North Carolina - Legislative Acts Creating Precincts / Counties

An Act for Dividing the Northern Part of Rowan County, and Erecting a New County and Parish, by the Name of Surry County and St. Jude's Parish.

Laws of North Carolina Passed in 1771, Chapter XLII

The State Records of North Carolina Volume XXIII - Pages 844-846.

I. Whereas the large Extent of the County of Rowan, renders it grievous and Burthensome to many of the Inhabitants thereof to attend the Courts and general Musters, and other Public Meetings appointed therein;

II. Be it Enacted, by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, and by the Authority of the same, That from and after the First Day of April next, the said County of Rowan be divided by a Line, beginning at a Point Forty Two Miles North of Earl Granville's Line, on Guilford County Line; thence running North to the Virginia Line; thence Westwardly along the Mountains to the Ridge that divides the Waters of Yadkin and the Catawba Rivers; thence along the said Ridge to the North West Corner of Rowan County; then East along Rowan county Line to the Beginning, be thenceforth erected into a Distinct County and Parish, by the Name of Surry County and St. Jude's Parish.

III. And for the due Administration of Justice, Be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That after the aforesaid First Day of April, a Court for the aforesaid County of Rowan be constantly held by the Justices thereof, at the Court House in the said County at Salisbury, on the First Tuesdays in February, May, August, and November, in each Year; and also that a Court for the said County of Surry, be constantly held by the Justices thereof, at Gideon Wright's, on the Third Tuesdays in February, May, August and November, in every Year, as by the Laws of this Province is provided, and shall be by commission to the Justices of the said Counties respectively directed.

IV. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to debar the Sheriff of the said County of Rowan, as the same stands now undivided, to make Distress for any Levies, Fees, or other Dues, that shall be due from the Inhabitants of the said County on the said First Day of April, in the same Manner as by Law the said Sheriff could or might have done, if the said County had remained undivided; and the said Levies, Fees and other Dues, shall be collected and accounted for in the same Manner, as if this Act had never been made; any Thing herein contained to the contrary, notwithstanding.

V. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That after the First Day of April, the said County of Surry shall be, continue and remain. Part of the District of the Superior Court of Justice usually held for the District of Salisbury; and the Sheriff of the said County of Surry shall, from Time to Time, account for and pay to the Public Treasurer of the Southern District of this Province, for the Time being, all Public Levies by him collected, or wherewith he shall stand chargeable, in the same Manner, and under the like Pains and Penalties, as other Sheriffs.

VI. Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to alter or derogate from the Right and Royal Prerogative of his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, of granting Letters of Incorporation to the said Counties; and of ordering, appointing, and directing the election of a Member or Members to represent them in Assembly; and of granting Markets and Fairs, to be kept and held in them respectively; but that the said Right and Prerogative shall and may, at all Times hereafter, be exercised therein by his said Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, in as full and ample Manner, to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever, as if this Act had never been made.

VII. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that Griffith Rutherford, John Dunn, Matthew Locke, Martin Armstrong, and Anthony Hampton, Esquires, be appointed commissioners; and they are hereby impowered and required to run the said Dividing Lines between the Counties of Rowan and Surry, agreeable to the Directions of this Act; which said Lines when run by the Commissioners or a Majority of them, shall be by them entered on Record in the Court of each of the said Counties, and shall hereafter be deeemed and taken to be the Dividing Lines between the said Counties of Rowan and Surry.

VIII.And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Griffith Rutherford, John Dunn, Matthew Locke, Martin Armstrong, and Anthony Hampton, the Survivor or Survivors of them be, and they are hereby impowered and directed, to agree and contract with Workmen for erecting and Building a Court House, Prison, and Stocks, for the Use of the said County of Surry, at such Place as they, or the Majority of them, or their Survivors, shall agree upon.

IX. And for reimbursing the said Commissioners the Money they shall expend in erecting the said Buildings; Be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That a Poll Tax of Two Shillings Proclamation Money, per Annum, shall be levied on each Taxable Person, in the said County of Surry, for three Years next after the said First Day of April: And all Persons who shall neglect to pay the said Tax till after the Tenth Day of March in each Year shall be thereafter liable to the same Distress as for non-Payment of Public Taxes; and the Sheriff of the said County is hereby required and directed, on or before the Tenth Day of June in the said Years, respectively, to account for and pay the Money so by him collected, to the Commissioners aforesaid, after deducting Eight Per Cent. for his Trouble in Collectting the same: And in Case of Failure or Neglect therein by the Sheriff, he shall be liable to the same Penalties as by Law may be had against Sheriffs who neglect or refuse to account for and pay any Public Taxes.

X. And for defraying the Charges of running the said Lines between the Counties of Rowan and Surry; Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Inferior Court of the said County of Surry, shall lay a sufficient Poll Tax on the Inhabitants of their Said County; which shall be levied in the same Manner as other Public Taxes, to pay and satisfy their said Commissioners for the Charge and Trouble in running the aforesaid Lines.

XI. And whereas the Number of Jurors to serve at the Superior Court for the District of Salisbury, for the County of Rowan, were formerly eleven Grand Jurors and Eleven Petit Jurors; Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Justices of the said County of Rowan, shall for the future, appoint only Six Persons to serve as Grand Jurors, and Six Persons to serve as Petit Jurors, at the said Superior Court of Salisbury: Any Law, Usage, or Custom to the contrary, notwithstanding.

XII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Justices of the Inferior Court of Surry County shall, and they are hereby directed, before every Superior Court held for the District of Salisbury aforesaid, to nominate and appoint Six Freeholders to serve as Grand and Petit Jurors at such Superior Court: A List of which Jurors so nominated, shall be delivered by the Clerk of such Court to the Sheriff, who shall, and is hereby required, to summons the Persons so nominated to serve as Jurymen at the said Superior Court; which Jurymen so Nominated, shall have and receive the same Allowance, and shall be under the same Rules, Fines, and Restrictions, as other Jurymen in the Respective Counties in this Province.

XIII. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the Freeholders of the said County of Surry, shall, on Easter Monday next, meet at the Place where the Inferior Courts of the said County are to be held; then and there to choose and elect Vestrymen: Which Vestrymen so Chosen, after taking the Oaths by Law appointed for their Qualification, shall be, and are hereby invested with as full Power and Authority, and liable to the same Rules, Restrictions, and Penalties, as the Vestries are by Law subject to; and shall be and remain the Vestry of the said Parish and County, until the Time by Law appointed for the Election of Vestrymen throughout the Province.

XIV. And whereas some Doubts have arisen, how far the breaking of the last Superior Court of Justice held for the District of Hillsborough, by the Insurgents, without a Regular Adjournment thereof to the next term, may affect the Operation in Law of the Actions, Writs, Suits, Processes, and Recognizances, returnable to, or depending in the said Court: For removing of which Doubts, Be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That all Actions, Suits, Writs, Process, Petitions, Indictments, Informations and Presentments whatsoever heretofore Commenced in, issued from, or returnable to the said Court, the adjournment whereof to the Term in Course was prevented as aforesaid, shall be, and are hereby continued to the next Term in Course: And all Subpoenas for Witnesses, and Recognizances for the Appearance of Persons, as Effectual as if a Regular Adjournment had been Made of said Court: And the Persons summoned as Witnesses, and entering into such Recognizances, bound to appear to the next Term accordingly.

Signed by,

WILLIAM TRYON, ESQ, Governor.
JAMES HASELL, President.
RICHARD CASWELL, Speaker.

Read three times and ratified in open Assembly, the 26th day of January, 1771.



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