Commander Seaton Schroeder. Don Farrell collection.

General Orders issued in 1901. To go back to the list of General Orders click here.

No. 29

1 May 1901

General Order No. 29
1. The competency to have cognizance of all questions and to try all cases which by law now come before ecclesiastical tribunals is hereby decreed to reside in the Court of First Instance, excepting in cases of such nature or involving such punishment as would clearly cause them to come before some other civil or military tribunal or authority.

2. All ecclesiastical jurisdiction and tribunals are hereby abolished; and all laws or parts of laws are hereby abrogated which give precedence, privilege, or immunity of any kind to the ecclesiastical or other officials, employees, or agents of any church or religion, the legal status of which persons will be that of private citizens without public functions or authority.


No. 30

7 May 1901

General Order No. 30
1. It is hereby ordered and decreed that the cognizance and disposition of all offenses committed by any person or persons subject to military or naval jurisdiction, which constitute crimes or misdemeanors, rest with the civil courts; provided that the said offenses fall within the category of common crimes or misdemeanors which, by their character or circumstances, are not triable solely by military or naval tribunals.

2. All laws or parts of laws inconsistent with the provisions of this order are hereby abrogated.


No. 31

23 May 1901

General Order No. 31
1. For the purpose of securing uniformity and equal justice to all applicants for grants of unclaimed land in the island of Guam, the following concrete conditions and rules have been formulated, and they shall be observed in the cession of public land by the Government to private persons.

2. The land which is the object of the application, if not a building lot, must be susceptible of cultivation, or of cattle raising. Land upon which there is a large amount of hard wood suitable for building purposes shall not under any circumstances be ceded, it being important that so valuable a resource should remain under the protection of the Government.

3. Land granted to a private person shall remain in the use and occupation of that person, but the ownership shall remain in the Government, during a certain period of time, the duration of which with the governing conditions shall depend upon the nature of the land and shall be precisely stated in the document conferring the temporary grant. If the land be arable and acquired for purposes of cultivation during a period of from two to five years as may be specified, depending upon the location and nature of the land. If the land be adapted to the raising of cattle and acquired for that purpose, it shall be obligatory on the beneficiary to maintain thereon during a period of two years, beginning within four years after the temporary grant, a number of head of cattle depending upon the size and quality of the pasture. Upon establishing, before a competent court, the fulfillment of the conditions imposed, the beneficiary shall be entitled to register the land acquired, in accordance with the land laws in force at the time of the temporary grant. Should the conditions imposed not be fulfilled at the expiration of the period of time specified, the concession shall be annulled and the property shall revert wholly into the possession of the Government.

4. Every application for a grant of land shall be in writing, shall be certified by the signatures of two reputable neighboring property owners, and shall contain a statement of the following:

(a) The full name, age, sex, condition (married or single), nationality, residence, occupation, and family of the applicant.

(b) Property in Guam, urban or country, owned by the applicant; the nature and size of each piece; the amount of each that has been cleared; what fields are under cultivation; and a description of houses, if urban property.

(c) The estimated value of all immovable estate in Guam owned by the applicant.

(d) The location, size, nature and detail description of the land applied for, and its classification for taxation.

(e) The use to which it is intended to put the land, and the length of time required to clear it or to accomplish the object for which it is desired.

(f) The amount and kind of wood on the land applied for.

(g) In case of desiring the land for a pasture, a statement as to whether it would be suitable for agriculture, and if not the reasons why it would not.

5. The Government will reject all applications which may appear to be prejudicial to the best interests of the island.


No. 32

19 July 1901

General Order No. 32
1. In order to give full effect and force to General Orders nos. 1 and 2 and Paragraph 1 of General Order No. 8, it is hereby decreed that conviction of the offenses therein mentioned may be secured by the adduction of sworn testimony by one or more witnesses before the Governor, who, upon such conviction shall have the power to impose punishments and direct confiscation of goods in accordance with the general orders mentioned.

2. The punishment for violation of General Order No. 2 is hereby fixed at the same as that for violation of General Order No. 1, namely: a fine not exceeding $100.00 (Mexican), or imprisonment not exceeding one month, or both, and confiscation of the offender’s contraband goods.

3. Goods thus confiscated shall be destroyed in the presence of a responsible person to be designated in each case by the Governor; and a certificate of such destruction, signed by the witness, shall be entered in the record of the proceedings in the Executive Office. If the goods be of a nature and of a quality to make them of value for medical purposes, instead of being destroyed they may, in the discretion of the Governor, be delivered into the custody of a medical officer for such use.

4. All laws or parts of laws which conflict with paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this General Order, are hereby abrogated in so far as they thus conflict.


No. 33

12 August 1901

General Order No. 33
Consequent upon Commander Seaton Schroeder, USN, Naval Governor of Guam, having been ordered to the United States upon confidential official matters, I, William Swift, Commander, US Navy, relieved him temporarily as governor of this island on August 11, 1901, and by virtue of the authority on me conferred, it is decreed that all dispositions, including General Orders No. 1 to 32 inclusive, published in this island, remain in force, each taking precedence over those of previous date.


No. 34

26 September 1901

General Order No. 34
1. Within a circle having a radius of three kilometers, whose center is the main door of the Government House, Agana, is prohibited after November 1, 1901, inclusive:

2. The sale of all kinds of food stuffs in the streets or from house to house, under penalty of a fine of 5 pesetas to 20 pesetas.

3. The introduction, sale, or offering for sale, of all meat proceeding from animals not killed within the limits established in Paragraph No. 1, is also prohibited; the owner of the animal from which the meat comes, whosoever introduces, and whosoever has in his possession said meat, will each incur the responsibility established from clandestine butchery. Exception is made in favor of game and imported meats.

4. The Courts of the Justices of the Peace shall be competent to take cognizance of the infractions of the present General Order.


Commander Seaton Schroeder. Don Farrell collection.

No. 35

11 November 1901

General Order No. 35
The inhabitants of the island of Guam are hereby informed that on the 2nd day of the present month I, Seaton Schroeder, Commander, USN, resumed the duties of governor of this island, which, during my absence, were temporarily discharged by Commander William Swift, USN.


No. 36

16 November 1901

General Order No. 36
It is hereby ordered and decreed:
1. That in the island of Guam a Civil Registrar is established which shall contain record of all deaths, marriages, births, entries into and departures from the island. The said Register shall be under the direction of the Executive Office.

Every record of a death shall contain the name, the age and the former residence of the deceased, and the date of death.

Every record of a marriage shall contain the names, ages, occupations, state (single, widowed, or divorced) and residences of the contracting parties, and the names of the witnesses.

Every record of a both shall contain the name of the infant born, and of its parents and grand parents, and the place and date of the birth.

Every record of entry into and departure from the island shall contain the name of the person entering or leaving the island, with his or her age, state (single, married, widowed or divorced), occupation and former and future residences. The Civil Register shall not contain a record of the entry or departure of military persons, or of persons who may land for a period of less than three months.

2. That all ordained clergymen and priests of whatsoever religious faith, who shall have been recognized as such by the religious body whose faith they represent, and Justices of the Peace, are empowered to solemnize the marriage of all persons who may present themselves with the necessary license issued by the Government, the duty being obligatory on Justices of the Peace to whom it is prohibited to exact a larger fee than 3 pesos for performing a marriage ceremony. And every marriage solemnized by a clergyman, or priest, or Justice of the Peace shall have the same legal effects, provided by law for civil and religious marriages without distinction as to the manner in which it may have been solemnized.

3. That in the issuance of marriage licenses the following rules are established for persons who may lawfully marry:

(a) Persons of age shall not in any case be required to obtain the consent of the father or of his legal substitute as such. Neither shall such consent be required for minors of 18 years or over who do not live under paternal authority or minors of any age who may be without guardian or who do not live under the same roof and protection of a relative within the third grade of relationship as established by the Civil Code.

b) For minors subject to paternal authority, or guardianship, or third civil grade, or under the protection of a relative within in the third civil grade, with whom they may be living under the same roof, there shall be required the consent of the father, mother, guardian, or relative in the respective cases.

Parents shall justify their refusal to give consent to a marriage whenever the contracting parties may require it and are minors of 18 years or under; and guardians and relatives shall justify said refusal whenever required by the contracting parties.

4. That the solemnization of a marriage between persons who do not hold the required license issued by the Government within six months prior to the date of the marriage, is prohibited under the penalties provided by law for performing illegal marriage ceremonies.

5. That every persons who performs a marriage ceremony shall report it to the official in charge of the Civil Register, with the necessary details, within one week of the date of the ceremony, under the penalty of a fine of 25 pesos, which shall be exacted through executive channels.

6. That the parents of newly born infants shall report to the official in charge of the Civil Register the name and the other details required for said Register within one month or the birth, under penalty of 5 pesos; the imposition of which shall likewise be through executive channels.

