|Pages 250-266||Pages 291-312|
| AT A |
BEGUN AND HELD
|Patrick Henry, esq. governor.|
An act for regulating and disciplining the Militia.
|FOR forming the citizens of this commonwealth into a militia, and disciplining the same for defence thereof, Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That all free male persons, hired servants, and apprentices, between the ages of sixteen and fifty years (except the governour and members of the council of state, members of the American congress, judges of the superiour courts, speakers of the two houses, treasurer, attorney general, commissioners of the navy, auditors, clerks of the council of state, of the treasury, and of the navy board, all ministers of the gospel licensed to preach according to the rules of their sect, who shall have previously taken before the court of their county an oath of fidelity to the commonwealth, postmasters, keepers of the publick jail and publick hospital, millers, except in the counties of Accomack and Northampton, persons concerned in iron or lead works, or persons solely employed in manufacturing fire arms, and military officers or soldiers, whether of the continent or this commonwealth, all of whom are exempted from the obligations of this act) shall, by the commanding officer of the county in|| All free male persons, between 16 & 50 years to be enrolled in
the militia. |
Except certain exempts.
|* In the original, all the chapters of the acts of his session are numbered, except the first; but none of them are distinguished by sections.|
| which they reside, be enrolled or formed into companies of not less than thirty two, nor
more than sixty eight, rand and file, and these companies shall again be formed into battalions
of not more than one thousand, nor less than five hundred men, if there be so many in the county.
The free mulattoes in the said companies or battalions shall be employed as drummers, fifers, or
pioneers. Each company shall be commanded by a captain, two lieutenants, and an ensign; each
battalion by a colonel, lieutenant colonel, and major, who shall take precedence and command of
each other according to rank and seniority, and the whole by a county lieutenant. These officers
shall be resident within their county, and before they enter on the execution of their office
shall, in presence of the court of the same county, take the following oath:
I do swear, that I will be faithful and true to the commonwealth of Virginia, of which I profess myself to be a citizen, and that I will faithfully and justly execute the office of a in the militia of the county of according to the best of my skill and judgment. So help me God.
| Organized into companies and battalions. |
Free mulattoes how employed.
Officers to companies and battalions.
County lieutenant to command the whole.
Oath of officers.
|There shall be a private muster of every company once in every month, except the months of January and February, at such convenient time and place as the captain, or next commanding officer, shall appoint, and a general muster in each county, on some day in the months of April and October, in every year, to be appointed by the county lieutenant, or other commanding officer: For notifying the time and place whereof, the captains, or next commanding officers, shall have power to order so many of their serjeants as they shall think fit to give notice to every person belonging to the company of the time and place of such general or private muster, as the case may be; and if any serjeant, so appointed, shall fail in his duty, he shall forfeit and pay forty shillings for every such failure. Every officer and soldier shall appear at his respective muster-field by eleven o'clock in the forenoon, armed or accoutred as follows: The county lieutenant, colonels, lieutenant colonels, and major, with a sword; every captain and lieutenant with a firelock and bayonet, a cartouch box, a sword, and three charges of powder and ball; every ensign with a sword; every non-commissioned officer and private with a rifle and tomahawk, or good firelock|| Company musters. |
Officers and privates how armed and accoutred.
|and bayonet, with a pouch and horn, or a cartouch or cartridge box, and with three charges of powder and ball; and, moreover, each of the said officers and soldiers shall constantly keep one pound of powder and four pounds of ball, to be produced whenever called for by his commanding officer. If any soldier be certified to the court martial to be so poor that he cannot purche such arms, the said court shall cause them to be procured at the expense of the publick, to be reimbursed out of the fines on the delinquents of the county, which arms shall be delivered to such poor person to be used at musters, but shall continue the property of the county; and if any soldier shall sell or conceal such arms, the seller or concealer, and purchaser, shall each of them forfeit the sum of six pounds. And on the death of such poor soldier, or his removal out of the county, such arms shall be delivered to his captain, who shall make report thereof to the next court martial, and deliver the same to such other poor soldier as they shall order.|| Arms, for the poor, how provided.|
Penalty for selling or concealing arms.
|And if any poor soldier shall remove out of the county, and carry his arms with him, he shall incur the same penalty as if he had sold such arms; and if any persons concerned in selling or concealing such arms shall be sued for the said penalty, and upon conviction and recovery shall fail to make payment, he shall suffer such corporal punishment as the court before whom the recovery shall be shall think fit, not exceeding thirty nine lashes. And the lieutenant of any county may recover any arms, so sold, concealed, or bought, contrary to this act, by action or petition in detinue or trover, with costs. Each captain shall, at every muster, either by himself or some sworn officer, note down the delinquencies occurring in his company, and make return thereof to the next court martial; but where any person is disabled by sickness from attending, the captain, or commanding officer, being satisfied thereof by testimony on oath, which he is hereby enabled to administer on the spot, shall not note down such non-attendance. Every officer and soldier shall be allowed six months after his appointment or enrollment to provide such arms or accoutrements as he had not at the time. All arms and ammunition of the militia shall be exempted from executions and distresses at all times, and their persons from arrests in civil cases, while going to, continuing at, or returning from, any muster or court martial.|| Removing arms out of the county. |
Delinquents, how noted.
