South Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act for Incorporating the Salem Society

March 16, 1778

The Statutes at Large of South Carolina - Volume VIII, Pages 117-118
On Page 118 of Volume VIII of the Statutes, there is a typographical error indicating that this Act was passed in 1768, but if you study it closely, you will agree that those who signed the Act were clearly living in 1778. Several historians of the nineteenth century have apparently embraced the typo and have asserted that this Salem Society was founded in 1768, and some have even asserted that this Salem Society was founded in the Camden District since there was later a county in South Carolina named Salem County. But... this Salem Society was founded in the Ninety-Six District in 1778, and the school built ultimately evolved into the Cambridge College.  

WHEREAS, sundry inhabitants of the district of Ninety-Six, have formed themselves into a society by the name of the "Salem Society," for the express purpose of endowing and supporting a school and seminary of learning, and have fixed upon a spot between Catawba and Savannah rivers, near Little River Meeting House, as being the best situated to answer the designs of the society, and have made humble application to the General Assembly of this State to be incorporated and invested with such powers and privileges as may most effectually advance the views of the society:

I. Be it therefore enacted, by his Excellency Rawlins Lowndes, Esquire, President and Commander-in-chief in and over the State of South Carolina, by the honorable the Legislative Council and General Assembly of the said State, and by the authority of the same, That the Reverend James Creswell, present President of the said society, and John Williams, (son of Daniel) and James Griffin, the present wardens, and the several persons who now are, or shall hereafter be, members of that society in this State commonly called the Salem Society, and their successors, officers and members of the same, shall be, and they are hereby declared to be, one body corporate and politic, in deed and in name, by the name and title of the "Salem Society," and by the same name shall have perpetual succession of officers and members, and a common seal, with power to change, alter, break, and make new the same, as often as they shall judge expedient; and they and their successors, shall be able and capable in law, to purchase, have, hold, receive, enjoy, possess, and retain, to them and their successors, in perpetuity, or for any term of years, any estate or estates, real and personal, messuages, lands, tenements or hereditaments of what kind or nature soever, not exceeding ten thousand dollars per annum, and to sell, alien, exchange, demise or lease the same, or any part thereof, as they shall think proper, and by the same name, to sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, in any court of law or equity in this State, and to make such rules and by-laws (not repugnant and contrary to the law of the land,) for the benefit and advantage of the said corporation, and for the order, rules and good government and management of the said school, and for the masters, teachers and scholars thereof, as shall be from time to time agreed to by the majority of the members of said society.

II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the corporation hereby erected, to take and hold to them and their successors forever, any charitable donations or devises of lands and personal estate, not exceeding in the whole the above mentioned sum of ten thousand dollars per annum, and to appropriate the same to the endowing and supporting the said school, and to the maintenance and education of such poor and helpless orphans and indigent children as they shall judge proper objects of the charity hereby intended; and to appoint and choose, and at their pleasure to displace, remove and supply such officers, school-masters, teachers and servants, and other persons to be em ployed for the above purposes, or other offices of the said society, and to appoint such salaries, perquisites, or other rewards for their labour or service therein, as the said society shall from time to time approve of and think fit.

III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this Act shall and may be given in evidence on the trial of any issue or cause in any court of law or equity, without special pleading.

In the Council Chamber, the 16th day of March, 1778.

HUGH RUTLEDGE, Speaker of the Legislative Council.
THOMAS BEE, Speaker of the General Assembly.

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