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[1696.] An Act for preventing of any intrusion into the lands in the Narragansett
country. WHEREAS sundry persons have settled themselves and families in the Narra.
gansett country, without any legal title to any land therein, and without the consent and approbation of the General Assembly of this colony: for the preventing the ill consequences thereof, and the like intrusions for the future,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That all possessions of any lands in the Narragansett country, obtained by intrusion, without the consent and approbation of the General Assembly, be deemed and adjudged illegal and void in law, and shall not give unto such possessors, any right, title, interest, property, or claim, therein, or thereunto; and the assistants and justices of the peace of the county of Kingstown, westerly, and East Greenwich, shall return the names of all such persons that have intruded as aforesaid, (or that shall intrude thereon hereafter) to the General Assembly, from time to time, that they may, in such legal man'ner as they shall think fit, order the removal of such intruders, and preserve the just rights of this colony thereunto.
[1696.] An Act prohibiting negroes and Indians from being abroad at unsea
sonable times of night, and for punishing those that shall entertain
them contrary hereto. . WHEREAS divers thefts and robberies have been committed in the night
time by negroes and Indians, within this, as well as in the Government adjoining: for preventing whereof,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That if any negroes or Indians, freemen or slaves, shall be found abroad after nine o'clock at night, at any time throughout the year, without a certificate from their masters, or some other English person of the family to the which he, she, or they, belong, or some lawful excuse for the same, that then it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons to take, seize, and secure the same till next morning, and then bring them before an assistant or justice of the peace of such town, who shall, upon due proof thereof, cause said negro or negroes, Indian or Indians, to be publicly whipped at the public whipping post of such town where such offence shall be committed, not exceeding fifteen stripes, unless their incorrigible behaviour deserve more; and the persons so convicted, if freemen, shall pay the charge of prosecution, &c. and if slaves, the owner or owners thereof shall pay the same; and if the owner or owners of any such slave or slaves shall refuse so to do, that then the assistant, or justice, &c. shall grant forth a warrant of distress to a constable of said town, to distrain so much of his or their goods as will satisfy and pay the same.
[1718.] An Act to prevent Indians being sued for Debt. WHEREAS several persons in this Colony, out of wicked, covetous, and
greedy designs, often draw Indians into their debt, and take unjust advantages of their inordinate love of rum and other strong liquors, by selling the same to them, or otherwise take advantages by selling them other goods, at extravagant rates, upon trust, whereby said Indians have been impoverished, to the dishonor of this Government: For the preventing thereof for the future,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of this Colony, and it is hereby enacted, That, from and after the publication of this act, no process shall be granted, nor suit be received or lye before any justice or justices of the peace, assistants of courts of tryals in this Colony, against any Indian or Indians for debt, to be made or contracted by such Indian or Indians, at any time or times, after the publication hereof; and, that no Indian shall be bound an apprentice or servant to any of his Majestie's subjects, without the consent, allowance, and approbation, of two justices of peace of this colony, and for good consideration therefor, and testified to, under the hands of such * justices; any law, custom, or usage, to the contrary, in any wise notwithstanding.
[1783.] An act confirmatory of the tenure of lands belonging to the Narragansett
tribe of Indians, and for other purposes, therein mentioned.
Whereas the tenure of lands belonging to the Narragansett 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:
Sec. 1. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority thereof it is enacted, That said tenure, as evidenced by their tradition and usages, be, and hereby is, declared the legal tenure of said land, and be, and is hereby, confirmed accordingly.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall not be lawful for any person whomsoever, except the members of said tribe, to cut down, take, or carry away from any of the lands belonging to said tribe, any tree, timber, or 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 individual thereof, for the recovery of any debt contracted subsequently to the passing of this act; that it shall be the duty of all courts and justices in the State, in case any such writ or process be brought, to dismiss the same, and adjudge double costs against the plaintiff.
An act to prevent and make void clandestine and illegal purchases of
lands from the Indians. ! Sec. 1. Be it enacted by His Excellency the Gover nor, Council, and Representatives, in General Assembly convened, and by the authority of the same, That all deeds of bargain, sale, lease, release, or quit claim, titles, and conveyances whatsoever, of any lands, tenements, or hereditamerrts, within this province, as well for term of years as forever, had, made, gotten, procured, or obtained from any Indian or Indians, by any person or persons whatsoever, at any time or times since the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred, without the licence or approbation of the General Assembly of this province; and all deeds of bargain and sale, titles, and conveyances, whatsoever, of any lands within this province, which hereafter shall be had, made, obtained, gotten, or procured, from any Indian or Indians, by any person or persons whatsoever, without the licence, approbation, or allowance, of the General Assembly of this province for the same, shall be judged in the law to be null, void, and of none effect, to all intents and purposes, as though they had never been made.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons whatsoever, shall, after the publication of this act, presume to make any purchase, or obtain any title from any Indian or Indians, for any lands, tenements, or hereditaments within this province, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, such person or persons so offending, and being thereof duly convicted in any of his Majesty's courts of record within this province, shall be punished by fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court where the conviction shall be, not exceeding double of the value of the land so purchased, and not exceeding six month's imprisonment.
[1821.] An act for the regulation of the Penobscot and Passsamaquoddy tribes
of Indians. Be it enacted by the Senale and House of Representatives in Legislature assembled, That the Governor, by and with the advice of the Council, be, and he hereby is, authorized and empowered to appoint, during pleasure, one or more, not exceeding three persons, to be agents for the Penobscot tribe of Indians.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the Governor be, and he hereby is, authorized to appoint, as aforesaid, one or more, not exceeding three persons, to be agents for the Passamaquoddy tribe of Indians.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the agent or agents appointed, as aforesaid, for the Penobscot tribe of Indians, shall provide, furnish, pay, and deliver, to the said Indians, for and on account of this State, all such articles, goods, provisions, and moneys, as shall from time to time become due them by virtue of any treaty or agreement now existing, or that may hereafter exist between them and this Stale.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That the persons appointed agents for either of said tribes, as aforesaid, shall be sworn or affirmed to, and shall give bonds to the State, with sufficient surety or sureties, to the satisfaction of the Governor and Council, for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed in them by this act, and shall have the care and management of their property, for the use and benefit of said Indians. And all contracts and bargains of every kind, relative to the sale or disposal of trees, timber, or grass, growing or being on said Indians' land, and all leases or other contracts relative to the improvement of lands which any person may obtain from said Indians, shall be void and of no effect, unless the same shall be examined and approved by the person or persons acting as agents, as afore. said. And no lease of land, or contract for trees; timber, or grass, shall have effect for a longer term than one year; nor shall the agents for either of said tribes, sell or dispose of the trees or tinber of said Indians, to an amount exceeding five hundred dollars in any one year.
Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That the agent or agents for either of said tribes, in his or their names, and in said capacity, may maintain any proper action or actions for any sum due any Indian or Indians of their respective tribes, or for any injury done to them or their property; and all property or money received or recovered by said agents, in their said capacity, shall be by them distributed among the Indians of the tribe for which they are agents, according to their usages, rights, and interest, or otherwise vested in such articles as shall be most useful to said Indians.
Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That the person or persons appointed agents, as aforesaid, shall keep a true record of their proceedings relative to the trust reposed in them by this act, and correct accounts of all receipts and expenditures of all moneys and other property that shall come to their hands as such agents, and shall lay the same before the Governor and Council, for inspection and settlement, at least once in every year, and oftener, if required, who are hereby authorized to adjust and settle the same.
[1826.] An additional act for the regulation of the Penobscot and Passama
quoddy tribes of Indians. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in Legislature assembled, That the agent or agents of the Penobscot tribe of Indians be authorized, for the use of said tribe, to lease any of the islands belonging to the said tribe, for any term of years not exceeding twelve, and to sell and dispose of the burnt and decaying timber upon the two Indian townships, on the West branch of Penobscot river, for the benefit of such tribe, as said
agent or agents may think for their interests: Provided, That such lcases and 5 sales, together with the terms and conditions of the same, be assented to by
the Governor, or Lieutenant Governor of the tribes, and approved by the Governor of the State, any thing in the act to which this is additional, to the contrary notwithstanding; the said agent or agents to be sworn, (or affirmed) and give bonds, with surety, for the faithful performance of the trust hereby reposed in them, as required by the act to which this is additional, and to keep a true record of their proceedings and accounts; to render and adjust the same, as required by said act.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the agent or agents of the Penobscot tribe of Indians, to place in the Treasury of the State, the avails of the leases and sales, as provided for in this act, subject to the order of the Governor and Council, whenever, in their opinion, the situation of said tribe require its appropriation, for their benefit; and all leases and sales on credit, shall be at the risk of said agents, and accounted for in money.
Constitution.[1777.] And whereas it is of great importance to the safety of this State, that peace and amity with the Indians within the same be at all times supported and maintained: And whereas the frauds too often practised towards the said Indians, in contracts made for their lands, have in divers instances been productive of dangerous discontents and animosities: Be it ordained,
That no purchases or contracts for the sale of lands made since the fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, or which may hereafter be made with any of the said Indians, within the limits of this State, shall be binding on the said Indians, or deemed valid, unless made under the authority, and with the consent, of the Legislature of this State.
An act for Indian Affairs. WHEREAS it is necessary that commissioners should be appointed to manage
Indian Affairs within this State: Be it therefore enacted by the people of the State of New York represented in Senate and Assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That it shall be lawful for the person administering the government of this State for the time being, by and with the advice and consent of the Council of Appointment, to appoint three commissioners for Indian Affairs within this State, with power and authority to superintend the conduct and affairs of the Indians, and to perform such acts and things respecting them, as from time to time shall be ordered and directed by the Legislature. AND WHEREAS the Oneida and Tuscarora tribes, inhabiting within this State,
have been distinguished for their attachment to the cause of America, and have thereby entitled themselves to protection; and the said tribes, by their humble petition, having prayed that their lands may be secured to them by the authority of the Legislature; and, it being just that such a settlement should be made of the territorial claims of the said tribes as will give them reasonable satisfaction and secure their future tranquillity:
Sec. 2. Be it therefore further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the said commissioners, and they are hereby authorized and required, to examine into and ascertain the claims of the said Oneida and Tuscarora tribes, and to devise such measures, and make and enter into such propositions and agreements, to secure their contentment and tranquillity, as to the said commissioners shall appear just and .proper: Provided always, that no proposition or agreement for the purposes aforesaid shall be deemed to be conclusive until the same shall be reported to, and ratified by, the Legislature.