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Acts included on this site may have been amended or rescinded; the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.)
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.