Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New acquisition: don't steal my fruit!

This broadside is one of my favorite recent acquisitions.  It's a reward poster created in 1874 by the selectmen of Dracut (a small town in northern Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border), offering a $25 reward to those who help arrest and conviction perpetrators of destruction of town property or for the violation of a particular Massachusetts statute.  The statute at issue, Section 83 of Chapter 161 of the General Statutes, provided for a $100 fine or 3 months in the House of Corrections for anyone convicted of stealing or otherwise absconding with fruit, flowers, trees, etc. from someone's orchard or nursery.  I suppose there must have been a problem with this type of trespass and thievery in the town at this time!

$25 Reward Poster for Trespass and Stealing Fruit
 I was curious if the specific provision is still on the books, as it would make for a nice exercise in statutory research for our students.  It is indeed!  The penalty has risen to a potential $500 fine or 6 months in the House of Corrections, but otherwise it's essentially the same. 

No comments:

Post a Comment