The following text is the “Ordinance of Acceptance” approved on July 19, 1820 by the Constitutional Convention in St. Louis, accepting the propositions in the “Act of Admission” approved by the U. S. Congress in March of the same year.
ORDINANCE OF ACCEPTANCE
An ordinance declaring the assent of the people of the State of Missouri, by their representatives in convention assembled, to certain conditions and provisions in the act of Congress of the sixth of March, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, entitled “An act to authorize the people of Missouri territory 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 to prohibit slavery in certain territories.”
WHEREAS, The act of Congress of the United States of America, approved March the sixth, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, entitled “An Act to Authorize the People of Missouri Territory 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 to Prohibit Slavery in Certain Territories,” contains certain requisitions and provisions, and among other things, has offered to this convention, when formed, for and in behalf of the people inhabiting this state, for their free acceptance or rejection, the five following propositions, and which, if accepted by this convention in behalf of the people, as aforesaid, are to be obligatory on the United States, viz.:
First, that section numbered sixteen in every township, and when such section has been sold or otherwise disposed of, other lands equivalent thereto, and as contiguous as may be, shall be granted to the state, for the use of the inhabitants of such township for use of schools.
Second, that all salt springs, not exceeding twelve in number, with six sections of land adjoining to each, shall be granted to the said state for the use of said state, the same to be selected by the legislature of said state on or before the first day of January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five; and the same, when so selected, to be used under such terms, conditions and regulations as the legislature of said state shall direct; provided, that no salt spring, the right whereof now is, or hereafter shall be, confirmed or adjudged to any individual or individuals, shall by this section be granted to said state; and provided, also, that the legislature shall never sell or lease the same, at any one time, for a longer period than ten years, without the consent of Congress.
Third, that five percent of the net proceeds of the sale of lands lying within the said territory or state, and which shall be sold by Congress from and after the first day of January next, after deducting all expenses incident to the same, shall be reserved for making public roads and canals, of which three-fifths shall be applied to those objects within the state, under the direction of the legislature thereof, and the other two-fifths in defraying, under the direction of Congress, the expenses to be incurred in making of a road or roads, canal or canals, leading to the said state.
Fourth, that four entire sections of land be, and the same are hereby, granted to said state for the purpose of fixing their seat of government thereon; which said sections shall, under the direction of the legislature of said state, be located as near as may be in one body, at any time, in such townships and ranges as the legislature aforesaid may select, on any of the public lands of the United States; provided, that such location shall be made prior to the public sale of the lands of the United States surrounding such location.
Fifth, that thirty-six sections, or one entire township, which shall be designated by the President of the United States, together with the other lands heretofore reserved for that purpose, shall be reserved for the use of a seminary of learning, and vested in the legislature of said state, to be appropriated solely for the use of such seminary by the legislature.
Now, this convention, for and in behalf of the people inhabiting this state, and by the authority of the said people, do accept the five before recited propositions, offered by the act of Congress under which they are assembled; and, in pursuance of the conditions, requisitions and other provisions in the before recited act of Congress contained, this convention, for and in behalf of the people inhabiting this state, do ordain, agree and declare that every and each tract of land sold by the United States from and after the first day of January next, shall remain exempt from any tax laid by order or under the authority of the state, whether for state, county or township, or any other purpose whatever, for the term of five years from and after the respective days of sale thereof; and that the bounty lands granted, or hereafter to be granted, for military services during the late war, shall, while they continue to be held by the patentees or their heirs, remain exempt, as aforesaid, from taxation for the term of three years from and after the date of the patents respectively; provided, nevertheless, that if the Congress of the United States shall consent to repeal and revoke the following clause in the fifth proposition of the sixth section of the act of Congress before recited, and in these words, viz.: “that every and each tract of land sold by the United States from and after the first day of January next, shall remain exempt from any tax laid by order or under the authority of the state, whether for state, county or township, or any purpose whatever, for the term of five years from and after the day of sale; and further,” that this convention, for and in behalf of the people of the state of Missouri, do hereby ordain, consent and agree that the same be so revoked and repealed; without which consent of the Congress, as aforesaid, the said clause to remain in full force and operation, as first above provided for in this ordinance; and this convention doth hereby request the Congress of the United States so to modify their third proposition, that the whole amount of five percent on the sale of public lands therein offered may be applied to the construction of roads and canals, and the promotion of education within this state, under the direction of the legislature thereof. And this convention, for and in behalf of the people inhabiting this state, and by the authority of said people, do further ordain, agree and declare that this ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States.