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An Act to prevent deception and fraud by owners and agents who may have of control of any stallion kept for services, by proclaiming or publishing fraudulent or false pedi­grees or records, and to protect such owners or agents in the collection of fees for services of such stallions (Act 33) was passed by the state legisla­ture and signed into law on May 10, 1893, by Governor Robert E. Pattison. The act required any owner or agent having custody or control of any stallion for which he in­tended to charge a fee for services to file with the clerk of the court of quar­ter sessions of the county a written statement giving the name, age, pedigree, and the description, terms, and conditions upon which the stallion would serve.

Upon the official filing of this statement, the clerk of the court would issue a certificate or license to the owner or agent who was required to post a copy of the statement at a conspicuous location where the stallion was kept for service. Owners or agents who published fraudulent pedigrees, or who refused to comply with the provisions of the act, risked forfeiting all fees they had charged for the services of the stallion. The act specified that individuals who had been defrauded could also sue them for damages.

Among the earliest records created in response to the new law is an entry dated July 19, 1893, by Robert S. Edmis­ton of Milan, Ulster Township, Bradford County, for a six-year-old stal­lion named Gold Patch that contains an unusually detailed pedigree. (“Honest Bob” Edmiston was elected twice to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and served in the state senate from 1901 to 1909.) The Stallion Register containing Edmiston’s sworn statement covers the period from 1893 to 1907, and in­cludes entries for forty-eight uncastrated adult male horses. The earliest such reg­ister in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Archives, it is one of three volumes comprising series 47.17 in the Records of County Govern­ments (Record Group 47). Like many areas in rural Pennsylvania at the time, Bradford County could be re­garded as “horse country.” At the suggestion of his brother William Foster, a civil engi­neer working in Towanda, the composer Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864) attended the Athens Academy in Brad­ford County from 1839 to 1841. A race track at Camp­town in the southeastern corner of Bradford County is frequently cited as one of the inspirations for Foster’s pop­ular 1850 composition “Camptown Races” (see “Marking Time” in the spring 2005 issue). Material relating to Foster is contained in Manuscript Group 9, Pennsylvania Writ­ers Collection, 1837-1975, held by the Pennsylvania State Archives.