Sodomy law: Plymouth, November 15, 1636

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In the earliest codification of laws in colonial America, Plymouth, founded sixteen years earlier, included eight offenses punishable by death:[1]

Treason or rebellion against the person of the King, State, or Common Wealth, either of England or these Colonies.
Willfull Murder.
Solemn compaction or conversing with the devil by way of witchcraft, conjuration or the like.
Willfull and purposed burning of ships houses.
Sodomy, rapes, buggery.
Adultery to be punished.
This Plymouth law was next revised in 1671.

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References

  1. Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay/Lesbian Almanac (NY: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 74 citing David Pulsifer, ed. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, Laws. 1623-1628 (Boston: Wm. White, 1861), vol. II, p. 12.


This entry is part of the featured exhibit Colonial America: The Age of Sodomitical Sin curated by Jonathan Ned Katz. As it is content created by a named author, editor, or curator, it is not open to editing by the general public. But we strongly encourage you to discuss the content or propose edits on the discussion page, and the author, editor, or curator will make any changes that improve the entry or its content. Thanks.


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