Beautifully engraved certificate from the New England Breeders' Club
in 1905. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Co. New York and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of horses. This item is hand signed by the Company's President ( Andrew Miller ) and Treasurer ( W. H. Bisset ) and is
over 103 years old.
The New England Breeders' Club, was an organization of New York investors who built and equipped Rockingham Park, an elaborate track for running horse races at Salem.
New York Times - March 14, 1906
New York Times - March 14, 1906
BOOKMAKING ILLEGAL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE; Will Affect New Track Owned by New York Turfmen. SUPREME COURT'S DECISION Betting on a Horse Race Is Gambling and Punishable by Criminal and Civil Action.
CONCORD, N.H., March 13. -- That the making of books and pool selling at the new race course of the New England Breeders' Club at Salem, N.H., would be a violation of the law and punishable by criminal as well as civil action, is the decision of the Supreme Judicial Court returned to-day in reply to inquiries submitted to it by Gov. John McLane and counsel in reference to possible gambling at horse races.
CONCORD, N.H., March 13. -- That the making of books and pool selling at the new race course of the New England Breeders' Club at Salem, N.H., would be a violation of the law and punishable by criminal as well as civil action, is the decision of the Supreme Judicial Court returned to-day in reply to inquiries submitted to it by Gov. John McLane and counsel in reference to possible gambling at horse races. It was [he general opinion here to-night that races will be held without pool selling or bookmaking. The decision of the New Iampshire Supreme Court on two secti(ns of the act incorporating the club, hich were copied from the New Yoi'k race track law is opposed to the opinion of the New Yrk Supreme Court, which passed upon these sections some years ago.
The President and manager of the club is Andrew Miller of New York. The track is said to have cost upward of $1,000,000, which was furnished largely by New York mtsn. The question of Gov. McLane, which v a submitted to the court at the request of a large number of citizens, including many religious bodies, was: Whether the New England Breeders' Club !s authorized by its charter to maintain a common gambling place, or permit the use of its premises is such if the promoting and permitting of betting, bookmaking, or pool selling upon horse races constitutes that offense? The Court the query first and said' ] [ We are of the opinion that betting upon a horse race is illegal gaming or gambling, and the second question is answered in the affirmative. * * * -e are unable to discover in Chapter 282 of the of 1905, "an act incorporating the New England Breeders' Club." evidence of an intention to authorize the grantees or other persons to do upon ihe grounds of the corporation acts which are forbidden elsewhere. Sections 7 and 8 of the charter of the club provide means by civil suit for the recovery of money 10st in' wagers upon races, In reference to this section the court says: If they (Sections 7 and 8) are intended to exempt persons offending upon the grounds of the corporation from criminal punishment the legislation is not a general law applicable to particular places, but is an attempt to confer special privileges upon particular persons.
Only the clearest and most unmistakable language Justify a New Hampshire court in interpreting such an intention to the Legislature. These sections were copied from the I//ws of New York relative to race tracks, and the decision of the New Hampshire court is contrary to that made in New York. The court reviews at length the decision of the New York court upon bookmaking and pool sel]ing. The answer of the New Hampshire court concludes as follows: Upon the assumption therefore that book making and pool selling are merely forms of betting, we are of the opinion that Chapter 222 of the Laws of 1905 does not empower the New England Breeders' Club to promote or permit upon their grounds betting of such character upon th races and Of supposed skill and endurance which they are authorized to conduct, and that to promote or permit such acts is forbidden by the law of the State.