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SEC. 16. The general assembly shall direct by law how persons who are now or may hereafter become securities for public officers, may be relieved or discharged on account of such securityship.

Sec. 17. No power of suspending the laws of this state shall be exercised, unless by the legislature or its authority *.

SEC. 18. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused has the right of being heard by himself or counsel, of demanding the nature and cause of the accusation against him, of meeting the witnesses face to face, of having compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour, and prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage, nor shall he be compelled to give evidence against himself.

Sec. 19. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offences, where the proof is evident or presumption great, and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

Sec. 20. No ex post facto law nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passedt.

Sec. 21. Printing presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the legislature, or any branch of the government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communications of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty

Sec. 22. Emigration from the state shall not be prohibited.

* 3 Martin, 530, Johnson vs. Duncan, and al.'s Syndics. * Id.

Sec. 23. The citizens of the town of New Orleans shall have the right of appointing the several public officers necessary for the administration and the police of the said city, pursuant to the mode of election which shall be prescribed by the legislature; Provided that the mayor and recorder be ineligible to a seat in the general assembly.

SEC. 24. The seat of government shall continue at New Orleans until removed by law.

SEC. 25. All laws contrary to this constitution shall be null and void *.

. ARTICLE VII. . Mode of revising the Constitution. Sec. 1. When experience shall point out the necessity of amending this constitution, and a majority of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall within the first twenty days of their stated annual session, concur in passing a law, specifying the alterations intended to be made, for taking the sense of the good people of this state, as to the necessity and expediency of calling a convention, it shall be the duty of the several relurning officers, at the next general election which shall be held for representatives after the passage of such law, to open a poll for, and make return to the secretary for the time being, of the names of all those entitled to vote for representatives, who have voted for calling a convention; and if thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this state, entitled to vote for representatives, have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall direct that a similar poll shall be opened, and taken for the next year; and if thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this slate entitled to vote for representatives, have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next session,

* 3 Martin, 9, Brooks' Syndics vs. Weyman.

call a convention to consist of as many members as there shall be in the general assembly, and no more, to be chosen in the same manner and proportion, at the same places and at the same time, that representatives are, by citizens entitled to vote for representatives : and to meet within three months after the said election, for the purpose of readopting, amending or changing this constitution. But if it shall appear by the vote of either year, as aforesaid, that a majority of all the citizens entitled to vote for representatives, did not vote for a convention, a convention shall not be called.


SEC. 1. That no inconveniencies may arise from the change of a territorial to a permanent state government, it is declared by the convention that all rights, suits, actions, prosecutions, claims and contracts, both as it respecls individuals and bodies corporate, shall continue as if no change had taken place in this government in virtue of the laws now in force *.

SEC. 2. All fines, penalties and forfeitures, due and owing to the territory of Orleans shall inure to the use of the state.

All bonds executed to the governor or any other officer in his official capacity in the territory, shall pass over to the governor or to the officers of the state and their successors in office, for the use of the state, by him or by them to be respectively assigned over to the use of those concerned, as the case may be.

SEC. 3. The governor, secretary and judges, and all other officers under the territorial government, shall continue in the exercise of their duties of their respective departments until the said officers are superceded under the authority of this constitution.

SEC. 4. All laws now in force in this territory, not

* 3 Martin, 3, Bermudez vs. Ibanez: id. 289, Dufau and al. vs. Massicot and val.

inconsistent with this constitation, shall continue and remain in full effect until repealed by the legislature.

Sec. 5. The governor of this state shall make use of his private seal, until a stale seal be procured.

Sec. 6. The oaths of office herein directed to be taken, may be administered by any justice of the peace, until the legislature shall otherwise direct.

Sec. 7. Al the expiration of the time after which this constitution is to go into operation, or immediately after official information shall have been received that congress have approved of the same, the president of the convention shall issue writs of election to the proper officers in the different counties, enjoining them to cause an election to be held for governor and members of the general assembly, in each of their respective districts. The election shall commence on the fourth Monday following the day of the date of the president's proclamation, and shall take place on the same day throughout the state. The mode and duration of the said election shall be delermined by the laws now in force : Provided, however, that in case of absence or disability of the president of the convention, to cause the said election to be carried into effect, the secretary of the convention shall discharge the duties hereby imposed on the president, and that in case of absence of the secretary, a committee of Messrs. Blanque, Brown, and Urquhart or a majority of them, shall discharge the duties herein imposed on the secretary of the convention — and the members of the general assembly Thus elected shall assemble on the fourth Monday thereafter at the seat of government. The governor and members of the general assembly for this time only, shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices, immediately after their clection, and shall continue in office in the same manner and during the same period they would have done had they been elecled on the first Monday of July, 1812.

Sec. 8. Until the first enumeration shall be made as directed in the sixth section of the second article of this constitution, the county of Orleans shall be entitled to six representatives to be elected as follows: one by the firsl senatorial district within the said county, four by the second district, and one by the third district-The county of German coast, to two representatives, the county of Acadia, to two representatives, the county of Iberville, to two representatives; the county of Lafourche, to two representatives; lo be elected as follows : one by the parish of the Assumption, and the other by the parish of the interior; the county of Rapides, to two representatives; the counly of Natchitoches, to one representative; the county of Concordia, to one representative; the county of Ouachitta, to one representative; the county of Opelloussas, to two representatives; the county of Attakapas, to three representatives to be elected as fol· lows : two by the parish of St. Martin and the third by the parish of St. Mary, and the respective senatorial districts created by this constitution, to one senator each.

Done in convention, at New Orleans, the twenty

second day of the month of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve, and of the independence of the United States of America, thirty-sixth.


President of the Convention.
J. D. Degoutin Bellechasse, Samuel Winter,
J. Blanque,

of the county of Orleans.
F. J. Le Breton d'Orgenoy, James Brown,
Mgre. Guichard,

Jean-Noël Destréhan, S. Henderson,

Adre. La Branche, Denis Delaronde,

of the county of German Coast. F. Livaudais,

Michael Cantrelle, B. Marigny,

J. M. Reynaud, Thos. Urquhart,

Genezi Roussin, Jacques Villeré,

of the county of Acadia. John Watkins,

Amant Hebert,

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