECTIONS

Section 1. In all elections by the people the electors shall vote by ballot.

Sec. 2. Every male person born in the United States, and every male person who has been naturalized, or who has legally declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, twenty-one years old or upward, who shall have resided in this State six months next preceding the election, and shall have resided thirty days in the county in which he offers to vote, and shall have paid all taxes which may have been required of him, and which he may have had an opportunity of paying, agreeably to law, for the year preceding the election, (except as hereinafter provided,) shall be deemed an elector; and every male citizen of the United States, of the age aforesaid, (except as hereinafter provided,) who may be a resident of the State at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall be deemed an elector, and shall have all the rights of an elector, as aforesaid: Provided, That no soldier, sailor, or marine in the military or naval service of the United States shall acquire the rights of an elector by reason of being stationed on duty in this State; and no person shall vote who, if challenged, shall refuse to take the following oath:

“I do swear that I have not given or received, nor do I expect to give or receive, any money, treat, or other thing of value, by which my vote, or any vote, is affected, or expected to be affected, at this election, nor have I given or promised any reward, or made any threat, by which to prevent any person from voting at this election.”

Sec. 3. No person convicted of felony or larceny before any court of this State, or of or in the United States, shall be eligible to any office or appointment of honor or trust within this State, unless he shall have been pardoned.

Sec. 4. No person who is the holder of any public moneys shall be eligible to any office in this State until the same is accounted for and paid into the treasury.

Sec. 5. No person who, after the adoption of this constitution, being a resident of this State, shall engage in a duel in this State, or elsewhere, or shall send or accept a challenge, or be aider or abettor to such duel, shall vote or hold office in this State; and every such person shall also be subject to such punishment as the law may prescribe.

Sec. 6. The general assembly may provide, from time to time, for the registration of all electors, but the following classes of persons shall not be permitted to register, vote, or hold office: 1st. Those who shall have been convicted of treason, embezzlement of public funds, malfeasance in office, crime punishable by law with imprisonment in the penitentiary, or bribery; 2d. Idiots or insane persons.

Sec. 7. Electors shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest for five days before an election, during the election, and two days subsequent thereto.

Sec. 8. The sale of intoxicating liquors on days of election is prohibited.

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Sec. 9. Returns of election for all civil officers elected by the people, who are to be commissioned by the governor, and also for the members of the general assembly, shall be made to the secretary of state, unless otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 10. The general assembly shall enact laws giving adequate protection to electors before, during, and subsequent to elections.

Sec. 11. The election of governor, members of Congress, and of the general assembly, after the year 1868, shall commence on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, unless otherwise provided by law.

Article III: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. One. The legislative power shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives, and, until otherwise directed, the members thereof, after the first election, shall be elected, and the returns of the election made, as now prescribed by law.

Two. The members of the senate shall be elected for four years, except that the members elected at the first election from the twenty-two senatorial districts numbered in this constitution with odd numbers, shall only hold their office for two years. The members of the house of representatives shall be elected for two years. The election for members of the general assembly shall begin on Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every second year, except the first election, which shall be within sixty days after the adjournment of this convention; but the general assembly may by law change the time of election, and the members shall hold until their successors are elected and qualified.

Three. The first meeting of the general assembly shall be within ninety days after the adjournment of this convention, after which it shall meet annually on the second Wednesday in January, or on such other day as the general assembly may prescribe. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to transact business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the presence of its absent members as each house may provide. No session of the general assembly, after the second under this constitution, shall continue longer than forty days, unless prolonged by a vote of two-thirds of each branch thereof.

Four. No person holding a military commission, or other appointment or offices, having any emolument or compensation annexed thereto, under this State or the United States, or either of them, except justices of the peace and officers of the militia, nor any defaulter for public money, or for any legal taxes required of him, shall have a seat in either house; nor shall any senator or representative, after his qualification as such, be elected by the general assembly, or appointed by the governor, either with or without the advice and consent of the senate, to any office or appointment, having any emolument annexed thereto, during the time for which he shall have been elected.

Five. The seat of a member of either house shall be vacated on his removal from the district from which he was elected.

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Sec. 2. One. There shall be forty-four senatorial districts in this State, composed each of three contiguous counties, from each of which districts one senator shall be chosen. Until otherwise arranged, as hereinafter provided, the said districts shall be constituted as follows:

  • The first district, of Chatham, Bryan, and Effingham.
  • The second district, of Liberty, Tatnall, and McIntosh.
  • The third district, of Wayne, Pierce, and Appling.
  • The fourth district, of Glynn, Camden, and Charlton.
  • The fifth district, of Coffee, Ware, and Clinch.
  • The sixth district, of Echols, Lowndes, and Berrien.
  • The seventh district, of Brooks, Thomas, and Colquitt.
  • The eighth district, of Decatur, Mitchell, and Miller.
  • The ninth district, of Early, Calhoun, and Baker.
  • The tenth district, of Dougherty, Lee, and Worth.
  • The eleventh district, of Clay, Randolph, and Terrell.
  • The twelfth district, of Stewart, Webster, and Quitman.
  • The thirteenth district, of Sumter, Schley, and Macon.
  • The fourteenth district, of Dooly, Wilcox, and Pulaski.
  • The fifteenth district, of Montgomery, Telfair, and Irwin.
  • The sixteenth district, of Laurens, Johnson, and Emanuel.
  • The seventeenth district, of Bullock, Scriven, and Burke.
  • The eighteenth district, of Richmond, Glascock, and Jefferson.
  • The nineteenth district, of Taliaferro, Warren, and Greene.
  • The twentieth district, of Baldwin, Hancock, and Washington.
  • The twenty-first district, of Twiggs, Wilkinson, and Jones.
  • The twenty-second district, of Bibb, Monroe, and Pike.
  • The twenty-third district, of Houston, Crawford, and Taylor.
  • The twenty-fourth district, of Marion, Chattahoochee, and Muscogee.
  • The twenty-fifth district, of Harris, Upson, and Talbot.
  • The twenty-sixth district, of Spalding, Butts, and Fayette.
  • The twenty-seventh district, of Newton, Walton, and Clarke.
  • The twenty-eighth district, of Jasper, Putnam, and Morgan.
  • The twenty-ninth district, of Wilkes, Lincoln, and Columbia.
  • The thirtieth district, of Oglethorpe, Madison, and Elbert.
  • The thirty-first district, of Hart, Franklin, and Habersham.
  • The thirty-second district, of White, Lumpkin, and Dawson.
  • The thirty-third district, of Hall, Banks, and Jackson.
  • The thirty-fourth district, of Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Henry.
  • The thirty-fifth district, of Clayton, Fulton, and Cobb.
  • The thirty-sixth district, of Meriwether, Coweta, and Campbell.
  • The thirty-seventh district, of Troup, Heard, and Carroll.
  • The thirty-eighth district, of Haralson, Polk, and Paulding.
  • The thirty-ninth district, of Cherokee, Milton, and Forsyth.
  • The fortieth district, of Union, Towns, and Rabun.
  • The forty-first district, of Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens.
  • The forty-second district, of Bartow, Floyd, and Chattooga.
  • The forty-third district, of Murray, Whitfield, and Gordon.
  • The forty-fourth district, of Walker, Dade, and Catoosa.

If a new county be established it shall be added to a district which it adjoins, and from which the larger portion of its territory is taken. The senatorial districts may be changed by the general assembly, but Edition: current; Page: [828] only at the first session after the publication of each census by the United States Government, and their number shall not be increased.

Two. The senators shall be citizens of the United States, who have attained the age of twenty-five years, and who, after the first election under this constitution, shall have been citizens of this State for two years, and for one year resident of the district from which elected.

Three. The presiding officer of the senate shall be styled the president of the senate, and shall be elected viva voce from the senators.

Four. The senate shall have the sole power to try impeachments. When sitting for that purpose the members shall be on oath or affirmation, and shall be presided over by one of the judges of the supreme court, selected for that purpose by a viva-voce vote of the senate; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgments in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit within this State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.

Sec. 3. One. The house of representatives shall consist of one hundred and seventy-five representatives, apportioned as follows: to the six largest counties, to wit, Chatham, Richmond, Fulton, Bibb, Houston, and Burke, three representatives each; to the thirty-one next largest, to wit, Bartow, Columbia, Cobb, Coweta, Clarke, Decatur, Dougherty, Floyd, Gwinnett, Greene, Hancock, Harris, Jefferson, Lee, Muscogee, Monroe, Meriwether, Morgan, Macon, Newton, Oglethorpe, Pulaski, Randolph, Sumter, Stewart, Troup, Thomas, Talbot, Washington, Wilkes, and Warren, two representatives each; and to the remaining ninety-five counties, one representative each.

Two. The above apportionment may be changed by the general assembly after each census by the United States Government, but in no event shall the aggregate number of representatives be increased.

Three. The representatives shall be citizens of the United States who have attained the age of twenty-one years, and who, after the first election under this constitution, shall have been citizens of this State for one year, and for six months resident of the counties from which elected.

Four. The presiding officer of the house of representatives shall be styled the speaker of the house of representatives, and shall be elected viva voce from the body.

Five. The house of representatives shall have the sole power to impeach all persons who shall have been or may be in office.

Six. All bills for raising revenue, or appropriating money, shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may propose or concur in amendments, as in other bills.

Sec. 4. One. Each house shall be the judge of the election, returns, and qualifications of its members, and shall have power to punish them for disorderly behavior, or misconduct, by censure, fine, imprisonment, or expulsion; but no member shall be expelled, except by a vote of two-thirds of the house from which he is expelled.

Two. Each house may punish, by imprisonment, not extending beyond the session, any person, not a member, who shall be guilty of a contempt by any disorderly behavior in its presence, or who, during Edition: current; Page: [829] the session, shall threaten injury to the person or estate of any member for anything said or done in either house, or who shall assault any member going to or returning therefrom, or who shall rescue or attempt to rescue any person arrested by order of either house.

Three. The members of both houses shall be free from arrest during their attendance on the general assembly, and in going to or returning therefrom, except for treason, felony, larceny, or breach of the peace; and no member shall be liable to answer in any other place for anything spoken in debate in either house.

Four. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish it immediately after its adjournment. The yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of the members present, be entered on the journal. The original journal shall be preserved, after publication, in the office of the secretary of state, but there shall be no other record thereof.

Five. Every bill, before it shall pass, shall be read three times, and on three separate days, in each house, unless in cases of actual invasion or insurrection. Nor shall any law or ordinance pass which refers to more than one subject-matter, or contains matter different from what is expressed in the title thereof.

Six. All acts shall be signed by the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives; and no bill, ordinance, or resolution, intended to have the effect of a law, which shall have been rejected by either house, shall be again proposed during the same session, under the same or any other title, without the consent of two-thirds of the house by which the same was rejected.

Seven. Neither house shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place, without the consent of the other; and in case of disagreement between the two houses on a question of adjournment, the governor may adjourn either or both of them.

Eight. The officers of the two houses, other than the president and speaker, shall be a secretary of the senate, and clerk of the house, and an assistant for each; a journalizing clerk, two engrossing and two enrolling clerks for each house, and the number shall not be increased except by a vote of the house. And their pay, as well as the pay and mileage of the members, shall be fixed by law.

Nine. Whenever the constitution requires a vote of two-thirds of either or both houses for the passing of an act or resolution, the yeas and nays on the passage thereof shall be entered on the journal, and all votes on confirmations, or refusals to confirm nominations to office by the governor, shall be by yeas and nays, and the yeas and nays shall be recorded on the journal.

Ten. Every senator, or representative, before taking his seat, shall take an oath, or affirmation, to support the Constitution of the United States, and of this State; that he has not practised any unlawful means, directly or indirectly, to secure his election, and that he has not given, or offered, or promised, or caused to be given, or offered, or promised, to any person, any money, treat, or thing of value, with intent to affect any vote, or to prevent any person voting at the election at which he was elected.

Sec. 5. One. The general assembly shall have power to make all laws and ordinances, consistent with this constitution, and not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, which they shall deem necessary and proper for the welfare of the State.

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Two. The general assembly may alter the boundaries of, or lay off or establish new counties, or abolish counties, attaching the territory thereof to contiguous counties; but no new county shall be established except by a vote of two-thirds of each house; nor shall any county be abolished except by a vote of two-thirds of each house, and after the qualified voters of the county shall, at an election held for the purpose, so decide.

Sec. 6. One. No money shall be drawn from the treasury except by appropriation made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipt and expenditure of all public money shall be published from time to time, and, also, with the laws passed by each session of the general assembly.

Two. No vote, resolution, law, or order, shall pass, granting a donation, or gratuity, in favor of any person, except by the concurrence of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly, nor, by any vote, to a sectarian corporation or association.

Three. No law or section of the code shall be amended or repealed by mere reference to its title, or to the number of the section in the code, but the amending or repealing act shall distinctly and fully describe the law to be amended or repealed, as well as the alteration to be made; but this clause shall be construed as directory only to the general assembly.

Four. No law shall be passed by which a citizen shall be compelled against his consent, directly or indirectly, to become a stockholder in, or contribute to, any railroad or work of public improvement, except in the case of the inhabitants of a corporate town or city. In such cases, the general assembly may permit the corporate authorities to take such stock, or make such contribution, or engage in such work, after a majority of the qualified voters of such town or city, voting at an election held for the purpose, shall have voted in favor of the same; but not otherwise.

Five. The general assembly shall have no power to grant corporate powers and privileges to private companies, except to banking, insurance, railroad, canal, navigation, mining, express, lumber, manufacturing, and telegraph companies; nor to make or change, election precincts; nor to establish bridges or ferries; nor to change names or legitimate children; but it shall prescribe, by law, the manner in which such powers shall be exercised by the courts. But no charter for any bank shall be granted or extended, and no act passed authorizing the suspension of specie payments by any bank, except by a vote of two-thirds of the general assembly. The general assembly shall pass no law naming the State a stockholder in any corporate company; nor shall the credit of the State be granted or loaned to aid any company without a provision that the whole property of the company shall be bound for the security of the State, prior to any other debt or lien, except to laborers; nor to any company in which there is not already an equal amount invested by private persons; nor for any other object than a work of public improvement. No provision in this constitution for a two-thirds vote of both houses of the general assembly shall be construed to waive the necessity for the signature of the governor, as in any other cases, except in the case of the two-thirds vote required to override the veto.

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Article IV: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. One. The executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office during the term of four years, and until such time as a successor shall be chosen and qualified. He shall have a competent salary, established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected; nor shall he receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or either of them, or from any foreign power.

Two. After the first election, the governor shall be elected quadrennially, by the persons qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, until such time be altered by law, which election shall be held at the places of holding general elections in the several counties of this State, in the same manner as is prescribed for the election of members of the general assembly. The returns for every election of governor, after the first, shall be sealed up by the managers, separately from other returns, and directed to the president of the senate and speaker of the house of representatives, and transmitted to his excellency the governor, or the person exercising the duties of governor for the time being, who shall, without opening the said returns, cause the same to be laid before the senate on the day after the two houses shall have been organized; and they shall be transmitted by the senate to the house of representatives. The members of each branch of the general assembly shall convene in the representative hall, and the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives shall open and publish the returns in the presence of the general assembly; and the person having the majority of the whole number of votes given shall be declared duly elected governor of this State; but if no person have such majority, then from the two persons having the highest number of votes, who shall be in life, and shall not decline an election at the time appointed for the legislature to elect, the general assembly shall immediately elect a governor viva voce; and in all cases of election of a governor by the general assembly, a majority of the votes of the members present shall be necessary for a choice. Contested elections shall be determined by both houses of the general assembly, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Three. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor who shall not have been a citizen of the United States fifteen years, and a citizen of this State six years, and who shall not have attained the age of thirty years.

Four. In case of the death, resignation, or disability of the governor, the president of the senate shall exercise the executive powers of the government until such disability be removed or a successor is elected and qualified. And in case of the death, resignation, or disability of the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives shall exercise the executive powers of the government until the removal of the disability or the election and qualification of a governor. The general assembly shall have power to provide by law for filling unexpired terms by a special election.

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Five. The governor shall, before he enters on the duties of his office, take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will faithfully execute the office of governor of the State of Georgia, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the constitution thereof, and the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Sec. 2. One. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia thereof.

Two. He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, to commute penalties, and to remit any part of a sentence for offences against the State, except in cases of impeachment.

Three. He shall issue writs of election to fill all vacancies that happen in the senate or house of representatives, and shall have power to convoke the general assembly on extraordinary occasions, and shall give them, from time to time, information of the state of the commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem necessary and expedient.

Four. When any office shall become vacant by death, resignation, or otherwise, the governor shall have power to fill such vacancy, unless otherwise provided by law; and persons so appointed shall continue in office until a successor is appointed, agreeably to the mode pointed out by this constitution, or by law, in pursuance thereof.

Five. A person once rejected by the senate shall not be reappointed by the governor to the same office during the same session, or the recess thereafter.

Six. The governor shall have the revision of all bills passed by both houses before the same shall become laws, but two-thirds of each house may pass a law, notwithstanding his dissent, and if any bill should not be returned by the governor within five days (Sunday excepted) after it has been presented to him, the same shall be a law, unless the general assembly, by their adjournment, shall prevent its return. He may approve any appropriation and disapprove any other appropriation in the same bill, and the latter shall not be effectual unless passed by two-thirds of each house.

Seven. Every vote, resolution, or order, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of election or adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of each house, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Eight. There shall be a secretary of state, a comptroller-general, a treasurer, and surveyor-general, elected by the general assembly, and they shall hold their offices for the like period as the governor, and shall have a competent salary, which shall not be increased or diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected. The general assembly may, at any time, consolidate any two of these offices, and require all the duties to be discharged by one officer.

Nine. The great seal of the State shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state, and shall not be affixed to any instrument of writing but by order of the governor, or general assembly; and that now in use shall be the great seal of the State until otherwise provided by law.

Ten. The governor shall have power to appoint his own secretaries, not exceeding two in number, unless more shall be authorized by the general assembly.

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Article V: JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Section 1. One. The judicial powers of this State shall be vested in a supreme court, superior courts, courts of ordinary, justices of the peace, commissioned notaries public, and such other courts as have been or may be established by law.

Sec. 2. One. The supreme court shall consist of three judges, two of whom shall constitute a quorum. When a majority of the judges are disqualified from deciding any case, by interest or otherwise, the governor shall designate certain judges of the superior courts to sit in their stead. At the first appointment of judges of the supreme court under this constitution, one shall be appointed for four years, one for eight years, and one for twelve years; but all subsequent appointments, except to fill unexpired terms, shall be for the term of twelve years.

Two. The supreme court shall have no original jurisdiction, but shall be a court alone for the trial and correction of errors from the superior courts and from the city courts of Savannah and Augusta, and such other like courts as may be hereafter established in other cities; and shall sit at the seat of government at such times in each year as shall be prescribed by law, for the trial and determination of writs of error from said superior and city courts. The days on which the cases from the several circuits and city courts shall be taken up by the court shall be fixed by law.

Three. The supreme court shall dispose of every case at the first or second term after such writ of error is brought; and in case the plaintiff in error shall not be prepared at the first term to prosecute the case, unless prevented by providential cause, it shall be stricken from the docket, and the judgment below shall stand affirmed. In any case the court may, in its discretion, withhold its judgment until the next term after the same is argued.

Four. When only two judges sit in any case, and they disagree, the judgment below shall stand affirmed.

Sec. 3. One. There shall be a judge of the superior courts for each judicial circuit. He may act in other circuits when authorized by law. At the first appointment of such judges under this constitution, one-half of the number (as near as may be) shall be appointed for four years, and the other half for eight years; but all subsequent appointments, except to fill unexpired terms, shall be for the term of eight years.

Two. The superior courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction in cases of divorce; in criminal cases, where the offender is subjected to loss of life or confinement in the penitentiary; in cases respecting titles to land and equity cases, except as hereinafter provided; but the general assembly shall have power to merge the common law and equity jurisdiction of said courts. Said courts shall have jurisdiction in all other civil cases, except as hereinafter provided. They shall have appellate jurisdiction in all such cases as may be provided by law; they shall have power to correct errors in inferior judicatories, by writ of certiorari, which shall only issue on the sanction of the judge; and to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, scire facias, and all other writs that may be necessary for carrying their powers fully Edition: current; Page: [834] into effect, and shall have such other powers as shall be conferred on them by law.

Three. There shall be no appeal from one jury in the superior courts to another, but the court may grant new trials on legal grounds. The court shall render judgment without the verdict of a jury in all civil cases founded on contract, where an issuable defence is not filed on oath.

Four. The superior courts shall sit in each county not less than twice in each year, at such times as have been or may be appointed by law.

Sec. 4. One. Until the general assembly shall otherwise direct, there shall be a district judge and a district attorney for each senatorial district in this State.

Two. The district judge shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine all offences not punishable with death or imprisonment in the penitentiary; and it shall be the duty of the district attorney to represent the State in all cases before the district judge.

Three. The district judge shall sit at stated times, not less than once in each month in each county in his district for the trial of offences, and at such other times as the general assembly may direct.

Four. Offences shall be tried before the district judge on a written accusation founded on affidavit; said accusation shall plainly set forth the offence charged, and shall contain the name of the accuser, and be signed by the district attorney.

Five. There shall be no jury-trial before the district judge except when demanded by the accused, in which case the jury shall consist of seven.

Six. Such civil jurisdiction may be conferred on the district judges as the general assembly may direct.

Seven. The district judges and attorneys shall hold their offices for a period of four years, and shall receive for their services such stated compensation in their respective districts as may be provided by law, but in no event shall their compensation be in anywise dependent on fines, forfeitures, or costs.

Sec. 5. One. The powers of a court of ordinary and of probate shall be vested in an ordinary for each county, from whose decision there may be an appeal to the superior court, under regulations prescribed by law.

Two. The courts of ordinary shall have such powers in relation to roads, bridges, ferries, public buildings, paupers, county officers, county funds and taxes, and other matters, as shall be conferred on them by law.

Three. The ordinary shall hold his office for the term of four years, and until his successor is elected and qualified.

Sec. 6. One. There shall be in each district one justice of the peace, whose official term, except when elected to fill an unexpired term, shall be four years.

Two. The justices of the peace shall have jurisdiction, except as hereinafter provided, in all civil cases where the principal sum claimed does not exceed one hundred dollars, and may sit at any time for the trial of such cases; but in cases where the sum claimed is more than fifty dollars, there may be an appeal to the superior court, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Three. There shall be no appeal to a jury from the decision of a justice of the peace, except as provided in the foregoing paragraph.

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Four. Notaries public may be appointed and commissioned by the governor, not to exceed one for each militia district, for a term of four years, and shall be ex-officio justices of the peace.

Sec. 7. One. There shall be an attorney-general of the State, whose official term, except when appointed to fill an unexpired term, shall be four years.

Two. It shall be the duty of the attorney-general to act as the legal adviser of the executive department, to represent the State in all civil and criminal cases in the supreme and superior courts when required by the governor, and to perform such other services as shall be required of him by law.

Sec. 8. One. There shall be a solicitor-general for each judicial circuit, whose official term, except when appointed to fill an unexpired term, shall be four years.

Two. It shall be the duty of the solicitor-general to represent the State in all cases in the superior courts of his circuit, and in all cases taken up from his circuit to the supreme court, and to perform such other services as shall be required of him by law.

Sec. 9. One. The judges of the supreme and the superior courts, the attorney-general, solicitors-general, and the district judges and attorneys, shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, and shall be removable by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly, or by impeachment and conviction thereon.

Two. Justices of the peace shall be elected by the legal voters in their respective districts, and shall be commissioned by the governor. They shall be removable on conviction for malpractice in office.

Sec. 10. One. The judges of the supreme and superior courts and the attorney and solicitors general shall have, out of the State treasury, adequate and honorable salaries on the specie basis, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office. The district judges and district attorneys shall receive, out of the treasuries of the several counties of their districts, adequate compensation, on the specie basis, which shall not be increased or diminished during their term of office; but said judges shall not receive any other perquisites or emoluments whatever from parties or others on account of any duty required of them.

Two. The general assembly shall provide for the equitable apportionment of the compensation of the district judges and attorneys between the counties composing their districts, and shall require the moneys arising from fines and forfeitures in the district courts to be paid into the treasuries thereof.

Three. No person shall be judge of the supreme or superior courts, or attorney-general, unless at the time of his appointment he shall have attained the age of thirty years, and shall have been a citizen of this State three years, and have practised law for seven years.

Sec. 11. One. No total divorce shall be granted except on the concurrent verdicts of two juries. When a divorce is granted, the jury rendering the final verdict shall determine the rights and disabilities of the parties, subject to the revision of the court.

Sec. 12. One. Divorce cases shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides, if a resident of this State.

Two. Criminal cases shall be tried in the county where the crime was committed, except cases in the superior courts when the presiding Edition: current; Page: [836] judge is satisfied that an impartial jury cannot be obtained in such county.

Three. Cases respecting titles to land shall be tried in the county where the land lies, except where a single tract is divided by a county-line, in which case the superior court of either county shall have jurisdiction.

Four. Equity cases shall be tried in the county where a defendant resides against whom substantial relief is prayed.

Five. Suits against joint promisors, copartners, or joint trespassers, residing in different counties, may be tried in either county.

Six. Suits against the maker and indorser of promissory notes, or other like instruments, residing in different counties, shall be tried in the county where the maker resides.

Seven. All other cases shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides.

Sec. 13. One. The right of trial by jury, except where it is otherwise provided in this constitution, shall remain inviolate.

Two. The general assembly shall provide by law for the selection of upright and intelligent persons to serve as jurors. There shall be no distinction between the classes of persons who compose grand and petit juries. Jurors shall receive adequate compensation for their services, to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 14. One. The courts heretofore existing in this State styled inferior courts are abolished, and their unfinished business, and the duties of the justices thereof, are transferred to such tribunals as the general assembly may designate.

Sec. 15. One. The general assembly shall have power to provide for the creation of county commissioners in such counties as may require them, and to define their duties.

Sec. 16. One. All courts not specially mentioned by name in the first section of this article may be abolished in any county, at the discretion of the general assembly, and the county courts now existing in Georgia are hereby abolished.

Sec. 17. One.a No court of officer shall have, nor shall the general assembly give, jurisdiction or authority to try or give judgment on Edition: current; Page: [837] or enforce any debt, the consideration of which was a slave or slaves, or the hire thereof.

Two. All contracts made and not executed during the late rebellion, with the intention and for the purpose of aiding and encouraging said rebellion, or where it was the purpose and intention of any one of the parties to such contract to aid or encourage such rebellion, and that fact was known to the other party, whether said contract was made by any person or corporation with the State or Confederate States, or by a corporation with a natural person, or between two or more natural persons, are hereby declared to have been and to be illegal, and all bonds, deeds, promissory notes, bills, or other evidences of debt, made or executed by the parties to such contract, or either of them, in connection with such illegal contract, or as the consideration therefor or in furtherance thereof, are hereby declared null and void, and shall be so held in all courts in this State when attempt shall be made to enforce any such contract or give validity to any such obligation or evidence of debt. And in all cases when the defendant or any one interested in the event of the suit will make a plea, supported by his or her affidavit, that he or she has reason to believe that the obligation or evidence of indebtedness upon which the suit is predicated, or some part thereof, has been given or used for the illegal purpose aforesaid, the burden of proof shall be upon the plantiff to satisfy the court and jury that the bond, deed, note, bill, or other evidence of indebtedness upon which said suit is brought, is or are not, nor is any part thereof, founded upon or in any way connected with any such illegal contract, and has not been used in aid of the rebellion, and the date of such bond, deed, note, bill, or other evidence of indebtedness shall not be evidence that it has or has not, since its date, been issued, transferred, or used in aid of the rebellion.a

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Article VI: EDUCATION

One. The general assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall provide a thorough system of general education, to be forever free to all children of the State, the expense of which shall be provided for by taxation or otherwise.

Two. The office of State school commissioner is hereby created. He shall be appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate, and shall hold his office for the same term as the governor. The general assembly shall provide for the said commissioner a competent salary and necessary clerks. He shall keep his office at the seat of government.

Three. The poll-tax allowed by this constitution, any educational fund now belonging to this State, except the endowment of and debt due to the State university, or that may hereafter be obtained in any way, a special tax on shows and exhibitions, and on the sale of spirituous and malt liquors, which the general assembly is hereby authorized to assess, and the proceeds from the commutation for militia service, are hereby set apart and devoted to the support of common schools. And if the provisions herein made shall, at any time, prove insufficient, the general assembly shall have power to levy such general tax upon the property of the State as may be necessary for the support of said school-system. And there shall be established, as soon as practicable, one or more common schools in each school-district in this State.

Article VII: HOMESTEAD AND EXEMPTION

Section 1. One Each head of a family, or guardian, or trustee, of a family of minor children, shall be entitled to a homestead of realty to the value of $2,000 in specie, and personal property to the value of $1,000 in specie, both to be valued at the time they are set apart. And no court or ministerial officer in this State shall ever have jurisdiction or authority to enforce any judgment, decree, or execution against said property so set apart, including such improvements as may be made thereon, from time to time, except for taxes, money borrowed and expended in the improvement of the homestead, or for the purchase-money of the same, and for labor done thereon, or material furnished therefor, or removal of encumbrances thereon. And it shall be the duty of the general assembly, as early as practicable, to provide, by law, for the setting apart and valuation of said property, and to enact laws for the full and complete protection and security of the same to the sole use and benefit of said families as aforesaid.

Two. All property of the wife, in her possession at the time of her marriage, and all property given to, inherited, or acquired by her, shall remain her separate property, and not liable for the debts of her husband.

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Article VIII: MILITIA

Section 1. The militia shall consist of all able-bodied male persons between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such as may be exempted by the laws of the United States or this State; and shall be organized, officered, armed, equipped, and trained in such manner as may be provided by law; subject to the paramount authority of Congress over this subject.

Sec. 2. Volunteer companies of cavalry, infantry, or artillery may be formed in such manner, and with such restrictions, as may be provided by law.

Sec. 3. No person conscientiously opposed to bearing arms shall be compelled to do militia duty, but such person shall pay an equivalent for exemption; the amount to be prescribed by law and appropriated to the common-school fund.

Article IX: COUNTY OFFICERS

One. The county officers recognized as existing by the laws of this State, and not abolished by this constitution, shall, where not otherwise provided for in this constitution, be elected by the qualified voters of their respective counties or districts, and shall hold their offices for two years. They shall be removable on conviction for malpractice in office, or on the address of two-thirds of the senate.

Article X: SEAT OF GOVERNMENT

One. The seat of government of this State, from and after the date of the ratification of this constitution, shall be in the city of Atlanta, and the general assembly shall provide for the erection of a new capitol, and such other buildings as the public welfare may require.

Two. The general assembly shall have power to provide for the temporary removal of the seat of government in case of invasion, pestilence, or other emergency.

Article XI: THE LAWS OF GENERAL OPERATION IN FORCE IN THIS STATE ARE—

One. As the supreme law, the Constitution of the United States, the laws of the United States in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made under the authority of the United States.

Two. As next in authority thereto, this constitution.

Three. In subordination to the foregoing, all acts passed by any legislative body, sitting in this State as such, since the 19th day of January, 1861, including that body of laws known as the code of Edition: current; Page: [840] Georgia, and the acts amendatory thereof, or passed since that time, which said code and acts are embodied in the printed book known as “Irwin’s Code;” and also so much of the common and statute laws of England, and of the statute laws of Georgia, as were in force in this State on the 19th day of December, 1860, as are not superseded by said code, though not embodied therein, except so much of the said several statutes, code, and laws as may be inconsistent with the supreme law herein recognized, or may have been passed in aid of the late rebellion against the United States, or may be obsolete, or may refer to persons held in slavery, which excepted laws are inoperative and void; and any future general assembly shall be competent to alter or repeal (if not herein prohibited) any portion of the laws declared to be of force in this third specification of this clause of this article; and if in any of said laws herein declared of force the word “Confederate” occurs before the word “States,” such law is hereby amended by substituting the word “United” for the word “Confederate.”

Four. Local and private acts passed for the benefit of counties, cities, towns, corporations, and private persons, not inconsistent with the supreme law, nor with this constitution, and which have not expired or been repealed, shall have the force of statute law, subject to judicial decision as to their validity when passed, and to any limitatons imposed by their own terms.

Five. All rights, privileges, and immunities which may have vested in, or accrued to, any person or persons, or corporation, in his, her, or their right, or in any fiduciary capacity, under any act of any legislative body sitting in this State as such, or of any decree, judgment, or order of any court, sitting in this State, under the laws then of force and operation therein, and recognized by the people as a court of competent jurisdiction, since the 19th day of January, 1861, shall be held inviolate by all the courts of this State, unless attacked for fraud, or unless otherwise declared invalid by, or according to, this constitution.

Six. The records, dockets, books, papers, and proceedings of any court or office existing in this State by the laws thereof on the 19th of January, 1861, or purporting to exist by said laws, and recognized and generally obeyed by the people, as such, since the said time, and before the several courts and officers provided for by this constitution shall have gone into actual operation, shall be transferred to the several courts and offices of the same name or functions by this constitution provided for, and shall have force and be executed, perfected, and performed therein, and thereby, as follows, and not otherwise, to wit:

Final judgments, decrees, proceedings, and acts fully executed and performed, or not requiring performance or execution, shall have full force and effect as though no interruption had taken place in the legal succession of said courts and offices, except as herein otherwise provided. Proceedings not final, and judgments and decrees not fully executed or performed, shall proceed and be performed in such cases, and such cases only, as this constitution, or the laws made in pursuance thereof, confer jurisdiction and authority over the causes of actions on which said cases, judgments, decrees, or proceedings, civil or criminal, are founded: Provided, That all said judgments, decrees, and proceedings shall be subject to be set aside, or reversed, Edition: current; Page: [841] or vacated, by proceedings in the several courts having custody of the records, as though they were the judgments of said courts, and shall be subject always to be explained as to the meaning of the word dollar or dollars, as used in the same, and no motion for a new trial, bill of review, or other proceeding, to vacate any judgment, order, or decree, made since the 19th of January, 1861, by any of said courts, for fraud, illegality, or error of law, shall be denied, by reason of the same not having been moved in time; provided said motion or application is made in twelve months from the adoption of this constitution.

Seven. The books, papers, and proceedings of the inferior courts shall be transferred to, and remain in, the control of the ordinaries, who shall perform the duties of said courts until otherwise provided by law. The books, papers, and proceedings of the county courts, and the unfinished business thereof, shall be transferred to the superior courts, and the same shall be finished and performed by the said superior courts and the officers thereof, in such cases, and in such cases only, as the said courts are, by this constitution or the laws made in pursuance thereof, granted jurisdiction over the subject-matter or debts on which said cases and judgments, civil or criminal, are founded.

Eight. The cases pending and the judgments had and made in the city courts of Savannah and Augusta, and in the various justices’ courts in this State, shall be finished and the judgments performed by the city courts, and officers and justices provided by this constitution in such cases, and such only, as by this constitution jurisdiction is given to said courts and officers over the causes of action on which they are founded.

Nine. The judgments and proceedings of courts and acts of officers within their jurisdiction, as provided by law, shall be valid notwithstanding the judges of said courts or the said officers were appointed by the military authorities of the United States, and any of said judgments, or acts, or proceedings made or done under or by virtue of, or in accordance with, the orders of said military authorities, duly made, are as valid as if done under a law of this State.

Ten. These several acts of confirmation shall not be construed to divest any vested right, nor to make any act criminal otherwise not criminal, but they shall be construed as acts of peace and to prevent injustice: Provided, That nothing in this constitution shall be so construed as to make valid any acts done by, or before any such de facto officer, which would, by legalizing such acts, render that criminal which was not criminal when done, or cause any act not legally criminal when done to become criminal by giving validity to such act after it was done; but all such acts shall be held by the courts to be null and void.

Eleven. Should this constitution be ratified by the people, and Congress accept the same with any qualifications or conditions, the government herein provided for, and the officers elected shall nevertheless exist and continue in the exercise of their several functions, as the government of this State, so far as the same may be consistent with the action of the United States in the premises.

Twelve. The ordinances of this convention on the subject of the first election, and the first general assembly, shall have the force of laws, until they expire by their own limitation, and all other ordinances of a mere legislative character shall have the force of laws, until otherwise provided by the general assembly.

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Article XII: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

One. This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of two successive legislatures, and by a submission of the amendment to the qualified voters for final ratification. But the general assembly shall not call a convention of the people in the election of delegates to which any person qualified to vote by this constitution shall be disqualified. And the representation in said convention shall be based on population. Nor shall the right of suffrage ever be taken from any person qualified by this constitution to vote.

Josiah R. Parrott, President.
P. M. Sheibley, Secretary.

CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA—1877a

Bill of Rights

PREAMBLE

To perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, we, the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution:

Article I

Section I

Paragraph I. All government, of right, originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole. Public officers are the trustees and servants of the people, and, at all times, amenable to them.

Par. II. Protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government, and shall be impartial and complete.

Par. III. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, except by due process of law.

Par. IV. No person shall be deprived of the right to prosecute or defend his own cause in any of the courts of this State, in person, by attorney, or both.

Par. V. Every person charged with an offense against the laws of this State shall have the privilege and benefit of counsel; shall be furnished, on demand, with a copy of the accusation, and a list of the witnesses on whose testimony the charge against him is founded; shall have compulsory process to obtain the testimony of his own witnesses; shall be confronted with the witnesses testifying against him, and shall have a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury.

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Par. VI. No person shall be compelled to give testimony tending in any manner to criminate himself.

Par. VII. Neither banishment beyond the limits of the State, nor whipping, as a punishment for crime, shall be allowed.

Par. VIII. No person shall be put in jeopardy of life, or liberty, more than once for the same offense, save on his, or her, own motion for a new trial after conviction, or in case of mistrial.

Par. IX. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted; nor shall any person be abused in being arrested, while under arrest, or in prison.

Par. X. No person shall be compelled to pay costs, except after conviction on final trial.

Par. XI. The writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended.

Par. XII. All men have the natural and inalienable right to worship God, each according to the dictates of his own conscience, and no human authority should, in any case, control or interfere with such right of conscience.

Par. XIII. No inhabitants of this State shall be molested in person or property, or prohibited from holding any public office, or trust, on account of his religious opinions; but the right of liberty of conscience shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State.

Par. XIV. No money shall ever be taken from the public Treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religionists, or of any sectarian institution.

Par. XV. No law shall ever be passed to curtail, or restrain, the liberty of speech, or of the press; any person may speak, write, and publish his sentiments, on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Par. XVI. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue except upon probable cause, supported by oath, or affirmation, particularly describing the place, or places, to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Par. XVII. There shall be within the State of Georgia neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime after legal conviction thereof.

Par. XVIII. The social status of the citizen shall never be the subject of legislation.

Par. XIX. The civil authority shall be superior to the military, and no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, except by the civil magistrate, in such manner as may be provided by law.

Par. XX. The power of the Courts to punish for contempt, shall be limited by legislative acts.

Par. XXI. There shall be no imprisonment for debt.

Par. XXII. The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne.

Par. XXIII. The legislative, judicial and executive powers shall forever remain separate and distinct, and no person discharging the Edition: current; Page: [844] duties of one, shall, at the same time, exercise the functions of either of the others, except as herein provided.

Par. XXIV. The people have the right to assemble peaceably for their common good and to apply to those vested with the powers of government, for redress or grievances, by petition or remonstrance.

Par. XXV. All citizens of the United States, resident in this State, are hereby declared citizens of this State; and it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to enact such laws as will protect them in the full enjoyment of the rights, privileges and immunities due to such citizenship.

Section II

Paragraph I. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel the truth may be given in evidence; and the jury in all criminal cases, shall be the judges of the law and the facts. The power of the Judges to grant new trials in cases of conviction, is preserved.

Par. II. Treason against the State of Georgia, shall consist in levying war against her; adhering to her enemies; giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.

Par. III. No conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

Par. IV. All lotteries, and the sale of lottery tickets, are hereby prohibited; and this prohibition shall be enforced by penal laws.

Par. V. Lobbying is declared to be a crime, and the General Assembly shall enforce this provision by suitable penalties.

Par. VI. The General Assembly shall have the power to provide for the punishment of fraud; and shall provide, by law, for reaching property of the debtor concealed from the creditor.

Section III

Paragraph I. In cases of necessity, private ways may be granted upon just compensation being first paid by the applicant. Private property shall not be taken, or damaged, for public purposes, without just and adequate compensation being first paid.

Par. II. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, retroactive law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or making irrevocable grants of special privileges or immunities, shall be passed.

Par. III. No grant of special privileges or immunities shall be revoked, except in such manner as to work no injustice to the corporators or creditors of the incorporation.

Section IV

Paragraph I. Laws of a general nature shall have uniform operation throughout the State, and no special law shall be enacted in any case for which provision has been made by an existing general law. No general law affecting private rights, shall be varied in any particular case, by special legislation, except with the free consent, in writing, Edition: current; Page: [845] of all persons to be affected thereby; and no person under legal disability to contract, is capable of such consent.

Par. II. Legislative acts in violation of this Constitution, or the Constitution of the United States, are void, and the Judiciary shall so declare them.

Section V

Paragraph I. The people of this State have the inherent, sole and exclusive right of regulating their internal government, and the police thereof, and of altering and abolishing their Constitution whenever it may be necessary to their safety and happiness.

Par. II. The enumeration of rights herein contained as a part of this Constitution, shall not be construed to deny to the people any inherent rights which they may have hitherto enjoyed.

Article II: ELECTIVE FRANCHISE

Section I

Paragraph I. In all elections by the people, the electors shall vote by ballot.

Par. II. Every male citizen of the United States, (except as hereinafter provided) twenty-one years of age, who shall have resided in this State one year next preceding the election, and shall have resided six months in the county in which he offers to vote, and shall have paid all taxes which may hereafter be required of him, and which he may have had an opportunity of paying, agreeably to law, except for the year of the election, shall be deemed an elector: Provided, that no soldier, sailor or marine in the military or naval service of the United States, shall acquire the rights of an elector, by reason of being stationed on duty in this State; and no person shall vote who, if challenged, shall refuse to take the following oath, or affirmation: “I do swear (or affirm) that I am twenty-one years of age, have resided in this State one year, and in this county six months, next preceding this election. I have paid all taxes which, since the adoption of the present Constitution of this State, have been required of me previous to this year, and which I have had an opportunity to pay, and I have not voted at this election.”

Section II

Paragraph I. The General Assembly may provide, from time to time, for the registration of all electors, but the following classes of persons shall not be permitted to register, vote or hold any office, or appointment of honor or trust in this State, to-wit: 1st. Those who shall have been convicted, in any court of competent jurisdiction, of treason against the State, of embezzlement of public funds, malfeasance in office, bribery or larceny, or of any crime involving moral turpitude, punishable by the laws of this State with imprisonment in the penitentiary, unless such person shall have been pardoned. 2d. Idiots and insane persons.

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Section III

Paragraph I. Electors shall, in all cases, except for treason, felony, larceny, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance on elections, and in going to and returning from the same.

Section IV

Paragraph I. No person who is the holder of any public money, contrary to law, shall be eligible to any office in this State, until the same is accounted for and paid into the Treasury.

Par. II. No person who, after the adoption of this Constitution, being a resident of this State, shall have been convicted of fighting a duel in this State, or convicted of sending, or accepting a challenge, or convicted of aiding, or abetting such duel, shall hold office in this State, unless he shall have been pardoned; and every such person shall, also, be subject to such punishment as may be prescribed by law.

Section V

Paragraph I. The General Assembly shall, by law, forbid the sale, distribution, or furnishing of intoxicating drinks within two miles of election precincts, on days of election—State, county or municipal—and prescribe punishment for any violation of the same.

Section VI

Paragraph I. Returns of election for all civil officers elected by the people, who are to be commissioned by the Governor, and, also, for the members of the General Assembly, shall be made to the Secretary of State, unless otherwise provided by law.

Article III: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section I

Paragraph I. The legislative power of the State shall be vested in a General Assembly which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section II

Paragraph I. The Senate shall consist of forty-four members. There shall be forty-four Senatorial Districts, as now arranged by counties. Each District shall have one Senator.

Par. II. The First Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Chatham, Bryan and Effingham.

  • The Second Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Liberty, Tatnall and McIntosh.
  • The Third Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Wayne, Pierce and Appling.
  • The Fourth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Glynn, Camden, and Charlton.
  • The Fifth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Coffee, Ware, and Clinch. Edition: current; Page: [847]
  • The Sixth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Echols, Lowndes, and Berrien.
  • The Seventh Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Brooks, Thomas, and Colquitt.
  • The Eighth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Decatur, Mitchell and Miller.
  • The Ninth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Early, Calhoun and Baker.
  • The Tenth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Dougherty, Lee and Worth.
  • The Eleventh Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Clay, Randolph and Terrell.
  • The Twelfth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Stewart, Webster and Quitman.
  • The Thirteenth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Sumter, Schley and Macon.
  • The Fourteenth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Dooly, Wilcox, Pulaski and Dodge.
  • The Fifteenth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Montgomery, Telfair and Irwin.
  • The Sixteenth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Laurens, Emanuel and Johnson.
  • The Seventeenth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Screven, Bulloch and Burke.
  • The Eighteenth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Richmond, Glasscock and Jefferson.
  • The Nineteenth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Taliaferro, Greene and Warren.
  • The Twentieth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Baldwin, Hancock and Washington.
  • The Twenty-first Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Twiggs, Wilkinson and Jones.
  • The Twenty-second Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Bibb, Monroe and Pike.
  • The Twenty-third Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Houston, Crawford and Taylor.
  • The Twenty-fourth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Muscogee, Marion and Chattahoochee.
  • The Twenty-fifth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Harris, Upson and Talbot.
  • The Twenty-sixth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Spalding, Butts and Fayette.
  • The Twenty-seventh Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Newton, Walton, Clarke, Oconee and Rockdale.
  • The Twenty-eighth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Jasper, Putnam and Morgan.
  • The Twenty-ninth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Wilkes, Columbia, Lincoln and McDuffie.
  • The Thirtieth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Oglethorpe, Madison and Elbert.
  • The thirty-first Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Hart, Habersham and Franklin.
  • The Thirty-Second Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of White, Dawson and Lumpkin. Edition: current; Page: [848]
  • The Thirty-third Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Hall, Banks and Jackson.
  • The Thirty-fourth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Gwinnett, DeKalb and Henry.
  • The Thirty-fifth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Clayton, Cobb and Fulton.
  • The Thirty-sixth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Campbell, Coweta, Meriwether, Douglass.
  • The Thirty-seventh Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Carroll, Heard and Troup.
  • The Thirty-eighth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Haralson, Polk and Paulding.
  • The Thirty-ninth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Milton, Cherokee and Forsyth.
  • The Fortieth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Union, Towns and Rabun.
  • The Forty-first Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Pickens, Fannin and Gilmer.
  • The Forty-second Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Bartow, Floyd and Chattooga.
  • The Forty-third Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Murray, Gordon and Whitfield.
  • The Forty-fourth Senatorial District shall be composed of the counties of Walker, Dade and Catoosa.

Par. III. The General Assembly may change these districts after each census of the United States: Provided, That neither the number of Districts nor the number of Senators from each District shall be increased.

Section III

Paragraph I. The House of Representatives shall consist of one hundred and seventy-five Representatives, apportioned among the several counties as follows, to-wit: To the six counties having the largest pouplation, viz: Chatham, Richmond, Burke, Houston, Bibb and Fulton, three Representatives, each; to the twenty-six counties having the next largest population, viz: Bartow, Coweta, Decatur, Floyd, Greene, Gwinnett, Harris, Jefferson, Meriwether, Monroe, Muscogee, Newton, Stewart, Sumter, Thomas, Troup, Washington, Hancock, Carroll, Cobb, Jackson, Dougherty, Oglethorpe, Macon, Talbot and Wilkes, two Representatives, each; and to the remaining one hundred and five counties, one Representative each.

Par. II. The above apportionment shall be changed by the General Assembly at its first session after each census taken by the United States Government, so as to give to the six counties having the largest population three Representatives, each; and to the twenty-six counties having the next largest population two Representatives, each; but in no event shall the aggregate number of Representatives be increased.

Section IV

Paragraph I. The members of the General Assembly shall be elected for two years, and shall serve until their successors are elected.

Par. II. The first election for members of the General Assembly, under this Constitution, shall take place on the first Wednesday in Edition: current; Page: [849] December, 1877, the second election for the same shall be held on the first Wednesday in October 1880, and subsequent elections biennially, on that day, until the day of election is changed by law.

Par. III. The first meeting of the General Assembly, after the ratification of this Constitution, shall be on the first Wednesday in November, 1878, and biennially thereafter, on the same day, until the day shall be changed by law. But nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the Governor from calling an extra session of the General Assembly before the first Wednesday in November, 1878, if, in his opinion, the public good shall require it.

Par. IV. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to transact business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and compel the presence of its absent members, as each house may provide.

Par. V. Each Senator and Representative, before taking his seat, shall take the following oath, or affirmation, to-wit: “I will support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and on all questions and measures which may come before me, I will so conduct myself, as will, in my judgment, be most conducive to the interests and prosperity of this State.”

Par. VI. No session of the General Assembly shall continue longer than forty days, unless by a two-thirds vote of the whole number of each house.

Par. VII. No person holding a military commission, or other appointment, or office, having any emolument, or compensation annexed thereto, under this State, or the United States, or either of them, except Justices of the Peace and officers of the militia, nor any defaulter for public money, or for any legal taxes required of him, shall have a seat in either house; nor shall any Senator, or Representative, after his qualification as such, be elected by the General Assembly, or appointed by the Governor, either with or without the advice and consent of the Senate, to any office or appointment having any emolument annexed thereto during the time for which he shall have been elected.

Par. VIII. The seat of a member of either house shall be vacated on his removal from the district or county from which he was elected.

Section V

Paragraph I. The Senators shall be citizens of the United States, who have attained the age of twenty-five years, and who shall have been citizens of this State for four years, and for one year residents of the district from which elected.

Par. II. The presiding officer of the Senate shall be styled the President of the Senate, and shall be elected viva voce from the Senators.

Par. III. The Senate shall have the sole power to try impeachments.

Par. IV. When sitting for that purpose, the members shall be on oath, or affirmation, and shall be presided over by the Chief Justice, or the presiding Justice of the Supreme Court. Should the Chief Justice be disqualified the Senate shall select the Judge of the Supreme Court to preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

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Par. V. Judgments, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit, within this State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable, and subject, to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.

Section VI

Paragraph I. The Representatives shall be citizens of the United States who have attained the age of twenty-one years, and who shall have been citizens of this State for two years, and for one year residents of the counties from which elected.

Par. II. The presiding officer of the House of Representatives shall be styled the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and shall be elected viva voce from the body.

Par. III. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power to impeach all persons who shall have been, or may be, in office.

Section VII

Paragraph I. Each House shall be the judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its members, and shall have power to punish them for disorderly behavior, or misconduct, by censure, fine, imprisonment, or expulsion; but no member shall be expelled, except by a vote of two-thrids of the House to which he belongs.

Par. II. Each House may punish by imprisonment, not extending beyond the session, any person, not a member, who shall be guilty of a contempt, by any disorderly behavior in its presence, or who shall rescue, or attempt to rescue, any person arrested by order of either House.

Par. III. The members of both Houses shall be free from arrest during their attendance on the General Assembly and in going thereto or returning therefrom, except for treason, felony, larceny, or breach of the peace; and no member shall be liable to answer in any other place for anything spoken in debate in either House.

Par. IV. Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish it immediately after its adjournment.

Par. V. The original journal shall be preserved, after publication, in the office of Secretary of State, but there shall be no other record thereof.

Par. VI. The yeas and nays on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of the members present, be entered on the journal.

Par. VII. Every bill, before it shall pass, shall be read three times, and on three separate days, in each House, unless in case of actual invasion or insurrection.

Par. VIII. No law or ordinance shall pass which refers to more than one subject-matter, or contains matter different from what is expressed in the title thereof.

Par. IX. The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing except appropriations fixed by previous laws, the ordinary expenses of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Departments of the Government, payment of the public debt and interest thereon, and the support of the public institutions and educational interests of the Edition: current; Page: [851] State. All other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject.

Par. X. All bills for raising revenue or appropriating money shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur in amendments as in other bills.

Par. XI. No money shall be drawn from the treasury except by appropriation made by law, and a regular statement and account of the receipt and expenditure of all public money shall be published every three months, and also with the laws passed by each session of the General Assembly.

Par. XII. No bill or resolution appropriating money shall become a law, unless, upon its passage, the yeas and nays, in each House, are recorded.

Par. XIII. All Acts shall be signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and no bill, ordinance or resolution, intended to have the effect of a law, which shall have been rejected by either House, shall be again proposed during the same session, under the same or any other title, without the consent of two-thirds of the House by which the same was rejected.

Par. XIV. No bill shall become a law unless it shall receive a majority of the votes of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly, and it shall, in every instance, so appear on the journal.

Par. XV. All special or local bills shall originate in the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, within five days from the organization of the General Assembly, appoint a committee consisting of one from each Congressional District, whose duty it shall be to consider and consolidate all special and local bills, on the same subject, and report the same to the House; and no special or local bill shall be read or considered by the House until the same has been reported by said committee, unless by a two-thirds’ vote. And no bill shall be considered or reported to the House, by said committee, unless the same shall have been laid before it within fifteen days after the organization of the General Assembly, except by a two-thirds’ vote.

Par. XVI. No local or special bill shall be passed, unless notice of the intention to apply therefor shall have been published in the locality where the matter, or thing to be affected, may be situated, which notice shall be given at least thirty days prior to the introduction of such bill into the General Assembly, and in the manner to be prescribedby law. The evidence of such notice having been published shall be exhibited in the General Assembly before such Act shall be passed.

Par. XVII. No law, or section of the Code, shall be amended or repealed by mere reference to its title, or to the number of the section of the Code, but the amending or repealing Act shall distinctly describe the law to be amended or repealed, as well as the alteration to be made.

Par. XVIII. The General Assembly shall have no power to grant corporate powers and privileges to private companies, except banking, insurance, railroad, canal, navigation, express and telegraph companies; nor to make or change election precincts; nor to establish bridges or ferries; nor to change names of legitimate children; but Edition: current; Page: [852] it shall prescribe by law the manner in which such powers shall be exercised by the Courts.

Par. XIX. The General Assembly shall have no power to relieve principals or securities upon forfeited recognizances, from the payment thereof, either before or after judgment thereon, unless the principal in the recognizance shall have been apprehended and placed in the custody of the proper officer.

Par. XX. The General Assembly shall not authorize the construction of any street passenger railway within the limits of any incorporated town or city without the consent of the corporate authorities.

Par. XXI. Whenever the Constitution requires a vote of two-thirds of either or both Houses for the passage of an Act or resolution, the yeas and nays on the passage thereof shall be entered on the journal.

Par. XXII. The General Assembly shall have power to make all laws and ordinances consistent with this Constitution, and not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, which they shall deem necessary and proper for the welfare of the State.

Par. XXIII. No provision in this Constitution, for a two-thirds vote of both Houses of the General Assembly, shall be construed to waive the necessity for the signature of the Governor, as in any other case, except in the case of the two-thirds vote required to override the veto, and in case of prolongation of a session of the General Assembly.

Par. XXIV. Neither House shall adjourn for more than three days, or to any other place, without the consent of the other; and in case of a disagreement between the two Houses on a question of adjournment, the Governor may adjourn either or both of them.

Section VIII

Paragraph I. The officers of the two Houses, other than the President and Speaker, shall be a Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives, and such assistants as they may appoint; but the clerical expenses of the Senate shall not exceed sixty dollars per day for each session, nor those of the House of Representatives seventy dollars per day for each session. The Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives shall be required to give bond and security for the faithful discharge of their respective duties.

Section IX

Paragraph I. The per diem of members of the General Assembly shall not exceed four dollars, and mileage shall not exceed ten cents for each mile traveled, by the nearest practicable route, in going to and returning from the Capital; but the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each receive not exceeding seven dollars per day.

Section X

Paragraph I. All elections by the General Assembly shall be viva voce, and the vote shall appear on the journal of the House of Representatives. Edition: current; Page: [853] When the Senate and House of Representatives unite for the purpose of elections, they shall meet in the Representative Hall, and the President of the Senate shall, in such cases, preside and declare the result.

Section XI

Paragraph I. All property of the wife at the time of her marriage, and all property given to, inherited or acquired by her, shall remain her separate property, and not be liable for the debts of her husband.

Section XII

Paragraph I. All life insurance companies now doing business in this State, or which may desire to establish agencies and do business in the State of Georgia, chartered by other States of the Union, or foreign States, shall show that they have deposited with the Comptroller-General of the State in which they are chartered, or of this State, the Insurance Commissioners, or such other officer as may be authorized to receive it, not less than one hundred thousand dollars, in such securities as may be deemed by such officer equivalent to cash, subject to his order, as a guarantee fund for the security of policy-holders.

Par. II. When such showing is made to the Comptroller-General of the State of Georgia by a proper certificate from the State official having charge of the funds so deposited, the Comptroller-General of the State of Georgia is authorized to issue to the company making such showing a license to do business in the State, upon paying the fees required by law.

Par. III. All life insurance companies chartered by the State of Georgia, or which may hereafter be chartered by the State, shall, before doing business, deposit with the Comptroller-General of the State of Georgia, or with some strong corporation, which may be approved by said Comptroller-General, one hundred thousand dollars, in such securities as may be deemed by him equivalent to cash, to be subject to his order, as a guarantee fund for the security of the policy-holders of the company making such deposit, all interests and dividends arising from such securities to be paid, when due, to the company so depositing. Any such securities as may be needed or desired by the company may be taken from said Department at any time by replacing them with other securities equally acceptable to the Comptroller-General, whose certificate for the same shall be furnished to the company.

Par. IV. The General Assembly shall, from time to time, enact laws to compel all fire insurance companies doing business in this State, whether chartered by this State or otherwise, to deposit reasonable securities with the Treasurer of this State, to secure the people against loss by the operations of said companies.

Par. V. The General Assembly shall compel all insurance companies in this State, or doing business therein, under proper penalties, to make semi-annual reports to the Governor, and print the same, at their own expense, for the information and protection of the people.

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Article IV: POWER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OVER TAXATION

Section I

Paragraph I. The right of taxation is a sovereign right, inalienable, indestructible, is the life of the State, and rightfully belongs to the people in all Republican governments, and neither the General Assembly, nor any, nor all other departments of the Government established by this Constitution, shall ever have the authority to irrevocably give, grant, limit, or restrain this right; and all laws, grants, contracts, and all other acts whatsoever, by said Government, or any department thereof, to effect any of these purposes, shall be, and are hereby, declared to be null and void for every purpose whatsoever; and said right of taxtion shall always be under the complete control of, and revocable by the State, notwithstanding any gift, grant, or contract whatsoever by the General Assembly.

Section II

Paragraph I. The power and authority of regulating railroad freights and passenger tariffs, preventing unjust discriminations, and requiring reasonable and just rates of freight and passenger tariffs, are hereby conferred upon the General Assembly, whose duty it shall be to pass laws, from time to time, to regulate freight and passenger tariffs, to prohibit unjust discriminations on the various railroads of this State, and to prohibit said roads from charging other than just and reasonable rates, and enforce the same by adequate penalties.

Par. II. The exercise of the right of eminent domain shall never be abridged, nor so construed as to prevent the General Assembly from taking the property and franchises of incorporated companies, and subjecting them to public use, the same as property of individuals; and the exercise of the police power of the State shall never be abridged, nor so construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such a manner as to infringe the equal rights of individuals, or to the general well-being of the State.

