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produce thereof, except as before excepted, shall be payable to the agent appointed by the governour with the advice of council, for the purpose of procuring such necessaries, and be at the absolute, disposal of such agent for the purpose aforesaid, and in case the fund arising from the said tax shall prove insufficient for procuring the said necessaries, the governour with the advice aforesaid, is hereby empowered to issue, or cause to be issued, a sum of money sufficient for the purchase of fifteen hundred hogsheads of tobacco in aid of such fund, which money so issued shall be receivable in all taxes as other monies are. And if fifteen hundred hogsheads of tobacco shall prove deficient for the purpose of procuring such necessaries when placed in aid of the said tax, the general assembly will at their next session, make good such deficiency, and will fully and amply comply with such engagements, as the said agent shall enter into with the approbation of the governour with advice of council, for procuring the necessaries aforesaid, and moreover will provide funds for calling in and redeeming the money hereby direct•ed to be emitted. And be it enacted, That any of the vessels belonging to this state at the discretion of the governour with the advice of council, shall and may be turned over and delivered to the said agent, to be by him employed in conveying, collecting, or transporting the necessaries aforesaid, or the commodities requisite to be exported, for procuring them notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in an act of this session, entitled “An act for the defence of the eastern frontier of this commonwealth.” . . . . .

Provided always and be it further enacted, That proper attention shall be paid to the defence of the comimerce and the shores of Chesapeak bay and its dependencies, for which purpose there shall be constantly kept cruising, one armed vessel carrying at least fourteen guns, not less than four pounders, with a competent number of men, and a small armed tender for the said vessel. And for the purpose of procuring importations of salt, Be it enacted, That it shall and may be ławful to and for the said agent to export to the island of Bermudas, any quantity of Indian corn, not exceed

Public ves sels may be employed, in transportation of

clothing.

Provided that one armed vessel and a tender shall be employed on the Chesapeake.

Corn may be imported in exchange for salt.

ing six thousand barrels, in payment for any quantity

of salt that can or may be obtained for the sam Yor,...x. . X 2. '

e; and .

r #*

the said salt when obtained, shall be disposed of for . publick purposes in the first place, and the remainder . towards the people at large, in such manner as the executive may direct,

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an. An act for further continuing part of

p. 136.] an act entitled an act for punishing persons guilty of certain thefts and Jorgeries, and fiasing the allowance to sheriffs, ventre-men, and witnesses, in certain cases, and for fiacing the allowance to the clerk of the general court for eac-officio and pubtick services.

so much of I. WHEREAS so much of the act of assembly pasact of May ed in the year one thousand seven hundred and seven1779, as re- ty mine, entitled “An aet for punishing persons guilty . o of certain thefts and forgeries, and fixing the allowo: . ance to sheriffs, venire-men, and witnesses, in eertain guilty of cer-cases,” as respects the punishment of persons guilty of sain thefts * certain thefts and forgeries, will expire on the first day †s. of January next, and it is expedient that the same tual, , should be farther continued: Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That so much of the act enti. tled “An act for punishing persons guilty of certain thefts and forgeries, and fixing the allowance to sheriffs, venire-men, and witnesses, in certain cases,” as respects the punishment of persons guilty of certain thefts and forgeries, shall be and is hereby continued and made perpetual. * • ' Allowance II. And whereas there is no provision made by law to clerk of for paying the clerk of the general court, for ex-officio general and publick services, and those services have become court for er very considerable: Be it therefore enacted, That the officio servi- & - ... e. --~~, - ceS. clerk of the said court be allowed eight thousand pounds

of tobacco annually, for all his ea officio and F.

services, to commence from the tenth day of December, one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine, to which period allowance hath been made for the same, and that the auditors of publick accounts be authorized and required to issue their warrant upon the publick treasurer for payment of the same quarterly, according to the estimated price of crop tobacco made by the grand Jury next preceding the time of issuing such Warrant.

*---------------.

CHAP. XXXI.

An act for the defence of the eastern frontier of this commonwealth,

[. WHEREAS the trade of this commonwealth hath of late been greatly obstructed, and the citizens of the

[Chan. Rev. p. 136."

Preamble.

same inhabiting the shores of the navigable rivers and

bays, greatly distressed by means of small cruizers belonging to the enemies of America, which might be effectually prevented by a small force provided for that

purpose: Be it therefore enacted by the General Assem

bly, That the brig Jefferson, with the armed boats Liberty and Patriot, be forthwith manned and fitted out

Naval force to be fitted out.

for the purpose of suppressing the cruizers belonging

to the enemy, and affording protection and safety to the good citizens inhabiting the shores of the bay and rivers, exposed to the ravages of such cruizers. The Thetis and the Lewis galley shall also be forthwith and without delay, made ready and compleated for the same service. That the armed vessels aforesaid, as well as others hereafter to be fitted for the service of the commonwealth, may with the greater ease and expedition be manned, the governour with the advice of council may, and he is hereby authorized and empowered, if the exigencies of the service aforesaid should render it necessary, to issue his warrant to any officer commanding an armed vessel in the service of this state, autho

Impressment of seamen autho. rized, under certain restrictions.

rizing and directing such officer to impress into the

service of this commonwealth any seamen or mariners, under the following restrictions and limitations: The seamen on board any vessel belonging to the inhabitants of either sister state, and those on board any vessel belonging to foreigners, and in no part owned by any inhabitant or inhabitants of this commonwealth, shall be and the same are hereby exempt from impressment. The seamen on board any vessel to whomsoever belonging, loaded and outward bound, shall also be exempt from impressment. The seamen or mariners on board any other ship or vessel, except as before is excepted, shall and may be impressed into the service of the state, by warrant from the governour as aforesaid; provided that not more than one fifth man be taken from on board any such ship or vessel. The seamen or mariners so as aforesaid impressed into the service of the commonwealth, shall not be compelled to serve at any one time more than nine months, and when their time of service shall be ended, such men as shall faithfully continue to serve during the said term of nine months, shall be exempt from any future impress for twelve months thereafter; and to ascertain such faithful service, the officer discharging any seaman after the said term of nine months service, shall give a certificate to such seaman, stating the time of his service and when it ended or expired.

Pay of sea. II. In order to render the naval service more agreeboard any armed vessel in the service of this common- ... wealth, shall henceforward be entitled to the whole of o: o apy prize by them taken, to be distributed among them. j to the according to the continental regulations in such cases whole of any made and provided, saving nevertheless the right to all prize taken. and every person or persons of claiming such prize as a recapture or otherwise, according to the o regulations established by the continental congress or hy this commonwealth. - ... . III. For more effectually clothing and providing me- clothing & cessaries for the seamen in the service of this state, and necessaries, discharging with punctuality their pay, the governour o provishall and he is hereby directed from time to time to is- "" sue his warrant to the paymaster of the navy, for as much money as may be necessary to purchase canvas for hammocks, clothing, and slops, for the seamen and mariners, and also for their pay; the purchases of such canvas, clothing, and slops, shall from time to time be made, with advice of the commissioner of the navy, and when made, distributed by the said commissioner among the seamen and mariners, as he shall judge proper and necessary for the good of the service. The pay-master shall once in six weeks settle his aecounts . with the auditors of publick accounts, and in case of failure, the auditors shall and they are hereby directed to proceed against such pay-master as they are directed to do against delinquent sheriffs and collectors. The captains of each and every armed vessel in the service of this state, shall carefully attend to the issuing the clothing and shops to the seamen and mariners on board their respective vessels, and keep an exact account thereofagainst each seaman and mariner for what he receives, and the amount thereof shall from time to . time be deducted from each seaman's pay, a copy of which amount shall in due time, before the day of payment, be by every captain returned upon oath to the pay-master, that he may ascertain the sum due to each seaman; a like copy shall also by each captain be returned to the commissioner of the navy once in every six months, who is hereby directed to lodge the same in the auditors office as a check upon such pay-master. Henceforward in lieu of the pay and clothing hereto pay of cit. fore allowed to the officers of the navy, they and each cers & staff of them shall receive the following allowances, to wit: A commodore fourteen shillings, a captain eight shil

men,

able, and to enable the seamen and mariners who may by virtue hereof be impressed into the service, or those who may voluntarily enlist or have already voluntari-ly enlisted into the same, to provide themselves with the necessaries of life, the pay of all such able seamen and mariners shall henceforward in lieu of the pay heretofore allowed, be two shillings per day, and the pay of ordinary seamen or landsmen shall be one shilling and six pence per day, and the pay of boys one shilling per day, in specie; and if it should so happen that the specie cannot be procured for the purpose of paying the same, then such seamen and boys shall receive in lieu thereof as much paper money as will be equivalent to the pay aforesaid, at the time the same is received by them, the difference between which, from time to time, shall be ascertained by the governour with the advice of council. The officers and men og

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