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wright and persons who entertained the Antinomian heresy were about to arrive upon a ship from England.*

But in October, 1651, another order, continuing it in force without limit of time, was made, as follows:

Whereas there was a law made in the yeere 1650, concerning straungers coming into this jurisdictjon, wherein all straungers ariving within any of our port tounes, above the age of sixteene yeres, were enjoyned to be accomptable before the Gouernor, Dep* Gouernor, or two of the honnored magistrates of the occasion of their coming into these parts, as in that order more largely doth appeare, which sajd order is long since expired, itt is therefore heereby ordered, that the sajd lawe be againe revived, and declared by this Courte to stand in force till this Court shall see just cawse to repeale the same.f


In 1655 complaint was made to the General Court that strangers came into town without the consent of the inhabitants, and caused charges to the town for their support, and an order was passed providing that persons who should be brought into the town without the consent of the "prudential men”—that is, the selectmen—should not be chargeable for their support to the town, but to those who were the cause of their coming in, as follows:

All townes in this jurisdiction shall haue libertie to pvent the coming in of such as come from other parts or places of theise jurisdictions, & that all such psons as shalbe brought into any such towne without the consent & allowance of the prudentiall men, shall not be chargeable to the townes where they dwell, but, if necessitie require, shalbe releiued & mayntayned by those that were the cause of their coming in, of whom ye towne or select men are hereby empowred to require securitie at their entrance, or else forbid them entertaynment. I

* Winthrop, Vol. I, p. 267. Records of Massachusetts Bay, Vol. IV, Part I, p. 63. | Ibid., p. 230.

In May, 1659, the following order was passed:

For the avoyding of all future inconvenjencjes referring to the setling of poore people that may neede releife from the place where they dwell, itt is ordered by this Court and the authoritje thereof, that where any person, wth his family, or in case he hath no family, shall be resident in any toune or peculjar* of this jurisdiccon for more then three moneths wthout notice given tosuch person or persons by the constable, or one of the selectmen of the sajd place, or theire order, that the toune is not willing that they should remajne as an inhabitant amongst them, and in case, after such notice given, such person or persons shall, notwthstanding remajne in the sajd place, if the selectmen of the sajd place shall not, by way of complaint, petition the next County Court of that shiere for releife in the sajd case, & the same prosecuted to effect, euery such person or persons (as the case may require) shall be provided for & releived, in case of necessity, by the inhabitants of the sajd place where he or she is so found.

When the Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut Colonies confederated under Articles of Confederation for mutual defence in 1672, the right of towns to warn strangers to depart was expressly recognized by Article 13 of the Articles of Confederation, as follows:

13. It is alsoe agreed for settleing of vagabonds and wandering persons remoueing from one Collonie to another to the disatisfaction and burthen of the places where they come as dayly experience sheweth vs; for the future it is ordered, “that wher any person or persons shalbe found in any Jurisdiction to haue had theire abode for more than three monthes and not warned out by the authoritie of the place; and incase of the neglect of any person soe warned as abouesaid to depart; if hee be not by the first oppertunitie that the season will permitt sent away from Constable to Constable; to the end that hee may be returned to the place of his former aboad; euery such person or persons shalbe

* A “peculiar” is a village or a new settlement within the territory of a town, as Muddy River (Brookline).

In English law a parish which has jurisdiction of ecclesiastical matters. Records of Massachusetts Bay, Vol. IV, Part I, p. 365.

accoumpted an Inhabitant where they are soe found, and by them gouerned and provided for as theire condition may require and in all such cases the Charge of the Constables to be bourne by the Treasurer where the said Constables doe dwell.*

This order, it will be observed, recognizes the right of the towns to notify persons coming into the place that they are not willing the persons should remain as inhabitants; that is, to warn them out of the town. In 1675 the Indian wars forced many people to leave their homes and go to other places, and, to prevent such persons from becoming chargeable to the towns into which they were obliged to go, the General Court passed an order providing that such persons should not, by virtue of their residence in the towns to which they went, become inhabitants thereof, or the towns become chargeable for their support, as follows:

This court considering the inconvenience and damage which may arise to particular towns by such as, being forced from their habitations through the present calamity of the war, do repair unto them for succour: Do order and declare, that such persons, being inhabitants of this jurisdiction, who are so forced from their habitations and repair to other plantations for relief, shall not by virtue of their residence in said plantations they repair unto be accounted or reputed inhabitants thereof, or imposed upon them according to law, tit. Poor, but in such case, and where necessity requires, by reason of inability of relations &c. they shall be supplied out of the publick treasury; and that the selectmen of each town inspect this matter, and do likewise provide that such men or women may be so employed and children disposed of, that as much as may be publick charge may be avoided. (July, 1675.)

This order recognized colony poor to be supported at the general public charge.

*“ARTICLES of Confederation between the Plantations under the Gouerment of the Massachusetts; The Plantations under the Gouernment of New Plymouth; and the Plantations under the Gouerment of Conecticott; Article 13. September the fift, 1672.” Hazard, Vol. II, p. 525.

Massachusetts Colony Ancient Laws and Charters, Chap. LXXV.

The increase of population and the desire of persons to move from one place to another in the colony, however, began to make it practically impossible to enforce the right of towns to exclude new-comers from inhabitancy by physically preventing them from coming in, or removing them, if they did come into the town. New persons came into the different towns and resided therein, and they were entertained, notwithstanding the laws against it, so that the towns became liable to the support of persons whom they did not actually admit by vote of the inhabitants or action of the town authorities.

In this state of affairs, relief was given to the towns by legislation, authorizing them to warn new-comers to depart from the towns, and providing that, if they were so warned, their subsequent living in the town should not make them inhabitants entitled to support in case of poverty.

In November, 1692, an act was passed specially providing for warning persons who might come into a town to leave it, and for a record of the names of such persons, and a warning to them in court, as follows:

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If any person or persons come to sojourn or dwell in any town and be there received and entertained by the space of three months, not having been warned by the constable, or other person whom the selectmen shall appoint for that purpose, to leave the place, and the names of such persons with the time of their abode there and when such warning was given them returned into Court of quarter sessions, every such person shall be deemed an inhabitant of such town and the proper charge of the same in case through sickness, lameness, or otherwise, they come to stand in need of relief to be borne by such town. Unless relatives be of sufficient ability to do so &c.*

* Massachusetts Province Laws, State edition, Vol. I, p. 67.

March 14, 1700, a further act was passed with regard to the admission of inhabitants into towns, which recognized the method of warning out as well established. Section 5 of that Act provided that no town shall "be chargeable with the support of any person residing therein who has not been approved as an inhabitant by the town or the selectmen” as in the Act provided, unless they had “continued their residence there by the space of twelve months next before and not been warned in manner as the law directs to depart and leave the town, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Section 6 provided that if any person not an inhabitant, “orderly warned to depart” and sent by warrant of a justice of the peace to the town where he properly belonged or to the place of his last abode, should come back to the town from which he had been warned and sent, he should be proceeded against as a vagabond.*

January 5, 1739, an Act was passed declaring the meaning of the Act of 1700, and that no taxing of any person not admitted as an inhabitant by the town or the selectmen should make the town chargeable for the support of that person, and that no forbearance of the selectmen to “warn the person to depart the town” should relieve the person by whom such person was received from the charge of his support, etc. †

February 11, 1793, an Act was passed repealing all laws as to town settlements and providing how settlements should be thereafter gained, † and with this went all provisions for warning out of town, and no such warning has since existed in Massachusetts.

* Massachusetts Province Laws, State edition, Vol. I, p. 453. Ibid., p. 995. | Laws and Resolves of Massachusetts, 1793, Chap. 34.

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