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Acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1723
North Carolina. General Assembly
November 23, 1723
Volume 23, Pages 103-110

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LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA, 1723.

At a General Biennial Assembly, held at Edenton, in Chowan Precinct, the Twenty-Third Day of November, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty Three. William Reed, Esq., President.

CHAPTER I.
An Act, to provide Indifferent Jurymen in all Causes, Civil and Criminal.

(Repealed 6 April, 1748 and omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 184-190.]

CHAPTER II.
An Act, intituled, An Additional Act to the Act, relating to Biennial and other Assemblies, and regulating Elections; and divers other Things relating to the Towns. REP.

(Omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 191-194.]

CHAPTER III.
An Act, for appropriating part of the Impost Duty on Vessels, or Powder Money, to Beacon out the Channels from Roanoke to Ocacock Inlets, and several other Things, to facilitate the Trade and Navigation of this Government. EXP.

(Omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 194-196.]

CHAPTER IV.
An Act, for settling the Titles and Bounds of Lands.

I. Be It Enacted by his Excellency the Palatine, and the rest of the true and absolute Lords Proprietors of Carolina, by and with the Advice and Consent of this present General Assembly, now met at Edenton, for the North East Part of the said Province, and it is hereby Enacted, by the Authority of the same, That the Lands belonging to every Person in this Government shall be processioned, and the Marks renewed once in every Three Years; And that the Justices of each and every Precinct Court within this Government, between the first Day of June and the First Day of August, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty-Four, and so between the First Day of July and the First Day of August, in every Three Years hereafter, by an Order of the said Court, shall direct and order the Vestry of each Parish, in their Precinct, to divide their Parishes into as many Districts as to them shall seem most easy and convenient, for processioning every particular Person's Land within their Parish; and that the said Vestry shall appoint the particular Times some time between the first Day of October and the last Day of April, following the date of the said Court's Order, and shall nominate and

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appoint two able and intelligent Freeholders within every Canton or District, to see such processioning performed: And the said Freeholders so appointed are hereby obliged to make a Due Return and give an Account of their proceeding to the Precinct Court next following such Processioning of every particular Person's Land by them processioned, and who were present at the Time, and also to give a particular Account of what Lands within their Cantons or Districts, they shall have failed to Procession, together with their Reasons for such Failure.

II. And it is Further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the Clerk of every respective Precinct Court, is hereby enjoined and directed to deliver to the Church Wardens of every Parish within his Precinct, a Copy of the said Court's Order, within Fifteen Days after the passing the same; and that the said Church Wardens shall be obliged, within Ten Days after the Receipt of such Order, to appoint a Vestry to meet; and the said Church Wardens and Vestry are to lay out their said Parish in as many Cantons or Districts as to them shall seem convenient, and to nominate and appoint two intelligent Freeholders as aforesaid: Which Freeholders so appointed, are required to go with the Freeholders and Inhabitants, within their District or Cantons, round the Bounds of every Person's Land within the same, and renew the Marks of the said Lands.

III. And Be It Further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that the Justices of each Precinct are hereby required to cause the Returns to be made by the said Processioners, to be fairly entered into well-bound Books, kept for that Purpose, by the Clerk of the Precinct Court: and to prevent Mistakes in the Recording the said Return, the Clerk of the said Court shall be obliged, at the next succeeding Court, to produce and compare the Return with the Record, and afterwards, to file the said Return in his office: And as an Encouragement for the said Clerk's faithful discharge of the several Duties above mentioned, it shall and may be lawful for him to ask and demand the Sum of Twelve Pence of every Person for all his or her Lands that are returned Processioned, and recorded within that Precinct.

IV. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That where the Justices of any of the Precinct Courts, Vestry and Church Wardens, Freeholders or Clerk, shall fail or neglect doing their Duty herein, or hereby enjoined, each and every Justice so failing, shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Five Pounds; the Church Wardens and Vestry failing to do their Duty as aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay the sum of five Pounds; and the Freeholders who shall be nominated by the Vestry in their several Districts and Cantons, refusing to do their Duty, shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Five Pounds; and the Clerk of each respective Precinct Court neglecting or refusing to do his Duty as by this Law required, shall forfeit and pay the sum of Ten Pounds: All which afore-mentioned forfeitures and Fines shall be, one half to the informer, the other half to the Church Wardens and Vestry, for and towards the Use and Benefit of that Parish in which such Default happened: To be recovered, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any Court of Record within this Government; wherein no Essoign, Injunction, or Wager of Law, shall be allowed or admitted of.

