Washington Academy Charter

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Charter of the Washington Academy in Washington, Pennsylvania  (1787) 
by Pennsylvania General Assembly

An Act to incorporate and endow an Academy or Public School in the Town of Washington.

Sect, I. Whereas the Education of youth has ever been found to be of the most essential consequence, as well to the good Government of States, and the Peace and Welfare of Society, as to the Profit and Ornament of Individuals insomuch that from the Experience of all Ages it appears that Seminaries of Learning when properly conducted have been public blessings to Mankind so that much of the happiness and prosperity of every community depends on the proper Instruction of Youth who must succeed the aged in the important business of life. And as an Academy or Public School in the Town of Washington for the Education of Youth, is likely to contribute to the Welfare of the Community and this House chearfully concurring in so laudable a Work, Therefore

Section II. Be it enacted and it is hereby enacted by the Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met and by the authority of the same, That there shall be, and hereby is erected and established in the Town of Washington in the County of Washington in this State, an Academy or Public School for the Education of Youth in useful Arts, Sciences and Literature, by the Name, Stile and Title of Washington Academy.

Section III. Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid that the first Trustees of the said Academy shall consist of the following Persons to wit: the Reverend John McMillen, the Reverend Joseph Smith, The Reverend Thaddeus Dodd, The Reverend John Clark, The Reverend Matthew Henderson, the Reverend John Corbley, James Marshall, Esquire, James Edgar, Esquire, John McDowell, Esquire, Alexander Wright, Esquire, James Allison, Esquire, Thomas Scott, Esquire, David Bradford, James Ross, David Redick, John Hoge, Alexander Addison, Thomas Crooks, James Flannagan, Doctor Alexander Baird, and James Brice, which said Trustees and their successors to be elected as herein after mentioned, shall forever hereafter be, and they are hereby ever established and declared to be one Body Politic and Corporate in Deed and are to all intents and purposes with perpetual Succession, by the name and title of "Trustees of the Academy of Washington in the County of Washington" by which name and Title they and their Successors shall be competent and capable in Law and in Equity to take and hold to them and their Successors of the said Academy any Estate in any Messuages, Lands, Tenements, Testaments, goods, Chattels, Monies, or other effects by the Gift, Grant, Sale, conveyance, assurance, will, devise, or bequest of any person or persons whatsoever capable of making the same, and the same messuages, Lands, Testaments, Hereditaments and estates, real or personal, to grant, convey, assure, demise and to farm, let out on Interest or otherwise do for the use of the said Academy, either to build, rebuild, or enlarge or otherwise alter the School house for the Accommodation of the Scholars at the aforesaid Academy or to erect and make any new Building in such Manner as to them or at least seven of them shall seem most beneficial to the Institution and to recover the Rents, issues, profits, and Interest of the same, and to apply the same to the Benefit use and support of the said Academy and by the same name and title as aforesaid to sue, commence prosecute and plead and be impleaded in any Court or Courts before any Judge or Judges, Justice or Justices in all and every manner of Suits, complaints, pleas Causes Matters and Demands of whatsoever Nature, kind or form they may be, and all and every matter and thing thereunto etc,, in as full and effectual a manner, as any other Person or Persons body Politic or Corporate within this Commonwealth may or can do and to hold enjoy and exercise all such powers Authorities and Jurisdictions touching and concerning the Premises which shall be incidentally necessary thereto, in every Case matter or thing relative to the management or in any wise necessary for the Good Government of the aforesaid Academy.

Section IV. Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid that the said Trustees and their Successors shall have full Power and Authority to use one common Seal with such Device and Inscription thereon as they shall think proper under and by which all Deeds, Certificates and Acts of the said Corporation shall pass and be authenticated, and the said Seal to break, alter and renew at their Pleasure.

Section V. Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid that any seven of the said Trustees shall be a quorum to transact all the Business of the said Academy, particularly of making and enacting ordinances and by-laws for the Government of the said Academy of electing Trustees in the Room of those who shall be removed by death or resignation, of electing and appointing Masters and Tutors of said Academy, of agreeing with them for their Salaries and removing them for misconduct and Breaches of the Bye Laws of the Institution, of appointing a Secretary, Stewards, Managers, and other necessary officers, for taking care of the estate and managing the Concerns of this Corporation, and shall determine all Matters and Things although the same be that particularly mentioned herein, which shall ocasionally arise, and be eventually necessary to be determined and trans- acted by the said Trustees. Provided always, That no Ordnance or bye laws shall be of force which shall be repugnant to the Laws of this Commonwealth and that all their Laws & proceedings be fairly and regularly enterred in a Book to be kept for that purpose.

Section VI. Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no misnomer of the said Corporation, shall defeat or annul, any Gift Grant, Devise, Bequest to the said Corporation provided the intent of the Parties shall sufficiently appear upon the face of the Gift, Grant Will or other Writing, whereby the Estate or Interest was intended to pass to the said Corporation, nor shall any User or Nonuser of the Rights, Liberties, privileges, jurisdictions and authorities hereby granted to the said Corporation create or in any wise cause a forfeiture thereof.

Section VII. Be it further enacted by the t authority aforesaid. That no Sale or Alienation of the real Estate of the said Corporation, which shall have been made by the said Trustees or their Successors bona fide for a valuable consideration in case the Possession thereof pass immediately to the purchaser or purchasers thereof, and continue in them, him or her heirs or assigns, shall be invalidated for want of proving that seven of the Trustees of the said Corporation consented to such Sale or Alienation, unless the same be controverted within the Space of seven Years from and after the sale and Delivery of such Real Estate to the Purchaser or Purchasers thereof.

Section VIII. Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That five thousand Acres of Land together with six percentum allowance for Roads be laid off and surveyed within the unappropriated Lands of this Commonwealth, be, and they are hereby granted to the Trustees of the Washington Academy in the County of Washington, to have and to hold the same to them their successors and assigns forever. And on the application of the said Trustees, or of any Person duly authorized by them, to the Secretary of the Land office of this State, he shall and hereby is required to grant and issue such and so many warrants to be directed to the surveyor general, requiring him to survey or cause to be surveyed, for the Trustees of the said Academy, such and so many Tracts of Lands with such number of Acres in each Warrants as shall be applied for at each application in such Places not otherwise appropriated, by Acts of Assembly of this Commonwealth as shall in the whole amount to the said Quantity of Five thousand Acres with the usual allowance, and the Surveyor General shall receive and enter all such warrants in his office and issue copies thereof directed to his deputies in the different Counties and Districts within the State, and the said Deputies shall duly execute the same, and make returns thereof and thereupon such Proceedings shall be had, and Patents or Grants of Confirmation for the same shall be issued and granted to the Trustees of the said Academy in like manner and form and having like force and effect as the like proceedings and Patents have been and are conducted and granted in case of private persons making applications for and taking up Lands under the Laws of this Commonwealth in such Cases made and provided.

Section IX. Be it further enacted by the authority aforementioned That all and every the Tract and Tracts of Land hereby directed to be surveyed for the use of the said Academy, shall be so done at the Charge of this State and the President or Vice President in Council are hereby authorized and empowered to draw Orders on the Treasurer of this State to pay and defray all the Charges arising thereupon.

Signed by Order of the House Thomas Mifflin Speaker

Enacted into a Law at Philadelphia on Monday the twenty fourth Day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.

Peter Zachary Lloyd Clerk of the General Assembly