Constitution of 1838

In December 1838, delegates convened at St. Joseph to form Florida’s first state constitution. The convention completed its work in January 1839, although Florida was not officially admitted to the Union as a state until March 3, 1845.

Constitution of 1838


of the General Assembly, and shall receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law.

Section 17. There shall be one Solicitor for each Circuit, who shall reside therein, to be elected by the joint vote of the General Assembly, who shall hold his office for the term of four years; and shall receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law.

Section 7. No Governor, Member of Congress, or of the General Assembly of this State, shall receive a fee, be engaged as counsel, agent, or attorney, in any civil case, or claim, against this State, or to which this State shall be a party, during the time he shall remain in office.

Section 8. No Governor, Justice of the Supreme Court, Chancellor or Judge of this State, shall be eligible to election, or post of honor, or emolument, under this State, or to the station of Senator, or Representative in Congress of the United States, from this State, until one year after he shall have ceased to be such Governor, Justice, Chancellor, or Judge.

Section 9. No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit, under this State which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

Section 10. No minister of the Gospel shall be eligible to the office of Governor, Senator, or member of the House of Representatives of this State.

Section 11. Members of the General Assembly, and all officers, Civil or Military, before they enter upon the execution of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation: I do swear (or affirm,) that I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the office to which I have been elected, (or appointed) and will, to the best of my abilities, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of this State, and of the United States.

Section 12. Every person shall be disqualified from serving as Governor, Senator, Representative, or from holding any other office of honor, or profit in this State, 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.

Section 13. Laws shall be made by the General Assembly, to exclude from office, and from suffrage, those who shall have been or may thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crime, or misdemeanor; and the privilege of 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.

Section 14. All civil officers of 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.

Section 15. 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.

Section 16. Returns of elections for members of Congress, and the General Assembly, shall be made to the Secretary of State, in manner to be prescribed by law.

Section 17. In all elections by the General Assembly, the vote shall be viva voce, and in all elections by the people, the vote shall be by ballot.

Section 18. No member of Congress, or person holding or exercising any office of profit under the United States, or under any foreign power shall be eligible as a member of the General Assembly of this State, or hold, or exercise any office of profit, at the same time, except the office of Justice of the Peace, notary public, constable and militia offices.

Section 19. The General Assembly shall by law provide for the appointment, or election, and the removal from office, of all officers, civil, and military, in this State, not provided for in this Constitution.

Section 20. The power of impeachment shall be vested in the House of Representatives.

Section 21. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; and when sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be upon oath, or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted, without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

Section 22. The Governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office: but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than to removal from office,