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or legislation favorable to corporations.

9. Eminent domain over property of corpora-


10. Legislation to correct abuses by transportation .


11. Movable property of railroad corporations per-

sonal property, and not to be exempted from

12. Damages, by railroads, to person and property.

13. Annual report of railroad companies to Auditor"



Judicial circuits.— Terms of Circuit Courts.


1. Disqualifications of atheists.

2. Duelling.

3. Electors, only, qualified for office.

4. Residence, etc. , of officers.

5. Officers to continue in office till qualification of


6. Plurality of offices.

7. Forfeiture of residence.

8. Deductions from salaries of officers.

9. Creation of permanent State offices prohibited.

10. Returns of elections, to whom made,

11. Salaries of State officers.— Fees pertaining to

State offices. —Maximum salaries of State
officers.— Increase of salaries of members of
General Assembly.

12. Publication of receipts and expenditures of pub-

lic money.

13. Usury.— Rate of interest.
14- Lotteries prohibited.

15. Contracts for stationery, fuel, printing, furni-

ture, etc, for State government.

16. Contracts for public buildings and bridges, and

care of paupers.

17. Revision, publication, etc., of laws.

18. Security of miners and travellers.

19. Education of deaf and dumb, blind and insane.

20. Oath of office.

21. Sureties upon official bonds.

22. Amendments to Constitution, how originated.—

To be published, and submitted to the people.
—Not more than three to be proposed or sub-
mitted at same time.— Separate ratification
of each.

23. Maximum of officers' salary and fees.— Disposi-

tion of excess received.

24. Contested elections not herein specifically pro-

vided for.

25. Seal of the State.

20. Officers eligible to executive and judicial office.
27. Assessments on real property, for local improve-
ments, in towns and cities.


1. Retention of existing laws.— Effect of exemp-

tion laws in force at adoption of Constitution
of 1868.— Distinction between sealed and un-.
sealed instruments.

2. Competency of witnesses.

3. First general election for officers, and election

for submission of Constitution to the people.



4. Qualifications of voters thereat.

5. Notice thereof.

6. Governor's proclamation enjoining good order

at such election.

7. State Board of Supervisors of Election.— Vacan-

cies therein.

8. County Boards of Election Supervisors.— Vacan-

cies therein.

9. Poll-books and ballot-boxes for the election.

10. Distribution, to officers of the.election, of copies

of the Constitution.

11. Judges of the election, and Election Clerks.—

Cases of absence of judges of the election
from the polls.

12. Conduct of the election.— Qualifications of

voters, how decided.— Registration.

13. Style of ballot.

14. Deposit of tickets.— Elector to vote only in

township or ward of residence.— Numbering
of tickets,

15. Drinking houses to be closed, on xlay of the

election.— Sale or gift of intoxicating liquor

1(5. Hours of voting.— Counting of ballots.— Dispo-
sition of returns- — Copies of abstract of re-
turns, ballots, and poll-books, where filed.

17. Ascertainment and publication of result of
election on adoption of Constitution.— Con-
stitution, if adopted, in force from date of
such publication.— Abstract of returns of the
election, to be filed with Secretary of


State.— List of members of General Assembly,
elect, to be certified to General Assembly —
Abstract of returns of election of State
officers to be certified to Speaker of House of
Representatives, and the result by. him an-
nounced.— State officers elected, when to
enter upon their duties.

18. All officers chosen at this election to be commis-

sioned by Governor.

19. First election of Representatives and Senators.

—Their certificates of election.

20. Officers elected, other than State officers, when

to enter upon their duties.

21. Prior incumbents to vacate their offices.

22. Time of convening of first session of General


23. Transfer of jurisdiction from Boards of Super-

visors to County Courts, from Criminal
Courts to Circuit Courts, and of probate
business to Probate Courts.

24. Present incumbents to continue in office till

qualification of successors.— Commissioner of
State Lands.

25. Penalty of fraud by officers of the election, or

other persons.

