At a General Assembly, begun and held at New Bern, on the Twelfth Day of December, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-four, and from thence continued, by several Prorogations, to the Twenty-First Day of November, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-seven: Being the Fifth Session of this Assembly. Arthur Dobbs, Esq., Governor.
I. Whereas, the precarious situation of this Province at the present time of Danger renders it Prudent and Necessary that part of the forces now in the Government's service should be still continued, and this Assembly is desirous to shew their readiness in everything that may promote His Majesty's Interest and the Security of his Subjects.
II. Be it therefore Enacted by the Governor, Council and Assembly, That the sum of Seven Thousand pounds be granted to his Majesty for the paying and subsisting one year —— Hundred and fifty of the Troops now in the pay of this Province to make up three Companies each Company to have one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Ensign, five Sergeants, two Corporals and two Drummers and the said Companys shall be paid the following pay, (that is to say) a Captain seven shillings and six pence, A Lieutenant five shillings, an Ensign four shillings, a Seargeant two shillings, a Corporal and Drummer one Shilling each, a Private man eight pence pr. Day, and each Non-Commissioned officer and private man eight pence pr. day each, for subsistence. Which said troops shall be employed during their time and in full pay and shall be employed on such duty as may be necessary in Garrisoning Fort Johnston and Fort Granville, and in Defence of the Western Frontier of this Province and such other places as shall by the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being be found necessary for his Majesty's Service and the good of this Colony and shall be under the same regulation and Discipline as regular troops in His Majesty's Service in America.
Provided nevertheless, That if any time within the said one year the cause of their being continued in pay shall cease it shall and may be lawful for the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being to cause all, or any part of the said Forces to be sooner Discharged; anything herein contained to the Contrary notwithstanding.
III. And to raise the Sum by this Act granted, Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That a Poll Tax of four shillings and six pence be layed on each Taxable person within this Province to be collected for the year of Our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and fifty eight by the Sheriffs of the several Counties and accounted for and paid to the Treasurers of the several Districts at the same time and in such manner and under the like Penalties as are by Law Directed for the Collecting, accounting for and paying other Publick Taxes and Applyed as is hereinafter Directed.
IV. And that his Majesty's Service may not be retarded for want of proper Credit, for the expence of subsisting the said troops, Be it further Enacted
V. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Publick Treasurers so soon as may be after the passing of this Act when ordered until the sum of seven thousand pounds be by them paid shall make payment in the said notes or in the Current Bills of this Province for which they may exchange the same to the amount of such sum or sums as the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being shall direct to such person or persons as he shall order and appoint to receive the same who shall when required be accountable to the Governor and Assembly for all such sum or sums of Money as he or they shall receive by order, which notes shall bear date at the time they shall be paid or exchanged as aforesaid.
VI. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That said Notes of Public Credit or the Money for which they shall be Exchanged by the Treasurers as herein before directed, shall be discharged as the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being, shall judge most Expedient for his Majesty's Service in paying for subsisting the Troops by this Act intended to be Continued in pay.
VII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the publick Treasurers shall and they are hereby Directed to use the moneys they shall receive for Taxes by this Act Imposed to pay all such sum or sums as shall be due on the said Notes of Credit to the possessors of the same and from time to time take in the said Notes that they may be produced to the Assembly in order —— and shall have and receive for their trouble and expence in printing and signing the said Notes Two Pr. Cent.
VIII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Publick Notes of Credit to be issued in Virtue of this Act shall within six months after they become payable be presented to the Publick Treasurers, or one of them, for Payment and the Possessors thereof failing to present them as aforesaid and Demand Payment thereof shall ever after be Barred and Precluded from any Demand or Claim on the Publick on Account of the same.
IX. And whereas, this Province is largely Indebted to several persons for claims and there is not at present money in the Treasury wherewith to pay the same, Be it therefore Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that the Publick Treasurers shall joyntly make and sign other Notes of Publick Credit to the amount of Two thousand Five hundred Pounds and therewith or with money for which they may exchange the same pay so much of the debts due from the Province as the said sum will discharge which Notes shall be of the same Tenor and carry Interest in the same manner as the other Publick Notes of Credit to be signed by virtue of this Act and the Treasurers entitled to the same Commissions for their Trouble and Expence and signing the same.
