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CHAP. XXIV.

An Act to prevent the tending of Seconds.

I. WHEREAS the tending and curing tobacco Preamble, slips and suckers, for the making of seconds, is greatly prejudicial to the people of this colony, by debasing the quality and depreciating the value thereof. II. Be it therefore enacted by the Lieutenant Govern

Penalty for or, Council, and Burgesses of this present General As

tending sesembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the conde. game, That if any person shall weed, top, hill, sucker, house, cure, strip, or pack any seconds, suckers, or slips of tobacco, or shall cause or suffer the saine to be done upon any plantation to him or hier belonging, or under his or her direction or management, he or she shall forfeit and pay five hundred pounds of tobacco, for every person employed thereon in that year; and if such plantation shall be under the care of an overseer, being a freeman, such overseer shall be liable and pay the whole forfeiture aforesaid; which shall be recovered by action of debt or information, in any county court of this dominion, with costs; one moiety thereof, to his majesty, his heirs and successors, for the use of the county wherein the offence shall be committeil, towards lessening the levy thereof, and the other moiety to the person who shall inform or sue for the same.

III. Provided nevertheless, That if any plants shall But where a be destroyed by tempest, or otherwise, when growing, plant is deand thrown away without being cured, or housed, stroyed, and any person may tend seconds, or slips, upon the same seconds may stalks, without being liable to the penalty aforesaid. be tended

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority afore- upon the said, That every constable within this colony shall same stalk.

Duty of conyearly, between the last day of July, and the tenth stables in day of August, and between the twentieth day of Au- viewing tagust, and the tenth day of September, and at such bacco other times as he shall think proper, repair to all the

grounds. fields and places whereon tobacco shall be planted or tended, within his precinct, and diligently view the same, to discover whether any slips, or suckers, shall be turned out and tended, from the stalks, from which any tobacco plant hath been before cut, or taken; and

if he shall find any such, he shall make information Of county thereof to the next court held for his county: Which courts,

court shall, and is hereby required, upon such inforwhere the constable in

mation to them made, forth with to direct and order forms. the attorney, appointed to prosecute in such court for

his majesty, to bring suit against such offender, for Penalty on the forfeiture aforesaid: And if any owner, or overhindering a view.

scer of a plantation, shall refuse to shew the constable all his tobacco grounds, or shall hinder or obstruct the officer in viewing the same, such owner or overseer, shall be liable for the whole forfeiture aforesaid,

to be recovered and divided in the same manner: And On consta- if any constable shall turn out, or tend any slips or bles tending suckers, contrary to this act, he shall incur the like

forfeiture, to be recovered and applied as herein be.

fore directed. Constables

V. And be it further enacted by the authority, aforeshall be

said, That every constable shall, before some justice sworn,

of peace of his county, take the following oath, to wit: Their oath. IA. B. do swear, That I will diligently and care

fully view the several fields and places whereupon tobacco shall be planted and tended, within the precinct whereof I am constable, and will make truc information of all persons within my precinct, whom I shall know to be guilty of the breach of any law of this colony, made against the tending of slips or seconds, to the next court held for my county, after the same shall come to my knowledge.

So help me God. Which oath such justice is hereby impowered and Penalty for required to administer: And if any constable shall renot taking fuse to take upon him the duty directed by this act, or the oath, or breach of

taking the oath herein before directed; shall neglect duty. his duty, or shall knowingly allow any person within

his precinct to tend any seconds, slips, or suckers, without making information thereof, he shall forfeit one thousand pounds of tobacco, to be recovered and divided in the same manner as the other forfeitures ip this act are directed to be.

VI. And that for encouraging the constables to per

form their duty, one pound of nett tobacco shall be Their allow. levied on every tithable in each county, and distribuance. ted to the several constables, in proportion to the

number of tithables in their respective precincts; which the court of every county is hereby required to raise annually, and the county collector to pay, to the con

stables to whom the same shall be due: But the justices shall not levy any tobacco for such constables as shall neglect to do their duty as required by this act. VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority

Repealing aforesaid, That all and every other act and acts, clause clause. and clauses, heretofore made for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, except so much of one act of assembly, made in the fourth year of Queen Anne, intituled, An act for improving the staple of tobacco, and for regulating the size and tare of tobacco hogsheads, as relates to the tending of seconds, shall be, and are hereby repealed.

VII. And be it further enacted, That this act shall commencecommence and be in force from and immediately after ment of thing the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of act. our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.

CHAP. XXV.

An Act prescribing the method of

proving book debts.

1. WHEREAS the trade of merchandize in this Preamble. colony is chiefly carried on by retail, and the goods and merchandizes are often delivered to the buyer by the retailer himself, and it frequently happens that no body is privy thereto but the buyer and seller, so that in many cases there may be a defect of legal evidence to charge such buyer, and by that means a fair trader may be hindered from recovering a just debt; for preventing disputes and different opinions in the several courts of justice within this dominion, and for determining what shall be lawful evidence in such cases: II. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Coun

In what cases cil and Burgesses of this present General Assembly, and

a store book it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That may be given in any action of debt, or upon the case, which hath been in evidence. or shall be brought, where the plaintiff shall declare or has declared upon an Emisset, or Indebitatus Assumpsit, for goods, wares, or merchandizes by him sold, and delivered to any other person or persone,

and upon the trial of such action, such plaintiff shall declare upon his corporal oath, or solemn affirmation, as the case may be, That the matter in dispute is a store account, and that'he hath no means to prove the delivery of the articles therein contained, or any of them, but by his store book; in that case such book shall and may be given in evidence at the trial, if he shall make out by his own oath or affirmation, That such book doth contain a true account of all the dealings, or the last settlement of accounts between them, and that all the articles therein contained were bona fide delivered, and that he hath given all just credits due to the defendant, in such account; and such book and oath or affirmation, shall be admitted and receive ed as good evidence, for any of the articles, for goods

delivered within two years before the same action Limitation brought, but not for any article of a longer standing, of time. unless the defendant shall have removed out of the

county where he resided at the time of his contract

ing the debt, and then within three years before action Executors, brought: And where the person who delivered such or adminis

goods, wares, or merchandizes shall die, bis executrators may prove debts tors or administrators may give his store book in eviin the like dence, upon his or their making oath, that there are manner. no witnesses to his or their knowledge, capable of

proving the delivery of the goods, or merchandizes therein mentioned, and that he or they found the book so stated, and do not know of any credit to be given; and such book and oath shall be admitted and receiyed as evidence, for any of the articles for goods delivered within the time aforesaid.

III. But whereas it has been found inconvenient and hazardous by reason of bad weather and other accidents, in carry books of accounts at great distanees to the general or county courts, when a copy of the account, rroved in the same manner as by this láw the book is to be proved, may satisfy the defendant as fully and efectually as if the book of accounts

were produced in court at the trial of the cause, Be it In what ca further enacted, by the authoriiv aforesaid, That a copy ses a copy from the book of accounts, proved in the manner heremay be given in before directed, shall and may be given in evidence in evidence. in any such action as aforesaid, and shall be as avail

able as if such book had been produced; but where the book shall be by the defendant required to be produced at the trial, the defendant or his attorney, shall give

notice thereof to the plaintiff or his attorney, at the joining of the issue, and in that case no such copy shall be admitted or received as evidence.

IV. Provided nevertheless, That the defendant shall But the debe at liberty to contest the plaintiff's evidence, and to fendant may

contest such oppose the same by other legal evidence; and where

proof. the defendant shall be an executor or administrator, his testator's or intestate's book, shall and may be given in evidence, against the plaintiff's book, where the plaintiff is an executor or administrator.

V. Provided also, That no book of accounts, al. No book of though the same may be proved by witness or wit accounts

shall be ad. nesses, shall be admitted or received as evidence, in

mitted after any action for goods, wares, or merchandizes deliver- five years, ed, or for work done, above five years before the same except for action brought, except in case of merchants residing themes

.

foreign mer Great Britain, or in other parts beyond the seas. y. And be it further enacted by the authority afore. Repealing said, That one act made in the fifth and sixth years clause. of his present majesty's reign, intituled, An act prescribing the method for proving book debts, shall be, and is hereby repealed. VII. And be it further enacted, That this act shall

Commence: commence and be in force, from and immediately after menti the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.

CHAP. XXVI.

An Act concerning Water Mills,

1. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant Governor, Coun- The method oil, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, of proceed. and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, ing upon peThat where any person, intending to build a water tition for an mill, on some convenient run, shall have land only on

acre of land. one side thereof, such person shall petition the court of that county wherein the land on the other side such run shall lie, for one acre to be laid off for such usea which court is hereby authorised and required, upon ouch petition, at the costs and charges of the petitioner,

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