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the inspiration, either wholly or partially, but North-Carolina is the most laggard of them all.
SEC. 13. SOUTH-CAROLINA.—The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever hereafter (1790) be allowed within this State to all mankind, provided that the liberty of conscience thereby declared shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State. (Const. of S. C. art. 8.) What this State now needs more than any thing else, we imagine, is a popular system of public schools; and we have reason to believe that something of this kind is in contemplation. The legislation of this State, running through a period of more than forty years, embraces little else, in reference to schools, than the appropriations annually made to support indigent scholars. The appropriation for some twelve years was seventy-five thousand dollars annually, and previous thereto thirty-seven thousand five hundred. This sum was appropriated to the districts according to the representation in the lower branch of the Legislature, and its expenditure was confided to boards of commissioners in each district. Each board adopted its own rules and system, and hence there has been no uniformity in the organization f schools or in expending the funds. The boards are only required to report annually to the Legislature, and exhibit the manner in which the funds have been expended and the number of indigent scholars taught. Persons who have the means of educating their own children are never permitted to share in the appropriation; the privilege is restricted to the indigent alone. (Letter from Gov. James L. Orr, May 12, 1866.)
SEC. 14. GEORGIA.—The constitutional provisions in reference to the liberty of conscience in this State are the same, in legal effect, as those of South-Carolina, though more extended, and, if possible, more emphatic. (Const. of Ga. art. 4, sec. 10.) A committee was appointed by the Legislature of this State in 1866, to prepare a bill for a system of free schools for the State, and were instructed to report at the next session of the Legislature, (1867.)
SEC. 15. FLORIDA.—All men have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship in this State. (Const. of Fla. art. 1, sec. 3.) This State has not yet adopted a system of public schools.
SEC. 16. ALABAMA.—No person within this State shall, upon any pretense, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping God in the manner most agreeable to his own conscience; nor be compelled to attend any place of worship; nor shall any one be obliged to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rates, for the building or repairing of any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry. (Const. of Ala. art. 1, sec. 3.) No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control
or interfere with the rights of conscience. (Id. sec. 4.) No person shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion, provided he does not disturb others in their religious worship. (Id. sec. 5.) The civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall in no way be diminished or enlarged on account of his religious principles. (Id. sec. 6.) There shall be no establishment of religion by law; no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; and no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State. . (Id. sec. 7.) Every citizen may speak, write, and publish his sentiments, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege. (Id. sec. 8.) We cite the foregoing sections of the Alabama Constitution in full, not because they are unique, for almost the same words are in the constitutions of several other States; nor because they insure a larger religious liberty, for we are fully aware that perfection can not be made more perfect by the mere force of repetitions. In Rhode Island, New-York, New-Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, South-Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and several other States, religious liberty is as completely constitutional as in Alabama. Though the provisions in some of the constitutions may not be so extended, they are equally comprehensive, and the same in legal effect. The Constitution of Alabama, however, contains so many different expressions for the same thing, that we think any one who will take the trouble to read the sec
tions cited will never after be in error as to what is meant by “religious liberty."
Sec. 17. MISSISSIPPI.—The constitutional provisions in relation to the liberty of conscience, of speech, and of the press, are in legal effect the same in this State as in Alabama, and the language is very nearly the same. (Const. of Miss. art. 1, secs. 3–7.)
SEC. 18. LOUISIANA.—The Constitution of this State is singularly silent on the subject of religion. The freedom of the press is secured, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for an abuse of this liberty. (Const. of La. tit. 6, art. 106.) This is one of the few Southern States that have a system of public schools. These schools suffered greatly from the war, but it is to be hoped that they will not be permitted to languish long, now that peace is restored. So many considerations of vast import to the highest interests of the State, and so many influences affecting alike the moral and intellectual welfare of her citizens, are involved in this, that the encouragement of popular education would seem to be the simplest expression of public duty at this crisis. The war has, indeed, deprived most of those citizens, who formerly supported public schools, of the power of contributing to them for a period which it is not now easy to determine. But while this is true, it can not be overlooked that, now more than ever, are the people in need of a liberal system of public education which will supply their children with those advantages which their private means will no longer enable them to afford. Upon the State, therefore, falls the responsibility of a wise and provident legislation-a legislation that shall bold the present in wardship for the future—to guard this beneficent system from complete extinction. (Rep. of Supt. Jan. 22, 1866.)
SEC. 19. TEXAS.—The law on the subject under consideration is the same in Texas as in Alabama, though not expressed in the same words. It is also made the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as shall be necessary to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of their own mode of public worship. (Const. of Texas, art. 1, secs. 3 and 4.)
SEC. 20. ARKANSAS.—The civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen shall in nowise be diminished or enlarged on account of his religion. (Const. of Ark. art. 2, sec. 4.) But no person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil department of this State, nor be allowed his oath in any court. (Id. art. 8, sec. 3.)
SEC. 21. TENNESSEE.—The law as to religion in this State is the same in legal effect, and almost the same in language, as in Maryland. (Const. of Tenn. art. 1, secs. 3 and 4; Id. art. 9, sec. 2.)
SEC. 22. KENTUCKY.—The people of this State have reserved to themselves full religious liberty. (Const. of Ky. art. 13, secs. 5 and 6.) We find nothing in the school laws inconsistent therewith.
SEC. 23. WEST-VIRGINIA.—The constitutional provis