Minnesota. Constitutional Convention (1857).

Debates and proceedings of the Constitutional convention for the territory of Minnesota, to form a state constitution preparatory to its admission into the Union as a state online

. (page 118 of 120)
Online LibraryMinnesota. Constitutional Convention (1857)Debates and proceedings of the Constitutional convention for the territory of Minnesota, to form a state constitution preparatory to its admission into the Union as a state → online text (page 118 of 120)
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court capable of enjoying the rights of citi-
zenship within the State.

Sec 2. No person not belonging to one of
the classes specified in the preceding sec-
tion ; no person who has been convicted of
treason or any felony, unless restored to civil
rights ; and no person under guardianship, or
who may be iion compos mentis or insane,
shall be entitled or permitted to vote at any
election in this State.

Sec 3. For the purpose of voting, no per-
son shall be deemed to have lost a residence
by reason of his absence while employed in
the service of the United States ; nor while
engaged upon the waters of this State or of
the United States ; nor while a student of any
scmkiary of learning ; nor while kept at any
alms-house or other asylum ; nor while con-
fined in any public prison.

Sec. 4. No soldier, seaman, or marine in



the army or navy of the United States, shall
be deemed a resident of this State in conse-
quence of being stationed within the same.

Sec. 5. During the day on which any
election shall be held, no person shall be ar-
rested by virtue of any civil process.

Sec. 6. All elections shall be by ballot,
except for such town officers as may be di-
rected by law to be otherwise chosen.

Sec. 7. Every person who, by the provis-
ions of this article shall be entitled to vote at
any election, shall be eligible to any office
which now is, or hereafter shall be, elective
by the people in the district wherein he shall
have resided thirty days previous to such
election ; except as otherwise provided in this
Constitution, or the Constiliution and Laws of
the United States.

School Funds, Education and Science.

Section 1. The stability of a republican
form of government depending mainly upon
the intelligence of the people, it shall be the
duty of the Legislature to establish a general
and uniform system of public schools.

Sec 2. The proceeds of such lands as are
or hereafter may be granted by the United
States for the use of schools within each
township in this State, shall remain a perpet-
ual school fund to the State, and not more
than one-third (1-3) of said lands may be
sold in two (2) years, one third (1-3) in five
(5) years, and one-third (1-3) in ten (10)
years ; but the lands of the greatest valuation
shall be sold first, provided that no portion of
said lands shall be sold otherwise than at
public sale. The principal of all funds aris-
ing from sales or other disposition of lands,
or other property, granted or entrusted to
this State in each township for educational
purposes, shall forever be preserved inviolate
and undiminished ; and the income arising
from the lease or sale of said school lands
shall be distributed to the different townships
throughout the State, in proportion to the
number of scholars in each township between
the ages of five and twenty-one years, and
shall be faithfully applied to the specific ob-
jects of the original grants or appropriations.

Sec. 3. The Legislature shall make such
provisions, by taxation or otherwise, as, with
the income arising from the school fund, will
secure a thorough and efficient system of

Public Schools in each township in the

Sec. 4. The location of the University of
Minnesota as established by existing laws, is
hereby confirmed, and said institution is here-
by declared to be the University of the State
of Minnesota. AU the rights, immunities,
franchises and endowments heretofore grant-
ed or confen-ed, are hereby perpetuated unto
the said University, and all lands which may
be granted hereafter by Congress or other
donations for said University purposes shall
vest in the institution referred to in this Sec-

Finances of tJu State, and Banis and Banking.

Section 1. All taxes to be raised in this
State shall be as nearly equal as may be, and
all property on which taxes are to be levied
shall have a cash valuation, and be equalized
and uniform throughout the State.

Sec 2. The Legislature shall provide for
an Annual Tax sufficient to defray the esti-
mated expenses of the State for each year ;
and whenever it shall happen that such or-
dinary expenses of the State for any year
shall exceed the income of the State for such
year, the Legislature shall provide for levying
a tax for the ensuing year sufficient with
other sources of income, to pay the deficiency
of the preceding year, together with the esti-
mated expenses of such ensuing year.

Sec. 3. Laws shall be passed taxing all
moneys, credits, investments in bonds, stocks,
joint stock companies, or otherwise, and also
all real and personal property, according to
its true value in money; but public burying
grounds, public school houses, public hospi-
tals, academies, colleges, universities, and all
seminaries of learning, all churches, church
property used for rehgious purposes and
houses of worship, institutions of purely pub-
Uc charity, public property used exclusively
for any pubUc purpose, and personal property
to an amount* not exceeding in value two hun-
dred dollars for each individual, shall, by gen-
eral laws, be exempt from taxation.

Sec 4. Laws shall be passed for taxing
the notes and bills discounted or purchased,
moneys loaned, and all other property, effects,
or dues of every description, of all banks,
and of aU bankers ; so that all property em-
ployed in banking shall always be subject to



a taxation equal to that imposed on the pro-
perty of individuals.

Sec. 5. For the purpose of defraying ex-
traordinary expenditures, the State may con-
tract public debts, but such debts shall never
in the aggi-egate exceed two hundred and
fifty thousand dollars ; every such debt shall
be authorized by law, for some single object
to be distinctly specified therein ; and no such
law shall take effect until it shall have been
passed by the vote of two-thirds of the mem-
bers of each branch of the Legislature, to be
recorded by yeas and nays on the journals of
each House respectively ; and every such law
shall levy a tax annually sufficient to pay the
annual interest of such debt, and also a tax
sufficient to pay the principal of such debt
within ten years from the final passage of
such law, and shall specially appropriate the
proceeds of such taxes to the payment of
such principal and interest; and such ap-
propriation and taxes shall not be repealed,
postponed or diminished until the principal
and interest of such debt shall have been
wholly paid. The State shall never contract
any debts for works of internal improvement,
or be a party in carrying on such works, ex-
cept in cases where grants of land or other
property shall have been made to the State
especially dedicated by the grant to specific
purposes ; and in such cases the State shall
devote thereto the avails of such grants, and
may pledge or appropriate the revenues de-
rived from such works in aid of their comple-

Sec. 6. All debts authorized by the pre-
ceding section shall be contracted by loan on
State bonds of amounts not less than five
hundred dollars each, on interest payable
within ten years after the final passage of the
law authorizing such debt ; and such bonds
shall not be sold by the State under par. A
correct registry of all such bonds shall be
kept by the Treasurer, in numerical order,
so as always to exhibit the number and
amount unpaid, and to whcm^sevcrally made

Sec. 7. The State shall never contract
any public debt, unless in time of war, to re-
pel invasion or suppress insurrection, except
in the cases and in the manner provided in the
fiftli and sixth sections of this Article.
Sec. 8. The money arising from any loan I

made, or debt or liability contracted, shall be
applied to the object specified in the act au-
thorizing such debt or liability, and to no
other purpose whatever.

Sec. 9. No money shall ever be paid out
of the Treasury of this State, except in pur-
suance of an appropriation by law.

Sec, 10. The credit of the State shall
never be given or loaned in aid of any indi-
vidual, association or corporation.

Sec. 11. There shall be published by the
Treasurer, in at least one newspaper printed
at the seat of Government, during the first
week in January of each year, and in the
next volume of the Acts of the Legislature,
detailed statements of all moneys drawn from
the Treasury during the preceding year ; for
what purposes, and to whom paid, and by
what law authorized ; and also of all moneys
received, and by what authority, and from

Sec. 12. Suitable laws shall be passed by
the Legislature for the safe keeping, transfer
and disbursement of the State and School
fimds, and all oflBcers and other persons
charged with the same shall be required to
give ample security for all moneys and funds
of any kind, to keep an accurate entry of
each svaa received, and of each payment and
transfer, and if any of said officers or other
persons shall convert to his own use in any
form, or shall loan with or without interest,
contrary to law, or shall deposit in banks, or
exchange for other fund, any portion of the
funds of the State, every such act shall be
adjudged to be an embezzlement of so much
of the State funds as shall be thus taken,
and shall be declared a felony ; and any fail-
ure to pay over or produce the State or
School funds intrusted to such persons, on
demand, shall be held and taken to hopmna
facie evidence of such embezzlement.

Sec. 13. The Legislature may, by a two-
thirds vote, pass a General Banking Law,
with the following restrictions and require-
ments, viz :

First. The Legislature shall have no power
to pass any law sanctioning in any manner,
directly or indirectly, the suspension of spe-
cie payments by any person, association or
corporation issuing bank notes of any descrip-
Second. The Legislature shall provide by



law for the registry of all bills or notes is-
sued or put in circulation as money, and shall
requu'e ample security in United States stock
or State stocks fo| the redemption of the
same in specie, and in case of a depreciation
of said stocks, or any part thereof, to the
amovmt of ten per cent, or more on the dol-
lar, the bank or banks owning said stocks
shall be required to make up said deficiency
by additional stocks.

Third. The stockholders in any corpora-
tion or joint association for banking purposes
issuing bank notes, shall be individually lia-
ble in an amount equal to double the amount
of stock owned by them for the debts of
such corporation or association, and such in-
dividual liability shall continue for one year
after any transfer or sale of stock by any
stockholder or stockholders.

Fourth. In case of the insolvency of any
bank or banking association, the billholders
thereof shall be entitled to preference in pay-
ment over all other creditors of such bank or

Fifth. Any General Banking Law which
may be passed in accordance with this article
shall provide for recording the names of all
stockholders in such corporations, the amount
of stock held by each, the time of transfer,
and to whom transferred.

0/ Corporations having no Banhing Privileges.

Section 1. The term " Corporations," as
used in this article, shall be construed to in-
clude aU associations and joint stock compa-
nies having any of the powers and privileges
not possessed by individuals or partnerships,
except such as embrace banking privileges,
and all corporations shall have the right to
sue, and shall be liable to be sued in all courts
in like manner as natural persons.

Sec. 2. No corporation shall be formed
under special acts, except for municipal pm -

Sec. 3. Each stockholder in any corpora-
tion shall be liable to the amount of the stock
held or owned by him.

Sec 4. Lands may be taken for public
way, for the purpose of granting to any cor-
poration the franchise of way for pubUc use.
In all cases, however, a fair and equitable
compensation shall be paid for such land, and
the damages arising from the taking of the

same ; but all corporations being common
carriers, enjoying the right of way in pursu-
ance of the provisions of this section, shall
be bound to carry the mineral, agricultural
and other productions or manufactures on
equal and reasonable terms.

Counties and TovmsMps,

Section 1. The Legislature may, fi-om
time to time, establish and organize new
counties, but no new county shall contain
less than four hundred square miles ; nor
shall any county be reduced below that
amount ; and all laws changing county lines
in counties already organized, or for removing
county seats shall, before taking effect, be
submitted to the electors of the coimty or
counties to be affected thereby, at the next
general election after the passage thereof, and
be adopted by a majority of such electors.
Counties now established may be enlarged,
but not reduced below four hundred (400,)
square miles.

Sec. 2. The Legislature may organize
any city into a separate county when it has
attained a population of twenty thousand in-
habitants, without reference to geographical
extent, when a majority of the electors of the
county in which such city may be situated,
voting thereon, shall be in favor of separate

Sec. 3. Laws may be passed providing
for the organization, for municipal and other
town purposes, of any Congressional or frac-
tional townships in the several counties in
the State, provided that when a township is
divided by county lines, or does not contain
one hundred mhabitants, it may be attached
to one or more adjoining townships or parts
of townships, for the purposes aforesaid.

Sec 4. Provision shall be made by law
for the election of such covmty or township
officers as may be necessary.

Sec 5. Any county and tow nship organ-
ization shall have such powers of local taxa-
tion as may be prescribed by law.

Sec 6. No money shall be drawn from
any county or township treasury except by
authority of law.

Of the JUmUa.

Section 1. It shall be the duty of the Leg-
islature to pass such laws for the organiza-



tion, discipline and service of the Militia of
the State, as may be deemed necessary.
Impeachment and Bemoval from Office.
Section 1. The Governor, Secretary of
State, Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney General
and the Judges of the Supreme and District
Courts, may be impeached for corrupt con-
duct in office, or for crimes and misdemean-
ors; but judgment in such case shall not
extend further than to removal from office
and disqualification to hold and enjoy any
office of honor, trust or profit, in this State.
The party convicted thereof shall neverthe-
less be liable and subject to indictment, trial,
judgment and punishment according to law.

Sec. 2. The Legislature of this State may
provide for the removal of inferior officers
from office, for malfeasance or nonfeasance in
the performance of their duties.

Sec. 3. No officer shall exercise the duties
of his office after he shall have been im-
peached and before his acquittal.

Sec. 4. On the trial of an impeachment
against the Governor, the Lieutenant Gover-
nor shall not act as a member of the Court.

Sec 5. No person shall be tried on im-
peachment before he shall have been served
with a copy thereof at least twenty days pre-
vious to the day set for trial.

Amendments to the Constitution.
Section 1. Whenever a majority of both
Houses of the Legislature shall deem it neces-
sary to alter or amend this Constitution, they
may propose such alterations or amendments,
which proposed amendments shall be pub-
lished with the laws which have been passed
at the same session, and said amendments
shall be submitted to the people for their ap-
proval or rejection ; and if it shall appear in
a manner to be provided by law, that a ma-
jority of the voters present and voting shall
have ratified such alterations or amendments,
the same shall be valid to all intents and pur-
poses, as a part of this Constitution. If two
or more alterations or amendments shall be
submitted at the same time, it shall be so reg-
ulated that the voters shall vote for or against
each scaparately.

Sec. 2. Whenever two-thirds of the mem-
bers elected to each branch of the Legisla-
ture shall think it necessary to call a Conven-

tion to revise this Constitution, they shall
recommend to the electors to vote, at the next
election for members of the Legislature, for or
against a Convention ; and if a majority of all
the electors voting at said election, shall have
voted for a Convention, the Legislature shall
at their next session provide by law for call-
ing the same. The Convention shall consist
of as many members as the House of Repre-
sentatives, who shall be chosen in the same
manner, and shall meet within three months
after their election for the purpose aforesaid.
Miscellaneous Subjects.
Section 1. The seat of government of the
State shall be at the city of St. Paul, but the
Legislature, at their first or any future ses-
sion may provide by law for a change of the
seat of government by a vote of the people,
or may locate the same upon the land granted
by Congress for a seat of Government to the
State ; and in the event of the seat of govern-
ment being removed from the city of St. Paul
to any other place in the State, the Capitol
building and grounds shall be dedicated to an
institution for the promotion of science, liter-
ature and the arts, to be organized by the
Legislature of the State, and of which insti-
tution the Minnesota Historical |Society shall
always be a department.

Sec 2. Persons residing on Indian lands
within this State shall enjoy all the rights and
privileges of citizens as though they lived in
any other portion of the State, and shall be
subject to taxation.

Sec 3. The Legislature shall provide for
a uniform oath or affirmation to be adminis-
tered at elections, and no person shall be com-
pelled to take any other or diiferent Ibrm of
oath to entitle him to vote.

Sec 4. There shall be a seal of the State,
which shall be kept by the Secretary of State,
and be used by him officially, and shall be
called the Great Seal of the State of Minne-
sota, and shall be attached to all official acts
of the Governor, (his signature to acts and
resolves of the Legislature excepted",) requir-
ing authentication. The Legislature shall
provide for an appropriate device and motto
for said seal.

Sec 6. The Territorial prison as located
under existing laws, shall, after the adoption



of this Constitution, be and remain one of the
State Prisons of the State of Minnesota.

Section 1. That no inconvenience may-
arise by reason of a change from a Territorial
to a permanent State government, it is de-
clared that all rights, actions, prosecutions,
judgments, claims and contracts, as well of
individual as of bodies corporate, shall con-
tinue as if no change had taken place ; and all
process which may be issued under the author-
ity of the Territory of Minnesota previous to
its admission into the Union of the United
States, shaU be as vahd as if issued in the
name of the State.

Sec. 2. All laws now in force in the Ter-
ritory of Minnesota not repugnant to this
Constitution, shall remain in force until they
expire by their own limitation, or be altered
or repealed by the Legislature.

Sec. 3. All fines, penalties or forfeitures
accruing to the Territory of Minnesota, shall
inure to the State.

Sec. 4. All recognizances heretofore taken,
or wliich may be taken before the change from
Territorial to permanent a State Government
shall remain valid, and shall pass to, and may
be prosecuted in the name of the State ; and
all bonds executed to the Governor of the
Territory, or to any other officer or court in
his or their official capacity, shall pass to the
Governor or State authority and their suc-
cessors in office for the uses therein respec-
tively expressed, and may be sued for and
recovered accordingly ; and all the estate of
property, real, 4)ersonal, or mixed, and all
judgments, bonds, specialties, choses in ac-
tion, and claims and debts of whatsoever des-
cription of the Territory of Minnesota, shall
inure to and vest in the State of Minnesota,
and may be sued for and recovered in the
same manner and to the same extent by the
State of Minnesota as the same could have
been by the Territory of Minnesota. All
criminal prosecutions and penal actions which
may have arisen or which may arise before the
change from a Territorial to a State govern-
ment, and which shall then bo pending, shall
be prosecuted to judgment and execution in
the name of the State. AH offences committed
against the laws of the Territory of Minnesota
before the change from a Territorial to a State
government and which shall not be prosecuted

before such change may be prosecuted in the
name and by the authority of the State of Min-
nesota with Uke effect as though such change
had not taken place, and all penalties incurred
shall remain the same as if this Constitution
had not been adopted. All actions at law and
suits in equity which may be pending in any
of the courts of the Territory of Minnesota at
the time of the change from a Territorial to a
State government may be continued and trans-
ferred to any court of the State which shall
have jurisdiction of the subject matter thereof.

Sec. 5. All Territorial officers, civil and
mihtary, now holding their offices under the
authority of the United States, or of the Ter-
ritory of Minnesota, shall continue to hold and
exercise their respective offices until they shall
be superseded by the authority of the State.

Sec 6. The first session of the Legislature
of the State of Minnesota shall commence on
the first Wednesday of December next, and
shall be held at theCapitol in the city of St. Paul.

Sec 7. The laws regulating the election
and quahfication of all district, county and pre-
cinct officers shall continue and be in force until
the Legislatru*e shall otherwise provide by law.

Sec 8. The President of the Convention
shall, immediately after the adjournment there-
of, cause this Constitution to be deposited in
the office of the Governor of the Territory ;
and if after the submission of the same to a
vote of the people, as hereinafter provided, it
shall appear that it has been adopted by a
vote of the people of the State, then the Gov-
ernor shall forward a certified copy of the
same together with an abstract of the votes
polled for and against the said Constitution, to
the President of the United States, to be by him
laid before the Congress of the United States.

Sec 9. For the purposes of the first elec-
tion the State shall constitute one district, and
shall elect three members to the House of
Representatives of the United Sates.

Sec 10. For the purposes of the first elec-
tion for members of the State Senate and the
House of Representatives, the State shall be
divided into senatorial and representative dis-
tricts as follows, viz : first district, Washing-
ton county ; second district, Ramsey coimty ;
third district, Dakota county ; fourth district,
so'much of Hennepin county as lies west of
the Mississippi ; fifth district, Rice county ;
sixth district, Goodhue county ; seventh dis-



trict, Scott county ; eighth district, Olmsted
county ; ninth district, Fillmore county ; tenth
district, Houston county; eleventh district,
"Winona county ; twelfth district, Wabashaw
county ; thirteenth district, Mower and Dodge
counties; fourteenth district, Freeborn and
Faribault counties; fifteenth district, Steele
and Waseca counties ; sixteenth district. Blue
Earth and Lesueur counties ; seventeenth dis-
trict, Nicollet and Brown counties ; eighteenth
district, Sibley, Renville, and McLeod coun-
ties; nineteenth district Carver and Wright
counties; twentieth district, Benton, Stearns
and Meeker counties; twenty-first district,
Morrison, Crow Wing and Mille Lac counties ;
twenty-second district, Cass, Pembina and
Todd counties ; twenty -third district, so much
of Hennepin county as lies east of the Missis-
sippi ; twenty-fourth district, Sherburne, An-
oka and Manomin counties ; twenty -fifth dis-
trict, Chisago, Pine and Isanti counties ; twen-
ty-sixth district, Buchanan, Carlton, St. Louis,
Lake and Itasca counties.

Sec. 11. The counties of Brown, Steams,
Todd, Cass, Pembina and Renville, as applied

Online LibraryMinnesota. Constitutional Convention (1857)Debates and proceedings of the Constitutional convention for the territory of Minnesota, to form a state constitution preparatory to its admission into the Union as a state → online text (page 118 of 120)