Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark


An Act for encouraging persons to settle on the waters of the Mississippi.

An Act for encouraging persons to settle on the waters of the Mississippi.
Hening, William Waller, ed. The Statutes at Large, Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, 1820.
Demonstrating commitment to western settlement, the Virginia Assembly sets levies and duties to offset the costs of protecting the western edges of Augusta County from the depredations of the French and their Native American allies.

February 1754 -27th

Regis, Angliae, Scotiae, Franciae, et Hiberniae, vicessimo septimo. At a General Assembly, begun and held at the College in the City of Williamsburg, on Thursday the twenty seventh day of February, in the twenty fifth year of the reign of our sovereign lord George II. by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, &c. and in the year of our Lord, 1752. And from thence continued by several prorogations, to Thursday the 14th day of February, in the 27th year, of his majesty's reign, and in the year of our Lord 1754, and then held at the Capitol in the City of Williamsburg; being the third session of this Assembly.

An Act for the encouragement and protection of the settlers upon the waters of the Missisippi Maps: .

I. Whereas many of his majesty's faithful subjects have been encouraged by the acts of the General Assembly heretofore made, to settle and inhabit on his lands in this colony, in and near the waters of the river Missisippi Maps: , and it hath been represented to this present General Assembly, that the subjects of the French king, and by their instigation, the Indians in alliance with them have encroached on his majesty's said lands, murdered some of his subjects, and taken others captive, and spoiled them of their goods and effects, and are indeavouring [sic] to seduce the Indians in friendship with us; and this General Assembly, considering the present exigency, the low circumstances of the treasury, and that the funds already appropriated by law are not sufficient to protect his majesty's subjects from the like cruelties and depredations, but willing to testify our zeal for his majesty's service, and the interest of this country, and to prevent such mischiefs for the future, are desirous that it may be enacted, and,

II. BE it enacted by the Lieutenant Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the treasurer of this colony, shall, and he is hereby empowered and required, to borrow a sum of money, not exceeding ten thousand pounds, or so much thereof as shall be found necessary and expedient, at an interest of six per centum, and that the honourable William Nelson, Thomas Nelson, Philip Grymes, and Peter Randolph esquires, John Robinson, esquire, Charles Carter, Carter Burwell, Benjamin Waller, Richard Bland, James Power, William Digges, Dudley Digges, John Page, and John Chiswell, gentlemen, or any nine of them, shall, from time to time, with the consent and approbation of the governor or commander in chief, for the time being, direct and appoint how the said money shall be applied, towards the protecting and defending his majesty's subjects, who now are settled, or hereafter shall settle, on the waters of the river Missisippi Maps: , and that the said directors shall, as often as there shall be occasion of money for the uses aforesaid, apply themselves to the governor, or commander in chief for the time being, to issue out his warrant to the said treasurer to pay so much money as shall be wanting for the purposes aforesaid, who is hereby required to pay the same, accordingly: And the said directors shall keep an account of their proceedings, and of the several particular services for which they shall appoint the said money to be laid out in pursuance of this act, and lay the same before the General Assembly when thereto required. And for raising a fund to repay the money to be so borrowed as aforesaid, and interest.

III. Be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the passing of this act, there shall be levied and paid to our sovereign lord the king, his heirs and successors, for all slaves imported or brought into this colony and dominion for sale, either by land or water, from any part or place whatsoever, by the buyer or purchaser, after the rate of five per centum, on the amount of each respective purchase, over and above the duty already laid upon slaves imported as aforesaid; which said additional duty shall be paid, collected and accounted for, in such manner and form, anti according to such rules, and under such penalties and forfeitures, as are mentioned, prescribed, and appointed, for the paying, collecting and accounting for the duty already raised and imposed upon slaves imported, by the several acts of Assembly now in force, and made for that purpose; and that every article, rule and clause contained in the said acts, concerning the paying, collecting and accounting for the said former duty shall be used, exercised, and put in practice, for paying, collecting and accounting for the said duty hereby imposed, as if the same articles, rules, and clauses were inserted in this act: And moreover, the duty of twenty shillings for every coach, chariot, and other four wheeled carriage (waggons excepted) and ten shillings for every chair, and two wheeled chaise, by the owner or proprietor thereof; and that every such owner or proprietor, some time before the tenth day of April yearly, shall deliver a list of each and every such carriage to the clerk of the court of the county wherein the owner shall reside, under the like penalty, and to be recovered in the same manner as is directed by the act of General Assembly in the case of concealing tithables; which clerk shall forthwith transmit a copy of such list to the treasurer, and deliver another copy thereof to the sheriff of the county, which duty shall be by such sheriff collected, levied and accounted for, and paid to the treasurer, in the same manner as the duties abovementioned: And also the further duty of twenty shillings for every ordinary licence, to be paid down by the person obtaining the same, to the clerk of the court where such licence shall be granted; And two shillings and six pence for every original writ in any action or suit at common law, and subpoena in chancery, in the general court, for every summons on a petition for lapsed lands, and for every caveat entered in the secretary's office, and one shilling and three pence for every such writ or subpoena in the county, or other inferior court, to be paid down by the plaintiff in such suit, to the clerk of such court, before such writ, subpoena, or summons shall be issued, or caveat entered, but not taxed in the bill of costs; and together with the duties upon ordinary licences accounted for upon oath, and paid by such clerk, to the said treasurer, in the months of April and October yearly, deducting after the rate of five per centum for his trouble in receiving, accounting for, and paying the same. And if any such clerk shall neglect or refuse to account for, and pay the said duties by him received, according to the directions of this act, it shall be lawful for the general court, or the court whereof he is a clerk, upon a motion to them made by the treasurer, to give judgment against such clerk for all the said duties so by him received, and thereon to award execution.

IV. Provided that ten days previous notice be given of such motion.

V. And for encouraging persons to lend money on this occasion, Be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the revenues or duties arising by the importation of liquors and slaves, and all the other duties imposed by this act. shall, and are hereby declared to stand, be, and remain as a security for the payment of the money so to be borrowed as aforesaid, and the treasurer is hereby required to repay the money so to be borrowed, with interest, out of the first public monies that shall come to his hands, either by receipt of the duties aforesaid, or otherwise.

VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That this act as to so much thereof as relates to the raising and imposing the duties, and collecting and paying the same, shall continue and be in force, for and during the term of three years, and no longer.