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 (Note: Acts included on this site may have been amended or rescinded; the information on this site is included for historical research only.)

Governor William S. Taylor's Executive Journal, pg 56.

"He (Gov. W. S. Taylor) pardoned today Caleb Powers, John W. Davis, John L. Powers, Charles Finley & William H. Culton charged in a warrant with the crime of aiding & assisting in the murder of William Goebel in Franklin County, Ky., on ----- day of March 1900 and as an accomplice in and accessory to said crime, and conspiring to commit same, and says knowing that said charge and warrant is the result of a political conspiracy to terrorize and oppress for political purposes, and also believing implicitly in the absolute innocence of said Caleb Powers, John L. Powers, Charles Finley, and William H. Culton, but realizing that as the courts are now organized, said Caleb Powers, John L. Powers, Charles Finley, and William H. Culton will be denied a fair trial. Pardon is granted."

Signed: W. S. Taylor, Governor of Kentucky