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council of eight members, chosen annually by the joint ballot of both houses. They cannot serve more than three years in seven. The governor has the power of granting reprieves or pardons, except when the prosecution has been carried on by the house of delegates. When out of office, he is impeachable for corruption or mal-administration. The council of state is chosen from the members of the houses of assembly, or from the people at large ; and a president is elected, who, in case of death, inability, or absence of the governor, acts as lieutenant-governor. Each house of assembly appoints its own officers, and directs its own proceedings. All laws originate in the house of delegates, but may be approved, rejected, or amended by the senate, except bills relating to money, which must be simply approved or rejected. The magistrates of the counties elect new magistrates, recommended by the governor and council, a practice which is complained of as anti-republican, and will probably be altered by the convention lately called, for the purpose of revising the constitution. *
* This convention, which was hekl at Staunton, in 1816, addressed a memorial to the legislature, in which they observed, "thai 49 counties, adjacent to each other in the eastern and southern sections of the state, including three of the boroughs situated in these counties, have a majority of the whole number of representatives in the most numerous branch of the legislature ; and these counties and boroughs contained, in 1810, only 204,766 white in. habitants, which is less than half the population of the state by 72,138 souls." "That in the other branch of the legislature the inequality is still more apparent, incredible as it may seem, it-is> Judiciary,—The judges are appointed by the legislature, during good behaviour, and may be removed by impeachment of the lower house. Those of the general court are tried by the court of appeals. There are three superior courts; the high court of chancery, of three branches, which sits twice a-year, at Richmond, Williamsburg, and Staunton. The general court, which sits four times a-year at Richmond, twice as a civil and criminal court, and twice as a criminal court only. The two first receive appeals from the county courts, and have original jurisdiction where the subject of controversy is of the value of L.10 sterling, or when the question regards the titles or bounds of land. The third has a complete original jurisdiction. All the judges of the circuit courts are appointed by the joint ballot of the two houses of assembly, and continue in office during good behaviour. The supreme court, or court of appeals, is composed of three judges of the superior court, and assembles twice a-year at Richmond, for the final determination of civil cases, by appeal. There is a board of auditors for the settlement of public accounts, consisting of three members, appointed by the general assembly; but the case may
nevertheless a fact, that, while the country west of the Blue Ridge, consisting of three-fifths of the territory of the state, and containing, according to the census of 1810, a white population of 212,036 souls, has but 4 instead of 9 senators, to which it is entitled; 13 senatorial districts on tide-water, containing, according to the same census, a white population of only 162,717, have 13 instead of 7 senators, which would be their just proportion."
Vol. n. N
be carried before the superior court. The justices of the peace for the counties are appointed by the governor, with the advice of the council, and have jurisdiction in all cases of equity, and at common law. If the case involves a value not exceeding twenty dollars, it may be tried by a single member; if of greater value, it is adjudged by the county court, composed of the magistrates of each county, presided over by a judge of the superior court, to which an appeal may be carried, if the matter exceeds the value of twenty dollars, or relates to titles or bounds of lands. The trial is final, if the criminal be a slave. The claims and differences between foreigners are decided by the consuls of their respective nations, or, if the parties choose, by the ordinary courts of justice, which is the usual mode of trial, if one only of the contesting parties be a foreigner; but the suit may be carried from the county court to the general court; and, in a case of life and death, the trial is before the federal courts, and by a jury, one half of whom are foreigners, the other natives. Debtors, who are unable to pay their debts, and who make a faithful delivery of their effects, are released from imprisonment; but their creditors have a claim upon any property which they may afterwards acquire. By an act of the 9th assembly of 1G61, the laws of England were adopted, except when a difference of circumstances rendered them inapplicable. The officers for the general government in this state are a judge, with a salary of 1800 dollars; an attorney with 200; a marshal with fees only; a clerk with fees.
Finances.—The subjects of taxation are : * 1. Free males above twenty-one years. 2. Slaves of both sexes. 3. Horses. 4. Cattle. 5. Riding carriages, according to the number of wheels. 6. Taverns. 7, Merchants, hawkers, and pedlars, who are licensed. 8. Law processes, transfers of surveyors, certificates of notorial attestations. 9« Stud horses. The treasury receipts of 1811 amounted to 414,133 dollars, the expenditure to 369,912 dollars, leaving a balance in favour of the treasury of 44,221 dollars; the expences of the general assembly, 54,974 dollars; of the officers of civil government, 69,303; the assessment of real property in the town of Richmond, for the year 1817, was 15,997,851 dollars; in 1813 it was 8,534,147, giving an increase in four years of 87 per cent.
Salaries ofthe Officers of Civil Government.
Governor, ... 2,667 dollars per annum.
Members of the privy council, 6,667 for all the members.
Judges, - -. 1,500 dollars each.]
Attorney-general, ■ - 667
courts, - - 75]
Auditor of public accounts, - 1,000
Clerk of the general court, . 100 dollars per annum.
Treasurer, - • 1,667
Register of the land office, - 1,333
His clerks, - - 500 each.
* Before the Revolution the crown revenue was derived from a duty on tobacco, quit rents, newly-arrived passengers, slaves, liquors fines, and forfeitures. The duties on tobacco were so enormous, as to absorb nearly three-fourths of the value.
Assistant-clerk of the council, . 1,000 per annum.
arms, - - 2,000
Master armourer, - 1,000
Assistant armourer, • •1,000
Clerk to the manufactory, - 500
Turnkey, - - 266
Door-keeper of the Capitol, - 300 Keeper of the keys, - 200 Keeper of the public seal, - 300
The speaker of the senate, including his daily pay as a senator, has 3 dollars 34 cents per day. The members of the general assembly, 3. dollars per day, and milage, or an allowance for travelling charges. The speaker of the house of delegates, 6 dollars 67 centsPrice of provisions and wages of workmen.—In 1815, at Richmond, beef, mutton, and pork, were 12 cents per pound ; in remote parts of the interior, about one half of that price. In towns of considerable trade and population, the price of boarding was from 2 to 2\ dollars per week. In the best taverns of Richmond, from 10 to 15 dollars. Boarding of workmen, 3^ to 5A Hollars. Wages of mechanics, per day, from 1 to 3 dollars. A negro man, fed and clothed, from 50 to 100 dollars per year; a negro woman, from 25 to 50. The whole amount of the land-tax, including the war-tax, does not exceed three cents an acre. In the year 1700 the usual price of beef and pork was twopence a pound, a large fowl sixpence, a capon eightpence or ninepence, chickens three or four shillings the dozen, a duck eightpence or ninepence, a goose tenpence or twelvepence, a turkey from fifteen to eighteenpence, » deer from eight to twelve shillings, according to the size, wild fowl and oysters very cheap.—Histoire de la Virginie, p. 379- French translation from the London edition of 1705, said to be written by a native inhabitant, (Beverley.) . ...