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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Act of the North Carolina General Assembly concerning freedom of religion
North Carolina. General Assembly
1715
Volume 02, Pages 884-885

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[Laws of North Carolina. MSS. Revisal. A. D. 1715.]
AN ACT FOR LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE AND THAT THE SOLEMN AFFIRMATION OF THE PEOPLE CALLED QUAKERS SHALL BE ACCEPTED INSTEAD OF AN OATH IN THE USUAL FORM.

De it enacted by His Excellency the Pallatine and the rest of the True and absolute Lords Proprs of Carolina, by and with the advice and consent of this present General Assembly, now met at Little River for the North East part of the said Province.

And it is hereby Enacted that all Protestant Dissenters within this Government shall have their meetings for the exercise of their Religion without molestation, Provided that the same be Publick and subject to such rules, regulations and restrictions as by the several Acts of Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain relating to Protestant Dissenters are made and Provided.

And whereas divers Dissenters commonly called Quakers refusing to take an Oath in Courts of Justice and other places are lyable to be imprisoned and their Estates sequestered by Process of Contempts Issuing out of such Courts to the Ruin of themselves and familyes.

Be it therefore Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that from and after the Ratification of this Act every Quaker within this province who shall be required upon any lawful occasion to take an Oath in any case where by Law an Oath is required, shall instead of the usual form, be permitted to make his or her solemn affirmation or declaration in the words following, Viz.

I, A. B. do declare in the presence of God, the witness of the truth of what I say. Which said solemn affirmation or Declaration shall be adjudged and taken to be of the same force and effect to all intents and purposes in all Courts of Justice or other places where by Law, an Oath is required within this province as if such Quaker had taken an Oath in the usual form.

And Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that if any Quaker making such solemn affirmation or Declaration shall be lawfully convicted of wilfully, falsely, and corruptly to have affirmed or declared any matter or thing which if the same had been in the usual form would have amounted to wilful and corrupt perjury, every such Quaker so

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offending shall incurr the same penaltyes and forfeitures as by the laws and Statutes of the Kingdom of Great Britain are enacted against persons convicted of wilfull and corrupt Perjury.

Provided and Be it Enacted that no Quaker or reputed Quaker shall by virtue of this Act be qualified or permitted to give evidence in any criminal causes, or to serve on any Jury, or bear any Office or place of profit or Trust in the Government—anything in this Act contained to the contrary, in any wise, Notwithstanding.

CHARLES EDEN
N. CHEVIN
C. GALE
FRAN. FOSTER
T. KNIGHT.
Edward Moseley,
Speaker.