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
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Acts included on this site may have been amended or rescinded; the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.)
Insert in the front of Governor Isaac Shelby's 1792 Executive Journal.
"Under the direction of Hon. Ben L. Bruner, Secretary of State, the bound volumes of the Enrolled Bills, Executive Journals, Executive Papers and other documents required by law to be filed in the office of the Secretary of State, and which were scattered from the cellar to the second story of the old Executive building, were by me gotten together, shipped to the new Capitol and there cleaned up and arranged in chronological order in the steel file cases in the File Room of the Secretary of State. Said work was executed during the months of July and August, 1909."
(signed: George A. Lewis)