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Section 7. Sale of school lands, commis
sioners for the same. 8. Duties of commissioners.
Corporations. 1. Corporations without banking powers
to be formed under general laws. 2. In regard to taking private
property for public use by a
municipal corporation. 3. Legislature to provide for the
organization of cities and in
corporated villages. 4. In regard to banks. 5. In regard to granting charters
for the same.
Section 2. All Territorial laws, not repug.
nant to this Constitution, shall remain in force till they ex
pire, or are repealed. 3. Allfines, etc., accruing to the
Territory shall accrue to the
State. 4. Everything pertaining to the
Territory to pass over to the
State. 5. Officers, civil and military, hold
ing office under authority of the United States of the Territory, shall continue to hold it till superseded by State
authority, 6. Where the first session of the
Legislature shall be held, and
when. 7. About county and other officers. 8. A copy of this Constitution to
be sent to the President. 9. Ratification or rejection of this
Constitution. 10. The congressional districts. 11. The elections provided for in this article are
to be conducted according to the laws
of the Territory. 12. Apportionment. 13. Territorial laws to continue. 14. Term of office of certain officers. 15. Who may administer the oath
Amendments. 1. Either house may propose an
amendment. 2. In regard to revising the Con
Miscellaneous Provisions. 1. When the political year begins. 2. Dueling disqualifies for voting. 3. Those who may not hold office
in this State. 4. Seal of State to be kept by
Secretary of State. 5. Persons residing on Indian lands
may vote at the nearest polls. 6. The elective officers of the
Legislature, other than the presiding officers, shall be a chief clerk and sergeant-at
arms. 7. Division of counties. 8. The moving of the county seat. 9. In regard to county, city, town
and village officers. 10. Offices deemed vacant and ma
ner of filling the same.
AMENDMENTS. Article 1, section 8. Article 3, section 1. Article 4, section 4. Article 4, section 5. Article 4, section 11. Article 4, section 21. Article 4, section 31. Article 4, section 32. Article 5, section 5. Article 5, section 9. Article 6, section 4. Article 7, section 4. Article 7, section 12. Article 8, section 2. Article 9, section 3. Article 13, section 1. Article 7, section 4.
PREAMBLE. We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our
freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare, do establish this Constitution.
Declaration of Rights. Section 1. All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Sec. 2. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this State otherwise than for the punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
Sec. 3. Every person may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal 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 libelous be 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.
Sec. 4. The right of the people peaceably to assemble to consult for the common good, and to petition the government or any department thereof shall never be abridged.
Sec. 5. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and shall extend to all cases at law, without regard to the amount in controversy; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all cases in the manner prescribed by law.
Sec. 6. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor shall excessive fines be imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment be inflicted.
Sec. 7. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf; and in prosecutions by indictment or information, to a speedy public trial by an impar. tial jury of the county or district wherein the offense shall have been committed; which county or district shall have been pre viously ascertained by law.
Sec. 8. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense, unless on the presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or in cases cognizable by justices of the peace, or arising in the army or navy, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger; and no person for the same offense shall be put twice in jeopardy of punishment, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. All persons shall before conviction be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, 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 cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require.
Sec. 9. Every person is entitled to a certain remedy in the laws, for all injuries or wrongs he may receive in his person, property or character; he ought to obtain justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay, comformably to the laws.
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 to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Sec. 12. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed; and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
Sec. 13. The property of no person shall be taken for public use without just compensation therefor.
Sec. 14. All lands within the State are declared to be allodial, and feudal tenures are prohibited. Leases and grants of agricultural land, for a longer term than fifteen years, in
which rent or service of any kind shall be reserved, and all fines and like restraints upon alienation, reserved in any grant of land hereafter made, are declared to be void.
Sec. 15. No distinction shall ever be made by law between resident aliens and citizens, in reference to the possession, enjoyment, or descent of property.
Sec. 16. No person shall be imprisoned for debt arising out of, or founded on a contract, expressed or implied.
Sec. 17. The privilege of the debtor to enjoy the necessary comforts of life shall be recognized by wholesome laws, exempting a reasonable amount of property from seizure or sale for the payment of any dept or liability hereafter contracted.
Sec. 18. The right of every man to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed, nor shall any man be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent. Nor shall any control of, or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, or any preference be given by law to any religious establishments or mode of worship. Nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of religious societies, or religious or theological seminaries.
Sec. 19. No religious tests shall ever be required as qualification for any office or public trust, under the State, and no person shall be rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity, in consequence of his opinions on the subject of religion.
Sec. 20. The military shall be in strict subordination to the
Sec. 21. Writs of error shall never be prohibited by law.
Sec. 22. The blessings of a free government can only be maintained by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
Boundaries. Section 1. It is hereby ordained and declared that the State of Wisconsin doth consent and accept of the boundaries prescribed in the act of Congress, entitled "An act to enable the people of Wisconsin Territory to form a Constitution and State government, and for the admission of such State into the Union,” approved August sixth, one thousand eight hundred and fortysix, to wit: Beginning at the northeast corner of the State of Illinois, that is to say, at a point in the center of Lake Michi. gan where the line of forty-two degrees awd thirty minutes of north latitude crosses the sime; thence, running with the boundary of the State of Michigan, through Lake Michigan, Green bay, to the mouth of the Menominee river; thence up the channel of the said river to the Brule river; thence up sail mentioned river to Lake Brule; thence along the southern shore of Lake Brule, in a direct line to the center of the channel between Middle and South islands, in the Lake of the Desert; thence in a direct line to the head waters of the Montreal river, as marked upon the survey made by Captain Cram; thence down the main channel of the Montreal river to the middle of Lake Superior; thence through the center of Lake Superior 10 the mouth of the St. Louis river; thence up the main channel of said river to the first rapids in the same, above the Indian village, according to Nicollet's map; thence due south to the main branch of the river St. Croix; thence down the main channel of said river to the Mississippi; thence down the center of the main channel of that river to the northwest corner of the State of Illinois; thence due east with the northern boun. dary of the State of Illinois, to the place of beginning, as established by "An act to enable the people of the Illinois 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," approved April 18, 1818. (Provided, however, That the following alteration of the aforesaid boundary be, and hereby is, proposed to the Congress of the United States as the preference of the State of Wisconsin, and if the same shall be assented and agreed to by the Congress of the United States, then the same shall be and forever remain oblig. atory on the State of Wisconsin, viz.: Leaving the aforesaid boundary line at the foot of the rapids of the St. Louis river; thence, in a direct line bearing southwesterly, to the mouth of the Iskodewabo or Rum river, where the same empties into the Mississippi river; thence down the main channel of the said Mississippi river, as prescribed in the aforesaid boundary.)