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[A State convention, which met at Little Rock, passed an ordinance of secession on the 6th of May, 1861, and on the 22d amended the State constitution of 1836 by inserting the words “ Confederate States” in place of " United States," with a few other unimportant changes. These amendments were not submitted to the people.


We, the people of the State of Arkansas, having the right to establish for ourselves a Constitution in conformity with the Constitution of the United States of America, recognizing the legitimate consequences of the existing rebellion, do hereby declare the entire action of the late convention of the State of Arkansas, which assembled in the city of Little Rock, on the fourth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, was, and is, null and void, and is not now, and never has been binding and obligatory upon the people.

That all the action of the State of Arkansas under the authority of said convention, of its ordinances, or of its constitution, whether legislative, executive, judicial or military (except as hereinafter provided,) was, and is hereby declared null and void; Prorided, That this ordinance shall not be so construed as to affect the rights of individuals, or change county boundaries, or county seats, or to make invalid the acts of justices of the peace, or other officers in their authority to administer oaths, or take and certify the acknowledgment of deeds of conveyance or other instruments of writing, or in the solemnization of marriages: And provided further, That no debt or liability of the State of Arkansas incurred by the action of said convention, or of the legislature or any department of the government under the authority of either, shall ever be recognized as obligatory.

And we, the people of the State of Arkansas, in order to establish therein a State government, loyal to the Government of the United States—to secure to ourselves and our posterity, the protection and blessings of the Federal Constitution, and the enjoyment of all the rights of liberty and the free pursuit of happiness, do agree to continue ourselves as a free and independent State, by the name and style of the State of Arkansas," and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government thereof:



We do declare and establish, ratify and confirm the following as the permanent boundaries of the State of Arkansas, that is to say: Beginning in the middle of the Mississippi River, on the parallel of thirty

* Verified by idem. See note to Constitution of Arkansas, 1836. Rose's edition, pp. 243–276. See also Appendix to present work.

a On the tth of January, 1864, and subsequent to the occupation by the forces of the United States of a portion of the State, a mass convention of the people assembled at Little Rock, and on the 19th of January, 1864, proposed this ('onstitution to the people. It was ratified by 12,177 votes against 266 votes.

six degrees north latitude, to the Saint Francis River; thence up the middle of the main channel of said river, to the parallel of thirty-six degrees, thirty minutes, north, from the west to the southwest corner of the State of Missouri; and from thence to be bounded on the west to the north bank of Red River, as by acts of Congress of the United States, and the treaties heretofore defining the western limits of the Territory of Arkansas; and to be bounded on the south side of Red River by the boundary-line of the State of Texas, to the northwest corner of the State of Louisiana; thence east with the Louisiana State line, to the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence up the middle of the main channel of said river, to the thirtysixth degree of north latitude, the point of beginning—these being the boundaries of the State of Arkansas as defined by the constitution thereof, adopted by a convention of the representatives of the people of said State, on the thirtieth day of January, anno Domini, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, being the same boundaries which limited the area of the Territory of Arkansas as it existed prior to that time.



DECLARATION OF RIGHTS That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be unalterably established, we declare:

SECTION 1. That all men, when they form a social compact, are equal, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, amongst which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.

Sec. 2. That all power is inherent in the people; and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace and happiness. For the advancement of these ends, they have, at all times, an unqualified 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; and no man can, of right, be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority can, in any case whatever, interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given to any religious establishment or mode 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 right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

Sec. 7. That printing-presses shall be free to every person; and no law shall ever be made to restrain the rights 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 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 the right to determine the law and the facts.

Sec. 9. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable search and seizures; and that general warrants, whereby any officer may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offences are not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be granted.

Sec. 10. That no man shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.

SEC. 11. 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, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in prosecutions by indictment or presentment, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the crime may have been committed; and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.

SEC. 12. That no person shall for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.

Sec. 13. That all penalties shall be reasonable, and proportioned to the nature of the offence.

Sec. 14. That no man shall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by presentment, indictment or impeachment, except as hereinafter provided.

SEC. 15. That no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate, under any law of this State.

Sec. 16. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless in capital offences, where the proof is evident or the presumption great. And the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless where in case of rebellion or invasion the public sa fety may require it.

Sec. 17. That excessive bail shall in no case be required, nor excessive fines imposed.

Sec. 18. That no ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contracts shall ever be made.

Sec. 19. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a republic, and shall not be allowed; nor shall any hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors, ever be granted or conferred in this State.

Sec. 20. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the power of the government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance.

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

SEC. 22. 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 prescribed by law.

civil power,

SEC. 23. The military shall be kept in strict subordination to the

SEC. 24. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, and to guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, or any transgression of any of the higher powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of the government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the other provisions herein contained, shall be void.



SECTION 1. The power of the government of the State of Arkansas shall be divided into three distinct departments, each of them to 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 judicial to another.

Sec. 2. No person or collection of persons being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.



SECTION 1. The legislative power of this State shall be invested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives.


SEC. 2. Every free white male citizen of the United States who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, and who shall have been a citizen of the State six months next preceding the election, shall be deemed a qualified elector, and be entitled to vote in the county or district where he actually resides, or in case of volunteer soldiers, within their several military departments or districts, for each and every office made elective under the State or under the United States: Provided, That no soldier, seaman or marine in the Regular Army or Navy of the United States shall be entitled to vote at any election within the State in time of peace: Ind provided further, That any one entitled to vote in this State in the county where he resides, may vote for the adoption or rejection of this constitution in any county in this State.


Sec. 3. The house of representatives shall consist of members to be chosen every second year by the qualified electors of the several counties.


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



Sec. 5. The senate shall consist of members to be chosen every four years, by the qualified electors of the several districts.

SEC. 6. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained the age

of twenty-five years; who shall not be a free, white male citizen of the United States; who shall not have been an inhabitant of this State one year; and who shall not, at the time of his election, have an actual residence in the district he may be chosen to represent.

Sec. 7. The general assembly shall meet every two years, on the rst Monday in November, at the seat of government, until changed by law, except that the general assembly for the year 1864, shall meet on the second Monday in April of that year.


SEC. 8. All general elections shall be vira roce until otherwise directed by law, and commence and be holden every two years, on the first Monday in August, until altered by law, (except that) the first election under this constitution shall be held on the second Monday in, March, 1864, and the electors in all cases, except in cases of treason, felony and breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance on elections and in going to and returning therefrom.


Sec. 9. The governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as shall occur in either house of the general assembly.

Sec. 10. No judge of the supreme circuit, or inferior courts of law, or equity, Secretary of State, Attorney-General of the State, District Attorneys, State Auditor or Treasurer, register or recorder, clerk of any court of record, sheriff, coroner or member of Congress, nor any other person holding any lucrative office under the United States or this State, (militia officers, justices of the peace, postmasters and judges of the county courts excepted,) shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the General Assembly.

SEC. 11. No person who now is, or shall be hereafter, a collector or holder of public money, nor any assistant or deputy of such holder or collector of public money, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the General Assembly, nor to any office of trust or profit; until he shall have accounted for and paid over all sums for which he may have been liable.

SEC. 12. The General Assembly shall exclude from every office of trust or profit, and from the right of sufferage within this State, all persons convicted of bribery, or perjury, or other infamous crime.

Sec. 13. Every person who shall have been convicted, either directly or indirectly, of giving or offering any bribe to procure his election or appointment, shall be disqualified from holding any office

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