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Records Relating to the old Powder House.

In a special message, dated April 25, 1746, from Governor Shirley to the Great and General Court of Massachusetts Bay we find the following paragraph:—

‘Another thing I must report to you (having twice before moved it since the Beginning of this War), which is, the great Importance and Necessity of building another Powder House, as well in Consideration of the dangerous Situation of that we now have in Boston and of the great Hazard of rising our whole Stock in one Magazine, as the Insufficiency of that to hold our present Stock, and allow Room for the turning of it, and thereby keeping it from spoiling.’

[From the ‘House Journal’ for that year, page 246]: ‘Voted that Mr. Welles, Mr. Oliver, Colonel Cotton, Mr. Hutchinson, Colonel Miller, Colonel Heath, Mr. Russell, Mr. Hall, and Mr. Royal be a committee to take under consideration that Paragraph in his Excellency's Message of the Day relating to the situation of another Magazine for Powder: and report at the next May Session what they Judge proper for this House to do thereon.’

[‘House Journal,’ 1746, p. 40.]

A message from his Excellency by Mr. Secretary.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: I should at the opening of this Session have urged the Necessity of building a Powder House without Delay, but was informed the late House of Representatives had appointed a Committee to consider & view the most proper place for erecting one; and that the Committee having determined upon a Place were ready to report at the first Meeting of this Court; but finding the matter still delayd, I think myself obliged to press you to proceed in this affair, for I fear there is a great deal of Powder which now lies exposed; [63] then the present Powder House is so full, that there is no Room to turn the Powder, and so keep it from spoiling.

W. Shirley. Council Chamber, June 13, 1746.

[Vol. XIII., ‘acts and Resolves of Massachusetts Bay,’ Chap. 36, p. 606.]

In the House of Representatives, voted that a suitable Magazine for Powder be built on Charlestown Common between a place called the Neck of Land and Cambridge, near a large gravel pit, and that Andrew Boardman, Esq., & Mr. James Russell, with such as the Honble Board shall join, be a Committee to see that the same be effected as soon as may be. In Council read & concurred, and Ezekiel Cheever, Esq., is joined in the Affair. Passed June 13, 1746.

[‘House Journal,’ 1746, p. 110.]

Voted a sum of One Hundred and Fifty Pounds out of the Public Treasury to the Committee appointed to Erect a Magazine for Powder on Charlestown Common, to enable them instead thereof to purchase the Stone Building (with as much land adjoining as shall be necessary), which was formerly used for a Wind-Mill in Said Toun, on the best Terms they can, and agree with Workmen to repair & fitt the sd Building for the Reception of the Province Powder, in the Cheapest Manner and as soon as possible. The Committee to be accountable: and that Mr. Andrew Hall, with such as the Honble Board shall join, be added to the Committee. Aug. 12, 1746.

[‘House Journal,’ 1746, p. 238.]

His Excellency having acquainted the two Houses that part of the Province Powder had been removed to a wooden Building in Charlestown which the House are of Opinion is very unsafe and inconvenient, and the guarding of it attended with great & unnecessary Charge, and the House having by their Vote of 12 Aug. last ordered the purchase of a Stone Building in Charlestown, & repairing the same, but which was non concurred [64] in by this Honble Board, asks the Honble Board to reconsider their Vote of Non-Concurrence & pass in Concurrence with the House.

Sent up by Captain Partridge, Captain Read, Colonel Gerrish. February, 1746-7.

[‘acts and Resolves,’ Vol. XIV., Chap. 73, p. 33.]

A vote appointing a Committee to purchase the Stone Building in Charlestown for a Powder House.

Whereas the Committee appointed by this Court to Purchase a Stone Building (with as much Land adjoining as shall be necessary) in Charlestown for a Magazine, have not proceeded according to the Order of the Court. Therefore

Voted that Mr. Hal & Capt. read, with such as the Honble Board shall join, be a Committee to purchase the Stone Building at Charlestown which was used for a Wind Mill, on the best Terms they can, & agree with Workmen to repair & fit the Same for the receipt of the Province Powder in the cheapest manner & as soon as possible: and that the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Pounds be allowed the Said Committee out of the Public Treasury to enable them to Carry on this Affair. Passed June 30, 1747.

[‘Massachusetts Archives,’ LXXIII., p. 87.]

The Comtee appointed per this Honble Court to purchase the Stone Wind Mill at Charlestown and to fitt it for a Powder House for the Use of the Province have accordingly purchased & compleated the Same for the Use afore sd, the whole Charge of which Amounts to the Sum of two Hundred Forty-five Pounds, eighteen Shillings, and eight pence one farthing in Bills of the Last Emission, the Comtee charges them Selves with the Sum of One Hundred and Fifty Pounds in Like Bills as also thirty shillings for 2 M. of ye nails that are left, in all One Hundred and Fifty-one pounds, ten shillings, so that the Ballance which Remains due to the Comtee for the full discharge thereof is ninety-four Pounds Eight Shillings, and 8d one farthing. [65]

Which is Humbly Offer'd

per Saml Watts per order.
In Council Febry 26, 1747-8. Read and sent down.

[‘House Journal,’ 1747, p. 233.]

Ezekiel Cheever, Esq., brought down the report of a Committee of both Houses appointed to purchase the Stone-Wind-Mill in Charlestown for a Powder House, &c.

Read and accepted, and thereon ordered, That the sum of Ninety-four Pounds eight shillings & eight pence one farthing be allowed out of the Public Treasury to the Said Committee. Passed March 3, 1747-8.

Sent up for Concurrence.

In Council March 3, 1747
Read & Concurrd, J. Willard, Sec'y. T. Hutchinson, Speaker.

Consented to W. Shirley.

[See also ‘Acts and Resolves,’ Vol. XIV., p. 102.]

F. M. H.

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