|Pages 494-510||Pages 525-543|
| CHAP. XLIII.
An act for opening and extending the navigation of Potowmack river.
|[Ch. LXXXII in original.]|
|I. WHEREAS the extension of the navigation of Potowmack river, from tide water to the highest place practicable on the North branch, will be of great public utility, and many persons are willing to subscribe large sums of money to effect so laudable and beneficial a work; and it is just and proper that they, their heirs, and assigns, should be empowered to receive reasonable tolls forever, in satisfaction for the money advanced by them in carrying the work into execution, and the risk they run: And whereas it may be necessary to cut canals and erect locks and other works on both sides of the river, and the legislatures of Maryland and Virginia, impressed with the importance of the object, are desirous of encouraging so useful an undertaking: Therefore,||Potowmack company incorporated.|
|II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia, That it shall and may be lawful to open books in the city of Richmond, towns of Alexandria and||Books to be opened for subscription.|
|Winchester in this state, for receiving and entering subscriptions for the said undertaking, under the management of Jaquelin Ambler and John Beckley at the city of Richmond, of John Fitzgerald and William Hartshorne at the town of Alexandria, and of Joseph Holmes and Edward Smith at the town of Winchester, and under the management of such persons and at such places in Maryland as have been appointed by the state of Maryland, which subscriptions shall be made personally or by power of attorney, and shall be paid in Spanish milled dollars, but may be paid in foreign silver or gold coin of the value; that the said books shall be opened for receiving subscriptions on the eighth day of February next, and continue open for this purpose until the tenth day of May next, inclusive; and on the seventeenth day of the said month of May, there shall be a general meeting of the subscribers at the town of Alexandria, of which meeting notice shall be given by the said managers, or any four of them, in the Virginia and Maryland Gazettes, at least one month next before the said meeting; and such meeting shall and may be continued from day to day until the business is finished; and the acting managers at the time and place herein after-mentioned, shall lay before such of the subscribers as shall meet according to the said notice, the books by them respectively kept, containing the state of the said subscriptions; and if one half the capital sum hereinafter-mentioned, should, upon examination, appear not to have been subscribed, then the said managers at the said meeting, are empowered to take and receive subscriptions to make up the deficiency; and a just and true list of all the subscribers, with the sums subscribed by each, shall be made out and returned by the said managers, or any four or more of them, under their hands, into the general court of each state, to be there recorded; and in case more than two hundred and twenty-two thousand two hundred and twenty-two dollars and two ninths of a dollar, shall be subscribed, then the same shall be reduced to that sum by the said managers, or a majority of them, by beginning at and striking off a share from the largest subscription or subscriptions, and continuing to strike off a share from all subscriptions under the largest, and above one share, until the sum is reduced to the capital of two hundred and twenty-two|| Meeting of the subscribers.|
Amount of capital.
In case of an overplus subscription, mode of reducing it.
|thousand two hundred and twenty-two dollars and two ninths of a dollar, or until a share is taken from all subscriptions above one share, and lots shall be drawn between the subscribers of equal sums, to determine the numbers in which such subscribers shall stand, on a list to be made for striking off as aforesaid; and if the sum subscribed still exceeds the capital aforesaid, then to strike off by the same rule until the sum subscribed is reduced to the capital aforesaid, or all the subscriptions are reduced to one share: and if there still be an excess, then lots to be drawn to determine the subscribers who are to be excluded, to reduce the subscriptions to the capital aforesaid, which striking off shall be certified in the list aforesaid, and the said capital sum shall be reckoned and divided into five hundred shares, of four hundred and forty-four dollars and four-ninths of a dollar each, of which every person subscribing may take and subscribe for one or more whole shares, and not otherwise. Provided, That unless one half of the said capital shall be subscribed as aforesaid, all subscriptions made in consequence of this act, shall be void, and in case one half and less than the whole of the said capital shall be subscribed as aforesaid, then the president and directors are hereby empowered and directed to take and receive the subscriptions which shall first be offered in whole shares as aforesaid, until the deficiency shall be made up, a certificate of which additional subscriptions shall be made under the hands of the president and directors, or a majority of them for the time being, and returned to and recorded in the general courts, aforesaid.|
Capital to be divided in to 500 shares.
Unless one half of capital subscribed, the whole to be void.
|III. And be it enacted, That in case one half of the said capital, or a greater sum, shall be subscribed as aforesaid, the said subscribers, and their heirs and assigns, from the time of the said first meeting, shall be, and are hereby declared to be incorporated into a company, by the name of the "Potowmack Company," and may sue and be sued as such; and such of the said subscribers as shall be present at the said meeting, or a majority of them, are hereby empowerd and required to elect a president and four directors, for conducting the said undertaking, and managing all the said company's business and concerns, for and during such time, not exceeding three years, as the said subscribers, or a majority of them, shall think fit. And in counting the|| To be incorporated as a company. |
Style of corporation.
Rules for electing officers.
|votes of all general meetings of the said company, each member shall be allowed one vote for every share, as far as ten shares, and one vote for every five shares above ten, by him or her held at the time in the said company; and any proprietor, by writing under his or her hand, executed before two witnesses, may depute any other member or proprietor to vote and act as proxy for him or her, at any general meeting.|
|IV. And be it enacted, That the said president and directors so elected, and their successors, or a majority of them assembled, shall have full power and authority, to agree with any person or persons, on behalf of the said company, to cut such canals, and erect such locks, and perform such other works as they shall judge necessary for opening, improving, and extending the navigation of the said river above tide water, to the highest part of the North Branch, to which navigation can be extended, and carrying on the same from place to place, and from time to time, and upon such terms, and in such manner, as they shall think fit; and out of the money arising from the subscriptions and the tolls, and other aids herein after given, to pay for the same, and to repair and keep in order the said canals, locks, and other works necessary thereto, and to defray all incidental charges; and also to appoint a treasurer, clerk, and such other officers, toll gatherers, managers, and servants, as they shall judge requisite, and to agree for an settle their respective wages or allowances, and settle, pass and sign their accounts; and also to make and establish rules of proceeding, and to transact all the other business and concerns of the said company, in and during the intervals between the general meetings of the same; and they shall be allowed as a satisfaction for their trouble therein, such sum of money as shall, by a general meeting of the subscribers, be determined. Provided always, That the treasurer shall give bond, in such penalty, and with such security, as the said president and directors, or a majority of them, shall direct, for the true and faithful discharge of the trust reposed in him, and that the allowance to be made to him for his services, shall not exceed three pounds in the hundred, for the disbursements by him made; and that no officer in the said company shall have any vote in the settlement or passing of his own account.|| Authority of president and directors, to make contracts.
To appoint officers, and fix their compensation.
Bond and security by treasurer.
Limitation of compensation.
|[The errata includes changing "wanted"
to "wanting", just below. The wording in my copy is already "wanting".
|V. And be it enacted, That the said president and directors, and their successors, or a majority of them, shall have full power and authority, from time to time, as money shall be wanting, to make and sign orders for that purpose, and direct at what time, and in what proportion the proprietors shall advance and pay off the sums subscribed, which orders shall be advertised at least one month in the Virginia and Maryland Gazettes; and they are hereby authorized and empowered to demand and receive of the several proprietors, from time to time, the sums of money so ordered to be advanced for carrying on and executing, or repairing and keeping in order the said works, until the sums subscribed shall be fully paid, and to order the said sums to be deposited into the hands of the treasurer, to be by him disbursed and paid out as the said president and directors, or a majority of them, shall order and direct. And if any of the said proprietors shall refuse or neglect to pay their said proportions, within one month after the same so ordered and advertised, as aforesaid, the said president and directors, or a majority of them, may sell at auction, and convey to the purchaser, the share or shares of such proprietor so refusing or neglecting payment, giving at least one month's notice of the sale in the Virginia and Maryland Gazettes; and after retaining the sum due, and charges of sale out of the money produced thereby, they shall refund and pay the overplus, if any, to the former owner; and if such sale shall not produce the full sum ordered and directed, to be advanced as aforesaid, with the incidental charges, the said president and directors, or a majority of them, may, in the name of the company, sue for and recover the balance by action of debt, or on the case; and the said purchaser or purchasers, shall be subject to the same rules and regulations, as if the said sale and conveyance had been made by the original proprietor. And to continue the succession of the said president and directors, and to keep up the same number;|| |
Mode of collecting amount of shares, subscribed for.
May sell shares of delinquent subscribers.
May sue for deficiencies arising on sales.
|VI. Be it enacted, That from time to time, upon the expiration of the said term, for which the said president and directors were appointed, the proprietors of the said company, at the general meeting, shall either continue the said president and directors, or any of them, or shall choose others in their stead; and in case of the death, removal, resignation, or incapacity to the president, or|| Election of officers.|
|any of the said directors, may and shall, in manner aforesaid, elect any other person or persons, to be president and directors, in the room of him or them so dying, removing, or resigning; and may at any of their general meetings, remove the president or any of the directors, and appoint others for and during the remainder of the term, for which such person or persons were at first to have acted.||Officers how removed.|
|VII. And be it enacted, That every president and director, before he acts as such, shall take an oath or affirmation, for the due execution of his office.||Oath of office.|
|VIII. And be it enacted, That the presence of proprietors, having one hundred shares at he least, shall be necessary to constitute a general meeting; and that there be a general meeting of proprieters on the first Monday of August, in every year, at such convenient town as shall from time to time, be appointed by the said general meeting; but if a sufficient number should not attend on that day, the proprietors who do attend may adjourn such meeting from day to day, till a general meeting of proprietors shall be had, which may be continued from day to day, until the business of the company is finished, to which meeting the president and directors shall make report, and render distinct and just accounts of all their proceedings, and, on finding them fairly and justly stated, the proprietors then present, or a majority of them, shall give a certificate thereof, a duplicate of which shall be entered on the said company's books; and at such yearly general meetings, after leaving in the hands of the treasurer, such sum as the proprietors or a majority of them shall judge necessary for repairs and contingent charges, an equal dividend of all the neat profits, arising from the tolls hereby granted, shall be ordered and made to and among all the proprietors of the said company, in proportion to their several shares; and upon any emergency in the interval between the said yearly meetings, the said president, or a majority of the said directors, may appoint a general meeting of the proprietors of the said company, at any convenient town, giving at least one month's previous notice in the Maryland and Virginia gazettes, which meeting may be adjourned and continued as aforesaid.|
Meetings of the company.
|IX. And be it further enacted, That for and in consideration of the expences the said proprietors will be||Property vested in the holders of shares, as tenants in common.|
|at, not only in cutting the canals, erecting locks, and other works for opening the different falls of the said river, and in improving and extending the navigation thereof, but in maintaining and keeping the same in repair, the said canals and works, with all their profits, shall be, and the same are hereby vested in the said proprietors, their heirs, and assigns forever, as tenants in common, in proportion to their respective shares, and the same shall be deemed real estate, and be forever exempt from payment of any tax, imposition or assessment whatsoever; and it shall and may be lawful for the said president and directors, at all times forever hereafter, to demand and receive at the nearest convenient place below the mouth of the South branch, and at or near Payne's falls, and every of these places separately, for all commodities transported through either of them respectively, tolls according to the following table and rates, to wit:|| Declared real estate.|
Exempt from taxations.
|[ This table in the original was printed vertically.]|
|[ These tables in the original were printed vertically.]|
| Which tolls are rated in sterling money, and may be discharged in foreign gold or silver
coin of the |
present fineness, at the following rates, to wit:
|But if any of the coins aforesaid, should hereafter be rendered less valuable than they are at present, either by lessening their weight, or therewith adding a greater quantity of alloy than is in them respectively at present, then so much of any of the said coins, the value of which is so reduced, to be received for the tolls aforesaid, as is equal in value to the said coins in their present state of fineness and weight, shall be payable for the said tolls at their reduced value only. And in case of refusal or neglect to pay the tolls at the time of offering to pass through any of the said places, and previous to the vessel's passing through the same, the collectors of the said tolls may lawfully refuse passage to such vessels, and if any vessel shall pass without paying the said toll, then the said collectors may seize such vessel wherever found, and sell the same at auction for ready money, which so far as is necessary shall be applied towards paying the said toll and all expences of seizure and sale, and the balance, if any, shall be paid to the owner, and the person having the direction of such vessel, shall be liable for such toll, if the same is not paid by sale of such vessel as aforesaid, Provided, That the said proprietors or a majority of them, holding at least three hundred shares, shall have full power and authority at any general meeting, to lessen the said tolls or any of them; or to determine that any article may pass free of toll.|| |
In case of refusal to pay toll, passage to vessel may be refused.
|X. And be it enacted, That the said river and the work to be erected thereon in virtue of this act, when completed, shall forever thereafter be esteemed and taken to be navigable as a public highway, free for the transportation of all goods, commodities, or produce whatsoever, on payment of the tolls imposed by this act, and no other toll or tax whatever for the use of the water of the said river, and the works thereon erected, shall at any time hereafter be imposed by both or either of the said states, subject nevertheless to such regulations, as the legislatures of the said states may concur in, to prevent the importation of prohibited goods, or to prevent fraud in evading the payment of duties imposed in both or either of the said states on goods imported into either of them. And whereas it is necessary for the making the said canal, locks, and other works, that a provision should be made for condemning a quantity of land for the purpose:||River and works to be esteemed a public highway.|
|XI. Be it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the said president and directors, or a majority of them, to agree with the owners of any land, through which the said canal is intended to pass, for the purchase thereof, and in case of disagreement, or in case the owner thereof shall be a feme-covert, under age non-compos, or out of the state, on application to any two justices of the county, in which such land shall lie, the said justices shall issue their warrants under their hands, to the sheriff of their county, to summon a jury of twenty-four inhabitants of his county of property and reputation, not related to the parties, nor in any manner interested, to meet on the land to be valued, at a day to be expressed in the warrant, not less than ten, nor more than twenty days thereafter; and the sheriff upon receiving the said warrant, shall forthwith summon the said jury, and when met, provided that not less than twelve do appear, shall administer an oath or affirmation to every juryman that shall appear: "That he will faithfully, justly, and impartially, value the land, (not exceeding in any case the width of one hundred and forty feet) and all damages the owner thereof shall sustain by the cutting the canal through such land, according to the best of his skill and judgment; and that in such valuation, he will not spare any person through favor or affection, nor any person grieve through malice, hatred, or ill will." And the inquisition thereupon taken, shall be signed by the sheriff, and some twelve or more of the jury, and returned by the sheriff to the clerk of his county, to be by him recorded: And upon every such valuation, the jury is hereby directed, to describe and ascertain the bounds of the land by them valued, and their valuation shall be conclusive on all persons, and shall be paid by the said president and directors, to the owner of the land, or his legal representative; and on payment thereof, the said company shall be seized in fee of such land, as if conveyed by the owner to them, and their successors, by legal conveyance. Provided nevertheless, That if any farther damage shall arise to any proprietor of land, in consequence of opening such canal, or in erecting such works, than had been before considered and valued, it shall and may be lawful for such proprietor, as often as any such new damage shall happen, by application to, and a warrant from, any two jutices of the county where the lands lie, to have such further|| Company may purchase lands.|
Or, have them condemned by a jury.
