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  • State Laws Relevant to Artifact Collecting

    US STATE LAWS RELEVANT TO ARTIFACT COLLECTING

    The information here relates to legislation and interpretation at State level, which is in addition to legislation at national/federal level in the United States. All information has been supplied in good faith but users should not regard it as authoritative, or assume that there have been no subsequent changes.

    GENERAL ADVICE
    From [Hoss]

    Some States have other rules and laws regarding preservation and protection of Historic and Archaeological sites and Natural resources. I have been a Member of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut for many years. I found answers to a lot of my questions by asking people with in the membership. Back when I joined I would get info at annual meetings. There was no websites. Now these Societies all seem to have some type of Website and contact information. I encourage you to become a member of your States Society.

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    US STATES - IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
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    Last edited by painshill; 01-31-2016, 09:21 AM.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

  • #2
    A-F (ALABAMA - FLORIDA)
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    FLORIDA

    From [tomclark]:

    The 2011 Florida Statutes - Title XVIII
    PUBLIC LANDS AND PROPERTY Chapter 267 - HISTORICAL RESOURCES

    267.13 Prohibited practices; penalties.—

    (1)(a) Any person who by means other than excavation either conducts archaeological field investigations on, or removes or attempts to remove, or defaces, destroys, or otherwise alters any archaeological site or specimen located upon, any land owned or controlled by the state or within the boundaries of a designated state archaeological landmark or landmark zone, except in the course of activities pursued under the authority of a permit or under procedures relating to accredited institutions granted by the division, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and, in addition, shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects, and materials collected, together with all photographs and records relating to such material.

    (b) Any person who by means of excavation either conducts archaeological field investigations on, or removes or attempts to remove, or defaces, destroys, or otherwise alters any archaeological site or specimen located upon, any land owned or controlled by the state or within the boundaries of a designated state archaeological landmark or landmark zone, except in the course of activities pursued under the authority of a permit or under procedures relating to accredited institutions granted by the division, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and any vehicle or equipment of any person used in connection with the violation is subject to forfeiture to the state if it is determined by any court of law that the vehicle or equipment was involved in the violation. Such person shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects, and materials collected or excavated, together with all photographs and records relating to such material. The court may also order the defendant to make restitution to the state for the archaeological or commercial value and cost of restoration and repair as defined in subsection (4).

    (c) Any person who offers for sale or exchange any object with knowledge that it has previously been collected or excavated in violation of any of the terms of ss. 267.11-267.14, or who procures, counsels, solicits, or employs any other person to violate any prohibition contained in ss. 267.11-267.14 or to sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to sell, purchase, or exchange any archaeological resource excavated or removed from any land owned or controlled by the state or within the boundaries of a designated state archaeological landmark or landmark zone, except with the express consent of the division, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and any vehicle or equipment of any person used in connection with the violation is subject to forfeiture to the state if it is determined by any court of law that such vehicle or equipment was involved in the violation. All specimens, objects, and material collected or excavated, together with all photographs and records relating to such material, shall be forfeited to the state. The court may also order the defendant to make restitution to the state for the archaeological or commercial value and cost of restoration and repair as defined in subsection (4).

    (2)(a) The division may institute an administrative proceeding to impose an administrative fine of not more than $500 a day on any person or business organization that, without written permission of the division, explores for, salvages, or excavates treasure trove, artifacts, sunken or abandoned ships, or other objects having historical or archaeological value located on state-owned or state-controlled lands, including state sovereignty submerged lands.

    (b) The division shall institute an administrative proceeding by serving written notice of a violation by certified mail upon the alleged violator. The notice shall specify the law or rule allegedly violated and the facts upon which the allegation is based. The notice shall also specify the amount of the administrative fine sought by the division. The fine shall not become due until after service of notice and an administrative hearing. However, the alleged violator shall have 20 days from service of notice to request an administrative hearing. Failure to respond within that time shall constitute a waiver, and the fine shall become due without a hearing.

    (c) The division may enter its judgment for the amount of the administrative penalty imposed in a court of competent jurisdiction, pursuant to s. 120.69. The judgment may be enforced as any other judgment.

    (d) The division may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive relief against any person or business organization that explores for, salvages, or excavates treasure trove, artifacts, sunken or abandoned ships, or other objects having historical or archaeological value located on state-owned or state-controlled land, including state sovereignty submerged land, without the written permission of the division.

