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Id., Sec. 10.



of owner



Id., Sec. 8.

Digitized by


Oyster Laws. 145

proceeds of said vessel to be returned to him
or to the person having a lien on such vessel,
and can distribute the fund according to the
priority of the several claims and liens. The
court will, if in the interest of justice, allow
any lien claimnant, upon petition, a portion of
the proceeds.

Owners or masters or persons on board hav-
ing control of any boat or vessel licensed to
catch or take oysters in the waters of this State Arms pro-
wl th scoop, dredge or any similar instrument 5/^^^^®^^^^^
shall not have or permit to be kept on such
boat or vessel any cannon, howitzer or any
other piece of ordinance or any swivel, musket
or other piece or species of fire arms larger than
a pistol except two shot guns, not exceeding a
No. 10 gauge and not using larger than No. 1
shot. Any person violating these provision or
resisting any ofiicer authorized under the oyster
law to make arrests, whilst in the discharge of
his duty shall be deemed guilty of felony and violation,
upon indictment and conviction, shall be pun-^^^^^^-
ished by a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more penalty
than $250.00 and imprisoned in the House of
Correction for a term of not more than six
months in the discretion of the court.

It is also provided that any person who dis-
charges any species of fire arms at or towards firing at or
any such officer when in the discharge of his {{J.^^^^^t p^-
duty, or at or towards any vessel upon which
he may be, shall be deemed guilty of felony, penalty.
and upon indictment and conviction, shall be
punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor
more than $1,000, and be confined in the Pen-
itentiary for not less than one year nor more
than ten years in the discretion of the court.

It is the duty of all sheriffs, constables, or id., sec. 6
officers of the State Fishery Force to arrrest all
persons and seize all boats, canoes, or vessels p^^iJl ^o' ^r-
found violating the provisions of the oyster ^e^t.
law, and bring the offender and the vessel
before a court or a justice of the peace.

Boats owned wholly or in part by non-resi- id., seen.
dents and used in catching oysters in this State


Digitized by


146 Statistics of Labor.

with scoop, dredge or similar instrument are
of ^X)at"*b^ declared to be forfeited, and when captured,
non-resident shall be Condemned by order of the Judge of
unlawful. ^j^^ Circuit Court of the place nearest the place
of capture, and if in Baltimore city, by
order of the City Court, and sold by the sheriff
of the city or county respectively where con-

All boats equipped to take oysters with

Sailing on -i ^^ t -i • -i • .

forbidden scoop, scrape, drag or dredge or similar instru-
ground. ments, are prohibited from sailing on waters
Id. Sec. 13. ^f *h® State, exempted from dredging in the
same manner in which they sail to take or catch
oysters with scoop, scrape, drag or dredge or
similar instrument, and if the boat is seized
and found with wet oysters on board, or if the
Wet oysters dredge or dredge line or deck is wet, such facts
line ^evidence ^^^ p7•^ma fade evideuce of a violation of the
of violation. Jaw, and when the boat shall be so found and
seized, the person in command shall be
arrested and brought before a judge or justice
of the peace having jurisdiction, to be dealt
with according to law. (The penalty of which
is not set forth.)
Id, Sec 44 Dragging, raking, or dredging for oysters is
prohibited within five hundred yards of either
edge of the new channel at the mouth of the
Patapsco river, known as the Craighill Channel,
Grounds extending from the Seven Foot Knoll to the
JJ^I^''^^^;^^!: mouth of the Magothy river, or within five
hiBited. hundred yards of either edge of the cut-off
connecting the Brewerton and Craighill chan-
nels. The penalty for violation of this pro-
vision is the forfeiture of the boat or veseel,
violation. ^^^ ^ gj^^ qI ^^^ ^ess than five nor more than
Penalty, tweuty-five doUars for each offense. One-half
of the fine goes to the informer and the balance
to the School Board of the city or county.


Id., Sec. 14. Any resident of this State desiring to use any
i5o. *"^®'^ canoe or other boat in catching or taking oys-
ters with rakes or tongs, for sale, in any of the
waters of this State, shall obtain a license from

Digitized by


Oyster Laws. 147

the clerk of the circuit court in the county ^^^^^l^^^if^^^^^
wherein he resides. Such license to have effect ^^^^ license.
from the first day of September to the twentieth
day of April next succeding, inclusive. The ceni™ ^^ ""
license limits the use of said boat exclusively
within the waters of the county where issued
and to the middle of the channel when the
boundaries of the county border on navigable Territory
water. The citizens of Queen Anne and Kent ative.
counties have the use of Chester river in com-
mon. The citizens of Dorchester and Wicom-
ico counties have the use of the waters of the
Nanticoke river in common. The citizens of
Queen Anne and Talbot counties the waters of
the Wye river and the mouth thereof in com- watershed
mon. The citizens of Dorchester and Talbot coSSmS.^^^^
the waters of the Choptank river in common.
Licenses to take oysters in the little Choptank Time of
river, in Dorchester county, shall not take^^^ense^j^n
effect before the fifteenth day of September. co.

These licenses shall state the name and resi-
dence of the person to whom the same is to be ^^*' ^^^* ^^'
granted, together with the length of the canoe whatucenso
or boat licensed, the county where it is to be ^^^^^ contain.
used, and when it will expire. The charges
are : Every boat twenty feet long or less, $2.00;
twenty to twenty-five feet, $3.00 ; twenty-five
to thirty feet, $4.00 ; and all over thirty feet,
including sloops under Custom House tonnage, cen^e^.*^ ^^ ^*
$5.00. All oysters taken with rakes or tongs
shall be culled on the natural bed where taken. ^^^^^^^^ ®5^^"
These license fees are paid by the clerk of the
court to the Public School Commissioners in port^s^choour
support of the public schools.

. Before the license is issued by the clerk of i<i»sec. le.
the court to use a canoe or boat to take or catch
oysters with rake or tongs, the applicant ^^^^ ^^ ^
for such license shall make oath orpucant.^ *^'
affirmation before said clerk or a justice of
the peace that the facts in said license are true;
that he has been a bona fide resident of the
county for twelve months next preceding his
application ; that the boat is to be used only in
the county in which he resides or the waters

Digitized by


148 Statistics of Labor.

used in common ; that no non-resident of Mary-
land is, interested in the same or its use ; that
he will not allow it to be used for taking oys-
ters by non-residents of the county or on ac-
count of non-residents of this State ; that he
will comply with and obey all the laws regu-
Numberandlating the taking or catching of oysters. The

on boa^?^'^*^^ number of the license shall be painted in black

figures not less than three inches in length and

a proportionate width on a white ground on the

outside of the canoe or boat near the gunwale,

Penalty for and uo Other uumbers shall be exposed to view.

violation. rpj^^ penalty for a violation of this provision is
a fine of not less than $5.00 nor more than
$10.00, and upon a refusal to pay, imprison-
ment for thirty days, or until the fine and costs
are paid, in the county jail.
Id., Sec. 17. The Comptroller of the Treasury is required
to furnish the Clerks of the Courts of the

of state tofur- Several counties the requisite number of blank

jj^s^gb^i a n J^ licenses and the said Clerks are required to
return to the Comptroller, on the first Monday
of March and September, a list and account of
such licenses issued by them, and also return
at the end of the tonging season all unused
t^ ^A K * Boats licensed to take or catch oysters with

Dredge boats , , , ..,•{,

nottotong. scoop, drag, dredge or any similar instrument
cannot obtain a license to take or catch oysters
with rakes or tongs.
Id., Sec. 18. ^jjy person who may use any canoe or boat
Penalty for^^* Hceused in taking or catching oysters with
ton^jngwith- rakes or tongs, upon conviction before a justice
!' '. of the peace of the county wherein the offense
has been committed, shall be fined not less thaji
$20.00 nor more than $100.00, and in case of a
refusal to pay the fine shall be confined in the
House of Correction not less than three months
nor more than one year, and the boat shall be
forfeited and may be condemned in the discre-
tion of the judge or justice.
Id., Sec. 19. It is unlawful for all persons to use or
employ any boat or canoe licensed to take oys-
ters with rakes and tongs in the waters of

Digitized by


Oyster Laws, 149

Talbot, Queen Anne's, Anne Arundel and I>or-^^^;?J^^|!
Chester counties, with any implement or device ^^^^l p^^-
other than ordinary rakes or tongs with wooden
shafts, used entirely by hand and without any
ropes or hoisting gear. The penalty for so
doing is similar to that imposed on persons
convicted of tonging without license.
All oysters taken from any waters of this ^ i^., sec. 20,

a^-x- j.x.nj3 XI. amended 1890.

State m any manner must be culled upon the
natural bed or bar as taken. All oyster shells cuuiaw.
and oysters whose shell measures less than two
and one half inches in length, measuring from of^^^teis!*^^
hinge to mouth, shall be culled and replaced
upon the said bed or bar, provided that when
the spat or small oysteri^ adheres so closely to
the shell of the marketable oyster as to render
its removal impossible without destroying the
young oyster, it is not necessary to remove the
same. Violation of this provision is a misde- penalty for
meanor and subjects the person convicted by violation,
the judge of the Circuit Court or a justice of the
peace to a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more
than $300.00 (one-half the fine to the informer)
or imprisonment in the county jail for a period
of not less than one month or more than one
year, or both fine and imprisonment in the dis-
cretion of the Court or justice, or forfeiture of
the canoe, vessel or boat used in such viola-

It is unlawful for any one to take or catch
oysters, or have oysters in his or their posses- id., sec. 21,
sion between the 20th day of April and the ist*^^^^^ ^^•
day of September in each and every year, ^osed season
Oysters, however, caught before the 20th day
of April, may be disposed of at any time be-
fore the 30th day of April. Transportation Rights of
companies may carry oysters brought fromuon^cS'iifl
other States. Hotel and restaurant keepers faurant ke?p
and private persons can purchase oysters out- ^^^^^^^^f^pj^fg-
side this State and bring them here. Owners
of private beds of oysters may take at any
time from such beds for their own use or for
the purpose .of planting and cultivating within
this State. Persons violating this provision

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160 Statistics of Labor.

\m&uoZ ^^^ shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and
on conviction by the court or a justice of the
peace shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor
more than $300.00 or imprisonment in the
House of Correction not less than three months
or more than three years in the discretion of
the judge or justice.
Id., Sec. 22. It is unlawful for persons to take or catch
oysters on Sunday or at night. Penalty for
pr^o\*fMte§ violating this provision is a fine of not less
andnighf.^^*^^^ $50.00 uor more than $300.00, or imprison-
ment in the House of Correction not less than
Penalty for three mouths nor more than one year, or for-
vioiation. feiture of the boat, vessel or canoe used, in
the discretion of the judge or justice of the

Id., sec. 39. rpj^^ owner of land which borders on the nav-

Ri arian^S^^^^ ^^^^^® ^^ *^^ State, the lines of which

Rights. extend into and are covered by said waters, has

the exclusive privilege of using the same for

protecting, sowing, bedding or depositing

oysters or other shell fish within the lines of

timi"o"ownI^i^ own land; also owners of land bordering

er- upon any of the waters of this State have

power to locate and appropriate in the waters

adjoining their land for the same purposes, and

any male citizen of this State of full age may

also locate and appropriate and hold one lot of

size of lot. fi^^ acres and no more in any waters of the

State not located or appropriated, provided,

however, he shall give the owner or occupant

Notice ne-of land bordering on said waters proposed to

ciafmf ^^ *^l>e located, thirty days notice in writing so that

the owner or occupant may have priority of

claim : if the owner or occupant fails to locate

or appropriate the water mentioned within

thirty days after receiving the notice, then it is

open and free to any one. The said location

must be described by stakes, bushes, and with

Boundaries ^^^ name of the owner on a board fastened to a

of lot. pole or stake on or within the appropriated

oyster land or by other proper and visible

meets and bounds. A description thereof shall

Digitized by


Oyster Law^, 161

be made in writing under the oath of some com- relordf^ ^^^
petent surveyor and duly recorded in the
county where the land is located. A location
and appropriation must not injure, obstruct or
impede the free navigation of said water, and
no natural bar or bed of oysters can be located Natural beds
or appropriated. Twelve months peaceable
possession of these locations constitutes a good
and sufficient title. Should any one, within cupancy!^ ^^"
twelve months, be charged with locating any
natural bar or bed, any one interested can have
the question submitted at once to the judge of Appeal to
the circuit court of the county, who, upon ^^""^ "
notice to the parties, shall hear the testimony
and decide the case. If the decision is in favor
of the party locating said five acres it shall be
recorded with the original record of such five
acres and be conclusive evidence of title there-
to. If any stakes or bushes used as bounds
are removed by accident or design, it will not
excuse any person from wrongfully taking such
oysters, if he knew the ground to have been
located and appropriated. A title or pretended
title to more than five acres held or claimed
by any person is fraudulent and void. No non- Non-resi-
resident can locate or appropriate even if agfbil^^g^own-
part or sole owner of land in this State. The®^®-
exclusive use, possession and control of such
lot, on the death of the person locating and
appropriating it, passes to his executors or ad-
ministrators to hold the same for the same pur- tme?^"^^^^^
poses for the period of three years from the
date of the death. Persons wilfully committing
trespass on such lot by taking oysters or i^., sec. 4i,

^ . • ^ J! . ..T. 11 J3 X amended. 1890.

removing or interfering with marks placed to
designate the bed, are guilty of misdemeanor. Trespass,
and on conviction by the court of county or
justice of the peace where the oysters are bed-
ded, shall be punished by a fine of not less than vj^i^tkJn^ ^^^
ten dollars nor more than two hundred dollars
or be sentenced to the House of Correction
for a term not less than three months nor more
than one year.

Digitized by


162 Statistics of Labor.



Sec 5 Only citizens who have been such for twelve

*' ^*^* * months preceding, of Maryland and Virginia,

qu^iifl«it?o n can take oysters in the waters of the Potomac

of citizen. ^yer. Any one violating the same is, upon

Penalty conviction, liable to a penalty of $500 and f or-

for violation, f eiture and sale of the vessel, one-half of which

goes to the informer.

Id., Sec. 46. Citizens of Maryland or Virginia cannot

Scoop, scrape take oysters with scoop, scrape or dredge, or

prohibited.^ ^ any such instrument in the Potomac river be-

Time when, ^^eeu the tirst day of April and the first day

of November in ' every year, nor with tongs

^^^^' between April 15th and September 1st of each

Time when. ^^^^ , ^^^ ^^ ^^ uulawf ul f or any person to

ofoyltI?lp?o"have oysters in his possession in the waters of
hibited. lYie Potomac river between April 15th and

Time when. September 1st in each year. Any person
found guilty of violating any of these pro-

penaity visions shall be fined not less than $250.00,
for violation. ^^^ ^^^^^ ^j^^^ $500.00 for each offense, and the

vessel engaged in the unlawful taking of oys-
ters shall be held as security for the payment
of the fine, and it shall also be subject to a fine
of not less than $50.00 nor more than $150.00,
and the vessel forfeited and sold if not paid
within twenty days. The surplus, if any, after
payment of the line and costs, shall be paid to
the owner.
Id., Sec. 47. Citizens of either Maryland or Virginia,
who have complied with the laws of the State
ta^oyster^^s" <^f wMch they are citizens, for the taking of
oysters from the waters of such State, can take
oysters in the Potomac River.. Citizens of
either State who take oysters in the Potomac
River without having complied with the re-
quisites of the law of their own State as to
taking oysters in their own waters, are guilty
of violating the laws of the State of which
they are citizens, and shall be prosecuted ac-
cording to such law. The authorities of either
Jurisdiction, state have the right to examine the right of

Digitized by


Oyster Laws. 153

any person taking oysters in the Potomac River
and to punish all offenders and to pursue them
beyond the boundary line of either State upon
navigable waters and arrest them wherever
found upon such waters. All offenses com-
mitted by persons not citizens and residents of
either State are punished by justices of the
peace or courts of either State having criminal
jurisdiction. Citizens of either State so offend-
ing are punished by the justices of the peace or
courts of the State of which the offenders are

The penalties for illegal taking and catching m., sec. 49.
oysters in the Potomac river are recovered be-
fore a justice of the peace of either State butjiJ^ppf^i/''^^^
an appeal may be taken from the decision of peace,
the justice of either State. The parties and
vessels may be arrested without warrant and
taken before any justice of the peace, who
shall place a guard on the vessel and commit
the parties to jail or bail them. Upon convic-
tion, the party shall be committed to jail till Penalty for
the fine is paid, and the vessel shall be sold, ^^^
unless an appeal be taken in a recognizance of
double the amount of the fine and double the
value of the vessel, when the party and the
vessel shall be released.

Nothing in the preceding provision in refer- w.. see. so.
ence to the taking of oysters in the Potomac
River shall in any way impair, alter or abridge ^^^^♦'^^^^^^
rights of either State or its citizens who are
entitled thereto either by the compact of Mary-
land and Virginia of March 28th, 1785, or of
existing laws of either of said States.

All persons, joint stock companies and cor- id., sec. 52.
porations who pack in hermetically sealed cans
cove oysters or other oysters for sale in the
State shall stamp or cause to be stamped in
legible letters or figures the word "Oysters" sulmped^^o^n
in the cap or end of each can, the true*^^"^*
weight in ounces of the oysters in every can
after the liquor or water is drained off. The

Digitized by


154 Statistics of Labor.

liquor or water shall be drained by pouring the
contents on a number ten sieve and allow it to
drain for one minute and then weighed. A sale
of oysters thus packed and not stamped is void,
and the seller cannot recover the price thereof.

Two persons shall be appointed by the Gov-
ernor upon the recommendation of the Canned
cove^yst^s*?^Groods Exchange, as examiners of hermetically
sealed or cove oysters. They shall give bond
to the State in the penalty of ten thousand dol-
lars for the faithful discharge of their duties.
They shall visit once a day if possible, and as
much of tener as their judgment prompts them
and their duties will permit, every factory or
place where cove oysters are being packed in
the State and examine the goods packed or
being packed. If they believe the cans do not
contain the weight stamped thereon, they shall
select six cans from the suspected lot, cut them
Duties of. ^^^ after drawing the liquor through a number
ten sieve for the space of one minute, weigh
the oysters and if the weight of the contents of
the six cans are less than the weight stamped
thereon, the lot from which the six were taken
shall be condemned as being fraudulently
packed and they shall be forfeited and de-
stroyed by the examiner. The packer may
require the goods to be cut and opened by the
examiner in the presence of not less than five
persons who are to be selected by the Canned
Goods Exchange of Baltimore city. The packer
Appeaifrom. cau, if he desires, appeal from the decision of
the examiner condemning the goods as fraud-
ulently packed, to the circuit court of the county
where packed, or the Baltimore city court, if
packed in Baltimore city. He naust at once
. notify the examiner and shall within five days
file his petition in the court setting forth the
action of said examiner and summons must
thereupon be duly issued for the examiner who
mtist appear and answer.

The examiner shall hold the goods until the
case is heard in court, and if the case is decided
in favor of the packer the goods shall be re-

Digitized by VjOOQIC

Oyster Laws. 155

turned to him, and if in favor of the examiner
they shall be destroyed, and the costs of the ^^sts.
proceedings are taxed upon the petitioner. sta^,g^tt^r
The State' s Attorney of the several counties ney.
and of Baltimore city are directed to appear
for the examiner respectively.

A sworn statement to the Comptroller of the ^id 55.^®*^* ^
Treasury at the end of each month shall be
made of the number of bushels used by all sworn state-
persons, firms, joint stock companies and cor- Souer?^^™^'
porations who use shell oysters for packing as
hermetically sealed cove oysters. This is a
. condition upon which they are permitted to
carry on said business. They shall at the same ^^^ ^^ ^^^^^
time pay into the State Treasury one-tenth of
one cent per bushel for every bushel of oysters
used for said purpose. This is called The
Oyster Packers' Fund, from which the exami-
ners are paid at the end of each month for salary of ex-
their expenses, not personal, and a salary ofaminers.
$1S5.00 per month.


Shucked oysters opened at any oyster house w., see. so.
in the State or sold or delivered to any pro-
prietors of such oyster house to be shipped in
any line of transportation to the customers of
said proprietors, shall be shucked by the gal- ^ow shucked.
Ion only, and it is unlawful for such proprie-
tors to contract with any person to shuck or
open oysters at any such house for the pur-
poses aforesaid otherwise than by the gallon. Measure.
They shall use the regular standard or a cup
which is called an oyster gallon cup, which
shall contain nine pints wine measure and no
more; and no other measure shall be used.
The oyster gallon cup must be inspected and inspection.
stamped by the officer of the City of Baltimore
or of the county of the State who is now
required by law to inspect and stamp the wine
gallon measure. A failure to have the measure
inspected and stamped subjects the party
offending to the same fines and penalties im- p^^^j^ ,
posed for neglecting to have inspected and viofauon. ^^^

Digitized by


156 Statistics of Labor.

stamped the wine gallon measure. The use of
any other measure by the said oyster houses,
or the proprietors thereof, is a misdemeanor,
and subjects the offender to a fine by a justice
of the peace of not less than $10, nor more than
$100, and imprisonment till the fine and costs
are paid. One-half of this fine goes to the


id.,sec.58. Five general measurers for the City of Balti-
more and one for each of all the ports and
^^^g'^^^g/*^ towns bordering on the Chesapeake Bay and.

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