Primary Resource

"An ACT to establish a guard in the city of Richmond" (1801)

In "An ACT to establish a guard in the city of Richmond," passed on January 22, 1801, the General Assembly directed the governor to create a militia unit to protect Richmond and to move the arms supply at Point of Fork into the city. This came in wake of Gabriel's Conspiracy (1800).

Transcription from Original

Whereas it is expedient in the present crisis of affairs, that proper guards should be kept for the security of public property in the city of Richmond:

1. Be it therefore enacted by the general assembly, That for the purpose of guarding the public property in the city of Richmond, the governor shall, with the advice of council, cause to be enlisted a company of citizens of the United States, not exceeding sixty-eight men, including non-commissioned officers and musicians, to serve for three years, unless sooner discharged by law. The commissioned officers of the said company shall be one captain, one lieutenant, and one ensign, who shall be appointed and commissioned by the governor, with the advice of council. The pay per month of the officers and men shall be as follows: to the captain forty dollars; to the lieutenant thirty dollars; to the ensign twenty-six dollars; to the sergeants each eight dollars; to the corporals each seven dollars; to the musicians each seven dollars; and to the privates each six dollars. And the commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers and privates shall receive the same rations, and the non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates, the same cloathing as are allowed by the laws of congress to infantry in the service of the United States. The officers and soldiers of the said company shall be subject to the same rules and regulations and to the same punishment for offences as the troops of the United States are subject to the laws of the United States; but in no case shall the punishment of death be inflicted on any offender under the authority given by this law. The three commissioned officers of the said company shall be sufficient to hold a court martial for the trial of any of the non-commissioned officers, musicians or privates; and in case of the death, absence or inability of either of the said commissioned officers to attend the court martial for the trial of any non-commissioned officer, musician, or private, it shall be lawful for the lieutenant colonel commandant of Henrico to summon any commissioned officer or officers of the militia, to supply such vacancy; but in every such court which shall be held, one at least of the commissioned officers of the said company shall be a member of the court. A court martial for the trial of any of the commissioned officers shall consist of thirteen members, and shall be composed of one or both of the other commissioned officers, and as many militia officers as will make a court; which militia officers shall be summoned to attend by the said lieutenant colonel commandant. The governor, with advice of council, shall contract for cloathing and rations for the guard, and shall cause them to be stationed at such place or places as he may deem expedient, and in all cases shall they be under his control.

2. And be it further enacted, That the arms and stores now in the arsenal, at the Point of Fork, shall be removed to the city of Richmond, and deposited with the other public arms. If any of the guard now at the Point of Fork chuse to enlist in the said company they shall have the right to do so; those who do not chuse to enlist, together with the artificers, shall be discharged so soon as the arms are removed from the Point of Fork.

3. And be it further enacted, That the governor, with the advice of council, be authorized to rent the public property at the Point of Fork, or otherwise provide for the safe keeping thereof, as in their judgment shall seem expedient.

4. This act shall commence from the passing thereof.