17. Samuel Peters’s General History of Connecticut included some real laws
Reverend Peters listed the blue laws in effect in the New Haven Colony in his 1781 history, though subsequent scholarship determined many of them didn’t exist. They did find supportive documents for some of the laws listed by Peters, including a law which required married couples to live together, “or be imprisoned”. Another law provided the “wife shall be good evidence against her husband”, and still another allowed the community, “on finding children ignorant, may take them away from their parents and put them into better hands, at the expense of their parents”.
Following the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, the thirteen former colonies adopted state constitutions which complied with the new federal law. Nearly all of the colonial blue laws were no longer enforced, but communities and states adopted new laws, nearly all of them aimed at protecting the Sabbath from secular activities. In the lands north and west of the Ohio River, few were in place until the late 19th century, though in the Old South, states adopted blue laws almost immediately. The temperance movement led to communities and counties adopting liquor laws, which first restricted drinking on the Sabbath, and spread to the rest of the week.