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February 7, 1831.


Of the select committee on the petition of inhabitants of the county of Kings, in relation to the jail liberties of said county.

Mr. Downing, from the select committee to which was referred the petition of sundry inhabitants of Kings county, praying for the passage of a law to enlarge the jail liberties of that county,


That it appears from the petition referred to the committee, that the jail of the county of Kings is located at a place which is but thinly populated, and consequently that the territory constituting the limits, affords but little employment to the debtors confined therein. That the greater part of those who avail themselves of the liberties of the jail, are from the other parts of the county, and find it almost impossible to find employment within the limits as now established, to obtain the means of subsistence, and they pray for an extension of the liberties so as to include the territory comprising the whole of Flatbush and Brooklyn.

Your committee believe these representations to be correct, and they are of the opinion that justice and humanity require that their prayer be granted. The debtor, at the same time that he will be enabled to obtain employment and provide for his own subsistence, may, by this enlargement, be afforded an opportunity of earning and rendering to his creditor what is his due. For these reasons your committee ask leave to introduce a bill in conformity with the view of the petitioners.

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IN AssEMBLY, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 7, 1831.

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Of the select committee on the petition of Nancy Chapman.

Mr. Stilwell, from the select committee on that part of the Governor's message which relates to imprisonment for debt, to whom was referred the petition of Nancy Chapman, of the city of Troy,


The petitioner represents that in the summer of 1829, A. P. Heath & Co. sued her for a debt amounting to seventy dollars. That in the month of October of the same year, she was arrested at their suit on a ca. Sa., and confined in the jail of the county of Rensselaer, and that not having been able to satisfy the demand, she has been continued in execution to this time. She concludes her petition by praying this Legislature to release her from imprisonment.

From the facts set forth in the petition, your committee are induced to believe that the petitioner is not aware of the provisions of the law relative to female debtors. At the time the suit was brought against the petitioner, a female could be imprisoned on an execution issuing from any except a justice’s court. But since that time, your committee find on referring to the Revised Statutes, part second, p. 428, that the law has provided for cases of this kind, by declaring that no female shall be arrested or imprisoned on any process, in any civil action founded on contract.

From the representation of the petitioner, it appears that she is imprisoned on a judgment founded on a contract. If her statements

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are true, there is no authority under our laws which can continue her in prison.

The committee not being aware that any additional law could be of service to the petitioner, and believing that the application is founded in ignorance of her rights, have directed their chairman to offer the following resolution:

Resolved, That the committee be discharged from the further consideration of the petition of Nancy Chapman, and that she have leave to withdraw her petition.

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