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Anti-Horse Thief Association Constitution & By Laws

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Your Price: $ 50.00
Item Number: Mem7642
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Plus Reward Imprint

STOLEN! One Bright Bay Horse- A reward of $25 will be given for the capture of the man or horse!

Formed in 1863, in Luray and Millport, Missouri. Shortly after the commencement of the Civil War, lawless men in the border states- that is the states lying between the loyal and seceded states- banded themselves together for the purpose of plundering honest citizens. Missouri especially was subject to the depredations of these gangs, and in time the conditions became so bad that the law-abiding people found it necessary to take some action for defense. The first organization of this character was proposed at a meeting held at Luray, Mo., in September, 1863. At a second meeting held at Millport, Mo., about a month later, a constitution and by-laws were adopted, and as horses seemed to be the principal objects of theft, the society took the name of the "Anti-Horse Thief Association." The effectiveness of such an organization quickly became apparent, the order spread to other states, and in time covered a large expanse of territory. After the war was over, when the conditions that called the association into existence no longer existed, its scope was widened to include all kinds of thefts and a national organization was incorporated under the laws of Kansas. This national order is composed of officers and delegates from the state associations and meets annually on the first Wednesday in October. Next in importance is the state division, which is made up of representatives of the local organizations, and meets annually to elect officers and delegates to the national order. The sub-orders or local associations are composed of individual members and usually meet monthly.

Wall and McCarty, in their history of the association, say, "The A.H.T.A. uses only strictly honorable, legal methods. It opposes lawlessness in any and all forms, yet does its work so systematically and efficiently that few criminals are able to escape when it takes the trail...The centralization of "Many in One" has many advantages not possessed by even an independent association, for while it might encompass a neighborhood, the A.T.H.A. covers many states...The value of an article stolen is rarely taken into consideration. The order decrees that the laws of the land must be obeyed; though it costs many times the value of the property to capture the thief. An individual could not spend $50 to $100 to recover a $25 horse and capture the thief. The A.T.H.A. would, because of the effect it would have in the future...Thieves have learned these facts and do less stealing from our members, hence the preventative protection." Thieves thought twice!

This lot includes the following two items:

1: 4 x 5 3/4, string-bound imprint, 12 pages. Constitution of the State Grand Orders of the Anti-Horse Thief Association. Articles include- Name and Jurisdiction; Sessions and Locations; Officers and Elections; Duties of Officers; Offences; Revenue; Charters; Obligation; Fees For Services; Officers' Salaries; Standing Committees; Black Book; Description of Stock; the Constitution of Subordinate Orders; the By-Laws, and much more. Light age toning and wear.

#2: 5 1/8 x 3, imprinted card. STOLEN! July 7, 1887. One Bright Bay Horse, eight years old, fifteen hands high, black mane and tail (hair thin in both), one white hind foot. The thief is a man about thirty-four years old, 5 feet, ten or eleven inches high, heavy black moustache and chin whiskers, rather fair skin, large round dark eyes, and black hair, high forehead, small bald spot on back of head, weighs about 180 to 190 pounds, and wore a black suit of cloth clothes somewhat worn, and a light straw hat. A reward of $25 will be given for the capture of the man or horse. Address all information to J.B. ELLIS, Altomont, Kansas. The card was mailed to a person in Kansas as is evident by the address on the reverse. Imprinted Thomas Jefferson one cent postage stamp and C.D.S., Osage Mission, Kan., Jul. 12. Light wear and staining.

Very interesting, desirable, and uncommon 19th century Anti-Horse Thief imprints.

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