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[p. 22] bad, and where the true meaning was evidently not given, I have not hesitated to amend expressions, so far, at least, as to make it correct, intelligible, and decent. I have in many instances abridged the record but never changing the sense, but expressing it by a more concise and transparent phraseology.’ The copying done by the clerk in my office was not carried out on this plan. Every letter and mark appears in the copy exactly as in the original.

Tonight I propose to confine my remarks to the first volume and its contents. In size it is fifteen inches long, six inches wide, and about an inch thick, or rather was, before being repaired. There are two hundred and fifty-six pages of town records, tax rates, etc., and the back part of the book contains twenty-one pages, mostly of entries of births, marriages, and deaths, but in which is occasionally mixed other matters, including a warrant for the collection of rates, some action of the town in regard to Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge's salary, which was a cause of dissension for many years, and a record of the reimbursement of certain persons for powder furnished, etc. At the beginning is what was apparently the ‘fly-leaf,’ on which is the record of an action in regard to ‘procuring & main-taineing of a publique town stock of ammunition,’ under date of June 14, 1678. This is in the handwriting of Jonathan Wade, the first town clerk, but an entry on the other side of the leaf, of a few lines, and which is indefinite in its nature, dated February 2, 84/85, is in the handwriting of Stephen Willis, the second town clerk. Both of these were probably made on this leaf on account of their being accidentally omitted in their proper chronological order.

From this reason, and from the primitive manner in which the first entries are made, the small amount recorded, (the page following what I have referred to as the fly-leaf, and which I believe to be the original first page of the volume, being sufficient to contain all that was recorded for three years, 1674, 1675, and 1676), I

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