For over 200 years the office of Secretary of State has played an integral role in Kentucky’s history. The delegates to the 1792 Constitutional Convention, and all three Constitutional Conventions thereafter, realized the importance of having a Secretary for the Commonwealth when they mandated the establishment of such an office. Throughout the years we can see the Secretary of State’s Office accepting additional responsibilities as they are assigned by the Executive & Legislative Branches of Kentucky’s government.

The Timeline serves as an informal history of the office itself. We are including complete text of all four of Kentucky Constitutions (as they were originally written), entries from the Governors’ Executive Journals, and other articles that provide an insight into the history, function and development of the office. The Timeline will be updated as additional information becomes available.

We especially thank Charles Zoeller for his generous donation of the text for each of the Kentucky Constitutions. Mr. Zoeller’s data entry enabled staff of the Secretary of State’s Office to have an excellent foundation for the Constitution project and provided us an opportunity to expand the Timeline with additional information.

Disclaimer: This website includes complete text of all four of Kentucky's Constitutions (as originally written), selected Acts of the Kentucky General Assembly, and other articles regarding the office and function of the Kentucky Secretary of State. Additional information will be added to this site periodically. Text included on this website was keyed by the staff of the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office. Although efforts were made to ensure the accuracy of all material, researchers should consult published versions of Kentucky Acts for official use. "Acts of the Kentucky General Assembly” may be researched at the Kentucky History Center Library, the Department for Libraries & Archives, and the Supreme Court Law Library, all in Frankfort, Kentucky. (Note: Acts included on this site may have been amended or rescinded; the information on this site is included for historical research only.)

"The Statute Law of Kentucky", Vol. II, ed. William Littell, 1810, pgs 43-44.


An ACT to reduce into one the several Acts for ascertaining the Salary of the Officers of Civil Government.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That the several officers hereinafter mentioned, shall for their respective sevices, be entitled to the following salaries annually, to commence from the acceptance of their several appointments, and actually qualifying themselves according to law, to be paid out of the public treasury, in quarterly payments, after the same shall have been audited according to law.

To the governor or chief magistrate, the sum of four hundred pounds.

To the judges of the court of appeals, each two hundred pounds.

To the judges of the district courts, each one hundred and fifty pounds.

To the secretary, two hundred pounds.

To the treasurer, two hundred and fifty pounds.

To the auditor, two hundred and fifty pounds.

To the register, two hundred and fifty pounds.

To the attorney-general, one hundred pounds.

To the attornies for the commonwealth in the district courts, thirty pounds each.

SECTION 2. The auditor of public accounts shall issue warrants for the quarterly payments of the salaries of every person entitled thereto as the same shall become due, on the last day of March, June, September, and December annually, expressing in such warrant, that the same is in whole or in part of the first, second, third, and fourth quarterly salary, for the year in which it became due. And where any person shall be appointed to any office, his salary due on the fractional part of the quarter in which he was appointed, shall be settled, and thereafter his salary shall become due as aforesaid.

SECTION 3. The justices of the courts of quarter sessions shall receive for their services, twelve shillings per day each, for every day they shall respectively sit in the said courts, to become due on the tenth day of June and November annually; for which sum, on a certificate from the clerk of the said court, of the number of days they have attended, they shall receive a warrant from the auditor, which shall be paid at the public treasury.