Town Records for 1791
Posted on July 23, 2003 by Greg Stone
AT A LEGAL TOWN MEETING held at the town house on Friday the twenty sixth day of November 1790 in the Town of Westport the inhabitants of said town gave in their votes for Walter Spooner Esq 13 in number and for the purpose set forth above and written and written by said warrant….
BRISTOL SS To John Gifford, Constable of the Town of Westport in said county-Greetings –These are in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachausetts to require you forthwith to notify and warn all the freeholders and other inhabitants of the Town of Westport duly qualified to vote for representative to this Commonwealth to assemble at the Town in said own on Tuesday the twenty fifth day to give in their votes for a representative who shall be an inhabitant of the district of Bristol, Dukes County and Nantucket to represent the said district in the Congress of the United States of America. 21y at said meeting to act and do what shall be thought proper relative to Dinah White a negro woman now at the expense of said town. 31y to give such order to the selectmen as shall be thought proper for the warning other town’s inhabitants now residing in said town to depart. And make return of this warrant and your doing thereon to the clerk of said town on or before said time of meeting given of our hands and seals at Westport this eighteenth day of January A.D. 1791. Wrn David & Wesson Kirby, Selectmen of Westport
AGREEABLE TO THE AFORESAID WARRANT the inhabitants of the town of Westport warned by John Gifford, Constable of said town assembled at the town house in said town on the twenty sixth day of January instant and proceeded as follows. William Davis Esq. Thomas Tripp chosen a committee to make inquiry of the state of Dinah White negro woman and make report of their doings at our next April meeting. Walter Spooner Esq. had votes 47 in November for the purpose set forth in said warrant….
IN COMPLIANCE WITH A VENIRE FACIAS issued for the clerks of the sessions of the county of Bristol, viz, Samuel Fales, requiring the constable of the Town of Westport to assemble the inhabitants of said town to meet for the purpose of choosing one man for a grand juror for the year ensuing and also one man a petit Juror for the Court of Common Pleas to be holden at Taunton the second Thursday of March 1790. The inhabitants of said town of Westport being legally notified and warned by John Gifford, constable of said town to meet at the town house on this third day of March 1790 at 2 o’clock p.m. assembled on said day and place and proceeded agreeable to direction in said writ
1 – Thomas Tripp was chosen moderator for said meeting for the purpose of –choosing a juror for the year ensuing.
2. Robert Earl was chosen grand juror for the year ensuing.
3. George Brightman was drawn out of the Jury Box for petit Juror for March Court at
BRISTOL SS To either of the Constables of the Town of Westport in Said County Greetings…. Your are hereby in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts required forthwith to notify and wam all the inhabitants and freeholders …. to meet at the town house in said Westport on Monday the fourth day of April next at nine o’clock fore noon of said day then and there to act on the particulars hereafter mentioned.
lly to choose town officers as by law required
21y to give in their votes for country treasurer
31y to give in their votes for county register
41y To conclude by vote what sum of money shall be thought proper to raise by way of tax for the support of the poor and other necessary charges arising within said town
51y To receive returns of highway laid out or altered and approve or disapprove of the same as shall be thought proper if approved that the same may be of record.
61y to approve or disapprove of all demands that may be brought against said Town for allowance and payments.
71y to conclude by vote what manner. the highways within said town shall be repaired for the year ensuing.
81y to act and do what shall be thought proper respecting the hiring a town schoolmaster.
91y to act and do what shall be thought proper respecting the town landings within said town.
101y to act and do what shall be thought proper respecting the finishing of the town house within said town also what shaU be thought proper in supporting the poor of said town and make return of this warrent and your doings thereon unto the clerk of.said town of Westport on or before said time of meeting.
Given under our hands and seals at Westport this twenty first day of March A.D. 1791 William Davis, Wesson Kirby, Benj. Brownell, Selectmen of Westport
APRIL 4 1791 BY WARNING GIVEN by John Gifford, Constable, the inhabitants of said town of Westport meet at the Town House in said town agreeable to the above warrants and proceeded on the business of said warrant in the following manner.
1. William Almy was chosen moderator for said meeting.
2. Robert Earl was chosen Town Clerk for the year ensuing.
3. Capt. William Hicks was chosen town treasurer at at the rate of 2 1/2 per cent for what money he shall receive in and pay out.
4. William Davis Esq., Wesson Kirby, and George Lawton chosen Selectmen for the year ensuing upon the same terms as they served the town last year.
5. Voted to choose three assessors, Benjamin Brownell, Nathan Kirby, Wesson Tripp was chosen and at the same time engaged them duly to officiate.. [swom in]
6. Wesson Sowle, Thomas Tripp, Pardon Brownell, Wesson Kirby was chosen fence viewers [swom in]
7. Stephen Davis, carp, Barjonas Devol chosen surveyors of lumber [sworn in]
8. John Davis and Joseph Gifford were chosen Field Drivers [sworn in]
9. Nathaniel Kirby was chosen Pound Keeper [sworn in]
10. Benjamin Brownell was chosen Sealer of Weights and Measurers [sworn in]
11 – Benjamin Cory and Preserved Sherman was chosen sealors of Leather [sworn in]
12. It was voted to choose 2 wardens for the year ensuing John Earl and Cornelius Warren was chosen. Said Warren was by vote of said town excused and Peter Macomber, son of Abial, was chosen in his stead [sworn in]
13. Jonathan Taber Jr. and Barjonas Devol was chosen tithing men [sworn in]
14. Stephen Davis, Barjonas Devol was chosen measurers of wood [sworn in]
15. Capt. Silvester Brownell, George Brownell, Joseph Gifford, Samuel Sowle, Barney Devol, Job Almy
Samuel Willcocks, John Kirby was chosen overseers of the fishery for the town for the year ensuing [ sworn in]
16. Voted to choose a committee of 3 on accounts brought by the town and that said committee make return of their doing to the clerk of the Town; William Almy, George Lawton, Capt Silvester Brownell was chosen.
17. Voted that the selectmen of this Town draw orders on the accts so allowed by said committee
18. George Godfrey Esq. had votes for country treasurer 41; John Williams Esq had votes for county Registrar of Deeds 71
This meeting by vote stands adjourned to the second monday in May next then to meet at the Town House in Westport 10 o’clock fore noon
THE INHABITANTS OF THE TOWN OF WESTPORT agreeable to a notification from the Selectmen of said Town of Westport upon due notice or warning given them by John Gifford, Constable of said Town, meet together on the fourth day of April 1791 at the Town house in said Town and proceeded agreeable to said warrant. Gave in their votes for Federal Representative: Walter Spooner Es. had votes 69; Phenuel Bishop Esq. had votes 10.
The following gentlemen was voted for Governor, Lt. Gov. and Senators His Exc. John Hancock Esq. for Gov had 56 The Hon. Samuel Adams for Lt. Gov. had 56 The Hon. Walter Sponner Esq. for Senator had 43 Thomas Durfee Esq. for Senator had 43 Elisha May Esq. for Senator had 64 Holden Slocum Esq. for Senator had 36 Abial Mitchel Esq. for Senator had 12 Phanual Bishop Esq for Senator had votes 10
AGREEABLE TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS COMMONWEALTH the inhabitants of the town of Westport being legally notified by the Selectmen of said town to meet at the Town House in said town on Monday the ninth day of May 1791 at one of the clock after noon assembled on said day and proceeded agreeable to said notification and after collecting and
sorting and counting the votes for representative it appeared that Capt Silvester Brownell was chosen for the year ensuing for the town of Westport.
May 9,1791 AGREEABLE TO AN ADJOURNMENT of the meeting of the 4th of April 1791 that was adjourned to the second Monday in May following 10 o’clock forenoon at the Town House in said Town, the inhabitants of said Town of Westport assembled and proceeded in the remaining part of the business of the warrant. William Almy being moderator of said meeting
1. Chose Barjonas Devol Surveyor of Lumber and Measurer of Wood [sworn in]
2. Voted to excuse Barney Devol from office of Tithing man.
3. Voted that the return of the highway between Dartmouth and Westport be put on record.
4. Voted to amend the highways in said Town in the usual way.
5. Voted to pass over for the present the stroke in the said warrant respecting hiring town schoolmaster.
6. Voted to choose a committee of 3 to view the Town landing at the head of Nochochuck River: Barney Devol, George Lawton and Wesson Kirby was chosen.
7. Voted to choose a committee to agree upon a plan to finish the Town House in said Town. Robert Earl, Pardon Brownell and George Brightman was chosen.
8. Voted that the Selectmen of said Town provide for the poor of the Town in such way as they think most proper.
9. Voted to raise by way of tax seventy pounds for the year ensuing.
10. Voted to excuse Peter Macomber from the office of Warden
11. Voted and choose Preserved Sherman, William Almy, Jonathan Tabor Jr., Abraham
Brownell, Justice Kirby, Aaron Davis, Nathan Tripp, Benjamin Boomer, Barjonas ‘ Devol,
William Wood Jr., Prince Brownell as surveyors of highways for the year ensuing and at the
same time [sworn in]
12. Also chose Joseph Head, John Davis, Capt. Job Almy, Robert Kirby, Daniel Petty, Abial Macomber, surveyors for the year ensuing for highways.
