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SECTION 1. That no inconvenience may arise from a change of territorial to a permanent State government, it is declared that all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well of individuals as of bodies corporate, shall continue as if no such change had taken place: and all process, which shall, before the third Monday in September next, be issued in the name of the Alabama Territory, shall be as valid as if issued in the name of the State.
SEC. 2. All fines, penalties, forfeitures, and escheats, accruing to the Alabama Territory, shall accrue to the use of the State.
SEC. 3. The validity of all bonds and recognizances executed to the governor of the Alabama Territory, shall not be impaired by the change of government, but may be sued for and recovered in the name of the governor of the State of Alabama and his successors in office; and all criminal or penal actions, arising or now depending within the limits of this State, shall be prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of said State, all causes of action arising to individuals, and all suits at law or in equity, now depending in the several courts within the limits of this state, and not already barred by law, may be commenced in, or transferred to, such courts as may have jurisdiction thereof.
SEC. 4. All officers, civil or military, now holding commissions under the authority of the United States or of the Alabama Territory, within this State, shall continue to hold and exercise their respective offices under the authority of this State, until they shall be superseded under the authority of this constitution, and shall receive from the treasury of this State the same compensation which they heretofore received, in proportion to the time they shall be so employed. The governor shall have power to fill vacancies by commissions, to expire so soon as elections or appointments can be made to such offices by authority of this constitution.
SEC. 5. All laws, and parts of laws, now in force in the Alabama Territory, which are not repugnant to the provision of this constitution, shall continue and remain in force as the laws of this State, until they expire by their own limitation, or shall be altered, or repealed, by the legislature thereof.
SEC. 6. Every white male person above the age of twenty-one years, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and resident in this State at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall be deemed a qualified elector at the first election to be holden in this State. And
every white male person who shall reside within the limits of this State at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and shall be otherwise qualified, shall be entitled to hold any office or place of honor, trust, or profit under this State; anything in this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.
SEC. 7. The president of this convention shall issue writs of election directed to the sheriffs of the several counties, requiring them to cause an election to be held for a governor, representative to the Congress of the United States, members of the general assembly, clerks of the several courts, and sheriffs of the respective counties, at the respective places of election in said counties, on the third Monday and the day following in September next, which elections shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by the existing election laws of the Alabama Territory; and the said governor and members of the general assembly, then duly elected, shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices, for the time prescribed by this constitution, and until their successors shall be duly qualified.
Sec. 8. Until the first enumeration shall be made, as directed by this constitution, the county of Autauga shall be entitled to two representatives; the county of Baldwin to one representative; the county of Blount to three representatives; the county of Cahawba to one representative; the county of Clarke to two representatives; the county of Conecuh to two representatives ; the county of Cotaco to two representatives; the county of Dallas to two representatives; the county of Franklin to two representatives; the county of Lauderdale to two representatives; the county of Lawrence to two representatives; the county of Madison to eight representatives; the county of Marion to ne rerresentative; the county of Monroe to five representatives; the county of Mont
gomery to three representatives; the county of Mobile to one representative; the county of Saint Clair to one representative; the county of Shelby to two representatives; the county of Tuscaloosa to two representatives; and the county of Washington to two representatives. And each county shall be entitled to one senator, who shall serve for one term.
SEC. 9. The oaths of office, herein directed to be taken, may be administered by any justice of the peace, until the general assembly shall otherwise direct.
This convention, for and in behalf of the people inhabiting this State, do accept the proposition offered by the act of Congress, under which they are assembled; and this convention, for and in behalf of the people inhabiting this state, do ordain, agree, and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the waste or unappropriated lands lying within this State; and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States, and, moreover, that each and every tract of land, sold by the United States after the first day of September next, shall be and remain exempt from any tax, laid by the order or under the authority of this State, whether for State, county, township, parish, or any other purpose whatsoever, for the term of five years from and after the respective days of sales thereof; and that the lands belonging to the citizens of the United States, residing out of the limits of this State, shall never be taxed higher than the lands belonging to persons residing therein, and that no tax shall be imposed on the property of the United States; and that all navigable waters within this State shall forever remain public highways, free to the citizens of this State and of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll therefor, imposed by this State: and this ordinance is hereby declared irrevocable, without the consent of the United States.
Done in convention at Huntsville, this second day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, and of American Independence the fortyfourth.
J. W. WALKER, President. Attest:
JOHN CAMPBELL, Secretary.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1819.
FIRST.-Adopted January, 1830.
Strike out the thirteenth section of the fifth article of constitution, and in liou thereof insert the following:
The judges of the several courts of this State shall hold their offices for the term of six years; and for wilsul 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 for which such removal shall be required, 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 all such cases the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journals of each house respectively: And provided, also, That the judges now in office may hold their offices until the session of the general assembly which shall be held in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified, unless removed by address or impeachment.
Strike out the words “one year” where they occur in the second section of the third article, and insert in lieu thereof “two years."
Strike out the words “every year” where they occur in the third section of third article, and insert in lieu thereof " at each session."
Strike out the thirteen section of the third article, and insert in lieu thereof the following: “At the first meeting of the general assembly after the adoption of the proposed amendments, the senators when convened shall be divided into two classes, as nearly equal as may be. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the two next ensuing years; so that one-half may be biennially chosen thereafter, and a rotation thereby kept up perpetually:
Strike out the twenty-ninth section of the third article, which permanently locates the seat of government in this State.
Strike out the word “annual” where it occurs in the eight section of the fourth article, and insert in lieu thereof, “ biennial.”
