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The Fourth AmendmentOrigins and Original Meaning 602 - 1791$

William J. Cuddihy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367195.001.0001

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APPENDIX C-5 Typical Search Warrants in the Colonies Before 1760

APPENDIX C-5 Typical Search Warrants in the Colonies Before 1760

Source:
The Fourth Amendment
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Search warrants for each colonial jurisdiction follow in a north to south sequence. The purposes of these warrants were diverse: the suppression of counterfeiting and of the illegal hunting of game, the pursuit of criminal suspects, and the recovery of contraband and stolen property. Nearly all these warrants, however, permitted the bearer to enter and search any suspected place. For a fuller discussion, see above, Chapter 10.

Massachusetts (Respecting Accused Persons)

Warrant, 28 Apr. 1664 in ct. recd., 29 Nov. 1664 (Ipswich Qtly. Ct.), Essex Co. Ct. Recs., vol. 3 (1662–67), p. 227. John Clifford to the constable of Redding, Salem, 19 June 1675 (Salem Qtly. Ct. 21 Dec. 1675), ibid., vol. 6 (1675–78), p. 103. Warrant, 18 Dec. 1675 (Salem Qtly. Ct. 21 Dec. 1675), ibid., p. 117. Orders, 12 Dec. 1695, “Massachusetts General Court Records,” vol. 6 (1689–98), fol. 436 (orders for issuance of two general search warrants), Mass. Ar., Boston. Ct. recd., 21 Dec. 1714, Maine Ct. Recs., Allen ed., vol. 5, p. 157. Abraham Preble to York Co. sheriff, York, 7 Feb. 1721/2, [York] Genl. Sess…1718/9–27; ibid., vol. 6, p. 116. N. Byfield to Bristol County sheriff, Bristol, 15 Aug. 1723, “Court Files Suffolk,” vol. 151 (July–Oct. 1723), fol. 69: no. 17095 (“Butterworth, Peck and Beatties Arrested for Counterfeiting, Aug. 15, 1723”), Suffolk Co. Courthouse, Boston. Proclamation, 19 Nov. 1739, Boston Wkly News-Letter, Thu., 15–22 Nov. 1739 (no. 1861), p. 1, col. 1. Proclamation, Boston, 15 May 1740, Boston Evening Post, Mon., 19 May 1740 (no. 250), p. 1, col. 1. Proclamation, [22] Nov. 1745, Boston Evening Post, Mon., 25 Nov. 1745 (no. 537), Suppl., col. 2. James Athearn to Duke Co. sheriff, n.p., 26 Oct. 1762, “Court Files Suffolk,” vol. 492 (Sept.–Oct. 1762): no. 83471, Suffolk Co. Courthouse, Boston.

(p.810) Massachusetts (Respecting Stolen Goods)

Ct. recd., 17 Sept. 1650 (Salem Qtly. Ct.), Essex Co. Ct. Recs., vol. 1 (1636–56), p. 196. Thomas Danforth to the constable of Cambridge, 5 Oct. 1663, “Papers in Cases Before the County Court of Middlesex County, 1649–63,” fol. 937 (no. 2269), Harvard University Law Library, Treasure Room, Cambridge, Ma. William Pepperrell to York Co. sheriff, [Kittery], 26 Mar. 1702, Ct. Recs. of York County, Maine, 1692–1710/11; Maine Ct. Recs., Allen ed., vol. 4, p. 277. Same to Same, [Kittery], 15 Feb. 1703/4, ibid., p. 166. Jos. Hammond to Same, n.p., 22 Aug. 1721, [York] Genl. Sess…1718–27; ibid., vol. 6, p. 68. Same to Same, n.p., 26 Dec. 1721, ibid., p. 86. Jona. Dows to the sheriff, 22 Feb. 1727/8, “Court Files Suffolk,” vol. 1223 (1726–27): no. 164478, Suffolk Co. Courthouse, Boston. William Pepperrell to unknown, n.p., 19 June 1727, [York] Genl. Sess…1718/9–27; Maine Ct. Recs., Allen ed., vol. 6, p. 265.

Plymouth

Ct. recd., 6 Oct. 1659, Ct. Orders, 1651–61; Plymouth Col. Recs., Shurtleff ed., vol. 3, p. 173.

The Dominion of New England

Sir Edmnud Andros to various, n.p., 22 Nov. 1688, “Court Files Suffolk,” vol. 30 (Aug. 1686–Apr. 1690): no. 2504, Suffolk Co. Courthouse, Boston. (For background on this warrant, see: Leonard S. Goodman, “Mandamus in the Colonies—the Rise of the Superintending Power of American Courts,” A. J. L. H., vol. 1 [1957], pp. 314–21).

New Hampshire

Ct. order, 6 (May) 1643, N. H. Prov./St. Paps., vol. 1 (1629–86), p. 143. Richard Martyn Corn to constables, n.p., 17 June 1678, “Records of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas,” N. H. Court Papers, vol. 4 (1678–79), fol. 43, N. H. Ar., Concord. Ct. order, 6 June 1682 (Portsmouth Qtly. Ct.), N. H. Ct. Recs., 1640–92; N. H. Prov./St. Paps., vol. 40, p. 388. Council order, Portsmouth, 8 May 1706, ibid., vol. 2 (1686–1722), p. 476. Procl., 6 May 1734, ibid., vol. 18 (Miscellaneous), p. 55. Meshech Weare to the sheriff, Portsmouth, 24 Jan. 1755, Court File 27267, nos. 14–16, New Hampshire Provincial Inferior Court of Common Pleas, Cases, N. H. Ar., Concord (three identical warrants).

New Haven

Order, 23 May 1659, New Haven Col. Recs., vol. 2 (1653–65), p. 276. Jasper Crane et al. to the marshall of Milford, 17 May 1661, “[Papers Relating to] Whalley and Goffe,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Colls., ser. 3, vol. 7 (1838), p. 124.

Connecticut

Order, 11 Sept. 1651, Ct. Col. Recs., vol. 1 (pre–1665), p. 224. Governor and magistrates to Jonathan Gilbert and constables, Windsor, “Search Warrants for the Apprehension of Major Generals Goffe and Whalley,” 11 May 1661, N. E. H. G. R., vol. 22 (1868), p. 345. Council order, 7 May 1709, Ct. Col. Recs., vol. 15 (1775–76), p. 559. Act of 13 Oct. 1715, ibid., vol. 5 (p.811) (1706–16), p. 533. John Hooker to Hartford Co. sheriff, Farmington, 12 Jan. 1719/20, “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” vol. 2 (1707–24), fol. 157a, Ct. State Lib., Archives Div., Hartford. William Pitkin to Same, Hartford, 25 Feb. 1719/20, ibid., fol. 170a. Hez. Wyllys to Same, Hartford, 12 Feb. 1727/8, ibid., vol. 3 (1724–36), fol. 92a. Joseph Whiteing to New Haven Co. sheriff, 27 Feb. 1738/9, ibid., vol. 4 (1737–55), fol. 10a. Saml. Hill to Same, Guilford, 14 July 1744, ibid., fol. 85a. Memorial of Isaac Dana to General Assembly, Hartford, 17 May 1753, “Crimes and Misdemeanors [as above],” vol. 4 (1737–55), fol. 180. Order of Assembly, Feb. 1756, ibid., fol. 267.

Rhode Island

Order, 20 June 1653, Portsmouth Recs., pp. 60–61. Order of governor and council, Newport, 13 July 1670, R. I. Gov. and Council, “Book of Records, 1667–1753,” fol. 41, R. I. Ar, Providence. Gov. Richard Ward to Newport Co. sheriff, Newport, 20 May 1741, R. I. Governors’ Corresp., Kimball ed., vol. 1 [1723–46], pp. 194–95. Francis Willett and Stephen Hassard to Daniel Coggeshall and Capt. Robert Hassard, South Kingston, 26 Jan. 1741/2: “No. 7. Miscellaneous Counterfeiting Case,” R. I. Ar., Providence. Resolve, 10 Jan. 1757, R. I. Col. Recs., vol. 6 (1757–69), pp. 6–7.

New York

Gov. Lovelace to Peter Smith, n.p., 21 June 1673, N. Y. Exec. Council, Mins., 1668–73, vol. 2, pp. 800–01 (Appdx): no. 95. Court to Peter Schuyler, Albany, 29 July 1682, Ct. of Albany, Rensselaerwyck and Schenectady, Mins., vol. 3 (1680–85), p. 277. Warrant, 13 Jan. 1690, Cal. Hist. Mss., N. Y., vol. 2 (Eng. Mss., 1664–1776), p. 193 (no. 159). Jacob Leisler to unknown, 1 Feb. 1689/90, E. B. O’Callahan ed., Documentary History of the State of New York (4 vols. Albany, 1849–51), vol. 2, p. 68. By His Excellency Coll. Benjamin Fletcher…A Proclamation (N. Y., 1696): Evans 769. Jacob Rutsen to various, Kingston, 29 June 1719 Dutchess Co., N. Y., Supervisors, Book, 1718–22 (Poughkeepsie, [1907]), p. 21. Leonard Lewis to Same, n.p., 7 Sept. 1721, ibid., p. 46. Ct. recd., 4 Feb. 1734/5, Court of the General Sessions of the Peace for the City and County of New York, “Minutes,” Bk. 3 (2 May 1732–4 Aug. 1762), fol. 47, Supreme Court Law Library, New York City (also, sub same date, in: “Mayor’s Court—General Quarter Sessions, 1 May 1722–5 Jan. 1742/3,” fol. 192, Office of the Clerk, New York County Court House, New York City). Procl., 6 July 1739, New York Gaz., Mon., 2–9 July 1739 (no. 713), p. 2, col. 1. Recd., 5 July 1744, N. Y. Council, [Executive] “Minutes,” vol. 19 (1738/9–44), fol. 264, N. Y. Ar., Albany. Proclamation, N. Y., 30 Apr. 1747, N. Y. Gaz., Revived in the Wkly Post-Boy, 4 May 1747 (no. 224), p. 1, col. 1. Gov. Hardy to sheriffs, New York, 11 Sept. 1755, “Colonial Manuscripts,” vol. 81 (Governor Hardy), fol. 150b, NY. Ar., Albany. Procl., 1 Oct. 1755, ibid., fol. 126. Procl., 20 Aug. 1760, N. Y. Governor, By the Honourable Cadwallader Colden…A Proclamation (n.p., n.d.) (Bristol B2165, microprint no. 41,158: also in New York Gaz., [Weyman], Mon., 25 Aug. 1760 [no. 81], p. 3, col. 1).

Delaware

Cantwell (Rex) v Gibson (Special Ct. 24 July 1677), New Castle, Delaware, Records of the Court of New Castle…1676–81 (1904), p. 104: reference to general (?) warrant.

(p.812) New Jersey

Order, 21 Mar. 1682/3, [ N. J. Gov. and Council], Jnl., vol. 1 (1682–1714); N. J. Ar., ser. 1, vol. 13, p. 32. Ct. recd., 10 May 1687, E. New Jersey Ct. of Common Right, Jnl., 1683–1702, Preston ed., pp. 223–24. “A State of Facts Concerning the Riots…,” (Jan. 1747), N. J. Ar., ser. 1, vol. 7 (1746–51), pp. 207, 209. Warrants by Chief Justice Robert Hunter Morris, to the sheriffs of Morris and Somerset Counties, 17 and 20 August 1748, in collection of J. N. Spiro of Maplewood, New Jersey, as cited by Kenneth Scott and printed in his Counterfeiting in Colonial Pennsylvania (New York, 1955), p. 60 and note 21 at same, p.64 and notes 28–29 at same. (Note: On the death of Mr. Spiro, a numismatist and collector in 1955, the manuscripts of these last two warrants were sold by the auction firm of Hans Schulman. The auctioneer has no record at present of the buyer of these documents, and they have not turned up, despite years of searching. Schulman to the author, 10 Nov. 1979. Same to Same, 14 Nov. 1979, author’s files). Procl., 19 Apr. 1756, New York Mercury, Mon., 26 Apr. 1756 (no. 194), p. 3, col. 3.

Pennsylvania

Recd., 29 (May) 1685, Pa. Council, Mins., vol. 1 (1683–1700), p. 151. Testimony of George Forman in [The Proprietor] v Martin (1–3 June 1690), Chester Co. Ct. Recs., pp. 205–06 (mention of warrant “to Make Search through the nawghboroughood”). Order, 14 May 1706, Pa. Council, Mins., vol. 2 (1700–17), p. 241. Procl., 5 Nov. 1720, Pa. Ar., ser. 1, vol. 1 (1664–1747), pp. 170–71. Kent justices to Gov. Gordon, Dover, 16 Jan. 1732, ibid., p. 373. Procl., 12 Oct. 1736, Pa. Council, Mins., vol. 4 (1735/6–45), p. 89. Procl., 2 Jan. 1737/8, ibid., p. 89. Procl., 18 Feb. 1747, ibid., vol. 5 (1745–54), p. 196. William Allen to Philadelphia high sheriff, Philadelphia, 24 Nov. 1756, Pa. Ar., ser. 1, vol. 3 (1756–60), p. 64.

Maryland

Lord Calvert to Robert Vaughan, 5 Jan. 1637/8, Md. Council, Procs., vol. 1 (1636–67); Md. Ar., vol. 3, p. 60. Warrant to Thomas Sprigge, 14 Feb. 1664/5, Md. Provincial Court, Court Procs., vol. 4 (1663–66); ibid., vol. 49, p. 375. Ct. recd., March 1667 (Somerset Co. Ct.), Court Procs., vol. 7 (County Courts: Kent, 1648–76, Talbot, 1662–74, and Somerset, 1665–68); ibid., vol. 54, p. 707. Gov. and council to Capt. Iames Maxwell, 16 Aug. 1692, Md. Council, Procs., vol. 3 (1687/8–93); ibid., vol. 8, pp. 348–49. Procl., 20 Sept. 1697, Md. Council, Procs., vol. 7 (1696/7–98); ibid., vol. 23, pp. 215–16. Procl., 22 Feb. 1734/5, American Wkly Mercury, Tue., 25 Feb.–04 Mar. 1735 (no. 792), p. 4. Procl., 5 May 1738, Md. Council, Procs., vol. 9 (1732–53); Md. Ar., vol. 28, pp. 133–34. Council order, 10 Sept. 1754, Md. Council, Procs., vol. 10 (1754–65); ibid., vol. 31, p. 49. Council order, 3 Mar. 1755, ibid., p. 54.

Virginia

Order, 2 Oct. 1626, Va. Council, Mins., 1622–76, p. 115. Order, 2 Oct. 1626, ibid., p. 115. Order, 13 Oct. 1626, ibid., p. 120. Recd., 6 June 1640, “Virginia Council and General Court Records, 1640–41,” V. M. H. B., vol. 11 (1903–04), p. 278. Procl., 20 Dec. 1699, Va. Council, Exec. Jnls., vol. 2 (1699–1705), p. 39. Procl., 22 Apr. 1713, ibid., vol. 3 (1705–21), pp. 336–37. Procl., 11 June 1713, ibid., p. 597. Procl., 26 Apr. 1727, ibid., vol. 4 (1721–39), p. 453. Lt. Gov. William Gooch to various, Williamsburg, 15 Oct. 1737, Virginia Gaz., 14–21 (p.813) Oct. 1721 (no. 64), p. 2, col. 3. Same to Same, 3 Jan. 1738, ibid., Fri., 29 Dec.–5 Jan. 1738/9 (no. 127), p. 4. Will. Jameson to Same, 7 Sept. 1747, Augusta Co. Ct. Recs. vol. 1, p. 529. Thomas Lee to Same, 15 Aug. 1750, Virginia Gaz., 17 Jan. 1750/1 (no. 3), p. 3, col. 2. Lewis Burwell to Same, 25 Feb. 1750/1, ibid., 28 Feb. 1750/1 (no. 9), p. 4, col. 1. Same to Same, 21 May 1751, ibid., 24 May 1751 (no. 21), p. 4, col. 1. Same to Same, 6 July 1751, ibid., 11 July 1751 (no. 28), p. 4, col. 1. Lt. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie to Same, 5 Mar. 1752, ibid., 12 Mar. 1752 (no. 63), p. 2, col. 2. Same to Same, Williamsburg, 21 Aug. 1752, ibid., 28 Aug. 1752 (no. 87), p. 3, col. 2. Charles Irby to Same, 17 Sept. 1752, ibid., 20 Oct. 1752 (no. 93), p. 2, col. 2. Dinwiddie to Same, 31 Oct. 1754, ibid., 7 Nov. 1754 (no. 200), p. 3, col. 2. Same to Same, Williamsburg, 5 Dec. 1755, ibid., 12 Dec. 1755 (no. 257), p. 4, col. 1.

North Carolina

Warrant of 9 Oct. 1697 in R v Griffin (N.C. Genl. Ct. 1697), N. C. Higher Ct. Recs., Parker ed., vol. 2 (1697–1702), pp. 88–89, 107 at 124. Ct. Recd., 26 July 1698, ibid., p. 528. R v Palmer (N.C. Higher Ct. 3 Nov. 1720), ibid., [vol. 5], 1709–23, p. 223.

South Carolina

William Bull to Samuel Hurst, n.p., 21 Nov. 1743, S. C. Council, “Minutes of Council With Regard to a Treasonable Correspondence Carried on With his Majesty’s Enemies at St. Augustine,” in “South Carolina: Extract From the Minutes of Council with Regard to the Exchange of Prisoners…25 Jan. 1742 to 17 August 1743,” fols. 81, 110 (C. O. 5/442: Lib. Cong. Microfilm BMP 504).

Georgia

Georgia appears to have no surviving criminal court records, the usual source for search warrants, for the colonial period. See: Ulrich B. Phillips, “The Archives of Georgia,” A. H. A., Annual Report, 1903 (Washington, D.C., 1904), vol. 1, pp. 439–74. Orville A. Park, “The History of Georgia in the 18th Century, as Recorded in the Reports of the Georgia Bar Association,” Georgia Bar Association, Reports, vol. 38 (1921), p. 225. Historical Records Survey, Georgia, Inventory of the County Archives of Georgia (Atlanta, 1938–42), nos. 81 (Jefferson County) and 121 (Richmond County). Richard B. Morris, “Early American Court Records: A Publication Program,” New York University Law Quarterly Review, vol. 18 (1941), p. 241. Although Phillips located records going back to 1742, none were of a criminal–judicial sort. The other sources dated Georgia’s earliest judicial records from the revolutionary period: 1779 (Park), 1773 (records survey), and 1782 (Morris). For the earliest published records located, see: “Minutes of the Superior Court of Wilkes County [3 April 1778–5 April 1780],” Georgia Bar Journal, vol. 16 (1953–54), pp. 298–313.

Although no Georgia search warrants could be found for this period, Robert Stephens recorded the use of three of them there between 1738 and 1742. At least two of these warrants had to be general for they were issued before the identity of any single place to be searched was known, making the confinement of the warrant to a particular location impossible. Entry, 4 May 1738, Stephens, Jnl., vol. 1, pp. 195–96. Entry, 26 Mar. 1739, ibid., p. 446. Entry, 5 June 1742, Stephens, Jnl., Coulter ed., vol. 2 (1741–43) pp. 90–91. For the oldest Georgia warrant found, see: Joseph Hightower to all constables, Edgefield County, 9 Dec. 1791 in ct. recd., 17 Dec. 1791, “Richmond County Minutes,” vol. 4 (Aug. 1790–May 1792), fol. 238, Office of the Clerk, Superior and State Courts, Augusta, Georgia 30903.