|Pages 174-198||Pages 226-249|
| CHAP. XIV.
An Act for appointing a Treasurer.
|[Chan. Rev. pa. 41]|
|I. WHEREAS Robert Carter Nicholas, esq. hath been from time to time appointed and continued treasurer of this commonwealth, to receive all taxes and duties imposed by any act of general assembly, or ordinance of convention, and pay the same away in discharge of convention, and pay the same away in discharge of the demands against the public, which office he hath faithfully discharged, and the accounts of the treasury have been examined, and passed by the general assembly to the nineteenth day of October last past; and whereas, by the constitution of government as settled by the last convention, all persons holding lucrative offices are declared incapable of being elected members of either house of assembly, and the said Robert Carter Nicholas, rather than incur such incapacity, hath made his election to resign the said office of treasurer:||Preamble reciting resignation of Robert Carter Nicholas esq. and his faithful discharge of his duties as treasurer.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That from and after the end of this present session of assembly such person as shall be chosen by the joint ballot of the two houses of assembly shall be treasurer of the revenues arising from the taxes on lands and tithables, and of all other public money payable into the treasury of this state for public uses, by virtue of any acts of assembly or ordinance [ordinances] of convention, to hold the said office for one year, and afterwards to the end of the next session of assembly; and the said treasurer is hereby authorised, impowered, and required, to demand, receive, and take, of and from the several collectors of the said taxes, all and every the sum or sums of money arising by force and virtue of the said acts or ordinances of convention, or any or either of them, and shall apply and utter the same to and for such uses only, and on such warrants, as by the said acts or ordinances for laying the said taxes, or by any other act or acts of assembly, is or shall be appointed or directed, and shall be accountable for the said money to the general assembly.||Treasurer, appointed pursuant to the constitution, his powers and duties.|
|III. And be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That there shall be allowed to the said treasurer the sum of seven hundred pounds per annum, for his trouble in executing the duties of his office.||His salary.|
|IV. And to the end a treasurer may not be wanting, in case of the death, resignation or disability of the treasurer hereby appointed, Be it farther enacted, That in either of these cases it shall and may be lawful for the governour with the advice of the council, if the assembly is not then sitting, to appoint some other fit and able person to be treasurer in his room who shall have power to act in all things pertaining to the said office until the meeting of the next general assembly, and no longer.||Vacancy in office, how supplied.|
|V. And be it farther enacted, That the said treasurer, or the treasurer for the time being appointed pursuant to this act, shall not be capable of executing the said office of treasurer until he hath given bond, with such security as shall be approved by the governour, with the advice of the council, in the sum of four hundred thousand pounds, payable to the governour and his successours, in trust, for the use of the commonwealth, and conditioned for the faithful accounting for and paying all such sums of money as shall be received by him from time to time in virtue of this or any other act of assembly, or any ordinance of convention; to be recovered, upon a breach thereof, on the motion of the succeeding treasurer, in any court of record, for the publick use, provided that ten days notice be given in writing of such motion. And moreover, the said treasurer before he enters into his said office, shall take an oath before the governour to the effect following, to wit: "I do swear, that, to the best of my judgment, I will truly and faithfully execute the office of treasurer in all things, according to the true intent and meaning of the act of assembly intituled An act for appointing a treasurer. So help me God."|| His bond. |
|VI. And be it farther enacted, That the said treasurer shall keep, in a book or books to be provided for that purpose, at the publick charge, true, faithful, and just accounts of all the money by him received from time to time on the respective taxes and impositions by virtue of any act or acts of assembly, or ordinance of convention, and also of all such sum or sums of money as he shall pay out of the treasury pursuant to an [any] act or resolution of assembly or ordinance of convention; which accounts shall be so kept as that the neat produce of the several and respective taxes and impositions, and the money paid out of the treasury for every particular||Accounts of, how to be kept;|
|service, may appear separate and distinct from each other.|
|VII. And be it farther enacted, That if the said treasurer, or the treasurer for the time being, shall divert or misapply any part of the money paid into the treasury for the publick use, contrary to the directions of the acts of assembly, or ordinances of convention, by which the same is raised, then the said treasurer for such offence, shall forfeit his office, and be incapable of any office or place of trust whatsoever, and, moreover shall be liable to pay double the value of any sum or sums of money so diverted or misapplied; to be recovered for the publick use, by motion of the succeeding treasurer, in any court of record, provided ten days notice be given in writing of such motion.||Penalty on, for misapplication of public money.|
|VII. And be it farther enacted, That Richard Cary, Thomas Everard, John Tazewell, Robert Prentis, Joseph Prentis, Edmund Randolph, and William Norvell, esquires, or any three of them, be, and they are hereby appointed a committee to examine the accounts of the treasury from the said nineteenth day of October last past to the end of this present session of assembly, and shall give a certificate thereof to the said Robert Carter Nicholas. And the said committee shall, moreover, in the month of January in every year, examine into the state of the treasury; and the said treasurer is hereby required to lay before the said committee, at the time aforesaid, all the accounts of the treasury, and produce the money in his hands, and thereupon the said committee shall cause all the treasury notes which appear to have been received for taxes and impositions, appropriated for the redemption of treasury notes, to be burnt and destroyed in their presence, and shall give a certificate thereof to the said treasurer, who shall be allowed for the same in his account. And if the said committee shall discover that any sum or sums of money, paid into the treasury upon taxes and impositions aforesaid, hath or have been diverted to any use or uses contrary to the direction of the acts of assembly, or ordinances of convention, by virtue whereof the said taxes and impositions were raised, the said committee shall certify the same to the next session of assembly.||Accounts of, how to be examined.|
| CHAP. XV. |
An act for establishing a Court of Admiralty.
|FOR establishing a court of admiralty, Be it enacted, by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, That at some place, to be appointed by act of general assembly, there shall be held, as often as there may be occasion, a court of admiralty, to consist of three judges, to be chosen by joint ballot of both houses of assembly, and commissioned by the governour, any two of them to make a court, and to hold their office for so long time as they shall demean themselves well therein.|| Court of admiralty established. |
Number of judges; and how appointed and commissioned.
|Every person so commissioned, before he enters upon the duties of his office, shall in open court take and subscribe the oath of fidelity to the commonwealth, and take the following oath of office, to wit: "You shall swear, that well and truly you will serve this commonwealth in the office of a judge of the court of admiralty; that you will do equal right to all manner of people, great and small, high and low, rich and poor, of what country or nation soever they be, without respect of persons. You shall not take by yourself, or by any other, any gift, fee, or reward, of gold, silver, or any other thing, directly or indirectly, of any person or persons, great or small, for any matter done or to be done by virtue of your office, except such fees or salary as shall be by law appointed. You shall not maintain by yourself, or by any other, privily or openly, any plea or quarrel depending in the said court. You shall not delay any person of right for the letters or request of any one, nor for any other cause; and if any letter or request come to you contrary to the law, you shall nothing do for such letter or request, but you shall proceed to do the law, any such letter or request notwithstanding. And finally, in all things belonging to your said office, during your continuance therein, you shall faithfully justly, and truly, according to the best of your skill and judgment, do equal and impartial justice, without fraud, favour, affection, or partiality." And if any person shall presume to execute the said office without having taken the said oaths, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred pounds for his said offence,|| Their oath. |
Penalty for acting without oath.
|one moiety to the use of this commonwealth, and the other to the informer, to be recovered with costs, by action of debt, in any court of record.|
|The said court shall have cognizance of all causes heretofore of admiralty jurisdiction in this country, and shall be governed in their proceedings and decisions by the regulations of the continental congress, acts of general assembly, English statutes prior to the fourth year of the reign of king James the first, and the laws of Oleron, the Rhodian and Imperial laws, so far as the same have been heretofore observed in the English courts of admiralty, save only in the instances hereafter provided for.|| Jurisdiction. |
By what laws governed.
|If in any case the regulations of the American congress shall differ from those established by act of the general assembly of this commonwealth, if such case relates to a capture from any publick enemy with whom the United States of America are or may be at war, the said regulations of the congress shall be observed. In all other cases, the supremacy of the laws of this commonwealth within the same shall prevail.||Provision where regulations of congress conflict with laws of this state.|
|To prevent all doubts which may arise, it is declared that the said court shall have jurisdiction in no case whatever of any capital offence.||No jurisdiction of capital offence.|
|The said judges shall have power to appoint an advocate, a register, and marshal, each of whom, before he enters upon the execution of his office, shall take the oath of fidelity to the commonwealth; and the said register and marshal shall each give bond, with sufficient security, to be approved by the court, payable to the governour and his successours, the said register in the penalty of one thousand pounds, and the marshal in the penalty of ten thousand pounds, with condition for their true and faithful performance of the duty of their respective offices, and accounting for and paying all money which may come to their hands by virtue thereof; which bonds may severally be put in suit and prosecuted by and at the costs of any party grieved, and shall not become void on the first recovery, but may from time to time be again put in suit by parties injured, and at their costs, until the whole penalty shall be recovered thereupon.|| Advocate, register, marshal. |
How appointed and qualified.
|The said court shall administer the oath fidelity to the commonwealth to all proctors before they shall be allowed to practice in the said court. The said court shall have power to direct sale to be made at any time||Proctors, how qualified.|
|of perishable goods, taking sufficient caution that the proceeds of such sale be secured to the person to whom the same shall be decreed.||Sale of perishable goods.|
|Every person commencing a suit in the said court shall file his libel, setting forth the ground of his claim with the register, who shall thereupon issue a citation directed to the marshal, commanding him to serve the same on any ship or vessel, with their cargoes, rigging, apparel, and furniture, which may be claimed, or against which satisfaction for any demand may be required by the libel, as also to summon the master or owner of such ship or vessel, if to be found, to appear on a certain day, and at the place therein mentioned, to show cause, if any he or they can, why the claim of the libellant should not be allowed, and the marshal shall return the truth of the case upon every such citation; and if the same shall be returned served upon such master or owner, and no person shall appear on the court day to which the same is returnable to gainsay the proceeding, the libel shall be taken as confessed, and the court shall proceed to pronounce such sentence thereupon as shall be agreeable to law. But if the master or owner, or any other person in his or their behalf, shall appear and enter into a defence of the suit, in such case the court shall proceed to trial, sentence, and execution. And if the marshal shall return, on the citation, that the master or owner of any such ship or vessel is not to be found, then the court shall cause proclamation to be published in the Virginia Gazette, for three weeks successively, requiring any persons interested to appear and defend the claim of the libellant; and if no person shall appear to make a defence at or before the expiration of the third week of proclamation, the libel shall be taken as confessed, and the court shall proceed to judgment and execution thereupon, taking cautionary security of the libellant to have the effects forthcoming, subject to the future decree of the court. And the court shall direct a copy of the decree to be published for three weeks in the Virginia gazette; and if within one year after pronouncing such decree the master or owner, or others in their behalf, shall apply to the court, desire to be admitted to a defence of the suit, and give sufficient security for payment of such costs as shall be awarded against him or them, if cast therein, in that case such defence shall be admitted, and the court shall|| Rules of practice. |
Proclamation, in what cases.
Judgment by default.
When judgment opened.
|proceed to trial, in like manner as if such appearance had been made at the return of the citation.|
|In all cases of claim to any ship or vessel, their cargoes or appurtenances, after a final or conditional judgment, the court shall have power, if they see cause, to require security fo rcosts.||Security for costs, when.|
|The court shall and may award costs in all such cases as appear reasonable, and executions for such costs may be issued by the register against the body or estate of the person adjudged to pay the same, directed to any sheriff of the commonwealth, who shall execute the same in like manner, and for the same fees, and be subject to the like penalties and forfeitures for the non-execution or undue execution thereof, and tot he same remedy for not paying the money levied thereupon, or which ought to have been levied, as is directed by law in the case of such executions sued out of the courts of common law.|| Costs discretionary. |
|Provided always, That in all cases of condemnation of vessels, their cargoes and appurtenances, the costs shall be paid out of the sales of the said vessels, cargoes, and appurtenances, and not be levied on the master or owner defending the same.||In case of condemation costs to be paid out of the sales.|
|All matters of fact put in issue shall be tried by jury, unless in cases of captures from an enemy, which shall be tried by the court; but if such capture be from an enemy with whom the United States of America are or may be at war, then such trial shall be by court or jury, as the American congress shall direct.||When facts tried by jury, when by the court.|
|Where any person or persons, bodies politick or corporate, shall think himself or themselves aggrieved by the final sentence of the said court, in any case of capture from an enemy with whom the United States of America are at war, such appeal shall be allowed as directed by the American congress; and in all other cases he or they may be allowed an appeal from such sentence to the court of appeals, or may sue out a writ of errour to such sentence, returnable to the court of appeals, the party appealing or suing out such writ entering into bond, with sufficient security, payable to the other party, with condition for prosecuting the appeal of writ of errour, and paying all such costs and damages as shall be awarded in case the sentence be affirmed, and thereupon the register of the admiralty shall transmit a copy of the record and proceedings, and the appeal or writ of errour shall be heard thereupon in||Appeal, right of, and what tribunal.|
|like manner, and the damages, on affirmance, shall be the same as is directed by law in the case of appeals from the high court of chancery.|
|The fees of the register shall be such as shall be settled by the general assembly, and until such regulation shall be made the said fees shall be settled and adjusted by the said court, and those of the marshal for any services shall be such as are allowed by law to sheriffs for the like services; save only where the amount of the sales upon any execution shall be so great as that the marshal's fees would exceed the sum of one hundred pounds, in which case the marshal shall be entitled to the said sum of one hundred pounds only, as a full fee for his services in levying the said execution.||Fees of register and marshal.|
|Provided always, and be it enacted, That in all cases of condemnation of vessels within their cargoes and appurtenances, as lawful prize taken from the enemy, by a private ship or vessel of war, wherein neither the continent in general, or this commonwealth in particular, are interested, if the libellant or his agent shall desire it, the court shall have power to order the sale of the vessel, cargo, and appurtenances, to be made by such libellant or his agent, and an account of sales to be returned to the court by him or them, without any fee or reward to be given or paid to the marshal for such sale.||In what cases sales of condemned vessels may be ordered.|
|And whereas, by the expiration of the ordinance constituting judges to hear and determine causes maritime, the several suits depending before the said judges are discontinued: Be it therefore enacted, That the said suits shall be again reinstated in the condition in which they stood at the time of discontinuance, and transferred, together with all the records of the said judges, into the court of admiralty established by this act, by which such sentence, and other proceedings, shall be had in the said suits, as if the same had been originally commenced in the said court of admiralty.||Suits depending before admiralty commissioners transferred to court of admiralty.|
[Chan. Rev. p. 42.]
|I. WHEREAS the several acts of assembly which require the recording of deeds, and other conveyances of lands and tenements within this commonwealth, have been found beneficial, and a very great security to creditors and purchasers, but the necessity of an acknowledgment, or proof by witnesses, of the execution of such deeds, being made in open court previous to their admission to record, hath made it very difficult and troublesome for the proprietors of lands who reside in other countries to convey or settle their said lands, and it hath been doubted whether any feme covert, being out of the commonwealth can legally pass her estate in lands hereby conveyance, in which she may be willing to join with her husband, no certain and determinate method having been provided for the privy examination of such feme covert, essentially necessary to give validity to her conveyance:||Preamble.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of this commonwealth, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this act all deeds and conveyances whatsoever made in writing, indented and sealed by any person or persons whatsoever residing in any other country, for passing any lands and tenements, or other estate situate in this commonwealth, which shall be acknowledged by the party or parties making the same, or proved by three or more witnesses to be his her or their act and deed, before the mayor or other chief magistrate, of the city, town, or corporation, wherein, or near to which, he she or they shall reside, and such acknowledgment or proof, certified by the mayor or other chief magistrate, of the city, town, or corporation, wherein, or near to which, he she or they shall reside, and such acknowledgment or proof, certified by the mayor or other chief magistrate, under the common seal of the said city, town, or corporation, annexed to the deed, shall be admitted to record in the general court, or court of the county where the lands or other estate lie, and shall be as effectual for passing the estate therein mentioned as if the conveyance had been acknowledged or proved in such court; or where||Conveyances by nonresidents, how authenticated.|
|the parties making such deeds shall reside in any of the states of America, and there shall happen to be no city or town corporate within the county wherein they shall dwell, a certificate under the hands and seals of two justices or magistrates of the county, that such proof or acknowledgment hath been made before them, together with a certificate from the governour, under the seal of such state, or from the clerk of the county court, under the common seal of the county, that the persons certifying such proof or acknowledgment are justice or magistrates within the same, shall authorise the recording of such deeds, and make them effectual as aforesaid.|
|III. Provided always, and be it farther enacted, That where any person, making such conveyance, shall be a feme covert, her interest in any lands or tenements shall not pass thereby unless she shall personally acknowledge the same before such mayor or other chief magistrate, or before two justices or magistrates as aforesaid, according to her place of residence, and be by him or them previously examined, privily and apart from her husband, whether she doth the same freely and voluntarily, and without his persuasions or threats, and a certificate made as before directed of such privy examination, and her free acknowledgement of the deed or conveyance; but upon such certificate annexed to the deed or conveyance being produced to the general court, or court of the county wherein the lands lie, the same shall be admitted to record, and be as effectual for passing the estate of such feme covert, in the lands mentioned in the conveyance, as if such feme had acknowledged the same in open court, and been there privily examined.||Privy examinations of non-resident femes covert, how made.|
|IV. And whereas many femes covert, residing out of this commonwealth, have heretofore joined with their husbands in making deeds or settlements of their estates here, and have acknowledged the conveyances, after a privy examination, before such mayor or other chief magistrate, without any commission, or before two justices or magistrates of the county where she resided, by virtue of commissions issued from the courts here, and others have acknowledged deeds without any certificate of their privy examination, and doubts may arise about the validity of such deeds or settlements, whereby bona fide purchasers, or persons claiming under family settlements,|
|made upon good and legal considerations, may be involved in great expense and difficulties:|
|V. For prevention whereof, Be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all deeds and settlements heretofore bona fide made by any husband and wife residing out of this commonwealth, for conveying or settling the lands of the wife, which have been personally acknowledged by her, and a certificate made thereof, and of her privy examination before the mayor or other chief magistrate of a city, town, or corporation, under the common seal, though no commission hath issued for taking the same, or where a certificate hath been made of such privy examination and acknowledgment before two justice or magistrates, by virtue of a commission issued for that purpose from the general court, or court of the county where the lands lie, and the deeds and certificates have been recorded, in either case such conveyance shall be as effectual for passing the estate of the feme covert thereby conveyed as if she had been privily examined, and made the acknowledgment in open court.||Former acknowledgments confirmed.|
|VI. And be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That where any deed hath heretofore been made by any husband and wife residing out of this commonwealth, of her lands, and the same hath been admitted to record, upon proof or certificate of her privy examination, in one of the ways before mentioned, it shall and may be lawful for the clerk of the court where the deed is recorded, at the request of the person or persons claiming under the same, to issue a commission for taking the privy examination and acknowledgment of the feme, to be directed to the mayor or other chief magistrate of a city, town, or corporation; or if she resides in America, to two justices or magistrates, as before directed, whose certificates, under seal as aforesaid, of the privy examination and free acknowledgment of such deed by the feme, being returned with the commission and deed annexed, shall be recorded, and be as effectual as if the feme had been privily examined, and acknowledged the deed in court.||How defective privy examinations may be perfected.|
|VII. And whereas several persons have purchased lands in this commonwealth, from commissioners and sheriffs who sold the same under decrees and judgments of the courts of this commonwealth whilst it was the|
|colony of Virginia, which purchasers, notwithstanding they have conveyances from such commissioners and sheriffs, have only an equitable title to such lands, which in many instances may prejudice the interest of such purchasers, and those claiming under them:|
|VIII. Be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that all conveyances of commissioners and sheriffs heretofore made for lands sold in virtue of any decree or judgment of any court within this commonwealth, as aforesaid, and all such conveyances which shall hereafter be made, shall be, and they are hereby declared to be good and effectual for passing the absolute title of such lands to the purchasers thereof, and all persons claiming under them, any law to the contrary, notwithstanding; saving to the commonwealth, and to all and every other person and persons, bodies politic and corporate, their respective heirs and successours, other than the parties to such conveyances, decrees, or judgments, and those claiming under them, would have had in case this act had not been made.||Conveyances by commissioners and sheriffs, under judgments and decrees, confirmed.|
|IX. Provided always, That nothing in this act contained shall extend to any conveyance now in controversy in any suit commenced, and actually depending, in any court within this commonwealth.||Not to affect causes now depending in court.|
|WHEREAS so much of the ordinance intituled 'An ordinance for augmenting the ninth regiment of regular forces. providing for the better defence of the frontiers of this colony, and for raising six troops of horse,'||So much of ordinance as fixes stations of troops repealed.|
|which was made at the last convention of delegates for this colony, as relates to fixing the stations of the troops raised for the protection of the frontiers, is found inconvenient:|
|Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That so much of the said recited ordinance, as fixes the stations of the said troops, be, and the same is hereby repealed.|
[Chan. Rev. p. 43.]
|I. WHEREAS, by an ordinance of contention, it is declared that all commissions shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear teste by the governour with the seal of the commonwealth annexed, and certain persons were directed to provide the said seal, but, from unavoidable delays, they have not been able to execute the same; and whereas, in some instances, of great and pressing necessity, the governour, with advice of council, hath already granted commissions, the validity of which may be drawn into question, to remedy which inconveniencies, it is necessary that some provision should now be made:||Governor, &c. may issue commissions without a seal, until one is provided.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the governour, with the advice of council, shall have full power and authority henceforth to issue commissions under his signature, without any seal, until the seal of this commonwealth shall be provided, as by the said ordinance is directed; and that all commissions heretofore granted, or which may be hereafter so granted, shall be as efficacious and valid, to all intents and purposes, as if the same had issued according to the above recited ordinance.|
|[Chan. Rev. p. 43.]|
|I. WHEREAS by the constitution, or form of government, it is directed that a privy council, or council of state, consisting of eight members, should be chosen by joint ballot of both houses of assembly, to assist in the administration of government, which said council was also directed annually to choose out of their own members a president, who, in case of the death, inability, or necessary absence of the governour and president of the privy council at the same time, no provision is made for the exercise of the executive powers of government.||Preamble.|
|II. For remedy whereof, Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That in case of the death, inability, or necessary absence of the governour and president of the privy council, as aforesaid, the first privy counsellor, according to the order of priority in election and nomination, who shall be present and able, is hereby empowered to act as lieutenant-governour, and be vested with all the powers and authority aforesaid.||First privy councillor, when to act as lieutenant governour.|
|[Chan. Rev. pa. 44.]|
|I. WHEREAS it is necessary in order to enable the speakers of the two houses of the general assembly to support their dignity, and employ their time in the service of the country, that a proper allowance should be made each of them:|
|II. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, That the treasurer, out of the publick money in his hands, shall, and he is hereby required to pay to Archibald Cary, esq. speaker of the senate, and Edmund Pendleton, esq. speaker of the house of delegates, or to the speakers thereof respectively for the time being, the following sums of money, that is to say: To the speaker of the senate, the sum of two hundred pounds annually, and to the speaker of the house of delegates, in consideration of the great trouble and constant attendance so necessary for discharging the duties of that office, the sum of four hundred pounds annually, exclusive of their daily allowance as members of the respective houses of assembly, to be paid to each of them in four equal payments, to commence from the seventh day of October last past.||Salaries to the speakers of the senate and house of delegates.|
|[See ante cbap XI.]|
|WHEREAS by an act passed this present session of assembly, intituled 'An act for raising six additional battalions of infantry on the continental establishment,'||Term of enlistment of troops altered, from the war, to three years.|
|the said battalions, together with nine others formerly raised by this commonwealth, were directed to be enlisted to serve during the continuance of the present war, unless sooner discharged, and whereas the congress, since the passing of the said act, hath come to a resolution that all non-commissioned officers and soldiers, who do not incline to engage their service during the continuance of the present war, and shall enlist to serve three years, unless sooner discharged by congress, shall be entitled to and receive all such bounty and pay as are allowed to those who enlist during the continuance of the present war, except the one hundred acres of land, which land is to be granted to those only who enlist without limitation of time, and each recruiting officer is required to provide two distinct enlisting rolls, one for such to sign who enlist during the continuance of the war, and the other for such as enlist for three years, if their service shall be so long required.|| The same pay & bounty, except in land. |
|Be it therefore enacted, by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, That the officers belonging to the fifteen battalions raised and to be raised within this commonwealth, pursuant to the said act of assembly, shall, and they are hereby directed to pursue in their enlistments the directions of the said recited resolution of congress, any thing in the said act to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.|
|[Chan. Rev. p. 44.]|
|I. WHEREAS during the confusions in this commonwealth, occasioned first by the expiration of the fee bill on the twelfth day of April one thousand seven hundred and seventy four, and the suspension of government subsequent thereto, the justices in many places, omitted to hold their courts, whereby deeds for conveying lands, slaves, or other estate, which by law||Preamble.|
|are required to be recorded within a limited time from the date thereof, could not be proved and recorded, and the titles claimed under such deeds may be drawn into dispute, and although such purchasers in many cases, might have relieved themselves by taking new deeds, yet such persons, through ignorance or mistake, have omitted to use such precaution, and others have been deprived of an opportunity of such renewal, by the removal, death, or refusal of the venders.|
|II. For remedy herein, Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, That all deeds, and other conveyances, of lands, slaves, or other estate, made according to the directions of the several acts of assembly relating thereto, which bear date at any time within the times respectively prescribed by law, next before the said twelfth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy four, and also all other such deeds and conveyances bearing date between the said twelfth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy four, and the end of this present session of assembly, which have been acknowledged by the parties, or proved by three witnesses, or shall be so acknowledged or proved within eight months from the passing of this act, shall be recorded, and be as effectual for passing the estate thereby conveyed as if such deeds had been recorded within the times respectively prescribed by law from the date thereof, any thing in the said laws to the contrary notwithstanding.||Certain deeds, not recorded within the prescribed term, may yet be recorded.|
|III. And whereas it would be unreasonable that persons should be barred of their just rights by acts of limitation in respect to the time which hath occurred during the said confusions, and omissions to hold courts: Be it therefore enacted, That in all questions which may arise in any court of record, upon any act for limitation of actions, making entrees into lands, or limitation of evidence in the computation of time, the period between the said twelfth day of April one thousand seven hundred and seventy four, and the end of this session of assembly, shall not be accounted any part thereof, so as to bar such action, entry, or evidence, but in all such computations the progression shall be from the said twelfth day of April to the day after the end of this session, as one day.||Period excepted out of the act of limitations.|
|[Chan. Rev. p. 44.]|
|I. WHEREAS it is represented to this present general assembly that there hath of late been a great increase of idle and disorderly persons in some parts of this commonwealth, who are deemed rogues and vagabonds, as described by an act intituled 'An act for the better securing the payment of levies and restraint of vagrants, and for making provision for the poor', and that upon such persons being committed to the county jail, by a warrant from a justice of peace, according to the direction of the said act, they have been immediately rescued and set at liberty by their associates, whereby the good purposes of the said act are not only defeated, but continual expenses are incurred in repairing the jails:||Preamble.|
|II. For remedy whereof, Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That when any person or persons shall, upon examination before a justice of peace, appear to be under the description of vagabonds within the said act, it shall and may be lawful for the justice to require every such vagabond to give sufficient security for his good behaviour, and for betaking himself to some lawful calling or honest labour; and if he shall fail so to do, either to commit him to the common jail of the county, there to remain until such security be given, or until the next court, whereupon such proceedings shall be had as in the said recited act is directed. Or if the justice shall apprehend there is danger of such person's being rescued, he shall call to his assistance another justice of peace in the same county, being of the quorum; and if both shall concur in the apprehension of danger, they may, by warrant under their hands and seals, order and direct him or them to be conveyed by the sheriff of his county to the publick jail, which warrant the sheriff is hereby required||Vagabonds how dealt with.|
|to obey, and to convey and deliver the person or persons therein named to the said publick jail in the city of Williamsburg. And the keeper of the said publick jail is hereby required to receive such person or persons into his custody, and him or them safely keep until security be given, or until they be discharged in the manner herein after mentioned; and for such removal the sheriff shall be entitled to the like allowance as is by law allowed for removing criminals from the county jail, which allowance, together with the charge of maintaining the vagabonds in the publick jail, shall be levied and paid by the justices of the county from whence he is removed, in their county levy, to be repaid them by the publick.|
|III. And be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any vagabond, so committed to the publick jail, shall not within three months after his commitment give security as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for the governour, with the advice of his privy council, to cause all such vagabonds as shall be able to undergo the fatigues of the same to be put on board any of the row gallies, or other armed vessels that may be engaged in the service of this commonwealth, for and during the term of one year, upon the like wages as landmen receive who voluntarily enlist into the said service; and for the keeper of the publick jail, with the consent of the nearest county court to the said jail, to put all such vagabonds committed to his custody, who shall not be able bodied enough to do duty on board the said row gallies, or other armed vessels, to service upon wages, for the term of one year, to any person or persons approved to by the said court, which wages, in both cases, shall be applied in the first place towards reimbursing the expenses of removal and maintenance of such vagabonds, and the surplus, if any, in the former case, paid to such vagabonds, as it grows due, and in the latter, upon the expiration of his or her service.|| When they may be put on board the armed vessels. |
Or, other labor.
Wages of, how applied.
|IV. And be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all able bodied men who shall neglect or refuse to pay their publick county and parish levies, and who shall have no visible estate whereon sufficient distress may be made for the same, shall be held, deemed, and taken to be vagabonds within this and the said recited act, and may be proceeded against accordingly.|| |
Who accounted vagabonds.
|[See ante chap. VI.]|
|WHEREAS by act of this present session of assembly, intituled, 'An act for appointing commissioners of Oyer and Terminer for the trial of the criminals now in the publick jail,' a method has been adopted for trying all the criminals now in that jail, and it is judged expedient that the powers of the said commissioners should be extended to try all other criminals which may be committed to the said jail, until a general court can be established, Be it therefore enacted, by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the commissioners who may be appointed by virtue of that act, or any three of them, may, and they are hereby required and empowered to hold another court of Oyer and Terminer, at the capitol in Williamsburg, on the second Tuesday in April next, for the trial of all such criminals, as may then be in the publick jail, and to proceed as that act directs respecting such criminals, who shall be entitled to the same advantages and mode of trial, and be subject to the same judgment and execution, as the law in such cases direct.|| Preamble. |
Powers of commissioners of oyer & terminer, extended.
|And whereas, by the laws now in force, every person accepting of a sheriff's commission is required, before his being sworn into or executing his office, to give bond, with two sufficient securities at the least, for the true and faithful performance of his office before the mentioned act, the sheriff of York county is directed to summon a grand jury and attend the said court of oyer and terminer appointed to be held on the third Thursday in January next, and it may happen that a court will not be held for the said county of York before that time, so that the sheriff lately recommended and commissioned cannot be qualified: Be it farther enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for any two justices of the peace of the said county of York to administer the oath of office to the said sheriff, and also to such person or persons as he shall appoint to be his under sheriffs,||Sheriff of York may qualify before two justices.|
|and at the same time to cause the said sheriff to enter into bonds, with two sufficient securities, according to law; which bonds shall be returned to the next succeeding court held for the said county of York, there to be recorded, and thereupon the said sheriff shall be deemed duly qualified to enter upon and execute his said office.|
|Provided always, That in case the said court shall adjudge the said sureties to be insufficient, the said sheriff shall give such farther security as the said court shall require.||Proviso.|
|And whereas, by an act passed this present session of assembly, intituled 'An act for establishing a court of admiralty,' some place is to be appointed by the general assembly for the purpose of holding the said court, and determining all matters relative thereto, Be it therefore farther enacted, That the said court shall be held in the city of Williamsburg, or in such other place as the judges may appoint, each of whom shall receive forty shillings for each day's attendance, and travelling to and from the said court, to be paid out of the money arising from the sales in all cases of condemnation; and where there shall be an acquittal, by the treasurer, out of the publick money in his hands.|| Court of admiralty where to be held. |
Salary of judges.
|WHEREAS it is necessary, for defraying the expenses of erecting fortifications, raising and supporting a proper number of forces for the particular and immediate defence of this commonwealth, building, equipping, and manning vessels to war and other armed vessels, and establishing manufactories for discharging the publick debts incurred the last year, and for defraying the expenses of the civil establishment for the year to come, that some certain adequate provision should be made:||Preamble.|
|Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That an annual tax or duty of forty shillings upon every coach, chariot, or four wheeled carriage, and twenty shillings for every chair or two wheeled carriage, except common waggons and carts, also a tax or duty of five shillings for every tithable person, also a tax or duty of five shillings for every hundred acres of land, and after that rate for a greater or less quantity, shall be paid yearly, on the tenth day of June, the first payment to commence in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four, and the several other payments to continue to and be paid on the same day in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety, the tax on carriages to be paid by their several proprietors, that on tithables by the tithable himself, if a freeman, or by his parent or guardian, if an infant, or by the masters or owners of all servants or slaves, and the tax on lands by the proprietor, or the parents or guardians of infants, if resident in the county where the lands lie, or by their respective tenants, stewards, or overseers, in case such proprietor, parent, or guardian, shall live in another county, to be repaid by such proprietor, parent, or guardian.||New taxes, on carriages, tithables, & lands.|
|Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to alter any contract heretofore made, or which shall hereafter be made, between landlords and their tenants, whereby the payment of taxes shall have been or may be stipulated to be made by either of them.||Not to affect contracts between landlords and tenants.|
|And be it farther enacted, That every person chargeable with the said duties or taxes shall, at the time of delivering in his or her list of tithables, also give in a list of his or her wheel carriages subject to the tax hereby imposed; and the proprietor, parent, guardians, steward, or overseer, chargeable as aforesaid, shall at the same time give in the quantity of land by him or her held, or on which they shall live, to the several justices, or other persons appointed to take such lists of tithables, under the like penalty for each failure, to be recovered in the same manner as is directed by the acts of assembly made to punish the concealment of tithables.||Lists of taxable property when & how given in.|
|Provided always, That if the collector of all or any of the taxes or duties hereby imposed shall discover any person or persons chargeable therewith who hath||Effect of failing to give in.|
|failed to give in his or her list as aforesaid, such collector shall proceed to collect or levy the same to the treasurer of this commonwealth for the time being appointed by or pursuant to act of assembly; and the landholders in the counties of Montgomery,* Washington,* Kentucky,* Ohio, Yohogania, and Monongalia, whose rights of voting at elections of delegates are allowed and fixed, shall also, in manner aforesaid, give in a list of their lands within the said counties, and the land tax aforesaid shall be collected and paid for the same notwithstanding no patents may have been obtained for such lands. And in case of failure in payment of the said duties and taxes at the times herein before limited for payment thereof respectively, it shall be lawful for the sheriff or collector of each county to levy the same by distress and sale of the slaves, goods, or chattles, of the person so failing, in like manner as is directed in cases of other distresses; and where there are no effects to be found on the lands hereby made chargeable with the said tax, it shall be lawful for the sheriff or collector of the county where such lands lie, or the sheriff or collector where the proprietor lives, to levy the said tax upon the estate of such proprietor, wheresoever the estate can be found. And every sheriff or collector of the duties or taxes aforesaid shall account for and pay the said taxes due from the several persons residing in his county, after being allowed for insolvents, and a commission of five per centum for his expense and trouble in collecting the same, to the treasurer for the time being appointed as aforesaid, on or before the twentieth day of November in every year.|| |
Landholders of certain counties, entitled to vote at elections for delegates to pay a land tax, for lands unpatented.
Remedy by distress.
|And be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That for the purposes before recited there shall also commence on the same day, and continue for the same time, a farther tax or duty of forty shillings for every ordinary license, and twenty shillings for every marriage license, to be paid by the person desiring the same to the clerk of the county court, before such license shall be granted, also a tax of two shillings and sixpence for every original writ in any action or suit at common law, and subpœna or subpœnas in chancery,|| Taxes on ordinary and marriage licenses. |
|* The counties of Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky, were formed during the present session out of Fincastle. See post, Chap. 44.|
|in the general court, or high court of chancery, and for every summons on any petition for lapsed land, and for every caveat entered in the secretary's office, and one shilling and threepence for every wt or subpœna is issued from any county or other inferiour court, to be paid by the plaintiff in any such suit to the clerk of the court before such process shall be issued, or caveat entered and taxed in the bill of costs. And such clerk shall respectively account for and pay all such taxes and duties to the treasurer for the time being appointed as aforesaid, in the months of April and October annually, deducting a commission of five per centum for his trouble; provided, that no plaintiff shall pay for more than one process in any one suit.|
|And be it farther enacted, That the sheriffs or collectors in their several county courts, before they enter on their office, shall give bonds with sufficient securities, in reasonable penalties, payable to the treasurer for the time being, with condition for the collection and payment of all taxes and duties imposed by this act.||Sheriffs to give bonds.|
|And be it farther enacted, That if any sheriff, collector, or clerk, shall refuse or neglect to collect, account for, and pay the several taxes and duties imposed by this act, it shall and may be lawful for the general court, or the court of the county where such sheriff, collector, or clerk resides, upon a motion of the treasurer, to give judgment against them respectively, and the securities of such sheriffs or collectors, for all such taxes and duties by them received, or which they might have received; provided, that ten days previous notice be given, in writing, of such motion. And if any sheriff or collector shall fail to attend and settle his accounts, such court shall give judgment for the penalty of his bond.||Remedy by motion against sheriffs, &c.|
|And whereas the payment of the said taxes and duties being unavoidably postponed to such distant days, to suit the distressed circumstances of the inhabitants of this commonwealth, will not enable the treasurer to pay the money required by this act so soon as the exigencies of the state may require, so that it becomes necessary to circulate treasury notes in the meantime on the credit of the said taxes and duties, this being the only expedient that can be adopted, Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That Robert Carter Nicholas, esq. or the treasurer for the time being appointed by or pursuant to act of assembly, shall be, and he is hereby empowered to borrow, at an interest of four per||Treasurer authorised to borrow money.|
|centum per annum, from any person or persons willing to lend the same, upon the credit of the taxes hereby imposed, so much money as he can procure, in sums not less than three hundred dollars of any one person, and give bond for such money lent on account of the publick, and to issue treasury notes in dollars, and parts of a dollar, for any sum or sums which may be requisite for the purposes of this act, and which he may not be able to borrow as aforesaid, so that the money to be borrowed or issued do not exceed in the whole the sum of five hundred thousand pounds, including the one hundred thousand pounds directed to be emitted by resolution of the present general assembly, each dollar to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar, and the parts of a dollar of the same proportionate value; and the said Robert Carter Nicholas, or the treasurer for the time being appointed as aforesaid, may, and he is hereby authorised to appoint proper persons to overlook the press, to number and sign the said notes, and shall cause the said notes to be printed and engraved in such manner as he shall judge most likely to secure the same against counterfeits and forgeries.|| |
Loans, how secured.
Treasurer may issue treasury notes, or paper money.
|And be it farther enacted, That all such notes to be issued shall be received and passed as a lawful tender in payment of any debt, tax, or duty whatever, so long as the same shall continue in circulation.||Notes a lawful tender.|
|And if any person or persons within this commonwealth, during the time the said treasury notes are to continue current, shall offer to sell, or expose to sale, any lands or tenements, goods or chattles whatsoever, and shall deny or refuse to sell the same, or demand a greater price unless he be paid for the same in gold or silver coin, and not in the said notes, or if any person or persons shall exchange gold or silver coin for the said bills, and take or demand any allowance for the difference of the value thereof, or shall offer to buy or sell bills of exchange at a greater or higher difference of exchange for the said treasury bills than for gold or silver coin, or shall use any other device, means, or method whatsoever, whereby the credit of the said notes may be impaired, every person so offending shall pay after the rate of twenty five per centum on the value of the said lands or tenements, goods, or chattles, so offered or exposed to sale, or of the money so exchanged, or of the bills so bought or sold, to be recovered by the informer to his own use before a justice of the peace, where the penalty does not||Penalty for refusing notes, or depreciating their value.|
|amount to more than twenty five shillings, and where it shall exceed that sum the said penalty shall be one half to the chief magistrate, for the use of the commonwealth, to be paid to the treasurer for the time being, and the other half to the informer, to be recovered by action of debt in any court of record.|
|And be it farther enacted, That all the notes to be issued by virtue of this act shall be redeemable on the first day of January in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and shall then be taken in and discharged by the treasurer for the time being appointed as aforesaid, and shall be burnt and destroyed by a committee to be appointed by the general assembly for that purpose. And the person or persons who may be appointed to overlook the press shall receive for his trouble fifteen pounds for every one hundred thousand pounds printed, the numberers each for his trouble seen shillings and six pence for every thousand notes by him numbered, and the signers each for his trouble ten shillings for every thousand notes by him signed.||Notes, when redeemable.|
|And be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons shall forge or counterfeit, alter or erase, any such treasury note, or tender in payment any such, or demand a redemption thereof knowing the same to be forged or counterfeited, altered or erased, every person so offending, and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall suffer death without benefit of clergy.||Forging and counterfeiting, death.|
|And be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all the monies to be raised by the taxes imposed by this act shall stand, be, and remain as a security for the re-payment of the money to be borrowed, and for the redemption of the said treasury notes so to be issued; and the treasurer for the time being, appointed as aforesaid, is hereby required to apply all such money as shall come to his hands for the said taxes for and towards the re-payment of the money to be borrowed, and the redemption of such treasury notes, and to no other use or purpose whatever. And the said treasurer shall account with the general assembly for the same, after deducting the allowance for his salary. And if the said taxes shall prove deficient, the whole estates, real and personal, of the inhabitants of this colony, shall be, and they are hereby pledged as a security for making good such deficiency by some future||Taxes pledged for redemption of notes.|
|act of the general assembly, who shall also provide for the payment of the annual interest of the money to be borrowed.|
|And be it farther enacted, That in case of the death, resignation, or inability of the treasurer now to be appointed, it shall be lawful for the governour, with the advice of the council, if the assembly is not sitting, to appoint another fit and able person to be treasurer in his room, who having taken the oath directed by law to be taken by the treasurer, and entered into bond with sufficient security, to be approved of by the governour and council, in the penalty of three hundred thousand pounds, payable to the governour and his successours for the use of the commonwealth, shall have power to act in all things pertaining to his said office until the meeting of the next general assembly.||Vacancy in office of treasurer, how supplied.|
|And be it farther enacted, That from henceforth no fee shall be paid or payable to the governour of this commonwealth for any marriage or ordinary license to be issued pursuant to any former act of assembly, any thing in the said acts to the contrary notwithstanding.||Fees of governor, for ordinary, & marriage licenses, abolished.|
|And whereas, from the want of trade, the people in many parts of this commonwealth will be unable to pay their taxes in the ensuing year, Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the collection of the same upon land and tithables shall be postponed, and paid in the following manner, viz. Tenpence for every hundred acres of land, and the like sum for each tithable person, in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight, and the next five following years, so that the entire tax for the said year one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven shall be collected and paid before the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four.||Taxes reduced and postponed.|
|Pages 174-198||Pages 226-249|