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[101] politics, strengthening their ancestral faith, enforcing their puritan customs, and nursing, without knowing it, their national independence.

To show that Medford had early records of its own, it is only necessary to copy the following vote of its inhabitants, Feb. 25, 1683:--

Stephen Willis was chosen to keep the records for the use of the plantation; “and, in 1684, it is ordered,--” That the selectmen shall have the Town-book for their use at any of their meetings, as they stand in need of it, provided the town-book be carefully returned to the clerk again.

Law processes were not expensive. In 1685, Medford orders the following payments:--

To Mr. Nath. Lyon, for the attachment and serving£068
To entering the petition at Boston to the General Court026
For copy out of the records006
Caleb Brooks, for serving the attachment010
For entering action023
Stephen Willis, for charge at court016

Oct. 19, 1686: S. Willis appointed to record all births and deaths occurring in Medford.

As soon as Medford could send a representative to the General Court it did so; and the first was chosen in 1689. The records run thus, on the choice of a representative “to stand for and represent them in the Session or Sessions of the General Court or Assembly, appointed to be begun and held at Boston, on the----day of May next.” £ 3 voted for his services.

April 21, 1693: “The ‘Orders and By-laws’ prepared for Medford were discussed, accepted, and ‘allowed.’ ”

In the election of town-officers, they only could vote who had taken the “oath of fidelity;” which oath was in relation to the town what the “freemen's oath” was in relation to the Colony. It will be seen, by the following record, that their town-officers in Medford were few:--

March 5, 1694: Caleb Brooks was chosen Constable for the year ensuing. Major Nathaniel Wade, Lieutenant Peter Tufts, and Stephen Willis, were chosen Selectmen. John Bradshaw and John Hall, jun., were chosen Surveyors of highways. Ensign

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