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LAWS of the State of NEW-YORK,
Passed in the Third Session of the Legislature, held at
Kingston, in Ulster County.
An ACT for the Forfeiture and Sale of the Eflates of Persons who have adhered
to the Enemies of this Stale, and for declaring the Sovereignty of the Peop.c of this State, in respect to all Property within the fame,
Pafled 22d October, 1779. Preairble.
THEREAS during the present unjust and cruel war,
waged by the king of Great Britain, against this ftate, and the other United States of America, divers perions holding or claiming property within this state, have voluntarily been adherent to the faid king, his fleets and armies, enemies to this ftate, and the laid other United States, with intent to fubvert the government and liberies of tliis ftate, and the said other United States, and to bring the fame in subjection to the crown of Great Britain ; by reason whereof, the faid persons have severally juilly forfeited all right to the projection of this state, and to the benefit of the laws under which tuch property is held or claimed: And whereas the public justice and safety of this state abiolutely require, that the moti notorious offenders should be immediately hereby convicted and attained of the offence aforesaid, in order to work a forfeiture of their respective eftates, and veft the same in the people of this state : And whereas the constitution of this state, hath authorised the legillature to pass acts of attainder for crimes committed before the termination of the prelent war :
I. bc it therefore cated by ihę jesle of the fate of New York, represented in fenate and allen:bly, and it is here'yera led by the authoriiy of the jame, That John Murray, earl of Dunmore, formerly governor of the colony of NewYork; William Tryon, Esq. late governor of the said colony; John Watts, Oliver De Lancey, Hugh Wallace, Henry White, John Harris Cruger,
Perfons by name, William Axtell, and Roger Morris, Esquires, late members Ipfo Facto, attainted of the council of the said colony; George Duncan Ludlow, hering to the chainies and Thomas Jones, late justices of the supreme court of the
faid colony; John Tabor Kempe, late attorney-general of the faid colony; Wiliam Bayard, Robert Bayard, and James De Lancey, now or late of the city of New-York, Esquires; David Matthews, late mayor of the faid city ; James Jauncey, George Folliot, Thomas White, William M° Adam, Isaac Low, Miles Sherbrook, Alexander Wallace, and Jolin Wetherhead, now or late of the said city, merchants ; Charles Inglis, of the said city, clerk, and Margaret his wife; Sir John Johnson, late of the county of Tryon, knight and baronet; Guy Jolinson, Daniel Claus, and John Butler, now or late of the said county, Liquires; and Jolin Joost Herkemer, now or
of the state.
late of the said county, yeoman ; Frederick Philipfe, and James De Lancey, now or late of the county of Westchetter, Esquires ; Frederick Philiple some of Frederick) now or late of the said county, gentleman; David Colden, Daniel Kiffam, the elder, and Gabriel Ludlow, now or late of Queen's county, Esquires; Philip Skeene, now or late of the county of Charlotte, Esq. and Andrew P. Skeene, son of the said Philip Skeene, late of Charlotte county ; Benjamin Seaman, and Christopher Biliop, now or late of the county of Richmond, Esquires; Beverly Robinson, Beverly Robinson the younger, and Malcom Morrison, now or late of the county of Dutchess, Esquires; John Kane, now or late of the faid county, gentleman; Abraham C. Cuyler, how or late of the county of Albany, Esq. Robert Leake, Edward Jessup, and Ebenezer Jessup, now or late of the said county, gentlemen; and Peter Du Bois, and Thomas H. Barclay, now or late of the county of Ulster, E quires; Susannah Robinson, wife to the faid Beverly Robinson, and Mary Morris, wife to the faid Roger Morris; John Rapalje, of King's county, E. George Muirfon, Richard Hoyd, and Parker Wickham, of Suffolk county, Esquires; Henry Lloyd, the elder, late of the fiate of Massachusetts-Bay, merchant; and fir Henry Clinton, knight, be, and each of them are hereby feverally declared to be, Ipfo Facto, convicted and attainted of the offence Their estates for. aforesaid; and that all and singular the estate, both real and feired.
personal, held or claimed by them the said persons severally and respectively, whether in poffeffion, reversion or remainder, within this ftate, on the day of the paling of this act, shall be, and hereby is declared to be forfeited to, and vested in the people of this state.
