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"The Laws of a country are necessarily connected with every thing be.

longing to the people of it; so that a thorough knowledge of them, and
of their progress would inform us of every thing that was most use.

ful to be known about them; and one of the greatest imperfections

of historians in general, is owing to their ignorance of law.”

PRIESTLEY'S LECT. on Hist. pa. 149.


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WE JOHN M. MARTIN and Robert G. Scott, do hereby certify that the Laws contained in the Sixth volume of HeninG's Statutes at Large, have been by us, examined and compared with the originals from which they were taken, and have been found truly and accurately printed, except as to a list of Errata to the number of thirty-five, at the end of the volume. Given under our hands this 13th day of July 1819.


Members of the Executive Council of Virginia.





Sixth Volume of the Statutes at Large.

THE fifth volume of this work, commenced with the acts of 1738, and proceeded throngh those of 1748 as far as chapter XIV. inclusive, but the acts of this session containing a revisal of our laws, for which provision had been made by an act of 1743, (a) it was impossible to comprise them in that volume. They are completed in this; and the laws are brought down to the end of October session 1755. From page 408 of volume 5, to page 215 of volume 6, the revised acts of 1748 will be found. These were first published in the edition of 1752, as they passed the Colonial Assembly, but ten of them having been repealed by the king's proclamation in April 1752, (b) which made a very important change in our system of jurisprudence, it became necessary to publish a new edition of our laws. This produced the edition of 1769, which has long been known by the appellation of the old body of the laws, in contradistinction to the Revised Code, contained in the editions of 1794, 1803 and 1814. I have now lying before me, the edition of 1752, from which that of 1769 was printed. This is evident from a variety of circumstances: in different parts of the book, we meet with these words, in manuscript, « Examin'd so far with the Rolls:” all the corrections made with the pen, in this copy of the edition of 1752, and all the manuscript notes are printed, word for word, in the edition of 1769; and the arrangement of the chapters, are precisely as they are numbered in manuscript. Such of the acts of 1748, as had been repealed by proclamation in 1752, and such other acts of that session, as had been amended and re enacted by the Legislature, after that event, are noted « not to be printed.” Although the chapters are newly arranged in the edition of 1769, yet the sections remain unaltered. This circumstance alone would be sufficient to evince that that collection of our laws, is merely an edition, not a revisal.

In 1754, commenced a series of acts, intended for the protection of the inhabitants on the western frontiers, from the incursions of the French and Indians. (C) Encouragement had been held out by previous acts of the Legislature for persons to settle “on the waters of the Mississippi river in the county of Augusta;''

(a) See vol 5, pa. 321, (6) See pa. 215, of this volume, and pa. 432, of vol. 5. (c) See pa. 417.

(d) which was then the frontier county, and included all the wege tern waters within the limits of Virginia. New sources of revenue were provided; (e) a lottery was instituted; (f) regular soldiers, were either impressed into the service, (8) or drafted from among the young unmarried men of the militia; (h) the militia were newly organized; (i) courts martial constituted for the trial of military offences, (k) and the act making provision against invasions and insurrections amended. (1)

During this period, while the Indians were perpetrating the most cruel barbarities on the defenceless inhabitants of the fron. tiers, there existed a great scarcity of Indian corn, at that time the staple article for bread.—The Assembly, to counteract the effects of such a state of things, resorted to tlre lex talionis, as it respected the Indians, by giving a reward of ten pounds for every enemy's scalp, taken from a male above twelve years old, and the like sumn for every prisoner taken alive; (m) and by a subsequent law, the same rewards were given to friendly Indians. (n) The price of Indian corn was limited to twelve shillings and six pence per barrel (0).

It was during this war that Col. George Washington, afterwards the General, so justly celebrated as the commander of the American armies from the commencement to the termination of the revolution, first distinguished himself. The Assembly, in 1755, reciting that " the officers and private soldiers of the forces, levied so in this colony bad in the late engagement on the Monongahela, "o behaved gallantly, and sustained great loss,” voted the sum of three hundred pounds to Col. Washington, other gums to different officers by name, and five pounds to each surviving soldier. (P.)

In the succeeding volumes there will be no omission of any private or local act, the editor having in his possession every act of Assembly and ordinance of convention, from the year 1752, down to the present time.


(d) See pa. 258, 355. (e) See pa. 419, 435. (f) See pa. 453. (8) See pa. 438, 465. (h) See pa. 465, 527. (i) See pa. 530. (k) See pa. 534, 547. (1) See pa. 544. (m) See pa. 550. (n) See pa. 564. (o) See pa. 553. (P) See pa. 528

List of Governors of Virginia, during the

period comprised in this volume.

WILLIAM GOOCH, ESQR. was appointed Gover- Sir William nor in 1727, and continued until sometime between Gooch, Bart. 1749 and 1752; the last patents signed by him, being dated the 20th of June, 1749, and the first signed by his successor, Robert Dinwiddie, esqr. bearing date Robert Din the 28th of April, 1752.—The intermediate patents widdie esqr. were signed either by Thomas Lee, or Lewis Burwell, as Presidents of the Council. William Gooch, esqr. acquired the title of Baronet while Governor of Virginia, as appears not only from the records of the Land Office, but from the acts of Assembly, of that period.

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