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The whipping-post stood near the meeting-house, and was often used: even women suffered the indignity.

Conspicuous in the meeting-house was the stool of repentance, on which moral culprits sat during divine service and on lecture-days. Sometimes they wore a paper cap, on which was written their sin. Wearing a halter round the neck was another form of punishment. The pillory was often used; and the offender was saluted by the boys with rotten eggs.


Military offenders were obliged to ride the wooden horse, or sit in the bilboes. Branding on the forehead, the cage, and the gallows, were each resorted to, according to the degrees of crime.

The Christian sentiments of the heart are outraged by the shameless exhibitions and cruelties sometimes witnessed on “lecture-day.” What a transition,--from the altar of God the bare back! This was teaching Puritan individualism with a vengeance.

The custom of whipping did not cease in Medford till 1790!


Our fathers held slaves in Medford. There are persons now living among us who remember slaves in their family. They were treated, generally, much after the manner of children. Africans were brought to this colony and sold among us, for the first time, Feb. 26, 1638. In 1637, Captain William Pierce was employed to carry Pequot captives and sell

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