474 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI corporations, and their agents and adjustors operating in the state. The state’s standard fire code is administered by the commissioner through the State Fire Marshal Division. The department also oversees the licensing of manufacturers and dealers of mobile homes and regulating their practices. The three public service commissioners supervise and regulate for-hire transportation, communications systems, and utilities including electricity, gas, water, and sewer. The three transportation commissioners control and supervise all matters relating to airport development, highway construction and maintenance, highway weight enforcement, public transit, and rail planning. The Executive Branch Before Statehood After Congress created the Mississippi Territory on April 7, 1798, from land ceded by Spain in the Pinckney’s Treaty in 1795, President John Adams appointed Winthrop Sargent of Massachusetts to serve as the first territorial governor. The minimal government structure consisted, at the outset, only of the governor and three other territorial officials. In addition to Sargent, John Steele of Virginia served as secretary. Thomas Rodney of Delaware and John Tilton of New Hampshire were the first territorial judges of Superior Court. Among Sargent’s first acts was establishing a militia for protection of the settlers, most of whom were concentrated in the Natchez District along the Mississippi River. A strict code was adopted, sometimes referred to as “Sargent’s Codes,” which authorized punishments including “cropping, pillorying and whipping” and authorized forfeiture of estates in cases of treason, arson and burglary. The biggest common concern facing the fledgling territorial government was the threat from the native Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Creek tribes. Settlers were focused on land ownership and property ownership rights. In 1801, William C.C. Claiborne arrived in Natchez to become the second territorial governor. During his term, the territorial capital was moved from Natchez to the village of Washington, roughly six miles north of the city. Following Claiborne, Robert Williams was named the third governor of the Mississippi Territory, serving from 1805 to 1809. In 1809, David Holmes was appointed as the fourth and final territorial governor. Under the Constitution of 1817 On March 1, 1817, President James Madison signed legislation granting the western portion of the Mississippi Territory admission to the Union as the state of Mississippi. The forty-eight delegates of the Mississippi statehood convention, as provided for in the enabling act, assembled at Washington, Mississippi, on July 7, 1817, to draft the new state’s constitution. After one month and eight days of deliberation, the first Mississippi Constitution was adopted on August 15, 1817. There was no popular referendum to ratify the constitution. In September, 1817, Mississippi’s new electorate chose David Holmes, territorial governor at the time, as the first state governor for a two-year term. Duncan Stewart was elected Mississippi’s first lieutenant governor. In the first state constitution, the powers of Mississippi’s government were divided into “three distinct departments:” the executive, legislative, and judicial. Article IV outlined responsibilities of the Executive Department: “The supreme executive power of this State shall be vested in a Governor, who shall be elected by the qualified electors, and shall hold office for two years from the time of his installation, and until his successor be duly qualified.” Qualifications for governor required him to be at least thirty years old, a United States citizen for twenty years, to have lived in the State for at least five years prior to election, and be a landholder of at least 600 acres or own real estate valued at $2,000 or more. The governor was assigned responsibility to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” as well as serve as commander-in-chief of the state’s army, navy, and militia. He was given authority to call the General Assembly into session as needed. The original constitution also created the positions of secretary of state, lieutenant governor, a state treasurer, and an auditor of public accounts, the latter two to be appointed annually. Sheriffs and coroners were to be elected in each county to two-year terms. Under the Constitution of 1832 Mississippi’s second constitution reflected the reign of Jacksonian Democracy and the appointment of public officials was done away with. Virtually all public offices were made elective. The familiar tripartite separation of government powers remained intact. The governor was limited to serving two two-year terms in a six-year period and the position of lieutenant governor was abolished altogether. Under the Constitution of 1868 Secession from the Union, the Civil War, and Reconstruction required change and renewal in practically all areas of Mississippi life, and the state’s constitution was no exception. A new constitution, adopted in May 1868, and ratified in December 1869, recognized the civil rights of newly freed slaves and provided a legal structure for a new social order. Gubernatorial terms of office were extended to