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Chapter 12: Norfolk County.

This county is bounded north-east by Boston Harbor, north by Suffolk County, west by the south-east corner of Worcester County, south by the north-east corner of the State of Rhode Island, and south and south-east by the counties of Bristol and Plymouth. It has a maritime coast on Boston Harbor of about twelve miles, which is indented by small bays and rivers. Its surface is uneven, and parts of it, especially near Boston, are highly cultivated. The population of the county in 1860 was 109,150; in 1865 it was 116,334; being an increase in five years of 7,184. Since 1865 the city of Roxbury and the town of Dorchester have been annexed to the city of Boston, so that in 1870 the population of Norfolk County was only 89,443. The valuation of the county in 1860 was $86,800,899; in 1865 it was $91,308,287; being an increase in five years of $4,507,388. The net value of the productions of the county for the year 1865 was $36,771,397.

According to the returns made by the mayor of Roxbury and the selectmen of the towns in 1866, Norfolk County furnished thirteen thousand one hundred and four men for the war (13,104), which is very near the number that was actually credited. Each place filled its quota upon every call of the President, and each had a surplus at the end of the war, amounting in the aggregate to 1,042. The same returns show that the aggregate amount of expenses incurred by the several municipalities on account of the war, exclusive of State aid to soldiers' families, was one million two hundred and five thousand three hundred and eighty-five dollars and twenty-nine [482] cents ($1,205,385.29). The amount raised and expended by them for State aid to soldiers' families during the war, and repaid by the Commonwealth, was $768,616.86; making the total of expenditure, $1,974,002.05. During the war the county contained one city and twenty-two towns, of which the following is the war record of each:—


Incorporated Nov. 27, 1719. Population in 1860, 1,318; in 1865, 1,240. Valuation in 1860, $474,259; in 1865, $463,951.

The selectmen in 1861 were Amos H. Holbrook, Alanson Bates, James A. Thayer; in 1862, Amos H. Holbrook, Savel Metcalf, Daniel J. Pickering; in 1863, Amos H. Holbrook, Martin Rockwood, Jr., Elisha Chase; in 1864, Daniel J. Pickering, Alanson Bates, Calvin Fairbanks; in 1865, Daniel J. Pickering, Alanson Bates, Benjamin W. Woodbury.

The town-clerk during all these years was Ruel F. Thayer. The town-treasurer during the same period, Joseph T. Massey.

1861. The first town-meeting to consider matters relating to the war was held on the 4th of May, at which two thousand dollars were appropriated ‘for the relief of the families of those who have gone or may go to fight the battles of our country.’ May 20th, The treasurer was authorized to borrow two thousand dollars for the above purpose, and to pay for an outfit for each volunteer and for time spent in drilling.

1862. July 19th, Voted, to pay a bounty of one hundred dollars to each volunteer, to the number of seventeen, who shall enlist and be credited to the town within twenty days, and to those who shall enlist within ten days ten dollars extra; the treasurer was authorized to borrow money to pay the same. August 14th, Voted, to pay a bounty of two hundred dollars to each volunteer enlisting to the credit of the town in the nine-months service, and to pay a bounty of seven hundred dollars to each of those volunteers who shall enlist to complete the quota of the town of three-years men. The treasurer was authorized to borrow the money.

1863. Meetings were held March 2d and July 31st, at which votes were passed authorizing the treasurer to borrow money to [483] pay bounties and furnish aid to the families of soldiers. December 12th, Dudley Keach, George D. Heaton, and James P. Thayer were appointed by the town to assist the selectmen in recruiting men, and four hundred dollars were appropriated to pay expenses.

1864. April 16th, The bounty to three-years volunteers was fixed at one hundred and twenty-five dollars. The treasurer was authorized to borrow money, and recruiting was to continue until March, 1865.

1865. July 1st, Voted, to refund all money contributed by individuals to pay bounties and encourage recruiting; the same to be assessed within three years.

Bellingham furnished one hundred and forty men for the war, which was a surplus of nine over and above all demands. One was a commissioned officer. The whole amount of money appropriated and expended by the town on account of the war, exclusive of State aid, was sixteen thousand and twenty-five dollars and sixty-one cents ($16,025.61).

