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 10. He shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly information of the state of the Government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Section 11. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Section 12. In all criminal and penal cases, (except of impeachment) after conviction, he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law.

Section 13. The State Seal last heretofore used, (until altered by the General Assembly,) shall continue to be the Great Seal of the State, and shall be kept by the Governor for the time being, and used by him officially.

Section 14. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Florida, be sealed with the State Seal, and signed by the Governor and attested by the Secretary of State.

Section 15. There shall be a Secretary of State elected by the qualified electors of the State at the same time, and who shall continue in office for the same term of years as the Governor of the State; and he shall keep a fair register of the official acts and proceedings of the Governor, and shall when required lay the same, and all papers, minutes and vouchers relative thereto, before the General Assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.