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in the county where they reside. Beside other property exempt from execution, the law allows $250 in furniture, $150 in library, $150 in printing materials or mechanics' tools.
Mississippi.-No free white woman is imprisonable. Imprisonment for debt is allowed only on affidavit that the debt amounts to $100 (or if before a justice of the peace, without this limitation), and that the debtor has removed, converted, concealed, assigned, or is about to assign, his property fraudulently. Any citizen of the state taken on execution may forthwith deliver a sworn schedule, &c. in insolvency; or give bond so to do, and not to remove property previously thereto, and be discharged. And any person, on giving in a schedule on oath, &c., after ten days' notice to creditors, may be discharged. Prison bounds are the limits of the county. One hundred and sixty acres of land in the county, with the dwelling-house, or $1,500 value in land, &c. in town, is exempt from execution, if belonging to the head of a family, male or female.
Missouri.- Imprisonment for debt, in all cases, was abolished by act August 1, 1845.
New Hampshire.- No female is imprisonable for debt. No person can be arrested on mesne process in any real action, or action of ejectment, or of contract, unless the debt or damage exceed $13.33; nor on any writ or execution founded on a contract made since March 1, 1841, except on affidavit that the debtor conceals his property, or is about to remove from the state. He may forthwith go before two justices of the peace, and, if he disprove the charges, be discharged. Or he may, in mesne process, do the same thing before the court after the return of the writ. If committed, and not bailed, he may give bond to take the poor debtor's oath, or to surrender his person within one year. Fifteen days' notice to creditors is necessary before an examination to take the poor debtors' oath.
New Jersey. No female can be imprisoned in any civil action. Prison limits are the limits of the town. All persons imprisoned may deliver an inventory, &c. in insolvency, and give bond to apply at the next term of the court of Common Pleas for the benefit of the insolvent law, and, if not discharged thereby, to surrender his person. Arrest on mesne process is allowed only on affidavit, that the debtor conceals, has fraudulently assigned, removed, or disposed of his property, or is about so to do, and a judgment in addition, that he fraudulently withholds property of the value of $50, or, in small causes, $10.
New York. No debtor, whether resident or non-resident, can be arrested, except upon affidavit that the debt amounts to $25, and that he has removed, concealed, withheld, or disposed of his property. The debtor may forthwith go before the magistrate, and, if he do not there disprove the charges, shall be committed, unless he pay the debt, give security to pay it within sixty days, assign his property, &c. in insolvency, give a bond so to do within thirty days, or give a bond not fraudulently to remove, assign, &c., his property, or prefer creditors until payment, or three months after judgment. If
committed, he may petition (giving thirty days' notice of the hearing to creditors) in insolvency; and if discharged, after the usual hearing and examination, shall be liberated. No female can be imprisoned for debt.
North Carolina. No female is imprisonable for debt. Debtors may be arrested on mesne or final process; and after twenty days in prison, or prison bounds (which do not exceed six acres), may petition to be discharged by taking the poor debtor's oath, and, after personal notice to creditors within the state, may be examined therefor; or they may proceed in insolvency; or may give bond so to do, and be discharged."
Ohio. Any debtor may be arrested upon affidavit that the debt amounts to $100, and that the debtor fraudulently has removed, converted, concealed, or disposed of his property, or is about so to do, or that he fraudulently contracted the debt, or is not a citizen or resident of the state. Persons thus imprisoned may petition, and assign property, as in insolvency; or give bond so to do, and be discharged.
Pennsylvania.-Any debtor is imprisonable upon affidavit that he has done, or proposes to do, certain fraudulent acts (such as removing his property &c.). He may deny the charges, be examined on oath, and introduce other evidence. If he fail to disprove them, he is committed, unless he pay the debt, or give security for its payment, within sixty days (unless the period is prolonged by the law allowing a stay of execution), if a judgment debt; or if upon mesne process, within sixty days from final judgment, if adverse (unless prolonged by the stay law); or give bond not to be guilty of the fraudulent removal alleged; or to go into insolvency, and to surrender himself, if he be not thereby discharged.
Rhode Island. The debtor is imprisoned, until he pay the debt, or take the poor debtor's oath. The prison limits are specially designated by
South Carolina.- Imprisonment on execution exists. No female can be imprisoned on execution.
Tennessee. For arrest of a debtor on mesne process, an affidavit must be filed, stating that the cause of action is just, and that the defendant has removed, or proposes to remove, his property. The debtor may be bailed, or may disprove the charges. To arrest on execution, an affidavit is required, charging certain fraudulent acts done or contemplated. The debtor may apply in insolvency, and have a hearing, after five days' notice to creditors, if within the county; or ten days', if without. Females are exempt from arrest. Prison bounds are county bounds.
Texas. A homestead of not more than two hundred acres, not included in any town or city; or city or town lots worth not more than $2,000, shall not be subject to forced sale for any debt hereafter contracted.
Vermont.- Females are exempt from arrest for debt. Other debtors, if they are resident citizens, can be arrested only on affidavit that they conceal property, or are about to abscond. After judgment, the poor debtor's oath may be taken before the court; and any debtor may take this oath before a com
missioner, on six days' notice to creditors within the county, and twelve to those without.
Virginia.-Debtors may be imprisoned, but are discharged on a surrender of property, and taking the poor debtor's oath.
Wisconsin.-Imprisonment "in all civil causes" was abolished by act Feb. 16, 1842.
District of Columbia.- No female can be imprisoned for debt, nor can any other debtor be imprisoned on mesne process, unless the debt amount to $50; and then only upon affidavit that he have concealed, removed, or is about to remove, his property or person from his residence, or that the debt was fraudulently contracted: the affidavit must particularly set forth the facts and the grounds of the plaintiff's belief. Any debtor may be arrested on execution, on a similar affidavit that he has conveyed away, lessened, or disposed of his property, or has removed, or is about to remove it from the district; but, after notice, the plaintiff may be compelled to show cause why the debtor should not be discharged; and either party may demand a jury. If the verdict be adverse to the debtor, he shall be imprisoned. Nonresidents cannot be imprisoned for debts contracted out of the district.
XXVII. THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.
By the Hon. Francis O. J. Smith.
Professor Steinheil of the University at Munich, in an interesting article published in 1838, thus concisely presents the history of the application of frictional electricity, in efforts of telegraphic communication, anterior to the discovery of the galvanic current:
"The velocity with which frictional electricity is transmitted along metallic conductors, called forth, as long ago as in the last century, the idea of employing it for telegraphic communications. Winklen, at Leipsic, in 1746, discharged several Leyden jars through a wire of considerable length, and on that occasion the river Pleiss formed a part of his circuit. La Mounier, in Paris, produced shocks through a length of wire amounting to 12,789 feet. Watson, in 1747, extended the experiment over a space of four miles near Shooters' Hill, composing his circuit of two miles of wire and an equal distance of dry ground. Lomond transmitted telegraphic signals to a neighboring room by means of a ball electrometer, acted upon by frictional electricity. [1784, Young's travels.] Reisen illuminated, by an electric spark, letters formed upon plates of glass with strips of tin foil. Gauss makes mention of a communication from Humboldt, according to which Betancourt, in 1798, established a communication between Madrid and Aranjier, a distance of twenty-six miles, by means of a wire, through which a Leyden jar used to be discharged which was intended to be used as a telegraphic signal."
The preceding denotes the slow but steady approaches that were made towards the accomplishment of a grand conception, started one hundred and one years since, as we can trace it on the records of science, viz.: instantaneous intercommunication of thought, between any distant points, by electric agencies.
But an essential modification of such an agency to make it available, viz. galvanism, was not known until 1791, when it was unexpectedly discovered, and not with reference to the end which other philosophers had been pursuing, by Galvani, professor of anatomy at Bologna.*
It remained, however, for Professor Volta, of Pavia, to discover the practical elongation, if we may so express it, of this principle, or of its presence, by means of different metals that would at the same time serve as generators and conductors of it, along a specified line. This he accomplished in 1801, and perfected in what is now known as the Voltaic battery. In 1807, Sömmering so far availed himself of these advances of Galvani and Volta, as to apply them to a revival of the conception of an electric telegraph, and erected one in the Academy of Sciences at Munich that year, an account of which was published in 1809. But let the reader observe, that, up to this time (1809), the magnetic agency, requisite to the reduction to useful practice of the first great conception of this species of telegraph, was yet wanting, because yet unknown. In its absence, the galvanic current was thought of as available to this end, only by its power of chemical decomposition of water or metallic salts. Such was Sömmering's process of indicating signs.
Up to 1816, the philosophic world had dwelt only on the chemical properties of galvanism for a device by which telegraphic signs could be made available. Yet so sanguine were the reflecting philosophers upon the ultimate attainment of this end, even by this means, that, during the year last named, one of our countrymen, JOHN REDMAN COXE, of Philadelphia, in a published article said: "I have contemplated this important agent as a probable means of establishing telegraphic communications with as much rapidity, and, perhaps, less expense than any hitherto employed. * * * However fanciful in speculation, I have no doubt, that, sooner or later, it will be rendered useful in practice."
But in 1819, a new discovery was made by Prof. Oersted, of Copenhagen, which in time has crowned the original conception of an electric telegraph with perfect success; and reduced the whole to a degree of practical utility, in the daily intercourse of men and communities, that cannot again be lost while intellect and science are co-existent, nor dispensed with while the maxim is appreciated, that "time is money." This discovery consists of
*In a work entitled" The General Theory of Pleasures," published by a German philosopher named Sultzer in 1767, the germ of the galvanic discovery by Galvani was made known in a statement of the sensations produced by placing two metals in contact with each other and with the tongue; but this effect seems not then to have been suspected of any important bearing on science, and was not further investigated by Sultzer.
the inductive magnetism of the galvanic current, by which, under the subsequent researches of Oersted, Fechner, Ampere, Arago, Biot, Davy, Faraday, and others, in Europe, and Henry, Hare, and others, in the United States, the electro-magnetic agency has been perfected; and complete control over the galvanic current, in the shape of induced magnetism, at any and every desirable point for telegraphic purposes, has been attained, and, through Professor Morse's ingenious application reduced to practice. Our own extensive country will reap the advantages of it, and is beginning already to do so, in a preeminent degree. The time is comparatively near, when ubiquity will be given to all sorts of public and private intelligence throughout the length and breadth of this continent, more distinctively than hitherto has been true within the limits of the smallest village. The following Lines of Telegraph have been completed and put into operation.
Lines under Construction, and in a good condition of forwardness.`
Lines Projected, and that will probably be completed within the year 1848.
It is also highly probable that even as many more miles of telegraph