News of the Day

COURTING OLD RECORDS REVEALS PUNISHMENTS

by Craig Altschul

The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration is organizing old court records and legal documents into data that can be more easily searched, says the Bennington Banner. Examples of punishments handed out included 100 lashes for burglary, 39 lashes for adultery; two hours “standing in the pillory” for perjury; and thrown into prison for an indefinite term for not paying a debt. The initial process has been funded by a federal grant targeting Caledonia, Orleans, and Lamoille Counties in Northern Vermont from 1794-1945. The long term goal is to catalog records from all 14 of the state’s counties. But, that’s going to be a real challenge will be to make order out of incomplete, often deteriorating, records that were stored in basements or attics. These records are “essential to the history of our state, as well as to the right of our citizens,” says Secretary of State Jim Condos. Condos continued, “This is just the beginning.” Better pay your debts.

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Craig Altschul

About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of SnoCountry.com. He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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