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Deeds. EVERY deed or other conveyance of real estate shall be signed and sealed by the party granting the same, attested by two or more witnesses, acknowledged by such grantor before a justice of the peace, notary public, or commissioner, or before a minister or consul of the United States in a foreign country, and recorded at length in the registry of deeds in the county in which such lands lie. A SEAL should be used. The wife need not be separately examined.

Form of acknowledgment the same as in Maine.

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Rights of Married Women. WHENEVER any married woman shall be entitled to hold property in her own right and to her separate use, she may make contracts, may sue and be sued in her own name and may dispose of said property, by will or otherwise, as if she were sole and unmarried; and if she shall decease intestate, her husband shall be excluded from any share in her said estate, and such estate shall be administered and inherited in the same manner as if she were sole and unmarried.

Any married woman of full age may join with her husband in any conveyance of real estate, and any married woman may join with ber husband in release of dow er, although she is not of full age.

Any married woman, of the age of 21 years or upward, and of sane mind, who may be seized in her own right of any real estate in this state, shall have power to give, devise, and dispose of, the same by will in writing, which will, when signed and sealed by the devisor, and duly attested and subscribed by three credible witnesses thereto, in her presence, and executed with the formalities now required by law in other cases, shall be proved and allowed by the courts of probate in this state, and shall be effectual in distributing the estate devised according to the intention of the devisor; provided, that any such will shall in no case affect injuriously the rights acquired by the husband in any estate so devised, by virtue of the marriage contract.

DowER.—The widow of every person deceased shall be entitled to her dower in the real estate of which her husband was seized during covertare.

Rate of Interest. The legal rate is six per cent, and if more be taken, the party forfeits three times the amount unlawfally taken.

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Wills. Wills should be in writing, signed and SEALED by the testator or by somne person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed in his presence by three or more credible witnesses. For form of attestation, see page 163.


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Constitution adopted 1793.-Square Miles, 10,212.–Population in 1850, 313,451.

Exemptions. THERE is exempted from sale on execution such suitable apparel, bedding, tools, arms, and articles of household furniture, as may be necessary for uphold. ing life ; one cow; the best swine, or the meat of one swine; ten sheep, and one year's product of said sheep in wool, yarn, or cloth ; forage sufficient for keeping not exceeding ten sheep and one cow through one winter ; ten cords of firewood ; five bushels of grain ; twenty bushels of potatoes; such military arms and accoutrements as the debtor is required by law to furnish ; and all growing crops: also the bibles and other

books used in the family ; and five bushels of grain in addition, and three swarms of bees and hives, together with their produce in honey, and 200 pounds of sugar.


Homestead-Exemption Law. The homestead of every housekeeper or head of a family, residing in this state, to the value of five hundred dollars, such homestead consisting of a dwel. ling-house, out-buildings, and lands appurtenant, occupied by such person as a homestead, and the yearly products thereof, shall be exempt from attachment and execution, in all cases where the contract shall be made or the cause of action shall accrue after the first day of December, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, except as hereinafter provided.

Whenever the real estate of such housekeeper or head of a family shall be levied upon by virtue of any execution, such portion thereof as may be occupied by him as a homestead, and as he may then elect to regard as such, to the value of five hundred dollars, in case such person is entitled to hold the same exempt from said execution, shall be set out to him by the appraisers on said execution, upon their oaths, and the remainder only shall be set off to the creditor therein, and such homestead shall be set out in the same manner as is now provided by law for the setting off of lands on execution.

If any such housekeeper or head of a family shall decease, leaving a widow, his homestead, of the value aforesaid, shall wholly pass to his widow, and children if any there be, in due course of descent, without being subject to the payment of the debts of the deceased, unless made specially chargeable thereon, or for taxes assessed thereon.

Such homestead shall not be alienated or mortgaged by the owner thereof, if a married man, except by the joint deed of such husband and wife, executed and acknowledged in the manner provided for the conveyance of the lands of married women: Provided, however, that such husband may, without the consent of his wife, mortgage such homestead, at the time of the purchase thereof, for the payment of the purchase-money.

Such homestead shall be subject to attachment and execution upon any contract that may be made, and for all matters and causes of action which may accrue, previous to or at the time of the purchase of such homestead, and shall be subject to sale for non-payment of taxes assessed thereon ; and the time when the deed to the owner of such homestead shall be left in the town-clerk's office, for record, shall be deemed the time of the purchase thereof for the purpose mentioned in this act.

Mechanics' Lien. Any person who shall perform any labor or furnish materials in this state for or toward the building, repairing, fitting, or furnishing any ship, vessel, or steam. boat, shall have a lien on the same for his wages and materials so furnished until four days after the ship. vessel, or steamboat, shall be completed, and may secure the same by attachment, which shall have precedence of all other attachments and claims.

Before such lien shall attach or be in force, such person shall have a just and legal claim for his services performed or materials furnished, and shall demand payment of the same of the owner, agent, contractor, or person, in whose care such ship, vessel, or steamboat, may be; and in case such person, having a lien as aforesaid, shall demand more than is due to him, such owner, agent, contractor, or person in whose care such ship, vessel, or steamboat, may be, may tender or pay to such person the just and full amount due him for bis labor or materials furnished as aforesaid, and fully and absolutely discharge such lien.

When any contract or agreement shall hereafter be made in writing for erecting, repairing, or altering any house or other building in this state, or for furnishing labor or materials for the purposes aforesaid, the person proceeding in pursuance of such contract or agreement shall have a lien to secure the payment of the same, upon such house or building and the lot of land on which the same stands, and the lien hereby created shall continue in force for the space of three months from the time when payment shall become due for the work, labor, or materials, furnished as aforesaid.

Law regulating Contracts. No action, in law or equity, shall be brought in any of the following cases :

1. To charge an executor or administrator upon any special promise, to answer damages out of his own estate ; or

2. To charge any person, upon any special promise, to answer for the debt, default, or misdoings, of another; or

3. To charge any person, upon any agreement made upon consideration of marriage; or

4. Upon any contract for the sale of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or of any interest in or concerning them; or

5. Upon any agreement that is not to be performed within one year from the making thereof: unless the promise, contract, or agreement, upon which such action shall be brought, or some memorandum or note thereof, shall be in writing, and signed by the party to be charged therewith, or by some person thereunto by him lawfully authorized ; and if the contract or agreement relate to the sale of real estate or any interest therein, such authority shall be conferred in writing.

No contract for the sale of any goods, wares, or merchandise, for the price of fourty dollars or more, shall be good or valid, unless the purchaser shall accept and receive part of the goods so sold, or shall give something in earnest to bind the bargain, or in part payment, or unless some note or memorandum of the bar. gain be made in writing, and signed by the party to be charged thereby, or by some person thereunto by him lawfully authorized.

No action shall be brought to charge any person, upon or by reason of any representation or assurance made concerning the character, conduct, credit, ability, trade, or dealings, of any other person, unless such representation or assurance be made in writing, and signed by the party to be charged thereby, or by some person thereunto by him lawfully authorized.

No mortgage of any machinery used in any factory, shop, or mill, hereafter made, shall be valid against any other person than the parties thereto, unless possession of the mortgaged machinery be delivered to and retained by the mortgagee.

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