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An act confirmatory of the Tenure of Lands belonging to the 1783, 1801

Narraganset tribe of Indians, and for other purposes there- 'li '12 '22. in mentioned.

WHEREAS the tenure of lands belonging to the Narraganset tribe of indians in this State is derived to them from their ancestors, and depends upon tradition and usage among themselves; and whereas it is proper that said tenure should be secured to them by statute:

SECTION 1. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, Tenure of and by the authority thereof it is enacted, That said tenure, as their

lands esevidenced by their tradition and usages, be and hereby is tablished. declared the legal tenure of said lands, and be and is hereby confirmed accordingly.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall not be Penalty lawful for any person whomsoever, except the members of for cutting

wood on said tribe, to cut down, take or carry away from any of their the lands belonging to said tribe, any tree, timber or lands. wood of any kind whatever, nor aid or assist therein; and if any person or persons shall commit any such trespass, he, she or they shall be liable to an action of quare clausum fregit, to be commenced and prosecuted by and in the name of the treasurer of said tribe, for the time being, before any court competent to try the same; and if found guilty shall pay four times the value of the trees, timber or wood, by him, her or them so cut down, taken or carried away as aforesaid, and double costs.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That no writ or process at law shall be brought against the said tribe, or any be issued individual thereof, for the recovery of any debt contract- aga)






contained and and Providence pgranted to this Stilles

An act confirming the Grants heretofore made by the inhabitants

of the towns of Newport, Providence, Portsmouth, Warwick and Westerly.

WHEREAS in the fifteenth year of the reign of Charles the second, there was a charter granted to this State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, in which were contained many privileges to the free inhabitants thereof; and among other of the said privileges there was granted to the general assembly of said State full power and authority to make and ordain laws suiting to the nature and constitution of the place; and in particular to direct, rule and order all matters relating to the purchases of land of the native Indians : and whereas the lands of the several towns of Newport, Providence, Portsmouth, Warwick and Westerly, were purchased by the several inhabitants thereof of the native Indians, chief sachems of the country, before the granting of the said charter, 60 that an order or direction from the said assembly could not be obtained therein; and it being thought necessary and convenient for the reasons aforesaid, that the lands of the said towns be, by an act of the general assembly of this State, confirmed to the inhabitants thereof, according to their sev.

eral and respective rights and interest therein : Grants SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by confirmed. the authority thereof it is enacted, That all the land lying

and being within the limits of each and every of the aforesaid towns of Newport, Providence, Portsmouth, Warwick and Westerly, according to their several respective purchases thereof, made and obtained of the indian sachems, be and are hereby allowed of, ratified and confimed to the proprietors of each of the aforesaid towns, and to each and every of the said proprietors, the several and respective rights and interests therein, by virtue of any such purchase or purchases as aforesaid ; to have and to hold all the aforesaid lands by virtue of the several purchases thereof, with all the appurtenances, privileges and commodities thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining to them the aforesaid proprietors, their heirs and assigns for ever, in as full, lawful, large and ample manner, to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever, as if the said lands and every part thereof had been

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purchased of the indian sachems, by virtue of any grants or allowances obtained from the general assembly of this State,after the granting the aforesaid charter: and whereas there is within several of the towns within this State, considerable of lands lying yet common or undivided, and for the more orderly way and manner of the several proprietors, their managing the prudential affairs thereof, and for the more effectual making of just and equal division or divisions of the same, so that each and every of the proprietors may have their true and equal part or proportion of land according to his or their proportion of right; and that the exact boundaries of each man's allotment, when laid to him, may be kept in perpetuum :

Sec. 2. It is further ordained and enacted by the authority Commons, aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the propri- divided.

; how to be etors of each and every such town within this State, be- &c. ing convened by a warrant from under the hand and seal of an assistant or justice of the peace in such town, the occasion thereof being specified in the warrant, for them or the major part of them, so met, to choose and appoint a clerk and a surveyor or surveyors, and such and so many other officers as they shall judge needful and convenient for the orderly carrying on and management of the whole affairs of such community, and in like manner to proceed from time to time, as often as need shall require.




An act quieting possessions and establishing Titles of Land, within the Towns of Bristol, Tiverton, Little-Compton, Warren and Cumberland

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the Grants &c.



of Newauthority thereof it is enacted, That all grants and convey of ances of lands heretofore made by the general assemblies &c. conof the late colony of New-Plymouth, the late colony offirm the Massachusetts, or by the province of the Massachusetts Bay, or by any commissioners, agents or persons by. them or any of them duly appointed and authorized, or by any other authority derived from them, or any of them, lying within any of the towns aforesaid, shall be as good, valid and effectual, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, to the grantees, their heirs or assigns, as if the lands


so granted had really been situated in the colony or province by whom or by whose authority the same were made ; and shall for ever hereafter be so adjudged and

construed in all courts of judicature in this State. Distribu- Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all estates, both tion of intestate es real and personal, left by persons who have died intes

tate before the publication of this act, and which lie or are within the bounds of the aforesaid towns, shall be distributed and settled among the children or legal representatives of such intestates agreeably to the laws of the province of the Massachusetts Bay, in force at the time of such intestates' death; which laws shall have the same force and effect in this State, in the trial of and settling and distributing such intestates'estates, as if the same were laws of this State, duly made, and shall be so adjudged, construed and understood, by all judges and ministers of justice in this State : and that the several town-councils of the abovementioned towns be and they are hereby fully empowered and required to complete the distribution and settlement of such intestates' estates as aforesaid, which yet remain unsettled, in the same manner and as fully and effectually in all respects as the same could have been by the courts of probate, had the said towns still remained within the province of the Massachu

setts Bay. Deeds, &c. Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That all grants, deeds, confirmed. od

'conveyances and land evidences whatsoever, that have heretofore been made, of any lands within any of the aforesaid towns, and which were executed and registered according to the laws in force there, at the time of making the same, shall be adjudged and deemed as good, valid and effectual, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, as if the same had been made, executed and recorded within and according to the laws of this State: and copies of all such grants, deeds, conveyances and land evidences, produced from, and attested by, such offices and officers, where the same are registered, shall be received as lawful evidence by all courts in this State.

De laws in fored and deemedhatsoever, as it

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An act for enforcing the several town acts relating to Fire- 1737.

Engines. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the au-Two justhority thereof it is enacted, That any two justices of the in

he tices may peace, of any town in this State, are fully empow-nizance of ered to take cognizance of any breach of any town acts, o

to breaches that are already or shall hereafter be enacted, relating to acts, &c. the management of the fire-engines in the respective towns where such justices live; and to make up judgment pursuant to the same, and to award execution for the penalties incurred thereby; and that any person who App shall think himself aggrieved at any such judgment, may appeal to the next court of general sessions of the peace, in the county, observing the same rules as in other cases of appeal.

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An act providing in case of Fire breaking out in the Town of 1750 °62

Newport, and for other purposes therein mentioned. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the Firewards, authority thereof it is enacted, That when any fire shall hap-th pen to break out in the town of Newport, the firewards of pulling the town, or the major part of them present at any fire, shall ho and may, and are hereby empowered, to give directions for pulling down or blowing up, any house or houses, as shall be by them adjudged meet and necessary to be pulled down or blown up,forstopping and preventing the further spreading of the same : and if it shall happen that the pulling down or blowing up of any house or houses shall be the occasion of stopping the progress of such fire, or that the fire stop before it comes to the same, then all and every Owners owner of such house or houses shall receive reasonable ih satisfaction, and be paid for the same by the rest of the pensated. inhabitants of said town whose houses shall not be burnt, who are hereby empowered to make a tax for levying and raising such sum or sums of money as shall, by the court of general sessions of the peace for the county of Newport, be thought sufficient for that end; which court is hereby fully empowered and authorized, on application to them in this behalf made, to determine and make order thereon: provided always, that if the house Proviso, or houses where the fire shall first begin and break out, shall be adjudged fit to be pulled down or blown up,

hereor to


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