Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Connecticut keeps trying to ban plants

    In 2006, I blogged about Maryland's early attempt in 1663 to deal with pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.  Maryland is still trying to figuire out a solution almost 350 years later.  Many states have issues which they try to fix through repeated legislation through the ages. Florida trying to get its presidential voting straight comes to mind, with two tries at the apple so far, 1876 and 2000.   Now, I offer up Connecticut's multi-century attempts to ban plants starting with barberry in 1726 and again in 2004. Below is a copy of legislation in the colony of Connecticut – a first try at a plant ban predating the establishment of the United States.


An Act concerning Barberry Bushes. Whereas the abounding of barberry bushes is thought to be very hurtful, it being by plentiful experience found that, where they are in large quantities, they do occasion, or at least increase, the blast on all sorts of English grain, Be it therefore enacted by the Governour, Council and Representatives, in General Court assembled, and hy the authority of the same, That the inhabitants of the several towns within this Colony may, and they are hereby fully impow'red, at their annual town meetings, to determine and agree upon the utter destroying of the said bushes within their respective townships, and the time when and manner how. And if any of the inhabitants of such town or towns so agreeing shall oppose the cutting down said bushes within their fields and enclosures, and forbid the other inhabitants coming thereinto for that end, they shall incur the penalty of twenty shillings, to be paid into the treasury of the town wherein they dwell. And if any such person shall thenceforward continue to oppose the cutting said bushes as aforesaid, they shall also incur the penalty of ten shillings per month until they shall declare to the selectmen their free consent for their entering into such inclosures and destroying the said bushes therein growing. Said penalties to be recovered by distraint on the goods and chattels of the person or persons so offending.

Provided nevertheless, That if any person or persons have any of said bushes, the which they make use of or depend upon for a fence, such person or persons shall not incur either of the aforesaid penalties till after just satisfaction to them made by the town, as they and the selectmen can agree, or as by two or three indifferent men, chosen by said parties or appointed by the civil authority, shall judge reasonable. (page 10-11)

Works Cited

Hoadly, C. J. (Ed.). (1873). The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut from May 1726 to May 1735 trasncribed and edited in accordance withwith a resolution of the General Assembly ( ed., Vol. 7). Hartford, Connecticut: Case, Lockwood & Brainard.

No comments: