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ed therewith. But walls of wood are not so. The question then is, whether air in which this moisture is left floating, or that which is depriv. ed of it, be most wholesome? In both cases the remedy is easy. A little fire kindled in the room, whenever the air is damp, prevents the precipitation on the walls : and this practice, found healthy in the warmest as well as coldest seasons is as necessary in wooden as in a stone or brick house. I do not mean to say, that the rain never penetrates through walls of brick. On the contrary I have seen instances of it. But with us it is only through the northern and eastern walls of the house, after a north-easterly storm, these being the only one which continue long enough to force through the walls. This however happens too rarely to give a just character of unwholesomeness to such houses. In a house, the walls of which are of well-burnt brick and good mortar, I have seen the rain pe. netrate through but twice in a dozen or fifteen years. The inhabitants of Europe, who dwell chiefly in houses of stone or brick, are surely as healthy as those of Virginia. These hou. ses have the advantage too of being warmer in winter and cooler in summer than those of wood; of being cheaper in their first construction, where lime is convenient, and infinitely more durable. The latter consideration ren. ders it of great importance to eradicate this prejudice from the minds of our countrymen. A country whose buildings are of wood, can never increase in its improvements to any consi. derable degree. Their duration is highly estimated at 50 years. Every half century then
our country becomes a tabula rasa, whereon we have to set out anew, as in the first moment of seating it. Whereas when buildings are of durable materials, every new edifice is an actu. al and permanent acquisition to the state, adding to its value as well as to its ornament.
THE measures taken with regard to the estates and possessions of the rebels, common. ly called tories?
A tory has been properly defined to be a traitor in thought but not in deed. The only description, by which the laws have endeavored to come at them, was that of non-jurors, or persons refusing to take the oath of fidelity to the state.
Persons of this description were at one time subjected to double taxation, at ano. ther to treble, and lastly were allowed retribution, and placed on a level with good citizens. It may be mentioned as a proof both of the lenity of our governn.vnt, and unanimity of its inhabitants, that though this war has now raged near seven years, not a single execution for treason has taken place.
Under this query I will state the measures which have been adopted as to British property, the owners of which stand on a much fairer footing than the tories. By our laws, the same as the English in this respect, no alien can hold lands, nor alien enemy maintain an action for
money, or other moveable thing. Lands ac. quired or held by aliens become forfeited to the state ; and, on an action by an alien enemy to recover money, or other moveable property, the defendant may plead that he is an alien ene. my. This extinguishes his right in the hands of the debtor or holder of his moveableproperty.By our separation from Great Britain, British sub. jects became aliens, and being at war, they were alien enemies. Their lands were of course forfeit. ed, and their debts irrecoverable. The assembly however passed laws, at various times, for sav. ing their property. They first sequestered their lands, slaves, and other property on their farms in the hands of commissioners, who were mostly the confidential friends or agents of the owners, and directed their clear profits to be paid into the treasury: and they gave leave to all persons owing debts to British subjects to pay them also into the treasury. The monies so to be brought in were declared to remain the property of the British subject, and, if used by the state, were to be repaid, unless an improper conduct in Great-Britain should render a detention of it reasonable. Depreciation had at that time, though unacknowledged and unperceived by the whigs, began in some small degree. Great Sims of money were paid in by debtors, At a later period, the assembly adhering to the political principles which for: hid an alien to hold lands in the state ; ordered all the British property to be sold : and, become sensible of the real progress of depreciation, and of the losses which would thence oceur, if not guarded against, they ordered that
the proceeds of the sales should be converted into their then worth in tobacco, subject to the future direction of the legislature. This act has left the question of retribution more problematical. In May, 1780, another act took away the permission to pay into the pub. lic treasury debts due to British subjects.
The different religions received into that state?
The first settlers in this country were emi. grants from England, of the English church, just at a point of time when it was fushed with complete victory over the religious of all other persuasions. Possessed, as they became, of the powers of making, administering, and executing the laws, they shewed equal intole. ance in this country with their Presbyterian brethren, who had emigrated to the northern government. The poor Quakers were flying from persecution in England. They cast their eyes on these new countries as asylums of civil and religious freedom; but they found them free only for the reigning sect. Several acts of the Virginia assembly of 1659, 1662 and 1693, had made it penal in parents to refuse to have their children baptized; had prohibited the unlawful assembling of Quakers, had made it penal for any master of a vessel to bring a Quaker into the state ; had ordered those already
here, and such as should come thereafter, to be imprisoned till they should abjure the country; provided a milder punishment for their first and second return, but death for their third; had inhibited all persons from suffering their meet. ings in or near their houses, entertaining them individually, or disposing of books which supported their tenets. If no execution took place here, as did in New England, it was not owing to the moderation of the church, or spirit of the legislature, as may be inferred from the law itself; but to historical
historical circumstances which have not been handed down to us. The Anglicans retained full possession of the coun. try about a century:
Other opinions began then to creep in, and the great care of the government to support their own church, having begotten an equal degree ofindolence in its cler. gy, two-thirds ofthe people had become dissenters at the commencement of the present revolution. The laws indeed were still oppressive on them, but the spirit of the one party had subsided into moderation, and of the other had risen to a degree of determination which commanded respect.
The present state of our laws on the subject of religion is this. The convention of May 1776, in their declaration of rights, declared it "to be a truth, and a natural right, that the exercise of religion should be free; but when they proceded to form on that declaration the ordinance of government, instead of taking up every principle declared in the bill of rights, and guarding it by legislative sanctions, they passed over that which assertedour religiousrights,