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certificate for the same, expressing the weight thereof and the name of the proprietor; and the commissioners of the tax are hereby empowered to dispose of such hemp for the best price that can be obtained, so that it be not less than the rate utoresaid; and they shall transinit to the governour within twenty days after the day of draft, all such certificates and tobacco notes which remain undisposed of, and in no other alternative or certificates whatsoever.
And that the said tax or bounty may be collected in Taxes, when the most expeditious manner, it is farther enacted, and bow col. That the commissioners of the tax in each county shall be furnished by the executive with a copy of this act as soon as may be, and shall immediately upon the receipt thereof, give directions either to an assessor or to some other person within each hundred to collect the same, which collector shall proceed immediately so to do, and if any person liable to the said tax shall not within fifteen days after having received notice of the amount of his tax discharge the same, the said collector shall have power to distrain for it in the like manner as is done for the other taxes; the said collector shall within forty days after his appointment, account for and pay to the said commissioners, or such of them as are not county lieutenants or commanding officers of the militia, all monies, tobacco notes, and certificates for liemp, to be by him received under this act, deducting thereout three per cent. on the amount of his collection, which shall be allowed him for his trouble. So much of the money thus received by the said commissioners as will be sufficient to discharge in their county the bounties hereafter expressed, shall be by them paid to the several recruits on the day of draft, and the balance transmitted to the treasurer of this commonwealth within twenty days after such draft; and if the tax to be raised in any county shall be insufficient to discharge the bounties due to the recruits raised in the county, the commissioners shall on the said day of draft, distribute the money as far as it will go ainong the several recruits and drafis, in proportion to the bounties liereby allowed to each, and they skall moreover state to the treasurer an account of the men raised in their county, distinguishing between those who enlist voluntarily for the war or for three vears, and those who are drafted, and draw on him for VOL. X.
the balance due to the several divisions, which money
money at the day appointed, the commissioners are hereby empowered and required to distrain on him for the amount of the same, in like manner as he may distrain on others. If the commissioners shruld fail to pay the money als ter they have received it, the commanding officer of the militia shall, on previous notice being given, obtain a judgment against them on motion for the amount of the said tax, either in the court of their county or in the general court, and they shall moreover for this or any other neglect of duty, be subject to the penalty of fifty thousand pounds of tobacco each, If any col. lector shall refuse to act when appointed, or shall in any other manner neglect his duty as herein defined, he shall forfeit and pay fifteen thousand pounds of to
bacco. Mode of re
And be it farther enacted, That the county lieutencruiting men ant or commanding officer of each coanty or corporafor three
tion within this commonwealth, except as is before exyears or the
cepted, shall immediately after the receipt of this act, summon the field officers of his county or corporation, the four senior magistrates, not being field officers, and the commissioners of the tax, to meet at such place as he shall appoint, within ten days after due notice to them given; wbich said field officers, magistrates, or a majority of those attending, having first taken an oath, to be administered by the senior magistrate then present to the other members, and by some one of the others to him, to do equal and impartial justice to the best of their judgment therein, shall, with the assistance of the captains or commanding officers of the several militia companies, who shall also be summoned to attend with their rolls, distinguishing carefully thereon, invalids, those persons who may be under eighteen years
age, those who may have come within the district of his
company to reside, and also those who may have removed or died since the delivery of his last list to the lieutenant of the county; all which informations shall be given on oath, proceed to lay off and divide
the militia, including all the commissioned and noncommissioned officers under the age of fifty years, into as many divisions as the number of men required by this act shall make necessary, taking care to number each division, which the commissioners shall keep a copy of; and that each division shall, taken collectively, possess as nearly as may be an equal share of property, to be averaged according to the said assessment in specie, all men who have been adjudged to serve six months in the army, in consequence of delinquencies on the late invasion, and those who may
have taken paroles of the enemy on the late invasion, not bee ing taken in arms, shall be included in the said divia sions, and drafted with the rest; and any division may get a recruit out of such six months men, or any eight months men then in service; the divisions thus constituted may appoint some one of their body to recruit a man to serve in the continental army during the war, or for the term of three years. And in order to en Additional courage enlistments, the sụm of twelve thousand dol- bounties. lars shall be paid by the commissioners of the county to each recruit for the war, and the sum of eight thousand dollars to each recruit for three years, provided the above tax shall produce so much in their county, and if it shall prove deficient, the said division may compound therefor with their recruit, and the balance shall be repaid them as soon as the commissioners shall draw it from the treasury as before directed. And
Land each recruit, and also all our soldiers now in service acres to sol.
bounty: 300 that have already enlisted, or who may hereafter en- diers who list by the said first day of April next to serve during
ed, or shall the war, and who shall continue to serve faithfully to enlist, and the end thereof, shall then receive a healthy sound ne- serve to the gro, between the
ages of ten and thirty years, or sixty end of the pounds in gold or silver, at the option of the soldier in lieu thereof, to be paid for, or procured by equal assessment on property; and moreover be entitled to three hundred acres of land, in lieu of all such boun. ties given by any former laws.* Provided, that no
On the subject of land-bounties, see the note to page 161 of this volume, in which a reference to this act was omitted.
