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 (Note: Acts included on this site may have been amended or rescinded; the information on this site is included for historical research only.)

"Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky", 1893, pgs. 739-740.

CHAPTER 176.

An Act concerning the seal of the Commonwealth and the seal of the Secretary of State.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

SEC. 1. The seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall have upon it the device, two friends embracing each other, with the words "Commonwealth of Kentucky" over their heads, and around about them the words, "United we Stand, Divided we Fall."

SEC. 2. The seal of this Commonwealth shall be kept by the Secretary of State; and he shall also keep a seal of office, which shall have upon it the device, the American Eagle, in the center, with the words around the same, "Commonwealth of Kentucky, Office of the Secretary of State."

SEC. 3. The official acts of the Governor of the Commonwealth shall be attested by the Secretary of State, under the seal of the Commonwealth. The official acts of the Secretary of State shall be attested by himself, under his official seal, and the seal of the Commonwealth, may also be used by the Secretary of State to attest any certificate by either himself or the Governor in cases where it may be shown to him that such attestation by said seal is required to entitle such certificate or any facts or documents thereby certified to be admitted to record or used as evidence, or otherwise, in any other State or country; but the use of the seal of the Commonwealth shall not dispense with the necessity for the use of the seal of the Secretary of State.

SEC. 4. The compensation for affixing the seal of the Commonwealth, where the same is required by law, shall be two dollars; but no compensation shall be allowed or paid for affixing the seal of the Commonwealth to a commission issued to any public officer of this State, or to a grant (Note: referring to a land grant) or to a pardon of a felony.