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 they stacked their hay out-doors, according to the usage of their native land. When sheep and swine could be trusted in the woods, they were left there till deep snows made it impossible to find food. The fatting of cattle was an easy and cheap process; for they had hundreds of acres over which to range, unlooked to by their owners, till the close of the summer, when they were taken to the stall, and fed with corn. Each quadruped was marked with its owner's name, and was immediately restored when it had wandered into a neighboring town. When lands were not fenced, the following law, passed March 9, 1637, was necessary. “All swine shall be kept up in yards, islands, or committed to keepers, under penalty of 10s. for every swine so disposed of; and whatsoever swine shall be taken in corn or meadow-ground shall forfeit 5s. a piece to those that shall empound them, and the owners shall be liable to pay double damages.” When mowing grounds and tillage fields became fenced, and that was early, then it became a common habit with our ancestors to let “hogs run at large,” as they do now in the city of New York; of which license more may be said of its economy than of its neatness. March 10, 1721, the town of Medford voted to let the hogs go at large, as they formerly have done. This vote was repealed in 1727. There gradually grew up a strong dislike of this custom, and some altercations occurred in town-meetings concerning it; when, in March 12, 1770, the inhabitants vote that the hogs should not go at large any longer. After this there must have been a vast improvement in the appearance of the public roads, and of the grounds about private dwellings. The raising of all kinds of stock was deemed of paramount importance, and served more towards enriching our farmers than any other part of labor; since proximity to Boston furnished an easy and sure market. Ship-building at first, and then brick-making, opened quite a market within their own territory; and we must think that our early farmers were favorably situated for making a comfortable living. Spinning and weaving were almost as much a part of farm-labor as the making of butter and cheese; and the farmer's wife and daughters were not a whit behind him in patient toil or productive results. Hemp and flax were used for clothing; and the labor of making these into garments for workmen was not small.
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