‘When lawmen break the law, there is no law’

Guy Somerset writes:

The obscenity of roughing up a retiree in the sacred search for lost arrowheads reminded me very much of a similar atrocity that was committed in Kentucky during the early 1990s. 

Descendants of naturalist painter John James Audubon owned several heirlooms which had been leased for a nominal amount to a museum in his name, one being an original oil rendition of the American Bald Eagle.


Yet rather than being assessed the pennies’ cost of paint and cloth which might be justifiably totaled, Audubon’s great-great-great granddaughters faced a tax bill of over $750,000.

Needless to say, for ordinary people of middle-class means this sum was outrageous, and the collection and canvas were forfeited to the state. In frontier vernacular, some say the granddaughters’ birthright was simply stolen.