State of Missouri.
We the people of Missouri, inhabiting the limits herein
after designated, by our Representatives in Convention
assembled, at St. Louis, on Monday the 12th day of June, 1820, do mutually agree to form and establish
a free and independent republic, by the name of ``The
States of Missouri.'' and for the government
thereof do ordain and establish this constitution.
We do declare, establish, ratify and confirm the following as the
permanent boundaries of said state, that is to say: ``Beginning in
the middle of the Mississippi river on the parallel of thirty-six de-
grees of north latitude; thence west along the said parallel of lati-
tude to the St. Francois river; thence up and following the course
of that river, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to the pa-
rallel of latitude of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes; thence
west along the same to a point where the said parallel is interesected
by a meredian line passing through the middle of the mouth of the
Kansas river, where the same empties into the Missouri river, thence
from the point aforesaid north, along the said meredian line, to the
intersection of the parallel of latitude which passes through the
rapids of the river Des moines, making the said line correspond with
the Indian boundary line; thence east, from the point of intersec-
tion last aforesaid, along the said parallel of latitude, to the middle
of the channel of the main fork of the said river Des Moines; thence
down and along the middle of the main channel of the said river
Des Moines to the mouth of the same, where it empties into the
Mississippi river; thence due east to the middle of the main channel
of the Mississippi river; thence down and following the course of
the Mississippi river, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to
the place of beginning.
The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct de-
partments, each of which shall be confided to a separate magistracy;
and no person charged with the exercise of powers properly be-
longing to one of those departments shall exercise any power pro-
perly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances here-
inafter expressly directed or permitted.
Section 1.—The legislative power shall be vested in a ``General
Assembly,'' which shall consist of a ``Senute,'' and of a ``House of
Secsection 2—The House of Representatives shall consist of members to
be chosen every second year by the qualified electors of the several
counties. Each county shall have at least one representative, but
the whole number of Representatives shall never exceed one hun-
Secsection 3—No person shall be a member of the House of Represen-
tatives who shall not have attained to the age of twenty four years;
who shall not be a free while male citizen of the United States; who
shall not have been an inhabitant of this state two years, and of the
county which he represents one year next before his election, if
such county shall have been so long established, but if not, then of
the county or counties from which the same shall have been taken:
and who shall not, moreover, have paid a state or county tax.
Secsection 4—The general assembly at their first session, and in the
years one thousand eight hundred and twenty two, and one thousand
eight hundred and twenty four, respectively, and every fourth year
thereafter, shall cause an enumeration of the inhabitants of this state
to be made; and, at the first session after each enumeration, shall
apportion the number of representatives among the several counties
according to the number of free white male inhabitants therein.
Secsection 5—The Senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors for
the term of four years. No person shall be a senator who shall not
have attained to the age of thirty years; who shall not be a free
white male citizen of the United States; who shall not have been an
inhabitant of this state four years, and of the district which he may
be chosen to represent one year next before his election, if such dis-
trict shall have been so long established, but if not, then of the dis-
trict or districts from which the same shall have been taken; and
who shall not, moreover, have paid a state or county tax
Secsection 6—The Senate shall consist of not less than fourteen, nor
more than thirty three members; for the election of whom she state
shall be divided into convenient districts, which may be altered from
time to time, and new districts established, as public convenience
may require; and the senators shall be apportioned among the se-
veral districts according to the number of free white male inhabit-
ants in each; Provided, that when a senatorial district shall be com-
posed of two or more counties, the counties of which such district
consists shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to
another district, and no county shall be divided in forming a district.
Secsection 7—At the first session of the general assembly, the senators
shall be divided by lot, as equally as may be, into two classes. The
seats of the first class shall be vacated at the end of the second year
and the seats of the second class at the end of the fourth year; so
that one half of the senators shall be chosen every second year.
Secsection 8—After the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred
and twenty-two, all general elections shall commence on the first
Monday in August, and shall be held biennially; and the electors, in
all cases, except of treason, felony or breach of the peace, shall be
privileged from arrest during their continuance at elections, and in
going to, and returning from the same.
