“empowered to require the aid of a sufficient number of persons in arms”


“Sect. 9. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That in no case whatever, any distress shall be made or taken from any person, of his arms or household utensils, necessary for upholding life; nor of tools or implements necessary for his trade occupation, beasts of the plough necessary for the cultivation his improved land; nor of bedding or apparel necessary him and his family; any law, usage, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.”–1785.–An Act for enforcing the speedy Payment of Rates and Taxes, and directing the Process against deficient Constables and Collectors. Chap. 46. [Pg. 209]

“Sect. 6. And be it further enacted, That the warrant to be issued by the selectmen or assessors, for the collecting and gathering in of the state rates or assessments, shall be in substance as follows:

[L.S.]   ss. To A.B. Constable or Collector of town town of A within the county of S.________________ Greeting.

In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are required to levy and collect of the several persons named in the list herewith committed unto you, each one his respective proportion, therein set down, of the sum total of such list, it being _________ this town’s proportion of a tax or assessment of _________ pounds __________ shillings and __________ pence, granted and agreed upon by the General Court of said Commonwealth, at their session, begun and held at B._____ on the _____ day of _____ for defraying the necessary charges of securing, protecting and defending the same; and you are to transmit and pay in the same unto T.I. Treasurer and Receiver-General of this Commonwealth or to his successor in that office, and to complete and make up an account of your collections of the whole sum, on or before the ________ day of ________ ; and if any person shall refuse or neglect to pay the sum he is assessed in the said list, to distrain the goods or chattels of such person to the value thereof; and the distress so taken, to keep for the space of four days, at the cost and charge of the owner; and if he shall not pay the sum so assessed within the said four days, then you are to sell at public vendue the distress so taken, for the payment thereof, with charges; first giving forty-eight hours’ notice of such sale, by posting up advertisements thereof in some public place in the town, district or plantation (as the case may be;) and the overplus arising by such sale, if any there be, besides the sum assessed ,and the necessary charges of taking and keeping the distress, you arc immediately to restore to the owner; and for want of goods or chattels, whereon to make distress (besides tools or implements necessary for his trade or occupation, beasts of the plough necessary for the cultivation of his improved lands, arms, utensils for house-keeping necessary for upholding life, bedding and apparel necessary for himself and family) for the space of twelve days, you are to take the body of such person, so refusing or neglecting, and him commit unto the common gaol of the county, there to remain until he pay the same, or such part thereof as shall not be abated by the assessors, for the time being, or the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, for the said county.

Given under our hands and seals, by virtue of a warrant from the treasurer aforesaid, this ________ day of ________ 178_

C.D.} Assessors
[Chap. 50. Pg. 220-21]

“Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“BY virtue of an Act of this Commonwealth, made and passed in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty six, entitled, “An Act for suppressing routs, riots, and tumultuous assemblies and the evil consequences thereof,” I am directed to charge and command, and I do accordingly charge and command all persons, being here assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains inflicted by the said Act.

God save the Commonwealth.
“And if such persons, assembled as aforesaid, shall not disperse themselves within one hour after proclamation made, or attempted to be made, as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for every such officer to command sufficient aid, and he shall seize such persons who shall be had before a Justice of the Peace; and the aforesaid Justice of the Peace, sheriff or deputy-sheriff is hereby further empowered to require the aid of a sufficient number of persons in arms, if any of the persons assembled as aforesaid shall appear armed:
And if any such person or persons shall be killed or wounded by reason of his or their resisting the persons endeavouring to disperse or seize them, the said justice, sheriff, deputy-sheriff, constable and their assistants, shall be indemnified and held guiltless.” [pg. 277-78]

[The General Laws of Massachusetts: From the adoption of the Constitution, To February, 1822. With The Constitutions of the United States and of this Commonwealth, TOGETHER WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE AMENDMENTS PREFIXED. REVISED AND PUBLISHED, BY AUTHORITY OF THE LEGISLATURE, IN CONFORMITY WITH A RESOLUTION PASSED 22d. FEBRUARY, 1822. By ASAHEL STEARNS & LEMUEL SHAW, Esquires, COMMISSIONERS. THERON METCALF, Esq. Editor. In Two Volumes, Vol. I. BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY WELLS & LILLY AND CUMMINGS & HILLIARD. 1823.]