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do enjoy: Be it therefore 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 the said nine hundred acres of land, so surveyed and laid off by the said Lewis Stephens, be, and the same is hereby erected and established a town, and shall be called by the name of Stephensburgh: And that the freeholders and inhabitants of the said town shall for ever hereafter enjoy the same privileges as the freeholders and inhabitants of other towns erected by act of assembly, in this colony, do enjoy.

11. And whereas by an act of assembly, made in the Winchester twenty fifth year of his present majesty's reign, a town enlarged. was established at Winchester, in the said county of Frederick, which daily increases in inliabitants, and James Wood, of the said county, gentleman, having laid off one hundred and six acres of his land, contiguous to the said town of Winchester, into lots and streets, hath petitioned this present general assembly that the same may be added to, and made part of the said town of Winchester; and that the purchasers of the said lots may enjoy the like privileges and advantages as the freeholders and inhabitants of the said town do enjoy: Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the said one hundred and six acres of land, so laid out as aforesaid, by the said James Wood, shall be added to, and made part of the said town; and that the freeholders and inhabitants thereof, shall have and enjoy all the rights and privileges that the freeholders and inhabitants of the said town of Winchester now enjoy.

III. And wliercas Nicholas Minor, of the county of Leesburg esLoudoun, gentleman, hath laid off sixty acres of his tablished. land, adjoining to the court-house of the said county, into lots, with proper streets for a town, many of which lots are sold, and improvements made thereon, and the inhabitants of the said county have petitioned this general assembly that the same may be erected into a town, Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the land so laid off into lots and streets, for a town, by the said Nicholas Minor, be and the same is liereby erected and established a town, and shall be called by the name of Leesburg; and that the freehold. ers and inhabitants thereof shall for ever hereafter enjoy the same privileges which the inhabitants of other towns, erected by act of assembly, now enjoy.

IV. And whereas it is expedient that trustees should be appointed to regulat: the buildings in the said towns of Stephensburg, Winchester, and Leesburg: Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the right honorable Thomas, Lord Fairfax, Thomas Bryan Martin, esquire, James Wood, Lewis Stephens, Gabriel Jones, John Hite, John Dooe, Isaac Perkins, Robert Rutherford, and Philip Boush, gentlemen, be constituted and appointed trustees of the said towns of Stephensburg and Winchester, and they, or any five, or more of them, are hereby authorized and impowered, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, to settle and establish such rules and orders for the more regular and orderly building of the houses in the said towns as to them shall seem best and most convenient: And that the honorable Philip Ludwell Lee, esquire, Thomas Mason, esquire, Francis Lightfoot Lee, James Hamilton, Nicholas Minor, Josias Clapham, Æneas Campbell, John Hugh, Francis Hague, and William West, gentlemen, be constituted and appointed trustees for the said town of Leesburg; and they, or any five, or more of them, are hereby authorized and impowered, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, to settle and establish such rules and orders for the more regular and orderly building of the houses in the said town of Leesburg as to them shall seem best and most convenient: And in case of the death or removal, or other legal disability of any one or more of the trustees before mentioned, it shall and may be lawful for the surviving or reinaining trustees of the said towns of Stephensburg, Winchester, and Leesburg, respectively, froin time to time, to elect and chuse so many other persons in the room of those so dead, removed, or disabled, as shall make up the number of ten; which trustees, so chosen, shall to all intents and purposes be vested with the same power as any other in this act particularly named.

CHAP. IV.

An Act for continuing an act, intituled, An

Act for reducing the several acts for making provision against invasions and insurrections into one act.

1. WHEREAS the act of assembly made in the Act making thirtieth year of his present majesty's reign, intituled, provision aAn Act for reducing the several acts for making pro-sion and invision against invasions and insurrections, into one surrections, act, will expire on the eighth day of June next; and it further con

tinued. being necessary and expedient that the said act should be continued: Be it therefore enacted, by the LieutenantGovernor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That the said recited act of assembly, and every clause and article thereof, shall continue and be in force from and after the said eighth day of June next, for and during the term of one year from thence next following, and no longer.

CHAP. V.

An Act for preventing fraudulent gifts of

Slaves,

I. WHEREAS many frauds have been committed Preamble. by means of secret gifts made, or pretended to have been made, of sla es, by parents and others, who have notwithstanding remained in possession of such slaves as visible owners thereof, whereby creditors and purcha sers have been frequently involved in expensive lawsuits, and often deprived of their just debts & purchases: For prevention whereof, Be it enacted, by the Lieutenant- Gifts of Governor, Council and Burgesses, of this present General slaves must Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the be by will, or same, That from and after the passing of this act no gift and recordof any slave or slaves shall be good or sufficient to pass ed.

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any estate in such slave or slaves to any person or persons whatsoever, unless the same be made by will, duly proved and recorded, or by deed in writing, to be proved by two witnesses at the least, or acknowledged by the donor, and recorded in the general court, or the court of the county where one of the parties lives, within eight months after the date of such deed or

writing Former gifts Il. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore

said, That all gifts, without will or deed in writing, confirmed.

heretofore made of any slave or slaves, where the possession hath not been delivered in consequence of such gift, sball be void, unless the same be confirmed by will or deed in writing by the donor, or in case he be dead his heir, or the person that would be entitled to such slave or slaves if such verbal gift had not been made, and proved by two witnesses, or acknowledged by the party, and recorded in the general court, or the court of the county where one of the parties lives, within two years after the passing of this act; and where any person hath been in the actual possession of any slave or slaves, by virtue of any gift, for the space of five years next before the passing of this act, the same shall be good and effectual to secure the right, title,

and property in such slave or slaves. How verbal

III. And be it further enacted, That if any person or gifts may be persons, who before the passing of this act, have or reduced

hath made any verbal gift of any slave or slaves be. 'to writing

fore witnesses, and such slave or slaves hath not since come into the possession of a bona fide purchaser, or in case such donor be dead, his heir, or the person

that would be entitled to such slave or slaves, in case such verbal gift had not been made, shall refuse to make a deed in writing to confirm such gift, in order that the same may be recorded according to the directions of this act, in such case it shall be lawful for the donee, his agent or attorney, or if he or she shall be an infant, his or her guardian or next friend, at any time within the said two years after the passing of this act, to summon the witness or witnesses present at the making such gift to the court of the county where such donor, heir, or other person lives, of which notice shall be given to such donor, heir, or other person, at least ten

days before the sitting of such court, there to give testimony of such gift; and if thereupon it shall appear to such court that the gift was made, the said court shall order the testimony and notice to be recorded, which shall be as effectual to establish such gift as if a deed in writing was made by the person to whom notice was so given, and recorded as aforesaid.

IV. Provided always, That if any person to whom Provise. any such verbal gift hath been made be an infant, feme-covert, or out of the colony at the time of passing this act, such person shall be at liberty to procure a confirmation of such gift by either of the methods herein before mentioned, at any time within two years after such disability shall be removed.

V. Provided also, That nothing in this act shall ex- Former ad. tend, or be construed to extend, so as to alter the

pro

judications perty of any slave or slaves, which by the judgment not affected. or decree of any court within this colony hath been ad judged to belong to any person or persons, nor so as to affect the title of any slave or slaves concerning which any suit shall be depending in any court at the time of passing this act, but that all such judgments and decrees shall remain, and such suits shall be heard and determined upon the laws now in force, in like manner as if this act, and the act herein after repealed, had never been made.

VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore- Fee for resaid, That the secretary and county court clerks, re- cording spectively, shall be entitled to a fee of twenty pounds deeds. of nett tobacco for recording every such deed, for slaves only, and no more.

VII. And be it further enacted, That one act of as- Repealing sembly made in the thirtieth year of the reign of his clause. present majesty, intituled, An Act for preventing fraudulent gifts of slaves, and all and every other act, as to so much thereof as is contrary to any thing within the purview of this act, shall be, and the same is hereby repealed.

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