PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“Saturday, September 21, 1734,” Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia (1734)

CONTEXT

In this record of the September 21, 1734, proceedings of the House of Burgesses, Virginia’s assembly of elected representatives orders a bill to authorize a petition made by the Nottoway Indian Tribe to sell a portion of the Circle Tract of the Nottoway Reservation. Because the bill dismisses the Nottoway language interpreters, it is not clear whether the Nottoway fully understood the true implications of the sale. The bill passed into law in 1735. This was the first of many reservation land sales that took place in the eighteenth century.

FULL TEXT

A petition of the Nottoway Indian Tributaries, refer’d from the Council to the Consideration of this House, was read; setting forth, That they are possessed of a Tract of Land, on the South Side of the Nottoway River, in the Parish of Warwicksqueak, and County of Isle of Wight; and another Tract, on the North Side of the said River, of three Miles in Circumference round the Indian Fort: That by Wars, Sickness, and other Casualties, the said Nation is much diminished in its Number of People, as well as reduced, and impoverished; and that the first mentioned Tract of Land will be sufficient hereafter to maintain and support the Remains of the said Nation, and their Posterity; and praying, That, for Relief of themselves, and their Families, for better enabling them to pay their Debts, and for the Maintenance of their ancient Men, Leave may be given to bring in a Bill, to enable the said Nation of Nottoway Indians to sell and convey the last mentioned Tract of Land, intire, or in Parcels, in Fee Simple; reserving out of the said Tract, Two Hundred Acres of Land, to be vested in, and appropriated to the Use of the Parish of Warwicksqueak, and their Successors, for a Glebe; and that some Persons may be appointed, and authorized, by the said Bill, to assist them in the Sale of the said Lands.

Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, according to the Prayer of the said Petition; and that the Committee of Propositions and Grievances do prepare and bring in the same.

Ordered, That it be an Instruction to the said Committee, That they have Power to receive a Clause, for Discharging the Interpreters to the Tributary Indians.

A Bill, To oblige the Justices of James-City, and York, to levy Tobacco for certain Officers of the City of Williamsburg, was read the first Time.

Ordered, That the Bill be read a second Time.

Mr. Robinson presented to the House, according to Order, a Bill, To prevent the building Wooden Chimneys in the Towns of York, and Gloucester; and for pulling down such as are already built therein; and to restrain Hogs, Goats, and Sheep, from going at large in the said Town of York; and the same was received, and read the first Time.

Ordered, That the Bill be read a second Time.

The House proceeded to the Hearing of the Merits of the Election for the County of Westmorland, upon the Petition of William Aylett, Gent. and the Petitioner, and his Counsel, were called in; and an Objection was made to one of the sitting Member’s Voters, John Jervis, who had refused to take the Oath prescribed by Law, to his Freehold, but had produced a Lease for Life, not recorded, under which he claim’d his Freehold; which was submitted to the Consideration of the House. Then they were order’d to withdraw; and after a Debate, and the Question put,

Resolved, That this House will not examine into the Defects of any Person’s Title; but the said John Jervis, being in Possession of Lands under such a Lease, tho’ not recorded, is a good Voter.

Then the Petitioner, and his Counsel, were again called in, and acquainted with the said Resolution; and the Counsel for the Petitioner went on, and objected to 3 of the sitting Member’s Voters, as being Inhabitants of Maryland, and not entitled to vote

– page 211 –

by the King’s Patent to the Governor of Virginia; and to 3 others, being Mulattos, disabled by Law.

Then His Majesty’s Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain, at Westminster, the 9th Day of November, in the first Year of His Reign, appointing the Right Hon. George Earl of Orkney, Governor of Virginia, was produced, and Part of the Patent in relation to the Calling General Assemblies, was read. Then one Witness being examined, and three Persons, said to be Mulattos, being called in, and inspected by the House, the Counsel went thro’ the Petitioner’s Evidence; and the sitting Member was heard in his Place; and both Parties being withdrawn, a Debate arose; and the Question being put thereupon,

Resolved, That any Inhabitant of the Province of Maryland, who is a Freeholder in any County of this Colony, has a Right to vote at the Election of Burgesses for such County.

Resolved, That Mr Daniel McCarty is duly elected and returned a Burgess to serve in this present General Assembly, for the County of Westmorland.

Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, For Destroying Squirrels and Crows, in the Northern-Neck, and on the Eastern Shore; and that Mr Conway  do prepare and bring in the same.

Ordered, That the House be called over on Monday Morning, at the first Sitting.

The House, according to Order, proceeded to the Consideration of the Amendments, reported from the Committee of the whole House, on Wednesday last, to the Ingrossed Bill from the Council, intituled, An Act for the more easy Trial of Criminals before Justices of Oyer and Terminer. And the same were read; and, after a Debate, agreed unto by the House.

Ordered, That a Message be sent to the Council, to acquaint them, That this House hath agreed to the Ingrossed Bill, intituled, An Act for the more easy Trial of Criminals before Justices of Oyer and Terminer, with some Amendments; to which they desire their Concurrence.

Ordered, That Mr Conway do carry the said Message.

Then the House proceeded to the Consideration of the Amendments proposed by the Council, to the Bill, intituled, An Act to make void certain Contracts for the paying excessive Usury; for the further Discouragement of the unrighteous Practice of taking more than the lawful Interest; and reducing the Rate of Interest. And the Amendments were read; and upon the Question severally put, agreed unto the House.

Ordered, That a Message be sent to the Council, to acquaint them, That this House have agreed to the Amendments by them proposed to the Bill, intituled, An Act to make void certain Contracts for the paying excessive Usury; for the further Discouragement of the unrighteous Practice of taking more than the lawful Interest; and reducing the Rate of Interest.

Ordered, That Mr Martin do carry the said Message.

Ordered, That Mr Walke have Leave to be absent from the Service of the House, after Monday, all the next Week.

A Bill, For the Relief of such Persons as have suffered, or may suffer, by the Loss of the Records of Nansemond County, lately consum’d by Fire, was read the second Time.

Ordered, That the Bill be committed to a Committee: And a Committee was appointed accordingly, of the following Persons: Mr Blair, Mr Randolph, Mr Fitzhugh, and Mr Thacker.

A Petition of the President, and Masters, of the College of William and Mary, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That by the fraudulent Exportation of Tobacco to the Plantations, without being inspected, or enter’d with the Collectors and Naval Officers, the Duty of a Penny per Pound, has been for several Years declining; and is now so sunk, that it brings in nothing at all: That the like fraudulent Practices are used by the Traders in Skins, and Furs, especially those near the River Potowmack ; who by a quick Transportation of those Commodities over that River, escape without

– Page 212 –

paying the Duties appropriated to the said College, and are liable to no Penalty after the said Goods are landed on the other Side the said River: That the Salaries for the Support of themselves, and the succeeding Presidents, and Masters, and the Fund for keeping the Fabrick in Repair, being to be raised chiefly out of the said Duties, the said Salaries, and Fund, by Reason of the said Frauds, are now much in Arrear; and praying the Consideration of the House, and such Relief therein as they shall think mete.

Ordered, That the said Petition be refer’d to the Consideration of a Committee of the whole House.

Resolved, That this House will, on Tuesday next, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, upon the said Petition.

Ordered, That the said President, and Masters, be then heard at the Bar of the House, by themselves, or their Counsel, if they think fit, upon the Matter of the said Petition.

A Motion was made, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, For the better Direction of Surveyors in the Execution of their Office.

Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, according to the said Motion; and that the Committee for Courts of Justice do prepare and bring in the same.

Ordered, That the House be adjourned ’til Monday Morning Eleven a Clock.

CITE THIS ENTRY
APA Citation:
House of Burgesses. “Saturday, September 21, 1734,” Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia (1734). (2022, November 11). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/saturday-september-21-1734-journals-of-the-house-of-burgesses-of-virginia-1734.
MLA Citation:
House of Burgesses. "“Saturday, September 21, 1734,” Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia (1734)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (11 Nov. 2022). Web. 03 Dec. 2022
Feedback
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sponsors