[p. 69] i.e
., on annual budget, the town voted to raise for current expenses for 1819, the sum of $4,500, basing its action on the expenditure of the preceding year of $4,408.77. Of this latter amount $1,284.86 (almost one-third of the entire amount) was expended ‘for the poor in and out of the poor-house.’
While it is still true that ‘the poor always ye have with you,’ and it was to Medford
's credit that they have been cared for, yet the above proportion seems unnaturally excessive, and in looking for the cause, thinking men were ‘alarmed’ and formed that society with the long name a century ago.
Thus far we have quoted from the town meeting records, now turn to those of the selectmen written by the clerk in another volume.
At their first meeting in 1819, on January 22, we find:
Voted, That the following names be posted up in the houses and shops of all Taverns, Innholders and Retailers within said town as a list of the names of persons reputed common drunkards, common tipplers, spending their time and estate in such houses, to wi<*> [Here follow seven names which in courtesy we omit.]
The selectmen were required thus to do.
As the annual town meeting was in March, the fiscal year ended on February 15, but a century ago the reports were not printed for distribution.
In our search for information we had overlooked the fact that Mr. Brooks
in his history had presented the disbursements of 1818 as in contrast with those of 1855, the year of the history's publication.
We reproduce the same for comparison with that in the town record from which we have quoted:
|From Brooks' History,||p. 119:|
|Minister's salary and grant of wood||500.00|
|Paid Charlestown for Paupers||241.00|
|Records of Town:|
|For the minister||533.33|
|Poor in and out of poor-house||1,227.88|
|House rent for the poor||24.00|
|Sunday School mistresses for poor||32.08|
|Roads and highway bills||488.87|