Harford History

April 15, 2007

A law had been in effect for nearly 50 years that required the head of every family to find three squirrel scalps or crows each year for every taxable person for whom they paid levy, and to deliver them to one of the justices of the county.

The justice was required to certify the number of scalps and heads produced and destroy them. The penalty for noncompliance was two pounds of tobacco for each squirrel scalp not produced.

Squirrel fines were repealed on April 19, 1774, thus ending, one supposes, an early attempt at pest control.

[Source: Harford Historical Bulletin, No. 17, Summer 1983; research: Harford County Public Library]

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