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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1753
North Carolina. General Assembly
March 27, 1753 - April 12, 1753
Volume 23, Pages 387-391

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LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA, 1753.

At a General Assembly, begun and held at New Bern, the Twenty Seventh Day of March in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Three. Matthew Rowan, Esq., President.

CHAPTER I.
An Act to prevent excessive and deceitful Gaming. Exp.

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol. 25, p. 250-252.]

CHAPTER II.
An Act for appointing and laying out a Town on Core Banks, near Ocacock Inlet, in Carteret County, and for appointing Commissioners for completing the Fort at or near the same place.

(Printed in Private Acts, post.)

CHAPTER III.
An Act to revive and continue a Clause in an Act of the General Assembly of this Province, intitled, An Act to fix a Place for the Seat of Government, and for keeping public Offices; for appointing Circuit Courts, and defraying the expence thereof; and also for establishing the Courts of Justice, and regulating the proceedings therein. Expunged.

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol. 25, p. 252-254.]

CHAPTER IV.
An Act to relieve such persons that have, or may suffer, by the loss of the Records in Onslow County.

I. Whereas by a violent storm or Whirlwind, in September last past, the House of Mr. Thomas Black, late Clerk of the Court for the County of Onslow together with the Court House, and most of the Records belonging to the County Court, were blown away and destroyed, whereby the Estates of many Orphans and other Persons may be very much perplexed and prejudiced: For Remedy whereof,

II. Be it Enacted by the Honorable Matthew Rowan, Esq., President, by and with the advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council, and the General Assembly of this Province, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this Act, the Copy of any Judgment, Order, Settlement of Orphans and their Estates, or other record of any Matter or Thing transacted or done in the County Court of Onslow, attested under the Hand of the Clerk who recorded the same (in such Cases where the original is lost or destroyed) shall and may be given in evidence in any dispute or controversy, or in any Court whatsoever, and shall have the same weight and credit given to it as the Original Record might, or ought to have, could it have been produced.

III. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That where persons have neglected taking Copies from the Clerk's Office, or may have

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lost them, and are desirous to perpetuate the Memory of such Judgement, Order, Probate of a Will or Deed, Disposal of, or settlement of Orphans' Estates, or any other Matter or thing transacted and done in the said County Court, it shall and may be lawful, upon due proof made in open Court, to the satisfaction of the Justices of such Court, at any time within two years next ensueing the passing of this Act, to cause the same to be entered on Record by the Clerk of the Court, in a particular Book for that purpose, and therein shall recite the Witnesses proving the same, and that the original Record was lost in the Storm; for which service he shall be allowed a sufficient Reward, at the Discretion of the Justices of the County Court, to be paid out of the County Tax.

IV. And be it further Enacted, That such Record, so made shall and may at all times hereafter, be pleaded and given in evidence, and have the same authority in any Cause or Court whatsoever, as the Original would have, could it have been produced.

V. And whereas since the storm, for want of houses and Accommodations, the Court could not be held at Johnston; Be it Enacted, That it shall not be deemed or adjudged Error in any Proceedings, or other Public Business, transacted in the said Court or County of Onslow, by Reason the same hath not been held, or hereafter shall not be held and transacted in the Town of Johnston, until a new Court-House shall be built for the said County in the Town of Johnston; and that the same shall be built within Two Years from the passing hereof.

CHAPTER V.
An Act to prohibit the Exportation of Grain in Time of Scarcity. Exp.

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol. 25, p. 255-256.]

CHAPTER VI.
An additional Act to an Act concerning servants and slaves.

I. Whereas by an Act, intitled An Act concerning Servants and Slaves, among other Things, it is provided, that no Slave shall go armed with Gun, Sword, Club, or any other Weapon, or shall keep any such Weapon, or shall hunt or range in the Woods with a Gun, upon any pretence whatever, except such Slave or Slaves who shall have a Certificate, as is in the said Act provided: and whereas the Remedy in the said Act provided has proved ineffectual to restrain many Slaves in divers Parts of this Province from going armed, which may prove of dangerous Consequence: For Remedy whereof,

II. We pray it may be Enacted, And be it Enacted, by the Honorable Matthew Rowan, Esq., President, by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Council, and the General Assembly of this Province, That from and after the passing of this Act, no Certificate shall be signed by any Chairman of any County Court in this Province, allowing any slave to carry a Gun and hunt in the Woods, unless the Master, Mistress, or Manager of such Slave, shall first enter into Bond, with sufficient security, to the County Court, either before, or at the time such Certificate shall be given, for the good and honest Behavior of such Slave; which Bond may be assigned over to any Person or Persons who shall be injured by such Slave; which Assignee shall and may maintain an Action thereon, and recover such damages as he or she shall or may sustain by such Slave, in any Court of Record in this Province, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information; wherein no

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Essoign, Injunction, Protection, or Wager of Law, shall be allowed or admitted of.

III. And be it further Enacted, That no slave shall have or carry a Gun in any Plantation where a Crop is not tended, nor more than one in any Plantation where there is Crop tended, nor after Crop is Housed: And the Master, Mistress or overseer of any Slave, with whom shall be found any Gun, Sword, or other Weapon, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this and the before recited Act, shall forfeit and pay, to the person finding the same, the Sum of Twenty Shillings, Proclamation Money; to be recovered by a Warrant before any one Justice of the Peace for the County where the Offence shall be committed, any Punishment inflicted on the Slave, Forfeiture of the Gun, Sword, or other Weapon notwithstanding; unless such Master, Mistress, or Overseer shall by their own Oath, or other Proof, make appear that such Slave carrying a Gun, Sword, or other Weapon, was without their Consent or Knowledge.

IV. And be it further Enacted, That the Justices of each County Court, when and where they judge it necessary, shall divide their respective Counties into Districts, and yearly, at the first Court to be held for their Counties respectively after the first day of May, shall appoint three Freeholders in each District as Searchers, who shall take the following Oath, viz.:

I, A. B., do swear that I will, as Searcher for Guns, Swords, and other Weapons, among the Slaves in my District faithfully, and as privately as I can, discharge the Trust reposed in me, as the Law directs, to the best of my power. So help me God.

Which Searchers shall four Times in a Year or oftener if they think necessary, search and examine the Quarters and the other Places where Negroes resort in their District, for any Gun, Sword, or other Weapon, and upon finding any of the said Weapons, are hereby required to seize the same, and convert them to their own use, as by the afore-recited Act is directed.

V. And be it further Enacted, That any Person appointed Searcher as aforesaid, who shall neglect or refuse to act, shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Forty Shillings, Proclamation Money, to such Person, who shall next succeed him; to be recovered as other Fines in this Act mentioned.

VI. And for the Encouragement of such Searchers faithfully to execute their Office, Be it further Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That each and every Searcher shall, as to his own Person, be, during the Time of his Continuance in his Office, exempted from serving as a Constable, or upon Roads, or in the Militia, or as a Juror, and shall not be obliged to pay any Provincial, County, or Parish Tax, of what Kind or Nature soever.

VII. Provided always, That no Person but such as are liable to be appointed Constables, shall be obliged to serve as Searchers; any Thing in this Act to the contrary, notwithstanding.

VIII. And be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no Slave shall hunt or range in the Woods with a Dog or Dogs, except such as shall have a Certificate for hunting, obtained as is in this Act directed: And if any Slave shall be found offending herein, it shall and may be lawful for any Person or Persons to kill and destroy the said Dog or Dogs, and to bring the said Slave before the next Magistrate, who shall on due Proof of his Offence, order the said Slave such Correction as he shall judge reasonable, not exceeding Thirty Lashes.

IX. And be it further Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any Slave or Slaves shall be killed on outlawry, or shall commit any Crime or Misdemeanor for which, he, she, or they, shall be capitally convicted, the Owner of such Slave or Slaves so outlawed or executed, shall be debarred all

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claim on the Public for the Value of such Slave or Slaves, and the Justices of the County Court and freeholders, who shall value the Slave or Slaves so killed, or sit on the Trial of such Slave or Slaves so capitally convicted, shall not make any certificate of the value of the same, unless it shall be made appear, on Motion for such Certificate, by the Owner, or some other Person, that such Slave or Slaves, killed on outlawry, or capitally convicted, shall have been sufficiently cloathed, and shall likewise have constantly received, for the preceding Year, an Allowance not less than a Quart of Corn per Diem.

