National Archives at Boston

Indictment of James Dorsey

Indictment of James Dorsey of Lynn, MA, July 1921 for knowingly selling 1/2 pint of intoxicating liquor

Citation: US vs James Dorsey; US District Court for Massachusetts; Case #3226; RG 021 National Archives at Boston.

The Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution of January 16, 1919, which we refer to as Prohibition, restricted "...manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States..." The Volstead Act, the popular name for the National Prohibition Enforcement Act, of October 28, 1919, was intended to enforce the law. The prosecution ranged from this example in which Mr. James Dorsey was indicted for selling half a pint to those who smuggled, sold, and managed huge quantities. In this case, James Dorsey plead guilty. Prohibition was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933.

Documents related to the enforcement of Prohibition reside at the National Archives. Come by the see them!