Further damages, how compensated.
|damage valued by a jury in like manner, and to receive and recover the same of the said president and directors. But nothing herein shall be taken or construed to entitle the proprietor of any such land to recover compensation for any damages which may happen to any mills, forges, or other water works or improvements which shall be begun or erected by such proprietor, after such first valuation, unless the said damage is wilfully or maliciousiy done by the said president and directors, or some person by their authority.|
|XII. And be it enacted, That the said president and directors, or a majority of them, are hereby authorized to agree with the proprietors for the purchase of a quantity of land, not exceeding one acre, at or near each of the said places of receipt of tolls aforesaid, for the purpose of erecting necessary buildings; and in case of disagreement, or any of the disabilities aforesaid, or the proprietor being out of the state, then such land may be valued, condemned, and paid for as aforesaid, for the purpose aforesaid; and the said company shall, upon payment of the valuation of the said land, be seized thereof in fee simple as aforesaid: And whereas, some of the places through which it may be necessary to conduct the said canals, may be convenient for erecting mills, forges, and other water works, and the persons, possessors of such situation, may design to improve the same, and it is the intention of this act, not to interfere with private property, but for the purpose of improving and perfecting the said navigation;||Land whereon to erect buildings for toll-houses, &c. how acquired, and how much.|
|XIII. Be it enacted, That the water or any part thereof, conveyed through any canal or cut made by the said company, shall not be used for any purpose but navigation, unless the consent of the proprietors of the land through which the same shall be led, be first had; and the said president and directors, or a majority of them, are hereby empowered and directed, if it can be conveniently done, to answer both the purposes of navigation and water works aforesaid, to enter into reasonable agreements with the proprietors of such situation, concerning the just proportion of the expences of making large canals or cuts capable of carrying such quantities of water as may be sufficient for the purposes of navigation, and also for any such water works as aforesaid.||No water to be used from canal but for navigation, without consent of proprietors.|
542 <==[ Typo,
should read 524.]
|That the tolls herein before allowed, to be demanded and received at or near Payne's falls, are granted and shall be payable on condition only, that the said Potowmack Company shall make the river well capable of being navigated in dry seasons, by vessels drawing one foot water, from the said place of collection, near the mouth of the South Branch, to and through Payne's falls as aforesaid. That the tolls herein before allowed to be demanded and received at the Great Falls, are granted and shall be payable on condition only, that the said Potowmack Company shall make the river well capable of being navigated in dry seasons, from Payne's falls to the Great falls, by vessels drawing one foot water, and from the Great falls to tide water, and shall at or near the Great falls make a cut or canal, twenty-five feet wide, and four feet deep, with sufficient locks, if necessary, each of eighty feet in length, sixteen feet in breadth, and capable of conveying vessels or rafts drawing four feet water at the least, and shall make at or near the Little falls such canal and locks, if necessary, as will be sufficient and proper to let vessels and rafts aforesaid, into tide water, or render the said river navigable in the natural course.|
|XVIII. And it is hereby provided and enacted, That in case the said company shall not begin the said work within one year after the company shall be formed, or if the navigation shall not be made and improved between the Great falls and Fort-Cumberland, in the manner herein before mentioned, within three years after the said company shall be formed, that then the said company shall not be entitled to any benefit, privilege, or advantage, under this act: And in case the said company shall not complete the navigation through and from the Great falls to tide water as aforesaid, within ten years after the said company shall be formed, then shall all interest of the said company and all preference in their favor, as to the navigation and tolls, at, through, and from the Great falls to tide water, be forfeited and cease.||Charter, how forfeitable.|
|XIX. And be it enacted, That all commodities of the produce of either of the said states, or of the western country, which may be carried or transported through the said locks, canals, and river, may be landed, sold, or otherwise disposed of free from any other duties, impositions, regulations, or restrictions, of any kind, than|
|the like commodities of the produce of the state in which the same may happen to be so landed, sold, shipped or disposed of.|
|XX. And be it further enacted, That the treasurer of this commonwealth shall be authorized and directed to subscribe to the amount of fifty shares in behalf of the same, and the money necessary in consequence of such subscription, shall be paid as the same shall be required. And the treasurer for the time being, shall have a right to vote according to such shares, in person or by proxy, appointed by him, and shall receive the proportion of the tolls aforesaid, which shall from time to time become due to this state for the shares aforesaid.||Trearurer to subscribe for fifty shares.|
|XXI. And be it further enacted, That so much of every act and acts within the purview of this act, shall be, and the same is hereby repealed.||Repealing clause.|
|Pages 494-510||Pages 525-543|