South Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act for Founding and Erecting a Free School in Charlestown,
for the Use of the Inhabitants of this Province of South Carolina

December 12, 1712

The Statutes at Large of South Carolina - Volume II, Pages 389-396

WHEREAS, it is necessary that a free school be erected for the instruction of the youth of this Province in Grammar, and other arts and sciences and useful learning, and also in the principles of Christian religion; and whereas several charitable and well disposed Christians, by their last wills and testaments, have given several sums of money for the founding of a free school, but no person yet is authorized to take the charge and care of erecting a free school, according to the intent of the donors, and to receive the said legacies if tendered, nor to demand the same in case of refusal to pay the same; so that for want of some person or persons, or body politick and corporate, proper for the lodging the said legacies therein, the same are not applied according to the pious and
charitable intent of the donors;

I. Be it therefore enacted by the most noble Prince, Henry Duke of Beaufort, Palatine, and the rest of the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of this Province, by and with the advice and consent of the rest of the members of the General Assembly, now met at Charlestown for the south-west part of this Province, and by the authority of the same, That the Honourable Charles Craven, Esq., Governour, Charles Hart, Esq., Thomas Broughton, Nicholas Trott, Arthur Middleton, and Richard Beresford, Esq's., William Rhett, Esq., the Reverend Mr. Gideon Johnston, the Reverend Dr. Francis Lejau, Mr. Robert Maul, Mr. Ralph Izard, Landgrave Joseph Morton, Colonel George Logan, Colonel Alexander Parris, Colonel Hugh Grange, and Mr. William Gibbon, or any seven of them, or their successors to be elected in manner as is hereafter directed, be, and shall forever hereafter be one body politick and corporate in deed and in name, by the name of the Commissioners for founding, erecting, governing, ordering and visiting a School for the use of the inhabitants of South Carolina; and that they and their successors by the same name, by the authority aforesaid, be fully made, ordained, constituted and declared one body politick and corporate, in deed and in name, and that by the same name they and their successors shall and may have perpetual succession, and that they and their successors by that name shall and may forever hereafter be persons able and capable in law to purchase, have, take, receive and enjoy, to them and their successors, lands, messuages, tenements, rents, liberties, privileges, jurisdictions, franchises, and other hereditaments, of whatsoever nature, kind, quality or value they be, in fee, and in perpetuity, and also estates for lives and for years, and all other manner of goods, chattels and things whatsoever, of what name, nature, quality or value soever they be, for the better support and maintenance of masters or teachers for the said school, and also for the erecting of school houses, and convenient dwelling houses for the accommodation of the said several school masters and teachers; and that by the name aforesaid they shall and may be able to plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, and to defend and be defended, in all courts and places whatsoever, and before whatsoever judge and judges, justice or justices, or other officer or officers belonging to this Province, in all and singular actions, plaints, pleas, matters and demands, of what kind, nature or quality soever they be; and to act and do all other matters and things, in as ample manner and form as any other the inhabitants of this Province being persons able and capable in law, or any other body corporate or politick by the laws of England can or may have, purchase, receive, possess, take, enjoy, grant, sell, lett, demise, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, and to defend and be defended, do, permit and execute; and that the said commissioners and their successors forever hereafter, shall and may have a common seal to serve for the common businesses of them and their successors, to change, break, alter and make new the said seal, from time to time and at their pleasure, as they shall think best.

II. And for the better execution of the purposes aforesaid, Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said commissioners and their successors forever, shall and may on the third Wednesday in March, meet at some convenient place to be appointed by the president of the said commissioners, between the hours of five and eight of the evening of the said day, and that they, or the major part of such of them that shall then be present, shall choose one president and vice president, and such other officers, ministers and servants, as shall be thought convenient to serve in the said offices, for the year ensuing; and that the said president, and all officers then elected, shall before they act in their respective offices, take an oath, to be to them administered by the president, or in his absence by one of the vice presidents of the year preceeding, who are hereby authorized to administer the same, for the faithful and due execution of their respective offices and places during the said year, and until discharged of the same.

III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the first president of said commissioners shall be the Honourable Charles Craven, Esq., Governour, and that the said president shall within forty days after the ratification of this Act, cause summons to be issued to the several commissioners herein before particularly mentioned, to meet on such a day, and at such a place as he shall appoint, and that they, or the major part of such of them as shall then be present, provided the number present with the said Governour are not less than seven, shall proceed to the election of one or more vice president or vice presidents, one treasurer, two or more auditors, one secretary, and such other officers, ministers, and servants as to them shall seem meet, which said officers, from the time of their election into their respective offices, shall continue therein until the third Wednesday in March, which will be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirteen, according to the supputation of the Church of England, and from thence forward until others shall be chosen in their places, in manner aforesaid; and upon such first day of the meeting of the said president and the members, in order to elect a vice president or vice presidents, and other officers as before directed, that the president shall take an oath for the faithful and due discharge of his trust, to be administered unto him by the Chief Justice of this Province, if present, or in case of his absence by any two of the said commissioners, who are hereby impowered to administer the same accordingly, and that each of the other officers then elected, shall take an oath, to be to them administered by the president, for the faithful and due execution of their respective offices and places, until discharged of the same.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if it shall happen that any of the persons at any time chosen into any of the said offices shall dye, resign, or on any account be removed from such office, at any time between the said yearly days of election, that in such case it shall be lawful for the surviving and continuing president, or any one of the vice presidents, to issue summons to the several members of the body corporate to meet at the usual place of the annual meeting of the said commissioners, at such time as shall be specified in the said summons; and such members as shall meet upon such summons, provided not less than seven in the whole or the major part of them, shall and may choose an officer or officers in the room or place of such person or persons so
dead or removed, as to them shall seem meet.

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case of the death, resignation, or removal from this Province, of any of the said commissioners, that then it shall be lawful for the President, or any of the vice presidents, to issue summons to the several surviving commissioners, to meet at the usual place of the annual meeting of the said commissioners, at such time as shall be specified in the said summons, and that such members as shall meet upon any summons, provided not less than seven in the whole or the major part of them, shall or may choose a commissioner or commissioners in the room or place of such person or persons so dead or removed, as to them shall seem meet.

VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the said commissioners and their successors to meet at some convenient place to be appointed for that purpose, on the third Wednesday in March and October, and oftener if occasion requires, upon publick summons given five days before, then and there to transact the businesss of the said commissioners, and to put in force and to execute the several powers given to them by this Act; and no act done in any assembly of the said commissioners shall be effectual and valid, unless the president, or some one of the vice presidents, and six members of the said commissioners, at least, be present, and the major part consenting thereunto.

VII. And be it further enacted, That if any of the said commissioners shall neglect to attend, being duly summoned as in the said Act is directed, such commissioner or commissioners shall forfeit ten shillings for every day that the commissioners shall meet, to transact the business of this Act, unless he or they so neglecting to attend, shall give the commissioners, or the major part of them, such reasons as to them shall be satisfactory; and the forfeitures arising by the neglect of the said commissioners to attend, shall be disposed of as the majority of the commissioners then met shall order and appoint.

VIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all gifts or legacies formerly given for the use of the free school of this Province, by any person or persons whatsoever, are hereby appropriated for the school intended to be founded and erected, pursuant to the several powers granted to the said commissioners by this Act; and the said commissioners and their lawful successors are hereby authorized and impowered to demand and sue for the same, in the courts of this Province, by all such lawful ways and means for the recovery and obtaining of the same, as they might or could do if the said gifts or legacies had been given to them expressly by name; and a receipt signed by such person or persons as shall be lawfully chosen and appointed treasurer to the said commissioners, shall be a sufficient discharge to such executor or executors as shall pay such legacies; and the monies so received by such treasurer, shall be disposed of by order of the said commissioners and their successors, towards the purchasing of lands, and the erecting of a school house and dwelling houses for the use of the several masters and professors.

IX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners and their successors shall have power, and they are hereby authorized and impowered, to take up by grant from the Lords Proprietors, or purchase, have, take and receive from any other person or persons whatsoever, so much land as they shall think necessary and convenient for the several masters, teachers or professors, and shall also direct the building a school house upon the same, and such dwelling houses, and convenient out houses and buildings, for the accommodation of the several masters or teachers, and shall also nominate and appoint one or more persons to be supervisor or supervisors of the said buildings; the said several buildings to be in such places on the said land so taken up, or purchased, or received as aforesaid, and of such dimensions, and of such materials, as the said commissioners shall order and direct.

X. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That Mr. John Douglas shall be and is hereby declared to be master of the said school, by the name and stile of Preceptor or Teacher of Grammar, and other the Arts and Sciences to be taught in the Free School at Charlestown, for the Province of South Carolina.

XI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That upon the death, departure out of this Province, resignation or removal, of the said John Douglas, that the said commissioners and their successors shall
have full power and lawful authority to nominate and appoint another fit person to be master of the said school, by the same name and stile; and so from time to time, when and as often as the said place of master of the said school, by death, resignation, deprivation, or otherwise, shall become void, shall nominate and appoint a fit person to succeed, to be the master of the said school.

XII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the person to be master of the said school shall be of the religion of the Church of England, and conform to the same, and shall be capable to teach the learned languages, that is to say, Latin and Greek tongues, and to catechise and instruct the youth in the principles of the Christian religion, as professed in the Church of England.

XIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said commissioners and their successors shall have power and authority, under their common seal, to set down and prescribe such orders, rules, statutes and ordinances for the order, rule and good government of the said school, and for the masters, teachers, ushers and scholars thereof, as to them and their successors shall seem meet and convenient, and that the same orders, rules, statutes and ordinances so by them made and set down, shall be and stand in full force and virtue in law, so always that the same be reasonable, and not repugnant nor contrary to the established laws of this Province. And the said commissioners for the time being, shall have full power and authority to visit the said school, and to order, reform and redress all disorders and abuses in and touching the government of the same, and further to censure, suspend and deprive any of the masters, teachers or professors of the said school, or the usher or ushers thereof, for the time being, as to them shall seem just, fit and convenient.

XIV. And for an encouragement to all charitable and well-disposed persons to contribute liberally towards the erecting and founding of the said school or academy, Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That any person or persons that within seven years after the ratification of this Act, will contribute twenty pounds, current money of this Province, towards the erecting and founding of the said school, and will pay the same to the treasurer appointed by the said commissioners, that he or they shall have power to nominate any one person to be taught free in the said school for the space of five years after such gift, provided the person nominated by him or them shall so long live, but in case of the death of the person so nominated to be taught free, then that privilege to cease, and not another person to be nominated in his room or place; and so proportionably for so many twenty pounds as any person will give, so many persons to be taught free for five years, as aforesaid: Provided the number of scholars so in the whole to be taught free, do not exceed the number of twenty.

XV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the school-master shall have, hold, occupy, possess and enjoy to him and his lawful successors, all such land as shall, pursuant to this Act, be taken up, purchased, had or received for the use of a school-master of the said school, and the school house, and dwelling houses, and the out-houses and other buildings upon the same; and also, as a further encouragement unto him, shall have and receive out of the publick treasury of this Province, the full sum of one hundred pounds per annum, to be paid him half-yearly, and the publick Receiver for the time being is hereby authorized, required and commanded punctually to pay the same out of the publick treasury.

XVI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in consideration of the said school-master being allowed the use of the lands, dwelling house and other buildings upon the same land, and also the yearly salary of one hundred pounds per annum, he shall teach freely, and without any manner of fee or reward whatsoever, over and above the number of free scholars to be appointed by each person contributing twenty pounds as aforesaid, any number of scholars not exceeding twelve, the same scholars to be taught free, to be nominated and appointed by the above named commissioners and their lawful successors.

XVII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That for every scholar the said master shall teach, besides those who by this Act are appointed to be taught free, he shall be allowed at the rate of four pounds
per annum, current money of this Province, to be paid him by the parent or guardian of such scholar.

XVIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case the said school master shall have more scholars in his said school than one man can well manage, then and in such case the said commissioners, or the major part of them that shall meet, shall order and appoint a fit person to be usher of the said school, and for his encouragement shall be allowed by order of the said commissioners and their successors, not exceeding fifty pounds per annum, to be paid him half-yearly out of the publick treasury of this Province, and the publick Receiver for the time being is hereby authorized, required and commanded punctually to pay the same out of the publick treasury of this Province, as is hereafter directed by this Act; and over and above that, shall be allowed for every scholar that is under his charge (excepting those that by this Act are appointed to be taught free) at the rate of thirty shillings per annum, which sum of thirty shillings shall be allowed out of the four pounds per annum before directed to be paid for each scholar that is not taught free; and in case any dispute or difference shall arise between the master and the usher, what scholars shall belong to the more immediate charge of the master and which to the
usher, that the same shall be decided by the commissioners and their successors.

XIX. And because it is necessary to give encouragement to a fit person that will undertake to teach the youth of this Province to write, and also the principles of vulgar arithmetick, and merchants' accompts; Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That a fit person shall be nominated and appointed by the said commissioners, to teach writing, arithmetick, and merchants' accompts, and also the art of navigation and surveying, and other useful and practical parts of the mathemalicks, and for his encouragement shall be allowed by order of the said commissioners and their successors, not exceeding fifty pounds per annum, to be paid him half-yearly, out of the publick treasury of this Province, and the publick Receiver for the time being is hereby authorized, required and commanded, punctually to pay the same out of the publick treasury of this Province, as is hereafter directed by this Act; and in consideration of the said yearly salary to be paid him, he shall be obliged to teach free all such persons as by this Act are appointed to have their learning free and for other scholars that are not to be taught free, he shall be allowed for teaching them writing, at the rate of thirty shillings per annum, if writing and arithmetick, forty shillings, if merchants accounts, fifty shillings per annum, and if the mathematicks, at such rate as he shall agree with the several parents and guardians of the said children, not exceeding six pounds per annum.

XX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That as to the publick salaries appointed by this Act to be paid out of the publick treasury of this Province, the publick Receiver for the time being is hereby authorized, required and commanded to pay the same out of the remaining part of the monies received for the duties upon skins and furs, after payment of the ministers' salaries appointed by the Act of Assembly of this Province commonly called the Church Act, and also of the parochial charges, and all other charges and sums of money that are appointed to be paid by one Act of Assembly of this Province, entituled a further Additional Act to an Act entituled an Act for the Establishment of Religious Worship in this Province, according to the Church of England, and for erecting of Churches for the Publick Worship of God, and also for the maintenance of Ministers, and the building convenient houses for them, ratified in open Assembly the eighth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ten; and also all the monies appointed to be paid by one other Act of Assembly of this Province, entituled an Additional Act to the several Acts relating to the Establishment of Religious Worship in this Province, and now in force in the same, and also to the Act for securing the Provincial Library at Charlestown, in Carolina, ratified in open Assembly the seventh day of June, one thousand seven hundred and twelve; and the remaining part of the monies received upon the duties upon skins and furs, after the payments above mentioned being deducted, is hereby appropriated to the payments of the several salaries appointed by this Act to be paid, and the publick Receiver for the time being is hereby strictly charged and required to reserve and pay the same accordingly, under the same penalties and forfeitures which are to be incurred by the Act entituled an Act to continue an Act for laying an imposition on Furs, &c. and for Appropriating the same, for misapplying of monies thereby raised, any thing in the same Act to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding. And in case the remaining part of the monies received out of the said duties upon skins and furs, after the deduction aforesaid, shall not be sufficient todischarge the seveial salaries appointed to be paid by this Act, that in such case, what is wanting to discharge the same, the said publick Receiver for the time being is hereby strictly charged and required to pay what is wanting to discharge the same, out of the publick treasury.

XXI. And as a further and more general encouragement for the instructing of the youth of this Province in useful and necessary learning; Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That as soon as a school master is settled in any other, or all the rest of the parishes of this Province, and approved by the vestry of such parish or parishes, such school master so approved, from time to time, shall receive the sum of ten pounds per annum, out of the publick treasury, by quarterly payments, and the publick Receiver is hereby required to pay the same.

XXII. And be it further enacted, That the vestry of each parish in this Province shall have power, and they are hereby impowered, to appoint a place where the parish school shall be built, and shall draw upon the publick Receiver towards building the same, the sum of twelve pounds current money, and the publick Receiver is hereby required to pay the same accordingly.

XXIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any action, claim, suit or information shall be commenced or prosecuted against any person or persons, for what he or they shall do in pursuance or execution of this Act, such person or persons so sued may plead the general issue, not guilty, and upon issue joyned, give this Act and the special matter in evidence, and if the plaintiff or prosecutor shall become non-suit, or suffer discontinuance, or if a verdict pass against him, the defendant or defendants shall recover his or their treble costs, for which he or they shall have the like remedy as in any case when costs by law are given to the defendant.

XXIV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That one Act of Assembly of this Province, entituled an Act for founding and erecting of a Free School, for the use of the inhabitants of South Carolina, ratified in open Assembly the eighth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and ten, and one other Act entituled an Act for the Encouragement of Learning, ratified in open Assembly the seventh day of June, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and twelve, be repealed; and it is hereby enacted and declared, that the said Acts, and every clause, article, sentence, word, matter or thing contained in the same, from henceforth shall be repealed, annulled, revoked and for ever made void, any thing in the said Acts to the contrary whatsoever in any wise notwithstanding.

Read three times, and ratified, in open Assembly, the twelfth day of December, 1712.

CHARLES CRAVEN,
CHARLES HART,
ARTHUR MIDDLETON,
THO. BROUGHTON,
RALPH IZARD,
SAM. EVELEIGH.



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