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years, to cut a canal from Barretts Town, beginning “twenty-five miles above the head of the tide in George's River, ... to communicate with the sea at the mouth of said river," and, with his heirs and assigns, to “have the exclusive right of making locks and canals upon the said river," for seventy years; "provided,” &c. The toll was one shilling and sixpence for every ton “transported in boats or other vessels through the locks and canals at the Upper Falls in said river, at the mouth of Senebec Pond," or " through the locks and canals by the Lower Falls in said George's River, near the head of the tide.” The same toll was to be levied “for every thousand feet of boards, and in the same proportion for plank and square timber, and every other species of lumber, whether transported on rafts or otherwise." Every boat or other vessel, not loaded, was to “pay at the rate of one shilling for every ton weight it was capable of conveying."
The canal was opened only from Round Pond. General Knox, of Thomaston, became the principal or sole owner before it was completed. Its construction, during part of the time at least, was superintended by a French engineer, sent by him from Philadelphia. It was used for several years; but the great profits expected from it were not realized. Before the general's death in 1806, it was neglected; and any one who went down the river with lumber, on applying to the lockkeeper, was told to “lock” it himself. A petition for doubling the toll was presented to the Legislature. It was dated at Union, May 21, 1802, and signed by Amos Barrett, Ebenezer Alden, John Dickey, Robert Dickey, Eleazar Dickey, Nathan Blake, Amariah Mero, Nathaniel Robbins, Josiah Robbins, Edward Jones, and Ichabod Maddocks. Still the canal continued to be unprofitable, and was allowed to go to decay.
The population of the towns on the St. George's having increased, another canal, in 1846, was laid out from Thomaston to Searsmont. It was urged that there would be a good dividend from the tolls for produce and kiln-wood. The opening of it to Sunnybec Pond was noticed in the “ Thomaston Recorder," immediately after its completion in the fall of 1847. It has already been leased for several years. A steamboat has been on the canal, and once went into Sunnybec Pond.
Town Meetings. - Notifications. — Places of holding them. — Town
Officers. Oath of Office in 1787. — Town Clerks. — Selectmen. Assessors. Constables. Collectors. Treasurers. Tithingmen. Fish Wardens.
TOWN-MEETINGS. NOTIFICATIONS. - The inhabitants, at different times, have voted that the notifications for town-meetings? should be posted up at private dwelling-houses,
· The earliest record of the mode of notifying the inhabitants is dated April 2, 1787; when it was “voted that the constable should set up two notifications, one at Mr. Joel Adams's and the other at Mr. Philip Robbins's, and that should be sufficient notice to warn townmeetings.” In 1789, one notice was to be “set up at Mr. Joel Adams's, and the other at Mr. Woodcock's grist-mill.” In 1796, they were to be posted up “in the most public places in town, and where meetings are held on Sundays, when there is any." April 2, 1798,“ on the front of the meeting-house twelve days prior to the day the meeting is to be.” This mode was continued till 1805, when they were to “ be posted up in Messrs. Alden and Robbins's store." In 1806, on the meeting-house; besides which, in 1807, there was to be one “at Jason Ware's, or where the Methodist meeting is held ; also one at James (Rice's] seven days prior to the meeting.' In 1808, the third notice was to be at Starrett's Mills, in what is now Washington. In 1811, at each of the two meeting-houses ; and, in 1817, an additional one at the schoolhouse near Sterling Davis's, ten days previous to the meeting. In 1818 at each of the two meeting-houses fourteen days, and in 1819 at each of the three meeting-houses twelve days, previously. In 1820, notifications were to be put up two sabbaths before the meeting. In 1834, the places designated were the Methodist Meeting-house, John Little's, John Lermond's grist-mill; and, in 1838, the Post Office, Lermond's mills, and Fossett's store. In 1848, at the last three places,
stores, mills, school-houses, meeting-houses, and the post-offices. This has been done fourteen, twelve, or ten days, or two sabbaths, before the meeting. Occasionally the time has been only seven days for a notification sent to a remote part of the town.
Sometimes notices were added at the bottom of the warrant; “ Dec. 18, 1788. All those that have any
de. mands on the town, who are inhabitants, are desired to bring in their accounts to the selectmen."
6 Oct. 4, 1790. The inhabitants are requested to bring a list of all the children born in this town that are not recorded, and also the deaths, so as the clerk may make a record, as they will avoid the penalties in the law.”
PLACES OF MEETING. - The first meeting on record was the plantation-meeting held at the log-house of Philip Robbins, June 12, 1786, in regard to an Act of Incorporation. The first meeting after the incorporation was at the same place, Jan. 15, 1787, for organization and for the election of town-officers for the first time. Here, too, March 5, 1787, was held the first regular March meeting. The meetings were continued at private houses till Aug. 29 and Oct. 26, 1791. On these two days, they were in the school-house which had been recently built near Moses Hawes's, after which they were again held in private houses or barns. The first time the meeting-house was used for
and at the Methodist Meeting-house ; and, in 1849, at the same places as in 1848, with the addition of one at the East Union Post Office.
| Town-meetings were also held as follows:- In Moses Hawes's house, April 2, 13, 20, March 19, May 30, Nov. 19, 1787; March 8, April 5, May 26, June 25, Oct. 4, 1790; March 7, April 4, May 23, 1791; April 1, Dec. 2, 1793; Nov. 3, 1794 ; March 2, 1795 ; also in his barn, May 7, 1792. Rufus Gillmor's house, Sept. 4, 1789 ; March 6, 1797; and in his barn, July 8, 1793 ; Feb. 1, 1799, the meeting was adjourned from his house to the meeting-house. Richard Cummings's house, Jan. 4, 1790. Philip Robbins's house, Nov. 5, 8, 12, 1790 ; Jan. 3, 10, 25, 1791. Jonathan Newhall's house, April 2, 1792. Capt. George West's house, Nov. 2, 1792 ; March 4, 1793 ; March 3, April 7, 1794 ; Jan. 16, March 7, April 4, 1796. Edward Jones's house, Sept. 1, 1794; April 6, 1795. Josiah Robbins's, Nov. 7, 1796 ; Feb. 6, 1797 ; March 5, 1798. John Little's, Nov. 7, 1814, where a moderator was chosen, and the meeting adjourned to a future day at the meeting-house.
the purpose was May 6, 1795. Here the town-meetings were ordinarily held afterward. The inclemency of the weather, however, the house not being warmed, sometimes compelled the people to adjourn to dwelling-houses; and once, March 5, 1804, to the store of Alden and Robbins. Feb. 6, 1809, Major Maxcy and Mr. Pope, who were chosen moderators, having declined serving, Nathaniel Robbins consented to discharge the duties, the town having "voted that Esq. Robbins have leave to wear his hat." March 2, 1812, an unsuccessful attempt was made to have the townmeetings held half the time at the Methodist Meetinghouse. April 2, 1838, was the last day of assembling for town-business in the Old Meeting-house. The next meeting, held Sept. 10, 1838, was in the Methodist Meeting-house, when it was left with the selectmen to procure a suitable place.” Oct. 29, 1838, it was in a Bachelder's new building, near his mill;" April 1, 1839, in “ Ebenezer Cobb's new barn;" and April 16, at the Methodist Meeting-house. The first meeting in the Town House was April 6, 1840.
OATH OF OFFICE.- April 13, 1787, a warrant was issued for a meeting, in order to swear the officers chosen at the annual meeting in the March preceding, agreeably to an Act passed March 10, 1787. The meeting was adjourned to April 20, when each of the town-officers subscribed and took the following oath of office:
“I do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testify, and declare, that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is, and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign, and independent State; and I do swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the said Commonwealth, and I will defend the same against traitorous conspiracies and all hostile attempts whatsoever ; and I do renounce and abjure all allegiance, subjection, and obedience to the king, queen, or government of Great Britain (as the case may be), and every other foreign power whatsoever; and that no foreign prince, persons, pre
late, state, or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, superiority, pre-eminence, authority, dispensing or other power, in any matter, civil, ecclesiastical, or spiritual, within this Commonwealth ; except the authority and power which is or may be vested by their constituents in the Congress of the United States; and I do further testify and declare, that no man or body of men hath or can have any right to absolve or discharge me from the obligation of this oath, declaration, or affirmation; and that I do make this acknowledgment, profession, testimony, declaration, denial, renunciation, and abjuration, heartily and truly, according to the common meaning and acceptation of the foregoing words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation what
So help me God.”
Moses Hawes, as plantation-clerk, signed the warrant for the plantation-meeting, June 12, 1786. At that meeting he was again elected plantation-clerk; and, Jan. 15, 1787, town-clerk. From that time the office has been held as follows:
1787–1793. Moses Hawes. 1794-1802. Edward Jones. 1803–1806. Stephen March. 1807. Edward Jones. 1808. Jona. Sibley. 1809–1811. Nathl. Robbins. 1812. John Little. 1813-1822. Nathl. Robbins.
1823–1828. Henry True. 1829–1830. Nathl. Robbins. 1831-1836. Jno. Bachelder. 1837–1846. Cyrus G. Bach
elder. 1846 (June 8)–1850. Zuing
lius Collins. 1851. Andrew Libbey.
1787. Jan. 15. Philip Robbins, Joel Adams, Jason Ware. 1787. March 5. Philip Robbins, Joel Adams (in whose place
was chosen, April 13, Jason Ware), Ezra Bowen. 1788. Josiah Robbins, Jason Ware, Joel Adams. 1789. Jason Ware, Josiah Robbins, Joel Adams. 1790. Jason Ware, Josiah Robbins, Moses Hawes. 1791. Joel Adams, Joseph Guild, Samuel Daggett. 1792. Joel Adams, Amariah Mero, Joseph Maxcy. 1793. Amariah Mero, Moses Hawes, Josiah Maxcy. 1794. Amariah Mero, Josiah Maxcy, Jason Ware.