|Pages 4-24||Pages 45-67|
| CHAP. II.|
An act for the appointment of harbour masters, and declaring their duty.
|I. WHEREAS it is represented that the appointment of harbour-masters would tend to the preservation of order and regularity in the several ports and harbours within this commonwealth,||Preamble.|
|II. Be it enacted, That the county and corporation courts within this state shall, and they are hereby authorized and empowered, to appoint so many persons as they may think necessary, to act as harbour-masters within their respective jurisdictions. And the person or persons so to be appointed, shall, previous to the entering on the said office, take the following oath before their county or corporation court: "I −−−−− do swear that I am a citizen of the commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will well and truly preform the duty of harbour-master to the best of my skill and judgment, without favor, affection, or partiality. So help me God,"|| Harbour-masters, how appointed.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That the harbour-masters to be appointed by virtue of this act, shall have full and ample power to cause all ships and other vessels that may come within his district, to moor in such places as he shall judge most conducive for the general safety, and shall moreover direct the masters or commanders of vessels to rig in their jib-booms, or any other spars which may tend to obstruct the navigation. Any master or commander refusing to observe and comply with the said directions, shall forfeit and pay the sum of fifteen pounds, to the use of the commonwealth; and shall moreover be subject for any damages that may accrue in consequence of such refusal, to be recovered in any court of record within this commonwealth.||Powers and duty.|
|IV. And be it further enacted, That the harbour-master shall cause every ship or other vessel that may come within his district, to be properly moored within twenty-four hours after their several arrivals. Any harbour-masters failing to give directions for the mooring of any vessels within the time prescribed by this act, shall forfeit and pay fifteen pounds, for the use of|| Penalty for neglect.|
|the commonwealth, to be recovered, by motion before the county or corporation court (as the case may be) on ten days previous notice, and shall moreover be liable to the action of the party injured, for any damages sustained in consequence of such neglect. And the harbour-master shall moreover attend to the unmooring of all ships and other vessels within their respective districts; and in case any vessel moored, shall by stress of weather or other accident, be drove from her mooring, the harbour-master shall attend to the re-mooring the same, and be entitled to half fees for such service.|
|V. And be it further enacted, That the harbour-masters shall demand, and be entitled to receive from all masters or commanders of square-rigged vessels, the sum of ten shillings, and for all schooners and sloops, the sum of six shillings, and no more: Provided nevertheless, That no master or commander of any river, or bay craft, shall be subject to the payment of any fee by this act imposed.||Fees.|
|VI. This act to commence and be in force from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six.|
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That five delegates shall be chosen by joint ballot of both houses, to represent this commonwealth in congress from the time of their appointment, until the first Monday of November, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, three of whom at least shall be constantly attending the duties of their office. The persons so appointed, shall each of them have the governor a credential varied so as to suit the present occasion, and shall be entitled||Provision for appointing delegates to congress.|
|to the same allowances as are provided by an act, intituled "An act for regulating the appointments of delegates to congress."|
An act to provide for the poor of the several counties within this commonwealth.
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That the court of every county within this commonwealth, at their session to be held in the month of March next after the passing of this act, shall cause their said county to be laid off into convenient districts, and shall direct the sheriff of their county to cause publication to be made, that on some convenient day to be appointed by the said court, an election will be held within each district, to consist of freeholders and house-keepers only, for the purpose of chusing three discreet, fit, and proper persons, being freeholders of and resident within the same, who shall be called and denominated overseers of the poor, and shall continue and be in office for and during the term of three years; at the expiration whereof other triennial elections shall be made in manner herein before directed; and the said court shall, at the same time, appoint some person in each district to superintend the election. And the said overseers, upon notice to them respectively being given by the person appointed in their district to superintend the election, of their being duly elected, they, or a majority of them shall meet together at some convenient place within their respective districts, between the first day of April, and the first day of August, in every year, and shall levy and assess upon the tithables within their said county (a copy of the list of which shall be furnished them by the clerk of the county) competent sums of money, or tobacco in lieu thereof at a stated price, to be paid at the option of the party|| Provision for the poor. |
Counties to be laid off into districts.
Overseers of the poor to be triennially elected.
Superintendants of elections.
Overseers when to meet and assess levies on tithables.
|chargeable therewith, for the necessary relief and support of all such poor, lame, impotent, blind, and other inhabitants of their said county as are not able to maintain themselves.|
|II. And be it enacted, That the overseers of the poor in each district, shall monthly make returns to the court of their county of the poor orphans in their district, and the said court is hereby authorized to direct the said overseers, or either of them, to bind out such poor orphans, apprentices to such person or persons as the court on due enquiry shall approve of, and the indentures of such apprentices shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county, and not transferrable to any person whatsoever, without the approbation of the court. The said overseers shall, on or before the tenth day of August annually, make up in a book to be kept for that purpose, an exact account of the persons to and for whom such monies are to be paid, the purposes for which, and the particular sums, a transcript of which, they shall once in every year return to the court to be there entered of record; a copy of which they shall also, on or before the same day, deliver to the collector of the public taxes, who is hereby authorized and required to collect the same, together with the list of persons chargeable with the poor rates, and of the sum each person is liable to pay; which collector shall give bond with good security to the court for the faithful discharge of his duty herein, and shall have the same powers to collect the said poor rates, and have the same commission, and be subject to the same fines, forfeitures, and prosecutions, as in the case of county levies. The said collector shall pay the money or tobacco, as the case may be, to the several persons, or to their order, for whom it was levied, on or before the first day of October in every year; and in default thereof, it shall be lawful for the court of the county to render judgment for the same, with costs on complaint of the party, or on motion by the overseers: provided that the collector has ten days previous notice of such motion.|| Monthly returns to poor overseers, to be appointed.|
Annual returns of the poor, and their allowances.
Levies, how collected and accounted for.
|III. And be it further enacted, That the same power and authority given to, and vested in a churchwarden, by an act, intituled "An act for the relief of parishes from such charges as arise from bastard children born within the same," passed in the year of our Lord one||Powers of church-wardens, in relation to bastards, transferred to Overseers of|
|thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine, is hereby given to the several overseers of the poor respectively, who shall perform the same duties as by that act are required to be performed by a church warden. And the said overseers of the poor in each county, shall have power and authority to call on the late churchwardens in their counties or parishes, for a settlement of their parochial accounts, and shall receive any money in their hands belonging to the parish, heretofore levied for the support of the poor, to be applied to the debts contracted in support of the parish poor. And in case any church-wardens shall refuse to pay to the overseers of the poor in the county in which such churchwardens acted, the balance which shall appear to be in their hands on settlement being made, as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the county court to render judgment for the same, with costs on complaint of the said overseers of the poor, or their attorney; provided such churchwarden shall have ten days previous notice of such motion. And the court of every county within this commonwealth shall be, and they are hereby authorized and required, whereof public notice shall be previously given by the sheriff, to levy and assess upon the tithable persons in their respective counties, all parish charges which shall have accrued since the last laying of the levy of the parishes within their respective counties, and before the first day of April next; and the collector of the public taxes shall collect and receive such levy, and pay the same to the person entitled thereto, shall have the same commission, and on refusal to pay, be liable to the same penalty and judgments as the collector of the poor rates is entitled and made liable to: And to prevent vagrants and others, not betaking themselves to honest occupations, becoming burthensome to the industrious and useful part of the community, it is necessary that the overseers in each district should be, and they are hereby empowered to compel and put all such to work, so long as such person or persons shall continue within their district and are likely to become chargeable to the county. And whereas, by the dissolution of the vestries, and abridging their future powers, no processioners of land can legally be appointed:|| the poor; who are to call on church-wardens for a
Parochial debts, how paid.
Vagrants how disposed of.
|IV. Be it enacted, That the overseers of the poor, appointed by this act, shall have the same powers, and are required to perform the same duty which was formerly||Powers of vestries transferred to overseers of the poor.|
|prescribed for the different vestries, under the direction of the different county courts, who are hereby empowered and required to make the like orders, and observe the same rules, as is directed by the act, intituled "An act for settling the titles and bounds of lands and for preventing unlawful hunting and ranging."|
An act for the naturalization of the Marquis De La Fayette.
|I. WHEREAS the Marquis De La Fayette is eminently distinguished, by early and signal exertions in defence of American liberty: And whereas this illustrious nobleman continues to afford testimonies of unceasing affection to this state, and the general assembly being solicitous to bestow the most decisive mark or regard which a republic can give:||Preamble.|
|II. Be it enacted, That the Marquis De La Fayette be henceforth deemed and considered a citizen of this state, and that he shall enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities, thereunto belonging.||Marquis De La Fayette naturalized.|
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That the author of any book or pamphlet already printed, being a citizen of any one of the United States, who has not transferred to any other person or persons the copy or copies of such book, or pamphlet, share, or shares thereof,||Copy-right of literary works how secured to the authors.|
|his heirs and assigns, or the person or persons who have purchased or acquired such copy or copies, share or shares, in order to print or re-print the same, his heirs and assigns shall have the exclusive right of printing and re-printing such book or pamphlet, within this commonwealth, for the term of twenty-one years, to be computed from the first publication thereof; and that the author of any book or pamphlet already composed and not printed or published, or that shall hereafter be composed, being a citizen, as aforesaid, his heirs and assigns shall have the exclusive right of printing and re-printing such book or pamphlet, within this commonwealth, for the like term of twenty-one years, to be computed from the first publication thereof. And if any person or persons whatsoever, shall print, re-print or cause to be printed or re-printed, within this commonwealth, any such book or pamphlet; or shall import into this commonwealth, from any foreign kingdom or state, any printed or re-printed copies of such book or pamphlet, without the consent of the author or proprietor thereof first obtained in writing, signed in presence of two credible witnesses at least; or who, knowing the same to be so printed, re-printed, or imported, without such consent first had and obtained, shall publish, sell, or expose to sale, or cause to be published, sold, or exposed to sale, any copy or copies of any such book or pamphlet; the person or persons offending herein, shall forfeit to the party injured, double the value of all the copies so printed, re-printed, or imported; or so published, sold, or exposed to sale; to be recovered at the suit of such party, in any court of record within this commonwealth.|
|II. Provided nevertheless, That no person shall be entitled to the benefit of this act, until he shall have registered the title of such book or pamphlet with the clerk of the council, and procured a certificate of such registry from the said clerk; which certificate the clerk is hereby required to give, taking only three shillings for his trouble.|
| CHAP. VII.|
An act to impose additional tonnage on British vessels.
|BE it enacted, That the several naval-officers shall, from and after the first day of February next, receive from the captain or commander of every ship or vessel trading to this commonwealth, owned wholly or in part by a British subject, at entrance five shillings per ton, including the tonnage heretofore imposed. And the naval officer of each district, where he has reason to suspect that any ship or vessel is registered at less tonnage than her real burthen, shall be empowered to go on board the said ship or vessel, and make a measurement of her agreeable to the carpenter's tonnage in this state; which said tonnage shall be accounted for, and paid into the treasury by the several naval-officers, in the same manner as the tonnage heretofore imposed.||Additional tonnage imposed on British vessels.|
An act for reforming the county courts, and for other purposes.
