The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 463
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Origins of the Texas Bill of Rights
were almost identical to that of Article III of the United States
Constitution. Likewise, the first clause of the section guaranteeing
every citizen of Texas the right to keep and bear arms can be
traced to the second amendment to the federal instrument, which
in turn is based on a clause of the English Bill of Rights of 1689.
The second clause, permitting the state to regulate the wearing
of arms, appears to have been taken from a similar provision of
the Tennessee Constitution of 187o.33
The 1836 Bill of Rights, moreover, included a statement that
the military should at all times be subordinate to the civil au-
thority. That provision has been retained in all the Texas consti-
tutions drafted since that time. Behind that declaration is the
Mexican interlude in Texas history, the Texas Declaration of In-
dependence, and the experiences undergone by Texans during
Reconstruction when justice was administered and the civil affairs
of the state were carried on under military supervision. The Vir-
ginia Bill of Rights (1776) included an almost exactly identical
section;*" and in 1836 constitutions of eleven states made such
an explicit statement.35
To those basic rights of 1833 and 1836 the Convention of 1845
added sections against religious tests for public office, already
mentioned, against bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws
impairing the obligations of contracts, against violations of due
course of law, limiting the power to suspend laws, and limiting
the power of eminent domain. Furthermore, a concluding state-
ment was appended in 1845 excepting the Bill of Rights "out of
general powers of government." The attainder, ex post facto, and
contract section is almost a verbatim copy of Section i o, Article
I, of the federal constitution; moreover, the same or similar pro-
vision was included in the constitutions of five states of the day.38
The eminent domain clause could have been modeled upon
either the United States Constitution7" or the Pennsylvania Con-
3aTennessee Constitution of 187o, Art. I, Sec. 26, in Poore (comp.), Federal and
State Constitutions, 1697. Other state constitutions permitting such regulation at
that time were Kentucky, Georgia, and North Carolina.
34Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776, Sec. 13, ibid., 19o9.
soVirginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana,
Mississippi, Connecticut, Maine, and Arkansas.
s8South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Iowa.
37United States Constitution, Amendments V and XIV, in Poore (comp.),
Federal and State Constitutions, 21, 23-24.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/560/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.