The amount of money raised and expended by the town during the war for State aid to soldiers' families, and afterwards repaid by the Commonwealth, was as follows: In 1861, $455.65; in 1862, $1,897.72; in 1863, $2,682.56; in 1864, $1,589.00; in 1865, $1,295.20. Total amount, $7,920.13.

The ladies of Bellingham furnished through the Sanitary and Christian Commissions several barrels and boxes of socks and under-clothing, besides a liberal quantity of lint and bandages. A large number of boxes of clothing, food, fruits and delicacies were also sent by them direct to the soldiers.


Incorporated May 13, 1640. Population in 1860, 3,468; in 1865, 3,725. Valuation in 1860, $1,431,960; in 1865, $1,582,530.

The selectmen in 1861 were David H. Bates, Phillips Curtis, N. H. Hunt; in 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1865, David H. Bates, William F. Locke, Levi W. Hobart.

The town-clerk in 1861, 1862, and 1863 was Noah Torrey; in 1864 and 1865, E. Watson Arnold. The town-treasurer during all of these years was Jonathan French. [484]

1861. The first town-meeting to act upon matters relating to the war was held on the 26th of April, at which it was voted to appropriate fifteen hundred dollars in aid of the families of those who had gone to the war.1 J. H. D. Blake, Jason G. Howard, Caleb Hollis, and Elisha Thayer were chosen to act with the selectmen in the distribution of the money. A committee of five was also appointed to collect money “to cancel the debt of the Braintree Light-Infantry incurred in the purchase of a new uniform. Caleb Stetson, Alva Morrison, N. H. Hunt, A. Mason, and Asa French were appointed said committee.” August 19th, The selectmen were authorized to borrow one thousand dollars to be expended for State aid to soldiers' families as provided by law.

1862. July 14th, Voted, to pay one hundred dollars to each resident of the town who shall within thirty days enlist for three years military service and be credited to the quota of Braintree. Four thousand seven hundred dollars were appropriated to pay the same. August 18th, Voted, to pay each resident who shall volunteer for nine months military service to fill the quota of the town a bounty of one hundred and twenty-five dollars. Seven thousand five hundred dollars were appropriated to pay the same.

1863. September—, Voted to pay all conscripted men, residents of Braintree, ‘who have been accepted and gone into the service of the United States, either by themselves or substitutes, or paid their commutation-money, the sum of three hundred dollars.’

1864. June 1st, The selectmen were authorized “to draw their order upon the treasurer for eight hundred and seventy-five dollars, to be paid pro rata to those who subscribed money to furnish seven men to fill the quota of the town under the last call of the President. They were also authorized to pay a bounty of one hundred and twenty-five dollars to each person who should [485] volunteer for three years service before the 1st of March, 1865, and be credited to the town.”

1865. July 1st, The treasurer was authorized to borrow not exceeding ten thousand dollars to reimburse citizens for money contributed by them during the year 1864 for the payment of bounties and in filling the quota of the town. A committee was appointed to take into consideration the erection of a soldiers' monument, and to report at a subsequent meeting.

Braintree furnished about three hundred and ninety-five men for the war, which was a surplus of fourteen over and above all demands. Fourteen were commissioned officers. The whole amount of money appropriated and expended by the town on account of the war, exclusive of State aid, was twenty-eight thousand four hundred and seventy dollars and seven cents ($28,470.07).

The amount of money raised and expended by the town during the war for State aid to soldiers' families, and repaid by the Commonwealth, was as follows: In 1861, $1,790.50; in 1862, $6,397.15; in 1863, $7,780.55; in 1864, $10,000.00; in 1865, $6,200.00. Total amount, $32,168.28.

The ladies of Braintree contributed clothing and other articles of comfort for the general good of the soldiers and about one hundred and fifty dollars in money.


Incorporated Nov. 13, 1705. Population in 1860, 5,164; in 1865, 5,262. Valuation in 1860, $10,598,546; in 1865, $12,107,550.

The selectmen in 1861 and 1862 were

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