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thereafter to investigate said case, and if the court shall be of opinion that said apprentice left the employment of his or her master or mistress without good cause, to order him or her to be punished, as provided for the punishment of hired freedmen, as may be from time to time provided for by law for desertion, until he or she shall agree to return to his or her master or mistress : Provided, That the court may grant continuances as in other cases : And provided further, That if the court shall believe that said apprentice had good cause to quit his said master or mistress, the court shall discharge said apprentice from said indenture, and also enter a judgment against the master or mistress for not inore han one hundred dollars, for the use and benefit of said apprentice, to be collected on execution as in other cases.

Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That if any person entice away any apprentice from his or her master or mistress, or shall knowingly employ an apprentice, or furnish him or her food or clothing without the written consent of his or her master or mistress, or shall sell or give said apprentice ardent spirits without such consent, said person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and shall, on conviction thereof before the county court, be punished as provided for the punishment of persons enticing from their employer hired freedmen, free negroes or mulattoes.

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of all civil officers of their respective counties to report any minors within their respective counties to said probate court who are subject to be apprenticed under the provisions of this act, from time to time as the facts may come to their knowledge, and it shall be the duty of said court from time to time as said minors shall be reported to them, or otherwise come to their knowledge, to apprentice said minors, as herein before provided.

Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, That in case the master or mistress of any apprentice shall desire, he or she shall have the privilege to summon his or her apprentice to the probate court, and thereupon, with the approval of the court, he or she shall be released from all liability as master of said apprentice, and his said bond shall be cancelled, and it shall be the duty of the court forthwith to re-apprentice said minor; and in the event any master of an apprentice shall die before the close of the term of service of said apprentice, it shall be the duty of the court to give the preference in re-apprenticing said minor to the widow or other member of said master's family : Provided, That said widow or other member of said family shall be a suitable person for that purpose.

Sec. 8. Be it further enacted, That in case any master or mistress of any apprentice, bound to him or her under this act, shall be about to remove, or shall have removed, to any other State of the Uniteil States, by the laws of which such apprentice may be an inhabitant thereof, the probate court of the proper county may authorize the removal of such apprentice to such State upon said master or mistress entering into bond, with security, in a penalty to be fixed by the judge, conditioned that said master or mistress will, upon such removal, comply with the laws of such State in such cases: Provided, That said master shali be cited to attend the court at which such order is proposed to be made, and shall have a right to resist the same by next friend or otherwise.

Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any freedman, free negro, or mulatto, having a minor child or children, to apprentice the said minor child or children, as provided for by this act.

Sec. 10. Be it further enacted, That in all cases where the age of the freedman, free negro, or mulatto cannot be ascertained by record testįmony, the judge of the county court shall fix the age.

Sec. 11. Be it further enacted, That this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

Approved November 22, 1865.

AN ACT to amend the vagrant laws of the State. Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of Mississippi, That all rogues and vagabonds, idle and dissipated persons, beggars, jugglers, or persons practicing unlawful games or plays, runaways, common drunkards, common night-walkers, pilferers, lewd, wanton, or lascivious persons, in speech or behavior, common railers and brawlers, persons who neglect their calling or employment, misspend what they earn, or do not provide for the support of them. selves or their families, or dependants, and all other idle and disorderly persons, including all who neglect all lawful business, habitually misspend their time by frequenting houses of ill-fame, gaming-houses, or tippling shops, shall be deemed and considered vagrants, under the provisions of this act, and on conviction thereof shall be fined not exceeding ove hundred dollars, with all accruing costs, and be imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, not exceeding ten days.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That all freedmen, free negroes and inulattoes in this State, over the age of eighteen years, found on the second Monday in January, 1866, or thereafter, without lawful employment or business, or found unlawfully assembling themselves together, either in the day or night time, and all white persons so assembling themselves with freedmen, free negroes or mulattoes, or usually associating with freedmen, free negroes or mulattoes, on terms of equality, or living in adultery or fornication with a freed woman, free negro or mulatto, shall be deemed vagrants, and on conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding, in the case of a freedman, free negro, or mulatto, fifty dollars, and a white man two hundred dollars, and imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, the free negro not exceeding ten days, and the white man not ex. ceeding six months.

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That all justices of the peace, mayors, and aldermen of incorporated towns and cities of the several counties in this State shall have jurisdiction to try all questions of vagrancy in their respective towns, counties, and cities, and it is hereby made their duty, whenever they shall ascertain that any person or persons in their respective towns, counties, and cities are violating any of the provisions of this act, to have said party or parties arrested, and brought before them, and immediately investigate said charge, and, on conviction, punish said party or parties, as provided for herein. And it is hereby made the duty of all sheriffs, constables, town constables, and all such like officers, and city marshals, to report to some officer having jurisdiction all violations of any of the provisions of this act, and it shall be the duty of the county courts to inquire if any officers have neglected any of the duties required by this act, and in case any officer shall fail or neglect any duty herein it shall be the duty of the county court to fine said officer, upon conviction, not excerding one hundred dollars, to be paid into the county treasury for county purposes.

Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That keepers of gaming-houses, houses of prostitution, prostitutes, public or private, and all persons who derive their chief support in employments that militate against good morals, or against law, shall be deemed and held to be vagrants.

Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That all fines and forfeitures collected under the provisions of this act shall be paid into the county treasury for general county purposes, and in case any freedman, free negro or mulatto shall fail for five days after the imposition of any fine or forfeiture upon him or her for violation of any of the provisions of this act to pay the same, that it shall be, and is hereby, made the duty of the sheriff of the proper county to hire out said freedinan, free negro or mulatto, to any person who will, for the shortest period of service, pay said fine or forfeiture and all costs : Provided, A preference shall be given to the employer, if there be one, in which case the employer shall be

entitled to deduct and retain the amount so paid from the wages of such freedman, free negro or mulatto, then due or to become due ; and in case said freedman, free negro, or mulatto cannot be hired out, he or she may be dealt with as a pauper.

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That the same duties and liabilities existing among white persons of this State shall attach to freedmen, free

negroes

and mulattoes, to support their indigent families and all colored paupers; and that in order to secure a support for such indigent freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes, it shall be lawful, and it is hereby made the duty of the boards of county police of each county in this State, to levy a poll or capitation tax on each and every freedman, free negro, or mulatto, between the ages of eighteen and sixty years, not to exceed the sum of one dollar annually to each person so taxed, which tax, when collected, shall be paid into the county treasurer's hands, and constitute a fund to be called the Freedmen’s Pauper Fund, which shall be applied by the commissioners of the poor for the maintenance of the poor of the freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes of this State, under such regulations as may be established by the boards of county police in the respective counties of this State.

Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, That if any freedman, free negro, or mulatto shall fail or refuse to pay any tax levied according to the provisions of the sixth section of this act, it shall be prima facie evidence of vagrancy, and it shall be the duty of the sheriff to arrest such freedman, free negro, or mulatto, or such person refusing or neglecting to pay such tax, and proceed at once to hire for the shortest time such delinquent tax-payer to any one who will pay the said tax, with accruing costs, giving preference to the employer, if there be one.

Sec. 8. Be it further enacted, That any person feeling himself or herself aggrieved by the judgment of any justice of the peace, mayor, or alderman in cases arising under this act, may within five days appeal to the next term of the county court of the proper county, upon giving bond and security in a sum not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred and fifty dollars, conditioned to appear and prosecute said appeal, and abide by the judgment of the county court; and said appeal shall be tried de novo in the county court, and the decision of said court shall be final.

Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, That this act be in force and take effect from its passage.

Approved November 24, 1865.

AN ACT to confer civil rights on freedmen, and for other purposes. Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of Mississippi, That all freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes may sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, in all the courts of law and equity of this State, and may acquire personal property, and choses in action, by descent or purchase, and may dispose of the same in the same manner and to the same extent that white persons may: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not be so construed as to allow any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to rent or lease any lands or tenements except in incorporated towns or cities, in which places the corporate authorities shall control the same.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That all freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes may intermarry with each other, in the same manner and under the same regu. lations that are provided by law for white persons: Provided, That the clerk of probate shall keep separate records of the same.

Sec. 3 Be it further enacted, That all freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes who do now and have heretofore lived and cohabited together as husband and wife shall be taken and held in law as legally married, and the issue shall be

Ex. Doc. 6-13

taken and held as legitimate for all purposes; that it shall not be lawful for any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to intermarry with any white person; nor for any white person to intermarry with any freedman, free negro, or mulatto; and any person who shall so intermarry shall be deemed guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof shall be confined in the State penitentiary for life; and those shall be deemed freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes who are of pure negro blood, and those descended from a negro to the third generation, inclusive, though one ancestor in each generation may have been a white person.

Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That in addition to cases in which freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes are now by law competent witnesses, freedmen, free negroes, or mulattoes shall be competent in civil cases, when a party or parties to the suit, either plaintiff or plaintiffs, defendant or defendants; also in cases where freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes is or are either plaintiff or plaintiff-, defendant or defendants, and a white person or white persons is or are the opposing party or parties, plaintiff or plaintiffs, defendant or defendants. They shall also be competent witnesses in all criminal prosecutions where the crime charged is alleged to have been committed by a white person upon or against the person or property of a freedman, free negro, or mulatto: Prorided, That in all cases said witnesses shall be examined in open court, on the stand; except, however, they may be examined before the grand jury, and shall in all cases be subject to the rules and tests of the common law as to competency and credibility.

Sec. 5. Be it further inacted, That every freedman, free negro, and mulatto shall, on the second Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and annually thereafter, have a lawful home or employment, and shall have written cvidence thereof as follows, to wit: If living in any incorporated city, town, or village, a license from the mayor thereof; and if living outside of any incorporated city, town, or village, from the member of the board of police of his beat, authorizing him or her to do irregular and job work; or a written contract

, as provided in section sixth of this act; which licenses may be revoked for cause at any time by the authority granting the same.

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That all contracts for labor made with freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes for a longer period than one month shall be in writing, and in duplicate, attested and read to said freedman, free negro, or mulatto by a beat, city or county officer, or two disinterested white persons of the county in which the labor is to be performed, of which each party shall have one; and said contracts shall be taken and held as entire contracts, and if the laborer shall quit the service of the employer before expiration of his term of service, without good cause, he shall forfeit' his wages for that year up to the time of quitting:

Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, That every civil officer shall, and every person may, arrest and carry back to his or ber legal employer any freedman, fre” negro, or mulatto who shall have quit the service of his or her employer before the expiration of his or her term of service without good cause; and said officer and person shall be entitled to receive for arresting and carrying back every deserting employé aforesaid the sum of five dollars, and ten cents per mile from the place of arrest to the place of delivery; and the same shall be paid by the employer, and held as a set-off for so much against the wages of said deserting employé : Provided, That said arrested party, after being so returned, may appeal to a justice of the peace or member of the board of police of the county, who, on notice to the alleged employer, shall try summarily whether said appellant is legally employed by the alleged employer, and has good cause to quit said employer. Either party shall have the right of appeal to the county court, pending which the alleged deserter shall be remauded to the alleged em ployer or otherwise disposed of, as shall be right and just; and the decision of the county court shall be final.

Sec. S. Be it further enacted, That, upon afhdavit made by the employer of any freedman, free negro, or mulatto, or other credible person, before any justice of the peace or member of the board of police, that any freedman, free negro, or mulatto legally employed by said employer has illegally deserted said employment, such justice of the peace or member of the board of police shall issue his warrant or warrants, returnable before himself or other such officer, to any sheriff, constable, or special deputy, commanding him to arrest said deserter, and return him or her to said employer, and the like proceedings shall be had as provided in the preceding section ; and it shall be lawful for any officer to whom such warrant shall be directed to execute said warrant in any county of this State; and that said warrant may be transmitted without indorsement to any like officer of another county, to be executed and returned as aforesaid ; and the said employer shall pay the costs of said warrants and arrest and return, which shall be set off for so much against the wages of said deserter.

Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, That if any person shall persuade or attempt to persuade, entice, or cause any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to desert from the legal employment of any person before the expiration of his or her term of service, or shall knowingly employ any such deserting freedman, free negro, or mulatto, or shall knowingly give or sell to any such deserting freedman, free negro, or mulatto any food, raiment, or other thing, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upou conviction, shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars and not more than two hundred dollars and the costs; and if said fine and costs shall not be immediately paid, the court shall sentence said convict to not exceeding two months' imprisonment in the county jail, and he or she shall moreover be liable to the party injured in damages : Provided, If any person shall, or shall attempt to, persuade, entice, or cause any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to desert from any legal employment of any person, with the view to employ said freedman, free negro, or mulatto without the limits of this state, such person, on conviction, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars and not more than five hundred dollars and costs; and if said fine and costs shall not be immediately paid, the court shall sentence said convict to not exceeding six months' imprisonment in the county jail.

Sec. 10. Be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any freedman, free negro or mulatto, to charge any white person, freedman, free negro or mulatto, by affidavit, with any criminal offence against his or her person or property, and upon such affidavit the proper process shall be issued and executed as if said affidavit was made by a white person, and it shall be lawful for any freedman, free negro or mulatto, in any action, suit or controversy pending, or about to be instituted in any court of law or equity of this State, to make all needful and lawful affidavits as shall be necessary for the institution, prosecution or defence of such suit or controversy.

Sec. 11. Be it furiher enacted, That the penal laws of this State, in all cases not otherwise specially provided for, shall apply and extend to all freedmen, freu negroes and mulattoes.

Sec. 12. Be it further enacted, That this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

Approved November 25, 1865.

AN ACT to punish certain offences therein named, and for other purposes. Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of Mississippi, That nú freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry file-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowieknife, and on conviction thereof in the county court shall be punished by fine,

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