On March 2, 1867, Congress enacted a law declaring that no legal government existed in Florida. As a part of the Third Military District, Florida was placed under a commander whose authority was superior to the outlawed state government. The law provided that the state could resume normal relations with the Union when it had adopted the fourteenth amendment and formed a constitution in conformity with the Constitution of the United States. This instrument was to be drawn up by a convention of delegates elected by all eligible male citizens, ratified by the people, and approved by Congress. No persons excluded from political activity by the fourteenth amendment could participate in the formation of this constitution.
Shofner, Jerrell H.
"The Constitution of 1868,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 41:
4, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol41/iss4/6