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are hereby declared to be good and valid, to all intents and purposes whatever; any law, custom, or usage to the contrary, notwithstanding.(1)

(1) It is evident, that the first settlers of this country considered marriage as merely a civil contract; for, by a law passed in 1640, the power to perform the marriage ceremony was given to the civil magistrate only. In 1694, it was given to ordained ministers, as well as magistrates. Though the statute prohibits the joining of persons in marriage, without publishment, and in case of minors, without the consent of their parents or guardians, yet it has


cver been considered, that the marriage was valid, and that the magistrate or minister celebrating it, was liable to a penalty. By the former statute, every person, except a magistrate or ordained minister, was prohibited from performing the marriage ceremony; and a question having been frequently agitated, whether a marriage by any other person was valid, it was thought best to remove all doubt, by declaring it to be void.

JMasters and Servants.

An Act relating to Masters and Servants.

SECT. 1. B'. it enacted by the Senate and House of Rep

resentatives, in General Assembly convened,

Who may

That the fathers and guardians of minors may bind them,

bind apprenti- by deed, or indenture, as apprentices, to learn some

ces. trade or profession; males till twenty-one, and females till eighteen, or to the time of their marriage within that age, with the assent of such minor, expressed in the indenture, by subscribing the same; which binding shall be as effectual as if the minor was of full age.(1)

When minors may bind themselves apprentices.

sect. 2. Minors of the age of fourteen, having no father or guardian, within the state, may bind themselves apprentices, by indenture, with the approbation of the

major part of the select-men in the town.

When selectmen may bind children.

sect. 3. If any person or persons, who have had relief or supplies from any town, shall suffer their children to

mispend their time, and live in idleness, and shall neglect to bring them up, and employ them, in some honest calling; or if there shall be, at any time, any family that cannot, or does not, provide competently for their children, whereby they are exposed to want; or if there be any poor children in any town, that live idly, or are exposed to want and distress, and there are none to take care of them ; it shall be the duty of the select-men of such town, and they are hereby empowered, with the assent of a justice of the peace, to bind out such poor

(1) In the revision of 1672, there is a regulation, that no person, under the government of a parent, guardian, or master, shall be capable to make a contract, unless allowed by his parent, guardian or master. A question seems to have arisen, whether this did not give the power to a parent, guardian or master, to enable a child or minor, under his care, to make contracts, in the same manner, as if of full age. To guard against this construction, in the revision of 1784, a further provision was

made, that such contract should be binding on the parent, guardian, or master. The only effect of this clause of the statute was, to deprive minors of the power of making contracts for necessaries, which they could do at common law. As no inconvenience has resulted from the exercise of this power, where it is possessed ; and as, in many cases, it may be necessary; this section has been omitted, and minors now stand on the footing of the common law, as to their capacity of making contracts.

children, belonging to such town, to be apprentices to

some proper masters, to be instructed in some suitable
trade, calling, or profession; males till the age of twen-
ty-one, and females till the age of eighteen, or to the
time of their marriage within that age; which binding
shall be valid and effectual in law.
sect. 4. If any apprentice, bound by indenture, shall
refuse, or wilfully neglect, to serve as an apprentice, ac-
cording to the terms of the indenture; or shall disobey
the lawful commands, or resist the authority of his mas-
ter; or shall waste or destroy his property; or be guilty
of any gross misbehavior, and wilful neglect of duty; the
master may make complaint to any two justices of the
peace in the town where he lives, who may issue a war-
rant, and cause such apprentice to be brought before them,
and enquire into the truth of the matters complained of,
and if they shall find such apprentice guilty, they may
commit him to the house of correction, or if there be
none, to the common gaol, in the county, there to be con-
fined, at hard labor, for such time as they shall think
proper, not exceeding thirty days. Provided, that such
justices may, on reformation, order such apprentices to
be released from prison; or, such justices may, if they
judge it best, discharge such master from the contract of
apprenticeship, and all obligation to perform the same,
and may cancel the indenture ; and in that case, such
apprentice may be bound out anew.
sect. 5. Where an apprentice, bound by indenture, as
aforesaid, shall depart from the service of his master, it
shall be lawful for any justice of the peace, on complaint
of the master, to issue his warrant to the sheriff or consta-
ble, commanding them to press men, if necessary, to pur-
sue such apprentice, and bring him back by force, at the
request and expense of the master.
sect. 6. It shall be the right and duty of the parents,
guardians, and of the select-men, where the apprentices are
bound by them, to enquire into the treatment of the appren-
tices by their masters; and if they find, that the masters are
guilty of any personal cruelty or abuse; or refuse to pro-
vide for them necessary food and clothing; or neglect to
instruct them in the trade or business, to learn which they
are bound apprentices; or if such apprentices shall flee
from the tyranny and cruelty of their masters, to the hous-

Refractory apprentices, how punished.

Proviso, as to release from prison ; or discharge from apprenticeship.

Runaway apprentices, how to be brought back.

How to proceed, when masters abuse their apprentices.

Binding over.

Trial before county court.

Discharge from service.

Children employed in factories to be taught reading, writing and arithmetic.

Board of visitors.

