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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Ordinances of Convention, 1776
North Carolina. Provincial Congress
November 22, 1776 - December 23, 1776
Volume 23, Pages 985-1000

ORDINANCES OF CONVENTION, 1776.
An Ordinance to empower the Governor to issue a Proclamation requiring all Persons who have at any Time, by taking Arms against the Liberty of America, adhering to, comforting, or abetting the Enemies thereof; or by Words disrespectful, or tending to prejudice the Independence of the United States of America, or of this State in particular, to come in before a Certain Day therein mentioned, and take an Oath of Allegiance and make Submission, on Pain of being considered as Enemies, and treated accordingly.

Whereas divers Persons within this State have been in actual Arms against the liberties of the United States of America, or have adhered to the King and Parliament of Great Britain against the same, or have comforted and abetted the Enemies thereof or by Words and Speeches have endeavored to disaffect and disunite the good people, with Design to weaken and obstruct the necessary efforts of the said States against the Wrongs and Hostilities of the said King and Parliament of Great Britain; and it being hoped that such Persons are now become sensible of the Wickedness and Folly of endeavoring to subject their Country to Misery and Slavery, and are penitent for the same:

I. Be it Ordained by the Authority of this Congress, That his Excellency the Governor shall issue a Proclamation, in the Name of this State, offering free Pardon and Protection to all Persons who shall at any Time within ninety Days after the Date of the said Proclamation, appear before some Court, or Judge or Justice of the Peace, and in the most solemn Manner, take the following Oath, to-wit,

I A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful and bear true Allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and to the Powers and Authorities which are or may be established for the Government thereof, and that I will to the utmost of my Power, maintain and defend the same against all Attempts whatsoever; and I do swear, that I will do no act wittingly, whereby the Independence of the said State may be destroyed or injured. SO HELP ME GOD.

And all such Persons refusing or neglecting to take the said Oath within the Time aforesaid, and in Manner aforesaid, shall be and are hereby declared incapable of bringing any Suit or Action, real, personal or mixed, before any Court, Judge or Magistrate within this State; or being sued, plead or Make Defence; or of prosecuting any Indictment; or of purchasing or transferring any Lands, Tenements or Hereditaments, the same shall be and are hereby declared to be forfeited to this State, being first found by Inquest of a jury. Provided, That where any Person shall be out of the Limits of this State, in Prison, non Compos Mentis, under the Age of Twenty-one Years, he shall not incur any of the Penalties or Disabilities aforesaid, unless he shall neglect or refuse to take the said Oath within the Time aforesaid after such Impediments shall be removed. Provided also, That the above last Proviso shall not extend to any Persons who have been, now are, or hereafter shall be, in open Enmity with this State, or in the Dominions and under the Authorities of the Enemies of America willingly remaining,

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but the same shall be left to the future Legislature of this State, to be provided for in the same Manner as if this Ordinance had never been made.

Ratified the 22d of November, 1776.

An Ordinance for appointing a Governor, Council of State, and Secretary, until the next General Assembly. Exp.

Whereas it is necessary chat a Governor, Council of State, and Secretary, shall be immediately chosen,

Be it therefore ordained, and it is hereby ordained and declared by the Representatives of the Freemen of North Carolina, in Congress assembled, That Richard Caswell, Esquire, be and is hereby constituted and appointed Governor of this State, with the Style and Title of Excellency, to enter upon the execution of his office immediately after the dissolution of this Congress. Cornelius Harnett, Thomas Person, William Dry, William Haywood, Edward Starkey, Joseph Leach and Thomas Eaton, Esquires, Members of the Council of State and James Glasgow, Esquire, Secretary to have, hold exercise and enjoy the said office of Governor, Councillors of State, and Secretary respectively, with such powers and authority as they are respectively vested with by the form of Government established by this Congress, and no other whatsoever, except what is or may be given by any Resolve or Ordinance of this Congress.

And be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, that the Governor shall be allowed at the rate of Fifteen Hundred Pounds per annum as a salary for his public Services; and that each Member of the Council of State, shall be allowed at the rate of twenty shillings per day, for each days travelling to, attending at, and returning from the Council together with his Ferriages, to be paid them out of the Public Treasury.

And that the Secretary shall be entitled to the same Fees, Privileges and Emoluments as the Provincial Secretary heretofore held and enjoyed.

And be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, that this ordinance shall continue and be in force until the end of the next session of the General Assembly and no longer.

Read three times and ratified in open Assembly, December 20th, 1776.

An Ordinance of the State of North Carolina to secure the Titles of Church Lands and Houses of Public Worship, to the Proprietors thereof, and quiet them in the peaceable Possession of the same.

Whereas Controversies may arise concerning the Titles, Property and Occupancy of Glebes, Church Lands, and the several Churches, Chaples and other Houses built for the Purpose of public Worship in this State, and such Controversies might prove injurious to the Peace and Tranquility thereof: For Prevention whereof,

I. Be it ordained and declared by the Representatives of the Freemen of the State of North Carolina, in Congress assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That all Glebes, Lands and Tenements, heretofore purchased, given or devised for the support of any particular Ministry or Mode of Worship; and all Churches, Chaples and other Houses built for the Purpose of public Worship, shall be and remain forever to the Use and Occupancy of that religious Society, Church, Sect, Denomination, to or for which the said

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Glebes, Lands and Tenements were so purchased, given or devised, or the said Churches, Chaples or other Houses of Public Worship were built.

An Ordinance to appoint Certain Commissioners to revive the Statutes and Acts of Assembly heretofore in force and use in North Carolina and to prepare bills for the consideration of the next Assembly.

Be it ordained by the representatives of the Freemen of North Carolina in Congress assembled, and it is ordained by the authority of the same, That Thomas Jones, Samuel Johnston, Archibald Maclaine, James Iredell, Abner Nash, Christopher Neale, Samuel Ashe, Waightstill Avery, Samuel Spencer, Jasper Charlton, and John Penn, Esquires, be and they are hereby appointed to revive and consider all such statutes and acts of the Assembly as are or have been in force and use in North Carolina and to prepare such Bills to be passed into laws as may be consistent with the Genius of a Free People, that form of government which we have adopted, and our local situation and to lay the same before the next General Assembly for their approbation.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress the twenty-first day of December, Anno Dom. 1776.

An Order to Enable Certain Inhabitants of Certain Counties therein mentioned and the District of Washington to vote in elections for Senators.

Whereas great part of the Lands situate in the Counties of Bute, Granville, Wake, Chatham, Orange, Guilford, Rowan, Surry, Mecklenburg, Tryon and the District of Washington have been long settled by substantial Inhabitants who have not been able to acquire legal titles of Freehold to their Lands yet ought of right to have votes in all Elections for Senators.

Be it therefore ordained, and it is ordained and declared by the representatives of the Freemen of North Carolina in Congress assembled, That all house holders in the said Counties and District who have improved Land in possession, except such as hold land by lease for years or at will, from or under any free holders shall be deemed Freeholders and shall vote in all elections of Senators for the said Counties and District in like manner as Freeholders in the other Counties in this State. And that this Ordinance shall continue and be in force until the end of the next session of Assembly and no longer.

Read three times and ratified in open Congress the twenty-first day of December, A. D. 1776.

An Ordinance for appointing Collectors at the Ports of Currituck, Roanoke, Bath, Beaufort and Brunswick.

Whereas it is absolutely necessary that Collectors should be appointed at the ports of Currituck, Roanoke, Bath, Beaufort and Brunswick for the purpose of taking bonds and granting clearances and certificates to Masters of Vessels about to depart the said ports in order that the rules and regulations

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prescribed by the Continental and this Congress may be fully observed and properly carried into execution,

Be it therefore ordained by the representatives of the Freemen of the State of North Carolina in Congress assembled and it is ordained by the authority of the same, that a collector shall be appointed at each of the ports of Currituck, Roanoke, Bath, Beaufort and Brunswick and that Samuel Jarvis, Esquire be appointed Collector at Port Currituck; Michael Paine, Esquire, Collector at Port Roanoke, William Brown, Esquire, Collector at Port Bath; James Corr, Esquire, Collector at Port Beaufort; Parker Quince, Esquire, Collector at Port Brunswick, who shall keep his office in the town of Wilmington, and that the said Collectors shall have full power and authority to administer an oath to the several masters of vessels coming into or going out of this State, as to the cargoes imported or about to be exported out of the same, and that should any person or persons attempt the violation of any resolve of the Continental or this Congress by shipping on board any vessel or vessels Goods, Wares or Merchandizes contrary to the true intent and meaning of the said resolves, then in that case the Collector of the port where the fact happens, due proof being made thereof on oath by some creditable person, before any one Justice of the Peace shall cause the same to be unladed and relanded from such vessel or vessels at the expence of the master, owner or owners thereof, and that the Collector shall not on any pretence whatsoever grant a certificate or Clearance to the Master of any Vessel having Articles of Merchandize on board contrary to the said Resolves.

And be it further ordained and it is hereby ordained by the authority aforesaid that the said Collectors shall each of them keep a Seal of Office which shall be affixed to every clearance and certificate and that the said Collector shall be entitled to the same Fees, Privileges and Emoluments as heretofore directed by Act of Assembly.

And be it further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, that this ordinance shall remain and continue in force until the end of the next session of the General Assembly and no longer.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress the twenty-first day of December, Anno Dom. 1776.

An Ordinance for appointing certain Commissioners therein named, to procure a Great Seal for this State, and other Purposes therein mentioned.

Whereas it is necessary that a Great Seal should immediately be procured for this State, for the Use of the Governor for the Time being, to be affixed to all Grants, Proclamations and other public Acts; and that certain Commissioners be appointed for that Purpose:

I. Be it therefore ordained, and it is hereby ordained, by the Representatives of the Freemen of the State of North Carolina, in Congress assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, and Thomas Burke, Esquires, be appointed Commissioners to procure for this State, for the Use of the Governor for the Time being thereof, a Great Seal, to be affixed to all Grants Proclamations and other public Acts.

II. And be it further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the Governor for the Time shall, until the Great Seal can be procured, make Use of his own private Seal at Arms, and affix the same to all Grants, Proclamations, and other public Acts of this State.

Ratified the 22d of December, 1776.

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An Ordinance for supplying the Police Treasury with money for the Exigencies of this State, and for the Support of that Part of the Continental Army stationed therein.

I. Be it ordained, That the Treasurer or Treasurers of this State be empowered to draw on the Continental Treasurer, on the Account and Credit of this State, for any Sum or Sums not exceeding five hundred thousand Dollars, for the Purpose of paying the Continental Troops, and the Incidental Charges and Disbursements necessary thereto; which Sum, or so much thereof as shall be drawn, the said Treasurer or Treasurers shall account for with next General Assembly to be held for this State. And in Case a sufficient Sum for the Purpose aforesaid, cannot be procured on the Draughts of the Treasurer or Treasurers, Be it ordained, That the said Treasurer or Treasurers be empowered to borrow Money from the sinking Fund for the same; and if there shall not be Money sufficient in the Treasury on Account of the said Fund, Be it ordained, That the Treasurer or Treasurers be empowered to borrow Money on the Faith and Credit of the State, to the Amount of the Deficiency, at an Interest not exceeding Six per Cent. per Annum, and that this State shall be pledged to repay the same. And in Case the necessary Sums of Money for the Purpose aforesaid cannot be raised by the Ways and Means aforesaid, Be it ordained, That his Excellency the Governor be empowered to apply to the Continental Congress for such Sum or Sums as may be necessary.

