|NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
HOUSE BILL 458
AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE NECESSARY FUNDS FOR PRELIMINARY ARCHEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING FOR RESTORATION OF FORT BUTLER IN CHEROKEE COUNTY.
WHEREAS, Fort Butler, located in Cherokee County, was constructed in 1835 by the United States Army and thereafter manned and operated as an important Federal military facility and one of a chain of military stockades spaced along the route which history has named the "Trail of Tears" from the homeland of the Cherokee Indians in Western North Carolina to their destined land of exile in the "Cherokee Strip" and Indian Reservation territory in the West; and
WHEREAS, in what has been described as one of the blackest chapters in American history, through the power of armed military might, most of the various segments of the Cherokee Indian Tribe were forcibly removed from their ancestral country of cool mountains, forests, and waters, abounding in fish and game, and rich in beauty and tribal tradition, to the largely hot, flat, arid and barren grass and scrub timberlands of the Western Plains, and Fort Butler, with Federal forces stationed there, formed the key military base for the initiation, prosecution and support of this military operation; and
WHEREAS, enough is known of the history of Fort Butler to establish that the Town of Murphy owns in Fort Butler Park the lands and site on which the permanent buildings making up Fort Butler were located and their foundations may be found; and
WHEREAS, the officials and citizens of the Town of Murphy, and the private owners of property adjoining Fort Butler Park have signified their willingness and interest that all such lands as may be necessary to the restoration of historic Fort Butler, may be made available without cost to any appropriate Fort Butler Restoration, such as a lawfully constituted commission, or to the State of North Carolina, or the United States, for the purpose of making restored Fort Butler in its historical form available to the general public for recreational and historical purposes, and as a public service; and
WHEREAS, as necessary preliminaries to the discharge, with respect to Fort Butler, of the duties of the Historical Sites Advisory Committee, the Department of Archives and History, and any legislative committee under G.S. 121-8.1, G.S. 121-8.2 and G.S. 121-8.3, and of any department or agency of the State of North Carolina of duty under G.S. 121-7 and G.S. 143-31.2, certain preliminary archeological and historical research, and preliminary site restoration and operation planning, and compilation of a soundly documented report reflecting such preliminary research and planning, are all vital; and
WHEREAS, the North Carolina Department of Archives and History is the appropriate State agency to supervise, coordinate and control these preliminary matters; and the continued cooperation of the Town of Murphy, of Cherokee County, of the Cherokee County Historical Society, and of the Archibald D. Murphey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and other appropriate local interests, is vitally necessary to these preliminaries, and such agencies have already advanced the project to the point where professional study and work with respect to the project is now required: Now, therefore,
The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:
Section 1. In addition to all other appropriations made by other provision of law, including the Biennial Budget Appropriation Act for 1965-1967, there is hereby appropriated from the General Fund of the State to the North Carolina Department of Archives and History the sum of six thousand dollars ($6,000.00) for the fiscal years 1965-1967.
Sec. 2. The funds so appropriated shall be utilized by the North Carolina Department of Archives and History for accomplishing, with its own personnel or, where necessary, with the aid of qualified professionals outside of its own staff, the required preliminary archeological research, historical research, site restorational and operational planning, and compilation of a sound comprehensive and documented report reflecting the results of such preliminary research and planning, and coordinating all preliminary research and planning work by other agencies of State, local and Federal Governments, and of private individuals or organizations, with respect to Fort Butler in the Town of Murphy in Cherokee County.
Sec. 3. In carrying out the above authorized tasks, the North Carolina Department of Archives and History shall cooperate with the Town of Murphy, Cherokee County, the Cherokee County Historical Society, the Archibald D. Murphey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and any and all other interested and appropriate private organizations, and officers and agencies of State, local and Federal Governments concerned.
Sec. 4. The North Carolina Department of Archives and History is authorized to expend, for the purposes set forth in this Act, any additional federal funds which may be available to it, any additional local funds made available to the Department, by the Town of Murphy, Cherokee County, and by donations of organizations or individuals, for the same or allied purposes. The Town of Murphy and Cherokee County are further authorized and empowered to expend, and to transfer to the Department of Archives and History any additional funds which may be lawfully available for the same purposes, and which may be received by the town or county, from any source, including, but not restricted to, private donations and grants or allocations of available federal funds for the same or similar or allied purposes.
Sec. 5. The Fort Butler Restoration project being in its infancy, relatively speaking, and the preliminary researches, plans and reports herein contemplated being vitally necessary as a precondition to any sound and subsequent step with respect to the project, the restrictions and limitations in the provisions of G.S. 121-8.2, G.S. 121-8.3 and of G.S. 121-7 and G.S. 143-31.2 shall not apply. However, nothing herein shall be construed to bar any branch, department or agency of State government from exercising, with respect to Fort Butler, any and all of the powers, authority, duties and responsibilities, as provided in Chapter 210, Session Laws of 1963, if the occasion and necessity of exercising any of such powers, authorities, duties and responsibilities, with respect to Fort Butler, shall arise before the completion of the preliminary research, planning and report herein contemplated.
Sec. 6. This Act shall become effective upon its ratification.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified, this the 14th day of June, 1965.