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shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly of this commonwealth, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the same.

SEC. 18. The general assembly shall direct by law how persons who now are, or may hereafter become, securities for public officers may be relieved or discharged on account of such securityship.



SECTION 1. The general assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, or without paying their owners, previous to such emancipation, a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State. They shall pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming a charge to any county in this commonwealth. They shall have full power to prevent slaves being brought into this State as merchandise. They shall have full power to prevent any slaves being brought into this State who have been, since the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, or may hereafter be, imported into any of the United States from a foreign country. And they shall have full power to pass such laws as may be necessary to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide for them necessary clothing and provision, to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb, and in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of their owner or owners.

Sec. 2. In the prosecution of slaves for felony, no inquest by a grand jury shall be necessary, but the proceedings in such prosecutions shall be regulated by law, except that the general assembly shall have no power to deprive them of the privilege of an impartial trial by a petit jury.


SECTION 1. The seat of government shall continue in the town of Frankfort, until it shall be removed by law : Provided, however, That two-thirds of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall concur in the passage of such law.



SECTION 1. When experience shall point out the necessity of amending this constitution, and when a majority of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall, within the first twenty days of their stated annual session, concur in passing a law, specifying the alterations intended to be made, for taking the sense of the good people of this State as to the necessity and expediency of calling a convention, it shall be the duty of the several sheriffs and other returning officers, at the next general election which shall be held for representatives after the passage of such law, to open a poll for and make return to the secretary, for the time being, of the names of all those entitled to vote for representatives who have voted for calling a convention; and if thereupon it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this State entitled to vote for representatives have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall direct that a similar poll shall be opened and taken for the next year; and if thereupon it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this state entitled to vote for representatives have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next session, call a convention, to consist of as many members as there shall be in the house of representatives, and no more; to be chosen in the same manner and proportion, at the same places and at the same time, that representatives are, by citizens entiiled to vote for representatives; and to meet within three months after the said election for the purpose of readopting, amending, or changing this constitution. But if it shall appear, by the vote of either year, as aforesaid, that a majority of all the citizens entitled to vote for representatives did not vote for a convention, a convention shall not be called.


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

SECTION 1. That all free men, when they form a social compact, are equal, and that no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive, separate public emoluments or privileges from the community but in consideration of public services.

SEC. 2. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their government, in such manner as they may think proper.

SEC. 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any piace of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious societies or modes of worship.

SEC. 4. That the civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen shall in no wise be diminished or enlarged on account of his religion.

SEC. 5. That all elections shall be free and equal.

Sec. 6. That the ancient mode of trial by jury shall be held sacred, and the right thereof remain in violate.

SEC. 7. That printing-presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the legislature or any branch of government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

SEC. 8. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

Sec. 9. 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 them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

SEC. 10. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and, in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

SEC. 11. That no person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or navai forces, or the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger, by leave of the court, for oppression or misdemeanor in office.

SEC. 12. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of his life or limb, nor shall any man's property be taken or applied to public use without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being previously made to him.

Sec. 13. That all courts shall be open, and every person, for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by the due course of laws, and right and justice administered without sale, denial, or delay.

SEC. 14. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the legislature or its authority.

SEC. 15. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.

SEC. 16. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or presumption great; and the privilege 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. 17. That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 18. That no ex post facto law, nor any law impairing contracts, shall be made. Sec. 19. That no person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the legislature. SEC. 26. That no attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor, except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate to the commonwealth.

SEC. 21. That the estates of such persons as shall destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death; and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

SEC. 22. That the citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together for their 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. 23. That the rights of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

SEC. 24. That no standing army shall, in time of peace, 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. 25. That no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

SEC. 26. That the legislature shall not grant any title of nobility or hereditary distinction, nor create any office the appointment to which shall be for a longer term than during good behavior.

SEC. 27. That emigration from this State shall not be prohibited.

Sec. 28. To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, 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 contrary to this constitution, shall be void.


That no inconvenience may arise from the alterations and amendments made in the constitution of this commonwealth, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared and ordained :

SECTION 1. That all laws of this commonwealth in force at the time of making the said alterations and amendments, and not inconsistent therewith, and all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well of individuals as of bodies-corporate, shall continue as if the said alterations and amendments had not been made.

SEC. 2. That all officers now filling any office or appointment shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective offices or appointments for the terms therein expressed, unless by this constitution it is otherwise directed.

Sec. 3. The oaths of office herein directed to be taken may be administered by any justice of the peace until the legislature shall otherwise direct.

SEC. 4. The general assembly, to be held in November next, shall apportion the representatives and senators, and lay off the State into senatorial districts conformable to the regulations prescribed by this constitution. In fixing those apportionments, and in establishing those districts, they shall take for their guide the enumeration directed by law to be made in the present year by the commissioners of the tax, and the apportionments thus made shall remain unaltered until the end of the stated annual session of the general assembly in the year eighteen hundred and three.

SEC. 5. In order that no inconvenience may arise from the change made by this constitution in the time of holding the general election, it is hereby ordained that the first election for governor, lieutenant-governor, and members of the general assembly shall commence on the first Monday in May, in the year eighteen hundred. The persons then elected shall continue in office during the several terms of service prescribed by this constit and until the next general election which shall be held after their said terms shall have respectively expired. The returns for the said first election of governor and lieutenant governor shall be made to the secretary within fifteen days from the day of election, who shall, as soon as may be, examine and count the same in the presence of at least two judges of the court of appeals or district courts, and shall declare who are the persons thereby duly elected, and give them official notice of their election; and if any person shall be equal and highest on the poll, the said judges and secretary shall determine the election by lot.

Sec. 6. This constitution, except so much thereof as is therein otherwise directed, shall not be in force until the first day of June, in the year eighteen hundred; on which day the whole thereof shall take full and complete effect.

Done in convention, at Frankfort, the seventeenth day of August, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the twenty-fourth.




We, the representatives of the people of the State of Kentucky in convention assembled,

to secure to all the citizens thereof the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and property, and of pursuing happiness, do ordain and establish this constitution for its government:



SECTION 1. The powers of the government of the State of Kentucky shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them be 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 judiciary 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 hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.



SECTION 1. The legislative power shall be vested in a house of representatives and senate, which together shall be styled “The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

* This constitution was framed by a convention which met at Frankfort October 7, 1849, and com. pleted its labors June 11, 1850. It was submitted to the people, and ratified by 71,563 votes against 20,302 votes.

SEC. 2. The members of the house of representatives shall continue in service for the term of two years from the day of the general election, and no longer.

SEC. 3. Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in August in every second year, and the mode of holding the elections shall be regulated by law.

Sec. 4. No person shall be a representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, has not attained the age of twenty-four years; and who has not resided in this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county, town, or city for which he may be chosen.

SEC. 5. The general assembly shall divide each county of this commonwealth into convenient election-precincts, or may delegate power to do so to such county authorities as may be designated by law; and elections for representatives for the several counties shall be held at the places of holding their respective courts, and in the several election-precincts into which the counties may be divided: Provided, That when it shall appear to the general assembly that any city or town hath a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall be invested with the privilege of a separate representation, in either or both houses of the general assembly, which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio which may, from time to time, be fixed by law; and, thereafter, elections for the county in which such city or town is situated shall not be held therein; but such city or town shall not be entitled to a separate representation, unless such county, after the separation, shall also be entitled to one or more representatives. That whenever a city or town shall be entitled to a separate representation in either house of the general assembly, and by its numbers shall be entitled to more than one representative, such city or town shall be divided, by squares which are contiguous, so as to make the most compact form, into representative districts, as nearly equal as may be, equal to the number of representatives to which such city or town may be entitled; and one representative shall be elected from each district. In like manner shall said city or town be divided into senatorial districts, when by the apportionment more than one senator shall be allotted to such city or town, and a senator shall be elected from each senatorial district; but no ward or municipal division shall be divided by such division of senatorial or representative districts, unless it be necessary to equalize the elective, senatorial, or representative districts.

Sec. 6. Representation shall be equal and uniform in this commonwealth, and shall be forever regulated and ascertained by the number of qualified voters therein. In the year 1850, again in the year 1857, and every eighth year thereafter, an enumeration of all the qualified voters of the State shall be made; and, to secure uniformity and equality of representation, the State is hereby laid off into ten districts. The first district shall be composed of the counties of Fulton, Hickman, Ballard, McCracken, Graves, Calloway, Marshall, Livingston, Crittenden, Union, Hopkins, Caldwell

, and Trigg. The second district shall be composed of the counties of Christian, Muhlenburg, Henderson, Daviess, Hancock, Ohio, Breckinridge, Meade, Grayson, Butler, and Edmonson. The third district shall be composed of the counties of Todd, Logan, Simpson, Warren, Allen, Monroe, Barren, and Hart. The fourth district shall be composed of the counties of Cumberland, Adair, Green, Taylor, Clinton, Russell, Wayne, Pulaski, Casey, Boyle, and Lincoln. The fifth district shall be composed of the counties of Harden, Larue, Bullitt, Spencer, Nelson, Washington, Marion, Mercer, and Anderson. The sixth district shall be composed of the counties of Garrard, Madison, Estill, Owsley, Rockcastle, Laurel, Clay, Whitley, Knox, Harlan, Perry, Letcher, Pike, Floyd, and Johnson. The seventh district shall be composed of the counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Trimble, Carroll, Henry, and Shelby, and the city of Louisville. The eighth district shall be composed of the counties of Bourbon, Fayette, Scott, Owen, Franklin, Woodford, and Jessamine. The ninth district shall be composed of the counties of Clarke, Bath, Montgomery, Fleming, Lewis, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence, Morgan, and Breathitt. The tenth district shall be composed of the counties of Mason, Bracken, Nicholas, Harrison, Pendleton, Campbell, Grant, Kenton, Boone, and Gallatin. The number of representatives shall, at the several sessions of the general assembly next after the making of the enumerations, be apportioned among

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