Indians having one-half or more Indian blood cannot be apprenticed. No indenture, or contract for the service of any apprentice is valid, as against the person whose services may be claimed, unless made in the manner above prescribed. The master is entitled to all the earnings of the apprentice. A guardian is liable although the apprentice has gone off and left his master. Our laws recognize no general authority in a father to dispose of his children, except for some specific and temporary purpose, such as apprenticeship during the father's life, or guardianship after his death. Such indentures of apprenticeship may be annulled and declared void by any district court, or a judge thereof, or by a county court, or a judge of such court, in the county where the master, or person to whom such apprentice is bound, shall reside, upon satisfactory proof of either of the following named causes: First—Fraud in the contract of indenture. Second—When such contract is not made or executed in accordance with the provisions of this act. Third—For wilful non-fulfilment, by such master, of the provisions of such indenture. Fourth–Cruelty or maltreatment of such apprentice, by the master, without just cause or provocation. And in such case an account may be taken and adjusted by such court or judge for any services rendered by the apprentice for the master under the articles of such indenture; and, in case such indenture shall be annulled, judgment may be given for such sum as may be found equitably due the apprentice, on account of any services so performed by him for such master. For the purpose of annulling such contract of apprenticeship, and recovering for services as aforesaid, application shall be made, either in term-time or vacation, by such apprentice, or on his behalf, but always in his name; which application shall be made by petition, verified by oath, stating the grounds on which such application is made, the amount claimed, if any, for such services, and praying for the relief demanded. Such petition shall be filed with the clerk of the court, who shall immediately issue a citation thereon, duly certified, stating the grounds of such application as set forth in the petition, and the relief sought thereby. The citation shall also designate the time and place for the hearing of the application, and shall be directed to such master, and shall require him to appear and answer such petition, at the time and place so designated, or in default thereof proof thereon will be heard in his absence, and such judgment as the right of the case will be rendered upon such petition; such citation shall be served at least five days before the day appointed therein for the hearing as aforesaid, by such person or officer (in the same manner and with the like effect) as is authorized to serve summons in civil cases in courts of record. And on the day appointed for the hearing of the petition, such master may file his answer in writing, verified like the petition, setting forth any just cause why the prayer of the petitioner should not be granted; and upon such pleadings, the court, or judge in term-time or vacation, shall hear the proofs of the parties, who shall be styled plaintiff and defendant as in civil cases, in the same manner, and shall determine the case in all respects as chancery cases are tried and decided under the civil practice act, and may annul such indentures, and grant any remedy or relief provided in this act, either with or without costs. But no adjournment or continuance of the case shall be granted, for any cause, for a longer period than ten days for any one time, and the decision of such court or judge shall be final.' Any person held to service under the provisions of this act, and unlawfully departing and absenting himself or herself therefrom, upon the application of the master or mistress of such person, under oath, in writing, to the county judge of the county, that such person has absented himself or herself without permission, the judge may issue a writ reciting the substance of the affidavit, and commanding that such person be brought before him; the writ may be served by any officer authorized to make arrests, and if, upon the person being brought before him, and upon an examination of the matter, he is satisfied that such person is legally held to service, and has absented himself or herself without just cause, he shall order the person held to service to return to the care and custody of the person lawfully entitled to such service or labor. If such person persist in refusing to return, or returning, immediately absent himself or herself without leave, such judge may order such person held to service to be confined in the county jail, station house, or house of refuge, for such time as he may deem proper, not to exceed one month; or, at the instance of the master or mistress, may annul the indentures.’

* Laws 1858, pp. 135, 186.

Any person who shall aid, or assist, or encourage any person to run away, or harbor or conceal any person held to labor, knowing the same to be absent without leave of the master or mistress, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be fined in any sum not exceeding one hundred dollars.”

Whenever any insane person shall have any claim for lands derived from Spanish or Mexican authorities, and such claim shall have been rejected by the commissioners to ascertain and settle private land claims in the state of California, the guardian of such insane person, appointed or to be appointed, by the Probate Court or judge, shall have power to employ counsel on behalf of such insane person, and on such terms as he may deem to be the best interest of his ward, to prosecute such claim on appeal before the District Court, or the Supreme Court of the United States, and for that purpose he may sell and convey such portion of the land so claimed as may be necessary therefor, and to meet any necessary expenses that may be incurred in the prosecution of such claim. The deed of conveyance by the guardian shall be approved by the district judge of the district in which the land is situated, by his approval in writing endorsed thereon, and shall be effectual to pass the estate of the said insane person in and to the land so conveyed; provided, that any contract so made with counsel for the prosecution of any such appeal, shall be first approved by the judge of the District Court of the district in which the land lies, upon petition duly presented for that purpose by the guardian; and provided, further, no sale of land, for the purpose aforesaid, shall take place, without a similar approval by the District Court aforesaid, upon a like petition of the guardian."

* Laws 1858, pp. 185, 186. 2. id. * {d

Any person having or hereafter obtaining a minor Indian, male or female, from the parents or relations of such Indian minor, and wishing to keep it, such person shall go before a justice of the peace in his township, with the parents or friends of the child, and if the justice of the peace becomes satisfied that no compulsory means have been used to obtain the child from its parents or friends, shall enter on record, in a book kept for that purpose, the sex and probable age of the child, and shall give to such person a certificate, authorizing him or her to have the care, custody, control and earnings of such minor, until he or she obtain the age of majority. Every male Indian shall be deemed to have attained majority at eighteen, and the female at fifteen years.' Any person having a minor Indian in his care, as described in the foregoing section of this act, and shall neglect to clothe and suitably feed such minor Indian, or shall inhumanly treat him or her, on conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine not less than ten dollars, at the discretion of a court or jury; and the justice of the peace, in his discretion, may place the minor Indian in the care of some other person, giving him the same rights and liabilities that the former master of said minor was entitled and subject to.” Any person wishing to hire an Indian, shall go before a justice of the peace with the Indian, and make such contract as the justice may approve, and the justice shall file such contract in writing in his office, and all contracts so made shall be binding between the parties; but no contract between a white man and Indian, for labor, shall otherwise be obligatory on the part of an Indian.” Complaints may be made before a justice of the peace, by white men or Indians, and in all cases arising under this act, Indians shall be competent witnesses, their credibility being left with the jury.—[Am. April 28, 1855; R. S. St. 1850, 409; C. L. 823." If any person forcibly conveys any Indian from his home, or compels him to work, or perform any service against his will, in this state, except as provided in this act, he or they shall, on conviction, be fined in any sum not less than fifty dollars, at the discretion of the court or jury.”

* Wood's Dig. art. 2048-2646. * id. * id. 4 id.

When an Indian is convicted of an offence before a justice of the peace punishable by fine, any white person may, by consent of the justice, give bond for said Indian, conditioned for the payment of said fine and costs, and in such case the Indian shall be compelled to work for the person so bailing, until he has discharged or cancelled the fine assessed against him; provided, the person bailing shall treat the Indian humanely, and clothe and feed him properly; the allowance given for such labor shall be fixed by the court, when the bond is taken.”

It is provided by section 20th of the act relating to Indians, that an Indian convicted of vagrancy may be hired out to service to the best bidder, after public notice, for any term not exceeding four months.”

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In Oregon children under fourteen, are bound, only till that age, by the father; or in case of his death or incompetency, or if illegitimate, by the mother (while unmarried), or legal guardian; or if there be none such to act, then by themselves with the approbation of the probate judge, to be endorsed on both parts of the indenture. If above fourteen, they are bound in the same manner, males until twenty-one, and females until eighteen, or marriage within that age, but only upon their consent. The indentures to be in duplicate, signed and sealed; and in all cases where approved by the probate judge, or made with county commissioners, one part must be deposited with the probate judge."

The county commissioners may bind out the children of parents, or children actually chargeable to the county; whether under or over fourteen, till the ages mentioned in the foregoing section; and provision shall be made in the contract, for teaching such children to read, write and cipher; and for such other instruc

1 Wood's Dig. art. 2643–2646. 3 id. 2657. 2 id. 2654. * Statutes O. 397–400.


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