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Catalog Number 2005.124.2
Object Name Report, Administrative
Scope & Content Volume begins with a copy of the Nov. 21, 1774 warrant posted at both the North Parish and South Parish Meeting Houses, announcing the decision of the town to comply with the resolves and recommendations of the Provincial Congress and that all taxes collected should be handed over to the Appointed Receiver General of the Provincial Congress.

The meetings which followed took up the decisions of the Continental Congress and the proceedings of the Provincial Congress as well as voting for the support of their own minute men by providing them each with all the necessary supplies, eg. firearm, bayonet, etc. and that training begin.

Town accounts are included as well as votes for Town Moderator, Clerk, Selectmen, Constables, Tythingmen, Surveyors of Highways, Overseers of the Poor, Fence-viewers, Haywards, Clerks of the Market, Surveyors of Lumber, Deer-reeves, Sealer of Leather, Poundkeepers, Alewives, Hog-reeves and Sealer of Weights and Measures.

In 1775, votes were made not to repair roads or collect the highway tax or hold school, considering the "alarming state of this colony."

July 8, 1775 town meeting voted to see what the town would do regarding the widow and children of George Southwick, killed at the Battle at Concord. They voted to have the Overseers of the Poor take charge of them. And also to dismiss town watches since Congress provided soldiers to guard sea-ports.

Includes a copy of the Declaration of Independence, along with orders for it to be printed and sent to the ministers for it to be read to their congregations. Mention of the Articles of Confederation first made in Feb. 1778 and the need to instruct representatives to ratify them, though that didn't happen until 1781. Also votes for the Massachusetts State Constitution were discussed

Records discuss need for smallpox inoculation, whether a "pest House" is required. By 1778 the decision changed, forbidding such inoculation. The town meetings also reviewed the needs of the poor, the families of those killed in the Revolution, the bounties paid to soldiers.

Also discussed were the problems during the war, including the rising prices and the resolves of the Convention in Concord passing certain measures to deal with it by setting certain limits on prices. Those who charged more than was thought reasonable were labeled as an enemy to the country. In 1780 the declaration of rights were voted upon as part of the Massachusetts Constitution and delegates sent to the General Court to bring the results of the town vote. This was the first year the records named Massachusetts as a Commonwealth.

Votes were made to raise funds to feed and clothe the army and votes were suspended in the cases when counterfeit money taken in for taxes.

Votes were taken to deal with the lack of schools, the need for road repair and for electing officials to manage town affairs. Instructions were given to elected representatives and to the committees designated to make reports to such representatives.

In 1784, the case of Daniel Prince mentioned. Apparently he was a Collector of Taxes who failed to bring in the complete amount assessed. Because they were responsible for failure to collecting taxes, not the landowner, Prince actually went to Salem jail twice and his land was held until payment met. This was part of a growing problem, dealing with the collection of taxes, the emission money printed and which had little value and the difficulties of raising funds for the necessary running of the local government. It resulted in a plea from the people of Danvers to Israel Hutchinson, a representative from the town to the state, stating the difficulties with the emission of paper money and the inequalities of taxes between towns.

A Nov. 8, 1790 meeting discussed act passed by the General Court regarding the warning out of people living in the town since 1767. And at the March 14, 1791 meeting, left it to the discretion of the Overseers of the Poor have the power to put any out of town they chose. And by June 6, 1791, constables had the power to warn out any non-inhabitants of the town.

The subject of smallpox returned at the Oct. 13, 1792 meeting. And it was voted to license specific houses for the inoculation of those wishing it against smallpox.

Though there had been yearly calls for seasonal schools, at the Dec. 22, 1794 meeting, actual districts were laid out to help regulate the school system.

The Feb. 16, 1795 meeting voted to allow Nathan Read to erect a mill, wharves and floodgates on Water's River for the use of his mill.

The remainder of the meetings deal with the yearly need to elect officials to conduct town affairs, the votes for state and federal representatives, any petitions for the laying out of roads, the issue revolving around gates on such roads set up by land owners, instructions for the upkeep of highways, yearly review on the needs of the poor which were left to the discretion of the Overseers, the calling out of a local militia and the funds to arm those who didn't have the means to arm themselves.

Access Conditions Restricted to use in Sutton Room or Research area.
Physical characteristics Bound, handwritten volume.
Creator Town of Danvers
Title Records of Danvers
Level of description Item
Copyrights All copyrights belong to the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA
Collection Local History Resource Center
Subjects Poor - Massachusetts--Danvers--History--Sources.
South Danvers (Mass.)--History--Sources
Peabody (Mass.)--Boundaries--Sources
Peabody (Mass.)--History--Politics and government - Sources
Danvers (Mass.)--Boundaries--Sources