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The 20th century writer and satirist H.L. Mencken wrote that the Puritans of the 17th century lived oppressed by "the fear that someone, somewhere might be happy." The Allen sisters of Deerfield, Massachusetts, captured this Colonial Revival interpretation of Puritan society when they posed the Reverend Lewis Spooner as a Puritan magistrate. Titled, "The Letter of the Law," the photograph conveys the early 20th century impression of Puritan culture as stern and unforgiving.


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"The Letter of the Law"

photographer   Frances and Mary Allen
date   1916
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
process/materials   platinum print
item type   Photograph/Photograph
accession #   #1996.14.0295.01-.02

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See Also...

"Pilgrim's Progress"

Barbara Allen (1902-1931) dressed as a Puritan

"The Deerfield Renaissance" from New England Magazine

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