|Pages 339-361||Pages 388-411|
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That so much of an act, intituled "An act for regulating the streets in and adjoining to the town of Alexandria," as relates to the contraction of Washington-street, between Queen-street and Oronoko-street, shall be, and the same is hereby repealed.||Part of the act regulating streets in Alexandria, repealed.|
An act to extend the limits of the town of Alexandria.
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That the limits of the town of Alexandria, shall extend to and include as well the lots formerly composing the said town, as those adjoining thereto, which have been and are improved.||Limits of the town of Alexandria extended.|
An act concerning mill-dams on the South Branch of Potowmack river.
|BE it enacted, That the owner or proprietor of any and every mill on the South Branch of Potowmack||Further time allowed, for making slopes in,|
|river, from the mouth thereof upwards to the north fork, shall be allowed the further time of one year, from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, to make and fix in each mill-dam a proper slope for the passage of fish, and moreover to cut, or cause to be cut, a canal or race, by the means of which boats navigated in the said river may conveniently and safely pass up or down the same, without being impeded by such mill dams; any thing to the contrary thereof, contained in the act, intituled, "An act for improving the navigation of the South Branch of Potowmack river," notwithstanding.||and cutting canals around mill dams on South Branch of Potowmack.|
|I. WHEREAS it is represented to this present general assembly, that John Askins, the only and natural son of Mary Arvin, hath lately departed this life, intestate and without issue, whereby his lands have been or are liable to be escheated and vested in the commonwealth; and whereas the said Mary Arvin hath made application that the said lands may be vested in her, which it is judged expedient and reasonable to do:||Lands whereof John Askins died seized, vested in his mother Mary Arvin.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, That the lands of which the said John Askins died seized, shall be, and they are hereby vested in his mother, the said Mary Arvin, in fee; any law to the contrary, notwithstanding.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That the said Mary Arvin shall, within twelve months after obtaining patents for the same, convey such parts of the said lands as were sold by the said John Askins before his death, to the persons who purchased the same, or their legal representatives. Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to injure or affect|
|the right or title of any person or persons, bodies politic or corporate, their heirs or successors, in or to the said lands.|
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That it shall and may be lawful for the members of the Cabin-Point Lodge of free Masons, in the county of Surry, to raise by way of lottery, under the direction of Billy Haley Avery, John Howell Briggs, James Belsches, senior, James Willison, and Archibald Dunlop, gentlemen, who, or any three of whom, shall superintend the same, a sum not exceeding five hundred pounds, for the purpose of building a Mason's hall.||Lottery authorised for Cabin Point Lodge of Free Masons.|
An act to establish an Academy on the Eastern shore.
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That it shall and may be lawful for George Corbin, Isaac Avery, Thomas Evans, Littleton Savage, Levin Joynes, Griffin Stith, Abel Upshur, Littleton Eyre, George Parker, John Harmanson, Edward Kerr, and John Cropper, jun. gentlemen, who are hereby constituted trustees, to take and receive all such sums of money as have been or may be subscribed, and the same to dispose of towards procuring and establishing a seminary of learning either in the county of Accomack or Northampton, as to a majority of the said trustees||Academy established on the Eastern shore.|
|shall seem most expedient. The said trustees and their successors shall have power and capacity to purchase, receive and possess, lands & tenements, goods and chattels, either in fee or any lesser estate therein, and the same to gant, let, sell or assign; and to plead and be impleaded, prosecute and defend all causes, in law or equity, by the name of the Trustees of Margaret Academy. −− The said trustees, or a majority of them, when assembled, shall have power to make and establish such bye-laws and ordinances as they shall think best for the good government of the said academy, and to perform and do any thing respecting the property vested therein; provided such bye-laws and ordinances shall not be inconsistent with the laws and constitution of this commonwealth. They shall choose a president and secretary out of their own body; and in case of vacancy, by death or otherwise, of any one or more of the said trustees, the same shall be supplied by a majority of the remaining trustees, so as to keep up the number of seven in the county of Accomack, and the number of five in Northampton.|
|I. WHEREAS it is represented to this present general assembly by James Mercer, esquire, eldest brother and heir at law of George Mercer, late of the city of London, deceased, that the said George Mercer departed this life at London aforementioned, in the month of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, seized of certain small parcels of land within this commonwealth, which then were and still are in possession of the said James Mercer, as attorney in fact for the said George Mercer, and which, in case of the intestacy of the said George Mercer, would descend to the said James Mercer, as heir of the said George Mercer. And also whereas it is supposed||Certain lands whereof George Mercer died seized, vested in James Mercer.|
|that the said George Mercer made a will in writing, as and for his last will, a private copy whereof has been transmitted to the said James Mercer, bearing date at London aforementioned, on the first day of September, one thousand seven hundred and seventy, by which will it appears that the said George Mercer devised all his real and personal estate within this commonwealth, which was at that time very considerable, unto the said James Mercer, in fee-simple, except a few very inconsiderable legacies in the said will mentioned, and also excepting a certain part of his real estate, which he devised unto Edward Montague, esq; of Lincoln-Inn Field, in the said city of London, and unto James Whyte, esquire, of Bride-street, in the city of Dublin, upon trust, to secure the payment of certain debts, limiting a remainder therein, after those purposes should be answered, to the said James mercer in fee-simple, constituting the aforenamed Edward Montague, James Whyte, and James Mercer, sole executors of the said will. And also whereas it is represented, that the trust devised to the said Montague and Whyte, was by subsequent acts of the said George Mercer in his life time made void, by which the whole estate would, under the will aforesaid, become immediately vested in the said James Mercer, but the said James Mercer being unable to procure the said original will, the same being destroyed or suppressed, he cannot act under the said will, nor can the said James Mercer act in the character of heir at law, lest the said will should hereafter be produced and established, and the trust-interest of the said Montague and Whyte be adjudged to be a subsisting lien on the estate of the said George mercer, which would render void all the actings of the said James Mercer, as heir at law, to the great detriment of the said James Mercer, and to the manifest prejudice of all the creditors of the said George Mercer, who are said to have claims far beyond the value of the whole estate, of which the said George Mercer died seized. And also, whereas the real estates of which the said George Mercer died seized, yield no profit, being unimproved, and are subject to certain loss for public taxes, and the interest which would arise from their value, in case the same were sold; and the said James Mercer being willing to stand chargeable to any claimant, who may hereafter be proved to have a|
|specific claim on such lands, either by mortgage, or under the will aforesaid, for the value such lands shall actually sell for, deducting reasonable charges attending such sales; and it will be manifestly to the interest of the creditors of the said George Mercer to ensure purchasers by removing all doubts touching the title of the said James Mercer, to sell the said lands, which will greatly enhance the value thereof:|
|II. Be it enacted, That all the interests, which were of the said George Mercer, deceased, at the time of his death, in real or personal estate within this commonwealth, either in law or equity, be, and the same are hereby vested in the afore-named James Mercer, his heirs and assigns, as heir to the said George Mercer, as fully and absolutely as if the said George Mercer had actually departed this life intestate, and at the time of his death had been actually a resident citizen within this state. Provided always, That so soon as the said will, or any last will of the said George Mercer, shall be proved and established at law, that then and thence-forward such last will shall have the same effect as if this act was then repealed, and the interest of the said James Mercer, as heir at law, shall thence cease and determine.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That from and after the passing of this act, and until a will of the said George Mercer shall be established, it shall and may be lawful for the said James Mercer to sell and dispose of any or all of the lands, which were the said George Mercer's at the time of his death, and being within this commonwealth, by way of public auction, and upon twelve months credit, and to convey the absolute estate in such lands to the purchaser, such purchaser giving bond with sufficient security for the purchase money, payable to the said James Mercer, as heir of the said George Mercer. Provided always, that the said James Mercer shall, before any such sale, enter into bond with sufficient security, to be approved of by the corporation court, of the town of Fredericksburg, in such penal sum as the said court shall direct, with condition for paying the produce of the sales of such lands to such person or persons as hereafter may be adjudged to have had the best title thereto, either by mortgage, or last will of the said George Mercer; which bond shall be made payable to|
|the justices of the said corporation court and their successors, and be recorded among the records of the said justices, at the instance of, and at the risque and costs of any mortgagee or devisee, entitled to such lands respectively, for the recovery of the proceeds of the sales thereof, after deducting the costs and charges of such sales, in the same manner as a sheriff's bond may now by law be sued and prosecuted.|
|IV. Provided also, and be it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the said James Mercer to discharge any such claim, by assigning to the claimant the bond actually taken for the purchase of the land to which such claimant makes title; and the said James Mercer shall not be chargeable for the money arising from such sales, unless the security taken for the payment thereof shall be adjudged insufficient at the time of his entering into such bond.|
|V. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the said corporation court, and the said court is hereby required, upon the application of the said James Mercer, to grant him a certificate for obtaining administration on the personal estate of the said George Mercer, deceased, within this state, the said court taking bond and security as in ordinary cases.|
|VI. Provided nevertheless, and be it enacted, That the said court, before granting such certificate, shall administer to the said James Mercer the following oath, instead of the oath now prescribed to be taken by an administrator, to wit: "I James Mercer, do swear that I have been informed, and verily believe, that George Mercer, esquire, my elder brother, died at London some time in the month of April, one thousand seven hundred and eighty four, single and unmarried, and that I have not in my keeping any original will of the said George Mercer, nor can I obtain the one the said George Mercer is said to have made; and that I will well and truly administer all and singular the goods chattels, and credits of the said George Mercer, and pay his debts as far as his goods, chattels and credits will thereunto extend and the law require me; and that I will make a true and perfect inventory of all the said goods, chattels and credits, as also a just account, when thereto required; and that I|| |
Special oath, as to administration.
|will cease to act as administrator of the said George Mercer, as soon as any will of the said George Mercer shall be duly proved and recorded, except as to suits which shall then be depending." Saving to all and every person and persons whatsoever, bodies politic and corporate, other than this commonwealth, and those claiming or to claim under the said George Mercer, as trustee, mortgagee, or devise, all right, title, and interest, which they or either of them might or could have to any lands of the said George Mercer, in the same manner as if this act had never been made.|
|I. WHEREAS John Todd, of the county of Fayette, died some time in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty two, leaving Mary Owen Todd, an infant, under the age of twenty-one years, his heir at law, and it being represented to this present general assembly that the personal estate of the said John Todd is by no means adequate to the payment of his debts, and that it will be greatly advantageous to the said Mary Owen Todd, to preserve the said personal estate and the slaves whereof he died possessed, by authorising the executors to sell so much of the lands whereof he died seized, as will be sufficient to discharge the aforesaid debts, and to purchase three slaves to be vested in the said Mary Owen Todd, and Jane Todd, widow and executrix of the said John Todd; and the said Jane Todd and Robert Todd, executor of the said John Todd, deceased, having petitioned this assembly that an act may pass for that purpose:||Sale of part of lands of John Todd, dec'd, authorised for the payment of his debts.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, that James Wilkinson, Thomas Marshall, John Coburn,|
|and Joseph Crocket, gentlemen, shall be, and they are hereby appointed trustees for the following purposes, that is to say: The said trustees, or any three of them, shall, immediately upon receipt of the act, demand of the executors of the said John Todd, deceased, an accurate account of all the debts which shall be due from his estate, and upon receipt thereof, shall proceed to sell in such manner as to them shall seem most advantageous, so much of the lands whereof the said John Todd died seized, as shall be sufficient to discharge the aforesaid debts, and to purchase two young negro men and one young negro woman: Provided nevertheless, That the said trustees shall not be authorised to sell the tract of land in the county of Fayette, whereon the said John Todd resided at the time of his death, or any part thereof: Provided also, That they shall not sell in consequence of the powers hereby given to them, more than one fourth part of the lands whereof the said John Todd died seized. So soon as the said trustees shall have purchased the slaves above mentioned, they shall convey two of them to the said Mary Owen Todd and her heirs, by deed to be recorded in the dourt of Fayette county, and shall also in like manner convey the remaining one to the said John Todd, during life, with remainder to the said Mary Owen Todd. The said trustees, when they have performed the trust reposed in them by this act, shall make a fair statement of their proceedings therein, which having been examined and approved by the court of Fayette county, shall be recorded therein, and thenceforth the said trustees shall be discharged from the said trust.|
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That eighty acres of land, the property of Charles Washington, lying in the county of Berkeley, be laid out||Town of Charleston, in Berkeley county, established.|
|in such manner as he may judge best, into lots of half an acre each, with convenient streets, which shall be and is hereby established a town, by the name of Charlestown. That John Augustine Washington, Robert Rutherford, William Darke, James Crane, Cato Moore, Benjamin Rankin, Magnus Tate, Thornton Washington, William Little, Alexander White, and Richard Ransone, gentlemen, are hereby appointed trustees of the said town, and that they, or a majority of them shall have full power from time to time, to settle and determine all disputes concerning the bounds of the lots, and to establish such rules and orders for the regular building of houses thereon, as to them shall seem best; and in case of the death, removal out of the county, or other legal disability, of any one or more of the said trustees, it shall be lawful for the remaining trustees to elect and choose others in the room of those dead or disabled, and the person or persons so elected, shall be vested with the same powers and authority as any one in this act particularly appointed. So soon as the purchasers or owners of lots within the said town shall have built thereon a dwelling house, sixteen feet square, with a brick or stone chimney, such purchaser or owner shall be entitled to, and have and enjoy, all the rights, privileges, and immunities, which the freeholders and inhabitants of other towns in this state, not incorporated, hold and enjoy.|
|I. WHEREAS it has been represented to the general assembly, that it would be of great advantage to the Fredericksburg academy, to authorise the trustees thereof to dispose of a small quantity of sunken ground, and the materials of a stone building, granted to the||Trustees of Fredericksburg academy authorised to dispose of part of their lands.|
|said academy by an act of assembly, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty two:|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, That it shall be lawful for the said trustees, or the major part of them, to sell and convey so much of the sunken or low lands belonging to the said academy, as to them shall seem proper, and also the materials of a stone building erected thereon, and apply the money arising from the sales thereof in such manner as they shall think most for the benefit of the said academy.|
|I. WHEREAS the purchasers of lots in the town of Louisville, in the county of Jefferson, from the frequent incursions and depredations of the Indians, and the difficulty of procuring materials, have not been able to build on their said lots within the time prescribed by law:||Further time allowed purchasers of lots in Louisville to build thereon.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, That the further time of three years from the passing of this act, shall be allowed the purchasers of lots in the said town to build upon and save the same.|
An act appointing trustees for the town of Dumfries.
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That Henry Lee, sen. Thomas Blackburn, William Carr, Richard Graham, Alexander Lithgow, George Graham,||Trustees for town of Dumfries appointed.|
|John Pope, William Linton, Thomas Lee, John M'Crae, Willoughby Tebbs, and Nathaniel Chapman Hunter, gentlemen, are hereby constituted and appointed trustees of the town of Dumfries. They, or the major part of them, shall have power from time to time, to settle and determine all disputes concerning the bounds of the lots in the said town, establish such rules for the regular building of houses thereon, as to them shall seem meet and convenient and be vested with the same powers and authority given to the trustees of the said town when the same was established.|
|II, And be it further enacted, That from and after the passing of this act, the trustees shall be resident in, or freeholders of the said town; and upon the death or other legal disability, of any of the said trustees, the vacancy thereby occasioned shall be supplied by the remaining trustees; and the person or persons so elected, shall have the same powers and authority as any one in this act particularly appointed.|
|Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That so much of the act concerning strays, as directs the advertising of them in the Virginia Gazette, shall not be in full force in the district called and known by the name of the Kentucky district, and instead thereof, the like advertisement shall be posted up at the door of the court-house of the supreme court for two days at two different succeeding sessions; a list of which advertisements shall be noted in a book to be kept by the clerk of the before recited court, for the recording of which he shall receive the sum of two shillings.||Mode of advertising strays, in Kentucky.|
| CHAP. LXXXV.|
An act to enlarge the town of Falmouth.
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That it shall be lawful for the trustees of the town of Falmouth, and they are hereby directed, to survey and lay off a quantity of land, not exceeding twenty acres, on the north-west side of the said town, into lots of half an acre each, with convenient streets, which shall thenceforth be added to and made a part of the said town.||Town of Falmouth enlarged.|
|II. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That the said trustees, in forming and extending the streets within the said lots, shall not interfere with any buildings erected thereon.|
An act for altering the place of holding courts in the county of Henry.
|Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That it shall be lawful for a majority of the acting justices of the peace for the county of Henry, and they are hereby required, to fix on a place for holding courts in the said county, at or as near the centre thereof, as the situation and convenience will admit of; and thenceforth proceed to erect the necessary public buildings at such place, and until such buildings be compleated, to appoint any place for holding courts as they shall think proper.||Place of holding courts in Henry county altered.|
An act for opening and straightening certain public roads.
|I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That Thomas Prosser, Hezekiah Henley, George Clough,||Provision for opening and straightening|
|John Anderson, (of Taylor's-creek) Robert Armistead, Charles Barret, Beverley Winslow, Thomas Fowler, Charles Porter, William Pannel, French Strother, and William Roberts, gentlemen, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners; and they, or a majority of them, shall on or before the first day of March next, view and fix upon the most convenient and diret way for opening a road from Chester's-gap, in the county of Culpeper, to the county of Richmond, having regard as well to the situation of the ground, as the convenience of individuals, through whose lands the said road is to be opened, and make report of their proceedings to the courts of each of the counties of Culpeper, Orange, Louisa, Spotsylvania, Hanover, and Henrico; and the courts of the said counties shall severally within two months tereafter, appoint a proper person or persons, and allot him or them a sufficient number of hands for clearing and opening the road, where the same is fixed to go by the said commissioners within the county, in such manner as is by law directed for puplic roads. The commissioners failing to view and fix on the way for opening the said road, and make report within the time aforesaid, shall each forfeit and pay the sum o [of] ten pounds. The justices of each of the said counties, failing to appoint proper persons and hands for opening and clearing the said road, shall forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred pounds; which several penalties shall be recovered by information, and applied, one moiety to the informer and the other moiety towards lessening the levy of the county where such forfeiture shall arise.||road from Chester's gap to Richmond.|
|II. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners appointed by an act, intituled "An act for keeping certain roads in repair," or any three of them, being first sworn, shall have full power, and are hereby required, to view and mark out the most convenient way for turning and straightening the roads leading from Vestall's and Snicker's-gaps to Alexandria, having regard as well to the situation of individuals, who may be affected thereby, as the convenience of the public, and to direct the same to be opened and repaired agreeable to the said act.||Road from Vestall's and Snicker's gap to Alexandria to be straightened.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That Nathaniel Wilkinson, Daniel Laurence Hylton, Thomas Tinsley, John Winston, James Taylor,||So from Fredericksburg to Richmond.|
|Jonathan Clarke, and James Tutt, gentlemen, are hereby constituted commissioners; and they, or a majority of them, shall on or before the twentieth day of March next, view and fix on the most convenient and direct way for opening a road from Fredericksburg to the city of Richmond, having regard as well to the situation of the ground, as the convenience of individuals, through whose lands such road is to be opened, and make report thereof to the courts of the counties through which the same is to pass; and thereupon the like proceedings shall be had, and the same penalties inflicted, and recovered in like manner, as is herein before directed and prescribed in opening the road from Chester's-gap to the city of Richmond.|
|IV. And be it further enacted, That no county court shall have power, by any order or proceeding, to alter or change the ground or course of either of the said recited roads, established as aforesaid.|
An act for incorporating the town of York.
|BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That on the first Monday in March next, and on the same day in every year afterwards, the freeholders of lots within the town of York, whether improved or not, and whether such freeholders reside therein or not, and the housekeepers and inhabitants of the said town, who shall have resided therein at any time for the space of three months without the intermission of one twelve-month, and possess in their own right within the same, moveable or immoveable property to the value of fifty pounds, shall meet at the court-house of the county, or at such other place as shall by a bye-law be hereafter appointed, and shall then and there elect by ballot twelve fit and able men, being freeholders and inhabitants of the said town, who, or a major part of them, shall on the same or second day thereafter, between the hours of eight and twelve in the forenoon, publicly elect by ballot from among themselves, one person to||Town of York incorporated.|
|act as mayor, another as recorder, and four others as aldermen, of the said town, and the other six of whom shall be common-council. The power of the persons at any time elected mayor, recorder, aldermen, and common-councilmen, shall not be continued longer than until other persons shall have been elected to those offices respectively, or than the expiration of the second day immediately following the said first Monday in March in every year, as the case may be; but they may nevertheless be re-elected, except that no person shall be capable of acting as mayor more than once in any term of three years. Vacancies occasioned by death, disability, or resignation, at any time before the annual election, shall be supplied by the choice of the mayor, recorder, aldermen, and common-council, in common hall assembled, that is to say, a vacancy in the office of mayor or recorder, shall be supplied out of the aldermen; a vacancy in the office of alderman, out of the common-council; and a vacancy in the common-council, out of the freeholders and inhabitants of the said town. The mayor, recorder, and aldermen, to be elected on the said first Monday in March next, shall not enter upon the execution of their office until they have respectively taken an oath, or affirmation, before some justice of the peace of the county of York, for the faithful discharge of the duties thereof; and the mayor, recorder, and aldermen, to be elected afterwards, shall take such oath, or affirmation, before they respectively enter upon the duties of heir office, in the presence of the court of hustings, or of some meeting of the common council hereafter mentioned. The said freeholders, house keepers, and inhabitants, and those persons, who shall hereafter become freeholders, house keepers, or inhabitants, as aforesaid, shall be a body politic and corporate, by the name of the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty, of the town of York, and by that name have perpetual succession and a common seal. They and their successors by the name aforesaid, shall be capable in law to have purchase, receive, enjoy, possess, and retain to them and their successors forever, any lands, rents, tenements, or hereditaments, of what kind, nature, or quality soever; and also to sell grant, demise, alien, or dispose of the same; and by the same name to sue and implead, be sued and impleaded, answer and be answered|| Style of corporation.|
|in all courts and places; and from time to time to make and establish such bye-laws, rules, and ordinances, not contrary to the constitution or laws of this commonwealth, as shall by them be thought necessary for the good ordering and government of such persons as shall from time to time reside within the limits of the said town, or shall be concerned in interest therein. That they and their successors, by the name aforesaid, shall especially have power to rent, erect or repair work-houses, houses of correction, a court-house, prison, market-house, and hospitals for the reception of persons infected with contagious disorders, and other public buildings, for the benefit of the said town; to pay the charges of removing such infected persons to the hospital, to provide doctors, nurses, and other necessary attendants, as well as guards to prevent the spreading of such disorders; and keep in order the streets and lands in the said town; and to impose taxes on the white and black male tithables, and on the property, real and personal within the said town, for the execution of all or any of the powers hereby given them; to make provisions and regulations for collecting and accounting for the taxes raised, by appointing a collector, or directing distress to be made for delinquencies, or by any other ways or means; to erect wharfs, and to lay a reasonable duty on the vessels coming to and using the same, for the purpose of defraying the expence of erecting and keeping in repair the wharfs so erected; to fix fines upon the owner or holder of every billiard table, tippling-house, booth or tent within the jurisdiction of the corporation; and to demand reasonable fees for every ordinary license within the same, over and above those established for raising a revenue; and to expel disorderly persons, who shall not have been resident therein for twelve months. That all acts herein directed to be done by the mayor, recorder, aldermen, and common-council, shall be done by them when assembled in common-hall, when seven members shall be present, of which the mayor, recorder, or eldest alderman, shall always be one. They shall meet upon the summons of such mayor, or in his absence, sickness or disability of the recorder, or in the absence, sickness, or disability of both mayor and recorder, then of the eldest alderman. The mayor, recorder, and aldermen, or any four or|
