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be arrested; and, after ten days' notice to the debtor, or two returns of non est inventus, the court may hear the affidavit. A jury may be summoned at the desire of either party, and, if they find against the debtor, he shall be imprisoned until he surrender his property. If the creditor allege in his affidavit, that the debtor was not held to special bail, or has been surrendered, or that he has reason to fear that he will escape before the trial of the affidavit, the debtor may be held to bail to appear thereat. The prison limits are the bounds of the county.
The constitution abolishes imprisonment for debt on mesne or final process, except in cases of fraud.
Kentucky. Any debtor may be arrested, on mesne process, upon the creditor's affidavit charging that he is about to remove his person or property out of the state. He may give notice and assign his property as an insolvent, or may take the poor debtor's oath and be discharged. No imprisonment on execution is allowed. Prison limits are the boundaries of the state.
Louisiana. By act March 28, 1840, no execution can issue against the body. A debtor may be arrested on the creditor's affidavit, that the debtor is, in his belief, about to depart permanently from the state, without leaving in it sufficient property to satisfy the demand, and that this affidavit is not for the purpose of vexing him. No debtor shall be kept in prison more than three months, provided that he surrender his property in insolvency, if a resident of Louisiana. Any debtor against whom execution has issued and been returned "no property found," may be imprisoned on petition of two or more creditors, whose separate claims exceed $300, setting forth on oath that he withholds property; provided the debtor have ten days' notice of the hearing on the petition, and the court be satisfied of its truth, and order a surrender of his property, with which he refuses to comply. No non-resident debtor can be arrested at the suit of a non-resident creditor, unless he be shown to have absconded. Any debtor who conceals, removes, assigns, or disposes of his property, or prefers any creditors, shall be deemed primâ facie guilty of fraud, and shall be arrested at the creditor's application, until he give bond to appear to answer the final judgment of the court. The bond given under this last provision shall be conditioned to pay the debt, in case the debtor be found guilty and have left the state. The condition of the bond given on arrest under the ordinary affidavit is broken, if the debtor leave the state within three months. *
Maine. Any debtor may be arrested on mesne process, on the creditor's affidavit, that the debt amounts to $10, that the debtor is about to leave the state, with means exceeding the amount required for his own immediate support." The debtor, on giving one day's notice to the creditor for every twenty miles' travel, may be examined before two justices of the peace, and,
A bill passed the House of Representatives of Louisiana at the last session, which had previously passed the Senate, providing that no arrest shall hereafter be made in that state at the suit of a resident or non-resident creditor, except in cases where it shall be made to appear, by the oath of the creditor, that the debtor has absconded from his residence. Nat. Intelligencer.
if they be satisfied, he may take the poor debtor's oath, and be discharged; or he may give a bond to notify the creditor within fifteen days after judgment (if by a justice of the peace), or after the end of the term of the court, and then to be examined. If the creditor swear to his belief that the debtor swore or was silent falsely at his examination, he shall be held to bail, and, if found guilty, execution shall issue for twice the debt and costs. Any debtor may be arrested on execution for a debt of $100, and may be discharged on giving bond to take the poor debtor's oath, or to surrender his person, within six months, giving the creditor fifteen days' notice thereof.
Maryland.-No female is imprisonable, except on a writ of ne exeat. Other debtors may be imprisoned, on mesne process or on execution, and may file a petition, &c. in insolvency. Fraud may be alleged, and the creditor has his election to try the issue by a jury. If fraud be not established, and the property be surrendered, the debtor is discharged; or he may be discharged on giving bond to appear and be examined. Three months' notice of the examination must be given to creditors.
Massachusetts. -No person may be imprisoned, on mesne or final process, for a debt less than $5, nor less than $10, if contracted since July 1, 1831. No female can be imprisoned for a debt contracted since July 1, 1831, except as trustee for an amount above $10. Arrest on mesne process is allowed only on the creditor's affidavit, that he believes $10 to be due on the demand, and that the debtor is about to leave the state, and will not be in it at the issuing of the first execution. The debtor may obtain the prison limits (which are the limits of the county, except as to debts contracted before April 2d, 1834, or between April 2d, 1834, and May 1, 1836, in which latter case they are the town boundaries), on giving bond to pay the debt, to take the poor debtor's oath, or to go back to jail, within ninety days. After twenty-four hours' notice to the creditor, and one day additional for every twenty-four miles' travel, he may be examined as to taking the poor debtor's oath. Other evidence may be adduced by either party; and the creditor may exhibit written charges of fraud, which being sworn to, either party may elect a trial by jury. If the magistrates be satisfied, the oath is administered, and the debtor discharged.
Michigan. — No female can be imprisoned, except as garnishee or trustee. No person can be arrested except on affidavit of creditor, or other evidence, that he withholds, is about to remove, has assigned, or is about to assign, his property; or that he fraudulently contracted the debt. The debtor may deny the charges, and they shall be fully inquired into; and if proved, he shall be committed, unless he pay the debt, or give security to pay it, if less than $25, within three months; if between $25 and $50, within six months; if between $50 and $75, within nine months; if between $75 and $100, within twelve months; and if above $100, within fifteen months. Or he may give bond not to remove his property, until three months after final judgment; or to go into insolvency within thirty days. Residents of the state may have the benefit of prison limits (the limits of the county)
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.
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."