Par. III. The General Assembly shall not remit the forfeiture of the charter of any corporation now existing, nor alter or amend the same, nor pass any other general or special law for the benefit of said corporation, except upon the condition that said corporation shall thereafter hold its charter subject to the provisions of this Constitution; and every amendment of any charter of any corporation in this State, or any special law for its benefit, accepted thereby, shall operate as a novation of said charter and shall bring the same under the provisions of this Constitution: Provided, that this section shall not extend to any amendment for the purpose of allowing any existing road to take stock in or aid in the building of any branch road.

Par. IV. The General Assembly of this State shall have no power to authorize any corporation to buy shares, or stock, in any other corporation in this State, or elsewhere, or to make any contract, or agreement whatever, with any such corporation, which may have the Edition: current; Page: [855] effect, or be intended to have the effect, to defeat or lessen competition in their respective businesses, or to encourage monopoly; and all such contracts and agreements shall be illegal and void.

Par. V. No railroad company shall give, or pay, any rebate, or bonus in the nature thereof, directly or indirectly, or do any act to mislead or deceive the public as to the real rates charged or received for freights or passage; and any such payments shall be illegal and void, and these prohibitions shall be enforced by suitable penalties.

Par. VI. No provision of this article shall be deemed, held or taken to impair the obligation of any contract heretofore made by the State of Georgia.

Par. VII. The General Assembly shall enforce the provisions of this article by appropriate legislation.

Article V: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section I

Paragraph I. The officers of the Executive Department shall consist of a Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller-General and Treasurer.

Par. II. The Executive power shall be vested in a Governor, who shall hold his office during the term of two years, and until his successor shall be chosen and qualified. He shall not be eligible to reelection, after the expiration of a second term, for the period of four years. He shall have a salary of three thousand dollars per annum (until otherwise provided by a law passed by a two-thirds’ vote of both branches of the General Assembly), which shall not be increased or diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected; nor shall he receive, within that time, any other emolument from the United States, or either of them, or from any foreign power. But this reduction of salary shall not apply to the present term of the present Governor.

Par. III. The first election for Governor, under this Constitution, shall be held on the first Wednesday in October, 1880, and the Governor-elect shall be installed in office at the next session of the General Assembly. An election shall take place biennially thereafter on said day, until another date be fixed by the General Assembly. Said election shall be held at the places of holding general elections in the several counties of this State, in the manner prescribed for the election of members of the General Assembly, and the electors shall be the same.

Par. IV. The returns for every election of Governor shall be sealed up by the managers, separately from other returns, and directed to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, and transmitted to the Secretary of State, who shall, without opening said returns, cause the same to be laid before the Senate on the day after the two Houses shall have been organized, and they shall be transmitted by the Senate to the House of Representatives.

Par. V. The members of each branch of the General Assembly shall convene in the Representative Hall, and the President of the Senate Edition: current; Page: [856] and Speaker of the House of Representatives shall open and publish the returns in the presence and under the direction of the General Assembly; and the person having the majority of the whole number of votes shall be declared duly elected Governor of this State; but if no person shall have such majority, then from the two persons having the highest number of votes who shall be in life, and shall not decline an election at the time appointed by the General Assembly to elect, the General Assembly shall immediately elect a Governor viva voce; and in all cases of election of a Governor by the General Assembly a majority of the members present shall be necessary to a choice.

Par. VI. Contested elections shall be determined by both Houses of the General Assembly in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Par. VII. No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor who shall not have been a citizen of the United States fifteen years, and a citizens of the State six years, and who shall not have attained the age of thirty years.

Par. VIII. In case of the death, resignation or disability of the Governor, the President of the Senate shall exercise the Executive powers of the government until such disability be removed, or a successor is elected and qualified. And in case of the death, resignation or disability of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall exercise the Executive powers of the government until the removal of the disability, or the election and qualification of a Governor.

Par. IX. The General Assembly shall have power to provide by law for filling unexpired terms by special elections.

Par. X. The Governor shall, before he enters on the duties of his office, take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will faithfully execute the office of Governor of the State of Georgia, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution thereof, and the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Par. XI. The Governor shall be Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia thereof.

Par. XII. He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, to commute penalties, remove disabilities imposed by law, and to remit any part of a sentence for offences against the State, after conviction, except in cases of treason and impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons. Upon conviction for treason he may suspend the execution of the sentence and report the case to the General Assembly at the next meeting thereof, when the General Assembly shall either pardon, commute the sentence, direct its execution or grant a further reprieve. He shall, at each session of the General Assembly, communicate to that body each case of reprieve, pardon or commutation granted, stating the name of the convict, the offense for which he was convicted, the sentence and its date, the date of the reprieve, pardon or commutation, and the reasons for granting the same. He shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed, and shall be a conservator of the peace throughout the State.

Par. XIII. He shall issue writs of election to fill all vacancies that may happen in the Senate or House of Representatives, and shall give Edition: current; Page: [857] the General Assembly, from time to time, information of the state of the commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem necessary or expedient. He shall have power to convoke the General Assembly on extraordinary occasions, but no law shall be enacted at call sessions of the General Assembly except such as shall relate to the object stated in his proclamation convening them.

Par. XIV. When any office shall become vacant, by death, resignation or otherwise, the Governor shall have power to fill such vacancy, unless otherwise provided by law; and persons so appointed shall continue in office until a successor is commissioned, agreeably to the mode pointed out in the Constitution, or by law in pursuance thereof.

Par. XV. A person once rejected by the Senate shall not be reappointed by the Governor to the same office during the same session of the recess thereafter.

Par. XVI. The Governor shall have the revision of all bills passed by the General Assembly, before the same shall become laws, but two-thirds of each House may pass a law, notwithstanding his dissent: and if any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sunday excepted) after it has been presented to him, the same shall be a law, unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, shall prevent its return. He may approve any appropriation, and disapprove any other appropriation, in the same bill, and the latter shall not be effectual, unless passed by two-thirds of each House.

Par. XVII. Every vote, resolution or order, to which the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary, except on a question of election or adjournment, shall be presented to the Governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or, being disapproved, shall be re-passed by two-thirds of each House.

Par. XVIII. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the Executive Department on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices. It shall be the duty of the Governor, quarterly, and oftener if he deems it expedient, to examine, under oath, the Treasurer and Comptroller-General of the State on all matters pertaining to their respective offices, and to inspect and review their books and accounts. The General Assembly shall have authority to provide by law for the suspension of either of said officers from the discharge of the duties of his office, and also for the appointment of a suitable person to discharge the duties of the same.

Par. XIX. The Governor shall have power to appoint his own Secretaries, not exceeding two in number, and to provide such other clerical force as may be required in his office, but the total cost for Secretaries and clerical force in his office shall not exceed six thousand dollars per annum.

Section II

Paragraph I. The Secretary of State, Comptroller-General and Treasurer shall be elected by the persons qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly, at the same time and in the same manner as the Governor. The provision of the Constitution as to the transmission of the returns of election, counting the votes, declaring the result, deciding when there is no election, and when there is a contested election, applicable to the election of Governor, shall apply to the election of Secretary of State, Comptroller-General and Edition: current; Page: [858] Treasurer; they shall be commissioned by the Governor and hold their office for the same time as the Governor.

Par. II. The salary of the Treasurer shall not exceed two thousand dollars per annum. The clerical expenses of his department shall not exceed sixteen hundred dollars per annum.

Par. III. The salary of the Secretary of State shall not exceed two thousand dollars per annum, and the clerical expenses of his department shall not exceed one thousand dollars per annum.

Par. IV. The salary of the Comptroller-General shall not exceed two thousand dollars per annum. The clerical expenses of his department, including the Insurance Department and Wild Land Clerk, shall not exceed four thousand dollars per annum; and without said clerk, it shall not exceed three thousand dollars per annum.

Par. V. The Treasurer shall not be allowed directly or indirectly, to receive any fee, interest or reward from any person, bank or corporation for the deposit or use, in any manner, of the public funds; and the General Assembly shall enforce this provision by suitable penalties.

Par. VI. No person shall be eligible to the office of Secretary of State, Comptroller-General, or Treasurer, unless he shall have been a citizen of the United States for ten years, and shall have resided in this State for six years next preceding his election, and shall be twenty-five years of age when elected. All of said officers shall give bond and security, under regulations to be prescribed by law, for the faithful discharge of their duties.

Par. VII. The Secretary of State, the Comptroller-General and the Treasurer shall not be allowed any fee, perquisite or compensation other than their salaries, as prescribed by law, except their necessary expenses when absent from the seat of government on business for the State.

Section III

Paragraph I. The Great Seal of the State shall be deposited in the office of the Secretary of State, and shall not be affixed to any instruwent of writing except by order of the Governor, or General Assembly, and that now in use shall be the Great Seal of the State until otherwise provided by law.

Article VI: JUDICIARY

Section I

Paragraph I. The judicial powers of this State shall be vested in a Supreme Court, Superior Courts, Courts of Ordinary, Justice of the Peace, commissioned Notaries Public, and other Courts, as have been or may be established by law.

Section II

Paragraph I. The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices. A majority of the Court shall constitute a quorum.

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Par. II. When one or more of the Judges are disqualified from deciding any case, by interest or otherwise, the Governor shall designate a Judge, or Judges, of the Superior Courts to preside in said case.

Par. III. No Judge of any Court shall preside in any case where the validity of any bond—Federal, State, corporation or municipal—is involved, who holds in his own right, or as the representative of others, any material interest in the class of bonds upon which the question to be decided arises.

Par. IV. The Chief Justice and Associate Justices shall hold their offices for six years, and until their successors are qualified. A successor to the incumbent whose term will soonest expire shall be elected by the General Assembly in 1880; a successor to the incumbent whose term of office is next in duration shall be elected by the General Assembly in 1882; and a successor to the third incumbent shall be elected by the General Assembly in 1884; but appointments to fill vacancies shall only be for the unexpired term, or until such vacancies are filled by elections, agreeably to the mode pointed out by this Constitution.

Par. V. The Supreme Court shall have no original jurisdiction, but shall be a Court alone for the trial and correction of errors from the Superior Courts, and from the City Courts of Atlanta and Savannah, and such other like Court as may be hereafter established in other cities; and shall sit at the seat of government, at such times in each year as shall be prescribed by law, for the trial and determination of writs of error from said Superior and City Courts.

Par. VI. The Supreme Court shall dispose of every case at the first or second term after such writ of error is brought; and in case the plaintiff in error shall not be prepared at the first term to prosecute the case—unless prevented by providential cause—it shall be stricken from the docket, and the judgment below shall stand affirmed.

Par. VII. In any case the Court may, in its discretion, withhold its judgment until the next term after the same is argued.

Section III

Paragraph I. There shall be a Judge of the Superior Court for each Judicial Circuit, whose term of office shall be four years, and until his successor is qualified. He may act in other circuits when authorized by law.

Par. II. The successors to the present incumbents shall be elected by the General Assembly as follows: To the half (as near as may be) whose commissions are the oldest, in the year 1878; and to the others in the year 1880. All subsequent elections shall be at the session of the General Assembly next preceding the expiration of the terms of incumbents, except elections to fill vacancies. The day of election may be fixed by the General Assembly.

Par. III. The terms of the Judges to be elected under the Constitution (except to fill vacancies) shall begin on the first day of January, after their elections. But if the time for the meeting of the General Assembly shall be changed, the General Assembly may change the time when the terms of Judges thereafter elected shall begin.

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Section IV

Paragraph I. The Superior Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction in cases of divorce; in criminal cases where the offender is subjected to loss of life, or confinement in the penitentiary; in cases respecting titles to land, and equity cases.

Par. II. The General Assembly may confer upon the Courts of common law all the powers heretofore exercised by Courts of Equity in this State.

Par. III. Said Courts shall have jurisdiction in all civil cases, except as hereinafter provided.

Par. IV. They shall have appellate jurisdiction in all such cases as may be provided by law.

Par. V. They shall have power to correct errors in inferior judicatories by writ of certiorai, which shall only issue on the sanction of the Judge; and said Courts and the Judges thereof shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, scire facias, and all other writs that may be necessary for carrying their powers fully into effect, and shall have such other powers as are or may be conferred on them by law.

Par. VI. The General Assembly may provide for an appeal from one jury, in the Superior and City Courts to another, and the said Court may grant new trials on legal grounds.

Par. VII. The Court shall render judgment without the verdict of a jury, in all civil cases founded on unconditional contracts in writing, where an issuable defense is not filed under oath or affirmation.

Par. VIII. The Superior Courts shall sit in each county not less than twice in each year at such times as have been or may be appointed by law.

Par. IX. The General Assembly may provide by law for the appointment of some proper person to preside in cases where the presiding Judge is, from any cause, disqualified.

Section V

Paragraph I. In any county within which there is, or hereafter may be, a City Court, the Judge of said Court, and of the Superior Court, may preside in the Courts of each other in cases where the Judge of either Court is disqualified to preside.

Section VI

Paragraph I. The powers of a Court of Ordinary and of Probate, shall be vested in an Ordinary for each county, from whose decision there may be an appeal (or, by consent of parties, without a decision) to the Superior Court, under regulations prescribed by law.

Par. II. The Courts of Ordinary shall have such powers in relation to roads, bridges, ferries, public buildings, paupers, county officers, county funds, county taxes, and other county matters as may be conferred on them by law.

Par. III. The Ordinary shall hold his office for the term of four years, and until his successor is elected and qualified.

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Section VII

Paragraph I. There shall be in each militia district one Justice of the Peace, whose official term, except when elected to fill an unexpired term, shall be four years.

Par. II. Justices of the Peace, shall have jurisdiction in all civil cases, arising ex contractu, and in cases of injury or damage to personal property, when the principal sum does not exceed one hundred dollars, and shall sit monthly at fixed times and places; but in all cases there may be an appeal to a jury in said Court, or an appeal to the Superior Court, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Par. III. Justices of the Peace shall be elected by the legal voters in their respective districts, and shall be commissioned by the Governor. They shall be removable on conviction for malpractice in office.

Section VIII

Paragraph I. Commissioned Notaries Public, not to exceed one for each militia district, may be appointed by the Judges of the Superior Courts, in their respective circuits, upon recommendation of the grand juries of the several counties. They shall be commissioned by the Governor for the term of four years, and shall be ex officio Justices of the Peace, and shall be removable on conviction for malpractice in office.

Section IX

Paragraph I. The jurisdiction, powers, proceedings and practice of all Courts or officers invested with judicial powers (except City Courts), of the same grade or class, so far as regulated by law, and the force and effect of the process, judgment and decree, by such Courts, severally, shall be uniform. This uniformity must be established by the General Assembly.

Section X

Paragraph I. There shall be an Attorney-General of this State, who shall be elected by the people at the same time, for the same term and in the same manner as the Governor.

Par. II. It shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to act as the legal adviser of the Executive Department, to represent the State in the Supreme Court in all capital felonies; and in all civil and criminal cases in any Court when required by the Governor, and to perform such other services as shall be required of him by law.

Section XI

Paragraph I. There shall be a Solicitor-General for each judicial circuit, whose official term, except when commissioned to fill an unexpired term, shall be four years.

Par. II. It shall be the duty of the Solicitor-General to represent the State in all cases in the Superior Courts of his circuit, and in all cases taken up from his circuit to the Supreme Court, and to perform such other services as shall be required of him by law.

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Section XII

Paragraph I. The Judges of the Supreme and Superior Courts and Solicitor-General shall be elected by the General Assembly, in joint session, on such day or days as shall be fixed by joint resolution of both Houses. At the session of the General Assembly which is held next before the expiration of the terms of the present incumbents, as provided in this Constitution, their successors shall be chosen; and the same shall apply to the election of those who shall succeed them. Vacancies occasioned by death, resignation or other cause shall be filled by appointment of the Governor, until the General Assembly shall convene, when an election shall be held to fill the unexpired portion of the vacant terms.

Section XIII

Paragraph I. The Judges of the Supreme Court shall have, out of the Treasury of the State, salaries not to exceed three thousand dollars per annum; the Judges of the Superior Courts shall have salaries not to exceed two thousand dollars per annum; the Attorney-General shall have a salary not to exceed two thousand dollars per annum; and the Solicitors-General shall each have salaries not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars per annum; but the Attorney-General shall not have any fee or perquisite in any cases arising after the adoption of this Constitution; but the provisions of this section shall not affect the salaries of those now in office.

Par. II. The General Assembly may, at any time, by a two-thirds vote for each branch, prescribe other and different salaries for any or all, of the above officers, but no such change shall affect the officers then in commission.

Section XIV

Paragraph I. No person shall be Judge of the Supreme or Superior Courts, or Attorney-General, unless, at the time of his election he shall have attained the age of thirty years, and shall have been a citizen of the State three years, and have practiced law for seven years; and no person shall be hereafter elected Solicitor-General, unless, at the time of his election, he shall have attained twenty-five years of age, shall have been a citizen of the State for three years, and shall have practiced law for three years next preceding his election.

Section XV

Paragraph I. No total divorce shall be granted, except on the concurrent verdicts of two juries at different terms of the Court.

Section XVI

Paragraph I. Divorce cases shall be brought in the county, where the defendant resides, if a resident of this State; if the defendant be not a resident of this State, then in the county in which the plaintiff resides.

Par. II. Cases respecting titles to land shall be tried in the county where the land lies, except where a single tract is divided by a county line, in which case the Superior Court of either county shall have jurisdiction.

Edition: current; Page: [863]

Par. III. Equity cases shall be tried in the county where a defendant resides against whom substantial relief is prayed.

Par. IV. Suits against joint obligors, joint promisors, co-partners, or joint trespassers, residing in different counties, may be tried in either county.

Par. V. Suits against the maker and indorser of promissory notes, or drawer, acceptor and indorser of foreign or inland bills of exchange, or like instruments, residing in different counties, shall be brought in the county where the maker or acceptor resides.

Par. VI. All other civil cases shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides, and all criminal cases shall be tried in the county where the crime was committed, except cases in the Superior Courts where the Judge is satisfied that an impartial jury cannot be obtained in such county.

Section XVII

Paragraph I. The power to change the venue in civil and criminal cases shall be vested in the Superior Courts, to be exercised in such manner as has been, or shall be, provided by law.

Section XVIII

Paragraph I. The right of trial by jury, except where it is otherwise provided in this Constitution, shall remain inviolate, but the General Assembly may prescribe any number, not less than five, to constitute a trial or traverse jury in Courts other than the Superior and City Courts.

Par. II. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the selection of the most experienced, intelligent and upright men to serve as grand jurors, and intelligent and upright men to serve as traverse jurors. Nevertheless, the grand jurors shall be competent to serve as traverse jurors.

Par. III. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly, by general laws, to prescribe the manner of fixing compensation of jurors in all counties in this State.

Section XIX

Paragraph I. The General Assembly shall have power to provide for the creation of County Commissioners in such counties as may require them, and to define their duties.

Section XX

Paragraph I. All Courts not specially mentioned by name in the first section of this article may be abolished in any county, at the discretion of the General Assembly.

Section XXI

Paragraph I. The costs in the Supreme Court shall not exceed ten dollars, unless otherwise provided by law. Plaintiffs in error shall not be required to pay costs in said Court when the usual pauper oath is filed in the Court below.

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Article VII: FINANCE, TAXATION AND PUBLIC DEBT

Section I

Paragraph I. The powers of taxation over the whole State shall be exercised by the General Assembly for the following purposes only:

For the support of the State Government and the public institutions.

For educational purposes, in instructing children in the elementary branches of an English education only.

To pay the interest on the public debt.

To pay the principal of the public debt.

To suppress insurrection, to repel invasion, and defend the State in time of war.

To supply the soldiers who lost a limb, or limbs, in the military service of the Confederate States with substantial artificial limbs during life; and to make suitable provisions for such Confederate Soldiers as may have otherwise been disabled or permanently injured in such service; and for the widows of such Confederate Soldiers as may have died in the service of Confederate States, or since from wounds received therein, or disease contracted therein.

Section II

Paragraph I. All taxation shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects, and ad valorem on all property subject to be taxed within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, and shall be levied and collected under general laws. The General Assembly may, however, impose a tax upon such domestic animals as, from their nature and habits, are destructive of other property.

Par. II. The General Assembly may, by law, exempt from taxation all public property, places of religious worship or burial; all institutions of purely public charity; all buildings erected for and used as a college, incorporated academy, or other seminary of learning; the real and personal estate of any public library, and that of any other literary association, used by or connected with such library; all books and philosophical apparatus; and all paintings and statuary of any company or association, kept in a public hall and not held as merchandise, or for purposes of sale or gain: Provided, the property so exempted be not used for purposes of private or corporate profit or income.

Par. III. No poll tax shall be levied except for educational purposes, and such tax shall not exceed one dollar annually upon each poll.

Par. IV. All laws exempting property from taxation, other than the property herein enumerated, shall be void.

Par. V. The power to tax corporations and corporate property shall not be surrounded or suspended by any contract or grant to which the State shall be a party.

Section III

Paragraph I. No debt shall be contracted by or on behalf of the State, except to supply casual deficiencies of revenue, to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, and defend the State in time of war, or Edition: current; Page: [865] to pay the existing public debt; but the debt created to supply deficiencies in revenue shall not exceed, in the aggregate, two hundred thousand dollars.

Section IV

Paragraph I. All laws authorizing the borrowing of money by or on behalf of the State shall specify the purposes for which the money is to be used, and the money so obtained shall be used for the purpose specified, and no other.

Section V

Paragraph I. The credit of the State shall not be pledged or loaned to any individual, company, corporation or association, and the State shall not become a joint owner or stockholder in any company, association or corporation.

Section VI

Paragraph I. The General Assembly shall not authorize any county municipal corporation or political division of this State to become a stockholder in any company, corporation or association, or to appropriate money for, or to loan its credit to any corporation, company, association, institution or individual, except for purely charitable purposes. This restriction shall not operate to prevent the support of schools by municipal corporations within their respective limits: Provided, that if any municipal corporation shall offer to the State any property for locating or building a capitol, and the State accepts such offer, the corporation may comply with such offer.

Par. II. The General Assembly shall not have power to delegate to any county the right to levy a tax for any purpose, except for educational purposes in instructing children in the elementary branches of an English education only; to build and repair the public buildings and bridges; to maintain and support prisoners; to pay jurors and coroners, and for litigation, quarantine, roads and expenses of Courts; to support paupers and pay debts heretofore existing.

Section VII

Paragraph I. The debt hereafter incurred by any county, municipal corporation or political division of this State, except as in this Constitution provided for, shall never exceed seven per centum of the assessed value of all the taxable property therein; and no such county, municipality or division shall incur any new debt, except for a temporary loan or loans to supply casual deficiencies of revenue, not to exceed one-fifth of one per centum of the assessed value of taxable property therein, without the assent of two-thirds of the qualified voters thereof, at an election for that purpose, to be held as may be prescribed by law; but any city, the debt of which does not exceed seven per centum of the assessed value of the taxable property at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, may be authorized by law to increase, at any time, the amount of said debt, three per centum upon such assessed valuation.

Par. II. Any county, municipal corporation or political division of this State, which shall incur any bonded indebtedness under the provisions of this Constitution, shall, at or before the time of so Edition: current; Page: [866] doing, provide for the assessment and collection of an annual tax sufficient in amount to pay the principal and interest of said debt within thirty years from the date of the incurring of said indebtedness.

Section VIII

Paragraph I. The State shall not assume the debt, nor any part thereof, of any county, municipal corporation, or political division of the State, unless such debt shall be contracted to enable the State to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend itself in time of war.

Section IX

Paragraph I. The receiving, directly or indirectly, by any officer of the State or county, or member or officer of the General Assembly, of any interests, profits or perquisites arising from the use or loan of public funds in his hands, or moneys to be raised through his agency for State or county purposes, shall be deemed a felony, and punishable as may be prescribed by law, a part of which punishment shall be a disqualification from holding office.

Section X

Paragraph I. Municipal corporations shall not incur any debt until provision therefor shall have been made by the municipal government.

Section XI

Paragraph I. The General Assembly shall have no authority to appropriate money, either directly or indirectly, to pay the whole or any part of the principal or interest of the bonds, or other obligations, which have been pronounced illegal, null and void by the General Assembly, and the constitutional amendments ratified by a vote of the people on the first day of May, 1877; nor shall the General Assembly have authority to pay any of the obligations created by the State under laws passed during the late war between the States, nor any of the bonds, notes or obligations made and entered into during the existence of said war, the time for the payment of which was fixed after the ratification of a treaty of peace between the United States and the Confederate States; nor shall the General Assembly pass any law, or the Governor, or other State official enter into any contract or agreement, whereby the State shall be made a party to any suit in any Court of this State, or of the United States, instituted to test the validity of any such bonds or obligations.

Section XII

Paragraph I. The bonded debt of the State shall never be increased, except to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the State in time of war.

Section XIII

Paragraph I. The proceeds of the sale of the Western and Atlantic, Macon and Brunswick, or other railroads, held by the State, and any other property owned by the State, whenever the General Edition: current; Page: [867] Assembly may authorize the sale of the whole, or any part thereof, shall be applied to the payment of the bonded debt of the State, and shall not be used for any other purpose whatever, so long as the State has any existing bonded debt: Provided, that the proceeds of the sale of the Western and Atlantic Railroad shall be applied to the payment of the bonds for which said railroad has been mortgaged, in preference to all other bonds.

Section XIV

Paragraph I. The General Assembly shall raise, by taxation, each year, in addition to the sum required to pay the public expenses and interest on the public debt, the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, which shall be held as a sinking fund, to pay off and retire the bonds of the State which have not yet matured, and shall be applied to no other purpose whatever. If the bonds cannot at any time be purchased at or below par, then the sinking fund, herein provided for, may be loaned by the Governor and Treasurer of the State: Provided, the security which shall be demanded for said loan shall consist only of the valid bonds of the State; but this section shall not take effect until the eight per cent. currency bonds, issued under the Act of February the 19th, 1873, shall have been paid.

Section XV

Paragraph I. The Comptroller-General and Treasurer shall each make to the Governor a quarterly report of the financial condition of the State, which report shall include a statement of the assets, liabilities and income of the State, and expenditures therefor, for the three months preceding; and it shall be the duty of the Governor to carefully examine the same by himself, or through competent persons connected with his department, and cause an abstract thereof to be published for the information of the people, which abstract shall be endorsed by him as having been examined.

Section XVI

Paragraph I. The General Assembly shall not, by vote, resolution or order, grant any donation, or gratuity, in favor of any person, corporation or association.

Par. II. The General Assembly shall not grant or authorize extra compensation to any public officer, agent or contractor, after the service has been rendered, or the contract entered into.

Section XVII

Paragraph I. The office of the State Printer shall cease with the expiration of the term of the present incumbent, and the General Assembly shall provide, by law for letting the public printing to the lowest responsible bidder, or bidders, who shall give adequate and satisfactory security for the faithful performance thereof. No member of the General Assembly, or other public officer, shall be interested, either directly or indirectly, in any such contract.

Edition: current; Page: [868]

Article VIII: EDUCATION

Section I

Paragraph I. There shall be a thorough system of common schools for the education of children in the elementary branches of an English education only, as nearly uniform as practicable, the expenses of which shall be provided for by taxation, or otherwise. The schools shall be free to all children of the State, but separate schools shall be provided for the white and colored races.

Section II

Paragraph I. There shall be a State School Commissioner, appointed by the Governor, and confirmed by the Senate, whose term of office shall be two years, and until his successor is appointed and qualified. His office shall be at the seat of government, and he shall be paid a salary not to exceed two thousand dollars per annum. The General Assembly may substitute for the State School Commissioner such officer, or officers, as may be deemed necessary to perfect the system of public education.

Section III

Paragraph I. The poll tax, any educational fund now belonging to the State (except the endowment of, and debt due to, the University of Georgia), a special tax on shows and exhibitions, and of the sale of spirituous and malt liquors, which the General Assembly is hereby authorized to assess, and the proceeds of any commutation tax for military service, and all taxes that may be assessed on such domestic animals as, from their nature and habits, are destructive to other property, are hereby set apart and devoted for the support of common schools.

Section IV

Paragraph I. Authority may be granted to counties, upon the recommendation of two grand juries, and to municipal corporations, upon the recommendation of the corporate authority, to establish and maintain public schools in their respective limits, by local taxation; but no such local laws shall take effect until the same shall have been submitted to a vote of the qualified voters in each county or municipal corporation, and approved by a two-thirds vote of persons qualified to vote at such election; and the General Assembly may prescribe who shall vote on such question.

Section V

Paragraph I. Existing local school systems shall not be affected by this Constitution. Nothing contained in section first of this article shall be construed to deprive schools in this State, not common schools, from participation in the educational fund of the State, as to all pupils therein taught in the elementary branches of an English education.

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Section VI

Paragraph I. The Trustees of the University of Georgia may accept bequests, donations and grants of land, or other property, for the use of said University. In addition to the payment of the annual interest on the debt due by the State to the University, the General Assembly may, from time to time, make such donations thereto as the condition of the treasury will authorize. And the General Assembly may also, from time to time, make such appropriations of money as the condition of the treasury will authorize to any college or university (not exceeding one in number) now established, or hereafter to be established, in this State for the education of persons of color.

Article IX: HOMESTEAD AND EXEMPTIONSa

Section I

Paragraph I. There shall be exempt from levy and sale, by virtue of any process whatever under the laws of this State, except as hereinafter excepted of the property of every head of a family, or guardian, or trustee of a family of minor children, or every aged or infirm person, or persons having the care and support of dependent females of any age, who is not the head of a family, realty or personalty, or both, to the value in the aggregate of sixteen hundred dollars.

Section II

Paragraph I. No Court or ministerial officer in this State shall ever have jurisdiction or authority to enforce any judgment, execution or decree, against the property set apart for such purpose, including such improvements as may be made thereon from time to time, except for taxes, for the purchase money of the same, for labor done thereon, for material furnished therefor, or for the removal of incumbrances thereon.

Section III

Paragraph I. The debtor shall have power to waive or renounce in writing his right to the benefit of the exemption provided for in this article, except as to wearing apparel, and not exceeding three hundred dollars worth of household and kitchen furniture, and provisions, to be selected by himself and his wife, if any, and he shall not, after it is set apart, alienate or incumber the property so exempted, but it may be sold by the debtor and his wife, if any, jointly, with the sanction of the Judge of the Superior Court of the county where the debtor resides or the land is situated, the proceeds to be reinvested upon the same uses.

Section IV

Paragraph I. The General Assembly shall provide, by law, as early as practicable, for the setting apart and valuation of said property. Edition: current; Page: [870] But nothing in this article shall be construed to affect or repeal the existing laws for exemption of property from sale contained in the present Code of this State, in paragraphs 2040 to 2049 inclusive, and the Act amendatory thereto. It may be optional with the applicant to take either, but not both, of such exemptions.

Section V

Paragraph I. The debtor shall have authority to waive or renounce in writing his right to the benefit of the exemption provided for in section four, except as is excepted in section three of this article.

Section VI

Paragraph I. The applicant shall, at any time, have the right to supplement his exemption by adding to an amount already set apart, which is less than the whole amount of exemption herein allowed, a sufficiency to make his exemption equal to the whole amount.

Section VII

Paragraph I. Homestead and exemptions of personal property which have been heretofore set apart by virtue of the provisions of the existing Constitution of this State, and in accordance with the laws for the enforcement thereof, or which may be hereafter so set apart, at any time, shall be and remain valid as against all debts and liabilities existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, to the same extent that they would have been had said existing Constitution not been revised.

Section VIII

Paragraph I. Rights which have become vested under previously existing laws shall not be affected by anything herein contained. In all cases in which homesteads have been set apart under the Constitution of 1868, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, and a bona fide sale of such property has been subsequently made, and the full purchase price thereof paid, all right of exemption in such property by reason of its having been so set apart, shall cease in so far as it affects the right of the purchaser. In all such cases where a part only the purchase price has been paid, such transaction shall be governed by the laws now of force in this State, in so far as they affect the rights of the purchase, as though said property had not been set apart.

Section IX

Paragraph I. Parties who have taken a homestead of realty under the Constitution of eighteen hundred and sixty-eight shall have the right to sell said homestead and reinvest the same by order of the Judge of the Superior Courts of this State.

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Article X: MILITIA

Section I

Paragraph I. A well regulated militia being essential to the peace and security of the State, the General Assembly shall have authority to provide by law how the militia of this State shall be organized, officered, trained, armed and equipped, and of whom it shall consist.

Par. II. The General Assembly shall have power to authorize the formation of volunteer companies, and to provide for their organization into battalions, regiments, brigades, divisions and corps, with such restrictions as may be prescribed by law, and shall have authority to arm and equip the same.

Par. III. The officers and men of the militia and volunteer forces shall not be entitled to receive any pay, rations or emoluments, when not in active service by authority of the State.

Article XI: COUNTIES AND COUNTY OFFICERS

Section I

Paragraph I. Each county shall be a body corporate, with such powers and limitations as may be prescribed by law. All suits by or against a county shall be in the name thereof; and the metes and bounds of the several counties shall remain as now prescribed by law, unless changed as hereinafter provided.

Par. II. No new county shall be created.

Par. III. County lines shall not be changed, unless under the operation of a general law for that purpose.

Par. IV. No county site shall be changed or removed, except by a two-thirds votes of the qualified voters of the county, voting at an election held for that purpose, and a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly.

Par. V. Any county may be dissolved and merged with contiguous counties by a two-thirds vote of the qualified electors of such county voting at an election held for that purpose.

Section II

Paragraph I. The county officers shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective counties or districts, and shall hold their offices for two years. They shall be removed on conviction for malpractice in office, and no person shall be eligible to any of the offices referred to in this paragraph, unless he shall have been a resident of the county for two years and is a qualified voter.

Section III

Paragraph I. Whatever tribunal, or officers, may hereafter be created by the General Assembly for the transaction of county matters, shall be uniform throughout the State, and of the same name, jurisdiction and remedies, except that the General Assembly may provide for the appointment of commissioners of roads and revenue in any county.

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Article XII: THE LAWS OF GENERAL OPERATION IN FORCE IN THIS STATE

Section I

Paragraph I. The laws of general operation in this State are, first, as the supreme law: The Constitution of the United States, the laws of the United States in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made under the authority of the United States.

Par. II. Second. As next in authority thereto: this Constitution.

Par. III. Third. In subordination to the foregoing: All laws now of force in this State, not inconsistent with this Constitution, and the ordinances of this Convention, shall remain of force until the same are modified or repealed by the General Assembly. The tax acts and appropriation acts passed by the General Assembly of 1877, and approved by the Governor of the State, and not inconsistent with the Constitution, are hereby continued in force until altered by law.

Par. IV. Local and private acts passed for the benefit of counties, cities, towns, corporations and private persons not inconsistent with the supreme law, nor with this Constitution, and which have not expired nor been repealed, shall have the force of statute law, subject to judicial decision as to their validity when passed, and to any limitations imposed by their own terms.

Par. V. All rights, privileges and immunities which may have vested in, or accrued to, any person or persons, or corporation, in his, her or their own right, or in any fiduciary capacity, under and in virtue of any Act of the General Assembly, or any judgment, decree or order, or other proceeding of any Court of competent jurisdiction in this State heretofore rendered, shall be held inviolate by all Courts before which they may be brought in question, unless attacked for fraud.

Par. VI. All judgments, decrees, orders and other proceedings of the several Courts of this State, heretofore made, within the limits of their several jurisdictions, are hereby ratified and affirmed, subject only to reversal by motion for a new trial, appeal, bill of review, or other proceeding, in conformity with the law of force when they were made.

Par. VII. The officers of the government now existing shall continue in the exercise of their several functions until their successors are duly elected, or appointed and qualified, but nothing herein is to apply to any officer whose office may be abolished by this Constitution.

Par. VIII. The ordinances of this Convention shall have the force of laws until otherwise provided by the General Assembly, except the ordinances in reference to submitting the homestead and capital question to a vote of the people, which ordinances, after being voted on, shall have the effect of constitutional provisions.a

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Article XIII: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Section I

Paragraph I. Any amendment, or amendments, to this Constitution may be proposed in the Senate or House of Representatives, and if the same shall be agreed to by two-thirds of the members elected to each of the two Houses, such proposed amendment, or amendments, shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon. And the General Assembly shall cause such amendment, or amendments, to be published in one or more newspapers in each Congressional District, for two months previous to the time of holding the next general election, and shall also provide for a submission of such proposed amendment, or amendments, to the people at said next general election, and if the people shall ratify such amendment, or amendments, by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly, voting thereon, such amendment, or amendments, shall become a part of this Constitution. When more than one amendment is submitted at the same time, they shall be so submitted as to enable the electors to vote on each amendment separately.

Par. II. No convention of the people shall be called by the General Assembly to revise, amend or change this Constitution, unless by the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of each House of the General Assembly. The representation in said convention shall be based on population as near as practicable.

Section II

Paragraph I. The Constitution shall be submitted for ratification or rejection to the voters of the State, at an election to be held on the first Wednesday in December, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven, in the several election districts of this State, at which election every person shall be entitled to vote who is entitled to vote for the members of the General Assembly under the Constitution and laws of force at the date of such election; said election to be held and conducted as is now provided by law for holding elections for members of the General Assembly. All persons voting at said election in favor of adopting the Constitution shall write or have printed on their ballots the words “For Ratification,” and all persons opposed to the adoption of this Constitution shall write or have printed on their ballots the words “Against Ratification.”

Par. II. The votes cast at said election shall be consolidated in each of the counties of the State as is now required by law in elections for members of the General Assembly, and returns thereof made to the Governor; and should a majority of all the votes cast at said election be in favor of ratification, he shall declare the said Constitution adopted, and make proclamation of the result of said election by publication in one or more newspapers in each Congressional District of the State, but should a majority of the votes cast be against ratification, he shall in the same manner proclaim the said Constitution rejected.

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ORDINANCES

AN ORDINANCE

Be it ordained by the people of Georgia in Convention assembled:

1st. That the question of the location of the Capital of this State be kept out of the Constitution to be adopted by the Convention.

2d. That at the first general election hereafter held for members of the General Assembly, every voter may indorse on his ballot “Atlanta” or “Milledgeville,” and the one of these places receiving the largest number of votes shall be Capital of the State until changed by the same authority and in the same way that may be provided for the alteration of the Constitution that may be adopted by the Convention, whether said Constitution be ratified or rejected. And that every person entitled to vote for members of the General Assembly, under the present Constitution and laws of this State, shall be entitled to vote under this ordinance; and, in the event of the rejection of said Constitution, shall (should) a majority of votes cast be in favor of Milledgeville, then this provision to operate and take effect as an amendment to the present Constitution.

AN ORDINANCE

Be it ordained by the people of Georgia in Convention assembled, and it is hereby ordained by authority of the same:

1st. That the article adopted by this Convention on the subject of Homestead and Exemption shall not form a part of this Constitution, except as hereinafter provided.

2d. At the election held for the ratification or rejection of this Constitution, it shall be lawful for each voter to have written or printed on his ballot the words “Homestead of 1877,” or the words “Homestead of 1868.”

3d. In the event that a majority of the ballots so cast have indorsed upon them the words “Homestead of 1877,” then said article, so adopted by this Convention shall form a part of the Constitution submitted, if the same is ratified; but in the event that said Constitution, so submitted, shall not be ratified, then the article on Homestead and Exemptions, so adopted as aforesaid by this Convention, shall supersede article seven of the Constitution of 1868 on the subject of Homestead and Exemptions, and form a part of this Constitution.

4th. If a majority of the ballots, so cast as aforesaid, shall have indorsed upon them the words “Homestead of 1868,” then article seventh of the Constitution of 1868 shall supersede the article on Homestead and Exemptions adopted by this Convention, and shall be incorporated in and form (a part) of the Constitution so submitted and ratified.

Read and adopted in Convention, August 22, 1877.

C. J. Jenkins,
President Constitutional Convention.
Attest:
James Cooper Nisbet, Secretary.
Edition: current; Page: [875]

AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION

Paragraph 15, of Section 7, Article 3, stricken out.

Paragraph 1, Section 1, Article 7, amended by adding at the end of said paragraph the following words: “And to make suitable provisions for such Confederate soldiers as may have been permanently injured in such service.”

See Acts of 1884-1885.

Paragraph 1, Section 1, Article 7, also amended by adding at the end of said paragraph the following words: “And to make suitable provision for such Confederate soldiers as may have otherwise been disabled or permanently injured in such service; and for the widows of such Confederate soldiers as may have died in the service of the Confederate States, or since from wounds received therein, or diseases contracted therein.”

Paragraph 3, Section 4, Article 2, amended by striking out “biennially” after the word “and” and before the word “thereafter,” and substituting therefor the word “annually.”

Paragraph 6, Section 4, Article 2, amended by striking out the words “forty days, unless by a two-thirds vote of the whole number of each House,” and substituting therefor “fifty days.” (These amendments were construed to apply to Article 3, instead of Article 2.)

Paragraph 7, Section 7, Article 3, amended by adding thereto, “but the first and second reading of each local bill and bank and railroad charters in each House shall consist of the reading of the title only, unless said bill is ordered to be engrossed.”

Paragraph 18, Section 7, Article 3, amended by striking out, after the word “companies,” in the second line, the following words, viz.: “Except banking, insurance, railroad, canal, navigation, express and telegraph companies,” and substituting therefor, at the end of said paragraph, after the word “courts,” the following, viz.: “All corporate powers and privileges to banking, insurance, railroad, canal, navigation, express and telegraph companies shall be issued and granted by the Secretary of State in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.”

See Acts of 1890-91, Vol. 1, pages 55 to 60, inclusive.

Paragraph 1, Section 1, of Article 7, by adding after the word service in the thirteenth line of said paragraph, the following words, to-wit: “Or who, by reason of age and poverty, or infirmity and poverty, or blindness and poverty, are unable to provide a living for themselves.”

Act approved, December 19, 1893. Adopted by vote of the people Oct., 1894.

Article VI—1898,a Section 1, Section 3, Paragraph 2:

The successors to the present and subsequent incumbents shall be elected by the electors entitled to vote for members of the General Assembly of the whole State, at the general election held for such members, next preceding the expiration of their respective terms; provided, that the successors for all incumbents whose terms expire on or before the first day of January 1899, shall be elected by the General Assembly at its session for 1898, for the full term of four years.

Edition: current; Page: [876]

Article VI, Section 3, Paragraph 3:

The terms of the judges to be elected under the Constitution (except to fill vacancies) shall begin on the first day of January after their election. Every vacancy occasioned by death, resignation or other causes shall be filled by appointments of the Governor until the first day of January after the general election held next after the expiration of thirty days from the time such vacancy occurs, at which election a successor for the unexpired term shall be elected.

Article VI, Section 11, Paragraph 1:

There shall be a Solicitor General for each judicial circuit whose official term (except to fill a vacancy) shall be four years. The successors of present and subsequent incumbents shall be elected by the electors of the whole State qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly at the general election held next preceding the expiration of their respective terms. Every vacancy occasioned by death, resignation or other cause, shall be filled by appointment of the Governor until the first day of January after the general election held next after the expiration of thirty days from the time such vacancy occurs, at which election a successor for the unexpired term shall be elected; provided, that the successors for all incumbents whose terms expire on or before the first day of January, 1899, shall be elected by the General Assembly at its session for 1898, for the full term of four years.

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GUAM.

See Treaty ceding the Philippines etc, 1898 (Philippines, p. 3153).

[There are no statutes of Congress nor any public orders of the President relating to Guam which can be called organic. The resident United States naval officer is in complete control of the government of the island. See Report of the Secretary of War for 1904, p. 25.]

Edition: current; Page: [879]

HAWAII.

JOINT RESOLUTION FOR ANNEXATION OF HAWAIIAN ISLANDS—1898

[Fifty-fifth Congress, Second Session]

Joint Resolution to provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States

Whereas the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution, to cede absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transfer to the United States the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government, or Crown lands, public buildings or edifices, ports, harbors, military equipment, and all other public property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining: Therefore,

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That said cession is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the said Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexed as a part of the territory of the United States and are subject to the sovereign dominion thereof, and that all and singular the property and rights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the United States of America.

The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands shall not apply to such lands in the Hawaiian Islands; but the Congress of the United States shall enact special laws for their management and disposition: Provided, That all revenue from or proceeds of the same, except as regards such part thereof as may be used or occupied for the civil, military, or naval purposes of the United States, or may be assigned for the use of the local government, shall be used solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational and other public purposes.

Until Congress shall provide for the government of such islands all the cival, judicial, and military powers exercised by the officers of the existing government in said islands shall be vested in such person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as the President of the United States shall direct; and the President shall have power to remove said officers and fill the vacancies so occasioned.

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The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded, between the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the fulfillment of the treaties so extinguished, and not inconsistent with this joint resolution nor contrary to the Constitution of the United States nor to any existing treaty of the United States, shall remain in force until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine.

Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islands the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and other countries shall remain unchanged.

The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of the passage of this joint resolution, including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank, is hereby assumed by the Government of the United States; but the liability of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed four million dollars. So long, however, as the existing Government and the present commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued as hereinbefore provided said Government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt.

There shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands, except upon such conditions as are now or may hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States; and no Chinese, by reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to enter the United States from the Hawaiian Islands.

The President shall appoint five commissioners, at least two of whom shall be residents of the Hawaiian Islands, who shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend to Congress such legislation concerning the Hawaiian Islands as they shall deem necessary or proper.

Sec. 2. That the commissioners hereinbefore provided for shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Sec. 3. That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to be immediately available, to be expended at the discretion of the President of the United States of America, for the purpose of carrying this joint resolution into effect.

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TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT OF HAWAII—1900a

[fifty-sixth congress, first session]

An Act to provide a government for the Territory of Hawaii

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Chapter I.—: General Provisions

DEFINITIONS

Sec. 1. That the phrase “the laws of Hawaii,” as used in this Act without qualifying words, shall mean the constitution and laws of the Republic of Hawaii, in force on the twelfth day of August, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, at the time of the transfer of the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States of America.

The constitution and statute laws of the Republic of Hawaii then in force, set forth in a compilation made by Sidney M. Ballou under the authority of the legislature, and published in two volumes entitled “Civil Laws” and “Penal Laws,” respectively, and in the Session Laws of the Legislature for the session of eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, are referred to in this Act as “Civil Laws,” “Penal Laws,” and “Session Laws.”

TERRITORY OF HAWAII

Sec. 2. That the islands acquired by the United States of America under an Act of Congress entitled “Joint resolution to provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States;” approved July seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, shall be known as the Territory of Hawaii.

GOVERNMENT OF THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII

Sec. 3. That a Territorial government is hereby established over the said Territory, with its capital at Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.

CITIZENSHIP

Sec. 4. That all persons who were citizens of the Republic of Hawaii on August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States and citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.

And all citizens of the United States resident in the Hawaiian Islands who were resident there on or since August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and all the citizens of the United States who shall hereafter reside in the Territory of Hawaii for one year shall be citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.

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APPLICATION OF THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES

Sec. 5. That the Constitution, and, except as herein otherwise provided, all the laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect within the said Territory as elsewhere in the United States: Provided, That sections eighteen hundred and fifty and eighteen hundred and ninety of the Revised Statutes of the United States shall not apply to the Territory of Hawaii.

LAWS OF HAWAII

Sec. 6. That the laws of Hawaii not inconsistent with the Constitution or laws of the United States or the provisions of this Act shall continue in force, subject to repeal or amendment by the legislature of Hawaii or the Congress of the United States.

Sec. 7. That the constitution of the Republic of Hawaii and the laws of Hawaii, as set forth in the following acts, chapters, and sections of the civil laws, penal laws, and session laws, and relating to the following subjects, are hereby repealed:

Civil Laws: Sections two and three, Promulgation of laws; chapter five, Flag and seal; sections thirty to thirty-three, inclusive, Tenders for supplies; chapter seven, Minister of foreign affairs; chapter eight, Diplomatic and consular agents; sections one hundred and thirty-four and one hundred and thirty-five, National museum; chapter twelve, Education of Hawaiian youths abroad; sections one hundred and fifty to one hundred and fifty-six, inclusive, Aid to board of education; chapter fourteen, Minister of the Interior; sections one hundred and sixty-six to one hundred and sixty-eight, inclusive, one hundred and seventy-four and one hundred and seventy-five, Government lands; section one hundred and ninety, Board of commissioners of public lands; section four hundred and twenty-four, Bureau of agriculture and forestry; chapter thirty-one, Agriculture and manufactures; chapter thirty-two, Ramie; chapter thirty-three, Taro flour; chapter thirty-four, Development of resources; chapter thirty-five, Agriculture; section four hundred and seventy-seven, Brands; chapter thirty-seven, Patents; chapter thirty-eight, Copyrights; sections five hundred and fifty-six and five hundred and fifty-seven, Railroad subsidy; chapter forty-seven, Pacific cable; chapter forty-eight, Hospitals; chapter fifty-one, Coins and currency; chapter fifty-four, Consolidation of public debt; chapter fifty-six, Post-office; chapter fifty-seven, Exemptions from postage; chapter fifty-eight, Postal savings banks; chapter sixty-five, Import duties; chapter sixty-six, Imports; chapter sixty-seven, Ports of entry and collection districts; chapter sixty-eight, Collectors; chapter sixty-nine, Registry of vessels; section one thousand and eleven, Custom-house charges; section eleven hundred and two, Elections; section eleven hundred and thirty-two, Appointment of magistrate; last clause of first subdivision and fifth subdivision of section eleven hundred and forty-four, first subdivision of section eleven hundred and forty-five, Jurisdiction; sections eleven hundred and seventy-three to eleven hundred and seventy-eight, inclusive, Translation of decisions; section eleven hundred and eighty-eight, Edition: current; Page: [883] Clerks of court; sections thirteen hundred and twenty-nine, thirteen hundred and thirty-one, thirteen hundred and thirty-two, thirteen hundred and forty-seven to thirteen hundred and fifty-four, inclusive, Juries; sections fifteen hundred and nine to fifteen hundred and fourteen, inclusive, Maritime matters; chapter one hundred and two, Naturalization; section sixteen hundred and seventy-eight, Habeas corpus; chapter one hundred and eight, Arrest of debtors; subdivisions six, seven, ten, twelve to fourteen of section seventeen hundred and thirty-six, Garnishment; sections seventeen hundred and fifty-five to seventeen hundred and fifty-eight, inclusive, Liens on vessels; chapter one hundred and sixteen, Bankruptcy, and sections eighteen hundred and twenty-eight to eighteen hundred and thirty-two, inclusive, Water rights.

Penal Laws: Chapter six, Treason; section sixty-five to sixty-seven, inclusive, Foot binding; chapter seventeen, Violation of postal laws; section three hundred and fourteen, Blasphemy; sections three hundred and seventy-one to three hundred and seventy-two, inclusive, Vagrants; sections four hundred and eleven to four hundred and thirteen, inclusive, Manufacture of liquors; chapter forty-three, Offenses on the high seas and other waters; sections five hundred and ninety-five and six hundred and two to six hundred and five, inclusive, Jurisdiction; section six hundred and twenty-three, Procedure; sections seven hundred and seven hundred and one, Imports; section seven hundred and fifteen, Auction license; section seven hundred and forty-five, Commercial travelers; sections seven hundred and forty-eight to seven hundred and fifty-five, inclusive, Firearms; sections seven hundred and ninety-six to eight hundred and nine, inclusive, Coasting trade; sections eight hundred and eleven and eight hundred and twelve, Peddling foreign goods; sections eight hundred and thirteen to eight hundred and fifteen, inclusive, Importation of live stock; section eight hundred and nineteen, Imports; sections eight hundred and eighty-six to nine hundred and six, inclusive, Quarantine; section eleven hundred and thirty-seven, Consuls and consular agents; chapter sixty-seven, Whale ships; sections eleven hundred and forty-five to eleven hundred and seventy-nine, inclusive, and twelve hundred and four to twelve hundred and nine, inclusive, Arrival, entry, and departure of vessels; chapters sixty-nine to seventy-six, inclusive, Navigation and other matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States; sections thirteen hundred and forty-seven and thirteen hundred and forty-eight, Fraudulent exportation; chapter seventy-eight, Masters and servants; chapter ninety-three, Immigration; sections sixteen hundred and one, sixteen hundred and eight, and sixteen hundred and twelve, Agriculture and forestry; chapter ninety-six, Seditious offenses; and chapter ninety-nine, Sailing regulations.

Session Laws: Act fifteen, Elections; Act twenty-six, Duties; Act twenty-seven, Exemptions from duties; Act thirty-two, Registry of vessels; section four of Act thirty-eight, Importation of live stock; Act forty-eight, Pacific cable; Act sixty-five, Consolidation of public debt; Act sixty-six, Ports of entry; and Act sixty-eight, Chinese immigration.

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CERTAIN OFFICES ABOLISHED

Sec. 8. That the offices of President, minister of foreign affairs, minister of the interior, minister of finance, minister of public instruction, auditor-general, deputy auditor-general, surveyor-general, marshal, and deputy marshal of the Republic of Hawaii are hereby abolished.

AMENDMENT OF OFFICIAL TITLES

Sec. 9. That wherever the words “President of the Republic of Hawaii,” or “Republic of Hawaii,” or “Government of the Republic of Hawaii,” or their equivalents, occur in the laws of Hawaii not repealed by this Act, they are hereby amended to read “Governor of the Territory of Hawaii,” or “Territory of Hawaii,” or “Government of the Territory of Hawaii,” or their equivalents, as the context requires.

CONSTRUCTION OF EXISTING STATUTES

Sec. 10. That all rights of action, suits at law and in equity, prosecutions, and judgments existing prior to the taking effect of this Act shall continue to be as effectual as if this Act had not been passed; and those in favor of or against the Republic of Hawaii, and not assumed by or transferred to the United States, shall be equally valid in favor of or against the government of the Territory of Hawaii. All offenses which by statute then in force were punishable as offenses against the Republic of Hawaii shall be punishable as offenses against the government of the Territory of Hawaii, unless such statute is inconsistent with this Act, or shall be repealed or changed by law. No person shall be subject to imprisonment for nonpayment of taxes nor for debt. All criminal and penal proceedings then pending in the courts of the Republic of Hawaii shall be prosecuted to final judgment and execution in the name of the Territory of Hawaii; all such proceedings, all actions at law, suits in equity, and other proceedings then pending in the courts of the Republic of Hawaii shall be carried on to final judgment and execution in the corresponding courts of the Territory of Hawaii; and all process issued and sentences imposed before this Act takes effect shall be as valid as if issued or imposed in the name of the Territory of Hawaii: Provided, That no suit or proceedings shall be maintained for the specific performance of any contract heretofore or hereafter entered into for personal labor or service, nor shall any remedy exist or be enforced for breach of any such contract, except in a civil suit or proceeding instituted solely to recover damages for such breach: Provided further, That the provisions of this section shall not modify or change the laws of the United States applicable to merchant seamen.

That all contracts made since August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, by which persons are held for service for a definite term, are hereby declared null and void and terminated, and no law shall be passed to enforce said contracts in any way; and it shall be the duty of the United States marshal to at once notify such persons so held of the termination of their contracts.

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That the Act approved February twenty-sixth, eighteen hundred and eighty-five, “To prohibit the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor in the United States, its Territories, and the District of Columbia,” and the Acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto, be, and the same are hereby, extended to and made applicable to the Territory of Hawaii.

STYLE OF PROCESS

Sec. 11. That the style of all process in the Territorial courts shall hereafter run in the name of “The Territory of Hawaii,” and all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the Territory of Hawaii.

Chapter II.—: The Legislature

THE LEGISLATIVE POWER

Sec. 12. That the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii shall consist of two houses, styled, respectively, the senate and house of representatives, which shall organize and sit separately, except as otherwise herein provided.

The two houses shall be styled “The legislature of the Territory of Hawaii.”

Sec. 13. That no person shall sit as a senator or representative in the legislature unless elected under and in conformity with this Act.

GENERAL ELECTIONS

Sec. 14. That a general election shall be held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred, and every second year thereafter: Provided, however, That the governor may, in his discretion, on thirty days’ notice, order a special election before the first general election, if, in his opinion, the public interests shall require a special session of the legislature.

EACH HOUSE JUDGE OF QUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS

Sec. 15. That each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members.

DISQUALIFICATIONS OF LEGISLATORS

Sec. 16. That no member of the legislature shall, during the term for which he is elected, be appointed or elected to any office of the Territory of Hawaii.

DISQUALIFICATIONS OF GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

Sec. 17. That no person holding office in or under or by authority of the Government of the United States or of the Territory of Hawaii shall be eligible to election to the legislature, or to hold the position of a member of the same while holding said office.

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Sec. 18. No idiot or insane person, and no person who shall be expelled from the legislature for giving or receiving bribes or being accessory thereto, and no person who, in due course of law, shall have been convicted of any criminal offense punishable by imprisonment, whether with or without hard labor, for a term exceeding one year, whether with or without fine, shall register to vote or shall vote or hold any office in, or under, or by authority of, the government, unless the person so convicted shall have been pardoned and restored to his civil rights.

OATH OF OFFICE

Sec. 19. That every member of the legislature, and all officers of the government of the Territory of Hawaii, shall take the following oath or affirmation:

I solemly swear (or affirm), in the presence of Almighty God, that I will faithfully support the Constitution and laws of the United States, and conscientiously and impartially discharge my duties as a member of the legislature, or as an officer of the government of the Territory of Hawaii (as the came may be).

OFFICERS AND RULES

Sec. 20. That the senate and house of representatives shall each choose its own officers, determine the rules of its own proceedings, not inconsistent with this Act, and keep a journal.

AYES AND NOES

Sec. 21. That the ayes and noes of the members on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of the members present, be entered on the journal.

QUORUM

Sec. 22. That a majority of the number of members to which each house is entitled shall constitute a quorum of such house for the conduct of ordinary business, of which quorum a majority vote shall suffice; but the final passage of a law in each house shall require the vote of a majority of all the members to which such house is entitled.

Sec. 23. That a smaller number than a quorum may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Sec. 24. That, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there is a quorum present, the chairman shall count the number of members present.

PUNISHMENT OF PERSONS NOT MEMBERS

Sec. 25. That each house may punish by fine, or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, any person not a member of either house who shall be guilty of disrespect of such house by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence or that of any committee thereof; or who shall, on account of the exercise of any legislative function, threaten harm to the body or estate of any of the members of such house; or who shall assault, arrest, or detain any witness or other person ordered to attend such house, on his way going to or returning therefrom; or who shall rescue any person arrested by order of such house.

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But the person charged with the offense shall be informed, in writing, of the charge made against him, and have an opportunity to present evidence and be heard in his own defense.

COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS

Sec. 26. That the members of the legislature shall receive for their services, in addition to mileage at the rate of ten cents a mile each way, the sum of four hundred dollars for each regular session of the legislature, payable in three equal installments on and after the first, thirtieth, and fiftieth days of the session, and the sum of two hundred dollars for each extra session of the legislature.

PUNISHMENT OF MEMBERS

Sec. 27. That each house may punish its own members for disorderly behavior or neglect of duty, by censure, or by a two-thirds vote suspend or expel a member.

EXEMPTION FROM LIABILITY

Sec. 28. That no member of the legislature shall be held to answer before any other tribunal for any words uttered in the exercise of his legislative functions in either house.

EXEMPTION FROM ARREST

Sec. 29. That the members of the legislature shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of the respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same: Provided, That such privilege as to going and returning shall not cover a period of over ten days each way.

THE SENATE

NUMBER OF MEMBERS

Sec. 30. That the Senate shall be composed of fifteen members, who shall hold office for four years: Provided, however, That of the senators elected at the first general election, two from the first district, one from the second, three from the third, and one from the fourth district shall hold office for two years only, the details of such apportionment to be provided for by the legislature.

VACANCIES

Sec. 31. That vacancies caused by death, resignation, or otherwise shall be filled for the unexpired term at general or special elections.

SENATORIAL DISTRICTS

Sec. 32. That for the purpose of representation in the senate, until otherwise provided by law, the Territory is divided into the following senatorial districts, namely:

  • First district: The island of Hawaii.
  • Second district: The islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe. Edition: current; Page: [888]
  • Third district: The island of Oahu.
  • Fourth district: The islands of Kauai and Niihau.

Sec. 33. That the electors in the said districts shall be entitled to elect senators as follows:

  • In the first district, four;
  • In the second district, three;
  • In the third district, six;
  • In the fourth district, two.

QUALIFICATIONS OF SENATORS

Sec. 34. That in order to be eligible to election as a senator a person shall—

Be a male citizen of the United States;

Have attained the age of thirty years;

Have resided in the Hawaiian Islands not less than three years and be qualified to vote for senators in the district from which he is elected.

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

NUMBER OF REPRESENTATIVES

Sec. 35. That the house of representatives shall be composed of thirty members, elected, except as herein provided, every second year.

TERM OF OFFICE

Sec. 36. That the term of office of the representatives elected at any general or special election shall be until the next general election held thereafter.

VACANCIES

Sec. 37. That vacancies in the office of representative caused by death, resignation, or otherwise shall be filled for the unexpired term at special elections.

REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS

Sec. 38. That for the purpose of representation in the house of representatives, until otherwise provided by law, the Territory is divided into the following representative districts, namely:

  • First district: That portion of the island of Hawaii known as Puna, Hilo, and Hamakua.
  • Second district: That portion of the island of Hawaii known as Kau, Kona, and Kohala.
  • Third district: The islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe.
  • Fourth district: That portion of the island of Oahu lying east and south of Nuuanu street and a line drawn in extension thereof from the Nuuanu Pali to Mokapu Point.
  • Fifth district: That portion of the island of Oahu lying west and north of the fourth district.
  • Sixth district: The islands of Kauai and Niihau.
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APPORTIONMENT

Sec. 39. That the electors in the said districts shall be entitled to elect representatives as follows:

  • In the first district, four;
  • In the second district, four;
  • In the third district, six;
  • In the fourth district, six;
  • In the fifth district, six;
  • In the sixth district, four.

QUALIFICATIONS OF REPRESENTATIVES

Sec. 40. That in order to be eligible to be a member of the house of representatives a person shall, at the time of election—

Have attained the age of twenty-five years;

Be a male citizen of the United States;

Have resided in the Hawaiian Islands not less than three years;

And shall be qualified to vote for representatives in the district from which he is elected.

LEGISLATION

SESSIONS OF THE LEGISLATURE

Sec. 41. That the first regular session of the legislature shall be held on the third Wednesday in February, nineteen hundred and one, and biennially thereafter, in Honolulu.

Sec. 42. That neither house shall adjourn during any session for more than three days, or sine die, without the consent of the other.

Sec. 43. That each session of the legislature shall continue not longer than sixty days, excluding Sundays and holidays: Provided, however, That the governor may extend such session for not more than thirty days.

The governor may convene the legislature, or the senate alone, in special session, and, in case the seat of government shall be unsafe from an enemy, riot, or insurrection, or any dangerous disease, direct that any regular or special session shall be held at some other than the regular meeting place.

ENACTING CLAUSE—ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Sec. 44. That the enacting clause of all laws shall be, “Be it enacted by the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii.”

All legislative proceedings shall be conducted in the English language.

TITLE OF LAWS

Sec. 45. That each law shall embrace but one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.

READING OF BILLS

Sec. 46. That a bill in order to become a law shall, except as herein provided, pass three readings in each house, on separate days, the final passage of which in each house shall be by a majority vote of all the members to which such house is entitled, taken by ayes and noes and entered upon its journal.

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CERTIFICATION OF BILLS FROM ONE HOUSE TO THE OTHER

Sec. 47. That every bill when passed by the house in which it originated, or in which amendments thereto shall have originated, shall immediately be certified by the presiding officer and clerk and sent to the other house for consideration.

SIGNING BILLS

Sec. 48. That, except as herein provided, all bills passed by the legislature shall, in order to be valid, be signed by the governor.

VETO OF GOVERNOR

Sec. 49. That every bill which shall have passed the legislature shall be certified by the presiding officers and clerks of both houses, and shall thereupon be presented to the governor. If he approves it, he shall sign it, and it shall become a law. If the governor does not approve such bill, he may return it, with his objections, to the legislature.

He may veto any specific item or items in any bill which appropriates money for specific purposes; but shall veto other bills, if at all, only as a whole.

PROCEDURE UPON RECEIPT OF VETO

Sec. 50. That upon the receipt of a veto message from the governor each house of the legislature shall enter the same at large upon its journal and proceed to reconsider such bill, or part of a bill, and again vote upon it by ayes and noes, which shall be entered upon its journal.

If after such reconsideration such bill, or part of a bill, shall be approved by a two-thirds vote of all the members to which each house is entitled, it shall thereby become law.

FAILURE TO SIGN OR VETO

Sec. 51. That if the governor neither signs nor vetoes a bill within ten days after it is delivered to him it shall become a law without his signature, unless the legislature adjourns sine die prior to the expiration of such ten days.

If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature by their adjournment prevents its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

APPROPRIATIONS

Sec. 52. That appropriations, except as otherwise herein provided, shall be made biennially by the legislature: Provided, however, That pending the time when this Act shall take effect and until a session of the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii shall be held, the President may, in his discretion, authorize and direct the use of such money in the treasury of the Republic of Hawaii as well as of the Territory of Edition: current; Page: [891] Hawaii, as he shall think requisite and proper for carrying on the government of the Territory of Hawaii, the preservation of the public health, the completion of the sewerage system of the city of Honolulu, and such other expenditures as in the President’s judgment shall seem to be appropriate.

Sec. 53. That the governor shall submit to the legislature, at each regular session, estimates for appropriations for the succeeding biennial period.

Sec. 54. That in case of failure of the legislature to pass appropriation bills providing for payments of the necessary current expenses of carrying on the government and meeting its legal obligations as the same are provided for by the then existing laws, the governor shall, upon the adjournment of the legislature, call it in extra session for the consideration of appropriation bills, and until the legislature shall have acted the treasurer may, with the advice of the governor, make such payments, for which purpose the sums appropriated in the last appropriation bills shall be deemed to have been reappropriated. And all legislative and other appropriations made prior to the date when this Act shall take effect, shall be available to the government of the Territory of Hawaii.

LEGISLATIVE POWER

Sec. 55. That 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 locally applicable. The legislature, at its first regular session after the census enumeration shall be ascertained, and from time to time thereafter, shall reapportion the membership in the senate and house of representatives among the senatorial and representative districts on the basis of the population in each of said districts who are citizens of the Territory; but the legislature shall not grant to any corporation, association, or individual any special or exclusive privilege, immunity, or franchise without the approval of Congress; nor shall it grant private charters, but it may by general act permit persons to associate themselves together as bodies corporate for manufacturing, agricultural, and other industrial pursuits, and for conducting the business of insurance, savings banks, banks of discount and deposit (but not of issue), loan, trust, and guaranty associations, for the establishment and conduct of cemeteries, and for the construction and operation of railroads, wagon roads, vessels, and irrigating ditches, and the colonization and improvement of lands in connection therewith, or for colleges, seminaries, churches, libraries, or any other benevolent, charitable, or scientific association: Provided, That no corporation, domestic or foreign, shall acquire and hold real estate in Hawaii in excess of one thousand acres; and all real estate acquired or held by such corporation or association contrary hereto shall be forfeited and escheat to the United States, but existing vested rights in real estate shall not be impaired. No divorce shall be granted by the legislature, nor shall any divorce be granted by the courts of the Territory unless the applicant therefor shall have resided in the Territory for two years next preceding the application, but this provision shall not affect any action pending when this Act takes effect; nor shall any lottery or sale of lottery tickets be allowed; nor shall spirituous or intoxicating liquors be sold except under such Edition: current; Page: [892] regulations and restrictions as the Territorial legislature shall provide; nor shall any public money be appropriated for the support or benefit of any sectarian, denominational, or private school, or any school not under the exclusive control of the government; nor shall the government of the Territory of Hawaii, or any political or municipal corporation or subdivision of the Territory, make any subscription to the capital stock of any incorporated company, or in any manner lend its credit for the use thereof; nor shall any debt be authorized to be contracted by or on behalf of the Territory, or any political or municipal corporation or subdivision thereof, except to pay the interest upon the existing indebtedness, to suppress insurrection, or to provide for the common defense, except that in addition to any indebtedness created for such purposes the legislature may authorize loans by the Territory, or any such subdivision thereof, for the erection of penal, charitable, and educational institutions, and for public buildings, wharves, roads, and harbor and other public improvements, but the total of such indebtedness incurred in any one year by the Territory or any subdivision shall not exceed one per centum upon the assessed value of taxable property of the Territory or subdivision thereof, as the case may be, as shown by the last general assessment for taxation, and the total indebtedness for the Territory shall not at any time be extended beyond seven per centum of such assessed value, and the total indebtedness of any subdivision shall not at any time be extended beyond three per centum of such assessed value, but nothing in this provision shall prevent the refunding of any existing indebtedness at any time; nor shall any such loan be made upon the credit of the public domain or any part thereof, nor shall any bond or other instrument of any such indebtedness be issued unless made redeemable in not more than five years and payable in not more than fifteen years from the date of the issue thereof; nor shall any such bond or indebtedness be incurred until approved by the President of the United States.

TOWN, CITY, AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Sec. 56. That the legislature may create counties and town and city municipalities within the Territory of Hawaii and provide for the government thereof.

ELECTIONS

EXEMPTION OF ELECTORS ON ELECTION DAY

Sec. 57. That every elector shall be privileged from arrest on election day during his attendance at election and in going to and returning therefrom, except in case of breach of the peace then committed, or in case of treason or felony.

Sec. 58. That no elector shall be so obliged to perform military duty on the day of election as to prevent his voting, except in time of war or public danger, or in case of absence from his place of residence in actual military service, in which case provision may be made by law for taking his vote.

Edition: current; Page: [893]

METHOD OF VOTING FOR REPRESENTATIVES

Sec. 59. That each voter for representative may cast a vote for as many representatives as are to be elected from the representative district in which he is entitled to vote.

The required number of candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the respective representative districts shall be the representatives for such districts.

QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS FOR REPRESENTATIVES

Sec. 60. That in order to be qualified to vote for representatives a person shall—

First. Be a male citizen of the United States.

Second. Have resided in the Territory not less than one year preceding and in the representative district in which he offers to register not less than three months immediately preceding the time at which he offers to register.

Third. Have attained the age of twenty-one years.

Fourth. Prior to each regular election, during the time prescribed by law for registration, have caused his name to be entered on the register of voters for representatives for his district.

Fifth. Be able to speak, read, and write the English or Hawaiian language.

METHOD OF VOTING FOR SENATORS

Sec. 61. That each voter for senator may cast one vote for each senator to be elected from the senatorial district in which he is entitled to vote.

The required number of candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the respective senatorial districts shall be the senators for such district.

QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS FOR SENATORS AND IN ALL OTHER ELECTIONS

Sec. 62. That in order to be qualified to vote for senators and for voting in all other elections in the Territory of Hawaii a person must possess all the qualifications and be subject to all the conditions required by this Act of voters for representatives.

Sec. 63. That no person shall be allowed to vote who is in the Territory by reason of being in the Army or Navy or by reason of being attached to troops in the service of the United States.

Sec. 64. That the rules and regulations for administering oaths and holding elections set forth in Ballou’s Compilation, Civil Laws, Appendix, and the list of registering districts and precincts appended, are continued in force with the following changes, to wit:

Strike out the preliminary proclamation and sections one to twenty-six, inclusive, sections thirty and thirty-nine, the second and third paragraphs of section forty-eight, the second paragraph of section fifty, and sections sixty-two, sixty-three, and sixty-six, second paragraph of section one hundred.

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In section twenty-nine strike out all after the word “Niihau” and in lieu thereof insert: “The boards of registration existing at the date of the approval of this Act shall go out of office, and new boards, which shall consist of three members each, shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, whose terms of office shall be four years. Appointments made by the governor when the senate is not in session shall be valid until the succeeding meeting of that body.”

In section thirty-one strike out “the first day of April and the thirtieth day of June, in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-seven,” and insert in lieu thereof “the last day of August and the tenth day of October, in the year nineteen hundred.”

Strike out the words “and the detailed record” in sections fifty-two and one hundred and twelve.

Strike out “marshal” wherever it occurs and insert in lieu thereof “high sheriff.”

Strike out of section fifty-three the words “except as provided in section one hundred and fourteen hereof.”

In sections fifty-three, fifty-four, fifty-six, fifty-seven, fifty-nine, sixty, seventy-one, seventy-five, eighty-six, ninety-two, ninety-three, ninety-four, ninety-five, one hundred and eleven, one hundred and twelve, and one hundred and thirteen striks out the words “minister” and “minister of the interior” wherever they occur and insert in lieu thereof the words “secretary of the Territory.”

In section fifty-six, paragraph three, strike out “interior office” and insert “office of the secretary of the Territory.”

In section fifty-six, first paragraph, after the words “candidate for election” insert “to the legislature;” and in the last paragraph strike out the word “only.”

Strike out the word “elective” in section sixty-four.

In sections twenty-seven, sixty-four, sixty-five, sixty-eight, seventy, and seventy-two strike out the words “minister of the interior” or “minister” wherever they occur and insert in lieu thereof the word “governor.”

Amend section sixty-seven so that it will read: “At least forty days before any election the governor shall issue an election proclamation and transmit copies of the same to the several boards of inspectors throughout the Territory, or where such election is to be held.”

In section seventy-five strike out the word “perfectly,” and in section seventy-six strike out “in” and insert “on.”

In section one hundred and twelve strike out “interior department” and insert in lieu thereof “office of the secretary of the Territory.”

In section one hundred and fourteen strike out the word “Republic” wherever it occurs and insert in lieu thereof “Territory.”

In section one hundred and fifteen strike out the words “minister” and “minister of the interior” and insert in lieu thereof “treasurer,” and strike out all after the word “refreshments:” Provided, however, That for the holding of a special election before the first general election the governor may prescribe the time during which the boards of registration shall meet and the registration be made.

Sec. 65. That the legislature of the Territory may from time to time establish and alter the boundaries of election districts and voting precincts and apportion the senators and representatives to be elected from such districts.

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Chapter III.—: The Executive

THE EXECUTIVE POWER

Sec. 66. That the executive power of the government of the Territory of Hawaii shall be vested in a governor, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, and shall hold office for four years and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President. He shall be not less than thirty-five years of age; shall be a citizen of the Territory of Hawaii; shall be commander in chief of the militia thereof; may grant pardons or reprieves for offenses against the laws of the said Territory and reprieves for offenses against the laws of the United States until the decision of the President is made known thereon.

ENFORCEMENT OF LAW

Sec. 67. That the governor shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws of the United States and of the Territory of Hawaii within the said Territory, and whenever it becomes necessary he may call upon the commanders of the military and naval forces of the United States in the Territory of Hawaii, or summon the posse comitatus, or call out the militia of the Territory to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion, insurrection, or rebellion in said Territory, and he may, in case of rebellion or invasion, or imminent danger thereof, when the public safety requires it, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or place the Territory, or any part thereof, under martial law until communication can be had with the President and his decision therein made known.

GENERAL POWERS OF THE GOVERNOR

Sec. 68. That all the powers and duties which, by the laws of Hawaii, are conferred upon or required of the President or any minister of the Republic of Hawaii (acting alone or in connection with any other officer or person or body) or the cabinet or executive council, and not inconsistent with the Constitution or laws of the United States, are conferred upon and required of the governor of the Territory of Hawaii, unless otherwise provided.

SECRETARY OF THE TERRITORY

Sec. 69. That there shall be a secretary of the said Territory, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, and who shall be a citizen of the Territory of Hawaii and hold his office for four years and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President. He shall record and preserve all the laws and proceedings of the legislature and all acts and proceedings of the governor, and promulgate proclamations of the governor. He shall, within thirty days after the end of each session of the legislature, transmit to the President, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States one copy each of the laws and journals of such session. He shall transmit to the President, semiannually, on the first days of January and July, a copy of the Edition: current; Page: [896] executive proceedings, and shall perform such other duties as are prescribed in this Act or as may be required of him by the legislature of Hawaii.

ACTING GOVERNOR IN CERTAIN CONTINGENCIES

Sec. 70. That in case of the death, removal, resignation, or disability of the governor, or his absence from the Territory, the secretary shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of governor during such vacancy, disability, or absence, or until another governor is appointed and qualified.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Sec. 71. That there shall be an attorney-general, who shall have the powers and duties of the attorney-general and those of the powers and duties of the minister of the interior which relate to prisons, prisoners, and prison inspectors, notaries public, and escheat of lands under the laws of Hawaii, except as changed by this Act and subject to modification by the legislature.

TREASURER

Sec. 72. That there shall be a treasurer, who shall have the powers and duties of the minister of finance and those of the powers and duties of the minister of the interior which relate to licenses, corporations, companies, and partnerships, business conducted by married women, newspapers, registry of conveyances, and registration of prints, labels, and trade-marks under the laws of Hawaii, except as changed in this Act and subject to modification by the legislature.

COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC LANDS

Sec. 73. That the laws of Hawaii relating to public lands, the settlement of boundaries, and the issuance of patents on land-commission awards, except as changed by this Act, shall continue in force until Congress shall otherwise provide. That, subject to the approval of the President, all sales, grants, leases, and other dispositions of the public domain, and agreements concerning the same, and all franchises granted by the Hawaiian government in conformity with the laws of Hawaii between the seventh day of July, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and the twenty-eighth day of September, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, are hereby ratified and confirmed. In said laws “land patent” shall be substituted for “royal patent;” “commissioner of public lands” for “minister of the interior,” “agent of public lands,” and “commissioners of public lands,” or their equivalents; and the words “that I am a citizen of the United States,” or “that I have declared my intention to become a citizen of the United States, as required by law,” for the words “that I am a citizen by birth (or naturalization) of the Republic of Hawaii,” or “that I have received letters of denization under the Republic of Hawaii,” or “that I have received a certificate of special right of citizenship from the Republic of Hawaii.” And no lease of agricultural land shall be granted, sold, or renewed by the government of the Territory of Hawaii for a longer period than five years until Congress shall otherwise direct. All funds arising from the sale or lease or other disposal Edition: current; Page: [897] of such lands shall be appropriated by the laws of the government of the Territory of Hawaii and applied to such uses and purposes for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Territory of Hawaii as are consistent with the joint resolution of annexation, approved July seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight: Provided, There shall be excepted from the provisions of this section all lands heretofore set apart, or reserved, by Executive order, or orders, by the President of the United States.

COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY

Sec. 74. That the laws of Hawaii relating to agriculture and forestry, except as changed by this Act, shall continue in force, subject to modification by Congress or the legislature. In said laws “commissioner of agriculture and forestry” shall be substituted, respectively, for “bureau,” “bureau of agriculture and forestry,” “commissioner,” “commissioner of agriculture,” and “commissioners for the island of Oahu.”

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Sec. 75. That there shall be a superintendent of public works, who shall have the powers and duties of the superintendent of public works and those of the powers and duties of the minister of the Interior which relate to streets and highways, harbor improvements, wharves, landings, waterworks, railways, electric light and power, telephone lines, fences, pounds, brands, weights and measures, fires and fireproof buildings, explosives, eminent domain, public works, markets, buildings, parks and cemeteries, and other grounds and lands now under the control and management of the minister of the interior, and those of the powers and duties of the minister of finance and collector-general which relate to pilots and harbor masters under the laws of Hawaii, except as changed by this Act and subject to modification by the legislature. In said laws the word “legislature” shall be substituted for “councils” and the words “the circuit court” for “the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank.”

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Sec. 76. That there shall be a superintendent of public instruction, who shall have the powers and perform the duties conferred upon and required of the minister of public instruction by the laws of Hawaii as amended by this Act, and subject to modification by the legislature.

