344 Missouri Struggle for Statehood.
Article VI. Of Education.
Sec. 1. Schools, and the means of education, shall forever
be encouraged in this state; and the general assembly shall
take measures to preserve, from waste or damage, such lands
as have been, or may hereafter be, granted by the United States
for the use of schools within each township in this state, and
shall apply the funds, which may arise from such lands, in strict
conformity to the object of the grant, and one school, or more,
shall be established in each township as soon as practicable
and necessary, where the poor shall be taught gratis.
Sec. 2. The general assembly shall take measures for the
improvement of such lands as have been, or hereafter may be,
granted by the United States to this state for the support of a
seminary of learning; and the funds accruing from such lands,
by rent or lease, or in any other manner, or which may be ob-
tained from any other source, for the purposes aforesaid, shall
be and remain a permanent fund to support a university for
the promotion of literature, and of the arts and sciences; and
it shall be the duty of the general assembly, as soon as may be,
to provide effectual means for the improvement of such lands,
and for the improvement and permanent security of the funds
and endowments of such institution.
Article VII. Of Internal Improvement.
Internal improvement shall forever be encouraged by the
government of this state; and it shall be the duty of the general
assembly, as soon as may be, to make provision by law for
ascertaining the most proper objects of improvement, in relation
both to roads and navigable waters; and it shall also be their
duty to provide by law for a systematic and economical appli-
cation of the funds appropriated to those objects.
Article VIII. Of Banks.
The general assembly may incorporate one banking com-
pany, and no more, to be in operation at the same time. The
bank to be incorporated may have any number of branches,
not to exceed five, to be established by law; and not more than
Missouri Constitution of 1820. 345
one branch shall be established at any one session of the general
assembly. The capital stock of the bank to be incorporated
shall never exceed five millions of dollars at least one-half of
which shall be reserved for the use of the state.
Article IX. Of the Militia.
Sec. 1. Field officers and company officers shall be elected
by the persons subject to militia duty within their respective
commands; brigadiers general shall be elected by the field
officers of their respective brigades; and majors general by the
brigadiers and field officers of their respective divisions, until
otherwise directed by law.
Sec. 2. General and field officers shall appoint their
officers of the staff.
Sec. 3. The governor shall appoint an adjutant general,
and all other militia officers, whose appointments are not other-
wise provided for in this constitution.
Article X. Of Miscellaneous Provisions.
Sec. 1. The general assembly of this state shall never
interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United
States, nor with any regulation Congress may find necessary
for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers.
No tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United
States, nor shall lands belonging to persons residing out of the
limits of this state ever be taxed higher than the lands belonging
to persons residing within the state.
Sec. 2. The state shall have concurrent jurisdiction on
the river Mississippi, and on every other river bordering on the
said state, so far as the said river shall form a common boundary
to the said state, and any other state or states, now, or hereafter
to be, formed and bounded by the same; and the said river
Mississippi, and the navigable rivers and waters leading into the
same, whether bordering on or within this state, shall be common
highways, and forever free to the citizens of this state and of
the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll,
therefor, imposed by the state.
346 Missouri Struggle for Statehood.
Article XI. Of the Permanent Seat of Government.
Sec. 1. The general assembly, at their first session, shall
appoint five commissioners, for the purpose of selecting a place
for the permanent seat of government, whose duty it shall be
to select four sections of the land of the United States, which
shall not have been exposed to public sale.
Sec. 2. If the commissioners believe the four sections of
land so by them to be selected, be not a suitable and proper
situation for the permanent seat of government, they shall
select such other place as they deem most proper for that pur-
pose, and report the same to the general assembly at the time of
making their report, provided for in the first section of this ar-
ticle; provided, that no place shall be selected which is not
situated on the bank of the Missouri river, and within forty
miles of the mouth of the river Osage.
Sec. 3. If the general assembly determine that the four
sections of land, which may be selected by authority of the
first section of this article, be a suitable and proper place for
the permanent seat of government, the said commissioners
shall lay out a town thereon, under the direction of the general
assembly; but, if the general assembly deem it most expedient
to fix the permanent seat of government at the place to be
selected by authority of the second section of this article, they
shall so determine, and, in that event, shall authorize the said
commissioners to purchase any quantity of land, not exceeding
six hundred and forty acres, which may be necessary for the
purpose aforesaid; and the place so selected shall be the per-
manent seat of government of this state, from and after the first
day of October, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six.
Sec. 4. The general assembly, in selecting the above
mentioned commissioners, shall choose one from each extreme
part of the state, and one from the centre, and it shall require
the concurrence of at least three of the commissioners to decide
upon any part of the duties assigned them.
