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adopted in this country, with some local variations, and with the settled limitation that both parent or guardian and infant (except the case of paupers) must signify their assent by being parties to the deed. (a) The general rule is, that male infants may be bound till their arrival at the age of twenty-one, but females only till their arrival at the age of eighteen. (b) 2 In Pennsylvania, though infants may be bound to apprenticeship under the usual checks, (C) yet it has been held (d) that an infant could not be bound by his father or guardian as a servant to another; while in Massachusetts their statute law concerning apprentices does not make void all contracts binding the minor to service that are not made in conformity to the statute. It has been held (e)
(a) Statutes of Connecticut, 1838, p. 413. In North Carolina, under the Acts of 1762, 1796, and 1800, and revised and amended in Revised Statutes of N. C. 1837, vol. i., the county court may bind out poor orphan children and illegitimate children until twenty-one years of age in males and eighteen in females, as apprentices, and the master is to teach them to read and write, and, at the expiration of the apprenticeship, to make them an allow
The binding must be by indenture; and the statute had in view the English regulations in the statutes of 5 and 43 Eliz. Though all the regulations be not precisely followed, the deed is only voidable by the parties. This is the general rule. Petersdorff's Abr. tit. Apprentice, ch. 3, B.; 13 Johns. 245; nor does a mere abandonment of service by the apprentice avoid it. Down v. Davis, 4 Dev. 64. This is also the English rule. 6 Mod. 69. 6 Term, 652. 16 East, 13, 27. 3 Maule & Selw. 189.
(6) 4 Greenl. 36, 40. Revised Laws of Illinois, edit. 1833, p. 68. This is the rule in Ohio, and the indenture of service is to be executed by the father, or, in case of his death or incapacity, by the mother, or by guardians appointed for infants under twelve or fourteen, or by the trustees of the town, as the case may be; and it does not seem to require that the infant should join the execution of the indenture. Statutes of Ohio, 1824. In Connecticut, the statute requires that the minor's assent should be expressed in the indenture, by subscribing the same, when bound by the parent or guardian, as an apprentice, to learn some trade or profession. Males may be bound till twenty-one, and females till eighteen. Revised Statutes of Connecticut, 1821. If the guardian, in Ohio, binds out the infant until eighteen or twenty-one, the Court of Common Pleas must approve of the terms. Chase's Statutes of Ohio, vol. ii. p. 1318. Under the English statute of 5 Eliz. an indenture of apprenticeship, for a less period than seven years, is voidable at the election of the parties, and not otherwise. Rex v. Inhabitants of St. Nicholas, Burr. Sett. Cas. 91. Gray v. Cookson, 16 East, 13.
(c) Commonwealth v. Vanlear, 1 Serg. & Rawle, 248. Commonwealth v. Moore, 1 Ashmead, 123. Guthrie v. Murphy, 4 Watts, 80. Purdon's Dig. 58, 69.
(d) Respublica v. Keppele, 2 Dallas, 197. But see contra, 1 S. & R. 252. 1 Browne, 275.
(e) Day v. Everett, 7 Mass. 145.
1 As to what will be a defence to an action for breach of a covenant to teach an apprentice & trade, see Bell v. Herrington, 3 Jones, Law (N. C.) 320.
? An apprentice is not concluded by a statement of his age in the indentures. Drew 0. Peckwell, 1 E. D. Smith (N. Y.) 408.
that the father may, at common law, bind his infant son to service, and the contract will be good, independent of the statute. The doctrine is contrary to the English law, and to the construction of the statute of New York, and to the rule in Pennsylvania; and it has been questioned, in the case of The United States v. Bainbridge. (f) It was decided in that last case that the father could not bind his infant son, without his consent, to military service, and that where his enlistment has been held valid, it was by force of the statute authority of the United States. In Louisiana, a minor may be bound to serve as an apprentice to learn some art or trade, with the consent of the parent, or tutor, or parish judge; and the time expires at the age of eighteen in males, and fifteen in females. The contract is made before a notary, and read to, and signed by the parties. (9) The master may correct his apprentice with moderation, for negligence or misbehavior. (h)
Whether an indented apprentice can be assigned by one 265 master to another, is a * question which does not seem
to have been definitely settled. (a)? It was concluded in
(f) i Mason, 71.
(a) The better doctrine is, that an apprentice cannot, without his consent, be transferred or assigned by his master. Haley v. Taylor, 3 Dana (Ken.) 222. But in Pennsylvania, by statute, executors and administrators, and even the master, may, under certain circumstances, assign over the apprentice. Purdon's Dig. 60. The New York statute allows the contract made by an infant coming from a foreign country, and binding himself to service, to be assigned to the master, under certain checks; and, generally, the contracts for service as clerk, apprentice, or otherwise, may be assigned upon the death of the master, by his executors or administrators, with the assent of the apprentice, and without it, under the orders of the general sessions of the peace. N. Y. Revised Statutes, vol. ii. p. 156, sec. 14, p. 160 sec. 41, 42. The Massachusetts Revised Statutes of 1836, (and which appear to me to be an excellent sample of clear, brief, temperate, and judicious codification,) declare that minors may be bound as apprentices or servants, females until eighteen, or marriage, and males until twenty-one, by the father ; or, if he be dead or incompetent, by the mother or lawful guardian, and, if illegitimate, by the mother. If they have no competent parent or guardian, they may bind themselves, with the approbation of the selectmen of the town. Minors above fourteen are to testify their assent by signing the indenture. The overseers of the poor may bind the children of paupers.
1 The mere signature is not enough. The minor's consent must also be distinctly expressed in the indentures. Harper v. Gilbert, 5 Cush. 417. And it was held in Maine, that when a minor above the age of fourteen years is bound to service, the indentures should be made by the father or mother, the minor consenting, and not by the minor, with the consent of father or mother. Whitmore v. Whitcomb, 43 Maine, 458.
• The trust reposed in the master is a personal trust, which cannot be assigned. Tucker 0. Magee, 18 Ala. 99. Futrell v. Vann, 8 Ired. (N. C.) 402.
the case of Nickerson v. Howard,(6) that such an assignment might be good, by way of covenant between the masters, though not as an assignment to pass an interest in the apprentice. As was observed by Lord Mansfield, (c) though an apprentice be not strictly assignable nor transmissible, yet if he continue with his new master, with the consent of all parties, and his own, it is a continuation of the apprenticeship. The master is entitled to the wages and fruit of the personal labor of the apprentice, while the relationship continues and the apprentice is in his service; and there are cases which give the master a right to the wages or earnings of the apprentice while in another's service, and with or without his master's license, and even though the trade or service be different from that to which the apprentice is bound. (d) But Lord Hardwicke declared, in the case before him, that if the master had not done his duty with the apprentice, and had been the unjustifiable cause of his pursuing a different course of life, he would grant relief in * equity * 266 against the master's legal claim to his earnings. Upon the
The court may discharge the apprentice from his service, or the master from his contract, for good cause. The death of the master discharges the apprenticeship, and the right of the father to assign or contract for the services of his children during their minority is saved.
(6) 19 Johns. 113. See, also, Caister v. Eccles, 1 Lord Raym. 683. In the case of the Commonwealth v. Vanlear, 1 Serg. & Rawle, 248, the assent of both father and apprentice was held to be requisite, under the statute law of Pennsylvania, to a valid assignment of the articles of apprenticeship.
(c) The King v. The Inhabitants of Stockland, Doug. 70. Guilderland v. Knox, 5 Cow. 363. Williams v. Finch, 2 Barb. (N. Y.) 208.
(d) Hill v. Allen, 1 Vesey, 83. Barber v. Dennis, 6 Mod. 69. Lightly v. Clouston, i Taunt. 112. Harg. Co. Litt. 117, note a. If an apprentice runs away, and enters into another service, his gains belong to the master from whom he deserted, James v. Le Roy, 6 Johns, 274, though prize-money earned in a ship of war forms, in England, an exception. Carsan v. Watts, 3 Doug. 350. The master of an apprentice is bound to pay for medical attendance on the apprentice, from the nature of the relation between them. It is not so in the case of bired servants ; and even the father is only bound when the services have been rendered at his instance. Easley v. Craddock, 4 Rand. 423. By the English cases, the better opinion would seem to be, that the master is not liable for
1 If the master neglects to take charge of the apprentice for the whole term, the authority of the parent or guardian will supervene. Commonwealth v. Conrow, 2 Barr, 402.
