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[158] only one had grown, and that a shower of twopenny loaves might be expected at any time. From these dreams of a political Elysium they were doomed to awake plain New England farmers; and, on the 1st of March, 1784, in town-meeting, they thus voted: “That the guns and gunlocks, axes, pickaxes, spades, shovels, and lead, belonging to the town, be sold at public auction.” When the first gush of republican joy was over, and the town became settled in the new ways of freedom, then they began to ask how much independence had cost, in pounds, shillings, and pence.

To give only two specimens of individual zeal in the cause of independence among us, we may mention the remark of our first Medford merchant, Benjamin Hall, Esq.:--

When the struggle began, in 1775, I would not have exchanged my property for that of any man in Middlesex County; and now, in 1784, I am worth nothing.

The other case is that of Rev. Edward Brooks. He was librarian of Harvard College two years. On the 19th of April, 1775, he hastened towards Lexington, and did duty through the day. Lieut. Gould, taken prisoner at Concord, was committed to his custody at Medford. He was chaplain in the frigate “Hancock,” in 1777, when she captured the British frigate “Fox.” Afterwards, when the “Hancock” and “Fox” were retaken by the British off Halifax, he was carried there as prisoner of war, but was soon released. He had not money to give, but he would have given his life, to the American cause. He died at Medford, May 6, 1781, aged 48.

Medford took steps to pay its debts at the earliest period. It was to be done by degrees; and, May 12, 1785, they vote thus: “To raise £ 400 to defray the expenses of the town, and £ 400 towards sinking the town-debt.” The next year they vote that “one quarter of the town's debt be paid this year.” They thus continued the wise work of liquidating all claims against their treasury, and, before many years, were free also in this particular.

Our fathers shared largely in the intense anxiety which pervaded the United States, from the declaration of peace in 1783 to the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1788. Though independence was achieved, yet it might prove a curse, if a form of government could not be adopted which would harmoniously unite all the Colonies into a strong, just,

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