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teach reading, writing, numeral arithmetic and geography, whose subsistence shall be furnished by the residents and proprietors of the ward, either in money or in kind, at the choice of each contributor, and in the ratio of their public taxes, to be apportioned and levied as on the failures before provided for. The teacher shall also have the use of the house and accommodations provided for him, and shall moreover receive annually such standing wages as the visitors shall have determined to be proportioned on the residents and proprietors of the ward, and to be paid, levied and applied as before provided in other cases of pecuniary contribution. At this school shall be received and instructed gratis, every infant of competent age who has not already had three years schooling. And it is declared and enacted, that no person unborn or under the age of twelve years at the passing of this act, and who is compos mentis, shall, after the age of fifteen years, be a citizen of this commonwealth until he or she can read readily in some tongue, native or acquired.
6. To keep up a constant succession of visitors, the judge of the Superior Court of every county shall at his first session in every bissextile year, appoint visitors as before characterized, either the same or others, at his discretion. And in case of the death or resignation of any visitor during the term of his appointment, or of his removal by the said judge for good cause, moral or physical, he shall appoint another to serve until the next bissextile appointment. Which visitors shall have their first meeting at their court house on the county court day next ensuing their appointment, and afterwards at such times and places as themselves or any two of them with reasonable notice to the third shall agree. But the election of wardens shall be annually, at the first meeting of the ward after the month of March, until which election the warden last elected shall continue in office.
7. All ward meetings shall be at their school house, and on a failure of the meeting of a majority of the wardens on the call of a visitor, or of their warden, such visitor or warden may call another meeting.
8. At all times when repairs or alterations of the buildings before provided for shall be wanting, it shall be the duty of the
warden or of a visitor, to call a ward meeting and to take the same measures towards such repairs or alterations as are herein before authorized for the original buildings.
9. When, on the application of any warden, authorized thereto by the vote of his ward, the judge of the Superior Court shall be of opinion that the contributors of any particular ward are disproportionably and oppressively overburthened with an unusual number of children of non-contributors of their ward, he may direct an order to the county court to assess in their next county levy the whole or such part of the extra burthen as he shall think excessive and unreasonable, to be paid to the warden for its proper use, to which order the said county court is required to conform.
10. The said teachers shall, in all things relating to the education and government of their pupils, be under the direction and control of the visitors; but no religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.
11. Some one of the visitors, once in every year at least, shall visit the several schools: shall inquire into the proceedings and practices thereat: shall examine the progress of the pupils, and give to those who excel in reading, in writing, in arithmetic, or in geography, such honorary marks and testimonies of approbation, as may encourage and excite to industry and emulation.
12. All decisions and proceedings of the visitors relative to the original designation of wards at any time before the buildings are begun, or changes of wards at any time after, to the quantum of subsistence, or wages allowed to the teacher, and to the rules prescribed to him for the education and government of his pupils, shall be subject to be controlled and corrected by the judge of the Superior Court of the county, on the complaint of any individual aggrieved or interested.
The solemn Declaration and Protest of the Commonwealth of
Virginia, on the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America, and on the violations of them.
We, the General Assembly of Virginia, on behalf, and in the name of the people thereof, do declare as follows:
The States in North America which confederated to establish their independence of the government of Great Britain, of which Virginia was one, became, on that acquisition, free and independent States, and as such, authorized to constitute governments, each for itself, in such form as it thought best.
They entered into a compact, (which is called the Constitution of the United States of America,) by which they agreed to unite in a single government as to their relations with each other, and with foreign nations, and as to certain other articles particularly specified. They retained at the same time, each to itself, the other rights of independent government, comprehending mainly their domestic interests.
For the administration of their federal branch, they agreed to appoint, in conjunction, a distinct set of functionaries, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the manner settled in that compact: while to each, severally, and of course, remained its original right of appointing, each for itself, a separate set of functionaries, legislative, executive, and judiciary, also, for administering the domestic branch of their respective governments.
These two sets of officers, each independent of the other, constitute thus a whole of government, for each State separately; the powers ascribed to the one, as specifically made federal, exercised over the whole, the residuary powers, retained to the other, exercisable exclusively over its particular State, foreign herein, each to the others, as they were before the original compact.
To this construction of government and distribution of its powers, the commonwealth of Virginia does religiously and affectionately adhere, opposing, with equal fidelity and firmness, the usurpation of either set of functionaries on the rightful powers of the other.
But the federal branch has assumed in some cases, and claimed in others, a right of enlarging its own powers by constructions, inferences, and indefinite deductions from those directly given, which this assembly does declare to be usurpations of the powers retained to the independent branches, mere interpolations into the compact, and direct infractions of it.
They claim, for example, and have commenced the exercise of a right to construct roads, open canals, and effect other internal improvements within the territories and jurisdictions exclusively belonging to the several States, which this assembly does declare has not been given to that branch by the constitutional compact, but remains to each State among its domestic and unalienated powers, exercisable within itself and by its domestic authorities alone.
This assembly does further disavow and declare to be most false and unfounded, the doctrine that the compact, in authorizing its federal branch to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States, has given them thereby a power to do whatever they may think, or pretend, would promote the general welfare, which construction would make that, of itself, a complete government, without limitation of powers; but that the plain sense and obvious meaning were, that they might levy the taxes necessary to provide for the general welfare, by the various acts of power therein specified and delegated to them, and by no others.
Nor is it admitted, as has been said, that the people of these States, by not investing their federal branch with all the means of bettering their condition, have denied to themselves any which may effect that purpose ; since, in the distribution of these means they have given to that branch those which belong to its department, and to the States have reserved separately the residue which belong to them separately. And thus by the organization of the two branches taken together, have completely secured the first object of human association, the full improve
ment of their condition, and reserved to themselves all the faculties of multiplying their own blessings.
Whilst the General Assembly thus declares the rights retained by the States, rights which they have never yielded, and which this State will never voluntarily yield, they do not mean to raise the banner of disaffection, or of separation from their sister States, co-parties with themselves to this compact. They know and value too highly the blessings of their Union as to foreign nations and questions arising among themselves, to consider every infraction as to be met by actual resistance. They respect too affectionately the opinions of those possessing the same rights under the same instrument, to make every difference of construction a ground of immediate rupture. They would, indeed, consider such a rupture as among the greatest calamities which could befall them ; but not the greatest. There is yet one greater, submission to a government of unlimited powers. It is only when the hope of avoiding this shall become absolutely desperate, that further forbearance could not be indulged. Should a majority of the co-parties, therefore, contrary to the expectation and hope of this assembly, prefer, at this time, acquiescence in these assumptions of power by the federal member of the government, we will be patient and suffer much, under the confidence that time, ere it be too late, will prove to them also the bitter consequences in which that usurpation will involve us all. In the meanwhile, we will breast with them, rather than separate from them, every misfortune, save that only of living under a government of unlimited powers. We owe every other sacrifice to ourselves, to our federal brethren, and to the world at large, to pursue with temper and perseverance the great experiment which shall prove that man is capable of living in society, governing itself by laws self-imposed, and securing to its members the enjoyment of life, liberty, property, and peace; and further to show, that even when the government of its choice shall manifest a tendency to degeneracy, we are not at once to despair but that the will and the watchfulness of its sounder parts will reform its aberrations, recall it to original and legitimate principles, and restrain it within the rightful limits