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



Administrative Department

Section 1. There shall be a cabinet of administrative officers, consisting of a Secretary of State, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, Surveyor General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Adjutant General, and Commissioner of Immigration, who shall assist the Governor in the performance of his duties.

Section 2. The Secretary of State shall keep the records of official acts of the Legislative and Executive departments of the Government, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all matters relative thereto, before either branch of the Legislature, and shall be the custodian of the Great Seal of the State.

Section 3. The Attorney General shall be the legal adviser of the Governor, and each of the cabinet officers, and shall perform such other legal duties as the Governor may direct, or as may be provided by law. He shall be reporter for the Supreme Court.

Section 4. The Treasurer shall receive and keep all funds, bonds, or other securities, in such manner as may be provided by law, and shall disburse no funds, bonds, or other securities, except upon the order of the Comptroller, countersigned by the Governor, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Section 5. The duties of the Comptroller shall be prescribed by law.

Section 6. The Surveyor General shall have the administrative supervision of all matters pertaining to the public lands, under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law.

Section 7. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall have the administrative supervision of all matters pertaining to public instruction; the supervision of buildings devoted to educational purposes, and the libraries belonging to the university and common schools. He shall organize a historical bureau for the purposes of accumulating such matter and information as may be necessary for compiling and perfecting the history of the State. He shall also establish a cabinet of minerals and other natural productions.

Section 8. The Adjutant General shall, under the orders of the Governor, have the administrative supervision of the military department, and the supervision of the State prison, and of the quarantine of the coast, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Section 9. The Commissioner of Immigration shall organize a Bureau of Immigration, for the purposes of furnishing information, and for the encouragement of immigration. The office of Commissioner of Immigration shall expire at the end of