Definition of TENNESSEE.


The name of one of the new states of the United
States of America. This state was admitted into the Union by virtue of the "act
for the admission of the state of Tennessee into the Union," approved June 1,
1796, 1 Story~s L. IT. S. 450, which recites and enacts as follows:

2. Whereas, by the acceptance of the deed of cession of the state of
North Carolina, congress are bound to lay out, into one or more states, the
territory thereby ceded to the United States:

3. - §1. Be it enacted, &c., That the whole of the territory
ceded to the United States by the state of North Carolina, shall be one state,
and the same is hereby declared to be one of the United States of America, on
an equal footing with the original states in all respects whatever, by the name
and title of the state of Tennessee. That, until the next general census, the
said state of Tennessee shall be entitled to one representative in the house of
representatives of the United States; and, in all other respects, as far as
they may be applicable, the laws of the United States shall extend to, and have
force in, the state of Tennessee, in the same manner as if that state had
originally been one of the United States.

4. The constitution was adopted on the sixth day of February, 1796; and
amended by a convention which sat at Nashville, on the 30th day of August,
1834. The powers of the government are divided into three distinct departments;
the legislative, executive, and judicial. Art. 2, 1.

5. - 1st. The legislative authority of the state is vested in a general
assembly, which consists of a senate and house of representatives, both
dependent on the people.

6. - 1. The senate will be considered with reference to the
qualifications of the electors; the qualifications of the members; the number
of members; the length of time for which they are elected; and, the time of
their election. 1. Every free white man of the age of twenty-one years, being a
citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the county wherein he may offer
his vote six months next preceding the day of his election, shall be entitled
to vote for members of the general assembly, and other civil officers, for the
county and district in which he resides; provided, that no person shall be
disqualified from voting on account of color, who is now, by the laws of this
state, a competent witness in a court of justice against a white man. Art. 4,
sect. 1. 2. No person shall be a senator, unless he be a citizen of the United
States, of the age of thirty years, and shall have resided three years in this
state, and one year in, the county or district, immediately preceding the
election. Art. 2, s. 10. 3. The number of senators shall not exceed one-third
of the number of representatives. Art. 2, s. 6. 4. Senators shall hold their
office for the term of two years. Art. 2, s. 7. 5. Their election takes place
on the first Thursday of August, 1835, and every second year thereafter. Art. 2
, s. 7.

7. - 2. The house of representatives will be considered in the same
order which has been observed in considering the senate. 1. The qualifications
of the electors of representatives are the same as those of senators. 2. To be
elected a representative, the candidate must be a citizen of the United States,
of the age of twenty-one years, and must have been a citizen of the state for
three years, and a resident of the county he represents one year immediately
preceding the election. Art. 2, s. 9. 3. The number of representatives shall
not exceed seventy-five, until the population of the state shall exceed one
million and a half; and shall never thereafter exceed ninety-nine. Art. 2, s.
5. 4. They are elected for two years. Art. 2, s. 7. 5. The election is to be at
the same time as that of senators. Art. 2, s. 7.

8. - 2d. The supreme executive power of this state is vested in a
governor. Art. 3, s. 2. 1. He is chosen by the electors of the members of the
general assembly. Art. 3, s. 2. 2. He shall be at least thirty years of age,
shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been a citizen of this
state seven years next before his election. Id. sect. 3. He shall hold his
office for two years, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified.
He shall not be eligible more than six years in any term of right. Id. sect. 4.
3. He shall be elected by the electors of the members of the general assembly,
at the times and places where they respectively vote for the members thereof.
Id. s. 2. 4. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the state,
and of the militia, except when they are called into the service of the United
States; shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of
impeachment; may convene the legislature on extraordinary occasions, by
proclamation; take care that the laws be faithfully executed; from time to time
give to the general assembly information of the state of the government, and
recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall deem expedient may
requite information in writing from the officers in the executive department,
upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices. Id. s. 5
to 11. 5. He shall, at stated times, receive a compensation for his services,
which shall not be increased nor diminished during the period for which he
shall have been elected. Id. s. 7. 6. In case of the removal of the governor
from office, or of his death, or resignation, the duties of the office shall
devolve on the speaker of the senate; and in case of a vacancy in the office of
the latter, on the speaker of the house of representatives. Id. s, 12.

9. - 3d. The judicial power of the state is vested, by the sixth article
of the constitution, in one supreme court; in such inferior courts as the
legislature shall, from time to time, ordain and establish, and the judges
thereof; and in justices of the peace. The legislature may also vest such
jurisdiction as may be deemed necessary in corporation courts.

10. - 1. The supreme court shall be composed of three judges; one of
whom shall reside in each of the grand divisions of the state. The judges shall
be thirty-five years of, age, and shall be elected for the term of twelve
years. The jurisdiction of the supreme court shall be appellate only, under
such restrictions and regulations as may, from time to time, be prescribed by
law: but it may possess such other jurisdiction as is now conferred by law on
the present supreme court. The concurrence of two of the judges shall be
necessary to a decision. Said courts shall be held at one place, and at one
place only, in each of the three grand divisions of the state.

11. - 2. The judges of such inferior courts as the legislature may
establish, shall be thirty-five years of age, and shall be elected for eight
years. The jurisdiction of such inferior courts shall be regulated by law. The
judges shall not charge juries with regard to matters of fact, but may state
the testimony and declare the law. They shall have power in all civil cases to
issue writs of certiorari to remove any cause or transcript thereof, from any
inferior jurisdiction, into said court, on sufficient cause, supported by oath
or affirmation.

12. - 3. Judges of the courts of law, and equity are appointed by a
joint vote of both houses of the general assembly; but courts may be
established to be holden by justices of the peace.

13. - 4. The judges of the supreme court and inferior courts shall, at
stated times, receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by
law, which shall not be increased nor diminished, during the time for which
they are elected. They shall not be allowed any fees or perquisites of office,
nor bold any other office of trust or profit under this state or the United

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition