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An Act constituting the several Town Councils ex officio Boards

of Health


SECTION 1. Town councils ex officio boards of 6. Health officer may be appointed by health-their powers defined.

town or town councils. 2. May make quarantine regulations, ap. 7. Penalties in this act, how recoverable.

point places where vessels shall an 8. Sheriffs, &c., required to carry rules chor, and appoint sentinel.

and regulations of quarantine into ef. 3. Vessels to anchor at places appointed fect. penalty for neglect.

9. Quarantine regulations to be published 4. Penalty for leaving vessels at quaran. 10. Town council of Newport may appoint tine.

a board of health. 5. Penalty for entering Providence or

Pawtuxet from vessels bound to Prov. idence and subject to quarantine.

It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows:

Section 1. The several town councils are hereby constituted ex officio boards of health in their respective towns; and are empowered, when in their opinion the inhabitants of such town, or of any particular part thereof, are in danger from any contagious or infectious disease, to order and enact such rules and regulations, not repugnant to the laws of this state or of the United States, for preventing the same, as to them shall

appear to be proper, either by removing the inhabitants or otherwise ; and shall affix such penalties for the breach of said rules and regulations as to them shall seem necessary, not exceeding the sum of three hundred dollars fine or six months imprisonment, for any one offence.

SEC. 2. The town councils of the sea-port towns are hereby empowered to make and carry into effect, such rules and regulations respecting quarantine, as to them may appear necessary, to prevent the introduction of contagious or infectious diseases from other places. Such town councils shall respectively prescribe from time to time the several ports, places or countries from which vessels arriving shall be subject to examination or quarantine ; and shall likewise appoint the particular place in their harbor, bay or river, adjacent to such town, where all ships or vessels arriving, subject to examination or quarantine, shall come to anchor ; and shall define the limits of such quarantine ground, and assign the time which such ships or vessels shall be detained, and where and how unladen ; and such councils may respectively appoint a sentinel, who shall be paid by said town and be stationed in some convenient place on shore, or in some boat or vessel properly situated, to hail all ships or vessels which may arrive in such river, bay or harbor; and if he finds any ship or vessel is subject to quarantine, to direct the commander thereof

to come to anchor within the limits of said quarantine ground as aforesaid, and there remain until visited by the health officer, and to place a signal in said vessel's shrouds in such manner as to be seen at a proper

distance. Sec. 3. Any commander of a ship or vessel who shall, upon being hailed and directed by the sentinel as aforesaid, refuse or neglect to bring his ship or vessel to anchor within the limits described as aforesaid, shall pay as a fine, to and for the use of said town, a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, nor less than twenty dollars; and the town council may order such ship or vessel to be anchored on said quarantine ground, at the expense of the owners, master or commanding officer thereof, there to remain until therefrom discharged in manner herein after provided.

Sec. 4. Any person, either officer, seaman or passenger, who shall leave any ship or vessel under order of quarantine as aforesaid, without permission from the health officer or the town council of such town, shall pay to and for the use of said town, a fine not exceeding the sum of twenty dollars ; and said town council may order such person to be returned on board of such vessel, there to remain until said council order him to be dismissed.

Sec. 5. If any vessel shall arrive in the waters of this state, and bound to the port of Providence, at any time while the quarantine regulations of said city are in force, no person on board said vessel, either master, officer, seaman or passenger, shall enter into the city of Providence or village of Pawtuxet, until such vessel shall have been visited and examined by the health officer of said city, and permission shall have been given by such health officer, or by the board of aldermen of said city, to such person to enter therein ; and every such person so entering into said city or village, without such permission first had and obtained as aforesaid shall pay as a fine a sum not exceeding twenty dollars; and said board of aldermen may also cause such person to be returned to such vessel in case she is under quarantine, there to remain until permitted to depart therefrom.

Sec. 6. The several towns or town councils are hereby empowered to appoint a health officer for such town; whose duty it shall be to visit all vessels which shall be subject to examination or quarantine as aforesaid, and carry into execution all regulations established by the said council ; which said health officer shall be at all times accountable to said town council, and shall receive for his services such compensation as said council may allow, to be paid by the owners,

agents or commanders of such vessels as may be subjected to quarantine or examination. Sec. 7. All penalties

All penalties accruing under this act shall be recovered by action of the case, to be brought in the name of the town treasurer of the town where said offence is committed, before any justice of the peace of such town, if the penalty does not exceed twenty dollars ; but if more than twenty dollars, said action shall be brought before the court of common pleas in the county where such offence is committed. Sec. 8. All sheriffs,

All sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, town sergeants and constables are hereby required in their several capacities, to carry the rules and regulations of the several town councils in their several counties into effect.

Sec. 9. Any town council establishing rules and regulations respecting quarantine as herein before expressed, shall cause the same to be published in one or more newspapers printed within this state, within or nearest the town wherein such rules and regulations shall be adopted, as aforesaid, and at the proper cost and expense of said town.

SEC. 10. The town council of Newport is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint such persons as the said town council may deem suitable, as a board of health ; whose duties, powers and authority shall be the same as said town council have a right to exercise by law, during the period for which they shall by the said town council be appointed, for the preservation of the health of the inhabitants.

An Act to prevent the spreading of Contagious or Infectious

Sickness in this State.


SECTION 1. No infected vessel to anchor within cleansing goods and nursing sick from

one mile of any ferry or landing on board vessels.

place; to wear colors in her shrouds. 8. Mariner's wages to be stopped till such 2. Persons leaving any such vessel with accounts be paid.

out permit, to be sent back and be 9. Penalty for coming from any infected fined.

town by land. 3. Physician to be sent on board to ex- 10. Town councils empowered to make

amine state of vessel, and proper per rules to prevent persons entering sons to prevent communications with their towns by land, when coming shore.

from infected places. 4. Persons on board to be kept on board | 11. Tavern keepers, &c., to give notice or sent to hospital.

of infected lodgers; who may be re5. Goods on board to be cleansed at moved.

owner's expense; same proceedings 12. Expenses of guarding and cleansing with goods imported by land.

house where infection has been, by 6. Goods clandestinely landed or import whom paid. ed by land to be forfeited.

13. Town councils may remove infected 7. Town councils to audit accounts for

persons to hospital.


Section 14. Houses infected, not to be entered in relation to health, with penalties; without license.

may remove nuisances. 15. Flag to be placed near front door of 20. Town councils may order inhabitants

house in which is any person sick to remove from infected districts. with the small pox:

21. Town councils shall once in five years 16. Penalty for wilfully spreading an in provide for the gratuitous vaccination fectious distemper.

of inhabitants. 17. Penalty for physician, &c., neglecting 22. Proceedings in relation to public vachis duty.

cinations. 18. Town councils may permit innocula- 23. Same subject. tion.

24. Same subject. 19. Town councils may make regulations

It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows:

SECTION 1. Every commander of any vessel which shall come into any port or harbor of this state, and shall have any person on board sick of the small pox or any other contagious or infectious distemper, or which has had any person sick of such distemper in the passage, or which shall come from any port or place usually infected with the small pox, or where any other contagious or infectious distemper is prevalent, who shall bring such vessel to anchor in any of the ports of this state within the distance of one mile of any public ferry, pier or landing place, or permit or suffer any person on board such vessel to be landed, or any person to come on board such vessel without a license first had and obtained from the town council of such town where such vessel shall arrive, shall pay as a fine to and for the use of the state the sum of four hundred dollars ; and it shall be the duty of such commander on his first arrival in any port in this state, to hoist and keep his colors in the shrouds of such vessel, as a signal of having come from any such infected place, or having infection or contagion on board.

SEC. 2. If any person whosoever shall come on shore from on board such vessel, without license first had and obtained as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the town council to send back such offender immediately on board such vessel, or confine him on shore in such convenient place as to them shall appear most effectual to prevent the spreading of any infection; and the person so offending shall satisfy and pay all charges that shall arise thereon, and shall also pay as a fine the sum of forty dollars, to and for the use of the state.

Sec. 3. The town council of the town where such vessel shall arrive are hereby empowered and directed to send a physician, or other suitable person, to examine into and make report to them of the true state of such vessel and the people on board, at the charge of the master or owner of such vessel; and they shall forthwith put on board such vessel some

suitable person or persons to secure said vessel, and effectually prevent any communication therewith, at the like charge of the master or owners thereof.

Sec. 4. The town council of such town are hereby empowered and directed to confine on board such vessel, or send to some hospital or other suitable place, all persons, mariners or passengers, or others who came in said vessel, for a convenient time, until such of them as have or are liable to have the small pox or other infectious or contagious distemper are perfectly recovered and cleansed from said distemper, or have passed a suitable quarantine; and also all persons who have gone on board said vessel without license as aforesaid, at the charge and expense of such persons respectively.

Sec. 5. The town council of such town are hereby empowered and directed to appoint suitable persons to take effectual care that all goods, wares and merchandise imported in such vessel, which they think liable to hold and communicate the infection or contagion, be landed in some suitable place to be appointed by such town council, and cleansed in the manner by them directed, before they are permitted to be brought into any house, shop or warehouse other than where they are cleansed as aforesaid ; and when such goods are sufficiently aired and cleansed, said persons shall give the owners or possessors thereof a certificate ; and the town council shall allow and order said goods, wares and merchandise to be delivered to the owners thereof; and the charge and expense of airing, landing and cleansing such goods, wares and merchandise, shall be borne by the respective owners; and such charge shall be a lien on such goods, wares and merchandise. And all goods that are judged by the town council not to be infected shall be delivered to the owners without delay and expense of airing, and as soon as may be consistent with the safety of the town in regard to other parts of the cargo; and all goods, wares and merchandise imported into any town by land from any place infected with the small-pox or other contagious or infectious distemper, shall be aired and cleansed at the discretion of the town council of such town, and at the expense of the owners thereof as aforesaid.

SEC. 6. All goods imported in such vessel as aforesaid that shall be clandestinely landed or brought into any house, shop or warehouse without a certificate and allowance as aforesaid, or that shall be imported by land as aforesaid, and not cleansed or aired by order of the town council as aforesaid, shall be forfeited; one-third to and for the use of the state, and the other two-thirds to him who shall sue for the

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