A master, taking an apprentice in any particular art or trade, has no right to employ his apprentice in menial services unconnected with the trade. Commonwealth v. Hemperly, (Penn.) Law Reporter, vol. xii. July, 1849, p. 129. VOL. II.
death of the master, the apprenticeship is essentially dissolved,
for the end and design of it, as a personal trust, cease; but the assets in the hands of the representatives of the master are chargeable with the necessary maintenance of the infant apprentice. (a) 2
medical assistance to his hired servants. Newby v. Wiltshire, 4 Doug. 284. Wennall v. Adney, 3 Bos. & Pull. 247. Contra, Lord Kenyon, in Scarman v. Castell, 1 Esp. N. P. Cas. 270.
(a) The King v. Peck, 1 Salk. 66. Baxter v. Burfield, Str. 1266. It has been held, in Versailles v. Hall, 5 Louis. 281, that the contract of apprenticeship was personal, and not susceptible of alienation without the consent of all parties concerned, and, consequently, that it ceased on the insolvency as well as death of the master, inasmuch as his character and disposition entered into the consideration of the contract.
This relation of master and apprentice was, in its original spirit and policy, an intimate and interesting connection, calculated to give the apprentice a thorough trade education, and to advance the mechanic arts in skill, neatness and fidelity of workmanship, as well as in the facility and utility of their application. The relationship, if duly cultivated under a just sense of the responsibility attached to it, and with the moral teachings which belong to it, will produce parental care, vigilance, and kindness on the part of the master, and a steady, diligent, faithful, and reverential disposition and conduct on the part of the apprentice.
In taking leave of the extensive subject of the domestic relations, I cannot refrain from acknowledging the assistance I have received from the work of the late Chief Justice Reeve, on that title. That excellent lawyer and venerable man has discussed every branch of the subject in a copious manner; and though there is some want of precision and accuracy in his reference to authority, and sometimes in his deductions, yet he everywhere displays the vigor, freedom, and acuteness of a sound and liberal mind.
* In the legislation of England and of the states of the American Union, humane efforts have been made to protect children from laborious toil unsuitable to their
years. In Connecticut, no child under ten years of age shall be employed in any manufacturing or mechanical establishment; and no minor under the age of eighteen shall be employed in any such establishment more than twelve hours in any one day, or more than sixty-nine hours in any one week. (Laws, Conn. 1856, ch. 39.)
There is a similar law in Pennsylvania. Act of Penn. 1849, No. 415. There is also a similar provision in Maine, ch. 83, 1849. And also in N. Hamp. ch. 488, 1847. By an English statute, (10 & 11 Vict. ch. 29,) the hours of labor of young persons and females were restricted, after the first of May, 1848, to ten hours in any one day, and to fifty hours in any one week. This law, though opposed in England on grounds of political economy, will be regarded by the humane as retlecting honor upon Lord Ashley, to whose energetic exertions it is to be mainly attributed.
By the laws of New Jersey of 1851, p. 321, no minor under ten years of age is permittted to work in any factory; and no minor whatever can be required to work more than ten hours a day.
A CORPORATION is a franchise possessed by one or more individuals, who subsist, as a body politic, under a special denomination, and are vested, by the policy of the law, with the capacity of perpetual succession, and of acting in several respects, however numerous the association may be, as a single individual.
The object of the institution is to enable the members to act by one united will, and to continue their joint powers and property in the same body, undisturbed by the change of members, and without the necessity of perpetual conveyances, as the rights of members pass from one individual to another. All the individuals composing a corporation, and their successors, are considered in law as but one person, capable, under an artificial form, of taking and conveying property, contracting debts and duties, and of enjoying a variety of civil and political rights. One of the peculiar properties of a corporation is the power of perpetual succession ; for, in judgment of law, it is capable of indefinite duration. The rights and privileges of the corporation do not determine, or vary, upon the death or change of any of the individual members. They continue as long as the corporation endures.
It is sometimes said that a corporation is an immortal as well as an invisible and intangible being. But the immortality of a corporation means only its capacity to take in perpetual succession so long as the corporation exists. It is so far from being immortal, that it is well known that most of the private corporations recently created by statute are limited in duration to a few years. There are many corporate bodies that are without limitation, and, consequently, capable of continuing so long as a succession of individual members of the corporation remains and can be kept up.
It was chiefly for the purpose of clothing bodies of men in succession with the qualities and capacities of one single, artificial,