The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 3
The illustration contains a photocopy of the introduction to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania act passed April 11th 1793, authorizing a Susquehanna River Bridge from Blue Rock, Lancaster County to Pleasant Garden, York County. This was the earliest river bridge authorized to York County and although the bridge was never built, the act provides some interesting details.
The act is recorded in The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania, Volume XIV, 1791-1793, Harrisburg, PA, Pages 444 to 454. Since the act is lengthy, I’m posting a transcript of the act in five parts. In the introduction to each part, I’ll provide some relevant comments; followed by a summary and then the direct transcript of the act. This is the third of five parts; the other posts in this series include:
- The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 1
- The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 2
- The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 4, Schedule of Bridge Tolls
- The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 5, Increasing Bridge Tolls to Guarantee Profits for Shareholders
Pleasant Garden is currently the Long Level area of Lower Windsor Township; therefore by the act of April 11, 1793 a bridge across the Susquehanna River to this area of York County was authorized. As noted in Part 1 of this series, this was sixteen years before the same process was started on the initial Susquehanna River Bridge from Columbia to Wrightsville. When standing at Highpoint and looking Southeast, one can imagine what that earliest bridge would have looked like; that is my depiction in the illustration at the beginning of this post.
The act authorizing a Susquehanna River Bridge from Blue Rock, Lancaster County to Pleasant Garden, York County contains 14 sections. This post will concentrate on Sections V, VI and VII.
Section V deals with the stock certificates issued by the company tasked with building the Susquehanna River Bridge from Blue Rock, Lancaster County to Pleasant Garden, York County. I’m continuing to search for the existence of these stock certificates and/or company records to determine how far along the bridge got towards the start of construction.
Within Section VI, authority is granted to the president and managers of the company for conducting business, hiring and setting salaries or wages. Section VII deals with how to handle stockholders who do not complete payment for the shares of stock that they pledged to purchase.
(Section V, P. L.) And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the president and managers first to be chosen as aforesaid, shall procure certificates, to be written or printed, for all the shares of the stock of the said company, and shall deliver one such certificate, signed by the president, and countersigned by the treasurer and sealed with the seal of the corporation, to each person for every share by him subscribed and held, he paying to the treasurer in part of the sum due thereupon the sum of forty dollars for each share, which certificate shall be transferable at his pleasure, in person or by attorney, in presence of the president or treasurer, subject, however, to all payments due or that may grow due thereon; and the assignee holding any certificate, having first caused the assignment to be entered in a book of the company to be kept for the purpose, shall be a member of the corporation, and for every certificate by him held, shall be entitled to one share of the capital stock and of all the estate and emoluments of the company, and to vote as aforesaid at the meetings thereof.
(Section VI, P. L.) And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said president and managers shall meet at such times and places, and be convened in such manner, as shall be agreed on, for transacting their business at such meetings. Three members shall form a quorum, who, in the absence of the president, may choose a chairman, and shall keep minutes of all their transactions fairly entered in a book, and a quorum being met, they shall have full power and authority to agree with and appoint such engineers, superintendents, artists and other officers, as they shall think necessary to carry on said bridge, and to fix their salaries and other wages; to ascertain the times, manner and proportions when and in which the stockholders shall pay the moneys due on their respective shares, in order to carry on their work; to draw orders on the treasurer for all moneys to pay the salaries of persons by them employed, and for the materials and labor done and provided, which shall be signed by the president, or in his absence by a majority of a quorum, and countersigned by their clerk; and to do and transact all such other acts, matters and things as by the by-laws, rules, orders and regulations of the company shall be committed to them.
(Section VII, P. L.) And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any stockholder, after thirty days’ notice in three of the public papers printed in the city of Philadelphia, York and Lancaster, as aforesaid, of the time and place appointed for the payment of any proportion or dividend of the said capital stock, in order to carry on the work, shall neglect to pay such proportion at the time appointed, for the space of sixty days after the time so appointed, every such stockholder, or his assignee, shall, in addition to the dividend so called for, pay after the rate of five per centum per month for every delay of such payment; and if the same and the said additional penalties shall remain unpaid for such space of time as the accumulated penalties shall become equal to the sums before paid in part and on account of such shares, the same shall be forfeited to said company, and may and shall be sold by them to any other person or persons willing to purchase for such price as can be obtained therefore.
Check back next week for Sections VIII, IX, X & XI of the 1793 act authorizing a Susquehanna River Bridge from Blue Rock, Lancaster County to Pleasant Garden, York County.
This is my 101st post. An inventory of the general topics and locations that have been the subjects of my first 100 posts are presented in a 100-tile mosaic that breaks down these posts into seven general categories.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts