« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
The first settlement made in Texas was in 1792. It was a part of Mexico until 1835, when it declared itself independent. The Mexicans attempted to recover the territory in 1836. The force consisted of 1600 men, under Santa Anna. A severe battle ensued, in which more than 600 of the Mexicans were killed and 300 wounded, and Santa Anna and his men were taken prisoners. The Texan force consisted of only about 800 men, under Gen. S. Houston ; their loss was only 6 killed and about 30 wounded. Texas remained a separate government until 1845, when, by mutual agreement, it was annexed to the United States, and thus became the twenty-eighth State in the union.
Area, 324,018 sq. m. Pop. in 1850, 187,403. Slaves, 53,346 and 926, Free blacks.
We, the people of the republic of Texas, acknowledging with gratitude the grace and benificence of God in permitting us to make a choice of our form of government, do, in accordance with the provisions of the joint resolution for annexing Texas to the United States, approved March first, one thousand eight hundred and forty-five, ordain and establish this Constitution.
ARTICLE I.-Bill of Rights. That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free government
may be recognized and established, we declare thatSec. 1. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit; and they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform, or abolish their form of gov. ernment, in such manner as they may think expedient.
2. All freemen, when they form a social compact, have equal rights; and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive, separate, public emoluments or privileges, but in consideration of public services.
3. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust in this State.
4. All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious societies or modes of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as shall be necessary to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of their own mode of public worship:
5. Every citizen shall be at liberty to speak, write, or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press.
6. 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.
7. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and posses. sions, from all unreasonable seizures or searches; and no warrant to search any place, or to s ize any person or thing, shall issue, without describing them as near as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
8. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury; he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; he shall have the right of being heard by himself or counsel or both; shall be confronted with the witnesses against him, and shall have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and no person shall be holden to answer for any criminal charge, but on indictment or information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or offences against the laws regulating the militia.
9. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or the presumption great; but this provision shall not be so construed as to prohibit bail after indictment found, upon an examination of the evidence by a judge of the Supreme or district court, upon the return of the writ of habeas corpus, returnable in the county where the offence is committed.
10. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, ercept when, in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
11. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishment inflicted. 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.
12. No person, for the same offence, shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall a person be again put upon trial for the same offence after a verdict of not guilty; and the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
13. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself and the State.
14. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, retro-active law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be made; and no person's property shall be taken or applied to public use, without adequate compensation being made, unless by the consent of such person.
15. No person shall ever be imprisoned for debt.
16. No citizen of this State shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, or privileges, outlawed, exiled, or in any manner disfranchised, except by due course of the law of the land.
17. The military shall at all times be subordinate to the civil authority.
18. Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free government, and shall never be allowed; nor shall the law of primogeniture or entailments ever be in force in this State.
19. The citizens shall have the 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 purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.
20. No power of suspending laws in this State shall be exercised, except by the Legislature or its authority.
21. To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this “ bill of rights” is excepted out of the general powers of Government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.
ARTICLE II. Sec. 1. The powers of the government of the State of Texas shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them be confined to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: those which are legislative, to one; those which are ex. ecutive, to another; and those which are judicial to another; and no person, or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly attached to either of the others, except in the instances herein expressly permitted.
ARTICLE III.-Legislative Department. Sec. 1. Every free male person who shall have attained the age of twentyone years, and who shall be a citizen of the United States, or who is, at the time of the adoption of this
Constitution by the Congress of the United States, a citizen of the republic of Texas, and shall have resided in this State one year next preceding an election, and the last six months within the district, county, city, or town, in which he offers to vote (Indians not taxed, Africans and descendants of Africans, excepted), shall be deemed a qualified elector; and should such qualified elector happen to be in any other county situated in the district in which he resides at the time of an election, he shall be permitted to vote for any district officer: provided, that the qualified electors shall be permitted to vote anywhere in the State for State officers: and provided, further, that no soldier, seaman, or marine, in the army or navy of the United States, shall be entitled to vote at any election created by this Constitution.
2. All free male persons over the age of twenty-one years (Indians not taxed, Africans and descendants of Africans, excepted), who shall have resided six months in Texas, immediately preceding the acceptance of this Constitution by the Congress of the United States, shall be deemed qualified electors,
3. Electors in all cases shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and in going to and returning from the same, except in cases of treason, felony, or breach of the peace.
4. The legislative powers 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 “ Legislature of the State of Texas.” The style of all laws shall be, “Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas.”
5. The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by the qualified electors, and their term of office shall be two years from the day of the general election; and the sessions of the Legislature shall be biennial, at such times as shall be prescribed by law.
6. No person shall be a representative, unless he be a citizen of the United States, or at the time of the adoption of this Constitution a citizen of the republic of Texas, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a citizen of the county, city, or town for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twentyone years at the time of his election.
7. All elections by the people shall be held at such time and places, in the
several counties, cities, or towns, as are now, or may hereafter be, designated by law.
8. The senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors for the term of four years; and shall be divided by lot into two classes, as nearly equal as can be. The seats of senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first two years, and of the second class at the expiration of four years; so that one-half thereof shall be chosen biennially thereafter.
9. Such mode of classifying new additional senators shall be observed, as will as nearly as possible preserve an equality of number in each class.
10. When a senatorial district shall be composed of two or more counties, it shall not be separated by any county belonging to another district.
11. No person shall be a senator unless he be a citizen of the United States, or at the time of the acceptance of this Constitution by the Congress of the United States, a citizen of the republic of Texas; and shall have been an inhabitant of this state three years next preceding the election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and have attained the age of thirty years.
12. The House of Representatives, when assembled, shall choose a Speaker and its other officers; and the Senate shall choose a President for the time being and its other officers. Each house shall judge of the qualifications and elections of its own members; but contested elections shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law. Two-thirds of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as each house may provide.
13. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly conduct, and, with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.
14. Each house shall keep a journal of its own proceedings, and publish the same; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall at the desire of any three members present be entered on the journals.
15. When vacancies happen in either house, the Governor, or the person exercising the power of the Governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancy.
16. Senators and representatives shall in all cases, except in treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same, allowing one day for every twenty miles such member may reside from the place at which the Legislature is convened.
17. Each house may punish by imprisonment during the session, any person not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly conduct, in its presence; or for obstructing any of its proceedings: provided such imprisonment shall not at any one time exceed 48 hours. 18. The doors of each house shall be kept open.
19. Neither house 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, without the concurrence of both houses.
20. Bills may originate in either house, and be amended, altered, or rejected by the other; but no bill shall have the force of a law until, on three several days, it be read in each house, and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless, in case of great emergency, four-fifths of the house in which the bill shall be pending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule ; and every bill have ing passed both houses, shall be signed by the Speaker and President of their respective houses.
21. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may amend or reject them, as other bills.
22. After a bill or resolution has been rejected by either branch of the Legislatare, no bill or resolution containing the same substance shall be passed into a law during the same session.
23. Each member of the Legislature shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for his services, which may be increased or diminished by law; but no increase of compensation shall take effect during the session at which such increase shall be made.
24. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he may be elected, be eligible to any civil office of profit under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which may have been increased, during the term; and no member of either house of the Legislature shall, during the term for which he is elected, be eligible to any office or place, the appointment to which may be made, in whole or in part, by either branch of the Legislature; nor shall the members thereof be capable of voting for a member of their own body, for any office whatever, except it be in such cases as are herein provided. The President for the time being of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall be elected from their respective bodies.
25. No judge of any court of law or equity, secretary of state, attorney-general, clerk of any court of record, sheriff, or collector, or any person holding a lucrative office under the United States, or this State, or any foreign government, shall be eligible to the Legislature, nor shall at the same time hold or exercise any two offices, agencies, or appointments of trust or profit under this State: provided, that offices of the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, or the office of justice of the peace, shall not be deemed lucrative,
26. No person, who at any time may have been a collector of taxes, or who may have been otherwise entrusted with public money, shall be eligible to the Legislature, or to any office of profit or trust under the State government, until he shall have obtained a discharge for the amount of such collections, and for all public moneys with which he may have been entrusted.
29. Ministers of the gospel being by their profession dedicated to God and the care of souls, ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore no minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to the Legislature.
28. Elections for senators and representatives shall be general throughout the State, and shall be regulated by law.
29. The Legislature shall, at their first meeting, and in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, and fifty, and every eight years thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the tree inhabitants (Indians not taxed, Africans and descendants of Africans, excepted) of the State, designating particularly the number of qualified electors; and the whole number of representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed by the Legislature, and apportioned among the several counties, cities or towns, according to the number of free population in each; and shall not be less than forty-five, nor more than ninety.
30. Until after the first enumeration and apportionment under this Constitution, the following shall be the apportionment of representatives amongst the several counties, viz. :
The county of Montgomery shall elect four representatives; the counties of Red River, Harrison, Nacogdoches, Harris, and Washington, shall elect three representatives each; the counties of Fannin, Lamar, Bowie, Shelby, San Augustine, Rusk, Houston, Sabine, Liberty, Robertson, Galveston, Brazoria, Fayette, Colorado, Austin, Gonzales, and Bexar, two representatives each; the counties of Jefferson, Jasper, Brazos, Milan, Bastrop, Travis, Matagorda, Jackson, Fort Bend, Victoria, Refugio, Goliad, and San Patricio, one repre sentative each.
31. The whole number of senators shall, at the next session after the several periods of making the enumeration, be fixed by the Legislature, and apportioned among the several districts to be established by law, according to the number of qualified electors, and shall never be less tha nineteen, nor more than thirty-three.
32. Until the first enumeration, as provided for by this Constitution, the senatorial districts shall be as follows, to wit: The counties of Fannin and Lamar shall constitute the first district, and elect one senator; the counties of Red River and Bowie, the second district, and elect one senator; the counties of