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& whenever they shall find that such troops shall have suffered thro' the negligence or inattention of any officer of Continental Appointment they are in like manner to make report thereof to this assembly whose duty it will be to represent the same to Congress : and they are further respectively required from time to time to procure & lay before this assembly exact returns of the numbers & condition of such their troops.
DRAFT OF A BILL ESTABLISHING COUNTY COURTS."
V. S. A.
[Nov. 4, 1776.] For fixing the places of holding courts for the counties of Pittsylvania & Henry. Be it enacted by the General assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia that it shall & may be lawful for the freeholders of the said county of Pittsylvania qualified by law to vote for representatives in general assembly, & they are hereby required to meet at the house of Richard Faithing in the said county on the
next, then & there to chuse the most convenient place (having due regard as well to the extent of the said county as to the populousness of its several parts) for holding courts for the said county in future.
And be it further enacted that notice shall be given to the freeholders of the said county of Pittsylvania by the Sheriff, ministers & readers, in the same manner & under the like penalties as are directed for giving notice of an election of representatives to serve in General assembly & that the election shall be held by the said Sheriff in the same manner as such election of repre
'On Oct. 25th leave was granted to introduce this bill, and Jefferson, Williams, Bullitt, and Terry were nained to do it. On Nov. 4th it was read the first time and on the 5th it was read a second time and committed to the Committee of the Whole. On Nov. 21st it was sent back to the drafting committee, to which the members from Pittsylvania were added. It was reported again on Dec. 2d, and passed on the 5th. It is difficult to discover the cause for dissatisfaction with Jefferson's draft, which led to its recommittal, for a comparison with the act as passed gives no indication of it, but it undoubtedly was intended to aid the western counties in the struggle to obtain equal privileges with those on the tide-waters.
sentatives to serve in General assembly, writing down the names of the places voted for, every one in a separate column of his poll, & the names of every freeholder voting under the place for which he votes : & the place for which the most votes shall be given shall thenceforth be the place for holding courts for the said county : & after the election shall be made the sheriff shall return the original poll, attested by himself, to the clerk's office of the said county, by whom the same shall be recorded.
And be it further enacted that the same rules & proceedings shall be observed in every article relating to the said election & all persons failing to do their respective duties shall incur the same and be subject to the same actions as are prescribed by law in case of an election of representatives to serve in General assembly.
And be it further enacted that it shall and may be lawful for the freeholders of the said county of Henry qualified by law to vote for representatives to serve in General assembly, & they are hereby required, at the time & place to make their first choice of representatives (which place is hereby declared to be the plantation of John Rolands) to make choice also of the most convenient place for holding courts for the said county of Henry in future having due regard as well to the extent of the said county as to the populousness of it's several parts, which election shall be notified & held, & in all circumstances to be conducted by the same rules & proceedings, & all persons failing to do their respective duties shall incur the like penalties & be subject to the same action as before directed for the county of Pittsylvania.
Provided that if the freeholders of either of the said counties of Pittsylvania or Henry shall be prevented by rain snow or accidental rise of watercourses from assembling at the places of election on either of the days beforementioned that then it shall & may be lawful for the Sheriff & he is hereby required to postpone the election so prevented until that day week, & so in like manner from week to week so often as the case shall happen.
And whereas by the usual course of the law sheriffs can not be qualified for their offices but by the justices of the peace in open court at the court-house of their counties ; and no court can be held for the qualification of a sheriff for the said county of Henry until a place for holding the same is fixed on as before directed ; be therefore that the sheriff for the county of Pittsylvania shall have authority & power & he is hereby required to notify & hold the sd election for the county of Henry as well of a place for holding courts as aforesaid as for making their first choice of representatives to serve in General assembly, in like manner & subject to the same penalties & actions as are before presented in the case of the election for the county of Pittsylvania.
DRAFT OF A BILL FOR ALTERING RATES OF COPPER COIN.
V. S. A.
(Nov. 7, 1776.] For rendering the half penny pieces of copper coin of this commonwealth of more convenient value & by that means introducing them into more general circulation ; be it enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia that from and after the passing of this act the said pieces of copper coin shall
pass in all payments for one penny each of current money of Virginia. Provided nevertheless as was heretofore provided by the laws that no person shall be obliged to take above one shilling of the said copper coin in any one paiment of twenty shillings or under, nor more than two shillings & six pence of the said coin in any one paiment of a greater sum than twenty shillings.
In the HOUSE OF DELEGATES,
Thursday, Nov. 28, 1776. Mr. Jefferson, from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, reported that the committee had, according to order, had under
On Nov. 7th the House of Delegates gave leave for the introduction of this bill, and named Jefferson and Fleming to propose the same," which was done the same day. On Nov. 8th it was read for a second time and on Nov. 21st was rejected.
? From the Virginia Gazette, Dec. 13, 1776.
their consideration the petition of ARTHUR UPSHUR, to them referred, and had agreed to the following report and resolution thereupon; which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the clerk's table, where the same were again twice read, and agreed to. Your committee find that the said ARTHUR UPSHUR having several vessels on the stocks, cleared one of them out for the British West Indies on the 20th day of July, 1775, but that the said vessel was not launched until the 26th day of August ; that on the 2d day of September, when the storm happened, the said vessel had no part of her loading on board ; that the said vessel sailed after the 10th day of September to one of the foreign West India Islands, with a load of Indian corn ; that on the 2d day of October following the Committee of the county of Accomack proceeded to inquire into the matter, and on such inquiry declared the said UPSHUR had violated the continental association by sending out the said vessel and ordered his case to be published in the Virginia Gazette ; that after the return of the said vessel, the said UPSHUR (as appears by the minutes of the said committee) denying that he had intentionally violated the said association, voluntarily submitted the matter again to the determination of the committee, who, at a session held on the 8th day of January, 1776, upon farther enquiry, were of the opinion that he had violated the said association ignorantly, but that, having behaved obstinately, and ill afterwards, he ought to be fined, and they accordingly fined him 100 £, which sum the said UPSHUR deposited with a member of the committee. Your committee farther find, that the said petitioner hath conducted himself, both before and since the said transaction, as a friend to the American cause.
Resolved, that though the committee of Accomack were actuated by the best of motives, yet they erred in proceeding to impose the fine upon the petitioner, and that therefore the said fine ought to be restored to the said petitioner by the person with whom it was deposited.
Resolved, that the said petitioner having violated the association through ignorance, and having in other respects conducted himself as a friend to the American cause, ought to be restored to the rights of dealing and intercourse with his country.
A BILL FOR THE TRIAL OF OFFENCES COMMITTED OUT
OF THIS COMMONWEALTH.
V. S. A.
[Dec. 5, 1776.] For the punishment of Treasons, misprisions of treason or concealment of treasons, felonies, robberies, murthers & confederacies hereafter to be committed out of this Commonwealth.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia that all treasons, misprisions of treasons, concealments of treasons, felonies, robberies, murthers & confederacies hereafter to be committed in or upon the sea, or in any haven, river creek or other place by land or by water not within the body of any county of this Commonwealth, shall be enquired, tried, heard, determined & judged in such counties and places in this Commonwealth as shall be limited by the Governor's commission or commissions to be directed for the same in like form & condition as if any such offence or offences had been committed or done in or upon land : and such commission shall be had under the seal of the Commonwealth directed to any three or more judges of the General Court, from time to time and as oft as need shall require to hear & determine in such offences after the common course of the laws of this Commonwealth, used for treasons, misprisions of treasons, concealments of treasons felonies, murthers, robberies, & confederacies of the same, done and committed upon the land within this Commonwealth.
And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that such persons to whom such commission or commissions shall be directed, or two of them at the least, shall have full power & authority to enquire of such offences & of every of them, by the oaths of twelve good & lawful inhabitants in the county limited in their commission in such like manner & form, as if such offences had been committed upon the land within the same county ; and that every indictment found and presented before such commissioners, of any treasons, misprisions of treasons, concealments of treasons, felonies, robberies, murthers, man-slaughters, or such other offences, being committed or done in and upon the seas, or in or upon any haven, river, creek or other places by land or by water not being in the body of any county of this Commonwealth, shall