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Phil Bryant: Sixty-sixth Governor of Mississippi: 2012-2016

Gov. Bryant

Phil Bryant
Governor of Mississippi:
2012-2016
Courtesy Office of the Governor

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Phil Bryant was elected governor of Mississippi in the November 2011 Republican landslide. In that historic election, Republicans won all statewide offices, except for attorney general, and won majorities in both houses of the Mississippi Legislature. Bryant defeated the Democrat candidate, Mayor Johnny Dupree of Hattiesburg, by a 61-to-39-percent majority. Mayor Dupree was the first African American candidate in Mississippi history to win a major-party nomination for governor.

Although his 2011 campaign was his first run for governor, Bryant had successfully conducted three previous statewide races, two for state auditor and one for lieutenant governor. In his 2003 state auditor re-election campaign he had carried 81 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.

Bryant was born on December 9, 1954, in Moorhead, a small Sunflower County community in the Mississippi Delta. His varied educational background includes an associate degree from Hinds Community College, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a master’s degree in political science from Mississippi College. He has been honored as a distinguished alumni by all three institutions and has served as adjunct professor of government at Mississippi College.

He was elected to the House of Representatives from Rankin County in 1991 and re-elected in 1992 under the new redistricting plan. As a member of the House, he served as vice chairman of the Insurance Committee and authored the Capital Gains Tax Cut Act of 1994. In 1995 he was re-elected to the House and served until Governor Kirk Fordice appointed him state auditor in 1996.

In 1999 Bryant was elected state auditor and re-elected in 2003. During his tenure as state auditor, Phil Bryant recovered more than $12 million in state funds that had been embezzled, or otherwise misused. He was elected lieutenant governor with 59 percent of the votes in November 2007, defeating Democrat candidate Jamie Franks Jr.

Among his many awards and honors is the 2004 Statesman of the Year Award by American Family Radio. He has been a longtime member of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and is the recipient of the Kirk Fordice Freedom Award presented by the Central Mississippi chapter of the NRA.

In 2008 Lieutenant Governor Bryant was the Honorary Chairman of the Republican Lieutenant Governor’s Association and is past president of the Mississippi Republican Elected Officials Association. In 2011 he served on the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association Executive Committee as the Southern Region Republican-at-Large member.

Phil Bryant was inaugurated as Mississippi’s sixty-sixth governor on January 10, 2012.

David G. Sansing, Ph.D., is professor of history emeritus, University of Mississippi.

Posted January 10, 2012

Sources:

Mississippi Official and Statistical Registers: 1992-1996; 1996-2000; 2004-2008; 2008-2012

Phil Bryant website

Mississippi Secretary of State website, Election Results

The Mississippi Constitution of 1890 as originally adopted

Article 1 – Distribution of Powers
Article 2 – Boundaries of the State
Article 3 – Bill of Rights
Article 4 – Legislative Department
Article 5 – Executive
Article 6 – Judiciary
Article 7 – Corporation
Article 8 – Education
Article 9 – Militia
Article 10 – The Penitentiary and Prisons
Article 11 – Levees
Article 12 – Franchise
Article 13 – Apportionment
Article 14 – General Provisions
Ordinances

 

1890 Constitution of Mississippi

Adopted November 1, A.D. 1890.

 

We, the people of Mississippi, in Convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

ARTICLE 1 – DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS

Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Mississippi shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate magistracy, to-wit: those which are legislative to one; those which are judicial to another; and those which are executive to another.

Sec. 2. No person or collection of persons, being one, or belonging to one, of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others. The acceptance of an office in either of said departments shall, of itself, and at once, vacate any and all offices held by the person so accepting in either of the other departments.

ARTICLE 2 – BOUNDARIES OF THE STATE

Sec. 3. The limits and boundaries of the State of Mississippi are as follows, to-wit: Beginning on the Mississippi river (meaning thereby the center of said river or thread of the stream) where the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee strikes the same, as run by B. A. Ludlow, D. W. Connelly and W. Petrie, commissioners appointed for that purpose on the part of the State of Mississippi in A.D., 1837, and J. D. Graham and Austin Miller, commissioners appointed for that purpose on the part of Tennessee; thence east along the said boundary line of the State of Tennessee to a point on the west bank of the Tennessee river, six four-pole chains south of and above the mouth of Yellow Creek; thence up the said river to the mouth of Bear Creek; thence by a direct line to what was formerly the northwest corner of the county of Washington, Alabama; thence on a direct line to a point ten miles east of the Pascagoula river on the Gulf of Mexico; thence westwardly, including all the islands within six leagues of the shore, to the most eastern junction of Pearl river with Lake Borgne; thence up said Pearl river to the thirty-first degree of north latitude; thence west along the said degree of latitude to the middle or thread of the stream of the Mississippi river; thence up the middle of the Mississippi river, or thread of the stream, to the place of beginning, including all islands lying east of the thread of the stream of said river, and also including any lands which were at any time heretofore a part of this State.

Sec. 4. The legislature shall have power to consent to the acquisition of additional territory by the State and to make the same a part thereof; and the legislature may settle disputed boundaries between this State and its coterminous States whenever such disputes arise.

ARTICLE 3 – BILL OF RIGHTS

Sec. 5. All political power is vested in, and derived from, the people; all government of right originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.

Sec. 6. The people of this State have the inherent, sole and exclusive right to regulate the internal government and police thereof, and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness; provided, such change be not repugnant to the constitution of the United States.

Sec. 7. The right to withdraw from the Federal Union on account of any real or supposed grievance, shall never be assumed by this State, nor shall any law be passed in derogation of the paramount allegiance of the citizens of this State to the government of the United States.

Sec. 8. All persons resident in this State, citizens of the United States, are hereby declared citizens of the State of Mississippi.

Sec. 9. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 10. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against the same or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Sec. 11. The right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government on any subject shall never be impaired.

Sec. 12. The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.

Sec. 13. The freedom of speech and of the press shall be held sacred, and in all prosecutions for libel the truth may be given in evidence, and the jury shall determine the law and the facts under the direction of the court; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted.

Sec. 14. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, except by due process of law.

Sec. 15. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this State, otherwise than in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

Sec. 16. Ex post facto laws, or laws impairing the obligation of contracts, shall not be passed.

Sec. 17. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use except on due compensation being first made to the owner or owners thereof, in a manner to be prescribed by law; and whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be public shall be a judicial question, and as such determined without regard to legislative assertion that the use is public.

Sec. 18. No religious test as a qualification for office shall be required; and no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, or mode of worship; but the free enjoyment of all religious sentiments and the different modes of worship shall be held sacred. The rights hereby secured shall not be construed to justify acts of licentiousness injurious to morals or dangerous to the peace and safety of the State, or to exclude the Holy Bible from use in any public school of this State.

Sec. 19. Human life shall not be imperiled by the practice of dueling; and any citizen of this State who shall hereafter fight a duel, or assist in the same as second, or send, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge therefor, whether such act be done in the State, or out of it, or who shall go out of the State to fight a duel, or to assist in the same as second, or to send, accept or carry a challenge, shall be disqualified from holding any office under this constitution and shall be disfranchised.

Sec. 20. No person shall be elected or appointed to office in this State for life or during good behavior, but the term of all offices shall be for some specified period.

Sec. 21. 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, nor ever without the authority of the legislature.

Sec. 22. No person’s life or liberty shall be twice placed in jeopardy for the same offense; but there must be an actual acquittal or conviction on the merits to bar another prosecution.

Sec. 23. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses and possessions, from unreasonable seizure or search; and no warrant shall be issued without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, specially designating the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.

Sec. 24. All courts shall be open; and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay.

Sec. 25. No person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending any civil cause, for or against him or herself before any tribunal in this State, by him or herself, or counsel, or both.

Sec. 26. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have a right to be heard by himself or counsel, or both, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted by the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county where the offense was committed; and he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; but in prosecutions for rape, adultery, fornication, sodomy or the crime against nature, the court may in its discretion exclude from the court room all persons except such as are necessary in the conduct of the trial.

Sec. 27. No person shall for any indictable offense, be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or the militia when in actual service, or by leave of the court for misdemeanor in office; but the legislature in cases not punishable by death or by imprisonment in the penitentiary, may dispense with the inquest of the grand jury, and may authorize prosecutions before justices of the peace, or such other inferior court or courts as may be established, and the proceedings in such cases shall be regulated by law.

Sec. 28. Cruel or unusual punishment shall not be inflicted, nor excessive fines be imposed.

Sec. 29. Excessive bail shall not be required; and all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or presumption great.

Sec. 30. There shall be no imprisonment for debt.

Sec. 31. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

Sec. 32. The enumeration of rights in this constitution shall not be construed to deny or impair others retained by, and inherent in, the people.

ARTICLE 4 – LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Sec. 33. The legislative power of this State shall be vested in the legislature, which shall consist of a senate, and a house of representatives.

Sec. 34. The house of representatives shall consist of members chosen every four years by the qualified electors of the several counties and representative districts.

Sec. 35. The senate shall consist of members to be chosen every four years by the qualified electors of the several districts.

Sec. 36. The legislature shall meet at the seat of government in regular session, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year A.D., 1892, and every four years thereafter; and in special session on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year A.D., 1894, and every four years thereafter, unless sooner convened by the governor. The special sessions shall not continue longer than thirty days unless the governor, deeming the public interest to require it, shall extend the sitting by proclamation in writing to be sent to and entered upon the journals of each house, for a specific number of days, and then it may continue in session to the expiration of that time. At such special sessions the members shall receive not more compensation or salary than ten cents mileage, and a per diem of not exceeding five dollars; and none but appropriation and revenue bills shall be considered except such other matters as may be acted upon at an extraordinary session called by the governor.

Sec. 37. Elections for members of the legislature shall be held in the several counties and districts as provided by law.

Sec. 38. Each house shall elect its own officers, and shall judge of the qualifications, return and election of its own members.

Sec. 39. The senate shall choose a president pro tempore to act in the absence or disability of its presiding officer.

QUALIFICATIONS AND PRIVILEGES OF LEGISLATORS

Sec. 40. Members of the legislature before entering upon the discharge of their duties shall take the following oath: "I _________ _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully support the constitution of the United States and of the State of Mississippi; that I am not disqualified from holding office by the constitution of this State; that I will faithfully discharge my duties as a legislator; that I will, as soon as practicable hereafter, carefully read (or have read to me) the constitution of this State, and will endeavor to note, and as a legislator, to execute all the requirements thereof imposed on the legislature; and I will not vote for any measure or person because of a promise of any other member of this legislature to vote for any measure or person, or as a means of influencing him or them to do so. So help me God."

Sec. 41. No person shall be a member of the house of representatives who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years, and who shall not be a qualified elector of the State, and who shall not have been a resident citizen of the State four years, and of the county two years, immediately preceding his election. The seat of a member of the house of representatives shall be vacated on his removal from the county or flotorial district from which he was elected.

Sec. 42. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, who shall not have been a qualified elector of the State four years, and who shall not be an actual resident of the district or territory he may be chosen to represent, for two years before his election. The seat of a senator shall be vacated upon his removal from the district from which he was elected.

Sec. 43. No person liable as principal for public moneys unaccounted for shall be eligible to a seat in either house of the legislature, or to any office of profit or trust, until he shall have accounted for and paid over all sums for which he may have been liable.

Sec. 44. No person shall be eligible to a seat in either house of the legislature, or to any office of profit or trust, who shall have been convicted of bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime; and any person who shall have been convicted of giving, or offering, directly, or indirectly, any bribe to procure his election or appointment; and any person who shall give, or offer any bribe to procure the election or appointment of any person to office, shall, on conviction thereof, be disqualified from holding any office of profit or trust under the laws of this State.

Sec. 45. No senator or representative during the term for which he was elected, shall be eligible to any office of profit, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which have been increased, during the time such senator or representative was in office, except to such offices as may be filled by an election of the people.

Sec. 46. The members of the legislature shall severally receive from the State treasury, compensation for their services, to be prescribed by law, which may be increased or diminished, but no alteration of such compensation of members shall take effect during the session at which it is made.

Sec. 47. No member of the legislature shall take any fee or reward, or be counsel in any measure pending before either house of the legislature, under penalty of forfeiting his seat, upon proof thereof to the satisfaction of the house, of which he is a member.

Sec. 48. Senators and representatives shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, theft or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the legislature, and for fifteen days before the commencement and after the termination of each session.

TRIAL OF OFFICERS

Sec. 49. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment; but two-thirds of all the members present must concur therein. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate, and, when sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be sworn to do justice according to law and the evidence.

Sec. 50. The governor, and all other civil officers of this State, shall be liable to impeachment for treason, bribery, or any high crime or misdemeanor in office.

Sec. 51. Judgment in such cases shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit in this State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.

Sec. 52. When the governor shall be tried, the chief justice of the supreme court shall preside; and when the chief justice is disabled, disqualified, or refuses to act, the judge of the supreme court, next oldest in commission, shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the senators present.

Sec. 53. For reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground of impeachment, the governor shall, on the joint address of two-thirds of each branch of the legislature, remove from office the judges of the supreme and inferior courts; but the cause or causes of removal shall be spread on the journal, and the party charged be notified of the same and have an opportunity to be heard by himself or counsel, or both, before the vote is finally taken and decided.

RULES OF PROCEDURE

Sec. 54. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a less number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each shall provide.

Sec. 55. Each house may determine rules of its own proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior; and with the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present, expel a member; but no member, unless expelled for theft, bribery or corruption, shall be expelled a second time for the same offense. Both houses shall from time to time, publish journals of their proceedings, except such parts as may in their opinion require secrecy; and the yeas and nays, on any question, shall be entered on the journal, at the request of one-tenth of the members present; and the yeas and nays shall be entered on the journal on the final passage of every bill.

Sec. 56. The style of the laws of the State shall be: "Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of Mississippi."

Sec. 57. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.

Sec. 58. The doors of each house, when in session, or in committee of the whole, shall be kept open, except in cases which may require secrecy; and each house may punish, by fine and imprisonment, any person not a member, who shall be guilty of disrespect to the house, by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence, or who shall in any way disturb its deliberations during the session; but such imprisonment shall not extend beyond the final adjournment of that session.

Sec. 59. Bills may originate in either house and be amended or rejected in the other; and every bill shall be read on three different days in each house unless two-thirds of the house where the same is pending shall dispense with the rules; and every bill shall be read in full immediately before the vote on its final passage; and every bill having passed both houses, shall be signed by the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives, in open session; but before either shall sign any bill, he shall give notice thereof, suspend business in the house over which he presides, have the bill read by its title, and on demand of any member, have it read in full; and all such proceedings shall be entered on the journal.

Sec. 60. No bill shall be so amended in its passage through either house as to change its original purpose, and no law shall be passed except by bill; but orders, votes and resolutions of both houses, affecting the prerogatives and duties thereof, or relating to adjournment, to amendments to the constitution, to the investigation of public officers, and the like, shall not require the signature of the governor; and such resolutions, orders and votes, may empower legislative committees to administer oaths, to send for persons and papers, and generally make legislative investigation effective.

Sec. 61. No law shall be revived or amended by reference to its title only, but the section or sections as amended, or revived, shall be inserted at length.

Sec. 62. No amendment to bills by one house shall be concurred in by the other, except by a vote of a majority thereof, taken by yeas and nays and the names of those voting for and against recorded upon the journals; and reports of committees of conference shall in like manner be adopted in each house.

Sec. 63. No appropriation bill shall be passed by the legislature which does not fix definitely the maximum sum thereby authorized to be drawn from the treasury.

Sec. 64. No bill passed after the adoption of this constitution to make appropriation of money out of the State treasury, shall continue in force more than six months after the meeting of the legislature at its next regular session; nor shall such bill be passed except by the votes of a majority of all the members elected to each house of the legislature.

Sec. 65. All votes on the final passage of any measure shall be subject to reconsideration for at least one whole legislative day, and no motion to reconsider such vote shall be disposed of adversely on the day on which the original vote was taken, except on the last day of the session.

Sec. 66. No law granting a donation, or gratuity, in favor of any person or object shall be enacted, except by the concurrence of two-thirds of each branch of the legislature, nor by any vote for a sectarian purpose or use.

Sec. 67. No new bills shall be introduced into either house of the legislature during the last three days of the session.

Sec. 68. Appropriation and revenue bills shall, at regular sessions of the legislature, have precedence in both houses over all other business, and no such bills shall be passed during the last five days of the session.

Sec. 69. General appropriation bills shall contain only the appropriations to defray the ordinary expenses of the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the government, to pay interest on State bonds, and to support the common schools. All other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject. Legislation shall not be engrafted on appropriation bills, but the same may prescribe the conditions on which money may be drawn, and for what purposes paid.

Sec. 70. No revenue bill nor any bill providing for assessments of property for taxation, shall become a law, except by a vote of at least three-fifths of the members of each house present, and voting.

Sec. 71. Every bill introduced into the legislature shall have a title, and the title ought to indicate clearly the subject matter, or matters, of the proposed legislation. Each committee to which a bill may be referred, shall express in writing its judgment of the sufficiency of the title of the bill, and this, too, whether the recommendation be that the bill do pass, or do not pass.

Sec. 72. Every bill which shall pass both houses shall be presented to the governor of the State. If he approve, he shall sign it, but if he does not approve, he shall return it, with his objection, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which, likewise, it shall be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law; but in all such cases, the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for, and against the bill, shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor, within five days, (Sunday excepted), after it has been presented to him, it shall become a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature, by adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law unless sent back within three days after the beginning of the next session of the legislature. No bill shall be approved when the legislature is not in session.

Sec. 73. The governor may veto parts of any appropriation bill, and approve parts of the same, and the portions approved shall be law.

Sec. 74. No bill shall become a law until it shall have been referred to a committee of each house and returned therefrom with a recommendation in writing.

Sec. 75. No law of a general nature, unless therein otherwise provided, shall be enforced until sixty days after its passage.

Sec. 76. In all elections by the legislature the members shall vote viva voce, and the votes shall be entered on the journals.

Sec. 77. The governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either house of the legislature, and the persons thereupon chosen shall hold their seats for the unexpired term.

INJUNCTION

Sec. 78. It shall be the duty of the legislature to regulate by law the cases in which deductions shall be made from salaries of public officers, for neglect of official duty and the amount of said deduction.

Sec. 79. The legislature shall provide by law for the sale of all delinquent tax lands. The courts shall apply the same liberal principles in favor of such titles as in sale by execution. The right of redemption from all sales of real estate, for the non-payment of taxes, or special assessments, of any and every character whatsoever, shall exist, on conditions to be prescribed by law, in favor of owners and persons interested in such real estate, for a period of not less than two years.

Sec. 80. Provision shall be made by general laws to prevent the abuse by cities, towns and other municipal corporations of their powers of assessment, taxation, borrowing money and contracting debts.

Sec. 81. The legislature shall never authorize the permanent obstruction of any of the navigable waters of this State; but may provide for the removal of such obstructions as now exist, whenever the public welfare demands; this section shall not prevent the construction, under proper authority, of draw-bridges for railroads, or other roads, nor the construction of "booms and chutes" for logs in such manner as not to prevent the safe passage of vessels, or logs, under regulations to be provided by law.

Sec. 82. The legislature shall fix the amount of the penalty of all official bonds, and may, as far as practicable, provide that the whole or a part of the security required for the faithful discharge of official duty shall be made by some guarantee company or companies.

Sec. 83. The legislature shall enact laws to secure the safety of persons from fires in hotels, theatres and other public places of resort.

Sec. 84. The legislature shall enact laws to limit, restrict or prevent the acquiring and holding of land in this State by non-resident aliens, and may limit or restrict the acquiring or holding of lands by corporations.

Sec. 85. The legislature shall provide by general law for the working of public roads by contract or by county prisoners, or both. Such law may be put in operation only by a vote of the board of supervisors in those counties where it may be desirable.

Sec. 86. It shall be the duty of the legislature to provide by law for the treatment and care of the insane; and the legislature may provide for the care of the indigent sick in the hospitals in this State.

LOCAL LEGISLATION

Sec. 87. No special or local law shall be enacted for the benefit of individuals or corporations, in cases which are, or can be provided for by a general law, or where the relief sought can be given by any court of this State; nor shall the operation of any general law be suspended by the legislature for the benefit of any individual or private corporation or association, and in all cases where a general law can be made applicable, and would be advantageous, no special law shall be enacted.

Sec. 88. The legislature shall pass general laws, under which local and private interests shall be provided for and protected, and under which cities and towns may be chartered and their charters amended, and under which corporations may be created, organized, and their acts of incorporation altered; and all such laws shall be subject to repeal or amendment.

Sec. 89. There shall be appointed in each house of the legislature a standing committee on local and private legislation; the house committee to consist of seven representatives, and the senate committee, of five senators. No local or private bill shall be passed by either house until it shall have been referred to said committee thereof, and shall have been reported back with a recommendation in writing that it do pass, stating affirmatively the reasons therefor, and why the end to be accomplished should not be reached by a general law, or by a proceeding in court; or if the recommendation of the committee be that the bill do not pass, then it shall not pass the house to which it is so reported unless it be voted for by a majority of all the members elected thereto. If a bill is passed in conformity to the requirements hereof, other than such as are prohibited in the next section, the courts shall not, because of its local, special or private nature, refuse to enforce it.

Sec. 90. The legislature shall not pass local, private or special laws in any of the following enumerated cases, but such matters shall be provided for only by general laws, viz:

(a) Granting divorces.
(b) Changing the names of persons, places or corporations.
(c) Providing for changes of venue in civil and criminal cases.
(d) Regulating the rate of interest on money.
(e) Concerning the settlement or administration of any estate, or the sale or mortgage of any property, of any infant, or of a person of unsound mind, or of any deceased person.
(f) The removal of the disability of infancy.
(g) Granting to any person, corporation, or association, the right to have any ferry, bridge, road or fish-trap.
(h) Exemption of property from taxation, or from levy or sale.
(i) Providing for the adoption or legitimation of children.
(j) Changing the law of descent and distribution.
(k) Exempting any person from jury, road, or other civil duty (and no person shall be exempted therefrom by force of any local or private law).
(l) Laying out, opening, altering and working roads and highways.
(m) Vacating any road or highway, town plat, street, alley or public grounds.
(n) Selecting, drawing, summoning or empaneling grand or petit juries.
(o) Creating, increasing, or decreasing the fees, salary or emoluments of any public officer.
(p) Providing for the management or support of any private or common school, incorporating the same or granting such school any privileges.
(q) Relating to stock laws, water courses and fences.
(r) Conferring the power to exercise the right of eminent domain, or granting to any person, corporation, or association the right to lay down railroad tracks, or street car tracks, in any other manner than that prescribed by general law.
(s) Regulating the practice in courts of justice.
(t) Providing for the creation of districts for the election of justices of the peace and constables.
(u) Granting any lands under control of the State to any person or corporation.

PROHIBITIONS

Sec. 91. The legislature shall not enact any law for one or more counties, not applicable to all the counties in the State, increasing the uniform charge for the registration of deeds, or regulating costs and charges and fees of officers.

Sec. 92. The legislature shall not authorize payment to any person of the salary of a deceased officer beyond the date of his death.

Sec. 93. The legislature shall not retire any officer on pay, or part pay, or make any grant to such retiring officer.

Sec. 94. The legislature shall never create by law any distinction between the rights of men and women to acquire, own, enjoy, and dispose of property of all kinds, or their power to contract in reference thereto. Married women are hereby fully emancipated from all disability on account of coverture. But this shall not prevent the legislature from regulating contracts between husband and wife; nor shall the legislature be prevented from regulating the sale of homesteads.

Sec. 95. Lands belonging to, or under the control of the State, shall never be donated directly, or indirectly, to private corporations or individuals, or to railroad companies. Nor shall such land be sold to corporations or associations for a less price than that for which it is subject to sale to individuals. This, however, shall not prevent the legislature from granting a right of way, not exceeding one hundred feet in width, as a mere easement, to railroads across State land, and the legislature shall never dispose of the land covered by said right of way so long as such easement exists.

Sec. 96. The legislature shall never grant extra compensation, fee or allowance, to any public officer, agent, servant or contractor, after service rendered, or contract made, nor authorize payment, or part payment, of any claim under any contract, not authorized by law; but appropriations may be made for expenditures in repelling invasion, preventing, or suppressing insurrections.

Sec. 97. The legislature shall have no power to revive any remedy which may have become barred by lapse of time, or by any statute of limitation of this State.

Sec. 98. No lottery shall ever be allowed, or be advertised by newspapers, or otherwise, or its tickets be sold in this State; and the legislature shall provide by law for the enforcement of this provision; nor shall any lottery heretofore authorized be permitted to be drawn or its tickets sold.

Sec. 99. The legislature shall not elect any other than its own officers, State librarian, and United States senators; but this section shall not prohibit the legislature from appointing presidential electors.

Sec. 100. No obligation or liability of any person, association, or corporation held or owned by this State, or levee board, or any county, city, or town thereof, shall ever be remitted, released or postponed, or in any way diminished by the legislature, nor shall such liability or obligation be extinguished except by payment thereof into the proper treasury; nor shall such liability, or obligation be exchanged or transferred except upon payment of its face value; but this shall not be construed to prevent the legislature from providing by general law for the compromise of doubtful claims.

Sec. 101. The seat of government of the State shall be at the city of Jackson, and shall not be removed or relocated without the assent of a majority of the electors of the State.

MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 102. All general elections for State and county officers shall commence and be holden every four years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, until altered by law; and the electors, in all cases except in cases of treason, felony and breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections and in going to and returning therefrom.

Sec. 103. In all cases not otherwise provided for in this constitution, the legislature may determine the mode of filling all vacancies, in all offices, and in cases of emergency provisional appointments may be made by the governor, to continue until the vacancy is regularly filled; and the legislature shall provide suitable compensation for all officers, and shall define their respective powers.

Sec. 104. Statutes of limitation in civil causes shall not run against the State, or any subdivision, or municipal corporation thereof.

Sec. 105. The legislature shall provide for the enumeration of the whole number of inhabitants, and the qualified electors of the State, once in every ten years; and the first enumeration shall be made during the two months beginning on the first Monday of June, 1895, and the legislature shall provide for the same by law.

Sec. 106. There shall be a State librarian, to be chosen by the legislature, on joint vote of the two houses, to serve for four years, whose duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law. Any woman, a resident of the State four years, and who has attained the age of twenty years, shall be eligible to said office.

Sec. 107. All stationery, printing, paper, and fuel, used by the legislature, and other departments of the government, shall be furnished, and the printing and binding of the laws, journals, department reports, and other printing and binding, and the repairing and furnishing the halls and rooms used for the meeting of the legislature, and its committees, shall be performed under contract, to be given to the lowest responsible bidder, below such maximum and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. No member of the legislature or officer of any department shall be in any way interested in such contract; and all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the governor and State treasurer.

Sec. 108. Whenever the legislature shall take away the duties pertaining to any office, then the salary of the officer shall cease.

Sec. 109. No public officer or member of the legislature shall be interested directly or indirectly in any contract with the State, or any district, county, city or town thereof, authorized by any law passed, or order made by any board of which he may be or may have been a member, during the term for which he shall have been chosen, or within one year after the expiration of such term.

Sec. 110. The legislature may provide, by general law, for condemning rights of way for private roads, where necessary for ingress and egress by the party applying, on due compensation being first made to the owner of the property; but such rights of way shall not be provided for in incorporated cities and towns.

Sec. 111. All lands comprising a single tract sold in pursuance of decree of court, or execution, shall be first offered in subdivisions not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres, or one-quarter section, and then offered as an entirety, and the price bid for the latter shall control only when it shall exceed the aggregate of the bids for the same in subdivisions as aforesaid; but the chancery court, in cases before it, may decree otherwise if deemed advisable to do so.

Sec. 112. Taxation shall be uniform and equal throughout the State. Property shall be taxed in proportion to its value. The legislature may, however, impose a tax per capita upon such domestic animals as from their nature and habits are destructive of other property. Property shall be assessed for taxes under general laws, and by uniform rules, according to its true value. But the legislature may provide for a special mode of valuation and assessment for railroads, and railroad and other corporate property, or for particular species of property belonging to persons, corporations or associations not situated wholly in one county. But all such property shall be assessed at its true value, and no county shall be denied the right to levy county and special taxes upon such assessment as in other cases of property situated and assessed in the county.

Sec. 113. The auditor shall, within sixty days after the adjournment of the legislature, prepare and publish a full statement of all money expended at such session, specifying the items and amount of each item, and to whom, and for what paid; and he shall also publish the amounts of all appropriations.

Sec. 114. Returns of all elections by the people shall be made to the secretary of state in such manner as shall be provided by law.

Sec. 115. The fiscal year of the State of Mississippi shall commence on the first day of October, and end on the thirtieth day of September of each year; and the auditor of public accounts and the treasurer of the State shall compile, and have published, a full and complete report, showing the transactions of their respective offices on or before the thirty-first day of December of each year for the preceding fiscal year.

ARTICLE 5 – EXECUTIVE

Sec. 116. The chief executive power of the State shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for four years, and who shall be ineligible as his immediate successor in office.

Sec. 117. The governor shall be at least thirty years of age, and shall have been a citizen of the United States twenty years, and shall have resided in this State five years next preceding the day of his election.

Sec. 118. The governor shall receive for his services such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during his term of office.

Sec. 119. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the State, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

Sec. 120. The governor may require information, in writing, from the officers in the executive departments of the State on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 121. The governor shall have power to convene the legislature in extraordinary session whenever in his judgment the public interest requires it. Should the governor deem it necessary to convene the legislature, he shall do so by public proclamation, in which he shall state the subjects and matters to be considered by the legislature when so convened; and the legislature when so convened, as aforesaid, shall have no power to consider or act upon subjects or matters other than those designated in the proclamation of the governor, by which the session is called, except impeachments, and examination into the accounts of State officers. The legislature when so convened may also act on and consider such other matters as the governor may in writing submit to them while in session. The governor may convene the legislature at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that shall become dangerous from an enemy, or from disease; and in case of a disagreement between the two houses, with respect to time of adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not beyond the day of the next stated meeting of the legislature.

Sec. 122. The governor shall, from time to time, give the legislature information of the state of the government, and recommend for consideration such measures as may be deemed necessary and expedient.

Sec. 123. The governor shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

Sec. 124. In all criminal and penal cases, excepting those of treason and impeachment, the governor shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, to remit fines, and in cases of forfeiture, to stay the collection, until the end of the next session of the legislature, and by and with the consent of the senate to remit forfeitures. In cases of treason, he shall have power to grant reprieves, by and with the consent of the senate, but may respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the legislature; but no pardon shall be granted before conviction, and in cases of felony after conviction no pardon shall be granted until the applicant therefor shall have published for thirty days, in some newspaper in the county where the crime was committed, and in case there be no newspaper published in said county, then in an adjoining county, his petition for pardon, setting forth therein the reasons why such pardon should be granted.

Sec. 125. The governor shall have the power, and it is hereby made his duty, to suspend alleged defaulting State and county treasurers, and defaulting tax collectors, pending the investigation of their respective accounts, and to make temporary appointments of proper persons to fill the offices while such investigations are being made, and the legislature shall provide for the enforcement of this provision by appropriate legislation.

Sec. 126. There shall be a seal of the State kept by the governor, and used by him officially, and be called the great seal of the State of Mississippi.

Sec. 127. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Mississippi, be sealed with the great seal of State, and be signed by the governor, and attested by the secretary of state.

Sec. 128. There shall be a lieutenant-governor, who shall be elected at the same time, in the same manner, and for the same term, and who shall possess the same qualifications as required of the governor.

Sec. 129. The lieutenant-governor shall, by virtue of his office, be president of the senate. In committee of the whole, he may debate all questions, and when there is an equal division in the senate, or on a joint vote of both houses, he shall give the casting vote.

Sec. 130. The lieutenant-governor shall receive for his services the same compensation as the speaker of the house of representatives.

Sec. 131. When the office of governor shall become vacant, by death or otherwise, the lieutenant-governor shall possess the powers and discharge the duties of said office. When the governor shall be absent from the State, or unable from protracted illness to perform the duties of the office, the lieutenant-governor shall discharge the duties of said office until the governor be able to resume his duties; but, if from disability or otherwise, the lieutenant-governor shall be incapable of performing said duties, or if he be absent from the State, the president of the senate pro tempore shall act in his stead; but if there be no such president, or if he be disqualified by like disability, or be absent from the State, then the speaker of the house of representatives shall assume the office of governor, and perform said duties; and in case of the inability of the foregoing officers to discharge the duties of governor, the secretary of state shall convene the senate, to elect a president pro tempore. The officer discharging the duties of the governor shall receive the compensation as such. Should a doubt arise as to whether a vacancy has occurred in the office of governor or as to whether any one of the disabilities mentioned in this section exists or shall have ended, then the secretary of state shall submit the question in doubt to the judges of the supreme court, who, or a majority of whom, shall investigate and determine said question; and shall furnish to said secretary of state an opinion in writing determining the question submitted to them, which opinion when rendered as aforesaid shall be final and conclusive.

Sec. 132. In case the election for lieutenant-governor shall be contested, the contest shall be tried and determined in the same manner as a contest for the office of governor.

Sec. 133. There shall be a secretary of State, who shall be elected as herein provided. He shall be at least twenty-five years of age, a citizen of the State five years next preceding the day of his election, and he shall continue in office during the term of four years, and shall be keeper of the capitol; he shall keep a correct register of all official acts and proceedings of the governor; and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes and vouchers relative thereto, before the legislature, and he shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law. He shall receive such compensation as shall be prescribed.

Sec. 134. A State treasurer and an auditor of public accounts shall be elected as herein provided, who shall hold their offices for the term of four years, and shall possess the same qualifications as required for the secretary of state; they shall receive such compensation as may be provided by law. Said treasurer and auditor of public accounts shall be ineligible to immediately succeed themselves or each other in office.

Sec. 135. There shall be a sheriff, coroner, treasurer, assessor and surveyor for each county, to be selected as elsewhere provided herein, who shall hold their offices for four years. The sheriff and treasurer shall be ineligible to immediately succeed themselves or each other in office.

Sec. 136. All officers named in this article shall hold their offices during the term for which they were selected, unless removed, and until their successors shall be duly qualified to enter on the discharge of their respective duties.

Sec. 137. It shall be the duty of the state treasurer, within ten days after the first day of January and July of each year, to publish a statement under oath, in some newspaper published at the seat of government, showing the condition of the treasury on said days, the balance on hand and in what funds, together with a certificate of the governor that he has verified the count of the funds in the treasury and found the balance, stated by the treasurer, actually in the vaults of the treasury, or as the truth may be. And it shall be the duty of the governor at such times as he may deem proper, to go to the treasury, without giving notice to the treasurer, and verify the cash balance as shown by the books, and to publish the fact that he has done so, and whether the amount called for by the books be actually in the treasury, and stating whether the treasurer had any notice whatever that the verification would be made.

Sec. 138. The sheriff, coroner, treasurer, assessor, surveyor, clerks of the courts, and members of the board of supervisors of the several counties, and all other officers exercising local jurisdiction therein, shall be selected in the manner provided by law for each county.

Sec. 139. The legislature may empower the governor to remove and appoint officers, in any county or counties or municipal corporations, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 140. The governor of the State shall be chosen in the following manner: On the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November of A.D., 1895, and on the first Tuesday after first Monday of November in every fourth year thereafter, until the day shall be changed by law, an election shall be held in the several counties and districts created for the election of members of the house of representatives in this State, for governor, and the person receiving in any county or such legislative district the highest number of votes cast therein, for said office, shall be holden to have received as many votes as such county or district is entitled to members in the house of representatives, which last named votes are hereby designated "electoral votes." In all cases where a representative is apportioned to two or more counties or districts the electoral vote based on such representative shall be equally divided among such counties or districts. The returns of said election shall be certified by the election commissioners, or a majority of them, of the several counties, and transmitted, sealed, to the seat of government, directed to the secretary of state, and shall be by him safely kept and delivered to the speaker of the house of representatives at the next ensuing session of the legislature within one day after he shall have been elected. The speaker shall, on the next Tuesday after he shall have received said returns, open and publish them in the presence of the house of representatives, and said house shall ascertain and count the vote of each county and legislative district and decide any contest that may be made concerning the same, and said decision shall be made by a majority of the whole number of members of the house of representatives concurring therein, by a viva voce vote, which shall be recorded in its journal; provided, in case the two highest candidates have an equal number of votes in any county or legislative district, the electoral vote of such county or legislative district shall be considered as equally divided between them. The person found to have received a majority of all the electoral votes, and also a majority of the popular vote, shall be declared elected.

Sec. 141. If no person shall receive such majorities, then the house of representatives shall proceed to choose a governor from the two persons who shall have received the highest number of popular votes; the election shall be by viva voce vote, which shall be recorded in the journal, in such manner as to show for whom each member voted.

Sec. 142. In case of an election of governor or any State officer by the house of representatives, no member of that house shall be eligible to receive any appointment from the governor or other State officer so elected, during the term for which he shall be selected.

Sec. 143. All other State officers shall be elected at the same time, and in the same manner as provided for election of governor.

ARTICLE 6 – JUDICIARY

Sec. 144. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in a supreme court and such other courts as are provided for in this constitution.

Sec. 145. The supreme court shall consist of three judges, any two of whom, when convened, shall form a quorum. The legislature shall divide the State into three supreme court districts, and the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint one judge for and from each district; but the removal of a judge to the State capital during his term of office shall not render him ineligible as his own successor for the district from which he has removed. The present incumbents shall be considered as holding their terms of office from the State at large.

Sec. 146. The supreme court shall have such jurisdiction as properly belongs to a court of appeals.

Sec. 147. No judgment or decree in any chancery or circuit court rendered in a civil cause, shall be reversed or annulled on the ground of want of jurisdiction to render said judgment or decree, from any error or mistake as to whether the cause in which it was rendered was of equity or common law jurisdiction; but if the supreme court shall find error in the proceedings other than as to jurisdiction, and it shall be necessary to remand the case, the supreme court may remand it to that court which in its opinion can best determine the controversy.

Sec. 148. The supreme court shall be held twice in each year at the seat of government, at such time as the legislature may provide.

Sec. 149. The term of office of the judges of the supreme court shall be nine years. The office of one of said judges shall be vacated in three years, one in six years, and one in nine years, so that at the expiration of every three years one of said judges shall be appointed as aforesaid.

Sec. 150. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the supreme court who shall not have attained the age of thirty years at the time of his appointment, and who shall not have been a practicing attorney and a citizen of the State for five years immediately preceding such appointment.

Sec. 151. All vacancies which may occur in said court from death, resignation, or removal, shall be filled by appointment as aforesaid; but if a vacancy shall occur during the recess of the legislature, the governor shall appoint a successor who shall hold his office until the end of the next session of the senate unless his nomination shall be sooner rejected.

Sec. 152. The legislature shall divide the State into convenient circuit and chancery court districts.

Sec. 153. The judges of the circuit courts and of the chancery courts shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, and shall hold their offices for the term of four years.

Sec. 154. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the circuit or of the chancery court, who shall not have been a practicing lawyer for five years, and who shall not have attained the age of twenty-six years, and who shall not have been five years a citizen of this State.

Sec. 155. The judges of the several courts of this State shall, before they proceed to execute the duties of their respective offices, take the following oath or affirmation, to-wit: "I, ________________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _____________ according to the best of my ability and understanding, agreeably to the constitution of the United States, and the constitution and laws of the State of Mississippi; so help me God."

Sec. 156. The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal in this State not vested by this constitution in some other court, and such appellate jurisdiction as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 157. All causes that may be brought in the circuit court whereof the chancery court has exclusive jurisdiction shall be transferred to the chancery court.

Sec. 158. A circuit court shall be held in each county at least twice in each year, and the judges of said courts may interchange circuits with each other in such manner as may be provided by law.

Sec. 159. The chancery court shall have full jurisdiction in the following matters and cases, viz:

(a) All matters in equity.
(b) Divorce and alimony.
(c) Matters testamentary and of administration.
(d) Minor’s business.
(e) Cases of idiocy, lunacy and persons of unsound mind.
(f) All cases of which the said court had jurisdiction under the laws in force when this constitution is put in operation.

Sec. 160. And in addition to the jurisdiction heretofore exercised by the chancery court in suits to try title and to cancel deeds and other clouds upon title to real estate, it shall have jurisdiction in such cases to decree possession, and to displace possession, to decree rents and compensation for improvements and taxes; and in all cases where said court heretofore exercised jurisdiction, auxiliary to courts of common law, it may exercise such jurisdiction to grant the relief sought although the legal remedy may not have been exhausted or the legal title established by a suit at law.

Sec. 161. And the chancery court shall have jurisdiction, concurrent with the circuit court, of suits on bonds of fiduciaries and public officers for failure to account for money or property received or wasted or lost by neglect or failure to collect, and of suits involving inquiry into matters of mutual accounts; but if the plaintiff brings his suit in the circuit court, that court may, on application of the defendant, transfer the cause to the chancery court if it appears that the accounts to be investigated are mutual and complicated.

Sec. 162. All causes that may be brought in the chancery court whereof the circuit court has exclusive jurisdiction shall be transferred to the circuit court.

Sec. 163. The legislature shall provide by law for the due certification of all causes that may be transferred to or from any chancery court or circuit court, for such reformation of the pleadings therein as may be necessary, and the adjudication of the costs of such transfer.

Sec. 164. A chancery court shall be held in each county at least twice in each year.

Sec. 165. No judge of any court shall preside on the trial of any cause where the parties or either of them shall be connected with him by affinity or consanguinity, or where he may be interested in the same, except by the consent of the judge and of the parties. Whenever any judge of the supreme court or the judge or chancellor of any district, in this State, shall, for any reason, be unable or disqualified to preside at any term of court, or in any case where the attorneys engaged therein shall not agree upon a member of the bar to preside in his place, the governor may commission another, or others, of law knowledge to preside at such term or during such disability or disqualification in the place of the judge or judges so disqualified. When either party shall desire, the supreme court for the trial of any cause shall be composed of three judges. No judgment or decree shall be affirmed by disagreement of two judges constituting a quorum.

Sec. 166. The judges of the supreme court, of the circuit courts and the chancellors shall receive for their services a compensation to be fixed by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office.

Sec. 167. All civil officers shall be conservators of the peace, and shall be, by law, vested with ample power as such.

Sec. 168. The clerk of the supreme court shall be elected as other State officers for the term of four years, and the clerk of the circuit court and the clerk of the chancery court shall be selected in each county in the manner provided by law, and shall hold office for the term of four years, and the legislature shall provide by law what duties shall be performed during vacation by the clerks of the circuit and chancery courts, subject to the approval of the court.

Sec. 169. The style of all process shall be "The State of Mississippi," and all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by authority of the "State of Mississippi," and all indictments shall conclude "against the peace and dignity of the State."

Sec. 170. Each county shall be divided into five districts. A resident freeholder of each district shall be selected, in the manner prescribed by law, and the five so chosen shall constitute the board of supervisors of the county, a majority of whom may transact business. The board of supervisors shall have full jurisdiction over roads, ferries and bridges, to be exercised in accordance with such regulations as the legislature may prescribe, and perform such other duties as may be required by law. The clerk of the chancery court of each county shall be clerk of the board of supervisors.

Sec. 171. A competent number of justices of the peace and constables shall be chosen in each county in the manner provided by law, for each district, who shall hold their office for the term of four years. No person shall be eligible to the office of justice of the peace who shall not have resided two years in the district next preceding his selection. The jurisdiction of justices of the peace shall extend to causes in which the principal amount in controversy shall not exceed the sum of two hundred dollars; and they shall have jurisdiction concurrent with the circuit court over all crimes whereof the punishment prescribed does not extend beyond a fine and imprisonment in the county jail; but the legislature may confer on the justices of the peace exclusive jurisdiction in such petty misdemeanors as it shall see proper. In all causes tried by a justice of the peace, the right of appeal shall be secured under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law, and no justice of the peace shall preside at the trial of any cause where he may be interested, or the parties or either of them shall be connected with him by affinity or consanguinity, except by the consent of the justice of the peace and of the parties.

Sec. 172. The legislature shall, from time to time, establish such other inferior courts as may be necessary, and abolish the same whenever deemed expedient.

Sec. 173. There shall be an attorney-general elected at the same time and in the same manner as the governor is elected, whose term of office shall be four years, and whose compensation shall be fixed by law. The qualifications for the attorney-general shall be the same as herein prescribed for judges of the circuit and chancery courts.

Sec. 174. A district attorney for each circuit court district shall be selected in the manner provided by law, whose term of office shall be four years, whose duties shall be prescribed by law, and whose compensation shall be a fixed salary.

Sec. 175. All pubic officers, for willful neglect of duty, or misdemeanor in office, shall be liable to presentment or indictment by a grand jury, and upon conviction, shall be removed from office, and otherwise punished as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 176. No person shall be a member of the board of supervisors who is not a resident freeholder in the district for which he is chosen. The value of real estate necessary to be owned to qualify persons in the several counties to be members of said board shall be fixed by law.

Sec. 177. The governor shall have power to fill any vacancy which may happen during the recess of the senate, in the office of judge or chancellor, by making a temporary appointment of an incumbent, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the senate, unless a successor shall be sooner appointed, and confirmed by the senate. When a temporary appointment of a judge or chancellor has been made during the recess of the senate, the governor shall have no power to remove the person or appointee, nor power to withhold his name from the senate for their action.

ARTICLE 7 – CORPORATION

Sec. 178. Corporations shall be formed under general laws only. The legislature shall have power to alter, amend or repeal any charter of incorporation now existing, and revocable, and any that may hereafter be created, whenever in its opinion it may be for the public interest to do so; provided, however, that no injustice shall be done to the stockholders. No charter for any private corporation for pecuniary gain shall be granted for a longer period than ninety-nine years.In assessing for taxation the property and franchises of corporations, having charters for a longer period than ninety-nine years, the increased value of such property and franchises arising from such longer duration of their charters shall be considered and assessed; but any such corporation shall have the right to surrender the excess over ninety-nine years of its charter.

Sec. 179. The legislature shall never remit the forfeiture of the franchise of any corporation now existing, nor alter nor amend the charter thereof, nor pass any general nor special law for the benefit of such corporation, except upon the condition that such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter and franchises subject to the provisions of this constitution; and the reception by any corporation of any provision of any such laws, or the taking of any benefit or advantage from the same, shall be conclusively held an agreement by such corporation to hold thereafter its charter and franchises under the provisions hereof.

Sec. 180. All existing charters or grants of corporate franchise under which organizations have not in good faith taken place at the adoption of this constitution shall be subject to the provisions of this article; and all such charters under which organizations shall not take place in good faith and business be commenced within one year from the adoption of this constitution, shall thereafter have no validity; and every charter or grant of corporate franchise hereafter made shall have no validity, unless an organization shall take place thereunder and business be commenced within two years from the date of such charter or grant.

Sec. 181. The property of all private corporations for pecuniary gain shall be taxed in the same way and to the same extent as the property of individuals, but the legislature may provide for the taxation of banks and banking capital, by taxing the shares according to the value thereof, (augmented by the accumulations, surplus and unpaid dividends,) exclusive of real estate, which shall be taxed as other real estate. Exemptions from taxation to which corporations are legally entitled at the adoption of this constitution, shall remain in full force and effect for the time of such exemptions as expressed in their respective charters, or by general laws, unless sooner repealed by the legislature. And domestic insurance companies shall not be required to pay a greater tax in the aggregate than is required to be paid by foreign insurance companies doing business in this State, except to the extent of the excess of their ad valorem tax over the privilege tax imposed upon such foreign companies; and the legislature may impose privilege taxes on building and loan associations in lieu of all other taxes except on their real estate.

Sec. 182. The power to tax corporations and their property shall never be surrendered or abridged by any contract or grant to which the State or any political subdivision thereof may be a party, except that the legislature may grant exemption from taxation in the encouragement of manufactures and other new enterprises of public utility extending for a period not exceeding five years, the time of such exemptions to commence from date of charter, if to a corporation; and if to an individual enterprise, then from the commencement of work; but when the legislature grants such exemptions for a period of five years or less, it shall be done by general laws, which shall distinctly enumerate the classes of manufactures and other new enterprises of public utility entitled to such exemptions, and shall prescribe the mode and manner in which the right to such exemptions shall be determined.

Sec. 183. No county, city, town or other municipal corporation shall hereafter become a subscriber to the capital stock of any railroad or other corporation or association, or make appropriation, or loan its credit in aid of such corporation or association. All authority heretofore conferred for any of the purposes aforesaid by the legislature or by the charter of any corporation, is hereby repealed. Nothing in this section contained shall affect the right of any such corporation, municipality or county to make such subscription where the same has been authorized under laws existing at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and by a vote of the people thereof, had prior to its adoption, and where the terms of submission and subscription have been or shall be complied with, or to prevent the issue of renewal bonds, or the use of such other means as are or may be prescribed by law for the payment or liquidation of such subscription, or of any existing indebtedness.

Sec. 184. All railroads which carry persons or property for hire, shall be public highways, and all railroad companies so engaged shall be common carriers. Any company organized for that purpose under the laws of the State, shall have the right to construct and operate a railroad between any points within this State, and to connect at the State line with roads of other States. Every railroad company shall have the right with its road to intersect, connect with, or cross any other railroad; and all railroad companies shall receive and transport each other’s passengers, tonnage and cars, loaded or empty, without unnecessary delay or discrimination.

Sec. 185. The rolling stock, belonging to any railroad company or corporation in this State, shall be considered personal property and shall be liable to execution and sale as such.

Sec. 186. The legislature shall pass laws to prevent abuses, unjust discrimination and extortion in all charges of express, telephone, sleeping car, telegraph and railroad companies, and shall enact laws for the supervision of railroads, express, telephone, telegraph, sleeping car companies and other common carriers in this State, by commission or otherwise, and shall provide adequate penalties, to the extent, if necessary for that purpose, of forfeiture of their franchises.

Sec. 187. No railroad hereafter constructed in this State, shall pass within three miles of any county seat without passing through the same, and establishing and maintaining a depot therein, unless prevented by natural obstacles; provided, such town or citizens shall grant the right-of-way through its limits, and sufficient ground for ordinary depot purposes.

Sec. 188. No railroad or other transportation company shall grant free passes or tickets, or passes or tickets at a discount, to members of the legislature, or any State, district, county or municipal officers, except railroad commissioners. The legislature shall enact suitable laws for the detection, prevention and punishment of violations of this provision.

Sec. 189. All charters granted to private corporations in this State shall be recorded in the chancery clerk’s office of the county in which the principal office or place of business of such company shall be located.

Sec. 190. The exercise of the right of eminent domain shall never be abridged, or so construed as to prevent the legislature from taking the property and franchises of incorporated companies, and subjecting them to public use; and the exercise of the police powers of the State shall never be abridged, or so construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such manner as to infringe upon the rights of individuals, or the general well being of the State.

Sec. 191. The legislature shall provide for the protection of the employees of all corporations doing business in this State from interference with their social, civil, or political rights by said corporations, their agents or employees.

Sec. 192. Provision shall be made by general laws whereby cities and towns may be authorized to aid and encourage the establishment of manufactories, gas-works, waterworks, and other enterprises of public utility other than railroads, within the limits of said cities or towns, by exempting all property used for such purposes, from municipal taxation for a period not longer than ten years.

Sec. 193. Every employee of any railroad corporation shall have the same right and remedies for any injury suffered by him from the act or omission of said corporation or its employees, as are allowed by law to other persons not employees, where the injury results from the negligence of a superior agent or officer, or of a person having the right to control or direct the services of the party injured, and also when the injury results from the negligence of a fellow-servant engaged in another department of labor from that of the party injured, or of a fellow-servant on another train of cars, or one engaged about a different piece of work. Knowledge by any employee injured, of the defective or unsafe character or condition of any machinery, ways or appliances, shall be no defense to an action for injury caused thereby, except as to conductors or engineers in charge of dangerous or unsafe cars, or engines voluntarily operated by them. Where death ensues from any injury to employees, the legal or personal representatives of the person injured shall have the same right and remedies as are allowed by law to such representatives of other persons. Any contract or agreement, express or implied, made by any employee to waive the benefit of this section shall be null and void; and this section shall not be construed to deprive any employee of a corporation or his legal or personal representative, of any right or remedy that he now has by the law of the land. The legislature may extend the remedies herein provided for to any other class of employees.

Sec. 194. The legislature shall provide by law, that in all elections for directors or managers of incorporated companies, every stockholder shall have the right to vote in person or by proxy, for the number of shares of stock owned by him, for as many persons as there are directors or managers to be elected, or to cumulate said shares, so as to give one candidate as many votes as the number of directors multiplied by the number of his shares of stock shall equal, or to distribute them on the same principle among as many candidates as he shall see fit; and such directors or managers shall not be elected in any other manner; but no person who is engaged or interested in a competing business, either individually or as employee, or stockholder, shall serve on any board of directors of any corporation without the consent of a majority in interest of the stockholders thereof.

Sec. 195. Express, telegraph, telephone and sleeping car companies are declared common carriers in their respective lines of business and subject to liability as such.

Sec. 196. No transportation corporation shall issue stocks or bonds except for money, labor done, or in good faith agreed to be done, or money or property actually received; and all fictitious increase of stock or indebtedness shall be void.

Sec. 197. The legislature shall not grant to any foreign corporation or association, a license to build, operate or lease any railroad in this State; but in all cases where a railroad is to be built or operated, and the same shall be partly in this State and partly in another State, or in other States, the owners or projectors thereof shall first become incorporated under the laws of this State; nor shall any foreign corporation or association lease or operate any railroad in this State or purchase the same, or any interest therein; consolidation of any railroad lines and corporations in this State with others shall be allowed only where the consolidated company shall become a domestic corporation of this State. No general or special law shall ever be passed for the benefit of any foreign corporation operating a railroad under an existing license from this State, or under an existing lease; and no grant of any right or privilege, and no exemption from any burden, shall be made to any such foreign corporation except upon the condition that the owners or stockholders thereof shall first organize a corporation in this State under the laws thereof, and shall thereafter operate and manage the same, and the business thereof under said domestic charter.

Sec. 198. The legislature shall enact laws to prevent all trusts, combinations, contracts and agreements inimical to the public welfare.

Sec. 199. The term corporation used in this article shall include all associations and all joint stock companies for pecuniary gain, having privileges not possessed by individuals or partnerships.

Sec. 200. The legislature shall enforce the provisions of this article by appropriate legislation.

ARTICLE 8 – EDUCATION

Sec. 201. It shall be the duty of the legislature to encourage by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral and agricultural improvement, by establishing a uniform system of free public schools, by taxation, or otherwise, for all children between the ages of five and twenty-one years, and, as soon as practicable, to establish schools of higher grade.

Sec. 202. There shall be a superintendent of public education elected at the same time and in the same manner as the governor, who shall have the qualifications required of the secretary of state, and hold his office for four years and until his successor shall be elected and qualified, who shall have the general supervision of the common schools, and of the educational interests of the State, and who shall perform such other duties and receive such compensation, as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 203. There shall be a board of education, consisting of the secretary of state, the attorney general, and the superintendent of public education, for the management and investment of the school funds, according to law, and for the performance of such other duties as may be prescribed. The superintendent and one other of said board shall constitute a quorum.

Sec. 204. There shall be a superintendent of public education in each county, who shall be appointed by the board of education by and with the advice and consent of the senate, whose term of office shall be four years, and whose qualifications, compensation and duties, shall be prescribed by law; provided, that the legislature shall have power to make the office of county school superintendent of the several counties elective, or may otherwise provide for the discharge of the duties of county superintendent, or abolish said office.

Sec. 205. A public school shall be maintained in each school district in the county at least four months during each scholastic year. A school district neglecting to maintain its school four months, shall be entitled to only such part of the free school fund as may be required to pay the teacher for the time actually taught.

Sec. 206. There shall be a common school fund which shall consist of the poll tax (to be retained in the counties where the same is collected) and an additional sum from the general fund in the State treasury which together shall be sufficient to maintain the common schools for the term of four months in each scholastic year. But any county or separate school district may levy an additional tax to maintain its schools for a longer time than the term of four months. The common school fund shall be distributed among the several counties and separate school districts, in proportion to the number of educable children in each, to be determined from data collected through the office of the state superintendent of education, in the manner to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 207. Separate schools shall be maintained for children of the white and colored races.

Sec. 208. No religious or other sect, or sects, shall ever control any part of the school or other educational funds of this State; nor shall any funds be appropriated towards the support of any sectarian school; or to any school that at the time of receiving such appropriation is not conducted as a free school.

Sec. 209. It shall be the duty of the legislature to provide by law for the support of institutions for the education of the deaf, dumb, and blind.

Sec. 210. No public officer of this State, or any district, county, city or town thereof, nor any teacher or trustee of any public school, shall be interested in the sale, proceeds or profits of any books, apparatus or furniture to be used in any public school in this State. Penalties shall be provided by law for the violation of this section.

Sec. 211. The legislature shall enact such laws as may be necessary to ascertain the true condition of the title to the 16th sections of land in this State, or land granted in lieu thereof, in the Choctaw purchase, and shall provide that the sixteenth section lands reserved for the support of township schools shall not be sold, nor shall they be leased for a longer term than ten years for a gross sum; but the legislature may provide for the lease of any of said lands for a term not exceeding twenty-five years for a ground rental payable annually, and, in case of uncleared lands, may lease them for such short term as may be deemed proper in consideration of the improvement thereof, with right thereafter to lease for a term or to hold on payment of ground rent.

Sec. 212. The rate of interest on the fund known as the Chickasaw school fund, and other trust funds for educational purposes, for which the State is responsible, shall be fixed and remain as long as said funds are held by the State, at six per centum per annum, from and after the close of the fiscal year A.D., 1891, and the distribution of said interest shall be made semi-annually on the first of May and November of each year.

Sec. 213. The State having received and appropriated the land donated to it for the support of Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges, by the United States, and having, in furtherance of the beneficent design of Congress in granting said land, established the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Mississippi, and the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, it is the duty of the State to sacredly carry out the conditions of the act of Congress, upon the subject, approved July 2d, A.D., 1862, and the legislature shall preserve intact the endowments to, and support, said colleges.

ARTICLE 9 – MILITIA

Sec. 214. All able-bodied male citizens of the State between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years shall be liable to military duty in the militia of this State, in such manner as the legislature may provide.

Sec. 215. The legislature shall provide for the organizing, arming, equipping and discipline of the militia, and for paying the same when called into active service.

Sec. 216. All officers of militia, except non-commissioned officers, shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the consent of the senate, or elected, as the legislature may determine; and no commissioned officer shall be removed from office except by the senate on suggestion of the governor, stating the ground on which such removal is recommended, or by the decision of a court martial, pursuant to law, or at his own request.

Sec. 217. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the militia, except when it is called into the service of the United States, and shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws, repel invasion, and to suppress riots and insurrections.

Sec. 218. The governor shall nominate, and, by and with the consent of the senate, commission one major-general for the State, who shall be a citizen thereof, and also one brigadier-general for each congressional district, who shall be a resident of the district for which he shall be appointed, and each district shall constitute a militia division.

Sec. 219. The adjutant-general, and other staff officers to the commander-in-chief, shall be appointed by the governor, and their appointment shall expire with the governor’s term of office, and the legislature shall provide by law a salary for the adjutant-general commensurate with the duties of said office.

Sec. 220. The militia shall be exempt from arrest during their attendance on musters, and in going to and returning from the same, except in case of treason, felony or breach of the peace.

Sec. 221. The legislature is hereby required to make an annual appropriation for the efficient support and maintenance of the Mississippi National Guard, which shall consist of not less than one hundred men for each senator and representative to which this State may be entitled in the Congress of the United States; but no part of such funds shall be used in the payment of said guard except when in actual service.

Sec. 222. The legislature shall empower the board of supervisors of each county in the State to aid in supporting a military company or companies, of the Mississippi National Guard, within its borders, under such regulations, limitations and restrictions as may be prescribed by law.

ARTICLE 10 – THE PENITENTIARY AND PRISONS

Sec. 223. No penitentiary convict shall ever be leased or hired to any person or persons, or corporation, private or public or quasi-public, or board, after December the 31st, A.D. 1894, save as authorized in the next section, nor shall any previous lease or hiring of convicts extend beyond that date; and the legislature shall abandon the system of such leasing or hiring as much sooner than the date mentioned as may be consistent with the economic safety of the State.

Sec. 224. The legislature may authorize the employment under State supervision, and the proper officers and employees of the State, of convicts on public roads or other public works, or by any levee board on any public levees, under such provisions and restrictions as it may from time to time see proper to impose; but said convicts shall not be let or hired to any contractor under said board, nor shall the working of convicts on public roads, or pubic works, by any levee board ever interfere with the preparation for or the cultivation of any crop which it may be intended shall be cultivated by the said convicts, nor interfere with the good management of the State farm, nor put the State to any expense.

Sec. 225. The legislature may place the convicts on a State farm or farms and have them worked thereon under State supervision exclusively, in tilling the soil or manufacturing, or both, and may buy farms for that purpose. It may establish a reformatory school or schools, and provide for keeping of juvenile offenders from association with hardened criminals. It may provide for the commutation of the sentence of convicts for good behavior, and for the constant separation of the sexes, and for the separation of the white and black convicts as far as practicable, and for religious worship for the convicts.

Sec. 226. Convicts sentenced to the county jail shall not be hired or leased to any person or corporation outside the county of their conviction, after the first day of January, A.D., 1893, nor for a term which shall extend beyond that date.

ARTICLE 11 – LEVEES

Sec. 227. A levee system shall be maintained in the State as provided in this article.

Sec. 228. The division heretofore made by the legislature of the alluvial land of the State into two levee districts, viz: The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District, and the Mississippi Levee District, as shown by the laws creating the same, and the amendments thereto, is hereby recognized, and said districts shall so remain until changed by law; but the legislature may hereafter add to either of said districts any other alluvial land in the State.

Sec. 229. There shall be a board of levee commissioners for the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District, which shall consist of two members from each of the counties of Coahoma and Tunica, and one member from each of the remaining counties or parts of counties, now or hereafter embraced within the limits of said district, and the governor may appoint a stockholder in the Louisville, New Orleans & Texas Railway Company as an additional commissioner; and there shall also be a board of levee commissioners for the Mississippi Levee District, which shall consist of two members from each of the counties of Bolivar and Washington, and one from each of the counties of Issaquena and Sharkey. In the event of the formation of a new county or counties out of the territory embraced in either or both of said levee districts such new counties shall each be entitled to representation and membership in the proper board or boards.

Sec. 230. All of said commissioners shall be qualified electors of the respective counties or parts of counties from which they may be chosen, except the one selected for the Louisville, New Orleans & Texas Railway Company; and the legislature shall provide that they shall each give bond for the faithful performance of his duties, and shall fix the penalty thereof; but the penalty of such bond in no instance shall be fixed at less than $10,000, and the sureties thereon shall be freeholders of the district.

Sec. 231. When the terms of the present levee commissioners shall expire, or whenever a vacancy shall occur or be about to occur, in either of said boards, the governor shall make appointments to fill vacancies, subject to the confirmation of the senate. The terms of office of said commissioners shall remain as provided by law at the adoption of this constitution , but this provision shall not require the appointment of a commissioner for the Louisville, New Orleans & Texas Railway Company, except in the discretion of the governor as provided.

Sec. 232. The commissioners of said levee districts shall have supervision of the erection, repair and maintenance of the levees in their respective districts.

Sec. 233. The levee boards shall have and are hereby granted authority and full power to appropriate private property in their respective districts for the purpose of constructing, maintaining and repairing levees therein; and when any owner of land, or any other person interested therein, shall object to the location or building of the levee thereon, or shall claim compensation for any land that may be taken, or for any damages he may sustain in consequence thereof, the president or other proper officer or agent of such levee board, or owner of such land, or other person interested therein, may forwith apply for an assessment of the damages to which said person claiming the same may be entitled whereupon the proceedings as now provided by law shall be taken, viz: in the Mississippi Levee District, in accordance with the terms and provisions of section 3 of an act entitled "an act to amend an act to incorporate the Board of Levee Commissioners for Bolivar, Washington and Issaquena counties, and for other purposes," approved November 27, A.D., 1865, and to revise acts amendatory thereof, approved March 13, A.D., 1884; and in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District, in accordance with the terms and provisions of section three of an act entitled "an act to incorporate the board of levee commissioners for the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, and for other purposes," approved February 28, A.D., 1884, and the amendments thereto; but the legislature shall have full power to alter and amend said several acts, and to provide different manners of procedure.

Sec. 234. No bill changing the boundaries of the district or affecting the taxation or revenue of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District, or the Mississippi Levee District, shall be considered by the legislature unless said bill shall have been published in some newspaper in the county in which is situated the domicile of the board of levee commissioners of the levee district to be affected thereby, for four weeks prior to the introduction thereof into the legislature; and no such bill shall be considered for final passage by either the senate or house of representatives, unless the same shall have been referred to, and reported on, by an appropriate committee of each house in which the same may be pending; and no such committee shall consider or report on any such bill unless publication thereof shall have been made as aforesaid.

Sec. 235. Each levee board shall make at the end of each fiscal year, to the governor of this State, a report showing the condition of the levees, and recommending such additional legislation on the subject of the system as shall be thought necessary, and showing the receipts and expenditures of the board, so that each item, the amount and consideration therefor, shall distinctly appear, together with such other matters as it shall be thought proper to call to the attention of the legislature.

Sec. 236. The legislature shall impose for levee purpose, in addition to the levee taxes heretofore levied or authorized by law, a uniform tax of not less than two nor more than five cents an acre, per annum, upon every acre of land now, or hereafter, embraced within the limits of either, or both, of said levee districts. The taxes so derived shall be paid into the treasury of the levee board of the district in which the land charged with the same is situated; and the legislature, by the act imposing said tax, shall authorize said levee boards to fix the annual rate of taxation per acre within the limits aforesaid, and thereby require said levee boards, whenever a reduction is made by them in their other taxes, to make a proportionate reduction in the acreage tax hereinbefore mentioned; but said acreage tax shall not be reduced below two cents an acre per annum; and all reductions in such taxation shall be uniform in each said districts; but the rate of taxation need not be the same in both of them; and such specific taxes shall be assessed on the same assessment roll, and collected under the same penalties as the ad valorem taxes for levee purposes, and shall be paid at the same time with the latter. And no levee board shall ever be permitted to buy lands when sold for taxes; but the senate shall have a prior lien for the taxes due thereto. The legislature may provide for the discontinuance of the tax on cotton, but not in such manner as to affect outstanding bonds based on it, and on the discontinuance of the tax on cotton, shall impose another tax in lieu thereof, but the legislature may repeal the acreage tax required to be levied hereby, after the first day of January, A.D., 1895.

Sec. 237. The legislature shall have full power to provide such system of taxation for said levee districts as it shall from time to time deem wise and proper.

Sec. 238. No property situated between the levee and the Mississippi River shall be taxed for levee purposes, nor shall damage be paid to any owner of land so situated because of it being left outside a levee.

Sec. 239. The legislature shall require the levee boards to publish at each of their sessions, an itemized account embracing their respective receipts since the prior session, and such appropriations as have been made or ordered by them respectively, in some newspaper or newspapers of the district.

ARTICLE 12 – FRANCHISE

Sec. 240. All elections by the people shall be by ballot.

Sec. 241. Every male inhabitant of this State, except idiots, insane persons and Indians not taxed, who is a citizen of the United States, twenty-one years old and upwards, who has resided in this State two years, and one year in the election district, or in the incorporated city or town, in which he offers to vote, and who is duly registered as provided in this article, and who has never been convicted of bribery, burglary, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretenses, perjury, forgery, embezzlement or bigamy, and who has paid, on or before the first day of February of the year in which he shall offer to vote, all taxes which may have been legally required of him, and which he has had an opportunity of paying according to law, for the two preceding years, and who shall produce to the officers holding the election satisfactory evidence that he has paid said taxes, is declared to be a qualified elector; but any minister of the gospel in charge of an organized church shall be entitled to vote after six months residence in the election district, if otherwise qualified.

Sec. 242. The legislature shall provide by law for the registration of all persons entitled to vote at any election, and all persons offering to register shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am twenty-one years old, (or I will be before the next election in this county) and that I will have resided in this State two years, and _______election district of _________county one year next preceding the ensuing election [or if it be stated in the oath that the person proposing to register is a minister of the gospel in charge of an organized church, then it will be sufficient to aver therein, two years residence in the State and six months in said election district], and am now in good faith a resident of the same, and that I am not disqualified from voting by reason of having been convicted of any crime named in the constitution of this State as a disqualification to be an elector; that I will truly answer all questions propounded to me concerning my antecedents so far as they relate to my right to vote, and also as to my residence before my citizenship in this district; that I will faithfully support the constitution of the United States and of the State of Mississippi, and will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. So help me God." In registering voters in cities and towns, not wholly in one election district, the name of such city or town may be substituted in the oath for the election district. Any willful and corrupt false statements in said affidavit, or in answer to any material question propounded as herein authorized, shall be perjury.

Sec. 243. A uniform poll tax of two dollars, to be used in aid of the common schools, and for no other purpose, is hereby imposed on every male inhabitant of this State between the ages of twenty-one and sixty years, except persons who are deaf and dumb or blind, or who are maimed by loss of hand or foot; said tax to be a lien only upon taxable property. The board of supervisors of any county may, for the purpose of aiding the common schools in that county, increase the poll tax in said county, but in no case shall the entire poll tax exceed in any one year three dollars on each poll. No criminal proceedings shall be allowed to enforce the collection of the poll tax.

Sec. 244. On and after the first day of January, A. D., 1892, every elector shall, in addition to the foregoing qualifications, be able to read any section of the constitution of this State; or he shall be able to understand the same when read to him, or give a reasonable interpretation thereof. A new registration shall be made before the next ensuing election after January the first, A.D., 1892.

Sec. 245. Electors in municipal elections shall possess all the qualifications herein prescribed, and such additional qualifications as may be provided by law.

Sec. 246. Prior to the first day of January, A.D., 1896, the elections by the people in this State shall be regulated by an ordinance of this convention.

Sec. 247. The legislature shall enact laws to secure fairness in party primary elections, conventions or other methods of naming party candidates.

Sec. 248. Suitable remedies by appeal or otherwise shall be provided by law, to correct illegal or improper registration and to secure the elective franchise to those who may be illegally or improperly denied the same.

Sec. 249. No one shall be allowed to vote for members of the legislature or other officers who has not been duly registered under the constitution and laws of this State, by an officer of this State, legally authorized to register the voters thereof. And registration under the constitution and laws of this State by the proper officers of this State is hereby declared to be an essential and necessary qualification to vote at any and all elections.

Sec. 250. All qualified electors and no others shall be eligible to office as otherwise provided in this constitution.

Sec. 251. Electors shall not be registered within four months next before any election at which they may offer to vote; but appeals may be heard and determined and revision take place at any time prior to the election; and no person who, in respect to age and residence, would become entitled to vote, within the said four months, shall be excluded from registration on account of his want of qualification at the time of registration.

Sec. 252. The term of office of all elective officers under this constitution shall be four years, except as otherwise provided herein. A general election for all elective officers shall be held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday of November, A.D., 1895, and every four (4) years thereafter; provided, the legislature may change the day and date of general elections to any day and date in October, November or December.

Sec. 253. The legislature may by a two-thirds vote of both houses, of all members elected, restore the right of suffrage to any person disqualified by reason of crime; but the reasons therefor shall be spread upon the journals, and the vote shall be by yeas and nays.

ARTICLE 13 – APPORTIONMENT

Sec. 254. The number of representatives in the lower house of the legislature shall be one hundred and thirty-three, to be apportioned as follows:

First – The counties of Choctaw, Covington, Greene, Hancock, Issaquena, Jones, Lawrence, Leflore, Marion, Neshoba, Pearl River, Perry, Quitman, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tishomingo, Tunica, Wayne and Webster, each shall have one representative.

Second – The counties of Alcorn, Amite, Attala, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clay, Coahoma, DeSoto, Kemper, Lafayette, Madison, Newton, Pike, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Rankin, Tate, Union, Wilkinson and Yalobusha, each shall have two representatives.

Third – The counties of Copiah, Holmes, Marshall, Monroe, Noxubee, Panola, Warren and Washington, each shall have three representatives.

Fourth – The counties of Franklin and Lincoln each shall have one representative and a floater between them.

Fifth – The counties of Tippah and Benton each shall have one representative and a floater between them.

Sixth – The counties of Claiborne and Jefferson each shall have one representative and a floater between them.

Seventh – The counties of Clarke and Jasper each shall have one representative and a floater between them.

Eighth – The counties of Grenada and Montgomery each shall have one representative and a floater between them.

Ninth – The counties of Leake and Winston each shall have one representative and a floater between them.

Tenth – The counties of Harrison and Jackson each shall have one representative and a floater between them.

Eleventh – The county of Yazoo shall have three representatives and the county of Hinds shall have three representatives, and they shall have a floater between them.

Twelfth – The county of Lauderdale shall have three representatives, one to be elected by the city of Meridian, one by the county outside the city limits, and one by the whole county including Meridian.

Thirteenth – The county of Adams outside the city of Natchez shall have one representative and the city of Natchez one representative.

Fourteenth – The county of Lowndes shall have three representatives, two of whom shall be elected by that part of the county east of the Tombigbee River, and one by that portion of the county west of said river.

Fifteenth – The county of Oktibbeha shall have two representatives, one of whom shall be elect
ed by that portion of the county east of the line running north and south between ranges thirteen and fourteen, and the other by that portion of the county west of said line.

Sixteenth – The county of Lee shall have two representatives, the county of Itawamba one, and a floater between them.

Seventeenth – In counties divided into legislative districts, any citizen of the county eligible for election to the House of Representatives shall be eligible to represent any district thereof.

THE SENATE

Sec. 255. The number of senators shall be forty-five and are apportioned as follows:

First – The counties of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson shall constitute the first district, and elect one senator.

Second – The counties of Wayne, Jones, Perry and Greene the second district, and elect one senator.

Third – The counties of Jasper and Clarke the third district, and elect one senator.

Fourth – The counties of Simpson, Covington, Marion and Pearl River, the fourth district, and elect one senator.

Fifth – The counties of Rankin and Smith the fifth district, and elect one senator.

Sixth – The counties of Pike and Franklin the sixth district, and elect one senator.

Seventh – The counties of Amite and Wilkinson the seventh district, and elect one senator.

Eighth – The counties of Lincoln and Lawrence the eighth district, and elect one senator.

Ninth – The county of Adams the ninth district, and elect one senator.

Tenth – The counties of Claiborne and Jefferson the tenth district, and elect one senator.

Eleventh – The county of Copiah the eleventh district, and elect one senator.

Twelfth – The counties of Hinds and Warren, the twelfth district, and elect one senator each and a senator between them, to be chosen from the counties alternately, beginning with Hinds.

Thirteenth – The counties of Scott and Newton the thirteenth district, and elect one senator.

Fourteenth – The county of Lauderdale, the fourteenth district, and elect one senator.

Fifteenth – The counties of Kemper and Winston the fifteenth district, and elect one senator.

Sixteenth – The county of Noxubee the sixteenth district, and elect one senator.

Seventeenth – The counties of Leake and Neshoba the seventeenth district, and elect one senator.

Eighteenth – The county of Madison the eighteenth district, and elect one senator.

Nineteenth – The county of Yazoo the nineteenth district, and elect one senator.

Twentieth – The counties of Sharkey and Issaquena the twentieth district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-first – The county of Holmes the twenty-first district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-second – The county of Attala the twenty-second district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-third – The counties of Oktibbeha and Choctaw the twenty-third district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-fourth – The counties of Clay and Webster the twenty-fourth district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-fifth – The county of Lowndes the twenty-fifth district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-sixth – The counties of Carroll and Montgomery the twenty-sixth district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-seventh – The counties of Leflore and Tallahatchie the twenty-seventh district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-eighth – The counties of Yalobusha and Grenada the twenty-eighth district, and elect one senator.

Twenty-ninth – The counties of Washington and Sunflower the twenty-ninth district; the county of Washington shall elect one senator, and the counties of Washington and Sunflower a senator between them.

Thirtieth – The county of Bolivar the thirtieth district, and elect one senator.

Thirty-first – The counties of Chickasaw, Calhoun and Pontotoc the thirty-first district, and elect two senators; both senators shall at no time be chosen from the same county.

Thirty-second – The county of Lafayette the thirty-second district, and elect one senator.

Thirty-third – The county of Panola the thirty-third district, and elect one senator.

Thirty-fourth – The counties of Coahoma, Tunica and Quitman the thirty-fourth district, and elect one senator.

Thirty-fifth – The county of DeSoto the thirty-fifth district, and elect one senator.

Thirty-sixth – The counties of Union, Tippah, Benton, Marshall and Tate the thirty-sixth district, and elect three senators. The counties of Tate and Benton shall be entitled to one; the counties of Union and Tippah one; and the county of Marshall one.

Thirty-seventh – The counties of Tishomingo, Alcorn and Prentiss the thirty-seventh district, and elect one senator.

Thirty-eighth – The counties of Monore, Lee and Itawamba the thirty-eighth district, and elect two senators, one of whom shall be a resident of the county of Monroe and the other a resident of Lee or Itawamba counties.

Sec. 256. The legislature may at the first session after the State census of 1895 and decennially thereafter, make a new apportionment of Senators and Representatives. At each apportionment, each county then organized shall have at least one Representative. New counties afterwards created shall be represented as may be provided by law, until the next succeeding apportionment. The counties of Tishomingo, Alcorn, Prentiss, Lee, Itawamba, Tippah, Union, Benton, Marshall, Lafayette, Pontotoc, Monroe, Chickasaw, Calhoun, Yalobusha, Grenada, Carroll, Montgomery, Choctaw, Webster, Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha, or the territory now composing them, shall together never have less than forty-four representatives. The counties of Attala, Winston, Noxubee, Kemper, Leake, Neshoba, Lauderdale, Newton, Scott, Rankin, Clarke, Jasper, Smith, Simpson, Copiah, Franklin, Lincoln, Lawrence, Covington, Jones, Wayne, Greene, Perry, Marion, Pike, Pearl River, Hancock, Harrison and Jackson, or the territory now composing them, shall together never have less than forty-four representatives; nor shall the remaining counties of the State, or the territory now composing them, ever have less than forty-four representatives. A reduction in the number of senators and representatives may be made by the legislature if the same be uniform in each of the three said divisions; but the number of representatives shall not be less than one hundred, nor more than one hundred and thirty-three; nor the number of senators less than thirty, nor more than forty-five.

ARTICLE 14 – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 257. The political year of the State of Mississippi shall commence on the first Monday of January in each year.

Sec. 258. The credit of the State shall not be pledged or loaned in aid of any person, association or corporation; and the State shall not become a stockholder in any corporation or association, nor assume, redeem, secure or pay any indebtedness or pretended indebtedness alleged to be due by the State of Mississippi, to any person, association or corporation whatsoever, claiming the same as owners, holders or assignees of any bond or bonds, now generally known as "Union Bank" bonds and "Planters’ Bank" bonds.

Sec. 259. No county seat shall be removed unless such removal be authorized by two-thirds of the electors of the county voting therefor; but when the proposed removal shall be towards the center of the county, it may be made when a majority of the electors participating in the election shall vote therefor.

Sec. 260. No new county shall be formed unless a majority of the qualified electors voting in each part of the county or counties proposed to be dismembered and embraced in the new county, shall separately vote therefor; nor shall the boundary of any judicial district in a county be changed unless at an election held for that purpose, two-thirds of those voting assent thereto. The elections provided for in this and the section next preceding shall not be held in any county oftener than once in four years. No new county shall contain less than four hundred square miles; nor shall any existing county be reduced below that size.

Sec. 261. The expenses of criminal prosecutions, except those before justices of the peace, shall be borne by the county in which such prosecutions shall be begun; and all net fines and forfeitures shall be paid into the treasury of such county. Defendants in cases of conviction may be taxed with the costs.

Sec. 262. The board of supervisors shall have power to provide homes or farms as asylums for those persons, who, by reason of age, infirmity, or misfortune, may have claims upon the sympathy and aid of society; and the legislature shall enact suitable laws to prevent abuses by those having the care of such persons.

Sec. 263. The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto, or person who shall have one-eighth or more of negro blood, shall be unlawful and void.

Sec. 264. No person shall be a grand or petit juror unless a qualified elector and able to read and write; but the want of any such qualification in any juror shall not vitiate any indictment or verdict. The legislature shall provide by law for procuring a list of persons so qualified, and the drawing therefrom of grand and petit jurors for each term of the circuit court.

Sec. 265. No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this State.

Sec. 266. No person holding or exercising the rights or powers of any office of honor or profit, either in his own right, or as a deputy, or while otherwise acting for or in the name, or by the authority of another, under any foreign government, or under the government of the United States, shall hold or exercise in any way the rights and powers of any office of honor or profit under the laws or authority of this State, except notaries, commissioners of deeds, and United States commissioners.

Sec. 267. No person elected or appointed to any office or employment of profit under the laws of this State, or by virtue of any ordinance of any municipality of this State, shall hold such office or employment without personally devoting his time to the performance of the duties thereof.

Sec. 268. All officers elected or appointed to any office in this State, except judges and members of the legislature, shall, before entering upon the discharge of the duties thereof, take and subscribe the following oath: "I__________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of Mississippi, and obey the laws thereof; that I am not disqualified from holding the office of _____________; that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Sec. 269. Every devise or bequest of lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any interest therein, of freehold, or less than freehold, either present or future, vested or contingent, or of any money directed to be raised by the sale thereof, contained in any last will and testament, or codicil, or other testamentary writing, in favor of any religious or ecclesiastical corporation, sole or aggregate, or any religious or ecclesiastical society, or to any religious denomination, or association of persons, or to any person or body politic, in trust, either expressed or implied, secret or resulting, either for the use and benefit of such religious corporation, society, denomination or association, or for the purpose of being given or appropriated to charitable uses or purposes, shall be null and void, and the heir-at-law shall take the same property so devised or bequeathed, as though no testamentary disposition had been made.

Sec. 270. Every legacy, gift or bequest, of money or personal property, or of any interest, benefit or use therein, either direct, implied or otherwise, contained in any last will and testament or codicil, in favor of any religious or ecclesiastical corporation, sole or aggregate, or any religious or ecclesiastical society, or to any religious denomination or association, either for its own use or benefit, or for the purpose of being given or appropriated to charitable uses, shall be null and void, and the distributees shall take the same as through no such testamentary disposition had been made.

Sec. 271. The legislature may provide for the consolidation of existing counties, if a majority of the qualified electors of such counties voting at an election held for that purpose, shall vote therefor.

Sec. 272. The legislature shall provide by law, pensions for indigent soldiers and sailors who enlisted and honorably served in the Confederate army or navy in the late civil war, who are now resident in this State, and are not able to earn a support by their own labor. Pensions shall also be allowed to the indigent widows of such soldiers or sailors now dead, when from age or disease, they cannot earn a support. Pensions shall also be allowed to the wives of such soldiers or sailors upon the death of the husband, if disabled and indigent as aforesaid. Pensions granted to widows shall cease upon their subsequent marriage.

ARTICLE 15 – AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Sec. 273. Whenever two-thirds of each house of the legislature shall deem any change, alteration, or amendment necessary to this constitution, such proposed change, alteration or amendment shall be read and passed by a two-third’s vote of each house respectively, on each day, for three several days; public notice shall then be given by the secretary of state, at least three months preceding an election, at which the qualified electors shall vote directly for or against such change, alteration or amendment; and if more than one amendment shall be submitted at one time, they shall be submitted in such manner and form that the people may vote for or against each amendment separately; and if it shall appear that a majority of the qualified electors voting, shall have voted for the proposed change, alteration or amendment, then it shall be inserted by the next succeeding legislature as a part of this constitution, and not otherwise.

SCHEDULE

That no inconvenience may arise from the changes in the constitution of this State, and in order to carry the new constitution into complete operation, it is hereby declared that –

Sec. 274. The laws of this State now in force, not repugnant to this constitution, shall remain in force until amended or repealed by the legislature or until they expire by limitation. All statute laws of this State repugnant to the provisions of this constitution, except as provided in the next three sections, shall continue and remain in force until the first day of April, A.D., 1892, unless sooner repealed by the legislature.

Sec. 275. All laws of this State which are repugnant to the following portions of this constitution, shall be repealed by the adoption of this constitution, to-wit: laws repugnant to:

(a) All the ordinances of this convention.
(b) The provisions of section 183, prohibiting counties, cities and towns from voting subscriptions to railroad and other corporations or associations.
(c) The provisions of sections 223 to 226, inclusive, of Article 10, prohibiting the leasing of penitentiary convicts.

Sec. 276. All laws of the State which are repugnant to the provisions of sections 240 to 253, inclusive, of Article 12, on the subject of franchise and elections, shall be and remain in force until the first day of January, A.D., 1891, and no longer.

Sec. 277. All laws of this State which are repugnant to the provisions of Article 13, sections 254 to 256, inclusive, on the subject of the apportionment of representatives and senators in the legislature, shall be and remain in force until the first day of October, A.D., 1891, but no longer.

Sec. 278. The governor shall as soon as practicable, appoint three suitable persons learned in the law, as commissioners whose duty it shall be to prepare and draft such general laws as are contemplated in this constitution and such other laws as shall be necessary and proper to put into operation the provisions thereof, and as may be appropriate to conform the general statutes of the State to the constitution. Said commissioners shall present the same when prepared to the legislature at its next regular session. And the legislature shall provide reasonable compensation therefor.

Sec. 279. All writs, actions, causes of action, proceedings, prosecutions and rights of individuals and bodies corporate and of the State, and charters of incorporation, shall continue; and all indictments which shall have been found or which shall hereafter be found, and all prosecutions begun, or that may be begun, for any crime or offense committed before the adoption of this constitution may be proceeded with and upon as if no change had taken place.

Sec. 280. For the trial and determination of all suits, civil and criminal, begun before the adoption of this constitution, the several courts of this State shall continue to exercise in said suits the powers and jurisdictions heretofore exercised by them; for all other matters said courts are continued as organized courts under this constitution, with such powers and jurisdiction as is herein conferred on them respectively.

Sec. 281. All fines, penalties, forfeitures and escheats accruing to the State of Mississippi under the constitution and laws heretofore in force shall accrue to the use of the State of Mississippi under this constitution, except as herein otherwise provided.

Sec. 282. All recognizances, bonds, obligations, and all other instruments entered into, or executed, before the adoption of this constitution, to the State of Mississippi, or to any State, county, public or municipal officer or body, shall remain binding and valid, and the rights and liabilities upon the same shall be continued and may be prosecuted as provided by law.

Sec. 283. All crimes and misdemeanors, and penal actions shall be tried, prosecuted and punished as though no change had taken place, until otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 284. All officers, State, district, county and municipal, now in office in this State, shall be entitled to hold the respective offices now held by them, except as otherwise herein provided, and until the expiration of the time for which they were respectively elected or appointed; and shall receive the compensation and fees now fixed by the statute laws in force when this constitution is adopted.

Sec. 285. The adoption of this constitution shall not have the effect, nor shall it be construed, to revive or put in force any law heretofore abrogated or repealed.

This constitution adopted by the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, shall be in force and effect from and after this, the first day of November, A.D., 1890.

S. S. Calhoon
President and Delegate from Hinds County.

Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.
E. L. Martin, Ass’t Sec’y and Recording Clerk.
H. Denio, Ass’t Sec’y and Journal Clerk.
W. H. Madden, Ass’t Sec’y, and Engrossing and Enrolling Clerk.

ORDINANCES

ELECTION ORDINANCES

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled

Section 1. All ballots in all elections held in this State shall be printed and distributed at public expense, as hereinafter provided, and shall be known as "official ballots." The expense of printing all such ballots shall be paid out of the respective county treasuries, except that in municipal elections such expenses shall be paid by the respective cities or towns.

Sec. 2. The ballots printed for use under this ordinance shall contain the names of all the candidates who have been put in nomination not less than fifteen days previous to the day of election, by any convention, or other nominating body, or at a primary election of any political party in this State. It shall be the duty of one of the commissioners of election, designated for that purpose in his commission by the authority appointing said commissioner, to have printed all necessary ballots for use in said elections, except ballots in municipal elections, which shall be printed as herein provided by the authorities of the respective municipalities; and said officer shall cause to be printed by a printer, sworn to keep secret said ballots under penalties to be prescribed by law, the names of all candidates so nominated, upon the written request of any one or more of the candidates so nominated, or of any qualified elector who will affirm that he was a member of such convention or other nominating body, or participant in such primary election, and that the name presented by him was the nominee of said convention or nominating body, or primary election. Said commissioner shall also cause to be printed on said ballots the name of any qualified elector who has been requested to be a candidate for any office by a written petition signed by at least fifteen qualified electors, for any beat office or municipal office in any town of less than two hundred inhabitants, or fifty qualified electors for any other office, and when said petition or request has been presented to said commissioner not less than fifteen days before the election; but if any qualified elector has been nominated as aforesaid or has been requested to be a candidate as above specified less than fifteen days before any election, then the name of such candidate shall not be printed upon said ballots. There shall be on said ballots one blank space under the title of each office to be voted for and in the event of the death of any candidate whose name shall have been printed, on the official ballot, the name of the candidate duly substituted in place of such deceased candidate may be written in such blank space by the voter.

Sec. 3. After the proper officer has been notified of the nomination, as hereinbefore specified, of any candidate for office, said officer shall not omit the name from the ballot unless upon the written request of the candidate so nominated made at least ten days before the election.

Sec. 4. Every ballot printed by virtue of this ordinance shall contain the names of all candidates nominated as hereinbefore specified and not duly withdrawn. The arrangement of the names of all of the candidates and the order in which the titles of the various officers to be voted for shall be made, and the size, print and quality of official ballot, is left to the sound judgment of the officer charged with printing said ballots; but the arrangement need not be uniform. It shall be the duty of the secretary of state, with the approval of the governor, to furnish the commissioners of the several counties a sample of an official ballot, the general form of which shall be followed as nearly as practicable. Whenever the question of a constitutional amendment or other question or matter, admitting of an affirmative or negative vote, is submitted to a vote of the electors, such amendment, question or matter shall be printed on said official ballot, together with the names of the candidates, if any, and also the words yea and nay, to be arranged by the proper officer so that the voter can intelligently vote his preference by making a cross-mark (x) opposite the word indicating his preference; immediately following the title of each office shall be printed the words "Vote for one," or "Vote for two," or more according to the number to be elected. On the back, and outside of the ballot shall be printed "official ballot," the name of the voting precinct or place for which said ballot is prepared and the date of the election.

Sec. 5. All official ballots intended for use at any voting precinct or place of voting shall be fastened together in convenient numbers and in some secure manner, but in such way that such ballots may be detached for use. A record of the number of official ballots printed and furnished to each voting precinct or place of voting, shall be kept and all such ballots accounted for by the officer or officers in each county charged with the printing of the ballots.

Sec. 6. The officers charged with distributing or printing and distributing the official ballots, shall ascertain from the circuit clerk or other proper officer, at least ten days before the day of election, the number of registered voters in each election district, and shall also prepare full instructions for the guidance of electors at elections as to obtaining ballots, as to the manner of marking them, and as to obtaining new ballots in place of those accidentally spoiled, and such instructions shall be printed in large, clear type, on "cards of instruction," and said commissioners shall furnish the same in sufficient numbers for the use of electors, and said cards shall be preserved by all officers of elections as far as practicable, and returned by them to the commissioners of election and may be used, if applicable, in subsequent elections.

Sec. 7. The said commissioner of election shall appoint one or more deputy commissioners, from the respective election districts and deliver to them the proper number of ballots and cards of instruction, not less than one day before the election, and the deputy commissioners so selected to receive said ballots, shall be conservators of the peace and shall take an oath, to be administered by said commissioner, faithfully to perform their duties and not to attempt to guide, direct or influence any voter in the exercise of his right to vote.

Sec. 8. In case the official ballot prepared, shall be lost or destroyed, or in case of the death of any candidate whose name has been printed on the official ballot, the said commissioner, or his deputy, shall have like ballots furnished in place of those lost or destroyed, if time remains therefor. If from any cause there should be no official ballot at a precinct and no sufficient time in which to have them printed, such ballots may be written, but if written by any one except the voter alone, for himself, the names of all candidates shall be written thereon without any special mark or device by which one name may be distinguished from another, and such tickets shall be marked by the voter as provided for printed ballots. Within three days after election day the inspectors shall report in writing to the commissioners of election, under oath, the loss of the official ballots, the number lost, and all facts connected therewith, which report the commissioners may deliver to the grand jury if deemed advisable.

Sec. 9. The deputy commissioners receiving the ballots from said commissioner shall distribute the same to the electors of the proper districts in the manner herein provided; and in case the said deputy commissioner shall fail to have said ballots at the election precincts at the proper time, or, if there, he shall fail to distribute the same, the inspectors of election, or those of them present at the election, shall provide said ballots and select some suitable person to distribute the same according to law, who shall take the oath required to be taken by the person to whom the said commissioner delivered said ballots, to be administered by any one of said inspectors.

Sec. 10. The sheriffs of the several counties in this State shall procure for their respective counties a sufficient number of voting compartments, shelves and tables for the use of electors, which shall be so arranged that it shall be impossible for one voter at one table, shelf or compartment to see another voter who is preparing his ballot. The number of such voting shelves, tables or compartments, shall not be less than one for every one hundred electors at each voting precinct. Each shelf, table and compartment, shall be furnished with a card of instruction posted in each compartment, and proper supplies for marking the ballots by electors.

Sec. 11. The deputy commissioners having the official ballots shall remain at a place convenient to the tables, shelves and compartments, for the distribution of ballots. When requested by each of the voters, the deputy commissioners aforesaid shall hand him an official ballot.

Sec. 12. On receiving his ballot the voter shall forthwith go into one of the voting compartments, and shall prepare his ballot by marking with ink in the appropriate margin or place, a cross (x) opposite the name of the candidate of his choice, for each office to be filled, or by filling in the name of the candidate substituted in the blank space as provided therefor, and marking a cross (x) opposite thereto, and likewise a cross (x) opposite the answer he desires to give in case of an election on a constitutional amendment or other question or matter. Before leaving the voting shelf, table or compartment, the voter shall fold his ballot without displaying the marks thereon, but so that the words "official ballot," followed by the designation of the election precinct for which the ballot is prepared and the date of the election, shall be visible to the officers of the election. He shall then cast his ballot in the manner provided by law, which shall be done without undue delay, C and the voter shall then quit the said inclosed place as soon as he has voted. No voter shall be allowed to occupy a voting shelf, table, or compartment already occupied by another voter, nor longer than ten minutes if other voters are not waiting, nor longer than five minutes in case other voters are waiting. No person shall be allowed in the room in which said ballot boxes or compartments, tables and shelves are, except the officers of election and the person distributing the ballots, and those appointed by the officers holding the election, to aid them therein.

Sec. 13. No person shall take or remove any ballot from a polling place before the close of the polls. If any voter spoils a ballot he may obtain others, one at a time, not exceeding three in all, upon returning each spoiled one.

Sec. 14. Any voter who declares to the person or persons having the official ballots that by reason of blindness or other physical disability he is unable to mark his ballot, shall upon request secure the assistance of said person or one of the election inspectors in the marking thereof, and such person or officer shall certify on the outside of said ballot that it was marked with his assistance and shall not otherwise give information in regard to the same.

Sec. 15. If the voter marks more names than there are persons to be elected to an office, or if for any reason it is impossible to determine from the ballot the voter’s choice for any office voted for, his ballot so cast shall not be counted. No ballot not provided in accordance with this ordinance shall be deposited or counted.

Sec. 16. Any voter who shall, except as herein provided, allow his ballot to be seen by any person, or who shall make a false statement as to his inability to mark his ballot, or who shall place any mark upon his ballot by which it may be afterwards identified as the one voted by him, or any person who shall interfere or attempt to interfere with any voter when inside said inclosed space or when marking his ballot, or who shall endeavor to induce any voter before voting to show how he marks or has marked his ballot, shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars, and the election officers shall cause any person so doing to be arrested and carried before the proper officer or tribunal for commitment and trial for such offense.

Sec. 17. Any commissioner of election, or any other officer or person acting as such or performing election duty, who shall wilfully or knowingly refuse or fail to perform the duties herein required of him, or who shall violate any provision of this ordinance, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars, or to imprisonment in the county jail not less than ten nor more than ninety days, or both, at the discretion of the court.

Sec. 18. The legislature shall have power to enact laws on the subjects of this ordinance, necessary for its efficiency, and not inconsistent with its true intent and meaning. After January 1st, 1896, this ordinance may be repealed or amended by the legislature; but shall not be amended so as to conflict with any provisions of this constitution. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with any of the provisions of this ordinance are hereby annulled, and this ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the first day of January, A.D., 1891.

Sec. 19. The boards of supervisors of the several counties, and the municipal authorities of the cities and towns of the State, are authorized to allow reasonable compensation to officers for services under this ordinance.

Adopted by the Convention November 1, 1890.

S. S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

An Ordinance extending terms of State officers

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. The terms of the following State officers, to-wit: governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney-general, treasurer, auditor, secretary of state, superintendent of education and clerk of the supreme court, are hereby extended until the first Monday in January, 1896; and vacancies in the offices, the terms of which are hereby extended, shall be filled by appointment by the governor except as otherwise provided in this constitution.

Sec. 2. The persons whose terms of office are hereby extended shall be ineligible to immediately succeed themselves. And all bonded officers whose terms are hereby extended shall execute new official bonds on or before the date at which, but for this extension, their present terms of office would have expired; and in case of any failure to execute such bond the office shall thereby become vacant.

Sec. 3. A general election shall be held under this constitution on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1891, for three railroad commissioners and for members of the legislature, district attorneys, and county and county district officers, whose term shall expire on the first Monday in January, A.D., 1896.

Sec. 4. There shall be a registration of the electors qualified under such provisions of this constitution which are operative prior to the election in 1891, and such registration shall be made by the proper officers, and in the manner now prescribed by law when the same is not inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution operative as aforesaid, and when repugnant, then according to the provisions thereof. The board of supervisors of the several counties shall provide proper registration books with the oath required by Section 242 of this constitution.

An Ordinance making an appropriation to defray the expense of the Convention

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. That there is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, a sum sufficient to defray the expenses of the convention; and the auditor of public accounts is authorized to issue his warrants upon the treasurer, and the treasurer is authorized to pay the same for such sums as the Convention may direct and duly certify through its proper officers.

Adopted by the Convention October 4, 1890.

S.S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

An Ordinance to provide for raising money to defray the expenses of the Convention

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled:

Section 1. That the State Treasurer be authorized, with the consent and approval of the Governor, if it shall be deemed necessary, to negotiate a loan of not exceeding fifty thousand dollars, for a period of not more than four months, on such reasonable terms as the Governor shall approve, for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the Convention and for replacing moneys used for that purpose.

Sec. 2. That the faith of the State be pledged for the repayment of such loan; and the Treasurer is hereby authorized to hypothecate the $46,000 of unsold bonds issued in pursuance of the act approved March 15, 1884, and to sell the same for the purpose of raising the money to pay such loans, if he and the Governor shall deem the same necessary or proper.

Adopted by the Convention October 8, 1890.

S. S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

Penitentiary Ordinance

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. With the view of enabling the legislature at its next session to have before it the necessary information upon which to act, if it should determine to establish a penitentiary farm, it is made the duty of the governor to appoint five commissioners, who shall, prior to the next session of the legislature, carefully inspect such bodies of land as may be thought suitable for such location; and who shall make report to the governor as to the several advantages of the bodies of land inspected by them and as to the propriety of establishing such farm or some other system, and as to the advantages of each, cost, and other proper matters, to be laid by the governor before the legislature with such recommendation as he may see proper to make.

Adopted by the Convention November 1, 1890.

S. S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

Land Commissioner Ordinance

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. The legislature at its next regular session shall provide for the election of a land commissioner at the general election to be held in 1895 whose term of office shall be four years, and whose only compensation shall be a salary to be fixed by law. He shall have charge of the swamp and overflowed lands, the internal improvement lands, the records of the office of surveyor-general turned over by the United States to this State, the Chickasaw school lands, the sixteenth section and indemnity lands for the sixteenth section outside of the Chickasaw cession, the lands forfeited for non-payment of taxes after the time allowed for exemption shall have expired, and of all other public lands and land records in this State not otherwise provided for. The legislature shall enact such other laws as shall be necessary to fully carry this ordinance into effect; and shall have power to abolish said office when the interests of the State demand it, or may add to any of the duties assigned to such officer.

Adopted by the Convention November 1, 1890.

S. S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

Swamp Land Ordinance

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Whereas, Doubts have arisen as to the title of original purchasers of certain swamp and overflowed lands by reason of the entry of said lands with the land script of counties other than the county in which said lands were situated; and

Whereas, By act of the legislature of the State of Mississippi approved February 17, 1890, "all persons now holding swamp lands under such invalid purchase shall have the right to purchase the same for a period of two years at the uniform price of 12 1/2 cents per acre" upon the terms required by said act; therefore

Section 1. Be it ordained that the State of Mississippi hereby waives the payment of said sum named in said act, and disclaims any interest or title in and to the said lands on account of erroneous locations thereof.

Adopted by Convention November 1st, 1890.

S.S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

Levee Ordinances

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. For the purpose of raising the money necessary to repair, elevate, strengthen and complete the levees along the Mississippi River, within the Mississippi Levee District, composed of the counties of Bolivar, Washington, Issaquena and Sharkey, and a part of Warren county, the board of Mississippi levee commissioners are hereby authorized to issue lithographed or engraved bonds to the amount of five hundred thousand dollars, in such form, bearing such rate of interest and payable at such time, as it may determine, with coupons for interest attached, and to dispose of the same from time to time as may be necessary; but such bonds shall not run for a longer time than fifty years, nor bear a rate of interest exceeding six per centum per annum, payable semi-annually in the city of New York. The signatures to the said coupons may be lithographed, but all such bonds so issued shall be signed by the president of said board, countersigned by its treasurer with the corporate seal of the board attached, numbered consecutively, and registered in a book to be kept for that purpose.

Sec. 2. The corporate organization of the board of Mississippi levee commissioners, and the tax herein directed to be levied, together with the taxes heretofore levied or authorized by the legislature for levee purposes, shall be continued to the extent and according to the terms of the several laws levying or authorizing said taxes until all the bonds issued by virtue of and under the authority contained in the preceding section of this ordinance are paid off and discharged; and said taxes are pledged for the payment thereof and of the coupons of interest thereto attached, subject however to the provisions of this Constitution.

Adopted by the Convention November 1, 1890.

S. S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

An Ordinance to provide for representation of Pearl River county in the legislature in the event of a called session thereof

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. That in case the governor shall convene the legislature in extraordinary session before the next general election to be held under this constitution, the board of supervisors of Pearl River county shall order an election therein for a member of the house of representatives, to be held not less than ten days before the assembling of the legislature, and under the rules and regulations now prescribed by law for holding such elections; and said county shall be entitled to one representative in the lower house of the legislature in such extraordinary session, if called.

Adopted by the Convention November 1, 1890.

S. S. Calhoon, President

An Ordinance assigning the county of Pearl River of the Sixth Congressional District

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. That the county of Pearl River as created by the act approved February 22, 1890, be and the same is hereby attached to and shall become a part of the Sixth Congressional District of this State, until otherwise provided by law; and that the qualified electors of said county be, and they are hereby authorized and empowered to vote at the next ensuing election for members of Congress from the said Sixth District, at the same time and in the same manner as other qualified electors in the other counties now attached to, and composing the Sixth District.

Adopted by the Convention August 21, 1890.

S. S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

An Ordinance to legalize the assessment in Pearl River county, during the year 1890, and to authorize a new assessment of lands therein during the year 1891.

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. That the board of supervisors of Pearl River county shall hold a meeting at the court-house of said county on the first Monday in January, 1891, for the purpose of hearing complaints against the assessment of real estate of said county; and all persons having cause of complaint against said assessment, are required to present the same on or before said day, after being considered as above provided, and all complaints passed on, and said assessment being then approved shall be binding and conclusive.

Sec. 2. That the board of supervisors of Pearl River county is authorized, in its discretion, to have made an assessment of the lands of said county during the year 1891 in the same manner in all respects as is provided by law for a general assessment of lands; which assessment when so made, and approved by the board of supervisors, shall have the same force and effect as though made at the time fixed by law for the assessment of lands.

Adopted by the Convention November 1, 1890.

S. S . Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

Exemption Ordinance

Be it ordained by the people of Mississippi in Convention assembled –

Section 1. That all permanent factories hereafter established in this State while this section is in force, for working cotton, wool, silk, furs or metals, and all others manufacturing implements or articles of use in a finished state, shall be exempt from taxation for a period of ten years. Any factory which has been abandoned for not less than three years, and commencing operations within two years from the date of the adoption of this constitution, shall be entitled to such exemptions. This section may be repealed or amended by the legislature after five years, and if not so repealed, shall remain in force until January 1st, 1900, and no longer.

S. S. Calhoon, President.
Attest:
R. E. Wilson, Secretary.

The Mississippi Constitution of 1868

 
 

The 1868 Constitution of the State of Mississippi

 
Adopted in Convention 15th day of May, A. D. 1868, and Ratified by the People 1st day of December, A. D. 1869.
 
 
To the end that justice be established, public order maintained, and liberty perpetuated, we, the people of the State of Mississippi, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our own form of government, do ordain this Constitution:
 
ARTICLE I. - Bill of Rights
 
Section 1. All persons resident in this State, citizens of the United States, are hereby declared citizens of the State of Mississippi.
 
Sec. 2. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, except by due process of law.
 
Sec. 3. 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. 4. The freedom of speech and of the press shall be held sacred, and in all indictments for libel, the jury shall determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the Court.
 
Sec. 5. No person's life or liberty shall be twice placed in jeopardy for the same offense.
 
Sec. 6. The right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government, on any subject, shall never be impaired.
 
Sec. 7. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have a right to be heard by himself, or counsel, or both; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have a compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county where the offense was committed; and he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.
 
Sec. 8. Cruel or unusual punishment shall not be inflicted, nor shall excessive fines be imposed; excessive bail shall not be required, and all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, when the proof is evident, or presumption great.
 
Sec. 9. No ex post facto law, or laws impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed.
 
Sec. 10. Private property shall not be taken for public use, except upon due compensation first being made to the owner, or owners thereof, in a manner to be provided for by law.
 
Sec. 11. There shall be no imprisonment for debt.
 
Sec. 12. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
 
Sec. 13. No property qualification shall ever be required of any person to become a juror.
 
Sec. 14. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, and possessions, from unreasonable seizure or search, and no warrant shall be issued without probable cause, supported by oath, or affirmation, specially designating the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.
 
Sec. 15. All persons shall have a right to keep and bear arms for their defence.
 
Sec. 16. The rights of married women shall be protected by law in property owned previous to marriage; and also in all property acquired in good faith by purchase, gift, devise, or bequest after marriage; Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to protect said property from being applied to the payment of their lawful debts.
 
Sec. 17. No property qualification for eligibility to office shall ever be required.
 
Sec. 18. No property or educational qualification shall ever be required for any person to become an elector.
 
Sec. 19. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this State, otherwise than in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
 
Sec. 20. The right to withdraw from the Federal Union on account of any real or supposed grievances shall never be assumed by this State; nor shall any law be passed in derogation of the paramount allegiance of the citizens of this State to the Government of the United States.
 
Sec. 21. No public money, or moneys, shall be appropriated for any charitable or other public institution in this State, making any distinction among the citizens thereof; Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent the Legislature from appropriating the school fund in accordance with the article in this Constitution relating to public schools.
 
Sec. 22. No distinction shall ever be made by law between citizens and alien friends in reference to possession, enjoyment, or descent of property.
 
Sec. 23. No religious test, as a qualification for office, shall ever be required, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect or mode of worship; but the free enjoyment of all religious sentiments, and the different modes of worship shall ever be held sacred; Provided, The rights hereby secured shall not be construed to justify acts of licentiousness, injurious to morals, or dangerous to the peace and safety of the State.
 
Sec. 24. The right of all citizens to travel upon all public conveyances shall not be infringed upon, nor in any manner abridged, in this State.
 
Sec. 25. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
 
Sec. 26. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against the same, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
 
Sec. 27. No person's life shall be periled by the practice of dueling; and any person who shall hereafter fight a duel, or assist in the same, as second, or send, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge therefor, or go out of the State to fight a duel, shall be disqualified from holding any office under this Constitution, and shall forever be disfranchised in this State.
 
Sec. 28. All Courts shall be open, and every person, 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.
 
Sec. 29. No person shall be elected or appointed to any office in this State for life, or during good behavior, but the term of all offices shall be for some specified period.
 
Sec. 30. No person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending any civil cause for or against him or herself, before any tribunal in this State, by him or herself, or counsel, or both.
 
Sec. 31. No person shall, for any indictable offense, be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or the militia, when in actual service, or by leave of the Court, for misdemeanor in office; Provided, That the Legislature, in cases of petit larceny, assaults, assault and battery, affray, riot, unlawful assembly, drunkenness, vagrancy, and other misdemeanors of like character, may dispense with an inquest of a Grand Jury, and may authorize prosecutions before Justices of the Peace, or such other inferior Court or Courts as may be established by the Legislature; and the proceedings in such cases shall be regulated by law.
 
Sec. 32. The enumeration of rights in this Constitution shall not be construed to deny or impair others retained by and inherent in the people.
 
ARTICLE II. - Boundaries of the State
 
The limits and boundaries of the State of Mississippi shall remain as now established by law.
 
ARTICLE III. - Distribution of Powers
 
Section 1. The powers of the Government of the State of Mississippi shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate Magistracy, to-wit: Those which are Legislative to one; those which are Judicial to another, and those which are Executive to another.
 
Sec. 2. No person or collection of persons, being one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.
 
ARTICLE IV. - Legislative Department
 
Section 1. The Legislative power of this State shall be vested in the Legislature, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
 
Sec. 2. The House of Representatives shall consist of members to be chosen every second year, by the qualified electors of the several counties.
 
Sec. 3. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives who shall not be an elector under this Constitution, and who shall not, at the time of his election, have an actual residence in the District he may be chosen to represent.
 
Sec. 4. The Senate shall consist of members to be chosen every four years, by the qualified electors of the several districts.
 
Sec. 5. No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, who shall not have been an inhabitant of the State one year, and who shall not have an actual residence in the district he may be chosen to represent.
 
Sec. 6. The political year shall begin on the first Monday of January, and the Legislature shall meet annually on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January, at the seat of Government, unless sooner convened by the Governor, until altered by law.
 
Sec. 7. All general elections shall be by ballot, and shall commence and be holden every two years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, until altered by law; and the electors in all cases, except in cases of treason, felony, and breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance of elections, and in going to and returning therefrom.
 
Sec. 8. Election for members of the Legislature shall be held in the several counties and districts as shall be provided by law.
 
Sec. 9. The Governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either House of the Legislature, and the persons thereupon chosen shall hold their seats for the unexpired term.
 
Sec. 10. Each House shall appoint its own officers, and shall judge of the qualifications, returns, and election of its own members.
 
Sec. 11. The Senate shall choose a President pro tempore, to act in the absence or disability of the Lieutenant Governor.
 
Sec. 12. A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a less number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each shall provide.
 
Sec. 13. Neither House shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
 
Sec. 14. Each House may determine rules of its own proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present, expel a member; but no member shall be expelled a second time for the same offense. They shall each, from time to time, publish a journal of their proceedings, except such parts as may, in their opinion, require secrecy, and the yeas and nays on any question shall be entered on the journal at the request of one-tenth of the members present; Provided, That the yeas and nays shall always be entered on the journal on the passage of a bill appropriating money.
 
Sec. 15. The doors of each House, when in session, or in Committee of the Whole, shall be kept open, except in cases which may require secrecy; and each House may punish, by fine and imprisonment, any person, not a member, who shall be guilty of disrespect to the House, by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in their presence, or in any way disturb their deliberations during the session; but such imprisonment shall not extend beyond the final adjournment of that session.
 
Sec. 16. No person liable for public moneys unaccounted for, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature, or to any office of profit or trust, until he shall have accounted for, and paid over all sums for which he may have been liable.
 
Sec. 17. No person shall be eligible to any office of profit or trust, nor shall he be permitted to exercise the right of suffrage within this State, who shall have been convicted of bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime.
 
Sec. 18. Any person who shall have been convicted of giving or offering, directly or indirectly, any bribe to procure his election or appointment, and any person who shall give or offer any bribe to procure the election or appointment of any person to office, shall, on conviction thereof, be disqualified from being an elector, or holding any office of profit or trust under the laws of this State.
 
Sec. 19. Senators and Representatives shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature, and for fifteen days before the commencement and after the termination of each session.
 
Sec. 20. The members of the Legislature shall severally receive, from the public Treasury, compensation for their services, which may be increased or diminished; but no alteration of such compensation of members shall take effect during the session at which it is made.
 
Sec. 21. The Legislature shall direct, by law, in what Courts, and in what manner suits may be brought against the State.
 
Sec. 22. The Legislature shall not have power to pass any bill of divorce; but may prescribe, by law, the manner in which cases shall be investigated in the Courts of justice, and divorces granted.
 
Sec. 23. Bills may originate in either House, and be amended or rejected in the other; and every bill shall be read on three different days in each House, unless two-thirds of the House where the same is pending shall dispense with the rules; and every bill, having passed both Houses, shall be signed by the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in open session.
 
Sec. 24. Every bill which has passed both Houses, shall be presented to the Governor of the State. If he approves, he shall sign it; but if he does not approve, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House in which it originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other House, by which, likewise, it shall be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become a law; but in all such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for or against the bill, shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sunday excepted) after it has been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Legislature, by adjournment, prevented its return, in which case it shall be a law unless sent back within three days after its next meeting.
 
Sec. 25. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary (except on questions of adjournment), shall be presented to the Governor, and before it shall take effect, be approved by him, or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of both Houses, according to the rules of limitation prescribed in all cases of a bill.
 
Sec. 26. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, except on appropriation made by law.
 
Sec. 27. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, but two-thirds of all the members present must concur therein. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate, and when sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be upon oath, or affirmation, to do justice, according to law and evidence.
 
Sec. 28. The Governor and all other civil officers under this State shall be liable to impeachment for treason, bribery, or any high crime or misdemeanor in office.
 
Sec. 29. When the Governor shall be tried, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Senators present.
 
Sec. 30. Judgment in such cases shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under this State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.
 
Sec. 31. For reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground of impeachment, the Governor shall, on the joint address of two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature, remove from office the Judges of the Supreme and inferior Courts; Provided, The cause or causes of removal be spread on the journal, and the party charged be notified of the same before the vote is finally taken and decided, and shall have an opportunity to be heard by himself, or counsel, or both.
 
Sec. 32. The style of the laws of the State shall be: "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi."
 
Sec. 33. The Legislature shall provide for the enumeration of the whole number of inhabitants, and of the qualified electors of the State, once in every ten years; and the first enumeration shall be ordered at the first meeting of the Legislature under this Constitution.
 
Sec. 34. The number of Representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be apportioned among the several counties, or districts, according to the number of qualified electors in each, and shall not be less than one hundred, nor more than one hundred and twenty.
 
Sec. 35. The number of Senators shall, upon each enumeration made, be apportioned according to the number of qualified electors in the several districts, and shall never be less than one-fourth, nor more than one-third the whole number of Representatives.
 
Sec. 36. The Senators, on being convened after the first election, shall be divided by lot from their respective Congressional districts into two classes, as nearly equal as can be, and the seats of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year.
 
Sec. 37. The Legislature shall provide for the organization of new counties, locating county seats, and changing county lines; but no county shall be organized, nor the lines of any county changed so as to include an area of less than four hundred, nor more than six hundred and twenty-five square miles.
 
Sec. 38. No Senator or Representative, during the term for which he was elected, shall be appointed to any office of profit under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which have been increased during the time such Senator or Representative was in office, except to such offices as may be filled by an election of the people.
 
Sec. 39. The Legislature shall provide by law for determining contested elections.
 
ARTICLE V. - Executive
 
Section 1. The chief executive power of this State shall be vested in a Governor, who shall hold his office for four years.
 
Sec. 2. The Governor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State. The returns of every election for Governor shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of Government, directed to the Secretary of State, who shall deliver them to the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the next ensuing session of the Legislature, during the first week of which session, the said Speaker shall open, and publish them in presence of both Houses of the Legislature. The person having the highest number of votes shall be Governor; but, if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes, then one of them shall be chosen Governor by the joint ballot of both Houses of the Legislature. Contested elections for Governor shall be determined by both Houses of the Legislature, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
 
Sec. 3. The Governor shall be at least thirty years of age, and shall have been a citizen of the United States twenty years, shall have resided in this State two years next preceding the day of his election.
 
Sec. 4. He shall receive for his services such compensation as shall be provided by law.
 
Sec. 5. He shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the State, and of the Militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.
 
Sec. 6. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the Executive Department, on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
 
Sec. 7. He may, in cases of emergency, convene the Legislature at the seat of Government, or at a different place, if that shall have become dangerous, from an enemy, or from disease; and in case of a disagreement between the two Houses with respect to time of adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not beyond the day of the next stated meeting of the Legislature.
 
Sec. 8. He shall, from time to time, give the Legislature information of the state of the Government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem necessary and expedient.
 
Sec. 9. It shall be his duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed.
 
Sec. 10. In all criminal and penal cases, except in those of treason and impeachment, he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, and remit fines, and in cases of forfeiture, to stay the collection until the end of the next session of the Legislature, and to remit forfeitures, by and with the consent of the Senate. In cases of treason, he shall have power to grant reprieves, by and with the consent of the Senate, but may respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the Legislature.
 
Sec. 11. There shall be a seal of the State kept by the Governor, and used by him officially, and be called the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi.
 
Sec. 12. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Mississippi, be sealed with the Great Seal of State, signed by the Governor, and be attested by the Secretary of State.
 
Sec. 13. All vacancies, not provided for in this Constitution, shall be filled in such manner as the Legislature may prescribe.
 
Sec. 14. There shall be a Lieutenant Governor, who shall be elected at the same time, in the same manner, and for the same term, and shall possess the same qualifications as the Governor.
 
Sec. 15. He shall, by virtue of his office, be President of the Senate. In Committee of the Whole, he may debate on all questions, and when there is an equal division in the Senate, or on a joint vote of both Houses, he shall give the casting vote.
 
Sec. 16. He shall receive for his services such compensation as may be provided by law.
 
Sec. 17. When the office of Governor shall become vacant, by death or otherwise, the Lieutenant Governor shall possess the powers and discharge the duties of said office, and receive the same compensation as the Governor, during the remainder of the said term. When the Governor shall be absent from the State, or unable, from protracted illness, to perform the duties of his office, the Lieutenant Governor shall discharge the duties of said office, and receive said compensation until the Governor be able to resume his duties; but, if from disability or otherwise, the Lieutenant Governor shall be incapable of performing said duties or if he be absent from the State, the President of the Senate pro tempore shall act in his stead; but if there be no such President, or if he is disqualified by like disability, or be absent from the State, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall assume the office of Governor and perform said duties, and receive the same compensation as the Governor; and in case of the inability of the foregoing officers to discharge the duties of Governor, the Secretary of State shall convene the Senate to elect a President pro tempore.
 
Sec. 18. In case the election for Lieutenant Governor shall be contested, it shall be decided in the same manner as that of the Governor.
 
Sec. 19. The Secretary of State shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State, shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and a citizen of the State one year next preceding the day of his election, and shall continue in office during the term of four years; he shall keep a correct register of all the official acts and proceedings of the Governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, and papers, minutes, and vouchers relative thereto, before the Legislature; and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.
 
Sec. 20. A State Treasurer and Auditor of Public Accounts shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State, who shall hold their offices for the term of four years, unless sooner removed, and shall possess the same qualifications as the Secretary of State; and, together with the last named officer, shall receive such compensation as may be provided by law.
 
Sec. 21. A Sheriff, Coroner, Treasurer, Assessor, and Surveyor, shall be elected in each county, by the qualified electors thereof, who shall hold their offices for two years, unless sooner removed.
 
Sec. 22. All officers named in this article shall hold their offices during the term for which they were elected, unless removed by impeachment or otherwise, and until their successors shall be duly qualified to enter on the discharge of their separate duties.
 
ARTICLE VI. - Judiciary
 
Section 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in a Supreme Court, and such other Courts of law and equity as are hereafter provided for in this Constitution.
 
Sec. 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of three Judges, who shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, any two of whom, when convened, shall form a quorum. The Legislature shall divide the State into three Districts, and the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint one Judge for each District.
 
Sec. 3. The office of one of said Judges shall be vacated in three years, one in six years, and one in nine years, so that at the expiration of every three years, one of said Judges shall be appointed, as aforesaid. The term of office of the Judges of the Supreme Court shall be nine years.
 
Sec. 4. The Supreme Court shall have no jurisdiction but such as properly belongs to a Supreme Court.
 
Sec. 5. All vacancies which may occur in said Court, from death, resignation, or removal, shall be filled by appointment, as aforesaid; Provided, however, That if a vacancy shall occur during the recess of the Legislature, the Governor shall appoint a successor, who shall hold his office until the next meeting of the Legislature.
 
Sec. 6. No person shall be eligible to the office of Judge of the Supreme Court who shall not have attained the age of thirty years at the time of his appointment, and who shall not have been for two years immediately preceding, a citizen of the State.
 
Sec. 7. The Supreme Court shall be held twice in each year, at the seat of Government, at such times as the Legislature may prescribe.
 
Sec. 8. Immediately upon the first appointment of Judges, as aforesaid, the Governor, in the presence of, and with the assistance of the President of the Senate, and Secretary of State, shall determine, by lot, which of said Judges shall serve for the term of three years, and which shall serve for the term of six years, and which shall serve for the term of nine years; and it shall be the duty of the Governor to issue commissions accordingly.
 
Sec. 9. No Judge of said Court shall sit on the trial of any cause where the parties, or either of them, shall be connected with him by affinity or consanguinity, or where he may be interested in the same, except by the consent of the Judges and of the parties; and whenever a quorum of said Court are situated as aforesaid, the Governor of the State shall, in such cases, specially commission two or more men of law knowledge for the determination thereof.
 
Sec. 10. The Judges of said Court shall receive for their services a compensation to be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
 
Sec. 11. The Judges of the Circuit Court shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall hold their office for the term of six years.
 
Sec. 12. No person shall be eligible to the office of Judge of the Circuit Court, who shall not, at the time of his appointment, have attained the age of twenty-six years, and shall have been two years a citizen of the State.
 
Sec. 13. The State shall be divided into convenient judicial districts.
 
Sec. 14. Circuit Courts shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, within this State; but in civil cases, only when the principal of the amount in controversy exceeds one hundred and fifty dollars.
 
Sec. 15. A Circuit Court shall be held at least twice in each year, and the Judges of said Courts may interchange circuits with each other, in such manner as may be prescribed by law, and shall receive for their services a compensation to be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
 
Sec. 16. Chancery Courts shall be established in each county in the State, with full jurisdiction in all matters of equity, and of divorce and alimony, in matters testamentary and of administration, in minors' business and allotment of dower, and in cases of idiocy, lunacy, and persons non compos mentis.
 
Sec. 17. The Legislature shall divide the State into a convenient number of Chancery Districts, to be composed of not more than four counties. Chancellors shall be appointed in the same manner as the Judges of the Circuit Courts. Their qualifications shall be regulated by law, and they shall hold their office for the term of four years. They shall hold a Court in each county at least four times in each year, and shall receive such compensation as may be provided by law.
 
Sec. 18. The style of all process shall be: "The State of Mississippi," and all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name, and by the authority of "The State of Mississippi," and shall conclude, "against the peace and dignity of the same."
 
Sec. 19. The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by said Court, for the term of four years, and the Clerk of the Circuit Court, and the Clerk of the Chancery Court shall be elected by the qualified voters of their several counties, and shall hold their office for the term of four years; and the Legislature shall provide, by law, what duties shall be performed by the Clerks of the Circuit and Chancery Courts during vacation, subject to the approval of the Court.
 
Sec. 20. The qualified electors of each county shall elect five persons, by districts, for the term of two years, who shall constitute a Board of Supervisors for each county, a majority of whom may transact business, which body shall have full jurisdiction over roads, ferries, and bridges, and shall order all county elections, to fill vacancies that may arise in the offices of their respective counties, and perform such other duties as shall be provided by law. The Clerk of the Chancery Court of each county shall be the Clerk of such Board of Supervisors.
 
Sec. 21. No person shall be eligible as a member of said Board who shall not have resided one year in the county; but this qualification shall not extend to such new counties as may hereafter be established, until one year after their organization; and all vacancies that may occur in said Board shall be supplied by election, as aforesaid, to the unexpired term.
 
Sec. 22. Judges of all the Courts of this State, and all other civil officers, shall, by virtue of their office, be conservators of the peace, and shall be, by law, vested with ample powers in that respect.
 
Sec. 23. A competent number of Justices of the Peace and Constables shall be chosen in each county, by the qualified electors thereof, by districts, who shall hold their office for the term of two years. The jurisdiction of the Justices of the Peace shall be limited to causes in which the principal of the amount in controversy shall not exceed the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. In all causes tried by a Justice of the Peace, the right of appeal shall be secured, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law.
 
Sec. 24. The Legislature shall, from time to time, establish such other inferior Courts as may be necessary, and abolish the same whenever they shall deem it expedient.
 
Sec. 25. There shall be an Attorney General, elected by the qualified electors of the State; and a competent number of District Attorneys shall be elected by the qualified electors of the respective districts, whose term of service shall be four years, and whose duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law.
 
Sec. 26. Clerks, Sheriffs, and other county officers, for wilful neglect of duty, or misdemeanor in office, shall be liable to presentment or indictment by Grand Jury, and trial by petit jury, and, upon conviction, shall be removed from office.
 
ARTICLE VII - Franchise
 
Section 1. All elections by the people shall be by ballot.
 
Sec. 2. All male inhabitants of this State, except idiots and insane persons, and Indians not taxed, citizens of the United States, or naturalized, twenty-one years old and upwards, who have resided in this State six months, and in the county one month next preceding the day of election at which said inhabitant offers to vote, and who are duly registered, according to the requirements of Section 3 of this Article, and who are not disqualified by reason of any crime, are declared to be qualified electors.
 
Sec. 3. The Legislature shall provide, by law, for the registration of all persons entitled to vote at any election, and all persons entitled to register shall take and subscribe to the following oath, or affirmation: "I, __________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm), in the presence of Almighty God, that I am twenty-one years old; that I have resided in this State six months, and in ____________county one month; that I will faithfully support and obey the Constitution and laws of the United States, and of the State of Mississippi, and will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, so help me God."
 
Sec. 4. No person shall be eligible to any office of profit or trust, or to any office in the militia of this State, who is not a qualified elector.
 
[Section 5 expunged.]
 
Sec. 6. In time of war, insurrection, or rebellion, the right to vote at such place, and in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, shall be enjoyed by all persons otherwise entitled thereto, who may be in actual military or naval service of the United States, or this State; Provided, Said votes be made to apply in the county or precinct wherein they reside.
 
ARTICLE VIII - School Fund, Education and Science
 
Section 1. As the stability of a republican form of government depends mainly upon the intelligence and virtue of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature to encourage, by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvement, by establishing a uniform system of free public schools, by taxation or otherwise, for all children between the ages of five and twenty-one years, and shall, as soon as practicable, establish schools of higher grade.
 
Sec. 2. There shall be a Superintendent of Public Education, elected at the same time and in the same manner as the Governor, who shall have the qualification of the Secretary of State, and hold his office for four years, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified, whose duties shall be the general supervision of the common schools and the educational interests of the State, and who shall perform such other duties pertaining to this office, and receive such compensation as shall be prescribed by law. He shall report to the Legislature, for its adoption, within twenty days after the opening of its first session under this Constitution, a uniform system of free public schools.
 
Sec. 3. There shall be a Board of Education, consisting of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Superintendent of Public Education, for the management and investment of the school funds, under the general direction of the Legislature, and to perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law. The Superintendent and one other of said Board shall constitute a quorum.
 
Sec. 4. There shall be a Superintendent of Public Education in each county, who shall be appointed by the Board of Education, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, whose term of office shall be two years, and whose compensation and duties shall be prescribed by law: Provided, That the Legislature shall have power to make said office of County School Superintendent of the several counties elective, as other county officers are.
 
Sec. 5. A public school, or schools, shall be maintained in each school district, at least four months in each year. Any school district neglecting to maintain such school, or schools, shall be deprived, for that year, of its proportion of the income of the free school fund, and of all funds arising from taxes for the support of schools.
 
Sec. 6. There shall be established a common school fund, which shall consist of the proceeds of the lands now belonging to the State, heretofore granted by the United States, and of the lands known as "swamp lands," except the swamp lands lying and situated on Pearl river, in the counties of Hancock, Marion, Lawrence, Simpson, and Copiah, and of all lands now or hereafter vested in the State, by escheat or purchase, or forfeiture for taxes, and the clear proceeds of all fines collected in the several counties for any breach of the penal laws, and all moneys received for licenses granted under the general laws of the State for the sale of intoxicating liquor, or keeping of dram shops; all moneys paid as an equivalent for persons exempt from military duty, and the funds arising from the consolidating of the Congressional township funds, and the lands belonging thereto, together with all moneys donated to the State for school purposes, which funds shall be securely invested in United States bonds, and remain a perpetual fund, which may be increased but not diminished, the interest of which shall be inviolably appropriated for the support of free schools.
 
Sec. 7. The Legislature may levy a poll tax, not to exceed two dollars a head, in aid of the school fund, and for no other purpose.
 
Sec. 8. The Legislature shall, as soon as practicable, provide for the establishment of an Agricultural College, or Colleges, and shall appropriate the two hundred and ten thousand acres of land donated to the State for the support of such a college, by the Act of Congress, passed July 2d, A.D. 1865, or the money or scrip, as the case may be, arising from the sale of said lands, or any lands which may hereafter be granted or appropriated for such purpose.
 
Sec. 9. No religious sect or sects shall control any part of the school or university funds of this State.
 
Sec. 10. The Legislature shall, from time to time, as may be necessary, provide for the levy and collection of such other taxes as may be required to properly support the system of free schools herein adopted; and all school funds shall be divided pro rata among the children of school ages.
 
ARTICLE IX - Militia
 
Section 1. All able-bodied male citizens of the State, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, shall be liable to military duty in the militia of this State, in such manner as the Legislature may provide, not incompatible with this Constitution, and the Constitution and laws of the United States.
 
Sec. 2. The Legislature shall provide for the organizing, arming, equiping, and discipline of the militia, and for paying the same when called into active service.
 
Sec. 3. It shall be the duty of the first Legislature to make such laws as shall be necessary to immediately create an effective militia in this State.
 
Sec. 4. All officers of militia, except non-commissioned officers, shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, and shall be chosen for their military knowledge, their experience in arms, and their fidelity and loyalty; and no commissioned officer shall be removed from office except by the Senate, on recommendation of the Governor, stating the grounds on which such removal is recommended, or by the decision of a court-martial, pursuant to law, or at his own request.
 
Sec. 5. The Governor shall be Commander-in-Chief of the militia, except when it is called into the service of the United States, and shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws, repel invasion, and to suppress riots and insurrections.
 
Sec. 6. The Governor shall nominate, and by and with the consent of the Senate, commission one Major General of the State, who shall be a citizen thereof; and also one Brigadier General for each Congressional District, who shall be a resident of the District for which he shall be appointed; and each District shall constitute a Militia Division.
 
Sec. 7. The Adjutant General, and other staff officers to the Commander-in-Chief, shall be appointed by the Governor, and their appointment shall expire with the Governor's term of office.
 
Sec. 8. The militia shall be exempt from arrest during their attendance on musters, and in going to and returning from the same, except in case of treason, felony, or breach of the peace.
 
ARTICLE X - Internal Improvements
 
The Legislature, at its first regular session after the adoption of this Constitution, shall provide for the organization of a Board of Public Works, prescribe its duties, fix the compensation of its members, and all officers and employees upon public works in this State.
 
ARTICLE XI - Apportionment
 
Section 1. Until the first enumeration and a new apportionment shall be made, as provided and directed in this Constitution, the apportionment of Senators and Representatives among the several counties and districts in this State, shall be as follows: First - The county of Warren, five Representatives. Second - The counties of Hinds and Lowndes, each four Representatives. Third - The counties of Adams, Carroll, DeSoto, Holmes, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, Noxubee, Washington, and Yazoo, each three Representatives. Fourth - The counties of Attala, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Claiborne, Copiah, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lauderdale, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pontotoc, Tippah, Wilkinson, Yalobusha, Tishomingo, and Rankin, each two Representatives. Fifth - The counties of Amite, Bolivar, Calhoun, Clarke, Franklin, Issaquena, Itawamba, Jasper, Kemper, Lawrence, Leake, Lee, Pike, Sunflower, Scott, Tallahatchie, Winston, Simpson, Coahoma, Tunica, Newton, Neshoba, Covington, Wayne, Smith, Davis, Greene, Jackson, Hancock, Marion, Harrison, and Perry, each one Representative.
 
Section 2-Senate
 
First - The counties of Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Marion, Greene, and Perry, shall form the First District, and elect one Senator.
 
Second - The counties of Wilkinson and Amite, the Second District, and one Senator.
 
Third - The counties of Pike, Lawrence, and Covington, the Third District, and one Senator.
 
Fourth - The county of Adams, the Fourth District, and one Senator.
 
Fifth - The counties of Franklin and Jefferson, the Fifth District, and one Senator.
 
Sixth - The counties of Claiborne and Copiah, the Sixth District, and one Senator.
 
Seventh - The counties of Warren and Issaquena, the Seventh District, and two Senators.
 
Eighth - The counties of Hinds, Rankin, and Simpson, the Eighth District, and two Senators.
 
Ninth - The counties of Davis, Jasper, Clarke, and Wayne, the Ninth District, and one Senator.
 
Tenth - The counties of Lauderdale and Kemper, the Tenth District, and one Senator.
 
Eleventh - The counties of Newton, Smith, and Scott, the Eleventh District, and one Senator.
 
Twelfth - The county of Madison, the Twelfth District, and one Senator.
 
Thirteenth - The county of Yazoo, the Thirteenth District, and one Senator
 
Fourteenth - The counties of Washington and Sunflower, the Fourteenth District, and one Senator.
 
Fifteenth - The county of Holmes, the Fifteenth District, and one Senator.
 
Sixteenth - The counties of Attala, Leake, and Neshoba, the Sixteenth District, and one Senator.
 
Seventeenth - The county of Noxubee, the Seventeenth District, and one Senator.
 
Eighteenth - The counties of Lowndes and Oktibbeha, the Eighteenth District, and two Senators.
 
Nineteenth - The counties of Choctaw and Winston, the Nineteenth District, and one Senator.
 
Twentieth - The county of Carroll, the Twentieth District, and one Senator.
 
Twenty-first - The counties of Calhoun and Yalobusha, the Twenty-first District, and one Senator.
 
Twenty-second - The counties of Chickasaw and Monroe, the Twenty-second District, and two Senators.
 
Twenty-third - The counties of Bolivar, Coahoma, and Tunica, the Twenty-third District, and one Senator.
 
Twenty-fourth - The counties of Panola and Tallahatchie, the Twenty-fourth District, and one Senator.
 
Twenty-fifth - The county of DeSoto, the Twenty-fifth District, and one Senator.
 
Twenty-sixth - The county of Marshall, the Twenty-sixth District, and one Senator.
 
Twenty-seventh - The counties of Lafayette and Pontotoc, the Twenty-seventh District, and one Senator.
 
Twenty-eighth - The counties of Tishomingo and Itawamba, the Twenty-eighth District, and one Senator.
 
Twenty-ninth - The counties of Tippah and Lee, the Twenty-ninth District, and one Senator.
 
ARTICLE XII - General Provisions
 
Section 1. The political year of the State of Mississippi shall commence on the first Monday of January, in each year, and the general election shall be holden on the first Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November, biennially.
 
Sec. 2. The Legislature shall pass laws to exclude from office, and from suffrage, those who shall hereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors; and every person shall be disqualified from holding any office or place of honor, profit, or trust, under the authority of this State, who shall be convicted of having given or offered any bribe to procure his election or appointment.
 
Sec. 3. No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this State.
 
Sec. 4. The Legislature shall provide, by law, for the indictment and trial of persons charged with the commission of any felony, in any county other than that in which the offense was committed, whenever, owing to prejudice, or any other cause, an impartial grand or petit jury cannot be empaneled in the county in which the offense was committed.
 
Sec. 5. The credit of the State shall not be pledged or loaned in aid of any person, association or corporation; nor shall the State hereafter become a stockholder in any corporation or association.
 
Sec. 6. The term of office of all county, township, and precinct officers shall expire within thirty days after this Constitution shall have been ratified, and the Governor shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, thereafter appoint such officers, whose term of office shall continue until the Legislature shall provide, by law, for an election of said officers; Provided, The present incumbents of all county, township, district, and beat offices, shall hold their respective offices until their successors are legally appointed or elected, and duly qualified.
 
Sec. 7. In all cases, not otherwise provided for in this Constitution, the Legislature may determine the mode of filling all vacancies in all offices, and shall define their respective powers, and provide suitable compensation for all officers.
 
Sec. 8. The Legislature, at its first session, shall provide, by law, for the sale of all delinquent tax lands. The Courts shall apply the same liberal principles in favor of such titles as in sale by execution.
 
Sec. 9. No laws of a general feature, unless otherwise provided for, shall be enforced until sixty days after the passage thereof.
 
Sec. 10. It shall be the duty of the Legislature to regulate, by law, the cases in which deductions shall be made from salaries of public officers, for neglect of duty in their official capacity, and the amount of said deduction.
 
Sec. 11. The Legislature, at its first session under this Constitution, shall have authority to designate, by law, such loyal paper, or papers, in each Circuit Court District, as shall publish all legal advertising, and such official printing as shall be required by law in such Circuit Court District, and fix the compensation thereof.
 
Sec. 12. No corporate body shall hereafter be created, renewed, or extended, with the privilege of making, issuing, or putting in circulation any notes, bills, or other paper, or the paper of any other bank, to circulate as money; and the Legislature shall prohibit, by law, individuals or corporations from issuing bills, checks, tickets, promissory notes, or other papers, as money. But nothing herein contained shall be construed as preventing corporations or associations from forming, for such purposes, under the Acts of Congress, for a national system of banking.
 
Sec. 13. The property of all corporations for pecuniary profits shall be subject to taxation, the same as that of individuals.
 
Sec. 14. The Legislature shall not authorize any county, city, or town, to become a stockholder in, or to lend its credit to any company, association, or corporation, unless two-thirds of the qualified voters of such county, city, or town, at a special election, or regular election, to be held therein, shall assent thereto.
 
Sec. 15. The Legislature shall never authorize any lottery, nor shall the sale of lottery tickets be allowed; nor shall any lottery heretofore authorized, be permitted to be drawn, or tickets therein to be sold.
 
Sec. 16. No county shall be denied the right to raise, by special tax, money sufficient to pay for the building and repairing of court houses, jails, bridges, and other necessary conveniences for the people of the county; and money thus collected shall never be appropriated for any other purposes; Provided, The tax thus levied shall be a certain per cent, on all tax levied by the State.
 
Sec. 17. Liabilities of banks, associations, and other corporations shall be secured by legislative enactments; but in all cases, no stockholder shall be individually liable over and above the stock by him or her owned, unless so specified in the articles of association, or act of incorporation.
 
Sec. 18. All lands sold in pursuance of decree of Courts, or execution, shall be divided into tracts not to exceed one hundred and sixty acres.
 
Sec. 19. Returns of all elections by the people shall be made to the Secretary of State, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
 
Sec. 20. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. All property shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law.
 
Sec. 21. The State of Mississippi shall never assume nor pay any debt or obligation contracted in aid of the rebellion; nor shall this State ever, in any manner, claim from the United States, or make any allowance or compensation for slaves emancipated or liberated in any way whatever, since the ninth day of January, 1861.
 
Sec. 22. All persons who have not been married, but are now living together, cohabiting as husband and wife, shall be taken and held for all purposes in law as married, and their children, whether born before or after the ratification of this Constitution, shall be legitimate; and the Legislature may, by law, punish adultery and concubinage.
 
Sec. 23. There shall be a Commissioner of Immigration and Agriculture, who shall be elected by the Legislature on joint ballot, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, unless sooner removed by law.
 
Sec. 24. The next Legislature shall have power to repeal statutes of limitation, pass relief, stay, injunction, insolvent, and homestead laws, and to pass any and every act deemed necessary for the relief of debtors, subject only to the restrictions imposed by the Constitution of the United States.
 
Sec. 25. Representatives in Congress to fill the existing vacancies, shall be elected at the same time this Constitution is submitted to the electors of the State for ratification, and for the full term next succeeding their election; and thereafter elections for Representatives in Congress shall be held biennially. The first election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November preceding the expiration of said full term.
 
Sec. 26. Members of the Legislature, and all other officers elected or appointed to any office in this State, shall, before entering upon the discharge of the duties thereof, take and subscribe the following oath of office:
 
OATH OF OFFICE
 
I, ___________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully support and true allegiance bear the Constitution of the United States, and the State of Mississippi, and obey the laws thereof; that I am not disqualified from holding office by the Constitution of the United States, or the State of Mississippi; that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.
 
Sec. 27. It shall be the duty of the Legislature to provide, by law, for the support of institutions for the education of the deaf, dumb, and blind; and also, for the treatment and care of the insane.
 
Sec. 28. The Legislature shall provide Houses of Refuge for the correction and reformation of juvenile offenders.
 
Sec. 29. The County Boards shall have power to provide farms as an Asylum for those persons who, by reason of age, infirmity, or other misfortune, may have claims upon the sympathy and aid of society.
 
ARTICLE XIII - Ordinances and Schedule
 
MODE OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION
 
Whenever two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature shall deem any change, alteration, or amendment necessary to this Constitution, such proposed change, alteration, or amendment shall be read and passed by a two-thirds vote of each House, respectively, on each day for three several days; public notice shall then be given by the Secretary of State, at least three months preceding the next general election, at which the qualified electors shall vote directly for or against such change, alteration, or amendment; and if more than one amendment shall be submitted at one time, they shall be submitted in such manner and form that the people may vote for or against each amendment separately; and if it shall appear that a majority of the qualified electors voting for members of the Legislature shall have voted for the proposed change, alteration, or amendment, then it shall be inserted by the next succeeding Legislature as part of this Constitution, and not otherwise; Provided, That no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty-five, shall, in any manner, effect the eighteenth section of the Bill of Rights.
 
SCHEDULE
 
Section 1. The Ordinance of Secession of the State of Mississippi, passed January 9th, 1861, is hereby declared to be null and void. The present and all previous Constitutions of the State of Mississippi are hereby declared to be repealed and annulled by this Constitution.
 
Sec. 2. All laws now in force in this State, not enacted in furtherance of secession and rebellion, and not repugnant to this Constitution, shall continue in operation until they shall expire by their own limitation, or be altered or repealed by the Legislature, except the hereinafter mentioned laws, to wit: "An Act to change the name of the county of Jones, and for other purposes," approved December 1st, A.D. 1865. "An Act to establish a ferry across the Mississippi river, at Vicksburg," approved November 29th, A.D. 1865. "An Act to provide for the removal and location of the Seat of Justice of Scott county," approved November 8th, A.D. 1865. "An Act supplemental to an Act entitled an Act to provide for the removal and location of the Seat of Justice of Scott county," approved November 8th, 1865, approved December 1st, A.D. 1865.
 
Sec. 3. The Legislature shall provide for the removal of causes now pending in the Courts of this State, to Courts created by or under this Constitution.
 
[Sections 4 to 13, inclusive, expunged.]
 
Sec. 14. The members of the Committee of Five, appointed by the Convention, and the clerk thereof, shall receive the same compensation as the members of this Convention.
 
Sec. 15. If any candidate receiving the highest number of votes cast cannot take the oath of office prescribed in this Constitution, then, and in that case, the candidates receiving the next highest vote shall be entitled to enter upon the duties of the office, upon taking and subscribing to said oath.

The Mississippi Constitution of 1832

Article

 

I. Declaration of rights.
II. Distribution of powers.
III. Legislative department.
IV. Judicial department.
V. Executive department. - Militia.
VI. Impeachments.
VII. General provisions. - Slaves. - Amending constitution. - Schedule.

Article I

 

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.

 

That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognised and established, we declare:

 

Section 1. That all freemen, when they form a social compact, are equal in rights; and that no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive, separate public emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.

Sect. 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and established for their benefit; and, therefore, they have at all times an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter or abolish their form of government, in such manner as they may think expedient.

Sect. 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall for ever be free to all persons in this state: Provided, That the right hereby declared and established shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.

Sect. 4. No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, or mode of worship.

Sect. 5. That no person shall be molested for his opinions on any subject whatever, nor suffer any civil or political incapacity, or acquire any civil or political advantage, in consequence of such opinions, except in cases provided for in this Constitution.

Sect. 6. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects; being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Sect. 7. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech, or of the press.

Sect. 8. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.

Sect. 9. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable seizures and searches; and that no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized, as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

Sect. 10. That in all criminal prosecutions the accused hath a right to be heard, by himself or counsel, or both; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have a compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in all prosecutions, by indictment or information, a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county where the offence was committed; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by due course of law.

Sect. 11. No person shall be accused, arrested, or detained, except in cases ascertained by law, and according to the form which the same has prescribed; and no person shall be punished but in virtue of a law established and promulgated prior to the offence, and legally applied.

Sect. 12. That no person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally by information; except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or the militia, when in actual service, or by leave of the court, for misdemeanor in office.

Sect. 13. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any person's property be taken or applied to public use without the consent of the legislature, and without just compensation being first made therefor.

Sect. 14. That all courts shall be open, and every person 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.

Sect. 15. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, except by the legislature, or its authority.

Sect. 16. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.

Sect. 17. That all prisoners shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient securities, except for capital offences, where 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.

Sect. 18. That the person of a debtor, when there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be detained in prison, after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sect. 19. No conviction for any offence shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate: The legislature shall pass no bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts.

Sect. 20. No property qualification for eligibility to office, or for the right of suffrage, shall ever be required by law in this state.

Sect. 21. That the estates of suicides shall descend or vest as in cases of natural death: and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

Sect. 22. That the citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those vested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes; by petition, redress or remonstrance.

Sect. 23. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and of the state.

Sect. 24. No standing army shall be kept up without the consent of the legislature; and the military shall in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sect. 25. That no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, or in time of war, but in manner to be prescribed by law.

Sect. 26. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors shall ever be granted or conferred in this state.

Sect. 27. Emigration from this state shall not be prohibited, nor shall any free white citizen of this state ever be exiled under any pretence whatever.

Sect. 28. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

Sect. 29. No person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending any civil cause for or against him or herself before any tribunal in this state, by him or herself, or counsel, or both.

Sect. 30. No person shall ever be appointed or elected to any office in this state for life or during good behavior; but the tenure of all offices shall be for some limited period of time, if the person appointed or elected thereto shall so long behave well.

CONCLUSION. To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated: We Declare, that every thing in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall for ever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.

Article II

DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.

Sect. 1. The powers of the government of the state of Mississippi shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate body of magistracy; to wit: those which are legislative to one, those which are judicial to another, and those which are executive to another.

Sect. 2. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

Article III

LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.

Sect. 1. Every free white male person of the age of twenty-one years or upwards, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this state one year next preceding an election, and the last four months within the county, city or town in which he offers to vote, shall be deemed a qualified elector. And any such qualified elector who may happen to be in any county, city or town other than that of his residence at the time of an election, or who shall have removed to any county, city or town within four months preceding the election, from any county, city or town, in which he would have been a qualified elector had he not so removed, may vote for any state or district officer or member of congress, for whom he could have voted in the county of his residence, or the county, city or town from which he may have so removed.

Sect. 2. Electors shall, in all cases, except in those of treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest, during their attendance on elections, and going to and returning from the same.

Sect. 3. The first election shall be by ballot, and all future elections by the people, shall be regulated by law.

Sect. 4. The legislative power of the state shall be vested in two distinct branches: the one to be styled "the Senate," the other "the House of Representatives," and both together "the Legislature of the State of Mississippi." And the style of their laws shall be, "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi."

Sect. 5. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen by the qualified electors, and shall serve for the term of two years, from the day of the commencement of the general election, and no longer.

Sect. 6. The representatives shall be chosen every two years, on the first Monday and day following in November.

Sect. 7. No person shall be a representative unless he be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the county, city or town for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years.

Sect. 8. Elections for representatives for the several counties, shall be held at the places of holding their respective courts, or in the several election districts into which the county may be divided: Provided, That when it shall appear to the legislature that any city or town hath a number of free white inhabitants, equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall have a separate representation, according to the number of free white inhabitants therein, which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of free white inhabitants equal to the existing ratio, and thereafter and during the existence of the right of separate representation in such city or town, elections for the county in which such city or town entitled to a separate representation is situated, shall not be held in such city or town: And provided, That if the residuum or fraction of any city or town, entitled to separate representation shall, when added to the residuum in the county in which it may lie, be equal to the ratio fixed by law, for one representative; then the aforesaid county, city or town, having the largest residuum, shall be entitled to such representation: And provided also, That when there are two or more counties adjoining, which have residuums over and above the ratio then fixed by law, if such residuums, when added together, will amount to such ratio, in that case one representative shall be added to that county having the largest residuum.

Sect. 9. The legislature shall at their first session, and at periods of not less than every four, nor more than every six years, until the year 1845; and thereafter at periods of not less than every four, and not more than every eight years, cause an enumeration to be made of all the free white inhabitants of this state, and the whole number of representatives shall at the several periods of making such enumeration be fixed by the legislature, and apportioned among the several counties, cities or towns entitled to separate representation, according to the number of free white inhabitants in each, and shall not be less than thirty-six nor more than one hundred: Provided, however, That each county shall always be entitled to at least one representative.

Sect. 10. The whole number of senators shall, at the several periods of making the enumeration before mentioned, be fixed by the legislature, and apportioned among the several districts to be established by law, according to the number of free white inhabitants in each, and shall never be less than one-fourth, nor more than one-third, of the whole number of representatives.

Sect. 11. The senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors, for four years, and on their being convened in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided by lot from their respective districts into two classes, as nearly equal as can be. And the seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year.

Sect. 12. Such mode of classifying new additional senators shall be observed, as will as nearly as possible preserve an equality of numbers in each class.

Sect. 13. When a senatorial district shall be composed of two or more counties, it shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district; and no county shall be divided in forming a district.

Sect. 14. No person shall be a Senator unless he be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state four years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and have attained the age of thirty years.

Sect. 15. The house of representatives, when assembled, shall choose a speaker and its other officers, and the senate shall choose a president and its officers, and each house shall judge of the qualifications and elections of its own members, but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Sect. 16. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly behavior, and with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the legislature of a free and independent state.

Sect. 17. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish the same; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of any three members present, be entered on the journal.

Sect. 18. When vacancies happen in either house, the governor, or the person exercising the powers of the governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

Sect. 19. Senators and representatives shall in all cases, except of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the legislature, and in going to and returning from the same, allowing one day for every twenty miles such member may reside from the place at which the legislature is convened.

Sect. 20. Each house may punish, by imprisonment, during the session, any person not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly behavior, in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings: Provided, Such imprisonment shall not, at any one time, exceed forty-eight hours.

Sect. 21. The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasions of great emergency, as, in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.

Sect. 22. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sect. 23. Bills may originate in either house, and be amended, altered, or rejected by the other, but no bill shall have the force of a law, until, on three several days, it be read in each house, and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless four-fifths of the house in which the bill shall be pending, may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule; and every bill having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.

Sect. 24. All the bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may amend or reject them as other bills.

Sect. 25. Each member of the legislature shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for his services, which may be increased or diminished by law; but no increase of compensation shall take effect during the session at which such increase shall have been made.

Sect. 26. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during such term; except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people; and no member of either house of the legislature shall, after the commencement of the first session of the legislature after his election, and during the remainder of the term for which he is elected, be eligible to any office or place, the appointment to which may be made in whole or in part by either branch of the legislature.

Sect. 27. No judge of any court of law or equity, secretary of state, attorney general, clerk of any court of record, sheriff, or collector, or any person holding a lucrative office under the United States or this state, shall be eligible to the legislature: Provided, That offices in the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, and the office of justice of the peace, shall not be deemed lucrative.

Sect. 28. No person who hath heretofore been, or hereafter may be, a collector or holder of public moneys, shall have a seat in either house of the legislature, until such person shall have accounted for, and paid into the treasury, all sums for which he may be accountable.

Sect. 29. The first election for senators and representatives shall be general throughout the state, and shall be held on the first Monday and day following in November, 1833; and thereafter, there shall be biennial elections for senators to fill the places of those whose term of service may have expired.

Sect. 30. The first and all future sessions of the legislature shall be held in the town of Jackson, in the county of Hinds, until the year 1850. During the first session thereafter, the legislature shall have power to designate by law the permanent seat of government: Provided, however, That unless such designation be then made by law, the seat of government shall continue permanently at the town of Jackson. The first session shall commence on the third Monday in November, in the year 1833, and in every two years thereafter, at such time as may be prescribed by law.

Sect. 31. The governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor of public accounts and attorney general shall reside at the seat of government.

Article IV.

JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.

Sect. 1. The judicial power of this state shall be vested in one high court of errors and appeals, and such other courts of law and equity as are hereafter provided for in this constitution.

Sect. 2. The high court of errors and appeals shall consist of three judges, any two of whom shall form a quorum. The legislature shall divide the state into three districts, and the qualified electors of each district shall elect one of said judges for the term of six years.

Sect. 3. The office of one of said judges shall be vacated in two years, and of one in four years, and of one in six years, so that at the expiration of every two years, one of said judges shall be elected as aforesaid.

Sect. 4. The high court of errors and appeals shall have no jurisdiction, but such as properly belongs to a court of errors and appeals.

Sect. 5. All vacancies that may occur in said courts, from death, resignation or removal, shall be filled by election as aforesaid: Provided, however, That if the unexpired term do not exceed one year, the vacancy shall be filled by executive appointment.

Sect. 6. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the high court of errors and appeals, who shall not have attained, at the time of his election, the age of thirty years.

Sect. 7. The high court of errors and appeals shall be held twice in each year, at such place as the legislature shall direct, until the year eighteen hundred and thirty-six, and afterwards at the seat of government of the state.

Sect. 8. The secretary of state, on receiving all the official returns of the first election, shall proceed, forthwith, in the presence and with the assistance of two justices of the peace, to determine by lot among the three candidates having the highest number of votes, which of said judges elect shall serve for the term of two years, which shall serve for the term of four years, and which shall serve for the term of six years, and having so determined the same it shall be the duty of the governor to issue commissions accordingly.

Sect. 9. No judge shall sit on the trial of any cause when the parties or either of them shall be connected with him by affinity or consanguinity, or when he may be interested in the same, except by consent of the judge and of the parties; and whenever a quorum of said court are situated as aforesaid, the governor of the state shall in such case specially commission two or more men of law knowledge for the determination thereof.

Sect. 10. The judges of said court shall receive for their services a compensation to be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Sect. 11. The judges of the circuit court shall be elected by the qualified electors of each judicial district, and hold their offices for the term of four years, and reside in their respective districts.

Sect. 12. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the circuit court, who shall not at the time of his election, have attained the age of twenty-six years.

Sect. 13. The state shall be divided into convenient districts, and each district shall contain not less than three nor more than twelve counties.

Sect. 14. The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, within this state; but in civil cases only when the principal of the sum in controversy exceeds fifty dollars.

Sect. 15. A circuit court shall be held in each county of this state, at least twice in each year; and the judges of said courts shall interchange circuits with each other, in such manner as may be prescribed by law, and shall receive for their services a compensation to be fixed by law which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Sect. 16. A separate superior court of chancery shall be established, with full jurisdiction in all matters of equity: Provided, however, The legislature may give to the circuit courts of each county equity jurisdiction in all cases where the value of the thing, or amount in controversy, does not exceed five hundred dollars; also, in all cases of divorce, and for the foreclosure of mortgages. The chancellor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the whole state, for the term of six years, and shall be at least thirty years old at the time of his election.

Sect. 17. The style of all process shall be "The State of Mississippi," and all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of "The State of Mississippi," and shall conclude "against the peace and dignity of the same."

Sect. 18. A court of probates shall be established in each county of this state, with jurisdiction in all matters testamentary and of administration in orphans' business and the allotment of dower, in cases of idiocy and lunacy, and of persons non compos mentis. The judge of said court shall be elected by the qualified electors of the respective counties, for the term of two years.

Sect. 19. The clerk of the high court of errors and appeals shall be appointed by said court for the term of four years, and the clerks of the circuit, probate, and other inferior courts, shall be elected by the qualified electors of the respective counties, and shall hold their offices for the term of two years.

Sect. 20. The qualified electors of each county shall elect five persons for the term of two years, who shall constitute a board of police for each county, a majority of whom may transact business, which body shall have full jurisdiction over roads, highways, ferries, and bridges, and all other matters of county police; and shall order all county elections to fill vacancies that may occur in the offices of their respective counties: The clerk of the court of probate shall be the clerk of the board of county police.

Sect. 21. No person shall be eligible as a member of said board, who shall not have resided one year in the county; but this qualification shall not extend to such new counties as may hereafter be established until one year after organisation; and all vacancies that may occur in said board, shall be supplied by election as aforesaid to fill the unexpired term.

Sect. 22. The judges of all the courts of this state, and also the members of the board of county police, shall in virtue of their offices be conservators of the peace, and shall be by law vested with ample powers in this respect.

Sect. 23. A competent number of justices of the peace and constables shall be chosen in each county, by the qualified electors thereof, by districts, who shall hold their offices for the term of two years: the jurisdiction of justices of the peace shall be limited to causes in which the principal of the amount in controversy shall not exceed fifty dollars: in all causes tried by a justice of the peace, the right of appeal shall be secured under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law.

Sect. 24. The legislature may from time to time establish such other inferior courts as may be deemed necessary, and abolish the same whenever they shall deem it expedient.

Sect. 25. There shall be an attorney general elected by the qualified electors of the state; and a competent number of district attorneys shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective districts; whose compensation and term of service shall be prescribed by law.

Sect. 26. The legislature shall provide by law for determining contested elections of judges of the high court of errors and appeals, of the circuit and probate courts, and other officers.

Sect. 27. The judges of the several courts of this state, for wilful neglect of duty or other reasonable cause, shall be removed by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of both houses of the legislature; the address to be by joint vote of both houses. The cause or causes for which such removal shall be required, shall be stated at length in such address, and on the journals of each house. The judge so intended to be removed, shall be notified and admitted to a hearing in his own defence before any vote for such address shall pass: The vote on such address shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journals of each house.

Sect. 28. Judges of probate, clerks, sheriffs, and other county officers, for wilful neglect of duty, or misdemeanor in office, shall be liable to presentment or indictment by a grand jury, and trial by petit jury, and, upon conviction, shall be removed from office.

Article V

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.

Sect. 1. The chief executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for two years from the time of his installation.

Sect. 2. The governor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state. The returns of every election for governor shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government, directed to the secretary of state, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of representatives, at the next ensuing session of the legislature, during the first week of which session the said speaker shall open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the legislature. The person having the highest number of votes shall be governor, but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes then one of them shall be chosen governor by the joint ballot of both houses of the legislature. Contested elections for governor shall be determined by both houses of the legislature, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sect. 3. The governor shall be at least thirty years of age, shall have been a citizen of the United States for twenty years, shall have resided in this state at least five years next preceding the day of his election, and shall not be capable of holding the office more than four years in any term of six years.

Sect. 4. He shall at stated times receive for his services a compensation which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall be elected.

Sect. 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.

Sect. 6. He may require information in writing, from the officers in the executive department, on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sect. 7. He may in cases of emergency, convene the legislature at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that shall have become, since their last adjournment, dangerous from an enemy or from disease; and in case of disagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not beyond the day of the next stated meeting of the legislature.

Sect. 8. He shall from time to time give to the legislature, information of the state of the government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem necessary and expedient.

Sect. 9. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sect. 10. In all criminal and penal cases, except in those of treason and impeachment, he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, and remit fines, and in cases of forfeiture to stay the collection until the end of the next session of the legislature, and to remit forfeitures by and with the advice and consent of the senate. In cases of treason he shall have power to grant reprieves by and with the advice and consent of the senate, but may respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the legislature.

Sect. 11. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the state of Mississippi, be sealed with the great seal and signed by the governor, and be attested by the secretary of state.

Sect. 12. 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 Mississippi.

Sect. 13. All vacancies not provided for in this constitution, shall be filled in such manner as the legislature may prescribe.

Sect. 14. The secretary of state shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state, and shall continue in office during the term of two 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 legislature, and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.

Sect. 15. Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the legislature shall be presented to the governor; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it shall have originated, which shall enter the objections at large upon their journals, and proceed to consider it; if after such reconsideration two-thirds of the house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent with the objections to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law: but in such case the vote of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill, shall be entered on the journals of each house respectively: if any bill shall not be returned by the governor within six days (Sunday excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not become a law.

Sect. 16. Every order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except resolutions for the purpose of obtaining the joint action of both houses, and on questions of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be repassed by both houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Sect. 17. Whenever the office of governor shall become vacant by death, resignation, removal from office or otherwise, the president of the senate shall exercise the office of governor until another governor shall be duly qualified; and in case of the death, resignation, removal from office or other disqualification of the president of the senate so exercising the office of governor, the speaker of the house of representatives shall exercise the office, until the president of the senate shall have been chosen, and when the office of governor, president of the senate, and speaker of the house shall become vacant in the recess of the senate, the person acting as secretary of state for the time being, shall by proclamation convene the senate, that a president may be chosen to exercise the office of governor.

Sect. 18. When either the president or speaker of the house of representatives shall so exercise said office, he shall receive the compensation of governor only, and his duties as president or speaker shall be suspended, and the senate or house of representatives, as the case may be, shall fill the vacancy until his duties as governor shall cease.

Sect. 19. A sheriff and one or more coroners, a treasurer, surveyor and ranger shall be elected in each county by the qualified electors thereof, who shall hold their offices for two years, unless sooner removed; except that the coroner shall hold his office until his successor be duly qualified.

Sect. 20. A state treasurer and auditor of public accounts shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state, who shall hold their offices for the term of two years, unless sooner removed.

Militia

Sect. 1. The legislature shall provide by law, for organising and disciplining the militia of this state, in such manner as they shall deem expedient, not incompatible with the constitution and laws of the United States, in relation thereto.

Sect. 2. Commissioned officers of the militia (staff officers and the officers of voluntary companies excepted) shall be elected by the persons liable to perform military duty, and the qualified electors within their respective commands, and shall be commissioned by the governor.

Sect. 3. The governor shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the state, to suppress insurrection, and repel invasion.

Article VI

IMPEACHMENTS.

Sect. 1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeaching.

Sect. 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose the senators shall be on oath or affirmation: No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

Sect. 3. The governor, and all civil officers, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit, under the state: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial and punishment, according to law, as in other cases.

Article VII

GENERAL PROVISIONS.

Sect. 1. Members of the legislature, and all officers, executive and judicial, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation, to wit: "I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the state of Mississippi, so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully discharge, to the best of my abilities, the duties of the office of__________________according to law. So help me God."

Sect. 2. The legislature shall pass such laws to prevent the evil practice of duelling as they may deem necessary, and may require all officers before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, to take the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as they case may be) that I have not been engaged in a duel, by sending or accepting a challenge to fight a duel, or by fighting a duel since the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three, nor will I be so engaged during my continuance in office. So help me God."

Sect. 3. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Sect. 4. Every person shall be disqualified from holding an office or place of honor or profit under the authority of this state, who shall be convicted of having given or offered any bribe, to procure his election. Laws shall be made to exclude from office and from suffrage those who shall hereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence therein, from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper conduct.

Sect. 5. No person who denies the being of a God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.

Sect. 6. No laws of a general nature, unless otherwise provided for, shall be enforced until sixty days after the passage thereof.

Sect. 7. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of an appropriation made by law; nor shall any appropriation of money for the support of an army be made for a longer term than one year.

Sect. 8. No money from the treasury shall be appropriated to objects of internal improvement, unless a bill for that purpose be approved by two thirds of both branches of the legislature; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of public moneys shall be published annually.

Sect. 9. No law shall ever be passed to raise a loan of money upon the credit of the state, or to pledge the faith of the state for the payment or redemption of any loan or debt, unless such law be proposed in the senate or house of representatives, and be agreed to by a majority of the members of each house, and entered on their journals with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and be referred to the next succeeding legislature, and published for three months previous to the next regular election, in three newspapers of this state; and unless a majority of each branch of the legislature so elected, after such publication, shall agree to, and pass such law; and in such case the yeas and nays shall be taken, and entered on the journals of each house: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be so construed as to prevent the legislature from negotiating a further loan of one and a half million of dollars, and vesting the same in stock reserved to the state by the charter of the Planters' Bank of the state of Mississippi.

Sect. 10. The legislature shall direct by law in what manner and in what courts, suits may be brought against the state.

Sect. 11. Absence on business of this state, or of the United States, or on a visit, or necessary private business, shall not cause a forfeiture of citizenship or residence once obtained.

Sect. 12. It shall be the duty of the legislature to regulate by law, the cases in which deductions shall be made from salaries of public officers for neglect of duty in their official capacity, and the amount of such deductions.

Sect. 13. No member of Congress, nor any person holding any office of profit or trust under the United States (the office of post master excepted), or any other state of the Union, or under any foreign power, shall hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under this state.

Sect. 14. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged in this state.

Sect. 15. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony shall not be granted, but in cases provided for by law, by suit in chancery.

Sect. 16. Returns of all elections by the people shall be made to the secretary of state, in such a manner as may be prescribed by law.

Sect. 17. No new county shall be established by the legislature, which shall reduce the county or counties, or either of them, from which it may be taken, to less contents than five hundred and seventy-six square miles, nor shall any new county be laid off of less contents.

Sect. 18. The legislature shall have power to admit to all the rights and privileges of free white citizens of this state, all such persons of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes of Indians, as shall choose to remain in this state, upon such terms as the legislature may from time to time deem proper.

Slaves

Sect. 1. The legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, unless where the slave shall have rendered to the state some distinguished service, in which case the owner shall be paid a full equivalent for the slave so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to this state from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this state: Provided, That such person or slave be the bona fide property of such emigrants: And provided, also, That laws may be passed to prohibit the introduction into this state, of slaves who may have committed high crimes in other states. They shall have power to pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming a public charge. They shall have full power to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide for them necessary clothing and provisions, to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb, and in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the direction of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of the owner or owners.

Sect. 2. The introduction of slaves into this state as merchandise or for sale, shall be prohibited from and after the first day of May, eighteen hundred and thirty-three: Provided, That the actual settler or settlers shall not be prohibited from purchasing slaves in any state in this Union, and bringing them into this state for their own individual use, until the year eighteen hundred and forty-five.

Sect. 3. In the prosecution of slaves for crimes of which the punishment is not capital, no inquest by a grand jury shall be necessary: but the proceedings in such cases shall be regulated by law.

Mode of Revising the Constitution.

Whenever two-thirds of each branch of the legislature shall deem any change, alteration or amendment necessary to this Constitution, such proposed change, alteration or amendment shall be read and passed by a majority of two-thirds of each house respectively on each day, for three several days: public notice thereof shall then be given by the secretary of state at least six months preceding the next general election, at which the qualified electors shall vote directly for or against such change, alteration, or amendment; and if it shall appear that a majority of the qualified electors voting for members of the legislature, shall have voted for the proposed change, alteration, or amendment, then it shall be inserted by the next succeeding legislature, as a part of this Constitution, and not otherwise.

Schedule.

Sect. 1. All rights vested, and all liabilities incurred shall remain the same as if this Constitution had not been adopted.

Sect. 2. All suits at law or in equity, now pending in the several courts of this state, may be transferred to such court as may have proper jurisdiction thereof.

Sect. 3. The governor, and all officers, civil and military, now holding commissions under the authority of this state, shall continue to hold and exercise their respective offices until they shall be superseded pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution, and until their successors be duly qualified.

Sect. 4. All laws now in force in this state, not repugnant to this Constitution, shall continue to operate until they shall expire by their own limitation, or be altered or repealed by the legislature.

Sect. 5. Immediately upon the adoption of this Constitution, the president of this convention shall issue writs of election directed to the sheriffs of the several counties, requiring them to cause an election to be held on the first Monday and day following in December next, for members of the legislature, at the respective places of holding elections in said counties, which elections shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by the existing election laws of this state: and the members of the legislature thus elected, shall continue in office until the next general election, and shall convene at the seat of government on the first Monday in January, eighteen hundred and thirty-three; and shall at their first session order an election to be held in every county of this state, on the first Monday in May and day following, eighteen hundred and thirty-three, for all state and county officers under this Constitution, (members of the legislature excepted), and the officers then elected shall continue in office until the succeeding general election and after, in the same manner as if the election had taken place at the time last aforesaid.

Sect. 6. Until the first enumeration shall be made, as directed by this Constitution, the apportionment of senators and representatives among the several districts and counties in this state, shall remain as at present fixed by law.

P. RUTILIUS R. PRAY President of the Convention, and Representative from the County of Hancock

Attest:

John H. Mallory, Secretary

The Mississippi Constitution of 1817

Constitution and Form of Government
for the
State of Mississippi

Preamble

We, the Representatives of the people inhabiting the western part of the Mississippi Territory, contained within the following limits, to wit: Beginning on the River Mississippi at the point where the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee strikes the same; thence east along the said boundary line to the Tennessee River; thence up the same to the mouth of Bear Creek; thence, by a direct line, to the northwest corner of the county of Washington; thence due south to the Gulf of Mexico; thence westwardly, including all islands within six leagues of the shore, to the most eastern junction of Pearl River with Lake Borgne; thence up the said river to the thirty-first degree of north latitude; thence west along the said degree of latitude to the Mississippi River, thence up the same to the beginning; assembled in Convention at the town of Washington, on Monday, the seventh day of July, one thousand eight hundred and seventeen, in pursuance of an Act of Congress entitled; An Act to enable the people of the western part of the Mississippi Territory to form a Constitution and State government; and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, in order to secure to the citizens thereof the rights of life, liberty and property, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and 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 Mississippi.

Article I
Declaration of Rights

That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, We Declare:

Section 1. That all freemen, when they form a social compact, are equal in rights, and that no man or set of men, are entitled to exclusive, separate, public emoluments or privileges, from the community, but in consideration of public services.

Section 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit; and, therefore, they have, at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter or abolish their form of government, in such manner as they may think expedient.

Section 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in this State; provided, that the right hereby declared and established shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of this State.

Section 4. No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect or mode of worship.

Section 5. That no person shall be molested for his opinions on any subject whatever, nor suffer any civil or political incapacity, or acquire any civil or political advantage, in consequence of such opinions except in cases provided for in this Constitution.

Section 6. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Section 7. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press.

Section 8. In all prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence, and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts under the direction of the court.

Section 9. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable seizures or searches, and that no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or things, shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

Section 10. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour; and, in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the county; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by due course of law.

Section 11. No person shall be accused, arrested or detained, except in cases ascertained by law, and according to the forms which the same has prescribed; and no person shall be punished but in virtue of a law established and promulgated prior to the offence, and legally applied.

Section 12. That no person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or the militia, when in actual service, or by leave of the court, for misdemeanor in office.

Section 13. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall any persons property be taken or applied to public use, without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being made therefor.

Section 14. That all courts shall be open, and every person for any 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.

Section 15. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised except by the Legislature or its authority.

Section 16. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.

Section 17. That all prisoners shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient securities, except 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.

Section 18. That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be detained in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Section 19. That no ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of a contract, shall be made.

Section 20. That no person shall be attainted of treason, or felony, by the Legislature.

Section 21. That the estates of suicides shall descend or vest as in cases of natural death; and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

Section 22. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together, for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.

Section 23. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and the State.

Section 24. No standing army shall be kept up without the consent of the Legislature, and the military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Section 25. 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 to be prescribed by law.

Section 26. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honors shall ever be granted or confered in this State.

Section 27. No citizen of this State shall be exiled, or prevented from emigrating, on any pretence whatever.

Section 28. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

Section 29. No person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending any civil cause, for or against him or herself, before any tribunal in this State, by him or herself or counsel, or both.

Conclusion

To guard against transgressions of the high powers, herein delegated, We Declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.

Article II
Distribution of Powers

Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Mississippi shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: Those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another.

Section 2. No person or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

Article III
Legislative Department

Section 1. Every free, white male person of the age of twenty-one years or upwards, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this State one year next preceding an election, and the last six months within the county, city, or town, in which he offers to vote, and shall be enrolled in the militia thereof, except exempted by law from military service; or, having the aforesaid qualifications of citizenship and residence, shall have paid a State or county tax, shall be deemed a qualified elector: no elector shall be entitled to vote, except in the county, city or town (entitled to separate representation) in which he may reside at the time of the election.

Section 2. Electors shall in all cases, except in those of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and in going to and returning from the same.

Section 3. The first election shall be by ballot, and all future elections by the people shall be regulated by law.

Section 4. The legislative power of the State shall be vested in two distinct branches; the one to be styled the Senate, the other the House of Representatives, and both together, The General Assembly of the State of Mississippi. And the style of their laws shall be Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Mississippi in General Assembly convened.

Section 5. The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by the qualified electors, and shall serve for the term of one year from the day of the commencement of the general election, and no longer.

Section 6. The representatives shall be chosen every year, on the first Monday and the day following in August.

Section 7. No person shall be a representative unless he be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the county, city or town for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained to the age of twenty-two years; and also, unless he shall hold, in his own right, within this State, one hundred and fifty acres of land, or an interest in real estate of the value of five hundred dollars, at the time of his election, and for six months previous thereto.

Section 8. Elections for representatives for the several counties shall be held at the places of holding their respective courts, or in the several election districts into which the Legislature may divide any county; provided, that when it shall appear to the Legislature that any city or town hath a number of free white inhabitants equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall have a separate representation, according to the number of free white inhabitants therein, which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of free white inhabitants equal to the existing ratio; and thereafter, and during the existence of the right of separate representation in such city or town, elections for the county in which such city or town entitled to such representation is situated shall not be held in such city or town; and provided, that if the residuum or fraction of any city or town entitled to separate representation shall, when added to the residuum in the county in which it may lie, be equal to the ratio fixed by law for one representative, then the aforesaid county, city or town having the largest residuum shall be entitled to such representation; and provided also, that when there are two or more counties adjoining, which have residuums over and above the ratio then fixed by law, if said residuums, when added together, will amount to such ratio, in that case, one representative shall be added to the county having the largest residuum.

Section 9. The General Assembly shall, at their first meeting, and in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty, and in not less than every three nor more than five years thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the free white inhabitants of the State; and the whole number of representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed by the General Assembly, and apportioned among the several counties, cities or towns entitled to separate representation according to the number of free white inhabitants in each; and shall not be less than twenty-four, nor greater than thirty-six, until the number of free white inhabitants shall be eighty thousand; and after that event, at such ratio that the whole number of representatives shall never be less than thirty-six nor more than one hundred; provided, however, that each county shall always be entitled to at least one representative.

Section 10. The whole number of senators shall, at the several periods of making the enumeration before mentioned, be fixed by the General Assembly, and apportioned among the several districts to be established by law, according to the number of free white taxable inhabitants in each, and shall never be less than one-fourth, nor more than one-third of the whole number of representatives.

Section 11. The senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors for three years; and, on their being convened in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided by lot from their respective districts, into three classes, as nearly equal as can be. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; and of the second class, at the expiration of the second year; and of the third class, at the expiration of the third year; so that one-third thereof may be annually chosen thereafter.

Section 12. Such mode of classifying new additional senators shall be observed as will, as nearly as possible, preserve an equality of numbers in each class.

Section 13. When a senatorial district shall be composed of two or more counties, it shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district; and no county shall be divided in forming a district.

Section 14. No person shall be a senator unless he be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State four years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained to the age of twenty-six years; and also, unless he shall hold, in his own right, within this State, three hundred acres of land, or an interest in real estate of the value of one thousand dollars, at the time of his election, and for six months previous thereto.

Section 15. The House of Representatives, when assembled, shall choose a Speaker and its other officers, and the Senate shall choose its officers, except the President, and each house shall judge of the qualifications and elections of its own members, but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Section 16. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time, for the same cause, and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the Legislature of a free and independent State.

Section 17. Each house shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and publish the same, excepting such parts as in its judgment, may require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of any three members present, be entered on the journals.

Section 18. When vacancies happen in either house, the Governor, or the person exercising the powers of the Governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

Section 19. Senators and representatives shall in all cases, except of 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; allowing one day for every twenty miles, such member may reside from the place at which the General Assembly is convened.

Section 20. Each house may punish by imprisonment, during the session, any person, not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly behaviour in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings; provided, such imprisonment shall not at any time exceed forty-eight hours.

Section 21. The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.

Section 22. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Section 23. Bills may originate in either house, and be amended, altered, or rejected by the other; but no bill shall have the force of a law until, on three several days, it be read in each house, and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless in cases of urgency, four-fifths of the house in which the bill shall be depending, may deem it expedient to dispense with the rules; and every bill having passed both houses shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.

Section 24. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may amend or reject them as other bills.

Section 25. Each member of the General Assembly shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for his services, which may be increased or diminished by law; but no increase of compensation shall take effect during the session at which such increase shall have been made.

Section 26. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed to any civil office of profit under the State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term; except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people; and no member of either house of the General Assembly shall, after the commencement of the first session of the Legislature, after his election and during the remainder of the term for which he is elected, be eligible to any office or place, the appointment to which may be made in whole or in part by either branch of the General Assembly.

Section 27. No judge of any court of law or equity, Secretary of State, Attorney General, clerk of any court of record, sheriff, or collector, or any person holding a lucrative office under the United States, (the office of postmaster excepted), or this State, shall be eligible to the General Assembly; provided, that officers in the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, or the office of justice of the peace, or of the quorum, shall not be deemed lucrative.

Section 28. No person who shall have heretofore 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.

Section 29. The first election for senators and representatives shall be general throughout the State, and shall be held on the first Monday and Tuesday in September next, and thereafter there shall be an annual election for senators to fill the place of those whose term of service may have expired.

Section 30. The first session of the General Assembly shall commence on the first Monday in October next, and be held at the city of Natchez, and thereafter at such place as may be designated by law; and thereafter the General Assembly shall meet on the next Monday in November in every year, and at no other period, unless directed by law, or provided for by this Constitution.

Article IV
Executive Department

Section 1. The supreme executive power of this State shall be vested in a Governor, who shall be elected by the qualified electors, and shall hold office for two years from the time of his installation, and until his successor be duly qualified.

Section 2. The returns of every election for Governor shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government, directed to the Secretary of State, who shall deliver them to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, at the next ensuing session of the General Assembly, during the first week of which session the said Speaker shall open and publish them in the presence of both houses 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 the joint ballot of both houses. Contested elections for Governor shall be determined by both houses of the General Assembly, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Section 3. The Governor shall be at least thirty years of age, shall have been a citizen of the United States for twenty years, shall have resided in this State at least five years next preceding the day of his election, and shall be seized, in his own right, of a freehold estate of six hundred acres of land, or of real estate of the value of $2,000.00, at the time of his election and twelve months previous thereto.

Section 4. He shall at stated times receive a compensation for his services, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected.

Section 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.

Section 6. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the executive department, on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Section 7. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place, in that shall have become, since their last adjournment, dangerous from an enemy or from contagious disorders, and in case of disagreement between the two houses, with respect to the time of adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not beyond the day of the next annual meeting of the General Assembly.

Section 8. He shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly information of the state of government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall deem expedient.

Section 9. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Section 10. In all criminal and penal cases, except in those of treason and impeachment, he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons and remit fines and forfeitures, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law. In cases of treason, he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, but may respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the General Assembly.

Section 11. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Mississippi, be sealed with the State seal, and signed by the Governor, and attested by the Secretary of State.

Section 12. 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 Mississippi.

Section 13. When a vacancy shall happen in any office during the recess of the General Assembly, the Governor shall have power to fill the same, by granting a commission, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the General Assembly, except in cases otherwise directed by this Constitution.

Section 14. A Secretary of State shall be appointed, who shall continue in office during the term of two 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 may be required of by law.

Section 15. Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the General Assembly shall be presented to the Governor; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon the journals and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall be, likewise, reconsidered; if approved by two-thirds of that house it shall become a law; but in such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within six days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Section 16. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on questions of adjournment, shall be presented to the Governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be repassed by both houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Section 17. The appointment of all officers, not otherwise directed by this Constitution, shall be by the joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly; the votes shall be given vive voce , and recorded in the public Journal of each house; provided, that the General Assembly be authorized to provide by law for the appointment of all inspectors, collectors and their deputies, surveyors of highways, constables, and such other inferior officers, whose jurisdiction may be confined within the limits of the county.

Section 18. There shall be also a Lieutenant-Governor, who shall be chosen at every election for a Governor, by the same persons, in the same manner, continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications. In voting for Governor, and Lieutenant-Governor, the electors shall distinguish whom they vote for as Governor and whom as Lieutenant-Governor.

Section 19. The Lieutenant-Governor shall, by virtue of his office, be President of the Senate, and have, when in committee of the whole, a right to debate and vote on all questions, and when the Senate is equally divided, to give the casting vote.

Section 20. In case of the death, resignation, refusal to serve, or removal from office of the Governor, or of his impeachment or absence from the State, the Lieutenant-Governor shall exercise the powers and authority appertaining to the office of Governor, until another be chosen at the next periodical election for a Governor, and be duly qualified, or until the Governor impeached or absent shall be acquitted or return.

Section 21. Whenever the government shall be administered by the Lieutenant-Governor, or he shall be unable to attend as President of the Senate, the Senate shall elect one of their own members as President Pro Tempore. And, if during the vacancy of the office of Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor shall die, resign, refuse to serve, or be removed from office; or if he shall be impeached or absent from the State, the President of the Senate Pro Tempore shall, in like manner, administer the government until he shall be superseded by a Governor or Lieutenant-Governor. The Lieutenant-Governor shall, whilst he acts as President of the Senate, receive for his services the same compensation which shall, for the same period, be allowed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and no more; and during the time he administers the government as Governor, shall receive the same compensation which the Governor would have received, had he been employed in the duties of his office, and no more.

Section 22. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall, during the time he administers the government, receive, in like manner, the same compensation which the Governor would have received, had he been employed in the duties of his office, and no more.

Section 23. If the Lieutenant-Governor shall be required to administer the government, and whilst in such administration, die, resign, or be absent from the State, during the recess of the General Assembly, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, for the time being, to convene the Senate for the purpose of choosing a President Pro Tempore.

Section 24. A sheriff, and one or more coroners, shall be elected in each county by the qualified electors thereof, who shall hold their offices for two years unless sooner removed.

Section 25. A State Treasurer and an Auditor of Public Accounts shall be annually appointed.

Militia

Section 1. The General Assembly shall provide by law for organizing and disciplining the militia of this State, in such manner as they shall deem expedient, not incompatible with the Constitution and laws of the United States, in relation thereto.

Section 2. Officers of the militia shall be elected or appointed in such manner as the Legislature shall, from time to time, direct, and shall be commissioned by the Governor.

Section 3. Those persons who conscientiously scruple to bear arms shall not be compelled to do so, but shall pay equivalent for personal service.

Section 4. The Governor shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.

Article V
Judicial Department

Section 1. The judicial power of this State shall be vested in one supreme court, and such superior and inferior courts of law and equity as the Legislature may, from time to time, direct and establish.

Section 2. There shall be appointed in this State not less than four nor more than eight judges of the supreme and superior courts, who shall receive for their services a compensation which shall be fixed by law, and shall not be diminished during their continuance in office; provided, that the judge whose decision is under consideration in the supreme court shall not constitute one of the court to determine the question on such decision; but it shall be the duty of such judge to report to the supreme court the reasons upon which his opinion was founded.

Section 3. The State shall be divided into convenient districts, and each district shall contain not less than three nor more than six counties. For each district there shall be appointed a judge, who shall, after his appointment, reside in the district for which he is appointed.

Section 4. The superior court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, within this State, but in civil cases, only where the matter or sum in controversy exceeds fifty dollars.

Section 5. A superior court shall be held in each county in the State at least twice in every year. The judges of the several superior courts may hold courts for each other, when they may deem it expedient, or as they may be directed by law.

Section 6. The Legislature shall have power to establish a court or courts of chancery, with exclusive original equity jurisdiction; and until the establishment of such court or courts, the said jurisdiction shall be vested in the superior courts respectively.

Section 7. The Legislature shall have power to establish in each county, within this State, a court of probate, for the granting of letters testamentary, and of administration, or orphans business, for county police, and for the trial of slaves.

Section 8. A competent number of justices of the peace shall be appointed in and for each county, in such mode, and for such term of office, as the Legislature shall direct. Their jurisdiction, in civil cases, shall be limited to causes in which the amount in controversy shall not exceed fifty dollars. And in all cases tried by a justice of the peace, right of appeal shall be secured, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law.

Section 9. The judges of the several courts of this State shall hold their offices during good behaviour. And for wilful neglect of duty, or other reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for an impeachment, the Governor shall remove any of them on the address of two-thirds of each house of the General Assembly; provided, however, that the cause or causes for which such removal shall be required shall be stated at length in such address, and on the journals of each house; and, provided, further, that the judge so intended to be removed shall be notified, and admitted to a hearing in his own defence, before any vote for such address shall pass.

Section 10. No person who shall have arrived at the age of sixty-five years shall be appointed to, or continue in, the office of judge in this State.

Section 11. Each court shall appoint its own clerk, who shall hold his office during good behaviour, but shall be removable therefrom for neglect of duty, or misdemeanor in office, by the supreme court, which court shall determine both the law and the fact; provided, that the clerk so appointed shall have been a resident of the county in which he is clerk at least six months previous to his appointment.

Section 12. The judges of the supreme and superior courts shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the State.

Section 13. The style of all process shall be The State of Mississippi, and all prosecution shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the State of Mississippi, and shall conclude against the peace and dignity of the same.

Section 14. There shall be an Attorney General for the State, and as many district attorneys as the General Assembly may deem necessary, who shall hold their offices for the term of four years, and shall receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Impeachments

Section 1. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeaching.

Section 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; when sitting for that purpose the senators shall be on oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

Section 3. The Governor and civil officers 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 honour, trust, or profit under this State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial and punishment, according to law, as in other cases.

Article VI
General Provisions

Section 1. Members of the General Assembly, and all officers, executive and judicial, before they enter on the execution of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation, to-wit: I solemnly swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Mississippi, so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully discharge, to the best of my abilities, the duties of the office of __________________, according to law. So help me God.

Section 2. The General Assembly shall have power to pass such penal laws to suppress the evil practice of dueling, extending to disqualification from office or the tenure thereof, as they may deem expedient.

Section 3. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Section 4. Every person shall be disqualified from holding an office or place of honour or profit, under the authority of this State, who shall be convicted of having given, or offered, any bribe to procure his election.

Section 5. Laws shall be made to exclude from office and from suffrage those who shall thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. The privileges of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper conduct.

Section 6. No person who denies the being of God, or of a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.

Section 7. Ministers of the Gospel being by their profession, dedicated to God, and the care of souls, 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 the office of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or to a seat in either branch of the General Assembly.

Section 8. No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of an appropriation made by law, nor shall any appropriation of money for the support of an army be made for a longer term than one year; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published annually.

Section 9. No bank shall be incorporated by the Legislature without the reservation of a right to subscribe for, in behalf of the State, at least, one-fourth part of the capital stock thereof, and the appointment of a proportion of the directors equal to the stock subscribed for.

Section 10. The General Assembly shall pass no law impairing the obligation of contracts, prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, on account of the rate of interest, fairly agreed on in writing between the contracting parties, for a bona fide loan of money; but they shall have power to regulate the rate of interest where no special contract exists in relation thereto.

Section 11. The General Assembly shall direct by law in what manner and in what courts suits may be brought against the State.

Section 12. All officers of the State, the term of whose appointment is not otherwise directed by this Constitution, shall hold their offices during good behaviour.

Section 13. Absence on business of this State or of the United States, or on a visit, or necessary private business, shall not cause a forfeiture of a residence once obtained.

Section 14. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to regulate by law the cases in which deductions shall be made from the salaries of public officers for neglect of duty in their official capacity, and the amount of such deduction.

Section 15. No member of Congress, nor any person holding any office of profit or trust under the United States, or either of them, the office of postmaster excepted, or under any foreign power, shall hold or exercise any office of trust under this State.

Section 16. Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind, schools, and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged in this State.

Section 17. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony, shall not be granted but in cases provided for by law, by suit in Chancery; provided that no decree for divorce shall have effect until the same shall be sanctioned by two-thirds of both branches of the General Assembly.

Section 18. Returns of all elections by the people shall be made to the secretary of state.

Section 19. No new county shall be established by the General Assembly which shall reduce the county or counties, or either of them, from which it may be taken to a less content than five hundred and seventy-six square miles, nor shall any new county be laid off of less contents.

Section 20. That the General Assembly shall take measures to preserve from unnecessary waste or damage such lands as are or may hereafter be granted by the United States for the use of schools, within each township in this State, and apply the funds which may be raised from such lands, by rent or lease, in strict conformity to the object of such grant, but no lands granted for the use of such township schools shall ever be sold by any authority in this State.

Slaves

Section 1. The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves, without the consent of their owners, unless where a slave shall have rendered to the State some distinguished service, in which case the owner shall be paid a full equivalent for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent immigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State; provided, that such person or slave be the bona fide property of such immigrants; and provided, also, that laws may be passed to prohibit the introduction into the State of slaves who may have committed high crimes in other States. They shall have power to pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming a public charge. They shall have full power to prevent slaves from being brought into this State as merchandise; and also to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide them necessary clothing and provision, to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb, or in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of the owner or owners.

Section 2. In the prosecution of slaves for crime, no inquest by a grand jury shall be necessary, but the proceedings in such cases shall be regulated by law, except that, in capital cases, the General Assembly shall have no power to deprive them of an impartial trial by a petit jury.

Mode of Revising the Constitution

Section 1. That whenever two-thirds of the General Assembly shall deem it necessary to amend or change this Constitution, they shall recommend to the electors, at the next election for members of the General Assembly, to vote for or against a Convention, and if it shall appear that a majority of the citizens of the State voting for representatives, have voted for a Convention, the General Assembly shall, at their next session, call a Convention, to consist of as many members as there may be in the General Assembly, to be chosen by the qualified electors, in the manner, and at the times and places of choosing members of the General Assembly, which Constitution shall meet within three months after the said election, for the purpose of revising, amending, or changing the Constitution.

Schedule

Section 1. That no inconvenience may arise from a change of territorial 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 such change had taken place.

Section 2. All fines, penalties, forfeitures and escheats, accruing to the Mississippi Territory, within the limits of this State, shall inure to the use of the State.

Section 3. The validity of all bonds and recognizances executed to the Governor of the Mississippi Territory shall not be impaired by the change of government, but may be sued for, and recovered in the name of the Governor of the State of Mississippi, and his successors in office; and all criminal or penal actions arising or now depending within the limits of this State, shall be prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of the said State. All causes of action arising to individuals, and all suits at law or in equity, now depending in the several courts within the limits of this State, and not already barred by law, may be commenced in, or transferred to, such court as may have jurisdiction thereof. Bonds, recognizances, and other papers and writings, properly belonging in the eastern section of the Mississippi Territory, not comprised within the limits of this State, shall be transferred to the offices to which they severally belong.

Section 4. All officers, civil and military, now holding commissions under the authority of the United States, of the Mississippi Territory, within this State, shall continue to hold and exercise their respective offices, under the authority of this State, until they shall be superseded under the authority of this Constitution; and shall receive from the treasury of this State the same compensation which they heretofore received for their services, in proportion to the time they shall be so employed. The Governor shall have power to fill vacancies by commissions, to expire so soon as elections or appointments can be made to such office by the authority of this Constitution.

Section 5. All laws and parts of laws now in force in Mississippi Territory, and not repugnant to the provisions of this Constitution, shall continue in force as the laws of this State, until they expire by their own limitation, or shall be altered or repealed by the Legislature thereof.

Section 6. Every free white male person, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall be a citizen of the United States and resident in this State at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be deemed a qualified elector, at the first election to be held in this State, anything in the Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.

Section 7. The president of this Convention shall issue writs of election directed to the sheriffs of the several counties, requiring them to cause an election to be held for a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, representative to the Congress of the United States, members of the General Assembly and sheriffs of the respective counties, at the respective places of elections, in said counties, except in the county of Warren, in which county the election shall be held at the court house, instead of the place provided by law, on the first Monday and the day following in September next; which election shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by the existing election laws of the Mississippi Territory, and the said Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and members of the General Assembly, then duly elected, shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices for the time prescribed by this Constitution, and until their successors be duly qualified.

Section 8. Until the first enumeration shall be made, as directed by this Constitution, the county of Warren shall be entitled to one representative, the county of Claiborne to two representatives, the county of Jefferson to two representatives; the county of Adams to four representatives, the county of Franklin to one representative, the county of Wilkinson to three representatives, the county of Amite to three representatives, the county of Pike to two representatives, the county of Lawrence to one representative, the county of Marion to one representative, the county of Hancock to one representative, the county of Greene to one representative, the county of Wayne to one representative, the county of Jackson to one representative. The counties of Warren and Claiborne shall be entitled to one senator, the county of Adams to one senator, the county of Jefferson to one senator, the county of Wilkinson to one senator, the county of Amite to one senator, the counties of Franklin and Pike to one senator, the counties of Lawrence, Marion and Hancock to one senator, the counties of Greene, Wayne and Jackson to one senator.

Section 9. The Governor may appoint and commission an additional judge, or one of the former judges of the superior court, whose commission shall expire so soon as appointments can be made under the Constitution. It shall be the duty of the judge so appointed or one of the former territorial judges, to hold superior courts in the counties of Jackson, Greene, Wayne and Hancock, at the time heretofore prescribed by law; provided, that if either of the former territorial judges, in addition to his duty, in the western counties, perform such duty, and no additional judge be appointed, he shall receive an extra compensation, proportioned to the amount of his salary and term of service rendered. If an additional judge be appointed, he shall receive the same compensation for his services as the other judges of the superior court.

Section 10. The sheriff of Wayne County shall, within ten days after the election, make return of the number of votes for senator in his county to the sheriff of Claiborne County, who shall be the returning officer for the district. The sheriff of Pike County shall, within ten days after the election, make return of the number of votes for senator in his county to the sheriff of Franklin County, who shall be the returning officer for the district. The sheriffs of Hancock and Lawrence Counties shall, within ten days after the election, make return of the number of votes for senator in their respective counties to the sheriff of Marion County, who shall be returning officer for the district. The sheriffs of Jackson and Wayne Counties shall, within ten days after the election, make return of the number of votes for senator in their respective counties to the sheriff of Greene County, who shall be the returning officer for the district.

Ordinance

Whereas, it is required by the act of Congress under which this Convention is assembled that certain provisions should be made by an ordinance of this Convention.

Therefore, this Convention, for and in behalf of the people inhabiting this State, do ordain, agree and declare that they forever disclaim all rights or title to the waste or unappropriated lands lying within the State of Mississippi, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States, and, moreover, that each and every tract of land sold by Congress shall be and remain exempt from any tax laid by the order or under the authority of this State, whether for State, county, township, parish, or other purposes whatever, for the term of five years, from and after the respective days of sale thereof, and that the lands belonging to the citizens of the United States, residing without this State shall never be taxed higher than the lands belonging to persons residing within the same; that no taxes shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States, and that the River Mississippi, and the navigable rivers and waters leading into the same, or into the Gulf of Mexico, shall be common highways and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of this State as to other citizens of the United States, without any duty, tax, import, or toll therefor imposed by this State; and this ordinance is hereby declared irrevocable without the consent of the United States.

Done in Convention at the town of Washington, the fifteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord 1817, and in the forty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America.

David Holmes
President of the Convention and Delegate
from the County of Adams

Josiah Simpson
James C. Wilkins
John Taylor
Christopher Rankin
Edward Turner
Joseph Sessions
John Steele
Cowles Mead
Hezekiah J. Balch
Joseph E. Davis
Walter Leake
Thomas Barnes
Daniel Burnet
Joshua G. Clark
Henry D. Downs
Andrew Glass
James Knox
George Poindexter
Daniel Williams
Abram M. Scott
John Joor
Jerard C. Brandon
Joseph Johnson
Henry Hanna
Thomas Batchelor
John Burton
Thomas Torrence
Angus Wilkinson
William Latimore
John MLeod
Thomas Bilbo
David Dickson
William J. Minton
James Y. MNabb
Harmon Runnels
George W. King
John Ford
Dougal MLaughlin
Noel Jourdan
Amos Burnet
James Patton
Clinch Gray
Laughlin MKay
John MRea
Louis Winston, Secretary of the Convention

Centennial Celebration of the New Capitol


CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF THE NEW CAPITOL


1903 - 2003: THE NEW MISSISSIPPI

 

AN ADDRESS DELIVERED ON JUNE 3, 2003 ON THE STEPS OF THE NEW CAPITOL


BY DAVID G. SANSING
PROFESSOR OF HISTORY EMERITUS
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI

As we gather here today to commemorate the centennial of the New Capitol, we can also celebrate a New Mississippi. And just as we honor the architects and craftsmen who built this majestic building a century ago, I want to recognize the architects and craftsmen of the New Mississippi. Many of them are in this audience today, and some are on this platform.

At the dedication of this building in 1903 Bishop Charles Galloway said, “My ardent ambition for [Mississippi] is, that she will not sit forever on the opposition benches, but develop a generation of...creative and constructive [leaders] and I...insist that the Negro should have equal opportunity with every American...to fulfill in himself the highest purposes of an all-wise and beneficent Providence.”

We have taken too long, far too long, but I believe Bishop Galloway’s “ardent ambition” has at last been fulfilled.Mississippians now sit in the highest councils of government, business, education, and arts and letters.And any Mississippian can fulfill their loftiest aspirations. If they can dream it, they can do it.

When we dedicated this building one hundred years ago, there were two men living in Mississippi whose lives are worthy of note.One you have probably never heard of, the other is one of Mississippi’s favorite sons.One was a black man, born in obscurity deep in the Piney Woods of south Mississippi.The other was a white man, born on the northern edge of the Pontotoc Ridge, the son and grandson of prominent men.

The black man, Thelma Andrews, was a cook in a college cafeteria. At least that’s how he started. He later became the Director of Food Services at Perkinston Junior College. He was a man of quiet dignity, there was something noble about him in his simple devotion to duty and in his goodness.In the 1960s after Perkinston was integrated he was a role model and mentor to students and faculty alike and in his own way he was as much a teacher as I was.Mr. Andrews, as far as I have been able to ascertain, was the first African American for whom a building was named on one of our traditionally white college campuses.

The white man, William Faulkner, has been acclaimed throughout the world for his literary genius. Faulkner produced some of the world’s great literature and won every important literary award.

Thelma Andrews and William Faulkner did not know each other, yet their lives were ineradicably linked in that seamless flow of time we call history and they, with many others like them, built the New Mississippi.Andrews and Faulkner are typical of the goodness and the genius of our people.

Mississippians are an intriguing and almost baffling blend of goodness and genius.Someone asked Faulkner once what he wrote about and he said, “I write about the human heart in conflict with itself.”

Mississippi, like the human heart, is often in conflict with itself.Our hospitality is legendary, but so too is our hostility to outsiders.We have a high rate of illiteracy, but there are more Pulitzer Prize winners per square mile in Mississippi than any other state.

Mississippi is a sad and lonely place, it was here the blues were born and we gave the world B. B. King.But we are also happy and exuberant and we gave the world Elvis Presley, the boy wonder of rock and roll.

For every trait that is typical of Mississippi, there seems to be a correspondingly opposite trait that is equally typical.Perhaps that is why people are so fascinated with us. Mississippians are amused by the attention we get when we visit other parts of the country, especially “up north.”People seem somehow intrigued to find a real live Mississippian outside its natural habitat.To be a Mississippian is an existential predicament and it may be that there is just no other place in America quite like Mississippi.

Just as there is a blend of goodness and genius in Mississippi there is also a blend of good and bad. There will be time enough to speak of the bad. Today, we will talk only of the good. And there is much to say.In the century since the dedication of this New Capitol there has been a sea change, a seismic shift in Mississippi.

One of the most enduring changes came in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment extending the franchise to women. With their newly won right to vote our mothers and grandmothers, aunts, wives and sisters refreshed American democracy and brought an earnestness to politics and public policy that the Republic had not known before.This was the prelude to the New Mississippi.

Perhaps the fount from which almost all of the other changes flowed were the economic forces that industrialized and urbanized Mississippi. Early in the twentieth century the legislature, meeting in this spanking new building, passed laws encouraging industry to move to Mississippi, but the embrace of industry by a rural people was slow and halting. The Great Depression of the 1930s, however, called for a bold and innovative remedy to the deepening poverty that held a nation in its grip.

The Balance Agriculture With Industry, the BAWI, program, was Mississippi’s gift to the south and to the nation. The benefits of attracting industry to the rural south were obvious and widespread, but the strategy for achieving that goal was conceived and implemented by Mississippi’s political, business and educational leadership.

In the election of 1935 Mississippians gave Hugh White a mandate to inaugurate the BAWI program. Thirty years later in March 1965 in a quiet ceremony in his office, in this building, Governor Paul Johnson, Jr. announced that industrial employment exceeded agricultural employment for the first time in the state’s history.

Now, 38 years later many of the world’s greatest performing artists who use high tech acoustical equipment, buy instruments and sound systems made in Mississippi, by Mississippians.Last week, here in the heartland of Mississippi, was dedicated one of the largest automobile assembly plants in the world. Almost two thousand cars a day, will roll off an assembly line in Canton.

Economic development and opportunity have brought an ethnic diversity to Mississippi that is quite remarkable. In the hotel where I stayed last night the safety instructions on the elevator were recorded in seven languages.And those instructions did not include the language of Native Americans that can still be heard in parts of our state.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaws are virtually a sovereign nation within our midst, and under the leadership of Chief Phillip Martin they have produced a model social and economic development program that enables them to live in independence and dignity on their ancestral land.

Industrialization and urbanization have also produced a transportation revolution that will take us from dusty country roads to the far reaches of outer space. The Stennis Space Center in Hancock County has long been an important site in America’s space program.And how proud we all are, that William Parsons, a Mississippian, is now in command of NASA’s shuttle program.

For decades an out-migration deprived Mississippi of the energy and intellect of some of our best and brightest. But we have stemmed the Brain Drain and have reversed the Black Exodus.We accomplished this because we have transformed public education from K through 12, and I want to salute Mississippi’s classroom teachers, in both the public and private schools.They are the foot soldiers in the army of the New Mississippi. And they, perhaps more than anyone else, have builded the New Mississippi.We have also developed a system of higher education that compares favorably with those in other parts of the country.

And there are many prestigious and valuable scholarships, generously funded by Mississippians, that make it attractive for our best and brightest to stay at home for their collegiate education. If they don’t go away, we don’t have to worry about them coming back.

Since 1955 the University of Mississippi Medical Center has provided superior medical education to Mississippi students who formerly went out of state for their training. Many of them never came back.It would be almost impossible for me to overestimate the contribution that the Medical Center has made to the health and well-being of Mississippi.In our Medical Center one of the first human organ transplants was performed.

All of these marvelous achievements occurred during a cultural flourishing that I call the Mississippi Renaissance.In the century since the dedication of this New Capitol we have taught the world to sing. Three major genres of American music have their roots in Mississippi.

The Blues were born here. Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Son Thomas, Mississippi John Hurt and B. B. King are from Mississippi and they first made their music here.

Country Music, the most popular singing style in America, was raised to an art form by Mississippi’s Jimmie Rodgers, the first singer inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His progeny is numberless and I can mention only two: our own Charley Pride, who has won virtually every award given by the industry, and Marty Stuart, an artist of international renown and one of the great pickers of all time.

And who does not know that rock and roll began here in Mississippi with “Heartbreak Hotel,” and that Elvis was “King” and that he changed the style of American music.

But let us not forget, Mississippi’s Grand Lady of Opera, Leontyne Price who, in her 1961 Metropolitan Opera debut, received a 42 minute standing ovation.

We may not have taught the world to dance, but every four years the world of dance comes to Mississippi when the International Ballet Competition showcases the world’s most talented young dancers.

In the performing arts Mississippians have reached the heights in perhaps the most competitive industry in America. Our stars are too numerous even to list, so I will note only four who can represent the many: Gerald McRaney and Morgan Freeman, two of the nation’s premier actors, and Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential women in America, and Jim Henson, who created the Muppets who live on Sesame Street.

During the Mississippi Renaissance some of America’s great writers found their voice. Among them were Richard Wright, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Eudora Welty.

Inaugurated by these four great writers, Mississippi’s literary tradition is a marvel in the world of letters. A partial list of Mississippi writers would include:

Margaret Walker, Shelby Foote, William Alexander Percy,
Hodding Carter, Ira Harkey, Hazel Brannon Smith, Turner Catledge,
Leronne Bennett, Dumas Malone, David Donald,
Willie Morris, Ellen Douglas, Elizabeth Spencer, Beth Henley,
Richard Ford, Barry Hannah, Sterling Plumpp,
Larry Brown, Clifton Taulbot, Thomas Harris
Greg Iles, Nevada Barr, and John Grisham.

In 1903 local newspapers estimated the attendance at the dedication of the New Capitol at 20,000. One report said that everyone in Brandon attended the ceremony, except the constable. The state’s population was only about a million and a half, which means that more than one out of every ten Mississippians attended the dedication. That says something rather remarkable about that generation.

Mississippians had suffered and were still suffering from the devastation of Civil War and the lingering depression of the 1890s. But amid that gloom there was a brief shining moment when Mississippi paused to dedicate this grand and towering structure, that was unexcelled by any state capitol between Richmond, Virginia and Austin, Texas.In that moment of pride Mississippians caught a glimpse of what could be, of what might be, and the New Mississippi was aborning.

Like Bishop Galloway I, too, have an ardent ambition for Mississippi.Not in my wildest flights of fantasy can I imagine what Mississippi will be like in 2103.But I know this, the future belongs to those who prepare for it. Too many white Mississippians still celebrate the past, and remember what was. Too many black Mississippians will not forgive, or forget the sins of our fathers. William Faulkner said we can not get beyond the reach of our past. That may be true, but we can break its hold on us. We can not rewrite the past, but we can chart our future.

My most ardent ambition for Mississippi is that we will let go of yesterday, so we can take hold of tomorrow. The future is ours, it is our Promised Land. And I can see it with my heart, if not my eyes,

It is over there, just beyond the rise.
Come. And go with me.
Thank you, and God Bless Mississippi.


The author wishes to thank Paul Breazeale, Bernard Cotton, Robert Khayat, Aubrey Lucas, Jack McLarty, Andrew Mullins, Charles Sallis, and William Winter for their assistance in the preparation of this address.

Oral history from the Jackson Civil Rights Sites Project: Hezekiah Watkins

Margaret Walker Alexander Research Center
Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi

Interviewee: Hezekiah Watkins
Interviewer: Don Williams
September 17, 1998


DW: Mr. Hezekiah, can you spell your name for me?

W: H-e-z-e-k-i-a-h.

DW: Is that your last name or first name?

W: First name. Last name is Watkins, W-a-t-k-i-n-s.

DW: Mr. Watkins, what's your address here?

W: 902 Dalton, D-a-l-t-o-n.

DW: What is your telephone number?

W: 352-0899.

DW: What is your date of birth?

W: 09-01-47.


DW: Where were you born?

W: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

DW: Oh, so you're a Yankee. So how long have you been living in
Jackson?

W: About 35 years.

DW: What year did you first come to Jackson?

W: I would really say it was about '55 I believe.

DW: Have you lived any place outside of Milwaukee and Jackson?

W: No.

DW: You were never in the service or anything?

W: Well in the service. In the service from '66 through '68.

DW: Did you go to Vietnam?
W: Yes I did.

DW: What church did you attend during the '50's, '60's, and '70's?

W: Mt. Elm. E-l-m I believe is the correct spelling.

DW: I'll look it up. Did you belong to any organizations or clubs or
anything like that?

W: I'm a member of NAACP and a member of CORE.

DW: CORE?

W: Congress of Racial Equality.

DW: Did you ever participate in any of the marches or demonstrations?

W: Yes sir, I did.

DW: And you went to Lanier High School? Am I correct?

W: Lanier.

DW: What year did you graduate?

W: '65.

DW: Did you go to college?

W: Yes I did.

DW: Where?

W: Utica Junior College in Utica, Mississippi. U-t-i-c-a.

DW: U-

W: U-t-i-c-a.

DW: And what years did you attend Utica?

W: '65-'66.

DW: Oh so you left Utica and then went on to the service.
W: Right.

DW: You got drafted?

W: Got drafted.

DW: Okay, what was your MOS in the service?

W: I was a specialist in the infantry dealing with maintenance.

DW: In what outfit were you assigned when you went to Vietnam?

W: I was never assigned to an outfit. I was there but I was there only
for a brief time, maybe three weeks. And this was during the time the
Pueblo was stolen in Korea and they took myself, along with several
other hundred soldiers, and shipped them from 'Nam to Korea. Figured
there was going to be a conflict in Korea during the Pueblo
disappearance.

DW: How long have you been a registered voter?
W: Ever since I was--I don't know how old I was--we are going to say
since '69.

DW: You're a store owner. What's the name of your store here?

W: Corner Food Market and Deli. C-o-r-n-e-r.

DW: I understand that you've been giving community gatherings or
picnics. What do you call that?

W: We try to do something at least three or four times a year here in
the community. We started about 8 years ago with a community block
party, where we block the streets off, we have a band, we invite
political figures, as well as radio and TV personalities, and just
people in general to come out into this area.

DW: How many people normally show up to your affair?

W: Well it varies. I think it was one year that we had over 500 out
here at one time.

DW: Mr. Hezekiah.

W: Just call me Heck. H-e-c-k.

DW: H-e-c-k.

W: Yes. Heck.

DW: Where does that come from?

W: That's a biblical name.

DW: Hebrew?

W: Hebrew. Yes.

DW: Tell me when was the first time that you participated in any Civil
Rights activity or when did you become first aware that there was a
Civil Rights struggle for Black folks here in the Jackson area?

W: I believe it was '62 or '63. I had gone to a few of the rallies at
the Masonic Temple and there was something held at I think the church
was Pratt.

DW: Okay. Pratt Memorial Church. That's right.

W: Those were two places that I attended and heard about the struggle.
I had heard so much about the late Dr. Martin Luther King and I remember
slipping away from home. My Mom lived in the same place now over on
Rigsby which is near Rowan Middle School and you know where the Masonic
Temple is. I'm not sure we can see the distance. Do you know where
Mill Street is? You know where Rowan School is?

DW: Okay. You're talking about over on Mill?

W: Yes.

DW: That's where Dr. Martin Luther King is.

W: Right. Exactly. I walked from there, from my home, over to the
Masonic Temple just to get a glance.
DW: And that Masonic Temple was on?

W: Lynch.

DW: Okay, the Masonic Temple down here on Lynch Street?

W: Right.

DW: You walked from way over there to over there?

W: Exactly. I had already seen Dr. King on the nightly news preaching
and teaching about the brothers and the sisters and their struggles and
I wanted to see what was the struggle all about because I didn't know
anything about a struggle. I knew we were oppressed. I knew there were
certain things we couldn't do. But I thought this was a way of life
since my parents and my grandparents and before them they all were
accustomed to going through the back door, being second-class citizens,
and etc., etc. So I said, "Well Lord, this is the way it's suppose to
be like that." So after going and hearing Dr. King I remember not even
sitting down at the Masonic Temple.

DW: So was Dr. King at the Masonic Temple?

W: He was at the Masonic Temple.

DW: When was this now?

W: I'm not sure of the year, but it was either like '62 or '63.

DW: We'll look that up. Was it during the summer or the winter?

W: School was in session. We'll just go to fall.

DW: We'll find out when that was.

W: I heard him talk about sitting at the back of the bus, not being able
to eat at lunch counters--or should I say not eat at lunch counters out
front. There were lunch counters we could eat but they were towards or
around to the side or around back. And these were things he was talking
about. I remember him talking about fountains being for Colored or
fountains being for Whites. And that struck a nerve because on Capitol
Street they had water fountains on the sidewalks right in front of
Woolworth. And they had it clearly indicated Colored. And they had one
on the flip side it was clearly indicated White. So I say, "Well?"
Hearing Dr. King talk about that Colored water versus that White water,
it's no difference. I said if it ain't no difference then I wouldn't
mind drinking the Colored water.

DW: Let me ask you. Who else was at the Masonic Temple meeting?

W: Dr. King. In terms of guest speakers?

DW: Yes and who were kind of like the facilitators of that?

W: I want to say--

DW: Was this before Medgar got killed?

W: This was before, yes.

DW: Okay. Medgar.

W: I was going to say it probably was Medgar. I did have one of my
neighbors went with me.

DW: What was your neighbors name?

W: Troy. His name was Troy Adams.

DW: Is he still alive.

W: Yes. He's living in Chicago now. So we listened, and we heard, and
we looked at each other; and on the way back, we were walking back, we
decided to talk about the meeting. I guess we got up there on Monument
and Capitol and the police wanted to know where were we coming from and
we said, "Nowhere." He said, "Y'all coming from somewhere. Where y'all
coming from Niggers?" So they went up and like going to turn around.
So when they made the turn we ran. And behind Jitney Jungle now on
Capitol--I'm not sure what was there then; it might have been a Jitney,
I'm not sure--but we ran behind there and down the railroad tracks and
jumped a few places. I was about ready to make my way home. A few days
later at school everybody was talking about the Movement and everything.

DW: You were at Lanier at this time?

W: I was at Lanier. And a lot of things had been happening. So we
decided--when I say we I don't know who decided but the word got out
throughout the school that we were going to walk out that day. But I
remember the principal, Principal Buckley, L. D. Buckley, got on the
intercom and made the statement that if anybody leaves school then you
won't be admitted back in; you won't be able to go to school nowhere in
Jackson. I said, "Oh Lord. If I do that my Momma's going to kill me."
So it was after lunch the word had gotten out again, we're definite how
we're going to do it. So what they were really looking for was
somebody. I think I might have been in the 11th grade at the time.

DW: So who did the organization of the students?

W: I really don't know. I don't think it was really organized. We met
at the front door and I remember Mr. Buckley and Mr. Anderson being
there at the front door--Mr. Anderson was assistant principal at the
time--at the door trying to stop us. Whoever was up front, who I don't
know, just walked on out and the door opened. When the doors opened we
all more or less just followed and went on out. We got on the corner.
We sang. There was someone from CORE that was out there waiting on us.
I'm not sure who was there. We began singing and shouting and the next
thing I knew we were in jail. They released me to my Mom, I believe. I
found out that jail really wasn't that bad.

DW: So where did they actually take you?

W: They actually took them to jail the first time.

DW: Which would have been downtown?

W: Downtown. Right. And the second time was a big mass march where we
were--I'm not even sure where we were--but we were all loaded on back of
garbage trucks; not the type garbage trucks they use now. It was the
long-bed type of garbage truck. They had the paddy wagon, the garbage
truck, and a lot of other long-bed vehicles there and they transported
us all to the Fairgrounds. And I remember being loaded on the truck
along with some other guys and there was a bread company, a bakery here,
by the name of Hart's Bread--I think it was --H-a-r-t-'s--and they were
passing out sweet rolls and other items to the police officers.

DW: Hart's Bread to the police officers to keep them refreshed.

W: Right. And it was Barq's Root Beer.

DW: Yes. Barq's. Yes. They were actually giving refreshments to the
police officers?

W: "We're going to remember you when we get out." I might be going back
and forth on this material as I remember it.

DW: Oh, they got boycotted now.

W: I'm getting ready to tell you. When we got out we boycotted Barq's
Root Beer. We boycotted Hart's Bread. Hart's Bread went out of
business and so did the root beer and then they came back through--Coca
Cola bought them out; bought the whole franchise or bought the syrup or
whatever you call it, whatever it is. Now Coke holds patents on Barq's
Root Beer. But we shut them down here in Jackson, those two companies.

DW: Do you remember Doris Smith during that time?

W: I don't remember Doris Smith during--I know her. As a matter of fact
I know her well but I didn't recall her during the Movement at all; but
I was told that she was part of the Movement.

DW: She was the first one told me about Barq's drinks and Hart's Bread.

W: Well that's true. That's true. We sure did.

DW: At Lanier was there any other, what do you call, student activists
or was there anyone kind of like the peer group leader or role model or
something that would kind of encourage the kids? You know in any group
you're going to have some leadership and some encouragement.

W: I've been asked that question before and I really don't recall,
because someone said they thought I was the person; I surely wasn't that
person. I remember just a few young ladies by the name of Evelyn
Harris, she's a Cyrus now, Evelyn Cyrus, but she was a Harris at the
time. I remember her quite vividly, but I don't even think she was the
spokesperson. I don't know who, if any, was what you would call in
charge of it. We would go to meetings and find out at the meeting
basically what we were going to do the following day, or on a weekend,
or whatever.

DW: Where would you meet?

W: We would meet right here on Lynch, Winston Road, there was a house
there; it's torn down now. That was CORE's office. And then came
Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee.
DW: SNCC?

W: SNCC. Yes. And they were housed on Farish up over Big John's. You
know where Big John's is?

DW: Over Big John's.

W: Yes.

DW: When did you first meet John?

W: I'm not sure if I met Jesse when in jail, or at one of the CORE
offices, or at the SNCC office. But we met and we kind of like, not
only Jesse, it was Jesse Morris, there was a guy named Lawrence Juliard,
somebody Raymond, Dave Dennis, oh and the list goes on. I might have
met Jesse in Canton, because I had gotten so involved in this Movement
until my Mom put me out.

DW: Your Mom actually said, "Well you've got to get out of here?"

W: Yes I had to go. I ended up in Canton. I organized in Canton. I
went from Canton to Greenwood. Greenville, Clarksdale, all of the Delta
towns.

DW: And this was primarily through what organization?

W: CORE.

DW: Oh, you were with CORE. Who was the local Jackson leader here for
CORE.

W: Could have been Jesse. Could have been Dave Dennis. It should have
been Lawrence, J.R., and all these guys were big in CORE. I'm not sure
which was which.

DW: How did you get chosen to be an organizer? Did you volunteer, you
get drafted?

W: I would just more or less volunteer because for a while there I was
just in and out of jail and my Mom had problems with her employer
because they would post the names of everybody that was arrested. As a
matter of fact I even went to Parchman, but I stayed less than a day;
because I was about 16 when I went to Parchman. During that time you
had to be a certain age then. I think it was 18. I was too young to be
in Parchman.

DW: Where did you get arrested?

W: Here in Jackson.

DW: How far is Parchman from here?

W: Parchman is 100+ miles. That's the state penitentiary. They were
out of room. There wasn't any room available.

DW: And the Fairgrounds?

W: They were gone.

DW: Packed?

W: Yes. They let you out and they ask you not to come back. If I get
out at 12:00 then at 4:00 that same day I'm back, or the next day. They
didn't have to tell me well Watkins we want you to go here or go there.
Hell when I got out I would go back down to the bus station, that
Greyhound Bus Station that was on Lamar. And it was just a thing about
sitting at the front counter ordering me a burger. If it wasn't there,
it was going to be at Woolworth's ordering me some fries. They had some
good fries at Woolworth's. I was there. I probably--I don't have the
numbers--but I was told I was arrested more times than any person in
Jackson.

DW: Can you give me a ball park? More than 50, more than 75, more than
a hundred?

W: I was right at a hundred. It was right at a hundred. I remember
being in jail. I have a hole here now where the only time that I was
really beaten was down here in the city jail. As a matter of fact the
FBI came out and took pictures of my head.

DW: What year was that?

W: Oooooh. '63, '64. As a matter of fact I'm still having problems
from that blow right now. These migraine headaches, as a matter of fact
I'll have them until I die. There was a big gash there. This guy just
drew back with everything he had and came down on me. I was being
released from jail. That jailer opened the cell, and I walked out in
front of him, and that's the only thing I remember, being hit.

DW: Tell me, did they single you out? I mean they knew who you were?

W: I was singled out because they knew me by my nickname. That's how
well they knew me.

DW: And what? They called you who?

W: Heck. H-e-c-k.

DW: Heck?

W: Yes.

DW: So you were considered as a?

W: I was considered as a hell raiser.

DW: Agitator, hell raiser?

W: Agitator, hell raiser. Let me tell you what they did to my Mom. My
Mom worked at Primos Restaurant. That was a chain restaurant here in
Jackson, had about five of them throughout the city and it was an
exclusive restaurant for Whites.

DW: Right. Primos.

W: What they were doing, they were putting your name in the paper, where
you live, and your mother and father's name; they done rented a space.
And somewhere on there they put if any of these folks work for you
"period". If any of these folks work for you "period," or do any of
these folks work for you"?" It was running something like that. I
guess this particular day my Mom went to work and Primos told her,
"Minnie, you need to talk to your son. If he doesn't stop being," I
guess they used the word, "an agitator then I guess we're going to have
to let you go." So my Mom came home crying and telling me that I need
to stop doing this or doing that, she's going to lose her job, etc.,
etc. So I said, "You know I don't want you to lose your job so I'll
just get out." So basically that's what I did.

DW: She understood that?

W: No. She didn't understand it; but, she dealt with it. It was
something that I was determined. I was determined to make a difference
if I had to do it by myself.

DW: What year was that?

W: I really can't recall.

DW: Were you still in high school or out of high school?

W: Still in high school.

DW: Still in high school when you left home?

W: Yes. It was during the summer.

DW: How did your colleagues, or your friends, or your partners?

W: In my community they viewed me as a person who was doing things that
they could not do. They viewed me as a hero. They viewed me as we view
Martin Luther King to be honest with you. I would come home. I
remember being given a vehicle to drive. It was a Biscayne Chevrolet, a
new one, brand new, it was white.

DW: Now who gave you the vehicle?

W: It was one of the vehicles that was a leased vehicle; but, it was
being used in the CORE organization.

DW: So you had organizational support for when you left home?

W: Exactly. Exactly.

DW: Tell me just how much, what kind of support did you get after you
left home?

W: When I left home I'm not sure who I came up with; but I was told I
could go to Canton. I remember going to Canton and staying in this
house with about 15 people who were from across the United States, not
knowing any of them. And I was more or less a leadership organizer. I
did not go to jail in Canton. But I was helping organize the marches,
the rallies, and any other activity that went on there.

DW: In Canton?

W: In Canton. Then I left Canton and I went to Greenwood. And I was
basically doing the same thing there, helping organizers. I remember
driving this car home and it had this long antennae on the back and we
could communicate with each other from up in the Delta, believe it or
not back then, to right here in Jackson, locally. So when I went home
to see my Mom and the little kids and big kids were on the outside, "Man
I want to go with you, Man. We've been reading about you, Man," that
type of thing. So it made me feel good. But I was doing something.
They had read up on me and somebody had told them something about me and
stuff like that.

DW: When you say read, was it local newspapers?

W: Local newspapers. As a matter of fact Jesse brought a clipping by
here not long ago that appeared in the newspaper after one of the times
I had been arrested. Of course, you know I never did see it. He said
there were more. It was a small clipping that I had made a statement
about being a student at Lanier High School, and that I wasn't afraid of
the White folks, and the White folks weren't going to keep me from doing
something. I don't even recall it being in the paper, because we didn't
take papers back then. Very few Blacks took papers. Very few Blacks
read papers.

DW: So essentially then we were talking about trying to figure out who
was leading the students and it sounds like you were the leader by
demonstration and example.

W: I really wouldn't call myself a leader. It was just something that
stuck to me that I wanted to do. Give you a prime example; like right
here in this location, I've been here for 12 years and before me there
have been Black, and White, and Iranians trying to run this store here
and they couldn't do it. I set my mind to do it. I wanted to do
something here. I'm going to do something in this community. This
community used to be called Dope Corner. It was more drugs on this
corner than anywhere else in the city of Jackson, and this was
statistics from the Jackson Police Department. And now it's just the
opposite. We've still got some problems here. But we've put a big bite
into drugs in this community. So it was something that I wanted to do
back then, it's something I want to do now.

DW: This is Robert Williams.

W: Yes.

DW: Let me ask you this, when you were at Lanier were there any teachers
who the kids looked up to, that gave encouragement for it?

W: I don't think they gave us any encouragement. I think it's a case in
which they did not down us. And to me that was just like encouraging
me. Because I think you have to look back, if they had given us any
support then they would have lost their job. As a matter of fact not
only just for then they would have lost their job for life in the
Jackson Public School System. No, there weren't any teachers at Lanier
that I know of that were supporters, locally supporters.

DW: Did the school system have a written policy at that time to restrain
teachers from getting involved?

W: I don't think it was. I really can't answer that question. But I
would think not. I would think that you knew. You knew your place. I
think what they did through the Jackson Public School System as a whole,
they worked through your principal and your principals worked through
the teachers. The principals set the rules--you will not do this, you
will not do that, if you do, then you're going to be looking for a job.
You know we're talking in the '60's man. The only decent job you could
do was teach. So they weren't going to lose those jobs. And I
understand. I understood then, I understand now.

DW: At Lanier, did you guys come in contact with any other high school
students around Jackson?

W: Yes. The day after Lanier had the walkout and the media blew it up,
which was good, and the word got out to the other schools that Lanier
was going to do it again.

END OF SIDE 1 OF TAPE

W: Chickens. Y'all a bunch of chickens.

DW: Now was Brinkley a junior high or high school?

W: It was a high school.

DW: You had Lanier, Jim Hill, and Brinkley were the three Black high
schools in Jackson.

W: Yes. Like I said we were calling them chickens and we started
calling them Uncle Toms. So the next time we got ready to do it, man, I
think Brinkley and Jim Hill probably had more than Lanier to walk out
that time. So all the schools walked out that time. And I think that
was what they called a Mass Walkout. And, if I'm not mistaken, that
probably was the day they brought in the paddy wagon, the garbage
trucks, and the other big long vehicles to haul us in.

DW: What year was this now, again?

W: Through the years I can't remember. It's either going to be '63,
'64.

DW: Do you remember Timothy Summers? Was he in school at the time with
you guys or before you or after you?

W: I'm trying to think. Tim and I are probably around the same age. So
I have to say yes.

DW: What about Wydette Hawkins? Was he around then?

W: Wydette didn't attend Lanier. Wydette attended Brinkley if I'm not
mistaken. He did. He attended Brinkley. I'm trying to think of this
man's name. We were near the Fairgrounds. We were going to integrate
the fair this particular year. We were determined. It was about 25 or
30 of us, all male. They had told us don't go. They got to the
preacher. Our biggest problem back in the '60's, I want to say that
this needs to be printed, our biggest problem was our ministers. And it
might be our problem today. The ministers back in the '60's, in my
opinion, held us back, way back, further back than the White man. The
ministers were getting up on Sunday in the pulpit telling us--I say the
ministers; now that doesn't include all of them; there were a few did
not do that--but the majority of the Black ministers were getting up in
the pulpit on Sundays telling the congregations don't do this, don't let
your children do this. These are the consequences that would happen if
your children march, if your children do whatever. The word had gotten
out over the weekend, or maybe prior to the weekend, that I think the
White folks had like a week and we had like three days of fairs. So we
had gotten together over the weekend and we were going to go. I
remember these preachers were on the radio telling their congregations,
"Don't be a fool. Don't send your children around to the fair. Wait
until our night." And I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I
ever heard. So we chose to go that Monday; it was around 10 or 11
o'clock that morning, going to the fair; should have been in school but
we were going to go to the fair like all the White kids. When a fair
comes to town you're going to skip some days. So we get to the fair,
not directly to the fair, down near Jefferson. You know where Jefferson
is? The fair sits on Jefferson and Trumpet. We get on Jefferson to
cross over going into the gates and hear come the dogs. "Get back,
Niggers, get back." So a guy named Jesse Davis said, "We were coming to
look for a job. We want to work at the fair." He said, "Naw, Niggers.
Y'all want to work y'all go around to the back." So one of the brothers
that was with us said, "Naw, we're going to the fair. We're going to
ride. We ain't going to look for no damn job." So they hit a couple of
guys and pushed us back. And we backed up on a little hill and come
down this little incline there. So we were sitting there trying to
figure out what we were going to do. And the next thing we knew they
had turned the dogs loose on us. And this brother named Stan, he went
to Lanier. He ran track. So we all ran. I knew I couldn't outrun the
dogs so I stopped. A couple of other brothers stopped. We all stopped
except for one person and that was Stan. And Stan kept running and you
know he outran those dogs.

DW: Outran the dogs.

W: Now I know that's hard to believe but I saw it with these eyes. He
outran them until the dogs just got tired. That's Amite Street. Stan
ran up the hill, which is Amite, crossed over State, went down State,
went all the way down to Lamar--if you can visualize where I'm coming
from here--all the way down to Lamar, took a right on Lamar which is
another little up incline, ran up that little hill, all the way down to
High Street, took a left on High, and that's where he lost the dogs,
somewhere in there. And that is the truth. And by time the dogs made
it back we had gotten up and went our different ways. Now that's a day
I won't forget. There are a few, but that's one that I will not forget.

DW: And that was in what '63 or '64?

W: Right.

DW: Now let me ask you something else. When they put those dogs, I
imagine they had German shepherds?

W: German shepherds.

DW: So what kind of reaction would you have with dogs coming at you like
that?

W: Man, those dogs would tear you loose. They would tear your meat
apart. See, number 1, if the dogs had gotten us we'd probably been
eaten alive or damned near eaten alive because it takes the owner or the
trainer some time to get there to get that dog off you. So the dog's
never supposed to be taken off that leash. You're always supposed to
hold onto that dog. Once you take that off then that dog's going to out
run you and he's going to start tearing into you until his master comes
there and pull him off you. So from the distance where we were standing
from where he turned the dogs loose, man, there is no telling what would
have happened to us if we had not stopped. I'm glad I did; I just froze
and the dogs passed right by us. Somebody said don't run. I don't know
who said don't run, but I listened when they said don't run because I
knew I couldn't outrun those dogs. So I froze and everybody else did,
except for Stan and he ran off and left those dogs.

DW: So how many dogs were after Stan?

W: At least three. It could have been four.

DW: They ran passed the group?

W: They ran passed the group.

DW: Trying to catch Stan?

W: Right. Right. So Stan said that was his strategy. He said he knew
that he could outrun the dogs. He outran the dogs to save us, so he
said. But I do know the dogs passed us by. And they got into little
cars to try to go find the dogs. When we saw the police and the dogs
the dogs were

DW: The dogs were panting?

W: They nearly had to give the dogs mouth-to-mouth.

DW: I've got to find this guy Stan. We need Stan. We're going to find
Stan. But Stan at Lanier on the track team.

W: Yes.

DW: Yes, we're still going to try to look him up. Let me ask you this,
could you give me just a little bit more information on what
demonstrations you participated in? So you were in Barq's and the bread
company and the bus station and the water fountain. What other do you
think are important demonstrations that young folks were participating
in in Jackson? I mean just whatever you think.

W: Most of the young folks participated in the lunch counter sit-ins.
We called it sit-ins.

DW: Where were they?

W: At Woolworth's, the bus stations, Walgreen's, and drinking from the
fountain that read "White Only."

DW: Were there any demonstrations that probably had more impact on you,
got more out of hand, that stood out from all?

W: I would say the bus station with me. Because each time I would go
in, I went there, I was arrested there so many times until the waitress
said, "Oh no, not you again. I don't know why you keep coming back.
You know we're not going to serve you." So I'd sit there and look and
she'd called the police. And the police would come in and it would be
one. One cop would come get me, put the handcuffs on me, and take me
downtown. I'd get out and go right back to the same bus company, same
stool if possible, and if the lady's there, "Oh not you." And those are
things that just stand out in my mind.

DW: What other national leaders or organizers did you come in contact
with?

W: Stokely Carmichael. In fact I got to know Stokely very well. James
Lewis out of Atlanta.

DW: You say James Lewis?

W: I think that's his name. He's an elected official there.

DW: You're talking about John Lewis.

W: John Lewis. Okay.

DW: Was James Foreman coming through here?

W: James Foreman.
DW: The head of CORE at that time was who?

W: Sorry?

DW: Who was the head of CORE at that time? Was that Floyd McKitchenson?

W: It could have been. It could have been. I'm really not sure. It
could have been.

DW: What contacts did you have with Medgar?

W: Personally, I didn't have a personal. He probably didn't know me but
I knew him because he was Medgar. Only thing I can tell you about him
is he was a friendly, warm-hearted person. Whenever I saw him he
greeted me with a hi, hello, or goodbye. And basically that was it.

DW: Did you get involved with the student youth league--the NAACP youth
league?

W: I was involved with all of it. The NAACP, in my opinion, back then
was just moving too slow. CORE and SNCC were

DW: Confrontational.

W: Yes, and they said, "Man, look, let's go kick ass," more or less. I
remember this guy. He was a preacher. James Bevels.

DW: Bevels. Yes. Go ahead.

W: I pronounce it correctly?

DW: Bevels. Yes. Right.

W: We were in jail once. They had this 3-bed cell and then they kicked
everybody's ass that came in that day. And I remember Bevels bleeding
from the forehead and someone started singing "We're Going To Do What
the Spirit Say Do." He put a verse in there that had everybody just
real shook up and motivated to really kick ass. He would said "I'll
kick your ass if the spirit say kick," and he was a preacher. You know
that inspired us man. The man said we're going to kick ass. And man we
were ready to kick ass and we started making all types of noises in
there. The jailer came in, though he didn't come in the jail, and told
us to shut up or he was going to go get some officers. And we kept
making noise, because we were ready. At that point if the officers had
come in there we were going to kick ass. And I guess they must have
figured well if we go in there they're going to kick our ass. So they
came up there with their little night sticks, but they never would open
the door. We dared them. Because any other time they'll open the door
and come in and just slap us all around. We wouldn't do anything.
Right? On this particular day we dared them to come in. We said, "Now
you're bad. Come up in here. We dare you." And they never did open
the door and come in. That's another highlight that'll stick with me
for a long time.

DW: I know we talked a little bit about history and problems today.
What do you think came out of the Jackson Movement here? How do you
think it's changed our thinking and our social?

W: I think it had a great impact on the way we, or some of us, were
doing things back then and 10 years maybe even 20 years thereafter. But
the impact that we made back then seems to have been flushed down the
commode now in terms of these kids. A person like my child, I never
would allow my child to do, and he's grown, when I say allow it means
just that allow, my child to do some of the things I see other kids or
other young adults around here doing now. We took a wrong turn in
parenthood and I think the law has a lot to do with it; but you really
can't put it on the law, just put it on the individual, on the adult, on
the parent. Your child or your children are going to be what you allow
them to be and that's the way I was taught. Sometimes I think the
ass-whippings that I took, the times that I sat in jail, the mosquitoes
that bit me, all the other things that I went through--for what? The
White man was lynching a few of us at a time. They hear about a
lynching in Mississippi, Alabama every now and then. You pick the paper
up now, we are killing each other. So the White man is saying now we
don't have to do it. We'll sit back. They're going to destroy
themselves. That's the sad part of this whole thing, Man, not only with
myself whereas my ass was whipped, but look at the brothers and sisters
who lost their lives, look at the brothers and sisters who lost property
behind this. We lost a lot, a lot of stuff to give us the right so we
could get a quality education. Let me just rephrase that because I
think I picked that word up from somebody. I used the words quality
education. I think that I was quality educated and I think there were
others who were quality educated in these Black institutions and Black
schools. I went to all Black schools. I went to all Black swimming
pools. The only time I was at an integrated pool was at the University
of Southern Illinois at Carbondale and that was my first time
experiencing it.

DW: When was that? What year was that?

W: In the '70's, way after the Movement in '70, '71.

DW: What did you major in there?

W: Environmental science. But the point that I'm trying to make is
there are a lot of Blacks who have gone to whatever Black schools and
turned out great. I used to preach integration, I've gone to jail for
integration, I've gotten my ass whipped for integration, but I think
integration might be the worst thing that happened to us. Busing was
bad for us. Hell, I'd walk 10 or 12 miles to school everyday in the
rain, in the cold. It'd give you something to look forward to. It'd
give you an inner feeling that I'm out here to make it better. When you
make it easy for a person, they don't know what it is for it to be
hard. You've heard this thing about climbing up on the rough side of
the mountain. Well these kids, they don't even climb. They take the
elevator on the mountain. So they don't know what it's like. They
don't know what we went through. You try to tell them. It's been
documentary after documentary on TV about the struggle. They know about
Medgar, they know about Martin, they know about Chaney, they know about
the other brothers and sisters who have gone through. It doesn't mean
anything. And that's the thing there that makes you want to just throw
up both hands and say, "Why? Why did I do this; because things are not
better now. They are not better for me." You know as a Black person
you have to be committed to what you go in. You have to look over your
shoulder. I'm talking about around your own race. This shouldn't be.
You know I'm more afraid of these young kids that come in my store here
than I am any adults, because I figure I can reason with the adults.
But there is no way--School is out. I need to be up front. How close
are we?

DW: The only thing that I need to probably ask you about is your
experience after Vietnam when you came back to Jackson?

W: I left 'Nam and went directly to Korea.

DW: After you got out of the service, when did you come back to Jackson?

W: About '72, '73.

Oral history from the Jackson Civil Rights Sites Project: Lucille Green

Margaret Walker Alexander Research Center
Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi

Interviewee: Lucille Green
Interviewer: Dr. Alferdtine Harrison
August 20, 1998


H: This is 1998 and I'm in the Alexander Research Center interviewing
Mrs. Lucille A. Green. She is a Jackson State alumnus. What year did
you graduate from Jackson State?

G: 1977 and 1981.

H: We're going to be talking a little bit about her life but
specifically about her personal involvement in the Jackson Civil Rights
Movement. Who is Mrs. Lucille Green?

G: I'm a native of Madison County, Mississippi. I was born in
Pocahontas to be exact. I was born November 22, 1940. I really came
from the country. Many people don't believe that when I tell them, but
yes I did work on the farm. I picked the cotton and I chopped cotton,
and did all of those things, slopped the hogs. Most folks don't like to
talk about that but we did it. We really lived off of the farm. I
enrolled in Jackson

State the fall of 1959 after completing high school at Summer Hill High
School of Clinton, Mississippi. In my family of seven and I'm the
second of seven children. I came from a broken home. Many people say
we don't succeed or there are different views about broken homes, but I
am a product of a broken home and I truly can say I'm successful in my
life. We've done well, all seven of the children, along with
encouragement from my mama. I have four children of my own. I have
four grown children and two grandchildren. One completed school here at
Jackson State. My daughter and her husband both graduated from Jackson
State. I'm very proud to say that because they are doing well in
Flintwood, Missouri, two grandchildren; and they're preparing their
daughter. Chiquita and Patrick are preparing their daughter well in the
area of music and we really don't know where she might go because right
now she is so smart in that area. She is in a symphony orchestra and we
are looking at any place she might be, but would love to see Jackson
State, but I can't possibly say that. I graduated from Jackson State
really in 1977. I got married in 1960 and that put a hold on education,
but I never lost the desire to come back to school. I was employed by
Bell South Telecommunications in 1969 and in that process I noticed that
the company had a tuition plan for their employees and I grabbed on that
idea of returning to college and I worked for two years before I did
that. In 1971 I found myself actually back enrolled in college, four
children, having a full-time job and husband and that was a big
challenge for me. But I was determined to do this. It took me a while
because I had to go to school at night and take what subjects were
available in my major, which I was majoring in accounting and decided to
switch to business administration because I saw the possibility of being
able to complete college early with the children. So I continued my
pursuit in education and Bell South played a vital role in that in that
it provided tuition and that helps a lot. I really actually was a
full-time student and working full-time because I took as many as 18
semester hours working full-time.

H: Wow.

G: After completing the B.S. in 1977 I heard a voice to continue and it
was the encouragement of Dr. Oscar Rogers in the School of Business that
encouraged me to continue my education. So I listened at him and in the
Fall of '77 I was enrolled in the MBA program. And it was really not
easy because working full-time, having four children that I had to
answer to, and make sure that their work was done in school, it was real
taxing on my body and especially the last year of my education because I
chose to write a thesis in lieu of just doing a project. That was
really work. I did the research. I continued going to work. There
were many nights that I only slept maybe two hours because I was doing
my research and I would get that little short nap and I never missed a
day from work. I was able to complete my education which I feel real
good about and continued working for Bell South until I retired in
1996. That was really wonderful. And even in that retirement, I still
continued to pursue because I have actually acquired 50 plus hours above
a master's degree. I have gone to school at Mississippi College to
study computer science. Then after I retired from Bell South, I decided
I wanted to learn the real estate market so I took all the classes in
real estate so I could have this reservoir of knowledge. Right now I'm
in the process of preparing myself to enter into the doctoral program in
business. You see that I have been a very busy person.

H: You sure have.

G: And I try to live a full life. I support Jackson State
wholeheartedly because I'm a strong alumnus and believe strongly in
Jackson State and try to encourage alumnus all over to become involved
because this is our school and we really are the ones to determine the
success of our school.

H: Let me talk about another aspect of your life or get you to talk
about it. When you came to Jackson in 1959 this was during the Civil
Rights era. What kind of atmosphere did you experience relative to
Civil Rights?

G: In Jackson in 1959 there were certain places that we could go. Let's
say, for example, if you went downtown on Capitol Street and in one of
the major dress shops you decided to make a purchase, you were not
allowed to try on that garment in the store. You had to take it home
and bring it back if it didn't fit. That was something that I refused
to buy into. I guess growing up as a young child I was determined to
not be that yes person. It was something about the slave mentality that
I didn't like and that was even on the farm when I heard the Black men
saying "Yes sir, captain" to the White owners. I didn't understand
that. I didn't understand why they had to bow when they saw him come
along when they were working in the fields and they were the ones doing
the work. That was something I didn't understand and I didn't like. I
said to myself, "Never me." My mother was so afraid when we would come
downtown in the stores and I never said yes sir and no sir. I said yes
and no. She would hold onto my hand because she was afraid something
was going to happen to me. I said, "But that's proper mother. Yes is
in the English language and no is in the English language and that's
proper. That's what you're supposed to say." So that was the kind of
thing that I observed, even my Mom being afraid; but I just didn't
develop that fear. I just wasn't afraid. I was brave. I felt I needed
to sit wherever I wanted to sit. We had the signs that said White and
Black and I didn't understand. We all are people and why do you have to
determine where I drink my water from and why do you have to determine
where I go get my sandwich from. So those were the kinds of things that
we really had happening in Jackson, Mississippi, during those times. If
you rode the bus, you had to go to the back of the bus. It didn't
matter how many seats on the front were empty, you were to go to the
back of the bus and have a seat. This actually happened in Jackson,
Mississippi. And it was those of us who got ourselves involved in the
Movement.

H: What was your first involvement? Were you a member of the NAACP?

G: Oh yes. That was something that you had to be. I stopped school and
got married in the '60's. My father-in-law, whose name is Willie Green,
was a devout Civil Rights worker and you just had to belong to the
NAACP. I mean that was important. You carried your NAACP card. So as
long as I can remember I've belonged to the NAACP, because I carry that
card.

H: Was it before '59 that you became a member?

G: No, it was after then. It was really after I got married, after '60
that I became a member and I have been a member of the NAACP ever
since. All of us had to become members of the NAACP that were in the
Green household. We had to be members of the NAACP. And once you got
old enough to register and vote, you had to become a registered voter.
I remember my going to register on my 21st birthday. Back then you
could not register until you were 21.

H: This was '61?

G: 1961. November 22, on the day that I turned 21, I went to the
courthouse to register and vote.

H: What was that experience like?

G: I had interpreted a section of the Constitution because it was told
us that we would have to be able to interpret a section of the
Constitution but it was pouring rain that morning that I got prepared to
go. I left my grandfather's house and I had my little book in my hand
and the section that I had studied so well and I had prayed about it,
because I believe that you can do anything with prayer, and do you know
when I got down to the courthouse to register and vote, all I had to do
was to pay the $2 poll tax and register. They never asked me anything
about the Constitution and I was just shocked.

H: Did you pass?

G: I did because I was ready. I had recited my little saying. All the
way on the bus I had recited this saying to explain my section of the
Constitution and they never asked me. When I got back and I told my
grounded I said, "Oh, they didn't even ask me to do it, Grounded, but I
got registered to vote."

H: And that was the Mississippi Constitution?

G: That was the Mississippi Constitution and I didn't have to say a word
about it. I was so disappointed because I was ready to tell them what I
understood and they didn't want to ask me. That was my brave experience
of becoming a registered voter. And you know I became a registered
voter before my mom did. It's amazing how they were afraid back then
to even go and become registered voters. I was always a registered
voter and lead them to the prospect.

H: Did she have to interpret the Constitution?

G: No, because see during that time they had stopped it because once the
Civil Rights Movement started and voter registration drives got started
then they stopped that. I did pay one more poll tax after that but I
didn't have to pay anymore. And somewhere, I don't know exactly the
year that they stopped us from doing that, but it was in the early '60's
that we didn't have to pay.

H: Did you have to pay them every year?

G: Yes. We had to pay this $2 poll tax. So I remember having to do it
twice and somewhere they stopped it and that was in the early '60's
because really that's when the Civil Rights Movement really got in full
swing.

H: Where did you actually go to pay the poll tax?

G: Downtown at the courthouse, the county courthouse.

H: The county courthouse?

G: Yes. That's where we had to go to pay the poll tax. Everybody had
to do that to become a registered voter. That's the reason why so many
people were discouraged from becoming registered voters because of the
fact that they had to interpret this section of the Constitution. And
there was fear and they didn't understand because many of our people
could not read and write. Because of the Civil Rights Movement and the
encouragement of voter registration that's how you really got started in
the process. Thanks to the people coming in who organized it, because
we had people come from the outside come in here and help us. The city
fathers called them outside agitators but it was okay. This is how
things got moving and how we became involved, actually courageous enough
to get up and start doing something for ourselves. There were times
when people worked all day long and they didn't get any money. They
worked for $2 a day. Until the Civil Rights Movement got really moving
and organized and where they organized the domestic workers and
everything and they had to pay them more than $2 a day. But people were
giving away free labor and they thought they were really making money.

H: What kind of organization did they have for the domestic workers?

G: They organized themselves. They changed them from maids to domestic
engineers and this was a group of ladies. I know one lady in
particular. Her name was Lana Benson and she was very much involved in
that. They met. It was kind of like the Movement itself, organizing
and meeting with these employers and encouraging them, demanding really,
wages for the people. They were going into their homes and taking care
of their children and they were not paying them. They actually made
them fix it so that they would not only pay them but they paid them
their bus fare included because they had to ride the bus. They
encouraged them to pay them not only their daily wages but their bus
fares. These are the kinds of things that we watched happen. That was
the early '60's. It was really slave mentality. Lots of times our
people didn't recognize it because they had gotten so accustomed to it.
It became a thing of acceptance. Yes we did have those of us who are
Black that spoke out against the Civil Rights Movement because they were
afraid. They were afraid that some people would lose their jobs,
especially the school teachers. You didn't get anything from the school
teachers because they were threatened. They would lose their jobs.
They couldn't even belong to the NAACP. If they did they couldn't let
anybody know it. There were some terrible times. I remember in 1961,
and also this was when Emmett Till was killed, and I guess that was
something that had a great impact on me, I remember very well when he
got drowned and it was on a Sunday when they actually discovered the
body. The reason why I can remember it was on a Sunday, I was really at
a funeral and I remember them saying that they had discovered his body
and I remember having seen a Jet magazine later on when they showed the
picture how his head was swollen and everything. And that was really a
terrible time because it was something hard for me to digest. I was
upset then and I couldn't understand how people could be so mean and
kill someone just simply because they said that he whispered at a young
White lady. And I couldn't understand that--why does the young man have
to lose his life because of the fact that he whispered at a young White
girl? These are the kinds of things that disturbed me to really
motivate me and move me to not allow these things really to happen in my
life and even with my children. I think in growing up our children were
the first on Sidewall Road that actually integrated the schools.

H: When was this?

G: My oldest child was born in '61, so when it was time for her to go to
school Forest Hill was there, and in her second grade year we took her
to Forest Hill. We were the only Black parents at Forest Hill. You
knew we were there because we were the only ones. But we took her and
her brother. We took them. He started first grade at Forest Hill.
This was in 19--well she was born in '61 so when she was 6 years old it
would have been like '67--but we were at Forest Hill. When we enrolled
our children then my father-in-law enrolled his children. We were the
Green family with our children at Forest Hill. And we went to PTA
meetings so you know we were there because we were the only Black
parents sitting in the audience at PTA, but we went. Every PTA meeting
we were present. It was not easy. Our children got called all kinds of
names. Well it was okay. I told them that they know who they were and
that their name was not Nigger, they were Greens, and they knew that; so
they went to school to get an education and that's where they were going
to stay. But we went through the struggle of keeping them in school.
When they would get off the bus they would get thrown at and all this
kind of stuff and they let them off at home. But we still sent them to
school. So we've had an experience of the struggle. During the '60's
we had the mass meetings because when things occurred like Emmett Till
for instance getting killed then the leaders would call us together and
they would have us to know about the struggle and what we had to do, how
we had to band together. And we did that. We would meet in mass
meetings in the various churches, the churches who would allow us to
come in. We had those meetings. And those meetings were conducted by
leaders like Medgar Evers, Charles Evers, and Aaron Henry.

H: R. L. T. Smith?

G: R. L. T. Smith was so vital in that he was the preacher for the Civil
Rights Movement. I mean he was our preacher for Civil Rights. He was
so devout in the Movement. These meetings would be called together and
we would meet and we would listen at the motivational speeches and we
would sing together and we would pray together and we never ever left a
meeting without joining our hands and singing "We Shall Overcome."

H: What did these meeting accomplish?

G: They bonded us together. So this type of thing on many occasions it
happened. On the night that Medgar got killed it was one of those such
meetings that we held.

H: Where was the meeting held?

G: I've been going back to the back of my mind and I'm thinking it was
at the Masonic Temple that particular night that this meeting was held
because I've been going back in my mind, because I know we all were at
home.

H: Do you know if there was a meeting after that meeting? A smaller
meeting?

G: No.

H: Was there ever a meeting at Thelma Sanders' house?

G: I know that she lived there but you know I don't recall one. I never
attended one at her house but I'm not sure. But I know Medgar had left
the meeting and we all went home.

H: What happened at this meeting? Do you know?

G: I was trying to see, this was 1963. There hadn't been anything.

H: The boycott had started?

G: Yes. It was successful too. The boycott worked because we believed
our leaders. When they asked us not to shop in these stores we just
believed them and we did not shop. Like I said my father-in-law was
just so strong if he said don't go to these stores and shop you just
don't go to those stores and shop. So we really honored that. So the
boycott was being effective. Because of that you make the other folks
angry. But Medgar kept encouraging us to continue because this was the
only way that you're going to get what you're looking for. You've got
to stick together. And he was so forceful and then Rev. Smith was
encouragement in that too. So these meetings, when we would come
together, they would encourage us how important it was that we all stood
together. And Medgar was so brave and so courageous that he let nothing
at all deter him in his faith and his belief and it's because of that
that he just wasn't afraid.

H: Can you think of any specific instances when you were with Medgar and
he demonstrated this kind of

G: Well the only time is doing those meetings because as far as getting
really like walking hand-in-hand with him, I never had that. But it was
only in meetings that he was actually present. I was never at a point
where you'd say you were walking directly with him. I was not at that
point. The only thing that I know is that all the meetings that he was
involved in we were there and supporting. After his death I know that
that particular day it was so many people in Jackson and it was at the
Masonic Temple. I could almost go back to the spot where I actually sat
and it was on a little ledge because it was so many people there.

H: You're talking about the day of his funeral?

G: The day of his funeral. After this funeral was over, it was
organized, we did a processional from the Masonic Temple to downtown and
we were going to march all the way down Farish Street.

H: Was the body preceding the march?

G: No.

H: Do you know who led the march?

G: Dr. Martin Luther King was here for the funeral so he lead the
march. We all left the Masonic Temple and we were marching down Farish
Street.

H: Can you describe the route that you took?

G: We left the Masonic Temple and we actually went down Lynch Street to
Terry Road and you know how Terry Road goes on down to Pascagoula and
Pascagoula to Farish Street. That's the route that we took. We walked
in the heat from the Masonic Temple downtown. We were downtown along
about the Alamo Theater or Holmes' Dining Room when we just discovered
there were folks on top of buildings and bottles just started flying
from every direction. At that point the crowd dispersed. No one got
injured on that day. But I remember that particularly. And it was just
angry White folks. Because we were peacefully marching and singing. We
were not doing anything to anybody. We were simply marching and
singing.

H: Going through the Black community.

