North Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act for the Promoting of Learning in the District of Wilmington.

1783 - Chapter XXIV

The State Records of North Carolina - Volume XXIV, Pages 511-513

I. Whereas, the good education of youth has the most direct tendency to promote the virtue, encrease the wealth, and extend the fame of any people, and it is the indispensable duty of every Legislature to consult the happiness of a rising generation, and endeavour to fit them for an honourable discharge of the social duties of life; and whereas it is represented that a public seminary of learning is much desired in the district of Wilmington, and that some provision is already made for such an institution;

II. Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, That the Honourable Samuel Ashe, Archibald McLaine, William Hill, Thomas McGuire, John Ingrum, John Hay, the Honourable Edward Starkey, John Lillington and Robert Shaw, esquires, shall be, and they are hereby declared to be a body corporate, to be known and distinguished by the title of the trustees of Innis Accademy, in the district of Wilmington; and that the said trustees shall appoint annually out of their own body a president, secretary, and treasurer of the corporation, and they, the said trustees, shall keep a public seal, and the same may alter and amend at pleasure; they shall be capable of suing or being sued at law; they may purchase lands, and the same dispose of at pleasure; they may receive donations and legacies in money, lands and other property, provided the interest, rents and nett profits of their capital, shall not at any time exceed three thousand Spanish milled dollars per annum; in general, they shall do or may do all such things as are usually done by bodies corporate and politic, or such as may be necessary for the promotion of learning and virtue.

III. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees having purchased or erected proper buildings for a public seminary in some convenient part of the district, shall employ one or more teachers, by the name of rector, professors and tutors, whom they may remove or displace if they should find it necessary.

IV. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees shall appoint their public visitations of the accademy once in every six months, when they shall examine what progress is made by the several students, at which visitations they may for the encouragement of learning, give certificates to any student concerning the progress they may have made in any species of learning. Provided always, They shall not on any account grant degrees or titles, such as batchelor or master of arts, or doctor in any faculty.

V. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees shall not in any case sell public lands, or dispose of public property unless when a majority of the board is present, or during their stated half-yearly visitations, nor then unless written notice had been given by the president or secretary to each member at least four weeks before the visitation, signifying the proposed disposition or sale.

VI. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That on the death of any trustee, or in case any trustee should refuse to serve, or should so far neglect his duty as to absent himself from the stated or extraordinary meetings of the board for two full years, the remaining trustees, considering the seat of such deceased, refusing or absenting member as vacant, shall at their next meeting elect some proper person to serve in his place.

VII. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no rector, professor or tutor, shall or may at any time be elected or chosen a trustee of the accademy; the Governor of the State for the time being, though not a trustee, may at any time of their visitations take a seat with them.

VIII. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the rector, professors and tutors of this accademy, and all other accademies and public schools in this State established by law, shall be exempt from military duty during their continuance in those offices, provided the number of teachers in any of the said accademies or public schools shall not exceed three. Provided also, That all scholars and students entering into the said accademy, or any other public school, and being of the age of fifteen years or under at the time of entering, shall during their continuance thereat be exempt from all military duties.

IX. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That nothing contained in this Act shall be considered as tending to prevent the trustees from distinguishing their public hall, their museum, or their library by the names of such persons as may within twelve months give the most liberal donations to the seminary.

X. And, whereas, James Innis, late of New Hanover county, deceased, did in and by his last will and testament devise and bequeath to certain public officers therein named, the house and plantation where he commonly resided, commonly called Point Pleasant, with other lands, negro slaves, and other things in the said will mentioned, for the use of a school in New Hanover county; and whereas the said legacy and devise yet remains to be received, and the said house and other buildings on the plantation aforesaid have lately been destroyed by fire, in order therefore that the testamentary donation of the said James Innis, and all other donations, devises, and bequests, which may have heretofore been made towards erecting a school or seminary of learning in the county of New Hanover, or in the district of Wilmington, generally be applied for the good purposes for which they were intended; Be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all such donations, devises and bequests, heretofore made for the purpose aforesaid, be and they are hereby vested in the said trustees and their successors forever, for the use of the seminary intended to be erected by virtue of this Act; and the said trustees are hereby impowered and required to sue for, recover and receive the same and every part thereof, and to take all lawful ways and means for that purpose.

XI. And, whereas, from the situation of the said plantation called Point Pleasant, and the want of buildings thereon to fulfill the intention of the donor, it may be found expedient to dispose of the same, and of such other real estate as the said James Innis beqeathed for the use of the school as aforesaid; Be it therefore Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if the said trustees or a majority of them, shall judge the same expedient, they may sell and dispose of all such real estate of the said James Innis as has been devised for the use of such school, they giving such public notice of the intended sale, and such credit for purchase money, as may be necessary for the disposal thereof to the best advantage.

XII. Provided, That the trustees hereinbefore mentioned, shall previous to their entering on the execution of the trust reposed in them by this Act, give bond to the Court of New Hanover county, payable to the Governor for the time being, and his successors in office, in the sum of five thousand pounds specie, with condition that they shall well and faithfully apply and account for all gifts, donations and monies, which they may receive in consequence, and by virtue of this Act for the purposes aforesaid.



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