Missouri Constitution of 1820. 347
Article XII. Mode of Amending the Coxstitution.
The general assembly may, at any time, propose such
amendments to this constitution as two-thirds of each house
shall deem expedient, which shall be published in all the news-
papers published in this state, three several times, at least
twelve months before the next general election; and if, at the
first session of the general assembly, after such general election,
two-thirds of each house shall, by yeas and nays, ratify such
proposed amendments, they shall be valid to all intents and
purposes, as parts of this constitution; provided, that such
proposed amendments shall be read on three several days, in
each house, as well when the same are proposed, as when they
are finally ratified.
Article XIII. Declaration of Rights.
That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty
and free government may be recognized and established, we
1. That all political power is vested in, and derived
from, the people.
2. That the people of this state have the inherent, sole,
and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and
police thereof, and of altering and abolishing their constitution
and form of government, whenever it may be necessary to their
safety and happiness.
3. That the people have the right peaceably to assemble
for their common good, and to apply to those vested with the
powers of government for redress of grievances, by petition or
remonstrance; and that their right to bear arms, in defence of
themselves and of the state, cannot be questioned.
4. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to
worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own
consciences; that no man can be compelled to erect, support,
or attend any place of worship, or to maintain any minister of
the gospel, or teacher of religion; that no human authority can
control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person
can ever be hurt, molested, or restrained in his religious pro-
348 Missouri Struggle for Statehood.
fession or sentiments, if he do not disturb others in their re-
5. That no person, on account of his reHgious opinions,
can be rendered ineHgible to any office of trust or profit under
this state; that no preference can ever be given by law to any
sect or mode of worship; and that no religious corporation can
ever be established in this state.
6. That all elections shall be free and equal.
7. That courts of justice ought to be open to every person,
and certain remedy afforded for every injury to person, property,
or character; and that right and justice ought to be administered
without sale, denial, or delay; and that no private property
ought to be taken or applied to public use without just com-
8. That the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
9. That, in all criminal prosecutions, the accused has the
right to be heard by himself and his counsel; to demand the
nature and cause of accusation; to have compulsory process
for witnesses in his favor; to meet the witnesses against him
face to face; and, in prosecutions on presentment or indictment,
to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; that the
accused cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself,
nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by the judg-
ment of his peers or the law of the land.
10. That no person, after having been once acquitted by
a jury, can, for the same offence, be again put in jeopardy of
life or limb, but if, in any criminal prosecution, the jury be
divided in opinion at the end of the term, the court before which
the trial shall be had, may, in its discretion, discharge the jury,
and commit or bail the accused for trial at the next term of
11. That all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties,
except for capital ofTenccs, when the proof is evident or the
presumption great, and the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus cannot be suspended, unless when, in case of rebellion
or invasion, the public safety may require it.
12. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive
fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Missouri Constitution of IS 20. 349
13. That the people ought to be secure in their persons,
papers, houses, and effects, from unreasonable searches and
seizures; and no warrant to search any place or to seize any
person or thing can issue, without describing the place to be
searched, or the person or thing to be seized, as nearly as may
be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirma-
14. That no person can, for an indictable offence, be pro-
ceeded 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.
15. That treason against the state can consist only in
levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them
aid and comfort; that no person can be convicted of treason
unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt
act, or on his own confession in open court; that no person can
be attainted of treason or felony by the general assembly; that
no conviction can work corruption of blood or forfeiture of
estate; that the estates of such persons as may destroy their
own lives shall descend or vest as in cases of natural death;
and when any person shall be killed by casualty there ought
to be no forfeiture by reason thereof.
16. That the free communication of thoughts and opin-
ions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and that every
person may freely speak, write, and print, on any subject,
being responsible for the abuse of that liberty. That, in all
prosecutions for libels, the truth thereof may be given in evi-
dence, and the jury may determine the law and the facts, under
the direction of the court.
17. That no ex-post facto law, nor law impairing the
obligation of contracts, or retrospective in its operation, can
be passed; nor can the person of a debtor be imprisoned for
debt after he shall have surrendered his property for the benefit
of his creditors in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
18. That no person who is religiously scrupulous of
bearing arms can be compelled to do so, but may be compelled
to pay an equivalent for military service in such manner as
350 Missouri Struggle for Statehood.
shall be prescribed by law; and that no priest, preacher of the
gospel, or teacher of any religious persuasion or sect, regularly
ordained as such, be subject to militia duty, or compelled to
19. That all property subject to taxation in this state
shall be taxed in proportion to its value.
20. That no title of nobility, hereditary emolument,
privilege, or distinction, shall be granted; nor any office created
the duration of which shall be longer than the good behavior
of the officer appointed to fill the same.
21. That migration from this state cannot be prohibited.
22. That the military is, and, in all cases, and at all
times, shall be, in strict subordination to the civil power; that
no soldier can, in time of peace, be quartered in any house
without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in
such manner as may be prescribed by law; nor can any appro-
priation for the support of an army be made for a longer period
than two years.
Sec. 1. That no inconvenience may arise from the change
of government, we declare, that all writs, actions, prosecutions,
judgments, claims, and contracts, of individuals, and of bodies
corporate, shall continue as if no change had taken place;
and all process which may, before the third Monday in September
next, be issued under the authority of the Territory of Missouri,
shall be as valid as if issued in the name of the state.
Sec. 2. All laws now in force in the Territory of Missouri,
which are not repugnant to this constitution, shall remain in
force until they expire by their own limitations, or be altered
or repealed by the general assembly.
Sec. 3. All fines, penalties, forfeitures, and escheats,
accruing to the Territory of Missouri, shall accrue to the use
of the state.
Sec. 4. All recognizances heretofore taken, or which may
be taken before the third Monday in September next, shall
remain valid, and shall pass over to, and may be prosecuted in,
the name of the state; and all bonds executed to the governor
Missouri Constitution of 1820. 351
of the territory, or to any other officer or court, in his official
capacity, shall pass over to the governor, or other proper state
authority, and to their successors in office, for the uses therein
respectively expressed, and may be sued for and recovered ac-
cordingly. All criminal prosecutions and penal actions, which
have arisen, or which may arise before the third Monday in
September next, and which shall then be depending, shall be
prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of the state.
All actions at law which now are, or which, on the third Monday
in September next, may be, depending in any of the courts of
record, in the Territory of Missouri, may be commenced in, or
transferred to, any court of record of the state which shall have
jurisdiction of the subject matter thereof; and all suits in equity
may, in like manner, be commenced in, or transferred to, the
court of chancery.
Sec. 5. All officers, civil and military, now holding com-
missions under authority of the United States, or of the ter-
ritory of Missouri, shall continue to hold and exercise their
respective offfces until they shall be superceded under the
authority of the state; and all such officers holding commissions
under the authority of the territory of Missouri, shall receive
the same compensation which they have hitherto received, in
proportion to the time they shall be so employed.
Sec. 6. The first meeting of the general assembly shall be
at St. Louis, with power to adjourn to any other place; and the
general assembly, at the first session thereof, shall fix the seat
of government until the first day of October, one thousand
eight hundred and twenty-six; and the first session of the general
assembly shall have power to fix the compensation of the members
thereof; any thing in the constitution to the contrary notwith-
Sec. 7. Until the first enumeration shall be made, as
directed in this constitution, the county of Howard shall be
entitled to eight representatives; the county of Cooper to four
representatives; the county of Montgomery to two representa-
tives; the county of Lincoln to one representative; the county
of Pike to two representatives; the county of St. Charles to
three representatives; the county of St. Louis to six repre-
352 Missouri Struggle for Statehood.
sentatives; the county of Franklin to two representatives; the
county of Jefferson to one representative; the county of Wash-
ington to two representatives; the county of Ste. Genevieve to
four representatives; the county of Cape Girardeau to four
representatives; the county of New Madrid to two repre-
sentatives; the county of Madison to one representative; the
county of Wayne to one representative; and that part of the
county of Lawrence situated within this state shall attach to,
and form part of, the county of Wayne, until otherwise pro-
vided by law, and the sheriff of the county of Wayne shall
appoint the judges of the first election, and the place of holding
the same, in the part thus attached; and any person who shall
have resided within the limits of this state five months previous
to the adoption of this constitution, and who shall be otherwise
qualified, as prescribed in the third section of the third article
thereof, shall be eligible to the house of representatives, any
thing in this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.