An Ordinance declaring who shall be Governor of this State until the end of the Session of the next General Assembly in case of the death, resignation, or absence of his Excellency Richard Caswell, Esquire, appointed Governor by this Congress.

Whereas by an Ordinance passed this Congress Richard Caswell, Esquire, was appointed Governor of this State to act as such immediately after the dissolution of this Congress until the end of the next session of the General Assembly,

And whereas there is not in the said Ordinance any provision made for filling the seat of government in case of the death, resignation or absence of the said Governor out of this State,

Be it therefore ordained by the representatives of the freemen of North Carolina in Congress assembled, and it is hereby ordained by the authority of the same that in case of the death, absence out of this State or resignation of the Governor appointed by this Congress the President of the Council of State be and is hereby appointed to succeed him in the said office with all the authority, powers and emoluments with which the Governor of this State is invested or to which he is entitled by virtue of the before mentioned ordinance; and that this ordinance shall continue and be in force until the end of the next session of the General Assembly and no longer.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress this 23rd December, 1776.

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An Ordinance to establish Courts for the trial of criminals in each district within this State and for vesting in the several sessions of the peace the power of appointing jurymen for the said District Courts and constituting judges to reside therein.

Whereas it is necessary for the due administration of Justice that courts should be established in the several districts of this State for the trial of Criminals,

Be it therefore ordained by the representatives of the freemen of the State of North Carolina in Congress assembled and it is hereby ordained by the authority of the same, that the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being be hereby authorized and empowered to issue commissions of the peace, oyer and terminer and General Gaol Delivery directed to two persons in each District being men of integrity, ability and learned in the law empowering them, or either of them, to hold a Court of Sessions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery within their respective Districts, and to hear, try and determine all offences against the peace and good government of this State which may have been committed or which shall hereafter be committed within their respective districts, and to give judgment and award execution thereon.

And be it ordained by the authority aforesaid that a court of Sessions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery shall be held at Wilmington for the district of Wilmington comprehending the Counties of New Hanover, Bladen, Onslow, Duplin, Cumberland and Brunswick on the twentieth day of February and August; at Salisbury for the District of Salisbury, comprehending the Counties of Anson, Rowan, Mecklenburg, Tryon, Guilford, Washington District, Surry, on the third day of March and September; at Hillsborough for the District of Hillsborough comprehending the Counties of Orange, Granville, Wake, and Chatham on the twentieth day of March and September; at Halifax for the district of Halifax, comprehending the counties of Halifax, Northampton, Edgecombe, Bute, on the seventeenth day of March and September; at Edenton for the District of Edenton, comprehending the Counties of Chowan, Perquimons, Pasquotank, Currituck, Bertie, Tyrrell, Hertford and Martin on the twenty-fourth day of March and September; and at New Bern for the district of New Bern, comprehending the Counties of Craven, Carteret, Beaufort, Johnston, Hyde, Dobbs, and Pitt on the twenty-ninth day of March and September, and each of said Courts shall continue to be held for the space of five days exclusive of Sundays by adjournment de die in diem unless the business shall be concluded in a shorter time.

And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, that the judge or judges of the said Courts respectively, shall have power and they are hereby authorized and required to nominate and appoint some practicing lawyer properly qualified to prosecute as attorney for the State, and such attorney so nominated and appointed shall have and receive the sum of twenty-five pounds for every court he shall so attend.

And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, that the justices of the Inferior Courts shall and they are hereby required before the sitting of the courts of the sessions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery of their respective districts to nominate twenty-four free holders to serve as grand jurymen and twenty-four free holders to serve as petit jurors at such district court and that the number of freeholders to be nominated for each County to serve as jurors shall be as follows, to-wit:

New Hanover twelve, Bladen eight, Onslow eight, Cumberland six, Duplin eight, Brunswick six, to serve as jurors at the Court to be held for Wilmington

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District. Rowan twelve, Anson seven, Mecklenburg seven, Tryon eight, Surry seven, and Guilford seven, to serve as jurors at the Court to be held for Salisbury district. Orange twenty, Granville twelve, Chatham ten, and Wake eight, to serve as jurors at the Court to be held for Hillsborough district. Halifax sixteen, Edgecombe ten, Bute ten, Northampton twelve, to serve as jurors at the Court to be held for Halifax district. Chowan ten, Perquimons six, Pasquotank six, Currituck four, Tyrrel four, Martin four, Bertie eight and Hertford six, to serve as jurors at the Court to be held for the district of Edenton. Craven eighteen, Carteret four, Beaufort six, Hyde four, Dobbs six, Pitt six and Johnston four, to serve as jurors at the Court to be held for the district of New Berne; which said jurors shall be divided into grand and petit jurors by the respective district Courts.

And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid that in case it shall so happen that any of the Inferior Courts shall neglect to nominate jurors as aforesaid, or the persons nominated should not be summoned by the sheriff, or should fail to appear or from any other reason there should be a defect of Jurors at any of the said district Courts, that then it shall and may be lawful for the Judge or Judges of such Court to order the sheriff to summon other freeholders of the bystanders to serve either as grand or petty jurymen; or in case from the number challenged by any prisoner, there shall not sufficient remain to make a full petty jury, it shall in like manner be lawful for the Court to summon other Freeholders of the bystanders. Provided that such bystanders as are summoned to serve on the petty jury, shall and may every day be discharged; and the succeeding day, and so from day to day, the sheriff may summon so many of the freeholders as are bystanders as may be necessary. And if any person so summoned to attend on any jury at such Court, shall fail to appear and attend, it shall be lawful for the Court to fine every person failing three pounds for the use of the County whereof he is resident, unless he can make a sufficient excuse for his non-attendance.

