|Pages 445-470||Pages 482-521|
| AT A |
BEGUN AND HELD
|Patrick Henry, esq. governor.|
|An act for preventing the farther importation of Slaves.||[Chan. Rev. p. 80.]|
|I. FOR preventing the farther importation of slaves into this commonwealth, Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That from and after the passing of this act no slave or slaves shall hereafter be imported into this commonwealth by sea or land, nor shall any slaves so imported be sold or bought by any person whatsoever.||Further importation of slaves prohibited.|
|II. Every person hereafter importing slaves into this commonwealth contrary to this act shall forfeit and pay the sum of one thousand pounds for every slave so imported, and every person selling or buying any such slaves shall in like manner forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred pounds for every slave so sold or bought, one moiety of which forfeitures shall be to the use of the commonwealth, and the other moiety to him or them that will sue for the same, to be recovered by action of debt or information in any court of record.||Penalties.|
|III. And be it farther enacted, That every slave imported into this commonwealth, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, shall, upon such importation become free.||Slaves so imported, declared free.|
|* In the original, none of the acts of this session are distinguished by chapters or sections. Those only are so distinguished in this collection, as were published in the Chancellors' Revisal.|
|IV. Provided always, That this act shall not be construed to extend to those who may incline to remove from any of the United States, and become citizens of this, provided, that within ten days after their removal into the same they take the following oath before some magistrate of this commonwealth: "I, A. B. do swear, that my removal to the state of Virginia was with no intention to evade the act for preventing the farther importation of slaves within this commonwealth, nor have I brought with me, or will cause to be brought, any slaves, with an intent of selling them, nor have any of the slaves now in my possession been imported from Africa, or any of the West India islands, since the first day of November, 1778. So help me God," Or to travellers and others, making a transient stay in this commonwealth, bringing slaves with them for necessary attendance, and carrying them out again.||Exceptions.|
|V. Provided also, and be it farther enacted, That this act shall not be construed to extend to persons claiming slaves by descent, devise, or marriage, or to any citizens of this commonwealth being now the actual owners and proprietors of slaves residing or being in any of the United States and removing such slaves into this commonwealth.||Further exceptions.|
|VI. And be it farther enacted, That so much of an act of assembly made in the year 1753, intituled "An act for the better government of servants and slaves," as comes within the purview of this act, shall be, and the same is hereby repealed.|
|[Chan. Rev. p. 81.]|
|Be it enacted, That instead of the days heretofore set apart for the trial of criminal causes in the general courts held in the months of March and October, the said court shall, at the commencement of the said terms, enter upon the trial thereof, as well those for capital offences as others, setting apart the four first days for that purpose; but the judges may direct the clerk, at any time before his docket be made out, and subpœnas issued for witnesses, to appropriate a longer or shorter time to such business, and to those days so set a part no other causes shall be docketed, and all process issued either from the county courts or the general court in those causes shall be returnable to the first day of the next succeeding session.||Days assigned for criminal causes, in general court.|
|II. That all indictments, presentments, informations, actions, and suits, which now are, or which were on the twelfth day of April 1774 depending in any court within this commonwealth, in the name or on behalf of George III. king of Great Britain, or in the name of any persons on behalf of themselves and the said king, shall, where trials have not been already had, be carried on in the name of the commonwealth, or in the names of such persons and the commonwealth, instead of the said king, in the same manner as if they had been fund made entered or commenced since the establishment of the said commonwealth.||Indictments, &c. depending in name of the king, prosecuted in name of the commonwealth.|
|III. That all appeals depending against the said king shall be carried on against the commonwealth, instead of the said king; and all bonds and recognizances entered into, to the said king, shall operate as if given to the commonwealth; and in cases of breaches thereof, suits or prosecutions may be carried on in the name of the commonwealth.||Appeals against king, carried on against commonweatlh; and bonds, &c. to him to operate as if to commonwealth.|
|IV. That where trials have been had, and judgments given in the name or on behalf of the said king, or in the names of any other persons on behalf of themselves and the said king, and not satisfied the same shall enure||Judgments in favor of king to enure to commonwealth.|
|to the commonwealth, instead of the said king; and executions may thereupon issue accordingly, but no time shall bar the commonwealth of execution.||No time bars to commonwealth of execution.|
|V. That all indictments, presentments, informations, actions, and suits, in the name of any persons on behalf of themselves and the said king, and all appeals against the said king which may have been discontinued or abated in any court within this commonwealth on account of the abolition of regal government, shall be forthwith revived, re-docketed, and carried on in the manner before directed. And all judgments for or against the commonwealth shall be the same as would have been entered for or against the [said] king, had no revolution in government taken place.||No time bars commonwealth of execution.|
|VI. That any persons who shall be charged with a capital offence, and not tried at the second session after their examination in the county court, and after petition to the general court for trial, shall be acquitted and discharged of such offence, unless good cause be shewn for postponing their trial, but if they be not tried at the third session they shall be for ever acquitted and discharged of such offence.||Criminals, not tried with a limited time discharged.|
|WHEREAS the inordinate lust of gain may tempt many persons to risk the penalties inflicted by an act passed this present session of assembly, intituled "An act to empower the governour and council to lay an embargo for a limited time," by exporting provisions contrary to the same, which during the present alarming scarcity and publick distress would be highly criminal:||Preamble.|
|Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That any and every person, who, during the continuance of the said recited act, shall export, or cause to be put on board any vessel for exportation, any sort of grain or other victual contrary to the said act, and on which an embargo hath been or shall be laid by the governour and council in pursuance thereof, shall for ever thereafter be disabled from exercising or carrying on, either by himself or by any other in trust for him, or for his use and benefit, or in partnership with any other, any manner of merchandise or commerce within this commonwealth, and from buying or selling any kind of goods, wares, or merchandise, other than what shall be necessary for the use and consumption of his own family, or those in his employ, or shall be the produce of his own estate or manufacture, under pain of forfeiting the full value of the goods, wares, or merchandise, which shall be so bought or sold, to be recovered by action of debt or information in any court of record, one half to the informer, and the other half to the use of the commonwealth.||Further penalties for violating embargoes.|
|And for the more effectual discovery of any provisions which may be put on board any vessel for exportation contrary to the said recited act, Be it enacted, That the master of every vessel now in this commonwealth, or building within the same, or which shall hereafter come hither, shall, before he presume to load any such vessel, give bond with sufficient security to the naval officer of the district, in a sum proportioned to the tunnage of such vessel, after the rate of fifty pounds per tun, that such vessel shall not, during her stay here, take on board any of the articles prohibited to be exported by the said recited act more than will be necessary for the sustenance of the crew of such vessel for her voyage or cruise; and every vessel loading or taking board any goods or commodities, before such bond be given, shall, together with her furniture, apparel, and tackle, be liable to seizure, and be forfeited, one half of the value thereof to the informer, and the other to this commonwealth, to be sued for and recovered as in manner before directed.||Bonds to prevent sailing in contempt of embargoes.|
|And whereas part of the trade of this commonwealth is carried on by persons who have refused to take the oath of fidelity to the same, and it may be dangerous to allow any recusant to have such opportunity of injuring the republick, Be it therefore enacted, That if||Penalty for trading without taking the oath of fidelity.|
|any inhabitant of this commonwealth, who hath not heretofore taken the oath or affirmation of fidelity to the same, shall, after the fifteenth day of March next, carry on any trade or commerce whatever, either by himself or any other person in trust for him, or for his use or benefit, or in partnership with any other, he shall forfeit and pay the full value of his merchandise in which he shall so trade, unless he, before the said fifteenth day of March, take the oath or affirmation of fidelity to his state, to be recovered in the same manner as the penalties inflicted by this law are herein before directed to be recovered.|
|WHEREAS the great quantity of grain consumed in the distilleries will increase the present alarming scarcity, Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no kind of spirituous liquors shall be distilled from Indian corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, buck wheat, meal, or flour, within this commonwealth, between the fifteenth day of February next and the fifteenth day of October next, on pain of forfeiting the liquor so distilled, or the worth thereof, if sold before seizure, together with the still in which the same was distilled, to be recovered in any court of record within this commonwealth, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, by any person who shall sue for the same, one half thereof to the informer, and the other half to the use of the commonwealth; and upon the recovery of any still or stills sued for under this act, the court by whom judgment is given shall order the sheriff to sell the same for ready money to the highest bidder, and pay one half of the money to the highest bidder, and pay one half of the money arising from such sale into the publick treasury.|| Distillation of spirits from grain prohibited, for a limited
|Provided, That the penalties of this act shall not be extended to any person distilling wheat or rye unless he||Proviso.|
|shall have refused to sell the same to some publick agent or contractor offering to purchase at the following prices, to wit, the wheat at fifteen shillings per bushel, and the rye at fifteen shillings per bushel. And wherever any dispute shall arise from what species of grain any liquor hath been distilled contrary to this act, the onus probandi shall lie upon the distiller.|
An act to extend the powers of the Governour and Council.
|[Chan. Rev. p. 81.]|
|I. WHEREAS the act of general assembly intituled "An act for giving certain powers to the governour and council, " passed in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven, which has been continued by one other act, passed the last session of assembly, intituled "An act for continuing an act for giving certain powers to the governour and council," which will expire at the end of this session of assembly, ought to be farther continued, Be it therefore enacted, That the same be continued and be in force, from and after the expiration thereof, until the end of the next session of assembly, and no longer.||Act giving certain powers to governour and council further continued.|
|II. And whereas there is some reason to apprehend that the enemy are meditating an attack on our sister state of South Carolina, and it may be attended with bad consequences if she should not be assisted till actually invaded, Be it farther enacted, That during the continuance of the said recited act, the governour, with the advice of the council, may, if he shall receive certain information that such an invasion is intended against that or any other sister state, march any number of the militia of this state, not exceeding three thousand men, to assist in repelling such invasion.||Assistance to South Carolina authorised, by anticipation.|
|III. And whereas no power is given to the governour and council by the act of government to appoint justices where so many [may] refuse to act, die, or remove out of any county, as not to have a sufficient number to constitute a court, Be it enacted, That in future, in any||Governor & council may appoint justices in certain cases.|
|such case, the governour for the time being, with the advice of the privy council, shall have full power to issue a commission or commissions of the peace for the appointment of any number of magistrates, in such county so circumstanced, as shall be judged necessary for the carrying on the bnsiness of the same.|
|IV. And there being no mode pointed out by which justices of the peace, who may be guilty of misconduct, can be removed from the offices, Be it farther enacted, That upon any charge being made against a justice of the peace for misconduct, neglect of duty, or mal-practices, it shall and may be lawful for the governour, with the advice of the council, to inquire into the charge, and if the facts alledged be proved, he in that case may, with the advice aforesaid, remove such justice from the execution of his office.||And remove for misconduct.|
|WHEREAS the extraordinary rise of every kind of provisions renders it impossible for the keeper of the publick jail to maintain the prisoners for the former allowance of one shilling per day for each prisoner, and the great increase of prisoners may render it necessary to increase the salary of the jailer in proportion to his extraordinary trouble, which cannot be so well done by the general assembly:||Preamble.|
|Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, That from and after the first day of January next, the governour, with the advice of the council, shall have the direction of the publick jail, and he is hereby empowered, from time to time, to order and direct such allowance to be made for the maintenance of the prisoners confined there, and to fix what shall be paid to the keeper thereof for his trouble, as the said governour, with the advice aforesaid, shall think reasonable. And he is hereby empowered to certify such allowances||Governor, &c. authorised to superintend the public jail, and direct allowances to prisoners, and compensation to keeper.|
|from time to time to the board of auditors, who are hereby directed to debit the same, and to give a warrant upon the treasurer for the payment thereof.|
|This act shall continue and be in force until the end of the next session of assembly and no longer.|
|[Chan. Rev. p. 82.]|
|I. WHEREAS the act of assembly intituled "An act to make provision for the support and maintenance of ideots, lunaticks, and other persons of unsound minds," hath lately expired, and it is necessary that the same should be revived and amended, Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That the said recited act shall be, and the same is hereby revived, and shall continue and be in force, from and after the passing of this act, for and during the term of one year, and from thence to the end of the next session of assembly.||Act making provision for idiots and lunaticks, further continued.|
|II. Provided always, and it is hereby enacted, That a farther sum of twenty five pounds shall be allowed and paid for the maintenance and support of each person in the publick hospital.||Further allownnce to patients.|
|III. And whereas the court of directors (notwithstanding the expiration of the said act) judged it expedient and proper to proceed on the business of the hospital, trusting that the same would be approved and confirmed by the general assembly, Be it therefore enacted, That all orders and rules by them made, since the expiration of the said act are hereby confirmed, and shall be as valid and effectual, to all intents and purposes, as if the said act had not expired.||Proceedings of directors confirmed.|
| CHAP. VIII.
An act for providing a supply in aid of the Loan Office.
|[Chan. Rev. p. 82.]|
|I. WHEREAS in aid of the load to be procured by the treasurer, agreeable to an act of assembly intituled, "An act to empower the treasurer to borrow a farther sum of money," passed this session, it may be necessary for answering the publick exigencies to make a farther emission of treasury notes, Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That it may and shall be lawful for the treasurer of this commonwealth to issue treasury notes in dollars, and parts of a dollar, for any sum which may be required to answer the demands on the treasury, in addition to the sums issuable by former acts of assembly, so as the said sum to be issued by authority hereof do not exceed one million seven hundred thousand dollars. And he shall cause the said notes to be engraved, and printed in such manner, and on such paper, as he shall judge most likely to secure the same from being counterfeited, and shall appoint proper persons to overlook the press, and to number and sign the notes upon the best terms he can procure them. And if the taxes imposed by the several acts now in force shall be insufficient to answer the purposes for which the said taxes were laid, and also for the redemption of the notes to be issued by authority of this present act, farther provision shall be made by law for making good the deficiency, and redeeming the whole before the first day of December, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty five.||Further emission of paper money, in aid of the loan office.|
| CHAP. IX.
An act to empower the Treasurer to borrow a farther sum of Money.
|[Chan. Rev. p. 82.]|
|I. WHEREAS it has been proved by experience that it is more beneficial to this commonwealth to borrow money on interest than to make large emissions of paper money: Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly That George Webb, esq; or the treasurer for the time being, shall open an office for that purpose at the treasury, previous to which, for the faithful discharge of the duties thereof, he shall give bond with sufficient 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 hereby empowered to receive from any person whatever sum in specie, continental paper dollars, or bills of credit, issued by authority of this commonwealth, he shall be willing to lend, so as such sum lent by any one person be not less than three hundred dollars, and to certify the receipt, and promise repayment thereof with interest, within any term not less than one nor exceeding three years from the date thereof, in the following form: The treasurer of the commonwealth of Virginia acknowledgeth the receipt of dollars from which he promises to repay to the said on the day of and to pay interest thereon annually in the meantime, at the rate of per centum by the year, according to an act of assembly passed in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight intituled "An act to empower the treasurer to borrow a farther sum of money." witness the hand of the treasurer, this Which certificate shall be signed by the treasurer, who shall keep a book containing a counterpart thereof as a check, and be delivered to the lender; the said lender having carried the said certificate to the auditors, there to be entered in account, and having obtained on the back thereof their counter-certificate of such entry, it shall be lawful for the treasurer, and he is hereby required to make annual payments of|| Preamble. |
Loan office to be opened by the treasurer.
Form of certificates.
|the interest accruing thereon, and at the term of payment, or sooner, if the lender shall so desire, and the state of the treasury will conveniently admit, repay the principal, and take in the said certificate; such certificates, or the debts thereby attested, shall not be assignable or transferable in law or equity by the lender, except to his representatives, in case of his death.|| Certificates not assignable. |
|Pages 445-470||Pages 482-521|