A Quaker Shrewd and True
In the 1600’s, Sandwich counted in its population one Daniel Wing. Daniel was a Quaker, and Quakers, while tolerated, were not admired on the Cape in those days. And no wonder. Daniel’s “lack of respect” for the government, which was a hard-and-fast combination of “church and state,” riled the civil and ecclesiastical authorities.
He was always getting himself into hot water by the things he did, such as sheltering other Quakers, keeping his hat on in the presence of the magistrates, persistently addressing the judge as “Thomas” instead of employing the customary terms of address, and even flatly refusing to take any oath of allegiance.
The civil authorities struck back at him with constant prosecutions and heavy fines. These fines caused him such severe losses that he feared his whole estate would be lost. By a clever scheme based on old English law, he had himself declared legally dead.
He left his estate to his children. When he finally died in 1698, Daniel left property including a dwelling house, thirteen acres of land, and eleven head of cattle. Thus he outwitted his prosecutors and benefitted his survivors.
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