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Preamble. We, the people of the territory of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the state of Iowa, the boundaries whereof shall be as follows:

Boundaries. Beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi river, at a point due east of the middle of the mouth of the main channel of the Des Moines river; thence up the middle of the main channel of the said Des Moines river, to a point on said river where the northern boundary line of the state of Missouri-as established by the constitution of that state, adopted June 12th, 1820—crosses the said middle of the main channel of the said Des Moines river; thence westwardly along the said northern boundary line of the state of Missouri, as established at the time aforesaid, until an extension of said line intersect the middle of the main channel of the Missouri river; thence up the middle of the main channel of the said Missouri river to a point opposite the middle of the main channel of the Big Sioux river, according to Nicollett's map; thence up the main channel of the said Big Sioux river, according to said map, until it is intersected by the parallel of forty-three degrees and thirty minutes north latitude; thence east along said parallel of forty-three degrees and thirty minutes until said parallel intersect the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi river; thence down the middle of the main channel of said Mississippi river to the place of beginning.



1. Rights. All men are, by nature, free and independent, and have certain unalienable rights-among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

2. Object of Government. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people,

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and they have the right at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require 'it. ..

3. Religion: The general assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of region, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; nor shall any person. He compelled to attend any place of worship, pay tithes, taxes, or other rates.for building or repairing places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry. :. 4. Religious test, etc. No religious test shall be required as a quilification for any office or public trust, and no person shall be deprived of any of his rights, privileges or capacities, or disqualified from the performance of any of his public or private duties, or rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity, in consequence of his opinions on the subject of religion.

5. Duels. Any citizen of this state who may hereafter be engaged, either directly or indirectly, in a duel, either as principal, or accessory before the fact, shall forever be disqualified from holding any office under the constitution and laws of this state.

6. Laws. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation.

7. Liberty of speech and the press. Every person may speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury, and, if it appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous was true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted.

8. Seizures and searches. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the papers and things to be seized.

9. Jury trial. The right of trial by jury shall remain in violate; but the general assembly may authorize trial by a jury of a less number than twelve men in inferior courts.

[3] 10. Rights of accused. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have a right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury; to be informed of the accusation against him; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for his own witnesses, and to have the assistance of counsel.

11. Criminal offences. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offence, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in cases cognizable by justices of the peace, or arising in the army or navy, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger.

12. Second trial—bail. No person shall, after acquittal, be tried for the same offence. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offences where the proof is evident or the presumption great.

13. Habeas corpus. The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

14. Army. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. No standing army shall be kept up by the state in time of peace; and, in time of war, no appropriation for a standing army shall be for a longer time than two years.

15. Soldiers. No soldiers shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, except in the manner prescribed by law.

16. Treason. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort. No person

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shall be convicted of treason, unless on the evidence of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.

17. Bail-fines. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed, and cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted.

18. Property. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

19. Imprisonment for debt. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action, on mesne or final process, unless in case of fraud; and no person shall be imprisoned for a militia fine in time of peace.

20. Right to assemble. The people have the right freely to assemble together, to counsel for the common good; to make known their opinions to their representatives, and to petition for redress of grievances.

21. Ex-post facto. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts shall ever be passed.

22. Foreigners. Foreigners who are, or who may hereafter become, residents of this state, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment and descent of property as native born citizens.

[4] 23. Slavery. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this state.

24. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others, retained by the people.



1. Electors. Every white male citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the state six months next preceding the election, and the county in which he claims his vote twenty days, shall be entitled to vote at all elections which are now, or hereafter may be, authorized by law.

2. Privilege. Electors shall, in all cases except treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest on the days of election, during their attendance at such election, going to and returning therefrom.

3. Military duty. No elector shall be obliged to perform militia duty on the day of election, except in time of war or public danger.

4. U. S. soldiers. No person in the military, naval or marine service of the United States, shall be considered a resident of this state by being stationed in any garrison, barrack, or military or naval place or station within this state.

5. Exceptions. No idiot or insane person, or person convicted of any infamous crime, shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector.

6 Ballot. All elections by the people shall be by ballot.



1. Powers. The powers of the government of Iowa shall be divided into three separate departments—the legislative, the executive, and the judicial; and no person charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments, shall exercise any function appertaining to either of the others, except in cases hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.


1. Legislative. The legislative authority of this state shall be vested in a senate and house of representatives, which shall be designated the general assembly of the state of Iowa; and the style of their laws shall commence in the following manner: “Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of iowa.'

[5] 2. Sessions. The sessions of the general assembly shall be biennial, and shall commence on the first Monday of December next ensuing the election of its members; unless the governor of the state shall, in the interim, convene the general assembly by proclamation.

3. Members H. R. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen every second year, by the qualified electors of their respective districts, on the first Monday in August; whose term of office shall continue two years from the day of the general election.

4. Qualifications. No person shall be a member of the house of representatives who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years; be a free white male citizen of the United States, and have been an inhabitant of this state or territory one year next preceding his election; and at the time of his election, have an actual residence of thirty days in the county or district he may be chosen to represent. .

5. Senators. Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, at the same time and place as representatives; they shall be twenty-five years of age, and possess the qualifications of representatives as to residence and citizenship.

6. Number. The number of senators shall not be less than one-third, nor more than one half the representative body; and at the first session of the general assembly, after this constitution takes effect, the senators shall be divided by lot, as equally as may be, into two classes; the seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, so that one half shall be chosen every two years.

7. Senators increased. When the number of senators is increased, they shall be annexed by lot to one of the two classes, so as to keep them as nearly equal in number as practicable.

8. Officers and contested elections. Each house shall choose its own officers and judge of the qualification, election, and return of its own members. A contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

9. Quorum. 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 attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide..

10. Powers. Each house shall sit upon its own adjournments, keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same; determine its rules of proceedings, punish members for disorderly behavior, and with the consent of twothirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the general assembly of a free and independent state.

11. Protest. Every member of the general assembly shall have the liberty to dissent from, or protest against, any act or resolution which he may [6] think injurious to the public or an individual, and have the reasons for his dissent entered on the journals; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house,

on any question, shall, at the desire of any two members present, be entered on the journals.

12. Privileges. Senators and representatives, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to and returning from the same.

13. Vacancies. When vacancies occur in either house, the governor, or the person exercising the functions of the governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

14. Secrecy. The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasion as in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.

15. Adjournment. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting,

16. Bills. Bills may originate in either house, except bills for revenue, which shall always originate in the house of representatives, and may be amended, altered, or rejected by the other; and every bill having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.

17. Veto. Every bill which shall have passed the general assembly shall, before it become a law, be presented to the governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the same upon the journal and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, it again pass both houses, by yeas and nays, by a majority of two-thirds of the members of each house present, it shall become a law notwithstanding the governor's objections. If any bill shall not be returned within three days after it shall have been presented to him, Sunday excepted, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly, by adjournment, prevent such return.

18. Receipts, etc. An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be attached to and published with the laws, at every regular session of the general assembly.

19. Impeachment. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, and all impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

20. Officer's liability. The governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and judges of the supreme and district courts, shall be liable to im. peachment for [7] any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under this state; but the party convicted or acquitted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial and punishment, according to law. All other civil officers shall be tried for misdemeanors in office in such manner as the general assembly may provide..

21. Appointments. No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

22. Who ineligible. No person holding any lucrative office under the United States, or this state, or any other power, shall be eligible to the general assembly: provided, that offices in the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, or the office of justice of the peace, or postmasters whose compensation does not exceed one hundred dollars per annum, shall not be deemed lucrative.

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