Last summer, while helping our Archives Manager Elizabeth do some organizing and accessioning (adding an item to our collection), I came across a document from 1737. The history nerd in me always loves reading documents that are nearly 300 years old, but this one in particular caught my eye. A much later transcription of the document is below, but the gist of the original document describes a fight over a lemon. Say what?
To wit, "David Comee of Lexington . . . Innholder . . . saith that on ye [the] twenty fourth day of May . . . one James Croseby of Billerica . . . was at ye dwelling house of ye Complainant . . . and did there and then with force & violence take a Lemon from ye Complainant and Refused to Return it and was going away upon which ye Compt [Complainant] followed him out of his house and ye Sd [said] James Crosbee without any just provocation took up a stone & struck the Complainant on ye side of his head with ye Stone: bruised ye flesh, broke ye skin, forthed blood & wounded him sorely on ye head."
I'm sure the experience was very unpleasant for David Comee, but I confess I (and other staff) have giggled about this document many times since its discovery. The question remains, though. Why in the world did James Croseby/Crosbee need a lemon so badly?
-Stacey Fraser, Collections and Outreach Manager
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