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An act to provide for leasing for a limited time the Lands reserved by the Congress of the United States, for the support of Schools, within each township in this State; for a Seminary of Learning, and for other purposes.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened, That it shall be the duty of the Chief Justice of the County Court, in each county in this State, as soon as may be after the passage of this act, to appoint two proper


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persons, in each township or fractional township, within their respective counties, whose duty it shall be, giving ten days previous notice of the time and place thereof, to hold an election within the same; at which time and place, there shall be elected, by the qualified electors therein, three agents, who shall continue to discharge the duties hereinafter the prescribed, for the term of three years for the date of their election, and until their successors shall be elected should vacancies occur by death, resignation or removal of any of the agents, the same shall be filled by elections as aforesaid; the like notice of the time and place being given by the remaining agent or agents, or where there shall be no agent, by the chief justice as aforesaid; the agents so elected, shall, at the expiration of each and every term, hold, or cause to be holden, an election, as aforesaid, for three successors.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said agents shall have the power to let out on lease, for the purpose of improving the same, or to let out at annual rent, as they may think proper, the sections of land reserved by Congress for the support of Schools, within each township in this State; Provided, That public notice shall be given by said agents, in five or more public places in the county in which such township may lie, of such intended leasing or renting: And provided also, That no lease shall be for a longer term than four years after the time of leasing; Provided, that all leases shall expire on the first day of January, and, that not more than one half of the land be leased shall be cleared.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said agents shall have the power to lay off the same into convenient lots, of not exceeding eighty acres each, except in cases of fractional sections. And in every lease which shall be made, the lessee shall be bound in a suitable penalty, not to commit waste on the premises, by destroying timber or removing stone, or any other injury to the lands whatsoever, and shall also be bound in a sufficient penalty, that he will make such improvements on the land, as shall be deemed proper by said agents. All obligations, given by the lessee for the payment of rent, shall be in the name of the agents, for the use of inhabitants of the township, and shall be recovered by them, for the use of the same by action at law, if necessary.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the said agents shall have the power within their respective townships, by legal processes to remove any person or persons from the reserved sections, when such person or persons have not taken a lease for the same, or shall neglect or refuse, to deliver quiet and peaceable possession of the premises, when his, her or their lease shall have expired; they shall also


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inspect and inquire into any waste or trespass committed on any of the reserved sections aforesaid, by cutting or carrying timbers or stone, or any other damage whatsoever, whether by persons residing thereon, or others; the agents or a majority of them, are hereby authorized and required, when waste or trespass shall have been committed, to proceed against the person or persons aggressing, according to the laws in such cases made and provided; and actions in the case aforesaid, shall be sustained by the whole, or a majority of the agents of the townships respectively; and the damages recovered shall be applied to the same purposes, as the proceeds of the rents from the lands, on which the damages were sustained

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the agents shall contract with a teacher or teachers, and for a school house or houses, when and wheresoever they may think proper within the township; and the agents aforesaid, are hereby made the trustees of such schools, and are vested with all necessary power for the general superintendence, due organization, and well being of every such school or schools, applying with impartiality, the proceeds of each section, to the purposes of education alone, within the particular township of six miles square, or fractional township within which such section is situated, in such manner, that all the inhabitants therein may partake of the benefits thereof, according to the true intent of the reservation.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the county courts of chief justices, respectively, as soon as may be, after the election of said agents, to take their several obligations with good and sufficient securities, for adequate sums of money, conditioned for their faithful performance of all the duties severally assigned, and made payable to the chief justice of said court, who upon neglect or failure of any of said agents, shall put his or their obligation in suit and if such action or actions be bottomed on neglect, so as to recover damages only, the one half of such damages shall go to the chief justice, and the other half to the inhabitants of the township which shall have sustained the injury; but if such action or actions be predicated on pecuniary considerations, which have gone to the injury of the inhabitants of such township, by any such agent or agents, then and in that case, the other members of the county court shall issue an order to the treasurer of the township, in favor of the chief justice for a sufficient amount to remunerate him for his expenditures, in the performance of the duties required of him which amount the treasurer is hereby required to pay: and upon recoveries had by the chief justice, against any such agent or agents, for monies originally due to the people of such township, it shall be the duty of the chief justice to pay over the amount


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to the agent for the time being. And it shall be the duty of the county courts, also to know, by oath or otherwise, that the securities tendered in any case, are good and sufficient.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the agents at any time to be elected under this act, shall appoint one of their own body to act as treasurer, whose duty it shall be, to receive and pay over, annually, to his successors, all monies which may remain in his hands, after satisfying and defraying the expenses incident to establishing said school or schools and to paying a teacher or teachers, and a statement of the same, together with a schedule of the number and size of the lots into which they may have divided the sixteeth section, the times and amounts for which they were severally leased or rented, and the persons with their securities, to whom they were rented or leased, to deposit in the office of the clerk of the county court.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That said agent, or agents, shall, before they proceed to the discharge of the duties of their office, take and subscribe the following oath:"I,____ ____, do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will, to the best of my abilities, with honesty and fidelity, perform all the duties, which by law are assigned to me, or may be assigned to me, as agent for the management of the sixteenth section, so long as I continue in the exercise thereof, so help me God." Which oath together with their bonds, shall be deposited in the office of the clerk of the county court: Provided, that it shall be optional with the agents, to let the settlers, or improvers, remain on the sixteenth section, a time sufficient to remunerate them for their trouble, not exceeding three years from the first settlement thereof.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That in any case, where the sixteenth section may be divided by any county line, it shall be the duty of the agents, from each county, elected or appointed as aforesaid, to act jointly for the government of any sixteenth section divided by county lines in manner aforesaid.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the Governor be and he is hereby authorized, to appoint three commissioners in each county, within which any portion of the two townships of land granted by congress for a seminary of learning, may have been, or shall be reserved, whose duty it shall be, to let or lease the same; which leasing may be done either publicly or privately, as the said commissioners may deem most advantageous to the State; Provided, The said lands be first offered for public leasing, in convenient tracts, until the first day of January eighteen hundred and twenty one.

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That all bonds or notes, given for each and every lease, shall be made payable


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to the Governor for the use of this State, and may in his name be sued and recovered: and all sums of money arising from such leases, shall be set apart for the purposes of the seminary of learning aforesaid.

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That five commissioners shall be elected, by joint vote of both houses of the Legislature, for the purpose of examining and reporting to the next session of the General Assembly, the most eligible site for a state university, having due regard to the advantages of health, to the nature and situation of the surrounding country, and to the general convenience of the State; and if said commissioners or any one of them, should be of opinion, that two or more places have equal or nearly equal claims to their choice, they shall report to the same with a correct description of each.

(Signed) JAMES DELLET

Speaker of the House of Representatives

THOMAS BIBB

President of the Senate

Approved-Dec. 17, 1819

(Signed) WM. W. BIBB

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An act to suppress Duelling.

SECTION 1. BE it enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened, That from and after the first day of April next, no persons residing within this state or being within the limits thereof, shall fight a duel; nor shall any person send or give a challenge, either in writing, verbally, or otherwise, to fight a duel.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any Judge of the circuit court, or Justice of the county court, or Justice of the peace, within this state, have just or probable grounds of suspicion, that any person or persons are about to be engaged in a duel, they or either of them, shall by this act have power and be compelled, to issue a warrant to any person who is not a qualified peace officer, to take the body or bodies of all whom he may suspect to be concerned, either as principals, seconds, counsellors, aiders or abettors, and have them brought before him: and if after such examination as the Judge or Justice may think proper, it should appear, there are just grounds for believing that a duel is intended, it shall be the duty of such Judge or Justice, to bind the parties suspected in a recognizance, in such sum as he may deem requisite, with sufficient securities, to appear at the next county or circuit court, as well as bind them


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to keep the peace until the rising of the court to which they are bound to appear.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons be engaged, either as principals or seconds, in fighting a duel: or in other words, fighting in single combat with any deadly weapons, the principals and seconds, and every person or persons directly or indirectly concerned therein, either in sending, giving, accepting or conveying any such challenge, knowing or believing it to be such, their counsellors, aiders, or abettors, upon being thereof lawfully convicted, shall be imprisoned three months, and shall, severally, forfeit and pay a fine, to be assessed by any court having jurisdiction, not exceeding two thousand dollars, the one half thereof to be appropriated to the use of the state, and the other half to the use of the informer, and shall stand committed until such fine is paid, and until he or they shall severally give ample security, to be approved by the court aforesaid, for his or their good behaviour, for any term of years not exceeding two; and he or they shall be forever disqualified from being a member of either branch of the legislature, and from holding any office or appointment of profit, honour or trust, either executive, civil, military, or otherwise, in or under the authority of this state: Provided however, That in case any death shall happen, in consequence of any duel or single combat with deadly weapons, this act shall not be so construed as to save the offenders, their aiders and abettors, from the pains and penalties of the laws provided for the punishment of wilful murder: and on conviction thereof shall suffer death.

Sec. 4 And be it further enacted, That all members of the General Assembly, hereafter to be elected, and all officers and public functionaries, hereafter elected or appointed, under the authority of the constitution and laws of this state, shall, before they enter upon the discharge of the duties of their stations or offices, either civil, military, or otherwise, take and subscribe the following oath (in addition to the oath prescribed by the constitution), before any Judge of the circuit or county courts, or any justice of the peace, who shall deliver such oath to the clerk of the circuit court for safe keeping: "I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear, that I have neither directly or indirectly given, accepted, or knowingly carried a challenge, in writing or otherwise, to any person or persons, to fight a single combat or otherwise with any deadly weapons, either in or out of this state, since I have been a citizen thereof, or aided or abetted the same, since the first day of January, eighteen hundred and twenty; and that I will neither directly or indirectly give, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge in any manner whatsoever, to any person or persons, to fight in a single


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combat or otherwise with any deadly weapon, in or out of this state, or in any manner whatsoever aid, or abet the same, during the time for which I am elected, or during my continuance in office, or during my continuance in the discharge of any public function." And upon his or their refusing to take the oath aforesaid, his or their seat, if a member of the general assembly, or his or their office, or public function, or appointment, shall be vacated, and shall be filled in the same manner as if he or they had resigned.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That each and every person who now is a practicing attorney or counsellor at law, and each and every person who shall hereafter desire to practice as an attorney or counsellor at law, in any court in this state, in addition to the oath by law prescribed to be taken by them, shall take and subscribe the oath prescribed in the fourth section of this act, and upon his or their failing or refusing to take said oath, they shall not be permitted to practice as an attorney or counsellor at law, in any court in this state.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of all Judges of the circuit courts in this state, to give this act specially in charge to the grand jury, at the commencement of each of their respective sessions.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the foreman of the grand jury, or any member thereof, in their retirement, shall have the power, under the authority of the court then sitting, to send for any person or persons, who, on oath, shall give the grand jury such information as they may possess, relating to, or touching the violation of this law: and it shall be duty of the grand jury to make presentations to the court of all such as may be violators; who shall be tried and dealt with as the existing laws may direct.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That if any justice, or other officer bound to preserve the public peace, shall have knowledge of an intention to fight with any deadly weapons, given or received, and not use or exert his official authority to arrest the parties and prevent the duel, such justice or other officer shall, for neglect of duty, be indicted, and on conviction, be dismissed from office.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons shall, in any newspaper, or handbills written or printed, publish or proclaim any other person or persons, as a coward, or use any opprobrious and abusive language, for not accepting a challenge or fighting a duel, such person or persons so offending, shall, on conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine, not exceeding, five hundred dollars, as the court may order and direct.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, The publisher or printer of any newspaper, handbill, or other publications, shall, in all publications under the last mentioned section, be summoned as a witness, and be accepted by the court


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as a witness, against the writer or writers of such publication or handbill; and if the said printer or printers, when summoned before the court, shall refuse to give up the writer's name or names, the court shall consider him or them as guilty of flagrant contempt, and shall proceed to punish him or them in an exemplary manner.

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That all laws in contravention of this act, be, and the same are hereby repealed.

(Signed) JAMES DELLET.

Speaker of the House of Representatives

THOMAS BIBB

President of the Senate

Approved- December 17,1819

(Signed) WM. W. BIBB

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An act to repeal certain Laws therein named.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened. That the fourth and fifth sections of the act entitled "an act for the better regulation of judicial proceedings," passed the seventh of February, eighteen hundred and eighteen: and also the first section of the act entitled "an act to amend an act entitled, an act against usury,"passed thirteenth of February, eighteen hundred and eighteen, be, and the same are hereby repealed.

(Signed) JAMES DELLET

Speaker of the House of Representatives

THOMAS BIBB

President of the Senate

Approved-Nov. 22, 1819

(Signed) WM. W. BIBB

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An act excluding from suffrage, serving as jurors, and holding offices, such persons as may be convicted of bribery, forgery, perjury, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened, That from and after the passage of this act, any person, who may be convicted of bribery, forgery, perjury,


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or any other high crime or misdemeanor, shall be disqualified from holding or exercising any office under the authority of this State, from serving in any case as a juror, and from voting at any election.

(Signed) JAMES DELLET

Speaker of the House of Representatives

THOMAS BIBB

President of the Senate

Approved- 27th November, 1819

(Signed) WM. W. BIBB

____

An act to alter and amend the laws regulating the admission and practice of counsellors and attornies at law.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened, That hereafter, no person shall be permitted by any court, to practice therein as counsellor or attorney at law, unless he shall have obtained a licence from the Supreme court of this state; and it shall be the duty of the said court, when application shall be made by any person for a licence as aforesaid on his producing satisfactory evidence that he sustains a good moral character, to examiner cause to be examined in open court the person so applying and if, after such examination, it be the opinion of said court, that he is duly qualified, it shall be the duty of the Judges thereof, to grant a licence under their hands and seals, which shall be attested by the clerk of said court: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall ever be so construed, as to affect any person who may have obtained a licence from the Governor of the Mississippi Territory, previous to the division of the same, and was an inhabitant of this State at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, or from the Governor of the Alabama Territory, or of this State, but to such person shall be permitted to practice as counsellor or attorney at law in any court of law or equity within this State; by virtue of such licence.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That every counsellor or attorney, before he be permitted to practice, shall take the following oath or affirmation, to wit: "I, __ ___ ,do solemnly swear, that I will honestly demean myself in the practice of a counsellor or attorney at law, and will execute my said office, according to the best of my skill and ability." which oath or affirmation shall be administered in presence of the court.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That no Judge or Justice of any court, or Sheriff, or under Sheriff, shall appear


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or plead as attorney in any court in this state; and no clerk or deputy clerk of any court, shall practice as counsellor or attorney in the court of which he is clerk or deputy clerk, under the penalty of being fined by such court, in the sum of fifty dollars, for every such offence, to be applied to the use of the county in which the offence shall have been committed.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That all acts and parts of acts, coming within the meaning and purview of this act, be the same and are hereby repealed.

(Signed) JAMES DELLET

Speaker of the House of Representatives

THOMAS BIBB

President of the Senate

Approved-Dec. 16, 1819

(Signed) WM. W. BIBB

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An act to provide for the appointing of Pilots to pilot boats through the Muscle Shoals of Tennessee river.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama in General Assembly convened, That the county court of the county of Lawrence, are hereby directed and empowered to licence such number of pilots for the piloting of boats through the above named Shoals, as the court may deem necessary, not exceeding six in number: Provided, That no person shall receive said appointment until he produces to said court, evidence of his qualifications and correct knowledge of the boat-channel through said shoals.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That each and every person appointed by virtue of this act, shall give bond with security, to be approved by the chief justice of the county court of Lawrence county, in the sum of six thousand dollars, for the true and faithful performance of his duty and correctly conducting every boat (as pilot) committed to his charge, which bond shall be made payable to the chief Justice of the county court, for the benefit of any person or persons, who may sustain an injury by said pilots neglect, inattention or misconduct, to be applied to the benefit of the person or persons, for what damage they have sustained: Provided, That no licence shall be granted for a longer term than one year at a time

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That each and every pilot appointed and licenced by virtue of this act, shall receive for each and every boat so piloted, the sum of ten dollars.


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from the owner or master of said boat, and no pilot shall be compelled to go on board of any boat, above the town of Marathon, or conduct the same below the town of Bainbridge.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That no pilot shall be subjected to any damages, on account of an injury done to a boat, in consequence of the damages of the river by high winds or mismanagement of the bow-hands, or for obeying the direction of the master or owner of any boat.

(Signed) JAMES DELLET

Speaker of the House of Representatives

THOMAS BIBB

President of the Senate

Approved- December 13, 1819

(Signed) WM. W. BIBB

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An act specifying the causes and manner of removing clerks.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened, That if any clerk of any court in this State shall willingly make any false entry, interlineation or erasure of a letter, or change any record in his keeping belonging to his office, or shall neglect to record any will, deed, or other matter proper to be recorded in his office, within a reasonable time after the same shall have been lodged in his office to be recorded, or shall neglect to make out and keep a fair and correct index to the matters recorded in each and every book, or shall neglect to keep in regular file all the papers belonging to his office, keeping every subject matter in its proper and peculiar file, and the papers of each suit together, or shall refuse or neglect to make out in a reasonable time, after application of any person demanding the same, a transcript of any record in his office, or shall make out the same so erroneously or incorrectly that the court to which it is taken cannot proceed thereon, or shall refuse or neglect to perform any of the duties required by law to be performed by such clerk, such clerk shall, upon trial and conviction, be deemed guilty of a misbehaviour in office, and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars, or be removed therefrom by the Court, and shall also be liable to an action on the case for damages, in behalf of the party aggrieved.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the judge or judges of the several circuit and county courts in this State, once in every year, to appoint three fit persons who will undertake the same, to inspect the clerk's office of such court, and to compare the records with


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the papers filed in the several suits in such court, and report the state of the office of such clerk to the court instanter, or to the next court thereafter, which report shall be entered of record in the court.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That all charges against Clerks for misbehaviour in office, shall be exhibited to the court in writing, and the court shall direct the facts to be tried by jury, and on conviction thereof, such Clerk shall be fined or removed from office, as the court of which he is Clerk, shall think proper: Provided, That every Clerk against whom charges may be exhibited, shall be entitled to a copy thereof, and shall be permitted to make his defence on trial.

(Signed) JAMES DELLET

Speaker of the House of Representatives

THOMAS BIBB

President of the Senate

Approved- Dec. 17, 1819

(Signed) WM. W. BIBB

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