Constitution of the Republic of Texas 1836

[SENATE DISTRICTS: “free population (free negroes and Indians excepted).]

ARTICLE I. [The Legislative Branch]

Section 7. The senators shall be chosen by districts, as nearly equal in free population (free negros and Indians excepted) as practicable….

[ORGANIZATION OF COUNTIES: “free male inhabitants.”]

ARTICLE IV. [The Judicial Branch]

Sec. 11. The republic shall be divided into convenient counties, but no new county shall be established unless it be done on the petition of one hundred free male inhabitants of the territory sought to be laid off and established…

[SUFFRAGE: “Every citizen of the republic” (?! no “male?”)]

ARTICLE VI. [Presidential Qualifications, Powers, and the Franchise]

Sec. 11. Every citizen of the republic who has attained the age of twenty-one years and shall have resided six months within the district or county where the election is held, shall be entitled to vote for members of the general congress.

[OFFICE HOLDING: “Every male citizen who is by this constitution a citizen”]


Sec. 3. Every male citizen who is by this constitution a citizen and shall be otherwise qualified shall be entitled to hold any office or place of honor, trust, or profit under the republic, anything in this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.



Sec. 6. All free white persons who shall emigrate to this republic, and who shall, after a residence of six months, make oath before some competent authority that he intends to reside permanently in the same, and shall swear to support this constitution, and that he will bear true allegiance to the republic of Texas, shall be entitled to all the privileges of citizenship.

[LOYALTY AND TREASON: “All persons who shall … [evade] a participation in the present struggle”]

Sec. 8. All persons who shall leave the country for the purpose of evading a participation in the present struggle, or shall refuse to participate in it, or shall give aid or assistance to the present enemy, shall forfeit all rights of citizenship, and such lands as they may hold in the republic.

[SLAVERY AND COLOR: “All persons of color who were slaves for life” / “No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part” / “of Africans or negroes”]

Sec. 9. All persons of color who were slaves for life previous to their emigration to Texas, and who are now held in bondage, shall remain in the like state of servitude […]

No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part, shall be permitted to reside permanently in the republic without the consent of congress; and the importation or admission of Africans or negroes into this republic, excepting from the United States of America, is forever prohibited, and declared to be piracy.

[ORIGINAL CITIZENSHIP & HEADRIGHT. “All persons (Africans, the descendents of Africans, and Indians excepted … residing in Texas on the day…” / “No alien”]

Sec. 10. All persons Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians excepted) who were residing in Texas on the day of the declaration of independence shall be considered citizens of the republic, and entitled to all the privileges of such.

[…] No alien shall hold land in Texas except by titles emanating directly from the government of this republic.



1st. All men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no men or set of men are entitled to exclusive public privileges or emoulments from the community.

[FAIR TRIAL: “No freeman”]

6th. […] And no freeman shall be holden to answer for any criminal charge but on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in the land and naval forces […]

[DUE PROCESS: “No citizen”]

7th. No citizen shall be deprived of privileges, outlawed, exiled, or in any manner disenfranchised, except by due course of the law of the land.


9th. No person, for the same offence, shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or limbs. And the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.


13th. No person’s particular services shall be demanded, nor property taken or applied to public uses, unless by the consent of himself or his representative, without just compensation being made therefor according to law.

[RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS: “Every citizen”]

14th. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in defence of himself and the republic.

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