And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid that the clerk of each of the said courts shall every day during the Continuance of such Court write the names of all petit jurors appearing on scrolls of paper which shall be put into a box and on the trial of every issue a child under ten years of age in open Court shall draw out of the said box twelve of the said scrolls; and the persons whose names shall be on the said scrolls drawn as aforesaid, shall be the jurors to try such issue, unless they be lawfully challenged; in which case other scrolls shall be drawn till the jurors are completed.

And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, that each and every juror who shall attend any of the said district Courts in virtue of this act upon producing a certificate from the clerk of such Court setting forth the time of his attendance to the Inferior Court of the County where he resides, shall have five shillings for every day he shall travel and attend as aforesaid, and the charge of his ferriages; and the bystanders summoned upon the Grand Jury shall have the same daily allowance for their attendance only.

And be it further ordained that the clerk of every such district Court shall make up a full and perfect record of the proceedings of such Court: for which and for his attendance and other services he shall be allowed the sum of ten pounds for every Court. And the judge or judges who shall have held such Court shall make due return of all the records and proceedings which shall have been had and moved before him or them in the said Court into the Secretary's office within six months after the conclusion of such Court.

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And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid that the Judges who shall in virtue of this ordinance hold any of the said Courts shall have and receive the sum of twenty-five pounds each for every Court which they shall hold.

And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid that this ordinance shall continue and be in force to the end of the next session of the General Assembly and no longer.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress the 23rd December, 1776.

An Ordinance to inforce the Statute Laws and such part of the Common Law and Acts of Assembly heretofore in use here, also to enforce the Resolve of the Convention and Congresses of this State which have not had their effect.

Whereas it is absolutely necessary for the safety and good government of this State that Laws be immediately in force here; therefore,

Be it ordained by the Representatives of the freemen in Congress now assembled, and it is ordained by the authority of the same that all such Statutes and such parts of the Common Law and Acts of Assembly heretofore in use here and not destructive of, repugnant to or inconsistent with the freedom and Independence of this State, or the United States of America not abrogated, repealed, expired, or become obsolete, and all and every Resolve and Resolves of the several Congresses or Conventions of this State which have not had their effect or been repealed shall enure, continue and be in force until the next session of General Assembly and no longer.

And be it also ordained that all and every Resolve and Resolves heretofore Constituting Committees be and are hereby to all Intents and purposes repealed and abrogated.

Read three times and ratified in open Congress this 22d of December, 1776.

An Ordinance for appointing Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, and Constables for the several Counties in this State, for erecting County Courts for the purposes of holding Sessions of the Peace and putting into execution the laws relative to Orphans, Guardians and highways until provisions shall be made by the General Assembly of this State for the same.

Be it ordained and declared by the Representatives of the Freemen of the State of North Carolina in Congress assembled, and it is ordained by the authority of the same, That William Blewitt, Thomas Wade, Charles Medlock, Matthew Raiford, James Picket, Stephen Miller, John Jackson, James Auld, Henry Munger, William Pickett, David Love, John Chiles, George Davidson, Robert Thomas, Cornelius Roberson, John Kimbrough, James Allen, William Hay, William Coleson, John Wall, John Caruth, William Coleson and Thomas Lacy, Esquires, of the County of Anson; John Barrow, Samuel Boatwell, Thomas Respess, James Bonner, Thomas Bonner, Thomas Pevice, Francis Jones, William Brown, Henry Bonner, John Smaw, Robert Tripp, William Boyd, John Kennedy, Reddin Blount, Junr., John Tripp, for the County of Beaufort, Isaac Jones, George Brown, William McRee, John Smith, John Turner, Archibald McKeesick, Abraham Barnes, John Grange, Thomas Owens and Thomas Brown, Esquires, for the County of Bladen; Thomas Pugh, William Gray, John Campbell, James Campbell, George Lockhart, Peter Clinton, John Freeman, Thomas Ward, William Ghoby, Humphrey Hardy, Jonathan Jacocks, Simon Turner, Andrew Oliver, William Bryan, Thomas Rhodes, Reubin Norfleet, James Bryan, Abner Eason, William