Secsection 9—The Governor shall issue writs of election to fill such va-
cancies as may occur in either house of the general assembly.
Secsection 10—Every free white male citizen of the United States who
shall have attained to the age of twenty one years, and who shall
have resided in this state one year before an election, the last three
months whereof shall have been in the county or district in which
he offers to vote, shall be deemed a qualified elector of all elective
offices; provided, that no soldier, seaman or marine, in the regular
army or navy of the United States shall be entitled to vote at any
election in this
Secsection 11— of any court of law or equity, secretary of
state, a state auditor, state or county treasurer, re-
gister clerk of any court of record, sheriff, coroner, mem-
ber of congress nor other person holding any lucrative office, under
the United States or this state, militia officers. justices of the peace
masters excepted, shall be eligible to either house of the general
Secsection 12—No person who now is, or who hereafter may be, a col-
lector or holder of public money, nor any assistant or deputy of such
collector or holder of public money, shall be eligible to either house
of the general assembly, nor to any office of profit trust until he
shall have accounted for and paid all sums for which he may be ac-
Secsection 13—No person while he continues to exercise the functions
of a bishop, priest, clergyman, or teacher of any religions persuasion,
denomination, society or sect whatsoever, shall be eligible to either
house of the general assembly; nor shall he be appointed to any of-
fice of profit within the state, the office of justice of the peace ex-
Secsection 14—The general assembly shall have power to exclude from
every office of honor, trust or profit within this state, and from the
right of suffrage, all persons convicted of bribery, perjury, or other
Secsection 15—Every person who shall be convicted of having, directly
or indirectly, given or offered any bribe to procure his election or
appointment shall be disqualified for any office of honor, trust or
profit under this state; and any person who shall give or offer any
bribe to procure the election or appointment of any other person,
shall, on conviction thereof be disqualified for an elector, or for any
office of honor, trust or profit under this state for ten years after such
Secsection 16—No senator or representative shall, during the term for
which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office
under this state which shall have been created, or the emoluments
of which shall have been increased during his continuance in office,
except to such offices as shall be filled by elections of the people.
Secsection 17—Each house shall appoint its own officers, and shall
judge of the qualifications, elections and returns of its own members.
A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business;
but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel
the attendance of absent members in such manner, and under such
penalties, as each house may provide.
Secsection 18—Each house may determine the rules of of its proceed-
ings; punish its members for disorderly behaviour and with the con-
currence of two thirds of all the members elected, expel a member,
but no member shall be expelled a second time, for the same cause.
They shall each, from time to time, publish a journal of their pro-
ceedings, except such parts as may in their opinion require secrecy,
and the yeas and nays on any question shall be entered on the jour-
nal at the desire of any two members.
Secsection 19—The doors of each house, and of committees of the
whole, shall be kept open, except in cases which may require se-
crecy; and each house may punish by fine or imprisonment any
person not a member who shall be guilty of disrespect to the house
by any disorderly or contemptuous behaviour in their presence, dur-
ing their session; provided, that such fine shall not exceed three
hundred dollars, and such imprisonment shall not exceed forty-eight
hours for one offence.
Secsection 20—Neither house shall, without the consent of the other,
adjourn for more than two days at any one time, nor to any other
place than to that in which the two houses may be sitting.
Secsection 21—Bills may originate in either house, and may be altered,
amended, or rejected by the other; and every bill shall be read on
three different days in each house, unless two thirds of the house
where the same is depending shall dispense with this rule; and
every bill, having passed both houses, shall be sighed by the speaker
of the house of representatives and by the president of the senate.
Secsection 22—When any officer, civil or military, shall be appointed by
the joint or concurrent vote of both houses, or by the separate vote
of either house of the general assembly, the votes shall be publicly
given viva voce, and entered on the journals. The whole list of
members shall be called, and the names of absentees shall be noted
and published with the journal.
Secsection 23—Senators and representatives shall, in all cases, except of
treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest
during the session of the general assembly, and for fifteen days next
before the commencement, and after the termination of each session;
and for any speech or debate in either house they shall not be ques-
tioned in any other place.
Secsection 24—The members of the general assembly shall severally re-
ceive from the public treasury a compensation for their services,
which may from time to time be increased or diminished by law;
but no alteration increasing, or tending to increase the compensation
of members, shall take effect during the session at which such altera-
tion shall be made
Secsection 25—The general assembly shall direct by law in what man-
ner and in what courts, suits may be brought against the state
Secsection 26—The general assembly shall have no power to pass laws.
First—For the emancipation of slaves without the consent of
their owners; or without paying them before such emancipation,
a full equivalent for such slaves so emancipated; and
Second—To prevent bona fide emigrants to this state, or actual
settlers therein, from bringing from any of the United States, or
from any of their territories, such persons as may there be deem-
ed to be slaves, so long as any persons of the same description
allowed to be held as slaves by the laws of this state.
They shall have power to pass laws.
First.—To prohibit the introduction into this state of any slaves
who may have committed any high crime in any other state or
Second—To prohibit the introduction of any slave for the pur-
pose of speculation or as an article of trade or merchandize;
Third—To prohibit the introduction of any slave, or the offspring
of any slave, who heretofore may have been, or who hereafter
may be imported from any foreign country into the U.United States,
or any territory thereof in contravention of any existing statute
of the United States; and
Fourth—To permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them,
saving the rights of creditors, where the person so emancipating
will give security that the slave so emancipated shall not be-
come a public charge
It shall be their duty, as soon as may be, to pass such laws as may
First—To prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to,
and settling in this state, under any pretext whatsoever; and
Second—To oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with hu-
manity, and to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life
Secsection 27—In prosecutions for crimes, slaves shall not be deprived
of an impartial trial by jury, and a slave convicted of a capital of-
fence shall suffer the same degree of punishment, and no other, that
would be inflicted on a free white person for a like offence; and
courts of justice before whom slaves shall be tried shall assign them
counsel for their defence.
Secsection 28—Any person who shall maliciously deprive of life or dis-
member a slave, shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted
for the like offence if it were committed on a free white person.
Secsection 29—The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state,
auditor, treasurer, attorney general, and all judges of the courts of
law and equity shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor
in office; but judgment in such case shall not extend farther than re-
moval from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor,
trust or profit under the state. The party impeached, whether con-
victed or acquitted shall nevertheless be liable to be indicted, tried
and punished according to law.
Secsection 30—The house of representatives shall have the sole power
of impeachment. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate,
and when sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be on oath or
affirmation to do justice according to law and evidence When the
governor shall be tried, the presiding judge of the supreme court
shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the concur-
rence of two thirds of all the senators present
Secsection 31—A state treasurer shall be biennially appointed by joint
vote of the two houses of the general assembly, who shall keep his of-
fice at the seat of government No money shall be drawn from the
treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and an
accurate account of the receipts and expenditures of the public
money shall be annually published.
Secsection 32—The appointment of all officers not otherwise directed
by this constitution shall be made in such manner as may be pres-
cribed by law; and all officers both civil and military under the au-
thority of this state shall, before entering on the duties of their respec-
tive offices, take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution o-
the United States, and of this state, and to demean themselves faith-
fully in office.
Secsection 33—The general assembly shall meet on the third Monday in
September next; on the first Monday in November eighteen hun-
dred and twenty one; on the first Monday in November eighteen
hundred and twenty-two; and thereafter the general assembly shall
meet once in every two years, and such meeting shall be on the first
Monday in November, unless a different day shall be appointed by
Secsection 34—No county now established by law shall ever be reduc-
ed by the establishment of new counties to less than twenty miles
square; nor shall any county hereafter be established which shall
contain less than four hundred square miles.
