In March, 1760, the town meeting was of more than the average interest. James Humphrey was chosen moderator, and the officers elected were Ezra Whitmarsh, town clerk; James Humphrey, John Pratt and Samuel Kingman, selectmen and assessors. There were also elected constables, surveyors, hogreeves, fence-viewers, horsereeves, field driver, tithingmen, sealer of leather, etc.
The fishing question took a good part of the first day and the herring committee were instructed to gather up the rn~ney due and turn it into the treasury.
It was also "voted that whoever be impowered by the town to catch alewives the present year shall not exceed sixty barrels for the market."
A new county was again agitated, and "Dr. Cotton Tufts was chosen agent to confer with the several agents of neighboring towns in order to petition the General Court for a separate county.,,
Roads and bridges came in for special attention this year and a revolution of system was the result, and that system prevailed tip to a large extent tip to times which are remembered by many now living (even the writer of the~e articles once worked out his father's highway tax by leading a horse from the gravel pit where the carts were loaded to the road where the gravel was being spread).
The systemahen inaugurated was a highway tax of 2 shillings and I penny for each poll and an additional tax of 2 shillings and one penny in real and personal estate. This tax might be paid or worked out ' and those who worked received 2 shillings and one penny per day, and those who furnished teams, either oxen or horses, received 4 shillings and 2 peace. All moneys received were to be expended for material and bridge improvement.
The town was divided into six districts to carry thE effect, and those in charge were Lea. John Holbrook, I Zachiriah Bicknell, Richard Vining, Thomas White Blancher.
"Voted that hogs properly yoked and ringed might run at large excepting in August, September and October."
At the town meeting in May, James Humphrey was agat . n elected representative to the General Court.
"Voted that the money collected for the fishery and wharfage in Back River be turned into the town treasury.""Voted not to let out the wharfs in the town this year."
"Voted Dea. Abiah White, Dea. John Holbrook, Lt. Porte, Lt. John Bates and Capt. Solomon Lovell perambulate the line below the two landing places both on Fore River and Back River."
Ir"Voted that the selectmen be ordered not to approbate Lt. Porter to be an innholder in said town."
i The boundary line between Weymouth and Abington was still ,.Sn unsatisfactory one, and Jarnes Humphrey, Samuel KingmanE~and Ebenezer Colson were appointed to perambulate the same,
~,Srkl support of the ministry. The new, or Old South, parish was coming to the front rapidly and claimed as a part of its support in interest in and a part of the income of sundry property, which ,;",bad been set apart for the ministry, and a vote allowing some of
"".to wait upon Rev. Mr. South, minister of the Old North, to try sod get some concessions made in favor of Rev. Mr. Bayley of the Oki South.
The year 1762 was a comparatively quiet one. The town voted to raise X110 ($5SO) for all town charges, L60 of which should be for school and divided between the two parislies, according to thL imic rate of each.
11%, oted to give unto Susanah Dyer a house lot now inclosed, about thirty rods of land, near the land of Nathaniel Ford."
"Agreed that Capt. Alexander Nash in consideration of five pounds, paid, shall have the wharf and ware house he has built upon the towns property at the Fore-river, with about thirty'or krty rods of land adjoining, forever. Only it is agreed mutually that the towns people shall have privilege of landing of hay at all oralions and of carrying it off at their will when said Nash is not ill actual use of said wharf."
The March meeting for 1763 did but little beyond the election of officers.
--%'oted that the town give up all their claim in the shares in the oM cedar swamp formerly granted unto the Rev. Mr. Thatcher 0 onto Elisha White in fiew of a right in the lot division of commons q , which he ought to have had."
In addition to these there were ten other boards of town officers chosen which included many offices now extinct, such as clerk of the town market, inspectors of leather, fish commissioners, tithing. men, etc.
"Voted that the quantity of fish, called alewives, taken this year for the market shall not exceed sixty barrels nor less than thirty barrels provided they can be caught. And that Cotton Tufts Esq., be and hereby is appointed to take and dispose of the same, he allowing and paying to the town treasurer 3s. 4P. he accounting to the town treasurer at 700 fish per barrel."
" Voted that the inhabitants might take fish for their own use from the river on the days and at the places designated but sh 11 take none for the market to be sold either fresh or salted."
At the meeting in May James Humphrey was elected repre. sentative to the General Court.
"Voted a tax rate of 609 for schools and E40 for the poor and all other town charges."
"Voted to pay a premium of 8p. per head for crows and 2p. per head for black birds and squirrels killed on or before the 20th of July."
At the town meeting in March, 1765, there was little or nothing beyond routine election of officers, and the same was true at the May meeting, James Humphrey being elected for the seventh or eighth consecutive year as representative, but there was trouble in the air, and it came from beyond town or even the province or colonial bounds. In fact, the Revolutionary War had practically begun, and Weymouth, like the rest of the colonies, was getting ready for a glorious Fourth of July.