26. Tenure of office of officers chosen at the election,

—Time of next general election.— Election of

27. Appropriation to defray expenses of the election.

28. Present salaries of State officers,— Per diem and

and mileage of members of General Assembly,







We the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty rrenmhie.
God for the jmvilege of choosing our own form, of Government;
for our civil and religious liherty ; and desiring to jyerpetuate
its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and posterity, do
ordain and establish this Constitution.


We do declare and establish ratify and coiiiirm the Boundaries of the

•' State.

following as the permanent boundaries of the State of
Arkansas, that is to say : Beginning at the middle of the
main channel of the Mississippi river, on the parallel of
thirty six degrees of north latitude, runningthence west with
said parallel of latitude to the middle of the main channel of
the St. Francis river; thence up the main channel of said last
named river, to the parallel of thirty six degrees, thirty
minutes of north latitude; thence west with the Southern
boundary line of the State of Missouri to the South West
corner of said last named State; thence to be bounded on
the West to the North bank of Red river, as by act of Con-


gress and treaties existing January first 1837, defining the
Western limits of the territory of Arkansas, and to be
bounded across and South of Red river by the boundary
line of the State of Texas as far as to the North West corner
of the State of Louisiana; thence easterly with the northern
boundary line of said last named state to the middle of the
main channel of the Mississippi river; thence up the middle
of the main channel of said last named river, including an
island in said river known as "Belle Point Island," and all
other land originally surveyed and included as a part of the
Territory or State of Arkansas, to the thirty sixth degree of
north latitude, the place of beginning.


Seat of govern- The scat of government of the State of Arkansas shall be


and remain at Little Rock, where it is now established.


_ Declaration of Rights.

Source of poiiti- SECTION 1. All political poM'cr is inherent in the people,
Object of govern- and government is instituted for their protection, security
^'^^'V of reform and benefit ; and they have the right to alter, reform or

and abolition. ' j a y

abolish the same, in such manner as they may think proper,
an^d*"^*^ indi?i)e™ Sec. 2. All men are created equally free and independent,

denee of men.

Hghti.'*'"''^'® ^"^^ ^^^^® certain inherent and inalienable rights; amongst
which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty ;
of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and rep-

Ongin of govern- utation; and of pursuing their own happiness. To secure
these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Equality of all Sec. 3. The equality of all persons before the law,

persons before the ^ ./ x

'*'^' i» recognized, and shall ever remain inviolate; nor shall

any citizen ever be deprived of any right, privilege or immu-


nity; nor exempted from any burden or duty, on account oi'
race color or previous condition.

Sec. 4. The ri^ht of the people pefalceably to assem- iiight of public

° X X X u .1 ./ iisKcmbly:

ble, to consult for the common good; and to petition, And of petition.
by address or remonstrance, the government, or any depart-
ment thereof, shall never be abridged. '

Sec. 5. The citizens of this State shall have the i^'Rh^ to bear

arms .

right to keep and bear arms for their common defense.

Sec. 6. The liberty of the press shall forever remain f;;^^*^ .^^l ^\\
inviolate. The free communication of thoughts and opinions
is one of the invaluable rights of man; and all persons may
freely write and publish their sentiments on all subjects,
being responsible for the abuse of such right. In all crimi- Libel,
nal prosecutions for libel, the truth may l)c given in evidence
to thejury; and, if it shall appear to the jury that the matter
charged as libelous is true, and was published with good
motives and for justifiable ends, the party chiirgcd shall be

Seo. 7. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, Trial by jury.
and shall extend to all cases at law, witliout regard
to the amount in controversy ; but a jury trial may be waived
by the parties in all cases, in the manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 8. N^o person shall be held to answer a criminal No person to be

held to answer for

charge unless on the presentment or indictment of aSi^or^T


grand jury, except in cases of impeachment or cases such as E.xceptions.

the General Assembly shall make cognizable by justices of

the peace, and courts of similar jurisdiction; or cases arising

in the army and navy of the United States ; or in the militia

when in actual service in time of war or public danger; and No person to be

twice putin jeop-

no person, for the same offense, shall be twice put in jeoperdy fenced"'"''''"''' "^"

of life or liberty ; but if, in any criminal prosecution, the juiy

be divided in opinion, the court before which the trial shall

be had, may, in its discretion, discharge thejury, and commit

or bail the accused for trial, at the- same or the next term of

said court; nor shall any person be compelled, in any crimi-


tJ te'^"wUn!fss ^'^^ ^^^®' *^ ^® ^ witiiGSS against himself; nor be deprived of

against hi uiHelf. ,.,,,, • i t r> i

Security for life, life, liberty OF proportj, Without due process of law. All
Right to bail. persoiis sluiU, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient

sureties, except for capital offenses, when the proof is evident

or the presumption great.
JnT'&. cru*ii Sec. 9. Excessive bail shall not be required ; nor shall

punishments, and

2esscs'**°proh*ibi- ^^^ccssivc fincs bc Imposcd ; nor shall cruel or unusual


punishment be inflicted ; nor witnesses be unreasonably
?u.Sfin criminal ^EC. 10. In all Criminal prosecutions, the accused shall


enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an
impartial jury of the county in which the crime shall have
been committed; provided that the venue may be changed to
any other county of the judicial district in which the indict-
ment is found, upon the application of the accused, in such
manner as now is, or may be prescribed by law ; and to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against
him, and to have a copy thereof; and to be confronted with
the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory process for
obtaining witnesses in his favor ; and to be heard by himself
and his counsel.
Habeas corpus. Sec. 11. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
shall not be suspended; except by the General Assem-
bly, in case of rebellion, insurrection, or invasion, when the
public safety may require it.

Suspension of the Sec. 12. No powcr of suspcndiiig or setting aside
the law or laws of the State, shall ever be exersised, except
by the General Assembly.

Redress of Sec. 13. Evcrv pcrson is entitled to a certain remedy

wrongs. ./ i ^

in the laws for all injuries or wrongs he may receive
in his person, property or character ; he ought to obtain j ustice
freely, and without purchase; completely and without denial;
promptly and without delay ; conformably to the laws.
Treason. Sec. 14. Trcasou against the State shall only consist


in levying and making war against the same, or in
adliering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No
person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony
of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in
open court.
Sec. 15. The right of the people ot this State to Security against

'-' ^ ^ unreasonable

, . , , . -, 1 /«• i • J. searches and

be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and enects, against seizures,
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated;
and no warrant shall issue, except upon probable cause, sup-
ported by oath or afHrmation, and particularly describing
the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be

Sec. 16. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in imprisonment

for debt prohib-

any civil action, on mesne or final process, unless in cases ^^^^'
of fraud.

Sec. 17. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or Attainder, laws

ex post facto, im-

law impairing the obligation of contracts shall ever be tr*alt"f etc., pro-
passed; and no conviction shall work corruption of bloo<l or

forfeiture of estate.

Sec. 18. The General Assembly shall not grant to Equality of priv-

• ilcges and im-

any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities "^'^'^iti^s.
which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all

Sec. 19. Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary Perpetuities

monopolies, and

to the genius of a republic, and shall not be allowed ; ^n'"£*J^ ^^^I
nor shall any hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors
ever be granted or conferred in this State.

Sec. 20. No distinction shall ever be made ' by Resident aliens,
law, between resident aliens and citizens, in regard to the
possession, enjoyment, or descent of property.

Sec. 21. No person shall be taken or imprisoned. Life, liberty,

and property,

or dissiezed of his estate, freehold, liberties or privileges ; ^"""^ secured,
or outlawed, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived
of his life, liberty, or property ; except by the judgment of

6 C0:N^STITUTI0N of the [Art. 2.

^roMbitod™*'"* ^^^^ pecrs, or the law of the land; nor shall any person, under
any circumstances, be exiled from the State.

Private Property (Sec. 22. The right of property is before and higher
than any constitutional sanction; and private prop-
erty shall not be taken, appropriated or damaged for public
use, without just compensation therefor.

state's right of Sec. 23. The State's ancient right of eminent domain

emiuent domain. ^

and of taxation. ^^^^ of taxatiou, is herein fully and expressly conceded;
Delegation of and the General Assembly may delegate the taxing power,

taxing power. ./ ./ u <j

with the necessary restriction, to the State's subordin-
ate political and municipal corporations, to the extent of
providing for their existence, maintenance and well being,
but no further.
Right of reiigi- Sec. 24. All men have a natural and indefeasible

ous liberty.

right to worship Almighty Grod according to the dic-
tates of their own consciences; no man can, of right, be
compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship ;
or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human
authority can, in any case or manner whatsoever, control or
interfere with the right of conscience ; and no preference
shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment,
denomination or mode of worship, above any other.

Protection.of^re- ^j^q^ 25. Religion, morality and knowledge being essen-
tial to good government, the General Assembly shall
enact suitable laws to protect every religious denomina-
tion in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public

Religious tests Sec. 26. Ko rcligious tcst shall ever be required

prohibited. ° ^

of any person as a qualification to vote or hold office ;

nor shall any person be rendered incompetent to be a witness

Oaths or affirm- ou accouiit of liis roligious belief; but nothing herein shall be

ations not to bo

dispensed with, coustrucd to dispense with oaths or affirmations.

Involuntary ser- Sec. 27. There shall be no slavery in this State,

vitudc. except . • , ^ • i - n

bitcd"""'' ''^*'^"" "^"^ involuntary servitude, except as a punishment tor
Standing army. Crime. No Standing army shall be kept in time of peace j


the military shall, at all times, be in strict subordination to yiJJi^t^/^to "dvu
the civil power; and no soldier shall be quartered in any Quartering of


house, or on any premises, without the consent of the owner,
in time of peace ; nor in time of war, except in a manner
prescribed by law.

Sec. 28. All lands in this State are declared to be Tenure of lands.
allodial; and feudel tenures of every description, with
all their incidents, are prohibited.

Sec. 29. This enumeration of rie-hts shall not be This enumera-

" tion of rights not

construed to deny or disparage others retained by the ithefrfghTs!
people; and to guard against any encroachments on the Paramount au-
rights herein retained, or any transgression of any of the Riglts'^ ind" of

'" "^ Constitution.

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 inviolate; and that
all laws contrary thereto, or to the other provisions herein
contained shall be void.

ARTICLE III. ^ - -™«-^

Franchise and Elections.
Sec 1. Every male citizen of the United States, or Qualifications of


male person who has declared his intention of becoming a

citizen of the same, of the age of twenty one years, who has

resided in the State twelve months, and in the county six

months, and in the voting precinct or ward one month, next

preceding any election, where he may propose to vote, shall

be entitled to vote at all elections by the people.

Sec 2. Elections shall be free and equal. No power. Freedom of elec-
civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the

free exercise of the right of suffrage; nor shall any law be Right of suffrage

not to depend on

enacted, whereby the right to vote at any election shall be p>-"vious regis-

' 'J n ,! tration.

made to depend upon any previous registration of the elec-
tor's name; or whereby such right shall be impiiired or for- Or impairabie

oxcept on con-

feited, except for the commission of a felony at common law, ony!"" *"" **'^'
upon lawful conviction thereof.


