GABEL. A tax, imposition, or duty. This word is said to have the same
signification that gabelle formerly had in France. Cunn. Dict. h. t. But this
seems to be an error for gabelle signified in that country, previously to its
revolution, a duty upon salt. Merl. Rep. h. t. Lord Coke says, that gabel or
gavel, gablum, gabellum, gabelletum, galbelletum, and gavillettum signify a
rent, duty, or service, yielded or done to the king or any other lord. Co. Litt.
GAGE, contracts. Personal property placed by a debtor in possession of
his creditor, as a security for his debt; a pawn. (q. v.) Hence mortgage is a
GAGER DEL LEY. Wager of law. (q. v.)
GAIN. The word is used as synonymous with profits. (q. v.) See
GAINAGE, old Eng. law. It signifies the draft oxen, horses, wain,
plough, and furniture for carrying on the work of tillage by the baser sort of
soke men and villeins, and sometimes the land itself, or the profits raised by
cultivating it. Bract. lib. 1, c. 9.
GALLON, measures. A gallon is a liquid measure, containing two hundred
and thirty-one cubic inches, or four quarts.
GALLOWS. An erection on which to bang criminals condemned to
GAME. Birds and beasts of a wild-nature, obtained by fowling and
hunting. Bac. Ab. h. t.; Animals; Ferae natural.
GAMING. A contract between two or more persons by which they agree to
play by certain rules at cards, dice, or other contrivance, and that one shall
be the loser, and the other the winner. When considered in itself, and without
regard to the end proposed by the player's, there is nothing in it contrary to
natural equity, and the contract will be considered as a reciprocal gift, which
the parties make of the thing played for, under certain. conditions.
2. There are some games which depend altogether upon skill, others, upon
chance, and some others are of a mixed nature. Billiards is an example of the
first; lottery of the second; and backgammon of the last.
3. In general, at common law all games are lawful, unless some fraud has been
practiced, or such games are contrary to public policy. Each of the parties to
the contract must, 1. Have a right to the money or thing played for. 2. He must
have given his full and free consent, and not been entrapped by fraud. 3. There
must be equality in the play. 4. The play must be conducted fairly. But even
when all these rules have been observed, the courts will not countenance gaming
by giving too easy a remedy for the recovery of money won at play. Bac. Ab. h.
4. But when fraud has been practiced, as in all other cases, the contract is
void and in some cases, when the party has been guilty of cheating, by playing
with false dice, cards and the like, he may be indicted at common law, and fined
and imprisoned, according to the heinousness of the offence. 1 Russ. on Cr,
5. Statutes have been passed in perhaps all the states forbidding gaining for
money, at certain games, and prohibiting the recovery of money lost at such
games. Vide Bac. Ab. h. t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Poth. Traite du Jeu;
Merlin, Repertoire, mot Jeu; Barbeyrac, Traite du Jeu, tome 1, p. 104, note 4; 1
P. A. Browne's Rep. 171: 1 Overt. R. 360; 3 Pick. 446; 7 Cowen, 496; 1 Bibb,
614; 1 Miss. 635; Mart. & Yerg. 262; 1 Bailey, 315; 6 Rand. 694; 8 Cowen,
139; 2 Blackf. 251; 3 Blackf. 294; and Stakeholder; Wagers.
GAMING HOUSES, crim. law. Houses kept for the purpose of pemitting
persons to gamble for money or other valuable thing. They are nuisances in the
eye of the law, being detrimental to the public, as they promote cheating and
other corrupt practices. 1 Russ. on Cr. 299; Roscoe's Cr. Ev. 663; Hawk. B. 1,
ch. 75, s. 6; 3 Denio's R. 101; 8 Cowen, 139; This offence is punished in
Pennsylvania, an perhaps in most of the states, by statutory provisions.
GANANCIAL, Spanish law. A term which in Spanish signifies nearly the
same as acquets. Bienes gananciales are thus defined: " Aquellos que el marido y
la muger o cualquiera de los dos adquieren o aumentan durante el matrimonio por
compra o otro contrato, 6 mediante su trabajo e industria, como tambien los
frutos de los bienos proprios que cada uno elevo al matrimonio, et de los que
subsistiendo este adquieran para si por cualquier titulo." 1 Febr. Nov. lib. 1,
tit. 2, c. 8, s. 1. This is a species of community; the property of which it is
formed belongs in common to the two consorts, and, on the dissolution of the
marriage, is divisible between them in equal shares. It is confined to their
future acquisition durante el matrimonio, and the frutos, or rents and profits
of the other property. 1 Burge on Confl. of Laws, 418, 419; Aso & Man. Inst.
B. 1, t. 7, c. 5, §1.
GAOL. A prison or building designated by law or used by the sheriff,
for the confinement or detention of those, whose persons are judicially ordered
to be kept in custody., This word, sometimes written jail, is said to be derived
from the Spanish jaula, a cage, (derived from caula,) in French geole, gaol. 1
Mann. & Gran. 222, note a. Vide 6 John. R. 22; 14 Vin. Ab. 9; Bac. Ab. h.
t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; 4 Com. Dig. 619; and the articles Gaoler; Prison;
GAOL-DELIVERY, Eng. law. To insure the trial, within a certain time,
of all prisoners, a patent in the nature of a letter is issued from the king to
certain persons, appointing them his justices, and authorizing them to deliver
his goals. Cromp. Jurisd. 125; 4 Inst. 168; 4 Bl. Com. 269; 2 Hale, P. C. 22,
32; 2 Hawk. P. C. 14, 28. In the United States, the judges of the criminal
courts are required to cause the accused to be tried within the times prescribed
by the local statutes, and the constitutions rcqpire a speedy trial.
GAOLER. The keeper of a gaol or prison, one who has the legal custody
of the placo where prisoners are kept.
2. It is his duty to keep the prisoners in safe custody, and for this,
purpose he may use all necessary force. 1 Hale, P. C. 601. But any oppression of
a prisoner under a pretended necessity will be punished; for the prisoner,
whether he be a debtor or a criminal, is entitled to the protection of the laws
GARDEN. A piece of ground appropriated to raising plants and
2. A garden is a parcel of a house and passes with it. Br. Feoffm. de terre,
53; 2 Co. 32; Plowd. 171; Co. Litt. 5 b, 56 a, b. But see Moore, 24; Bac. Ab.
GARNISH, Eng. law. Money paid by a prisoner to his fellow prisoners on
his entrance into prison. .
TO GARNSIH. To warn; to garnish the heir, is to warn the heir.
GARNISHEE, practice. A person who has money or property in his
possession, belonging to a defendant, which money or property has been attached
in his hands, and he has had notice of such attachment; he is so called because
he has had warning or notice of the attachment.
2. From the time of the notice of the attachment, the garnishee is bound to
keep the property in his hands to answer the plaintiff's claim, until the
attachment is dissolved, or he is otherwise discharged. Vide Serg. on Att. 88 to
110; Com. Dig. Attachment, E.
3. There are garnishees also in the action of detinue. They are persons
against whom process is awarded, at the prayer of the defendant, to warn them to
come in and interplead with the plaintiff. Bro. Abr. Detinue, passim.
GARNISHMENT. A warning to any one for his appearance, in a cause in
which he is not a party, for the information of the court, and explaining a
cause. For example, in the practice of Pennsylvania, when an attachment issues
against a debtor, in order to secure to the plaintiff a claim due by a, third
person to such debtor, notice is given to such third person, which notice is a
garnishment, and he is called the garnishee.
2. In detinue, the defendant cannot have a sci. fac. to garnish a third
person unless he confess the possession of the chattel or thing demanded. Bro.
Abr. Garnishment, 1, 5. And when the garnishee comes in, he cannot vary or
depart from the allegation of the defendant in his prayer of garnishment. The
plaintiff does not declare de novo against the garnishee; but the garnishee, if
he appears in due time, may have oyer of the original declaration to which he
pleads. See Bro. Abr. Garnishee and Garnishment, pl. 8, and this title,
GAUGER. An officer appointed to examine all tuns, pipes, hogsheads,
barrels, and tierces of wine, oil, and other liquids, and to give them a mark of
allowance, as containing lawful measure.
GAVEL. A tax, imposition or tribute; the same as gabel. (q. v.)
GAVELKIND. Given to all the kindred, or the hold or tenure of a
family, not the kind of tenure. Eng. law. A tenure or custom annexed or
belonging to land in Kent, by which the lands of the father are equally divided
among all his sons, or the land of the brother among all his brothers, if he
have no issue of his own. Litt. s. 210.
GELD, old Eng. law. It signifies a fine or compensation for an
offence; also, rent, money or tribute.
GEMOTE. An assembly. Wittena gemote, during the time of the Saxons in
England, signified an assembly of wise men. The parliament.
GENDER. That which designates the sexes.
2. As a general rule, when the masculine is used it includes the feminine,
as, man (q. v.) sometimes includes women. This is the general rule, unless a
contrary intention appears. But in penal statutes, which must be construed
strictly, when the masculine is used and not the feminine, the latter is not in
general included. 3 C. & P. 225. An instance to the contrary, however, may
be found in the construction, 25 Ed. III, st. 5, c. 2, §1, which declares it to
be high treason, "When a man doth compass or imagine the death of our lord the
king," &c. These words, "our lord the king," have been construed to include
a queen regnant. 2 Inst. 7, 8, 9; H. P. C. 12; 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 17; Bac. Ab.
3. Pothier says that the masculine often includes the feminine, but the
feminine never includes the masculine; that according to this rule if a man were
to bequeath to another all his horses, his mares would pass by the legacy; but
if he were to give all his mares, the horses would not be included. Poth.
Introd. au titre 16, des Testaments et Donations Testamentaires, n. 170; 3 Brev.
R. 9. In the Louisiana code in the French language, it is provided that the word
fils, sons, comprehends filles, daughters. Art. 3522, n. 1. Vide Ayl. Pand. 57;
4 Car. & Payne, 216; S. C. 19 Engl. Com. Law R. 351; Barr. on the Stat. 216,
note; Feme; Feme covert; Feminine; Male; Man; Sex; Women; Worthiest of
GENEALOGY. The summary history or table of a house or family, showing
how the persons there named are connected together.
2. It is founded on the idea of a lineage or family. Persons descended from
the common father constitute a family. Under the idea of degrees is noted the
nearness or remoteness, of relationship, in which one person stands with respect
to another. A series of several persons, descended from a common progenitor, is
called a line. (q. v.) Children stand to each other in the relation either of
full blood or half blood, according as they are descended from the same parents,
or have only one parent in common. For illustrating descent and relationship,
genealogical tables are constructed, the order of which depends on the end in
view. In tables, the object of which is to show all the individuals embraced in
a fanlily, it is usual to begin with the oldest progenitor, and to put all the
persons of the male or female sex in descending, and then in collateral lines.
Other tables exhibit the ancestors of a particular person in ascending lines
both on the father's and mother's side. In this way 4, 8, 16, 32- &c.
ancestors are exhibited, doubling at every degree. Some tables are constructed
in the form of a tree, after the. model of canonical law, (arbor
consanguinitatis,) in which the progenitor is placed beneath, as if for the root
or stem. Vide Branch; Line.
GENER. A son-in-law. Dig. 50, 16, 156.
GENERAL. This word has several meanings, namely: 1. A principal
officer, particularly in the army. 2. Something opposed to special; as, a
general verdict, the general issue, which expressions are used in
contradistinction to special verdict, special issue. 3. Principal, as the
general post office. 4. Not select, as a general ship. (q. v.) 5. Not
particular, as a general custom. 6. Not limited, as general jurisdiction. 7.
This word is sometimes annexed or prefixed to other words to express or limit
the extent of their signification; as Attorney General, Solicitor General, the
General Assembly, &c.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY. This name is given in some of the states to the
senate and house of representatives, which compose the legislative body.
GENERAL IMPARLANCE, pleading. One granted upon a prayer, in which the
defendant reserves to himself no exceptions, and is always from one term to
another. Gould on Pl. c. 2, §17.
2. After such imparlance, the defendant cannot plead to the jurisdiction nor
in abatement, but only to the action or merits. See Imparlance.
GENERAL ISSUE, pleading. A plea which traverses or denies at once the
whole indictment or declaration, without offering any special matter, to evade
it. It is called the general issue, because, by importing an absolute and
general denial of what is alleged in the indictment or declaration, it amounts
at once to an issue. 2 Bl. Com. 305.
2. The general issue in criminal cases, is, not guilty. In civil cases, the
general issues are almost as various as the forms of action; in assumpsit, the
general issue is non-assumpsit; in debt, nil debet; in detinue, non detinet; in
trespass, non cul. or not guilty; in replevin, non cevit, &c.
3. Any matter going to show that a deed or contract, or other instrument is
void, may be given in evidevce under the general issue; 10 Mass. 267, 274; 14
Pick. 303, 305; such as usury. 2 Mass. 540; 12 Mass. 26; 15 Mass. 48, 54. See 4
N. Hamp. R. 40; 2 Wend. 246; 6 Mass. 460; 10 Mass. 281. But a right to give
evidence under the general issue, any matter which would avail under a special
plea does not extend to matters in abatement. 9 Mass. 366: 14 Mass. 273; Gould
on Pl. c. 4, pt. 1, §9, et seq.; Special Issue.
GENERAL LAND OFFICE. One of the departments of government of the
ates. 2. It was established by the Act of April 25,1812, 2 Story's Laws U. S.
1238; another act was passed March 24, 1824, 3 Story, 1938, which authorized the
employment of additional officers. And it was reorganized by the following act,
entitled "An act to reorganize the General Land Office," approved July 4,
3. - §1. Be it enacted, &c. That from and after the passage of this act,
the executive duties now prescribed, or which may hereafter be prescribed by
law, appertaining to the surveying and sale of the public lands of the United
States, or in anywise respecting such public lands, and, also, such as relate to
private claims of land, and the issuing of patents for all grants of land under
the authority of the government of the United States, shall be subject to the
supervision and control of the commissioner of the general land office, under
the direction of the president of the United States.
4. - §2. That there shall be appointed in said office, by the president, by
and with the advice and consent of the senate, two subordinate officers, one of
whom shall be called principal clerk of the public lands, and the other
principal clerk on private land claims, who shall perform such duties as may be
assigned to them by the commissioners of the general land office; and in case of
vacancy in the office of the commissioner of the general land office, or of the
absence or sickness of the commissioner, the duties of said office shall devolve
upon. and be performed, ad interim, by the principal clerk of the public
5. - §3. That there shall be appointed by the president, by and with the
advice and consent of the senate, an officer to be styled the principal clerk of
the surveys, whose duty it shall be to direct and superintend the making of
surveys, the returns thereof, and all matters relating thereto, which are done
through the officers of the surveyor general; and he shall perform such other
duties as may be assigned to him by the commissioner of thegeneral land office.
6. - §4. That there shall be appointed by the president, by and with the
consent of the senate, a recorder of the general land office, whose duty it
shall be, in pursuance of instructions from the commissioner, to certify and
affix the seal of the general land office to all patents for public lands, and
he shall attend to the correct engrossing and recording and transmission of such
patents. He shall prepare alphabetical indexes of the names of patentees, and of
persons entitled to patents and he shall. prepare such copies and
exemplifications of matters on file, or recorded in the general land office, as
the commissioner may from time to time direct.
7.- §5. That there shall be appointed by the president, by and with the
advice and consent of the senate, an officer to be called the solicitor of the
general land office, with an annual salary of two thousand dollars, whose duty
it shall be to examine and present a report to the commissioner, of the state of
facts in all cases referred by the commissioner to his attention which shall
involve questions of law, or where the facts are in controversy between the
agents of government and, individuals, or there are conflicting claims of
parties before the department, with his opinion thereon; and, also, to advise
the commissioner, when required thereto, on all questions growing out of the
management of the public lands, or the title thereto, private land claims,
Virginia military scrip, bounty lands, and preemption claims and to render such
farther professional services in the business of the department as may be
required, and shall be connected with the discharge of the duties theroof.
8.- §6. That it shall be lawful for the president of the United States, by
and with the advice and consent of the senate, to appoint a secretary, with a
salary of fifteen hundred dollars per annum, whose duty it shall be, under the
direction of the president, to sign in his name, and for him, all patents for
land sold or granted under the authority of the United States.
9. - §7. That it shall be the duty of the commissioner, to cause to be
prepared, and to certify, under the seal of the general land office, such copies
of records, books, and papers on file in his office, as may be applied for, to
be used in evidence in courts of justice.
10. - §8. That whenever the office of recorder shall become vacant, or in
case of the sickness or absence of the recorder, the duties of his office shill
be performed, ad interim, by the principal clerk on private land claims.
11. - §9. That the receivers of the land offices shall make to the secretary
of the treasury mouthly returns of the moneys received in their several offices,
and pay over such money, pursuant to his instructions. And they shall also make
to the commissioner of the general land office, like monthly returns, and
transmit to him quarterly accounts current of the debits and credits of their
several offices with the United States.
12. - §10. That the commissioner of the general land office shall be entitled
to receive an annual salary of three thousand dollars; the recorder of the
general land office an annual salary of fifteen hundred dollars; the principal
clerk of the surveys, an annual salary of eighteen hundred dollars; and each of
the said principal clerks an annual salary of eighteen hundred dollars from and:
after the date of their respective commissions; and that the said commissioner
be authorized to employ, for the service of the general land office, one clerk,
whose annual salary shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars; four clerks, whose
annual salary Shall not exceed fourteen hundred dollars each; sixteen clerks,
whose annual salary shall not exceed thirteen hundred dollars each; twenty
clerks, whose annual salary shall not exceed twelve hundred dollars each; five
clerks, whose annual salary shall not exceed eleven hundred dollars each;
thirty-five clerks, whose annual salary shall not exceed one thousand dollars
each; one principal draughtsman, whose annual salary shall not exceed fifteen
hundred dollars;, one assistant draughtsman, whose annual salary shall not
exceed twelve hundred dollars; two messengers, whose annual salary shall not
exceed seven hundred dollars each; three assistant messengers, whose annual
salary shall not exceed three hundred and fifty dollars each and two packers, to
make up packages of patents, blank forms, and other things necessary to be
transmitted to the district land offices, at a salary of four hundred and fifty
13. - §11. That such provisions of the Act of the 25th of April, in the year
one thousand eight hundred and twelve, entitled An act for the establishment of
a general land office in the department of the treasury, and of all acts
amendatory thereof, as are inconsistent with the provisions of this act, be, and
the same are hereby repealed.
14. - §12. That from the first day of the month of October, until the first
day of the month of April, in each and every ear, the general land office and
all the bureaus and offices therein, as well as those in the departments of the
treasury, war, navy, state, and general post-office, shall be open for the
transaction of the public business at least eight hours in each and every day,
except Sundays and the twenty-fifth day of December; and from the first day of
April until the first day of October, in each year, Ill the aforesaid offices
and bureaus shall be kept open for the transaction of the public business at
least ten hours, in each and every day, except Sundays and the fourth day of
15. - §13. That if any person shall apply to any register of any land office
to enter any land whatever, and the said register shall knowingly and falsely
inform the person so applying that the same has already been entered, and refuse
to permit the person so applying to enter the same, such register shall be
liable therefor, to the person so applying, for five dollars for each acre of
land which the person so applying offered to enter, to be recovered by action of
debt, in any court of record having jurisdiction of the amount.
16. - §14. That all and every of the officers whose salaries are hereinbefore
provided for, are hereby prohibited from directly or indirectly purchasing, or
in any way becoming interested in the purchase, of, any of the public land; and
in case of a violation of this section by such officer, and on proof thereof
being made to the president of the United States, such officer, so offending,
shall be, forthwith, removed from office.
GENERAL SHIP. One which is employed by the master or owners, on a
particular voyage, and is hired by a number of persons, unconnected with each
other, to convey their respective goods to the place of destination.
2. This contract, although usually made with the master, and not with the
owners, is considered in law to be made with them also, and that both he and
they are separately bound to the performance of it. Abbott on Ship. 112, 215,
GENERAL SPECIAL IMPARLANCE, pleading. One in which the defendant
reserves to himself " all advantages and exceptions whatsoever." 2 Chit. Pl.
2. This kind of imparlance allows the defendant not only to plead in
abatement and to the action, but also to the jurisdiction of the court. Gould on
Pl. c. 2, §19. See Imparlance.
GENERAL TRAVERSE, pleading. One preceded by a general inducement, and
denying, in general terms, all that is last before alleged on the opposite side,
instead of pursuing the words of the allegations, which it denies. Gould on Pl.
vii. 5, 6.
2. Of this sort of traverse, the replication de injuria sua propria, absque
tali causa, in answer to a justification, is a familiar example. Bac. Ab. Pleas,
H 1 Steph. Pl. 171; Gould, Pl. c. 7, §5 Archb. Civ. Pl. 194. Vide T?-averse;
GENS. A word used by the Romans to represent race and nation. 1 Tho.
Co. Litt. 259, n. 13. In the French law, it is used to signify people or
nations, as Droit des Gens, the law of nations.
GENTLEMAN. In the English law, according to Sir Edward Coke, is one
who bears a coat of armor. 2 Inst. 667. In the United States, this word is
unknown to the law, but in many places it is applied, by courtesy, to all men.
See Poth. Proc. Crim. sect. 1, App. §3.
GENTLEWOMAN. This word is unknown to the law in the United States, and
is but little used. In England. it was, formerly, a good addition of the state
or degree of a woman. 2 Inst. 667.
GENUS. It denotes the number of beings, or objects, which agree in
certain general properties, common to them all, so that genus is, in fact, only
an abstract idea, expressed by some general name or term; or rather a name or
term, to signify what is called au abstract idea. Thus, goods is the generic
name, and includes, generally, all personal property; but this word may be
restrained, particularly in bequests to such goods as are of the same kind as
those previously enumerated. Vide 3 Ves. 311 11 Ves. 657; 1 Eq. Cas. Ab. 201,
pl. 14; 2 Ves. sen. 278, 280; Dig. 50, 17, 80; Id. 12, 1, 2, 3.