Punishments of Authors and Books,
page 6 of 8
May 14, 1750, New York Gazette.
“Tuesday last one David Smith was convicted in the Mayor’s Court of Taking or stealing Goods off a Shop Window in this City, and was sentenced to be whipped at the Carts Tail round this Town and afterwards whipped at the Pillory which sentence was accordingly executed on him.”
In the same paper, date October 2, 1752, an account is given of the pillorying of a boy for picking pockets and the whipping of an Irishman for stealing deerskins. Another man was “whipt round the city” for stealing a barrel of flour: In January, 1761, four men for “petty larceny” were whipped at the cart-tail round New York.
In 1638 a whipping post was set up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as a companion to the cage. For “speaking opprobriously,” and even for “suspitious speeches,” New Haven citizens were whipped at the “carts podex.”
Rhode Island even under the tolerant and gentle Roger Williams had no idle whip. “Larcenie,” drunkenness, perjury, were punished at the whipping-post. In Newport malefactors were whipped at the cart-tail until this century. Mr. Channing tells of seeing them fastened to the cart and being thus slowly led through the streets to a public spot where they were whipped on the naked back. Women were at that time whipped in the jail-yard with only spectators of their own sex.
In Plymouth women were whipped at the cart-tail, and the towns resounded with the blows dealt out to Quakers. In 1636, on a day in June, one Helin Billinton, was whipped in Plymouth for slander.
There was a whipping-post on Queen Street in Boston, another on the Common, another on State Street, and they were constantly in use in Boston in Revolutionary times. Samuel Breck wrote of the year 1771:
“The large whipping-post painted red stood conspicuously and prominently in the most public street in the town. It was placed in State Street directly under the windows of a great writing school which I frequented, and from there the scholars were indulged in the spectacle of all kinds of punishment suited to harden their hearts and brutalize their feelings.