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.
Be it Ordained by the People of Florida in Convention assembled, That it shall be the duty of the first Governor elected under this Constitution, to appoint a committee of not less than three persons to inquire into the condition, liabilities, and assets of the Union Bank of Florida, and as to the liability of the State of Florida, or of the United States, as security for and upon the bonds of said Union Bank.
Passed in open Convention, February 24th, 1868.
HORATIO JENKINS, JR., President.
S. CONANT, Secretary.