X. And that the notes last mentioned may be punctually paid and the Possessors thereof secured in the payment of the principal and Interest shall be payable to them, Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That a Tax of two Shillings be laid on each Taxable person within this Province to be
XI. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any person shall forge or counterfeit any of the publick notes of Credit by this Act Directed to be signed and Issued as herein before mentioned, or pass, or transfer the same in Exchange or Payment, knowing them to be forged or counterfeited, the offender being thereof Lawfully convicted shall be adjudged a felon and suffer as in cases of felony without benefit of Clergy.
XII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if the Tax by this Act imposed shall amount to more than will answer the purposes thereby Intended the surplus shall be applyed toward defraying the Contingent Charges of Government and to no other use, design, or purpose whatsoever.
XIII. And to the end that whatever shall become due for Principal and Interest on said Notes of Credit may be punctually paid, Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if when the said Notes shall be payable the Treasurers shall not have received as much of the Publick Taxes Imposed as will redeem the same it shall and may be lawfull for them and they are hereby required to make up the Deficiency by paying whatever shall be wanting out of part of the Eighteen thousand pounds as shall be in their hands which was laid by the suspending clause in an Act of Assembly, Intitled, An Act for granting to His Majesty the Sum of Forty Thousand Pounds in Publick Bills of Credit at the rate of Proclamation Money to be applyed towards defraying the Expence of raising and Subsisting the Forces for his Majesty's service in this Province to be sent to the assistance of His Majesty's Colony of Virginia and for other purposes therein mentioned.
XIV. And for the better supporting the Credit of the said Notes, Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Sheriffs of every County in this Province shall receive the Notes of Credit to be issued by Virtue of this Act in Discharge of all publick taxes and shall allow to every person paying such notes the interest due thereupon to the time of such payment for which Interest the person paying the said Notes shall thereupon endorse a Receipt and every Sheriff having such notes shall at making his Payments to the Treasurer be allowed for the principal and interest thereupon endorsed.
I. Whereas, Doubts have arisen whether the Justices of the Supreme Courts of Justice within this Province are impowered to take the acknowledgement or Proof of Conveyances of Land, Letters of Attorney, or other Deeds, and Order the recording thereof, And as many inconveniences may arise were they not so impowered; Be it therefore Enacted by the Governor, Council and Assembly and by the Authority of the same; that all and every Conveyance of Land, Letter of Attorney, or other Deed of what kind or
II. And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the passing of this Act all conveyances in writing and Sealed by Husband and Wife for any Land and by them acknowledged before any Justice of the Supreme Courts within their respective Districts the Wife being first privily examined before such Justice whether she doth voluntarily assents thereto and Registered according to the Laws of this Province shall be as Valid in Law to convey all the Estate and Title which such Wife may or shall have in any Lands Tenements or Hereditaments, so conveyed whether in Fee simple, right of Dower or other Estate not being Fee Tail as if done by Fine and Recovery or any other Ways or Means whatsoever; any Law, Usage or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That each and every Justice of the Supreme Court, before whom any Conveyance of Land, Letter of Attorney or other Deed shall be acknowledged or proved may take the same Fee as is by Law allowed the Chief Justice for such Service. And whereas, the Justices of the Supreme Courts of this Province have no salary or other allowance made to them, for holding the said Supreme Courts, when by any Impediment the Chief Justice is rendered incapable to attend, which occasions them extraordinary attendance and Expence, And as by the Act of Assembly Intitled, “An Act for establishing the Supreme Courts of Justice, Oyer and Terminer and general Gaol Delivery of North Carolina.” It is among other things Enacted “that if the Chief Justice shall fail or neglect to attend and hold the said Courts, no Salary shall be allowed to such Chief Justice for such Courts as he shall fail or neglect to attend and hold: Be it therefore Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That such of the Justices of the Supreme Courts of this Province, as shall hold any of the said Supreme Courts when the Chief Justice shall fail or neglect to attend, shall be allowed and receive as an allowance for their holding every such Court the Sum of Twenty Six Pounds Proclamation Money to be paid by the Treasurer of the Districts respectively, by Warrant from the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being, which is the Sum that is allowed to the Chief Justice for each Supreme Court, that he attends and holds.
IV. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful in the Absence of the Chief Justice for any One of the Justices of either of the Supreme Courts to adjourn the same from Day to Day for any number of Days during the continuance of the Term, until the Chief Justice shall come, or there shall be a sufficient number of Justices for holding the said Courts and proceeding on the Business in the same Depending.