It shall be the duty of the United States Commissioner of Labor to collect, assort, arrange, and present in annual reports statistical details relating to all departments of labor in the Territory of Hawaii, especially in relation to the commercial, industrial, social, educational, and sanitary condition of the laboring classes, and to all such other subjects as Congress may, by law, direct. The said commissioner is especially charged to ascertain, at as early a date as possible, and as often thereafter as such information may be required, the highest, lowest, and average number of employees engaged in the various industries in the Territory, to be classified as to nativity, sex, hours of labor, and conditions of employment, and to report the same to Congress.

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AUDITOR AND DEPUTY AUDITOR

Sec. 77. That there shall be an auditor and deputy auditor, who shall have the powers and duties conferred upon and required of the auditor-general and deputy auditor-general, respectively, by act thirty-nine of the Session Laws, as amended by this Act, subject to modification by the legislature. In said act “officer” shall be substituted for “minister” where used without other designation.

SURVEYOR

Sec. 78. That there shall be a surveyor, who shall have the powers and duties heretofore attached to the surveyor-general, except such as relate to the geodetic survey of the Hawaiian Islands.

HIGH SHERIFF

Sec. 79. That there shall be a high sheriff and deputies, who shall have the powers and duties of the marshal and deputies of the Republic of Hawaii under the laws of Hawaii, except as changed by this Act, and subject to modification by the legislature.

APPOINTMENT, REMOVAL, TENURE, AND SALARIES OF OFFICERS

Sec. 80. That the President shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint the chief justice and justices of the supreme court, the judges of the circuit courts, who shall hold their respective offices for the term of four years, unless sooner removed by the President; and the governor shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate of the Territory of Hawaii, appoint the attorney-general, treasurer, commissioner of public lands, commissioner of agriculture and forestry, superintendent of public works, superintendent of public instruction, auditor, deputy auditor, surveyor, high sheriff, members of the board of health, commissioners of public instruction, board of prison inspectors, board of registration and inspectors of election, and any other boards of a public character that may be created by law; and he may make such appointments when the senate is not in session by granting commissions, which shall, unless such appointments are confirmed, expire at the end of the next session of the senate. He may, by and with the advice and consent of the senate of the Territory of Hawaii, remove from office any of such officers. All such officers shall hold office for four years and until their successors are appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed, except the commissioners of public instruction and the members of said boards, whose terms of office shall be as provided by the laws of the Territory of Hawaii.

The manner of appointment and removal and the tenure of all other officers shall be as provided by law; and the governor may appoint or remove any officer whose appointment or removal is not otherwise provided for.

The salaries of all officers other than those appointed by the President shall be as provided by the legislature, but those of the chief justice and the justices of the supreme court and judges of the circuit courts shall not be diminished during their term of office.

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All officers appointed under the provisions of this section shall be citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.

All persons holding office in the Hawaiian Islands at the time this Act takes effect shall continue to hold their respective offices until their successors are appointed and qualified, but not beyond the end of the first session of the senate of the Territory of Hawaii unless reappointed as herein provided.

Chapter IV

THE JUDICIARY

Sec. 81. That the judicial power of the Territory shall be vested in one supreme court, circuit courts, and in such inferior courts as the legislature may from time to time establish. And until the legislature shall otherwise provide, the laws of Hawaii heretofore in force concerning the several courts and their jurisdiction and procedure shall continue in force except as herein otherwise provided.

SUPREME COURT

Sec. 82. That the supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and two associate justices, who shall be citizens of the Territory of Hawaii and shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, and may be removed by the President: Provided, however, That in case of the disqualification or absence of any justice thereof, in any cause pending before the court, on the trial and determination of said cause his place shall be filled as provided by law.

LAWS CONTINUED IN FORCE

Sec. 83. That the laws of Hawaii relative to the judicial department, including civil and criminal procedure, except as amended by this Act, are continued in force, subject to modification by Congress, or the legislature. The provisions of said laws or any laws of the Republic of Hawaii which require juries to be composed of aliens or foreigners only, or to be constituted by impaneling natives of Hawaii only, in civil and criminal cases specified in said laws, are repealed, and all juries shall hereafter be constituted without reference to the race or place of nativity of the jurors; but no person who is not a male citizen of the United States and twenty-one years of age and who can not understandingly speak, read, and write the English language shall be a qualified juror or grand juror in the Territory of Hawaii. No person shall be convicted in any criminal case except by unanimouse verdict of the jury. No plaintiff or defendant in any suit or proceeding in a court of the Territory of Hawaii shall be entitled to a trial by a jury impaneled exclusively from persons of any race. Until otherwise provided by the legislature of the Territory, grand juries may be drawn in the manner provided by the Hawaiian statutes for drawing petty juries, and shall sit at such times as the circuit judges of the respective circuits shall direct; the number of grand jurors in each circuit shall be not less than thirteen, and the method of the presentation of cases to said grand jurors shall be prescribed Edition: current; Page: [900] by the supreme court of the Territory of Hawaii. The several circuit courts may subpœna witnesses to appear before the grand jury in like manner as they subpœna witnesses to appear before their respective courts.

DISQUALIFICATION BY RELATIONSHIP, PECUNIARY INTEREST, OR PREVIOUS JUDGMENT

Sec. 84. That no person shall sit as a judge or juror in any case in which his relative by affinity or by consanguinity within the third degree is interested, either as a plaintiff or defendant, or in the issue of which the said judge or juror may have, either directly or through such relative, any pecuniary interest. No judge shall sit on an appeal, or new trial, in any case, in which he may have given a previous judgment.

Chapter V.—: United States Officers

DELEGATE TO CONGRESS

Sec. 85. That a Delegate to the House of Representatives of the United States, to serve during each Congress, shall be elected by the voters qualified to vote for members of the house of representatives of the legislature; such Delegate shall possess the qualifications necessary for membership of the senate of the legislature of Hawaii. The times, places, and manner of holding elections shall be as fixed by law. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be declared by the governor duly elected, and a certificate shall be given accordingly. Every such Delegate shall have a seat in the House of Representatives, with the right of debate, but not of voting.

FEDERAL COURT

Sec. 86. That there shall be established in said Territory a district court to consist of one judge, who shall reside therein and be called the district judge. The President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, shall appoint a district judge, a district attorney, and a marshal of the United States for the said district, and said judge, attorney, and marshal shall hold office for six years unless sooner removed by the President. Said court shall have, in addition to the ordinary jurisdiction of district courts of the United States, jurisdiction of all cases cognizable in a circuit court of the United States, and shall proceed therein in the same manner as a circuit court; and said judge, district attorney, and marshal shall have and exercise in the Territory of Hawaii all the powers conferred by the laws of the United States upon the judges, district attorneys, and marshals of district and circuit courts of the United States. Writs of error and appeals from said district court shall be had and allowed to the circuit court of appeals in the ninth judicial circuit in the same manner as writs of error and appeals are allowed from circuit courts to circuit courts of appeals as provided by law, and the laws of the United States relating to juries and jury trials shall be applicable to said district court. The laws of the United States relating to appeals, writs of error, removal of causes, and other matters and proceedings as between the courts of the United States and the courts of the several States shall govern in Edition: current; Page: [901] such matters and proceedings as between the courts of the United States and the courts of the Territory of Hawaii. Regular terms of said court shall be held at Honolulu on the second Monday in April and October and at Hilo on the last Wednesday in January of each year; and special terms may be held at such times and places in said district as the said judge may deem expedient. The said district judge shall appoint a clerk for said court at a salary of three thousand dollars per annum, and shall appoint a reporter of said court at a salary of twelve hundred dollars per annum.

INTERNAL-REVENUE DISTRICT

Sec. 87. That the Territory of Hawaii shall constitute a district for the collection of the internal revenue of the United States, with a collector, whose office shall be at Honolulu, and deputy collectors at such other places in the several islands as the Secretary of the Treasury shall direct.

CUSTOMS DISTRICT

Sec. 88. That the Territory of Hawaii shall comprise a customs district of the United States, with ports of entry and delivery at Honolulu, Hilo, Mahukona, and Kahului.

Chapter VI.—: Miscellaneous

REVENUES FROM WHARVES

Sec. 89. That until further provision is made by Congress the wharves and landings constructed or controlled by the Republic of Hawaii on any seacoast, bay, roadstead, or harbor shall remain under the control of the government of the Territory of Hawaii, which shall receive and enjoy all revenues derived therefrom, on condition that said property shall be kept in good condition for the use and convenience of commerce, but no tolls or charges shall be made by the government of the Territory of Hawaii for the use of any such property by the United States, or by any vessel of war, tug, revenue cutter, or other boat or transport in the service of the United States.

Sec. 90. That Hawaiian postage stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes at the post-offices of the Hawaiian Islands when this Act takes effect shall not be sold, but, together with those that shall thereafter be received at such offices as herein provided, shall be canceled under the direction of the Postmaster-General of the United States; those previously sold and uncanceled shall, if presented at such offices within six months after this Act takes effect, be received at their face value in exchange for postage stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes of the United States of the same aggregate face value and, so far as may be, of such denominations as desired.

Sec. 91. That the public property ceded and transferred to the United States by the Republic of Hawaii under the joint resolution of annexation, approved July seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, shall be and remain in the possession, use, and control of the government of the Territory of Hawaii, and shall be maintained, managed, and cared for by it, at its own expense, until otherwise provided for by Congress, or taken for the uses and purposes of the United States by direction of the President or of the governor of Edition: current; Page: [902] Hawaii. And all moneys in the Hawaiian treasury, and all the revenues and other property acquired by the Republic of Hawaii since said cession shall be and remain the property of the Territory of Hawaii.

Sec. 92. That the following officers shall receive the following annual salaries, to be paid by the United States: The governor, five thousand dollars; the secretary of the Territory, three thousand dollars; the chief justice of the supreme court of the Territory, five thousand five hundred dollars, and the associate justices of the supreme court, five thousand dollars each, and the judges of the circuit courts, three thousand dollars each. The salaries of the said chief justice and the associate justices of the supreme court, and the judges of the circuit courts as above provided shall be paid by the United States; the United States district judge, five thousand dollars; the United States marshal, two thousand five hundred dollars; the United States district attorney, three thousand dollars. And the governor shall receive annually, in addition to his salary, the sum of five hundred dollars for stationery, postage, and incidentals; also his traveling expenses while absent from the capital on official business, and the sum of two thousand dollars annually for his private secretary.

IMPORTS FROM HAWAII INTO THE UNITED STATES

Sec. 93. That imports from any of the Hawaiian Islands, into any State or any other Territory of the United States, of any dutiable articles not the growth, production, or manufacture of said islands, and imported into them from any foreign country after July seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and before this Act takes effect, shall pay the same duties that are imposed on the same articles when imported into the United States from any foreign country.

INVESTIGATION OF FISHERIES

Sec. 94. That the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries of the United States is empowered and required to examine into the entire subject of fisheries and the laws relating to the fishing rights in the Territory of Hawaii, and report to the President touching the same, and to recommend such changes in said laws as he shall see fit.

REPEAL OF LAWS CONFERRING EXCLUSIVE FISHING RIGHTS

Sec. 95. That all laws of the Republic of Hawaii which confer exclusive fishing rights upon any person or persons are hereby repealed, and all fisheries in the sea waters of the Territory of Hawaii not included in any fish pond or artificial inclosure shall be free to all citizens of the United States, subject, however, to vested rights; but no such vested right shall be valid after three years from the taking effect of this Act unless established as hereinafter provided.

PROCEEDINGS FOR OPENING FISHERIES TO CITIZENS

Sec. 96. That any person who claims a private right to any such fishery shall, within two years after th taking effect of this Act, file his petition in a circuit court of the Territory of Hawaii, setting forth Edition: current; Page: [903] his claim to such fishing right, service of which petition shall be made upon the attorney-general, who shall conduct the case for the Territory, and such case shall be conducted as an ordinary action at law.

That if such fishing right be established, the attorney-general of the Territory of Hawaii may proceed, in such manner as may be provided by law for the condemnation of property for public use, to condemn such private right of fishing to the use of the citizens of the United States upon making just compensation, which compensation, when lawfully ascertained, shall be paid out of any money in the treasury of the Territory of Hawaii not otherwise appropriated.

QUARANTINE

Sec. 97. That quarantine stations shall be established at such places in the Territory of Hawaii as the Supervising Surgeon-General of the Marine-Hospital Service of the United States shall direct, and the quarantine regulations for said islands relating to the importation of diseases from other countries shall be under the control of the Government of the United States. The quarantine station and grounds at the harbor of Honolulu, together with all the public property belonging to that service, shall be transferred to the Marine-Hospital Service of the United States, and said quarantine grounds shall continue to be so used and employed until the station is changed to other grounds which may be selected by order of the Secretary of the Treasury.

The health laws of the government of Hawaii relating to the harbor of Honolulu and other harbors and inlets from the sea and to the internal control of the health of the islands shall remain in the jurisdiction of the government of the Territory of Hawaii, subject to the quarantine laws and regulations of the United States.

Sec. 98. That all vessels carrying Hawaiian registers on the twelfth day of August, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and which were owned bona fide by citizens of the United States, or the citizens of Hawaii, together with the following-named vessels claiming Hawaiian register, Star of France, Euterpe, Star of Russia, Falls of Clyde, and Wilscott, shall be entitled to be registered as American vessels, with the benefits and privileges appertaining thereto, and the coasting trade between the islands aforesaid and any other portion of the United States, shall be regulated in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to such trade between any two great coasting districts.

Sec. 99. That the portion of the public domain heretofore known as Crown land is hereby declared to have been, on the twelfth day of August, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and prior thereto, the property of the Hawaiian government, and to be free and clear from any trust of or concerning the same, and from all claim of any nature whatsoever, upon the rents, issues, and profits thereof. It shall be subject to alienation and other uses as may be provided by law.

Sec. 100. That for the purposes of naturalization under the laws of the United States residence in the Hawaiian Islands prior to the taking effect of this Act shall be deemed equivalent to residence in the United States and in the Territory of Hawaii, and the requirement of a previous declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce former allegiance shall not apply to persons who have resided in said islands at least five years prior to the taking effect of this Act; but all other provisions of the laws of the United Edition: current; Page: [904] States relating to naturalization shall, so far as applicable, apply to persons in the said islands.

Sec. 101. That Chinese in the Hawaiian Islands when this Act takes effect may within one year thereafter obtain certificates of residence as required by “An Act to prohibit the coming of Chinese persons into the United States,” approved May fifth, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, as amended by an Act approved November third, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, entitled “An Act to amend an Act entitled ‘An Act to prohibit the coming of Chinese persons into the United States,’ approved May fifth, eighteen hundred and ninety-two,” and until the expiration of said year shall not be deemed to be unlawfully in the United States if found therein without such certificates: Provided, however, That no Chinese laborer, whether he shall hold such certificate or not, shall be allowed to enter any State, Territory, or District of the United States from the Hawaiian Islands.

Sec. 102. That the laws of Hawaii relating to the establishment and conduct of any postal savings bank or institution are hereby abolished. And the Secretary of the Treasury, in the execution of the agreement of the United States as expressed in an Act entitled “Joint Resolution to provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States,” approved July seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, shall pay the amounts on deposit in the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank to the persons entitled thereto, according to their respective rights, and he shall make all needful orders, rules, and regulations for paying such persons and for notifying such persons to present their demands for payment. So much money as is necessary to pay said demands is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be available on and after the first day of July, nineteen hundred, when such payments shall begin, and none of said demands shall bear interest after said date, and no deposit shall be made in said bank after said date. Said demands of such persons shall be certified to by the chief executive of Hawaii as being genuine and due to the persons presenting the same, and his certificate shall be sealed with the official seal of the Territory, and countersigned by its secretary, and shall be approved by the Secretary of the Interior, who shall draw his warrant for the amount due upon the Treasurer of the United States, and when the same are so paid no further liabilities shall exist in respect of the same against the governments of the United States or of Hawaii.

Sec. 103. That any money of the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank that shall remain unpaid to the persons entitled thereto on the first day of July, nineteen hundred and one, and any assets of said bank shall be turned over by the government of Hawaii to the Treasurer of the United States, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause an account to be stated, as of said date, between such government of Hawaii and the United States in respect to said Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank.

Sec. 104. This Act shall take effect forty-five days from and after the date of the approval thereof, excepting only as to section fifty-two, relating to appropriations, which shall take effect upon such approval.

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IDAHO.

For organic acts issued before 1863 relating to the land now included within Idaho see in this work:

Convention with Great Britain, 1818 (Oregon, p. 2983).
Convention with Russia, 1824 (Oregon, p. 2983).
Treaty with Great Britain, 1846 (Oregon, p. 2985).
Territorial Government of Oregon, 1848 (Oregon, p. 2986).
Territorial Government of Washington, 1853 (Washington, p. 3963).

TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT FOR IDAHO—1863a

[Thirty-seventh Congress, Third Session]

An Act to provide a temporary government for the Territory of Idaho

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all that part of the territory of the United States included within the following limits, to wit: Beginning at a point in the middle channel of the Snake River where the northern boundary of Oregon intersects the same; then follow down said channel of Snake River to a point opposite the mouth of the Kooskooskia, or Clear Water River; thence due north to the forty-ninth parallel of latitude; thence east along said parallel to the twenty-seventh degree of longitude west of Washington; thence south along said degree of longitude to the northern boundary of Colorado Territory; thence west along said boundary to the thirty-third degree of longitude west of Washington; thence north along said degree to the forty-second parallel of latitude; thence west along said parallel to the eastern boundary of the State of Oregon; thence north along said boundary to place of beginning. And the same is hereby created into a temporary government, by the name of the Territory of Idaho: Provided, That Edition: current; Page: [906] nothing in this act contained shall be construed to inhibit the Government of the United States from dividing said Territory or changing its boundaries in such manner and at such time as Congress shall deem convenient and proper, or from attaching any portion of said Territory to any other state or territory of the United States: Provided, further, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to impair the rights of person or property now pertaining to the Indians in said Territory, so long as such rights shall remain unextinguished by treaty between the United States and such Indians, or to include and territory which, by treaty with any Indian tribes, is not without the consent of said tribe to be included within the territorial limits or jurisdiction of any state or territory; but all such territory shall be excepted out of the boundaries, and constitute no part of the Territory of Idaho, until said tribe shall signify their assent to the President of the United States to be included within said Territory, or to affect the authority of the Government of the United States to make any regulations respecting such Indians, their lands, property, or other rights, by treaty, law, or otherwise, which it would have been competent for the Government to make if this act had never passed.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the executive power and authority in and over said Territory of Idaho shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for four years, and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. The governor shall reside within said Territory, and shall be commander-in-chief of the militia, and superintendent of Indian affairs thereof. He may grant pardons and respites for offences against the laws of said Territory, and reprieve for offences against the laws of the United States until the decision of the President of the United States can be made known thereon; he shall commission all officers who shall be appointed to office under the laws of the said Territory, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be a secretary of said Territory, who shall reside therein, and shall hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States; he shall record and preserve all 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 semiannually, 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 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.

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Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power and authority of said Territory shall be vested in the governor and a legislative assembly. The legislative assembly shall consist of a council and house of representatives. The council shall consist of seven members having the qualifications of voters as hereinafter prescribed, whose term of service shall continue two years. The house of representatives shall, at its first session, consist of thirteen members possessing the same qualifications as prescribed for the 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, to twenty-six, in proportion to the increase of qualified voters; and the council, in like manner, to thirteen. 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 persons who shall superintend such elections 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. 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 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 to the several counties or districts to the council and the 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 forty days, except the first session, which may continue sixty days.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That every free white male inhabitant above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been an actual resident of said Territory at the time of the passage of this act, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to Edition: current; Page: [908] any office within the said Territory; but the qualification of voters, and of holding office, at all subsequent elections, shall be such as shall be prescribed by the legislative assembly.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power of the Territory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation consistent with the Constitution of the United States and the provisions of this act; but no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil; no tax 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. Every bill which shall have passed the council and house of representatives of the said Territory shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor of the Territory; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon their journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; and if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, to be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within three days (Sunday excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be