Constitution of Indiana 1816


Sect. 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences: That no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of Worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent: That no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience: And that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious societies, or modes of worship; and no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office of trust or profit.


Sect. 1. Every twelfth year, after this constitution shall have taken effect, at the general election held for Governor there shall be a poll opened, in which the qualified Electors of the State shall express, by vote, whether they are in favor of calling a convention, or not, and if there should be a majority of all the votes given at such election, in favor of a convention, the Governor shall inform the next General Assembly thereof, whose duty it shall be to provide, by law, for the election of the members to the convention, the number thereof, and the time and place of their meeting; which law shall not be passed unless agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to both branches of the General assembly, and which convention, when met, shall have it in their power to revise, amend, or change the constitution. But, as the holding any part of the human Creation in slavery, or involuntary servitude, can only originate in usurpation and tyranny, no alteration of this constitution shall ever take place so as to introduce slavery or involuntary servitude in this State, otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.


Sect. 1st. Knowledge and learning generally diffused, through a community, being essential to the preservation of a free Government, and spreading the opportunities, and advantages of education through the various parts of the Country, being highly conducive to this end, it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide, by law, for the improvement of such lands as are, or hereafter may be granted, by the united States to this state, for the use of schools, and to apply any funds which may be raised from such lands, or from any other quarters to the accomplishment of the grand object for which they are or may be intended. But no lands granted for the use of schools or seminaries of learning shall be sold by authority of this state, prior to the year eighteen hundred and twenty; and the monies which may be raised out of the sale of any such lands, or otherwise obtained for the purposes aforesaid, shall be and remain a fund for the exclusive purpose of promoting the interest of Literature, and the sciences, and for the support of seminaries and public schools. The General Assembly shall from, time to time, pass such laws as shall be calculated to encourage intellectual, Scientifically, and agricultural improvement, by allowing rewards and immunities for the promotion and improvement of arts, sciences, commerce, manufactures, and natural history; and to countenance and encourage the principles of humanity, honesty, industry, and morality.

Sect. 3. And for the promotion of such salutary end, the money which shall be paid, as an equivalent, by persons exempt from militia duty except, in times of war, shall be exclusively, and in equal proportion, applied to the support of County seminaries; also all fines assessed for any breach of the penal laws, shall be applied to said seminaries, in the Counties wherein they shall be assessed.

4th. The manner of administering an oath, or affirmation, shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed the most solemn appeal to God.

7th. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this state, otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. Nor shall any indenture of any negro or mulatto hereafter made, and executed out of the bounds of this state be of any validity within the state.

Done in Convention at Corydon, on the twenty ninth day of June in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States the fortieth.

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2004 Daniel Martinovich