Constitution of the State of Texas

 

 

1827 Constitution
Preliminary Provisions, Article 13

ART. 13. From and after the promulgation of the constitution in the capital of each district, no one shall be born a slave in the state, and after six months the introduction of slaves under any pretext shall not be permitted.

1833 Constitution
General Provisions, Article 23

Art. 23. All persons residing in Texas, at the date of this Constitution, except bonded servants, and other persons not liable to taxation by virtue of laws enacted under this Constitution, shall be regarded as citizens, and as being entitled to all the benefits of persons who emigrated to the country under the Colonization Law of 1825, and shall be acknowledged and admitted to all the rights and privileges of such immigrants.

1836 Constitution
General Provisions, section 6

SEC. 6. All free white persons who shall emigrate to this Republic, and who shall, after a residence of six months, make oath before some competent authority that he intends to reside permanently in the same, and shall swear to support this Constitution, and that he will bear true allegiance to the Republic of Texas, shall be entitled to all the privileges of citizenship

1836 Constitution
General Provisions, section 9

SEC. 9. All persons of color who were slaves for life previous to their emigration to Texas, and who are now held in bondage, shall remain in the like state of servitude, provide the said slave shall be the bona fide property of the person so holding said slave as aforesaid. Congress shall pass no laws to prohibit emigrants from the United States of America from bringing their slaves into the Republic with them, and holding them by the same tenure by which such slaves were held in the United States; nor shall Congress have power to emancipate slaves; nor shall any slave-holder be allowed to emancipate his or her slave or slaves, without the consent of Congress, unless he or she shall send his or her slave or slaves without the limits of the Republic. No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part, shall be permitted to reside permanently in the Republic, without the consent of Congress, and the importation or admission of Africans or negroes into this Republic, excepting from the United States of America, is forever prohibited, and declared to be piracy.

1836 Constitution
General Provisions, section 10

SEC. 10. All persons, (Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians excepted,) who were residing in Texas on the day of the Declaration of Independence, shall be considered citizens of the Republic, and entitled to all the privileges of such. All citizens now living in Texas, who have not received their portion of land, in like manner as colonists, shall be entitled to their land in the following proportion and manner: Every head of a family shall be entitled to one league and labor of land, and every single man of the age of seventeen and upwards, shall be entitled to the third part of one league of land. All citizens who may have, previously to the adoption of this Constitution, received their league of land as heads of families, and their quarter of a league of land as single persons, shall receive such additional quantity as will make the quantity of land received by them equal to one league and "labor" and one-third of a league, unless by bargain, sale, or exchange, they have transferred, or may henceforth transfer their right to said land, or a portion thereof, to some other citizen of the Republic; and in such case the person to whom such right shall have been transferred, shall be entitled to the same, as fully and amply as the person making the transfer might or could have been. No alien shall hold land in Texas, except by titles emanating directly from the Government of this Republic. But if any citizen of this Republic should die intestate or otherwise, his children or heirs shall inherit his estate, and aliens shall have a reasonable time to take possession of and dispose of the same, in a manner hereafter to be pointed out by law. Orphan children, whose parents were entitled to land under the colonization law of Mexico, and who now reside in the Republic, shall be entitled to all the rights of which their parents were possessed at the time of their death. The citizens of the Republic shall not be compelled to reside on the land, but shall have their lines plainly marked

1836 Constitution
Article I, section 7

SEC. 7. The Senators shall be chosen by districts, as nearly equal in free population (free negroes and Indians excepted,) as practicable; and the number of Senators shall never be less than one third nor more than one half the number of Representatives, and each district shall be entitled to one member and no more.

1845 Constitution
Article VIII

SEC. 1. The legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, nor without paying their owners, previous to such emancipation, a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State: Provided, That such slave be the bona fide property of such emigrants: Provided, also, That laws shall be passed to inhibit the introduction into this State of slaves who have committed high crimes in other States or Territories. They shall have the right to pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming a public charge. They shall have full power to pass laws which will oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity; to provide for their necessary food and clothing; to abstain from all injuries to them, extending to life or limb; and, in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves taken from such owner and sold for the benefit of such owner or owners. They may pass laws to prevent slaves from being brought into this State as merchandise only.

SEC. 2. In the prosecution of slaves for crimes of a higher grade than petit larceny, the legislature shall have no power to deprive them of an impartial trial by a petit jury.

     
SEC. 3. Any person who shall maliciously dismember, or deprive a slave of life, shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like offence had been committed upon a free white person, and on the like proof, except in case of insurrection by such slave.

 

1845 Constitution
Article III, section 2

SEC. 1. Every free male person who shall have attained the age of twenty-one 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 with 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.

SEC. 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.

 

1845 Constitution
Article III, section 29

SEC. 29. The legislature shall, at their first meeting, and in the years one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight and fifty, and every eight years thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the free 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.

1861 Constitution
Article III, section 1

"SECTION 1. That all persons who were citizens of the State of Texas on the second day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one; all persons born after that time, of parents, citizens of this State; all persons born in this State of parents residing in and entitled to acquire the rights of citizenship; all citizens of either of the Confederate States of America, or of any State which may hereafter be admitted into union with the Confederate States of America, on terms of equality with them, immigrating to and permanently residing in this State; all persons naturalized by the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States of America and of this State, and permanently residing therein, (Indians not taxed, negroes and their descendants excepted,) shall be citizens of the State of Texas.

1861 Constitution
Article III, section 29

SEC. 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 free 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.

1861 Constitution
Article VIII

SEC. 1. The Legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves.

SEC. 2. No citizen, or other person residing in this State, shall have power by deed, or will, to take effect in this State, or out of it, in any manner whatsoever, directly or indirectly, to emancipate his slave or slaves.

SEC. 3. The Legislature shall have no power to pass any law to prevent immigrants to this State, from bringing with them such persons of the negro race as are deemed slaves by the laws of any of the Confederate States of America; provided, that slaves who have committed any felony may be excluded from this State.

SEC. 4. In the prosecution of slaves for crimes of a higher grade than petit larceny, the Legislature shall have no power to deprive them of a trial by jury, except in cases arising under the laws concerning insurrection of slaves.

SEC. 5. Any person who shall maliciously dismember, or deprive a slave of life, shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like offence had been committed upon a free white person, and on the like proof; except when such slave has committed, or attempted to commit, a rape on a white female, or in case of insurrection of such slave.

SEC. 6. The Legislature shall have power to pass laws which will oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity.

1866 Constitution
Article III, section 1

SECTION 1. Every free male person who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, and who shall be a citizen of the United States, 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.

1866 Constitution
Article VIII

SECTION 1. African slavery, as it heretofore existed, having been terminated within this State, by the Government of the United States, by force of arms, and its re-establishment being prohibited, by the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, it is declared that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in this State; and Africans and their descendants, shall be protected in their rights of person and property by appropriate legislation; they shall have the right to contract and be contracted with; to sue and be sued; to acquire, hold and transmit property; and all criminal prosecutions against them, shall be conducted in the same manner as prosecutions, for like offences, against the white race, and they shall be subject to like penalties.

SEC. 2. Africans and their descendants shall not be prohibited, on account of their color or race, from testifying orally, as witnesses, in any case, civil or criminal, involving the right of, injury to, or crime against any of them in person or property, under the same rules of evidence that may be applicable to the white race; the credibility of their testimony to be determined by the court or jury hearing the same; and the Legislature shall have power to authorize them to testify as witnesses in all other cases, under such regulations as may be prescribed, as to facts hereafter occurring.

 

1866 Constitution
Article III, sections 5

SEC. 5. No person shall be a representative unless he be a white citizen of the United States, and shall be a qualified elector at the time of his election, and a resident of the State for five years, next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a citizen of the county, city, town or district for which he shall be chosen.

1866 Constitution
Article III, section 10

SEC. 10. No person shall be a Senator unless he be a white citizen of the United States, and shall be a qualified elector at the time of his election, and a resident of the State for five years, next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a citizen of the county, city, town or district for which he shall be chosen, and have attained the age of thirty years.

1866 Constitution
Article X, section 7

SEC. 7. The Legislature may provide for the levying of a tax for educational purposes; provided, the taxes levied shall be distributed from year to year, as the same may be collected; and provided, that all the sums arising from said tax which may be collected from Africans, or persons of African descent, shall be exclusively appropriated for the maintenance of a system of public schools for Africans and their children; and it shall be the duty of the Legislature to encourage schools among these people

1868 Constitution
Article I, section 22

SEC. 22. Importations of persons "under the name of coolies," or any other name or designation, under the adoption of any system of "peonage," whereby the helpless and unfortunate may be reduced to practical bondage, shall never be authorized, or tolerated by the laws of this State, and neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall ever exit in this State.

1869 Constitution
Article I, section XXII

SECTION XXII. Importations of persons under the name of "coolies," or any other name or designation, or the adoption of any system of peonage, whereby the helpless and unfortunate may be reduced to practical bondage, shall never be authorized, or tolerated by laws of the State; and neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall ever exist in the State.

1876 Constitution
Article VII, section 7

SEC. 7. Separate schools shall be provided for the white and colored children, and impartial provision shall be made for both.

1876 Constitution
Article VII, section 14

SEC. 14. The Legislature shall also when deemed practicable, establish and provide for the maintenance of a College or Branch University for the instruction of the colored youths of the State, to be located by a vote of the people; provided, that no tax shall be levied, and no money appropriated out of the general revenue, either for this purpose or for the establishment and erection of the buildings of the University of Texas.

 

 

Gammel's The Laws of Texas

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