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CHAPTER III.

PROPRIETORS’ MEETINGS, 1768–1785.

    During the winter and spring of 1768, there was but little variation in the labors of the settlers. Some progress had been made in laying out roads, and several acres of trees had been felled and the land burned over preparatory to putting in seed.

   Until this season, it does not appear that any organization of grantees had ever been made. It was necessary that some persons should be authorized to transact the business of the grantees, in order that the settlers might feel secure in their titles. Accordingly a meeting of the Proprietors was warned and was held, probably at the house of John Scofield, although the record does not say, on the nineteenth day of July, 1768. This is the first meeting of the people of Canaan. They met as proprietors of the Township of Canaan, owners of the land and not as citizens in a municipal capacity. The doings of the proprietors as recorded in the Proprietors’ Book of Records, was concerned mostly with the laying out and dividing of the land, the appointment of officers for the purpose of allotting the land, called the “Lot Laying Committee,” the appointment of assessors for the purpose of assessing the taxes to pay the expenses of the proprietary in surveying the lots, surveying and building roads and bridges, the appointment of a collector to collect the taxes, a treasurer to hold the money, and a proprietors’ clerk to keep the records. Committees were appointed at different times for different purposes, mostly to see that the proprietors’ money was laid out in a proper manner towards the object for which it was raised.

   Not till two years later was a town meeting held, and during these two years the, town affairs were conducted by the proprietors. The town officers were also officers of the proprietary, sometimes holding the same positions in each body. There were really more offices to be filled than men to fill them and some

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