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title:“A Bill Authorizing the Marking and Clearing of a Road into the County of Kentucky”
authors:George Mason
date written:1779-10-27

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Mason, George. "A Bill Authorizing the Marking and Clearing of a Road into the County of Kentucky." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 2. Ed. Robert A. Rutland. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 544-45. Print.
Manuscript, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Va.

A Bill Authorizing the Marking and Clearing of a Road into the County of Kentucky (October 27, 1779)

[17 October 1779]
Whereas great Numbers of People are setling upon the Waters of the Ohio River, to the Westward of the Cumberland Mountains, in the County of Kentuckey, and great Advantages will redound to the Commonwealth from a free and easy Communication and Intercourse between th[e] Inhabitants in the Eastern and Western Parts thereof, enabling the[m] to afford mutual Aid and Support to each other, and cementing in on[e] common Interest all the Citizens of the State, to which a good Waggon Road, thro the great Mountains, into the Settlements in the said County will greatly contribute; but such Road necessarily passing, for a considerable Distance, thro' a Tract of rough and uninhabitable Country, can neither be made, in the usual Way, by the adjacent Inhabitants, nor can the Practi[ca]bility or Charge be properly judged of, until the Country hath been explored, and such Road traced out; Be it enacted by the General Assembly that (Evan Shelby and Richard Callaway) be appointed for that purpose, and they or any two of them are hereby empowered and authorised to explore the Country adjacent to, and on both Sides of the Cumberland Mountains, and to trace out and mark the most convenient Road from the Settlements on the East Side of the said Mountains, over the same, into the open Country, in the said County of Kentuckey; and to cause such Road, with all convenient Dispatch, to be opened and cleared in such manner as to give passage to Travellers with pack Horses, for the present; and report their proceedings therein to the next Session of Assembly, together with a Computation of the Distance, and the best Estimate they can make of the practicability and charge of compleating the same, and making it a good Waggon Road. And the said (Evan Shelby and Richard Callaway) or such of them as shall have acted herein, shall lay before the Auditors of public Accounts a fair Account, on Oath, of the disbursements made, and Charges incurred in the Execution of this Act; which the said Auditors are hereby required to adjust and settle, and give a warrant on the Treasury for such Sum as shall to them appear justly due thereon; except the (wages and pay of the labourers and militia guard, each of whom on the certificate of the said Evan Shelby or Richard Callaway that he hath been employed during the whole time of that service, shall be entitled to a grant of three hundred acres of any waste or unappropriated lands within this state, for which no purchase money shall be demanded on behalf of the commonwealth, or one hundred and twenty pounds at the option of the claimant; and in the same proportion for the like certificate of service during a lesser time, and except the compensation to the said Evan Shelby and Richard Callaway,) for their own Trouble which is hereby reserved to the Judgement of the General Assembly. And whereas the persons employed in marking and clearing the said Road may be exposed to Danger from the Indians, the said (Evan Shelby and Richard Callaway), are hereby empowered, from time to time, to apply to the Commanding Officer of the most convenient County or Countys, for such Militia Guard, not exceeding ((with the labourers employed) fifty) men, as they shall think necessary for Protection; which Guard such Commanding Officer is empowered and required to furnish accordingly. (In case of the death, disability, or refusal to act of either of the commissioners, the court of the county in which he resided, shall nominate a proper person to fill up the vacancy, which nomination shall give the person named, the same powers, and entitle him to the like compensation as if he had been hereby particularly appointed.)

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