North Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act for the Promoting of Learning in the District of Edenton.

1782 - Chapter XXIV

The State Records of North Carolina - Volume XXIV, Pages 454-455

I. Whereas the good education of youth has the most direct tendency to promote the virtue, increase the wealth, and extend the fame of any people, and as it is the indispensable duty of every Legislature to consult the happiness of a rising generation, and endeavour to fit them for an honourable discharge of the social duties of life; and whereas it is represented that a public seminary of learning is much desired in the District of Edenton, and that some provision is already made for such an institution;

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 Mr. Iredell, Mr. Gregory, Mr. Charlton, Mr. Samuel Johnston, Mr. Everagin, Mr. Lawrence Baker and Doctor Hugh Williamson, shall be, and they are hereby declared to be a body corporate, to be known and distinguished by the title of the trustees of Smith's Academy, in the District of Edenton; and the said trustees shall appoint annually out of their own body a president, a treasurer, and a secretary of the corporation, and they the said trustees shall keep a public seal, and the same may alter or amend at pleasure; they shall be capable of suing or being sued at law; they may purchase lands and the same dispose of at pleasure; they may receive donations or legacies in money, lands and other property. Provided, The interest, rents, and nett profits of their capital, shall not at any time exceed three thousand Spanish milled dollars per annum: In general they shall or may do all such things as are usually done by bodies corporate and politic, or such as may be necessary for the promotion of learning and virtue.

III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees having purchased or erected proper buildings for a public seminary in some convenient part of the district, shall employ one or more teachers in the same by the name of rector, professors, and tutors, whom they may remove or displace if they should find it necessary.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees shall appoint their public visitations of the academy once every six months, when they shall examine what progress is made by the several students, at which visitations they may, for the encouragement of learning, give certificates to any student concerning the progress they have made in any species of learning. Provided always, They shall not on any account grant degrees or titles, such as the degree of batchelor or master of arts, or doctor in any faculty.

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees shall not in any case sell public lands, or dispose of public money, unless when a majority of the board is present, or during their stated half yearly visitations, nor then unless written notice had been given by the president or secretary to each member at least four weeks before the visitation, signifying the proposed disposition or sale.

VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That on the death of any trustee, or in case any trustee should refuse to serve, or should so far neglect the duty he owes the public, as to absent himself from the stated or extraordinary meetings of the board for two full years, the remaining trustees considering the seat of such deceased, resigning, or absenting member as vacant, shall at their next meeting elect some fit person to serve in his place.

VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no rector, professor or tutor, may at any time be chosen a trustee of the academy. That the Governor of the State, for the time being, though not a trustee, may at any of their visitations take a seat with them.

VIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the rector, professors and tutors in the academy, shall be exempted from military duty. Provided, No person shall claim this exemption unless he has been at least six months a stated teacher in the Academy, and continues in that duty. Provided also, The number of teachers shall not exceed three.

IX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That nothing contained in this Act shall be considered as tending to prevent the trustees from distinguishing their public hall, their museum, or their library, by the names of such persons as may, within twelve months, give the most liberal donations to this seminary.

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