Imágenes de páginas

for the support of an army be inade for a longer term than one year.

8. No money from the treasurer shall be appropriated to objects of internal improvement, unless a bill for that purpose be approved by two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of public moneys shall be published annually. 9. No law shall ever be passed to raise a loan of money upon

the credit of the State, or to pledge the faith of the State for the payment or redemption of any loan or debt, unless such law be proposed in the Senate or House of Representatives, and be agreed to by a majority of the members of each house, and entered on their journals with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and be referred to the next succeeding Legislature, and published for three months previous to the next regular election, in three newspapers of the State ; and unless a majority of each branch of the Legislature, so elected, after such publication, shall agree to, and pass such law; and in such case the yeas and nays shall be taken, and entered on the journals of each house: Provided, that nothing in this section shall be so construed as to prevent the Legislature from negotiating a further loan of one and a half million of dollars, and vesting the same in stock reserved to the State by the charter of the Planters' Bank of the State of Mississippi.

10. The Legislature shall direct, by law, in what manner and in what courts suits may be brought against the State.

11. Absence on business of this Štate, or of the United States, or on a visit, or necessary private business, shall not cause a forfeiture of citizenship or residence once obtained.

12. It shall be the duty of the Legislature to regulate, by law, the cases in which deductions shall be made from salaries of public officers for neglect of duty in their official capacity, and the amount of such deduction.

13. No member of Congress nor any person holding any office of profit or trust under the United States, (the office of post-master excepted,) or any other State, of the Union, or under any foreign power, shall hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under this State.

14. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of man kind, schools, and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged in this State.

15. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony shall not be granted, but in cases provided for by law, by suit in chancery.

16. Returns of all elections by the people shall be made to the Secretary of State in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

17. No new county shall be established by the Legislature, which shall reduce the county or counties, or either of them, from which it may be taken, to less contents than five hundred and seventy-six, square miles; nor shall any new county be laid off of less contents.

18. The Legislature shall have power to admit to all the rights and privileges of free white citizens of this State, all such persons of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes of Indians, as shall choose to remain in this State, upon such terms as the Legislature may from time to time deem proper.

Slaves. Sec. 1. The Legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, unless where the slave shall have rendered to the State some distinguished service; in which case the owner shall be paid a full equivalent for the slave 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 may have committed high crimes in other States. 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 oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity; to provide for them necessary clothing and provisions; 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. The introduction of slaves into this State as merchandize, or for sale, shall be prohibited from and after the first day of May, eighteen hundred and thirty-three: Provided, that the actual settler or settlers shall not be prohibited from purchasing slaves in any State in this Union, and bringing them into this State for their own individual use, until the year eighteen hundred and forty-five.

3. In the prosecution of slaves for crimes of which the punishment is not capital, no inquest by a grand jury shall be necessary; but the proceedings in such cases shall be regulated by law.

Mode of revising the Constitution. Whenever two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature shall deem any change, alteration, or amendment necessary to this Constitution, such proposed change, alteration, or amendment shall be read and passed by a majority of two-thirds of each house respectively on each day, for three several days. Public notice thereof shall then be given by the Secretary of State, at least six months preceding the next general election, at which the qualified electors shall vote directly for or against such change, alteration, or amendment; and if it shall appear that a majority of the qualified electors voting for members of the Legislature, shall have voted for the proposed change, alteration, or amendment, then it shall be inserted by the next succeeding Legislature, as a part of this Constitution, and not otherwise.


This State was first explored by the French, and named Louisiana in honor cf Louis XIV. In 1699 a French settlement was begun at Ibberville, by M. Ibberville. His efforts were followed up by M. Crozat, a man of wealth, who held the trade of the country for several years. About the year 1717, he transferred all his interest in the province to a chartered company, at the head of which was the celebrated John Law, whose speculations involved the ruin of one half of the French nobility. In 1731, the company resigned all their rights to the crown, by whom the whole of Louisiana was ceded to Spain in 1762. In 1800, Spain reconveyed it to the French, from whom it was purchased by the United States, in 1803, for $15,000,000. Louisiana became a State in 1812, and adopted a Constitution. The present one was adopted in 1845.

Area, 45,350 sq. miles. Pop. in 1840, 352,411. Slaves, 168,452. Free colored, 25,500.


PREAMBLE. WE, the people of the State of Louisiana do ordain and establish this Constitution :

TITLE I.Distribution of Powers. Art. 1. The powers of the government of the State of Louisiana shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them 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.

2. No one of these departments, nor any person holding office in one of them, shall exercise power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

TITLE II Legislative Department. Art. 3. The legislative powers of the State shall be vested in two distinct branches, the one to be styled the “ House of Representatives," the other “ The Senate," and both “The General Assembly of the State of Louisiana."

4. The members of the House of Representatives shall continue in service for the term of two years, from the day of the closing of the general elections.

5. Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in No vember, every two years; and the election shall be completed in one day. The General Assembly shall meet every second year, on the third Monday in January next ensuing the election, unless a different day be appointed by law, and their session shall be held at the seat of

government. 6. No person shall be a representative, who, at the time of his election, is not a free white male, and has not been for three years a citizen of the United States, and has not attained the age of twenty-one years, and resided in the State for the three years next preceding the election, and the last year thereof in the parish for which he may be chosen.

7. Elections for representatives for the several parishes, or representative districts, shall be held at the several election precincts established by law. The Legislature may delegate the power of establishing election precincts to the parochial or municipal authorities.

8. Representation in the House of Representatives shall be equal and uniform, and shall be regulated and ascertained by the number of qualified electors. Each parish shall have at least one representative; no new parish shall be created with a territory less than six hundred and twenty-five square miles, nor with a number of electors less than the full number entitling it to a representative, nor when the creation of such new parish would leave any other parish without the said extent of territory and number of electors. The first enumeration to be made by the State authorities under this Constitution, shall be in 1847, the second in 1855, and the subsequent enumerations shall be made every tenth year thereafter, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law

At the first regular session of the Legislature after the making of each enumeration, the Legislature shall apportion the representation amongst the several parishes and election districts, on the basis of qualified electors as aforesaid. A representative number shall be fixed, and each parish and election district shall have as many representatives as the aggregate number of its electors will entitle it to, and an additional representative for any fraction exceeding onehalf the representative number. The number of representatives shall not be more than one hundred, nor less than seventy.

9. The House of Representatives shall choose its Speaker and other officers.

10. In all elections by the people, every free white male, who has been two years a citizen of the United States, who has attained the age of twenty-one years, and resided in the State two consecutive years next preceding the election, and the last year thereof in the parish in which he offers to vote, shall have the right of voting: provided, that no person shall be deprived of the right of voting, who, at the time of the

adoption of this Constitution, was entitled to that right under the Constitution of 1812. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony, breach of surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at, going to, or returning from elections.

11. Absence from the State for more than ninety consecutive days, shall interrupt the acquisition of the residence required in the preceding section, unless the person absenting himself shall be a house-keeper, or shall occupy a tenement for carrying on business, and his dwelling-house or tenements for carrying on business shall be actually occupied during his absence, by his family, or servants, or some portion thereof, or by some one employed by him.

12. No soldier, seaman or marine in the army or navy of the United States, no pauper, no person under interdiction, nor under conviction of any crime punishable with hard labor, shall be entitled to vote at any election in this State.

13. No person shall be entitled to vote at any election held in this State, except in the parish of his residence and in cities and towns divided into election precincts, in the election precinct in which he resides.

14. The members of the Senate shall be chosen for the term of four years. The Senate, when assembled, shall have the power to choose its officers every two years.

15. The Legislature, in every year in which they shall apportion representation in the House of Representatives, shall divide the State into senatorial districts. No parish shall be divided in the formation of a senatorial district, except Orleans. The number of senators shall be thirty-two, and they shall be apportioned among the senatorial districts according to the total population contained in the several districts: provided, that no parish shall be entitled to more than one-eighth of the whole number of senators.

16. In all apportionments of the Senate, the population of the city of New Orleans shall be deducted from the population of the whole State, and the remainder of the population divided by the number twenty-eight, and the result produced by this division shall be the

« AnteriorContinuar »