1792 – Acts Establishing Evansham and Academy

[excerpts from Hening’s Statutes (Va.), Vol. 13, pp. 583-85, 590-91]

Chap. LXX.

An act for establishing a town in the county of Wythe.

(Passed October 29, 1792.)

SECT. 1. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That one hundred acres of land lying in the county of Wythe, and given to the said county by Stophel Zimmerman and John Davis, a part of which is already laid off into lots and streets, be and the same is hereby vested in Alexander Smyth, Walter Crockett, William Ward, Robert Adams, James Newell, David M’Gavock, Jesse Evans, and William Caffee, gentlemen, trustees, so much thereof to be by them, or a majority of them, laid off into lots of half an acre each, with convenient streets, as will make up the quantity of sixty acres, and establish a town by the name of Evansham, and the residue of the said one hundred acres, shall be and remain as a common to, and for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of the said town.

SECT. 2. The said trustees, or a majority of them, shall on receipt of the purchase money, or bond and approved security for the payment thereof upon demand, convey to the different purchasers, or their assigns, the lots sold by the commissioners appointed by the court of the said county to lay off the said town. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That if any purchaser of a lot in the said town from the commissioners, shall fail [584] for the space of six months from and after the passing of this act, to pay the purchase money, or give bond and approved security to the said trustees for the payment thereof, as aforesaid, every such purchaser shall forfeit his claim, and the trustees may enter on every such lot, and make sale thereof in like manner as if the same had never been sold.

SECT. 3. So soon as the said trustees shall have laid off so much of the said one hundred acres of land into lots and streets as is herein before directed, they shall sell the said lots at public auction on some court day, having given three months previous notice thereof in the Virginia Gazette, taking bonds with good security for the payment of the purchase money, on such credit as they shall judge reasonable, and shall convey the said lots to the purchasers in fee-simple, and pay the money arising from the said sales to the order of the court of the said county of Wythe, deducting ten per centum for collecting and charges.

SECT. 4. The said trustees, or a majority of them, shall have power from time to time, to make such rules for the building of houses in the said town, as to them shall seem most convenient and conducive to the good of the inhabitants; to settle and determine all disputes about the limits or boundaries of the lots; to make rules and orders for the clearing, cleansing and keeping in good order the streets thereof; and also to abate and remove all nuisances in the said town; and if any person shall build or begin to build any wooden chimney or chimnies therein, the trustees shall cause all such to be pulled down and demolished.

SECT. 5. In case of the death, removal out of the county, resignation, or legal disability of any of the said trustees, it shall be lawful for those remaining to choose some other good and lawful inhabitant of the said county, to supply such vacancy, and the person so chosen, shall have the same power as any trustee appointed by this act.

SECT. 6. So soon as the owners of lots in the said town shall have built thereon a dwelling-house, the dimensions of which shall be equal to twelve feet square at the least, they shall then be entitled to all the privileges and advantages that the inhabitants of other towns in this state, not incorporated, have and enjoy.

SECT. 7. No person shall permit their swine to run [585] at large in the said town, on pain that the same shall be liable to be killed by any inhabitant thereof.

*  *  *

[590]

Chap. LXXV.

An act to establish an Academy, and incorporate the trustees thereof, in the county of Wythe.

(Passed October 27, 1792.)

SECT. 1. WHEREAS it is the interest of all wise, civilized, and free governments, to facilitate as much as may be, the diffusion of useful knowledge among its inhabitants; and whereas application hath been made to this Assembly, to pass a law appointing trustees for an academy about to be built in the county of Wythe, and to incorporate them into a body politic:

SECT. 2. Be it therefore enacted, That Alexander Smyth, John Preston, William Tate, George Hancock, Byrd Smith, Francis Preston, Walter Crockett, James M’Gavock, John Adams, Jehu Stephens, Jesse Evans, James Campbell, the Reverend John Stonger, Robert Sayer, and William Caffee, gentlemen, shall be, and they are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, to be known by the name of the trustees of Wythe academy, and by that name shall have perpetual succession and a common seal. The said trustees, and their successors, by the name aforesaid, shall be capable in law to purchase, receive and hold to them and their successors forever, any lands, tenements, rents, goods or chattels, of what kind so ever, which shall be given or devised to, or purchased by them for the use of the said academy, and to sell and dispose of the same in such manner as to them shall seem most conducive to the advantage of the said academy. The said trustees, by the name aforesaid, may sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, in any court of law or equity. They shall have power from time to time, to establish such bye-laws, rules and ordinances, not [591] contrary to the constitution and laws of this Commonwealth, as they shall deem necessary for the government of the said academy. Not less than five of the said trustees shall constitute a board to determine upon any matter relative to the establishment, government, or support of the said academy; and no real estate belonging to the said academy, shall be disposed of unless a majority of the said trustees shall concur in opinion thereupon. Upon the death, resignation, or other legal disability of any of the said trustees, the vacancy thereby occasioned shall be supplied by the remaining trustees, or a majority of them. The said trustees shall elect a treasurer, who shall receive all monies accruing to the said academy, and property delivered to his care, and pay or deliver the same to the order of the said trustees; and before he enters on the duties of his office, shall give bond and security for such sum as the said trustees shall direct, payable to them, and their successors, and conditioned for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed in him; and that he will, when required by the said trustees, render to them a true account of all monies, goods and chattels received by him on account of, and for the use of the said academy. The treasurer shall receive such salary as may be allowed and fixed by the trustees. If the treasurer shall fail to render, when thereunto required, a just and true account of all monies, goods and chattels, which have come to his hands by virtue of his office, and also of all expenditures for or to the said academy, he shall on such failure be subject to a judgment on motion in any court of record in this Commonwealth; and execution may thereupon be awarded in like manner as against sheriffs for the non-payment of public taxes.

Petition to Establish an Academy at Wythe Courthouse

[transcribed from original document in Legislative Petitions, Wythe County, Microfilm Reel 205, Box 258, Folder 5, Library of Virginia]

1792 petition to establish an academy (Legislative Petitions, Wythe Co., Box 258, Folder 5 (Microfilm Reel 205), Library of Virginia)

1792 petition to establish an academy (Legislative Petitions, Wythe Co., Microfilm Reel 205, Box 258, Folder 5, Library of Virginia)

To the Honorable the General Assembly of Virginia, The Petition of sundry Inhabitants of the County of Wythe, & others Adjacent, humbly sheweth;

That your Petitioners consider it an indispensible duty on all freemen particularly to provide for & watch over the Education of their Children, the general diffusion of science being the most likely means to preserve the blessings of Liberty to any people:

For the unlettered man has no means to acquire knowledge but his own observation, while the scholar has the experience of past Ages open to his view, can see the rise & progress of oppression in other states, & so the better know how to guard against it in his own. They conceive that in publick Schools properly regulated the morals of youth may be best secured from corruption; & from experience it appears that wherever the youth are depraved the nation is declining.

Signatures on 1792 petition (Legislative Petitions, Box 258, Folder 5 (Microfilm Reel 205), Library of Virginia)

Signatures on 1792 petition (Legislative Petitions, Wythe Co., Microfilm Reel 205, Box 258, Folder 5, Library of Virginia)

It is the fervent wish of your petitioners to see the Education of youth in this country facilitated; for such is at present the case of the Inhabitants of this District, that those among them who would be desirous of giving their Children a liberal Education were the obstacles removed, are frequently deterred therefrom by reason of the expense & inconvenience, which are much increased by the distance at which they reside from any publick seminary. And they beg leave to state that under these impressions sundry persons have subscribed a considerable sum for the use of an Academy at Wythe Courthouse upon condition that your honorable body will establish the same by Law; & your Petitioners do therefore pray, that your honorable body will pass a Law establishing an Academy at Wythe Courthouse & incorporating trustees for the same with such powers as shall be thought [ ]; And also that the said Trustees may be authorised to raise by Lottery a sum of money for erecting the said Academy.

Reverse of 1792 petiton with additional signatures (Legislative Petitions, Box 258, Folder 5 (Microfilm Reel 205), Library of Virginia

Excerpt of reverse of 1792 petition with additional signatures (Legislative Petitions, Wythe Co., Microfilm Reel 205, Box 258, Folder 5, Library of Virginia

And your Petitioners as in duty bound will pray &c.

[signed]
Walter Crockett
Jesse Evans
Jno [John] Adams
Ro [Robert] Adams
Mas [Manassas] Friel
Jno [John] Johnston
Ab [Abram] Goodpasture . . .