Conjuracion of the Divell

I posted this yesterday, but the switch to moveabletype ate it. The first legal codes composed in North America were instuted here in Massachusetts on October 4, 1636. It guaranteed citizens a trial by jury, but also required adulterers to wearthe famous scarlet letter A. The Library of Congress has one of the first printings of the Book of the General Laws of the Inhabitants of the Jurisdiction of New-Plimouth. The following crimes called for the death penalty here in 1636:

  • Treason or rebellion against the person of the King State or Common wealth either of England or these Colonies.
  • Willfull Murder.
  • Solemn Compaction or conversing wth the divell by way of witchcraft conjuracion or the like.
  • Willfull and purposed burning of ships howses.
  • Sodomy, rapes, buggery.

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