Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
One hears much about the ‘hideous Blue-Laws of Connecticut,’ and is
accustomed to shudder piously when they are mentioned. There are people in
Americaand even in England!- who imagine that they were a very monument of
malignity, pitilessness, and inhumanity; whereas, in reality they were about the
first sweeping departure from judicial atrocity which the ‘civilized’ world had
seen. This humane and kindly Blue-Law code, of two hundred and forty years
ago, stands all by itself, with ages of bloody law on the further side of it, and a
century and threequarters of bloody English law on this side of it.
There has never been a time-under the Blue-Laws or any other-when above
fourteen crimes were punishable by death in Connecticut. But in England,
within the memory of men who are still hale in body and mind, two hundred
and twentythree crimes were punishable by death!* These facts are worth
knowing-and worth thinking about, too.
• See Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull’s Blue Laws, True and False, p. 11.