Secsection 35—Within five years after the adoption of this constitution,
all the statute laws of a general nature, both civil and criminal, shall
be revised, digested, and promulgated in such manner as the gene-
ral assembly shall direct; and a like revision, digest and promulga-
tion shall be made at the expiration of every subsequent period of
Secsection 36—The style of the laws of this state shall be, ``Be it enact-
ed by the general assembly of the State of Missouri.''
Section 1—The supreme executive power shall be vested in a chief
magistrate, who shall be styled ``The Governor of the State of Mis-
Secsection 2—The governor shall be at least thirty-five years of age, and
a natural born citizen of the United States, or a citizen at the adop-
tion of the constitution of the United States, or an inhabitant of that
part of Louisiana now included in the state of Missouri at the time
of the cession thereof from France to the United States, and shall
have been a resident of the same at least four years next before his
Secsection 3—The governor shall hold his office for four years, and un-
til a successor be duly appointed and qualified. He shall be elected
in the manner following: At the time and place of voting for mem-
bers of the house of representatives, the qualified electors shall vote
for a governor; and when two or more persons have an equal num-
ber of votes, and a higher number than any other person, the elec-
tion shall be decided between them by a joint vote of both houses of
the general assembly at their next session.
Secsection 4—The governor shall be intelligible for the next four years,
after the expiration of his term of service.
Secsection 5—The governor shall be commander in chief of the militia
and navy of this state, except when they shall be called into the
service of the United States; but he need not command in person
unless advised so to do by a resolution of the general assembly.
Secsection 6—The governor shall have power to remit fines and forfei-
tures, and, except in cases of impeachment, to grant reprieves and
Secsection 7—The governor shall, from time to time, give to the gene-
ral assembly information relative to the state of the government and
shall recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall
deem necessary and expedient. On extraordinary occasions he may
convene the general assembly by proclamation, and shall state to
them the purposes for which they are convened.
Secsection 8—The governor shall take care that the laws be distributed
and faithfully executed; and he shall be a conservator of the peace,
throughout the state.
Secsection 9—When any office shall become vacant, the governor shall
appoint a person to fill such vacancy, who shall continue in office
until a successor be duly appointed and qualified according to law.
Secsection 10—Every bill which shall have been passed by both houses
of the general assembly shall, before it becomes a law, be presented
to the governor for his approbation. If he approve, he shall sign it;
if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it
shall have originated, and the house shall cause the objections to be
entered at large on its journals, and shall proceed to re-consider the
bill. If, after such re-consideration, a majority of all the members
elected to that house shall agree to pass the same, it shall be sent, to-
gether with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall be
in like manner re-considered, and if approved by a majority of all
the members elected to that house, it shall become a law. In all
such cases the votes of both houses shall be taken by yeas and nays,
and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be
entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall
not be returned by the governor within ten days (Sundays excepted)
after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall become a
law in like manner as if the governor had signed it, unless the general
assembly by its adjournment shall prevent its return, in which case
it shall not become a law.
Secsection 11—Every resolution to which the concurrence of the senate
and house of representatives, may be necessary, except on cases of
adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before the
same shall take effect shall be proceeded upon in the same manner
as in the case of a bill.
Secsection 12—There shall be an auditor of public accounts, whom the
governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall
appoint. He shall continue in office four years, and shall perform
such duties as may be prescribed by law. His office shall be kept
at the seat of government.
Secsection 13—The governor shall, at stated times, receive for his ser-
vices an adequate salary to be fixed by law, which shall neither be
increased nor diminished during his continuance in office, and which
shall never be less than two thousand dollars annually.
Secsection 14—There shall be a lieutenant governor, who shall be elect-
ed at the same time, in the same manner, for the same term, and
shall possess the same qualifications as the governor. The electors
shall distinguish for whom they vote as governor, and for whom as
Secsection 15—The lieutenant governor shall by virtue of his office be
president of the senate. In committee of the whole he may debate
on all questions; and when there is an equal division, be shall give
the casting vote in senate, and also in joint votes of both houses.
Secsection 16—When the office of governor, shall become vacant by
death, resignation, absence from the state, removal from office, re-
fusal to qualify impeachment or otherwise, the lieutenant governor;
or in case of like disability on his part, the president of the senate
pro tempore; or if there be no president of the senate pro-tempore,
the speaker of the house of representatives, shall possess all the
powers, and discharge all the duties of governor and shall receive
for his services the like compensation, until such vacancy be filled,
or the governor so absent or impeached shall return or be acquitted.
Secsection 17—Whenever the office of governor shall become vacant
by death, resignation, removal from office; or otherwise, the lieuten-
ant governor, or other person exercising the powers of governor for
the time being, shall as soon as may be, cause, an election to the held
to fill such vacancy, giving three months previous notice thereof;
and the person elected shall not thereby be rendered ineligible to the
office of governor for the next succeeding term. Nevertheless, if
such vacancy shall happen within eighteen months of the end of the
term for which the late governor shall have been elected, the same
shall not be filled
Secsection 18—The lieutenant governor, or president of the senate pro-
tempore, while presiding in the senate, shall receive the same com-
pensation as shall be allowed to the speaker of the houseof repre-
Secsection 19—The returns of all elections of governor and lieutenant
governor shall be made to the secretary of state, in such manner as
may be prescribed by law.
Secsection 20—Contested elections of governor and lieutenant governor
shall be decided by joint vote of both houses of the general assem-
bly, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
Secsection 21—There shall be a secretary of state, whom the governor,
by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint He
shall hold his office four years, unless sooner removed on impeach-
ment. He shall keep a register of all the official acts and proceed-
ings of the governor, and when necessary shall attest them; and he
shall lay the same, together with all papers relative thereto, before
either house of the general assembly whenever required so to do,
and shall perform such other duties as may be enjoined on him by
Secsection 22—The secretary of state shall, as soon as may be, procure
a seal of state, with such emblems and devices as shall be directed
by law, which shall not be subject to change. It shall be called the
``Great Seal of the State of Missouri.'' shall be kept by the secre-
tary of state, and all official acts of the governor, his approbation of
the laws excepted, shall be thereby authenticated.
Secsection 23—There shall be appointed in each county a sheriff, and a
coroner, who, until the general assembly shall otherwise provide,
shall be elected by the qualified electors at the time and place of
electing representatives. They shall serve for two years, and until
a successor be duly appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed
for misdeameanor in office, and shall be ineligible four years in any
period of eight years. The sheriff and coroner shall each give secu-
rity for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office in such man-
ner as shall be prescribed by law Whenever a county shall be here-
after established, the governor shall appoint a sheriff and coroner
therein, who shall each continue in office until the nest general elec-
tion and until a successor shall be duly qualified.
Secsection 24—When vacancies happen in the office of sheriff or coron-
er, they shall be filled by appointment of the governor; and the
persons so appointed shall continue in office until successors shall
be duly qualified, and shall not be thereby rendered ineligible for the
next succeeding term.
Secsection 25—In all elections of sheriff and coroner, when two or more
persons have an equal number of votes, and a higher number than
any other person, the circuit courts of the counties respectively shall
give the casting vote; and all contested elections for the said offices
shall be decided by the circuit courts respectively, in such manner as
the general assembly may by law prescribe.
Section 1—The Judicial power as to matters of law and equity,
shall be vested in a ``Supreme Court'' in a ``Chancellor;'' in ``Cir-
cuit Courts,'' and in such inferior tribunals as the general assembly
may, from time to time, ordain and establish.
Secsection 2—The supreme court, except in cases otherwise directed by
this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall
be co-extensive with the state, under the restrictions and limitations
in this constitution provided.
Secsection 3—The supreme court shall have a general superintending
control over all inferior courts of law. It shall have power to issue
writs of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Quo Warranto, Certiorari, and
other original remedial writs; and to hear and determine the same.
Secsection 4—The supreme court shall consist of three Judges, any two
of whom shall be a quorum; and the said judges shall be conserva-
tors of the peace throughout the state.
Secsection 5—The state shall be divided into convenient districts, not
to exceed four, in each of which the supreme court shall hold two
sessions annually, at such place as the general assembly shall ap-
point; and when sitting in either district, it shall exercise jurisdic-
tion over causes originating in that district only; provided, how-
ever, that the general assembly may at any time hereafter direct by
law, that the said court shall be held at one place only.
Secsection 6—The circuit court shall have jurisdiction over all criminal
cases which shall not be otherwise provided for by law; and exclu-
sive original jurisdiction in all civil cases which shall not be cogniza-
ble before justices of the peace, until otherwise directed by the ge-
neral assembly. It shall hold its terms in such place in each county
as may be by law directed
Secsection 7—The state shall be divided into convenient circuits, for
each of which a judge shall be appointed, who, after his appoint-
ment, shall reside, and be a conservator of the peace within the cir-
cuit for which he shall be appointed.
Secsection 8—The circuit courts shall exercise a superintending control
over all such inferior tribunals as the General Assembly may estab-
lish, and over justices of the peace in each county in their respec-
Secsection 9—The jurisdiction of the court of chancery shall be co-ex-
tensive with the state, and the times and places of holding its ses-
sions shall be regulated in the same manner as those of the supreme
and all indictments shall conclude, ``against the peace and dignity of
Sec 10—The court of chancery shall have original and appellate
jurisdiction in all matters of equity, and a general control over exe-
cutors, administrators, guardians and minors, subject to appeal, in
all cases, to the supreme court, under such limitations as the gene-
ral assembly may by law provide.
Secsection 11—Until the general assembly shall deem it expedient to es-
tablish, inferior courts of chancery, the circuit courts shall have ju-
risdiction in matters of equity, subject to appeal to the court of chan-
cery, in such manner, and under such restrictions, as shall be pre-
scribed by law
Secsection 12—Inferior tribunals shall be established in each county for
the transaction of all county business; for appointing guardians; for
granting letters testamentary, and of administration; and for set-
tling the accounts of executors, administrators and guardians.
Secsection 13—The governor shall nominate, and, by and with the ad-
vice and consent of the senate, appoint the judges of the supreme
court, the judges of the circuit courts, and the chancellor, each of
whom shall bold his office during good behaviour, and shall receive
for his services a compensation which shall not be diminished dur-
ing his continuance in office, and which shall not be less than two
thousand dollars annually.
Sec 14—No person shall be appointed a judge of the supreme
court, nor of a circuit, nor chancellor, before he shall have attained
to the age of thirty years; nor shall any person continue to exercise
the duties of said offices after he shall have attained to the age of
Secsection 15—The courts respectively shall appoint their clerks, who
shall hold their offices during good behaviour. For any misdemeanor
in office they shall be liable to be tried and removed by the su-
preme court, in such manner as the general assembly shall by law
Sec 16—Any judge of the supreme court or of the circuit court,
or the chancellor, may be removed from office on the address of two
thirds of each house of the general assembly to the governor for that
purpose; but each house shall state on its respective journal the
cause for which it shall wish the removal of such judge or chancel-
lor, and give him notice thereof, and he shall have the right to be
heard in his defence in such manner as the general assembly shall
by law direct; but no judge nor chancellor shall be removed in this
manner for any cause for which he might have been impeached.
Secsection 17—In each county there shall be appointed as many justices
of the peace as the public good may be thought to require. Their
powers and duties, and their duration in office shall be regulated by
Secsection 18—An attorney-general shall be appointed by the governor,
by and with the advice and consent of the senate. He shall remain
in office four years, and shall perform such duties as shall be requir-
ed of him by law.
Sec 19—All writs and process shall run, and all prosecutions shall
be conducted, in the name of the ``State of Missouri,'' all write shall
be tested by the clerk of the court from which they shall be issued,
Section 1—Schools and the means of education shall forever be
encouraged in this state; and the general assembly shall take mea-
sures to preserve from waste or damage such lands as have been, or
hereafter may 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 town-
ship as soon as practicable and necessary, where the poor shall be
Secsection 2—The general assembly shall take measures for the im-
provement 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 obtained 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 assem-
bly, as soon as may be, to provide effectual means for the improve-
ment of such lands, and for the improvement, and permanent secu-
rity of the funds and endowments of such institution.
Internal improvement shall forever be encouraged by the govern-
ment 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 systematick and economical application of the funds appro-
priated to these objects.
The general assembly may incorporate one banking company, 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 one
branch shall be established at any one session of the general assem-
bly. The capital stock of the bank to be incorporated shall never
exceed five millions of dollars, at least one half of which shall be re-
served for the use of the state.
Section 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 res-
pective brigades; and majors general by the brigadiers and field of-
ficers of their respective divisions, until otherwise directed by law.
Secsection 2—General and field officers shall appoint their officers of the
Secsection 3—The Governor shall appoint an adjutant general, and all other militia officers whose appointments are not otherwise provided
for in this constitution.
Section 1—The general assembly of this state shall never interfere
with the primary disposal of the soil of 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.
Secsection 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 he formed, and
bounded by the same; and the said river Mississippi, and the navi-
gable 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 therefore imposed by the state.
Section 1—The general assembly at their first session shall ap-
point 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.
Secsection 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 purpose, and report the same to the
general assembly at the time of making their report provided for in
the first section of this article: provided that no place shall be se-
lected which is not situated on the bank of the Missouri river, and
within forty miles of the mouth of the river Osage.
Secsection 3—If the general assembly determine that the four section 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 go-
vernment; the said commissioners shall lay out a town thereon, un-
der the direction of the general assembly; but if the general assem-
bly deem it most expedient to fix the permanent seat of government
at the place to be selected by authority of the seconds section of
this article, they shall so determine, and in that event shall autho-
rize the said commissioners to purchase any quantity of land, not ex-
ceeding six hundred and forty acres, which may be necessary for the
purpose aforesaid; and the place so selected shall be the permanent
seat of government of this state from and after the first day of Octo-
ber, one thousand eight hundred and twenty six.
Secsection 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.
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 newspapers published in this
state three several times, at least twelve months before the next ge-
neral 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
That the general, great and essential principles of Liberty and
free government may be recognized and established, we declare,
1. That all political power is vested in, and derived from the peo-
2. That the people of this state have the inherent sole and ex-
clusive right of regulating the internal government, and police there-
of, and of altering and abolishing their constitution and form of go-
vernment whenever it may be necessary to their safety and happi-
3. That the people have the right peaceably to assemble for their
common good, and to apply to those vested with the powers of go-
vernment 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 re-
ligion; that no human authority can controul or interfere with the
rights of conscience: that no person can ever be hurt, molested or
restrained in his religions profession or sentiments, if he do not
disturb others in their religious worship.
5. That no person on account of his religious opinions, can be
rendered ineligible 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 o every person, and
certain remedy afforded for every injury to person, properly or cha-
racter; and that right and justice ought to be administered without
sale, denial or delay; and that no private properly ought to be taken
or applied to public use without just compensation.
8. That the right of trial by jury shall renisin 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 pro-
secutions on presentment or indictment, to a speedy tria by an im-
partial jury of the vicinage; that the accused cannot be compelled to
give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or pro-
perty but by the judgment of his peers or the law of 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 such court.
11. That all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, ex-
cept for capital offences when the proof is evident or the presumption
great; and the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus cannot be
suspended, unless when in cases 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
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 is-
sue, 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 affirmation.
14. That no person can for an indictable offence, be proceeded
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 mis-
demeanor 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 casually there ought
to be no forfeiture by reason thereof.
16. That the free communication of thoughts and opinions 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 evidence, 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 sur-
rendered 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 equiva-
lent for military service, in such manner as shall be prescribed by
law; and that no priest, preacher of the gospel, or teacher of any re-
ligions persuasion or sect, regularly ordained as such, be subject to
militia duty, or compelled to bear arms.
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 behaviour of the officer appoint-
ed 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 appropriation for the support of an army be
made for a longer period than two years.
Secsection 1.—That no inconvenience may arise from the change of go-
vernment, we declare that all writs, actions, prosecutions, judgments,
claims and contracts of individuals and of bodies corporate shall con-
tinue as if no change had taken place; and all process which may
before the third Monday in September next, be issued under the au-
thority of the Territory of Missouri, shall be as valid as if issued in the
name of the state.
Secsection 2—All laws now in force in the Territory of Misouri 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 ge-
Secsection 3—All fines, penalties, forfeitures and escheats accruing to
the Territory of Missouri, shall accrue to the use of the state.
Secsection 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 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 accordingly. 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 juris-
diction of the subject matter thereof; and all suits in equity may,
in like manner, be commenced in, or transferred to the court of chan-
Secsection 5—All officers civil and military now holding commissions
under authority of the United States, or of the Territory of Missouri,
shall continue to hold and exercise their respective offices until they
shall be superceded under the authority of the state; and all such of-
ficers 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 employ-
Secsection 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, eighteen 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 notwithstanding.
Secsection 7—Until the first enumeration shall be made, as directed in
this constitution, the county of Howard shall be entitled to eight re-
presentatives; the county of Cooper to four representatives; the
county of Montgomery to two representatives; the county of Lin-
coln to one representative; the county of Pike to two representa-
tives; the county of St. Charles to three representatives; the county
of St. Louis to six representatives; the county of Franklin to two re-
presentatives; the county of Jefferson to one representative; the
county of Washington 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 represen-
tatives; the county of Madison to one representative; the county
of Wayne to one representative; and that part of the county of Low-
rence situated within this state, shall attach to, and form part of the
county of Wayne until otherwise provided 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 district, and elect one senator; the coun-
ties 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 com-
pose one district, and elect one senator; the county of Ste. Gene-
vieve shall compose one district, and elect one senator; the county
of Madison and Wayne shall compose one district, and elect one se-
nator; the counties of Cape Girardeau and New Madrid shall com-
pose one district, and elect two senators; and in all cases where a se-
natorial 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 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 not-
Secsection 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 governor; a lieutenant gover-
nor; a representative in the congress of the United States for the re-
sidue 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 election
held in pursuance thereof shall be made to the clerks 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
edoption of this constitution, and who shall be otherwise qualified as
prescribed in the truth section of the third article thereof, shall be
deemed a qualified elector, any thing in this constitution to the con-
Secsection 10—The elections shall be conducted according to the ex-
isting laws of the Missouri territory. The clerks of the circuit courts
of the several counties shall certify the returns of the election of go-
vernor and lieutenant governor, and transmit the same to the speak-
er of the house of representatives at the temporary sent of govern-
ment, in such time that they may be received on the third Monday
of September next. As soon as the general assembly shall be or-
ganized, the speaker of the house of representatives and the presi-
dent 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 o more persons shall have an equal number
of votes and a higher number than any other person, the general as-
sembly 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
Secsection 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.
Secsection 12—Until a seal of state be provided, the governer may use
his private seal.
``Done by the representatives of the people of Mis-
souri 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 the
DavidBarton, , President
of the Convention, and representative
from the county of St. Louis .
From the county of Cape Girardeau,
From the county of Cooper,
From the county of Franklin,
From the county of Howard,
From the county of Jefferson,
From the county of Lincoln,
From the county of Montgomery,
From the county of Madison,
From the county of New Madrid,
From the county of Pike,
From the county of St. Charles,
From the county of St. Genevieve,
From the County of St. Louis,
From the county of Washington,
From the county of Wayne,
Wm.William G.Pettus, ,
Secretary of the Convention .