Constitution of 1885

Delegates convened in June 1885 to revise Florida’s state constitution. The existing constitution had been in effect since 1868, when it was adopted as part of Florida’s reentry into the United States following the Civil War. The 1885 constitution legitimized poll taxes as a prerequisite for voting, which ultimately disproportionately disenfranchised African Americans and many poor whites.

Constitution of 1885

Transcript

ARTICLE I.


BOUNDARIES.


The boundaries of the State of Florida shall be as follows: Commencing at the mouth of the river Perdido; from thence up the middle of said river to where it intersects the south boundary line of the State of Alabama, and the thirty-first degree of north latitude; thence due east to the Chattahoochee river; thence down the middle of said river to its confluence with the Flint river; thence straight to the head of the St. Marys river; thence down the middle of said river to the Atlantic ocean; thence southeastwardly along the coast to the edge of the Gulf Stream; thence southwestwardly along the edge of the Gulf Stream and Florida Reefs to and including the Tortugas islands; thence northeastwardly to a point three leagues from the mainland; thence northwestwardly three leagues from the land, to a point west of the mouth of the Perdido river; thence to the place of beginning.