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For organic acts issued before 1861 relating to the land now included within Colorado see, in this work :
Treaty Ceding Louisiana, 1803 (Louisiana, p. 1359).
Government of the Indian Country, 1834 (Indian Territory, p. 1097).
Territory of Utah, 1850 (Utah, p. 3687).
Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, 1854 (Kansas, p. 1161).
TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT OF COLORADO-1861 ↳
[THIRTY-SIXTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION]
An Act to provide a temporary government for the Territory of Colorado
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all that part of the territory of the United States included within the following limits, viz.: Commencing on the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude, where the twenty-fifth meridian of longitude west from Washington crosses the same; thence north on said meridian to the forty
a The area of the State of Colorado was ceded to the United States by France, the State of Texas, and Mexico. The northeast portion of the State, bounded north and south by the forty-first and forty-second parallels, east by the twentyfifth meridian, and west by the Rocky Mountains, ceded by France, was a part of the original Territory of Nebraska, and was transferred to the Territory of Colorado. The eastern portion of the State, bounded north by the fortieth parallel, east by the twenty-fifth meridian, south by the Arkansas River westward to the Twenty-sixth meridian, and west by the Rocky Mountains, ceded by France, was a part of the original Territory of Kansas, and was transferred to the Territory of Colorado. The southeastern portion of the State, bounded on the north by the Arkansas River, east by the Twenty-fifth meridian, south by the thirty-seventh parallel, and west by the twenty-sixth meridian, ceded by the State of Texas and by Mexico, was transferred from the original Territory of Kansas to the Territory of Colorado. The southern portion of the State, bounded on the north and south by the thirty-eighth and thirty-seventh parallels, east by the twenty-sixth meridian, and west by the Rocky Mountains, ceded by the State of Texas and Mexico, was transferred from the Territory of New Mexico to the Territory of Colorado. The western portion of the State, bounded north and south by the forty-first and forty-second parallels, east by the Rocky Mountains, and west by the thirty-second meridian, ceded by Mexico, was transferred from the Territory of Utah to the Territory of Colorado.
For other statutes of an organic nature relating to Colorado subsequent to 1861 see an act to fix time of holding legislative sessions, resolution of May 21, 1862; to abolish slavery in, act of June 19, 1862; to define the veto and other powers of the governor and to organize the court system, March 2, 1863; to
first parallel of north latitude; thence along said parallel west to the thirty-second meridian of longitude west from Washington; thence south on said meridian to the northern line of New Mexico; thence along the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude to the place of beginning, be and the same is hereby erected into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Colorado: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to impair the rights of person or property now pertaining to the Indians in said Territory, so long as such rights shall remain unextinguished by treaty between the United States and such Indians, or to include any territory which, by treaty with any Indian tribe, is not, without the consent of said tribe, to be included within the territorial limits or jurisdiction of any State or Territory; but all such territory shall be excepted out of the boundaries and constitute no part of the Territory of Colorado until said tribe shall signify their assent to the President of the United States to be included within the said Territory, or to affect the authority of the Government of the United States to make any regulations respecting such Indians, their lands, property, or other rights, by treaty, law, or otherwise, which it would have been competent for the Government to make if this act had never passed: Provided further, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to inhibit the Government of the United States from dividing said Territory into two or more Territories, in such manner and at such times as Congress shall deem convenient and proper, or from attaching any portion thereof to any other Territory or State.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the executive power and authority in and over said Territory of Colorado shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for four years, and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. The governor shall reside within said Territory, shall be commander-in-chief of the militia thereof, shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of superintendent of Indian affairs, and shall approve all laws passed by the legislative assembly before they shall take effect; he may grant pardons for offences against the laws of said Territory, and reprieves for offences against the laws of the United States, until the decision of the President can be made known thereon; he shall commission all officers who shall be appointed to office under the laws of said Territory, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be a secretary of said Territory, who shall reside therein, and hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States; he shall record and preserve all the laws and proceedings of the
provide for admission to the Union, March 21, 1864; to change time for vote upon constitution, June 18, 1864; to regulate elective franchise in, January 25, 1867; to prohibit special acts of incorporation, March 2, 1867; to provide for biennial elections and rotation in terms of members of legislative assembly, act of March 30, 1867; to regulate appeals in courts and to empower the legislature to incorporate certain corporations, May 4, 1870; to amend method of making appeals in certain courts, July 14, 1870; to extend the pre-emption laws to. July 14, 1870; to apportion members of legislative assembly, February 21, 1871; to empower legislature to pass general laws for the incorporation of certain companies, June 10, 1872; to limit the duration of legislative sessions and to fix the pay of members, January 23, 1873; to amend act to enable people of, to form a constitution, March 3, 1876,
legislative assembly hereinafter constituted, and all the acts and proceedings of the governor, in his executive department; he shall transmit one copy of the laws and one copy of the executive proceedings, on or before the first day of December in each year, to the President of the United States, and, at the same time, two copies of the laws to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate for the use of Congress. And in case of the death, removal, or resignation, or other necessary absence of the governor from the Territory, the secretary shall have, and he is hereby authorized and required to execute and perform, all the powers and duties of the governor during such vacancy or necessary absence, or until another governor shall be duly appointed to fill such vacancy.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power and authority of said Territory shall be vested in the governor and a legislative assembly. The legislative assembly shall consist of a council and house of representatives. The council shall consist of nine members, which may be increased to thirteen, having the qualifications of voters as hereinafter prescribed, whose term of service shall continue two years. The house of representatives shall consist of thirteen members, which may be increased to twenty-six, possessing the same qualifications as prescribed for members of the council, and whose term of service shall continue one year. An apportionment shall be made, as nearly equal as practicable, among the several counties or districts for the election of the council and house of representatives, giving to each section of the Territory representation in the ratio of its population (Indians excepted) as nearly as may be; and the members of the council and of the house of representatives shall reside in, and be inhabitants of, the district for which they may be elected, respectively. Previous to the first election the governor shall cause a census or enumeration of the inhabitants of the several counties and districts of the Territory to be taken; and the first election. shall be held at such time and places and be conducted in such manner as the governor shall appoint and direct; and he shall, at the same time, declare the number of the members of the council and house of representatives to which each of the counties or districts shall be entitled under this act. The number of persons authorized to be elected, having the highest number of votes in each of said council districts for members of the council, shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected to the council; and the person or persons authorized to be elected having the greatest number of votes for the house of representatives, equal to the number to which each county or district. shall be entitled, shall be declared by the governor to be elected members of the house of representatives: Provided, That in case of a tie between two or more persons voted for, the governor shall order a new election to supply the vacancy made by such tie. And the persons thus elected to the legislative assembly shall meet at such place and on such day as the governor shall appoint; but thereafter the time, place, and manner of holding and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning the representation in the several counties or districts to the council and house of representatives according to the population, shall be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the commencement of the regular sessions of the legislative assembly: Provided, That no one session shall exceed the term of forty days, except the first, which may be extended to sixty days, but no longer.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That every free white male citizen of the United States above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of said Territory at the time of the passage of this act, including those recognized as citizens by the treaty with the Republic of Mexico, concluded February two, eighteen hundred and forty-eight, and the treaty negotiated with the same country on the thirtieth day of December, eighteen hundred and fifty-three, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within the said Territory; but the qualifications of voters and of holding office at all subsequent elections shall be such as shall be prescribed by the legislative assembly.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power of the Territory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation consistent with the Constitution of the United States and the provisions of the act; but no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil; no tax shall be imposed upon the property of the United States; nor shall the lands or other property of non-residents be taxed higher than the lands or other property of residents; nor shall any law be passed impairing the rights of private property; nor shall any discrimination be made in taxing different kinds of property; but all property subject to taxation shall be in proportion to the value of the property taxed.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That all township, district, and county officers not herein otherwise provided for, shall be appointed or elected, as the case may be, in such manner as shall be provided by the governor and legislative assembly of the Territory. The governor shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the legislative council, appoint all officers not herein otherwise provided for; and in the first instance the governor alone may appoint all said officers, who shall hold their offices until the end of the first session of the legislative assembly, and shall lay off the necessary districts for members of the council and house of representatives, and all other officers.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That no member of the legislative assembly shall hold or be appointed to any office which shall have been created, or the salary or emoluments of which shall have been increased while he was a member, during the term for which he was elected, and for one year after the expiration of such term; and no person holding a commission or appointment. under the United States, except postmasters, shall be a member of the legislative assembly, or shall hold any office under the government of said Territory.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That the judicial power of said Territory shall be vested in a supreme court, district courts, probate courts, and in justices of the peace. The supreme court shall consist of a chief-justice and two associate justices, any two of whom shall constitute a quorum, and who shall hold a term at the seat of government of said Territory annually; and they shall hold their offices during the period of four years. The said Territory shall be divided into three judicial districts, and a district court shall be held in each of said districts by one of the justices of the supreme court at such time and place as may be prescribed by law; and the said judges shall, after their appointments, respectively, reside in the districts which
shall be assigned them. The jurisdiction of the several courts herein provided for, both appellate and original, and that of the probate courts and of the justices of the peace, shall be as limited by law: Provided, That justices of the peace and probate courts shall not have jurisdiction of any matter in controversy when the title or boundaries of land may be in dispute, or where the debt or sum claimed shall exceed one hundred dollars; and the said supreme and district courts, respectively, shall possess chancery as well as common-law jurisdiction; and authority for redress of all wrongs committed against the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the Territory, affecting persons or property. Each district court, or the judge thereof, shall appoint its clerk, who shall also be the register in chancery, and shall keep his office at the place where the court may be held. Writs of error, bills of exception, and appeals shall be allowed in all cases from the final decisions of said district courts to the supreme court, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; but in no case removed to the supreme court shall trial by jury be allowed in said court. The supreme court, or the justices thereof, shall appoint its own clerk, and every clerk shall hold his office at the pleasure of the court for which he shall have been appointed. Writs of error and appeals from the final decisions of said supreme court shall be allowed, and may be taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the same manner and under the same regulations as from the circuit courts of the United States, where the value of the property or the amount in controversy, to be ascertained by the oath or affirmation of either party, or other competent witness, shall exceed one thousand dollars; and each of the said district courts shall have and exercise the same jurisdiction, in all cases arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States, as is vested in the circuit and district courts. of the United States; and the said supreme and district courts of the said Territory, and the respective judges thereof, shall and may grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases in which the same are grantable by the judges of the United States in the District of Columbia; and the first six days of every term of said courts, or so much thereof as shall be necessary, shall be appropriated to the trial of causes arising under the said Constitution and laws, and writs of error and appeals in all such cases shall be made to the supreme court of said Territory the same as in other cases. The said clerk shall receive in all such cases the same fees which the clerks of the district courts of Oregon Territory received for similar services.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed an attorney for said Territory, who shall continue in office for four years, unles sooner removed by the President, and who shall receive the same fees and salary as the attorney of the United States for the late Territory of Oregon. There shall also be a marshal for the Territory appointed, who shall hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President, and who shall execute all processes issuing from the said courts when exercising their jurisdiction as circuit and district courts of the United States; he shall perform the duties, be subject to the same regulations and penalties, and be entitled to the same fees as the marshal of the district court of the United States for the late Territory of Oregon, and shall, in addition, be paid two hundred dollars annually as a compensation for extra services.