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THE TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT OF ARKANSAS-1819.4
(FIFTEENTH CONGRESS, SECOND SEssion.] An Act establishing a separate territorial government in the southern part of the Terri
tory of Missouri. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, from and after the fourth day of July next, all that part of the Territory of Missouri which lies south of a line beginning on the Mississippi River, at thirty-six degrees north latitude, running thence west to the river Saint François; thence, up the same, to thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude; and thence, west, to the western territorial boundary-line; shall, for the purposes of a territorial government, constitute a separate Territory, and be called the Arkansaw Territory.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be established in the said Territory of Arkansaw, a temporary government, to consist of three departments, the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall reside in the said Territory, and shall hold his office during three years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States; he shall be commander-in-chief of the militia of said Territory, shall have power to appoint and commission all officers required by law to be appointed for said Territory, whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by this act; shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; shall have power to grant pardons for offenses against the said Territory, and reprieves for those against the United States, until the decision of the President thereon shall have been made known; shall, on extraordinary occasions, have power to convene the general assembly, hereinafter provided for, after one sliall have been organized in conformity to law; shall, ex-officio, be superintendent of Indian affairs, and shall have such other powers, and perform such further duties, as are by law given to, and imposed on, the governor of the Missouri Territory, in all cases in which they shall become legally applicable to the Territory of Arkansaw.
* The area of the State of Arkansas was ceded by France to the United States and became a part of the Territory of Louisiana, and then of the Territory of Arkansas.
+ This act was amended by an act approved May 26, 1824.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That there shall be a secretary for the said Territory, who shall reside therein, and continue in office for the term of four years, unless sooner removed by the President: he shall perform all the duties imposed on the secretary for the Territory of Missouri, by an act of Congress of the fourth of June, eighteen hundred and twelve, entitled "An act providing for the government of Missouri.”
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power shall, until the organization of the general assembly, hereinafter provided for, be vested in the governor and the judges of the superior court of the Territory, who shall have power to pass any law for the administration of justice in said Territory, which shall not be repugnant to this act, or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States: Provided, That whenever the general assembly shall be organized, all the legislative power of the Territory shall be vested in, and exercised by, the said general assembly.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That so much of the act of Congress of the fourth of June, eighteen hundred and twelve, entitled “An act providing for the government of the Territory of Missouri,” as relates to the organization of a general assembly therein, prescribes the powers and privileges thereof, the mode of election, and period of service, of the members thereof, and defines the qualifications and privileges of the electors and elected, shall be in full force and operation in the Arkansaw Territory, to the extent of its application, so soon as the governor thereof shall be satisfied that such is the desire of a majority of the freeholders thereof, and not until then : Provided, That until there shall be five thousand free white males, of the age of twenty-one years and upward, resident in the said Territory, the whole number of representatives shall not exceed nine.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the judicial power of the Territory shall be vested in a superior court, and in such inferior courts as the legislative department of the Territory shall, from time to time, institute and establish, and in justices of the peace. The superior court shall be composed of three judges, who shall reside in the Territory, and continue in office for the term of four years, unless sooner removed by the President. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in all criminal and penal cases, and exclusive cognizance of all capital cases, and shall have and exercise original jurisdiction, concurrently with the inferior courts, and exclusive appellate jurisdiction in all civil cases in which the amount in controversy shall be one hundred dollars or upward. The superior court shall be holden at such times and place, or places, as the legislative department shall direct, and continue in session until the business therein shall be disposed of, or as long as shall be prescribed by law: Provided, That any two of the judges shall constitute a court of appellate, and any one a court of original, jurisdiction.
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the governor, secretary, judges, and all other officers, of the Territory, civil and military, shall, before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States, and to discharge, with fidelity, the duties of their offices; the governor, before a judge of the Supreme or district court of the United States, or a judge of the superior court of the said Territory; the secretary and judges, before the said governor, or a judge of the Supreme or district court of the United States; and all other officers, before the governor, or any of the judges of the supreme or inferior courts, or justices of the peace, of said Territory.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted; That the governor, secretary, and judges of the superior court authorized for said Territory, during the temporary government thereof, shall be appointed by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate: Provided, That the President shall have full power, during the recess of the Senate, to commission all or any of the said officers, until the end of the session of Congress next succeeding the date of the commission. The governor, secretary, and judges of the superior court shall receive the same compensation, payable quarter-yearly, which the governor, secretary, and superior judges of the Missouri Territory are entitled to by law.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That all the laws which shall be in force in the Territory of Missouri, on the fourth day of July next, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act, and which shall be applicable to the Territory of Arkansaw, shall be, and continue, in force in the latter Territory, until modified or repealed by the legislative authority thereof.
SEC. II. And be it further enacted, That the bounty-lands granted, or hereafter to be granted, for military services during the late war, shall, where they continue to be held by the patentees or their heirs, remain exempt from all taxes, for the term of three years from and after the date of the patents respectively.
SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That whenever, according to the provisions of this act, the people of the Arkansaw Territory shall have a right to elect members of the house of representatives of their general assembly, they shall also have the right to elect a Delegate from the said Territory to the Congress of the United States, who shall possess the same powers, enjoy the same privileges, and receive the same compensation granted and secured by law to the Delegates from other Territories.
Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That until otherwise directed by the legislative department of the said Territory of Arkansaw, the seat of the territorial government thereof shall be the post of Arkansaw, on the Arkansaw River.
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That the line now established by law, between the land-offices at the seat of justice in the county of Lawrence, and at the town of Jackson, in the county of Cape Girardeau, shall, from and after the passage of this act, be so altered as to run, be the same, and correspond, with the northern line of the said Territory of Arkansaw, anything in the act, entitled "An act making provision for the establishment of additional land-offices in the Territory of Missouri," passed the seventeenth day of February, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, to the contrary notwithstanding.
APPROVED 2 March, 1819.
We, the people of the Territory of Arkansas, by our representatives in convention asscmbled, at Little Rock, on Monday, the 4th day of January, A. D. 1836, and of the Independence of the United States the sixtieth year, having the right of admission into the Union as one of the United States of America, consistent with the Federal Constitution, and by virtue of the treaty of cession, by France to the United States, of the Province of Louisiana, in order to secure to ourselves and our posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty, and property, and the free pursuit of happiness, do mutually agree with cach other to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the name and style of “The State of Arkansas," and do ordain and establish the following constitution for the government thereof:
OF BOUNDARIES. We do declare and establish, ratify and confirm, the following as the permanent boundaries of said State of Arkansas, that is to say: Beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River, on the parallel of thirty-six degrees north latitude; running from thence west with the said parallel of latitude to the Saint Francis River; thence up the middle of the main channel of said river to the parallel of thirtysix degrees, thirty minutes north; from thence west to the southwest corner of the State of Missouri; and from thence to be bounded on the west, to the north bank of Red River, as by acts of Congress and treaties heretofore defining the western limits of the Territory of Arkansas; and to be bounded on the south side of Red River by the Mexican boundary-line to the northwest corner of the State of Louisiana; thence east with the Louisiana State line, to the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence up the middle of the main channel of said river to the thirtysixth degree of north latitude, the point of beginning.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and unalterably established, we declare:
SECTION 1. That all freemen, when they form a social compact, are equal, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation; and of pursuing their own happiness.
SEC. 2. That all power is inherent in the people; and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness. For the advancement of these ends, they have, at all times, an unqualified right to alter, reform or abolish their government, in such manner as they may think proper.
Sec. 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; and no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. That no human authority can, in any case whatever, interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given to any religious establishment or mode of worship.
SEC. 4. That the civil rights, privileges or capacities of any citizen shall in no wise be diminished or enlarged on account of his religion.
SEC. 5. That all elections shall be free and equal.
Sec. 7. That printing-presses shall be free to every person; and no law shall ever be made to restrain the rights 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.
Sec. 8. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in 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 the right to determine the law and the facts.
Sec. 9. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and that general warrants, whereby any officer may be commanded to search suspected places, without evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offences are not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be granted.
Sec. 10. That no freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.
Sec. 11. 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, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in prosecutions by indictment or presentment, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the crime shall have been committed; and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.
Sec. 12. That no person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.
SEC. 13. That all penalties shall be reasonable, and proportioned to the nature of the offence.
Sec. 14. That no man shall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by presentment, indictment or impeachment.
Sec. 15. That no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
SEC. 16. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless in capital offences, where the proof is evident or the presumption great: and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless where, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
SEC. 17. That excessive bail shall in no case be required, nor excessive fines imposed.
Sec. 18. That no ex post facto law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be made.
SEC. 19. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a republic, and shall not be allowed; nor shall any hereditary emolument, privileges or honors ever be granted or conferred in this State.
Sec. 20. That the citizens have a right in a peaceablc manner to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the power of the government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance.
SEC. 21. That the free white men of this State shall have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence.
SEC. 22. 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 prescribed by
SEC. 23. The military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.
SEC. 24. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people; and, to guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, or any transgression of any of the higher powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of the government, and shall forever remain in violate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the other provisions herein contained, shall be void.
SECTION 1. The powers of the government of the State of Arkansas shall be divided into three distinct departments, each of them to 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 judicial, to another.
SEC. 2. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power belonging to either of the others; except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.
SECTION 1. The legislative power of this State shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate, and a house of representatives.