OHIO. The name of one of the new states of the United States of
America. It was admitted into the Union by virtue of the act of congress,
entitled "An act to enable the people of the eastern division of the territory
north-west of the river Ohio, 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, and for other purposes," approved, May 30, 1802, 2 Story's L.
U. S. 869; by which it is enacted,
§1. That the inhabitants of the eastern division of the territory north-west
of the river Ohio, be, and they are hereby authorized to form for themselves a
constitution and state government, and to assume such name as they shall deem
proper; and the said state, when formed, shall be admitted into the Union, upon
the same footing with the original states, in all respects whatever.
2. - §2. That the said state shall consist of all the territory included
within the following boundaries, to wit: Bounded on the east by the Pennsylvania
line, on the south by the Ohio river, to the month of the Great Miami river, on
the west by the line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami
aforesaid, and on the north by an east and west line dawn through the southerly
extreme of lake Michigan, running east, after intersecting the due north line
aforesaid, from the mouth of the Great Miami until it shall intersect lake Erie,
or the territorial line, and thence, with the same, through lake Erie, to the
Pennsylvania line aforesaid: Provided, That congress shall be at liberty, at any
time hereafter, either to attach all the territory lying east of the line to be
drawn due north from the mouth of the Miami aforesaid to the territorial line,
and north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of lake
Michigan, running east as aforesaid to lake Eric, to the aforesaid state, or
dispose of it otherwise, in conformity to the fifth Article of compact between
the original states and the people and states to be formed are the territory
north-west of the river Ohio.
3. By virtue of the authority given them by the act of congress, the people
of the eastern division of said territory met in convention at Chillicothe; on
Monday, the, first day of November, 1802, by which they did ordain and establish
the constitution and form of government, and did mutually agree with each other
to form themselves into a free and independent state, by the name of The State
of Ohio. This constitution has been superseded by the present one, which was
adopted in 1851. The powers of the government are separated into three distinct
branches, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial.
4. - 1st. By article 2, the legislative department is constituted as
5. - §1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in a general
assembly, which shall consist of a senate, and house of representatives.
6. - §2. Senators and representatives shall be elected biennally, by the
electors in the respective counties or districts, on the second Tuesday of
October; their term of office shall commence on the first, day of January next
thereafter, and continue two years.
7. - §3. Senators and representatives shall have resided in their respective
counties, or districts, one year next preceding their election, unless they
shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this
8. - §4. No person holding office under the authority of the United States,
or any lucrative office under the authority of this state, shall be eligible to,
or have a seat in, the general assembly; but this provision shall not extend to
township officers, justices of the peace, notaries public, or officers of the
9. - §5. No person hereafter convicted of an embezzlement of the public
funds, shall hold any office in this state; nor shall any person, holding public
money for dishursement, or otherwise, have a seat in the general assembly,
until, he shall have accounted for, and paid such money into the treasury.
10. - §6. All regular sessions of the general assembly shall commence on the
first Monday of January, biennially. The first session, under this constitution,
shall commence on the first Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and
11. - §7. The style of the laws of this state, shall be, "Be it enacted by
the General Assembly of the State of Ohio."
12. - §8. The apportionment of this state for members of the general
assembly, shall be made every ten years, after the year one thousand eight
hundred and fifty-one, in the following manner: The whole population of the
state, as ascertained by the federal census, or in such other mode as the
general assembly may direct, shall be divided by the number: one hundred,: and
the quotient shall be the ratio of representation in the house of
representatives for ten years next succeeding such apportionment.
13. - §9. Every county, having a popuIation equal to one-half of said ratio,
shall be entitled to one representative; every county, containing said ratio,
and three-fourths over, shall be entitled to two representantives; every county,
containing three times said ratio, shall be entitled to three representatives:
and so on, requiring after the first two, an entire ratio for each additional
14. - §10. When any county shall have a fraction above the ratio, so large,
that being multiplied by five, the result will be equal to one or more ratios,
additional representatives shall be apportioned for such ratios, among the
several sessions of the decennial period, in the following manner: If there be
only one ratio, a representative shall be allotted to the fifth session of the
decennial period; if there are two ratios, a representative shall be allotted to
the fourth and third sessions, respectively if three, to the third, second, and
first sessions, respectively; if four, to the fourth, third, second, and first
15. - §11. Any county, forming with another county or counties, a
representative district, during one decennial period, if it have acquired
sufficient population at the next decennial period; shall be entitled to a
separate representation, if there shall be left, in the district from which it
shall have been separated, or population sufficient for a representative; but no
such change shall be made, except at the regular decennial period for the
apportionment of representatives.
16. - §12. If, in fixing any subsequent ratio, a county, previously entitled
to a separate representation, shall have less than the number required by the
new ratio for a representative, such county shall be attached to the county
adjoining it; having the least number of inhabitants; and the representation of
the district, so formed, shall be determined as herein provided.
17. - §13. The ratio for a senator shall, forever hereafter, be ascertained,
by dividing the whole population of the state by the number thirty-five.
18. - §14. The same rule shall be applied, in apportioning the fractions of
senatorial districts, and in annexing districts, which may hereafter have less
than three-fourths of a senatorial ratio, as are applied to representative
19. - §15. Any county forming part of a senatorial district, having acquired
a population equal to a full senatorial ratio, shall be made a separate
senatorial district, at any regular decennial apportionment, if a full
senatorial ratio shall be left in the district from which it shall be taken.
20. - §16. For the first ten years, after the year one thousand eight hundred
and fifty-one, the apportionment of representatives shall be as provided, in the
schedule, and no change shall ever be made in the principles of representation,
as herein established, or in the senatorial districts, except as above provided.
All territory, belonging to a county at the time of any appor- tionment, shall,
as to the right of representation and suffrage, remain an integral part thereof,
during the decennial period.
21. - §17. The governor, auditor, and secretary of state, or any two of them,
shall, at least six months prior to the October election, in the year one
thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and, at each decennial period thereafter,
ascertain and determine the ratio of representation, according to the decennial
census, the number of representatives and senators each county or district shall
be entitled to elect, and for what years, within the next ensuing ten years, and
the governor shall cause the same to be published, in such manner as shall be
directed by law.
22.- §18. Every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of
twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the state one year next
preceding the election and of the county, township, or ward, in which he
resides, such time as may be provided by law, shall have the qualifications of
an elector, and be entitled to vote at all elections.
23. - §19. No person shall be elected or appointed to any office in this
state, unless he possess, the qualifications of an elector.
24. - 3d. By article 3, the executive department is constituted as
25. - §1. The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant
governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and an attorney general, who
shall be chosen by the electors of the state, on the second Tuesday of October,
and at the places of voting for members of the general assembly.
26. - §2. The governor, lieutenant governor, Secretary of State, treasurer,
and attorney general, shall hold their offices for two years; and the auditor
for four years. Their terms of office shall commence on the second Monday of
January next after their election, and continue until their suceessors are
elected and qualified.
27. - §3. The returns of every election for the officers, named in the
foregoing section, shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government,
by the returning officers, directed to the resident of the senate, who, during
the first week of the session, shall open and publish them, and declare the
result, in the presence of a majority of the members of each house of the
general assembly. The person having the highest number of votes shall be
declared duly elected; but if any two or more shall be highest, and equal in
votes, for the same office, one of them shall be chosen, by the joint vote of
28. - §4. Should there be no session of the general assembly in January next
after an election for any of the officers aforesaid, the returns of such
election shall be made to the secretary of state, and opened, and the result
declared by the governor, in such manner as may be provided by law.
29. - §5. The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in the
30. - §6. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the
executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their
respeceive office's; and shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.
31. - §7. He shall communicate at every session, by message, to the general
assembly, the condition of the state, and recommend such measures as he shall
32. - §8. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly by
proclamation, and shall state to both houses, when assembled, the purpose for
which they have been convened.
33. - §9. In case of disagreement between the two houses, in respect to the
time of adjournment, he shall have power to adjourn the general assembly to such
time as he may think proper, but not beyond the regular meetings thereof.
34. - §10. He shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of
the state, except when they shall be called into the service of the United
35. - §11. He shall have power, after conviction, to grant reprieves,
commutatious, and pardons, for all crimes and offences, except treason and cases
of impeachment, upon such conditions as he may think proper; subject, however,
to such regulations, as to the manner of applying for pardons, as may be
prescribed by Upon conviction for treason, he may suspend the execution of the
sentence, and report the case to the general assembly, at its next meeting, when
the general assembly shall either pardon, commute the sentence, direct its
execution, or grant a further reprieve. He shall communicate to the gene- ral
assembly, at every regular session, each case of reprieve, commutation, or
pardon granted, stating the name and crime of the convict, the sentence, its
date, and the date of the commutation, pardon, or reprieve, with his reasons
36. - §12. There shall be a seal of the state, which shall be kept by the
governor and used by him officially; and shall be called "The Great Seal of the
State of Ohio."
37. - §13. All grants and commissions shall be issued in the name, and by the
authority, of the State of Ohio; sealed with the great seal signed, by the
governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state.
>38. - §14. No member of congress, or other person holding office under
the authority of this state, or of the United States, shall execute the office
of governor, except as herein provided.
39. - §15. In case of the death, impeachment, resignation, removal, or other
disability of the governor, the powers and duties of the office, for the
resi-due of the term, or until he shall be acquitted, or the disability removed,
shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor.
40. - §16. The lieutenant governor shall be president of the senate, but
shall vote only when the, senate is equally divided; and in case of him absence,
or impeachment, or when he shall exercise the office of governor, the senate
shall choose a president pro tempore.
41. - §17. If the lieutenant governor, while executing the office of
governor, shall be impeached, displaced, resign or die, or otherwise become
incapable of performing the duties of the office, the president of the senate
shall act as govemor, until the vacancy is filled, or the disability removed;
and if the president of the senate, for any of the above causes, shall be
rendered incapable of performing the duties pertaining to the office of
governor, the same shall devolve upon the speaker of the house of
42. - §18. Should the office of auditor, treasurer, secretary, or attorney
general, become vacant for any of the causes specified in the fifteenth section
of this article, the governor shall fill the vacancy until the disability is
removed, or a successor elected and qualified. Every such vacancy shall be
filled by election, at the first general election that occurs, more than thirty
days after it shall have happened; and the person chosen shall hold the office
for the full term fixed in the second section of this article.
43. - §19. The officers mentioned in this article, shall, at stated times,
receive for their services, a compensation to be established by law, which shall
neither be increased nor dimininshed during the period for which they shall have
44. - §20. The officers of the executive department, and of the public state
institutions, shall, at least five days preceding each regular session of the
general assembly, severally report to the governor, who shall transmit such
reports, with his message, to the general assembly.
45. - 4th. By article 4, the judicial department is constituted as follows:
46.-SS 1. The judicial power of the state shall be vested, in a supreme court,
in district courts, courts of common pleas, courts of probate, justices of the
peace, and in such other courts, inferior to the supreme court, in one or more
counties, as the general assembly, may from time to time establish.
47. - §2. The supreme court shall consist of five judges, a majority of whom
shall be necessary to form a quorum, or to pronouuce a decision. It shall have
original jurisdiction in quo warranto, mandamus, habeas corpus, and procedendo
and such appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law. It shall hold at
least one term in each year, at the seat of government, and such other terms, at
the seat of government, or elsewhere, as may be provided by law. The judges of
the supreme court shall be elected by the electors of the state at large.
48. - §3. The state shall be divided into nine common pleas districts, of
which the county of Hamilton shall constitute one, of compact territory, and
bounded by county lines; and each of said districts, consisting of three or more
counties, shall be subdivided into three parts, of compact territory, bounded by
county lines, and as nearly equal, in population as practicable; in each of
which, one judge of the court of common pleas for said district, and residing
therein, shall be elected by the electors of said subdivision. Courts of common
pleas shall be held, by one or more of these judges, in every county in the
district, as often as may be provided by law; and more than one court, or
sitting thereof, may be held at the same time in each district.
49. - §4 . The jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas, and of the judges
thereof, shall be fixed by law.
50. - §5. District courts shall be composed of the judges of the court of
common pleas of the respective districts, and one of the judges of the supreme
court, any three of whom shall be a quorum, and shall be held in each county
therein, at least once in each year; but, if it shall be found inexpedient to
hold such court annually, in each county, of any district, the general assembly
may, for such district, provide that said court shall hold at least three annual
sessions therein, in not less than three places: Provided, that the general
assembly may, by law, authorize the judges of each district to fix the times of
holding the courts therein.
51. - §6. The district court shall have like original jurisdiction with the
supreme court, and such appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law.
52. - §7. There shall be established in each county, a probate court, which
shall be a court of record, open at all times, and holden by one judge, elec-ted
by the voters of the county, who shall hold his office for the term of three
years, and shall receive such compensation, payable out of the county treasury,
or by fees, or both; as shall be provided by law.
53. - §8. The probate court shall have jurisdiction in probate and
testa-mentary matters, the appointment of administrators and guardians, the
settlement of the accounts of executors, administrators and guardians, and such
jurisdiction in habeas corpus, the issuing of marriage licenses, and for the
sale of land by executors, aclministrators and guardians, and such other
jurisdiction, in any county, or counties, as may be provided by law.
54. - §9. A competent number of justices of the peace shall be elected, by
the electors, in each township in the several counties. Their term, of office
shall be three years, and their powers and duties shall be regulated by law.
55. - §10. All judges, other than those provided for in this constitution,
shall be elected by the electors of the judicial district for which they may be
created, but not for a longer term of office than five years.
56. - §11. The judges of the supreme court shall, immediately after the first
election under this constitution, be classified by lot, so that one shall hold
for the term of one year, one for two years, one for three years, one for four
years, and one for five years; and, at all subsequent elections, the term sf
each of said judges shall be for five years.
57. - §12. The judges of the courts of common pleas shall, while in office,
reside in the district for which they, are elected; and their term of office
shall be for five years.
58. - §13. In case the office of any judge shall become vacant before the
expiration of the regular term for which he was elected, the vacancy shall be
filled by appointment by the governor, until a successor is elected and
quali-fied; and such successor shall be elected for the unexpired term, at the
first annual election that occurs more than thirty, days after the vacancy shall
59. - §14. The judges of the supreme court, and of the court of common pleas
shall, at stated times, receive for their services, such compensation as may be
provided by law, which shall not be diminished or increased, during their term
of office; but they shall receive no fees or perquisites, nor hold any other
office of profit or trust, under the authority of this state, or the United
States. All votes for either of them, for any elective office, except a judicial
office, under the authority of this state, given by the general assembly, or the
people, shall be void.
60. - §15. The general assembly may increase or diminish the number of the
judges of the supreme court, the number of the districts of the court of common
pleas, the number of judges in any district; change the districts, or the
subdivisions thereof, or establish other courts, whenever two-thirds of the
members elected to each house shall concur therein; but no such change,
addition, or diminution, shall vacate the office of any judge.
61. - §16. There shall be elected in each county by the electors thereof, one
clerk of the court of common pleas, who shall hold his office for the term of
three years, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified. He shall,
by virtue of his office, be clerk of all other courts of record held therein;
but the general assembly may provide by law, for the election of a clerk, with a
like term of office, for each or any other of the courts of record, and may
authorize the judge of the probate court to perform the duties of clerk for his
court, under such regulations as may be directed by law. Clerks of courts shall
be removable for such cause, and in such manner, as shall be prescribed by
62. - §17. Judges may be removed from office, by concurrent resolution of
both houses of the general assembly, if two-thirds of the members elected to
each house concur therein; but no such removal shall be made, except upon
complaint, the substance of which shall be entered on the journal, nor until the
party charged shall have had notice thereof, and an opportunity to be heard.
63. - §18. The several judges of the supreme court, of the common pleas, and
of such other courts as may be created, shall, respectively, have and exercise
such power and jurisdiction, at chambers, or otherwise as may be directed by
64. - §19. The general assembly may establish courts of conciliation, and
pre- scribe their powers and duties; but such courts shall not render final
judgment in any case, except upon submission, by the parties of the matter in
dispute, and their agreement to abide such judgment.
65. - §20. The style of all process shall be, "The State of Ohio;" all
prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the state
ofOhio; and all indictments shall conclude, "against the peace and dignity of
the state of Ohio."