Sec. 8. For the first election of senators, the state shall
be divided into districts, and the apportionment shall be as
follows; that is to say: the counties of Howard and Cooper shall
compose one district, and elect four senators; the counties of
Montgomery and Franklin shall compose one district, and elect
one senator; the county of St. Charles shall compose one dis-
trict, and elect one senator; the counties of Lincoln and Pike
shall compose one district, and elect one senator; the county
of St. Louis shall compose one district, and elect two senators;
the counties of Washington and Jefferson shall compose one
district, and elect one senator; the county of St. Genevieve
shall compose one district and elect one senator; the counties
of Madison and Wayne shall compose one district, and elect one
senator; the counties of Cape Girardeau and New Madrid shall
compose one district, and elect two senators; and, in all cases
where a senatorial district consists of more than one county,
it shall be the duty of the clerk of the county second named in
that district to certify the returns of the senatorial election
within their proper county to the clerk of the county first
named, within five days after he shall have received the same;
and any person who shall have resided within the limits of this
Missouri ConstittUion of 1820. 353
state five months previous to the adoption of this constitution,
and who shall be otherwise qualified, as prescribed in the fifth
section of the third article thereof, shall be eligible to the senate
of this state, any thing in this constitution to the contrary
Sec. 9. The president of the convention shall issue writs of
election to the sheriffs of the several counties, (or, in case of
vacancy, to the coroners,) requiring them to cause an election
to be held, on the fourth Monday in August next, for a gov-
ernor, a lieutenant governor, a representative in the Congress
of the United States for the residue of the sixteenth Congress,
a representative for the seventeenth Congress, senators and
representatives for the general assembly, sheriffs, and coroners;
and the returns of all township elections, held in pursuance
thereof, shall be made to the clerk of the proper county, within
five days after the day of election; and any person who shall
reside within the limits of this state at the time of the adoption
of this constitution, and who shall be otherwise qualified, as
prescribed in the tenth section of the third article thereof, shall
be deemed a qualified elector, any thing in this constitution
to the contrary notwithstanding.
Sec. 10. The elections shall be conducted according to
the existing laws of the Missouri territory. The clerks of the
circuit courts of the several counties shall certify the returns
of the election of governor and lieutenant governor, and trans-
mit the same to the speaker of the house of representatives,
at the temporary seat of government, in such time that they
may be received on the third Monday of September next. As
soon as the general assembly shall be organized, the speaker of
the house of representatives and the president, pro tempore,
of the senate shall, in the presence of both houses, examine the
returns, and declare who are duly elected to fill those offices;
and, if any two or more persons shall have an equal number of
votes, and a higher number than any other person, the general
assembly shall determine the election in the manner herein-
before provided; and the returns of the election for member of
Congress shall be made to the secretary of state within thirty
days after the day of election.
M Sâ€” 23
Missouri Struggle for Statehood.
Sec. 11. 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.
Sec. 12. Until a seal of state be provided, the governor may
use his private seal.
Done by the representatives of the people of Missouri,
in convention assembled, at the town of St. Louis,
on the nineteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord
one thousand eight hundred and twenty, and of the
independence of the United States of America the
DAVID BARTON, President of the Convention,
and Representative from the County of St.
From the County of Cape Girardeau.
Stephen Byrd Joseph M'Ferron
Alexander Bucknor [Buckner] Richard S. Thomas.
From the County of Cooper.
Robert P. Clark Robert Wallace.
William Sillard [Lillardj
From the County of Franklin.
John G. Heath.
From the County of Howard,
Nicholas S. Burckhartt Benjamin H. Reeves
Jonathan Smith Findlay John Ray.
From the County of Jefferson.
From the County of Lincoln.
From the County of Montgomery.
Jonathan Ramsay James Talbott.
From the County of Madison.
Missouri Constitution of 1820. 355
From the County of New Madrid.
Robert D. Dawson Christo. G. Houts.
From the County of Pike.
From the County of St. Charles.
Hiram H. Baber Benjamin Emmons.
From the County of St. Genevieve.
R. T. Brown H. Dodge.
John D. Cook John Scott.
From the County of St. Louis.
Edw. Bates Wm. Rector
Pr. Chouteau, jun. Thos. F. Riddick
A. M'Nair John C. SulHvan.
From the County of Washington.
John Rice Jones Samuel Perry.
From the County of Wayne.
WILLIAM G. PETTUS,
Secretary of the Convention.
Declaring the assent of the people of the State of Missouri, by
their representatives, in convention assembled, to certain
conditions and provisions in the act of Congress of the
sixth of March, one thousand eight hundred and twenty,
entitled "An act to authorize the people of Missouri terri-
tory 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, and to prohibit slavery in
356 Missouri Struggle for Statehood.
Whereas the act of Congress of the United States of America,
approved March the sixth, one thousand eight hundred and
twenty, entitled "An act to authorize the people of Missouri
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, and to prohibit slavery in certain ter-
ritories," contains certain requisitions and provisions, and,
among other things, has offered to this convention, when formed,