The provisions of this act, which grants 300 acres of land to soldiers who had enlisted or should enlist for the war, and who should serve to the end thereof, instead of 200, as by the former uct of October 1779, (ante p. 160) have been entirely overlooked, in practice. The reason is very obvious: those who were
soldier shall alienate or assigo his title to the said land or slave, until his time of service shall expire. The
called upon to execute the various laws, upon this subject, naturally looked to the Chancellors' Revisal, as containing all the laws, in relation to land-bounties. But unfortunately, in that col lection, which was a mere compilation, (See note to vol. 9. p. 176) a great number of acts were omitted, the titles only being pub lished. Such was the case with the act before us. It is remark. able that, at this same session, the proportion of land bounty to officers was encreased one third, in addition to any former bountv, (see posi chap 27, sec. 4;) and it is but reasonable to suppose that the legislature intended the same liberality to the soldiers. But the title of this act, only, having been printed in the Chan. cellors' Revisal, and the act at large, granting an encrease of boun. ty to the officers, being published in that collection, the officers rcceived their full quantity, while the soldiers have never re. ceived any land under this law.
Upon the whole, nothing seems clearer than that, all our sol. diers who were in service at the passuge of this act, tcho had already enlisted, or who might thereafter enlist by the first doy of April 1781, to serve during the war, and who continued to serve faithfully to the end of the war, üre entitled to 300 ucres of land, in lieu of all such bounties given by any former laws. The former bounty, we have already seen was 200 acres.
It may be asked, why was not this law practised upon after the revolution? And why has it been permitted to remain so long a dead letter upon our siatuté book?" If the want of its publication in the Chancellors' Revisal already noticed should not be deemed sufficient, other reasons may be offered. The act itself, is a very long one, occupying nearly five quarto pages, in the ori. ginal, not separated by sections, and wanting marginal notes; nor is there any thing in the title which would lead to the conclusion that it contained any such provisions, as those found to cxist in it. The Chancellors, in their compilation, no doubt, glancing at the title, and perceiving it to be * An act for recruit. ing this state'a quota of troops to serve in the continental army;" had no difficulty in writing in the margin“ Had its effect" and direct. ing the title only to be published. The editor of this work candidly ackuowledges that, although for upwards of thirty years he has made the laws of Virginia an object of his peculiar research; although for several years of that period he was a mem. ber of the executive council, and ofien called on, in his official capacity, to pass on claims for land bounty, and sincerely thought Le had examined and noted every law in relation to that subject; yet that he never did read more than the title of this act, until the present day (Augusi 1822) when he was compelled to read the whole act, in order to antivtate it for the press. But is it more extraordinary that this sct should pass unnoticed, which was never published in the Chancellors' Revisal, than that the act of May 1782, chap. 47, sec 9, wbich gave an additional boun. ty for every year's service over six, and which found a place in that collection, should not have been acted upon until many years had elapsed, and many hundreds of warrants had been is. sued, without tha; addition to officers and soldiers, who, after the discovery of the law, received their additional allowance. Yet such was the fnct.
said recruiting officer shall not enlist a man out of any other division, until such division shall have procured a man for itself. The county lieutenant or other com- If quota not manding officer of the county or corporation shall as- recruited, to semble, before the said fiftieth day after the receipt of for eighteen this act as aforesaid, his militia, at such place as he months. shall appoint; and if any division shall then fail to deliver a recruit as aforesaid, fit for present duty, between the ages of eighteen and fifty years, of able body and sound mind, who is neither a prisoner of war, a deserter from the enemny, nor engaged to serve for a longer term than eight months. The said commanding officer, together with the field officers and captains, or a majority of those present, shall immediately proceed to draft an able bodied man, by fair and impartial lot, out of such division, to serve in the continental army during the term of eighteen months, to be computed froin the time of sach draft, who may nevertheless be permitted to procure a substitute to serve for the said term of eighteen months, at any time within ten days after such draft. No man shall be drafted, unless it shall appear to the said commanding officer that he comes within the above discription of a recruit; neither shall any recruit or substitute be accepted of by him, unless he comes up to such discription. The said draft shall also be allowed the sum of four thousand dollars, to be paid him by the said commissioners, out of the funds hereby provided. The said commanding officer of the militia shall, within thirty days after such draft, make a return to the governour of the number of men raised within his county; and also the particular number of each division.
And be it farther enacted, That the commanding Troops, hov officer of each county may, after the said day of draft, furloughed, furlough the soldiers obtained under this act for the reviewed, k
rendezvous space of ten days, after which they shall be marched ed. to such places, and under such regulations as the governour and council shall direct, at which place the said recruits shall be received by an officer to be appointed by the governour, with the advice of council, for that purpose, who shall give to the officer deliver ing the said recruits, a receipt in the name of the commanding officer of the county or corporation furnishing the men, specifying their number, and the time for which they are enlisted, and shall also transmit to the