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Out in New England In Walpole, in 1772, the town voted
That the constable warn out of town every person that comes in that has no estate in town.
And this was made one of the duties of the constable for many years thereafter. *
The same practice was followed in Alstead and many other towns, especially after the Revolutionary War, when many persons came to dwell in the new towns in the Connecticut Valley and in the northern part of the State.
* Aldrich, History of Walpole, p. 43.
RHODE ISLAND COLONY AND STATE Laws AS TO INHABITANCY,
RELIEF OF THE POOR, Town SETTLEMENT, ETC.— MAINE
The early settlers in Rhode Island asserted the same right to exclude new-comers. When Roger Williams in 1638 conveyed to twelve of his companions the land which had been conveyed to him by the Indian chiefs Cononicus and Miontinomi, on the Pawtuxet River, the grant was to share with him “and such others as the major part of us shall admit into the same fellowship of vote with us.”
The subsequent compact for the establishment of the town of Providence was upon the same principle. It was as follows:
We whose names are hereunder, desirous to inhabit in the town of Providence, do promise to subject ourselves in active or passive obedience to all such orders or agreements as shall be made for public good of the body, in an orderly way by the major assent of the present inhabitants, masters of families, incorporated together into a town fellowship, and such others as they shall admit unto them, only in civil things. *
The same method was followed in the settlement of Aquidneck, Rhode Island, in 1638. In the town compact made in 1640 five men were appointed to dispose of the town lands, but they were required first to notify the inhabitants lest any objection should exist to the new-comer, and any inhabitant could object and require the question of admitting the stranger to be determined by a town meeting. Conveyances were made in simple form without the
* Arnold, History of Rhode Island, Vol. I, pp. 100, 103.
voluminous provisions of recitals and covenants, etc., in modern deeds of land, and were read in an open town meeting, and were valid only when approved by vote of the meeting.*
It was agreed in the form of government at Providence the 27th of the 5th mo. in the yeare (so called) 1640 (1637) in the second statement as follows:
We have with one consent agreed that for the disposeing, of those lands that shall be disposed belonging to this towne of Providence to be in the whole Inhabitants by the choise of five men for generall disposeall, to be betrusted with disposeall of lands and also of the townes Stocke, and all Generall things and not to receive in any six dayes as townesmen, but first to give the Inhabitants notice to consider if any have just cause to shew against the receiving of him as you can apprehend, and to receive none but such as subscribe to this our determination. Also, we agree that if any of our neighbours doe apprehend himselfe wronged by these or any of these 5 disposers, that at the Generall towne meeting he may have a tryall. †
At a generall meeting of the town of Portsmouth “upon publicke notice on the 3d month, 13 day, 1638," it was
Ordered, that none shall be received as inhabitants or Freemen, to build or plant upon the Island but such as shall be received in by the consent of the Bodye, and do submitt to the Government that is or shall be established, according to the word of God. I
At the Generall Court assembled at Newport on the 19th of September, 1642, it was
Ordered, that no person or persons shall make any sale of his lands (in or belonging to our Jurisdiction) to any other Jurisdiction, or person therein, vnless that that Jurisdiction or person shall be subject to the Government here established, vpon paine of forfeiture of the said lands so proffered.Ş
* Arnold, History of Rhode Island, Vol. I, pp. 9, 121, 127.
One of the acts and orders made and agreed upon at the General Court of Election in Rhode Island, on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of May, 1647, for the Colony and Province of Providence, was:
It is agreed and ordered, by this present Assembly, that each Towne shall provide carefully for the reliefe of the poore, to maintayne the impotent, and to employ the able, and shall appoint an overseer for the same purpose. See 43 Eliz. 2.*
In 1682 it was provided by law that the town council could prevent any one becoming an inhabitant unless sufficient security satisfactory to them was given by townsmen that the person admitted should not become a public charge. In the Laws of Rhode Island of 1798 “An Act providing for the Relief, Support, Employment and Removal of the Poor” provided that:
Every town in this State shall be holden to relieve and support all poor and indigent persons, lawfully settled therein, whenever they shall stand in need thereof. Section 15 of this Act provided :
That in case any tavern-keeper, inn-holder, victualler, or any other person whosoever, inhabiting in any town within this State, shall entertain or keep in his or her house any single person or family, being strangers, for more than one whole week from the time of their coming into such town, without giving notice thereof in writing to the President of the Town-Council, such person so offending shall forfeit and pay a fine of seven dollars for every such offence, to be recovered by the Town-Treasurer of such town, before any Justice or Warden, to and for the use of such town. As late as 1727 the town councils had by statute power to refuse inhabitancy to any stranger, even if security was given. I
In that portion of Massachusetts, now the State of Maine, then commonly known as the District of Maine, warning out was practised until the State of Maine was created in 1819. The following instances illustrate the practice:
* Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, 1636–1663, Vol. I, pp. 184, 185. † See Rhode Island Laws, 1727, 1741, 1748, 1765, 1798. Stokes, The Finances and Administration of Providence, p. 74.
In Sanford, incorporated in 1768, warning out began to be practised as early as 1771, and appears to have been used against all new-comers. The first warrant was as follows:YORK /s
SANFORD June ye 28: 1771. Paletiah Tingle Wereas you have come into this Towne Withoute Leav of the Towne This is to warne you forthwith to Departe out of this Towne forthwith for Wee Disowne you for an inhabitant. *
In Belfast, incorporated in 1773, new-comers were warned out as early as 1775, and the practice was continued as late as 1798.7
In Gorham warning out was practised as early as 1791, a warning being then recorded warning out fourteen persons with their families “who have lately come into this towne for the purpose of abiding therein not having obtained the towns consent therefor.”
In Union in 1787 it was voted that the selectmen should warn out all persons they might deem it necessary to warn, and in December of the same year and in 1789 warning out warrants were issued and served upon sundry new-comers.
In Thomaston in 1785 seventeen persons were warned out, including, as it afterwards proved, many who became valuable and thrifty citizens. It is said by Eaton that the practice of warning out became gen
* Emery, History of Sanford, p. 225.