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This State was first included in the territorial limits of Georgia, except a small part which belonged to Florida. In 1802 Georgia ceded to the United States all her territory lying west of the Chatahooche river and extending to the Mississippi river. In 1817 it was constituted the Mississippi territory. In 1820 it became an independent State, and was admitted into the Union. Alabama adopted its Constitution in 1819.
Area, 46,000 sq. m. Pop. in 1850, 771,671-of whom 342,894 are slaves. Free colored, 2,250.
ARTICLE I.—Declaration of Rights. That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare:
Sec. 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.
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.
3. No person within this State shall, upon any pretence, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping 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.
4. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience.
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.
6. The civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen, shall in no way be diminished, or enlarged, on account of his religious principles.
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.
8. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
15. No power of suspending laws shall be exercised, except by the General Assembly, or its authority.
16. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.
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 " habcas corpus' shall not be suspended, unless when, in case of rebellion, or invasion, the public safety may require it.
18. The person of a debtor, where 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.
19. No ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be made.
20. No person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the General Assembly. No attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor forfeiture of estate.
21. The estates of suicides shall descend or vest as in cases of natural death; if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.
22. 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.
23. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the State.
24. No standing army shall be kept up without the consent of the General Assembly; and, in that case, no appropriation of money for its support shall be for a longer term than one year; and the military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.
25. 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.
26. No title of nobility, or hereditary distinction, privilege, honor, or emolument, shall ever be granted or conferred in this State; nor shall
any office be created, the appointment of which shall be for a longer term than during good behavior.
27. Emigration from this State shall not be prohibited, nor shall any citizen be exiled.
28. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
29. No person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending any civil cause, for or against him or herself
, before any tribunal in this State, by him or herself or counsel.
30. This enumeration of certain 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 high powers herein delegated, we declare, that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.
ARTICLE II.- Distribution of Powers. Sec. 1. The powers of the government of the State of Alabama shall be divided into three distinct departments; and each of them 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.
2. No person, or collection of persons, being 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 III.-Legislatire Department. Sec. 1. The legislative power of this State shall be vested in two distinct branches: the one to be styled the Senate, and the other the House of Representatives, and both together “the General Assembly of the State of Alabama ;" and the style of their laws shall be, “ Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened.”
2. The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by the qualified electors, and shall serve for the term of one year, from the day of the commencement of the general election, and no longer.
3. The representatives shall be chosen every year, on the first Monday and the day following in August, until otherwise directed by law.
4. No person shall be a representative, unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the county, city, or town, for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years.
5. Every white male person of the age of twenty-one years, or upwards, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this State one year next preceding an election, and the last three months within the county, city, or town, in which he offers to vote, shall be deemed a qualified elector: provided, tlmt no soldier, seaman, or marine, in the regular army or navy of the United States, shall be entitled to vote at any election in this State; and
provided, also, that no elector shall be entitled to vote except in the county, city, or town, (entitled to separate representation,) in which he may reside at the time of the election.
6. Electors shall, in all cases, except in those of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and in going to and returning from the same.
7. In all elections by the people, the electors shall vote by ballot, until the General Assembly shall otherwise direct.
8. Elections for representatives for the several counties shall be held at the place of holding their respective courts, and at such other places as may be prescribed by law: Provided, that when it shall appear to the General Assembly that any city or town shall have a number of white inhabitants equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall have a separate representation, according to the number of white inhabitants therein; which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of white inhabitants equal to the ratio which may from time to time be fixed by law; and thereafter, and during the existence of the right of separate representation, in such city or town, elections for the county in which such city or town (entitled to such separate representation) is situated, shall not be held in such city or town; but it is understood and hereby declared, that no city or town shall be entitled to separate representation, unless the number of white inhabitants in the county in which such city or town is situated, residing out of the limits of said city or town, be equal to the existing ratio; or unless the residuum or fraction of such city or town shall, when added to the white inhabitants of the county residing out of the limits of said city or town, be equal to the ratio fixed for law by one representative; and provided, that, if the residuum or fraction of any city or town, entitled to separate representation, shall, when added to the residuum of the county in which it may lie, be equal to the ratio fixed by law for one representative, then the aforesaid county, city, or town, having the largest residuum, shall be entitled to such representation : and provided, also, that wh-n there are two or more counties adjoining, which have residuums ir fractions over and above the ratio then fixed by law, if said residuums or fractions, when added together, will amount to such ratio, in that case one representative shall be added to that county having the largest residuum.
9. The General Assembly shall, at their first meeting and in the years one thousand eight hundred and twenty, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, one thousand eight hundred and twentysix, and every six years thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the inhabitants of the State, and the whole number of the representatives shall, at the first session held, after making every such enumeration, be fixed by the General Assembly, and apportioned among the several counties, cities, or towns, entitled to separate representation, according to their respective numbers of white inhabitants; and the said apportionment, when made, shall not be