Adams Papers
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An Act for the Limitation of Personal Actions, 20 November 1770

An Act for the Limitation of Personal Actions

20 November 1770. MS, engrossed copy, signed by Hutchinson (M-Ar). Printed: Mass., Province Laws description begins The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, Boston, 1869–1922; 21 vols. description ends , 5:109–111. Prepared by a committee appointed 16 October composed of JA, John Worthington, and Joseph Hawley (Mass., House Jour. description begins Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts [1715–], Boston, reprinted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1919–. (For the years for which reprints are not yet available, the original printings are cited, by year and session.) description ends , 1770–1771, p. 98).

The need to regularize limitations on suits at law was one of the “important Matters” cited by Hutchinson in his plea to the House to resume business in June (same, p. 23). Legislation limiting such actions had been passed in earlier years, but had been “repeatedly suspended before it could have any operation” (Hutchinson to Board of Trade, 21 Dec. 1770, Mass., Province Laws description begins The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, Boston, 1869–1922; 21 vols. description ends , 5:143; a list of earlier statutes on limitations of actions is printed at p. 109). The committee was ordered to consider “all the Laws relating to the Limitation of Actions, reduce them to one Bill, and report.” In the absence of earlier draft versions it is impossible to assess the contributions made by the House committee.

MS, engrossed copy, signed by Hutchinson (M-Ar). Printed (Mass., Province Laws description begins The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, Boston, 1869–1922; 21 vols. description ends , 5:109–111).

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