Primary Resource

"An ACT concerning patroles" (1801)

In "An ACT concerning patrols," passed on January 16, 1801, the General Assembly explicitly empowered local magistrates to send out patrols, making special mention of Petersburg and Fredericksburg. This came in wake of Gabriel's Conspiracy (1800).

Transcription from Original

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That any justice of the peace shall have power to order out patroles when to him it shall appear necessary, and may on particular occasions appoint an officer of patrol, who shall have the same powers, and receive the same pay, as the patrol appointed by the commanding officer of the battalion. Any officer or patrol, so ordered out by a magistrate, failing to attend and do his duty, shall forfeit and pay, the officer three dollars, and the patrol one dollar, each, to be recovered and applied in the same manner as other militia fines.

2. And be it further enacted, That the court of the corporation of Petersburg shall have power to divide the militia, residing within the limits of said town, into wards or districts, and may appoint one or more officers in each ward, to be denominated captains of patrol; each officer shall be compelled, when on duty, to visit all parts of said town, and shall patrol once in every week (or oftener if required by the court,) and shall receive for every twelve hours service, the officer one dollar, and each patrol seventy-five cents, to be levied on the house keepers in said town. The militia of said town shall be exempted from patrol duty without the limits of the town; but in all other services, required by law, shall continue attached to their respective regiments.

3. And be it further enacted, That the corporation court of Fredericksburg shall be, and is hereby empowered, to impose and levy an annual tax upon the house keepers within the jurisdiction thereof, to be appropriated to paying a watch to be kept therein.

4. This act shall commence and be in force from the passing thereof.