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diflipation of manners is the fruit of indolence and luxury, which are the fruits of the African slavery.
Constitution, Courts and Laws.] The executive powers are lodged in the hands of a governor, chosen annually, and incapable of acting more than three years in seven. He is assisted by a council of eight members. The judiciary power are divided among several courts, as will be hereafter explained. Legislation is exercised by two houses of assembly, the one called the house of Delegates, composed of two members from each county, chosen annually by the citizens possessing an estate for life in 100 acres of uninhabited land, or 25 acres with a house on it, or in a house or lot in fome town: the other called the Senate, consisting of 24 members, chosen quadrennially by the same electors, who for this purpose are diftributed into 24 distridts. The concurrence of both houses is necessary to the passage of a law. They have the appointment of the governor and council, the judges of the superior courts, auditors, attorney-general, treasurer, register of the land office, and delegates to Congress. As the dismemberment of the state had never had its confirmation, but, on the contrary, had always been the subject of protestation and complaint, that it might never be in our own power to raise fcruples on that subject, or to disturb the harmony of our new confederacy, the grants to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the two Carolinas, were ratified.
• This constitution was formed when we were new and unexperienced in the science of government. It was the first, too, which was formed in the whole United States. No wonder then that time and trial have discovered very capital defects in it.
* The majority of the men in the state, who pay and fight for its support, are unrepresented in the legislature, the roll of freeholders intitled to vote, not including generally the half of those on the roll of the militia, or of the tax-gatherers.
Among those who share the representation, the shares are very unequal. Thus the county of Warwick, with only 100 fighting men, has an equal representation with the county of Loudon, which has 1746. So that every man in Warwick has as much influence in the government as 17 men in Loudon. But left it should be thought that an equal intersperfion of small among large counties, through the whole ftate, may prevent any danger of injury to particular parts of it, we will divide it into diftrićts, and shew the proportions of land, of fighting men, and of reprefentation in each.
Square | Fighting Dele-Senamiles.
Between the sea-coast and falls of the
11,911 7,673 161
4,458 16 Total
121,525| 49,971 149
• An inspection of this table will supply the place of commentaries on it. It will appear at once that nineteen thousand men, living below the falls of the rivers, possess half the fenate, and want four members only of poffefsing a majority of the house of delegates; a want more than supplied by the vicinity of their situation to the seat of government, and of course the greater degree of convenience and punctuality with which their members may and will attend in the legislature. These nineteen thousand, therefore, living in one part of the country, give law to upwards of thirty thousand, living in another, and appoint all their chief officers, executive and judiciary. From the difference of their situation and circumstances, their interests will often be very different.
• There are three superior courts,' to which appeals lie from the courts below, to wit, the high court of chancery, the general court, and court of admiralty. The first and second of these receive appeals from the county courts, and also have original jurisdiction where the subject of controversy is of the value of ten pounds sterling, or where it concerns the title or bounds of land. The jurisdiction of the admirality is original altogether. The high court of chancery is composed of three judges, the general court of five, and the court of admiralty of three. The two first hold their sessions at Richmond at stated times, the chancery twice in the year and the general court twice for business civil and criminal, and twice more for criminal only. The court of admiralty sits at Williamsburg whenever a controversy arises.
• There is one supreme court, called the Court of Appeals, composed of the judges of the three fuperior courts, assembling twice a year at stated times at Richmond. This court receives appeals in all civil cases from each of the superior courts, and determines them finally. But it has no original jurisdiction.
If a controversy arise between two foreigners of a nation in alliance with the United States, it is decided by the consul for their state, or, if both parties chuse it, by the ordinary courts of justice. If one of the parties only be such a foreigner, it is triable before the courts of justice of the country. But if it shall have been instituted in a county court, the foreigner may remove it into the general court, or court of chancery, who are to determine it at their first sessions, as they must also do if it be originally.commenced before them. In cases of life and death, such foreigners have a right to be tried by a jury, the one half foreigners, the other natives.
All public accounts are settled with a board of auditors, confifting of three members, appointed by the general afsembly, any two of whom may act. But an individual, dissatisfied with the determination of that board, may carry his case into the proper superior court.'
În 1661, the laws of England were expressly adopted by an act of the assembly of Virginia, except so far as ' a difference of condition' rendered them inapplicable. To these were added a number of acts of assembly, paffed during the monarchy, and ordinances of convention, and acts of affembly fince the establishment of the republic. The following variations from the British model are worthy of notice.
? Debtors unable to pay their debts, and making faithful delivery of their whole effects, are released from their confinement, and their persons
for ever discharged from restraint for such previous debts : But any property they may afterwards acquire will be subject to their creditors.
· The poor unable to support themselves, are maintained by an affeífment on the titheable persons in their parish.
• A foreigner of any nation, not in open war with us, becomes naturalized by removing to the itate to refide, and taking an oath of fidelity; and thereupon acquires every right of a native citizen. • Slaves pafs by descent and dower as lands do.
Slaves, as well as lands, were entailable during the monarchy: But, by an act of the first republican affembly, all donees in tail, present and further, were vested with the absolute dominion of the entailed subject.
Gaming debts are made void, and monies actually paid to discharge such debts (if they exceeded 40 shillings) may be recovered by the payer within three months, or by any other person afterwards.
Tobacco, flour, beef, pork, tar, pitch and turpentine, must be inspected by persons publicly appointed, before they can be exported.'
In 1785, the assembly enacted, that no man should be compelled to support any religious worship, place or minister whatsoever, nor be enforced, restrained molested or burdened in his body or goods, nor otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men should be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion; and that the same should in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.
In October 1786, an act was passed by the assembly, prohibiting the importation of flaves into the commonwealth, upon penalty of the forfeiture of the sum of £. 1000 for every slave. And every slave imported contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, becomes free. Manufactures and Commerce.] · We never had an interior trade of
any importance. Our exterior commerce has suffered very much from the beginning of the present contest. During this time we have manufactured within our families the most necessary articles of cloathing. Those of cotton will bear some comparison with the fame kinds of manufacture in Europe; but those of wool, flax and hemp are very course, unfightly and unpleafant: And such is our attachment to agriculture, and such our preference for foreign manufactures, that be it wise or unwise, our people will certainly return as soon as they can to the raising raw materials, and exchanging them for finer manufactures than they are able to execute themselves.
Price in dollars. Am. in dollars.
55,000 hhds. of roo lb. at zod. per hhd. 1,650,000
atd. per bush. 666,666} Indian corn
atd. per bush. 200,000
at i; d. per bar.
180 hhds. of 60 lb. at tid. per 1b. 42,000
at 10 per barrel
at 3 d. per bar.
the best information I can get, nearly as follows: • Before the present war we exported, communibus annis, according to
5,000 bushels 1,000 barrels.
This Sum is equal to £5.850,000 Virginia money, 607,142 guineas,
* In the year 1758, we exported feventy thousand hogsheads of tobacco, which was the greatest quantity ever produced in this country in one year. But its culture was faft declining at the commencement of this war, and that of wheat taking its place: And it must continue to decline on the return of I suspect that the change in the temperature of our climate has become sensible to that plant, which, to be good, requires an extraordinary degree of heat. But it requires ftill more indispensably an uncommon fertility of soil: And the price which it commands at market will not enable the planter to produce this manure. Was the supply still to depend on Virginia and Maryland alone, as its culture bes, comes more difficult, the price would rise, so as to enable the planter ta surmount those difficulties and to live. But the western country on the Missisippi, and the midlands of Georgia, having fresh and fertile lands in abundance, and a hotter fun, will bz able to undersell these two ftates, and will oblige them to abandon the raising tobacco altogether. And a happy obligation for them it will be. It is a culture productive of infinite wretchedness, Those employed in it are in a continuat state of exertion beyond the powers of nature to support. Little food of any kind is raised by them; 10 that the men and animals on these farms are badly fed, and the earth is rapidly impoverished.' The cultivation of wheat is the reverse in every circumstance. Besides cloathing the earth with herbage, and preserving its fertility, it feeds the laborious plentifully, requires from them only a moderate toil, except in the season of harvest, raises great numbers of animals for food and service, and diffuses plenty and happiness among the whole. We find it eafier to make an hundred bushels of wheat, than a thousand weight of tobacco, and they are worth more when made. The weavil indeed is a formidable obstacle to the cultivation of this grain with us. But principles are already known which must lead to a remedy. Thus a certain degree of heat, to wit, that of the common air in summer, is necessary to hatch the egg. If subterranean granaries, or others, therefore, can be contrived below that temperature, the evil will be cured by cold. A degree of heat beyond that which hatches the egg, we know will kill it. But in aiming at this we easily run into that which produces putrefaction. To produce putrefaction, however, three agents are requisitę, heat, moifture, and the external air, If the absence of any one of these be secured, the other two may fafely be admitted. Heat is the one we rant. Moisture then, or external air, must be excluded. The former has been done by exposing the grain in kilns to the action of fire, which produces heat, and extracts moisture at the same time: The latter, by putting the grain into hogsheads, covering it with a coat of lime, and heading it up. In this situation its bulk produces a heat sufficient to kill the egg; the moisture is fufficient to remain indeed, but the external air is excluded. A nicer operation yet has been attempted ; that is, to produce an intermediate temperature of heat between that which kills the egg, and that which produces putrefaction. The threshing the grain as soon as it is cut, and laying it in its chaff in large heaps, has been found very nearly to hit this temperature, though not perfectly, nor always. The heap generates heat sufficient to kill most of the eggs, whilst the chaff commonly restrains it from rising into putrefaction. But all those methods abridge too much the quantity