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 (Note: Acts included on this site may have been amended or rescinded; the information on this site is included for historical research only.)

Third Constitution of Kentucky, "Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky", Vol. I., 1851, pgs 1-36. (Note: This Constitution was superseded in 1891.)

THIRD CONSTITUTION OF KENTUCKY.

(1850)

PREAMBLE.

We, the representatives of the people of the State of Kentucky, in Convention assembled, to secure to all the citizens thereof the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and property, and of pursuing happiness, do ordain and establish this Constitution for its government.

ARTICLE I.

Concerning the Distribution of the Powers of Government.

SECTION 1. The powers of the Government of the State of Kentucky shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them be confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: those which are Legislative to one; those which are Executive to another; and those which are Judiciary, to another.

2. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

ARTICLE II.

Concerning the Legislative Department.

SECTION 1. The Legislative power shall be vested in a House of Representatives and Senate, which together shall be styled the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

2. The members of the House of Representatives shall continue in service for the term of two years from the day of the general election, and no longer.

3. Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in August, in every second year; and the mode of holding the elections shall be regulated by law.

4. No person shall be a Representative, who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, has not attained the age of twenty-four years, and who has not resided in this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county, town, or city for which he may be chosen.

5. The General Assembly shall divide each county of this Commonwealth into convenient election precincts, or may delegate power to do so to such county authorities as may be designated by law; and elections for Representatives for the several counties shall be held at the places of holding their respective courts, and in the several election precincts into which the counties may be divided: Provided, that when it shall appear to the General Assembly that any city or town hath a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall be invested with the privilege of a separate representation, in either or both houses of the General Assembly, which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio which may, from time to time, be fixed by law; and, thereafter, elections for the county in which such city or town is situated, shall not be held therein; but such city or town shall not be entitled to a separate representation, unless such county, after the separation, shall also be entitled to one or more Representatives. That whenever a city or town shall be entitled to a separate representation in either house of the General Assembly, and by its numbers shall be entitled to more than one Representative, such city or town shall be divided, by squares which are contiguous, so as to make the most compact form, into Representative Districts, as nearly equal as may be, equal to the number of Representatives to which such city or town may be entitled; and one Representative shall be elected from each district. In like manner shall said city or town be divided into Senatorial Districts, when, by the apportionment, more than one Senator shall be allotted to such city or town; and a Senator shall be elected from each Senatorial District; but no ward or municipal division shall be divided by such division of Senatorial or Representative Districts, unless it be necessary to equalize the Elective, Senatorial, or Representative Districts.

6. Representation shall be equal and uniform in this Commonwealth, and shall be forever regulated and ascertained by the number of qualified voters therein. In the year 1850, again in the year 1857, and every eighth year thereafter, an enumeration of all the qualified voters of the State shall be made; and to secure uniformity and equality of representation, the State is hereby laid off into ten districts. The first district shall be composed of the counties of Fulton, Hickman, Ballard, McCracken, Graves, Calloway, Marshall, Livingston, Crittenden, Union, Hopkins, Caldwell, and Trigg. The second district shall be composed of the counties of Christian, Muhlenburg, Henderson, Daviess, Hancock, Ohio, Breckenridge, Meade, Grayson, Butler, and Edmonson. The third district shall be composed of the counties of Todd, Logan, Simpson, Warren, Allen, Monroe, Barren, and Hart. The fourth district shall be composed of the counties of Cumberland, Adair, Green, Taylor, Clinton, Russell, Wayne, Pulaski, Casey, Boyle, and Lincoln. The fifth district shall be composed of the counties of Hardin, Larue, Bullitt, Spencer, Nelson, Washington, Marion, Mercer, and Anderson. The sixth district shall be composed of the counties of Garrard, Madison, Estill, Owsley, Rockcastle, Laurel, Clay, Whitley, Knox, Harlan, Perry, Letcher, Pike, Floyd, and Johnson. The seventh district shall be composed of the counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Trimble, Carroll, Henry, and Shelby, and the city of Louisville. The eighth district shall be composed of the counties of Bourbon, Fayette, Scott, Owen, Franklin, Woodford, and Jessamine. The ninth district shall be composed of the counties of Clark, Bath, Montgomery, Fleming, Lewis, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence, Morgan, and Breathitt. The tenth district shall be composed of the counties of Mason, Bracken, Nicholas, Harrison, Pendleton, Campbell, Grant, Kenton, Boone, and Gallatin. The number of Representatives shall, at the several sessions of the General Assembly, next after the making of the enumerations, be apportioned among the ten several districts, according to the number of qualified voters in each; and the Representatives shall be apportioned, as near as may be, among the counties, towns, and cities in each district; and in making such apportionment the following rules shall govern, to wit: Every county, town or city having the ratio shall have one Representative; if double the ratio, two Representatives, and so on. Next, the counties, towns or cities having one or more Representatives, and the largest number of qualified voters above the ratio, and counties having the largest number under the ratio shall have a Representative, regard being always had to the greatest number of qualified voters: Provided, that when a county may not have a sufficient number of qualified voters to entitle it to one Representative, then such county may be joined to some adjacent county or counties, which counties shall send one Representative. When a new county shall be formed of territory belonging to more than one district, it shall form a part of that district having the least number of qualified voters.

7. The House of Representatives shall choose its Speaker and other officers.

8. Every free white male citizen, of the age of twenty-one years, who has resided in the State two years, or in the county, town, or city, in which he offers to vote, one year next preceding the election, shall be a voter; but such voter shall have been, for sixty days next preceding the election, a resident of the precinct in which he offers to vote, and he shall vote in said precinct, and not elsewhere.

9. Voters, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance at, going to, and returning from elections.

10. Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, and the Senate shall have power to choose its officers biennially.

11. Senators and Representatives shall be elected, under the first apportionment after the adoption of this Constitution, in the year 1851.

12. At the session of the General Assembly next after the first apportionment under this Constitution, the Senators shall be divided by lot, as equally as may be, into two classes; the seats of the first class shall be vacated at the end of two years from the day of the election, and those of the second class at the end of four years, so that one-half shall be chosen every two years.

13. The number of Representatives shall be one-hundred, and the number of Senators thirty-eight.

14. At every apportionment of representation, the State shall be laid off into thirty-eight Senatorial Districts, which shall be so formed as to contain, as near as may be, an equal number of qualified voters, and so that no county shall be divided in the formation of a Senatorial District, except such county shall be entitled, under the enumeration, to two or more Senators; and where two or more counties compose a district, they shall be adjoining.

15. One Senator for each district shall be elected by the qualified voters therein, who shall vote in the precincts where they reside, at the places where elections are by law directed to be held.

16. No person shall be a Senator who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States; has not attained the age of thirty years, and who has not resided in this State six years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district for which he may be chosen.

17. The election for Senators, next after the first apportionment under this Constitution, shall be general throughout the State, and at the same time that the election for Representatives is held, and thereafter there shall be a biennial election for Senators to fill the places of those whose term of service may have expired.

18. The General Assembly shall convene on the first Monday in November, after the adoption of this Constitution, and again on the first Monday in November, 1851, and on the same day of every second year thereafter, unless a different day be appointed by law; and their sessions shall be held at the seat of government.

19. Not less than a majority of the members of each house of the General Assembly shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed thereby.

20. Each house of the General Assembly shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

21. Each house of the General Assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish a member for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member; but not a second time for the same cause.

22. Each house of the General Assembly shall keep and publish, weekly, a journal of its proceedings, and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on their journal.

23. Neither house, during the session of the General Assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

24. The members of the General Assembly shall severally receive, from the public treasury, a compensation for their services, which shall be three dollars a day during their attendance on, and twelve and a half cents per mile for the necessary travel in going to, and returning from, the sessions of their respective houses: Provided, that the same may be increased or diminished by law; but no alteration shall take effect during the session at which such alteration shall be made; nor shall a session of the General Assembly continue beyond sixty days, except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, but this shall not apply to the first session held under this Constitution.

25. The members of the General Assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and in going to, and returning from, the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

26. No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this Commonwealth, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the said term, except to such offices or appointments as may be filled by the election of the people.

27. No person, while he continues to exercise the functions of a clergyman, priest, or teacher of any religious persuasion, society, or sect, nor while he holds or exercises any office of profit under this Commonwealth, or under the government of the United States, shall be eligible to the General Assembly, except attorneys at law, justices of the peace, and militia officers: Provided, that attorneys for the Commonwealth, who receive a fixed annual salary, shall be ineligible.

28. No person who, at any time, may have been a collector of taxes or public moneys for the State, or the assistant or deputy of such collector, shall be eligible to the General Assembly, unless he shall have obtained a quietus six months before the election, for the amount of such collection, and for all public moneys for which he may have been responsible.

29. No bill shall have the force of a law, until, on three several days, it be read over in each house of the General Assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon, unless in cases of urgency, four-fifths of the house, where the bill shall be depending, may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

30. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose amendments, as in other bills: Provided, that they shall not introduce any new matter, under color of amendment, which does not relate to raising revenue.

31. The General Assembly shall regulate, by law, by whom and in what manner writs of election shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.

32. The General Assembly shall have no power to grant divorces, to change the names of individuals, or direct the sales of estates belonging to infants, or other persons laboring under legal disabilities, by special legislation; but by general laws shall confer such powers on the courts of justice.

33. The credit of this Commonwealth shall never be given or loaned in aid of any person, association, municipality, or corporation.

34. The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws to diminish the resources of the Sinking Fund, as now established by law, until the debt of the State be paid, but may pass laws to increase them; and the whole resources of said fund, from year to year, shall be sacredly set apart and applied to the payment of the interest and principal of the State debt, and to no other use or purpose until the whole debt of the State is fully paid and satisfied.

35. The General Assembly may contract debts to meet casual deficits or failures in the revenue, but such debts, direct or contingent, singly or in the aggregate, shall not, at any time, exceed five hundred thousand dollars; and the moneys arising from loans creating such debts, shall be applied to the purposes for which they were obtained, or to repay such debts: Provided, that the State may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities are threatened, provide for the public defense.

36. No act of the General Assembly shall authorize any debt to be contracted on behalf of the Commonwealth, except for the purposes mentioned in the thirty-fifth section of this article, unless provision be made therein to lay and collect an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest stipulated, and to discharge the debt within thirty years; nor shall such act take effect until it shall have been submitted to the people at a general election, and shall have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it: Provided, that the General Assembly may contract debts, by borrowing money to pay any part of the debt of the State, without submission to the people, and without making provision in the act authorizing the same for a tax to discharge the debt so contracted, or the interest thereon.

37. No law, enacted by the General Assembly, shall relate to more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.

38. The General Assembly shall not change the venue in any criminal or penal prosecution, but shall provide for the same by general laws.

39. The General Assembly may pass laws authorizing writs of error in criminal or penal cases, and regulating the right of challenge of jurors therein.

40. The General Assembly shall have no power to pass any act, or resolution, for the appropriation of any money, or the creation of any debt, exceeding the sum of one hundred dollars, at any one time, unless the same, on its final passage, shall be voted for by a majority of all the members then elected to each branch of the General Assembly; and the yeas and nays thereon entered on the journal.

ARTICLE III.

Concerning the Executive Department.

SECTION 1. The Supreme Executive power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate, who shall be styled the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

2. The Governor shall be elected for the term of four years, by the qualified voters of the State, at the time when, and places where, they shall respectively vote for Representatives. The person having the highest number of votes shall be Governor; but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes, the election shall be determined by lot, in such manner as the General Assembly may direct.

3. The Governor shall be ineligible for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the term for which he shall have been elected.

4. He shall be at least thirty-five years of age, and a citizen of the United States, and have been an inhabitant of this State at least six years next preceding his election.

5. He shall commence the execution of the duties of his office on the fifth Tuesday succeeding the day of the General Election on which he shall have been chosen, and shall continue in the execution thereof until his successor shall have taken the oaths, or affirmations, prescribed by this Constitution.

6. No member of Congress, or person holding any office under the United States, or minister of any religious society, shall be eligible to the office of Governor.

7. The Governor shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the term for which he was elected.

8. He shall be Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy of this Commonwealth, and of the militia thereof, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States; but he shall not command personally in the field, unless advised so to do by a resolution of the General Assembly.

9. He shall have power to fill vacancies that may occur, by granting commissions, which shall expire when such vacancies shall have been filled according to the provisions of this Constitution.

10. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment. In cases of treason, he shall have power to grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the General Assembly, in which the power of pardoning shall be vested; but he shall have no power to remit the fees of the Clerk, Sheriff, or Commonwealth's Attorney, in penal or criminal cases.

11. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the Executive Department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

12. He shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly information of the State of the Commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

13. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place if that should have become, since their last adjournment, dangerous from an enemy, or from contagious disorders; and in case of disagreement between the two houses, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months.

14. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

15. A Lieutenant Governor shall be chosen at every regular election for Governor, in the same manner, to continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications as the Governor. In voting for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the electors shall state for whom they vote as Governor, and for whom as Lieutenant Governor.

16. He shall, by virtue of his office, be Speaker of the Senate, have a right, when in committee of the whole, to debate and vote on all subjects, and when the Senate are equally divided, to give the casting vote.

17. Should the Governor be impeached, removed from office, die, refuse to qualify, resign, or be absent from the State, the Lieutenant Governor shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of Governor, until another be duly elected and qualified, or the Governor, absent or impeached, shall return or be acquitted.

18. Whenever the Government shall be administered by the Lieutenant Governor, or he shall fail to attend as Speaker of the Senate, the Senators shall elect one of their own members as Speaker for that occasion. And if, during the vacancy of the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall be impeached, removed from office, refuse to qualify, resign, die, or be absent from the State, the Speaker of the Senate shall, in like manner, administer the government: Provided, that whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of Governor, before the first two years of the term shall have expired, a new election for Governor shall take place to fill such vacancy.

19. The Lieutenant Governor, or Speaker pro tempore of the Senate, while he acts as Speaker of the Senate, shall receive for his services the same compensation which shall, for the same period, be allowed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and no more; and during the time he administers the government as Governor, shall receive the same compensation which the Governor would have received, had he been employed in the duties of his office.

20. If the Lieutenant Governor shall be called upon to administer the government, and shall, while in such administration, resign, die, or be absent from the State during the recess of the General Assembly, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, for the time being, to convene the Senate for the purpose of choosing a Speaker.

21. The Governor shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint a Secretary of State, who shall be commissioned during the term for which the Governor was elected, if he shall so long behave himself well. He shall keep a fair register, and attest all the official acts of the Governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers, relative thereto, before either house of the General Assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.

22. Every bill, which shall have passed both houses, shall be presented to the Governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, a majority of all the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent with the objections to the other house, by which it shall likewise be considered, and if approved by a majority of all the members elected to that house, it shall be a law; but in such cases, the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill, shall be entered upon the journals of each house, respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor, within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law, unless sent back within three days after their next meeting.

23. Every order, resolution, or vote, in which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the Governor, and before it shall take effect, be approved by him; or being disapproved, shall be re-passed by a majority of all the members elected to both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

24. Contested elections for Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be determined by both houses of the General Assembly, according to such regulations as may be established by law.

25. A treasurer shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State, for the term of two years; and an Auditor of Public Accounts, Register of the Land Office, and Attorney General, for the term of four years. The duties and responsibilities of these officers shall be prescribed by law: Provided, that inferior State officers, not specially provided for in this Constitution, may be appointed, or elected, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, for a term not exceeding four years.

26. The first election, under this Constitution, for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Register of the Land Office, and Attorney General, shall be held on the first Monday in August in the year 1851.

ARTICLE IV.

Concerning the Judicial Department.

SECTION 1. The judicial power of this Commonwealth, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in one Supreme Court (to be styled the Court of Appeals,) the Courts established by this Constitution, and such Courts, inferior to the Supreme Court, as the General Assembly may, from time to time, erect and establish.

CONCERNING THE COURT OF APPEALS.

2. The Court of Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be co-extensive with the State, under such restrictions and regulations, not repugnant to this Constitution, as may, from time to time, be prescribed by law.

3. The Judges of the Court of Appeals shall, after their first term, hold their offices for eight years, from and after their election, and until their successors shall be duly qualified, subject to the conditions hereinafter prescribed; but for any reasonable cause, the Governor shall remove any of them on the address of two-thirds of each house of the General Assembly: Provided, however, that the cause or causes for which such removal may be required, shall be stated at length in such address, and on the journal of each house. They shall, at stated times, receive for their services an adequate compensation, to be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during the time for which they shall have been elected.

4. The Court of Appeals shall consist of four Judges, any three of whom may constitute a Court for the transaction of business. The General Assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this Constitution, shall divide the State, by counties, in four districts, as nearly equal in voting population, and with as convenient limits as may be, in each of which the qualified voters shall elect one Judge of the Court of Appeals: Provided, that whenever a vacancy shall occur in said Court, from any cause, the General Assembly shall have the power to reduce the number of Judges and districts; but in no event shall there be less than three Judges and districts. Should a change in the number of the Judges of the Court of Appeals be made, the term of office and number of districts shall be so changed as to preserve the principle of electing one Judge every two years.

5. The Judges shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be, "The Commonwealth of Kentucky." All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and conclude "against the peace and dignity of the same.”

6. The Judges first elected shall serve as follows, to wit: one shall serve until the first Monday in August, 1852; one until the first Monday in August, 1854; one until the first Monday in August, 1856; and one until the first Monday in August, 1858. The Judges, at the first term of the Court succeeding their election, shall determine, by lot, the length of time which each one shall serve; and at the expiration of the service of each, an election in the proper district shall take place to fill the vacancy. The Judge having the shortest time to serve shall be styled the Chief Justice of Kentucky.

7. If a vacancy shall occur in said Court from any cause, the Governor shall issue a writ of election to the proper district to fill such vacancy for the residue of the term: Provided, that if the unexpired term be less than one year, the Governor shall appoint a Judge to fill such vacancy.

8. No person shall be eligible to the office of Judge of the Court of Appeals, who is not a citizen of the United States, a resident of the district for which he may be a candidate two years next preceding his election, at least thirty years of age, and who has not been a practicing lawyer eight years, or whose service upon the bench of any Court of record, when added to the time he may have practiced law, shall not be equal to eight years.

9. The Court of Appeals shall hold its sessions at the seat of government, unless otherwise directed by law; but the General Assembly may, from time to time, direct that said Court shall hold its sessions in any one or more of said districts.

10. The first election of the Judges and Clerk or Clerks of the Court of Appeals shall take place on the second Monday in May, 1851, and thereafter, in each district as a vacancy may occur, by the expiration of the term of office; and the Judges of the said Court shall be commissioned by the Governor.

