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Catalog Number 2005.124.3
Object Name Report, Administrative
Scope & Content Town meeting records.

Include town accounts, votes for federal and state offices as well as for town officials including 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.

These meetings dealt with the day to day affairs of running a town. During these years the most pressing issues facing the town were the need to raise taxes and the creation and maintenance of roads. Repair of bridges were also crucial as well as the needs of the poor in town.

Also discussed in these meetings were any disputes between neighbors regarding property lines, the question whether portions of Danvers should be annexed to Salem and the issues surrounding the War of 1812.

It was during these years that town officials sought to regulate the meetings by having them at regular intervals.

Samples of votes taken included:

On August 25, 1800, the town voted to purchase two fire engines for the town. One to be placed near the Bell Tavern and the other in New Mills.

On Feb. 24, 1801, a vote to have a meeting at District No. 6 schoolhouse to determine needs of school. Meetings at other schoolhouses soon followed. This was the beginning of the formation of the School Committee.

On Jan. 18, 1802, there were votes to set the boundaries for District Schools.

On June 29, 1802, the meeting discussed the town clay-pit and instructions that no one remove clay without approval of selectmen. And any who do so must pay town clerk 25 cents for each load.

On Nov. 3, 1806, there was a vote for the first list of rules and regulations for the schools.

On May 12, 1808, the records mentions repairs to original poor house. The March 20, 1809 meeting discusses expenses incurred in care of poor as well as purchase of small piece of peat meadow and the addition of two small outbuildings to the poor house. June 26, 1809, town voted to purchase farm from Nathaniel Nurse for $7,000. It had 210 acres with a peat meadow adjoining it for the support of the poor.

On June 20, 1808, the records discuss the merits of separating north and south parishes.

On March 18, 1811 town officials form the school committee and state intentions to visit schools.

On Jan. 6, 1812, the records include the first list of firemen for town.
On Dec. 11, 1813, the records include information on Richard Wheatland's petition to have part of Danvers annexed to Salem.

On Nov. 7, 1814, the records mention the indictment brought against Danvers by Supreme Judicial Court "for neglecting to keep their magazine provided with the complement of powder agreeable to the provision of Militia Law."

On June 12, 1815, there was a vote to once more vaccinate the town against smallpox.

In 1817, the town began to offer a discount of 4 to 5 percent on taxes paid before the first of the year. This decision would change in future years.

The case of Daniel Procter, Collector of Taxes, was brought before the meeting on May 12, 1817 to exonerate the men who had agreed to act as bondsmen for him. The decision is dated May 27, 1817. It describes the situation of Procter, who seems to have committed suicide, over his troubled accounts which led him to believe he'd ruined himself and his family.

This was not the only case of a Collector failing to account for the monies owed him. In 1818, Samuel Stanley, who had been voted to replace Procter failed as Collector, causing the town to have to decide whether to forego holding into account the bondsmen needed for surety.

In 1819 a committee was chosen to review the town accounts for the previous eight years.

On Dec. 10, 1819, there was a vote to send a memorial to Washington regarding the issue of slavery for Missouri which was being admitted as a state.

On the May 8, 1820 meeting, the records include a report on state of Poorhouse.

The results of the town's vote on the revising of the state constitution is found in the April 2, 1821 town records.

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