North Carolina - Legislative Acts Creating Precincts / Counties

An Act for Dividing Hertford County, and Other Purposes Therein Mentioned.

Laws of North Carolina Passed in 1779, Chapter XX

The State Records of North Carolina Volume XXIV - Pages 230-232.

I. Whereas, by reason of the Width of Chowan River, and the difficulty of passing the same, especially in Boisterous Weather, it is extremely Inconvenient for the Inhabitants of the North East ends of the said River, to attend Courts, and other public business as also for the ease and convenience of the Inhabitants on the North side of Chowan and Perquimans Counties, it is necessary that the same be divided into a Distinct and separate County.

II. Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the Authority of the same, that all that part of Hertford County that lies on the North East side of Chowan River, and all that part of Chowan and Perquimons Counties, that lies on the North Side of Katherine, and Warwick Creeks, and bounded as follows, (that is to say) beginning at the Virginia line, on Chowan River, thence down the said River to the mouth of Katherine Creek, thence up the said Creek, to the mouth of Warwick Creek, thence up said Creek to the Head, thence a direct line to the Head of the Indian Branch in Perquimans County, thence down said Branch to the Great Dismal Swamp, thence a North east Course to the Virginia line, thence Westwardly along said line to the beginning, and all that part of Hertford, Chowan, & Perquimans Counties, included in said lines, shall be and is hereby Established a County by the name of Gates.

III. And for the due Administration of Justice, Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that Justices of the Peace, shall be nominated and Commissioned; and Courts held in the said County of Gates, in the same manner and with the same powers, and Jurisdiction, as Justices and Courts in the other Counties of this State; and the Courts of the said County of Gates shall be held on the first Monday in May, August, November and February in each and every year.

IV. And be it Enacted by the Authority afordesaid, That the said Justices to be appointed for the County of Gates aforesaid, are hereby directed to meet on the first Monday in April next, at the house of Kadar Riddick, and take the Oaths appointed for their qualification, and the Justices of the said County of Gates, or any three of them, after being so qualified shall hold a Court, at the place and times hereinbefore Appointed, and every of them, at all times during their continuance in office, as well within their County as without, shall have and exercise the same Power, and Authority, and be subject to the same Forfeitures and penalties, as other Justices of the Peace, within the several Counties in this State are liable to.

V. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That a Tax of three Shillings, be laid on each Hundred Pounds Value of Taxable property in said County, and also a poll Tax of three Shillings for each person liable to pay Tax, who is not possessed of One Hundred Pounds value of Taxable property in said County of Gates, for two years, for building a Court House, prison and stocks therein, which Tax shall be collected by the Sheriff of the County aforesaid, at such times, and in the same manner, as other Taxes are collected, and shall be paid to the person, or persons, who shall be impowered to receive the same.

VI. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to Debar the Sheriffs, or Parish Collectors of Hertford, Chowan, and Perquimans Counties, or Tax Gatherers of either of said Counties, as they now stand undivided, to make Distress for any Taxes, Levies, fees or other dues that shall be due from the Inhabitants of said County, on the first Monday in April next, in the same manner as by Law the said Sheriff, Parish Collectors, or Tax Gatherers might or could have done if the said Counties had remained undivided; and the said Taxes snail be collected and Accounted for, in the same manner as if this Act had never been made; anything herein Contained to the Contrary notwithstanding.

VII. And to the end that no Action, or Suit of any kind commenced in the Counties of Hertford, Chowan and Perquimans be Defeated by the Division aforesaid, Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that where any Action or Suit is already commenced in either of the said Counties of Hertford, Chowan and Perquimans, and the parties or any of them, shall be inhabitants of Gates County, such Action, or Suit, shall be proceeded on, by the Court in which the same was commenced, to the end and final Determination thereof; any Law or Usage to the Contrary notwithstanding.

VIII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that Lawrence Baker, William Baker, Luke Sumner, Elisha Hunter & John Benton, Junior, or a majority of them, be and they are hereby appointed Commissioners, to lay off and appoint the most centrical, and convenient place, where the Court House, Prison and Stocks, (for the use of the said County of Gates) shall be built; and there to erect, or cause the same to be erected.

IX. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Sheriff of the said County of Gates, is hereby Impowered and directed, to account for and pay the money, by him collected for the purpose of building the aforesaid Court House, Prison and Stocks, to the Commissioners aforesaid, after deducting his Commissions for collecting the same.

X. And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the passing this Act, the said County of Gates shall continue, and be considered, as part of the District of Edenton.

XI. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Commissioners, or a majority of them, herein before appointed are hereby impowered, and directed, to employ workmen for building a Court House, Prison and Stocks, in the said County, for the use thereof; and the said Court, and all Causes, Matters and Things in the same depending after such Court House shall be built, shall stand adjourned from the place where the Court shall have been held to the said Court House.

XII. Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Justices of the Court of said County of Gates, shall have power to call the Commissioners to erect a Court House, Prison and Stocks, to account for the due application of whatever Monies they may receive, for the purposes mentioned, and if there should be any Surplus, apply the same towards defraying the Contingencies of the County, and whenever it shall become necessary, to run the Lines, agreeable to this Act, the Justices of the Counties of Chowan, Perquimans and Gates shall appoint one Commissioner from each of said Counties of Chowan, Perquimans & Gates, to run the said line and lay a Tax for defraying the charges thereof, which line when run shall be recorded in the Court of each of the said Counties of Chowan, Perquimans and Gates, and shall thenceforward be deemed the dividing line between the said Counties.

XIII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that the County of Gates shall be intitled to the same privileges and Immunities as the other Counties in this State are intitled to.

XIV. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that the Justices for the County of Gates, at every County Court, next preceding each Superior Court, to be held for the District shall and are hereby required, to nominate and appoint Freeholders to serve as Jurors, at the Superior Court for the District of Edenton, which Jurors so appointed shall be Entitled to the same pay, and allowance, as Jurors appointed from other Counties to attend the said District Courts, and liable to the same fines and penalties for non-attendance as other Jurymen.

XV. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that the County Court of Chowan, shall in future nominate and appoint only Six Jurors to attend the District Court; any Law, or Custom to the Contrary Notwithstanding.

Read three times and Ratified in General Assembly, the 12 Day of February, Anno Dom. 1779.

ALLEN JONES, S. S.
THOS. BENBURY, S. C.



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