Republic of Texas ConstitutionGeneral Provisions Section 10

Title/Reference

Constitution of the Republic of Texas. 1836. General Provisions, Section 10.

Text

SEC. 10. All persons, (Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians excepted,) who were residing in Texas on the day of the Declaration of Independence, shall be considered citizens of the Republic, and entitled to all the privileges of such. All citizens now living in Texas, who have not received their portion of land, in like manner as colonists, shall be entitled to their land in the following proportion and manner: Every head of a family shall be entitled to one league and labor of land, and every single man of the age of seventeen and upwards, shall be entitled to the third part of one league of land. All citizens who may have, previously to the adoption of this Constitution, received their league of land as heads of families, and their quarter of a league of land as single persons, shall receive such additional quantity as will make the quantity of land received by them equal to one league and “labor” and one-third of a league, unless by bargain, sale, or exchange, they have transferred, or may henceforth transfer their right to said land, or a portion thereof, to some other citizen of the Republic; and in such case the person to whom such right shall have been transferred, shall be entitled to the same, as fully and amply as the person making the transfer might or could have been. No alien shall hold land in Texas, except by titles emanating directly from the Government of this Republic. But if any citizen of this Republic should die intestate or otherwise, his children or heirs shall inherit his estate, and aliens shall have a reasonable time to take possession of and dispose of the same, in a manner hereafter to be pointed out by law. Orphan children, whose parents were entitled to land under the colonization law of Mexico, and who now reside in the Republic, shall be entitled to all the rights of which their parents were possessed at the time of their death. The citizens of the Republic shall not be compelled to reside on the land, but shall have their lines plainly marked. …

Compare

  • Kentucky Constitution of 1799/Article II, Section 8 is similar in the use of a list of excluded racial and mixed-race categories, in place of the term “white”: “Sect. 8. In all elections for Representatives, every free male citizen (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted), … shall enjoy the right of an elector …”
  • Cherokee Nation Constitution of 1827/Article III, Section 7 is also similar in the use of a list of excluded racial or mixed-race categories: “Sec. 7. All free male citizens (except negroes, and descendants of white and Indian men by negro women, who may have been set free,) … shall be equally entitled in vote at all public elections.”
  • Texas Constitution of 1845/Article III, Sections 1-2 drew from the Republic of Texas language on citizenship in order to define “qualified electors” by using a list of excluded racial and mixed-race categories: “SEC. 1. Every free male person who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years . . . (Indians not taxed, Africans, and descendants of Africans, excepted,) shall be deemed a qualified elector; …”
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