Series 3212Constitutional Convention (1895) Records
Dates: s 1895.
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
An agency history is available.
Scope and Content
In July 1894, the U.S. Congress enacted a law to enable the territory of Utah to be admitted into the Union as a state. The act spelled out the calling of a convention composed of 107 delegates to meet beginning in March 1895 to draw up a state constitution. These records are the papers of that convention. They include a copy of the federal enabling act; roll call; transcripts, published and unpublished, of the proceedings; files of proposals, petitions, and other recommendations for inclusion in the state constitution; and a limited number of committee reports, minutes and notes.
The proceedings of the 66-day convention were typed verbatim; a few pages of the typed transcripts are missing. Each day is numbered, including those Saturdays and Sundays the group did not meet, so members could collect their per diem allowance for those days as well. Toward the end of the convention, arrangements were made to have the proceedings published. Rarely portions in the typed transcripts were expunged and do not appear in the published copy, but for the most part, the published version matches the typed.
The transcripts cover the discussions and debates of the convention in detail. Procedural matters include rules, the appointment of committees, order of business, employing a stenographer, choosing office furnishings, and arranging publication of the proceedings. Constitutional topics follow specifications in the enabling act or those topics considered important by the delegates. These include a preamble and bill of rights; education and school lands; elections and apportionment; the formation and responsibilities of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government; municipal and non-municipal corporations; public lands and buildings; the militia; labor and arbitration; taxation, revenue and public debts; water rights; mining; and suggestions for future legislation and means of amending the constitution. Many of these topics involved protracted debate; two highly debated items were female suffrage and prohibition.
Entries for a typical day usually begin with a call to order, roll, a prayer, and reading of the previous day's minutes. Petitions and memorials were then noted and referred to the appropriate committee. Any standing committee ready to report did so, and its report, a formally written article proposed for inclusion in the constitution, was sent for printing and placed on the calendar. Next, propositions relating to particular items desired included in the constitution were submitted and referred to the appropriate committee. Finally, the convention resolved itself into a committee-of-the-whole for consideration of one or more of the committee reports.
The numbered files contain petitions, memorials and proposals. Petitions and memorials were sent by individuals or groups with a particular interest. Proposals were statements, worded appropriately for inclusion as a section in a constitutional article, introduced by one of the members of the convention. Except for the first memorial, all were assigned file numbers. (The first memorial was simply called memorial #1; those received later however, were incorporated into the regular files.) Initially many were read into the proceedings; later they were simply noted by file number and topic. Many of the files are missing: about a third of those from number 1-150. All after 154 are missing; most of these were petitions regarding female suffrage, with a lesser number relating to prohibition.
Committee reports usually include a cover letter noting what files were used in the preparation of the report, and a copy of a proposed article in the constitution. Several of these as well are missing in all or in part. Notably, reports from the Preamble and Declaration of Rights Committee; the Municipal Corporations Committee; the Schedule and Future, Amendments, and Miscellaneous Committee; the Elections and Right of Suffrage Committee; the Legislative Committee; the Apportionment and Boundaries Committee; and the Militia Committee are all missing drafts of articles which should accompany them.
Rarely committee items other than reports appear in these records. The Committee of Manufactures and Commerce also has minutes and notes, the latter primarily relating to the metric system. Two other committees have miscellaneous notes included as well. The committee on Elections and Suffrage has a letter from a Sidney Hudson, who apparently had been petitioning the legislative assembly since 1874 regarding the nominative franchise, and a proposal from Fred J. Kiesel, one of the committee members, regarding voter qualifications. The legislative committee also received a letter from Hudson. Neither the Hudson letters nor the Kiesel proposal appear ever to have been formally submitted, numbered, and referred to the committees.
Revisions and Publications
The final revision notes, for the article entitled "Congressional and Legislative Apportionment" only, are also included in the records. The location of final revision notes for the other articles, as noted in the proceedings, is unknown. A draft copy of the journal (the transcripts as printed with editing comments) is present. Finally, a two volume publication, copyright 1898, contains a copy of the enabling act, a transcript of the proceedings (with rare additional editing or expunging), and a copy of the Utah state constitution to be submitted to the voters. Following its publication, a statement of the total costs of the convention, including those of publication, was filed.
By document type, thereunder chronological by numbered days (minutes) or numerical (files and committee reports).
Research NoteThe microfilming completed in 1994 has been retained and remains on the container list, however the box and folder numbers will no longer line up with new containers. Folder contents did not change.
State Constitution from the Constitutional Convention (1895), Series 3214, is the final constitution created by this convention.
Dockets from the Constitutional Convention (1895), Series 12795, contains copies of the propositions, petitions, and reports noted in these dockets.
The records were turned over to the Secretary of State, then transferred from his office to the archives by 1957.
This series is available on microfilm.
This series is available online as part of the Utah State Archives Digital Archives.
Copies of these records are located at Utah State Legislature View Online.
This series is classified as Public.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
Records of the convention were turned over to the Secretary of State. In turn these were transferred to the archives by 1957. Archivally processed by A.C. Cone in 1990, the series was microfilmed in 1994.Records were re-housed in new folders and smaller document boxes for better support by Gina Strack in January 2020. Minor revisions were also made to the finding aid including details of which numbered files are present in the container list.
Indexes: The second published volume contains both a subject index and a name index which will locate events in the transcript. The transcript usually records file number and dates. Indexes: A "catch-all" found in folder 33 notes the committees and which files were assigned to each.
- Utah. Constitutional Convention (1895)--Attendance.
- Utah. Constitutional Convention (1895)--Costs.
- Separation of powers--Utah.
- Civil rights--Utah.
- Municipal corporations--Utah.
- Utah--Politics and government--1895.
- Utah--Economic policy.
|1||1||1||Federal enabling act|
|1||1||2||Roll call book|
|1||2||1||Transcript of Proceedings; First Day: Monday, March 4, 1895|
|1||2||2||Transcript of Proceedings; Second Day: Tuesday, March 5, 1895|
|1||2||3||Transcript of Proceedings; Third Day: Wednesday, March 6, 1895|
|1||2||4||Transcript of Proceedings; Fourth Day: Thursday, March 7, 1895|
|1||2||5||Transcript of Proceedings; Fifth Day: Friday, March 8, 1895|
|1||2||6||Transcript of Proceedings; Eighth Day: Monday, March 11, 1895|
|1||2||7||Transcript of Proceedings; Ninth Day: Tuesday, March 12, 1895|
|1||2||8||Transcript of Proceedings; Tenth Day: Wednesday, March 13, 1895|
|1||2||9||Transcript of Proceedings; Eleventh Day: Thursday, March 14, 1895|
|1||2||10||Transcript of Proceedings; Twelfth Day: Friday, March 15, 1895|
|1||2||11||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirteenth Day: Saturday, March 16, 1895|
|1||2||12||Transcript of Proceedings; Fifteenth Day: Monday, March 18, 1895|
|1||2||13||Transcript of Proceedings; Sixteenth Day: Tuesday, March 19, 1895|
|1||2||14||Transcript of Proceedings; Seventeenth Day: Wednesday, March 20, 1895|
|1||2||15||Transcript of Proceedings; Eighteenth Day: Thursday, March 21, 1895|
|1||2||16||Transcript of Proceedings; Nineteenth Day: Friday, March 22, 1895|
|1||2||17||Transcript of Proceedings; Twentieth Day: Saturday, March 23, 1895|
|1||2||18||Transcript of Proceedings; Twenty-Second Day: Monday, March 25, 1895|
|1||2||19||Transcript of Proceedings; Twenty-Third Day: Tuesday, March 26, 1895|
|1||2||20||Transcript of Proceedings; Twenty Fourth Day: Wednesday, March 27, 1895|
|1||2||21||Transcript of Proceedings; Twenty Fifth Day: Thursday, March 28, 1895|
|1||3||1||Transcript of Proceedings; Twenty-Sixth Day: Friday, March 29, 1895|
|1||3||2||Transcript of Proceedings; Twenty-Seventh Day: Saturday, March 30, 1895|
|2||3||3||Transcript of Proceedings; Twenty-Ninth Day: Monday, April 1, 1895|
|2||3||4||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirtieth Day: Tuesday, April 2, 1895|
|2||3||5||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirty-First Day: Wednesday, April 3, 1895|
|2||3||6||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirty-Second Day: Thursday, April 4, 1895|
|2||3||7||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirty-Third Day: Friday, April 5, 1895|
|2||3||8||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirty-Sixth Day: Monday, April 8, 1895|
|2||3||9||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirty-Seventh Day: Tuesday, April 9, 1895|
|2||3||10||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirty-Eighth Day: Wednesday, April 10, 1895|
|2||3||11||Transcript of Proceedings; Thirty-Ninth Day: Thursday, April 11, 1895|
|2||4||1||Transcript of Proceedings; Fortieth Day: [Friday], April 12, 1895|
|2||4||2||Transcript of Proceedings; Forty-First Day: Saturday, April 13, 1895|
|2||4||3||Transcript of Proceedings; Forty-Third Day: Monday, April 15, 1895|
|2||4||4||Transcript of Proceedings; Forty-Fourth Day: Tuesday, April 16, 1895|
|2||4||5||Transcript of Proceedings; Forty-Fifth Day: Wednesday, April 17, 1895; start to p. 45- 136|
|3||4||5||Transcript of Proceedings; Forty-Sixth Day: Wednesday, April 17, 1895; p. 45-136 to end|
|3||4||6||Transcript of Proceedings; Forty-Sixth Day: Thursday, April 18, 1895|
|3||4||7||Transcript of Proceedings; Forty-Seventh Day: Friday, April 19, 1895|
|3||4||8||Transcript of Proceedings; Forty-Eighth Day: Saturday, April 20, 1895|
|3||4||9||Transcript of Proceedings; Fiftieth Day: Monday, April 22, 1895|
|3||4||10||Transcript of Proceedings; Fifty-First Day: Tuesday, April 23, 1895|
|3||4||11||Transcript of Proceedings; Fifty-First Day: Tuesday, April 23, 1895 Evening Session|
|3||5||12||Transcript of Proceedings; [Fifty-Second Day]: Wednesday, April 24, 1895|
|3||5||1||Transcript of Proceedings; [Fifty-Third Day]: Thursday, April 25, 1895|
|3||5||2||Transcript of Proceedings; Fifty-Fourth Day: Friday, April 26, 1895|
|3||5||3||Transcript of Proceedings; Fifty-Fifth Day: Saturday, April 25 , 1895|
|3||5||4||Transcript of Proceedings; Fifty-Seventh Day: Monday, April 28 , 1895|
|3||5||5||Transcript of Proceedings; [Fifty-Eighth Day: Tuesday, April 30, 1895]; start to p. 58-59|
|4||5||5||Transcript of Proceedings; [Fifty-Eighth Day: Tuesday, April 30, 1895]; p. 58-59 to end|
|4||5||6||Transcript of Proceedings; Fifty-Ninth Day: Wednesday, May 1, 1895|
|4||5||7||Transcript of Proceedings; Sixieth Day: Thursday, May 2, 1895|
|4||5||8||Transcript of Proceedings; Sixty-First Day: Friday, May 3, 1895|
|4||5||9||Transcript of Proceedings; Sixty-Second Day: Saturday, May 4, 1895|
|4||5||10||Transcript of Proceedings; Sixty-Fourth Day: Monday, May 6, 1895|
|4||5||11||Transcript of Proceedings; Sixty-Fifth Day: Tuesday, May 7, 1895|
|4||5||12||Transcript of Proceedings; Sixty-Sixth Day: Wednesday, May 8, 1895|
|4||5||13||Memorial 1: March 13, 1895|
|4||5||14||Files; 2, 4, 5-6, 9, 10; March 11, 1895|
|4||5||15||Files; 11-15, 17-20; March 12, 1895|
|4||5||16||Files; 21, 23, 26-28; March 12, 1895|
|4||5||17||Files; 31-32, 35-39; March 12-14, 1895|
|4||5||18||Files; 41, 43-44, 46-49, 50; March 14, 1895|
|4||5||19||Files; 51, 54-56, 58-59; March 14, 1895|
|4||5||20||Files; 61a-70; March 15, 1895|
|4||5||21||Files; 72-80; March 15, 1895|
|4||5||22||Files; 81-88; March 15, 1895|
|4||5||23||Files; 94-100; March 16-18, 1895|
|4||6||1||Files; 101-110; March 18, 1895|
|4||6||2||Files; 111-119; March 18-19, 1895|
|4||6||3||Files; 121-129; March 19-20, 1895|
|4||6||4||Files; 131-138; March 18-22, 1895|
|4||6||5||Files; 143-154; March 23, 1895|
|4||6||7||Committee Reports; 1-5; March 16-21, 1895|
|4||6||8||Committee Reports; 6-10; March 22-27, 1895|
|4||6||9||Committee Reports; 11-15; March 28-April 1, 1895|
|4||6||10||Committee Reports; 16-20; April 2-19, 1895|
|4||6||11||Committee Reports; 21-27; April 19-30, 1895|
|4||6||12||Committee Papers; Elections & Suffrage|
|4||6||13||Committee Papers; Legislative|
|4||6||14||Committee Papers; Manufacture & Commerce|
|4||6||15||Final Revisions, Article IX|
|4||7||1||Journal of the Convention|
|4||7||2||Official Report of the Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Salt Lake City on the Fourth Day of March, 1895, to Adopt a Constitution for the State of Utah, vol. I. Star Printing Company, Salt Lake City, 1898. Start to p. 275|
|5||7||2||Official Report of the Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Salt Lake City on the Fourth Day of March, 1895, to Adopt a Constitution for the State of Utah, vol. I. Star Printing Company, Salt Lake City, 1898. p. 275-end|
|5||7||3||Official Report....Volume II. Star Printing Company, Salt Lake City, 1898.|
|5||7||4||Convention costs statement|
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