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


Section 25. That a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.

Section 26. That, to guard against transgressions upon the rights of the people, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.


Distribution of the Powers of Government.

Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Florida shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate body of Magistracy, to-wit: those which are Legislative to one, those which are Executive to another, and those which are Judicial to another.

Section 2. No person or collection of persons, being one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instance expressly provided in this Constitution.


Executive Department.

Section 1. The Supreme Executive power shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate