Wednesday, June 9, 2021

1847 Letter from Samuel Metcalf Pond of Bucksport, Maine, to Judge Luther Fitch in Portland, Maine; re: Liquor Laws

January 25, 1847 letter of Samuel Metcalf Pond of Bucksport, Maine, to Judge Luther Fitch in Portland, Maine, questioning the handling of the liquor laws.

Transcription at the end of this post - please let me know of needed corrections.

Samuel was presumably Samuel Metcalf Pond (1777-1849), himself a Judge of Probate. He had a son of the same name, but where elder Samuel was President of the State Temperance Society, I feel that he is the more likely candidate.

Hon. Judge Fitch was presumably Judge Luther Fitch (1783-1870) of Portland, Maine, although there were several men named Luther Fitch in this family.
Read more about Samuel Metcalf Pond (1777-1849) in A Genealogical Record of Daniel Pond and His Descendants, compiled by Edward Doubleday Harris and printed in 1873 by Williams Parsons Lunt of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Maine Historical Society holds a collection of the papers of Judge Luther Fitch.

If you have information to share on either of these two men or can correct an error in the transcription, please leave a comment or contact me directly.


Bucksport January 25, 1847
Hon. L. Fitch
I observe in the Washington Journal that there is many trials before the Municipal Court for violations of the "license law" as it is called and that you tees costs. By what law do you then tees cost to respondent?  The act is silent on this subject, unless you get it indirectly in the section, which provides that sureties shall be had in case of appeal, to secure all "costs fines or forfeitures", that may be recovered finally on the complaint.

Has the question of "what liquors are embraced in the words "spirituous liquors or any liquors a part of which is spirituous" in the 1st section of the act? Does porter, strong beer, Albany ale come within the meaning of these words?  I have been informed that the sale of those liquors is much increased in some of our villages since the present statute has been in operation.
My desire to do away the facilities & intemperance by virtue of the act now in force for that purpose is the object of my inquiries.
Yours respectfully
Samuel M. Pond

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