Virginia General Assembly’s Act Appropriating Part of the Literary Fund Revenue for the Creation of a Board of Commissioners for Education and for the Establishment of a University

1. BE it enacted by the General Assembly,

School commissioners to be appointed by the courts of the counties, cities, &c annually.

That for the purpose of duly applying a part of the income of the literary fund to the primary object of its institution, it shall be the duty of the courts of the several counties, cities and corporate towns represented in the General Assembly, and of the borough of Norfolk, as soon as may be in the present year, and annually thereafter in the month of October, to appoint not less than five nor more than fifteen discreet persons to be called school commissioners for the counties, cities, the said corporate towns and borough of Norfolk respectively, in which they may be appointed.

Their first meeting when to be held.

The said commissioners for the counties, cities, corporate towns and borough of Norfolk respectively, or a majority of them, shall hold their first meeting, at the court houses of their respective counties and corporations, on the first day of the court of the county or corporation, next after that, at which they shall have been appointed, or as soon thereafter as may be;

Their annual meetings, when.

they shall afterwards, in every year, hold a meeting at the places aforesaid, on the first day of the court of their county or corporation, which shall be holden in the month of November;

Extra meetings how to be called.

and they shall hold such extra meetings at the places aforesaid, as they may deem necessary, to be convened at any time, on the application of any number of the said commissioners, not less than a third part of the whole, reasonable notice thereof having been first given, by advertisement, at the door of the court house, on some court day;

A board for transaction of business how to be constituted.

a majority of the whole number of commissioners shall be, at all times, necessary to form a board for the transaction of business, or to adjourn, except from day to day; but any smaller number may adjourn from day to day; the board may adjourn from time to time, as they may think proper.

Treasurer to be appointed by them.

The said commissioners shall annually appoint one of their own body treasurer, who, before he shall be entitled to receive any money by virtue of his office,

And to give bond and security.

shall give bond and good security in the court of the county, city, corporate town or borough in which he may be appointed, payable to the president and directors of the literary fund, in the penalty of two thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful application and accounting for all monies which may come to his hands by virtue of his office; which bond shall be filed and recorded in the office of such court.

Their powers.

The said commissioners shall have power to determine what number of poor children they will educate, what sum shall be paid for their education, to authorise each of themselves to select so many poor children as they may deem expedient, and to draw orders upon their treasurer for the payment of the expence of tuition, and of furnishing such children with proper books and materials for writing and cyphering.

Poor children, with assent of father, mother, or guardian, to be taught reading, writing and arithmetic.

The poor children, selected in manner aforesaid, shall (with the assent of the father, or if no father, of the mother of such children respectively, or if no mother, with the assent of the guardian) be sent to such school as may be convenient, to be taught reading, writing and arithmetic.

2. And be it enacted,

Duty of the treasurer as to payments of money.

That the said treasurer shall pay all monies, which may come to his hands in virtue of his office, to the order of the said commissioners, or of such of them as shall have been authorised at their lawful meeting to draw upon him, and

Account to be annually rendered by him, and returned to the clerk of the county or corporation court.

shall annually render an account of his receipts and disbursements, supported by proper vouchers, to the said commissioners, who shall examine the same, and after correcting all errors which may be found therein, shall return the same to the clerks of the courts for their counties, corporate towns, cities and borough of Norfolk respectively;

Copies to be certified by the clerks to the president and directors of the literary fund.

and the said clerks shall certify a copy of such account to the president and directors of the literary fund; for which copy and certificate the said clerks respectively shall be allowed by the said commissioners such a fee as they may deem reasonable, to be paid by order on the said treasurer; and whenever such treasurer shall go out of office, he shall pay over any balance which may be in his hands to his successor in office.

3. And be it enacted,

Farther powers of the commissioners.

That it shall and may be lawful for the said commissioners to appoint one of their own body as clerk; to fill all vacancies created by death, resignation or removal; to make such allowance to their treasurer as they may deem reasonable for his services, and to authorise their treasurer to pay their own reasonable expences incurred in attending their meeting.

4. And be it enacted,

Sum to be annually paid out of the literary fund to each of said treasurers.

That the president and directors of the literary fund shall annually pay to each of the said treasurers, or [render], upon the production of a certificate from the proper clerk that he has given the bond required by this act, such proportion of the sum of forty-five thousand dollars as the free white population of the county, city, corporate town or borough in which such treasurers may respectively have been appointed, bears to the whole free white population of the Commonwealth, according to the last and every future census taken under the authority of the United States.

5. And be it enacted,

Mode of proceeding against them and their securities for delinquency.

That the bonds given by the treasurers may be put in suit in the name of the president and directors of the literary fund for their benefit, or for the benefit, and at the costs, of any person or persons who may sustain injury by a breach of the condition thereof. And if any treasurer appointed under the authority of this act, or his executors, administrators or other personal representative, shall, at any time, when duly required thereto, fail to pay any money received by such treasurer by virtue of his office, it shall be lawful for the commissioners of schools, in the name of the president and directors of the literary fund, or for the said president and directors in their own name, by motion, on ten days previous notice, in any court of record having jurisdiction thereof, to recover a judgment and have execution for such money, with ten per centum per annum damages thereon, from the time of such failure till payment, together with costs, against the said treasurer, and his securities, jointly or severally, or against the executors, administrators, or other personal representative, of such treasurer, or his securities, or any of them: and the money made, upon such judgment, or execution, shall be paid to the order of the board of commissioners, or of such person as they shall have authorised to receive it, pursuant to the provisions of this act.

6. And be it farther enacted,

Money &c. derived from the sale or forfeiture of glebe lands vested in the school commissioners.

That all money, funds, debts, or property now held by the overseers of the poor of any county or corporation, and derived from, or acquired by the sale or forfeiture of glebe lands, and which shall be unappropriated by the citizens of such county or corporation, shall after the passage of this act be vested in the said school commissioners, the revenue or income of such money, funds, debts, or other property, to be used and applied by the said commissioners to the education of the poor youth of their county or corporation, in the same manner as they are directed by this act to apply that portion of the revenue of the literary fund to which their county or corporation may be entitled:

Proviso.

Provided, that, before any such funds, money, or other property shall be thus invested in the said commissioners, the citizens of such county or corporation, or a majority of them, shall assent to the said investment.

7. And be it enacted,

Annual report to be made to the president and directors of the literary fund, by the school commissioners.

That the school commissioners shall annually present a statement to the president and directors of the literary fund, exhibiting the number of schools and indigent children in their county, or corporation; the price paid for their tuition; the number of indigent children educated in such schools; and what farther appropriation from the literary fund will in their opinion be sufficient to furnish the means of education to all the indigent children in their county or corporation.

8. Be it farther enacted,

University of Virginia to be established.

That there shall be established, in some convenient and proper part of the State, a university to be called, “The University of Virginia,”—wherein all the branches of useful science shall be taught.

How its permanent scite shall be ascertained.

In order to aid the Legislature in ascertaining the permanent scite of the said University, and in organizing it, there shall be appointed without delay by the Executive of this Commonwealth twenty-four discreet and intelligent persons, who shall constitute a board to be called “The board of commissioners for the University.” One member of the said board, shall be appointed from each of the Senatorial districts, as they were arranged, by an act of the last session of the Legislature. If any person so appointed shall fail or refuse to act, his place shall be supplied from the same district, by appointment of the president and directors of the literary fund.

Board of commissioners for that purpose when and where to meet; and how to be constituted.

The said board shall meet on the first day of August next at the tavern in Rockfish gap on the Blue Ridge for the purpose of performing the duties hereby assigned to them. At least three-fourths of the whole number shall be necessary to form a board for the transaction of business; but any smaller number may adjourn from day to day, until a quorum shall attend. The said board, when assembled, shall have power to adjourn from time to time, and from place to place, until their duties shall have been performed.

Report to be made by them to the Legislature.

It shall be their duty to enquire and report to the Legislature at their next session:

First—A proper scite for the University;

Secondly—A plan for the buildings thereof;

Thirdly—The branches of learning, which should be taught therein;

Fourthly—The number and description of professorships; and

Fifthly—Such general provisions as might properly be enacted by the Legislature, for the better organising and governing the University.

Voluntary contributions for the University to be received.

The said board are also authorised and required to receive any voluntary contributions, whether condition or absolute, whether in land, money or other property, which may be offered, through them, to the president and directors of the literary fund, for the benefit of the University; and to report the same to the Legislature, at their next session.

Compensation allowed the board for their services.

The members of the said board of commissioners shall be allowed for their services the same pay and travelling expences, as are allowed to members of the General Assembly, to be ascertained and certified by the board, and paid out of the literary fund.

9. Be it further enacted,

Sum appropriated annually to the University out of the revenue of the Literary Fund.

That, as soon as the scite of the said University shall be ascertained by law, there shall be appropriated, out of the revenue of the literary fund, the sum of fifteen thousand dollars per annum, for the purpose of defraying the expences of procuring the land and erecting the buildings, and for the permanent endowment of the said University;

Proviso.

Provided, however, that the appropriation, hereby made to the University, shall in no manner impair or diminish the appropriations hereinbefore made to the education of the poor in the several counties and corporations.

10. Be it further enacted,

Visitors to be appointed by the president and directors of the literary fund.

That the University aforesaid shall be under the government of thirteen visitors to be appointed by the president and directors of the literary fund, and to hold their offices for seven years, and until their successors shall be appointed, unless sooner displaced by the said president and directors. All vacancies in the office of visitor, by death, resignation, or removal out of the Commonwealth, or failure to act, for the space of one year, shall be supplied by the said president and directors.

Powers of the visitors.

11. The said visitors shall appoint one of their own body to be rector, and they shall be a body corporate, under the name and style of “The rector and visitors of the University of Virginia;” and, as such, they may have and use a common seal, receive and hold property for the benefit of the University, sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded. They shall have power to appoint a clerk for their own body, and allow him a reasonable compensation for his services; to appoint and remove the professors and teachers and all other officers of the University; to regulate their salaries and fees; and to make all such by-laws, rules and regulations, as may be necessary to the good government of the University, and not contrary to the laws of the land. But the said rector and visitors shall at all times conform to such laws, as the Legislature may from time to time think proper to enact for their government; and the said University shall in all things, at all times, be subject to the controul of the Legislature.

Commencement.

12. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the first day of March next.

Published in Acts passed at a General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, begun and held at the Capital (Richmond, VA: Thomas Ritchie, 1818), 11–15.
Author
Virginia General Assembly
Date Range
Date
February 21, 1818