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The County Clerk and the wolf-scalp

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A Seneca hunter killed a wolf just within the bounds of Cattaraugus County, close to the Pennsylvania line, and took the scalp to Meadville, Pennsylvania, for the bounty. Being questioned where the animal was killed, he honestly told the officer that he had come across it and shot it, as near as he could tell, within the territory of New York, very near the state and county lines. On this, the clerk told him that it would be contrary to law to pay him the bounty. “That is a bad law!” replied the red man. ” Why V said the magistrate “we cannot pay for scalps taken out of the county.” “It is bad,” replied the hunter, “because you require that the wolf should know the county lines. Had this wolf seen a flock of sheep just within the Pennsylvania lines, I dare say he would not have stopped for the county lines.” On this, the magistrate paid him the bounty of five dollars.1

Footnotes

  1. N. T. Strong, Esq. 

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