North Carolina - Roads

1715 Laws - Chapter XXXVI - An Act Concerning Roads and Ferries

I. Be It Enacted by His Excellency the Palatine & the rest of the True & Absolute Lords Proprietors of Carolina by & with the Advice & Consent of the rest of the Members of the General Assembly now met at Little River for the No. East part of the Province and the Authority of the same.

II. It Is Hereby Enacted that all Roads & Ferries in this Government allready laid out or appointed by virtue of any Act or Ordinance of Assembly heretofore made or declared or by virtue of any order of Court grounded thereon which are or ought to be now in use shall be & are hereby declared to be Publick Roads & Ferrys. And all persons whatsoever that ought or which have been accustomed or used to work on any such Roads & Bridges which have been made & laid out pursuant to an Act or Ordinance of Assembly or Order of Court grounded thereon shall continue to work on the same or to keep the same in repair as they should or ought to have done by virtue of such Act or Ordinance of Assembly or order of court conformable thereto.

III. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority Aforesaid, that from time to time and at all times hereafter the court of each Precinct shall have full power & authority to appoint & settle Ferrys & to order the laying out new Roads where Roads are not already appointed or used & to appoint where Bridges shall be made for the use & ease of the Precinct so as not to alter the old Roads to the prejudice of any person without the leave & licence of such person first had & obtained.

IV. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that all roads hereafter to be laid out shall be laid out by a Jury of Twelve men appointed by the Precinct Court which Jury shall first take an Oath to lay out the same for the greatest ease & convenience of the inhabitants & as little as may be to the prejudice of any private man & the Damages which shall be sustained by any private person in laying out such Roads to be equally Levied & Collected by the Surveyor of such Road on the Tythables which ought to work on the same & by him paid to the Party injured.

V. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that if any person or persons after the Ratification of this Act shall pretend to keep any Ferry or to transport any person or persons or their horses or their Cattle for pay within ten miles of any Ferry which is already or hereafter shall be appointed, such person or persons so pretending to keep Ferry for transporting any person or persons or their horses or Cattle shall forfeit & pay the sum of Ten Shillings for every man or beast so transported or ferried to the next adjacent Ferryman to be recovered by a Warrant from any Justice of the Peace upon full proof thereof made before him.

VI. Provided always that such persons who shall hereafter undertake to keep any Public Ferry by Appointment & do not provide good & sufficient Boats & keep the same in good & sufficient repair & well & sufficiently attended for the passage of all Travellers shall forfeit & pay Ten Pounds for every neglect: One half to the Informer & the other half for & towards the Contingent charges of the Government to be recovered by Bill, Plaint or Information in the General Court of this Province wherein no Essoign, Protection or Wager of Law snall be allowed.

VII. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that all publick roads already laid out or now in use or which hereafter shall be laid out shall be cleared of and from all Trees & Brush at least Ten Feet wide & such Limbs of Trees cut away as may incommode horsemen travelling that road. All Bridges or Causeways made or to be made over Swamps or small Runs of Water the pieces wherewith the same shall be made shall be laid athwart the road & at least Ten foot long well secured & made fast & covered with Earth & all Bridges over Deep & navigable streams shall be made at least ten foot wide with sufficient and strong pieces or plank at least Three Inches thick with firm & strong Post & Bearers well secured and fastened.

VIII. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority Aforesaid that the Precinct Courts shall annually appoint Surveyors of the High-ways or roads who are by this Act obliged to summon all male Tythables within their Divisions & Limits or which have been used or accustomed to work on such roads & bridges as are in the division or Limits to meet at a place & time appointed some time in the months of April & September yearly to clear all the roads & make clear & repair all bridges within their Limits or Divisions & also at any other time of the year if occasion shall require & whoever shall upon such summons refuse or neglect to appear or to do & perform their parts & duties therein the surveyor shall cause them to be summoned to appear before the next Magistrate where if he or they cannot show a reasonable cause for his or their default he or they shall be fined Fve Shillings for every Days neglect to be levied by the Order of the aforesaid Magistrate by the Surveyor to be bestowed in hiring men in the room & stead of those neglecting.

But if it shall happen that those persons who met in obedience to this Act shall perform the whole work that shall be necessary to be done at that time then all the forfeitures shall be equally divided among those who finished the work as aforesaid.

IX. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority Aforesaid, that where the making of Bridges or Causeways shall not be judged proper to be performed by the whole Company working together it shall & may be lawful for the surveyor with one third of the company that shall be obliged to work thereon to agree with any person or persons for performing the work And the Surveyor is hereby impowered after the work is finished to levy the same equally and indifferently by the Poll on all such as are obliged to work thereon to make Distress in case of refusal or non-payment.

X. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that the Surveyor of the roads which shall neglect or refuse to do his duty as is by this Act appointed, or which shall not keep the roads or Bridges clear & in repair & which shall let them remain uncleared or out of repair after notice thereof for & during the space of Ten days unless hindered by extreme bad weather such Surveyor shall forfeit for each & every offence the sum of forty shillings (over & above such damages as shall be sustained) one half of the said sum to be employed towards the repair of the Roads the other half to him or them that will sue for the same to be Recovered by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information in any Court of Record in this Government wherein no Injunction or Wager of Law shall be allowed or admitted of.

XI. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority of the same that no member of the Council or Assembly or Justice of any Court, Coroner or Constable or Minister of the Church of England shall be Compelled or Compellable to work himself that shall send three persons in one district to work on any Road or Bridge. Anything in this Act contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.


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