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DRAFT OF A BILL GIVING CERTAIN POWERS TO
[Jan. 13, 1778.] Whereas the present war between America & Great Britain was undertaken for defence of the common rights of the American states, & it is therefore just that each of them, when in danger, should be aided by the joint exertions of all; and as on any invasion of this Commonwealth in particular, we should hope for, & expect, necessary aids of militia from our neighboring sister states, so it is incumbent on us to yield the same assistance to them, under the like circumstances ; & the laws heretofore empowering the Governor & council to send aids of militia to such states, will expire at the end of this present session of assembly.
Be it therefore enacted by the General assembly that on the invasion of any adjacent or neighboring state, & application from Congress, or from the legislative or executive powers of such state for aids of militia, it shall be lawful for the Governor, with the advice of the council of state, to order to their assistance such corps of the militia from any of the counties of this commonwealth as the exigence of the case may require or admit; having regard in such orders to the convenience & vicinity of such counties to the place invaded, their internal security & the imminence of the danger: and moreover to appoint such general, field & staff officers as may be requisite to command, attend, & provide for the same ; to have them furnished with necessaries for travelling & camp uses, & such arms, ammunition and accoutrements as may be called for if the same can be procured & spared from this Commonwealth.
And to answer the expenses hereof in the first instance, the Governor is empowered to draw for any sums of money necessary to carry these purposes into effect on the Treasurer for this commonwealth, who is hereby authorized to pay the same out of any public money in his hands, keeping a separate & distinct account thereof, in order that the same may be reimbursed to the Commonwealth.
Reported by William Fleming, Jan. 13, 1778, and read the first time. Read the second time and committed to the Committe of the Whole, Jan, 14th. Passed on Jan. 22d. Printed from the draft in Jefferson's handwriting.
Such militia while on duty shall be subject to the Continental rules & articles of discipline & government, save only that all courtsmartial, whether general or regimental, which shall be holden on any of them, shall consist of their own officers only.
This act shall be in force until the end of the next session of General assembly & no longer.
DRAFT OF BILL DESIGNATING PLACES FOR HOLDING
COURTS OF CHANCERY AND GENERAL COURT.
[Jan. 20, 1778.) Whereas by the acts constituting the High court of Chancery & General court, the said courts are to be holden at such place as the legislature shall direct, & no place hath as yet been appointed for that purpose :
Be it therefore enacted by the General assembly that for the term of one year after the end of this present session of assembly, & from thence to the end of the session next ensuing, the said courts shall be holden in the Capitol in the city of Williamsburgh.
And be it further enacted that it shall be lawful for the said High court of Chancery to appoint from time to time their own Serjeant at arms who shall be attendant on the sd court to perform the duties of his office ; for which he shall receive such fees as shall be allowed by law.
A BILL GRANTING FREE PARDON TO CERTAIN
(May 14, 1778.) Whereas the American Congress by their resolution passed on the 23d day of April last past, reciting that persuasion & influence, the example of the deluded or wicked, the fear of danger or the calamities of war, may have induced some of the subjects of these states to join, aid, or abet the British forces in America, and who, tho' now desirous of returning to their country, may be deterred by the fear of punishment : and that the people of these states are ever more ready to reclaim than to abandon, to mitigate than to increase the horrors of war, to pardon than to punish offenders : did recommend to the legislatures of the several states to pass laws, or to the executive authority of each state, if invested with sufficient power, to issue proclamations, offering pardon, with such exceptions, and under such limitations and restrictions, as they shall think expedient, to such of their inhabitants or subjects, as have levied war against any of these states, or adhered to, aided or abetted the enemy, and shall surrender themselves to any civil or military officer of any of these states, & shall return to the state to which they may belong before the roth day of June next : and did further recommend to the good & faithful citizens of these states to receive such returning penitents with compassion and mercy, & to forgive & bury in oblivion their past failings and transgressions.
'In drawing the bills establishing these two courts, the place of holding had been purposely omitted, as the "western " party hoped to remove them, with the capitol, to Richmond. This was therefore merely a temporary measure.
On May 13th leave was given to Jefferson, Page, Lawson, and Meriwether Smith to prepare this bill, which was introduced by Jefferson, and read for the first and second times on May 14th. It was read for the third time and passed by
Be it therefore enacted by the General assembly that full and free pardon is hereby granted to all such persons without any exception who shall surrender themselves as aforesaid, and shall take the oath of fidelity to this Commonwealth within one month after their return thereto.
A BILL FOR THE SPEEDY RECOVERY OF DEBTS DUE THE UNITED STATES.
[May 19, 1778.] Whereas divers persons receiving money of the United States of America for publick uses, apply it to different purposes, and when called on refuse or neglect to repay the same; others enter the House of Delegates on May 18th, but was thrown out in the Senate. It is printed from the draft in Jefferson's handwriting.
On May 18th the House of Delegates adopted a resolution for the preparation of this bill, and appointed Carter, Parker, and Jefferson to prepare it. It was introduced by Parker, May 19th, when it was read for the first time. It was adopted May 21st. This is printed from the original in Jefferson's handwriting, the act as adopted being in Hening, ix, 462.
into contracts for supplying the army & navy of the United states with provision and other necessaries, & fail or refuse to comply therewith ; and whereas in like cases respecting this commonwealth in particular, speedy remedy was given by an act of general assembly passed in the year 1777, intitled "an act to establish a mode for the speedy and summary recovery of such sums of money as are or may become due, & for enforcing all contracts entered into with government" and it is expedient that the same speedy remedy be given in like cases respecting the United states : Be it therefore enacted by the general assembly that where in any case a remedy is by the sd act given to this commonwealth, or any of its agents or contractors, in a like case the same remedy shall be given to the United States, their agents & contractors ; and where by the sd act such proceedings are directed to be instituted by the Treasurer in the name of the Governor for the time being, in a like case respecting the United states the proceedings shall be instituted by their deputy paymaster general within this commonwealth and in the name of the President of Congress for the time being.
DRAFT OF A BILL FOR PROVIDING A SUPPLY FOR THE PUBLIC EXIGENCIES.
V. S. A.
[May 20, 1778.] Whereas in order to carry into effect the several acts passed at this present session of General assembly for raising a regiment of horse, for raising a battalion of infantry for garrison duty, for raising volunteers to join the grand army 3.
* A committee was appointed May 16, 1778, to prepare this bill; and it was reported by Carter to the House of Delegates May 20th, and read for a first time. The next day R. C. Nicholas and John Page were given permission to bring in a new bill, in the shape of an amendment to this, which they did the following day, and the second bill was accepted and passed on May 23d. This is the first bill and is taken from the draft in Jefferson's handwriting.
And as it will be necessary to make a further emission of
treasury notes and to provide for the redemption thereof; be it enacted by the General assembly that it shall be lawful for the Treasurer to issue treasury notes in dollars or parts of a dollar for any sum which may be requisite for the purposes aforesaid in addition to the sums issuable by former acts of assembly, so
as the sd sum to be issued by authority of this act do not exceed hundred thousand dollars. And he shall cause the sd to be engraved & printed in such manner & on such paper as he shall judge most likely to secure the same from being counterfeited, and shall appoint proper persons to overlook the press, & to number and sign the notes upon the best terms on which he can procure them.
and whereas there is reason to believe that the taxes 14.
imposed by an act passed at the last session of General assembly for raising a supply of money for publick exigencies will be more than sufficient to answer the purposes expressed in the sd act; be it further enacted that after the taxes which shall be levied by authority of the sd act shall have effected the purposes to which they are appropriated by the sd act, so much of what shall remain as shall be sufficient for the redemption of the notes to be issued by authority of this present act, shall be applied to that purpose, and if so much as shall be sufficient shall not remain, further provision shall be made by law for making good the deficiency and redeeming the whole before the first day of December which shall be in the year of our lord 1785.
Amendments to the supply of exigencies
3. For recruiting the Continental army & other purposes therein mentioned.
4. Insert the resolutions of the 29th May, 1778, for making good the losses of certain sufferers in the town of Norfolk.
10. Fill up the blank with the word “six." 14. X
[Inclosure] x If any person shall counterfeit any of the treasury notes issued by authority of this act, or shall be accessory thereto, or shall pass any such counterfeited note knowing the same to be counterfeit, he shall on conviction thereof suffer death without benefit of clergy.