Elections to be gj-c. 3. AH elections by the people shall be by bal-
Numbering of lot. Everv ballot shall be numbered in the order in which

ballots. ''

it shall be received, and the number recorded by the election

officers, on the list of voters opposite the name of the elector

Secrecy of the who presents the ballot. The election officers shall be sworn


or affirmed not to disclose how any elector shall have voted,
unless required to do so as witnesses in a judicial proceeding,
or a proceeding to contest an election.
Privilege of eiec- Sec. 4. Elcctors sliall, in all cases (except treason,


felony and breach of the peace,) be privileged from arrest
during their attendance at elections, and going to and from
the same.
Idiots and in- Sec. 5. No idiot or iusauc person shall be entitled to the


privileges of an elector.
Corrupt viola- Sec. 6. Auv pcrson who shall be convicted of fraud,

tion of election "^ ^ '

if^for^officl?"''^" bribery, or other wilful and corrupt violation of any election

law of this State, shall be adjudged guilty of a felony, and

disqualified from holding any office of trust, or profit in this


u. s. soldiers, Sec. 7. No soldier, sailor, or marine, in the mil-
sailors, and

marines. \\,2,x^ or uaval servicc of the United States, shall acquire

a residence by reason of being stationed on duty in this

Time of holding Seo. 8. The general elections shall be held biennially,

general e 1 e c - o ,/ 7

on the first monday of September ; but the General Assembly

may by law, fix a different time.

Testimony in Sec. 9. In trials of coutcstcd elections and in pro-
cases of con-
tested elections, cecdiugs for the investigation of elections, no person

shall be permitted to withhold his testimony on the ground

that it may criminate himself, or subject him to public

infamy; but such testiinon}^ shall not be used against him in

any judicial proceeding, except for perjury in giving such

testimony. •

Causes of dis- Sec. 10. ISTo pcrsou shall be qualified to serve as an

qualification as

election officer, election officcr, who shall hold, at the time of the election,


any office, appointment, or employment in or under the
government of tlie United States, or of this State, or in any
city or county or any municipal board, commission or trust
in any city, save only the justices of the peace, and aldermen,
notaries public, and persons in the militia service of the
State. Kor shall an}' election officer be eligible to any civil
office to be filled at an election at which he shall serve — save
only to such subordinate municipal or local offices, below the
grade of city or county officers, as shall be designated by
general law.

Sec. 11. If the officers of any election shall unlaw- votes uoiawmi-

ly refused . ti> be

fully refuse or fail to receive, count or return the vote orconJest" '""'
or ballot of any qualified elector, such vote or ballot shall
nevertheless be counted upon the trial of any conte[n]8t
arising out of said election.

Sec. 12. All elections by persons acting in a repre- Elections by

parties represen-

sentative capacity shall be viva voce. tative.


Sec. 1. The powers of the government of the State Departments


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

Sec. 2. No person or collection of persons, being Separation of de-

'-' partments.

of one of these departments, shall exercise any power
belonging to either of the others, except in the instances
hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.




General Assem- Section 1. The legislative power of this State shall be
vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of the Sen-
ate and House of Representatives.

Snta.tive^s.^^''''^' ^^^- ^- ^he House of Representatives shall consist
of members to be chosen every second year by the qualified
electors of the several counties.

Senate, Sec. 3. The Senate shall consist of members to be

chosen every four 3'ears, by the qualified electors of the
several districts. At the first session of the Senate, the Sena-
tors shall divide themselves into two classes, by lot, and the
first class shall hold their places for two years only, after
which all shall be elected for four years.

ienitors""°'anci Sec. 4. N^o pcrsou shall be a Senator or Rcpresenta-


five who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of
the United States, nor any one who has not been for two
years next preceding his election, a resident of this State,
and tor one year next preceding his election, a resident of
the county or district whence he may be chosen. Senators
shall be at least twenty five years of age, and Representatives
at least twenty one years of age.

Times of meeting. Sec. 5. The General Assembly shall meet at the seat
of government every two years, on the first tuesday
after the second monday in November, until said time be
altered by law.

Vacancies. Sec. 6. The Govomor shall issue writs of election,

to fill such vacancies as shall occur in either house of the
General Assembly.


Sec. 7. No ia*li4:e of the Suvjreme, Circuit or iiife- officers ineligible

** ° ^ to (leneral As-

rior courts, of law or equity, Secretary of State, Attorney ^^"^ ^*
General for the State, Auditor or Treasurer, Recorder, clerk

Online LibraryArkansasThe constitution of the state of Arkansas → online text (page 3 of 25)