G: Yes. And they had problems with that. So anything that the Whites
could try and do to discourage our gathering together they did it but it
did not stop the Movement. And the Movement it continues even today but
in a different perspective because I do know that there are things that
we still are struggling with, and we will struggle with. I know when
Martin was killed in 1968 that was another blow to all of us because
that was like Martin was our leader. Many of us Blacks looked to him
for direction. That particular day when Martin was killed in Memphis--I
can remember everything because I was at work; when it was really
announced that he was dead I was at work--and I remember how the hush
came over everything and everybody, because even this was amazing that
even there were White folks who respected Martin Luther King; so it
wasn't everybody I guess, Martin Luther King and what he stood for. And
I think the reason that they respected him so much is because he was a
non-violent leader. Martin preached peace. He never talked about
violence so he was a different kind of leader for his time. But even in
his death I still could see that there was victory because many of the
things that Martin fought for we saw them come to pass, even after he
left. So I can say the dreamer might be dead but his dreams continue to
live on. Even today we can see that. I hate so bad that he wasn't here
to see the benefits of his fruits that he fought so hard for to see that
Black people and White people have a working relationship. And we may
not have it; it's not perfect but it has come so far from what it was in
the early '60's. I can truly say that. I'm here and I know what it was
in the early '60's. I know that there are positions that our Blacks
hold in various areas that it was unthinkable in the early '60's. So we
have really made much progress as a result of the Civil Rights Movement
and the Civil Rights Acts and all these things and the affirmative
action programs because had not it been for those programs put in place
many of our people would not have had the jobs that paid the salaries
that they pay today. I know that because I am a product of affirmative
action. I was among some of the first people to be hired at Bell
South. I mean really we were some of the first. It was because of the
affirmative action programs that we were hired.

H: You were hired when?

G: In 1969 and I mean I was some of the very first people to get in
there. That particular time the only jobs that they really offered us
were operators jobs. That was what you did. But during that time I was
able to see how we as a people were able to even progress with that
company. So you moved from one area to the other. And because of the
fact that they were not allowed to discriminate in the jobs, if you
qualify you were placed in a position. So I saw a lot of things happen,
even with Bell South for my 27 years of working with them that made a
difference. And all of this came about because we had folks like
Medgar, people like Martin, that stood up and fought for our rights and
we benefited from it.

H: I want to go back to after Medgar's funeral.

G: Okay.

H: What kind of activity were you involved in after the funeral?

G: You know the mass meetings? We continued those. Those mass meetings
really continued.

H: So that was sponsored by the NAACP?

G: Oh yes. That was sponsored by the NAACP. And those meetings
continued. Because it was even more so because Charles came on board to
help keep things going that his brother had started--Charles Evers.
Even today the festival continues because we're determined not to allow
the day to just die out and what Medgar stood for because it's so
important that we keep it alive. The mass meetings don't continue now
like they did. Now that we've sort of--maybe, I don't really--perhaps we
saw where we had accomplished, some of the things that we wanted--we
still do voter registration. And that's the part that I have
participated in a lot because it encourages people to really get out and
vote when it's election time. I really work with that. Still to this
day I manage a precinct in every election. I have to do the
announcements, encouraging people even though we are registered now we
have so many people now that don't vote. And that's the thing that we
are involved with now, getting our people to understand how important it
is that we get out and exercise our vote because if we don't do that
then we can lose some of the gains that we have made. So these are the
kinds of things that I guess are a continuous--I've been called a
political activist and I said yes, perhaps I am--I get involved with the
political process because I truly believe in it. As I see us having our
Black mayor in the city of Jackson for the first time--and this is the
one thing, I got so involved in that. I worked harder in that
campaign. I think that was the first one that I really worked as hard
in and that was volunteer work. But it was wonderful volunteer work
because I saw us moving to another direction, another era, in which
Martin

END OF SIDE 1

As you continue with the struggle and I know that there are
organizations, and I belong to them all, I'm a member of the NAACP. I'm
a member of SCLC. I believe in those things which strive to move
forward, which try to hold fast to those dreams and things that Medgar
stood for, that Martin stood for, Rev. R. L. T. Smith stood for. These
are the kinds of things that we have to continue to do. And there was
one other figure and I wish that he was alive today so you could
interview him and that was Sam Bailey. That man was so devout in the
Civil Rights Movement. He really was. Those are people that we don't
need to just forget about.

H: Where did he live?

G: I'm not sure exactly where. I've never seen where Mr. Bailey lived.
I just know he worked down on Farish Street. I don't know where he
lived. I remember when he died but I don't know exactly where he
lived. He's one that I think we ought to interview some of his family
anyway and see what they have to say because he played a vital role. He
was a devout Civil Rights worker in the '60's with the NAACP. That is
our organization and all of us should fight to keep it alive. It is
nothing to be ashamed of, and so often times people don't want to
belong. I've heard people say what does the NAACP do. But it was here
when there was nothing else. I mean it really was. They were out there
fighting for us when there was nothing else in Jackson. It was the
NAACP that fought the people and filed a suit and saw to it that you
were treated fairly. It was clear and it was something that is
worthwhile now that we keep alive.

H: Did you ever hold an office in the NAACP in the '60's?

G: No. Never held an office, just was a member. With my schooling and
my children I guess I really didn't find a lot of time to do all of
those kinds of things because being a full-time student and full-time
worker, it took a lot.

H: I know. I'm sure.

G: But I still am a firm supporter.

H: Let me ask you one other question. Between Medgar's death in '63 and
'69--and you need to work this out--can you think of any outstanding
event that you personally were involved in regarding Civil Rights? I
know you went to the mass meetings and worked for the NAACP, but I was
just trying to think if there was anything. You never went to jail?

G: No. I never went to jail. I was not one of those products. I just
have a sister and brother who went to jail and it was really not the
jail; that was when they hauled them off to the Fairgrounds, the
concentration camp was what it was more or less like. There was a Youth
Movement really in the city of Jackson at that particular time. Those
were the demonstrators, those were the sit-ins, and they were the ones
who actually did that.

H: What did you think about the Youth Movement during those days?

G: I think the Youth Movement was very effective in those days. During
those times the Youth Movement was very effective because I think it
took the young people because they were brave and they were unafraid. I
don't believe we could have used anyone else that would have been that
brave and courageous other than young people because these were students
that came from Tougaloo College and truly from all over; because there
were high school students too; because at that particular time my
brother was in high school at Brinkley. They were part of the sit-ins
with the Freedom Riders. Sure they were arrested. Most times they
were. My mom went and got them out of jail.

H: Did she have to pay to get them out or she just went and signed them
out?

G: She went and signed them out. And then as soon as she did that those
kids went right back. That's when they were hauled off in the paddy
wagon down to the Fairgrounds. So these were the experiences that they
had. They went through the fire hoses and all of this stuff. I didn't
have any of those experiences but my sister and brother did. And I
really think that those young people really made a very, very strong
impact because they were brave and courageous and they weren't afraid
and they weren't easy to turn away. But we were real fortunate even in
that we had no violence that took place during that time. Nobody was
killed during that struggle. Just a lot of our children were arrested
and hauled off into the paddy wagons. But as a whole I guess, basically
in Mississippi, it's not really one of those, in Jackson especially, you
couldn't say it was one of those cities that turned into violent crime.
I dare we can say there was a bit of compassion because they really
didn't.

H: Compassion on whose part?

G: I guess on the part of the White person because really and truly our
children were not hurt. There were even no personal injuries. They
just scared them. I think that was their whole thing was to frighten
them with the tear gas and that kind of thing, but they never ever
really, say, hurt anybody.

H: And that was local people?

G: Yes, local people. Those that they considered outsiders and they
called them outside agitators because there were several people that
came actually to help us in Mississippi that really actually lost their
lives on their way home and that kind of thing. They lost their lives
and they were part of the Civil Rights fighters. They considered them
outside agitators as they called them and I didn't understand why they
wanted to consider them as outside agitators. These were only people
who came in to aid and assist us in what we were doing to try to make
things better for all those citizens in Jackson. All the people, like
Rev. Smith were saying, is "for the future generations to come we want
them to have a better day than what we're experiencing now." And that's
really because many of them did not live to see all of the things that
we're experiencing now, but what they were working for is that we would
absolutely have a better day; that people would be able to ride, sit
where they want to sit, live where they want to live without fear.

H: Now wait a minute. I was just thinking, you're saying there was no
violence but Medgar was killed.

G: Oh yes.

H: Then there was this guy, somebody, Lee, that was shot.

G: Yes. That's what I'm saying. I was saying with the young people.
That's what I'm saying, the young people.

H: There were two students from Jackson State.

G: Oh yes, now that was a really--the students at Jackson State--that
really was like a riot that had really took place. And that was in 1971
that that occurred. As I said to you earlier, the struggle, the Civil
Rights struggle, it hasn't ceased to be because it continues. It's in a
different form. The prejudice that we once openly experienced, it still
exists; it's in a different form.

H: How do you experience it today?

G: When you see what I have observed, and this is really like
downsizing, say for example, in the industry downsizing of jobs, there
are people that are affected the most are Black folks. And they put it
off saying technological changes or whatever they want to call this. It
has nothing to do with it. They are simply dismissing Black folks. I
saw that with Bell South and I see it with other industries because I
look at the number of people that get sent home and I look at who they
are. So what I'm saying is that the prejudice still exists. It's
simply in another form. And they are using it. And they said they've
satisfied affirmative action. This is what industry was saying, "We've
satisfied it." So now we can do whatever we want. Until some of us
really understand what's going on with the system--and that was my
thing, that's what kept me going with Bell South because with Bell South
I kept preparing myself educational wise so that when the time came when
I would go home, I would be prepared to do some other things. And
that's what I tried to encourage many of the ones that were working with
me because the company had the tuition plan, money was there, why not
take advantage of it and let the company prepare you so when you leave
the company. So those are the kinds of things that are happening right
now. It's not only happening in the industries and it's from every walk
really--department stores and all, the same thing is happening. In
industry they lay off folk and then they rehire and what they do is they
bring in folk that they can pay at a lower rate of pay where they say
the company is saving money.

H: You think so?

G: Yes. So this is what we see now.

H: You know, I know that you are a member of Cade Chapel Baptist
Church. What kind of involvement did your church have?

G: Well our church is one of the churches that really opened their doors
for the meetings and there were churches in Jackson that were afraid to
do that.

H: And your pastor was?

G: Well at that particular time in the '60's the pastor was J. D.
Hayden. He was the pastor but he was there for 40 years; but the church
was open door. And I guess the reason why it was such an open door
church was because at that particular time the family that was really
involved in the Movement was the Herrington family and that was husband,
wife, and children.

H: Herrington. What's the full name?

G: J. D. Herrington and Shirley Watson Herrington. She was one of the
daughters. So that family was heavily involved in the Civil Rights
Movement and they were members of Cade Chapel. So the church opened its
doors to allow, and that was for the youth workers to come in and the
mass meetings to be held at Cade Chapel so that's how it was really
involved. And not only that it raised money and gave money. And even
until this very day Cade Chapel is still vital because we have opened
our doors to the fund raisers for the NAACP to have their meetings at
our church.

H: Do you remember your pastor since Hayden?

G: That is Horace L. Buckley and he still has the same attitude about
being supportive in the Movement so anytime that our church is needed
for any special meeting then Cade Chapel is available for that.

H: Has it always been located where it is?

G: It was on the opposite side of the street. It's been in Virden
Addition since it's inception in that part of the city because the
church was founded in 1876. Where I understand the history of our
church, we were founded on a little place called Silent Hill and that
was really off of North State Street over there. But we moved from
there to a location on Ridgeway which is directly across the street from
our present site now. The church grew from a small church to what we
are right now. Even when I went to Cade Chapel in 1975 it was small
compared to what we are now.

H: During the early '60's was it located where it is now?

G: During the early '60's, during the Civil Rights era, it was across
the street on the opposite side of the street and then it moved. I'm
trying to see where we had moved over across on this side of the
street. It was there. It was where it is right now during the Civil
Rights Movement but it was a smaller church, very very small. We
renovated that church. The last one was the third renovation of the
church which was where it is now. So it was there. At that particular
time J. D. Hayden, we rehired him in 1968 and then Horace Buckley was
elected the pastor in 1969 and he's been there ever since.

H: Other than the mass meetings that were held there and the money given
by the church could there be any other kinds of things? Did you have
any Freedom Schools there?

G: No, we didn't have Freedom Schools. We just simply had voter
registration drives; was the only thing they would have. No Freedom
Schools.

H: Was Rev. Hayden personally involved outside of the church setting?
Did he get arrested or anything like that?

G: He just allowed for it. He was one of those people who was kind of
fearful like a lot of folks. He didn't even get involved.

H: But he allowed

G: He allowed the use of facilities but he didn't want to get involved.

H: Now, tell me about the attitude of your Sorority. I know you said
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

G: The only thing, and this is what I've learned, the only thing that
the Sorority does is make donations to the NAACP. As far as actual
involvement out there I haven't seen that and from the history of it I
haven't read anything where it has actually been involved.

H: But individual.

G: Right.

H: Mrs. Green I want to thank you for this interview. May we have
permission to use this in working with the city of Jackson and for
educational purposes.

G: You are more than welcome to do that. I'm just real happy to be able
to share.

H: Alright. Thank you for your time and this wonderful interview. I
will be asking you to sign those release forms.

G: Sure.

H: Again, thank you.

G: You're welcome.

Oral history from the Jackson Civil Rights Sites Project: Hillman Frazier

Margaret Walker Alexander Research Center,
Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi

Interviewee: Hillman Frazier
Interviewer: Charlene Thompson
August 5, 1998


F: How are you?

T: I'm doing fine. My name is Charlene. Of course you know that we are
here to talk about the Civil Rights Movement as it pertains to Jackson,
Mississippi. What we are wanting to do is to get a brief background on
you and your involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and then we will
move into a question and answer session, so to speak, that will give us
more insight into the Movement as you experienced. Give us some
information if you will.

F: I grew up as a child during the height of the Civil Rights Movement
in Mississippi. When I grew up in Jackson, it was a segregated Jackson,
Mississippi. In my neighborhood, we had two elementary schools. We had
one elementary school for Blacks and four elementary schools for
Whites. I lived close to Isabelle Elementary School. But because of
the Jim Crow Laws of the time,

I was forced to go to Martin Elementary School, a lot farther distance
away from my home. During that time our parents were very actively
involved in the Civil Rights Movement, attending rallies at the Masonic
Temple auditorium, marching and protesting against injustices. So that
was going on at that time. And also you had Freedom Riders coming into
the city of Jackson setting up Freedom Schools, trying to instruct
individuals how to participate nonviolently in the struggle. I remember
attending some of the Freedom School sessions that were held in Jackson,
telling them how to march peacefully, how to resist, telling them how to
turn the other cheek when you are attacked by the law enforcement
officials. I remember those days vividly. I also remember some of our
segregated institutions. You had segregated libraries back then. The
library on State Street was a battleground in the Civil Rights Movement
because they didn't want us to ever think that it could be used by all
people. So they had a sit-in by students at Tougaloo and others trying
to change that policy. But because of the time, many of us were forced
to use the College Park Auditorium Library on Lynch Street and also the
Carver Library on Mill Street. I spent a lot of my time in those
libraries because I was denied access to the main library on Capitol
Street. Those are the some of the things that were going on. And also
during the height of the Civil Rights Movement you had a lot of protests
in the city of Jackson. Allen C. Thompson was the mayor of Jackson at
the time. He was known for the famous Thompson Tank. He used that to
arrest the marchers at the time. And also he used the police force and
the fire department to spray the marchers at the time. Many individuals
were in fact arrested and sent down to the Fairgrounds because the jails
were crowded at that time during the height of the Movement. But that
was something done earlier. But during that time we still had to
maintain our separate schools because the system was not quite open
although the Supreme Court outlawed segregated schools at the time. But
these were some of the things that were going on at the time. You had
Martin Luther King come to Jackson participating in the rallies, you had
Medgar Evers on the forefront leading the charge and they put a lot of
excitement on the part of the residents because it meant that it was
steps towards eradicating at least some of the segregation in the city
of Jackson and eventually did improve the city of Jackson at that time.

T: I remember you saying that you had attended some of the Freedom
Schools. Exactly where were some of those schools located here?

F: Most of them were held in churches around the area. I mentioned that
I grew up in South Jackson, in Doutiville. Doutiville was known to be
one of the roughest parts of south Jackson. But they had Freedom
Schools in the church in Doutiville earlier and they had different
people coming in, instructing those who participated in the Movement how
to participate in a non-violent manner, explaining to them their rights,
and what to do in case they were arrested, who to call, things like
that, and that's what was going on in the Freedom Schools here in the
city of Jackson and also the state of Mississippi.

T: How old were you at the time?

F: I was around at the time. I was about 12 years old.
T: So at the age of 12 you actually took up the cause? It was a fight
for the cause of Black people. Did you see it at the time as being
something that was extremely important?

F: Well I just followed the lead of my parents because my parents were
very active in the struggle at the time. They wanted to make sure that
we were aware of what was going on in the city of Jackson at that time.
They made sure that we knew and they participated in marches in the
streets of Jackson. They also attended the mass rallies throughout the
city of Jackson and I also attended some of the mass rallies with them.
And so you become very sensitive to what's going on, and the social
changes that were taking place in the city of Jackson.

T: What were some of the marches that you participated in?

F: Like I said most adults participated in the marches at the time.
Marches that were around Capitol Street were about changes at the time.

T: You said the College Park Auditorium, that's where basically you all
had to, I guess, go to the library? That's where Blacks had to go to
the library?

F: We had two libraries running, College Park Auditorium on Lynch Street
and also the Carver Library on Mill Street. And those were the two
libraries set aside for the Blacks in the city of Jackson. They were
limited in their staff, in their resources, at that time. The law was
separate but equal. I know those were not equal facilities. Those
libraries were separate but they were not in fact equal. Although at
the College Park Auditorium Library at the time but had limited
resources.

T: Can you tell me a bit about any particular incident that you remember
very vividly during the Movement, something that basically stuck with
you, something that maybe inspired you?

F: One of the things that was quite shocking during the Movement was
when they killed Dr. Martin Luther King. I was a student in school at
the time and we received the news. And we were angry at the time. So
we marched out. He was out in Memphis trying to uplift the rights of
sanitation workers. We could identify with that because that's some of
the things happening in the city of Jackson. Our sanitation workers
were underpaid. They were driven around by White drivers who actually
watched them do the work but were higher paid; so when Martin Luther
King was assassinated with strikers at the time. And also during my
college days at Jackson State University, I remember when students were
slain on campus. I was a student at the time and when the police
department came out on campus. That was actually during the height of
the Vietnam War. The officials came on campus and they did shoot up and
kill a couple of students. It was an eye-opening experience to many
students.

T: Did you witness any of that particular incident?

F: I was there that night because it so happened I got some of my
friends to leave and get a bite to eat. I left campus that night. As
we were trying to come back to the campus we were stopped by the police
department. They told us that they'd gotten word of trouble on campus
because they had called every ambulance in town to come on campus that
night. They told us to go on at our own risk. So we refused to go back
on campus that night. As we were driving along we saw the National
Guard officials marching toward Alexander Hall dormitory at that time.
We were trying to get back to the dormitory and take other students. So
when the shots started ringing out we had to leave for fear of our own
safety. So we left and I went to my parent's house.

T: So were there at any given time during the--I know you said that your
parents were the ones that were really more active than yourself--that
you were involved with the Movement, but were there any given times you
participated in the marches or what have you, that you may have been
beaten or something like that.

F: Parents were very protective of kids at the time. They wanted those
under a certain age to steer away from the violence. They didn't want
us to be arrested. They wanted us to sit home and make sandwiches and
things, or Kool-Aid and stuff, for those who were actively involved,
actually marching at the time. But they wanted to make sure that the
kids did not become injured so the adults in the family were on the
forefront in terms of marching in the streets, being beaten or being
sprayed by the police department, fighting off dogs. But the kids were
there. They were backup.

T: Even with the adults, were there a lot of other people in the
Movement during that time? Were any of your other neighbors out there?

F: The neighbors did participate because it was a Movement and people
were drawn into the Movement because it was going on and also because of
the personalities that were involved like Medgar Evers, Dr. Martin
Luther King, seeing what's happening in other parts of the country,
other parts of the South. And so Jackson was rallying to the cause.
And also, as a matter of fact, a lot of this was played out on national
television. National networks did film what was happening here. Some
of the national magazines did take many photographs of what was
happening in the South as a potential battleground was developing, and
that did inspire and include many people from Mississippi during the
Movement at the time. We also had a bus boycott in the city of Jackson
because of segregation. During the bus boycott, we didn't ride the bus,
and we did quite a bit of walking at the time because we were trying to
desegregate the bus system and also get freedom of seating on the bus.
We had to sit behind the white line before the boycott. But those were
things approved by the city of Jackson.

T: Do you remember Medgar Evers' funeral?

F: It was a very sad time in the city of Jackson. It was just a somber
time in the city of Jackson when we had a lost a very good leader at the
time. Many were very concerned about the future of the struggle,
wondering who were the leaders, who could take us to the next level.

T: At what point did you get involved in the NAACP?

F: Well as far as I can remember, because our parents were big believers
in the NAACP and made sure that we participated in the activities. So I
started back at that time. We talked about church and also talked about
the NAACP.

T: Did you ever enroll and become an NAACP member again?

F: Yes.

T: Is there anything else you would like to say, anything else that you
can recall, any particular significant place or event at this time?

F: Well in Jackson the Masonic Temple is a very significant place for
Black students because it was the place where Blacks got together and
talked about the Civil Rights Movement. There were great teachers like
Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers and others that talked about the
next level of participation in the struggle. And that was a place where
Blacks really looked forward to going to during the struggle. And also
the different churches--different churches had mass meetings throughout
the city of Jackson. And we did go to the different churches for
rallies. We had rallies at my home church, Galilee Baptist Church, at
the time. We had rallies throughout the city of Jackson. That was
very, very, very important. And also the main library downtown was a
battle ground because students were arrested for trying to desegregate
that library, Tougaloo students, because they wanted to make sure that
all of us had access to the library which is very significant when
you're talking about the struggle in the city of Jackson. We were
concerned about services in downtown Jackson as well.

T: You mentioned one of the Freedom Schools. Do you remember any one
associated with the school?

F: Yes. Yes, Dr. Stewart.

T: Do you think that the struggle has changed much in Jackson and
America or do you feel that the struggle is still going on?

F: It's still going on because we continue the struggle from fighting
for political power to economic power, and so the emphasis has changed
somewhat in the city of Jackson. We do have Black elected officials in
the city of Jackson, a majority Black city council, majority Black board
of supervisors. We have Black leaders in our Mississippi delegation
that serve in the legislature. So in terms of political power we have
obtained some degree of success in terms of political power. We have
had some success in terms of economic successes, but that is still going
on because we still have many battles to fight in terms of everyone
having access to economic benefits or service; that is still going on.
Some point to the fact that we have Black ownership of the number-1
television station in the city of Jackson. A lot of the Black
businesses don't have access to capital nor the necessary resources.
They don't have access to some of the contracts that are done on the
state level, or their participation has been very limited in terms of
their numbers. So the struggle is to increase the participation on the
part of Blacks in a given length of time in the city of Jackson. In the
state of Mississippi that struggle is ongoing and we won't be satisfied
until we see fairness in that. I know we have fairness in terms of
economic opportunity in the city of Jackson. In the struggle we fought
to live in good neighborhoods. We fought to have integrated schools.
But you need good-paying jobs or you need your home-grown businesses.
We're fighting for both of them right now.

T: What do you regret about the struggle?

F: One of the saddest parts of the struggle was the lack of
participation as far as White businesses. They were in fact a major
concern of the movement but they didn't participate in the struggle.
They didn't appreciate the injustices that were taking place in the city
of Jackson. Some of the ministers were afraid to speak out and take a
stand. I think few of the White churches and only about half of the
Black churches showed any concern for the struggle. This is one of the
reasons the movement took so long to show any real progress.

T: Do you think that a lot of the people were basically unconcerned and
they felt that the struggle was not their problem? They felt that it
was not for them so they had nothing to do with it?

F: They practiced something. They didn't necessarily practice
Christianity. A lot of them worked very hard to maintain the status
quo. They were very comfortable with their lives. A lot of them
benefited from the prayer system that we had in the city of Jackson
because their members were in a position of having good-paying jobs,
their members were sitting in the political positions making these
decisions and so there were benefits. And so anytime they attempted to
speak out they had to think about the repercussions they would receive
from their own leadership. So they didn't have the freedom that some
thought they had nor did they have the courage to struggle. There were
others who turned their heads to what was going on in Jackson.

T: Was there at any time during the struggle that your
participation--did you ever feel like you wouldn't have wanted to, you
wished you hadn't participated, or you wished you had had more
involvement?

F: I wanted to be more involved. I realized that we were in fact
conservative about many things occurring in the city. We were
participating in economic development in the city but we had no benefits
in what we were doing. I wanted to say more about the parents were very
protective of the kids for the most part and they did give them
different roles to play. And they wanted to be in the forefront in
terms of not letting violence take place in the city of Jackson, but the
thing about it they did instill in us the fight--the courage to go
forward and fight. They wanted to make sure that we could pass without
something happening to them or even give us the ability to go forward at
that time.

T: You'd pick up the fight from them?

F: Right. They were very productive.

T: Now, going back, you said in the Freedom Schools that you all
attended and you said they taught you things like I guess how to be
non-violent and were there other things? How long were the sessions or
meetings at the Freedom Schools?

F: Well they had Freedom Schools, especially during the specific summer
of '64, '65, '63. They came to the state for the purpose of sharing
ideas about rights and the availability of resources, while letting us
know that they could assist us in our struggle. They came, explained
different rights and remedies during the sessions. We also talked about
different customs, different practices that were taking place in the
South and how to confront them head on. We're also proud of the fact
that things began happening in the city of Jackson and that we could
assist and become something more than victims in the city of Jackson.
We talked about those things in the Freedom Schools. It happened during
the summer in the South because a lot of white students came down to
help to bring about change.

T: Anything else you want to add?

F: No.

T: Mr. Frazier I'd like to thank you for this interview. If there is
anything else that you can think of please let us know. I really do
appreciate it and I really do thank you for the interview.

F: Thank you.

Oral history from the Jackson Civil Rights Sites Project: Jan Hillegas

Margaret Walker Alexander Research Center,
Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi

Interviewee: Percy Chapman
Interviewer: Jan Hillegas
July 29, 1998


H: July 29, 1998, and I'm here with Percy Chapman and you know that I'm
Jan Hillegas and I'm working with the Jackson State University Margaret
Walker Alexander National Research Center Project to help document the
places and people and events of the Civil Rights movement in Jackson.
And, of course, I'm talking to you because I know that you know a lot
about those types of things. And at the end I'll ask you to sign a
statement and say that it's okay to use the interview as part of this
project to let other people know about what happened back in the day.
Anytime really up through the very early 70's is basically what we're
trying to cover. So as far back as your experiences might go. Let me
just start out just saying just a little bit about where you were born
and your family and then work up to your life.

C: As you know my name is Percy Chapman and I was born in Yazoo County
and I came to Jackson in 1958 to teach high school. I did attend
Campbell College for two

years and left the state in '68 and went to the University of Penn for
two years and returned back here. I'm not sure you know because I
worked with University Hospital first.

H: Just go back.

C: When I first came to Jackson I worked at the University Hospital and
I did that for 7 or 8 years and at that time I was at Campbell College.
And I started at Campbell College in '64 and I got in the movement in
'63. I was working as a Youth Counselor for the NAACP and I did have
the privilege to meet Medgar Evers in just a little way 'cause I was
just getting involved in '63 and, as you know, June of '63 he was
assassinated. I lived at that time about 4 or 6 blocks from Medgar
Evers. I lived on Parkway Avenue and Medgar was on Guynes at the time.
I worked diligently. First, I enjoyed working with the organization.
And then with the state I served as state youth advisor for the NAACP.
And I had the privilege then to go in other counties of the state,
across the state. I did enjoy working and at that time I thought, and
still hold to, if it was something I could do to help, or bettering this
whole system, I was willing to do that. And by helping myself I always
had the impression it would help other people. If I could help other
people then it would in turn help me as well. And those are the things
I've charged and some of the things I hang on to.

H: For instance, why did you decide exactly in 1963 to get involved in
the movement? What had you seen of the movement or what got you
interested?

C: First I had been going to some meetings at the churches. And at that
time the only thing I did want to do was I said if I could do anything
to make a difference, and I was speaking of Jackson specifically at that
time, I would like to be one of the persons, to be one of these people,
involved in that kind of situation. Now, as you know at that time we
weren't having mass meetings diligently in the city. And then if we
were, we were having them in selected churches because we couldn't go to
our churches at that time.

H: Which churches do you remember going to in the early stages?

C: I do remember going to Pearl Street AME Methodist and New Mount Zion
Missionary Baptist Church.

H: What street is that on?

C: It is on Macon Street. And that is my church as well. It was that
church, and we went to Cade Chapel on Ridgeway. Those were the main
churches at that time that we were able to meet in, plus the Masonic
Temple.

H: Was this before '63?

C: That was in '63 and from then on, that's when that was.

H: And what were those meetings like?

C: Well in '63, the main thing they were talking about, and I guess I
was listening to the most, was that's the word now to make
indifference. Some of the things were voting rights and trying to get
people to become registered voters and things of that sort. That was
the real heat of the battle in the early '60's. And I do remember
before Mr. Evers was assassinated, he was working voter
registration/voter education and trying to get people to register to
vote. I guess in the early stages people, were somewhat reluctant or
had become so complacent, that first you had to almost preach or try to
show them that their vote would be counted. And that was some of the
things I think it was dealing with first. Because the greatest thing I
saw they were trying to do is to say that we had a right to register and
vote and I didn't see anything indifferent in that. But when you get
out and call yourself beginning to have meetings and things of that
sort, people were sometimes reluctant to respond to us.

H: When did you first register to vote?

C: I registered to vote in '65.

H: In '65.

C: That's right.
H: In Jackson?

C: Here in Jackson. And they were giving out poll -- what do you call
these things? Poll, ah poll taxes? I hate to say but I can't remember
the word it was. But I had a list of a hundred questions to answer.
And when I first went down there the man just said, "You didn't pass
it." Didn't even check.

H: You did try to register before that?

C: Yes.

H: When did you first try to register?

C: '64 was when I first went down. And then it was so indifferent and
it was so unbelievable. You could sit there almost an hour trying to
answer the questions and the gentleman would just ball the paper up and
throw it away and say you didn't pass. And those things are almost like
unbelievable but they're very much believable. And it made a difference
too because I wasn't the smartest person there and I knew that in the
beginning but I always strived and aimed to do what was right first and
then I thought if I was taking a test or something then you should judge
me on what I've done and not just throw it away and say you didn't pass
the test. But that was the way it was then. And when I first got
registered I started trying to take people back down there. And then it
became that I was harassing people or if I went to the courthouse I was
being watched or followed. And I guess at this day and time people
would say that is not true and that is not real. And it hasn't been
that long ago; but it has made a difference and it means a lot to
people. Because to get all of the -- not just saying Black people
because all other people had rights and privileges -- but to get Black
people registered to vote it means a whole lot. And I hope we don't
waste the vote or I hope we don't destroy ourselves with the vote.

H: You were working at the University Hospital you said exactly?

C: Exactly.

H: At that time?

C: At that time.

H: Were you also on the staff of the NAACP then at some point?

C: Not at that time I was not. And then when I started working with
NAACP I was working as a Youth Counselor, working with the Youth
Department.

H: And that was a paying job?

C: That was not. No. I was not. I was not paid at all for none of
that. No indeed. All of my work was done directly volunteer. If I
left the state or went across the state sometimes they would give a
stipend or something of that sort. But no, I was not on the paid staff
for the NAACP.

H: Not at any time.

C: No. Not at any time. Not at any time until recent years I was paid
part or portion for working with the security department with the
National. But all of my work was directly volunteer and I guess it was
one of the words I was grateful that I had a little and my family helped
support some of my ideas and things of that sort and that made me happy.

H: Your family was here in Jackson at that time?

C: Yes.

H: How did they support you?

C: My mother was deceased when I was two or three. But my father
supported me and he always said if I think or if I could make a
difference he would stand with that and he would support anything I
wanted to do. He was an elderly man but he had a brilliant mind.

H: What kind of work did he do?

C: He was a contractor, a carpenter; that was his number one life was
carpentry and contracting. And he was a farmer. We had a farm when I
was living down in Magnolia. We had a farm there.

H: I should have asked you,too, what kind of work did you do at
University?

C: I was a porter in the housekeeping department. And I left out of
housekeeping department then I worked in neurosurgery. And that was the
time when I worked with animal surgery and things of that sort, tests.
That was when I was at the University Hospital. I was in housekeeping
and then I was in neurosurgery.

H: Back in '63 you said that you knew Medgar Evers for a while before he
was killed.

C: Yes.

H: What do you remember about him as a person?

C: I guess he stood out in my mind all the time because he always seemed
to be very busy but he seemed to be always, I guess the word is
aggressive, to make a difference. Now I remember him very busy working
and talking about voter registration and voter education. And I
remember this city when they were, well I didn't know at that time, but
that he was getting so many obstacles for just talking about voting and
registering to vote. And I didn't know Mr. Evers that well then but I
would go by the office, I'd see him, that he would seem to be so
concerned about registering and we were beginning to hold mass meetings
across the city. And some of the things were making a difference. We
used to be at the Masonic Temple all the time. But the night of the
assassination the meeting was off of Mill Street and everybody had gone
home. And did I get a call about 12:00, 12:30? And at that time I was
told that Mr. Evers had been shot. And I guess about 2 or 3 I got
another call and they said he was at the hospital. I didn't get a call
that he had passed until the next morning. That's when I got the call
that he had passed. And I did go by his house in the neighborhood that
he lived and things of that sort and from there I went to the Masonic
Temple.

H: You went to?

C: Masonic Temple on Lynch Street. That was the next morning.

H: What do you remember about the funeral?

C: I do remember it was, I guess you would say just lots of people from
everywhere they all were and some of our leaders and what not, Smith,
Richmond, other ministers here in this city and Rev. Jones, but he was
from Campbell College, and I remember Dr. Horn, he was there too, and he
was affiliated very much because the places we used to meet the most was
at Campbell College--and that was a part of Jackson State by the way--at
the (phone rings). I was saying we were meeting at that time at
Campbell College and Tougaloo.

H: Where exactly was Campbell College in relation to where Jackson State
is?
C: By the student union building, that Jacob Reddix Building, that whole
side was Campbell College. And the building right from the student
union building, I believe one of Campbell College buildings still stands
and they're using it. But where the boys dorm and all that on Prentiss
Street, all of that was Campbell College. And that's where we would
meet and had a location down on that campus and then at Tougaloo at that
time.

H: What other recollections do you have from say '63 or '64? Were you
in some of the sit-ins?

C: Yes I was in some of the sit-ins and in the demonstration for
Woolworth's, no it wasn't Woolworth's it was Walgreens.

H: Walgreens?

C: On Capitol Street.

H: On Capitol.

C: Yes. And it might have been Woolworth's, too, because we had two
stores down there and I believe it was both of them. And I did sit-ins
across the state and met some of the youth chapters across the state in
the demonstrations across the state as well. I guess I would say I was
just about in every demonstration there was across the state as well but
we're going to stay within the city of Jackson.

H: Well, go ahead and just mention some of the places you remember
working across the state.

C: Okay, I remember on the Coast, Biloxi, where Dr. Gibbon Mason had a
sit-in, and I remember there we went to Natchez, Mississippi, where we
had a whole lot of work done in Natchez and Hattiesburg where Dr. Smith
was president at that time.

H: Dr. Smith was president of?

C: Of the NAACP at that time, yes indeed.

H: Which Smith?
C: C. P. Smith. Dr. C. P. Smith.

H: Was the state president?

C: No. He was the president of Hattiesburg Branch, Hattiesburg Chapter
of the NAACP. It was another part of the state, but I'm not going to
try to remember them all. I wish I had put it on paper. But I went to
most all of them and for demonstrations and sit-ins across this state
but I remember down south like Natchez, Hattiesburg, and McComb.

H: What period of time was that that you were traveling?

C: That was '64 and '65 and '66.

H: Are you going to say anything about other people that you met that
stand out in your mind in the civil rights movement in that general
period?

C: Yes. I met a lot of people first in the latter era. I met the
Boziques and Jacksons in Hattiesburg and then I met Smith and their
family.
H: That's okay. Of course, I should be mainly asking you about Jackson
anyway.

C: Okay, well back to Jackson. We had the Rev. B. B. Rushing and he was
the pastor of New Mt. Zion and he was my pastor. And we had people like
the Mayberry brothers--Ken, Walter.

H: Who were they?

C: They were people who lived in this community that were in the
movement. There was work with them. They were contractors, roofing.
And Milton Cooper was one of the persons who we worked with or he worked
with us in doing demonstrations across this city. Many others
participated too.

H: Did you work with the school integration efforts at all?

C: No, as attending?

H: Well, no, just in any kind of way.
C: I worked with them when they were first desegregating down on
Galloway. Yes, Galloway School. I was there working with them on
desegregation and things of that sort in the school, yes.

H: What do you remember about that experience with the children?

C: I guess it was about 4 or 5 families at that time in the beginning.
And I can remember they were, and that had to be the Cooper family and
the Whites, and I'm not going to try to call them because I'm going to
miss somebody and I'll be guilty of not giving them all the names. And
then they had the cross guards over here when they first started putting
black cross guards there after the kids started going to school there
where they had the first cross black guards. And that was what I
remember about Galloway School and then they started.

H: Later on did you do some other work with the NAACP later in the '60's
then?

C: Yes. Later in the '60's I guess that was '65 or '67 or something I
was elected state youth president and I served in that position I guess
about 8 years or longer. Being state president I did travel the state a
lot and went out of the state to most regional and national
conventions. And I guess I need to back up a little to say in '63 we
chartered two buses to leave here to go to the March on Washington in
'63. In '65 I believe we chartered two buses and I was in charge of
that but Mr. Alex Waites was acting executive director of the NAACP at
the time. And we got two buses and took to Washington. And that was
trying to demonstrate the age limit down to 18. And we took two buses
from here to go there at the Capitol and we had just some people there.

H: What did you have?

C: Just some people there when they challenged that to try to get the
age limit to 18 to register to vote.

H: In Washington?

C: Yes.

H: What was your experience with the summer project in '64?

C: Most of all what I experienced was going across the state most of all
to try to inform people about registering to vote. And that was I guess
my biggest objective and that's what I was supposed to be doing, talking
and going, and talk about registering to vote, and registering, and
trying to get young people involved, and informing senior citizens, us,
and deaf people concerning the need for registering and voting. That
was I guess our main objective at that time. And right after Medgar
Evers was assassinated, I worked very closely and diligently with Mr.
Charles Evers when he came in and picked up. I worked with him a whole
lot here in the city and across the state.

H: What are your recollections of him in that period?

C: To me he was very great. He came in and picked up and he was there
more, I don't know if I want to use the word more, but people were more
alert to get involved after Mr. Medgar Evers' assassination about
registering and voting. Now Mr. Evers went across this state and he
made the difference, he and Aaron Henry, to getting people involved in
registering to vote.

H: Medgar Evers or Charles?

C: Charles Evers.

H: With Aaron Henry?

C: With Aaron Henry across this state. Charles Evers and Dr. Aaron
Henry, those kind of people working and changing and making a difference
about voter registration. Now we went to every little town across this
state getting people involved in registering.

H: Now, later you worked on Charles Evers' campaign did you not?

C: Yes I did. I worked with him when he was running for Governor. And
I worked with him when he ran for Congress. Well I was just in the
office and I guess I was more like working in the office and managing
the office and I did go out with him for speaking engagements. I would
be with him and take him and things of that sort.

H: You would drive?

C: Yes, I would drive along.

H: When you think back to the very starting point when you started to
get involved, '63 and up into the '70's, how did you see the movement as
changing or the peoples' response or what was different between '63 and
the early '70's say?

C: In '63 I guess getting people involved and then the '70's the
momentum was building for, I guess the word is, change and the people
were just about ready to make a stand to make a difference. And to make
the difference and the whole objective was they would just become
registered voters and first-class citizens. And that was the most
important thing. And that was their objective. And I don't know what
made it so much more than it seems it could have done. It was, you
know, just changing transactions. But people look like were so
rebellious and I'm not saying they didn't want to give them nothing,
they just wanted to hold as is and that was where Medgar did make a
difference. Because from the time, I guess it was the time when the
people started changing and making a difference, and I was grateful.
But I thought it was that we were just getting rights and privileges as
everybody else. And that was, I believe, the whole objective. And
people did do a tremendous job. And I worked and headed voter
registration from the National Office and then from Washington, DC, I
was head of the voter registration for Jackson, Mississippi, and for the
state. And I worked within those capacities. And I always liked that
because I thought all people were created equal and everybody should
have the right to just go register to vote without being intimidated or
without being brutalized.

H: Do you remember about when it was that people didn't have too much of
a problem registering to vote anymore?

C: I believe it had to be somewhere like in the late '60's and early
'70's. I believe that's it, I want to be exactly right. But it was
somewhere within that time period and was special for here and across
the state, too, because I did go across the state working in most of the
counties getting people to register to vote.

H: What about the other civil rights groups that were doing one thing or
another in Jackson, especially in the '60's? Say did you work at all
with people from SNCC?

C: Yes, I worked with a cross section of people including SNCC, but my
main job was with the NAACP.

H: What do you remember about other organizations?

C: They would come in and I and others would make every effort to work
with them and them with us. SCLC came in later years and worked.

H: Who are the people say in SCLC that you worked with some?

C: Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson and ...

END OF SIDE 1 OF TAPE 1


H: I don't know if we missed this on the tape. You said Jesse Jackson
and Julian Bond.

C: And Andrew.

H: Andrew Young. What do you remember about the activities that you
did?

C: When they came into this city I worked with them and we were going
like for mass meetings and if we were meeting out on the street
somewhere or either at Masonic Temple and places. I remember them
coming to the mass meetings and to the regional meetings.

H: Did Dr. Martin Luther King come to Jackson?

C: Exactly and I worked with Dr. Martin Luther King many times here.
And just before his assassination he was here for the Poor People's
March when he left here going to Memphis.

H: Oh he had been to Jackson?

C: Yes.

H: What people from SNCC do you remember working with?

C: Well I had a list of them.

H: Did you work with Jesse Morris?

C: Jesse Morris. Yes. Jesse Morris was one of them. I was trying to
think of some of the rest of them. But, yes, Jesse Morris was one of
them. Sure was.
H: What about anybody from CORE? I guess they weren't so much in
Jackson.

C: Not so much. But they were here and I do remember some of the people
from CORE. But the names, I sure don't have them. But I do remember
some of the people from CORE were here.

H: What about the Urban League and the other organizations?

C: Yes, the Urban League and I worked with the Urban League, there were
some other organizations. Actually I worked at the Urban League with I
think McQuaiter. I believe there's a McQuaiter's son. McQuaiter. I
think he was once active with the Urban League.

H: So as far as the movement in Jackson then, you said it was kind of
hard at first to get people to be active and get ready to go to register
to vote.

C: I think that was a fair assessment. And the people weren't doing
very much here. There were a few things going on in the early '60's but
very little. But after the assassination of Medgar and then that's when
the people began to get involved and really support a movement--the
whole movement of the city.

H: You think that was kind of a turning point then?

C: Well it was. I would have to say it was a turning point. Because he
had been doing a lot of work on civil rights and maybe didn't get it as
he wanted. But after his assassination it was a turning point. It
began to happen.

H: You said you came to Jackson in 1958? Is that right?

C: That's right.

H: So you were actually here in '58, '59?

C: Exactly.

H: Early '60's? Did you go to any meetings during that time before '63
then?
C: Yes. They weren't having a whole lot of them. I did go to some
meetings. And at that time most all the meetings were at the Masonic
Temple. And after then we started having them in the community and at
the churches. But before that time we weren't having them all over the
city and across the state.

H: Did you get arrested in any of the sit-ins or other activities?

C: Yes, I was. I don't think I was held long, but here in Jackson I was
taken down at the Fairground, and kept there. I was down there twice.
Then they took me to the Post Office twice but they didn't hold me.

H: They took you to the Post Office?

C: Yes. At the main Post Office on Capitol Street then. They took a
lot of us there but then they disbursed us and let us go.

H: Was it some kind of a jail?

C: Yes. That's what they were putting, you know, holding. I think they
used the word holding.

H: Oh I didn't know that. Where in the building was that?

C: I guess that was down in the

H: Basement?

C: In the basement part.

H: How long did you stay in that room?

C: Well I didn't stay there very long because they really got me out of
there very quick. And no time in jail that I actually spent a lot of
time there. Again, it was in Natchez, they stopped me but they didn't
take me to jail. They were taking a lot of us to the post office here.
I guess to the city jail too. But where they were really keeping
everybody down under the hill.

H: I specifically remember the report on channel 3.

C: Exactly.

H: But I didn't know about the post office.

C: Yes.

H: So they just kept people at the post office for a few hours did they?

C: Exactly.

H: Overnight and all?

C: No. We didn't stay. Not overnight. But I know for a few hours or
either they were as appearing.

H: You know the people saw the judge there in that post office though?

C: Yes. I'm saying they did see a judge. Yes.

H: And were you in jail? You were at the Fairgrounds a couple of times
you said?

C: Yes, I was at the Fairgrounds I guess two times or more. But each
time I was at the Fairgrounds they let me go. Now for what reason, I
don't know at that time. But every time that I got there then they
would just push me on through, let me go. And I did do that. Now I
don't know why. But I didn't stay down there not a night overnight.
And I went back down there two times to check on some people and they
didn't keep me then.

H: And you were a few years older than most of the people who were held
on the Fairgrounds, is that right or not?

C: No. Some of them I would think I may have been older than a lot of
them but there were some there right in my category. Yes, because there
were some people there from around Cade's Chapel Church and they were up
in my age limit or may have been older. But we were up there together.
But the others were, a whole lot of them were, younger than me when they
would come out to great big mass meetings.

H: Did you say that you don't know why they let you go specifically?

C: I really do not. Once, I heard them back there saying, "Is he the
leader or is he this or that?" And I was not directly no leader or
nothing at that time, but they would be saying those kind of things and
then they'd say well, I know one time they said, "Let's take him out."
And I thought they were going to really do something to me because they
took me out and I didn't know what they were going to do to me. And I
just was hollering and yelling and I had nieces and nephews and they
were yelling and hollering. But I guess the point was I'm almost to
think they were trying to get the people out of there who they thought
may have been a little older or was able to think that they wanted to
get them away from the rest of them or something. That's just my
assumption on that. But I think it was something to that. Because if
they thought you were or find out you were about to say something they
would like to try to get you by yourself.

H: What did you do to get sent to the Fairgrounds?

C: Well, nothing but, just, I would be demonstrating on the streets or
something.
H: Marching?

C: Or just marching. And that would be in earnest. I never did
anything else, well nothing else surely, but I would be marching. And I
never did directly lead the march because I would be with the ministers
and things though. Now with the youth people I usually would try to
help organize them to keep them together. And we didn't really carry on
or nothing like that, start throwing bottles and all those kinds, just
marching and demonstrations. And they would just (SMACK sound) hit you,
just pick you up, just pick you up if you were on the street corner
marching or anything like that. And I remember we tried to get down
Farish Street twice one time but they stopped us both times. And right
after Medgar's funeral, we were marching down there again and they
stopped us, just there at the funeral.

H: Did they arrest people at the funeral?

C: No, not at the funeral.

H: People marching.
C: Marching. Yes. When the funeral was over there was some of the
procession back to the funeral up there. When we got to Farish Street
that's where it got to be like a demonstration. The police had kind of
broke up the march and things of that sort. And that was what made the
difference. If they had just let you walk straight on up the street it
wouldn't have been any difference because they were marching from the
Masonic Temple back to Collins Funeral Home on Farish Street. And when
we got to Farish Street that's when they would almost like make you
disburse. They didn't want you to walk up Farish Street.

H: Do you remember when you marched and got arrested and sent to the
Fairgrounds? Do you remember where you were marching from and where you
were trying to go to?

C: I think I was on Capitol Street. And we were marching through
Capitol Street toward Sears and Roebuck. And they were arresting people
first at Sears and Roebuck.

H: That's where the Eudora Welty Library is now?

C: Exactly. Exactly. That's where it is. And we were marching around
that place and then they would really get you quick if you were going to
be back there. But we did continue -- they were arresting people a lot
-- but we were continuing to march and demonstrate at Sears and Roebuck.

H: Did you know Ben Brown?

C: I knew him?

H: Do you know Ben Brown?

C: Ben Brown was in the demonstrations and in the marches and I knew him
very well. And the night -- I don't know exactly the night -- he was
assassinated, I had been to the Masonic Temple. They left there and
then they went up the street right up from the Masonic Temple at -- I
can't think of the name of the little old place we got arrested that
night.

H: Contikki.

C: Contikki. Exactly right. And that's nowhere from here, see. And
when I left the Masonic Temple, I stopped at Contikki for just a minute,
but then I went on. I thought everything was just nice. When I say
nice, everything was pretty good. I really did. And then I finally got
home and then I got the call. And who was the first somebody called
me? But they said Ben had been shot. I said, "Ben?" And I had seen
him. I said, "No." They said, "He's been shot."

H: You had seen him where?

C: I had seen him that evening and that night. Did I leave him at
Contikki? I don't believe so; I'm not sure. But I know I had seen him
that day or that evening. When somebody called and said he had gotten
shot I said, "Why?" Because I was stunned to know that it was up there
on Lynch Street, somewhere right in there. I was shocked to think of
that. And then they said, "Yes." And then, now was Milton Cooper came
down and, I was going to go out to the Masonic Temple then. But when I
went out, nobody was there when I got there you see. And so then they
said they had taken Ben to the hospital. Now, I first was told that he
got shot at the Contikki. But then later I was told he was leaving
Contikki, walking up the street, Lynch Street, and that's where it was.
Because the Cooper's were the one's who had Contikki at the time. They
were the people who owned it, well ran the Contikki.

H: Milton Cooper and who?

C: No. What is the Cooper's were out there on Lynch Street?

H: Bonnie and Robert Cooper? Bonnie and something. I just saw that
name.

C: It was three or four brothers of them and they were the ones and I
can't think of any of those people's names.

H: You had been in the Contikki that night. Do you remember if it was
before dark or after dark that you went by the Contikki that night?

C: About first night, or 7:00 or 8:00, something like that.
H: Were the police out on the street at that time?

C: No. Were no police out on the street at that time. Not at that
time. No.

H: Were there either students or anybody in the streets?

C: Well, no. That's why I was so shocked. There wasn't a demonstration
or nothing at all at that time. I couldn't see why they were there.
Well I guess I don't make you see why they were there. Well nothing was
going on any different, let me say it that way. Because it seems to me
that Ben was by himself. And I don't know what he could have been doing
to get shot like that or arrested. I never have been able to understand
why that happened like that. I don't know what happened, I really
don't. And he was a nice guy. Ben Brown was a nice guy. Now he would
demonstrate and do these kind of things, but overall he was a very nice
person. And he wasn't a rowdy where he would be cutting up and carrying
on, and I couldn't see why he was shot. I really couldn't. I really
couldn't.
H: You have any other particular memories about Ben's activities or any
discussions you might have had with him?

C: No. He and I talked a couple of times. We were talking and he was
talking about voter registration/voter education. Now he was doing a
lot of work for voter registration/voter education. We would talk about
that and he would be involved with it, but I guess that was almost the
height of it with him.

H: You guess that was?

C: The height of it with him. He worked with voter registration and
voter education.

H: Did you work at all with Nolan Tate back in the '60's?

C: Mr. Tate? Yes. I remember Mr. Tate. Yes. I didn't work directly,
but indirectly I worked with him. Yes, I knew Mr. Tate very well.

H: What did you work with him on?

C: Well, no more than if it was community meetings or mass meetings or
something of that sort, that he was there. But other than that --

H: What about Rudy Shields?

C: Yes, I remember Rudy Shields very well, and he and I worked across
the state together. We worked on voter registration together. I
remember Rudy Shields very well just before he left and went to Yazoo
City.

H: He worked in Jackson?

C: He did. He worked in Jackson.

H: You mentioned Alex Waites?

C: Yes. Mr. Waites came in here -- I don't know if it was '65 or '64 or
somewhere in there -- but he came in here right at that time and he was
acting as executive director for the NAACP. First he was coming in
working with the director of voter registration and I think the relief
fund, I believe that's what the money that came with voter
registration. But I worked with Mr. Waites very closely, and diligently
with him, across the whole state.

H: What do you remember about him as a person?

C: That he was a very nice person and he kept almost like a low tone,
but he was very objective and to the point. But he didn't get rowdy and
all like that. But he was a fire kind of person that he would get the
job done. And he was very very direct and to the point.

H: Did you work with Carsie Hall or Jack Young?

C: I worked with both of them. I served as vice president of the
Jackson Branch under Carsie Hall and Jack Young. And I think of both of
those, Carsie Hall was president first and I was his vice president.
And I worked with him. Both of those were some wonderful men, diligent
and directly to the point. And either one of those men didn't make a
great big to do, but they would do a job for you. And I enjoyed working
with both of them very much. They were very wonderful. And I learned a
lot from them, too. And I learned a lot through Civil Rights and things
of that sort. Jack Young was the state legal counselor for the NAACP.
And Carsie also was president under two consecutive terms of war.

H: President of what?

C: Of the Jackson Branch of NAACP.

H: What about Jess Brown?

C: I worked with him also. I remember Jess Brown very well too. And I
enjoyed him as well. Jess Brown was another person that you would say
was to the point -- and get emotional too sometimes. But he was a
wonderful person too, very much so.

H: And Al Rhodes was active here in Jackson?

C: Al Rhodes. Yes he was. Al Rhodes was active. Al Rhodes was in later
years. He was active here in Jackson.

H: What did he do?

C: Did Al Rhodes do voter registration with them or was he involved in
some voter canvassing? He was more like, seemed like to me he was a
canvasser.

H: Canvasser?

C: Yes. Don't hold me directly to that but I think he was more like a
canvasser in the city. But he was involved here in the city. I knew Al
very well.

H: Did you work with William Miller?

C: Yes. I worked with William Miller here in the city. Yes indeed.
William Miller was here and with his father and brother. But William
Miller was involved more like in the movement at that time. And then
his brother was not here in the early years of the movement. I mean

H: Coleman.

C: Coleman came back in later years. But I remember William.

H: And Reuben Anderson was an attorney here or was it Fred Banks?

C: No. There was not an attorney at that time. Now I remember both of
them during the height of the movement. They were away at school.

H: So did you work with Reuben Anderson and Fred Banks?

C: I worked with them and I served as vice president under Fred Banks
for the Jackson Branch, NAACP. And I worked with Reuben Anderson also.

H: Are there other names of people that you worked especially close with
and I might not have asked about?

C: Yes. People like Sam Bailey and he was great. I guess you would
fall in love with him and I enjoyed it very much. And some of the
ladies with the Jackson Branch I worked with; for instance, persons like
Ms. Essie Ramsey, Mary Cox. They were secretaries for the Jackson
Branch. And persons like Mr. John Dixon, he was a person I enjoyed very
much.

H: Did you work with Rev. R.L.T. Smith?

C: Oh yes. Oh yes. And he was just a pioneer. And he was there to
lift us and carry us along. And Rev. Smith talked to me two or three
times in some of the later years. And when he passed, he was working on
putting a book together.

H: I heard that.

C: And I had been with him twice concerning it. And he was putting it
together. And I really don't know exactly what happened to it. But if
we had been able to keep that, or put it together, it would have been a
milestone here in the city of Jackson. And it would have even gotten
people that maybe I have forgotten and all of these things. Because
sometimes if you don't put it on something, you'll lose it or forget
it. But he really was working on that. And I do hate we didn't get
that finished.

H: You don't know if somebody's carrying through with that?

C: I sure don't know. I managed to check with Robert Smith twice but
I've never been able to find out if he knows anything about it or where
it is. I don't know what happened to it. I really don't. But I know I
went to him once or twice when he was working on it. What happened to
it I don't know.

H: Did you have any involvement in the situation with WLBT? You know
there was a lawsuit?

C: Oh no. It was. I did not have any direct involvement with that.
When that came along there were people like Dr. Aaron Henry, Charles
Evers, Charles Young, and I don't know who else, because I don't want to
leave out nobody, but I know they were the ones that I knew that were
dealing with WLBT.

H: You were working, most of the time that you did Civil Rights work,
you were working in the structure of the NAACP?

C: Yes.

H: Either in the state office or the Jackson Branch.

C: That's right.

H: When the poverty programs came in, Headstart and CAP programs and
other things like that, did you help? How did you relate to those?

C: I did not work directly with those. I knew about those. The people
who were really the persons putting those programs together and dealing
with that were Dr. Henry, Charles Evers, and it was some more, Charles
Young, something of that sort. But I didn't work directly with those
program. But I do know I worked with Dr. Henry then. They were the
ones putting it together. They were the ones going to Washington and
they were the ones coming back here and getting it together, because the
state wouldn't touch it at that time. I guess they thought they were
making it worse for all of us. But they wouldn't touch it and you
couldn't get nothing from them. And if it had not been, praising them
and all, but if it hadn't been for people like Dr. Henry and Charles
Evers, using their own sometimes to make a difference with all the
people in this state, I don't know where we would have been, I'm telling
you. I really have to and I do have respect for those men. But they
still protest that kind of stuff. And I see the programs and what not
now and people are so bourgeoisie, a word I'm going to use on you. But
it makes me wonder sometimes because I wasn't there that much, but I was
there when people were making a change for real. And it made a
difference. And it hurts me to see some of us come along and think I
owe you this and you owe me that. It's not that way. People have put a
lot out there. And people gave up a lot. Because they didn't have to
do. And people like Dr. Henry were making a very comfortable life and
his wife was a school teacher, and that meant a lot at that time. But
then, when he stayed out there in it and what not, then they fired her.
They fired her!

H: Oh.

C: And then she didn't have a job or nothing. And that made a
difference for Dr. Henry. Then he was using all he was probably getting
to get the Federal programs and things in and all like that. I don't
know but it was talked about. And sometimes people talk and I just
look. He went when they did this and he worked, and he didn't have to
do it, but he wanted to make a difference and I'm grateful for it.

H: What did you mean to say about the effects that the poverty programs
coming in once they did come in and people started getting jobs? Did
you mean to say that they had certain effects on the community or maybe
just some individuals in the community? How did you see that? I wasn't
entirely sure of the connection. You used the word bourgeoisie. Did
you mean that in connection with some of the people who worked in the
poverty programs or not? Just the question of the headstarts and the
community action programs are some. What effect did you see them having
on your work for the NAACP or the community in general?

END OF SIDE 2 OF TAPE 1

H: I was wondering about what are the effects you might have noticed
that the Headstart or the CAP programs had on Civil Rights activities or
anything else? Did they bring in a lot of money to families that really
needed it and so it was a good effect overall or did people work more in
the movement or less in the movement as the poverty programs came in or
did you notice anything in particular about that?

C: I think in the poverty programs, yes, the people worked good when
they first came out. They worked good when they first came out with the
poverty program. They did do the work there then though.

H: Did you work some with R. L. Bolden?

C: Yes. Yes. Exactly. I worked some with him. Yes indeed. I was
working with voter registration and met R. L. Bolden. Yes, R. L. Bolden.

H: What do you remember about him?

C: When I remembered him he was working with us with Dr. Aaron Henry and
R. L. Bolden was with the NAACP. I do remember him working with us.

H: Are you familiar with what's been brought out about him more
recently?

C: Recently?

H: Well in the past few years about his activities?

C: No.

H: Because some of the people that I asked you about and I got the names
from the Sovereignty Commission files? Have you seen your file?

C: No.

H: Well they got a file on you down there, of course, and thousands of
other people, of course; but yours is one. If you haven't heard it I'll
tell you just a little bit because this is important to all of our
history I think. Some of the reports apparently that mention you and
your activities were conversations that you had with people, with
somebody that you trusted, or who just stopped by and chatted with you.
Senator Kirksey actually was the first person that I know of that
brought this out some years ago. But R. L. Bolden has been working for
many years with Rep. Mike Parker.

C: Yes.

H: And it was during, well until recently, but it was several years ago
that Senator Kirksey brought out that Bolden, Senator Kirksey was
convinced even at that point, that Bolden was one of the people who was
giving reports to the Sovereignty Commission. And it's apparent to me
from looking at the files that have your name in them that somebody was
dropping by and assuming to be your friend and you were telling them
things that were going on just like you would anybody who seemed to be
interested in the movement and played some kind of a roll. But Bolden
was, I would say clearly to me, that person who wrote a number of those
reports as having stopped by and they're kind of grouped together in the
files down there. He was called Agent X in the file.

C: I've heard the word Agent X but I never was able to know who that
was.

H: Oh, is that right? Well, R. L. Bolden is the person that, there are
several indications that really point to nobody but him.

C: But R. L. Bolden.

H: Yes. And there have been two television programs wrote about it.
Actually you may have missed those. But they have one that was done
actually first in England and then brought over here on A&E cable
network and Dateline NBC did about a 15- to 20-minute piece on it.
These were both around three, four, five years ago now.

C: Well I sure don't know. Who was it asked me about who was Agent X or
something? And I never have been able to know who it was. Now somebody
mentioned R. L. to me twice and they said one time that they were
questioning was he the person. But I never did get exactly that Agent
R. L. was the one it was.

H: I don't think that there's any way that it could be anybody else,
because this person reported on so many different organizations, is
obviously Black, and obviously knew a lot of people to just walk up to
and talk. Now can you tell me though -- I perhaps should have asked you
a little before I said that to you -- but do you remember him coming in
and just chatting about one thing or another, asking you what was
happening?

C: Now I do remember that and he would show up at some of the meetings
when it's almost over with, or over with, and he would ask questions or
something sometimes. I do remember that, very much so.

H: But just trying to keep up on all the current things?

C: Yes. Yes. I would think that's what it was. And then maybe I was
ignorant to think he was just concerned.

H: Sure.

C: And that he was out there working or did what he could for us and
then carrying it here or there.

H: Yes. He was carrying it back. I don't know if he typed up things
himself but obviously he reported great volumes. But they are typed up
as pages and pages for years and years. Are there any other things that
you think of knowing that about his contacts? I guess he would come by
the office, the Masonic Temple office.

C: Yes he used to come by there a whole lot at the Masonic Temple and
things of that sort. And I guess the people would, I say the people who
worked there, would just assume he was coming by. I'm sure they didn't
have nothing else to think that it wasn't good faith or nothing at all
at that time. Sometimes they said that the Sovereignty Commission --
what did I hear about that? That R. L., one time I heard -- did I hear
that? That was this year or something? Who was it that told me that?
Said that he was reporting to the Sovereignty Commission. Yes. That's
what I heard. And I said, "R. L.?" And they said, "That's right." And
I said, "What?" But now I surely did. At first I didn't want to pay it
very much attention, but then I heard it again. I don't know who told
me that he was leading or he was talking to the Sovereignty Commission.
I really was a little bit floored to know that about that. I was really
floored and they said, "Well, he'll do anything." And I really was
shocked of that because I felt that was a little bit indifferent of
that. I didn't think he would just do anything. I thought he was with
some moral standards and principles. When I was told that this
Sovereignty Commission -- I don't know what he got out of it -- but if
you got anything, if you didn't, why would you do it? That was my
question.

H: Well he was certainly paid.

C: Exactly.

H: Do you remember the Barq Boycott at all?

C: Yes. I remember Barq. Yes I was down there when we did the Barq
Boycott.

H: What do you remember about that?

C: When we were boycotting it, and I do remember the police department.
Well when we were boycotting it, the policemen were down there, then
they were getting the Barq's drinks giving them to some people and
things of that sort. Now I don't remember. I really don't know was
that R. L. in that group when they were giving out those pops and
things. I really don't remember that now. But I was down there. I was
there pitching the boxes. And I do know on Lynch Street one time that
we were picketing the Barqs Drink Company and that's when they were
going to give the people the drinks and they wouldn't accept it. I do
remember that. But I guess it's been sometimes and some of the things
you would think you wouldn't mean nothing, it has a lot of meaning to it
also. But now I don't really know if R. L. was agent X.

H: Well, if you remember, he became the first Black employee.

C: That is true, since you said it.

H: Of Barq's.

C: Of Barq's Bottling Company. He sure Lord did. That is true. And
that does put some things together. Because they were standing so far
along at that time and to say that you were going to be, whatever it
was, it didn't exist at that time. Now I agreed with that
wholeheartedly.

H: Of course it was jobs that the boycott was started.

C: Exactly right. That's exactly what it was.

H: So he was a sales representative or something like that?

C: That's right. That was what he was, sales representative. And I
know we used to drink Barq's and we used to like them. But I don't know
whether we ever had another Barq's drink. We simply stuck with that.

H: You did what?

C: We simply stuck with that and put them out of business almost.
Because in the majority view, now like you said Mr. Bolden I don't know
how he got to be the salesman for them or what not, because they really
were just like folded up for a long time. They were just like folded up
I'm telling you. I guess they were just recently getting everything
they could and touching to see what would work and what wouldn't work.
But I do know that the masses and the majority didn't touch it.

H: Even after the boycott?

C: Exactly. After the boycott they didn't touch it.

H: Well of course looking back at it it seems to me that probably the
Sovereignty Commission and the Barq's people kind of got this together
so he'd have a job.

C: A job.

H: Can't say that for sure.

C: No.

H: But it was obvious

C: Yes indeed.

H: That he would be the one because he had been working for it for some
time by that point. Can you think of any other situations in which you
talked with him or he might have been involved in? I know he was an
officer in the FDP so I don't know if he was an officer particularly in
the NAACP. Do you know?

C: No he wasn't an officer for the NAACP.

H: But he did drop by.

C: Yes. He would come. Very often he would come by. Very often.

H: One thing that I didn't mention I was going to ask you about
particularly. It was something in your file that as I said that in 1969
you were the coordinator or the chair or both of the NAACP National
Convention. Was that here in Jackson in 1969?

C: It was. '69. Yes. That's right.

H: What do you remember about that?

C: That Convention, it was here. There was tremendous work in that. We
had people here. And that was the first time the Convention had been
this far south and the first time it ever was in Jackson. And I thought
it was great and tremendous. But it was so many people and the city was
not ready. You couldn't hardly stand it period. And then our
headquarters was at the Masonic Temple. And it was July same time, hot
as it is now almost, and it was difficult. But it was great and, first
of all, people didn't think all the people were coming and then they
said they would come because of the assassination and what not I
remember at that time. But they were here like never before.

H: A big convention.

C: It was. It really was. I guess it was the first time the National
had ever been here. I don't think our city was ready for it because it
didn't have the accommodations and things of that sort at that time.

H: What did you do?

C: That's right we did manage though because at that time, once we did
then like we used to do in the regional convention and things, housed a
lot of people.

H: Private homes?

C: Homes. Exactly right. And we did that in '69. A lot of people were
in homes. And that's what helped a whole lot of the times.

H: I guess I should ask this one since you were working with young
people too. In 1970 were you around the campus or in any way connected
with, well not on campus the night, but of the killings of the two young
people on the Jackson State campus in 1970? Had you been working with
them?

C: Well around and about, yes. That night I went and Mr. Waites called
me, I'd say, and I went and got him and we went over on campus.

H: What were you to do?

C: We didn't do anything hardly. It was just like an army when we got
there and the way they had shot up the dorm and what not. But first we
were told they weren't going to let us on campus. Mr. Waites said,
"We're going." He and I, we went up there together and they did let us
on campus and then we went on down there. And it was almost
unbelievable the way they had shot that building up and nothing but kids
there, plus nobody had no guns to fire back in the first place. Now
that was really almost unbelievable to me. Mr. Waites did make a
statement that night and the next morning he gave a press conference
there. The night when we wanted to know what happened, then they first
said they shot at the policemen and then they said they had set a fire
on Lynch Street further down, right off the campus or someplace there.
I know Mr. Waites did ask, I think, "If they set a fire, why did you all
come to the campus and shoot up the place?" I don't know what was the
answer to that, actually what it was. But I know they had highway
patrolmen there and everything just like people had assassinated the
president of the United States. I couldn't believe and I still don't
know why they did that. I really don't. But I was there.

H: Did you attend the hearings that they had later on about that?

C: I did attend it one time. I did attend a hearing. Yes indeed. I'm
trying to think of this policeman's name that was supposed to have been
saying that they were shooting at him. I'm trying to think of his
name. It looked like he just recently retired too.

H: Are you talking about Lloyd Jones who got shot down in Simpson
County?

C: I believe he was one of them.

H: Lloyd Jones was with the highway patrol at that time.

C: At that time. Okay. Well that's him. I believe Black was in
position when Ben Brown got shot.

H: Black is the one who apparently shot Ben Brown.

C: Thank you. Okay. I'm getting them confused a little bit, but that's
it then.

H: He might have been there too.

C: I'm almost for sure to say I think they say he was there at Jackson
State College. But Jones did work with the Highway department at that
time. And you know they had highway patrolmen out there just like I
don't know what on that campus.

H: One person I don't want to forget to ask you about is James Pittman.
Particularly do you remember working with him?

C: James?

H: James Pittman. He was I suppose just a little bit younger than you
were but worked with the NAACP and I've seen him some time in fairly
recent years. But I was hoping you'd know how to get in touch with him.

C: James Pittman?

H: James Pittman, yes. Short.

C: Short. And he lived here? He lived here?

H: In Jackson, yes, and, as I said, I have run into him. At the time I
didn't have any particular reason to get back with him and now I kind of
wish I could because of talking to you. You don't recall him?

C: I surely don't. But I'm going to check that name out and I'm going
to ask about him. And he was here in Mississippi?

H: Yes. He was here. I knew him. I was here briefly in '63 and I kind
of think I knew him starting back that long.

C: '63?

H: It might have been as late as '65 though when I came back.

C: James Pittman.

H: I should ask you about John Frazier too.

C: Oh yes. Ooh, now yes, John Frazier. Yes. He was, Johnny Frazier,
went to Campbell College. Yes, I remember Johnny Frazier very well.
Yes indeed, I do remember him. He was very active. Now you said James
Pittman.

H: James Pittman. He may be my height but a little bit shorter. Kind
of dark. I know he was active. He may not have been around the NAACP
as such that I remember. Then of course there were hundreds of people.

C: That's true too. Exactly.

H: It may be that I got to talking to him more than other people for one
reason or another. I don't know anything really about where he went to
school.

C: Johnny Frazier was at Campbell College. Yes he was. Johnny Frazier
is in Louisiana now.

H: Do you know where?

C: He was at a school there the last I heard. I surely don't know
where?

H: Teaching at a college?

C: At a college. That's right.

H: Do you have any idea what part of the state? I might be able to get
his number off the Internet.

C: I surely don't and I don't know nobody who possibly would. If I find
somebody that knows Johnny Frazier, if you check with me, I'll be able
to find out where he is or what he is. You can feel free to check with
me in that case.

H: Do you know what he teaches?

C: I surely don't.

H: Even in general was he in natural sciences or political science?

C: Political science or something of that sort but I'm not sure.

H: What do you remember about him from the '60's?

C: He was directly in the movement and like almost a leader in the
demonstrations and things of that sort. Now he was a student at
Campbell College and Dean Jones was the teacher there. Dean Jones and
him were not directly together but they were working something like that
together. But Johnny Frazier was something like, I must use the word,
like a coordinator, putting together student activities at the Campbell
College.

H: Were the NAACP among Campbell College students?

C: Yes. Campbell College students. Okay. The NAACP, now he was the
leader with NAACP or for NAACP. But like I said NAACP was meeting on
Campbell College campus and at Tougaloo College. That's where we would
meet.

H: This is the Jackson Branch or the state?

C: That was the Jackson Branch and the state office was right there in
the Masonic Temple building and that was headquarters. But Jackson
Branch was always separate or different from the state office but we
worked together in there. Johnny Frazier worked right in there with the
state office as well.

H: Now he applied to one of the White universities? Did you know?

C: Yes he did. He surely did to go to school. Yes he did. Yes he did
now. I don't know which one it was to save my life. I am going to
check with Ms. Lewis to see if she has the records to that.

H: Who?

C: Ms. Lewis.

H: Oh yes. I wanted to ask you about her too because she was right in
the middle of the movement.

C: Oh she was.
H: She is still living?

C: Yes.

H: Here in Jackson?

C: She's in Jackson.

H: I should try to talk with her too. Do you know how to reach her?

C: Yes.

H: Lillian Lewis, isn't it?

C: Lillian Lewis, that's right.

H: Is she listed just like that in the book do you know?

C: I don't know if she's listed or not. I'm going to tell you the
truth, but if it is it's going to be listed just like that. Now her
phone number is 362-8390.

H: 362-8390?

C: Yes. And I'm going to tell her I gave you her number.

H: Okay, sure. Yes. I do need to call her. I thought about her and I'm
glad you mentioned her. You mentioned Dean Jones at Campbell College.
Is he still here?

C: That I don't know. I don't know was he from Minnesota or Baltimore.
I don't know exactly and I should remember and I really don't. But I
should have known. But I know he was from out of the state. But he was
still working at Campbell College.

H: You haven't seen him in recent years?

C: Oh no, I have not.

H: Who else can you tell me about? I told you I was going to ask you
who else that you do know is still around that was active in those days
that we might talk to?

C: I mentioned Ms. Lewis.

H: I've seen another man whose size I almost half get confused with Mr.
Bailey, but not quite, was a tall man who stood outside the Masonic
Temple building a lot.

C: Mr. Gibbs.

H: Mr. Gibbs?

C: Mr. Gibbs.

H: Is he living?

C: He is. He's still at the Masonic Temple. He was the custodian of
the Masonic Temple and he's still there.

H: So you think I'd still find him around there?

C: Yes.

H: What's his first name?

C: I'm telling you the truth when I said Mr. Gibbs and I was trying to
think. I don't remember what Mr. Gibbs' first name was, I'm going to
tell you the truth.

H: But if he's around and you see him you will know.

C: Yes. Yes. And I surely should know him because he was there all of
my lifetime and I ain't never known nothing but Mr. Gibbs. But he is
still there. He surely is.

H: You mentioned a couple of women earlier.

C: Mrs. Essie Randle and Mrs. Mary Cox. They were secretaries for the
Jackson Branch.

H: Are they still around?

C: No. No. They've gone on. Mrs. Randle was secretary at one time for
the state but Mary Cox was for the city of Jackson. Both of them are
elderly women. I can't think of anybody else, but I know those two were
there.

H: Were there any other people that you recall who were secretaries or
officers either in the state office or the Jackson Branch, of course,
that'll know more?

C: Mr. Sam Bailey was president of the Jackson Branch some years ago,
but that was before I came along. I can't think of nobody else right
now.

H: Now Mr. Bailey died.

C: That's right. Mrs. Noel was right in there with Mrs. Mary Cox then,
but she didn't hold a position but she worked with them all the time.
Now Mrs. Noel--what was her full name?

H: Are you talking about Gladys Noel Bates?

C: Gladys Noel Bates.

H: What do you remember about her? You mentioned her sometimes.

C: She was a person like you know to assist and put up and keep and
those kind of things.

H: Keep people in homes.

C: Exactly. That was one of the things about her. Now Gladys Noel
Bates and her mother were the ones that were from Pearl Street
teachers. Mrs. Noel.

H: Noel.

C: Noel, that's right, now she was there too but Mrs. Bates was her
daughter. But Mrs. Noel was the person that would keep people together
and things of that sort and also Mrs. Sanders, Thelma Sanders.

H: Thelma Sanders.

C: Yes. She was right in there with them too. She lived in a house
there on

H: Pearl Street?

C: Pearl Street.

H: Is she living?

C: No she's not.

H: Was Mrs. Gregory active?

C: Yes. Mrs. Myrtis Gregory. That's right. I saw her all the time.
She wasn't I think you used the word directly involved in the NAACP but
she was what you would call a strong supporter and always there in
support and things of that sort. Now she was there. She was more like
a supporter. I think she was a beautician.

END OF SIDE 3 OF TAPE 2

H: When you said supporter, what kind of activities do you mean?

C: Well when I said supporter she would work with the programs or come
to the meetings and things of that sort or ever what she could do she
would do. That's what I mean.

H: There were probably a number of people who gave places to stay or
made food for meetings?

C: Oh yes indeed. It was. You could have a list from them. The people
how they would meet people they just met and put them up and keep them
and things of that sort but it was so precious at the time. And the
people were so grateful for it. But the hospitality was good. They
would reach out and how they would take care of people and things of
that sort. And it was almost to say all people here did those kind of
things but did what they could.

H: Was Mrs. Pittman along with them?

C: Pittman. Okay she came along a little later. But right then and
there she was not in that group. But she did come along. That's
right. But she was not there at the first beginning.

H: What about Grace Sweet? I talked to her. She's a school teacher.
Grace Sweet?

C: Grace Sweet? Okay. Grace Sweet.

H: I don't know exactly what she did in the movement.

C: Okay. Grace. Now there is another person, Katherine Stalling.

H: I don't remember a Katherine.

C: She was a Katherine Warner when we first met her but she got married,
but Katherine Stalling. Now she was one of the persons way out there in
it. She was a school teacher.

H: Is she living?

C: She is. Yes.

H: Katherine Warner Stalling.

C: That's right.

H: I've heard that name for years.

C: I surely don't know her phone number. But I know she lives out there
by the Westland Plaza out in that area on Greenwood or something I don't
know what it is.

H: And what about Johnetta Jordan?

C: Yes I knew her. That was later years for her. Johnetta Jordan.
Yes. I knew her. But Pearl Drain, Mrs. Pearl Drain, she no longer lives
here, but she was involved.

H: But you think she is living though?

C: Yes she is. She is out of state. I don't know what state she is
in. But they tell me she is a professor a doctor is what I'm trying to
say. I don't know what school.

H: Do you know what subject/field?

C: Do not know that either.

H: Who would know? Who would know?

C: I don't know about her. She had some family here at one time. I
don't know. I don't know maybe Liz would know that or not. But I
surely do not know. I don't know if Mrs. Dora Smith knows.

H: Someone talked with her.

C: Oh someone has talked with her?

H: Yes.

C: Well she came in some of the later years.

H: I saw her name in the Sovereignty Commission files.

C: Because I've had plenty some people to tell me that we said we were
going to go down to look at them and I haven't been there yet. Now I
had planned to go once this year and something happened and I didn't get
a chance to go. But I am going to get down there to it though. Mrs.
Juanita Jefferson was involved in the NAACP, Juanita Jefferson.

H: And where did she?

C: She lived here. She used to live on Pearl Street and I tell you she
moved and I lost touch. But she used to live on Pearl Street; I do
remember that though.

H: When you said she was active in later years you mean later '60's or
something or even later than that?

C: Later. Yes. A little later than that. Probably the early '70's or
something.

H: Anybody else come to mind that you know is still living or around
here we might talk to?

C: I mentioned Milton Cooper a couple of times.

H: Yes. Yes. Where is he now?

C: He's here. Now I think he is on Macon Street. I don't know the exact
address but I think 77something. I don't know but I know it's Macon
Street.

H: Anybody else.

C: I don't think so. I can't think of anybody else at the moment. I
might make a list when you leave but I sure can't think of anybody else.

H: You said you went away to school in Pennsylvania.

C: Yes.

H: What did you study?


H: You said later years you had been working at the University Hospital
and then where have you worked at since you came back from Pennsylvania?

C: When I came back from Pennsylvania, when I first came back, I set up
this program known as OIC, Opportunity Industrialization Center. I set
that program up and then I worked with that. When I left that I went to
the State Library Commission and then I went to the State Department of
Health and I stayed there for 20 years.

H: And you just retired from there?

C: Yes. Exactly.

H: What did you do there?

C: I was manager of central supply, all sheets, things that are used for
hospitals and patients. I disbursed them and sent them across the state
of Mississippi.

H: Over the years have you continued to be a member of the NAACP?

C: Yes. I'm still a member of the NAACP. And I was at the national
convention the first of this month in Atlanta, Georgia. And hopefully I
will be able to attend next year. It's going to be in New York.
H: Are you active in the Jackson Branch?

C: Yes. I am. I am active in the Jackson Branch. I don't attend all
the meetings but I try to get to most of them. But I keep telling the
people here that we've got to get more involved, because the Jackson
Branch is not what I want. And I don't want to be critical of it. I'll
leave it at that. But we have a lot of work to do and are not doing it
and that disturbs me. We've almost gotten complacent. It's good to get
the people involved but if you can it's better not to put people in
office. You don't just go in the office to have use of the name of an
office because it's a lot of work out there still to do. Now you can
think it ain't, but it's a lot of work out there still to do. And if
we're not going to do it we ought to give it to somebody that's going to
do it.

H: What do you think is the main work that needs to be done at this
time?

C: The main thing I think is making an agenda or program dealing with
the community and what the community is doing and what some of you all
objectively think that the community should be doing and keeping them
aware of what's going on and alert them and keeping them abreast. And
let this be both ways. It can be something like speaking terms for
them. Let them know what can be done or what needs to be done and then
you would aim to do that.

H: What are the particular things you'd like to see changed then or
worked toward?

C: I don't know about particular changes but I would like to see
motivation and making programs, if you want to say agenda, and involving
the community and make programs available and have people in there
making them involved where they can know what the organization is doing
or what it should be doing. I don't want to use a word like complacent
again, I don't really want to use that, but you need to be letting
people know what you are doing and what you are about. For that you
have to be involved. You have to keep the people abreast of what this
community here is doing, what this city is doing, or what we can do to
help or what we can do to see that it continues to carry on.

H: I guess one of the main times I've seen you in recent years has been
when you were working at a polling place such as the Jackson Mall.

C: Yes. That's right.

H: And possibly other places but I don't remember--one time out at the
Jackson Mall. Did you work at the polls a lot?

C: Yes. When? Do you mean back?

H: Recently.

C: Recent years I have been working at the polls a lot. That's right.
Exactly.

H Is that in connection with any christened organization in any way?

C: Some years ago I was one of the first, and I use the word Black, to
organize a precinct and precinct captain. I was one of the precinct
captains and Jimmie Harrelson from out in Shady Oaks was a precinct
captain. I guess the word is we were one or two of the first Blacks in
precinct captains. I used to be from precinct 27 and then I went to
precinct 31 I believe and now I am at precinct 11.

H: So you've worked in precinct organizations?

C: Yes.

H: I know a lot of places in Jackson don't have any kind of precinct.

C: Oh my goodness. It used to be we had a big one when I was in 27.
Mr. Harrelson and I would run and we used to go there to the courthouse
meeting. We went there when we first were not actually even found. But
we went there when we were trying to learn about the precinct and
holding the meetings and things of that sort. It has been very
helpful. The people in our community and in the precinct responded
wonderfully.

H: Was that in the '70's or the '80's?

C: That was in the '70's then in the precincts. That was in the '70's.
Exactly.

H: These are Democratic Party organizations in the precincts?

C: Well the Democratic Party is alone from the precincts. Now if the
people in the precinct are Democrats then it does affect the Democratic
Party. But the first thing they do is precinct and then from that if
you are Democrat or Republican or whatever you are that's what it is.
But first thing you organize a structure, the precinct, and then you
would say it's either Democrat or Republican.

H: So was the precinct organization moved up with other precinct
organizations?

C: Yes. All precincts have their own meetings and etc. But where they
have what we call the city-wide precinct and you could meet together and
that's when we have a cross section of all precincts and things of that
sort.

H: And that's through the NAACP?

C: No that's not through the NAACP. That is strictly state and county
level, the precincts and things of that sort. Now the NAACP may would
support or sometimes instruct some of their people to attend these
meetings and be abreast of what's going on.

H: Is there an organization though that those precincts would come under
then if it's not the NAACP?

C: Yes. Well yes. If the city of Jackson would have, if you wanted to
say, precinct 27 meeting from Jackson or for Jackson and it would be
precinct 27 and it would be for the city of Jackson.

H: Okay. Well, I guess what I should ask you at this point is, I guess
I've got you thinking about various things in answering my questions,
are there other things that you've thought of now that I haven't asked
you about as far as your own activities and things that you remember
observing, places you remember having meetings, or any things of that
sort in the '60's especially?

C: Oh my. I don't know if I can remember. All the meetings I do
remember we were having them in the later '60's is in churches and at
the Masonic Temple that's where we had all of them. Across the state I
went to other locations but here in the city all of our meetings were at
a few churches and at the Masonic Temple.

H: Is there anything else that I should have asked you that I didn't ask
you, especially as far as getting at your own experiences?

C: I can't think of it now.

H: You think we've pretty well covered it?

C: I think so. I think so. And if a direct or specific question comes
to your mind you can check or call me.

H: Or if you think of some old area that you didn't think of today feel
free to contact me and we can get back together or we can talk on the
phone.

C: I'll be happy to.

H: Well, I thank you for talking to me. It's been real interesting.

C: Thank you.

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