The Acquisitions Table: Connecticut Indictments

Connecticut Indictments, 1742-1781.

514930_0001These five indictments from Connecticut are illustrative of the colony and state’s strict laws. The indictments, which describe the incidents and are signed by witnesses, show a variety of transgressions taking place in Norwich and Durham, Connecticut, starting in the mid-eighteenth century. Among the offenses are consuming alcohol, the use of profanity, fighting, playing cards, and “unseasonable night walking.” One signed affidavit says that the offender “did sinfully and wickedly utter the following words…Damn ye Grandjurymen…” Another says that “…this Colony Instituted an act to prevent unseasonable night walking for that Phenehas Robbert Charles and Daniel did on the Evening following the 26th Day of Sep. 1764 did break the Law by being abroad unseasonably…” These early manuscripts are good examples of both the existence and enforcement of colonial laws.

Published by

Tracey Kry

Assistant Curator of Manuscripts and Assistant Reference Librarian, American Antiquarian Society

One thought on “The Acquisitions Table: Connecticut Indictments”

  1. The beautiful calligraphy (spelling notwithstanding) is indeed wonderful to see. Some of my grandchildren’s schools do not even teach cursive writing. They are expected to learn at home. With computer’s self correction and spell and grammar checks, who needs to learn to write? HRU? OMG! LOL. TTFN. I’ve told my children and grandchildren, I will not answer texts or emails littered with any abbreviations; does cut down useless missives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *