Table of Contents




Art. 1. There are in this territory two classes of servants, to wit: Free servants and the slaves.



Art. 2. Free servants are in general all free persons who let, hire or engage their services to another in this territory, to be employed therein at any work, commerce or occupation whatever, for the benefit of him who has contracted with them for a certain price or retribution or upon certain condition.

Art. 3. There are two sorts of free servants in this territory, to wit:
Servants properly so called, or those who let or engage themselves to another, to be employed at some ordinary or hard labor; such are workmen, laborers, and all those who engage to serve in husbandry or upon plantations;
And apprentices, who are those who engage to serve some person for the purpose of learning some art, trade or profession.

Art. 4. When a person has bound himself to serve another during a settled time, for a certain sum of money paid, such contract being equivalent to a sale, the engagement resulting therefrom, is much more strict and rigorous than that which is entered into by persons who merely let their daily services for certain wages.
The obligations of the latter, their extent and limits are defined under the title of letting and hiring.

Art. 5. Those who have sold or engaged their services for a settled time and for a certain sum of money paid, as well as the apprentices who have engaged to serve for a certain time, for the purpose of learning some art, trade or profession, shall be compelled to the specific execution of their engagements, respectively, during all the time expressed in the contract, unless they have just cause to be discharged from the same, as is hereafter directed.

Art. 6. The manner in which the indentures of indented servants and apprentices must be executed, is directed by a special act of the legislature of this territory.

Art. 7. An implied condition of the contract entered into between the master and indented servant or apprentice, is, that the latter binds himself to serve the former, during all the time of his engagement and the master on his side, binds himself to maintain the indented servant or apprentice during the same time.
The master is also bound to instruct the apprentice in his art, trade or profession and in consequence of this, it is not unusual for the master to receive a certain sum of money as a premium or recompence for the instruction which it is his duty to give.

Art. 8. The indentures made between indented servants or apprentices and their masters, may be rescinded before the time fixed by the indenture, either at the suit of such indented servants or apprentices, respectively, or at the demand of the master, if they have a just cause to claim such rescission; and in such case the judge shall direct a restitution of such part of the money received on account of such engagement, in proportion to the time not yet elapsed on that which has been fixed by the said indenture, unless such rescission is occasioned by the fault of him who paid the money, in which case no restitution shall be made.

Art. 9. If any master shall abuse or cruelly or evilly treat his indented servant or apprentice, or shall not discharge his duty towards him, or if the said indented servant or apprentice shall abscond or absent himself from the service of his master, without leave, or shall not discharge his duty to his master, in any of these cases, there will be a sufficient cause to release the aggrieved party from his engagement or to grant him such other redress as the equity and the nature of the case may require at the discretion of the judge.

Art. 10. A master may correct his indented servant or apprentice for negligence or other misbehaviour, provided he does it with moderation; but he cannot exercise such right with those who only let their daily services.

Art. 11. The master may bring an action against any man for beating or maiming his servant, but in such case, he must assign as a cause of action his own damage arising from the loss of his service and this loss must be proved upon the trial.

Art. 12. A master may justify an assault in defence of his servant and a servant in defence of his master; the master, because he has an interest in his servant, not to be deprived of his service; the servant, because it is part of his duty for which he receives wages, to stand by and defend his master.

Art. 13. The master is answerable for the offences and quasi offences committed by their servants according to the rules which are explained under the title of quasi contracts and quasi crimes or offences.

Art. 14. The master is answerable for the damage caused to individuals or to the community in general, by whatever is thrown out of this house into the street or public road, in as much as the master has the superintendance and police of his house, and is responsible for the faults committed therein.

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