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Orpheline Charity School

An Act for incorporating a Society to educate and maintain Poor Orphan and other destitute Female Children, by the name of The Orphaline Charity School, and to repeal the Act of Assembly therein mentioned. Passed Jan. 20, 1808.

Preamble WHEREAS it appears to this general assembly, that at November session, eighteen hundred and one, a society was incorporated for the education and maintenance of poor female children, under the style of The Trustees of the Female Human Association Charity School, in the charter whereof certain defects have been discovered, to the remedy of which all the parties concerned have signified their assent; therefore,

2. BE IT ENACTED, by the General Assembly of Maryland, That the Right Rev. John Carroll, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, the Reverend I. Daniel Kurtz, the Reverend James Englis, Charles Ridgely, of Hampton, Christian Keener, Peter Hoffman, and their successors in office, duly elected in the manner herein after set forth, together with the present and future contributors to the said charity school, be and they are hereby declared to be, one community, corporation and body politic for ever hereafter, by the name and style of The Trustees of the Orphaline Charity School, and by that name they shall be and they are hereby made able and capable in law, to have, purchase and receive, possess, enjoy and retain, to them and their successors as aforesaid, lands, tenements and hereditaments, rents, annuities and pensions, in fee-simple, or for a term of years, life, lives, or otherwise, and also goods, chattels and effects, of what nature, quality or kind 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 the said trustees, by a majority of voices, may judge most conducive to the use and benefit of said institution; Provided always, that a majority of the trustees shall be necessary to form a quorum for the transaction of business, and also that the said corporation shall not, at any one time, hold or possess property, real, personal or mixed, exceeding in value yearly the sum of three thousand dollars.

3. AND BE IT ENACTED, That for the orderly management of said school there shall be annually appointed nine discreet female characters, in the following manner, to wit: The contributors and subscribers to the said charity school shall assembly at the school-house belonging to said society, or at such other place as shall be duly ratified by the trustees, on the second Tuesday of April in each and every year, to come between the hours of ten o'clock in the morning and six o'clock in the evening, and they, or so many of them as shall be then and there present, shall proceed to ballot for nine discreet female characters, to serve as directors for the ensuing year; the nine persons having the greatest number of votes to be considered as duly elected; in case of an equality of votes, the persons having such equality, and no others, to be balloted for again until a majority be obtained; the said election to be held before a committee of trustees by that board appointed one month at least before the election; the election to be closed on the day it is held; no contributors or subscribers to vote unless he or she shall have paid five dollars at the least to the aforesaid charity school within one year next immediately preceding the day of election; nor shall any person be entitled to more than one vote; all vacancies at the board of directors, after the election, to be filled up by themselves; the said female directors shall have the sole superintendence, care and direction, of the said school, and may pass any ordinances for the orderly management and good government thereof, the same not being inconsistent with this law, the laws of this state or of the United States; Provided always, that a majority of said directors shall be necessary in all cases to form a quorum for the transaction of business.

4. AND BE IT ENACTED, That all vacancies hereafter occurring at the board of trustees, shall, as soon as convenient, be made known to the female directors, who shall forthwith proceed to fill up the same.

5. AND BE IT ENACTED, That when any parent or guardians, or any orphans court, shall have placed any female child or children in the before mentioned school, they shall be subject to the same regulations that apprentices are by the laws of this state, until it shall be thought proper by the female directors of said school to bind out such female child or children, which the said directors are hereby directed to do, for the term and in the manner that other female shall or may be bound; Provided, that nothing herein be considered as abridging the security afforded to such person by the law concerning apprentices.

6. AND BE IT ENACTED, That the aforesaid trustees, and their successors in office, duly elected, by the name aforesaid, shall be 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 court of justice whatever, and also to make, have and use, a common seal, and the same to break, alter and renew, at pleasure; and also that the female directors, now in office, under and by virtue of the act of assembly, passed at November session, eighteen hundred and one *, entitled, An act incorporating a society for the maintenance and education of poor female children, by the name of The Female Humane Associated Charity School, shall be and the same are continued in office until the second Tuesday in April next.

7. AND BE IT ENACTED, That the said act of assembly, entitled, An act incorporating a society for the maintenance and education of poor female children, by the name of The Female Humane Association Charity School, shall be and the same is hereby repealed; Provided always, that all acts done under the said law, consistent with the same, be and the same are hereby confirmed and made valid in law.

8. AND BE IT ENACTED, That this act of incorporation, and every part thereof, shall be good and available in law, in all things, according to the true intent and meaning thereof, and shall be construed, reputed and adjudged, in all cases most favourably on behalf of said institution, so as most effectually to answer the valuable ends intended thereby.

9.AND, whereas married women and femes-covert seem to have been the original founders of this benevolent society, so honourable to themselves and the community at large, and doubts may arise whether, in point of law, women, so situated, can exercise the right of voting without special provision to that effect, BE IT ENACTED, That where any married woman or feme covert shall be a contributor to the said society or association, and shall have paid five dollars at least to the aforesaid charity within one year next immediately preceding the day of any election, the said contributor shall have and enjoy the right of voting at said election, in as full and ample a manner as if she were a feme sole.