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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 25, Pages 250-256

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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, President.

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

I. Be it Enacted by the Honourable Matthew Rowan, Esq; President and Commander in Chief in and over the Province of North Carolina, 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 all Promises, Agreements, Notes, Bills, Bonds, Judgments, Mortgages or other Securities or Conveyances whatsoever, made, given, granted, drawn or entered into, or executed, by any Person or Persons whatsoever after passing this Act, where the whole or any Part of the Consideration of such Promise, Agreement, Conveyance or Security, shall be for any Wager whatsoever, won, laid, or betted at Cards, Dice, or any other Game or Games whatsoever, except such as are hereafter excepted, or any other Sport or Pastime, or for reimbursing or repaying any Money Knowingly lent or advanced for such Uses, to any Person or Persons whatsoever, or lent or advanced at the Time or Place of such Play or other Sport or Pastime, to any Person or Persons so gaming, betting, or wagering, or that shall at such Time and Place so play, or wager, shall be utterly void, frustrate, and of none Effect, to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever any Law, Custom, or Usage to the contrary, notwithstanding.

II. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons whatsoever, at any time hereafter, within the Space of Twenty four Hours, by playing at any Games whatsoever, or by betting on the Sides or Hands of such as do play at such Games, shall loose, to any one or more Person or Persons so playing or betting, any Sum above Forty Shillings, and shall pay or deliver the same or any Part thereof, the Person or Persons so loosing or paying, or delivering the same, shall be at liberty, within three Months then next following, to sue for and recover the Money or Goods so lost, and paid or delivered, or any Part thereof, from the respective Winner and Winners thereof, with Costs of Suit, by Action of Debt, founded on this Act, to be prosecuted in any Court of Record within this Province, where the Sum or Value thereof shall be cognizable in which Action it shall be sufficient for the Plaintiff to alledge, that the Defendant is indebted to the Plaintiff, or received to the Plaintiffs Use the Money so lost and paid, or converted the Goods won of the Plaintiff to the Defendants Use, whereby the Plaintiffs Action accrued to him, according to the Form of this Act, without setting forth the special Matter, and in case the Party loosing such Money or other Thing as aforesaid, shall not within the time aforesaid really and bona fide, without Coven or Collusion, sue, and with Effect prosecute for the Money or other thing so lost and paid or delivered, it shall and may be lawful to and for any other Person or Persons, by any such Action or Suit as aforesaid, to sue for and recover the same, and treble the Value thereof, with Costs of Suit, against the Winner or Winners as aforesaid.

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III. Provided always, That upon Discovery and Repayment of the Money or other thing so to be discovered and repaid as aforesaid, the Person or Persons discovering and repaying the same, shall be acquitted and indemnified and discharged from any further or other Forfeiture, Punishment or Penalty, which he or they may have incurr'd by the playing for and winning such Money or other thing so discovered and repaid.

IV. And to prevent gaming at Ordinaries and other Publick Places, Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons shall, at any time, play in any Ordinary, Race-Field, or any other public Place, at any Game or Games whatsoever, (except Billiards, Bowls, Back-Gammon, Chess, or Draughts) or shall bett on the Sides or Hands of such as do game, every such Person, upon Conviction therof before any Justice of the Peace within this Province, by the Oath of one or more creditable Witness or Witnesses, or by the View of such Justice, or the Confession of the Party accused, shall forfeit and pay Twenty Shillings Proclamation Money, to be levied by Distress and Sale of the Offenders Goods, by Warrant under the hand of the Justice before whom such Conviction shall be, for the use of the Poor of the Parish wherein such Offence shall be committed; and if the Person or Persons so convicted have no Goods or Chattels that can be levied on, he or they shall be committed by such Magistrate to the County Gaol, there to remain until he pay his Fine.

V. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Ordinary keeper shall suffer or permit any Person or Persons whatsoever, to play at any Game (except the Games before excepted) in his House, Shed, Booth, Harbour or Stall, either by Night or Day, with such Ordinary Keeper being thereof convicted before any Justice of the Peace, by the Oath of one or more creditable Witness or Witnesses, Confession or View of a Justice as aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay Twenty Shillings Proclamation Money, to be levied and apply'd in like Manner as the other last mentioned Twenty Shillings is by this Act directed to be levied and applied, And if any Justice or Justices of the Peace shall be present at any unlawful gaming at any Time or Place, and shall neglect to issue his Warrant for levying the Fine on every Person so gaming or betting, every such Justice shall forfeit and pay Fifty Shillings, one half to the Informer, and the other half to the Churchwardens for the Use of the Poor of the Parish, recoverable with Costs, by Action of Debt, or Information, in the Court of the County where the offence shall be committed.

VI. Provided always, That any Person aggrieved by the Judgment of any Justice of the Peace, upon any Conviction for any of the Offences in this Act, cognizable before him, may appeal to the next Court to be held for the County where such Person shall be convicted, but shall give Notice in Writing of such Appeal, to the Appellee, and shall also enter into Recognizance, with too sufficient Sureties, before some Justice of the County wherein the Judgment was given, on Condition to try such Appeal by a Jury, at the next ensuing Court held for the same County, which shall be by the said Court then heard and finally determined.

VII. Provided also, that so such Judgment shall be set aside for want of Form, wherein it shall appear to the Court that the fact was sufficiently proved at the Tryal, nor shall any such Judgment be removed by any Appeal, Writ or Process whatsoever, into the General Court.

VIII. And Whereas there are several idle and disorderly Persons, who practice Gaming and have no other visible Way of getting a Livelyhood, Be it therefore Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful, for any Justice of the Peace, either upon information, Notice given

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him, or on his own View, to issue his Warrant to apprehend such Person or Persons, and upon Conviction by the Oath or Oaths of one or more creditable Witness or Witnesses, that such Person or Persons make a Practice of Gaming it shall and may be lawful for such Justice of the Peace to commit such offender or Offenders to Gaol, until he find sufficient Sureties for his good Behaviour untill the next ensuing County Court, in the Sum of Five Pounds Proclamation Money each; and if such Offender or Offenders shall be accused and convicted a second time, or offener, of playing at any of the Games prohibited by this Act, he or they so offending, shall forfeit and pay, for each and every such Offence, to such Person that will sue for the same Ten Pounds Proclamation Money, to be recovered by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in the Court of the County, where such Offence shall be committed, wherein there shall be no Essoin, Injunction, Protection, or Wager of Law admitted or allowed of.

IX. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That every Person that hath erected a Billiard Table or Billiard Tables, or shall hereafter erect or keep a Billiard Table, after the Ratification of this Act shall at the next Court of the respective Counties where such Billiard Table or Billiard Tables is or are erected or Kept, apply to the Justices of the said Court, and Annually take out, for each and every Billiard Table, a Licence, in the usual Manner as Ordinary-Keepers obtain their Licence, under the Penalty of forfeiting Fifty Pounds Proclamation Money, for suffering any Person to play at Billiards, before such License first had and obtained, to be recovered, by any Person that will sue for the same, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint or Information, in the General Court, wherein there shall be no Essoin, Protection, Injunction, or Wager of Law allowed or admitted of. And every Person, annually applying for and taking out such Licence, shall pay to the Clerk of the Court where such Billiard Table or Tables are erected or kept, Twenty Pounds Proclamation Money, for each and every Billiard Table; which Money shall be annually accounted for, and paid into the Hands of the Publick Treasurer, to be appropriated and applyed by the Governor, Council, and General Assembly, to and for the necessary charges of Government; and the said Clerk shall have and receive to himself Five Shillings Proclamation Money, for Making out each Licence, to be obtained in Manner and Form aforesaid.

X. And be it further Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That this Act shall be and remain in full Force and Virtue, for and during the Space and Term of Three Years, from the passing hereof and from thence to the End of the next Session of Assembly, and no longer.

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 compleatig the fort at or near the same place.

I. Whereas the trade of this province is greatly obstructed by reason of the shoals which lay within Ocacock inlet, so that the merchants and other traders are obliged to employ small vessels, in lightening others of greater burden over the swatch, which is not only very expensive, but also very dangerous, for vessels of large burthen laying at the swatch, during the time they are so lightening over it, notwithstanding ships of very great burthen may with great safety come over Ocacock inlet, and commodiously ride at anchor in the harbor adjoining Core Banks: and as it is found by experience

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that the merchants trading in Albemarle county, Pamblico, and Neuse rivers, are obliged to send down to Ocacock inlet or Core Banks, sometimes the whole, and almost always one half of the loading of their vessels, of any considerable burther, so that it is absolutely necessary to have warehouses and other conveniences on the said Banks, near the said harbor, for the receptione and safe keeping off the commodities they are constantly obliged to send down, for compleating the loading of their ships:

II. We therefore pray that it may be enacted, And be it enacted, by the Honourable 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 it shall and may be lawful for Mr. Joseph Bell, of Cartaret county, Mr. John Williams, and Mr. Joseph Leech, of Newbern town, Mr. Michael Coutanch, of Bath town, Mr. John Campbell, of Edenton, or any three of them, who are hereby appointed commissioners, with full power and authority to lay out fifty acres of land on Core Banks, most convenient to the said harbour, adjoining the said banks, for a town, by the name of Portsmouth, into lots of half an acre each, with convenient streets, as they may think requisite.

III. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that when the commissioners aforesaid, or the major part of them, shall have so laid out the town in manner aforesaid, every person whatsoever who is willing to be an inhabitant of the said town, shall have liberty to take up any lot or lots of land so laid out as aforesaid, and not before taken up, which lot or lots the commissioners, or the majority of them, are hereby impowered and directed to grant, convey, and acknowledge, by deed, to the person or persons so taking up the same, and his or their heirs and assigns, for ever, in fee-simple, upon the payment of twenty shillings, proclamation money.

IV. And be it further enacted, that Mr. Joseph Bell be, and is hereby appointed treasurer and receiver of all such monies which shall arise by the sale of the said lots, for the use of John Kersey, the now proprietor of the said land, his heirs and assigns; and on the death, or departure out of this government, of the said treasurer, or any one of the before mentioned commissioners, that the said commissioners or the majority of them, shall appoint some other person (in the place of the said treasurer or commissioner so dead or departed) in the place or county where the said treasurer or commissioner so dead or departed did reside.

V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that the treasurer herein appointed, and every treasurer to be chosen or elected by virtue of this Act, shall give security to the county court of Carteret, that he shall and will, from time to time, account and pay in all the monies he shall receive, by the sale of all and every lot or lots that shall be sold in each year, on the twenty fifth day of March yearly, to the said John Kersey, his heirs and assigns.

VI. Provided, that if any lot or lots of land shall be granted and conveyed by the said commissioners, to any person or persons whatsoever, who shall not, within eighteen months after the said conveyance, build a good substantial habitable framed or brick house or a good substantial warehouse, of not less dimensions than twenty feet in length and sixteen feet wide, such grant or conveyance shall be void and of none effect, as if the same had never been made; and the commissioners may and shall grant, and convey such lot or lots to any other person or persons applying for the same, on their paying the money for the said lot or lots, as is in this act before directed for the use of the said John Kersey, proprietor of the said land, his heirs or assigns aforesaid.

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VII. And whereas the said Town will be a Maratime Town, far distant from the Bulk of the Inhabitants of this Province, and liable to the Depredations of an Enemy in Time of War, and Insults from Pirates and other rude People in Time of Peace: Be it therefore further Enacted, That the Sum of Two Thousand Pounds Proclamation Money, heretofore appropriated for building a Fort or Fortification at or near Ocacock Inlet, by an Act of Assembly, intituled, An Act, for granting unto his Majesty the Sum of Twenty One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Pounds Proclamation Money, and for stamping and emitting the said Sum, deposited in the hands of the Treasurer of the Northern District, be, and is hereby appropriated towards discharging the Expences of building and erecting the said Fort or Fortification.

VIII. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the Commander in Chief for the Time being, the Honourable Francis Corbin, and John Rieussett, Esqrs. Mr. Joseph Bell, Mr. John Williams, Mr. Joseph Leach, Mr. Michael Coutanch, and Mr. John Cambell, be, and are hereby nominated Commissioners, in the Place and Stead of the Commissioners nominated in the aforesaid Act, to compleat and finish the said Fort or Fortification; and they, or the Majority of them, shall be and are hereby invested with all the Powers and Authorities given to the Commissioners in the before mentioned Act, nominated and appointed for building the same; and that the said Fort shall be called Fort Granville.

CHAPTER III.
An Act to revive and continue a Clause in an Act of the General Assembly of this Province, Intituled, An Act to fix a Place for the Seat of Government, and for Keeping Publick Offices, for appointing Circuit Courts and defraying the Expence thereof, and also for establishing the Courts of Justice, and regulating the Proceedings therein.

I. Whereas by an Act of the General Assembly of this Province, passed the Fifth Day of December, One Thousand Seven hundred and Forty Six, Intituled, An Act to fix a Place for the Seat of Government, and for keeping Publick offices, for Appointing Circuit Courts, and defraying the Proceedings therein, It is among other Things, Enacted, That a Tax of Four Pence Proclamation Money per Poll, Annually, shall be levied on each and every taxable Person within this Province, for and during the term of Three Years and no longer, to be apply'd towards defraying and paying the Chief Justice and Attorney General, as a Recompence for their Trouble and Expence of going into Circuit.

II. And Whereas by an Act of Assembly, passed the Sixteenth Day of October, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Nine, reciting the said Clauses in the Act above mentioned, the said Tax is further continued from the Expiration of the said Three Years, for and during the term of Three Years longer, and from thence to the End of the next Session of the General Assembly of this Province, and no longer, as in and by the said several recited Acts, may more fully and at large appear: And whereas the Time, limited in the said last mentioned Act, for levying and collecting the said Tax, is now near expiring;

III. Be it therefore Enacted, by the Honourable Matthew Rowan, Esq; President, by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council and General Assembly of this Province, and it is hereby Enacted, by the Authority

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of the same, That from and after the Expiration of the Time limited in the said Act of Revival, the said Tax of Four Pence Proclamation Money per Poll, shall continue to be levied annually, on each and every taxable Person within this Province, in such Manner as by the said first before recited Clause is directed, and shall be paid to the Treasurer of the District where such Tax is levied respectively and by him applied towards defraying and paying the Chief Justice and Attorney General as aforesaid; any thing in the before recited Acts to the contrary hereof, in any-wise, notwithstanding.

IV. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act shall continue and be in Force for the Term of Two Years, next after the passing hereof, and from thence to the End of the next Session of the General Assembly of this Province, and no longer.

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

I. Whereas divers Persons, for private Gain, transport out of this Province, Indian Corn and other Grain, in Time of Scarcity, whereby the Inhabitants are often greatly distressed: For Remedy whereof, for the future,

II. Be it Enacted, by the Honourable Matthew Rowan, Esq; President, 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 from and after the passing of this Act, it shall and may be lawful for the Commander in Chief for the Time being, by and with the Advice and Consent of at least three Members of his Majesty's Council, upon Proof made to them, that the current Price of Indian Corn, in any of the Ports of this Province, exceeds Three Shillings, Proclamation Money, per Bushel, and that the Inhabitants of that part of the Province are like to be distressed for Want of Grain, to issue a Proclamation, thereby prohibiting the Exportation of Indian Corn, Wheat, Pease, or any other Grain, Flour or Meal made of the same, or any or either of them, out of such Port or Part of this Province only, for and during such Time or Times, as he, with the Advice aforesaid, shall judge necessary.

III. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That all Indian Corn, Wheat, Pease, or other Grain, and all Flour, or Meal, which at any Time during the continuance of such Prohibition, shall be laden or put on Board any Vessel for Transportation, in such Port where the same is prohibited, shall be forfeited, and shall and may be seized by any Officer of the Customs, in any Port in which such Grain or other Commodities aforesaid shall be laden; one Half of such Forfeitures shall be for our Sovereign Lord the King, his Heirs and Successors, for and toward the Contingencies of Government, the other Half to the Officer or Officers who shall seize the same; to be recovered in the General Court of this Province, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information; wherein no Essoign, Privilege, Protection or Wager of Law, shall be allowed or admitted of.

IV. Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed, deemed, or taken to restrain the taking on Board any Ship or Vessel, any Provision of Corn, Pease, Flour, or Meal, necessary for the victualling such Ship or Vessel, for her Voyage; but that the same may be victualled during the Time of such Prohibition, as if this Act had never been made.

V. Provided also, That no Grain or other the Commodities before enumerated, laden on Board any Ship or Vessel in order for Transportation, before

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Notice of such Prohibition, shallbe iable to Seizure or Forfeiture, if the Owner or Master of such Vessel shall, in convenient Time after the Publication of such Prohibition, reland, or cause the same to be relanded, and disposed of in this Province.

VI. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That in Case the Officers of his Majesty's Customs shall neglect immediately to make such Seizure, and prosecute the same in Manner as aforesaid, on Information made him, he shall forfeit and pay the Sum of One Hundred Pounds, Proclamation Money; one Half to the Informer, the other for and towards the Contingencies of Government; to be recovered as the other Penalties in this Act before mentioned, are directed to be recovered.

VII. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act shall continue and be in Force, for and during the Term of Three Years after the passing hereof, and from thence to the end of the next Session of Assembly, and no longer.

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.

(The following sections were omitted in Vol. 23, p. 391, and are here supplied from the British Records.)

3. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That Mr. James Pain, Mr. Josiah Dickson, and Mr. James Taylor, be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners, to run the several Lines bounding the said County, in the Room and Stead of the Commissioners in the before recited Act, appointed to run the same.

4. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the Jurors directed by the afore-recited Act to attend the General Court at New Bern, shall and are hereby directed to be returned, and to attend the Court of Assize, Oyer and Terminer, and General Gaol Delivery, in Edgcomb County, in like Manner as Jurors for the Counties of Northampton and Granville, are returned and attend.