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the United States, shall be removed to, and until the said first Monday in December, in the year one thousand eight hundred, shall remain at the city of Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania, at which place the session of Congress next ensuing the present shall be held.
Sec. 6. And be it [further] enacted, That on the said first Monday in December, in the year one thousand eight hundred, the seat of the government of the United States shall, by virtue of this act, be transferred to the district and place aforesaid. And all offices attached to the said seat of government, shall accordingly be removed thereto by their respective holders, and shall, after the said day, cease to be exercised elsewhere; and that the necessary expense of such removal shall be defrayed out of the duties on imposts and tonnage, of which a sufficient sum is hereby appropriated.
Approved, July 16, 1790.
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-1801 a
[SIXTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION]
An Act concerning the District of Columbia
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the laws of the state of Virginia, as they now exist, shall be and continue in force in that part of the District of Columbia, which was ceded by the said state to the United States, and by them accepted for the permanent seat of government; and that the laws of the state of Maryland, as they now exist, shall be and continue in force in that part of the said district, which was ceded by that state to the United States, and by them accepted as a foresaid.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said district of Columbia shall be formed into two counties; one county shall contain all that part of said district, which lies on the east side of the river Potomac, together with the islands therein, and shall be called the county of Washington; the other county shall contain all that part of said district, which lies on the west side of said river, and
a For other statutes of an organic nature relating to the District of Columbia subsequent to 1801 see an act to amend act of 1801, March 3, 1801; to define jurisdiction of circuit courts in, and to organize militia, May, 3, 1802; to regulate the courts in, April 21, 1806, February 24, 1807, March 3, 1807, to punish crimes in, March 2, 1831; to retrocede County of Alexandria, District of Columbia, to Virginia, July 9, 1846 ; to abolish slave trade in, September 20, 1850 ; to create a metropolitan police-district, August 6, 1861; to abolish slavery in, April 16, 1862; to fix qualification of voters in, May 20, 1862; to provide for revising and codifying the laws of the District, May 20, 1862; to provide further regulations respecting freedom of slaves, July 12, 1862; to reorganize the courts in, March 3, 1863; to define powers and duties of levy court, March 3, 1863 ; to permit grants and devises of real property to religious societies, July 25, 1866; to extend elective franchise in, January 8, 1867; to punish illegal voting, February 5, 1867: to provide a government for, including a governor and a bicameral legislative assembly, February 21, 1871; to provide for vesting the governor's powers in a board of commissioners, June 20, 1874; to levy and collect a tax on land in the District, March 3, 1877; to authorize commissioners to make police regulations, January 26, 1887; to reorganize the militia, March 1, 1889; to establish a court of appeals, February 9, 1893; to establish a code of law in, March 3, 1901; to amend the code of law, June 30, 1902.
shall be called the county of Alexandria; and the said river in its whole course through said district shall be taken and deemed to all intents and purposes to be within both of said counties.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That there shall be a court in said district, which shall be called the circuit court of the district of Columbia; and the said court and the judges thereof shall have all the powers by law vested in the circuit courts and the judges of the circuit courts of the United States. Said court shall consist of one chief judge and two assistant judges resident within said district, to hold their respective offices during good behaviour; any two of whom shall constitute a quorum; and each of the said judges shall, before he enter on his office, take the oath or affirmation provided by law to be taken by the judges of the circuit courts of the United States; and said court shall have power to appoint a clerk of the court in each of said counties, who shall take the oath and give a bond with sureties, in the manner directed for clerks of the district courts in the act to establish the judiciary of the United States.
SEC. 4. Be it further enacted, That said court shall, annually, hold · four sessions in each of said counties, to commence as follows, to wit: for the county of Washington, at the city of Washington, on the fourth Mondays of March, June, September and December; for the county of Alexandria, at Alexandria, on the second Mondays of January, April, July, and the first Monday of October.
Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That said court shall have cognizance of all crimes and offences committed within said district, and of all cases in law and equity between parties, both or either of which shall be resident or be found within said district, and also of all actions or suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity, in which the United
a States shall be plaintiffs or complainants; and of all seizures on land or water, and all penalties and forfeitures made, arising or accruing under the laws of the United States,
Sec. 6. Provided, and be it further enacted, That all local actions shall be commenced in their proper counties, and that no action or suit shall be brought before said court, by any original process against any person, who shall not be an inhabitant of, or found within said district, at the time of serving the writ.
SEC. 7. Be it further enacted, That there shall be a marshal for the said district, who shall have the custody of the gaols of said counties, and be accountable for the safe keeping of all prisoners legally committed therein; and he shall be appointed for the same term, shall take the same oath, give a bond with sureties in the same manner, shall have generally, within said district, the same powers, and perform the same duties, as is by law directed and provided in the case of marshals of the United States.
Sec. 8. Be it further enacted, That any final judgment, order or decree in said circuit court, wherein the matter in dispute, exclusive of costs, shall exceed the value of one hundred dollars, may be reexamined and reversed or affirmed in the supreme court of the United States, by writ of error or appeal, (a) which shall be prosecuted in the same manner, under the same regulations, and the same proceedings shall be had therein, as is or shall be provided in the case of writs of error on judgments, or appeals upon orders or decrees, rendered in the circuit court of the United States.
Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed an attorney of the United States for said district, who shall take the oath and perform all the duties required of the district attorneys of the United States; and the said attorney, marshal and clerks, shall be entitled to receive for their respective services, the same fees, perquisites and emoluments, which are by law allowed respectively to the attorney, marshal and clerk of the United States, for the district of Maryland.
SEC. 10. Be it further enacted, That the chief judge, to be appointed by virtue of this act, shall receive an annual salary of two thousand dollars, and the two assistant judges, of sixteen hundred dollars each, to be paid quarterly, at the treasury of the United States.(a)
Sec. 11. Be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed in and for each of the said counties, such number of discreet persons to be justices of the peace, as the President of the United States shall from time to time think expedient, to continue in office five years; and such justices, having taken an oath for the faithful and impartial discharge of the duties of the office, shall, in all matters, civil and criminal, and in whatever relates to the conservation of the peace, have all the powers vested in, and shall perform all the duties required of, justices of the peace, as individual magistrates, by the laws herein before continued in force in those parts of said district, for which they shall have been respectively appointed; and they shall have cognizance in personal demands to the value of twenty dollars, exclusive of costs; which sum they shall not exceed, any law to the contrary notwithstanding; and they shall be entitled to receive for their services the fees allowed for like services by the laws herein before adopted and continued, in the eastern part of said district.
Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed in and for each of the said counties, a register of wills, and a judge to be called the judge of the orphans' court, who shall each take an oath for the faithful and impartial discharge of the duties of his office; and shall have all the powers, perform all the duties, and receive the like fees, as are exercised, performed, and received by the registers of wills and judges of the orphans' court, within the state of Maryland; and appeals from the said courts shall be to the circuit court of said district, who shall therein have all the powers of the chancellor of the said state.
Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That in all cases where judgments or decrees have been obtained, or hereafter shall be obtained, on suits now depending in any of the courts of the commonwealth of Virginia, or of the state of Maryland, where the defendant resides or has property within the district of Columbia, it shall be lawful for the plaintiff in such case upon filing an exemplification of the record and proceedings in such suits, with the clerk of the court of the county where the defendant resides, or his property may be found, to sue out writs of execution thereon, returnable to the said court, which shall be proceeded on, in the same manner as if the judgment or decree had originally been obtained in said court.
Sec. 14. und be it further enacted, That all actions, suits, process, pleadings, and other proceedings of what nature or kind soever, depending or existing in the courts of Hustings for the towns of
Alexandria and Georgetown, shall be, and hereby are continued over to the circuit courts to be holden by virtue of this act, within the district of Columbia, in manner following; that is to say: all such as shall then be depending and undetermined, before the court of hustings for the town of Alexandria, to the next circuit court hereby directed to be holden in the town of Alexandria; and all such as shall then be depending and undetermined, before the court of hustings for Georgetown, to the next circuit court hereby directed to be holden in the city of Washington: Provided nerertheless, that where the personal demand in such cases, exclusive of costs, does not exceed the value of twenty dollars, the justices of the peace within their respective counties, shall have cognizance thereof.
Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That all writs and processes whatsoever, which shall hereafter issue from the courts hereby established within the district, shall be tested in the name of the chief judge of the district of Columbia.
Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act contained shall in any wise alter, impeach or impair the rights, granted by or derived from the acts of incorporation of Alexandria and Georgetown, or of any other body corporate or politic, within the said district, except so far as relates to the judicial powers of the corporations of Georgetown and Alexandria.
Approved, February 27, 1801.
PERMANENT GOVERNMENT FOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-1878
[FORTY-FIFTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION]
An Act providing a permanent form of government for the District of Columbia
Be it enacted by the Senate and Ilouse of Representatires of the United States of Imericu in Congress assembled, That all the territory which was ceded by the State of Maryland to the Congress of the United States for the permanent seat of the Government of the , United States shall continue to be designated as the District of Columbia. Said District and the property and persons that may be therein shall be subject to the following provisions for the government of the same, and also to any existing laws applicable thereto not hereby repealed or inconsistent with the provisions of this act. The District of Columbia shall remain and continue a municipal corporation, as provided in section two of the Revised Statutes relating to said District, and the Commissioners herein provided for shall be deemed and taken as officers of such corporation; and all laws now in force relating to the District of Columbia not inconsistent with the provisions of this act shall remain in full force and effect.
Sec. 2. That within twenty days after the approval of this act the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, is hereby authorized to appoint two persons, who, with an officer of the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army, whose lineal rank shall be above that of a captain, shall be Commissioners of the District of Columbia, and who, from and after July first, eighteen hundred and seventy-eight, shall exercise all the powers and authority now vested in the Commissioners of said District, except as
are hereinafter limited or provided, and shall be subject to all restrictions and limitations and duties which are now imposed upon said Commissioners. The Commissioner, who shall be an officer detailed from time to time from the Corps of Engineers by the President for this duty, shall not be required to perform any other, nor shall he receive any other compensation than his regular pay and allowances as an officer of the Army. The two persons appointed from civil life shall, at the time of their appointment, be citizens of the United States, and shall have been actual residents of the District of Columbia for three years next before their appointment, and have, during that period, claimed residence nowhere else, and one of said three Commissioners shall be chosen president of the Board of Commissioners at their first meeting, and annually and whenever a vacancy shall occur thereafter; and said Commissioners shall each of them, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States, and to faithfully discharge the duties imposed upon him by law; and said Commissioners appointed from civil life shall each receive for his services a compensation at the rate of five thousand dollars per annum, and shall, before entering upon the duties of the office, each give bond in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, with surety as is required by existing law. The official term of said Commissioners appointed from civil life shall be three years, and until their successors are appointed and qualified; but the first appointment shall be one Commissioner for one year and one for two years, and at the expiration of their respective terms their successors shall be appointed for three years. Neither of said Commissioners, nor any officer whatsoever of the District of Columbia, shall be accepted as surety upon any bond required to be given to the District of Columbia ; nor shall any contractor be accepted as surety for any
officer or other contractor in said District. Sec. 3. That as soon as the Commissioners appointed and detailed as aforesaid shall have taken and subscribed the oath or affirmation hereinbefore required, all the powers, rights, duties, and privileges lawfully exercised by, and all property, estate, and effects now vested by law in the Commissioners appointed under the provisions of the act of Congress approved June twentieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-four, shall be transferred to and vested in and imposed upon said Commissioners; and the functions of the Commissioners so appointed under the act of June twentieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-four, shall cease and determine. And the Commissioners of the District of Columbia shall have power, subject to the limitations and provisions herein contained, to apply the taxes and other revenues of said District to the payment of the current expenses thereof, to the support of the public schools, the fire department and the police, and for that purpose shall take possession and supervision of all the offices, books, papers, records, moneys, credits, securities, assets, and accounts belonging or appertaining to the business or interests of the government of the District of Columbia, and exercise the duties, powers, and authority aforesaid; but said Commissioners, in the exercise of such duties, powers, and authority, shall make no contract, nor incur any obligation other than such contracts and obligations as are hereinafter provided for and shall be approved by Congress. The Commissioners shall have power to locate the places where hacks shall stand and change them as often as the public