A recent story in the Denver Post highlighted Colorado’s state Constitution, of which the original document is now on display in our state museum, the History Colorado Center. One of the interesting facts of the Constitution’s history is that it was first written in three languages – English, Spanish, and German. Among the treasures we have in the State Publications Library are our copies of the 1881 Session Laws, (a book compiling the laws passed by the Legislature that year), which were also produced in Spanish and German in the early years of our statehood. Historically, the German version is especially interesting, because not only is the language German but the type is done in the old Fraktur typeset. After a few years, both the Constitution and the Session Laws ceased their multi-language publications, but they remain in the archives as interesting bits of our state’s history.
Colorado’s State Constitution has changed dramatically over the years since Colorado first gained statehood in 1876. Today, the Colorado Constitution is about double the length of the U.S. Constitution! The Colorado Secretary of State’s office prints the most current version of the Colorado Constitution, which you can read online along with the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.