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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > About Indiana - History and Trivia > Explore Indiana History by Topic > Indiana Documents Leading to Statehood > Constitution of 1851 as originally written > Proclamation by the Governor of Indiana, February 25, 1851 Proclamation by the Governor of Indiana, February 25, 1851

[Weekly Indiana State Journal, March 1, 1851.]
Official Publication.

PROCLAMATION.

BY THE GOVERNOR OF INDIANA.

JOSEPH A. WRIGHT, Governor of the State of Indiana, to the several Judges, Inspectors, and Clerks and other officers of the several counties of this State, authorized by law to hold elections for the various offices of the State, and all others whom it may concern, Greeting:
KNOW YE, That the Convention which assembled on the first Monday of October, 1850, at Indianapolis, for the purpose of revising, amending, or altering the Constitution of this State, have, in pursuance of the law of the land, deposited said Constitution so made in the office of the Secretary of State, due notice of which has been given to me, and a copy of said Constitution is herewith published; and that by virtue of an act of the Legislature, approved on the 14th day of February, 1851, it is directed that said instrument shall be submitted to the people of this State for their adoption or rejection, at the next annual August election, and to say whether said instrument shall or shall not be the Constitution of the State, and among other things provided as follows, to wit:

Section 2. There shall be a vote taken on the first Monday of August next, on the adoption or rejection of said Constitution, and on the adoption or rejection of the separate articles thereof, relating to the exclusion of negroes and mulattoes from this State; and for this purpose it shall be the duty of the inspectors and judges of elections in the several townships in this State, on said first Monday in August next, to open a poll, in which shall be entered all the votes given for and against the adoption of said Constitution, and of said separate article: Said election shall be by ballot, and shall be governed in all respects by the laws now in force in relation to general elections, so far as applicable.

Section 3. Those voting against the adoption of said Constitution, shall vote written or printed tickets in this form: "Against the Constitution," and those voting for its adoption shall vote written or printed tickets in this form: "For the Constitution;" In like manner those voting against the second article in relation to the exclusion of negroes and mulattoes, and their colonization, shall have written or printed on his ticket these words, "No exclusion and colonization of Negroes;" and every voter who is in favor of adopting said article shall have written or printed on his ticket these words: "Exclusion and colonization of Negroes and Mulattoes."

Section 4. Poll books shall be kept, votes counted and certified to the clerks of the different counties as in other elections, and the returns of the votes for and against the adoption of said Constitution, and for and against said separate article, shall be made by said clerks to the Secretary of State, within ten days after said election, and said returns shall, within twenty days thereafter, be examined and canvassed by the Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, or any two of them, in the presence of the Governor, and such other persons as may choose to attend; and proclamation shall be made forthwith, by the Governor, of the result of the election. If it shall appear that a majority of all the votes polled at such election were given in favor of the adoption of said Constitution, it shall then become the Constitution of the State of Indiana, from the first day of November, 1851; but if it shall appear that a majority of all the votes polled for or against the adoption of said Constitution, and said separate article, were given against the adoption of said Constitution, then the same shall be, and remain, inoperative and void. If it shall further appear that a majority of all the votes polled for or against the adoption of said Constitution and said separate article, were given in favor of the article in relation to the exclusion of negroes and mulattoes and their colonization, then said article shall be, and form a part of said Constitution; otherwise said article shall be void.

THEREFORE, In compliance with the provisions of said Constitution, and of the act aforesaid, I do hereby direct and enjoin upon all the officers of this State, authorized by law to hold the next annual August election, and all others whom it may concern, to observe and obey, and in all things to conform to each and all the requirements and provisions of said law.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed this Proclamation, and caused the Seal of this State to be hereunto affixed at Indianapolis, on this, the 25th day of February, A.D. 1851, and in the thirty-fifth year of the State, and the seventy-fifth of the Nation.

[Seal]

Joseph A. Wright.

BY THE GOVERNOR:

CHARLES H. TEST, Sec'y of State.