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The legislature of Pennsylvania, at the session of 1831–32, passed two hundred and fifty acts and thirty-eight resolutions.
Soldiers of the revolution. An annuity of $ 40 and a gratuity of $ 40 were granted to forty-three persons, for their own services or those of their busbands, during the revolutionary war. Gratuities of $ 40 were granted to sixty-three other persons, for revolutionary services.
Banks. Six banking companies were incorporated, the aggregate capital stock of which amounts to $ 2,900,000. An act was passed, authorizing the Schuylkill Bank of Philadelphia to establish an office of discount and deposit at Port Carbon. A resolution was also adopted, by which the senators of the state in Congress were instructed, and the representatives requested, to use their exertions to obtain a renewal of the charter of the Bank of the United States, during the last session of Congress, 'with such alterations (if any be necessary) as may secure the rights of the states.'
Beneficial societies. Nine · Beneficial societies’ were incorporated; the object of these societies is 'the relief of their respective members when sick or disabled, by bodily infirmity, to pursue their ordinary avocations.'
Bridges. Twenty-six acts were passed in relation to different bridges, authorizing the construction of bridges, &c.; seven bridge companies were incorporated.
Boroughs. Eight towns were 'erected' into boroughs.
No 250.—Board of Health. By an act' relating to the board of health of the port of Philadelphia, and for other purposes,' it is provided that after July 1, 1832, no health fee or half pilotage shall be charged on any American vessel engaged in the Pennsylvania coal trade.'
No. 102.-Canals and railroads. By this act, $ 810,000 are appropriated to the construction of the Philadelphia and Susquehanna Railroad, and the canal commissioners are required, so soon as practicable, 'to complete twenty-two miles of the railroad, proceeding from Philadelphia westwardly;' the sum of $ 38,000 is appropriated to the completion of the canal between Columbia and Middletown; the sum of $ 620,000, to the completion of the Alleghany portage railroad; the sum of $ 380,000 to the construction of the Frankstown line of the Juniata division of the Pennsylvania canal; the sum of $300,000 is appropriated to defray the expenses of necessary repairs upon the several lines of canal and railroad, and to the payment of temporary loans, salaries of collectors, lock-keepers, &c.; the sum of $ 100,000, to the payment of damages awarded for injuries done to individuals by the several lines of canal or railroad ; if the sum ' appropriated for repairs be found insufficient, the commissioners of the internal improvement fund are authorized to apply such further sum or sums, not exceeding $ 100,000, as they may deem necessary for that purpose. The governor is authorized to borrow, on the credit of the state, the sum of $2,348,680, to be applied by the commissioners of the internal improvement fund, in the manner and for the purposes directed by this act; but no contract shall be entered into, which shall preclude the state from reimbursing the loan at any time after the expiration of twenty-eight years from July 1, 1832, and the rate of interest for the loan is not to exceed 5 per cent.
No. 126. This act is supplementary to the preceding; and the governor is authorized to borrow $ 300,000, on the same terms as are prescribed in the act, to which it is a supplement.
No. 228. By this act, the sum of $ 300,000, bequeathed by the late Stephen Girard to the state, 'for the purposes of improvement by canal navigation,' is appropriated to those purposes.
No. 27. By this resolution, the canal commissioners are authorized 'to change the location of the Philadelphia and Columbia railroad between the Little and Big Conestoga bridges, so that it shall pass through Lancaster.
Eleven railroad companies were incorporated, Numerous other acts were passed relating to the different canals and railroads in the state; but no intelligible account can be given of them within reasonable limits.
Churches. Charters were granted to Christ Church and St. Peter's Church in Philadelphia, and they were erected into separate corporations.'
No. 199.--Cemetery Society. The Machpelah Cemetery Society of Philadelphia was incorporated; the income of the society is not to exceed 2000 dollars.
No.142.-Colleges. By this act the Gettysburg Gymnasium is erected into a college, under the name of the Pennsylvania College of Gettysburg; the act provides that in the elections of trustees, officers, &c., and in the reception of pupils, no person shall be rejected on account of his conscientious persuasion in matters of religion ;' in addition to the customary professorships in other colleges, there is to be in this institution a German professorship, the incumbent of which shall instruct such young men as may resort to the institution for the purpose of becoming qualified to be teachers in those primary schools, in which, according
to the act passed at the last session of the legislature, both German and English are to be taught.
No. 149. The trustees of the La Fayette College at Easton, are authorized, if they shall deem it advisable, to dispense with the maintenance and observance of military discipline, and with the teaching of military science and tactics, and civil and military engineering' at that institution.
No. 193. By this act the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia is exempted from taxation, during the term of ten years, provided the benefit of this exemption from taxes shall annually accrue to the medical faculty of the college, for the reduction of the rent which they now are, or may hereafter be required to pay for the use of the college edifice.
No. 59. The sum of $ 2000 a year for four years was granted to the trustees of Jefferson College in the county of Washington, on condition that they will cause annually to be instructed gratis, six students in indigent circumstances, if that number applies, for the term of four years, and annually thereafter, twenty-four students, who shall be inhabitants or sons of citizens of this state, in the elementary branches of an English education, in a manner best calculated to qualify them for teachers in the English language.'
No. 80.—Courts. An act was passed for the regulation of the duties of Register of Wills, the organization of the Registers' Court, &c. An act of a similar nature was passed in relation to Orphans' Courts. An act was also passed to establish a District Court for the city and county of Philadelphia.
No. 221.-Delaware and Chesapeake Canal. This act is similar to the acts passed by the legislatures of Delaware and Maryland, in relation to attempts to defraud, by false manifests and statements of toll, &c. the company by which this canal was constructed.
Divorces. Four acts of divorce were passed.
No. 86.-Exchange Company. The Philadelphia Exchange Company was incorporated, for the purpose of constructing a building for a public exchange, &c. ; its capital is not to exceed 300,000 dollars.
Fire Companies. Three fire companies were incorporated.
No. 93.—Girard, Stephen. By this act the mayor, aldermen and citizens of Philadelphia are authorized to effect the improve. ments of the city, recommended in the will of Stephen Girard, and to execute, in all other respects the trusts created by his will.
Hose Companies. Two hose companies were incorporated.
No. 133.— Insurance Companies. By this act the Northampton Horse Insurance Company was incorporated, ‘for the insurance of the lives of horses and the apprehension and detection of horse thieves;' the company are authorized to hold personal estate not exceeding in value $10,000; each member is to be liable to contribute equally to the payment of all losses and expenses of the company.
The Pittsburg Navigation and Insurance Company, the Wilkesbarre Water and Insurance Company, and two other insurance companies, were incorporated.
No. 72.- Iron and Coke Company. The Pennsylvania Iron and Coke Company was incorporated, with a capital stock of $ 250,000, for the purpose of manufacturing iron with mineral coal or coke.
No. 220.-Lying-in Charity Association. This act was passed to incorporate a society in Philadelphia, for the purpose of rendering gratuitous attention and services to females at their own houses;' the annual income of its real and personal estate, is not to exceed $ 5000.
Roads. A large number of acts relate to the subject of roads. Eight turnpike road companies were incorporated.
No. 138.-Steam Tow-boat Company By this act the governor is empowered to incorporate the Philadelphia Steam Tow-boat Company; this corporation is authorized to purchase or construct steam tow-boats to be employed in towing vessels to and from the port of Philadelphia, &c.
No. 180.—Silk. This act was passed to promote the culture of silk. When it shall be proved to the satisfaction of the governor, that a company has associated together to cultivate the white mulberry for the production of silk, in any county in this State, and that they have actually set out one thousand or more white mulberry trees,' he is authorized to incorporate such company, who shall have power to cultivate and manufacture silk; the capital stock of such company is not to exceed $50,000;
and as the raising of silk occupies but a small part of the year, and it is desirable, that the manufacture of the article shall also be encouraged, each company shall have the privilege of establishing and conducting a manufactory of the raw material; it may also cultivate a farm and establish and conduct a school or academy for the education of youth ;' provided said school be so conducted as to combine manual labor with literary and scientific instruction, and that the whole art and mystery of raising and manufacturing silk shall be taught to such of the students as may
desire it;' each company so incorporated shall make a full statement of its concerns to the legislature whenever called upon to do so; and no company shall have power to hold, at any one time, more than five hundred acres of land; ‘the capital shall not be used directly or indirectly for banking purposes;' if at any time, the legislature should think fit to abrogate the charter of any such company, they shall have power to do so, on paying the company for the expenses incurred by it, under its charter ; if no company be formed and charter obtained within five years from the passage of the act, then the act is to be void.
Nos. 7 and 32.- Tariff. These resolutions express the opinion of the legislature in relation to the tariff, declaring 'that the people of Pennsylvania cannot consent to an abandonment of the protective system,' that if a reduction of the revenue becomes necessary, they would prefer a prohibition of the introduction of articles of foreign fabric and production, the like of which we are successfully manufacturing and producing, to any reduction upon protected articles, which we can produce and manufacture as cheaply and as good amongst ourselves,' and that they'view the American system as a whole, which requires the united and concentrated operation of its friends against all attempts to attack it in detail, and that no steps should be taken to preserve one portion of it at the expense of another;' the speedy rechartering of the United States Bank is also recommended.'
No. 40.- Tobacco. This act provides for the inspection of tobacco for the port of Philadelphia.'
No. 218.-Typographical Society. By this act, the Philadelphia Typographical Society was incorporated, for the purpose of affording relief to sick members, or in case of the decease of any member, to his wife, nearest relation or friend ; the candidates for membership are to be printers of good moral character; the clear yearly value of real estate, &c. of the society and the interest of the money lent by it, is not to exceed $ 1500.
At the session of the legislature of Maryland, commenced on December 26, 1831, three hundred and thirty acts and one hundred and thirty-one resolutions were passed.
Ch. 268.- Attorneys. An act was passed regulating the admission of attorneys to practise law in the several courts of the State.
No. 123.-Artillery, fortifications, fc. By this resolution, an