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CHAPTER 71, LAWS OF 1788.
AN ACT to prevent firing the woods. Be it enacted, That if any person or persons shall set fire to the woods in any part of this State, he, she or they, shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten pounds, to be recovered, with costs of suit, in any court having cognizance thereof, by any person or persons who will sue and prosecute for the same; the one moiety of which forfeiture, when recovered, shall be paid to the overseers of the poor of the town or place where the offense shall have been committed, for the use of the poor thereof; and the other moiety to the person or persons who will sue and prosecute for the same to effect as aforesaid. And such offender or offend. ers shall moreover be liable to all such damages as any person or persons shall sustain by such firing the woods as aforesaid.
Provided always, and be it, etc., That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to hinder or prevent any person or persons from firing his, her or their own woods; but if he, she or they do suffer such fire to extend beyond his, her or their own woods, he, she or they shall be subject to the penalty and forfeiture aforesaid, besides being answerable for the damages.
And be it etc., That when the woods in any town within this State shall be on fire, the justices of the peace, the supervisor, the commissioners of the highways, and the officers of the militia (not under the rank of captain) residing in such town, shall and they are hereby severally authorized and required, to order such and so many of the inhabitants of such town, liable to work on the highways, and who shall reside within the vicinity of the place, where such fire shall be, as they shall severally deem
necessary, to repair to the place where such fire shall prevail, and there to assist in extinguishing or stopping the progress of the same; and if any person so ordered to repair to, and assist in manner aforesaid, shall refuse or neglect to comply with such order, every person so disobeying such order, shall forfeit and pay the sum of four shillings, for every day he shall so neglect or refuse to obey, to be recovered in a summary way, with costs before any justice of the peace resident in such town, and the oath of the person having given such order, shall be sufficient evidence whereon to convict any delinquent, and the forfeiture so recovered shall be applied, as a reward to such person or persons as the officers aforesaid, or the major part of them, shall deem best entitled thereto, for superior exertions at the extinguishment or in stopping the progress of such fire. And be it etc., That all former acts and laws of this State, concerning firing the woods shall be void, and hereby are repealed.
CHAPTER 181, LAWS OF 1817.
AN ACT in amendment of an act, entitled an act to prevent
firing the woods." Be it enacteil, That if any person or persons shall wilfully and maliciously set fire, or cause fire to be set, to woodland in any part of this state, he, she or they shall be deemed guilty of a misdemanor, and being convicted thereof by due course of law, shall be punished by fine, not exceeding one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both, at the discretion of the court before which such conviction shall be had.
Revised Statutes Laws of New York (1876). Volume 2, page 985, paragraph 1: “Every person negligently setting fire to his own woods or negligently suffering il tire kindled upon his own wood or fallow land to extend beyond his own land, shall forfeit treble damages to the party injured thereby. Every person so offending shall also be deemed guilty
a misdemeanor, and on conviction shall be punished by fine or imprisonment or both, at the discretion of the court; such fiue not to exceed one thousand dollars and such imprisonnent not to exceed one year.
Paragraph 2: “Whenever the woods in any town shall be on fire, it shall be the duty of the justices of the peace, the supervisor, and the commissioners of highways of such town, and each of them to order such and so many of the inhabitants of such town liable to work on the highways, and residing in the vicinity of the place where such fire shall be as they shall severally deem necessary, to repair to the place where such tire shall prevail, and there to assist in extinguishing the same or in stopping its progress.
Paragraph 3: “If any person so ordered to repair to uud assist in manner aforesaid shall refuse or neglect t) couply with any such order he shall forfeit and pay the sum of fifty dollars, and shall also be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction shall be punished by fine or imprisonment or both at the discretion of the court; such fine not to exceed one hun. dred dollars, and such imprisonment not to exceed sixty days.
Paragraph 4: “Every forfeiture recovered under the last sec tion shall be applied as a reward to such person or persons as the officers above mentioned or a majority of them shall deem best entitled thereto for superior exertions in extinguishing or stopping the progress of such fire."
CHAPTER 103, LAWS OF 1804. AN ACT to prevent the Stopping and Embezzling of Timber float
ing on the Hudson river. Whereas, great loss is sustained by those engaged in the rafting business, by evil disposed persons, in stopping, taking up and destroying timber afloat in rafts and otherwise: For remedy whereof,
I Be it enacted, That from and after the twentieth day of April instant, if any person or persons shall stop, take up, draw