11. There shall be elected, by the qualified voters of this State, a Clerk of the Court of Appeals, who shall hold his office from the first election until the first Monday in August, 1858, and thereafter for the term of eight years from and after his election; and should the General Assembly provide for holding the Court of Appeals in any one or more of said districts, they shall also provide for the election of a Clerk by the qualified voters of such district, who shall hold his office for eight years, possess the same qualifications, and be subject to removal in the same manner as the Clerk of the Court of Appeals; but if the General Assembly shall, at its first or any other session, direct the Court of Appeals to hold its session in more than one district, a Clerk shall be elected by the qualified voters of such district. And the Clerk, first provided for in this section, shall be elected by the qualified voters of the other district or districts. The same principle shall be observed whenever the Court shall be directed to hold its sessions in either of the other districts. Should the number of Judges be reduced, the term of the office of Clerk shall be six years.

12. No person shall be eligible to the office of Clerk of the Court of Appeals, unless he be a citizen of the United States, a resident of the State two years next preceding his election, of the age of twenty-one years, and have a certificate from a Judge of the Court of Appeals, or a Judge of the Circuit Court, that he has been examined by the Clerk of his Court, under his supervision, and that he is qualified for the office for which he is a candidate.

13. Should a vacancy occur in the office of Clerk of the Court of Appeals, the Governor shall issue a writ of election, and the qualified voters of the State, or of the district in which the vacancy may occur, shall elect a Clerk of the Court of Appeals, to serve until the end of the term for which such clerk was elected: Provided, that when a vacancy shall occur from any cause, or the Clerk be under charges upon information, the Judges of the Court of Appeals shall have power to appoint a Clerk pro tem, to perform the duties of Clerk until such vacancy shall be filled, or the Clerk acquitted: And, provided further, that no writ of election shall issue to fill a vacancy unless the unexpired term exceed one year.

14. The General Assembly shall direct, by law, the mode and manner of conducting and making due returns to the Secretary of State, of all elections of the Judges and Clerk or Clerks of the Court of Appeals, and of determining contested elections of any of these officers.

15. The General Assembly shall provide for an additional Judge or Judges, to constitute, with the remaining Judge or Judges, a special Court for the trial of such cause or causes as may, at any time, be pending in the Court of Appeals, on the trial of which a majority of the Judges cannot sit, on account of interest in the event of the cause; or on account of their relationship to either party; or when a Judge may have been employed in or decided the cause in the inferior Court.

CONCERNING THE CIRCUIT COURTS.

16. A Circuit Court shall be established in each county now existing, or which may hereafter be erected in this Commonwealth.

17. The jurisdiction of said Court shall be and remain as now established, hereby giving to the General Assembly the power to change or alter it.

18. The right to appeal or sue out a writ of error to the Court of Appeals shall remain as it now exists, until altered by law, hereby giving to the General Assembly the power to change, alter, or modify said right.

19. At the first session after the adoption of this Constitution, the General Assembly shall divide the State into twelve judicial districts, having due regard to business, territory, and population: Provided, That no county shall be divided.

20. They shall, at the same time that the judicial districts are laid off, direct elections to be held in each district, to elect a Judge for said district, and shall prescribe in what manner the elections shall be conducted. The first election of Judges of the Circuit Court shall take place on the second Monday in May, 1851; and afterwards, on the first Monday in August, 1856, and on the first Monday in August in every sixth year thereafter.

21. All persons qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly, in each district, shall have the right to vote for Judges.

22. No person shall be eligible as Judge of the Circuit Court who is not a citizen of the United States, a resident of the district for which he may be a candidate two years next preceding his election, at least thirty years of age, and who has not been a practicing lawyer eight years, or whose service upon the bench of any Court of record, when added to the time he may have practiced law, shall not be equal to eight years.

23. The Judges of the Circuit Court shall, after their first term, hold their office for the term of six years from the day of their election. They shall be commissioned by the Governor, and continue in office until their successors be qualified, but shall be removable from office in the same manner as the Judges of the Court of Appeals; and the removal of a Judge from his district shall vacate his office.

24. The General Assembly, if they deem it necessary, may establish one additional district every four years, but the judicial districts shall not exceed sixteen, until the population of this State shall exceed one million five hundred thousand.

25. The Judges of the Circuit Courts shall, at stated times, receive for their services an adequate compensation, to be fixed by law, which shall be equal and uniform throughout the State, and which shall not be diminished during the time for which they were elected.

26. If a vacancy shall occur in the office of Judge of the Circuit Court, the Governor shall issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy, for the residue of the term: Provided, that if the unexpired term be less than one year, the Governor shall appoint a Judge to fill such vacancy.

27. The Judicial Districts of this State shall not be changed, except at the first session after an enumeration, unless when a new District may be established.

28. The General Assembly shall provide by law for holding Circuit Courts, when, from any cause, the Judge shall fail to attend, or, if in attendance, cannot properly preside.

CONCERNING COUNTY COURTS.

29. A County Court shall be established in each county now existing, or which may hereafter be erected within this Commonwealth, to consist of a Presiding Judge, and two Associate Judges, any two of whom shall constitute a court for the transaction of business: Provided, the General Assembly may at any time abolish the office of the Associate Judges, whenever it shall be deemed expedient; in which event they may associate with said court any or all of the Justices of the Peace for the transaction of business.

30. The Judges of the County Courts shall be elected by the qualified voters in each county, for the term of four years, and shall continue in office until their successors be duly qualified, and shall receive such compensation for their services as may be provided by law.

31. The first election of County Court Judges shall take place at the same time of the election of Judges of the Circuit Court. The Presiding Judge, first elected, shall hold his office until the first Monday in August, 1854. The Associate Judges shall hold their offices until the first Monday in August, 1852, and until their successors be qualified; and afterwards elections shall be held on the first Mondays in August, in the years in which vacancies regularly occur.

32. No person shall be eligible to the office of Presiding or Associate Judge of the County Court, unless he be a citizen of the United States, over twenty-one years of age, and shall have been a resident of the county in which he shall be chosen, one year next preceding the election.

33. The jurisdiction of the County Court shall be regulated by law; and, until changed, shall be the same now vested in the County Courts of this State.

34. Each county in this State shall be laid off into districts of convenient size, as the General Assembly may, from time to time, direct. Two Justices of the Peace shall be elected in each district, by the qualified voters therein, at such time and place as may be prescribed by law, for the term of four years, whose jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the county; no person shall be eligible as a Justice of the Peace, unless he be a citizen of the United States, twenty-one years of age, and a resident of the district in which he may be a candidate.

35. Judges of the County Court, and Justices of the Peace, shall be conservators of the peace. They shall be commissioned by the Governor. County and district officers shall vacate their offices by removal from the district or county in which they shall be appointed. The General Assembly shall provide, by law, the manner of conducting and making due return of all elections of Judges of the County Court and Justices of the Peace, and for determining contested elections, and provide the mode of filling vacancies in these offices.

