Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

the sum of five shillings, or else be openly whipped on the naked body, not exceeding ten stripes for one offence, as the assistant or justice before whom such conviction is, shall in his discretion determine. And if any. Indian or Indians shall labour or play on the Sabbath or Lord's day, within the limits of any town in this colony, and be thereof duly convicted every such Indian shall forfeit the sum of three shillings, or else set in the stocks one hour, at the direction of the authority before whoin the conviction is made.

And be it further enacted by the authority a foresaid, That if any Indian or Indians within this colony, shall wilfully and violently fall upon any other Indian or Indians (except it be such as they are at open war with) and murder him, or them, and be thereof legally convicted, every such murtherer shall be put to death. And if the Indians shall not do just execution upon such murtherer or murtherers speedily, the next assistant or justice of the peace shall forthwith cause him or them to be apprehended, and committed to the common jail, without bail, or mainprize; there to remain for a trial at the next Superior Court, who are hereby impowered to hear and determine the case, according to the laws of the colon

And whereas many of the Indians in this Government put out their children to the English, to be brought up by them; and many times the persons having such children neglect to teach and instruct them in the principles of the Christian Faith: Therefore,

Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every person in this colony that hath taken, or shall hereafter take, any Indian children of this, or the neighboring Governments, into the care of their families, are hereby ordered to use their utmost endeavors to teach them to read English; and also to instruct them in the principles of the Christian Faith, by catechising them, together with other proper methods.

And the select-men and grand jurors in the respective towns shall make diligent enquiry whether the Indian children that are, or may be put out, as aforesaid, are, by their masters and mistresses that have the care of them, instructed and tanght as aforesaid. And if, upon inquiry, said officers shall find that any such master or mist: ess hath neglected their duty herein, after due warning given, such officers, or any two of them, shall inform the rext assistant, or justice of the peace, thereof; who thercupon shall summon such master and mistress, so inforined against, to appear before him to answer thereto. And if upon examination it shall appear, that such master or mistress hath neglected to teach and instruct any such Indian child or children put to them, as aloresaid, they shall be fined, at the discretion of said authority, not exceeding the sum of thirty shillings, to be to the use of the school in the town or society where the offender lives; and for every three months' neglect after that, shall suffer the same penalty, as often as they shall be convicted thereof, for the use aforesaid. And to prevent fraud in getting Indians or their children bound out in service to the English,

It is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no indenture made by any Indian shall be accounted good in the law, except it bé acknowledged before authority.

Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person shall be allowed or admitted to prosecuté, or recover, before any court, assistant, or justice of the peace, any action of debt, or detinue, or of the case, for any goods sold, lent, or trusted out, to any Indian or Indians whatsoever: and every gun lent, as aforesaid, to any Indian or Indians, shall be forfeited; one half to him that shall insorm, and prosecute to effect; and the other half to the county treasury where such prosecution shall be: Provided, Nothing in this act shall be understood to debar any person from the benefit of the law, for the recovery of any rent due to him, from any Indian or Indians, for land by him or them hired or improved.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person or persons in this colony, whether inhabitants or other, shall beg, hire, or receive, a gift or mortgage of any parcel of land or lands of any Indian or Indians for the future, except he or they do buy or receive the same for the use of the colony, or for some plantation or village, or with the allowance of the General Court of this colony. And if any person or persons shall purchase or receive land of any Indian or Indians, contrary to the intent of this act, the person or persons so offending, shall forfeit to the public treasury of the colony, the treble value of the land so purchased or received. And no interest or estate of any land in this colony, shall accrue to any such person or persons, by force or virtue of such illegal bargain, purchase, or receipt. [This above paragraph, on the revisal of the laws, was enacted in October, one thousand seven hundred and two, to be in force from the first day of December then next following.) And on consideration of the indians being ignorant of the English laws and custom about land,

It is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That when, and so often, as any suit shall be brought by any Indian or Indians, for the recovery of any lands reserved by the Indians for themselves, or sequestred for the use and benefit of the Indians, by order of this Assembly, or by any town, agreeable to the laws of this colony, that the defendant or tenant shall not be admitted to plead in his defence, his possession, or any way take benefit of the law, entituled “ An act for the quieting men's estates, and avoiding all suits,” made May the eighth, one thousand six hundred and eighty-four. And to prevent damage that may come to Indians in their corn fields, by creatures belonging to the English,

Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in each town in this colony, where any Indians have fenced fields, there shall be fence viewers and apprizers, by such town chosen and appointed, who shall be sworn to view such Indian sence, and to apprize such damage as may or shall be done in their corn fields by any English man's cattle, horses, or swine; and the judgment or apprizement of such viewers and apprizers shall be observed, and duly performed, and answered by the owners of such cattle, horses, and swine, to the Indian or Indians damnified. And the Indians haying such field are hereby allowed to make pounds within their said fields, to impound and secure horses, cattle, and swine, trespassing upon them. And the Indian or Indians impounding any cattle, horses, or swine, shall forthwith give notice thereof to the select-men of that town wherein such field is, and to the select-men of the two next adjacent towns, unless the owner is known, in which case, notice shall be given to the owner; and if the owner doth not redeem his creatures, so impounded, by paying the damage sustained, within twenty-four hours after notice to them given of the same; or if no owner-appear within three days after notice given to the select-men, as aforesaid; then, in each of those cases, the select-men of that town wherein such field is, shall make sale of such creatures, or so many of them as shall answer the damages done by such creatures, and pay said damage therewith.

An Act for well-ordering and governing the Indians in this State, and

securing their interest. --[Revised and re-enacted, 1808.] Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Governor and Council, and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, That it shall be the duty of the civil authority and select-men of such towns, wherein are any tribe of Indians, to take care that they be well acquainted with the laws of the State, made for punishing such immoralities as they may be guilty of; and make them sensible that they are liable to the penalties in case they transgress the laws.

Sec. 2. And any Indian that shall be guilty of wilfully murdering any other Indian, shall be put to death, on being thereof convicted before the Superior Court.

Sec. 3. And every Indian that shall be convicted of drunkenness, shall pay a fine of eighty-four cents, or be set in the stocks, not exceeding two hours nor less than one hour.

Sec. 4. And every Indian that shall be convicted of profaning the Sabbath or Lords-day, by unnecessary labor or play, shall pay a fine of fifty cents, or sit in the stocks one hour, at the discretion of the authority before whom the conviction is.

Sec. 5. And if any person shall sell or give any strong or spiritous liquor to any Indian in this State, such person shall, for every such offence, pay a fine of one dollar and sixty-seven cents for every pint, and in proportion for any greater or lesser quantity of such liquor, so sold or given to any Indian. And the accusation of an Indian, and other strong circumstances, shall be sufficient evidence to convict any person of the breach of this paragraph, unless the person accused shall acquit him or herself on oath: Provided, That nothing in this act shall be construed to hinder or restrain any act of charity, for relieving any Indian in case of sickness or necessity.

'Sec. 6. That no indenture or contract, made by any Indian, for binding out any of their children, shall be valid in law, except approved by, and acknowledged before, an assistant or Justice of the Peace, which authority shall see that justice be done therein.

Sec. 7. That it shall be the duty of every person who shall take an Indian child or children to bring up, to teach him or them to read; and also, to instruct them in the principles of the Christian religion, by catechising or otherwise.

Sec. 8. That any person who shall neglect his or her duty therein, and be thereof convicted, shall pay a fine not exceeding five dollars, on one conviction, at the discretion of the authority before whom the conviction is: and if such person shall continue to neglect to instrust such child or children (they being capable to learn) it shall be the duty of the select-men, and they are hereby empowered, by and with the advice of an assistant or justice of the peace, to remove such child or children, and bind 'him or them to some other person, who will take proper care for their instruction as aforesaid.

Sec. 9. That no judgment shall be rendered against any Indian for any debt, or any contract, except for rents of lands, hired and occupied by such Indian.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That no person or persons in this State, whether inhabitants or other, shall buy, hire, or receive a gift or mortgage, of any parcel of land or lands, of any Indian, for the future, except he or they do buy or receive the same for the use of the State, or for some plantation or village, and with the allowance of the General Assembly of this State.

Sec. il. And if any person or persons shall purchase or receive lands of any Indian or Indians, contrary to the intent of this act, the person or persons so offending, shall forfeit to the public treasury of this State, the treble value of the lands so purchased or received; and no interest or estate in any lands in this State, shall accrue to any such person or persons, by force or virtue of such illegal bargain, purchase, or receipt.

Sec. 12. It is further enacted, That when, and so often as any suit shall be brought by any Indian, or Indians, for the recovery of any lands reserved by the Indians for themselves, or sequestered for the use and benefit of the Indians by order of this Assembly, or by any town, agreeable to the laws of this State, that the defendant, or tenant, shall not be admitted to plead in his defence his possession, or any way take benefit of the law entitled " An act for the quieting men's estates, and avoiding of suits," made May the eighteenth, one thousand six hundred and eighty-four.

Sec. 13. And to prevent damage that may come to Indians in their cornfields, by creatures belonging to other people,

Be it further enacted, That in each town in this State, where any Indians have fenced fields, there shali be fence viewers and appraisers by such town chosen and appointed, who shall be sworn to review such Indians' fence, and to appraise such damage as may, or shall be done in their cornfields, by any cattle, horses, or swine; and the judgment and appraisement of such viewers, or appraisers, shall be observed and duly performed, and answered by the owners of such cattle, horses, and swine, to the Indian, or Indians, damnified.

SEC. 14. And any Indians having such fields, are hereby allowed to make pounds within their said fields, to impound and secure horses, cattle, and swine, trespassing upon them.

SEC: 15. And the Indian, or Indians, impounding any cattle, horses, or swine, shall forth with give notice thereof to the select-men of that town, wherein such field is, and to the select-men of the two next adjacent towns; unless the owner is known, in which case, notice shall be given to the owner; and if the owner doth not redeem his creatures so impounded by paying the damage sustained within twenty-four hours after notice to them given of the sams; or if no owner appear within three days after notice given to the select men, as aforesaid; then, in each of those cases, the select-men of that town wherein such field is, shall make sale of such creatures, or so many of them, as shall answer the damages done by such creatures, and pay said damage, and the charges therewith, and return the overplus, if any, to the owner.

[Revised and enacted in 1821.) An act for the protection of Indians, and the preservation of their

properly.

Ser. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened, That an overseer shall be appointed to each

tribe of Indians living within the limits of the State, by the County Court, in the county in which such tribe resides, who shall have the care and management of their lands, and see that they are husbanded for the best interests of the Indians, and applied to their use and benefit. .

Sec. 2. The overseer of each tribe of Indians shall annually state and settle his account of the concerns of such tribe, with the County Court, in the county within which such tribe resides; and on failure thereof, or for any neglect of duty, such County Court may remove him from office, anu appoint another in his place; and such court may, at any time, call such overseer to account.

Sec. 3. If any person shall purchase, hire, or receive, by gift or mortgage, any land from any Indian or Indians, he shall forfeit treble the value of the land to the Treasury of the State, and the bargain and conveyance shall be absolutely void.

Sec. 4. If any person shall sell or give any spiritous liquor to any Indian, he shall, for every such offence, pay a fine of two dollars, to the use of the town where the offence is committed, for every pint, and in the same proportion for every greater or less quantity: Provided, That this shall not be construed to prevent or restrain any acts of charity for relieving an Indian, in case of sickness or necessity.

Sec 5. No judgment shall be rendered against an Indian for any debt or any contract, except for rent of land hired and occupied by such Indian.

Sec. 6. In a suit brought by any Indian or Indians for the recovery of lands, reserved by Indians for themselves, or sequestered for their use by the General Assembly, or by any town, agreeably to law, the defendant shall not be permitted to avail himself of a possession for fifteen years or more to make out a title.

RHODE ISLAND.

[1663.] An Act for the preventing of illegal and clandestine purchases of the

native Indians in this colony. For as much as divers persons have made purchases of lands in this colony

of the Indians, without the consent or approbation of the General Assembly, which manifestly tends to the defrauding and manifest injury of such native Indians, as well as defeating the just rights of this colony:

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, and the authority of the same, That no person, or persons, for the future, shall purchase any lands or Islands within this colony, of or from the native Indians within the same, but such only as are so allowed to do by the General Assembly, upon penalty of forfeiting all such lands or Islands so purchased, to this colony; and to pay for every such purchase by them so made, the sum of twenty pounds, as a fine to and for the use of the colony; and all such purchases shall be esteemed and adjudged null, void, and of none effect.

« AnteriorContinua »