Town Meeting 1768

First Recorded March Meeting.

Freeholders of Brattleboro Met "Agreeable to Patent" in 1768.

Henry Wells Was Elected Clerk.

Town Clerk Lafayette Clark Discovered Record in 1856
"Among Loose Papers of the Late Town Clerk Stephen Greenleaf."

The record of Brattleboro's first town meeting of which there is any record was made the subject of the Brattleboro weekly letter in the Springfield Sunday Republican. After referring to the annual March meeting this week the letter said:

In this connection it is interesting to look back to the year 1768 when the first town meeting of which there is any record was held in Brattleboro. The record of this meeting is as follows according to a signed statement of Lafayette Clark, town clerk, dated Brattleboro, February, 1856 as a part of "copies of old records much worn and torn recently found among loose papers of the late town clerk, Stephen Greenleaf, and are here carefully copied for preservation."

"At a legal meeting of the freeholders of the town of Brattleborough in the county of Cumberland on the first Tuesday of March, 1768, agreeable to the time prefixed by the patent of the township, for annual town meetings the following persons were chosen and elected to serve as town officers the ensuing year after choosing John Arms, Esq., moderator; Henry Wells, M.A., town clerk; Samuel Wells, Esq., supervisor; John Arms, Esq., Samuel Wells, Esq., and Capt. Benjamin Butterfield, assessors; Samuel Wells, Esq., treasurer; Samuel Wells, Esq., John Arms, Esq. and Capt. Benjamin Butterfield, commissioners for laying out and regulating highways; John Sargent, Henry Wells, M.A., Timothy Church, Josiah White, Samuel Wells, Esq., Malachi Church, overseers of the highways; Henry Wells, M.A., John Arms, Esq., overseers of the poor; Samuel Knight, Timothy Church, Levi Baldwin, Jasper Partridge, constables; Timothy Church, collector; Lemuel Kendrick, John Arms, Esq., Malachi Church, Josiah White, overseers and viewers of fences; Jacob Spaldin, Richard Prouty, Samuel Brown, William McCune, howards to take care that no unruly cattle or horses or any that belong to other towns or any swine unyoked or unringed run at large on the highways or unfenced unimproved lands in this town the year ensuing; Capt. Benjamin Butterfield and Samuel Wells, Esq., to demand, sue for and receive all penalties and forfeitures incurred by the breach of the foregoing orders. Voted to raise twelve pounds (York currency) on the poll and estates; and the assessors are hereby ordered to tax the inhabitants and freeholders in equal proportion as other taxes are raised in said town the year ensuing; for defraying the necessary and contingent charges of said town and said money to be paid in to the treasurer; and the town clerk to give orders on the treasurer; for any money that may be due from the town for the whole or so much as is necessary of said twelve pounds."

There is no record of the election of a representative to the General Assembly of the state of Vermont until March 15, 1781 at which time Samuel Wells was elected to that office. It is interesting to note, however, that at a meeting held on the 27th day of May, 1777 called "to see if the town will choose new committees as recommended by convention." It was voted to send Lieut. Israel Smith it was voted not to accept nor approve of the proceedings of the late convention held at Windsor. As the constitution of Vermont was adopted July 28, 1777, it would seem that Brattleboro was not represented on that occasion. Since the election of Samuel Wells as representative, 57 other men have served in that capacity for the town of Brattleboro.

Brattleboro Reformer, Monday, March 3, 1919.

Reprint from the Sunday Springfield Republican.


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