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


, who shall be styled the Governor of the State of Florida.

Section 2. The Governor shall be elected for four years, by the qualified electors, at the time and place they shall vote for representatives, and shall remain in office until a successor shall be chosen and qualified.

Section 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, shall have been a citizen of the United States ten years, and shall have been a resident of Florida at least five years next preceding his election.

Section 4. There shall be elected at the same time, for the same term and with like qualifications as the Governor, a Lieutenant Governor, who shall be ex-officio President of the Senate, but shall have no vote except in cases of a tie, and during the session of the General Assembly, he shall receive such compensation as shall be allowed to a Senator.

Section 5. The returns of every election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government, directed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall, during the first week of the session next after their election, open and publish them in the presence of both Houses of the General Assembly; and the persons having the highest number of votes for the respective offices, shall be Governor and Lieutenant Governor; but if two or more shall be equal