|Pages 93-117||Pages 138-165|
| CHAP. LIV. |
An act for dividing the county of Lincoln into three distinct counties.
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That from and after the first day of August next, the county of Lincoln shall be divided into three distinct counties, that is to say: So much of the said county bounded by a line beginning at the confluence of Sugar-creek and Kentucky river; thence a direct line to the mouth of Clark's run; thence a straight line to Wilson's Station, in the fork of Clark's run; thence the same course continued to the line of Nelson county; thence with the said line to the line of Jefferson county; thence with that line to Kentucky river; thence up the said river to the beginning, shall be one distinct county, and called and known by the name of Mercer; that such further parts of the said county, within the following lines, to wit, beginning at the confluence of Kentucky river and Sugar-creek, thence up the said creek to the fork James Thompson lives on; thence up the said fork to the head thereof; thence a straight line to where an east course from John Ellis's will intersect the top of the Ridge that divides the waters of Paint-Lick from the waters of Dick's river; thence along the top of the said Ridge southwardly, opposite to the Hickman's Lick; thence south forty-five degrees east to the main Rock-Castle river; thence up the said river to the head thereof; thence with the Ridge that divides the waters of Kentucky river from the waters of Cumberland river, to the line of Washington county; thence along the said line to the main fork of Kentucky river that divides the county of Fayette from the county of Lincoln; thence down the said river to the beginning, shall be one other distinct county, and called and known by the name of Madison; and all the residue of the said county shall retain the name of Lincoln. A court for the said county of Mercer shall be held by the justices thereof on the first Tuesday in every month, and also, a court for the said county of Madison shall be held by the justices thereof on the fourth Tuesday in every month, after the said|| Lincoln county divided, & Mercer and Madison formed.|
|* Erroneously numbered XLIV, in the original.|
|division shall take place, in such manner as is by law provided for other counties, and shall be by their commissions respectively directed. The justices to be named in the commission of the peace for the said county of Mercer, shall meet at Harrodsburg, in the said county, and the justices to be named in the commission of the peace for the said county of Madison, shall meet at the house of George Adams, in the said county, upon their respective court-days, after the said division shall take place; and having taken the oaths prescribed by law, and administered the oath of office to, and taken bond of the respective sheriffs, according to law, proceed to appoint each a clerk, and fix upon a place for holding courts in each of the said counties, at or as near the centre thereof as the situation and convenience will admit; and thenceforth each of the said courts shall proceed to erect the necessary public buildings at such place, and until such buildings be completed, to appoint any place for holding courts as they shall respectively think proper. Provided always, That the appointment of a place for holding courts, and of a clerk, shall not be made unless a majority of the justices of each of the said counties be present; where such majority shall have been prevented from attending by bad weather, or their being at the time out of the county, in such cases the appointment shall be postponed until some court day when a majority shall be present. The governor with advice of the council, shall appoint a person to be first sheriff of each of the said counties, who shall continue in office during the term, and upon the same conditions, as is by law appointed for other sheriffs. It shall be lawful for the sheriff of the said county of Lincoln to collect and make distress for any public dues or officers fees, which remain unpaid by the inhabitants thereof at the time such division shall take place, and shall be accountable for the same, in like manner as if this act had not been made. And that the court of the said county of Lincoln, shall have jurisdiction of all actions and suits, in law and equity, depending before them at the time of the said division, and shall try and determine the same, and issue process, and award execution thereon. In all elections of a senator, the said counties of Mercer and Madison shall be of the same district with the said county of Lincoln.|
|II. And be it further enacted, That all principal surveyors heretofore appointed, or hereafter to be appointed, shall, and they are hereby authorized, to demand and receive all entries, warrants, and certificates, from the principal surveyors of the old county which may not have been surveyed when the county was divided, and which may, on the division, fall within the limits of the new counties.|
An act concerning election of members of general assembly.
|From Rev. Bills of 1779, ch. II.|
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That the delegates for the several counties, and the city of Williamsburg and borough of Norfolk, and the six senators for one of the four classes of districts, in the room of those who will annually be displaced, shall be chosen, in the manner herafter directed, in the month of April in every year, on the court days of each respective county or corporation, and shall meet together, and with the remaining senators, on the third Monday of October then next following, in general assemlby, at the place the last preceding general assembly shall have sat in, or adjourned to, unless such place be in possession of a public enemy, or infected with the plague or small-pox, in which case they shall meet at such other place as the governor, with the advice of council shall appoint, and notify by proclamation.|| Delegates and senators when to be elected.|
When assembly to meet.
|II. Every male citizen (other than free negroes or mulattoes) of this commonwealth, aged twenty-one years, or such as have refused to give assurance of fidelity to the commonwealth, being possessed, or whose tenant for years, at will, or at sufferance, is possessed of twenty-five acres of land, with a house, the superficial content of the foundation whereof is twelve feet square, or equal to that quantity, and a plantation thereon, or fifty acres of unimproved land, or a lot or part of a lot of land in a city or town established by||Right of suffrage.|
|act of general assembly with a house thereon, of the like superficial content or quantity, having in such land an estate of freehold at the least, and, unless the title shall have come to him by decent, devise, marriage, or marriage-settlement, having been so possessed six months, and no other person shall be qualified to vote for delegates to serve in general assembly, for the county, city, or borough respectively, in which the land lieth. If the fifty acres of land being one entire parcel, lie in several counties, the holders shall vote in that county wherein the greater part of the land lieth only; and if the twenty-five acres of land, being one entire parcel, be in several counties, the holder shall vote in that county wherein the house standeth only. In right of land holden by parceners, joint-tenants, or tenants in common, but one vote shall be given by all the holders capable of voting, who shall be present, and agree to vote for the same candidate or candidates, unless the quantity of land, in case partition had been made thereof, be sufficient to entitle every holder present to vote separately, or unless some one or more of the holders may lawfully vote in right of another estate or estates in the same county, in which case the others may vote, if holding solely, they might have voted.|
|III. Every person having such a freehold in the city of Williamsburg or borough of Norfolk, as will qualify him to vote for delegates to represent the county, and also every freeman, except as before excepted, aged twenty one years, being a citizen of the commonwealth, and not having refused to give assurance of fidelity, who shall be a house keeper, and shall have resided for six months in the said city or borough, and shall be possessed of a visible estate of the value of fifty pounds at least, or shall actually have served as an apprentice to some trade within the said city or borough for the term of five years, and shall have obtained a certificate of such service from the court of Hustings, under the common seal of the city or borough, and no other, shall be qualified to vote for a delegate to represent the said city or borough respectively in general assembly. Every person qualified as aforesaid to vote for delegates, shall be capable of being elected a delegate for the county, city, or borough, or senator for the|| Qualifications of electors in Williamsburg and
Who may be elected.
|district in which he resides. No person who shall have served as a member of the legislature for seven years in the whole, shall be afterwards compellable to serve therein. Any elector qualified according to this act, failing to attend any annual election of delegates or of a senator, and, if a poll be taken, to give or offer to give his vote, shall pay one fourth of his portion of all such levies and taxes as shall be assessed and levied in his county the ensuing year: And for discovering such defaulters, the sheriff or other officer taking the poll, shall with ten days after the said election, deliver to the clerk of the county or corporation court, as the case may be, a copy of the poll by him taken, to be kept in his office, who shall suffer any candidate or elector to take a copy thereof, and the said clerk is hereby directed to cause a copy of the same to be delivered to the next grand-jury to be sworn for the county or corporation, who shall be charged by the presiding magistrate to make presentment of all such persons qualified to vote residing in the said county or corporation, who shall have failed to have given their votes at the said election agreeable to law. And for the better information of the said jury, the sheriff of the county is hereby commanded, under the penalty of fifty pounds, to be recovered and appropriated as the penalties for other neglects of his duty, to lay before them a list of all the land-holders resident therein. Every elector, going to, abiding at, and returning from an election, shall be privileged from arrests one day for every twenty miles he shall necessarily travel, exclusive of the day of election; and any process against such elector, executed during such privilege, shall be void. Upon the election of a senator, and also of a delegate, or delegates, when the election of such delegate or delegates cannot be determined by view, the sheriff, or in his absence the under sheriff of the county, or the mayor of the city or borough, shall in presence of the candidates, or their agents, cause the poll to be taken in the court-house, or if that be in a town infected with any contagious disease, or be in danger of an attack from a public enemy, at some other place according to these directions: He shall appoint such and so many writers as he shall think fit, who shall respectively take an oath, to be administered by him, or make solemn affirmation that they|| Who not compellable to serve.|
Penalty on electors failing to vote.
How discovered & prosecuted.
Electors privileged from arrests.
Polls, how taken.
|will take the poll faithfully and impartially: He shall deliver a poll-book to each writer, who by ruling lines theron, having made as many columns as there shall be candidates, shall enter the name of each candidate in a distinct column at the head thereof, and under his name in the same column the name of every elector, who shall vote for that candidate; and after the names of all the electors who will give their votes (proclamation having been made three times at the door of the court-house, or other place of holding such election, by the officer requiring those who had not been polled, to come in and give their votes) shall have been thus entered, he shall conclude the poll, and declare the candidates for whom the greatest number of votes shall appear to have been given to be elected; or if the greatest number of votes for several candidates shall be equal with one another, he may declare which of the candidates he will elect. If the number of votes for several persons to be a senator be equal, and the votes of the returning officers be equal also, it shall be decided by a lot taken by the said returning officers at their meeting, which shall be within twenty days after the last day of election, at such place as shall be appointed by the returning officer of the first county in which such election shall be, who is hereby commanded forthwith to give notice to the returning officers. No elector shall be admitted to poll a second time, at one and the same election, although at the first time he shall have given but a single vote. If the electors who appear, be so numerous that they cannot all be polled before sun-setting: or if by rain or rise of water-courses, many of the electors may have been hindered from attending, the sheriff, or under sheriff, may by request of any one or more of the candidates, or their agents, adjourn the proceeding on the poll until the next day, and so from day to day for four days (Sundays excluded) if the same cause continue, giving public notice thereof by proclamation at the door of the court-house, or other place of holding such elections, and shall on the last day of the election conclude the poll according to the directions aforesaid. On complaint to either hose [house] of assembly of an undue election, or return of any member to their house, such house shall forthwith appoint some day for trying the same, as shortly as shall be consistent with fair enquiry, but not|| Modes of deciding where candidates equal.|
Meeting of returning officers for senate.
No elector to vote twice.
When polls may be kept open.
Contested elections, how tried.
|within less than fourteen days after such complaint lodged, whereof notice shall be given by the speaker to the party against whom the complaint is, if he be absent; which day of trial may be lengthened from time to time, on good cause shewn to the house, and notice to the absent party. On the day appointed for the trial, the committee of privileges and elections shall proceed on the said disputed election, and report to the house of which they are members, their opinion thereon, before they proceed to any other business, and the said house shall, on receipt of the said report, immediately proceed to determine thereon, and either confirm or disagree to such report, as to them shall seem just. If any person sworn before the said committee, shall give, or withhold, any evidence under such circumstances as would have constituted the same to be perjury, if done in presence of a court of record, the same shall be deemed perjury.|
|IV. If upon any such trial it shall appear that equal numbers of qualified electors shall have voted for the petitioner and the sitting member, and the officer who conducted the election shall swear or solemnly affirm that if such equality had appeared at the election, he would have declared the petitioner elected, such petitioner shall be deemed duly elected; and his name instead of the name of the sitting member, which shall be erased, shall be inserted in the certificate or return. No elector shall be polled before he shall have declared, if required to do so by any candidate or his agent, in what right he offers to vote, and shall have taken an oath, which the office conducting the election shall administer, or make a solemn affirmation in this form: "I do swear (or do solemnly affirm) that I do in my conscience believe myself to be duly qualified to vote for delegates to serve in general assembly for the county of , according to the act of general assembly, intituled An act ;" of which oath or affirmation a note shall be made in the poll-book opposite, and referring to the name of the person swearing or affirming.|| If, on scrutiny, votes equal, how decided.|
Oath of electors.
|V. The making such oath or affirmation falsely, shall be perjury. The names of electors offering to be polled, but refusing to make such oath or affirmation, shall be entered on the poll-books in separate lists, with||Names of electors refusing such oath to be entered separately.|
|the names of the candidates for whom they voted, and shall be added to the poll, if, upon a scrutiny the votes be justified.|
|VI. The sheriff or under sheriff shall certify the election of delegates in this form, or to this effect: "Be it known to all to whom these presents shall come, that I , sheriff (or deputy of , sheriff) of the county of , in my full county, held at the court-house thereof (or at ) on the day of , in the year of our Lord , by the electors of my said county, qualified according to law, caused to be chosen two delegates for my said county, namely and to represent the same in general assembly. Given under my hand and seal, the day and year aforesaid."|
|VII. The mayor of a city or borough entitled to particular representation, shall certify the election of a delegate in this form, or to this effect:" Be it known to all to whom these presents shall come, That I mayor of the city (or borough) of at the courthouse of (or at ) in the said city, (or borough) on the day of , in the year of our Lord , by the electors of the said city (or borough) qualified according to law, caused to be chosen a delegate for the said city (or borough) namely, to represent the same in general assembly. Given under my hand and seal, the day and year aforesaid."||For a city or borough.|
|VIII. The sheriffs, or under sheriffs of the several counties of a district, shall certify the election of a senator in this form or to this effect: Be it known to all to whom these presents shall come, that we sheriff (or , deputy of , sheriff) of the county of ; sheriff (or , deputy of , sheriff) of the county of , in our full counties held at the court houses thereof (or at ) respectively; on the day of , in the year of our Lord, , by the electors of our said respective counties, qualified according to law, caused to be chosen a senator for the district composed of the said counties, namely, , to represent the same in general assembly. Given under our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid."||For a senator.|
|IX. The officers directed to make such certificates of elections as aforesaid, shall cause them to be delivered, those of delegates, to the clerk of the house of delegates, and those of senators, to the clerk of the senate, one day at least before the succeeding session of general assembly. For election of a delegate or senator, when a vacancy shall happen, a writ or writs shall be issued by the speaker of that house whereof he was a member, but if the vacancy be occasioned by acceptance of an office, the writ or writs shall not be issued, without the special order of the house; and the officer to whom such writ shall be directed, so soon after the receipt thereof as he may be able, shall give the electors notice thereof as well as of the time and place of election, by advertisement to be affixed at four of the most convenient places in the county, and shall cause the election to be made in the manner herein before prescribed, and shall have the same power of adjourning the proceeding upon the poll, as in case of a general election. The return of such writ for electing a delegate or delegates, shall be in this form, or to this effect: Upon the writ shall be endorsed these, or the like words: "The execution of this writ appears in a schedule hereunto annexed;" and on another paper annexed to the writ shall be written, if the writ be for the election of a delegate for a county, these or the like words, "By virtue of this writ to me directed, in my full county held at the courthouse thereof (or at −−−−) on the −−−− day of −−−−−−, in the year of our lord, −−−−−−−−, by the electors of my said county, qualified according to law, I caused to be chosen a delegate (or two delegates) for my said county, namely, −−−− −−−−, to represent the same in general assembly. Given under my hand and seal, the day and year aforesaid." And if the writ be for the election of a delegate for a city or borough, these, or the like words, "By virtue of this writ to me directed, at the court-house of the city of −−−−−−− (or borough of −−−−−−−, or at −−−−, in the borough of −−−−−−) on the −−− day of −−−, in the year of our Lord, −−−−−−−−−, by the electors of the said city (or borough) qualified according to law, I caused to be chosen a delegate for the said city (or borough) namely, −−−− −−−−, to represent the same in general assembly. Given under my hand and seal the day and year aforesaid;" and the return of|| Returns of elections, when to be made.|
Elections to supply vacancies.
Certificate on such election.
|the writs for electing a senator shall be in this form, or to this effect: Upon each writ shall be endorsed, these, or the like words, "The execution of this writ appears in a schedule hereunto annexed;" and on another paper connecting the several writs together, shall be written these, or the like words, "By virtue of these writs to us directed, in our full counties, held at the court-houses thereof respectively (or at −−−−) on the −−− day of −−−−−, in the year of our Lord, −−−−, by the electors of our said respective counties, qualified according to law, we caused to be chosen a senator for the district composed of our said counties, namely, −−−− −−−−, to represent the same in general assembly. Given under our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid."|
|X. And the officers conducting the elections, shall make their said returns to the general assembly, if it be sitting, immediately, or if it be not sitting, one day at least before the time to which the writ shall be returnable. A sheriff, under sheriff, or mayor, refusing to take the poll when he shall be required by a candidate, or elector, or taking it in other manner than is herein before prescribed, or making a false certificate or return of the election of a member or members to serve in the general assembly, or neglecting to cause the certificate or return of such election to be made to such clerk, and at or before such time as is herein before directed, shall forfeit and pay one hundred pounds; and neglecting to deliver the poll-books to the clerk of the court, to whom, and before the expiration of the time within which they are herein before directed to be delivered, or refusing to suffer any candidate or elector at his own expence, to take a copy of the poll-books, shall forfeit and pay fifty pounds; which penalties may be recovered with costs in actions of debt, by any person who will sue for the same, one half to his own use, and the other half to the use of the commonwealth. −− Any person hereafter to be elected to serve in the general assembly, who shall directly or indirectly give or agree to give any elector or pretended elector, money, meat, drink, or other reward, in order to be elected, or for having been elected, for such, or any other county, city, or borough, shall be expelled and disabled to be re-elected during the term of three years.|| Returns.|
Penalties on sheriffs, for breach of duty.
Bribery at elections.
|XI. The privilege of members of the general assembly shall continue during every session, and one day||Privilege of members.|
|before and after for every twenty miles they must necessarily travel to, and from home, and in the mean time process in which they are parties shall be suspended, without abatement or discontinuance; if any person taken in execution, be delivered by privilege of either house of general assembly, so soon as such privilege ceaseth, he shall return himself a prisoner in execution or be liable to an escape.|
|XII. If a sufficient number of the members of general assembly, or of either house thereof, to adjourn from day to day, shall not meet at any time when they ought, the governor, by proclamation, with advice of the council, may prorogue the general assembly, or adjourn the deficient house, from day to day, until a sufficient number shall convene, and their acts and proceedings afterwards shall be as valid as if there had been no such interruption. But a delegate or senator shall lose all the wages he would otherwise have been entitled to, if he shall depart from the general assembly before it be adjourned, without licence from the speaker and other members of the house whereof he is a member, first entered on the journal; yet any member of either house taken so sick during his attendance in general assembly, or in his journey thither, as that he shall be unable to come to or sit in the house, shall receive wages for every day of the session he shall be so disabled, in the same manner as if he had sat in the house. If on the day appointed for the meeeting of any general assembly, or at any time during the session, a sufficient number of the members thereof, to proceed to business, do not attend for that purpose, every absent delegate or senator, shall, besides losing his wages during absence, forfeit and pay to the use of this commonwealth ten pounds; such forfeiture to be recovered by prosecution to be instituted in the general court by order of such house, and on the trial of such prosecution, no excuse for non-attendance, other than those before-mentioned, shall be admitted by the jury; and if it be alledged that the defendant did attend such house, on any of the days during which they could not do business for want of members, the proof of such attendance shall rest on him. The general assembly may during a session, or at the end thereof adjourn to any other place than that where they shall then be sitting. Every act of the general assembly hereafter to be made,|| Consequence if a sufficient number of members, to form a house,
fail to meet.|
Members absent, without leave.
|shall commence and be in force from the passing thereof, unless in the act itself another day for the commencement thereof be particularly mentioned, and in the former case the day of passing thereof shall be noted next after the title.||When acts to commence.|
|XII. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.||Commencement of this act.|
|From Rev. Bills of 1779, ch. III.|
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That if the governor and president of the privy council shall die, or otherwise become unable to perform his duty, in the recess of the general assembly, the privy councillor whose name stands next in the list of their appointments, shall officiate as lieutenant-governor, until the vacancy be supplied, or the disability cease. And in the absence of the governor, such intended absence having been previously notified to them by him, and entered on their journals, or in the like absence of the president, and upon the like notification, if any business to be transacted at the council board necessarily require dispatch before he can attend it, the council may proceed without him; and in either case the act shall be as valid as if he had been present. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven||When one of the privy council, may act as lieutenant governor.|
| CHAP. LVII.
An act concerning the public treasurer.
|From Rev. Bills of 1779, ch. XII.|
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That the public treasurer may continue in office without re-election, until the end of the session of general assembly next after one year from the time of his appointment shall have expired. On his first election, before he shall have power to act, he shall give bond to the governor, with sureties to be approved by the council of state, in the penalty of four hundred thousand pounds, payable to the commonwealth, with condition that he will faithfully account for all monies and other things, which shall come to his hands in virtue of his office, and perform all other duties thereof; and shall take an oath to the same purpose, and give assurance of fidelity to the commonwealth, before some court of record, or before a judge or a justice thereof, the administration of which oaths, or the certificate thereof, shall be recorded in such court. When the office shall become vacant, during the recess of the general assembly, the governor with advice of the council of state, shall appoint a successor, to act until such time as he or another shall be legally elected. Upon a motion made to the general court, by a succeeding treasurer, on behalf of the commonwealth, whereof more than ten days notice in writing shall have been given to the obligors, judgment may be awarded for the penalty of the said bond, to be discharged by payment of so much as a jury, to be impannelled instantly; for trial of the issue, if an issue be joined, or to enquire of damages, if the defendants make default, shall find to be due by breach of the condition aforesaid, with costs. The treasurer, in books, provided at public expence, shall state the accounts of money by him received for public taxes and impositions, and paid in pursuance of acts and votes of general assembly, in such a manner as that the nett produce of the whole revenue, as well as of every branch thereof, and the amount of disbursements in discharge of the several demands, may distinctly appear, and lay the said accounts from time to time, and all his other|| Treasurer, how long to continue in
Bond and security.
Vacancy, how supplied.
Duty of treasurer.
|transactions, before the general assembly. And if he divert or misapply any of the public treasure, being convicted thereof, upon such prosecution as is before prescribed, he shall not only be adjudged to pay double the money so found to have been diverted or misapplied, to the use of the commonwealth, but shall thereby be rendered incapable of any office of public trust. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven.|| Penalty for misapplying public monies.|
Commencement of this act.
An act for the appointment of clerks to the governor and council.
|From Rev. Bills of 1779, ch. XIV.|
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That the governor and council shall have power to appoint, from time to time as they shall be wanting, a drawing clerk, a copying clerk, and a clerk of foreign correspondence, who shall each of them take an oath, to be administered by any member of the board, to keep secret all such matters as they shall direct them to keep secret; which clerks shall be removable at their will. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven.||What clerks may be appointed by governor and council.|
An act concerning Seamen.
|From Rev. Bills of 1779, ch. XVII|
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That every seamen, whose habitation is within this commonwealth, not less than eighteen nor more than fifty years||Seamen to be registered.|
|old, capable of sea service, and willing to serve in the ships or vessels of the commonwealth, may give in a ticket, containing his christian-name, sur-name, and proper addition, with his age, and the place of his habitation, and the time when the ticket shall be delivered to any naval-officer, who shall transmit it to the executive, to be by them entered in a register. Promotion to commission and warrant officers in the navy becoming vacant, shall be made and adjusted according to the order following: Seamen registered and actually serving, shall be preferred to all others, and of the former, those who shall have served a longer to such as shall have served a shorter time; and if the times of service shall have been equal, they whose tickets shall be of prior to those whose tickets shall be of posterior dates; and if the merits of the competitors shall be equal, in those respects the preference shall be decided by lot. Every registered seaman, actually serving in the navy, disabled by age or wounds, so as that he can be no longer useful there, and not being in a condition to maintain himself comfortably, nor having been promoted to any commission or warrant office, or to the office of master, mate, boatswain, gunner, carpenter, purser, or surgeon, obtaining a certificate thereof from the captain, master, and surgeon of the ship or vessel, on board of which he had served, under their hands and seals, shall receive from the treasurer the sum of fifteen pounds every year during his life; and the widow of every registered seaman, serving on board of a ship or vessel of war, slain or drowned in the service, if he was not in such a condition, and had not been promoted to such office as aforesaid, obtaining the like certificate thereof, shall receive from the treasurer the sum of eight pounds every year during her life. But a registered seaman, withdrawing himself from the service of the commonwealth, in the time of actual war, and not repairing on board one of the ships or vessels thereof, within thirty days after he shall have been required so to do, by any officer of the navy, unless detained by sickness, to be proved by the oaths of two witnesses, shall have no benefit by this act. And out of the wages due, or becoming due, to every seaman serving on board a ship or vessel belonging to the commonwealth, or any citizen thereof, and used in sea voyages, six pence per month shall be paid by the commander|| Promotion in the navy.|
Fund for pensions, raised by monthly contributions of seamen.
|thereof, if she be a ship or vessel of war, public or private, to the treasurer, or if she be a mercantile ship or vessel, to the naval officer of the port where she shall be entered inward, or cleared outward, who shall discover the number, wages, and time of service of all persons belonging to the ship or vessel, by examining the commander of her, upon oath or affirmation, and account for what he shall receive to the treasurer; and the money so to be collected, shall be applied towards reimbursing the annuities to be disabled registered seamen, and to the widows of those who shall be slain or drowned in the public service. Boys, of the age of ten years or upwards, who shall beg for alms, or who, or whose parents are, or shall be chargeable to any county, may, by the court of the county wherein they inhabit, be bound apprentices by indentures, to owners or masters of ships or vessels used in sea voyages, and belonging to any ports within this commonwealth, until they shall attain to the ages of twenty-one years respectively; in every one of which indentures the age of the boy to be ascertained by the register of births, or, not being entered therein, by the adjudication of the court, shall be inserted, with a covenant on the part of the master, that he will provide sufficient food, and convenient raiment and lodging for his apprentice, and employ him in the sea service, and in such offices as appertain thereto, and moreover, deliver to him a suit of clothes suitable to the season, to wit, a coat, waistcoat, pair of breeches, two pair of stockings, a pair of shoes, and a hat, with a blanket. And every owner or master of a ship or vessel, used in sea voyages, and belonging to a port within this commonwealth, shall be obliged to take one of such apprentices, not being under thirteen or above seventeen years of age, nor being deficient in health and strength of body, if the ship or vessel be of the burthen of thirty and not more than fifty tons; another for the next fifty tons of her burthen, and one more for every hundred her burthen shall exceed one hundred tons; and refusing so to do, if he shall be required, unless he shall have an equal number of other apprentices, shall forfeit ten pounds, to be recovered with costs, in an action of debt, by him who will sue, one half to his own use, and the other half to the use of the county wherein the boy shall inhabit. The apprentice so bound shall be clothed,|| Apprentices to the sea service, how bound.|
Reciprocal duties of master & apprentice.
|if it be necessary, and conveyed to the port his master shall belong to, at the expence of the county from which he shall be sent. The clerks of the courts shall transmit the names of the masters and apprentices, with the ages of the latter, and the times when they shall be bound, to the executive, to be entered by them in their register; and the apprentices, after they shall have been eighteen years old, shall be deemed registered seaman, entitled to the benefit of this act, in like manner as if they had voluntarily given in tickets. The county court nearest to a port in which an apprentice bound by virtue of this act, or otherwise, shall serve, or ought to serve on board of a ship or vessel, shall, at any time when they shall be sitting, receive and hear a complaint made to them by him of hard or ill usage, or breach of covenant, and redress the complaint, if he shall appear to have justly complained, prescribing milder or better treatment for the future, ordering an action to be commenced against the master, or removing the apprentice and binding him to another master, as it may seem right and expedient. Any justice may, by warrant under his hand and seal, cause any able-bodied man, who not having wherewithall to maintain himself, shall be found loitering, and shall leave a wife or children, without means for their subsistence, whereby they may become burthensome to their county, or shall wander abroad, without betaking himself to some honest employment, or shall go about begging, to be apprehended an brought before him, and if he shall, upon examination of himself, or by the testimony of others, appear to be within this description, the justice, by his warrant, may cause such vagrant to be sent and delivered on board any ship of war or other vessel belonging to the commonwealth, there to serve as a seaman during the term of eighteen months. −− An agreement in writing shall be made between the master or commander and seamen, not being his apprentices, of every ship or vessel, belonging to any part of the commonwealth, and bound to parts beyond sea, and be signed by both parties, and by the seamen within three days after they shall have shipped and entered themselves respectively, declaring the voyage to be performed, and ascertaining the wages, either by the month or for the run, to be paid to every seaman; and any such master or commander proceeding on the|| |
Apprentices to be registered.
Complaints of apprentices, how redressed.
Vagrant seamen, may be apprehended.
Written agreements between master and seamen, for every voyage.
|voyage before that agreement shall be made and signed, shall forfeit the sum of five pounds for every seaman who shall not have signed it, carried out in the vessel, to be recovered with costs, by information, and to be paid to the treasurer for the same purpose as the six-pence per month out of the wages of seamen. Any seaman who shall have signed such agreement, absenting himself from the ship or vessel, without leave of the master or other officer having charge of her, shall forfeit for every day's absence the pay of two days, and refusing to proceed on the voyage, or deserting from the ship or vessel, shall forfeit the wages then due. −− But seamen shall not be deprived by the agreement of any remedy for their wages, which they might have lawfully pursued before this act; and in any suit between them and the master, it shall be incumbent upon him to exhibit the agreement, if it shall be requisite, and they shall not lose or suffer any thing by his suppression of it, or failure to produce it. The master or commander of any such ship or vessel, arriving from beyond the sea into a port of the commonwealth, shall, within thirty days after she shall be entered at the naval office, unless there shall have been a covenant to the contrary, or at the time of discharging the seamen, which ever shall first happen, pay the wages due to every seaman, if he shall demand them, after deducting what may, by virtue of this act, be withheld, or refusing so to do, shall pay to him, over and above the wages detained, the further sum of twenty shillings, to be recovered with the other demand. A seaman who shall belong to a ship or vessel, travelling by land or water, and having no certificate of his discharge, signed by the master or commander, or a pass or order with the like signature, or that of some other officer of the ship or vessel, unless he shall be going to a proper place to seek redress of any grievance, shall be deemed a deserter, and may be apprehended by any person, and brought before a justice of the peace, and shall be by his warrant returned, through the hands of constables, one taking him from another, and conveying him to the next; and for this service the master or commander, if the seamen shall not have been discharged, shall pay to the person who shall apprehend him, ten shillings, and to the constables, one shilling for every mile they shall conduct him, and to be proportioned|
Seamen absenting themselves, how apprehended.
Wages, when to be paid.
Seaman without a discharge, declared a deserter.
|amongst them by the number of miles they shall respectively go, in the most direct way, to ascertain which, a certificate of the whole distance from the place where he was apprehended to the port the ship or vessel shall be at, shall be endorsed by the justice of the peace on his warrant; and if the master or commander shall refuse to pay the money to the persons entitled to it, or to others authorized by their orders to receive it, the naval officer of the port with whom the warrant and orders shall be left, shall not clear the ship or vessel out before it shall be paid to him for their use, unless the master or commander shall make it appear, by the oath of himself, or of some other on board, that the seaman had not been return, or had been discharged before he was apprehended; and the master or commander paying the money may deduct it out of the wages becoming due to the seaman. A constable wilfully or negligently suffering a seaman, not being discharged from his ship or vessel, who shall have been committed by warrant of a justice of the peace to his custody, to escape, unless he shall recover him, and proceed to deliver him as the warrant required, shall, upon complaint made to a justice of the peace, which he shall be summoned to answer, pay the reward due to the person who apprehended the seaman, and to the constables by whom he had before been conducted, and shall moreover pay the sum of five pounds to the master or commander of the ship or vessel, to be recovered with costs, by petition to the county, city, or borough court. A person concealing a deserted seaman, shall pay the sum of three pounds to the master or commander of the ship or vessel to which he shall belong, to be recovered with costs. The master or commander of a ship or vessel, who shall entertain, employ, or hire a seaman, belonging to a ship or vessel owned by a citizen of the commonwealth, before he shall have been discharged, shall pay to the owner the sum of twenty pounds, to be recovered with costs, by action of debt. Two justices of the peace may hear a complaint made to them of any mutinous or refractory behaviour in a seaman or waterman, and causing the parties to appear before them at a convenient time, in some place near the ship or vessel they shall belong to, with their witnesses, may adjudge the accused, if he shall be proved to have stricken, or to have offered to|| Penalty for concealing deserted seamen.|
Mutinous and refractory conduct in seamen.
|strike the master or other superior officer, or to have threatened to do any bodily hurt to him, or to have peremptorily refused, without just cause, to obey his commands, to forfeit to the owner such part of the wages due to the seaman or waterman as will make reasonable amends for the injury and damage, not exceeding the sum of five pounds, and if satisfaction cannot be obtained by other means, may award execution for the amount of the forfeiture, or so much thereof as shall exceed the wages due, against his goods and chattels. But seamen or watermen shall not be obliged to serve on board [of] any ship or vessel if such sufficient wholesome victuals and drink, and convenient accommodations, as are customary in the merchant service, shall not be provide for and allowed to them. A master who shall correct immoderately, or maim a seaman under his command, may be brought before any justice of the peace by his warrant, and be compelled to give security for his good behaviour, and shall moreover be liable to the action of the party injured for damages. The master or commander of a ship or vessel, who shall put and leave on shore any sick or disabled seaman, not entitled to his discharge by their contract, without providing for his cure and maintenance, shall forfeit twenty pounds, to be recovered with costs, by action of debt, one half to him who will sue, to his own use, and the other half to the use of the county in which the seaman shall be left, and applied towards his cure and maintenance. The master or commander of a ship or vessel, discharging a seaman from his service, shall sign and deliver to him a certificate thereof, and refusing so to do, when it shall be required, shall pay the sum of five pounds to the seaman, to be recovered with costs, by action of debt. −− This act shall commence and be in force from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven.|| Accommodations.|
Penalty for putting sick or disabled seamen on shore, without providing for them.
Certificate of discharge.
|Pages 93-117||Pages 138-165|