36. Judges of the County Court and Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Coroners, Surveyors, Jailers, County Assessor, Attorney for the County, and Constables, shall be subject to indictment or presentment for malfeasance or misfeasance in office, or willful neglect in the discharge of their official duties, in such mode as may be prescribed by law, subject to appeal to the Court of Appeals; and upon conviction, their offices shall become vacant.

37. The General Assembly may provide, by law, that the Justices of the Peace in each county shall sit at the Court of Claims and assist in laying the county levy and making appropriations only.

38. When any city or town shall have a separate representation, such city or town, and the county in which it is located, may have such separate Municipal Courts, and executive and ministerial officers as the General Assembly may, from time to time, provide.

39. The Clerks of the Court of Appeals, Circuit, and County Courts, shall be removable from office by the Court of Appeals, upon information and good cause shown. The Court shall be judges of the fact as well as the law. Two-thirds of the members present must concur in the sentence.

40. The Louisville Chancery Court shall exist under this Constitution, subject to repeal, and its jurisdiction to enlargement and modification by the General Assembly. The Chancellor shall have the same qualifications as a Circuit Court Judge, and the Clerk of said Court as a Clerk of a Circuit Court, and the Marshal of said Court as a Sheriff; and the General Assembly shall provide for the election, by the qualified voters within its jurisdiction, of the Chancellor, Clerk, and Marshal of said Court, at the same time that the Judge and Clerk of the Circuit Court are elected for the county of Jefferson, and they shall hold their offices for the same time, and shall be removable in the same manner: Provided, that the Marshal of said Court shall be ineligible for the succeeding term.

41. The City Court of Louisville, the Lexington City Court, and all other Police Courts established in any city or town, shall remain, until otherwise directed by law, with their present powers and jurisdictions; and the Judges, Clerks, and Marshals of such Courts shall have the same qualifications, and shall be elected by the qualified voters of such cities or towns, at the same time, and in the same manner, and hold their offices for the same term as County Judges, Clerks, and Sheriffs, respectively, and shall be liable to removal in the same manner. The General Assembly may vest judicial powers, for police purposes, in Mayors of cities, Police Judges, and Trustees of towns.

ARTICLE V.

Concerning Impeachments.

SECTION 1. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.

2. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be upon oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

3. The Governor, and all civil officers, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit, under this Commonwealth; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject and liable to indictment, trial, and punishment by law.

ARTICLE VI.

Concerning Executive and Ministerial Officers for Counties and Districts.

SECTION 1. A Commonwealth's Attorney for each judicial district, and a Circuit Court Clerk for each county, shall be elected, whose term of office shall be the same as that of the Circuit Judges; also, a County Court Clerk, an Attorney, Surveyor, Coroner, and Jailer, for each county, whose term of office shall be the same as that of the Presiding Judge of the County Court.

2. No person shall be eligible to the offices mentioned in this article, who is not at the time twenty-four years old (except Clerks of County and Circuit Courts, Sheriffs, Constables, and County Attorneys, who shall be eligible at the age of twenty-one years,) a citizen of the United States, and who has not resided two years, next preceding the election, in the State, and one year in the county or district for which he is a candidate. No person shall be eligible to the office of Commonwealth's or County Attorney, unless he shall have been a licensed practicing attorney for two years. No person shall be eligible to the office of Clerk, unless he shall have procured from a Judge of the Court of Appeals, or a Judge of the Circuit Court, a certificate that he has been examined by the Clerk of his Court, under his supervision, and that he is qualified for the office for which he is a candidate.

3. The Commonwealth's Attorney and Circuit Court Clerk shall be elected at the same time as the Circuit Judge -- the Commonwealth's Attorney by the qualified voters of the district, the Circuit Court Clerk by the qualified voters of the county. The County Attorney, Clerk, Surveyor, Coroner, and Jailer shall be elected at the same time, and in the same manner, as the Presiding Judge of the County Court.

4. A Sheriff shall be elected in each county, by the qualified voters thereof, whose term of office shall, after the first term, be two years, and until his successor be qualified; and he shall be re-eligible for a second term; but no Sheriff shall, after the expiration of the second term, be re-eligible, or act as deputy, for the succeeding term. The first election of Sheriffs shall be on the second Monday in May, 1851; and the Sheriffs then elected shall hold their offices until the first Monday in January, 1853, and until their successors be qualified; and on the first Monday in August, 1852, and on the first Monday of August in every second year thereafter, elections for Sheriffs shall be held: Provided, that the Sheriffs first elected shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices on the first Monday in June, 1851; and after the first election, on the first Monday in January next succeeding their election.

5. A Constable shall be elected in every Justices’ District, who shall be chosen for two years, at such time and place as may be provided by law, whose jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the county in which he may reside.

6. Officers for towns and cities shall be elected for such terms, and in such manner, and with such qualifications, as may be prescribed by law.

7. Vacancies in offices under this article shall be filled, until the next regular election, in such manner as the General Assembly may provide.

8. When a new county shall be erected, officers for the same, to serve until the next stated election, shall be elected or appointed in such way, and at such times, as the General Assembly may prescribe.

9. Clerks, Sheriffs, Surveyors, Coroners, Constables, and Jailers, and such other officers as the General Assembly may, from time to time, require, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, and as often thereafter as may be deemed proper, give such bond and security as shall be prescribed by law.

10. The General Assembly may provide for the election or appointment, for a term not exceeding four years, of such other county or district ministerial and executive officers as shall, from time to time, be necessary and proper.

11. A County Assessor shall be elected in each county at the same time and for the same term that the Presiding Judge of the County Court is elected, until otherwise provided for by law. He shall have power to appoint such assistants as may be necessary and proper.

ARTICLE VII.

Concerning the Militia.

SECTION 1. The Militia of this Commonwealth shall consist of all free, able-bodied male persons (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted,) resident in the same, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years; except such persons as now are, or hereafter may be, exempted by the laws of the United States or of this State; but those who belong to religious societies, whose tenets forbid them to carry arms, shall not be compelled to do so, but shall pay an equivalent for personal services.

2. The Governor shall appoint the Adjutant General, and his other staff officers; the Major Generals, Brigadier Generals, and Commandants of Regiments shall, respectively, appoint their staff officers; and Commandants of Companies shall appoint their non-commissioned officers.

