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years.

ry, and being thereof duly convicted, shall forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding the sum of one thousand dollars, and shall suffer imprisonment, in a common gaol, not ex. ceeding two years, and shall be, forever after such con.

viction, incapable of holding any office of trust or profit. Embezzling, SECT. 47. Every person who shall wilfully and coraltering, &c. ruptly embezzle, take away, withdraw, impair, raze, alwill, deed, '&c. ter or destroy any record, or parcel of the same, will,

, testament, codicil

, deed, writ, return, process, or other proceeding in any court of record, or in the office of the secretary of this state, or in the office of the clerk of any county, town, city, borough, or other incorporated society or community in this state, with an intention thereby to defeat, injure, or prejudice the estate, right, or title of any person, or body politic, or corporate, and shall be thereof duly convicted, shall suffer imprison.

ment, in new-gate prison, for a term not exceeding seven Counterfeiting sect. 48. Every person who shall counterfeit the seal public seals.

of this state, or the seal of any court, or public officer, by law entitled to have and use a seal, and shall make use of the same; or shall unlawfully and corruptly, or with evil intent, affix any of the said true seals to any commission, deed or warrant, certificate, or other writing; or who shall have in his possession or custody, any such counterfeited seal, and shall wilfully conceal the same, knowing it to be falsely made and counterfeited ; and shall be thereof duly convicted, shall suffer imprisonment, in new-gate prison,

for a term not exceeding seven years. Effecting es SECT. 49. Every person who shall effect the escape of cape of prisoners in new

any prisoner, confined in new-gate prison, or attempt the gate. same, or shall give any help or assistance therein, and

shall be thereof duly convicted, shall suffer imprisonment,

in new-gate prison, for a term not exceeding six years. Resistance to sect. 50. If any person shall abuse any justice of the officers.

peace, or resist, or abuse any sheriff, constable, or other officer, in the execution of his office; such person shall find sureties for the peace and good behavior, until the next county court in that county; or, on refusal, may be committed to the common gaol, there to remain until the next county court, which court shall take cognizance of the offence; and such offender, being thereof duly convicted, shall be. punished, by a fine, not exceeding thirty-four dollars, or by imprisonment, in a common gaol, not exceeding two months, or by such fine and imprisonment both, at the

discretion of said court. Barratry

SECT. 51. If any person shall be a common barrator, and be thereof duly convicted, before the county court, he sball pay a fine of seventeen dollars, and become bound,

the PUBLIC PEACE.

with one surety, for his good behavior, for a term not less than one year.

sect. 52. And be it further enacted, That if any per- Crimes against son shall challenge the person of another, or shall accept any such challenge, to fight at sword, pistol, rapier, or

Challenge to a other dangerous weapons, such person, so challenging or duel. accepting, being thereof duly convicted, shall forfeit and pay, for every such offence, the sum of three thousand dollars, and shall, also, find sufficient sureties, to the acceptance of the court having cognizance of the offence, for his good behavior, during life ; and such person shall, forever after such conviction, be disabled from holding any office of profit or honor, under this state ; and if such convict shall be unable, or neglect to pay said forfeiture, he shall be imprisoned, in a common gaol, for the term of one year.

SECT. 53. If any person shall willingly, or knowingly, Delivering carry, or deliver any written challenge, or verbally deliv- challenge: er any message, meant as, or purporting to be, a challenge, or shall be present at the fighting of any duel as aforesaid, as a second or aid, or give countenance thereto; such person, so offending, being thereof duly convicted, shall be subject to the same forfeitures, and suffer the same pun. ishment and disability, as for sending or accepting a challenge as aforesaid, saving only finding sureties for good behavior during life, as before provided.

sect. 54. If any three, or more persons shall come, or Riot: assemble themselves together, with intention to do any unlawful act, with force or violence, against the peace, or to the manifest terror of the people, and being required or commanded, by any of the civil authority, or by any sheriff, or deputy-sheriff

, or by any one or more of the select-men, or constables of any town, wherein such assembly shall be, by proclamation made in the name of the state, in the form prescribed by law, shall not disperse themselves, and peaceably depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business ; or, having so assembled as aforesaid, shall do any unlawful act against any man's person, possession, or property, or against the public interest, in any particular, in manner as aforesaid; every such person, so offending, being thereof duly convicted, before the superior or county court, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding the sum of sixty-seven dollars, or by imprisonment, in a common gaol, not exceeding six months, or by such fine and imprisonment both, at the discretion of the court having cognizance of the offence.

SECT. 55. If any person or persons shall, with force Obstracting and arms, wilfully and knowingly, oppose, obstruct, or in proclamation

against riot. any manner let, hinder, or hurt any person or persons.

erty in the

who shall go, attempt, or begin to make proclamation against riot, in manner and form prescribed by law; every such person, so offending, being thereof duly convicted, before the superior or county court, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding the sum of sixty-seven dollars, or by imprisonment in a common gaol, not exceeding six months, or by such fine and imprisonment both, at the discretion

of the court having cognizance of the offence. Continuing to SECT. 56. If any persons, so being unlawfully and riotgether after

ously assembled, to the number of three or more, to proclamation.

whom proclamation should, or ought to have been made, if the same had not been hindered as aforesaid, shall continue together, and not immediately disperse themselves, after such let or hindrance so made, having knowledge thereof;every such person, so offending, being thereof duly convicted, before the superior or county court, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding the sum of sixty-seven dollars, or by imprisonment, in a common gaol, not exceeding six months, or by such fine and imprisonment both, at the

discretion of the court having cognizance of the offence. Destroying SECT. 57. If any person or persons, in the night season, turnpike prop- or in a riotous and tumultuous manner, or, being armed

and disguised in their persons, dress or appearance, shall night season, or riotously. break, destroy, pull down, remove, or in any way or man

ner, injure any gate, toll-house, or fence, erected across any highway, to prevent the passing by any gate, belonging to any turnpike company in this state, or to any company incorporated for supporting any toll-bridge in this state; every such person, so offending, being thereof duly convicted, before the superior or county court, shall pay a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, and suffer imprisonment, in a common gaol, for a term not exceeding

six months. Breaking win sect. 58. If any person or persons shall, in the night dows, &c. in

season, maliciously and wilfully break any window, or the night sea- windows, door or doors, in any dwelling-house in this

state, in which any family or families dwell or reside; ev. ery such person, being thereof duly convicted, shall be punished by a fine, not exceeding one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment, in a common gaol, not exceeding six months, or by such fine and imprisonment both, at the

discretion of the court having cognizance of the offence. Breach of SECT. 59. If any person or persons shall disturb or peace.

break the peace, by tumultuous and offensive carriage, threatening, traducing, quarrelling, challenging, assaulting, beating, or striking any other person ; every such person, so offending, being thereof duly convicted, before the county court, or a justice of the peace, shall pay such fine, not exceeding one hundred dollars, as, on conside

SON.

peace.

CHASTITY.

ration of the party offending, the party aggrieved, the instrument used, the degree of danger, the time, place, and provocation, shall be judged just and reasonable, or shall suffer imprisonment, in a common gaol, not exceeding six months, or shall pay such fine, and suffer such imprisonment both, at the discretion of the court having cognizance of the offence: Provided, that no justice of Limitation of the peace shall , for any such offence, inflict å greater jurisdiction of

justices of the punishment than a fine of seven dollars, and imprisonment for one month ; but if such offence, in the opinion of said justice, be of so aggravated a nature, as to require a greater punishment, the offender shall be bound over to the next county court, to answer for such offence.

SECT. 60. And be it further enacted, That every per. Crimes against son who shall have carnal knowledge of any man, against the order of nature, being thereof duly convicted, shall Sodomy. suffer imprisonment, in new-yate prison, during his natural life; except it shall appear, that one of the parties was forced, or under fifteen

years

of
age ;

in which case the party forced, or under the age aforesaid, shall not be liable to suffer the said punishment.

SECT. 61. Every man or woman, who shall have car. Bestiality, nal copulation with any beast, and shall be thereof duly convicted, shall suffer imprisonment, in new-gate prison, during his or her natural life.

SECT. 62. If any man shall commit adultery with a Adultery. married woman, each of them, being thereof duly convicted, shall be punished by imprisonment, the man in new-gate prison, and the woman in a common gaol, for a term not exceeding five years, nor less than two years.(2)

sect. 63. No man shall marry any woman within the Incest. following degrees of kindred ; . that is to say, no man shall marry his grand-father's wife, wife's grand-mother, father's sister, mother's sister, father's brother's wife, mother's brother's wife, wife's father's sister, wife's mother's sister, father's wife, wife's mother, daughter, wife's daughter. son's wife, sister, son's daughter, daughter's daughter, son's son's wife, daughter's son's wife, wife's son's daughter, wife's daughter's

daughter, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, brother's son's wife, sister's son's wife. And every man and woman who shall marry, or carnally know each other, being within any of the degrees of kindred

(2) The punishment of this crime was, ped, by a justice of the peace. A punishat first, whipping, branding on the forehead ment fixing such a mark of infamy on the with the letter A, and wearing a halter person of the offender, which could not be about the neck, during their residence in the effaced by reformation, was properly exstate ; and if sound without such halter, changed for imprisonment in new-gate. they were liable to be ordered to be whip

aforesaid, and shall be thereof duly convicted, shall be punished by imprisonment, the man in new-gate prison, and the woman in a common gaol, for a term not exceeding five years, nor less than two years. And every marriage, within any of the degrees of kindred aforesaid, shall be, and is hereby declared to be, to all intents and pur

poses, null and void. Bigamy SECT. 64. If any married person, his or her lawful wife

or husband being alive, shall marry any other person; or if any single person shall marry any married person, his or her lawful wife or husband being alive ; or if any per. sons, so unlawfully married, shall continue to live together, as husband and wife; every person, knowingly offending, in either of the cases aforesaid, shall suffer the same punishment as is provided by law, for the crime of adultery; and such unlawful marriage shall be, and is hereby declared to be, to all intents and purposes, null

and void. Fornication.

SECT. 65. If any man shall commit fornication with any single woman, each of them, being thereof duly convicted, before the county court, or a justice of the peace, shall pay a fine of seven dollars, or suffer imprisonment, in a common gaol, for the term of one month, at the dis

cretion of the court having cognizance of the offence. Lascivious sect. 66. Every person who shall be guilty of lascivcarriage. ious carriage and behavior, and shall be thereof duly con

victed, before the county court, or a justice of the peace, shall be punished by fine, not exceeding ten dollars, or by imprisonment, in a common gaol, not exceeding two months, or by such fine and imprisonment both, at the discretion of the court having cognizance of the of

fence.(3) Crimes against

SECT. 67. And be it further enacted, That every person who shall be guilty of blasphemy against God, or either of the persons of the Holy Trinity, or the christian reli

gion, or the holy scriptures, and shall be thereof duly conBlasphemy.

victed, before the superior court, shall be punished, by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, and by impris

MORALITY
AND DECEN-
OY.

(3) This law originated from the peculjar sentiments of the first settlers respecting the intercourse of the sexes, and was occasioned by a prosecution for this offence before the particular court (as it was called) in 1642. The act was passed in December, 1642, and appears in the revision of 1672, and has ever since been continued. Though the definition of this crime is expressed in terms so general as to give to courts an unbounded latitude of discretion, hardly compatible with civil liberty ; yet

as a construction has been given by the supreme court of errors, which will comprehend only offences that ought to be restrained and punished, it has been thought advisable to retain it. The construction was, that the statute comprehended all those wanton acts between persons of different sexes, flowing from the exercise of lustful passions, and wbich are not otherwise punished as crimes against chastity and public decency. Forrler v. State, 5 Day, 81.

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