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Representation of the Board of Trade to the King



To the King' s most Excellent Majesty:

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY: We have had under our consideration two Acts passed in your Majesty' s Province of New-York, in February 1773, entitled, "An Act to continue and amend an Act entitled ‘An Act for the more effectual Punishment of persons who shall be guilty of any of the trespasses therein mentioned,’ in the cities of New-York and Albany, and township of Schenectady;" and "An Act for Naturalizing the several persons therein named."

We have likewise referred these Acts to Richard Jackson, Esq˙, one of your Majesty' s Council at law, for his opinion thereupon, who has reported to us in the case of the former of these laws, that he conceives it to be improper, in that it provides for a purgation by oath in a criminal matter, which is at once contrary to the genius of the laws of this country, and cannot but prove too frequently an irresistible temptation to perjury.

This objection, which Mr˙ Jackson has stated to the Act in question, appears to us to have such weight, and the consequences to which a regulation of this sort would most probably lead, ought with such caution to be avoided, that although the Act is for the continuance of an useful law, yet we think it our duty humbly to recommend to your Majesty to signify your royal disallowance of this Act.

The second Act is for the naturalization of sundry persons therein named.

The practice of naturalizing aliens by Acts of Assembly in your Majesty' s Colonies and Plantations in North America and the West Indies having been specially prohibited by an additional instruction from your Majesty, forbidding your Majesty' s Governours to give assent to any Bill or Bills for such purpose, this Act falls under the same description with others, which by your Majesty' s Order in Council, have been disallowed, and which by the instruction above mentioned, in future are prohibited; but as it was passed previous to your Majesty' s said instruction, and has already had its effect, we must submit to your Majesty, whether under these circumstances it will be necessary for your Majesty to signify your royal disallowance of this Act. All which is most humbly submitted.


White Hall, May 12, 1774.