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CHAPTER VI.

TOWN MEETINGS, 1786–1797.

    It is now nine years since our town clerk made any record. His name was Thomas Baldwin, and in that time he had become converted to the Baptist belief, had studied divinity, theology, been ordained as an evangelist, and placed in charge of the new Baptist Church, which was organized six years ago. In that capacity he served well and left a large mark for future theologians to look at, but his style of keeping town records is not commendable.

    Our new clerk, Mr. David Fogg, who had recently married Ruth Dustin, daughter of old Jonathan, lived in a log house some fifty rods southerly from the house John M. Barber afterwards built. Some of the apple trees he planted are still standing. He wrote a firm, even hand, and his record is diffuse as to the Appointment of officers. Mr. Fogg’s name comes to sight several times in the few coming years, and then he disappears, and there is not even a grave-stone to perpetuate his exit.

    When Demophile was near her end she said to me: “Do you ever go and read those names and bits of verses on the stones yonder? You and Aspasia used formerly. Some of them tell us to be sad and sorry for folks who died a hundred years ago; others to imitate men and women we never should have had a chance of seeing, had they been living yet. All we can learn from them is this—that our country never had any bad people in it, but has been filled with weeping and wailing from its foundation upward.”

    In 1786, twenty years after the first settlement of the town, the census of the inhabitants was 142 males and 111 females. This year appears the first vote in reference to schools. “Voted to raise fifteen pounds L. M. for the support of schooling,” and Capt. Robert Barber, Eleazer Scofield and Richard Clark were appointed a committee to divide the town into school districts. The schools had not been a feature in the town, no system existed,