Town records of 1817

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Gifford house Feb. 28,1817] Nathan C. Brownell drawn grand juror, Thomas Winslow & Joshua Potter drawn traverse jurors to serve at C.C.C.Pleas

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Gifford house Aug 28,1817] James H. Handy & Major Allen drawn traverse jurors for C.C.C.Pleas

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AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Gifford house September 27,18171 Adam Gifford drawn grand juror, Jonathan Davis & Ephraim Macomber drawn traverse jurors for S.J.C.

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Gifford house November 29,1817] James Cornell & Charles, Macomber drawn traverse jurors for C.C.C.Pleas

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Gifford house on February 23,18181 Jireth Brownell was drawn grand juror & Edmond Tripp & Robert Sherman drawn traverse jurors at the C.C.C.Pleas

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AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at house of Frederick Brownell June 1, 1818] Luthan White & Phillip Potter drawn traverse jurors for C.C.C.Pleas

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Brownell house on September 5, 1818] John Macomber & Samuel Stead drawn traverse jurors for C.C.C.Pleas

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Brownell house on October 3,1818] Wilbur Gifford drawn grand juror, John Lawrence & Frederick Brownell drawn traverse jurors for SJC

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Brownell house on December 4,1818] Stephen Cornell & Elijah Gifford drawn traverse jurors for C.C.C.Pleas

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TO ADAM GIFFORD, CONSTABLE, GREETING. [warrant, issued March 16,1817, to call for meeting on April 7, 1817 to elect state officials]

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held April 7,1817 according to foregoing warrant]

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VOTES for the following persons were given in, sorted, and counted, and recorded and declaration thereof made as by the Constitution is directed, viz.

For Governor, John Brooks, 216 votes; Henry Dearborn, 27 votes

For Lt. Gov, William Phillips, 216 votes; William King, 27 votes

For Senators, James Ellis, 216 votes; James Howland, 216 votes; William Wood, 27 votes; Solomon Pratt, 27 votes.

Recorded by me, Abner B. Gifford, Town Clerk

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TO NICHOLAS LITTLE, CONSTABLE, GREETING. [warrant for annual town meeting, April 7, 1817; typical articles]

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AT A LEGAL MEETING of the inhabitants of Westport aforesaid qualified according to law

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assembled at the Town House in said Town of Westport on Monday the seventh day of April A.D.1817 at oclock in the forenoon for the purposes contained in the foregoing warrant.

VOTES for moderator: Peleg Sisson had 94 votes; Abner Brownell had 92 votes; A.B. Gifford had 1 vote; whole number of votes = 187; necessary to make a choice 94. Peleg Sisson had 94 votes and was chosen.

VOTES for Town Clerk: Abner B. Gifford had 92 votes; Nathan C. Brownell had 83 votes; Nathaniel Tompkins had 27 votes; total votes = 202; necessary for a choice 101 votes; No election. On 2nd ballot, Abner B. Giffored had 199 votes; Nathan C. Brownell had 117 votes; and whole number cast was 239. Necessary for a choice 120, and Abner B. Gifford with 199 votes was chosen and duly engaged.

Abner B. Gifford was chosen Treasurer and to have no compensation from the Town for his service as Treasurer or Clerk for the year ensuing.

Peleg Sisson, Daniel Wing, Wilbur Gifford, chosen Selectmen for the year ensuing

Samuel Crocker had 104 voates for County Treasurer

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Assessors: Daniel Wing, George Gifford, Nathan C. Brownell

Committee on Accounts: Barnea. Hicks, Lemuel Milk, & Jonathan Peckham

Pound Keeper: Nathaniel Kirby

Surveyors of Highways: Christopher Cornell, Joshua Potter, Daniel Devol, John Wordell, Jerathmael White, David Sisson, Ebenezer Baker, Jonathan Peckham, Peter Davis, Levi Gifford, Nathaniel Kirby, William Kirby, Canaan G. Dyer, John Howland, Samuel Borden, Ezekiel Brownell, Nathaniel Kirby, blacksmith, George White, Billings Corey, Adam Gifford, Ephraim Thompson, Benjamin Wing, Edward Manchester, Alfred Brownell, Zacheus Gifford, Wanton Case, Jr.

Surveyors of Lumber: Abner B. Gifford, Jethro Howland, Stephen Howland, Michael Dean


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TO ADAM GIFFORD, CONSTABLE, GREETING [warrant for meeting on May 12,1817 to elect town representative to the General Court]

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held May 12,1817 in the Town House]

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AGREEABLE TO ADJOURNMENT from the first monday of April the inhabitants of Westport met accordingly & the following offices were chosen, viz.

Tythingmen: Perry Wilcox, Elijah Gifford, Ephraim Thompson, Gershom Wordell, Joshua Petty, Gideon Davis, Zacheus Gifford

Overseers of Landing at Head of River. Lemuel Milk, John Anthony, John Howland

Fence Viewers: George Gifford, Jonathan Davis, Abraham Cornell, Elery Manchester, Christopher Cornell, Nathaniel Brownell, Edmond Tripp, John Dyer, Wilbur Gifford

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Cullers of Hoops & Staves: Zoeth Howland, Jethro Howland

Sealers of Leather: Daniel Brownell, Preserved Shearman

Field Drivers: Philip Davis, Jr., Stephen Cornell, Jr., Wilbur Gifford, George Kirby, Benjamin Cory, Isaiah Kirby, Russell Gifford, John Milk, William Brownell, Nicholas Gifford, Charles Little, Benjamin Wordell

Cullers of Fish: Jethro Howland, Gideon Davis

Hog Reeves: Ephraim Macomber, Philip Davis, Jr., Wilbur Gifford, Thomas Allen, tailor, Lawton Manchester, Philip Davis, John Wordell, William Labins, Wanton Macomber

Overseers of Fishery: Capt. Abner Gifford, Gideon Palmer, Daniel Gifford, Henry Brightman, Samuel Wilcox, Perry Gifford

Assistant Assessors: Nathaniel Kirby, Barnea Hicks, William White, Adam Gifford

Constable: Nicholas Little was chosen for the year ensuing & also a Collector of Taxes and to have two and three quarters per cent for all the money that he collects and pays into the several Treasuries and to do the business as Constable for the Town without any compensation from the Town

VOTED to raise $1000 for the repair of highways and town ways….

VOTED that seventy five cents be allowed for the day’s work of a man or a pair of oxen on the highways and twenty five cents for use of a cart or plow for one day

VOTED that the above sum be expended one half by the first day of July and the other half by the first day of September next

VOTED that when any highways or town ways are blocked up

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or incumbered with snow [surveyor assigns work to each resident according to his tax assessment]

VOTED the sum of $2000 be raised by way of tax on the polls and estates of the inhabitants of the Town of Westport for the support of the poor and schools and other expences of said Town the year ensuing to be collected and paid into the Town Treasurer by the first day of April next and the ‘ Assessors are hereby directed to assess said sum, in the way and manner directed by law, and deliver a list or lists thereof to the Collector as soon as may be

VOTED that the Selectmen proportion to the several school districts in the Town of Westport such part of the aforesaid sum of $2000 as in their judgment they shall deem expedient, having regard to the amount of property & the number of inhabitants each district contains.

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VOTED that Sylvester Gifford have liberty to shift the highway that passes through his land, late the property of Meribah Brownell (widow) of said Westport in the County of Bristol, as it will shorten the distance of said highway from the Head of the River to the Point, about twenty rods and from other uses that can be made of said highway it will shorten the distance about eighty rods and that where the said highway is contemplated to be made win pass over much leveler ground than where the present one now is and will much better accomodate the public than they now are, on conditions that the said Sylvester Gifford shall pay all cost that shall arise in consequence of shifting the same, and give the land where it will be laid out, and to have the present one that is within the limit of said land that is to be exchanged, and also to make as good one as the present one is at his expence, provided that the Court of General

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Sessions of the [?] will appoint a committee and authorize them to lay out and exchange the same.

VOTED that George M. Brownell have liberty to shift the way prayed for by him that passed through his land, between Peleg Sissons, and the Head of the River, making a straight road from the gate by Peleg Sisson’s meadow to the gate on highway that goes out of George M. Brownell’s land by Humphrey Howland’s land, he the said Brownell making the new way as good as the old one now is, at his own expence.

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The Committee on Accounts made a report in writing … allowing accounts amounting to $1675.97. It was voted to accept the report and the Treasurer is directed to pay the several sums….The Committee also report they made a settlement with the Town Treasurer and found he had received for the Town the year past the sum of $1535.30 and had paid out $1535.30, making an even ballance, and they made a settlement with him. The Committee further report that there was by the report of the Committee the last year a ballance against the Town, between the sums assessed on the Town the year past, and the accounts that had been allowed against the Town, the amount of $403.00. And that there had been assessed on the inhabitants the year past the sum of $1457-00, and the sums allowed for the expences of the Town the

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year past as by the report this day presented is $1632.43. Leaving a ballance against the Town of the sum of $578.43. Respectfully submitted on May 12, 1817 by Lemuel Milk, Jonathan Peckham & Barnea Hicks, Committee on Accounts.

TO NICHOLAS LITTLE, CONSTABLE, GREETING. [warrant for meeting on September, 1, 1817, to alter and relocate the 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th schools districts so as to make but three; (2) also to see if the town will ascertain in some correct manner the whole number of males under twenty one years, and females under eighteen years, in each district as they were last divided specifying the number of males and females under said years, and from six to sixteen, the number of rateable polls, and the amount of rateable property, and the distances from east to west

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and from north to south in each district; (3) to make such alterations in any of said districts either to enlarge or diminish the territorial limits so as to make a more equal distribution of property and scholars, having regard to the local situation of said districts, and the roads and places of residence therein; (4) to devise the best method and cheapest to accomplish the aforesaid objects; (5) to agree in what method the school districts shall be provided with teachers agreeable to law the year ensuing; (6) to know whether the Town will fulfill the contracts made by their Selectmen with schoolmasters, for keeping free schools the year past, or suffer a prosecution.] Given under our hands and seals at Westport, August 16, 1817, Wilbur Gifford, Daniel Wing, Peleg Sisson, Selectmen

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held September 1, 1817 according to foregoing warrant]

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Abner B. Gifford was chosen moderator of said meeting

VOTED to dispence with the second, third and fourth articles in the preceding warrant, and on the fifth article it was

VOTED that the Selectmen apportion the Town’s money equally through the districts in the Town of Westport, in proportion to the number of scholars in each district and the time that schools are kept

VOTED that the Town fulfill the contracts made by their Selectmen Recorded by me, Abner B. Gifford, Town Clerk

TO NICHOLAS LITTLE, CONSTABLE, GREETING. [warrant for special town meeting to be held September 22, 1817] to take into consideration and act on the following subjects, to wit: the expedience of choosing three or five freeholders, inhabitants of said Town, a committee, to have the oversight of the school district in said Town whose duty it shall be when the inhabitants of any of said districts consider themselves aggrieved by

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and petition for altering and locating anew said districts to view and consider said agrieved districts, and when in their opinion it shall appear necessary to join two continguous, districts into one, three into two, four into three, etc. and contrary wise, for said committee to have power so to do.

AT A LEGAL MEETING [held Monday, the 22nd day of September, A.D. 18171 agreeable to foregoing warrant; Peleg Sisson chosen moderator

VOTED not to raise a committee agreeable to warrant, and the meeting was dissolved. Recorded by me, Abner B. Gifford, Town Clerk

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TO NICHOLAS LITTLE, CONSTABLE, GREETING. [warrant for special town meeting to be held December 8, 18171 to choose moderator and (2) to know the Town’s mind in regard to the formation of a new County comprising such towns as may find their wishes & conveniences leading them to desire the same & if it should be thought proper to appoint a committee of conferences to meet with such as other towns may appoint and report the result of such conference to some future meeting of this Town, and to act upon any matter that may be legally brought before them which may appear to be necessary in affecting the aforesaid object….

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AT A LEGAL MEETING [held at Town House on December 8, 1817 to consider foregoing warrant]

Peleg Sisson was chosen moderator of said meeting

Adam Gifford chosen Clerk pro tern

VOTED to adjourn this meeting until the first Monday of April next at four oclock P.M.

TO TOWN CLERK, Abner B. Gifford: this will inform you that the subscribers, Assessors of said

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Town of Westport have determined that the property of Benjamin Gidley, Abraham Gifford & Stephen Gifford all of Dartmouth shall be taxed in school district No. 4 & you will make records agreeable to law.. Westport, September 4, 1817; N.C. Brownell, Daniel Wing

TO TOWN CLERK of Town of Westport: this will inform you that the Assessors have determined that the house and lot situated in the fourteenth school district belonging to William Howland

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of Little Compton shall be taxed in the said school district of which you will make record. Westport, Sept. 27,1817; N.C. Brownell, Daniel Wing, George Gifford, Assessors

TO TOWN CLERK OF WESTPORT: the Assessors of said Town have determined that the real estate belong to Jonathan Borden, job Borden, John Crossman, Edmond Davis, Phillip Davis, Richard Durfee, Pardon Gray’s heirs, John Jenks” heirs, Sampson Shearman, Jr., Ruth Wordell, Gershom Wordell, Jr., & David Wordell all of Tiverton & Henry Smith of Bristol in the State of Rhode Island & Thomas Borden, Nathan Durfee’s heirs, Charles Durfee’s heirs, David Healy, all of Troy in our County of Bristol, shall be taxed in the 17th school district, of which you will make record. Westport, Oct. 4, 1817. The Assessors

TO TOWN CLERK, Abner B. Gifford: you will please make record that the property belonging to Joshua Howland of Dartmouth, situate in this Town is taxed in school district No. 16 and you are also