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Massachusetts lands and tenements, regulating their streams, ponds, and fishe.
ries, perambulating their lines, and meting out lots for their particular improvement, as with respect to their bargains, contracts, wages and other dealings, and to take due care of their poor, and that their children be bound out to suitable persons, of sober life and conversation. And the said overseers are empowered and directed to hold stated meetings, elect a moderator, secretary and treasurer, and may, if they judge it necessary, appoint some suitable person or persons to act under their direction, as a guardian or guardians to the said Indian and other proprietors, and to carry into execution their said regulations and orders (which guardian or guardians shall give bonds to the said board of overseers, for the faithful discharge of their trust, and to render in to the said overseers, and settle their accounts once every year, and oftener, if required) and whenever the said board shall judge the continuance of the said guardians in their said trust inexpedient or unnecessary, they may remove them. .
Sec. 2. And be it enacted, That the said board of overseers, or the guardians whom they may appoint, are hereby vested with power and authority to demand and receive any property, dues or wages, which now are or hereafter may be detained, withheld from, or justly owing to said proprietors, or any of them, by any person or persons, and to institute and bring forward, in their own names and capacities, any action or actions for the recovery thereof, as likewise for any illegal entries, or. trespasses, which have been, or may be made or committed on their lands, tenements, fisheries, and other property; or for any fraud or injury done to them, or any of them, and the same action or actions to pursue to final judgment and execution; and shall, at all times, have full power and authority to examine, adjust and settle all accounts and controversies between , them, or any of them, and any white person or persons, for voyages or other services and transactions which remain unsettled, or which may hereafter be done or arise; as likewise to adjust and bring to a settlement all accounts and proceedings of any former guardian, trustee, or overseer, raking effectual care that justice be done therein; and may also bind, by indenture, the children of the poor of the said proprietors, to suitable persons, of sober life and conversation, as they, the said overseers and guardians, may judge necessary and convenient.
Sec. 3. And be it enacted, That no lease, indenture, covenant, bond, bargain, or contract, in writing, made by any of said proprietors, shall be of any validity, unless it be made by, or under the direction of said board, guardian or guardians, or
with their consent and approbation; nor shall any action be Massachusetts brought against any of the said proprietors, upon any account, 1789. for goods sold and delivered, services done and performed, or for money had and received, to the use of another, unless such account shall have been first examined by the said overseers, guardian or guardians, and by them approved..
Sec. 4. And be it enacted, That the said overseers shall keep a fair and regular account of all their transactions, and of all the rents and profits arising from their the said proprietors' lands, tenements and fisheries, or otherwise, and of all money, wages or incomes, which they may receive from time to time, belonging to the said proprietors, or any of them, and shall distribute to them their respective rights, dues and shares, after deducting the reasonable expense of conducting their said business, payment of their just debts, and (from the common profits) providing for the sick and indigent, and reserving from time to time, such sum or sums as can conveniently be spared, for the support and continuance of religious instruction among them, and the schooling of their children; and they, the said overseers, shall state their accounts annually, and lay the same before the Governor and Council for approbation and allowance: and the Governor, with the advice of the Council, is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint such overseers, and to fill up vacancies, whenever, by death, resignation, removal out of the Commonwealth, or otherwise, they may happen; to displace them, or any of them, for want of ability or integrity, or other reasonable cause, and to audit their accounts.
Sec. 5. And be it enacted, That no liberty or pretended liberty, from the proprietors, or any of them, for cutting of any wood, timber or hay, milking pine trees, carrying off any ore or grain, or for planting or improving any of said lands or tenements, without the approbation of said overseers, guardian or guardians, shall be any bar in any of their action or actions: Provided nothing herein shall be construed to defeat any lease or indenture heretofore made agreeably to law. And the lands and tenements of said proprietors shall not be liable to be taken in execution for debt. And if any of said proprietors shall be committed in execution for debt, he, she, or they shall have the same benefit from an act, entitled “ An act for the relief of poor prisoners who are committed by execution for debi," as any white person now hath, who has no estate, their being proprietors notwithstanding, and the oath shall be varied accordingly.
Sec. 6. And be it enacted, That all laws heretofore made respecting the said Marshpee Indians, be, and hereby are repealed. [Jan. 30, 1789.]
1790. An Act in addition to an Act, entitled, “ An Act for the better regulating of
the Indian. Mulatto and Negro proprietors and inhabitants of the plantation called Marshpee, in the county of Barnstable."
Massachusetts Whereas it appears that an Act, entitled, “ An Act for the
regulation of the Indian, mulatto and negro proprietors and inhabitants of the plantation called Marshpee, in the county of Barnstable," proves insufficient for the well regulating said plantation, in many instances :
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That the overseers, guardian or guardians of the said plantation, for the time being, shall have full power and authority to appoint annually, one constable, two fence-viewers, two surveyors of highways, two hogreeves, and one warden, being all inhabitants of the said plantation; whose duty it shall be to carry into execution the laws of the Commonwealth within the said plantation, as fully as the like officers chosen by the several towns in this Commonwealth are by law enabled to do within their respective towns; and said officers shall be sworn before some justice of the peace in the said county, faithfully to perform the duties required of them in their respective offices.
And whereas, several persons have entered upon the lands belonging to the said proprietors, and set up houses upon the same, without paying rents therefor, to the great injury of said proprietors:
Sec. 2. Be it further enucted, That any person or persons, not being a proprietor of said plantation, who shall enter upon said plantation to reside there, or who are now residents there, who shall refuse to pay to the guardian or guar. dians of said plantation, for the benefit of the proprietors thcreof, such sum or sums of money, or the value thereof in some other way, for the rents of such lands as they respectively improve, as, in the opinion of the said guardian or guardians shall be just and equitable; every person so refusing, shall, if required by the said guardian or guardians, be removed from the said plantation, by warrant, to be issued by some justice of the peace for the said county (upon complaint of said yuardian or guardians,) Provided, however, That such complaint shall appear reasonable to the justice to whom the complaint is made; and the said warrant shall be directed to the constable of said plantation; and if the person so removed, shall again return, with intent to reside there, he shall forfeit and pay for each
offence the sum of five pounds, to the use of said proprietors, Massachusetts to be recovered by action of debt in any court proper to try 1790, the same; which action may be brought in the name or names of the guardian or guardians of said plantation
And whereas, many of the Indian, mulatto, and negro inhabitants who occupy lands within the plantation, have no other title to the same but what they derive from grants or assignments made to them by the original proprietors; and it being necessary clearly to ascertain who are the proprietors of said , plantation :
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the guardian or guardians shall make out a fair record of all the names of the proprietors of said plantation who usually reside within the same; and in all cases where the title of proprietorship shall appear doubtful, the guardian or guardians shall examine into the same, and if they find the claim of such Indian, mulatto, or negro, either by descent, marriage, or otherwise, well founded (thc: overseers confirming the same) his name shall be entered on said record; and such Indian, mulatto or negro shall be considered as a proprietor of said plantation to all intents and purposes.
Sec. 4. And be it enacted, That those who are not proprietors in their own rights, or in the right of their wives, or who shall not be admitted as proprietors by the overseers, guardian or guardians, in manner aforesaid, shall not be deemed or reputed inhabitants of said plantation, but shall, at all times, be liable to be removed, together with their families, by warrant, in manner aforesaid, out of said plantation; any thing in the act, to which this is an addition, to the contrary notwithstanding. [March 4, 1790.]
Duke's county, known by the name of Christiantown.
gations which they owe to society, have taken undue ad-
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That his excellency the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of Council, be, and he hereby is, authorized and empowered to appoint two good and discreet men as guardians, to have the care and oversight of said Indians, and of their property, with full power to superintend the same. !
Massachusetts Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That from and after the pass1805.
ing of this act, all deeds, bargains, sales, releases, qui claims, or any conveyance whatsoever, that any person shall or may obtain, in any way, from any person or persons, of any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, which do, or shall hereafter belong to any of said Indians, as well for any term of years, or forever, shall be utterly void and of none effect, excepting such deeds, leases, or other conveyances, as shall first be examined, approved, and confirmed, by said guardians.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That from and after the passing of this act, no bond, bill, or other specialty in writing, or any contract whatever, nor any book account, or verbal contracvor promise for the payment of money, shall be deemed good and recoverable against any of the said Indians, if the same shall exceed the sum of four dollars, unless such bill, bond, specialty, or verbal contract, shall be approved by one at least of said guardians.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be construed in anywise to affect any existing contract, or any action that shall be pending in any court at the time of the passing of this act. [March 8, 1805.]
An Act in addition to, and repealing part of the first section of an act, entitled
"An act for the better regulating of the Indian, Mulatto, and Negro proprietors and inhabitants of the plantation called Marshpee, in the county of Barnstable, and for other purposes."
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court ussembled, and by the authority of the same, That a board of overseers shall be established, to consist of three discreet an: dişinterested persons, one of whom, at least, not to be an inhabitant of the county of Barnstable, to be appointed in the same manner, to have the same powers, to perform the same duties, to be subject to the same rules of proceeding, and to hold their offices by the same tenure as the present overseers now hold, have, and are subjected to by the act, to which this is an addition; which overseers shall also be overseers of the Herring-Pond tribe of Indians, living partly in Plymouth, and partly in Sandwich, and have all the powers, and be subject to, and perform all the duties incumbent on the present board of overseers, by a resolve passed the fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine: and the present board of overseers, and their treasurer, shall, on or before the first day of June next, deliver over to the board of overseers to be appointed by this act, all