I. Whereas, it has been represented to this Assembly that the land of James Leslie, lying on the south side of Roanoke river, in Edgecombe county, is a healthy pleasant situation, well watered and commodious for commerce; and sundry merchants, and persons of note, have contracted with the said James Leslie for the purchase of one hundred acres of land, and are desirous that a town should be erected thereon, for promoting the trade and navigation of the said river:
II. Be it therefore Enacted by the Governor, Council and Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That the said one hundred acres of land when the same shall be laid off, according to the directions of this Act, be, and the same is hereby constituted, erected and established a town; and shall be called by the name of Halifax.
III. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the passing of this Act, Thomas Barker, Alexander M'Culloch, John Gibson, Richard Browning, and Robert Jones, the younger, be, and they and every of them are hereby constituted directors and trustees, for designing, building and carrying on the said town; and they shall stand seized of an indefeasible estate, in fee, in the said one hundred acres of land, to and for the uses, intents, and purposes, hereby expressed and declared; and they, or any three of them, shall have full power and authority to meet as often as they shall think necessary, and to appoint a public quay, and such place on the said river, for a public landing, as to them shall seem convenient; and to lay out four acres of the said one hundred for a market place and other public buildings; and the residue thereof into lots, streets, lanes and alleys, or so much of the same as will make at least one hundred and twenty lots, of half an acre each; and cause a plan thereof to be made, and therein to insert marks and numbers to each lot.
IV. Provided nevertheless, That nothing in this Act contained shall be construed or extend to grant power to the said directors, or their successors, or any other freeholder of the said town, to keep a public ferry at the landing so to be appointed by the said directors, in prejudice to the ferry to the said James Leslie, now by law established. And in case it should hereafter be found necessary to erect a public ferry at the said landing, the right of keeping the same shall remain to the said James Leslie, his heirs and assigns, until he or they shall refuse to comply with the terms by law prescribed for erecting and keeping public ferries.
V. And whereas, subscriptions have already been made for one hundred and twenty lots, to be laid off in the said town; be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that the said directors or the majority of them, within one month after the laying off the said town, shall appoint a time, and give public notice thereof, for meeting the said subscribers on the said land, for determining the property of each particular lot; which shall be done by ballot, in a fair manner, by the direction of, and in presence of the majority of the said directors at least; and each subscriber shall be intitled to the lot or lots which shall happen to be drawn for him, and correspond with the number contained in the plan of the said town; and the said directors, or the majority of them, shall make and execute deeds for granting and conveying the said one hundred and twenty lots to the subscribers, their heirs and assigns, forever; and also to every other person
VI. Provided nevertheless, that every grantee of any lot or lots in the said town, so conveyed, shall, within three years next after the date of the conveyance for the same, erect, build and finish, on each lot so conveyed, one well framed house, sixteen feet square at the least, and ten feet pitch in the clear, or proportionable to such dimensions, if such grantee shall have two or more lots contiguous: and if the owner of any lot shall fail to pursue and comply with the directions in this Act prescribed for building and finishing a house thereon, then such lot upon which such house shall not be built and finished, shall be revested in the said directors; and the said directors or the majority of them, may, and are hereby impowered and authorized to sell such lot for the best price that can be had, to any person applying for the same, in such manner, and under such restrictions, as they could or might have done, if such lot had not before been sold or granted.
VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the respective subscribers for the said one hundred and twenty lots shall, within one month after it shall be ascertained to whom each of the said lots doth belong, in manner herein before mentioned, pay and satisfy to the said directors the sum of forty shillings, proclamation money, for each lot by him subscribed for; and in case of the refusal or neglect of any subscriber to pay the said sum, the said directors shall and may commence and prosecute a suit in their own names for the same, and therein recover judgment with costs of suit.
VIII. And be it further Enacted, That all monies which shall arise by a disposal of the said lots, granted by the said directors, and their successors, in execution of this act shall be received by the said directors; and after their reasonable charges and expences are deducted, shall be by them applied, in the first place, towards paying and satisfying the said James Leslie, one hundred and fifty Pounds, for the said one hundred acres of land; and in the next place, in building and erecting a bridge over Quankey creek, for the convenience of travellers, in going to and returning from the said town; and the overplus thereof towards the advantage and improvement of the said town, in such manner as the majority of the directors shall, from time to time, think convenient.
