North Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act for the Better Regulation of the Town of Smithville, and to Amend an Act, Entitled "An Act to Establish an Academy at Smithville, in the County of Brunswick."

1804 - Chapter XLIV

The Laws of North Carolina of 1804 - Pages 32-34

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the town clerk, or any three of the person hereinafter named, shall, on or before the first day of January next, give notice in writing at the rendezvous, the school and market house in the said town, that an election for five Commissioners to manage the concerns of the town, will be held at such place as John Brown, Benjamin Blaney, John L. Griffin, Robert Potter and Samuel Potter shall appoint, on the fifteenth day of said month; which commissioners shall continue in office until the second Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and seven, and in future, all elections for a full board of commissioners of the said town, shall be held on the second Monday of January in each and every second year, the clerk of the town being hereby required to give fifteen days notice thereof at least, by advertisement posted up on three or more of the most public buildings of said town, under the penalty of twenty-five pounds, to be recovered before any justice of the peace in the said county, one half to the use of the town, and the other half to the use of the person suing for the same; and in case of neglect by the clerk, the commissioners, or any one of them may put up such advertisements, ten days previous to the said second Monday in January biennially; and the election for commissioners in the first instance shall be conducted by the town clerk or his deputy, and any two lot-holders appointed by the five persons above named, or a majority of them, and forever thereafter by the town clerk (or a deputy by him appointed in writing, for whose conduct he shall be answerable) and two inspectors appointed by the commissioners for the time being, each of whom shall take an oath to conduct the election fairly, and without fear of favor, partiality, prejudice or hatred to any one; and the said elections shall be opened at ten o'clock in the fore-noon, and close at two o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, when the five persons having the highest number of votes, shall be proclaimed by the said town clerk or deputy duly elected. And the said elections shall be conducted as those for Members of Assembly, except in such parts as are otherwise particularly directed herein; and the commissioners elected in pursuance of this Act, shall take the following oath previous to acting as such, viz. ' I A. B. do swear that I will execute the office of a commissioner of the town of Smithville, faithfully, impartially and truly, without favor or prejudice, and that I will, to the utmost ot my power, in all things as a commissioner, act for the good of said town and well governing thereof to the best of my skill, ability and judgment: So help me God.' And till such qualification, the power of the former or preceding commissioners shall not cease; but in case of refusal to act, or any vacancy in the board of commissioners, an election shall be ordered on the principles before laid down forbiennial elections; and when the board of commissioners is filled up, they are hereby authorized and empowered, if they deem it for the advantage of said town, to elect any person they think proper (having an equal qualification to be elected with what is herein required for either or any of the commissioners) to act as Intendant or Magistrate of Police of the said town, who shall, before entering on the duties of his office, take the following oath, viz. 'I A.B. do solemnly swear, that as Intendant, or Magistrate of Police of the town of Smithville, I will do equal right in all cases whosoever, to the best of my Judgment, and according to the laws, rules and ordinances made for the good government of the said town, and in all things belonging to my office, during my continuance therein, I will faithfully, truly and justly, according to the best of my skill and ability, do equal and impartial justice to the public and individuals: So help me God.' And he and the commissioners thereof shall have, possess and enjoy, all the privileges, powers and authorities which have been, or shall hereafter be vested in or granted to magistrate of police or commmissioners ot any other town in this State.

II. And be it futher enacted, That every person who has resided in said town generally, for at least three succeeding months of the twelve previous to any election, and entitled to vote for Members of the House of Commons, or owning a lot or part of a lot with a dwelling house thereon, six months previous to any election, and who has paid town tax for the same, shall be entitled to vote for commissioners; and the commissioners shall be elected from any of the inhabitants or dwelling-house holders thereof, with a lot or part of a lot thereunto appertaining: Provided, they have been such inhabitant of house and lot, or part of a lot holder in fee simple or for life, twelve months previous to the day of election, and at least be three of them constant residents of said town.

III. And be it further enacted, That as soon as the commissioners shall deem that it can reasonably be done, without laying a heavy burthen on the owners of houses and lots in said town, they shall value on oath every house within the bounds of said town, and lay a tax not exceeding one quarter per cent, on such value, upon every owner or owners of such house or houses, which shall be collected for the purpose of purchasing one or more engine or engines, leather buckets, ladders and other convenient instruments for extinguishing fires; and until such articles can be provided in the said way, the owner or owners of every lot whereon is now built, or hereafter may be built, any habitable house, shall sooner, if ordered by the commissioners; but at all events, on or before the first day of October next, and within one month after any house hereafter to be built, shall be finished so as to be inhabited, have a good ladder of a proportionable length to the highest shingled roof on the lot, which shall be constantly kept in repair and leaning against said roof, that in case of fire relief may be immediately afforded, under the penalty of a sufficient sum for purchasing and fixing up such ladder, with all costs and charges, to be levied in like manner as other fines.

IV. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners of said town shall annually lay and levy a tax on every hundred pounds value of town property within the same, and a proportionable poll-tax on all persons who do not possess in said town the value of one hundred pounds taxable property; and all persons having resided six months within the limits of the town, and liable to pay public taxes, shall be considered as subject to town tax.

V. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners of said town shall order and direct, that every person and persons, possessors or owners of any lot or lots in said town, shall, on or before the first day of July next, clear all and every such lot and lots by them possessed or held, of all trees (except fruit trees and such as are planted or trimmed up and intended to be kept for shade or ornament) underwood, brush and high weeds, growing, standing or being on said lots, and see that the same be cleared from such weeds and brush on or before the first day of July in each and every year, and thereafter kept clear; and in case oi neglect or refusal, the commissioners are hereby empowered to have the same done at the expense of the owners or possessors or said lots, for which their property shall be liable. And the commissioners of said town shall also, on or before the first day of July next, cause the streets thereof to be cleared of all trees, except those planted for shade, or that they deem proper to be left for that purpose, also all high weeds and all stumps and shrubs, the roots whereof shall be grubbed up for at least twenty feet wide, along and in the middle of Howe, Dry, Potts, Bay, Moore and Nash streets, and thereafter, as occasion may require, of the whole of all and every street in said town; and if instead of levying a tax for the purpose, they deem it most proper to be done by the inhabitants thereof who are liable to work on public roads, and agreeably to the powers vested in, and the practice of the commissioners of other towns in this State the said inhabitants shall be exempted from working on any of the public roads, and they shall not be liable to work on said streets longer or oftener than persons are bound to work on the public roads, nor liable to heavier fines than such as are inflicted on those who fail to work upon said roads, when thereto legally required; and the rules for working on public roads shall be applied to the working on said streets, except such as are modified or altered by this Act. And in case the commissioners prefer levying a tax for the purpose of clearing the Streets, it shall be in the power of any person to discharge himself from the same by contributing his share in work, the proportion and well doing whereof shall be determined by the commissioners, or person or persons to whom they commit the management of .the same. And all inhabitants of the town subject to work on the streets, who will furnish two able bodied hands, shall be excused from personal labor.

VI. And be it futher enacted, That the supplemental lots adjoining said town, with the skirts in front thereof, and of the said town, with all the ground included in the plan thereof, except that occupied by the fortifications erecting, and which shall be erected, and the works and buildings thereunto appturtaining, agreeably to an Act passed the present session of Assembly, shall be considered as part of the town of Smithviile, and the inhabitants dwelling thereon, and on every part thereof, or on the skirts round the town, which were leased by the commissioners for the benefit thereof, shall be liable to all the duties, and entitled to all the privileges, rights and exemptions of the citizens of said town, or any of them; and further, that the laying off and leasing the said supplemental lots, with their skirt lots in and around the town, agreeably to the plan filed in the office of the Secretary of State, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred, be and the same, with the said plan, are and is hereby fully and absolutely confirmed.

VII. And be it further enacted, That all fines and penalties to be inflicted by the commissioners of Smithville, shall be for the use of the said town, unless otherwise particularly directed, and shall be recovered by warrant under the hand and seal of the intendant or magistrate of police, for the time being, or any two of the commissioners in case of the absence of said magistrate, directed to the town constable,and if none duly appointed and qualified, then to any other person, in the same manner as other warrants are or may be done, who are hereby bound to execute the same, and for their services to demand, take, and receive the same fees and charges allowed to constables for similar duties, saving to all persons the right of appeal from the judgment of the indendant or magistrate of police or commissioners, to the county court, as in case of judgment by justice of the peace. And whereas by removal out of the State of one, the death of others or the trustees of gthe Smithville Academy, smallness of their number, and their dispersed situation, it has been difficult to convene a majority of the present trustees to supply vacancies and transact business;

VIII. Be it therefore enacted, That John Lord, John Brown, Benjamin Laney, John L. Griffin, Thomas Leonard, Maurice Moore, Samuel Hall, James Flowers and John Gause, Jr., be, and they are hereby appointed trustees of the said academy, and invested with all the privileges and authorities of the trustees heretofore appointed.

IX. And be it further enacted, That till the said academy is built, and a school or schools established therein, the meetings of the trustees, except the annual meeting, may be called and held at any other convenient place instead of the town of Smithville, or be called in said town, in which latter case, the President, and those members who do attend of the trustees, shall be considered sufficient number to transact business, or a majority of the members without the President, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.

X. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all Acts and clauses of Acts coming within the meaning and purview of this Act, and contrary thereto, is and are hereby repealed and made void.

Read three times and ratified in General Assembly,
the 19th day of December, 1804
William White, Secretary

J. Riddick, S.S.
S. Cabarrus, S.H.C.

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