Friday, July 1, 2016

#261 July Fourth

I was in Tenant's Harbor last month on a coffee run. We stopped at the Tenant's Harbor General Store right in the middle of town. Actually, it is the town. That giant flag up on the side of the building is a real eye catcher, and you can get a good hot cup of Carrabassett Coffee there. I looked at that flag and the red, white and blue open-for-business sign and decided that the building was looking quite American pretty.

I could tell by the chat going on inside that a lot of personal, town, state, country and world problems have been discussed, resolved and/or solved (or not), in this building over the years. I'm sure opinions were noodled and expressed. Folks were also forced to communicate with one another in person, to do their commerce in person back then. We formed our own opinions about our neighbors, and in most cases, learned the value of holding on to those opinions when the need to buy a quart of milk forced inevitable future encounters.

Have a safe, fun Fourth, and remember why we celebrate it every year. To sign the our Declaration of Independence was considered an act of high treason against the British Empire. I've often wondered whether or not I would have had the courage to sign our Declaration of Independence given the repercussions.

"1. That the offender be drawn to the gallows, and not be carried or walk: though usually (by connivance length ripened by humanity into law) a sledge or hurdle is allowed, to preserve the offender from the extreme torment of being dragged on the ground or pavement

2. That he be hanged by the neck and then cut down alive

3. That his entrails be taken out and burned, while he is yet alive

4. That his head be cut off

5. That his body be divided in four parts

6. That his head and quarters be at the king's disposal [6].

The punishment did not end with the personal suffering of the offender; the punishment extended to his or her family. The law states that a person who is found guilty of treason must also undergo "forfeiture" and "corruption of blood." In forfeiture, the person is forced to give all their lands and property to the state. Corruption of blood prevents the person's immediate family and hereditary heirs from owning property or conducting business-- in effect ruining the offender's family forever.

But the punishment of treasonous women is similar, yet different from men. "For as the decency due to the sex forbids the exposing and publicly mangling their bodies, their sentence (which it to the full as terrible to sensation as the other) is to be drawn to the gallows, and there to be burned alive"

July Fourth • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250

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