Thursday, July 3, 2008

Poor Idiots

This is actually an extract from a post I made elsewhere, but I kind of like it:

To go back to colonial days, some of the most fascinating reading can be found in Larned’s History of Windham County. Fascinating for both themes that continue to reverberate today in their parallels, as well as noting what has and has not changed. God bless Google Books (even though I have a recent reprint):
The 1745 murder of a bastard child, from a secret pregnancy, and subsequent execution of Elizabeth Shaw (p. 288);
Dr. Hallowel’s performing an abortion, resulting in the death of the woman, in 1747 and the subsequent trial and jail escape to exile in Rhode Island (bottom p. 362);
Or my favorite, the 1726 issue showing that in nearly 300 years our government bureaucracy is just as inept and politicians just as good at playing hot potatoe — that being the case of the poor idiot Peter Davison. He lived in an area, Mortlake, that was outside of a town’s jurisdiction and who was responsible to pay for his care came to involve at least Pomfret, Norwich, Plainfield, Mansfield, the New London County Court, it was the very first case on the docket when the Windham County Court was established, the General Court, and the Governor & Council. (pages 213, 267, and 344…it was quite a story )

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