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best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regu. lations of the constitution and the laws of this state : so help me God."
2. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering 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 his confession in open court.
3. Every person shall be disqualified from serving as governor, sena. tor, or representative, for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall have been convicted of having given or offered any bribe to procure his election.
4. Laws shall be made to exclude from office and from suffrage those who shall thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon, from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practices.
5. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of appropriations made by law; nor shall any appropriation of money, for the support of an army, be made for a longer term than one year; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published annually.
6. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such laws as may be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.
7. All civil officers for the state at large shall reside within the state ; and all district or county officers, within their respective districts or counties, and shall keep their respective offices at such places therein as may be required by law.
8. The legislature shall determine the time of duration of the several public offices, when such time shall not have been fixed by the constitution; and all civil officers, except the governor, and judges of the superior and inferior courts, shall be removable by an address of two-thirds of the members of both houses ; except those, the removal of whom has been otherwise provided for by this constitution.
9. Absence on the business of this state or of the United States shall not forfeit a residence once obtained, so as to deprive any one of the rights of suffrage, or of being elected or appointed to any office under this state, under the exceptions contained in this constitution.
10. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to regulate by law in what cases and what deduction from the salaries of public officers shall be made for neglect of duty in their official capacity.
11. Return of all elections for the members of the general assembly shall be made to the secretary of state for the time being.
12. The legislature shall point out the manner in which a man coming into the country shall declare his residence.
13. In all elections by the people, and also by the senate and house of representatives, jointly or separately, the votes shall be given by ballot. Some
14. No member of congress, nor person holding or exercising any office of trust or profit under the United States, or either of them, or
under any foreign powers, shall be eligible as a member of the gener al assembly of this state, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the same.
15. All laws that may be passed by the legislature of the state of Louisiana, and the judicial and legislative written proceedings of the same, shall be promulgated, preserved, and conducted, in the language in which the constitution of the United States is written.
16. The general assembly shall direct by law how persons who now are or may hereafter become securities for public officers, may be returned or discharged on account of such securityship.
17. No power of suspending the laws of this state shall be exercised, anless by the legislature or its authority.
18. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right of being heard, by himself or counsel : of demanding the nature and cause of the accusation against him : of meeting the witnesses face to face : of having compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour; and, in prosecutions by indictment, or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; nor shall he be compelled to give evidence against himself.
19. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offences, where the proof is evident or presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
20. No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed.
21. Printing presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the legislature, or any branch of the government: and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
22. Emigration from the state shall not be prohibited.
23. The citizens of the town of New Orleans shall have the right of appointing the several public officers necessary for the administration and the police of the said city, pursuant to the mode of election which shall be prescribed by the legislature: Provided, that the mayor and recorder shall be ireligible to a seat in the general assembly.
24. The seat of government shall continue at New Orleans until removed by law.
25. All laws contrary to this constitution shall be null and void.
ARTICLE 7. Mode of Revising the Constitution. $1. When experience shall point out the necessity of amending this constitution, and a majority of all the members elected to each house of the gereral assembly shall
, within the first twenty days of their stated annua. session, concur in passing a law, specifying the alterations intended to be made, for taking the sense of the good people of this state, as to the necessity and expediency of calling a convention, it shall be the duty of the several returning officers, at the next general election
which shall be held for representatives after the passage of such law, to open a poll for, and make return to the secretary for the time being, of the names of all those entitled to vote for representatives, who have voted for calling a convention ; and if thereupon it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this state, entitled to vote for representatives, have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall direct that a similar poll shall be opened and taken from the next year; and if thereupon it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this state entitled to vote for representatives have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next session, call a convention, to consist of as many members as there shall be in the general assembly, and no more ; to be chosen in the same manner and proportion, at the same places, and at the same time, that representatives are, by citizens entitled to vote for representatives ; and to meet within three months after the said elec tion for the purpose of readopting, amending, or changing this constitution. But if it shall appear, by the vote of either year, as aforesaid, that a majority of all the citizens entitled to vote for representatives did not vote for a convention, a convention shall not be called.
§ 1. That no inconveniences may arise from a change of a territorial o a permanent state government, it is declared by the convention, that all rights, suits, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, both as it respects individuals and bodies corporate, shall continue as if no change had taken place in this government, in virtue of the laws now in force.
2. All fines, penalties, and forfeitures, due and owing to the territory of Orleans shall inure to the use of the state. All bonds executed to the governor, or any other officer in his official capacity in the territory, shall pass over to the governor, or to the officers of the state, and their successors in office, for the use of the state, by him or by them to be respectively assigned over to the use of those concerned, as the case
3. The governor, secretary, and judges, and all other officers under the territorial government, shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective departments until the said officers are superseded under the authority of the constitution.
4. All laws now in force in this territory, not inconsistent with this constitution, shall continue and remain in full effect until repealed by the legislature.
5. The governor of this state shall make use of his private seal, until a state seal be procured.
6. The oaths of office herein directed to be taken may be administered by any justice of the peace, until the legislature shall otherwise direct.
7. At the expiration of the time after which this constitution is to go into operation, or immediately after official information shall have been received that congress have approved of the same, the president of the convention shall issue writs of election to the proper officers in the different countics, enjoining them to cause an election to be held for governor and members of the general assembly, in each of their respective districts. The election shall commence on the fourth Monday following the day of the president's proclamation, and shall take place on the same
day throughout the state. The mode and duration of the said election shall be determined by the laws now in force : Provided, however, that in case of absence or disability of the president of the convention to cause the said election to be carried into effect, the secretary of the convention shall discharge the duties hereby imposed on the president; anul that in case of the absence of the secretary, a committee of Messrs. Blanque, Brown, and Urquhart, or a majority of them, shall discharge the duties herein imposed on the secretary of the convention ; and the members of the general assembly thus elected, shall assemble on the fourth Monday thereafter, at the seat of government. The governor and members of the general assembly, for this time only, shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices immediately after their election, and shall continue in office in the same manner, and during the same period, they would have done had they been elected on the first Monday of July, 1812.
8. Until the first enumeration shall be made, as directed in the sixth section of the second article of this constitution, the county of New Oro leans shall be entitled to six representatives, to be elected as follows: one by the first senatorial district within the said county, four by the second district, and one by the third district; the county of German Coast to two representatives; the county of Acadia to two representatives ; the county of Iberville to two representatives; the county of Lafourche to two representatives, to be elected as follows: one by the parish of Assumption, and the other by the parish of the Interior; the county of Rapides to two representatives; the county of Natchitoches to one representative; the county of Concordia to one representative; the county of Ouachitta to one representative ; the county of Oppelousas to two representatives ; the county of Attakapas to three representatives, to be elected as follows: two by the parish of St. Martin, and the third by the parish of St. Mary; and the respective senatorial districts, created by this constitution, to one senator each. Done in convention, at New Orleans, the 22d day of the month of
January, in the year of our Lord 1812, and of the independence of the United States of America the 36th.
J. POYDRAS, President of the Convention.
P. Bossier Prud’liomme,
D. B. Morgan,
Allen B. Magruder,
Louis De Blanc,
W. C. Maquille,
Alexander Porter, jr.
M. L. Reynaud.
AN ORDINANCE · Relating to the public lands of the United States, and the lands of
non-resident proprietors, citizens of said states, within the terrie tory of Orleans.
Be it ordained, by the representatives of the people of the territory of Orleans, in convention assembled, agreeably to an act of congress, en. titled “ An act to enable the people of the territory of Orleans 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 for other purposes," that the people inhabiting the said territory do agree and declare, that they do for ever disclaim all right or title to the waste or unappropriated lands lying within the said territory; and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.
And be it further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that each and every tract of land sold by congress, shall be and remain exempt from any tax, laid by the order, or under the authority of the state of Louisiana, whether for state, county, township, parish, or any other purpose whatever, for the term of five years, from and after the respective days of the sales thereof; and that the lands belonging to the citizens of the United States, residing without the said state, shall never be taxed higher than the lands belonging to persons residing therein : and that no taxes shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States.
And be it further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that this ordinance shall never be revoked, without the consent of the United States in congress assembled, being first obtained for that purpose. By the unanimous order of the convention:
J. POYDRAS, President of the Convention.
J. POIDA Eligius FROMENTIN, Secretary to the Convention Done in convention, at New Orleans, this 28th day of January, in the
year of our Lord 1812, and of the independence of the United States the 36th.