Representatives

CHAPTER XXVI.

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Representatives and State Officers — Treasurer’s Account of 1777 —
Pay of Soldiers.

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Bedford did not seek for notoriety in the legislative halls, but did not fail of being ably represented in seasons of great moment. John Reed, Esq., who had served the town in 1776, was again elected in 1783. Hostilities had ceased in the field, the treaty of peace had been signed in Paris, and proclaimed to the people on the eighth anniversary of the battle of Concord; but questions of great importance were to be decided. The Tory element was to be dealt with. The animosity which the refugees had aroused in their former brethren and fellow citizens, for declining to take part in the struggle for independence, still actuated many. At the May meeting the town voted

“to give the representative five shillings per day for his services while he attends the court.”

A letter was received from the town of Boston, dated April 10, 1783, relating to the return of absentees and conspirators, and the town chose a committee to instruct their representative, consisting of Dea. Stephen Davis, John Merriam, William Merriam, Lieut. Timothy Jones, Capt. Christopher Page, and Timothy Page. After an adjournment for one week, the committee reported, and the representative received his instructions. The records fail to give the language of the instructions, but the war record of the town as a whole, and of each member of the committee, leaves no place for doubt that the instructions embodied the principles for which they had fought.

The constitution provided that each town then incorporated might elect one representative, and the House of Representatives had power to impose a fine upon towns neglecting to choose. The day of election was made a festive occasion. It was the housekeeper’s limit for spring renovation, and “‘lection cake” was an indispensable luxury of the day, and continued to be served in many homes years after the day had ceased to be of political interest. [*1]

The selectmen who signed the first election returns under the new form of government, were John Merriam, William Page, William Merriam, James Wright, and Joseph Convers. [^1] Through amendments to the Constitution the political year was made to begin on the first Wednesday of January, the election having taken place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in the November previous.

The list of representatives is as follows:

John Reed, 1776, 1783; John Moore. 1780; John Web-


ber, 1787; David Reed, 1805–6, 1808; William Webber, 1809, 1811, 182l, 1823, 1824, 1827, 1829; Thompson Bacon, 1812; John Merriam, 1813–14, 1816, 1818, 1830–31; Amos Hartwell, 1832–3, 1836–7; [^2] Reuben Bacon, 1834, 1839–40; William Page, 1835; Rev. Joshua Chandler, 1838; John P. Reed, 1841, 1843; Oliver R. Abbott, 1842; John W. Simonds, 1844, 1802; Amos B. Cutler, 1848; Francis Coggswell, 1851, 1853; Albert Bacon, 1854; Rev. Henry J. Patrick, 1857.

The town system ended with 1857, and the district system began, since when the following citizens have been elected:

Phinehas W. Chamberlin, 1860; William A. Stearns, 1867; William M. Ashby, 1872; Charles A. Corey, 1881; Henry Wood, 1885; Edwin H. Blake, 1888.

State Senate, Reuben Bacon, 1836.

Treasurer’s Accounts.— The following is a copy of the treasurer’s accounts for a part of the year 1777:—

£s.d.
March the 7th, 1777,To William PageFor Sarvices as Treasurer,0120
John ReedFor Ringing the Bell,128
Jeremiah Fitch junr.For Entertainment,0149
To Mr. Joseph Hartwellfor sarvices making Rates, [*2]0176
To Mr. John MerriamFor Sarvices making Rates,0124
April 7, 1777,To Eleazer DavisFor part paying the School master,1100
May 2d, 1777,Stephen Hartwellfor hiering Soldiers,668
John Reed Esq.For hiering Soldiers,1500
Joseph HartwellFor hiering Soldiers,15150
Oliver ReedFor hiering Soldiers,1500
Josiah DavisFor hiering Soldiers,1500
Dea. Stephen DavisFor hiering Soldiers,1500
April 3d, 1777,Eleazer Davisfor hiering Soldiers,7100
May 23d, 1777,William MerriamFor hiering Soldiers,600
William Merriamsix load Wood at 6s at the school 36s
and paying school Master 30s
360
May 23d, 1777,To Joseph Convarsefor hiering Soldiers,8146
Mar. 7, 1777,To Mr. Job LaneFor Wood to Jabez Russell,050
June 12, 1777,To Mr. Ebenezer Pagefor hiering Soldiers,766
June 16, 1777,To Mr. Joseph Hartwellfor hiering Soldiers,5150
July 10, 1777,To Mr. Stephen Meedsfor hiering Soldiers,500
Sept. 8, 1777,To Mr. William Meriampaying woman School and boarding, [^3]300
Orders to Abel Bowman, Constable.

[ tipped-in page ]

[ portrait photo ]
Reuben Bacon.

[ p 61 ]

March ye 7th, 1777,To Mr. Job LaneFor wood to Jabez Russell,500
To John WebberFor making Rates
and for sarveses as clerk
and expenses at his house, [*2]
271
To Christopher Page Jur.For Sarveses making Rates,068
To Mr. Oliver Pollardfor mending the school house windows
& 4 Squarse of Glass,
030
April 30, 1777,For personal Sarvise at Cambridge,174
April 7, 1777,To Seth Salt marshfor paying School master1100
April 15, 1777,To Seth Salt marshFor Bottoming Ye School chair,013
May 2, 1777,To Capt. Edward StearnsFor hiering soldiers,1634
July 26, 1777,To David pagFor hiering Soldiers,700
July 12th, 1777,To Saml. Lane jur.For hiering Soldiers,850
Feb. 13, 1778,To John WebberFor Hiering Soldiers,500
To James Lane Jur.For Hiering Soldiers,850
To the Heirs of Timothy pag late of Bedford,*7117
To Benjamin LaneFor hiering Soldiers,174
To Dea. Benjamin BaconFor hiering Soldiers,15170
To John LaneFor hiering Soldiers,10100
To Benjamin Hutchinson Jr.7100
Moses AbbootFor hiering Soldiers,1500
Christopher Page Jur.For hiering Soldiers,1130
Sept. 15, 1777,Zech. FitchFor hiering Soldiers,1000
Richard Wheeler1000
Joseph Meeds500
Nathaniel Meriam500
Jeremiah Blood500
John Merriam1000
Stephen Hartwell Jur.For hiering Soldiers,800
Samuel BaconFor hiering Soldiers,8134
Samuel Meeds7117
Samuel Davis3180
John Lane ye 3dfor personal Sarvise,14118
Jeremiah Fitch Jur.For hiering Soldiers,6134
James WrightFor hiering Soldiers,7190
William pag.For hiering Soldiers,7100
Orders to Timothy Johnson Jur. Constable.

* Killed at battle of White Plains.


SOURCE TEXT


EMENDATIONS

  1. Wright, and ∨ Wright,
  2. 1836–7; ∨ 1836–7:
  3. [[ pagination tweak ]]

ANNOTATIONS

  1. “limit”: [ seemingly ] high point
  2. “making Rates”: [ evidently ] tax assessment
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