Monday, January 26, 2009

Aborted Attempt at Re-Platting

We know that Charles Town was platted in 1729. We also know from several deeds that its predecessor, Chandler's Town, also was platted. We do not know what, if any concordance there may have been between the two.

Less well known is a provision of the 1820 Act (Chapter 159, passed February 13, 1821 by the General Assembly) in which the newly renamed Port Tobacco was to be re-platted. Here's the language:

The appointed commissioners were given "full and ample power and authority to cause the said town to be resurveyed and laid out by the county surveyor, or other competent person, to ascertain and limit the extent of the lots, streets and lanes thereof, according to the best evidence that can be obtained, and to cause the same to be marked and bounded."

The fifth section of the act orders the town commissioners to "cause a full and complete plot thereof, together with a certificate of their proceedings in virtue of their act, to be recorded among the land records of Charles county, and a duplicate of said plots, duly certified, to be pasted on linen or board and delivered to the clerk of Charles county, to be by him filed among the records of his office, for the inspection of all the persons interested, and that the said plot shall thereafter be considered, deemed and taken, as the true plot of Port Tobacco, heretofore called Charles-town, and the proprietors of lots and houses in said town shall be vested within as good, sure and indefeasible an estate, of and in their several and respective lots and houses, laid down in the manner herein before directed, as if the original plot of Charles-town had never been torn or defaced."

Chapter 90 of the Laws of 1821 repealed those provisions; therefore, no plat was made. We do not know what happened to that "torn and defaced" 1729 plat.

The General Assembly did affirm a provision in the 1820 law empowering the town constable to seize and impound stray geese and swine. I could add a smart remark here, but I will let you exercise your own creativity. Feel free to offer your own snarky comment and, as long as its clean, we'll post it.


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