|more of them, shall have power to hold a court of hustings on the fourth Monday in every month. The jurisdiction of such court shall relate to those cases, which originate within the limits of the said town, and shall be the same as the jurisdiction of the county courts, as established by the act, intituled "An act for establishing county courts, and regulating the proceedings therein," except in the following instances; the said court shall not hear and determine any penal cause, unless it be for a breach of the laws of the corporation, the penalty whereof does not exceed forty shillings, or two hundred pounds of crop tobacco; nor any action where the cause of it exceeds the value of fifty pounds, or five thousand pounds weight of crop tobacco, unless it be in ejectment. The said court shall have the power of examining and trying criminals for all offences committed within the limits of the said corporation, either at their monthly sessions, or in the vacation, in the same manner as the county courts can or may do by law; the said court shall have the sole power of licensing tavern keepers and settling their rates, establishing an assize of bread, wine, wood, coal and other things, and also of appointing a serjeant, who shall have the power of a sheriff, constables, and other necessary officers of the court, and surveyors of the streets, and any other officers not especially directed in this act to be appointed by any other power. The same fees shall be allowed to the officers of the court as are by law allowed to the clerk and sheriff of a county, and shall be collected and accounted for in the same manner. No officer of the court shall enter upon his office until he shall have taken an oath, or affirmation, before the court for the faithful discharge of the duties thereof. The serjeant shall moreover give bond with sufficient security, payable to the mayor, recorder, aldermen, and common council, and their successors, in reasonable penalty, for the due execution of his office. The mayor, recorder, and alderman shall each be vested with the powers of justices of the peace within the said town, for matters arising within the same according to the laws of this commonwealth. The mayor, recorder, any alderman or common councilman, may be removed from his office for good cause, and after due summons, by the opinion of seven members of the common hall; and no bye-law, ordinance or regulation|
|shall be binding, unless the same shall have been passed and entered into by the voice of seven members of the common hall. The court of hustings of the said town of York, shall be and the same is hereby constituted a court of record, and as such to receive probate of wills and deeds, and grant administration and marriage licenses, in as full and ample manner as the county courts by law can or may do. Provided always, That no will shall be admitted to record in the said court, nor shall the said court grant administration, unless the testator or intestate, as the case may be, was resident within the limits of the jurisdiction of the said court at the time of his or her death; nor shall any deed whereby lands are conveyed, be admitted to proof or record in the said court, unless such lands be within the limits as aforesaid. No ordinary keeper in the town of York, shall be capable of serving as mayor, recorder, alderman, or common council thereof.|
|I. WHEREAS it is represented that James, a negro slave, the property of William Armistead, gentleman, of the county of New Kent, did, with the permission of his master, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-one, enter into the service of the Marquis la Fayette, and at the peril of his life found means to frequent the British camp, and thereby faithfully executed important commissions entrusted to him by the marquis; and the said James hath made application to this assembly to set him free, and to make his said master adequate compensation for his value, which it is judged reasonable and right to do.||James, a slave the property of Wm. Armistead, emancipated.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, That the said James shall, from and after the passing of this act, enjoy as full freedom as if he had been born free; any law to the contrary thereof, notwithstanding.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That the executive shall, as soon as may be, appoint a proper person, and the said William Armistead another, who shall ascertain and fix the value of the said James, and to certify such valuation to the auditor of accounts, who shall issue his warrant to the treasurer for the same, to be paid out of the general fund.|
|I. WHEREAS John Williamson, late of the county of Hanover, deceased, by his last will, among other things, did give and devise a part of his estate to certain persons, and their successors forever, in trust, for them to apply the profits thereof annually to particular purposes directed in his will, with power in case of the death or removal of any one of the said trustees, for the survivors to supply the vacancy for ever, as the same should happen; but made no provision for the said trustees to account for the execution of the said trust, or to compel them to apply the profits of the estate as directed by the will, which it is just and right they should do:||Trustees, under the will of John Williamson, dec. how to account.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That the present trustees, under the will of the said John Williamson, and their successors forever, shall annually, either in the month of June or July, return an account upon oath to the court of their respective counties wherein they reside, as well of the profits of the said trust estate, as of the disposition and application thereof, to be by the clerk of the county recorded. Every trustee shall give such bond and security in the court of the county where he resides, as the trustees immediately appointed by the will of the said John Williamson gave, before they shall proceed to execute the said trust.|
