Monday, December 13, 2010

Road Rage 150 Years Ago

On November 4, 1860, James Briden (also spelled Bryden) and David Hoy got into an altercation when Mr. Hoy passed Mr. Briden without his permission. This could have been as they were riding horses or horse-drawn wagons or horse-drawn sleighs. Regardless of the mode of transportation, it led to an exchange of words that escalated into a lawsuit. This incident reached the ears of the elders of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church - a church of which both Mr. Briden and Mr. Hoy were members - on November 27. At their December 17 meeting, the elders took both men to task for the exchange of words and for going outside of the church session to resolve the issue. Briden was admonished for using "improper language and language which is censurable by Session." Hoy was criticized for going to court and for giving "great publicity to the matters between [Mr. Hoy] and Mr. Briden, in violation of the law of God which required that the matter should have been told first to the Church." Hoy admitted that he shouldn't have taken the issue to court and agreed not to pass Mr. Briden in the future without his permission and to allow Mr. Briden to pass when he asked. Briden agreed to do the same. Because both men apologized for their conduct, the session declared their satisfaction and made a public announcement that the case had been settled.

James Briden likely is that James born in 1802 in Scotland. Married to Mary Burnet, he died in 1870. The David Hoy involved appears to be the one born in 1826. He died in 1913. If there was any future altercation between these two gentlemen, it does not show up in the church session minutes. They either behaved - or kept any disagreements out of the earshot of the elders of the UP Church!

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