Some years ago I was able to store an original copy, or text, of the Proclamation for the 1849 California Constitution. At the time of its publication for ratification the official delegates were located in Monterey. Brevet, Brigadier General Bennett Riley was then, Territorial Governor of California, with headquarter in San Jose.
The process of Ratification by the People of California took place in November 1849 and by the first week of December election returns started coming in. On January 2, 1850 General Riley resigned his commission and turned his responsibilities over to the newly elected Legislature.
Of interest are the following tidbits:
Article I. Entitled, Delcaration of Rights
Section: 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property: and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
For those who may have forgotten, or did not know: inalienable means “incapable of being alienated, surrendered or transferred, rights granted to us by God. These rights indeed, have been made subject to the whims of the very government we have formed and ignorantly turned over to them. Dare I mention the Franchise Tax Board, Unions and other Power Brokers in the State Legislature? On the Federal level the IRS.
Section: 2. All Political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.
May I add., NOT UNLESS WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO DEMAND IT! Ever wonder why tyrants in office want to take away your guns and God out of the institutions of Government?
I love this one, Sound Familiar? Section: 21. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.
This is my favorite: Rights of Suffrage
Article II Sec: 5. No idiot or insane person, or person convicted of any infamous crime, shall be entitled to the privileges of and elector.
Today, one wonders, whose in the majority in or about Sacramento?
Article IV. Sec: 27. No Lottery shall be authorized by the state nor shall the sale of lottery tickets be allowed.
Perhaps our leaders in Sacramento did not at the time realize the benefits of the lottery for the general fund?
Sec: 35. The legislature of the State shall prohibit by law, any person or persons, association, company, or corporation, from exercising the privileges of banking, or creating paper to circulate as money.
Common sense must have flown out the window, do you think? I love the word shall, as in shall not, or shall prohibit. Pretty exclusive verbiage I would say!
And finally Article XI Sec: 3. Entitled “Miscellaneous Provisions”
Members of the legislature, and all officers executive and judicial, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall before they enter on the duties of the respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: “I do 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 California; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of _____according to the best of my ability. And no other oath, declaration, or test, shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.”
The only fault I find with this is that it is perhaps inappropriately titled as an afterthought. Truly each provision quoted is unique on its’ own terms. Our elected leaders too often appear to treat their responsibilities with a blasé unconcern, send me my check at the end of the week attitude, lacking any character. I mean by character, that which portrays moral excellence, one who is honest, trustful, loyal, and most of all selfless.
When California solicited to become the 31st State of the Union the men who formed it said this: “the putting into operation of a government, which shall establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare and secure the blessing of civil religious and political liberty, should be an object of the deepest solicitude to every true-hearted citizen, and the consummation of this dearest wishes. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and this it is not only the privilege but the duty of every voter, to vote his sentiments. No freeman of this land who values his birth-right, and would transmit unimpaired to his children, and inheritance so rich in glory and in honor, will refuse to give one day to the service of his country. Let every qualified voter go early to the polls___. (Let) the world see by what majority of freemen, California, the bright star of the west, claims a place in the diadem of the glorious Republic, formed by the union of thirty-one sovereign States.”
Diadem=”A Royal Crown”
Oh that if it were true now.