Time allowed to provide arms.
Arms exempted from executions and distresses, and persons from arrests.
|Each captain shall appoint a drummer and fifer to his company, and also shall provide a drum, fife, and colours for the same, at the publick expense, to be reimbursed out of the fines on the delinquents of his county. One or more adjutants shall be appointed by the court martial, and have an allowance by the said court not exceeding the rate of fifty pounds a year each, to be paid out of the fines; or if they be not sufficient, the deficiency to be supplied by the justices of the same county in their next county levy, on certificate from the court martial of such deficiency. Every captain, or next commanding officer, shall, at every general muster, make up and report to his county lieutenant a state of the company last assigned to him, noting therein such as are dead, removed, or exempted, and adding the names of such persons, not already enrolled, as are within the extent of his company, and ought to be enrolled; and, on failure to make such report, shall forfeit five pounds. For failing to qualify himself to a commission at the first or second court which shall be held, after accepting the same, every officer shall forfeit five pounds. For failing to enrol the militia, or to appoint a general muster, the county lieutenant, or, if he be absent on necessary business, the next commanding officer, shall forfeit one hundred pounds. For not appointing a private muster, the captain, or next commanding officer, shall pay forty shillings. For failing to appear at any general muster properly armed, or at any court martial, every county lieutenant and field officer shall pay ten pounds. For failing to appear at any court martial, every captain shall pay forty shillings. For failing to appear at any general or private muster properly armed or accoutred, every captain shall forfeit forty shillings, every lieutenant or ensign twenty shillings, every non-commissioned officer or soldier five shillings. For not returning to the next court martial a true list of delinquencies in his company, every captain, or commanding officer for the time, shall forfeit ten pounds. Every officer failing to furnish himself with one pound of powder shall forfeit and pay ten shillings, and the same for failing to furnish himself with four pounds of ball; and every soldier failing therein shall likewise be liable for the same penalties, which|| Drummers and fifers. |
Returns, how made.
Fines, for various delinquencies.
|penalties, where incurred by infants, shall be paid by the parent or guardian, and where incurred by servants shall be paid by the master, who, if such delinquency were without his influence or direction, may retain so much out of the hire of such servant, or be compensated by farther service, to be ascertained by the county court. If any officer, when on duty, shall misbehave, he may be put under arrest, for the day, by his commanding officer; and the next court martial, if required, shall inquire into such misbehaviour, and either censure the same, or make report thereof to the governour and council, who, if the cause be sufficient, shall thereupon degrade such officer. If any soldier, at any muster, shall refuse to obey the command of his officer, or shall behave himself refractorily or mutinously, or misbehave himself at a court martial, the commanding officer, or court martial, may, in like manner, put him under arrest for the day, or may cause him to be bound, neck and heels, for any time not exceeding five minutes. If any bystander interrupt, molest, or insult any officer or soldier while on duty, at any general or private muster, or misbehave before any court martial, the commanding officer, or court martial, may put him under arrest for the day. The county lieutenant, field officers, and captains, or the greater part of them (whereof the county lieutenant or a field officer shall be one) shall hold a court martial at the courthouse of their county, or at, or convenient to, the place where the general muster shall be, on the day following their general muster, having first taken the following oath: I. do swear, that, as a member of this court martial, I will do equal right and justice to all men, according to law. So help me God. Which oath shall be administered to the presiding officer by the next in command, and then by such presiding officer to the other members. The said court may adjourn from day to day, and shall have power to exempt all persons enrolled whom, from age or inability, they may adjudge incapable of service; and shall also inquire, by testimony, on oath, (which the clerk is hereby enabled to administer) into all delinquencies against this act which shall have happened since the last court martial, and where no reasonable excuse for the same is made appear to them, shall give judgment for the penalties thereto annexed. But if it shall appear to the next court martial that any person fined for such delinquency was unable to attend|| Fines incurred by infants and servants how paid. |
Misbehaviour in officer.
Disobedience in soldiers.
Bystanders, how punishable.
Courts martial, how constituted.
Their powers and duties.
|the court, by which he was fined, and had reasonable excuse for the delinquency, such fine shall be remitted.|
|The said court shall have power to appoint a clerk to enter and preserve their proceedings, to whom the president shall administer an oath, truly and faithfully to execute the duties of his office and may also appoint a provost martial to attend on the said court for the preservation of order and good behaviour. And all fines shall be collected by the sheriff of the county, who shall have power to levy the same in like manner, and be entitled to the like fee, as in case of execution of fieri facias; and on failing, without reasonable cause, or refusing to make such collection, shall be held accountable for the same, to be recovered with costs, before any court of record, by action, to be brought in the name of the members of such court martial, or the survivors of them; and after collecting the same, if he shall refuse to pay them to the order of the said court martial, judgment, on motion, in the court of the said county, shall be given, and execution awarded against him and his securities for the same, with costs, they having ten days previous notice of such motion. And the said court martial shall also appoint some person, not being a member of the said court, to be a bursar, who shall receive from the collector all fines by him collected, and all sums of money recovered from him, and who, before he enters on the execution of his office, shall give bond, with sufficient security, payable to the members of the said court and their successours, for the due payment of all such monies which shall come to his hands. And if any bursar shall fail or delay to account with the said court, or to apply the money in his hands as by them directed, after deducting at the rate of five per centum for his own trouble, on motion made in any court of record, by any person authorised to receive money for him, or by any other by order of the said court martial, judgment shall be given, and execution awarded for the sums so unpaid or unaccounted for, together with the costs of the motion, the defendants having first had ten days notice of such motion.|| Clerk. |
Fines, how collected,
Remedy against sheriff.
Bursar his appointment and duty,
Penalty for misapplication of money.
|All fines imposed by this act shall be appropriated, in the first place, to the payment of the salaries and allowances to the adjutant, clerk, provost martial, collectors, and bursar, then to reimbursing the publick treasury for any arms purchased for the poor soldiers||Fines, how appropriated.|
|of such county, and for drums, fifes, and colours, bought for the several companies; and if any surplus remain, it shall be laid out by the court martial in establishing and furnishing, for the use of their county, a magazine of small arms, field pieces, ammunition, and such other military stores as may be useful in case of invasion or insurrection.|
|And be it enacted, that it shall and may be lawful for the chief officer of the militia in every county, and he is hereby required, some time before the tenth day of August, yearly, to appoint an officer, and so many men of the militia as to him shall appear to be necessary, not exceeding four, once in every month, or oftener, if thereto required by such chief officer, to patrol and visit all negro quarters, and other places suspected of entertaining unlawful assemblies of slaves, servants, or other disorderly persons, as aforesaid, unlawfully assembled, or any others trolling about from one plantation to another, without a pass from his or her master, mistress, or owner, and to carry them before the next justice of the peace, who if he shall see cause, is to order every such slave, servant, or stroller, or other disorderly person, as aforesaid, to receive any number of lashes, not exceeding twenty on his or her bare back, well laid on.|| Patrollers, how appointed. |
Their power and duty.
|And in case one company of patrollers shall not be sufficient, to order more companies for the same service; and after every patrol the officer of each party shall return to the captain of the company whereunto he belongs a report in writing, upon oath (which oath such captain is hereby empowered to administer) of the names of those of his party who where [were] upon duty, and of the proceedings in such patrol. And such captain shall, once in every month, deliver such patrol returns to the county lieutenant, or other chief commanding officer in his county, by whom they shall be certified and delivered to the next court martial; and if they shall adjudge the patrollers have performed their duty according to law, the chief officer shall certify the same to the county court, who upon such certificates, are hereby empowered and required to levy fifteen pounds of tobacco, or two shillings and sixpence, for every twelve hours each of them shall so patrol. And every commanding officer of the militia failing to appoint patrollers, according to the directions of this act, shall|| Patrol returns. |
Fines for neglect.
|forfeit and pay the sum of fifty pounds; and every person appointed to patrol in pursuance of this act, and failing to do his duty, shall forfeit and pay the sum of twenty shillings for every such failure; which fines shall be laid by the court martial of the county, and shall be collected, accounted for, and appropriated, as is herein before directed for the collecting, levying, accounting for, and appropriating, the several fines and penalties herein before laid.|
|All other acts and ordinances, so far as they relate to regulating and disciplining the militia of the several counties, are hereby repealed: Provided, nothing in this act shall be construed to alter or change any thing contained in the general constitution or form of government, or to disqualify any militia officers heretofore appointed from acting by virtue of such commissions respectively; and provided also, that any court martial, which shall be held by virtue of this act, shall hear and determine any delinquency committed or done before the passing thereof, according to the laws in force at the time of the commission of the offence.||This act not to disqualify militia officers, heretofore appointed.|
|This act shall be read to every company of the militia, by order of the captain, or next commanding officer thereof, at the first muster next succeeding every general muster, on penalty of five pounds for every omission.|
|WHEREAS it is of the greatest moment to the cause of America that the continental army be speedily completed, Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That any two of the militia of any county, city, or borough, who shall, before the first day of October next, procure one able bodied soldier, other than an apprentice or servant, within the time of his conviction or indenture, and those employed in the publick manufactories of fire arms, to serve for the term of three years, or during the present war, in either of the first nine battalions raised within this commonwealth, and shall deliver such recruit to any officer in one of the said battalions, taking his receipt, which such officer is hereby required to grant, and also procuring the certificate of the justice before whom such recruit shall be sworn, shall be exempted from all draughts whatever, and from attending private and general musters in the respective militia to which they belong, which exemption shall continue during the term for which such recruit shall be enlisted; and the recruit so enlisted shall be entitled to, and receive the continental bounty, and other allowances, over and above all private gratuities, provided that the number of soldiers so enlisted shall not exceed the twentieth part of the militia of each county, city, or borough, within this commonwealth.||Any two militia procuring a recruit for three years, or the war, exempted from drafts or muster.|
|And be it farther enacted, That it shall be lawful for every recruiting officer to enlist all able bodied young men above the age of sixteen years, any apprentice or servant, except hired servants, under written contracts, at any iron works, and those employed in the publick manufactory of fire arms, during the time of such contracts, and also all apprentices at such works, during the time of service, legally due by indenture, without leave, in writing, from the owner, or his manager at said works, first obtained, except likewise every imported servant; and that the persons of all soldiers||Apprentices and servants may be recruited.|
|whatever in the service of the continent, or of this commonwealth, shall be free and exempt from all arrests and restrainsts whatever, for any debt or demand not exceeding fifty dollars, or the value thereof. And if any soldier shall be arrested or restrained of his liberty, contrary to the directions of this act, it shall be lawful for any justice of the peace upon complaint to him made by warrant, under his hand and seal, to order such soldier to be forthwith discharged from his confinement, or detain in his custody, any such soldier for the space of two hours after receipt of such warrant, he shall forfeit and pay to such soldier the sum of fifteen pounds, to be by him recovered, with costs, by action of debt or on the case, in any court of record. And to prevent a soldier's being unjustly detained, it shall not be lawful for the clerk of any county, or other inferiour court, to issue a writ against any such soldier until the plaintiff hath made oath to the justness of the demand, and that the debt was contracted prior to the enlistment of such soldier, a certificate of which affidavit shall be endorsed on the back of the writ.|| Soldiers, how far free from arrests. |
Summary mode of discharge.
Restrictions in issuing writs against soldiers.
|And be it farther enacted, That all soldiers in the service of this commonwealth, who have, by the terms of their enlistments engaged to serve for one year, and received one part of the bounty money only, shall be retained in the service until the expiration of the time for which they enlisted.|
|And whereas, by an act of the last assembly, by which six additional battalions were directed to be raised within this commonwealth, towards completing its quota of the continental army, the several proportions of men to be furnished by each county, city, and borough, were fixed as equally as could be, according to the numbers of their respective militias, and many officers have failed to enlist the quota to them respectively alloted, and notwithstanding the various encouragements formerly given, and now offered by this act, it may happen that the deficiencies will not be supplied in time, so that at length it may become necessary, for the defence and security of this and the other states, that a just and equal draught of men should speedily take place:||Drafts to complete the 6 additional battalions.|
|Be it therefore enacted, That for the more speedy and certain completion of the said six new battalions, every county, city, and borough, except the counties of Kentucky, Ohio, Monongalia, and Yohogania, in case the||Mode of drafting.|
|officer or officers by them appointed, or to be appointed, have not already, or shall not, on or before the tenth day of August next, enlist the quota of men allotted to such officer or officers, shall make up such deficiency by draughts, to be taken from their respective militias in manner following, that is to say: The county lieutenant, or other commanding officer, so soon as conveniently may be, after the said tenth day of August, shall summon the field officers of their respective militias, and the four first magistrates in the commissions of peace, not being field officers, and, together with the said field officers, or any two of them, and the said magistrates, or any two of them, having first taken an oath, to be administered by any justice of the peace, faithfully and impartially to make the allotments and divisions of the militia as directed by this act, shall first ascertain the aforesaid deficiency in their respective county, city, and borough, and immediately proceed to divide the whole militia of each county, city, and borough, including captains and other inferiour officers, into as many lots as there may be men wanting to supply their quota, including the field officers and the four eldest magistrates in the commission of the peace, who shall be considered as one of the divisions, taking care to allot to each division, other than that composed of the field officers and magistrates, as many able bodied men as conveniency will admit, having regard to the property of each individual composing such divisions, so as to make the number of able bodied men, and the property in each, as equal as may be; that each of the said other divisions shall be required to furnish one man; and in case any such division refuse, or neglect to do so in fifteen days, that then the field officers and magistrates, as aforesaid, having made themselves acquainted with the situation and circumstances of each division, shall meet at such convenient place as they shall appoint, and having first taken an oath, to be administered by any justice of the peace, to act with impartiality, shall fix upon and draught one man, who, in their opinion, can be best spared, and will be most serviceable, from the division so refusing or neglecting; and the said field officers and magistrates, for their division, shall either procure an able bodied man to enlist, or, in default thereof, shall each of them pay the sum of fifty shillings, as an additional bounty to an able bodied man whom the officer appointed to recruit for the deficiency|
|in such county may procure to enlist for the said field officers and magistrates; and the person so furnished or draughted shall, to all intents and purposes, be considered as a regular soldier, shall receive the same bounty, and other allowances, over and above all private gratuities, remain in the service three years, if the war should so long continue, and be subject to the same penalties for desertion and other offences as if he had voluntarily enlisted, unless he shall procure an able bodied man to serve in his room.|
|Provided, That where it may be necessary to make draughts from any county divided this present session of assembly, the field officers and magistrates, as aforesaid, in each county, shall proceed in the manner before directed; but the draughts necessary to make up the deficiency of the county, when entire, shall be proportioned to the number of militia remaining in each distinct county. And every commanding officer failing to summon the field officers and magistrates, as before directed, shall forfeit and pay five hundred pounds; and every field officer and magistrate failing to attend, as before directed, shall for each failure, without a sufficient excuse, forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred pounds, to be recovered, with costs, in the court of the county where such delinquent resides, by action of debt, or information by any person suing for the same, one moiety to be appropriated to the use of the person suing, and the other moiety to the use of this commonwealth, over and above the fines already imposed by the militia and invasion laws.|| Fines for neglect. |
|And whereas, for the better garrisoning the several fortifications, and for the farther defence of this state, it is expedient and necessary that some other provision should be made: Be it enacted, That a battalion of ten companies of artillery, one company of which to be composed of artificers, shall be forthwith raised, each company to consist of one captain, three lieutenants, one serjeant, four bombardiers, eight gunners, and fifty six matrosses, to be commanded by one colonel, one lieutenant colonel, and one major, to be appointed by joint ballot of both houses of assembly and commissioned by the governour; the captains and lieutenants to be appointed by the governour, with the advice of the privy council, and commissioned by the governour; the serjeants, bombadiers, and gunners, by the colonels. To this battalion there shall be allowed|| Battalion of artillery for garrison duty to be raised.
|a chaplain, surgeon, and one or two surgeon's mates, as need may require; the chaplain and surgeon to be appointed by the field officers and captains, and the surgeon's mates by the surgeon himself. There shall be allowed as pay, besides customary rations, to a colonel two dollars and an half, to a lieutenant colonel two dollars, to a major one dollar and two thirds, to a captain one dollar and one third, to a lieutenant one dollar, to a serjeant two thirds of a dollar, to a bombardier one half of a dollar, to a gunner one third and one twelfth of a dollar, and to each matross, not being an artificer, one third of a dollar, and if an artificer two thirds of a dollar, to the chaplain a dollar and one third, to the surgeon a dollar and two thirds, and to a surgeon's mate one dollar, per day. Each private shall be entitled to, and receive the same bounty, and other allowances, as the soldiers in the other commonwealth battalions are entitled to. The captains and inferiour officers shall enlist their men in the same proportion, [proportions,] and in case of failure or neglect be subject to removal, at the discretion of the Governour and Council; the companies to be reviewed, their rank established in the same manner, and at the same time, as is directed in the other battalions, and their pay commence from the time of completing their respective proportions; the pay of the colonel, lieutenant colonel, and major, shall commence so soon as they shall be called into service, and receive their respective commissions.|| Staff. |
|And to defray the expense of recruiting, Be it enacted, that every officer shall receive the sum of forty shillings for every recruit he shall enlist.||Recruiting expenses.|
|And be it farther enacted, that the several county courts may, and they are hereby required, to provide, at the publick expense, provisions and all other necessaries for the support and comfortable subsistence of the wives, children, and aged parents, of all poor soldiers who cannot by their own industry support themselves during their absence from home in the publick service, and for paying of the same may draw upon the treasurer for the time being, who is hereby required to pay for the same out of the publick money in his hands.||Provision for wives, children & aged parents of poor soldiers while absent.|
|And be it enacted, that all soldiers who have already enlisted, or shall hereafter enlist, into either of the battalions of this commonwealth, shall, for their farther||Soldiers supplied out of public|
|encouragement, be supplied out of the publick store with such clothing and other necessaries as it will afford, and their commanding officers may direct, at the prime cost thereof, without any advance whatever.||stores at prime cost.|
|And whereas the county of Warwick was omitted in the allotment of the proportion or quota of men to be furnished by each county towards raising and completing the six last continental battalions, and the county of Elizabeth City was directed to raise an ensign and ten men, which, from the exposed situation of the county last mentioned, is an over proportion: Be it farther enacted, that the said county of Warwick shall furnish four men of the quota to be raised by Elizabeth City, in manner as is by this act directed.||Warwick & Elizabeth City, what proportion of men to raise.|
|And be it farther enacted, that when it shall be found necessary to march the battalion of artillery to be raised by virtue of this act to the assistance of any other state, the pay of the officers and soldiers of the said battalion shall be equal to the pay of artillery officers and soldiers in the continental service, so long as they continue in that service.||State artillery, when marched out what pay entitled to.|
|And whereas several negro slaves have deserted from their masters, and under pretence of being free men have enlisted as soldiers: For prevention whereof, Be it enacted, that it shall not be lawful for any recruiting officer within this commonwealth to enlist any negro or mulatto into the service of this or either of the United States, until such negro or mulatto shall produce a certificate from some justice of the peace for the county wherein he resides that he is a free man.||No negro to be enlisted, without a certificate of freedom.|
| All free born males, above 16 years old, to take the oath of
Form of the oath.
|And be it farther enacted, That the justice of the peace before whom such oath or affirmation shall be subscribed shall keep fair registers of the names of the||Justices to keep registers; and transmit|
|names of the persons so sworn or affirmed, and the time when; and shall, on or before the first day of January in every year, transmit, in writing, under his hand and seal, to the clerk of the court of the county, city, or borough, a true list of the names of those who, within the same year, have so sworn or affirmed before them respectively.||returns to clerks of courts,|
|And be it farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That within one month after the passing of this act, or at the next succeeding court, the court of every county in this commonwealth shall appoint some of their members to make a tour of the county, and tender the oath or affirmation aforesaid to every free born male person above the age of sixteen years, except as before excepted; and that in the certificate directed to be returned, of those who take the oath or affirmation, shall be mentioned the names of such as refuse. And the justices tendering such oath or affirmation are hereby directed to deliver a list of the names of such recusants to the county lieutenant, or chief commanding officer of the militia, who is hereby authorised and directed forthwith to cause such recusants to be disarmed.|| Persons appointed to tender oath. |
Those refusing to be noted.
Recusants to be reported to county lieutenant, who is forthwith to disarm them.
|Provided, That the person so disarmed shall, nevertheless, be obliged to attend musters, but shall be exempted from the fines imposed for appearing at such musters without arms, accoutrements, and ammunition.||Person disarmed compelled to attend musters but exempted from fines for not appearing armed.|
|And be it farther enacted, That every person above the age before mentioned, except as before excepted, refusing or neglected to take and subscribe the oath or affirmation aforesaid, shall, during the time of such neglect or refusal, be incapable to holding any office in this state, serving on juries, suing for any debts, electing or being elected, or buying lands, tenements, or hereditaments.||Incapacities of those refusing to take the oath of allegiance.|
|And be it farther enacted, That all persons coming from any of the other United States into this state are hereby required to apply to one of the nearest justices after he enters this state, and take or subscribe an oath or affirmation, renouncing all allegiance to the king of Great Britain, and promising that he will not do any thing prejudicial to the independence of the United States of America, as declared by the general congress; and upon neglecting so to do, he shall be liable to be taken before a justice, who shall tender him the said oath or affirmation, and upon his refusal to take and subscribe the same, the said justice shall, and is hereby|| Oath to be taken by those coming from any of the United States.
Consequence of neglect.
|required, to commit him to the jail of the county, city, or borough, there to remain without bail or mainprize, until he shall take and subscribe the said oath or affirmation, or give bond and security immediately to depart this commonwealth, which bond shall be payable to the governour, for the time being, for the use of the commonwealth.|
|Provided nevertheless, That prisoners of war, regular officers and soldiers in the pay of the continent or of this state, merchants and mariners trading in the ports of this state from foreign powers in amity with the United States, and not become resident, are declared not to be within the intent and meaning of this act.||Who not within the meaning of this act.|
|And be it farther enacted, That this act shall be publickly read by the sheriff of every county in this commonwealth at the door of the courthouse of his county, on some court day, on or before the first day of September next, and also by every minister of the gospel, or reader, immediately after divine service, at every church or meeting-house where they officiate, on some Sunday within the said time. And every sheriff, minister, or reader, failing so to do, shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten pounds, to be recovered, with costs, by the informer, before the court of the county where the offence shall be committed.|| Who not within the meaning of this act. |
How this act to be published.
|[Chan. Rev. p. 50.]|
|I. WHEREAS the general congress, on the third day of October last, did resolve that five millions of continental dollars should be immediately borrowed for the use of the United States of America, for the re-payment of which money lent, at the end of three years, with the interest annually, at the place where the same is||United States, loan office established.|
|lent, the faith of the United States should be pledged, and that for the convenience of the lenders a loan office should be established in each of the United States, and a commissioner appointed to superintend the same, subject to the regulations therein and herein mentioned.|
|II. And whereas, on the 14th of January 1777, they did resolve that the farther sum of two millions of dollars should be borrowed on certificates of two hundred dollars each, and that the commissioners of the loan office should be directed to receive the bills of credit heretofore emitted by the states in which they respectively hold their offices for such sums as they shall be ordered by the continental treasurer from time to time, to pay for continental purposes within such states respectively, for which monies, so borrowed upon either of the resolutions aforesaid, the lender is to receive the annual interest of six per centum: For carrying into execution the said resolutions of congress in this commonwealth,|
|III. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That William Armistead, gentleman, be, and he is hereby constituted, a commissioner to superintend and manage a loan office to be kept at the city of Williamsburg for the purpose of borrowing; who shall enter into bond, with good security, to be approved by the governour and council, in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, payable to the hon. John Hancock, president of the congress, and his successours, for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office. And the said commissioner is empowered and required to receive from any person whatever sum of specie, continental paper dollars, or bills of credit heretofore emitted by this commonwealth, he or she shall be willing to lend for the use of the United States of America, upon the terms and in the proportions before recited, so as such sum be not less than two hundred dollars lent by any one person, and to give the lender a receipt for the money lent, in the form following, that is to say: "The United States of America acknowledge the receipt of dollars from which they promise to pay to the said or bearer, on the day of with interest, at the rate of six per centum per annum, agreeable to the resolutions of the United States passed the third day of October, 1776, and the fourteenth day of January 1777. Witness the hand of the treasurer, this day of anno dom. 177 ;" which shall be signed by the continental treasurer, and transmitted to the|| Commissioner of loans appointed. |
Terms of borrowing.
Form of certificates.
|commissioner aforesaid in a book containing a counterpart thereof, out of which the said commissioner shall, as often as he receives money lent, cut a certificate indentwise, fill up, countersign, and deliver the same to the lender, keeping the book as a check in his office. The said commissioner shall, moreover, keep regular books, in which due entries shall be made of the sums borrowed, of the time when, and of the names of the person by whom the said sums of money were lent; shall once a month transmit to the continental treasurer an amount of the cash in his office, and answer all draughts of the said treasurer to the amount of the cash which he at any time shall have in his hands, allowing him to retain one eighth per centum on all monies received into his office in lieu of all claims he may have for transacting the business thereof.|| Duty of commissioner. |
|IV. Provided always, That when the said continental treasurer shall order and direct the said commissioner to forbear receiving any more money upon such loan, he shall conform to such directions, and not thereafter receive any money into his office, or issue certificates for the same, as aforesaid, but shall return all certificates remaining in his hands to the continental treasurer.||Commissioner to conform to orders of continental treasurer.|
|V. And be it farther enacted, That if any person within this commonwealth shall forge or counterfeit, alter or erase, any certificate of money lent as aforesaid, or transfer any certificate to another, or demand payment at the office of principal or interest thereupon, knowing the same to be forged or counterfeited, altered or erased, every person so offending, and being lawfully convicted, shall suffer death without benefit of clergy.||Forging or counterfeiting certificates, death.|
|[Chan. Rev. p. 51.]|
|I. WHEREAS it is expedient that one million of dollars, or the value thereof in other money, should be immediately borrowed, to prevent, as far as may be, the farther emission of large sums of paper money: Be it farther enacted by the General Assembly, That George Webb, esq. or the treasurer for the time being, shall open an office for that purpose in the city of Williamsburg, previous to which, as well for the faithful discharge of the duties thereof as what may be farther required of him by this act, he shall give bond, with good security, in the sum of two hundred thousand pounds, payable to the governour and his successours, for the use of the commonwealth. And the said George Webb, or the treasurer for the time being, is empowered and directed to receive from any person whatever sum of specie, continental paper dollars, or bills of credit issued by authority of this commonwealth, he or she shall be willing to lend, for any term not exceeding three years, so as such sum be not less than three hundred dollars, or the value thereof in other money, lent by any one person, and to give the lender a receipt for the money lent in the form following, that is to say: "The treasurer of the commonwealth of Virginia acknowledgeth the receipt of dollars from which he promises to pay to the said or bearer, on the day of with interest, at the rate of six per centum per annum, agreeable to an act passed at a general assembly begun and held at the capitol, in the city of Williamsburg, on Monday the fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven. Witness the hand of the treasurer, this day of ." Which receipt shall be signed by the treasurer, who shall keep a book containing a counterpart thereof, out of which, so often as he receives money lent, he shall cut a certificate indentwise, fill up and deliver the same to the lender, keeping the book as a check in his office. He shall, moreover, keep regular books, in which due|| State loan office opened. |
Terms of borrowing.
Form of certificates.
Duty of treasurer.
|entries shall be made of the sums borrowed, of the time when, and of the names of the persons by whom, the said sums were lent, for which services he shall be allowed to retain one eighth per centum on all monies received into his office, in lieu of all claims he may have for transacting the business thereof.|
|II. Provided always, That when the said sum of one million of dollars, or the value thereof in other money, is borrowed, the said George Webb, esq; or the treasurer for the time being, shall forbear receiving any more money upon such loans.||What sum to be borrowed.|
|III. And be it farther enacted, That the treasurer shall pay the interest of the money due upon such certificates annually, and take in and discharge the principal thereof at the time or times therein limited for that purpose; or should the lender or bearer of such certificates desire to have the same paid and discharged before the time limited for that purpose, the treasurer is hereby authorised to comply therewith, provided the state of the treasury will admit of the same, without prejudice of the publick.||When principal and interest to be paid.|
|IV. And be it farther enacted, That if any person within this commonwealth shall forge or counterfeit, alter or erase, any certificate of money lent as aforesaid, or transfer any certificate to another, or demand payment at the office of principal or interest thereupon, knowing the same to be forged or counterfeited, altered or erased, every person so offending, and being lawfully convicted, shall forfeit his whole estate, real and personal, receive on his bare back, at the publick whipping post, thirty nine lashes, and shall be obliged to serve on board some armed vessel in the service of this state, without wages, not exceeding seven years.||Forging or counterfeiting certificates, how punishable.|
|V. Provided, that the governour and council, for the time being, out of the offender's estate, may make such allowance to his wife and children as to them shall seem just and reasonable.||Wife of offender provided for.|
|VI. And whereas it is altogether uncertain whether the above mentioned sum of money can be borrowed so soon as the exigencies of government may require: Be it farther enacted, That the said George Webb, esq; or the treasurer for the time being, shall be, and he is hereby empowered, to issue treasury notes, in dollars and parts of dollars, for any sum or sums which may be requisite for the purposes of government, and which he may not be able to borrow as aforesaid, so that the||Paper money, or treasury notes may be emitted.|
|money so emitted, with what is borrowed does not exceed one million in dollars, 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 treasurer for the time being, may, and he is hereby authorised, to appoint proper persons to overlook the press, to number and sign the said notes, and to 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.|
|VII. And be it farther enacted, That all such notes to be issued shall be received and pass as a lawful tender in payment of any debt, tax, or duty whatsoever, at the same value of the other notes of credit issued by the authority of this commonwealth. And all and every person or persons who shall demand or ask more in the said notes for any gold or silver coins, or any other species of money whatsoever, than the nominal sum or amount thereof in Spanish milled dollars, or more for any lands, goods or commodities, than the same could be purchased at from the same person or persons in gold or silver, or any other species of money, and refuse to sell the same for the said notes, or if any person shall refuse to take the same notes in payment of any debt or demand, he, she, or they, so demanding or refusing, shall be subject to and incur the same penalties and forfeitures, to be recovered in the same manner, as are for the like offences inflicted and directed by an act of the present general assembly intituled "An act to support the credit of the money issued by authority of congress and by authority of this commonwealth, and to make the former current within this commonwealth."|| Notes a lawful tender. |
Penalty for refusing them, or depreciating their value.
