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



Be it Ordained by the People of Florida, Represented in Constitutional Convention:

Section 1. The pay of the members of this Constitutional Convention shall be a per diem for attendance of six ($6.00) dollars a day in addition to mileage of ten cents a mile, each way, from their places of residence to the Capital and return, estimated by the shortest thoroughfare.

Section 2. The pay of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Convention and all the Clerks elected by the Convention shall be six ($6.00) dollars per diem each, allowing the Secretary and Assistant Secretary one day after adjournment to complete unfinished business; all Committee Clerks shall receive five ($5.00) dollars per diem for the number of days certified by the Chairman of the Committee; the pay of the Sergeant-at-Arms shall be six ($6.00) dollars per diem, and the Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms shall be five ($5.00) dollars per diem; the pay of the Messengers of the Convention shall be four ($4.00) dollars per diem each; the pay of the Door-Keeper shall be five ($5.00) dollars per diem; the pay of Pages shall be three ($3.00) dollars per diem each; the pay of the Janitor shall be two ($2.00) dollars per diem; the pay of the Chaplain shall be one hundred dollars. The Recording Clerk shall complete his work after the adjournment of the Convention, under the supervision of the Secretary of State, and shall be paid for the same fifty dollars when his work is completed. Eighteen dollars shall be paid W. R. Carter for services as Assistant Secretary for three days. Messrs. Dorr & Bowen shall be paid for printing the amount approved by the Committee on Printing, certified by the President and Secretary of the Convention.

Section 3. The Comptroller is required to draw his warrant on the Treasurer in favor of the officers and employees of this Convention for the full amount allowed them by Section 2, and to each delegate of this Convention for his pro rata share of the amount appropriated by the Legislature, after deducting from said amount the amount due said employees and all other expenses, including mileage of members,