Friday, December 12, 2008

And More On That Mystery Court Case ...

As you may remember, I posted a few weeks ago on a mysterious newspaper article that mentioned that one of my ancestor's brothers was found guilty of assaulting a woman. Well, I decided to see if I could uncover an additional information in the newspapers, but unfortunately, there weren't any other articles on the case. I did notice though, that this newspaper only published the results of the court cases that were heard by that court. (I checked the newspaper for the whole year of 1845.) Apparently, there were other assault and battery cases heard by the court, and the newspaper only bothered to print what the outcome of each case was. So, it looks like the article on my brother's ancestor was typical for that newspaper.

Although I was unable to find any further information on the court case, I did decide to do some other digging to see if I could get an idea as to what the fine would be in today's dollars. In a previous post, I used the historical conversions site to covert prices from the past into today's dollars, and I did that again for the court fine. I discovered that a dollar in 1845 would be worth about $28.58 in today's dollars. Add on top of that, a week's worth of wages was lost as well, and I guess the conviction was quite costly for my ancestor's brother.

Of course, I won't know the details until I am able to obtain a transcript of the court case. Has anyone ever obtained court cases like this before? If so, how much did it cost to obtain a copy of the court's records? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

1 comment:

Sheri said...

Jessica,
The case file is probably at the Pennsylvania State Archives. They charge $.50 per page last time I checked.