WHEREAS, several of the inhabitants of this Province, taking into their consideration their remote situation from the Kingdom of Great Britain, by means whereof, they and their fellow subjects in the said Province are in a great measure destitute of the advantages which are to be reaped from the knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences, and that an access to good and useful libraries might in some measure supply the want thereof, did, in or about the month of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-eight, enter into a voluntary society for erecting a library, and raising a fund for establishing an Academy at Charlestown, in the Province aforesaid, and have, at a considerable expense, purchased and imported into the Province aforesaid a valuable collection of useful books, for the advancement and furtherance of knowledge and literature therein; which undertaking, they hope may, in time, if duly encouraged and properly established, be of the greatest advantage and importance to the religious as well as the civil concerns of the said Province; and are desirous of having the said society incorporated, thereby to put them upon a more solid and lasting foundation than they could be by their voluntary subscriptions only; for promoting, therefore, of so good a work, we humbly pray your most sacred Majesty that it may be enacted,
I. And be it enacted, by his Excellency James Glen, Esquire, Governor-in-chief and Captain-general in and over your Majesty's Province of South Carolina, by and with the advice and consent of your Majesty's Council, and the Assembly of the said Province, and by the authority of the same, That Gabriel Manigault, Esq., President, Thomas Smith, Esq., Vice-President, Mr. John Sinclair, Librarian, Treasurer, and Correspondent, Mr. John Remington, Secretary, Mr. Rice Price, Steward, the present officers, and the rest of the present members of the said Charlestown Library Society, having been duly elected, and being now members of the said society, and all such other persons as shall be hereafter duly admitted or become members of the said Charlestown Library Society, according to the rules, orders and constitutions of the said society, shall, forever hereafter, be, and they are hereby declared to be, one body corporate and politic, in deed and in name, by the name of the Charlestown Library Society; and by that name shall, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, have perpetual succession, and shall forever hereafter by that name be a body able and capable in law, to purchase, have, hold, receive, take, retain, possess and enjoy, to them and their successors, forever, lands, tenements, rents, franchises and hereditaments, in fee simple, not exceeding, in the whole, the clear yearly value of one thousand pounds, lawful money of Great Britain; and also goods and chattels, real or personal effects and things whatsoever, of what nature, kind or quality soever, by donation, subscription or otherwise howsoever; and also, to give, grant, sell, alien, convey away, exchange, demise or lease the same, or any part thereof, as they and their successors shall think proper and convenient, and for the benefit and advantage of the said society, and according to the rules, laws, and orders thereof; and by the same name, shall be forever hereafter a body able and capable to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, defend and be defended, in all or any court or courts, or other places, and before any judges, justices, and other persons whatsoever, in all manner of actions, suits, complaints, pleas, causes and things whatsoever, and of what nature or kind soever, which shall to them in any wise belong or appertain in and about the premises.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the said Charlestown Library Society, and their successors, from time to time, and at all times forever hereafter, to have one common seal for their use and benefit, with full power to change, alter, break and make new the same, when and so often as they shall judge expedient, necessary, and convenient.
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,
That it shall and may be lawful for the said society or corporation
hereby erected, and their successors, to assemble and meet together
on every second Tuesday in January, in every year, and at such
other times as there shall be occasion, at the place where their
library shall be kept, or at some other convenient place in Charlestown,
aforesaid, due and public notice being given at least thirty
days by the secretary of the said society, in the public Gazette,
or for want of such Gazette, by his affixing and posting advertisements
at the most usual and notorious places in Charlestown, aforesaid,
before the times of such meetings, not only of the day, hour
and place of such meeting, but of the causes thereof, and of
the matters to be transacted at such meeting; and that they,
the said society or corporation, and their successors, or any
thirty-one of them, being so met, shall have full power and authority,
from time to time, to make, constitute and establish such and
so many by-laws, rules and orders, as to the greatest part of
them then present shall seem necessary and convenient for the
better regulation, government, well ordering and directing the
said corporation or society, and the officers, servants and persons
by them employed or to be employed in or about the same, and
for the better management, limiting and appointing of all and
singular the trusts and authority in them and each of them reposed
and to be reposed, and for the admission of new members into
the said society, and for the doing, managing and
IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every the matters and things that shall be moved, debated and done, in or by the said corporation, shall be done, transacted, ordered and determined according to the by-laws, rules and orders of the said corporation, and not otherwise.
V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the aforesaid society or corporation, and their successors, or the majority of them who shall be present and together assembled at the place or places aforesaid, shall, once in every year, (that is to say,) on the second Tuesday in January, elect and choose, from amongst themselves, a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Librarian, Correspondent, and Steward, or any other officer or officers necessary for the managing, better ordering and transacting the affairs and business of the said society; and that the said officers, so to be elected and chosen, shall continue in their said respective offices for one whole year, and no longer, unless they shall be, with their own consent, again elected and chosen by the said corporation.
VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That for the increase and preservation of the said library, and the better to enable the society and corporation aforesaid to support and carry into execution the good and laudable designs and purposes aforesaid, that every person that now is or shall hereafter become a member of the said society or corporation, his and their executors and administrators, shall, and they are hereby obliged to, pay into the hands of the treasurer of the said society or corporation for the time being, within six months after the same shall become due, all such sum and sums of money yearly, and at such days and times as by the rules and by-laws and constitutions of the said society or corporation hereby erected and established, are or shall be appointed and directed; and for neglect or default in the payment thereof, or of any part of the same, shall be subject and liable to forfeit all right, title, benefit and interest in the said society or corporation; provided always, that the said sum to be paid as aforesaid, for admission of each of the members of the said society, do not exceed the clear yearly sum of two pounds and twelve shillings, proclamation money.
VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this Act shall not take place or be in force, until his Majesty's Royal approbation thereof shall be known.
In the Council Chamber, the 9th of May, 1754.
JAMES MICKIE, Speaker.