Meeting in Helena from Jan. 14 to Feb. 9 in 1884, delegates from across the Montana Territory wrote the Constitution that became the framework for Montana becoming a state in 1889. Article 1 declared:
“That all political power is vested in and derived from the people; that all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”
The records of the convention are housed in the archives of the Montana Historical Society — established 14 years earlier in 1865.
MHS Photo Archives 952-001
Northern Ag Network Note:
The Territory of Montana was established on May 26, 1864, when the United States Congress passed the Organic Act. The first constitution of Montana was written in 1866. It was lost on the way to the printers and was never voted on by the citizens of Montana. A second constitution was written and ratified by the people in 1884. On November 8, 1889, Montana was the 41st state admitted to the Union by a Presidential Proclamation of Benjamin Harrison. The 1889 Constitution survived until 1972, when a new constitutional convention was held. The 1972 Constitution was adopted by the 100 delegates to the Constitutional Convention on March 22, 1972, and was ratified by the citizens of Montana on June 6, 1972, through Referendum No. 68.
Note courtesy of: http://courts.mt.gov/library/montana_laws.mcpx