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CHAPTER V.

TOWN MEETINGS, 1770–1785

    The first town meeting of which there is any record was called by Benjamin Giles, justice of the peace, “upon the petition of more than ten freeholders, inhabi tants of the Township of Canaan,” on the 3d day of July, 1770. The charter provided that the first town meeting should be held on the third Tuesday in August, 1761; it certainly was not held in Canaan. Thomas Gustin was to be the first moderator and all annual meetings were to be held on the second Tuesday of March “forever hereafter.” At the first meeting at John Scofield’s house, John Scofield was chosen moderator; Samuel Benedict, clerk; John Scofield, Joseph Craw and Samuel Benedict, assessors; Asa Williams, tithingman; Ezekiel Wells, surveyor of roads. And all future meetings shall be warned in the manner following:

The annual meeting on the second Tuesday in March to be annually warned by the Town Clerk, for the time being, by setting up a warning of Notification at least ten days before sd meeting, at some public Place in sd Canaan. And also the Clerk for the time being, shall- at any time when applied to by seven Freeholders of sd Canaan, or the Assessors for the time being, Warn a meeting of the Freeholders of sd Town to be held at any proper place in sd Town, by setting up a Warning seven days at least before sd meeting at some public place in sd Town.

    The same names appear on this occasion, with the addition of Ezekiel Wells, who with his brother, Joshua, arrived the previous year, that we are already familiar with in the Proprietors’ Records. The Wells brothers were both unmarried, Joshua being a disappointed man of thirty-five and Ezekiel eleven years younger, who came because Joshua did. In 1771, at the second annual meeting, the same names appear as before, only a little changed about; Samuel Jones is constable; Asa Williams, fenceviewer; Ezekiel Wells>, tithingman; Samuel Chapman, surveyor. In 1772 appears the same scant records of Samuel Benedict as clerk, not a profitable clerk for us, who are striving to learn