« ZurückWeiter »
soon as the convention, the appointment whereof has been authorized by Congress at their present session, shall have formed a constitution and State government for that part of the Mississippi Territory lying west of the Territory herein described; of which act of convention the governor of the Mississippi, for the time being, shall give immediate notice to the President of the United States, who shall thereupon forth with proceed to the execution of the powers vested in him by the second section of this act; but in case said convention shall fail to form a constitution and State govern. ment, as aforesaid, then this act shall become null and void, except so far as relates to the third section thereof, which shall take effect, and be in force, from and after the passage of this act.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That all persons who shall be in office, within the Territory hereby established, when the said convention shall have formed a constitution and State government, as aforesaid, shall continue to hold and exercise their offices, in all respects, as if this act had never been made; and the governor and secretary of the Mississippi Territory, for the time being, shall continue to exercise the duties of their respective offices, in relation to the Territory hereby established, until a governor and secretary shall be appointed therefor, in pursuance to this act.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, Thar all judicial process in the said Territory of Alabama shall be issued, and bear teste, as heretofore; nor shall any suit be discontinued, or the proceedings of any cause stayed, or in any wise affected, by anything contained in this act, or in the act entitled “An act to enable the people of the western part of the Mississippi Territory to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States."
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the town of Saint Stephens shall be the seat of government for the said Alabama Territory, until it shall be otherwise ordered by the legislature thereof.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That whatever balance may remain in the treasury of the Mississippi Territory, at the time when the convention authorized to form a constitution and State government for the western part of said Territory, may have formed a constitution and State government for the same, shall be divided between the new State and Territory, according to the amount which may have been paid into said treasury from the counties lying within the limits of such State and Territory respectively.
APPROVED, 3 March, 1817.
TREATY WITH SPAIN CEDING FLORIDA-1819.
[See “ Florida,” pages 308–312.]
ENABLING ACT FOR ALABAMA-1819.
[FIFTEENTH CONGRESS, SECOND SEssion.] Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the inhabitants of the Territory of Alabama be, and they are hereby, authorized to form for themselves a constitution and State government, and to assume such name as they may deem proper; and that the said Territory, when formed into a State, shall be admitted into the Union, upon the same footing with the original States, in all respects whatever.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said State shall consist of all the territory included within the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at the point where the thirty-first degree of north latitude intersects the Perdido River; thence, east, to the western boundary-line of the State of Georgia; thence, along said line, to the southern boundary-line of the State of Tennessee; thence, west, along said boundaryline, to the Tennessee River; thence, up the same, to the mouth of Bear Creek; thence, by a direct line, to the northwest corner of Washington County; thence, due south, to the Gulf of Mexico; thence, eastwardly, including all islands within six leagues of the shore, to the Perdido River; and thence, up the same, to the beginning.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the surveyor of the lands of the United States south of the State of Tennessee, and the surveyor of the public lands in the Alabama Territory, to run and cut out the line of demarcation, between the State of Mississippi and the State to be formed of the Alabama Territory; and if it should appear to said surveyors that so much of said line designated in the preceding section, running due south, from the northwest corner of Washington County to the Gulf of Mexico, will encroach on the counties of Wayne, Greene, or Jackson, in said State of Mississippi, then the same shall be so altered as to run in a direct line from the northwest corner of Washington County to a point on the Gulf of Mexico, ten miles east of the mouth of the river Pascagoula.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all white male citizens of the United States, who shall have arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and have resided in said Territory three months previous to the day of election, and all persons having, in other respects, the legal qualifications to vote for representatives in the general assembly of the said Territory, be, and they are hereby, authorized to choose representatives to form a constitution, who shall be appointed among the several counties as follows:
From the county of Madison, eight representatives.
And the election for the representatives aforesaid shall be holden on the first Monday and Tuesday in May next, throughout the several counties in the said Territory, and shall be conducted in the same manner, and under the same regulations, as prescribed by the laws of the said Territory regulating elections therein for the members of the House of Representatives.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the members of the convention, thus duly elected, be, and they are hereby, authorized to meet, at the town of Huntsville, on the first Monday in July next; which convention, when met, shall first determine, by a majority of the whole number elected, whether it be, or be not, expedient, at that time, to form a constitution and State government for the people within the said Territory: And if it be determined to be expedient, the convention shall be, and hereby are, authorized to form a constitution and State government: Provided, That the same, when formed, shall be republican, and not repugnant to the principles of the ordinance of the thirteenth of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, between the people and States of the territory northwest of the river Ohio, so far as the same has been extended to the said territory, by the articles of agreement between the United States and the State of Georgia, or of the Constitution of the United States.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the following propositions be, and the same are hereby, offered to the convention of the said Territory of Alabama, when formed, for their free acceptance or rejection, which, if accepted by the convention, shall be obligatory upon the United States.
First. That the section numbered sixteen in every township, and when such section has been sold, granted, or disposed of, other lands equivalent thereto, and most contiguous to the same, shall be granted to the inhabitants of such townships for the use of schools.
Second. That all salt-springs within the said Territory, and the lands reserved for the use of the same, together with such other lands as may, by the President of the United States, be deemed necessary and proper for working the said salt-springs, not exceeding in the whole the quantity contained in thirty-six entire sections, shall be granted to the said State, for the use of the people of the said State, the same to be used, under such terms, conditions, and regulations, as the legislature of the said State shall direct: Provided, The said legislature shall never sell nor lease the same for a longer term than ten years at any one time.
