"An act to authorize the raising of troops for the defence of this state," 24 October 1814
To Authorise the Raising of Troops for the Defense of this State.
I. Be it enacted by the People of the state of New-York, represented in Senate and Assembly, That it shall and may be lawful for his Excellency the Governor, by general orders, to call into actual service from the militia of this state, twelve thousand able-bodied and effective men, to be raised in the manner prescribed by this act, for the term of two years, unless sooner discharged: Provided, That the government of the United States shall have declared that the said troops shall be paid, clothed and subsisted, at the expense of the United States, and shall likewise make provision by law, authorising the time of service, agreeable to the provisions of this act.
II. And be it further enacted, That to effect the immediate organization of said corps, if shall be the duty of the commanding officer of each regiment or separate battalion of infantry to require the respective commanding officers of companies within his regiment or battalion, within such time as his Excellency the Governor shall by general order direct, to make a just and true return to him, upon oath, of all the free male white inhabitants and sojourners of the age of eighteen years and upwards, within each of their respective beats; excepting all ministers and preachers of the gospel, and all persons belonging to the army or navy of the United States then in actual service, and also excepting such sojourners as shall produce a certificate of their having been classed with the company of the beat where they last resided, and also excepting all paupers; a true copy of which return shall be forthwith transmitted by the commanding officer of each regiment to the commanding officer of the brigade to which such regiment belongs, and by him to the commander in chief.
III. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the commander in chief, as soon as may be after he shall have received such return, by general order to direct the persons included in the same to be divided into classes, each class to be composed of such a number as will, in the opinion of the commander in chief, be necessary to yield twelve thousand men, allowing each class to produce one able bodied free white man.
IV. And be it further enacted, That to effect such classification, it shall be the duty of the commanding officer of each regiment or separate battalion of infantry, to furnish the assessors of the town or towns in which the different persons enrolled in his regiment in pursuance of this act shall reside, with a list of the names of the persons so enrolled, whose duty it is hereby made forthwith to divide such as reside in their respective towns into classes of the number directed by the order of the commander in chief, having due regard to the estate, ability, and circumstances of each person so enrolled, and also to the exemptions provided by this act, so that equal justice may be done to each class; and having made such classification, to return to such commanding officer of such regiment or separate battalion a list of the said classes, and also a list of the names of such persons as shall, after havig made such classification, remain over and above the classes thus formed, and insufficient to make a whole class in such town, together with a just valuation of the real and personal estate of such last mentioned persons respectively; and that it shall be the duty of such commanding officers of regiments or separate battalions to return said names, together with such assessment, and also their place of residence as near as may be, to the commanding officer of the brigade to which said regiment or separate battalion shall belong, whose duty it shall be to divide the same into classes, of the number directed by the commander in chief, having due regard to their estate, ability, circumstances, and contiguity of residence.
V. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of such commandants of regiments and separate battalions forthwith to furnish each class with an authentic list of said class; and that it shall be the duty of each class to deliver, at such time and place as the commander in chief shall direct, and to such officer or officers as he shall appoint to muster the said troops, within the county where the soldier shall be raised, an able bodied free white man; that each class shall be responsible for the man so by them respectively furnished, until he shall be delivered and mustered at the place or places of rendezvous, to be appointed in general order; and further, that the man so furnished shall from thenceforth be deemed to belong to the said troops, and subject to the service directed by this act.
VI. And be it further enacted, That whenever any class shall omit or refuse for ten days, after they shall be required so to do, to furnish their man, it shall be lawful for any one or more persons belonging to the said class, at his or their own expense, to procure an able-bodied man, for the said class, to serve as one of such troops; and if all the persons composing such class, cannot agree to a mode for the apportionment of such bounty as shall be paid to the person so furnished, it shall be the duty of the assessors of the town in which the major part of said class reside, or any two of them at the request of such person or persons, to apportion the sum so paid, as and for such a bounty, and assess the persons composing such class agreeable to their estate, circumstances and ability; and the assessment or apportionment so made in pursuance of this law, shall, upon suit to be commenced for the recovery of any part of said bounty, before any justice of the peace of the county, who is hereby authorised to take cognizance of the same, or in any court of record, be conclusive evidence, to entitle the person or persons furnishing such man, to recover the sum so assessed, with costs of suit, against the person or persons so assessed, in which suit the defendant shall be entitled to the same rights, and subject to the same executions, as are now by law allowable in civil suits; Provided, Such bounty shall not exceed the sum of two hundred dollars.
VII. And be it further enacted, That on failure of a sufficient muster, at such time and place or places of rendezvous, of an able-bodied free white man, the class so delinquent shall be subject to a detachment from among them of one able-bodied free white man, not of the people called Quakers, who shall be selected from such class in the manner following: It shall be the duty of the commandant of the regiment or separate battalion in which such class shall be enrolled in pursuance of this act, on being informed of the delinquency of such class, to direct the commanding officer of the company within whose beat the major part of the said class shall reside, to summon the persons composing the said class, and who are not by the provisions of this act exempt from the detachment directed by this section, to appear at such time and place within his beat as the said commandant shall appoint, of which summons, a written notice left at the last place of residence of such person shall sufficient evidence; and at such time and place to order the persons composing such class, and not exempt as aforesaid, to decide by ballot who shall be the person thus to be detached; and that in all cases of such balloting, if any person so summoned shall be absent or being present shall refuse to ballot, it shall be the duty of commanding officer of the company to ballot in his behalf, and such ballot shall be as conclusive on such person as if he had himself balloted; that each person so selected and detached shall, after notice thereof left at his usual place of abode, be deemed as belonging to the said troops, and shall from thenceforth be subject to the rules and articles of war, for the period directed by this act as hereinafter directed, unless the person so detached shall, at his own expense, produce to the officer appointed to muster such corps, an able bodied free white man as a substitute, who shall voluntarily enlist and obligate himself to discharge the duties imposed by this act on the person or persons thus detached, and who shall be satisfactory to such officer, which enlistment the said officer is hereby authorised to take.
VIII. And be it further enacted, That such last mentioned delinquent class shall nevertheless be subject to pay the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars, to be apportioned among the several persons composing such delinquent class, due regard being had to the circumstances and abilities of such respective persons; to effect which apportionment, the commanding officer of each regiment or separate battalion, within which the said class, or the major part of them, shall have been enrolled, shall convene the assessors of the town in which the major part of the said class shall reside, and lay before them a list of the names of the persons composing such delinquent class, whose duty it is hereby made, to convene, at the request of the said commanding officer of regiment or separate battalion, and they or the major part of them, being thus convened, to make such apportionment, having due regard to the estate, circumstances and abilities of such respective persons; that the said commanding officer shall thereupon deliver the assessment roll, to be made by the said assessors, to the collector of the town in which the major part of the class shall reside, who shall forthwith, if the same be not voluntarily paid by distress and sale, (giving six days notice of such sale) levy of the goods and chattels of the several persons named in such assessment roll, the sum assessed by the said assessors, and put opposite to their respective names, and shall after deducting thereout two cents in the dollar, for his fees, for collecting, pay over the same to the treasurer of the county, by whom the same shall be paid to the person so detached, or the substitute furnished by him: Provided, That the person so detached shall, in writing, direct the same to be paid to such substitute: And provided further, That the said person so detached, or the substitute furnished by him, shall not have deserted the service: That if any person refusing to pay the sum assessed upon him, shall not be possessed of goods and chattels whereof the same can be levied, the said commanding officer shall, by warrant under his hand, to be directed to any constable of any town in said county, cause such person to be committed to the gaol of said county, or to the gaol of the next county, there to remain until the sum so assessed upon him shall be paid to the treasurer of the county.
IX. And be it further enacted, That all persons above the age of forty-five years, and all persons who are not able-bodied men, and all persons called Quakers, and all persons exempt by the laws of the United States, from militia service, belonging to any of the said classes, shall be exempt from the liability to ballot and detachment directed by the seventh section of this act.
X. And be it further enacted, That the commander in chief of this state shall divide the said troops into such and so many corps as he shall deem proper, and may appoint by brevet such a number of officers as he may deem sufficient to officer the several corps authorised by this act, who shall hold their respective ranks accordingly, until the council of appointment shall have made the appointments for such corps, in pursuance of the constitution and laws of this state.
XI. And be it further enacted, That the troops to be raised by virtue of this act, shall be subject to the orders of the commander in chief of the armies of the U. States, and to the rules and regulations contained in the articles of war, made, or to be made by the Congress of the United States, for regulating the armies of the said United States, to the same extent as the militia of this state when called into the service of the United States, under the constitution and laws of the United States and of this state, and shall serve in lieu of an equal number of militia, which may at any time be ordered into service by the government of the United States.
XII. And be it further enacted, That if any class shall furnish an able-bodied free white man, and deliver him to the proper officer, agreeable to the intent and meaning of this act, the member of the class or person appointed to transact the business in the premises, as aforesaid, may take a receipt in his name and in the names of the others of the said class, from the person so delivered, for the sum so paid by the said class, and if such person so delivered as aforesaid, shall desert from the said service or leave the same before the time he engaged to serve is expired, unless regularly discharged, then and in that case it shall be lawful for the class, or such person as a majority shall appoint, in his name to sue and recover from such deserter the money paid to him by the said class, and which sum, when recovered, shall be divided among the said class and their legal representatives, in proportion to the sums respectively paid by them; and that it shall not be lawful for such person so deserting, to take advantage of the insolvent act, or the act for the relief of debtors with respect to the imprisonment of their persons.
XIII. And be it further enacted, That the non commissioned officers, musicians and privates shall be furnished with the requisite arms and equipments and instruments of music at the expense of this state.
XIV. And be it further enacted, That the measures necessary to carry this law into effect shall be executed in pursuance of general orders to be issued for the respective purposes, by the commander in chief of the militia of this state, and that every officer both civil and military, who shall wilfully neglect or refuse to do and perform any of the duties required of him by this act, shall forfeit for every offence the sum of one thousand dollars, to be recovered by action of debt, in any court of record in this state, with costs of suit, in the name of any person who shall sue for the same, the one half, when recovered, to be paid into the treasury of the county in which the offence is committed, and the other half to be paid to and for the use of the person who shall sue for the same.
XV. And be it further enacted, That in making the enrolment directed by the second section of this act, all persons who shall at the time of making such enrolment be absent from the town in which they reside on militia duty, shall be enrolled in the beat in which they resided when they were called into militia service.
XVI. And be it further enacted, That the civil and military officers mentioned in this act, shall be entitled to reasonable compensation for the services required of them by this act, to be audited and allowed by the board of supervisors of the county, and to be paid as the contingent expenses of the county.
XVII. And be it further enacted, That the exemptions allowed ky this act shall be investigated and decided by some proper officer or officers belonging to each regiment or battalion of infantry within this state, to be designated by the Governor.
XVIII. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of each class to furnish the assessors of the town in which a major part of them shall reside, a correct list of the amount which each member has paid towards the furnishing a soldier, in pursuance of the provisions of this act, and that it shall be the duty of the said assessors to make out an aggregate amount paid by the classes in their respective towns, and lay the same before the board of supervisors of the county, to the end that the said supervisors shall lay a tax on non-resident and other property in such county, not included in the classes, which shall bear a just proportion of the bounties given by the classes for furnishing soldiers in pursuance of this act, which tax shall be collected in the same manner as directed by the act for the assessment and collection of taxes, and the same when collected, shall be paid over to the treasurer of the county, who shall equally divide the same among the several classes in said county, and pay the same over to the supervisors of the several towns in said county, according to the number of classes in said town, and the supervisors of each town shall pay over the same to the members of each class, in proportion to what each shall have paid for procuring a soldier, according to the provisions of this act: Provided, however, That non-resident or other property as aforesaid, shall not be taxed for more than its proportion of the two hundred dollars for each man paid by the classes in the county in which such property is situate.
XIX. And be it further enacted, That the provisions of this act shall extend to cities and wards, to the same extent, and in the same manner, as to counties and towns.
Notes of this document were prepared for inclusion in MVB's Autobiography, c1856.