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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2


This note contained in document ADMS-05-02-02-0007-0001
4. 9 Anne, c. 17, §1 (1711), set out in No. 55, Doc. III, at note 531. For the enforcement efforts, see Albion, Forests and. Sea tower 242–249 and materials cited in note 2 above. An earlier statute had protected “pitch, pine trees, or tar trees, not being within any fence or actual inclosure, under the growth of twelve inches diameter, at three foot from the earth.” Penalties of £5 “for each offense” were to be sued for before the nearest justice of the peace, to be divided equally between Crown and informer. 3 & 4 Anne, c. 10, §6 (1704). The purpose of the latter act seems to have been to protect trees useful for naval stores such as tar, rather than mast trees. Albion, Forests and Sea Power 249. See Bridger to Board of Trade, 9 Maine Hist. Soc., Colls. (2d ser.) 266, abstracted in Cal. State Payers (Col), 1708–1709, §428. However, it did have the further effect of serving as a long-range conservation measure by assuring future growth of the great pines. The exception for trees within a fence or enclosure seems to have been intended to permit cutting for the purposes of clearing land for settlement only. Albion indicates that this limitation was continued in the White Pine Act of 1729, note 17 below. Id. at 258. It is probable, however, that the latter act, and that of 1721, note 13 below, which covered white pines of every size, and together limited unlicensed cutting to private property within township bounds, were considered to have repealed 3 & 4 Anne, c. 19, §6 sub silentio and not to embody its narrower limits. JA did not use its language in the information which he drafted for John Wentworth in 1769. No. 54, Doc. II.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/