WHEREAS we conceive it something hard and unagreeable to reason that any persons shall pay equall taxes and yet have no votes in elections, Therefore it is enacted by this present Grand Assembly, That soe much of the act for chooseing Burgesses be repealed as excludes freemen from votes, Provided allwaies that they fairly give their votes by subscription and not in a tumultuous way, and it is further provided by this act that the rest of the act of March, 1654, concerning choosing Burgesses (this clause only excepted) be and remain in full force, any act provided to the contrary notwithstanding.
Defining the Franchise (1656)
The following law, passed by the General Assembly in its March 1656 session, revises a previous, more restrictive law to define the franchise as consisting of all freemen. Some spelling has been modernized.
Defining the Franchise (1646) “Election of burgesses by whome” (1670) “An act enabling freemen to vote for burgesses and preventing false returnes of burgesses” (1676) “An act declaring all the acts, orders and proceedings of a grand assembly held att James Citty, in the month of June, 1676, voyd, null and repealed” (1677) Defining the Franchise (1684) “An act for prevention of undue election of Burgeses” (1699) “An act for regulating the Elections of Burgesses; for settling their Privileges; and for ascertaining their allowances” (1705) “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, and Indians, bond or free” (1723) Denying Free Blacks the Right to Vote (1724, 1735) “An Act to declare who shall have a right to vote in the Election of Burgesses to serve in the General Assembly, for Counties; and for preventing fraudulent Conveiances, in order to multiply Votes at such Elections” (1736)
- APA Citation:
- General Assembly. Defining the Franchise (1656). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/defining-the-franchise-1656.
- MLA Citation:
- General Assembly. "Defining the Franchise (1656)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 02 Jun. 2023