The Stamp Act had been passed by Parliament, and the' obnoxious stamped papers were on our shores, as is evidenced by a; special town meeting called in October, when the following was a~ part of the work of that meeting:
Sut: -We the freeholders and inhabitants of Weymouth are assembled together when the voice of distress is heard not only from every part of the I province but from the continent in general. The burden we feet and the gr,atff we fear forces out our groans and led us to lay before you th hearts with whom we have entrusted our most important intere
whea we cousider the diViculties and encumbrances in trade arm the delay ~ej it brought about by some late acts of Parliament together with the load of debt under which the Province labors we behold poverty rushing in upon us fike an armed man, but when we take under consideration the Stamp Act with all Its consequences we can see nothing but misery and ruin resulting to the
ns Grist Mill to the Braintree line, provided the owners of tk land over which said road should pass would give the land ,for W t purpose.
the May meeting the usual E60 was raised for schools to be ed between the two precincts, and E40 for other town charges. It was also voted to grant to Thomas Russell of Braintree a ~Vrjter frontage of forty feet for a wharf on Fore River, and sixty feet to Samuel Kingman and Isaac French for the same purpose, in both instances that the inhabitants of the town should use of the said wharves for shipping goods, wares and awrehandise.
VM to have property owners in Boston reimbursed from the PMvince treasury for damage sustained by a riot on account of jg,+~.The meeting was not in sympathy with the payment, and so
In March, 1767, Ezra Whitmarsh was chosen town clerk; James Humphrey, Samuel Kingman and Josiah Colson, selectmen and assessors; Dea. John Holbrook, treasurer.
In addition to the long list of other officers the town went quite extensively into the fish business at this meeting, and elected a culler of fish, also a fish commission, consisting of Ezra Whitmarsh, Dr. Tufts, Samuel Wood, David Bicknell, Benjamin Vining and Deacon Holbrook, to super-vise the alewife and shad fishery.
" It was ordered, voted and declared that shad and alewives the present year may be taken by Dip Nets only and the places at which fish may be taken is five rods below the fish gate near David Rice's fulling mill to the southerly part of Zacharia Bicknell's land where the fence crosses the river near Bateses grist mill and from the south end of the bridge near Eben Tirrell's to the Great Pond and in no other places."
"And no person or persons shall take fish after day light in the evening until clay light in the morning of the ensuing day."
"Any person authorized by the commissioners may then taL-e fish to be cured in Barrels or Batts for the market."
"Any person who is a qualified voter in town may take 100 herring in any one day and so on from time to time until he has taken 700 for his own consumption when he shall take no More and none of the fish thus taken shall he sold either fresh or cured under penalty of a fine of ten shillings."On May 18, James Humphrey was elected representative.
"Voted to raise X80 for schools to be divided among the two parishes in proportion to the tax paid." "Voted to raise ;C50 for all other town charges."
At the March meeting in 1768 there was the usual election of officers, acceptance of a road, some regulations in regard to cattle, horses and hogs, building of a new town pound and a "vote to comply with Boston in their vote for promoting Industries, Etc."
On May 17, 1768, James Humphrey was elected representative again.
The fishery and wharf condition at Back River was the im. portant feature of this meeting, and it was "Voted to give David Bicknell X8 Is. 8p. for the conveniences he had built for putting up the fish called alewives and shad."
On Sept. 15, 1768, "Voted that James White, Joshua Torrey Jr., and Samuel Ward be and hereby are appointed agents to ent
in behalf of the town and take possession of the wharf and landing place at the head of Back River so called, and if need be to com
U, ,Voted that Mai'. James Humphrey and Capt. Tufts, Esq., be ,~ RoDmmittee or agents to meet at Boston on the 22d inst. in Faneuil nHAII in said town then and there to covenant and advise with Uother committees that may then and there meet from the several towns in the Province upon what manner, respecting what way
This year the ack River wharf difficulty was changed to Fore River, and "Capt. John White, Lt. Joshua Torrey and Samuel Ward were appointed agents in behalf of the town to prosecute at,Uw Dr. Mathew White to eject him out of his possession of the
1~ %%'e look to Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia for a large ~,Prt of our iron ore, but those places were far away and almost unknown a hundred and fifty years ago, and our iron ore was bcought from abroad or gatherea in small quantities nearer home, and %Veymouth Great Pond once furnished iron ore, as will be seen by the following.
3, wittee to secure for the benefit of the town, the Iron Ore lately wdisoovered in the Great Pond, to dispose of it (if thought best) lj,to such person or persons as shall appear to purchase the same." 1,41,"e poor of the early days had no permanent abiding place, as
1. On November 4 of the same year Isaac Tirrell was fined C20 for ~"'~ulring ore from the pond and town's land.
At the March meeting, 1772, James Humphrey was chosen moderator; Ezra Whitmarsh, town clerk; James Humphrey, Samuel Kingman and Nathaniel Bayley,, selectmen and assessors; Josiah Waterman, treasurer. The other long string of officers were elected with more than the usual difficulty in getting 0 - stables to serve.
Hogs, cattle and horses at large came in for additional legislation, and a commission was chosen to look after the fish inclustry.
Iron ore had now become a source of revenue to the town, and Nathaniel Bayley, David Bicknell and David Blanchard were chosen as a committee to make a vendue and let out to the lowest bidder among the inhabitants of the town for the getting of the ore by raking or otherwise from the Great Pond and landing it on the shore, and said committee to dispose of it for the best interest of the town.
At the May meeting Nathaniel Bayley was again elected representative and it was "Voted to raise L60 for the support of schools, S40 of which should be for the grammar school and E20 set apart for school mistresses, each parish to have their proportional part."
"Voted to raise S100 for the poor and other charges, and the treasurer was instructed to collect money due for ore and fish and apply it to this account."
The March meeting in 1773 was riot marked by any special events, iron ore and fish affording subjects of discussion-and also contributing to rt~cluce the tax burden.
At the May meeting Nathaniel Bayley received another election as representative, with special instructions as to the objectionable Parliamentary acts of the mother country.
"Voted to accept the offer of Thomas Hobart of Pembroke, i.e,, 60s. per ton for the ore of Great, Whitman's and Whortleberry ponds, said contract to run for thirty years, and Capt. Asa White, Solomon Lovell and Cotton Tufts were chosen as a commission to make the necessary paper and secure a proper guarantee."
The year 1774 was a marked one for the country in every section; the Revolution was fairly on, which meant a long, hard and bloody strife which should eventuate in the birth of a new nation in the Western Hemisphere, and Weymouth came early to the front and pledged its all to the cause.
At a meeting held early in the year a committee was chosen to draft a code of resolutions and define Weymouth's position in regard to acts of the British Parliament.At the March meeting James Humphrey, Nathaniel Bayley
and Ebenezer Colson were elected selectmen and assessors; Josiah Waterman, town clerk and treasurer. 1110~.A 171~,fhan Bates build a shop at the f-f of King Oak hill between the roads near his house_."~,_'~
This shop is well remembered by Capt. F. B. Pratt, Francis Pool and a few of the older people living oil Middle Street, as it stood ,at the intersection of Middle and Commercial Streets until within ,,the time of the older people of the present generation.
The May meeting elected Nathaniel Bayley representative to the General Court and made the usual school and other appropriations, but most of the town meeting talk was Revolution.
At a meeting in July Dea. Nathaniel Bayley, Capt. Asa White, Capt. James White, Josiah Waterman, Dr. Mathew White, Lieut. Ebenezer Colson, John Pratt and Etnathan Bates were appointed a committee to submit a code of resolves to the American Con. tinental Congress.
M The next and perhaps most important meeting was held on September 28, and at this meeting Nathaniel Bayley was chosen to represent a Province court to convene at Salem and Concord, it being quite evident that Boston was no longer a safe place for tevolutionists.4i~ The committee chosen at the July meeting submitted its report
ich embraced 19 articles, and among them the town was pledged to use none of the tea now on the way from the east until all duties
In the year 1775 there were more town meetings than the town had ever held before, and we hope more than we will find again. The meetings began in January, and as we have before stated, the Revolution was on.
"At a legal town meeting assembled at the South meeting house in Wevrnouth on Monday, the 30th of Jan. A.D,, 1775, to choose a member for a proposed Congress to be held at Cambridge t
first day of February next, and also to act on some other things set forth in the warrant."
Dea. Nathaniel Bayley was chosen delegate for the aforesaid Congress.
"Voted to Deacon Bayley for his attendance at the proposed Congress that he is to go upon the established wages of a representative."
"Voted to choose a committee of inspection to see that the inhabitants of Weymouth do strictly adhere to the Continental Associations Resolves which they lately subscribed to."
"Voted that said committee consist of seven persons and the following were chosen: Capt. Asa White Wrn. Good, Maj. Solomon Lovell ' Lieut. Joshua Torrey, Li~ut. Mathew White, Lieut. Ebenezer Colson and Jacob Loud."
"Voted to hold the constables harmless for non payment of the Province tax for 1773 to the Province treasury and that " they turn the same over to the town treasurer, Josiah Waterman.
On March 13, 1775, the town meeting was held at the meeting. house in South Weymouth, Hon. James Humphrey was chosen moderator; Samuel Reed, town clerk; Hon. James Humphrey, Sarnuel Kingman and Ebenczer Colson, selectmen; Josiah Water' man, treasurer. Other officers were chosen and former regulations in regard to fish and live stock continued.
The meeting then took tip the war ' both offensive and defensive, and adjourned to the 27th, with a company of minute men under discussion,
At an adjourned meeting "Voted to join in copgress to enlist a company of minute men by giving one shilling a week to enlisted men for four weeks, each person that shall enlist to be paid pro. vided they are disciplined two half days in each week. The said company to consist of fifty-three rnen including officer . "
At a special town meeting, May ~, t775, "Meetilsig call.ed in order to take into consideration the expediency of keeping i military watch in the town during the present troublesome times.'
"Voted to keep a military guard consisting of fifteen men at the cifnnse of the town for one month."
51- Dr. Tufts, Colonel Lovell, Major Vining, Capt. Asa White and Josiah Colson were chosen a committee to see that there was no neglect of proper arms and equipment among those liable to military duty.
that the committee appointed at the previous meeting s, be desired to inquire who are in want of arms in the town of Wey~~nwuth and make report to the commanding officer."
"Voted that the soldiers from the age of 16 to 60 should meet together at the meeting house, North Weymouth, on the 25thI and choose commanding officers."
' "Voted to accept the offer of Mr. Patty to the town of the use t~'O( two swivel guns now at Salem belonging to the said Patty." I "Voted the thanks of the town to Cotton Tufts for his offer of bringing the guns from Salem to Weymouth."
~ Paul Revere, Concord and Lexington had become matters of b6tory. Boston was still the seat of government of the mother country and the base of operation against the Revolutionary element, and the British having been repulsed at Concord and Lexington, it move in the direction of Weymouth was looked for
Cisext; consequently, the town meeting of which we are writing adjourned from week to week, and at the next adjournment of the %lay meeting Captain Ford, Josiah Waterman, Major Vining, Samuel Kingman and Josiah Colson were appointed a committee to make a personal canvass and see that every man had a gun,
"Voted that the bells be rung as an alarm in case the enemy vae approaching."
At an adjourned meeting, "Voted that the two small carriage tuns weighing about 300 pounds each-clelivered to John Jenk by lion. Richard Darby for the use of the town of Weymouth be returned when done with or made good of damage at the expense of the town."At an adjourned meeting, "Voted that the soldiers from the
~~age of 16 to 60 appear with their arms on the Lord's Day under penitity of forfeiting a dollar each Lord's Day for their neglect."
'Woted that soldiers who tarry at home upon the Lord's Day empt they can make a reasonable excuse do so upon penalty of two dollars."
The seat of the colonial government was now at Watertown, and on July 10 Col. Solomon Lovell wits elected representative, and this ended town meetings until November, when the new county question cattle 111) again.
At the annual town meeting, March 2 1776, Josiah Waterman was elected town Clerk; James Humpiirey, Cotton Tufts and Nathaniel Bayley, selectmen; and Josiah Waterman, treasurer.
The other officers elected were constables, highway surveyors, field drivers, fence-viewers, wardens, horse drivers, hogreeves, sealer of leather, clerk of the market, tithingmen, surveyor of shingle, culler of staves, alewife committee and a committee n correspondence and inspection.
On April 17, "Josiah Waterman, Capt. Samuel Ward & Ca t. Thomas Nash were elected to hire out the rivers and see that the town's ordanace in regard to the same was enforced."
On May 20, at a legal town meeting held at the South MeetingHouse, Nathaniel Bayley and Col. Solomon Lovell were elected as representative to the Great and General Court to be held at Watertown.
Boston was now a blockaded port, and outside towns could ship no product to it, for which reason David Bicknell, who had contracted for the fish the previous year, had suffered a loss, and the town voted to release him of one-half of the contract price.
"Voted that each person that Drawed powder, or bullets, or flints out of the Town's Stock to return the same quantity to the town treasurer or to pay for the same unto the treasurer unless said a n I ID 11 nition was spent in the continental or Province service. The price set by the town by those who pay the money, powder, 4s. per pound; bullets, 8d. per pound; flints, 6d. per dozen."
On the 4th of July the Declaration of Independence was announced from Philadelphia, and watch fires on nearly every elevation along the coast announced the fact, and that declaration is the next record on the town's book.
At the town meeting on July 15, "Voted that those persons now in the Continental service be exempt from paying any part of the money that may be added to the Province fund to engage men to enlist."
"Voted that the sum of 130L be raised by the estates, exempting of the polls, to be added to the Province fund to encourage Ten persons to enlist which is the number ordered by the court to be raised."
"Voted that the inhabitants of Weymouth be allowed two ~Iays to enlist and after that if there be any men needed that
eacon Bayley and Capt. Samuel Ward go out of town to hire men and pay 139 which is to be added to the 20L paid from the Province treasury."
E s. d. 0 4 0 0 5 0 0 3 8 0 2 0 0 1 2 0 1 8 0 1 2 0 3 4 0 12 0 0 10 0
L s. d. 0 0 3 0 0 4 0 0 4 0 0 4 0 0 4 0 0 4 0 0 7 0 0 4 0 0 5 0 0 7 0 0 5 0 0 7 0 0 9 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 7 0 1 3 0 0 6 0 0 5 0 1 7 0 2 2 1 4 0 Good oak wood per card
ard winter o '78 and '79 was now approaching, and things I king dark fo Washington and his army; hence a call for Imuce men and more money, and a special town meeting was called
is note and the town's security for the same for raising the quota and defraying the expense.
mittee to ascertain the number of the Poor & to consult what sort of a house will be proper to build and where to set it and count the cost and report at the adjournment."
It was voted to let out the rivers and landing places, and Back River was let out to Elnathan Bates, and Fore River to Captain West, each to collect 18d. per cord for all cordwood shipped and 18d, per ton for hay and lumber, of which sum 15d. should be turned in to the town's treasurer.
At the adjourned meeting, March 29, the committee on work house reported recommending a building seventy feet long and sixteen feet wide, one story high with a cellar under the two middle rooms of said house, fifteen feet wide and twenty feet long.
"Voted to let out the building to the lowest bidder first giving public notice of the same also to agree with persons for building material to be delivered on the Town's land between John Tirrell's and Thomas Webb's.""Voted to raise by loan 400E for building said House."
"Voted that the treasurer destroy the counterfeit money on his hands."
"Voted to lengthen the Work House 5 or 6 feet in order to make 2 bed rooms."
On May 18, 1779, Brig. Solomon Lovell was elected representa. tive.
"Voted to raise 300,C for schools and divide the same between the two Precincts in proportion to what they pay."
"Voted to raise 20OX for support of poor and other town charges."
01, July 22, 1779, a special town meeting was held for that purpose.
" James Humphrey Esq. was elected to represent the Town in a State Convention to be held at Cambridge in the county of Middlesex on the first day of Sept. next for the purpose of forming a constitution of Government."
Another special town meeting was held on October 18 to make further arrangements in regard to the poor and the workhouse, and after voting to discontinue assistance to one widow and allow two others to remain where they were with a little town help, it was voted to remove all others with their families to the work.house.
"Voted that John Tirrell and his son, John, have the oversight of the Work House."
"Voted that the selectmen make rules and orders for the govern. ment of the Work House."
"Voted that the selectmen draw money out of the Town's Treasury to furnish the Poor with utensils to work with and material to work on."
The March meeting for 1780 was held in the church at South Weymouth. Nathaniel Bayley was elected town clerk; James liumphrey, Cotton Tufts, Asa White, Nathaniel Bayley and Jonathan Colson, selectmen and assessors. Mr. Tufts declined to serve as assessor and Josiah 'Waterman was elected in his stead; Capt, Asa White, treasurer.
,Voted that the assessors bring in a list of all those who may have been taxed for money or stock in trade that the town may add as many to the list as they know of who ought to be taxed for either or both of the aforesaid articles and that any who should give,,in a wrong list should be doomed to pay double and the constab s authorized to collect the same."
"Voted to raise 5,OOOE to supply the treasurer for the purpose of defraying the necessary charges of the town for the present year.
"Voted that the committee appointed to dispose of the fish called Elwives dispose of them to the highest bidder."
"Voted that the fish called Elwives shall not be taken in passing down from the pond."
At a special town meeting held on April 24 the First State Constitution as drafted by the conventions at Concord and Cambridge was ratified by a unanimous vote.
At the town meeting, May 22, 1780, before proceeding to elect presentative to the General Court there was something of a di'gs,on, and the following vote passed:
,,\Toted that the Representative of the town shall give his entire attention at the General Court during its sessions the present year.
The meeting then proceeded to vote,, and elected Nathaniel Bayley, who refused; the next vote elected Asa White, and lie Mfused; the next elected Ephaz Weston, and lie refused. On the fourth ballot Josiah Waterman was elected and accepted the
,Voted to raise 5,OOOL in addition to what was raised at the March meeting and one-half of it by taxation, the other by loan." "Voted to let out the landing places by Vendue."
In June of this year there came a demand for twenty more men for the army, and a special town meeting was held on the 19th to devise means for filling the quota, and the assessors were in 586 OLD RECORDS
structed to divide the town into twenty districts, and each district to provide a man, and in the event of their not being able to hire one there was to he a draft made in that district.
Under the second charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay the Governor had been appointed by the kings and queens of England, but now independence had been declared, and a State Constitution adopted, and on the fourth day of September, in 1780, the first election was held. There was a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and six State senators to be elected, every town voting for the entire list of senators. The result in Weymouth was as follows:For Governor, John Hancock, 29; James Bowdoin, 11.
For senators, Thomas Cushing, 37; Samuel Niles, 36; Jeremiah Powel, 33; Jabez Fisher, 37; Increase Sumner, 37; Solor
t3; Cotton Tufts, 9; Nathaniel Bayley, 12; John Loud, 3, Richa_ Craush, 4.
By the above it will be seen that Weymouth was anything but a unit in regard to a local man. John Hancock was elected as the first Governor, and received a similar honor up to 1787, when he was succeeded by James Bowdoin, who held the office until 1783 , at which time Mr. Hancock was again elected and continued in office until succeeded by Samuel Adams in 1797.In October, 1780, Nathaniel Bayley was elected representative.
"Voted to raise 200L for procuring the beef required of the town by the General Court to supply the army."
Capt. Thomas Nash and Lieut. Asa Dyer were appointed as a committee to see if the beef could be procured in town.
Cotton Tufts, General Lovell and Asa White were appointed as a committee to draw up instructions to the representative."Voted to give fifty hard dollars to each enlisted man."
Speaking of enlisted men we would here say that no two men, who have ever tried to compile a list of Revolutionary Soldiers' have ever been able to produce the same list. Every male person in Wevmotith between the age of sixteen and sixty-five was enrolled for military duty, and at various times we had in town regularly organized cavalry, infantry and artillery. Men were enlisted for all mq
nner of time from three months up to the end of the war, some enlisting or being called into service several different times' and no doubt from almost illegible records some persons thus reported are down tinder different names.
At the March meeting in 1781 Samuel Reed was elected town derk; James Humphrey, Asa White, John Vinson, Cotton Tufts nd J ' h Colson, selectmen; James Humphrey, Samuel Reed
,appointed to give instructions to the representative to the General Court, reported with a long list of instructions, of which the following is a part: "As a member of the Great and General Court and as a friend
"to liberty, truth and justice, you will bear testimony against all public proceedings inconsistent with either, and endeavor that the Government be cautious in promising, faithful in performing, and at no time assuming a power of postponing the performance or altering the nature of a promise at its will and pleasure.
"You are too sensible of the importance of virtue and good manners to the Commonwealth to need our urging your utmost endeavor for the encouragement of these and that every other rational method be adopted by the Government for suppressing profligacy of manners, extravagance in dress, luxury and dissipation too much reigning among us any which under the present circumstances bears too much the resemblance of Nero's dancing while Rome was in flames."
'Voted, that there be for the highways a tax in hard money of 3s. on polls and at the same rate on estates and that the last year's valuation be the basis for estates."-Voted, that those who may work out their highway tax be
The value of exchange on paper money at that time may be estimated by the following vote passed at the adjourned March meeting held on the 26th:
"Voted to raise $1,900 in hard money or the exchange in paper at the rate of seventy-five to one."
On April 9, "Voted that the treasurer keep the hard money paid in for hiring soldiers separate and it be used for no other purpose and if not all used, those that paid it in to draw it pro rata for what is left."
On May 4, "Voted to raise 60L in hard money or its equivalent ingaper money for schools."
June 18, "Voted to pay men who shall volunteer for the army 300 hard dollars, 100 when mustered in and 100 each year."589 OLD RECORDS
"Voted that Capt. Thomas Nash and Capt. Abiah Whitman call the training soldiers together belonging to each company in Weymouth, sor~e day the present week for the purpose. -or men for the army."
On July 2, at a special town meeting, "Voted to raise 200f in hard money for supplying the draft (in Weymouth for beef for the army."
I a October, "Voted to raise 2,500 hard dollars for hiring soldiers and the treasurer give the town's note for the same, payable in one year."
Cotton Tufts and John Vinson appointed a committee "to inquire into the town's debt and reduce it down to hard money."
"Voted that the treasurer be required to take up all notes of the town payable in paper money and give new notes reduced to hard money at the present rate of exchange."
On Dec. 24, 1781, the following instructions were given to Representative Solomon Lovell: "So important is the fish industry to the United States and to this state in particular that we consider it necessary that in negotiating a peace the right of the United States to the fish shall be made an indispensable article of treaty. You are therefore instructed to use your influence in the next session of the General Court that application be made to Congress for that purpose."
At the town meeting, March, 1782, Josiah Waterman was elected town clerk; Solomon Lovell, Asa White, Nathaniel Bayley, John Vinson and Josiah Waterman, selectmen; James Humphrey, Samuel Reed and Thomas Vinson, assessors.
A large part of this meeting was devoted to roads and fish in. terests, and some fifty people were doomed to removal of fences and houses for encroachment upon the town highways.
The second State election of Massachusetts was held on the first day of April, and Weymouth cast fifty-one votes for Governor, all of which were for James Bowdoin.At the town meeting, May 1, Nathaniel Bayley was elected
" Voted to raise sixty hard dollars for schools and each precinct to draw according to its tax rate."
"Committee on Appropriations" is no modern feature of Wey. mouth's municipal affairs, as we find at this time Ephaz Weston, General Lovell and Thomas Vinson were appointed "to inquire into the town's needs and report at a future meeting."
In response to a call from the General Court a special town meeting was held September 2 "to raise ten soldiers to be sent to Hull to assist the French in throwing up earthwork there."
"Voted to allow the soldiers who go to Hull 7 hard dollars a month."On November 21 a meeting was called for the purpose of raising
2without definite action, and afterone hundred and twenty-six years the original notice of this adjourned meeting in the handwriting of the town clerk is now in the hands Of William W, Raymond of Fast Weymouth, who is a lineal descendant of tile town clerk, and reads as follows:
This is to inform the inhabitants of this precinct 011t the Towa-meetigg stands adjourned to Alonday, the second day of December next at Two of the clock in the afternoon at the South Meeting House, jimple will have so much regard for their Ind it is hoped that the
The meeting voted to raise X300 hard money to defray town charges.
Joshua Whitmarsh, Josiah Waterman and Jacob Good were appointed a Committee to inquire into the wharf and landing places on Back River.
" Voted to remit to Gideon Colson and Thomas South the whole of their taxes, they being in the hands of the enemy when the tax was levied."
At the annual meeting in March, 1783, there was the usual election of a long list of town officers and but few changes.
The town was now one hundred and sixty years old, but still "voted to allow hogs to run at large provided they were properly yoked."
"Voted that Mr. Silvanus Loud be allowed to set up a hatter's shop at the corner of Mr. David Lovell's lot, at the spot where Capt. Jacob Good formerly had a hatter's shop. Said Loud not to sell the ground at any future day if he should sell the shop ' '
"Voted that a committee be chosen to take a view of the Rock. weed that belongs to the town and to estimate the worth of the same and report at the next town meeting whether the town had best to sell the whole or any part of the same."
Lieut. Daniel Pratt, Capt. Asa White and Lieut. Joshua Torrey were the committee chosen for the above purpose.
At the State election, April 7, Weymouth's vote was: for Governor, John Hancock, 12; James Bowdoin, 34; for Lieutenant Governor, Thomas Cushing, 30; James Warren, 3; for senators Samuel Adams, 28; Caleb Davis, 27; Jabez Fish, 26; Cotton Tufts, 24; Samuel Dexter, 20; Ebenezer Wales, 10.
"Voted that the committee lease out the road against: Major Humphrey's land at Great Hill to the Major for ten years he to keep up a gate or bars for the benefit of those that may want to pass that way. Also that the committee be empowered to lease out the Rockweed that belongs to the town near Great Hill for a term of three years to those that will give the most for it."
"Voted to allow unto Capt. James White the depreciation on town money that he loaned to the town."
"Voted that any others that are under like circumstances with Capt. White that have loaned money to the town and have taken it in again that they be allowed the depreciation that was on money while it was in the hands of the town."
Nathaniel Bayley, Esq., Hon. James Humphrey and Col. Asa White, were a committee to adjust the depreciation.
It is now a long time since we have met anything relating to ministers and parsonages, but for this meeting there was an article in the warrant calling for money for improvements to the Par. sonage, so called, near Burying Hill.
After a protracted discussion the meeting took a recess of an hour, and on reassembling, a remonstrance against any action, signed by some seventy voters, was presented on the ground that
it was an injudicious and unlawful act, and the meeting adjourned to the I lth inst. At this adiourned rrippfing it w~
Nathaniel Bayley, Hon. James Humphrey and Lieut. Matthew White were appointed to defend the parsonage from all trespassers, and it was voted to draw on the treasurer for a sum not to exceed X150 to defray any expense they might incur.
At the meeting in May the only feature out of the ordinary was .the revival of the movement for a new county, and Gen. Solomon Lovell was appointed to join a committee appointed by other towns to meet at Dedham and petition the General Court for a Separate county of the towns in the western part of Suffolk County.
it was also "voted to pay compound interest on all notes of the town that are now due."
At the town meeting, March, 1785, Josiah Waterman was elected town clerk; Solomon Lovell, Josiah Waterman and John Tirrell, Selectmen; John Tirrell, treasurer.
At the State election, held April 4, the town cast 41 votes for Governor, 22 of which were for James Bowdoin.The first and primary business of the May meeting, May 12,
let, the North Parish was about to settle a new pastor; 2d, the South Parish was about to erect a new meeting house; 3d, expenses had been high and money scarce." "Voted to raise 80~C for schools and 30U for other charges."
At the March meeting in 1786 Cotton Tufts was elected moderator; John Tirrell, town clerk; Gen. Solomon Lovell, James Humphrey and John Tirrell, selectmen and assessors; Josiah Humphrey, treasurer. Then followed a list of other officers much longer than we choose to-day, as there were many departments of town government which are now extinct.
The fishery question occupied not only the time of this meeting but several adjourned ones. At this meeting not'only shad and herring took up the time, but there came in a petition from Lemuel Torrey and others engaged in the codfishing business to put a fence below the house of Mr. Torrey ''to protect their flakes from stray cattle and hogs" which were running at large. The petition of Mr. Torrey and others was referred to a committee composed of Nathaniel Bayley, John Tirrell and Elliot Loud, who reported at a later meeting that the fence might be maintained by the petitioners for a term not exceeding three years, provided they install a gate or bars for the convenience of those who might have occasion to pass that way, and at this latter meeting Mr. Torrey added to his petition a right to lay stones along the beach for tile purpose of growing kelp, and he and his company to have the exclusive use of the same.Shad and alewives were disposed of in about the usual way.
The next meeting was in connection with the State election, and but twenty-four votes were cast for Governor.
At this meeting Col. Asa White was elected as packer of beef, pork and fish. Cotton Tufts and John Tirrell were chosen a com. mittee to dispose of the old Emission money as they thought the most advantageous to the town; also to consolidate the securities in the town treasurer's hands.
At a town meeting held January 10, 1787, in response to a call for more men, the town voted not to raise any money for hiring men, and also not to associate with the militia officers in procuring men.
At the March meeting of this year, 1787, substantially the old board of town officers were chosen, and roads was the p~incipal topic of the day, and it was voted to keep them in repair by a tax in the several districts of 2s. per poll and estates in the same proportion, and the surveyors were authorized to allow t e to work out their taxes at the rate of half a day's work for poll, those who had estates and teams to work in the same portion.It is quite evident from the records of the past few years
now of the State election held April 2 that there was something of a disloyal element in town, as a nu;4er came forward and took the oath of allegiance, and once more endorsed John Hancock, and he received 103 of the 119 votes cast, while James Bowdoin dropped down to a very few.
"Voted that such as received help from the town shall be provided with what is necessary for keeping them diligently employed,
t, for without some useful employment habits of idleness will be rantracted. That the selectmen purchase stock, and tools if necessary, to keep those who are thus helped in constant employment. That the product of their labor be disposed of to the best advantage and the proceeds be laid out in new material."
The usual X60 was raised for schools, and E200 for other town charges.
The treasurer's assets were now a burden of anxiety, and a committee was appointed to reduce them to legitimate money, and in doing so there were found several hundred dollars of spurious coin and counterfeit bills.
At a town meeting held Dec. 17, 1787, "Cotton Tufts was elected as delegate to meet other delegates at the State House in Floslon for the purpose of taking into consideration the constitut. tion and terms of government for the United States of America."
The March, April and May meetings of 1788 were substantially a repetition of many which had gone before, viz., rules in regard to wharves and landing places, regulations in regard to fish, etc.
At a meeting field Dec. 18, 1788, we come to a new phase of government, viz., election of a member of Congress and two presidential electors.
Samuel Adams received a majority of the first votes Weymouth ever cast for a member in Congress, viz., 20, while Richard Cranch, the other candidate, got but 4. For presidential electors James Bowdoin got 18, Cotton Tufts 16, and there were 5 scattering Votes.
The Revolutionary War was over, Washington was inaugurated President and John Adams Vice-President in 1789, and the town had nothing to do in the way of raising soldiers or expenses incident to the same, and the year was a comparatively quiet one at the March meeting.
There was, however, quite a debate at this meetini in regard to the collection of taxes which for many years had been gathered by
John Hancock, 8 scattering; Lieutenant Governor, Samuel Adams 52, 12 scattering.
The usual sum for schools was raised in May and divided between the two parishes in proportion to taxes paid.
There was but little change in the several boards of town officers in 1790, and the meeting devoted itself mostly to roads and fisheries. Some roads were closed and a few new ones opened, and the fishery question was disposed of by the following vote:
"Voted to let out the whole providing of the alewive fish at venclue, the purchaser to take the fish at the usual time and places as provided by the established laws and furnish the inhabitants of the town with alewives as many as they chance to want at one pistarine per hundred, and no person shall catch any of said fish unless authorized so to do by the purchaser."
Up to this time we have seen the settlement in a wilderness, the incorporation of a town, settlement of a ministry, the, establish, ment of two parishes, building of roads, and roads divided imo districts; we have seen something doing in the school line, ard now we arrive at a change in this respect and a beginning of a new era which led up to a school district system.
At this meeting in 1790 it was "Voted to choose a committee to take into consideration the methods of schooling and to adopt such measures as should be most beneficial to the town and agree. able to the laws of the Commonwealth."
The committee chosen was Hon. Cotton Tufts, John Tirrell, Josiah Waterman, Eliplualet Loud and Elliot Loud, and the meeting adjourned to meet April 5.
At this adjourned meeting the above committee made an ex tended report of the school condition of the town, and the follow. ing action was taken:
"Voted that there shall be four schools kept six months each through the winter season, one Grammar and one English school for each parish."
"Voted to choose a committee to consider of the most suitable places for the keeping of the four schools so as to accommodate the inhabitants of the town best and also to inquire into the state of the schoolhouses in each parish, whether they can be procured for the town's use for schooling, or any other buildings that will answer for the purpose and to make report to the town "
The committee chosen for the above was Cotton i~ufts, John Tirrell, Asa White, Josiah Waterman, Nathaniel Bayley, Samuel Blanchard and John Reed.
At a special town meeting held April 5, 1790, "called in con fannity of many towns to fix the pay of representatives to the '~Cwleral Court." "It was voted to allow the representative 4s. ~:pwday for the ensuing year."
j~, it is evident that the town still held some proprietorship in the ,;North Meeting-House, as they sold a pew at public sale at this ,vaeeting for $150.
I'; ~The May meeting was no doubt an interesting one to the people 14,J~of that day.
4? The committee appointed at a previous meeting' to report in ~nprd to schoolhouses reported that "the following places are ~f%sgt suited for the purpose:" viz., first at the schoolhouse on
lang Oak Hill; second, between Mr. Waterman's and Mr. Turner's louse; third, near the house of Mr. Nathaniel Richards, Jr., on %be west side of the way; fourth, near Mr. John Vinson's mill lane the main road."Voted to instruct the representative to use his efforts for es-
Plymouth, for a new county of towns south of Boston, a J hn Tirrell was appointed a committee to take counsel with them.
At the March meeting in 1795, John Tirrell was elected town clerk; Urban Bates, John Tirrell and James Humphrey, selectmen; and Joshua Humphrey, treasurer. The other list of town officers and committees came in regular order, and then the topic of the day was Fore River, Back River and the wharves and landing places, and the discussion terminated in the following vote and result:
"Voted to let out the landing places and wharfs for one year ,from the Sth day of April next to the highest bidder. The vendue
%was held and Capt. Joshua Bates bid off Back River for six dollars and fifty cents and paid two dollars to bind the bargain. Ezra
.Bicknell bid off Fore River for thirty-two dollars and fifty cents and paid eleven dollars earnest money."At the May meeting Asa White was elected representative.
There was some school business done, but most of the day was devoted to roads. In March, 1796, with'the exception of a few minor officers, the
The fishery was the main topic of this meeting, and it was "Voted to sell them by the barrell to the highest bidder at the rate of 700 fiish per barrel and fish to be taken between sunrise and sunset on ',but three days in the week."
,'and in proportion on real estate given a poll the privilege of subtituting a day's work for the 4s." '. "Voted to raise $500 for schooling."
ught Back River for the year for $6; Lieut. John White, Fore River for $11.
At the state election in April the town cast 69 votes for Governor, all but one of which were for Samuel Adams.
Washington was now in the last year of his second term as Pmident, and had publicly declared himself as opposed to a third term and would not accept another election. The campaign was on for a President of the United States for the next four years, but it is apparent that Weymouth took but little interest in the matter, as it cast but 17 votes at the November election for members of Congress and the presidential electors. Rev. Jolin Reed received 13 votes for member of Congress, and Edward H. Robinson, 4; for presidential electors, Hon. Win. Seaver, 13, and Edward H. Robinson, 4.At the annual meeting in March, 1797, the same officers for