II. Ad be it furiher enacled by the authority aforesaid, The faid perfons That the said severalpersons herein before particularly named,
from this ftate.
shall be, and hereby are declared to be for ever banished from this stare; and each and every of them, who shall at any time hereafter be found in any part of this state, shail be, and are hereby adjudged and declared guilty of felony, and shall luffer deat!ı as in cases of felony, without benefit of clergy. For the purpole of
III. And to the end, That for the purpose aforesaid, attainting other of convictions and attainders for the offence aforesaid, may, in
pursuance of this act, be had against other offenders than tho’e herein before particularly nained; Be it further encued by the Quinca rity oforesiid, That it Thall and may be lawful for the grand jurors at any supreme court of judicature to be held for this state, or at any court of oyer and terminer and general gaol delivery, or general or quarter seslions of the peace, to be held in and for any county within this state, whenever it shall appear to such grand jurors by the oath of one or more credible
witness or witnesses, that any person or persons, wheceedings remedied ther in full life or deceased, generally reputed, if in full 50 lat. ch. 4.
life, to hold or claim, or if deceased to have held or claimed, at the time of their death respectively, real or personal estate within this ftate, hath or have been guilty of the offence aforesaid, to prefer bills of in
di&tment against such persons as fhali then be in full life, for firmed ith fell. ch. such offence, and in relation to the offence committed by.
such persons in their lives time, as fhall then be deceased, feverally and respectively, notwithstanding that such offence may have been committed elsewhere than in the county for which such grand jurors Mali be summoned: That in every indictment to be taken in pursuance of this act, the oflence or ofences shall be charged to have been committed in the
D forts in the pro
64. fec. 23.
county where the indictment shall be taken, notwithstanding such offence or offences may have been committed elsewhere; and it shall not be necessary to set forth ipecially, whether the several persons charged in such indictment, were respectively deceased or in full life, or were reputed to hold or claim real or personal estate within this state. And on every such indictment shall be indorsed, that the same was taken in pursuance of this act, and the day when the same was preferred into court.
IV. And be it further enabled by the authority aforesaid, That whenever and as often as any such indictment shall be taken, against any person or persons, the sheriffs of the respective counties, where such indictinents shall be taken, shall forthwith cause notices thereof, agreeable to such form as is herein after mentioned, to be published in one or more of the public newspapers within this fiate, for at least four weeks.
V. And be il further enaĉied by the authoriy aforesaid, That in every case of a neglect to appear and traverse agreeable to the sheriff's notice, the several persons charged in such indictment, whether in full life or deceased, shall respectively be, and hereby are declared to be, and shall be adjudged guilty of the offences charged againit them respectively. And the several persons who shall in pursuance of this act, either by reason of such default, in not appearing and traversing as aforesaid, or upon trial, be convicted of the Forfeiture on con
offence aforesaid, shall forfeit all and singular the estate, viction,
both real and personal, whether in possession, reversion or remainder, held or claimed by them respectively, within this state, to the people of this state ; and judgment shall accordingly be awarded in the supreme court of this state, against the said persons respectively. And such forfeitures, as well of the estates which were at the time of their death, respectively, of persons deceased, as of persons in full life, at the time of conviction, shall be deemed to have accrued; and the estates accordingly attached to and vested in the people of this state, at and from the day charged in each respective indictment, most distant from the day of the taking thereof
. Provided nevertheless, That where a trial Mall be had upon any such indictment, the forfeiture Tall in such case be deemed to have accrued from the day to be found by the verdiet of the jury, by which such persons shall be respectively convicted, most distant from the day of the taking of the indictment ; any other day to be charged in the indictment notwithstanding. And provided Provif), in favour further, That the several persons who Thall have been parof per kuus pardoneel. doned in pursuance of a declaration or ordinance of the convention of this ttate, pafied the tenth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thou'and seven hundred and seventy-seven, offering free pardon to such of the subjects of the said flate, as having committed treasonable acts against the fame, should return to their allegiance; or in consequence of any proclamation or procianations, heretofore issued by the commander in chief of the army of the United States of America, may respectively plead their pardons to indictments, taken in pursuance of this act, in like manner as they miglit or could do to indictments for high treason, taken in the ordi
Provif», in favour nary course of law. And provided further, That each and taken thermath of alte every person, who shall at any time before the fourth day giais before 4th of of April, in the year of our Lord, one thouand leven hun. April, 1778.
dred and seventy-eight, have taken the oath of allegiance to this state, before the convention or councils of safety of this fate; or before the comunittee of the said convention, appointed for enquiring in:0, detecting and defeating all conspiracies, which may be formed in tillate,
against the liberties of America ; or the commissioners appointed for the like purpose, or a county, district or precinct committee ; shall and may plead fuch taking the oath of allegiance in bar to any indictment, to be taken in parfurance of this act, for offences committed before the day on which they Telpectively took fuch oath.
VI. And be it further enaled by the authority aforesaid, An indictments on That all indictments to be from time to time taken in puret les cours to be suance of this act; at any court of oyer and terminer, or prere cout, and general gaol delivery, or general or quarter fellions of the
peace, shall, by the clerks of the said courts, respectively be returned, under their respective hands and seals, into the supreme court of this itate, and shall be tried at the bar of the said court; and upon the trial of any such indictment, no greater number of winesles shall be required than are required by law in cases of felony, without benefit of clergy.
VIL. Ad be it further enabled by the authority afireluid, That the several sheriffs shall
, from time to time, respectively return, under their hands and kals, into the supreme court of this state, the leveral nuinbers of the newsa papers containing the notices published by them reipectively, there to remain as records of such notices, until judgmenis ihall be had against the leveral perfous named in such notices respectively.
VIII. And to the end, That in profecutions for the ofence aforesaid, in pursuance of this act, no advantage may be taken of mere matters of form; and that the defendants may not withilanding be fully apprized of the several matters charged againīt them; in order to their delince, Be it further eraced by the authority aforefiid, That it shali be fufficient in ail indi&uments to be taken for the offence aforesaid, in pursuance of this act, to charge generally, that the several persons therein charged, did, on the lever days, and at the several places therein mentioned, adhiere to the enemies of this itae,
The grand jurors and the grand jurors shall, ai the time they deiser any fich to deliver into court indictment into court, deliver into court the examinations or
of the witnesies. depositions of the winess or witnefies, upon who e tetumony such indictment was found, to be filed in court, together with the indetment; and the defendants shall respectively upon appiication, be entitied to copies of the indictments against them respectively, and of such examinations or depositions ; and the prosecutor on the part of the ftate, shall not, upon the trial, be permitted to give evidence of any overt acts, other than fuch as shall be charged in such examinations or depositions; and the clerics of the several courts of oyer and terminer, and general gaol delivery, and general or quarter feffions of the peace, shall return such examinations or depolitions, into the fupreme court, in like manner as is herein before directed, with respect to ind etments, taken at the courts of oyer and terminer and general gaol delivery, or general or quarter sessions of the peace.
IX. X..d be it further enaĉied by the authoritv afirefund, That besides the What shall be deem- several inatters by the law of England, declared io te evied evider.ce of overt dence and overt áets of high trealon, in adhering to the king's du enemies of this enemies, and which are hereby declared to be evidence and
overt acts of high treason, in adhering to the enemies of the people of this fiate as fovereign thereof; the following matters shall be, and are hereby declared to be evidence and overt acts of adhering to ihe enemies of the people of this state, whereon and for which persons may, in pursuance of this act, be indicted and convicted, for the offence afore aid; that is to say, Being at any time since the ninth day of July, in the year of our lord one
thousand seven hundred and seventy-fix (the day of the declaration of the independence of this state within the fame) in any part of the United States, not in the power or poflession of the fleets or armies of the king of Great-Britain, and afterwards voluntarily withdrawing to any place within the power or poffeffion of the king of Great Britain, his fleets or armies; or being apprehended by order of, or authority from the commander in chief of the armies of the faiú United States; or of or from the provincial congress, or conventions or committees thereof, or councils of fafety of this state; or the commissioners above mentioned, appointed for enquiring into, detecting and defeating all conspiracies which may be formed in this state against the liberties of America; or county, district, or precinct committees within this state ; or by the supreme executive authority of this state, and confined within certain limits upon engagement, by parole or otherwise, not to go beyond such limits, and breaking fuch engagements, and voluntarily escaping to any place in the power of the fleets or arinies of Great-Britain ; or being to confined as aforefaid, and afterwards permitted by proper authority, to go to any place in the power of the fleets or armies of Great-Britain, upon engagement to return within a certain given time; and not returning within such time, but afterwards remaining at any place within the power or pokeflion of the tleets or armies of Great-Britain.
Preamble with rel. X. And whereas divers persons, inhabitants and well afwithin the power of feeted subjects of this fate, at the time of the declaration of the enemy. the independence thereof, who had their fixed residence in the southern difrict of this state, were obliged, on the invasion of the faid diftriet by the enemy, to fly before their fuperior force, into parts of this, or some other or others of the said United States, and some of them having thereby abandoned all or the greatest part of their property, were so reduced as to have been respectively obliged, through absolute necessity, and the want of fufficient habitations, and the neceffary means of fupport and subfiftence, to return to their respective places of abode; and others of them, for the same cause, having deferted their habitations, and fled in manner aforesaid, have for particular reasons, been perunitted, either by the commander in chief of the armies of the said United States, or other lawful authority, in the places to which they respectively fled, to return within the power of the enemy, where they also severally still do reside; Be i therefore further called by the authority of refirid, and it is hereby provided, That nothing in this act
Exemptio.is in their contained, shall be construed to extend to or affect the said behalt.
persons, fererally and respectively, or any or either of them, except such of thein as since his, her or their return to any place or places within the power of the enemy, has or have done any act or thing, which in judgment of law would be construed, deemed and adjudged an adherence to the enemies of this state, and high treason against the people thereof, had fuch person or per ons reifectively, voluntarily and freely, and without any fuch cause as aforesaid, returned within the power of the enemy. In which casc, such re:urn within the power of the enemy, and such act or thing as afore aid, Mall in judgment of law, be construed, deemed, and is hereby declared to be adjudged an adherence to the enemics of the people of this State.
Noattaimleron this XI, 4.d bit further enabled /y the authority aferelid, pa inne in orm ad il is hercły' pr vidid, That no conviction or attainder, nary confe.
in purfiance of this act, Niall be construed to exempt any person or persons from being apprchended, tried, convicted, attainted and executed for high treason, according to the ordinary course of law,