previous next

[102] Stephen Francis is chosen Tything-man. John Hall, sen., and Lieutenant Peter Tufts, are chosen Viewers of fences; and Stephen Willis is chosen Town-clerk.

Here are but eight gentlemen to fill all the offices, and do all the labor required for one year! It shows us how little there was to be done.

It belongs to this history to say, that Medford did not flourish much after Mr. Cradock's patronage and property were withdrawn. In 1702, there seemed to have been small prosperity; for, at that time the people say: “We, the town of Medford, being little and small, and unable to carry on public charges in so comfortable a way as is to be desired,” &c. This low condition induced the inhabitants to ask grants of money or waste-lands from the government; and also to petition the General Court to annex contiguous portions of Charlestown, Cambridge, and Andover. One of these movements for benefiting the town took place May 10, 1714, when they voted to choose a Committee to consult with the selectmen of Charlestown, to see if they will consent to annex “the first division of Charlestown lots bounded on Medford.” These aims are not lost sight of; for, in 1726, the town chooses a Committee to petition Charlestown on the subject of annexing certain districts. The petitioners ask “for some part of Charlestown adjoining to Medford on the north side of Mystic River.” May 6th of that year, they chose another Committee to examine the Province Records, and see if Medford has any right to land lying in Charlestown; and, if so, to prosecute the same at the town's expense.

To show our fathers' care for public duty, we have the following vote, May 19, 1701: Voted “that Sergeant Stephen Willis assist in the Committee, if his brother Thomas Willis should be out of the way.” Town-meetings were sometimes held in private houses, though generally at the tavern.

The mode of collecting taxes from unwilling debtors was called “an outcry for payment.” When a person would not pay, the constable was commanded to take his goods and sell them “at an outcry for payment,” --public auction. Throughout the entire early history of our town, there appears the most jealous care taken with regard to the disposal of money; and the minute directions given to public functionaries, respecting the smallest items, are most remarkable.

March 2, 1702: The town voted, for the first time, to pay

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Stephen Willis (2)
Thomas Willis (1)
Peter Tufts (1)
Stephen Francis (1)
Damaris Cradock (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1726 AD (1)
May 10th, 1714 AD (1)
March 2nd, 1702 AD (1)
1702 AD (1)
May 19th, 1701 AD (1)
May 6th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: