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Account of Fines and Amerciaments Recieved by Henry Wendell, Sheriff of the City and County of Albany, 1788

An acccount of the fines and amercements received by Henry Wendell, Sheriff of the city and county of Albany,

1788

An acccount of the fines and amercements received by Henry Wendell, Sheriff of the city and county of Albany,

1788

New York State Archives, NYSA_A0847-77_B1_F2_34
 
Document Description
An Account of the fines and amerciaments recieved by Henry Wendell, Sheriff of the city and county of Albany. The list covers the years from 1780 to 1788 and was created by John M. Beeckman.
 
Transcription
An Account of the fines and Amerciaments which have been laid on, ajudged, and have been received by Henry Wendell Esq. Sheriff of the City and county of Albany since the first day of April 1780
 
Supreme Court July Term 1780
Johannis Myers                      Riot fined                     £0.6.8
Joseph Demming                   do.                               0.6.8
Irna Yates                                do.                               0.6.8
Johannis P. Haven                 do.                               50.0.0
Asahel Demming                    do.                               0.6.8
Benjamin Brazie                      do.                               0.6.8
Jacob T. Truax                       do.                               3.0.0
 
Supreme Court October Term 1780
Daniel Rowler convicted and broke gail fined            £20.0.0
Abraham Vosburgh                 assault                         £1.0.0
James Dungam                      riot                               1.0.0
Jeremiah Johnson                  assault                         3.0.0
James Thompson                   do.                               1.0.0
Peter Davis                             do.                               0.6.8
Jonathan Kidney                     riot                               0.6.8
Andrew McIntost                     do.                               0.6.8
John Mannier                          do.                               0.3.4
Daniel Hewsline [illegible]       do.                               0.3.4
Richard W. Hellon                   do.                               0.3.4
 
Supreme Court January Term 1783
Wynant Mantle                        convicted                    £2.0.0
Supreme Court July Term 1783
Robert Hogedorn                    convicted                    £5.0.0
 
Henry Wendell Esq. late Sheriff of Albany being duly sworn deposes and says that the preceding is an Account or List of all the Monies which he has received for any of the Fines and Amerciaments which have been laid or adjudged in any of the Courts of Record in this State since the first day of April 1780 according to the best of his knowledge, memory, and recollection but that he this deponent (never having supposed or expected to be called upon to account for) has not kept any entries, memorandum, or account of the days or times when he has levied or received the same.
Henry Wendell late Sheriff
Sworn 24 July 1788 before me
John M. Beeckman
 
 
Questions
How could Bancker accuse Wendell of keeping money from fines when he kept records of fines collected? 
Does the account of fines suggest any way Wendell could keep the fines?  Explain your answer using the document.
 
Why was it so difficult for the newly formed government to collect fines and taxes?
What was the greatest fine amount collected in British pounds £?
 

Historical Context
In the years following the American Revolution the country tried to unify itself socially and politically. The huge debts from the war created problems for individual states and for the country. In an effort to raise money to pay off war debts, state treasurers tried to collect taxes and fines from the various cities, towns, and counties. This process was difficult because the newly formed state and local governments were disorganized. The case of Henry Wendell shows some of the difficulties in organizing and enforcing state government functions. Wendell was the sheriff of the county of Albany from 1777 to 1782. In this position, he collected fines from criminals. He was expected to send the money to the state. The state treasurer, Gerardus Bancker, accused Wendell of keeping the money for himself. Bancker sued Wendell for the fines plus 500 pounds for not submitting a list of the fines he had collected by the date named in a 1784 law. Wendell’s son wrote a letter to Bancker explaining his father’s side of the story. Wendell paid the amount of the fines he collected and the lawsuit was discontinued in 1789.
 
 
Essential Question
How did the aftermath of the Revolutionary War affect ordinary people’s lives?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Using the document and historical background construct a letter written by Wendell’s son to discontinue the lawsuit against him (Wendell) in 1789.