Their duties.

es of any of the inhabitants in the same town; then, in
either of the above cases, such parents, guardians or se-
lect-men, shall make complaint to a justice of the peace
in the town, who shall cause such masters and apprentices
to come before him, and reconcile them, if he can, and if
he cannot, he may, according to his discretion, bind the
master to appear at the next county court, and also the
apprentice, or give order for his custody, in the mean
time, and for his appearance at said court; which court
shall have power to enquire into the matters complained
of, and, if they find the master has been guilty of personal
cruelty and abuse, has refused to furnish the apprentice
necessary food and clothing, or has neglected to instruct
him in his trade or business, they may discharge the ap-
prentice from the service of the master, and cancel the
indenture, with costs against the master, and award exe-
cution accordingly : but if the complaint shall be found
untrue, and without probable cause, the court shall award
costs to the master, against the parent, guardian or
select-men, and issue execution for the same.
sect. 7. The president and directors of all factories,
which now are, or hereafter shall be, legally incorporated,
and the proprietor or proprietors of all other manufactur-
ing establishments in this state, shall cause that the chil-
dren employed in such factory or establishment, whether
bound by indenture, by parol agreement, or in any other
manner, be taught to read and write, and also, that they
be instructed in the four first rules of arithmetic (provid-
ed the term of their service shall be of so long duration
that such instruction can be given,) and that due attention
be paid to the preservation of their morals; and that they
be required, by their masters or employers, regularly to
attend public worship.
sect. 8. The civil authority and select-men for and with-
in such towns in which such factories or manufacturing es-
tablishments, do or may exist, or a committee by them ap-
appointed, shall be, and they are hereby constituted, a
board of visitors; and it shall be the duty of such board of
visitors, in the month of January, annually, or at such other
time or times as they shall appoint, carefully to examine,
and to ascertain whether the requisitions of this act, which
relate to the instruction and the preservation of the mor-
als of the children employed as aforesaid, be duly observ-
ed: and if, on such examination, such board of visitors

shall discover, that the president and directors of any in

corporated factory, or the proprietor or proprietors of any manufacturing establishment, have neglected to perform the duties enjoined on them by this act, such board of visitors shall report such neglect to the next county court

within the county within which the same shall have oc-
curred ; and thereupon, such county court shall cause
the president and directors of such incorporated factory,
or the proprietor or proprietors of such manufacturing
establishment, to appear beforé such court, to answer in
the premises; and if, on due enquiry, it shall be found,
that such president and directors, or the proprietor or
proprietors of such establishment, do not duly attend to
the education of the children by them respectively em-
ployed, as is by this act required; or that due attention
is not paid to preserve the morals of such children; it
shall be the duty of such court, and they are hereby au-
thorized, at their discretion, either to discharge the in-
dentures or contracts, relating to such minors, and by
which they may be bound to render services in such es-
tablishments, or they may impose such fine or forfeiture
on the proprietor or proprietors of such establishment as
they may consider just and reasonable : Provided the
same shall not exceed the sum of one hundred dollars.
sect. 9. If any person shall entice and eloign any ap-
prentice, whether bound by indenture or otherwise. from
the service and employment of his master, he shall forfeit
and pay to the person or persons to whom such appren-
tice or servant was bound as aforesaid, not exceeding the
sum of one hundred dollars, to be recovered before any
court proper to try the same. Provided, that nothing
herein contained shall be construed to affect the right of
the master to recover just damages for the loss of the ser-
vice of his apprentice or servant.
sect. 10. If any servant or apprentice, employed in
any incorporated factory, or in any manufacturing estab-
lishment as aforesaid, or in any other business, shall, with-
out sufficient cause, abscond from the service of his mas-
ter, such servant or apprentice, when he shall arrive at
full age, shall be subjected and become responsible for all
the damage, which may have been sustained by his for-
mer master or employer, in consequence of his abscond-
ing as aforesaid : any law to the contrary notwithstand-


Power of the
county court
to discharge
or impose fine.

Penalty for enticing apprentices.

Apprentices absconding to be liable for damage, after full age.

County medical societies.



Connecticut medical convention.


General powers.

TITLE 65. Medical Societies.

An Act to incorporate Medical Societies, and to establish the M. Institution of Yale-College.

E it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Assembly convened, That the physicians and surgeons in the respective counties in the state, now members of the county meetings, and all physicians and surgeons, who shall hereafter be licenced to practise, pursuant to the provisions of this act, shall constitute county medical societies; and they and their successors shall be and remain bodies politic and corporate, to be known and called by the name of the several counties to which they belong, and shall annually meet, on the third Monday in April, at such places as heretofore have been, or hereafter shall be, designated by them, and may adjourn from time to time, as they shall judge expedient. Each county medical society shall, at their annual meeting, elect a chairman, and clerk, and such other officers as they may find necessary, to manage the concerns of the society; and shall elect five members of their own society, except the counties of Middlesex and Tolland, and in those counties, three members, each, as delegates to compose a convention of said societies. Each medical society shall have power to adopt such regulations as they may think proper, to promote medical knowledge. sect. 2. The delegates, chosen by the several county medical societies, shall meet, on the second Wednesday of May, annually, at such place as has been, or may hereafter be, designated by them, twelve of whom shall be a sufficient number to transact business ; and shall have power to choose, by ballot, a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and such other officers as they may think proper; and being so formed, shall be known and called by the name of The President and Fellows of the Connecticut Medical Convention, and shall hold their offices for the term of one year. And said convention shall have power to make by-laws to promote the objects of the institution, not repugnant to the laws of the United States, or of this state; to expel any of their members for misconduct; to have a common seal, and the same to alter at pleasure; to sue and be sued, as a corporate body, relative to their rights and interests; to lay a tax upon the members of the county medical societies, not

SECT. 1.

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