Dec.3, 1804, Acts 29th G.A. 1st sitting, ch.CLV, p.460-463.
Sect. 1. BE IT ENACTED, by the Council and General Assembly of this State, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that when any certificate or deed of manumission, shall have been signed or hereafter shall be signed, by one overseer of the poor of the proper township, where one only shall have been or may be elected for such township, and any two justices of the peace of the proper county, then such certificate, and the instrument or deed of manumission, made or to be made in pursuance thereof, shall be good, effectual and available in law for the purposes specified and intended in and by the said act.
Sect. 2. And be it enacted, that if any instrument or deed of manumission heretofore made and executed, or hereafter to be made and executed, shall be acknowledged by the party or parties, who shall have executed it, or be proved by one or more of the subscribing witnesses to it, that such party or parties signed, sealed and delivered the same, as his, her or their voluntary act and deed, before some person lawfully authorized for that purpose, or one of the justices of the peace of this state, and if a certificate of such acknowledgment or proof shall be written upon or under the said instrument or deed, and be signed by the officer before whom it was made, then every such instrument or deed of manumission, so acknowledged or proved and certified, shall be received in evidence in any court of this state, as if the same were then and there produced and proved.
Sect. 3. And be it enacted that it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court of common pleas of the county in which the owner of the slave resided, at the time of executing the intstrument of manumission, to record in a well bound book of good paper, to be provided for that purpose and carefully preserved, every suck instrument or deed of manumission on, acknowledged or proved, and certified to have been acknowledged or proved in manner aforesaid, together with the acknowledgement or proof, and certificate written on or under the same, which shall be delivered to him to be recorded, to which book every person shall have access at proper hours, and be entitled to transcripts from the same, on paying the fees allowed by law.
Sect. 4. And be it enacted, That the record aforesaid of such instrument or deed of manumission, and the transcript of such record, certified to be a true transcript, by the clerk in whose office the said record is kept, shall be received in evidence, in any court of this state, and be as good, effectual and available in law, as if the original instrument or deed of manumission were then and there produced and proved.
Sect. 5. And be it enacted, That the said clerk shall give a certificate to the person who shall bring any such instrument or deed of manumission, mentioning therein the time when it was delivered to him, or brought to his office to be recorded, ifs date, and the names of the parties to it, and shall certify on or under the said instrument the day of the month and the year when he received it, and the name and number of the book, and page or pages, in which it is recorded, and shall, when recorded, deliver, it to the party entitled to it, or his or her order.
Sect. 6. And be it enacted, That for services done by virtue of this act, and the act to which it is a supplement, the following and no other fees shall be allowed:—
For recording every deed of manumission with the acknowledgment or proof and certificate, for every sheet, five cents.
For every copy of the same or of the certificate; for each sheet, five cents.
For every receipt of a deed of manumission, six Cents.
For every search, seven cents.
Sect. 7. And be it enacted, That if any clerk shall neglect or refuse to perform any service or duty required of him by this act, or by the act to which this is a supplement, he shall for every such neglect or refusal, forfeit and pay fifty dollars, to be recovered, with costs, by action of debt by the county collector, and paid to the treasurer of this state, for the use of the state, and also shall be liable for all damages which the party aggrieved shall have sustained by reason of the non-performance of such Service or duty.
A. Passed at Trenton, Dec. 3, 1804