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THE ENABLING ACT.
An act to provide for the division of Dakota into two States, and to enable the
people of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington to form Constitutions and State governments, and to be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, and to make donations of public lands to such States.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the inhabitants of all that part of the area of the United States now constituting the Territories of Dakota, Montana, and Washington, as at present described, may become the States of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington, respectively, as hereinafter provided.
Seo. 2. The area comprising the Territory of Dakota shall, for the purposes of this act, be divided on the line of the seventh standard parallel produced due west to the western boundary of said Territory; and the delegates elected as hereinafter provided to the constitutional convention in districts north of said parallel shall assemble in convention, at the time prescribed in this act, at the city of Bismarck; and the delegates elected in districts south of said parallel shall, at the same time, assemble in convention at the city of Sioux Falls.
Sec. 3. That all persons who are qualified by the laws of said Territories to vote for representatives to the Legislative As mblies thereof, are hereby authorized to vote for and choose delegates to form conventions in said proposed States; and the qualifications for delegates to such conventions shall be such as hy the laws of said Territories respectively persons are required to possess to be eligible to the Legislative Assemblies thereof; and the aforesaid delegates to form said conventions shall be apportioned within the limits of the proposed States, in such districts as may be established as herein provided, in proportion to the population in each of said counties and districts, as near as may be, to be ascertained at the time of making said appointments by the persons hereinafter authorized to make the same, from the best information obtainable, in each of which districts three delegates shall be elected, but no elector shall vote for more than two persons for delegates to such conventions; that said apportionments shall be made by the Governor, the Chief Justice, and the Secretary of said Territories; and the Governors of said Territories shall, by proclamation, order an election of the delegates aforesaid in each of said proposed States, to be held on the Tuesday after the second Monday in May, eighteen hundred and eighty-nine, which proclamation shall be issued on the fifteenth day of April, eighteen hundred and eighty-nine; and such election shall be conducted, the returns made, the result ascertained, and the certificates to persons elected to such convention issued in the same manner as is prescribed by the laws of the said Territories regulating elections therein for delegates to Congress; and the number of votes cast for delegates in each precinct shall also be returned. The number of delegates to said conventions respectively shall be seventy-five; and all persons resident in said proposed States, who are qualified voters of said Territories as herein provided, shall be entitled to vote upon the election of delegates, and under such rules and regulations as said conventions may prescribe, not in conflict with this act, upon the ratification or rejection of the Constitutions.
Sec. 4. That the delegates to the conventions elected as provided for in this act shall meet at the seat of government of each of said Territories, except the delegates elected in South Dakota, who shall meet at the city of Sioux Falls, on the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and eighty-nine, and, after crganization, shall declare, on behalf of the people of said proposed States, that they adopt the Constitution of the United States; whereupon the said conventions shall be, and are hereby, authorized to form Constitutions and State governments for said proposed States, respectively. The Constitutions shall be republican in form, and make no distinction in civil or political rights on account of race or color, except as to Indians not taxed, and not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, and the principles of the Declaration of Independence. And said conventions shall provide, by ordinances irrevocable without the consent of the United States, and the people of said States :
First. That perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and that no inhabitant of said States shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship.
Second. That the people inhabiting said proposed States do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition the United States, and said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the Congress of the United States; that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the said States shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the lands belonging to residents thereof; that no taxes shall be imposed by the States on lands or property therein belonging to or which may hereafter be purchased by the United States or reserved for its use. But nothing herein, or in the ordinances herein provided for, shall preclude the said States from taxing as other lands are taxed any lands owned or held by any Indian who has severed his tribal relations, and has obtained from the United States, or from any person, a title thereto by patent or other grant, save and except such lands as have been or may be granted to any Indian or Indians under any act of Congress containing a provision exempting the lands thus granted from taxation : but said ordinances shall provide that all such lands shall be exempt from taxation by said States so long and to such extent as such act of Congress may prescribe.
Third. That the debts and liabilities of said Territories shall be assumed and paid by said States, respectively.
Fourth. That provision shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of systems of public schools, which shall be open to all the children of said States, and free from sectarian control.
Sec. 5. That the convention which shall assemble at Bismarck shall form a Constitution and State government for a State to be known as North Dakota, and the convention which shall assemble at Sioux Falls shall form a Constitution and State government for a State to be known as South Dakota. Provided, That at the election for delegates to the constitutional convention in South Dakota, as hereinbefore provided, each elector may have written or printed on his ballot the words, “For the Sioux Falls Constitution,” or the words, “ Against the Sioux Falls Constitution," and the votes on this question shall be returned and canvassed in the same manner as for the election provided for in section three of this act; and if a majority of all votes cast on this question shall be “ For the Sioux Fails Constitution,” it shall be the duty of the convention which may assemble at Sioux Falls, as herein provided, to resubmit to the people of South Dakota, for ratification or rejection at the election hereinafter provided for in this act, the Constitution framed at Sioux Falls, and adopted November third, eighteen hundred and eighty-five, and also the articles and propositions separately submitted at that election, including the question of locating the temporary seat of government, with such changes only as relate to the name and boundary of the proposed State, to the reapportionment of the judicial and legislative districts, and such amendments as may be necessary in order to comply with the provisions of this act; and if a majority of the votes cast on the ratification or rejection of the Constitution shall be for the Constitution, irrespective of the articles separately submitted, the State of South Dakota shall be admitted as a State in the Union under said Constitution as hereinafter provided ; but the archives, records and books of the Territory of Dakota shall remain at Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, until an agreement in reference thereto is reached by said States. But if at the election for delegates to the constitutional convention in South Dakota a majority of all the votes cast at that election shall be “ Against the Sioux Falls Constitution," then and in that event it shall be the duty of the convention which will assemble at the city of Sioux Falls on the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and eighty-nine, to proceed to form a Constitution and State government as provided in this act, the same as if that question had not been submitted to a vote of the people of South Dakota.
Seo. 6. It shall be the duty of the constitutional conventions of North Dakota and South Dakota to appoint a joint commission, to be composed of not less than three members of each convention, whose duty it shall be to assemble at Bismarck, the present seat of government of said Territory, and agree upon an equitable division of all property belonging to the Territory of Dakota, the disposition of all public records, and also adjust and agree upon the amount of the debts and liabilities of the Territory which shall be assumed and paid by each of the proposed States of North Dakota and South Dakota; and the agreement reached respecting the Territorial debts and liabilities shall be incorporated in the respective Constitutions, and each of such States shall obligate itself to pay its proportion of said debts and liabilities, the same as if they had been created by such States respectively.
Seo. 7. If the Constitutions formed for both North Dakota and South Dakota shall be rejected by the people at the elections for the ratification or rejec. tion of their respective Constitutions, as provided for in this act, the Territorial government of Dakota shall continue in existence the same as if this act had not been passed. But if the Constitution formed for either North Dakota or South Dakota shall be rejected by the people, that part of the Territory so rejecting its proposed Constitution shall continue under the Territorial government of the present Territory of Dakota, but shall, after the State adopting its Constitution is admitted into the Union, be called by the name of the Territory of North Dakota or South Dakota, as the case may be; Provided, That if either of the proposed States provided for in this act shall reject the Constitution which may be submitted for ratification or rejection at the election provided therefor, the Governor of the Territory in which such proposed Constitution was rejected shall issue his proclamation reconvening the delegates elected to the convention which formed such rejected Constitution, fixing the time and place at which said delegates shall assemble; and when so assembled, they shall proceed to form another Constitution, or to amend the rejected Constitution, and shall submit such new Constitution or amended Constitution to the people of the proposed State for ratification or rejection, at such time as said convention may determine; and all the provisions of this act, so far as applicable, shall apply to such convention so reassembled and to the Constitution which may be formed, its ratification or rejection, and to the admission of the proposed State.
Seo. 8. That the constitutional convention which may assemble in South Dakota shall provide by ordinance for re-submitting the Sioux Falls Constitution of eighteen hundred and eighty-five, after having amended the same, as provided in section five of this act, to the people of South Dakota for ratification or rejection at an election to be held therein on the first Tuesday in October, eighteen hundred and eighty-nine; but if said constitutional convention is authorized and required to form a new Constitution for South Dakota, it shall provide for submitting the same in like manner to the people of South Dakota for ratification or rejection at an election to be held in said proposed State on the said first Tuesday in October. And the constitutional conventions which may assemble in North Dakota, Montana and Washington shall provide in like manner for submitting the Constitutions formed by them to the people of said proposed States, respectively, for ratification or rejection at elections to be held in said proposed States on the said first Tuesday in October. At the elections provided for in this section the qualified voters of said proposed States shall vote directly for or against the proposed Constitutions, and for or against any articles or propositions separately submitted. The returns of said elections shall be made to the Secretary of each of said Territories, who, with the Governor and Chief Justice thereof, or any two of them, shall canvass the same; and if a majority of the legal votes cast shall be for the Constitution, the Governor shall certify the result to the President of the United States, together with a statement of the votes cast thereon and upon separate articles or propositions, and a copy of said Constitution, articles, propositions and ordinances. And if the Constitutions and governments of said proposed States are republican in form, and if all the provisions of this act have been complied with 'in the formation thereof, it shall be the duty of the President of the United States to issue his proclamation announcing the result of the election in each, and thereupon the proposed States which have adopted Constitutions and formed State governments as herein provided shall be deemed admitted by Congress into the Union under and by virtue of this act on an equal footing with the original States from and after the date of said proclamation.
Seo. 9. That until the next general census, or until otherwise provided by law, said States shall be entitled to one Representative in the House of Representatives of the United States, except South Dakota, which shall be entitled to two; and the Representatives to the Fifty-first Congress, together with the Governors and other officers provided for in said Constitutions, may be elected on the same day of the election for the ratification or rejection of the Constitutions; and until said State officers are elected and qualified under the provisions of each Constitution, and the States, respectively, are admitted into the Union, the Territorial officers shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices in each of said Territories.
Seo. 10. That upon the admission of each of said States into the Union, sections numbered sixteen and thirty-six in every township of said proposed States, and where such section, or any parts thereof, have been sold or otherwise disposed of by or under the authority of any act of Congress, other lands equivalent thereto, in legal subdivisions of not less than one-quarter section, and as contiguous as may be to the section in lieu of which the same is taken, are hereby granted to said States for the support of common schools, such indemnity lands to be selected within said States in such manner as the Legislature may provide, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior; Provided, That the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections embraced in permanent reservations for national purposes shall not, at any time, be subject to the grants nor to the indemnity provisions of this act, nor shall any lands embraced in Indian, military or other reservations of any character be subject to the grants or to the indemnity provisions of this act until the reservation shall have been extinguished, and such lands be restored to, and become a part of, the public domain.
Seo. 11. That all lands herein granted for educational purposes shall be disposed of only at public sale, and at a price not less than ten dollars per acre, the proceeds to constitute a permanent school fund, the interest of which only shall be expended in the support of said schools. But said lands may, under such regulations as the Legislatures shall prescribe, be leased for periods of not more than five years, in quantities not exceeding one section to any one person or company; and such lands shall not be subject to pre-emption, homestead entry or any other entry under the land laws of the United States, whether surveyed or unsurveyed, but shall be reserved for school purposes only.
Seo. 12. That upon the admission of each of said States into the Union, in accordance with the provisions of this act, fifty sections of the unappropriated public lands within said States, to be selected and located in legal subdivisions, as provided in section ten of this act, shall be, and are hereby, granted to said States for the purpose of erecting public buildings at the capital of said States for legislative, executive and judicial purposes.
Sko. 13. That five per centum of the proceeds of the sale of public lands lying within said States which shall be sold by the United States subsequent to the admission of said States into the Union, after deducting all the expenses