|I. WHEREAS James Scott, gentleman, late of the county of Fauquier, died seized of a considerable real estate, leaving a widow and eight children, and by his will directed that his children should be maintained and educated out of the profits of his estate, and that after the death of his wife, the same should be sold and equally divided amongst them, making no provision therein for the payment of his debts; and whereas it is represented to this assembly, by Elizabeth Scott, widow and executrix, and Cuthbert Bullitt, surviving executor of the said James Scott, that the slaves and personal estate, if sold for the payment of the debts, will deprive the children of the means of being maintained and educated according to the will of the said James Scott, and they have made application for an act to enable them to dispose of so much land as will be sufficient to pay the debts:||Executors of James Scott, authorised to sell part of his lands, for payment of his debts.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, That the said executors shall be, and they are hereby authorised and empowered, to sell and convey so much of the lands of the said James Scott, as was directed by his will to be sold after the death of his widow, as will raise a sum sufficient for the payment of their testator's debts, taking bond with sufficient security from the purchaser or purchasers for the sales of the said land.|
An act for clearing and extending the navigation of Chickahominy river.
|I. WHEREAS extending the navigation of Chickahominy river will be of public utility, and it is represented||Provision for clearing and extending|
|to this present general assembly that many persons are willing and desirous to subscribe thereto:||Navigation of Chickahominy river.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, That William Douglass, Daniel Trueheart, Julius Allen, Miles Selden, William Macon, William Lewis, William Christian, Richmond Terrel, Joseph Vaiden, William Carter, and John Price, gentlemen, be, and they are hereby nominated, constituted, and appointed trustees, for clearing and extending the navigation of the said river, as far up the same as the Meadow Bridges, and they are hereby authorised and empowered, to take and receive subscriptions for that purpose. And if any person or persons shall neglect or refuse to pay the several sums of money by them respectively subscribed for the purposes of this act, it shall and may be lawful for the said trustees to sue for and recover the same, in the name of the trustees aforesaid, by petition where the subscription shall not exceed five pounds, and where the same shall be above that sum, by action of debt, founded on this act.|
|III. And be it further enacted, That the said trustees, or a major part of them, shall have full power and authority to contract and agree with any person or persons for clearing and extending the navigation of the river aforesaid, in such manner as to the said trustees shall seem most proper, and to remove all hedges or stops, which the said trustees shall think may, in any wise, obstruct the said navigation.|
|IV. And be it further enacted, That the said trustees, or a major part of them, from time to time, as often as they shall see occasion, shall and may nominate and appoint one or more of their number, willing to undertake the same, to be receiver or receivers of all monies that shall be subscribed in consequence of this act; who shall, in the court of the county where he or they shall reside, give bond with two or more sufficient securities, in a reasonable penalty, payable to the said trustees or their successors, with the condition that he or they, his or their heirs, executors or administrators, at all times when required, shall and will truly faithfully account to the said trustees for all such monies as shall come to the hands of such receiver or receivers for the purposes of this act, and pay the same to such person or persons, as the said|
|trustees or a major part of them, shall order and direct.|
|V. And be it further enacted, That in case of the death, resignation, or legal disability, of any one or more of the trustees before named, it shall and may be lawful for the surviving or remaining trustees, or any six of them, from time to time to elect so many other persons, in the room of those dead, resigned, or disabled, as shall make up the number of eleven; which trustees, so chosen, shall be vested with the same power and authority, as any other in this act particularly named.|
|VI. And be it further enacted, That nothing herein contained shall in any wise be construed to affect the rights of individuals, by clearing the main channel of the said river, where there are any disputes respecting the course of the same.|
|[See ante pa. 114.]|
|I. WHEREAS it is represented to this present general assembly, that Benjamin Johnston was, on the twelfth day of September one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, legally commissioned surveyor of the county of Yohogania, but as no court was afterwards held in the said county (the extension of the boundary line between this state and Pennsylvania having included in the latter the magistrates, sheriff, and clerk) the said Benjamin Johnston could not qualify to his commission in manner directed by law, yet he entered into bond on the third day of October, in the same year, with two sufficient securities, before the late clerk of Yohogania court, and proceeded to the execution of his office. And whereas doubts have arisen whether the said Benjamin Johnson was legally qualified as surveyor, and thereby, the rights of individuals may be questioned: For remedy whereof,||Acts of late surveyor of Yohogania county, legalized.|
|II. Be it enacted, That the bond executed by the said Benjamin Johnston, as surveyor for the said county of Yohogania, before the late clerk of the said county court, shall be as good and valid in law, as if the same had been taken and executed in open court, and that all acts done by the said Benjamin Johnston, as surveyor, shall be as valid as if he had qualified to his commission in manner directed by law. Provided, That nothing contained in this act shall be construed so as to affect the rights of any person or persons, their heirs or assigns, claiming title to any of the lands by prior entries, surveys, patents, or pre-emptions.|
|I. WHEREAS Patrick Coutts, merchant, late of the city of Richmond, departed this life, some time in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, and in and by his last will and testament, devised to Reuben Coutts, his natural son, an estate for life in the ferry from Richmond to Manchester, called Coutt's ferry, in the lands thereto adjoining, and in the fisheries belonging to the said lands. And whereas it has been represented to the present general assembly, that it was the intention of the said Patrick Couts to devise an estate in fee simple in the said ferry, fishery, and lands, to the said Reuben Coutts; and it has been suggested that the reversion expectant upon the estate for life of the said Reubeu Coutts, is become escheatable to the commonwealth, and the said Reuben Coutts, having petitioned this assembly that the same may be vested in him.||Reuben Coutts confirmed in his estate, in the ferry from Richmond to Manchester, and in certain lands & fisheries.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That the reversion expectant upon the estate for life of|
|the said Reuben Coutts, in the said ferry, fishery, and lands, shall be, and the same is hereby vested in the said Reuben Coutts; and his heirs forever. Saving nevertheless the rights, legal, and equitable, of all and every person and persons, bodies politic or corporate, except of the commonwealth, and of those claiming under it, in or to the said reversion, and every part thereof,|
An act concerning the Nansemond tribe of Indians.
|I. WHEREAS it is represented to this present general assembly, that there are only now remaining five persons of the Nansemond tribe of Indians, who, through old age, and bodily infirmities, are rendered unable to support themselves by labour, and in order to raise a fund for their future maintenance, have agreed to sell their lands whereon they live in the county of Southampton, containing about three hundred acres, to a certain William Bennet, for twenty shillings per acre, the full value thereof; but no legal conveyance can be made for the same without the aid and direction of the legislature, and it being also represented that upon the death of the said five Indians, the whole of that particular tribe will be extinct:||Lands of Nansemond tribe of Indians in Southampton sold to Wm. Bennett.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, That John Taylor, Edwin Gray, and John Thomas Blow, gentlemen are appointed trustees for the said Indians, and that they or any two of them shall, and they are hereby required and empowered, upon the said William Bennett's giving bond and security, to be approved of by the court of the said county, for the amount of the purchase money, to join with the said Indians, or the major part of them, in conveying the said land to the said William Bennet in fee. The said trustees, or the survivors or survivor of them, shall annually apply the interest of the purchase money, if sufficient, if not, five pounds out of the principal, for the maintenance and support of each of the|
|said Indians, so long as there be any of the said tribe living; and upon their death, and the said tribe becoming extinct, the said trustees, or the survivors or survivor of them, shall thereupon pay so much of the purchase money and interest, as shall remain unapplied, in to the public treasury.|
|I. WHEREAS it hath been represented to this present general assembly, that the sheriff of the county of Monongalia, neglected to give bond and security for the collection of the taxes in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, and the same remain now due and uncollected from the inhabitants thereof,||Certain taxes due in Monongalia, how collected.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, That the present sheriff of the said county, upon giving bond and security in the court thereof, in the penalty required by law for collectors, shall be, and he is hereby vested with as full power and authority to collect and distrain for the taxes due in the said county for the said year one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, as if he had been sheriff thereof, at the time they were payable; and the said sheriff is hereby allowed until the first day of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, to compleat the collection of the taxes in the said county, as well for the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, as those now due; and if he shall fail to make payment thereof into the public treasury, on or before the first day of May, in the same year, it shall and may be lawful for the solicitor general to move for judgment against him at the next general court, or any session of the said court subsequent thereto. The said sheriff shall in all cases respecting the collection of the said taxes, be entitled to the same emoluments and subject to the like penalties and damages as directed for sheriffs and collectors by the several laws for collecting the revenue of this state.|
|Pages 339-361||Pages 388-411|