1757: Farmer whipped for blasphemy, misogyny

In 1757, Samuel Rhodes, a yeoman farmer from Stoughton, Massachusetts was charged with “wilfully and maliciously” uttering “false and blasphemous words”. According to witnesses, Rhodes was overheard saying to another person:

“God was a damned fool for ever making a woman.”

The court found Rhodes guilty and sentenced him to be:

“…set upon the gallows with a rope about his neck for the space of one hour; that he be publicly whipped twenty-five stripes; and that he become bound by way of recognisance in the sum of twenty pounds… for the term of 12 months and that he pay [the] costs of prosecution.”

Source: Minutes of the Superior Court of Judicature of Massachusetts Bay, Suffolk County, November 1757. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.