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powered and required to issue a summons directed to a constable of the place where the defendant liveth, to summon such defendant to appear before them on some certain day therein to be expressed, not less than five nor exceeding eight days from the date of such process, to show cause why such execution shall not be granted; and at the time appointed the said aldermen or justices, having heard the allegations and proofs of the parties, shall give judgment thereon, or at the request of either of the parties shall appoint auditors, or if the defendant cannot be found or doth not appear, give judgment for the freight-money that shall appear to be due, and award execution against the goods, wares and merchandize of such defendant, with such costs of suit as are by law allowed on the recovery of debts of equal amount. And the master, captain, owner or consignee of any ship or vessel, importing passengers as aforesaid, permitting any such passengers to go on shore from such ship or vessel, and retaining either on board, or in some store or other place on shore, all or any of the goods, wares and merchandize belonging to such passengers, for security of the payment of their freights respectively as aforesaid, shall be obliged under the penalty of fifteen dollars, to be recovered and appropriated as is hereinafter provided and directed, to give to such passengers respectively a certificate, specifying the goods, wares and merchandize so retained as aforesaid.
And no master, captain, owner or consignee of any such ship or vessel, or any other person for them or any of them, under any pretence whatever, shall take any bill, bond, note or other specialty or instrument in writing whatsoever, from any such passenger, nor make any contract with any such passenger before or while on ship-board, or after his arrival within this commonwealth, to compel him or her to pay for the freight of another passenger except in the cases hereinbefore mentioned, and all bills, bonds, notes, specialties, instruments and contracts so made and taken, shall be utterly null and void: Provided always, That if any such passenger, after having discharged his or her freight, shall be willing to enter into a joint obligation with any other passenger or passengers who shall remain in debt for his, her or their freight, to secure the payment thereof, such obligation shall be good and valid in law.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any passenger or passengers, redemptioner or redemptioners who shall be plaintiff or plaintiffs in any suit or actions arising out of his, her or their freight or passage, either by a breach or breaches of the contract entered into with him, her
or them, shall require a more speedy determination, in such suit or action, than can be obtained by the common ordinary rules of proceeding in any of the civil courts of this commonwealth, the judges of the said courts, upon application to them made, shall grant to such plaintiff or plaintiffs special courts, and shall proceed to hear and determine the premises according to the course and practice of the said courts, and for the usual fees therein taken: and that in all such suits or actions it shall be optional with the plaintiffs to sue in their own names separately, or jointly in the names of two or more as passengers of the ship or vessel in which they arrived within this commonwealth, any agreement to the contrary notwithstanding.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the master or captain of any ship or vessel taking on board any passenger as aforesaid, to be landed within this commonwealth, who, in the passage hither or soon after shall die, leaving goods, wares and merchandize, money or other effects whatsoever on board, or in the hands and custody of any such master or captain, shall within the term of ten days next after his arrival opposite to the city of Philadelphia, or after the decease of every such passenger, exhibit at the register of wills of the county in which the property is, a true and perfect inventory thereof, to the end that after payment of all just demands which shall be due to the master, captain, owner or consignee of such ship or vessel, the remainder may be committed to the custody of some proper person or persons for the benefit of the wife and children, next of kin, or creditors of the deceased, as the case may require, and the law in such case shall direct. And if any master or captain shall refuse or neglect to exhibit such inventory as aforesaid, he shall, for every such offence, forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred dollars, to be recovered and appropriated as is hereinafter provided and directed. And no master, captain, owner or consignee of any ship or vessel, shall charge the freight of any passenger so dying as aforesaid: Provided always, That if any minor child at the time of his or her importation be of such an advanced age, that his or her services, until he or she arrives at the age of twenty-one years, shall not be equal and sufficient to pay and discharge the money due for his or her own freight or passage, then and in such case he or she may be bound to serve for such number of years, not exceeding his or her age of twenty-four years, as the parties may agree, any law, custom or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That for payment and satisfaction of all forfeitures and penalties which are imposed, and all sums of money directed by this act to be paid by the masters, captains, owners or consignees, as well the ships or vessels respectively, as the masters, captains, owners or consignees thereof, shall be and are hereby declared liable: and it shall be the duty of the register of German passengers to collect, recover and receive the same, and all other forfeitures and penalties imposed, and sums of money directed to be paid by this act; and the same shall be recoverable by indictment or action, before any alderman, justice of the peace or court of justice having lawful jurisdiction to the amount of such forfeitures, penalties and sums of money respectively; and when recovered and received, the same shall be appropriated by the guardians of the poor of the city of Philadelphia, the district of Southwark, and the township of the Northern Liberties, for the use of the poor of said city and districts; and the register of German passengers, for his trouble in collecting and receiving such forfeitures, penalties and sums of money, shall have, receive, and retain a compensation at and after the rate of two and a half per centum on the amount so recovered and received.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all actions or prosecutions to be commenced against any master, captain, owner or consignee of any ship or vessel, or other person, by virtue of this act, shall be brought within two months after the offence shall have been committed, if committed after the arrival of the ship or vessel; and if any action or suit shall be commenced against any person or persons, for any matter or thing done in pursuance of this act, the defendant or defendants may plead the general issue, and give this act and the special matter in evidence at any trial to be had thereupon.
Passed 7th February, 1818. Recorded in Law Book No. 16, page 450.
NOTE.—By resolution of the 25th of February, 1818, the governor was requested to transmit a copy of this law to the governor of Delaware, with a request, that he would lay the same before the legislature, and invite their co-operation.'
Act establishing an office of register of German passengers, (vol. 2, page 328.) Act for their education, (vol. 5, page 113,) to receive six weeks' schooling for every year of the servitude.
Health officer and interpreter to go on board every ship importing German passengers, to examine whether they have
been accommodated agreeably to the direction of the health law. (Chap. 4,483, sec. 21.)
Laws, vol. 1, p. 309, and vol. 3, p. 385, respecting apprentices, extended to redemptioners. (Chap. 4,803.)
ACT relating to the support and employment of the poor. [Passed June 13, 1836.]
If any person shall bring, or cause to be brought, any poor person from any place without this commonwealth to any place within it, where such person was not last legally settled, and there leave, or attempt to leave such person, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of seventy-five dollars for every such poor person, to be sued for and recovered by the overseers of the district, into which such poor person may have been brought; and moreover, shall be obliged to convey such poor person out of the commonwealth, or support him at his own expense. (Section 25.)
ACT to prevent the landing of convicts from foreign countries. [Passed April
15, 1851.] Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That it shall not be lawful for the master or commander of any ship, boat or other vessel arriving from a foreign country, to bring any person, either as a passenger or hand, into any port, city, harbor, or place within this State with intent to land or permit to land such passenger or hand, which passenger or hand shall have been or shall be a foreign convict of any felony which if committed in this State would be punishable therein. Any master, commander or other officer that shall knowingly violate this act shall, on conviction thereof in the court of quarter sessions of the county in which such offence may have been committed, be considered guilty of a misdemeanor, and subject to a fine for each offence of not less than fifty dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, or an imprisonment in the county jail for a space of not less than thirty days or more than one year, as the court may direct.
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AN ACT for the relief, employment and removal of the poor. If any master or other person having charge of any vessel shall bring into and land, or suffer to be landed in any place within this State, any person before that time convicted in any other State or in any foreign country of any infamous crime for which he hath been sentenced to transportation, knowing of such conviction or having reason to suspect it; or any person of a notoriously dissolute, infamous and abandoned life and character, knowing him to be such, he shall for every such offence pay as a fine the sum of four hundred dollars, to and for the use of the State; to be recovered by indictment before any court of competent jurisdiction. [Sec. 16.]
The master or any other person having the charge of any vessel arriving at any place within this State with any passengers on board, from any port in any other of the United States, or from any country without the United States, shall, within twenty-four hours after the arrival of such vessel, make report in writing, under his hand, of all such passengers, their names, nation, age, character and condition, so far as shall have come to his knowledge, to the overseer or overseers of the poor of the town at which such vessel shall arrive; and every such master or other person who shall neglect to make such report, or who shall wittingly and wilfully make a false one, shall for each offence forfeit the sum of one hundred dollars; to be sued for and recovered by action of debt by the town treasurer, to and for the use of said town. [Section 17, Revised Statutes.]
AN ACT for preventing the transportation of convicted malefactors from foreign
countries into this State. [Passed November 4, 1788.] SEC. 1. Be it enacted, &c., That every master or person having charge of any ship or other vessel, who shall hereafter bring into this State any convicted malefactor or person ordered for transportation for any crime or offence whatever, from any foreign country, State, or dominion, the ship or vessel bringing such persons shall be obliged to leave the port