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The Public Acts Of The General Assembly Of North-Carolina: Volume I Containing The Acts From 1715 To 1790

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  • Book Title: The public acts of the General Assembly of North-Carolina: volume I containing the acts from 1715 to 1790
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  • Author: North Carolina, François-Xavier Martin, James Iredell, North Carolina. General Assembly
  • Category: Law
  • Category (general): Other
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  • Format & Number of pages: book
  • Synopsis: ... restore to credit, John Hamrlton of the county of New-Hanover, and William Lawa of the county of VVill-tes. 118 An act to pardon and restore to credit, zadock Stallings of the county of Jolinston. Josci-H Rmmcx, s. s. Srim-text Canamws, s. r-r.

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The North Carolina Biennal Act 1715 - 1701-1750 - Documents - American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond

The North Carolina Biennal Act 1715 Introduction

The colonial assemblies not only attempted to control the number of representatives and the extent of each constituency (see Part IV), but they also favored triennial and biennial acts whereby they might insure a meeting of the colonial assembly every three or two years regardless of whether or not the governor summoned one. The reason behind such acts was a desire to continue unbroken colonial self-government. The colonials referred to English precedent, particularly the Triennial Act 01 1694, adopted by Parliament to guard against the possibility of arbitrary government by a king who might try to rule without reference to or consultation with Parliament.

The North Carolina assembly, while still under proprietary rule, passed the Biennial Act of 1715. The act states forthrightly the expectations of assembly rule and the assembly's role in the colonial government. Note that no reference is made to being summoned by the governor, and in many respects, the governor and his powers are ignored. But the act incorporates the colonial arguments for legislative action as a fundamental ingredient in the operation of the political system of the colonies and the empire.

  1. Whereas His Excellency the Palatine and the rest of the true and Absolute Lord's Proprietors of Carolina, having duely considered the priviledges and immunities wherewith the Kingdom of Great Brittain is endued and being desirous that this their province may have such as may thereby enlarge the Settlement and that the frequent sitting of Assembly is a principal, safeguard of their People's priviledges, have thought fit to enact. And Be It Therefore Enacted by the said Pallatine and Lords Pro prietors by and with the advice and consent of this present Grand Assembly now met at Little River for the North East part of the said province:
  • And it is Hereby Enacted that for the due election and Constituting of Members of the Biennial and other Assemblys it shall be lawfull for the Freemen of the re spective precincts of the County of Albemarle to meet the first Tuesday in September every two years in the places hereafter mentioned.

  • And Be It Further Enacted that it is and may be lawfull for the inhabitants and freemen in each Precinct in every other County or Counties that now is or shall be hereafter erected in this Government aforesaid to meet as aforesaid at such place as shall be judged most convenienient by the Marshall of such county, unless he be otherwise ordered by the special commands of the Governor or Com mander in Chief to choose two freeholders out of every precinct in the county aforesaid to sit and vote in the said Assembly.

  • And Be It Further Enacted that the Burgesses so chosen in each precinct for the Biennial Assembly shall meet and sitt the first Monday in November then next fol lowing, every two years, at the same place the Assembly last satt except the Pallatines Court shall by their procla mation published Twenty days before the said meeting ap point some other place and there with the consent and con currence of the Pallatine Court shall make and ordain such Laws as shall be thought most necessary for the Good of this Government. Provided allways and neverthe less that the Powers granted to the Lord's Proprietors from the Crown of Calling, proroguing and dissolving Assemblys are not hereby meant or intended to be invaded, limited or restrained.

  • And It Is Hereby Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that no person whatsoever Inhabitant of this Government born out of the allegiance of His Majesty and not made free; no Negroes, Mulattoes, Mustees or Indians shall be capable of voting for Members of Assembly; and that no other person shall be allowed or admitted to vote for Members of Assembly in this Government un less he be of the Age of one and twenty years and has been one full year in the Government and has paid one year's levy preceding the Election.

  • And Be It Further Enacted that all persons offer ing to vote for Members of Assembly shall bring a list to the Marshall or Deputy taking the Pole containing the names of the persons he votes for and shall subscribe his own name or cause the same to be done: And if any such person or persons shall be suspected either by the Marshall or any of the candidates not to be qualified according to the true intent and meaning of this Act, then the Marshall Deputy Marshall, or other Officer that shall be appointed to take and receive such votes and listshall have power to administer an oath or attestation to every such suspected person of his qualification and ability to choose Members of Assembly and whether he has not before given in his list at that Election.

  • And Be It Further Enacted that Every Officer or Marshall which shall admit of or take the vote of any per son not truly qualified according to the purport and mean ing of this Act (provided the objection be made by any candidate or Inspector) or shall make undue return of any person for Member of Assembly shall forfeit for such vote taken, so admitted and for such Return Twenty pounds to be employed for and towards the building of any Court House, Church or Chapel as the Governor for the time being shall think fitt; but if no such building require it then to the Lord's Proprietors and Twenty Pounds to each person which of right and majority of votes ought to have been returned: to be recovered by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint or Information in any Court of Record in this Government wherein no Essoign Wager of Law or Pro tection shall be allowed or admitted.

  • And Be It Further Enacted that every Marshall or Officer whose business and duty it is to make returns of Elections of Members of Assembly, shall attend the Assem bly the first Three days of their sitting (unless he have leave of Assembly to depart) to inform the Assembly of all matters and disputes as shall arise about Elections and shall show to the Assembly the List of the Votes for every person returned and have made complaints of false returns to the Assembly; every Marshall or other Officer as aforesaid which shall deny or refuse to attend as aforesaid shall forfeit the sum of Twenty pounds to be recovered and disposed of in such manner and form as the Forfeitures before by this Act appointed.

  • And Be It Further Enacted that whatsoever Member or Representative so elected as aforesaid shall faile in making his personal appearance and giving his attendance at the Assembly precisely on the day limited by the Writt (or on the day appointed for the meeting of the Biennial Assembly, when the election is for the Biennial Assembly) shall be fined for every day's absence during the sitting of the Assembly (unless by disability or other impediment to be allowed by the Assembly) Twenty Shillings to be levied by a Warrant from the Speaker and to be applied to such uses as the Lower House of Assembly shall think fitt

  • And Be It Further Enacted that every member of Assembly that shall be elected as aforesaid after the Ratifying of this Act shall not be qualified to sitt as a Member in the House of Burgesses before he shall willingly take the Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy the Adjuration Oath and all such other Oathes as shall be ordered and directed to be taken by the Members of Parliament in Great Britain.

  • And Be It Further Enacted that the quorum of the House of Burgesses for voting and passing of Bills shall not be less than one full half of the House and that no Bills shall be signed and Ratified except there be present Eight of the Members whereof the Speaker to be one. And in case that eight Members shall meet at any Assembly those eight shall have full power to adjourn from day to day till a sufficient number can assemble to transact the Business of the Government.



  • Articles

    North Carolina General Assembly

    North Carolina General Assembly

    The North Carolina General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of North Carolina. The General Assembly drafts and legislates the state laws of North Carolina, also known as the General Statutes. The General Assembly is a bicameral legislature, consisting of the North Carolina House of Representatives (formerly the North Carolina House of Commons until 1868) and the North Carolina Senate. The House has 120 members, while the Senate has 50. There are no term limits for either chamber.
    Legislators in both chambers serve two-year terms. Starting with the 2002 election, each legislator represents a single-member House or Senatorial district; prior to 2002, some districts elected multiple legislators.
    The General Assembly meets in the state capital of Raleigh (except for special occasions, when legislators might decide to hold a ceremonial session in some other city). It met in the Capitol building until 1963, when the legislature relocated to the new North Carolina State Legislative Building .

    This is an excerpt from the article North Carolina General Assembly from the Wikipedia free encyclopedia. A list of authors is available at Wikipedia.

    The article North Carolina General Assembly at en.wikipedia.org was accessed 2,148 times in the last 30 days. (as of: 01/17/2014)

    Images on North Carolina General Assembly

    These pages contain a wealth of information transcribed from obscure and fragile, original documents housed at the North Carolina General Assembly Sessions Records at the North Carolina State Archives. Every attempt has been made to transcribe the complete collection, including partial or fragmented documents. The wide variety of documents transcri.

    North Carolina, 1872

    North Carolina. " biennially ;" so as to conform to the provisions respecting tbe sessions ot the general assembly. D-itiesCode Strike ont sections two and three of the fourth article, Commissioners. «. • being the provisions winch refer.

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    North Carolina, 1871

    Cheryl Shelton-Roberts, 2011

    "The tall sentinels from Bald Head to Currituck are lonely no more. By clothing each in lore revealing a distinctive history and personality, North Carolina Lighthouses breathes life into all of them. Gracefully written and artfully illustrated, this tribute is more than handsome picture book; it records the gripping history of a vanishing.

    North Carolina. General Assembly. House of Representatives, 1908

    Transcripts are arranged chronologically and by record type: Colonial Court Records (1675-1775); General Assembly Sessions records (1709-1776); and General Assembly Sessions records (1777-1789).

    North Carolina. General Assembly, 1862

    Erik Lars Myers, 2012

    "Erik's passion for the craft, culture and heritage of beer is unrivaled. This collection of portraits of his brewing colleagues reflects that passion, delivering the both the information and the romance of this exciting, and young, industry. Don't read it without a good North Carolina craft beer to go with it." --Daniel Bradfor.

    Development of Google searches

    Online sources for the term
    North Carolina General Assembly

    Official site of the North Carolina Senate

    Official site of the North Carolina House

    North Carolina Constitution Article 2, describing legislative power

    History of Partisan Division in General Assembly since 1971

    Partial History of NC House elections at OurCampaigns.com

    Partial History of NC Senate elections at OurCampaigns.com

    Blog by General Assembly's Director of Bill Drafting

    Blog posts on the term
    North Carolina General Assembly

    Kay Hagan took to Twitter to bash her alma mater, the NC General Assembly. While her words were not as crass, anatomically graphic or expletive laced like the protesters, her hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed. Continue reading →

    Board of Elections members expressed their opposition Wednesday to a bill in the General Assembly that would require the use of paper ballots in all North Carolina elections, a move that could cost Henderson County half a million dollars to implement. “I’m just amazed by this,” said board member Bob Heltman.

    North Carolinians are very angry about the abortion bill that's.



    North Carolina General Assembly Explained

    North Carolina General Assembly Explained Purpose

    The General Assembly drafts and legislates the state laws of North Carolina, also known as the General Statutes. The General Assembly is a bicameral legislature, consisting of the North Carolina House of Representatives (formerly the North Carolina House of Commons until 1868) and the North Carolina Senate. The House has 120 members, while the Senate has 50. [1] There are no term limits for either chamber.


    Legislators in both chambers serve two-year terms. Starting with the 2002 election, each legislator represents a single-member House or Senatorial district; prior to 2002, some districts elected multiple legislators.


    The General Assembly meets in the state capital of Raleigh (except for special occasions, when legislators might decide to hold a ceremonial session in some other city). It met in the Capitol building until 1963, when the legislature relocated to the new North Carolina State Legislative Building. [2]

    North Carolina Senate

    The Senate has 50 members. Though its members represent districts that are larger than those of their colleagues in the House, its prerogatives and powers are no greater.

    The President of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina. but the Lt. Governor has very limited powers and only votes to break a tie. Before the office of Lt. Governor was created in 1868, the Senate was presided over by a "Speaker." After the 1988 election of James Carson Gardner. the first Republican Lt. Governor since Reconstruction, Democrats in control of the Senate shifted most of the power held by the Lt. Governor to the senator who is elected President Pro Tempore (or Pro-Tem ). The President pro tempore appoints members to standing committees of the Senate, and holds great sway over bills.

    The qualifications to be a senator are found in the state Constitution. "Each Senator, at the time of his election, shall be not less than 25 years of age, shall be a qualified voter of the State, and shall have resided in the State as a citizen for two years and in the district for which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election."

    According to the state constitution, the Senate is also the "Court for the Trial of Impeachments ". The House of Representatives has the power to impeach state officials, after which the Senate holds a trial, as in the federal system. If the Governor or Lt. Governor is the official who has been impeached, the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court presides.

    North Carolina House of Representatives

    The 120 members of the House are led by a Speaker. who holds powers similar to those of the Senate President pro-tem.

    The qualifications to be a member of the House are found in the state Constitution. "Each Representative, at the time of his election, shall be a qualified voter of the State, and shall have resided in the district for which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election." Elsewhere, the constitution specifies that no elected official shall be under twenty-one years of age and that no elected officials may deny the existence of God, although this provision is not enforced.


    The North Carolina legislature traces its roots to the first assembly for the "County of Albemarle," which was convened in 1665 by Governor William Drummond. [3] Albemarle County was the portion of the British colony of Carolina (under the control of the “Lords Proprietors ” before becoming a royal province in 1729) that would eventually become North Carolina.

    From approximately 1666 to 1697, the Governor. his council, and representatives of various precincts and towns, elected by male freeholders. sat together as a unicameral legislature. By 1697, this evolved into a bicameral body, with the Governor and his council as the upper house, and the House of Burgesses as the elected lower house. The House, sometimes known simply as “the Assembly,” could only meet when called by the Governor, but it was allowed to set its own rules and to elect its own Speaker.

    According to one early compilation of the "Laws of North Carolina", the first "General Biennial Assembly" was held "at the House of Capt. Richard Sanderson, at Little-River begun on the 17th day of November, 1715 and continued by several Adjournments, until the 19th Day of January, 1715 [sic]." [4] At that session the Assembly adopted many of the laws of England that remained in effect through most of the 20th Century. Notable in this category is the Statute of Elizabeth or the Statute of Frauds. which was not repealed until the General Assembly adopted the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act in July 1997. [5]

    The House also controlled the salary of the Governor, and withheld that salary when the Governor displeased a majority of the House. Naturally, conflicts between the Governor and the legislature were frequent. In 1774 and 1775, the people of the colony elected a provincial Congress. independent of the royal governor, as the American Revolution began. Most of its members were also members of what would be the last House of Burgesses.

    There were five Provincial Congresses. The fifth Congress approved the first constitution (1776). With the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the United States became an independent nation with very different legislatures in each part of the colony. Because of the history of distrust of the executive, the constitution firmly established the General Assembly, as it was now called, as the most powerful organ of the state. The bicameral legislature, whose members would all be elected by the people, would itself elect all the officers of the executive and judicial branches. As William S. Powell wrote in North Carolina: A History, “The legislative branch henceforth would have the upper hand. The governor would be the creature of the assembly, elected by it and removable by it….The governor could not take any important step without the advice and consent of the 'council of state,' and he had no voice in the appointment or removal of [council of state members].” This constitution was not submitted to a vote of the people. The Congress simply adopted it and elected Richard Caswell. the last president of the Congress, as acting Governor until the new legislature was elected and seated.

    The new General Assembly, which first convened in April 1777, consisted of a Senate, which had one member from each county (regardless of population), and a House of Commons, which had two members representing each county, plus one each from certain towns. Only land-owning (100 acres for the House of Commons, 300acres for the Senate), Protestant men could serve. The constitution provided for more rights for freedmen and free men of color. The 9th Amendment on this constitution states, “That no freeman shall be convicted of any crime, but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good lawful men, in open court, as heretofore used.”

    Post-independence: Federal period to Civil War

    In the early 19th century, free men of color with sufficient property were allowed to vote. Following Nat Turner's slave rebellion of 1831, the state legislature passed more restrictive laws, making it illegal to teach a slave how to read or write. They also narrowed rights of free people of color. rescinding their franchise and the right to bear arms, and forbidding them from attending school or learning to read and write, as well as forbidding them from preaching in public. [6]

    In 1835, the constitution was amended to make the Governor elected by the people, but the legislature elected all other officials, including US Senators. Amendments set the number of senators at 50 and the number of commoners (representatives to the House) at 120. Senators were to be elected from districts representing approximately equal numbers of citizens, rather than by geographic counties. Members of the House were still elected by county, but more populous counties were entitled to more representatives.

    Reconstruction to Disfranchisement

    In 1868, a new constitution was passed by the Reconstruction era legislature, a biracial body dominated by Republicans. It changed the name of the House of Commons to the House of Representatives. It established the office of Lieutenant Governor. Previously, the Speaker of the Senate was the constitutional successor to the Governor in case of death or resignation. Property qualifications for holding office were abolished in order to enlarge opportunity. Finally, the legislature made executive officers and judges subject to popular election rather than appointment by the executive.

    African-American men were first elected to the state legislature in 1868. Despite efforts by Red Shirts and other white Democratic paramilitary groups to disrupt Republican meetings and suppress black voting in order to ensure the Democratic takeover, some African Americans continued to be elected in the 19th century, especially to local offices. George Henry White was elected as US Congressman in 1894. But shortly before the turn of the century, the Democrats regained control of the state legislature (after a biracial coalition between Republicans and Populists had briefly held power) and passed laws to create barriers to voter registration through poll tax es, literacy test s and other devices. [7] [8] [9]

    Applied subjectively by white administrators, these methods effectively disenfranchised most blacks in the state. Black voters were eliminated by 1904. An estimated 75,000 black male citizens lost the vote. [10] [11] Congressman White did not run for a third term and, like many other talented black men, left the state for better opportunities in the North. African Americans were closed out of politics in North Carolina for decades, with most not regaining the ability to vote until after passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. and federal overview and enforcement.

    1966, One Man, One Vote

    As was the case in other states where rural legislators hung on to power despite changes in state demographics, North Carolina eventually had to redefine its method of electing house members and to reapportion congressional seats, which was supposed to be done after every decennial census. At a time of civil rights legislation to end segregation (Civil Rights Act of 1964 ) and enforce the constitutional right to vote for African Americans and other minorities (Voting Rights Act of 1965 ), the US Supreme Court made rulings that resulted in corrections to state legislature representation and apportionment in several states.

    Starting in 1966 (in the wake of Reynolds v. Sims , a US Supreme Court case establishing the principle of one man, one vote ), members of the North Carolina State House were required to be elected from districts defined on the basis of roughly equal population, rather than from geographic counties. The county basis had resulted in a longstanding rural bias in the legislature. The new urban populations, including minorities and immigrants, were historically underrepresented in terms of legislative seats and funding, although the state's demographics and population had become increasingly urbanized. The court's ruling required changes also in other states with similar practices. The changes allowed full representation for the first time from some urban and more densely settled areas. It also meant that counties with low populations lost the chance to elect a resident member to the legislature for the first time in state history.

    Lillian Exum Clement became the first female member of the General Assembly in 1921. [12]


    The General Assembly meets in regular session (or the "long session") beginning in January of each odd-numbered year, and adjourns to reconvene the following even-numbered year for what is called the "Short Session." Though there is no limit on the length of any session, the "long session" typically lasts for 6 months, and the "short session" typically lasts for 6 weeks. [1]

    Occasionally, in the case of a special need, the Governor may call a Special Session of the General Assembly after it has adjourned for the year.

    According to the state-published 2002 North Carolina Manual (no longer available online), "Prior to 1957, the General Assembly convened in January at a time fixed by the Constitution of North Carolina. From 1957 through 1967, sessions convened in February at a time fixed by the Constitution. The 1969 General Assembly was the first to convene on a date fixed by law after elimination of the constitutionally fixed date. The assembly now convenes on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January after the November election."


    Elections for all seats in both houses are held in each even-numbered year. If a seat should become vacant between elections, there are no by-elections or special elections. Rather, the local leaders of the political party of the person who vacated the seat nominate a replacement, to serve until the next election. The Governor, ordinarily, accepts the nomination, and appoints that person.

    Until 1982, a legislator's term in office was said to begin immediately upon his or her election. Since then terms begin on January 1 after a legislator's election.

    External links Notes and References
    1. Web site: Structure of the North Carolina General Assembly. Official North Carolina General Assembly Website. 2006-07-23.
    2. Web site: State Capitol of NC. NC Department of Cultural Resources. 2006-08-04.
    3. Web site: Marker: A-13. Ncmarkers.com. 2012-05-18.
    4. . All marginal referenced to year of enactment of various chapters reference 1715, therefore the obvious error in the year maybe presumed to be the year of adjournment rather than the year the session convened.
    5. http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/SessionLaws/HTML/1997-1998/SL1997-291.html S.L. 1997-291
    6. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-newnation/5252 North Carolina legislation
    7. J. Morgan Kousser, The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restriction and the Establishment of the One-Party South, 1880-1910, p.104
    8. http://www.northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/58/entry North Carolina History Project "Fusion Politics"
    9. http://www.lib.unc.edu/ncc/1898/1898.html The North Carolina Collection, UNC Libraries "The North Carolina Election of 1898"
    10. https://books.google.com/books?id=McACAAAAYAAJ Albert Shaw, The American Monthly Review of Reviews. Vol.XXII, Jul-Dec 1900, p.274
    11. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=224731 Richard H. Pildes, "Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon"
    12. Web site: Women In The North Carolina General Assembly 1921-2007. 2007-10-21. PDF.

    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "North Carolina General Assembly ".

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