Constitution of 1868

Congress passed a series of laws known as the Reconstruction Acts in 1867. These laws required the former Confederate states to dissolve existing state governments, register all eligible men (white or African-American) to vote, and then hold conventions to create new state constitutions. To be readmitted to the United States, each state’s constitution had to accept the end of slavery and adopt the 14th amendment, which guaranteed equal rights for all men, regardless of race. Florida’s voters selected delegates to a state constitutional convention in November 1867. The convention met on January 20, 1868, and the new constitution was ratified by the voters the following May.

Constitution of 1868


shall expire at the next election.

Section 8. The Governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislature by proclamation, and shall state to both houses, when organized, the purpose for which they have been convened, and the Legislature then shall transact no legislative business except that for which they are especially convened, or such other legislative business as the Governor may call to the attention of the Legislature while in session, except by the unanimous consent of both houses.

Section 9. He shall communicate by message to the Legislature at each regular session the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he may deem expedient.

Section 10. In case of a disagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of adjournment, the Governor shall have power to adjourn the Legislature to such time as he may think proper, provided it is not beyond the time fixed for the meeting of the next Legislature.

Section 11. The Governor shall have power to suspend the collection of fines and forfeitures, and grant reprieves for a period not exceeding sixty days, dating from the time of conviction, for all offenses, except in cases of impeachment. Upon conviction for treason he shall have power to suspend the execution of sentence until the case shall be reported to the Legislature at its next session, when the Legislature shall either pardon, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve; and if the Legislature shall fail or refuse to make final disposition of such case, the sentence shall be enforced at such time and place as the Governor may by his order direct. The Governor shall communicate to the Legislature, at the beginning of every session, every case of fine or forfeiture remitted or reprieved, pardon or commutation granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime for which he was convicted, the sentence, its date, and the date of its remission, commutation, pardon, or reprieve.

Section 12. The Governor, Justices of the Supreme Court, and Attorney General, or a major part of them, of whom the Governor shall be one, may, upon such conditions and with such limitations and restrictions as they may deem proper, remit fines and forfeitures, commute punishment, and grant pardons after conviction, in all cases, except treason and impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be provided