From the first days of the colony, Boston boasted an impressive arsenal of public humiliations. The whipping post, to which miscreants were fastened so that they could not escape their allotted number of lashes, was located on Market Street (now State Street). Those convicted of arson, perjury and treason were punished here, along with those judged guilty of minor infractions, including sleeping too much on the Sabbath and dispensing false dinner invitations. As Hawthorne says, children were not exempt from this brutality: one Abiel Wood was whipped for drawing on his friend's back with chalk during a church service. Whipping gradually came to be seen as inhumane and Boston's post was taken down in 1813.
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