|I. WHEREAS the methods hitherto established for the administration of justice within this commonwealth have proved ineffectual, and the various kinds of business cognizable by the county courts, render it necessary that certain sessions of the said court should be set apart for the trial of suits depending in the said courts, and for other sessions, for the transaction of other business;||County courts reformed.|
|II. Be it enacted, That courts shall be held in each county, on the several days of holding courts in the respective counties, in the months of March, May, August, and November, in every year, for the trial of all suits at common law and in chancery, petitions for||Quarterly courts.|
|debt, presentments, and criminal prosecutions, depending in the said courts; and if through sickness, or other disability, badness of weather, or other accident, it shall so happen that a sufficient number of justices shall not meet, for holding the said courts on the days herein before appointed, in any such case it shall and may be lawful for any one justice to adjourn the court from day to day, not exceeding three days, until a sufficient number can attend to hold a court.||Jurisdiction.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That all imparlances to be taken, and pleadings to be filed, and all proceedings to be had in suits depending in the county court, both in common law and in chancery, until an issue is joined, or interlocutory judgment or decree entered, shall be done at rules, to be held monthly, in the clerk's office, on such day as the court, at their quarterly sessions shall appoint; which rules and proceedings shall be fairly and distinctly entered in a book to be kept for that purpose; and the clerk shall be allowed the same fees for entering such rules, as if the entries had been made in court. And all rules to declare, plead, reply, rejoin, or for other proceedings, shall be given from month to month, and shall be made and entered with the clerk of the court in the same manner as the rules are made and entered with the clerk of the general court in suits depending in that court. Provided nevertheless, That the court may, at their quarterly session, which shall be held next after any of the said rules and proceedings to be had in the clerk's office, for good cause to them shewn, set aside any of the said rules and proceedings, and make such order concerning the same, as to them shall appear just and right. All original process to bring any person or persons to answer in any action, suit, indictment, or information in the said court, and all subsequent process thereon, all attachments, or other writs of what nature soever, all process in chancery, awarded by the said court, and all attachments issued by a magistrate, shall be returnable on the first day of the next succeeding quarterly court. Special bail may be taken in court, at the quarterly sessions; or any justice when the court is not sitting, may take recognizance of special bail in any action therein depending, which shall be taken de bene esse, and returned by the justice taking the same, to the clerk of the court, before the next succeeding|| Rules to be held in clerks office.|
Power of court to controul rules.
|quarterly court, to be filed with the papers in such action; and if the plaintiff, or his attorney, shall see cause to except to the sufficiency of the bail so taken, notice of such intended exception shall be given to the defendant, or his attorney, at least five days previous to the day on which such exception shall be taken; and if such bail shall be adjudged insufficient by the court, the recognizance thereof shall be discharged, and such proceedings shall be had as if no such bail had been taken. The same proceedings shall be had against the common bail in any suit, and the sheriff or either of them, and they or either of them, may have the same remedy against the defendant or his executors or administrators, in the county courts at their quarterly sessions as may be had in the general court in such cases. −− The clerk shall proportion the causes upon the docket in the same manner as the clerk of the general court now does; from the first day of the court to the sixth, if in his opinion so many days will be expended in determining the causes ready for trial, and issue subpœnas for witnesses to attend on the days to which the causes stand for trial. When any witness resides out of this commonwealth, or shall be about to depart the same, or by age, sickness, or otherwise shall be unable to attend, the court upon affidavit thereof, the court when they are sitting, or any justice thereof in vacation, may, on request of either party, direct a commission to be issued by the clerk of the court, for taking the deposition of such witness, de bene esse, to be read as evidence at the trial, in case the witness shall then be unable to attend; but the party obtaining such commission, shall give reasonable notice to the other party of the time and place of taking such deposition, otherwise the same shall be void. If any party, in any suit at common law, or in chancery, shall make oath, that he verily believes his claim or defence (as the case may be) or a material point thereof, depends on a single witness, the court, or any justice thereof, may witness, de bene esse, although he or she be not about to depart the country, nor under any disability, the party in such case, giving reasonable notice of taking such deposition, to the adverse party. If any person summoned as a witness, and attending the court or commissioners appointed to take his or her deposition, as|| Exception to bail.|
Proceedings against common bail and sheriff.
Depositions of aged, infirm, absent, or single witnesses, or those about to remove, how taken.
Witnesses refusing to give evidence, may be committed
|aforesaid, shall refuse to give evidence on oath, or affirmation (as the case may be) to the best of his or her knowledge, every person so refusing, shall be committed to prison, either by the court or commissioners, there to remain without bail or mainprise, until he or she shall give such evidence. The county court at their quarterly session, are hereby empowered to proceed in the same manner against any defendant residing out of the country, or absconding to avoid being served with the process of such court, and shall have the same power over his estate and effects, as the high court of chancery now have and exercise in such cases: and may hear and determine all caveats against grants for land lying within the limits of the jurisdiction of the said courts respectively; except within the counties composing the district of Kentucky. The person entering any caveat, shall take from the surveyor of the county, before he shall return his plat and survey to the register's office, or from the register, after such return, a certified copy thereof, which within thirty days thereafter, shall be delivered to the clerk of the county, where the land lies, or such caveat shall become void; the said clerk, on receiving the same, shall enter it in a book, and thereupon issue summons, reciting the cause for which such caveat is entered, and requiring the defendant to appear on the first day of the next succeeding quarterly court, and defend his or her right; and on such process being returned executed, the same proceedings shall be had thereupon as by law is directed to be had in such cases in the general court. All executions which shall hereafter be issued on judgments obtained in the county courts, shall be returnable to the succeeding quarterly session of the court of the county, wherein such judgment was or shall be obtained. And where any final judgment shall be entered up in the office against any defendant or defendants and their securities, or against any defendant or defendants, and sheriff by default, execution may issue thereupon, unless the same shall be set aside before the end of the second day of the quarterly session next succeeding and entering up such judgment, in like manner, and on such conditions, as office judgments in the general court may now be set aside.|| Absent defendants, proceedings against. |
Caveats, rules concerning.
Executions, when returnable.
Office judgments, when set aside.
|IV. And be it further enacted, That the respective county courts shall sit in the months of January, February, April June, July, September, October, and||Monthly courts.|
|December, in every year, on the respective days appointed by the laws now in force for holding the said courts in those months, for the transaction of all matters cognizable by the said courts, except suits in chancery, and causes properly triable by a jury in open court or points of law, upon demurrer, special verdicts, or cases agreed. The sheriff of each county shall, before every court of quarter sessions, summon twenty-four freeholders of his county, qualified as the law directs, for grand-jurors, to appear at the next succeeding court of quarter-sessions; which twenty-four men, or any sixteen of them, shall be a grand-jury, and shall enquire of and present all crimes, misdemeanors, or breach of penal laws, agreeable to an act of assembly, intituled "An act concerning juries," whatsoever, which shall be committed within their county, cognizable before the county courts.|
|V. And be it further enacted, That if any suit shall be dismissed for non-attendance of an attorney, practising either in the superior or inferior courts, not having a just and reasonable excuse, it shall be at his costs, and he shall moreover be liable for all damage his client shall sustain by such dismission (or any other neglect of his duty) to be recovered in any court of record in this commonwealth. And every attorney receiving money for his client, and refusing to pay the same when demanded, shall, in a summary way, be proceeded against, on notice before any court of record, in the same manner as sheriffs are liable to be proceeded against, for money received on executions.|| Suits dismissed for non-attendance of attornies, at their
Attosnies receiving money for their clients, liable on motion.
|VI. And be it further enacted, That all and every other act and acts, clause and clauses, heretofore made for or concerning any matter or thing, within the purview of this act, shall be, and are hereby repealed; and this act shall commence, and be in force, from and after the last day of April next.|
|I. WHEREAS it is represented to be the desire of the good people inhabiting the district known by the name of the Kentucky district, that the same should be separated from this commonwealth whereof it is a part, and be formed into an independent member of the American confederacy, and it is judged by the general assembly that such a partition of the commonwealth is rendered expedient by the remoteness of the more fertile, which must be the more populous part of the said district, and by the interjacent natural impediments to a convenient and regular communication therewith.||Terms on which the district of Kentucky may be erected into an independent state.|
|II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That in the month of August next, on the representative court days of the counties within the said district; and at the respective places of holding courts therein, representative places of holding courts therein, representatives to continue in appointment for one year, and to compose a convention, with the powers, and for the purposes hereinafter mentioned, shall be elected by the free male inhabitants of each county in like manner as delegates to the general assembly have been elected within the said district, in the proportions following: In the county of Jefferson shall be elected five representatives, in the county of Nelson five representatives, in the county of Fayette five representatives, in the county of Bourbon five representatives, in the county of Lincoln five representatives, in the county of Madison five representatives, and in the county of Mercer five representatives. That full opportunity may be given to ths good people, of exercising their right of suffrage on an occasion so interesting to them, each of the officers holding such elections, shall continue the same from day to day, passing over Sunday, for five days, including the first day, shall cause this act to be read on each day, immediately preceding the opening of the election, at the door of the court-house, or other convenient place, and shall fix up two copies at least of this act in the most public situations at the place of||Convention, how chosen.|
|election, twenty days before the commencement thereof. Each of the said officers shall deliver to each person duly elected a representative a certificate of his election, and shall moreover transmit a general return to the clerk of the supreme court of the district, to be by him laid before the convention: For every neglect of any of the duties hereby enjoined on such officer, he shall forfeit one hundred pounds, to be recovered by action of debt, by any person suing for the same. The said convention shall be held at Danville, on the fourth Monday of September, and as soon as two-thirds, of the representatives shall be convened, they shall and may proceed, after choosing a president and other proper officers, and settling the proper rules of proceeding, to consider, and by a majority of voices, to determine, whether it be expedient for, and be the will of the good people of the said district, that the same be erected into an independent state, on the terms and conditions following:|
|First. That the boundary between the proposed state and Virginia, shall remain the same as at present separates the district from the residue of the commonwealth.||Conditions.|
|Second. That the proposed state shall take upon itself a just proportion of the public debt of this commonwealth.|
|Third. That all private rights and interests in lands within the said district, derived from the laws of Virginia, prior to such separation, shall remain valid and secure under the laws of the proposed state, and shall be determined by the laws now existing in this state.|
|Fourth. That the lands within the proposed state of non-resident proprietors, shall not in any case be taxed higher than the lands of residents at any time prior to the admission of the proposed state to a vote by its delegates in congress, where such non-residents reside out of the United States; nor at any time either before or after such admission, where such non-residents reside within this commonwealth, within which this stipulation shall be reciprocal; or where such non-residents reside within any other of the United States, which shall declare the same to be reciprocal within its limits; nor shall a neglect of cultivation or improvement of any land within either the proposed state, or this commonwealth, belonging to non-residents, citizens of the other, subject such non-residents to forfeiture or other penalty,|
|within the term of six years after the admission of the said state into the fœderal union.|
|Fifth. That no grant of land, nor land warrant to be issued by the proposed state, shall interfere with any warrant heretofore issued from the land-office of Virginia, which shall be located on land within the said district now liable thereto, on or before the first day of September, one thousand seen hundred and eighty-eight.|
|Sixth. That the unlocated lands within the said district, which stand appropriated by the laws of this commonwealth to individuals or descriptions of individuals, for military or other services, shall be exempt from the disposition of the proposed state, and shall remain subject to be disposed of by the commonwealth of Virginia, according to such appropriation, until the first day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, and no longer; and thereafter the residue of all lands remaining within the limits of the said district, shall be subject to the disposition of the proposed state.|
|Seventh. That the use and navigation of the river Ohio, so far as the territory of the proposed state, or the territory which shall remain within the limits of this commonwealth lies thereon, shall be free and common to citizens of the United States; and the respective jurisdictions of this commonwealth, and of the proposed state, on the river as aforesaid, shall be concurrent only with the states which may possess the opposite shores of the said river.|
|Eighth. That in case any complaint or dispute shall at any time arise between the commonwealth of Virginia and the said district, after it shall be an independent state, concerning the meaning or execution of the forgoing articles, the same shall be determined by six commissioners, of whom two shall be chosen by each of the parties, and the remainder by the commissioners so first appointed.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That if the said convention shall approve of an erection of the said district into an independent state, on the foregoing terms and conditions, they shall and may proceed to fix a day posterior to the first day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, on which the authority of this commonwealth, and of its laws, under the exceptions|
|aforesaid, shall cease and determine for ever, over the proposed state, and the said articles become a solemn compact, mutually binding on the parties, and unalterable by either without the consent of the other. Provided however, That prior to the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, the United States in congress shall assent to the erection of the said district into an independant state, shall release commonwealth from all its fœderal obligations arising from the said district, as being part thereof; and shall agree that the proposed state shall immediately after the day to be fixed as aforesaid, posterior to the first day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, or at some convenient time future thereto, be admitted into the fœderal union. And to the end that no period of anarchy may happen to the good people of the proposed state, it is to be understood that the said convention shall have authority to take the necessary provisional measures for the election and meeting of a convention at some time prior to the day fixed for the determination of the authority of this commonwealth, and of its laws over the said district, and posterior to the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, aforesaid, with full power and authority to frame and establish a fundamental constitution of government for the proposed state, and to declare what laws shall be in force therein, until the same shall be abrogated or altered by the legislative authority acting under the constitution, so to be framed and established.|
|IV. This act shall be transmitted by the executive to the delegates representing this commonwealth in congress, who are hereby instructed to use their endeavors to obtain from congress a speedy act, to the effect above specified.|
| CHAP. X.|
An act punishing certain offences and vesting the governor with certain powers.
|I. WHEREAS it is the true interest and policy of this commonwealth, that the constitution, sovereignty, and independence thereof, should at all times be maintained and supported, and it is highly criminal in any person or persons to alienate the citizens of the state from their attachment and allegiance to the same:||Preamble.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That every person or persons who shall erect or establish, or cause and procure to be erected or established, any government separate from or independent of the government separate from or independent of the government of Virginia, within the limits thereof, unless by act of the legislature of this commonwealth for that purpose first obtained; or who shall in any such usurped government, hold or execute any office, legislative, executive, judiciary, or ministerial, by whatever name such office may be distinguished or called; or who shall swear or otherwise solemnly profess allegiance or fidelity to the same; or who shall under pretext of authority derived from or protection afforded by such usurped government, resist or oppose the due execution of the laws of this commonwealth; shall be adjudged guilty of high treason, and shall be proceeded against and punished in the same manner as other traitors may be proceeded against and punished by the laws now in force.||High treason, to erect any government separate from and inpependent of Virginia, within its limits|
|III. And be it further enacted, That every person who shall attempt to establish such government by any other means than with the assent of the legislature of this commonwealth, and in pursuance of such attempts, shall join with any other person or persons in any overt act for promoting such attempts, or who shall by writing, or advised speaking, endeavour to instigate the people of this commonwealth to erect or establish such government, without such assent as aforesaid, shall be adjudged guilty of a high crime and misdemeanor, and on conviction, shall be subject to such||Or to attempt to establish such government.|
|pains and penalties, not extending to life or member, as the court before whom the conviction shall be, shall adjudge.|
|IV. And be it further enacted, That in case any combination for establishing such government, shall become so powerful as to obstruct the due execution of the laws of this commonwealth in the ordinary course of proceeding, within any county or counties thereof, it shall and may be lawful for the governor with the advice of the council, to call out the militia of this state to suppress such combination, and to employ them in the same manner as he may do by law in cases of invasion or insurrection.||Power of governor and council to suppress such combination.|
|I. WHEREAS by an act, intituled "An act for vesting in George Washington, esq. a certain interest in the companies established for opening and extending the navigation of James and Potowmack rivers," and reciting, "that whereas it is the desire of the representatives of this commonwealth to embrace every suitable occasion of testifying their sense of the unexampled merits of George Washington, esq. towards his country; and it is their wish in particular, that those great works for its improvement, which, both as springing from the liberty which he as been so instrumental in establishing, and as encouraged by his patronage, will be durable monuments of his glory, may be made monuments also of the gratitude of his country:" It is||Recital of the act, vesting certain shares in the James River and Potowmack companies in Geo. Washington, esq.|
|enacted, "that the treasurer be directed in addition to the subscriptions he is already authorized to make to the respective undertakings for opening the navigations of Potowmack and James rivers, to subscribe to the amount of fifty shares to the former and one hundred shares to the latter, to be paid in like manner with the subscriptions above mentioned; and that the shares so subscribed be and the same are hereby vested in George Washington, esq. his heirs and assigns forever, in as effectual a manner as if the subscriptions had been made by himself or by his attorney." And whereas, the said George Washington, esq. in his letter addressed to the governor, which has been laid before the general assembly, hath expressed his sentiments thereupon, in the words following, to wit: −− "Your excellency having been pleased to transmit me a copy of the act appropriating to my benefit certain shares in the companies for opening the navigation of James and Potowmack rivers, I take the liberty of returning to the general assembly, through your hands, the profound and grateful acknowledgments, inspired by so signal a mark of their beneficent intentions towards me. I beg you, sir, to assure them, that I am filled on this occasion with every sentiment which can flow from a heart warm with love for my country −− sensible to every token of its approbation and affection; and solicitous to testify, in every instance, a respectful submission to its wishes: With these sentiments in my bosom, I need not dwell on the anxiety I feel, in being obliged, in this instance, to decline a favour, which is rendered no less flattering by the manner in which it is conveyed, than it is affectionate in itself. In explaining this obligation, I pass over a comparison of my endeavours in the public service with the many honourable testimonies of approbation which have already so far over-rated and over-aid them; reciting one consideration only, which supersedes the necessity of recurring to every other. When I was first called to the station with which I was honoured during the late conflict for our liberties −− to the diffidence which I had so many reasons to feel in accepting it, I thought it my duty to join to a firm resolution to shut my hand against every pecuniary recompence; to this resolution I have invariably adhered −− from this resolution (if I had the inclination) I do not consider myself at liberty to depart.|| |
His letter declining the donation.
|Whilst I repeat, therefore, my fervent acknowledgments to the legislature for their very kind sentiments and intentions in my favour, and at the same time beg them to be persuaded, that a remembrance of this singular proof of their goodness towards me, will never cease to cherish returns of the warmest affection and gratitude, I must pray, that their act, so far as it has for its object my personal emolument, may not have its effect: But if it should please the general assembly to permit me to turn the destination of the fund vested in me, from my private emoluments, to objects of a public nature, it will be my study in selecting these, to prove the sincerity of my gratitude for the honour conferred on me, by preferring such as may appear most subservient to the enlightened and patriotic views of the legislature." And whereas the desire of the general assembly to mark by the provision above mentioned, their sense of the illustrious merits of the said George Washington, esq. at the same time that it is strengthened by this fresh and endearing proof of his title to the gratitude of his country, is superseded by their respect for his disinterested wishes and patriotic views:|
|II. That the said recited act, so far as it vests in George Washington, esq. and his heirs, the shares therein directed to be subscribed in his name, shall be, and the same is hereby repealed.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That the said shares with the tolls and profits hereafter accruing therefrom, shall stand appropriated to such objects of a public nature, in such manner, and under such distributions, as the said George Washington, esq. by deed during his life, or by his last will and testament, shall direct and appoint.||Shares to be appropriated to such objects of a public nature, as Gen. Washington, by deed or will, may direct.|
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