Constitution of 1865

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 of 1865



Schedule and Ordinance.

Section 1. All the laws of the State passed during and since the tenth session of the Legislature thereof, in 1860, not repugnant to the Constitution of this State, or of the United States, shall be valid; all writs, actions, prosecutions, judgments and decrees, of the courts of the State, all executions and sales made thereunder, and all acts, orders and proceedings of the Judges of Probate, and of Executors, Administrators, Guardians and Trustees, provided they were in conformity to the laws then in force, and not fraudulent, shall be as valid as if made under the usual and ordinary legislation of the country, provided that the same be not repugnant to the Constitution of the state and of the United States.

Section 2. All fines, penalties, forfeitures, obligations and escheats, heretofore accruing to the State of Florida, and not made unlawful by the Constitution or laws of the United States, shall continue to accrue to the use of the State.

Section 3. All recognizances heretofore taken shall remain valid, and all bonds executed to the Governor of the State of Florida, either before or since the first day of January, 1861, or to any other officer of the State in his official capacity, shall be of full force and virtue for the uses herein respectively expressed, and may be sued for and recovered accordingly; and all criminal prosecution and penal actions which have arisen may be prosecuted