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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 > Notice of Deposition of Constitution & Election for Ratification of Constitution Notice of Deposition of Constitution & Election for Ratification of Constitution

Act Requiring Governor to Give Notice of Deposition of Constitution with Secretary of State, and Election for Ratification of Constitution (February 14, 1851).

The following act was approved four days after the adjournment of the Constitutional Convention. By the provisions of this act the Governor was required to notify the electors that the draft of the proposed new Constitution had been deposited in the office of the Secretary of State and to publish the Constitution in full in three successive issues of the Indiana State Sentinel, the Indiana State Journal and the Statesman. The act also contained some supplementary provisions relative to the election to be held in August of 1851. The proposed new Constitution was published in full in the Weekly Indiana State Journal of February 22, March 1 and March 8, 1851. The Governor's official proclamation appears in the same paper of March 1 and March 8. 1851.

[Laws, Thirty-Fifth Sessions, 53.]

AN ACT to amend an act entitled "AN ACT for the call of a convention of the people of the State of Indiana to revise, amend, or alter the Constitution of said state," approved January 18, 1850.

Section 1. Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, so soon as the new or amended Constitution is deposited in his office, to give notice thereof to the Governor, whose duty it shall be thereupon to notify the people by proclamation of the deposit of the same; and at the same time to cause a copy thereof to be published for three weeks successively in the Indiana State Sentinel, the Indiana State Journal, and the Statesman.

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 article 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 of 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.

Sec. 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 separate 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."

Sec. 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 person 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.

Sec. 5. This act to be in force from and after its passage; and all acts and parts of acts contravening the provisions of this act, be, and the same are hereby repealed.

Approved, February 14, 1851.