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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Act of the North Carolina General Assembly concerning assembly meeting and elections
North Carolina. General Assembly
Volume 02, Pages 213-216

[Laws of North Carolina, MSS. Revisal, 1715.]

Whereas His Excellency the Palatin and the rest of the true and absolute Lords Proprietors of Carolina haveing duly considered the Priviledges and Immunities wherewith the Kingdom of Great Britain is induced and being desirous that this their Province may have such as may thereby enlarge this Settlement and that the frequent sitting of Assemblies is a principal safeguard of their peoples Priviledges have thought fit to enact.

And be it enacted by the said Palatin and Lords Proprietors by and with the advice and consent of the present Grand Assembly now met at Little

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River for the North East part of the said Province and it is hereby enacted That for the due Election and Constituting of Members of the Bienniall and other Assemblies it shall be lawfull for the freemen of the respective precincts of the County of Albemarle to meet the first Tuesday in September every two years in the places hereafter mentioned that is to say the Inhabitants of Chowan at the Land laid out for a Town on the Fork of Queen Arms Creek the Inhabitants of Perquimons at the upper side of the Mouth of Suttons Creek The Inhabitants of Pasquotank at the plantation now in Possession of Mr Joseph Glaister on new Begunn Creek The Inhabitants of Currituck at the Plantation of Mr Thomas Vandermulin The Inhabitants of Beaufort in Bath, in Bath Town, The Inhabitants of Hyde precinct at the Plantation at Mr Webstersons the Westside of Matchapungo a River The Inhabitants of Craven at Swifts Plantation at the mouth of Handcocks Creek The Inhabitants of New Bern at the Town so called and then there to chose such members as are to sit in that Assembly which shall be five Freeholders out of every precinct in Albemarle County aforesaid.

And be it further enacted That it shall and may be lawfull for the Inhabitants and freemen in each precinct in every other County or Counties that now is or shall be hereafter erected in this Government aforesaid to meet as aforesaid at such place as shall be adjudged most convenient by the Marshall of such County unless he be otherwise ordered by the special Commands of the Govr or Commander in Chief to choose two Freeholders out of every Precinct in the county aforesaid to sitt and vote in the said Assembly.

And be it further enacted That the Burgesses so chosen in each precinct for the Bienniall Assembly shall meet and sitt the first Monday in November then next following every two years at the same place the Assembly last satt. Except the Palatins Court shall by their Proclamation Published Twenty days before the said meeting appoint some other place and therewith the consent and concurrence of the Palatins Court shall make and ordain Laws as shall be thought most necessary for the good of this Government.

Provided always and nevertheless that the powers Granted to the Lords Proprietors from the Crown of Calling Proroguing and dissolving Assemblies are not hereby meant or intended to be invaded limited or restrained.

And it is hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid that no person whatsoever Inhabitant of this Government born out of the Allegiance of his Majesty and not made free no Negro Mullatto or Indians

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shall be capable of voting for Members of Assembly and that no other person or persons shall be allowed or admitted to vote for Members of Assembly in the Government unless he be of the Age of one and Twenty years and has been one full year resident in the Government and has paid one years Levy proceeding the election.

And be it further enacted that all persons offering to vote for Members of Assembly shall bring a List to the Marshall or Deputy taking the Poll containing the names of the persons he votes for and shall subscribe his own name or cause the same to be done and if any such person or persons shall be suspected either by the Marshall or any other Candidates not to be qualified according to the true Intent and meaning of this act then the Marshall Deputy Marshall or other Officer that shall be appointed to take and receive such votes or Lists shall have power to administer an Oath or Attestation to every such suspected person of his Qualification and Ability to choose Members of Assembly and whether he has not before given in his List all that Election.

And be it further enacted That every Officer or Marshall which shall admit of or take the vote of any person not truly qualified according to the purport and meaning of this act provided the Objection be made by any candidate or Inspector or shall make undue return of any person for Member of Assembly shall forfeit for such vote taken and admitted and for such returns Twenty Pounds to be employed for and towards the building of any Court House Church or Chappels as the Governor for the time being shall think fit But if no such building require it then to the Lords proprietors and Twenty pounds to each person of Right and by a Majority of Votes ought to have been returned to be recovered by Action of Debt Bill plaint or Information in any Court of Record in this Government wherein no Ession Wager of Law or Protection shall be allowed or admitted.

And be it further enacted That every Marshall or Officer whose Business and Duty it is to make return of Elections of Members of Assembly shall attend the Assembly the three first days of their sitting (unless he have leave of the Assembly to depart) to inform the Assembly of all Matters and Disputes as shall arise about Elections and shall shew to the Assembly the List of the votes for every person returned and have made complaint of false returns to the Assembly and every Marshall or other Officer as aforesaid which shall deny and refuse to attend as aforesaid shall forfeit the sum of Twenty Pounds to be recovered and disposed of in such manner and form as the forfeitures before by this act appointed.

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And be it further enacted That whatsoever Representative so elected as aforesaid shall fail in making his personal appearance and giving his attendance at the Assembly precisely at the day limited by the Writ or on the day appointed for the meeting of the Biennial Assembly when the Election is for a Biennial Assembly shall be fined for every days absence during the sitting of the Assembly (unless by disability or other Impediment to be allowed by the Assembly Twenty shilling to be Seized by a Warrant from the Speaker and so to be applied to such Uses as the Lower House of Assemby shall think fit.

And be it further enacted That every Member of the Assembly that shall be elected as aforesaid after the ratifying this act shall not be qualified to sitt as a Member in the House of Burgesses before he shall willingly take the Oath of Allegiance and supremacy the Abjuration Oath and all such other Oaths as shall be ordered and directed to be Taken by the Members of Parliament in Great Britain.

And be it further enacted That the Quorum of the House of Burgesses for voting and passing up Bills shall not be less than one full half of the House and that no Bill shall be signed and ratified except there be present eight of the Members whereof the Speaker to be one and in case eight Members shall meet at any Assembly those eight shall have full power to adjourn from day to day till sufficient Number can assemble to transact the Business of the Government.

Edwd Moseley