Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia

Passed at the Session Commencing December 7, 1846 and ending March 23, 1847

In the Seventy - First Year of the Commonwealth.

CHAP. 146. - An ACT to incorporate the Little Kanawha navigation company.

[Passed March 9, 1847]

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That it shall be lawful to open books of subscription at Parkersburg in the county of Wood, under the superintendence of J. Dickerson, Alfred Beauchamp, Hiram Pribble, Peyton Butcher, Willis Leech, Abraham Enoch, Peter G. Vanwinkle and Jefferson Gibbons, or a majority of them, for the purpose of receiving subscriptions to the amount of fifty thousand dollars, in shares of fifty dollars each, to constitute a joint capital stock for opening and improving the navigation of the Little Kanawha river, from its mouth to Bulltown in the county of Braxton.

2. The said books shall be opened, and the subscriptions received in the manner provided in such cases by the act, entitled "an act prescribing certain general regulations for the incorporation of turnpike companies;" and ten dollars shall be paid on each share at the time of subscribing, and all the provisions of said act relative to keeping open the books of subscription, the payment of subscriptions, the general or annual meetings of the company, the ratio of votes, the incorporation of the company, the transfer of stock, the election and removal of the president and directors and their powers and duties, shall be held and deemed to apply as effectually to this act, and to the company hereby incorporated, as if they were specially recited herein.

3. Be it further enacted, That as soon as two thousand shares of the capital stock shall have been subscribed, the subscribers shall be and are hereby incorporated into a company by the name and style of the "Little Kanawha Navigation Company," with all the rights, privileges and immunities of a corporation or body politic in law, and may make such by-laws, rules and regulations, not contrary to the laws of this state or of the United States, as may be deemed necessary for well ordering and conducting the affairs of the company.

4. Be it further enacted, That the president and directors of the company, besides the general powers prescribed in the fifth section of the before cited act, shall and may exercise the same powers, and be subject to the same restrictions in the acquisition of such land, not exceeding fifty feet in width for a canal, or one acre at one place for the abutment of a dam, or the erection of a tollhouse or other fixture, and of such materials as may be necessary for the purposes of the company, as are prescribed to the president and directors of turnpike companies by the act aforesaid; and it shall be lawful for the president and directors of the said company, for the purpose of carrying on their improvement, to contract and agree with the, owner or owners of any dam, mill, machine or engine, lawfully erected on the said river, for the purchase of such dam, mill, machine or engine, with as much land contiguous thereto as may be necessary for the operation of said mill, machine or engine, with the entire interest of the owner or owners, and the appurtenances thereof. As often as a section of said company's work of ten miles in length shall be completed, they may demand and receive thereon such tolls as may from time to time be fixed by the Board of public works, or by the general assembly.

5. Be it further enacted, That if the said president and directors shall not begin the said work within five years from the passage of this act, and complete the same within ten years thereafter, then the right and interest of said company in and to the navigation aforesaid, and the tolls hereby given, shall be forfeited and cease.

6. Be it further enacted, That if any person, shall wilfully trespass on the possessions, or do injury to the works or other property of the company, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and be punished accordingly, except when the offence is of a higher grade, or otherwise specially punishable by law.

7. Be it further enacted, That the president and directors of said company are hereby authorized to demand and receive at such place or places as they may designate, after the opening and completion of the navigation of the Little Kanawha river, such tolls as upon their application the Board of public works may prescribe as fair and reasonable; and the said Board of public works are hereby instructed to furnish to said president, and directors, when requested, such a tariff of tolls as aforesaid.

8. This act shall be in force from its passage.


Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia

Passed at the Session Commencing December 6, 1847, and ending April 5, 1848

In the Seventy - Second Year of the Commonwealth.

Chap. 210. - An ACT to amend the act passed the 9th March 1847, "concerning the Little Kanawha navigation company."

[Passed, March 11, 1848.]

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That the act passed March the ninth, eighteen hundred and forty-seven, entitled "an act to incorporate the Little Kanawha navigation company," be and the same is so amended in the third section thereof, that when one hundred and thirty-five (instead of two thousand) shares shall have been subscribed the company shall be incorporated.

2. The Board of public works is hereby instructed to subscribe on behalf of the commonwealth, for three fifths or thirty thousand dollars of the stock of said company, whenever the said board shall be satisfied that three fourths of two fifths of the capital stock of said company shall have been subscribed by solvent persons able to pay the same; and the said board shall borrow the sum or sums necessary to pay the subscription on behalf of the commonwealth, agreeably to the terms of the act passed April the eighth, eighteen hundred and thirty-nine "authorizing loans for the payment of certain subscriptions and appropriations," and the board shall also pay the commonwealth's subscription in money and pari passu with the payments on account of individual subscriptions.

3. The work shall be divided into three sections; the first section shall commence at the town of Parkersburg and extend to Elizabeth in the county of Wirt; the second section shall commence at Elizabeth in the county of Wirt, and extend to Gilmer courthouse, and the third section shall commence at Gilmer courthouse and extend to Bulltown in the county of Braxton. The said sections shall be constructed in the order hereinbefore named: Provided, That not more than one third of the capital of said company shall be applied to the construction of the first section, nor more than two thirds to the first and second sections.

4. The county courts of Wood, Wirt, Gilmer and Braxton, all the magistrates having been summoned and a majority voting for the subscription, may severally subscribe for such amount, of the capital stock of the company as they may think proper, and any and each of said courts so subscribing may raise the amount of its subscription by a county levy laid on all the taxable subjects, other than white tithables, within their respective counties, made so by the laws of this commonwealth, and collected as other county levies.

5. No subscriptions shall be made by the Board of public works on behalf of the commonwealth, for the second and third sections of the said improvement, until the said board shall be satisfied that the individual subscriptions or subscriptions made by others than the commonwealth for the first section have been secured.

6. This act shall be in force from its passage.


Chap. 221. - An ACT to amend the act entitled "an act concerning dams on the Little Kanawha river."

[Passed, March 17, 1848.]

Whereas it is represented to the general assembly, that under the alleged authority of the act to which this is amendatory, the proprietors of certain dams on the Little Kanawha river, have placed locks therein, which are not in accordance with the true intent and meaning of the said act; and that the dimensions thereby prescribed for locks are too small to accommodate the boats and rafts usually navigating the said river, and that for want of suitable slopes at the said dams, the navigation of the said river is greatly hindered. And it appearing that the price for passing boats and their lading through locks in the said river, was inadvertently fixed by the said act at one dollar per ton, a sum far beyond what is usual under similar circumstances elsewhere. And it further appearing that by acts of the general assembly, passed respectively on the twenty-fourth day of December eighteen hundred and the twelfth day of January eighteen hundred and three, the said river was declared a navigable highway, and all obstructions to the navigation thereof forbidden, and the construction of dams across the same permitted only upon condition that they should not obstruct the said navigation:

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That it shall be lawful for the county courts of Wood and Wirt counties at any terms thereof to appoint three commissioners, who shall have power and are hereby authorized to contract for the building of a slope of not less than the dimensions prescribed by the first section of the act passed February the twenty-first, eighteen hundred and forty-five, of which this act is amendatory, at such part of each of the dams now erected across the Little Kanawha river at Elizabeth in the county of Wirt, and Claysville in the county of Wood, as they shall deem best calculated to facilitate the navigation of the said river by flat boats and rafts. And the said commissioners are hereby further authorized to cause such slopes to be let into and connected with the said dams respectiveiy, and to cause to be reduced to a height not exceeding four feet, so much of each of the said dams as is equal to the width of the said slopes to be erected therein, and to conform the said slopes in all things to the requirements and provisions of the said act: Provided, That the said commissioners shall not commence the construction of the said slopes until the amount of money and materials necessary to complete them are subscribed or provided by individuals or by the courts hereinafter authorized to contribute thereto.

2. It shall be the duty of the proprietors of the dams at which slopes shall be constructed under the provisions of this act, to maintain and keep in good repair the slopes at their respective dams under the provisions and penalties of the second section of the said act, and after the passage of this act, the construction of a lock in any dam across the said river, shall not release the proprietor or proprietors thereof from erecting, maintaining and keeping in repair at the same dam a slope in all things conformed to the requisitions of the said act. And the chambers of all locks which may be hereafter erected in the said river, shall be not less than one hundred feet in length over and above the space required for opening the lower gates thereof, nor less than twenty-two feet in width in the clear. And where any such lock shall be erected at a riffle, the bottom of the chamber thereof shall be sunk to a level with the bed of the river below such riffle, and a channel of the same depth shall be cut from such chamber to the lower end of the river, so that boats can enter or leave the lock at its lower gates at any stage of water in the said river.

3. The proprietor or proprietors of any lock now constructed or hereafter to be constructed in the said river, if the same conform to the provisions of this act, shall be entitled to demand and receive for opening his or their lock, to permit the passage of any raft, boat or other thing, the sum of two dollars and no more; and the third section of the said act of February the twenty-first, eighteen hundred and forty-five, is hereby repealed.

4. It shall be lawful for the county courts of Wood, Wirt, Gilmer and Lewis, respectively, or either of them, all the magistrates having been previously summoned, or a majority being actually present, to contribute to the cost of erecting the said slopes, such sums of money as they may determine, to be paid out of their then next county levies. And the said commissioners shall each be entitled to the sum of one dollar and fifty cents per day while engaged in the discharge of their duties under this act, to be allowed by the courts of the said counties and deemed a part of the cost of erecting the said slopes, and to be defrayed out of the moneys in any way provided for the erection of the same.

5. This act shall be in force from its passage.


Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia

Passed in 1852-3,

in the Seventy - Seventh Year of the Commonwealth.

CHAP. 198. An ACT to revive and amend the charter of the Little Kanawha navigation company.

Passed March 1, 1853.

Be it enacted by the general assembly, that the act passed March the ninth, eighteen hundred and forty-seven, incorporating the Little Kanawha navigation company, and the act amendatory thereof, passed on the eleventh of March eighteen hundred and forty-eight, be and the same are hereby re-enacted and amended so as to read as follows:

"1. That it shall be lawful to open books of subscription at Parkersburg in the county of Wood, under the superintendence of John R. Murdock, D. R. Neal, James Cook, J. M. Jackson and R. W. Dickinson; at Elizabeth in Wirt county, under the control of Alfred Beauchamp, W. P. Rathbone and J. A. Williamson; and at Glenvilie in Gilmer county, under the control of Robert Erwin, P. Hays and Minter Jackson, or a majority of them, for the purpose of receiving subscriptions to the amount of fifty thousand dollars, in shares of fifty dollars each, to constitute a joint capital stock for opening and improving the navigation of the Little Kanawha river, from its mouth to the falls of said river at Haymond's mill in the county of Braxton.

"2. The said books shall be opened and the subscriptions received in the manner provided in such cases by the act entitled an act prescribing certain general regulations for the incorporation of turnpike companies; and ten dollars shall be paid on each share at the time of subscribing; and all the provisions of said act relative to keeping open the books of subscription, the payment of subscriptions, the general or annual meetings of the company, the ratio of votes, the incorporation of the company, the transfer of stock, the election and removal of the president and directors, and their powers and duties, shall be held and deemed to apply as effectually to this act and to the company hereby incorporated as if they were specially recited herein.

"3. Be it further enacted, that as soon as one hundred and thirty-five shares of the capital stock shall have been subscribed, the subscribers shall be add are hereby incorporated into a company by the name and style of "The Little Kanawha Navigation Company," with all the rights, privileges and immunities of a corporation or body politic in law, and may make such by-laws, rules and regulations, not contrary to the laws of this state or of the United States, as may be deemed necessary for well ordering and conducting the affairs of the company.

"4. Be it further enacted, that the president and directors of the company, besides the general powers prescribed in the fifth section of the before cited act, shall and may exercise the same powers and be subject to the same restrictions in the acquisition of such land, not exceeding fifty feet in width for a canal, or one acre at one place for the abutment of a dam, or the erection of a toll-house, or other fixture, and of such materials as may be necessary for the purposes of the company, as are prescribed to the president and directors of turnpike companies by the act aforesaid; and it shall be lawful for the president and directors of the said company, for the purpose of carrying on their improvement, to contract and agree with the owner or owners of any dam, mill machine or engine, lawfully erected on the said river, for the purchase of such dam, mill, machine or engine, with as much land contiguous thereto as may be necessary for the operation of said mill, machine or engine, with the entire interest of the owner or owners, and the appurtenances thereof. As often as a section of said company's work of ten miles in length shall be completed, they may demand and receive thereon such tolls as may from time to time be fixed by the Board of public works or by the general assembly.

"5. Be it further enacted, that if the said president and directors shall not begin the said work within five years from, the passage of this act, and complete the same within ten years thereafter, then the right and interest of said company in and to the navigation aforesaid, and the tolls hereby given, shall be forfeited and cease.

"6. Be it further enacted, that if any person shall willfully trespass on the possessions, or do injury to the works or other property of the company, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and be punished accordingly, except when the offence is of a higher grade or otherwise specially punishable by law.

"7. Be it further enacted, that the president and directors of said company are hereby authorized to demand and receive, at such place or places as they may designate, after the opening and completion of the navigation of the Little Kanawha river, such tolls as upon their application the Board of public works may prescribe as fair and reasonable; and the said Board of public works are hereby instructed to furnish to said president and directors, when requested, such a tariff of tolls as aforesaid.

"8. The Board of public works is hereby instructed to subscribe on behalf of the commonwealth for three-fifths or thirty thousand dollars of the stock of said company whenever the said board shall be satisfied that three-fourths of two-fifths of the capital stock of said company shall have been subscribed by solvent persons able to pay the same; and the said board shall borrow the sum or sums necessary to pay the subscription on behalf of the commonwealth, agreeably to the provisions of the law now in force regulating the negotiation of loans for the purposes of internal improvements; and the board shall also pay the commonwealth's subscription in money and pari passu with the payments on account of individual subscriptions.

"9. The county courts of Wood, Wirt, Gilmer and Braxton, all the magistrates having been summoned, and a majority voting for the subscription, may severally subscribe for such amount of the capital stock of the company as they may think proper; and any and each of said courts so subscribing may raise the amount of its subscription by a county levy laid on all the taxable subjects other than white tithables, within their respective counties, made so by the laws of this commonwealth, and collected as other county levies."

10. This act shall be in force from its passage.


Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia

Passed in 1859-60,

In the Eighty - Fourth Year of the Commonwealth.

CHAP. 25. An ACT to revive and amend an act passed March 1, 1853, entitled an act to revive and amend the Charter of the Little Kauawha Navigation Company.

Passed February 8, 1860.

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, that the act passed March the first, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three, entitled an act to revive and amend the charter of the Little Kanawha navigation company, be revived, amended and re-enacted so as to read as follows:

2. That it shall be lawful to open books in the county of Wood, at Parkersburg, under the superintendence of Daniel R. Neal, James Cook and A. J. Boreman; at Elizabeth in Wirt county, under the superintendence of Daniel Wilkeson, Abraham Enochs, A. S. Ruble and Fidellus Ott; at Big Bend in Calhoun county, under the superintendence of Collins Bells, Hiram Firrel and George W. Hardman; and at Glenville in Gilmer county, under the superintendence of Robert Linn, C. B. Conrad, Levi Johnson and S. G. Stalnaker, or a majority of them, at either place, for the purpose of receiving subscriptions to the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars, in shares of twenty-five dollars each, to constitute a joint capital stock for opening, removing dams from, and improving the navigation of the Little Kanawha river, from a point where the Gilmer and Braxton county line crosses said river, to the mouth of said river at Parkersburg.

3. The said books shall be opened and subscriptions received in the manner provided in such cases by the laws prescribing certain general regulations for the incorporation of turnpike companies; and five dollars shall be paid on each share at the time of subscribing, in the case of individuals subscribing: And all the provisions of said act relative to keeping open the books of subscription, the payment of subscriptions, the general or annual meetings of the company, the rates of votes, the incorporation of the company, the transfer of stock, the election and removal of the president and directors, and their powers and duties, shall be held and deemed to apply as effectually to this act as if they were especially recited herein.

4. Be it further enacted, that as soon as one hundred shares of the capital stock shall have been subscribed, the subscribers shall be and are hereby incorporated into a company by the name and style of The Little Kanawha Navigation Company; with all the rights, privileges and immunities of a corporation; and may make such by-laws and regulations for the management of the same as may be deemed necessary for the well ordering and conducting the affairs of the company: provided such bv-laws, rules or regulations are not contrary to the laws of this state or of the United States.

5. Be it further enacted, that the power of said company shall not extend beyond a right to remove the mill dams now erected in said river, and the removal of other obstructions therein, for the purpose of making a sluice navigation.

6. Be it further enacted, that said company may receive such tolls as may be hereafter prescribed by the general assembly.

7. The Board of public works are hereby directed to subscribe, on behalf of the commonwealth, for three-fifths of the stock of said company, whenever the said board shall be satisfied that two-fifths of the capital stock of said company shall have been subscribed by solvent persons and counties able to pay the same. The said board shall obtain the money necessary to pay the subscription on behalf of the commonwealth, agreeably to the provisions of law now in force; and the said board shall also pay the commonwealth's subscription in money pari passu with the payment of individual subscriptions, or county subscriptions, or both.

8. The county courts of Wood, Wirt, Calhoun, Gilmer and Braxton, or one or more of said courts, all the magistrates having been summoned, and a majority of them voting for a subscription, may subscribe for such amount of the capital stock of the company as they may think proper: and any of said counties so subscribing may raise the amount of its subscription by a county levy, according to the provisions of the Code of Virginia, upon persons and property, for other county purposes, and cause the same to be collected and accounted for as other county levies are collected and accounted for.

9. If the president and directors of said company cannot agree with the owner of any mill dams in said river, which they may desire to have removed, upon the sum as a compensation for the right to such mill dam, and a surrender of the franchises attaching thereto, the said company shall apply to the county court of the county in which such mill dam may be, for an appointment of five disinterested freeholders of such county, for the purpose of ascertaining a just compensation for a surrender of such mill dam, franchises and privileges incident thereto.

10. When it is intended to apply for such appointment, ten days' previous notice thereof shall be served on the owner of such dam, his or their tenant, guardian or committee. If there be no such owner, tenant, guardian or committee within the county, the notice, instead of being served, may be published once a week for four successive weeks in some convenient paper, and posted at the front door of the court-house on the first day of the term next preceding such application.

11. Upon it appearing that such notice has been given or published and posted, as herein required, it shall be the duty of said court to appoint such freeholders as commissioners, and in the order appointing them, shall designate a day for them to meet; and a majority of them may act, after having taken an oath faithfully to perform the duties of their appointment.

12. The commissioners so acting, after viewing the premises, shall ascertain what will be a just compensation for the surrender of such mill dam, franchises and privileges, and shall make report thereof in writing to the court so making the appointment. If they do not finally act the day they may first assemble, they may adjourn from day to day until they do finally act; and unless good cause be shown against such report, the same shall be confirmed and recorded. The sum so ascertained to be a just compensation may be paid to the person or persons entitled thereto; and upon such payment, the title and right to such mill dam and franchises shall to all intents and purposes be considered as absolutely surrendered; and if such owner refuse to receive such compensation, such mill dam and franchises shall in like manner be deemed as having been surrendered up, on such sum being paid into such court for such person or persons, and thereafter such mill dam may be removed by said company.

13. If such report is not confirmed, or if such commissioners fail to act, such court may thereafter from time to time, without further notice, appoint commissioners, who may proceed as herein before prescribed.

14. Be it further enacted, that no order shall be made or injunction granted by a court or judge to stay the proceedings of said company, after they have proceeded, as herein before directed, to condemn such mill dam, unless it be manifest that they, their officers, agents or servants are transcending their authority, and that the interposition of the court is necessary to prevent injury that cannot be adequately compensated in damages.

15. Be it further enacted, after said company shall have been organized, it shall not be lawful for any person or company to erect any mill dam or other obstruction in said river, without the authority of the general assembly.

16. This act shall be in force from its passage.


This page last modified 7 February 2002.