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may direct; and shall be empowered, with the consent of a majority of the said board, to appoint two clerks to do the business thereof; so much of the said recited act, as comes within the purview of this act, stands hereby repealed.

CHAP. XXXVIII.

An act to prevent the misapplication [efom. of the money collected for taxes* p*

I. WHEREAS great inconveniencies have arisen Preamble* to the publick from the misapplication of the taxes collectec| by the sheriffs in several counties of this state, some of whom have applied the same to private purposes in speculative bargains for the emolument of themselves or their friends, thereby contributing to raise the prices of the necessaries'of life, and to depreciate the paper currency in circulation, defeating the purposes of taxation, and hazarding the ruin of publick credit: And experience hath proved tnat the Jaws heretofore made, are insufficient to prevent or restrain so growing and dangerous an evil: Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That if any sheriff hPe^?ty 5n or collector shall hereafter appropriate to his own use, colkcilS) or otherwise misapply any publick money which shall for misapbe by him collected for taxes, he shall forfeit and pay plying pubdouble the sum so appropriated or misapplied, to be Htm"^ recovered with costs on bill, plaint, or information in verable. any court of record within this commonwealth, one half to the informer, and the other half to the commonwealth, or the whole to the commonwealth if information is made by a publick officer. And every person receiving such publick money, knowing it to be such, and applying it to private purposes, shall in like manner forfeit double the sum so received; to be recovered as before directed. And for the more effectually preventing such pernicious practices in future, the commissioners of the taxes in their respective counties, or a majority of them, shall, upon information or suspi

ctdnofany such misapplication, call upon the sheriff i sfreii^an0 or co^ector to make up an account of the money which account and he shall have collected, upon oath, and to demand of produce the him that the money collected shall be produced and looted when comPared w»th the accounts so made up; and if any required b» sheriff or collector of taxes shall fail to make up his the commis- accounts, or to produce to the commissioners when re

-urTwe^k-quired' the taxes rol^ecled as aforesaid, within the fv forfeiture. space of one week after such demand, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred pounds for every week thereafter, until he shall comply with the demand of the said commissioners, who shall give information, either to the attorney general, or to the attorney for the commonwealth in the county, either of whom as the case may be, shall lodge a bill, plaint, or information against such sheriff or collector, at the next court having cognizance of the said offence, which he shall renew so often as the said sheriff or collector shall coner^shalUottjnuc his said offence. And no commissioner of the be sureties tax shall hereafter be admitted as security for any for colicc- sheriff or collector, nor shall any person who is or shall tois* be security for a sheriff, be eligible as a commissioner

ceedin g of the tax. Whenever a bill, plaint, or information inprosecu- shall be lodged in any county court, under this act, tions under the said court shall compel the defendant to plead im*his act, mediately to issue, which issue they shall proceed to try at the very next court thereafter, before any other matter or thing whatsoever: And if the said bill, plaint, or information is made in the general court, they shall cause the issue to be made up and tried at the same time. And should any sheriff or collector, after such process hath been legally served on him, fail to appear and plead at the next court or term as the case may be, such court shall order the clerk to make an issue for him, and proceed to trial in like manner as herein Remedy by above directed. And for the more effectually securniotion a- |ng foe payment of all taxes now due, or which shall §jk" 9 hereafter be collected, and not accounted for and paid as the law directs, the auditors of publick accounts shall have power to move for judgments against all sheriffs and collectors of taxes, without any farther notice than this act, on the first days of the June and December general courts, and on the first Saturday in the March and October general courts; and the said courts shall take cognizance thereof at all or any of the said sessions, and give judgments accordingly, or Twent for* gOddi cause may postpone the proceedings upon cent intlraity such motion till a future day; and any judgment est upon given on such motion shall carry twenty per centum judgments interest, until the same shall be levied or discharged. bymotlon'

CHAP. XXXIX.

An act for confirming the titles o/"[Chan.Rev. purchasers of escheated and forfeit-p"118il ed estates.

I. WHEREAS some sales have been already maderTit]es to es.. and many others will soon ,be made under the "Act tates fouud concerning escheats and forfeitures from British sub-tohavebeeh jects," upon certificates from the clerk of the general forfeit^dfto court, that no claim had been filed in due time; and it which a' hath been apprehended that should the inquisitions cja»n*either prove defective in substance, or the particular requisi- maa^inotbk!S tions of the law not be complied with, the former own- b^en'disciisers may at a future day reclaim their estates, and ex- sedforthe pel the purchasers from the possession; and such ap- comm°nprehensions and doubts may deter many persons from firmedtothe purchasing, and cause such estates to sell at an under purchasers; value; Be it therefore enacted by the General Jlssembly, s?vingthe That in every case where any festate shall have been pf^nsto found to belong to a British subject, in which the clerk thepurchase of the general court hath certified, or shall certify, m°ney. that no claim hath been filed to any such estate; or where any claim shall have been filed and discussed for the commonwealth, the title of the purchaser or purchasers thereto, shall be, and is hereby confirmed to him, her, or them, and his, her, or their heirs and assigns for ever, upon due payment of the purchase money; notwithstanding any defect in the inquisition, or that the requisitions of the above recited act may not have been complied with: Saving the right of all persons to assert their .claim to the money arising from *x,v, , v A 2 '•'

such sales, as by the said act, and one other act passed at the present session of assembly, entitled " An act to amend the act concerning escheats and forfeiture? from British subjects" is directed,

CHAP. XL.

[ciiati.Hev. An act Jot the protection and encou

p' nai ragement of the commerce of na

tions acknowledging the indepen

dence of the United States of Amer

ica.

oonstirom I-' FOR preserving friendship and harmony with

such states those nations who have, or shall hereafter acknowledge

as acknow- tne independence of the United States of America;

ded&end^ce sPeedUy determining disputes wherein their subjects

of America, or citizens are parties, protecting and encouraging

how reeeiv- their commerce within this commonwealth; Be it enact

sub;de^ror edby the Gener<*1 Assembly, That it shall be lawful for

citizens8 ofr the governour, with the advice of the council of state,

the states by to receive and admit, from time to time, a consul or

whom «p* consuls appointed by any such state to be resident with

|uiUy of 'in this commonwealth; 'such consul if he were not a

crimes a- citizen of this Commonwealth at the time of receiving

gainst this his appointment, shall be deemed a subject or citizen

'

bman- state ^rom wllich *ie was

cd to their exempted from all personal services required by the

sovereigns Jaws of this commonwealth from its own citizens; and

^iT11^ }f he sha]i d° an.v »ct whic.h b,y the iaws °f this c?m"

monwealth would subject him to criminal prosecution,

it shall be lawful for the governour, with the advice of

the council of state, in their discretion, either before

lite prosecution instituted, or in any stage thereof to

Ycnnind such consul to his own sovereign or state for

punishment, and for that purpose to command him to

Ibe delivered by any civil officer in whose custody he

i heir pow may be^ jt ghai| ^e ]awful for'the said consul to take

rs; cognizance of all differences, controversies, and Ktiga

tions arising between subjects or citizens of his own slate only, and finally jto determine and compose them recording to such rules or laws as he shall think.fit, and such determinations to carry into execution. And jn. cxecuwhere he shall require aid for executing the same, it tion thereshall be lawful for the governour, with the advice of °*, how to the council of state, using their discretion therein, to be *'ded order any sheriff within his own county, or any military officer whatsoever, to execute or to aid and assist in executing any such determination; provided the same does not extend to life or lirnb of the offender. Where any sailor, seaman, or marine belonging to any vessel Seamen deof such state within this commonwealth shall desert, siting, how or be found wandering from his vessel, it shall be law- *PPrehelu*ful for the master of such vessel to reclaim such sailor, teaman, or marine, notwithstanding such sailor, seajnan, or marine may in the mean time have been naturalized in this commonwealth. And any justice of the peace to whom the master shall apply, shall grant his warrant for taking and conveying such sailor, seaman, or marine from constable to constable to the said vessel, or on application from the consul, the governour, with the advice of the council of state, may issue such orders to any sheriff, constable, or military officer, who shall yield due obedience thereto. And be it Mode of profarther enacted, That any suit commenced in the high ceeding* in court of chancery, or general court, by or against any suits, wheresubject or citizen of such state, shall be heard or tried "rsTre^parin the term to which the process shall be returned re- ties. gularly executed, or so soon afterwards as may be, and to this end, subsequent process to compel appearance may be returnable to any day of a term, and rules to brin the matter in dispute to speedy issue, may be given to expire at any shorter time than what is prescribed in ordinary cases. If such suit be commenced in the court of a county, city, or borough, it may, without any other reason, on the motion or petition of either party, be removed by writ of certiorari; and the hearing or trial thereof shall be accelerated by like means, as if it had originated in the court to which itshall be removed. And the court of appeals, high court of chancery, or general court shall determine every such suit brought before them, by writ of errour or appeal, with all the expedition which the necessary forms of their proceedings will allow

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