Abbildungen der Seite

husband is answerable for her debts before coverture; but if they are not recovere during coverture, he is discharged. Coverture is the condition of a married woman, who, by the laws of the land, is in the power of the husband. A husband, dying in the life time of his wife, may, by will, cut her off from all his estate but a right of dower; that is, the right to have, for life, the use of one third of all the real estate which he owned during marriage, and whereof she has not barred herself by joining with him in a deed.

The husband and wife cannot be witnesses for or against each other; but where the wife acts as her husband's agent, her declarations may be admitted in evidence to charge the husband.

Parent and Child. The duties of parents to their children, as being their natural guardians, consist in maintaining and educating them during the season of youth and infancy; and the parent is obliged, during the minority of the child, which, in law, means infancy, or, of an age under twenty one years, to provide for his support and education; and he may be sued for necessaries furnished under just and reasonable circumstances. The father is bound to support his minor children, if he be of ability, even though they have property of their own; but this obligation does not extend to the mother. But a father is not bound by the contract of his son, even for articles suitable and necessary, unless an actual authority be proved, or the circumstances be sufficient to imply one; or unless a clear omission of duty on the part of the father renders assistance to the child necessary. The father has a right to the labor or services of his children, and he may sue any other person for the value of such labor.

father to children? What is infancy in law? How far is a father bound by the contract of his son? What are the relations between guardian and ward? How may guardians be appointed? What is a guardian in socage? To what age may apprentices be bound? Whose consent is necessary? How is the education of poor chil

Guardian and Ward. The relation of guardian and ward is nearly the same as that of parent and child. A father may dispose of the custody and tuition of his child during its minority, or for a less time, to another person, who thereupon becomes the guardian, and the infant is called ward. A minor having no guardian, may, at the age of fourteen years, apply to a surrogate for the appointment of such guardian as the minor may nominate. If the minor be under the age of fourteen years, a relative or other person, in his behalf, may so apply for the appointment of a guardian. A guardian in socage, that is, a guardian who has the custody of a minor's property as well as of his person, is required to keep safely such property, and to deliver the same to his ward when he arrives at full a e.

Master and Apprentice. Male infants, and unmarried females under eighteen years of age, with the consent of proper persons, may bind themselves, in writing, to serve as apprentices to some art or trade; if males, until the age of twenty one years, and, if females, until the age of eighteen years, or for any shorter time. Consent shall be given by the father; or, if dead, or not in a legal capacity, by the mother; and, if she refuse, or be not in a legal capacity, then, by a guardian duly appointed; or, if there be no guardian or other person, by the overseers of the poor, or two justices of the peace of the town, or a judge of the county court. County superintendents of the poor may bind out any child under the ages above specified, who may be sent to the county poor house, or who is become chargeable to the county. In all indentures, by the officers of any town or county, binding poor chil.

[ocr errors]

dren as apprentices or servants, a covenant must be inserted to teach them to read and write; and, if a male, the general rules of arithmetic. For refusal to serve and work, infants may be imprisoned in jail, until they shall be willing to serve as apprentices or servants.

Hired Servants. The relation between a master and a hired servant, rests altogether upon contract. The one is bound to render the service, and the other to pay the stipulated consideration. But if the servant hired for a definite term, leaves the service before the end of it, without reasonable cause, he loses his right to wages for the period he has served. And he may be dismissed for cause, before the expiration of the term. The master is bound by the act of his servant, either in respect to contracts or injuries, when the act is done by the authority of the master. If the servant does an injury fraudulently, while in the employment of his master, both have been held liable in damages; and if a servant employs another servant to do his business, and, in doing it, the servant so employed is guilty of an injury, the master is liable.


Of the Right of Property. A material object of government is to secure the right to acquire property, and to make use of it. Property, as stated in a preceding chapter, is either real or personal; the latter consisting of what is movable from place to place, the former, of lands and things built or growing thereon. Fruit, grain, trees, minerals, &c. become personal property, when separated from the land.

What relation subsists be:ween masters and

dren provided for? hired seryants?

Every citizen of the United States is capable of holding lands, and of taking the same by descent, devise or purchase; and of aliening or conveying away such estate, Estates in lands are divided into estates of inheritance, estates for life, estates for years, and estates at will and by sufferance. An estate of inheritance is termed a fee simple, or fee. A fee is an estate of ir heritance in law, belonging to the owner, and transmissible to his heirs. No estate is deemed a fee, unless it may continue forever. Fee simple is a pure inheritance, clear of any qualification or condition, and it gives a right of succession to ali the heirs generaliy, provided that they shall be of the blood of the first purchaser, and of the person last seised. An estate for life, is an estate conveyed to a person for the term of his natural life. Estates for life and estates of inheritance, are called freeholds. An estate for years is a right cre. ated by a lease, or a contract for the possession and profits of land, for a determinate period, with the recompense of rent. An estate ai will is where one man lets land to another, to hold at the will of the lessor. An estate at sufferance is where one has come into the possession of land by lawful title, but holds over by wrong, after his interest has ceased. He is not entitled to notice to quit, and he is not liable to pay rent. The landlord may dispossess such tenant whenever he pleases.

Of Title to Real Property by Descent. The real estate of any person who shall die without devising the

What is real propery? Personal? Who may hold real property? How are estates in land divided? Wbat is a fee in land? What are freeholds? How does the tiile to real estate descend to heirs

same, shall descend, in the following manner: (1.) to his lineal descendants; (2.) to his father; (3.) to his mother; and (4.) to his collateral relatives. If any of the children of an intestate be living, and any be dead, the inheritance shall descend to the children living, and to the descendants of those who are dead; so that such descendants may inherit the share which their parent would have received, if living. If the intestate shall die without lawful descendants, and leave a father, the inheritance goes to the father, unless the inheritance come to the intestate on the part of the mother. If he leaves neither father nor descendants, the inheritance descends to the mother; but if he leaves also a brother or sister, the muther holds it only during her life, and on her death, it descends to his brothers and sisters or their descendants. If he leaves neither descendants, nor father nor mother, the estate descends to his brothers and sisters or their descendants. But if there he no heir to take the inheritance in either ofthe above cases, the same shall descend to the brothers and sisters of the father, if the property shall have come to the intestate on the part of the father. If his father has no brothers and sisters, the estate descends to brothers and sisters of his mother. If the property comes to the intestate on the part of his mother, her brothers and sisters have precedence; and if the inheritance has not come to the intestate, on the part of either the father or mother, it shall descend, in equal shares, to the brothers and sisters of the intestate.

· Proof of Title to Real Estate. Persons become possessed of real estate in various ways; but evidence of such possession consists usually in a writing called a deed, signed and sealed by the person who had a right to ex

of persons intestate? How is proof to the title of real estate obtained? Are deeds in any case oblagatory before they are recorded!

« ZurückWeiter »