Bullitt County History

An Act Granting Privileges for Salt Works Owners

In 1801, the General Assembly approved an act to grant certain privileges to the owners of salt works. We have transcribed this act below.

The Statute Law of Kentucky by William Littell, Esquire, Volume II, pages 438-9; 1810

An ACT giving certain privileges to the Owners of Salt Licks.

Approved December 18, 1801

WHEREAS it is of the utmost importance to the good people of this commonwealth, that the owners of salt-licks, or occupiers thereof, should be enabled to, manufacture salt with as much ease as possible, and thereby have it in their power to sell it on good terms.

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That whenever the owner or occupier of a salt-lick, shall be desirous of conveying his or their salt-water to timber, by means of troughs or otherwise, and cannot do it conveniently without passing over the lands of others, it shall be lawful for such owner or occupier to apply to the court of the county in which his lick is situated; and the said court shall appoint three or more fit persons to be sworn before a justice of the peace, to view the ground along which such water is proposed to be conducted, and mark out the same by stakes or otherwise, and report to the next court for the county, the name or names of the owners through whose land the said salt water will pass.

Sec. 2. Upon the return of said viewers, the court shall order summonses to be issued to the proprietors and tenants of the land through which the water is proposed to be conducted, if they be found within the county, and if not, to their agents therein, if any they have, to show cause why such owner or occupier should not have the liberty of conveying his salt-water over their land in manner aforesaid. Upon the return of the summons, if any proprietor or tenant so desire, the said court shall order their clerk to issue a writ in the nature of a writ of ad quod damnum, to be directed to the sheriff, commanding him to summon and empannel twelve able and discreet house-keepers of the vicinage, no ways related to either party, to meet at some certain place on the ground through which the said salt-water is proposed to be conducted, and on a certain day to be named by the court, and inserted in said writ, of which notice shall be given by the sheriff to the proprietors or tenants, or their agents, as before directed, if they were not present in the court at the time of the order being made; which house-keepers, taking nothing, on pain of being discharged from the inquest, and immediately imprisoned by the sheriff, either of meat or drink from either party, from the time they shall come to said place, until their inquest sealed ; they shall be charged by said sheriff, impartially, and to the best of their skill and judgment, to view the lands through which the said salt-water is proposed to be conducted, and say to what damage it will be of to the respective owners and tenants, severally, who desired such writ, taking into estimation the value of the land, as well as any other inconvenience he or they may sustain by the water passing over the land by means of troughs or otherwise; and if the said inquest cannot be completed in one day, the said sheriff shall adjourn said jurors from day to day, until the same be completed; which inquest, sealed by the said jurors, together with the writ, shall be returned to the court; and the court shall thereupon enter up judgment against the person so applying, for the amount of the damages so found; provided he gives his consent to pay the amount thereof; and if he refuses, the said court shall enter up judgment for the costs only; but in either case, the person applying shall be liable for the costs: Provided always, execution shall not issue upon said judgment for nine months after it is rendered, if the party applying shall chuse to pay the amount of the damages so assessed; and if judgment therefor is rendered as aforesaid, the court shall make an order allowing him or them (as the case may be) to erect their works for the conveyance of their salt-water to their timber: Provided nevertheless, that nothing in this act shall authorise the conveyance of water between the dwelling-house of any person and their spring, garden, smoke-house, or other buildings, or through any meadow, without the approbation of the owner of such property, or to injure any public road.

This act shall commence and be in force from and after the passage thereof.

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The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments are available by calling 502-921-0161 during our regular weekday hours. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 12 Jan 2024 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/act-saltworks-owners.html