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Massachusetts manner provided by law, or cause the same to be done, witka 1819.
out first having a permit from said overseers, or a majority of them so to do; or shall commit any other trespass on the lands of the said proprietors of the said several tribes, he, she, or they, on conviction of any such offence, before any court of competent jurisdiction, shall pay a fine not exceeding two huna dred dollars, or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding two years, according to the nature and aggravation of the offence, at the discretion of the court, before whom such conviction may be had; and such offender shall be further liable in an action of trespass, in the name of the overseers, for the damage thus sustained. And no inhabitant or member of either of the said tribes, nor any person concerned in the government thereof, shall be disqualified from being a witness in any such prosecution or action, on account of his or her interest or office in or concerning the said several tribes, and their estate and property. And all permits which may be given to any person or persons, shall be in writing, and subscribed by two at least of the said overseers, and express particularly the quantity of wood or timber to be cut or taken, and at what times, and for what purposes; and shall be recorded at length in the record of their proceedings, before any wood or timber shall be cut. or taken away by virtue thereof; otherwise, such permit shall be void.
Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, That all the accounts of the said overseers with the several tribes aforesaid, shall be kept distinct from each other, and shall be annually examined, audited and adjusted, by the court of common pleas for the county of Barnstable, and a copy thereof, and of the adjustment, shall be transmitted by the said overseers to the Governor and Council, on or before the last day of December annually.
Sec. 8. Be it further enacted, That any action which is or may be commenced in the name of the said overseers, in their said capacity, may be prosecuted to final judgment and execution in the name or names of the survivors or survivor of them, notwithstanding the death of any one or more of them during the pendency of such action.
Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, That all fines and forfeitures incurred by a breach of this act, may be recovered by indicta ment before any circuit court of common pleas, or supreme judicial court, which may be holden within and for the county of Barnstable; one moiety thereof to the use of the person who shall give information of such breach to said overseers, and the other moiety thereof to the use of the Commonwealth.
Sec. 10. Be it further enacted, That all acts and parts of Massnehusetts' acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act, be, and the 1819. same are hereby repealed. [February 18, 1819.)
ant or inor trustees, gear probate for with sufficient
1825. An Act regulating the duties of trustees and guardians of Indians or tribes
of Indians within this Commonwealth. Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre- 1825. sentatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this act, the several guardians or trustees of any Indian or Indians, or tribes of Indians within this Commonwealth, that now are or may hereafter be appointed, shall be required to give bonds for the faithful discharge of their trusts, with sufficient surety or sureties, to the judge of probate for the county of which such trustee or trustees, guardian or guardians, is or are an inhabitant or inhabitants, in double the amount of the appraised value of the property which now is, or may hereafter come into their hands as trustees or guardians aforesaid.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the several trustees or guardians of any Indian or Indians, or tribes of Indians, that now are or may hereafter be appointed, be, and they hereby are required to make and render to the court of sessions for the county in which said trustee or trustees, guardian or guardians may reside, at the first term thereof, next after the passing of this act, and thence after annually, a true and just statement in writing, under oath, of the amount of the property in his or their hands as trustees or guardians aforesaid, together with a particular description of the kind of property, and its separate value, with a true and just account of his or their receipts, disbursements and expenses, and the names of the Indians to whom the property belongs, and the share of each respective ly; and the said court of sessions is hereby authorized and directed to examine the accounts of the several trustees or guard-: ians as aforesaid, and shall allow so much thereof as shall appear to them to be just.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the property which now is, or may hereafter come into the hands and possession of any trustee or trustees, guardian or guardians as aforesaid, the income thereof shall be by him or them distributed amongst and paid to such Indian or Indians, or tribes of Indians, according to their respective rights and interests in the same, in articles necessary for the support of themselves and families, at the discretion of his or their said trustee or trustees, guardian or guardians. [February 26, 1825.]
An Act for the better regulation, instruction, and government of the Indians
and people of colour in the county of Duke's county.
Massachusetts Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre
sentatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That his excellency the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Council, be, and he hereby is autho. rized to appoint three Commissioners, who shall meet in the month of March or April next, and shall have power to make partition of the lands belonging to the Indians and people of colour, inhabitants of the island of Chappequiddic, in Duke's county, reserving such part thereof for the support of the poor, as they may deem necessary, and the same to divide and apportion among said Indians and people of colour, in such quantities as they shall deem just and proper, regard being had to the rules of birth-right and descent established among said Indians and people of colour, and to those rights which indivi. duals and families may have acquired by virtue of a possession and improvement; and the partition and apportionment so made, being recorded in the registry of deeds for said county, shall be valid and effectual to vest in said Indians and people of colour a fee simple in their respective shares: Provided always, That any wood land, peat-land, mines, quarries, or claypits, may continue to be held in common as heretofore, or may, at any time, be divided at the request of a majority of said Indians and people of colour, by the guardian and overseers hereinafter provided.
Sec. 2 Be it further enacted, That the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Council, shall appoint a good and discreet man, who is or may be appointed a justice of the peace, to be guardian of said Indians and people of colour, and he shall hold the office of guardian during the term of four years; and before entering upon the execution of the trust, shail give a bond to the judge of probate of Duke's county, in the penal sum of one thousand dollars, with a sufficient surety or sureties, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the trust committed to him, and the duties enjoined upon him.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That said Indians and people of colour shall, in the month of March or April annually, meet at such time and place as said guardian shall direct, by a written notice, posted up at their meeting house or school house, seven days at least before the time of said meeting, which notice shall contain a list of the matters and hings to be acted upon at said meeting; and it shall be the duty of said
guardian to be present and preside in said meeting; but in case Massachusetts of his unavoidable absence, said Indians and people of colour 1828. may choose a moderator, and may then proceed to choose a clerk, who shall be sworn before a justice of the peace, to keep a faithful record of all the votes passed in that and in all other town meetings of said Indians and people of colour, during the year, and until another clerk be chosen and sworn in his stead; and the said Indians and people of colour may next proceed to choose two or more good men, either of the neighbouring white inhabitants, not proprietors of lands adjoining the lands of said Indians, or of the most sober, discreet, and well educated of their own number, for overseers; and they may also choose a constable, field-driver, pound keeper and other town officers whom they may deem necessary, who shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of the duties of their respective offices; and it shall be the duty of said constable, fielddriver, pound-keeper, and other town officers, to carry into execution the laws of this Commonwealth, within the territory of said Indians and people of colour, as amply as the like officers chosen by the several towns in this Commonwealth, are by law enabled to do within their respective towns.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That the following powers and duties be vested in, and enjoined upon the said guardian: 1st. To settle all accounts and controversies among the said Indians and people of colour, and between them and the neigh.' bouring white inhabitants. 2d. To institute, in his own name, or in the name of any Indian or person of colour, any action or actions for the recovery of any debt due, or other property belonging to said Indians and people of colour, or for any fraud or injury committed upon them or their property. 3d. To punish by fine, not exceeding twenty dollars, or by solitary imprisonment, not exceeding twenty days, any trespasses, batteries, larcenies under five dollars, gross lewdness, and lascivious behaviour, and disorderly and riotous conduct, and for the sale of spirituous liquors within the territory, or on the lands of said Indians and people of colour; and said guardian or other justice of the peace may issue his warrant, directed to the constable of said Indians and people of colour, or other proper officer, to arrest and bring before him, any offender against the provision of this act; and after judgment, he may order execution to be done by said constable or other proper officer; and if said guardian or other justice of the peace shall adjudge any offender to solitary imprisonment, such offender shall not, during the term of said. imprisonment, be visited by, or allowed to speak with, any person other than the jailor,
Massachusetts or said guardian or justice of the peace, or such other person 2828. as said guardian or justice of the peace shall specially authorize
thereto; nor shall such offender be allowed any food or drink other than coarse bread and water, unless sickness shall, in the opinion of a physician, render other sustenance necessary; and said guardian or other justice of the peace shall keep a fair record of his proceedings; and any person aggreived at the sentence given against him by said guardian or other justice of the peace, may appeal therefrom to the next court of common pleas to be holden in said county, according to the laws regulating the powers of justices of the peace in criminal cases. 4th. To grant licenses to such of said Indians and people of colour as shall, by industry, sobriety, and correct conduct, entitle themselves to the privilege, to make contracts generally, and in particular to purchase real estate, in such quantity, and at such price, in case it be purchased of said Indians and people of colour, as said guardian and overseers may approve. 5th. To be treasurer of said Indians and people of colour. 6th. To settle and adjust all accounts with former guardians, and to receive from them any monies or other property belonging to said Indians and people of colour, and with the approbation of the overseers, to pay any balance which may be justly due to said guardians. 7th. To keep accurate and regular accounts of all receipts and disbursements on account of said Indians and people of colour, and annually, on or before the last day of December, to file a copy thereof in the office of the Secretary of this Commonwealth, for the inspection of his excellency the Governor; and also a copy in the office of the judge of probate of Duke's county, for his inspection and approval: and at the annual meeting of said Indians and people of colour for the choice of officers, or any other town meeting which it shall be his duty to call at any time, on the request of the overseers, he shall exhibit his said accounts, and if required, shall give explanations touching the same: and if said Indians and people of colour shall be of opinion that said guardian has been guilty of any unfaithfulness or fraud in the execution of his said trust, they may represent the same to the judge of probate of Duke's county, who shall hear the parties, examine the case, and if he shall be of opinion that said representation is true, he shall lay the same before his excellency the Governor, who shall direct a suit to be instituted in the name of the Commonwealth against said guardian on his said bond. 8th. To reserve sucla part of the wages or profits of any voyage or voyages of said Indians and people of colour, for the support of their families, as the said guardian may think proper; and the master or