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Letter to Deerfield Assessors by Colonel Elihu Hoyt
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In 1798, a dog licensing law was passed in Massachusetts providing that each dog owner shall pay an annual tax and be responsible for providing the dog with a collar. The collar was to contain the name and town of the owner. Mr. Hoyt has written a formal letter of subtle protest declaring that he is the "true sole & lawfull Owner of a small spotted dog (of the cur breed) commonly known ...as Bug Hoyt" and that he will follow the law by dressing the dog with a brass collar suitably engraved. Elihu Hoyt went on to serve in the legislature in 1803 and served there twenty-seven years. He was born and brought up in the Old Indian House in Deerfield.
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