V. And forasmuch as no Provision has been made in this Act, to compell such Persons who, out of an obstinate Temper, shall refuse to have their Lands processioned, to the Damage of Owners of adjacent Lands; Be it Enacted, That then, and in such case, all and every Person or Persons so refusing to have their Lands processioned, pursuant to the directions in this Act given them, the Two Freeholders Processioners as aforesaid, shall

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cause such refusal to be certified, in Writing, to the next succeeding Precinct Court; which Court is hereby Impowered and required to command the Surveyor-General or his Deputy, attended with four reputable Freeholders, who shall be nominated and appointed by the said Court for that Purpose, and sworn, to lay out the Bounds of the said Lands, to the best of their Judgment and Understanding; and according as it shall appear to them by Deeds, Writings, or Other Evidences, they shall proceed to settle the Bounds of the said Lands, at the proper Cost and Charges of the Person refusing to have the said Bounds laid out; and the said Surveyor-General, or his Deputy, shall return the Survey thereof with the Proceedings thereon, to the next Precinct Court, there to be recorded, by the Clerk of the said Court, in a Book for that purpose; which Bounds and Survey made in manner aforesaid, shall be taken and deemed a sufficient Processioning, as if the same had been done by the Consent of the Party: And if any of the said Justices, or the Surveyor, Clerk, or Freeholders, not having a Lawful Excuse, shall fail in his or their Duty, as by this Act is enjoined and directed, he or they so failing shall forfeit and pay the same Penalties as before in this Act is laid on the said Justices, Church Wardens, Vestry and Processioners, failing in their Duty; to be recovered in like manner, and to the same Uses.

VI. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Person whose Lands shall be Processioned to him, according to the Directions of this Act, at Two several Times, such Person shall be deemed and adjudged to be the sole owner of the said Lands; and that upon any Suit commenced for any such Lands, the Party in Possession may plead the General Issue, and give this Act in Evidence.

VII. Provided always, That the Processioning of Lands of a Tenant for Life, shall not bar or preclude the Heir in Reversion or Remainder; neither shall any Processioning bar or Preclude Persons under Age, Feme Coverts, Non Compos Mentis, Imprisoned, or out of the Government: But that all such Person or Persons shall have free liberty to sue for and dispute the Title and Bounds of any Lands within this Province; provided the said Person or Persons commence Suit and prosecute the same, within the Time already Limited by the Laws of this Government, after the Removal of such Disability.

VIII. And whereas lapse Patents are accustomed to be granted to the first Petitioners for such Lands which are not seated and planted according to the Condition or Provision mentioned in the respective Patents, which has often proved to be the ruin of Orphan Children (whose Parents have died leaving Lands unseated) by Neglect of Guardians and Trustees in not settling and securing the same in due Time: For prevention whereof for the future.

IX. Be It Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That whosoever, for the future, shall petition for the Lapsing of any Lands belonging to any Orphan or Orphans, such Person so petitioning, shall, and he is hereby required and commanded, to give, at least, Thirty Days' Notice of such Petition's being lodged, to the Guardian or Trustee of the Orphan, before the next Council after the Petition is lodged; and in case the said Guardian or Trustee, after such Notice given, shall refuse and neglect to appear at the said Council, and there take out a Patent for the said Land, in the name of, and to the use of such Orphan or Orphans (who shall, de futuro, have the Preference in Lapsing such Lands as are hereditary to him or her), such Guardian or Trustee shall be removed by the Governor and Council, or Precinct Court, from his Guardianship, and shall be subject to the Suit of the Orphan, and to

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answer all Damages which the Orphan shall sustain by Reason of His Neglect.

CHAPTER V.
An Act for an additional Tax on all free Negroes, Mulattoes, Mustees, and such Persons, Male and Female, as now are, or hereafter shall be, intermarried with any such Persons, resident in this Government.

I. Whereas Complaints have been made by divers Freeholders and other Inhabitants of this Government, of great Numbers of Free Negroes, Mulattoes, and other Persons of mixt Blood, that have lately removed themselves into this Government, and that several of them have intermarried with the white Inhabitants of this Province; in Contempt of the Acts and Laws in those Cases made and provided:

II. Be it therefore Enacted, by his Excellency the Palatine, and the rest of the true and absolute Lords Proprs. of Carolina, by and with the Advice and Consent of the rest of the Members of the present General Assembly, now met at Edenton, for the North East Part of the said Province, and it is hereby Enacted, by the Authority of the same, That all free Negroes, Mulattoes, and other Persons of that kind, being mixed Blood, including the Third Generation, who are, or hereafter shall be, Inhabitants or Residents in this Government, both Male and Female, who are of the age of Twelve years and upwards, shall, from the Ratification of this Act, be deemed and taken for Tithables, and as such each and every of them shall, Yearly, pay the same Levies and Taxes as the other Tithable Inhabitants do, and shall, and are hereby made liable to pay the same Yearly to such Person or Persons, in such Manner, and at such Times and Places, and to be subject to such Fines and Penalties, as in and by an Act, intituled, An Act for making the sum of Twelve Thousand Pounds Public Bills of Credit, for exchanging such of the Public Bills of Credit as are now current, thereby to render them the more useful to the Government; and for regulating the Taxes; which the other Inhabitants of this Province, being Tithables, are obliged and subject to.

III. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the Ratification of this Act, any White Person or Persons whatsoever, Male or Female, Inhabitant of this Government, or that may or shall remove themselves hither from other Parts, that now is, or hereafter shall be, married with any Negro, Mulatto, Mustee, or other Person being of mixed Blood, as aforesaid, shall be, and are hereby made liable to the same Levies and Taxes, as the Negroes, Mulattoes, or other mixed Blood, as herein above is expresed; and it is the true Intent and Meaning of this Act, that all and every of the aforesaid Tithables removing themselves into this Government, shall pay the Levy and Taxes asessed for the Year they come hither, provided they come before the Tenth Day of June in that Year.

IV. And forasmuch as divers of the Inhabitants of this Government, for Causes them thereunto moving, have set free Slaves of Sundry kinds, who are, all by Law, obliged to depart the Government in Six Months after their being so freed, otherwise they are liable to be sold to such Person or Persons as shall give security for transporting them out of this Government; notwithstanding the said Law, and contrary to the true Intent and Meaning thereof, many of such freed Negroes, and Slaves of other Kinds, after having departed this Government for a Little Time, Have returned again, deeming

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themselves Inhabitants of this Government by such Departure and Return: For the Prevention whereof for the future;

V. Be it therefore Enacted, by the Authority of the aforesaid, That all Slaves, of what kind soever, which shall hereafter be set free, that shall be obliged to depart this Government within Six Months after being so freed, according to the Direction of the aforesaid Act, and shall not return into this Government, under the Penalties and Pains hereafter expressed: And if any Slave or Slaves being so freed and set at Liberty, having departed as before directed, shall presume to return back into this Province, it shall and may be lawful for any Person or Persons whatsoever to apprehend and take up such Slave or Slaves so offending, and carry him or them before some Magistrate, who is hereby authorized and impowered, upon due proof made, to commit such Person or Persons so offending, to the Provost Marshall of the County where such offender or offenders shall be apprehended, till the next General Court, to be held for this Government, and shall then sell him or them for Seven Years, at Public Vendue, to the highest Bidder; and the Money arising by the said Sale, after Charges paid, shall be applied, the one Half to the Apprehender, and the other Half towards defraying the contingent charges of the Government; and at the End and Expiration of the said Seven Years, the said Slave or Slaves so set free, shall, and are hereby compelled to depart this Government, within Six Months after being so freed: And if any such Person or Persons so departing shall presume to return a Second Time, they are hereby made liable to be apprehended, taken up, and sold, as aforesaid.

VI. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That after such Sale is made as aforesaid, if any Person or Persons, Inhabitants of this Government, shall presume to harbour, conceal, or detain any such Negroe or Slave set free, upon pretence of Debt, or otherwise, such Person or Persons so offending shall forfeit and pay One Hundred Pounds Current Money; one Half to the Use of the Publick, and the other half to him or them that shall sue for the same: to be recovered by Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any Court of record within this Government; wherein no Injunction, or Wager of Law, shall be allowed or admitted of.

CHAPTER VI.
An Act for the better ascertaining Naval Officers' and Collectors' Fees.

(Repealed 6 April, 1748, and omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 196-198.]

CHAPTER VII.
An additional Act to an Act, intituled, An Act for Qualification of Public officers. Obs.

(Omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 198.]

CHAPTER VIII.
An Act for destroying Squirrels. Rep.

(Omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 198-200.]

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CHAPTER IX.
An Act for regulating Proceedings on original Attachments.

(Repealed 5 Dec., 1746, and omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 200.]

CHAPTER X.
An additional Act, to an Act, intituled, An Act concerning proving Wills, and granting Letters of Administration; and to prevent Frauds in the Management of Intestate Estates.

I. Whereas it has been customary for Executors or Administrators to bring the Estates of deceased Persons to Appraisments, which Appraisments have generally been much short of the true Value of the same; to the great Detriment of the Creditors and Kindred of the Person deceased; For Prevention of the like for the Future;

II. Be it Enacted by his Excellency the Palatine, and the rest of the true and absolute Lords Proprietors of the Province of Carolina, by and with the Advice and Consent of the rest of the Members of the General Assembly, now met at Edenton, for the North East Part of the said Province, and it is hereby Enacted, by the Authority of the same, That from and after the Ratification of this Act, All and every Executor or Executrix, Administrator or Administratrix, shall some time before or at the next Precinct Court after his, her, or their entering on the Administration of any deceased Person's Estate, draw, or cause to be drawn, a just, true and perfect, Inventory of all the Goods and Chattels of the Deceased, (such only excepted as by the afore-mentioned former Law are reserved to remain to the use of Orphans not of age till they arrive to full Age, or such as are by special Legacies particularly bequeathed); which Inventories shall be exhibited at the respective Courts of the Precinct in which the said Goods are, and attested, on Oath, by the Person exhibiting the same; and a Copy of which Inventory so exhibited and Attested, the Executor or Administrator shall cause to be affixed at the Court-House Door of the Precinct, during the Court's Sitting, giving Notice that on the . . . . . . Day of . . . . . . (which shall be some Days before the next succeeding Court) the said Goods will be exposed to Public Sale, to the highest Bidder, at the Place where the said Goods are reserved and kept; and the Executors or Administrators shall, on Oath, render a true Account of such Sale to the next Court immediately succeeding such Sales, and shall accordingly be accountable for the same to such Persons as in the aforementioned former Law is provided.

III. And in Case the Estate of any Person, deceased shall be so far indebted as that the Debts cannot be Discharged by the sale of what are deemed perishable Commodities; Be it further Enacted, That then and in such Case, the Executor or Administrator shall, and they are hereby impowered and required, to expose to Sale, in like Manner as aforesaid, by the Directions of the Precinct Court, such Part of, and so many of the unperishable Goods, directed by the before mentioned Act to be kept and reserved in Kind, as will pay and satisfy all such Debts and Demands.

IV. And whereas some Doubts have arisen concerning the Manner of Recovery of Legacies, filial portions and other Parts of deceased Persons' Estates; Be it further Enacted, That it shall and may be Lawful to recover the same by Petition, according to the respective Sums sued for, in the General or Precinct Courts of this Province, as well as in any Ecclesiastical or other Court whatsoever.

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CHAPTER XI.
An Act to restrain the keeping too great a Number of Horses and Mares, and for amending the Breed.

I. Be it Enacted, by his Excellency, the Palatine, and the rest of the true and absolute Lords Proprietors of Carolina, by and with the Advice and Consent of the rest of the Members of the General Assembly, now met at Edenton, for the North East Part of the said Province, and it is hereby Enacted, by the Authority of the same, That no Person, being an Inhabitant of this Government, and not having a Freehold of Fifty Acres of Land, or possessed of, or occupying Lands or Tenements, shall keep, as Owner, a Stone-Horse or Horses, or unspade Mare or Mares, or any more than one Gelding, or spade Mare, to run at large.

II. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person, not qualified as aforesaid, shall keep any Horse or Mare running at large, except one Gelding, and one spade Mare, as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for any Person to take up the same who is hereby obliged and directed to give Notice thereof, in Writing, to the Owner, within three Days after such taking up; which Owner shall have Liberty to appear at the next succeeding Court of the County wherein he dwelleth, and if he can prove, to the Satisfaction of the said Court, that he is qualified, according to the meaning of this Act, to keep such Horse or Mare so taken up, he shall have the same restored; but if he shall fail in his Proof aforesaid, he shall pay to the Person taking up, Twenty Shillings for every Horse or Mare so taken up; And if the Owner of such Horse or Mare shall refuse to pay the aforesaid Sum of Twenty Shillings, that then it shall and may be lawful for the taker up of such Horse or Mare to sell the same, at Public Vendue, to the highest Bidder, and one half of the Money arising by such Sale to take to himself, and the other Half he shall deliver to the Owner of such Horse or Mare.

III. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That where the Information of the Taking up of such Horses or unspade Mares as aforesaid, shall happen to be made to the owner or owners within less than Ten Days before the time of the sitting of the Court of the Precinct where such Owner resides, in such Case he shall have Liberty to appear at the next succeeding Court after such Court, to prove himself a Freeholder or possessed of or occupying Lands or Tenements.

IV. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that no Person or Persons whatsoever, Inhabitants of this Government, shall suffer, or let go at Large, any Stone-Horse or Stone-Horses of two Years old, unless such Horse or Horses shall be, at least, Thirteen Hands in Height, upon Penalty of Forfeiting such Horse or Horses, or the sum of Three Pounds, to the Taker up of every such Stone-Horse; provided the same be found running at large, and not within the Confine of any Fence, Water, Marsh, or Swamp.

V. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that the taker up of such Stone-Horse shall, within Ten Days after the taking up thereof, carry the same Horse, and make Oath, before some Justice of the Peace, of his taking up the same; which proof being made, the Justices shall cause such Stone-Horse to be measured, and upon finding him not full Thirteen Hands high at Two Years old, as aforesaid, the Justice shall give a Certificate, from under his Hand, certifying the same; and thereupon the taker up of such Horse or Horses so doing shall keep the same, until the owner

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shall redeem such Horse or Horses, by paying the Sum of Three Pounds aforesaid to such Taker up.

VI. Provided nevertheless, and it is hereby required, That such Taker up shall set-up Advertisements, describing the said Horse or Horses, with his or their Colour and Brand, at the Precinct Court house Door where such Owner shall live or reside; and if the Owner of such Horse or Horses shall, within Ten Days after such Notice given, tender to the Taker up thereof, by paying the sum of Three pounds, or giving the Security for the Payment thereof, that then and in such Case, such Owner shall recover and redeem such Horse or Horses; otherwise the Taker up thereof is hereby entitled to the Right and Property of such Horse or Horses: Any Law, Usage, or Custom to the Contrary, notwithstanding.

VII. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That no Part, Clause, or Thing contained in this Act, shall take Place, or be in Force, till after the first Day of July next after the Ratification Hereof.

CHAPTER XII.
An Act for enlarging and Encouragement of the Town at the island of Roanoke, now called Carteret. Obs.

(Omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 201-204.]

CHAPTER XIII.
An Act for the better settling of the Town of Newbern, in the Precinct of Craven.

(Printed in Private Acts, post.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 204-205.]

CHAPTER XIV.
An additional Act to An Act, intituled, Staple Commodities rated. Obs.

(Omitted.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 205-206.]

CHAPTER XV.
An Act for incorporating the Sea Port of Beaufort, in Carteret Precinct, into a Township, by the Name of Beaufort.

(Printed in Private Acts, post.)

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol.25, p. 206-209.]

Above Acts of 1723 are signed by
WILLIAM REED, ESQ., President.
T. Pollock,
Chr. Gale,
M. Moore,
John Lovick,Lords Proprietors Deputies.
EDWARD MOSELEY, Speaker.