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[120] because they represented the whole town, and acted for the inhabitants. There was a Town-clerk, who recorded the doings of the Selectmen and the town, and also granted attachments in civil actions. There were Surveyors of highways, whose duty it was not only to direct the laborers, but to see that every one did his share. There was the Constable, who warned public meetings, and collected the taxes.

In the town-meetings, which were always opened with prayer by a deacon or some aged member of the church, a moderator presided. Fines were imposed for non-attendance. Each one had an equal right to speak. The Court ordered, in 1641, that “every man, whether inhabitant or foreigner, free or not free, shall have liberty to prefer a petition, bring forward a motion, or make a complaint, so it be done in convenient time, due order, and respectful manner.”

The voting related mainly to making of fences, laying out of roads, regulating the pasturage of cattle, ringing the swine, killing of wolves, bears, and foxes, and assessing rates. All these acts of the assembled inhabitants imply the possession of legal, civil, and political rights; just the rights which constitute a regularly organized body-politic.

When Deputy-Governor Dudley, and those with him, came to this neighborhood, they visited several places: they named one Boston, another Charlestown, another Meadford, another Roxbury, another Watertown, and another Dorchester. On Wood's map of 1635, Medford is designated by the same mark as all other towns. Each of these places above named became towns; and each in the same way, by becoming settlements; and each claimed, and each as a town possessed, the same legal, civil, political, and municipal rights. In proof that each of them was a town, separate and distinct, and was so considered and so treated by the General Court, each one of them was taxed by the General Court as early as September 28, 1630, and each one continued to be so taxed. The Court put each one of them on the list of towns, and passed separate laws relating to each. If this does not constitute legal township, we know not what can. In these several towns, there must have been municipal laws and regulations for levying and gathering the amounts assessed. If either of these towns had been only an appendage to its neighbor, it would have been so considered by its inhabitants, so organized in its municipal government, and so treated by the General Court. But this was not the case

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