Изображения страниц

laws as may


sidered as a part of the county or counties from which it was taken, until entitled by numbers to the right of separate representation.

17. The General Assembly shall, at their first session, which may be holden in the year eighteen hundred and twenty-eight, or at the next succeeding session, arrange and designate boundaries for the several counties within the limits of this State, to which the Indian title shall have been extinguished, in such manner as they may deem expedient, which boundaries shall not be afterwards altered, unless by the agreement of two-thirds of both branches of the General Assembly, and in all cases of ceded territory acquired by the State, the General Assembly may make such arrangements and designations of the boundaries of counties within such ceded territory, as they may deem expedient, which shall only be altered in like manner; provided, that no county hereafter to be formed shall be of less extent than nine hundred

square miles. 18. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass such necessary and

proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties, who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.

19. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly, as soon as circumstances will permit, to form a penal code, founded on principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice.

20. 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 General Assembly may direct: and a like revision, digest, and promulgation shall be made within every subsequent period of ten years.

21. The General Assembly shall make provision by law for obtaining correct knowledge of the several objects proper for improvement in relation to the navigable waters, and to the roads in this State, and for making a systematic and economical application of the means appropriated to those objects.

22. In the event of the annexation of any foreign territory to this State, by a cession from the United States, laws may be passed, extending to the inhabitants of such territory all the rights and privileges which may be required by the terms of such cession; anything in this Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding

Education. Schools, and the means of education, shall for ever be encouraged in this State; and the General Assembly shall take measures to preserve from unnecessary waste or damage such lands as are, or hereafter may be, granted by the United States for the use of schools within each township in this State, and apply the funds, which may be raised from such lands, in strict conformity to the object of such grant. The General Assembly shall take like measures for the improvement of such lands as have been or may be hereafter granted

by the United States to this State, for the support of a seminary of learning, and the moneys, which may be raised from such lands, by rent, lease, or sale, or from any other quarter, for the purpose aforesaid, shall be and remain a fund for the exclusive support of a State University, for the promotion of the arts, literature, and the sciences; and it shall be the duty of the General Assembly, as early as may be, to provide effectual means for the improvement and perma nent security of the funds and endowments of such institution.

Establishment of Banks. One State bank may be established, with such number of branches as the General Assembly, may, from time to time, deem expedient: Provided, that no branch bank shall be established, nor bank charter renewed, under the authority of this State, without the concurrence of two-thirds of both houses of the General Assembly; and provided, also, that not more than one bank nor branch bank shall be established, nor bank charter renewed, at any one session of the General Assembly; nor shall any bank or branch bank be established. or bank charter renewed, but in conformity with the following rules:

Ist. At least two-fifths of the capital stock shall be reserved for the State.

2d. A proportion of power in the direction of the bank shall be reserved to the State, equal at least to its proportion of stock therein.

3d. The State, and the individual stockholders, shall be liable respectively, for the debts of the bank, in proportion to their stock holden therein.

4th. The remedy for collecting debts shall be reciprocal, for and against the bank.

5th. No bank shall commence operations until half of the capital stock subscribed for be actually paid in gold or silver, which amount shall, in no case be less than one hundred thousand dollars.

6th. In case any bank or branch bank shall neglect or refuse to pay, on demand, any bill, note, or obligation, issued by the corporation, according to the promise therein expressed, the holder of any such note, bill, or obligation, shall be entitled to receive and recover interest thereon, until the same shall be paid, or specie payments are resumed, by said bank, at the rate of twelve per cent. per annum from the date of such demand, unless the General Assembly shall sanction such suspension of specie payments; and the General Assembly shall have power, after such neglect or refusal, to adopt such measures as they may deem proper, to protect and secure the rights of all concerned: and to declare the charter of such bank forfeited.

7th. After the establishment of a general State bank, the banks of this State now existing may be admitted as branches thereof, upon such terms as the Legislature and the said banks may agree, subject nevertheless to the preceding rules.

Slaves. Sec. 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 one 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: provided, that such person or slave be the bona fide property of such emigrants : and provided, also, that laws may be passed to prohibit the introduction into this State of slaves who have committed high crimes in other states or territories. They shall have power to pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming a public charge. They shall have full power to prevent slaves from being brought into this State as merchandise, and also to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide for them necessary food and clothing, 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 the owner or owners.

2. In the prosecution of slaves for crimes of higher grade than petit larceny, the General Assembly shall have no power to deprive them of an impartial trial by a petit jury.

3. Any person who shall maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of life, shall suffer such punishment as would be inflict d in case the like offence had been committed on a free white person, and on the like proof, except in case of insurrection of such slave.

Mode of Amending and Revising the Constitution. The General Assembly, whenever two-thirds of each house shall deem it necessary, may propose amendments to this Constitution ; which proposed amendments shall be duly published in print, at least three months before the next general election of representatives, for the consideration of the people; and it shall be the duty of the several returning officers, at the next general election which shall be held for representatives, to open a poll for, and make a return to the Secretary of the State for the time being, of the names of all those voting for representatives, who have voted on such proposed amendments; and if thereupon it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this State voting for representatives, have voted in favor of such proposed amendments, and two-thirds of each house of the next General Assembly shall, after such an election, and before another, ratify the same amendments by yeas and nays, they shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as parts of this Constitution : provided, that the said proposed amendments shall, at each of the said sessions, have been read three times, on three several days in each house.

[merged small][graphic][subsumed]


In 1716 the French formed a settlement at Natchez, and claimed the territory as belonging to Louisiana. This colony was massacred by the Indians in 1729. In 1763 it was ceded to the British, and north of the 31st degree of north latitude, was in the chartered limits of Georgia ; south of that belonged to West Florida. This part was ceded to the United States by Spain, in 1798. In 1800 this State, with Alabama, was constituted a territory: In 1817 Mississippi was separated from Alabama, and became an independent State. It adopted its first Constitution in 1817, which was revised in 1832.

Area, 45,760 sq. miles. Pop. in 1850, 592,853, of whom 300,419 were slaves. Free negroes, 898.


ARTICLE I.Declaration of Rights. That the general, 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 in rights; 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.


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 think expedient.

3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in this State: Provided, that the right hereby declared and established shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State.

4. No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, or mode of worship.

5. That no person shall be molested for his opinions on any subject whatever, nor suffer any civil or political incapacity, or acquire any civil or political advantage, in consequence of such opinions, except in cases provided for in this Constitution.

6. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects; being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

7. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech, or of the press.

8. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted ; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.

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 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.

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 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 and public trial by an impartial jury of the county where the offence was committed that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by due course of law.

11. No person shall be accused, arrested or detained, except in cases ascertained by law, and according to the form which the same has prescribed; and no person shall be punished but in virtue of a law established and promulgated prior to the offence, and legally applied.

12. That no person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded agair st criminally by information : except in cases arising in

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »