Commander Seaton Schroeder. Don Farrell collection.

General Orders issued in 1902. To go back to the list of General Orders click here.

No. 39

25 February 1902

General Order No. 39
It is hereby ordered and decreed:
1. That on the 1st day of April, 1902, the industrial tax (contribucion industrial) in this island shall be entirely abolished.

2. That the marking of cattle, as provided by law until now in force in this island, shall cease to be obligatory. The government mark or brand is abolished. The cattle judges (jueces de ganados) shall certify to the private marks which have been placed on cattle whenever the owners request it, issuing to that effect the proper certificate of ownership (credencial de la propiedad), signed by the cattle judge and the gobernadorcillo of the town and bearing the municipal seal. The cattle judge shall also issue the proper certificate of transfer (credencial de transferencia) at the request of one of the interested parties in the transaction recorded, which shall also bear the signature of the gobernadorcillo and the municipal seal.

3. The fee for a certificate of ownership or transfer shall be twelve and a half hundredths of a dollar Mexican, which shall pertain to the cattle judge.


No. 40

4 March 1902

General Order No. 40
1. It is hereby made known that for the purpose of determining a system of accountability to be followed by the Naval Government of the Island of Guam, His Excellency, the President of the United States has issued the following order:

Washington, D.C., November 14, 1901

By virtue of authority vested in me as the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, I hereby order and direct that during the maintenance of the Naval Government by the United States, in the island of Guam, Ladrone Group, there is hereby created and shall be maintained, the Office of Auditor for the island of Guam, whose duty it shall be to receive and audit all accounts of the island, the said Auditor to be appointed by the governor of the island of Guam.

There is hereby created and shall be maintained the Office of Treasurer of the island, which shall be filled by appointment of the governor of the island of Guam. The Treasurer of the island shall receive and keep all moneys arising from the revenues of the island, and shall disburse the same only upon warrants issued by the governor.

All rules and instructions necessary to carry into effect the provisions of Executive Orders relating to said island shall be issued by the Secretary of the Navy, and such rules and instructions shall be in force until the same are amended or revoked by him.

The above order and the following rules and regulations will be duly proclaimed and enforced in the island of Guam as therein provided, and all regulations and orders heretofore issued inconsistent therewith are hereby repealed.


2. In conformity with this order, the rules and regulations for carrying it into effect will be issued to the offices of this government, and the system decreed shall be put in operation on the first day of April, 1902.


No. 41

26 March 1902

General Order No. 41
It is hereby ordered and decreed:
1. That the gun license fee shall hereafter be 2 pesos a year for all classes of firearms.

2. That the repairing of houses or other buildings shall be free from tax, nor permit or license being necessary for repairing damages done to any building after its construction.

3. That the fish-weir license fee shall be 2 pesos a year, whatever the size of the weir. The leaders or wings of their weirs shall not exceed 100 meters in length, not including the sides of the pound. The distance between weirs shall not be less than 150 meters. For the establishment of a weir it shall be requisite to present a request to the gobernadorcillo of the district in which it is desited to establish it, which request shall state precisely and clearly the locality and the site where it is to be placed. This official shall forward the request with the proper endorsement to the Executive Office whence the license shall be issued if there be no good reason to the contrary. Owners shall be obliged to remove their weirs whenever the governor, for reasons of public convenience or necessity, shall so direct, notwithstanding the license previously granted. Licenses shall be issued for a term of one year; and, after the completion of the first term, owners of weirs shall continue in the right to the sites occupied for one more year subject to the same conditions as to making the request at the expiration of the original license and paying the license fee; after the second year all right to a site is lost if there be other applicants for the same.

4. The fishing by means of drag-nets, dip-nets, casting nets, and other hand implements shall remain free from restriction, it being prohibited, however, to fish within a distance of 100 meters from any part of fish-weirs while the latter are in condition for use.

5. That offenders against the provisions of the two preceding paragraphs shall suffer the penalty prescribed in Article 593 of the Penal Code, namely; a fine of from 15 to 125 pesetas, Justices of the Peace being competent to try and to punish acts committed in violation of said paragraphs.


No. 42

9 April 1902

General Order No. 42
It is hereby ordered and decreed:
1. That General Order No. 15, having reference to the acquirement of title of urban and other real estate by private individuals and to the time within which the owners should acquire it, shall be construed as not conflicting with the provisions of the existing Land Law (Ley Hipotecaria) which provide for the admission and form of procedure in the Courts of Justice of petitions for grant of title of possession of, or in fee simple of, or of equity in, all classes of real property subject to registration in accordance with the said Law; wherefore the provisions of the said general order shall not be interpreted as impugning the validity or legality of titles recorded in the Registry of Lands, Deeds and Titles, or approved by judicial authority.

2. That in accordance with the preceding paragraph, it is proper and lawful for owners and possessors of real estate or of equity therein, by the means and in the manner established in the said land law.

3. That in the fulfillment of the requirements of Rule 2, Article 395 of the aforesaid Land Law, in petition of title, it is sufficient publication of the notices to post them in the public places which custom has established for such purposes; and it is not necessary to post them beyond the limits of the island of Guam, or to publish them in official journals until such means of publication shall be established for the island of Guam.


No. 43

12 June 1902

General Order No. 43
In view of the existence of leprosy in this island it is of paramount necessity, in the interest of humanity and for the protection of society, to adopt proper measures to arrest the spread of the disease. The only means open to the government for uprooting so serious an evil is the heroic step of segregating the unfortunate lepers. The government recognizes the hardship of this measure which imposes upon unfortunate and innocent persons a separation from their families and the loss of personal liberty; but, for the public welfare and as a safeguard against greater evils, it is imperative, and in its adoption every possible effort will be made to better the condition and lengthen the lives of those who are segregated.

It is therefore ordered and decreed:
1. That there be established in the locality called Ypao, in the municipal district of Agana, a colony of lepers which shall be known as the “Tumon Colony,” having an area of about 12 hectares, suitable land for this purpose being condemned where necessary. In this colony shall be restrained all persons who, upon medical examination directed by the governor, shall prove to be lepers in the unanimous opinion of all the medical officers of the navy stationed in the island; without prejudice to the right of the interested party to present to the governor such defense as may be appropriate, and to the right of the governor to decide to the contrary or to annul restraint previously decreed, when there shall appear to be reasonable doubt of the disease being leprosy. In the event of the number of medical officers making the diagnosis being less than three, the governor shall make such temporary provision as may appear proper, waiting always until at least three doctors shall have formulated their opinion before definitively decreeing the restraint. All those restrained shall be supported by the government.

2. That the colony shall be under the administration of the Department of Health and Charities. A Superintendent shall be appointed by the government, who shall be a subordinate in the said department and whose duty it shall be to care for the growths of the colony and to observe and cause to be observed the laws and regulations referring to the said colony; he shall be respected and obeyed as a public functionary while in the exercise of his functions, and all the other public employees of the colony as well as all the inmates shall be under his orders.

3. That it shall be the duty of the Head of the Department of Health and Charities to inspect the colony once in each month, during which visits he shall invite all the inmates to prefer their requests or complaints; and such other professional visits shall be made as may be necessary for adequate treatment of the sick.

4. That such grounds as are enclosed within a boundary constructed of convenient and suitable material and bearing the sign “Tumon Colony” shall be recognized and considered as the said colony.

5. That the inmates shall be required to keep the grounds and buildings clean, and to conform to the internal regulations that shall have been approved by the governor of this island; but that apart from such police work, labor shall be voluntary and for the benefit of the person performing it. The ownership of the land and buildings of the colony shall remain in the government.

6. That every person restrained in the Tumon Colony shall be exempt from the payment of the personal tax during the entire period of such restraint.

7. That fishing by any method in the sea within the reef and within the limits defined by the colony is prohibited to all except the inmates of the colony, to whom is reserved the exclusive right to fish there.

8. That it is prohibited to remove from the colony, under any pretext, effects of any king without previous permission in writing signed by the Head of the Department of Health and Charities; and, in order to effect a more perfect observance of this prohibition, it is forbidden to introduce money within the limits of the colony the right being reserved to the inmates to deposit funds in such place and manner as may be prescribed by regulation. All money found within the colony shall be confiscated, and after being disinfected, shall be covered into the Treasury of this island.

9. That when the reclusion of a person shall have been decreed, that person shall not under any circumstance leave the colony except when the governor, for grave reasons, shall authorize it; and no person, not an inmate or connected with the colony shall enter the grounds without a written permit approved by the governor.

10. That it shall be the duty of the gobernadorcillos, tenientes and cabezas to inform the Government immediately of any person coming under their notice suffering from a disease suspected of being leprosy.

11. That there shall be published for public information on the first of every January and July, in the manner customary in this island, a complete list of all persons restrained; and that when the reclusion or the release of any person shall be decreed after one such semi-annual publication and before the next, such fact shall be published in the same manner.

12. That, it being necessary to provide means in the colony, as in all communities, for punishing those who may infringe the law, and with the object of preventing injury to the already impaired health of the inmates such as world result from incarceration, there shall be imposed upon them in place of the imprisonment provided by the penal code either as principal or alternative penalty, the punishment of carrying for an equal length of time a ball and chain of form and size to be fixed by regulation.

13. That in the fulfillment of their mission the Tribunals of Justice shall adopt necessary measures to prevent contagion, not holding court within the grounds of the colony when not necessary for the due administration of justice, nor taking the signatures of the inmates, nor incorporating with the records any writings or documents which, from their origin, might be infected, but obtaining true and literal copies for incorporation in place of the originals.

14. That any person, not an inmate of the colony, who fishes in the space reserved for the lepers as prescribed in Paragraph 7, shall be punished by a fine of 15 to 125 pesetas; and the Justice of the Peace of Agana shall be competent to try offenses cited in this paragraph.

15. That any person who enters the colony without the required permit, shall be punished by arresto mayor; and the Court of First Instance of this island shall be competent to try offenses cited in this paragraph.

16. That all persons who harbor, conceal or assist in the flight of any inmate, or who, knowing that such a one is without the colony, fail to give information thereof to a public official, shall be punished by arresto mayor; and the Justice of the Peace of Agana shall be competent to try offenses cited in this paragraph.

17. That inmates who infringe the regulations approved by the governor of this island for the administration of the colony, shall be punished by reprimand, or by a fine of 1 to 5 pesetas, or by 1 to 5 days of ball and chain; and the superintendent of the colony shall be competent to punish offenses cited in this paragraph, the right being reserved in every case to the offender to appeal to the governor against the penalty imposed by the superintendent.

18. That any inmate who goes beyond the limits of the colony without the requisite permission shall be punished by 10 to 20 days of ball and chain for the first infraction, and by 1 to 6 months for a repetition of the offense; and the governor shall be competent to have sole cognizance of offenses cited in this paragraph.

19. That any public official guilty of connivance in the escape from the colony of a person whose reclusion shall have been decreed by the governor of this island, shall be punished by arresto mayor; and the Court of First Instance shall be competent to try offenses cited in this paragraph.

20. That a superintendent or other public functionary of the colony guilty of negligence or malfeasance in the discharge of his duty, or of infraction of any regulation, shall be punished by a fine of 25 to 250 pesetas, unless he shall have infringed a provision of the Penal Code. The governor shall be competent to have sole cognizance of offenses the punishment of which is defined in this paragraph.

21. That a superintendent or other public functionary who solicits or has carnal knowledge of a woman restrained in the colony shall be punished by prison correcional in the middle and maximum grades; and the Court of First Instance shall be competent to try offenses cited in this paragraph.

22. That in all cases of competency of the governor of this island cited in the foregoing paragraphs he shall have the authority to delegate to any public official not subject to challenge, except members of the judiciary, the prosecution of inquiry, reserving always to himself the right to determine the guilt and award the punishment.

23. That this order shall go into effect on the first day of July 1902.


No. 44

6 August 1902

General Order No. 44
It is hereby ordered and decreed:
1. That the civil courts shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings held in real estate surveys and the establishment of land marks; and that when the Insular Government is interested therein, the Office of the Public Prosecutor (Ministerio Fiscal), as its legal representative, shall be made a party thereto.


No. 45

12 August 1902

General Order No. 45
A question having arisen during the prosecution of Criminal Cause No. 1 of this year pending in the Supreme Court of the Island of Guam, in which question it appears desirable to resolve certain doubts which have arisen regarding the constitution of the said court; and in conformity with that which has been ordered on this date:

1. That the existence of the Supreme Court of the Island of Guam is confirmed; and that as at present constituted it shall be, as it has been heretofore, competent to have cognizance of all matters which by law are in the jurisdiction of the Territorial Courts of Second Instance, (Presidencia and Salas of Audiencias Territoriales).

2. That all laws or parts of laws which conflict with the provisions of the preceding paragraph are annulled.


No. 46

30 October 1902

General Order No. 46
In order to lessen the disastrous results of faulty methods of building, which were especially noticeable in the typhoon of November 13, 1900, and the earthquake of September 22 of this year:

It is hereby ordered and decreed:
1. That the construction, alteration, and repair of all classes of buildings owned by private individuals shall be in accordance with the regulations which may hereafter be established by the department of public works and approved by the governor of this island.

2. That whenever a building is altered or repaired in a manner, or on account of defects, which may materially affect its structural strength, or whenever a new building is erected a permit must be previously obtained from the Department of Public Works. For such permits no fee whatever shall be exacted or collected, and they shall not be refused as being unnecessary if asked for in writing.

3. That the Department of Public Works shall be charged with the supervision and inspection of all work of construction, alteration, and repair of buildings in all stages, and shall have the authority to order the work suspended until the regulations are complied with in cases of infraction thereof, and, when necessary, to order the work torn down in that part which violates the regulations or the provisions of this general order.

4. That a fine of 5 pesos, Mexican money, shall be imposed through executive channels on those who are guilty of infractions of Paragraph 2.

5. That the gobernadorcillos, tenientes, and cabezas de barangay shall be assistants to the Department of Public Works in the exercise of the authority conferred on said department by the present general order, and they shall obey all lawful orders issued to them by the head of the said department.

6. That the Head of the Department of Public Works shall have the power to institute injunction proceedings against dangerous property (interdictos de obra nueva u obra ruinosa) when, in his opinion, such proceedings give most adequate protection and security to the prejudiced interests of the community, it being the duty of the ministerio fiscal, as the legal representative of that department, to apply for such injunction whenever requested to do so.

7. That the present general order shall go into effect on the 10th day of November 1902.


No. 47

12 December 1902

General Order No. 47
It is hereby ordered and decreed:
1. That the judicial authorities of this island shall be exempt from all civil and criminal responsibility for decisions rendered or other judicial proceedings held by them within their authority and jurisdiction unless bad faith or notorious and inexcusable negligence be proved; and they shall no be questioned against their will on matters bearing on the discharge of the functions.

2. That whenever proceedings shall not be held, or decisions rendered within the period prescribed by law, it shall be presumed to result from vis major unless bad faith or notorious and inexcusable negligence shall be roved, provided the delay is not caused by petitioner or litigant.


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