I. WHEREAS the frontiers of this dominion, being of great extent, are exposed to the invasions of foreign enemies, by sea, and incursions if Indians at land, and great dangers may likewise happen by the insurrections of negros, and others; for all which, the militia, now settled by law, is the most ready defence. And forasmuch, as the militia of those counties, where any of the dangers aforesaid shall arise, must necessarily be first emploied, and may, by the divine assistance, be able to suppress and repel such insurrections and invasions, without obliging that of the other counties to be raised: And it being reasonable, that such services as shall be performed by any part of the said militia, be rewarded at the public charge,
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 upon any invasion of an enemy by sea or land, or upon any insurrection, the governor, or commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, have full power and authority to levy, raise, arm, and muster, such a number of forces, out of the militia of this colony, as shall be thought needful for repelling the invasion, or suppressing the insurrection, or other danger, and the same to lead, conduct, march, transport and employ, or by his lieutenants, commanders, or other officers, by
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him to be commissionated, to cause to be led, conducted, marched, transported, and emploied, as well within the several counties and places to which they belong, as into any other the counties and places within this dominion, for the suppressing of all such insurrections, and repelling of all such invasions by sea or land; and such forces again to discharge and disband, as the cause of danger ceases, for which they were so raised.
III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That every officer of the militia, to whom notice shall be given of any insurrection or invasion, shall have full power and authority, by virtue of this act, and is hereby required, forthwith to raise the militia under his command, and to send immediate intelligence to the county-lieutenant, and in his absence, to the chief commanding officer residing in the county, and to the next militia officer in the same county, informing them at the same time in what manner he intends to procede; and shall, in the mean time keep the militia, under his command, under arms, until he receives orders from his superior officer. And every county lieutenant, or chief commanding officer in any county, to whom such intelligence shall be given of any insurrection or invasion, shall forthwith dispatch an express to the governor, or commander in chief of this dominion for the time being, notifying the danger; and shall therewith signify, in the best manner he can, the strength and motions of the enemy. And for that purpose such county-lieutenant, or other commanding officer hath hereby full power to impress boats and hands, men and horses, as the service may require, for the dispatch of such intelligence. And until orders shall arrive from the governor, shall draw together the militia of his county, in such place or places, as he shall judge most convenient for opposing the enemy.
IV. And be it further enacted, That upon raising or continuance of forces, as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful, by warrant under the hand and seal of any county-lieutenant, colonel, lieutenant colonel, or major, commanding any part of the same, to impress and take up necessary provisions, of and from any person or persons, and to impress and take up sloops and boats necessary for the transportation of forces over rivers and creeks, or the main bay of Chesapeak, together with the rigging, tackle, furniture, and apparel belonging thereunto;
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and also all manner of carts, waggons, draught horses or oxen, or other conveniencies, for the land carriage of provisions, great guns, arms and ammunition, from place to place; and likewise to impress and take up any manner of utensils, tools, or instruments, which shall or may be wanting for digging or intrenching, or towards the mounting the great guns, and making them useful: And further, that it shall and may be lawful, by warrants as aforesaid, to impress able and fit men to go in sloops and boats; and also to impress any smith, wheelwright, carpenter, or other artificer whatsoever, which shall be thought useful for the fixing of arms, and making of carriages for great guns, or for dong any other work whatsoever, where need shall be of such artificer.
V. Provided always, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall not be lawful to make use of any provisions, utensils, tools, or instruments, impressed and taken up, as aforesaid, until appraisement hath been made thereof, in tobacco, by two good and lawful men, upon oath; nor of any boat or sloop, cart, waggon, horses, or oxen, until appraisement hath been made of the same, as aforesaid, with the several appurtenances belonging thereunto: And also an estimate made by the same men, of a suitable allowance in tobacco, by the day, for the use of the said boat or sloop, cart or waggon, with the draught horses or oxen thereunto belonging. And every person impressing or taking up any of the particulars aforesaid, is hereby required to take care that an appraisement and estimate be made, as aforesaid; and to give a receipt to the owner, of every particular by him impressed and taken up; with an account therein, how the same was appraised, and how estimated, and for what use and service impressed and taken up, upon pain of being liable to the action of the party grieved, for an unlawful seizure.
VI. And for the better discovery of the approach of enemies by sea.
VII. Be it enacted, That in each of the counties of Elizabeth City, Princess Anne, and Northampton, at such times and places as the governor, or commander in chief of this dominion, shall think fit to direct, one man be appointed by the chief officer of the militia, residing in each of the said counties, respectively: Which men shall keep a constant look-out to seaward, by night and
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by day, and diligently observe the courses and motions of all such ships or vessels, as they, or either of them, shall discover upon the coast: And if, upon such observation, such person shall suspect the said ships or vessels to belong to an enemy, he shall immediately give notice thereof, to the next field officer in his county; who is thereupon to transmit an account thereof to the governor, or commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, and the county lieutenant, or to the chief commanding officer of the militia in the said county.
VIII. And be it further enacted, That there shall be raised, and paid by the public, to the officers and soldiers which shall be drawn out into actual service by virtue of this act, and to the look-outs which shall be appointed in the manner aforesaid, after the rates following, viz:
Pounds of Tobacco, per day.
A county lieutenant, or commander in chief, 70 }
A colonel of horse, 60 }
A lieutenant-colonel of horse, 50 }
A major of horse, 50 }
A captain of horse, 30 }
A lieutenant of horse, 30 }
A cornet of horse, 25 }
A quarter-master, 25 }
A corporal, 22 }
A trumpeter, 22 }
A horseman, 20 }
A colonel of foot, 50 }
A lieutenant colonel of foot, 40 }
A major of foot, 40 }
A captain of foot, 30 }
A lieutenant of foot, 25 }
An ensign of foot, 20 }
A sergeant of foot, 18 }
A drummer, 18 }
A foot soldier, 15 }
A look-out after the rate of two hundred pounds of
tobacco per month.
IX. Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this act, That for the pay and allowance given by this act, as aforesaid, every horseman shall find and provide himself with a horse and horse-furniture, arms, and ammunition; and every foot soldier
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shall find and provide himself with a foot soldier’s arms, and ammunition.
X. Provided also, That whensoever any part of the militia, raised by virtue of this act, shall be discharged again, within two days, no pay or allowance shall be given for the same, but every man shall bear his own charge: And that when any part of the militia raised, as aforesaid, shall be kept in service above two days, the same shall be paid and allowed for the whole time of service, according to the rates directed by this act; any thing in this act before contained to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding.
XI. And be it further enacted, That every smith, wheelwright, carpenter, or other artificer, impressed by virtue of this act, and emploied about fixing of arms, making of carriages for great guns, or other work requiring an artificer, shall be paid and allowed by the public, after the rates following, viz: every smith, fifty pounds of tobacco per day; and every carpenter, wheelwright, or other artificer, impressed as aforesaid, forty pounds of tobacco per day; and that every man impressed as aforesaid, to go in a sloop or boat, shall be paid and allowed by the public, fifteen pounds of tobacco per day.
XII. Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this act, That for any message sent, according to the directions of this act, either by land or water, allowance shall be made for carrying the same, as the law directs for other expresses, and not otherwise; any thing in this act to the contrary, notwithstanding.
XIII. And be it further enacted, That the owner or owners of any provisions, utensils, tools or instruments, impressed and taken up, by virtue of this act, shall be paid and satisfied for the same by the public, according to the respective values thereof, by the appraisement made, in pursuance of this act. Provisions, tools, &c. how paid for.
XIV. And be it further enacted, That the owner or owners of any boat or sloop, cart or waggon, with horses or oxen, impressed, take up, and emploied, by virtue and according to the directions of this act, shall be allowed and paid by the public, for the use of the same, according to the estimate made, in pursuance of this act: And in case, such sloop or boat be cast away or lost, or any cart, waggon draught horse, or ox, destroied
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or killed in the service, then the owner or owners thereof, shall be paid for the same, according to the appraisement made, in pursuance of this act, and half the pay for the use.
XV. And be it further enacted, That if any boat or sloop, cart, or wagon, impressed, taken up, or emploied, by virtue and according to the directions of this act, be damnified, or any horse or ox hurt or disabled in the service, then satisfaction shall be made to the owner or owners thereof, according to the damage received, besides the pay for the use.
XVI. Provided always, and it is hereby meant and intended, That all such damage shall be inquired and found, by two indifferent persons, upon oath, to be chosen and appointed by any justice of the peace within the said county where the said sloop or boat, cart or wagon, so damnified, or horse or ox hurt or disabled, shall happen to be.
XVII. And whereas, great danger may happen to the inhabitants of this dominion, from the unlawful concourse of negros, during the Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide holidays, wherein they are usually exempted from labour.
XVIII. Be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful, to and for the county-lieutenant, or other commanding officer of the militia, in any county within this dominion, and he or they are hereby impowered, from time to time, as there shall be occasion, to appoint and direct such and so many of the militia of their respective counties, to be drawn out, and to patrole in such places as such commanding officer shall think fit to direct, and from time to time, to cause to be relieved by other parties, for dispersing all unusual concourse of negros, or other slaves, and for preventing any dangerous combinations which may be made amongst them at such meetings: Which said parties, so sent out to patrole, as aforesaid, shall have full power and authority to take up any slaves which they shall find convened together, contrary to the directions of an act made at a general assembly, held at the capitol, the ninth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and twenty three, intituled, An act directing the trial of slaves committing capital crimes; and for the more effectual punishing conspiracies and insurrections of them; and for the better government of negros, mulattos,
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and Indians, bond or free: And such slaves so taken up, to deliver to the next constable, in order to be dealt with as the said act directs. And if any parties of the militia be emploied in this service, for above the space of two days at any one time, such militia shall be paid for all that time they shall be so emploied, according to the rates herein before mentioned.
XIX And, forasmuch as it is necessary, that a sufficient number of men be appointed, for guarding the batteries erected in the several rivers, within this dominion, and for assisting in that better managing the great guns there mounted, in times of danger,
XX. Be it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful, to and for the governor or commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, to appoint and assign such a number of the militia, residing next to the several batteries, respectively, as he shall think fit, to attend the said batteries, under the command of such officer or officers, and under such order and discipline, as the said governor or commander in chief shall appoint and direct: Which said militia, so assigned for the service aforesaid, shall from thenceforth be exempted from all private musters, except at the said battery only; any law, or custom to the contrary, in any wise, notwithstanding.
XXI. And, whereas it may be needful, in time of danger, to arm part of the militia, not otherwise sufficiently provided, out of his majesty’s magazine, and other stores, within this colony,
XXII. Be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons, so to be armed out of his majesty’s stores, as aforesaid, shall detain or imbezzle any arms, accoutrements, or ammunition, which shall be delivered to him for the services aforesaid, when he shall be thereunto required, it shall and may be lawful, to and for the respective county-lieutenants, or other chief commanding officer, residing in the said county, by warrant under his or their hands, respectively, to cause to be imprisoned such person or persons, till he or they have made satisfaction for the arms, accoutrements, or ammunition, so by him or them detained or imbezzled.
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XXIII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That this act shall commence and be in force, from and after the passing thereof, for and during the space of five years. And that one act of assembly, made in the fourth year of the reign of our late sovereign lady, queen Anne, intituled, An act for security and defence of the country, in times of danger; which, by another act, made at a general assembly, held at the capitol, the twelfth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and twenty six, intituled, An act for reviving and continuing two acts of assembly, therein mentioned, was continued, and made in force, until the twelfth day of May, in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and twenty eight; be from henceforth repealed, and made void, to all intents constructions, and purposes, as if the same had never been made.