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Virginia: Laws Passed, March 5, 1832


          On December 6, 1831, the citizens of Northampton county sent a petition demanding that the free African Americans in their county be removed. In March of 1832 their request was fully granted. The General Assembly passed a bill that would remove a number of free black people from the state and transport them to Liberia.




CHAP. XXIII. An act concerning the county of Northampton


[Passed March 5th, 1832]


          Whereas from a representation made to this general assembly by the people of Northampton county, it satisfactorily appears that it is absolutely necessary, not only to the correct government of their slaves, but also to the peace and safety of their society, that the free people of colour should be promptly removed from that country ; and also, in order to effect their removal in a manner as humane and as little oppressive as possible, the people of the said county, assembled in public meetings, have appointed a committee with authority to borrow a sum of money not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars, to be reimbursed by an annual tax o be levied on the people thereof. And whereas the said people have petitioned this present general assembly for the passage of such laws as may be necessary to carry into effect, the purposes and resolutions of said meetings so far as the same may form proper subjects of public legislation.


          1. Be it therefore enacted, That the proceedings of the said public meetings and the acts done, or to be done by the said committee, in pursuance of the authority vested in them as aforesaid, shall be, and the same are hereby declared to be valid and obligatory, so far as the same may not or contravene any law of this commonwealth


          2. And be it further enacted, That all such sums of money as the said committee have borrowed or may hereafter borrow, by virtue of the authority aforesaid, not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars, shall be, and the same are hereby charged as a debt upon the said county of Northampton.


          3. And be it further enacted, That the county court of said county shall at the time at which the said court shall lay the county, direct the sheriff of the said county, at the time that he collects the revenue tax, in each and every year until the principal and interest of the said debt shall be discharged, to collect and receive from each and every person liable to pay the said revenue tax, a sum, to be designated by said court, not exceeding the revenue tax; and the said sheriff shall apply the same under the directions of the said court, to the discharge of the principal and interest of the said debt.


          4. And be it further enacted, That in collecting the said sums for the purposes aforesaid, the sheriff shall possess the same rights, authority, and powers, and shall proceed in all respects, in the manner, which is or shall be directed by law, for the collection of the revenue tax, and shall be subject to the same penalties and forfeitures for refusing or failing to collect or pay the same as are or shall be imposed by law for neglecting or refusing to collect or pay the pariah and county levy, to be moved and recovered in the same manner: Provided, That no higher commission than five per centum shall be allowed for collecting and paying the said money.


          5. Thus act shall commence and be in for from and after its passage.


Acts Passed at a General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Richmond (Richmond:  Thomas Ritchie, Printer to the Commonwealth, 1832), 23.





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