Tennessee Constitution of 1796
An Act for the admission of the State of Tennessee into the Union
Whereas by the acceptance of the deed of cession of the State of North Carolina Congress are bound to lay out into one or more States the territory thereby ceded to the United States:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the whole of the territory ceded to the United States by the State of North Carolina shall be one State, and the same is hereby declared to be one of the United States of America, on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, by the name and title of the State of Tennessee. That until the next general census the said State of Tennessee shall be entitled to one Representative in the House of Representatives of the United States, and in all other respects, as far as they may be applicable, the laws of the United States shall extend to and have force in the State of Tennessee in the same manner as if that State had originally been one of the United States.
Approved, June 1, 1796.
THE CONSTITUTION OF TENNESSEE
We, the people of the territory of the United States south of the river Ohio, having the right of admission into the General Government as a member State thereof, consistent with the Constitution of the United States and the act of cession of the State of North Carolina, recognizing the ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, do ordain and establish the following constitution or form of government, and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent State by the name of the State of Tennessee.
SECTION 1. The legislative authority of this State shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives, both dependent on the people.
SEC. 2. Within three years after the first meeting of the general assembly, and within every subsequent term of seven years, an enumeration of the taxable inhabitants shall be made in such manner as shall be directed by law; the number of representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed by the legislature, and apportioned among the several counties according to the number of taxable inhabitants in each, and shall never be less than twenty-two nor greater than twenty-six until the number of taxable inhabitants shall be forty thousand, and after that event at such ratio that the whole number of representatives shall never exceed forty.
SEC. 3. The number of senators shall, at the several periods of making the enumeration before mentioned, be fixed by the legislature and apportioned among the districts formed as hereinafter directed, according to the number of taxable inhabitants in each, and shall never be less than one-third nor more than one-half of the number of representatives.
SEC. 4. The senators shall be chosen by districts, to be formed by the legislature, each district containing such a number of taxable inhabitants as shall be entitled to elect not more than three senators. When a district shall be composed of two or more counties they shall be adjoining, and no county shall be divided in forming a district.
SEC. 5. The first election for senators and representatives shall commence on the second Thursday of March next, and shall continue for that and the succeeding day, and the next election shall commence on the first Thursday of August, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, and shall continue on that and the succeeding day; and forever after election shall be held once in two years, commencing on the first Thursday in August and terminating the succeeding day.
SEC. 6. The first session of the general assembly shall commence on the last Monday of March next; the second on the third Monday of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven; and forever after the general assembly shall meet on the third Monday of September next ensuing the then election, and at no other period, unless as provided for by this constitution.
SEC. 7. That no person shall be eligible to a seat in the general assembly unless he shall have resided three years in the State and one year in the county immediately preceding the election, and shall possess in his own right in the county which he represents not less than two hundred acres of land, and shall have attained to the age of twenty-one years.
SEC. 8. The senate and house of representatives, when assembled, shall each choose a speaker and its other officers, be judges of the qualifications and elections of its members, and sit upon its own adjournments from day to day. Two-thirds of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members.
SEC. 9. Each house may determine the rules of it s proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence, and shall have all other powers necessary for the legislature of a free State.
SEC. 10. Senators and representatives shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
SEC. 11. Each house may punish, by imprisonment, during their session, any person, not a member, who shall be guilty of disrespect to the house, by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in their presence.
SEC. 12. When vacancies happen in either house, the governor, for the time being, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
SEC. 13. Neither house shall, during their session, adjourn without consent of the other, for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.
SEC. 14. Bills may originate in either house, but may be amended, altered, or rejected by the other.
SEC. 15. Every bill shall be read three times, on three different days, in each house, and be signed by the respective speakers, before it becomes a law.
SEC. 16. After a bill has been rejected, no bill containing the same substance shall be passed into a law during the same session.
SEC. 17. The style of the laws of this State shall be, “Be it enacted by the general assembly of the State of Tennessee.”
SEC. 18. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the, except such parts as the welfare of the State may require to be kept secret. And the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the request of any two of them, be entered on the journals.
SEC. 19. The doors of each house, and committees of the whole, shall be kept open, unless when the business shall be such as ought to be kept secret.
SEC. 20. The legislature of this State shall not allow the following officers of government greater annual salaries than as follows, until the year one thousand eight hundred and four, to wit:
the governor not more than seven hundred and fifty dollars.
The judges of the superior courts not more than six hundred dollars each.
The Secretary not more than four hundred dollars.
The treasurer or treasurers not more than 4 per cent, for receiving and paying out all moneys.
The attorney or attorneys for the State shall receive a compensation for their services, not exceeding fifty dollars for each superior court which he shall attend.
No member of the legislature shall receive more than one dollar and seventy-five cents per day, nor more for every twenty-five miles he shall travel in going to and returning from the general assembly.
SEC. 21. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.
SEC. 22. No person who heretofore hath been, or hereafter may be, a collector or holder of public moneys shall have a seat in either house of the general assembly, until such person shall have accounted for, and paid into the treasury, all sums for which he may be accountable or liable.
SEC. 23. No judge of any court of law or equity, secretary of state, attorney-general, register, clerk of any court of record, or person holding any office under the authority of the United States shall have a seat in the general assembly; nor shall any person in this State hold more than one lucrative office at one and the same time: Provided, That no appointment in the militia, or to the office of a justice of the peace, shall be considered a lucrative office.
SEC. 24. NO member of the general assembly shall be eligible to any office or place of trust, except to the office of a justice of the peace, or trustee of any literary institution, where the power of appointment to such office or place of trust is vested in their own body.
SEC. 25. Any member of either house of the general assembly shall have liberty to dissent from the protest against any act or resolve which he may think injurious to the public, or any individual, and have the reasons f his dissent entered on the journals.
SEC. 26. All lands liable to taxation in this State, held by deed, grand, or entry, shall be taxed equal and uniform, in such manner that no one hundred acres shall be taxed higher than two hundred acres of land each; no freeman shall be taxed higher than one hundred acres, and no slave higher than two hundred acres on each poll.
SEC. 27. No article manufactured of the produce of this State shall be taxed otherwise than to pay inspection fees.
SECTION 1. The supreme executive power of this State shall be vested in a governor.
SEC. 2. The governor shall be chosen by the electors of the members of the general assembly, at the times and places where they shall respectively vote for the members thereof. The returns of every election for governor shall be sealed up, and transmitted to the seat of government by the returning officers, directed to the speaker of the senate, who shall open and publish them in the presence of a majority of the members of each house of the general assembly. The person having the highest number of votes shall be governor; but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes, one of them shall be chosen governor by joint ballot of both houses of the general assembly. contested elections for governor shall be determined by both houses of the general assembly, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
SEC. 3. He shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and possess a freehold estate of five hundred acres of land, and have been a citizen or inhabitant of this state four years next before his election, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this State.
SEC. 4. The first governor shall hold his office until the fourth Tuesday of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, and until another governor shall be elected and qualified to office; and forever after the governor shall hold his office for the term of two years, and until another governor shall be elected and qualified; but shall not be eligible more than six years in any term of eight.
SEC. 5. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.
SEC. 6. He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, after conviction, except in cases of impeachment.
SEC. 7. He shall, at stated times, received a compensation for his services, which shall not be increased or diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected.
SEC. 8. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
SEC. 9 He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly by proclamation, and shall state to them, when assembled, the purpose for which they shall have been convened.
SEC. 10 He shall take car that the laws shall be faithfully executed.
SEC. 11. He shall, from time to time, give to the general assembly information of the state of the government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge expedient.
SEC. 12. In case of his death, or resignation, or removal from office, the speaker of the senate shall exercise the office of governor until another governor shall be duly recognized.
SEC. 13. No member of Congress or person holding any office under the United States, or this State shall execute the office of governor.
SEC. 14. When any officer, the right of whose appointment is by this constitution vested in the general assembly, shall, during the recess, die, or his office by other means become vacant, the governor shall have power to fill up such vacancy by granting a temporary commission which shall expire at the end of the next session of the legislature.
SEC. 15. There shall be a seal of this State, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him officially, and shall be called “The Great Seal of the State of Tennessee.”
SEC. 16. All grants and commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Tennessee, be sealed with the State seal, and signed by the governor.
Sec. 17. A secretary of this State shall be appointed and commissioned during the term of four years. He shall keep a fair register of all the official acts and proceedings of the governor; and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative thereto, before the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as shall be enjoined him by law.
SECTION 1. Every freeman of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, possessing a freehold in the county wherein he may vote, and being an inhabitant of this State, and every freeman, being an inhabitant of any one county in the State six months immediately preceding the day of election, shall be entitled to vote for members of the general assembly, for the county in which he shall reside.
SEC 2. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and in going to and returning from them.
SEC. 3. All elections shall be by ballot.
SECTION 1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.
SEC. 2. All impeachment's shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation.
SEC. 3. No person shall be convicted, without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the whole house.
SEC. 4. The governor, and all civil officers under this State, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment, in such cases shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under this State. The party shall, nevertheless, in all cases be liable to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.
SECTION 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in such superior inferior courts of law and equity as the legislature shall, from time to time, direct and establish.
SEC. 2. The general assembly shall, by joint ballot of both houses, appoint judges of the several courts of law and equity, also an attorney or attorneys for the State, who shall hold their respective offices during good behavior.
SEC. 3. The judges of the superior court shall, at stated times, receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, but shall not be allowed any fees or prequisites of office, nor shall they hold any other office of trust or profit under this State or the United States.
SEC. 4. The judges of the superior courts shall be justices of oyer and terminer and general jail-delivery throughout the State.
SEC. 5 The judges of the superior and inferior courts shall not charge juries with respect to matters of fact, but may state the testimony an declare the law.
SEC. 6. The judges of the superior courts shall have power, in all civil cases, to issue writs of certiorari, to remove any cause, or a transcript thereof, from any inferior court of record into the superior on sufficient cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
SEC. 7. The judges of the superior courts shall have power, in all civil cases, to issue writs of certiorari, to remove any cause, or a transcript thereof, from any inferior jurisdiction into their curt, on sufficient cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
SEC. 8. No judge shall sit on the trial of any cause where the parties shall be connected with him by affinity or consanguinity, except by consent of parties. In case all the judges of the superior court shall be interested in the event of any cause, or related to all or either of the parties, the governor of the State shall in such case specially commission three men of law knowledge for the determination thereof.
SEC. 9. All writs and other process shall run in the name of the State of Tennessee, and bear test and be signed by the respective clerks. Indictments shall conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the State.”
SEC. 10. Each court shall appoint its own clerk, who may hold his office during good behavior.
SEC. 11. No fine shall be laid on any citizen of this State that shall exceed fifty dollars, unless it shall be assessed by a jury of his peers, who shall assess the fine at the time they find the fact, if they think the fine ought to be more than fifty dollars.
SEC. 12. There shall be justices of the peace appointed for each county, not exceeding two for each captain's company, except for the company which includes the county town, which shall not exceed three, who shall hold their offices during good behavior.
SECTION 1. There shall be appointed in each county, by the county court, one sheriff, one coroner, one trustee, and a sufficient number of constables, who shall hold their offices for two years. They shall also have power to appoint one register and ranger for the county, who shall hold their offices during good behavior. The sheriff and coroner shall be commissioned by the governor.
SEC. 2. There shall be a treasurer or treasurers appointed for the State, who shall hold his or their offices for two years.
SEC. 3. The appointment of all officers, not otherwise directed by this constitution, shall be vested in the legislature.
SECTION 1. Captains, subalterns, and non-commissioned officers shall be elected by those citizens, in their respective districts, who are subject to military duty.
SEC. 2. All field-officers of the militia shall be elected by those citizens in their respective counties who are subject to military duty.
SEC. 3. Brigadiers-general shall be elected by the field-officers of their respective brigades.
SEC. 4. Majors-general shall be elected by the brigadiers and field-officers of the respective divisions.
SEC 5. The governor shall appoint the adjutant-general; the majors-general shall appoint their aides; the brigadiers-general shall appoint their brigade majors, and the commanding officers of regiments their adjutants and quartermasters.
SEC. 6. The captains and the subalterns of the cavalry shall be appointed by the troops enrolled ion their respective companies, and the field-officers of the district shall be appointed by the said captains and subalterns: Provided, That, whenever any new county is laid off, that the field officers of the said cavalry shall appoint the captain and other officers therein pro tempore, until the company is filled up and completed, at such time the election of the captains and subalterns shall take place as aforesaid.
SEC. 7. The legislature shall pass laws exempting citizens, belonging to any sect or denomination of religion the tenets of which are known to be opposed to the bearing of arms from attending private and general musters.
SECTION 1. Whereas the ministers of the gospel are, by their professions, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore no minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either house of the legislature.
SEC. 2. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of the State.
SECTION 1. That every person who shall be chosen or appointed to any office of trust or profit shall, before entering on the execution thereof, take an oath to support the constitution of this State, and also an oath of office.
SEC. 2. That each member of the senate and house of representatives shall, before they proceed to business, take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of this State, and also the following oath:
“I, A. B., do solemnly swear [or affirm] that, as a member of this general assembly, I will in all appointments vote without favor, affection, partiality, or prejudice, and that I will not propose or assent to any bill, vote, or resolution which shall appear to me injurious to the people, or consent to any act or thing whatever that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the constitution of this State.
SEC. 3. Any elector who shall receive any gift or reward for his vote, in meat, drink, money, or otherwise, shall suffer such punishment as the laws shall direct. And any person who shall directly or indirectly give, promise, or bestow any such reward to be elected, shall thereby be rendered incapable, for two years, to serve in the office for which he was elected, and be subject to such further punishment as the legislature shall direct.
SEC. 4. No new county shall be established by the general assembly which shall reduce the county or counties, or either of them, from which it shall be taken to a less content than six hundred and twenty-five square miles; nor shall any new county be laid off of less contents. All new counties, as to the right of suffrage and representation, shall be considered as a part of the county or counties from which it was taken, until entitled by numbers to the right of representation. No bill shall be passed into a law for the establishment of a new county except upon a petition to the general assembly for that purpose, signed by two hundred of the free male inhabitants within the limits or bounds of such new county prayed to be laid off.
SECTION 1. Knoxville shall be the seat of government until the year one thousand eight hundred and two.
SEC. 2. All laws and ordinances now in force and use in this Territory, not inconsistent with this constitution, shall continue to be in force and use in this State, until they shall expire, be altered, or repealed by the legislature.
SEC. 3. That whenever two-thirds of the general assembly shall think it necessary to amend or change this constitution, they shall recommend to the electors, at the next election for members to the general assembly, to vote for or against a convention; and if it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of the State, voting of representatives, have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next session, call a convention, to consist of a s many members as there shall be in the general assembly, to be chosen in the same manner, at the same place, and by the same electors that chose the general assembly, who shall meet within three months after the said election, for the purpose of refusing, amending, or changing the constitution.
SEC. 4. The declaration of rights hereto annexed is declared to be a part of the constitution of this State, and shall never be violated on any pretence whatever. And to guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in the bill of rights contained, and every other right not hereby delegated, is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate.
Declaration of Rights
SECTION 1. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority , and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; for the advancement of those ends, they have at all times an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.
SEC. 2. That, government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive to the good and happiness of mankind.
SEC 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority can in any case whatever control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship.
SEC 4. That no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State.
SEC 5. That elections shall be free and equal.
SEC 6. That the right to trial by jury shall remain invoilate.
SEC 7. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures, and that general warrants, whereby an officer may be commanded to search suspected places, without evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offences are not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be granted.
SEC 8. That no freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.
SEC 9. That in all criminal prosecutions the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in prosecutions by indictment or presentment a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the crime shall have been committed; and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.
SEC 10. That no person shall. for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.
SEC 11. That laws made for the punishment of facts committed previous to the existence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are contrary to the principles of a free government; wherefore no ex post facto law shall be made.
SEC 12. That no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate. The estate of such persons as shall destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death. If any person be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture in consequence thereof.
SEC 13. That no person arrested, or confined in jail, shall be treated with unnecessary rigor.
SEC 14. That no freeman shall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by presentment, indictment, or impeachment.
SEC 15. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureities, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or the presumption great. And the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
SEC 16. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
SEC 17. That all courts shall be open; and every man, for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial. or delay. Suits may be brought against the State in such manner and in such courts as the legislature may by law direct: Provided, The right of bringing suit be limited to the citizens of this State.
SEC 18. That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditor or creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
SEC 19. That the printing-presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the legislature, or of any branch or officer of government; and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invoilable rights of man; and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty. But in prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in public capacity, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.
SEC 20. That no respective law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be made.
SEC 21. That no man's particular services shall be demanded or property taken, or applied to public use, without the consent of his representatives, or without just compensation being made therefor.