Third. That five per cent. of the net proceeds of the lands lying within the said Territory, and which shall be sold by Congress, from and after the first day of September, in the year one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, after deducting all expenses incident to the same, shall be reserved for making public roads, canals, and improving the navigation of rivers, of which three-fifths shall be applied to those objects within the said State, under the direction of the legislature thereof, and twofifths to the making of a road or roads leading to the said State, under the direction of Congress.
Fourth. That thirty-six sections, or one entire township, to be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, under the direction of the President of the United States, together with the one heretofore reserved for that purpose, shall be reserved for the use of a seminary of learning, and vested in the legislature of the said State, to be appropriated solely to the use of such seminary by the said legislature. And the Secretary of the Treasury, under the direction as aforesaid, may reserve the seventytwo sections, or two townships, hereby set apart for the support of a seminary of learning, in small tracts: Provided, That no tract shall consist of less than two sections: And provided always, That the said convention shall provide, by an ordinance irrevocable without the consent of the United States, that the people inhabiting the said Territory, do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the waste or unappropriated lands’lying within the said Territory; and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; and, moreover, that each and every tract of land sold by the United States, after the first day of September, in the year one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, shall be and remain exempt from any tax laid by the order, or under the authority, of the State, whether for State, county, township, parish, or any other purpose whatever, for the term of five years, from and after the respective days of the sales thereof: and that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States, residing without the said State, shall never be taxed higher than the lands belonging to persons residing therein ; and that no tax shall be imposed on lands, the property of the United States; and that all navigable waters within the said State shall forever remain public highways, free to the citizens of said State and of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll, therefor, imposed by the said State.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That, in lieu of a section of land, provided to be reserved for the seat of government of the said Territory, by an act, entitled "An act respecting the surveying and sale of the public lands in the Alabama Territory," there be granted to the said State, for the seat of the government thereof, a tract of land containing sixteen hundred and twenty acres, and consisting of sundry fractions and a quarter-section, in sections thirty-one and thirty-two, in township sixteen, and range ten, and in sections five and six, in township fifteen, and range ten, and in sections twenty-nine and thirty, in the same township and range, lying on both sides of the Alabama and Cahawba Rivers, and including the mouth of the river Cahawba, and which heretofore has been reserved from public sale, by order of the President of the United States.
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That, until the next general census shall be taken, the said State shall be entitled to one Representative in the House of Representatives of the United States.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That, in case the said convention shall form a constitution and State government for the people of the Territory of Alabama, the said convention, as soon thereafter as may be, shall cause a true and attested copy of such constitution or frame of government as shall be formed or provided, to be transmitted to Congress, for its approbation.
APPROVED, 2 March, 1819.
CONSTITUTION OF ALABAMA-1819.
We, the people of the Alabama Territory, having the right of admission into the General Government, as a member of the Union, consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, by our representatives, assembled in convention at the town of Huntsville, on Monday, the fifth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, in pursuance of an act of Congress, entitled "An act to enable the people of the Alabama Territory to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of such State into the Union, on an equal footing with the original States;" in order to establish justice, insure tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the rights of life, liberty, and property, do ordain and establish the following constitution or form of government; and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the name of “the State of Alabama." And we do hereby recognize, confirm, and establish the boundaries assigned to said State by the act of Congress aforesaid, “to wit: Beginning at the point where the thirty-first degree of north latitude intersects the Perdido River, thence, east, to the western boundary-line of the State of Georgia ; thence, along said line, to the southern boundary-line of the State of Tennessee; thence, west, along said boundary-line, to the Tennessee River ; thence, up the same, to the mouth of Bear Creek; thence, by a direct line, to the northwest corner of Washington County; thence, due south, to the Gulf of Mexico; thence, eastwardly, including all islands within six leagues of the shore, to the Perdido River; and thence, up the same, to the beginning”-subject to such alteration as is provided in the third section of said act of Congress, and subject to such enlargement as may be made by law, in consequence of any cession of territory by the United States, or either of them.
DECLARATION 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 in rights; and that no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive, separate public emoluments or privileges, but in consideration of public services.
Sec. 2. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit: and, therefore, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their form of government, in such manner as they may think expedient.
Sec. 3. No person within this State shall, upon any pretence, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to his own conscience; nor be compelled to attend any place of worship; nor shall any one ever be obliged to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry.
Sec. 4. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience.
Sec. 5. No person shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasions, provided he does not disturb others in their religious worship. .
SEC. 6. The civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen, shall in no way be diminished or enlarged, on account of his religious principles.
Sec. 7. There shall be no establishment of religion by law; no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; and no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State.
Sec. 8. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
Sec. 9. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable seizures or searches; and 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.
Sec. 10. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused has a right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation, and have a copy thereof; to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and, in all prosecutions, by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offence shall have been committed; he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor shall he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by due course of law.
SEC. 11. No person shall be accused, arrested, or detained, except in cases ascertained by law, and according to the forms which the same has prescribed ; and no person shall be punished, but in virtue of a law, established and promulgated prior to the offence, and legally applied.
Sec. 12. No person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally, by information ; except in cases arising in the land and naval forces, or the militia when in actual service, or, by leave of the court, for oppression or misdemeanor in office.
SEC. 13. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any person's property be taken or applied to public use, unless just compensation be made therefor.
Sec. 14. All courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him, in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered, without sale, denial, or delay.
SEC. 15. No power of suspending laws shall be exercised, except by the general assembly, or its authority.
Sec. 16. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.
Sec. 17. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient securities, except for capital offences, when the proof is evident, or the 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.
Sec. 18. The person of a debtor, when there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be detained in prison, after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
SEC. 19. No ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be made.