3. All militia officers, whose appointment is not herein otherwise provided for, shall be elected by persons subject to military duty within their respective companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and divisions, under such rules and regulations, and for such terms, not exceeding six years, as the General Assembly may, from time to time, direct and establish.

ARTICLE VIII.

General Provisions.

SECTION 1. Members of the General Assembly, and all officers, before they enter upon the execution of the duties of their respective offices, and all members of the bar, before they enter upon the practice of their profession, shall take the following oath or affirmation: I do solemnly swear, (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my abilities, the office of_______ according to law; and I do further solemnly swear, (or affirm,) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons, within this State, nor out of it with a citizen of this State, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, with a citizen of this State; nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, or aided, or assisted any person thus offending---so help me God.

2. Treason against the Commonwealth shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

3. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall be convicted of having given or offered any bribe or treat to procure his election.

4. Laws shall be made to exclude from office and from suffrage, those who shall thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other crimes or high misdemeanors. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practices.

5. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations made by law, nor shall any appropriations of money for the support of an army be made for a longer time than two years, and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published annually.

6. The General Assembly may direct, by law, in what manner, and in what Courts, suits may be brought against the Commonwealth.

7. The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed by the General Assembly the most solemn appeal to God.

8. All laws which, on the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, were in force in the State of Virginia, and which are of a general nature, and not local to that State, and not repugnant to this Constitution, nor to the laws which have been enacted by the General Assembly of this Commonwealth, shall be in force within this State, until they shall be altered or repealed by the General Assembly.

9. The Compact with the State of Virginia, subject to such alterations as may be made therein agreeably to the mode prescribed by the said Compact, shall be considered as part of this Constitution.

10. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass such laws as shall be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.

11. All civil officers for the Commonwealth at large, shall reside within the State, and all district, county, or town officers, within their respective districts, counties, or towns, (trustees of towns excepted,) and shall keep their offices at such places therein as may be required by law; and all militia officers shall reside in the bounds of the division, brigade, regiment, battalion, or company, to which they may severally belong.

12. Absence on the business of this State, or the United States, shall not forfeit a residence once obtained, so as to deprive any one of the right of suffrage, or of being elected or appointed to any office under this Commonwealth, under the exceptions contained in this Constitution.

13. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to regulate, by law, in what cases, and what deductions from the salaries of public officers shall be made, for neglect of duty in their official capacity.

14. Returns of all elections by the people, shall be made to the Secretary of State, for the time being, except in those cases otherwise provided for in this Constitution, or which shall be otherwise directed by law.

15. In all elections by the people, and also by the Senate and House of Representatives, jointly or separately, the votes shall be personally and publicly given, viva voce: Provided, that dumb persons, entitled to suffrage, may vote by ballot.

16. All elections by the people shall be held between the hours of six o'clock in the morning and seven o'clock in the evening.

17. The General Assembly shall, by law, prescribe the time when the several officers authorized or directed by this Constitution to be elected or appointed, shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices, except where the time is fixed by this Constitution.

18. No member of Congress, nor person holding or exercising any office of trust or profit under the United States, or either of them, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the General Assembly of this Commonwealth, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the same.

19. The General Assembly shall direct, by law, how persons who now are, or who may hereafter become securities for public officers, may be relieved or discharged on account of such securityship.

20. Any person who shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, either directly or indirectly, give, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge to any person or persons, to fight in single combat, with a citizen of this State, with any deadly weapon, either in or out of the State, shall be deprived of the right to hold any office of honor or profit in this Commonwealth, and shall be punished otherwise in such manner as the General Assembly may prescribe by law.

21. The Governor shall have power, after five years from the time of the offense, to pardon all persons who shall have in any wise participated in a duel, either as principals, seconds, or otherwise, and to restore him or them to all the rights, privileges, and immunities to which he or they were entitled before such participation. And upon the presentation of such pardon, the oath prescribed in the first section of this article shall be varied to suit the case.

22. At its first session after the adoption of this Constitution, the General Assembly shall appoint not more than three persons, learned in the law, whose duty it shall be to revise and arrange the statute laws of this Commonwealth, both civil and criminal, so as to have but one law on any one subject; and also three other persons, learned in the law, whose duty it shall be to prepare a code of practice for the Courts, both civil and criminal, in this Commonwealth, by abridging and simplifying the rules of practice and laws in relation thereto; all of whom shall, at as early a day as practicable, report the result of their labors to the General Assembly, for their adoption or modification.

23. So long as the Board of Internal Improvement shall be continued, the President thereof shall be elected by the qualified voters of this Commonwealth, and hold the office for the term of four years, and until another be duly elected and qualified. The election shall be held at the same time, and be conducted in the same manner, as the election of Governor of this Commonwealth under this Constitution; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the General Assembly from abolishing said Board of Internal Improvement, or the office of President thereof.

24. The General Assembly shall provide, by law, for the trial of any contested election of Auditor, Register, Treasurer, Attorney General, Judges of Circuit Courts, and all other officers not otherwise herein specified.

25. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the making of the returns by the proper officers, of the election of all officers to be elected under this Constitution; and the Governor shall issue commissions to the Auditor, Register, Treasurer, President of the Board of Internal Improvement, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and such other officers as he may be directed, by law, to commission, as soon as he has ascertained the result of the election of those officers respectively.

26. When a vacancy shall happen in the office of Attorney General, Auditor of Public Accounts, Treasurer, Register of the Land Office, President of the Board of Internal Improvement, or Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Governor, in the recess of the Senate, shall have power to fill the vacancy by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session, and shall fill the vacancy for the balance of the time by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

ARTICLE IX.

Concerning the Seat of Government.

SECTION 1. The seat of government shall continue in the city of Frankfort, until it shall be removed by law: Provided, however, that two-thirds of all the members elected to each house of the General Assembly shall concur in the passage of such law.

ARTICLE X.

Concerning Slaves.

SECTION 1. The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, or without paying their owners, previous to such emancipation, a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated, and providing for their removal from the State. They shall have no power to prevent immigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State. They shall pass laws to permit owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and to prevent them from remaining in this State after they are emancipated. They shall have full power to prevent slaves being brought into this State as merchandise. They shall have full power to prevent slaves being brought into this State, who have been, since the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, or may hereafter be imported into any of the United States from a foreign country. And they shall have full power to pass such laws as may be necessary to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity; to provide for them necessary clothing and provision; to abstain from all injuries to them, extending to life or limb; and in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of their owner or owners.