THIRD.-Adopted 1850. Strike out the ninth section of the third article of the constitution, and in lieu thereof insert the following:
“Sec. 9. The general assembly shall cause an enumeration to be made in the year eighteen hundred and fifty, and eighteen hundred and fifty-five, and every ten years thereafter, of all the white inhabitants of this State; and the whole number of representatives shall at the first regular session after such enumeration, be apportioned among the several counties, cities, or towns entitled to separate representation, according to their respective number of white inhabitants, and the said apportionment when made shall not be subject to alteration until after the next census shall be taken. The number of representatives shall not exceed one hundred, and the number of senators shall not exceed thirty-three; yet each county, notwithstanding it may not have a number of white inhabitants equal to the ratio fixed, shall have one representative."
Strike out the thirteenth section of the third article of the constitution, and insert in lieu thereof the following:
“SEC. 13. Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years: yet at the general election after every new apportionment, elections shall be held anew in every senatorial district; and the senators elected, when convened at the first session, shall be divided by lot into two classes, as nearly equal as may be : the seats of those of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of two years, and those of the second class at the expiration of four years, dating in both cases from the day of election, so that one-half may be biennially chosen, except as above provided.”
At the end of the twelfth section of the fifth article of the constitution add
“But at and after the session of the general assembly to be held in the winter of the years eighteen hundred and forty-nine-fifty, the general assembly shall provide by law for the election of judges of the circuit courts by the qualified electors of their circuits respectively, and for the elections of judges of the courts of probate and other inferior courts (not including chancellors) by the qualified electors of the counties, cities, or districts for which such courts may be respectively established; the first Monday in November in any year shall be the day for any election of such judges by the people, or such other day, not to be within a less period than two months of the general election for governor, members of the general assembly, or members of Congress, as the general assembly may by law prescribe: but no change to be made in any circuit or district, or in the mode or time of electing, shall affect the right of any judge to hold office during the term prescribed by the constitution, except at the first elections thereof to be made by the people after the ratification of these amendments or either of them, which elections shall then all be had on the same day throughout the State, and the terms of the judges then to be elected shall commence on that day : vacancies in the office of judge shall be filled by the gov
ernor, and the persons appointed thereto by him shall hold until the next first Monday in November, or other election day of judges, and until the election and qualification of their successors respectively; and the general assembly shall have power to annex to the offices of any of the judges of the inferior courts the duties of clerks of such courts respectively."
CONSTITUTION OF ALABAMA-1865.*
We, the people of the State of Alabama, by our representatives in convention assembled,
in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure to ourselves and to our posterity the rights of life, liberty, and property; invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama—that is to say:
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare
SECTION 1. That no man, and no set of men, are entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments or privileges, but in consideration of public services.
SEC. 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit; and that, therefore, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their form of government, in such manner as they may deem expedient.
SEC. 3. That no person within this State shall, upon any pretence whatever, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to his own conscience; nor be hurt, molested, or restrained in his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasions, provided he does not disturb others in their religious worship.
SEC. 4. That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship, nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate, for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State ; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.
SEC. 5. That every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
SEC. 6. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable seizures or searches; and that no warrant shall issue to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
An ordinance of secession from the United States was adopted by a convention of the people of Alabama on the rith of January, 1861, and that convention made such changes in the State constitution as were rendered necessary by the transfer of allegiance to the Confederate States government.
When Lewis E. Parsons was appointed provisional governor of Alabama by the President of the United States, he called a constitutional convention, which assembled at Montgomery on the 12th of September, 1865. Several ordinances were passed, one of which declared the ordinance of secession of 1861 null and void, and the above constitution was adopted, but not submitted to the people.
Sec. 7. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused has a right to be heard by himself and counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation, to have a copy thereof, to be confronted by the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and, in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offence was committed; and that he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by due course of law.
Sec. 8. That no person shall be accused, arrested, or detained, except in cases ascertained by law, and according to the forms which the same has prescribed; and that no person shall be punished, but by virtue of a law established and promulgated prior to the offence, and legally applied. Sec. 9. That no person shall
, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally by information ; except in cases arising in the land and naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service, or, by leave of the court, for oppression or misdemeanor in office; Provided, That in cases of petit larceny, assault, assault and battery, affray, unlawful assemblies, vagrancy, and other misdemeanors, the general assembly may by law dispense with a grand jury, and authorize such prosecutions before justices of the peace, or such other inferior courts as may be by law established; and the proceedings in such cases shall be regulated by law.
Sec. 10. That no person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.
Sec. 11. That no person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending, before any tribunal in this State, by himself or counsel, any civil cause to which he is a party.
SEC. 12. That the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
SEC. 13. That in prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and that in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court.
Sec. 14. That all courts shall be open ; and that every person, for any injury done him, in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have a remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered, without sale, denial, or delay.
Sec. 15. That suits may be brought against the State, in such manner, and in such courts, as may be by law provided.
SEC. 16. That excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel punishments be inflicted.
Sec. 17. That all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offences, when the proof is evident, or the presumption great; and that excessive bail shall not, in any case, be required.
Sec. 18. That the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
Sec. 19. That treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort; and that no person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.
Sec. 20. That no person shall be attainted of treason by the general assembly; and that no conviction shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate.
SEC. 21. That the estates of suicides shall descend, or vest, as in cases of natural death; and that, if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.
Sec. 22. That the person of a debtor, when there is not a strong presumption of fraud, shall not be detained in prison, after delivering up his estate, for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
SEC. 23. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, except by the general assembly, or by its authority.
SEC. 24. That no ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be made. Sec. 25. That private property shall not be taken or applied for public use, unless