IX. And for continuing the succession of the said directors until the said town shall be incorporated; be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, in case of the death, refusal to act, or removal out of the country of any of the said directors, the surviving or other directors, or the major part of them, shall assemble, and are hereby impowered, from time to time, by instrument in writing, under their respective hands and seals to nominate some other person, being an inhabitant or freeholder of the said town, in the place of him so dying, refusing to act, or removing out of the country; which new director, so nominated and appointed, shall, from thenceforth, have the like power and authority, in all things in the matters herein contained, as if he had been expressly named and appointed in and by this Act.
I. Whereas, the ferry on the North East side of the North West river of Cape Fear, called Dawson's ferry, hath been of long standing; and found very convenient for travellers, and others; and whereas, the land on the North-East side of the said river, where the public road crosses and leads to Yadkin, and so to South Carolina, is the property of William Dawson, who lives thereon; and being desirous that the said ferry should be continued and fixed at the same place; wherefore, for the encouragement of the said William Dawson, and conveniency of all travellers, and to prevent the removing the ferry from the place aforesaid.
II. Be it Enacted, by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, and by the authority of the same, that the said ferry is hereby invested in, and shall from henceforward, be held and deemed the right and property only of the said William Dawson, his heirs and assigns.
III. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said William Dawson, his heirs or assigns, shall, as soon as conveniently may be, build or provide a good and substantial boat, fit for the transportation of men and horses, and shall maintain and keep the same always in good repair, and give constant attendance at the said ferry; and shall also, for the true performance of the same, at the county court of Cumberland, next after the passing of this Act, enter into bond, with good and sufficient security, to be adjudged and approved by the said Court.
IV. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That after a boat is so built or provided, and the security given as aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the said William Dawson, his heirs or assigns, to take and receive from all persons that shall pass over the said ferry, the following rates; that is to say, four pence, proclamation money, for a man and horse, and two pence like money for a footman; and one shilling for each carriage drawn by one or two horses, and for each horse more four pence; and one penny for each steer, cow, hog or sheep.
V. And whereas, part of the road on each side of the said ferry, wants to be cleared and made good; be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said William Dawson shall, at his own expence, clear the same; that is to say, on the North-East side of the said river, from the ferry to Black river, and so on the South West or opposite side of the said ferry to Cumberland Court-house; and that the same shall afterwards be kept in repair, and maintained by the commissioners and overseers of the district in which the said roads lie.
I. Whereas, nothing can contribute more to the welfare and security of the British Colonies in North America than the preserving a sincere Peace and friendly Correspondence with the several Nations or Tribes of Indians bordering thereon, And it hath been represented that many flagrant Frauds and Abuses have been too frequently committed in the commercial dealings
II. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person whatever shall after the said first day of May next, Trade or Traffick with any of the said Indian Nations within the limits of this Province without having obtained a Licence or permission agreeable to the direction of this Act he shall forfeit the sum of two hundred Pounds to be recovered by such person as will sue for the same in any Court of Record, one half to his own use and the other half to the use of his Majesty towards defraying the Contingent charges of Government. And it shall and may be lawful for the said Edmund Atkins, or his Successor in Office, to cause the Person so offending to be Arrested and to seize his Goods and to cause the Goods so seized alter Ten days notice by advertisement to be sold at Public Auction and the Money arising by such Sale to lay out for presents to be distributed among the said Indians in such manner as the said Edmund Atkins, or his Successor in Office, shall think most likely to fix and confirm the said Indians in Frienship and Amity with his Majesty's subjects. And to cause the Person so arrested to enter into Bond to the said Edmund Atkins, or his Successor in Office in the Sum of Two Hundred Pounds Proclamation Money with Conditions that he shall not thereafter deal with any or the said Indians contrary to the form and Effect of this Act. And in Case the person so offending shall fail or refuse to give Bond and Security as aforesaid, The said Edmund Atkins, or his Successor in Office, shall and may cause such Offender to be sent to the Public Gaol of the district wherein such Offence is committed till he shall before the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice, or one other of the Justices of the said Supreme Court enter into recognizance with two sufficient Sureties in the Sum of Five Hundred Pounds Proclamation Money, for his good behavior for one Year.
III. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if the said Edmund Atkins, or any other Person or Persons, shall be sued for or by
IV. And be it further Enacted, That this Act shall continue and be in force Two Years from the said first Day of May next and no longer.
I. Whereas, many disputes have arisen among the inhabitants of the said town, concerning who are to be deemed taxables;
II. Be it therefore Enacted, by the Governor, Council and Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That from henceforward, none but males shall be subject to pay the town tax; any usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
III. And whereas, the commissioners of the said town cannot lay a tax without consent of the freeholders, or the majority of them, present, whereby many inconveniences have arisen, greatly prejudicial to the government of the said town; be it Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the commissioners of the said town, or the majority of them, shall have full power and authority, to lay any tax on the male taxables of the said town, not exceeding ten shillings per poll, per annum; and the commissioners shall annually, put up an account of the monies by them received and expended, at the court-house.
IV. And whereas, the allowing of hogs to run at large in the said town, is found to be a great nuisance to the inhabitants; Be it therefore Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That none of the inhabitants of the said town, shall, on any pretence whatever, suffer any of their hogs to run at large within the bounds of the said town; and any hog or hogs, of any inhabitant or inhabitants of the said town, running at large, shall be forfeited to any person who shall seize or kill the same.
V. And be it further Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the commissioners, and the inhabitants shall have free liberty to hold all their public meetings, on all occasions, in the court-house, and have the liberty of a key to the same.
VI. And be it further Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if at any time any tavern keeper, ordinary-keeper, retailer of liquors, or keeper of a public house in the said town, shall suffer any person or persons whatsoever, to sit tippling or drinking in his or her house on the Sabbath day; such person or persons so offending, shall forfeit and pay twenty shillings, proclamation money, for every such offence; to be recovered by a warrant, under the hand and seal of any Justice of the Peace for the county of Craven; and which shall be paid into the public stock of the said town.
VII. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons whatsoever in the said town, shall, on any pretence whatever, give any credit, loan or trust, to any mariner or seaman, belonging to, or under the command of any master of a vessel, that now is, or shall at any time hereafter be lying in the rivers of Neuse or Trent, exceeding the sum of two shillings and eight pence, proclamation money, except by the
VIII. And be it further Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons whatsoever in the said town, shall willingly or wilfully, entertain, harbour or keep, or suffer to be entertained, harboured or kept; directly or indirectly, any seaman, belonging to any vessel aforesaid, in his, her, or their house or houses, exceeding the space of twenty four hours, without the privity and consent of his commander, (except in the case before excepted), he, she, or they, so offending, shall forfeit the sum of twenty-five shillings, proclamation money, for every such offence; to be recovered by warrant, under the hand and seal of any Justice of the Peace for the county of Craven, and paid into the publick stock or fund of the said town.
IX. And whereas, the said Town is destitute of a Court-house for the County Court to sit in; and the Monies for building the same hath not been hitherto applied for the purposes intended: For Remedy whereof, Be it therefore Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That John Fonville, Esq., be, and is hereby appointed Commissioner, for building the said Court-house; who shall give Bond, with Security, to the Committee, appointed by the Court of the County of Craven, to finish and compleat the same, within the Time he may agree with them for.
X. And in order to enable the said John Fonville to finish and compleat the said Court-house, as speedy as possible he can; Be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That he shall have, and is hereby invested with full Power and Authority, to call upon all Persons who may have Monies in their Hands, to account and pay to him whatever Ballances there may be due in their Hands on that Account: And on their Refusal or Neglect so to do, it shall and may be lawful at the Supreme Court, held at New Bern, on Motion of the said John Fonville, to give Judgment against all and every such Person or Persons for all the Monies wherewith he or they are chargeable, with Costs; and thereupon to award Execution against the Goods and Chattel, Lands and Tenements, of such Person or Persons. Provided, that such Person or Persons shall have Ten Days previous Notice of such Motion.
I. Whereas, the Commissioners of the Church at Edenton, have, pursuant to Act of Assembly, contracted with a Workman for finishing the Inside Work of the said Church; but there is not Money in their Hands, appropriated to that Use, sufficient for such Purpose;
II. Be it therefore Enacted, by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, That when the Pews in the said Church shall be finished, it shall and may be lawful for the said Commissioners, or a Majority of them, and they are hereby required to cause the same to be numbered; and after setting apart
III. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners shall apply the Monies arising by the Sale of the said Pews, towards finishing the said Church, and be accountable for the same, as by Law they are accountable for other, Monies raised for the said Purpose.