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 (Note: Acts included on this site may have been amended or rescinded; the information on this site is included for historical research only.)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. I, ed. William Littell, 1809, pg 639.

CHAPTER CCXCVII.

An Act making an additional compensation to the Secretary of State and certain other Officers of Government.

BE it enacted by the general assembly, That the salary of the Secretary of State shall be two hundred pounds annually, including the sum at present allowed him by law: to commence from and after the first day of January last, to be paid in like manner as the salaries of the other officers of the civil list are directed by law. And there shall be allowed to the Auditor, Register and Treasurer, the sum of fifty pounds each in addition to their present salary, to be paid in like manner as the salary now allowed by law, to enable them to employ clerks to assist them in performing the business in their respective offices.

This act shall commence and be in force from the passage thereof.