Paradoxical Resolutions


An article in the September 1857 issue of Harper’s Monthly Magazine (Vol. 15) said that the editorial staff of the magazine received a letter from a Vicksburg correspondent who “assures us […] that the following resolutions were passed by the Board of Councilmen of Canton, Mississippi:”

  1. Resolved, by this Council, that we build a new Jail.
  2. Resolved, that the new Jail be built out of the materials of the old Jail.
  3. Resolved, that the old Jail be used until the new Jail is finished.

No one knows if this is real. Nonetheless, it’s quite an amusing read if nothing else.

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

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