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Romney Signs Repeal of Colonial Era Indian Prohibition Act

Location: Boston, MA


Governor Mitt Romney today signed a bill repealing an archaic law that prohibited Native Americans from entering or being found in Boston.

The law hasn't been enforced in centuries, but Romney said its abolition is a symbolic measure that underscores the openness and tolerance of modern-day Massachusetts.

"It is our hope that signing this bill into law will provide some closure to a very painful and old chapter in Massachusetts history," said Romney. "This archaic law belongs in the history books, not the law books."

The law was passed in 1675 during King Philip's War between colonists and local tribes. Under the Indian Imprisonment Act, any Native American found inside the borders of Boston was subject to confinement.

"It's time to make things right. I thank Governor Romney, Senate President Travaglini, Speaker Di Masi, Senator Dianne Wilkerson, Chairman Antonio Cabral, Representative Byron Rushing and the City Council for their efforts in removing this blemish from our city's records. This sends the message that hatred and discrimination have no place in Boston," Mayor Menino said. "Tolerance, equality and respect - these are the attributes of our city. These are the qualities that give Boston its vitality, that make diversity our strength."

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