13. John Gifford was chosen constable and collector of rates for the year ensuing and at the rate of five per cent for what money he shall collect and pay out
14. Jonathan Taber Jr., Benjamin Cory, Phineus Wood, Isaiah Borden, Benjamin Brownell, Jonathan Tripp, Aaron Davis chosen Hog reeves for the year ensuing [sworn in]
15. Also William Macomber, Edmond Tripp, Jonathan Kirby, Joseph Head, Joseph Closon was chosen hog reeves for the year ensuing.
16. Voted that the representative of said town when chosen examine the treasurie at Boston respecting our representative’s pay year before last and see if there be any mistake and in what way it lays…
This meeting stands adjourned by vote to the last Monday in June next 2 of the clock afternoon then to meet at the Town House in said Town.
Previous to the above adjournment or on the same day the representative of said town was instructed by vote to present a petition to the General Court next to be convened at Boston praying said court to relinquish said town of the fine laid on said town last year
for not choosing and sending a representative to the General Court; also to act and do what he shall think proper respecting the representative pays being taken from Dartmouth and put upon the town of Westport in petitioning the General Court, etc.
AGREEABLE TO THE ABOVE ADJOURNMENT the inhabitants meet at the Town House in Westport and proceeded on the remainder part of the business which was on the 27th day of June 1791.
1. Voted that the committee make enquiry and report at the adjournment of this meeting the regulations for the landing at the head of Noquochuck River. Mr. William Almy was added to the aforesaid committee.
2. Voted that Capt. Silvester Brownell purchase 1000 feet of board and that [the
town pay] interest for the use of his money until said town of Westport pay the money.
3. Voted that Levy Shearman finished Westport Town House at 4/ per day funding himself which was agreed to.
4. Voted and choose William Almy and Nicholas Underwood a committee to settle with the back treasuries of said town.
5. Voted to adjourn this meeting to the 18th July at 2 o’clock after noon.
AGREEABLE TO THE ABOVE ADJOURNMENT the inhabitants meet at time and place and proceeded on business-
1. Voted that the Town Treasurer call on the collector for the Town of Westport for the year 1787, 17,88 and 1789 to pay in town taxes for said years above mentioned by the first day of September next and for the year 1790 to be paid in by the first day of March and for neglect of the above, the Treasurer is directed to issue his warrent of destress against such delinquent constable.
2. Voted to revive the report of William Almy, George Lawton and Wesson Kirby Committe to draw regulations of the landing at the head of Nochochuck River.
3. Voted that the above regulations be delivered to the [illegible] by Robert Earl to be past into an act or laws.
BRISTOL SS TO JOHN GIFFORD, CONSTABLE of the Town of Westport within said county, Greetings. In Obedience to a precept to us directed from the Honorable John Hancock, Esq. governor and commanding chief of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and also whereas some persons are a carrying oysters from said Town of Westport contrary to law. These are therefore in the name of said Commonwealth to require you forthwith to notify and warn all the free holders and other inhabitants within the Town of Westport duly qualified to vote for Representative to the general court of this Commonwealth and also to vote in town meeting to assembled at the Town house in said town of Westport on Monday the twenth sixth day of December instant one o’clock afternoon of said day there and then to act on the particular hereafter mentioned. First to give in their vote for a representative who shall be an inhabitant of the District of Bristol, Dukes County or Nantucket to represent the said District of Bristol, Dukes County
Bristol County and Nantucket to represent the said district in the Congress of the United States of America. Secondly to take into consideration an act respecting oysters with said Town and to act and do what shall be then and there thought proper relative thereto. And make due return on this warrant and your doings thereon into the clerks office of the said Town on or before the time of said meetings, given under our hands and seals of Westport this thirteenth day of December Anno Domino 1791. William Davis & Wesson Kirby, Selectmen of Westport.
George Lawton chosen moderator of the meeting concerning the oysters in Westport. Joseph Gifford, Peleg Potter, Abraham Cornell, William Gifford, Jr., and Stephen Davis was chosen committee on the 2 article in the above and within warrent and to make return and report at the next meeting to be holden in said town on Monday the 2nd day of April next. This meeting stands adjourned to the 1st Monday in April next by the vote of this Town.
Bristol Westport December 24, 1791. In obedience to this warrant I have notified the inhabitants to appear at time and place by posting up advertisements as usual by me… John Gifford, Constable.