Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/128

This page needs to be proofread.


tioDS. By a decree of 10 April, 1013, the dignity should kiss his wife, and no wife should kiss her

Marys'* was formed The laws against persons differing in religi(

at Blois, in connection with the chapel of Our the colonists were fully as severe as Peters repre- Lady of the Three Hail Marys. The society has sents. Both in New Haven and Hartford the Massa- the right to form branch associations in other chusetts laws were adopted, and these were veiy places, and special privileges are accorded to asso- strict. "No priest shall abide in the I>ominion, he ciated priests, especially to those who form con- shall be banished and suffer death on his return, fraternities in their own parishes. The official Priests may be seized bv anyone without a warrant." organ of the society is the ^Propagateur des Troia This, while not stated in the exBiHt terms of the Ave Maria. statute, was true of Connecticut and MassachuaettB

The 1920 statistics credit this diocese with 271,231 as well as New Haven, but it was also true of Catholics, 27 first class parishes, 294 succursal par- England and Ireland at the time. What is really ishes, and -37 vicariates, formerly supported by the untrue in his statement that the penal laws of the state. New Haven Colony "consist of a vast multitude,

and were properly denominated Blue Law^ L e.,

BlnefleldB, Vicabiatb Apostolic op (Bltjefiel- bloody laws; for they were all sanctified with ex- DBNSis), in Nicaragua, dependent on Managua, commimication, confiscation, whipping, cutting off This vicariate was erected 2 December, 1913, by a ears, burning the toneues, and death." Indeed, division of the ancient diocese of Nicaragua, and the laws in both the New Haven and Connecticut comprises the provinces of Bluefields, Cabo Gracias colonies were much more humane than the laws of a Dios, Prinzapolcka Siguia, Rio Grande, and the England at the time. The number of crimes punish- islands in the Atlantic Ocean belonging to Nica- able by death amoimted to more than one himdred raffua. So far (1922), no statistics have been pub- in England, while in the New Haven and Connecticut lished. The present, and first vicar apostolic is Rt. colonies they never exceeded fifteen. Theft was Rev. Augustin Joseph Bemaus y Serra, titular never a capital offense in any part of Connecticut, Bishop of Milopotamos, appointed 28 May, 1914. while in England a theft of property of the value

of twelvepence was pimishable by death from the

Blue Iiaw8._Connecticut is the State which gave time of Henry I.; and as late as 1819 there were rise to the term Blue Laws. The phrase represents 176 offences punishable by death, which gave rise a collection of severe laws regulatmg personal con- to the common saying, "One might as well be duct and the observance of the Sabbath, which hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.'* are supposed to have been in force among the While Peters gave not9riety to the name Blue early colonists of New Haven and Connecticut. Laws, he did not invent it; neither was the name By extension the words are used to characterize any given to them because they were "bloody laws,** strict or rigid regulations, especially in regard to but most probably because they were printed with Sunday. covers of olue paper. The Session laws of Con-

The notoriety of the Blue Laws of New Haven necticut have alw^s been in pamphlets with blue was first occasioned by the work of Rev. Samuel covers, so when first applied the name did not Peters, an Episcopal clergyman and a zealous Tory, have its present evil significance, who lived in Hebron, Conn., before the beginning The New Haven code of laws, printed in 1655, of the Revolutionary War, which work was pub- are copied almost entirely from the codes of Massa- lished in England in 1781 as, "A General History chusetts and Connecticut but each offence was for- of Connecticut." While it pretended to be a his- tified with marginal references to Scripture passages, tory it was really a bitter satire, and of no authority The description ^ of blasphemy and the crimes whatever. It was evidently written to gratify the against chastity is minute 13 a painful degree, as spite or revenge of the author against tne Colony if it was designed that no one could positively mis- of Connecticut, the religion and politics of which he take the gravity of the offenses. The crime of hated. Peters had made himself so obnoxious to assault is thus described and punished: "If any his neighbors and the Sons of Liberty, an organiza- shall in distempered passion, or otherwise, sinfully tion of youne men in Connecticut opposed to the hurt, wound or maim another, such person shall Stamp Act, oy his offensive antagonism to the be punished by fine, with some valuable recom- patriotic efforts of the Colonists, that he was pense to the party; and shall pay for the cure, with treated by them in a very rough manner and loss of time, etc., and where the case requires it obliged to flee from the country. His animosity the court of magistrates are to duly consider the was particularly directed against New Haven, prob- mind of God as it is revealed. Exod. 21:18 to the ably because at that time Benedict Arnold resided 28, Lev. 24:19, 20." This is really better and more there, and was either at the head or was one of humane than the present statute of Connecticut, the chief leaders of the Sons of Liberty. "The which provides only for the punishment of the laws made by this independent Dominion," he says, accused, leaving the civil remedy of the injured per- "and dominated Blue Laws by the neighboring son to a separate and expensive suit, colonies, were never suffered to be printed." This The use of the lash was at that time a familiar statement is not true. The laws of New Haven form of punishment in all the colonies. New Haven were printed as soon as possible, but before being was no worse, if as bad as the other countries; but printed they were duly published. Peters cites as the Scripturai references made it peculiar. The samples forty-five laws, as representing a small part Statute reads as follows: "Stripes or whipping is a of tne Blue Laws. Some of these are practically correction fit and proper in some cases, where the true and others partly true, but stated in such a offense is accompanied with childish or brutal folly, manner as to make them appear odious. "No man with rude filthiness, or with stubborn insolency, with shall keep Christmas, or make mince pies," is beastly cruelty or with idle vagrancy, or for faults ridiculously false. "No woman shall kiss her child of like nature. But when stripes are due. it is on the Sabbath or fasting day," is untrue. But ordered that not above forty stripes shall be in- there was a law in the New Haven Colony which flicted at one time. Deut. 25:34." A fine of six was equally foolish, it providing that no nusband pence was laid on anyone "taking tobacco in an un-