7. That every legal separation (divorcio) decreed by whatsoever authority in this island between the 15th day of September 1899, and the 19th day of July 1900, is valid and shall have all the effects established for valid marriages by the said Code, and the contacting parties and other persons who took part in the solemnization of those marriages are declared exempt for all civil and criminal responsibility thus resulting from their personal circumstances and from the conditions and manner in which the marriages were solemnized. Nothing in the preceding paragraphs shall be construed as relieving persons legally separated (divorciados) from their obligations toward their descendants or as prejudicial to the rights of these arising from their civil condition at the date of the granting of the separation.


No. 37

29 November 1901

General Order No. 37
Notice is hereby given that the government has commenced a survey of this island; and it being of the first importance that the persons in charge of said survey shall have due authority for prosecuting the work, and that their signals, stations, and other means which they may have to employ shall remain undisturbed, it is hereby decreed:

1. That the officials employed by the Insular or the Federal Government have the right and are authorized to enter private grounds when necessary, and, in case of necessity, to cut down trees and shrubs, erect signals, establish stations of any kind, and do other things necessary to the efficient prosecution of the work referred to without prejudice to the right of injured parties to present claims for damages in the manner provided by law.

2. That it is prohibited to destroy, remove, displace or in any way disturb the signals of whatever form or nature they may be, under the penalties established in Article 601 of the Penal Code, namely, imprisonment for one-to-five days, or a fine of 15 to 70 pesetas, unless the infraction should constitute a crime, in which case the lawful penalty shall be imposed; all of which shall be without prejudice to the financial responsibility which may have been incurred.

3. That the Justices of the Peace shall be competent to try cases arising under Paragraph 2 of this order, except the offense be such as to be cognizable by the Court of First Instance.


No. 38

24 December 1901

General Order No. 38
It is hereby ordered and decreed:
1. That the poll tax (impuesto provincial) and the labor tax (prestacion personal) are abolished, and in their stead there is established a Personal Tax of 12 pesos a year to paid into the Treasury by each male person of 18-to-60 years of age domiciled or having a fixed residence in this island, without distinction of race or nationality. This tax shall become due on the first day of January in each year.

2. That any person who, for any reason, fails to pay the tax established in the preceding paragraph, shall be obliged to work in such place and at such time as may be directed by the Chief of Public Works or his legal representative, one day of eight hours for each 1/2 peso that he fails to pay; and each person who is subject to the personal tax, and who, when called upon to labor in the public works, shall fail to give evidence of having paid the tax, shall be obliged to obey the call, complying with all its provisions, without prejudice to his subsequent right to extinguish the obligation by paying into the Treasury the 12 pesos less 1/2 peso for each day that he may have worked in the public works.

3. That the following persons shall be exempt from the payment of the personal tax during the terms of their office: (1) Those who reside in the island solely to fill official positions which are controlled by the Insular Government or by the United States, and their sons who live under the paternal authority; (2) military persons in active service (3) the functionaries and employees of the Courts of Justice; (4) all public officials who receive no compensation for their services, or whose pay is monthly or yearly; (5) during also the year following that in which they complete their terms of office, the Gobernadorcillos, Cabezas de barangay, Tenientes Primeros, Jueces de Sementeras and de Ganados, and Tenientes de barrio.

4. That in the exaction of penalties prescribed for non-payment of the personal tax, Cabezas de barangay, Tenientes and Gobernadorcillos shall be representatives of the Chief of Public Works; it shall be their duty to carry out all lawful instructions issued by him, and in the execution thereof they shall be considered and respected as officers of that department.

5. That all persons who fail to furnish the required labor on the days designated, either in person or by substitute, shall be required to furnish valid reasons therefore; or, failing that, they shall be fined in the sum of 1/2 peso for each working day, which fine shall be considered an integral part of the personal tax. The same penalty shall be inflicted upon those who, presenting themselves for the work, maliciously fail to follow the directions of the person in charge or who follow them in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the government.

6. That all persons who fail to pay the personal tax and who are exempted from labor upon medical recommendation because of sickness or physical defect, shall be required to prove their insolvency, in default of which they shall suffer imprisonment for one day for each 1/2 peso that they fail to pay.

7. That all questions arising in the collection of the personal tax shall be decided by the Chief of Public Works, appeal from whose decisions may be made to the courts.

8. That all moneys received in the Treasury shall be covered into the one general fund from which all expenditures will be made. All existing special funds shall continue to be accounted for as at present until extinguished.

9. That this order shall go into effect on the first day of January 1902.


To go back to the list of General Orders click here.