Text of Act Creating New
CHAPTER XXXVI. An ACT for establishing three new counties upon the western waters. [Mercer, Lincoln & Madison]
WHEREAS the inhabitants of the county of Kentucky are subject to great inconveniences for the want of due administration of justice, arising principally from the great extent of the county, and the dispersed situation of the settlements, Be it therefore enacted, That from and after the first day of November next, the said county of Kentucky shall be divided into three counties, that is to say: All that part of the south side of Kentucky river which lies west and north of a line beginning at the mouth of Benson’s big creek, and running up the same and its main fork to the head; thence south to the nearest waters of Hammond’s creek, and down the same to its junction with the town fork of Salt river; thence south to Green river, and down the same to its junction with the Ohio, shall be one distinct county, to be called and known by the name of Jefferson. And all that part of the said county of Kentucky which lieth north of the line beginning at the mouth of Kentucky river, and up the same and its middle fork to the head; and thence south east to Washington line, shall be one other distinct county, and called and known by the name of Fayette. And all the residue of the said county of Kentucky, shall be one other distinct county, and called and known by the name of Lincoln.
And be it further enacted, That a court shall be held by the justices of each of the said counties of Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln, respectively, after they shall take place, upon the following days in every month, to wit: For the county of Jefferson, upon the first Tuesday in every month; for the county of Fayette, upon the second Tuesday in every month; and for the county of Lincoln, upon the third Tuesday in every month, in such manner as is provided by law for other counties and as shall be by their commissioners directed.
Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to hinder the sheriff of the said county of Kentucky as the same now stands entire from collecting or making distress for any publick dues or officers fees which shall remain unpaid by the inhabitants thereof at the time such division shall take place, but such sheriff shall have the same power to collect and distrain for such dues and fees, and shall be accountable for them in the same manner as if this act had never been made.
And be it further enacted, That the court of the said county of Fayette shall have jurisdiction of all actions and suits in law and equity which shall be depending before the court of Kentucky county, at the time the said division shall take place, and shall and may try and determine all such actions and suits, and issue process and award execution thereon. And the justices and militia officers in the said counties of Jefferson, Fayette and Lincoln, after the division shall take place, shall exercise their several offices in their respective counties, of which they shall be resident at the time when the division shall take place, until new commissions shall be issued.
And be it further enacted, That the justices to be named in the commissions of the peace for the said counties of Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln, respectively, shall meet for the said county of Jefferson, at Louisville; for the said county of Fayette, at Lexington, and for the said county of Lincoln, at Harrodsburg; upon the first court day of each county, after the division shall take place, and having taken the oaths prescribed by law, and administered the oath of office to, and taken bonds according to law of, their respective sheriffs, every of the said courts may proceed to appoint and qualify a clerk, and fix upon places for holding courts in their respective counties, at or as near the centers thereof as the situation and conveniences of the respective counties will admit of; and the courts of such counties shall thenceforth proceed to erect the necessary buildings for such counties, at such places respectively, and until such buildings shall be completed, they shall appoint such places for holding courts as they shall think fit.
Provided always, That the appointments for holding courts, and of clerks for the several counties aforesaid, shall not be made, unless a majority of the justices of such counties be present, where such majority shall have been prevented from attending by bad weather, or their being at such time out of the county, but in such cases the appointments aforesaid shall be postponed until some court day when such majority shall be present.
And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the governour with the advice of the council, to appoint a sheriff for each of the said counties of Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln, respectively; which said sheriffs so appointed, shall continue in office during the term, and upon the same conditions as is by law appointed for other sheriffs.
And be it further enacted, That the surveyor of the county of Kentucky as it now stands, shall, as soon as the division shall take place, make his choice of the counties so divided, and shall make out and deliver to each surveyor of the other two counties, a fair and correct copy of all entries for lands in such other county which have not been surveyed, with the warrants or rights upon which such entries were founded; for each of which entries, he shall be paid by the surveyor furnished with such copy, three pounds of tobacco.
REF: Hening’s "Laws of Virginia", Vol. X, 1822, pgs. 315-317.