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Benson, George Ryan and William Pugh, Esquires, for the County of Bertie; Richard Quince, Isaac Marion, John Davis, Edward Wingate, Thomas Davis, Richard Quince, Junr., Parker Quince, Robert Snow, Robert Ellis, Robert Schaw, John Rowan, John Bell, Samuel Walters, Roger Davis, Thomas Neale, William Gause, Lewis Dupre, John Fergus, and Needham Gause, Esquires, for the County of Brunswick; Osburn Jeffries, William Johnston, Philemon Hawkins, Benjamin Ward, James Ransome, Jr., William Person, Henry Hill, Thomas Turner, Matthew Thomas, Philip Burfurd, James Ransome, Senr., Young McLemore, Thomas Miller, James Paine, Green Hill, Edward Jones, William Alston, Robert Goodlow, Esquires, for the County of Bute; Joseph Leech, James Davis, Jacob Blount, John Benners, John Carruthers, Richard Ellis, John Fonviele, John Tillman, Edward Franks, William Bryan, Emmanuel Simmons, Alexander Gaston, Jacob Johnston, John Bryan (Trent), William Randall, William Carraway, Bazil Smith, William Tisdale, Silas Stevenson, John Gilyard, and John Carney, Esquires, for the County of Craven; Valentine Wallis, Lewis Welch, William Thompson, Soloman Sheppard, Micajah Frasier, Joseph Bell, David Wallis, Joseph Bell, Kittarel Mundine, John Easton, Thomas Chadwick, Jacob Wade and John Williams, Esquires, for the County of Carteret; Richard Stanley, Kedar Marchand, Samuel Jarvis, Thomas Williams, Willis Etheridge, Nicholas Leving, Taylor Jones, John Nathen, John Powers, Thomas Jarvis, William Ferebee, Nathan Poyner, John Humphries, John Simons, Stephen Brooks, Spencer Hall, Zebulon Williams, Samuel Midgett, Caleb Simons, Maliche Merchant, and Thomas Miller, Esquires, for the County of Currituck; Demsey Sumner, Joseph Blount, Edward Vaile, Senr., Joseph Hewes, Thomas Bonner, John Baptist Beasley, James Blount, James Sumner, William Boyd, Robert Smith, Jacob Hunter, Jethro Benton, Luke Sumner, Thomas Benbury, Thomas Hunter, Josiah Granberry, Charles Bonfield, Joseph Underhill, and William Roberts, Esquires, for the County of Chowan; David Smith, Robert Rowan, William Sprowl, Robert Cobb, Alexander McAllister, Archibald McKay, William Scale, Thomas Matthews, Junr., James McDonald, Gilbert Clark, Philip Alston, Thomas Hadley, Ica Atkins, Alexander Avery, Walter Murray, John Robertson, Charles Campbell, John Matthews, Peter Mallet, John Lyon, William Stringfielder, Theophilus Evans, Robert Cochrane, James Dyer, Esquires for the County of Cumberland; Robert Rutherford, Alexander Clark, Matthew Jones, John Thomson, Balaam Thompson, Charles Matthews, John Ramsey, Richard Kennon, James Sellars, Samuel Stuart, John Nall, and Gray Barbary, Esquires for the County of Chatham; Thomas Edwards, Henry Goodman, Robert Simms, William Hooker, Thomas Williams, William Whitfield, Junior, Robert White, Junior, George Miller, Joseph Pipkin, Constantine Whitfield, John Cobb, Joshua Herring, William Sasser, Spyers Singleton, and Etheldred Ruffin, Esquires for the County of Dobbs; John Sampson, William Houston, Thomas Rutledge, Richard Clinton, James Kenan, William Ball, William Dixon, Thomas Hix, Robert Dickson, Richard Herring, William Taylor, and James Lockhart, Esquires for the County of Duplin; Acquila Sugg, Edward Moore, Samuel Ruffin, Duncan Lamon, Elisha Battle, William Haywood, Sherwood Haywood, Henry Irwin, Joseph Williamson, John Thomas, Matthew Drake, Noah Sugg, Robert Bignall, Nathan Bodie, Exum Lewis, Jonas Johnston, William Hall, Isaac Sessoms, Jacob Dickinson, Arthur Arrington, and Joseph Pender, Esquires for the County of Edgecombe; Robert Harris, Thomas Person, John Pope, William Burford, Jonathan Kitrell, David Mitchell, Robert Lewis, Thornton Yancey, Charles Rust Eaton, Memucan Hunt, John Young, Thomas Bankes, John Taylor, Samuel Smith, Henry Lyre,
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and John Oliver, Esquires for the County of Granville; Robert Lindsay, Alexander Caldwell, Charles Galloway, Robert McKinnie, William Gray, William Coles, James Martin, Philemon Deatheridge, Joseph Hines, William Gowdy, Adam Lackie, John Collier, James Brown, John Burton, William Clark, John Harris, George Costner, Gabriel Scot, and James Park Farley, Esquires for the County of Guilford; Rotheas Latham, Thomas Jones, Thomas Jordan, William Russell, Benjamin Parmelie, Frederick Baron, Burridge Selby, Robert Gibbs, Benjamin Holloway, Richard Harvey, Phineas Latham, Joseph Hancock, and John Poole, Esquires for the County of Hyde; Matthias Brickel, George Little, Lawrence Baker, James Wright, William Murfree, James Boon, John Harrold, John Northcut, James Reddick, Edward Hair, Josiah Sumner and Benjamin Brown, Esquires for the County of Hertford; Montfort Elbeck, John Bradford, William Branch, Philip Kearney, Egbert Haywood, Joseph John, William Samuel Weldon, John Jones, Charles Paitner, John Geddy, James Allon, Cullen Edwards, John Young, Jeremiah Nelmes, Willis Alston, Willie Jones, John Whitaker, Benjamin McCullock, and John Branch, Esquires for the County of Halifax; William Bryan, Henry Raines, Nathan Williams, Samuel Smith, Needham Bryan, John Hinnant, William McCullers, John Stevens, John Smith, Alexander Avery, Elisha Thomas, William Avery, Richard Warren, Richard Rivers, Phillip Raiford, William Hinnant, Charles Wilkinson, Kedar Powel, Henry Finch and Thomas Lee, Esquires for the County of Johnston; Paul Barringer, Robert Harris, Richard Berry, Martin Phifer, Abraham Alexander, Adam Alexander, Henry Downes, Hezekiah Alexander, David Reese, John Davison, Robert Irwin, John Ford, John McKnit Alexander, Ephraim Brevard, Jeremiah McAfferty, Robert Harris, Junior, James Harris, and Abraham Barnett, Esquires for the County of Mecklenburg; John Hardison, Edward Smithwick, William Slade, William Sherrod, John Lewellen, John Everit, Whitmell Hill, Thomas Wiggins, Thomas Hunter, Kenith McKenzie, Francis Ward, Samuel Smithwick, Samuel Williams, John Ross, John Kennedy, John Griffin, Nathan Mayo, Blake Baker Wiggins, Joshua Taylor, John Perry, James Moore and Thomas Riddick, Esquires for the County of Martin; John Hardee, John Simpson, George Moye, Lazarus Peirce, Amos Atkinson, Peter Reaves, John Williams, Robert Salter, Edmund Williams, Frederick Gibble, John Bower, James Lanier, David Perkins, William Hines, James Latham and William Travis, Esquires for the County of Pitt; John Brevard, Griffith Rutherford, George Henry Barringer, Moses Winslow, William Sharp, Robert King, James Brandon, John Johnston, Andrew Hunt, Jacob Nichols, Matthew Troy, Michael Brown, Israel Cox, Robert Moore, James Carr, Henry Davis, Joseph Steel, William Moore, Christopher Beckman, Andrew Woods, Charles McDowell, Hugh Brevard, Ephraim McLaine, John Perkins, John Conelly, Robert Holmes, Francis Cunningham, Matthew Sharp, Robert Blackburn, James Davison, Esquires for the County of Rowan; Martin Armstrong, William Hall, Charles Macanally, Jacob Boon, Robert Lanier, Benjamin Cleveland, Samuel Freeman, John Hudspeth, Michael Howzer, Matthew Moore, Joseph Winston, Richard Good, Thomas Johnston, Benjamin Hearndon, William Lanier, John Snead, William Dobson, Elisha Isaacks, Matthew Brookes, William Hawkins, Esquires for the County of Surry; Benjamin Blount, Giles Long, Joseph Spruill, Junr., John Hooker, Jeremiah Frasier, James Long, Thomas Horkins, Joseph Whidbee, Stephen Swain, Peter Wynns, Isham Webb, James Phelps, Junr., Benjamin Haril, John Wynns, Matthew Drivengreeses, Isaac Meekins, Edward Blount, Junr., Isaac Alexander, Junior, Richard Hough, Thomas Mackey, John Stubbs, Thomas Averit, Esquires for the County of Tyrrel; Joseph Harding, John Robertson, William Graham,
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George Lamkin, William Yancey, John M. Kinie, George Black, Robert Johnston, James McAffie, Frederick Hambright, Valentine Mauney, Jonathan Hampton, and William Nevill, Esquires for the County of Tryon; Joseph Lane, Theophilus Hunter, Thomas Hines, Joel Lane, James Martin, Abraham Hill, James Jones, Thomas Wooten, Tignal Jones, Thomas Crawford, Michael Rogers, Lodowick Alford, Joseph Davis, Albridgeton Jones, and William Walton, Esquires for the County of Wake; George Moore, Cornelius Harnett, Richard Quince, Frederick Jones, George Merrick, William Purviance, William Campbell, John Anerum, Sampson Moseley, John Devane, Samuel Swann, John Lillington, William Wilkinson, John Robertson, William Jones, William Jones, Senior, Henry Young, Timothy Bloodworth, and John DuBois, Esquires for the County of New Hanover; John Duke, Howel Edmunds, Drury Gee, William Eaton, Lewis Williamston, Charles Thompson, Allen Jones, Joseph Wood, Hezekiah Hough, Thomas Low, Eaton Haynes, Bennit Hill, and Thomas Parker, Esquires for the County of Northampton; William Gray, James Howard, Henry Rhodes, Lewis Williams, Thomas Johnston, Seth Ward, Benajah Doty, John Spicer, John Starkey, John Brinson, Stephen Grant, Edward Starkey, Robert Nixon, Archibald Gillespie, Stephen Williams, Richard Jerrat, Jacob Charleraft, Shadwick Hall, Reuben Grant, Esquires for the County of Onslow; Alexander Mebane, Senr., Lawrence Thompson, John Hawkins, John Butler, Eli McDaniel, John Hogan, William McCauly, Charles Abercrombie, Richard Binningham, Robert Abercrombie, Junior, James Hogg, William Johnston, Thomas Hart, Nathaniel Rochester, Alexander Mebane, Junr., James Freeland, William Rainey, James Scarlet, John Paine, Richard Holman, Robert Parks, Thomas Rice, George Moore, John Atkinson, James Saunders, William Moore, William Hubbard, John Douglass, Junior, Thomas Taylor, Joseph Allison, Robert Blackwell, Spill Coleman, Jeremiah Poston, James Rice, George Jerot, Esquires for the County of Orange, Benjamin Harvey, Charles Blount, Jesse Eason, John Hollowell, Seth Sumner, Thomas Harvey, Edmund Blount, Jesse Perry, William Skinner and Benjamin Phelps, Esquires for the County of Perquimans; Lemuel Sawyer, Isaac Gregory, Isaac Guilford, Jonathan Banks, John Lowry, Abraham Symons, Jonathan Herring, Thomas Redding, James Shannonhouse, Isaac Sawyer, Edward Everigin, Thomas Boyd, Abner Harrison, Demsey Sawyer, William Scarborough, Charles Grandy, Enoch Relfe, Willis Bright and Timothy Hixon, Esquires for the County of Pasquotank; John Carter, John Sevier, Charles Robeson, Valentine Sevier, Robert Lucas, John Haile, Andrew Grear, Thomas Simpson, Jacob Womack, John Shelby, George Russell, William Bean, Henry Clark, Zacharias Isbell, Aaron Pinson, John McNabb, Thomas Houghton, William Higgins, Isaac Johnston, Andrew Baker, Junior, and William Clarke, Esquires for the District of Washington, shall be Justices for keeping the peace and the Governor is hereby impowered to issue commissions to proper persons in each County and the said District to qualify the said Justices, and that they shall have power to hold Sessions of the Peace in their respective Counties on the days for holding County Courts by the Act of Assembly last in force in North Carolina and in the District of Washington on the fourth Tuesday in February, May, August and November, next if not otherwise ordered by Act of Assembly, and to enquire, hear and determine crimes and misdemeanors and to enforce all Laws relative to the Orphans, Guardians, Probate of Wills, and granting Letters Testamentary and of Administration to take proof of Deeds, and granting Commissions for taking the privy Examination of Feme Coverts and high Ways in such manner and under such restrictions as Inferior Courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions or Justices of the Peace may and can
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execute and enforce the same pursuant to an ordinance of this present Congress intitled An Ordinance to enforce the Statute Laws and such parts of the Common Law and Acts of Assembly heretofore in use here; also to enforce such Resolves of the Conventions and Congresses of this State which have not had their effect and also to execute and perform any such power or Duty as any Ordinance of this Congress shall appoint or require, and the said Justices of the Peace within their respective Counties and in the District of Washington are hereby authorized to execute the Resolves of the Congress held at Halifax in April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, relative to debtors who may abscond, remove or resist in like manner, and under like restrictions as Committees were by the said Resolves, authorized and empowered to proceed.

And be it also ordained that the Justices of the Peace in the respective Counties and in the District of Washington, shall have power to appoint Clerks of the County Courts and Sessions of the Peace by a majority of the votes of all the Justices in the Commission of the Peace, and all such Clerks when appointed shall hold their respective offices during good behavior.

And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the persons appointed Justices of the Peace by this Ordinance before entering upon ana executing the said office, shall take the oath appointed to be taken by publick officers, and also the following oath, to-wit: I, A. B. do swear that as a Justice of the Peace in the County of —— in all Articles in the Commission to me directed, I will do equal right to the poor and to the rich after my cunning, Wit and power and to the best of my judgment according to law and I will not be of Council in any quarrel hanging before me, I will not let for Gift or other cause but well and truly I will do my office of a Justice of the Peace as well within the County Court and Sessions of the Peace as without and I will not take any fee, Gift, Gratuity or Reward for anything to be done by virtue of my office, and I will not direct or cause to be directed any warrant by me to be made to the parties but I will direct such to the Sheriff or Constable of the County or other the officers or ministers of the State or other indifferent persons to do execution thereof. So help me God.

And to prevent a failure of Justice, Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, that the respective Justices of the Peace shall at their first Sessions, which shall be held after the passing of this Ordinance appoint some substantial Freeholder in their County to be the Sheriff until the General Assembly shall make Provision to the Contrary, which Sheriff when so chosen shall enter into Bond with good Security in the penalty of one thousand pounds payable to the Governor and his successors agreeable to and as near as may be to the form of a Bond payable to the King in an act entitled An Act for appointing Sheriffs and Directing their duty in office and in executing all process, and in apprehending and securing criminals, the several Sheriffs in this State shall be governed by the said Act, when it is not inconsistent with or repugnant to the Independence of this State or the rules and regulations in force within the same and shall also appoint as many constables as they may think necessary who shall before entering upon the execution of their office, take an oath of Allegiance to the State and an Oath of office.

And be it further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That this Ordinance shall continue and be in force until the end of the next session of the General Assembly and no longer. Read the third time and ratified in open Congress this 23rd of December, 1778.

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An Ordinance for the Appointing a Treasurer for the Southern District in room of Richard Caswell, Esquire.

Whereas Richard Caswell Esquire has resigned his office of Treasurer for the Southern District, and as it is necessary that a Treasurer be appointed in that District in this State,

Be it ordained by the Representatives of the Freemen of North Carolina in Congress assembled that John Ashe, Esquire, be & is hereby appointed Treasurer for the Southern District, and that he be invested with the same powers and authorities and liable to the same fines, penalties and forfeitures as Treasurers were by an act of Assembly of this Province passed in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy three, intitled an act for appointing Publick Treasurers and directing their duties in office, and that he, the said John Ashe, before he enters on the execution of the said office shall give Bond and sufficient Security in the sum of One Hundred Thousand Pounds.

And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the said Treasurers shall be entitled for his services in that office to such salary, commissions or emoluments as the future Legislature shall order and direct, and that this ordinance continue and be in force until the end of the next session of the General Assembly and no longer.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress the 23rd day of December, 1776.

An Ordinance Concerning Marriages.

Be it Ordained by the representatives of the Freemen of the State of North Carolina, in Congress assembled,

That all regular ministers of the Gospel of every Denomination having the Cure of Souls shall be empowered to celebrate Matrimony according to the rights and ceremonies of their respective churches, such Ministers respectively observing the rules and restrictions provided by law in Cases of Marriages and that this ordinance shall be in force to the end of the next Session of the Assembly and no longer.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress this 23rd day of December, 1776.

An Ordinance Declaring what shall be Treason in this State, and for punishing the same, and other Crimes and Practices committed therein.

Whereas Government ought at all times to take the most effective Measures for the Safety and Security of the State,

Be it therefore ordained and declared, and it is hereby ordained and declared by the Representatives of the freemen of the State of North Carolina, in Congress assembled, and by the authority of the same, that all and every person and persons (except prisoners of war) now inhabiting or residing within the limits of the State or that shall voluntarily come into the same hereafter, to inhabit or sojourn, do and shall owe and pay allegiance to the State of North Carolina.

And be it further ordained and declared by the authority aforesaid that all and every such person and persons so owing allegiance to the State of North Carolina who shall after the publication hereof levy war against this State, or be adherent to the King of Great Britain or others, the enemies of this State

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or to the enemies of the United States of America, by giving him or them aid or assistance within the limits of this State or elsewhere, or shall hold correspondence with, or give intelligence to him or them, and shall be thereof duly convicted, stand mute or challenge peremptory, more than thirty-five jurors in any Court hereafter to be established having cognizance thereof shall be adjudged guilty of high treason, shall suffer death without benefit of Clergy and shall forfeit his Lands, Tenements, Goods and Chattels to the use of the State.

And be it further ordained & declared by the authority aforesaid, That any person or persons (except prisoners of War) residing, inhabiting or sojourning in this State, who shall hereafter know of such treason and Counsel the same or shall relieve or assist such Traitor knowing him to be such, and shall be thereof convicted stand mute or peremptorally challenge more than 35 jurors as aforesaid, shall be adjudged guilty of misprison of Treason, and shall forfeit one half of his goods and chattels, Lands and Tenements to the use of the State; and be imprisoned any term not exceeding the duration of the present War with Great Britain, at the Discretion of the Judge or Judges.

And be it further ordained and declared by the authority aforesaid, that in all convictions for High Treason the Judge and Judges before whom the trial is had, may out of the estate forfeited by virtue of this ordinance, make such provision for the wife or Children if any of the Criminal, as he or they in his or their discretion may deem necessary.

And be it further ordained and declared that this ordinance shall be in force until the end of the next session of Assembly and no longer.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress the 23d day of December, 1776.

An Ordinance Declaring certain practices Misdemeanors against the State and for punishing the same.

Whereas many persons who owe allegiance to the State, bearing evil minds, disaffection and Enmity against the Freedom thereof, have endeavoured by various practices to incite insurrections to propagate and spread sedition, Disaffection and Conspiracy, against the Liberties of this State for prevention and punishment whereof,

Be it therefore ordained and declared by the representatives of the Freemen of the State of North Carolina in Congress assembled, and by the authority of the same, That any person or persons owing allegiance to this State, who shall deny the supreme authority of the people, or the authority of their Representatives to make Laws not repugnant to the present Constitution and form of government and the Declaration of Rights for regulating the Internal Police and for the full and compleat government of this State; or who shall assert, publish or maintain that George the Third, King of Great Britain, or any other Foreign Prince, State or Potentate, hath or ought to have any rightful power, prerogative, jurisdiction or authority within this State or that the Inhabitants thereof do owe any allegiance to the said George, or who shall assert, publish, or maintain that those persons who have opposed or taken arms to oppose the tyrranical powers and Unconstitutional Acts of the King and parliament of Great Britain, or to oppose any armed Force employed by the said King and Parliament against the United Colonies are rebels, or ought to be punished for such opposition, or shall deny the lawfulness of defending this State, by force of arms against

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the Forces of Great Britain, and all other Enemies thereof, or shall knowingly and willingly depreciate the Bills of Credit, heretofore emitted by Act of Assembly or Resolve of Congress, or by order of the Legislature of this State, and shall be duly convicted thereof in any Court of Record shall be adjudged Guilty of a Misdemeanor and shall be punished by Fine or imprisonment at the discretion of the Court.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress this 23rd day of December, 1776.

An Ordinance directing the Qualification of Members of the General Assembly, and all officers, Civil and Military.

Whereas, it is necessary that the members of the General Assembly and all Officers, Civil and Military should, previous to their taking their seats or entering upon the Execution of their office, take an Oath to this State,

Be it therefore ordained, and it is hereby ordained by the representatives of the Freemen of the State of North Carolina in Congress assembled and by the authority of the same, That all members of the General Assembly before taking their seats, and all officers, Civil and Military shall before their entering upon the execution of their office, take the following oath to-wit:

I, A. B., do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina and to the powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof, not inconsistent with the Constitution, and that I will to the utmost of my power, maintain and defend the same against all attempts whatsoever, and I do declare that no foreign Prince, person, prelate, state or potentate, hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority civil or ecclesiastical within the same, and I do solemnly and sincerely declare that I do believe in my conscience that neither George the third, King of Great Britain, nor the Parliament thereof, jointly with the said King or separately, have any right or title to the Dominion or Sovereignty over this State, or to any part of the Government thereof, and I do denounce refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience whatsoever to them, or either of them, or to any person or persons put in authority by or under him or them; and I do swear that I will to the utmost of my power defend the said State against all Traitorous Conspiracies and attempts whatsoever that shall be made against the same, and I will do my utmost endeavor to disclose and make known to the Legislative or Executive powers of the said State all Treasons and Traitorous Conspiracies which I shall know to be carried on or intended against the said State. And I do faithfully promise to the utmost of my power to support, maintain and defend the independence of this State against him, the said George, and all other persons whatsoever, and all these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge and swear according to these express words by me spoken and according to the plain and common sense and understanding of the same words without any Equivocation, Mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And I do make this acknowledgement, abjuration, renunciation, and promise heartily, willingly, and truly upon the true faith of a Christian. So help me God.

And should any person or persons whatsoever, presume to take their seats in the General Assembly or enter upon the execution of his or their office before the taking of the said oath, he or they so offending shall forfeit and

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pay the sum of One Hundred Pounds, recoverable in any Court of Record in this State having Jurisdiction thereof to be appropriated by the General Assembly.

Read the third time and ratified in open Congress the 23rd of December, 1776.

Copy Test.

CORNELIUS HARNETT, Vice President.
J. GLASGOW, Secretary.