Amendments to a Bill for Proportioning
Crimes and Punishments
[ca. 10 December 1785]
|Sect. XV.||strike out remainder of the clause after “maim him” in line 2d. and insert “shall be condemned to hard labour in the public works for such term not exceeding six —— years, and shall forfeit to the sufferer such proportion of his lands and goods not exceeding one half —— as a Jury shall assess.1|
|Sect. XVI.||strike out the whole sect. & insert “Whosoever shall counterfeit any coin current by law within this Commonwlth, or any whereof the alloy & value shall have been regulated by the U. S. in Congress assembled, or any paper bill emitted by Congress on the Credit of the U. S. or any certificate acknowledging a debt, or interest thereon, issued on the credit of this Comwlth., or of the U. S. or any of them, or any inspectors notes for Tobo. or Hemp, or shall pass any such counterfeited coin, bill, cer[ti]ficate, or note, knowing the same to be counterfeit; or for the sake of lucre shall diminish each or any such coin, shall be condemned to hard labour six years in the public works, & shall forfeit all his lands & goods to the Commonwlth.2|
Ms (DLC). In JM’s hand. Bound with Edmund Randolph’s “Notes on the Common Law”; dated 1790 in the Index to the James Madison Papers (see Edmund Randolph’s Notes on the Common Law, ca. September 1799, and n. 5). Conjectural date here assigned on the basis of the debate in the Virginia General Assembly on “A Bill for Proportioning Crimes and Punishments in Cases Heretofore Capital” on 9 Dec. 1785. The Committee of the Whole considering the bill was discharged on 15 Dec. (see Bills for a Revised State Code of Laws, 31 Oct. 1785, Editorial Note, and JM to James Monroe, 9 Dec. 1785, PJM description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (1 vol. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986—). description ends , 8:391–94, 436–37 and n. 4).
1. Section 15 of the bill as printed for the consideration of the delegates read: “Whosoever, on purpose, shall disfigure another by cutting out or disabling the tongue, slitting or cutting off a nose, lip or ear, branding, or otherwise, or shall maim him, shall be maimed or disfigured in like sort; or if that cannot be, for want of the same part, then so nearly as may be, in some other part, of at least equal value and estimation in the opinion of a jury; and moreover shall forfeit one half of his lands and goods to the sufferer” (Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia [Richmond, 1784; Evans description begins Charles Evans, ed., American Bibliography … 1639 … 1820 (12 vols.; Chicago, 1903–34). description ends 18863], p. 46).
2. Section 16 of the bill read: “Whosoever shall counterfeit any coin current by law within this commonwealth, or any paper bills issued in the nature of money, or of certificates of loan, on the credit of this commonwealth, or of all or any of the United States of America, or any inspectors notes for tobacco, or shall pass any such counterfeited coin, paper bills, or notes, knowing them to be counterfeit; or, for the sake of lucre, shall diminish each, or any such coin, shall be condemned to hard labour six years in the public works, and shall forfeit all his lands and goods to the commonwealth” (ibid.).