In October 1865, delegates convened to reestablish Florida as part of the United States by revoking the state’s Ordinance of Secession and passing a new state constitution. The state remained under martial law, however, and Congress refused to seat legislators from the former Confederate states until more stringent requirements were met. Florida ultimately scrapped the Constitution of 1865 in favor of a new version created in 1868.
CONSTITUTION or FORM OF GOVERNMENT for the PEOPLE OF FLORIDA
We, the People of the State of Florida, by our delegates in Convention assembled, in the city of Tallahassee, on the 25th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1865, and of the Independence of the United States the 90th year, in order to secure to ourselves and our posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty and property, and the pursuit of happiness, do mutually agree, each with the other, to form the following Constitution and form of Government in and for the said State.
Declaration of Rights.
That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare: