|Pages 369-393||Pages 404-414|
|MARCH 10, 1655.*|
[ This should be 1655-6. See post pa. 404.]
An Induction to the Acts concerning Indians.
| WHEREAS wee have bin often putt into great dangers by the invasions
of our neighbouring and bordering Indians which humanely have bin only caused by these two
particulars our extreame pressures on them and theire wanting of something to hazard &
||Plan for civilizing the Indians by introducing among them the idea of separate property, &c.|
| * The 25th day of March was the
beginning of the year, according to the Jewish computation; and the same rule was observed in
England till by stat. 24, Geo. 2, chap. 23, sect. 1, (1751) it was declared
that after the last day of December, 1751, the 25th of March should no longer be accounted the
beginning of the year, but that the year 1752 should begin on the first day of January, and so,
in each succeeding year, the first day of January should be deemed the first day of the year.
This statute was rendered necessary by the adoption in England, of the reformed calendar of Pope
GREGORY XIII. made in the year 1572; from which period commenced the Gregorian calendar, or New
Style. The calendar adjusted by JULIUS CÆSAR, 45 years before Christ, was called the Julian
Calendar, or Old Style, as contradistinguished from the new. Most of the nations of Europe had
adopted the Gregorian Calendar or New Style, long before the English; who being engaged in
extensive commerce, found it convenient, for the sake of foreign correspondence, to preserve both
the Old and the new Styles, between the 1st of January and the 25th of March, in each year.
Accordingly, in most of the dates prior to 1752, (when the New Style commenced in England,) we
see the old year continued till the 25th of March, with the new year annexed to it from the 1st
of January to that date: Thus, January, 1623-4, February, 1631-2, March, 1642-3, &c. But this was
not uniformly done.
[This note continues on the next two pages.]
|New Style, adoption of.|
|loose beside their lives: Therefore this Grand Assembly on mature advice doth make these three ensueing acts, which by the blessing of God may prevent our dangars for the future and be a sensible benefitt to the whole countrey for the present.|
|[This note began on the previous page and concludes on
the following page (395)]|
So much of the act of parliament of 24th Geo. 2, ch. 23, as relates to the establishment of the New Style, is in the following words −−− "Throughout all his majesty's dominions in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, subject to the crown of Great-Britain, the supputation according to which the year of our Lord beginneth on the 25th of March shall not be made use of after the last day of December, 1751, and the first day of January next following the said last year of December, shall be deemed the first day of the year of our Lord 1752, and son on, the first day of January in every year shall be deemed the first day of the year. And after the said first day of January, 1752, the days of each month shall be reckoned in the same order; and the feast of Easter, and other moveable feasts thereon depending, be ascertained according to the same method, as they now are, until the second of September in the said year 1752, inclusive; and the natural day next immediately following the said second of September shall be called the 14th of September, omitting for that time only the eleven intermediate nominal days of the common calendar; and the natural days following the said 14th of September shall be numbered according to the order now used in the present calendar; and all acts, deeds, writings, notes, and other instruments executed or signed, upon or after the first day of January, 1752, shall bear date according to the said new method of supputation, &c." The section then goes on to provide for the sessions of courts, &c. according to the new method.
|With respect to leap Years, the 2d section declares, "that the years 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2300, or any other hundreth year of our Lord, except only every fourth hundreth year, whereof the year 2000 shall be the first, shall not be Bissextile or Leap Years, but shall be common years, consisting of 365 days and no more; and the years of our Lord 2000, 2400, 2800, and every other fourth hundredth year of our Lord from the year 2000 inclusive, and all other years of our Lord, which by the present supputation are Bissextile or Leap Years, shall be Bissextile, or Leap Years consisting of 366 days."||Leap year,|
| The subsequent sections of this act, as well as an
act passed in the 35th of Geo. 2, chap. 30, sect. 2, provides for the moveable
feasts, inclosing of commons, payment of rents, annuities, reformation of the calendar, &c.
−−− See 1 Cay's abridgment, 192.|
| The reasons which induced the passing of the above
recited act of parliament, and the difference between the Julian & Gregorian calendars, are well
explained by a writer nearly cotemporary with the act itself. Patoun in his elements of
Chronology, (inserted in his treatise on navigation,) pa. 121, says, that "Julius
Cæsar, in order to reduce the civil or political year nearly to an equality|
[This note concludes on the next page.]
|Ffirst for every eight wolves heads brought in by the Indians, The King or Great Man (as they call him) shall have a cow delivered him at the charge of the Publick, This will be a step to civilizing them and to making them Christians, besides it will certainly make the comanding Indians watch over their own men that they do vs no injuries, knowing that by theire default they||For every 8 wolves heads brought in by the Indians their king to have a cow.|
|[This note began on page 393, continued on 394, and
with the tropical, and considering that the tropical year consisted of 365 years and 6 hours nearly, which exceeded the civil year by 6 hours each year and consequently in four years exceeded it by one hole day, ordered, that to every fourth year there should be one day added, and so make it consist of 366 days, by which means the civil and solar years were reduced pretty near to an equality. This additional day was put in the month of February, and because in the common year the twenty-fourth day of February was called by the Romans, the sixth of the Kalends of March, he ordered that this day should be added after the twenty-fourth day of February, and called by the same name; there happening every fourth year, two sixth of the Kalends of March, and hence that year was called Bissextile or Leap Year. This ay was used by us till the year 1752, when the New Style commenced."
|"But the true length of the year being 365 days, 5 hours and 49 minutes, and by the Julian account 35 days and 6 hours, 'tis plain the civil year exceeds the solar by 11 minutes nearly. Consequently, if the sun any year enters the equinoctial on the 20th day of March at noon, the next year he will enter the equinoctial the same day 11 minutes before noon, the next 22 minutes before noon, and so on. Consequently in 131 years the solar will anticipate the civil year by one whole day; and so either equinox will not happen always on the same day of the civil year, but be carried in a retrograde order through all the days of it. This was what put Pope Gregory XIII. upon reforming the Julian kalendar −−− for, finding that at the time of the Nicene council, when the time of celebrating Easter was instituted, the vernal equinox happened the 21st day of March, and by flowing continually backwards, it happened at his time (in the year 1572) on the 11th day of March, anticipating its former time by 10 whole days, he ordered that these ten days should be taken out of the kalendar, and the 11th of March should be reckoned the 21st −−− and to prevent the seasons of the year from going any more backwards, as they were before, he ordered that every hundredth year of the Christian æra (which according to the Julian kalendar is Bissextile) should be a common year and so consist only of 365 days −−− but this being too much, every four hundredth year was to remain Bissextile or Leap Year. −−− But since his time to the year 1752, one day more has been anticipated, which was the reason that 11 days were ordered to be taken out of the kalendar in the month of September, 1752, when the New Style commenced in these kingdoms. The Julian form is called Old Style and the Gregorian, New Style."|
| In the Rand. MS. all the acts of this session, except the first, are numbered in the margin.|
|may be in danger of losing their estates, therefore be it enacted as aforesaid only with this exception, That Acomack shall pay for no more then what are killed in their own county.||Exception as to Acc'ck.|
|Secondly. If the Indians shall bring in any children as gages of their good and quiet intentions to vs and amity with vs, then the parents of such children shall choose the persons to whom the care of such children shall be intrusted and the countrey by vs their representatives do engage that wee will not vse them as slaves, but do their best to bring them vp in Christianity, civillity and the knowledge of necessary trades; And on the report of the comissioners of each respective county that those vnder whose tuition they are, do really intend the bettering of the children in these particulars then a salary shall be allowed to such men as shall deserve and require it.||Indian children brought in as hostages not to be treated as slaves, but instructed in useful trades, &c. and their parents to choose with whom they are to reside.|
|What lands the Indians shall be possessed of by order of this or other ensueing Assemblyes, such land shall not be alienable by them the Indians to any man de futuro, for this will putt vs to a continuall necessity of allotting them new lands and possessions and they will allwaies in feare of what they hold not being able to distinguish between our desires to buy or inforcement to have, in case their grants and sales be desired; Therefore be it enacted, that for the future no such alienations or bargaines and sales be valid without the assent of the Assembly, This act not to prejudice any Christian who hath land allready granted by pattent.||Indian lands not alienable by them, and no bargains and sales valid without the assent of the assembly.|
Act for Northampton County.
|BE it enacted the county of Northampton to have liberty of constituteing lawes and customes amongst themselves and to proceed therein according to their owne conveniences not repugnant to the laws of England, Provided that before execution of such lawes by them to be constituted, those lawes be confirmed by the Assembly: And this act to extend no further then to Indians and manufactures.||The county of Northampton authorized to enact laws as to Indians or manufactures, subject to the revision of the assembly.|
An Act for the repealing the Act for Marketts and regulating of Trade.
|WHEREAS divers inconveniences are like to ensue by reason of the act for marketts and regulateing of trade and now taken into further consideration, Be it enacted that the act for marketts and regulateing of trade be repealed and of none effect, Provided allwaies that if any countrey or perticular persons shall settle any such place whither the merchants shall willingly come for the sale or bringing of goods, Such men shall be lookt vpon as benefactors to the publique.||Act IV of Oct 1649 repealed. |
Merchants to be encouraged.
An Act repealed for all peices of Eight to passe current.
|WHEREAS there was a law for the encouragement of artificers, peeces of eight of what mettle soever should pass for five shillings sterling, Wee find by experience, and the artificers know it, that nothing can more discourage them, for after they have long laboured for a subsistance (in case this law as now it is should not be repealed) they would have soe many counters in stead of sterling money for the sweat of their browes:||Pieces of eight of base metal not to pass as current money.|
|Therefore bee it enacted by this Grand Assembly that no false money shall be currant in this collony, yet peeces of eight that are good and of silver shall pass for five shillings sterling, and Roanoake and Wompompeeke to keep their wonted value.||But pieces of eight of silver, to pass for 5s. sterl. Roanoake and Wompompeeke at the usual value.|
An Act for Criminall Causes to be tryed in the severall Countyes repealed.
|WHEREAS there was an act of or the benefitt and ease of the people that criminal causes should be tryed in the countyes where the offenders comitted them. Wee conceive it no ease nor benefitt to the people||Criminal causes no longer to be tried in the counties.|
|to have their lives taken away with too much ease, And though we confess the same to be done in England, yet wee know the disparity between them and vs to be so great that wee cannot with safety follow the example, for noe countrey there but makes at least ten times the number of people here, and the jurors there are more practised in criminall causes then, by the blessing of God, wee are here, and have more to informe them in case they should err, And 'tis a maxim that no deliberation can be too much pondered that concernes the life of the meanest man; Be it therefore enacted, that from henceforth all criminall causes that concerne life or member be tryed at quarter courts before the Governour and Councill or att Assemblies (which of them shall first happen,) where it is probable the ablest and most impartial men will meet: And be it further enacted, That all prisoners be kept by the sherriffs of the county where the crime is committed vntil the first day of the quarter court or Assembly, & there be delivered vnto the sherriffs of James Cittie according to an act of Assembly now in force dated in March, 1642; And in case the person on his tryall be condemned and executed there, his estate to remaine in the possession and to the vse of his wife and children vntil further order.|| but to be tried before the q'r. courts held by the gov. &
council or the assembly, which ever shall first happen.|
Prisoners, how kept.
If convicted his estate to remain with his wife and children till further order.
|WHEREAS many appeales brought are meerly delatory and for poor, inconsiderable causes whereby men are defrauded of the justice they sue for, the court tacitly taxt from whence they appeale and great charges accrueing the suit: Therefore be it enacted by this Grand Assembly, that all suits and causes between party and party of what valew soever not touching life or member be tryed by the county courts and not by the quarter courts vnles they exceed 1600 lb. of tobacco and caske or 16 sterling and that noe appeales be from the county courts to the quarter courts or from thence to the Assemblies vnder the same value; and damages vpon appeales to be awarded by the judges of appeales; and the appellants forthwith to putt in security to pay what damages shall be awarded against them: Provided that the act Apr. 13, 1652, authorizing||Jurisdiction of county courts final for all sums under
1600 lbs. tobacco or £16 sterl.|
Appeals over those sums allowed to qr. courts and assembly.
| to what value comissioners are to trye, be and remaine in full force and vertue, any
thing contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
||This act not to affect jurisdiction of a single magistrate.|
|WHEREAS many fines are laid on offenders an noe emolument accrues to the publique: Therefore be it enacted by this Grand Assembly, That all ffines made in the county courts de futuro be delivered to the militia of the county to be disposed of in amunition for the good of the county excepting such ffines as are allready disposed of by former acts.||Fines imposed in county courts appropriated to purchase of ammunition for the militia.|
|WHEREAS it hath bin taken into serious consideration and debate for the bettering our, (indeed) only comodity tobacco for the benefit both of planter & merchant both equally complaining of its low and contemptible rate, and no expedient found butt lessening the quantity and mending the quality, Wee this present Grand Assembly finding all other stints inconsistent with the good of his collony, Maryland remaining a distinct government: Doe therefore hereby enact that what person or persons soever shall after publication of this act tend, suffer or cause to be tended any tobacco commonly called seconds and slips shall for so doing pay 2000 lb. of tobacco, one halfe to the informer and the other halfe to the militia to be disposed for amunition for that county where the offence shall be committed, and likewise, That all sherriffs and collectors have a speciall care in receiveing the leavie tobacco without more then its proportion of ground leaves and in case of difference, the next comissioner to appoint two sufficient men to view the tobacco, and vpon their report to the said comissioners either to take it or proceed to distresse as in case of non-payment.||For improving the staple of tob. Seconds or slips not to be
Sheriffs and collectors to be careful as to receiving ground leaves.
|WHEREAS there are many places destitute of ministers, and like still to continue soe, the people content not payinge their accustomed dues, which makes||Preamble.|
|them negligent to procure those which should teach and instruct them, soe by this improvident saveing they loose the greatest benefitt and comfort a Christian can have, by hearing the word and vse of the blessed sacraments, Therefore be it enacted by this present Grand Assembly, That all countys not yet laid out into parishes shall be divided into parishes the next county court after publication hereof, and that all tithable persons in every parish within this collony respectively, in the vacancy of their minister, pay 15 lb. of tobacco per poll yearly, and that tobacco to be deposited in the hands of the comissioners of the severall counties, to be by them disposed of in the first place for the building of a parish church, and afterwards the surplusage thereof (if any be) to go towards the purchaseing of a gleab and stock for the next minister that shall be settled there: Provided that the vestrys of the severall parishes be responsible for the said tobacco so leavied.||All the counties to be divided into parishes. |
Parish levy of 15 lb. tobacco per poll for building churches and purchasing a glebe and stock for the minister.
Vestries responsible for the tobacco levied.
|WHEREAS l'rs. of administration are suddenly obtained and the estate as suddenly disposed of vnder pretence of greatest creditor or neerest kin. whereby often times those that are really so, the one is defrauded of his just debt, and the other barred of his right and interest. the estate being embezilld before either can have notice, Therefor be it enacted by this present Grand Assembly, That no administrations be confirmed vntill the third quarter court be past, except the widow, and then it speedily to be granted vpon her request, or vpon the request of the next kin; and for takeing care of the deceased estate vntil the time above limitted, be referred to the comissioners of the county where the deceased dyed.||Preamble. |
No administrations to be confirmed till after the 3d qr. court except to the widow and next of kin.
|That all debts that are brought in and proved may be paid according to priority in law, and debts to be paid proportionably if equall.||Order of paying debts.|
|That the estate may be sold at an outcry where there is not sufficient assetts, if the creditor shall require it.||Estate, when to be sold at auction.|
|That none have their quietus est vnder a year and a day after the confirmation of the administration.||Quietus, when grantable.|
|If any administrator be of no kin and have assets, that all the estate left after debts be paid, be imployed in the county where he lived for setting vp of manufactures or for other publique vses, the administrator being paid his reasonable charges and for his paines.||Surplus estate after payment of debts to be employed in manufactures, &c. if the adm'r be of no kin to the intestate.|
|This act shall be of noe force or effect vntil the 24th of June next, which will be in the yeare of our Lord 1656.||Commencement of act.|
|BE it enacted by this Grand Assembly that if any runnaway servant offend the second time against the act in march, 1642, concerning runnaway servants that then he shall onely be branded with the letter R: and passe vnder the statute for an incorrigible rogue, but also double his time of service so neglected, and soe likewise double the time that any time afterwards he shall neglect, and in some cases more if the commissioners think fitt: And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that he or she that shall lodge or harbour any such runaways shall not only pay 20 lb. of tobacco per night but also 40 lb. of tobacco per day as long as they shall be proved to entertaine them, contrary to an act of Assembly in March, 1642, relateing to hired servants.|| Runaway servants, for second offence, to be
branded with the letter R. pass under the statute for an incorrigible rogue, and serve double the
Penalty for harboring a runaway servant.
|WHEREAS it is much to be doubted, That the comon enemie the Indians, if opportunity serve, would suddenly invade this collony to a totall subversion of the same, and whereas the only means for the discovery of their plotts is by allarms, of which no certainty can be had in respect of the frequent shooting of gunns in drinking, whereby they proclaim, and as it were, justifie that beastly vice spending much powder in vaine, that might be reserved against the comon enemie, Be it therefore enacted that what person or persons soever shall, after publication hereof, shoot||Preamble. |
No guns to be shot except
|any gunns at drinkeing (marriages and ffuneralls onely excepted,) that such person or persons so offending shall forfeit 100 lb. of tobacco to be levied by distresse in case of refusal and to be disposed of by the militia in amunition towards a magazine for the county where the offence shall be comitted.||at marriages & funerals, under penalty of 100 lb. of tobacco.|
| BE it enacted by this present Grand Assembly that noe
person or persons, for the future, be admitted to be a comissioner for any county court
whatsoever, but such as shall be desired by the court and appointed by the Governour and
||Comm'rs. or justices of the peace to be recommended by the court and appointed by the gov. and council.|
|FFOR the encouragement of trade be it enacted that all persons inhabiting in this collony, being sole owners of any vessell, shipp or barque, tradeing to any lawfull port whatsoever, be exempted from all castle duties but if any matter shall arise in question the oaths of the owners shall be required to make it appear that they are such owners.||Inhabitants of the colony being sole owners of vessels exempted from castle duties.|
|WHEREAS information hath bin given that many western and inland Indians are drawne from the mountaynes, and lately sett downe neer the falls of James river, to the number of six or seaven hundred, whereby vpon many severall considerations being had, it is conceived greate danger might ensue to this collony, This Assembly therefore do think fitt to resolve that these new come Indians be in noe sort suffered to seate themselves there, or any place near vs it haveing cost so much blood to expell and extirpate those perfidious and treacherous Indians which were there formerly, It bing so apt a place to invade vs and within those lymitts which in a just warr were formerly conquered by us, and by vs reserved at the last conclusion of peace with the Indians, In pursuance whereof therefore and due respect to our own safety, Be it enacted||Western and inland Indians having seated themselves near the
falls of James river. |
Coll. Edward Hill, with a
|by this present Grand Assembly, That the two vpper countyes, vnder the command of Coll. Edward Hill, do presently send forth a party of 100 men at least and that they shall first endeavour to remoove the said new come Indians without makeing warr if it may be, only in a case of their own defence, alsoe strictly requireing the assistance of all the neighbouring Indians to aid them to that purpose, as being part of the articles of peace concluded with vs, and faileing therein to look duely to the safety of all the English of those parts by fixing of their arms and provideing ammunition, and that they have recourse to the Governour and Councill for further direction therein, And the Governour and Councill are desired to send messages to Tottopottomoy and the Chickahomynies and other Indians and to treate with them as they in theire wisdoms and discretions shall think fitt.||party of men, directed to remove them without making war, if
possible, and to require the assistance of the neighboring Indians bound by treaty.
Gov. to send messengers to Tottopottomoy and Chichahominy Indians.
|WHEREAS we conceive it something hard and vnagreeable to reason that any persons shall pay equall taxes and yet have no votes in elections, Therefore it is enacted by this present Grand Assembly, That soe much of the act for chooseing Burgesses be repealed as excludes freemen from votes, Provided allwaies that they fairly give their votes by subscription and not in a tumultuous way, and it is further provided by this act that the rest of the act of March, 1654, concerning choosing Burgesses (this clause only excepted) be and remain in full force, any act provided to the contrary notwithstanding.||All free men entitled to vote for burgesses. |
How to give their votes.
| BEE it enacted, that there be 30 lb. of tobacco per
poll raised in every county respectively, for discharging of such debts as here are presented to
the Governour and Council, to dispose of the same to the countrey creditors as also of the
overplus (if any be) in case there be no Assembly called before the last of October next
March 27, 1656.
|E'D DIGGS. |
ffRANCIS MORYSON, Speaker.
|Pages 369-393||Pages 404-414|