An Act for suppressing selling Rum, &c. to Negroes, or Indians.

West New Jersey Laws, November 1685, ch.VII, L&S 512

[§1] WHEREAS there hath been many abuses committed by permitting of rum to be sold to Indians, and notwithstanding of the laws formerly made to suppress the same, the law for that effect hath been hitherto rendered ineffectual ; Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Representatives, in this present Assembly met and assembled, and by the authority of the same, that if any person or persons inhabitants or otherwise in this Province, shall be lawfully convicted of selling or giving of rum, or any manner of strong liquor either to negro or Indian, or negroes or Indians, from and after the publication hereof, he or they so offending shall forfeit for each and every such offence the sum of five pounds. Forty shillings whereof to the informer, and the other three pounds to the publick treasurer, to be applyed for the support of the government. [§2] And forasmuch as the detecting of persons so offending is difficult, Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that one creditable witnesses, or a probable circumstance shall be accounted a sufficient evidence, unless the party indicted is free before sentence to purge himself by his oath or solemn declaration, that he hath not transgressed this law directly or indirectly, nor that it is violated by his knowledge, consent or procurement. Provided always, that this law shall not extend to a moderate giving to a negro for necessary support of nature, or to an Indian in a fainting condition (without selling or taking any reward for the same) any thing herein to the contrary notwithstanding.