« ForrigeFortsett »
Laws relating to subjects, in which either the state or a great proportion of its citizens have an interest, should form a part of every revisal. This rule was so strictly observed in all the editions of our laws prior to that of 1794, that even the acts concerning particular rivers, with many others, on subjects merely local, were inserted. The laws, in this collection, which come within the general principle just laid down, are those FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JAMES RIVER, POTOWMAC, APPOMATTOX, AND DISMAL SWAMP CANAL COMPANIE, in all of which, the state holds a number of shares; those concerning the NORTHERN NECK, (a considerable portion of the state, and part of the laws relating ch were regularly inserted in the editions of 1752, 1769, 1785, and 1794, but all those passed since 1785 were omitted;) those AUTHORISING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF TURNPIKE ROADS, AND THE ERECTION OF TOLL BRIDGES; CONCERNING THE MUTUAL ASSURANCE SOCIETY AGAINST FIRE ON BUILDINGS; RELATING TO WASTE AND UNAPPROPRIATED LANDS ON THE EASTERN AND WESTERN WATERS; ESTABLISHING FERRIES; and CONCERNING THE PUBLIC GUARD; all of which, are here digested and arranged under their respective heacis. To these are added, A LIST OF TITLES OF PRIVATE AND LOCAL ACTS, passed since the October session of 1783; a TABLE OF FINES, FORFEITURES, PENALTIES AND AMERGEMENTS, designating to whose use respectively appropriated; and a collection of acts of a general nature OMITTED in former editions.
It may at first view excite some degree of surprize, that so many acts and resolutions, of a public and permanent nature, should have been omitted in the editions of 1794, and 1803; but the history of those revisals will readily account for it. In the session of 1789, (a) the legislature passed an act, providing for a new edition of the laws of this commonwealth, which was amended at the next session, (b.) A difference of opinion having arisen among the revisors as to the objects of the legislature with respect to one branch of their duty, a resolution was adopted at the session of 1791, declaring that it was the intention of the legisla ture, in assigning that particular duty to the revisors, "that the several laws ex❝isting on the same subject should be consolidated into single bills, but that no "new matter should be introduced into the system." (c.) In conformity with this construction, the revisors digested a code of laws, introducing under one title the several acts relating to the same subject. These were prepared in the form of bills, and reported to the legislature, in two volumes, at their session of 1792. The subject of the revisal was taken up during the same session; and several of the bills, (some with amendments, and some without,) were re-enacted into laws. But the legislature, not having time to go through the whole of the bills as reported by the revisors, directed that certain laws formerly enacted should be published in the Revised Code, by their specific titles. (d.) The consequence of which was, that nothing could be inserted in those acts, when republished in the Revised Code, but what before existed in them, under the titles by which they were particularly directed to be published, though some parts had been repealed by subsequent acts, under different titles; and thus all the matter collected by the revisors, from various other acts on the same subjects, was omitted. For example: the act "concerning election of members of General Assembly," was one of those directed to be published by its title. It is accordingly inserted in the Revised Code, as it passed in the year 1785, (e.) By the 22nd sect, of that act, it is declared, that "Every act of the General Assembly, hereafter to be made, shall commence and (a) See Appendix No. IX. p. (104.)—(b) Ibid. p. (108.)—(c) Ibid. p. (113.) (See Revised Code, vol. 1. ch. 149, p. 292.-(e) Ibid. ch. 17, p. 19.
"be in force from the passing thereof, unless in the act itself another day for the commencement thereof be particularly mentioned; and, in the former case, the "day of passing thereof, shall be noted next after the title." In 1789, (four years afterwards,) (ƒ) an act passed, the 2nd section of which, declares, that, "Every "act passed during any stated annual session, shall commence in force on the first "day of March, then next ensuing, unless, in the act itself, another day be particularly mentioned for the commencement thereof." The committee of revisors reported bill, the title of which, was, "A Bill concerning election of members of Gengssembly; AND DECLARING WHEN ACTS OF ASSEMBLY SHALL COMMENCE IN FORGI" (g.) In this bill, they retained such parts of the act of 1785 as were in force, and particularly substituted the 2nd section of the act of 1789 for the 22nd section of the act of 1785. (h.) But when the act of 1785 was republished from its title, the 22nd section was, of course, retained, and the 2nd section of the act of 1789 rejected. The above is but one, among many instances, in which laws in force were omitted in the Revised Code, from the peculiar mode of publication.
Another circumstance which produced many omissions was this: The legislature, in providing for a republication of the laws by the act of 1792, (i) directed that the Declaration of Rights, and Constitution of this Commonwealth, should be prefixed to the Code; that certain acts should be published from their titles; and that these, together with the laws, as revised and enacted during that session, should be printed; but, with respect to the acts of a public nature originally passed at the session of 1792, the law was silent. This edition was not printed till the year 1794; and, though it purported to contain all the public acts from 1792, to 1794, inclusively, yet it will be found, that some of those which, for the first time, passed at the session of 1792, were omitted, as well as others of 1793, and 1794. An act of 1792, To amend "An act authorising the Executive to direct the sheriffs to "sell certain lands the property of the commonwealth," and another," To provide "more effectually for the collection of the public taxes in certain cases," which were omitted in the edition of 1794, were very properly introduced into the appendix to that of 1803, (k.) But the acts for "arranging the courties into districts, to choose representatives to congress;"" repealing the act providing a sinking fund แ for the gradual redemption of the public debt;"" repealing so much of a former law as prohibited the sale of goods, wares and merchandizes, at public vendue;" and for appointing electors to choose a President and Vice Pressident of the United "States," were omitted in both editions. They are therefore inserted in this, (7.) Until the act of 1792, a law was in force which prohibited, under severe penalties, the sale of goods at auction-It is only by the 2nd section of the act of the same session, for appointing electors to choose a President and Vice President of the United States, that the time is positively fixed for the people to meet, to vote for electors; the act of 1803, (m) only declaring, that the persons qualified to vote. for electors, under the "act for appointing electors to choose a President and Vice President of the United States," shall each hereafter vote for twenty-four clectors, without saying at what time they are to meet for that purpose.
The edition of 1803 contained all the laws in that of 1794; and continued down the public acts to the end of the session of 1801; besides some acts of a public nature inserted in the appendix.
(f) See Appendix No. IX. p. (104,) sect. 2.-(g) See Revised Bills, 1792, vol. I. p. 7.—(h) Ibid. sect. 25, p. 12-(i) See Revised Code, vol. I. ch. 149, p. 292, s. 1, 4.—(k) See Revised Code, vol. I. Appendix, ch. 5, p. 453, and ch. 6, p. 454. (?) See Appendix No, IX. p. (114.) (118.)(m) See ch. 31, p. 31, of this vol.
I DO hereby certify, that I examined, in conjunction with William Munford,
the proof sheets, as they came from the press, of the CONTINUATION OF THE REVISED CODE OF LAWS, comprised in this volume, except frc- (105) to page (120) inclusive, of the Appendix No. IX. printed during his unavoidab absence from Richmond; which edition has been published by Samuel Fea jun. pursuant to an act of the General Assembly, passed on the 7th day of an .ry, 1807, entituled, " An Act authorising Samuel Pleasants, jun. to publish a collection of certain Public Laws of this Commonwealth, and for other purposes;" that I have carefully compared this edition of the acts with the original laws contained in the several sessions acts, from which they were selected, and have found them to be truly and accurately printed, except with the variations herein after mentioned, which took place during the absence of Mr. Munford, with whom I examined the abovementioned pages after his return. In some few instances, where unimportant typographical errors had occurred in the sessions acts, particularly in those of 1802 and 1803, they have been corrected by a reference to the Inrolled Bills. The variations above alluded to are the following :
Page (108) of the Appendix No. IX. ch. 18, sect. 1, line 8, for “
line 10 from the top,
for "disability," read inability. Page (118)
ch. 29, sect. 1, line 17, for « Suthampton,”
Given under my hand, at Richmond, this 2nd of September, 1808.
WILLIAM WALLER HENING.
I DO hereby certify, that I examined, in conjunction with William Waller
Hening, the proof sheets, as they came from the press, of the cONTINUATION OF THE REVISED code of laws, comprised in this volume, except sixteen pages of the Appendix No. IX. being from page (105) to page (120) inclusive, which were printed during my absence from Richmond, and examined after my return; that I have carefully compared this edition with the original printed acts of Assembly, of the several sessions, from which its materials were selected, and have found the work truly and accurately printed, except as to the variations mentioned in Mr. Hening's certificate. In some instances, typographical errors in the sessions acts have been corrected by a reference to the Inrolled Bills. Given under my hand, at Richmond, this 2nd day of September, 1808. WILLIAM MUNFORD.