2. The General Assembly shall pass laws providing that any free negro or mulatto hereafter immigrating to, and any slave hereafter emancipated in, and refusing to leave this State, or having left, shall return and settle within this State, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and punished by confinement in the Penitentiary thereof.

3. In the prosecution of slaves for felony, no inquest by a grand jury shall be necessary; but the proceedings in such prosecutions shall be regulated by law, except that the General Assembly shall have no power to deprive them of the privilege of an impartial trial by a petit jury.

ARTICLE XI.

Concerning Education.

SECTION 1. The capital of the fund called and known as the "Common School Fund, " consisting of one million, two hundred and twenty-five thousand, seven hundred and sixty-eight dollars, and forty-two cents, for which bonds have been executed by the State to the Board of Education, and seventy-three thousand, five hundred dollars of stock in the Bank of Kentucky; also, the sum of fifty-one thousand, two hundred and twenty-three dollars, and twenty-nine cents, balance of interest on the School Fund for the year 1848, unexpended, together with any sum which may be hereafter raised in the State by taxation, or otherwise, for purposes of education, shall be held inviolate, for the purpose of sustaining a system of Common Schools. The interest and dividends of said funds, together with any sum which may be produced for that purpose by taxation or otherwise, may be appropriated in aid of Common Schools, but for no other purpose. The General Assembly shall invest said fifty-one thousand, two hundred and twenty-three dollars, and twenty-nine cents in some safe and profitable manner; and any portion of the interest and dividends of said School Fund, or other money or property raised for school purposes, which may not be needed in sustaining Common Schools, shall be invested in like manner. The General Assembly shall make provision, by law, for the payment of the interest of said School Fund: Provided, that each county shall be entitled to its proportion of the income of said fund, and if not called for, for Common School purposes, it shall be re-invested from time to time for the benefit of such county.

2. A Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be elected by the qualified voters of this Commonwealth, at the same time the Governor is elected, who shall hold his office for four years, and his duties and salary shall be prescribed and fixed by law.

ARTICLE XII.

Mode of Revising the Constitution.

SECTION 1. When experience shall point out the necessity of amending this Constitution, and when a majority of all the members elected to each house of the General Assembly shall, within the first twenty days of any regular session, concur in passing a law for taking the sense of the good people of this Commonwealth as to the necessity and expediency of calling a Convention, it shall be the duty of the several Sheriffs, and other officers of elections, at the next General Election which shall be held for Representatives to the General Assembly, after the passage of such law, to open a poll for, and make return to the Secretary of State, for the time being, of the names of all those entitled to vote for Representatives, who have voted for calling a Convention; and if, thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this State, entitled to vote for Representatives, have voted for calling a Convention, the General Assembly shall, at their next regular session, direct that a similar poll shall be opened, and return made for the next election for Representatives; and if, thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this State, entitled to vote for Representatives, have voted for calling a Convention, the General Assembly shall, at their next session, pass a law calling a Convention, to consist of as many members as there shall be in the House of Representatives, and no more; to be chosen on the first Monday in August thereafter, in the same manner and proportion, and at the same places, and possessed of the same qualifications of a qualified elector, by citizens entitled to vote for Representatives; and to meet within three months after their election, for the purpose of re-adopting, amending, or changing this Constitution; but if it shall appear by the vote of either year, as aforesaid, that a majority of all the citizens entitled to vote for Representatives did not vote for calling a Convention, a Convention shall not then be called. And for the purpose of ascertaining whether a majority of the citizens, entitled to vote for Representatives, did or did not vote for calling a Convention, as above, the General Assembly passing the law authorizing such vote shall provide for ascertaining the number of citizens entitled to vote for Representatives within the State.

2. The Convention, when assembled, shall judge of the election of its members and decide contested elections, but the General Assembly shall, in calling a Convention, provide for taking testimony in such cases and for issuing a writ of election in case of a tie.

ARTICLE XIII.

Bill of Rights.

That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, WE DECLARE,

SECTION 1. That all freemen, when they form a social compact, are equal, and that no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive, separate public emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.

2. That absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty, and property of freemen, exists nowhere in a republic--not even in the largest majority.

3. The right of property is before and higher than any constitutional sanction; and the right of the owner of a slave to such slave and its increase, is the same, and as inviolable as the right of the owner of any property whatever.

4. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, happiness, security, and the protection of property. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their government, in such manner as they may think proper.

5. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious societies or modes of worship.

6. That the civil rights, privileges, or capacities, of any citizen shall in nowise be diminished or enlarged on account of his religion.

7. That all elections shall be free and equal.

8. That the ancient mode of trial by jury shall be held sacred, and the right thereof remain inviolate, subject to such modifications as may be authorized by this Constitution.

9. That printing presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the General Assembly, or any branch of government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

10. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

11. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable seizures and searches, and that no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person, or thing, shall issue, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

12. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself; nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

13. That no person shall, for any indictable offense, be proceeded against criminally, by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger, or by leave of the court, for oppression or misdemeanor in office.

14. No person shall, for the same offense, be twice put in jeopardy of his life or limb; nor shall any man's property be taken or applied to public use, without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being previously made to him.

15. That all courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by the due course of law, and right and justice administered, without sale, denial, or delay.

16. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the General Assembly, or its authority.

17. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.

18. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offenses, when the proof is evident or presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

19. That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

20. That no ex post facto law, nor any law impairing contracts, shall be made.

21. That no person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the General Assembly.

22. That no attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor, except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate to the Commonwealth.

23. That the estates of such persons as shall destroy their own lives, shall descend or vest as in case of natural death; and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

24. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.

25. That the rights of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned; but the General Assembly may pass laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed arms.

26. That no standing army shall, in time of peace, be kept up, without the consent of the General Assembly; and the military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

27. That no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

28. That the General Assembly shall not grant any title of nobility, or hereditary distinction, nor create any office, the appointment to which shall be for a longer time than for a term of years.

29. That emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.

30. To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, WE DECLARE, that every thing in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this Constitution, shall be void.

SCHEDULE.

That no inconvenience may arise from the alterations and amendments made in the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared and ordained:

SECTION 1. That all the laws of this Commonwealth, in force at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, and not inconsistent therewith, and all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well of individuals as of bodies corporate, shall continue as if this Constitution had not been adopted.

2. The oaths of office herein directed to be taken may be administered by any Judge or Justice of the Peace, until the General Assembly shall otherwise direct.

3. No office shall be superseded by the adoption of this Constitution, but the laws of the State relative to the duties of the several officers, Legislative, Executive, Judicial, and Military, shall remain in full force, though the same be contrary to this Constitution, and the several duties shall be performed by the respective officers of the State, according to the existing laws, until the organization of the Government, as provided for under this Constitution, and the entering into office of the officers to be elected or appointed under said government, and no longer.

4. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly which shall convene in the year 1850, to make an apportionment of the representation of this State, upon the principle set forth in this Constitution; and until the first apportionment shall be made as herein directed, the apportionment of Senators and Representatives among the several districts and counties in this State, shall remain as at present fixed by law: Provided, that on the first Monday in August, 1850, all Senators shall go out of office, and on that day an election for Senators and Representatives shall be held throughout the State, and those then elected shall hold their offices for one year, and no longer: Provided, further, that at the elections to be held in the year 1850, that provision in this Constitution which requires voters to vote in the precinct within which they reside, shall not apply.

5. All recognizances heretofore taken, or which may be taken before the organization of the judicial department under this Constitution, shall remain as valid as though this Constitution had not been adopted, and may be prosecuted in the name of the Commonwealth. All criminal prosecutions and penal actions which have arisen, or may arise before the re-organization of the judicial department under this Constitution, may be prosecuted to judgment and execution, in the name of the Commonwealth.

"We, the Representatives of the freemen of Kentucky, in Convention assembled, in their name, and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and in virtue of the powers vested in us, as Delegates from the counties respectively affixed to our names, do ordain and proclaim the foregoing to be the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from and after this day.

Done at Frankfort this eleventh day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty, and in the fifty-ninth year of the Commonwealth.”

JAMES GUTHRIE,

President of the Convention, and Member from the City of Louisville.

ATTEST:
THO. J. HELM, Secretary of the Convention.
THO. D. TILFORD, Assistant Secretary.

Nathan Gaither, from the county of Adair.
George W. Mansfield, from the county of Allen.
George W. Kavanaugh, from the county of Anderson.
Richard D. Gholson, from the counties of Ballard and McCracken.
John T. Rogers, from the county of Barren.
Robert D. Maupin, from the county of Barren.
James M. Nesbitt, from the county of Bath.
Charles Chambers, from the county of Boone.
George W. Williams, from the county of Bourbon.
Richard H. Hanson, from the county of Bourbon.
Albert G. Talbott, from the county of Boyle.
William C. Marshall, from the county of Bracken.
John Hargis, from the counties of Breathitt and Morgan.
Daniel J. Stephens, from the county of Breckinridge.
William R. Thompson, from the county of Bullitt.
Vincent S. Hay, from the counties of Butler and Edmonson.
Willis B. Machen, from the county of Caldwell.
Edward Curd, from the counties of Calloway and Marshall.
Ira Root, from the county of Campbell.
John T. Robinson, from the counties of Carroll and Gallatin.
Thomas J. Hood, from the counties of Carter and Lawrence.
Jesse Coffey, from the county of Casey.
John D. Morris, from the county of Christian.
Ninian E. Gray, from the county of Christian.
Andrew Hood, from the county of Clarke.
James H. Garrard, from the counties of Clay, Letcher and Perry.
Michael L. Stoner, from the counties of Cumberland and Clinton.
Henry R. D. Coleman, from the county of Crittenden.
Philip Triplett, from the county of Daviess.
Luther Brawner, from the counties of Estill and Owsley.
James Dudley, from the county of Fayette.
Robert N. Wickliffe, from the county of Fayette.
Will. W. Blair, from the county of Fleming.
James M. Lackey, from the counties of Floyd, Pike and Johnson.
Thomas N. Lindsey, from the county of Franklin.
William Hendrix, from the county of Grant.
Richard L. Mayes, from the county of Graves.
John J. Thurman, from the county of Grayson.
Thomas W. Lisle, from the county of Green.
Henry B. Pollard, from the county of Greenup.
Thomas D. Brown, from the county of Hardin.
James W. Stone, from the county of Hardin.
Hugh Newell, from the county of Harrison.
Lucius Desha, from the county of Harrison.
Benjamin Copelin, from the county of Hart.
Archibald Dixon, from the county of Henderson.
Elijah F. Nuttall, from the county of Henry.
Thomas James, from the counties of Hickman and Fulton.
William Bradley, from the county of Hopkins.
David Meriwether, from the county of Jefferson.
William C. Bullitt, from the county of Jefferson.
Alex. K. Marshall, from the county of Jessamine.
John W. Stevenson, from the county of Kenton.
Silas Woodson, from the counties of Knox and Harlan.
James P. Hamilton, from the county of Larue.
Jonathan Newcum, from the counties of Laurel and Rockcastle.
Larkin J. Proctor, from the county of Lewis.
John L. Ballinger, from the county of Lincoln.
William Cowper, from the county of Livingston.
William K. Bowling, from the county of Logan.
James W. Irwin, from the county of Logan.
James Rudd, from the city of Louisville.
William Preston, from the city of Louisville.
Squire Turner, from the county of Madison.
William Chenault, from the county of Madison.
Green Forrest, from the county of Marion.
Peter Lashbrooke, from the county of Mason.
John D. Taylor, from the county of Mason.
Thomas J. Gough, from the county of Meade.
Thomas P. Moore, from the county of Mercer.
John S. Barlow, from the county of Monroe.
Richard Apperson, from the county of Montgomery.
Alfred M. Jackson, from the county of Muhlenburg.
Ben. Hardin, from the county of Nelson.
Charles A. Wickliffe, from the county of Nelson.
Benjamin F. Edwards, from the county of Nicholas.
Howard Todd, from the county of Owen.
John H. McHenry, from the counties of Ohio and Hancock.
John Wheeler, from the county of Pendleton.
James D. Allcorn, from the county of Pulaski.
Nathan McClure, from the county of Russell.
William Johnson, from the county of Scott.
Beverly L. Clarke, from the county of Simpson.
Andrew S. White, from the county of Shelby.
George W. Johnston, from the county of Shelby.
Mark E. Huston, from the county of Spencer.
William N. Marshall, from the county of Taylor.
Francis M. Bristow, from the county of Todd.
Alfred Boyd, from the county of Trigg.
Wesley J. Wright, from the county of Trimble.
Ignatius A. Spalding, from the county of Union.
Chasteen T. Dunavan, from the county of Warren.
Thomas Rockhold, from the county of Whitley.
John L. Waller, from the county of Woodford.
Charles Cooper Kelly, from the county of Washington.