South Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act for Founding and Erecting, Governing, Ordering, and Visiting a Free School at the town of Dorchester in the Parish of St. George, in Berkeley County, for the Use of the Inhabitants of the Province of South Carolina

April 9, 1734

The Statutes at Large of South Carolina - Volume III, Pages 378-381
Note - the original Act was passed on March 24, 1724, but that text has not been found.

WHEREAS, by the blessing of almighty God, the youth of this Province are become very numerous, and their parents so well inclined to have them instructed in grammar, and other liberal arts and sciences, and other useful learning, and also in the principles of the christian religion, that the free school erected, authorized and established in Charlestown for this purpose, is not sufficient fully to answer the good intent of such an undertaking: And whereas, several of the inhabitants of this Province who have a numerous issue, and live at such a distance from the said free school now established in Charlestown, that their circumstances may not be sufficient to permit them to send their children thither to be educated, whereby they maybe deprived of so great a benefit; and it therefore appearing necessary that one or more schools be founded and erected in other part or parts of this Province as shall be most convenient for the carrying on so laudable a design, we therefore most humbly pray your most sacred majesty Majesty that it may be enacted,

I. And be it enacted, by his Excellency Robert Johnson, Esq. Governour of this his Majesty's Province of South Carolina, by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's honourable Council and the Assembly of this Province, and by the authority of the same, That the honourable Alexander Skene, Thomas Waring, Joseph Blake, Arthur Middleton, Ralph Izard, Robert Wright, Paul Jenys, Walter Izard, Benjamin Waring, Esqrs. the Reverend Francis Vernod, and William Cattell and John Williams, Esqrs. and their successors to be elected as hereinafter 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 free school at the town of Dorchester, in the parish of St. George, in Berkeley County, 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, libertys, 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, value or quality soever they be, for the better maintenance and support ot 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 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 or 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 nature, kind or quality soever may 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 politick or corporate, by the laws of England can or may have, purchase, receive, possess, take, enjoy, grant, set, let, demise, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, defend and be defended, do, permit and execute; and that the said commissioners and their successors for ever hereafter shall and may have a common seal to serve for their causes of business of them and their successors, and to change, break, alter and make new the said seal trom time to time, and at their pleasure, as they shall think best; and the said commissioners shall take the State oaths, and an oath for the faithful execution of their offices.

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 yearly on St. George's day, being the three-and-twentieth day of April (unless it shall be on Sunday, and then on the Monday following) meet at some convenient place to be appointed by the President of the said commissioners, for the time being, between the hours of nine and twelve in the morning of the same day, and that they, or any three of them that shall be then present, shall choose a President tor the year ensuing, and that such President shall (before he acts in his said office) take the State oaths, to be administered to him by any one justice of the peace, who is hereby authorized and impowered to administer the same, as also an oath for the faithful and due execution of his office and place during the said year, and until discharged of the same.

III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the president of the said commissioners shall be the honourable Alexander Skene, Esq. and that the said president shall, within forty days after the ratification of this Act, cause summons to be issued to the several commissioners hereinbefore particularly mentioned, to meet on such a day, and at such a place as he shall appoint; and the said president is hereby impowered, then and there to administer to the said commissioners the State oaths, as also an oath for the due execution of their offices; and that they, or the major part of them, as shall be then present, shall proceed to the election of such officers, ministers and servants as shall be thought convenient, to serve for the year ensuing; and that each of such officers, ministers and servants as shall be then elected, shall take the State oaths, and an oath to be to them administered by the president of the said commissioners, for the faithful and due execution of their respective offices and places, until duly discharged of the same.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if 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 such yearly days of election, that in such case it shall and may be lawful for the president for the time being, to issue summons to the other commissioners to meet at the usual place of annual meeting, at such time as shall be specified in the said summons; and such commissioners as shall meet upon such summons, (provided not less than five in the whole,) or the major part of thein, 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, for the time being, to issue out his summons to the several surviving and remaining 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 five in the whole,) or the major part of them, shall or may choose a new 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 in case of the death, resignation or removal from this Province, of the president, any five or more of the commissioners shall meet and choose another president for the remaining part of the year, who shall have and enjoy all the powers and authoritys given and granted to the president by this Act appointed.

VII. 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 in the said parish, to be appointed for that purpose, on the twenty-third day of April, being St. George's day, or oftener if occasion require, upon publick summons given ten days before, then and there to transact the business of the said commissioners, and to put in force and execute the several powers given them by this Act; and no act done in any assembly of the said commissioners, shall be eftectual and valid, unless the president and four members of the said commissioners at least be present, and the major part consenting thereunto.

VIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any of the said commissioners shall neglect to attend, being duly summoned, as in this Act is directed, such commissioners or commissioner, 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.

IX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all gifts, legacys and voluntary subscriptions that shall or may hereafter be given or subscribed to or for the use of the free school by this present Act established, by any person or persons, are hereby appropriated to and for the sole use and benefit of the said school; and the several commissioners appointed by this Act, and their lawful successors are hereby authorized and impowered to demand and sue for the same in the courts of this Province or elsewhere, 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, legacys and subscriptions had been given to them expressly by name, and a receipt signed by such person or persons as shall be appointed treasurer to the said commissioners, shall be a sufficient discharge to such executor or executors as shall pay such legacys and subscriptions; and the money so received by such treasurer, shall be disposed of by order of the said commissioners or their successors, for the use and benefit of the school by this Act intended to be established, in such manner as the majority of them shall think most proper and convenient.

X. 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 his Majesty, 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 masters and teachers of the school hereby intended to be established, and shall direct the building of such houses as may be necessary to be erected thereon for their accommodation; the said buildings to be in such places on the said lands so taken up or purchased as aforesaid, and of such dimensions and materials as the said commissioners shall order and appoint.

XI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the master of the said school shall be capable to teach the learned languages, Latine and Greek tongues, and to catechise and instruct the youth in the principles of the christian religion.

XII. 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, so set down and prescribe such orders, rules, statutes and ordinances for the order, rule, good government and management of the said school, and for the master or teacher and scholars thereof, as to them and their successors, from time to time 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: Provided always, that the same be reasonable and fit, and not repugnant or 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, ushers or teachers of the said school, as to them shall seem just, fitting and convenient.

XIII. 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 joined, give this Act and the special matter in evidence; and if the plaintiff or prosecutor shall become nonsuit 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 where costs by law are given to the defendant.

In the Council Chambcr, 9th April, 1734.

PAUL JENYS, Speaker.
Assented to: ROBT. JOHNSON.



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