An Ordinance for appointing Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, and Constables for the several Counties in this State, for erecting County Courts for the purposes of holding Sessions of the Peace and putting into execution the laws relative to Orphans, Guardians and highways until provisions shall be made by the General Assembly of this State for the same.
Be it ordained and declared by the Representatives of the Freemen of the State of North Carolina in Congress assembled, and it is ordained by the authority of the same, That William Blewitt, Thomas Wade, Charles Medlock, Matthew Raiford, James Picket, Stephen Miller, John Jackson, James Auld, Henry Munger, William Pickett, David Love, John Chiles, George Davidson, Robert Thomas, Cornelius Roberson, John Kimbrough, James Allen, William Hay, William Coleson, John Wall, John Caruth, William Coleson and Thomas Lacy, Esquires, of the County of Anson; John Barrow, Samuel Boatwell, Thomas Respess, James Bonner, Thomas Bonner, Thomas Pevice, Francis Jones, William Brown, Henry Bonner, John Smaw, Robert Tripp, William Boyd, John Kennedy, Reddin Blount, Junr., John Tripp, for the County of Beaufort, Isaac Jones, George Brown, William McRee, John Smith, John Turner, Archibald McKeesick, Abraham Barnes, John Grange, Thomas Owens and Thomas Brown, Esquires, for the County of Bladen; Thomas Pugh, William Gray, John Campbell, James Campbell, George Lockhart, Peter Clinton, John Freeman, Thomas Ward, William Ghoby, Humphrey Hardy, Jonathan Jacocks, Simon Turner, Andrew Oliver, William Bryan, Thomas Rhodes, Reubin Norfleet, James Bryan, Abner Eason, William Benson, George Ryan and William Pugh, Esquires, for the County of Bertie; Richard Quince, Isaac Marion, John Davis, Edward Wingate, Thomas Davis, Richard Quince, Junr., Parker Quince, Robert Snow, Robert Ellis, Robert Schaw, John Rowan, John Bell, Samuel Walters, Roger Davis, Thomas Neale, William Gause, Lewis Dupre, John Fergus, and Needham Gause, Esquires, for the County of Brunswick; Osburn Jeffries, William Johnston, Philemon Hawkins, Benjamin Ward, James Ransome, Jr., William Person, Henry Hill, Thomas Turner, Matthew Thomas, Philip Burfurd, James Ransome, Senr., Young McLemore, Thomas Miller, James Paine, Green Hill, Edward Jones, William Alston, Robert Goodlow, Esquires, for the County of Bute; Joseph Leech, James Davis, Jacob Blount, John Benners, John Carruthers, Richard Ellis, John Fonviele, John Tillman, Edward Franks, William Bryan, Emmanuel Simmons, Alexander Gaston, Jacob Johnston, John Bryan (Trent), William Randall, William Carraway, Bazil Smith, William Tisdale, Silas Stevenson, John Gilyard, and John Carney, Esquires, for the County of Craven; Valentine Wallis, Lewis Welch, William Thompson, Soloman Sheppard, Micajah Frasier, Joseph Bell, David Wallis, Joseph Bell, Kittarel Mundine, John Easton, Thomas Chadwick, Jacob Wade and John Williams, Esquires, for the County of Carteret; Richard Stanley, Kedar Marchand, Samuel Jarvis, Thomas Williams, Willis Etheridge, Nicholas Leving, Taylor Jones, John Nathen, John Powers, Thomas Jarvis, William Ferebee, Nathan Poyner, John Humphries, John Simons, Stephen Brooks, Spencer Hall, Zebulon Williams, Samuel Midgett, Caleb Simons, Maliche Merchant, and Thomas Miller, Esquires, for the County of Currituck; Demsey Sumner, Joseph Blount, Edward Vaile, Senr., Joseph Hewes, Thomas Bonner, John Baptist Beasley, James Blount, James Sumner, William Boyd, Robert Smith, Jacob Hunter, Jethro Benton, Luke Sumner, Thomas Benbury, Thomas Hunter, Josiah Granberry, Charles Bonfield, Joseph Underhill, and William Roberts, Esquires, for the County of Chowan; David Smith, Robert Rowan, William Sprowl, Robert Cobb, Alexander McAllister, Archibald McKay, William Scale, Thomas Matthews, Junr., James McDonald, Gilbert Clark, Philip Alston, Thomas Hadley, Ica Atkins, Alexander Avery, Walter Murray, John Robertson, Charles Campbell, John Matthews, Peter Mallet, John Lyon, William Stringfielder, Theophilus Evans, Robert Cochrane, James Dyer, Esquires for the County of Cumberland; Robert Rutherford, Alexander Clark, Matthew Jones, John Thomson, Balaam Thompson, Charles Matthews, John Ramsey, Richard Kennon, James Sellars, Samuel Stuart, John Nall, and Gray Barbary, Esquires for the County of Chatham; Thomas Edwards, Henry Goodman, Robert Simms, William Hooker, Thomas Williams, William Whitfield, Junior, Robert White, Junior, George Miller, Joseph Pipkin, Constantine Whitfield, John Cobb, Joshua Herring, William Sasser, Spyers Singleton, and Etheldred Ruffin, Esquires for the County of Dobbs; John Sampson, William Houston, Thomas Rutledge, Richard Clinton, James Kenan, William Ball, William Dixon, Thomas Hix, Robert Dickson, Richard Herring, William Taylor, and James Lockhart, Esquires for the County of Duplin; Acquila Sugg, Edward Moore, Samuel Ruffin, Duncan Lamon, Elisha Battle, William Haywood, Sherwood Haywood, Henry Irwin, Joseph Williamson, John Thomas, Matthew Drake, Noah Sugg, Robert Bignall, Nathan Bodie, Exum Lewis, Jonas Johnston, William Hall, Isaac Sessoms, Jacob Dickinson, Arthur Arrington, and Joseph Pender, Esquires for the County of Edgecombe; Robert Harris, Thomas Person, John Pope, William Burford, Jonathan Kitrell, David Mitchell, Robert Lewis, Thornton Yancey, Charles Rust Eaton, Memucan Hunt, John Young, Thomas Bankes, John Taylor, Samuel Smith, Henry Lyre, and John Oliver, Esquires for the County of Granville; Robert Lindsay, Alexander Caldwell, Charles Galloway, Robert McKinnie, William Gray, William Coles, James Martin, Philemon Deatheridge, Joseph Hines, William Gowdy, Adam Lackie, John Collier, James Brown, John Burton, William Clark, John Harris, George Costner, Gabriel Scot, and James Park Farley, Esquires for the County of Guilford; Rotheas Latham, Thomas Jones, Thomas Jordan, William Russell, Benjamin Parmelie, Frederick Baron, Burridge Selby, Robert Gibbs, Benjamin Holloway, Richard Harvey, Phineas Latham, Joseph Hancock, and John Poole, Esquires for the County of Hyde; Matthias Brickel, George Little, Lawrence Baker, James Wright, William Murfree, James Boon, John Harrold, John Northcut, James Reddick, Edward Hair, Josiah Sumner and Benjamin Brown, Esquires for the County of Hertford; Montfort Elbeck, John Bradford, William Branch, Philip Kearney, Egbert Haywood, Joseph John, William Samuel Weldon, John Jones, Charles Paitner, John Geddy, James Allon, Cullen Edwards, John Young, Jeremiah Nelmes, Willis Alston, Willie Jones, John Whitaker, Benjamin McCullock, and John Branch, Esquires for the County of Halifax; William Bryan, Henry Raines, Nathan Williams, Samuel Smith, Needham Bryan, John Hinnant, William McCullers, John Stevens, John Smith, Alexander Avery, Elisha Thomas, William Avery, Richard Warren, Richard Rivers, Phillip Raiford, William Hinnant, Charles Wilkinson, Kedar Powel, Henry Finch and Thomas Lee, Esquires for the County of Johnston; Paul Barringer, Robert Harris, Richard Berry, Martin Phifer, Abraham Alexander, Adam Alexander, Henry Downes, Hezekiah Alexander, David Reese, John Davison, Robert Irwin, John Ford, John McKnit Alexander, Ephraim Brevard, Jeremiah McAfferty, Robert Harris, Junior, James Harris, and Abraham Barnett, Esquires for the County of Mecklenburg; John Hardison, Edward Smithwick, William Slade, William Sherrod, John Lewellen, John Everit, Whitmell Hill, Thomas Wiggins, Thomas Hunter, Kenith McKenzie, Francis Ward, Samuel Smithwick, Samuel Williams, John Ross, John Kennedy, John Griffin, Nathan Mayo, Blake Baker Wiggins, Joshua Taylor, John Perry, James Moore and Thomas Riddick, Esquires for the County of Martin; John Hardee, John Simpson, George Moye, Lazarus Peirce, Amos Atkinson, Peter Reaves, John Williams, Robert Salter, Edmund Williams, Frederick Gibble, John Bower, James Lanier, David Perkins, William Hines, James Latham and William Travis, Esquires for the County of Pitt; John Brevard, Griffith Rutherford, George Henry Barringer, Moses Winslow, William Sharp, Robert King, James Brandon, John Johnston, Andrew Hunt, Jacob Nichols, Matthew Troy, Michael Brown, Israel Cox, Robert Moore, James Carr, Henry Davis, Joseph Steel, William Moore, Christopher Beckman, Andrew Woods, Charles McDowell, Hugh Brevard, Ephraim McLaine, John Perkins, John Conelly, Robert Holmes, Francis Cunningham, Matthew Sharp, Robert Blackburn, James Davison, Esquires for the County of Rowan; Martin