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from Africa or any foreign place, after the first day of October next. The Legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipa. tion 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.

12. Any person who shall maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of his 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.

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.

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of the duties of their several offices, during the periods for which they were appointed, or until they shall be superseded by appointments made in conformity to this Constitution: and all laws now in force shall continue to operate, so far as they are compatible with this Constitution, until repealed; and it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass all necessary laws and regulations for carrying this Constitution into full effect.

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 se ral 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.


Adopted in 1839. Whereas a part of the thirty-first 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.

Sec. 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 Assemby 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 office 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 members of the General Assembly—the provisions of this act not to go into effect until the year eighteen hundred and forty-three.

2. And be it further enacted, by the authority of the aforesaid, that whenever it shall so happen that the term of office of any of the judges, State Attorney, or solicitors, shall expire at any time during the recess of the General Assembly, then and in that case it shall be the duty of his cxcellency, the Governor, to fill such vacancy by appointment, until the next General Assembly thereafter to be held, when such vacancy shall be filled by election by the Legislature, until the next election of judges, State's Attorney, or solicitors, shall take place.


Florida was discovered by Sebastian Cabot, sailing under the English Flag, in 1497. Ponce de Leon, a Spanish adventurer from Hispaniola, explored this country in part in 1512, and again in 1516.

In 1539, Hernando de Soto, who had been an officer under Pizarro in the conquest of Peru, sailed from Cuba (of which he was Governor), with an armed force to Florida. They soon overrun the peninsula, but his followers were mostly cut off, and he soon after died.

In 1763 this territory was ceded to Great Britain by Spain, in exchange for Havanna. The Spanish reconquered it in 1781, and it was confirmed to them in 1783. In 1821 the Spaniards ceded it to the United States, as a compensation for spoilations in their commerce.

This State was admitted into the Union on the 3d of March 1845, Its Constitution was adopted in 1838. Area, 57,000 sq. ms. Pop. in 1850, 87,387. of which 39,341 are slaves, and 926 Free blacks.

CONSTITUTION. We, the people of the Territory of Florida, by our delgates in Convention assembled, at the city of St. Joseph, on Monday, the third day of December, A. D. 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 :

Sec. 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.

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 inalienablo and indefeasible right to alter or abolish their form of government in such manner as they may deem expedient.

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.

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 Štate.

5. That every citizen may feely 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.

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

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

8. That no freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, or 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.

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.

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 coinmitted; and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

20. That the people 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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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 invio

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