The Evils of Sledding

Going back a bit before the Victorians today. I found this story in "Jeff Kacirk's Forgotten English" calendar from December 21/22, 2013.

"Responding to citizens' outcries over the reckless sledding habits of Dutch-Americans in New York, the colonial legislature banned this popular recreation exactly three centuries ago, on December 22, 1713. The curious statute, which mandated the confiscation and destruction of sleds [OMG, like the spinning wheels in Sleeping Beauty! BURN THEM AAAAAAALL], proclaimed:

"'Whereas ye children of ye said city do very unorderly, to ye shame and scandall of their parents, ryde down ye hills of the said city with small and great sle[d]s on the Lord's day and in the week by which many accidents may come. For preventing ye same it is hereby publish'd and declar'd yt shall be lawful for any constable in this city, or any other person or persons, to take any sle[d] from all and every such boys and girls rydeing or offering to ryde down any hill within ye said city, and break any sle[d] in pieces'".

I just picture 5,000 Dutch-American colonial children going, "R-r-rosebud?" before bursting into tears.

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One Response to The Evils of Sledding

  1. Anonymous says:

    On the other hand, if this had been enforced across the US, Ethan Frome might not exist. There’s an upside to everything.


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