Armstrong, William Hall, Charles Macanally, Jacob Boon, Robert Lanier, Benjamin Cleveland, Samuel Freeman, John Hudspeth, Michael Howzer, Matthew Moore, Joseph Winston, Richard Good, Thomas Johnston, Benjamin Hearndon, William Lanier, John Snead, William Dobson, Elisha Isaacks, Matthew Brookes, William Hawkins, Esquires for the County of Surry; Benjamin Blount, Giles Long, Joseph Spruill, Junr., John Hooker, Jeremiah Frasier, James Long, Thomas Horkins, Joseph Whidbee, Stephen Swain, Peter Wynns, Isham Webb, James Phelps, Junr., Benjamin Haril, John Wynns, Matthew Drivengreeses, Isaac Meekins, Edward Blount, Junr., Isaac Alexander, Junior, Richard Hough, Thomas Mackey, John Stubbs, Thomas Averit, Esquires for the County of Tyrrel; Joseph Harding, John Robertson, William Graham, George Lamkin, William Yancey, John M. Kinie, George Black, Robert Johnston, James McAffie, Frederick Hambright, Valentine Mauney, Jonathan Hampton, and William Nevill, Esquires for the County of Tryon; Joseph Lane, Theophilus Hunter, Thomas Hines, Joel Lane, James Martin, Abraham Hill, James Jones, Thomas Wooten, Tignal Jones, Thomas Crawford, Michael Rogers, Lodowick Alford, Joseph Davis, Albridgeton Jones, and William Walton, Esquires for the County of Wake; George Moore, Cornelius Harnett, Richard Quince, Frederick Jones, George Merrick, William Purviance, William Campbell, John Anerum, Sampson Moseley, John Devane, Samuel Swann, John Lillington, William Wilkinson, John Robertson, William Jones, William Jones, Senior, Henry Young, Timothy Bloodworth, and John DuBois, Esquires for the County of New Hanover; John Duke, Howel Edmunds, Drury Gee, William Eaton, Lewis Williamston, Charles Thompson, Allen Jones, Joseph Wood, Hezekiah Hough, Thomas Low, Eaton Haynes, Bennit Hill, and Thomas Parker, Esquires for the County of Northampton; William Gray, James Howard, Henry Rhodes, Lewis Williams, Thomas Johnston, Seth Ward, Benajah Doty, John Spicer, John Starkey, John Brinson, Stephen Grant, Edward Starkey, Robert Nixon, Archibald Gillespie, Stephen Williams, Richard Jerrat, Jacob Charleraft, Shadwick Hall, Reuben Grant, Esquires for the County of Onslow; Alexander Mebane, Senr., Lawrence Thompson, John Hawkins, John Butler, Eli McDaniel, John Hogan, William McCauly, Charles Abercrombie, Richard Binningham, Robert Abercrombie, Junior, James Hogg, William Johnston, Thomas Hart, Nathaniel Rochester, Alexander Mebane, Junr., James Freeland, William Rainey, James Scarlet, John Paine, Richard Holman, Robert Parks, Thomas Rice, George Moore, John Atkinson, James Saunders, William Moore, William Hubbard, John Douglass, Junior, Thomas Taylor, Joseph Allison, Robert Blackwell, Spill Coleman, Jeremiah Poston, James Rice, George Jerot, Esquires for the County of Orange, Benjamin Harvey, Charles Blount, Jesse Eason, John Hollowell, Seth Sumner, Thomas Harvey, Edmund Blount, Jesse Perry, William Skinner and Benjamin Phelps, Esquires for the County of Perquimans; Lemuel Sawyer, Isaac Gregory, Isaac Guilford, Jonathan Banks, John Lowry, Abraham Symons, Jonathan Herring, Thomas Redding, James Shannonhouse, Isaac Sawyer, Edward Everigin, Thomas Boyd, Abner Harrison, Demsey Sawyer, William Scarborough, Charles Grandy, Enoch Relfe, Willis Bright and Timothy Hixon, Esquires for the County of Pasquotank; John Carter, John Sevier, Charles Robeson, Valentine Sevier, Robert Lucas, John Haile, Andrew Grear, Thomas Simpson, Jacob Womack, John Shelby, George Russell, William Bean, Henry Clark, Zacharias Isbell, Aaron Pinson, John McNabb, Thomas Houghton, William Higgins, Isaac Johnston, Andrew Baker, Junior, and William Clarke, Esquires for the District of Washington, shall be Justices for keeping the peace and the Governor is hereby impowered to issue commissions to proper persons in each County and the said District to qualify the said Justices, and that they shall have power to hold Sessions of the Peace in their respective Counties on the days for holding County Courts by the Act of Assembly last in force in North Carolina and in the District of Washington on the fourth Tuesday in February, May, August and November, next if not otherwise ordered by Act of Assembly, and to enquire, hear and determine crimes and misdemeanors and to enforce all Laws relative to the Orphans, Guardians, Probate of Wills, and granting Letters Testamentary and of Administration to take proof of Deeds, and granting Commissions for taking the privy Examination of Feme Coverts and high Ways in such manner and under such restrictions as Inferior Courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions or Justices of the Peace may and can execute and enforce the same pursuant to an ordinance of this present Congress intitled An Ordinance to enforce the Statute Laws and such parts of the Common Law and Acts of Assembly heretofore in use here; also to enforce such Resolves of the Conventions and Congresses of this State which have not had their effect and also to execute and perform any such power or Duty as any Ordinance of this Congress shall appoint or require, and the said Justices of the Peace within their respective Counties and in the District of Washington are hereby authorized to execute the Resolves of the Congress held at Halifax in April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, relative to debtors who may abscond, remove or resist in like manner, and under like restrictions as Committees were by the said Resolves, authorized and empowered to proceed.
And be it also ordained that the Justices of the Peace in the respective Counties and in the District of Washington, shall have power to appoint Clerks of the County Courts and Sessions of the Peace by a majority of the votes of all the Justices in the Commission of the Peace, and all such Clerks when appointed shall hold their respective offices during good behavior.
And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the persons appointed Justices of the Peace by this Ordinance before entering upon ana executing the said office, shall take the oath appointed to be taken by publick officers, and also the following oath, to-wit: I, A. B. do swear that as a Justice of the Peace in the County of —— in all Articles in the Commission to me directed, I will do equal right to the poor and to the rich after my cunning, Wit and power and to the best of my judgment according to law and I will not be of Council in any quarrel hanging before me, I will not let for Gift or other cause but well and truly I will do my office of a Justice of the Peace as well within the County Court and Sessions of the Peace as without and I will not take any fee, Gift, Gratuity or Reward for anything to be done by virtue of my office, and I will not direct or cause to be directed any warrant by me to be made to the parties but I will direct such to the Sheriff or Constable of the County or other the officers or ministers of the State or other indifferent persons to do execution thereof. So help me God.
And to prevent a failure of Justice, Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, that the respective Justices of the Peace shall at their first Sessions, which shall be held after the passing of this Ordinance appoint some substantial Freeholder in their County to be the Sheriff until the General Assembly shall make Provision to the Contrary, which Sheriff when so chosen shall enter into Bond with good Security in the penalty of one thousand pounds payable to the Governor and his successors agreeable to and as near as may be to the form of a Bond payable to the King in an act entitled An Act for appointing Sheriffs and Directing their duty in office and in executing all process, and in apprehending and securing criminals, the several Sheriffs in this State shall be governed by the said Act, when it is not inconsistent with or repugnant to the Independence of this State or the rules and regulations in force within the same and shall also appoint as many constables as they may think necessary who shall before entering upon the execution of their office, take an oath of Allegiance to the State and an Oath of office.
And be it further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That this Ordinance shall continue and be in force until the end of the next session of the General Assembly and no longer. Read the third time and ratified in open Congress this 23rd of December, 1778.Sources: