RCC Honors History Project

Cherokee Constitution

Posted by steel13 on November 2, 2009

WE, THE REPRESENTATIVES of the people of the CHEROKEE NATION, in Convention

assembled, in order to establish justice, ensure tranquility, promote our common welfare,

and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty; acknowledging with

humility and gratitude the goodness of the sovereign Ruler of the Universe, in offering us

an opportunity so favorable to the design, and imploring his aid and direction in its

accomplishment, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Government of the

Cherokee Nation.

. . . .

ARTICLE II.

Sec. 1. THE POWER of this Government shall be divided into three distinct

departments;—the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial.

Sec. 2. No person or persons, belonging to one of these Departments, shall exercise any

of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except in the cases hereinafter

expressly directed or permitted.

ARTICLE III.

Sec. 4. No person shall be eligible to a seat in the General Council, but a free Cherokee

Male citizen, who shall have attained to the age of twenty-five years. The descendants of

Cherokee men by all free women, except the African race, whose parents may be or have

been living together as man and wife, according to the customs and laws of this Nation,

shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of this Nation, as well as the posterity of

Cherokee women by all free men. No person who is of negro or mulatto parentage, either

by the father or mother side, shall be eligible to hold any office of profit, honor or trust,

under this Government.

ARTICLE V.

Sec. 14. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right of being heard, of

demanding the nature and cause of the accusation against him, of meeting the witnesses

face to face, of having compulsory process for obtaining witness in his favour: and in

prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of

the vicinage; nor shall he be compelled to give evidence against himself.

Sec. 15. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions,

from unreasonable seisures and searches, and no warrant to search any place or to seize

any person or things, shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without

good cause, supported by oath, or affirmation.

ARTICLE VI.

Sec. 2. No person who denies the being of a God, or a future state of rewards &

punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this Nation.

Sec. 3. The free exercise of religious worship, and serving God without distinction, shall

forever be allowed within this Nation: Provided, That this liberty of conscience shall not

be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with

the peace or safety of this Nation.

. . . .

Sec. 9. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

Source: Cherokee Phoenix, February 21 and 28, March 6, 1828.

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