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The Benevolent Society

An ACT to incorporate a society for the maintenance and education of poor female children, by the name of The Benevolent Society of the City and County of Baltimore. Passed 3d of Jan. 1800.

WHEREAS the reverened Joseph G. J. Bend, and the reverend John Ireland, associate rectors of Saint-Paul's parish, in the city and county of Baltimore, and sundry other persons of the city and county of Baltimore, have associated themselves for the truly benevolent purpose of establishing an institution for the maintenance and education of poor female children, and by their petition to this general assembly represented, that their endeavours would be followed by more beneficial consequences if the society was invested with corporate powers: And whereas this general assembly is desirous to give proper assistance to humane and benevolent institutions, more especially to those having for their object the instruction of youth, on which the virtue and happiness of society so much depend; therefore,

II. BE IT ENACTED, by the General Assembly of Maryland, That the said reverend Joseph G. J. Bend, and the reverend John Ierland, associate rectors of Saint-Paul's parish aforesaid, and their and each of their successors, George Grundy, Nicholas Rogers, Henry Nichols, John Merryman and Hezekiah Clagett, and such other male persons as may from time to time hereafter unite with them in their benevolent design, and become contributors and subscribers to the said society, shall be, and they are hereby declared to be, one community, corporation and body politic, for ever hereafter, by the name and style of The Benevolent Society of the City and County of Baltimore, and by that name they shall be and are hereby made able and capable in law to have, purchase, receive, possess, enjoy and retain, to them and their successors, lands, tenements, rents, annuities, pensions, and other hereditaments, in fee-simple, or for a term of years, life, lives or otherwise, and also goods, chattels and effects, of that nature, kind or quality soever, by the gift, bargain, sale or devise, of any person or persons, bodies politic or corporate, capable to make the same, and the same to grant, demise, alien or dispose of, in such manner as they may judge most conducive to the benevolent and charitable uses of said society; provided nevertheless, that the said corporation or body politic shall not, at any one time, hold or possess property, real, personal or mixed, exceeding in total value the sum of fifteen thousand dollars.

III. AND BE IT ENACTED, That when any parents or guardians, or any orphans court, shall have placed any female child or children in the before-mentioned institution, they shall thenceforth be under the control and management of such persons as the society may have appointed to manage their concerns, until they shall think fit to bind them out, which they are hereby empowered to do for any term, not exceeding the period at which such females shall have completed their sixteenth year, anything in any law of thie state to the contrary notwithstanding; provided, that nothing herein contained be construed to abridge the security afforded to such persons by the law concerning apprentices.

IV. AND BE IT ENACTED, That the said society, and their successors, by the aforesaid name, shall be, for ever hereafter, able and capable in law to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, defend and be defended, in all or any courts of justice whatsoever, and also to make, have and use, a common seal, and the same to break, alter and renew, at pleasure, and also to assemble and meet at such times and places as they may agree upon, and by a majority of the voices of those attending to ordain, establish, and put in execution, such by-laws, ordinances and regulations, as to them shall seem conducive to the interests of their institution, and necessary to the good government and orderly management thereof, the same not being contrary to the laws of this state, or of the United States, and generally to do and execute all such acts, matters and things, as to them shall or may appertain to do.

V. AND BE IT ENACTED, That the members of said corporation, and their successors, may meet together on the first Monday of January next, at the city of Baltimore, and on the same day annually for ever thereafter, or as soon after as may be, and then and there elect the officers of said society, and form such rules and regulations, (not contrary to the laws and constitution of this state, or the United States, as aforesaid,) as may be necessary for carrying into effect the benevolent purposes of this act.