X. And be it Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That in case any Slave or Slaves, who shall not appear to have been cloathed and fed according to the Intent and Meaning of this Act, shall be convicted of stealing any Corn, Cattle, Hogs, or other Goods whatsoever, from any Person not the owner of such Slave or Slaves, such injured Person shall and may maintain an Action of Trespass against the Master, Owner, or Possessor of such Slave, in the General or County Court, and shall recover his or her Damages, with Costs of Suit; any Law, Usage, or Custom, to the contrary notwithstanding.

CHAPTER VII.
An Act for erecting the upper Part of Anson County into a County and Parish by the Name of Rowan County, and St. Luke's Parish; and for appointing a Place for holding a Court in the said County.

I. Whereas the County of Anson is now become so very extensive, that many the Inhabitants thereof live very remote from the Place where the Court of the said County is held; whereby a great many Difficulties and Hardships arise to the upper Inhabitants thereof, not only in attending their ordinary business in the said Court, but also by being compelled to serve as Jurymen, and oftentimes as Evidences at the said Court; For Remedy whereof,

II. We pray it may be enacted, And be it enacted by the Honorable Matthew Rowan, Esqr., President, by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Council, and the General Assembly of this Province, and by the authority of the same, That Anson County be divided by a Line, to begin where Anson Line was to cross Earl Granville's Line, and from thence, in a direct Line, North, to the Virginia Line, and that the said County be bounded to the North by the Virginia Line, and to the South by the Southermost Line of Earl Granville's Land: And that the upper part of said County, so laid off and divided be erected into a County and Parish, by the Name of Rowan County, and St. Luke's Parish; and that all the Inhabitants of the Westward of the said Line, and included within the before mentioned Boundaries, shall belong and appertain to Rowan County: And that the said County and Parish shall enjoy all and every the Privileges, which any other County in this Province holds or enjoys.

CHAPTER VIII.
An Act to amend an Act, intituled an Act for dividing Part of Granville, Johnston, and Bladen Counties, into a County and Parish, by the Name of Orange County and the Parish of St. Matthew, and for appointing Vestrymen for the said Parish and other Purposes therein mentioned.

I. Whereas it is found to be more convenient to the Inhabitants of the said County to have the lines mentioned in the above said Act, to run from

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the nearest Part of the Virginia Line to Hico Creek, in a direct Line to the Bent of Eno River, below the Ocanechas, and from thence down the Eno River to Neuse River, and from thence down Neuse River, to the Mouth of Horse Creek, altered by a Line to be run, beginning on the Virginia Line, twenty Miles west of Granville Court House, running thence a South Course to Neuse River, thence bounded by the said River to the Mouth of Horse Creek; and that the Jurors directed by the said Act to attend the General Court of New Bern, should be returnable, and attend the Court of Assize, in Edgecomb County:

II. We pray that it may be Enacted, And be it enacted by the Honorable Matthew Rowan, Esq., President and Commander in Chief of this Province, by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council, and the General Assembly of this Province, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, That instead of the Lines mentioned in the above recited Act, to be run from the nearest Part of the Virginia Line to Hico Creek, in a direct Line to the Bent of Eno River, below the Occanechas, and from thence down the Eno River to Neuse River, at the mouth of Horse Creek, a Line shall be run, beginning on the Virginia Line, twenty Miles West of Granville Court House, running thence a South Line to Neuse River, and thence bounded by the said River, to the Mouth of Horse Creek.

(III and IV paragraphs not printed.)

V. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Clauses in the before recited Act, so far as they relate to running the said Line, from the Virginia Line to Hico Creek, in a direct Line to the Bent of Eno River, below the Occanechas, and from thence down the Eno River to Neuse River, and from thence down Neuse River to the Mouth of Horse Creek, dividing Orange and Granville, and the returning Jurors for the said County of Orange to attend at the General Court at New Bern, be and are hereby repealed and made Void, to all Intents, Purposes, and Constructions, as if the same had never been made.

[Full text of this chapter is available at vol. 25, p. 256.]

Signed by
MATTHEW ROWAN, ESQ., President.
James Murray, President of the Council.
SAMUEL SWANN, Speaker.