|VIII. And be it farther enacted, That all the notes issued in pursuance of this act shall be redeemable on the first day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four, shall then be taken in and discharged by the treasurer for the time being, and shall be burnt and destroyed by a committee to be appointed for that purpose by the general assembly. And to enable the said treasurer to pay and discharge the same, together with the interest of all such sums of money as may be borrowed in consequence of this act, a tax or duty shall be paid yearly upon all property, real and personal, within this commonwealth, in such manner, and in such proportions, as the general||Notes, when redeemable.|
|assembly shall direct. And the person or persons appointed to overlook the press shall receive for his or their trouble fifteen pounds for every one hundred thousand pounds printed, the numberers each seven shillings and sixpence for every thousand notes by them numbered, and the signers each, for their trouble, ten shillings for every thousand notes by them signed.|
|IX. And be it farther enacted, 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 incur the same forfeitures, and suffer the same punishment, as is herein before directed for the like offence in the case of certificates for money borrowed.||Forging and counterfeiting, &c. how punishable.|
|WHEREAS many soldiers employed in the service of the United States of America, and others in the service of this state, desert their respective duties, to the great prejudice of the service, and ill example of others: For remedy whereof, Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That the commanding officer of the militia in every county appoint proper persons in his county to make diligent search after soldiers known or suspected to be deserters, and such having found to apprehend and carry before the nearest justice of the peace, who is hereby empowered and required to examine any soldier so apprehended, and if, upon his own confession, the testimony of lawful witnesses, or other satisfactory proof, he shall appear to be a deserter, to cause him to be safely conveyed and delivered to the commanding officer of the troops at the nearest post or station to the place where he shall be apprehended, in order that he may be dealt with according to the rules of the martial|| Preamble. |
Deserters, how apprehended and dealt with.
|law. And where there shall be no continental officer or post within fifty miles of the place where such deserter shall be apprehended, in that case the deserter shall be committed to the jail of the county, there to be safely kept until he shall be removed by some officer in the continental army; and the jailer is hereby directed to advertise such deserter four times in the Virginia Gazette, that the person conveying and delivering such deserter, over and above any reward for apprehending him, shall be paid by the treasurer of this commonwealth, on a certificate from the proper officer or jailer, after the rate of one sixth of a dollar per mile, for his trouble and expense. And that if any person shall harbour or entertain, for the space of twenty four hours, any deserter or deserters, knowing or having good reason to suspect him or them to be such, and shall not apprehend him or them, or give notice thereof to the next justice of the peace in the county, or to the person or persons appointed to make search after and apprehend deserters, every person so offending shall for each offence forfeit and pay the sum of five pounds; or if any person shall buy, exchange, detain, or otherwise receive, unless authorised so to do, any arms, clothes, or other furniture, or accoutrements, belonging to the United States of America, or either of them, knowing or having good reason to suspect them to be such, from any soldier, deserter, or other person not authorised to sell and dispose thereof, the person or persons so offending, on being legally convicted thereof, shall for every such offence forfeit and pay the sum of five pounds, over and above the value of the arms, clothes, furniture, or other accoutrements so bought, exchanged, detained, or received; one moiety of the said fines to the poor of the parish where the offence shall be committed, the other to the informer, which penalties may be recovered by petition in any court of record.|| |
Penalty for harbouring deserters.
|And as a farther encouragement to search for deserters, every person not appointed in manner directed by this act, apprehending any deserter, and delivering him to the person or persons appointed in the county for that purpose, shall receive for every such deserter the sum of three pounds; to be paid by the treasurer of this commonwealth, upon the certificate of the justice who shall examine such deserter.||Reward for apprehending deserters.|
|Pages 250-266||Pages 291-312|