Bits

Bits Here in Beaufort, Carteret County, North Carolina
 
 
 
 
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We have kept ourselves busy here in Beaufort, using the marina cars several times. They automatically know their way to Wal Mart, Piggly Wiggly and this massive out of town shopping mall where West Marine calls out to Bear on a regular basis, so much so he had accumulated loads of vouchers. Once that news was out, I very happily helped him spend them.
 

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We bought posh new lights as a Christmas present for Beez Neez, half price. Her old ones at ten years old looked tatty next to them, the new ones have a double switch that goes from white to red, funnily enough the red ones use about ten times more juice than the white, but for a few minutes at a time we can preserve our night vision all over the girl. They are so bright we can see the difference between our blue and black numbers when we play Rummikub so an extra bonus.

 

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Very strange to have the boot on the other foot. On one of our journeys we had to wait for the bridge into Morehead City to open for a Canadian yacht. We later met the captain who loved our “we don’t go aground, we sail on the spot”. It turns out that he is a writer for one of the North American sailing magazines and wants to use it as a quote.

 

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One job Bear occupied himself with was replacing Beez pram hood handle cover. It had actually worn through to the point that Bear could pull it off via the splits and not have to cut the thread at all. Then he spent three half days in the warmth of the afternoon sun to sew all seven hundred and sixty eight stitches. The new one does look rather smart, must get over the urge to stroke it when I come and go as not to get it dirty just yet. Meanwhile I have carried on copying our films to hard drives and catching up on blogs from as far back as New York in July.

 

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We saw this dog in Christmas cheer out for a walk. I had a great rack of letters during one of our games of Upword, needless to say I got a good trouncing

 

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We had this lady as our neighbour for a few days. We came back from one of our wanders round the little town and found we had a Canadian boat next to us. Every time the owners left the boat the dog barked incessantly, I was not sorry they left the next afternoon. My rejoicing was short lived as they came back around nine that night. Apparently they had just got out to sea when the conditions changed and said dog was being flung around the cockpit, they had to come back as “the dog was very seasick”. Well. The boat has a draught of six feet so heaven knows why they don’t go down the ICW, rig up a hammock for the dog, or fly it south. If none of the above, sell the boat OR preferably sell the dog, choices eh.

Mind you it was just as well they were there as we were out when the marina boys came to tell us that they had changed the shower code. I was keen ........................... so off Bear went to seek out our neighbours and the new code. I sat on a bench clenching ‘things’ until his return. The good thing about this odd incident was as I was sitting there I saw a big, fat cockroach scuttling along a fence. So the lesson of the day is to maintain our discipline when it comes to the ‘no cardboard aboard rule’. We had wondered if we would see them in the cooler weather and not having seen one for such a long time we have been a little softer on our rule. No more though.

 

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We spent some time in the visitors centre and saw this plan of Beaufort c 1830.

 

Early Law and Order for Carteret County: Following the establishing of Carteret precinct or county from Craven in 1722, the General Assembly proceeded to appoint the necessary officials to carry out the business of law and order for the new county. As in other counties of the colony, the administrative powers were in the hands of the justices of the peace, duly appointed for life by the governor. First named to fill these important offices here  were John Nelson, Richard Rustaull, Enoch Ward, Joseph Bell and Richard Whitehurst. These men constituted the county court as well as having control of almost every aspect of local government and administration. The court appointed, or nominated to the governor for appointment, the sheriff, constables, overseers of roads, searchers, patrollers, inspectors, town commissioners and almost all local officers.

 

Crime and Punishment from 1829-1954: . During the time the old jail was in use, the way criminals were punished underwent a lot of change. The jurisprudence system in colonial times relied on the concept of vengeance. This involved sentences which shamed or maimed or in some cases death. Shaming  included stocks and  pillories, ducking stools, or whipping. Maiming included branding or cutting off an ear or hand alike. The death sentence at this time was hanging. So, there was no need for long-term incarceration. In fact the main use of jails during colonial times was for holding the accused for trial and then waiting for the sentences to be carried out. Also, jails were used for debtors who could not pay their debts.

 

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Some of the crimes then are very much still the crimes of today – trespass, assault, petty larceny, burglary, murder, manslaughter and forgery to name but a few, but the treatment was a little different ???. Others were more specific to the time such as dueling, swearing and opening a store on a Sunday. Some examples of punishment:

10s - Playing games on a Sunday

2s - Drunk in Court

5s - Burning a lime kiln in town.

10s - Firing a gun in town on weekdays.

40s - Failure to bury fish offal and culls along the shores of the town.

$0.3 - per dog – Killing dogs without a collar.

$10 - opening a shop or store on a Sunday.

$10 - Robbing catbirds and mocking bird nests.

$20 - Commissioner not attending meetings.

$10 - Congregating in front of Churches or in their vestibules.

$100 - Entering Beaufort after leaving a place where smallpox is evident.

Quarreling or fighting in Beaufort – A fine, 24 hours in prison or two hours in the stocks. I’m OK with this so far.........

Perjury - One hour in the pillory and have ears nailed to the pillory, then both ears cut off and left......................Oooooooooooo Ouch.

Murder - Burned to death, or half each ear cut off, branded with an M on the cheek and whipped.

Accessory to murder - Drawing and quartering and hanging. I’m not really certain if this was a great deal compared to the actual sentence for murder.
In 1943, due to the shortage of meat, Beaufort commissioners suspended the town’s ordinance of May 1942 that prohibited citizens from raising pigs within the town limits.
 

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The T brand was used on thieves

 

By about 1825 “shaming and maiming” punishments were increasingly viewed as “cruel and unusual” and by the end of the century would fall out of use. They also were seen as not being a very effective deterrent to crime. In addition, reformers believed that solitude would help the offender. Two different ideas on prison reform came into being.

One system was call the “Separate” or “Pennsylvanian System”, because it was first tried at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. A prisoner remained in a cell or adjoining yard working alone at trades such as weaving, carpentry or shoemaking, and saw no one except the prison officials. The other system was called “Silent”, or “Auburn.” In this system the prisoners worked together, but in strict silence. They were also confined to an individual cell at night. By 1850, the Silent System was the more favoured of the two.

Around 1850 another system had begun. It was called the “Mark System”, later to be renamed the “Elmira System,” in 1876. Instead of serving set sentences, prisoners were required to earn credits or marks that were proportional to the sentences of the crime. Good conduct, hard work and study earned points. Bad conduct and refusal to apply oneself led to subtractions. The use of indeterminate sentences, individual treatment, training and parole were emphasised. Three stages to release eventually evolved in the system. Stage 1, the prisoner was kept in isolation. Stage II featured associating with other prisoners in various work projects. Finally, Stage III occurred six months before release and the prisoner was given sufficient freedoms and responsibilities to prove fitness for release. By the late 19th century, many of these features were adopted in the U.S.

 

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We learned a little more about the Civil War. A man I met in the laundry said that the British were happy to leave the U.S. after Lord Cornwallis toured round the swamps declaring “Who in their right mind wants this godforsaken land anyway”.

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Bear took me to the Ribeye, just across the road from Beez, and that’s all they sell. You choose your size of steak, say how you want it cooked, add sweet or normal baked potato and help yourself to salad at the salad bar. We have to say, it’s really the best, tender steak we have ever eaten out. Poking a bit of lettuce in I was stunned to look up at a gun as the local policemen came in for something to eat. The first time in my life I have sat that close to a loaded weapon......................................... Oh er Mrs.

The weather here according to the locals has been “uncommonly mild compared to the norm”. Most days have seen the sun shine; locals out and about in shorts and t-shirts with the temperatures in the mid twenties. Nighttime's have been a little chippy but in no way freezing or even to see your breath. It has only rained once in the last month, this has been quite a change from the daily deluges and thirty six degree heat of Trinidad, mind you, we now look pale and pasty to say the very least.

 

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We also decorated Beez this week

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ALL IN ALL A MIXED BAG OF BITS AND BOBS