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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 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 valide; 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, 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 exe. cuted 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 Statc.

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, A. D. 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, A. D. 1865, and either before or subsequent to the roth day of January, A. D. 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, A. D. 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, A. D. 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 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, A. D. 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, A. D. 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 roth 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 roth 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.*

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 :

se Digest, Breast few hlandu

1885)

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, 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 pretence, 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

* This constitution was framed at a convention held under the reconstruction laws at Tallahassee, January 20, 1868, which ignored the constitution of 1865, and completed its work February 25, 1868. It was submitted to the people in May, 1868, and ratified by 14,520 votes against 9,491 votes.

that the matter charged as libellous is true, but was published from good motives, the party shall be acquitted or exonerated.

SEC. JI. 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 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 enemics, 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 Íslands; 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.

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, A. D. 1868, and thereafter on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of January, commencing in the year A. D. 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, A. D. 1868, and thereafter on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, commencing with the year A. D. 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.

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.

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