SEC 22. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance.
SEC 23. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free State, and shall not be allowed.
SEC 24. That the sure and certain defence of a free people is a well-regulated militia; and as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to freedom, they ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and safety of the community will admit, and that in all cases the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil authority.
SEC 25. That no citizen in this State, except such as are employed in the Army of the United States or militia in actual service, shall be subject to corporal punishment under martial law.
SEC 26. That the freemen of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence.
SEC 27. That no soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner prescribed by law.
SEC 28. That no citizen of this State shall be compelled to bear arms, provided he will pay an equivalent, to be ascertained by law.
SEC 29. That an equal participation of the free navigation of the Mississippi is one of the inherent rights of the citizens of this State; it cannot, therefore, be conceded to any prince, potentate, power, person, or persons whatever.
SEC 30. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honors shall ever be granted or conferred in this State.
SEC 31. That the people residing south of French Broad and Holston, between the rivers Tennessee and the Big Pigeon, are entitled to the right of preemption and occupancy in that tract.
SEC 32. That the limits and boundaries of this State be ascertained, it is declared they are as hereafter mentioned; that is to say: Beginning on the extreme height of the Stone Mountain, at the place where the line of Virginia intersects it, in latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north; running thence along the extreme height of the said mountain to the place where Wautaga River breaks through it; thence a direct course to the top of the Yellow Mountain, where Bright's road crosses the same; thence along the ridge of said mountain, between the waters of Doe River and the waters of Rock Creek, to the place where the road crosses the Iron Mountain; from the extreme height of said mountain to where Nolichuky River runs through the same; thence along the extreme height of said mountain to Painted Rock, on French Broad River; thence along the extreme highest ridge of said mountain to the place where it is called Unicoi or Unaka Mountain, between the Indian towns of Cowee and Old Chota; thence along the main ridge of the said mountain to the southern boundary of this State, as described in the act of cession of North Carolina to the United States of America, and that all the territory, lands, and waters lying west of the said line, as before mentioned, and contained within the chartered limits of the State of North Carolina, are within the boundaries and limits of this State, over which the people have the right of exercising sovereignty, and the right of soil so far as is consistent with the Constitution of the United States, recognizing the Articles of Confederation, the Bill of Rights, and constitution of North Carolina, the cession act of the said State, and the ordinance of the late Congress for the government of the territory northwest of the Ohio; provided nothing herein contained shall extend to affect the claim or claims of individuals to any part of the soil which is recognized to them by the aforesaid cession act.
SECTION 1. That no inconvenience may arise from a change of the temporary to a permanent State government, it is declared that all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well of individuals as of bodies-corporate, shall continue as if no change had taken place in the administration of government.
SEC 2. All fines, penalties, and forfeitures, due and owing to the territory of the United States of America south of the river Ohio, shall inure to the use of the State. All bonds for performance, executed to the governor of this State, and his successors in office, for the use of the State, or by him or them respectively to be assigned over to the use of those concerned, as the case may be.
SEC 3. The governor, secretary, judges, and brigadiers-general have a right, by virtue of their appointments, under the authority of the United States, to continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective offices in their several departments until the said officers are superseded under the authority of this constitution.
SEC 4. All officers, civil and military, who have been appointed by the governor, shall continue to exercise their respective offices until the second Monday in June and until successors in office shall be appointed under the authority of this constitution and duly qualified.
SEC 5. The governor shall make use of his private seal until a State seal shall be provided.
SEC 6. Until the first enumeration shall be made, as directed in the second section of the first article of this constitution, the several countries shall be respectively entitled to elect one senator and two representatives: Provided, That no new county shall be entitled to separate representation previous to taking the enumeration.
SEC 7. That the next election for representatives and other offices to be held for the county of Tennessee shall be held at the house of William Miles.
SEC 8. Until a land-office shall be opened, so as to enable the citizens south of the French Broad and Holston between the rivers Tennessee and Big Pigeon, to obtain titles upon their claims of occupancy and preemption, those who hold land by virtue of such claims shall be eligible to serve in all capacities where a freehold is by this constitution made a requisite qualification.
Done in convention at Knoxville, by unanimous consent, on the sixth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the Untied Sates of America the twentieth. In the testimony whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names
William Blount, President
William Maclin, Secretary