    (e) The division shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section.

    (3) Any person who:

    (a) Reproduces, retouches, reworks, or forges any archaeological or historical object originating from an archaeological site as designated by ss. 267.11-267.14 and deriving its principal value from its antiquity or makes any such object, whether a copy or not; or

    (b) Falsely labels, describes, identifies, or offers for sale or exchange any object with intent to represent the same to be an original and genuine archaeological or historical specimen,

    commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    (4) DETERMINATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL OR COMMERCIAL VALUE AND COST OF RESTORATION AND REPAIR.—

    (a) Archaeological value.—For purposes of this section, the archaeological value of any archaeological resource involved in a violation of the prohibitions in ss. 267.11-267.14 or conditions of a permit issued pursuant to ss. 267.11-267.14 shall be the value of the data associated with the archaeological resource. This value shall be appraised in terms of the costs of the retrieval of the scientific information which would have been obtainable prior to the violation. These costs may include, but need not be limited to, the cost of preparing a research design, conducting field work, carrying out laboratory analysis, and preparing reports as would be necessary to realize the information potential.

    (b) Commercial value.—For purposes of this section, the commercial value of any archaeological resource involved in a violation of the prohibitions in ss. 267.11-267.14 or conditions of a permit issued pursuant to ss. 267.11-267.14 shall be its fair market value. Where the violation has resulted in damage to the archaeological resource, the fair market value should be determined using the condition of the archaeological resource prior to the violation, to the extent that its prior condition can be ascertained.

    (c) Cost of restoration and repair.—For purposes of this section, the cost of restoration and repair of archaeological resources damaged as a result of a violation of prohibitions or conditions pursuant to this section shall be the sum of the costs already incurred for emergency restoration or repair work, plus those costs projected to be necessary to complete restoration and repair, which may include, but need not be limited to, the costs of the following:

    1. Reconstruction of the archaeological resource.
    2. Stabilization of the archaeological resource.
    3. Ground contour reconstruction and surface stabilization.
    4. Research necessary to carry out reconstruction or stabilization.
    5. Physical barriers or other protective devices, necessitated by the disturbance of the archaeological resource, to protect it from further disturbance.
    6. Examination and analysis of the archaeological resource, including recording remaining archaeological information, where necessitated by disturbance, in order to salvage remaining values which cannot be otherwise conserved.
    7. Reinterment of human remains in accordance with religious custom and state, local, or tribal law, where appropriate, as determined by the land manager.
    8. Preparation of reports relating to any of the activities described in this paragraph.

    History.—s. 1, ch. 73-166; s. 9, ch. 81-173; s. 1, ch. 93-114; s. 15, ch. 2001-199; s. 18, ch. 2005-207.
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    Last edited by painshill; 01-31-2016, 09:22 AM.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

    Comment


    • #3
      G-L (GEORGIA - LOUISIANA)
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      INDIANA

      From [gregszybala]:

      Link to Indiana State laws:
      www.in.gov/dnr/historic/files/lawqa.pdf
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      KANSAS

      From [CliffJ]:

      It appears that both Kansas allows surface collecting on private property with the owner's permission. Reporting what you find is encouraged. Digging is discouraged but not prohibited except in the case of human remains. State and federal lands are protected as in all states.
      http://www.kshs.org/p/kansas-antiqui...-statute/14587
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      Last edited by painshill; 01-31-2016, 09:22 AM.
      I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

      Comment


      • #4
        M (MAINE - MONTANA)
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        MISSISSIPPI

        Laws Concerning Artifact Collecting


        Due to many questions posed by collectors in our state, we're going to look at the laws as they affect hunting for points, both on the state and federal level. Some of the laws are very plain in the way they are written, while others are more complex; it's worth noting that some of these laws haven't been fully tested in court cases. All laws are subject to interpretation, so don't take anything here as legal advice in any way.

        Federal Laws:

        Pertinent laws at the federal level are mostly contained within ARPA (Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979) and the companion set of regulations, 43CFR7. A full reprinting of the complete statute would be far beyond the scope of our newsletter, however the short version is that no collecting of archeological specimens is allowed on lands owned or controlled by the United States government. A short discussion of Section 6 of ARPA is in order however, as much confusion exists in the collecting community.

        Section 6 states:

        (a) No person may excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface or attempt to excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface any archaeological resource located on public lands or Indian lands unless such activity is pursuant to a permit issued under section 4 of this Act, a permit referred to in section 4(h)(2) of this Act, or the exemption contained in section 4(g)(1) of this Act.

        (b) No person may sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to sell, purchase, or exchange any archeological resource if such resource was excavated or removed from public lands or Indian lands in violation of- (1) the prohibition contained in subsection (a) of this section, or (2) any provision, rule, regulation, ordinance, or permit in effect under any other provision of Federal law.

        (c) No person may sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to sell, purchase, or exchange, in interstate or foreign commerce, any archaeological resource excavated, removed, sold, purchased, exchanged, transported, or received in violation of any provision,, rule, regulation, ordinance, or permit in effect under State or local law.

        (d) Any person who knowingly violates, or counsels, procures, solicits, or employs any other person to violate, any prohibition contained in subsection (a), (1), or (c) of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both: Provided, however, That if the commercial or archaeological value of the archaeological resources involved and the cost of restoration and repair of such resources exceeds the sum of $500, such person shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. In the case of a second or subsequent such violation upon conviction such person shall be fined not more than $100,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

        (e) The prohibitions contained in this section shall take effect on October 31, 1979 [the date of the enactment of this Act].

        (f) Nothing in subsection (b)(1) of this section shall be deemed applicable to any person with respect to any archaeological resource, which was in the lawful possession of such person prior to October 31, 1979.

        (g) Nothing in subsection (d) of this section shall be deemed applicable to any person with respect to the removal of arrowheads located on the surface of the ground.

        So as we see from the Act, while "no person" without a permit may excavate or remove any "archaeological resource" from federal lands, the criminal and civil penalties contained in subsection (d) may not be enforced on any person picking up an arrowhead from the surface. Removal of the artifact from the site may, however, result in arrest for theft of government property.


        State Laws

        On the subject of artifacts and sites located on state property, the law in Mississippi could not be more clear. Mississippi Code 39-7-11 states:

        (1) All other sites, objects, buildings, artifacts, implements, and locations of archaeological significance, including, but expressly not limited to, those pertaining to prehistoric and historical American Indian or aboriginal campsites, dwellings, and habitation sites, their artifacts and implements of culture, as well as archaeological sites of every character that are located in, on or under the surface of any lands belonging to the State of Mississippi or to any county, city, or political subdivision of the state, are hereby declared to be Mississippi landmarks and are the sole property of the State of Mississippi. Such sites may not be taken, altered, destroyed, salvaged or excavated without a permit from the board or in violation of the terms of such permit.

        State law also makes it illegal to knowingly disturb human remains on private property without a permit from MDAH. In addition, if human remains are encountered, all ground disturbing activity must cease and the Sheriff of the county involved must be notified immediately.


        State Laws Regarding Collecting On Private Lands

        This is the area we're most interested in, as most of us know the vast majority of collecting takes place on private land. Mississippi grants almost exclusive control of sites to the landowner, as long as burials are not encountered. Written permission from the landowner is required by law in our state to hunt for artifacts. The following paragraphs are selected sections of the Mississippi Code as it applies to collecting without permission.

        § 39-7-31. Entry upon land of another to deface, remove or destroy archeological relics or sites.

        No person, not being the owner thereof, and without the written consent of the owner, proprietor, lessee, or person in charge thereof, shall enter or attempt to enter upon the lands of another and intentionally injure, disfigure, remove, excavate, damage, take, dig into, or destroy any historical structure, monument, marker, medallion, or artifact, or any prehistoric or historic archaeological site, American Indian or aboriginal remains located in, on or under any private lands within the State of Mississippi. No person without a permit from the board, and without written permission of the landowner, shall intentionally injure, disfigure, remove, excavate, damage, take, dig into, or destroy any prehistoric or historic American Indian or aboriginal burial.

        § 39-7-35. Penalties for violations of chapter; finder's fee for arrest and conviction of violator.

        (1) Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or by confinement in jail for not more than thirty (30) days, or by both such fine and confinement. Each day of continued violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a distinct and separate offense for which the offender may be punished.

        (2) The board at its discretion may grant a "finder's fee," not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), for the arrest and conviction of any person in violation of this chapter.


        In The Water...

        So far it's been easy ...but creek hunting in MS is not specifically addressed in the laws. While the state does claim all artifacts on state land, and grants trespass rights to the stream channels of public waterways (implying state control of these areas), the disposition of artifacts within navigable streambeds remains questionable. In fact, the exact definition of a navigable waterway is outdated under MS law; however court cases in other states (including at least one Supreme Court decision) indicate that any stream that is navigable by boat should be considered navigable in law. It is illegal in MS to disturb the bed or banks of a public waterway (defined as "having a mean annual flow of not less than one hundred (100) cubic feet per second, as determined and designated on appropriate maps by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality"). Small streams, too small for boats, are under the control of the landowner and written permission would cover it.

        While the legal situation is somewhat muddied, there is no concern voiced over creek hunting in our state. This isn't the case in other states in the south, and Alabama is the only state in the region that specifically allows collecting of artifacts within navigable stream channels. Laws against collecting in streams in Florida are strictly enforced. Informal conversations with many members of the professional archeology community working in MS over the last couple of years has resulted in no objections to this form of collecting, as most readily concede displaced artifacts washed into streams have minimal archeological value except for pure distributional data.


        Unmarked Burial Sites & Indian Burial Laws

        The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formerly the Soil Conservation Service, is a federal agency that provides technical assistance on practices to promote sound soil and water conservation measures on private lands. Some of these practices have effects on cultural resources which are dealt with under agency policy or federal or state statutes.

        In response to increasing concerns over the looting of cultural resources, including sites containing human remains, many states have enacted legislation to protect unmarked burial sites. These state laws often require special treatment of burial sites and associated resources and may carry penalties for failure to comply. This report is a compilation and comparative analysis of all existing state cultural resource reburial/repatriation laws. It was prepared to assist NRCS technical staff who work daily under applicable state and federal laws. This report originally was prepared for the Natural Resources Conservation Service under order number 40-3A75-1-638 by CEHP Incorporated, Washington, D.C. in 1993. The principle authors were Kathleen Schamel, Jill Schaefer and Loretta Neumann. Since its original printing, many states that did not have burial protection laws have enacted them. Other laws have been amended. NRCS contracted with CEHP Incorporated to review the original report and update it.

        During 2010, some 38 state laws specifically addressing reburial of human skeletal remains, repatriation of human skeletal remains and grave goods and/or unmarked grave protection statutes were examined, including six newly-enacted laws. Each law was analyzed and a detailed summary of the major provisions was prepared. The categories of information include the following:

        (1) who has jurisdiction for implementing the law; (2) statute of limitation in which a violator can be prosecuted; (3) types of geographical areas protected or exempted, such as mounds or designated cemeteries; (4) whether a consultation process was established; (5) if a review or consultation committee was appointed; (6) who has ultimate ownership for archaeological remains; (7) who may be held liable for prosecution for violations of the law; (8) what penalties are established; (9) whether there are exemptions to the law; and (10) if permits are required and who is responsible for issue them.

        The terms "reburial" and "repatriation" mean very different things. In this report reburial means the legal requirement or physical act of placing or interring human remains in a designated area such as a cemetery. Repatriation means the legal process of turning ownership and responsibility for human remains and graves goods over to another entity. In addition, in this report, the term "graves protection" means legal statutes established to prevent the damage, destruction or disturbance of places where dead human bodies have been placed.

        In addition to the 38 states which have enacted reburial or repatriation laws, others which have not enacted laws specifically addressing human remains in archaeological context may use state archaeological and historic preservation laws or a combination of public decency, cemeteries protection and abuse of corpse statutes for these purposes. These laws were summarized for this report.

        Duplicated from the “Resources” section of arrowheads.com and reproduced with permission.
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        MISSOURI

        From [CliffJ]:

        It appears that Missouri allows surface collecting on private property with the owner's permission. Reporting what you find is encouraged. Digging is discouraged but not prohibited except in the case of human remains. State and federal lands are protected as in all states.

        www.missouristate.edu/car/2622.htm


        From [Speedmaster]:

        I found the below article excerpt from the Missouri Department of Conservation publication from July 2006 that appears to answer the question. As far as I know, the state only regulates the salvage of shipwrecks on or near navigable waterways. Be advised that public right of access to Missouri streams includes only those that are "navigable." This usually means you can float a raft or canoe down it without any problems. If you go down a smaller watercourse, which is non-navigable, you may be trespassing. Please see the attached document for further information.

        Sandbar Archaeology and the Law

        Picking up artifacts isn’t always legal. In some cases, state or federal laws protect archaeological sites’ cultural and scientific value. However, this value is greatly diminished after erosion removes an object from its original location. Arrowheads and bison skulls found on sandbars are still of interest to those who study such things, but their scientific value is minimal.

        Brant Vollman, an archaeologist with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, said that while it may be legal to collect artifacts on river sandbars, collectors must be careful not to wander onto private land. The Missouri River is public property, but public ownership extends only as high as the ordinary low-water mark on banks.

        Any land above the point where trees and other permanent vegetation grow is part of the shore. You need permission to go there unless it happens to be a conservation area or other public land. While permission is not needed to go on public land, artifacts found on state-owned land are considered property of the state. Many permanent islands also are private property.

        Vollman also noted that Missouri law protects shipwrecks. Furthermore, it is illegal to knowingly disturb human remains, so known burial sites are off-limits.
        Vollman and University of Missouri archaeologist Lee Lyman encourage people to report significant finds and bring river artifacts of all kinds to them for examination. Often they can tell the owners what animals or people they came from and approximately how old they are.

        State Laws and Regulations on Artifact Collecting

        Artifact surface collecting or any kind of digging on State of Missouri-owned lands without specific permit or authorization is usually prohibited by each department pursuant to state regulations (10 CSR 90-2.040 and 3 CSR 10-11.110).

        Artifact collecting on private land is usually legal with the stipulation that you are either the landowner or have the landowner's permission, and that there is no possibility of disturbance of any human remains (see below statute RSMo 194.410). We would highly recommend that anyone collecting artifacts on private land follow the guidelines established by the Missouri Archaeological Society at this website: associations.missouristate.edu/mas/identification.html.

        Citation: §194.410
        Section Title: Unmarked Human Burial Sites: penalty
        Declares that a person, corporation, partnership, proprietorship or organization commits a class D felony who knowingly disturbs, destroys, vandalizes or damages a marked or unmarked human burial site.

        RSMo 253.420. Provides that no one may begin salvage operations on submerged or embedded abandoned shipwrecks that meet the National Register eligibility criteria without going through the Missouri DNR permitting process. The applicant must submit a detailed plan of all salvage activities that must be approved or denied by the Department of Natural Resources within 30 days.

        Federal Laws on Artifact Collecting

        Artifact collecting or digging on Federal Lands is also prohibited pursuant to the provisions of the Archaeological Resources Protected Act of 1979 or ARPA (amended 1988). ARPA strengthened the permitting procedures required for conducting archeological fieldwork on federal lands, originally mandated by the Antiquities Act. It also establishes more rigorous fines and penalties for unauthorized excavation on federal land.

        Submerged Lands Act of 1953
        Affirms state ownership of all constantly submerged land within the individual states’ navigable bodies of water.

        Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1988
        Asserts the Federal Government’s title to any abandoned shipwreck that meets the criteria for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, but transfers title to shipwrecks not located on Federal land to the States in whose waters they lie.

        The Clean Water Act is a 1977 amendment to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, which set the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States.

        SECTION 404 of the Clean Water Act Provides for a permit system for projects involving the discharge of dredged or Fill Material into the Waters of the United States. This includes navigable waterways and tributaries (creeks). Any such operations require a Army Corps of Engineers permit and will invoke the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 process which requires Federal Agencies take into account the impacts of their projects to cultural resources.
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        Last edited by painshill; 01-31-2016, 09:23 AM.
        I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

        Comment


        • #5
          N (NEBRASKA – NORTH DAKOTA)
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          NORTH CAROLINA

          From [CliffJ]:

          A pretty good summary of North Carolina laws regarding hunting artifacts:
          http://www.archaeology.ncdcr.gov/nca...ng/archres.htm
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          Last edited by painshill; 01-31-2016, 09:24 AM.
          I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

          Comment


          • #6
            O-S (OHIO - SOUTH DAKOTA)
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            OREGON

            From [Hoss]:

            A link for Oregon which gives some details about Cultural Resources Recovery:
            http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/ARCH/...etin_1_faq.pdf
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            Last edited by painshill; 01-31-2016, 09:24 AM.
            I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

            Comment


            • #7
              T-W (TENNESSEE - WYOMING)
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              TENNESSEE

              From [Hoss]:

              A link about Tennessee archaeology:
              http://www.nativenashville.com/Histo...ation_arch.php
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              Last edited by painshill; 01-31-2016, 09:25 AM.
              I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

              Comment

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